Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 76

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Wikipedia:Manual of Style (military history) has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (military history) (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, 25 May 2010 (UTC)


Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Style guide no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Style guide (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, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Images at Stripper

Do the images at Stripper require releases from the subjects of the photos? Everard Proudfoot (talk) 23:15, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

The relevant policy is Wikipedia:IMAGEUSE#Privacy rights. I think that:
  1. File:Exotic_Dancer_in_Crouch_with_Tips.jpg was taken at a public event (Exxxotica Miami Beach 2009) at which photography was expected, there is no need for model releases and there is no privacy issue
  2. File:Stripper at Private Party.jpg was taken at a "party" in Sitges, probably not in public. It might not be acceptable to use.
  3. File:Exotic Dancer On Stage 002.jpg was taken at a public caberet, so OK.
  4. File:Tipping Dollars to Stripper.jpg - I can't tell where it was taken, so not OK.
  5. File:Stripper lapdance at a party.jpg appears to be at a public striptease performance.

etc. Btw, do we need so many illustrations for 'educational purposes'? And why no male strippers? Surely the images aren't just there to excite male Wikipedia editors? Fences&Windows 00:42, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

I also think there should be at least one picture of a male stripper. Why is there nothing in the article, btw, about demographic distribution between male and female strippers? SilverserenC 00:56, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm thinking in particular that we don't need File:Stripper Performing at Nudes a Poppin 2008.jpg. Everard Proudfoot (talk) 01:04, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Wasn't that a public event? SilverserenC 01:11, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Public or not, is it necessary? Everard Proudfoot (talk) 02:25, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, your main question for this section was whether the images needed releases for them to be allowed to be put on Wikipedia. If they are public, then they do not. As for whether the image is necessary? That is something you need to discuss on that article's talk page. SilverserenC 03:07, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
I've nominated three of the images for deletion on grounds of privacy rights and I removed another as not adding anything. See the talk page. Fences&Windows 19:10, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
There are no images there of a male strippers because that article is about female strippers (as mentioned at the very top of the article). Male strippers have their own article - and there's a picture. Matt Deres (talk) 11:34, 27 May 2010 (UTC)


I think we need some people who haven't drunk the Kool-aid to join the discussion here about whether a large corporation's website is published by the corporation (that is, published by itself, or "self-published") or whether it's published by some other outfit (Martians, maybe).

Two editors at WP:V seem to think that the number of employees involved in a business determines whether the business' own website is self-published. Small organizations's marketing materials are "self-published" (published by the organization), but supposedly the identical type of marketing materials from large organizations—like Coca-Cola, Exxon, and BP—are not published by the organization. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:32, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

I've had doubts about the reliability of businesses since mid-2008, but WhatamIdoing's "it's not the size that matters" summarises the issue very neatly! --Philcha (talk) 22:05, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
You know, at this point, it would be nice to have a few editors who can read and understand a dictionary definition show up on that page. Wikt:self-publishing is pretty clear (and consistent with all other sources): When author = publisher, the source is self-published.
Crum and SlimVirgin are (apparently invincibly) convinced that "self-published" means "not very many employees". This means, in practice that they believe that a corporation's marketing materials are 'properly published', like a newspaper story, rather than 'published by the same folks that wrote them'. (Their paeans to corporate reliability are actually pretty irritating. [Enron turned out to be such a great source of information about itself, didn't it?]) On the flip side, this also means that they believe that a small-town newspaper cannot be properly published, because it doesn't have as many lawyers looking over its news stories as major multinational corporations do for their press releases. This is actually a stupid definition... and it would be nice to have some sensible folks commenting.
(Clarification: If the community really does mean to say that a bunch of lawyers and marketing folks at Enron were a more reliable source than a reporter at the local newspaper, then I'm willing to bow to consensus -- but I'm not willing to say that the local newspaper is "self-published" and that Enron's press releases were "properly published", because no rational person will ever learn that "Wikipedia believes that, since there were a lot of liars at Enron, and not so many employees at the local newspaper, then Enron's a more reliable source" if we're talking about "self-publication" rather than "size matters".) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:52, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Proposed Move Of WP:Ownership of articles To WP:Ownership

There is a proposal to move WP:Ownership of articles To WP:Ownership at Wikipedia_talk:Ownership_of_articles#Move.3F. (talk) 02:43, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Concerning numerous citations from one source

I was reading the article Ernest Shackleton and was struck by an obscenely large amount of inline citations (at least 100 footnotes) that only cited a few sources. I initially thought of replacing them all with <ref name= but then realized they were all citing different pages. Isn't there a way to do this more...efficiently? Like Huntford, Roland (1985). Shackleton. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-25007-0. , pp. 6-9, 10, 11, 56-60, 116, 201, 227–28 or something? As it is, every separate page referenced (i.e. every inline citation) has a veryslightlydifferent separate footnote. ZigSaw 12:24, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

This is exactly what {{rp}} is for. Ntsimp (talk) 12:45, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
There may be several ways to handle those, footnotes (though really that doesn't change much), and the rp template (still won't change much, just reduces the details in the refs), but while it may seem like an obscenely large number of refs, it is also a perfectly acceptable format. Changing the format does require consensus on the article's talk page. As that is the ref format I always prefer, I'd note that I would attempt to shortened it up by doing cites to each chapter rather than just pages, unless it really is just 1 or 2 pages from a chapter being used. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:37, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
One thing I would do in that article would be to leave the complete bibliographical information (complete title, publisher, ISBN and all that) in the bibliography at the end of the article (where all of this can already be found) and shorten the content of the footnote citations. Rather than
Riffenburgh, Beau (2005). Nimrod: Ernest Shackleton and the Extraordinary Story of the 1907–09 British Antarctic Expedition. London: Bloomsbury Publications. ISBN 0-7475-7253-4. p. 298
you would just write
Riffenburgh (2005), p. 298
But you should probably consult with whoever the main authors of the article are before making any radical changes. --Hegvald (talk) 13:42, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
You are describing shortened references. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 20:06, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't see what is inefficient about this citation style. In the days when the main users of citations were students and academics writing with pen and paper, and then paying someone by the word to type them up, separating the bibliography and notes made sense, but now, when all that is needed is some copying and pasting and editing of page numbers it's just as efficient for writers to duplicate the bibliographic information in each citation, and for readers it's more efficient to have all of the information needed to precisely identify a source in one place. The few extra kilobytes of data needed would only amount to a minute fraction of a penny/cent's worth of disk space and a few extra milliseconds of download time. Phil Bridger (talk) 15:56, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
But since all of those citations are really to the same source, but it makes sense to specify page numbers on each, using {{rp}} is really lots more efficient. All of the footnotes can go to the same citation, but each can have the page numbers next to it. Easier to use, and easier to read and look up. Ntsimp (talk) 17:22, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

To add page numbers:

---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 20:06, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Or you can use author-date-page styling in the first place.
The best solution depends on the details, but I'm happy with what we worked out for Nitrogen narcosis. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:10, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
One approach I'm using is illustrated in Hazel Walker. In this article, I have a number of citations from different pages of three books. I list the books in Cite form, in a references section, then add a ref in a Notes section to the specific page (using LDR format) and use the short ref in the article. For example, I have five citations to one page of Grundy, and they all appear as a single footnote.--SPhilbrickT 11:46, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
author-date-page is parenthetical referencing
Hazel Walker is mixing referencing systems between standard footnotes and shortened footnotes
---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:02, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm glad this issue has come up because it has had me stumped for a while. I can see problems with all the proposed solutions:

  • {{rp}} means that there is more stuff on the page interfering with the legibility of the main text.
  • Citing each page individually and in full can interfere with the legibility of the wiki language code by clogging it up with lots of citation information and obscuring the main text.
  • Giving the repeat citations in a shortened form can result in the full details being removed without people realising if the first citation of the source is cut from the article.
  • Listing the inline citations in a “Notes” section and have them refer to a “References” section seems to be the best bet for some things but it does mean you can easily end up with your sources listed in two different sections.

I think it would be really useful if the <ref> tag could be modified so that you can refer to a previously named source and give a different page number. The citation would then appear on a separate line (possibly in shortened form) with the different page number. I can see this would be quite difficult. Yaris678 (talk) 12:51, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

bug 13127 ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:02, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

{{rp}} is convenient for editors but interferes with the legibility of the main text for readers. User:Visionholder showed me a technique that splits citations into the book details (title, ISNB, etc.) and the chapter/page(s) details, for example at Lemur#Books cited at the bottom - the book is the 1st-level bullet and the chapter/page(s) details are the 2nd-level bullets. I'll use it as I improve articles. --Philcha (talk) 13:15, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

That would be shortened references :-) I'd suggest the Shackleton article remove the "sources" section, or change all the inline cites to proper shortened refs, as it is a confusing mix of the two. Otherwise, though, there are many acceptable ways to cite and article, and it is up to the editors of those articles to determine which style they prefer, so long as it is an acceptable one.-- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:32, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
In Lemur, there is no connection between the chapters listed in the Books cited section and the references. You should directly cite using the |chapter= parameter of {{cite book}}; for example:
{{cite book |last1=Flynn |first1=J.J. |last2=Wyss |first2=A.R. |editor=Goodman, S.M. |title=The Natural History of Madagascar |year=2003 |publisher=University of Chicago Press |isbn=0-226-30306-3 |pages=34–40 |chapter=Mesozoic Terrestrial Vertebrate Faunas: The Early History of Madagascar's Vertebrate Diversity}}
Flynn, J.J.; Wyss, A.R. (2003). "Mesozoic Terrestrial Vertebrate Faunas: The Early History of Madagascar's Vertebrate Diversity". In Goodman, S.M. The Natural History of Madagascar. University of Chicago Press. pp. 34–40. ISBN 0-226-30306-3. 
---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:02, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Gadget, I took the opportunity to correct your example; not an important change, but they weren't quite the same, so it confused me. I hope you don't mind. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 11:21, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:33, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Bugzilla bug 13127

Nice link there Gadget850! I am not familiar with Bugzilla. Does this just mean that someone has suggested it? Has the idea been picked up by the MediaWiki developers? Has anything been produced? Yaris678 (talk) 20:58, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

That link to bug 13127 gave SSL Blacklist a heart attack. It wanted me not to visit that page because of a bad MD5 certificate and if I went to the page not to share any private data. Alatari (talk) 08:22, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Very strange, considering Bugzilla was originally created for Mozilla. It's also unlikely that there is a real problem, given that it's on Yaris678 (talk) 17:43, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Hebrew years

Just interested—what do people think about there being thousands of almost entirely empty articles about every Hebrew year? ╟─TreasuryTagco-prince─╢ 17:29, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

I mean, things like this are just taking the piss, surely? ╟─TreasuryTagballotbox─╢ 17:37, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
There's always WP:NOTPAPER. Do the stub articles actually cause any harm? SDY (talk) 18:23, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
They don't cause harm, although the stats about years that far into the future would probably be more useful in one list than in hundreds of stub articles. (talk) 19:58, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
We don't have articles for every Gregorian year in the future. Why should we have one for every future Hebrew year? Is every future Hebrew year notable in some way? The only information on these pages can be easily extrapolated from that given in Hebrew calendar. OrangeDog (τε) 21:46, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
My thought exactly. However, I can't face nominating all hundreds of them for deletion! ╟─TreasuryTagYou may go away now.─╢ 21:48, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Mass nom and just give links to the start and endpoint of the deletion. Then defend yourself from criticism regarding the Admin Backlog. Buggie111 (talk) 00:13, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
If the aim is to delete future Hebrew years, that's just 29 articles.  Chickenmonkey  03:48, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
That will do to start, but what exactly is notable about the all the rest? Maybe a handful could stay, but I don't see the point in most. OrangeDog (τε) 14:07, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Currently there are 267 of these articles; the years up to 5600 are broken into centuries. 10th century (Hebrew), 25th century (Hebrew), 50th century (Hebrew), etc. I don't see any reason why articles for the years those century articles represent should, or will, be created. I also don't see any reason to delete the articles that have the potential to be expanded. I would say, the information in these articles should at least be merged into the corresponding "number" articles, but that wouldn't seem like the optimal way to go.  Chickenmonkey  18:30, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
What happened in a Hebrew year that didn't happen in a corresponding Gregorian (or Julian) year? Shall we add a few thousand articles for every Arbaic year as well? Every Aztec year? Every Chinese year? These articles don't have the potential to be expanded, and if they are, they would just be forks of existing year articles. OrangeDog (τε) 20:04, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There aren't "a few thousand" of these articles, and, as I said, I don't believe there should be. In fact, there are more articles on future Gregorian years than Hebrew years -- Gregorian goes to 2059 while Hebrew goes to 5800 (Hebrew year). As to "what happened in a Hebrew year that didn't happen in a corresponding Grogorian year?" There could be Hebrew specific events. I don't know. I'm just saying, I don't think simply deleting all of them would be the right thing to do. I think you could maybe merge the information, whatever that may be given each Hebrew year article, into its corresponding "Gregorian" year article, but that just doesn't seem necessary, or optimal for the situation.  Chickenmonkey  21:15, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Why not just merge and redirect them? No need for a deletion nomination. Fences&Windows 22:18, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
To what? Hebrew calendar? ╟─TreasuryTagCounsellor of State─╢ 08:19, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Do I need to spell it out? To century articles, of course. Fences&Windows 19:13, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually, it would make more sense, I think, to merge the Hebrew years into the "Gregorian" years (i.e. the current Hebrew year 5770 (Hebrew year) merge/redirect/create 5770) and retain the current "XX century (Hebrew)" articles, too. Although, I still think the best option may be to just leave them as they are.  Chickenmonkey  19:38, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh. Maybe an AfD would be best, to get more input on what should be done with them. Fences&Windows 15:34, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
As cool and as useful as having an article on each Hebrew year is, I agree with the assessment of OrangeDog above. If we have Hebrew years than what's to stop the creation of year numbers from other calendars. The template found in each Gregorian year's article, Template:Year in other calendars, (see 2010#Major holidays for example of usage) mentions the year numbers in other calendars and I want to note that 5770-5771 are the only numbers wikified. That being said I think there may be use for keeping the centuries on the condition that we have content to fill them. A lot of these centuries even are utter stubs. For example, the article 25th century (Hebrew) should contain references for the Exodus from Egypt (15 Nisan 2448), the Revelation at Sinai (6 Sivan 2448 according to Rabbinic Judaism), etc. But it's an empty shell. If we're gonna keep them we're gonna need content. Valley2city 22:58, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
And as for something like Category:Birkat HaHammah years, I would assume, if we delete the Hebrew years, the information would likely be merged into a list section on Birkat Hachama (which by the way isn't even spelled the same way. Oy...) Valley2city 23:50, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

I think these shold be deleted. The proper place for these would be in another wiki, IMHO. Debresser (talk) 09:03, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Upgrade essay to policy

Should the WP:Reception essay be upgraded to policy? Alatari (talk) 08:26, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Um, I can't see why. It isn't even a guideline, and while it has some useful advice, it isn't really speaking towards something to be covered by at all, at best it is a content-related essay. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:29, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with AnmaFinotera. It would have to be looked at as a guideline first. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:36, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Article width?

Is there a favoured width an article should be? I browse at 1024 pixels, and some articles exceed that, usually due to galleries. Should I edit them to fit, or accept that I'm using an abnormally low resolution? Evercat (talk) 11:31, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

800x600 per Wikipedia:Accessibility#Resolution. -DJSasso (talk) 11:44, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Toolserver IPs

As it is against both toolserver and enwiki policy for bots to edit while logged out, a proposal to permanently soft-block the toolserver IPs has begun at Wikipedia talk:Bot policy. Please join the discussion there. Anomie 15:13, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

NPOV application across the article database

Here is the conflict boiled down in a dispute over criticisms of X (religion) articles. This phrase All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, was one editors basis that NPOV applies across article choices whereas the other editor defines the scope as per article. Do we rephrase the NPOV wording to explicitely say within an article or widen it to include articles to assure fair and proportionate? Or do we instead start using WP:BIAS arguments in deletion discussions? Alatari (talk) 15:30, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Anything that can be fixed by editing the article is not a valid argument for deletion. In extreme cases an article can be chopped down to a very brief stub and reconstructed in a more neutral fashion as a final alternative to deletion. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:01, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
It could be argued that articles with biased titles cannot be fixed by editing, though the problems might be mitigated by renaming the article concerned. There are similar problems with articles like Criticism of the United Nations (and, no doubt, other articles entitled "Criticism of . . .), Euromyth, etc. --Boson (talk) 18:59, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Users can discuss a new title on the talk page, any autoconfirmed user may move a page to new title. I don't see how an article detailing criticisms that have been reported in reliable sources in inherently biased anyway. Obviously, any article that analyzes criticisms is going to need to contain those criticisms, it's how they are presented that makes the difference. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:04, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is not my question. I'm talking about POV pushing because certain articles of equal parity are missing or being deleted. It can be found when a faction of editors force sourced POV into another article and then push for deletion of that article. That POV goes away. I'm talking about the NPOV of the demographics of the entire article database. The example that brought me here was the existence of articles with laundry lists of criticisms of each major particular world religion. The non-existence of one religion criticisms page or the push for it's deletion appears to be a violation of NPOV as quoted above. Even if it isn't; should it be? I'm considering Criticisms of Wikipedia section on the wikipedia's bias as a violation of our pillar of NPOV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alatari (talkcontribs) 06:31, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

The questions here seem to be:
  1. Does the encyclopedia violate WP:NPOV by having article Subject X and not also having Criticism of Subject X, or vice versa?
  2. Does the encyclopedia violate WP:NPOV by having article pair Subject X and Criticism of Subject X, but only having one or the other on Subject Y?
  3. If either of the preceding is true, can this violation of WP:NPOV, often stemming from WP:BIAS, be used in article deletion discussions as arguments for or against retaining the article in question?
If these are the questions, my opinions are:
1. and 2. The phrase from the NPOV policy that Alatari quotes has always read to me as applying to articles as stand-alone items, not as a collection of items as a whole. The phrase [O]ther encyclopedic content seems to be interpreted by some editors on the discussion on the Criticism of Judaism article to mean the whole corpus of Wikipedia as an argument that questions 1. and 2. above are true. To me, other encyclopedic content means items like maps, graphics, photographs, etc. In short, I believe NPOV applies to stand-alone items such as articles, images, etc. So, if Subject X is written NPOV (perhaps to include a Criticism section), and meets other key policies and guidelines like notability and verifiability, then the absence of Criticism of Subject X, or vice versa, does not violate NPOV, and the answer to 1. and 2. is No.
3. Because I believe the answer to questions 1. and 2. is No, then the answer to 3. should also be No.
As for whether the NPOV policy should be reworded to reflect this viewpoint...well, I guess that's why this discussion was started in the first place. If this interpretation becomes consensus, then I would approve clarifying the policy to reflect that consensus. Northumbrian (talk) 14:01, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
It has come to my attention that this same situation is also under discussion at WP:ANI. It would be best to keep it one place, and since more users are participating over there, this discussion should be terminated and further comments should be made over there. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:28, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
re-opened thread by request. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:32, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

The problem is the very existence of Criticism of X

I'd like to contribute another perspective on the issue of "NPOV over articles" discussed above; that is, does NPOV require that if there is an article "Criticism of X religion" then there can or should be one on "Criticism of Y religion"? I think there is a much more fundamental problem here, which is the fact that "Criticism of" article sections, sometimes forked to complete articles, exist at all. The only reason such "Criticism of" sections and articles exist is to accommodate the contentiousness of WP editors with various special agendas. These things have nothing of use to offer people who actually want to use Wikipedia as a reference source, and serve only to remind them that Wikipedia is to much too great an extent a sort of arena for people to battle in. If this seems an extreme characterization, try this experiment: look up any major religion in any standard scholarly or respectable encyclopedia or any standard one-volume guide to world religions, and you are not going to find a section on "Criticism of" that religion. This has nothing to do with censorship: all kinds of unfavorable things about, for instance, Christianity, can be found in such sources in articles on things like heresy, the Spanish Inquisition, Galileo, the Papacy, and others, and really major controversial issues are briefly mentioned and concisely summarized within the body of the text. But to have a special "Criticism of" section or article, which is screamingly obviously a sort of "treaty" hammered out by contributors who have their own special interests and no regard for the common interest of users, is polemics, not explanation, and is a continuing dreadful reminder of the extent to which Wikipedia has become a forum for the promotion of special agendas rather than a means of access to knowledge. Strawberryjampot (talk) 16:11, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't go so far as to say they're useless. After all, it's perfectly plausible that someone comes to Wikipedia looking for exactly that—criticism of X. (It's not really important if their motives are impure—we're not morality police.)
Besides, apart from the usual WP:NOTPAPER issue, there are whole books devoted to criticism of religion. It wouldn't be fair to say that those only briefly mention controversies.
In a sense, Wikipedia has it almost right—in the general article, it mixes the good with the bad, and links to the specific article dealing with criticism in order to keep that topic from dominating (such as when those with a negative opinion are more outspoken than the rest). That's a reasonable editorial policy for an encyclopedia anyone can edit. (The lack of a "good deeds of X" article is perhaps a deficiency, but there are practical issues that have yet to be resolved.)
It's partly due to our own biases (as editors) that there aren't corresponding articles on the good things that religions accomplish. We (not just on Wikipedia) have an unbalanced view of criticism vs. compliment—it's impolite to criticize pointedly (so it gets put in a separate article), but considered somewhat appropriate to speak of praise (even when objectively equally dubious or unsourced, it tends to end up in the main article). Also, there's the practical issue of the tone that a "good deeds" article would take—I fear that they would become hotbeds of unsourced and unencyclopedic adulation (much like our many fanpages devoted to entertainment figures). It's easy to shoot down criticism for being unfair or unreferenced (and that's exactly what should ideally happen when criticism verges on the fanatical); but would we have the heart to remove mention of all the orphanages they allegedly built, because it's all unverified?
But with regard to the first question—the existence of one criticism article doesn't mean much for the others (presuming that we have no blanket prohibition on this type of article entirely). It's the content that matters. If thousands have written criticisms of Christianity, and our article cites those sources and presents a neutral account of that school of thought, it's fine. But if nobody has written criticisms of Jainism (not necessarily true; just an example), how could we credibly write a Wikipedia article on that topic? TheFeds 18:44, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
I've advocated for the implementation of WP:CRITICISM as at least an editing guideline, but previous RFCs haven't generated a whole lot of interest. I'm dead set against criticism articles per WP:POVFORK, WP:NOTSOAP, and a couple of other policies, but frankly I haven't given much thought to it of late since it tends to add stress to my life. SDY (talk) 23:57, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Why do "Criticism of..." articles have to be only about negative criticism? Why can't we have articles on the outside reception to a topic? I agree with a lot of WP:CRITICISM, but "Don't make articles entirely devoted to criticism of a topic that has or should have its own Wikipedia article" is overly prescriptive and untenable if the material wouldn't fit into the parent article due to size. Fences&Windows 13:33, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
"Criticism" is not even a thing that needs to be mentioned, not to mention have an article devoted to it. If one conveys well-sourced information that happens to fall under the rubric of "criticism" — so be it. This concern with creating "criticism of…" articles represents misplaced emphasis. One should write about soundly supported subjects, in all their dimensions — as long as it is supported by substantial source material. We don't actually find sources supporting the "criticism of..." notion. That is not the way sources write. They always provide a more complex context. We too should strive to provide complex context, even if it is a tongue twister. Bus stop (talk) 14:14, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I must concur with Strawberryjampot that these sort or articles are junk. You can tell by the article title that "Criticism of XYZ" is an entirely synthetic, and is in no way credible in the same way as "In praise of XYZ" as an article topic is any more believable. Most probably all of these articles would fail WP:MADEUP on account of the fact they are not written about outside of Wikipedia. A good test of whether they are made-up is whether they have an externally sourced defintion; if they don't have one, then that is a sign that the topic has not been externally validated. In which case, they will fail WP:SYNTHESIS for the reasons given by Bus stop: if there are no sources that address the subject matter of the title directly and in detail, then adding coverage about different topics in one article just because they have a loose association with each other will result in the editorial equivalent of popcorn ball, not "complex context". --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 15:02, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Here we have a discussion on what "criticism" should mean for the purposes of this article.
If "Criticism of Judaism" were a "real" topic (for Wikipedia purposes), wouldn't we expect there to be sources to turn to, in order to see how the sources use the term "criticism?"
Even more to the point — wouldn't such sources be dictating what constitutes "criticism" in this article?
What we see are editors deciding what should qualify for inclusion in the article. Aren't they "making up" the article? The article does not preexist in reliable sources.
It may be a valiant attempt to write an article that some think is much needed. But I don't think the subject area, "criticism of Judaism," has an existence outside of Wikipedia.
I think that making up an area of exploration for an article is original research, if the area for exploration does not have an existence in reliable sources prior to the one that Wikipedia is giving to it.
I am in concurrence with Strawberryjampot and Gavin Collins on this. Bus stop (talk) 13:07, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Starting from the POV that "Criticism of X" articles are made to promote an agenda and are POV/pointy is assuming bad faith out the door. They can go easily in that direction particularly if not actively watched, but it is also completely possible to write a NPOV/NOR Criticism article that supplements a much larger topic that already spans many pages (WP:SS). This is not to say the present "Criticism of (religion)" articles are prime examples; the few I spot checked are definitively begging the question and pushing an agenda. But, with appropriate trimming and cutting to reliable sources that discuss and summarize the criticism instead of just saying a certain facet sucks, these can easily be improved. Also remember that the word "criticism" goes both ways and can include praise and positive comments even if most of it is likely to be negative; it's unfortunately that naturally we want to assume that the article will be negative. (Maybe if we change these to "Commentaries on X"?)
Is the idea of the topic "Criticism of (religion)" "original research"? That's really a stretch. Every major religion has had critics, some more than others, and there's plenty of books and articles for most religions that go into depth. It's like any other mass public policy; you are going to have people looking for faults. And choosing what to include for criticism in the article is the same "original research" that we have to pick and choose for any other article on Wikipedia when we're summarizing a topic - an acceptable level as long as its not pushing an agenda or introducing OR in terms of what criticism there is. These articles should be documenting the types of criticism aimed at the respective churches, and not so much with specific criticism themselves save for as examples. --MASEM (t) 13:38, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

"I don't think the subject area, "criticism of Judaism," has an existence outside of Wikipedia." This is a way of restating my original point and bears repeating and emphasis. To put it another way, as a question, "Whose interests do such sections/articles serve?" And consider this question in relation to another: "Whose interests is WIkipedia supposed to serve?" Wikipedia's clients are its users, and what those users come to an encyclopedia for is facts so they can make up their own minds about things. It is totally, undeniably, screamingly obvious that these "criticism of" sections/arguments were put together by people wholly concerned with their own special interests with absolutely no concern about serving the client base. Or is this serving the client base: "I want to be sure that users who come here are exposed to my views on why [X] sucks."? These "criticsim of" articles are worse than useless: they undermine the credibility of Wikipedia by sending a clear message that it exists more as a vehicle where special interests insist on "having their fair say" than a repository of knowledge. Is there a policy that "Wikipedia is not a debating society?" If there isn't, there should be, and these "criticism of" sections and articles give the impression that it is. Or maybe that it is something less dignified than a debating society, like a late night college dorm bull session. Strawberryjampot (talk) 14:07, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

I've noticed that when the "X" in "Criticism of X" is a religion, it tends to be a magnet for editors who want to do away with the article because it offends their personal beliefs. Sorry to say that, but it's what I repeatedly see. I'm afraid that this talk thread is becoming a place for forum shopping by those editors who were disappointed that the recent AfD discussion for Criticism of Judaism ended in a decision to keep. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:20, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I think that is a valid criticism, but its not the whole story. I am still in favour of getting rid of these articles (even though I did not participate in any AFD), because the coverage they contains can be disbursed amongst the article topics that the coverage actually addresses, and the reader would actually benefit from this. For instance, any reader who goes to the article Criticism of Judaism seeking commentary, criticism or analysis about Judaism in general will find only coverage about specific sub-topics related to Judaism, e.g. Jews as a chosen people, because although the article cites 26 sources, but none of them define or address the topic of identified by the article title. The fact remains, this and articles like it are "coat rack articles": if you remove all the coverage of sub-topics that are dealt with directly and in detail in other articles, you are left with an empty coatrack, a topic defined only by its article title, and with nothing to say about itself that can be verified by external sources.
I think what is missing from Tryptofish's criticism is that coatrack articles don't provide the context which the reader needs to understand the topics to which the critical analysis is being directed. For every religion, and religion itself, there are good and bad things, and if those various tenets of belief are notable, they will be the subject of their own articles. The coverage of a particular religious topic won't necessarily balance out, but coatrack articles compartmentalise critical analysis in one place, without giving the reader a chance to understand the broader picture. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 21:15, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
We are in the process of finding consensus on the talk page about what sections to include and this will involve a considerable rewrite of the article. Please do not forum shop your agenda of getting Criticism of Judaism deleted. The same goes for you, Bus Stop. Keep it to the talk page, though you might see that all of us have moved on to trying to constructively improve the article. SilverserenC 21:29, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Gavin, you are, in a way, correct to draw attention to COATRACK. It seems to me that when discussions of Criticism of Religion X for Deletion get past the IDONTLIKEIT stage, COATRACK ends up being the one area where there really can be valid, policy-based concerns about such pages. The way to resolve such discussions is not, however, to see what is left if you remove everything that is in summary style. Rather, it is to see whether there are secondary sources that treat the subject as a subject, rather than as a coat rack. In my experience, we almost always have editors crying COATRACK, and then have other editors who find such sources, making the COATRACK arguments invalid. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:21, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
P.S. A helpful hint: whenever concerned that Criticism of X is a coat rack, do a Google book and Google scholar search of "Criticism of X". You have a good probability of finding secondary sources. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:30, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

For the record, I myself (the OP) in raising and discussing this issue have no agenda, hidden or otherwise, relating to any particular "criticism of" articles, and have not participated in any discussions or votes on deleting any of them. It's the whole idea of "criticism of" sections and articles that I think is bad for Wikipedia. My purpose in starting this section was exactly to broaden consideration of the problem beyond any particular article to refocus attention on the principle. Personally, I would like to see a policy flatly prohibiting all "criticism of" sections and articles. Strawberryjampot (talk) 22:31, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

And to clarify what I said, yes, I was referring to some other editors appearing to forum shop after this thread was opened, and I know you were not in that AfD discussion. But I also stand by my contention that when a scholarly secondary source is titled "Criticism of X", there's a pretty good chance that the topic is notable. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:43, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Besides the fact that split often applies to Criticism articles, since they are usually a bit lengthy and would cause undue weight to fall upon them if they were put back into the main article. For that reason, they should be viewed as a content fork, not a POV fork. If they have POV problems, those should be fixed, but they shouldn't be called POV forks just for being about criticism. SilverserenC 00:18, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I think this is a valid issue to bring up, and something that has been eating away at me for some time as well. One article in particular that I've been sort of annoyed at is Criticism of Mormonism, as the origin of the article came as a POV fork from other Wikipedia articles and turned into essentially a place to grind the axe against this religious philosophy. Not all "Criticism of ..." articles necessarily started this way, but you've got to admit that it already starts out with a sort of antagonistic bias right off the start when the whole article is about criticism of a significant topic.... one that presumably also already has a "regular" article about the topic in question. More to the point, if criticism sections are something to avoid (and I've re-written some articles to remove those kind of sections... it can be done), why are whole articles dedicated to criticism needed?
The one argument in defense of these articles (if it can be said as a defense) is that it gives a place for those with a POV axe to grind to come together and feed on each other rather than spoil other articles where POV biases are less welcome. That certainly has been said about the article regarding Mormonism I mentioned above. Again.... something just doesn't sound right there. --Robert Horning (talk) 00:51, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree that it is very difficult to have a sensible discussion once the POV axe grinders get going, for they have invested a lot of time and effort in their pet projects, and will fiercely object to any editor that voices concerns about the validity of having standalone articles about these topics. The fact remains that this is an problem shared by several types of madeup article topics in Wikipedia, and accusing editors of forum shopping seems to me to be neglectful of our duties as editors to comply with WP:AGF.
What ever the validity of these criticisms, the key to resolution is to provide reliable secondary sources that set what these topics are about. At the moment, there is is laughable discussion at What doth "Criticism" mean? where a group of editors is trying to decide amongst themesleves what the definition of the topic is, without reference to what externals sources say. The idea that a group of editors can act as gatekeepers, deciding amongst themselves what can or can't be included in a topic in the absence of external validation is a good example of article ownership.
It seems to me what is entirely missing from these discussions is the need for an externally sourced definition, and one needs to be found to resolve the on going disputes about WP:NPOV. Without an external sourced definition, the notability of the topic is questionable. Despite the fact the article contains significant coverage from 26 sources, none of them actually address the "Criticism of Judaism", and I suspect this is a pattern that is repeated in the other "Criticism of XYZ" type articles.
If these articles had a less serious titles, such as "Complaints about XYZ" or "Problems with XYZ", I think they would not survive WP:AFD. But becuase they contain "Criticism" in their article titles, and criticism is itself an important component of notable topics, this gives these articles a fig leaf of respectablity to hide behind. However, just because a topic is "critical", this is not a free pass to inclusion as a standalone article. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 08:48, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
This, I think, identifies the key problem: the word "criticism" is immediately biased towards negativity even though the word can mean both positive and negative commentary on a topic. Now, for experienced editors, we'd know that difference but to the layperson, seeing "criticism" of something they don't like will likely lead them to want to include something on that page since it agrees with them, while if they see "criticism" of something they do like, they will fight to remove negative statements. It is a systematic bias to deal with.
First, I think most understand that an academic critical analysis of a religion is appropriate content for WP and likely to be delegated to a separate page from the main religion due to the size of the discussion of the religion itself. Even if considering this a spinoff article per WP:SS, "criticism of religion X" is an easy target to find comprehensive sources for the major world religions, so it's notable in of itself, so having an article that describes the critical analysis of a religion is not a problem. That needs to be a starting point.... the next step is to normalize, not only for religion, but any other "Criticism of X" articles that we have, the naming style and approach to content. Naming is probably easiest, and likely best done by replacing "Criticism" with "Critical opinion", "Criticial Analysis", or other similar terms that remove the negativity of "criticism" but remain an objective goal. (For other words like movies and books, "Reception" or "Response" is often used too, but that's not as much useful here for long-standing facets like religion). But naming changes are just one step, the next is to make sure that we're adding critical content that is 1) sources to highly reliable sources 2) discussing the critical issue in a manner that approaches it in a detached manner instead of personally invested in order to approach the NPOV aspect. (eg: using an academic study that cites that X% of the people surveyed dislike a given facet of a religion, compared to some singe person going off on a rant about it). It is very unlikely in these articles we would have an exact match for every "Complaint" to a positive response to counter it (or vice versa), but NPOV is not able giving equal time to opposite positions, just to make sure no position is given preference over another. Thus, using detached sources help towards this. There's probably a lot of other guidelines to consider here for source inclusion and writing styles of these articles (for all, not just for religion criticism) to encourage new editors to include material that corresponds well with existing ones and to take away "passionate" edits that result from the naming issue or from poor inclusion of other facets. It is doable, but we need to come up with a consistent means of handling those as well as assuring that these pages are hotbeds, possible with stricter enforcement of 3RR or editwarring on them. --MASEM (t) 16:12, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

The one argument in defense of these articles (if it can be said as a defense) is that it gives a place for those with a POV axe to grind to come together and feed on each other ... True, but in my view rather than a defense of such articles this is one of the fundamental reasons for eliminating them: Wikipedia articles shouldn't be used as an arena for polemecists to battle each other to exhaustion. Maybe we need a policy that says, "Where consensus has not been reached on a contentious subject, a balanced presentation of the opposing views should be forked to a "Criticism of" article, which should then promptly be deleted." Strawberryjampot (talk) 15:50, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Two points: This thread has started to move towards the issue of "ownership" of criticism pages by editors who have pro-criticism POVs. Page ownership is never a good thing, but it does not make sense to solve WP:OWN violations by deleting the pages where the violations occur. The correct solution is to call RfCs and post at noticeboards (such as the one for NPOV), and get more editors involved. More eyes, and the resulting consensus, should address problems resulting from only a small group of editors working on a page. If that small group fails to work constructively, then it should go to dispute resolution. That's how Wikipedia works, not by getting rid of content where editing conflict might occur. (A case can be made that this works both ways: editors who have anti-criticism POVs may try to "own" AfDs, and they shouldn't either.) The other point is about Masem's idea about page naming as a first step in a constructive direction, such as "Critical analysis of X". I think that's a very good idea, and one that is worth exploring further. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:31, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
To keep the POV under control, I have argued that perhaps instead of an article that is criticism of the particular topic, these articles ought to be about the criticism itself. That is something which could certainly be put into a policy statement and be able to maintain some NPOV about the topic. For instance, in the case of Criticism of Judism there certainly is a wealth of information about people and organizations who have been critical of this particular religious philosophy. An article about that criticism, an objective look at what some of the sources for that criticism may come from, and perhaps getting a little bit into the history of that criticism may be useful. This can apply to other criticism articles too, for example an article called Criticism of General Motors would certainly have as a legitimate sub-topic a reference to Michael Moore and the impact that Roger & Me has had upon the company and the auto industry in general. That is how to keep this NPOV.... perhaps. This is also a way to invoke notability guidelines and to raise standards on these kind of articles in a way that permits something constructive to come to Wikipedia, but at the same time keep the NPOV forks from taking over.
I certainly find the articles that turn into a hit list of criticisms of a particular organization or people to be something that in contrary to the basic pillars of Wikipedia and something that in the long run should not be permitted to remain. I didn't say that providing a place for those with a POV axe to grind was necessarily a good thing, but it has been used in the past to rationalize and justify the existence of these articles.... even so far as providing rationale for why they should be kept when these articles are nominated for deletion. --Robert Horning (talk) 16:39, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I have not read all the above comments, but i did find this special page helpful. i reviewed a number of the afds for criticism articles, and it apears that consensus is to allow them for highly notable, clearly defined subjects, and to delete them for more trivial or weirdly biased subjects. I know consensus and prior decisions are not the only way to decide things here, but i think haveing this information can help us see where to go with this issue.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 03:32, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I would say that we should be wary of the "Criticism of" articles... the way we are with their second cousins, the "and" articles (to make up an example, say we had an article on: The Mormon Church and Anticlericalism). As with many "criticism of" articles, "and" articles also tend to end up having serious coatracking issues. Often the connection between the two topics being linked by the "and" is tenuous at best... and very the act of connecting them can give undue weight to a given POV (in my made up example, it would be the viewpoint that Mormons are Anticlerical) and even legitimize a fringe viewpoint. For this reason, WP:Article titles explicitly discourages and limits using "and" in an article title.
Would it make sense to do similarly with "Criticism of"? Allow it as a title only if there is scholarly material to support using the term, but otherwise encourage some other name. Blueboar (talk) 21:25, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I think Blueboar has hit the nail on the head. Articles such as "Criticism of XYZ" may as well be called "Criticism and XYZ", which is a naming convention that conflicts head on with WP:NPOV#Article naming. The only way such articles can be justified is if there is scholarly material to support using the term. In my view, these unusual titles require high quality sources in accordance with WP:REDFLAG, such as a definition of for the topic. Where a "Criticism of XYZ" does not have a defintion, it needs to be merged, because compartmentalising criticism into single articles conflicts head on with WP:NPOV. We must not allow ourselves to be confused by articles with lots of sources about related topics (Coatrack articles) with those with lots of sources about notable article topic that are clearly defined. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 09:28, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I think a "Criticism and" formulation would combine the worst features of all that we discuss here: the potentially coat rack "and" as well as being criticism. Instead, I much prefer something Masem suggested earlier, which is "Critical analysis of XYZ". What I like very much about what Blueboar said is what has always been the sensible solution to all the concerns raised in this discussion: stick to the sources. If there are no reliable (preferably scholarly) secondary sources about the topic (whether criticism, or an "and" pairing), then no page. If there are such sources, then the page should be organized around, and based on, them. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:32, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
There is no reason for such an article as "Criticism of Judaism." Each article has to be regarded on its own particulars. It is perfectly likely that most of the articles being mentioned do not have sources for the subject matter that they ostensibly cover in their big theme. In the case of "Criticism of Judaism" there is no source for the subject matter called "criticism of Judaism." The subtopics at the "Criticism of Judaism" article are perfectly well-sourced. They are linked to from the Judaism article and they are stand-alone articles and well-sourced. At the point of the link from the Judaism article all that the link has to include is a few words suggesting the nature of a "criticism" if one exists. For instance at the link to "kosher slaughter" would be the words, "including allegations that kosher slaughter involves cruelty to animals." That is all that is called for. The "Criticism of Judaism" article is redundant, an unnecessary intermediary in the encyclopedia, and it is lacking in a source for the general theme of its subject matter. Additionally, the stand-alone articles on subtopics provide real depth of coverage. Context is an essential ingredient in the presenting of any material. Context, as concerns this discussion, involves introducing complexity, which in turn is aided by the more expansive space of an article devoted to a topic. Bus stop (talk) 17:07, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Here is a perfect illustration of what keeps happening in these kinds of discussions: "there is no source for the subject matter called 'criticism of Judaism.'" Is that so? [1]. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:04, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Tryptofish — Pointing to whole books is not a source, I don't think. Assertions in articles have to be supported by text in sources. The article "Criticism of Judaism" is not relying on sources for any of its general comments. The intro to the article says this:
"Criticism of Judaism includes criticism of Judaism's religious texts, laws, and practices. Criticism of Judaism would include criticism of the consequences of Judaism's laws and practices. Some early criticism involved inter-faith polemics between Christianity and Judaism. Criticism during the Middle Ages took the form of the disputations. These in turn gave rise to the antisemitic canards. Areas along the spectrum of Jewish observance disagree with one another, and this constitutes an internal criticism. The liberal end of the spectrum of Jewish observance sees relatively little need for observance of religious law, while the more conservative end of that spectrum articulates an endorsement for Jewish law in the lives of Jews."
Yet not a source is provided. The editors can be seen discussing here and here what sorts of "criticisms" should be included in the article, but they are doing so without recourse to any sources.
There is the whole dimension of this article concerning the realm of "criticism of" in relation to Judaism. That dimension is not being built with the support of sources. This article is an assemblage. That agglomeration of parts is built by whim. Wikipedia articles are supposed to be based on sources. That is a fundamental principle. Bus stop (talk) 18:35, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
One disclosure: I wrote those last two sentences (of that intro paragraph that I quote above). But I did so just to improve something that was there prior to my rewrite there. But yes, my assertions are also un-sourced. Bus stop (talk) 18:40, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I didn't mean that these are sources for what the page says now. I mean that they are sources for what the page ought to say. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:11, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

(undent) Just as a strawpollesque question, who here would support a guideline on criticism articles? It's obvious that they're a cause of concern in general, though there are obviously differing opinions on how to handle them? SDY (talk) 17:05, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

SDY — Each one should be handled on a case by case basis. They were created separately and any problems have to be addressed based on the particulars of the individual article. Bus stop (talk) 17:21, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I think there is sufficient information that culminate from WP:NPOV and WP:BIAS and WP:RS to address the basic foundation that these articles need to be developed in mind with. It's more than just NPOV going on here, for example. --MASEM (t) 18:05, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
WP:POVFORK is the primary rejection of criticism articles, since the criticism article is just a vehicle for a one sided rant against the subject. Is there any reasonable objection to the expectation that criticism must always be covered in context? SDY (talk) 19:32, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
You're starting from the assumption that a critical analysis of a religion (or any topic) is a POV. It's not - an acadeic approach to criticism is taken both ways (positive or negative); the problem is that through a vicious cycle, these can grow to be highly POV and generally negative to the topic at hand. These can be written correctly, but there are steps (as per a suggested guideline) that we can use remove the systematic bias that leads to these. But POVFORK certainly does not prevent the creating of an appropriate critical analysis article. --MASEM (t) 19:45, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
"Critical analysis" isn't really what Wikipedia does. We present facts, including facts about opinions, but a presentation of all relevant views on the topic is what the primary article is for. If it's a relevant view, it goes in Zoroastrianism not in Criticism of Zoroastrianism. What unique content, other than opinions, would be in the criticism article that doesn't make perfect sense to include in the main article? SDY (talk) 19:52, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Right, but others have done critical analysis of such issues and we can report on these (A google scholar search shows more than enough hits for "Criticism of judism" that we can pull from those to summarize the analysis of the issues. We need to take a detached view, and use secondary sources to support these articles, the ones that examine the criticism as opposed to the ones that give criticism (though thse can be used for support) Now, you're right that we would normally put criticism of this academic nature in the main article, but for all the major religions, we have a huge volume of text just *about* the religion that breaking out this section makes complete sense. --MASEM (t) 20:19, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

(undent) Criticism is not a topic that should be spun off into a content fork. If there is mainstream criticism of the fundamental tenets of a religion (q.v. Scientology and allegations of profiteering) then it should be in the main article. If there is criticism of religious practices (q.v. Circumcision) then it can be discussed in an artcle on that particluar practice. If there is a criticism of religious beliefs (q.v. Shahid), then we have an article on that. A central criticism article is unnecessary and redundant with the specific criticisms in context and invites massive NPOV problems. SDY (talk) 20:31, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes it should, per summary-style approaches to very large topics. Understanding the criticism of a topic like a religion is not a significant detail when compared to understanding the basic tenets of that topic (in this case, the fundamental beliefs, history, etc. of a religion). Now, of course you're right that if criticism is aimed at a specific, notable aspect of a religion that already has an article, and the length of that article is not very large, then it should have such a section, but when we are talking about minor facets of a religion, or general, non-specific criticism (as such that Scientology gets), a general criticism article makes sense, with short summaries to point to other criticism sections. When done with the right academic, detached approach, there is no problems with this approach. Also, there is nothing special about NPOV entering criticism sections whether they have their own page or as subsections - they are going to attract the same type of people and require the same careful monitoring. --MASEM (t) 20:49, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Can an article dedicated to minor facets with the common thread that they're all negative satisfy NPOV? Criticism articles are negative by design. SDY (talk) 21:17, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
You're starting from the assumption that criticism is always negative (the term goes both ways), nor that there can't be balanced coverage of it (you can have negative criticism and then a rebuttal by the organization or other groups to address the issue). --MASEM (t) 21:20, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Criticism in modern English generally means "finding faults" except in some very specific circumstances, usually the arts (q.v. "Literary criticism") and even there it is generally called a "review" outside of academia. SDY (talk) 21:45, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I disagree with Masem, whose blind adherence to WP:SS is obsuring the fact that "Criticism of XYZ" articles are being used to undermine Wikipedia's content policies, particularly WP:NPOV. There are two really fundamental reasons why segregating criticism of a particular subject conflicts with WP:NPOV: the first is the creation of coatrack articles in which negative statements are collected together to make a point; but also they can be used to segregate criticism from notable topics in order to effect article "cleanup", by which I mean any negative statements are swept under the carpet, perhaps to protect the "honour" of the topic concerned. For example, I added some criticism to the article General Motors, which is one of the most sanitised articles in Wikipedia. It seems to me that those editors that want their articles to read like a public relations exercise would only be too happy to create a sub-topic into which any negative vibes can be banished. In my view, if an article is titled "Criticism of...", then this is article title that should be subject to WP:REDFLAG, i.e. exceptional titles require high quality sources. Only a clear definition of what criticism of a particular topic is relevant; simply mentioning criticism in passing is merely an excuse to create a coatrack article. I think Blueboar has hit the nail on the head: there needs to be a poll at WT:Article titles to settle this issue. We need to make it clear that using titles such as "Criticism of..." or "Criticism and..." have to be supported by a strong form of external validation in order to provide a rationale for inclusion of such a topic as a standalone article in Wikipedia. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 21:39, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
It's not blind adherence - it's logical sense by imposing size issues that we have articles that critically review a subject when the general discussion of the subject is very large. Mind you, you're absolutely right that these can become coatracks and ways of sweeping information under the rug and I'm strongly convinced the word "Criticism" in the title is partially to that; to SDY, at least two different sources [2] [3] show that criticism is passing judgement on a topic - that can go either way, but I completely agree to the lay person that criticism nearly always means negative. Hence to solve both issues, we need to drop the use of "Criticism" in titles of these and call them "Critical analysis" "Review" "Critical opinion" or any other term that immediately sets the article in a neutral term. But jsut because these articles can lead to problems doesn't mean that we shouldnt have them. We need to set better titles and have better guidelines for sourcing to be used so they aren't just coatracks and can be used to bury content. --MASEM (t) 22:05, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
  • The essay WP:Reception already proposes a better title Reception of X and RECEPTION has the proper neutral connotations and suggests the article will include negative and positive reviews along with rebuttals. Maybe we should discuss whether to elevate it to policy on how to handle very large articles and WP:SS usage? Alatari (talk) 08:08, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

(undent) I'll open an RFC at WT:Article titles and reference this discussion. SDY (talk) 21:57, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

It's starting to feel like this is being discussed on an awfully large number of pages simultaneously. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:04, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, we need to streamline it to one place - an RfC comes to mind. For the record I find myself agreeing with Gavin Collins on this one too . I have only been involved really with two of these articles, one on psychiatry (and yes I guess as a psychiatrist I have (a) a POV, COI etc. I suppose) and the Judaism one, which as a non-jewish atheist I have no emotional attachment to either way. But both of those were extremely vulnerable to a heterogeneous collection of facts synthesised into a topic. I have not chekced others yet but suspect a great many will fall into this category. I am a big fan of preserving information - nothing is being deleted by removing these pages, the information is better elsewhere. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:19, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

I can't speak for other religions, but one branch of Christianity is focused on dealing with criticisms. It's called "apologetics." I would think any complete treatment would have the most common criticisms and the best available answers. In fact if I'm looking at another religion, I'm very interested not just in seeing criticisms (which are often pretty obvious) but in how adherents deal with them. Hedrick (talk) 23:17, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Exceptional article titles

I have tabled the following proposal at Wikipedia talk:Article titles#Exceptional article titles to address this issue:

Exceptional article titles should not be used as a means of creating stand-alone articles if they not commonly used as such, and so unlikely to be recognized as being topics in their own right.

The use of segmented or unusual titles should prompt editors to examine the sources that support their use if:

  • it has not covered directly or in detail by reliable, third party sources;
  • it has been made up on day or is a neologisms;
  • it is one-sided, embarrassing, controversial, or contains contentious labels;
  • it incorporate claims that are contradicted by the prevailing view within the relevant community, or that would significantly alter mainstream assumptions, especially in science, medicine, history, politics, and biographies of living persons. This is especially true when proponents say there is a conspiracy to silence them.

The use of exceptional article titles in Wikipedia requires high-quality sources that address the article topic directly and in detail. If such sources are not available, the article topic should not used not the article topic be included in Wikipedia as a standalone article. Also be sure to adhere to other policies, such as the policy for biographies of living persons and the undue weight provision of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view.

Any comments (including critical ones) would be welcome. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 10:33, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

What constitutes a reliable source?

I may have been too quick to add information to Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. I noticed one of my additions was missing, so I looked through the history and I found where my addition had been removed because the source (The Associated Press, via a newspaper I read online) didn't support it. Well, I knew it did and I reverted the edit, thinking clicking on the link would prove me right. It didn't. The second writer of the source article had changed, as had the headline. The second writer, according to my edit, had become one of the additional contributing writers listed at the article's end. And most importantly, the information I added that got deleted (fishermen were taken to the hospital) was no longer in the source article. I should add that other information I added from the same source (low and high estimates of the amount of oil) had been kept but it too had changed in the source article and was not reflected in the wikipedia article, so I fixed the Wikipedia article.

Perhaps this is a warning about adding breaking news, although I'm not really sure how to state it in any discussion.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 16:33, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

So what's your question? The AP is reliable; if it makes a mistake or changes, that simply underlines the principle that inclusion on Wikipedia is about verifiability, not truth. Correct it, move on and remember that there is no deadline! ╟─TreasuryTagsheriff─╢ 16:44, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I guess my question is when should we rely on breaking news? It makes no sense to me that AP did what they did. Or the web site that picked up their article, which changed it later.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 16:49, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't make any distinction between "breaking news" and whatever the opposite of breaking news is ("broken news"?). If a reliable source makes an assertion, then it is considered valid for an article, until such time as the assertion is disproved or contradicted or overtaken by events. ╟─TreasuryTagNot-content─╢ 16:51, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I guess neither of us did anything wrong; we should just always be aware what we are adding could change.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 16:54, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
A new guideline was stated here.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:57, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
User:Cgingold claimed in the discussion linked to above that USA Today "recycles at least some of its URLs with new or updated stories each day" and suggests we avoid such links. User:TreasuryTag says focus instead on what actually appears in the paper. I told this person to go ahead and say that here so everyone can see it.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:36, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

New editor defaming a company

What template should be used to indicate the person may add these statements if a reliable independent source backs them up?Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:07, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd probably start with {{uw-unsourced1}} if it seems to be good faith, or {{uw-defam1}} if less so. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 17:30, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Depending on the nature of the statement, one of the templates in the Inserting factual inaccuracies and/or libel section of Wikipedia:Template messages/User talk namespace may be appropriate. There even is a series specifically for "defamation not specifically directed". -- Black Falcon (talk) 17:36, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
The person could be right, but it just looks like the sort of thing there would be a dispute about even in "reliable sources" which would have to present both sides. The fact that it's an IP who has never edited any other articles is a red flag, though. There is some positive information in what was added, so that could be a good sign.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 18:08, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Is It Against a Policy?

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
I'm closing this. It is a not-even-thinly veiled attempt to get another editor sanctioned for perceived disruption, and such discussions do not belong here—behavior issues belong at ANI. The policy question posed—whether long-term, repeated particular grammatical edits which are sometimes reverted violate a policy—is not generalizable, and so does not belong here, at a board for discussion of broad policy. The style issue—whether "comprised of" is correct, permissible, or to-be-removed—is an MOS issue and does not belong here. This is therefore out-of-place, and particular concerns must be taken to more appropriate venues. ÷seresin 09:15, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

A certain editor has, for several years now, done nothing but make a singular grammar edit to articles. The grammar edit being made is not a grammar correction, except in his own personal opinion as he disagrees with a commonly used phrase. Often he is reverted, and people have let both positive and negative remarks on his talk page about it, with many of the those making negative remarks asking him to stop. He shrugs off the negative ones as grammatically inferior and continues, generally doing large batches of articles at a time based on search results. Even where he has been reverted, he just comes back later and does it again, and again, and again. Overall, yeah it is probably WP:LAME but as he has continued to ignore the fact that consensus does not agree with him that the phrase he is removing is "wrong" and he continues to reinstate his personal preferences despite being reverted numerous times (over the span of months, if not years), I'm curious as to whether what he is doing is against any policy or guideline. I suspect most folks know which editor I'm talking about if they've seen his work, but for now preferring not to "name names" so to speak, as I'm curious about the issue in general - of an editor basically engaging in slow edit wars on some articles, ignoring consensus, and making no effort to respect the wishes of his fellow editors who disagree with his changes to at least stop doing the changes when they are reverted. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 06:16, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Name names, if someone is being disruptive after being asked not to (preferably repeatedly), then regardless of how they are doing it that would be a problem. But I'd need a more specific example to say. Prodego talk 06:20, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Guess that is to vague to give much view. It is User:Giraffedata. Basically, he goes around changing the phrase "comprised of" to anything but, at times without paying much attention and making the sentences much worse. As noted, he's been going on since 2007,[4] so I presume most people have probably seen him at this point, which is why I wonder if it is against any policy that he continues doing it even when reverted, that its still going on. Its more annoying than anything, since it is trivial to just revert, but at the same time, when he's done it to some articles 4-5 times in the last year or so, it does get more aggravating. His "reasoning" is in his lengthy essay at User:Giraffedata/comprised_of, where by his own admission he notes more people are opposed to it than not but considers it meaningless[5]. On his talk page, he summarizes the reactions over the years, also noting that he has mostly been opposed, but dismissing it again as meaningless. I left a note recently (my second), where I noted that he has done this six times on one article on my watchlist, and noted that he himself shows he has no consensus, and by his usual response, he just doesn't care.[6]-- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 06:28, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
If he's repeatedly editing against consensus, deepsix him. It's obvious he doesn't intend to abide by the consensus present, so either ban him from making such changes or, if that's his only editing, block him until he gets the message. Wikipedia is not for the chronically clueless or the aggressive. —Jeremy (v^_^v Dittobori) 06:21, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
FWIW, "comprised of" sounds horribly wrong to me (a British English speaker).--Kotniski (talk) 07:18, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Its a very commonly used phrase in the US, and at least according to the remarks on the user's talk page, in New Zealand. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 07:47, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
It's common here in Australia as well. Reyk YO! 08:37, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
It may be common, but so's "must of" and we don't regard that as encyclopædic in tone. DuncanHill (talk) 08:48, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't particularly like "comprised of" either, but the English language seems to be stuck with it now. And there's worse abuses being perpetrated against English these days, such as those hideous made-up gender neutral pronouns, apostrophes appearing nearly everywhere an "s" does, and spelling "Sulphur" with an "f". Reyk YO! 09:14, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

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

Why delete articles?

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/2channel Shift JIS art Disscuss.After,My edit is all deleted.Why? --基 建吉(MOTOI Kenkichi) (talk) 17:08, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Which part of the discussion and our notability policy do you want clarifying? ╟─TreasuryTagco-prince─╢ 17:29, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
My writing article is so this.But I think, That Cleanup and delete was such as reconstruction policy.Thank you.--基 建吉(MOTOI Kenkichi) (talk) 21:34, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) In this case, the article was not deleted, but converted into a redirect. The content of the article is available in the page history (here) and can, according to the outcome of the deletion discussion, be merged to other articles as appropriate. The article should not, however, be restored without consensus. Regarding the question of why the article was converted into a redirect, the reason in this case appears to have been that the topic did not appear to be notable (i.e., covered in published reliable sources). -- Black Falcon (talk) 17:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

That Merge? I think NO,Delete.Why without discussing the possibility of verification? The concealment of information that the plan to remove The article...I sad. Thank you...--基 建吉(MOTOI Kenkichi) (talk) 21:34, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I follow The results.In god's miracle. Many of the descriptions are certainly not achieved.I am that certain validation.I rewriting to verify true sence the article.Perfect (or near) The Article.I will write later.THank you,Many love.--基 建吉(MOTOI Kenkichi) (talk) 21:51, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Ties in rankings

In List of most popular given names (Talk:List of most popular given names) there are rankings for different countries. Most countries have exactly 10 popular names for each gender. However, when there are ties, more names are put into the table. I think there should be just ten names per line, unless the tenth place is a tie. See for example the lines of the Faroe Islands in this version


1. Dánjal, Dávid, Jónas
2. Elias
3. Bárður, Brandur, Ísakur, Jógvan, Rói, Rókur, Silas, Tummas
4. Aron, Benjamin, Filip, Fríði, Gilli, Hákun, Jákup, Kristian, Markus, Ólavur, Pætur, Páll, Sámuel, Símun, Teitur, Tóki, Tóri
5. Andreas, Baldur, Bartal, Beinir, Bjarni, David, Eli, Gunnar, Hans Dávid, Heini, Hjalti, Hóri, Hugin, Jóan Petur, Jóhannes, Jósef, Kári, Lukas, Martin, Milan, Óli, Rani, William
6. NA
7. NA
8. NA
9. NA
10. NA


1. Dánjal, Dávid, Jónas
4. Elias
5. Bárður, Brandur, Ísakur, Jógvan, Rói, Rókur, Silas, Tummas
13. Aron, Benjamin, Filip, Fríði, Gilli, Hákun, Jákup, Kristian, Markus, Ólavur, Pætur, Páll, Sámuel, Símun, Teitur, Tóki, Tóri
30. Andreas, Baldur, Bartal, Beinir, Bjarni, David, Eli, Gunnar, Hans Dávid, Heini, Hjalti, Hóri, Hugin, Jóan Petur, Jóhannes, Jósef, Kári, Lukas, Martin, Milan, Óli, Rani, William
53. NA

I propose that only names from 1 to 12 be listed. I couldn't find a policy that was useful in this case. Xqsd (talk) 23:34, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

I do not agree to removing cited information from this list. This is the way some lists are constructed and in this case this IS the top 10 for this nation. There are a number of ties. --Bookworm857158367 (talk) 00:09, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
In this case, due to the small population of Faroe Islands, the names on the Andreas to William line were only given to 2 children each during the time period under discussion. It may be preferable, in the case of this country, to use the total male names/female names lists, which can be found at the same source from which the list above came (see "Males names"). Such information would be more statistically significant. If this suggestion is rejected, I agree with Xqsd. We shouldn't identify Andreas, etc. as the 5th most popular name in Faroe Islands when in fact it was tied for 30th. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 02:57, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Removing sourced information from the list is wrong. If the source reports the ties as this, they should be reported here as this. In any case this is something to be discussed in the talk page of the article, not here. --Cyclopiatalk 16:30, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Any barely literate person can start counting at "Dánjal" and go through "Dávid, Jónas, Elias, Bárður, Brandur, Ísakur, Jógvan, Rói" and stop at "Rókur", the tenth name (adding "Silas, Tummas" if wanted, since the source says they're tied). The fact that the source reports "places" rather than "number", or that they report more than ten names, does not actually oblige us to follow their lead. Editors are supposed to define the criteria for inclusion of items in a list, and then follow their stated criteria. As an example, authoritative "Top Thousand" lists are available in the US; their existence does not oblige us to include names 11 through 1,000 in our own Top Ten lists. Editors can stop when they reach #10 (Anthony and Mia, at the moment), without going all the way down to #1000 (Mustafa and Mireya). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:42, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Administrator's bad behavior

Hello i really dont know much about the backstage of the encyclopedia but one thing that i cant help notice is how clear is defined the rules and mechanisms against vandalism and trolls but not against administrators who potentially or blatanlly abuse of their powers, i wonder if you could enlight me if there is such a place here in the encyclopedia for complaints or if it has been proposed cause its a major importan issue,like the say of the goverment it watches you but who watches the goverment?.--Andres rojas22 (talk) 16:41, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Typically any complaints about administrators' should be raised directly with the administrator at their talk page, and if no satisfaction is received after that, the concern may be raised at WP:AN or WP:ANI. Patterns of behaviour may be brought to WP:RFC/U, and if all those avenues of dispute resolution fail, a request for arbitration may be filed. –xenotalk 16:48, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
In other words, it is very time consuming and difficult to get admin misbehaviour taken seriously. This is because non-admins are assumed to be inherently untrustworthy, and admins inherently trustworthy, so any complaints by non-admins about admins are assumed to be vandalism unless proved otherwise. DuncanHill (talk) 17:28, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Though I guess Duncan's being somewhat ironic, that is what happens, give or take. And 99% of the time, it works and saves us all a lot of time we could spend improving this encyclopedia we're working on somewhere. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 17:40, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
What are the numbers of admins this year, last year and the previous one - in absolute number and as % of registered users? --Philcha (talk) 20:17, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Can't answer your question exactly (surely some other number-cruncher can), but see File:ActiveAdmins 05-05-2010.png. –xenotalk 20:21, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Special:Statistics has current data on percentages; User:NoSeptember/admincount has historic data. Firsfron of Ronchester 20:24, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments, i have a clearer understanding now, i believe this is an important though neglected topic in our encyclopedia and should be readressed in the future.--Andres rojas22 (talk) 22:00, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

It's funny how many users' complaints of "admin misbehavior" are just attempts to get revenge for being chastised about their own misbehavior. Perhaps people should look into who's actually misbehaving here before jumping to have yet another deep discussion over how adminship works and yada yada. rʨanaɢ (talk) 02:43, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
And that's the classic way of preventing deeper discussion and understanding of how adminship works or doesn't work - divert it into an attack on one or more of the contributing editors. Apparently, Wikipolicy is that it is impossible for anyone who has made mistakes or misbehaved in the past to have anything constructive to say (unless they are an admin, in which case we must forgive and forget and move on).DuncanHill (talk) 08:52, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
It's fine to have a discussion of admin misbehavior when there really is a problem. But you need to realize that there often is not. If you look into the contributions of the user who started this thread, it is pretty easy to see what kind of user you're dealing with. rʨanaɢ (talk) 15:46, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Policy about minors as article subjects

Is there any specific policy that gives minors special protection as subjects of Wikipedia articles? I have been looking, but I haven't been able to find anything. It just seems to me that the age of the subject is normally taken into consideration, yet I don't know of any policy that specifically stipulates this. I know we have WP:BLP, WP:BLP1E etc., but what about policies or guidelines concerning subjects below the age of majority? Lampman (talk) 00:35, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

If they meet our requirements (notability etc.) then they can have an article. BLP already gives all living people some very stringent protection, I don't think there is any more to do to protect minors. We already have measures dealing with mentioning non-public information, and anything else I would think could harm minors. The WordsmithCommunicate 00:45, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
That's fair enough, but those requirements are not black and white. Quite often the reading of WP:N and WP:BLP is a matter of discussion, and these are the cases I'm asking about. Does not the age of the subject come into consideration then? Shouldn't it? Lampman (talk) 01:15, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Age doesn't really matter in a direct sense. Indirectly though, it is definitely less common for a minor to have had achievements in their life that would allow them to pass WP:N. Dragons flight (talk) 01:30, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Sure, but what if you have two articles up for AfD, where the question is the notability of the subject. One subject is 40 years old, the other is 10. Ceteris paribus, should they still be considered on equal footing, or should the age of the subject be taken into consideration? Lampman (talk) 01:36, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't think its really possible to make it so black-and-white. If they were both musicians, I would say it wouldn't really matter. If they were crime victims, then it would, as privacy might be more of an issue for a minor. Mr.Z-man 03:13, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
(ec) After a few minutes thought, no & no. Meanwhile, are there any border cases we could use to illustrate whether there's an issue worth devoting brain cells to? --Tagishsimon (talk) 01:31, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
There are quite a few cases where this has been a practical issue, for instance the perennial question of separate articles for the Obama kids. On the face of it, they have received independent coverage in reliable sources beyond what's the case with the vast majority of our adult subjects, yet they do not have their own pages. The discussion about this has taken up page after page, I think it would help if we had a specific minor policy. Lampman (talk) 01:40, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

For one particular discussion that might be of interest, although some of the assumptions I made at the outset turned out to be wrong, see the Hornbeck/Ownby debate in the DRV log for May 28, 2007. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:41, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

What about the obsession with listing children who are royalty, e.g. the only 2010 birth, Prince Louis of Bourbon? A look at what articles we do have on young children in Category:2000s births might help illuminate the debate. 2009 births has 3 royals, 1 multiple birth; 2008 has 4 royals, 1 actor; 2007 has 13 royals; 2006 has 3 royals, 1 murder, 1 conjoined twins; 2005 has 13 royals, 1 murder, 1 medical condition; 2004 has 4 royals, 1 sportsman, 2 actors, 1 multiple birth, 1 murder; 2003 has 11 royals, 3 actors, 1 musician, 1 TV presenter, 1 HIV victim (who might be better merged to her mother's page), 1 murder, 1 transplant recipient, 1 survivor of meningitis and amputation; 2002 has 5 royals, 5 actors, 2 conjoined twins, 1 singer, 1 cancer victim, 2 murders, 1 accidental death, 1 marathon runner; 2001 has 6 royals, 15 actors, 2 murders, 1 sportsman, 2 musicians, 2 accident victims, 1 child involved in an adoption dispute, 1 chess player; 2000 has 5 royals, 23 actors, 1 medical prodigy, 1 stillbirth, 5 musicians, 3 murders, 1 painter, 1 reporter, 1 chess player. Many are very poorly sourced and might not be truly notable; 1 is a featured article. Fences&Windows 15:57, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Let's phrase the question this way: why should the age of an article's subject ever be relevant to determining whether they merit an article? postdlf (talk) 17:24, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Children are particularly vulnerable and will often not have made an informed choice to seek public attention, so our presumption in favor of privacy applies in particular to children. They are also likely to fall under WP:NOTINHERITED. Fences&Windows 20:26, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure a lot of people would be better off not having anything ever written about them, and many, many people never choose to be of historical import regardless of their age. But as long as we actually follow WP:RS, WP:N, etc., we will never be the ones to initiate "public attention," and nothing would be published on Wikipedia that would not have already been published elsewhere in a reliable source. I think it's better to just insist on those standards being met than to try and enforce more amorphous social policy concerns that just beg for emotional decision making. postdlf (talk) 20:50, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Presumably, the notability of some achievements is based on age - for instance obtaining a university degree at the age of 10 or having a baby at the age of 70. I suppose the same would apply to some crimes and various physical attributes. --Boson (talk) 23:05, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Disambiguation leading to more disambiguation

In the past week I have enountered two situations where the disambiguation page leads to another disambiguation page.

Dellwood leads to Dellwood, Wisconsin, which is itself a disambiguation page. The same thing happens with Falcon (disambiguation), which leads to Ford Falcon.

Is this the preferred way of handling the situation?Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 19:02, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't think so. Dellwood should contain links to the two Wisconsin Dellwood articles and no link to the Dellwood, Wisconsin article. Much the same goes for the car - no good purpose is being served by making a user go through two levels of disambiguation merely so as to save one or three lines in a list. --Tagishsimon (talk) 19:09, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd probably agree with Tagishsimon , though I might also be motivated to say that it is probably OK as is. There are going to be some terms which have so many meanings that having just one disambig page to cover all of them would be cumbersome. This appears to be particularly true in the case of Falcon (disambiguation) NickCT (talk) 19:16, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Okay, well, I fixed them. I figured in the case of Dellwood it wouldn't be a problem. Perhaps I should change Falcon back?Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 19:20, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
No. Whilst taking NickCT's point, adding three rows to a three page disambig is no real extra damage. And note that it has "Several space launch vehicles made by SpaceX " listed individually ... that establishes some sort of pattern. --Tagishsimon (talk) 19:22, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
My sentiment would be to change them back using that logic that listing every possible meaning of the word "falcon" would be a little crazy; however, I don't feel too strongly about this. NickCT (talk) 19:25, 3 June 2010 (UTC)


I'm experiencing difficulty in having some EditProtected requests fulfilled:

The issues seem to be around the belief of a small number editors that microformats are not worthwhile, or that there is no consensus to use them on Wikipedia. An RFC at Asbox has attracted regrettably few new contributors.

Wikipedia already emits over a million microformats (see our microformats project for background), from several hundred templates. Our use of them has been praised by Yahoo. I obtained consensus to do this over three years ago, but cannot now find the archived discussion.

Do we need to have that discussion again (or do we need to have it each time someone wants to add a microformat to a template)? How else should we proceed? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 11:18, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

It couldn't have been too big of a discussion if no one can find it. There seems to be opposition to this idea now, whether there was any three years ago or not. Consensus can change, so I would suggest an RfC or a centralized discussion to find a clear consensus one way or another. --Conti| 13:01, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
It as a lengthy discussion, flagged on several project and policy talk pages. :The status quo is that we add microformats. Surely it is for anyone wishing to change that to make a case to do so? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:19, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
If people keep opposing your suggested additions I would argue that there is no status quo. Regardless, if you want a strong consensus that you can point to, an RfC is your best option. A consensus from a discussion from three years ago that you can't find isn't going to convince anyone. --Conti| 13:27, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict):::The onus is on people wanting to change templates to make their case. I believe it would be highly desirable to have this discussion so that the advantages and disadvantages may be fully explored. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 13:28, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I personally think it is useful to have microformants in some of our content, esp. in Infoboxes. But having them in our 'metadata' content (usually the stuff we don't print either), such as navboxes, stub templates etc is not useful and undesired. Similarly I have concerns about the audio template addition. Basically I want to avoid having to replace every occurrence of "Germany" in our content and our plain wikitext, with something like: "hGeo coordinates of country: Germany", where only germany is visible. Our page on Germany already indicates that it is a country, we don't have to make that connection in every usage of the word. Andy says "how does it hurt" to connect locations where we have that information, with a microformat. Well it adds complexity, it inserts classes for cases where no connection is made at times. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:26, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
"I want to avoid having to replace every occurrence of "Germany" in our content and our plain wikitext, with something like: "hGeo coordinates of country: Germany", ": Great - because no-one is proposing that. I have no idea what you mean by "it inserts classes for cases where no connection is made at times", though. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 15:33, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
We really should separate some distinct topics here:
  1. Whether there has been consensus to use microformats.
  2. Whether we should use microformats in the first place.
  3. Whether Andy's approach to all this has been a problem or not.
Mixing these up isn't going to lead anything productive, I would argue. Is this thread supposed to be about 1, or 2? If 2, again, I would suggest a proper RfC. If it's 1, there's really not much that can be done without any links to previous discussions. --Conti| 17:19, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I would like to know what, if any, connection there is between these microformats and what the DBPedia project recently (November) wanted to do. Is one a special case of the other? Or are these parallel efforts to do the same thing, both running to Wikipedia first because that's the easiest way to kickstart a new technology that nobody wants or needs? Hans Adler 18:21, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

No; and no. Wikipedia is far from being the first, or only, site to emit microformats. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 21:11, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Question of previous consensus

Formerly Microformat-related disruption and the question of previous consensus

In the meantime I have done a bit more research. The result can be found at User:Hans Adler/Microformats. It was a tactical mistake of Pigsonthewing / Andy Mabbett to claim that there was a consensus for microformats 3 years ago but he can't find it. I took this at face value and looked for that consensus by searching for "microformat" on the Village Pump and Administrators' Noticeboards. With some very interesting results. His famous consensus for microformats 3 years ago was as follows:

  • May 2007: Pigsonthewing runs to the talk page of WP:NOT to get confirmation that microformats are not forbidden by this policy. The result of this discussion is as follows:
  • Microformats do no violate WP:NOT. (Note that this does not imply that they should be used.)
  • It is not acceptable to burden editors with additional wikicode for the sole (or main) purpose of adding microformats to articles.
  • June 2007: In an ANI discussion related to a fight over whether microformats should be used at all Pigsonthewing points to the discussion at WT:NOT as proof that there is a consensus for them. Three admins comment. Two tell Pigsonthewing that the discussion is not evidence of such a consensus. The third suggests taking it to the Village Pump. (It appears Pigsonthewing didn't do that.)
  • July 2007: After Pigsonthewing edit-warred against the consensus of two WikiProjects to get infoboxes (and hence microformats) on the biographies of classical composers, an Arbcom case is started against him.
  • August 2007: Arbcom bans him for 1 year. (This was his second 1-year ban.)

It appears to me that there are basically only two options to solve this problem:

  1. Banning Pigsonthewing indefinitely.
  2. An RfC establishing a strong consensus that Wikipedia does not use any microformats that are not (a) needed for a specific, Wikipedia-related, useful purpose or (b) authorised by a separate RfC with wide participation.

Hans Adler 21:27, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm amazed that the tone taken above, and completely at a loss to understand why it is taken. From the (removed) pejorative subject and comments like "Pigsonthewing runs to the talk page of WP:NOT" onwards, there is a total failure to assume good faith, and many baseless conclusions are leapt to. The consensus pre-dates the NOT discussion; and indeed, the earlier creation of the microformats project. The June 2007 event does not include the comments stated; and the July-August 2007 debacle was nothing to do with microformats. As for calling for an indefinite ban..! Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 14:37, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Rather than complain about the tone of Hans Adler's message, can you point us to this discussion where consensus was established for the use of Microformats? You've referenced it numerous times, but none of us has seen it yet. –xenotalk 14:52, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I've already answered that question for you, on Template_talk:Infobox_video_game. Quite why you think you will get a different answer if you ask repeatedly, is beyond me. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 15:13, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
You wrote "On various talk, VP and project pages - I don't have them bookmarked". Unsatisfactory answer, to say the least. –xenotalk 15:18, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Geographical coordinates/Archive 10#Support for "operator" Firefox extension. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 16:20, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

A discussion amongst 3 people (one of them yourself), who agreed that microformats in geoocordinate data is a good idea. That is hardly wide consensus for adding microformats everywhere. –xenotalk 16:36, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
To take this in a more constructive direction: I have mentioned two ways of dealing with the never-ending microformat-related disruption. Either is fine for me. Which of them do you prefer that I pursue? Or perhaps you can offer an acceptable alternative? Hans Adler 16:31, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Discussing banning Pigsonthewing is entirely unconstructive, and I have to say that I don't find it in particularly good faith. This is a discussion about microformats, and unless Pigsonthewing is being disruptive (he is not, so far as I have seen), behavioural sanctions are entirely inappropriate. I think that the best approach here is to disregard the previous consensus and work to a new one (even if it has the same result), since we clearly do not currently have a consensus position. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits|}} 18:46, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
You sound as if you didn't read all of the evidence. A few days ago Pigsonthewing claimed that three years ago there was a consensus for microformats but he couldn't find the discussion. Now it turns out that three years ago he tried to get such a consensus through the trick of asking in the wrong forum, but even there didn't get it, then claimed at ANI that there was such a consensus, was told that it wasn't one, fought for unwanted infoboxes against two WikiProjects because of microformats, and was consequently banned by Arbcom for a year. His second 1-year Arbcom ban. It is no problem at all to predict roughly what is going to happen over the next few months if we don't pull the brakes right now. I can see no evidence that this user has ever reacted appropriately to negative feedback.
Read the discussions linked from User:Hans Adler/Microformats. One thing that has been constant throughout is that Pigsonthewing does not consider a discussion finished until it ends with precisely what he wants. If it doesn't, he complains about everybody else not being interested in compromise. It makes no more sense to discuss with such a user than it makes sense to speak things through with a dolphin. He may be intelligent, but there is no basis for communication. Hans Adler 19:41, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
This is also very telling. If he can't even cooperate with the other microformat enthusiasts, how can we expect him to fit into a community that is not primarily centred around them and is in fact highly sceptical? Hans Adler 20:04, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Do microformats in Wikipedia provide any benefit?

Formerly Microformats are at present completely useless in Wikipedia except for geographical data

There was once speculation that Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 8 would support microformats. But they don't do that in any meaningful way, i.e. for end-users there is no such support. For both browsers you can install some rudimentary support in the form of an add-on or extension. Oomph, the microformats extension for Internet Explorer, is very clearly not addressing end-users. [7] It is for people who want to debug the microformats that their own websites are using. There are seven microformats add-ons for Firefox. Four of them have not been updated for a year or longer and cannot be installed in the latest version of Firefox. The remaining three are Google Maps for Microformats, Tails Export and Operator. Of these, Tails Export addresses web developers, similar to Oomph. Google Maps for Microformats can open Google Maps on specific locations if pages about them contain microfomat geographical coordinates. We support this, but we also support using Google Maps and other sites in this way with any browser and without a plugin.

This leaves Operator. I installed the Operator add-on in my Firefox and found the following: On some Wikipedia pages I get a symbol which alerts me that there are microformat data present. E.g. on Albert Einstein I get a menu Contacts → Albert Einstein with the following items:

  • Export Contact
  • Bookmark with Firefox
  • Find with Google Maps
  • Add to Yahoo! Contacts

Now, what do these items do? The first item ("Export Contact") saves a file in vCard format on my disk. It contains the following information:


PRODID: -// 0.8//EN
NAME: Albert Einstein - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
N;CHARSET=UTF-8: Einstein;Albert;;;
FN;CHARSET=UTF-8: Albert Einstein
CATEGORIES: Jewish,Württemberg/Germany (until 1896)
Stateless (1896–1901)
Switzerland (from 1901)
Austria (1911–12)
Germany (1914–33)
United States (from 1940)[1]
BDAY: 1879-03-14
LABEL: Germany, Italy, Switzerland, USA

I have trouble imagining an end-user application that can do anything reasonable with this information, and as far as I know none exists. The second item in the menu ("Bookmark with Firefox") allows me to save a bookmark named "Albert Einstein". The URL of the bookmark begins with data:, is extremely long, and contains the entire infobox of the article. I.e., when I chose this menu item, the entire infobox of Albert Einstein was saved locally in my browser's bookmarks file! This is pretty cool, but not really useful. The third menu item takes me to the following URL: . That's a good illustration of the GIGO principle in computing. Unless we impose unrealistic restrictions on the data we put into infoboxes, we will always get nonsense results like this in many cases. The fourth menu item takes me to Yahoo! If I were using Yahoo!, then presumably I could add Albert Einstein as an email contact, with empty email address, empty telephone number and empty postal address. But presumably his birthday would be filled in, and perhaps I could set a reminder so I don't forget to congratulate him every year.

I can understand that some people are fascinated by these things and want to play with them. But clearly this is very half-baked technology, and it does not seem to be likely that in the near future it will reach the point where its usefulness would make up for the disruption that pushing it brings to Wikipedia. Hans Adler 22:33, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'll respond to this factually erroneous and completely misguided essay later, when I have more time, but in the meanwhile:

[Wikipedia's hCards] with geo information are yummy hack fodder ... marking up data in a predictable manner is a great way to allow developers to play with your information. (Chris Heilmann, Yahoo Developer Network [8])

Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 09:53, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

You are proving my point with your response. You are pushing this stuff so that a few nerds can play around with it and, hopefully, eventually, perhaps, find some application for it. Hans Adler 11:35, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree. In every case I have seen, the microformat is either wrongly implemented (e.g. tagging any old date as a {{Start date}}), or designed for a completely different application (e.g. getting email contact details for historical figures). If developers want to play with the junk in infobox fields, they can read them directly, we don't need additional layers of pointless complication. OrangeDog (τε) 12:16, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Please provide examples, on Wikipedia, of "any old date" being tagged as a {{Start date}}); or of a microformat giving email contact details for a historical figure. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 00:30, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Hans, thank you for this in-depth review. Before I wasn't really sure what was the point of these things; I had a vague idea but I couldn't think of any useful application. Now I see there is no useful application, so I don't think that we should continue adding these complicated markup all across Wikipedia, and should probably strip them where they exist presently. –xenotalk 12:29, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I like the idea of microformat metadata—surely, making it easy to get this kind of information from an article is consonant with the scope of the project, even if not everyone uses it. I'm not sure I like the implementation. Hans Adler has suggested that the current microformats are implemented badly—that we get semantically sketchy data like "start date" for certain things, for example—and on those grounds it seems like removal of microformats might be justified. Pigsonthewing, can you provide examples of fully semantically-correct data being used in an infobox? Can the problems with microformats be corrected? Is Hans Adler incorrect in some regard? {{Nihiltres|talk|edits|}} 18:46, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
    • There is nothing wrong with the idea. There is a lot wrong with the existent implementations. Is there any reason why Wikipedia should go to great pains to distribute data that nobody is actually using? There are only two microformat applications that actually work: location data, which we can do more reliably via links that work even for the vast majority of users who don't have a microformat add-on, and contact information, which is completely useless on Wikipedia because there is a consensus that we don't distribute email addresses or telephone numbers for BLP subjects or companies. We could just as well enhance our pages to include odour information just in case someone invents a machine that can display realise it. In the 10 years until that happens let us all argue about the specific ways in which we can procure that information, how the verifiability rules apply to it, and in which form best to send it to the users' browsers, which will of course simply discard it as useless. Hans Adler 19:48, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I tend to agree with Xeno. Even after a couple years of usage on a large website like Wikipedia, mciroformat support targeted toward average users still does not appear imminent. We should wait until browsers actually support this, or a significant amount of people demand it before we provide it. Mr.Z-man 21:58, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Also tend to agree with Xeno. I see a lot of discussion about how awesome the idea is, but no real stats or evidence of it actually being used. Also, if I'm not mistaken, hasn't it been shown that the microformatting is adding to the load time in larger pages? If I recall correctly, it was mentioned in a recent discussion attacking cite templates, noting that the microformatting added to them made it slow on a page with 100+ refs (and if I am remembering wrong, just ignore this bit and hand me some coffee :-P) -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 14:28, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Let's not get carried away

Andy dropped me a line to let me know about this discussion.

From what I can tell (bearing in mind that I often see Andy around while editing, but that I've no personal use for microformats and mostly just let him get on with it), microformats are supposed to be a lightweight way of increasing the semantic usefulness of markup using existing technology. For those who are arguing that Wikipedia should wait until there's demand before adding microformats support (which would, regardless of the backstory, be locking the gate after the horse has bolted at this point), it's rather a chicken-and-egg situation given that it's high-profile sites like Wikipedia which drive things like this in the first place.

I would note that the {{asbox}} conversation indicates a legitimate and well-argued reason not to go ahead there, and that I'm sure this is the case on other discussions. I would just urge caution before throwing out the whole framework because of a lack of current tools support when there appears to still be an active external drive to doing just that, which I believe Andy is part of.

Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:04, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Why should Wikipedia allow itself to be used as a driver for this as-yet-unproven concept? –xenotalk 12:06, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, there looks to be a well-reasoned argument that says that the concept itself is sound on the main microformats site. Where it's not actually disrupting our articles and is being actively maintained, the cost/benefit ratio looks okay. It's not as if Wikipedia hasn't historically been an early "driver for unproven concepts" (we'd been driving Ogg video for years before there was a satisfactory user experience for that, for example), and the project's aims are compatible with our own. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:20, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
I mean unproven in terms of general utility to our consumers. –xenotalk 12:22, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, but where the cost is so low in most cases (the vast majority of the edits made to incorporate microformats support have been uncontested and required no work from anyone except those adding it) it would not seem that supporting them in advance of the implied future tools support is negatively impacting the project. It's a bit of a gamble in that the whole thing could eventually be scrapped, but even then the effort required to remove support at that time would not be considerably greater than the effort required right now to remove what already exists. In the best case scenario we're ready on day 1, so to speak. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:34, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
As I said above, we've been using microformats for years now and there's no evidence that consumer product support is anywhere close to imminent. Ogg support not only fits into Wikimedia's mission of providing free content, but we were able to provide support for it (via the Java player and VLC plugin) when browsers didn't natively support it. Removing the COinS and persondata metadata reduces the size of the rendered HTML for Albert Einstein by 48 KB, a 13% reduction in size (7 KB / 9% when gzipped). So they aren't actually all that lightweight, especially for something that's completely ignored by browsers. Mr.Z-man 15:11, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Wow, that's pretty bad. How did you get that number? I would like to verify it. For some pages this might actually make the difference between the page crashing some browsers or not.
IMO the disruption overhead that Andy has been bringing into the project is alone more than enough reason not to push this currently useless technology. Countless ANI threads and at least one Arbcom case were completely unnecessary because they arose only because of this vapour technology. Hans Adler 09:46, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
The microformat overhead in Albert Einstein comprises approximately 97 characters of the 357Kb HTML file. That you believed otherwise, and didn't realise that neither COinS nor PERSONDATA are microformats, is typical of the lack of understanding, bogus statements and wrong-headed assumptions you (and others) make above. Your ad hominem and dishonest personal attacks are equally lacking in veracity and credibility. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 20:49, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, the fact the COinS is included in Wikiproject microformats does little to reduce any confusion. As for how I measured, it, I just downloaded the HTML and manually removed it, then compared the file sizes. My comment about lack of imminent consumer product support still stands though. Mr.Z-man 22:45, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
The parent page, which links to that page, makes perfectly clear that COinS is not a microformat. And PERSONDATA..? Your comment about consumer product support is also erroneous. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 22:55, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
This is ridiculous, Pigsonthewing. You seem to be a prime mover for microformats and you've clearly made the majority of edits to Revision history of Wikipedia:WikiProject Microformats/COinS. There's nothing on that page to suggest that COinS is not a microformat, and the parent page calls it a "pseudo-microformat" anyway. You are wrong to accuse Mr.Z-man of "lack of understanding, bogus statements and wrong-headed assumptions" in this respect. - Pointillist (talk) 23:07, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
So when are Firefox and Internet Explorer (or some other commonly used consumer product) going to have support for them in a way that does not require an extension to use it? If its imminent, then surely you can give an estimated date. Mr.Z-man 23:10, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Google's use of them (see the section directly below) does this: It brings them into FF and IE for the end consumer without any extra extension. I'm using them, when applicable to the data types, in all sites I build. Dogweather (talk) 23:14, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
This response by Pigsonthewing demonstrates the problem. The problem is not really any technology, and especially not any specific technology under the most pedantic interpretation. The problem is the disruption spread by someone who is evangelising for a family of related technologies that are not yet ready for general consumption, and who is attacking everybody who gets in the way. This disruption leaves us a choice between banning the user and banning the technology. Hans Adler 00:08, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
And again with the false assertions and unfounded ad hominem... Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 00:15, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Microformats are a good thing. They are about improving the quality of organization in the database we're building. I've seen the edges of what Andy's doing and I like it. Certainly there may be issues with some aspects, but it's a complex subject and working via wiki-markup is a bit of a handicap; mostly they are used in straight x/html. I would urge all to read-up a bit more on the concept in general and return to this sort of discussion with a fresh outlook. There's nothing wrong with the concept, although there may be limits in what the community can cope with. Cheers, Jack Merridew 04:23, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Google uses microformats

Here's a reason to use them: Even though end-users' browsers don't recognize them, Google increasingly does, and uses them in its search results.[9] This will only make sense for certain pages. Tthe list of supported formats is tailored to e-commerce. But still, by marking up some info in pages, Google will be able to provide more intelligent search results for them. The supported types seem to be: Reviews, People, Businesses and Organizations, Events, Recipes, and Video. Google is constantly changing and enhancing their search results, of course. Here is a bit more info from Google: [10][11] Dogweather (talk) 22:18, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Is Google actually extracting any information from Wikipedia articles? I don't see any on searches. The Boeing article uses microformats in the infobox, but I don't see anything on a search. Mr.Z-man 23:42, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Well they may be using some of it in their backend of course, we cannot tell. I'm not totally opposed to the idea of microformats, I just think that we have done more than our fair share of enabling developers/pushers to proof their use to us and that we don't need to add them to stubs/navboxes and our metadata until we see better arguments on why to do so, preferably from the actual implementation field. We have more than plenty of them in Infoboxes, coordinates, persondata, coins and other stuff, where I actually believe that there might be some sort of use (though i think coins has proven to be a flop). I don't see the point in adding it to where i don't believe it's value lies. I want to see some results before adding these things to more and more of our content and definitely before we add it to our metacontent. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 00:01, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Which bit of "neither COinS nor PERSONDATA are microformats" escaped you? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 00:18, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I just knew you would say that... :D It doesn't matter wether they are part of the same standard. For a common user, they are similar and have similar purposes. It is all context based semantic metadata in HTML/CSS compatible markup. If you want to coin a new name for that umbrella then go ahead. In the mean time, i'll just refer to it as microformats, for the benefit of keeping it simple for outsiders. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 00:29, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Just because you don't give them the same name doesn't mean that they don't serve the same purpose. And if you're arguing for adding yet another set of metadata (microformats) to those that we already have (COinS & PERSONDATA) and aren't sure that we want or need, then that's just another reason not to. OrangeDog (τε) 11:40, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Regardless of the name, they don't serve the same purpose. Nor do they work in the same way. They are not used by the same tools, nor the same external services. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 16:44, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Which part of 'common users don't care about such technicalities' escaped you ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:58, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

So personally, I think these should be auto-generated. Dogweather (talk) 04:54, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

I very much like the idea of enabling this kind of information sharing but this doesn't look like a way to do it. I think Hans Adler's criticism is compelling: this is garbage-in-garbage-out computing. COinS works because the data is meaningful (ensured to be so because it is human generated) but this vCard business doesn't look particularly well thought out. Throwing shed loads of garbage out there and calling it "information" is more damaging than withholding genuine information. It needs better thinking through than the "yummy hack fodder" paradigm offers. We need also to keep a focus on the purpose of this project: to write an encyclopaedia, not generate "yummy hack fodder" (which, like Han's demonstrates, is not as "yummy" as we were promised). --RA (talk) 12:16, 27 May 2010 (UTC)


I consider semantic annotations and meta information in our articles useful, and have no problem that we are pioneering this a bit without knowing exactly how it's being used. For example, I can think of a many uses for the geo coordinates we emit (which is what the yahoo quote above is referring to). I have two fundamental concerns though:

Are we using microformants right?
I've tried to understand microformats a while ago, one of the times it came up on Template talk:Asbox, and read up on it a bit. I'm not sure I succeeded to really understand it. I'm worried though that we emit a fair amount of microformat noise, like Hans said above. For a simple example, is Andy's signature
<span class="fn"><a href="/wiki/User:Pigsonthewing" title="User:Pigsonthewing">Andy Mabbett</a></span>
actually valid? Should that link be in there, or should it rather be
<a href="/wiki/User:Pigsonthewing" title="User:Pigsonthewing"><span class="fn">Andy Mabbett</span></a>
More extremely, the Germany article emits
<table class="vcard"><tr class="adr"><th class="fn org country-name"><span style="line-height:1.33em;">Federal Republic of Germany</span><div style="padding-top:0.25em;"><span style="line-height:1.33em;"><span lang="de" xml:lang="de"><i>Bundesrepublik Deutschland</i></span> <span class="languageicon" style="font-size:0.95em; font-weight:bold; color:#555;">(German)</span></span></div></th></tr>
That's a lot of cruft in there. The specification expects only one full name in a "country-name" element, as far as I can tell (not sure in which language, not sure whether the official name or the shortened name). And can once place "fn" or "org" inside an "adr" element? Isn't "fn" only for people? Doesn't "org" need inner elements? Is Germany an organization? [12]
Are microformats the best way to go in the first place?
There are other kinds of semantic annotations (see Template:Semantic Web) that are worth a look. Since Google was mentioned above, they support two other types of semantic annotations, RDFa and microdata. I assume the main advantage of microformats is that they pass through the MediaWiki sanitizer since it (ab)uses the class element attribute, while e.g. RDFa requires element attributes that are by default filtered. RDFa appears to me much more well-defined, and appears to allow more intrinsic descriptions, but in return it is also much more verbose than microformats. A middle ground appears to be microdata, which was developed as part of HTML5 ([13], it appears it's being separated from it now [14]). I for one would like to check whether one of those isn't actually preferable.

Amalthea 13:19, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

In the case of my sig, either is valid (as would be several other permutations). In the case of Germany, the infobox logic is convoluted; I've proposed converting it to {{Infobox}} so that it can be simplified - it's generally bad practice to put multiple values into one table/ infobox cell, and such instances are gradually being eradicated across Wikipedia. However, such "noise", as you put it, is very much the exception. Surely the Wiki way is to find and fix problems, not throw the baby out with the bathwater? There is no abuse of the HTML class attribute; read the HTML specs. The use of microformats does not preclude the use of RDFa; but the latter has fewer browser or online implementations for use by our users. "fn" is not only for people; "org" does not require child elements; and either or both may be nested inside adr - see the hCard spec. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 16:34, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
NO! It is not "generally bad practice to put multiple values into one infobox cell". We are writing an encyclopedia, not the semantic web. There is no reason to "eradicate" this practice, and this sounds very much like just another instance of your disruption. Hans Adler 17:00, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. It is very much allowed and encouraged to use different parameters for each elements of an address, and then assemble the fields into one cell named "Address". It is discouraged to put multiple values into a single template parameter, not in a single cell. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 17:07, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
... and is hard to avoid in this case, where we want and need to show the language native name of the country. Think Switzerland. The country infobox template would need to get much more well-defined input, so that it can begin to emit microformats properly. And that's of course one side effect of the current ad-hoc approach to add this to templates one by one. Amalthea 18:54, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Not so; {{Infobox building}} handles |native_name= much more elegantly & more sensibly, using separate fields (example in Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus). It is that model which I propose to add to {{Infobox country}}, once {{Infobox}} is used. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 19:24, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Um, look at what's happening around you. Note that I said "generally", not "always". And cease your hysterical and bogus accusations. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 17:49, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I must have been thrown off by the hierarchy implied by [15].
Concerning exceptions, the Germany article was the first one I looked at. I note that on Barack Obama we declare "Barack Hussein Obama II[2]" his nickname. We say that Brussels, an organization, has the nicknames "Bruxelles (French) Brussel (Dutch)" and "Capital of Europe, Comic city[3]". The url of Miss Universe is "Official website". Categories of Microsoft are "Public NASDAQ: MSFT HKEX: 4338" and "Computer software Consumer electronics Video game consoles". A specification saying what kind of information is supposed to go into which fields, for which kinds of entities, would help. Amalthea 18:54, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Those are still edge cases. We need to find a way to include multiple values in single attributes, but the vast majority of instances have no such issues. The use of "org" to describe Brussels is correct. Its nicknames; and The Miss Universe example, have been resolved by fixing the data in the infoboxes. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 19:43, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
They were more or less random examples. The next page I just checked was Peru. My point was to show that we haven't been using microformats right in many cases, which I think is a direct consequence of one editor adding them to templates, while the grand majority of the article writers remained blissfully ignorant of the whole thing, and the new requirements added to infobox input.
My conclusions are:
  1. The microformats "specification" sucks.
  2. We will always have a very significant amount of pages emitting garbled microformats.
  3. It would be even harder to use the more well-defined semantic annotation standards, since they would require even harder restrictions for template input.
  4. This change of yours may make Brussels emit correct metadata, but it makes the page for readers less useful, and I consider it a step into the wrong direction. I want to have an identifier in the infobox telling me what language that name variant is. I want to be allowed to have references in infoboxes, without requiring separate template parameters or some such.
Without some kind of killer application for it, I'm not sure you can convince enough people to be mindful of those additional requirements for template input (which would need to be described at every template).
If (if!) we want to continue emitting microformats, I would recommend getting the ones we do emit already right first, and figuring out a way to stay on top of it by at least looking for the most common mistakes (maybe through WP:CHECKWIKI, WP:DBR, or regular database dump scans). Maybe I'm overrating the importance of this, but if (if!) we want to pioneer this on Wikipedia and are among the most important microformat emitters, then I find it important not to further weaken the standard.
Personally, I find this standard very unsatisfactory. For example, it gives no means to discern between the many different types of "Georgia" entities we have (like song, 1988 film, Indiana city, US state, country, drink, name, font) beyond the "product or organization" buckets or using arbitrary category tags in arbitrary languages. Far too little semantics for me. Amalthea 09:51, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You grossly misunderstand microformats. Microformats add semantics which help to disambiguate metadata about the various types of "Georgia":

  • Song - hAudio microformat
  • Film - none as yet; possibly hMedia microformat
  • Indiana City - hCard/ Adr with locality = Georgia; possibly region = Indiana & country-name = USA
  • US state - hCard/ Adr with region = Georgia; possibly country-name = USA
  • Country - hCard/ Adr with country-name = Georgia
  • Drink - hrecipie microformat
  • Name - none as yet
  • Typeface - none as yet

(The three places are further disambiguated by the inclusion of coordinates in the hCard.)

So, say, a yahoo search for "hCard microformat" and "Georgia" would return the City, State and Country, but not the rest (and could be further refined, to return, say, just the city). No standards are being "weakened" by us. As for "a direct consequence of one editor adding them to templates", that's not the case; but I have asked for and would welcome additional input. The process of adding microformats to templates has already resulted in a great many refinements to those templates and new sub-templates, increasing the quality of both our data and metadata (not least their granularity). This fix to {{Infobox country}} will resolve the naming issue for Peru and other countries with duplicate/native names in the title position. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 16:20, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Update: the {{Infobox country}} fix has been applied and is working. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 00:12, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Why would anyone ever search for "hCard microformat Gerogia"? If they want to find the city they'll search for "City of Gorgia" or "Georgia city". OrangeDog (τε) 20:12, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I was using short hand for searching for "Georgia" in the Yahoo microformats search described below. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 00:12, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
For a partial answer you can try Google's Rich Snippet Testing Tool [16] [17] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dogweather (talkcontribs) 18:28, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the link! Amalthea 09:51, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Yahoo, too, search our microformats; and even have a tailored search option for them: Yahoo search for "Birmingham" + hCard on Wikipedia . Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 17:49, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

So, let me get this straight: the only reason Andy edited the Brussels article like he did was to be able to use the infobox for microformats, even if that means that we have now a worse layout and a loss of info (reference) in the infobox? We should not make our article (as the reader sees it) worse for the benefit of some as yet unused metadataformat. Fram (talk) 12:30, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I would have to agree. I have noticed a few instances where he has made these sort of changes which seems to ignore that our primary objective is to make the article the easiest to read that it can be and to present the important information. Microformats that are barely used fall waaaay down the list of priorities and should not be harming the articles in the way the example at Brussels has. -DJSasso (talk) 12:37, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Of course you would - regardless of evidence to the contrary. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 14:26, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
No. I became aware of the issues with that article via this discussion, but would have made the changes (some of which have no impact on the emitted microformats) anyway. No reference was lost; and there is no "unused" metadata format. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 14:26, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Info (a reference) that was prominent in the infobox was after your edits buried deep in the article. Similarly, the info that Bruxelles is the French name and Brussel is the Dutch name was removed from the infobox as well. I should have probably said "barely used" instead of "unused", but that doesn't change any of this. And why would you have made these changes to an article you have never edited before anyway, if it wasn't for this discussion? Fram (talk) 14:38, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
The reference remained in the appropriate section at the foot of the article, as is standard. Your question makes no sense. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 16:41, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Sometimes a link to the reference is needed in a specific location. In this case inside the infobox next to the information it was referencing. This is what is known as an inline reference. You removed the link there so the marker (ie <1>) was no longer in the appropriate spot. This is what he means. -DJSasso (talk) 16:45, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification. I did not remove the link; I moved it. There is no "need" to have it in the infobox; indeed, it's usual not to. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 17:00, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
There are links in the infobox for New York City (for the mayor), London (for elevation and ethnicity), Stockholm (area, population), Ottawa (area, population), Brisbane, ... What exactly is unusual about references in infoboxes for major cities? And actually, contrary to what you claim, you did remove the link[18]. Fram (talk) 08:34, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
It's usual not to have reference links in the infobox when the factiod is referenced in the article body; and I thought you were referring to my first edits, in which I moved it thus. I removed it copletely, in a later edit, because it did not support the claim it purported to cite - as I made clear in my edit summary. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 17:51, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
No idea if that is usual or not, but no reason to remove a reference from an infobox solely because it is also buried somewhere in the text. On e.g. Glasgow or La Paz, the reference for the population is given in the infobox and the lead. On Canberra, the area ref is given in the infobox and the geography section. Fram (talk) 07:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Automatic timestamp and file upload

Please see Wikipedia talk:Upload#Automatic timestamp. Comments would be appreciated. -- Black Falcon (talk) 18:50, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Copyvio with sources attributed?

I'm blanking on the policy right now and I can't find the proper guideline for it. Basically I just noticed that Sri sri ravi shankar has a bunch of text that's directly copied from a blog somewhere. Aside from the fact that it's based on unreliable sources, what's the copyvio ruling if the sources are directly stated on the page? Is it still a candidate for CSD given that the text is still directly attributed? — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 20:06, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Unless the blog put the material in public domain or another license compatible with Wikipedia, it is still a copyright violation and still a candidate for CSD. If the blog post is public domain or GFDL or the like, then it is WP:PLAGARISM instead. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 20:12, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
I figured it fell under copyvio. But WP:PLAGIARISM says that it's "the incorporation of someone else's work without providing adequate credit". The person who wrote the article put adequate credit in the form of ref tags for each section. It's not like they were trying to take credit for the words. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 20:17, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Yep. Plagarism would only apply for stuff where its okay to copy, with attribution, otherwise Copyvio takes precedence. :-) -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 23:13, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
WP:Copy-paste is a good page to consult. Flatscan (talk) 04:32, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
They have it right, if it's not free then it's copyvio unless it's short and quoted per WP:NFC#Text. Also a point of clarification to AnmaFinotera: GFDL is no longer sufficient for importing text, it now has to be a CC-BY or CC-BY-SA license. See WP:Licensing update and WP:FAQ/Copyright for details. VernoWhitney (talk) 05:07, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I overly shortened the license gets confusing after awhile :-P -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 05:10, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, confusing if nothing else. VernoWhitney (talk) 05:18, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

New Vector Skin development: policy issue (not a bug)

I'm starting this thread as a continuation of talk at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/May 2010 skin change/Bug reports#Buttons, generally. First, I'm not talking about bugs, and I was told there to discuss this somewhere else, so please don't anyone say to take this talk back to the bug RfC page. Also, I do not intend this thread to be a place for gripes about specific features of the new skin. In fact, I actually like a lot of what the new system includes! What I am raising here is that a lot of the intentional features of the new interface, things that were changed on purpose and are not bugs, were implemented by a relatively small number of software developers without really consulting the wider editor community. This, I think, raises a policy issue. Wikipedia is built on the underlying belief system that it is run by the community, that volunteer editors working together are what makes a Wiki-based system run. Here, I feel like the community was marginalized from the process, and we are now being told that, other than technical bugs, our opinions do not matter (see the linked thread). In my opinion, this is objectionable. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:23, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

You have not been told that your opinions do not matter. You have been told that dislike of any aspect of the introduction of the skin was not a matter for a bug reports page, and you have been pointed to a couple of feedback pages or You've chosen to bring your issue here instead, which is fine. For my part, I don't feel that the community has been marginalised, since I've been aware of months of beta-testing, and about a year of work at places like Additionally I accept that we need specialists to provide specialist services, such as keeping the infrastructure up & running - a thing which few of us touch - or in this case, getting usability specialists in to do their thing. I'm sorry if you've been unaware of this work but think it reasonable to note that a lot of stuff goes on in wikipedia, and making sure everyone knows about it is not an easy thing to do, not least since it relies on users taking action to find out for themselves - by reading the signpost, for instance. Given that there has been input from specialists and from the community over an extended period of time, I'm not sure what suggestions you're making for doing better next time around. --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:19, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
And if you do form suggestsions, it is probably best to write them to the foundation. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:15, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Those two comments are from the users who disagreed with me at the bugs page. Am I the only user who is concerned about this? --Tryptofish (talk) 22:30, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I doubt it. But you are making what for me is an unfounded assertion that there was no consultation, and then drawing outraged conclusions from that false premise. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:39, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I doubt it too, which is why I'm raising it. But I'm saying not enough consultation, as opposed to none, and I'm not outraged, and no one else should be either. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:50, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Do you actually have any knowledge of how much consultation there was? (and, since you're reading here, do you want to keep the Buttons bug report in the other place open, or can I close it? thanks) --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:54, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Given what's coming in below, please keep it open. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:52, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Then would you mind respecifying exactly what is the bug? The bug report page is not the right page to discuss the issue of missing buttons, if the functionality delivered by those buttons is provided by Vector through the Insert function found beneath the Save button. Is there a functional impairment to report, or merely a stylistic dislike on your part? --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:26, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Uh, if people aren't aware of just how much consultation there was, maybe that suggests that the consultation was ineffective? DuncanHill (talk) 22:58, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
^ this. Killiondude (talk) 23:05, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I second these guys. No, I don't have a substantive comment - but anyone concerned with communication issues should understand the principle here. Gavia immer (talk) 23:21, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
The thing is I had been aware of months of beta "testing" too, but I question the methodology of that testing and accordingly, whether the results taken from that testing (that the vector skin was preferred by a large majority of those who tried it), is not utterly baseless. See Wikipedia:Requests for comment/May 2010 skin change#No proper testing.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:42, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Is it at all possible for the behind-the-scenes "powers-that-be" to "count" just how many of us have actually switched back from vector to the traditional monobook? I wouldnt be surprised if it was a significant minority. I for one cant stand the vector and switched back.Camelbinky (talk) 23:55, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the numbers are being collected. Not sure where. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 23:58, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Then write to the foundation and recommend to them a better research team. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 23:58, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
It's an interesting, but not the most interesting, metric. What would be more interesting is to see if it has any effect whatsoever on attracting newbie editors (or not putting them off as much as did monobook). It's not as if disgruntled cynics are forced to use Vector. Meanwhile, for my money, there was more than enough consultation, but in the end, someone had to be and was bold. And now we have to go through a ritual period of none the less genuine complaint. And then we can stop worrying about and get on with building the encyclopedia. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:04, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Or, put another way, however many complaints, however valid, and however many editors choose to use monobook instead of Vector, Vector is here to stay. The reaction I got when I raised a problem with Vector's behaviour in conjunction with an existing gadget during the "consultation" was that "it's not up to the Vector developers to fix these things". DuncanHill (talk) 00:10, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd be very surprised if the default switched back to monobook. I'm really not seeing a firestorm of complaints. And although unsure about your definition of a gadget, I very much agree that it is not for the Vector team to amend the very many .js and .css hacks written with a dependency on monobook. That's just not the way that part of the ecology works. It's sad that some stuff is broken because the creator has moved on or is just unwilling to make changes. To have to be Backwards compatible with every hack ingeniously performed since the introduction of monobook would have been a ridiculous and completely stifling constraint. And no way would any team wish to have to take over a mixed sack of other people's unspecified and undocumented code. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:17, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
(e/c) The latter is not a valid comparison. Gadgets are locally maintained and often highly specific to browsers and skins (by inconsiderate authoring) as well as to local processes and different languages. The responsibility of their maintenance lies with the users that write or want to use them. That is why they are gadgets otherwise they would have been part of the core software. The responsibility of the MediaWiki developers lies with the core software, not by the hacks we have built on top of their software. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 00:29, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
OK, in reply to Tagishsimon, what I mean by a "gadget" is something that gets called a "gadget" in user preferences (I had thought that that was perfectly clear and normal Wikipedia usage, obviously I was mistaken). Maybe the MediaWiki developers have no formal responsibility for ensuring that their changes do not reduce functionality, but the response I got was unhelpful and felt like they did not give a damn about user experience of their new shiny toy. It certainly put me off participating further in the tests. When I tried to submit my responses on finishing the testing the page did not load properly, so I was unable to - and before you ask, no I didn't waste my time trying to get it to work properly. The unhelpful response I had already received led me to believe that my input was not wanted. The responses here are also suggestive that this is something that has been imposed and we are expected to like it or lump it. DuncanHill (talk) 06:14, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
The retention numbers are between the 13% and 22% depending on what you consider to be an active user. See also the Foundation blog. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:11, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Does that mean the numbers who retain the new vector, or the numbers who go back to monobook? --Tryptofish (talk) 21:01, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Numbers who go back to monobook, if I read the linked article right. 78% to 87% stay with vector. --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:02, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
It makes no sense to talk in terms of percentages like this. You'd want to know what percentage of those in a position to know the differences between the interfaces stayed with the new one, rather than factoring in casual editors. SlimVirgin talk contribs 21:22, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
If you read the blogpost, you would see that that would be the 22% of the users, where 13% is the percentage of all the active registered users in that period. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:05, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Look, I'm overall not particularly dissatisfied with vector, myself, and in fact I like a lot of features about it. What motivated me to raise this topic here was my concern about process. I was asked above whether or not I was aware of the amount of consultation. I was aware that it was being developed, and that there were a lot of opportunities to try it in beta, which I was never interested in doing. What I think may have been missing was for there to be a page listing all of the new features (the buttons from the edit box that would be discontinued, the change in position of the search box, etc., etc.), and then an RfC, listed at WP:CENT, asking for user feedback about that, before the actual implementation occurred. There would have been a lot of talk, and it would have ultimately been beneficial. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:08, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Sadly, in effect, that was what the beta was. The most faithful representation of the changes being made was the beta. A blow by blow listing of each change would be so voluminous as to be useless to most of us; you can argue such a list should be parted down enough so that you can see the things that interest you, but that would inevitably miss the things of interest to someone else. The beta programme collected months of feedback. The usability site had year-long discussions. That was a lot of talk, and in all probability it did do good. What you were missing was the spark to get you to go out and make use of the information and communications channels open to you. And you're asserting that that is someone else's problem for not properly flagging the issue to you in such a way as to galvanise you. Well. Maybe so. Maybe not. My view is that in these situations, you have to go to it and seek it out, and not wait for it to come to you. That is not to say that there is no room for improvement; but it is to say that there are, right now, perhaps a half million conversations going on in and about wikipedia, and making sure that you're involved, early enough, with the ones that are of importance to you, will always take extra effort on your part.
You also have to decide what things you'll trust to the community, and what to smaller groups appointed either by the community or by the foundation. Before you start a WP:CENT discussion on whether or not, for instance, your buttons should have been removed, you need to have decided whether you're designing by unrepresentative committee, or whether you're undertaking orthodox usability studies and acting on their outputs. Doing the latter is always going to vex some people who think the former route is better. Such are the vicissitudes of having to make bold decisions. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:30, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I think there is a big difference between asking users to spend some of their editing time being beta testers, and having an RfC in the way that Wikipedia has RfCs. Microsoft asks people to beta test their software, but I do not chose to do it. The fundamental idea behind this Wiki is that we trust the community. What appears to have been a decision not to trust the community is exactly why I started this thread. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:30, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
We trust the community to have enough sense to go where the discussion is. Vector is a foundation issue, not merely an en.wikipedia issue. That's why it was developed and its design discussed in foundation space not in en.wikipedia space. But here's the thing: usability is not something that everyone is an expert on, and the needs of experts (i.e. people well familiar with wikipedia) are not the same as the needs of newbies. And newbies are not in a good position to articulate their needs. That's why people employ usability specialists. If you seriously think that we could deliver usability improvements solely by committees composed of experienced partizan editors fighting for their own heart's desire, you're just plain wrong. Bottom line: you were given the opportunity to get involved. You chose not to. Your deal. --Tagishsimon (talk) 14:47, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
"you were given the opportunity to get involved. You chose not to. Your deal" - that's exactly the attitude to good-faith editors that caused the "consultation" to be so inadequate. The "opportunity to get involved" was structured in a way that made it hard to get involved. Not everyone's an expert on usability? I'm sorry, but actually experienced editors are exactly thhe people to ask if things work or don't work, or could work better. What we have here is the classic "never trust the user" attitude that causes so much software to be seriously sub-optimal. DuncanHill (talk) 14:52, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
635,000 users managed to get involved in beta testing, Duncan. That's how very hard and inadaquate it was [19]. The user experience team has for a long time and continues to fall over itself to get input from users, and here you are like dogs in the manger on the village pump whinging about how the process excludes you. --Tagishsimon (talk) 02:52, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Note that the beta is still available on other sites, like, so you can still see how difficult it is. It takes 2 clicks to turn the beta on (the second is a big green button). Then 2 more clicks to turn it off. When turning it off, there is an (optional) feedback form. Questions like "Have you used the new expandable toolbar to edit a page?" (with yes/no radio buttons) do not require you to be a usability expert to answer. Nor does "Why are you leaving the Beta?" with (incredibly non-technical) options like "I did not like the way it looked." After looking at it again, I just cannot buy the "it was too difficult to test" argument. It looks more like the usability people went out of their way to make testing as non-technical as possible. Mr.Z-man 20:56, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
The broken search interface (which is my biggest problem with the Vector interface) was never tested in the Beta. Of course any interface that was never tested is broken - but even now, when the results of the actual test (giving everyone a live release version of the broken interface) are known, there seems to be no chance that it will be fixed properly. Gavia immer (talk) 22:51, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
The evidence of the two changes made to search since the 13th May [20], and the promotion of a dedicated feedback page concerned with search [21], both suggest your assertion that "there seems to be no chance that it will be fixed properly" is wildly pessimistic. --Tagishsimon (talk) 02:52, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
On the contrary, the evidence you provided strongly suggests that it won't ever be fixed. The entire current search interface (at least the one integrated into page contetn) is a pile of regressions, but we have working code without the regressions already, and it's still used on Special:Search. That code could be trivially modified to look like the current vector search fuckup, even if the developers weren't willing to improve it more by just dropping those changes, but instead we have a page full of complaints and a couple of fixes that don't fix anything. Since it would be easier to fix the code than to pretend to fix the code and not do it, I have to assume that the current deliberate strategy is to just let people bitch until they exhaust themselves and then do nothing. Gavia immer (talk) 03:08, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
You've not actually stated, here, which aspect(s) of search you perceive to be broken. I'd be interested to know. --Tagishsimon (talk) 03:44, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Leaving aside that various search features randomly work or don't work for me on any particular pageload -I don't consider it a bug, because I want nothing to do with the current search function, but others might:
  1. There is no separate "search" button. You can say that this is not a bug, but a deliberate design decision; in that case it is no less a bug for your having said so - but I agree it is a deliberate design decision.
  2. The default search box is too narrow and positioned to waste space to its left, which makes the narrow search box appear all the more infuriating. You can say that this is not a bug, but a deliberate design decision; in that case it is no less a bug for your having said so - but I agree it is a deliberate design decision.
  3. Loading of autosuggestion lines is seriously degraded compared to the working code of the previous version of autosuggestion. I's not as bad as it was, but still stuttery. In many cases the autosuggestions update multiple times after one has finished typing. There is already working code that does this properly, and we still have that code in active use on Special:Search, so there's no excuse for not just using it everywhere and throwing away the new code rather than trying to improve it.
  4. Autosuggestion lines are no longer editable. With the previous, working version of autosuggestion, one could begin typing, get a useful autosuggestion that wasn't quite right, edit it, and get new autosuggestions. This very useful functionality no longer works in the current search, although there was no reason I'm aware of to remove it. As a side note, the previous search also sorted shorter autosuggestions first, which made this great for typeahead.
  5. Autosuggestions from all namespaces work inconsistently at best. In the previous search interface, if your preferences included "search in all namespaces by default" - e.g., casual readers would quite properly never see this - then autosuggestion offered suggestions from all namespaces - typing "foo" would suggest Foo and WP:Foo. This does not appear to work in the current search interface, but maddeningly it still does sometimes offer autosuggestions from outside the main namespace. I have not yet been able to reproduce the exact method to make it work as before.
  6. The hacked-up invitation to actually search ("containing...") should appear at the top, rather than at the bottom, of the suggestions. Placing it at the bottom makes actually using it into a needless chore.
More important than any of these, there is no option to prefer the old-style search interface if you hate the current one. It would not break Vector to offer that option, and it would mostly cause me to shut up about this. Since we actually continue to deploy the old search on Special:Search, it would not be a difficult fix, either. The failure to offer such an option is a large part of why I'm convinced that there won't be forward fixes either: it stinks of propping up the Usability Project's collective ego regardless of the cost to actual usability. Gavia immer (talk) 04:37, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Yup. There's not much defensible about the autosuggestion elements. As far as I can make out, the containing feature offers the old Search facility (and not using containing looks much the same as Go) So we have the old functionality but the UI has changed. It doesn't honestly strike me as a worse UI arrangement whan Search and Go ... we must have been one of the few sites which had two buttons against our search bar, and that must surely cause some newbies to do a double-take or more. The position of containing we can also quibble about: there's an argument that most search users want to find an article by title, rather than an article containing. You don't need to buy into either argument, but you must grant that both can legitimately be made. The size seems ... bigger than it used to be? But it's not an improvement? I'm not sure I follow that argument, unless you simply mean that it should have been wider still. --Tagishsimon (talk) 04:53, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
If you're referring to my comment on the search box width - it's a combination of the search box being unduly narrow and placed so that there's a large amount of unused and unusable whitespace to the left of it. That whitespace could contain, for instance, a wider search box - but it doesn't, by design and deliberate choice. I do not like this choice and cannot be convinced to like it. Gavia immer (talk) 05:09, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
You are not required to be convinced to like it of course. Just as you are not required to be convinced of the square look of the old monobook tabs. Just sayin'... There is a different between not liking something and something being detrimental to the usage and operation of Wikipedia. Please try to argue based on those differences. You have an opinion, you ushered it (more than once). Feedback is used to make a NEW approach to the problems (where status quo might be a new approach). Just because it isn't done within two weeks does not mean no one is ever gonna do anything about it ever. This 'outrage' approach some people are taking is simply not the best contribution to a path forward in my opinion. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 23:52, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm shocked by this: many users asked to expand by default the interwikis section, one of the developers fixed that (r67281), and then one of the usability team REVERTED the bugfix (r67299), arguing that "goes against an intentional design decision". So, Vector can't be changed or enhanced, even if there is a huge consensus in the community. I really think at this point that the community should ask the Foundation to fire this "unusability" team and take control of the situation. --Virgolette (talk) 07:34, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm shocked, Virgolette, shocked and stunned that you'd deliberately misrepresent what went on there just because you don't like the result. The reversion note says "Revert r67281: This goes against an intentional design decision. To discuss that decision further and submit proposals to change this design please contact Howie Fung <> or visit". That reads to me as if to say, do not change usability features in the absence of a discussed proposal to do so. There's clearly a trade-off between too much screen furniture and hiding interwiki links which may disadvantage non-English speakers. Having a reactionary rump of 14 people bugzilla 23497 who wanted a reversion to the status quo does not constitute consensus. --Tagishsimon (talk) 10:35, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Have you read comments like this, this, this, this, this, this, this or this? Go to the feedback archives and search for "language", there are tons of users complaining. It's the second reason for complaint after the search box position! --Virgolette (talk) 15:38, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Complaining is not the same as making a targeted approach to deal with said complaints. No review took place, no alternatives were taken into consideration. The real complaint here is that the usability team doesn't fix your gripes quickly enough, and that this validates in your mind actions of unilateral reversal by the community. Well i find that approach as shortsighted as you are accusing the usability team to be. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:46, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
This important discussion about interlanguage links continues at the Foundation mailing list. Best regards. --Virgolette (talk) 10:15, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Change to WP:NOTOPINION - Soapboxing by proxy

Hello all, I've noticed a disturbing tendency of number of POV pushing editors on WP is to do something I call Soapboxing by Proxy. An hypothetical example of this would be the following;

On the United States – Canada softwood lumber dispute article, someone puts in the following

Usually it is blatantly obvious that the editor injecting this material is simply trying to put his/her own POV into the article. When you challenge this kind of edit, the offending editor will say something like "Well, Proffessor John Doe is an eminent and notable proffessor at an eminent university who is an authoritative source on trade law. His opinion is surely notable". As far as I know there is no policy that specificly protects against this kind of shinanigans. In spirit, I think that WP:NOTOPINION should be policy that governs this kind of thing. I'd like to edit the policy so that it specificly calls out this practice as being wrong. Currently WP:NOTOPINION reads -

I'd like to change it to -

I have two questions for the community

1) Have I missed some policy (possibly under WP:NOTABILITY) that specificly calls out against this practice I'm complaining about, and hence, negates the need for a change?
2) Does this change seem reasonable?

Many thanks, and all the best, NickCT (talk) 18:59, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Wait, what? You want to disallow the inclusion of the opinions of notable people in Wikipedia articles? We want opinions from notable people in articles. Verified opinions are just as important as verified facts (Wikipedia is made up of facts and facts about opinions, but not opinions about facts or opinions about opinions). Your wording is confused - if someone is "authoritative", in what way is "their jurisdiction over" a topic not clear? WP:NPOV and in particular WP:UNDUE already deal with this topic, so I don't think this change to WP:NOTOPINION is an improvement, it would merely serve to muddy the waters. We have a supplement to our WP:NPOV policy, Wikipedia:Describing points of view, which should give you some guidance on this issue, and also see the WP:NPOV section, WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV. Fences&Windows 20:14, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
@Fences - Thanks for taking a look. In responce to some of your points -
"You want .......... Wikipedia articles?" - Where they're innappropriate yes. Take for example Sherman's March to the Sea. This is going to be a subject that is widely written about, and a huge number of notable people will have cast opinions on the march. Is listing and attributing these opinions within the article particularly relevant or encyclopedic? The consequence of allowing the injection of notable opinions is that some editor who holds an anachranistic grudge against Sherman lists every negative thing said about him by every notable historian there is. Do we really want this?
"Verified opinions ...... verified facts" - Really? If you want to read about the moon landing, do you want to know what happened, or do you want to know what notable people think about what happened?
"Your wording is confused " - Perhaps. It was just a proposal. I'd like suggestions for better wording.
The policies you've provided seem to say simply "Don't offer opinions as facts" and "Don't add undue emphasis to opinions". I really looking for something that says "Don't insert opinions into articles where opinions aren't really necessary".
I'd agree that in certain places opinions from notable people are certainly desirable. In articles that discuss political debates or contraversies, opinion material might be appropriate, but in artciles that cover historical events or scandals the injection of notable opinion is often used for POV pushing. NickCT (talk) 20:50, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that article about Sherman's March should include the opinions of notable historians, and it does. Opinions help put events into context. Removing them would impoverish the articles. Fences&Windows 13:03, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Where in the Sherman's March article does it quote anyone giving an opinion about the march? NickCT (talk) 13:51, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Right at the top. A military historian wrote that Sherman "defied military principles by operating deep within enemy territory and without lines of supply or communication. He destroyed much of the South's potential and psychology to wage war."[1] (I'd give the name of the historian, myself, but that's not the issue.) Both of those sentences are opinions; learned opinions, so that the overwheming majority of military historians would probably agree, but with a bit of effort we could probably find a few people that don't. --GRuban (talk) 16:39, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
2cents -- would the truest measure be whether the comment itself (for example, "Professor Blahdeblah from Trampled U says Canadians are stupid") is in an article about a lumber dispute, or in an article about strained relations between Trampled U and University of Quebec? In the above example, it's irrelevant and clearly POV pushing, in the latter it's relevant to the article at hand. /2cents Fliponymous (talk) 20:24, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
@Fliponymous - If Professor Blahdeblah is an expert on trade disputes and is talking about the lumber dispute, isn't it relevant to the lumber dispute? NickCT (talk) 20:52, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll leave the big question to others, but as a minor point, that example sentence should read merely "John Doe of Brown University said...", without all the hype about who's eminent. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:13, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I was really just trying to make the point that John Doe is considered an eminent individual in his field and hence notable. NickCT (talk) 13:51, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
its ok to put in opinions from experts but we don't want to give undue weight or quote fringe sources... i think we already have the right policies to stop people from adding random pundit's opinion on every issue... really we want facts and theories but not opinoins except maybe for the reception of products and entertainment... Arskwad (talk) 02:00, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Google searches and numbers has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Google searches and numbers (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, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Interesting...there was no discussion on it one way or another that I can see? -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 02:16, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm also not seeing any discussion and I'm not seeing why this needs to be a guideline. For now I think it should be returned to essay status. Hobit (talk) 02:35, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Thirded. Things don't get raised to policy/guideline status by mere lack of opposition when the discussion hasn't been advertised anywhere. --Cybercobra (talk) 04:03, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
I've removed the guideline status for now. Sorry if there was in fact a wider discussion elsewhere, but I for one am not a fan of making this a guideline, so I think some discussion/justification is needed. Hobit (talk) 05:18, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
It was proposed on 27 October to become a guideline; leaving a discussion open for that long to wait for someone to object is far longer than needed. Stifle (talk) 08:31, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Guidelines don't need to be unanimously approved. This text is pretty universally accepted as being good advice, present company excepted, and it therefore makes sense for it to be a guideline. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 09:24, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
I think it's good advice and should be a guideline. It accurately describes a phenomenon that is becoming a problem on Wikipedia, and outlines why it is a problem. Reyk YO! 10:56, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose promotion. It is good advice, but it doesn't give any specific line of conduct, so I don't understand how it can be a guideline in its present state. It basically says "Do not trust blindly search results without checking them", meh. What is there that WP:RS doesn't say? Also it is oddly focused on Google: I admit freely it is my search engine of choice, but the advice is valid for every search engine. --Cyclopiatalk 18:03, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Cyclopia basically sums up my feelings on the subject. It's a reasonable essay, but does not rise to the level of something that should be a guideline. LadyofShalott 18:21, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Ditto Cyclopedia's summary. Also disagree with the idea that making something a guideline just because no one objected (particularly when no one also supported) is acceptable. Guidelines may not need unanimous approval, but they should need at least some by way of actual discussion. That there was none at all seems to indicate no one agree, no one disagreed, or frankly no one noticed. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 18:44, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Stifle, what does "proposed" mean to you? Was there a well-advertised WP:PROPOSAL, or did it just silently turn up in a proposals category? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:03, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
It was first proposed by the Vogons and has been available for examination in a mayonnaise jar on Jimbo Wale's porch for the past 6 months. Nobody objected so it became a guideline. It's that simple :) --Ron Ritzman (talk) 01:03, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

The use of colors in filmographies

WP:WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers has decided to colorize the headers of all filmography tables on Wikipedia using {{filmography table begin}}. I was just wondering if this is in compliance with WP:ACCESS#Styles and markup options, WP:ACCESS#Tables, WP:COLOR, and any other applicable policies/guidelines. There was an RFC which focused on multiple things, one of which was the use of color. On the use of color, it was found to have "no clear consensus". I'm honestly not sure on this.  Chickenmonkey  01:29, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Does anyone have an opinion on this?  Chickenmonkey  22:06, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Are you talking about the light blue headers that can be seen in the filmography of this article, for example? postdlf (talk) 23:33, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. I should have been more clear on that. WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers has decided to use light blue headers on filmography tables, as opposed to the default gray headers of a standard wikitable.  Chickenmonkey  23:42, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
As an unobtrusive color, it isn't far from gray, just a bit more pleasant to look at. It's quite common on WP from what I've seen. What is the controversy? postdlf (talk) 00:02, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I was under the impression that WP:ACCESS#Styles and markup options and WP:CONLIMITED advise against this sort of thing.
WP:ACCESS#Styles and markup options

"In general, styles for tables and other block-level elements should be set using CSS classes, not with inline style attributes. This is because the site-wide CSS is more carefully tested to ensure compatibility with a wide range of browsers; it also creates a greater degree of professionalism by ensuring a consistent appearance between articles. Deviations from standard conventions are acceptable where they create a semantic distinction (for instance, the infoboxes and navigational templates relating to The Simpsons use a yellow colour-scheme instead of the customary mauve, to tie in with the dominant colour in the series) but should not be used gratuitously."


"[...]participants in a WikiProject cannot decide that some generally accepted policy or guideline does not apply to articles within its scope[...]"

It seems the accepted policies on accessibility and consistency are to use gray and the use of blue to merely differentiate one WikiProject's articles apart from all others is clearly a gratuitous use and alters the consistency of tables. Am I interpreting this incorrectly?  Chickenmonkey  00:30, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
What did they tell you at WP:WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers when you brought up the issue to them? postdlf (talk) 16:42, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
The RFC had taken place prior to my knowledge of what was going on. When I brought it up, one editor seemed to agree with me and there was really no direct response, to this particular point, from the other editors there. The RFC confronted many things. There was a consensus that font size in filmographies should be 100%, tables should be used, and a template should be used. The use of a template makes sense, because that will aid in the consistency of filmographies. There was no consensus on the use of color, however.  Chickenmonkey  19:38, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Seems to me that if there was no consensus to use color, then the template should not be incorporating it. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 19:56, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Rubbish. I cannot accept that a small contingent who decided to use a very light gray color between themselves and then proceeded to write "guidelines and policies" set the "consensus" site wide for enforcing their choice. There was consensus for the use of the template and further, the color being incorporated in it was the key to its acceptance. There is NO accessibility barriers to use the color in the template, that was checked, and presented no issues. And you seem to be ignoring that WP:ACCESS#Styles and markup options does note exceptions for the "standard". This was decided because the project wanted consisteny in its filmography tables. Wildhartlivie (talk) 01:06, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

There is absolutely no good reason for the use of color in filmography tables or any other tables (including infoboxes) used in Wikipedia articles. If we are looking for consistency - no color should be used. - Josette (talk) 02:38, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Wildhartlivie, I noted that there was a consensus to use the template. Using a template can help keep font size, table width, and color consistent throughout filmographies, although, the RFC resulted in "no clear consensus" being reached on the use of color. WP:ACCESS#Styles and markup options allows for "semantic" distinctions. Is there any reason this blue is inherently linked to actors and filmmakers (such as yellow and the Simpsons)? Even with WP:SIMPSONS, they don't use yellow in tables; it's limited to infoboxes and navboxes. WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers should want consistency throughout its filmography tables, but I believe the consistency of all tables throughout Wikipedia takes precedence, as it should.  Chickenmonkey  02:55, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I like the colored header. It is subtle enough to not be too much of an eye catcher and distract from the article, while helpful and widespread enough to not be gratuitous. As far as I can tell there has also been a long-standing consensus for it.
Similarly, the color coding in some of our infoboxes is also subtle and widely used, and carries semantic meaning (while also being accessibly represented in the infobox itself) to be useful.
I do understand and share your concern in principle. As far as I'm concerned, the worst offenders are navbox templates though. Styling navboxes thematically is deterimental, in my opinion, since they are used in conjunction with other navboxes on a spread of articles, and makes some stand out more than others without any editorial reason for doing so, e.g. on Harry Shearer#External links. Amalthea 10:01, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's the problem, people have decided that because "they like" a certain color we have now flooded wiki articles with templates, tables, navboxes and info boxes with "chosen" specialty colors to the point of it becoming ridiculous. Gratuitous color should be avoided. - Josette (talk) 19:24, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
The LightSteelBlue in WP:ACTORland is not the most meretricious FavColour being swatted about, but it is fundamentally about not liking the WMF-wide standard that is class="wikitable". *Any* colour override is gratuitous without a solid rationale. The colour problem is widespread and wanders far into the truly garish. There's endless back and forth and it would serve the project well to clarify policy on this wide issue so that proper remedial action can occur in an orderly fashion. In the meantime, we've too much to and fro. And for what? A splash of ornamentation. Sincerely, Jack Merridew 22:05, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

This is an issue that needs to be resolved. The RfC close is rather split on the issues and the support for the color is primarily by a "local consensus" The template was offered (by me, tweaked by Chris) as a compromise intended as an interim step to address the issue of crappy hard-coded markup in thousands of articles. I believe the proper course of action is to cut the color from the template and to cut the use of the template. It's an experiment that's been run and the results are unimpressive. The tabled filmographies should be cut back to plain wikitables and the discussion on the use of table vs bulleted lists revisited with an eye towards converting most to lists.

All this table markup (whether using the hard-coded markup or the template) is still a large block of non-prose code-goop snotting up thousands of articles. Many editors trip over the syntactic details of all these tables; it's not just n00bz.

The problem is the small band of editors that fight tooth-and-nail for their personal preferences. Sincerely, Jack Merridew 19:56, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes, ChickenMonkey, the members of WP:ACTOR chose that color as representative of actors works tables. "[T]he discussion on the use of table vs bulleted lists revisited with an eye towards converting most to lists." And yet another attempt by the above editor to shove through his personal POV for bulleted lists, all the while chiding about "personal preferences". He has given no valid rationale for why tables should not be used. Offering diffs where new editors make an error isn't convincing and largely, he keeps pushing his preference at every opportunity. Any editor can make any error, but Jack keeps bantering about that not just "n00bs" make errors without proving it. That's a generalized statement with no basis in proof. He misrepresents that tables are unfavored, and they are used widely, and not just by WP:ACTOR members for actor articles. The color in the heading designates that it is an actor biography and work. There is no valid reason to remove it, and the example being given regarding The Simpsons having a "signature color" is something I would question, however it is fully supported in WP:ACCESS#Styles and markup options. That's an issue since some here are stating that there should be no exceptions. And for the record, Jack, the List of Medium episodes has nothing whatsoever to do with filmography tables or headings. That's yet another non-sequitur you've brought up. Doesn't apply to the subject of this discussion. And just to note, this is yet another instance of your inappropriate canvassing in regard to this. There is nothing neutral in that notification, something for which he's been called on more than once. Wildhartlivie (talk) 20:39, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

"The members of WP:ACTOR chose that color as representative of actors works tables. [...] [Tables] are used widely, and not just by WP:ACTOR members for actor articles."

That's the point entirely. Tables are used on very many articles that aren't actor articles. Even within actor articles, there are tables which aren't filmographies and do not use the blue color. This results in table consistency changing, not only from article-to-article but often within the same article. As WhatamIdoing has stated below, the "Skittlepedia effect" is something that stretches beyond filmographies, which I believe is the comparison List of Medium episodes was meant to draw.  Chickenmonkey  22:23, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
And that is not a problem, only to those who choose to make it so. The use of the color yellow on The Simpsons tools was a choice by members of a project that was used as a specific exception to the rule. There are far more actor bios than Simpsons pages. The basic point is that the tables are used consistently for filmographies and have not been an arbitrary choice. That other stuff exists is not a valid reason to stop doing something that has been done consistently, until of course, Jack Merridew started to show up to jump up and down and send "Jeers" in his replies. Wildhartlivie (talk) 05:06, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Inconsistency is not a problem? I believe the established guidelines of Wikipedia disagree. This same discussion was, apparently, had last year and it ended with a template, {{filmography table head}}, being abandoned by WP:ACTOR because it no longer contained the gratuitous colors. I was not a part of that discussion, but it appears to have gone similarly to this one.  Chickenmonkey  05:45, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - The Difficult Lesson (1884).jpg
The problems aren't limited to filmography. For example, an editor has done similar things at Eating disorder and other articles. The worst of it has been cleaned up in that example (e.g., the picture of the little girl linked at the right, which had been placed without caption or explanation, was deleted), but there's still more to be done. The reaction at WT:MOS included some tolerance and some clear disdain (e.g., "Skittlepedia effect").
There are good reasons to use color-coding if that's common in a field, but decoration for its own sake should be rejected. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:06, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm in total agreement with Chickenmonkey, Jack Merridew and Josette on this issue. At present, the use of colour on film templates is arbitrary at best, and there have never been clear guidelines on its use. At the very least, a scheme needs to be established which could be referred to be editors when starting a new table rather than picking a colour out of thin air as happens right now, and then moved out of inline CSS and into a new class. I would personally prefer for these tables to simply use the wikitable defaults like every other table on Wikipedia of this sort, as the arguments for colour are either poor (ILIKEIT for the most part) or cryptic (references to a "consensus" largely established in the dark ages of 2006 or so when we had no consistency at all and templatespace was a technicolor mess). Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 06:13, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree. The more we can move these colouring options to a single template, or, even better, to a CSS class, the better. The sheer size of the headings on these tables is a bit crazy, and entirely unnecessary. I also don't see a good reason why the standard wikitable class can't be used. Plastikspork ―Œ(talk) 19:57, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

What's the difference in using the stale grey color from the LightSteelBlue color? They're both colors. This has been working for years with no complaints until just recently from one or two editors. I've yet to determine the big fuss. Some editor's agenda to oppose everything WP:ACTOR does, is distasteful.. to me. Mike Allen 21:13, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Agree with MikeAllen completely. Open another RfC, make the table white, do whatever - this is never going to end because it's a personal matter. Pinkadelica 00:01, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean, it appears to be a matter of personal preference?
Also, I agree that another RFC may be worth conducting, which is what the closer of the original RFC I linked to suggested,

"Since much of the conversation has obviously wider implication than simply this project, it might be advisable to raise a specific and focused RfC (this one covered a lot of ground) at some location like Wikipedia:Tables. I understand that MediaWiki talk:Common.css is the proper place to discuss changing the default color, but that's not the only question here. Key is whether projects and users are free to choose their own colors for tables." - Moonriddengirl

 Chickenmonkey  00:19, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Why not? Projects are free to make and push their own guidelines. I'm sure by "personal matter" that Pinkadelica speaks of, is the personal vendetta of a few users associated with these "concerns". You can see that the old RfC for the unambiguous details. Mike Allen 01:50, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
WikiProjects are free to establish their own guidelines, but those guidelines can't go against site-wide policy.  Chickenmonkey  05:45, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
No, I believe that Pinkadelica is referring to Jack making it a personal matter, wherein he wikistalks editors to jump into things that essentially are none of his concern. He hijacks discussion to make it about something else, rather than the issues under discussion, he claims that he has some sort of odd support from Arbcom that gives him a status he doesn't actually have, he even makes assertion that he knows better than anyone else. That's personal. Witness the discussion where he jumps in because another editor and myself objected to a newer editor completely removing table mark-up that was extant in articles. Our objection was that there was no rationale for doing so, it was arbitrarily done, and Jack came along to tell the editor to disregard our posts regarding them. That's personal. There is nothing to indicate who and when the recommendations at WP:Filmographies were made, but his discounting the use of tables as a "local consensus" when the tables have been widely used and supported by the myriad editors who have made them for over 3 years is personal. The results of that WT:ACTOR decision was "split" only because because a handful or so showed up to support Jack's POV, after many instances of inappropriate canvassing on that discussion was pointed out. That's personal. Also note, he blames me for something that was not a part of what I said. That is personal on his part and truly needs to stop, including his pointy use of "Jeers" when he signs posts to me, rather than his usual "Cheers". How is that not personal? Note here where he asserts a status he does not hold by declaring his intent "to help, and it would be best if you came around to understanding that". And let's not overlook that twice I've mentioned his history of wikistalking and requiring a mentor when he returned, he's bragged that he is friends with arbcom mentors and using his history doesn't work. That's also personal. The whole campaign by Merridew is personal. Wildhartlivie (talk) 05:06, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I recommend both you and Jack Merridew refrain from further mentions of each other. It's becoming bothersome. No matter what "personal" matters there may be, both of you should drop it. Wikipedia is not a place for "personal" matters.
Furthermore, you acknowledge the nonexistence of consensus to use these colors, yet you maintain that they should be used. The fact is, there is no consensus, and if you would like there to be one, you can do as the RFC closer suggested, and as I've pointed out to you twice, raise a specific and focused RFC at some location like Wikipedia:Tables. Until that RFC is held, I believe the colors should be removed from the template which has been employed.  Chickenmonkey  05:45, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I recommend that some of the administrators who have posted here take a look at Jack Merridew's conduct toward me before you deem it "bothersome". It's beyond bothersome to me, it is harassment. I keep mentioning it because he has an innate ability to keep the wikistalking and harassment going and brags that he is untouchable because he is friends with arbcom members. That sort of intimidation is completely inappropriate. I've taken it to AN/I and I've taken it to WQA and for some bizarre reason, admins have tended to reinforce his perception by refusing to deal with him. I will keep saying it until something is done about his conduct. Wikipedia may not be the place for "personal matters", but Jack wages a personal war against me. That's unacceptable conduct. And you are mistaken regarding the template. It was presented for use and consensus was gained for the use as it was presented, with the colors. There was consensus for this template, with the color. Your push to remove the colors is in fact rallying against the consensus to use it, as it was presented. Claiming there was no consensus is deceptive, since that was garnered for the template. Wildhartlivie (talk) 18:33, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Well, I'm not an administrator and the only thing I can suggest is that the two of you avoid each other. I don't know how else I can say this, there is consensus to use the template. There is "no clear consensus" to use color in that template. This discussion continues to go in circles. Perhaps there should be an RFC held at WT:ACCESS to address whether gratuitous colors should be used. Perhaps there should be an RFC held at WT:CONSENSUS to address whether WikiProjects should be allowed to over-ride site-wite policy. Perhaps an RFC should be held wherever the decision is made to decide the default color of wikitables. For now, current policy and current consensus say the colors should not be used.  Chickenmonkey  21:40, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Absent the colour, the template has no purpose other than as a stub. It was proposed as a means of addressing the many thousands of instances of "#B0C4DE" cemented into tables in thousands of articles. This whole thing has been going on for a year (and I had nothing to do with starting it up). Someone has been evading, by any and all means, a consensus against this ornament for far too long. Jack Merridew 22:01, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
The insertion of colors isn't the only inconsistency occurring in tables. A template helps to address those other concerns as well. Although, I don't think the template is necessary, consensus was for its use.  Chickenmonkey  22:32, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't see current consensus against the colored filmography table head, and whether that coloring is gratuitous or not is, in my opinion, also an open question. Status quo is to have them colored (and, I note, the WP:FA people have as far as I know always approved them like that). That status-quo is disputed, and I see no clear consensus. RFC it, if you want to change it. Amalthea 22:06, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree with current policy and consensus, why would I choose to open an RFC to change it?  Chickenmonkey  22:32, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Show me either explicit consensus deciding the coloring of filmography table heads or that the coloring of filmography table heads is gratuitous and without semantic distinction and we'll talk. Amalthea 22:44, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
The fact that the wikitable defaults to gray would seem to represent some higher-level decision of which I do not know of a location. How could "lightbluesteel" possibly be a semantic distinction for filmographies? Are films recognized as being blue? If I show you a blue card, will you say, "Oh, you're talking about movies."? It is clearly gratuitous because there's no other reason for it than "it looks good". Yes, I'm aware that some editors feel it aids in readability somehow, but that should be an argument to change the default, not to over-ride it. If the default were changed, then all tables would have the blue header and filmographies wouldn't be detrimental to the consistency of Wikipedia as a whole.  Chickenmonkey  23:02, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
See the quarter meg at WT:ACTOR#Filmography RFC. This has been discussed to death. See the mess from a year ago that went against this color. Cheers, Jack Merridew 22:16, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Talked to death, but without consensus. I think a structured rfc would be more useful than an unstructured discussion like this. As you can tell, this is not really moving anywhere.
Of course, personally, while I have a clear preference, this is the most literal color of a bikeshed discussion I've ever seen here. Amalthea 22:28, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Consensus was met per WP:SILENCE. Well, until now.. Mike Allen 06:09, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Not exactly. Here is the discussion which concluded almost exactly a year ago. Though, your point is taken. Nobody said anything until somebody said something (I worded that sloppily, but there's no other way I can think to word it). The fact remains:

  1. The standard table is sufficient.
  2. This gratuitous use of color hinders consistency. Consistency is something Wikipedia aims for.
  3. There is no consensus to deviate from the standard table.
  4. Even if there were a consensus, such a consensus would go against Wikipedia site-wide policy, I believe.

If one takes a look at the history of {{filmography table head}}, which is the template created last year, one will see edits removing the colors from that template, and those edits being reverted, and those edits being reverted (ostensibly, an edit war). That is why I didn't just remove the colors myself. I believe, and consensus agrees, a template is a good idea exactly because so many editors are taking it into their own hands to "make filmographies look a certain way" (me among them, at times). A template makes sense to ensure consistency (i.e. to protect against the insertion of gratuitous colors, as well as font size, etc.). Due to the aforementioned "edit war" resulting in last year's template being abandoned, I felt it best to withhold removal of the color until this was ironed out. I believe it has been ironed out, after having asked here if this use of colors went against policy and receiving an answer. Therefore, I think the colors should be removed now and the template's use continued, per consensus.  Chickenmonkey  08:06, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

I still don't see the problem with adding the steel blue to the articles. It makes it easier to follow the information down. It was asked if it was checked for person's with sight difficulties and it was. I thought there was a consensus to maintain the steel blue, that is until an editor changed the RFC to add other things they wanted changed which made the RFC go out of control. This so called crisis is only so because a couple of editors don't like it. I just don't understand why this is such a big deal. It's not flashy yet it's easier to see then the silver one. I say leave it per Mike Allen, Wildhartlivie, Pinkadelica and others at WT:Actors. This conversation should be neutrally announced at WP:ACTOR if it hasn't been yet. --CrohnieGalTalk 11:20, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
One of the problems with adding the steel blue is the lack of consensus to do so. I haven't been uncivil or made any personal attacks; so, I don't appreciate your categorization of this as WP:BATTLE. I came here with a legitimate policy question. There are seven editors in this discussion whom disagree with the use of the color. The RFC included some 18 editors (if I counted correctly), and it resulted in no consensus. So, even if WikiProjects do have the "authority" to over-ride Wikipedia-wide policy with a local consensus, there isn't one.  Chickenmonkey  18:34, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
You didn't receive "an" answer. You've received a whole plethora of them, and not all of them are in agreement with you, you are just picking and choosing the ones you want. The consensus for the template was as is, with the colors intact. There are noted exceptions in the records that allow for exceptions for the Simpsons project, a relatively minor project that has the flavor of favoritism. And much as Jack did by including his own perspective in canvassing for responses, this is inappropriately canvassing for responses here. Is it so hard to say "There is a discussion here regarding the color in filmographies"? Apparently so, since it also picks and chooses just what response you are seeking to put forth as the response you got. There are a number of responses here, including the fact that the template did have consensus for use as it was presented. You fail to mention that, consistently. Two of the same editors plus yourself, ChickenMonkey, who opposed it at the actor talk page are again snowing this discussion to present it in a specific way, claiming "victory" from one post and misrepresenting what consensus regarding the template was. Wildhartlivie (talk) 18:33, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I meant, an answer to the policy question I raised. I apologize if you feel I misrepresented what went on here.
As for consensus, the RFC clearly says, on the issue of color, "There's no clear consensus." The RFC also says, on the issue of template use, "[...]it is appropriate to use a template to prepare it to help standardize tables and maintain articles to implement future consensus." I don't feel I was canvassing for responses. I was notifying the WikiProject of the answer I received to my question. I resent your implication that I'm "snowing" this discussion. What exactly are you doing? Wikipedia is built on, and with, discussion. I did not misrepresent consensus, and anyone who wishes to can check for themselves.  Chickenmonkey  18:46, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I would consider making 14 posts, totalling well over 17000 bytes, which is well over half of the total bytes count of 32355 for this section alone, making a a response to almost anyone who has posted here, copying and pasting verbatim portions of guidelines and discussions, an effort to control or direct the discussion, iow, snowing. I have made, counting this one, 6 posts to this and far far less typing. And btw, anything beyond stating neutrally that a discussion is occurring is inappropriate, even when stating how the discussion is progressing. Especially when you state how the discussion is progressing by mentioning one response as the response. Sorry, but that's dominating the discussion by snowing to me. Wildhartlivie (talk) 21:19, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I guess now it's 16. I've replied to those who replied to me (excepting one reply to you). I don't know how discussions are to be conducted without the participants replying to each other. I copy/pasted the policy/guidelines because I was asked what the controversy was. I felt that best illustrated my point. If I was canvassing, then I was canvassing for people who disagree with me. So, I apologize for letting you know this discussion was taking place.  Chickenmonkey  21:40, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't see the earth moving or the sky falling over the use of the steel blue in the template. It's being used consistently and it is easier to read. That's probably why it was chosen. Creating a problem for it by claiming that there's a concern about consensus, as if Wikipedia will crash into the sea at any minute because this need for consensus on a petty concern has not been reached, is ridiculous. Please stop wasting volunteer time with this inane argument.Malke2010 19:47, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I didn't introduce the concept of "consensus" to Wikipedia. I also haven't claimed Wikipedia will crash into the sea (or any other hyperbolic notions). I don't feel as if I'm wasting anyone's time. No one is forced to participate in Wikipedia.  Chickenmonkey  19:59, 6 June 2010 (UTC)


There is no demonstrable consensus for this color. The support for this is small and primarily from a group of friends acting as a bloc. The issues have been hashed out in exhaustive detail at WT:ACTOR@¼mb and elsewhere; some simply ignore what they don't like to hear. I'm going to be bold and cut it from the template. I would ask that anyone considering reverting that to point at a real community consensus, first.

This hard-coding of color is a widespread issue. I look down the road a year or two and see a future where *all* colours are stripped out of the wiki-text automagically by MediaWiki as it generates pages. Such sanitization of markup already occurs and recently was extended in another area. Most of what people are doing with color on this project is chaotic and based on personal preferences and agendas seeking to prettify classes of articles. Color is inherently about presentation of content, it is not the content itself; such things are best managed on a site-wide level. As such, articles should be colour-free and any colours used should come from a) MediaWiki defaults, b) Common.css, c) skins. Sincerely, Jack Merridew 20:50, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Jack, it is absolutely inappropriate to remove the color from the template while it is still under discussion. Absolutely inappropriate. You continue to misrepresent the support here, but claiming, essentially, a cabal. You action is out of line, pointy and you fail to acknowledge that there is still support here for the colors. You are acting in a way that tends to to disregrd anything said here. Your comments serve to push forth your POV on how everything should work. Revert it. Wildhartlivie (talk) 21:25, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
No. Why should you and mebbe a half dozen of your friends be allowed to rule over some thousands of articles? Jack Merridew 21:46, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
It sounds like User:Jack Merridew's real issue here has nothing to do with the color of the template. And I think he should not have deleted it from the template, especially as there seems to be a consensus for keeping it.Malke2010 21:59, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
It's generally never a good idea to change the disputed piece of information right in the middle of a discussion without apparent consensus. Please change it back to the previous long-standing status-quo styling. Amalthea 22:06, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
@ Amalthea, the long-standing status-quo styling for tables is the standard wikitable. - Josette (talk) 22:17, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't think so. Just looked at a random sampling from WP:FA#Culture and society and found nine coloured (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9) vs. one grey (1). Amalthea 22:37, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Most of those were gray at the time they were promoted (and one was another shade of gray that isn't the standard or the steelblue).  Chickenmonkey  23:02, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Please don't misrepresent that by swiping it under "most". It is a misstatement to generalize that way without taking time frames into consideration. The WP:ACTOR project, with its recommended tabling and (then) color of silver was founded on April 7, 2007 and the example was posted to that project on August 3, 2007. There was no actors project at the time that several of those articles became featured, thus no example to follow. That includes Katie Holmes in February 2006, Angelina Jolie in November 2006, Miranda Otto in May 2007, Diane Keaton in April 2006, and Eric Bana in August 2006. Only Emma Watson in January 2008 didn't follow the updated color example on WP:ACTOR with the Sebastian Shaw following the old example in February 2009. The rest followed the example, including Nancy Cartwright, Kirsten Dunst, and Ethan Hawke. All have been updated since promotion to the example, except for the Miranda Otto. Sort of a non-sequitur claim there. Wildhartlivie (talk) 00:05, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

What's your point? My point is that the "example" as you put it, is against policy and against consensus. Prior to the founding of WP:ACTOR, there was an example to follow, the Wikipedia-wide standard of wikitables. The fact that WP:ACTOR decided, itself, that articles within its scope would now follow this new "example" is a representation of WP:CONLIMITED's guidance that WikiProjects can't decide that a site-wide policy doesn't apply to "it's" articles.  Chickenmonkey  00:35, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
My point is you posted something intended to negate what Amalthea posted by stating something so generalized, incorrect and disregarding the filmography table formatting that was standard from the project and accepted by WP:FA reviewers that it was misleading in its conclusion. Personally, I find the comment at WP:CONLIMITED a large bit hubris and a little bit too controlling and is intended to remove any possibility of a project from formulating style guidelines and trying to direct its articles' formation. I continue to ask who set those standards and where is the community support for what was forced on it? This is more a matter of WP:CCC: "Consensus is not immutable. Past decisions are open to challenge and are not binding, and one must realize that such changes are often reasonable. Thus, "according to consensus" and "violates consensus" are not valid rationales for accepting or rejecting proposals or actions. While past "extensive discussions" can guide editors on what influenced a past consensus, editors need to re-examine each proposal on its own merits, and determine afresh whether consensus either has or has not changed." That we keep getting force-fed a diet of "site-wide consensus", there is none to show except silence = consent, and this issue is one that no longer has silence on its side. Wildhartlivie (talk) 05:36, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
What I stated was not incorrect, but let's forget that. WP:CONLIMITED, as far as I can tell, is meant to stop a small group of editors from coming to a local consensus and then trying to tell everyone else that "this is the new consensus". That, apparently, includes WikiProjects who may decide the articles within its scope should now be different from all other articles, because "we" decided. You continue to ask "who" and I continue to say "I don't know". How should I know? Why should I know? Who decided the default skin is now vector and not monobook? Someone, after a long discussion, I would think. If I tell you "Vector is the new default skin" will you ask me to point you to the discussion where this was decided? I can't. I have no idea. I'm sure I could find it, if I wanted to. Consensus can change, I agree. Maybe consensus has changed since the time when some consensus, which I wasn't a part of, decided that WikiProjects can't over-ride site-wide policy. Perhaps now consensus is that Wikiprojects actually can do that. Has that consensus been reached? Perhaps I could ask you to point me to something. I won't, because it doesn't exist. I'm not sure how you could go about learning if this new consensus actually does exist. Perhaps you could ask for an RFC at WT:CONSENSUS, where in you could argue that Wikiprojects should be allowed to do whatever they want. Perhaps there would be consensus that agrees with you. What I'm saying is, current consensus, reached by I don't know who says wikiprojects can't do whatever they want. Hold an RFC here. Hold an RFC there. Hold an RFC anywhere you want to. We'll see where consensus leads us. Let's just stop going around in circles.  Chickenmonkey  08:35, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

I have opened a complaint at WP:AN/I regarding Merridew's arbitrary forcing his POV on this issue by removing the color from the template and his tendency to dismiss anyone who speaks against his POV as "mebbe a half dozen of [my] friends". His conduct is inappropriate, willful and he denigrates anyone who disagrees with him. Wildhartlivie (talk) 22:16, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm leaving for today but I want on the record that I think the steel blue makes for easier reading and isn't at all tacky looking. As I said before, I don't understand why there is such a controversy going on about it again. I thought the discussion at WT:Actor with the new template was a clear consensus to use the steel blue color with the template. Also, Jack I don't like that you are poisoning the well against editors like me. I think what I have to say is just as important as what you have to say about this. I might comment at the AN/i discussion in the morning if the problem continues. Thanks everyone, --CrohnieGalTalk 22:47, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

How about a RFC on just this issue

How about we have a RFC on just the colour issue, the last discussion (including the applicable RFCs) or two I saw/looked at included more than just the colour issue, How about we have a single dedicated RFC on just the colour in a centralized location and sort it out?. Just out of disclosure, I have no issue with giving them a css class that they can use, then we can set a colour to it and if a user wants a different one, this would also make it all standardize and easier to change if it needs to in the future, they can override it with their local css settings (for example: /monobook.css,/vector.css). Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 03:06, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

That sounds like a fine idea. At the risk of damaging a fine idea, would such an RFC address the issue of WikiProjects overriding site-wide consensus? Honestly, would it? I don't know. Perhaps if the centralized location was WT:CONSENSUS, maybe that would address that issue?  Chickenmonkey  03:22, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
There has already been a ton of discussion about this. If we're going to run another RfC on colour, it should be broadly focused, not just re filmographies. Giving out domain-specific CSS classes will be met with resistance, including mine. See camel's nose; it would be a precedent that would result on hordes more domains seeking a class for themselves. And, of course, there remains the core question of a rationale for colouring filmography tables in some unique manner. Beyond mere personal preference, which is LightSteelBlue, for some. Cheers, Jack Merridew 03:20, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
nb: This is being discussed with the closer of the last RfC at:
Cheers, Jack Merridew 21:03, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Came to say much the same thing. :) There is discussion about where to place and how to word the RfC there. Feedback from others will remain welcome. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 23:56, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I like this idea. Personally, I'm a #CCCCFF guy myself, which combines both the stale grey and lightsteelblue together. That proposal was shot down and ignored. Oh well, life goes on... for some. Mike Allen 20:33, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Split-apart of MUSTARD

Proposal to split apart Wikipedia:Manual of Style (MUSTARD) and merge it into the other Music Guidlines. See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (MUSTARD)#Page Split --Jubileeclipman 20:35, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Are you saying in effect, that you think you can cut the mustard?--Aspro (talk) 21:02, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Community process needed for assigning "Researcher" user group

Please see Wikipedia talk:Research#Researcher permission.--Eloquence* 02:25, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Restore Wikipedia:No original research to its original form

I remember when Wikipedia:No original research had clear statements in the lead paragraph such as:

"Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: to demonstrate that you are not presenting original research, you must cite reliable sources that provide information directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the information as it is presented".

Now it has crap in the leading paragraph: something about Paris being the capital of France. Lets call a spade a spade; unsourced content is original research. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 21:21, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Unsourced content is original research. Wrong. What you are referring to is unsourced content being unverifiable. Unpublished content is original research. Significant difference which suggests that your understanding is flawed; this may be an argument for clarifying the policy, but certainly not in the way you suggest! ╟─TreasuryTagdirectorate─╢ 21:26, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Huh? Unsourced means not found in published sources, means unpublished. The two concepts are the same. We should merge V with OR as an obvious fork; NPOV could go in there too since much of the material overlaps without any clear or useful boundary.--Kotniski (talk) 07:16, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Unsourced means that the person who added it didn't give a source. Unverified means that no-one has so-far verified that a statement that requires a source appears in a reliable source. Unverifiable means that a statement that requires a source does not appear in any reliable sources. Original research is unverifiable material that the person who added it made up. OrangeDog (τε) 11:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
So you're saying that original research is material which can't be verified even in unreliable sources, as opposed to ordinary unverifiable material which might be verifiable in unreliable (but not reliable) sources?--Kotniski (talk) 12:21, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
"Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: to demonstrate that you are not presenting original research, you must cite reliable sources that provide information directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the information as it is presented" is very like how I had WP:NOR and WP:V recently, so I vote for "Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: ..." --Philcha (talk) 12:59, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
So do you agree that the two pages should be made into one?--Kotniski (talk) 13:35, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I think consolidating policies into far easier to access and understand policies would do the project a lot of good. I propose a working group is set up to consider an official "two (or three, four....) into one" policy called - off the top of my head - "Original Research and Verification". doktorb wordsdeeds 14:13, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
It's been tried. See Wikipedia:Attribution. Garion96 (talk) 20:31, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I think you're missing the distinction between 'unsourced' and 'unpublished'. An example of unsourced material would be, Bill Clinton had an affair with Winnie Mandela. Unpublished would be more like, Because Bill Clinton visited France without officially visiting the President, that means he dislikes the President. The latter is drawing a conclusion based entirely on personal speculation; the former simply doesn't have a source listed. ╟─TreasuryTagFirst Secretary of State─╢ 14:18, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
We seem to be inventing our own terminology here - in ordinary English terminology, both of the above are clearly unsourced and unpublished. (Well, unless there is a reliable source which makes those statements, in which case they would be sourced if an editor cited the source; the difference between the statements is presumably that the first one could then simply be stated, but the second would probably require attribution in the text - "somebody claims that this means he dislikes the President" - but this is the matter dealt with at WP:ASF over at NPOV, something like objective vs. subjective, though I don't think we've got it pinned down yet, anyway, it's not unpublished vs. unsourced unless you want to completely invent new meanings for those words.)--Kotniski (talk) 14:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I wasn't entirely clear! Original research/unpublished material is all unsourced, but not all unsourced material is unpublished. ╟─TreasuryTagCounsellor of State─╢ 14:37, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
OK, so we're talking about the distinction of attributed vs. attributable, as we were at VPR not long ago? OR is unattributable, but Wikipedia also contains much material that is attributable (verifiable) but isn't attributed because no editor has got around to adding a citation for it. Is that your position? (If so, then once again, "verifiability" turns out to mean exactly the same as "no original research", so the two pages are forks.)--Kotniski (talk) 14:45, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
My understanding of WP:OR has always been that it is necessary to demonstrate that you are not presenting original research by providing attribution for the source. The current version of WP:OR now says that some coverage "needs no source because no one is likely to object to it", based on the idea that the statement "Paris is the capital of France" is some form of super-truth. I don't buy into this shallow analogy. Wikipedia is built on more than just glib statements about what or where Paris is; Wikipedia provides encyclopedic coverage of topics that contain commentary, criticism and analysis that provide more than just facts but also context to the reader. For this reason, attribution for commentary, even non-controversial commentary, should be provided.
The current lead of WP:OR has been watered down and now contains misleading guidance which is long winded and misleading. I think there needs to be a discussion as to why it has moved away from the clear thinking statement which leads this thread, to weaker and less clear version it has become today. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 15:50, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Most likely because of people at FAC and elsewhere demanding that editors add in-line cites for at least every single sentence, regardless of how appropriate that would be. To be more general, because some kinds of people enjoy sticking rigidly to the letter of the law, with no regard to the spirit of the law. Therefore the letter of the law ends up trying to reflect the more nebulous spirit, instruction creep follows, and there are always vocal opponents to cutting things down. OrangeDog (τε) 18:09, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Editors demanding citations for every single piece of information in an article need to go look at an actual printed encyclopedia. References are used sparingly in favor of general references and footnotes at the end of the article as opposed to inline cites. That's not to say WP should abandon them, as particularly for the aspect that we are a work anyone can edit, tighter integration of contentious statements with sources to verify them is a high value tool to assure minimal disruption by vandals and hostile editors. But at the same time, referencing *every* *single* *statement*, even for facts that should be apparent from primary or secondary sources, is tedious, is distracting to both reading and editing (even with the ability to defer reference information test to a later section), and probably creates work than we need to have that scares away newer editors. This type of approach is great for academic papers but that's not what we're here for; we're summarizing information in an encyclopedic manner. There are statements that absolutely need to be sourced: quoted materials, superlative comparisons, and so forth; because those can be taken as OR without a source, sourcing them is necessary. But as long as the statement is a fact and can be referred to in a larger set of general references, that's verifiable, and thus we don't need a "verified" statement there. --MASEM (t) 19:48, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

This is a bit of a tangent, but the discussion above is kind of dipping into this: the distinction between statements of fact and characterizations. A statement of fact is either true or false and so may need sourcing, but does not need attribution in the text unless its truth is not well established. "Bill Clinton was the President of the United States" is a statement of fact and may be properly written in the article that way. You can add a ref tag to provide a source, but you would never write in the body of the article "According to Bill Smith, Bill Clinton was the president of the United States" because that implies that only Smith asserts it or that no one but Smith could know whether it's true. By contrast, a characterization is neither true nor false, only persuasive or fair, and should not be written as such in an article. The statement "Bill Clinton was a centrist president" should not be included in an article in that form even if sourced because it is a characterization. With the proper contextualization, however, it may be converted into a statement of fact: "Bill Clinton was widely viewed as a centrist president."<ref>See, e.g., [list of sources].</ref> Whether or not any of this is OR comes down entirely to whether the statement of fact has ever been published before in a reliable source, not whether it's a characterization or not. postdlf (talk) 18:15, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I think the current version is not bad. Even the example "Paris is the capital of France" is not that bad considering the discussion about the debate on "Amsterdam is the Capital of the Netherlands. A statement which was contested by some editors (as Amsterdam is not the seat of the Government) but were after that time reliable sources were provided to provide evidence of Amsterdam as being the capital of the Netherlands (i.e. the Oxford Dictionary definition of "capital" and the constitution of the Netherlands).

In other words, a claim that seemed to be a fact beyond any doubt, and hence lacking a reference, was challenged but since the reference could be provided there was no issue after all. Arnoutf (talk) 20:21, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

In my experience, any statement of fact or opinion can and will be challenged, even if it has been attributed[22]. Masem rightly points out that as editors we should be summarizing information in an encyclopedic manner, but even my version of what I think a source might say could differ from that of another editor. Without proper attribution, it is impossible to resolve editorial disagreements about summarizing information, because it is not possible to check what the original source said. Citing sources provides us with the freedom to summarize information, but not providing attribution reduces the reliability of such summaries. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 08:24, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Masem, I think I'm right in saying that the actual reason that Wikipedia has this rule about citations is that the reader cannot be expected to believe what a bunch of amateurs, jokers & propagandists say unless they provide a "reliable source". However, I cannot stress enough that this is entirely fraudulent. Even if WP supplies a source, it really is "reliable" & it really says that, that's no guarantee that it actually represents the consensus of expert opinion. there might be loads of reliable sources contradicting it that the dominant cabal on the article have suppressed, or more often that WP editors are simply ignorant of. Peter jackson (talk) 09:54, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure WP as a whole is well aware that our reputation for reliability is not strong because of the "anyone can edit" approach, but as long as we do maintain "anyone can edit" as a loftier goal over reliability, we're never going to get rid of that stigma. Thus, we need to work towards it, not against it, and part of that is likely the higher frequency of inline citations compared to a research article or printed encyclopedia work - so that we can catch when improper information is added if the nearby citation doesn't support that. However, I contend that the level that some people demand of inline citations is overly excessive and hurts WP when we can't make the distinction with their used between information that can be verified and information that needs to be verified to avoid original research.
Information can be split up roughly into "facts" and "derivation from facts". Facts are the who, what, where, and when answers; these need to be verifiable but not necessary verified to make sure they are true as opposed to blatant false information ("Jimmy Wales was born on February 30, 1050 in Whoville.") If such facts are readily apparent to anyone with other approach sources (including a search engine), we shouldn't have to worry about sourcing them; if on the other hand it takes a little bit of digging, sourcing helps. Of course, if there are good general sources on the topic to support these facts, they can be listed as general references in the reference section but we don't need to put explicit inline citations for such. But at this point there's nothing about original research here; facts are either true, or false or made up. Anything else, the hows and whys, are generally statements that require some type of synthesis or analysis and would easily appear as original research without an additional inline citation. It may be the elements of the statements are verifiable themselves, but sometimes putting two disparate parts of information together is inappropriate synthesis. It is important that we understand this difference between calling for citations because of the implications of original research (all well and good), and the more harmful practice of calling for citations on a factual (but possibly wrong) piece of information which should be otherwise verifiable; the former is absolutely necessary to help improve WP's reputation, but the latter can make more work for than necessary and make us look silly if taken to the extreme. --MASEM (t) 15:22, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Clearly a full merger of the two policy documents looks unlikely to gain consensus. So what about a more moderate approach? Remove any duplicated content from WP:NOR and provide a link to WP:V. How does that sound? Alzarian16 (talk) 17:20, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

The distinction between facts & other matters isn't nearly as straightforward as you seem to think, Masem. To carry on your example, the date & place of birth of someone at the present day are properly recorded & not open to serious question, at least in "advanced" countries. (Which doesn't stop conspiracy theorists claiming Obama was born in Kenya, of course.) But just go back a few centuries & things are different. Some people's dates & places of birth are known facts, some aren't. It's a matter of disagreement among historians whether Julius Caesar was born in 100 BC or 102 BC. Jesus' date of birth is uncertain, & his place of birth is challenged too. Many reference sources continue to copy 19th century statements that the Buddha died in 483 BC, though most specialists now say about 400 BC. ...
There are obvious cases both ways, but often the reader can't be expected to tell. Peter jackson (talk) 10:40, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I think in answer to Alzarian16, there needs to be a straight forward way of saying that all content in Wikipedia should be verifiable to demonstrate that it is not original research. The way that the lead of WP:OR is both long winded and unclear, and may even be misleading. The current wording reads as follows:
"All material added to articles must be attributable to a reliable published source, even if not actually attributed. The sourcing policy, Verifiability, says a source must be provided for all quotations, and for anything challenged or likely to be challenged—but a source must exist even for material that is never challenged. "Paris is the capital of France" needs no source because no one is likely to object to it, but we know that sources for that sentence exist."
But it would be much simpler to shorten this to:
"All material added to articles should be directly related to the topic of the article and directly support the material as presented to demonstrate that you are not presenting original research.".
I think this is a huge improvement, even if it is not as good as the original shown at the begining of this discussion. It is short, direct and clear, and if you look back through the edit history of WP:OR, you will see that it is very similar to what has come before in years past. I can only see benefit for making the wording more direct and simple, because the current version is very badly written.--Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 11:57, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

We need a policy to stop conspiracy theorists, fringe scientists and other purveyors of "The Truth" from trying to add their slant to Wikipedia. Original research IMHO is most useful as a policy if it can target those with a new theory for the movement of Moai. Verifiability is about using information that you know is true, and you've just checked in case science has moved on since you learned it in school. No Original research should in my view be more about using mainstream academic theories, not your personal take on what really caused Pi to be such an intriguing number. ϢereSpielChequers 14:37, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

When to use the lowercase template

This discussion sugggests that even if a company (voestalpine in this case) is shown as lower case in the middle of sentences, it should not be {{lowercase}} if it would be upper case at the start of a sentence.

The article is somewhat confusing in that the company was upper case until 2001. Furthermore, there are two companies with the same name in the article. The other company is upper case and a Siemens division. I haven't figured out the correct way to handle that problem.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 21:46, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Main Page featured article protection no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Main Page featured article protection (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, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Promote Notability (sports) to a guideline

Please join in Discussion to promote Wikipedia:Notability (sports) from essay to guideline, deprecating the Athletes section of WP:Notability (people).  --Joshua Scott (LiberalFascist) 02:09, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Special guideline needed for Bilateral Relations at AfD

In recent weeks conflict has erupted at AfD concerning the fate of several bilateral relations articles. These discussions often get heated – perhaps as the same folk often turn up and so are repeatedly exposed to opposing views from the same crowd. At least 6 editors have suggested a special guideline might be helpful – agreeing on this may result in less needless friction and time wasting discussion.

Suggestion by Feyd Huxtable

At WP:GNG , simply change the footnote for the independent of the subject line to add the following sentence: "For articles on a bilateral relationship, a government source addressing the relationship is acceptable." This small change should be sufficient to secure the survival of the vast majority of these articles, which seems to be what the community require per the fact there is rarely a consensus to delete and often a majority voting to keep.

Allowing the survival of these articles is consistent with our projects vision and has a number of benefits. Up until recently, Wikipedia had a competitor for publically available bilateral relationship articles: Diplomacy Monitor. Similar to us , this site would let you enter in the name of two countries, then it would list all the available web sources concerning diplomatic events between the selected nations. Unlike us, the site didnt have its own dedicated articles on relationshiops or the obligatory Groubani style map, it just returned links to relevent sources. Just like us, the web sources returned would often focus only on individual events such as visists and the establishment of trade agreements, with out discussing the whole relationship. To show how much this service was valued, here is a well made spot on quote from someone not known for his defence of bilateral relations, editor TreasuryTag (talk · contribs)!

(see the Diplomacy Monitor article for sources)

By allowing these articles we help all sorts of readers:

  • Students and Academies in IR and related fields.
  • Diplomatic taff preparing for the countless international summits and meetings, for whom it can be invaluable to find the common ground between various nations.
  • Merchants and investors investigating the possibility of doing business between the two.
  • Regular folk from country X who might have developed an interested in Y for what ever reason.

Now Diplomacy Monitor is closed, we are the only publically available source geared up for collating information on all these relationships. Please support this important class of articles! FeydHuxtable (talk) 19:28, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Comment—nice little reference to me, but I'm afraid I was just reverting vandalism rather than making an original remark! ╟─TreasuryTagFirst Secretary of State─╢ 19:39, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, it looked from the diff like you added the whole paragraph. I should have known that would be too good to be true! FeydHuxtable (talk) 19:46, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion by TreasuryTag

Such articles should be permitted if, and only if, they meet an actual majority of the following criteria:

  1. Each of the two states has an embassy and an ambassador in the other.
  2. There has been at least one official visit by at least one senior politician or the monarch of/from each state, as in at least one visit in each direction, within the last four years.
  3. The states have a bilateral treaty or agreement, just between the two of them.
  4. The states have, at any time in the last 150 years, been at war with each other.
  5. The states have, at any time in the last 100 years, waged war against any other state(s) as an alliance.
  6. One state has threatened the other, specifically, with war at any time in the last 100 years, but no war actually came about.
  7. One state has withdrawn or expelled a senior diplomat of/from the other at any time in the last 100 years.
  8. The states' intelligence agencies or militaries have been involved in joint operations at any time in the last 100 years, as documented by a reliable source.
  9. One state is in the other's top four donors of international aid (eg. if Sierra Leone received the most aid from the USA, the UK, France and Germany in that order, then each of those four relationships would meet this criterion).
  10. The states were, together, at least one-quarter of the founding members of a notable international organisation.
  11. One state is in the other's top seven trading partners.
  12. One state's government provides personnel to the other as aid (eg. Peace Corps missions) and this has been the subject of a reliable source.
  13. One state was, at some time in the last 200 years, a part of the other, previously a part of the other's empire, a dependent territory, et
  14. There has been significant migration in both directions in the last 100 years. Or, there has been significant migration in only one direction, but which has been explicitly discussed as the main topic of a reliable source.
  15. The states share any length of land border.
  16. The states are both members of any international organisation of which no more than two-thirds of United Nations countries are members.
  17. The states use the same currency.
  18. The states, at any time in the last 100 years, have been involved in a territorial dispute which was the subject of a reliable source.
  19. The states share any land (condominium) or any leaders (eg. Andorra).
  20. One state delegates any of their functions of government to, or shares any with, the other (eg. Monaco).
  21. One state's only land border is with the other.

The figures etc. were chosen by me, basically arbitrarily, and are very much open to discussion! Also, the criteria themselves were very much improvised, but I think the model of requiring a relationship to pass a majority of any list of criteria, is a good one. ╟─TreasuryTagChancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster─╢ 20:06, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

  • North Korea – South Korea relations fails #17 but meets #15. Is this enough to delete it or should the deletionados and inclusionistas tabulate all 21? Isn't is easier to simply delete them all (the articles!). East of Borschov (talk) 20:33, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
    Does it pass a majority of them or not? That's the crucial question. ╟─TreasuryTagballotbox─╢ 21:25, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Except that, out of all of them, relations between North and South Korea would be close to the most important, and prolific. There would be more than enough sources directly about their relations to qualify keeping an article about it. SilverserenC 21:41, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
  • #2 seems to run afoul of notability not being temporary. --Cybercobra (talk) 21:10, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
    It's not so much about temporary notability (we wouldn't delete an article four years after its last state visit!), but about ensuring that this is not merely a transitory, one-off event. It's only one of many criteria, and not absolutely essential, and I did try to balance them. ╟─TreasuryTagballotbox─╢ 21:25, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I think this is much too strict -- without doing further research, I can't be sure if bilateral relations between the United States and the United Kingdom are notable under these guidelines, and I'm fairly sure bilateral relations between North Korea and South Korea aren't. --Carnildo (talk) 23:07, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
You might as well ban country relations articles because you need to pass 11 of 20 to qualify. Many of the criteria are so esoteric that few countries meet it. Then it means that 11 of 14 are needed. Clearly this is a proposal to ban such articles. For example, many two countries fail 8 or the bottom 9. Maybe we should also propose another 10 criteria so that one has to pass 15 of the 30 criteria. The additional 10 must be that both countries must have had a head of state taht was a porn star, both must have nuclear weapons, both must have an 80% AIDS rate, both must have a 80% Wikipedia participation rate among citizens, both must allow pedophilia, both must have free food given to all, etc. Let's be reasonable. Goldamania (talk) 23:44, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Arbitrary numbers should be avoided. Is there really that much of a difference between expelling a diplomat 99 years ago and 101 years ago? What if countries share a border, but not a significant one (setting aside other connections, the border between Russia and North Korea is only about 8 miles long and the border between Panama and Columbia has no roads across it)? What defines a joint/military intelligence operation? Does NATO or UN peacekeeping count? Aid missions? Does sharing intelligence count, or does there have to be a human-based "operation"? How senior does the government official have to be? Would any US cabinet level position count? What about visits by former heads of state who hold no actual office anymore (Bill Clinton's visit to North Korea last year)? Mr.Z-man 23:39, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with state visits being in any way considered. Abductive (reasoning) 01:41, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

I like the list, but i would suggest changing "absolute majority" to "any two or more", which is much more realistic, especially in terms of what articles hsve in fact been accepted. There is to my knowledge nowhere else where we require a majority of a list of criteria--for such guidelines as Athlete or Prof, we require in fact only a single one of the list. I am willing to accept the view that this might be too permissive here where they are so many possible criteria. (I point out that multiplying similar criteria such as the ones involving historic conflicts makes it harder for almost all pairings to pass the overall test if its a majority, which does not seem to make =any sense to me.) DGG ( talk ) 00:54, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Why not use the simple criterion that if substantial secondary sources exist which address the topic of the relationship, the article can stay? Why make a special rule for a class of articles that the average reader does not care about? WP:MUSIC is a good example of a nice balance between user interest in knowing if a band is important enough for a Wikipedia article and band members wanting to promote themselves. Abductive (reasoning) 01:41, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • those numbers seem arbitary... But this is a good place to start... I would like the list to be short if at all possible... a list of 20 is huge.. we should be able to get it down to 5 points.... we'd need to discuss... it's probably better to just create a new proposal and start working on it Arskwad (talk) 03:59, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I agree that a 21-point test where the subject has to pass at least 11 points is far too complicated. Not to mention that a relationship like Israel–Syria relations, which I think is undisputedly notable (four wars against each other in the last 70 years) seems to pass at most 5 tests. No embassies, no recent official visits, no bilateral treaty, no alliance, no expulsion of diplomats (what diplomats?), no joint operations, no aid to each other, not co-founders of an international organization, not major trading partners, no personnel aid, neither part of the other (although both were part of the Ottoman Empire until the Treaty of Sèvres), not both members of a relatively smaller international organization, not the same currency, no shared land or leaders, no delegation of government functions, and both have other land borders. That leaves only the criteria of war with each other, threats of war, significant migration, land border, and territorial dispute. I'd rather just default to the general notability guideline. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 01:10, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

The following refers to criterion #1 above, and was originally placed directly below it, but I have moved it because its placement there altered the numbering for the remaining criteria. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 23:06, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Too pro-American. Many countries don't waste money and assign an ambassador to two or more countries, for example, Ambassador to Portugal and Spain and resident in Madrid. Goldamania (talk) 23:38, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

The criteria by TreasuryTag is very, very strict. Only a few country pairs qualify. This is because two countries have to meet most of these criterias, not just a few. Goldamania (talk) 23:38, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Strongly Oppose as completely arbitrary. So if two countries had military conflict 100 years ago it's notable, but 101 years ago its not? It's also not in keeping with basic notability guidelines that say once something is notable, it does not lose notability. And they must meet a majority of these randomly chosen guidlines? You've got to be kidding me. That would result in the deletion of a ton of very well sourced bilateral relations article. I would be in favor of this if the presence of one of these categories would be sufficient to achieve notability (but the absence of all of these should not result in an automatic delete). --Cdogsimmons (talk) 00:12, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Many of these criteria are way too presentist; there is no expiry date on notability. If we were to follow this, the article on the diplomatic relations between the Christian Crusaders and the Mongol Empire would have to be deleted. I think we should focus on the availability of reliable sources. Lampman (talk) 15:20, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion by Mkativerata

Bilateral relations articles are to be included if the relationship is the subject of significant coverage in reliable sources. Isolated coverage of individual events arising between two countries (eg state visits) is not sufficient unless those sources also cover the relationship as a whole.

Justification: Collating coverage of individual events together is undesirable. It means that an article only covers those events that happen to receive coverage in web-accessible sources. Such articles cannot possibly hope to be comprehensive. We should therefore require significant coverage of the relationship. This doesn't require books or lengthy analyses of a relationship. It only requires enough to constitute "significant coverage" just as we require of most article subjects. --Mkativerata (talk) 20:47, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

This sounds ok to me. I think the KISS principle should apply whenever possible. Though if numerous individual events are covered in sources (i.e. several per year), that could provide enough information to write a decent article with as well. Mr.Z-man 23:18, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I like it. I also like illustrative examples, so if this develops into a guideline I think it'd be nice to include some concrete examples. Yilloslime TC 01:27, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Fine by me. It is infact the only sensible way to interpret the GNG for bi-lateral relations, especially looking at the issue from the perspective of NOT. MickMacNee (talk) 03:36, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I like that this is simple... i think we need a guideline to settle this issue... but it does not need to have a 20 point test... This might be a better starting point than the proposal from treasury tag Arskwad (talk) 04:08, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • This sounds eminently reasonable to me. The caveat, of course, is that "the relationship as a whole" will probably need to be defined to some extent. (If two countries sign a treaty, is that evidence of a relationship? If so, is that still true if they're two of the 187 that ratified the Kyoto Protocol?) Shimeru (talk) 06:01, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes. If an article fails this criterion then it is never going to grow beyond a boring list of individual events (without violating the policy against original research), and the criterion itself is simple, easy to apply and fits well with the existing notability guidelines. We might need a corollary which says that coverage of major events involving the two countries (I'm thinking of wars, colonisation, sovereignty disputes etc) counts as coverage of the relationship. Hut 8.5 13:07, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I support this. No need to needlessly complicate things when the GNG will do just fine. --TorriTorri(talk/contribs) 16:11, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • This is what is already required by WP:GNG, that the relationship itself is the subject of the coverage, not just the individual contacts and normal state-to-state business. The problem is finding XfD closing admins who will not be scared away by a raft of "keep it's notable!" catcalls that completely ignore policy. Tarc (talk) 13:56, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion by S Marshall

Disclosure: A user invited me to participate in this discussion on my talk page. I do not see this as canvassing.

  • I propose that we organise this content into a smaller number of articles instead of the tens of thousands that could potentially exist if we did it at state level.
  • I propose that we adopt the following specific measures:-
  1. For relations between unrelated minor states (e.g. Liechtenstein-Cook Islands relations), where there are some sources, any sourced material belongs in a higher-level article defined by continents rather than individual states. For example, if there were a few sources for Liechtenstein-Cook Islands relations, it would be shunted into a higher-level article called Europe-Australasia relations unless and until there is enough sourced content to justify a separate article.
  2. Where the relationship between individual states is notable, then that relationship merits an article, irrespective of whether there are two states (Entente cordiale), three states (Triple Entente) or dozens (European Union).
  3. Where there is disagreement about whether a state-level article should exist, the default or "no consensus" position is to keep the material at continent-level rather than state level.
  4. That there be an immediate moratorium on AfDs and DRVs for bilateral relations articles.
  5. That the "continents" for the purposes of continent-level articles be as follows:-
    1. Africa
    2. Americas
    3. Asia
    4. Australasia
    5. Europe

I think that "Foreign relations of..." articles would be a better place to collect minor relationships. It has the advantage of not needing to define what a continent is, and deciding when to split a particular bilateral relationship out becomes simply a matter of following the article size and summary style guidelines. --Carnildo (talk) 23:13, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Hmm. We should fill up Foreign relations of Anguilla and create Foreign relations of Chechnya, Foreign relations of Ingushetia, etc.?—S Marshall T/C 00:47, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I do not see how continent is relevant: thepolitical and economic alignments do not normally go by such a criterion. DGG ( talk ) 00:56, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
"Foreign relations of" articles sound like a more reasonable compromise, as there would not be a ridiculous number of those. I mean, there would be what, somewhere in the 200s? That isn't unreasonable at all. We might even want to think about making a WIkiproject for the consolidation, improvement, and upkeep of them. SilverserenC 01:13, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Silverseren. While I personally would like an article for almost all bilateral, "Foreign relations of" are usually reasonable merge targets for the "minor" relationships. The problem is the bilaterality, meaning that we have to choose where to merge. I personally would favour redundancy (merging both in X and in Y for an X:Y pair) but it would be a nightmare to maintain consistency. Any suggestion? --Cyclopiatalk 21:18, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I guess I'm not sure what you mean by "minor states". You say that Lichtenstein is a minor state and the Cook Islands is a minor state. This guideline appears to violate WP:NPOV in that respect. I one hundred percent agree with your third point that information should be kept at an appropriate Wikipedia page instead of needlessly deleted.--Cdogsimmons (talk) 13:13, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion by Yilloslime

In General X-Y relations are notable if they meet the general notability requirement, which states that "If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article. 'Significant coverage' means that sources address the subject directly in detail, and no original research is needed to extract the content. Significant coverage is more than a trivial mention but it need not be the main topic of the source material."

  • In this context, the "topic" is the relationship of the countries to one another. Therefore the sources used to demonstrate its notability should actually be about the countries' relationship, and not about something else, like a specific event.
  • In this context, the websites of the Governments of X and Y are not independent and cannot used to establish notability.
  • New coverage about state visits, sporting events between X and Y, or a company from X investing Y do note establish notability unless the topic of the countries relations is also directly addressed, and discussed in detail. In detail means more than a passing mention.
  • Books, book chapters, and journal articles constitute appropriate sources if they treat the subject of X-Y relations directly.
    • Example: A book on the foreign relations of Thailand has a chapter on its relations with Australia. This constitutes significant coverage.
    • Example: A book on the foreign relations of Thailand has a chapter on its relations with Latin America. Peru is mentioned a few times, but always along side other countries. This does not constitute significant coverage.
  • Newspaper articles can sometimes constitute significant coverage, but they must directly address the topic, and spend at least 4 to 5 sentences on the topic. The number of such sources required to add up "significant coverage" varies depending on the depth of coverage in the sources.
    • "Example: Short newspaper blurbs (<250 words) describing events like a state visit, the signing of a minor treaty, or a business deal between a company from country X in country Y generally do not constitute direct coverage of the the countries' relations, nor do such short articles constitute "in depth" coverage.

WP:COMMONSENSE dictates that in certain situations sources are virtually guaranteed to exist. Therefore, these countries relationships can be presumed to be inherently notable. On the other hand, experience has shown that in certain specific situations, it's extremely rare that appropriate sources can be found. For countries in this situation, their relation can be presumed to be inherently non-notable. This suggests some shortcuts/rules of thumb:

X-Y relations are inherently notable when:

X-Y relations are inherently non-notable when:

  • None of the criteria for inherent notability are fulfilled and neither country maintains in embassy in the other and the countries are not involved in a dispute.Yilloslime TC 01:22, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I pretty much disagree with all the initial generalities, including
All topics in current affairs and history are made up of events, and RSs showing events of the sort that make up IRs are sufficient to make the relations sufficiently notable.
Subjects need to be treated in a substantial manner, but the degree that constitutes this varies. It is exceedingly rate, for example, that reports of stat4e visits give the topics discussed except in the broadest generalities.
    • Newspaper articles are as good a source as anything else.

Experience here has shown that attempts to be precise about these factors in advance of the actual sources being discussed tend to be unrealistic: what is necessary is to examine the individual situation. And at the end,

  • There is nothing in the world that is inherently non-notable. Even the persistent refusal of two countries to recognize each other when one would ordinarily expect this is can be of significance in international relations. For smaller countries, the presence of embassies is not the determining factor--it represents lack of finances as well as lack of intense relations, but relations need not be intense to exist. DGG ( talk ) 02:29, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • As above, arbitrary numbers and cutoffs should be avoided. Declaring things to be inherently non-notable is likely going to create more problems than it solves. Then you run into the risk of the guideline contradicting itself if someone finds significant coverage for a relation deemed inherently non-notable. Mr.Z-man 03:46, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Again, TLDR and at times plain wrong. Colonies are especially shaky. Consider the case of Belgian Congo. It is a huge topic in itself, but does it alone justify creation of (now non-existent) "bilateral Belgium-DR of the Congo"? Another case would be the German colonies annexed by the evil Brits after WW1. Namibia still has the legacy of German South-West Africa but for some reason this does not count. The British occupation does. I suggest getting rid of all background criteria. Leave history to history pages. "Bilateral relations" is for present-day matters. East of Borschov (talk) 05:49, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion by Stifle

Transwiki them all to wikia:bilateralrelations:Bilateral_Relations_Wiki. Stifle (talk) 09:06, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

This is a good suggestion in part. All the articles that are deleted as a result of whatever proposal is accepted should certainly be moved there. However, removing all of them from Wikipedia seems a bit strong when many meet WP:GNG even as it stands. Alzarian16 (talk) 12:50, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for letting us know about that wikia Stifle. How thrilling to find a site dedicated to this important subject, and one couldnt hope for a better founder. Im not sure this is an acceptable compromise yet though, at least not untill the wikia grows enough to feasibly aim to cover the whole set of relationships. FeydHuxtable (talk) 17:27, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

View by Kotniski

I think a big problem is being made out of nothing here. I agree with the suggestions that imply we should have an article when we have something of signifiance to write about; I don't see a need to try to lay down a priori rules about when this is the case. If there isn't much to write about a particular pair, then merge it into a "foreign relations of..." article and make it a redirect (oh all right, you'd have to choose one of the two countries to redirect to, but that's not really a big deal, just use see alsos if we think readers can't work out that there's another "foreign relations of..." article for the other country).--Kotniski (talk) 09:18, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

The problem is the stamp collecting editors. They don't see an encyclopedia, they see an almanach, which for them is a huge album with 20,000 (= 200 × 200 / 2) mostly free slots for relations between X and Y. They want to fill as many as possible, regardless of whether it makes sense in the context of an encyclopedia or not. A similar mentality has led to the failure of the AfD for Alexandre Louis, Duke of Valois, a 17th century baby who died under the age of 3 and is only known from his mother's letters. A certain type of editor doesn't see a ridiculous stub with no chance of ever becoming an article because nobody would ever write about the subject. They see a free space for the Blue Mauritius and want to fill it. Hans Adler 10:58, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
PS: Note that I haven't looked at the latest AfDs. They may well have targeted reasonable articles. If that is the case, then it is the late backlash for the mass production of atrocities like Nepal-Albania relations. Hans Adler 17:05, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I am not a "stamp collector". We simply happen to have different opinions on what "makes sense in the context of an encyclopedia". --Cyclopiatalk 19:12, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
In principle, one could create X–Y relations redirects to Foreign relations of X, and Y–X redirects to Foreign relations of Y. Abductive (reasoning) 00:19, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion by Carrite

I have no idea why well-written, informative, well-sourced, and useful bilateral relations articles continue to be challenged and rechallenged by deletionist editors who have faint hope of prevailing in consensus. One of their recent deletion requests resulted in a 14 to 5 vote in favor of "keep" — which was interpreted as "no consensus" under the anti-democratic and oligarchic method of decision-making installed at Wikipedia. Thus, we will all be treated to another episode of time wasting in the near future, rest assured, when the article is challenged for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th time... So here's the suggestion: Bilateral relations articles should be deemed "Notable per se" in the same way that all towns are considered notable and all records on the Billboard best-sellers list are considered notable. It's time to end this series of time-wasting challenges. Carrite (talk) 16:32, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Support, with further rationale. "What is the history and status of relationships of country X with Y" is a classically encyclopedic question, to which WP should provide an answer in form of an article whenever possible. If you live in country X and you are interested in your own foreign politics and/or that of country Y, you immediately understand why. It is never a trivial/random intersection, and in fact sources of some kind of relationship can be found in almost all cases. In cases in which sources documenting some kind of relationship are slim to none, a redirect to "Foreign relations of..." and merge of relevant information is completely OK, of course.
The proposed more restrictive guidelines seem to confound the notability of the relationship with the strength of the relationship itself (positive or negative). These are two completely different aspects. That "X has and wants nothing to do with Y" is as informative as a long history of friendly relationships between X and Y (or as a long list of war incidents). This is because what is important is having the answer to the question of "What is the history and status of relationships of country X with Y" -the encyclopedic notability of such a question does not depend on its answer. To say that a relationship between two countries is non-notable because it is not strong enough is akin to say that a species is non notable because it is extinct. --Cyclopiatalk 19:07, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
  • There has to be some threshold below which bilateral relations articles aren't acceptable. For a real-life example look at San Marino–Uruguay relations, which was created and successfully AfDed. Now San Marino has a population of about 30,000 and Uruguay is not exactly a superpower, so these two countries have had very little interaction. The article merely noted the existence of embassies and the two countries' membership in a large international organisation and that was about all that could have been written on the subject. A rule which allows the creation of articles on any relations, no matter how trivial (or non-existent) would lead to a large number of essentially useless articles being written. Even if you think there are significant relations between Uruguay and San Marino, this rule would lead to the creation of Grenada-Nauru relations, Tuvalu-Antigua and Barbuda relations, Moldova-Namibia relations, Slovenia-Bhutan relations... Hut 8.5 19:50, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
If someone wants to spend their sunny afternoon writing a properly-sourced article on Moldova-Namibia relations, who are we to say this is not a worthy topic? Carrite (talk) 00:26, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
    • Your comment is a perfect example of what is the fallacy I tried to explain. To me, "What is the history and status of relationships of country X with Y" is a thoroughly encyclopedic question that we should provide an answer. The strength, frequency etc. of these relationships has nothing to do, for what I can see, with the intrinsic notability of those. Just like we don't delete articles about towns because they're too small, or about species because they are extinct. See my comment above. All the pairs you cite are, in principle, meaningful. Of course if in the page there would only be little content, a merge somewhere is welcome.--Cyclopiatalk 21:14, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
      • The lack of an article on some topic has meaning. It means that the topic is not notable. The average reader wants to be told the unvarnished real deal. So I imagine that articles should exist on United States – EveryLastCountryOnEarth relations, but hardly any articles on Laos – Whomever relations. Abductive (reasoning) 00:16, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
        • So much for avoiding systemic bias. Why USA-Whatever should exist and Laos-Whatever should not? Again, my point is that the topic of bilateral relationship is one of the things that are intrinsically notable. --Cyclopiatalk 11:45, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
          • The only thing I consider "intrisically notable" is an erupting volcano. If two nations have no relationship worth mentioning, then the best thing to do is not to mention it. Abductive (reasoning) 22:32, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
            • No, it is not the best thing, because the absence of the article could mean "relationships do not exist" or "no one still wrote an article on this relationship". It is ambiguous. --Cyclopiatalk 12:25, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
              • It is consistent. What other topic do we cover where we create articles where all we can say is "The subject of this article doesn't really exist"? (which would also be original research unless we can find a source that specifically says that 2 nations have no significant relations) Mr.Z-man 19:59, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
                • I have not been clear. Of couse if there are zero sources we can't write anything. But if there are sources evidencing a very weak relation, we could (and should, in my opinion) write something the same about this very weak relation. The crux in the comment by Abductive is "worth mentioning": my take is that is always worth mentioning, so that we answer the reader what is the status of things. --Cyclopiatalk 11:34, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
                  • What defines a "very weak relation" - If a large, foreign-owned company has a factory in Laos and another foreign-owned company buys some of their products and sells them in one of their stores in Bolivia, does that count as a relation? Mr.Z-man 14:58, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
                    • What is the point of this question? In theory I could say you "no" -but it can be worthwile to notice that there are weak economic links (and to notice that they are weak indeed!), so it depends on a case-by-case basis. --Cyclopiatalk 16:20, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
  • So zomg evil deletionism, therefore all bilateral relations are inherently notable? Mr.Z-man 22:25, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
    • I believe the proposal here is actually that relations between any two countries are always notable, even if none of the people or sources in either country are even aware of the existence of the other country, e.g., the "relationship" between Pitcairn Islands and Most Serene Republic of San Marino. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:53, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
  • "Inherently notable" is inherently ridiculous. This is an awful suggestion. Tarc (talk) 13:54, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
  • *Strong Support and also fully endorse the additional rational by Cyclopia. FeydHuxtable (talk) 17:29, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I would like to subscribe to the message and its tone, but have to say it again: historical relationships belong to history articles. An article on English-French affairs should not list all wars since the fourteenth century. One paragraph for the background, at best. Look at Germany–Namibia relations: half of the text is background related to the linked German South-West Africa. The relations per se - present ones - is just six brief sentences. That's for a territory which "is the largest recipient of development aid from Germany in Africa". East of Borschov (talk) 21:26, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment Alot of talk is being put forward about the "fact" that all towns are seen as notable. This is not universally acknowledged as seen by the numerous discusssions and proposals to ban that common law practice. Secondly, Cyclopia et al. are confusing inherently notable with "can an encyclopedic article be made". Being notable does not mean you must write a one sentence stub and it shouldnt be deleted. Notability is just the first test of if an article should be made, the second part of the test for if an article should be made is "can you find enough sources to actually write an article?", yes you dont have to write the full article, you can have just a stub, but you must be able to prove that if so inclined someone could indeed write a full-fledged article. For some bilateral relations articles they fail the second test. Just as "towns are inherently notable" has never been codified, so too has this informal two-pronged test, you cant claim one and then ignore the other. Palau-Mali bilateral relations would certainly fail the second test.Camelbinky (talk) 01:33, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
" [...] the second part of the test for if an article should be made is "can you find enough sources to actually write an article?" " - To be fair, I acknowledged that in full: I wrote above: "In cases in which sources documenting some kind of relationship are slim to none, a redirect to "Foreign relations of..." and merge of relevant information is completely OK, of course.". This doesn't hide the fact that a lot of bilateral relations, even the weirdest ones, have (had) lots of sources that provide enough material for a decent article. --Cyclopiatalk 12:23, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Support (1) Cuts bureaucracy down to zero; (2) avoids POV (or worse, appearance of xenophobia); (3) in a globalized world, relations between states should be considered inherently notable.--Cdogsimmons (talk) 13:38, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

1) Cutting "bureaucracy" should not be done at the potential expense of encyclopedic quality. And simply requiring these articles to meet the GNG adds no bureaucracy. 2) How is requiring articles to have sources, or requiring a topic to have some actual information about it, POV? 3) Not every nation is globalized to the same extent as large, industrialized, first-world nations. Do you really think Laos has significant relations (or even significant trade) with Bolivia? Mr.Z-man 19:56, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
1)Agree, but here we provide more reasonable encyclopedic information and thus improve overall quality. 2)Cdogsimmons referred to the suggestions that USA-restoftheworld is inherently more notable than Laos-restoftheworld 3)If we can find some source stating what is the status of Laos-Bolivia relationships, we should write about it. The answer is your own question: Do you really think Laos has significant relations (or even significant trade) with Bolivia?. We can think, but I don't know and (probably) you don't either. Wouldn't it be encyclopedic to have an entry explaining what are such relationships and how significant they are? --Cyclopiatalk 11:34, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
The problem here is that the proposal is to make all bilateral relations inherently notable, not just ones where sources can be found. If sources can be found, then they don't really need to be considered inherently notable, since they pass the GNG. As POV as it might sound, relationships between the US/UK/Germany/Russia-restoftheworld are more notable than those between Laos/Bolivia/Palau-restoftheworld. The US State Department has nearly as many employees as Palau has citizens. There are more media outlets that report on the foreign relations of large, first-world countries than on smaller nations. To me, this looks like another effort at quantity over quality, like how we have substubs on athletes who played one game, or articles on individual city bus routes, when a list article(s) could provide the same amount of information in a much better format, with individual articles only being spun-off when there's more than a sentence or 2 of information. Mr.Z-man 14:46, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
You havent' been around in bilateral articles AfD's , aren't you? I already stated above that I'm all for merging/redirecting if sources are very few or none. But here we talk of articles like Mongolia-Norway relations, where we have 14 sources documenting several aspects of their relationship in detail, but that are sent at AfD on the basis that the sources are not monographs about "the relationship itself". The point is that GNG requires attention by third party sources, which is usually very much fine, but in this case if we define the subject as notable in itself (for good reasons abovementioned), and then we have reliable sources enough to build a NPOV and verifiable article, even if they're primary sources from governments for example, the article can be written and being informative, and could stay. --Cyclopiatalk 16:26, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
My issue here is that this proposal is not to make them inherently notable, unless there really isn't any relation, then merge into a list. The proposal is that all bilateral relations are notable, full stop. If everyone used common sense, there would be no functional difference. But from my experience on Wikipedia, I know that there are people who, if allowed to write an article on something, will write that article and will fight against logic and common sense to keep it, because policy says they can. I would have no problem with a looser notability guideline for these, but making every possible combination automatically notable, no. Mr.Z-man 03:28, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I know that there are people who, if allowed to write an article on something, will write that article and will fight against logic and common sense to keep it, because policy says they can. - No, a guideline would say they can. But if the article fails, for example, WP:V, the article would have no chances anyway. --Cyclopiatalk 21:24, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Or the guideline could just spell it out completely and avoid the issue altogether. Why is specifying what is actually meant such an issue? Mr.Z-man 21:58, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Per the above: The thing that really gets to deletionists is pointless trivia creeping into WP; and the thing that gets inclusionists is when scholarly work (however esoteric) is attacked and destroyed. The current situation is a time-draining stalemate. I would like to make 3 points to my deletionist friends: (1) Bilateral relations articles (assuming they are accurate, written neutrally, and sourced in such a way as to be verifiable) are not even close to being the Big Danger Diluting Wikipedia — which is the steady onslaught of poorly written and uninformative gunk about video games/music/movies/popular culture. Focusing the guns here, means stuff gets through the sieve there. (2) I get the sense that the debate over the Country X Relations with Country Y articles actually have very little to do with the articles themselves and more to do with the personalities attacking and defending. (3) I contend that the current situation is counter-productive both for the deletionists who are fighting the same stalemated battle dozens or scores of times while the BP-gusher-of-dreck rolls through Special Pages>New Files every minute, and for the inclusionists like myself who feel they have to fight rather than write to construct a fire-line against a forest fire which might spread and incinerate all esoteric, scholarly work.

I suggest that per se notability of all "CountryX-CountryY" articles so long as they are accurate, written neutrally, and sourced in such a way as to be verifiable is the way out of the morass. Then the deletionists can get back to doing god's work wiping out the trivia, unsourced crap, and product-pushing spam flooding through the gates and those of us concerned about the longevity of serious work on topics off the beaten path can sleep at night. Carrite (talk) 15:54, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

so long as they are accurate, written neutrally, and sourced in such a way as to be verifiable are all conditions that apply to the content of an article, not the subject, so have nothing to do with notability. Note also that there are 18528 possible CountryX-CountryY articles, and that's just counting members of the United Nations. OrangeDog (τε) 18:13, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
The first is a correct observation: we can say, therefore, so long as it is possible to have an accurate, neutral and verifiable article. That said, I don't understand instead the second observation about numbers. There are 18528 possible bilateral articles: so what? --Cyclopiatalk 19:16, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose We are an encyclopedia--a tertiary source--which means we only should have articles on topics that other people have previously written about. We shouldn't be inventing topics to cover. If no ones written about East Timor-Uganda relations, then we'd be straying into original research if we attempted to cover it. But if we declare such topics inherently notable, then we'll be writing lot's of such articles. Yilloslime TC 19:39, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, no. We would be writing only articles that are verifiable -that is, that present sources. I don't want OR of any sort. The disagreement is perhaps if a source about, say, a state visit of Ugandan ministers in East Timor counts as a source about the relationship or not. --Cyclopiatalk 22:27, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Every single article on Wikipedia is "original research," loosely defined. Remember the INTENT of the original "no original research" rule — no crackpot theories. Carrite (talk) 02:50, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Comments by Abductive

Instead of arguing for a particular guideline, I would like to see if certain notions have achieved consensus already. I will list notions I agree with first:

  1. If substantial secondary sources exist on the topic of the relationship, then it is notable. For example, a Google Books search by Nigeria France relations reveals that there are plenty of secondary sources.
  2. If two countries have embassies located in each other's territory, then the relationship is important to them and is important enough for Wikipedia.
Disagree, having an embassy is not important to a country nor is it a sign of friendship nor is a lack of one a sign of hatred, many countries dont have embassies in some countries out of lack of people to send abroad or money to staff an embassy.Camelbinky (talk) 01:47, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I think you may be taking it the wrong way; lack of embassies does not mean not notable, but embassies in both means notable. Abductive (reasoning) 05:15, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Agree. --Cyclopiatalk 22:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
  1. The relationship must be between the two countries as presently constituted (see Succession of states). Even though there was a great deal of trade between Ancient Rome and India, that does not go towards notability for the India–Italy relations article (which is presently a redirect!).
As an addendum, I feel that relations should not go further back in history than the invention of diplomatic relations in the 1400s. Also, if the entity is not a modern nation state, it should not have relations articles.
Disagree, Han China and Rome relations quite notable subject and worthy of an article. As would many relations articles stretching back to Sumerian-Egyptian relations or Hittite-Egyptian relations.Camelbinky (talk) 01:47, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
The Han and the Romans interacted through traders on the Silk Road. I am not aware of any direct contact, and the article Sino-Roman relations confirms this. In fact, that article could be retitled, since it is clear that neither were even sure about the location of the other. Abductive (reasoning) 17:11, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Disagree : Relations between previously existing states can be notable as well. The criteria for notability could and should be different however -I'd say GNG can come into play in this case. Let's focus on the criteria for currently existing states. --Cyclopiatalk 22:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
  1. The relations of former colonies with their former masters are notable.
I include in this any former colonial relationship without regard to intervening relationships, such as between Germany and Namibia.
Disagree, Palau, Micronesia, and Marshall Islands do not have any particular special relationships with Spain or Germany both former colonial overlords over all three nations. Do you think that Denmark has some special relationship with the US Virgin Islands? (Yes I know not a nation).Camelbinky (talk) 01:47, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Now for some ones I suspect have a very high likelihood of being notable:

  1. The two nations have been major combatants in a war (whether on the same or opposite sides).
Disagree Mexico and Australia were on the same side in World War II, doesnt make anything notable.Camelbinky (talk) 01:47, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
In what WWII battles did the Mexican military participate? See Mexico in World War II. Abductive (reasoning) 05:22, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. The two nations have been or are parties to a bilateral mutual defense treaty.
Agree --Cyclopiatalk 22:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
  1. The countries share a land border
Agree --Cyclopiatalk 22:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

And some that I do not agree with:

  1. State visits make the relationship notable.
Strongly agree : It means the two states have significant contact and the event will probably be covered by several sources. --Cyclopiatalk 22:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
  1. Membership in international organizations such as the World Health Organization makes the relationship notable. (However, I do agree with the notion that membership in regional organizations such as ASEAN, NATO and the Warsaw Pact implies notability to the bilaterals.)
  2. Participation in international sporting events or organizations make the relationship notable.
Strong disagree just about every country plays soccer in an international forum or plays in the Olympics.Camelbinky (talk) 01:47, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. Trade between the nations makes the relationship notable.
Disagree we're just getting into being silly now.Camelbinky (talk) 01:47, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Agree : Economical relationships are the essence of international relations. --Cyclopiatalk 22:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
  1. Financial or humanitarian aid makes the relationship notable.
Disagree Seriously?!
This is not my view. Abductive (reasoning) 05:15, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Agree, seriously. Dependence of a state on another is a key fact for the understanding of both states. --Cyclopiatalk 22:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

And one I am not sure of:

  1. Emigration/Immigration of large numbers of people between the two nations.
Agree, will in most cases be covered by sources and will in most cases be a significant issue for the internal and external politics of both countries. --Cyclopiatalk 22:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Any thoughts? Abductive (reasoning) 23:14, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Criticism from Gavin Collins

I have some concerns about this whole proposal, and I feel none of these ideas address a fundamental objection to this approach: that these Bilateral, Trilateral articles fail WP:MADEUP. Simply because it is possible to discuss diplomatic relations between two countries, it does not mean such double topics (e.g. Colombia–India relations) exist as a category of subject that is studied in the real world.

Its clear that a lot of coverage is given over to international relations, but usually this coverage address specific topics such as borders, trade, warfare and immigration. Simply bundling these topics together under one heading to create a "synthetic" article topic makes no sense if there aren't any sources that address the issue of Bilateral relations directly and in detial. Meta-topics such as this (article topics about article topics) are an encyclopedic nightmare, because their scope is not clearly defined, and just because it is possible to say that instance of the word "bilateral" consistiutes coverage of the topic, that does not mean a meta-topic is notable in its own right.

My concern is that this proposal will give rise to a lot of articles with little or no focus, and that contain coverage of topics covered directly and in detial by other articles. Bilateral relations might be better described as approach to studying border, trade, warfare and immigration issues, rather than being a seperate category of article topics in its own right.

I hope that this category addresses the issue of WP:MADEUP, which is likely to haunt these type of articles if it is ignored. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 09:45, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

I strongly disagree. Our (volunteer) job is to create an encyclopedia, that is, a structured compendium of information. By properly putting together sources that discuss relationships between two countries, we:
  • Do not fail WP:OR because we rely on published material.
  • Do not fail WP:SYNTHESIS, because we do not reach any new conclusion.
  • Do not fail WP:MADEUP because MADEUP is for something entirely else: If you have invented something novel in school, your garage, or the pub, but it has not yet become well known to the rest of the world, please do not write about it in Wikipedia. We do not invent bilateral relations in our garage -if there are diplomatic, trade, aid relations between two countries, that's certainly not something we invent one day.
None of our verifiability or notability requirements impose that a subject is something "studied in the real world" as a single, monographic topic. But a lot of bilateral relations are for sure documented, in their individual aspects, in lots of reliable sources, as the articles show. Our job is exactly to collate these sources together and create an informative, factual, NPOV compendium of information on the subject. By dispersing information in other articles we lose the information structuring that is what makes an encyclopedia meaningful. --Cyclopiatalk 11:34, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
That is not our job in fairness. Wikipedia is more than a "structured compendium": we should exclude topics that are not notable, such as Colombia–India relations which are comprised of routine press releases and public relation style coverage. I think you are rolling out the same old argument described at WP:EVERYTHING in order to ignore Wikipedia broad based set of inclusion criteria set out in Wikipedia:Notability. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 14:55, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
You think wrong. I am talking of notable, encyclopedic, sourced topics, as obvious reading above. --Cyclopiatalk 19:36, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
I can see Gavin's point. Liquor is notable; rock singers are notable. Rock singers drink liquor; arguably it's important to the muse. You will occasionally see an article in a fan magazine about a rock singer that mentions they drink. However, that does not mean we should have a series of articles Rock singers and beer, Rock singers and wine, Rock singers and vodka, Rock singers and peppermint schnapps... --GRuban (talk) 20:02, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
My point entirely. In the case of bilateral relations, there are battalions of well paid diplomats generating lots of press releases that paint bilateral relations in a favourable light, whilst at the same time, there are lots of people with fringe theory views about how bilateral relationships are conducted. If we employ WP:EVERYTHING as a basis for the inclusion of topics as stand-alone articles, then we are giving precedence to spam and hearsay over significant coverage from reliable sources. I sincerely hope that Cyclopia does not belive what he writes to be true. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 21:20, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Gavin, could you please avoid using straw man arguments? I am a vocal inclusionist, I don't deny that, but I emphatically do not want WP:EVERYTHING as a basis. I am not talking of "giving precedence to spam and hearsay" at all, and I feel a bit insulted by attributing to me such a position. I am talking of topics covered by RS. The crux is: do we need sources that are monographically about the bilateral relationship or can we build articles also on sources that document individual aspects of it? My position is the second, on the basis that 1)it is verifiable, reliable material 2)doesn't need any degree of OR, POV or synthesis (e.g. to list state visits, or to document international aids, does not violate any of the three) 3)answers a very encyclopedic and non trivial question about state relationships. --Cyclopiatalk 14:59, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, we do need sources that are approximately "monographically about" a given subject, in order to justify having a free-standing article on it. The problem concerns notability. It has to be shown first that reliable sources regard the given subject in question as a fairly well-defined subject. Otherwise any resulting article is undefined in parameter. I don't think this is only relevant to "bilateral relations articles." I think that any time an article is created without fairly well-established notability for a subject there follow editorial problems that are not addressable by standard Wikipedia policy. An article must comply with Wikipedia policy from the moment of its inception. Bus stop (talk) 15:18, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Which policy wouldn't such an article follow? --Cyclopiatalk 21:21, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
WP:BURDEN is primary policy, but WP:NPOV#Article spinouts and point of view forks is also relevant. I think this is an issue with articles like Colombia–India relations: although it contains sources that mention relations between the two countries, none that are actually about Colombia–India relations per se. I accept your earlier criticisms that we do not want articles that fail WP:EVERYTHING, but then you have to agree that what Bus Stop is saying as well: we don't articles that contain EVERYTHING that is in some way related to each other under a madeup article title. The reason is this: there is no limit to the number and form of made up article titles that can be created by editors, so some form of external validation is required, othewise we will have content forks by the hundred. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 11:05, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

proposal that tries to describe what really happens

  1. If there are Reliable Sources that have cover the relationship as a whole in direct detail then keep the article (like "United Kingdom – United States relations")
  2. If there are no Reliable Sources at all then delete it
  3. If there are reliable sources that only cover singular diplomatic treaties or events then discuss other alternatives based on concensus including (but not limited to)...
    • Merging to a bigger article about foreign relations (like "Foreign relations of Argentina")
    • Merging to an article about one countries administration or leader (like "Cristina_Fernández_de_Kirchner#Presidency")
    • Temporarily keeping the article until it can be expanded
    • Inviting help from people at other language wikis (just because the topics probabably need sources in foreign languages)

people basicly agree on the black and white stuff... just to have that would be a good way to get rid of the insanity of people who will delete or keep everything and we could gradually settle the gray area (#3) based on smaller discussions and improve the guideline more later... Arskwad (talk) 01:50, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

I really like this idea - Define what the black and white cases are and then describe some options for dealing with the grey area. Obviously the "how to deal with the grey area" needs to be expanded and I think we should do that next... either here or as part of a proposed guideline. Yaris678 (talk) 12:25, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Me too. This could work well if we can agree on a sensible course of action for the in-between level. Alzarian16 (talk) 12:31, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Option #1 will always lag behind current affairs. There are plenty of books about past Iran – United States relations but anyone can argue that since there are no diplomatic relations, there are no relations at all. East of Borschov (talk) 18:06, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

East of Borschov, I'm not sure what you are getting at. Firstly, the history of the relations will form a large part of the article so the fact that they were once thought important enough to write whole books about means that they still deserve an article. Remember, Notability is not temporary. Secondly, having no diplomatic relations is not the same as having no relations. Indeed, you could more easily argue that non-diplomatic relations are more notable, especially with large countries such as Iran and the United States. Most large countries have an embassy in most other large countries. It is the exceptions that are the most interesting. Yaris678 (talk) 19:48, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Getting at the separation of history from relations. If the area needs a specific notability guideline (which I don't approve), then we better define the scope: does it apply only to recent and present relations, or older history is included too? I'd reiterate the case of German South-West Africa, where there is plenty of history but very limited relations recently. Does the German colonization of Namibia justify a fork in Germany–Namibia relations ? East of Borschov (talk) 09:25, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
i don't see this as an issue... trade sanctions, threats, working through intermediaries... if there are reliable sources that cover these anti-diplomacy incidents directly in detail about how iran and the US are sparring than it is definitely worth an article about their relations.. plus notability is not temporary so even if two countries had a big relationship in the past it would be worth covering now... would gladly see an article about Soviet relations for example even though the USSR is gone... (or so they would have us believe) Arskwad (talk) 15:57, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Proposal Process

there are some good ideas here... I am not sure which one represents the middle ground but it is obvious that some will have a better chance than others. i think it would be useful to use the wiki process with editing and reverting to make a guideline instead of voting on a bunch of separate proposals... so how about we start narrowing down the proposal with the most support and spin it off into a page with the Template:Proposed on it... Then we can work on it and tweak it until it stabilizes... Arskwad (talk) 19:30, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

This will happen for sure, but here we don't even know what has the most support yet, so it is quite premature. Other editors also could join and propose something else. It's a long process. --Cyclopiatalk 19:36, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
yeah no hurries.. just something to think about as a long term goal... discuss these proposals first... maybe the next step is to kill any proposals that have no chance of having a consensus.. probably the more extreme or complicated proposals can be killed and from there we can build on the proposals with some hope..Arskwad (talk) 23:19, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think any proposal here is capable of obtaining consensus. Going forward, I earnestly hope that inclusionists will not be making stupid and crappy CountryA-CountryB articles to push the boundaries and that deletionists will grit their teeth and turn the other way rather than challenging seemingly marginal articles which have veracity, neutrality, and well-sourced verifiable content. We'll never all totally agree, but maybe if the "Nepal-Bangladesh Relations" articles are never written, the "Israel-Turkey Relations" articles won't be dragged before the mob... Peace and friendship, comrades, as the Russkies would say... Carrite (talk) 03:10, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

How to improve Wikipedia's readability?

I was reading the signpost's news on Wikipedia's cancer coverage and they particularly noted WP's poor readability (reaching to that of college-level). This is much higher than other general purpose encyclopedias, textbooks, and news sources.[23]

"Wikipedia's lack of readability may reflect its varied origins and haphazard editing."

Are there any guidelines or steps WP is taking to improve readability? (talk) 14:51, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Readability and usability on the Web have been known since 1997, but WP:MOS ignores aids to readability such as use of: short paragraphs with 1 idea per paragraph; bullet and numbered lists; frequent section headers; etc. --Philcha (talk) 15:21, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I've noticed on some articles, especially technical ones, that editors simply link to a technical term without briefly explaining it. The reader would have to click the link to find its meaning. This disrupts the flow and I think most don't bother even clicking. Are these things being looked at when an article is nominated for good article or featured article status? It'd be interesting to run Flesch–Kincaid readability test on all the featured articles and analyze the results. (talk) 16:17, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
This overlaps with #Introductory articles above. Peter jackson (talk) 08:56, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
That's exactly right. Try linking to "matrix" instead of saying "(wrote out the numbers in an orderly grid)" and the novice to quantum mechanics is lost. On the other hand, too many explanations, or just using the circumlocution, and the individual with a year or so of university physics for physics majors will complain about being talked down to. There is good reason for having different kinds of encyclopedias for primary school students, high school students, and college students. ("Wikipedia is not paper.")
As for guidelines, I think they may be helpful up to a certain point. But there is a craftsmanship in writing that can't be reduced to mechanical rules. The writer has to know his/her audience, what they already may be expected to know, and what they need to be given by way of preparation before the main idea can be presented. For somebody new to quantum physics and trying to understand what Heisenberg was up to when he cracked the problem that was a logjam for further development, s/he needs to know beforehand the basic idea of what a matrix is. For the physics professor who teaches quantum physics every semester, but who has not studied the history of how quantum mechanics was developed, if you just show them the equation that Heisenberg came up with that first night then they (or for sure at least one of them) will say, "That is a matrix," even though there is not a grid in sight. The difference is that the second reader has an immense contextual understanding, and for him/her the recitation of all the stuff that is necessary to get across what a matrix is and how matrix multiplication works would be like writing something for a college student that explains all of the steps to take in doing a long multiplication.
One thing that can be very helpful in trying to strike a medium is the careful use of topic sentences. For instance, suppose a physics instructor reads:
Heisenberg gave Professor Born the equation and almost immediately Born saw the consequences that led to the Uncertainty Principle.
He can safely ignore the rest of the paragraph because he sees immediately that the formula is a recipe for writing a matrix multiplication, and he knows that multiplying matrix A by matrix B gives a different result from multiplying matrix B by matrix A. So his understanding of the general flow of the article is not going to be impeded by having to sift the basics out from where a less expert writer has buried them somewhere in the middle of the paragraph.
As a teacher, one of the most "Give me a dope-slap!" discoveries I made (but not until I'd been teaching for decades) was how many other problems in writing were cured when I made students write good topic sentences. The "insides" of the paragraphs magically got lots clearer.P0M (talk) 15:34, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Notability of various medical journals

I originally posted this at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine#Notability of various medical journals, and it was suggested that I bring this here, as the topic is really more about scientific journals in general, even though the specific situation concerns medical journal articles.

Original post:

I became aware of the edits of User:AlanAbery via an edit he made that dropped a page onto the Short Pages report. The user turned a redirect into a disambig, adding a link to a newly formed page on a medical journal. That page showed no obvious indications that the particular journal, Cytotherapy (journal), was notable. Not being particularly knowledgeable about such journals, I dropped Notability and PrimarySources tags on it. As I often do, I glanced at the user's other contributions, and from there noticed that this user has created quite a few of these articles on medical journals. After similarly tagging several more, I realized that tagging dozens of such articles is likely not the best way to go about this.

So I'm here looking for assistance/advice as to what is the proper next step. It's quite possible that every one of these journals are notable by WP standards. But as the articles now stand, there's really no indication of such. If A7 applied to publications, they could conceivably be A7 deleted, given the lack of notability indications.

Are there specific notability criteria for publications and/or scientific journals? If so, where?

TexasAndroid (talk) 16:19, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

A comment at the original post of this has lead me to Wikipedia:Notability (academic journals), so that at least answers the questions at the end of my above post. - TexasAndroid (talk) 16:40, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I would support the inclusion of each and every journal. It would help us here to determine if something is or is not a reliable source. It should provided some history on who publishes it. How it is ranked. Were it is listed ( pubmed, other ). How long it has been in print. What abbreviations it uses. If someone has a desire to add this I do not think we should stand in their way. So to finish I think all journals are notable. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:46, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment. There are three attitudes towards scientific journals that I have seen expressed (mostly hashed out in AfDs). One, mine, is that academic journals are to be treated exactly like all other topics, and be required to meet the GNG. Another is the one expressed by the user above, which I feel invites a tremendous amount of spamming. Finally, there is the view of User:DGG, who uses tools from the library sciences to claim that if a journal has been listed by various indexing services, it should be on Wikipedia also. Abductive (reasoning) 17:42, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I see no real difficulty with including articles on any journal that is reliably archived. If it is publishing substantive work, it will appear in various catalogues, often it will have been reviewed, and other journals will have citations of it, hence it will meet the GNG at least in its intent. If it is publishing wp:Fringe material then there will usually have been debunking responses published somewhere. If we don't have such articles, we leave it up to individual readers to hunt down the source in order to determine what credibility it has. If we do have them, we can readily provide reference to various information that can help them make that determination. In short, it does no harm, it only helps. Of course there are a great many journal articles to be created, but redlinks are our friends! LeadSongDog come howl! 18:17, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me that your perception of the journals and academia is too rosy. (1) "Substantive work" - who says? Who and how decides that it's "substantive" and not vanity press or sophomore essays? Only reliable and independent sources can tell. (2) Journals don't cite journals: it's the articles that are cited. Journal X had published a highly-cited article, does it make X notable? Not at all. (3) As for fringe/debunking, very few academics actually venture into discussing fringe in public and many fringe fads are completely devoid of professional scrutiny. East of Borschov (talk) 09:10, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
A side note on Abductive's comment. I think we can easily rule out spam in this case. The articles are on a number of journals from, I believe, a number of publishers. So we have a well intentioned user making well written articles in a fairly obscure subject area. I really think notability is the key concern, and I am getting some good feedback here and on my talk page as to how to likely handle this (or whether it's worth "handling" at all). - TexasAndroid (talk) 19:02, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree with LeadSongDog. If the journal is index on pubmed or by a University library that should be sufficient for notability. Other journals of questionable quality will often have comments made of them in reputable journals. If someone cares to add this content why not. This sort of resource might attract more academics to Wikipedia.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:06, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Well Cytotherapy's issue is that it flirts a bit with promotional writing, and that there are lists which could be converted to prose. This can easily be cleaned up. With an impact factor of 3.4 something, it's notability certainly isn't in question. The rest can be solved by talk to AlanAbery (mentioning that he cannot release these images under creative commons license unless he holds their copyrights and files an OTRS, but that he can use them under fair use), and pointing to the WP:WikiProject Academic Journals/Writing guide. By far and large, we're better off with these articles than without, even if it means doing some cleanup. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 19:13, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Also, it's possibly that some of the journals aren't notable (because they are new and didn't have time to become established, i.e. get indexed by relevant databases), but that's to be determined on a case by case basis. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 19:17, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
All of the journals that I have done are at least 10 years old (rough guess). About the "promo writing," I shall address that, and I will take off the lists within the hour. I don't understand what I need to do with the pictures though, could you help me with that on my talk page?

Thanks.---- Use:AlanAbery User talk:AlanAbery —Preceding undated comment added 08:22, 11 June 2010 (UTC).

  • Comment I don't see how any journal can be notable if it has not been "noted" in accordance with WP:N. A journal is no more notable for being listed in an indexing service than a window clearer being listed in a business directory. In the absence of any significant coverage, I don't see the point of writing a stub based on an index entry. The other issue is toughed upon by Headbomb: its just not possible to identify "notable" journals from promotional material. Topics such as Socionomics are attempting to build a reputation based on quasi-promotional journals. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 21:46, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  • First, regarding Cytotherapy (journal): it may be that the primary sources tag (placed there in good faith) is not necessary in this case. After reading the notability criteria for Academic journals this article probably does not need references that appear in reliable third-party publications, per se, to be notable. As Headbomb stated, the index factor is a good indicator of notability. Also, it may turn out that this journal is likely to be considered a reliable source itself. In that case the journal would satify one of the main notability criteria for Academic journals. For the uninitiated the journal itself could be considered a reliable source because it publishes research related to all aspects of cell therapy emerging from animal studies and preclinical models, etc., etc. In other words, in general - a journal which publishes original research, and or advancements based on research, in its field will also satisfy one of the main notability criteria requirements. Anyway, I am guessing that this specific journal will turn out to be notable.
Second, as someone mentioned above, it is probably best to go through these journal articles one by one and determine notability in a case by case basis. ----Steve Quinn (talk) 22:30, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

I think that the articles that i have editted meet wikipedia's standards. In response to the tags made about advertisement, they are not. The articles just contain facts about the articles, who published them, impact factors, what they are about, editors etc. The reliability is a problem which needs to be addressed. I could show which universities and libraries have these journal, if that would help. I will get more references for these journals, if that would help? ----User:AlanAbery User talk:AlanAbery

The advert tag is much more about tone and writing style than it is about the intent behind the writing. It says "written like an advertisement" not "is a advertisement". So the tag is not saying that it is an ad, just that it reads like one. - TexasAndroid (talk) 13:00, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Oh right. And how would I change it to make it sound less like an advertisement? I really cannot see how it is like an advert!! - Alan Abery {talk} 14:21, 11 June 2010 (GMT)
I have to agree with User:AlanAbery on this one. Even when I first read Cytotherapy (journal) I did not see the tone as being overly - promotional. It was a collection of facts about the journal, and still is. An article about a journal is going to necessarily have content about what it covers, what type of format it uses such as rapid electronic communication, impact factor, editor, frequency of publication (times per year), and publisher, etc., etc. Most articles about journals contain this information, probably because this is the relevant information. Occasinally a journal or society has a long history and that can be included somehow. In my opinion the "advert" tag may not be needed in this case. ----Steve Quinn (talk) 13:52, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
User:Abductive will have to answer that one. He set the advert tag. I set Notability and PrimarySources tag, both of which are now gone. - TexasAndroid (talk) 15:45, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

High School Protection (or alternative plan)

As many have noticed, a large number of IP vandalism occurs on High School (Or Secondary) and Middle school articles. This is almost always obviously by the students, and even some (not most) edits by the students are un-encyclopedic with original research, using peacock words. This takes a large amount of time for all recent change patrollers, and many IP's just vandalize the same page 4-5 times, then are blocked, and once it ends they just do it again. Possibly only editors with account can edit non-college or elementary school pages to prevent vandalism, but a school information task force would have to be created to add large info. Or a bot made for reverting vandals and/or peacock words on school articles would also solve the problem (I can't write bot scripts or have permission to create a bot). These are just ideas, however, I feel that something can be done to improve the situation. Old Al (Talk) 03:07, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

I think Flagged Revisions may solve the problem. I suggest we wait a bit and see.--SPhilbrickT 14:26, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Pending Changes (nee Flagged Protection): update for June 10

As requested, here's the weekly Pending Changes update.

We proceed boldly toward launch. The main update is that we have pushed the English Wikipedia launch back one day to Tuesday, June 15. That will let us avoid stepping on the WP Academy Israel event, and it means Jimmy Wales will be available to talk to the press, which in turn will yield a better public understanding of Pending Changes.

However, we will still be rolling the new FlaggedRevs code into production on Monday, June 14th (circa 4 pm Pacific, or 23:00 GMT). We hope that this, aside from some minor UI improvements, will pass unnoticed on the project currently using FlaggedRevs. If there are bugs, we look forward to hearing about them via the usual channels, including #wikimedia-tech. Minor bugs will be fixed in place; any major issues will result in a quick rollback to the existing code.

More prosaically, we had a number of bits of work verified complete this week, including a number of little bugs. Our thanks to the German community for their diligent testing of a labs instance of the German configuration.

If you'd like once last chance to see what's coming, try the latest code updates on our labs site.

To see the upcoming work, it's listed in our tracker, under Current and Backlog.

Thanks, William Pietri (talk) 23:58, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

(Cross-posted from Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous). Cenarium (talk) 03:27, 11 June 2010 (UTC))

In addition, there are a few remaining issues to settle, such as usage of flagged protection/pending changes, please see Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Flagged revisions trial. We also need to finalize documentation pages among other things, any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Cenarium (talk) 03:27, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

  • I'm not really sure I understand the process, is it only new users and annonymous users that will have there work pending or is it everyone. --Deathawk (talk) 19:46, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Most editors of a small number of articles. See WP:Reviewers for those who will not (as I understand the implmentation). - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 19:52, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

No longer a stub; how do I get it changed?


I noticed that voestalpine is labelled as a stub on its talk page. However, since I got involved with it, the article has gone from 3000 bytes to more than 20,000. User:East of Borschov did most of the work after talking with me, and I'm sure that person's contributions are worth more than mine, but I don't know how to assess articles myself.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 19:57, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

You could either simply remove the class and leave it unassessed for someone to assess it properly, or you could rate it based on the project's assessment scale which can usually be found by clicking on the rating or "quality scale" link inside the banner. (Though, this project doesn't have their own - see Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment instead)xenotalk 19:59, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I prefer to just leave it unassessed. Thanks.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:05, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
User:DustFormsWords has taken care of it.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:53, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

On Overprotection

In the past few months I have noticed a disturbing trend on Wikipedia: it appears to me that within the past few months the ammount of Semi-protected page has shot through the roof. While I understand that it's important to protect Wikipedia against libel and can accept pages of politicians and certain other important topic being locked, it appears that this is only half the problem. If you look at the current World Cup and BP Oil Spill these pages are both semi-locked which seems rather counterproductive to me, the whole point of wikipedia is that information can be updated as it happens. While under semi-protected status this still goes on, I would imagine it's not as fast as it could be. Furthermore a lot of these pages aren't protected for libel, but rather to protect against vandalism, I fail to see how several of these pages wouldn't serve to improve themselves by simply removing the lock and implementing some less intrusive method to keep Wikipedia accurate. My concern for this problem is two fold, first of all it's inhibiting the timely nature of Wikipedia itself, many notable stories that otherwise would be reported by annonymous users simply are not being reported, which requires registered users to pick up the slack. While many do I do not think we can fully ever replace the workload done by annonymous users. There are simply facts that aren't being and won't be reported because of this which I feel is a great loss that I feel no 3rr can ever protect agiainst.

Second by over protecting we may be putting the future of the project in jeapordy: think back to how you started editing at Wikipedia, chancess are it was via an annoynamous i.p adress, part of the charm of Wikipedia back in the day was that it could be edited quickly with no registration required, and this helped it grow. This overprotection trend I feel will ruin that and as a consequence the user baase will get smaller and smaller as more users leave and less new members join. Let's remember that this is not merely a "neat project" we're doing here but one that potentially changes the world, and if our user base shrinks significantly than it could be a very great loss to the world --Deathawk (talk) 03:04, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Luckily, pending changes is arriving next week. Even though we still won't be able to use it for that purpose for now, it's an ideal case in my opinion. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:08, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
a lot of these pages aren't protected for libel, but rather to protect against vandalism - That is, and always has been, the primary use of semi-protection. At the moment, we don't have a less intrusive method, or at least one that's nearly as effective or not extremely labor-intensive. With articles like the BP spill and the World Cup, even 1 minute of vandalism will be seen by hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Not to mention that on pages being edited extremely frequently, it can be difficult to revert vandalism without reverting intervening good edits as collateral damage. Note that currently, only 0.14% of articles are protected. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, our job is not to report the news as it breaks. We're good at it, but it is not critical to our mission that articles be updated within minutes of new information being available. Mr.Z-man 20:37, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Wiki doi is a covert advertising instrument

For a discussion of what is in my view a gross violation of our core principle Wikipedia:NOTADVERTISING, please see HERE. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 11:46, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

For anyone wondering what this is about, it concerns the use of digital object identifiers, which direct people to a particular online version of a scholarly article. Fences&Windows 22:55, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Policy for the trial of pending changes

For the trial of pending changes, we'll need to establish a policy, within the framework determined by the original proposal. Wikipedia:Pending changes is a suggested policy, Wikipedia:Reviewing a suggested guideline, and there's a new section at Wikipedia:Protection policy. The trial will begin on 14-15 June, they should be ready for use broadly at that point. Cenarium (talk) 22:52, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Videos as references

Can videos be used as references in articles? For example, if you are quoting a source, and you have a video of the source making a presentation, can you base a quote in an article on that? An editor is deleting videos as references, and I don't think this is appropriate:

Thanks! Ghostofnemo (talk) 04:35, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Also, can you reference a line that is not a direct quote? Let's say the line says, "X has claimed that ...." and use the video as your source? Or to attribute facts presented by reliable sources, like a video of a chemistry lecture? Ghostofnemo (talk) 04:40, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Comment - WP:RS applies to videos exactly the same as to everything else. Is the video published by an independent reliable source? Note that YouTube is not a reliable source, and neither are you. If the publisher's a reliable source you can quote it, otherwise you can't. It's the reliability of the publisher that's of relevance as to whether the events depicted actually happened (so whether the person in the video said what they appear to say), not the reliability of the people speaking in the video, as the publisher is the one with final responsibility for the editing and digital manipulation of the image and audio. - DustFormsWords (talk) 04:58, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • See {{cite video}} --Cybercobra (talk) 04:58, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • This question should probably be posted at WP:RSN. I think the answer is that in principle a video may be a reliable source (that's what WP:IRS says), but in practice it is pretty difficult, and is open to a lot of interpretation (i.e. original research). One problem that can occur is that it is very easy for someone to mistate something in a video, and then it is hard to retract the mistatement (such a problem is much harder in a reliable printed source where editorial review should occur). I would want to know that the source of a video provided editorial review, and was known to have corrected previous mistakes. Johnuniq (talk) 05:04, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • (EC)From WP:IRS: "[A]udio, video, and multimedia materials that have been recorded then broadcast, distributed, or archived by a reputable third-party may also meet the necessary criteria to be considered reliable source. Like text sources, media sources must be produced by a reliable third-party and be properly cited. Additionally, an archived copy of the media must exist. It is useful but by no means necessary for the archived copy to be accessible via the internet." As with printed references, you can paraphrase source content rather than making a direct quote, but you must retain the original intent. As you didn't indicate what YouTube video you're referencing, nor precisely what you're referencing it for, it's hard to say whether you were doing it properly. A YouTube video of a scholarly documentary from the 1970s on the JFK assassination seems to be appropriate, assuming you note the name and producer of the doc, because you're essentially referencing the doc, and linking the YouTube clip simply as your proof that the doc says what you claim it to say; a YouTube video of some guy who took his videocamera to the grassy knoll to propound his own theory would, of course, be inappropriate, for both WP:RS and WP:OR. Abrazame (talk) 05:08, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • A YouTube video isn't proof that the original documentary says what it says as neither YouTube nor the uploader provide, or are required to provide, any evidence that the YouTube version is a faithful reproduction of the original and hasn't been altered in some way. There's no editorial responsibility. A link is still a convenience for readers interested in learning more, but it's not proof of anything and isn't sufficient to satisfy WP:V. - DustFormsWords (talk) 05:14, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I meant what I wrote as appending, and not contradicting, the three comments before it (and began to write my comment before those were posted, or I probably wouldn't have felt compelled to write it). But considering that your second post seems to go further than your first, are you saying that my hypothetical, adding something sourced to a documentary clip hosted on YouTube, should be reverted as failing to satisfy verifiability because the uploader could have altered it? I see your point, I'm just unclear if you're saying you interpret that possibility as inherently preventing any such use, or merely in cases where an exceptional statement is being sourced or that there is a compelling argument for the possibility of alteration. Abrazame (talk) 05:28, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure I have that level of certainty in my own mind. See, when we link a book to Google Books, that's okay, because Google asserts their copy is a faithful reproduction of the original, and experience suggests they're reliable in that fashion. Whereas we know that films and television programs are, to begin with, edited and cut differently for different markets, and YouTube is not remotely a reliable source as to which version of a video we're watching. We have the further difficulty that YouTube features any number of videos consisting of altered or recut footage, often without any indication of what changes have been made. And then there's the third problem that videos can be re-uploaded to the same link so content can change. So a link to a YouTube video as evidence of anything runs a real risk of being deceptive. I don't think YouTube can be used for the purposes of WP:N, WP:V or WP:RS, regardless of what content it purports to be offering. However, where community consensus is that a given YouTube video does aid in an understanding of some aspect of an article it may still be a valid external link per WP:EXTERNAL, if used in compliance with that policy. - DustFormsWords (talk) 05:42, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Of course, Google purchased YouTube, and (more complex copyright issues aside) it would be great to see them present an authoritative video library as they have done with books and periodicals; networks and studios could similarly host their own material and that they purchase from now-defunct production companies. I won't hold my breath, though, considering how far we are from the promise a couple decades back to digitize and offer for sale every music recording ever commercially available in history. You make several good points; I think we're of a similar mind on this, and if anything I go away from the conversation with more to think about, and a bit more reservation. Abrazame (talk) 09:41, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
For example, here's a diff of some of the deletions: Ghostofnemo (talk) 06:20, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
In my opinion that's not an acceptable citation, mostly because it doesn't provide the publisher of the video or provide information allowing other editors to identify and locate an original copy of the source material. (In short, it doesn't meet WP:V.) It may or may not be acceptable to leave the YouTube link for convenience but what you're citing has to be the complete details of the original video, as published by a reliable source, rather than merely its YouTube incarnation. For this (apparently) 1976 documentary, who is the publisher? The distributor? The director? It also has POV problems, in that what you're linking to is an extract (not a full version) with a summary from the uploader that may or may not be an accurate representation of the contents. - DustFormsWords (talk) 06:25, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
That seems like a higher standard that this, from WP:V: "All material in Wikipedia articles must be attributable to a reliable published source to show that it is not original research, but in practice not everything need actually be attributed. This policy requires that anything challenged or likely to be challenged, including all quotations, be attributed to a reliable source in the form of an inline citation, and that the source directly support the material in question." So a reader can watch the video themselves to verify that the quote is correct. Of course, ideally, they could access the entire original. Ghostofnemo (talk) 06:34, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. All material in Wikipedia must be attributable to a reliable published source. YouTube is not a reliable source, for the reasons above, so you need to be able to source this video back to someone who is (such as, presumably, its original publishers and distributors). That information goes into the citation template. The bit about "in practice not everything" refers to non-controversial statements not always needing a citation; see WP:QUOTE for policy stating that quotations are always controversial statements and must always be sourced. As a matter of practicality, in a controversial article like the JFK assassination one, you should in any case treat most everything as potentially controversial and cite everything you can. Having sourced the video appropriately, it MAY then be acceptable to leave the YouTube link for convenience, but the source must cite someone reliable, not YouTube. - DustFormsWords (talk) 06:40, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I should add - did you see this first on YouTube? If so, you should probably refresh yourself on the principles of information literacy. There's no proof (on YouTube) that these are the people they claim to be, or that the documentary ever existed, or wasn't shot yesterday, or doesn't have the soundbites rearranged to portray different facts than those intended by the speakers. Not only can that happen on YouTube, it does happen, frequently and deliberately, for the purposes of comedy, hoaxes, or creative endeavours. If you saw it first on YouTube, you shouldn't be using it. If, however, you saw it somewhere else - on TV, or on a DVD, or somesuch - then you should be able to cite where you saw it, and that's the material that should go into the citation, presuming you can't find its original publishers and distributors. - DustFormsWords (talk) 06:48, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
(EC) In general, YouTube is not a reliable source because, as noted, the publisher information is often not there and frequently videos are not the legal property of the uploader (so not only are there questions of accuracy, but also [[[WP:COPYRIGHT]] issues). The only time a YouTube video can be used as a reliable source is when it was clearly, and verifiably uploaded by the actual copyright owner, such as some film production companies and music companies uploading "making of" videos to their official channels. In those cases, the YouTube video can be referenced. However, the caveat here is that if they later remove the video, it may be difficult to show that it did say what was claimed, versus other sources (finding this problem myself on some official RHI Making of videos that they have since removed). -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 06:51, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd also treat videos similiar to books. We require a page number for a book so we don't need to skim the whole book. We should require a similiar location for a video, to within a minute. In addition, the video excerpt must be of good quality - e.g. cross-talk and other sounds. --Philcha (talk) 09:09, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
(To Ghostofnemo) Yes, now that I've seen the diffs, see, that's what I was trying to say in my first response: you should be citing as publisher et al whomever produced/distributed/aired the video in the first place, and not YouTube. Note what Template:Cite video asks for. In an encyclopedia, the purpose of citing is not merely to facilitate surfing and further reading and viewing on the subject, but to allow readers to verify and assess the original source in its own context and as support for a particular statement in our article.
For Two Men in Dallas, you need to be more editorially involved: a simple Google search finds it was released (I'm guessing on VHS) in 1991. An editor interested in the subject should track down that video, both to verify that the statements are in the film (and not from outtakes) as well as to have the relevant data to present in the reference template. (To context, and to the editorial review concept that Johnuniq raises, while experience has taught me to take AllMovie/AllMusic with several grains of salt, given that we're ultimately talking about a number of men's deaths, and not just a film or a single, their review of the doc reads, "Lane...examines the claims of Craig with a less critical eye than other assassination experts who have shown some of Craig's claims to be laden with contradictions or errors.") Beside the question of whether that's relevant context for the article text and how one would appropriately weight or attribute that, the data in a cite should be full and accurate enough that someone could search for it and eventually find such perspectives on the source as might exist on their own, however much salt they may bring to it. Abrazame (talk) 09:41, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
One problem with conspiracy theories is that it's difficult to prove or disprove them, and that's not really an encyclopedia's job anyway. Sometimes the best we can do is to try to objectively present the notable theories (in the 9/11 conspiracy theories article there is now a debate over inclusion of the "shape-shifting alien" theory, for example). It seems like an imperfect reference is better than the alternative, which is no reference at all and the removal of relevant material. I'm sure Lane's video is for sale somewhere, and I can buy it watch it at home and then note it, but it seems that letting the readers see it themselves is a lot more verifiable than asking them to take my word for it. I wonder if we added the purchase information (like an Amazon page) to the reference if that would be improve verifiability? That would probably also get the copyright holders off Wikipedia's back. Ghostofnemo (talk) 12:36, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
No, not at all. Amazon sales numbers are not considered noteworthy nor reliable - they are just one retailer. Nor does how much something sells make it reliable. Many videos are referenced without them being online. Being online is no more a requirement for a video than it is for a book, magazine, etc. It is just convenient for the reader if it is available, legally, for linking out too. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:12, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I meant if you had a link to a sales point, it would prove the work actually existed, it would give the publication data, and it could then be purchased by someone who wanted to verify the content. Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:37, 7 June 2010 (UTC), that shouldn't be necessary. You can use {{cite video}} to include all of the necessary publication data, which would enable anyone to find it if they were interested in it. :-) -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 13:55, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

There is no WP:CITEVIDEO page. Should we maybe create one based on this discussion? Ghostofnemo (talk) 02:21, 8 June 2010 (UTC) Or maybe WP:VIDEOREF would be a better title? I'd be willing to start this, but I've never done it before, and would want to clearly point out it's a draft. Ghostofnemo (talk) 02:27, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

I can't think it would be anything more than a paragraph, as it should reference Reliable Sources, etc. I had been thinking that Wikipedia:Citing sources should give guidance by type of source. The most prevalent question on the talk page is how to cite a specific source; this same type of question is asked on the Help Desk, and elsewhere. I added a table of templates by source to Wikipedia talk:Citation templates#Templates by source for discussion. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 02:40, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
(E/C) It's entirely unclear from this discussion whether you have read or understood (perhaps I mean accepted) the value of the fields requested in Template:Cite video. Abrazame (talk) 02:43, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I was going to point out that 1) video sources are held to the same reliability standard as other sources and 2) you should use the {{cite video}} template to cite the source data. But you're right, I'm not the best person to do this. Already the question has come up, when you fill out the cite video template, do you use the original video data, but then link to the YouTube video? Ghostofnemo (talk) 02:59, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Here's my diff: Ghostofnemo (talk) 03:01, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
This one was even trickier, because there is a movie and a video version, and I'm not sure which one is the actual source of the video: Ghostofnemo (talk) 03:05, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
You don't necessarily have to link anywhere. And linking to potential copyright violations is also not a good thing.Cptnono (talk) 03:10, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
As I stated above, the link adds verifiability. Without the link, you have to find the video and either check it out or buy it, to verify the point made or quote quoted in the article. Ghostofnemo (talk) 03:19, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
In fact, I just noticed that the quoted lines diffed above (Bowers) did not match the video, so I edited them. Ghostofnemo (talk) 03:22, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
You're missing the point. It doesn't add verifiability, because the reader (and for that matter you) have no reason to believe the YouTube version is a faithful reproduction of the original. - DustFormsWords (talk) 03:31, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't add "total" verifiability, but it's a lot better no link at all. Ghostofnemo (talk) 04:02, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
If someone really wanted to, they could mock up a news source web page and fake a reference, too. Ghostofnemo (talk)
See, now you're getting at the heart of it. Someone could do that, but their page would verifiably (through WHOIS) not be published by a reliable publisher, so it wouldn't be a reliable source. That's why we only use reliable sources. YouTube provides no verifiability at all. You can't have "kind of" verifiability. The reason the link may nevertheless be relevant is for convenience, and should be presented on that basis only after full details of the original publication have been included. Then you're effectively saying, as an editor, "I have watched the original of this video and I certify that this YouTube version is a fair and faithful representation of the original content." With, of course, other editors able to disagree and remove it if they're not convinced. The key issue is responsibility. Reliable sources have an individual or corporation of verifiable identity who takes responsibility for the material presented in the source, be it an author, editor or whoever, and that individual or corporation has a reputation of reliability. YouTube videos are prepared and uploaded by pseudonymous individuals who are neither claiming the accuracy of their work nor responsible for that accuracy. - DustFormsWords (talk) 04:06, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you that there is potential for abuse, but shouldn't an editor who removes a video link have to offer some evidence that the video has been tampered with? I put the burden of proof there because, although a video could easily be faked, I think this is about as rare as a news story being faked. To remove the fake news story, the editor has to say, look, the url is not right, for example. Ghostofnemo (talk) 04:27, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Nope, because neither YouTube nor the uploader have made an assertion of accuracy. The claim that the material is reliable isn't coming from the source, it's coming from you, and you aren't a reliable source either, so any editor is within their rights to challenge and delete it on sight per WP:V, WP:RS and WP:EXTERNAL. (Examples of false claims that are equally verifiable to YouTube: Peter Chao starred in the Lost finale, Powerthirst is a sports energy drink that can be given to babies to make them compete in track events at an Olympic level, Katie Couric regularly presents the news in a musical format with the aid of Autotune) - DustFormsWords (talk) 04:37, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
It's clear to me that those are parodies and not documentaries! Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:29, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I think videos like this are deleted because they powerfully prove a point that is in contention. Sometimes editors have been known to delete things from articles in bad faith, because it threatens their position, and claim it was removed for a technical reason. Ghostofnemo (talk) 04:33, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
And if you do have the link, editors can then discuss, and readers can verify, whether the line in the article is in line with the source or not. With no link, you can't easily do that. Ghostofnemo (talk) 04:38, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
No, they can't, because that discussion would have to proceed from the basis that the video is a faithful reproduction of the original, and there is no basis on which that claim can be made, given the way YouTube works. There's no such thing as "kind of verifiability". Either you have the original, as published by a reliable source, or you don't. You can't get it second-hand from an unreliable source and call it "good enough". - DustFormsWords (talk) 04:42, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
This isn't a grand conspiracy against you, Ghostofnemo. Just get your head around WP:RS and follow it. Yes, it's hard to find reliable sources for a conspiracy article. That's why it's a conspiracy article instead of an agreed history article. - DustFormsWords (talk) 04:37, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Where did that come from? I thought we were discussing videos as sources? Ghostofnemo (talk) 04:45, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Well you were the one who cried foul first. There is some phrase about the pot calling the kettle black I believe?--Terrillja talk 04:50, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I think you have a very active imagination to believe my comment was directed at a particular person, whereas DustFormsWords comment was directed right at me, and I don't believe I have been exhibiting any signs of paranoia during this discussion to warrant that. Ghostofnemo (talk) 04:54, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, Ghostofnemo, I wasn't intending to make a personal attack or question your sanity, you've been very civil throughout this discussion. I was just trying to say that when an editor deletes content, the first step is to assume it's because the content isn't in accordance with policy, rather than assume bad faith. Looking through the history of the article and this particular source, it's obviously very heated and there's bad calls from multiple editors, but it's clear that the majority of the problems around this particular edit could be solved if your sourcing more stringently complied with WP:RS. - DustFormsWords (talk) 05:17, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Actually, they are quite easy to fake. Even by sovereign nations. Any other questions?--Terrillja talk 04:35, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
That's audio. This is video. I admitted it's possible, but not likely to happen often. Ghostofnemo (talk) 04:57, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Are you suggesting someone could change a witness's words, and no one would notice his lips were not in synch with the audio? Ghostofnemo (talk) 04:59, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This was less than 20 years ago and people were completely convinced of what they were seeing and hearing. You underestimate the ability of propaganda. I saw the results and met the people who watched the broadcasts. The Croatians were convinced that the Serbs were killing their countrymen and vice versa. Manipulating a video or editing it to change its message is a simple thing to do.--Terrillja talk 05:04, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

This is getting a little wonky. WP:IRS is clear enough. Concerns over linking to copyright infringement is not what we are about. Youtube does not have a vetting process so those users could have fiddled with the sources with zero accountability. This isn't necessary. It appears from reading the discussion that several editors agree. So if you are trying to change policy or guidelines: I don't think it is happening. If you are tying to get these sources reviewed to see if they are appropriate maybe take it to RSN. I doubt they will be acceptable from the conversation here but that might be better then flooding this page after consensus has been made clear enough.Cptnono (talk) 05:06, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
You both have referred me to lengthy pages with no clear guidance as to what you are referring me to that relates to this discussion. Could I at least have a section of the article that is proving your point? Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:17, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Policies for Ghostofnemo
  • WP:RS/WP:IRS - Lead paragraph. "How reliable a source is, and the basis of its reliability, depends on the context. As a rule of thumb, the more people engaged in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the writing, the more reliable the publication." The number of people engaged in fact checking and scrutinizing YouTube videos is zero.
  • WP:SPS: "Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason self-published media—whether books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, personal pages on social networking sites, Internet forum postings, or tweets—are largely not acceptable."
  • WP:YOUTUBE redirects to WP:EXTERNAL, indicating that YouTube links should be presented as External Links, not citations.
  • WP:BURDEN: "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. The source should be cited clearly and precisely, with page numbers where appropriate, and must clearly support the material as presented in the article."
  • See also past community discussions on using YouTube as a source ([24]). Consensus: if the best citation you can make points to YouTube, then it wasn't a reliable source and probably wasn't encyclopedic content. - DustFormsWords (talk) 05:31, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
No. WP:IRS was Johnuniq 05:04, 7 June 2010 (UTC). Copyright was AnmaFinotera 06:51, 7 June 2010 (UTC) and you have tried to insert copyright violating videos on another article before. You are engaged in discussion with DustFormsWords on tampering throughout the discussion. Cptnono (talk) 05:23, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Arbitrary subheading for easy editing

The point I'm making is that there needs to be a WP:VIDEOREF page for this issue that makes it clear what the specific guidelines are for video sources, especially YouTube. There is a WP:YOUTUBE, but it was pointed out to me by the deleter who I challenged that this regards external links. Before you came on the scene here, we were working out a way to use the cite video template {{cite video}} to better source these. I'd like to see a link to the YouTube video, too, for instant semi-verification of edits using video sources. The videos can be very powerful sources. Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:38, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
The consensus appears to be, Ghostofnemo, that a common-sense reading of the existing policies makes it sufficiently clear how to appropriately use videos. However, if you feel the situation could be better clarified, you are free to draft a proposed new document in your userspace and then solicit commentary on it. Better documentation is always an asset to the project. Be aware that policy documents are descriptive, rather than proscriptive - they should document existing practice rather than attempt to introduce new practice - so the end result would only be more clarity around what we already do, rather than a result of us doing things differently. - DustFormsWords (talk) 05:44, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Wow, this topic has been discussed 50 times!: Definitely a need for a clearer policy I'd say. Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:47, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Wow, this topic has been discussed 50 times!: Definitely a need for a clearer policy I'd say. Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:47, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Lol, only 50 times? Seems like an argument for it being relatively clear, given the userbase of Wikipedia. If only 50 of the 12,495,685 registered users were confused then I'm reasonably happy that we've already got solid policy. - DustFormsWords (talk) 05:55, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
So you're saying policy changes are impossible? Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:50, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
No, I'm saying policy evolves mostly through practice - through a substantial consensus building up that things should be done a different way. If anything, we're getting MORE strict about verifiability and reliable sources, not less, so I'm not surprised you're not getting any traction on using a YouTube video. More importantly, there's no need for a policy change here. Your particular problem can easily be solved by doing the legwork to track down the original video, and citing it. And it seems that that would be a faster and more satisfactory solution than going through all the argument of an unnecessary policy change. See WP:POLICY for a better explanation. - DustFormsWords (talk) 05:55, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
No, I think he's saying policy changes are unlikely to be accepted from a user who doesn't seem to have a grasp of the reasons for why the policy is as it is in the first place. If you understood what we're getting at but were articulating a reason why the status quo was not sufficiently encyclopedic, that would be one thing, but you seem to be going in the opposite direction, using an encyclopedia as a promotional tool to guide users to sites to increase hits or sell product. Abrazame (talk) 05:53, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I was suggesting that both the cite video template and the link to the YouTube video be allowed. At one point, I suggested a link to a point of sale that has all the video data, but I was told that wasn't necessary and I dropped it. That was quite a while back in the discussion though. Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:46, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Okay, an edit conflict happened while I was posting my answer but I like Abrazame's too. - DustFormsWords (talk) 05:55, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I cobbled together something in my sandbox from existing policies and guidelines. Would something like this be worth taking to Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab) or wherever to see if some sort of essay or guideline could be considered? Even if not, nay thoughts on if I missed anything or if anything is incorrect would be appreciated since there obviously is some clarification needed. Fifty discussions here is not much but I assume the help desk gets hit plenty and a few people here have seen the issue pop up in articles.Cptnono (talk) 07:26, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Can we edit your document, or do you want our input here? Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:48, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd say the key points are:
  • it's ok to cite a video as a reference, as long as it meets the reliable source criteria for other sources.
  • use the {{cite video}} template. The guidelines for completing each field appear there. Not all fields are required.
  • don't use the YouTube information to fill in the template, but find the original source's data for the video (a web search should be sufficient to find it if you know the title - and often have this data).
  • don't link to the YouTube video. If you provide readers with data in the cite video template, they can search it out on YouTube themselves. Ghostofnemo (talk) 14:00, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
  • and maybe: You can put the YouTube title in the "quote" field like this: quote=YouTube title:Two Men in Dallas Part 2. Ghostofnemo (talk) 14:04, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

So is there anyone familiar enough with the creation of guidelines that has an input? We have had the external link one for some time but a mention somewhere on sources would help clarify it. Should I clean it up and make it an essay? Put in an incubator somewhere? Leave it alone since ambiguity is better than a potentially contentious consensus?Cptnono (talk) 00:08, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Help desk has 140 mentions (appears most are regarding what is and what is not OK). ANI has another 264 (again didn't read all to see if they are related). It isn't critical to the project but it might be useful. Is there something that can be done here to clarify the guidelines using the previous conversations and existing standards?Cptnono (talk) 03:44, 14 June 2010 (UTC)