Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive A

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Wikipedia:Requests for bureaucratship/172[edit]

--> Wikipedia talk:Requests for bureaucratship/172

(sections above this (and below the previous tag) were archived on 09:57, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC))'

Wikipedia:Requests for bureaucratship/172[edit]

--> Wikipedia talk:Requests for bureaucratship/172

Wikipedia:Requests for bureaucratship/172[edit]

--> Wikipedia talk:Requests for bureaucratship/172

Wikipedia:Requests for bureaucratship/172[edit]

--> Wikipedia talk:Requests for bureaucratship/172

Userpage Protection Policy Change[edit]

Moved to Wikipedia talk: Protection policy

Proposed changes to the Manual of Style[edit]

Currently the MOS says: 'For the English Wikipedia, there is no preference among the major national varieties of English.'

But there are two exceptions to this rule in the manual. There is a poll on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style on whether these exceptions should be removed. The poll will end on 20:00 UTC on 8 November.jguk 19:02, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Jumping over edits[edit]

Twice I've been accused of "jumping over" the edits of another user: first at Prolixity, and again at List of heteronyms, both of which were articles that were relatively new when I made my edits. Surely editing relatively new articles is acceptable and tolerable. I assumed such was true with these two articles as well. Please discuss. (Accusers need not reply.) [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 17:17, Oct 30, 2004 (UTC)

If someone wants to write an article free from other people's edits, they can do it in their favorite text editor or as a subpage of their user page. Once someone begins an article in the main namespace the operable rule is: "If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly... do not submit it." - dcljr 18:17, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Not only that, but I consider "{{Inusefor|24 hours" to be a serious abuse of the inuse tag--one or two hours, tops (possibly 3 or 4 if you are really going to spend that whole time on the article). Niteowlneils 23:08, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Well, it doesn't really make it right, but based on User:NathanHawking, this is probably all attributable to newcomer misunderstandings. Niteowlneils 01:03, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I actually had one time when someone took umbrage when I asked him to remove "{{inuse}}" after three days of intermittent work. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:26, Oct 31, 2004 (UTC)

You sure that's ALL human knowledge?[edit]

I'm always wary of any effort to systematically exclude a type of information from Wikipedia. In fund-raising notices, Wikimedia advertises itself as developing a repository of "all human knowledge". Okay, so "encyclopedic" information goes into Wikipedia, dictionary-type information goes into Wiktionary, and similarly for Wikisource, Wikibooks and Wikiquote. The divisions here are relatively unambiguous.

So where does the rest of the information that Wikipedians are systematically excluding (or proposing for removal) from Wikipedia go (e.g., info on smaller schools, less well-known people, etc.)? Is this not human knowledge? Well, actually in most cases not only is it human knowledge, it's actually human knowledge that would, in fact, go into more specialized kinds of encyclopedias (e.g., Primary Schools in Missouri or Who's Who in Sri Lanka...).

Okay, then, should we create more Wikimedia wikis to deal with the overflow? Say...

  • WikiWho for information about people not considered "important enough" to include here?
  • WikiPlace for the proverbial "minor school" entries, along with other buildings, neighborhoods, etc., not considered important enough for inclusion here?
  • WikiTrivia for other, well, trivial stuff?

Clearly this systemization is less clear-cut than what we currently have (i.e., less distinct from what would be in Wikipedia). In addition, it would simply become unmanageable, what with all the crosslinking that would be involved.

The alternatives, it would seem, are:

  1. ignore some human knowledge that we don't deign to be worthy of Our Good Encyclopedia
  2. stop deleting actual human knowlegde (that doesn't belong anywhere else) from Wikipedia

My two cents. - dcljr 16:57, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

In my opinion, it's possible to write an article on any topic that VfD won't rip down, as long as you put enough detail and thought into it. See my Vespene gas for an example; it's a decidedly esoteric topic, and was listed but kept. I think it is not the relative unimportance of a topic that leads to its deletion, but a combination of its unimportance and a worthless article on it. Derrick Coetzee 18:28, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Two things: First, your comment brings to mind the perfect article fallacy. You shouldn't have to worry that an article you've written is going to be deleted just because you haven't put enough work into it. True, there is the occasional case where extremely content-lacking articles can fairly be questioned (I myself have recently listed such a page on VfD), but these should be considered on an individual basis. Which leads to my second remark: Have you seen the lengthy debates on "fancruft" (this example of which comes from a link higher up on this page)? There most certainly are categories of articles that are suggested for deletion based largely on their subject matter. This is what I was objecting to. Perhaps I should have phrased my final sentence as: stop trying to delete actual human knowlegde... from Wikipedia. - dcljr 19:05, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)
There is no pefect article fallacy. There is a continuum between articles that are arguably pefect and articles that are aguably absolute crap. At some point Wikipedia is more harmed than helped by a flawed article. So ... yes, any creator of any new article should have to worry about putting enough work into it and not making it totally POV and not writing about something non-verifiable and so forth. The bar is quite low here ... but still too high for some people some of the time. And if an article is thought by a consensus of those who are currently considering such things to be so bad or so unsuitable that it is preferrable to having no article on the topic, for whatever reason, then the article will be deleted (or passed to another Wiki-project). That doesn't prevent anyone later writing an acceptable article on the same topic. But Wikipedians should not be pressured to improve unsuitable articles immediately. (Submit your advert and someone will immediately create and NPOV article out of it and it will be kept! People here are volunteers and fixing up adverts submitted by those without shame is hardly a priority.) In my opinion there is now far too much dumping of bad stubs on topics with the idea that someone else will do the work of cleaning them up. If the author doesn't care enough ... why should anyone else?
Any creator of any edits to any article that exists also has to worry about putting enough work into it that someone doesn't change or entirely remove their work (which may happen anyway). There are warriors with strong POV guarding particular articles, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad, depending on your own POV. As to articles suggested for deletion based on subject matter, there are certain kinds of articles expressly discouraged in Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not. Within those guideline and other guidelines there are naturally differences of opinion about what is encyclopedia and what isn't. No matter what guidelines were given, there would be edge cases and people arguing about them.
As to people proposing specifical categories be eliminated ... anyone here can propose anything. Most proposals on policy changes get nowhere. Talk and propoals usually mean nothing. Seven or eight people talk about something, they call for a poll, a few people vote, it is indecisive at best, and nothing happens.
If you want to create a new Wiki-project for material that arguably doesn't belong in Wikipedia or definitely doesn't belong in Wikipedia and currently has no place within other Wikimedia projects, you can certainly try to do so, whether within the Wikimedia envelope or outside. That's how projects get started.
Jallan 02:02, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Just to say, I'm all in favour of a WikiTrivia. Collecting all knowledge isn't much good if you can't find the important bits among the frivolous and esoteric, and doing so well is very tricky. Average Earthman 16:36, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
All I'm saying is, there seems to be an inordinate amount of deletionism around here. And I was not seriously proposing those other wikis; my point was, that approach would be unworkable. BTW, Jallan, that's one scary Wikipedia you inhabit. Now I'm afraid to edit anything! ; - dcljr 01:47, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The problem is with that ALL, which is just a silly claim. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, and there has to be some standards around what fits and what doesn't. I got up at 7:00 AM today is both human and knowledge of sorts, but it is not encyclopaedic. Filiocht 13:32, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)

  • The talk of Wikitrivia might work for "nonimportant" articles, what ever those are. I agree with Dcljr's view point that this is the 'sum of human knowledge' and as such nonvandalism things being deleted is very problematic as it goes against the very goal of Wikipedia. As well it is problematic that so much of my time is spent trying to keep articles, and so much of others' peoples time is spent on trying to delete them, time better spent on creating articles.
Let us keep everything, and do a deletionist drive once a year. Stuff that is trivial will go into Wikitrivia based on vote. Vandalism of course need not wait for this once a year drive ;). --ShaunMacPherson 03:29, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Proposed policy: School articles needing evaluation[edit]

In light of the very conflicting opinions on whether or not schools should be kept in Wikipedia, I've begun a new proposed policy. My hopes are that this policy can replace VfD where schools are concerned, and we can better approach school articles. Please see Wikipedia:School articles needing evaluation to read my proposal. siroχo 13:59, Oct 30, 2004 (UTC)

All discussion should be directed to Wikipedia talk:School articles needing evaluation


If I'm citing Wikipedia as a reference because I've used it for information, what should I list it as? Does it have a policy about this, or a specific name it goes by?

See Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia. --Diberri | Talk 17:55, Oct 28, 2004 (UTC)

Use of Greek characters in article?[edit]

I'm wondering about the use of Greek characters one occasionally sees in article introductions. This is typical:

The word comes originally from Greek πλεονασμος pleonasmos (="excess").

The codes required look like this: πλε, etc.

I wonder if the transliteration isn't sufficient. I note that the article for Pyjamas has Persian script: پايجامه.

Is this of widely believed to be of value, or just an affectation? --NathanHawking 01:52, 2004 Oct 27 (UTC)

I personally find it of value. On occasion it turns out to be useful to know what the Greek, Cyrillic, Chinese, Japanese, Persian, Arabic, etc. way of writing a word that comes from one of those languages is. Also, you can use numerical codes as well, which is what will come out if you type on a Greek keyboard, and which is necessary to write Greek properly (the named entities like α don't include accent marks). --Delirium 01:56, Oct 27, 2004 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Thanks too for the handy way to display those codes as codes: α (Which I just had to do recursively.)--NathanHawking 02:11, 2004 Oct 27 (UTC)
By the way, also very useful to those who may know Greek (or, similarly, for other languages with different alphabets). Clarifies any ambiguities of spelling, and gives you the right text string if you are doing a search of your own for further information in the relevant language. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:53, Oct 27, 2004 (UTC)
I'm inclined to see the Greek character version as the "actual" reference, and the version using Roman characters as a gloss for anyone who doesn't understand Greek letters, or whose browser is incapable of displaying them. AlexG 18:54, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Is the original poster asking whether the Greek form is needed, or whether the Roman transliteration of the foreign form is needed? To the first question I'd say the original form is valuable (assuming it's correct); to the second question, absolutely: any non-Roman rendering should be accompanied by a specfic transliteration, unless it is itself an exact transliteration of the English word in question (which we must assume to be the case for pyjamas; though one wonders, given the pluralness of the English form). en.wikipedia is an English work and its readers should be assumed to be intelligent and literate but unilingual. To drop in an untransliterated or untranslated foreign phrase is an affectation of the I-am-so-smart kind. Sharkford 14:01, 2004 Oct 29 (UTC)
Pyjamas seems to be quite a good example - original Persian is given plus transliteration; I wonder what the Hindi devanagari looks like. -- ALoan (Talk) 14:36, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Formatting of Category:Year pages[edit]

Discussion moved to Category talk:Years. Thanks to those who commented. - dcljr 21:11, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Is my Talk page mine?[edit]

Do I control the content of my talk page? Can I just clear it down, or is that considered vandalism? Should I correct spelling and grammar mistakes that annoy me? I'm not intending to do this, I'm just curious. PhilHibbs 17:03, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Refactoring and Wikipedia:Talk page - generally, archive rather than delete (to maintain a record and make it easier to find previous comments) and edit other's comments as little as possible (to avoid the charge of ignoring them or twisting their words). -- ALoan (Talk) 18:43, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I really recommend archiving and pointing from the talk page to the archive. It's not mandatory, but doing otherwise is generally thought of as poor form, especially if you remove criticism of your own conduct. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:30, Oct 26, 2004 (UTC)
I think it is entirely fair to be able to delete any comments from a user you don't like or are in an argument with. Sometimes this is the only way to stop a wiki-argument. Samboy 23:15, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)

VH1's list of greatest artists of hard rock[edit]

Is this list a copyright violation? As it now stands, there is no content other than a list compiled by a single organization, as their ratings. I *know* facts can't be copyrighted, but this is VH1's proprietary opinion. RickK 05:31, Oct 25, 2004 (UTC)

Tough call. I'd say yes - there's certainly creative effort that went into the making of the list, much as compilations earn copyright on the arrangement of their materials (see the usual cookbook examples). IANAL. Derrick Coetzee 05:48, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Here's a relevent quote from public domain: "Collections of data with intuitive organization, such as alphabetized directories like telephone directories, are in the public domain. Creative organizations such as categorized lists may be protected by copyright." Derrick Coetzee 16:44, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

In short, the legal way to write this would be to write about the list and give an external link to where VH1 hosts the list themselves. -- 20:09, Oct 25, 2004 (UTC)

Horrible decision to mark certain article names off limit[edit]

Please reply at Template talk:Wi#This is horrible.
Dori | Talk 20:12, Oct 24, 2004 (UTC)

coins vs. copy right[edit]

I made a photograph of a US nickel with the Lewis & Clarck expedition for Of couse the photo is mine but is there copyright on the coin artwork? Is this only OK for coins older than x years? nl: Jcwf

  • Works of the U.S. federal government cannot be copyrighted. This would apply to U.S. coins and currency as well. Postdlf 20:17, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    • Watch out though, just because artwork appears on a nickel doesn't mean that the US government created it. The US government can get licenses to use copyrighted works, and they can even hold copyright on works created by others whose copyright was transferred to them. See Work of the US Government anthony 警告 18:07, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Watch out as well, because reproducing images of currency is illegal in some countries - I'm pretty sure it's illegal in the UK, and probably is in the US also (although not always enforced). I don't know if this extends to coins, I heard about it in reference to banknotes. PhilHibbs 17:22, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    I'd expect high-resolution reproduction to raise alarms, due to its potential for facilitating counterfeiting. If we stick with the usual sizes (up to 300x300 or so) we should be okay, even if we're still technically breaking the law. Derrick Coetzee 18:22, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Housing co-ops[edit]

I've gone ahead and deleted Finlandia co-op and Watermyn. I don't see any reason whatsoever for supposing the vfd discussion wasn't sufficient reason to delete them -- as SimonP blandly notes on Wikipedia:VfD decisions not backed by current policies, Current policy: Nothing specific. Jimbo once got annoyed at such deletions. Wile E. Heresiarch 15:09, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The decision to redirect theses wasn't mine, but Sj's. Some content was also merged into the Brown University article, make sure this is removed or we are violating the GfDL. - SimonP 16:20, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)
A proposal for a poll exists now at Wikipedia:VfD decisions not backed by current policies/poll. - SimonP 17:14, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:VfD decisions not backed by current policies[edit]

This has been a unilateral project by User:SimonP, who has, after clear (often unanimous) VfD decisions to delete certain articles, has removed the VfD discussions, kept the articles, and listed the articles on this page. If someone has an objection to the reasons for which something is to be deleted, there are two outlets for it: 1) post your comment on the VfD discussion itself and try to persuade consensus the other way, or 2) list it for undeletion. Perhaps I have missed a policy discussion somewhere, but that one user would create an alternate method of overturning consensus and populate it himself seems very inappropriate to me, and flouting established procedures seems far more contrary to policy than users voting outside previously recorded justifications for deletion.

Thoughts? Postdlf 00:59, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It's not quite unilateral, I did get one person's support and no objections when I first brought up the idea on the mailing list. Also I sincerely hope that I will not only be the only one working on this, and if I am alone I will soon stop. For now I think some serious issues need to be resolved and that my actions are a good way of beginning to address them. - SimonP 01:23, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)
If SimonP had put the page, and copies of the articles, under his User page I would hope there would be no problem. He is perfectly justified in bringing up this issue, although it might be better to have put on meta. Regarding not deleting the pages, however, I agree that as the de facto policy regarding deletion is that votes to delete can be for any or no reason, the pages should be deleted from their current location. If SimonP wants to keep copies elsewhere (under his user page, for instance) that is fine.
I tend to agree with his argument: what is the deletion policy there for if it is not binding on either listing or voting on deletion? Some might say that the deletion policy is simply a guideline; like most of the other "rules" on Wikipedia, it suggests what will be, in fact, accepted or rejected by vote or editing. i.e. the deletion policy is for makers of articles to have some guidance as to the likelyhood of their articles being voted(for any reason) to be deleted. I'm not sure what I think of this.
Regarding non-notability as a criterion for deletion, it's a tricky question. The de facto opinion is that non-notability is a reason, but, apparently, there's enough resistance to that opinion that putting it in the deletion policy is not considered feasible. Thanks for bringing it up. JesseW 01:28, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I would not object to moving these pages to the Wikipedia, or some other, namespace. I also don't think the wiki will implode if they are left where they are for the time being. - SimonP 01:34, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)
JesseW, I fully agree that users can vote to delete for any reason. They give "non-notable" as a reason very often. However, as you also noted, non-notable is not one of the reasons that policy lists as valid causes for deleting an article. Another tactic that some users adopt is to assert that a page meets one of the valid criteria; sometimes, when you examine the article, you discover that it doesn't. So, it's doubly important for administrators to evaluate the votes before deleting. They should only delete a page after ascertaining that the page truly meets at least one of the reasons that policy gives for deletion. Fg2 01:47, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)

Why do you believe that VfD discussions themselves and Wikipedia:Votes for undeletion are insufficient to address wrongful deletions? This is especially puzzling because in every article you have listed as having an improper VfD decision, you did not even post any comments. Why wouldn't making your concerns known there be the first step? Postdlf 01:37, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

You assume I want these article to be kept. I have no interest in seeing every textbook ever written in Wikipedia. I do not object to the proposed "it must have affected 5000 people rule." I would also support some form of "hundred year rule." My favourite would be the "verifiability rule." My complaint is about process and arbitrariness. The 5000 people rule failed to achieve consensus, as did the 100 year rule, as did every other rule saying that a subject had to be notable to be in this encyclopedia. As such I think it is wrong to delete articles purely because of their lack of notability. When you list an article saying "delete - not notable" it immediately makes the VfD discussion a referendum on whether the article is notable or not, not whether notability is a valid reason for deletion. - SimonP 01:52, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)
  • Interesting angle this is taking. Might I suggest that most deleted articles are of incredibly limited scope of interest? A good example might be the deluge of articles about every grade school in North America currently on VfD. This site had to raise $50,000 just to keep up with server demand. Sure, it isn't paper. However, I believe it's right, just and acceptable to establish notability and general interest and I can't think of a better place than VfD. Acting unilaterally on the assumption that there's no other course of action might be OK under certain special circumstances but with all the checks and balances in place here, I don't see why putting something up for community vote on "Votes for Undeletion" is such a bad idea. Going back to the limited scope argument, it's unlikely that anyone other than the party or parties responsible for most articles of this nature will log on in hopes of finding such esoteric info while the deletion is under reconsideration. Just my $.02. - Lucky 6.9 02:19, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • "Notability" is a shorthand, but it is, in fact, a condensed version of "encyclopedic." If our purpose is to give every user a space to write words and have them maintain, then we're a web host and/or Everything2. Since we have to honor our commitment to being an encyclopedia, we have to go with those things that belong in an encyclopedia. "Notable" is a short version of "will be of service to researchers." As with any other project, we have to assume some level of expertise and some level of ignorance in users. Saying that the local photography club in Kent will be of service to a hypothetical researcher in the 24th century is a stretch not worth making. Instead, we say "not notable." The reason is that we are trying to work our way, by consensus, toward discovering the sorts of facts that should be discussed. The world has more facts than things in it, and we have to select. Notable does not mean "famous," and it does not mean "old." I welcome any debate on what we ought to use for defining "notable," but the fact is that saying something is not notable is, essentially, saying it is non-encyclopedic. I have to say, though, that not following the VfD consensus is the worst way possible of making a point. As an administrator, and particularly one who has taken on the dirty work of following VfD, it is up to you, SimonP, to be ruthlessly honest and bound by the decisions of VfD. If you disagree with the reasoning voters use, please do open up a policy debate, but please, please, don't do it by acting unilaterally. Having one person agree with you on the mailing list is far from acting at community suffrance, much less behest, and I would think that any of us would need an explicit request, after an explicit announcement of intent, before doing anything so drastic as to stick a thumb in the eye of VfD by removing the tags and discussion and deciding upon one's own that an article stays. Geogre 03:29, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

When this time last year an attempt was made to ban "unencyclopdic" as a reason for deletion RickK defended it is simply being shorthand for "lack of notability." The end result of that discussion (now at Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not/Unencyclopedic) was that simply saying something is unencyclopedic is not a valid reason for deletion.
I question your "of service to researchers" criteria. Who are these researchers? Are they academics, genealogists, or anyone who puts a phrase into a search engine? Even the lowliest garage band gets some hits on Google so someone must be "researching" them. Who judges what is of use to researchers? I once met a fellow who did his Ph.D. on the history of the University College student association. For him a huge number of articles that we would currently delete would have been of service. Personally I think "of service to researchers" would allow far too much into the encyclopedia and makes a rather poor argument for excluding more content then we do presently.
As to it being my duty to rigorously enact the wishes of the VfD vote. Who rigorously enacts the wishes of the far larger group of people who voted on Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy/schools or at Wikipedia:What's in, what's out? It certainly isn't the voters on VfD. - SimonP 04:03, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)

If you disagree with the votes, then you are not obligated to delete these items, but you are also not allowed to move them from the VfD page. This is a highjacking of the process which you do not have the right to do. How can you say that you have support because you post something on the mailing list and then go and do it without waiting to see what the mailing list had to say about it? As soon as I read your email comments, I went to where you said these things were so that I could delete them as per VfD policy, but I couldn't find them. Just leave them in the Vfd/Old page and don't muck with them. RickK 04:18, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)

Where in the VfD policy does it say articles on schools can be deleted? - SimonP 04:41, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)
  • Shame on SimonP for his disregard of the decisionmaking process! He needs to take a look at Wikipedia:Votes_for_deletion_phrases, to see that it's QUITE CLEAR that non-notable is a valid reason for deletion, and that it obviously follows from requiring things to be encyclopedic. --Improv 06:29, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
That page specifically states "Please note that many of the phrases below or their definitions do not reflect Wikipedia's established norms for deletion, and should be taken only as indicative of the users' opinions, not of Wikipedia policy."

SimonP not only moved them off the VfD page, he took the VfD header off in violation of policy. This the guy who's trying to claim that he's carrying out policy. I deleted those articles which had had consensus to be deleted which had not been redirected to other pages, and SOMEONE (I will not point fingers) UNdeleted them, in complete and UTTER violation of policy. If you think they should be undeleted, take them to Votes for Undeletion, but if you undelete without process, it's a severe violation of sysophood. RickK 07:40, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)

You deleted them without following proper procedure, and such pages are routinely undeleted. Where does it state that any article can be deleted simply with a consensus on VfD? Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators clearly states that consensus must be among those who care, not those who vote. Poll after poll has shown that those who care do not agree that schools should be deleted, so why do five votes by the same group of users trump these wider consensuses? - SimonP 08:00, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)
(1) Debates about whether schools should be kept as a general policy were inconclusive. In the absence of a general policy, school articles have to be decided case by case. Vfd is the place where school articles are given individual consideration. Some are kept, some aren't -- there isn't a general rule. (2) Claiming that the ones who matter != the ones who vote is an interesting subterfuge. Wile E. Heresiarch 15:36, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
From "Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy/schools" Any school about which we can write a non-trivial, non-stub, NPOV article." Votes - Keep 23: Delete: 3. How much clearer do you want? - SimonP 16:25, Oct 23, 2004 (UTC)
Talk pages don't constitute a poll. They don't gather attention from enough people, nor the right people, to constitute an actual policy change. --Improv 17:44, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Can I give SimonP a 'Nub End' award? It's like a Barnstar, but it's for people that waste a few minutes of your life and leave a bad taste in your mouth. [[User:Noisy|Noisy | Talk]] 16:57, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Proposed trim to Manual of Style[edit]

User:Maurreen has proposed a draft trim to the Wikipedia Manual of Style on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style--Draft Trim, which has subsequently been adjusted by User:Jallan and myself. The discussion on this proposal is scheduled to end at 23:59 (UTC) on 25 October. If you would like to comment on the proposals, please add them at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Draft trim. jguk 23:37, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Preliminary Deletion[edit]

I made a proposal on the WikiEn-l mailing list that seemed to get quite a bit of approval, so I went ahead and drafted a policy here. It's supposed to handle those dubious articles, those that aren't obvious speedies, but those that will clearly never be kept on VFD. I hope to get some comments/brickbats. Thanks. Johnleemk | Talk 13:38, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Categories for deletion phrases[edit]

Attempting to mirror the VfD help page (mostly by copy and paste with search and replace). Anyhoo, discussions are open, suggestions please? 03:58, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

New anti-vandalism tool[edit]

To help admins and editors to track repeated vandalism of specific articles, I've created Wikipedia:Most vandalized pages (thanks to Fuzheado for the original idea). By looking at Related Changes for that page, it's easy to see at a glance which of the vandals' targets have recently been changed. If you spot an article repeatedly being vandalised, please add it to that page. -- ChrisO 08:45, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Speedy deletion policy[edit]

I've been taking a look recently at the deletion log and I'm shocked and appalled at some of the articles that pass for speedy deletion. Case in point, see Geno's Steaks (text is available at if it's still deleted). This is an accurate non-stub article about one of the most famous cheesesteak places in the world and was speedy deleted "because it lacks encyclopedic content". I've listed it on Wikipedia:Votes for undeletion, but I'm starting to think our admins need to reread the deletion policy. anthony (see warning) 14:08, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

An article cannot be speedy deleted because it is not encyclopedic. The administrator who did this violated policy. Such articles should go to VfD. Derrick Coetzee 16:23, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Way too much stuff is deleted without reference to deletion policy. It seems few people read it. Intrigue 23:57, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I think part of the problem is a very wide range of interpretations of cases 1 and 4 ('patent nonsense' and 'Very short articles with little or no context'). See User:Niteowlneils/csdornot/ for examples of things I've seen speedied. Most are not CSDs according to my very conservative interpretation of the cases. Some I actually think should be made cases, but some shouldn't, and the description of cases 1 and 4 should be made clearer, ideally with several examples. Some of the definitions at Wikipedia:Vandalism could also probably be clarified, and would benefit from examples (especially 'silly', 'sneaky', and 'Attention-seeking vandalism'). Niteowlneils 03:33, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I favour a conservative interpretation, because this limits the power of any one administrator to a class of articles that almost all should be deleted. The counterargument, though, is that aggressive deleting deletes helps lessen the load on VfD and the relatively small number of good articles deleted can be undeleted. I don't believe this, though, nor is it current policy. Derrick Coetzee 06:47, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The problem is that VfD is absolutely overcrowded, cleanup as well - thus the amount of bad articles grows faster then its cleaned up. Thus instead of argueing about a borderline case which may have been a valid article stub - why not spend the time making a few articles on cleanup into worthy articles? That'd be much more productive than spending a long discussion to get a three-sentence stub undeleted (like it just happened with Butterface), or something which stinks of spamming to most except those few locals. The amount of garbage here grows with the success of WP, but it seems to me that both VfD and Cleanup don't scale with it. andy 07:38, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I agree, Cleanup has a problem I am trying to get people to comment here Wikipedia talk:Cleanup/Leftovers#Leftovers_system. Leftovers is seriously out of control and I worry people will just ignore it. - [[User:Cohesion|cohesion ]] 08:17, Oct 19, 2004 (UTC)
This comes back to the earlier suggestion that perhaps non-sysops should be allowed to view deleted content. zoney talk 15:49, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I guess I missed that discussion--did anyone actually come up with objections (I can't off the top of my head), or did the issue just kinda slip thru the cracks/fall on deaf ears/whatever? Anyone know if someone has submitted a feature request? Niteowlneils 02:52, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I think what we really need is admins who are willing to patrol speedy deletions and restore those deleted out of process, listing them on VfD, Cleanup, or wherever. -- Netoholic @ 04:40, 2004 Oct 20 (UTC)
People do do that sort of thing. But you tend to find that the some of the admins doing the out-of-process speedy deletions tend to be amongst the most aggressive and rude of the admins (because they have had years of battling with trolls/vandals, it is said) and questioning them can be an unpleasant business. Pcb21| Pete 10:17, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Yes, a relatively small group of agenda pushers flood vfd with articles (like schools) in the absense of concensus on whether to accept schools as valid articles. They are using vfd as a battleground to change the reality on the ground instead of seeking concensus. Many other articles that do not fit the criteria for deletion are being deleted, they slip past most non-vfd obsessed people, who then cannot even see what was deleted. We must enforce a conservative interpretation to reduce the amount of inapropriate listing, and speedily get rid of stuff that REALLY shoudn't be here. Mark Richards 20:12, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
There is not an absence of consensus to delete schools. Nothing gets deleted out of VfD if there wasn't a consensus to do so. I look at all of the schools listed on VfD and see vote after vote to delete, and only you and a couple of radical inclusionists voting to keep them. RickK 23:20, Oct 20, 2004 (UTC)
No, in fact, while many schools are deleted, some are kept. Just take a look at Category:High schools. Just to take New York City examples, I can't imagine deleting Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Technical High School, Hunter College High School or Stuyvesant High School. Not sure if any of them ever came up on VfD, but quite certain they'd survive the process. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:34, Oct 20, 2004 (UTC)
I'm not saying that high schools are, in and of themselves, automatic candidates for deletion. The examples you give are probably valid keeps. But the tons of articles which have nothing but the school's name, the city it's in, its address and phone number don't make it past VfD, despite Mark's consistant votes of keep. RickK 05:54, Oct 21, 2004 (UTC)
Nothing gets deleted out of VfD if there wasn't a consensus to do so. If you define agreement of 2/3 of the people who are willing to spend hour after hour voting on VfD a consensus, maybe. anthony (see warning) 21:31, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Yes, simply in order to realise how much stuff is deleted you would have to have an unhealthy obsession with VFD. Only folks with quite litterally hours to waste could even plough through all of the stuff that is listed. All it takes is the 5-6 rabid deletion-warrors to get the schools deleted. Most people aren't watching, and can't be bothered. They go on writing articles, instead of trying to delete them. Mark Richards 23:20, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Of course, some inclusionists don't write any articles at all either, and spend all their time attempting to keep crap on VFD... Ambi 00:15, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Yes, this is the problem. In order to stop the articles they write from being deleted, and defend others against the same fate, inclusionists must waste as much time as deletionists. If deletionists stopped using vfd as a battleground not only would less useful material be written, but creative energy and time could be spend on improving Wikipedia, rather than trying to prevent needless damage. Mark Richards 17:20, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It's all on Wikipedia:Deletion log, isn't it? Of course, only members of the secret admin cabal can see what was deleted... -- ALoan (Talk) 00:47, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Oh, for Pete's sake! "Sneaky deletionists patrolling VfD, oh dear! If only other people did, we're sure they would want everything included!" Come on! I have not seen any "deletionist" go through VfD with "delete" and no rationale, but I have certainly seen some people (some in this thread) go through every single article and say "Keep" with no other words. Give it up! Let's take these in pieces, shall we, and see if we can stay on a single topic without resorting to conspiracies?
1. Is speedy misused? You bet your bippy it is. It's misused by people who tag inappropriately ("users" not part of the deletionist cabal), and it's misused by admins. Absolutely it is. Have I ever speedy deleted something that didn't fall within the lines? Depends on interpretation. By the strictest reading, yes. By the most liberal reading, no.
2. Are schools routinely deleted? If they're routine schools, yes. Wikipedia doesn't put up an article on every store on the block, every street corner, every school bus, every anything, because no anything is automatically an item that needs or can bear discussion. So the people who actually vote on VfD read the articles (which is far more than many of the people complaining about the deletion of schools do) and decide, case by case. That's what they're supposed to do. If most get deleted, it's because most are written like, "Cherry Park High is at 2206 Cherry Park School Dr. and the principle is Dr. Waters. There are 1000 students." The problems with that kind of an article are so many as to be beyond tolerance to even list. Misnamed -- is there only one Cherry Park in the whole stinking world? Substub. What is different about it from all other buildings holding students? Can it be verified? (Since we don't even find out what blinking city it's in, no.) So, it gets deleted by VfD, but then some people say that since there has not been a specific policy that all schools must be deleted, that means that all schools must be kept! That's Menonite.
3. You've got to vote, if you want your vote counted.
4. You can't go through all of VfD? I can't, either. Know why? It's too long. Know why? We get a lot of junk. The abuse of speedy and the overload of VfD are related. The people who abuse speedy, on both sides, are often the people who find VfD too long to deal with. Is that justification? Normally, no, but it indicates an underlying problem.
5. The rules of speedy no longer match the practice. Either the practice must conform to the rules, or the rules must conform to the practice. I made an effort at allowing a middle ground, but it was opposed by people who didn't read, or didn't understand, it. Niteowlneils is working on changing the rules. I support that. The truth is that some of the practice needs to be reformed, and some of the rules do, too. Geogre 01:26, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Recipe policy[edit]

Reminder, you are invited to give your opinion here : Wikipedia:Recipes proposal SweetLittleFluffyThing


Hi all - apologies if this is mentioned elsewhere... I'm new here, but I've looked through both the FAQ and the help guide and I can't find this mentioned.

I've been adding small amounts of information to several stub articles. In some cases, the amounts are so small that the article is clearly still a stub. In others... I can't tell. Is there a hard and fast rule of thumb as to when a stub stops being a stub?

Grutness 06:42, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

In short, no. There is no hard and fast rule for what constitutes a stub. Use your intuition. I would say that when in doubt it is better to err on the side of leaving the stub notice. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:32, Oct 17, 2004 (UTC)

And there are others who believe stub notices as currently implemented are no-purpose, useless annoyances added mindlessly any article that is short. One might as well have this done automatically by software for any article under some arbitrary minimal amount of bytes if there were any use to it. More information can almost always be added to an article. Many long articles are far more deficient in the amount of information that should be added to them in respect to the topic they cover than many supposed stubs. There is never any harm done by removing a stub marker. Jallan 16:47, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Apparently, unlike me, judging by that last sentence, Jallan considers his/her opinions to be facts.

There are very short articles that are not stubs. Two examples that leap to mind are

  1. disambiguation pages
  2. articles about minor deities about whom there is little to say beyond identification

Hence, number of bytes would not be a suitable criterion.

And, yes, I do agree that there are long articles that are so uninformative that they might as well be stubs.

Still, I really disagree that "There is never any harm done by removing a stub marker." Clearly, there are people who find them useful, even if Jallan is not one of them, and the harm done by arbitrarily removing things that other people find useful is that it is damaging to the community. -- Jmabel | Talk 18:20, Oct 17, 2004 (UTC)

Unfortunately minor deities and such do get tagged by the mark-all-short-articles-as-stubs warriors, along with every other short article they find. A person who would not dream of actually writing a plea into an article about what should be done about it, has no qualms about adding a boilerplate stub statement to the same purpose. The result is mindless marking of anything that is short, which might as well be done by a byte counter (on anything but disambiguation pages and redirects of course). Size of article does seem to be the only criterion being used, though that is applied with no consistancy. Arbitrarily adding messages to articles that other people find useless is surely also damaging to the community. One gets used to filtering out the garbage, of course. If stubs were marked only by editors who were knowledgeable about the topic of the article with an indication on the talk page about what was needed, then marking as stubs would be useful. But the current practice of indiscriminate marking of articles by templates is damaging, because too often done thoughtlessly and inconsistantly and wrongly. Randomly remove a thousand stub markers and who would even notice if they didn't check the edit history? Do people working in a particular area of expertise really pay attention to stub markers rather than their own evaluation of what is needed and what they can best contribute? Jallan 17:00, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)
That's a lot of issues. Two seem worth engaging.
  1. "Unfortunately minor deities and such do get tagged by the mark-all-short-articles-as-stubs warriors..." Guess I'm not one of those warriors, then. I would say that the best defense against that — and I'd encourage this — is that if you work on a short article that is clearly not a stub, it's worth adding a note like <!-- Please don't add a stub notice to this, it's relatively complete, just a topic about which there is not much to say. -->
Is it that fact that this shows up as part of the text of the article that mainly bothers you? I could certainly see a case to be made that this could be reduced to simply a category, which would provide just as much information to those who are maintaining Wikipedia, without equally being in the face of passive users.
Jmabel | Talk 20:24, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)
The message bothers me, as well as the inapproriateness of the stub marker in many areas where I have knowledge. Often, in fact, you could help Wikipedia by making the stub a redirect, which is what I have often done. Substubs have an especially annoying message which suggests that creating a substub is the normal process for making an article, which effectively encourages users to create substubs rather than produce a good article. Jallan 00:09, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I'm beginning to wish I hadn't asked! :) I shall use my discretion - and hopefully will learn what is and what isn't a stub given time. Grutness 11:22, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

No worries. You just stumbled into one of the semi-"religous wars" at Wikipedia. A further position in this is just that Stub notices are minor compared to all the rest of the stuff we do at Wikipedia, and it's best to just focus on other issues. I must admit this is mostly my view. Thanks for contributing to Wikipedia! JesseW 15:01, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Making a complaint about a user[edit]

Wikipedia:Request for comment requires that two users discuss an issue with a user before a dispute is announced. How does one get another user to review this issue without announcing it on Wikipedia:Request for comment? -- Itai 12:10, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I assume you should just mention on his talk page, i.e. if you wanted to list me on of RfC(:-)) you would first put a comment on my talk page, [User_talk:JesseW], and give me a chance to respond (a few days, say) then, assuming this issue was larger than just me and you, someone else would also do the same, and if this did not resolve the issue, only then would you post on RfC, referring in your post to the existing Talk discussions. IANAWL, so I may be wrong, but that's my guess. JesseW 14:51, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The problem is that some issues are so obscure so as not to draw the attention of anybody but those involved - and assuming only two are involved, a deadlock is reached, and WP:RFC can't be used on account of requiring somebody else to try to solve this beforehand. -- Itai 19:50, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Er... Write up a persuasive explanation of why someone else should be interested in the topic, and post it on the Village Pump as a "Interesting thing on Wikipedia"... Hopefully that will drum up enough interest so someone else will try to solve it beforehand. If that fails, then you can go to RfC. AFAIK, this is how the system is supposed to work; if an issue is only sufficiently interesting (to work on fixing the issue) to two editors, then the likelyhood of anyone reading RfC to be interested is felt to be too small to justify the attention. However, the village pump has no such restrictions. ;-) What's the issue? JesseW 20:36, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The issue is foolish and pointless, as always, and thus will not be hereby recalled. It's probably better this way. -- Itai 18:39, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
You can also seek mediation, rather than approaching this like a prosecution. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:01, Oct 22, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, but Wikipedia:Dispute resolution lists mediation as the last dispute resolution procedure, stating: "When requesting formal mediation, be prepared to show that you tried to resolve the dispute using the steps listed above." -- Itai 18:37, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Policy decisions on IRC[edit]

Recently at Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship, there has been a lot of talk about whether it's fair to decide Wikipedia policy and admin/bureaucrat promotions on the unofficial #wikipedia IRC channel. Many participants in the discussion agree that it's generally a Very Bad Thing when this occurs.

To remedy this, I've proposed a policy that sets out some ground rules about using IRC to formulate policy. (Namely, Don't Do It.) Please read it over at m:Talk:IRC channels (that's on the Meta-wiki), and add your thoughts. Thanks, • Benc • 23:02, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Translation, copyright, and citation[edit]

Moved to Wikipedia_talk:Avoid_self-references#Translation,_copyright,_and citation

Refactoring talk pages[edit]

Is there a policy/guideline for refactoring talk pages? I have noticed some people removing resolved issues from Talk pages without archiving them or even making a note that the discussion had ever existed. Surely we should have a guide for archiving and/or refactoring Talk pages. Johnleemk | Talk 18:03, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Two articles discuss this, perhaps among others:
  1. Wikipedia:Talk_page#Refactoring_talk_pages and
  2. Wikipedia:Refactoring
Seems to be open season on talk page modification, and that the fate of their appearance is as subject to the vagaries of human judgment as any other material here. This seems good advice, though:
"Provide links to the original, uncut version, so others can check your changes, and if necessary go back to the original to clarify what an author actually said. This combination of refactoring and archiving will often prevent complaints that information was lost. Make it explicit that you have refactored something so no one is misled into thinking this was the original talk page."--NathanHawking 18:40, 2004 Oct 15 (UTC)

Existing Copyrighted Images[edit]

Moved to Wikipedia talk: Image copyright tags.

Euphemisms regarding death[edit]

What is the policy (if any) regarding how deaths are printed in articles? I see a lot of inconsistencies mainly in the use of 'Mr X died on' vs. 'Mr X passed away on'. Is it more accepted to deliver the hard facts, or offer a euphemism when explaining the death of an individual? Barneyboo 02:28, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Good question. I haven't encounted a policy on what you're calling "euphemisms" for death. Mind you, I think death (in the conventional sense of that word) is actually what happens when people cease to breath and think and move. But that's me and my POV.
Selecting truly NPOV terminology is probably impossible--some believe only the body dies, others that everything dies. To the former, "death" is the euphemism (or malaprop) for passing on, while to the latter passing is euphemistic or false terminology. Since most agree that something dies, even if only this body, I think death and died is probably the closest we can get to a simple NPOV term.--NathanHawking 08:55, 2004 Oct 15 (UTC)
Use the simplest possible term, "died", unless there is a more specific term you can use, such as "was assassinated", "was executed", "was murdered", "drowned", "was killed", and so on. Also, in the case of people whose bodies were never found, you might want to use "disappeared" (maybe they lived and changed their identity, you never know). I would avoid euphemisms if for no other reason than that they're less familiar to speakers of English as a second language. Derrick Coetzee 16:17, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Dates of birth and death recommends "died". Simple, clear, factual. Gdr 13:46, 2004 Oct 18 (UTC)

cue Dead Parrot Sketch

Should non-English examples be used in Wikipedia articles?[edit]

See also:

In the article on pleonasm, a contributor has inserted a number of non-English sentence examples:

  • Yo te quiero.
  • Te quiero.
  • Je crains qu'il ne pleuve.
  • Ce 'ne' est plus difficile à comprendre que je ne pensais.

plus commentary on them.

Compare this entry to vowel, which references differences in principle between English and other languages without using non-English examples.

We're discussing this here.

The only explicit policy advice on this I've located so far is Use other languages sparingly. Know of any other Wikipedia policy guidelines on using non-English?--NathanHawking 21:11, 2004 Oct 14 (UTC)

I think non-English examples, used solely as objects of study and explained in English as these are, are perfectly okay. Derrick Coetzee 21:31, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I think they are more than OK. Yes, we are supposed to be careful about expressing ourselves in non-English phrases, but other languages are perfectly legitimate subject matter. See, for a similar example using Spanish, Alternative political spellings. I think it is entirely correct that this is not confined to English... and I'd love to see a Japanese or Chinese example of substituting different ideographs to make political puns. -- Jmabel|Talk 22:51, Oct 14, 2004 (UTC)
I agree, but with a provision: the article you cite is fundamentally different in one important way. It does cite Spanish examples of words with alternate spellings; it does not present whole sentences. In that respect, it's like the noun article I cited. Even an article as obviously appropriate as Spanish_language only has a short passage written in Spanish, compared to the same material in English.
You speak of puns. Should an English-language Wikipedia article on puns have punning sentences in Spanish, French, German, Russian, etc.? I think not. I think the passing reference to the Greek words for rock in the Biblical pun is fine. But should we cite the entire Greek text for Matthew 16:18? I think not there as well. Articles on language are no different. In the English-language Wikipedia, the focus should be on English-language issues, referencing differences only in passing; if Wikipedia is to be multilingual, that's different--then it becomes a matter of how to organize the material so predominantly English readers don't have to wade through other-language commentary.--NathanHawking 01:01, 2004 Oct 15 (UTC)
Interesting. Here, we disagree. There are subjects that inherently have multi-lingual aspects. I don't think we should be writing on the assumption that our readers are only interested in one language. It's not like there is some separate "multi-lingual Wikipedia" in which to put this material. Insofar as puns in some languages have aspects different from those in English, I think it's worth discussing, with examples. I know that there are some interesting aspects of Chinese puns that don't replicate in English (plays on which ideograph to use). I suspect that Vietnamese (a tonal language) would also have some distinct forms of pun. I'd want to see those covered in the article if someone has the knowledge. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:17, Oct 15, 2004 (UTC)
Don't you think that an article on puns with examples from a dozen languages would become unweildy, cumbersome for most to read? To my eye, this problem is already apparent in the pleonasm article. More of the same would only make it worse. I don't have objections to Wikipedia being multilingual, if that's the will of the Great Wiki, but I do foresee a problem with stuffing non-English examples into English text: diminished readability for the majority. At the least, it should be cordoned off in a non-English section or into different articles--not just plopped into the English text. Does this make sense?--NathanHawking 08:35, 2004 Oct 15 (UTC)
Non-English references should be considered case by case, just as with English references and with all tecnical material and technical explanations. There are many multi-lingual people browsing the web and many articles where citing an example in a another language than English is quite appropriate, even, for example, giving the original Greek of a crux passage to help explain different interpretations. That amounts to the same thing as giving complex chemical formulae in an article on manufacturing (which is Greek to most readers). A reader who doesn't want such technical information can skip over it. But should it be there for those who do want it. It may result in "diminished readibility for the majority". But Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not only a selection of essays for easy reading only for the common denominator interest of the majority. Its main purpose is to be informative, which sometimes means being technical, sometimes very technical. The majority of readers have minority interests. I'm interested in linguistics and welcome linguistic material. Someone else wants precise chemical formulae. Another person wants to know the information on the geology of an area in with proper geological terminology. Another wants wants complex statistical information. And I don't think there should be a cordoning off of technical information by policy. Sometimes such information becomes long enough and full enough to deserve an article by itself. Somtimes it doesn't. Sometimes it might better fit in a special technical section of an article. And sometimes that is not so. Cordoning off the material worked in pleonasm. But that isn't always desireable. Jallan 22:48, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)
In the case of articles like puns where there are various langauge examples, they should be seperated by language, so those who don't want to read about some language don't have to, but those, like myself, who would be facinated by Chinese ideogram puns, could read about them. With other cases, I'm not sure. Could someone suggest some other cases where sectioning would not work? JesseW 02:11, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

How to deal with an edit war on a survey?[edit]

I started a survey over at Talk:Project for the New American Century/Survey, and one editor (VeryVerily) who has been opposed to the survey from the start is now trying to disrupt it by inserting large numbers of disparaging non-vote comments into the voting section in direct contravention of the survey guidelines. Protecting the survey would be silly, so I've been reduced to edit-warring to try keeping it as tidy as possible. There's already a request for arbitration pending on this person and this subject so I suppose I could just consider it another piece of "evidence" should the case be accepted, but it annoys me that in the interim he's able to interfere this much with other attempts to work out the dispute short of that. I don't suppose this would be grounds for a temporary ban? That's all I can think of offhand, but since I'm party to the RfA now I don't want to do something like that myself. Bryan 17:27, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Eeek! Run away! That's a massive discussion page for one small paragraph to be agreed. zoney talk 22:59, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, it did inflate rather dramatically during the pre-survey discussion over what questions to include. That's the main reason why I'm hoping to keep the side-chatter during the survey itself strictly compartmentalized to the discussion section (having spent a couple weeks trying to discuss the issue with VV I know how rapidly his threads expand :). Bryan 01:02, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Moved to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style.

Search results page[edit]

The Search results page used to give a red link to allow creation of a page, but this was recently taken away. Maybe that is to avoid creation of easily-missed orphans and vanity pages, but it complicates the creation of necessary redirects. For instance, I just wrote 3 Maccabees and 4 Maccabees (mirroring the current 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees), but needed redirects from Third Book of Maccabees etc. to mirror Book of Ezra and Third Epistle of John. I had to do a psuedo-edit and preview to get red links to create them. Is this intentional? Is there a better way? Mpolo 10:53, Oct 9, 2004 (UTC)

I'd just type in the URL manually. Goplat 15:28, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)
There is a difference between the "Go" and "Search" pages. If you enter the page name and press the Search button you won't get the red link. But if you press the Go button instead, you will get the red link asking if you want to create the page. —Mike 17:44, Oct 9, 2004 (UTC)
I was convinced that I was hitting "Go" -- but now it's giving the red link again, so maybe I was temporarily insane. Thanks. Mpolo 19:39, Oct 9, 2004 (UTC)
You were not insane. The feature disappeared for me also for a time yesterday. I suppose one of the technical people was working on something or other. Jallan 15:56, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Handling persistent POV warriors[edit]

Do we have a policy for handling persistent POV warriors such as the anon who has been warned five (!) times for adding blatantly POVed material to Malaysia? It's so biased, everyone working on the article has reverted the anon's edits on sight. I asked if blocking is permissible on IRC, but everyone else suggested waiting. Despite all the warnings, the anon has persisted. If we don't have any policies for blocking persistent POV warriors such as this one, we should have. If the user is registered, we can go to arbitration, but for anons... Johnleemk | Talk 07:02, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I assume this is the guy on 218.11.*.* According to APNIC, that block's assigned to "Telekom Malaysia Berhad", and it looks like he's got access to the whole thing. The only way to block him is to block about sixty-five thousand addresses. -- Cyrius| 16:40, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I figured as much. My proposal on IRC was just to block his current IP, and unblock the others after a day or two. Hopefully he'll realise his changes aren't welcome (as most of them have either been incorporated into the article or rejected as blatant POV). I just had to revert another edit of his. This is really getting annoying. Johnleemk | Talk 18:09, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Tracing images, legality of.[edit]

If one finds a diagram that is useful but it is tricky to make in a paint program, what is the legal position if one takes the image into an image manipulation programme and traces it onto a new layer? It should be fairly simple, most times, to get an extremely good copy of the original image, but such action clearly goes against the spirit of image protection legislation. Do we have a policy? --[[User:Bodnotbod|bodnotbod » .....TALKQuietly)]] 19:16, Oct 8, 2004 (UTC)

That probably counts as a derivative work, and therefore, still applicable to the original copyright. I've done that, but only with PD US Gov maps, and therefore the derivative work is kosher. I hope. =p --Golbez 20:09, Oct 8, 2004 (UTC)
It's a derivative work. Most copyrights restrict derivative works in some way, often more strongly than the original work! On the flip side, one of the conditions for fair use is how significantly the material was altered — for example, a caricature of a celebrity based on a photo is likely to be in the clear. I am not a lawyer. Derrick Coetzee 22:04, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The previous paragraph actually has more to do with the likelihood of getting caught than with the definition of a derivative work. I'd not do it. Tempshill 23:57, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
No, a caricature would be a sort of parody and therefore fair use.--Samuel J. Howard 01:52, Oct 13, 2004 (UTC)

It is ok for maps in most cases, and other things where there is no other way to represent the thing reasonably. Copying the artistic interpretation of the thing is what is at stake. Intrigue 23:37, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Make ESA images off-limits?[edit]

I found this text in the ESA General Terms and Conditions: ESA does not grant the right to resell or redistribute any information, documents, images or material from its web site or to compile or create derivative works from material on its website. Does this mean WP must not contain ESA images (in contrast to NASA images)? Awolf002 17:49, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Yes. —Steven G. Johnson 22:35, Oct 6, 2004 (UTC)
Actually, if you read the next paragraph of their Legal Disclaimer, you will read the following:
Users may not modify, publish, transmit, [..], without obtaining prior written authorisation. In order to obtain authorisation to display or use any content of the ESA Web Portal, please make a request for authorization by clicking on 'Contact us'.
In other words, you can, but you have to get their authorization.--JohnWest 17:54, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)
That's true for anything; the copyright holder can always grant exceptions. —Steven G. Johnson

Policy proposal concerning episode guides and lists[edit]

See Wikipedia_talk:Deletion_policy#Policy proposal concerning episode guides and episode lists. Ian Pugh 14:00, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Noncommercial Images On WikiPedia.Org Versus CDs[edit]

People with noncommercial images do not mind their inclusion on WikiMedia.Org (a not for profit family of websites). What is important is that we or people using WikiMedia.Org do not use noncommercial images in commercial works. Luckily, every picture -- indeed, every binary file -- has a page of metadata which includes license. It is easy to remove noncommercially licensed works from commercial works. I do not see why we must deillustrate our websites. When we burnWikiPedia.Org to a CD, we will have to leave out most images for fitting the Encyclopædia WikiPedia to a CD, so it is not like all of the images will ever make it to the commercial CD anyway.

Ŭalabio 04:04, 2004 Oct 6 (UTC)

I somewhat agree and somewhat disagree with this statement. You cannot speak for the many people who hold copyright to their images, who may want to control how they are used. Their permission should be asked wherever this is possible. I also don't like the idea of some of my small-filesize public-domain diagrams being excluded from articles I've written that really need them, but this is already occurring in many mirrors. What I'm not sure is if images produced by amateurs who cannot be contacted should be proactively included, and only removed if there is a later objection. Derrick Coetzee 13:24, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)
What I had in mind is cases like when one finds an image licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 of the foundation Creative Commons. These people definitely do not mind their images on the not for profit website.
We do not have to deillustrate the website of noncommercial website of noncommercial for our for profit CDs. We can use the metadata on the image-pages for filtering out noncommercial images on our commercial DCs, which after all, with have most images left out anyway.
Ŭalabio 13:51, 2004 Oct 6 (UTC)
I agree with this, if and only if such filtering is made available to reusers in some convenient way. Probably the best way is to automatically maintain downloads of a "safe" and a "full" image collection, and reusers can choose whichever they like, at their own peril. If this is done, some dedicated Wikipedians should probably periodically review safe-tagged images for accuracy. Derrick Coetzee 23:01, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It seems to me that this has two significant downsides. First, it's too complex. It's much simpler to simply mandate all contributions have a license acceptable for all our uses. Secondly, it makes it less likely that we'll get unencumbered contributions -- people won't care to remove encumbered content if it appears 'good enough' to them for their ordinary viewing experience. If we mandate unencumberedness, then the incompleteness is in everyone's face, and they'll be motivated to do something about it. --Improv 18:01, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
In my opinion, we should never accept content that would restrict its usage in any situation where we might want wikipedia to go (e.g. CDs, print, and the like). --Improv 16:47, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Copyright and obscure images[edit]

Recently I added a couple images to articles without the permission of the copyright holder, namely Image:TheDraw ANSI.png and Image:Ceresco library.jpg, in both cases because I don't know who the original author is and have no way to find out. These pictures would be very difficult to replace — while any ANSI art image could be used for ANSI art, I consider the TheDraw image to have additional historical value. I don't think any of us would drive to Ceresco, Nebraska to take a picture of something there, but some anonymous resident has already done so. Neither of these uses is even remotely likely to be challenged. While this seems to contradict general image policy, are these sort of images acceptable? Should they be? Is there a tag for this sort of thing? And, finally, is there some more appropriate place I could ask this? Thanks. Derrick Coetzee 00:16, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

For the former image, I placed the {{screenshot}} tag. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 00:35, Oct 6, 2004 (UTC)
In general, you should ask the web site where you got the image for permission, since they are presumptively the copyright holders or know who the copyright holders are. If you can't locate a copyright holder, then you should tag it with {{unverified}}, or {{unknown}} if you have a source (i.e. a web site) but no licensing info. It's not good for Wikipedia to include stuff of dubious legality, no matter how useful an image might seem. —Steven G. Johnson 22:26, Oct 6, 2004 (UTC)
The reason we should not include images of dubious legality, by the way, isn't so much the danger of our hosting copyrighted images on the website — we can take images down quickly — but the proposed projects of burning Wikipedia or a large subset of it onto disc and printing it on paper, for distribution to areas where Wikipedia is blocked, or areas where people have no computer access. See User:Jimbo Wales/Pushing To 1.0. Copyright holders could then attack legally with pointy sharp teeth, and we'd have little recourse IMO but to pay them something. Tempshill 23:52, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
More seriously (to be blunt) won't all our images look like crap on paper? They're too low-resolution. Even if the full-size versions are scaled to fit, I've uploaded a number of small diagrams and other pictures with the belief that they'd be viewed only on a screen. Derrick Coetzee 00:02, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Policy proposal: Administrator Activity Policy[edit]

A new policy proposal has been created, titled "Administrator Activity Policy". It can be found here. Discussion is set to last two weeks followed by a two week vote. Feel free to direct your comments to the talk page thereof. -- Grunt   ҈  23:23, 2004 Oct 4 (UTC)

Eliminating titles of class distinction[edit]

I think Wikipedia would be better off without titles of class distinction (i.e. Administrator, Bureaucrat) and have all logged-in users obtain privileges of sysops, etc. Let all logged-in users become known as Wiki staff and have all these privileges. This idea was brought up by User:Sam Spade on his attitude towards adminship. Let the "social classes" system in Wikipedia break up or be eliminated, just like the internationally widespread elimination of titles of nobility. Marcus2 14:47, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I think this would cause chaos and anarchy. Maybe not a whole lot at first, but it would get worse until the very open nature of Wikipedia would be in jeopardy. Any anonymous and open medium needs to have some way to keep the trolls in check, be it Wiki sysops, forum moderators, operators on irc, even comment moderation/scoring like Slashdot. John Gaughan 15:13, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It's a theoretically wonderful idea that would be extremely attractive in a world free of malevolence. Sadly, experience shows that as hard as some people may wish it, the World Wide Web is not such a world. However, there's nothing to stop anyone who wants to from creating their own Wiki and establishing whatever policies they see fit; it should only take a short time experimenting with such an social structure to edify the experimenter. Signed, someone who tried to run a BBS on the principle of guaranteed free speech until several avowed Nazis decided to try to take over the system. --jpgordon 16:51, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Even in anarchy, there are still peacekeepers. --Golbez 18:58, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

Clay Shirky has a nice explanation of why sysops are required in online communities: [1] DenisMoskowitz 20:22, 2004 Oct 4 (UTC)
I actually would suggest we move the other way -- I don't think young accounts -- ones that have under a certain number of edits or that were created too recently, should be able to perform certain actions established users have (e.g. move pages, VfD, etc), and further, that anonymous users should be prohibited from editing entirely, outside of the sandbox. --Improv 15:20, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
That would be contrary to wiki nature, that anyone is allowed to contribute regardless of giving their identity. I doubt that policy can ever change. --Golbez 17:25, Oct 7, 2004 (UTC)
We need the class system. If we didn't then one idiot could cause a lot of problems since he would have the same powers as an administrator. Making everyone totally equal has never worked. There needs to be some people with more power then others because some people care about Wikipedia more then others. Remember, if something isn't broken don't try and fix it. I like the system the way it is. --NeoJustin 21:02, Oct 9, 2004 (UTC)
Keep in mind that the anon/user/administrator/bureaucrat/steward/Jimbo "hierarchy" was never intended to become a set of social classes or a caste system. It was set up to protect the Wikipedia itself: we need people who can delete stuff and block vandals, but if everyone could do it, human nature would cause the Wikipedia to descend into chaos. No human society is without some form of leadership, be it dictatorship, aristocracy, republicanism, or democracy. (Wikipedia combines all four, to varying degrees.) In reality, the social and political distinctions between user and administrator are extremely minute. I've been both; take my word for it. • Benc • 05:31, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)
My first editing conflict was with an admin, he never let on that he was an admin, never used superpowers to control the article -- that's what IMO an admin is ideally. Merely an editor. Of course they do a lot of extra work because of being the only ones able to do it. If I wanted to be an electrician, I could be, but it is sometimes easier for me to simply hire someone recognised as being able to competently wire my house. In the same way, I feel comfortable thinking of admins (and above) as simply editors who have agreed to do the less fun tasks (I call 'em chores) and on whom I can rely, when I need a chore done. As far as I'm concerned, the power inherent in anyone who comes to this site, including anon users, is plenty. An anonymous user can place here something that can literally affect all of mankind. That's anarchy enough for me. In a real-world anarchy, there would also be rules, in the form of "things everybody knows will get you painted blue and ridiculed" and also "things that if you do them they are likely to get you killed". Malicious editors wouldn't be allowed to ruin a real newspaper in the real world, even in an anarchy, and people caught tearing pages out of encyclopedias in the public library might have their hands removed so it would be harder for them to ruin what society considers valuable. But I wouldn't be cutting off hands, I'd have an expert do it, after the community reached a consensus on the issue. And note that these admins aren't claiming divine right to adminship, it has been granted to them by and may be removed from them by consensus of the community. If you don't think someone should be an admin, vote against them when they are nominated. Or don't. If you don't like the rules or the system, feel free to change it. That's how it got this way.Pedant 17:59, 2004 Nov 3 (UTC)

Bodymodification, Editwars, and Legal Liability[edit]

Bodymodification, Editwars, and Legal Liability

I noticed an edit war between intactivists and circumcisiosexuals. This got me thinking about modymodification and legal liability:

If parents would follow the advice of an article just reverted by procircumcisionist and based on that advice, the parents circumcise a healthy baby with no medical problems and the baby dies, the parents might sue Wikimedia for wrongful death. Contrarily, an anticircumcisionist might revert an article just before parents with a child requiring a medically necessary circumcision looks at the article. The parents decide not to circumcise based on the article. Again, the child dies, and again, the parents sue Wikimedia.

I have an idea which will kill the editwars and save Wikimedia from legal accountability:

At the top of every article about bodymodification, have a disclaimer like this as a serversideinclude:

"It is the policy of the Foundation Wikimedia that bodymodification should be an informed decision of the modifyee beyond the age of majority."

Then we can remove all pro/con-sections from the articles, thus ending the editwars. Since occasionally circumcision is necessary, we can have an additional disclaimer there:

"It is the recommendation of the Foundation Wikimedia that with the exception of emergencies, before one gets a medically necessary circumcision, one receive a second opinion from either a pediatric urologist if the patient is a child or an urologist if the patient is an adult."

We can modify this and put this disclaimer on all articles about medicine:

"It is the recommendation of the Foundation Wikimedia that with the exception of emergencies, one should get a second opinion"

While me talk about legal accountability of Wikimedia and medicine, perhaps we should have a disclaimer like this on medical articles:

"Important disclaimer:

The information on Wikipedia is for educational purposes only and should not be considered to be medical advice. It is not meant to replace the advice of the physician who cares for you or your family. All medical advice and information should be considered to be incomplete without a physical exam, which is not possible without a visit to your doctor."

These disclaimers would end the circumcisioneditwars and protect Wikimedia from lawsuites.

Anonymous Coward

There's already a Disclaimers link in the footer that's at the bottom of every page. Goplat 02:14, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Stating that medically unnecessary bodymodification should be the informed decision of the modifyee past the age of majority should be added to the disclaimer. Ŭalabio 03:10, 2004 Oct 4 (UTC)
I second this. Ŭalabio 03:10, 2004 Oct 4 (UTC)
Regardless of the issue or circumstances, I don't think Wikipedia should make ANY recommencations or content-specific policy decisions. We are a repository of knowledge from various viewpoints, trying to give a balanced and neutral viewpoint to every subject. To directly endorse a course of action, no matter how well-intentioned, opens us up for liability; even if this is intended to avoid liability. If we make no direct statements and let the facts and views speak for themselves, people can make up their own minds and act on their own conscience, not on ours. Radagast 12:59, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)
I think "second opinion" is misleading. Wikipedia should present facts, but leave diagnosis and treatment to a trained and certified physician. Any medical disclaimer, in my opinion, needs to state this clearly. Even if there are MDs posting to Wikipedia, given the open nature of it, we cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, nor can we ask readers information to help them make a decision. I think anyone coming here for medical advice is in for trouble, however, someone coming here for education and impartial information on a medical topic should be able to learn something. John Gaughan 15:06, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)
A "this medical article shouldn't be taken as medical advice" tag is a good idea. A specific tag for the circumcision articles is not a great idea. Tempshill 23:40, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Image tagging question[edit]

Would someone well versed in copyright issues please come to Wikipedia talk:Image copyright tags#Author gone and discuss how to tag images which were made by Wikipedians who have since left Wikipedia and cannot give explicit consent that the images are tagged as GFDL? An user has suggested that they should be tagges with CopyrightedFreeUse which, IMO, is violation of users' copyright. Nikola 23:26, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Two propositions[edit]

One of which has been made before - the In the News and Current Events must be less Americocentric. US "presidential debates" and other crap are just not interesting enough, and they are rather irritating when a lot of other articles and news items deserve attention. All this and more has been covered extensively before in previous discussions, but no action has been taken yet (save your excuses, heard them before), I believe one excerpt exists here: Template_talk:In_the_news#Americocentrism.

Next, the map of India used in several articles is inaccurate and offensive - no mention is made of the "disputed" territories or that the boundary shown is neither an international boundary nor an Indian-accepted representation of territories under Indian control, except in the main article on India and perhaps the Kashmir article and one or two more; the CIA map is used by default in all other articles and is WRONG - it is a map that reveals CIA and perhaps American government policies, but is incorrect, irritating, and unacceptable. Several instant remedies are possible: use colour-coded/ shaded maps that indicate dispute ; mention dispute in image captions ; mention inaccuracy ; explain that current CIA map is just that ; explain current map shows boundaries definitely under Indian administration, not the international boundary (which, to be as NPOV as possible, does not exist.) Throw out the revert mongering meddlers and the ignorant and implement a quick and effective policy - above all CHANGE THE @#*&^%@! MAP. Damn it. -- Simonides 22:49, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Am beginning to work on a replacement. Apparently, this is part of why Nagaland was protected. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 03:35, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)
Done. See Nagaland. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 04:22, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)
Peter/Poccil, I appreciate the interest, but I can't seem to see the new page you've put up. Secondly, it is not only the Nagaland article but a host of other articles that use the same map/ the same boundaries with variations in the image according the location being indicated. I see that you have worked on one map alone - would it be possible to replace all by changing the root image, and enforce the changes with an explanatory policy? Sorry if this all sounds like a lot of work - as a non-admin I have limited powers. -- Simonides 23:21, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Peter, thanks once again for working on the map. I've posted a couple of notes about it - that it is still inaccurate, but this time because the projection needs correction, rather than political/ideological concerns - but it's a lot better. Could you please answer my questions about the next steps to take - thanks. -- Simonides 13:41, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I've replaced the default States of India map on the India article - now if some editors could use it to replace maps on all India-related articles where the old format was in use, I'd appreciate it. I'll try to do my bit, but I'm on a dialup connection so uploading/ image loading etc is really really slow - thanks! -- Simonides 14:25, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Your first proposition seems nonsensical to me. You may personally not be interested in "crap" like the US Presidential debates, but clearly many people in the world, both in and out of the US, are interested. They were multiple times the top story on the BBC's website, for example, which to my knowledge is not a US news source. They were also on the front page of newspapers in Greece, and I'm sure were I to regularly read news sources from other countries besides those two, I would've found them prominently discussed elsewhere as well. The simple fact is that US actions affect the world disproportionately, so the world tends to be interested in them. You may not like this, but Wikipedia isn't here to change what people are interested in, just to document it. Therefore, things such as the US presidential debates that are covered prominently throughout the world must continue to be covered prominently in Wikipedia as well. --Delirium 07:04, Oct 17, 2004 (UTC)

Sorry about the late reply, but I am seeing your message for the first time. I don't think there's much to say in reply except that the preponderant existence of a bias does not automatically justify the bias; you're not the first one to confuse the two and if you follow the links I posted above, you will see that the same points have been made before in other words and were refuted on similar grounds (BTW, I thought it was obvious my calling the debates "crap" was just letting off steam, but they are closer to crap than substance when they stay on In the News for three days and jostle out important news from the rest of the world, or get put back on by pushy Americocentric (self-conscious or not) editors). -- Simonides 23:02, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Deletion addition[edit]

I added this to Wikipedia:Deletion Policy#Decision Policy

Please do not remove any votes from any VfD or like discussion. If you suspect a vote of being a sockpuppet or otherwise invalid, mark it as such with a comment, and any pertinent links, and leave it there. The admin who reviews the discussion will investigate and decide whether or not to take that vote into account. By not removing any votes, we ensure that there can be no arguments over who removed what and why.

I think everyone should be able to understand why this is generally good. Arguments have come up regarding this, including in the recent GNAA discussion. Of course there may be exceptions like if there are ever hundreds of sockpuppet votes, but I think that in general, people should adhere to this. Just wanted to let people know that I added this, since its not a trivial change. siroχo 20:55, Oct 2, 2004 (UTC)

Fundraising Fame[edit]

The banner says it costs $10 an hour to run Wikimedia websites. Why don't we make it so that every person that donates $10 "sponsors" an hour? So instead of the box that constantly says to donate money, it would say "This hour of Wikipedia is brought to you by x user. To sponsor a Wikipedia hour, donate here" or something to that affect. That way people would get recognition for donating and more people would check out their talk pages and they could showcase their pet projects or their blog or whatever on their talk pages. Salasks 03:52, Oct 1, 2004 (UTC)

Then we'd have to see these ads all year instead of just for a few weeks. anthony (see warning) 04:20, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It is a sweet idea, and grumps like Anthony could use their monobook.css to remove them. However it would be tantamount to Wikipedia accepting adertising. This comment was brought to you by Proctor&Gamble, whose soap poweder will get your whites whiter. --Tagishsimon
That is if your monobook.css works. Mine doesn't. —Mike 22:00, Oct 3, 2004 (UTC)
I want to start a new article: "Wikipedians who make less an hour than the Wikipedia servers."

Superscripts and subscripts[edit]

I've seen SUP tags used for superscripts in Wikipedia articles a lot. I assume SUB is also used. Both are problematic. They are not portable. I have an article on my website discussing the problems and suggesting cures:

Using Superscripts and Subscripts in Web Pages

In short, I recommend against using the SUP and SUB tags. For the most common use of the SUP tag, exponentiation, I recommend using the Unicode up-arrow, ↑, written as &#8593;. At the very least, even if pages already having SUP are left as they are, I request that the use of the up-arrow should be granted status as an officially acceptable policy for any future articles. --Shlomital 17:36, 2004 Sep 30 (UTC)

In general, portability problems should be solved by updates to the MediaWiki software, not arbitrary requirements for our editors. I don't really like the use of "x↑2" instead of "x2", "H2SO4" instead of "H2SO4", etc. First, this goes against the most commonly used conventions for using super and subscripts in science. Second, the vast majority of our readers use browsers that can accurately render these elements. Additionally, many browsers have poor support for Unicode elements, despite being able to render SUP and SUB just fine. Third, MediaWiki explicitly allows SUP and SUB, along with a few dozen other HTML tags; the software creators thought it through before allowing the tags. In a nutshell — I agree that portability is a good thing, but not at the expense of clarity. • Benc • 19:33, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It hasn't to do with Wikipedia, but with the nature of copying and pasting into editors of plain text. Wherever, no matter where, you have a 109, it will end up as 109 in a text editor. That is the portability problem. I find the up-arrow (10↑9) or, failing that, the caret (10^9), to be both clear and portable. The importance of this issue for Wikipedia is that it's a resource for freely copying text from; therefore, I feel it is important that Wikipedia should be as optimised as possible for copying of text. I realise the legacy of SUP is huge. May I therefore ask, instead of making the up-arrow compulsory, at least making it acceptable? There is already one article (Extended ASCII) in which I have used it. As for browser support, browsers that don't support Unicode (like Netscape 4) are going the way of the dinosaur; and if that's still a problem, the caret is ASCII. And also: as I state in my article, chemical subscripts are an area where SUB tags can be used with no reservations. --Shlomital 21:19, 2004 Sep 30 (UTC)
I still think this issue can and should be solved using a software solution. We already have Special:Export to convert articles to XML; why not have a Special:ExportToText? Besides, anyone doing a cut-and-paste from their browser is simply asking for trouble. What about images, <math> markup, tables, and so forth? • Benc • 22:26, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I hate to be curt, but this is bullshit. As Benc said, anyone who copies text out of their browser in a naive way is losing all sorts of formatting information, including such basic things as bold and italics. Are you going to suggest we replace those with textual equivalents? This is the web, not Usenet, and it's usually best to use widely familiar notation. This is not a portability problem at all but simply how copying text out of popular browsers works — it's a client issue with an easy workaround. Let them save the page as HTML if they want to keep the formatting. People really aren't all that dumb. Derrick Coetzee 05:20, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It'll have to be an export to some kind of formatted text file format. Any export to plain text will have the same problem of 109 coming up as 109. When people want to preserve the whole page, they use their browser to save the whole page, with all its markup and accompanying image. But when they want to quote part of the text, they do a cut and paste from the browser. The trouble with 109 is the same as with italics--not surviving pasting into a text editor. Italics are sometimes critical, sometimes not, but 109 is certainly a whole different thing from 109. The question is how much you're willing to make the contents of the encyclopedia dependent upon formatted text and embedded images (which are normally frills).
And I'd really like to know if 10↑9 or 10^9 instead of 109 is a policy no-no. --Shlomital 23:00, 2004 Sep 30 (UTC)
It might not violate policy, but don't be surprised if someone comes along behind you and changes them. —Mike 03:55, Oct 1, 2004 (UTC)

I don't know what text editor you're using, but every ASCII text editor I know of is going to have problems copy-pasting 10↑9. Pasting that into works, but then so does pasting normal superscripts and subscripts (though admittedly sup/sub is lost upon pasting into Microsoft Word 97, while the up-arrow works). But that's beside the point. I agree with Derrick above; the preservation of formatting when copy-pasting into other applications seems like a weak reason to eliminate superscripts and subscripts, which to me are far more intuitive than the up-arrow (which suffers from the additional problem that it may be have other meanings and be interpreted differently, or confused with some kind of vector notation). Not only that, but using sup and sub are apparently required for some languages to render properly. They give at least a modicum of semantic meaning to the text; the use of up-arrow does not. -- Wapcaplet 22:19, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Concur with Wapcaplet. --Improv 13:41, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

This is not a feasible solution. Conventional mathematical notation exists and changing it to something completely contrary to convention just so it can be copied and pasted properly is somewhat an absurd solution. Regardless, the up arrow means something different in mathematics, see Knuth's up arrow notation. Dysprosia 03:22, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

No, it means the same thing! See Knuth's up arrow notation#Definition: a↑b means ab. Gdr 13:23, 2004 Oct 18 (UTC)
You're right for the single arrow (I'm thick, sorry). What I'm driving at though is why use unconventional notation for something when conventional notation is available? Dysprosia 06:32, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"Encumbered" or "Protected" — POV?[edit]

Is it biased to describe an invention Foo as being "encumbered by patents" or "protected by patents"? To me, the word "encumbered" has negative connotations, and similarly "protected" has positive connotations. What would be a good alternative? — Matt 09:29, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Is there anything wrong with "Foo is covered by patents" or "Foo is patented"?
Darrien 11:19, 2004 Sep 28 (UTC)
Ah, yep, quite obvious really ;-) Would you agree that these should be preferred for NPOV? — Matt 11:32, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Yes. You may also want to move this to Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) so it will receive appropriate attention.
Darrien 11:57, 2004 Sep 28 (UTC)
From what I understand, encumbered is the correct legal term. Although wikipedia often uses other terms because of common usage, so other people may chime in. I've heard both. btw, since I happen to know the definition of encumbered as it applies here, I don't think it is a pejorative, of course, others may. -Vina 21:46, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Please have a look at Driveshaft (and Talk:Driveshaft) and explain to me the rationale for deleting the (apparent) stub. |l'KF'l| 20:16, Sep 27, 2004 (UTC)

Reverted and wikified it, the driveshaft deserves an article, although it will probably always be stubby. -- Solitude 11:40, Oct 1, 2004 (UTC)

Proposed new VfD rule: No repeat submission of articles[edit]

  • Proposed new VfD rule: No repeat submission of articles that have already passed the VfD process (w/ consensus to keep) within the next three months. Please see the proposal and vote/discuss.

contributing your own already published material??[edit]

Do people ever post their own already published elsewhere material as wikipedia entries? How are these sort of issues of copyright and authorship dealt with?

If copyright is entirely yours, and you are comfortable with the material you enter becoming GFDL (and free to be edited), there's no problem. If the material is in a contract with someone else, you'll have to ensure all stakeholders are comfortable with this. Radagast 15:59, Sep 27, 2004 (UTC)

To answer your question, yes. I've contributed to Wikipedia material that I wrote for my own personal website. Some was GFDL, some wasn't. It wasn't in contract with anyone else, so I was the exclusive copyright holder, making it easy to contribute. As far as I know, I'm still the copyright holder of the material I contributed, but since it's released under the GFDL, people can copy it for many uses as long as they comply with its requirements. -- Dwheeler 03:49, 2004 Oct 5 (UTC)

I would add to that: you retain copyright on all original content you add to Wikipedia. By placing it in here, you are releasing it under GFDL, but you are not giving up any other intellectual property rights. -- Jmabel 01:46, Oct 6, 2004 (UTC)

Presentation of Images[edit]

At present when a reader clicks on a thumbnail image to see the larger version of the image, they see it accompanied by a lot of irrelevant and unattractive material - the name of the image file, the image's edit history and technical details of its licensing etc. What readers should see is the image, with a caption and possibly a heading. There should then be a link to the edit history and licensing details, just as there is a link from an article to the article's edit history. This seems to me to be another example of how Wikipedia is currently structured in the interests of its writers and editors rather than in the interests of readers. How much difficulty would there be in restructing the image pages in this way? Adam 02:50, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, Wikipedia is relatively unusual in that the boundary between readers and writers/editors is quite fuzzy; the lack of a clean separation means that sometimes a reader encounters mechanisms for editing — such as the "Edit this page" link. I guess we tolerate editor-oriented mechansisms intruding into "content" when it isn't much of a distraction. Personally, I don't see much distraction in including "What links here", history and licensing data on an image page; a user can very obviously see the image and its caption. Moreover, images are somewhat different from articles in that they are rarely used as stand-alone entities — they are nearly always used as inline elements in the article space. If we implemented your suggestion, I think there'd be little improvement for a reader, but it would be quite a cumbersome change for editors. — Matt 08:56, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Actually they can't see the caption. The caption is visible under the photo on the article page, but not on the page where the image stands alone. What the reader sees is a bunch of stuff they don't want or need to see. Why would it be a cumbersome change for editors? Adam 11:53, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Regarding a caption, an image description page should contain a description of the image, and any that don't need fixing. Your change would mean an editor would click on a "What links here" or "History" to get the editor-oriented information; this extra click would be more hassle, if not "quite cumbersome". — Matt 12:39, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • A "description of the image" is not the same thing as the caption that appears at the article page.
    • This is quite correct. Indeed, many images are (or have the potential to be) reused in several pages, with completely different captions; the caption on the image page should simply describe the picture without presuming the context.
  • "this extra click would be more hassle"? You're kidding. Adam 15:02, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • No, I'm not; on slow Wikipedia days, clicking a web link can result in a long wait, like 10–20 seconds. If you're doing a lot of work on images (e.g. image tagging), this would be quite a time penalty for the editor. — Matt 15:17, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Year in X[edit]

Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers)#Incorrect_date_formats states that, for example, 2000 is preferable to 2000 in film. I've lost count of the number of articles I've seen when someone has come along and changed it to the latter, breaking the agreed convention. This may be just a case of those people not knowing the rule but it is now so widespread that people just ignore it. Should the policy be reviewed or should we go through all the Year in X links and fix them? violet/riga (t) 14:34, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Please don't go through all the links and change them just yet. If anything, ask for a policy review; this convention wasn't really "agreed to" at all. The MoS's requirement was copied (somewhat out of context) from Wikipedia:WikiProject Music standards, which lists an important exception to the guideline. There may very well be other reasonable exceptions to the guidelines applicable to non-music topics. This WikiProject-specific guideline was applied to the Wikipedia as a whole with little discussion. The standards for the Wikipedia as a whole should have a strong community-wide consensus. Even the WikiProject's consensus stands on uncertain ground, judging from the objections in the archived debate about the issue (which really isn't that important of an issue, IMHO). • Benc • 08:56, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Then the policy should be reviewed - it is as important as many other consistency issues. violet/riga (t) 09:28, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
In context, the suggested change may be desirable, even if I prefer the linking the main year page. Recently I came across dates linked as [[October 3]] [[2004 in music|2004]] instead of [[October 3]] [[2004]]. I feel this should be avoid, as this breaks dynamic date formatting. The feature had ended a longlasting debate about which format to choose. -- User:Docu

The Polls Are Open: Drive Carefully[edit]

Voting has begun on the Managed Deletion policy. Note that it will actually be called "Early Deletion." The policy has been finalized, so, even if you have looked at it before, please look again and give it your vote. Voting will end on October 8, 2004. Geogre 00:46, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Possibly unfree images[edit]

Based on a previous village pump discussion, a new page is being developed to handle the removal of images used under nonfree licenses or lacking source information. A poll on whether to implement this process is at Wikipedia talk:Possibly unfree images. --Michael Snow 03:26, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)


I've just been reverting a few edits by an anonymous user, where that user had taken away piped links and fed them through redirects. As it happens, some of the links he changed were wrong in the first place, but that's by-the-by. Anyway, he questioned my changes, and I stated that it was policy. (Refer to my talk page.) However, now I find myself in the position where I can't find where the policy of eliding redirects is written down. There's nothing explicit at Wikipedia:Redirect, or Wikipedia:How to edit a page#Links and URLs. The explanation I've given is "... I presume that this is to reduce server load (by reducing the additional code executed each time you click on a link that gets redirected)." Any pointers? Is this the reason? Shall I make policy more explicit? [[User:Noisy|Noisy | Talk]] 09:12, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Just a comment: linking to redirects in this way makes the wikitext less ugly than using piped links. — Matt 09:23, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I don't think there is a policy, because it's not a good policy. Sometimes redirects are the proper solution (they better organize "what links here" and better deal with changing articles). That's why we have redirects in the first place. anthony (see warning) 15:30, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
i may be wrong but i think in the grand scheme of things the additional server costs of redirects are bugger all. The bellman 09:30, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I've just added some redirects for "R from plural". My nit is that in reality, they were redirects from *singular*. Is there/should there be a policy that base topics be either singular or plural with redirects for the opposite? Or should there be an "R from singular"? Or am I just being a tad retentive? Jeb54321 14:12, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Edit flag for large changes?[edit]

Would it be possible to have an edit flag for large changes (i.e. more than 10% of article size changed, or more than 10% of text altered) for Recent Changes and the Watchlist? Perhaps just a ! which would let us easily know that vandalism has most likely taken place? And perhaps a filter mode for Recent Changes to only show articles that have been massively changed? --Golbez 17:23, Nov 16, 2004 (UTC)

See: Proposal to extend Recent Changes flags Paul August 04:46, Nov 18, 2004 (UTC)

the cost of vandalism[edit]

I blocked an annoying vandal, last night, for the duration of 24h. (User: I shouldn't have done so, as it's a proxy, and a few minutes later, a legitimate user complained about the block. Technically, wouldn't it be easy to allow unblocked, logged-in users (with an account creation predating the block) to edit even when on a blocked IP? This would solve the annoying problem of 'unblockable' proxy IPs (we would just have to kindly ask editors on vandal-prone IPs to get an account).

A more general thought I had recently was that, the larger WP will grow, the greater the percentage of time spent reverting worthless edits will become. The singularly low threshold to contributing is a major feature of WP, and clearly a big advantage on an encyclopedia that consists mainly of stubs. The more accomplished an article, however, the less likely an anonymous edit is to be useful. I would therefore propose:

  • the introduction of a 'protected from anon edits' status as a measure less drastic than 'protection' for frequently vandalised articles
  • automatic 'protection from anon edits' for featured articles
  • at some point in the future maybe even a 'good faith' tag for users known to have made good faith edits, and protection of featured articles from edits by all but these

such a course would provide the more vulnerable articles some protection from the main brunt of casual vandals (while of course the determined ones will not be deterred), while it would not raise the threshold for quick creation of new articles, and edits to stubs. dab 12:58, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"...would not raise the threshold much", I'd say. It does raise the threshold somewhat. It's not completely hassle-free, or something. (If it were, there obviously wouldn't be any point.)
  • the introduction of a 'protected from anon edits' status as a measure less drastic than 'protection' for frequently vandalised articles
    Sounds good in theory, but I'm pretty sure there will be a heap of vandals who have no qualms about registering bogus accounts when it comes to frequently vandalised articles, just to have the opportunity for ranting on controversial ones. It might indeed keep "undetermined" vandals out, but those are easy to revert.
  • automatic 'protection from anon edits' for featured articles
    That sounds topsy-turvy. "We consider this article to be the best example of what collaboration in zero-threshold editing can achieve. Now, buzz off or get an account. This article is ours".
  • at some point in the future maybe even a 'good faith' tag for users known to have made good faith edits, and protection of featured articles from edits by all but these
    Whereas I consider your other ideas just a bit extreme, but possibly justified for the future, this one would make me get up and leave. If that's an open encyclopedia, then kindly fork the whole Wiki to where the edits still roam free, and I'll gladly serve the RC patrol there. Are you then going to trade in vandal patrolling for good faith stamping? Any reason to assume branding someone a non-vandal is easier than identifying a vandal? Any reason to assume this won't just be an enormous incentive for trolls to try their hand at "coming in under the radar"?
    That's not to say your idea is bad! Maybe an encyclopedia (maybe a future Wikipedia) under that regime might do even better than vanilla Wikipedia. Maybe. Just not my cup of tea.
Summarized: the price of Wikipedia is eternal vigilance. A community that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither. Give me anonymous edits, or give me death! Ask not what Wikipedia can do for you... OK, I'll stop now. I'm starting to sound ranty. :-) Just my $0.02, no bad feelings or mere semblance of knowledgeable authority intended. JRM 15:54, 2004 Nov 16 (UTC)
I thought the reply might sound something like this. And you are right, I think. Of course, at some point one could fork "WP 1.0" into a more sheltered environment, but this will not be feasible for quite a few years. Eternal vigilance it is, then :) but, any comments on the "logged-in users may edit from blocked IPs" proposal? dab 16:15, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • The "logged-in users may edit from blocked IPs" proposal sounds right to me. I guess the question is one of "practicality," is it not? How easy would be the system implementation? Is it not true that the only reason the "logged-in users" get blocked is because the TCP/IP module is "ignorant" of logged-in users? So it is a "cost of development" question, yes? ---Rednblu | Talk 16:34, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
This has come up on the Pump on multiple occasions in the past. We all believe that the current privilege levels are too rough-grained, and as Wikipedia evolves they might need to change, but I think they do alright in most cases, for now. Don't forget that complexity is also itself a barrier to participation. Deco 00:24, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This has probably been proposed before, but since I've been spending some time on Recent Changes lately, it's become overwhelmingly apparent to me that the vast majority of vandalism is done by unregistered users. I suggest that we allow a maximum of 5 article edits (but unlimited talk page edits would be ok) for unregistered accounts, after which users must register for a user name before they can edit further. It's far easier to track changes and vandalism by accounts with unique user names than for accounts that are strings of numbers. Exploding Boy 21:52, Nov 17, 2004 (UTC)

Don't forget about the push-pull effect though. Anons can create and throw away accounts even more quickly than IPs — they don't do so because they can edit without doing so. Vandals will do just as much as they need to in order to vandalize, no matter what technical hurdles we place for them, and Nupedia demonstrated that pushing too far in the direction of content control is bad. Not that I necessarily disagree. Deco 00:48, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Right Floating TOC[edit]

I have been advised to post here to draw peoples attention to a discussion about WP:MOS and the TOC. I am suggesting that it is more aesthetically appealing to have the TOC floating on the right. My suggestion can be found at Wikipedia talk:TOC#Right floating TOC Please comment -- Martin TB 19:39, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Stub sorting[edit]

I think the evaluation of stub sorting needs some kind of restriction or review... There are some creation of categories and stub templates which are completely useless... --[[User:AllyUnion|AllyUnion (talk)]] 09:29, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Proposal to enforce the Three Revert Rule[edit]

There is a vote and discussion on whether and how to enforce the Wikipedia:Three revert rule on Wikipedia:Three revert rule enforcement and Wikipedia talk:Three revert rule enforcement. Please come and contribute your comments/votes. jguk 14:16, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Two articles on the same man - what's the policy?[edit]

Is there a policy on when it's ok to have two articles on the same man (but under different names)? Some people seem to say are ok to be merged, others stay for ages. jguk 20:47, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Almost always should be merged (assuming that one person is actually the subject of both articles: for example, we could have both a biographical article about an author and any number of articles about his or her books). -- Jmabel | Talk 20:56, Nov 13, 2004 (UTC)

I've just seen Jesus and Isa. Should these be merged then? jguk 21:09, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Probably not. Isa specifically discusses the concept of Jesus when used by that name and differences from other Jesuses. There isn't significant duplication of content. As long as the articles don't cover or aim to cover about the same material, merging isn't usually warranted. Deco 21:20, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Don't forget Yeshu... but no, probably these articles should not be merged. Gady 22:49, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Those do all interlink, and Isa is even explicitly in the "Jesus" template, while Yeshu is linked several times. They're not merged because Jesus is far too long as it is! Mpolo 08:47, Nov 14, 2004 (UTC)

Well that's a different point Mpolo. The Jesus article needs shortening, but that doesn't mean the others shouldn't be merged with it. I'm still puzzled as to why we want 3 biographies of the same man. Wouldn't one merged one be better? jguk 15:20, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

To be honest I don't think it would, it is better to treat the three articles as different entities. If the three are merged religously important details could be accidentlily cut, and precedent will almost certainly be given to a particular image of Jesus/Yeshu/Isa. I think merging them just isn't worth the inevitable arguaments. Rje 06:47, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Moveable Feasts on the Main Page[edit]

I have just found out that today is Eid ul-Fitr and have added it to today's current events. Like Easter and many other days - some non-religious - it's a moveable feast. What is the policy about puting these moveable feasts on the main page?

I know they don't really fit into the In the news or Today's Featured article boxes, but I am of the opinion that the main page should relect that we are aware that certain days are observed. I'm suggesting a box that would say (for example) Today is Diwali/Easter/Martin Luther King Day/Eid ul-Fitr/Mardi Gras etc. -- Martin TB 20:26, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

also astronomical events, solstice, equinox, eclipses, etc.; mabe even a permanent little box giveng the moon phase (although that may be a bit too much clutter) dab 20:40, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

On a sidenote, I have no idea that the word "movable" contained two Es. ;-) Agree that they should be mentioned somewhere on the day. Chris 07:32, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

See American and British English differences#Common_suffixes. In fact, even most American dictionaries consider "moveable" an acceptable variant of "movable" [2]. And, of course, movable feast is a redirect. Deco 07:51, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I think the current solution of having these days under "Selected Anniversaries" is ideal, even though it's technically not an anniversary in some sense (well, it's an anniversary according to a different calendar...) Mpolo 08:50, Nov 14, 2004 (UTC)

I removed the item from the Current Events page because I didn't feel that it was a 'Current Event'. To me the page is where news items are posted. If something had happened because of Eid ul-Fitr then yes it would go there along with the reference to the news site it was found on. Also the person who posted it had put it on the wrong day anyway.--enceladus 00:07, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)
Actually I hadn't posted it on th wrong day. It was celebrated in the UK on Saturday, in the US and the Middle east on Sunday and in Morocco and some other territories today. It's a moveable feast! Martin TB 07:45, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I assume what is happening is that each group of Muslims require an actual sighting of the cresent moon by their group. --enceladus 21:41, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)

Keeping In The News neutral and relevant[edit]

I've proposed a new criterion for the Template:In the news guidelines with the aim of keeping ITN focused on widely reported stories covered by multiple major news outlets, and ensuring that NPOV is maintained. Please take a look at the proposal and add feedback at Wikipedia talk:In the news section on the Main Page. -- ChrisO 18:59, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Splitting the VfD page won't help one of the current problems with it (big processing backlog)[edit]

There is currently a week-long backlog of VfD processing (IE there's been no action at all on most of the nominations whose 5-day voting period expired in the past 7 days), because not enough people are spending enough time doing it. Splitting the VfD page does nothing to help with this. The problem also seems to be increasing, I checked a random recent 5-day period, and 132 nominations were added to VfD, and a bit less than half (59) were processed and removed from the VfD "old" page (where the processing happens). VfDs "old" page is huge and growing, and usually takes a minute or two (literally) to save, further slowing down VfD processing. I just discovered this; it makes me all the more convinced we need alternatives to VfD.
I don't know if most people are aware of this, but you do NOT have to be an admin to help with VfD processing--I did about 80 this morning, and didn't have to delete a single article (I did cheat a bit by focusing on the easiest ones, but that was to shrink the page as fast as possible--I got the number of listings down by about 20%, although the handful of VERY long debates means that doesn't truly reflect page size reduction). (re-posted from prelim. del. vote page) Niteowlneils 00:43, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, I would help if I don't have to judge consensus; i.e. if a decision has been reached. I understand the reasons for having a somewhat vague standard for judging consensus, but at least in my case, and I think in many other's, that's what keeps us from helping out at VfD. JesseW 01:09, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Well -- as someone who has originated his share of VfD's, I hereby commit to to try to clear at least two old VfD's each time I add a new one. Anyone else wanna take the pledge? --jpgordon{gab} 01:31, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Also -- I'd like to propose that VfD/Old be modified so that instead of {{Votes for deletion/article name}}, it read [[Votes for deletion/article name]] so that the silly thing loads more quickly. --jpgordon{gab} 07:16, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
For a few months I was clearing VfD/Old each day, but on October 23 I was asked to stop. Due to a recent uptick in deletionism I no longer agree with all VfD decisions, and I thus do not have much interest in renewing my involvement. - SimonP 07:23, Nov 12, 2004 (UTC)
Just as a matter of interest, who asked you to stop and why? -- ALoan (Talk) 12:12, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
See here for details. JesseW 08:26, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Vfd processing backlog is back down to 2 days--great work people (mostly Francs2000)! Niteowlneils 02:56, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I'm a little confused... I'd like to help with the VfD "backlog", but I looked for some explicit backlog and read some instructions and so on and can't figure it out. Does this just mean deleting articles with a consensus to delete that are older than 5 days? Deco 05:31, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Never mind, I found it (Wikipedia: Deletion process). Deco 05:31, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
After 15 minutes of doing this, it seems like a 7 step process with 5 windows open per article is a bit tedious. Perhaps there should be a script for this. Deco 06:00, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Can we get a similar catch-up effort on the trans-wiki backlog on 'old', dating back to April! Niteowlneils 20:13, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

VfD follow-up?[edit]

I have always assumed that there was some process to ensure articles that have spent 5 days on VfD are acted upon based on the voting. I had also assumed that the specific process is that they only get removed from VfD if they have been acted upon. Apparently that may not the case, as the 10/26 entries were removed en masse 11/1, and put on /old, even tho' Black Templars, at least, hadn't been acted on, and still hasn't weeks later. Was I correct and this article just unintentionally slipped thru the cracks? Or are they just moved to old and it is just hoped that someone will do something with them some day? If so, how can one tell if there are articles that still need to be acted on on /old--Black Templars' 'What links here'doesn't reveal any sort of tracking page. Niteowlneils 03:53, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Maybe they get removed from /old when acted on one way or another? Are we really that far behind (10/24)? Niteowlneils 04:02, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Maybe they get removed from /old when acted on one way or another? Are we really that far behind (10/24)? Niteowlneils 04:02, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
OK. After several red herrings, I finally found Wikipedia:Deletion process, and we are that far behind. I guess I'll start trying to help. Niteowlneils 04:48, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Dude, if you can figure out the prose of the deletion procedures, you move to the head of the class. It was about as thick as a whale omlette, which is why I haven't been lending a spade to the effort. I'd like to, though, and I don't even mind going after the "controversial" debates. (I don't count nonce accounts.) Geogre 02:08, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Johns Hopkins faculty[edit]

Quite a number of pages created recently have been copied directly from web page of Johns Hopkins University. While this may not be so serious as copyvio, I think the simple copying of CV-type material about faculty members and courses into WP is not a great precedent. See for example User: Charles Matthews 10:53, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This is actually strong copy violation, unless it's the author posting the content, and more than likely it's a student. However, I'm sure we could get permission from some appropriate authority to use the content. Deco 15:41, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I doubt we'd want the material, though, as one of the things "Wikipedia is not" is a place for resumes or CV's. N.b. someone just put up a silly joke article on a member of the comedy improv troupe at Hopkins, as well. Hopkins students are supposed to be clever, but apparently someone there isn't reading our policies. Geogre 18:41, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It's not just CVs, though — they're fairly good concise descriptions of the people's background and work in prose form, and that's about as much as we have in most researchers' articles. Here's an example (from Meredith Williams):
Meredith Williams, Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, received her B.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. She taught at Wesleyan University (Connecticut) and Northwestern University before joining the Hopkins Department in 2000. Her areas of research are [ . . . ]
They might be considered non-notable, but well, they are faculty at a well-known university, and I am an inclusionist. Deco 23:55, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Oh, great, now the copyvio is on this page, too. RickK 22:12, Nov 10, 2004 (UTC)

Use of the word terrorism[edit]

It seems, from Talk:September 11, 2001 attacks, that people are in favour of trying to develop a sitewide set of guidelines for the use of the word terrorist. In view of its likely length, the discussion has been moved to a separate page: Wikipedia:Use of the word terrorism (policy development). Please go to that page if you wish to be involved in developing this policy, and publicise this page as appropriate to fellow Wikipedians who may be interested. jguk 22:35, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Countdown deletion[edit]

I'm a complete newbie when it comes to policies, so any help (in suggestions as well as merciless editing) is appreciated. I think Preliminary Deletion isn't going to work. I've blathered up a suggestion of my own (after all, we can never have too much deletion policies :-) tentatively called "countdown deletion". It's on a personal subpage; check it out, mull it over and tear it to pieces if necessary. Thanks in advance for giving a damn. JRM 00:55, 2004 Nov 8 (UTC)


See Talk:As of CURRENTYEAR. --Sgeo | Talk 23:40, Nov 7, 2004 (UTC)


Discussion archived to Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English)/diacritics.

See my proposal here: Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(use_English)#Proposal (should maybe be copied here?)

dab 15:17, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)


See User:AaronSw/Song lyrics. What is the policy of having copyright violations in User pages? RickK 08:41, Nov 7, 2004 (UTC)

Same as for any other page. Everything published on Wikipedia is supposed to be under the GFDL; if these lyrics are copyrighted, a case might be made for fair use in a proper context (i.e. an article about the song) but I doubt that a user page qualifies. If they are copyrighted, AaronSw should tag the page for speedy deletion; if he refuses to do so it should be sent through Wikipedia:Copyright problems. —No-One Jones (m) 09:22, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I've left a note about it on AaronSw's talk page. —No-One Jones (m) 09:25, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

How to handle stale NPOV disputes[edit]

This is a question on the existing NPOV policy, regarding the detail how to handle articles which are listed as NPOV dispute but no activity is seen. The typical NPOV dispute article sees rather hectic activity, hopefully in the discussion, but sometimes escalating to edit wars in the article.

But there are some articles which are NPOV dispute listed, but no activity is seen. Except when trying to remove the NPOV dispute warning. So I wonder whether it is OK to use the dispute tag to stigmatize an article forever.

I've also asked at Wikipedia talk:NPOV dispute, but that page seems to have few watchers.

Pjacobi 21:29, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've previously gone through NPOV-disputed pages a few times to clean out old ones like that. What I usually did was ask on the talk page if the NPOV dispute was still ongoing, wait a week, and if there was no reply then either nobody's got it watchlisted any more or nobody cares about the old dispute. Of course I also check to see if there's any NPOV problem that's obvious to me as a total outsider, but if there isn't one and nobody seems to care I just remove the NPOV header. If there's still a problem someone will put it back someday. Bryan 21:44, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Yes, that would be the easy case. But I'm referring to the case, that when asked, or when trying to remove the dispute notice, there is opposition. But still no changes to the content. To make the case less abstract, my primary problem is Open Directory. --Pjacobi 22:42, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Heh. Yeah, I ran into one of those myself; Talk:Thealogy#NPOV still in dispute?. I tried using the threat of resolving the NPOV myself despite not knowing anything about the subject, through the "use a dull axe on any parts that seem POV and maybe also on the parts adjacent to those just to be sure" strategy, hoping it'd spark some effort to fix things before I got busy. It didn't work, so I used an axe on any chunks that seemed POV. Surprisingly, that did work. My axe was sharper than I thought. :) Anyway, you could try that; warn everyone that you're about to solve their dispute for them. One way or the other it'll shake things loose. Bryan 23:12, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
You might also consider the tag {{controversial}}, which indicates that the topic is controversial without saying that there is necessarily a dispute in progress. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:43, Nov 6, 2004 (UTC)
I'm in favor of the {{controversial}} tag. [[User:sid007|sid007\talk]] 04:22, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Reporting the POVs in dictionary definitions together with the POVs of opposing experts is always NPOV[edit]

Cited definitions from dictionaries such as the American Heritage Dictionary have been cut repeatedly from several Wikipedia pages. The reason given is that the "dictionary definition is POV." I cite you to the recent history of a disambiguation page and its TalkPage.

I suggest part of the solution to this problem is to insert a new paragraph into the NPOV page to state explicitly, "Dictionary definitions are always NPOV if the contrasting definitions of experts are also quoted and cited." The most appropriate position would be following the "Religion" paragraph of the NPOV page. ;)

Any suggestions? ---Rednblu | Talk 08:59, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure if we could assume that dictionary definitions from a real dictionary are always NPOV -- there may be some bad dictionaries out there, and dictionaries don't always reflect actual usage of a word. Personally, I don't think citing dictionaries ever adds anything to an encyclopedia, and imagine it might be a bad practice to get into. --Improv 14:47, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • Further note -- older dictionaries were often not even remotely POV -- I've looked at some older ones from the early 1900s, and they're hilariously POV. Even newer ones, for reason of historical conservativism or lack of agreement with us about what NPOV is about, are often not POV. I therefore don't think being part of a dictionary necessarily contributes at all to NPOV, and therefore think your proposal, while well-intentioned, is based on bad premises. --Improv 17:36, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
      • But wouldn't those older dictionaries validate for sure that those old hilarious POVs actually were part of history? :) ---Rednblu | Talk 17:44, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
        • It might be notable that some people thought that, but wouldn't necessarily be notable as to what other points of view were common at the time. We might expect, say, French dictionaries during colonial times to be very much for reporting the French government POV, and we might intuit a nationalist POV to oppose them, but that wouldn't necessarily tell us about the differing tribal POVs, the Communist POV, the early liberal POVs, the ... Basically I'm saying is that it can't be a very good rule of thumb. I don't see the utility in quoting dictionaries at all on Wikipedia. --Improv 20:09, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
          • I agree totally--no utility in quoting dictionaries. However, if a POV is expressed in a dictionary, then that POV is per se and necessarily a valid POV to document on Wikipedia, is it not? There would be no rational justification for cutting one dictionary definition among others from a Wikipedia page simply because of the POV in the dictionary definition that was cut, would you agree? ---Rednblu | Talk 21:23, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • A dictionary definition is an opinion, though often an expert opinion. So it should be fine to quote it as long as you attribute it and as long as it's relevant to the article. In an article about a word you might quote the OED to show what scholars believe about the etymology or use of that word. But in a dispute about ownership of a word (e.g. "is America a democracy or a republic?" "is atheism a religion?" "is communism the same as totalitarianism?") quoting the dictionary doesn't help. Both sides of the dispute know that the word has more than one meaning. Gdr 15:56, 2004 Nov 6 (UTC)
    • Those examples are helpful. I am folding your comment and everybody's else comments into the following "Digesting the suggestions" section. ---Rednblu | Talk 21:45, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • I agree with what you say, but I don't think we should have articles about words in the first place. Wikipedia is not a dictionary. For example, evolutionism should be about evolutionism, not about the word evolutionism. I think it's somewhat rare that an article benefits from quoting general dictionary definitions. If the meaning of a word is that non-obvious, we should probably be using a disambiguation page and pointing to other pages with more clearly defined terms. If the term is a specialty term, then we'd be better off using a specialty dictionary or other specialty source. anthony 警告 21:32, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
      • That many dictionaries state a POV should qualify that POV for representation in a NPOV Wikipedia page--no matter what POV the dictionaries state--whether the POV opposes my, your, or anybody's else POV. Is it not true that in Wikipedia, opinion is turned into fact by saying accurately who states the quoted opinion? Of course, summarizing any POV in a Wikipedia NPOV page does not settle the controversies among POVs. Our job in Wikipedia is to quote and cite the varying POVs and let the readers decide. Would you agree? ---Rednblu | Talk 21:59, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Digesting the suggestions: I plan to edit this section as we go along :)[edit]

Thanks for helping me clarify the "algebra" of NPOV. For example, I changed the heading on this section to clarify the idea here. After thinking about your comments, I find the following.
  1. Likely the final page should not cite dictionaries. That is, artful editing generally would make the page flow better than just quoting dictionary definitions.
  2. Many times a particular dictionary definition may not provide encyclopedic interest. In that case, editors would agree readily that the particular POV in that dictionary definition was non-interesting.
  3. Dictionary definitions will not resolve which POV is right--merely validate that the POVs in the dictionary definitions are appropriate POVs to detail in Wikipedia somewhere. For example, dictionary definitions will not resolve whether "America is a republic or a democracy"--merely validate at most that there are two opposing POVs that are both appropriate POVs to detail in Wikipedia somewhere.
    • Older dictionaries illustrate the point. Older dictionaries serve to validate that the hilariously old-fashioned ideas in them were actual POVs back in time. And hence, those POVs in older dictionaries serve to validate those old-fashioned ideas as appropriate for detailing in Wikipedia pages as part of the history of ideas. But neither the older or the newer dictionaries can settle which POV is right.
  4. However, in constructing pages, including associated disambiguation pages, for a controversial area, dictionary definitions always would serve one important function, namely validating that the POVs in the dictionary would NPOV qualify for representation in some page. This would apply in any situation where there was disagreement among editors whether the POV in the dictionary definition was to be allowed "print space" on the page. (Typos are readily identified by the publisher.)
  5. Hypothesis. Hence, NPOV could always be achieved by detailing the POVs in the dictionary definitions together with detailing the opposing POVs of experts.
It appears to me that the above states a falsifiable hypothesis on all dictionary definitions. That is, one counter-example that would falsify the above hypothesis would be from the following:
  • Find a word W in a dictionary D such that the D definitions for W together with opposing expert opinions would NOT make a NPOV page.
An example in support of the above hypothesis would be the word work for which the dictionary definitions state the following two POVs together with others.
  1. POV 1. Work is the transfer of energy from one physical system to another, especially the transfer of energy to a body by the application of a force that moves the body in the direction of the force. (There would be several alternative statements of this POV.)
  2. POV 2. Work is one's place of employment.
According to the hypothesis, an NPOV report on the concept of work could always be achieved by constructing a set of pages, together with appropriate disambiguation pages, of the POVs in the dictionary definitions of work surrounded by the POVs of the experts on work that differ from the POVs in the dictionary definitions of work.
  • In particular, NPOV would require that the non-scientific POV 2 on work would not get cut from a disambiguation page on work. ---Rednblu | Talk 17:27, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • Reputable dictionaries are exactly as citable as any other reputable sources, no more, no less. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:10, Nov 6, 2004 (UTC)
    • I would have thought so a priori--before encountering a real situation.  :( But then, when in an actual situation of having an exact quote from the American Heritage Dictionary cut by an editor as at this link, when I thought about it, there seems to be a lack of general understanding--including my own--about how citable a dictionary really should be. For example, I would have reverted the cut and argued much more strongly if the cited quotation had been from Darwin's Origin of Species--because I could say "Darwin said that." But who knows who wrote the dictionary definition? Thanks for helping me think this through--because I think a section in the NPOV documentation is required. ---Rednblu | Talk 20:04, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
      • To put it briefly: dictionary definitions are not special, nor is any particular source. Any text exhibiting a point of view is POV, without exception, although you could certainly contend whether a piece of text is POV or not. I can't help but see this whole argument as a way of drawing attention to and justifying a single tiny edit. I'd seriously consider just moving on. Deco 21:46, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
        • Thanks for the advice. :)) ---Rednblu | Talk 22:07, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Whether to allow warnings about inaccurate information on the WWW?[edit]

When I was web searching for information about the APS Underwater Assault Rifle 5.56 mm, using Altavista's web searcher, I found a realistic-looking page about this rifle, which described this rifle in detail, and also mentioned a USA copy of this rifle and a recent undercover war called the Twilight War. The Russian APS is real and as described, but the USA copy and the Twilight War are fiction and occur in a videogame scenario. The page did not mention anything obviously fictional such as ray guns or spaceships. I do not play videogames and I had not heard of that videogame or its scenario. The web page did not mention any videogame and did not warn that any of its content was fictional.

That sort of mixture of fact and fiction (sometimes nicknamed "faction") can be a major pitfall and landmine for people looking for information. As a result, when I wrote the Wikipedia page APS Underwater Assault Rifle 5.56 mm (having checked the information by looking in reliable information at the APS's maker's web site), I included a pointer to a web page A warning about websites that describe guns which I wrote describing this risk of being misled. But someone deleted the page and the pointer to it.

However, the Wikipedia page Gestapo's section "Books" includes this warning:-

Suspected hoax works about the Gestapo include:
Gestapo Chief: The 1948 Interrogation of Heinrich Müller - Gregory Douglas. San Jose, CA 1995

which has been allowed to stand. Please, what is policy about warning the readers about inaccurate information on the WWW or in books or in films etc?

Readers should be told about possible inaccuracies in our own articles. We cannot be held accountable, however, for the rest of the web — anyone who isn't aware by now that the web isn't a totally reliable source of information probably shouldn't be reading Wikipedia. If it's a widespread phenomenon, it may at best deserve mention in the body of the article. If you're afraid an editor may use the faction page as a source, feel free to include an HTML comment mentioning it specifically. Deco 07:43, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thanks Anthony Appleyard 08:03, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I think A warning about websites that describe guns was correctly deleted. Charles Matthews 09:46, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

See also this talk area. Anthony Appleyard 17:03, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Accelerated VfD[edit]

I have just posted another proposal to try and deal with VfD overload. Since it a) is primarily a formalization of current practice, and b) requires unanimous consent of the entire community (admins and non-admins alike), I am hoping that it will be less controversial than some of the other proposed ways to deal with Wikipedia's seriously broken housekeeping processes. It currently is here. If someone wants to make it into a formal, separate voting page, fine. If people want to comment or suggest tweaking the numbers there, that's fine, too. Niteowlneils 19:09, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

GFDL-friendly merge-and-delete of short, single-author material?[edit]

As some may know, there is continuing contention over the disposition of very short articles about non-notable high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. I am experimenting with the idea that such material should be merged into articles about the towns, on the premise that people interested in the town are better able to judge the appropriateness of this material than the general VfD population.

Here's the question. In the case of a short article that is exclusively, or almost exclusively the contribution of a single author, it seems to me that it ought to be possible to perform a "GDFL-friendly merge-and-delete" by placing a manually-written notice in the article's talk page, similar to the one below. (I've deliberately chosen one in which the article was created primarily, but not exclusively, by a single author). I'd like thoughtful comments on whether this is good enough. (I realize this isn't what you might call algorithmically perfect but GFDL is a human-interpreted license, not an algorithm).

This example concerns inserting the entire text of High Tech High into a section of San Diego, California.

The text is copied exactly from High Tech High to preserve GFDL traceability. Will clean up shortly. The text is that as of 17:25, 1 Nov 2004 Bboarder12. The text is entirely the product of a single author, Bboarder12, with the exception of the insertion and removal of various Wikipedia administrative notices by others. The history is: [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 01:14, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

(cur) (last) 17:25, 1 Nov 2004 Bboarder12
(cur) (last) 17:20, 1 Nov 2004 Bboarder12
(cur) (last) 17:05, 1 Nov 2004 Bboarder12
(cur) (last) 17:04, 1 Nov 2004 CBDroege m (reason)
(cur) (last) 17:04, 1 Nov 2004 CBDroege m (original author of page is not allowed to remove speedy deletion candidacy.)
(cur) (last) 17:02, 1 Nov 2004 RickK (vfd)
(cur) (last) 17:00, 1 Nov 2004 Bboarder12
(cur) (last) 16:56, 1 Nov 2004 Bboarder12
(cur) (last) 16:52, 1 Nov 2004 CBDroege m (candidate for speedy delete)
(cur) (last) 16:49, 1 Nov 2004 Bboarder12
(cur) (last) 16:47, 1 Nov 2004 Bboarder12

Placing a notice on the talk page does not satisfy the terms of the GFDL, which requires the list of authors to be in the section entitled history. If history information is lost accidently this isn't such a big deal, and we can wait until someone actually complains to remove the material, but we shouldn't be making this a regular practice. anthony 警告 21:18, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Proposed method for reconciliation of Deletionist and Inclusionist Attitudes[edit]

Inclusionists and Deletionists share what often seems like very little common ground (at least when discussing what to do with unsatisfactory articles), but both hope to make Wikipedia as good as it can be. I have a suggestion that I think would render most inclusionist/deletionist disputes moot; and be a positive wikipedia change as far as both camps are concerned. In the policy proposal I may speak extensively of school articles, though articles on schools are certainly not the only thing that would be impacted by this proposal.

Sometimes (at least when tempers are a bit hot due to a vehement dispute), there is the suggestion from one camp that proponants of the opposition view ought to start their own wiki. Suggestions of this sort are problematic not only in so far as they produce factionalism, but also because, if we were to take them up on that, we would essentially be forking wikipedia. And splitting the editor base into two different projects with large degrees of overlapping intent/content seems to be a bad plan.

So, is there a way to 1) allow people of these diametrically opposed opinions to coexist and 2) not require anyone to give up the fundamentals of their views on what wikipedia is/should be?

I think the answer is yes to both, and the way I would implement it is to have a deletionist wikipedia and an inclusionist wikipedia coexist.

To spell this out: Though there are varying views within either camp with respect to the scope of what wikipedia ought to cover, let us call the inclusionist position the following: All informative factual, verifiable NPOV information belongs in the wikipedia. Let us call the deletionist position the following: Only a certain subclass of informative, factual, verifiable NPOV information belongs in the wikipedia, and that subclass is determined by some factor like Notability or "encyclopedic" subject matter. I put encyclopedic in quotes because it seems as though something very particular is meant by that, and so it is being used in a particularized way.

The solution: Wikipedia ought to have two tiers of articles. Call the broader tier the wide tier, and call the narrower tier the slim tier. All articles start in the wide tier. People can nominate articles to be elevated from the wide tier to the slim tier. Then, there is a votes for promotion process (for those of you concerned that we need fewer voting processes rather than more voting processes, I think that a consequence of adopting this policy would be a drastic, drastic decrease in the number of candidates on VfD). If, by rough consensus, an article is deemed promotion worthy, then the article becomes part of the slim tier. The slim tier would reflect the deletionist ideal of wikipedia, not just the cream of the crop articles (like the one's featured on the front page), but basically all and only those articles that we, by consensus, think are on a suitable topic and well written. The union of the wide tier and the narrow tier would be the inclusionist ideal. Now, when a reader comes to wikipedia, they are presented with (by default) the narrow tier, but also with a clear announcement of the existence of the wider tier (and a notice reflecting the nature of the difference). People can set, via a cookie, whether they would like to use wikipedia slim/professional or the more robust (but also less refined) wikipedia. The result would be that 1) there is still only one wikipedia, and all wikipedians are working on the same articles (in the sense that no article has been forked to a different project, and thus, there is only one instance of each article for people to work on) and the wider tier would contain school articles, articles on hospitals, fire departments, obscure actors, so-called "fan-cruft." etc. Rather than fighting to remove information from the database, people would be proponants of the promotion of certain articles (and I'm sure we could include a process by which articles could be demoted, if that was favored).

In short, we would eliminate all of the notability arguments that occur on VfD, and VfD would basically be used to deal with issues like substubs with no potential for expansion, dictionary definitions, original research, etc. The school issue would be dealt with through 1) policy and 2) debates on votes for promotion. But, the inclusionists would be able to relax because failure to get an article promoted wouldn't mean the information is lost (in the same way an article's deletion results in a loss of information) and deletionists would be happy because there is a professional/"encyclopedic" face to wikipedia.

This compromise seems to be the best solution to accomodate everyone's preferences, alleviate the sheer number of articles on VfD, and allow us to focus on improving the articles themselves.

So, what does anyone think of this suggestion? posiduck 17:20, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea that seems to arise naturally when you think about the problem. However, what you are effectively suggesting is a peer review process. If the narrow tier were the default, most readers would not be able to see articles in the wide tier, and so these articles would, for all practical purposes, not be "accepted" until they are promoted. Those who argue against peer review say that the proportion of articles that are created that are not encyclopedic is relatively small, and wasting time and effort reviewing these is detrimental, and was partially responsible for the destruction of Nupedia.
On the other hand, a process which demoted articles from the narrow tier to the wide tier may be more helpful. In this way, articles could continue to be edited by people who care about them, even after effectively being erased from the public view, and perhaps one day promoted again. As for what the deletionists gain, the person whose content is currently deleted is bound to be more agreeable to a demotion (effectively meaning, go fix it, but take as long as you want) than a deletion. Derrick Coetzee 18:16, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I know that I would be a lot less concerned with demotion than deletion. I would be happy with either system. My questions are, 1) are there problems with this proposal and 2) is this a technical feasibility? However, if there aren't major problems, and we could manage it from a software standpoint, I think this solution is as near to ideal as we are going to get. Posiduck 22:56, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
This is already technically feasible. All we'd need is to do is orphan the "demoted" articles and then move them to a namespace reserved for them. Put a suitable tag at the top indicating its status. We could call it the Graveyard. Articles in the Graveyard are considered as good as dead, and are not reachable through normal links or default search, but can be revived by a dedicated editor. Deco 00:56, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps a more accurate description of the inclusionist ideal is that "All, verifiable, presumed-to-be-factual, NPOV information, at the exception only of the lowest trivia, should be included, at the expense of quality." A more accurate description of the deletionist credo might be "Useful, verifiable, presumed-to-be-factual, NPOV information should be included, at the exception of information which is outside the remit of an encyclopaedia, thus at the expense of quantity and breadth." (and it has two As, not one) The hardcore inclusionist understandably wants quantity, regardless of quality, whereas the hardcore deletionist wants quality, regardless of quantity. The key here is to have guidelines which strike a balance between the two, and clearly define boundaries. Perhaps the solution is to table articles at a panel of admins. If it fails the "clear delete" benchmark, then it is deleted (though more slowly than a speedy). If it passes the "clear keep" benchmark, then it is kept. Then, anything which falls in-between goes up for discussion on VfD-under-a-more-suitable-name. Examples of "clear keep" boundaries might be:
  1. For a book, Amazon sales rank above 1,000
  2. For a website, Alexa traffic rank above 100
  3. For a band, a listing on AMG
  4. For a society, clear evidence that being a member makes one notable
  5. For a school, several noteworthy achievements which set it apart from others
  6. For any article, that the article is younger than a certain age (one week? one month? one day?)
"Clear delete" boundaries might be:
  1. For a book, Amazon sales rank below 200,000
  2. For a website, no Alexa rank, or a rank below 1,000,000
  3. For a band, no commercial releases
  4. For a society, no evidence that anyone famous has passed through their doors
  5. For a school, no evidence that it is any different from your average school
  6. For any article, no expansion beyond stub in a certain period (six months? one year? if it's not improved in this time, it likely never will)
These are just examples. We would also need clear, unambiguous definitions of "encyclopaedic" and yardsticks of notability. Then it is only the middle ground over which people will argue, rather than putting all of WP policy at stake. Leaving sensible argument is good, since it concentrates the efforts somewhere. Chris 00:51, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
But these things aren't clear, by definition - what is clear evidence that being a member makes one notable? What if the article is utter garbage, in such a way that it would be unanimously deleted on VFD now, even under a week after being created? On the opposite side, I think there's a strong case that a society can be notable, without anyone famous having passed through its doors. These things need to be judged on their merits. Furthermore, this policy is doomed to failure, as there is no way the inclusionists will agree to the school delete criteria. As to the broader idea - I vote no. Let's not create a whopping technical mess in order to give the inclusionists a Wikimedia-funded playpen. Ambi 01:14, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
A playpen as well as a critical source of GFDLed material to be used in future articles. I think such a resource would be well worth the minimal hardware resources it consumes. Deco 01:43, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Actually, it depends. I wouldn't necessarily oppose such an inclusionist paradise version, IF it were not the default. If you could join and then select the preference, that would be fine, but I won't stand for new contributors being turned away by finding crap article after crap article. Ambi 05:22, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I agree with this. Such articles would not be linked or come up in searches by default. They would also be marked with a tag at the top indicating their status for unwary Googlers. Deco 23:17, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Coming to this fresh, so these comments are a response to the initial offering, and not to the comments that have followed -- forgive my going a bit long, please.
What Posiduck has proposed is a form of the "version system" that some people have advocated. I have no general problem with the version system. The idea that I heard from Angela was that all articles carry with them a rating. Any user might enter a rating value. Only articles that achieve a high average rating would pass over to the "Version 1.0" Wikipedia that would then be eligible for the print versions of the encyclopedia. Users of the Wikipedia could use the "peer reviewed" wikipedia (when researching and wanting more reliable information or not wanting to take a chance on the information) or the unrated Wikipedia.
In general, I think it's an ok way of establishing quality control. However, there are no teeth to the proposal (nor, really, to Posiduck's). What separates us from a playpen or from Everything2 or from Slashdot? We may not be paper, but we are not infinite. Without some disciplinary functions as well as some pruning facilities, we become the latest way-kewel board for people to play, albeit a very expensive one with an extremely high Alexa rank. Our Alexa rank makes us highly coveted for page rank boosting. Our Alexa rank makes us a fun target for vandals.
Therefore, I could abide a version system with the following changes: All new pages must win at least, let's say, 50 ratings before moving on. Let's assume a score of 1-10. Anything with an average of 8-10 goes to FAC. Anything with an average of 3-6 goes to Clean Up. Anything with an average of 2 or lower goes to VfD, simply for evaluation of whether it's worth keeping or not. Anything with an average of 1 or less goes to CSD. If something like that happened, then I could see it.
I look at Wikipedia as being an organism. It must get new food, and it must excrete waste. Growth for its own sake is the ideology of the cancer cell, Edward Abbey said. Geogre 01:44, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That is a proposal I could agree with - and that quote is particularly of note. Ambi 05:22, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I like this proposal in principle, but see two problems with it. First, wikipedia's penchant for attracting vandals, which has already been pointed out above, could conceivably mess up this sytem entirely if the process is open to all users. It may be wise to restrict voting in some way, whether by experience or number of edits or whatever. My second problem with the system is that it encourages including what is popular as opposed to what is relevant. This is probably inevitable no matter what system of quality control is used since this is first and foremost a communal project, but implementing a system such as this gets us no closer to resolving the conflict between deletionism and inclusionism. I would say that some basic standards that are more strict than wikipedia's current standards would still need to be established apart from popular vote (though these standards should be sensitive to both sides of the debate and not reflect one side or the other's beliefs too strongly)and that popular vote would be used to decide where articles that conform to these basic standards would go according to the version scheme proposed above. Indrian 20:47, Nov 4, 2004 (UTC)
What's interesting to me, Indrian, is that your objections are exactly the ones I made when I first heard the "Version" system proposed. I can see a dedicated POV warrior going through every article on HatedEnemy and giving it a 0 rating and every article on EsteemedHero a 10. I can also see the people who vote "keep" on every article on VfD giving every article a 10 score. Since demotion and deletion would depend upon average, it only takes a few curve-killing voters to keep a score out of the average that would lead to deletion or FAC. Further, highly academic topics, or highly esoteric ones, would not get many ratings. Currently, the very good John Dee article is on FAC. Hands up, all those who know who he was. If I tell you he was a 17th century mathematician, would you want to read it? I'm sure you see the dilemma. In fact, even though he was a mathematician, my literature background is better for reading the article than someone else's mathematics background. The biggest problem with all Version systems, though, is that they require what amounts to a major redesign. They take some software work, but they take a complete reorganization of how Wikipedians approach the site. We would all have to go to the Unrated Page every day, read and rate -- possibly having a queue of articles so that we could keep up with the ones we'd done -- and then go to whatever tasks we usually do. Still, as ideas go, it's one of the ones that is closest to something we can all agree upon, I guess. Geogre 04:32, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • It's certainly a bold proposal, and on the face of it looks like it would solve a lot of problems. One thing I wonder, however, is if it really would. Specifically, not all Deletionists are the same, and not all Inclusionists are the same, and it is therefore unclear exactly which positions would be represented by each wiki 'slice'. We could, perhaps, do various clasifications for articles and allow cookie-based filtering of those (and then Rambot's work might be gone for those who decide not to use it, for example, while others might like Rambot's stuff but dislike pre-university schools). Another difficulty is the technical issues involved in this -- a lot of design work would go into implementing your proposal (and my improvement ideas make it even worse). Despite these two problems, it certainly is an interesting idea, and is not too much unlike other calls I've seen here that simply want reviewed, polished articles for professional purposes (e.g. printed form). Maybe that's in the future of the codebase if enough people decide it's important. --Improv 06:20, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I would be satisfied with just about any compromise that allows people who want to continue to work on the articles that would otherwise be deleted, without splitting ourselves into two different projects. That's my primary concern. Posiduck 16:21, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It seems to me that your proposal itself involves splitting Wikipedia into two projects, Wikipedia-narrow and Wikipedia-Wide. I don't think such a split is possible to avoid. And I judge from the fact that a significant number of people oppose merely allowing people to view deleted articles that there is no hope of reaching a consensus on this, which goes one step further and allows people to both view and edit deleted articles. anthony 警告 20:19, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Would I be a killjoy to say "If you missed it in the week on VfD, tough shit"? Chris 07:22, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I doubt that there is anyway to render this dispute moot as Posiduck claims at the beginning of his proposal. However, the proposal moves in the right direction towards compromise. The two tier system has promise, but I think if we are going to have two tiers of articles, then some guidelines need to be established other than popular vote for the top tier. These guidelines need not be overly stringent and should reflect the sensibilities of both sides of the arguement, but I think they are necessary. Establishing these guidelines would probably be a protracted and frustrating process, but the end result would probably make wikipedia all the better for it. Indrian 20:47, Nov 4, 2004 (UTC)

I completely agree. We have far too much voting already. It's already quite possible to spend your entire time at Wikipedia just voting. As such, one problem which arises is that most issues do not receive a significant number of votes, so a small group of individuals (or a single individual with a few accounts) can easily manipulate things. Fortunately, Wikipedia has already solved this problem. In fact, it is the entire basis of having a wiki. If this proposal were to work, I would suggest that anyone be given the power to move a page to/from the main space. Then guidelines can be established for broad, general cases, and voting can be used for the really disputed cases. Fortunately we already have the general guidelines (What Wikipedia is not), and the forum for voting (VFD). It sounds like we don't have to make any changes, but the key difference is that people can view VFDed articles. I think this alone will take a lot of the heated arguments out of VFD. The threshold for VFD and VFU could be lowered to 50%, and I think a number of people including myself would stop caring so much. I'd stop voting on VFD and VFU completely. anthony 警告 20:30, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Here is my proposal, in rough brief form, based on Posiduck's ideas:

There will be a new namespace called the Graveyard. Whenever a page Blah which does not meet the criteria for speedy deletion is voted to be deleted, it is not immediately deleted but is instead moved to Graveyard: Blah, and the redirect at Blah removed (effectively orphaning it). The default Wikipedia search does not search this namespace. A template, {{graveyard}}, is added to the top of the article, explaining to anyone who stumbles across it its status and asking for help in "reviving" it. All articles which are not significantly edited within a specific amount of time, say 6 months, are permanently deleted.

There will be a symmetric process, similar to Votes for undeletion, which can vote to "revive" a significantly improved article from the Graveyard.

What are the advantages of this approach?

  1. Inclusionists win, because content which was formerly deleted is now kept and may be improved for a considerably longer period of time.
  2. Deletionists win, because there will be considerably less opposition to demotion of articles than deletion, without sacrificing quality.
  3. Graveyarding can be achieved by ordinary users using Move (followed by blanking the redirect); administrators can delete Graveyard articles at their leisure, or this could even be made automatic.
  4. Articles which must be removed immediately, due to copyright violation, offensive content, or any speedy delete condition, can still be deleted instantly.

What are your thoughts? Deco 23:30, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Except for the part where you needlessly delete graveyard articles, I think this plan would work just fine. Posiduck 00:31, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I consider this a concession to deletionists who worry about resource usage. Graveyard articles which are continually edited would not become candidates for deletion. Deco 02:17, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Deleted articles are already kept in the database, and so they already use just as many resources as they would in this scenario. Furthermore, I'm sure you could get together enough inclusionists to donate a computer and hard drive to store everything. I myself pledge $100 to Wikimedia if this gets implemented. anthony 警告 20:33, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I have a serious problem with it. First, it essentially allows Wikipedia to be a web host for whatever junk anyone wants to put up. Let's say that the article blah is not "I am the kewelest!!!!! I rule!" but "Bush stole the election. We will have a revolution on January 21st?" What then? Conspirators edit it like mad. It stays edited and edited and edited. Or let's say it says "Bush deserted the military. He was supposed to report but didn't." Then let's say that someone at one of the bad lefty sites puts up a link saying, "Learn the truth about Bush. See Wikipedia's revealing article at" and gives the link. Edits? You bet! Tons of them. It's still trash, and we're now hosting. In the one case, Wikipedia is someone's Angelfire. In the other case, we're having our good name used for politics.
It's only a matter of degree between those and "My new way kewel game is at the following server" or "Chad is so gay" and "Lord Somersault is the cooooooolest character in console game Foobar" that we usually get. Add to that the vanity page where the person edits it a lot. Add to that the kind of junk that happens when illegal things like pedophilia find ways of passing information to one another, and you've got the real world.
We must delete things. There are damned good reasons for killing the junk, and they're not hatred of humanity. They're not attempts at spoiling fun. They're not academic elitism. There is crap out there that puts us all at risk. Geogre 04:22, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I agree completely with Geogre on this. This site advertises itself as an encyclopaedia and people really need to consider what that word means. The acceptance of crap is the greatest current danger to the future of this project. Filiocht 08:34, Nov 4, 2004 (UTC)
I mostly agree with Filiocht -- I don't think it's the greatest danger (the greatest being some successful lawsuit imposing dangerous process on submission, or shutting us down), but feel that it is an important danger to pay attention to. The ability to delete is an important one, but, perhaps unlike a number of other deletionists, I usually vote to delete based on encyclopedicness of topic, not of article. Articles that I argue to delete, therefore, are articles that I think never, regardless of how good the article, will be appropriate for Wikipedia. Generally, if I think a topic is encyclopedic, and the article contents are even roughly aiming in the right direction, I will vote to keep the article, and sometimes work on improving it or rewrite (I've done it a few times -- if you're really interested, dig through my contribution history, noting that I was User:Pgunn before I renamed myself to follow my sig). This proposal seems aimed more at reconciling with a different type of deletionist -- someone who votes to delete articles that are poor but on encyclopedic topics. It may be interesting to attempt to determine how many of both types of deletionist there are. I should also note that, again, I wish people were more civil in these discussions on both sides. --Improv 15:26, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)
When I say current danger, I mean one that is actually happening, not some (I agree much more serious) potential but not actual lawsuit. I agree with your approach to deletion, by the way. Unfortunately, it would appear that some contributors do not take the time to consider what an encyclopaedia is before creating an article while others, as you point out, want to delete articles because they are badly written or contain crap. If these articles went to cleanup and 50% of the effort that now goes into VfD went there instead, the problem might well reduce. That said, I do feel that the current voting setup on VfD is counterproductive and in need of reform. Filiocht 15:58, Nov 4, 2004 (UTC)
What's being missed here is that Graveyard articles are effectively dead. The notice at the top would specifically indicate that we do not claim such articles have any credibility or significance. As for free hosting, well, yes, but they're also releasing all their content under the GFDL, and so it's available for morphing into actual article content. For example, an editor on the page about the console game Foobar might read your hypothetical Graveyard page on "Lord Somersault" and incorporate some of it after some fact-checking and copyediting. Also, just as real Angelfire pages are terribly unpopular and cost Angelfire little in bandwidth or space, so would these pages.
As for political speech, just because an article is in the Graveyard doesn't mean it's not subject to the same policies as the rest of the encyclopedia, such as NPOV. If the title itself is POV, it can be moved. The point of it being there is for it to be either eventually improved, or eventually deleted. If you could propose an amendment which better ensures this, I'd like to hear it. Deco 16:32, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Geogre, I'm not suggesting we eliminate deletion altogether. I think for copyvio, for random strings of characters, etc., it makes sense to delete those, and we'd still have a VfD for that. But, I am suggesting that for things like schools, hospitals, b-movie actors, as well as stubs on topics that people think should be included, it would be nice if instead of being deleted the articles could be preserved. If we delete a bunch of short but still informative schools now, and then later, policy changes, and the school articles are considered something we should include, it would be nice to just modify and promote the already existing articles rather than have to recreate all of them. It would cut down a ton on the debates of VfD, because most of the hotly debated VfD articles would be candidates for demotion rather than deletion. At the very least it would give inclusionists a chance to put our money where our mouths are, and take the time we aren't wasting on VfD anymore and put it to use improving stubs and whatnot. Posiduck 01:44, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I was under the impression that Graveyard articles would still be editable. Vandalism can still be removed, and vandals can still be blocked. We should still require that anything in the graveyard be verifiable and NPOV. Just not "famous" or "notable". As for the accusation of giving people free hosting, we could run it on a separate computer. In addition to marking the site as not representative of the views of Wikipedia (just as we do with the history pages which suffer from the same problem only worse), we could even put these pages on a separate domain name. Of course, now this is starting to sound more and more like McFly, which is already up and running. Just with better database connectivity (which I'd be willing to lease from Wikipedia at cost). anthony 警告 20:43, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I have two answers to make, I guess. Ok, first, unlike Improv, I do vote on the article, not the topic. This is because there are shades of quality in articles. I'll vote to keep even a poor article on a good subject and vote to delete even a good article on a topic that doesn't belong. I think we've got to know, though, that we're being used by more than authors. We're a reference, and there are many, many people using us as such. There are times, as I've argued on my user page, when nothing is better than an insulting something. If the article is "Ironweed is a book by Kennedy. It won the Pulitzer prize," then I'm going to vote to delete it. Why? Well, it's a great book, and it's being used in college classrooms. A new user comes to Wikipedia, searches for information on the book the class is doing, reads that misspelled and useless bit of junk, and never uses us again. It's not that it has to be a beautiful article, but it has to be an article. The authors of substubs are killing us to get their names in lights.
One of the things neither Deco nor Posiduck answered, though, is the very, very real worry that we will become a subcultural board. The worst case has already happened at our sister projects. The German Wikipedia almost got shut down because the pedophiles began writing coded articles that had external links that allowed them to keep in touch with each other. We've had the same things happen here, but nasty deletionists have stomped on them, sometimes with extreme passion. Trust me: that community knows about the possibilities of keeping in touch and posting information on free wiki's. Aside from the legal jeopardy of unwittingly allowing any of these people to propser on a graveyard or demoted space (and yes, ISP's and server corporations have been taken to court and suffered seizures in the US, where Wikipedia lives, for having this junk and not knowing it), think of the moral side of it.
Let's back up, though, from that edge, which is a real one. Let's look at what did, in fact, happen with the John Kerry article during the campaign. Someone went in and just said that Kerry's wounds were "minor." Well, that was POV. put up a page telling its readers to "learn the truth" about Kerry's fraudulent Purple Heart medal and gave a link to...guess what?... the edit warred John Kerry article on Wikipedia. Like I said: people do this because we are regarded as a reference.
Let's back up another step, though, from that also real edge, and let's just stick to the game of blah. What is the benefit of it? Cui bono? The primary benefit seems to be that people like it. Ok. They like it. Is that enough? People like pornography, too. We don't exist simply to be fun, or entertainment, or a communications medium, or the service of interests. What is the harm of losing it? People like it. Ok. What is the harm? You see what I mean? The fact that people do like the game means that they're eager to talk about it. It means that we get disproporationate activity on something about which we cannot be encyclopedic and need not cover. We become, in other words, a step closer to GameFAQs. These matters are already covered very well, and the primary benefit is that they entertain contributors, rather than inform the user.
Finally, schools. My objection, and I note that it's the objection mounted by most of the other "school deletionists," is not that the schools have information on them, but rather that they are treated as subjects. It is a question of granularity and taxonomy and of information retrieval and use. When the information on a given school is location, mascot, and principal, a table does the trick. By breaking out the information on every single school, and all of it trivial and out of date immediately, we lose that information. It can only be kept together if there are multiple pointer pages. My other problem with individual schools is that we're begging for edit wars and taunts when we have them. That's not a reason to delete, and I don't offer it as such, but "Mr. Smith's class realy sux0r" is going to show up more and more, and school rivals will taunt and repaint each other, once every school is known to exist here. It doesn't happen now because the kids don't find the schools here. If it ever gets to be the case that every HS and MS has an individual article, we're going to be awash in disputes and ugliness. We already get kids calling each other "fag" in articles that get deleted. Imagine when the schools are present.
At any rate, I don't have a problem with a Version system, if it has a digestive system attached to it, but "all things that are not completely false are kept" is not something I support. As for better ideas, Deco, I've offered them before, both above and elsewhere. I'm not one of the people you can accuse of cursing the darkness. Geogre 04:20, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The German Wikipedia almost got shut down because the pedophiles began writing coded articles that had external links that allowed them to keep in touch with each other. We've had the same things happen here, but nasty deletionists have stomped on them, sometimes with extreme passion. Trust me: that community knows about the possibilities of keeping in touch and posting information on free wiki's. Aside from the legal jeopardy of unwittingly allowing any of these people to propser on a graveyard or demoted space (and yes, ISP's and server corporations have been taken to court and suffered seizures in the US, where Wikipedia lives, for having this junk and not knowing it), think of the moral side of it. This could be done just as easily on Wikipedia already, by just putting the information in non-deleted articles, which would then be preserved in the history. Yes, the history can be purged by any developer, but a Graveyard article can be purged by any admin! anthony 警告 20:48, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
And that's why we need to delete articles, rather than having them get continually preserved by redirects. It's why the proposal made by Netoholic and you has met with such resistance from me. We don't need to preserve the histories of junk articles, or inappropriate articles. This is also why admins need to spend their time on RC Patrol with knives out and why people doing New Pages patrol are better off being overly eager to tag speedies than too lax. The danger of illegal junk is very real. Look at the history, some time, of one of the pedophilia-related pages. It's nothing but scar tissue. Geogre 01:59, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It means that we get disproporationate activity on something about which we cannot be encyclopedic and need not cover. But that's just your opinion. The point is not just that people like "blah", it's that people consider it encyclopedic. When the information on a given school is location, mascot, and principal, a table does the trick. By breaking out the information on every single school, and all of it trivial and out of date immediately, we lose that information. This is true, and it's why I think the best solution for schools would be to start a schoolopedia. But it's also true for cities, and numbers, and years, and species, and many of the other things in Wikipedia (I just wrote a script to extract the information from the year pages 1-1999 and put it in a database, 99.7% of it fit into the category "events", "births", "deaths", "links to specific year in pages", "nobel prizes", and "leaders", that's a real number, 99.7%, 34319/34425 lines, not an estimate). And this is even more true with year pages than it is with schools, because there is a whole lot that can be said about any school which doesn't easily fit into a table. One advantage of this system is it gives all the information a home in the mean time, and allows us to easily judge whether or not there is enough interest to start a subproject. In the case of schools, I think there would quickly be enough schools in the "graveyard" to justify a full project. Once this project was created, the information would be easily accessible, and there would be no need to start doing mass undeletions. Besides, people could work on the school articles before the new project gets created, without fear of being blocked for recreating deleted articles. anthony 警告 20:58, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
"My opinion?" Well, yes, Anthony. I would express my opinion. Whether my opinion is informed or not is up to community consensus. The problem is, indeed, that people consider the game encyclopedic, but the reason for the problem is the demographic of an online encyclopedia: Wikipedians are overwhelmingly young. The same folks, when they hit 30, will think Pokemon blather silly. So, what do we do? Do we say, "Hey, the Wikimedia Foundation and Jimbo Wales put up money so that everyone can have fun?" Do we say, "This was an effort to create a useful encyclopedia to be used as a reference?" If the latter, then we cut out things that only serve to stroke the happy button of the author in favor of things that satisfy the research needs of the reader. The reader will not seek and will not care about whether GameBlah has rad new supertwisterphasecannon fire pistols. Geogre 01:59, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
If this proposal were limited to Pokemon cards, I might agree. But it isn't. Did any of the people who like Pokemon donate money? Probably. Will some of them one day hit 30 and still be contributors? I bet so. I am quite confident that putting this proposal into place will generate more in contributions than it costs. And I've even pledged $100 to the Foundation if this proposal gets implemented to put my own money where my mouth is. Putting this proposal into place will help create a useful encyclopedia, not hinder it. And by the way, the Wikimedia Foundation wasn't created merely for the purpose of making an encyclopedia, it was created for the purpose of developing and maintaining online, free, open content encyclopedias, collections of quotations, textbooks, and other collections of documents, information, and other informational databases. That certainly includes information on schools, and I'd say it even includes information on Pokemon. Maybe this proposal would be better suited for meta. anthony 警告 15:13, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I have to say, while I like the ideas that have been put forth to attempt to find ways to reconcile the different opinions, as well as the fact that people care about negotiating here, I find the idea of including articles to get money to be one which we should avoid at all costs. We are not advertising, nor should we make decisions on article content, for any reason, to seek funds. Our goal should, pretty firmly, be just to make the best encyclopedia we can. The other projects should do the same for their proper scopes. As a side note, as you know, we (along with plenty of others on both sides) disagree on (pre-university) schools, and also on Pokemon. --Improv 15:20, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I certainly like this idea. In fact, it's part of the intention of my Wikipedia fork, McFly. Call Wikipedia the narrow version, and call McFly the wide version, and we've already got this essentially in place. I'd much rather have Wikimedia adopt this solution itself, but until then there's always McFly (I've just added the ability to edit, and am working on parsing Wikipedia:Deletion log regularly, only allowing users to edit deleted articles, and sending the edit button to Wikipedia for everything else). anthony 警告 19:58, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Copied discussion[edit]

I think the two-tier idea has a lot merit. It could be especially good for schools. I copied the discussion to Wikipedia:Two-tier system. Maurreen 18:33, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

typo/misspelling redirects[edit]

Is there a place where we collect redirects that should be removed? Redirecting misspelled variants can be outright harmful: it leads to wrongly spelled links on WP going undiscovered (because they will be blue, even though misspelled, this has happened to me several times), and also readers may be led to believe that the spelling is correct when it is not. Two examples off the top of my head:

dab 16:42, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Try Wikipedia:Redirects for deletion. olderwiser 16:45, Oct 31, 2004 (UTC)

I still believe that there is a strong argument for keeping common misspellings as redirects. It enables searching for the common misspelling. Ideally, we should develop a way to have these handled by some special approach that prevents them from creating blue links. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:39, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)

well, instead of a simple redirect, we could put a note saying "did you mean", e.g. at Qu'ran: "Did you mean Qur'an". An automatic redirect is not even noted most of the time, and people will not realize it was a mispelling (rather than an accepted variant). dab 08:22, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It is possible to add a Category to a REDIRECT (you have to append it and make sure the whole thing is on one line. If we categorised REDIRECTs by their function, it would be possible for the Janitorial Squad to check that they are not being used for links where undesirable. --Phil | Talk 12:06, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)
We have red links for missing articles and blue for those that exist. Is it not possible to get the system to make links to redirects green or something? Simply checking the first character of the article (a #) might be a simple way of doing this. If the green is of the same brightness level as the blue it would not be overly distracting but would allow us to spot them easily enough. violet/riga (t) 12:16, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
While having the redirect links display in a different color might be OK as a user preference, I just want to point out that it is perfectly acceptable to use redirects as links. I'd be cautious about anything that might give people the impression that using redirect links is somehow deprecated and should be avoided. olderwiser 14:02, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)
To be honest I think that people shouldn't link to redirects - piping them is much better. When editting an article I usually check for any links that are redirects and update them. violet/riga (t) 17:05, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It depends on the nature of the redirect. For example, if the title of a book currently redirects to the author it is still entirely correct to link to the book title: if that article ever gets written, it will now go the right place without further work. Similarly if the name of a building redirects to the city the building is in. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:32, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)

If one adds Template:R_from_misspelling, "What links here" can be used to makes sure nothing links there. This makes spell checking easy.

The source is much easier to read if with [[Mayor of Chicago]] instead of [[List of mayors of Chicago|Mayor of Chicago]] (to link to the same page). Such redirects shouldn't be replaced with a direct link. -- User:Docu

Links to redirects can always be replaced automatically, if desireable, so there is no need to deprecate them. The "Misspellings" Category however is an excellent idea (as long as it doesn't spawn enthusiasm for the inclusion of as many misspellings as possible...), and it may also be used to automatically check for mispellings present in article texts. In fact, it would be great to have Categories for all redirects, allowing a classification of why the redirect is there (abbreviation, a.k.a/alias, misspelling, wrongtitle,...) dab 16:51, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC) I just found Wikipedia:Template messages/Redirect pages. nice. dab 18:12, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)