Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive AC

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On trivia sections

In my daily sojourns through Wikipedia, I see many, many trivia sections, on things that one wouldn't expect to have any sort of trivia related to. Say, Condoleezza Rice, Shin-Ra, and such. Should Wikipedia be a nexus for trivia? Large amounts of it is from substandard sources(tabloid, I look upon thee), of no use to one that would visit this site for information(not many people need the fact that the lead singer of some band served on the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. If you need more, search for trivia. Now, the page on trivia is nice and important, but the good 19,000 pages behind it are probably not so. We wish to be a center of information on the internet, yes, but is that really necessary? Curuinor 03:42, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Mm, I've personally run to Wikipedia to source some obscure rumor (Daddy Long-legs venom comes to mind) or trivia that I've wished to debunk or confirm before. I'd like to suggest that, as long as the trivia has a verifiable source, is interesting, and pertinent to the article in question... why not? When I'm looking for information on a subject, I have two resources that I go to first: Wikipedia and Google. If neither of those knows, then it probably either doesn't exist or isn't worth knowing. (bias!) ~Kylu (u|t) 04:46, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I've found that "Trivia" in most articles is not really trivia in the classic sense of being obscure or unimportant. It's more frequently used as a repository for "stuff that didn't fit under any of the headings". In either case, it's likely worth something to people reading the article. If I had the tenacity to get the bottom of the Condoleeza Rice article, I'd probably appreciate the trivia. Aguerriero (ţ) (ć) (ë) 04:59, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:trivia (and it's talk page & archives) might serve as an inspiration for your current attempt to solve the issue. --Francis Schonken 09:03, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

I normally am laid back...however, on the issue of Trivia smoke comes out of my ears. Not only is it un-encyclopedic, but if the info doesn't fit into any of the headers, then the headers should be changed. Usually, I find that the facts under Trivia can be incorporated into the article. --Osbus 23:35, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Trivia = bad idea. In fact, I've been removing any trivia I see from the articles I edit (actor-related, where Trivia is most common). Trivia is inherently un-encyclopedic. A piece of info either belongs in the article - as in, IN the article - or it doesn't belong at all Mad Jack O'Lantern 07:08, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with this. While I do think that a small amount trivia can be appropriate in some cases (10 or so popular culture references, 20 at the most), it's really out of hand in some articles. For example, the List of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episodes articles has a riciulous amount of trivia, but my natural tendancy to include things keeps me from deleting it outright. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 07:15, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
When it comes to trivia, shoot first and ask questions later. :) Mad Jack O'Lantern 07:17, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm surprised to read this. Usually I'm delighted that the factoids in a Trivia section are in no other section. Usually I think they deserve deletion, but of course deleting them would offend those WP editors who are so fond of writing them, and would be termed "elitist" or whatever.
Look at Citizen Kane. It's an odd mishmash of good information about the movie and discredited claims about it. (No editor seems to have read and digested Carringer's The Making of "Citizen Kane", perhaps because it's only been available for two decades.) Not really bad, but not good either. Now look at List of references to Citizen Kane in other work (i.e. just one trivia spin-off): a lovingly compiled list of other shows' feeble writing, which ends "This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it": I'm inclined to rephrase that as "This list is depressing; you can help by deleting it." Still, if this ghastly list has to exist somewhere, it's good that it's other than in the main article.
Back to Rice. Her significance is, I suppose, in being the Secretary of State of the great nation that Leads the Free World. (No laughing in the back, please.) So, she likes the Beatles. To me, that's utterly uninteresting. (And unsurprising, too. What would surprise me is if Dubya had appointed somebody who talked publically about her cerebral tastes.) It's trivial. It merits a sentence, or even a paragraph, in a book-length biography. An encyclopedia article can skip it. -- Hoary 07:23, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
No problem with listing hobbies/interest of people - but under the "Personal life" section. I could see it as being interesting to people, but it should be presented in an encylocpedic sentence format, and not point form, that's all. Mad Jack O'Lantern 07:32, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that there is far, far too much of this and no-one seems to attempt to impose editorial control. A list of fifty pop-culture references to something is not a valid part of an encyclopedia article, but simply a set of notes, most of which deserve to be filed in the bin. Bhoeble 03:28, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

The root problem is that many editors just want to add a quick 1-sentence factoid, and the trivia section is a natural place to do that. And presumably, given the immense popularity of trivia and anything that reduces information to quick, tidy lists, people love reading trivia too. But for an encyclopedia it's not so great. I cleaned out a trivia section on an article about 2 weeks ago, and already people have recreated a trivia section and added 5 new items. The best solution is to integrate trivia stuff into the article, if it's meaningful. I've advocated (half-seriously) a WikiTrivia... it actually might not be a bad idea. --W.marsh 15:28, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm surprised at the number of people who see trivia sections as a problem. I say they're only a problem if they grow to excessive length, and otherwise, a welcome addition of interesting facts. 23:21, 8 May 2006 (UTC)


I've had an interesting time lately visiting and participating in the AfD pages here. What I've seen is an attitude that "being interesting to read" is not a reason to keep. Okay. I'm sincerely interested in knowing though - what is a reason? People have said, "being encyclopedic". Okay. That term gets tossed around so much in here that I'm interested in knowing how people define it. When I look up "encyclopedia" in, say, this encyclopedia, it tells me that an encyclopedia is a tool for disseminating knowledge and understanding about a topic. Nothing more, nothing less. So, since I've been ridiculed in AfD discussions for my stated opinion that something should be kept because it's interesting, I'd like to know (here or maybe on my Talk page) what people think is encyclopedic. I'd like some more help in understanding the Wikipedia community consensus on what belongs here. Because my attitude leans more toward "keep it unless you have a good reason to delete it" or can at least demonstrate some harm in it being here. But the community attitude, at least those who frequent AfD discussions, seems to be the inverse. Aguerriero (ţ) (ć) (ë) 21:25, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Could you give some specific examples where people use "being encyclopedic"? The most fundamental arguments about whether to keep an article or not usually revolve around WP:V, WP:OR, and WP:NPOV, and it's possible that they're using a general description to indicate implicitly that one of those aren't being followed. Ziggurat 21:43, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, an example would be this recent AfD. I read the nomination, then read the article. I ended up spending a while reading it, going, "Hm, that's interesting," clicking links, viewing other topics, etc. When I went back to the AfD page, I commented.. well, you can see what I commented. It was interesting. It made a good read. I learned something. In other words, information and understanding were disseminated, thus at least fulfilling the classic definition of an encyclopedia. As you can see, ensuing comments were quite critical of my assessment, as well as making the point that the article isn't "encyclopedic" and being interesting just isn't enough. So, I am here seeking enlightenment, because I am genuinely interested in contributing new articles to Wikipedia, and have done so. Only, I don't want to waste my time if I am missing some fundamental aspect of what belongs here. Aguerriero (ţ) (ć) (ë) 22:28, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Being interesting isn't always enough. I have to agree with their assessment. As much as someone may want to know how many fictional characters won some medal, in the end you just have a list will never be complete and doesn't actually give any useful information. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 22:39, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Again, why isn't it enough? It may seem like semantics, but.. I have to say that my thought process behind creating an article is either, "it would be interesting" or "someone might want to know it". If that is fundamentally incorrect, I'd like to understand why. Because I may just be in the wrong place. Aguerriero (ţ) (ć) (ë) 22:50, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Lists are a bit of a tricky subject - some people feel that they're unnecessary navigational clutter, and so there should be a reason why they need to be organised in this fashion if the list is to remain (and not be WP:OR). In this case, I'd have to ask whether you thought the article itself was interesting, or if the articles it linked to were interesting instead, because it would seem to me that there's a difference. Ziggurat 22:40, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Point taken, and maybe a list isn't the best example. I thought the list was interesting. I personally couldn't care less who has won an actual Medal of Honor, but I am interested in the phenomenon of it being awarded to so many fictional characters because it says certain things about American values in film and war films in general. I guess in the end, there may be no hard and fast rule... so people can be consensus-builders or they can be Mary Contrary. Maybe my understanding will need to be that there IS no understanding. Aguerriero (ţ) (ć) (ë) 22:50, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Just to put in my two cents, I've read Wikipedia:Deletion policy thoroughly, and there does not seem to be a consensus on this type of thing. WP:NOT comes closest with "Wikipedia is not a collection of indiscriminant information", but there is no specific guideline on articles that may be interesting to some, but worthless to others. Wikipedia:Listcruft is cited repeatedly on Afds, but there has been no consensus reached on that, so it is not policy (or so I understand). Some articles would obviously not be encyclopedic (e.g. List of times beer has been mentioned on Cheers), but others, such as the one mentioned above, are more borderline. Maybe we need an official policy, if that's possible. --Joelmills 02:43, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
In general, the policy on AFDs is "whatever is decided by the people who show up goes", i.e., it's mostly a vote (much though perhaps it shouldn't be). In my opinion, this leads to elitism, systemic bias, and a worse encyclopedia, but that's just me. I have no problem with the existence of the article you mentioned (as I have now indicated on the article's AFD page). —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:21, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
That is now my understanding as well, and I agree with your points. Sometimes the bias seems to be on an important scale; other times, not. Sometimes this bias is as simple as, "I don't think this information is useful, therefore it doesn't belong here." and I have a real problem with that attitude. So for now, my solution is just going to be to advocate for what believe makes a good encyclopedia. Aguerriero (ţ) (ć) (ë) 03:44, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Now i understand that not only search engine counts do matter, also if it has been used academically, published to print media or television. Otherwise it is underground, and un-encyclopedic. More, even if it has been used/occured in the past, this looks encyclopedic itself (documentating something). Some newspaper person, or university guy "must have defined it/mentioned it" forehand, to be fully encyclopedic? Akidd dublintlctr-l 15:25, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

About commercial product

I wonder if each commercial product around may have a page in the wikipedia, now? Is it the new rule? And what about links to commercial products, I found lots or rules in the current policy that forbid them in my mind, but when I remove a such link, I am objected there is not reason to remove a link to a commercial product. This should be more clearly stated. Spankman 17:55, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

In general, pages on commercial products that aren't notable will probably be looking at a trash bin. If most people haven't heard of it, or if there's not enough material for a full page, then it would probably get deleted. Articles on notable commercial products are allowed to stay, of course.

Links to external commercial sites are a totally different issue. See Wikipedia:External links. Don't link to them if there's a good free equivalent available, but sometimes they're fine (such as when the article subject's official website is commercial). —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:07, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Other than the guidelines for autobiographies (which I've been trying to apply) are there any guidelines for commercial entities editing/starting articles on their own (notable) articles? I've got a few company-written entries (like Privasign) which, while startlingly NPOV for what I consider a PR-article, still make me not quite comfortable. If there's no policy in place (which I doubt), should there be?
~Kylu (u|t) 03:44, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I once put up a custom template message[1] on an article that was clearly PR-written. It's best to note these things up front, I think, until neutral editors can look the article over. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:41, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Their fans/customers should write these articles - like i did for Yahoo!_Avatars. Akidd dublintlctr-l 16:23, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Historical Characters in Fiction

I'd like to propose a policy guidline that characters in fictional works that are identical to real historical figures e.g. I contend that Gaius_Julius_Caesar_(Character_of_Rome) and Nicolas_Flamel_(Harry_Potter) shouldn't be separate pages from Julius Caesar and Nicolas Flamel. A sensible guideline would be to presume that characters with identical names to historical figures are identical and that an argument for significant difference must be made to justify a separate page. Small differences should be included on the historical page under a Literary Portrayals heading. Nick 04:56, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

There are quite a lot of portrayals of Julius Caesar, and if I had gone to the (already long) article for historical info, I wouldn't want it cluttered up with details of the HBO/BBC2 or Shakespeare character. Best keep them separate, IMO. --Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 08:31, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
But it's worse for the most famous characters. If we don't do this we're asking for an infinite list of stubs with titles like like Gaius Julius Caesar (William Shakespeare character), Gaius Julius Caesar (Colleen McCullough character) and Augustus (Robert Graves character)! More sensible than a proliferation of stubs would be pages that summarise the divergences from history (or strange interpretations of history for Robert Graves). So there would be just a few pages with names like Historical accuracy of Rome (TV series), Historical characters in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Historical accuracy of I, Claudius. Nick 14:57, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
If there are reputable sources giving info on the historical accuracy of the Rome series, that could make a good addition to the Rome (series) page. I just don't think the main Caesar article would benefit from a lot of TV trivia, nor that the real Flamel and the Harry Potter Flamel should be covered in the same place. Readers of one may not be interested in the other, so a link between them is the best solution to allow people to read either or both as they choose. --Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 15:22, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Including fictional accounts of historical people in the main article on the person is an absolutely horrible idea. The example of Julius Caesar is about the most obvious reason why it's a horrible idea. SchmuckyTheCat 17:47, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Why not make a Gaius Julius Caesar in fiction article, which can summarize all the details for each different depiction? The main article for the historical figure need only mention the most notable portrayals (such as in Shakespeare), and link to the separate fiction page. Postdlf 17:53, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I'd also like to suggest that these descriptions of the fictional characters should incorporate relevant history by reference rather than repeating it ("the novel depicts Caesar's campaign in Gaul from beginning to end"), and only go into detail in how the fictional portrayal diverges from the historical facts. Postdlf 17:58, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Postdlf's suggestion is eminently sensible. Runcorn 20:07, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Postdlf's suggestion is probably the best way to balance fact and fiction; especially if it is only about the divergence from history and is written so as not to double up. The question remains, how do we get all those TV/Movie fans to do it like that, rather than produce dozens of stubs for their own favourite show? Nick 17:56, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

==Nicknames==, including "tomato" (for which evidence of usage exists).
It was called vandalism.
See the Matrix_(IT) article. My edits were reverted, and also called vandalism.

I believe it is called "edit mistake".
"Vandalism" is something different, removing information, or pure profanity.
I do not believe, that adding data is vandalism.
Now i am going to discuss edit plans on the talk pages.
Others are just editing, see Red_hair, removing templates without saying anything.
I believe it requires a different template.
Especially for users which do have an userpage.
There are also real cases of vandalism (removing information, adding profanity).
I find the (template) usage threatening, especially to cover a different POV.
I find data removal quite inpolite. I can do this myself, if someone asks me to review an edit.
The template messages:

  • "It looks you just made an edit mistake in the article ... , because ..."
  • "The edit you just performed on the article ... needs review/undo, because ..."

I do not like to take my edits get called "vandalism". Akidd dublintlctr-l 12:34, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Hello. Some editors do over use the word "vandalism" when making changes, and it's understandable not liking it. WP:VAND has the policy on vandalism, if you feel an edit has been unjustly described, it might be worth politely pointing out WP:VAND#What_vandalism_is_not to the other editor, as mistakes do happen, and we are not supposed to bite new editors.
However, because of the nature of wikipedia, there will always be cases where your edits are removed/edited/etc, it is important not to take this personally, everyone is trying to improve the article, and if you disagree, the first step is to have a quick word with the other editor, either on their talk page or on the article talk page. It's important not to be confrontational, a polite request to ask why they thought so will go a long way. Regards, MartinRe 12:53, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
You're quite correct - the abuse of this term is offensive to the well-meaning editors, implying a value judgement of both your contribution, which may be legitimate, and a judgement of your intentions and character, which is a leap to conclusions that they shouldn't make. I've talked to users who were banned before just to find it was a big misunderstanding. More people should reach out to new users before labelling them. Deco 14:04, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I see it above my power to create such a template. I am already a year or so on wikipedia, went through OR debate for parental advisory. I do not believe this article has anything to do with vandalism, or i am interested to create any of it. It is not WP:POINT. WP:NOR, vandalism and WP:POINT. It takes a while to understand this. Akidd dublintlctr-l 14:18, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I've had a similar experience with Wiktionary sysops who can arbitrarily judge an accidental spelling mistake resulting from the speed typing of an external link to a Wikipedia article from the Wiktionary (instead of using the "w:" shortcut - a common mistake for nubees) to be intentional malicious Spam (Adding inappropriate external links for advertisement and/or self promotion.) on the part of a contributor, especially after winning a recent arguement with any sysop on some other issue. -- PCE 15:12, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
[2] I do not see this advertisement. Aztec_Calendar, Superstition.
My pages get other hits, and at some point i loose the interest in wikipedia. I see these articles too much stricken to NPOV/OR, and with intellectual requirement. I do not have these needs. Of course they are bias', especially how they combine other information.
I am neither a friend of traditional school education. This does not belong here. If i drop wikipedia, then i would have to delete 10's of megabytes of technical articles. I can not do that. Spam is generally a malicious thing. I do not see my aztec calendar table a spam piece, or useless/pointless for research project.
Probably i should make this reply an other section. Probably i just do not see the picture of wikipedia, what it really is for several established editors, by its policies, or what it could be. There are articles kept in questionable style transformer. Personally, i never would have uploaded such images. Probably i am really misunderstanding things, even if i read many policies recently. I do not find much real superstitions in the article superstition, but abstract intellectual explanation.
My efforts for the Red_hair article were moderate successful: some passages have disappeared overnight. Probably in later years, wikipedia contains article versions from a different intellectual point (like simple wikipedia already exists).
I understand the principal requirement for the external links policies.
I want different versions of one and the same article, once it has gained a certain size. User:Akidd_dublin 7th May 2006
this was result of one day hours chanting with Afd articles. I am doing something different now (than Afd), for a while. I had a sad feeling (policies are not always applied immediately). Akidd dublintlctr-l 08:24, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Please don't feel anyone's chasing you out, Akidd! I know we're on opposite sides of one debate, but you're trying to do what you think is right, which would make it a loss if you gave up on AfD. :( ~Kylu (u|t) 00:08, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
I think you're misinterpreting what edits were called vandalism. The vandalism remark was not made in reference to the section you added, nicknames for red heads; it was in reference to the changing of the word "gay", meaning homosexual person, to "Gaiety Theatre, Dublin", which is patent nonsense. Perhaps not vandalism, but patent nonsense. And the whole connection between the use of "ginger" to describe a gay person in Cockney slang ("ginger beer" = "queer" has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with redheadedness. I would also add that the charge of vandalism was retracted by the person who made it. I would add yet again that creating a new subsection in an article for three "nicknames for redheads", two of which are already described elsewhere in the article, and the third of which, "tomato", is rather dubious, is not exactly a grand contribution. Again, not vandalism. But no one said it was, despite your claim. Fnarf999 16:07, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, it was something which i changed to patent nonsense, instead of removing it. Now the article has changed anyway. I understand that it is a sensible article, has received much vandalism in the past, no wonder people over-react. It was a good idea to put it to the light of village pump: redhead people are important. Wikipedia should treat this article as important article. If people do not fight for articles, they do not improve, and even get worse. User:Akidd_dublin 9 may 2006

vandalism vs. edit mistake

Consider this:
I have added to an article, called Red hair.
It was a tiny section called

"1843 births" and "1902 deaths" in biographies: a waste of space

Who exactly here has found having these links at the end of biographies useful?

Now having a page listing everyone who died in 1902 might have some use, though I can't really think of one. However I don't see why a link to these at most marginally and rarely useful pages should be at the end of each biography. It wastes my time, frankly, because like many people I have a habit of reading all the way to the end of an article if I've already read most of it.

Likewise, how often does a person really get to the end of an article about some particular Italian American he is interested in and say "Gee, what I need now is a long random list of other Italian Americans."

It would be interesting to see how many clicks these links actually get, if anyone has access to these figures.

Kitteneatkitten 00:56, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't mind them so much if people didn't sort them (alphabetically) in front of infinitely more relevant categories. Melchoir 01:06, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
The "births" category is probably not terribly useful (though I'm sure some have use for it--for trivia if nothing else). The "deaths" categories, OTOH (along with Category:Living people) have a legitimate administrative function--Wikipedia must be more careful what we write about the living, to avoid libel. While slandering the dead certainly isn't nice, dead men can't bring lawsuits--the law, at least in the US, clearly states that deceased persons cannot be libelled. (Nor can the relatives of a dead person bring suit if the dead person is subjected to slanderous accusations).
--EngineerScotty 03:39, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
They do serve another useful function, expecially for the more heavily populated ones in the last couple of centuries. They help identify people who are misindexed in these categories and likely in others as well, making them hard to find even if they are listed in the categories you find more useful, either because they are indexed by their first name or because many of the people who are gung-ho about adding funny little squiggles on so many of the letters on the article title don't have enough sense to strip them off in the sort keys which index the categories. Gene Nygaard 03:55, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Melchoir's point too. There are far too many bots and semibots running around alphabetically (with numbers before letters) sorting the lists of categories on the bottom of the article pages. I'd like to see that stopped. Gene Nygaard 03:59, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree as well. Categories should be grouped and organized based on importance; alphabetical is entirely arbitrary. I've tried to spur discussion on this point before with non-bot humans and have unfortunately gotten nowhere. Alas, AWB also has an auto-category alphabetizing feature. Postdlf 04:03, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
The kid in me who used to read science fiction back in the 1980s is pretty delighted to see someone say with full sincerity that we've got to do something about all the bots and semi-bots running around alphabetizing everything. This is the future we created. -GTBacchus(talk) 04:07, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
GTB, that is brilliant!!!

Kitteneatkitten 05:00, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Sorting birth and death categories first has always been far more popular, see the history of pretty much any biography. If the community decides this is not the best order, then I'm sure bot owners (including myself) would be more than happy to add re-ordering them as an incidental task. Martin 15:02, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

I strongly disagree. These death/birth categories are very much useful. I've used several many times to perform cleanup work and the like on biogrphies. Mad Jack O'Lantern 04:28, 3 May 2006 (UTC) It's great for writing historical fiction, because you can see who died in a particular year and work interesting ones into the story. I do this for a game I've been running set in the 1940's. Xstryker 17:52, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that these categories are useful. Ideally, each author would be tagged with attributes including birth and death date which we could dynamically query, for example to find poets who died in Spring in the 1960's. But this won't happen any time soon, and the current categories at least fulfill a pretty useful function. Deco 14:57, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
definately. in the magical future, the data will be better structured and people who don't want to see certain kinds of data will be able to just use their own stylesheets and browser features to hide (or rewrite) the articles as they like. In the meantime, getting the data in and indexable in any way is good.

I would suggest that if this is messing with the reading habits of lots of people, then perhaps a template adjustment could be made to make the info less obtrusive? Akb4 22:00, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Those date categories are absolutely brilliant for my job. As a journalist I regularly compile On this day notes for newspapers. I check numerous sources. Being able on WP to find out who died on on a particular date or a particular year is a godsend. I know a number of newspapers use those categories here extensively. They are seen as one of the best thing WP does. Newspapers from the US to Ireland, the UK, France, South Africa and everywhere would be horrified if those links were ever removed. They find them one of the best things about Wikipedia and are referred to and used by journalists, teachers, researchers, historians, writers, etc. FearÉIREANNMap of Ireland's capitals.png\(caint) 23:15, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Adding a speedy delete tag for useless spam page?

Need a clarification on this. Both the WP:AFD and Wikipedia:Speedy Deletions page make no mention of spam articles as criterion for nomination. I apologize in advance that i can't give direct links to the material i'm talking about, as firefox decided to pack it in for the night. I was going through the maintenance pages, specifically one with a huge backlog about pages with disputed copyright status. One such page was tagged for violating a company's website copyright. A user then posted saying that he was from the company in question, and as such has permission to post the text. Another wikipedian posted on the article's talk page saying that this was irrelavent, as a company putting their own information into WP is spam. Would it be correct, then, to tag the article in question (if i manage to find it again) for speedy deletion as it is nothing but copyright-limbo spam? TK 10:54, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

No, it would not be a valid speedy deletion criteria, as WP:CSD A8 doesn't apply if there has been an assertion of permission given.
It can be nominated for WP:AFD, though, and may be deleted according to the Wikipedia:Deletion_policy if it is covered by, for example, WP:NOT#Wikipedia_is_not_a_soapbox. However, the first thing to do would to try and edit the page to remove the bias, request sources to back up any claims of notability, and work from there. Obviously if claims can not be verified, they can be removed, as verifibility is a core policy. I would also point out to the other editor the Wikipedia:Autobiography guideline, and mention politely that while he's welcome to contribute to articles about his company, he has no more control over it than any other editor. (I've seen some editors demand that it remains just as they posted it, quite against WP:OWN) Regards, MartinRe 11:10, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it is (or should be) a speedy criteria because if the company is notable, it may be desirable to rewrite the article as NPOV and remove the spammy/advertisement aspects of it. Each case should be judged on its own merits. I personally don't think there's a problem leaving a spammy article here for a few weeks (taggingi it {{cleanup}} or {{advert}}; if you prefer to delete it, send it through AfD for a rough census on how important the company is and if anyone thinks a good article can be salvaged. Thatcher131 11:16, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Damn, this would help if i could find that blasted page again. Anyways, there was nothing left to edit, the page was blanked and replaced with a copyvio tag, referencing the webpage in question. (Article was a copy and paste, apparently by someone related to the company). Some editor then posted that the copyvio is irrelavent, as the article was entirely and hopelessly spam. So i should AfD if i run across it again? TK 11:24, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
It's impossible to say without seeing the page, some spam pages may be salavage, others not. You might find the article listed at Wikipedia:Copyright problems, for example NAAAP was recently tagged yesterday, with a note on the talk page, could that be what you're referring to? MartinRe 11:32, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Got it! BioPassword - Company seems to be notable and mentioned by other media. However, the article was still entirely standard self promotion. This seems to merit killing the copyright tag, reverting, and perhaps tagging for cleanup or advert. Or not, i'm unsure of what to do now. TK 11:38, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Copyvio and spam are two different problems. If the entire article is a copyvio it may be deleted by an admin after being listed for 7 days at WP:COPYVIO, so it doesn't need a speedy category. (If it is a notable company the article can be recreated later without prejudice.) If an editor claims to have permission, that should be noted and the deletion put on hold to give the editor time to deposit a permission notice with the Foundation. Once the permission is granted, the content is restored, and then you can think about cleanup or getting a consensus via Afd. "Some editor" who posted that the copyright is irrelevant is incorrect. If permission was granted, it might be possible to use the copied web site text as the basis for a decent rewrite, depending of course on WP:CORP and WP:V. Whether a partcular article is salvageable is a decision to be made on a case by case basis. (The editor may be correct that this particular article is not salvageable, I'm giving a general principle.) Thatcher131 11:42, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
    • Googlenews currently has two articles on BioPassword so it might be able to meet CORP and V guidelines. If the company can provide proper permission then I would think it should be untagged and rewritten. I notice no one has contacted the author. Someone should contact the author's talk page and maybe e-mail the company and ask them to provide proper permission. Thatcher131 11:48, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
      • Have dropped a note to the author, but in this case, as the amount of information is small, it might be better to delete the copyvio page and work from scratch. MartinRe 11:52, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:No personal attacks

I have added some comments to the discussion page. I am hoping to stir up some dialogue here. It has become evident to me as a newbie that personal attacks are currently just how Wikipedia does business. In the discussion page of the "rationales to impeach" article, Merecat heaps dozens of ad hominems on nescio. Nescio opens an rfc. A MOB heaps dozens of Ad hominems on Nescio. I try to open an arbcom case after merecat is abusive to me. No go. 3 VFDs in less than a week, the 3 first i sit in on; all 3 are opened with an ad hominem attack. MOST of the Delete Votes which express a reason express ad hominems as the reason. Wikipedia has a serious problem with abusiveness. My email is Wikiwatch has allready taken some of my comments and used them out of context to defame wikipedia. I am trying to draw a line here between stating the problem, and providing people like them with ammo. Please respond instead of ignoring me so that i don't have to get noisyer. Thanks. Prometheuspan 00:35, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

  • The first request for arbitration was rejected as premature by 4 members of Arbcom. However, there is a second RFAR on the same editor for slightly different reasons, you are free to make a statement. (At this stage it is recommended that you be concise; diffs can be presented at the evidence stage.) The three Afds you commented on were the most controversial I have seen in my time here, and there was bad behavior on both sides. You made 15 edits to the first one, which suggests to me that you were taking the debate rather too personally. No matter how another editor behaves toward you, you can always take a deep breath and go do something else where that editor isn't. I see that you have not made any article edits since March 14, but a lot of arguing on the talk pages of George Bush related articles. You list a number of areas of expertise and hobbies on your user page; I feel sure you could edit any of those topics and not encounter the level of argument you have found on Bush-related pages. To put it another way, if you bring a pair boxing gloves to a "takes-all-comers" challenge match, don't expect to play chess. (But then again, I'm one of the MOB.) Thatcher131 02:16, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Prometheuspan 17:29, 10 May 2006 (UTC) Thanks for the info on the arbitration. The controveriality of those afds is irrelevant. The facts remain the same; Those AFDs prove that afds are lawless mockeries of consensus process, and that nobody around here has the first clue what an ad hominem is. I picked george bush related articles for two reasons. The first is that the most charged places are the best ones to view the system under stress. Either the system works, or it doesn't work. The second is that Nescio was being blatantly abused by merecat, and the Mob. I COULD go work on any number of articles. I could probably START a dozen different articles in at least half a dozen different feilds of expertise. The question remains whether I'll encounter help, consensus process, co-creative others, etc, or whether at the first sign of breaking from sheeple thought police offical versions of reality, I'd be embroiled in an abusive debate with no way to seek a redress. I'm not about to get involved with Wikipedia as is, that would be like sticking my neck in a guillotine. The fact of the matter is that there is no reasonable way to redress or deal with extremely abusive people. Merecat should have been banned ages ago. For that matter, Strotha is an obvious pov warrior, who attacks other people to get a reaction out of them and then who slams them with the NPA warnings, and seeks to get people banned. Inshanee is starting to make me wonder. The fact of the matter is that Wikipedia is populated by extremely abusive people, and there is not sufficent policy to deal with the issue.

I didn't start this match, merecat did. I stepped into a situation that was patently and blatantly abusive because it was patently and blatantly abusive, and because i wanted to see if wikipedia had any sense at all, or whether this was the modus operandi of Wikipedia. apparently, it is. Now, rather than just be a complainer, I am offering my assistance to wikipedia to make the changes it will need to make in order to insure its own respectability and survival. Wikipedia is free to reject my help, but if it does, I'll reject wikipedia. I hope that this makes clear where i stand with this. Prometheuspan 17:29, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Why doesn't every sentence start with "According to X"?

Where is there a good summary of the principle that every sentence in the Wikipedia doesn't start, and shouldn't start with "According to X,"?

I'm also looking for guidance on what should and shouldn't start this way apart from the obvious:

  • Attribute points of view to verfiable sources when there is a dispute.

What needs to be attributed when there isn't a dispute among the sources? patsw 20:35, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this is written down anywhere, but my understanding is that undisputed or uncontroversial facts can be stated as facts, not just X's assertion. Everything should still be verified, so X should be cited as a reference, preferably with a footnote that draws a direct link between the fact and X. Is that what you're asking? Melchoir 00:59, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
The new referencing technology works well here. Have a look at Nokia N93 for an example. It is relatively unobtrusive to add a superscript tag to the end of each "fact", and with so many internet sources, it makes random vandalism or mis-informed changes much easier to fix. (The nature of the article means there is very little consensus about the facts, so it has an unusually high density of references.) Stephen B Streater 14:20, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Self-references (Articles Linking to User Pages)

Yesterday, I removed a link to a user page in the article British small press comics by changing [[User:Peteashton|Pete Ashton]] to [[Pete Ashton]]. When another editor asked me why I did that, I replied:

There is Wikipedia:Avoid self-references. Although this situation is not explicitly mentioned there, I have seen other editors remove links to the user namespace. I can see how these actions might have just been interpretive, though. Do you think we should ask for clarification?

Thoughts? Ardric47 21:56, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

There shouldn't be any links to user pages on mainspace articles. There are probably a few exceptions, but that page isn't one of them. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 22:02, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

What about user pages linking to articles? What if more editors are doing this? How many user links can it take? Would it make sense to split: links from articles/links from userspace's? User:Akidd_dublin 8 may 2006
Userpages linking to articles is just fine. No one cares about that and it causes no harm. The opposite is strongly discouraged. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 22:10, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Would it be fair to say that user pages should be invisible to casual browsers? They only get relevant to people who look at edit histories and talk pages. Runcorn 19:23, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Credit templates?

Someone created a template Template:AIDSWikiCredit to explicitly assign credite for using a specific page. I think this is not in order, but I am not sure about that. What are the feelings about this? KimvdLinde 19:18, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

The GFDL is generally assumed to be satisfied by attribution in edit summaries, i.e., where anyone who wants to see the GFDL attribution looks, so this isn't actually necessary. However, as a courtesy, if large parts of an article are copied directly from a specific free source, we often put attribution templates at the bottom (see, e.g., {{FOLDOC}} or {{SmithDGRA}}). —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:43, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Ok, clear. Kim van der Linde at venus 17:26, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

There has been a systematic copying of articles from old encyclopaedias, e.g. {{1911}}.

Picture on this page

The Village pump?

The picture illustrating the "Village pump" on this page, appears to be a well. Correction: looking at the image description it's actually a bathing pool fed from a hot spring; but the point remains. It's not a pump, or the result of pumping. Jooler 13:26, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

OK, I have a very simple solution. Just rename the page Wikipedia:Village bathing pool fed from a hot spring to adjust the pagename to the illustration. Shortcut (for the policy section): WP:VBPFFAHS(P). Tupsharru 14:57, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
How about Wikipedia:Village women's shoe that has medium or high heels and no fastenings Dpbsmith (talk) 16:30, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
But then we would have to change the picture. Tupsharru 17:58, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Village pump is a's a water pump. And NO, we are not changing the image to a shoe. --Osbus 20:56, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Particulaly when the image is clearly profession the uploader has only and hadful of edits and for some reason the image contians no metadata whatsoever.Geni 21:07, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Can we now scroll pictures here, to illuminate smt. graphically? village pump illustrates the concept of community (they traditionally have pumps), this is evidence that people think in identities where no identities are. By the way it is not a sneaker. How about scrolling skeletor. User:Akidd_dublin 8th may 2006
A well is not a pump. The use of "village pump" has always been one of the most opaque (yet, luckily, harmless) things about Wikipedia to me. In talking to non-editors about this place I've found that that's one subject that always elicits a "what the hell?" reaction. · rodii · 03:13, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
"Village pump" almost sounds like a rough translation of "water cooler" (last paragraph in main section). Ardric47 01:20, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
"Village pump" and "water cooler" do mean roughly the same thing in this context. Both are placed where people gather to get water and discuss things. "Village pump" is better in ths case because it better describes the amount of people that might be discussing at one time. In essence, using village pump implies a larger amount of use than the term water cooler does. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 01:28, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Biography, external link, commercial style articles

I experienced my links deleted Aztec_Calendar, Superstition.
There was nothing commercial (on my pages), just plain html.
Probably this editors should verify these articles (i found them while browsing 1000's of articles):
If this (below) gets through, i do not see a point removing my information about superstition (of course it has a side effect of self promotion). It is not selling anything on this page.

Real_Social_Dynamics probably they have gained local media attention.

I do not have an opinion about this stuff. However, even if wikipedia is not a democracy, 1. all sort of advert gets removed, 2. if it is useful/interesting for the public, then it is allowed (under circumstances).

I see it related to here, how policies are interpreted. Quick spelling of spam made me feel sad, i believe this labels to unrelated to mass-email. I do not believe the calendar table is unrelated. The policy (external links) does not allow to add own sites, i have read it. Akidd dublintlctr-l 08:19, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I removed the links in question. They are links to your own pages. That is discouraged in Wikipedia. The superstition link also meets the definition of original research. Wikipedia is not Google; it is not a collection of links. Fnarf999 16:10, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
It absolutely does not bother wiki policy to point to an external page, which contains OR. If a page heads towards 50 external links, then indeed someone should start weeding out. This does not prohibit me from respelling the article. By the way my pages are partically sourced from a superstition dictionary. I can include a tiny list, and cite that as source. It just does not make too much sense to include other superstition sites: they are difficult to read, really, i spent much time with researching such sites.

The above linked sites are admittely (by their authors) self-biography/advert. It needs a general descision about advert articles. It bugs me that different people get different rights. If an article really improves from an external data page, then it should be allowed anyway. It just nothing for kiddies to add their brand new flash sites.
no one has an opinion about this Akidd dublintlctr-l 17:16, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Help with a potential copyright issue

I'd like some input regarding what I think is a potential copyright violation. Please view the following two images:

  1. Image:Vatican coa.png
  2. Image:Coat of Arms of Vatican City.svg

The first image is tagged with {{logo}}. The second is tagged with {{PD-self}}. The first image is an exacty replica of the image found on the Vatican's website at [3]. The second is a very close match to image #1, but it is not an exact copy. There are some differences. Is the image #2 actually still covered by copyrights of image #1 since they are so remarkably similar? I'm thinking that in a court of law, the courts would probably rule in favor of a company/organization that went after someone for having a very similar logo to the one the company/organization has. I'm also concerned because even though the 2nd image is crafted, it is so similar that I think it would count as a derivative work. Should image #2 be re-tagged as a logo? Thoughts? --Durin 19:25, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

In general, yes that is a derivative work and hence it's copyright status is dependent upon the copyright in the original. However, in the case of the Vatican's ensignia, I would be surprised if the design had not long ago passed into the public domain by virtue of age. Dragons flight 23:04, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Perhaps, but I don't know. Copyright can be renewed. I don't know what the status is in this case though. --Durin 13:43, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
    Copyright cannot be renewed past a certain point. All works first published before 1923 1909 [the 1923 date applies to works published in the USA only, sorry —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:26, 7 May 2006 (UTC)] are public-domain. However, a specific derivative of the (doubtless PD) Vatican logo that was first published after 1989—as Image:Vatican coa.png appears to be—is eligible for copyright (with a few pretty narrow exceptions), and therefore may require some kind of fair-use justification if it's not released under a free license. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:51, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
    That rule for ineligibility for renewal is from US copyright law. What does Italian and international law have to say about it? — Saxifrage 03:02, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
    I don't know about Italian law, but it doesn't generally matter for US copyright. (If you would like to use the images on another Wikipedia, on the other hand, it would be a good idea to ask at their copyrights page, not ours.) Any work published before 1909 is public-domain, no matter what others' laws say about it. And by the way, there is no "international copyright law"—or rather, there is, but it doesn't prescribe any specific dates on expiry. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:26, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
It is not a logo but the in the taxonomy of wiki image tags a "symbol" or "seal". The basic design is from 1825 when Pope Pius VII did a design based on the then new colors of white and gold (see Flags of the world). The tiara and crossed keys design is even older. Many images represent themselves as the Vatican coat of arms which don't look at all like this official one. As with many images of this type, identifying the copyright is an extraordinary problem. patsw 04:38, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
It is a trademark issue not a copyright. It is trouble to use someone else's trademark--much more trouble than copyright issues. Rjensen 04:43, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
On the contrary, it's far less of a trouble. Trademark law is inapplicable if we're clear that we aren't in any way associated with the trademark holder. You'll notice (if you live in the US, anyway, I don't know about elsewhere) that generic over-the-counter medications often say something like "Compare to the active ingredient of Tylenol®*" "*ShopRite is not affiliated with Johnson & Johnson™, the manufacturer of Tylenol®.". In our case, it would be absurd for anyone to confuse us with the Vatican, so trademark law is basically irrelevant to us. (You may notice that we have many policy pages about copyright, and none at all about trademark. That's true for a reason.) —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:26, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
But of course they'll confuse us with the Vatican. Aren't we full of people convinced of their own infallibility!!! lol FearÉIREANNMap of Ireland's capitals.png\(caint) 19:45, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Not Working

The new way of creating articles is not working. Many good articles, including some of mine, are posted, but do not get created. And the articles for creation pages are sometimes even being deleted.

Change it back to the old policy. It works better. 22:09, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

It's not a new way of creating articles. It's just that non-logged in users no longer have access to the normal way of creating articles. Solution: get an account, log in, and you're golden. Why not? · rodii · 02:01, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Using discussion forum to clear WP:V on article about that forum.

One more tricky question that's been bothering me. On an article about an imageboard, 4chan, it is currently disputed whether a list of memes commonly used on that board(a bit of an understatement, the imageboard is 90% memes!) is necessary on that article's page. The problem is, any given meme may not be on the forum at any given time, but theres a good chance. Not 100%. Someone raised an interesting issue about WP:NOR, since some digging is required should one want to verify this. Anybody who has used this board for any length of time will tell you that the memes are self-evident and one need only to look at the board to verify this. So, since the board is so dynamic (retention times on 4chan's /b/ board are insanely low), can you use the board itself to clear verifiability on its own article, or is this a NOR issue? TK 11:52, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

My opinion is that would fail the verifibility policy. The primary source would be the imageboard, but describing "commonly used" memes creates a secondary source, describing/analysing the primary. If that secondary source is a wiki editor, then it is OR. MartinRe 12:00, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
For something so fuzzy as this, I would suggest linking to search-hit numbers if possible, or something otherwise concrete. Otherwise, you're definitely verging toward original research. Linking to an external source such as this (which the article does link to) may be acceptable given that you're talking about a website, even if it does violate the (IMO excessively strict) WP:RS guideline. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:33, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Votes for Deletion

I am getting quite upset with templates that might suggest illigality and with other wikipedians failing to recognises my views: "The reason I have just added this, Myrtone, is that I only just realised that frivolous deletion nominations count as vandalism in Wikipedia policy." Does this even apply with placing such a vote. It surprises me that such dletion nominations are considered vandalism, becuase (my expirience) in the real world, in many societies, my views on this would be perfectly normal so why am I so alone on wikipedia.Myrtone (the strict Australian wikipedian):-(

Can you give us some more context for your problems - some links to where this has been said? Incidentally, I don't see how a template can be illegal: it could state that the user is engaged in an illegal activity, but stating something isn't itself illegal in most places. I could say "I've killed a man" all I like, and that's not illegal in itself, even if it describes an illegal action. (disclaimer: killing is wrong, mkay.) Ziggurat 23:15, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Depends on what you're killing. Wikipedia isn't censored for anyone's views. Your main reasoning for your last view deletions is "because I disagree with them." Such reasoning will not work. The majority of wikipedians have risen to defend these templates because they do not mind their existence nor feel that they're somehow wrong. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 23:19, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Inciting violence would be an example of something illegal in most jurisdictions. So would libel. Templates could include either, theoretically. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 04:08, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
There are a lot of things that could incite violence in theory, like video games (as a commonly advocated example), but few are actually banned. Templates would be one of those things that could only be considered if extremely offensive or controversial. The one's Myrtone has nominated are hardly on that level. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 04:16, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
The kind of incitement to violence that's usually banned is intentional incitement to violence, e.g., "Everyone should go kill all those [insert ethnic group of choice]". And I know this is inapplicable to the situation, I was just nitpicking. I did say in my edit summary that I was being semi-off-topic. :P —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:36, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Fair comment. I don't believe that either of these are the case here, as Myrtone is I think referring to his nomination to delete templates like Template:User not-Drug-free (although I could be wrong). I think such a nomination could only be considered frivolous if it was done repeatedly, or after it is obvious that community consensus is overwhelmingly against such nominations. Ziggurat 04:19, 10 May 2006 (UTC)


What opinions are out there concerning the way Wikipedia does video? I would like to initiate a discussion on this subject, and supply my experience of an alternative.

The BBC recently ran a survey of online encyclopaedias (in their Focus magazine). Wikipedia came top overall (of course!), but it was slated for the lack of video and the obscure public domain software it uses.

IMO there are much better ways of doing it than ogg.

My view is that Java is the best alternative.

Java is estimated to be present on nine out of every ten internet connections.

This means nine out of every ten internet users could watch video distributed using Java.

I have used this system to good effect Please look beyond the possibility that this is a blatant plug for a product as it is not.

The video plays in a window either embedded (behind a static image) or in a popup.

The major plus points with this system are two-fold.

All the content is hosted centrally and footage is delivered through a proprietary codec so it is easy to control, such as if Wikipedia needed to remove copyrighted material and to minimise the risk of people copying videos.

Secondly all the footage can be edited using a professional standard editing system that works in a browser window.

This latter point means, in theory, that any video could be edited (just like any text articles can be edited).

I have published some of my videos on Wikipedia:

They have attracted over 1000 viewings over just a matter of weeks.

Does anyone know how much actual usage the Wikipedia video toolset gets relative to the number of pages viewed? Is it so low it is virtually worthless?

Video is a burgeoning resource on the web; Wikipedia could really excel here by using tools that give its video a level of reach that is on a par with text and images and unparalleled alongside other methods of distributing video by using a method that is far more reliable and easier for viewers to watch, and far easier for contributors to supply / edit video.

mk 21:20, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

For me, your videos cause an error and display as a grey box with a red X.
Proprietary codecs and "control" are the kids of thing we are trying to avoid here.
(I am writing in one line paragraphs like you. Isn't it irritating?)
When the intent is to freely and openly share content, as opposed to keeping it closed and inaccessible, isn't the ideal format an open, non-proprietary one?
I don't disagree with the contention that .ogg sucks, though.
It's just that everything else sucks worse.
· rodii · 01:13, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I've always favored MPEG-1. Yes, it's significantly larger than most other movie formats, but it's got the advantage that everything under the sun can play it, and you don't have to worry about having the wrong codec. --Carnildo 06:09, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Rodii I can tolerate one line paragraphs very well, if you want irritating you
should t
writing like
this no?! (I will forthwith make fuller use of parapgraphs)
We talk about ideal, like ideally people would donate organs for transplant by default. But an ideal is by definition unlikely to come about. Wikipedia is popular partly because so many people can access it. If there is no practical alternative for video on Wikipedia then video on Wikipedia is a non-starter IMO. Perhaps I have put the cart before the horse, and should have been asking first 'how much does Wikipedia really need video'. It's not the end of the world having little or no video clearly, as Wikipedia has prospered without it. But internet video could one day soon be on a par with text and images of today. Video may even define the next evolution of the internet. Thinking ahead somewhat, perhaps there will be great demand for calm oases free from a brave new world dominated by the noise and the bluster of an internet full to bursting with moving 21:19, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
On Clesh, I read: Java 1.1 is required to view this video. Please see these instructions for enabling Java on your web browser. The instructions are here: each OS has various browsers listed. Not only is my browser (Konqueror) not listed, my OS (GNU/Linux) isn't either. Oh all right, it's Alt-SC something or other. But Java is turned off out of security considerations. -- Hoary 07:25, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I tested it on every web browser I've got access to, using
  • Mozilla 1.7.8 for Linux: Plays, no sound, no playback controls
  • Firefox 1.0.7 for Linux: Plays, no sound, no playback controls
  • Konquerer 3.4.0: Does not load properly, does not play.
  • Opera 8.52 for Linux: Loads, gives a warning about not being able to play sound, shows playback controls, does not actually play.
  • Lynx 2.8.5 : Gives an error message about requiring Java. Loading the instructions page gives an error message about bad HTML, and the page doesn't cover getting Java to work with Lynx.
  • Links2 2.1pre20: Same as Lynx, but without the error about bad HTML.
  • NCSA Mosaic: Crashes the browser.
--Carnildo 08:24, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
And if it crashes NCSA Mosaic, I'd guess that it wouldn't work so well on Cello either. -- Hoary 09:39, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Carnildo and Hoary - in you both I think I have found two people in twenty that do not have Java installed and working (just kidding). Thankyou for the research. All I use is Firefox and IE. I can add that having visited many countries from China and Oz to Sri Lanka and the States over a number of years (entering some of the most grotty internet cafes), I have never had a problem watching Java video. But I can't say the same for video that requires installed media players. There is no universal method of reliably delivering video over the internet, only methods that have varying degrees of failure. But that does not detract IMO from the advantages of one method, Java, that can for practical purposes reliably reach a significant majority of users above and beyond all other methods presently available. mk 21:37, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
ogg is not public domain software. ogg is Free software. I see "using a proprietary codec" and "so it is easy to control" as both being fundamentally against the ethics of WP, as, blatantly, is "to minimise the risk of people copying videos." Midgley 19:00, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Midgley when I said easy to control that is a positive not a negative facet. When a user uploads a video to WP it is not possible to change or edit that video. However if a video is uploaded to Clesh then that video can be edited, just like text can. This is in the spirit of WP not against it.
The Java videos I placed on WP didn't cost anything to anyone that viewed them, nor did it cost WP. In what sense then were these videos not free? If proprietory is "fundamentally against the ethics of WP" then widespread use of video within WP may remain indefinitely out of reach.
On the point of ethics, how are we to decide the point when use of a proprietory technology (lets use Java video as an example) becomes unethical on WP? Ideally I would like to have access to some form of method for inserting a picture that links to a popup of my videos, or to be able to host a Java applet inside a WP page. None of these options would involve WP 'adopting' Java video, just accomodating it through markup language. Would this be unethical?
Currently I have inserted videos as external links from WP, these then bring up popup windows that are viewed through the Java proprietory codec, is this unethical? Or is it just putting people seeking in touch with content they are looking to enhance their knowledge of a subject. I doubt they care much about codecs or how they are paid for.
Incidently how pure and ethical is WP? Are the WP servers all getting their electricity from renewable sources or do they rely on energy generated by burning fossil fuels and releasing carbon into my atmosphere, widely accepted to be responsible for rising sea levels and a plauge of all kind of ills upon mankind?
I don't run the servers. Any file uploaded to WP or WM commons can be downloaded, its licence permits it to be edited, and it can be replaced by a later version by anybody uploading that version. Clesh doesn't run on this browser on this machine. Google video does...
I gave a reference which adequately answers (last time I looked) the question about the difference between Free (libre) and free (gratuit). Further information can be had from
The licence conditions and reasoning for WP are not hard to find - I'm going to leave others to answer anything here that doesn't indicate an actual understanding, and acceptance of, those. In some cirucmstances I might debate it, but I'm busy with, and quite tired of, a text-based troll on WP and a couple of his shills, and I lack the enthusiasm for it. Midgley 23:34, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I'll let you get on with your work then Midgley. mk 00:05, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

I am pretty much the only person who deals with multimedia. (Almost all the audio and video stuff that goes on on wikipedia is there because I did it. I'm the one who defined the policy after talking it over with the devs and Jimbo - check the old wikien postings. I wrote the media page, the media help page, and the copyright faq. I created the audio and vidoe templates, and I've located and/or uploaded most of the full length songs on wikipedia and virtually all of the videos) We use ogg because we consider patented formats go against our core principles of making wikipedia free (as in speech). Wikipedia isn't just a website, but also a core databse that is supposed to be resuable, at no cost. To that end, mpeg is absolutely not acceptable, and an even less-common java format is espeically not acceptable. Raul654 21:59, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Hello Raul654. So if a hypothetical format were patented, but was granted by the owner for use at no cost, this would still be unacceptable for wikipedia because a 3rd party has veto over it? In a similar vein, even an implementation of the ogg format in Java would be likewise unacceptable - because Java is owned by Sun? BTW were you able to view my videos? Nobody has admitted to having been able to watch them yet (only the people that couldn't view them chose to speak up!). If you are virtually the only one to have uploaded media then that does say something about the popularity of web content that relies on software installs to use them. If virtually nobody uses the ogg media facility, does it really have much of a future?. mk 00:05, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia can not legally use any codecs that are proprietary because then the content would not be compatible with the GNU Free Document License. Preventing people from downloading videos is also incompatible with the GFDL. It sounds like you have an interesting system worked up that does indeed fit with Wikipedia's principle that "anyone can edit", but that's not enough. Wikipedia's content must both be able to be edited by anyone and available to anyone for any purpose allowed by the GFDL. — Saxifrage 01:11, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Saxifrage, if a Java system were just a vehicle for editing and publishing footage that were already present on Wikimedia, would this not satisfy the GNU Free Document License? For example, footage would be uploaded normally to Wikimedia, from where it could be downloaded, but also exposed for access via a Java editing system from where it could be published / edited. Therefore benefiting the video with a wider audience via Java streams, but without compromising an ability to download the actual file from Wikimedia. 19:51, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Wasn't there a proposal to allow un-free video formats only if there was an equivalent or better version available in a free format (e.g. ogg) as well? That would seem optimal to me: we guarantee that the content can always be accessed using free software, yet we make it accessible to that overwhelming majority whose computers don't come immediately equipped with the capability to play formats like ogg. — Matt Crypto 01:22, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea. It wouldn't fix this proposal though: the advantage of the system proposed is that the video can be edited in-browser. To offer a free-format version for download would require that after every edit in-browser the servers would have to transcode the video from the proprietary format the Java app uses into the free format for download. If you've ever seen the CPU meter on a machine doing transcoding, you'll know why that's impossible with today's hardware. — Saxifrage 02:30, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
What if the "un-free" version is simply a Java or Flash applet playing the ogg? That way it can be displayed within the article, and on machines that don't have an ogg player installed, but under the applet there would still be a link to the ogg. No loss of freedom, huge gain in accessibility. (Yes, I realize that this still isn't editable; I don't think the editable video idea is going to take off with the current technology.) rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 05:18, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Hello Rspeer. I think the key thing to increase the popularity of video on wikipedia is to make it easy for people to use. I.e. easy for authors to upload and reference in articles, and easy for viewers to watch the content. By Mirroring everything in ogg format also in Java format (plus providing a markup mechanism to put the video into a wikipedia page) this would only go part of the way to delivering on that IMO. 10:36, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I've just come across this discussion. I run the company which develops Clesh so feel inclined to add a variety of comments of my own:

  • Clesh is a complete video internet platform. It supports upload from PCs, Macs, Linux, mobile phones; logging; editing; publishing on web and mobile; hosting. It can also make, publish and host video podcasts.
  • Clesh is a Web 2.0 web application and as such is continually being improved to incorporate good ideas from users (including users on WP)
  • Clesh runs in browsers with Java - that is on about 90% of computers
  • Our clients use mostly PCs and Macs, and it works on these without needing installation or configuration
  • We develop on Linux with various Java JVMs and web browsers - we are happy to help Linux users with Clesh
  • Java is free to download, just like Ogg. But unlike Ogg and propietory codecs, Java is standard on almost all computers
  • Modern Java implementations are secure. If you disable Java for security reasons, you may be over-paranoid
  • Each time we upgrade the Java player, new videos are automatically better - we don't need to persuade 500 million people to upgrade their players
  • Most codecs are designed for video streaming. The Clesh Blackbird codec is designed for video editing over the web
  • Clesh can take a wide range of input formats eg QuickTime, AVI, DV via firewire and mobile phone clips
  • Most consumer (ie WP editors') video is shot on mobile phones. Clesh includes the ability to upload directly over the air, edit on the web, and publish
  • Clesh does not need installing, so you can access your content from anywhere - a bit like web email but for video
  • The typical internet device is a mobile phone. Clesh supports mobile phone capture and playback: Regional Film and Video AV interactive The Institution of Engineering and Technology
  • We could add any output format to Clesh. Dirac is checked for patent infringement so is one option
  • Clesh is accessible: quick to learn, easy to use, updated regularly
  • Free sign up at

I have added a few videos of my own (shot on mobile phones) eg Bungee jumping. The picture quality is not perfect, but with the Nokia N90 established and the Nokia N93 in the wings, we'll have DVD quality video available in WP for watching and editing RSN.

You can see more examples of mobile shot videos of various ages on my user page, or subscribe to my rather sporadic podcast at Stephen B Streater 10:00, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps this is a better place to talk about video policy: m:Talk:Video policy. Stephen B Streater 06:59, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Lists in Wikipedia

Please comment on the proposed guideline WP:LISTS. Comments at Wikipedia_talk:Lists_in_Wikipedia#Upgrading_to_guideline. Thank you. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 15:56, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Transfer

Am i allowd to copy on e wikipedia article and put it on a page on anothr wikia?-- 00:02, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

All text on Wikipedia is licensed under the GFDL, so there is no problem copying text from Wikipedia and resposting it anywhere, so long as you do not try to assume a copyright for the text. AmiDaniel (talk) 00:04, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 00:10, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Be careful though and make sure that the other wiki does not require its content to be licensed under a free license incompatible with the GFDL, such as a Creative Commons or public domain license. If you added our content to such a wiki, it would have to be removed or specifically excluded from the wiki's terms. Deco 12:37, 12 May 2006 (UTC)


I have heard that wikipedia is not a reliable source because of its "edit" feature. I wanted to know if anyone does anything to keep the site truthful. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Yes, we do, all the time. To find out more about just how far Wikipedia can be trusted, please see Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:47, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I recently became involved with Wikipedia, and the same question crossed my mind. I think that the advantage of Wikipedia is that it has a self-correcting mechanism, the edit feature, while an error in a printed reference is there forever. My experience is that errors, or deliberate vandalism, tend to get picked up pretty quickly. I noted one edit which said a particular individual who lived in the first half of the 19thC was homosexual. The edit was obviously a "doodle" in that the subjects name was not even capitalised. I doubt if anyone could possibly know anything about this individual's sexuality, and anyway it was not relevant to the reason that person was notable. I decided to watch it and that edit was removed within 3 hours.
One of my first edits was a statement of fact added to a page. Within a day or two someone had tagged it for verification. Soon after someone else had added a source, then another person edited my entry to more closely reflect the source. I have since added additional, verified, information. (A lesson for me - verify) The difficulty comes when the subject is obscure, and the vandalism or error might not be noted for some period of time.
You can use the actual entry and associated pages to make a judgement as to the validity of the information on the entry. Check the sources and references. Often they include websites that can be easily check out. I would automatically question any entry without sources. Check the edit page, and look at previous versions for obvious changes in direction. You can click on editors names to go to their pages - often they include information on their background, qualifications and interests. Edits by anonymous editors, especially if contentious, can be treated with suspicion. Check the discussion page to see what others have noted about the page. If the page is frequently subjected to vandalism, or in the middle of an edit war, this will usually be noted here.
Overall I have found Wikipedia to be an excellent reference. Just the problems are a little different from a conventional reference source, and required a different approach. Hope that helps. --Michael Johnson 01:21, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Doodles are removed (fairly) quickly; less used pages get fewer doodles, but they stay longer. Errors and lies remain more often. Articles on obscure topics may be wonderful and correct; or they may be the constructions of a fanatic pushing his pet cause to Tell the World the Suppressed Truth. On the whole, the good edits tend to outnumber the bad ones. Trust but verify. Septentrionalis 04:48, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Change to CSD:T1.

A signifigant change to WP:CSD is being discussed/implemented regarding the deletion criteria for Templates. Please see the changes at Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion and the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion. Thank you, — xaosflux Talk 17:08, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

It should not be implemented until it is discussed. Septentrionalis 04:43, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, some discussion has taken place, and changes are be implemented. Please join the discussion on the policy talk page. Many reverts of the policy have taken place over the last few days as well. — xaosflux Talk 12:53, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for announcing this here. Metamagician3000 14:06, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Recognize extreme POV as vandalism?

I have been very hesitant to bring this up, but it seems to me, because I have seen some blatant examples, that we should start to recognize cases of extremely POV editing as vandalism. I recognize that this is a slippery slope, which is why I propose a bright line test for "POV-vandalism": it is only POV-vandalism if the only way you can regard it as a good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia is to presume that the editor has no knowledge that Wikipedia has an NPOV policy.

Some may ask why this change is needed. My response is that we need to show that we are just as serious about WP:NPOV as we are about vandalism. The anon who goes through an article and removes everything is blocked for blanking vandalism. The anon who goes through an article and removes everything except that which suits his POV is told "you really shouldn't do that; it's against NPOV." And when he does it again, he's told "you really shouldn't do that; it's against NPOV." And when he does it again, he's told "you really shouldn't do that; it's against NPOV." He may be blocked if he's warned about the 3RR and violates it anyway, but if he's warned about WP:NPOV and violates it anyway, he's pretty much free to do it again, because no one wants to be seen as blocking over a "content dispute". What I am saying is that when the only way you could believe something to be an edit in good faith is to believe that the editor didn't know the NPOV policy even existed, it's beyond "content dispute" and should be treated as we do vandalism. -- Antaeus Feldspar 15:57, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

One reason not doing this, is that half the time when accusssions are made of "POV pushing" the person making the accusation is themselves a POV pusher. If somebody becomes disruptive, there are means of dealing with it, and at some point, such people could get blocked (presumably from arbitration). One must be careful before doing a block related to POV. It shouldn't left to a single admin to make such a determination (the way it is for 3RR, or simple vandalism). Defining POV is sadly often POV. --Rob 16:09, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Agree basically with Thivierr. Also, 1) this will lead to even more newbie biting problems. 2) We already have a policy that repeatedly editing against consensus is vandalism, so we dont really need this. 3) Too often users accuse each other of vandalism when they don't like the POV possibly being pushed or simply NPOVing something and this policy would make this even worse. JoshuaZ 16:13, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Basically the same here (although I would point out that repeatedly editing against consensus, might be disruptive, it isn't classed as vandalism (see Stubbornness on What vandalism is not.
NPOV disputes should be handled like any other content dispute, talk, and talk some more. If you find an editor making changes that you think are against NPOV, get an outside view, and if everyone agrees, there should be multiple editors willing to correct the bad edit, but only one insisting on inserting it, so the only way the editor can "insist" is to edit war and violate 3RR. But, that resulting block would be over behaviour, not content, which is an important difference, I would not like to see wiki descend into a situation where you can report people for "ignoring NPOV/inserting uncited details" and expect an admin to block them. Regards, MartinRe 16:33, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
We already have content disputes frequently being reported as vandalism. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:24, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Prometheuspan 00:47, 10 May 2006 (UTC) I think that extreme pov should be recognized as vandalism. Depending on which side of the bed i get out on, I'm a left leaning extremist moderate, or a moderate leaning extremist leftist. I don't jump into articles precisely because i know i do have a bias, and because i am used to argument, not neutral language. Considering my own level of self control, I am getting rapidly less and less tolerant of pov warriors. Nominations for deletion SHOULD be considered spam, and vandalism, if they START with an Ad hominem. That to me is simple sense. There is a difference between content disputes and abusiveness. Abusive gaming of the system is not content dispute. Everybody keeps saying merecat VS Nescio is a content dispute. Thats ludicrous. Merecats not added a single whole paragraph, has deleted anything merecat doesn't like, has heaped dozens of ad hominems on Nescio, and has been part of the impetus for 3 bad faith VFDs. Abusive behavior crosses the line. Whether or not people are being abusive over content, or pov, abuse is abuse. Abuse of the system is vandalism, period. Prometheuspan 00:47, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Nobody and nothing should ever be called vandalism until it's self-evident that the user is acting with the intent to disrupt Wikipedia. Anything else fails to assume good faith. Inserting POV viewpoints that you think are NPOV is not vandalism; inserting them to screw up Wikipedia or waste others' time is. Telling the difference is usually impossible, so assume good faith. (That doesn't, of course, preclude blocks for edit-warring or repeatedly ignoring consensus.) —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 04:06, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

I understand what's been said here, that we already have a problem with content disputes being misdescribed as vandalism, and I understand people's quite justified concerns that including anything under the category of "vandalism" because of POV might provide ammunition for POV warriors itself. However, I would point out that vandalism itself requires interpretation on the part of those who would deal with vandalism; it's just interpretation so blatantly obvious that we don't even regard it as interpretation, merely as fact. When a vandal replaces the entirety of an article with "DAVID HAS A BIG DICK", we don't entertain the possibility that this was a good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia by providing information about David's anatomy. I guess I fail to see why, if someone removes from an article everything that refers to the existence of a POV whose existence cannot be seriously regarded as insignificant or in doubt by any neutral party, why we would need to entertain the possibility that maybe that was a good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia. -- Antaeus Feldspar 19:17, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Clearly he's not trying to improve the encyclopedia, but that doesn't mean he's trying to damage it. People new to the wiki concept will often (one presumes) say to themselves, "Wait, how can this be any kind of reasonable article if anyone can add anything?", and do a practical hands-on experiment to figure out what kind of controls are in place. This may be rather inappropriate, but it's still not intended to damage the encyclopedia so much as to test the wiki system. Sure, they should read the policies instead, but {{test}}ing is a much more obvious course of action to many people, even with the notices we have everywhere. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:30, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
No, no, no. Vandalism is a word with a meaning and despite its wide misuse as a label, most people understand it to mean intentionally malicious editing. You can't change jargon with a declaration any more than the Académie française can stop francophones from using imported words. If you want to change the punishment for POV editing, then say that — but considering that disruptive editing is already well-covered by existing rules I think this would go against Wikipedia:Assume good faith. Deco 12:56, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Today's featured article shenanigans

Can we please stop all the shenanigans with the featured article of the day? Half the time I click on it it's either deleted or moved to Whatever the right name is/bad/bad or something and it's almost always protected (which is a Bad Thing, see User:Raul654/protection). I can't understand the reason for all this and I really just want it to stop. Apparently it's because vandals have been putting people's phone numbers in the edit summaries or something? I say if you let a vandal have your phone number you're an idiot, so tough luck. It's not worth disrupting Wikipedia. —Keenan Pepper 00:49, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I say if you let a vandal have your phone number you're - hang on - in the phone book? Let the protections stay, but (although I've never experienced this myself) if the articles are being moved about after becoming featured, that's got to stop. --TVPR 00:55, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Since we protect images that are on the front page while they're there, we should probably move protect the featured article while it's there. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:20, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Move protection sounds like a good idea for the duration of the featuredness. It doesn't violate the wiki concept at all, really. But semi-protection of featured articles should be as a last resort, definitely, and only very brief. Phone numbers in page history of a page large enough to be featured should probably be referred to a developer if possible, not handled by the rather lacking admin tools, but of course devs aren't always around. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:47, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Move protection is fine — moves can wait and shouldn't happen frequently anyway — but despite the need for damage control, featured article time is often a great opportunity for a flood of good edits, often from anonymous contributors just getting involved. Let's not put a dent in that. This isn't true for images because most people can't and don't edit them and the potential shock value is much greater (think a page full of the word PENIS or some random erotica versus a giant picture of a penis or shock site image). Deco 13:02, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Something I've suggested elsewhere is that after an article's been featured and the resultant flurry of edits has died down, someone should start with the pre-feature version and incorporate any good edits (probably a minority, from what I've seen). Runcorn 19:26, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Difference of opinion

If two people have opposing viewpoints and an edit war starts, how can this be resolved correctly? Usually the one with the last edit does. Wallie 16:40, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Resolving disputes is your friend :) Regards, MartinRe 18:17, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Adminship renewal

This is my first time trying to propose something, please don't kill me if I do something incorrect. ;)

Anyway, I've set up a proposal Wikipedia:Adminship renewal, please have a look and give your comments on it. - Cheers, Mailer Diablo 13:15, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Page titles that differ only in capitalization

It is very confusing when there are two pages that are on different topics, but share the same title except for capitalization. There is a proposal to change the naming policy to avoid this. Your comments are solicited over there. -- cmh 13:48, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

I have produced two new things on this topic:

Thanks for your continued attention -- cmh 00:57, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

duplication of categories

What does the community think about what one editor has done to the Category:American people by ethnic or national origin. This category had been organized (a lot by me) into a relatively small number of major sub-categories, such as Category:European Americans. Now this editor has added all the sub-categories of the major categories directly into the American people... category. This is based on a personal theory of this one user; I have not seen this elsewhere in Wikipedia. Is this 'ok'?; if not, who can do anyting about it? Thanks Hmains 02:53, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

While I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with this style, it does seem excessively bulky. I'd suggest you restore the original style. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 03:09, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm in weak agreement with Someguy0830. I prefer not to have to wade through hierarchies of categories, but the huge numbers of subcategories in this case are excessive. Runcorn 16:06, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Weak language

I was accused of using constructs, which do not look native, and containing spelling/grammar mistakes. In return, i have seen native spelling, which is quite weak, however useful for an article, does not really bug anyone, no need for removal, duplicate data (20 percent) does not really matter. The Windows matrix contains file doublettes, unused files, i assume on purpose.

Now, if you find a remarkable piece of weak language, or going to accuse me again, please do me a favour: C&P it here: User:Akidd_dublin/cleanup/language_usage. I have put in one passage, which is weak, but within the borders of being readable/valid english. Probably not from an elite university. This is a way i can improve my formulations, i do not believe it is low quality what i write. I have read various politic/company biographies.

It should be right to ask for to put the examples (of wrong spelling) there, instead of writing "it is laughable to use a dictionary", "no one searches for baking oven". I do not have the power to weed through personal letters, please keep critics three lines or so. Please excuse the silly mistakes i made. Most programmer do not produce perfectr code in the first instance. It is called Debugging. I used Debug for a while, and i am not willing to get compromized with various accusations. Please use the page i provided (for technical usage of language). If it takes a discussion pad, the policies explicitely allow to add project pages (to the user space). Akidd dublintlctr-l 14:40, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

What you are suggesting here is that (a) it doesn't matter if articles have gobs of repeated information and (b) it doesn't matter if Wikipedia articles are written in understandable English. Your contributions page shows example after example. If it was a matter of correcting some small grammatical errors, it wouldn't be a big deal, but every single edit of yours is unintelligible nonsense. I have no doubt that you are capable of intending meaning, but you are incapable of expressing that meaning in the English language. The above paragraph (and many like it on my talk page, the articles you have contributed edits to, their talk pages, etc.) show this.
For instance, your assertion above that I said it is "laughable to use a dictionary" indicates a lack of comprehension. What I said was, being told to use a dictionary by someone who misuses one word out of every three is laughable. You think the word "gai" (which is not an English word) means "sexually flavoured activity for entertainment purpose" (which is not English at all). A dictionary is not going to help you there, my friend.
For an article example, from Reverse charging (battery), an article which you apparently started, and have cleaned up several times, see the very beginning, which reads: Recharging a rechargeable battery with reversed polarity. It occurs upon wrong insertion into a charger, or if energy current of other cells flows backward through an empty cell and then goes on to list a bunch of random warnings about mixing different types of batteries, heating them in a baking oven (another of your pointless articles), and many other non-English usages of words, like If branding a permanent set, use new cells of same manufacturer and capacity.. This article is appalling on many levels. It is illiterate. It is unnecessary. It is part of a repeated pattern of making illiterate, unecessary, and frequently wrong edits.
I have nothing more to add here. I'm at my wits' end. Arguing with you is extraordinarily unfruitful. Fnarf999 18:52, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Now he is suggesting on my user page that I need psychological testing. Fnarf999 18:54, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
I think this was better left as an out of context, incoherent, one-sided rant that could be ignored, instead of an out of context flame war. The rest of the Village Pump probably won't be able to help you much when you are the only two who seem to know what's going on. But I understand the frustration of dealing with disruptive editors who you can't even communicate with. If Akidd continues to edit disruptively, I'd suggest you start an RfC. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 21:41, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Did you guys start posting in here to achieve mediation, or just to publicly complain about each other? In either case, it seems clear that Akidd dublin feels that he is making useful contributions, and acknowledges that his proficiency in English can be weak. Fnarf999 meanwhile is asserting that Akidd dublin's contributions are both useless and incomprehensible. I don't really see any agreement being reached here unless Fnarf999 feels this is a vandalism issue, then it should be addressed as such. Other than that, tag articles for cleanup if it's discernable what they are supposed to be about, or AfD. Fnarf999, I wouldn't bother waging a personal war against one user - remember, anyone can edit WP.
You're right. Your summary is correct, and I'm very frustrated. I see a broad swathe of damage being done across Wikipedia, and I fear that AfDs and cleanups are never going to keep up. I'm relatively new, but I know the difference between a good edit and a bad one. I will take your advice forthwith. Fnarf999 23:01, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
What you're describing does constitute vandalism here - that is, making edits that neither improve nor contribute usefully to the article. If, in your opinion, Akidd dublin's edits fall into that category and routinely have to be reverted, I suggest reading up on WP:VAN and acting as appropriate. Aguerriero (ţ) (ć) (ë) 23:05, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it is vandalism. He's editing in good faith -- i.e., he thinks that his contributions are adding value to the articles. But they're not. When they're both pertinent and correct, they're impossible to understand; and sometimes they are neither pertinent, correct, or understandable. And he makes a LOT of edits -- over 50 today. So I don't think WP:VAN is helping me here. I really don't know what to do. I feel like if I let it go Wikipedia is being damaged. Fnarf999 23:14, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I have also been observing Akidd dublin's editing and I agree with Fnarf999--he's a well-intentioned but disruptive loose cannon who is creating a trail of wreckage across Wikipedia. Look at the top of the section: what does "The Windows matrix contains file doublettes, unused files, i assume on purpose" mean? And most of what he writes is like that. Far from acknowledging that his proficiency in English is weak, he seem to feel that it's simply not an issue and doesn't take criticisms or corrections well. I don't know how to resolve this, but I want to say I sympathize with Fnarf's frustration. · rodii · 23:35, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Tell me if you think this edit is vandalism: [4]. In an article Transformer, in the "Basic Principles" section, he changed the phrase "the operation principle of transformer" to "the operation principe (analogy): Transformers spin voltage analog to a mechanical gear box gear ratio". That may be well intentioned but it is destructive of meaning. Fnarf999 01:17, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
No, not vandalism, but I agree it does confuse the article meaning, as do several other random edits of his I've looked at, which is worrying. However, I don't think continuing the discussion here on the pump would be of benefit, I suggest an RFC/USER might be the best step to take. I'll also drop a line on his talk page also expressing my concern that his level of English is causing problems. Regards, MartinRe 01:58, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Have dropped a note on his talk page, hope I was tactful enough, while saying what I meant. Regards, MartinRe 02:24, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Let's not be antagonistic. This user is trying to help contribute to Wikipedia, but just needs help with language. If they do add content which is unintelligible, and you're not sure how to fix it, I suggest you move it to the talk page and solicit comments on it there. One benefit of this is that other interested users may be able to decipher it once you've drawn attention to it. I regularly do this with comments that seem invented or very strange but could be accurate. And maybe some focused critique of their writing will help this new user improve their usage, even if they resent it now. Deco 12:44, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Ahhh that's good. Remember the information was there, before any me edits. Suppose someone gets the priorities. Several animals also have red hair. (my reply to a topic on my user talk page).
  • Several passages (of articles) are within disrepair, native spelling or not. In real life, a high-school teenie attacks an adult, guess some do not like it. It just does not go this way.
  • And he makes a LOT of edits -- over 50 today. (someone wrote this) - Later on, i created completely new articles. I would like to ask you to stay away from them, unless you understand their content. I believe their content and grammar is not that bad that it is impossible to understand what goes on. - Same if i edit google groups (i do not know them), that would be vandalism. If this guy with 999 is going to scratch my new articles (i assume he does not know anything about their content), this is not the way it goes. You never know who you are talking to.
  • For what it's worth, I have also been observing Akidd dublin's editing and I agree with Fnarf999--he's a well-intentioned but disruptive loose cannon who is creating a trail of wreckage across Wikipedia. Look at the top of the section: what does "The Windows matrix contains file doublettes, unused files, i assume on purpose" mean? - It requires a knowledge how windows works internally - like the gearbox of a car. If it is not so, it is impossible for some to get it. I assume you anyway do not know how windows works technically.
  • NOW, i promize not to edit articles which i do not have an idea of their content, just being nit-picky. I promize to C&P sentence structures from biography books (and not from the mad magazine). Then it can not be wrong! The reverse charging instructions are completely useless, execpt for stupid 3rd graders which really do not know it does not work this way. Adult people do not need this explanation. Aren't I am offensive and disruptive. Akidd dublintlctr-l 13:04, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
  • I rest my case. · rodii · 13:09, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree with rodii. However well intentioned you may be, your edits are difficult to read at best. You seem to have have very little grasp of correct English grammar, and your edits as a result read like they were written in code. People actually have to decipher what you're saying. It's very annoying. You are not helping the encyclopedia by editing this way. Your only turning what was once a readable article into a mess of improperly used grammar that someone else has to come along and sort out. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 20:39, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
My point is that you don't need to clean up his changes - just move them to the talk page. This way the contributions aren't lost, but also other contributors can take their time about cleaning them up, if they wish to incorporate any of them. Deco 13:36, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Should we be "nice" to living people?

I'm involved in a new problem for me on Wikipedia; a living person has asked for factual, well sourced information to be removed from their article (for reasons not stated to me but probably embarassment). I'd like some feedback.

The article is Misha Sedgwick. Recently an anon IP has been removing certain information (here and here) and them someone contacted the Foundation about the article (see my talk page). Misha made her professional debut in 2004 in the off-Broadway play Andy & Edie, about Andy Warhol and his girlfriend/muse Edie Sedgwick, which is potentially embarassing for 3 reasons. One, it was a big flop. Two, the producer is now an infamous alleged sex criminal. And three and probably the real reason, the publicity for the play identified Misha Sedgwick as Edie's niece. A big deal was made of how she looked and acted like her aunt, and the identification has been repeated as recently as October 2005 by the New York Times. In 2006, Edie's only brother denied the relationship claim in the New York Post; a Warhol web site (which does not meet WP:RS) says Misha blames it on the producer and is sorry.

If I remove Andy & Edie and the identity issue, we're left with an actress with a few small roles in independent films seen by no one, who probably would fail WP:BIO if not for the identity problem. I think the identity problem should remain, since many other web sites still have the inaccurate information. I should also note that a much more gossipy article was stubbed by Jimbo personally in February with instructions to rebuild it with "hardcore sources" and the current article is the result. My human impulse is to be nice to people. On the other hand, she made her own bed and if she regrets it, that's not our problem, especially if we can correct the persistent inaccurate information--which she has not personally does as yet in anythin we can use as a Reliable Source. (I've checked Lexis/Nexis several times) I would appreciate some feedback. Thanks. Thatcher131 23:06, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Now that the problem statements have been verified, I don't see any problem with keeping them. I also support everything you said on your talk page: the material is factual, NPOV, and important. To remove it isn't being nice to the subject; it's just silly. Melchoir 01:11, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree, we can't remove factual and well sourced encyclopedic material just because it doesn't fit with the publicity image the person wants. Pegasus1138Talk | Contribs | Email ---- 19:21, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
We certainly shouldn't remove correct material on request. If she doesn't want a public profile, with all that entails, she needs to find a different profession. Choalbaton 07:20, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
We do, however, have to ensure that it's all NPOV and balanced. Runcorn 15:57, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Campaign to force the use of honorifics

I believe certain users connected with Wikipedia:WikiProject Peerage have been trying to force the use of honorifics (i.e. The Most Noble, The Most Honourable, The Right Honourable, His Serene Highness) despite an agreement not to do this these using various sock puppet accounts, the most blatant seeming to be Special:Contributions/Le_baron which has repeatedly ignored requests to stop. I strongly object to the use of these as it makes Wikipedia look overtly title-obsessed when no other mainstream encyclopedia or biographical dictionary uses these. Arniep 11:31, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

It makes no difference whether edits made by socks or not - What is the official policy on this? Giano | talk 11:44, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
The "guideline" is not to use them inline, i.e. before the name (consensus was that they shouldn't be used in the header of the article at all). The "Le baron" account has continued to go against the guideline despite being asked to stop numerous times and has completely ignored messages relating to that on their talk page. This is just unbelievable arrogance and is a completely unacceptable way to behave. Arniep 12:11, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Agree with all this. He's also adding postnominals such as degrees. In general, we only add postnoms relating to honours and memberships of learned societies, as is common practice elsewhere. -- Necrothesp 12:21, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
  • I see. So Le Barons actions are edits are completely contrary to the very prolonged and thorough discussions which took place here [5] and led to the consensus and conclusion here [6] following which the guidelines and policy explained here [7] . Members of the Wikipedia:WikiProject Peerage were involved in all stages of the consensus arrived at. So don't see the problem here, if after it has been explained to Le Baron that his is a editing contrary to policy, he still continues, then the answer is to to simply prevent him editing at all. If he is a "sock" then a "check user" will answer that question too. Giano | talk 12:26, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Well sock puppet checks can't always tell if they are the same person, just whether they use the same internet connection. I think that person knows who they are so I would ask them to revert their changes if they have any respect for Wikipedia whatsoever. Arniep 12:35, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I suggest this issue be taken to WP:ANI which is a more appropriate place to discuss this. JoshuaZ 12:36, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I have done this already with no response here. I thought it appropriate to bring the issue here as I wanted to clarify whether the current guidelines have broad community support. Arniep 12:39, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't know what well-known user it is you refer to, but I'll certainly be happy to block the sock, per Giano, if it continues this pathetic campaign after now being amply warned. Incidentally, I note from the bad punctuation edits today that it doesn't understand comma logic, either. (I'm hesitant to simply revert those, though, as I'm not sure the original punctuation was standard MoS, either. The original WAS logical, though, so perhaps a MoS comma buff could have a look.) Bishonen | talk 13:19, 8 May 2006 (UTC).
It could be that it is not a sockpuppet, but my main reason for bringing the issue to this page is to clarify whether the wider community agrees with the guidelines. Arniep 13:52, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not at all sure that I'm the wider community, but to me the "serene highness" folderol belongs to Freedonia. (Alas in reality it seems to belong more to "micronation" nitwits and the like.) Let's aim for a higher signal/noise ration -- and this stuff is just noise, so cut it. -- Hoary (Lord Low Poobah) 14:24, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it belongs to many very respectable and genuine European royal families, but that's beside the point. It's been decided that it shouldn't be included, so it shouldn't. -- Necrothesp 16:03, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I was reluctant to see him blocked, initially, since he's doing some at least quasi-useful addition of post-nominal letters as well, but he's been warned three or four times that he's violating guidelines and standing into danger, and except for one comment on Necrothesp's talk page, has remained incommunicando. If it takes a block to get his attention, so be it. Choess 18:13, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, I went through a lot to get those guidelines adopted, and so did a number of WP:PEER participants. I'm frankly offended that you assume someone is resorting to sockpuppets to push this sort of thing through. Assume good faith and all that. I investigated Le_baron with CheckUser and found nothing to link him with any known WP:PEER participant. You ought to apologize. Mackensen (talk) 15:53, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
As I said, I suspected checkuser wouldn't show anything. I do think that it was inappropriate for you to check when I had indicated someone involved in the project may be the perpretrator given your involvement in that project. Arniep 17:11, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
In other words, no amount of technical evidence to the contrary will overcome your belief that somehow a member of Wikiproject Peerage is behind this. I call that a witchunt, and a ridiculous one at that. Mackensen (talk) 17:41, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Somebody needs a nice tall glass of WP:AGF and a little less paranoia. Choess 18:13, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Admittedly I shouldn't have pointed the finger, and I apologize for doing that. The fact is, someone, whoever it is, made hundreds of edits that needed reverting and we really need to ask the question why this person had not been stopped a lot earlier (they have been warned for nearly two months). Arniep 19:19, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
OK. Well, I probably have to accept the blame for some of that, as one of the people who warned him and then didn't follow up. He's also been quiet, as opposed to actually arguing about the policy, and that probably helped him fly under the radar. Anyway, if he's blocked, I'm willing to help revert honorifics in the articles he touched. (Unfortunately, there are enough constructive edits in there that it would be unwise to just do a mass rollback.) However, his edits have raised some policy issues that should be clarified:
  • User:Necrothesp has indicated that it is common practice to include the rank of certain higher officers in the first line. We should formalize this (and whether or not the rank is linked), and add it to guidelines.
  • What post-nominals should we *not* use? I understand that professional degrees, memberships in learned societies (except the Royal Society), etc., and Knighthoods of St. John should be omitted. Le baron has also been adding a postnominal "RN" for Royal Navy captains; is this necessary? (I rather doubt it — RN Captains rank high enough to fall under Necrothesp's guidelines, AIUI, whereas army captains don't, which removes the need for disambiguation.)
If we can settle these points, I'm ready to start reversing the damage. Choess 19:55, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I believe that we should adopt a policy of including ranks of Major, Lieutenant-Commander and Squadron Leader and higher before the name, but only where the person actually commonly uses them (e.g. many reserve/war substantive officers do not), and not linking them. They should be linked later in the text. As far as postnoms are concerned, we should include honours and decorations, fellowships of major learned societies, PC (which is commonly used for commoners as well as peers to indicate membership of the Privy Council, although I have been disagreed with on this) and QC/KC. I'm undecided about Knighthoods etc of St John, which are awarded by the Sovereign and gazetted in the London Gazette. I do not believe we should include degrees, membership of lesser societies, or abbreviations for services (RN, RNR, RE etc), which are frequently inaccurate and are not appropriate following retirement anyway. This is all my personal opinion, of course. -- Necrothesp 22:11, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Knighthoods of St John are not awarded by the Sovereign Runcorn 15:07, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
All appointments are made by the Sovereign. Read Order of St John#The Order in the United Kingdom. -- Necrothesp 15:16, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Modulo third-party interference (e.g., Edmund Barton), I've checked and fixed, if necessary, all the biographies he's touched through the end of March and am continuing to work. Choess 03:04, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

This is kind of ridiculous. It's hard to be NPOV when you're using outrageous honorifics to describe something. It cuts both ways - I don't want to be hearing "The Honorable" and I also don't want to be hearing "peace be upon him". --Cyde Weys 17:13, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I think that's rather a stretch, like claiming that saying "Bless you!" when someone sneezes means one believes or is inclined to believe that the other's soul is in danger of being ejected. It's just sort of a shibboleth: I think many more people have referred to The Right Honourable Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun than have actually believed him honourable. That said, I don't think it's necessary to tack these onto every peer, any more than we need to explain the origins of the title "marquess" at the page of every marquess. Choess 18:13, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia policy is quite clear, and has been since last August, when after a consensus vote the MoS was adopted to reflect the policy. Styles like Right Honourable, Holiness, Majesty etc aren't used. The are shown in infoboxes in the test that list the relevant style of an office holder, whether a pope, a prime minister or a president. Any use (not description) of styles are removed on sight. The infobox solution was the consensus agreed which satisfied both disapproved of style usage and those who promoted it. Stating in an infobox that 'x' is styled such and such is NPOV. Writing His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, Her Majesty, Queen Fabiola etc is not. All sides agreed on the consensus and agreed on how and where the infobox would contain and where they would be located. Given that they are used, mentioning them (whether one approves of them or not) is a requirement of NPOV. Using them crosses the line and is unacceptable. FearÉIREANNMap of Ireland's capitals.png\(caint) 19:14, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Forget socks, non socks and Machiavelli. Let's concemtrate on the issue which is that we have a policy. This user is openly flouting it and ignoring it. He has clearly decided to ignore, or even discuss, warnings. So he has a simple choice, either adhere to policy, attempt through the proper channels to change policy or be banned. He decides. An admin should explain that on his talk page, and the next time he breaks policy ban him. Giano | talk 20:31, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
  • The most important thing the CheckUser learnt IMHO is that if Arniep had seen the "Peerage" wikipedians as his friends rather than his enemies from the outset, there would maybe have been less of a problem.
  • Re. Giano's "Let's concemtrate on the issue which is that we have a policy", nay, not exactly, we have a *guideline* (Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies)), that has in bold in the intro: "Writers are not expected or required to follow all or any of these rules"... (Didn't see another guideline or policy that contains the actual formulation of how the honorifics are dealt with in article text).
  • If editors like "Le Baron" stay recalcitrant, they may and will be blocked (editors have been blocked for smaller offenses), the point I try to make is that the basis for such block is -currently- rather narrow. This didn't, nor shouldn't, stop admins from blocking where appropriate. But I started wikipedia:semi-bots some time ago, which would cover the Le Baron case, under the present formulation of "repetitive edits on various articles that are not covered by broad consensus". Maybe time to move WP:SBOTS up from proposal to guideline, while it provides a basis for handling such issues? It is -currently- also the only guideline (proposal) I know of, that would provide a basis for making an editor undo contentious edits on several articles (which Arniep asked, and which would maybe be something more constructive than only "making the editor stop doing this type of edits" - leaving the cleanup for other wikipedians) --Francis Schonken 08:10, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think invoking a rather controversial (judging from the talk page) proposed guideline is really going to help here — nor for that matter do I see how it's possible to *compel* an editor to undo his own edits. Choess 03:04, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Notability of an article

Now, i have discussed an article which gets around 500 hits (yahoo). Another one is not known if it gets undeleted, in spite of 420,000 hits (yahoo!), 724,000 hits (google).
"What is called noteable"? What is going on does not look WP:NPOV. Especially if it stays blocked, lot of people can actually see it at 1st rank of search results.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Akidd dublin (talkcontribs)

Don't cite NPOV - that only applies to article content. "Notable" is a qualitative article inclusion criterion defined by consensus among editors. In short, something is notable if it seems reasonable that lots of people would care about it. See Wikipedia:Notability for more. The Google test is objective, but not 100% reliable - it should always be taken with a grain of salt (see Wikipedia:Google test). Deco 14:51, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
In my experience, Google can convince people on AfD that something is non-notable, but it often cannot convince people that something is notable. Deco's link, Wikipedia:Notability, is the place to learn about that. Melchoir 21:46, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
You don't mention what article that is... I find, myself, personally, that I place much more weight on hit counts in Google Books and/or Google Groups (USENET), because in the case of Books it is hard for self-promoters to inflate totals via "search engine optimization" techniques, and in the case of Groups it wouldn't be hard to do this but nobody bothers to do it. For me... speaking solely for myself... fifty relevant hit in Google Books is very convincing, and so is five hundred hits in Google Groups. Normally Google Groups will get 1/4 to 1/10 as many hits as a Google Web search on the identical search string. Sometimes, though, you'll see 200,000 Web hits and only 100 Groups hits and that's a good sign the Web hits are not what they seem. Dpbsmith (talk) 16:35, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Coming from yahoo! groups, about japan celebrities, i do not think they are a direct measure. There are cases with just one group about a perticiualary VIP person. To spell the truth, the largest group are about a few sports. Complicated topics have a few tiny groups in the best case. They do not have any restriction on NPOV etc. However yahoo! groups search is just parsing what the creators write (TOC). It often contains a specific you know what similar to web page search. If there are noteable groups for a celebrity on yahoo!, it is evidence they are international known and poular as well.
I do not know how google groups are searched for their content...sure it is some sort of sign, but one should not compare it with web page hits, which count sub-pages of one and the same address. Group search results do not say that webpage results are inflated. I.e. try spiders on yahoo groups vs web search for the term) - a popular known thing...
I tried google for spiders: web-23.7mi groups-412,000 -> 1/50. It is a different system than yahoo! groups. they are blocked as chat by a filter software...
Probably it makes sense to list the ratio in a table for a few popular words (preferable science terms), compare to sports etc. Looks a piece of research on the internet itself.User:Akidd_dublin 8th may 2006
Notability and NPOV are different things entirely.Fnarf999 16:08, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Good, but groups do not have (and they don't bother anyway) with NPOV, or other wiki policies. I know yahoo, google, msn and an other groups provider. A topic can have much group data, but not NPOV, and this is difficult to put it here. In the best case it takes rewrite action. It is also not the same, because groups allow links to nearly everything, useful/interesting, but not always allowed here. I mean if it is not NPOV material, you cant just add it up for notabilty. Only sites/pages with data, with meets NPOV/NOR, make sene for here. User:Akidd_dublin 9 may 2006

I'm not sure that you can disentangle notability and NPOV completely. Suppose you're very pro some town such as (at random) Akron, Ohio while anti Bergen, Norway. You could create many articles about Akron and related subjects while seeking to delete Bergen ones, justifying this on alleged notability grounds. That's clearly NPOV masquerading as notability. Even within an article, you can add some facts and seek to suppress others on those grounds. Runcorn 15:04, 14 May 2006 (UTC)


1. Does NPOV apply to just non-controversial subjects, controversial subjects, or both? Any difference at all in its application?

2. Does including a single point of view, count as POV pushing? The Wikipedia article on Describing points of view says that "... points of view (POV) are often essential to articles which treat controversial subjects"? --Iantresman 15:46, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

My view is that NPOV applies to everything in articlespace. Controversial or noncontroversial. It's a bedrock principle of how things are to be done here, laid down very early on. NPOV does not mean not reporting that there exist different points of view about controversial topics. It means not advocating any of those points of view. Report that they exist, balance the amount of coverage given the different views in rough proportion to how widely held they are, respectively, present the facts and opinions in an evenhanded manner and let the reader draw his or her own conclusions... Does that help? If not maybe you might want to ask your question again in a different way or with more specifics. ++Lar: t/c 17:09, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

It's incredibly difficult to avoid some sort of POV. Just creating an article may be a POV - that you deem someone or something worth an article. And you never know what will prove controversial. Runcorn 19:41, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

I believe some articles are not NPOV, but the view of a group, or colored by the way western people understand i.e. religious topics (Superstition). I do not know if there is perfect NPOV, but it is possible to improve towards it. Akidd dublintlctr-l 08:09, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Good point. Something may appear perfectly NPOV to a group of people in San Francisco, say, but people in another country or another culture might disagree. Runcorn 14:51, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to repeal last point of No inflammatory usernames in WP:U

There is no clarity about "Random or apparently random sequences of letters and numbers, such as "ZJUn5XDLfqSve6yO", "R852783459b", or "asdfjjjjjjjk"." User:160490 is blocked, User:159753 is not, User:30021190 is blocked, User:16836054 is not. Thereofore this point should be repealed and blocked numerical usernames deblocked.

See Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive248#Blocking numerical user names for initial discussion. -- Vít Zvánovec 09:18, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Having read the AN conversation, I don't see any compelling reason for removing this clause. It's there for good reason, too—strings of random digits or letters are hard to remember, making establishing someone's identity difficult. Not only would it make contacting good-faith editors hard, but if editors were allowed to have such usernames the priviledge would quickly be abused by vandals and trolls to confound attempts at disciplinary action. — Saxifrage 11:52, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
No more than Vit Zvánovec is hard to remember. I can't even type the 'á' in his name without having to pull up character map or remember a ridiculously complicated ASCII code sequence... Ral315 (talk) 13:06, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Should we consider a policy of standard English letters and numbers in names? This would also make imposter accounts more difficult to construct (although they seem to be caught pretty quickly now anyways). JoshuaZ 13:15, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Letter 'á' is a part of Latin 1 code page. English normally use words like régime, émigré of café, why not Zvánovec?

I think most imporant reason is lack of any clarity. Every one should be pretty sure if his or her user name is valid. Sorry, but I still don't see any difference between 30021190 and is 16836054.

Trolls should be banned for other reasons than just numerical user name. And for example extra strange user name (non alphabeth characters) or extra long names are not blocked. -- Vít Zvánovec 13:48, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Blocking someone for a name made up of random letters/numbers is a bit drastic, and just putting up with the (minor) inconvenience seems to me to be the lesser of two Weevils. --Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 19:54, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
They are the kinds of names that are routinely exploited by vandals and trolls, so it's not a "(minor) inconvenience". The problem is not typing it, it is the squishier issue of human cognition: we don't remember or recognise random numbers well at all. A name like Zvánovec (which I can type just fine) is recognisable and (with some effort for a native-English speaker) rememberable. If they were to adopt a subtly different username, it would be fairly noticable, and definitely moreso than the difference between, say, 790841592 and 790814592. — Saxifrage 23:26, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't share this panic over trolls. If you wish to block somebody you still have to look at user's contributions. You can easily memorize that a troll is something like 790841592 and than check it in order not to confuse with 790814592. But what about cases when somebody uses quite different signature? In that case you cannot memorize anything. -- Vít Zvánovec 07:58, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Many characters can be typed using the Insert: box just below the edit window, or using Alt together with the numbers at the right of the keyboard, so Alt-130 = é. I can't see any reason to ban short strings of numbers; they're very easy to type. - Runcorn 22:04, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

It's not the ability to type that's at issue, although I had no idea that Alt-130 = anything. It doesn't seem to work on my iMacG5 here, and how do you remember such things?
Anyway, I dispute the idea that régime, émigré of[sic] café are in the English language. There are transliterated words that have a superficial resemblance, but no English words have diacritical marks.
I'm not sure this is an issue, as our non-English friends seem to have diacritical marks in their names, and nobody is confused -- unless somebody else registers a transliterated version. Confusion is the reason for the policy. Just as registering a transliterated version should be blocked, registering an apparently random string should also be blocked!
--William Allen Simpson 04:20, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Side comment: all three are listed in the OED; café (with the accent) is even considered "naturalized", and has been in use for over 200 years. After "café", the next few accented words are cafetière, caffè (and some of its compound words), caña, cañada, canapé, cañon, cap-à-pie, captionné...and we're not even through the ca-s! Ardric47 08:34, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I feel the policy makes sense. User:159753 and User:16836054 should be asked to apply for a name-change at WP:CHU. Their names are difficult to recognize and could in fact be confusable with each other. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:35, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Firstly, it seems to me that our collective failure to fully implement our policy so far doesn't mean it's a bad policy. Secondly, it isn't about being able to memorize a username, it's about being able to recognise it. I need to be able to spot someone's work and think "Hmmm, I've seen a lot of useful work by that person, perhaps I could nominate them for admin", or "hmmm, I've seen that user doing this sort of subtle vandalism before, perhaps I should list them on WP:RFI". As an illustration, spot the odd one out: User:160490, User:159753, User:146952sk8 User:30021190, User:Vít Zvánovec, User:87wt2gxq7, User:16836054. --Hughcharlesparker 12:20, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I do wonder if some people are less adept at dealing with numbers than others. To me, strings of numbers are perfectly clear and no harder to memorise than say Vít Zvánovec. Am I the odd one out? Runcorn 14:21, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Are academic disciplines less notable than Buffycruft? (AfD revisited)

Please take a look at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Refounding Public Administration.

A mass-nomination of persons and institutions in an academic field, Public administration, all deemed "non-notable" by the nominator who contributes no actual arguments or discussion. A bunch of "me too" delete voters, and an article author, Ryan Lanham, who is apparently a lecturer in the field[8] and willing to contribute his expertise to Wikipedia, but gets harassed rather than helped when he tries.

I just checked one of the articles: Dwight Waldo, called a "non-notable theorist" by the nominator. He gets:

There turns out to be two books in which Waldo's name figures in the *title*:

  • Brian R. Fry: Mastering Public Administration: From Max Weber to Dwight Waldo (Chatham, N.J.: Chatham House, 1989)
  • Brack Brown & Richard J. Stillman, II: A Search for Public Administration: The Ideas and Career of Dwight Waldo (College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 1986).

A couple of links:

As I noted in the discussion, this mass-nomination is insufficiently researched (and that is actually an understatement). Recognized academic fields, recognized academic journals and leading academics in those fields are notable, at the very least as notable as individual episodes or minor characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The fact that these articles appear as a walled garden is given by the nominator and one voter as a reason to delete them. I see this as an indication that the field is underrepresented (i.e. systemic bias) and that the author has not been given a chance to finish his work before a bunch of people threw themselves over his articles to get rid of them. I'm pretty sure we have lost another contributor because of this behaviour and that the area will continue to be underdeveloped. Tupsharru 12:17, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

While I don't know this field or these people, I completely agree with the spirit of these comments. There seems to be a disproportionately high standard set for academics to be included. (See Wikipedia:Notability (academics)). Bearing in mind that all high schools are routinely kept, all professional sportspeople are kept, plus the most trivial TV program characters/episodes, this seems unfair.
It probably does also discourage experts if their articles are deleted, just as much as anyone else. Furthermore, in specialised fields, there will not be that many people capable of writing good encyclopedia articles. If the price of having specialist contributions on esoteric subjects is that the contributors write articles on themselves and their colleagues, I say its worth paying.
I understand that WP shouldn't encourage an attitude of 'I'm an expert, this is my article', but I haven't actually seen this happening in academic articles. After all, experts don't have to shout 'I'm an expert', they are in a position to cite material in their own fields.
In short, I think the 'professor test' should be changed. I'd say 'member of proper uni, research institute, or similar, plus one or more published papers' is good enough. --Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 12:55, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
While it may not be terribly efficient, the current prevailing method of running questionably notable articles & bios through AfD seems to actually be a good thing, so that the subject is looked into, an attempt at establishing notability is made, and maybe the articles get a bit of needed attention/tagging/categorisation, too. If the result of an AfD is Keep, then that gets put on the record for future editors to see that a notability discussion has taken place. Warrens 13:11, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with all you've written, Warrens. I wasn't proposing to change the AfD process, I'd like the criterion by which academics and obscure academic subjects pass or fail the existing process to be changed. Sorry if I didn't make that clear, I succumbed to the temptation to have a bit of a rant. --Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 13:18, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
While I do not agree that we should include everyone who has published a paper or two, as that would include a large proportion of graduate students and even undergraduates (unless it was a truly exceptional paper, I suppose), established academics with full professorships at research universities are usually notable, and their biographical articles, whenever they are nominated individually on AfD for not "asserting notability", tend to be cleaned up and ultimately kept. That process is often beneficial for the overall quality of Wikipedia, although it would have been nicer and less of a waste of time and energy if the cleanup had happened without the AfD.
This particular case is more problematic. User:Redvers nominated all articles by a Wikipedia newbie (who happens to be a specialist in the particular field he writes about), makes blatantly untrue assertions of non-notability in the nomination without apparently having made any attempt to research the topics, and does not even attempt to communicate with the author. As the contributor of these articles, User:Ryan Lanham, was still around, some guidance would probably have led to the articles being cleanup up and referenced by their original author. However, when Ryan Lanham asked about the motivation for the nomination on Redvers' talkpage, Redvers just archived the question and the rest of his talkpage the same day without a reply. This is not how I expect a Wikipedia administrator to behave. Tupsharru 13:59, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I'll just add that it seems to me that Redvers is for the most part doing a good job, both on AfD and outside. However, I stand by my conclusions in this particular case (an additional search I made for Charles Perrow confirms my view of the overzelous character of this nomination). I don't understand if he had a bad day when he nominated these articles, or what happened. Tupsharru 06:13, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Re 'AfD is a good thing for these articles': How about a distinct and less agressive (less likely to scare off new contributors) notability review process (finding publications etc) for these types of articles? (I'm not sure I think it's a good idea, but it's worth considering) --Nnp 22:10, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the criticism of the mass deletion nomination, and just voted to keep all of the articles. However, I think the rhetorical tactic of comparing the subject matter to pop culture minutiae is misleading. A subject's significance to society, in terms of utilitarian value, is only a factor of notability. A particular potential cure for cancer is probably not notable if only two people are working on it and writing about it. On the other side of the coin, we have Paris Hilton. Curse you, fame, and mass media proliferation, curse you both. Postdlf 14:12, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

As someone who regularly makes such comparisons for rhetorical purposes, I'll defend them. The point is not that major popular culture figures (Paris Hilton or whoever) should not be included in the Wikipedia project; the point is that extremely minor popular culture subjects are generally treated as notable, while major academic and economic subjects are too often treated as non-notable. Notability, for too many users, seems to operate on a sliding scale, and the more significant a class of subjects is in the real world, the higher the standard for notability is set. Thus, the (never-accepted) "average professor" test, although there never has been an "average actor," "average athlete," or even "average Pokemon character" test. The standard for economic/industrial figures is set absurdly high; being CFO of Merrill Lynch for nearly a decade is considered less notable than being on the taxi squad of the Baltimore Ravens for a season. And articles on such subjects (academic or industrial, in particular) are actively targeted for deletion by an aggressive clique of users who defend with the same intensity the often most obscure minutiae of popular culture. Monicasdude 18:51, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
The same can be said for politicians. A musical performer who can prove an audience of 5000 will be notabale, but the mayor of city of 30,000 will not. Dsmdgold 23:43, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
As Monicasdude says, the issue is not the presence of the fancruft pop culture minutiae, but the different standards applied to different areas. Wikipedia is not paper, it is already extremely inclusive in many areas such as pop culture, sports and anything that interests the large geek segment of the wikipedian population. We see more barely notable professional baseballers, footballers and music albums added here every day, and there is no chance this inclusivism will change without deleting about half the database. That just won't happen.
I am not really against this, as long as the articles are verifiable and well-written, and quite a few articles on video games and pokemon are in fact surprisingly well-written because of the dedication of their authors. I would not mind seeing a similarly inclusive coverage of pop culture (cheap novels, popular theatre etc) from a century or two ago.
The problem is that the same inclusive standards are not applied equally to other areas, and some article topics, like some academic or business stuff regularly get judged "non-notable" despite their obvious importance in society. Some academic areas with a popular or geek appeal like egyptology or astrophysics probably have an easier time, but I guess public administration is one of those things that just aren't sexy enough.
In other words, the argument that "if you really hate pop culture so much, try to get that deleted instead of lowering standards in other areas" just doesn't work, first of all because the purging of pop culture content is not going to happen, and secondly because the presence of the pop culture is not the problem. Widely diverging standards of inclusion are. Tupsharru 06:47, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
    • I don't want to trim the pop culture either but I think there is a streak of anti-intellectualism in the deletion process and Monicasdude's comment about having an "average professor" test but not an "average athlete" test goes to the heart of the matter. Perhaps this is another example of systemic bias: most people can name 10 football players but not 10 professors or 10 CEOs. Thatcher131 12:01, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

All this is an example of why I think notability is inherently systemic bias and should be completely discarded as a criterion for deletion. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:30, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree. I also think that this does come from a deletionist attitude that ultimately drives away many qualified editors. The trend is to shoot first, ask question later. This and many other deletions are completely out of order - deletion should be used only when attempts to improve the article have failed. Aguerriero (ţ) (ć) (ë) 22:00, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Pile on here

Without wanting to get into this - because I don't care - here are my 2 cents for those who are questioning my motivation, good faith and research on this AfD. Don't, because no one has asked me what my motivation was, so nobody knows. People have just jumped into a classic Wikipedia pile-on, where the words of the "vote" above are the only words read by the next "voter", leading to a spiral of assumptions and a suspension of good faith.

If people must know, it was largely a technical nomination. Many of the articles had been tagged for speedy deletion. When I came to clearing out the speedy category, I removed the speedy tags as the articles did not qualify (hardly the actions of someone bent on "removing all academics from Wikipedia" is it?). I put the articles on to PROD instead - this being a logical next move as they only had implied notability and it needed someone to either assert notability or bin the article. When the PROD tags were removed, without comment and without other edits to the article, I sent the articles to AfD - again, a logical thing to do with articles that don't assert notability.

I also followed the links on the main article, and the articles leading off, trying to see if there was a discussion attached to any of them and whether any of them had an assertion of notability that would be useful "up the tree". Instead, I found a largely circular walled-garden of articles, none of which asserted notability. Since it would have been ludicrous to either

  1. Nominate one article in isolation, or
  2. Flood AfD with a two dozen nominations all on the same subject and all with the same problem,

it seemed to make more sense to do one big AfD and let the community calmly and rationally discuss the issues and decide how to go forward on them.

So, there you go, you now have my motivation. Perhaps people would now like to stop writing to me and emailing me accusing me of having a vendetta against a person/people/subject, making a bad faith nomination because I'm power-crazed or being a vandal who has slipped through the RfA process because I'm part of "the deletionist cabal".

Thanks. ➨ REDVERS 10:17, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Did you consider contacting the author of all the articles suggesting that they could use an assertion of notability? It seems that the "technical" here triumphed over the community aspects, in a way that one comment on a talk page might have prevented. I'm not pointing fingers--I'm guilty of the same thing. Just suggesting that a useful step might have been overlooked. (Sorry you had to endure this "pile-on", ouch.) · rodii · 12:21, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
    Just like to point out that we do have a template, {{importance}}, for exactly that purpose: for letting people know "you may know why this subject is notable enough to merit an encyclopedia article, but you don't seem to have communicated that." -- Antaeus Feldspar 14:22, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Also sorry I may have spoken hastily and added to your stress. I wasn't aware of the previous speedy/prod history, I came late and saw only your massnom. The end result here is goodness, the articles I think are clearly going to remain, with much improvement (AfD has the virtue of often spurring big improvements). Could it have went differently? Notes on talk pages and suchlike to spur improvement? Perhaps. But I suspect that maybe sometimes in other cases, people nom articles precisely to get the improvement result. Nothing focuses attention like an AfD nom. As long as this author isn't embittered and still contributes, it's all good. It's tough for new authors to grok how this all works, and writing more essays and guidelines won't help. ++Lar: t/c 14:09, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I considered writing to the authors, but no, I didn't do it. For one thing, I was unaware that the articles were all from one author until he replied on the AfD in order to castigate me. As I say, I followed the internal links of the walled garden whilst researching what could be done with the original "speedied" articles.
For another, does notifying an author about a deletion ever get anyone anything other than abusive talk page messages [9] [10], user page vandalism [11] and that old standby, accusations of breaking WP:BITE [12] if a first communication with a user is anything other than a warm welcome?
This alone is enough to immunise against dropping people a line to let them know about a speedy delete, PROD or AfD. But when the person in question also already has warnings for putting up articles about non-notable people and cut-and-paste copyvios [13], I'm even less inclined to get involved. Not that that policy spared me from a splash of racism this time [14] either! ➨ ЯΞDVΞRS 14:13, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Your points are well taken, and you certainly did get piled on, didn't you! Again, I apologise for my part in it. That user in my view overreacted there and elsewhere. But we cannot read minds and cannot know if they felt justified by prior events or were just not a very friendly person. I know my first experiences here were not uniformly happy ones. There's a filter function that gets applied, not every new user sticks around. This user has a lot to contribute so I'm willing to overlook some rash behaviour, at first, and I hope others are too, within reason. Hopefully they'll grow into the wikiway. ++Lar: t/c 14:29, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Replying to Redvers' question: "does notifying an author about a deletion ever get anyone anything other than abusive talk page messages, user page vandalism and that old standby, accusations of breaking WP:BITE if a first communication with a user is anything other than a warm welcome?"
My answer is an unequivocal yes. Sometimes form templates, like {{PRODWarning}} can be helpful, and make it seem more formal and thus less personal. A lot of people respond well if you just point them to the appropriate guideline and ask them to please add a reason that the article (or articles) satisfies it, if they object to the proposed deletion. That way, it's clearly not about them, or about you, just about this guideline that needs following. I don't think the possibility of getting a rude response is sufficient excuse to bypass communication. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:05, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Redvers, I am sorry to see that you are trying to depict yourself as the victim here, without seeing any culpability on your own part. Let's keep to the main point here: You nominated a number of articles, not just questioning their validity, but strongly and repeatedly asserting the lack of notability of subjects with which you were obviously not familiar, and, as far as I can understand, without doing any attempt to research them. Don't you see a problem with this? Can't you understand the hostile reaction of the author as a response to your arrogantly worded nomination? Tupsharru 15:44, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, I'm a tad disappointed. I asked you (rhetorically) whether you agreed with the personal attacks that were made on me. I find that you do. I asked you (rhetorically) whether you thought racism was acceptable as a means of debate. I find that you do. That's disappointing.
It's also disappointing that you could read what I've posted above about the research I did and ignore it (assuming in good faith that you did read the above) and repeat the lie that I did no research - indeed, to strengthen it to saying I didn't do any research. As for "strongly and repeatedly asserting the lack of notability": two points - first, article on Wikipedia must assert the notability of their subjects for themselves. It is not up to the reader or a reviewing editor to establish notability on behalf of an article - to require that would impose an impossible burden on our editors and make the 'pedia a free-for-all for cruft of every description. Second, if I hadn't stated the reasons for including each article in my technical nomination (and note that I didn't include all of the contributor's contributions - just the ones in the walled garden for reasons given above which you will have read) the chances are I would now be typing a justification of why I didn't give reasons for each one.
We all know that AfD is broken (he says, heroically dragging this thread back on topic). None of us is doing anything about it because there doesn't appear to be anything better and because Wikipedia is neatly divided into two "camps" - inclusionists and deletionists - and never the twain shall meet. And you must be in one or another, with each "side" claiming you or declaiming you. I'm somehow managing to be in both at the moment - enjoying having to justify on talk pages both making nominations for articles (<gasp> he's a deletionist!) and for removing speedy delete tags on articles that don't deserve them (<gasp> he's an inclusionist!).
Through all of this, everybody has made an assumption as to what my motivations are - he's a deletionist - get rid of him! He's an inclusionist - get rid of him! Nobody has yet even asked me which one I am; and when I've said which one it is, nobody from either side even bothers to read it.
This is, of course, why AfD remains, and will remain, broken. The most rabid people are the noisiest and, because they represent the extremes of the debate, the vast majority who sit somewhere in the middle are kept silent and cowed. At this very moment there are people searching through PRODs in order to dePROD to make an inclusionist point. There are also people going through AfD in order to say "delete" without even reading the article in order to make a similar point.
The rest of us - and for once in my life I know I speak for the majority - are sat here with the view that some articles need to be kept, some articles need to be deleted and some articles fall into a grey area between to two where a debate would be useful and enlightening.
AfD is meant to be that debate, but actually it's a battleground much of the time and if you're in the middle, then you have to expect to get collateral damage - which, in this case, means ordinarily sensible editors agreeing with hateful personal attacks and judging the person, not the issue. ➨ ЯΞDVΞRS 20:24, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
You are throwing out some red herrings here, perhaps hoping I will go after them (accusing me of racism, for instance). Let me just ask you this: would it have hurt you to nominate the articles on AfD saying something like this: "These articles are not up to standards and have no references. I am not familiar with this academic field and have no idea if these people, journals etc are notable and worth keeping"?
That is the actual issue here, not racism, not that stupid inclusionist/deletionist divide, not even the purported brokenness of AfD; I don't even think it is necessarily broken as an institution. You are not the only one wording nominations in an unnecessarily arrogant way which is almost sure to put off the author. That is a problem with the culture on AfD, but not necessarily with AfD as such. The trolls, hoaxers and POV-pushers won't be scared away by having their products nominated on AfD. Newbie academics, trying to master wiki-formatting and the Wikipedia "house style", while at the same time writing about their field of specialty, seeing topics they know are important being labeled "non-notable" by Wikipedia admins is much more likely to have that effect. Some will react less calmly than others in this situation. Tupsharru 02:39, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for avoiding WP:BITE on new articles

Some of the discussions regarding Monicasdude's arbitration case have prompted me to think about how Wikipedia handles new articles, particularly those created by those new to the system. While I do not think that a newbie's first article is in any way holy, I believe that newbies' articles require consideration other than what is given with the AfD, prod, and especially Speedy processes. I know, from personal experience, that a newbie who desires to write a completely new article is usually unaware of Wikipedia formatting standards, citing standards, and the practice of claiming notability within the article. Thus, I suggest that new users' articles be (if the newbie such wishes) put into a special cleanup area where, if notability is confirmed through Google hits or other means, more experienced editors can format the article to meet Wikipedia standards. On a new user's first few new articles, possibly the first five?, a prompt would appear, explaining that while Wikipedia values new users' new articles, many such articles are not formatted according to Wikipedia standards. This prompt would also encourage the new user to place a template such as {{newbie}} at the top of the page, which would then put the article on a list of articles for more experienced editors to examine. At this point, non-notable articles or other articles not included in Wikipedia would be deleted, while notable articles with poor formatting would be improved.

I believe that this proposal would help to prevent unintentional newbie biting, by allowing newbies' articles to be deleted more kindly than through a Speedy process, and by allowing newbies' legitimate articles to be improved. I realize that this proposal would take a considerable amount of work to code, and a considerable amount of work to sort through the newbies' articles. While I do not currently know enough about Wikipedia coding to assist in any way with that, I hereby volunteer myself to regularly work on the "newbie article" section, both improving and deleting articles. I believe that an expenditure of my time is a good trade for preventing newbie-biting through this system, and I am not proposing this for "someone else" to do—I will help in any way I can, should this proposal be accepted. Thank you for your time in considering this proposal, and thank you in advance for any comments. Abhorsen327 14:21, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Speaking as a newbie myself (my only wholly new article, Fast battleship, has so far only received one tiny edit and no comment at all), I fully support the suggestion of a new editor support/cleanup service; I would strongly oppose any idea that new editors who do not solicit assistance should be exempted from the normal procedures of AfD, prod, and especially Speedy processes (in fairness, I am not sure that this is what Abhorsen327 has in mind). When I created my first new page, I was shown a conspicuous message saying "If you're a newcomer, please first read the introduction, tutorial, and your first article to ensure the quality of your new article". Although I do not possess a degree in Rocket Science, I was able to appreciate the force of this advice and took it. If a would-be editor is too arrogant, lazy and/or stupid to do likewise, I would suggest that speedy deletion of their work is all that they deserve, and the more discouraged it makes them, the better. On the other hand, I agree that newbies who ask for help in good faith should receive it as fully as the resources in Wikepedia allow.
Can I add my thanks to those who have already commented on this very interesting idea? Comments on what I have said are welcome; I have added this page to my watchlist.
PS - I would be delighted if Abhorsen327, or any other newbiephile with time to spare, were to take a look at the Fast battleship stub, or my work on HMS Hood (51), which has taken up most of my editing time, and add a constructive comment or two to my talk page (currenly blank).
PPS - While adding this post, I've just discovered that links to article names appear to be case-sensitive. Is this really a good idea??
John Moore 309 16:13, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Sounds eminently sensible. I suspect that many new editors get put off by hostile reactions to their first attempts. I'm sure that if my first article had been speedily deleted, I'd have thought twice about writing another. - Runcorn 15:05, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I think this is a great idea. In support of the claims made justifying the idea, I offer Annie's Road as an article a newbie put up that benefited from someone else editing it a bit. The next article the newbie put up got speedied before I got a chance to rescue it (although I have the text in my user area, I haven't got to it yet.. too much yammering and not enough article writing I guess? (note to self {{sofixit}}!)) ++Lar: t/c 15:24, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea, just as long as it only applies to pages which have been created or greatly changed (x characters?) by a newbie: if we have {{newbie}} templates popping up all over it;ll be more work than it's worth. Nihiltres 00:51, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Something to be said for it. WOuld it have altered the discussion on anti-vaccinationist I wonder. Midgley 18:11, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I think this is a terrible idea. Articles are not owned, and this would easily create the wrong impression. The encyclopedia is the primary product, not the community. We should be civil to newbies and patiently explain the way things work to them, and that should be sufficient. --Improv 23:52, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Improv. Such a policy would give the misleading impression that the article in question somehow belongs to its creator. Moreover, anyone could then get special treatment for their articles just by creating a new account and thereby becoming a "newbie." Sure, Wikipedia can seem a little harsh to new users, but I like to think of it as a kind of hazing process that weeds out people who by disposition (stubborn, egotistical, exploitative, dogmatic, unwilling to learn, unwilling to compromise, etc.) aren't suited to be encyclopedia editors anyway. Of course, more experienced users should bend over backwards to be nice to newbies. This should not be built into Wikipedia's technical infrastructure, however. dbtfztalk 23:21, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, no one owns an article. However, the newbie in question certainly created the article, and the template would point that out. What a {{newbie}} template could do is point out that it is one of the person's first articles, and so help, development, and messages that explain how Wikipedia works is in order. In the case that an article truly doesn't belong, the article could still go through the speedy process. However, the newbie template would still apply, and so the person who nominated it for speedy would explain to the newbie how the article quite isn't what Wikipedia is looking for. Once the newbie understands why the article was deleted, then they can go on to become better contributors. If they're being unconstructive along the way (i.e. arrogant, disagreeable, etc.), well then that's a whole other subject. —THIS IS MESSEDR with umlaut.pngOCKER (TALK) 11:59, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly. I may be a deletionist, but I have come across quite a few articles that didn't necessarily deserve a speedy deletion, or even a full-fledged AfD. It was just that the articles were badly sourced, badly written, and therefore percieved as not worthy to remain on Wikipedia. If some way could be written so users with <X number of edits automatically get the {{newbie}} template tacked on, it would probably help quite a bit. --^demon 14:44, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
  • I think this is a good idea, especially if the proposed {{newbie}}-tag is written in such a way as to highlight important wikipedia principles such as no-original research and (as Improv and others point out) that articles are not owned. Bucketsofg 13:04, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
What I support is a system that helps newbies create good articles, rather than giving them a blank box and saying "good luck!" No wonder 50% of new articles are deleted. The page creation process should have more prominent warnings against vanity and copyvios. More importantly, there needs to be a system to WARN (or even stop creation) when creating articles with no formatting, no incoming links, or no categories. These three things are essential to a good article that will improve over time, pages that have incoming links and categories attract eyeballs and improvements, orphan uncategorized pages attract... not much but Seigenthaler kind of crap. Anyway, people creating articles are much better suited to categorize and create links to articles than some maintenence guy (namely me). I add {{catneeded}} to new articles all the time, and the creators almost always will provide excellent categories once prodded... but the tags are only added quickly enough a small fraction of the time. If the system forced it, suddenly we'd see a much better organized encyclopedia.
Any solution that forces maintenence on the 5-10 people willing to do it en masse is going to fail... so many articles are created every hour and few people are interested in dealing with them, or ever will be... look at our maintenence backlogs across the board. Help creators create articles that won't need massive cleanup, that's what I say. It's amazing and frustrating to me that we still have such a primitive system. --W.marsh 13:47, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

There could be definitional problems re a newbie's first article. I did substantial expansion on a few short stubs before I wrote my first article from scratch, and expanding a stub can lead to as many formatting issues as a new article. Runcorn 14:12, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

A new userbox policy proposal, Wikipedia:Mackensen's Proposal

Please weigh in. Kotepho 23:16, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposed guideline: Explain your views

I've proposed a guideline Wikipedia:Explain your views, and am hoping for a lot of input. For sake of organization, please post all comments on the project's talk page. Thanks! Paul Cyr 23:14, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

can i have this on my userpage?


Its a picture from my kitchen. It has been released under CC share-alike 2.5
And what about the effect (caused by the specific type of light source). I am not sure if it limits the usage for other articles, whatever. If so, it should not be here probably. I do not exactly know how images should look like. My personal taste is something very subjective. I hope it is possible to understand these sentences. And what about the cut-off letter, it is still obvious/recognizeable, but...
Probably the policy about images could take some examples: WHAT/WHAT NOT? I am also not sure about copyright notices (see egyptology), which sometimes contain useful information, like pharao names. If left out, re-distributed pictures are causing confusion. I do not understand why to re-work it, if it is already included (very tiny font of course). Yy-bo 13:08, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, you can. --Cherry blossom tree 15:04, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

"Good articles" now claiming to be policy

Without consenus, the "this page is a proposed policy" tag was removed from WP:GA and WP:WGA (the "good article" project pages). discussion on talk page confirmed it was NOT policy. any attempts to put the tags back are instantly reverted. i never saw any consensus to make this policy? comments at WP:GA and WP:WGA please.

furthermore, on the basis of this so-called "policy" the Template:featured is now being spammed with a mention that "this featured article was once a good article!". i really cant see what benefit this is to anyone, except as a self-congratulatory pat on the back, and as "free advertising" (i.e internal spam) for the non-policy GA project. who does it benefit? why does a reader care that a featured article was once a good article? why does an editor care, if its already featured - a far higher standard? it seems clear this is just yet another attempt to inappropriately promote this project. should the inappropriate advertising be included? comments at Template talk:featured please. Zzzzz 10:29, 15 May 2006 (UTC)


We've discussed at great length at Roman Catholic Church whether the article should be renamed Catholic Church; concensus was to retain Roman Catholic Church, as "Catholic Church" was considered ambiguous. However, "Catholic Church" is still used widely used elsewhere in Wikipedia, and articles using it are still being created, for example Canon law (Catholic Church). Is there any policy or guideline on whether the term chosen as the name for the main article should always be used in other articles referring to the subject? Or is the only way to ensure consistency to to debate the point on every page using a term, or to propose a specific rule stating that that body should always be known by a particular name?

If there is no such policy, should there be? We debated this in immense depth for a very long time, and I don't really want to have to repeat the debate (with largely the same people) for every article on the subject. TSP 13:28, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

For comparison:
To answer your question: I'd think to force bracketed disambiguators and other mentionings of names in composed page names to the name "as it is in another wikipedia article" really over the hill: wikipedia:naming conventions (common names), and recognisability (a basic naming conventions principle) really don't require this. I mean, Gilbert and Sullivan is a concept - W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan is not. So no, IMHO, we don't need a new rule on this. --Francis Schonken 22:33, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Mmm; so that's a sort of compound answer; Category:Dissident Catholic theologians should not exist, but Canon law (Catholic Church) should?
Well, no, I implied none of that, I said: "I'd think to force bracketed disambiguators and other mentionings of names in composed page names to the name "as it is in another wikipedia article" really over the hill", that is, a new rule is not needed neither for bracketed disambiguators nor for mentionings of names in composed page names. --Francis Schonken 23:25, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
The difference from your examples there is that there is no other significant person organisation claiming another meaning for "Janáček" (in the context of string quartets) or for "Gilbert and Sullivan", or for "SCO v. IBM"; whereas there is another widely-known meaning for "Catholic" and "Catholic Church", in the context of which it would be possible to discuss canon law, and from which there might be dissenting theologicans. Was William Laud not a Catholic theologian? He would probably have called himself one.
Gilbert and George also exists, I'm perfectly fine with that, it's the common name, and in this case it's a different Gilbert than the Sullivan Gilbert. --Francis Schonken 23:25, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes... and as in your other examples, there is no other meaning of "Gilbert" which is commonly used with "and George"; but there is another meaning of "Catholic Church" commonly used with "theologian". TSP 00:14, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Your answer seems more relevant to the question of whether, for example, Category:Roman Catholic theologians should be Category:Theologians in the Roman Catholic Church (which I think it probably should not); rather than whether Category:Dissident Catholic theologians should be Category:Dissident Roman Catholic Theologians (which I think it should).
Well, no, none of that: see above. My "no new rule" suggestion, is also not different for categories, if that is what you would have been implying.
I did actually vote, like you, to move Roman Catholic Church to Catholic Church, on the basis that that is the most familiar name for it and it could then be bolstered with explanations of the sense in which the term is used here. I'm more worried by it in other contexts where there is no explanation of meaning. For example, Wikipedia:WikiProject Catholicism 101 has recently appeared, stating it is "a WikiProject to improve coverage of topics related to Catholicism". I think it means Roman Catholicism, rather than Catholicism in the broader sense (whereas the latter is what the Catholicism article is actually about) but there is nothing on its pages to say whether that's what it means or not.
Well then, sort that out with the people of that project. (1) has no effect on main namespace; (2) the project should on its project page indicate what it is about; (3) I'm really not interested enough in such projects to go rattle the tree, I'm quite confident they'll not spam my user talk page (like the Saints project did recently). --Francis Schonken 23:25, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
True, the name of the project doesn't directly affect the main namespace, but the project uses the same terminology in the main namespace,e.g.: Category:Roman Catholic Church stubs
It is something to be sorted out with that project; I was just looking to see if there was anything in the rules to base my argument on, or whether the relative merits of "Catholic Church" and "Roman Catholic Church" would need to be debated separately on every page this might apply to (as we seem to be getting into now). TSP 00:14, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
It just seems to me that concensus on the Roman Catholic Church page is that this is not an unambiguous term; which makes it seem wrong to me that it is used elsewhere in Wikipedia (by people who are aware of the concensus on Roman Catholic Church) as if it were. TSP 22:52, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
But Catholic Church is still a redirect to Roman Catholic Church, so, no, there must have been other reasons why people voted the way they did. I don't think your analysis of the vote result is correct. --Francis Schonken 23:25, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Where Catholic Church goes has been a subject of an immense amount of debate I have been glad to ignore; I'm not sure how much concensus there is behind the current solution.
But, yes, it does still redirect to Roman Catholic Church, as that is the most common meaning of the term. That doesn't make it an unambiguous term, however.
It sounds like the answer is that the only way to establish a particular usage throughout Wikipedia, and avoid a debate about this on every single page, is to explicitly propose a rule, as with Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Mormonism). That's a different question from whether doing such a thing is desirable, of course. TSP 00:14, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Question on policy

Question, is it permissable to delete ones talk page in order to clean it up as opposed to archiving. Any help would be greatly appreciated. --Anon
  • By delete, I assume you simply mean blanking as opposed to archiving (true deletes are reserved to admins)? --Improv 13:14, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
  • It should be noted that editors working from 'anonymous' IP addresses rather than registered user accounts are much more limited in the maintenance that they are permitted to do on the IP-associated talk pages. Because such talk pages may be shared and are not permanently linked to a specific account, only admins (and the automated maintenance scripts) should ever be removing content from those pages. Users with registered accounts can archive their talk pages by blanking them (some do), however it is considered very bad form to delete discussions in progress or recent user conduct warnings. (Deleting warnings can be seen as trying to conceal bad behaviour, and deleting discussions in progress or good-faith questions tends to escalate conflicts and is just plain rude.) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:32, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
To clarify, I do mean blanking. I have a registered account. And for example, when I've read a comment or answered a question, can I simply edit out the question or comment when I've addressed it? --Anon // Further clarification, you ask me a question, I answer, wait a week, and erase it from the page. --Anon
Yes; in general, that should be fine—though if you've encountered objections to your practice, then you might want to provide us with more details. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:07, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Thoughts on an expansion of speedy keeps

It doesn't appear like anyone's watching Wikipedia:Speedy keep, but I'm proposing an addition to the policy and would like to see some thoughts to build consensus at the talk page. --badlydrawnjeff (WP:MEMES?) 00:32, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Stronger enforcement of WP:FICT by RC patrollers

Lately, a few users have been adding large numbers of new articles on minor components of popular fan subjects. See, for example, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Form V: Shien / Djem So, where a fan did a bulk import (from the Star Wars wiki) of articles on Star Wars laser sword fighting techniques. If someone actually starts the AfD process, as I did here, there seems to be consensus that such detailed fan material shouldn't be in Wikipedia. That's consistent with WP:FICT policy.

There are another forty (40) minor Star Wars articles from the same user, Silver Sonic Shadow (talk · contribs). Then we have Jerkov (talk · contribs), who has added about twenty articles on fictitious minor creatures from The World of Kong, a collateral book for the King Kong movie. And that's just today.

What's the consensus on dealing with bulk fancruft? Merging is hard work, adding a "mergeto" tag usually has no effect, AfD creates work for others, and "prod" usually gets deleted by the article author.

I'd suggest as policy that editors should not remove a "prod" from an article they recently created. If a second editor removes a "prod", then at least two people agree the article should be kept. If there's further dispute, there's always AfD. But right now, "prod" has become ineffective. --John Nagle 17:57, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

The "article" up for AFD that you've linked to above quite simply isn't an article because its content lacks even a single real-world reference (a problem not cured by the "sources" listed at the bottom). The content is instead itself fiction (and arguably a copyright infringement) rather than about fiction. Any article that fails to describe fiction in terms of how it was constructed by a work of fiction should be deleted. This should separate out the more significant fictional subjects (those actually playing a role in books, movies, etc.) from those that only exist in the form of fictional encyclopedia articles in fan supplements. Postdlf 18:06, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Eh? The article is about a work of fiction, isn't it? That is, it's about an aspect of the Star Wars universe, which is fictitious. Of course, I'm assuming that the article isn't just lies, but then, I'm also assuming that about any other article whose existence I haven't personally verified. Or am I totally hallucinating or something? Doesn't the article assert that it's about an aspect of the canonical Star Wars world? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:50, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
agree with postdlf. there should be a speedy deletion category Template:Db-fancruft or Template:Nn-fiction. For articles dealing with fictional subjects, characters, objects, or locations, significance outside the "fictional universe" must be established and discussed, together with its process of authorship. The focus of the article should remain on discussing the subject as fiction within the context of "our" universe, not on establishing it as a "real" topic in a fictional universe; otherwise, the article may be better placed in one of the many fictional-universe specific wikis. Zzzzz 18:12, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I also think we're running into serious copyright problems with the World of Kong entries; creating separate "articles" for every creature described in the book just copies the very substance of the book's fiction and directly competes with it in the marketplace. There's no fair use argument here for such widespread copying, and no argument that we are documenting facts rather than expression. The article on the book itself is fine, and maybe one or two animals described sparsely to give a sense of the content, but unless the creatures have appeared in more than just that book, they should not have separate articles (or be merged into the book article). Postdlf 18:22, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the copyright issues are troubling with respect to the specific case of World of Kong. Star Wars probably less so, at least with regard to the stuff that's not in whatever encyclopedias I'm sure they've put out. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:50, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
OK, will someone else please initiate the appropriate "prod" and AfD activity? I have to go do some real work now. Thanks. --John Nagle 18:28, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I'd also support a CSD criteria for fancruft, making any "article" deletable on sight that is written as fiction rather than about fiction. This would be a close cousin to CSD A1, as those written as fiction lack real-world context. Notability might work if we treat it like CSD A7, so that an article on a fictional subject that doesn't identify that it came from a sufficiently notable work of fiction (in other words, doesn't put forth information as to why it's important) could be speedy deletable. This would have to be more specific than a general reference to fictional world like "Star Wars"; if the author can't at least note what novel, video game, or film a character came from, they're obviously just copying a fan site or fan reference guide. Postdlf 18:32, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I've made a proposal to this effect on the CSD talk page; please comment there. Postdlf 18:42, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

I've also posted the issue of whether articles about fictional subjects that only exist as articles in fictional encyclopedias are necessarily copyright infringements on Wikipedia talk:Copyrights. Postdlf 23:01, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

I (as always) am against deletion of verifiable articles describing even the most trivial minutiae of a fictional universe. Rather than writing roughly the fourth summary of my reasons today, I'll link you to User:Simetrical#Notability to start with and save myself the trouble. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:50, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
The servers can handle huge numbers of articles, but the RC patrollers, stub sorters, categorizers, fact checkers, and cleanup editors who make Wikipedia more than a blog are falling behind as the cruft accumulates. That's the real cost of all the fan articles on obscure subjects. It's not the disk space. --John Nagle 05:20, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me? Stop equating writing articles about fictional characters with vandalism. Your language implies that those who want to contribute articles about fictional characters and the like as a force to be reckoned with, a group of malcontents to be stopped. We have more than enough people who don't understand that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, why are you being actively hostile toward those who want to contribute content but don't necessarily understand our inclusion guidelines? That's absolutely innaproriate and I won't stand for it under any circumstances.--Sean Black (talk) 06:10, 16 May 2006 (UTC)