Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive F

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Request Input Regarding Addition of Multiple Links to My Website

Greetings,

I run an informative website:

http://www.studyspanish.com

We have a *huge* amount of completely free information. Currently we have 102 separate grammar topics, located here:

http://www.studyspanish.com/tutorial.htm

For each of these topics, there is a complete explanation, as well as a written quiz and a written test, all free. For the first 84 lessons, there is also a free oral practice.

There are comparable sections on verbs and vocabulary, as well as other free features.

Because we have so much free and valuable information, it would be very beneficial for me to add multiple links to the pertinent Spanish language pages. But, I see that policy "strongly discourages" this, although it does not prohibit it.

The policy statement said that I should come to the Village Pump and seek approval before doing this, so that's what I'm doing.

Thanks,

Ken Ryan

The thing about this is, while it's free, it constantly pitches the paid stuff. I would not welcome these links; at most (and I do mean at most), perhaps (and I do mean perhaps), this merits a link from Spanish language and maybe a couple of others if there are topics about the Spanish language where some specific page on http://www.studyspanish.com specifically relates. The most positive thing I see about linking to it is the audio examples. What do others think? -- Jmabel | Talk 03:44, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)
  • Links from multiple pages would be a bad idea. I would definitely consider that spamming. Maybe on the one main article. The commercial parts of it are subtle and don't seem bad to me for that, but putting it on multiple pages just screams exploitation. DreamGuy 12:15, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)

Votes for disambiguation??

Samurai Clinton seems to be in the middle of creating a new process for marking pages to be disambiguated, including a voting process. See Template:VfDis, Category:Pages being nominated for disambiguation and Wikipedia:Votes for disambiguation/Super Mario Bros.. (He hasn't yet built a Wikipedia:Votes for disambiguation to collect all the entries.) Is there any need for this? Is there controversy over building disambig pages -- why not go ahead and do it instead of calling for a vote? Being bold is all well and good, but a new process like this should be discussed. I'm leaving a note on his user talk page asking him about it and pointing him here. FreplySpang (talk) 18:37, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No, there's no need for this. Any user can move a page himself and create a disambig page. If there's already an article at the destination, we already have Wikipedia:Requested moves to deal with that situation. Votes for disambiguation would be superfluous. Rhobite 20:40, Apr 3, 2005 (UTC)
That's what I thought. Okay, now he's created Wikipedia:Votes for disambiguation too, but the only links to it are right here. It says, in part, "Votes for Deletion can shock and cause confusion, and Votes for Disambiguation are less dramatic." But no less confusing! Is there something we (you? I?) ought to be doing about this? I see that you and a couple of others are keeping an eye on him. FreplySpang (talk) 22:37, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I immidiately interpreted the idea as follows: Theoreticaly it may be controversial whether page X should live at X, or X (Y) especially when X is a redirect (One of the silliest examples I can think of was United States) with X as a disambig (United States (disambiguation)).
However the issue should surely be sorted out on the talk page of the article in question, and if debate gets too heated, isn't there Wikipedia:Requests for comment, Wikipedia:Requests for mediation and as a final resort Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration... i.e, this idea is not needed. --Neo 22:45, Apr 3, 2005 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Votes for disambiguation for further developments. FreplySpang (talk) 13:01, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Anyone who thinks a VfDis isn't necessary should wonder what to do when one encounters some stubborn person who doesn't want to disambiguate some pet term. IE Talk:Sar SchmuckyTheCat 19:15, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What's wrong with Wikipedia:Requested moves? Rhobite 19:26, Apr 4, 2005 (UTC)

Laudative styles

A number of individuals, certain political or religious leaders in particular, as well as many nobles, have a certain style. For instance, Rainier III, Prince of Monaco is styled "His Serene Highness"; the Pope is style "His Holiness"; Tony Blair is styled "The Right Honourable" (as member of the Privy Council). Note that those title carry some semantic content; the Pope's expresses that he is particularly holy, and Blair's expresses that he is particularly honourable.

The problem is, not everybody agrees that the Pope is holy and Blair is honourable. There are about 1 billion Catholics out of a population of 6 billion, thus it is quite probable that a wide majority of the world's population does not regard the Pope as particularly holy.

Of course, we may take the point of view that such titles are mere courtesy titles with no real semantic content.

Note, however, that there may be cultural differences playing here. In some countries, many official functions have styles (judges are called "Your Honor", etc.) and thus people do not pay attention to them. In other countries, official functions do not have styles, and thus people, not used to such kind of formulas, may pay more attention.

So I wonder what the Wikipedia policy should be. I note that John Paul II styles him "His Holiness" but that Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama is not styled. Maybe we should also strive to make this policy consistent and not favor such or such religion or leaders. David.Monniaux 07:50, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I believe current policy already deprecates such honorifics. — XiongXiong2char.pngtalk 09:03, 2005 Apr 3 (UTC)
When is it appropriate to apply a person's laudative style(s) to their name?. I think most would agree to a very general policy or guideline to consistently use all titles or styles that come with a political office. This cannot be a strict policy because using especially long styles may at times hinder readability. For example, as Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie’s official title included “King of kings, Lord of lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Root of David.” All titles and styles should be mentioned in the appropriate articles but not every time the name of the person appears. This might also go for professional titles and earned or honourary degrees (such as Doctor). This only makes articles more informative. Paradiso 09:18, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There is a difference between stating the titles and styles in the introduction to the article in an informative manner, and using the styles. See the difference between:
The Right Honourable Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953), commonly called Tony Blair, is a British politician. He is currently Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, having served as Leader of the Labour Party since John Smith's death in 1994.
and
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953), commonly called Tony Blair, is British politician. He is currently Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, having served as Leader of the Labour Party since John Smith's death in 1994. As a member of the Queen's Privy Council, he is styled "The Right Honourable Tony Blair".
There is a difference between titles and styles. Titles are offices, qualifications etc., presumably granted by some authority. The title of John Paul II is "Pope"; the title of Rainier III is "Prince of Monaco". This is descriptive. However, there are some styles that carry some laudative attributes, like "holy", "honourable", "serene" etc. That's another problem.
Academic titles such as "Doctors" are less of a problem, since they correspond to an academic qualification. It is not implied that doctors are more honourable, or intelligent, or have other qualities.
My position is thus that we should list the appropriate titles and styles in the introduction, but not use the styles if they imply some kind of subjective quality ("holy", "honourable", etc.) David.Monniaux 09:47, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Such titles and lauditives are usually depreciated in article titles, but I see no problem in using them in the article itself. Mgm|(talk) 09:51, Apr 3, 2005 (UTC)

In the United States (or at least in New York) all elected officials are introduced as "The honourable..." in formal occasions. For instance, if I'm inroducing my local state assembly member to someone, I would say "...the honourable Jonathan Bing..." but I would not consider that to be part of his name, in an encyclopedia article. For the pope (for example) I might call him "his holiness" if I was meeting him in person, but not if I was refering to him in an article. So I support the suggestion. Unfortunately, it is hard to draw the line between titles and "styles". What about talking about "The first lady"? That is very common usage, but it isn't a formal title either. Morris 13:26, Apr 3, 2005 (UTC)

"First lady" is a de facto title, in my humble opinion. "Duke of Edinburgh" is a de jure title. "His lordship..." or "the honourable..." are styles. David.Monniaux 18:25, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree (with David Monniaux). I would suggest (for example) removing "The right honourable" from the first sentence of the Tony Blair article, and instead mentioning somewhere in the article: Blair is introduced as "The right honourable..." on formal occastions.Morris 18:44, Apr 3, 2005 (UTC)
To clarify my comment above, I agree with David, and suggest changing the Tony Blair article (and others) more-or-less as he suggests in his example above. I suggest a different word than "styled". "Styled" is not used in that sense in American english (in my experience). I would guess a typical New Yorker would read "Blair is styled..." would think we meant "Blair dresses in the style of ...". Well, maybe I exagerate, but you see my point. Morris 01:35, Apr 4, 2005 (UTC)
Actually, Webster (an American dictionary) says on "style": "Mode or phrase by which anything is formally designated; the title; the official designation of any important body; mode of address; as, the style of Majesty.". However, I agree that this is not a meaning that most people would think of. David.Monniaux 05:09, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The term is commonly found in North America in the (usually derogatory) phrase "self-styled," as in "he is a self-styled expert on English." Paradiso 05:22, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Why not include honorifics but leave them in quotes - e.g. "His Holiness" Pope John Paul II. Alternatively, simply explain in the article that the figure is addressed as "His Holiness". Avocado 03:05, Apr 6, 2005 (UTC)
Don't put the honorifics in quotes. At least in American English, putting an honorific in quotes is done to imply that the person doesn't deserve or didn't earn the honorific -- "His Holiness" in quotes would be used to describe an antipope. --Carnildo 03:12, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Poll: Speedy criterion: "non-notable"

Controversy brews over whether "non-notable" is a criterion for speedy deletion. Before voting, consider if something you created might be thought "non-notable" by Someone.

Poll is open at: Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion#Poll: Speedy criterion: "non-notable". — XiongXiong2char.pngtalk 01:10, 2005 Apr 3 (UTC)

Please see my above writings. -nsh

categories and subcategories

What is the WP policy, if any, on placing both a category and its subcategory onto the same page? For example: placing [[Category:Photography]] as well as its subcategory [[Category:Photography companies]] into the same article?

I believe that categories are always helpful as long as they are relevant. So I like to place as many relevant categories into an article as possible to help direct readers to what they are looking for. Paradiso 09:58, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Generally speaking an article should not be in both a category and its subcategory, see Wikipedia:Categorization (although this is not policy, merely a guideline). This is partly because subcategories are actually more useful in grouping together similar articles, categories tend to be very broad, and also because categories can become very crowded with, sometimes, only tangentally related articles. Rje 13:46, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)

Anno Domini -> Common Era

Would it not be more neutral and politically correct to use CE instead of AD when citing dates? Just a thought, but I know some people get edgy reading "AD"

"AD" is overwhelmingly standard and therefore neutral. "CE" is a bizarre innovation with a certain agenda behind it and therefore not neutral. It's Politically Correct, but incorrect politically and otherwise. But anyway, I think this has been discussed. Chamaeleon 18:57, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Chamaeleon has hit the nail on the head. →Raul654 19:02, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)
Ditto, jguk 20:45, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
CE/BCE is overwhelmingly standard in academia, and AD/BC has christian connotations and origin. I therefore prefer CE/BCE, and use it for new articles. --Improv 22:11, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If true, I think it is rather sad (both in the traditional (upsetting) and modern (pathetic) meanings) that academics do this. One should surely reference dates in whichever calendar is natural for those people present, adding extra details for clarity if needed, for instance: The founding of [something Islamic] occured in XXX AH (YYYY AD under the Christian calendar). --Neo 22:28, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)
(But note that the usage should be AD CCYY.) Noisy | Talk 08:24, Apr 3, 2005 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers), both AD/BC and CE/BCE are acceptable names for the era, and the Islamic calendar is perfectly appropriate provided dates are also given in the Julian or Gregorian calendar. The AD/BC versus CE/BCE issue has been discussed several times at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) (see the archives). The current MoS is a mostly acceptable compromise between the two extreme points of view so well caricatured above. Gdr 22:30, 2005 Apr 1 (UTC)

The use of CE/BCE is more academic and therefore more encyclopedic and appropriate for WP. They're both still based on the life of Jesus, but given the choice I'd go with the more academic version. Paradiso 09:48, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Setting aside aside for a moment the superiority of the metric system, why do you suppose we call our unit of linear measure the "foot"? It no longer has anything to do with any king's hoof. But we call it a foot because we called it a foot last year, last decade, and last century. It's pointless to squabble over it.
Real life is full of oddities, and the part of real life that is the way we speak about the world around us is often peculiar and littered with anachronisms. I agree; we should change the calendar era -- not merely to rename it, but to date from the only event of true significance since the dawn of recorded history: the day upon which human beings from the planet Earth first set foot upon another body (1969 Jly 20, Old Era). That day should be the zeroth day of the zeroth month of the zeroth year of the Era of Humanity. While we're at it, of course, we'll rename the months to honor people we actually care about -- Newton, Einstein, Clarke, Hawking -- 13 months, each 28 days long, with a leap day every year, or two if we feel it's necessary. Weekdays will honor virtues, such as Truth, Justice, and some clever word that represents the manifest destiny of the human race to explore and colonize the universe.
Meanwhile, just to keep the trains running on time, I suggest we don't muck with the current system, not even to agree with scholars trying to muck with it. The mob almost tore Pope Gregory apart, demanding the days of their lives he stole from them. I don't want to be the one to stand in the financial district and tell the office drones that, not only can they not thank their gods, they cannot thank them for Friday. — XiongXiong2char.pngtalk 09:01, 2005 Apr 3 (UTC)
Why, though, change from starting an era with Day 1, Month 1, Year 1 (the current arrangement) to Day 0, Month 0, Year 0 (your arrangement)?  ; ) Cigarette 13:58, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Why have years at all? And why start with the moon landing? Why not just declare today to be Day 1669192548320 of Earth's history (it's close enough) and leave it at that. In the meantime, while we're waiting for everyone else to adapt to our new system, we can just leave articles alone. If they say BC/AD, we leave them that way, and if they say BCE/CE, we leave them that way, and hope that users who have never seen those abbreviations can figure out what they're supposed to mean. --Angr/(comhrá) 20:41, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Why start at zero? Oh, my. I think we do not wish to reopen the running sore that is the debate on the 0th element in arrays. When I was younger, I confess, I was a staunch 0th-elementist; in later years, I have come to feel the first element of an array should be the 1st element. Perhaps my proposal was a throwback to those carefree years of munching chocolate-chip cookies and sleeping under the desk. Like the jihads that rage over consecutive hyphenation, proper indentation, date normalization, and use of the em-dash, this battle has gone on so long that I have not only misplaced my weapon; I have forgotten which flag I follow. Sorry.
But I can give a much clearer explanation for my presumption that humans will date from the moment of Neil's first bootprint. Earth is an egg, and all of human history until that moment has been the rustling of an unborn chick's feathers. We have pecked our way through the shell of gravity confining us within this narrow compass, and our destiny awaits. Our distant descendants will encounter much life on other planets, and almost surely define "intelligence" or sentient life as that which has begun to travel, with them, among the *stars*. — XiongXiong2char.pngtalk 22:57, 2005 Apr 5 (UTC)

Playing along with April Fool's Day?

I shouldn't have to worry about distinguishing between what's accurate and what's supposed to be a joke when I visit Wikipedia. This April Fool's Day revision is tacky, and compromises the integrity of a database that's already coming under fire for being editable by anyone. Grossdomestic 06:22, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

THANK YOU! Exactly what I've been saying for two days now. How do we tell vandals not to vandalize the encyclopedia when we're encouraging it? RickK 06:35, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)

I say ban April Fool's Day. Chamaeleon 07:54, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. Please remove the bogus stories from the front page and anywhere else where it has propagated. Jooler 08:34, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree as well. These things are only supposed to be up for the first half of the day and taken down at noon (see April Fools Day). Since Wikipedia works on UTC, this would mean that it is past time to remove this stuff. I'll do it in one hour if somebody does not beat me to it. --mav 17:53, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia's database has no "integrity", nor should we commit the folly of Colonel Blimp. On average, our content is of high quality; but any given item may be rank foolishness. A deliberately foolish Main Page is a salutory warning to readers, especially those who get angry once they discover the joke. I say, let it stay up for a week. — XiongXiong2char.pngtalk 08:41, 2005 Apr 3 (UTC)

Method Engineering Encyclopedia

Method Engineering Encyclopedia is not a standard Wikipedia article, and it strikes me as being out of place. The subarticles, too, do not conform to Wikipedia style. But this looks like a genuine effort in good faith, and could be worthwhile if the right place or format could be found. What to do? What to suggest? --Woggly 10:56, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Wikibooks? Smoddy (tgeck) 12:18, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I do not immediately find that the articles depart significantly from WP style; there are two obvious problems with the work as a whole:
  • The technical topics covered may be beyond the level of a general-purpose encyclopedia.
  • The introductory page is in a tone I can only describe, for a lack of any better phrase, as distinctly German Authority. It describes the group of articles as as "supplement" to WP, under Brinkkemper's "supervision", and of course we do not tolerate private projects.
  • The image of "Prof. Dr. S. Brinkkemper" is of course unacceptable, as is the little Utrecht U. flag up top.
There is, though, much good work here, and we can use it -- once thoroughly integrated.
Suggestion: Introduce Professor Doktor Herr Brinkkemper to Wikireality. Remove his image, the UU flag; mercilessly edit content. Do not put the pages up for VfD or otherwise take them through any formal process. Assimilate them. Dumb them down, if you like. Exercise your rights as editors.
When Brinkkemper realizes the stuff is out of his control, I predict grumbling in tones that will incite editors -- please don't respond in kind. Try to understand who you are dealing with. He may walk off in a huff, true. But I am not sure he will listen to reason without a good preliminary dunking. — XiongXiong2char.pngtalk 04:52, 2005 Apr 3 (UTC)
Looking at their contributions it is academically of good standard, they just need help adjusting to Wikipedia.
This does raise an underlying issue for school/university projects. We might want to consider creating a namespace for school/university projects; where such projects could do there work without being in the main article space. This would allow such work to protected from outside input and marked before moving it to Wikipedia. (It wouldn't need amendment to the software, the would just be within their rights to revert changes made from outside the project group). When the project/article is completed they could move it to the main namespace with the minimum of disruptionl.
I would imagine with that kind of set up we would get a lot more academic interest in Wikipedia and hence better articles. :ChrisG 13:26, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I say when a dedicated bunch of students makes an invasion, one has to expect a good deal of POV and original research. This poroject is better be on alert. Mikkalai 22:30, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Quality Control

Hello there,

Wikipedia was my favourite till I came to know that anyone can edit most of the documents and the change reflects on the page immediately. What is stopping anyone from posting rubbish, or worse posting "their individual views" on subjects. If this happens (maybe it is happening), then what degree of quality control do we have on the material available from Wikipedia. I am a researcher and I want to make sure that every information I gather is reliable. Thanks for your time.

Sam

See Wikipedia:Replies to common objections-gadfium 03:26, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The "absurd idea" that anyone can edit anything is what's produced this entire encyclopedia actually, which was "your favourite" until you realised how it was made and decided that actually you didn't like it after all. Why not judge us on our merits rather than your preconceived ideas about how an openly editable encyclopedia must be incapable of producing anything of value? I recommend reading the replies to common objections as linked to above, our own article on Wikipedia, and our Frequently Asked QuestionsTrilobite (Talk) 10:36, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I find it really interesting that there is a discussin of AD/BC vs. CE/BCE that sounds as if the very future of Wikipedia is on the line... yet when someone raises perhaps the most thorny issue of Wikipedia, he is dismissed in an incredibly smarmy and condescending manner. Especially considering he was pretty damned respectful in his manner of addressing us. 69.171.36.2 21:05, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well, I'm all in favor of being polite (although I am not always as polite as I would like). But while Sam raised a thorny issue, he didn't bother looking at the page that was specifically written to address that very question. His question also reads somewhat like an attack on the very foundation of the community, which is always guaranteed to raise feelings - especially when it's an area where the community really is vulnerable. Our reliability is not perfect (although it's better than it looks like it should be) and lots of us are not too happy with that fact. So when you say something that sounds like an attack on that point, it's liable to touch a nerve and get an impolite response. --Andrew 05:40, Apr 3, 2005 (UTC)
Sam, he's right. You ought not have been subjected to that. You asked a reasonable question; you deserve a reasonable answer. The short answer is: You cannot trust anything you see here (or anywhere else, for that matter).
You need to check out some key materials, starting with our disclaimer. I'd suggest that you browse the site a little before drawing any conclusions. If you plan to post many comments, I suggest you create a user account; it's free, easy, and you never get spammed -- indeed, you don't even have to provide an email address. But it's nice to have a name when you're talking in a room. — XiongXiong2char.pngtalk 08:31, 2005 Apr 3 (UTC)
I find it amusing how everything said is interpreted as an insult. Trilobite gave a terse and informative answer to the question, albeit showing a pesonal attitude to the issue. If a person feels badly "subjected to that", they better refrain from talking to other people at all. Mikkalai 23:09, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This quality control business seems to be a non-issue to many of us. It is said vandalism and misinformation are house-cleaned very quickly, generally within minutes, by Wikipedians. Not exactly so.

Wikipedia is new. It's user base is growing. Many contributers learn from elsewhere and write previously unavailable materials. If you read a book about dairy cows and you write a short article based on that book, you introduced some fresh information to the knowledge pool.

In a few years, there will be kids grown up studying Wikipedia because it's cheap and, pardon my Hawaiian, wiki. Some Wikipedia knowledge will be used by them and then cycle back to Wikipedia to justify its own existence. Many of today's journalists use Wikipedia as a start point. Usually they have very little time to verify the information. It is possible that some Wikipedians will use these misinformed newspaper articles to justify questionable information. This is what happens today. Think of a decade after.

Wikipedia is not an Encyclopedia. There are more than 100 non-English versions. Trust me, counting out those dead and semi-dead versions, I have seen at least one top 70 "active" Wikipedia contributed only by a handful persons. Based on my observation three months ago, I have seen one Wikipedia (over 500 articles then) with 4500 edits out of a total 8000 edits contributed by just one person. Thanksfully that language is not English. If you call that trustworthy. -- Toytoy 23:59, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I have to agree that vast majority of national wikipedias are not trustworthy at all. The only thing that makes open source work is scrutiny by millions of eyeballs, which is still a distant dream for most of national 'pedias. Even English wiktionary is pitiful. Mikkalai 00:17, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Even in English 'pedia sometimes I spend 80% of my time reverting vandals. And there is a disturbing tendency of the growth of the number of edits that look not like a kiddy prank, kind of "!!!!!ELVIS RULES!!!!!!!", but rather like an attempt to test the integrity of wikipedia, as some smartass journalists described. Mikkalai 00:22, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Most vandals are pretty low level. If anyone really wants to screw up Wikipedia, he/she may just "fix" a little bit here a little bit there. Such as "Country Blah produced 176557 tonnes of Vitamin Z in 1979." -> You just tweak the number or the product name and give a false reference. If you or your sockpuppets do a little more creative edits here and there (fix grammar, provide wiki links, place/delete some adj. or adv. ...), people may overlook your change in a couple of days. And then the false number is set. And then you vandalize more popular articles. There are so many less-visited articles, its not easy to keep just some of them relatively safe.
I use Wikipedia all the time. I have seen many (mostly innocent) kilo-ton blunders (last one: 12 hours ago; corrected). I have made a few of them (last one: two days ago; fixed by myself in 3 hours). I guess that I could have created some mega-ton ones. In some "less encyclopedic" areas, I have found many (if not most) articles not well-organized. The contributors, without solid knowledge to the subject, can only piece together latest (but random) information. They didn't understastand some very foundmental information (technological background of the 19th century). I tried my best to organize it by placing basic information in the talk page. I still don't know how to fix it. Anyway, I am still addicted to this "encyclopedia". I don't think I'll eat leftover dishes collected from dozens households. My taste to knowledge is surely not so critical. -- Toytoy 05:41, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
It is easier for contributors to create a recent info data dump. Such as "in April 2005, Mr. Blah was found wearing no pants." You may not see a paragraph that mentions his education. The april fool's day Britannica take-over joke may illustrate my argument very clearly. The list of names kept growinig like cancer cells, but the joke itself is not improved. A good joke needs a focus. This is not something you get from one billion monkeys sitting in front of one billion typewriters.
As to some other one-monkey-with-one-typewriter-but-that-monkey-works-night-and-day non-English Wikipedias, that's another story. -- Toytoy 05:56, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
"Wikipedia is not an Encyclopedia." - Umm, it says right there on the left sidebar: "Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia". If we're not an encyclopedia, we seem to be misleading a lot of people. -- Dcfleck 14:04, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)
"Wikipedia is not an Encyclopedia." When I said that, I meant there are over 100 Wikipedias. A part of the English version is kind of usable. Many other versions are simply miserable jokes.
I have seen at least one top 20 Wikipedia plagued by the few "full-time" contributors. They have all the time hanging on the Internet to run their Wikipedia. They just do not have the knowledge to make good edits and sound decisions. That Wikipedia is quickly moving towards the top 10. Its quality? Somewhat better than miserable.
I will keep on writing for Wikipedia. But I will not let my kid use it. English Wikipedia is a good starting place. However, it is the worst idea to continue using Wikipedia without moving to another reference material. I will not let my kid use Wikipedia as the primary knowledge source. -- Toytoy 15:30, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)

Map policy

Do we have a de facto policy on using CIA maps for countries in the absence of better quality maps produced by the Wikipedia community? User:Kelisi has been replacing the maps on several countries with what I believe to be clearly inferior maps (albeit with more detail). Please enter the debate on talk:Panama Jooler 08:31, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

A list of Kelisi maps: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3AContributions&target=Kelisi&hideminor=0&namespace=6
Kelisi maps are really ugly. LSD-induced colors with typography on crack, I have to say so. But his maps contain much more information than these nice-looking CIA maps. If anyone wants to fix it, an afternoon with Adobe Photoshop or any other comparable tools can at least fix the colors. You cannot easily add so many place names on the CIA maps. -- Toytoy 09:34, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
These maps do have shortcomings. Appearance is a problem, but so are the rights; the file format is also difficult -- we do not want to try to fix these in Photoshop; trust me on this. I don't think Kelisi has much experience either on WP or in graphic design, but he's onto a resource and has time and willingness to exploit it. I'm going to try to work with him on this. Okay? — XiongXiong2char.pngtalk 04:13, 2005 Apr 3 (UTC)

Empty "date of death" fields in templates: ghoulish

Hi all,

There is a template called {Infobox UNSecGen} that people have been adding to UN General Secretaries, such as Javier Pérez de Cuéllar and Boutros Boutros-Ghali. As you can see, it has fields for "date of death" and "place of death". These are displayed even when the subject is still alive. If one deleletes "| date of death=" and "| place of death=" they are still displayed, this time with what looks like a variable name.

Is there any one else here who finds this ghoulish? I realize that strictly speaking this is a technical issue, but I am just wondering if we could reach concensus for avoiding this kind of thing. -- Viajero 22:12, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely. Creator should take the extra minute and set up two templates. Compare Template:Infobox MexicanPresidentAlive and Template:Infobox MexicanPresident. Hajor 22:43, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yech. It's fixed now. --Andrew 23:37, Apr 4, 2005 (UTC)


How to change capitalization in an article title?

I just submitted an article on the American poet Rod McKuen, yet Wiki posted it as "Rod mckuen," (lower-case "M") even though this isn't how the name appears anywhere in the text. Can I simply change the name?

Thanks!

--LanceHawvermale 23:30, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Normal procedure is to use the "Move this page" link found on the side or bottom of the page, but there's already an article at Rod McKuen. I've merged the two and turned Rod mckuen into a redirect, but there's still a lot of cleanup needed -- the original article at Rod McKuen wasn't in very good shape. --Carnildo 23:53, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Series templates

I've noticed lately a tendency to slap series templates (for example Template:Anarchy, Template:History of Spain onto articles that are not actually part of the series (although they are more or less related). I wouldn't think this was appropriate, though it is not insane. Is there any policy on this? If not, we should form one: this shouldn't be a matter of individual editors' caprice. -- Jmabel | Talk 08:11, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

  • Isn't there something on that in the pages on series templates? Anyway, series templates are to navigate the listed articles. If the article isn't listed in the template, I don't see any problems in removing it. Mgm|(talk) 09:00, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
  • I must admit to having comited this sin. The article in question was list of parties contesting the UK general election, 2005/06, which isn't on the {{PoliticsUK}} template (and I don't feel it should be) but is very strongly related to the article UK general election, 2005/06, which is a part of that series.
I think most people who reach the list of parties article will have come from the general election article, and if they are navigating through the series then they might appreciate being able to follow it further; however I am prepared to be convinced otherwise if people disagree with my theory. --Neo 10:20, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Super-users!

I created a new article about the proposal for creating Super-users, a class of administrators who would have full sysop rights, with the exception of blocking and unblocking powers. Rad Racer 00:41, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Any policy regarding school articles?

I think we should not include articles of some non-noteworthy high schools just because a single incident (see Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Red Lake High School and Talk:Columbine High School. The majority of people do not agree with me. Is there an established policy?

Here are my views (edited):

  • Delete. [ Red Lake High School ] and Columbine High School are both not noteworthy. ... A high school is a high school. Unless it actually becomes something such as an elite high school, it's no more than a human butcher shop. Is there an article dealing with the garage at 2122 N. Clark Street, Chicago? Certainly not. Just because some people were killed over there on February 14, 1929, does not earn that lousy garage an article in an encyclopedia. -- Toytoy
  • The information [in Columbine High School] is possibly copied from the school website. It's legal, but useless in an encyclopedia. What do you want to know about a school? Its history? Its policy? Its people? That article has nearly nothing to justify its existance. One thing that tells Harvard University from the official http://www.harvard.edu/ website is our article has some original and interesting information in it. OK, even if someone has written something about that school, how do we check the fact? How many students of that school are writing for Wikipedia? Can they write anything that's useful to an outsider? ... -- Toytoy 02:03, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)
  • On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo in a car. The car does not have an article. The bullet that killed him is stored as a museum exhibit in Czech Republic. It also does not have an article. ... That high school is just a faceless high school. It does not have a story of its own ... (other than the massacre). ... If we need its information (who?), we visit its website ... . Otherwise, just another useless high school article does not enrich this encyclopedia in any way. Beslan school hostage crisis occured about six months ago, do you care about that Beslan Middle School Number One? Sorry, it's still a dead link. The Michael Moore movie [Bowling for Columbine] is irrelevant. Several McDonald's appeared in Super Size Me, none of them deserves any article. -- Toytoy 02:03, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)
  • [ In response to m:Wiki is not paper ]: Wikipedia is also not an information landfill. There's an article for Suzanne Vega, ... another for "Tom's Diner" ... . I don't see the need of an article for that diner (Tom's Restaurant) on the corner of Broadway and 112th Street in New York City even though that diner also appeared in Seinfield. -- Toytoy 01:49, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
I disagree. Tom's Restaurant is a landmark, a place that even mild Seinfeld fans like to visit when in Morningside Heights. As such it deserves at least a stub. Certainly a 5-paragraph treatise on the quality of the food or service (both of which are lousy) is unnecessary, but the restaurant, like Columbine has had enough of an impact on popular culture that it deserves an article. GabrielF 01:58, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Tom's Restaurant may deserve a short article that deals with its history and other tourist information. As a NY landmark, Tom's Restaurant attracts many more visitors than the Columbine High School. Anyone may visit Tom's Restaurant because of the song or comedy, they need some information. You don't visit Columbine High School the way you visit Tom's Restaurant. That makes the school information not needed. The impact of Columbine High School to popular culture can be included in the massacre article. -- Toytoy 17:54, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
  • ... There are articles for colleges because you may want to select a college that's best for you regardless of distance. A New Yorker who lives next to the NYU may want to go to Stanford to complete his/her education. I don't see too many people who live in Long Island and go to a high school in, maybe, Brooklyn. High schools, except for some truly great ones, are not noteworthy. -- Toytoy 01:07, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

Other than some magnet schools, high school articles are generally useless. These schools are local schools. You don't see a student from Tokyo in these high schools. You don't even see a student from another state, county or town over there. People in Baghdad are not sending their kids to a small school district in Colorado. The school information is not needed by the rest of us (6 billion earthlings). Any one of us may want to visit a small village populated by 10 somewhere off the shore of Congo River. But we usually don't consider to go a high school across the town. -- Toytoy 01:47, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree, for example in Colchester, England you would not put in an article called The Stanway School (a comprehensive) while there is an article called Colchester Royal Grammar School as that school is selective and one of the best performing English schools. It does attract students form Tokyo and Hong Kong. TAS 16:30, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Eton College is absolutely a must for an encyclopedia. Britannica has it. Encarta has it. Wikipedia has it. This high school is even more important than most universities in the world. It's the cradle of British aristocracy. Most of us cannot visit Eton, let alone to become a student. But we need to know something about Eton to understand the United Kingdom. As to the other end of the spectrum, I don't think we need these articles. -- Toytoy 18:07, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

Noteworthy high schools

People usually say the shootings made these school noteworthy. I'll say that's totally nonsense. A shooting makes a school noteworthy only when:

  • The school gave each student a pistol and required them to take a shooting class.
  • The school weed out problem students systematically but a good student went berserk anyway.
  • The school has a long and proud troubled tradition shared by its students. (Alumni: famous revolutionaries, gangsters, mass and serial murderers, mercenaries ...)
  • The school developed a secret brain-growth potion that made students murderers.

Each school has some troubled students. This is not news. The school has to do something that caused the shooting to be any noteworthy. -- Toytoy 02:39, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

None of your points explains how having articles on high schools is harmful for Wikipedia. - SimonP 18:12, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)
It may not harm but it depends on how you define "harm". Low quality school pages are similar to personal vanity pages. Let's say that we allow each "John Smith" on earth to have a personal page here. It actually does not "harm" Wikipedia. Hardware issues aside, adding six billion personal articles to Wikipedia actually hurts no one. It will not decrease the values of other serious articles such as Isaac Newton, electricity or fish. Then why do we delete these pages? An article has to be of any value to others. A high school article is neither informative nor fun. It is usually not very verifiable unless you are a student there. Otherwise, all an outsider could do is to copy information from their web site. This is bad. Will it hurt? With my definition, it may hurt. But your definition could be different from mine. -- Toytoy 18:30, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)
As our donation page states the goal of Wikimedia is "a world in which every person has free access to the sum of all human knowledge." This is fundamental, but it is restricted as to be useful all the knowledge in Wikipedia needs to be accurate and neutral. This can only be obtained only allowing facts that are verifiable. For the vast majority of the six billion of us there is no reasonable way to verify the accuracy and neutrality of an article written about us. However this does not apply to high schools. I have written several articles on schools and have always found that there is enough information on the public record to write more than a stub. These are schools that I did not attend and that I have never met anyone who has attended them. All the information is from official websites, newspaper archives, and published books and can thus be independently verified. - SimonP 23:33, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

There has been much discussion on the notability of schools, and, unfortunately, no consensus has been established. The arguments go on on the VfD pages daily. RickK 23:36, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)


I disagree with the original writer (User:Toytoy). The question is not about the value of the school, the question about the value of the article to someone who is trying to get some information or do some research. I suggest that someone wanting to reserach recent violence in schools is likely to want to look for "Columbine". Someone looking into the murders in Chicago is much more likely to type in "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" or "Al Capone" (Although I would have no objection to creating a redirect from the address if someone thinks it would be helpful.) Notice that the article is about "Columbine" not the exact address of the school. You can say many things, but using a dictionary definition of "notability" Columbine is certainly notable. Morris 00:39, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

The Columbine High School article has been there since Nov 26, 2003 with 55 edits so far. IMO, that article is still miserable. Let me explain:
  • School information table: The current principal's name links back to itself.
  • Aerial photograph
  • 1st paragraph: Dictionary definition; street address.
  • 2nd paragraph: Name; year of establishment; first principal.
  • 3rd paragraph: Jefferson County Public Schools district (no article); grades; Robert F. Clement Park (no article).
  • 4th paragraph: "Famous" alumni (nothing but three lousy dead links).
  • 5th paragraph: The massacre.
  • 6th paragraph: Aftermath. Links to Chatfield High School which is even less noteworthy. That article only contains two short paragraphs. 1st: dictionary definition; 2nd: Columbine's aftermath.
  • 7th paragraph: Bowling for Columbine. That paragraph also mentions the fact that "Columbine" is of little importance in that movie.
  • 8th paragraph: External links
There used to be a paragraph saying the word "Columbine" means dove-like. That paragraph is totally irrelevant. I removed it.
To be fair, Chatfield High School is also linked by Katie Hnida, a "famous" alumni of that school. However, her fame is not related with the school.
See, besides the massacre, what's the point of that article? It shall be merged with the massacre article. -- Toytoy 01:18, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
BEEFSTEW is a proposed rating system for high school articles. I think you guys may want to calculate the BEEFSTEW point for the Columbine High by yourself (Score 6, I guess). However, IMO, that article fails to meet requirements (F), (G), (H), (I), (J). These are the things that makes a high school actually noteworthy.
I don't think a Columbine student, alumni or faculty member would find that article of any use. In my opinion, it's purely duplicated and possibly outdated information with little hope of improvement. Nor will a journalist or a teacher looking for a job find that article useful. -- Toytoy 01:44, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

I think the BEEFSTEW rating system is way too inclusive. IMO the only criterion that can make a school notable is the notability of its alumni. I would propose that a school have an article if and only if one of the following applies:

  • at least 10 current or former pupils are notable enough to have biographies at Wikipedia, or
  • at least 5 current or former pupils became notable for a positive accomplishment (i.e. neither murdering people nor getting murdered should count) while they were at the school, or
  • at least 2 current or former pupils became notable for a positive accomplishment directly related to their work at the school (for example if at least two students independently won a Nobel Prize for their science fair project, that would certainly make the school notable, as it would reflect positively not only on the students themselves but also on the teachers and the level of education).

--Angr 20:14, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There are currently 51 personal articles listed under Category:Old Etonians. Quite a few are long articles. Many of them have more than 3 interwiki links. Lots of them were biographed in the 1911 Britannica (some possibly had been included since 1768).
Eton is a great school. Why so few? Many Old Etonians were simply not categorized. If all Old Etonians are listed, that category will surely contain several hundred articles. This is what I called noteworthy. I agree BEEFSTEW is too inclusive. But to be fair, I think the "at least 2 current or former pupils" test only is more than enough to weed out worthless high schools. Wikipedia is not paper. We have the loosest standard to include articles. Just two positive and school-related alumni biographs is more than enough. If a school's alumni don't usually advertise their own alma mater, we bear little if any burden to help them do so. -- Toytoy 03:35, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
I agree that Eton is noteworthy enough for an article. It meets the first criterion listed above. --Angr 06:28, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Unverified orphans

There seem to be a large number of images uploaded but not currently in use in any article (these are termed orphans). Many of these seem to lack source and licensing info. (unverified orphans, or UOs). A few Wikipedians feel that to reduce the load on the servers it makes sense to delete them. A few Wikipedians feel that unverified images uploaded before some date should not be deleted, since the image upload page was not always the way it is now. IIRC, earlier versions did not ask the uploader to tag the image with licensing info. and just asked them to check a box that said that they have permission to upload. IIRC long ago all content (including images) in Wikipedia were supposed to be GFDL, then fair-use images came along, and then came the possibility that Wikipedia could allow a myriad of "free licenses" and "permissions to use" to be used.

I would like to request more people to post their views on the threshold date for listing such images for deletion, whether to list such images for deletion at all, etc. at Wikipedia talk:Images and media for deletion/Unverified orphans#Two thoughts to deal with some of the images.. -- Paddu 06:41, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

One reason for my personally being against deleting all UOs (I'm not saying none of them should be deleted) is that there might be people who uploaded photos taken by themselves to wikipedia and didn't bother to include them in articles (since they would be redundant in an encyclopaedic article, e.g. an insect photographed from different angles) and didn't bother to tag them (since those days GFDL was IIRC kind of default). Most of these pictures would be ideal material for commons and hence IMHO should be moved there prior to getting deleted. -- Paddu 16:08, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
This is a Black Hole, a zone into which Wikipedians pour time and energy, and from which nothing of value emerges. We should not waste time deleting unverified orphans, although it is a harmless pastime for those so inclined.
The safe position is to delete everything -- text and images -- that we cannot prove was created by a Wikipedian and licensed under GFDL, or is definitely in the public domain.
The radical position is to retain everything that comes into the project, at least until forced to remove a copyvio.
He's gonna get you.
  • My bias leans toward the radical end. As a matter of political position, I believe that intellectual property law -- statutory and case law -- is overly restrictive, and that actual enforcement is overzealous.
For example, I once enjoyed an independent movie house in Palo Alto; before the incident I shall relate, they were doing well and had begun restoration of a second theater, a historic downtown Palo Alto movie palace. They got a Disney movie under a license to play it for a restricted audience (I believe, of schoolkids) and carelessly played it for a general audience. The Mouse took it all. They weren't asked to settle the claim out of court; they were simply crushed.
We are all different, and what terrifies some, emboldens others. I think we need to stand up to such bullies, though with care. If they intend to lord it over us, let them work for the privilege.
That bias disclosed, let me quote from Wikipedia talk:Copyright violations on history pages: We should largely ignore possible copyright infringements in page histories...I've yet to see a complaint from a copyright holder about this, so it seems more on the paranoia side than something which is actually a problem for us.. Jamesday 12:34, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC) Jamesday is a WP developer. I suggest copyright holders don't complain about violations remaining in history because they never see it, and few reader do, either.
I think the issue of unverified orphans is even more of a non-issue. True, somebody might pick up on such an orphan and elevate it to star status, and if-and-when that happens, and if-and-when someone claims a copyvio, then we can deal with it, as we deal routinely with all alleged copyvios. Until then, this is a Black Hole.
Xiong, if what you say has to be followed, what about Wikipedia:Possibly unfree images then? That has been around for quite some time. There are some PUIs that are obviously unfree but we just haven't been able to locate the URL they infringe the copyright of, e.g. photos of models. But the WP:PUI page doesn't restrict from listing and deleting any untagged image. Recently a clause was added to contact the original uploader, but I'm afraid most original uploaders aren't around. I'm not bothered about images that were taken from some other resource (online or not). But IMHO images authored by Wikipedians shouldn't go away. Also if they get deleted the original authors might return, find that the images got deleted & then turn away from Wikipedia and influence those they know to turn against Wikipedia. If good faith is to be assumed only proved copyvios and redundant images should get deleted, but that is simply not the state of affairs currently. -- Paddu 21:13, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Paddu explained in length the issue. There are ten of thousands of untagged orphans. Some were recently uploaded and do not follow current rules which make tagging mandatory. However, many were uploaded before this became mandatory and in their uploaders mind, they were gfdl, since they agreed to follow gfdl when they uploaded it.

A couple of assumption should be clarified. It is not because an image is untaggued that it is necessarily a copyvio. We currently keep copyrighted images on Wikipedia. We assume we can use them under fair use doctrine. It sometimes happen we are wrong, and in this case, the board or anyone else receive a complaint from the copyright holder. The solution is generally to promptly delete the image and I can tell that in 4 years, all cases have been fixed to the satisfaction of the copyright holder. We should assume good faith from most uploaders and only delete untaggued images when someone raise a complaint about them.

In case the image is untaggued and is indeed a copyvio, it being an orphan reduces the risk of any legal complaint.

Another assumption is that an orphan image is "not interesting". It is not so. It may be that several images of the same topic already exist and not all may be put in the article. Which does not mean the ones non linked have no value. So, deleting them for having no value is not very wikilove.

Third point : we have room on our servers. If we were lacking room, I would agree we should not keep what is uncertain. But keeping these images is not hurting the whole system from a storage point of view.

Fourth point : the only case where the orphan untaggued would be likely to be problematic is when the whole content of the db is downloaded, possibly to be put on a cd rom. Here, if the image revealed itself a copyvio, we would not be able to do anything.

So, here is what I support

  • tag all them untaggued orphans.
  • ask uploaders to tag them
  • if no answer in xx weeks, change the tag to "verified but still untaggued orphans" (or any name suitable)
  • have all "verified but still untaggued orphans" excluded from downloads.

Anthere

Just to support what Anthere has just said: our server problems are not related to disk capacity for storing images, but to other issues, especially processing power for producing text pages. Those orphans tie up very little system resources, and server load just isn't a valid argument to remove them. David.Monniaux 11:19, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Our new judges

A self-appointed clique calling itself the Wikipedia:Office of Investigations has empowered itself to decide who is a "problem user" who needs to be "dealt with", primarily through arbitration. Do you support this move, or are you worried about vendettas and bullying? Please comment on Wikipedia talk:Office of Investigations. —Charles P. (Mirv) 22:46, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I see only two problems with your statement here:
  1. You're misrepresenting the group. It's an organization that appears to be centered around preparing RfC and RfAr cases.
  2. The page in question is currently at Wikipedia:Association of Member Investigations.
Carnildo 23:28, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  1. It's an organization that appears to be centered around preparing RfC and RfAr cases.—yes, against those that they and they alone deem to be problems. No, I don't think that was a misrepresentation.
  2. It was moved, and the resulting redirect deleted (I recreated it), after I posted the above. —Charles P. (Mirv) 01:12, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • That's irrelevant. If they prepare frivolous arbcom cases, the arbcom are unlikely to accept it. Even if they do, the subject of the case has nothing to fear. Arbcom will find the case was unfounded and not sanction them. And anyway, you can always appeal to the arbcom or Jimbo yourself. Just because they set up this organization doesn't mean they have any more power. - Mgm|(talk) 17:24, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)

Any Wikipedia editor has a right to file an RfC, these editors have just organized themselves. It's up to the arbcom to decide if they want to hear the case, and if an editor or group of editors become nuisance litigators, an RfC can be filed against them. Just ignore them unless they bring you into an RfC, how is it hurting you? RickK 23:33, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

I basically agree with RickK here, except for the apparent assumption that an RfC is necessarily a step toward asking the ArbCom to step in. -- Jmabel | Talk 03:03, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

This debate is currently at Wikipedia talk:Association of Member Investigations. Please direct your comments there. — XiongXiong2char.pngtalk 03:22, 2005 Apr 3 (UTC)

Naming conventions

What's better: "History of X" or "Xsh history"? This is a dilemma that has plagued Wikipedians since the dawn of time. I have proposed a new naming convention to deal with this issue. See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (country-specific topics). Any comments would be greatly appreciated. - Pioneer-12 00:46, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

University of Maryland, College Park/Vote

There is a policy proposal being voted upon at University of Maryland, College Park/Vote. Some users believe that all articles for universities should use short names, such as "University of Texas" vs. "University of Texas at Austin", "University of Massachusetts" vs. "University of Massachusetts Amherst", etc. The poll has two questions, one about the specific name for University of Maryland, College Park and the other is a general policy proposal which would change Wikipedia:Naming conventions, affecting many articles. I'm not sure if University of Maryland, College Park/Vote is the right page for a policy proposal, and I don't think there has been any input from a larger portion of the community before voting started. Still, please vote. Rhobite 18:33, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)

For the record, no there hasn't been a lot of input on the larger policy proposal, though mostly through the actions of User:John Kenney it had been brought it up at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions and across a significant number of schools where a long name (e.g. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is used in place of a more common short name (e.g. "University of North Carolina"). And some of those schools have been going round and round on this issue for years. In most cases though, little feedback was received, either pro or con. In the specific case of University of Maryland, however, it provoked long and irreconciable debate which is the proximal cause of this survey. Since there is a larger policy question here, those of us involved in creating the survey agreed to include that as an additional matter, with admittedly limited consultation from the broader community. It is my expectation that there probably will never be a consensus on University naming, but provoking the discussion and having the arguments on record should be useful when this issue inevitably comes up again and again. Dragons flight 20:06, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Scientific point of view

Wikipedia:Scientific point of view (WP:SPOV) is a discussion on SPOV and NPOV. Criticism and further development of ideas, improvemtn of my prose is welcome. :) Dunc| 23:56, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Fighting over broken redirects

Hi! I've attempted to start a discussion on Deletion policy/redirects regarding an argument I'm involved into (sigh) regarding deletion of redirects to missing articles. From what I've seen, I fear that page is not on many people's watch list; would there be a more appropriate location for it?

(I'm a bit anxious to get this resolved, as this has brought part of the Wiki Syntax cleanup effort to a halt, especially since one of its pages has been unilaterally put under protection.)

Thanks! --Fbriere 04:34, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

If an admin is busy disrupting things with unwarrented page protection, you should probably report it at WP:AN/I. --Carnildo 05:04, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Quarantine of Fanatic Debate

Last night, I went absolutely insane.

I am not Chinese, but I confess to a fascination with all things Chinese, and I would like to participate in projects relating to things Chinese. But every forum discussing things Chinese -- every Talk page on every article whose topic is Chinese -- seems to be full of a certain fanatic debate. This debate is so highly polarized that it cannot even be characterized in neutral terms -- but we have to call it Something, or you'll wonder what I'm talking about. Please allow me to call it the "PRC vs ROC" debate. You might just as well call it the "Mainland vs Taiwan" debate, or the "One China" debate, or the "Beijing vs Taipei" debate, or just the "Evil vs Good" debate -- and who is evil and who is good, I am sure I cannot say. Its most visible expression is argument over what to call it -- what names may be used to identify Chinese things, be they political, geographical, human, philosophical, or ethnic entities.

I have other contributions to make and am hardly a China expert, so I thought I would just leave this alone, though not without a comment or two on the ludicrousness of either side trying to convince the other. I can't imagine why I thought that would quiet either of these rabid parties. After all these years, I still manage to believe in the goodness of human nature and the rationality of the human animal.

What finally set me off was when a user came onto my Talk page to ask me to weigh in on the debate. Imagine! Here I have set it down in no ambiguous language that I consider the entire debate offensive, contrary to the WP Way, out of order, and incapable of resolution. I have real work to do, articles to edit, graphics to upload, typos to catch, links to fix, garbage to be emptied. Now I'm being dragged into this cesspool of contention.

I went absolutely insane.

I fired off a completely unsupported fiat -- my "last word" on the subject -- and began to archive all this useless debate into one page -- arena, battleground, what have you -- one place where the warring parties can slug it out until the end of Time. This immediately touched off protest, unsurprisingly not by neutral parties. I had the forethought to create a page to house this metadebate, too.

After a break of some hours to eat and relieve Wikistress, I returned to find that Curps had attacked my unilateral action with some unilateral action of his own. He has bypassed normal procedure, saying I have bypassed normal procedure. He has ordered me to cease and desist. I shall be delighted to lay this burden down, so unwillingly assumed in the first place. But I'm not going to drop the matter, either. All is not well.

I paraphrase for general consumption, highlights of my reply:

You don't like me to impose a solution? Please, you impose a solution. If you think you have more authority than I do, you probably do. If you have the power to unilaterally bypass social mechanisms and throttle me, then you have the power and the responsibility to impose a unilateral solution on these political fanatics before they destroy us all.

Every existing method of conflict resolution has failed. This endless, pointless debate is wrecking everything with which it comes in contact. It's not even limited to China-related pages; it spills into the Pump, a half-a-dozen policy talk pages and, I swear, I think I come across it while I'm trying to edit Graph theory. The debate is a cancer eating away at the fabric of WP society.

Curps moved the page I created for the debate to User:Xiong/Talk:PRC vs ROC. Fine by me; when I run out of bandwidth or storage, send me a bill. Pick a name -- any name, any namespace -- just so long as it doesn't overlap with real discussion. Believe me, I don't have a dog in this fight. I simply have no opinion on the "Taiwan question", the "Mainland China" question, or any of the other thousand forms of the debate.

(note designated debate page now at: User:Xiong/Chinatalk. 19:52, 2005 Mar 26 (UTC))

My actions are only disruptive to those who need to disrupt WP to make their points. I haven't even interfered with those who just want to continue the eternal debate itself -- only those who feel it must be aired in every conceivable forum.

Before I started moving comments in this debate to a designated area, I saw Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese) grow to a whopping 150K; I could barely get it to load in my browser, let alone edit it or make any comment on any other issue -- one upon which some consensus might be reached, one having nothing to do with PRC, ROC, or any of that.

What I have done is to archive portions of a verbose, distributed discussion in a central location. I'll admit I have done so with a great deal of huffing and puffing, and you're welcome to censure me for that. But I contest any censure of my actions or characterization of them as disruption or vandalism. Archival of discussion is a normal user function on WP. I have contrived a method of quarantining this -- foolishness -- while preserving not only the foolishness itself for those who care to indulge, but also the legitimate business of the forums so polluted.

Please do not tell me everything is going to be okay. Don't ask me to wait around for consensus to pull out of this furball; it will not. Human beings have been executed by their leaders for expressing opinions on this subject; there are plenty of warriors on both sides who will not lay down their arms. You will not get these folks to the bargaining table, let alone get them to agree on anything. The debate itself is pointless. It has gone on for years; if a solution by consensus or any other existing method were possible, it would have taken place. No new information is going in; a great smoke and noise is coming out.

I took action. You don't like it? You take action. Be bold. If you think this needs to be decided at the Highest Levels, get together with the other bigwigs and thrash it out. There is not much point trying to do serious work on one corner of this project while holy wars rage everywhere. This debate is merely one egregious offender.

Please prove me wrong. Please prove me an insolent fool, a rude buffoon, a maniac on wheels. Prove my actions unwarranted, extreme, overreaction. You will earn my most sincere apologies. Show me. Bring the combatants together, or for that matter, allow them to continue their war, somewhere away from the general business of this project. Let your solution serve as a model for the other holy wars raging here, which are all too numerous and visible.

Meanwhile, I call for a Speedy quarantine procedure, which will permit any admin to immediately, without metadebate, establish a forum for any debate which threatens to engulf multiple unrelated forums. Note that all participants will automatically contest quarantine; they will assert that their debate belongs everywhere, right up front. Thus no metadebate on quarantine itself is permissible, except within the quarantine forum. The admin acts, and thereafter, all related comments will take place in the designated forum.

Let us disagree, but let us do so with some fragment of civility. — Xiong (talk) 14:01, 2005 Mar 25 (UTC)

  • I'm part of that debate and I totally agree with what you just said. I got myself into it after being reverted a billion times by partisans and ended up becoming a partisan myself. It's all consuming. Personally, I think it needs people who don't know Chinese politics to come in and lay down common sense. SchmuckyTheCat 15:08, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Xiong,
You wrote a document at User:Xiong/xiongxiong which makes for, uh, interesting reading. You say that "consensus is impossible to achieve", so "imposition by fiat of [a] settlement" is necessary. You grant yourself "jurisdiction" and state "I assume the burden of imposing a settlement". You provide examples of "forbidden edits" and announce "All edits to any main namespace article violating this settlement will be reverted. If I need help policing this settlement, I will recruit deputies". You conclude with "And that is my very last word". I'm not sure how to characterize all this, but this is not the way that dispute resolution is done on Wikipedia.
You then went ahead and deleted various people's comments from talk pages on the grounds that their comments contravened your "settlement"; you also deleted content several times from this very page, eg [1]. I left a note on your talk page, mentioning that doing this could be interpreted as vandalism and I provided links to Wikipedia policy pages, including the page on Wikipedia:Dispute resolution. For anyone who's interested, my comments on your talk page are here: [2]
The China PRC/ROC/Taiwan debate has been extremely verbose and people are quite stubborn, but everything is very civil and there really haven't been any edit wars. Wikipedia has seen much worse disagreements, over German/Polish or Armenian/Azerbaijani issues for instance. I take it you are relatively new on Wikipedia and haven't seen the various dispute resolution mechanisms in action. Wikipedia has always been able to weather these various disputes so far.
It may be that we will conduct a broad survey of Wikipedia opinion, something similar to what was done for "Gdansk". But your announced "settlement" wasn't the way to go and was not in keeping with how Wikipedia operates. -- Curps 18:06, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Xiong,
I'm going to put it this way. Your proposal threatened to destroy everything that the Chinese participants of Wikipedia, of whatever political opinion, have worked for so far.
Yes, there have been arguments, and some of them were long, or bitter. But consensus has been reached before. Compromises have been reached before. In fact, I would go on to say that Wikipedia has the most politically correct, most precise, most factual, and most neutral definition and description of China-related terms anywhere on the internet, if not in the entire history of the world. Where else are you going to find an article of the Republic of China or Mao Zedong or Tibet, for example, that explains what everyone thinks and why they think this way, all in unemotional and neutral language? The talk pages may be messy and drawn out, but what counts are the articles themselves -- and those are works of art. These arguments that you hate so much do achieve something. Wikipedia itself is proof and testament.
If your "settlement" is enforced, then all of that will be destroyed. Wikipedia will become a war zone, with people grabbing article titles most favourable to themselves. It will become precisely what you're trying to prevent -- a battleground for political zealots. If your settlement is enforced across the board, Wikipedia will be destroyed.
That's my two cents. -- ran (talk) 19:19, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

I'm glad to see that the majority are now angry with me, rather than at each other. Perhaps you can build on that feeling and extend it to other areas of agreement.

I have deleted nothing; all debate I have moved, I have moved to the designated area for such debate. Those who wish to pursue the matter may do so there. I absolutely agree that such debate is vital to the building of the actual articles so long as it remains in its proper place. When it spills out into other areas of the project; into demands for a restatement of general policy; it is One-Thingism, fanaticism, and disruption.

Of course nothing is ever the last word; I cannot even keep up with archiving debate, so I've abandoned any attempt to control edits -- a foolish, headstrong aspiration to begin with. Edit wars can be dealt with by the usual mechanisms.

  • In short words, for the benefit of those who don't want to slog through It All, I maintain that all debate surrounding the question "What Is China", including WP policy on it, WP policy on enforcement of WP policy, and so forth -- as long as it can be traced directly back to the substantive issue and nothing else -- is a mere extension of the holy war and should take place in one place only.

Fortunately, I can enforce nothing "across the board". I am limited both in authority and resources. But if I come across debate disruptive to the community, I will deal with it as best I can -- as every Wikipedian should. — Xiong (talk) 19:47, 2005 Mar 26 (UTC)

Multiple stub notices?

I had a peak at the new article Battle on the Irpen' River, & was mortified to see six different stub notices. I guess the original contributor was worried some people using Wikipedia might not think this article was a stub.

Seriously, are there any justifiable reasons to put more than one stub notice at the end of an article? Category stub notices admittedly can be of use to draw attention to a given article, but in this case, I'm strongly tempted to either delete all but {{russia-stub}} & {{lithuania-stub}} seeing how the other 3 categories could be folded into those two, or delete all but {{history-stub}}, & replace the rest with category markers. I prefer the second option, but am I going to find myself arguing with a majority of wikipedians who don't see the silliness in multiple stub notices? -- llywrch 00:16, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

No, there are not. To emphasize to some of our newer contributors who read this - THERE IS NEVER, EVER, EVER A REASON TO HAVE MORE THAN 1 STUB TAG IN AN ARTICLE. →Raul654 00:29, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)

If only these editors spent as much effort on expanding stubs as categorizing them... Gdr 02:37, 2005 Mar 22 (UTC)

LOL...well, I count only five, but that still must be some sort of record! No, as pretty as some of the subject-stub tags are, there's no excuse for using more than one of them. — Matt Crypto 04:53, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Probably the major reason I just didn't go ahead & remove all of the tags was to be able to point at the article & say "You won't believe what I just found." But I have entered disputes over matters like this one, thinking I have right on my side, only to find most of Wikipedia wondering why I would be so obsessed over a triviality. Better to be sure I have a possible concensus on my side. -- llywrch 05:05, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
IIRC, somewhere in the multiple pages of the Stub Sorting project, it says you shouldn't use more than two stub notices. --cesarb 12:22, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
5 isn't a record. If more than one stub tag is needed sohve them on the talk page.

I got some beating with a heavy stick here for puting several stub notices to the article under discussion. A relative newbie, I would be happy to comply with "Never ever more than one stub rule" in the future, if this is indeed the policy. However, could some one point out the reason behind it? My reason of putting several stub tags was to encourage other wikieditors, knowledgable in any of the fields of several stubs, to contribute by finding the article in the lists of stubs in the category, they feel competetent to write. Could someone point out why using the stub tags to attract editors was a bad idea. Thanks! Irpen 15:45, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)

Because it's ugly and it doesn't serve much purpose to have a list of stub notices that's longer than the article. All stub notices are the same: "This article is incomplete." Everything else people have added to them is just window dressing. -- Cyrius| 15:58, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Cyrius -- though, I must admit, that array of flags on this article's full collection of stub notices was exceptionally colorful window dressing. JamesMLane 16:33, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
While I agree that it's better to unstub an article than to agonise over whether it should have 1, 2 or 12 stub notices, once we got into stub sorting categorisation becomes important. The alternative to multiple stub cats is more specific stub cats. I think "Bulgarian-bio-stub" and "scientist-stub" is more useful than having a "Bulgarian-scientist-stub". Otherwise, if someone is interested in expanding "scientist-stubs" s/he might never find the ones classified under "Bulgarian-stubs". I prefer multiple stub cats (2, maybe 3 max) or no stub cats. Guettarda 16:46, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Note that extra stub categories can be added by hand instead of using multiple templates. —Korath (Talk) 17:14, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)
As I understand it (admittedly, I never read the original discussion on categorizing stubs), the whole point of adding stub note category was to help editors looking for projects to better identify topics in need of work; Category:stub is so large & unwieldy that it fails in this purpose. (Plus many stubs remain flagged with {{msg:stub}}.) Sorting stubs into categories helps if there are specialist editors working in that catory who will respond to the need; otherwise, it is just so much busy-work. Any better suggestions for attracting editors to stubs that need attention? -- llywrch 17:53, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

OK, how about a rule of (at most) one stub tag, and then categorising the article into the other stub categories (but without the stub message). That way, the article isn't cluttered up with stubcruft, and still editors can find short articles to expand in their field of interest. — Matt Crypto 13:23, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

To answer the original question as to whether it is justifiable to have more than one stub template on a page, the answer is a definite, clear, and unequivocal YES. To emphasize to some of our newer contributors who read this - THERE IS FREQUENTLY A VERY, VERY GOOD REASON TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE STUB TAG IN AN ARTICLE. The whole purpose of subcategories for stubs is to enable editors responsible for particular areas of research to be able to find stubs. If an aticle is in more than one area of research, it would be crazy NOT to allow two (or, on rare occasions, more) editorial groups to find the article. Take the following examples, for instance.
  1. A mountain on the border between two countries - which country's stub gets added, or do you anonymously dump the article in with geography stubs from around the world?
  2. An Italian politician - Italy stub or Politician stub?
  3. William Blake - Poet or Artist?
As to the articles "becoming ugly", a stub IS ugly, by definition. Adding only one stub templates to it won't change that - it will still be ugly. But adding two or three will improve the chance that the article will be extended to the point where it is no longer a stub and is no longer ugly. Stub notices are not there for the readers (surely a reader will have enough common sense to realise when an article is short) - they are there to help editors find articles, and as such the more help they can get, the better. I must admit I'm amazed at an article having six stubs on it - I've sorted a LOT of stubs in the last few months, and have never seen an article with more than three. As to taking the stub template off and just adding a category, that has been tried, and there were complaints from editors. They thought that it was unfair that one particular stub got "precedence" by being left on the article. It's also far easier for stub sorters to use the templates, since the category names tend to be longer and more complex (I know - a minor reason, but a valid one nonetheless).
Please, the whole idea of one stub vs more than one stubs has been suggested on a couple of occasions in the past at WikiProject Stub sorting, and each time it has been soundly rejected, as it is a BAD IDEA as regards the whole stub process. Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg 03:05, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have made a proposal to solve this multiple stub thing at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Reform proposal: stubs and categories. -- Toytoy 04:55, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia/Wiktionary Split

One of the unique things that makes Wikipedia so great is that it offers a single-access-point to reference information, and the whole idea of splitting it into wikipedia and wiktionary seems very arguable to me. While making a copy of wiktionary-like entries to wiktionary seems totally appropriate to me, removing them from wikipedia is i.m.o. a bad thing. I have personally been a heavy promoter of the wikipedia effort with everybody i know, but i would feel deceived if i'd check on wikipedia for something (including dictionary terms) and not find it there. Please carefully reconsider your strategy, this split will hurt your efforts and i believe you'll only find yourself with many frustrated users in no time. Thank you for your time.


PS I am writing these lines becuase i recently submitted a QoR (Quality of Results) entry to wikipedia and found out it's listed as "candidate to moving to wiktionary".

I concur completely with the opinion of User:Gyll, who forgot to sign, it seems. --TVPR 11:58, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I agree too. I've also come to feel that the split between dictionary and encyclopedia, like so much else about traditional encyclopedic practice, is artificial given the nature of on-line media, and also that the "move to wictionary" movement is a thin front for anti-stubism (I am a big fan of stubs) or an attempt at propping up wiktionary in the face of a relative lack of excitement in it. I also question whether the open-content, anyone-can-post-and-it'll-all-get-sorted-out dynamic really works for word definitions or etymologies the way it does for general knowledge. Certainly when I need to look up a word I head straight for one of the many other free-access online dictionaries before wictionary. Sharkford 14:50, 2005 Mar 17 (UTC)
Agree -- I think splitting off sister projects (in any effort) is generally a Bad Idea. This tends to create stagnant backwaters liable to suffocate through lack of interest. All the good effort originally diverted into the sister project is then wasted. I'd be quite happy seeing all the sister projects moved into various namespaces within Wikipedia. I do believe readers should be more obviously noticed when moving in and out of various namespaces, but that's another issue.
I suspect the sister project explosion is rooted in two families of cause: technical limitations, which can always be overcome; and political grievances, which ought to be remedied, rather than forcing dissidents to take their marbles and play elsewhere. — Xiong (talk) 15:29, 2005 Mar 17 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly disagree with this. Things that are purely dictionary definitions are not encyclopedic, and outside of our scope. Wiktionary is still part of the greater wikimedia project, as are the other language versions of the encyclopedia. I don't think wiktionary is stagnant, nor do I think that even if it were, we should artificially make wiktionary-type content more interesting by bundling it with the encyclopedia - If most people are interested in the encyclopedia in the first place, why not just give that to them? Plenty of people, from what I've experienced, use more than one wikimedia project. --Improv 16:45, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Things that are purely dictionary definitions are not encyclopedic, and outside of our scope. Your argument only holds if this statemement is true, but if it is true, it is not obviously so - as the long debate about whether to start wiktionary in the first place attests. I am personally in favour of separate projects but tighter integration through soft redirects and so on, but you do find that some people are opposed to even that. Pcb21| Pete 17:07, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
My question is rather simple: why on earth should somebody, when typing QoR in Wikipedia, get no results versus getting an answer to what they want to know? You may answer that they will also get no results for "why do horses have 4 legs", which seems a pretty valid position and it weventually boils down to wether or not wikipedia should include/redirect this or that query. It's all a matter of perspective, and this is why i only said "please carefully reconsider this position". Personally i am frustrated when i don't find what i'm looking for, and i am against multiple access points to information, so much so when it's the same editor that willingly splits the info, but that's only me. In the end it's Wikimedia's policy not mine or any other contributor's. Maybe a poll over this issue would be a good thing? Dunno... --Gyll 11:16, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
And now that i think about it, how about this: for each "Candidate to moving to wiktionary" page, make a weighted signed poll (each respondent weighted somehow based on their contributions to wikipedia), and when the number of answers exceeds N let the polling result make the decision w/r to removing the item from wikipedia pages. Well, it's just a suggestion. --Gyll 11:23, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The subject of Wiktionary entries are words the subject of Wikipedia articles are the actual thing the word names. There are also major format issues ; Wiktionary entries have a very standard layout with little prose while Wikipedia articles have many different formats with lots of prose (well they are supposed to :). More at Wikipedia is not a dictionary. --mav 21:33, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  1. If there's no Wikipedia article for something, there's always a link suggesting you should look at Wiktionary.
  2. Why look in an encyclopedia if you want a dictionary?

I wouldn't mind some soft links somewhere in an article indicating we've got a wiktionary entry for it. But including wiktionary in Wikipedia will just make things messy for new users who don't know about namespaces. The mere fact Wikipedia and Wiktionary have different names, should help people in distinguishing where to put stuff, even if some people still ignore it. Also, as things currently stand. Dic defs clog up the namespace and make the whole redlink is no article less useful. 131.211.208.36 09:50, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Request for comment

Wikipedia:Categorization policy

Information.svg Hello. In case you didn't know, when you add content to talk pages and Wikipedia pages that have open discussion, you should sign your posts by typing four tildes ( ~~~~ ) at the end of your comment. You could also click on the signature button Insert-signature.png located above the edit window. This will automatically insert a signature with your username or IP address and the time you posted the comment. This information is useful because other editors will be able to tell who said what, and when. Thank you.
Disagree--A virtue of WP is its flexibility. Another is its refusal to elevate members to exalted status or restrict them to a minor role. This proposal takes WP in the direction of the old Nupedia: "Let's have real experts do it right the first time." That's been shown not to work.
This proposal does point to some real problems; some of these may be an unavoidable "cost of doing business". But I'll wager there are more than 2 Finnish botanists, perhaps even more than 2 worthy of note. We simply haven't gotten around to filling out the category. In 100 or 200 years, I wouldn't be surprised to see a dozen in there. We're just laying the groundwork today.
I think it is appropriate to understand that over the next several centuries, Wikipedia and its sister projects will probably become the central repository for human knowledge: the primary source of durable, factual information, absorbing and subsuming all others. Maybe your planing horizon does not extend quite that far. (Sony Corporation's chairman once said that Sony's long-term planning horizon was 300 years in the future.) That's fine; work on today -- it's all we have now.
None of us today can fix a plan for WP, except in the most general terms, that will endure for centuries. Let's just stay flexible and trust in the Wiki Way to produce a work of value from moment to moment -- which is all that anyone has any use for, anyway. — Xiong (talk) 15:07, 2005 Mar 17 (UTC)

Template for articles needing to be cleaned up

For articles needing to be cleaned up, shouldn't there be reasons why that article needs to be cleaned up (ex. Unorganized, Spelling, Grammar, ...) listed on the template? тəті 22:43, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

There are a lot of more specific templates than {Cleanup}. Use them as appropriate. But generally, it's best to put details on the talk page, not the article page. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:57, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)


Commercial use of GFDL Material

Help me understand: GFDL allows for future commercial use of material, but as a copyleft GFDL asserts said future commercial material must also be GFDL. How can something be both commercial and licensed under GFDL? If an advertisement using GFDL material is considered "commercial" then the dual GFDL/commercial nature does not seem contradictory, but what about someone selling a poster with GFDL material on it? Does that mean after I buy the poster I am free to copy and redistribute it, but not before I buy it? More cartoon examples might help me. Thanks. Lensim 18:10, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Let's say I print up the geographical articles into a book and call it SuperAtlas. I can sell it to you. Until you buy it, you have no rights to it. Just because I downloaded and printed the GFDL content, I'm not under an obligation to give it to anyone else. However, whenever I do give it someone else (whether I'm doing it because they bought it or I'm a nice guy), I must do so under the terms of the GFDL, insuring the person to whom I'm giving it the same rights I have.

In particular, that means that once you have one copy of the SuperAtlas, you can give it to your friends or reprint it or publish it on the web (as long as you do so under the licensing terms). You could try to get a copy of my SuperAtlas by asking someone who already has one for a copy; there's nothing wrong with that. Or you could do the same thing I did and consult the source. But I have no obligation to both sell copies of the SuperAtlas and give them away. Demi T/C 19:12, 2005 Mar 24 (UTC)

Thank you that is exactly what I wanted to know :) PS your signature wields unbridled power. Lensim 21:40, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Template:Cleanup-technical - what's the practicality of this?

Template:Cleanup-technical or {{cleanup-technical}}<br\>What's the practicality for the use of this template? Isn't the evaluation of what's too technical going to vary by each individual reader? For example, if I (as a non-principal author) can understand the content of an article, is that grounds enough for removing it, or do we have to put it to a vote every time we want to remove such a tag? I'm also unclear as to the overall intent of such a tag. Is this supposed to create pressure for evolving towards a "Wikipedia for Dummies" authorship style? - Bevo 19:50, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

First, if you find a template like that on an article, feel free to move it to the talk page, as that's the current recommendation for the cleanup tags. Second (and this part's just my opinion), if such a tag was placed on an article without explanation on the talk page and it's not painfully obvious why the tag is there, feel free to remove it. If the tagger hasn't explained why the article was hard to understand, how would another editor know where to add some explanation? On the other hand, if there's no commentary and you do see the problem, adding a few words for other editors would be a good thing so they, in turn, don't need to guess at the problem.
If you do happen to remove such a tag that really did belong there, someone will eventually add it back, quite possibly with an angry "why did you remove this perfectly reasonable tag?!! It was there because...." ... and magically, the reason for the tag appears :) --iMb~Mw 11:56, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • The link you provided doesn't point to any cleanup tags. Also, while someone suggested to move cleanup tags to talk pages there's still a lot of opposition, as an editor browsing past is less likely to fix things. I'd have no problems with the tag being removed if it's not explained or painfully obvious though. 131.211.208.36 09:56, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Moving media to Wikicommons

Is there a policy to move media to Wikicommons? If there is, is there a policy of deleting the media locally? Gareth Hughes 16:58, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There is no official policy yet; for a discussion, see Wikipedia:Moving images to the Commons. Deleting media locally is problematic if it's under the GFDL, because history needs to be preserved. --MarkSweep 20:36, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Refuse short articles?

I know this must have been discussed before, so if you have pointers to previous discussions/decisions, that would be great.

The idea is that (for non-redirect pages) if you can't muster a paragraph about something (at least, say, five lines or 400 characters) then it's really a request for an article, and not an article. Any edit that would record a page with a total size of less than 400 bytes would be refused (page creation or edit). Demi 22:41, 2005 Mar 10 (UTC)

I think this is a terrible idea. Stubs and even substubs are extremely valuable as most people are more likely to add to an existing article than to start a new one. I must have taken dozens of articles through your 400 character limit, and I might not have written in any of them if they hadn't already existed. I've recently been working on Tiger Woods, which started out at 5 words and is now 2,816 words. What proportion of people who browse Wikipedia each day visit the article requests page? 1%? 0.1%? Wincoote 23:08, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Do I understand this as saying that an article like this is worse than nothing? I disagree. Normally, I wouldn't write one that short, but that was all I know about him. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:53, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)
Well, no, especially since it's larger than what I proposed (which is just a number from my head, it could be 200 or whatever). I just can't see spending VfD time, space and effort for "Foo Bar is a junior high school student in Ireland." Demi T/C 00:04, 2005 Mar 11 (UTC)
Not counting the stub notice, that article is three lines, 61 words, and 378 characters. Not counting the citation and reference, it's only two lines, 44 words, and 267 characters. --Carnildo 00:59, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I was just counting the source - I get 478 characters (I don't know why you wouldn't count citations and references). But the point isn't really about "400" per se. Demi T/C 01:15, 2005 Mar 11 (UTC)

I also think that this is a dreadful idea. Articles have to start somewhere. Filiocht 10:31, Mar 11, 2005 (UTC)

@Demi: What exactly is the problem you are trying to solve with this proposal? --Plek 10:42, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • It has seemed to me that a large number of articles put up for deletion are trivial deletes, yet don't match speedy criteria. Sometimes in fact an admin will delete them early anyway. But in any case, I'm not making a proposal, just asking if (and when or where) it might have been discussed before. Surely someone's suggested a minimum article length before? Demi T/C 13:02, 2005 Mar 11 (UTC)
    • If it has the faintest whiff of being to do with deletion, it's virtually certain to have been discussed before, and indeed this has (summary: Thanks, but no thanks.) Unfortunately I can't tell you exactly where. There are 22 pages in [[Category:Wikipedia deletion]] plus eight sub-categories, each with several further pages. Each page has a talk page, and those talk pages tend to have large archives. E.g. Talk:VfD has 18 archived pages and Talk:Deletion policy has 13 archives. Then there are literally hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of mailing list posts on the topic....
Antistubism is a longtime tradition in Wikipedia, but as you can see has little remaining support, partly due to the fact that Wikipedia has many more complete articles now. You can read some about it on Wikipedia:Perfect stub article and pages linked from there. Deco 22:42, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

*I think that stubs and substubs should be deleted if not expanded on within 40 days. If the article itself admits there is little to say it should be deleted if not updated within 20 days. All spelling redirects should be removed after 100 days. TAS 10:48, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)> TAS 19:28, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

    • (I hope) I don't understand what you're saying. In the articles that I edit, I see a huge number of redirects like (for example):
    • If I was designing the system, I would have some sort of normalization to handle most of these cases, but as it is, they are necessary. Morris 16:11, Mar 13, 2005 (UTC)
    • Delete spelling redirects? Why? Just because a redirect has been around for a hundred days doesn't make it any less likely for people to mis-spell a word. --Carnildo 20:25, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • Point taken. I meant vfd redirects. TAS 17:43, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Please see m:eventualism and m:immediatism. JRM 12:51, 2005 Mar 13 (UTC)

I am so glad that TAS is in a tiny minority on this. Half of the articles I start are stubs tangentially related to the major articles I'm working on. They usually have solid references. They are certainly worth keeping in their own right (e.g. a bio-stub that identifies a relatively obscure figure, but doesn't necessarily do much more than that), and they have the potential for expansion. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:48, Mar 13, 2005 (UTC)

  • TAS has withdrawn his comments. TAS 17:43, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Better to light one candle than curse darkness. Keep stubs. — Xiong (talk) 21:32, 2005 Mar 14 (UTC)

Systematic refusal of short articles could lead to contributors inclusion of garbage materials. A contributor may write things that he/she knows little about, invent something, use wordy, tedious, overly complex, redundant and painfully verbose sentences, abuse the wiki syntax ([[dog|dog]]; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog dog] instead of [[dog]]) or just steal contents from a copyrighted web page financed by a trigger-happy company manned by Harvard Shark School-graduated lawyers. This policy could create even more problems than without it. It will be difficult for us to pick up the 2 garbage bytes from a 398-byte-gem shall we adopt the 400 bytes rule. -- Toytoy 16:20, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)
One possible abuse:
A <b>dog</b> is an [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal animal]. A <font color="black">dog</font> is a <font color="black">dog</font> is a <font color="black">dog</font>. A <font color="black">dog</font> is not a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat cat]. A <font color="black">dog</font> is not a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giraffe giraffe]. A <font color="black">dog</font> is not a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlon_Brando 10,000 lb monster]. A <font color="black">dog</font> is not [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britney_Spears your mother-in-law]. You don't find <font color="black">dog</font> meat in a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Mac Big Mac].
If you know little about dogs but you want to trim the article, the wiki server will forbid you from doing so because it will make the article too short to be accepted. -- Toytoy 16:50, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

raster vs vector graphics

I have created some simple diagrams for an article and uploaded them as .png files. I created them in Inkscape and they are nice, small, editable scalable vector graphics (svg) files.

Is there a way for me to put the .svg files up so it would be easier if someone wanted to edit the diagrams? Should I just upload them like they are pictures, and link to them from the page for the .png file? Is there a protocol for this? kris 23:34, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • So I guess there is just no way to use or link to or upload the .svg files? --kris 15:40, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • how do you upload a svg file? I get the message ".svg" is not a recommended image file format. when I try to upload one. --kris 17:01, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Strange, can anybody tell whether this is policy or a bug?--Patrick 00:15, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • I think the warning is to tell people it's not a recommended image file format for viewing purposes, but it should be OK to upload - I've done so in the past. If it completely prevents uploading of SVG files that is IMO a bug. --Robert Merkel 01:06, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
        • It does indeed prevent uploading, in spite of purporting to be a warning. I think it's a serious bug; I have a handful of SVG files for diagrams that I've uploaded, and it would be really handy to be able to upload the SVG. This is even more serious on the commons, where people probably want to replace the English text. --Andrew 02:43, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)
SVG, like HTML, includes a scripting language. SVG uploads are disabled for security reasons until someone has a chance to develop a safety filter. --Brion 23:48, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)
What, exactly, are the security concerns?
  • That someone may download an SVG file containing a trojan: Is it really Wikipedia's job to ensure that noone uploads malware to it? What SVG viewers actually run the embedded scripting in a trusted fashion?
  • Is the SVG renderer built in to the software susceptible to malware? We're not asking for SVG rendering (nice as it would be), just somewhere to put the cursed things.
Is there some other potential problem I don't see? Where was this policy discussed? --Andrew 19:16, Mar 11, 2005 (UTC)
This appears to be the thread where upload restrictions were introduced: [3] From the discussion, it appears that the disabling of SVG was a side-effect of a workaround for an IE bug. A request that SVG be re-enabled ([4]) went unanswered apart from some discussion of SVG rendering. --Andrew 19:38, Mar 11, 2005 (UTC)
Okay, there's an SVG sanitizer at User:aarchiba/SVG sanitizer. Simple, robust; it just rips out any script. Are there any remaining security issues? --Andrew 04:45, Mar 12, 2005 (UTC)
It's pretty clear that you are unfamiliar with SVG, then. :) Like in HTML, scripts may be placed in event handler attributes on individual document elements as well as in standalone <script> elements. Additionally there is the ability to reference external resources; if an offsite image is pulled for instance this could reveal users' IP addresses to some third party (a "web bug"). Pulling from a local or file: URL might or might not have rendering security issues as well, depending on implementation. I'm not certain whether an external resources could be imported as a SVG tree which itself would could contain scripting commands, but that's definitely something to check as well. --Brion 22:28, Mar 12, 2005 (UTC)
Well, let me ask again: Are you worried about serving a file that may contain malware, or are you worried about SVG rendering on the server being insecure? --Andrew 23:59, Mar 12, 2005 (UTC)
Yes and yes. -Brion 00:03, Mar 13, 2005 (UTC)
Okay, this is progress.
We have two (actually three) different applications, and theyhave different sanitization needs.
  • Serving files uninterpreted for download:
    • Users know they're downloading a file, and are accustomed to distrusting downloaded files; there is little we can do to protect them, and Wikipedia is actually a step above most of the places they could get files, since malware can be easily removed once found.
    • Any scripts might be run in a trusted environment, where they can do arbitrary things as the user running them.
    • Any external media that are includedmight be able to serve as web bugs.
    • This is comparable to a company not offering email service to their emplyees because they can't reliably remove all virus-infected attachments.
    • This would greatly increase the usefulness of Wikipedia as a potential print resource and as an editable web resource. As it stands now, it is impossible to post editable vector diagrams. This is similar to the situation before MediWiki supported scaling of images: people were shrinking images before upload, limiting Wikipedia's ultimate quality.
  • Serving files for live browsing:
    • This has some security issues, but they are squarely the responsibility of the browser (or SVG plugin, as the case may be).
    • This would be nice but not essential.
  • Rendering files on the server:
    • This is implemented but broken at the moment (Image:bi-flag.svg for example).
    • The server would need to render the SVG in an untrusting way. Since it is rendering static SVG, the only potential security issues I can see are inclusion of external media (which do pose problems; for example, if a secret image is hosted locally on the server and readable by the user running the SVG rendering, it might be included).
    • There's really no hope of fixing this until it's decided which toolkit will be doing the rendering; this part of the discussion belongs at meta:SVG support.
    • This would be nice, but can be worked around by users. If there are security issues, just turn it off.
To me, it seems like the most important kind of SVG support is just the simple ability to upload and download SVG files. If it's necessary, users can be warned that the files may contain malware. All the developers would have to do would be add .svg to the list of possible extensions. --Andrew 00:54, Mar 13, 2005 (UTC)

So it is still impossible to upload .svg files, and will be for the near future? --kris 22:42, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it is still disabled, unfortunately. What needs to be done is
  1. finish the SVG sanitizer (just needs some polishing; see the page above fopr a recent version) and
  2. convince a developer to put it in the software (which may mean we have to wait for the next version of MediaWiki). --Andrew 22:59, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)

Interpretation of WP Naming policies

User:HappyApple, a student of the National University of San Marcos in Lima, prefers this institution to be known as "National University of Saint Mark". In support of this, he cites an entry from the Catholic Encyclopedia. [5]

However, a Google search on the phrase "National University of Saint Mark" [6] returns just nine hits, all of them Wikipedia texts which he has edited.

A Google search on the phrase "National University of San Marcos" [ [7] returns nearly 1,000.

Wikipedia:Naming conventions states:

Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize

As I interpret this, it would be most appropriate to refer to this institution in our pages as "National University of San Marcos". HappyApple however still insists in using "Saint Mark" (piped to San Marcos) in Wiki articles. If other editors have an opinion, perhaps they could make themselves heard, either here or on Talk:Lima. Thanks. -- Viajero 14:27, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • Altough I have disagreed with User:Viajero in other points, this time I agree with him. I believe "San Marcos" is more appropriate. Sorry HappyApple :( --AAAAA 06:14, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • I see no problem with calling it "Saint Mark" since its translation in spanish is "San Marcos". Also, since the Catholic church was one of the institutions behind its fundation, in most of his translated documents to english they use the name "University of Saint Mark".
  • Regarding about the naming conventions, I see that HapppyApple has not disobey its rules, becouse he has already discussing the issue with another user on the same page (User:StarbucksFreak) and were still trying to achieve a compromise. But it worries me to see that another user (if nobody) is using this kind of quotes to defend himself:
If you are unable to accept native speakers of English correcting your texts, then you won't last very long here.
  • If you have to be native-born of the country that the topic is talking about, then HappyApple and StarbucksFreak are the one who shoul be (as its being doing) disscussing the appropiated name. Messhermit 17:08, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Possible points of discussion about this topic are:
  • Historical names can be translated such as Saint Mark on english to San Marcos on spanish. (King Charles I Spain to King Carlos I of Spain)
  • Interpretation of Saint Mark it would be easier to english speakers instead use of San Marcos.
  • Naming convention are not rules written in stone ... and there may be cases where a particular convention is "obviously" inappropriate.
  • Piped links are good way to solve this discussion without requesting move an article from San Marcos to Saint Mark.
  • Arguments should not be defended using words involving knowing more about a language in particular.HappyApple 17:35, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There is the precedent that the Catholic Encyclopedia in 1912 called it "University of Saint Mark". This presumably predates "National" being added to its name. Oddly, the same same source also calls it "University of Saint Mark's".

I would suggest that this is a small issue and not worth fighting over. All commonly used versions of the name, past and present, should be mentioned in the article on the university itself, and all should redirect (or disambiguate) to the same article. In other articles, any reasonably clear version of the name should be acceptable. My only proviso is to avoid anachronisms. If the name has changed, an article about a period before the name change should refer to it by a formula like FOO, now BAR, and should use the most parallel versions possible: that is, one should not use an old Spanish name and a new English one. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:14, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)

  • In this case, San Marcos is the name the university is universally known by, and attempting to anglicise it is inappropriate. It seems to be akin to having the article for San Francisco be held at "Saint Frank". We should use common names. --Improv 04:32, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The precedent about the anglicise of San Marcos to Saint Mark has been already accepted by the Catholic church the institution which accepted the name and signed it, the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia has been transcribed from this text GARLAND, Peru in 1906 (Lima, 1907), 111; Report of the U. S. Commissioner of Education (Washington, l908), l51, WRIGHT The Old and New Peru (Philadelphia, 1908) and agreed by Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1912. and Imprimatur of +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

The name has not been changed, and the anglicise usage of the name it is entirely legal, and does not dissobey any Naming policies. HappyApple 22:33, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

If the 1000 to 0 [-wikipedia] it would seem to dissobey this one: Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Use common names of persons and things

Convention: Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things.
Rationale and specifics: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)

--Philip Baird Shearer 00:55, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)


  • To see how the English-Speaking world refers to this university, I did a Google search that restricted the results to only those pages in English -- 934 hits for National University of San Marcos compared to 6 for National University of Saint Mark (all Wikipedia or clones). If you strip the word "National" from the search, there are 4300 for University of San Marcos and 16 for University of Saint Mark. When English-speaking users search for that university, they are going to be searching for "San Marcos" so that is clearly the name that should be used in the article title. For purposes of consistency, there is no reason to anglicize the name elsewhere using piped links. The world knows the institution as the "(National) University of San Marcos" and there is no reason I can see for Wikipedia to set the trend in changing that. I am in favor of using the recognized name in all places (article name, name shown in links). SWAdair | Talk 11:04, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

More evidences that support Saint Mark name

Before to say this evidences i must remind to all friendly wikipedists this In the top of the article about Naming Policies said this:

Naming convention are not rules written in stone ... and there may be cases where a particular convention is "obviously" inappropriate.

Also there is another precedent of the use University of Saint Mark.

  • In a biography of scholatism Saint Mark era, an Augustinian catholic priest served as teacher in the old times of the university, [[8]]

And i quote: earning a Doctor's Degree. He was then given the Chair of Theology at Saint Mark University, Lima.

Quote : Pablo Munoz SELECTED EXHIBITIONS 1981 - University of Saint Mark Gallery

  • In an article about National Libraries treasures: [[10]] and i Quote

Lima and Santo Domingo, were decreed in 1551. In some instances,such as that of the University of Saint Mark in Lima,the university has kept its colonial library.

Arguments based on a single search in Google is not reelevant evidence, there are many others online searchers as same other tools to find information about Saint Mark, and obviously this source User:Viajero hasn't used.

Users among wikipedia there are the evidence that proves the name is entirelly legal and conclusively that anglicize name of San Marcos to Saint Mark it applies to wikipedia and does not affect any kind of it's policies.HappyApple 03:53, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

For what it's worth - both of my parents taught at San Marcos for more than twenty years, and neither has ever referred to San Marcos, in English, by anything other than "San Marcos". Hasdrubal 19:31, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Voting

Okay, several weeks have passed and consensus has not yet been reached on this subject. So I think we should vote.

The majority of English speakers refer to the university as "(National) University of San Marcos" and therefore, this is the way it should be referred to on wikipedia. --Tuomas hello 02:33, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

  • Support. Tuomas hello
  • Support. I vote for the current name: National University of San Marcos--AAAAA 03:55, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Concur with AAAAA. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:03, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)
  • Both. I don't find any of those names innaccurate. Messhermit 06:29, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Obviously. -- Viajero 08:53, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. National University of San Marcos. ("San Marcos National University" would also be fine, but perhaps not any better.) Hasdrubal 18:28, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • San Marcos --Improv 18:45, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Both However i still think Saint Mark should prevail, as a matter of compromise and helpfull solution to this, i believe both names should be used.HappyApple 22:11, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. I suppose, for the seriously ignorant, a translation could be provided, though it's hard to see why, to be honest. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:31, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Both, there is no reason I have seen to suggest that both names are not used. (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 09:11, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • support San Marcos. I see "Marcos" as a proper name without any other meaning, so I don't see how "Mark" is any any way equivalent.

Decision: After 3 days of voting, the majority has voted in favor of the university's original name and against the anglicized version. Thus, this is the only way the university should be called on wikipedia. --Tuomas hello 00:46, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)

Policy on "secret knowledge"

Is there a policy, semi-policy or just something comprehensive as guideline, whether and how "secret knowledge" (of the religious or quasi-religious type, for a start) should be handled? Yes, I've seen that Xenu even acquired the Featured Article predicate, but that's the rare case where court documents give some credible source. In other cases I'd assume lack of verifiability would speak against including it in an encyclopedia at all. Opinions? Pointers? --Pjacobi 13:01, 2005 Mar 4 (UTC)

I'm not sure there is a policy specific to this, but the usual issues of citing appropriate sources would apply. In areas where there is liable to be controversy, it is very important that the article be utterly clear about where it got its information. For example, on many ostensibly secret practices of the Freemasons, there is no shortage of reasonably scholarly published information. -- Jmabel | Talk 17:45, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)
Fine, so far. But I see additional complications:
  • What if the "initiated" ask not include the "secret knowledge", for religious feelings? Without having read everything from the extensive talk page archives, that was a point of discussion in Latter Day Saints. Am I right in assuming, that we have to ignore these feelings, as our primary directive is to write an encyclopedia?
The Wikipedia contains lots of information that offends various people's sensibilities on all manner of grounds. Heck, the Wikipedia even has an article on the Collingwood Football Club, of all heresies ;) There's no reason to make an exception for secret religious knowlege. --Robert Merkel 08:36, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Similary, if inclusion of "secret knowledge" is rejected as breach of promise and/or contract? As in Techniques of Knowledge (of Maharaji)? There the secret parts are still missing.
  • If the "secret knowledge" is not reportable, due to lack of sources of satisfactory quality, does it make sense to have an article about the wonderful effects of this knowledge, as in Techniques of Knowledge, again?
Pjacobi 19:16, 2005 Mar 4 (UTC)
  • I don't think it's our job to take part in any of the practices of things we describe, whether they be special naming traditions (e.g. not spelling out "Yahweh" or saying "G-d" or similar) or in following what they wish to be private/secret. However, we must deal with copyright law in these cases, so at the very least we must paraphrase or describe rather than include such secret works. Note also that as stated before, if the knowledge is secret, we may run into verifiability issues, so as Jmabel suggests, we need to be careful to quote one (or ideally more) sources on the content of such work. --Improv 23:32, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • There is precedent for this kind of censorship - the sysop User:Silsor deleted information about illegal filesharing on a message board he goes to. Goplat 01:39, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
For more information on that, see Talk:Something Awful Forums#Should the Private Subforums Be Mentioned.3F. IMHO, the consensus was that the information should not be there because it wasn't encyclopedic, not because it was "secret". cesarb 03:44, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Other examples of "secret knowledge": the explanation of various magic tricks and illustions: see Magic_(illusion)#Secrecy. Locksmiths also tend to be very guarded about their trade.

In general, I think Wikipedia should be willing to include such things, although perhaps a warning analogous to fiction "spoilers" might be appropriate in some cases. And, as many people have already pointed out, any information included must be verifiable, in which case it's not exactly that huge a secret any more... — Matt Crypto 11:29, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for all these sensible comments. I'm still unclear about the secret "secret knowledge" articles. I.e. those of the pattern "X is a wonderful but secret technique. X will make you happy and the world peacefull. We won't reveal anything here, because it's secret, but you can join our organisation/pay $$$$ for the introductary course to learn more." VfD? --Pjacobi 08:49, 2005 Mar 10 (UTC)
VfD as advertising. --Carnildo 08:54, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
If the knowledge is truly secret, it's unverifiable. If it's accessible at a price, and the article does not present the information but only the meta-information on how to buy access, it's advertising.
However, if the knowledge is accessible at a price, and it's not a brand-new scam development, the chances are good that there are are people who don't think they received value for their money and have talked to reporters or authored exposé books. In this case, it is of course perfectly acceptible to remove the advertising, find the books or news reports, and use them as sources for an informative and NPOV article. Dpbsmith (talk) 16:22, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The idea of "secret knowledge" runs counter to the entire purpose of having an encyclopedia. If a subject is verifiable and important (encyclopedic), then the fact that someone wants to suppress that subject makes it more important to include. We are about dissemination of knowledge here -- the opposite of suppression. Hence Xenu, or for that matter Hiram Abiff. Likewise, if it's a verifiable fact that massive copyright violation of music and pornography goes on at Something Awful, the fact that the site's operators don't want that information published is all the more reason to publish it. --FOo 16:30, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree with FOo, we're here to extend and pool human knowledge, not to perpetuate power structures or attempts to create such power structures based on the withholding and concealment of knowledge. Projects like Wikipedia spell death to obscurantism, and I say good riddance and not before time. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 17:53, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I had inserted a detailed description of the techniques of Knowledge several times but followers found it sacrilege and reverted my edits all the time. Then I gave up. Andries 20:40, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I believe the appropriate policy statement is: "Imagine a world in which every person has free access to the sum of human knowledge. That's what we're doing." Philwelch 23:52, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Disclaimer

Pjacobi presentation of the subject is incorrect. The Knowledge that Maharaii teaches is free, it does not cost money. The "course" to prepare for Knowledge is also free.

The whole premise that the article is advertising is based on a wrong (and I must say, bigoted) assumption represented by PJacobp's disparraging coment "[sic] those of the pattern "X is a wonderful but secret technique. X will make you happy and the world peacefull. We won't reveal anything here, because it's secret, but you can join our organisation/pay $$$$ for the introductary course to learn more". The article does not even speak of a Secret Knowledge, neither it speaks of wonderful effects.

The other thing I find quite disturbing is the fact that Pjacobi placed this comment here, and did not announce it in the Talk: Techniques_of_Knowledge until today. I find this disingenous. When he posted his concerns there, I and others could do someting about making the article better.--≈ jossi ≈ 22:55, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)

The section in the article in question follows:

Students of Prem Rawat, also known as Maharaji, claim that references to similar techniques have been made throughout history, that the techniques of Knowledge have always been a prominent part of the teachings of Prem Rawat and have not changed throughout the years. See also the past teachings and current teachings of Prem Rawat. According to his followers, historical references to these techniques can be found in books and poems from many spiritual practices as "Light", "Sound", "Name" and "Nectar" or similar names.

These techniques are said to help students take their senses and invert them within to experience inner peace, and those who study them often describe the experience simply as "going within." To remove any cultural connotations from simplicity and clarity of understanding, nowadays Rawat refers to them as simply 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th techniques. Students see the ongoing relationship between the disciple and the teacher (guru in Indian culture) to be of central importance for the usefulness of the techniques.

The experience of Knowledge is described by followers as highly internal and "atomistically" individual. The techniques are to be practiced privately, there being no social structure or hierarchy related to their practice. According to students, there is no liturgy or social obligation involved, but Maharaji instructs them to practice the techniques daily for at least one hour to help in order to experience inner peace and fulfillment. The also say that the techniques are universally applicable and their practice has no impact on or relationship to a student's gender, race, sexual orientation, economic status or national origin[11]. Elan Vital also states that practice of Knowledge will not affect a person's religion.

Descriptions of Rawat's techniques have been posted on websites by critical former students, purportedly described by people authorized by Rawat to teach the techniques [12] in the past. Current students answer that the descriptions posted by these apostates are not accurate and moreover, to be useful, the techniques require preparation and mentoring by a living teacher. This article does not contain a detailed description of the techniques because current students find it inappropriate to publish them on the internet.

IPA Notice - Ugly cruft alert

Is it policy, and if so, why is it, to litter articles with mainly redundant boxes such as Template:IPA notice. Any possibility we can stamp this thing out. Does Motörhead really benefit from the box, or is it just IPA proponents losing a sense of proportion? Wouldn't a photo of Lemmy be more appropriate. Further rant at Template talk:IPA notice --Tagishsimon (talk)

FWIW, I think this is taking things to far. The {{ConvertIPA}} template that was added to the page prior to the IPA conversion boldly claims: "This language or phonology related article needs to be fully converted to IPA". Clearly, Motörhead is not a language or phonology related article. Yet it now has an ugly box at the top that is totally unrelated to the subject of the article. Arguably, the same could be said about Australia, where the placement of the box inside the intro section leads to even worse layout problems. Some of the articles in Category:Pages containing IPA show the same kind of formatting mayhem (example: Click consonant).
I would suggest to restrict this IPA "cruft" to the articles that are purely about language. Other articles, where pronounciation codes are merely used as side trivia, could just as well use SAMPA, which does not have any Unicode-related problems (thus obiviating the need for a warning box in the first place). Or, when retaining IPA, one could argue that when only one or two words in the entire article might show problems with a small proportion of the readers, to diplay a warning box to all readers is a disproportionate measure. I also hope the IPA people rethink the use of the warning box, resulting in a lessened impact on an article's layout.--Plek 20:51, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I would agree that the IPA notice shouldn't really be added to every article that contains the odd bit of IPA - it should be reserved for those with a considerable amount of IPA coding. Actually in most cases it's now redundant, since the use of the IPA templated around the characters in question makes them show up correctly in MS Internet Explorer, which is the only browser I've heard mentioned as having any problems. I certainly wouldn't support the use of SAMPA, which is merely a kludge for use on systems that only support 7-bit ASCII and I would suggest has no place in ordinary articles on Wikipedia. rossb 23:42, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
All SAMPA and other hacks should be deleted from Wikipedia. Chamaeleon 10:20, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I would say replace instead of delete. Don't just delete them, as at least they are halfway useful until replaced. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 11:22, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Pages archived on April 14, 2005

It is time to have Wikipedia constructed on Classical Republican lines. Jimmy Wales as "king", a section of Aristocracy, and the rest of Wikipedians as democracy.

"Truth does no good in a democracy". Socrates and Jesus found out the hard way. We are letting 18 year old kids and people, who hide behind their anynimity to run things. Ideology and ignorance is running what gets put on here at Wikipedia.

It is time to instutite a "Jury of Peers". Most people have no inclination, no understanding of anything classical. Sparta is a Republic. Always was and the best at it. I have arguments with 20,000 British people about their own form of government but find out that John Aylmer introduced that language to his people and considered his government to be like Sparta and this was in c 1640. Why do I need to argue with punk ass public schooled idiot savants for? WHy does a mass of ignorance get to determine what goes on here??????

St. Maximos the Confessor said, "One man with the Truth is a Majority". We need checks and balances against the HERD on Wikipedia. The Minority has no voice in Wikipedia. Just like how the HERD tyrannized and destroyed Fox Hunting in England, is a prime example of the HERD tyrannizing the minority. So it is on Wikipedia. We need "Checks and Balances" not the herd mentality of Democracy. And we need to insitutute a JURY OF PEERS. WHEELER 15:02, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • I am sorry for my language but its the truth. If it walk like a duck and talks like a duck, It s a duck. These people need to be put in their proper place. "Know thyself" is a Greek maxim. Their "hubris" at thinking they know something clearly shows they know nothing at all. I call it like I see it. Shame goes where shame belongs and Honor to where Honor belongs. On the deletion of the article [Classical definition of republic] should have been made by a panel of classicists, American colonial experts, and British Whig Theory experts not by a bunch of software engineers and sports fans. That is where the decision lies. In a panel of my PEERS. Look at the articles of History of the British constitution and Constitutional convention. None of the previous editors of these articles had any inclination or idea of "mixed government" it showed up nowhere at all, and these people are going to be my judges? RossB who is English with three degrees couldn't edit and write properly the constitutional history of England. What gives people? And these people are my judges. There is not a single reference to anything on these two articles but they will delete my article with over 80 footnotes and a massive bibliography---Go figure.WHEELER 17:21, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia is not a democracy. I can't recall anyone but you saying that it is. Virtually nothing in Wikipedia is decided by vote. Even in "votes for deletion," the so-called "vote" is not usually counted, and is merely advisory to whatever sysop choose to act on the discussion. But in any case, Wikipedia is what it is and I don't think your comments are likely to effect much change. What you describe sounds more like Nupedia. Perhaps you should try to revive Nupedia. Or find some inexpensive hosting space--many ISPs offer ten megabytes for free, you may already have some--and put your article up there. Google is quite happy to index personal web pages. A personal web page of mine is currently the top-ranked hit for Eyeglass prescription and yours could easily become the top-ranked hit for Classical definition of republic. Dpbsmith (talk) 18:23, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    • Hubris, meet hubris. Anyway, Wikipedia is a wikicracy, and in my experience with this great human product over the past year is that this wikicracy means "consensus meritocracy." It is meritocratic as almost always, the most NPOV precise content wins, but of course, that's not without a few exceptions. It is consensus-based as usually more than just a simple majority is needed to decide many things. My advice to you is to get a life, and to realize that this is an encyclopedia built by the public, for the public, and this isn't going to change because of a few people whining about it. Despites its flaws, Wikipedia is quite a marvel and is becoming a brilliant human product—this cannot be denied. If something is "wrong", then be patient and figure out a consensus strategy for getting your content back in. You won't win any converts trashing all the good contributors. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 00:26, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
      • Better yet, find a legitimate market for your work. And forget people who chide you with abuse like "get a life." That sort of abuse testifies to the poor quality of discussion here. This is a document written by people who for the most part have no commercial or academic market for their work because the quality of their work lacks the polish required to compete. So what you get is mediocrity, not a meritocracy. And like most projects designed primarily to satisfy the producers, you can expect criticism to be met with an indignant argument of authority that the self-styled product is the best possible outcome.
      • Take this so-called encylcopedia to be exactly what it is -- a public accumulation of unchecked statements, which can change for the better one day and for the worse the next based solely on who is sitting in front of a networked computer that day. It is a mirage -- an image of something that doesn't really exist and the substance of which is shaped primarily in the imagination of the beholder. It might be a fine place to try your writing and critical thinking skills, but like you say, you have no way of knowing if your critics are adolescents or doctors. If there were any real value to this work, the public would be willing to pay for it at least as much as they pay for pictures of naked women.
      • In economic terms, this content is less valuable than the cheapest pornography. The content degrades expectations of reliability and fairness in published work to the lowest common denominator among a random crowd. It degrades language by presenting in a professional looking format prose that is often childish and describing facts that are irrelevant to an understanding of the topic at hand. If you want a real encyclopedia, shell out a few hundred bucks or go to your public library and take advantage of your tax dollars at work.
      • This project is a fad with about as much credibility as blog journalism. It offends the merit of legitimate publications while wooing the market to settle for unreliable information from sources who often have only their own interests in mind. Organizers of this project had not the patience to wait while knowledgeable people compiled a reliable opus, but give it a few years. This flash in the pan will wane from the sky when brighter stars rise. Forget about monarchy, too. That's already the case, the monarch has just delegated authority to minions. I suspect the principles in this project have an unconscious intent to degrade the public's demand for credibility so they can foist less-than-believable leaders into power in society at large -- speedheads who race around in gas guzzling fun-boats for no reason but to satisfy their addiction to power and acceleration regardless the effect on sea life and on atmospheric cleanliness. A public inured to an encyclopedia written by students will more easily accept lies from its elected leaders. So Say Ye 00:37, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
        • May you also get a life. Unwarranted destructive criticism like this is worthless. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 04:33, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Just to name a two areas in which I have worked a great deal, I would gladly welcome comparison of our content related Jorge Luis Borges, or to the early years of Yiddish theatre, to any on the web in the English language (or any of the several other languages I can read), and I'm including specialist sites. I am also comfortable in saying that nearly all of our featured articles are also on this level, as are probably at least ten thousand more that don't have featured status. No, you can't use Wikipedia simply as if it were a reference book. Yes, you can use Wikipedia as a very valuable aid in research, once you understand what it is and is not. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:20, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)

I like the comments of [User:So Say Ye], and yes Jmabel, we do have the best articles on the web and it so happens that the best definition of what the classical meaning of a republic just got voted off Wikipedia to be replaced by three articles with no references and sources and definately incomplete and puerile. What gives?
Where is my jury of peers? Why is vanavsos up for deletion and why are people who have no reading, no understanding of the classics voting for deletion? If I was amongst my peers in the classical world, vanavsos would never be up for deletion. I want a jury of my peers! WHEELER 16:19, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

My problem and Wikipedia formation
Here is a glaring example of what I am talking about:

  • Comment - whilst I agree with Macrakis, WHEELER raises a good point. The actual article should be on Wikipedia, but there are many flaws with it in its current state. It is original research - see the original research definition, in particular: an article is original research if it "provides new definitions of old terms". In the article, you state (as an example) "Plato and Aristotle teach that the highest thing in man is reason and therefore, the purpose of human perfection lies with the activity of reason; i.e. the 'theoretic' or contemplative life. Trade, industry and mechanical labour prevent this idea.". Well, you may think trade, industry and mechanical labour prevent activity of reason, but playing the devil's advocate, I'd be perfectly prepared to refute that claim (I am, of course, assuming that the "therefore" is your own thoughts and ideas, and not Plato's or Aritotle's. If I've misread the passage I apologise, but my point remains - much of the article is original research). Nick04 19:39, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This is precisely my point in this whole debate on the deletion process here at wikipedia. NickO4 is the perfect example. The article states the thought of Aristotle and Plato. nick04 wants to argue with them and place "modern" ideas back into the classical world. "Well, you may think trade, industry and mechanical labour prevent activity of reason, but playing the devil's advocate,. This article is not about MODERN people agreeing with the thought of Aristotle or Plato, it is about presenting their thought AS IS. Only by Understanding HOW they thought can you understand the WHY they said the things they said. This response by this Wikipedian shows the falacy and the damage being done to the Classical world and its studies. This man wants to "reinterpret" Classical thought in the light of Modern Thought!!! This is not right!!!.WHEELER 19:05, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
No, Nick04 was pointing out where you injected your own personal opinion (i.e., POV) into the classical teachings. I may be wrong, but since you are alive today, your views are as contemporary as the rest of us. If you had just presented the material as it was (as you demand), I assume your material (or this kind of material) wouldn't be in as much trouble today. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 13:45, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Want another fine example I can't believe what I am hearing! We are in the midst of building an encyclopaedia. Either I am charged with original research because i put the bare bones out and other Wikipedians charge me alone with having to write a complete and thorough article at the onset or now, they want to delete because, I WHEELER, haven't had the time and the knowhow to put other articles on the encyclopaedia to mesh with vanavsos which is now the supposition and reasoning of WhiteC. This is absolutely outrageous! I am benumbed with consternation at all these floating reasons that have no bearing on the essence of the question! These people don't charge others with "these crimes" only myself and create "rules" that I must abide by but noone else. By WhiteC's argument, "The article must be deleted because it is not linked to any other article's". To WhiteC, this illogicity is glaring, "How are we to build an encyclopaedia when others are going to delete articles because they are not connected to something else?" I am floored by the "reasonings" imagined in order to get this article deleted. Sources be damned, delete delete delete. What the heck is going on here? Stupid question, I know exactly what is going on and the "Admins" or "Sysops" are not going to do anything about it. WHEELER 18:17, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Problem solved

  • Delete. According to WHEELER, "The question is 'Should people be voting on something they have not a clue on?'." On Wikipedia, the answer is "Yes, that's our policy." You've been around long enough to know this. You talk about the commercial ethos and the warrior ethos. Well, the Wiki ethos is that of open source. The theory is that, if we let a bunch of people without professional qualifications write and edit and delete pretty much as they please, a good encyclopedia will somehow emerge. I know you disagree with the theory and with the policy. That's certainly your privilege, and you have good company, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica pooh-bahs. As long as you stay here, though, you have to recognize that that's the way it works here. The MediaWiki software is available under the GFDL for anyone who wants to start a similar project but with stricter quality controls. By the way, to save you the trouble of clicking through to my user page, I'll admit right now that I'm not qualified as a classicist. JamesMLane 08:46, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC) Addendum: I made the foregoing comment on Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Vanavsos. I have no objection to WHEELER's reposting of it here, where it's also relevant, but I wanted to clarify the context. My "Delete" doesn't mean that I want to delete a VP topic! JamesMLane 14:23, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I see your point. And it is very clear to me. This is in a sense "stricter quality control". Yes. But the "quality control" on wikipedia is Marxist and Fabian, Humanist and Modern. You have laid out very clearly to me that "who is in control here". The standards being that people who are ignorant of any subject but with a bias to protect can delete stuff off of Wikipedia. And that is not professional, academic, righteous (justice) or truthful. I understand perfectly what you are saying. I will not start another page nor work for Wikipedia (though I will transfer stuff here). I see clearly where this is going. I can do better and stop wasting my time here because surely I am. Thanks Mr. James MLane. You have certainly opened my eyes to the fundamental core of Wikipedia. And that yes, then Wikipedia is run by a cabal. And it is a fundamental lie that Mr. James MLane has exposed the fallacy "of free and open content". Wikipedia is not "an encylcopaedia" it's a "controlled information platform".WHEELER 14:43, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

More Glaring Hypocrisy
This is from "Votes for deletion" for vanavsos. Please look carefully at these comments:

Who ever suggested this was a professional encyclopedia? — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 21:35, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
As for your "marxist" claptrap, there's plenty of articles that would satisfy "the right" in here. Plenty. But it's not as if we can leave out "the left" as well. All viewpoints belong, as long as they have encyclopedic relevance. I really don't understand why you're using up so much time wailing about such minor issues. The Wikipedia is the encyclopedia of the people, and if you can't get the people to recognize a few obtuse concepts, then boo-hoo-hoo. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 21:40, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Here is a man who says, "We are not a professional encylcopaedia" Then turns around in the next statement and says, "All viewpoints belong, as long as they have encyclopedic relevance". (I am laughing so hard right now, I can't contain myself.) Here in two different paragraphs is the hypocrisy of wikipedia and exhibits the illogicity of the whole essence of Wikipedia. This man denies that we are a "professional encyclopaedia" and then turns around and says that articles must have "encyclopaeidic relevance". If you are not a "professional encyclopaedia", that means you have no standards and then how can one "judge" the pertinancy of any article anywhere, when there are no standards because IT IS NOT PROFESSIONAL. This is absolutely ludicrious. This man votes to delete because the article in question doesn't have "encyclopaedic revelance" and then goes on to say that Wikipedia is not a "professional encyclopaedia", Then, what grounds for deletion is there other than MOB RULE? I mean to say how can one even mention "encyclopaedic relevance" at all when we are not professional. Then, there are no grounds to delete anything. It gets more stupider around here by the hour!WHEELER 14:42, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The Votes for deletion for vanavsos is a Class study of the glaring hole here.WHEELER 14:52, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Open letter to Jimmy Wales, Sysops and Admins
We are told everday that democracy is the best form of government. It is taught everywhere today in America from elementary grades through to the university graduate level. My point is that nowhere in Classical Antiquity was Athens looked on with favor, either by the majority of Greek philosophers nor any Roman. In Medieval times, no one looked to Athens. Everybody looked to Lacedæmonia for an example of good government. If you notice, John Adams didn't like democracy either and if you read towards the end you will see his comment on democracy: User_talk:Wheeler/Confusion_over_term_republic. That is why this page is important: Wikinfo:Classical definition of republic. Every human institution runs on the Classical republican model: Wikinfo:Philosophy of mixed government Trifunctionality. The army is the best example.

The importance of the distinction between a "politiea" and a "democracy" is very important that Paul A. Rahe, points out in his Republics, Ancient and Modern, Vol II, pg 256.

"To illustrate his point, Leibniz restated an analogy made famous by Plato. "If a number of men found themselves in the same vessel on the open sea, it would not at all conform either to reason or nature, that those who know nothing of sea-going should pretend to be pilots. Consequently, if one were to "follow natural reason, government" would "belong to the wisest", whom Leibniz identified as "the best".

What democracy entails is that people who have no expertise, knowledge, philosophy are quite capable of running a government; which as experience point out that any ship run like a democracy will run aground. Where as in a "politiea" the mass is checked by a senate house of wisdom. A pilot, officers and midshipman, and the crew.

As to the charge of my constant diatribe against Marxism:

"The view that democracy and Socialism are inwardly related spread far and wide in the decades which preceded the Bolshevist revolution. Many came to believe that democracy and Socialism meant the same thing, and that democracy without Socialism or Socialism without democracy would not be possible." Socialism, Ludwig von Mises, pg 67.

Democracy is the sign of Marxism. It is the mechanical process of the ideology of Marxism and therefore equality.

Democracy has always been and always will be the worst form of government. Heirarchy and the "rule of the best" by men who PROVE their capability and merit and worth are natural constituents of leadership. This is necessary for Wikipedia: A Classical Republic.WHEELER 15:22, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"Democracy has always been and always will be the worst form of government". No wonder no one takes you seriously. Oh, that excellently undemocratic Nazi Germany. Ah, that wonderfully elitist Czarist Russia.
For a long time I was one of WHEELER's defenders around here, thinking that given his obviously vast reading in some areas, he had something useful to contribute if only we could work out how to work with him. But I was wrong. Like a blotter, he soaks it all up, but he gets it all backwards. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:01, Mar 19, 2005 (UTC)
Just from reading this page, I find the concept of WHEELER arguing for a "Jury Of Peers" laughable. It's become quite clear to me that his ego is so vast, he can accept no man as his peer. --HBK 03:29, Mar 19, 2005 (UTC)
"Hitler declared: 'This revolution of ours is the exact counterpart of the French Revolution'" (pg 247) and "Goebbels once said: "Besides, I pay homage to the French Revolution for all the possiblities of life and development that it brought the people. In that sense one could say, if you like, that I am a democrat." (pg 238) as quoted in Liberty or Equality, Erik von Kuenhelt-Leddihn, Christendom Press, Front Royal, Virginia, 1952, 1993.
Hence, since the French Revolution was a democratic movement, the words "democracy" and "republic" came to be intertwined. Republicanism in the French revolutionary meaning meant self-government with a constitution. In most books this is described as a democratic republic. It can also be described as constitutional democracy. Madison, in the Federalist Paper #39, uses the term "Republican branch" for the democratic "House of Commons". In the ninetenth century the democratic revolutionary forces in France called their parliamentary governments "Republics"; in the twentieth century, Russian communists (c. 1917-1922), after the Russian Revolution called their government a republic, i.e. the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" (USSR); with German communists (c. 1918-1920s), establishing "Räterepubliks" (workers councils) in various cities of the Weimar Republic which itself was a democracy; and with the Spanish leftists (c. 1930s) calling their government a "Republic". Mussolini styled his short-lived fascist state in northern Italy, which existed between 1943 and 1945, the "Italian Social Republic" (previous to the allied overthrow of his first regime, Fascist Italy had been a monarchy under king Victor Emmanuel III) and even Hitler once referred to the Third Reich as a "republic of the people" (eine völkische Republik), while Goebbels called it a "republican Fuhrer-state". 34 This because they thought themselves the full counterpart of the French Revolution and thus democratic. 63
"Outraged at the brutalities of the Republicans, aided by the Russians, in the Spanish Civil War, he (Jesuit Enrico Rosa) deplored the fact that hundreds of the clergy had been murdered; religious buildings had been burned; nuns raped; priests mutilated." 46
Violent democracyWHEELER 16:20, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
And apparently, you can't argue without invoking Godwin's Law. --HBK 06:09, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)
Very funny. But the points I make don't correlate to "Godwin's Law" in a sense. I quoted text to show that (much disputed) that Nazism was a democratic movement. I am just pointing out the errors of democracy. The point being here is a Wikipedian response on a deletion vote of a Classical page: """Delete. According to WHEELER, "The question is 'Should people be voting on something they have not a clue on?'." On Wikipedia, the answer is "Yes, that's our policy." You've been around long enough to know this.""" I see a problem with this Wikipedian's answer. It is quite destructive. If we had an "Subject aristocracy" or a "merit aristocracy" for each section of wikipedia things would not be like it is. We wouldn't have answers like the above response. In the Greek philosophical principle of macrocosm/microcosm this man's response is typical of a "democracy", this is exactly the paradigm being played out in America's political scene. Socrates and Plato saw this. Ignorance is what rules.WHEELER 17:18, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, to be blunt, it is the policy. If you don't like it, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Quite frankly, you are not going to be happy here unless and until you let go of this notion you seem to carry that you are always right. Other people might just have something to contribute, even if they are not as "educated" as you. That is the principle that Wikipedia is founded on--that, if everybody can contribute something, soon we'll have a little something about everything. Wikipedia is NOT an aristocracy, nor will it ever be, and for this I am glad; otherwise, how would my poor little barely-above-minimum-wage community-college-educated self ever be able to contribute? Although I have mostly restricted my self to pop-culture (and wrestling in particular), if I had anything to contribute on classical philosophy, you better believe I would, whether you agree or not, and whether you like it or not. As one of my personal heroes put it, "Whether you like it, or whether you hate it, learn to love it, because it's the best thing going today!"
Of course, I haven't even touched on the best part of your argument, that being that Nazism was a democratic movement (and how this escapes being a Godwin invocation is beyond me); we'll ignore the fact that the Nazis didn't actually win a majority in any election and instead gained power through manipulation of the deeply-flawed German system, and we'll ignore the fact that Germany was not a pure democracy (it was actually a republic, as is our current American system, though there are obvious differences), and instead we shall look at your argument syllogistically. What you are saying is:
Nazism is not a desirable thing
Nazism was brought about through democracy
Therefore, democracy is not a desirable thing.
Two brownie points to whoever can spot the obvious logical fallacy. --HBK 23:47, Mar 25, 2005 (UTC)

what is this even about? vanavsos wasn't deleted. the process worked. it was put on vfd on grounds of being an essay on an ancient greek adjective. some keep votes were given on grounds that the original author (WHEELER) wouldn't let anyone touch it. the main problem seems to have been WHEELER's attitude towards whom he perceives as banausoi. I can't conceive how somebody who fears that he has no peers on Wikipedia should fail to understand the difference between transliteration and phonetic transcription [13]. Do we have Viology? Vrachistochrone? Come on. You do not need to be an expert to decide whether a subject is encyclopedic, as the author is required to provide references that document the subject's encyclopedicity. If anything, "Vanavsos" is a testimony that the VfD procedure works. I have written lots of obscure academic little articles, and none of them were put on VfD so far. Okay, there was Tyalië Tyelelliéva, which arguably is fancruft, but even that survived VfD. Hell, Time Cube is still with us. If anything, we have a problem of being unable to get rid of unencyclopedic articles, not the reverse. I agree that we also have a problem of expertise not being recognised by hoi polloi, usually on prominent articles, but VfD is not the spot to point to for this. The problem is also immanent in WP, and experts will get their way, they'll just have to put up with obstacles they're not necessarily familiar with. dab () 19:31, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

No the process did not work. The people who put this up for deletion had no classical training and then people with no classical training wanted to change the article into something it was not supposed to be. Mackrakis and SimonP had no clear idea of the concept or the meaning of the word. clearly, showing their ignorance of the subject at hand. If I was dealing with only classical departments, that article WOULD never have been put up for deletion. Again your example of time cube is a perfect example of original research. What modern scholar confirmed this man's meaning? I see no scholarly references quoted. I quoted from a former president of Corpus Christi College in England, and it gets put up for deletion. What gives? Why should I let people who have no clue on what they are talking about edit something they are totally ignorant of. It was a waste of my time.WHEELER 16:24, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
www.timecube.com is original research. Time cube is an encyclopedia article on a well-known piece of internet kookery. --Carnildo 20:20, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What the "Ding-Dong" is going on here at Wikipedia?
Check this out: Wikipedia:Association_of_Member_Investigations.
This is absolutely ludicrious!!!!!!!!!!! We want to "create" prosecutorial bodies on Wikipedia to drive "our" thorns from our side so we can have ideological purity on Wikipedia before ever considering the establishment of professional boards for each subject on Wikipedia? Kevin M. Marshall, 13 years of Latin and Greek has pointed out where my contributions are well-researched and cited. Yet, my work comes up for frequent deletion. My edits are constantly reverted check out the history of Arete (excellence) and Ochlocracy where other wikipedians delete valuable information for what purpose? And then charge me with being "disruptive"? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. The system itself brings on trouble!!! On Wikinfo, One can write a SPOV article and another writes a "Criticism" of the SPOV article. People stay out of each other's hair. If the rules were changed or there were EXPERTS in each field to decide probelms, there wouldn't be any need for this stupid "Association of Member Investigations".

You people have got your priorities ALL WRONG! Not everyone can edit in the "classical field" yet with this "democracy" you have got ignorant people editing articles they have no clue in. This is sooo stupid. What does Snowspinner and SimonP et al. who have no sense of the classical world CONTROL articles in the classical world? and then put me up for arbitration? This is stupid!

Kevin Marshall has 13 years of experience of Greek and Latin. This man should be my Arbitrator. This man and other Wikipedians with years of GREEK AND LATIN like User:Stan Shebs should be THE BOARD for Classical fields and Users!!!! Not a bunch of Self-Ordained British Modern Republican (marxist) hooligans!!! I am put up and attacked by the likes of SimonP, Snowspinner, Mackrakis, Mel etits, (and the best one of them all=) Milneau Trudeneau, et al, What are their qualifications or proof of their expertise????????? No where to be found. Yet, I am put up for arbitration and attacked and reverted by these people all the time. They have NO classical context whatsoever.

AND WE CREATE PROSECUTORIAL BOARDS (Wikipedia:Association_of_Member_Investigations)BEFORE WE EVER THINK OF ESTABLISHING PROFESSIONAL SUBJECT INTEREST SPECIFIC BOARDS TO JUDGE USERS AND MATERIAL CONTENT. You people are OFF YOUR ROCKER!!!!WHEELER 16:21, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Wheeler, if you want people to listen to you, may I suggest that you calm down and stop assuming that you have a monopoly on truth and knowledge. You might also consider toning down your rants, which bring noone over to your cause. Let me tell you something:
Wikipedia works. It is not going to change because WHEELER feels affronted. Wikipedia's principal ideals are not negotiable.
If you cannot handle Wikipedia's policies, and since you profess such admiration for Wikinfo, I suggest you stay there and stop hassling our attempts to make an encyclopedia. We are an encyclopedia first, a community second. I agree with you about many of your articles, and about this recent trend started by Snowspinner to start prosecution services. On the other hand, your childish and selfish beliefs that everyone is out to get you is ridiculous. I guess you have two options. First, stop your ranting, and contribute to the encyclopedia in a less aggressive fashion. Second, go your way, and leave our encyclopedia in peace. Cheers, Smoddy (tgeck) 17:21, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Change the Organization of Wikipedia from Democracy to Classical Republicanism and to Jury of Peers

Things are getting out of hand at Wikipedia.

Democracy is no way to run anything. About a jury of my peers. If you look at the Users that delete, most of them have no expertize of any thing classical, most have edited things about sports and cricket. In all the people that voted for deletion, only two had a political degree. One is a British guy with degrees in philosophy and history and politics, yet denied that Britain had mixed government and yet I have scholary works that outlines this history of "mixed government". I made several new pages and added to the content of the History of the British constitution that more educated men can't do...or won't do. I want a jury of my peers not a bunch of ideological driven ignorant savants. That know nothing of the material in question. WHEELER 14:45, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC) Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_%28miscellaneous%29"

Provincial electoral district

Is everyone of these really encylopedic? Seems someone is creating a stub page for each one in Canada. Vegaswikian 03:49, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I don't know how they compare in terms of level, but many of the UK's parliamentary constituencies have articles. I don't know about the consituencies for the Scottish parliament or Welsh assembly have articles but I personally wouldn't vfd them. I would however say that contstituencies for any lower level of government (including English regional assemblies should they come about), don't deserve an aritcle of their own. They might be a policy somewhere on it. Thryduulf 10:28, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Vanity

The defenders, or defender, or a page listed in VfD cited in its support what's written in Wikipedia:Vanity Page, a "semi-policy" [?!] page of whose existence I must shamefacedly admit I hadn't previously been aware.

This page struck me as a mess. Where it made sense, I sometimes agreed with it and sometimes didn't. For example, its sample (fictional) vanity page strikes me as very unlike what is normally deleted as vanity. But often it didn't make sense. It said that notability was a factor in deciding whether something was vanity, and elsewhere implied that it was a factor; and that There is presently no consensus about what degree of recognition is required for a page to be included in Wikipedia, and therefore, lack of fame should be completely ignored in deletion debates which I think is close to saying "The value of X is unknown and therefore it is zero."

Not knowing how malleable "semi-policy" is, I only very hesitantly and cautiously altered the page so that (I hope) it isn't so obviously obscure and self-contradictory. But the longer I look at it, the less I like it. In my perhaps unrepresentative opinion, the whole thing should be scrapped and rebuilt, perhaps here and there using the odd sentence from the old page. Would this be OK for "semi-policy"?

As for my substantive disagreements with the page, I'd like to bring one up here. It's about the OKness of writing about oneself, one's group (musical or otherwise), company, friend, etc. We now read:

. . . an article is not "vanity" simply because it was written by its subject. Articles about existing books, movies, games, and businesses are not "vanity" so long as the content is kept to salient material and not overtly promotional.

In principle, I agree. Yes, it's imaginable that some noteworthy people are overlooked and can write objectively and usefully about themselves. Moreover, in practice, pages about oneself can't simply be prevented: though I may insist that I'm a 59-year-old female Finnish florist, you've no certain way of knowing that I'm not the 32-year-old male Mauretanian musician I'm writing about. Still, authors often let slip that they are who they're writing about, and very often they seem to inflate their own significance. To me, that one should not create an article about oneself, one's group, etc. seems a very obvious rule of thumb: if I'm right in believing that I'm WP-worthy, then eventually some disinterested person will get around to writing about me, and from that point I would be able to step in to correct my birthdate, remove innuendo about my sex life, etc. -- but not to add more merit points.

In brief, I suggest that Wikipedia:Vanity Page should (i) clearly tell people not to start articles about themselves, their close friends, or the groups or companies they're in, and (ii) be rewritten to show more of the obnoxiousness of a lot of vanity pages as zapped via VfD. Comments? -- Hoary 06:25, 2005 Apr 19 (UTC)

The best place to dicuss this that page's talk page - i.e. Wikipedia talk:Vanity page. However having a note here linking to a discussion there is a good thing. Thryduulf 11:02, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The reason why I brought the matter up here is that the article gives the first impression of being a terse summary of an agreement reached after being thrashed out elsewhere. (The second impression is that it's a mess.) Not knowing where that "elsewhere" might be, and thinking that simply altering "policy" by myself might be considered underhand, arrogant or worse, I thought I'd bring the matter up here. But yes, I'd be delighted to discuss it there instead. -- Hoary 11:57, 2005 Apr 19 (UTC)

Contributions after redirections and moves

I noticed that one of the first articles I wrote for the Wikipedia has been redirected: [14], with the original article basically copied to the target and the old article deleted. The "new" article doesn't give any mention of the previous authors. Is there any way we can make it so when we decide to rename an article and redirect the original to the new, we can move the list of contributors as well? I don't want to come across as a credit-monger and editing the Wikipedia is my way of giving back to something I've benefited from tremendously. However, it is nice and encouraging to people to have their contributions recorded. Some of us tend to be rather meticulous and treat the Wikipedia with a great deal of respect. We end up taking a good amount of time just to produce a paragraph or two. It's not a huge deal but I thought I should bring it up.

Comatose51 03:48, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Actually, the edit history is transferred...if whoever moves the page uses the move button at the top of the page. Unfortunately, a lot of editors don't use (or know about) that function, so they cut and paste the article content. There is a procedure to merge the article histories described at Wikipedia:How to fix cut and paste moves, but only admins can carry it out. Unfortunately, I can't locate a formal policy that describes where non-admins can request this fix. The Wikipedia:Cut and paste move repair holding pen seems to be just for moves that have had problems due to the block compression bug.
Incidentally, there's another cut & paste move of Stain (biology) to Staining (biology). I'd like credit for my work, too. :)
So how about it? Where should history merge requests go? --TenOfAllTrades | Talk 04:42, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I once posted a request to fix a cut-and-paste move on Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard and it was handled promptly. --Umofomia 05:26, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I was going to merge the histories to take care of the problem, but the redir page was protected. I have contacted the admin that protected, and hope to have this all fixed up by sometime tomorrow. PS Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard might be a resource for the future. Niteowlneils 05:45, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Neither page can be deleted until the 'block compression' bug is resolved. I'll try to remember to do it once that bug's been fixed. I changed the original back to a redirect, instead of a deletion candidate. Niteowlneils 17:24, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Categories in articles: alphabetized or other?

I think category listings in articles themselves should be alphabetized because it is completely objective. Postdlf & Oleg Alexandrov have posted on my talk page of sorting by a personally chosen preference of "importance". WP has seen some pretty petty reasons (WP:LAME) for revert wars, but I can't see sorting categories based on personal opinion will do anything but foster more reverting wars and disrupt WP. I bring this here to discuss it and perhaps to come to some kind of conclusion about "how should categories appear in articles: alphabetically or 'by importance'?".

This all stems (between Postdlf and I) over James Stewart (actor), but you know...what if I think the most important thing about a person was that they were born? After all, James Stewart there couldn't have been an actor if he wasn't born. Perhaps I think It's a Wonderful Life is *THE BEST MOVIE* of all time but if James would have died in WW2 then I probably would have hated it, so thank god he didn't die — Postdlf thinks being a WW2 veteran is the least important category for James.

As you can see, pretty much anyone could come up with an argument for why their preference of "importance" is correct. Then again, maybe I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill here, but considering a revert war ensued over whether or not 3 is an odd number or not.....listing cats by anything subjective seems like a bad idea and is opening the flood gates and waiting for the rain to come... Cburnett 01:51, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)

I expect this to be a lengthy conversation, and to keep some semblence of an idea of what WP editors want/think about this I ask you to *only* sign for what you support and keep discussion below it.

Alphabetize

I don't intend this "voting" here to be means to establishing policy, only that I/we can get a general idea of where this issue lies.

  1. Cburnett 01:51, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)

"Importance"

I don't intend this "voting" here to be means to establishing policy, only that I/we can get a general idea of where this issue lies.

  1. Postdlf 04:47, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Other

Briefly explain what it is

  1. Chronological or State of nature Meelar (talk) 02:16, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)
  2. State of nature -- Jmabel | Talk 07:18, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)
  3. State of nature Thryduulf 10:56, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  4. Category that reflects name of article (e.g., show Category:Louisville, Kentucky first in the Louisville, Kentucky article), followed by alphabetizing. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 17:35, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Discussion

Put all discussion here.

Chronological--If a person became a farmer, lost a race for a state political office, entered the state house of reps, entered U.S. Congress, entered Senate, became a lobbyist, than categories go in that order. Birth and death year cats are the exception--they always come at the beginning. Meelar (talk) 02:16, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)

Actually I think reverse chronological is best to follow for the most part, because often the last thing a person did (particularly a politician) is what he is most notable for and most likely why you're reading the article. Postdlf 04:47, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I like Postdlf's suggestion; the most notable stuff in life is usually towards the end. I would tend to keep the birth and death year categories together, though, and perhaps lump them at the end. For most readers, those are interesting but not particularly useful categories. Mind, Meelar's point below is well taken; just how many articles will have such a large list of categories? --TenOfAllTrades | Talk 04:56, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

State of nature--undoubtedly easiest to maintain. Categories have no particular order, except for the birth and death years, which are always together and at the front or back ends. Very few articles have so many categories that they're tough to read through quickly. Meelar (talk) 02:38, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)

Importance—The first category you see should be the classification that most likely made you want to read the article in the first place—that George W. Bush is a U.S. president is obviously much more important than his birth in 1946 or membership status as a Bonesman. It's easier than it may seem at first to establish this kind of hierarchy, because there are obviously some categories that merely belonging to it mean per se notability. Every U.S. President, every Congressman, every SCOTUS Justice gets an article because by attaining that position they are necessarily notable. Not every lawyer gets an article, however, so obviously a U.S. President category trumps a lawyer category. Some lawyers attain notability through their practice, however. No one is notable because of the year they are born in or die in (except maybe the first baby of the millennium or other such nonsense, but that's likely to be the only category such an article receives anyway), so these come last. But there's no need to fix this in hard and fast rules, however, because the details don't matter outside of a general preference for trying to place more important categories first. Is a U.S. Senator more important than a state governor? That's a matter of opinion, but obviously both are more important than being a lawyer or having been born in 1970. Alphabetical, on the other hand, really means no true order at all beyond what letter or number a category happens to arbitrarily begin with. Postdlf 05:02, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Firstly, I don't recognize your assumed necessity to order based on a subjective criterion of "why you are reading this article."
Secondly, it's neat and all to talk about the presidents or senators (having apparently dabbled in law school it's not a shocker) but exactly how do you classify the thousands upon tens of thousands articles that aren't about presidents or senators and don't have a clear hierarchy? Take SimCity as an example:
Categories: 1989 computer and video games | 1993 computer and video games | 1999 computer and video games | 2003 computer and video games | Computer and video game franchises | DOS games | Amiga games | Game Boy Advance games | Linux games | Mac OS games | Maxis | Nintendo 64 games | PlayStation games | Real-time strategy computer games | Simulation computer games | Super NES games | Windows games | ZX Spectrum games | Acorn Electron games | Origins award winners
Place this in descending order of importance. (God save the Linux vs. Windows battles from every article even touching on both!) I would all but guarantee you that your ordering and mine will be different. You're obviously content with a revert war over the sorting methodology of categories so I think it's only logical that you'd be content with a revert war over your sorting order over mine. Sorting by something subjective is just inviting in more disruption to WP, which is something to be avoided. Going with alphabetical avoids the entire mess and uncountable time wasted debating and reverting over what the order should be. Cburnett 05:31, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)
Video game articles aren't my thing. I don't know what an "Origins award" is, nor do I have any sense of which game platforms are more obscure than others. However, in the case of articles about things, I'd put the categories first that tell most clearly what the subject of the article is—"Simulation computer games" or "Real-time strategy computer games"—those seem to be the concepts that are most important to the subject because they go the greatest length towards defining it. Then follow with the platforms, then the awards, then the year categories. Within each grouping, it really doesn't matter which comes first—Linux or Windows. You've been attacking some strawman concept of what I was trying to do—I never asserted that there was some single, rigid way to order every list of categories in a perfect line, just that birth/death categories were so trivial to individuals that they should always go last and use some common sense from there as to what is important.
And stop with the one-sided "revert war" accusations—as if you weren't trying to impose your own subjective preference for alphabetizing by reverting my attempt at grouping. Please look back on your comments and ask yourself how fairly you've characterized this dispute. Postdlf 10:01, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Whatever's most applicable for the topic—For a computer game, reverse-chronological order would probably make the most sense. For a politician, decending order of office would be most appropriate. Alphabetical should be last resort--if 'd' came before 'b' in the alphabet, would you list date of death before date of birth? I don't think so. Also, is it 'cinema actors', 'film actors', or 'movie actors'? Alph just doesn't seem very helpful. It especially gets complicated with a person with multiple careers. Take Ronald Reagan. To me, first obviously should be 'presidents of the US'. However, what comes next? 'Movie actor' or 'Governor of California'? I guess "State of nature" would help here. Oh, and FWIW, I would put DOB, DOD, 'where from' all last, with 'veteran of WWII' next to last before those, since most male celebs/pols (and probably a surprising number of female celebs) that were 18-40 years old during WWII are veterans of that war--not something people are likely to be looking for the category of when looking at a celeb/pol article. All that said, I doubt I'd spend much time re-ordering cat, unless possibly if I was editing the article for other reasons anyway--in most cases, it just won't make that much difference. Niteowlneils 06:23, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Depends on the subject (mainly as above) Biographical articles could have chronological order of categories (political activist career, parliamentary career, ministerial career etc. as appropriate). (Thought I am not sure where to place the categories like "People of Chicago"). I also think that births and deaths should be in the end of the list.

However, we have to update articles about living people anyway. Therefore we could mention first the category that is most relevant right now ie. reference to the person's position or status at the moment. When their term expires or ends in any other way, the category list could return to chronological order.

However, many other subjects do not need chronological treatment. Articles on events (battles, catastrophes) or objects (weapons, tools, software) could easily use alphabetical order, with the year categories at the end of the list - Skysmith 08:42, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Small towns and demographics

It seems to me that every town or county in the United States, no matter what size, is posting their entire census on Wikipedia. I do not approve of this. I hate wading through these ASCII pie charts on "family size" and "racial makeup", and it seems like they would be meaningless to other readers, too.

I would love it if these articles told me who the mayors of these towns are, or what industries the towns are rooted in, or what local sports teams and culture go on there. But whenever I go to these pages, all I get is paragraphs full of numbers, which have little or no value to me. Has anyone else noticed this flood of census data? Brendan62442 19:22, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The idea of these articles is to "seed" input that can be encyclopedic. Many of the articles and statistics you refer to have been created by a bot, an automated tool to aid with Wikipedia, called Rambot, which was created by Ram-Man. While these articles may not be particularly interesting, they can form a basis for a complete, even featured, article. Smoddy (tgeck) 19:49, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The nice thing about the Rambot articles is that they usually have maps, so when I'm writing an article, I can link any city or town name in the US, and I know that anyone can follow that link and see where the place is -- I can simply link Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, rather than needing to include a phrase like "250 miles north of Boise". --Carnildo 21:01, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Alright. I can understand if the article are written by a RamBot. A Bot article is better than no article. Brendan62442 01:13, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Is this for real?

Why must I make 50 votes before my vote can be counted? I don't understand this policy. Should I make 50 nonsense votes on pages that I know nothing about just to have one vote counted on a page I do understand?

Please help me with this, I could find no mention of this policy anywhere in the users guide but it's cropping up on pages on which I voted.

The policy is used to discourage multiple votes from a single user. I would not suggest making 50 nonsense edits, instead, why not contribute 50 outstanding edits full of brilliant prose that improve the encyclopedia? The Uninvited Co., Inc. 15:34, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
And just to be absolutely clear - it's 50 edits (ie improvements (hopefully) to existing articles) rather than 50 votes. By the way, please sign your contributions here with four tildes (~~~~) rossb 15:45, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Sign with ~~~~ (other than contributions to articles) RJFJR 15:55, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)

Apologies, signing now. I was asking about VfD specifically, and about policy, since it says nothing in the policy guidelines about making 50 edits before you can be considered part of the community enough to contribute. It seems very exclusive to me. CatCrofts 15:58, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, but 50 edits is, uh, trivial. If you don't like it, feel free to suggest a better way for us to distinguish sockpuppet accounts from new users. →Raul654 16:03, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)
It does say in the Guide to Votes for deletion that votes from new users do not count. 50 edits to articles is just an arbitrary threshold to determine if the user is a "new user" or not. --cesarb 18:32, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I beg your pardon, but Guide to Votes for deletion does not say that votes from new users "do not count": it says that a low edit count or lack of responsible edit history can be a tell-tale sign of sock-puppetry, or may cause your vote to be "discounted" by the administrators. Furthermore, it does say, "Anyone can contribute to the discussion and vote, anonymous users as well as pseudonymous users." [emphasis original] There is absolutely no "minimum-number-of-edits" policy. OTOH, the guide also says, "It is difficult to tell sock puppets from newcomers. If you are contributing your first article, or are a newly pseudonymous user, please state this clearly and up-front, and please don't become offended if another Wikipedian points out your lack of editing history." So, CatCrofts, my advice to you is to chalk this up to a certain amount of semi-justified suspicion, please don't be offended, and please continue to contribute to Wikipedia by editing and voting. Soundguy99 02:42, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In my experience, 50 edits is about a week's worth of contribution -- just enough to reduce the amount of drive-by voting and sockpuppeting. --Carnildo 18:35, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If you do not yet have 50 edits, you can still make statements on VFD pages, they just count as comments. If your comments are very convincing, you could still get the page immediately deleted, or immediately kept. Actual vote-counting on vfd only (should!) happen in cases where there's no clear consensus. :-) Kim Bruning 16:22, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Categories gone mad?

This recent focus on the mode of death seems to me to be seriously messing up the category scheme. Up until now I've raised my objections on a few talk pages, but the most recent case seems to me to be particularly egregious. Numerous people—many of them prominent figures—have been moved from Category:French Revolution to Category:Guillotined French Revolution figures. Thus, for example, prominent revolutionary figures like Madame Roland or Georges Danton are classified, with respect to the revolution, only in a category about the mode of their death. I think this is entirely inappropriate.

I think that if someone is starting from Category:French Revolution and trying to find the key figures, they are very unlikely to head towards a category about their mode of death. It might be appropriate to add a category like this, but only if we also added a category that had something to do with what these people did while alive.

I'm really tired right now, I'm not going to try to get into this much further; I hope I'm being coherent. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:30, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)

Hey — I've got a swell idea. How about a List of people guillotined in the French Revolution? Just be sure not to finish it. (I'm kidding, people. Don't go there.) -- Mothperson 10:07, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)