Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive J

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Signature limit

I've seen some signatures starting to get rather large nowadays, using different colours for each letter of their username, for example. I saw one that took up four lines in the edit box (non-maximised window, admittedly). Should we force a signature length limit? 64 characters, for example, should be enough for most cases. violet/riga (t) 19:47, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree with you (somewhat ironically, as I have a feeling I may have been the above-mentioned user). My signature is now siginificantly cut down, and I really think that some users (Merovingian and Starblind come to mind) obstruct the editing process unnecessarily. I don't know how easy this would be. I certainly think there should also be a policy against using templates as signatures. Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 20:03, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
It was actually Merovingian on this occasion. violet/riga (t) 20:07, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, it certainly could have been me. ;) Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 20:19, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
Yikes, I just counted. Merovingian has a 412 character sig. Of course, mine's kind of bloated, too--it's a solid 137 characters. Smoddy's comes in at 61 characters, and Violetriga's is a svelte 60. I consider myself somewhat hampered by my longer user name, however. :) Thryduulf has a point about the attention-grabbing large fonts used by a particular editor.... --TenOfAllTrades (talk/contrib) 22:07, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
Mine was 327 characters. Oops. Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 22:17, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
I fully support this, although the signature thats annoying me at the moment is Sam Spade's and accordingly I'd add a note against using text significantly larger than normal. Thryduulf 20:47, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
Is there something wrong with large signatures? --User:Carnildo/sandbox
Yes. :) --TenOfAllTrades 22:07, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
LOL! —Wahoofive (talk) 23:50, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

There has to be a limit. I proposed it before. It is evil to include images and overly complex layout. When you sign your name on paper, you do it as effortlessly as possible. You do not write a 10,000-word autobiography with a 150-foot tall oil painting of your face as your signature. If you don't do it with your hands in the real world, don't do it here. -- Toytoy 12:56, May 10, 2005 (UTC)

I'd be reluctant to proscribe a precise character limit, but yes, sigs that take more than a couple lines in the edit window I would agree are execessive, and should be avoided. I also agree that any enlargement (or emboldment, etc.) of the sig that implies it is more important than the surrounding text is in extremely poor taste, and should be avoided. Niteowlneils 17:13, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

I would rather not have an absolute character limit. I especially think that 64 characters is too few. Those of us with longer user names (and I don't think that "Knowledge Seeker" is excessively long) would have difficulty squeezing if we want a link to our talk page. For instance, were I to use violet/riga's signature, but substitute my name, it bumps up the character limit to 80 or so. Even the generic [[User:Knowledge Seeker|Knowledge Seeker]] [[User talk:Knowledge Seeker|*]] ("Knowledge Seeker *"), which is the simplest signature I can think of that links to my talk page, uses 76 characters. I wouldn't mind a general recommendation about signature length (if a character count is specified, though, it has to be higher) and to limit excessive HTML markup. I use a single Unicode character in mine which I think it quite reasonable. I support a rule against using images and templates. I do think that using larger text for your signature is in extremely poor taste, although I don't know if I'd want a rule to say not to use it. Bold text is in rather poor taste too, I feel, unless it is to separate parts of your signature, like for user name and talk, especially if you are trying to avoid lengthy HTML markup. — Knowledge Seeker 17:57, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
You are right, 64 is too little. One line in a standard edit box on 1024x768 is 100 characters. How about 150 or something (for the technophiles, 128 would do, I guess) and a ban on enlarging, on images, and on templates? Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 18:04, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
Just because Wikipedia's servers seem to be severely strained these days, I'd suggest at least a temporary moratorium on images in signatures. Transclusion is also probably a bad idea for the same reason, though I admit it improves readability of the wiki markup. Should we have a semi-policy on this stuff? (Or do we already...?) --TenOfAllTrades (talk/contrib) 18:01, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

I hesitated a long time before adding that talk page link to my signature... Somehow it disturbs the peaceful essence of my three-letter name. Of course, I care little about signature length. >:-) Incidentally, Knowledge Seeker, the signature "[[User:Knowledge Seeker|]] · [[User talk:Knowledge Seeker|Talk]]" is exactly 64 characters... I'm assuming the raw signature field only counts characters, not substituted markup. JRM · Talk 18:19, 2005 May 10 (UTC)

You're correct, JRM. But that would expand to the full 76-character sig once I used it, right? So there'd really be no difference, unless I was using it to get by a software limit in the signature field. Let me see what happens to it: Knowledge Seeker · Talk. — Knowledge Seeker 18:53, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, the longer version is what appears in the edit window now. — Knowledge Seeker 18:55, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
Yes, of course. I would assume the limit imposed was done in the signature field, because that's by far easiest to implement. Running the thing through the markup canonicalizer to count the result is more involved. (I'm making this name up, I don't know what the developers call it—anyway, it's the stage between submitting and database.) It depends on what sort of "limit" we're talking here—the generated HTML from even that simple signature above is a whopping 365 characters. Of course, if a field length limit were imposed, transclusion would have to be forbidden, otherwise there would be no point. OTOH, methods that go measure the generated HTML are a bit wobbly too, as this may easily vary. You'd have to implement something that checks the signature length every time you write it (just in case I change some transcluded template somewhere) and that's too much work. And honestly, what's the point? I can always substitute a template and add five twiddles behind it. Use peer pressure to discourage the really over-the-top signatures, but there's probably no point in trying to get the software to curb the madness reliably. The home page of the greatest man on earth! · He don't need no steenkin' signatures, ask him why not! 19:50, 2005 May 10 (UTC)
My sig is actually:
violet/riga]] [[User_talk:violetriga|(t)
You don't need to count the rest of the markup, and that therefore makes it a tiny 40 characters. violet/riga (t) 16:50, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
So, because you chose to have a small signature you feel you have the right to impose yourself on others? Everyone would be limited to exactly the style signature you have? How untolerantly religious of you (Wikipedia really is a religion, isn't it?) - Tεxτurε 20:15, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to see an anthropological analysis of these signatures. I'm not an anthropologist, but I'll make my observations anyway... My guess is that since the signature is about the only image we show to each other, it has become a form of plumage. I'll wager that most fancy signatures belong to young, males on the make. Also, the signatures send a message that the user is very technologically savvy. Most users don't know how to make those fancy sigs, so the message that they send is, "Don't mess with me, I'm smart, and I've been around here a long time, so you better not revert what I write!". Now, I don't think we should encourage either message, so I think we should limit signatures to ~~~~ . I'm serious! -- Samuel Wantman 07:56, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Agree. Wikipedians are not male peacocks. -- Toytoy 08:33, May 11, 2005 (UTC)
The breakdown of Wikipedian Community is directly related to the inability of the human mind to manage large numbers of reputations informally. While nothing can completely evade the m:Rule of 150, colorful signatures help delay the crisis. A sig does indeed reveal a little something about member personality; more important, it provides a mnemonic handle for readers to grab onto. Other forums have avatars to aid in informal reputation management; we have customized sigs.
I oppose any hard-and-fast rule limiting what one may put into one's sig. Members with absurd and offensive sigs self-identify as dicks; and this is very helpful to the rest of us.
Or, for example, take my sig -- (please!)Xiongtalk*. It links to four distinct pages: User:Xiong, Special:Emailuser/Xiong, User talk:Xiong, and User:Xiong/Metatalk -- all of which I hope may be actually useful to some readers. Additionally, it answers the perennial question: "What does Xiong mean?" and declares my pseudo-Chinese identity and my otherwise somewhat boring conventional methods. This is a resource for readers who may not be inclined to spend the time to go looking elsewhere -- and, best of all, ultra-ascetics who think it is too elaborate can label me as a self-indulgent old fool and move on.
(That said, templates and images in sigs really do identify users, and not in a good way.) -- User:11001001 08:42, 2005 May 11 (UTC)
Most Wikipedia talk pages are participated by less than 150. Even in a group of inter-related pages (astronomy, modern European history, Star Wars universe, mammals, policy ...), active and frequent contributors seldom exceed this number (my well-educated guess).
If you visit w:List of Wikipedians by number of edits, you may find many if not most top 20 or 50 contributors are those whom you don't know about. Why? Because they do not contribute to your part of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a big bowl of primordial soup of one hundred zillion faceless unicellular organisms. Wikipedia is composed of hundreds of small bays each populated with as many as dozens of species. Fancy signatures, in my opinion, are usually not needed.
I know a talk page created by three could be visited by each man, woman or dog in China. But if you do not participate, the other billion people do not need to know about you anyway. If a discussion is participated by 20, you only need to know these 20 names. In my opinion, the only important part of my speech is the content. We shall not encourage people to judge the quality of a message based on the poster's identity. Reputation is somewhat useful in other Internet forums, but it is not the most important thing here in Wikipedia.
Most customized signature are:
  • poorly designed (without a standardized and intuitive interface);
  • annoying to most uninterested readers;
  • making the page difficult to work with.
I don't think signatures are really needed. You don't need a vanity plate to drive your car on the highways. If vanity plates are free (as in "free beer"), every driver on earth will ask for one. Since they are not free, few people bother to own one. How many of you are going to pay $5 a month for your beautiful and useful signatures? -- Toytoy 15:11, May 11, 2005 (UTC)
Xiong's argument brings up another point. I would never have known that your sig linked to four different places if you hadn't said so (and I've seen your sig many times). Why do you need all those links? Has anyone ever emailed you? (No one's ever emailed me from WP.) Why would anyone even know you have a "Metatalk" page (whatever that is)? Even the many users who have "Talk" pages in their sigs (including me), I'm starting to think is kind of useless. It saves somebody ONE click if they want to post to your talk page. Is that worth it? Same with contributions list; ONE click. Whereas it's cluttering up talk pages in hundreds of places. Since the practical benefit of custom sigs is pretty much nil, and they're only for vanity, some limits would be reasonable. —Wahoofive (talk) 15:47, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Most of us has at least a telephone with at least a speedy dial button. I guess most of you had already known my home phone number (555-1234, if you forget my number). Now, I urge you to enter my number into your telephone so you can dial my number in 1 second rather than in 5 seconds.
I don't think many of you have that unstoppable impulse to give me one call. Even if I advertise my toll-free telephone number during a football game, I will hardly get a phone call. That's why I am confortable with my unattractive signature. -- Toytoy 17:02, May 11, 2005 (UTC)
It saves only one click, yes, but it also saves a rather lengthy page load. Wikipedia usually runs slow for logged-in users. --Carnildo 19:07, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • In light of the above, I've knocked my signature down from 309 characters to 235... Guess I'll see if I can trim it some more. -- BDAbramson thimk 20:02, 2005 May 17 (UTC)
    • Gave up my thimk to get it down to 153, which is not unreasonable, I think. -- BDAbramson talk 20:13, 2005 May 17 (UTC)

I think we should all endeavor to be more like ! :) --Dmcdevit 01:09, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

  • I believe:
  1. Fancy signatures do not serve much (if any) practical benefit. Even m:Rule of 150 (cited above as a proof of a benefit to fancy sigs) says that avatars and the like do not significantly forestall the "150 effect".
  2. Any curtailing of signatures should be based on practical reasons rather than aesthetic.
  3. I am not personally convinced these signatures are causing a problem - but if it can be shown they are slowing down page loads, or putting strain on the servers, or some other tangible problem, then we should absolutely impose a limit.
  4. If a limit is ever imposed, it should be well-defined (E.g. "100 characters limit" or "no pictures allowed" or "no HTML allowed" or whatever.) and not fuzzy (E.g. "Try to limit your signature length).
  5. If a limit is ever imposed, it should only be set after considering people with long names, non-English character names, etc.
  6. I am sympathetic to the desire to have a link directly to the User's talk page in his/her signature file. It is very handy for the person following the link not to have to go to the User's page before jumping to their Talk page. As long as we are talking about futures, why not change the standard signature to automatically include such a link, formattated in a standard way? E.g. : User:T This way, everyone would know what clicking on the T would do for them.
  7. As long as I am talking about changing the way things work - why not change the software to automatically put signatures on Talk & Discussion pages rather the user having to consciously type the four ~? That would save a lot of accidently unsigned posts. Johntex 21:42, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well said, Johntex. I also agree with whoever said that big, ugly sigs are useful to identify the idiots among us; like rolex watches, they let others know who is vain enough to want a big ugly sig, and this is useful. I think the best choice is semi-public shaming, i.e. when you are irritated or inconvienced by a user's sig, leave them a small, simple message of complaint on their talk page. After they get enough, they will either leave Wikipedia in a huff, or fix their sig. Either alternative is probably OK. As an archiver of the Pump, I value being able to easily identify the date stamps on sigs, so a multi-line sig could be irritating. Just some thoughts. JesseW 08:26, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

OK, everyone knows I hate lengthy signatures. Now how about this proposal:

  • ~~~: [[User:Son of Sam|Son of Sam]]
  • ~~~~: [[User:Son of Sam|Son of Sam]] + time stamp
  • ~~~~~: [[User:Son of Sam|Son of Sam]] [[User talk:Son of Sam|Talk]] + time stamp

I also propose these non-official peer-pressure limitations:

  • No template.
  • No HTML tags.
  • No images.
  • No external links.
  • No more than 3 links.

I have seen signatures that contain two or more images. These signatures shall not be running wild. We shall encourage simplicity here. -- Toytoy 11:36, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

I haven't really had a problem with signatures being annoying; perhaps the peacocks on here have stayed away from the Roman Catholic corner. Nonetheless, I agree with the idea of an automatic signature (to avoid having to use ~~~~ ) as well as automatically adding the link to the user's talk page in the signature. I for one hate having to go to the user page first, particularly for those people I message frequently. As it relates to the other suggestions, I support anything that makes Wikipedia run faster, relieves strain on the servers, and limits the amount of wikistress and wikiwarfare that takes place. Essjay (talk) 08:56, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

Articles on compilations from other sources

Moved to Talk:FHM-US's 100 Sexiest Women 2005

==historical view of topic x== The following paragraphs describe X as understood in 1911. Pcb21| Pete 3 July 2005 09:27 (UTC)

Use of 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica as source of articles

I noticed that the article on Angers was essentially lifted word for word from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Is it general policy at Wikipedia that information in the public domain (such as the 1911 EB) can be used without quoting or citing it? Since the 1911 EB is already online, it's just redundant to reuse its text as the sole source of an article.

--Vitamin D 2 July 2005 18:49 (UTC)

The bottom of the article shows it was orginally based on the EB11 article and the History page shows it has been worked on since 2002.There are references within the article to the EB11 material It now bears little resemblance to the EB one for it is an updating of it.Apwoolrich 2 July 2005 19:02 (UTC)
And with reference to your question about policy: it is policy to draw on the 1911 EB where appropriate, and to cite it overtly when drawing from it. Most material from the 1911 EB needs NPOV work; quite a bit of it needs updating; however, in areas such as pre-1900 history it can be a very useful — and public domain — source. -- Jmabel | Talk July 3, 2005 03:15 (UTC)
It is policy to cite sources, whether we are legally required to do so or not. I often preface 1911 work with a section like

Etymology and wikipedia

I have just out of curosity searched for the origin of the name Vancouver, as in George Vancouver and found the following page Etymology of Vancouver. I am curious as to how it is suggested the best way of adding the information of this sort, if it is indeed relavent for an entry of this sort.

  • Keep in mind that Wikipedia is not a dictonary and so "It's fine to add a couple of lines of etymology to an existing article (or disambig), but an article shouldn't solely consist of etymology" and "Since Wikipedia is not a dictionary, an article that is only about a word ([or a] name) is not encyclopedic. The appropriate action would be moving it to Wiktionary, or adding a {{move to wiktionary}} template." --Dmcdevit 2 July 2005 07:33 (UTC)
    • There is a justification in Wikipedia for etymology within a subject as it is an important and often interesting detail which is often sadly omitted from encyclopaedic works. It is for this reason that I have, in the country articles, started the laborious process of putting Origin and history of the name before the history section. I am of the opinion that separate etymology of ... articles should be placed into the main article. --JohnArmagh 2 July 2005 08:55 (UTC)
      • I think explaining the derivation of a place name would always be an appropriate component of a Wikipedia article on any geographical subject. If the article consists only of "Vancouver is a city in British Columbia, Canada that was named for the explorer George Vancouver," that would be a valid stub. In most articles, though, the etymology wouldn't need a separate subheading. For example, in Hudson River, the second sentence mentions that the river is named for Henry Hudson, who explored it in 1609. JamesMLane 2 July 2005 10:30 (UTC)
      • If you are going to write etymological treatments of words, including place name words, please do that where such lexicography belongs, in the "lexical companion to Wikipedia", and learn how to interwiki link and to use the sibling project templates. Uncle G 4 July 2005 14:17 (UTC)
  • Just as Wiktionary:Darlington explains the etymology of Darlington, and the two cross-link to each other, I suggest that you write Wiktionary:Vancouver and cross-link it to Vancouver. Uncle G 4 July 2005 14:31 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conflict

I've written up a new policy proposal, with assistance from Ed Poor, to set out some guidelines and basic principles for dealing with naming conflicts of the Gdanzig type. It's at Wikipedia:Naming conflict - comments welcomed. -- ChrisO 1 July 2005 22:51 (UTC)

posting weblinks inside pages

If we have a webpage that corresponds with the topic, are we allowed to place it inside or will this be considered unwelcome spam? Thanks , just wanted to make sure

Generally, links go at the bottom of articles, see Wikipedia:External links for official policy. If it is on topic, then you can probably add it, be bold!. If you're scared of violating Wikiquette, however, you can tell us which article you want to link to your website and where your website is, then someone else can do it for you. The ongoing peer review process should weed out rubbish external links. Dunc| 1 July 2005 22:09 (UTC)

Full names in biography articles

Should biographies begin with the full names, including middle names unused in everyday reference, or should it begin with the same name as the article title? See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (biographies)#Full names. David 25px | Talk 1 July 2005 19:54 (UTC)

Look for example at J. R. R. Tolkien, it gives the full name right off the bat, even for an awfully long name like his. I'd say if you can give the full name without it sounding awkward then you should do so. Pages on WP are meant to be short but descriptive, so shouldn't necessarily be mirrored when writing. But if the sentence structure makes it awkward you might find it helpful to write something like "J.R.R. Tolkien (full name John Ronald Reuel Tolkien) was born in..." or whatever. Master Thief GarrettTalk 1 July 2005 22:29 (UTC)
For an alternative (probably better) approach, see Pablo Picasso, which starts with the expected name and later expand on the full name. Of course in this instance it is an awfully, awfully long name. -- Solipsist 2 July 2005 20:00 (UTC)

Anonymous votes on VFD

This must have been discussed around 100 times already, but there is still no clear policy of how to handle anonymous users voting on VFD, and the decision of whether to count or ignore these votes is left entirely up to the closing administrator. A number of times I have seen anonymous votes commented on with "anonymous votes are not counted" or similar. However, there is no policy which says so explicitly. The closest thing to a policy I can find is the header on the WP:VFD page: "Anonymous and new users are welcome to contribute to the discussion, but their votes may be discounted, especially if they seem to be made in bad faith." Note the word "may". It does not say "will".

For the record I might say what I do with anonymous votes in some common situations. Most debates have no such votes, and most of those who have any have only one. One very common situation is that all the other votes from established users, and if I have no reason to believe that the anonymous vote was cast in bad faith, I will count it just like any other. This is a common situation, when a regular reader (but not a regular contributor) of the encyclopedia reads an article he or she likes and is warned that the article might be deleted, who can blame them for participating in such a discussion? Especially when the VFD-tag comes with the invitation "Please vote on and discuss the matter". Also, I will almost always count the vote made by the article's author, even if the author is anonymous. (Some seem to be under the impression that the article's author or main contributor is not allowed to vote, but as far as I can see, this is completely incorrect.) However, if I start finding 10 different anons all voting keep while all the established users vote delete, I will usually discount them as this is a good sign of bad faith.

Anyway, that is some of the thoughts I have on the matter, but maybe there ought to be a full policy discussion about this topic. Sjakkalle (Check!) 1 July 2005 08:55 (UTC)

  • Personally, I'd favour a clear policy of ignoring anon votes on all polls and votes. Filiocht | Talk July 1, 2005 09:11 (UTC)
  • Just like VFU, VFD should have a clear 'sufferance' policy (e.g. ignore all votes of anons, people with <100 edits, or created after the VFD debate started). People tend to game the system if something is a recommendation rather than a strict rule (just like socks tend to cite WP:SOCK out of context) Radiant_>|< July 1, 2005 10:11 (UTC)
  • I would like to say that I think the main author of the article should be allowed to vote to keep it, anonymous or not anonymous. Sjakkalle (Check!) 1 July 2005 10:31 (UTC)
    • I disagree. They should be able to explain why it should be kept, but not to vote. smoddy 1 July 2005 10:34 (UTC)
  • I usually discount anon votes if they vote different from all other voters but fail to explain their viewpoint. - Mgm|(talk) July 1, 2005 12:33 (UTC)
    • Then I suggest that you also discount them if they vote the same way as other voters but fail to explain their viewpoint. If this process is a vote -- and I agree with JYolkowski's comment below on how it shouldn't actually be a vote -- then awarding different values to people's votes according to their reasoning, past contributions, etc., is one thing, doing so according to the direction of these votes quite another. -- Hoary July 2, 2005 04:54 (UTC)
  • I don't think a hard and fast policy is needed here. Is this grey area causing any actual problems that need to be remedied? Or will this just be yet another rule for the sake of having rules? The current system allows us to freely ignore the votes of anyone abusing the system, but it also gives us the flexibility to accept valid votes from those who just don't happen to be registered users. - SimonP July 1, 2005 13:46 (UTC)
  • The main purpose of VfD is to discuss the article in order to come to a consensus, not to polarize the issue by voting. Because of that, I don't think it makes sense to have firm rules regarding whose vote counts and whose doesn't. I think it makes sense to welcome anyone who can help the VfD discussion. Personally, I don't give anon votes the same weight as logged-in users when closing VfDs (especially if they don't provide a reason) but I don't think there's a need for m:Instruction creep here. JYolkowski // talk 1 July 2005 20:56 (UTC)
    • Concur with JYolkowski. If anonymous editors have a useful comment one way or the other on an article, I want to see it and be able to take it into account. Is that a "vote"? As much as anyone else's is, I suppose. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 1 July 2005 21:05 (UTC)

Subpages in the article name space

A discussion on VfD regarding Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire 26 June 2005 has turned into a discussion on the policy of using transclusion to present information in the article space. See also Wikipedia talk:Template namespace#transcluding prose and Talk:2005 English cricket season#subpages and Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Unusual transclusion issue not covered by policy, before joining the discussion. Steve block 30 June 2005 07:58 (UTC)

I've attempted to make a compromise about this now. Please, everyone involved, see Wikipedia_talk:Template_namespace#Case-specific_compromise_attempt Sam Vimes 2 July 2005 07:27 (UTC)

Original Research

Why is it that Wikipedia does not allow original research, and yet Wikinews, another Wikimedia project allows original reporting? --Munchkinguy 02:59, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Because Wikipedia is an encylopaedia (which must have established, verifiable information) while Wikinews is a news project. That is the underlying reason why they are separate projects. Guettarda 03:03, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Doesn't it depend on what you mean by "original"? All entries have to be original because otherwise there would be a breach of copyright. If someone writes a page on an existing topic, that there may be some novel feature about it should not bar its entry. Presumably, there will be a verifiable core (in the sense of references to existing publications) and a sustained chain of argument to support any reasoned novel conclusion that might be reached. The very fact that it is a reasoned conclusion is the means whereby it can be verified — that is an aspect of the scientific method. Obviously, an article on a highly specialised research topic might not be interesting to the vast majority of readers, even if they were aware of it in the first place, but I do not necessarily see that as a bar to publication here. Or, as usual, am I missing something? --David91 07:00, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

David91, I would agree with what you have written, but if you read Wikipedia talk:No original research(NOR) there are a number of contributes who choose to define Original Research much more tightly and I think to the detriment of Wikipedia because it allows people to use it as a bludgeon. I suggest that you contribute to the NOR talk page and then make changes to the NOR if the current usage of NOR is not that which you agree with. Philip Baird Shearer 14:10, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hi, Philip. I've had a quick browse. It seems to be a Janus type of policy: on the one hand, it confronts the problem of POV motivated commentators who threaten to swamp factual pages with unverified opinion; but, equally, it seeks to adress the case of specialists who distill complex ideas into more accessible forms for encyclopoedia use which inevitably will have aspects of novelty about it. The utility of the information to the end-user should be the litmus test. If the naive reader is likely to be misled, then the entry should be edited to exclude the confusing data and/or deleted. If the page is a fair and reasonable explanation of the mass of information and can be relied upon to inform the naive reader, then it should be accepted. I note your invitation to contribute to the debate but, at my age, I think I will leave it to the young and strong to thrash out what they want this place to be. --David91 17:15, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • I think you will find that, in general, we apply this policy selectively. Ususally, if someone writes something that is clearly the case, no one goes and deletes it because it is "original research". On the other hand, when people try to write the kind of thing which, if true, should be making its way through a peer-reviewed journal, and which no layperson can reasonably judge, then Wikipedia is not the place to publish it. -- Jmabel | Talk July 2, 2005 04:15 (UTC)

Definitions for some policy defining terms

Moved from WP:HD#definitions_for_.22encyclopedic.22_and_.22overcategorization.22 and forked.

These are at the heart of frequent quarrels, and WP:G does not define them. What exactly do the terms mean? — Sebastian (talk) 18:56, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)

  • Here's my highly subjective "definitions":
    (Definitions separated into individual sections by Sebastian.)
    I know, highly subjective and fuzzy, but that's my view. - Mgm|(talk) 20:58, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
  • Thank you. This is at least a start. If they are indeed not well defined and are used in place of such easily understood statements as "I feel it shouldn't be there" or "I think it's not necessary", then I feel that they amount to slang rather than jargon. — Sebastian (talk) 22:18, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)


  • Encyclopedic refers to the value an article has to an encyclopedia. This usually isn't disputed when other encyclopedias have articles on the subject in question. Some people believe Pokemon and Digimon shouldn't be here, others think the same about the numerous Star Wars articles we have. I do think we can all agree that articles about obscure student film makers who didn't win any awards and whose films haven't been broadcasted on television as well as their planned films don't belong here. Those would be unencyclopedic. (What some people call notability and importance also factors in here). - Mgm|(talk) 20:58, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
    • I agree with these criteria. Plus the students vs professors example I saw somewhere else. — Sebastian (talk) 05:01, 2005 Jun 25 (UTC)


  • Overcategorization is when one article is put in too many categories. Of course, this is a subjective thing, but when you find a person in more than one category related to for example geographical location it's usually to use the more detailed category (IMO). - Mgm|(talk) 20:58, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
    • The latter case, when an article is categorized both under parent and child, would be an exact usage (jargon, not slang) and it would express a concept for which we don't seem to have a term yet. — Sebastian (talk) 22:18, 2005 Jun 23 (UTC)
      • Categorised in both parent and daughter categories - I would simply call that overzealousness, a misunderstanding of how categorisation works, or a mistake :) Guettarda 23:08, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC) I was wrong. It's possible for a subcat to reflect some, but not all of the attributes of an article. So there can be good reason for both cats. Guettarda 15:00, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
        • Uh oh! That reminds me of when I asked about "Nesthäkchen" ("family baby"); and, from my description, a friend said it's called "oopsie" in English. I hope our baby has a proper name! ;-) — Sebastian (talk) 01:40, 2005 Jun 24 (UTC)
    • Please read over the discussions at Wikipedia talk:Categorization. This is a controversial topic. There ARE good reasons to put a category in both a parent and daughter (super and sub-categories). Our categorization system works as both a classification system and a navigation system. Sometimes to satisfy both needs effectively, a category should be in both. There are also multiple hierarchies which coexist. This also leads to cases where multiple entries are useful. Please read the discussion. We are close to a compromise on the topic. -- Samuel Wantman 09:51, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
      • Huh? What I saw in the link you provided is a short discussion between two users that occured about two months ago. How is that a proposed compromise? Radiant_>|< 14:47, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
        • There are lots of other sections above leading up to that one, and archived in pages before that. This hard and fast "rule" about duplication is often ignored for good reason. However, trying to get large numbers of people to discuss this and reach a new consensus is like trying to steer an iceberg with a paddle! -- Samuel Wantman 05:59, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Sometimes it stems from frustration at the limitations of the current category system; for example it is not currently possible to perform join on two categories to see article belonging to both. --Phil | Talk 09:20, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
    • Yes. This is a feature request, but the developers have been silent as to if and when this will get added. Radiant_>|< 14:47, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

In addition, overcategorisation could refer to there being too many branches of the hierachy, meaning that a category only has one or two articles in it, and should be merged upwards. Dunc| 30 June 2005 17:38 (UTC)

Requests for rollback

I have documented a new policy, Requests for rollback. In a nutshell, this policy is like RfA except giving just the rollback permission rather than the entire set of admin tools. It's intended for those who just desire access to rollback, for various reasons. Discussion welcomed on its talk page. Talrias (t | e | c) 30 June 2005 21:20 (UTC)


discussion archived at Wikipedia talk:Lyrics and poetry/Poll on inclusion of lyrics and poetry


The article Coin's financial school has a large block of text commented out (I didn't see it until I started editing to fix something). The text is a excerpt from the pamphlet (written 1893) that the article is about which someone commented out as not wikipedia appropriate. Seems it should be transwiki-ed and pruned from the article.

How do I go about suggesting it be transwiki-ed? RJFJR June 29, 2005 01:36 (UTC)

There's the template: {{Move to Wikisource}}, or you could do it yourself. See meta:transwiki. --Dmcdevit 29 June 2005 01:41 (UTC)

Copyright Fair Use Question

If I want to get an uncopyrighted image of, for example, an album cover, and I own that album, would be it considered copyright violation to scan that image and then upload it on to Wikipedia and put it in the album's article?--Methegreat 28 June 2005 23:43 (UTC)

First, it wouldn't be "uncopyrighted"—fair use simply means an unauthorized yet lawful use of a copyrighted work. We've decided by consensus (and rightfully so, I believe) that the use by Wikipedia of album cover images to illustrate the album is fair use. See Template:Albumcover, and see Wikipedia:Image copyright tags for a complete list of all such categorical fair uses. If you fall under one of those, you're safe. Postdlf 29 June 2005 00:27 (UTC)
Yup, what Postdlf said. The only way to get an uncopyrighted image of an album cover is to pay the copyright owner lots and lots of money to release the album cover into the public domain (or at least licence it freely to everyone for any purpose, it's apparantly not entirely clear whether you can "release something into the public domain", but that's a technicality). Using the image of an album cover on an article about the album is generally seem as fair use though. --W(t) June 29, 2005 00:33 (UTC)

James Voirin VfD

Ok, I nominated James Voirin for deletion, on the grounds given in the VfD. Now, the article has been expanded since the beginning of the VfD but, Goldstein307 (talk · contribs) just closed the debate with a Keep when the voting was 7d, 2k. That is a clear consensus to delete. There was discussion of whether he was sufficiently notable or not, but the voting is very clear indeed, as are the reasons given for the 7 delete votes.

Is there a procedure for contesting the closure of a VfD on that basis? I've let Goldstein know on their talk page.-Splash June 28, 2005 18:13 (UTC)

You might drop a notice on WP:AN. --Carnildo 28 June 2005 18:28 (UTC)
Done, onto WP:AN/I.

human stool photo

I am posting this at Village pump (policy) because this is yet another survey/controversy of the inclusion of a photo or drawing that some find objectionable: feces/talk:feces - after one vote on whether to include a photo of a large human stool that showed a small majority in favor of including the photo, there is a new survey over the size and location of the photo within the article. 28 June 2005 08:58 (UTC)

Commons: When? Why?

Moved to Wikipedia talk:Moving images to the Commons

Wikipedia:Gaming the system

Ed Poor has created the article Wikipedia:Gaming the system. This should be a policy proposal, so I am submitting it to VP (policy) on Ed's behalf. - Ta bu shi da yu 03:02, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Guideline proposal - Homophora

Anyone who is interested can check out my guideline proposal: Wikipedia:Homophora.

"...Homophoric reference is not a feature of grammar, but rather is a generic phrase given a particular interpretation in a particular social context. For example, in the United Kingdom, the Queen is a homophoric reference to the Queen of the United Kingdom, whereas in the Netherlands the Queen is a homophoric reference to the Queen of the Netherlands." from exophora.

I think this is becoming a problem (not the Queen example, that's rather obvious), especially with users who use dictionary definition instead of respecting the extralinguistic nature of a word or phrase. Currently, there are no guidelines for dealing with a situation such as this. It's similar to the Neologism guideline (in a sense it's sort of its opposite.)

Anyone well-versed in linguistics is strongly encouraged to check it out (since I'm not a linguist, and the concepts are pretty shaky). And yes, I just learned this term recently, but oh how I have been looking for it.

--Ben 06:50, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Press release

Celesio was begun with press-release. Is it correct that a press release is not copyrighted? RJFJR 15:56, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

In the United States, everything is copyrighted. --Carnildo 20:39, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
But if it's a press release being sent out to be published, aren't they granting rights to reproduce on it? Or does that just apply to people they directly send it to? RJFJR 20:55, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)
That may be (or may not be). IANAL. But I assure you, that press release is not under the GFDL. --Carnildo 21:09, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Press releases are definitely copyrighted. They do not grant free rights to reproduction — they license it for reproduction to certain partners under certain conditions, in the same way that a record company licenses its music to the companies that print the CDs and gives people who buy the CDs very limited personal use rights. I am not a lawyer, however. Deco 21:01, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm not a lawyer, but I am a journalist. "License" at least implies more formality than exists. Maurreen 21:15, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thank you, everbody! I have chopped, added an external link to the press release, and marked corp-stub. (I will file this as a reminder. I appreciate it). RJFJR 01:35, Jun 27, 2005 (UTC)

Liability - Legal and/or Moral

This may sound like a ridiculous question, but these days, I can't believe it is. I'm wondering what Wikipedia's policy is on knowing that certain "editors" are obsessed with various living people to the point where one can't predict exactly how far the obsession will be taken, but odds are flowers, candy and serenades aren't going to be involved. I'm not referring to people like Fidel Castro or George W. Bush (who surely have special security to deal with whacky Wikipedians), but lesser-knowns. I may have just fallen into an unusual wiki puddle (and I certainly hope so), but judging by a certain group of sock-puppets, there's at least one unpredictable here whose behavior goes somewhat beyond "strange." If an editor repeatedly demonstrates truly extreme dislike of certain individuals in his home territory – by Vfd's, vitriolic stubs and edits, edit-warring, vandalism, etc. – never mind when do we put a stop to him/her? When do we take any further steps? Or is the policy "Don't ask, don't tell?" --Mothperson 14:15, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

history so far suggests that internet conflicts tend not to develop into RL crimes (ok I can think of a couple of exceptions). To be honest there are very few steps we can take beyond our current system for removing problem users. Once they are off wikipedia our power ends.Geni 14:22, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I understand that there's little that can be done. But knowledge is power, to a certain extent. Given how long it takes to get rid of relatively harmless nuts here, assuming we actually do and that's sort of a leap, getting rid of harmful ones isn't really the question. It's more - what do we do with what we know? When does Wikipedia draw some sort of line between annoying and conceivably actually scary, or is that just impossible for the kind of entity Wiki is? I guess perhaps my question is when do the indiduals who make up Wikipedia have to decide when an issue might call for more attention than an edit revert? And still, when does Wikipedia start caring? --Mothperson 15:24, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I think you have a good point here, but I know too little about the law to make meaningful comments. Guettarda 15:31, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
everything we know is availible to the law inforcemnet agencies if they file a warrent in the correct courts. Every edit on wikipedia is viewerble by everyone with the exception of deleted edits which are for the most part viewerble by admins. As a general rule people makeing physical threats on wikipedia will find out how fast the system for removeing problem users can work (ie very).Geni 15:40, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

See my user page, SqueakBox 15:43, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

The one thing we have on our side is that everything in wikipedia is recorded, and therefore could be used in a court case. When someone gets threatened for their legitimate work here, as I have been, the only option is to be very open about what has happened. I see the fundamental problem being POV warriors who cannot tolerate seeing their work removed by legitimate contributors who do not wish to see others use wikipedia as a political (etc) platform. Angine openly left because of being cyberstalked, and this is a problem that wikipedia could and should address more profoundly. I am sure one day there will be a court case involving wikipedia, and the organisation should be better prepared for said eventuality, SqueakBox 16:22, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

See Also

Closest I could find was: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style archive ("See also") but it seems to be missing the actual project page! — Ambush Commander(Talk) 02:12, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#.22See_also.22_and_.22Related_topics.22_sections also discusses this but it doesn't say anything about capitilization. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 02:17, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)
I would capitalize the links, since the capitalized version is the actual name of the article. However, if the article has a {{wrongtitle}} or a {{titlelacksdiacritics}} which starts with a lowercase letter, I would use the same capitalization as used on these templates. --cesarb 13:09, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Use the article's name, or if applicable, the name the article suggests in its wrongtitle or titlelacksdiacritics template. See also links refer to articles, not topics. Thus, they should be capitalized in most cases, with the exception of things like iPod and pH. Deco 21:05, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Clarification: Banning vs. Blocking and 3RR

The 3 rever rule talks about blocking, not banning. So a sysop can block a user after they violate the 3RR, but following the current text of this policy the sysop cannot ban the user for 3RR. The "Decision to ban" section in WP:BAN doesn't list the 3RR as a possible reason to ban.

So a 3RR penalty is a block, not a ban.

But WP:BLOCK does not talk about extending the block or penalizing users who try to get around them (e.g. by returning as anon or using a sock), only the Banning policy does.

So in theory, someone blocked after a 3RR can argue that extending his block via an autoblock or preventing him from returning through a known sock is against the policy (or better said, the policy does not mention this option).

We tried to translate the current text of these policies as the starting point for the set of policies in the Hungarian Wikipedia, and came upon this problem.

So is there really an inconsistency or have I misunderstood something?

Thanks, nyenyec  21:35, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The BAN vs. BLOCK thing is sort of new. How do you actually BAN a user? — Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 23:11, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Nope, it's pretty old. Blocks are what you do in software (and one of the methods of enforcing bans), and bans are what the community or arbcom decide on. Mind you, the terms do get muddled up a lot. --W(t) 23:26, 2005 Jun 25 (UTC)
Okay...I as a sysop can BLOCK someone. Can I ban them? Where? — Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 23:31, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
(after 3 edit conflicts) He means that banning is a privilege afforded to a) Jimbo, b) the ArbComm, and c) the community at large (though this doesn't happen). Blocking on the other hand is simply a method of preventing someone editing. Bans are implemented by blocks. Admins can block users for short periods provided that that falls within certain limits, but they cannot ban users. I think the original user had a point, but I believe that there is consensus that the evading a ban stuff applies to blocks as well. I have certainly blocked sockpuppets in line with that guideline. smoddy 23:34, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yup, it's one of those "for some reason it never made it into our policy, but everyone just uses common sense and does it anyway" things. --W(t) 23:42, 2005 Jun 25 (UTC)
I'm still not seeing any difference between the two terms, other than "bans are longer than blocks". It strikes me as a pretty meaningless distinction. Proteus (Talk) 23:45, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Blocks are a software feature that causes an account, IP or netblock to no longer be able to edit. Bans are a decision by Jimbo, the ArbCom or the Community (hereafter to be known as JAC) to not allow someone to edit wikipedia any longer. --W(t) 23:49, 2005 Jun 25 (UTC)
But before they block someone, say for a 3RR violation, an Admin has to make "a decision ... to not allow someone to edit Wikipedia any longer". It's just that they've decided to stop them editing for (say) 24 hours rather than a month, six months, indefinitely, or whatever. Proteus (Talk) 23:53, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but that decision isn't a ban, merely the decision of a single admin. --W(t) 03:46, 2005 Jun 26 (UTC)

Okay, this makes sense now, I was thinking that Banning was a term for the long-wanted feature of blocking editing but not viewing on an IP address (-zilla bug 550). Now this is coming back to me w/ the soft/hard bans etc. — Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 23:58, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hmm? Blocks nor bans limit the ability to view wikipedia content. --W(t) 03:46, 2005 Jun 26 (UTC)

Mentioning personal testimonies of contributors as such in Wikipedia?

I added an external link describing my testimony in the article post-cult trauma and now the other editor to this article thinks that this should be mentioned in the article. I disagree because I think this would be a self-reference. Any thoughts? See Talk:Post-cult_trauma#Self-promotion Andries 11:22, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Um, well, it's really their idea. It's not like you put yourself forward to be mentioned, so I'd say it's sort of OK. Conversely, if you feel something regarding you should not be used to (as such) break the rules, then decline to allow its inclusion. It's ultimately up to you as it's your story. As long as you emphasise that this is not Wikipedia's official opinion or advice on the topic, it's probably OK. It's a grey area. That's my POV of course :) Master Thief GarrettTalk 13:10, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I've been gone for a while, but I've noticed a lot of articles have a trivia header/section. Personally, I've tried to reintegrate them into the article. Is there a policy on this? — Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 21:54, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't think there are policies as such. Nevertheless, I would totally agree that trivia sections have two options: 1) get rid of them, as they are trivial; 2) merge them in. I prefer the latter approach, but it must be remembered that not everything true is worth putting in an encyclopedia. I would refer you to a recent revert-war that I was slightly party to (well, that I was party to) on Natalie Portman, to a similar end. It is very clear to me that petty stuff which has no encyclopedic interest does not belong in an encyclopedia. smoddy 22:31, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Usually it's not worth trying to merge the trivia in, such as in the case of the "trivia" section of Red Bull: it contained one entry: the surprising fact that Ashlee Simpson likes Red Bull! --Carnildo 22:35, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, the Windows 98 one had one entry which I incorporated into the article. — Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 22:45, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I think Trivia is an excellent place to put "section stubs", facts that could potentially be fleshed out into sections but currently are only one or two sentences and are unrelated to the existing sections. I've also seen these sections called "Miscellaneous" or "Other facts". Deco 00:02, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Trivia is just basically a very unfortunate name choice. In many cases these section stubs could be merged into the main article or expanded upon as well. — Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 00:04, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Sort key

Which is the preferred sort key for an article that is the category? [[Category:Fearsome men|*]] or [[Category:Fearsome men| ]]? I would say the latter (and it did seem that the tide has been turning to that method on wikipedia) but after just being reverted I was wondering if there was any policy on this. Oh, and in case people don't know... "*" will sort it with an asterisk as the header while " " will sort it with no header (which to me means that category itself is the header which is precisely the point... gren 16:03, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I myself prefer " ", but if it's already at "*", there's no point resorting. Also, all pages in the same category should use either " " or "*". AFAIK, there's no policy about it. --cesarb 16:12, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, I think we should have something for uniformity's sake. It's truly not very important but at least worthy of having a recommendation. gren 01:07, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Proposal: Conflict of Interest ethical guideline

I just proposed an ethical guideline for dealing with conflicts of interest. I explained my motivation for this on its associated talk page. Briefly, my main concern is employees who write about the companies they work for. --Yannick 04:54, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Technically this would fall under Wikipedia's POV policy. As long as people stick to an unbiased "just the facts" mentality, I would think that this shouldn't be necessary. EreinionFile:RAHSymbol.JPG 05:27, Jun 27, 2005 (UTC)

Proposed policy for wiki closure

This is my proposed policy for wiki closure. We already have too many non-functioning wikis. It gives us a false sense of cosmopolitanism as long as you don't take a closer look at their contents. I propose that we act like responsible adults rather than hopeless day-dreamers. Now let's close some of them. -- Toytoy 06:58, July 24, 2005 (UTC)

Image use policy/Proposal

I have drafted Wikipedia:Image use policy/Proposal and am opening it to discussion. Please note that this is a first draft and as such is subject to change. Gwk 20:01, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Google Maps

I've noticed lately that Google Maps seems to be becoming a potential major source of imagevios. I've already found two satellite photos that were taken from that website and added them to WP:CP. The terms of use clearly state that the satellite images can't be used on Wikipedia, and yet I cannot help but think that people are going to keep taking screenshots, cropping them, and uploading them to Wikipedia, possibly in large numbers.

Personally, I think that we should have some kind of policy that states that other than on the Google Maps page, satellite images from Google Maps (the actual maps are something else altogether) can't be used on Wikipedia. I'd like to know what everyone else thinks about this. Gwk 16:02, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

That's a pretty cut and dry issue... I'd sugges simply adding it to Wikipedia:Copyrights. James 16:08, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

Google derives the majority if not all of its satellite images from the USGS, which means they are public domain as works of the federal government. The fact that they've slapped a copyright watermark on the images is irrelevant. Compare for example the Google satellite images of Washington, DC or San Francisco with the USGS ones found at Unfortunately, terraserver only has the higher res, color images of select locations, so unless someone knows of another site that has the complete set available, we can't do a complete comparison. Postdlf 16:24, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Google's pretty clear about their stance: "The imagery is copyrighted and may not be copied, even if modified or merged with other data or software." Even if they'd lose, they obviously have the intention of closely protecting their copyright, so I'd suggest leaving well enough alone. James 16:28, July 21, 2005 (UTC)
What I'm worried about are the images that don't come from the USGS, but from other sources. Even then, images should be obtained directly from USGS instead of from Google. Gwk 16:26, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I just wanted to correct myself, the San Francisco images are different, so the Google Maps one may simply be from a USGS image taken another time than the one up at Terraserver, or it may be from another source. Is there a more complete database of USGS imagery available online? For the ones that are verified to be USGS, however, there is no problem with taken them directly from Google because Google can't claim copyright in them. It looks like it's going to have to be a case-by-case determination for the time being. I noticed that the Google Maps article doesn't appear to have any information on their sources—any way we can discover this? Postdlf 16:34, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
USGS has their own site with significantly more image sets available anyway, including satellite, as opposed to the aerial photos both Google and Terraserver have up [1] James 16:55, July 21, 2005 (UTC)
This looks like it could get complicated. Still, I think users should be encouraged to use USGS (perferably with programs like USAPhotoMaps), instead of Google, as the source is easily verified and one does not need to piece images together or remove disclaimer tags. Gwk 16:40, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I suspect that Google Maps gets its international, non-US images from private providers. Gwk 16:50, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
  • If Google don't want us to use their maps, sod them! They have their copyright issues to deal with, we have ours. Such images should be listed on IfD, and we should strongly encourage users to use PD sources such as the USGS. I just hope that this won't cause a spate of {{fairuse}} taggings... Physchim62 16:53, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
  • This is why I say we need a policy on this. Users have to know that Google Maps and Google Earth are not appropriate for Wikipedia and that other free sources are available. Gwk 16:56, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Are screenshots from NASA World Wind okay to use if attributed to that source?-gadfium 02:30, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Since it's from NASA and made from USGS data, I'd say it's fine.

Slashdotted articles and vandalism

I think we should do more to deal with the attention brought by slashdotted/farked/etc. articles. We are leaving a very bad taste in their mouths, due to the vandalism their attention attracts. I think we should have a "welcome, slashdotters!" template and also recommend to them that they link to a known-good revision instead of the live article. More discussion here: Template_talk:Slashdotted#Slashdotter_first_impressions - Omegatron 15:00, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

I don't see what makes them so special. We're one of the few wikis with the power to deal with the childish vandalism that invariably accompanies Slashdot's attention; we don't need any special procedures to reduce it.* 15:35, July 21, 2005 (UTC)
(I should note that I'm saying this as a Wikipedian who was originally attracted here from Slashdot.)* 15:39, July 21, 2005 (UTC)
Did you read my comments over there? We're obviously not dealing with it well enough. - Omegatron 15:47, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

Sysophood confirmation

What do you guys think of this proposal? User:Phroziac/Confirmation_of_sysophood I made it a while back but forgot to publicisie it! --Phroziac (talk) 04:24, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

You may wish to see the discussion at the RfA talk page, as well as the 4th question in the renomination RfA cited in Phroziac's proposal. -Splash 04:36, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Boldly corrected spelling in section header. :-) FreplySpang (talk) 11:33, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I saw the RFA and some of the talk page, it's huge and I don't have all day to read it though. Anything in particular you wanted me to notice there? --Phroziac (talk) 14:14, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Nothing particular; I was just pointing in the direction of a discussion on the same issue that had already been had, though in a rather non-advertised forum. There are also a couple of proposals lying around about de-adminning people (an obviously related issue), but I can't locate them at the moment. -Splash 15:00, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Temporary articles

There has been some discussion of the use of temporary articles in Wikipedia, mostly in relation to game summaries as part of the Wikiproject Cricket (see Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Essex v Glamorgan 15 May 2005, note particularly the Temporary articles section at the bottom). The idea of temporary articles is new to most of us, it would appear, and as I have found no policy on them I think one should be introduced. Whether the policy forbids temporary articles or merely provides rules and guidelines is what needs to be addressed. This stretches well beyond Wikiproject Cricket and should not be seen as solely relating to the project. -R. fiend 21:32, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Usually I've seen temporary pages at /Temp, and the content is then moved over the original and redirected. In the case of multiple stubs being prepared for consolidation, I suppose /Temp01, /Temp02, etc. could be created.
I don't think it's a good idea to tie up article space with names you never intend to (permanently) use when you could easily use a subdirectory.
But yes I'm sure there will be a way to work it all out properly. :) GarrettTalk 03:40, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
  • There are temporary pages constantly flowing in various Wikipedia administrative pages, as well as here. Village pump is several articles which are regularly archived, while some administrative pages use subpages for various time-sensitive topics. So there are examples of how such things could be structured. A larger issue is whether temporary articles should be used in some situations. For example, is it encyclopedic to have information about a subject (ie, a specific cricket match) which is intended to be temporary? (SEWilco 06:12, 24 July 2005 (UTC))

Speedy Deletion

The proposal for expanding the Speedy Deletion Criteria (WP:CSD) has ended. See Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion/Proposal for details on the outcome. Four new criteria have been added, and one has been reworded. Radiant_>|< 19:17, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Korean naming convention (Sea of Japan/East Sea): Vote

Sorry for crossposting, but I am desparate to involve as many Wikipedians as possible. We've discussed the matter endlessly, and now have a vote to help us reach consensus: Korean naming convention what order should Sea of Japan and East Sea be used in the articles? Kokiri 08:41, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

How not to be a spammer

I've drafted a short set of notes on how not to be a spammer on Wikipedia. This is intended as a summary of "spammer-ish" behaviors I've observed, and could be used as the basis of a guideline on identifying Wiki-spam. I don't intend it to be comprehensive, just to give people an idea of what sort of behavior is identified as "spammy" and how to avoid it.

Please respond on Wikipedia talk:Spam where the proposal is, so as not to make this page any more spammy than it usually is. --FOo 00:22, 20 July 2005 (UTC)


I've been thinking about this for a long time, but after being subject to a number of vandal attacks I'm starting to brood about the feasibility of making all Wikipedia editors log in before they could make an edit. I know a lot of people will oppose to this, but the gains are so sizeable that might offset the ills. It will certainly deter vandals and make them much easier to deal with. Imagine how much money will be saved each day with this policy. Mandel 21:57, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (perennial proposals)#Abolish anonymous users. smoddy 21:59, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Banning Policy

I got banned when I added a post into the Tom Cruise Links section. The link was I added it many times but eventually I got banned due to vandialism. I look at it now and someone else has added with link and no action was taken to that user. I got banned for a whole day and I believe that is unfair and would like to know why. Opt 05 21:44, July 18, 2005 (UTC)

Possibly for breaking the 3RR, or 3 Revert Rule. You are allowed to make three reverts on one article in a 24 hour period. You can also try to ask the admin that blocked you to find out why. Zscout370 (Sound Off) 21:55, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
I think the key phrase here is "I added it many times." As Zscout mentioned, we have the 3-revert rule. Also, since several different editors were telling you that there was a problem with your edits, that probably should have suggested that you should have discussed the link on the Talk:Tom Cruise page. Joyous (talk) 21:59, July 18, 2005 (UTC)
Why did you fail to respond to the messages on your talk page? You were warned three times before you were blocked, after adding the link five times. Postdlf 22:01, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
Oddly, you signed this post with the username of the person who most recently added the link. In any event, it should be clear now that it even the latest addition has been removed. I personally think the link should be there, and have begun a discussion at Talk:Tom Cruise. James 22:14, July 18, 2005 (UTC)

Well, I was doing many things at once and didn't notice the messages comming into me. I though some mad fan didn't want anything like it on the page or something. It is a link that should be added, just because it isn't positive doesn't mean people can't see it. Opt 05 19:45, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

The preference is to add information to the article itself or use internal links to extend the available information. External links discusses this as well as inserting POV links. Vegaswikian 20:33, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Once it is clear that you are in a dispute, the appropriate thing is usually to take it to the talk page, not to just keep making the same edit without developing consensus. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:06, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Does an anon editor "own" their talk page?

Or can their censorship of criticism be reverted? See [2] - Omegatron 20:26, July 18, 2005 (UTC)

I believe the general feeling has been that if you want a private talk page, register. Many talk pages can hardly be considered "private" anyway, since they go with IPs used by many people. Joyous (talk) 20:36, July 18, 2005 (UTC)

I agree. Is there any policy to this effect, though? - Omegatron 20:47, July 18, 2005 (UTC)
I dunno about policy. I looked at Wikipedia:User page and didn't see anything. Maybe ask at that discussion page? Joyous (talk) 21:53, July 18, 2005 (UTC)

I've proposed an amendment to our User talk page policy at Wikipedia:Talk page/Anonymous talk pages proposal. Briefly, it requires that (non-vandalism) comments be left on anonymous talk pages for a minimum period of time (seven days, perhaps?) before being blanked. If an editor wants more 'ownership' over his talk page, he can register. I'm looking for comments and refinements. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:31, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

The anon could link his talk page to an archive, but I'm really not sure about whether anons own their own talk page. — Stevey7788 (talk) 20:39, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Why would they do that? This is for anons blanking complaints against them and such. - Omegatron 21:04, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

Book and Movie Summaries

I'm having a hard time finding any guidance on extremely lengthy summaries of books and movies. An overblown example is Harry Potter (plot). Obviously this page needs to be split into individual articles for each book, but assuming that is done, would those articles be encyclopedic? In other words, is a summary so large that it cannot be on the book or movie's own page worth having in the encyclopedia? James 19:59, July 18, 2005 (UTC)

  • I would say, "No". In fact I would say that a summary so long that it cannot be put onto a single page for the series, adn requires a split into separate pages for the individual books if thos books do not have enough non-plot-summary info to justify separate pages is bad, and that in m,ost cases sereis like Harry Potter are better served by a single article on the series than by separate articles on indivdual work, albiet there are many exceptions. (I have renently merged 21 seperate articles and one template into the Aubrey-Maturin series articcle, for example.) DES 19:29, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
If a book summary is so long, then what's the point of reading them? One might as well read the book. Harry Potter (plot) is a perverse example of readers making it a game and exercise of writing detailed expositions. The worse is the recent Half-Blood Prince phenomenon. Go check out the current page. Obviously they have no place in an encyclopedia. However, since there's so policy against summary lengths, they often end up being so long that they can swallow their own tail. Mandel 22:43, July 19, 2005 (UTC)
Summary style and Page size give some guidance in this regard. But that guidance is about summarizing and splitting long articles, not on the level of detail we should cover. --mav 00:39, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Why do we allow the PermissionAndFairUse image tag?

Why is the {{PermissionAndFairUse}} tag allowed on Wikipedia? It appears to violate our policies. It is a cop-out for us to allow this tag and claim we're in the right by disclaiming that each re-user needs to evalaute whether they're going to host the images that have this tag. Tempshill 16:54, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

  • It is a bit of a cop-out, and His Highness King Jimbo I is on record as saying that most fair use images will eventually have to be removed. (can someone dig out the reference? It was tucked into the anouncement of the ban on "non-commercial only" images). It takes advantage of a provision of US copyright law which is not reproduced in other jurisdictions. Most foreign language Wikipedias do not allow fair use images. Physchim62 17:13, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
    • This is the appropriate mailing list post -- I can't see the reference to deleting fair-use images in the future... smoddy 17:23, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
    • I'm actually more concerned about the "permission" part. If someone has a copyrighted photo and gives permission for it to be on the Wikipedia website, we shouldn't allow the image. It does some violence to our GFDL policy. The copyright owner needs to license the photo under the GFDL or release it into the public domain. I'm not sure about the history of the PermissionAndFairUse tag, but it sounds like typical "license creep", where someone wants to get their favorite photo onto Wikipedia and invents a new category of tag to sort of allow it. (Just as for a while we didn't allow 'fair use' images, but that is a separate topic.) Tempshill 17:37, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
      • Neither can I. Lèse majesté removed. Physchim62 17:40, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
      • The idea of permission and fair use is that because of fair use, we can have the image. That we have permission is just a bonus, but one that should be noted. -- Cyrius| 18:38, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
    • I believe this is the statement you were referring to. Yes, he is in favor of deleting almost all fair use images. --Carnildo 23:48, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
      • Thanks, I´m glad it wasn´t just the Spanish sun getting to me! Physchim62 10:17, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Changing Template for Deletion criteria

I propose eliminating "Not in use" from the list of criteria for template deletion. I fail to see how this, in and of itself, constitutes a valid reason for eliminating a template. Certainly, a template might have other shortcomings that warrant its removal--but if the only objection is that no one's using it, that's not really a good reason to delete it. The simple fact that it's not being used doesn't actually hurt anything, after all--might as well keep it available in case someone does come up with a worthwhile use for it. Kurt Weber 21:36, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

  • What purpose would be served by doing this? No information is lost, if someone needed that template in the future it could be recreated. One could argue that something not being used has outlived its usefullness and should be deleted. If its needed then it should be in use. Its hard enough to find the right category or template tody. Keeping extra ones around just because probably makes it harder for someone to find the right one. Vegaswikian 22:30, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
  • User:Kmweber suggested this in response to two templates I nominated for deletion in this TfD. They are unused, unedited, unlinked and undeveloped templates each with a single edit made to them a year ago. They are used in a single project suggestion mentioned in the TfD, which has received no attention since it was created. According to the voting at the moment, this is just exactly the kind of template Wikipedia would love to keep. -Splash 23:45, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
  • In response to Kurt - you seem to be under the impression that unused templates will be deleted. However, such is not the case. The criterion says that unused templates may be nominated for deletion. They do not always end up deleted, that's what TFD discussion is for. Note, by the way, that strictly speaking any template may be nominated on TFD, no exceptions. If a template is essential, it will simply get a plethora of votes to keep it. (Same principle as for VFD: any regular page, mainspace or Wikipedia space, may be put on VFD; that includes the front page, any policy page or today's featured article. However, in those extreme cases people are almost guaranteed to disagree with your reasoning and/or cite WP:POINT at you). Radiant_>|< 14:48, July 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • No, I'm quite aware of what you're saying. What I'm saying is that the simple fact that a template is unused is NEVER a sufficient reason to delete it. Kurt Weber 16:34, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
      • Well, maybe not the only reason but it is an important factor. At least to me it is. And like I said above, by current policy any template can be nominated for deletion; personally I don't see why we should make exceptions to that, as they tend to be gamable. Radiant_>|< 08:54, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

procedural question

I would like to address a question related to this proposed policy change, namely, whether or not a TfD should have voting/input suspended while a policy challenge exists. (This would probably apply to VfD, VfU, CfD, etc. as well). The only reasons I bring this up here, are because (a) I'm not sure where else this should be addressed, and (b) because this is an issue that has arisen on WP:TFD specifically because of this purported policy change proposal. Tomer TALK 02:58, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

If we did that, we'd have had to have suspended all the *fDs for about 8 weeks while the new CSD criteria were being discussed and polled. There's no need for suspension — it's too gamable (e.g. as in this case for a defense of a consensus-to-delete template) and the policy can just come into effect if it is agreed. I'll hazard a guess that, at present, this policy proposal needs much more work before it is strong enough to warrant such drastic steps as suspension of anything. -Splash 13:06, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

"American" in United States-related category names

New page

OK, I'm going to move this to Wikipedia:Category titles. Maurreen 03:21, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I have copied all the above discussion. Anyone interested, please go to Wikipedia:Category titles. I wasn't sure whether I should delete the above conversation from this page. Maurreen 03:28, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I have redirected the above page to Wikipedia:Categorization/By country as that is a more precise name, and separates the issue of the abbreviations from the country name/adjective/whatever. I've also moved the discussion text that was here to that page's talk page. -Splash 13:10, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm moving it back. Splash's move, in my mind, is prejudging the issue by naming it as categorising by country, when that has not yet been decided. It could be that we categorise by nationality. Steve block talk 13:23, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

Ok, in my defence, Radiant! had already created that page so I just redirected there. However, calling it Wikipedia:Category titles is unnecessarily broad, imo, and will make it hard to keep the discussion on topic. -Splash 14:02, 19 July 2005 (UTC)


The discussion has broadened to consider categories related to the United Kingdom. So if you have an opinion on "of the UK", etc., please see Wikipedia:Category titles. Maurreen 18:08, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Policy on ?ref in commercial external links and general Talk Page issues

I'm not really all that HTML literate, but ?ref in a url appears to me to be an attempt to track links that come in to that external site from Wikipedia, which I assume is against a Wikipedia policy or guideline. However, I didn't see anything about it in Wikipedia:External links, although there is a lot of discussion of similar external link quality issues on Wikipedia_talk:External links. (posted by User:SpaldingWahoofive (talk))

CGI scripts can use any variable name, not just "ref", to specify the referring page -- the key is what comes after the "ref=" part. If it says "ref=", that might be a clue. Conversely, it could be a reference to a particular page on the target site, and therefore necessary (and harmless). Depending on your browser, a CGI script might be able to determine the referring page regardless of the content of the URL (see "HTTP_REFERER" on [3]). Anyway, I don't see why it's important to conceal it. —Wahoofive (talk) 22:01, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Also, in general, is there a way to search just the Wikipedia:Project namespace? And is anyone else a little disillusioned with the usefulness of Talk pages? They seem to suffer from a lack of traffic, so questions asked there often languish and get no real resolution, which is the main reason I am asking this here instead of on that Talk page. Thanks. Spalding 11:40, July 17, 2005 (UTC)

For pages that get little traffic, you might try Wikipedia:Third opinion or WP:RFC. Maurreen 16:00, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Requests for articles to be deleted?

Following a quick discussion regarding John Stockwell in which his legitimate nephew claims that Stockwell wishes the page deleted - I'm left rather curious what what actual Wikipedia policy is in cases like this? He's a legitimate encyclopaedical entry, being the highest-ranking CIA member to publicly resign his post - and google turns up over 8000 hits for *him* (John Stockwell + CIA) Sherurcij 07:52, July 17, 2005 (UTC)

We ignore them. We are here to provide facts whether the subjects of those facts like them or not; as long as there's no legal concerns involved, we keep the content. If he sues, however, I assume we take it down immediately. GarrettTalk 11:00, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
Only if it's a copyright infringement. Otherwise, screw 'em, it stays up no matter what he wants or tries to do. I'd say a CIA agent would qualify as a public official (yeah, yeah, they do their work in secrecy...not the point), and even if not, someone who writes books and makes public speeches in the manner described in the article has certainly made himself a public figure. So as long as the information isn't both false and posted with knowledge or reckless disregard of that falsity, I can't imagine how he'd have a nonfrivolous legal claim. Postdlf 20:55, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
"Screw 'em"? Nice way to build community folks. Especially for a simple discussion on policy. Look, his only complaint is that he'd just like folks to quit talking about that time in his life. It was simply a polite request to remove it. I understand the concepts of how this site exists. There's no suit (though it is interesting how this conversation aautomatically jumped to that notion).
As the internet and growth in public knowledge gains momentum, does that automatically mean an individual gives up the right to have a hand in what is published about them? In traditional texts, authors are required to get permission or lacking that, publish biographys as "unauthorized" Now with Wikipedia, you have a huge number of essentially unauthorized biographies published to the largest potential audience without any acknowledgement to the subjects desires regarding the content.
Actually authors are not requires to do anyuthign of the sort. Most formal bigraphies are "unauthorized". Indeed many people assume that an "authorized" biography will be to some extent a puff-piece, and accord it less value for that reason. Some biograhies explicitly label themselves as "unauthorized" as a marketign ploy, to emphasize (or create) controversy. But there is not and never has been any such requiremtn for either academic or popular biographies. Many biographiers seek some degree of approval of their subjects, either as a point of courtesy or to get cooperation. Many of them still include notes sayign that they did not offer the final text for approval to teh subject, or only for approval on the grounds of factual inaccuracy. DES 19:17, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
So, do we set a precedent and not have a mark for whether or not a biography on a living person was publish with their concent or not or do we follow tradion and mark if it is authorized. It convention holds true, who is going to go and contact all the folks we have entried for? That would seem to be an already arduous task and could eventually get beyond the abilities of Wikipedia's community to manage. I guess as all things in the USA it is simply decided on who take whom to court. And with that, the initial jump to law suits no longer appears hasty.
Keep it up, take it down, all we did was ask.

Stockwell 05:16, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Almost all our biographies are unauthorized. I'm not sure that it is meaningful for a GFDL Wiki page to be authorised in this respect, but there are some subjects who participate in Wikipedia and edit their own pages. I was unaware of any strong tradition that required encyclopedias to get permission to have articles about people or else flag them as unauthorized. Can you cite any examples from traditional encyclopedias? I guess we could add a note to the general disclaimer.
Unfotunately, encyclopedias (and news sources) do not and should not refrain from publishing information about public figures merely because the subject does not want the information published. I hope you can see how that would intefere with our ability to educate about controversial topics, and secretive organizations.
I agree that "Screw 'em" was a coarse remark to make, especially with respect to an active Wikipedian. However, I do agree with the rest of Postdlf's comment. WIkipedia has firm rules about civility and neutrality, but it is general policy to push the envelope in terms of making encylopedic information available. As such, thinking about potential law suits is a reasonal guide for general principles, even if it is not warranted in this specific case.
Bovlb 13:44:12, 2005-07-18 (UTC) typo fixed Bovlb 14:43:45, 2005-07-19 (UTC)
You know, it's not that clear-cut always. In sweden we have something kalled PUL (Person-uppgiftslagen, approximatly translated "The Person Data Law") which says that you cannot post information on a webpage about a person if you don't have the consent of the person. So that would pretty much kill most of, but I think that there are exceptions for famous people ("public people"), as long as the information is not "trivial". Ie that it is illegal to write what the guy had for lunch, but you can publish his birthdate if he is a public person. There is also an exception for journalistic writing, but I don't really see how wikipedia fits into that loophole. Anyway, my point is that it isn't always obvious what rules apply. If the swedish wikipedia starts allowing non-notable people in it, there might be cause for a law-suit. gkhan 22:16, July 18, 2005 (UTC)


After I merge 2 articles, can I edit the page to remove the merge request? What about after I fulfill other requests, such as an image request? Thanks.

If you think you're done, yes. -- Cyrius| 16:36, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes, but don't forget to redirect the duplicate article after merging. - Mgm|(talk) 09:54, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Amiguity in WP:NOR

This section of the NOR is the most commonly quoted and misrepresented part of the NOR:

Original research that produces primary sources is not allowed. However, research that consists of collecting and organizing information from existing primary and secondary sources is strongly encouraged. In fact, all articles on Wikipedia should be based on information collected from primary and secondary sources. This is called source-based research, and it is fundamental to writing an encyclopedia.

I've seen more than one user quote it as some sort of get-out for using original research in articles. By arguing that their original thesis are backed up by logic applied to otherwise unrelated primary and seconday sources and citing this section they claim they are not performing original research, even though they clearly are. I think this section needs to be reworded. Axon 15:40, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

New proposal (VfD renomination limits)

It's at Wikipedia:VfD renomination limits. Thanks,
Luc "Somethingorother" French 05:55, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

I've made a counter-proposal that's less likely to have unintended consequences: Wikipedia:Kick the ass of anyone who renominates GNAA for deletion before 2007. -- Cyrius| 19:26, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Best proposal ev3r! Radiant_>|< 09:29, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

Links to copyvios

Is there a policy about links to copyvios? I just saw an anon inserting a link to page holding a Scientific American article. --Pjacobi 20:01, July 13, 2005 (UTC)

Why do you need a policy? You have already figured out that there's something not right about doing it, otherwise you wouldn't be asking. -- Cyrius| 20:34, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, but on en.wikipedia there are much more things allowed regarding copyvios than on de.wikipedia, where I know the policies. --Pjacobi 21:10, July 13, 2005 (UTC)
For example? Dragons flight 21:20, July 13, 2005 (UTC)
Screenshots, pictures of book and CD covers. --Pjacobi 21:24, July 13, 2005 (UTC)
That's true, but that's about us hosting them, and we're supposed to host web-resolution samples rather than significant parts. This is significant, it's a full copy! So removing the link would no doubt be the right thing to do. GarrettTalk 23:04, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Knowingly linking to sites that contain copyright infringements exposes us to contributory liability in the U.S. Postdlf 05:56, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

In France it's called recel de contrefaçon, I guess in most places it's not a very clever thing to do. Physchim62 12:16, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

(movie) to (film) vote didn't provide enough notification

There was recently a vote to change Wikipedia:Naming conventions (movies), but I believe this major policy change didn't allow enough people to know about it. Shouldn't major changes have a notice posted at Wikipedia:Naming conventions or at least its talk page? Only 7 people voted, for goodness sake. Mackerm 15:16, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Yes they should have, and ideally at one of the Pumps or something as well as a heads-up to potential voters. That is unacceptable. You should call a revote. Votes for something as serious as that should be huge, look at Wikipedia:Pokeprosal/Poll for example. GarrettTalk 12:44, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Poképrosal/Poll. Just for reference. Mackerm 05:50, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

This site uses the text from wiki and places a copyright on it. It does list the http address the data was obtained from. Does this meet the redistribution policy? Vegaswikian 05:17, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

It is not in compliance. Please list it at Wikipedia:Mirrors_and_forks/GFDL_Compliance. David Remahl 07:41, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
I've listed it. — Asbestos | Talk 10:34, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
Goodness me, they're even hotlinking our images! Maybe it's time we installed a remote-linking blocker like Angelfire etc. have...? ...hmmm... GarrettTalk 10:34, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
The most effective hotlink blocker I've seen didn't merely block the images, it replaced them with the Goatse guy. --Carnildo 20:19, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
oooh, that's a good one! I saw one just recently where an image had been replaced with "This guy STEALS images for his auction pages. Do you really want to bid for an item he didn't photograph himself and might not even own?!?" LOL! :) GarrettTalk 12:41, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
I have contacted the site owner and the site now appears to be completely compliant. I don't know about the images. — Asbestos | Talk 15:39, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Pictures are still being pulled from our servers. Thanks for getting wiki listed on this site as the source of the information. Vegaswikian 17:58, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Friendly Vandals

Maybe all those vandals who add nonsense or silly things to articles but aren't particularly malicous could be directed to Just an idea. Uberisaac 11:11, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

British county names

There is disagreement on the policy for this. Some Wikipedians think we should use modern counties for articles on modern places, but historic counties where appropriate for historical articles and in history sections. Others believe we should use historic or traditional county names in all cases.

There is a clearly-stated policy (now a year old), but some editors are disregarding it. Feelings have run quite high for at least the last 18 months.

If you have an interest in British counties, cities and towns we would welcome your input. Visit the policy page and its discussion for details. Chris Jefferies 13:22, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Excellent! I was just looking for exactly that - policies on English county names. Thanks! Grutness...wha? 00:58, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Symbols as article titles

Are we ok with articles that have titles like ? Joyous (talk) 01:34, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

Since IE won't even render that, I would say no. However you should see also @, presently a requested move, and Þ, Ð, Æ, and many other things in Category:Uncommon Latin letters. If there isn't a policy on this already, I would say there needs to be one soon. Dragons flight 01:50, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
How about we say all titles must be in words, no symbols other than letters, punctuation and numbers, and put that in the relevant section of the style guide? Maurreen 06:30, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Depending on how liberally you interpret that, it's either too inclusive or too limiting. Are þ, Я, ئ, ⡶, 낑, אַ, and き all letters? Are ‡, ≈, and ± punctuation? Is ∂ a lower-case delta (a letter) or a differential "d" (a math symbol)? Is ‰ a number? --Carnildo 07:11, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
I would say that in the English Wikipedia all titles should consist of upper case and lower case letters on an English language keyboard, and also (more rarely and only where justified) the digits 0 to 9. It has to be remembered that any article should be searchable by the title without needing to know specific unicodes. Introducing 'foreign' characters makes searching more difficult. Further, if you don't happen to have the correct font installed (or if your browser isn't set for the particular font-set) you won't see the symbol at all. --JohnArmagh 07:19, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
It is also worth noting that since the upgrade a number of articles have been moved to titles incorporating diacritical marks, e.g. í, ö, ê, ç, etc. Dragons flight 07:25, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
That's not quite correct. Those diacriticals available in Latin-1 (ä, ø, æ, å, ß, etc) were used in WP long before "the upgrade". Arbor 08:51, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
I'd strongly resist any attempt to prohibit the use of diacritics, I wish that we used them in English as I find it a lot easier to correctly pronounce random foreign words with accents than a random english word. So long as there are redirects from a keyboard type-able form I can't see a problem with diacritics. --Neo 21:01, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Joyous, the problem with that article title is that it uses a code point in the Unicode private use area, so the appearance is very dependant on the font used. --Carnildo 07:27, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Unicode) (draft). Arbor 07:45, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

The article originally called Beth (letter) (concerning one of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet) has recently been retitled ב rossb 09:25, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

I should add to this that I'm reading this via Windows XP with the latest mulit-lingual versions of Arial and whatnot available and even *I* can't see a couple of the characters rendered above. So how can a user with a pre-OpenType computer even hope to keep up? And is a page URL comprised of "%1932%20421%20024%E3%81%8D" really such a good idea? People like referencing us, but if they get a "dirty" URL like that they might be a little annoyed. GarrettTalk 13:01, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Whether IE will or will not render something should not determine whether it should be accepted as an article title in Wikipedia. There is policy specifying how articles should be titled. The above title is not appropriate for an article but could possibly be acceptable for a redirect. The Apple symbol is not part of Unicode, but Apple has placed it in the Private Use section at codepoint U+F8FF. See the votes for deletion page. David Remahl 07:54, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
this discussion has been going on for quite some time now, and I doubt there will be a final consensus soon. But I think this much can be said as a matter of common sense, that any article that uses non-ascii characters in its title should have at least one redirect pointing to it that is in ascii. And also, obviously, no private use area characters should be used. Redirects solve a lot of these problems. If you don't like ב, you can always link, and type, Beth (letter). Which is the actual title and which is the redirect will then be a matter of taste without much bearing on usability. I do not think we should base policy on "what IE is capable on rendering", since that will be an unstable policy (it may change with each upgrade of IE, and I don't put it beyond MS that some upgrades will also break previous compatibility). We should rather have a policy on which code pages are admissible. In general, it should be advisable to restrict ourselves to Latin, Latin1, and Latin Extended. We shouldn't have titles in Hebrew, Arabic or Indian alphabets, but we should use transliteration. A conceivable exception would be articles on the characters themselves, like ב. dab () 08:05, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
Actually I'm writing this on Firefox, but IE seems to be similarly "broken". No, we should not kowtow to the most common browsers out there just because they can't "keep up", but certainly (as above) everything should have a basic-text redirect.
But the thing is, if the redirect takes me to the "correctly named" page "?", there should be some way to know what it's about if I can't see the symbol. If I read an article talking about "?" (name) is the first..." "? is used for..." "? also means ... in Hebrew..." and so forth, is it really going to be an article I want to read if I can't see what the heck it's talking about?
Therefore, we should perhaps have an image equivalent of these "rare" characters until such time as they can be displayed by the majority of browsers. I know some pages already do that like ankh, but not all necessarily do.
Our goal is certainly not to restrict organic content improvement to what some browsers support, but on the other hand we should ensure the maximum accessibility from said browsers. GarrettTalk 08:23, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
this could be solved server-side, e.g. (optionally? via css?) rendering as images all glyphs of certain codepages. This would mean that editors simply encode their stuff in unicode, but that e.g. the runes would be served as images until most browsers support that codepage. Then the image-rendering would simply be switched off, and the glyph code would be served, without changing the article content (that would be a mediawiki project, of course). dab () 14:04, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Whatever will become policy, is an unsuitable article name, as it uses a character of the Unicode Private use area. For example, on my setup it renders a micro-advertisement "Kurd IT Group" from the creator of a font I've installed. I'm sure you are meaning another symbol. But it isn't part of Unicode and so it's a bad example. --Pjacobi 14:13, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Rename the Help desk

In the past few days I have come across a distraught dog owner and a very disappointed kid asking questions at the help desk. The help desk help are, understandably, not terribly sympathetic. They get reference desk questions all the time. They have enough to do answering questions from idiotic Wikipedians like me. There is a very simple solution to this problem - RENAME THE BLOODY HELP DESK! I shout because I find the whole thing extremely distressing for everyone involved. This happens over and over again, every day. Call it - I don't know - "Guided Tours" or something. Anything but the help desk. Please. DO something to stop this. --Mothperson 13:59, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Never underestimate the dimness of humanity; whatever you name it, they'll find some way of misinterpreting. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 15:04, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
True, but we don't have to aggravate it, do we? --Mothperson 15:10, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I take that back. It's only partly true. If the Help desk were to be renamed "Wikipedia works" or "Wikipedia ways" or " Wikipedia wonkiness" or whatever, I doubt you'd be receiving questions about injured dogs there. Okay, so you still might get genealogy questions with those, but surely someone can come up with a name that acts as a decent filter? --Mothperson 15:32, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
I gather that the problem is that people are using the Wikipedia Helpdesk for general help enquiries - such as "what is the time of the next bus to Billericay?" or "My Chinchilla is foaming at the mouth - what is wrong with it?"
IMHO I would suggest that anything Wiki-specific should have a Wiki- prefix to help minimise (I wouldn't be so rash as to suggest 'eradicate') confusion. So maybe something along the lines of "WikiHelp" would be a step in the right direction? --JohnArmagh 15:45, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
That seems the right direction to me, as long as you can avoid the use of the word "help." Or those foaming-at-the-mouth chinchillas will probably keep streaming in. --Mothperson 16:28, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Given that the emergency services telephone numbers (strangely supposedly reserved for calling the police, medical or fire services in, well, emergency situations) are routinely asked for help on homework, etc., I suspect that the problem has no solution because the moment you offer help with or solutions to problems, or advice or guidance, there will always be a group of people who think that this service was designed to solve their immediate difficulty. Changing the name or placing explanatory notices will not deter such people. And, no matter what you say, they will feel indignant that you are not helping them. It is one of the curses of modern life as deference has declined and selfishness has risen. -David91 19:43, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
There's a great big pink sign at the top of the page, with a red stop sign inside of it, which lets everybody know in no uncertain terms that the page isn't a place for asking general questions. I think, as Mel notes, that no matter what we do people will always be posting things in the wrong places. I think the help desk is the correct term for the page, as a Help desk is a place where one goes for trouble-shooting problems (The computer lab help desk, or the library help desk if you don't understand the numbering system), while a Reference desk is a place where someone goes to find out the answer to whatever random question is on their minds. I'm not sure we should be re-naming these commonly used terms just because people get confused — that's what the great big pink sign is for. — Asbestos | Talk 19:45, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Given that Wikipedians are supposedly smart enough to find their way to obtaining help with Wikipedia problems, whatever the source of that problem-solving is named, WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE CALLED A HELP DESK? I can't believe that the poverty-stricken owner of a dog with a collapsed lung is going to be pestering something called "Wikimess" or "Wikipediassness" or whatever. Of course, some will get through. But do you really feel it's necessary to lay down a red carpet and install flashing neon arrows? As for the big pink sign, I'm not a total moron, and even I don't notice it. It doesn't sink in. It's nothing. I do not understand why the name of the help desk can't be changed as the simplest semi-demi-solution to a constant problem, unless we've got some sort of stake in being elitist snobs. I hope we don't. --Mothperson 20:51, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

The trouble is, it's a place where people go to get help — thus "Help desk" is a suitable name for it. Changing it some awful neologism, or to anything more obscure, might deter the occasional twit who thinks it's a place to get tickets for Phantom of the Opera, or get advice on how to treat his piles, but it is also likely to make things much less clear and useful for the many people who use it for what it's for. After all, it's not just called "Help desk" — it's called "Wikipedia:Help desk"; if that isn't enough, what would be? And what on Earth is élitist about the plain, everyday name "Help desk"? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:17, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

There's nothing elitist about calling it the "Help desk." What's elitist is insisting it can't be called anything else, and those fools who come there thinking they will get help deserve nothing better than dismissal. Which reminds me - the Village Pump - I've finally figured out why it's called that. One comes here with an issue, and the answer, in my experience, is "go soak your head." I don't know what the answer to the Help desk problem is, but I thought it was sensible to present it here. I was wrong, and should have known better. I will try some other routes. Never mind. --Mothperson 22:51, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

It seems to me that the real problem is people who just dismiss the question out-right, not the name of the page. I don't visit the Help Desk much, but I would have thought what most people would do would be to tranfer the question to the Reference Desk and leave a link at the Help desk telling the original poster where their question can be found. I know that this does happen, as I often see questions at the Reference Desk which have been moved from the Help Desk, I guess the problem you're highlighting is that this doesn't happen often enough. — Asbestos | Talk 11:50, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

You might say that. But I am loath to blame the help desk volunteers, who do enough as it is. It took me two months to figure out the difference between help and reference, because I read labels, pink or otherwise colored, as much as I read instruction manuals - i.e. I don't. It took me three months to realize what the reference desk actually was. [[User:Mothperson|Mothperson]] 20:35, 11 July 2005 (UTC) and cripes, now I have to go over to the help desk to solve my signature problem - these people don't get paid nearly enough

Policy on External Linking in Articles to Sites That May Not Be Encyclopedic

In regards to this article: Seduction, I removed from the article links to sites that give primary information on the subject, ie. how to seduce someone. It's inappropriate because they aren't very "scientific" or adhere to standards that Wikipedia aspairs to. Conceivably there are thousands of such sites on the Internet. Why should we favor one over another? Or are we going to list all the sites related to a topic? We're not a wikified version of Google. I also removed the link to Robert Greene's site, which seems to merely advertise his book on same topic. Basically, anything that links to a site that provides non-encyclopedic information/primary source should not be in the article. I want to know what everyone else's opinion is on this. Please advise. Comatose51 02:59, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Your general statement of what shouldn't be in an article is far too broad. Most obviously, on controversial subjects, we often link to unencyclopedic primary-source sites, for the benefit of readers who want a fuller exposition of that point of view. Based on what you say about the links you removed, though, I'd say that they served no purpose in that article. The link to Greene's site in the article about him should of course stay. JamesMLane 03:23, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Those interested in this topic may want to weigh in (hmm) at -- Jmabel | Talk 05:23, July 10, 2005 (UTC)

COTW and AID templates

There is an ongoing debate by several parties at the COTW talk. Please read it before responding. The debate is over whether it is wikipedia policy to not include the COTW and AID templates on the article page. Several others and I claim that it useful to the reader, and since a consensus was never reached on the subject that the templates can go on the page. The other parties disagree and state that they are not interest to the reader. Hopefully they will come here and comment. I'm not sure if I should set up a vote here or not. However, I was told to bring the discussion here. Thanks for all comments. Falphin 01:01, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

In general I feel it is important to keep clutter in the article namespace to a minimum, only the very short and very worst articles need to be defaced with coloured boxes. Our readers, of which there are far more than editors, have little interest in whether a page has been nominated for a COTW, put through Peer Review, listed for expansion, or accused of having limited geographic scope. All these things are mainly of interest to editors, and should thus be kept on the talk pages. - SimonP 01:12, July 10, 2005 (UTC)
I agree that articles need the littles amount of clutter but I believe the COTWs and Aid are important to have on the page because it will be of interest to the reader because, it explains that the article is not of best quality and secondly that there is an effort to improve,similar to the cleanup, and NPOV tags. I don't think the Peer Review is of any interest to the average reader because it is not telling the user if the article is good or bad just a discussion. I do believe the Featured article template should be on the article. I believe there should be two expansion templates one which describes a requests and one which has been recognized by the wiki community that it needs expansion which is actually the COTW template. The former should be on the talk like you said. I'm not familiar with the last one. By the way, I posted a message on all the users talk page that had been involved in the discussion at the COTW talk page. (That was a run-on, oh well) Falphin 01:26, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
I say start a vote; democracy rules. But this can only raise awareness of COTW, which in no way is a bad thing Juppiter 02:28, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
I like Falphin's reasoning. One concern I just have is that nonexistent articles, which are nominated frequently, may be created by inexperienced nominators with just the COTW template. Not that that's really a reason not to do it, so I don't know why I'm bringing it up. All in all this decision is not that controversial or consequential, at least not enough to garner enough caring for a vote. I think there are valid reasons for both talk or article space, but one of the biggest reasons we always did it on the talk space is that we always did it in the talk space. So right now I'm leaning slightly towards putting it in the article space, if only because it will give us more publicity (then again, we may end up with just bandwagon, fair-weather voters who won't contribute). --Dmcdevit 04:58, July 10, 2005 (UTC)
The thing is, that habits are hard to change, even if Simon finds supporters for his idea. The habits are such that people put all templates on the main page, cleanup, expansion, the not-english-template, inuse, VfD etc. They put the template on the main page because it makes the most sense, because it is harder to overlook. Even if we could draw up a policy to try and change that habit, how would you go about it? There must be thousands of templates to move right now. There are thousands of editors you would have to personally contact on their user page and inform them about the policy change. Many would not comply or just forget. Human habits are very powerful and in this case the conventions make perfect sense, so why change it?--Fenice 06:59, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Replying Fenice: At the top of each COTW (or AID, same below, as in all my uses of COTW on this page) voting page a notice board exists. The policy change can be announced there and no mess would be generated. Deryck C. 01:13, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Replying Dmcdevit: Although the number of bandwagons will increase, however, by any means, the number of contributors won't decrease. The concern is to raise the number of voters, of course hopefully, but not necessarily contributors. Deryck C. 01:13, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Please note that SimonP is unilaterally changing where the templates are located on articles. ~~~~ 12:32, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Hallo~! This is Deryck from Hong Kong, who originally advocated the change of the COTW template from the talk page to the article page. My point is that, now the template is on the talk page. Even contributors will not notice the existence of this notice, because such stubs are so short that they can't bring up disputes (therefore viewing the talk page is unnecessary). If the notice is put on the article page, it would be easier for readers as well as editors to go voting and later help the brushing up of the article. Deryck C. 01:14, 11 July 2005 (UTC)


The vote is currently going on elsewhere:

Falphin 21:05, 10 July 2005 (UTC) and Deryck C. 01:13, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Invitation to Join a Project

I've been working on some framework for The Wikipedia Community for some time. The work is in the form of a WikiProject. The project is called Wikipedia:WikiProject_Community and is built from the standard Template:WikiProject which is really quite a marvelous tool.

Please take a look at the project page and see what you think. ALL are welcome to join and learn, teach discuss, debate, study, and design a better community at // . Thanks in advance for your participation. Quinobi - Community Builders Task Force 9 July 2005 16:45 (UTC)

==reference section== See wikipedia:featured article candidates/Geography of India for the discussion and Geography of India for implementation. 1) Text should not be linked to an outside source (as what you have mentioned under hybrid style). I think the footnote style is much neater that the placing of a raw link at the side of the text. Nichalp July 9, 2005 08:34 (UTC)

Discourage inline links

I for one am quite happy with the hassle of following a link to a webpage through a number of mouseclicks. Indeed, I certainly don't think that following an external link should be part of "reading the article". That's just sloppy writing, encouraged by the wonders of hypertext. Remember that WP prose is supposed to stand on its own. The material at Those amazing checker playing zebras should not be important for understanding the article, and we should expect/force only a tiny minority of readers to read that resource. So a footnote is quite appropriate, which itself can point to a list of external links. Am I making it harder for the reader? No. The external link shouldn't be part of the reading experience, so she shouldn't feel compelled to follow it. Am I making it harder for the author? Oh yes! She is now forced to write a complete, internally consistent article.

So here's what I want:

... Zebras like to play checkers.32...
[32] Study by Minerva McStripe (1943), based on observing 43 individuals in captivity in the London Zoo. A later study by Sarah Hoof (1996) on wild zebras (not peer reviewed) confirms these findings.

Arguing that the "two mouse clicks" is too much hassle is irrelevant. Even one mouse click should be more than needed to understand the page. If you're an expert on zebras, or checkers, or a later editor, then you belong to the tiny minority of readers who is expected to follow the link. Arbor 9 July 2005 11:49 (UTC)

As one of the zebras, I find mouse clickings distracting while playing and prefer a quiet experience until the end of the game. Only then might I be interested in leaving the game to discuss some of its finer points. I prefer the text to be as self-explanatory as possible. If further information is available elsewhere, then it should be signed separately at the end of the text. -David91 9 July 2005 11:02 (UTC)

First of all, thanks for being politically correct! </sarcasm> Anyway, I don't think breaking the references is a good idea. I'd rather have it APA-esque, where you have everything as one piece right away. I mean, what is the writer saying under "References" that they aren't saying under Notes? Basically it's the name of the book and the date of retrieval, little else. You can have that before the little "what it's about" summary. Simple. So I think it could just be combined. Right? GarrettTalk 9 July 2005 11:27 (UTC)
Just to add my two bits to the conversation: I prefer inline links and citations, but then that's because all American law students (that would include myself) are trained to use inline citations. The advantage of inline links is that they allow for immediate linking to online sources that can quickly substantiate a controversial point. For example, we had problems on the Los Angeles page with people disputing the validity of my assertion about the frequency of crime in Los Angeles until I added the direct link to the LAPD press release page. Now no one touches that paragraph, since they can follow that link and see how many people were murdered in Los Angeles this week! --Coolcaesar 9 July 2005 17:16 (UTC)

I find pure [] links to typically be rather opaque and unclear - I think outside links with titles, i.e. [ An example website] can be and are useful inline, but just saying heres a website that is somehow relevant is IMO typically insufficient to explain what it's purpose is. If explaining the relevance of the link is not appropriate inline (using titles, parentheses, etc.), then use {{note}} (or one of the other ones) and explain it at the end. In conclusion, I think numbered external links ought to be fixed when seen, either by expanding on their relevance inline, or turning them to footnotes and expanding on their relevance in the footnote. Thoughts, responses? JesseW 20:52, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I tend to use the style recommended at Wikipedia:Cite sources#Web sites and articles (not from periodicals) when citing websites in footnotes. I don't think an inline link actually cites your source; it just provides a link which will be useless when the link breaks. Steve block 09:54, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

Somewhere in the early 1990s, some engineer at some small nuclear collider, wrote some code, while probably thinking to himself "Now here's a novel solution to the footnote issue". Perhaps we could perhaps stick to his solution, and not revert to the poor mans' methods that came before. :-) Kim Bruning 10:34, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Most certainly this engineer was not thinkig about footnotes when he wrote his highly disruptive code. Cars did not make horses obsolete. And the "footnote issue" in wikipedia is for a reason: external links tend to be short-lived and their content is not always the same, so it is better to have them as few as possible and collected in a single place for ease of maintenance. mikka (t) 18:03, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
He most certainly was, RTFFunctional Specification! Kim Bruning 19:40, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

==notes== section, not the

Inline links vs. Reference citations

SEWilco has created an editting tool (i.e. manually controlled bot) for the purpose of standardizing some of the ways that citations appear in Wikipedia articles. As something of a test run, he did such a conversion to a single page, ice core, see the diff [4]. As a result, myself and one other user objected to how he was converting inline URL links into formal reference links.

Apparently such a conversion is supported by statements at Wikipedia:Cite sources and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links), however these statements seem to be only a few months old and I have been unable to locate any significant discussion of them.

As a result of this disagreement, discussion has ensued at Wikipedia talk:Footnote3#Footnotes_vs._inline_web_references, and we are looking for outside input on this issue.

Dragons flight July 8, 2005 23:07 (UTC)

What follows below is a summary of the formatting styles being discussed for the benefit of those who may be unfamiliar with these different styles.

Summary of formatting styles

Inline linking

One way to reference a website is simply to add a link to it in the body of the article. For example, one might write "Zebras like to play checkers [5]", with a simple inline link pointing directly at the site.

Footnote style

Some users dislike inline links like this because they don't provide information on what is available at that site or when it was retrieved. Instead, it has been suggested that we should used the {{ref}} / {{note}} style of Wikipedia:Footnote3 and {{web reference}} for such web references, for example: "Zebras like to play checkers[6]"


Where the little superscripted number links to the appropriate reference and the "^" on the reference links back to the little number. This has the advantage of providing additional information on the website source so that it could possibly be found again if the link ever went dead. It also would make website references consistent with book / journal and other references relying on the {{ref}} / {{note}} form.

The disadvantage is that to get to the external material one would have to click on the little link and then click again on the link in the references section. Personally, I think this is a big disadvantage since it makes it harder to get to outside material and it doesn't provide a way of distinguishing reference links to books and hard resources from those which are immediately available over the internet.

Hybrid style

A potential compromise exists by way of a mixed form with both an inline link and a formal reference, which is to say using "Zebras like to play checkers [7]." Along with:


But not using the {{ref}} / {{note}} formulation to link between the two. This preserves the direct link from the text but also gives the detailed reference information. However, since the two aren't linked, it is more likely that one may get removed or changed without the other being fixed. Also, there is some concern this could create very long references sections out of what in some cases are fairly innocuous but plentiful links.

Hybrid style 2

A potential compromise exists by way of a mixed form with both an inline link and a linked formal reference, which is to say using "Zebras like to play checkers.[8]" Along with:


This creates both types of links but is visually larger, even using a minor code trick of using the sentence-ending period be a short text link. This could be presented differently in several ways: two images can be stacked (images of numbers 1-99 could be addressed), or is there a way to tuck an external link under a superscripted link number? (SEWilco 9 July 2005 00:03 (UTC))

Comment: Needlessly complicated. Inline is an awesome feature, it's been built in to the Wikipedia software because it encourages newbies to fearlessly and boldly add links; footnotes remain controversial and are not built into the software, FootNote3 in particular is a complicated (and to some unapproachably scary) hack. Stbalbach 9 July 2005 05:26 (UTC)

My understanding is that the footnote styles are used in the

(film) or (movie)

When disambiguating a movie title wich is best to use ? (movie) as in The Canterbury Tales (movie) or (film) as in Passenger (film) ? --Melaen 8 July 2005 18:06 (UTC)

I'd prefer using "film" as it's a word pretty much used the world over. "Movie" tends to have an American (rather than worldwide) feel, jguk 8 July 2005 18:33 (UTC)
I've always thought it would be better to put the film's year, like IMDB does. That would disambiguate films both from other films with the same name, and other non-films with the same name. But nobody seems to do this. – Smyth\talk 8 July 2005 19:38 (UTC)
Historically, "movie" has been preferred but not mandated -- this was wrangled about several times during WP's early history.
However, a proposal has recently been made to change this convention, and to make "film" the preferred disambiguation term. See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (movies) and Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (movies), where a poll is in progress. Only about a dozen people have weighed in so far -- please go participate if you have an opinion on the matter. Note that the policy page itself has been listed on Wikipedia:Requested moves to be moved to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (films). — Catherine\talk 00:52, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

==Reference==. Thoughts? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 8 July 2005 22:04 (UTC)

Well, think of it like an essay. If you include both References and a Bibliography, the References go first. And External Links are much like a Bibliography is. That's one way of looking at it. :) Master Thief GarrettTalk 9 July 2005 00:33 (UTC)
Ok, see Indian Railways. I want the external links to come ahead of the Notes and references as it has some quality information and official sites on the IR. Nichalp July 9, 2005 05:26 (UTC)
Ah, hm, well, that's where it becomes a grey area. Really the Manual of Style is thinking that the references will be of "higher quality" than the links. In this case the references are just links so, um, hm. I'm really the last person to be asking I'm afraid. Certainly if I was writing an essay I'd put such things last but with a webpage links are more immediately useful to the reader. Hm. GarrettTalk 08:48, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with MTG here, particularly in his earlier remarks. I'm also not sure that it would be a good idea to upset the Manual of Style on this issue—changing the section layout of articles is something that would upset literally thousands (probably tens of thousands) of articles. (And I wouldn't want to get into making exceptions for some articles and not others; that would make article navigation more difficult for regular readers and probably lead to some really lame edit wars over the order of sections.) Finally, in the article cited the Notes, References, and External Links sections represent in toto a shade over one screen of information. Your mileage may vary based on your resolution and display settings, but I'm not sure that our readers will find scrolling a bit to be an insurmountable task. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:59, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

==External links== sections; I'm not sure it's appropriate to argue one or the other is more an 'integral' part of the articles here. (I'm sure that no one here would suggest removal of either section.) The key question is in the second paragraph—have you some specific articles in mind where they would be improved by the rearrangement of the sections?

I would further note that if external links contain content integral to the articles, it's possible that a)our article is insufficiently comprehensive, or b)the external link contains primary source material that probably should be listed as a

==References== and

==external links==. Just switching the order. Nichalp July 8, 2005 18:52 (UTC)

Sorry; I wasn't clear. The first paragraph of my reply was merely to illustrate that there is often appreciable overlap between purpose and contents of the

==External links== often consist of reference-type even when not explicitly cited. For another–you can ask anyone who does a lot of academic writing–the references are very much a part of an article. Not only do they allow you to fact-check, they also usually contain a wealth of additional background information.

Have you got some specific articles in mind where you perceive the ordering of these sections is a problem? That might help to clarify why this change should be made. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 8 July 2005 17:31 (UTC)
Oh no! I'm not asking to remove the references from the article, I'm saying that the references should be the final section instead of the

==References== often contains external links to online articles and the like, and

==References== section. External links are an integral part of an article, unlike the reference section which is used to crosscheck. The World Book is on my side, it has the References at the end. Any objections if I am bold and change it? Nichalp July 8, 2005 16:35 (UTC)

I object! :-) For one thing,

==References== section. I totally disagree with this and feel that it should come before the

==External links== should come after the

Wikipedia:Guide to layout -- changing the section

I want to change the Wikipedia:Guide to layout, part of the Wikipedia:Manual of Style. The current MoS states that the

Unit Disagreement, MiB vs. MB

What unit types should be used when describing storage capacity in articles?

Multiples of bytes
Value Metric
1000 kB kilobyte
10002 MB megabyte
10003 GB gigabyte
10004 TB terabyte
10005 PB petabyte
10006 EB exabyte
10007 ZB zettabyte
10008 YB yottabyte
1024 KiB kibibyte KB kilobyte
10242 MiB mebibyte MB megabyte
10243 GiB gibibyte GB gigabyte
10244 TiB tebibyte
10245 PiB pebibyte
10246 EiB exbibyte
10247 ZiB zebibyte
10248 YiB yobibyte

A problem has arisen in different related articles on whether to use the MB or MiB. Some articles have decided to stick with using MB, some have chosen to use MiB.


Discussion moved to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Unit Disagreement, MiB vs. MB - Omegatron 23:03, July 9, 2005 (UTC)

A vote has been started on whether these prefixes should be used all the time, in highly technical contexts, or never. - Omegatron 14:45, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (chemistry)

The names of chemical compund pages have been the subject of a number of minor disputes (and some major ones, now hopefully resolved) for some time.

This page resembled more of a discussion than a set of guidelines. I have summarised the discussion that was there (and informed all the authors of signed comments) and added some more comments that have been discussed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemicals.

Any and all comments on the results are welcome. In particular, the page may be a bit too technical at present (help on this would be appreciated!). Have we missed any points?

More discussion on the style of chemistry articles can be found at Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemicals/Style guidelines.

Thanks to all who have already helped, and to those who take the time to add their comments. Physchim62 7 July 2005 11:14 (UTC)

Google Earth

Wondering if we can use pictures from Google earth for reference in wikipedia.

Or how about the kmz files from google earth?

Sveden 6 July 2005 20:58 (UTC)

See Use of data. It basically says that "personal" use with copyright tags intact is OK. I'm not sure WP includes that. Perhaps you could contact them with a grovelling message explaining how the copyrights would remain intact etc. etc. etc.
I assume they'd be happy to be featured here, and in turn it would generate more outside interest in their service!
So try that. :) Master Thief GarrettTalk 6 July 2005 21:18 (UTC)
I see no reason to try to focus on Google Earth at the moment; we can link to Google Satellite Maps, which is good enough, and doesn't lock a link into supporting only Windows. --Golbez July 6, 2005 22:06 (UTC)
No, you can't. -- Cyrius| 7 July 2005 02:12 (UTC)
We already do, through - Omegatron 14:48, July 16, 2005 (UTC)
There is a massive difference between linking to a site and uploading their data. -- Cyrius| 16:18, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
"we can link to Google Satellite Maps" - Omegatron 20:05, July 17, 2005 (UTC)
I would suggest to make a template for coordinates, which could be edited separately. Then from the article you just refer the template, fill lattitude and longitude in, and the template then handles formatting several links: to Google Maps, to the mapsources, and perhaps also to a script that generates the required .kmz file for Google Earth on the fly (trivial, see their tutorial or ask me for the code snippet). This way we can easily support all significant coordinates-based map sources, with easy maintenance as the new map sources appear and old ones change. We also won't have to do just "good enough" when we can have it all. Could it work? I personally miss such feature. --Shaddack 18:56, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:WikiProject Geographical coordinates. Gene Nygaard 19:46, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Putting the pictures on Wikipedia could result in some copyright problems because Google got the license from DigitalGlobe. There is also "2005 Google" sticked onto the images to prevent you from claiming it as your own, and they don't let you do the "save as target" right-click option. — Stevey7788 (talk) 20:35, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Inter-wiki Citation and PLaerism Policy

What is the policy about taking content from another language wikipedia and moving it into the English wikipedia. Does no ownership apply so it's to fine copy anything? Should it be cited anywhere?

Example: I have recently discovered a timeline on the French Wikipedia (here:[9]) and made an English version here

--Commander Keane 6 July 2005 11:34 (UTC)

When you edit on a Wikimedia project you "release" your submission but you don't "relinquish" it, it's still your work as such, and you can exercise some rights over it (not sure what they are).
But don't worry, you haven't made any serious error. Right at the bottom it says "By submitting your work you promise you wrote it yourself, or copied it from public domain resources". WP is certainly a public domain resource; that disclaimer waives any responsibility you might have had for this uncredited copy, as it it isn't automatically assumed that you wrote/made whatever you're adding in each edit.
What I would do now if I were you is to make a minor change to the table and put something like "translated this table from the xx Wikipedia version of this article" in the edit summary. That way you're crediting the originator in a vague way.
Alternately, use comment tags (<!-- this is a comment -->) to leave a note below the table. These are invisible to the reader, but editors can see it.
Certainly I wouldn't credit it in the article, as that other page could change or something. In theory you could link to a fixed version of that page where the table is intact, but that still isn't really necessary. Master Thief GarrettTalk 6 July 2005 12:15 (UTC)
MTG's suggestions are reasonable, but I should note one correction. Wikipedia is not public domain. Contributions are licensed under the GFDL, which means that authorship records must be maintained. Consequently, you do have to cite the other Wikipedia as a source. In practice, I think you would be in good shape by
  • noting the source in the edit summary (per MTG),
  • adding a note to the Talk page of the article indicating a source, and
  • where appropriate, adding an interlanguage wikilink to the destination article.
Are there any other suggestions? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 6 July 2005 12:55 (UTC)
Adding a comment along the lines of "This article is based on the corresponding article Verb in Catalan Wikipedia" in a Source section at the end of the article text seems reasonable and in compliance with WP:CITE. The comment can be removed if the article is substantially edited thereafter, author information is preserved. Physchim62 11:50, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion/Proposal

There is currently a vote on a large number of proposals to expand the criteria for speedy deletion. If passed, they would tend to place the onus for everyday deletion decisions in the hands of administrators and substantially reduce the number of articles that get discussion time in Votes for deletion and other deletion discussion policy forums. Discussion and votes are required.

Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion/Proposal

--Tony Sidaway|Talk 5 July 2005 16:14 (UTC)

Proposal 1, which at present looks likely to pass, says that administrators should have discretion to delete "An article about a real person that does not assert that person's importance or significance - people such as college professors or actors may be individually important in society; people such as students and bakers are not, or at least not for the reason of being a student or baker. If the assertion is disputed or controversial, it should be taken to VFD instead."

What concerns me here is that it is left up to one person, instead of Wikipedia editors at large, to decide for themselves what an assertion of importance or significance is. Only a very vague idea is given of what is intended and the administrator is given complete discretion. This proposal needs scrutiny. At present the article would be listed on VfD and discussed for five days, which saves many important articles that were wrongly thought to be deletable. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 6 July 2005 01:49 (UTC)

  • What Tony fails to mention is that daily, between ten and twenty-five articles on unremarkable people (such as high school students, random friends of an editor, or people who just think they're great without specifying why) are nominated for deletion, and get near-unanimous votes to delete. It would save a large number of people a significant amount of time if those articles wouldn't clog up VFD. After all, Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy.
  • Presently, VFD is longer than it should be (which is an obvious result of Wikipedia growing) and this prevents people from participating - thus making VFD less the instrument of consensus that it should be. This is considered by many to be undesirable.
  • It is easy to distinguish an article on an obviously unremarkable person (e.g. "Joe Smith is a nice guy who works at a supermarket") from a possibly encyclopedic person (e.g. "Joe Smith is the president of major corporation GnirpGo"). Of course, the latter may be false, but the mere assertion keeps it from being speedily deletable. Admins have common sense. If they did not, they would not be admins.
  • There is statistical evidence of over a hundred articles per week that presently go on VFD that would be removed without further bureaucracy if this proposal passes. There is no evidence whatsoever, only conjecture, about articles about famous people that do not even say why the person is famous - of course anyone who would write about George Washington is going to state that he was a president, not just that he was a nice guy. Radiant_>|< July 7, 2005 13:33 (UTC)
    • It kind of irks me that some who are opposed to this proposal seem to feel that editors who hang around speedy are in it just for the blood lust. If other editors are like me (and I'm sure they are), they will speedy only when it is emminently clear that the article is a candidate. I often add to or even rewrite articles that show up in speedy, and regularly remove speedy tags from inappropriately labeled articles. In other words, I take my power seriously. At least as seriously as inclusionists like Tony take their mission to save every god-blasted little article. Denni 2005 July 8 02:34 (UTC)

You're being a little bit naughty here, Radiant. Why should I mention that unremarkable article are listed on VfD? That's what VfD is *intended* for. It's doing a good job. As for saving time, nobody asks people to vote for delete, and if nobody but the proposer had anything to do with the nomination the article could still be deleted, but would have benefited from five days' listing and potential for discussion (alas even this this was not enough to save the article on the legendary writer and journalist, Davey Winder, which I had to rewrite). There is nothing about VfD's current size that "prevents people from participating". Just go there and look at the page. Unlike in earlier months when it was transcluded, it no longer takes a long time to load and is much more accessible than ever.

If VfD is "less of an instrument of consensus than it should be" how can this be improved by removing articles from VfD and giving the decision on their deletion to a single, demonstrably fallible person?

"Joe Smith is the president of major corporation GnirpGo" is not enough to save an article from speedy deletion under the proposals. Some administrators regularly claim that being the President of a corporation does not make one worthy of an encyclopedia entry.

Denni, I've not suggested that any lust of any kind is involved. It is a fact, which I've proved beyond doubt with actual cases, that being an administrator does not make us better (or even very good) editors. Administrators routinely judge salveagable articles as worthy only of deletion. The carnage at present is low and containable. The proposals will make the load on administrators much higher because some of us will be deleting stuff and the others will be restoring the wrong deletions. VfD saves us from such nonsense, that's why it exists. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 22:07, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Where is the license in this image?

Well, I put this image [10] in the Wikipedia in spanish, but they told me I needed a license for it, but aparently, the english version doesnt have any problem, so I am guessing it already has a license... I just cant find it, could somebody give it so the image can also be in the spanish version?-- 4 July 2005 18:28 (UTC)

I believe it counts as free use. I have added a tag to that effect. Sonic Mew July 4, 2005 22:05 (UTC)
(note: fair use may not apply to other wikipedia projects. You need to check each project's licensing rules. I don't know about the Spanish wikipedia.) RJFJR July 4, 2005 22:31 (UTC)

Biography articles - reluctant subjects

Moved to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (biographies)#Reluctant subjects -Willmcw July 5, 2005 23:49 (UTC)

Only linking to the first mention - why?

Why is the policy only to link to the first mention of something in an entry? I just don't get it.

It's annoying when reading - you get to a certain point in the article and think, "Oh, that thing would be interesting to read about", but it's not linked. Is it just plain not linked, or is it linked somewhere previously in the article? Either way, a pain.

It makes editing more difficult in several ways - for example:

- When entering new text, you have to check whether it was linked in a previous location, and if so, not link it in your new text;

- Similarly, you have to check whether it was linked in a later location, and if so, link it in your text, but unlink it in the later location;

- Deleting text and/or moving text suffers the same problems.

And it's not like there's some sort of resource wasted by linking multiple times.

I'm not saying always link every mention of a subject - it clearly would be overkill in some situations - but it seems like that's actually the far minority of situations. And in those few situations when linking every time would be overkill, people probably wouldn't link every time anyway.

This seems like something that shouldn't have a policy at all, one way or the other.

Policy leads to consistency, which is good. As for only linking the first time, if a term is likely to trigger a "oh, I want to read about that" reaction, it's likely to do so the first time you read it. Nobody's going to drag you into arbitration if you accidentally link a word again while editing because you didn't see it had already been used previously, but by avoiding double-linking articles become less visually noisy and easier to read. --W(t) 29 June 2005 05:32 (UTC)
if a term is likely to trigger a "oh, I want to read about that" reaction, it's likely to do so the first time you read it.: That sounds nice, but in practice, I find it to often be false. -Rwv37 June 29, 2005 06:11 (UTC)
Policy leads to consistency, which is good.: Yeah, consistency's great and all, sure, but it's not the be-all and end-all. My point is that without any policy regarding this topic, Wikipedia would probably naturally self-moderate itself into a state that is more usable than its current state. People won't go crazy with linking absolutely every mention of everything. -Rwv37 June 29, 2005 06:16 (UTC)
I usually link once per major section, or once per page of text -- or, in practice, once every time I think about it while writing, which works out to about the same. Also, if something's first wikilinked in an infobox, I'll link it in the text no matter how short the article. --Carnildo 29 June 2005 05:48 (UTC)
I do somewhat similar. I find it stupid to have to look through long chunks of texts to look for a link for what I am searching. On the other hand, I find it annoying when the same word is linked in every sentence. --Fred-Chess June 29, 2005 10:36 (UTC)
Let's amend policy to reflect long-existing practice (Carnildo lays out what that is). Which policy page is this? Pcb21| Pete 29 June 2005 10:51 (UTC)
It isn't policy. It is a guideline in Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links), and it doesn't say only the first occurrence. Relevant to this discussion, it does say "An article may be considered overlinked if any of the following is true:
  • ...
  • a link is repeated within the same screen (40 lines perhaps)
  • ...
  • low added value links (e.g., such as year links 1995, 1980s) are duplicated
I think Carnildo's suggestion about linking in text even if first linked in an infobox is a good one. Gene Nygaard 29 June 2005 12:03 (UTC)
I think the guideline covers it; just a matter of applying common sense, really. Filiocht | Talk June 29, 2005 12:38 (UTC)

In practice it's fine to link the same topic multiple times, if the article is long. It's typical for a topic to be mentioned in a summary and then mentioned again when the topic is covered in more detail; in this case it's quite appropriate to link it again. Years may need to be linked multiple times so that date preferences work. Gdr 2005-06-29 13:01:11 (UTC)

That's a good point. Both day-month or month-day and year should be linked in all dates so that preferences work right, no matter how many times they appear. It is just the years standing alone or only with a month that shouldn't be linked multiple times. Gene Nygaard 29 June 2005 16:41 (UTC)
  • One downside is if the article referenced is moved or renamed. Five links imbedded in a long article are harder to upgrade to eliminate orphans than one. OTHO, The original point about wanting to read more about a repeating term is strong to me— The desire to follow such gets stronger LATER in the long article— i.e. once one's interest has been wetted. In my experience, in most cases, the original use or three of a term is introductory and hasn't yet built a desire to 'click', until the surrounding text provides enough detail to eventually create the desire to do so. In such cases, I've italicized or bolded the first occurences until the topic has built up background, then provided the link. Of course, some copy editors have removed such logical planning in favor of linkizing all, or just the first, so Shrug. It's their time, and I did my best to make it logical. It's certainly not worth getting excited about.
  • One solution requiring a guideline change would to 'emphasize key terms' in bold or italics with the covention that said 'busy appearances' (to some, not I.) consistantly means "See the See Also List' at the end for a link; but I don't advocate this, as it's too much work for little gain 'Wiki-wide', plus the below counterpoint. This would have the virtue of being consistent with tail-end-charlie external links placement as well.
  • In the main, this strikes me as an area where hard and fast rules are probably not a good idea. Providing additional links as a long history article develops is probably a very good idea as the relationships between terms unfolds, the user can make his side trip for more information and return to exactly the same place in the original article by hitting backspace. That's definitely not the case for infrequently occuring links or bottom collected links, and I think these decisions should be left in the province of the editor or copyeditors following behind.
  • I do think that the guidelines should be firm on the following, rather than any arbitrary 'count of lines' approach (My bi-focaled eyes are comfortable enough viewing 'small' to assume everyone uses the same size fonts for viewing!). 'Link Density' or 'busy appearance' should probably be evaluated strictly (only) in 'Medium' browser display mode, not whatever is the favorite of the editor. In an article on less weighty matters, less links are appropriate.
User:Fabartus || Talkto_FrankB 5 July 2005 16:11 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikiblower protection

Benjamin Gatti created Wikipedia:Wikiblower protection [11], which was nominated for deletion by NicholasTurnbull. Deletion debate was de-listed by Essjay, who archived the deletion debate on Wikipedia_talk:Wikiblower_protection [12]. Subsequently, I am listing the policy proposal here, per Wikipedia:How_to_create_policy. I do not support this policy proposal. EvilPhoenix talk 09:08, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

  • Now on VFD again, per policy. This proposal violates WP:POINT, imho. Radiant_>|< 10:38, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Why a separate dictionary but not a separate atlas?

I read the policy that definitions don't go in Wikipedia but instead in Wiktionary.

I don't understand why the dictionary is separate. It makes readers and editors look in different locations and (I believe) reduces usage and growth.

Why not have a disambiguation page to point people to definition vs. article where both are present? Then everything can be looked up (or edited/contributed) while in the encyclopedia.

I have read a lot of articles about cities, states, and countries in Wikipedia. But they are NOT in a separate Wikipedia Atlas, nor would I wish them to be.

A curious newcomer Sitearm 06:56, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

In my view, because they provide different focuses. An encyclopedia article focuses on the concept behind the topic, and uses its title only as a reference. A definition focuses on the word itself; it's history, meaning, translation, antonyms, and such. Hence, exact synonyms would have separate articles, unlike Wikipedia topics. Superm401 | Talk 07:16, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
I think you have a false dichotomy here. Dictionary definitions are not included because they are not encyclopedic. That is, information that is about specific words' usage and etymology is not what we're after. However information that's about the thing, people or ideas, etc. is. That's what cities and countries are, notable, encyclopedic subjects. Saying why do we have them here is like saying why do we have so many authors or Nintendo products; all are simply encyclopedic topics that deserve mention. The proper dichitomy is that we don't have definitions for the same reasons we don't have how-tos and source material. It's simply not encyclopedic. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of data, and there's no more reason to include definitions than entire phone books, and census data, and astronomical records. --Dmcdevit·t 07:21, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Ok I'm reading Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not and what it seems to object to is "an article that is nothing more than a definition". But it doesn't say, delete it, it says "see if there is information you can add that would be appropriate for an encyclopedia". I see many words as worthy encyclopedic subjects, for example, "Ms.". New words and new uses of old words are added to contemporary society frequently. Some are registered copyrights and trademarks Dune (novel) vs. Dune {geography). I don't have a problem with shunting pure definitions off to Wiktionary, just with deleting them as not article-worthy. But I still have a concern that splitting off "special" topic wikis means they won't get traffic because new readers and potential contributors won't go there as easily and because the distinction is off-putting (get it right or we'll delete you!). A concerned newcomer Sitearm 15:22, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm ready to close this section. Reviewing "dicdef", I conclude that the distinction of Wikipedia vs. Wiktionary is a work in progress. As a personal policy, I prefer inclusion where there is a chance for useful information to be expanded. -- Sitearm | Talk 21:46, 2005 August 4 (UTC)

adding related info

Thanks for your service

I noted that there it to date no discussion added to James Tobin entry.

I am wondering how to approach you to link our idea on a new global tax similar to the Tobin Tax. Can it be linked to the Tobin entry? Or can we have an entry in the wikipedia, even though we are not historical, famous or dead?

Attached below to give you an idea, Thanks, Ian Greenwood

Subject: anything to environment? could our new idea reduce tax? Is it more politically do-able than the tobin tax?

How can international trade (where much of the profit ends up untaxed 'off-shore') be made to pay something to the environment (climate change etc) and made to pay something to rectify trade injustice? After all, when all the resources have been stripped out from poor countries by our Western nations, what do we do then? And how can sea level rise be stemmed, when Greenland ice currently melting adds 7 metres to levels, Antarctic ice about 50 m? Much of our most productive agricultural and developed land is at or near sea level and is at risk, globally.

Our proposal below is aimed to slow this process and using excise systems, return more to the environment/education of the recipient nation (of the trade) and an equal share direct to the supplier nation's climate change avoidance/environment/education projects.

Can anyone help me with a comment, by forwarding the message on to others, or by contributing to devise a simple way of calculating the exchange rate advantage and how this could be simply applied?  I will post constructive replies on the blog/website we have under construction

Could this be the breakthrough idea to assist the pan-pacific climate change initiative to get the action we need soon enough, as well as help towards Kyoto targets that we are manifestly failing to achieve? That is, release enough funds for renewable energy, not just for the USA Europe and Asia, but also 'developing'/'under-developed' nations who also contribute to global warming and deforestation/desertification by burning timber?

Otherwise it seems we all get tax rises, and future shortages of resources. Instead, our proposal, if adopted, would take a little from the off-shore profits and not necessarily lead to price rises since the market already sets prices to that which the market will stand. An outline is below and attached as a slightly longer 2 page version:

A new idea for a structural adjustment to trade:

Connecting climate change, trade justice and EU unemployment.


To show how a new economic term could be used. Using this to promote a fund for renewable energy (etc.) returning a chunk to the poorest parts of the world, reducing their need to depend on debt/‘aid’. To slow our rate of “off-shoring”.

This should be of widespread interest, because increased funding for rail and other sustainable transport would reduce congestion, pollution and climate change. Additionally, business would be able to seize the opportunity to accelerate provision of renewable energy and implement other solutions to the climate change problem.

By splitting the proposed fund in half- both halves to be direct to projects enhancing environmental sustainability- the rich and powerful nations get an environmental benefit that is politically popular, against climate change; the poorest nations get a much greater benefit direct to their environmental sustainability projects (addressing their technological deficit) reducing their emissions and the resulting inevitable sea level rise. Could these problems be solved using the advantage that powerful traders have?

Our proposal uses the currency exchange rate advantage that traders and tourists have used for centuries. There is a need to clearly identify this advantage between the two trading partners that is contributing to unfair trade. Part could be put into a new fund, collected by the existing excise system. If 50% of the advantage were used, this could be up to 12% of the final price as an environmental levy, 6% to each region. The fund could then be distributed as described above, direct to projects, half in the 'rich' trading nation and half in the 'poor' supplying nation, where it buys more because of the same currency exchange rate advantage. If some of the fund were also used to plan resource consumption this would protect future generations, education could be devised against needless growth in cargo traffic and the pursuit of quick profits, many of which go off-shore.

The difficulty of collecting tax from those using trusts and off-shore accounts has been testing governments facing reducing revenues (in real terms) for many years (Observer 27-03-05: $255 billion p.a. tax loss). To change the global tax-gathering system like this could enhance security in several senses, but it would not cause a sudden shock to the economic system, nor immediately affect production. Rather it could reduce political and economic tensions between countries over such things as rapid re-location of jobs (loss of trade skills) and climate change (water shortages etc). It could be win-win for rich and poor in terms of enhancing peace, reducing congestion, pollution and sea level rise. The environmental need has been highlighted in discussions on the recent EU budget crisis (Newsnight BBC1 21/06/05). An opportunity could exist for the WTO or EU/USA to link the climate change need to the trade injustice issue and generate environmental economy.

Ian Greenwood +44 121 449 0278

Your idea seems worth considering, at the least. However, Wikipedia has a policy, located at Wikipedia:No original research that new theories and ideas like your tax should not be suggested first on Wikipedia. Instead, they should be proposed elsewhere. Wikipedia describes them when they become generally known. Superm401 | Talk 06:46, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Deletion of VfD

There are two discussions, and a vote going on related to the VfD process:

Paul August 05:16, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Order of links to other Wikipedia languages


Is there some sort of policy regarding the order of the links to other Wikipedia langauges? I noticed someone had moved the link I added to fit alphabeticlly among the other links.. Yonidebest 21:42, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Off the top of my head I can't think of a specific policy regarding the interlanguage wikilinks, but putting them in alphabetical order would seem to make sense—it allows other editors to readily find the links to a particular language wiki. (If an editor wants to verify that a link points to the correct article, or change its target, or just verify that a link exists.) I would recommend inserting new links in alphabetical order, but if you don't then someone else will probably get around to it eventually. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:49, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
I believe the various interwiki bots order the links alphabetically by prefix. --Carnildo 22:07, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
There is no policy. However, standard practice is alphabetically by language code. -- Cyrius| 22:12, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Usual practice on English wikipedia is alphabetically by language name in that language! It's not easy for a newcomer, especially with non-latin scripts, check with an article with lots of interwiki links to find the order. Other wikis have other practices: e.g. Hungarian wikipedia insists on English first, then alphabetically by code. Physchim62 23:12, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
I should clarify my comment—alphabetically by language code would seem to be the easiest to work with. Trying to sort by the English language word for the language strikes me as potentially very confusing for non-native English speakers. Heck, I wouldn't know off the top of my head that ca: was for Catalan. (What? There's no Canadian-language wiki?) Maybe we should have a policy. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 23:33, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
I do often find that the order of these link are by the name of the language. If fact, it seems that most of the links I encountered were ordered this way. i.e. in my case - he (Hebrew) would be right after it (Italian), since he is pronounced Ivrit in English. I do think you need some kind of policy. Perhaps it would be best to decide on the easiest order (by language code) and to write a bot that will change the orderes as decided. Yonidebest 07:28, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Manual_of_Style#Template:TOCright

A proposed change to the Manual of Style to standarize the use of floating Tables of Contents was proposed after a vote to keep {{TOCright}} in TFD, and has been up for voting for a while now. However, few votes have been casted, and more are required to check if there really is a consensus. Please look at the discussion on that page and vote. --Titoxd 02:49, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Monopoly strategy nonencyclopedic?

This article is more about playing the game well rather than the methodology and mathematical calculations behind the game. Therefore it's not really encyclopedic, so by rights shouldn't it be transwikied to Wikibooks? Official rules of Monopoly and House rules of Monopoly are also candidates for nonencyclopedic status (the latter moreso than the former).

For several months now I've been toying with the idea of writing a Monopoly Wikibook, but I still haven't built up the courage to write the core of the book to hold together the specialised info I've already written. But this could be just the jump-start I need.

Anyway, I came here for your opinions, not mine, so tell me what you think. :) --GarrettTalk 02:37, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I don't think it'd survive VfD (if it's still around in 5 days) for at least three reasons. First, it reads like copyvio, has that been checked? Second, it's almost certainly original research. And third, if all else fails, it's a how-to. Not encyclopedic, IMHO. --Dmcdevit·t 02:50, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure if it is a copyvio... I hope not. The text seemingly spawned on the Monopoly (game) page, but I'll have to check if it was entirely authored there to begin with or just pasted in. Extensive editing before the split could explain why its "first" revision is so good. GarrettTalk 03:08, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Er, it appears that Monopoly strategy was copied to Wikibooks a month ago. That version ([13] has been nominated for deletion on Wikibooks ([14]), because it was a copy-paste insertion from (apparently) a Wikipedia mirror. If you'd like to start a Monopoly wikibook–and do it right this time–I think that would be a great project, MTG. Regardless, the strategy guide really doesn't belong here on Wikipedia. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:05, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Oh, right... :) Somehow my memory told me that was a fork of Monopoly (game)... which it isn't. GarrettTalk 04:29, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Now that's sorted, what about Official rules of Monopoly and House rules of Monopoly? I would be covering those, although in much, much greater detail, meaning it wouldn't be a meaningless fork of the content... but are they encyclopedic?

Certainly the official rules page is virtually another how-to, but the house rules may just fall within the ideal as many of these rules are very notable, and informing about common house rules is in itself potentially encyclopedic, as long as it doesn't slip over into becoming a gameplay guide for said rules. The other option is to transwiki it in its entirety and only leave a line or two in the core article. Thoughts? GarrettTalk 04:29, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Not to keep harping on it, but if those official rules are copied right from the game's instructions, or the company's website, and I can't imagine any other way they'd get there, then I'd be worried about the copyright. Surely Parker Bros. (that's it right?) copyrights the rules. In any case, I don't see any of them as particularly encyclopedic here. What we would want is one article where both would be merged to about the rules of Monopoly (that's about the rules, not just the text of them) including merely summaries of the lists of rules on both pages. At Wikibooks, however, I think both would belong, if copyrightably possible that is. --Dmcdevit·t 04:55, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
LOL! Remember to Avoid Copyright Paranoia! :) The rules have been summarised and rewritten as far as I can tell--or, at least, differently worded to the rules I have in my own set.
As for the concepts therein being copyrighted, in this odd case they're not. Due to complicated circumstances, the core rules of Monopoly (except the trademark) are now as-such public domain. That's the gist of it anyway. :)
Anyway what I think I'll do is simply transwiki all three for now and then at some later date write a united rules article like what you've suggested. For now some cross-links to the Wikibooks versions will suffice, and will function exactly the same as the current content. GarrettTalk 05:45, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

I do not understand how Monopoly game rules are "not encyclopedic"? The articles for Poker and Backgammon contain equally detailed game rules. Sitearm 06:46, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Um, well those rule sets are in the same article, therefore are part of it. Much as the separated Harry Potter synopsis was thought by many to be unencyclopedic largely because it was separate, this too once separated from its parent seems less fitting. Regardless, you can now find the pages at b:Monopoly. I haven't deleted the official rules from here yet as I'm thinking they could still be saved by being more about what the rules do (and don't!) cover, and less of a "print this off as replacement instructions" sort of feel. See what you think. GarrettTalk 09:38, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

I thought initially you were saying game rules shouldn't be posted at all. Are you saying game rules are ok in Wikipedia if they're in a larger context article, but they're not ok in standalone article and should be put somewhere else, e.g., Wikibooks? I'm just a little confused reading over some of these policy discussions about what does and doesn't go into Wikipedia articles because I've found so many unusual things that DO go in (e.g., elaborate histories of fictional characters in literature and web comics). A confused but still intrigued newcomer who appreciates your patience Sitearm 07:07, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, basically yes, that they should be together if possible, and if not they should be reduced and/or deleted/transwikied. The idea of an encyclopedia article is to be all-encompassing on that topic, unless the topic is noteworthy and wordy enough to be multiple, but even then there are only as many separate pages made as necessary. As for the fictional characters, there are some users here who would gladly throw themselves in front of dumptrucks if it would save fictional characters from the chopping block. Their encyclopedic value is often questionable, but there's nothing you can do about fictional characters. Oh, and schools... don't ever try to Vfd a single-line 12-Googles school article or they'll jump all over you, heheheh... Anyway, hope that explains things. :) GarrettTalk 09:30, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Neutral Point Of View

Interested to know your Zionism and Anti-Zionism pages fit in with the above policy. Interesting and knowledgeable discussion on both sides, but there is no way the articles can be considered neutral...

Place names in different languages

How extensively should the names of places in different languages be put into articles? Of course, when a place has an official name in more than one language, then all should be included, but how about unofficial names? I'm particularly thinking about place names in Finland, which is a bilingual country, with both Finnish and Swedish as its official languages. Thus, there is both a Finnish and Swedish version of many place names. Usually these places are located in a bilingual municipality, in which case it is obvious that both names should be given, but how about places with 'semi-official' names in a municipality where the language is not an official one? These do exist, and most of them are widely used. I couldn't find any advice on policy pages about this. - ulayiti (talk) 18:10, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

I see no problem with including all the official local names, but only once, in the first sentence, and on the infobox. --Golbez 18:56, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
Yes, me neither, but how about the unofficial names I asked about above? - ulayiti (talk) 18:58, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
Oh, hm. I didn't read much past "Finnish and Swedish are official languages". Eh, I see no problem with it, if someone else does they're welcome to speak up. --Golbez 19:11, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
Per Golbez, it's definitely a good idea to include all the local names in the introductory paragraph—even where those names aren't "official", terms in common use deserve mention. Usage within the remainder of the article is might be decided on a case-by-case basis. In general, I would say use whatever name appears on the map or local highway signs, or stick with whatever form was used in the first non-stub version of the article. I'm hoping that there is sufficient common sense and good faith available out there to avoid a Gdansk/Danzig-style conflict. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:52, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
However, I don't think this should apply to country articles. A single country can have 50 sizable (or more) languages used within it; for those, we should stick to the official. This should only be used where specifically relevant. --Golbez 22:09, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
I'm hoping it doesn't come up too much, and that common sense will prevail. I'm living in Toronto right now, and I imagine there are probably fifty languages in daily use within walking distance of my flat. Still, we have shown remarkable restraint in not adding '(also known as 多伦多)' to its article. Incidentally, we're also partly covered for multilingual issues if we include appropriate interlanguage links wherever they're available. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 01:40, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Encyclopedia of Fictional Characters?

I have just begun to notice how many articles there are for contemporary fictional characters, some "famous" (e.g., Horatio Hornblower) and some less famous (e.g., Hanzo the Razor).

Is there a any policy about articles for fictional characters? Somehow these seem less objective than articles about physics or math or even fiction writers.

Is the plan to let the collection evolve and let people write about whatever they want to write about?

A newcomer Sitearm 07:35, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure that there has ever been any other policy. It's clear that fictional characters (even obviously minor characters in fiction that by most criteria is minor) are of at least as much interest to many contributors here as are real people. I occasionally get the impression that writers can't distinguish between (overt) fiction and (what is not yet refuted and can be taken as) fact; but this may just be a matter of poor writing. Anyway, a sure way to raise hackles hereabouts is to suggest that this or that character in "Star Wars" or whatever doesn't need such a detailed or solemn article, or perhaps an article at all. -- Hoary 07:59, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Fiction. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:50, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
Regarding "the plan", there are a few user-driven projects aimed at increasing Wikipedia's coverage of traditional "encyclopedic" articles, note in particular Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles and Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias. The "collection" does evolve, people do write about whatever they want to write about, but since it is an encyclopedia projects like these develop. I don't know whether anyone's done an analysis of wikipedia's content that might answer how many articles are about fictional people and things vs. about real people and things. This might be an interesting bit of trivia, but I'm not sure it ultimately matters. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:08, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

I am ready to close this section. I like the fictional character articles and have added some myself. I am going to add something to the article Fictional character. Thanks for the helpful comments! An encouraged newcomer -- Sitearm | Talk 21:58, 2005 August 4 (UTC)

Anon User Power

We can probably cut vandalism 90% by curtailing anon power. I am not suggesting an all out ban on activity by those without a user account but I am tempted to sometimes. Check the Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress the overwhelming majority of serious vandals come from anon ips many who regularly use other computers when banned. Some use so many IP addresses, they are impossible to monitor. And its not about blanking pages or write cuss words in articles. The guys who have me worried are those who subtly alter a fact here or there, changing a name or date on a history page or screw around with the values on scientific or technical articles. These sort of things can rapidly destroy reputation. They're also difficult to catch. How many people are out there making these changes that we still haven't caught? I think its a lot more than most would like to admit...

Jarwulf 19:37, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

This has been discussed at Wikipedia:Village pump (perennial proposals)#Abolish anonymous users. Joyous (talk) 20:07, July 31, 2005 (UTC)

Policy on use of Arabic and its transliteration

I've seen a few lines here and there in the manual of style regarding how to use Arabic properly for personal and place names, but I haven't seen much more than is. Have I missed something, or would it be a better idea to formulate a policy on conventions for using Arabic in articles? I think it might be good to have two standards for transliteration of Arabic words (one strict, for scientific transliteration, and one conventional, for casual transliteration) alongside a policy to use customary names where they exist (that is, do not rename Cairo). Use of the Arabic definite article and i`rab would be useful to have some policy. Alongside this could be placed a more full description on how to handle Arabic names, epithets and titles, and how to use Arabic placenames (including the issue when a province and city have the same name). Gareth Hughes 16:05, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

a suggestion of mine is buried in talkpages, see Talk:Islam/Archive_4#transliteration.2C_capitalisation.2C_diacritics. I agree some guidelines are needed, but they will be difficult to enforce. dab () 16:28, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
I can see that Arabic titles is a specific issue, but for the rest of it, is there a reason for singling out Arabic as opposed to writing guidelines for foriegn langauges more generally? Dragons flight 16:32, July 31, 2005 (UTC)

Non-English languages in non-Latin writing systems is the issue. There is usually a scientific transliteration standard (or several, as is the case for Arabic), and then there are a number of ways in which words from that language have been introduced into English. There is already a little policy in the MoS, but it doesn't cover much and is fragmented. For example, I do like the beginning of the article jihad:

Jihad (ǧihād جهاد) is an Islamic term, from the Arabic root ǧhd ("to exert utmost effort, to strive, struggle"),

Here a customary version of the word is used alongside the scientific transliteration and the Arabic itself. Personal and place names would really benefit from standard treatment. Gareth Hughes 16:59, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

The Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Arabic) is still under construction if you'd like to help. CG 09:15, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

Ah, that looks like the place I should be. Thank you. --Gareth Hughes 10:54, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

POV Conspiracy Theorists' Wikiprojects

I'm concerned over a few new Wikiprojects. Specifically:

My concern is that these pages appear to be created with the sole intent of organizing a group of like-minded wikipedians so that they may organize and better represent their POV on Wikipedia articles. I much prefer people use talk pages to discuss articles, because on a talk page both sides of an argument can be present. However, to group people with a specific POV into a "guild," removes the debate from the public view and can lead to group think.

Anyone else have thoughts on these projects?

--Quasipalm 14:34, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't think you need to worry. It's one crank against the thousands of the army of Wikipedia. It won't be supported. Ignore him, and he'll go away. Don't feed the troll! Cheers, [[smoddy]] 14:38, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Is it really a Guild if there is just one guy? Isn't that more of a, well, i don't know, just a dude? Like Wikipedi:WikiProject Conspiracy: The London bombing Conspiracy dude or something? Then again, maybe not..........gkhan 14:56, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

He is calling it a guild, but actually the user who created it is a nutbag who is the only member of his so called guild. So, as smoddy says, there is no need to worry about it. Banes 13:08, 31 July 2005 (UTC)