Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive N

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A question on the deletion policy

I seem to remember the decision somewhere along the line (memory isn't what it was) that if a page survived a vote for deletion with a keep consensus (as opposed to being kept because of no consensus) then it couldn't be re-listed for deletion again? If this is the case I would question whether this deletion nomination was valid seeing as the articles in question have been nominated twice before, and the consensus was keep on both occasions. It may be academic because the consensus this time around looks like it's going to be a keep too, I just couldn't find any reference to the decision that I'm sure was made. -- Francs2000 | Talk File:Uk flag large.png 17:11, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

  • That is absolutely not the case. It is not at all uncommon for a page to be nominated a second time, and not unheard of for a page to be nominated a third time. It is generally considered a poor idea to re-nominate a page immediately after a VfD/AfD was closed with a clear consensus to "keep" the page, but relisting at once when the previous listing did not result in a consensus is quite frequently done. A re-nomination may be made because the article or the circumstances have changed, or because the nominator belives that the consensus has changed or that new arguments will persuade people to a different conclusion. A second deletion debate that is merely a re-run of the first is probably counterprouctive, but not agaisnt any rule or policy, as I understand things. DES (talk) 17:18, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
There is no policy that prevents a page from being nominated for deletion again, nor a strict time period that must be observed before a renomination. This is because generally, Wikipedia does not set strict limits. However, one should observe common sense before attempting a renomination. If an article had substantial support a couple of weeks ago, it will very likely still have substantial support now. Thus, unless you can display a substantial reason that would plausibly convince people to change their minds on the previous vote, you should not renominate anything until a reasonable amount of time has passed.
--Quasipalm 17:22, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Criterion for speedy deletion G4

CSD G4 (the one about re-deletion of recreations) has caused some confusion from time to time with its present phrasing. So there's a suggestion for a mild rephrasing at the bottom of Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion.

Note that there is no intent to change to the meaning, scope, intent or effect of the policy. Please comment, particularly if you think it is a significant change. Thanks. -Splash 15:54, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Censorship of nudity

I was looking at the Nature of Abu Ghraib abuse article and I noticed that the photos showing nudity were censored/blurred. It seemed a bit odd to me to blur the penis's in the images when considering that some of the other photos in that article are rather graphic and the article itself is quite adult themed in nature. So I was wondering if it is wikipedia policy to blur nudity or was it just that the original photos that the uploading user got a hold of were blurred. Thanks - Akamad 14:03, September 6, 2005 (UTC)

The relevant policy is WP:NOT#Wikipedia_is_not_censored_for_the_protection_of_minors, with a supporting guideline at Wikipedia:Profanity. The blurring was before the upload (as a policy, uploaded images are not censored in way) and if the user who uploaded the image has an unblurred original the original should have been uploaded. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:18, September 6, 2005 (UTC)

Copyright

I have a friend who is now going out with another friend. She drew a picture of herself and my other friend to celebrate their relationship, and released it on deviantART. Neither myself nor her uploaded her pic here to Wikipedia; the otherfriend (boyfriend) was the one who did it. I'd like to release the picture into the public domain so the IFD doesn't delete the pic. Am I able to do so? I'm not the original artist but I know she won't mind if I were to do so...

Thanks~

--LoganK 03:10, September 5, 2005 (UTC)

Get some sort of written permission (or email statement) releasing it and it then tag it {{pd}} — Ambush Commander(Talk) 03:43, September 5, 2005 (UTC)
I assume you mean from the original artist, right?
--LoganK 12:49, September 5, 2005 (UTC)
Logan, you cannot release someone else's work into the public domain. Only the copyright owner can. "I know she won't mind if I were to release the picture into the public domain" is a nonsensical statement, because you don't have the power to do that. Nandesuka 14:03, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
Also note that DeviantArt have very specific copyright terms, that very clearly specifiy that you cannot use art submited to DA without the explicit permission of the artist (or artists if it is a collaborative work). ≈ jossi ≈ 02:42, September 6, 2005 (UTC)

Spoilers of Copyrighted Entertainment

I noticed that the articles for Six Feet Under, the popular HBO TV series, and Runaways_(comics), an ongoing Marvel Comics series, have large amounts of "spoiler" information in links and written within the articles themselves. These are just two examples I quickly found while browsing Wikipedia.

My question is...Should Wikipedia be a storehouse of spoiler information or should these articles and other like them be edited to remove the spoiler content?

--Randomengine 19:30, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

This is what {{spoiler}} and related tags are for. Insaert them where you think they are needed. If you are worried that these are copyright violations -- it is not a copyright infringment to describe a copyrighted work, whether you "spoil" the ending or not, unless you do so in such excessive detail that you are effectively rewriting the work in question. A 50 page outline of a TV show might have copyright problems, but long before that our users would revolt. DES (talk) 19:46, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
I think it's entirely appropriate for Wikipedia to include spoiler information. If I want to read about the book Of Mice and Men, for example, I probably would want to know everything, including the ending. I don't want it to be edited for spoiler information, because that would keep me from being able to understand the book's themes. Even movie reviewers often note that it can be a challenge to meaningfully discus a work without giving a way a few spoilers. As such, I think it's clear that spoilers belong in wikipedia. --Quasipalm 20:09, 12 September 2005 (UTC)


Linking to lyrics webpages

Is there a policy about linking to websites which violate copyright? In particular, to websites which contain copyrighted lyrics and are not official album or artist pages? In particular, I am referring to Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z, which seems to have an excessive number of links to the same page, but there are other music pages I've encountered which link to lyrics. User:Zoe|(talk) 06:40, September 12, 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Copyrights#Linking to copyrighted works says that we should not link to pages knowing that they infringe other people's copyrights. DES (talk) 06:58, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
Ah, great, that's what I was looking for. User:Zoe|(talk) 18:58, September 12, 2005 (UTC)

CSD A7 clarification proposal

CSD A7 (non-notable bios) has come up for discussion a good deal during deletion and undeletion debates. At Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion#Interpretation of WP:CSD A7 (non-notable bios) is a proposal to clarify the interpretation of this critrion, and particularly the meaning of "Claim of notability". Please read it and comment if you are at all interested. DES (talk) 00:30, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Adding an academic subculture

I hsent an e-mail to info after reading the article in wired magazine about the criticism that wikipedia is not taken seriously as an academic source. I wrote up a proposal to add academia controled pages in parallel with the publicly contributed pages.

Please take a look at tell me what you think:

Academic Verification Proposal

I am sure this is an issue being addressed elsewhere an I would be happy to discuss this matter with other people.

I am also posting this on the technical comment page

Rather than separating out certain pages as "academically controlled," what if there was some kind of certification process, conducted by selected professionals and scholars, by which an article could be labelled "academically certified as of [date]"? As the articles keep the entire edit history, all that would be necessary is to label which versions of it are definitely reliable, and with subsequent edits you're taking your chances until the next certification round. Obviously for this to work, the certification notice itself could not be open to public editing. Just a thought. Postdlf 17:00, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

IfD/VfD

If an article is VfDed, and the success of that VfD would orphan an image, what is the appropriate time to IfD the image? If this is before the close of the VfD, does the IfD page deal with this appropriately, or should such orphan image deletions be automagic as part of VfD? Hipocrite - «Talk» 12:47, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

My personal opinion is that marking images so orphaned should be part of responsibily closing an AfD for deletion. Marking them for IfD before the AfD is closed seems premature to me. Nandesuka 13:05, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
I've always just deleted most of these along with the article. If we delete an article on a garage band it is quite clear that we have no need for their picture, and going through IfD would be a waste of time. I don't think there is any official policy on this matter, however. - SimonP 14:17, September 9, 2005 (UTC)
It's clear that we need a policy, then. I don't like Simon's solution, however, because deleted pictures are gone and unrecoverable. Hipocrite - «Talk» 14:46, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
SimonP's method, however good-faith, clearly violates Wikipedia's deletion policy. It's better to have the laws on the books corresponsd to the laws we follow. Superm401 | Talk 23:47, September 9, 2005 (UTC)
Personally I see this as exactly why we don't need a policy. By simply relying on common sense I've deleted dozens of such images over the years without issue or complaint. If the status quo is working, there is no reason to add another layer of policy. - SimonP 14:16, September 10, 2005 (UTC)
Agree with Simon, if we have deleted all our information on a subject I can't see any reason to keep an image of that subject. This doesn't apply to all cases where an image is orphaned by an article deletion, but to vanity, etc. it does. Obviously though if there is a strong community consensus against this he should stop. Christopher Parham (talk) 04:55, 2005 September 11 (UTC)

Naming conventions, using "The" for disambig purposes

I propose that using the definite article "The" at the start of an article title should be a part of convention if it aids disambiguation. I have made the suggestion already at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (definite and indefinite articles at beginning of name). In some cases, this could help prevent unnecessary pipe linking or redirects. -- Supermorff 11:39, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Naming conventions for categories

A proposal for conventions for category naming, consolidating existing conventions mostly from WP:CG and including new conventions and rules pertaining to "by country" categories, is at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories). Please read it and discuss on its talk page. The intent is for this new page to be the official policy for category naming (subpage of Wikipedia:Naming conventions). -- Rick Block (talk) 04:24, September 9, 2005 (UTC)

Three year old error in bot-generated article

I discovered today that the Rambot-generated article Martin County, Minnesota has for nearly three years talked about McLeod County in its first paragraph. Is there any way to check the other Rambot articles, and was Rambot quite such a good idea? Susvolans 17:03, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

Just for reference, if the rambot had done those articles there wouldn't have been a problem. No, I made that article 3 years ago and uploaded it manually. It's a human error that I was not aware of until today. It's a one-off error that has to be fixed. I put it on my list and will look into it, but considering the amount of time that has passed, who knows what additional information is for: the main article or the city stated in the article. Each article will have to be checked. Update: I've looked into this and you can see the results of my evaluation at User:Rambot#Outstanding problems. I will fix it as soon as I get a moment to work on it. Update 2: The problem has been fixed. — Ram-Man (comment) (talk) 02:26, September 9, 2005 (UTC)

Signatures (raw links)

Hey all,

I've just been experimenting with the 'signature' you get from editing User data in the Preferences screen. Here's the rather flashy result: splintax (talk) timestamp: 16:26, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

What I'm concerned about is this warning...

Raw signatures (without automatic link; please don't use templates for this)

Could anyone explain to me what exactly this is referring to, and confirm that I'm not breaking the rules by doing this? If there is a problem with what I'm doing, please post a comment on my talk page. :-)

Thanks. splintax (talk) timestamp: 16:26, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

  • As I understand it, the warning is not to include template calls in your sig text, which would be transcluded every time you signed a page. It doesn't look like you are doing that. By the way, the above sig is a bit long on the rendered page. How about ommitting "timestamp", as it is pretty clear that this is a timestamp? DES (talk) 16:45, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I'm not an expert, but it looks like you're OK to me. I think it is warning against making a sub page of your user page with your signature and then that referencing that from your preferences with something like {{:User:username/signature}}. This would force the servers to do extra work transcluding it every time somebody viewed a page with your signature on it (which would be a Bad Thing). (Conflicted with DES on answering). --GraemeL (talk) 16:49, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Exactly. I suppose {{subst:User:username/signature}}. would be ok, but I can't see any reason to bother DES (talk) 16:57, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
I've been wondering that as well, but technically I can't see any issue if you use {{subst:username/sig}} or whatever to do it, though the only advantage to doing it that way is that you don't have to re copy and paste your sig into the preferences window everytime you want to make changes to your sig. Jtkiefer T | @ | C ----- 21:54, September 8, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks all. I now understand why the rule is in place and what it means.. and can definitely see why it's not acceptable, I have trouble fathoming how the Wikimedia servers are able to operate under such load already.. splintax (talk) 05:41, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Copyrighted material on a discussion page

What is Wikipedia's policy regarding placing copyrighted material in the discussion page of article (but not in the article itself) for reference purposes? The source article is from the NY Times. There is a link to this in the main Wikipedia article, but at the other end of the link one learns that the article is available to NYT subscribers only. Meanwhile, the full NY Times article appears on the corresponding discussion page.

I think that initially, the NYT article was available to anyone on the Internet, but was later put into their archives and so is now restricted. I wish to refrain from mentioning the particular Wikipedia article itself, so as not to annoy the user who pasted the article in case there's no problem with what he/she did. If there is a problem then I'll bring it up to that contributor directly. S. Neuman 16:01, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

I have no comment on the copyright question, but WP:CITE doesn't require that sources be online. An editor can cite a source from a specific newspaper article on a specific date, and if people have to go to the library to verify that, so be it. —Wahoofive (talk) 22:05, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
To Wahoofive: Yes, certainly; in my opinion there should be a much higher print-source to Internet-source ratio on Wikipedia anyway. I think the NYT article was put on the talk page mostly to make it readily accessible to other contributors who might want to expand the article. S. Neuman 00:15, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Talk pages–like all of Wikipedia–are supposed to contain GFDL-licensed material only. While there is a fair use argument for including brief quotations from print sources in Talk page discussions (or articles, for that matter), including an entire article is probably over the line. We're less likely to get caught doing it, since many Wikipedia mirrors only copy and redistribute the articles without their associated Talk pages...but it really is something that should be avoided. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:55, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
It's not just important that Wikipedia is seen to be clean of copyright violations, it's also important that we are seen to do our best to get rid of them. If you find something like this, please delete the material. The DMCA exceptions to copyright laws will only apply as long as "the project" belives that material is distributed legally. Now you've brought it up, better to delete. Mozzerati

Space and Disambiguation

How do we present differing views of the same concept? There is discussion at Talk:Space on whether we use a disambiguation page or present an overview with links to fuller articles. Plese comment. The subject has already been on RFC and attracted little comment and it seems to cut somewhat to the heart of the disambiguation policy. Please post your comments at Talk:Space#Comments. Thanks. Steve block talk 07:31, 19 September 2005 (UTC)


Iran/Persia

I was wondering whether we have any clear standard on the use of Iran/Persia at different historical periods, as we do on Danzig/Gdansk. A recent series of edits at The Book of One Thousand and One Nights raised this issue. We ended up with [[Persian Empire|Persia]] (Iran), which is not the worst of possiblities, but we shouldn't have to sort this out in each individual article. -- Jmabel | Talk 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Given that Persian Empire links to Iran in its introduction, and Iran links back under the first section, plus linking there to Iran naming dispute, I'd think you can
  1. Link something appropriate
  2. Trust common sense users to sort it out
...or maybe I'm just overly optimistic. — Lomn | Talk / RfC 02:15, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

The problem is that there keep being edit wars over this. I'd like to prevent that by actually having a policy. Otherwise, the same issue is going to be handled differently in hundreds of articles with no rhyme or reason… and wasting a lot of time. -- Jmabel | Talk 03:28, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

I made that change at The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, as I've been going through the list of links to the disambiguation page Persia and changing them to something more appropriate. Most of the time, Persian Empire seems most appropriate if the link is in the context of the country before 1935. There seems no point in going to a disambiguation page. I've been removing one link if Persian Empire and Iran are linked right next to each other. I don't want to get involved in any edit wars, so if this is controversial, I'll find something else to work on next time I have a bit of spare time for Wikipedia.-Mr Adequate 08:39, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
I think such edit wars are generally worth ignoring, unless people insist on placing links to "Persia" or "Persian", which are disambigs. As pointed out above, most of these pages link to each other, so it's not hard to find what you want. And if someone thinks it is worth their time to change links, then who am I to say it's a waste? But linking to disambigs is frowned upon. So perhaps the real question is: "What should the pages be called?" As it is, they have certain names, and we avoid links to disambigs, so there don't seem to be too many decisions to make. — Nowhither 18:13, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

RFA policy issue

Please see User talk:GordonWatts/RfA#Was Wikipedia Policy on RfA followed in my RfA?. Basically, Gordon thinks that policy requires RFA voters to always support a candidate who is a "trusted member of the community", and I say that's just a guideline and the idea that people have to vote a certain way is hogwash. Comments appreciated. ~~ N (t/c) 21:13, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Thankyou, that's the funniest thing I've read all evening... Shimgray 22:37, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

New fair use tags

Recently, the new speedy delete criteria for unsourced images has caused a lot of additional discussion about all facets of image copyright handling on Wikipedia. After extensive consultation with quite a few Wikipedians I have created two new templates: {{fairusenoalternative}} and {{fairusereplace}}. These are intended to replace our use of the generic {{fairuse}}. I have posted a lengthy description of these templates on Wikipedia_talk:Fair_use#Template_changes. --Gmaxwell 16:59, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

New speedy deletion criterion

Jimbo recently issued a new speedy deletion criterion:

Images in category "Images with unknown source" or "Images with unknown copyright status" which have been on the site for more than 7 days, regardless of when uploaded. [1]

Zzyzx11 (Talk) 00:55, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

  • Thank #UnspecifiedDeity for that... There are tens of thousands of them out there! Physchim62 17:21, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Proposed CSD for Copyvios - voting in progress

Voting is now open at Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion/Proposal/Blatant copyvio material. I urge anyone intersted to stop by, read the proposal and the discussion, and express your views. DES (talk) 19:34, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

All time Win-Loss Records and other stats for Sports Teams

Why in the hell would you guys get rid of those? Are you kidding, why would you take away such valuable information? I just can't believe that. This was the only site I could find easily accessable sports franchise statistics (sifting through team pages is a LOT of red tape). I can't tell you how upset this makes me. :(

Addresses?

Someone just added the address of the MCI Center into the article's introductory sentence: "The MCI Center is a sports and entertainment arena at 601 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004..." This certainly feels wrong and I'd like to remove it, but I can't think of where to find a clearer statement as to why this is inappropriate. Do we have a set policy on the inclusion of addresses in articles? It's uncommon at the very least. Postdlf 17:28, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

I've removed it - it doesn't add anything to the article, and clutters up the intro. We don't routinely list addresses; WP:NOT a travel guide or a directory. It wasn't even a "locating" address, since it even had the zipcode. "Is in northern Washington DC" may be useful to give an idea of where to locate it, or "is on X street" if the street is notable - our entry on Harrods says it's on Brompton Road because that road is significant enough to have an article - but a simple textdump like this doesn't help. (The only example I can think of where listing a street address is undeniably important is for subway stations and the like, places that are defined by the fact they're at the junction of X Street and Y Road). Shimgray 01:22, 17 September 2005 (UTC)
Why make things harder for people? It's just another sentence. ~~ N (t/c) 01:32, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

Undeletion Policy and related issues

Ah, you beat me to it! I strongly agree that we must not change our undeletion policy to neglect content of deleted articles, and must not remove the words " (ie that Wikipedia would be a better encyclopedia with the article restored)" which reflect the view that a major consideration is content, from that policy without the widest possible consensus. Is Wikipedia about content or process? --Tony SidawayTalk 18:17, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Note that Tony Sidaway's "agreement" here is facitious, as it is his view, if I understand his comments elsewhere correctly, that the proposal I have made is ill advised. I think that wikipedia in general should be about content, but that the undeletion policy in particular should be about correcting errors in the deletion process -- content issues should be handled during the deletion discussiuons, and the undeletion procedure should generally attempt to remove process errors so that the actual consenus reached in the deletion discussion can prevail, or when the process has been too badly thwarted for that, the process is restarted to allow a proper consensus on what to do with a disputed page to be determined. It is my view that my proposal does not make a substantial change in current policy, but merely clarifies it and removes phrases now being cited out of context. (The text i propose removing is after all a parenthetical note.) But in any case, I want the undeletion policy to reflect a wide consensus, so I again urge everyone to visit the links above, and express your considered views after reading what has already been said. DES (talk) 20:14, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Copyvio

This isn't really a policy issue, but I suspect this is the most widely read of the the Pumps, so I thought I'd let you know about two changes to the structuring of Wikipedia:Copyright problems.

  • It now has a subpage-per-day, much like WP:CFD and WP:IFD (but not the multiple subpages of WP:AFD). This should make it quicker to file a new copyvio and reduce the agony imparted by an edit conflict on such a long page.
  • There is a template {{article-cv}} intended to be used as:
    {{subst:article-cv|PageName}}
The output of which provides easy access to the various links that need to be checked by admins clearing out WP:CP (hint, hint).

Those of you using Bmicomp's autocopyvio script will need to file by hand until it is updated (or update it yourself), mainly because of the subpage structure. Thanks. -Splashtalk 02:54, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

My autocopyvio script has been updated to accomodate for the change. -- BMIComp (talk, HOWS MY DRIVING) 04:30, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

New embryo

Hi all, I've started this new idea: Wikipedia:Easy navigation - it's still very embryonic, but I'd be happy to receive comments. --Francis Schonken 12:17, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

Deliberately wrong

I was wondering if the people running the Wikipedia project could actually promise me that everything i read in here is the best of quality. And if they cant (i am pretty sure they cant), how then can i ever trust Wikipedia again, knowing that there are some naughty boys/girls out there, who might deliberately insert erroneous, incorrect data in the articles. Is anyone punishing this kind of abuse?Is anyone doing anything about it? Is there a legal foundation for this project?

Please see Wikipedia:Replies to common objections for an answer to your objection and other common objections to Wikipedia. 67.85.62.196 22:55, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
We can't guarantee 100% accuracy. Your expectations of this project will be disappointed if you compare it to a delicately slow cooked dish -- Britannica. Think, instead, of Wikipedia as a better devised Internet source than compared with the results of a Google search. Your Google searches will turn up some official looking pages, some high quality personal pages, some highly point of view pages, and lots of nutcase/sloppy waste (search for Kennedy assassination, etc). Similarly on Wikipedia, it's true anyone can publish anything, but anyone can also correct anything. There's a lot more good intentioned users than naughty sorts, so, in the end, the good overwhelms the bad. The pages appearing from a Google search page can't self correct in this manner. lots of issues | leave me a message 00:14, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
My experience using Wikipedia and contributing over the last year has taught me one thing: If someone enters something wrong, offensive, crazy, or nasty, someone else will fix it in minutes - sometimes inside of a minute. I think it's the watchlist feature - any time I see a change to a page I care about, I go check the page to see what happened, in part to make sure that no one has vandalized or defaced it. And with so many users, from occasional contributors like me to some folks who are on here more or less full-time, just about every page is always under surveillance. It's one of the most impressive things I've seen on the Internet (and I've been on for 15 years!). | Keithlaw 01:56, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
Finally, part of WP:FAITH asks us to assume most of the editors really are contributing to a quality encyclopedia. When things go wrong, we take care of them - but on balance, we just assume good faith. the iBook of the Revolution 16:43, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

disputed merge

I posted this on the Wikipedia: articles for deletion talk page too. I'm not sure if this is simply a clarification for AFD, or if an new policy is needed.

There is currently a dispute going on at the methodological naturalism (MN) article. One editor has been trying to merge it into naturalism (philosophy) (PN). Other editors oppose the merge. The editor redirected MN to PN, and was reverted twice. Another editor put the article up for AFD to let people vote on what to do with the article, but the person who wants to merge removed the AFD on the article saying "no one wanted to delete the article, so AFD doesn't apply". He replaced the AFD with a "two versions" flag. An article RFC was filed, and some responses came in to keep the articles separate, but the editor who wants to do the merge still insists he is right, and has indicated he will be changing the "two versions" to primarily redirect with the disputed version being teh original separate article. This is a content dispute that has thus far been unresolved.

The AFD page says "Articles for Deletion (AfD) was created to provide a place where Wikipedians decide what should be done with problematic articles".

My question is this: Is an AfD an acceptable way to resolve whether an article should be merged or kept separate? It seems to fit the original definition of "what should be done with problematic articles". The argument against an AFD was that since no one suggested "deleting" the article, then an AFD is inappropriate. What someone was suggesting was "merge/redirect" and those opposed say "keep". Anyway, I've looked at all the options under merging an article and none of them have any voting mechanisms or anything to resolve the content dispute around something that is strictly merge or keep. So, the question is would an AFD be a legitimate way to decide what to do with the article even though none of the original editors say "delete"?

Otherwise, I see no other way to resolve this content dispute and a slow revert war will continue, along with all teh debates that are spilling over into the articles related to the article in question. FuelWagon 20:36, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

The AFD policies may not state this explicitly, but using AFD for deciding whether two articles should be merged is not uncommon in practice. I've done it myself in fact. Personally, I think it's a perfectly reasonable way to query the community for a consensus on a thorny issue like this regarding not what its content should be, but where the content should reside. That the nominator is not seeking a discrete delete vote shouldn't preclude its being listed on AFD, I feel. · Katefan0(scribble) 20:47, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
I think that's an unacceptable overextension of AfD. AfD should not be a place to get community consensus about random things, especially since the consensus you will get is only that of the AfD-watching community. You get consensus about an article on its talk page, or with an article request for comment if that fails. RSpeer 04:09, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

VFU Scope

There is a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Votes for undeletion#The scope of VfU in which it has been proposed that VfU be renamed Wikipedia:Deletion Review and empowered to review AfD (and other XfD) debates improerply closed when no deletion occured. Pleaase reveiw the discussion and consider expressign a view. if this change is made it should have a wide consensus. DES (talk) 17:27, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

No advertisements policy - need some help on a violation.

Page in question is My Antonia. Two users (perhaps the same user?) are repeatedly adding/replacing links on that page that go directly to the sales pages for two editions of this book recently published by the University of Nebraska's press. One of the users works for that university's business office.

My opinion is that this violates the What Wikipedia is not clause on advertising:

  1. The links don't tell the user anything more about the book
  2. The products being pushed aren't any different than the free version available at Gutenberg
  3. The products being pushed are 4x as pricey as the typical mass-market paperback edition of the book

I've reverted twice, so before I do it again, I thought it best to solicit some opinions. Thanks. | Keithlaw 23:28, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

If we must link to a specific edition of the book, one that's been conventionally published, use the ISBN rather than a link to an individual sales site. Library of Congress lists 39 entries, though, so a good couple of dozen editions are out there... I'm agnostic on whether or not to include ISBNs for this, since it's a bit hopeless for things this heavily reprinted. But if we include those links, do it as ISBN 0123456789, or whatever, rather than a direct link. (On the other hand, if you feel like an hour or two of fun bibliography, it ought to be possible to catalogue every published edition in that article...) Shimgray 00:03, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
Amazon list 42 editions.[2] xISBN list 66.[3]. Bovlb 06:08, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
You could also summarize your review of those editions right next to the link, and let a later editor clean things up. (SEWilco 06:21, 14 September 2005 (UTC))

Emotional terms inside of articles (or article parts) related to history

I am sure that this issue was discussed in the past, but I see a lot of articles which contains emotional qualifications of some events (i.e. "liberated", "occupied", etc.). I think that Wikipedia should have policy which would forbid such kind of event qualifications. Instead of this, events should be described more neutral. In other words, this is the question of (N)POV (and I am not sure if the question is covered by NPOV rules), but people often make edit wars about such things. What others think about this issue? --millosh (talk (sr:)) 23:19, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Maybe we can make some dictionary of "better words" (does it exist?). (My English is not so good, so I would like not to work on such project, but...) --millosh (talk (sr:)) 23:19, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps they should be added to Wikipedia:Words to avoid? Angela. 08:58, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't think liberated and occupied are neccesarily words to avoid. While they can cause problems with regard to states and provinces who want independence from the country they're part of using them to describe the occupation of the Netherlands by Nazi Germany wouldn't cause much controversy. I would just be careful about where to use them. - Mgm|(talk) 09:56, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
  • It's not always easy to distinguish, or even to find another word that would be more "politically correct". For example, it is generally described that Leopold III was "under captivity" by the Germans during WWII. Later, he couldn't return as "King" to Belgium, while some people thought he might have "enjoyed" his captivity more than he let on. What more "neutral" word could be used? Leopold III was "lodged" by the Germans? Seems absurd to me, and contrary to the usual terminology by historians. In some countries such way of expressing it might even be considered "revisionist", thus saying that the more "neutral"/"emotionless" way of putting it is in fact more "POV". I'd like to use another example, completely unrelated to the previous, this time a plea for the "less emotional": A certain encyclopædia writes about Frederick II of Prussia:

    [...] a brilliant military campaigner who, in a series of diplomatic stratagems and wars against Austria and other powers, greatly enlarged Prussia's territories and made Prussia the foremost military power in Europe. [...] [4]

    Well, then I think: Wikipedia does this better: what's this about a "brilliant military campaigner", isn't that just emotional stuff glossing over the fact he chased thousands of people to meet their death? Is that "Brilliant"? Even how the word "greatly" is used in that sentence I think repulsive - The reason I think wikipedia does this better is because of the NPOV concept. In general (considering both examples): maybe, yes, a "list of neutral words", as suggested by Angela might work; on the other hand: it comes all down to NPOV, which maybe can't be captured in instructions like "use this word instead of that word". Nor "captivity" nor "brilliant" nor "great(ly)" is a wrong word in itself - it's only about whether such word is used in a NPOV logic, or an "emotional" logic: and maybe the NPOV guideline suffises to explain that "slight" difference, that is so important for wikipedia. --Francis Schonken 12:17, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it has to be beaten out case by case (see the endless discussions over use of the term "terrorism"). If you disagree with a wording, you can change it, but if it is changed back, you have to argue about it. Some wordings are fixed by tradition, i.e. Alexander the Great does not endorse the "greatness" of what was really an imperialist madman, but is purely conventional. dab () 13:01, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Indeed, compare also:
  • Re. "terrorism": not wanting to revive things that "miraculously" lost their acuteness immediately after the US 2004 presidential elections: I always thought a "terrorists" category was possible @ wikipedia, if applying a strict and as neutral as possible category definition, according to the categorization of people guideline.
  • Re. "the Great" as epithet for rulers/monarchy: I recently used Alfred the Great as an example here; For Frederick II of Prussia (about whom I quoted an encyclopædia article above) I had proposed a few days earlier to change the article title to Frederick the Great diff - without success.
In sum I defend to use the "most common name" for article titles (not doing so would be POV); and avoid non-NPOV glorification/obfuscation/rewriting of history in article text: that's where the "the Great" epithet (and the like) should receive a NPOV treatment --Francis Schonken 14:27, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
  • "Liberated" does express a PoV, albiet soemtimes a widely-accepted PoV, and must be used with care as with any words that express a PoV. "Occupation" however, is a factual statement. an occupation can be hotile or mostly non-hostile (consider the occupation of West Berlin during much of the cold war). Any time a territory is controlled by armed forces from another state but has not been annexed, it is occupied. Motives and effects may be PoV issues, the presence of an occupation is a matter of fact (and may be disputed, like other factual issues). Historical and political subjects often have strongly felt PoV issuies. these can not be settels simply by avoiding a list of trigger words -- they must be carefully and througly discussed to have any hope of achiving a NPOV account of any such subject. DES (talk) 14:31, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments. Except some clear situations like "liberation of slaves" (and similar), I think that the term "liberation" should be removed from articles. Terms like "captured", "conquered" and "occupied" are better for any military/political related story. However, it should be widely implemented, not partialy. Yes, occupation has the meaning as DES described. But, it should not be implemented partialy, in some of articles -- because it is often contrast to the term "liberation". I can't imaginge how many articles use the term "liberation/liberated" in the meaning of winning some war. And consequences of such terms are long term edit wars, as well as bad feelings. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 09:10, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Just to say what do I mean with problems of the term of liberation: It is the fact that French people felt defeat of Nazi Germany as liberation. But, I can't say the same for Latvians, Suddet Germans, Germans from a lot of European parts etc. Or what were liberations in Yugoslav wars or in Rwandan war? And if we go further through history, we can see that modern states are based on a lot of conqeusts, where "liberation" is just political term to unify some people. And there are always the second party, which feels that some event was not liberation, but occupation. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 09:10, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

But, this is just the small part of the set of similar terms. Even terms which do nothing with some personal/political feelings (such as Francis said for "brilliant military campaigner") are not good inside of encyclopedic articles. Encyclopedia is not the place for poetry ;) (except for rational describing of poetry, of course). And the number of such terms and term usage is indefinite. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 09:10, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

I looked into the article Words_to_avoid and I think that emotional terms need one section, not separated terms like "liberation" or "brilliant" (and where to put them together?); as well as description why emotional (and/or poetic) terms are not good inside of encyclopedic article. However, I don't think that I am able to make such set of suggestions because my English is rudimentar; i.e., it is good enough for talk pages, but not good enough for article pages; as well as it is not good enough to find small meaning differences between some terms. If anyone is interested to do so, I would be glad to help her/him/them. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 09:10, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Hi Millosh, in case you misunderstood I totally disagree with DES on this one. There's no such thing as some word being more "suspect" than another one. There are words to avoid like "has a relation with" in the sense of being vague: if the type of relation (sleeping together; being someones boss; etc) is not clarified, the word "relation" is "to be avoided". None of the words DES or you or I mentioned are a "word to avoid in wikipedia" in that sense. None of these words is "inherently PoV". All these words can be "OK" in a certain context; "not OK" in another.
  • Take for instance "liberate": since early renaissance, for instance, that is the technical term for getting a manuscript out of an abbey so that it can be printed (whether the manuscript was acquired by paying a sum, or by less honest methods, the technical term is in both cases "liberate"). Don't believe me? See this link
  • In a recent discussion there was talk whether or not "bald" could be used for a guy dead for hundreds of years, a guy that all that time was called "Charles the Bald". Won't take long before we can't use the word "bald" for Koyak any more in wikipedia, if your lot gets it the way you want it.
So no, this new approach of "suspect" words is absolute nonsense. Only "vague" words, and maybe some straightout dirty words like "whore" and so, and also inequal comparisons with "however" and the like, can be on "words to avoid". Neither "liberate", nor "brilliant" nor "Great" nor "small" (etc) have any sense to be on such list.
And maybe better not to spread such nonsense: before a crazy bot-fan gets out his machine and starts "purifying" wikipedia from all such sensible words (that is: if used in the right context, like Dab said too)
"Emotional" talk is not about "words to avoid"; the NPOV guideline deals with avoiding emo-talk, that's where it's on its place, and that's where it already is. IMHO the "words to avoid" page needs not to be burdened with something that is not even about individual words. --Francis Schonken 00:07, 17 September 2005 (UTC)
I didn't say that "liberate" was a "suspect" word, I didn't say any word was "suspect". What I said was that "liberate" when used to describe a military or political action (auch as "the liberation of iraq") expresses a Point of View. Since Wikipedia is committed to WP:NPOV, we must be careful when using terms that express or imply a PoV to make sure that that PoV is properly sourced or attribited, and does not appear to be Wikipedia's PoV. I also said that "occupation" does not express a PoV in the same way, or to the same degree, although it can be and often is used in PoV statements. DES (talk) 00:19, 17 September 2005 (UTC)
You said:

"Liberated" does express a PoV, albiet soemtimes a widely-accepted PoV, and must be used with care as with any words that express a PoV

without mentioning ANY context, and least of all IRAQ. So no, wat you said about "liberated" without context is simply missing the point. What you now say about liberated, adding the context Iraq has nothing to do with the guideline "words to avoid", it is only about how to formulate it in a NPOV way. "The official US version of the story is that the US liberated Iraq, while at the same time suicide bombers see themselves as liberators of the same" is perfectly NPOV. Nothing to do with "avoiding words". --Francis Schonken 09:27, 17 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes I said that. In the context of the post to which i was responding, it was clear that I meant liberate in a military/political context, and i still do. i used Iraq as an example, in no way are my comments limited to the current Iraq situation. Also i was not talking about the "words to avoid" page, and IIRC neither was anyone in this thread before i made my comment. I'm not sure I had even heard of that page until it was mentioned later in the thread. I was neither endorsing nor opposing the suggestions on that page, nor suggesting adding "liberation" to that page. All I said was (and i still stand by it) in the context of military and political affairs, the word "liberation" and related words express a PoV in a way that the word "Occupation" does not, or at least not in all uses. Any word or phrase that expresses a poV must be used with care in a wikipedia article, so that the article as a whole conforms to teh NPOV principle.. You are correct that using the word "liberate" (or "liberators") to describe the views of one party to a conflict or dispute, or in general to describe a PoV that is properly attributed to an outside source, is perfectly proper (assuming that the attribution is accurate, as it seems to be in the example you used above). I don';t thing the geenral NPOV problem can be solved by anything as simple as a list of words to avoid. Almost any word can be sued when describing a proeprly attributed poV. Many of the examples in the "words to avoid" page do show frequently used ways of expressing things that may include a PoV without the writer fully realizing this. such uses of words are often a poor idea, but everything depends on the details of the particular use involved. DES (talk) 19:26, 17 September 2005 (UTC)
Still the same: "liberate/liberation" is not a "bad" or "suspect" or "PoV-expressing" or whatever you want to call it word in itself, even if used ecxlusively in "military"/"political" context - not more or not less as "occupy/occupation" in that same context. No sorry, we don't agree on this one: there's no "inherent" expression of PoV stronger or weaker in "liberated" than in "occupied". For both it depends on the context exclusively.
Millosh didn't say he considered "liberated" and "occupied" (the two words he mentioned) only in military context. Mgm wrote a comment, pointing to the military context. If that's what you wanted to reply to, you could've inserted it there, adding one more ":" to make it indent, so that it would be clear to what context you referred.
Angela had mentioned "words to avoid" page, and I had made a comment about it before you wrote your first comment on this topic. Millosh saw your comment as something approving extension of "words to avoid", so you're barking up the wrong tree if you say I interpreted your words wrong in that respect. --Francis Schonken 23:01, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

Francis, I didn't talk about prohibition of some words at all. (It is clear that slaves are liberated during US Civil War; after the war they were not slaves anymore.) Maybe it is related to "Words to avoid", maybe to NPOV. I am not sure. But, we should have clear policy where "liberation of Iraq" or "brilliant mass killer" would not be welcome. (As well as I don't see that "brilliant" is useful in the sense of adjective at all.) So, the intention is not to rename Alexander the Great (in primary school we called him "Alexander of Macedon" [I think it is good translation from Serbian to English] and such naming is better then Alexander the Great; but we can generalize that there are personal names with "Great" inside of them and that we don't intend to change personal names), but to remove emotional talk from encyclopedic descritption because in this moment Wikipedia is full of emotional descriptions. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:44, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

"Liberation of Iraq" can be used, see above. The NPOV approach is to add the context: telling who's side of the story it is. And that's the primary way to avoid drifting on emotion.
Even: "Encyclopedia Britannica describes Frederick the Great as a brilliant military campaigner" is NPOV, OK, and eligible as wikipedia content (if, of course, Britannica is not the only source used). --Francis Schonken 09:24, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

Please, look this diff for example. Yes, this matter is related to (N)POV questions, but... In the case inside of link no one word is "emotional by nature", as well as my comment was not correct: I am sure that Ho Shi Min was willing to pay such number of [Vietnam] soldiers for independent Vietnam, as well as I am sure that Joseph Laniel was willing to pay such number of [French] soldiers to keep the colony. So, both sentences are true, there are no words "emotional by nature" and in the first example, it is clear that it is written by some French (or someone who likes France or doesn't like Ho Shi Min or Vietnam...). And what to do with that? --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:44, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

"[several thousand killed or wounded], almost a quarter of the attacking force, a price Ho Chi Minh was willing to pay for independence." (the thing you linked to) is just plain bad encyclopedia writing: the sentence is not referenced, as in wikipedia:cite sources. If Ho Chi Minh kept a diary, and if he wrote in that diary "several thousand of my men were killed or injured today, but that's a price I'm willing to pay for independence", or something to that effect, then the sentence could stay in wikipedia, preferably with the reference. Since there seems no source for this alleged opinion of Ho Chi Minh, it's thrown out of wikipedia. If Ho Chi Minh was *emotional* about his loss of men, then wikipedia tries to capture *exactly* that emotion, using sources to support the terminology used to describe that emotion. But indeed, wikipedians are asked not to add their own emotion to that, and certainly not "neutralise" any emotion of the persons described. Virginia Woolf comitted suicide while she was emotionally unstable. Better not change it to Virginia Woolf "committed suicide while she had no emotion", for the sake of writing an encyclopedia article. --Francis Schonken 09:24, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

I think that some guide with descritption "why emotional talk is not good inside of articles", "how to avoid emotional talk", "why not to use liberation in the sense of military actions", "why do we not need adjective brlliant", "why Alexander the Great is not the example of emotional talk" etc. -- can be very useful. --millosh (talk (sr:)) 02:44, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

No, you make the wrong distinction: emotion is perfectly possible in wikipedia: only: it should be emotion originating from the subject or topic described (or, at least, from referencable sources). Not from wikipedians. The passion wikipedians feel for their subjects derives from their ability to treat such topics in a NPOV way. If a former queen of Italy in her nineties confides in a Televion interview "On n'a jamais été heureux" ("we never were happy") that's emotion, that's passion, AND, it's NPOV to have that quote untouched in wikipedia. --Francis Schonken 09:24, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

A disabled subject

I have put up Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Barbara Schwarz based on the use of this article to focus on a mentally disabled person. Fred Bauder 17:51, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't think the policy page is the place for this -- besides, it appears that the page has already gone up for AFD and it was decided to keep it. However, it does bring up an interesting policy question when 1) the subject of the article is well known in some circles, 2) obviously mentally disturbed, and 3) activley editing her own article. Sounds like an edit nightmare actually. --Quasipalm 17:04, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

How do you guarantee the information is valid?

This is a great web site! One question, how can you guarantee that the information provided here is valid? I would love to use this info, but I don't want to post anything on my web site that is false.

Thanks!

How does anyone? What makes you so sure Britannica is accurate? Or the morning newspaper? --Golbez 21:33, September 10, 2005 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia:Who writes Wikipedia for a review of how articles are written, checked for mistakes, improved, and generally quality-assured. -- Sitearm | Talk 05:31, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

IP address shown not warned

When an anonymous editor edit an article (or create) a new one (s)he is not warned that his IP address will be registered and shown. Since in many case the presence of his/her IP address could be a signature more than a choosen nickname, the user should be warned. AnyFile 16:51, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Actually, that could help stem the tide of vandalism. If, in the process of making an anonymous edit, the user is warned that their ip address is logged, and that their ISP can trace them, based on time and date of usage, users may think twice before posting vandalism. Of course, contacting the ISP will most likely be an empty threat, except in the cases of extreme, repeated vandalism.

Autopilots 18:32, September 1, 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I thought that the warning was already there, but if not - adding it would be a great idea. splintax (talk) timestamp: 16:30, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, good idea. Use Special:Allmessages to figure out which MediaWiki namespace message is shown only to non-logged in users when they edit, and propose specific wording on that page(providing a link from here, of course). Good luck, and feel free to message me on my talk page if you need help or support, or an admin to do the actual changing. JesseW, the juggling janitor 22:20, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
I checked and saw no difference between edit view when logged in as a registered user, versus edit view when not logged in? -- Sitearm | Talk 05:46, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Why one screenshots per article?

see MediaWiki:Licenses, Why one screenshots per article? --Shizhao 09:16, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

If you look at the page you linked to, you can see that this comment is under "Fair Use". This is a legal concept that allows limited copying of copyrighted works, regardless of their licensing arrangements. The key word here is "limited". It is our thinking that including one screenshot in a Wikipedia article falls under Fair Use, while including more than one screenshot may not. If a work is distributed under a license that provides few or no restrictions on copying, then more than one screenshot might be acceptable. — Nowhither 19:05, 20 September 2005 (UTC)


No version protection

Just wanted to make you guys aware of a proposal at Wikipedia:No version protection. Basically, this calls for protecting a page on no version, aka a blank page. This is done through a template that sorta combines {{twoversions}} and {{protected}}. Please keep discussion on the talk page for the proposal, to avoid fragmentation. --Phroziac (talk) 05:39, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

British/American Spellings

I've noticed that sometimes articles are written in british spelling and most of the time I've seen it in American spelling. My question is, is there any establish policy concerning british and american spellings. I personally leave it alone since I know the difference between something being spelled wrong or British (not to imply british spelling is wrong).Bubbleboys 21:40, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

The current policy is that for subjects that are American (ie United States) we use American English spelling and for British topics (ie United Kingdom) we use British spelling. The same would go for other varieties of English (New Zealand English for example). As for subjects that don't fall under these, the policy is to be consistent to one spelling type and to use whatever the first contributor used. More can be found at here. Evil MonkeyHello 22:17, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
And for a real life exposure, take a look at this. --hydnjo talk 03:18, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Question: How do we enforce consensus?

Question 1:

What if we had, just for a crazy example, a 4-2 concensus to have a certain intro a certain way?

Would that be binding on later editors?

Question 2:

What if, say, another editor later added his vote, and claimed it was then 4-3, and enough editors kept voting?

Would the "concensus" change?

Implications:

  • Q1 = "YES" - If we vote to make concensus binding, then the "wiki" nature would be limited to having to look at past resolutions (slash) laws to see if it's "permitted," possibly somewhat "un-wiki."
  • Q1 = "NO" - If we prohibit concensus from being binding, then Wikipedia is a "nation without laws" -a lawless place where agreements and laws and truces can be broken willy-nilly, rather unbecoming of a User:Jimbo.


  • Q2 = "YES" - This would be flexible to allow further input, but it could accommodate "vote buying" and instability of standards, especially if a user makes up sock puppets (and get to vote multiple times) before he/she can be caught.
  • Q2 = "NO" - This would be unnecessarily inflexible and freeze things in cases where mistakes clearly happened. After all, even Dred Scot was eventually overturned.


What saith the Village Pump -- and its wise counselors?--GordonWattsDotCom 04:49, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a democracy. It's not a matter of voting on how you want an intro, and no such vote would be binding. --Prosfilaes 05:32, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

(comments below merged from Talk page)TenOfAllTrades(talk) 11:55, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm just a random editor, but as I see it, consensus doesn't work like that. Consensus is an ideal; the idea is that people should always be working towards establishing a broad consensus on articles, rather than dividing into camps and pushing their respective versions. Setting ironclad rules about consensus (and what represents consensus) could undermine the process--witness the problems with VfD/AfD. If we had the strict rules your first question implied, then disputes on Talk pages would rapidly come down to a vote instead of first trying to reach a real consensus.
Consensus is binding, in that editors (in extreme cases) can be censured and even restricted by the Arbitration Committee for flagrently and repeatedly going against it; but the proper place for that is the existing Dispute Resolution process. If you think that that process is too slow or isn't effective enough, then the proper place to bring that up would be there. Aquillion 05:48, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
"...the idea is that people should always be working towards establishing a broad consensus on articles, rather than dividing into camps..." Yes, in theory it should work like that, but then again, so should America! Yet, we do have laws. Hmm... So, then maybe should Wikipedia too should have rules & resolutions about specific edits and prior concensus agreements -enforceable ones. Now, I don't think laws, rules, accords, agreements, and resolutions (what's the difference here?) should be inflexible and etched in stone -or metal, yeah, indeed, I would support "late votes," but some sort of decorum is needed, or else Wikipedia will have EARNED it's current reputation as an "unreliable" news source of information.
Wikipeida -with "stability" -like "Shifting sands of Florida Insurance Company" -or maybe "Shade Tree Mechanics 'R Us" , or perhaps "W.E. Cheatum & Ripoffs, P.A., Attorneys-at-Law" --or maybe ...you get the picture.
With so many editors inputting data, and many people pointing their web pages to us, we are rightly ranked so highly in Google.com -but with unpaid help, and, added to it, this lack of a foundation will mean that the house will fall -if it is not repaired, lol. Will it be repaired?--GordonWattsDotCom 08:42, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
As I said, we do have laws and systems for dealing with problems. They're outlined in the Dispute Resolution process. If you think that the current dispute resolution process is not sufficient, you should address your complaints to that rather than trying to pull entirely new sets of rules out of your hat without referring to the existing ones. Additionally, remember that no matter how the rules are argued over, WP:BOLD is going to remain a central pillar of Wikipedia functioning. Users should always feel free to make at least one good-faith attempt to edit an article; if it's disputed, the dispute can be wrangled out on talk, but nobody should have to worry about going over pages and pages of month-old precidents for that first edit. In particular, an article where new disputes constantly erupt over an old consensus may be a sign that the old consensus was not as broad (or is no longer as broad) as its supporters might have thought it was. If you think it is still a valid consensus, and that the new complaints are insane, that's fine; numerous discussion forums, RfC and, if necessary, RfAr are always available to deal with intransigent editors who repeatedly violate consensus. To my knowedge, they have functioned effectively until now without the rigid definitions of consensus that you seem to be requesting. Aquillion 21:28, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
To be clear, a plurality should never be mistaken for a consensus. While it is possible to identify a majority position by using a straw poll, that is not the same as a consensus which–ideally–is achieved through discussion, reason, and compromise.
On the other hand, it also isn't appropriate for one or two individual editors to be able to hold an article hostage. That route leads to eternal edit wars. If a single editor is making frequent reverts, report violations of the three-revert rule at the 3RR subpage of the administrator's noticeboard.
In general, if you're not sure if consensus has been achieved, then it probably hasn't. Take advantage of Requests for comment, or seek mediation if there are interpersonal issues clouding the question. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 11:40, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

defining consensus

Rather than ask how to "enforce consensus" [5], the question should be what do you do with an editor who declares voting "open" [6], takes prior comments from editors and votes for them [7], accumulates a bunch of these proxy "votes" in his favor, then 30 minutes after posting his "vote", declares voting "closed" [8], and declares that he has "consensus" (4-2) for his version of content?

I posted my dispute with Gordon's ballot stuffing immediately after his "vote" [9] As did one other editor who added his vote against Gordon's POV. [10]. Changing Gordon's "consensus" to a 4-3 split.

Gordon likes to portray this as me going against "consensus", but he conveniently ignores that he rigged the election. So, I'm open to suggestions as to what to do with an editor who employs such tactics. FuelWagon 18:37, 13 September 2005 (UTC)


Question 1:

What if we had, just for a crazy example, a 4-2 concensus to have a certain intro a certain way?

Would that be binding on later editors?

A vote of 4-2 is not a consensus as the number of participants is very low and 1/3 of those who did participate disagreed. Whether the preference expressed is binding depends on whether the introduction satisfies Wikipedia:Neutral point of view which trumps preference of editors on any particular article. Later editors who find a problem may re-open negotiation. Fred Bauder 18:50, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Question 2:

What if, say, another editor later added his vote, and claimed it was then 4-3, and enough editors kept voting?

Would the "concensus" change?

Due to the small number of participants there never was a consensus, Changing of one vote in that direction would re-open negotiations, to what extent depends on the details of the particular situation. Fred Bauder 18:50, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Isn't this covered under Wikipedia:No binding decisions? the iBook of the Revolution 03:34, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

"Wikipedia:No binding decisions?" Ah! That means my decision, vote, concensus, or whatever you want to call it, was not (permanantly) binding. I learn something new every day.--GordonWatts 12:42, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Nazi moon base

What's the policy on new articles like Nazi moon base? Are they so over the top and non-credible that we just leave them be in their own little wikipedian twilight? Does it seem true that even touching an article like that, to add a disclaimer or whatever, could damage WP's credibility more than ignoring it? Or should it be AfD'd or speedied as nonsense or patent nonsense? Wyss 18:31, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Hmm.... well, it's obvious crackpottery. But then so are things like Aetherometry, which has been embroiled in an edit war for a long time over how to categorize it (i.e. pseudoscience), and other items. Not sure what the best tack is. Some folks think it's better to have these articles so that they can also be debunked within the text. This one seems particularly over the top, though. · Katefan0(scribble) 18:36, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
I think I have heard of this before and it is a real area of conspiracy theory. If so, it should be documented like everything else in an NPOV, NOR, verifiable fashion. ~~ N (t/c) 18:44, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure to laugh or cry, but this topic was previously deleted by consensus (Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Nazi moon base), and this appears to be a totally independent recreation. Dragons flight 18:53, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

New AFD. Dragons flight 19:39, 26 September 2005 (UTC)


Chit-Chat Style Edits, "Disgusting Edits", etc.

I have ran into two instances where this one guy edited the Motorola i930 page by just inserting the words "SUCK A PENIS" and another guy just adding Chit-Chat to the article. I have had it with "Genital Edits" (i.e. Suck a Penis), which I call "Article Crapping" and Chit-Chat Style Edits (Adding personal comments and/or anything considered Chit-Chat) and I have made it clear on the Motorola i930 discussion page that all chit-chatting belongs to the Wikipedia Sandbox and that "Article Crapping" would be dealt with harshly. Can you make it policy that all chit-chat style edits can only be posted on the Sandbox AND that Article Crapping (i.e. writing either Penis, or some Genital Reference on an article, considered vandalism, but I call that "Article Crapping") will NOT be tolerated? Thanks. — Vesther 17:18, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

We already have policy against vandalism; repeated (or single acts of extreme) vandalism is a bannable offence. I'm not sure what else you think we should make policy... Shimgray | talk | 17:22, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Copyright status of Mathematica created image

I recently created and uploaded Image:Cube_root_of_positive_X.png. I tagged it {{PD-self}} but did I really have the rights to such a mundane picture? It was graphed in Mathematica with the following instruction:

\!\(Plot[\@x\%3, \ {x, 0, 2}, \ AspectRatio \[Rule] Automatic, \ 
   PlotPoints \[Rule] 20000]\)

Ambush Commander(Talk) 19:37, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

This can be something of an ugly gray area of copyright law. The key question is whether such images incorporate copyrightable acts of creative expression attributable to the software vendor. On the one hand, there are programs like MS Paint, where you have full control over every pixel and the vendor's contribution is trivial and fully interchangable with many other similar programs. No copyright problems there. On the extreme there are professional visualization software packages that take a limited set of data from the user and render it in complex and non-obvious ways. In most cases, you can't claim ownership over those images, though fair use may apply. The more complicated and non-obvious the program's behavior, the more likely one is to have a problem. In this case, I think you are okay. One would have a hard time arguing that the idea of plotting axes with little labels is in any way an act of creativity derived from the software vendor. (One might argue about the choice of fonts and line widths, but since the software gives you control over those things, I would argue that simply using the default settings is too trivial a component to be protected.) Dragons flight 20:47, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
Actually, there's some deep magic going into the choice of scale of axis markings and range in Mathematica, but given that you manually specified the range and everything I'd say you're in the clear here. This might even be considered an uncopyrightable image depending on the plotting algorithms mathematica uses, but I'm no copyright lawyer or expert on the matter, so take that last bit with a grain of salt. --fvw* 20:58, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. I think I'll leave the tag as it is for now.
As a side note... Mathematica plots points by selected a whole bunch of them, calculating the values, and then plotting them on (try plotting Sin[1/x]: the line wiggles infinitely often, so Mathematica doesn't get it right). — Ambush Commander(Talk) 01:16, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but how big a whole bunch of them, and at what points on the x-axis? This isn't an easy problem and quite a few papers have been written on the issue. --fvw* 01:19, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Format for citing sources?

How far should this be carried? I thought the guideline before was that attaching a website as an external link implied that it could have been used as a source for the article, but I see in Wikipedia:Cite sources that it says that policy has basically been discontinued. So that implies to me that almost every article would have a references section or use footnotes? That does not seem like a good idea, because it would cause excess clutter. Spalding 18:43, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree. Sometimes external links are the only references, so it's redundant to have a separate section for references and external links.  Grue  19:30, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Disambiguation of personal names

Is there a guideline on how to apply disambiguating phrases (clarifiers) to articles on peopple with common names? For example, Bill White is a common name. Right now we have three subjects with that name, disambiguated as (baseball), (mayor), and (activist). The last of those is being questioned, but I can't find the general guideline for how to proceed. Any suggestions? -Willmcw 22:31, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

PS - I posted that to Wikipedia talk:Naming conflict, but can't find any better page that addresses similar issues. Wikipedia:Disambiguation says:
For more on which word or phrase to insert in the parentheses, see Wikipedia:Naming conventions and Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions.
However "Naming conventions" does not have a section on disambiguation. There are brief mention of "clarifiers" at Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages), but only in regarding to how they should be handled. Does anybody here know if there is an existing guideline? Thanks, -Willmcw 07:30, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
If you want a cop-out, you could always use (1977)... Shimgray 11:46, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I have recently moved a couple of pages that disambiguated a name by birth year to ones that did so by profession. IMO birth year is not a helpful tag fro soemone to identify which Bill Foo is which. I haven't read this particualr article, so i don't know what other term besides "activist" might be applicable --- and IMO "activist is a bit generic anyway. How about Anti-X activist or Pro-Y activist? Whatever is chosen it should be specific, clear, and of course NPOV. DES (talk) 15:25, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Indirectly the topic has come up on wikipedia talk:Easy navigation; as a consequence I had already added something to the wikipedia:Naming conventions (people)#Qualifier between brackets or parentheses guideline proposal. But that's not "version 1.0" of that proposal yet, so you can always have a look and try to improve (or cummunicate what you think about it on wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (people)) --Francis Schonken 16:03, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Mirror licences?

Ok, I don't understand the intricacies of copyright. If I come across a site that uses Wikipedia articles (even if it says "partly derived from") but then licenses under CC-BY-SA 2.0, and not the GFDL, are they infringing? The particular site also "partly derive[s]" from Wikitravel which is where I suppose they draw their license from. -Splashtalk 04:45, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

If they are claiming that Wikipedia content is available under CC-BY-SA then yes. Presently GFDL and CC-BY-SA licenses are incompatible (even though they accomplish basically the same thing). I have been led to understand that there have been some high level discussions about making these compatible in future versions of each. Dragons flight 05:12, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Personal details of notable people

Other than the general guidelines of WP:V, WP:NOR and similar pages, are there any specific guidelines dealing with the publication of a notable person's personal information? After a rather icky episode in which someone posted a former porn star's real name and current work address (See: WP:AN/I under Jordi Capri and Tawnee Stone), I am thinking about writing up some specific guidelines collecting all the reasons it is bad to publish unverifiable & unencyclopedic personal information, so that there will be an easy page to reference next time something like this happens. However, I don't want to duplicate material if a similar page already exists somewhere? Dragons flight 17:05, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

This is also valuable for non-notable people mentioned in articles. SchmuckyTheCat 18:01, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't see what's wrong with posting the real names of notable people -- even porn stars. The address should immediatley be removed, however. --Quasipalm 18:14, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
A porn star's real name generally has serious questions of verifiablity and original research attached as the real name is unlikely to have been used by the publisher in relation to any of the work. And I am generally against including information based on what someone who claims to have gone to high school with someone else happens to post on some web forum. I would argue there are other reasons attached to personal safety for not including it as well, but NOR and V are two of the biggest problems that attach in most cases. Dragons flight 18:32, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
There's Wikipedia:Divulging personal details, which is presently inactive and was written for one specific case anyway. However, this comes up often enough that perhaps the page should be reactivated and made more prominent: linked to from the Manual of Style for biographies, the verifiability guidelines, etc. Wikipedia talk:Divulging personal details awaits. . . —Charles P. (Mirv) 18:15, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

I've archived the old discussion and written up something new on the subject. Edit away. —Charles P. (Mirv) 20:14, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Can someone post an article about someone not famous?

Hello,

Can someone post an article about someone not famous, like a relative or friend? Or does the person have to be famous somewhere in a meaningful context? What if I wanted to post an article about myself (or themselves)?

Please e-mail me at [edited out] with an answer at your convience. Wikipedia is one of my favorite websites, and I enjoy reading it everyday.

Senor Boogie Woogie

  • To elaborate on "fame" (we use "notability" here), someone either has to be famous to the general public notwithstanding a lack of concrete accomplishment (such as Paris Hilton), or have accomplished something significant so that they are highly regarded within their profession and/or studied within a particular academic field (such as Alexei Abrikosov). A few achieve both. Some may have once had both but lost one. And others don't have either, though we can always dream. Postdlf 08:32, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

We are too lax in allowing copyrighted image uploading.

Fellow editors,

I had thought we had a blanket policy saying that copyrighted images that do not fall under fair use will be deleted, whether the copyright owner gives permission or not. As stated on the upload page:

Please do not upload files under a "non-commercial use only" or "copyrighted, used by permission" licence. Such files may be deleted right away. Images uploaded without source or licensing information will also be deleted if this information is not supplied within seven days.

Contradicting this wise policy is, on the copyright tags page, the very existence of the tags "permission", "copyright", "noncommercial", "noncommercialprovided", and "CopyrightedNotForProfitUseProvidedThat". The page mentions that users shouldn't upload pictures that fall into this category, but people continue to do so (see black triangles); I believe that the existence of the tags will be seen as permission to upload these copyrighted images to Wikipedia. This is because people do not read instructions, and will never do so no matter how lengthily we exhort them.

And then there is the "permissionandfairuse" tag, which will always be subject to abuse.

I propose that each of the above tags include a message in the template saying that new images must not be uploaded with that tag, and newly uploaded images with the tag will be deleted in 24 hours. The downside of course is that many uploaders may simply change the tag to "fair use". We can warn against that in the template, too, and I think it's worthwhile. Tempshill 17:24, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Question: when there is an image which is labelled with a copyright (e.g. Shagbark Hickory) is it proper to replace it with an image which is released under the standard GNU release of Wikipedia text to 'clean up' copyright issues within Wikipedia? JohnSankey 17:42, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
You say "I had thought we had a blanket policy saying that copyrighted images that do not fall under fair use will be deleted, whether the copyright owner gives permission or not." That isn't quite correct -- if the copyright owner givees permission in the form of a GFDL release, then the image is fine -- in fact far better than fair use. And it is often a good idea to ask the sorce of an image with debatable status if a release can be executed -- not infrequently the answer is yes, particualrly if the source is not a commercial organization. There is a new speesy criterion decreed by jimbo for unsourced images -- take a look at WP:CSD. Let';s see how that works for a while before proposing additional criteria. DES (talk) 17:47, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, yes, of course you're right about the GFDL, I assumed everyone would know that, sorry for not explicitly mentioning it above. The onus for asking permission is on the uploader and not other editors who happen to notice the pic, nor on admins. The new speedy criterion over on that page is only for text, now, by the way; you might want to look at it again ... I am rather shocked that images are not explicitly stated there. Tempshill 22:54, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I was referring to the new I4, which says Images in category "Images with unknown source" or "Images with unknown copyright status" which have been in the category for more than 7 days, regardless of when uploaded. this is efective now, unlike the text-only proposal I suspect you are refrering to. (look at the talk page on that proposal for soem discussion of related issues.) I don't fully agree with you on this. While the uploader ought to get a GFDL release before uploading, in a significant number of cases when that doesn't happen we get oen later as part of the copyvio verification process. These would be lost by your proposal. In a significant further number of cases the uplaoder had permission but didn't understand how to indicate this correctly. I have learned that on copyright and license issues it is very unsafe to rely on what "everyone knows", so I spell things out. many people don't know, and many others think they do, but have it somewhat wrong. DES (talk) 00:21, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
I just added a bullet at Special:Upload warning against uploading images from the internet without verifying their copyright status. If indeed very few people read instructions this won't help much, but I figure it can't hurt. -- Rick Block (talk) 18:29, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, thanks. Tempshill 22:54, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

How long has NPOV been negotiable?

I've been subjected to weeks of harassment, including an RfC based on a objectively false statement, for disputing the inclusion of an obvious NPOV violation as a factual statement. The intervening admin, who's already stated that the disputed statements are inappropriate, nevertheless declared that my deletion of them was "misbehavior" in violation of "consensus," and protected the page with the violations in place. Have I missed something? Is NPOV-violation now OK? Are editors supposed to simply ignore it rather than following guidelines? (And when did 2 of 4 users become a recognized consensus, anyway?) Is there any way to return the relevant page to rational discussion rather than the current circus? Monicasdude 03:52, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Could you please point to the actual dispute? Without any facts, it isn't possible to make a judgement. --Carnildo 06:09, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

The dispute involves the Bob Dylan page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Dylan

The specific matter at issue -- the interpretations of a group of songs as "religious" or "secular" involves these alternative texts: [11] and I took the position that, if the article was going to present lyrics interpretations, whether summarily or in detail, it should report the range of interpretations rather than one set, as required by NPOV policy.

The intervening admin stated that unsourced lyrics interpretations/characterizations weren't allowed as original research [12] but has indicated that my opposition to inserting such comments is inappropriate behavior [13] (even though, by that time, a clear majority of those commenting on the talk page and the RfC opposed the text I'd deleted, and at the time of the original intervention comments were evenly divided.)

The RfC is here: [14] Please note that the description of events, especially as presented on the summary page, is objectively false. Monicasdude 16:13, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

It's always the wrong version which gets protected. —Wahoofive (talk) 15:37, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I know, I know. I just thought it unusual for an admin to declare that a particular edit was inappropriate and protect it. Monicasdude 16:13, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Village pump (policy)

The title of this thread is that of this page: I'm seeking to ascertain and identify what is current concensus on some policy that many seem to think needs to be changed -based on recent actions in contravention of policy: Featured Article policy and RfA policy, but people just want to run their mouths -instead of helping define what exactly the current concensus is, so I can know what policy is supported, and what policy is ignored as "outdated."--GordonWatts 17:23, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Would you care to indicate what policy issue you have in mind, exactly? DES (talk) 20:34, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

(DES: follow the links, the issues are described in the linked pages). These two policies have been working quite well so far. You will need a a large enough group of editors to support your proposed changes. ≈ jossi ≈ 17:08, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Clarification: While I don't like all the policies currently here, I was not trying to change policy, but ascertain or identify it: I am (was) seeking to identify what the consensus is on the unclear issues: I think that sometimes policy says one thing and we have editors doing another, and this is, while well-meaning, and well-intended, still wrong. (Having policy say one thing and editors doing another makes it unclear what policy is in some cases.) Then, once we are clear on what consensus actually is, it will be easier for all to follow it -applied to all fairly, and without bias. OK, I'm going on a Wiki-break. I hope that has been helpful. Take care,--GordonWatts 20:18, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
When wikipedians do one thing while a guideline says another thing, and it's important enough, I do either of these two things:
  1. When I like the guideline more than what the wikipedian did, I point him/her to the guideline;
  2. When I like more what the wikipedian did than what's in the guideline, maybe the guideline is up for some updating, and I work on that.
The second option also when two guidelines contradict (of course, I take the guideline I like most as a model for the other in that case).
The only thing I never do is starting with a vote (claiming to be "neutral" myself, which would be an illusion), while, you see, that's against a guideline I particularly like, the wikipedia:consensus guideline, or as it is, for instance, in the intro of this guideline: Wikipedia:How to hold a consensus vote#First choice: Don't vote, just discuss. So, now I'm pointing you to these guidelines, if you get the message. --Francis Schonken 00:04, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I tried discussing it, but apparently didn't understand what people meant and inadvertently followed this suggestion, which is part of current policy: "If you go on past this section and decide to hold a vote, it most likely should be because a discussion was already tried and was inconclusive." Thx for the suggestion though.--GordonWatts 14:50, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Ah, but I think the problem was that the topic you proposed for discussion was simply not important enough (that's why I bolded that part in my previous contribution to this topic) - a month delay time for two consecutive Fac attempts simply follows from experience: trying the same, after it has been rejected by the wikipedia community, too soon after the first time, seldom leads to a more successful result. It's in several guidelines that trying nonetheless is usually contraproductive. So the people working in Fac know that, by intuition, or by analogy to these other guidelines, and know the discussion you proposed is futile, so you had better waited a few weeks while improving the article before trying to re-introduce it in Fac.
Stating the month delay in the template is even more futile, and not important or relevant enough to the Fac procedure. Having a vote over that unimportant feature is even more futile, if not belligerent.
Stating you had no opinion on the issue is ridiculous. You better had defended your opinion by talk than triggering a vote with an alleged "neutrality" that was apparently fake.
So no, you probably never tried discussion, hiding behind "neutrality", which is not used in that sense in wikipedia. Votes are only intended as a last resource for solving differences of opinion that could not be solved by talk. Vote procedures are never triggered as a consequence of an "excess of neutrality", it is in the guidelines that vote procedures have proven to work contraproductive if something like that is attempted. So you can always try that, but you see, here we are, you're at the end of a lot of procedure (which must have cost a lot of energy), but I don't see any distinghuisable "improvement" resulting from that. Better check importance first. --Francis Schonken 15:42, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
"a month delay time for two consecutive Fac attempts" I actually had concerns on both the RfA process and the Featured Article process, not just one or the other --also, surprisingly, a third consecutive attempt to get Terri Schiavo looks like it may be a success: Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates/Terri_Schiavo. I am making an honest effort -and getting help. "the topic you proposed for discussion" as I said, I proposed two topics in two forums, but -yes, maybe people didn't think policy needed changing. "while improving the article" I did wait a few weeks between each nomination, and worked (with the help of many others) very hard to address the problems others have raised. "Having a vote over that unimportant feature is even more futile, if not belligerent." I asked peoples' opinions and got little coherent answers, so I asked for a vote. It's not going to kill anybody to vote once in a while, lol. I stated that I was not seeking to change policy, but merely to ascertain what it actually was: I felt that mores and conventions and "the way we do things" was in opposition to policy (like the waiting period thing; If it is not in policy then maybe it's not supposed to be followed), so asking for clarification is reasonable and logical. I can't read minds. "Stating you had no opinion on the issue..." No! I did express an opinion, and I voted in each of my polls. I didn't ask others to vote and then run from voting myself. That would have been a rude double standard, this hypocritical. Thus, I didn't do it. "So no, you probably never tried discussion, hiding behind "neutrality"..." Obviously you don't know me; If you had participated in any of the talk pages where I visit, you'd know I try to work for concensus, but vigorously defend my point. Sometimes I win, and sometimes I loses, but in the end, I have never failed to accept consensus. My RfA is a good example: I accepted the vote like a man and withdrew my nomination. Do you need a link to that page? "but I don't see any distinguishable "improvement" resulting from that." Yes, much was gained; I learned a little from the community, and several guidelines were slightly changed by others as a result of my involvement: "in good standing" was clarified in the RfA process and "ongoing edit wars" was added as a consideration for FA-candidates. I may not have liked the changes, but I am glad things were clarified -in a positive way. You too should look for the positives and not focus myopically on the negatives. Both are there, but a balanced life requires effort to achieve a balanced view. All the same, thank you for analysis.--GordonWatts 16:09, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
PS: I'm on Wiki break due to overwork; I don't mind answering questions and clarifying points, but I am not going to go overboard here -and maybe other people are over-extending themselves here in the (unpaid) Wiki environment too? "So no, you probably never tried discussion, hiding behind "neutrality"..." Oh, one more thing: I'm not perfect, I admit, bit, if you look in Archive 4 of my talk page, you'll see a bunch of barnstars, which indicates that I do get along with people; Also, on my current talk page, someone thanked me for helping him clarify some personal problems. My point? I'm not saying I always do everything right; Yet, I just want you to understand that all is not as it appears to you. Again, thank you for the feedback, but I shall not spend too much time here on wiki.--GordonWatts 16:15, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

What does "international" mean?

Is it WP policy to use the term "international" to mean "not-US" (or perhaps "not-US-or-Canadian")? This is how the term is used in e.g. the "Comprehensive charts" section of The Trouble with Love Is. Previously there was a division between "USA" and "International" (the latter referring only to the UK and Australia, though perhaps allowing for additions about Moldova, Guinea-Bissau, etc. etc.). I changed "International" to "Elsewhere", as neither the UK nor Australia seemed more international to me than the US did; but another editor has changed it back to "International" with the comment "International is a more appropriate term for the other charts of other countries I think". -- Hoary 14:49, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia isn't country-centric, so yes, putting "other countries" or "elsewhere" does make more sense. In fact, I think that in this case merging the two tables into one would be more useful, possibly restructuring the "chart" column to start with the country name. --fvw* 14:58, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Obviously the correct response is to relabel the one section UK & Australia and to title the other "International", since that is an equally valid perspective.  :-) Yes, I'm just being silly, don't listen to me. Fvw has some good ideas though. Dragons flight 15:07, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
fvw's suggestion is good - use just one table. That said, "International" here could be understood to mean "Not the song's country of origin" - so if this were an article about a Moldovan song, two sections, we'd have "Moldova" and "International" sections. But the distinction is unnecessary - one chart is better. CDC (talk) 18:21, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
The hitch with elsewhere is that it's about as "centric" as one can get :) Wyss 19:04, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I don't agree in this case, since the table above is labelled "USA", and so it is clear what the "Elsewhere" means. This is reasonable, since there are 6 entries that are in the USA and 2 that are not. In general, that's not a bad way to divide things up, whenever there is a phenomenon that is almost entirely in a single country/region/whatever, with occasional occurrences in other places. — Nowhither 19:12, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
In any case, to the original poster: No, it is not Wikipedia policy to use "international" to mean "non-USA". But many Americans have a hard time getting such things through their heads. The solution, I think, it to be patient with them, and edit their work accordingly. — Nowhither 19:12, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
How about worldwide then? Wyss 19:23, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Given that the USA is part of the world (although there may be some Americans who don't grasp this or find it objectionable) and so worldwide includes America. Thus if there was 6 entries from teh USA and 2 from countries that are not the USA there would be 8 entries in a worldwide section. Thryduulf 19:49, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Thank you all for your comments. I've merged the two tables, more or less as fvw suggested (though without bothering to create a new column for "nation"). -- Hoary 01:56, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

American music, movie, and video games companies always say "international" to mean "foreign" in the context of sales territories. A press release will use the word correctly when it says "Devo is an international success", but within the company they'll always talk about "USA" and "international" sales. I believe the reason is that the word "foreign" sounds a little negative to many people, and this was an attempt to come up with a politically correct synonym. You're absolutely in the right to resist this, of course. Tempshill 17:31, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I bet that's where it comes from. Similarly, American universities now talk about "international students" rather than "foreign students". — Nowhither 00:31, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Then I'll go ahead and resist. Though I fear that this US-centric and bizarre use of "international" is widespread in WP. -- Hoary 04:44, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Foreign is also not very exact. As has been clearly stated by a wise Hungarian; foreign means not from the UK. Use "non-US" vs US or something similar if that's what you mean. Mozzerati 06:25, 22 September 2005 (UTC) ( :-)

can you have discussion on "discussion pages"?

i wrote something that was definitely opinionated on the discussion page of the Billie Joe Armstrong article. mind you this was on the discussion page, not the article. A zealous wikipedian soon thereafter reverted my edits on the discussion page to the previous version. In the edit summary, this wikipedian cited the policy of wikipedia not being a discussion forum (the exact edit summary read: Revert "sold out". WP:NOT a discussion forum.). Now wikipedia articles are obviously not to be used as discussion forums, i understand that very well, but am I right in saying that it is ok to have discussions and state opinions on the discussion page? if someone could tell me what the correct interpretation of policy is in this case, i would appreciate it. If i'm wrong, i will gladly admit it, but right now, I'm not sure.--Alhutch 18:55, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

The answer is "yes, but. . ." (from Wikipedia:Talk page):

On Wikipedia, the purpose of a talk page is to help to improve the contents of the main page, from an encyclopedic point of view. Questions, challenges, excised text (due to truly egregious confusion or bias, for example), arguments relevant to changing the text, and commentary on the main page are all fair play.
Wikipedians generally oppose the use of talk pages just for the purpose of partisan talk about the main subject. Wikipedia is not a soapbox, it's an encyclopedia. In other words, talk about the article, not about the subject. It's only the habits we encourage that keep Wikipedia from turning into another H2G2 or Everything2. See also: Wikiquette

HTH. —Charles P. (Mirv) 18:51, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

thanks for the help. i was wrong.--Alhutch 19:00, 27 September 2005 (UTC)


Can someone please explain????

I WAS SENT AN ARTICLE BY A FRIEND OF MINE, CLICKED ON THE LINK, THEN GOT THIS!

IN THE PAST, I HAVE USED WIKIP. FOR CHILDREN'S HOMEWORK BUT HAVE NEVER ALTERED ANY TEXT - CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN? THANKS PLEASE EMAIL <email address removed, see history if you want it>

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Even if you do not want to edit the encyclopaedia, there are many benefits of creating an account. Thryduulf 13:21, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
Note also that leaving your email address on this site is a VERY bad idea, and most people will respond here rather than by email anyway. DES (talk) 15:04, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

I am being stalked by Image copyright fanatics

These people have the nerve to delete an important image I uploaded (an early 1900s photo of downtown Jacksonville) without even notifying me, then go to MY talk page and tell me that basically they want to delete everything I have uploaded. Somebody tells me I can't use an image because the originator doesn't want it used for COMMERCIAL purposes, but yet I am NOT using it for commercial purposes. --Revolución (talk) 02:41, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

The founders of Wikipedia believe that all content should be truly free, which means that they require that content could even be used commercially if someone wanted to do so. For example, they wish that the content should be just as free for corporations as it is for educators. Images which are not licensed under terms that make commercial use possible are inconsistent with this ideal of having truly free content. Hence it has been Wikipedia's policy not to accept such images for some time and to delete them when they do occur. I am sorry if this is upsetting to you, and seems unfair. Dragons flight 03:39, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
If it is truly an early 1900s photo it is quite probably in the public domain via expired copyright. Re-uplaod and tag as {{pd-old}} or one of the related templates, if the facts justify this. DES (talk) 04:36, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
Not necessarily, it might well not have been published until later. --fvw* 04:41, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
Revolución, I don't know if you were notified -and I don't know if you should have been, but I went to bat -and advocated on your behalf -at Jimbo's talk page, FYI. Also, even if you were treated correctly, it is worth clarifying, so others don't have the same pain. However, Dragon's Flight is correct: Wikipedia's policy is for Fair Use images to be deleted except under extraordinary circumstances, because, as he said, we want to provide something that can be used for any purpose -including Commercial use.--GordonWatts 04:53, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
Note thsi is not about fair use images, althogyh there are similar issues with them, but about issues used under a "no-commercial use" license. Some of wikipedia's existing mirrors are commercial sites, which may be expected to copy any article posted, so posting an article or image to wikipedia is, in effect, making a commercial use of it, or at least ensuring that others will do so. DES (talk) 15:00, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
I just read your talk page, Revolución (talk), and it seems your reply to a simple notification shows that you don't fully understand the policy. I quote, "Are they being used for commercial purposes?! I ask you, am I selling the images? F*ck off whoever you are. This is clearly for informational purposes." I don't like strict copyright laws any more than you do, but Wikipedia has to follow them none-the-less. And going around telling other wikipedians to f-off is not a good way of getting any sympathy. --Quasipalm 13:50, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Verifiable image source

A notice at the top of the My watchlist page now states that images lacking verifiable source and copyright information ... will be deleted. I think the use of verifiable here is a mistake. It is not supported by the policy page that is referenced. A very normal and good contribution of an image occurs when a user takes a photo with their own digital camera and uploads this to Wikimedia. But this would clearly not be verifiable, just as when I write about my first hand experience, this information is not verifiable. I suspect this is not the rigth place for this criticism. I would appreciate if someone forward it to the right place. We should not discourage people from contributing their photos. --Etxrge 08:23, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

It's been rephrased now to "identified source", which would include "I took this myself". Note also that the policy page isn't the key one, it's the criteria for speedy deletion (WP:CSD Images .4 and .5). It's not photos taken by a used we're worried about, it's the thousands upon thousands of unsourced - and almost certainly copyrighted - images used in articles, placing us at some risk of being sued. Shimgray 10:48, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Why are images worse than article text? Mozzerati 11:58, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Huh? ~~ N (t/c) 14:42, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
We already have a process in place for dealing with copyvio texts. It works (reasonably) well; it's a little overwhelmed, but it catches almost everything and it deals with them appropriately. Images, there isn't a working process; there's thousands upon thousands of these damn things kicking around, and we need to Do Something About Them. This seems to be that Something. Shimgray 14:52, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
I've often thought that it is a shame exceptions can't be made for pictures of Wikipedians placed only on their own user page or at the Wikipedia:Facebook. There is something unsettling about uploading an image of oneself either into the public domain or under GFDL. Admittedly, it has nothing to do with writing an encyclopedia, but it is a part of sharing with other members of the community, something which fosters good relations among editors. Func( t, c, @, ) 15:48, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
There has been some brief discussion about coming up with alternate licenses for userpages, but it never got anywhere... one rather elegant suggestion was, when single-login is finally rolled out, to have all userpages on a different "project", which would presumably allow interesting licensing tricks. Shimgray | talk | 12:02, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia has a numbers problem!

All over Wikipedia small numbers are written in numerals! Wikipedia is replete with 7's and 4's and 3's. Names of centuries are written as "16th century", rather than as "sixteenth century"! It goes without saying that numbers between ten and ninety-nine are almost invariably written with numerals. None of this is acceptable. Basic style for magazines and books (and certainly encyclopedias) is that numbers under one hundred are spelled out, as are round numbers beyond that. There are exceptions for articles on mathematical topics, or ones that are thick with numbers, as well as some other circumstances, but in general, numbers under one hundred must be spelled out! Is there an existing wikiguideline stating this, or not?? Babajobu 00:20, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

I am partly to blame for this -I am a very experienced Wikipedian, and good in grammar, etc., but this was one area in which I was novice. I can't speak for all of Wikipedia, but I have probably violated this Style of Manuel in the interests of shortening an article. I shall look at it. Thank you for the heads up!--GordonWatts 01:47, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Numbers -- the "numbers in words" section. Jonathunder 00:28, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
You mean this: Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers)#Numbers_in_words. Thank you for the info.--GordonWatts 01:49, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
...which only says (on this point) that usage should be consistant within the article. Anyway I must agree with Babajobu. In my own (non WP) writing I always spell out numbers under 100 (except in math or scientific expressions), although on WP I've followed the unwritten "small number" convention ever since someone "corrected" a number I'd spelled out by changing it into a numeral. Wyss 00:32, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, the "just be consistent" requirement is hopelessly inadequate. That means an article may use numerals for all numbers (including one and two!) as long as it does so consistently! That's crap! Not even a throwaway tabloid newspaper would do that! We should at least have the self-respect of a decent magazine...all numbers under one hundred spelled out. Babajobu 00:38, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
This is so standard, I'm wondering how this could be proposed as a policy... now? Wyss 00:42, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
I seem to remember something about spelling out small numbers having been part of the guideline. Perhaps it was removed at some point. I don't entirely oppose adding it back, but some consideration should be given to math articles, where numerals seem to be the convention, even for small numbers. I suggest opening a discussion on the talk page of the relevant style guide page cited above. Jonathunder 00:55, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Well this is supposed to be the place for policy proposals, so I hereby propose it as policy. With the standard exceptions (math-related articles, et cetera), numbers under one hundred should be spelled out. Jimbo, whaddya say? Babajobu 00:58, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
It's rare for policy to come from Jimbo, but this is a question of style, not policy. On this kind of stylistic question his opinion would count for no more or less than any other thoughtful and respected editor. Why not be bold and add something to the relevant style page. Jonathunder 01:09, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
I say you're out of your gourd if you think that getting consensus for a policy change would be easier than getting consensus for a non-policy guideline in the Manual of Style. Several of us will oppose your screwball notion that all numbers less than 101 should be spelled out. Gene Nygaard 01:47, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Please explain to us why the industry standard Chicago Manual of Style guideline for representing numbers in books is a "screwball notion". Babajobu 01:50, 24 September 2005 (UTC)


Part of the reasoning is that a distinction needs to be made between measured quantities and counting numbers.
The reasoning behind the rule stated by NIST, the U.S. national standards laboratory, in its Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI)[15] is every bit as applicable to Wikipedia usage in general as it is to scientific usage, with the same language-independence advantages spelled out in section 7.6:[16]
This Guide takes the position that the key elements of a scientific or technical paper, particularly the results of measurements and the values of quantities that influence the measurements, should be presented in a way that is as independent of language as possible. This will allow the paper to be understood by as broad an audience as possible, including readers with limited knowledge of English. Thus, to promote the comprehension of quantitative information in general and its broad understandability in particular, values of quantities should be expressed in acceptable units using
  • the Arabic symbols for numbers, that is, the Arabic numerals, not the spelled-out names of the Arabic numerals; and
  • the symbols for the units, not the spelled-out names of the units.
Furthermore, while many would accept spelling out counting numbers less than ten, and even other one-word numbers such as fifty, the notion of requiring spelling out of "forty-three" and "eighty-seven" is nonsense--especially when these are measurements such as "forty-three kilometers" or "eighty-seven degrees Fahrenheit" (and using symbols for those units in conjunction with the spelled-out numbers would also be unacceptable to many of us, so you are also tying in a requirement to spell out the symbols for units of measure. Gene Nygaard 02:09, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm fending off heresy from multiple directions now, so let me take each person in their turn. Mr. Nygaard, I'd be happy to defer to the NIST guidelines for scientific articles. The Chicago guidelines do as much by essentially saying, "in mathematical or scientific articles and books, use numerals wherever suitable or customary". But in non-scientific work it is absolutely standard in the American publishing industry to spell out numbers under one hundred, including the hyphenated numbers you find so objectionable. You may find it "nonsense". Virtually everyone who does this professionally disagrees with you. On the other hand, you have some wiggle room. Numbers are never spelled out as parts of measurements that use abbreviations or symbols. Thus, you can happily write "8 km", if you prefer, rather than "eight kilometers". And--I emphasize this again--you can use all the 1s and 2s and 3s you want in scientific articles. Babajobu 02:24, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
U.S. specific rules are not necessarily going to be generally accepted by the Wikipedia community.
The "American publishing industry" often has little regard for "readers with a limited knowledge of English" as NIST puts it in explaining the reason for its rule. Wikipedia, OTOH, should be very much aware of that problem, and do what it can to alleviate it.
What is a "scientific article"?
Are the recipes in a cookbook a "scientific article" in the "American publishing industry"?
Does the reporting of average temperature and rainfall and the like in an article about some small town make it a "scientific article"?
If you are talking about goats, is it a scientific article? Or a farming article? a pets article?
How about iron and steel, common materials used in our houses and industry? Scientific? Gene Nygaard 02:44, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't think the English Wikipedia generally takes much account of the needs of people with limited knowledge of English. In fact, many articles assume a higher level of knowledge and a larger vocabulary than the equivalent articles in Encarta or Brittanica. I think it's fanciful to suppose that a non-fluent reader who shows up at the English Wikipedia is going to successfully navigate the substantive content, but get tripped up by spelled-out numbers. As for defining a "scientific article", that's something that has to be evaluated on a case by case basis. In practice I think any article with lots of numbers is often treated as a scientific article, though that's not a very systematic way of doing it. But in Wikipedia we have hordes of articles that are very clearly not scientific using numerals for small numbers. Babajobu 02:57, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Here's a recent article from Reuters:

[17]

I see plenty of numbers below 100 written as numerals. So what's the problem? -- ran (talk) 01:27, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Newspaper style is not necessarily the best style for Wikipedia. Newspaper style guides evolved under the pressure of always conserving space. Jonathunder 01:34, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, you see plenty of number below one hundred written as numerals because that is newspaper style. An encyclopedia is not a newspaper. But Wikipedia doesn't even hold to newspaper style...numbers below ten are spelled as numerals all over Wikipedia. It's a disgrace. Anyway, Wikipedia should hold to book & magazine style, spelling out numbers under one hundred. Babajobu 01:41, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Well obviously we've discovered your pet peeve.  :-) I think it is reasonable to spell out small numbers in many contexts (articles of history and literature for example), but I would strongly oppose any attempt to mandate such a standard for scientific and mathematical topics. Conventions in scientific publishing aren't the same as in literature and writing even single digit numerals can be accepted in contexts where many numbers must appear. Insisting that some numbers should be written out alongside many that aren't ends up making things appear haphazard in those contexts. For example, a phrase like "Our samples were divided into lots of twenty, 115, and 256 specimens each", just looks dumb. Dragons flight 01:56, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
First of all, I've said several times that mathematic and scientific articles need not spell out numbers under one hundred. Again, that's as per standard Chicago style. As for the other example you mention--a sentence with mixed numbers, some over a hundred, some under--there is again a standard practice for this: keep it consistent within individual sentences. If the numbers deal with similar or analogous units, then use numerals for all of them. If the units are very different--say, "the shark swam twelve feet before smashing out 146 of its teeth on an iron bar"--than it's okay to mix numerals with spelled out numbers. That's too complex for the guidelines. Just "In general, spell out numbers under 100 in non-scientific articles" is enough. Babajobu 02:05, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Since you are finally seeing the light a little bit, how about going out and fixing all the things you've screwed up already, such as Barren Ground Shrew (I've taken care of that one, but there are likely a lot more like it). Gene Nygaard 03:09, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
It's got nothing to do with "seeing the light"; everything I've said from beginning to end has been consistent with Chicago style. And Barren Ground Shrew was not "screwed up", as you so inelegantly put it; I used the preferred method of spelling out both the small numbers and the units. Using numerals with abbreviations is acceptable, but not preferable. Regardless, God knows how many articles you've tortured with inappropriate numerals. One shudders to think of it. Babajobu 03:18, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Come on, now. Let's be honest about what you said: " Numbers are never spelled out as parts of measurements that use abbreviations or symbols. Thus, you can happily write "8 km", if you prefer, rather than "eight kilometers". And--I emphasize this again--you can use all the 1s and 2s and 3s you want in scientific articles."
In another message you said, "I'd be happy to defer to the NIST guidelines for scientific articles."
In yet aother message you claimed (though I doubt the truth of the statement at the time it was made, though you did say it a few times later on), " I've said several times that mathematic and scientific articles need not spell out numbers under one hundred."
So why were you changing those in this particular scientific article?
BTW, regarding your shuddering—I've spelled out more numerals than I have changed spelled out words to numerals, even counting a few reversions of your inappropriate changes yesterday. Gene Nygaard 07:15, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Well, okay then, here's an encyclopedia article from Encarta:

[18]

I quote:

In the United States, tornadoes occur in all 50 states.

The Tri-State Outbreak of March 18, 1925, had the highest death toll: 740 people died in 7 tornadoes that struck Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana.

Perhaps "Tornado" should be considered a scientific article: after all, there are many occurrences of one- and two-digit numerals occurring together with units. But what about the two examples above? The numbers are not used in a mathematical or scientific context. -- ran (talk) 02:12, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Well, units that are identified with a symbol or an abbreviation always go with a numeral: hence, "8 km" or "5 m", even in a non-scientific article ("eight kilometers" or "five meters" would generally be preferred, but not mandated). As for the two examples above, the "7 tornadoes" could be the result of not wanting to mix numerals and spelled-out numbers in a sentence, though considering the units are very much different a non-scientific article would be likely to spell it out. As for "50 states", that's the giveaway that this is considered a scientific article. You would never see that in numerals in a non-scientific (industry term is "humanistic") article. Babajobu 02:31, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
However, Encarta also uses almost exclusively numerals in their Bill Clinton, including, "42nd", "20th century", "12 years", "age 32", "52 percent", and "26 years". Nevertheless, I believe we should follow the Chicago standard on this one. Superm401 | Talk 02:32, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Really? Wow. Well, percentages always use numerals, but the rest of those examples make abundantly clear that Encarta does not follow Chicago style. Hmm. I wonder what they use. Regardless, I obviously agree with you that we should go with Chicago. Babajobu 02:36, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

I think what Encarta illustrates is this: this isn't a rule that's consistently followed at all. To give an analogy: some rules of grammar of standard written English should always be followed (e.g., subject-verb agreement), but other rules are less commonly followed, though they still exist (e.g. don't end a relative clause with a preposition). The numbers rule that you present seems to be of the latter category.

Here's another example, from the Britannica this time: [19]. You see "25 countries" and "13 English-speaking countries". And here's the World Book: [20]. You see "48th among all the states". I believe that many writers here on Wikipedia are consciously and subconsciously influenced by existing, established encyclopedias. If three of the most influential English-language encyclopedias in the world don't consistently follow the rule you're proposing, then you're probably going to encounter a lot of resistance in trying to promote your proposal.

Also, I would go on to suggest that if the Bill Clinton article in Encarta switched all of its <100 numbers to spelled out numerals, it would actually decrease readability. Compare "42nd president of the United States" and "forty-second president of the United States", for instance. This may be a matter of pure habit on my part, of course, but this habit exists precisely because it is enforced by existing, established encyclopedias. -- ran (talk) 03:31, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Well, these rules are followed pretty consistently in the vast majority of non-scientific book publishing, but apparently there are different guidelines in encyclopedia publishing. So yes, that will scupper any efforts to get Wikipedia to conform to Chicago Manual of Style guidelines. However, I disagree with your assessment of why Wikipedia editors (or at least some Wikipedia editors) are so numeral-happy. My evidence for this is that so many non-scientific Wikipedia articles use numerals for numbers under ten. Even the trashiest tabloid in the world does not do this. In these cases Wikipedia editors are just in error. Even if I can't get Chicago style as a guideline, at the very least there should be a guideline suggesting that numbers under ten be spelled out in non-scientific articles. Babajobu 03:38, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

I understand completely your frustration with substandard spelling, grammar and style that sometimes pop up on Wikipedia. Some people here write as if they're chatting on MSN. =) So yes, guidelines will definitely be helpful. -- ran (talk) 04:06, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

We read: That's crap! Not even a throwaway tabloid newspaper would do that! . . . Even the trashiest tabloid in the world does not do this. What a throwaway tabloid newspaper (let alone the trashiest tabloid in the world) wouldn't do must have something going for it, surely. Why get so excited? While WP is indeed littered with mistakes (here is one of last night's discoveries), "42" for "forty-two" or vice versa is not wrong and causes no misunderstanding. One may be preferable to the other, but rather than getting steamed up about how Chicago says this or that, note that that estimable book is written for intelligent people to use as guidelines, most if not all of which may be broken for good reason. Now, stripped of exclamation points, etc., what is it that you are advocating? -- Hoary 08:20, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

For me, "16th century" is much easier to read than "sixteenth century". When I'm looking for something in encyclopedia I want raw data, not brilliant prose. It's much easier to extract data from numbers than from words.  Grue  09:52, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Hoary, I agree with you that Chicago guidelines are to be employed as guidelines and not enforced with fascist zeal. However, you will find that editors of literate publications allow for fairly few exceptions. The real issue here is the extent to which Chicago is suitable for an encyclopedia. Regardless, I pointed out that the trashiest, most abominable issue of the worst throwaway tabloid in the history of human civilization (TTMAITWTTITHHC) would not use numerals for numbers under ten because, generally, the more literate a non-scientific publication, the more numbers it spells out (though for practical purposes the cap for spelled-out numbers is "all numbers under one hundred, and all larger numbers that can be spelled in two words, with hyphenated words counting as one word"). Thus, if TTMAITWTTITHHC spells out numerals under ten, but Wikipedia does not, then we are being bested by an abomination. We should hold to a higher standard than that. Stripped of exclamation points, my request is just what I've stated before: that in non-scientific articles we have a guideline of spelling out numbers under one hundred. That's it. Very simple. Chicago is strewn with qualifications and exceptions, but we needn't get into them any more than we already have because we are just discussing a guideline, rather than a Party Diktat. Babajobu 11:49, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Oh, and Grue: "It's much easier to extract data from numbers than from words" is subjective and not true in my case. I blanch every time I see a century represented with numerals, rather than spelled out. Chicago prescribes spelling it out, but I don't know what the more vulgar style guides (AP, et cetera) suggest. Babajobu 11:56, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
UPDATE, turns out Wikipedia already has a guideline on this at Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers). Looks like User:Grue will be quickly extracting data, while I'm blanching: wikistyle is to use numerals to render centuries, a la "14th century". Yikes. Babajobu 15:20, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Now you are singing a different tune again. At first, you insisted the discussion belonged here on the policy subpage of the village pump, rather than at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers), because you were discussing a policy rather than a guideline. Do you understand the distinction Wikipedia makes between policy and guidelines? Gene Nygaard 12:17, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
This discussion should be moved to that MoS talk page, and continued there. Gene Nygaard 12:24, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Your confusion knows no boundaries. You are now mixing me up we with User:Jonathunder. It was he and you who argued over the distinction between policy and guidelines, not you and me. Babajobu 15:13, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Can't you ever stick to the truth? It was you who said, "Well this is supposed to be the place for policy proposals, so I hereby propose it as policy," wasn't it? That was at the tail end of the policy/guidelines discussion, so you cannot credibly claim ignorance of that. Gene Nygaard 15:17, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but it was you and User:Jonathunder who had a sissyfight over what was more attainable, a guideline change or a policy change. Regardless, the opposition to standard Chicago style among Wikipedians is astonishingly strong. People here clearly enjoy seeing numbers rendered as such: "2 of Dostoevsky's novels were published posthumously, 1 of which was incomplete." Ugh. Yuk. Worse than a tabloid, not supported by any style guide in the world. But it's the wikiway. Congratz, you win. Babajobu 15:28, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
I was replying to you in my first posting in this thread, making the distinction between policy and guidelines.[21] Admittedly, that may not have been clear; we don't have the advantage of threaded discussions such as those on forums such as Usenet.
I agree that there are many numerals in Wikipedia which should be spelled out. The problems are that you have been overreaching, taking a simplistic view of a more complex situation, relying too heavily on one external guide, and not even following the rules of that one. Just stick to spelling out counted numbers (as opposed to measurements) of ten or less in running text (as opposed to tables including infoboxes and other lists), and a few others including even occasional rough measurements, and you won't run into much opposition. Spell out one of two numbers adjacent to each other, and don't start a sentence with numerals (either spell them out, or reword them to avoid overly clumsy spelled-out numbers). That will be enough to keep you busy for a few months, I'd guess. Gene Nygaard 15:53, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
No, I don't think most of us enjoy seeing numbers such as those you give in your Dostoyevsky examples; I'd change them without thinking twice about it, probably with a pained expression. And I suspect you're right that rendering numerals like that isn't supported by any style guide in the world: certainly, all the ones I can think of say single-digit numerals should be spelt out (general rule: there are always exceptions, but not Dostoyevsky). Most style manuals also agree on using numerals for three-digit numbers. Where the grey area crops up is wrt two-digit numbers: there's the spell-out school, ably represented by the CMS, and there's the numerals school: led by the AP and the other journos, but also covering a range of governments and international organisations. The grey area really runs from 10 to 99 (or should I say "from ten to ninety-nine"?): the [[WP MoS should probably be tweaked to reflect that. Hajor 16:02, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, as I stated on the talk page for the Barren Ground Shrew, I think your perception that I have inconsistently applied Chicago style is a result of your misunderstanding what I said. But regardless, it's probably true that I should not have included measurements in my anti-numeral jihad. There's a lot of opposition here to spelling out any numbers at all in measurements. And Wikipedia has enough one-through-nine counting numbers rendered in numerals to keep me busy for a good while. Babajobu 16:17, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
  • From what I remember such a rule only exists for numbers between 1-20. Anyway, we should keep the reader in mind. I'm pretty sure there's non-natives out there who don't know whether to spell 67 with a dash or not. It would only create needless redirects and people who kind find stuff because of misspellings. Besides, typing 16th is easier than sixteenth and saves a lot of time when one's writing an article as well. Let's not make things needlessly complicated. - Mgm|(talk) 08:53, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Hey, at least this doesn't involve French, where 95 (ninety-five) for example is written out as quatre-vingt-quinze... or four-twenty-fifteen :) Wyss 09:04, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

I really must note that we scientists essentially always use numerals for everything. Is an encyclopedia anti-scientific? I hope not. JohnSankey 05:48, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Vandalism and continued reverts

There is a discussion taking place at vandalism over whether or not repeated reverts that are contrary to the manual of style constitute vandalism. -- BMIComp (talk, HOWS MY DRIVING) 18:30, 2 October 2005 (UTC)


What is the policiy for articles about websites?

I encountered this article while in RC patrol: Downelink.com. What is the policy regarding articles dedicated to describing websites? Is it an immediate candidate for AfD?

Well, all articles are immediate candidates for AfD insofar as anyone can nominate any article in good-faith. The best guidance we have on website articles that are not spam (which is WP:VAND and G3'able) is at WP:WEB but that's still a rather putative guideline and is not widely cited — except by people who want www.myblogfromlastnight.com to have an article. -Splashtalk 03:34, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

POV expressed in one word

After seeing words like "controversial", "so-called", and scare quotes showing up in article after article where if I were the original author I would not have used the word or quotes, I tried to put myself in the position of the author and understand what thought was being expressed.

Controversy in the Wikipedia itself includes its usage as propaganda. "So-called" is used to disagree with or disparage, as in "so-called campaign finance reform". Scare quotes can also serve a point of view by marking the editor's disagreement or disparagment of the source material.

They are three means by which an editor's POV enter an article without drawing much attention. I've seen the term stealth POV used to describe this.

Controversy is inherent to politics. Politics is all about persuasion to change law, culture, and attitude. Even a politician who says "no comment" or avoids stating their position is controversial for not taking a position. I've never seen an edit to an article on a political topic where the word "controversy" or "controversy" was added by one who was in aggreement or neutral on the subject of the article. It's often an empty word. The text of the article should speak for itself and make it evident what the disagreement is and who is in disagreement.

An example of what I think an appropriate use of the word controversial is in Designated hitter. Baseball has a lot of rules and some change but very few are controversial. The text itself doesn't just drop the word in and move on but explains the two sides of the issue.

There's a style guide article on weasel terms and perhaps these are just further examples of that guideline. patsw 02:32, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Still, some things are more controversal than others; and controversy is often precisely what makes something notable. The US Supreme Court makes a huge number of decisions every year, but only a handful of them are really controversal on a get-their-own Wikipedia-entry level. In those cases--or for particularly controversal decisions by heads of state--the controversy should be noted, since it's essential to understanding why that particular issue is so high-profile. To you it might seem obvious which local issues reach that level of controversy; but an outsider might be confused. --Aquillion 02:13, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Let the text of the article on the decision speak for itself. Is Kelo v. New London controversial? The article speaks for itself but somehow manages to avoid including the word controversial. You can see on its talk page that there was an issue raised on some scare quotes which weren't scare quotes after all. What would adding controversial add to that article? patsw 02:45, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Patsw, I see what you're saying, but I'd rather turn your argument on its ear. Rather than suggesting that we can't use the word controversial (which, after all, can be perfectly accurate) ever, and instead should simply present the sides of controversy -- I would say, present the sides of controversy where they exist, and as long as that's done it shouldn't be a problem to use the word "controversy" if you need to somewhere in the article, for clarity or brevity's sake. · Katefan0(scribble) 01:22, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Possible new speedy delete criterion - non-notable companies

I think there should be a new speedy delete criterion to get rid of patently non-notable company articles, which say things like "John Smith Honda is a car dealership in Lincoln, Nebraska." This would be analagous to WP:DVAIN, for basically the same reasons. I'd like to get comments before I embark on writing a more formal proposal. Thanks, SCZenz 00:10, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Sorry if I've missed something, but isn't that covered by notability criteria already?--inks 00:28, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
No, that's just for people. I'd be all for it, but as it does require slightly more administrator discretion than the one on people, I doubt you'll get it through. --fvw* 00:32, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Echo Fvw... I'd also support it in principle, though I'd want to see how it was written, but I would be surprised if it actually got approved by the community because it would probably need more discretion than most of the other CSD categories we have currently. · Katefan0(scribble) 01:19, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
How does it require more discretion than the equivalent policy for people? -- SCZenz 07:08, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
There are 6 billion people in the world, most of those don't deserve to be in an encyclopedia, so we have to beat them back by cutting corners and rushing them to deletion. By contrast there are far fewer corporations and a much higher percentage of those are notable. Also, there are many corporations that are notable without being well-known to the public (parts manufacturers and the like). Unless there is some dreadful rush of lame corporations, I would be disinclined to expand CSD to cover what I suspect is a fairly uncommon special case. Dragons flight 07:57, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
It hasn't seemed that uncommon to me lately, but maybe I just got a batch of them. Regarding discretion, though, couldn't company articles without even a claim of notability be CSD's? (e.g. my example at the top, which is similar to some stuff I've seen) -- SCZenz 17:51, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

I think what you're really after is a CSD to remove blatant corporate spam, rather than nn company articles. How you would construct the phrasing for that, I don't know, but a confident admin could already rely on WP:VAND which speedies pure spam. -Splashtalk 17:59, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

That's nice, but I'm really also after non-notable companies. I really did see an article that looked just like the example I give in my initial comment. -- SCZenz 20:06, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Currencies of internationally unrecognized countries

Hi there,

I posted this question on Commons Village pump, but nobody was quite constructive. So I ask here: if I upload a bunch of Yugoslav dinar banknotes on commons, will they live or will they be deleted? --Dijxtra 17:38, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Name articles

The article Webb is currently a disambiguation page. I was wondering where I should put information about the origin of the name, on the page itself or on a Webb (name) page. Is there any policy on this already. --βjweþþ (talk) 15:36, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Dear Webb, there is a proposed policy, wikipedia:naming conventions (people)#Family name only (or if "Webb" is used as a first name too, that would be wikipedia:naming conventions (people)#First name only, resulting in the same recommendation in this case - unless webb is a type of "clan" name, and you want to write about the group that identifies itself by that name).
Please, could you have a look at following questions: If that naming conventions guideline were a guideline, would it help you? If not: do you have any suggestions? - suggestions welcome on Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (people)!
Thanks --Francis Schonken 16:45, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Replacing ArbCom members who resign mid-term

I'm certain that know policy for this exists, so I have started a page to discuss the policy. Maybe a new page is not the proper way to do this, but it seemed prudent to me. You can take part in the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Mid-term filling of open ArbCom positions. Thanks, Ingoolemo talk 02:51, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

A question on policies re: consistency

Hello all. I know that I have in the past seen a policy that at least casually mentions consistency across articles (or, more to the point, the lack thereof), but now that I need to refer an editor to it, I can't seem to remember which one it was contained within. Anybody know off the top of their head? The situation I've encountered is basically one where an editor is insisting that one article's criticism be modeled along the same lines (almost exactly -- templatized almost) as another unrelated article's criticism. As you might imagine this is rather a partisan dispute. Beyond citing WP:POINT, it would be useful to be able to refer this editor to that policy on consistency (or the lack thereof) and how trying to force one article into the mold of an unrelated one just to prove a point is less than helpful. · Katefan0(scribble) 19:01, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't know what specific policy mentions it, but there's always the Ralph Waldo Emerson quotation: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:39, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
A great quote, but I don't think philosophizing will help in this instance -- in this situation we've gotten to the phase of disputes wherein a new user has discovered WP's policies (which is good) and begun wikilawyering with curious interpretations (which is not). For instance, he has been insisting that all sources must be "impartial" (though he refuses to define what that might be) because he saw a CNN article wherein Jimbo Wales was inaccurately paraphrased as having said Wikipedia uses impartial sources. *head bangs against desk* · Katefan0(scribble) 19:42, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Not all wikipedia guidelines are "consistent" among themselves. See, for example, present efforts to make wikipedia:Cite sources and wikipedia:footnote3 consistent. Most of such harmonisation efforts involve being less prescriptive (which is a recommendation of guidelines explaining how to write wikipedia policy & guidelines), which for your example might involve not to allow any supposedly "prescribed" format for a wikipedia article "by analogy" to the format of another article - such prescriptions don't exist.
Other things which might be of some help in your case (I don't know the case, just mention things I think about):
  • "Space and balance" section of the NPOV tutorial - rather basic: if another guideline is not "consistent" with this, the other guideline has to go;
  • wikipedia:words to avoid#Controversy - this explains how the structure of an article can get "out of balance" by an inadequate presentation of controversy;
  • And of course, the most basic of all: NPOV - every point of view should get a fair representation (each of these, of course, supported by its own most reliable sources: let these sources speak for themselves, that is, leave it to the wikipedia readers which of the referenced sources they think most credible);
  • wikipedia:Cite sources - there's no real "prescription" of how sources should be presented in an article, but there are some tips and tricks resulting in all sources getting equal treatment;
  • Wikipedia:The perfect article, Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles, WP:MOS - these give wikipedia recommendations on article structure, anything not in such guidelines can hardly be accepted as a "prescription" on article structure - note that even in guidelines something being marked as a "prescription" almost never occurs.
Well, don't know if this helps, just what popped up when I read your stuff --Francis Schonken 07:28, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Deletion review

There is a proposal to expand the scope of VfU to include the ability to examine disputed non-delete outcomes of the various deletion debates, as a community-based alternative to admins needing to overrule one another. The suggestion at Wikipedia talk:Votes for undeletion#The scope of VfU has received clear support from those involved.

To finish the job, we should have a chat about how this might work. A proposal has been constructed which hopes to address the concerns over 'mechanics' that some expressed if we simply import the present VfU majoritarian system. A discussion on this needs to be had at:

Wikipedia:Votes for undeletion/Deletion review proposal, or on its talk page.

Hopefully we can architect a process that will work effectively. -Splashtalk 00:58, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Let all users Rollback

I'm sorry if this has been discussed before, but I would propose that the rollback function be made availlable to all users. In contrast to the admins' other powers, articles can be "rolled back" by normal users, even anons simply by using the history tab. Restricting rollback to admins does nothing to stem edit wars, since passionate edit warriors will take the trouble to use the history tab to save a previous version of an article. At present, IMHO all this restriction does is to discourage non-admins from doing RC patrol, for this is the only time any user would have to use rollback at a high frequency (thus using the history tab a huge hassle). If we let everybody use rollback, it will make it easier for all of us to to fight vandalism. Borisblue 17:51, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

  • Yes, this issue has been discussed numerous times before, but ultimately rejected. The most recent debate is found here. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 23:16, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
    By the way, a major reason why it has been rejected is because of edit wars. Admins are instructed to only use the rollback tool to revert vandalism, because it automatically generates the message "Reverted edits by X to last version by Y" in the edit summary. The fear is that those involved in edit wars will abuse the rollback tool, using it at a high frequency without providing reasons in the edit summaries.
    Another reason it has been rejected is that, in practice, the rollback tool is not a major power. It speeds things up, but anbody can still revert a page. There are only two places where the rollback links show up. The first place is on a User Contributions page, but only on lines in which the user in question made the last edit. The rollback link is also only shown on the Diff page when viewing the difference between the most recent version of a page and the last version.
    In practice, the rollback links on the User Contributions page is ineffective because it is hard to tell from there if those edits are indeed vandalism, unless it has already been determined that this registered user or anon ip is a rampant vandal. The rollback link on the Diff page is only effective when the registered user or anon ip in question has made only one edit, unless, again, it has already been determined that this person is a rampant vandal. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 00:08, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
    • Ahh... thanks for the clarification. But I'm still not clear on something- if rollback is not a "major power" then why is it restricted to admins? I checked your link, and it's very useful but it talks more about "automatic graduation" of admin powers. And forgive me if I'm wrong, but edit warriors only get to revert thrice every 24 hours anyway, so doing it manually is not much of a hassle for them, especially if they're passionate about their edit war. What the rollback restriction is a hassle to is the non-admin RC patroller.
      Anyway, if this has been discussed often, shouldn't this be put in the 'preennial proposals page'? What's the procedure for adding stuff there? Borisblue 01:57, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Someone, somewhere, (maybe RfA Talk? - yes, [22]) recently proposed a granulated admin rights proposal. It would take dev work and (most?) other folks don't see the need. Personally, I think the need is obvious, but meh, what do I know? SchmuckyTheCat 21:20, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Have you seen Godmode lite? [23]--inks 00:32, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

NPOV; not forum for commercial promotion or bashing

First, let me say how many times I have found great, concise, organized information here!!! This project is an inspirational example of human collaboration.

Second, let me point out for the record that I was the founder of a company mentioned below, but I no longer have financial interest or association with that field.

Third, I believe the issue I am raising here might be commonplace, so I hope this discussion will be helpful for the whole project. Or if it has already been addressed, please point or advise... but I didn't find anything in my search so far.

The issue relating to NPOV is this: articles that promote one company or it's products and fault another. Please see these examples taken as a set:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touchpad 
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirque_Corporation
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alps_Electric_Corporation

Am I correct thinking that statements like

"Most other companies tend to use Synaptics for their better features and drivers."

are not appropriate?

I imagine great temptation by marketing departments to use thinly-disguised articles for promotion. This could result in endless edit-wars or other nonsense. Further, one "side" might bring significant commercial dollars and marketing agenda to bear, overwhelming volunteer efforts to set things straight. Has this issue been addressed?

What about detailed comparison of product features, customer-service anecdotes, and so on? They aren't likely to fit the NPOV criteria. Is there a blanket prohibition against such topics? Being a newbie, as well as a previously-related party, I didn't think it right to jump in and make massive edit changes. What is a general solution in such a situation?

Thanks and best regards for the work so far, 67.182.252.213 04:53, 26 September 2005 (UTC) George Gerpheide, founder, Cirque Corporation

...... minor formatting fix by Hoary 07:46, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm happy that you find WP generally worthwhile and sorry to read of this. Although I'm not familiar with these products, I too smell something very fishy indeed about the way in which the three articles are worded. (Any one of them smells a bit off; the combination of the three very much so.)
Smaller companies certainly do use WP for their marketing purposes. Often they try to convince other editors that they're helping WP by giving it useful information. Perhaps some of them have been in their jobs so long they even convince themselves that this is so. I haven't noticed larger companies doing this; the tendency instead is for fans to act as unpaid PR agents and to gush on the larger companies' behalf.
I'm sorry but I don't think there is a simple answer. You're right to raise the issue here, both the wider issue and the particular issue. Please don't add detailed comparisons of product features, let alone customer-service anecdotes (which would probably be dismissed as "original research"). Be patient for a few days while others contribute suggestions here or instead fix those pages. -- Hoary 07:57, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the verrrry rapid feedback and solid advice. I wholeheartedly agree that detailed product features evaluations and customer-service anecdotes are inappropriate, and certainly won't add them. Hopefully, a good contributor will fix the pages mentioned above to meet the spirit of WP!! Thanks again 67.182.252.213 02:11, 29 September 2005 (UTC) George

Format for citing sources?

How far should this be carried? I thought the guideline before was that attaching a website as an external link implied that it could have been used as a source for the article, but I see in Wikipedia:Cite sources that it says that policy has basically been discontinued. So that implies to me that almost every article would have a references section or use footnotes? That does not seem like a good idea, because it would cause excess clutter. Spalding 18:43, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree. Sometimes external links are the only references, so it's redundant to have a separate section for references and external links.  Grue  19:30, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

WP:CITE -- policy or guideline?

A simple question. Is it a policy or a guideline? It doesn't actually say definitively either way on the page, and as a result there's some wikilawyering going on at Talk:Thomas Woods over whether or not some uncited assertions can remain in the article. I had always assumed it was a policy, but it doesn't specifically say that. Anybody? · Katefan0(scribble) 19:44, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

You're probably looking for Wikipedia:Verifiability (WP:V), which is official policy. WP:CITE provides a style guide for citations—it lays out preferred ways by which we can demonstrate that article claims are verifiable. Regardless of how sources are presented, having them is not optional, and that is enshrined in WP:V. The requirement that sources exist is also explicit in the first part of Wikipedia:No original research (WP:NOR)—also an official policy.
"First thing we do, let's kill all the [wiki]lawyers."
--Shakespeare, King Henry VI, Part II, IV, ii
TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:08, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Aha! Indeed. Thanks much. · Katefan0(scribble) 20:25, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Unlisting a page from AfD

Please see Wikipedia_talk:Deletion_policy#Unlisting_a_page_from_AFD for a proposal I have made for a re-wording of this section. Ëvilphoenix Burn! 16:15, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Policy on Names of Songs/Albums in Foreign Languages?

Can anyone let me know what the policy is for referring to songs or albums where the name is solely in a foreign language?--Spigot the Bear 17:58, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure there is one. There are many articles whose titles are the foreign language title of the song (see Category:National anthems), although things beome trickier for languages which don't use the Latin alphabet: in this case transliteration is better, and translation could be also considered. Physchim62 00:48, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
If there is no English name, a common practice is to write the forgein one, and a translation in paranthesis afterwards, such as: Vi är som fiskar ("We are like Fishes"). Whether to use italics in the translation is volountary, I think. //Fred-Chess 11:13, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
OK, in lieu of official policy I like Fred's suggestion. Much closer to what would be used in formally published works. Thanks--Spigot the Bear 13:12, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

New preview header

I noticed the preview header now says "Remember that this is only a preview, and has not yet been saved! Please check the version you are about to save for possible vandalism introduced in prior edits.". When did the bold stuff get added? I could have sworn it wasn't there Thursday... Stillnotelf 15:38, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

This message is stored at MediaWiki:Previewnote. According to the history it was modified within the last 24 hours. Evil MonkeyHello 00:29, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Use of non-English letters in titles

On Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English), there is curently a debate over the use of esstsett, thorn and eth in English Wikipedia. I avoid editing Icelandic articles because I simply cannot read what the words say. I feel that using these letters makes Wikipedia less useful and that is wrong to use them when we don't use Chinese, Japanese, Cyrillic or any number of other scripts. More voices on the debate would be good. Rmhermen 16:29, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

I'd prefer pure ASCII as well. Recently I saw some articles about Japanese hyeroglyphs on AfD but couldn't tell them apart - they all look like question mark to me. Allowing Unicode symbols in the article titles was a big mistake.  Grue  19:49, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree where it concerns titles, but if you give the native name of an organization in the article Unicode shouldn't be a problem. Electionworld 20:23, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I vote for Western European ISO throughout for English articles. I'm involved with some articles on Canadian-Chinese cuisine, and have no idea how to get my browser to display Chinese characters, let alone how to read them.
Laying aside the oxymoron about "Japanese hieroglyphs", I think all characters are reasonable in redirects, but we might want to seriously limit what goes in non-redirect article titles to Latin script. I don't see a reason to limit it more than that; I also suggest, though, that any time we have a title with diacritics, etc., there should always be a redirect from the ASCII equivalent. I would point out that we were never strictly ASCII, because we always allowed (for example) vowels with acute accents, which are non-ASCII. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:49, 5 October 2005 (UTC)


Dealing with invalid links

I'm looking through the pages for nut trees and find incredible numbers of invalid links. Am I correct that a link to a WP page that doesn't exist is coloured red, and those that do exist are coloured blue? Shouldn't we delete invalid links? It seems to me to make the articles inappropriately confusing. JohnSankey 15:28, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

You are correct, red links are for pages that don't yet exist. However, we tend to keep them around as an invitation to start a new article (as long as the text being linked makes sense as an article title). Just click on any red link and you should be taken to a page to start a new article on that topic. Seeing Wikipedia:Your first article may be useful if you do want start turning some of those "confusing" red links blue. Dragons flight 15:37, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up. I'll leave them alone. JohnSankey 21:49, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

If you know something about an article that is missing, try adding a stub article and include a few categories to an article that you can write. Vegaswikian 19:18, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Replacing copyrighted images with non-copyrighted

When there is an image in WP which is labelled with a copyright (e.g. Shagbark Hickory) is it proper to replace it with an image which is released under the standard GNU release of Wikipedia text (or public domain) to 'clean up' copyright issues within Wikipedia? JohnSankey 17:42, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

The image at Shagbark Hickory appears to be under a perfectly good GFDL license. Why would you want to replace it? --Carnildo 05:56, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Look closer, that image has both a GFDL notice and a copyright notice. Unless Caltrop (talk · contribs) had the permission of Susan Sweeney at the web address cited on that image, then there is a problem. Dragons flight 06:04, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
GFDLed content is still copyrighted, it's merely that the copyright holder licences the the content under the GFDL. Why the copyright notice was on the article I'm not sure, but I've removed it, the attribution on the image page is enough. --fvw* 06:35, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
The copyright in the article was what bothered me the most. I'll leave the current image then, and will just remove article copyrights when I find them as long as the related image page provides complete info. JohnSankey 12:58, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Be careful, though. Some of the images in Wikipedia are licensed under terms similar to "do whatever you like, so long as the creator is credited in the caption for each use of the image". --Carnildo 19:30, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I was referring to the copyright line written into the image page above the GFDL tag. Dragons flight 06:52, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I didn't mean to suggest that the use cited has a problem per se, but just to suggest that PD/GNU images might be preferable to copyrighted images within WP in general. JohnSankey 06:23, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Any of the situations listed on Wikipedia:Image copyright tags under "Public domain" or "Free licenses" are acceptabe for Wikipedia. --Carnildo 07:25, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Image licenses

Hi, I am confused. I thought the new policy allowed the share-alike licenses on Wikipedia, and a few days ago laboriously changed all my uploaded images to that license. Today I started to upload some more images (figures for Mathieu function), and noticed that the nifty new template seems to imply that these licenses are not allowed in Wikipedia. Please clarify!!!! TIA ---CH (talk) 00:29, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Oh, which one? Template:Cc-sa doesn't say that. --fvw* 00:33, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Let me ask my question again in another way: please see Image:MathieuCosine example.gif. Is this acceptable under the current Wikipedia policy, or will my images all be removed after 7 days? ---CH (talk) 01:35, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm not the greatest expert on our current image policies, but I'd say provided that attribution clause is happy with just having attribution on the image page and not on the article itsself, it'd be fine. What first made you think it wouldn't be? --fvw* 01:40, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I see nothing wrong with it. Where did you hear that the Creative Commons licenses would not be okay? --Carnildo 04:59, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
cc-sa is not accepted for text contibutions (it is incompatible with the GFDL), but it is acceptable for images as they may use any free license and aren't required to match the GFDL. Dragons flight 06:07, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
The announcement of the adoption of cc-by-2.0 by WikiTravel was not the clearest in the world. As Dragon's flight says, these licences are OK for images, but not for text. Physchim62 09:16, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Hi all, thanks for your help. Carnildo, the best answer I can give you is to suggest that you try uploading a test image and see if you see why I was confused by the nifty new upload script. OK, I'll continue to use the license I used in the cited example and hope for the best. ---CH (talk) 12:15, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Policy when categories and "list of.." articles say the same thing?

There is an increasing number of cases where two resources with the same information exists: One is a "list of.." article, the other a category. Example: List of Macintosh games and Category:Apple Macintosh games.

What should we do in this case?

  • Should those two resources coexist?
  • How should they interlink? Should there be a dislaimer at the top "this is an article, but we also have a category about the same thing _here_"?
  • It seems to me that both types have their advantages: categories are "automatic" (sorting automated, changing linked article titles also moves cat entries), while articles can house items that have no articles yet. Wouldn't it be good to have some kind of "article/category hybrid"?

Thanks for any feedback. Peter S. 14:30, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Categories and lists definitely overlap. There's a (largely moribund) "proposed" guideline at Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and series boxes. As far as I can tell there's one group of editors who feel categories make lists obsolete (to the point of proposing most or all lists should be converted to categories) and another group of editors who disagree on various grounds (format and ordering control, ability to include articles that don't exist yet, and performance being the top 3). In a pragmatic sense, I don't think the issue will be resolved soon so lists and categories will coexist for the indefinite future. You might join the conversation at Wikipedia talk:Categories, lists, and series boxes. -- Rick Block (talk) 16:45, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Great, thanks :-) Peter S. 19:27, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
If they really do have the same content, as in your particular example, I'd suggest nominating the list for deletion. The category in this case is far more complete. —Wahoofive (talk) 20:44, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but when you link from a page like List of Macintosh software, in the middle of the article, to a category, doesn't it feel strange? Peter S. 00:20, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
It is acceptable to include the link as Category:Apple Macintosh games, much shorter then what you used. You can change the displayed link text if needed. Vegaswikian 06:52, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Note that at wikipedia:categorisation of people (which is guideline and not proposed guideline) a distinction is made:

  • Non-"sensitive" categories (e.g. "authors") make the separate list redundant;
  • "Sensitive" categories (e.g. re. sexual orientation) will generally co-exist with the list: the list allows references; and clarifications about the reliability of the info. The category only groups some representative and undoubted examples, people who are specifically known in connection to that sensitive topic.

Recent efforts to apply categories broader for the sensitive topics re. humans are as far as I know inconclusive, so the "old" Categorisation of people guideline is still effective regarding that. A sensitive/non-sensitive combination category ("gay authors",...) is by definition also sensitive.

I don't see why Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and series boxes would be "largely moribund" - if it needs an update, OK, even if that would be a major update. But that's an important guideline! And high time it gets beyond "proposed" stage (as far as I remember that guideline was effective before the {{proposed}} template even existed, and that guideline has gone through the thentime "thinktank" procedure, so I don't even know whether the "proposed" template is on its place there).

--Francis Schonken 09:48, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Further, the talk at Wikipedia talk:Categories, lists, and series boxes appears inactive for over a month, without any conclusive indication for change of the guideline. So I change the "proposed" template of the guideline to "guideline", and propose further discussion will take it from there. --Francis Schonken 10:20, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I belief lists and categories can coexist in most circumstances for the reasons already cited above. - Mgm|(talk) 12:25, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Politicians on Wikipedia

The article on Liberalism is the subject of disputes, which is not unusal for political topics. However, I want to raise the issue of whether a politician should be allowed to edit articles which cover his own party. The user in question is User:Wilfried Derksen, who is the former international secretary of the Dutch political party Democraten'66 and the current vice-president of the pan-European Liberal grouping ELDR. (I don't understand how he has time to combine this with editing at Wikipedia, but he does).

The issue is essentially this: may George W. Bush edit George W. Bush? What if he deletes anything negative about himself? Or writes too much praise? Is conflict of interest a problem? Or is it simply left to others to correct things? And do the usual standards (e.g. assumption of good faith) apply to users who are also politicians.Ruzmanci 14:11, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

We have, AFAIK, nothing against people editing articles on themselves, or on their own company, so long as it's NPOV and verifiable. Why should we do otherwise for politicians? Shimgray | talk | 14:20, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
To further expand on this - someone who devotes a sizeable portion of their time to something is, of course, going to have strong opinions about it. But they will also have knowledge about it. Demanding that people not edit articles they have knowledge of, for fear that they will insert opinions, is both self-defeating and insulting to most users. In this case, it seems that you're involved in a content dispute with Wilfried - but you're also involved in a content dispute with others who aren't senior members of political parties, which may indicate something. Please don't unilaterally assume bad faith. Shimgray | talk | 14:45, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) On the one hand, those who are close to the subject of the article are often the most knowledgeable, and can have therefore many useful contributions. On the other hand are those the people with the strongest opinions on the subject, and they will therefore have to be very careful to leave thir POV out of their contributions.
Wikipedia policy on this subject can be found at Wikipedia:Autobiography. I think this would mean that User:Wilfried Derksen would be discouraged from contributing to a hypothetical article Wilfried Derksen, and should be very careful at ELDR or D66. But I think that Liberalism, which is an ideology, is a wider article than only the political parties, and has therefore more distance from his political activities. I don't see a problem with him editing the page.
So yes, conflict of interest could be a problem; other people should correct him when he's wrong; usual standards apply. Eugene van der Pijll 14:25, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Since Ruzmanci made some personal attacks (and on my good faiths) I decided not to react anymore on his attacks on me. I do not accept censorship by Ruzmanci on my contributions to the article on Liberalism. When he states that European liberals are racist and xenophobian, it is just not true. Some liberals might be, though I think it is illiberal to be racist and xenophobian, most liberals I know and debate with, are not xenophobian in any way. I would never edit an article on myself and will not edit anymore engage in debates on ELDR as I am a bureau member of this party. Electionworld 17:03, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
"And do the usual standards (e.g. assumption of good faith) apply to users who are also politicians?"
LOL! Spankthecrumpet 14:26, 9 October 2005 (UTC)