Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive Q

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Unnecessary images are killing performance, and should be banned

Can we please get a Guideline, if not a Policy, prohibiting the use of superfluous images? As I first noted at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Stub sorting#Images on stub templates starting to slow Wikipedia (again), the past few days it has started taking forever (often) to load images. Instead of throwing a bunch more money at upgrading hardware just to serve up tens of thousands of, at best, "nice to have" images, let's get of all superfluous images. The two main ones I think we should get rid of due to lack of utility are all images on Stub templates, and all images used in User Signatures. Other people may be able to think of other categories of images that we really don't need. Actually, all that are used somewhere other than the main Article Namespace should probably be carefully scrutinized as to whether they actually provide enough benefit to justify the (REAL $$$) cost. Niteowlneils 21:35, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree with all of that. I'd also support subst'ing all stub tags, changing stub tags to simply add the article to a stub category, or placing stub tags on talk pages. Another idea is to remove the Wikimedia and Mediawiki banners from the bottom of pages. They are probably well cached and hence don't affect performance significantly, but they're pretty useless in any case. Fredrik | talk 21:43, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Whacking the stub template images would also have the benefit of removing the single greatest source of non-free images being used in inappropriate places. --Carnildo 21:45, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with getting rid of user sig images, which IMO are annoying as well as a resource issue. Stub images are soemtimes helpful, and I would like them to stay, but not if they unduly burden the servers. However, please do not subst stub tags. Loook at Wikipedia Talk:Subst where this issue was considered recently. Indeed look there for more on the gerenal issue of auto-substing and where it is and isn't appropriate. DES (talk) 21:50, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
My position exactly. The stub images are cute, but are more iconic than informative. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 22:12, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
As noted under the thumbnails thread, images are vanity items which means people will want them many and large. The advantage that images have from a vanity point of view is that there is usually only one primary author, usually only one author, so they retain the uploader's identity in a way that text does not. Incidentally, stub images ought to cache well. --David Woolley 22:18, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm, I think we need to actually see the numbers first, before deciding. Often site performance is somewhat counter-intuitive, especially with the wierd web of servers and proxies on multiple continents that wikipedia currently uses. Kim Bruning 23:43, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree with User:Kim Bruning that we need to see the numbers. I don't doubt that image proliferation can have a significant negative impact on performance, but images also have a significant positive impact on both content understanding and user friendliness of the interface. To User:David Woolley who above made the blanket statement "images are vanity items", I don't think you could convince the editors of a print encyclopedia to do away with images just because they could then a) print only in black and white and b) reduce the weight of their tome by about 1/3 (to pull a fraction out of the air). Most images here are not vanity items in my opinion, and those that are tend to be either deleted quickly or moved out of their places in articles by editors (thereby dropping them from contributing to load problems). However, as with the impact issue, having some numbers as to what the load of "vanity images" are vs. "contributing images" is needed to put some meat on that supposition. Courtland 00:02, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
AFAIK no one is suggesting removing any images from the actual articles--just 'internal use' ones like stub messages and user sigs, etc. Niteowlneils 00:16, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
With respect to stub images and images on signatures, I would support a guideline and later a policy that sought to reduce or eliminate their use.
  1. I'd characterize "user sig" images as personal use and a software modification might be enabled to block the addition of images to pages via the automagic four-tilde and three-tilde signatures. Manually inserted signatures are another matter but would ( I think ) account for a small number of sig-related images.
  2. I'd characterize "stub" images not as 'internal use' really. A contingent within the stub sorting community (at one time) felt that such imagery would be useful for quick recognition of the article as in need of help in a particular topic area, not as some vanity thing to allow the creator to put his/her name up in lights. There is an argument to be made in favor of this, but I personally don't think the cost justifies the benefit in the case of stub templates.
Without having some breakdown of what image types are wreaking havoc on performance, opening the door to suggestions as to what types might be done away with invites the "I don't like this type so let's get rid of it" commentary. I could name a couple of types I dislike and would like to see disappear, but if those types a) do not damage Wikipedia performance or credibility and b) are useful to a group of people who use Wikipedia, who am I to disagree with the appropriateness of their presence.
Courtland 00:48, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
When I say that images are vanity items, I don't mean that there aren't many cases where they are valid. Some of those even justify an image that is larger than thumbnaail sized. However, Wikipedia differs from a printed encyclopedia in that you can link images, so it often makes sense to have a smaller (thumbnail) image on the page, and a much better than print full size version, off it. The vanity issue causes images to be made larger than needed and it means that in certain subject areas, where people tend to take snapshots, you will get lots of them. If you look at many of the Chinese tourist attractions, you will find that they actually have sections entitield Gallery with up to a dozen images. --David Woolley
Do you feel that using the image store at Wikimedia Commons would be OK for people adding their personal snapshots of Chinese touist locations so as not to increase the load on Wikipedia? My question is directed in part to explore the difference between non-vanity, vanity, and superfluous images and in part to touch on the technical matter of where to store the images. Courtland 13:13, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
When I consistently get all the text displayed, then spend a minute or two waiting for '' to finish loading the images, I don't think it's very open to interpretation or 'server weirdness'. Also, can we try to remember WHO Wikipedia exists to serve? IMHO, it's the READERs, not the EDITORs. I am only suggesting removing images from the non-Article space. Also, whether it is a 2% performance hit, or a 20% performance hit, is making stub messages and user sigs "pretty" worth the foundation's donated funds to support? The last time we had to make a $$$ investment in the Image server was when the images were being added to the stub messages--seems unlikely to be a coincidence. Niteowlneils 00:14, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Exactly! I've tried once to remind the editors of Russian Wikipedia that it's not about them and their convenience, but readers' ... to no avail, of course. As for removal of unnecessary images, it should probably exist as an option, at least: something like 'bare bone' interface—no images but those which illustrate the article (the "simple" skin works fine, but it does not eliminate 'em stub icons). —Barbatus 16:19, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
This is a toggle-able option (load or suppress images) in many modern web browsers (I've not found a reference for this in a Wikipedia article yet, but see [1] for a brief note on this). For instance, in FireFox 1.04 the setting is found via "Tools"→"Options"→"Web Features". Courtland 04:03, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
If you use prefbar you can turn on/off a whole bunch of things without going into options i.e. java, javascript, flash, images + more advanced options. Arniep 12:27, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Have you tried contacting Brion or Jamesday re: this issue? You may well be right but they're the experts. Radiant_>|< 00:19, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Excellent idea, Radiant. It seems like it might be the case if images are hosted on a separate server or servers that are being overloaded. Perhaps the internal images should have their own server. -- Kjkolb 01:00, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
All images are hosted on a separate server. --cesarb 15:08, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
The images are accessed via, an alias for, which may resolve to any of fourteen servers. is also aliased by and the other host names; all requests go through these servers. The main problem seems to be that some servers are not very reliable; sometimes a few of them become slow or go down entirely. If your browser resolves to a crashed server, images will not load (as happened a couple weeks ago). It's unfortunate Google's server offer didn't go anywhere. ᓛᖁ♀ 20:09, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
These fourteen servers (actually, they change depending on where you are in the world) point to the load-balancing squid servers (which are the ones who show the error messages). The overloaded servers sit behind them — and at that point there is a set of servers for the wikis and another set for --cesarb 20:22, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Is there any way to prevent DNS lookups resolving to dead squids? ᓛᖁ♀ 20:43, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree that stub images are largely unnecessary and, if they're making a dent in server performance right now, should at least be suspended for a while. Maybe there's some technical way to smack "noinclude" tags around images contained in templates with "-stub" in the title until servers are upgraded, and then remove them after.
The slowness of "waiting for" is particularly frustrating when doing routine maintenance work (fixing 'what links here' on disambiguation pages or redirects for example), as some of the tools (like Lupin's popups) that help with this work won't function until the page is fully loaded. I believe some of my edits may have been lost as well when I clicked away from a page before it was fully loaded/saved/displayed because of images -- I can't say for sure, but it stopped happening after I was more careful to watch my status bar for the "Done" message. — Catherine\talk 05:33, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

This is silly. Niteowlneils, you started the Images on stub templates starting to slow Wikipedia (again) section; are you a developer? Do you have the server logs? Consider which pages are accessed before looking for scapegoats.

Wikipedia is the 38th most popular site on the internet. Where do all the anonymous visitors who make it that popular go? I suspect the main page is the heaviest contributor to server load, followed by the hundred most popular pages. These are all in the main namespace, and accesses to these pages probably dwarf talk page accesses by orders of magnitude. There are no signatures in the main namespace (except for articles signed by newbies). The most popular pages are not stubs. If the servers really are overloaded by images, and the slowness is not simply caused by a combination of your browser and connection (I haven't seen problems with images loading), why not start by taking the sister project images off the main page? ᓛᖁ♀ 20:09, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

The anons don't provide much load. Anything other than active editing by an anon is handled by the Squid servers -- that's about 75% of the traffic, and the Squids can handle it without breaking a sweat. It's us logged-in users who are overloading the back-end servers and causing slowdowns. --Carnildo 05:35, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
i don't think images are really significant in terms of total server rescources. Afaict the reason there have been problems with images in the past is that the small ammount of rescources dedicated to them has been inadeqate (wikimedias rescource usage is on the up with no limit in sight due quite simply to increasing demand). The VAST majority of wikimedias hardware rescources goes on the pagebuilders. Plugwash 05:44, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
about logged in vs. not-logged in users impact on performance : User:Carnildo brings up a point I hadn't known about before. As an editor, the ratio of page calls I do for viewing vs. editing varies a great deal; sometimes while editing, I call up five pages for every page I edit. What I'm hearing is that if I were to view the pages that I do not intend to edit as a logged out user, then I would contribute 80% (1 in 5 page calls in this example) less to the server load than I do now. Is that an accurate way of looking at it? P.S. I'm thinking along the lines of viewing in IE and editing with FireFox or viewing with one computer and editing with another so the cookie instances differ between sessions. Courtland 13:20, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Would the load be significantly reduced if article content were displayed in a frame, so a logged-in user with default settings would pull everything from the cache except for the surrounding frames? (SEWilco 14:14, 15 November 2005 (UTC))
IMHO, frames have so many problems associated with them that it wouldn't be worth it even if it would have a significant effect (which I doubt). — David Remahl 15:29, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  1. To address some points, let's confine this discussion to IMAGES ON STUB MESSAGES.
  2. All text is loading fine, so it IS NOT A GENERAL PROBLEM WITH THE SERVERS! It is SPECIFIC TO THE IMAGE SERVER(s) (have you tried loading List of flags in the last week or so?).
  3. There are many hundreds, if not over 1,000 stub-related images called by tens of thousands, if not over 100,000 stubbed articles. There is absolutely no way that quantity can NOT have a significant impact on image serving.
  4. Suggesting people turn off ALL images in their browsers just because STUB images slow things down seems completely unreasonable.
  5. Image server slowness has repeatedly coincided with increased use of STUB images.
  6. Why should we spend ANY donated funds on providing extra hardware and/or bandwidth on editor-based "nice-to-haves" like stub images, when our primary audience is (or at least should be, IMHO) the READERS.
  7. We should tax the image servers only with requests for content related images, not useless 'backend' images. Images were coming up fine until recently--removing them from STUB messages should alleviate the problem, at least for a while.
  8. Why try to over-think/over-complicate the issue? SERVING UMPTEEN MEGABYTES OF STUB IMAGES IS GOING TO HAVE A COST, PERIOD! Why incur that cost for something with NO TANGIBLE VALUE? Waterguy 20:21, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
    I think it is also important to give readers a taste of the community on the back end, since we need more editors. While I have never taken part in the "stub" subculture of Wikipedia, I understand it engages quite a few people, who obviously feel that the images add some value and exposure to their efforts. Removing features in an attempt to optimize is never going to work in the long run. It is better to 1) optimize the infrastructure and software and 2) throw machines at the problem. — David Remahl 21:06, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

I am glad to see some people calling for actual numbers before such a decision is made, but discouraged that noone has provided such numbers and even more discouraged that discussion proceeds without obtaining those numbers.

Waterguy, here're the problems with your last sentence: you don't have evidence that umpteen megabytes of stub images are being served. While you have correctly asserted that there is a non-negative, non-zero cost involved in serving these images, you still have no evidence about the exact value or order of magnitude of that cost. So let me pose a scenario:

If stub images are causing 50% of the load on the image server, then eliminating stub images will eliminate 50% of the load and give us a 100% speedup. That would be spectacular! I would very much push for that, at least on a temporary basis. Perhaps even permanent.

But suppose stub images are causing 1% of the load on the image server. In that case, completely eliminating them will provide us only a 1% speedup. We will have effectively accomplished next to nothing, and it make take somebody all day to go make the change, too.

Quite possibly stub images are only 0.01% of the load. Neither you nor I actually know, do we? Yes, eliminating the stub images will definitely cause a speedup, no matter what. But you haven't yet proved that that speedup will not be simply negligible, so adamantly calling for this change doesn't make any sense, yet.

Can someone get some numbers? Percentage of images served broken down by the namespace of the page they are on, broken down by whether or not they are in a template, expressed as number of images served/number of actual connection attempts versus number of bytes served, showing how many images are being found in the cache, etc.? Without numbers this discussion is a relatively pointless brainstorming exercise. With numbers, we might see all kinds of other much more effective solutions. It might be apparent that the real thing to do is limit the size of the images by having their quality automatically scaled down. Or that we simply need to add RAM to the cache and retune it. Jdavidb (talk • contribs) 21:02, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

(after edit conflict with Jdavidb) Woah, buddy, chill out. There's no need to shout. We're trying to have a reasoned debate here, okay? As already mentioned above, the developers have access to server logs, perfomance records, and so forth. I don't, and I'm going to assume you don't. I don't want to be rude, but you shoudn't make broad, definitive statements when you have absolutely no way to know what you're talking about. If you think images are a problem, you ought to post at the technical pump and see, what, if anything, the devolopers say, before getting so worked up over this.--Sean|Black 21:08, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
The technical discussion appears to be at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 120#Images not displaying, and much of the discussion should be taken over to that section of the Villiage Pump, agreed. Courtland 23:34, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Hard disk drives are the bottleneck. While stub images are small files, 1kB or less, they can have as much effect on server performance as large image files of several tens or hundreds of kilobytes. The reason is that the disk drives on which they are stored need to seek to the proper track, then wait for the disk to rotate to the proper sector (see latency). Head positioning takes orders of magnitude longer than reading the data and transmitting them to the requestor once the head is on track. Use of any images on Wikipedia should be done sparingly. Because there is such a tremendous variety of them, there is no practical way to cache all of them in solid-state memory. If using images everywhere is that important, the only practical way to solve the problem may be to move the most-requested ones to solid-state drives, which are very, very fast, but also very expensive. The system would also need to keep statistics on image file accesses in order to manage such caching. Unfortunately, mechanical hard disks have been leading solid-state memory down the price curve in cost-per-megabyte for decades, and there seems to be no end in sight yet. (Take it from someone who's worked in the hard disk drive industry since 1980.) -- QuicksilverT @ 19:00, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Country naming convention

There is currently a new proposal for a naming convention for articles about countries: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (countries). --bainer (talk) 00:05, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

I bet some people are not going to want to write Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for Libya or "Palestinian Territory, Occupied" for the West Bank and Gaza Strip. -- Mwalcoff 00:17, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Cricket Articles

I was surprised to find a large number of cricket articles (results of various matches), such as Sussex_v_Middlesex_4_July_2005 and Durham_v_Leicestershire_1_July_2005. How does this fit into Policy? Is this material part of an Encyclopedia? LoopZilla 09:43, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

They are currently being merged into bigger articles. This debate has occupied the better part of three monthsm but it will be moot soon. There has recently been a mass AFD of all of them, which resulted in a consensus to merge. As did the one before that. As did the one before that. As did the one before that. As did the one before that. As did the one before that. Basically, it fits into policy by not violating policy. It's part of an encyclopaedia because we say it's part of our encyclopaedia. Possibly the best place for you to see is Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Sports results. The anti-cricket faction does, however, appear to be dying down now. The basic reason for keeping them is "why not?" Contrary to popular belief, this is a perfectly good argument. [[Sam Korn]] 10:29, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
I am sorry I am late (into the discussion). It is clearly stated (as policy) that Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information and it is this that leads to me ask, what is the granularity of the facts in our encyclopedia? This has been an issue for me personally, ever since I added some local history information from the area where I live. How much detail can I add? LoopZilla 09:28, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Royals & (other) nobility - two competing naming conventions guideline formats

The discussion whether it should be


is still not concluded.

The first of these options equals the second, apart from: In the first option wikipedia:naming conventions (common names) is described as an exception to the names and titles NC guideline. The second option has the same content, only this option starts from the common names principle, providing solutions where that principle is not unambiguous. This way of putting it (that in practice does not lead to differences in page name all that often), is however better suited to link nobility naming conventions to the central ideas of wikipedia:naming conventions (people).

Someone thought it wise to hasten the discussion by listing the "Western nobility" NC guideline at MfD, see Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Western nobility)

Anyway, both options are discussed at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (names and titles)#proposed tag, that's where I would group the discussion.

--Francis Schonken 10:00, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Audio hosting vs. linking

I know we've decided against hosting mp3s at Wikipedia. However, Let It Be... Naked has something a little different: hotlinks to WalMart mp3 samples. I'm guessing this is at least against policy. Deltabeignet 07:34, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

That's a classic example of bandwidth theft. It's probably also a copyvio. --Carnildo 08:31, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
In France, it's called recel de contrefaçon en bande organisée, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and/or a 500,000€ fine... Physchim62 (talk) 11:32, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Detecting Copyvios & Afd

I have found that Special:Deadendpages and Special:Lonelypages have several candidates ripe for deletion under WP:CV and WP:AFD, however these are not updated regularly. Also, the lists as they stand are arranged alphabetically but only the first 1000 entries are available as the report. It means that articles starting with alphabet D onwards would almost not find any mention. The associated talkpages for these 2 pages are largely inactive. --Gurubrahma 13:40, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Special:Deadendpages, at least is fairly active, it has recently been updated about one a week. As long as these updates are regular we do make steady progress, and being up to the letter C is actually a fair bit of progress. - SimonP 18:17, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I understand and appreciate your point of view, but my concern is different. Let's say I want to work on Deadend pages to make them non-deadend. However, I'm more comfortable with working on India-related articles and articles available only upto letter C may mean that I hv few articles to look at or work on. Why not have the entire database of Deadend pages at one go? I do not know abt the technical feasibility for generating such a report and the load it cd place on the servers, yet I wd believe having the complete report would be a good option. --Gurubrahma 06:46, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
In theory that would be possible, and from and editor's perspective it would be quite desirable. My understanding is, however, that generating the full lists would be too great a burden on the hardware. Feel free to pester the developers about this. Only a few months ago we got the first 2000 items rather than just the first 1000, even going back to that would be a major improvement. - SimonP 16:02, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
It might be nice if the weekly generation started at different points in the alphabet different weeks, instead of always from the start of the alphabet. -- Jmabel | Talk 08:48, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Can one use one photo in more than one article?

I wonder if someone could tell me if there is a policy about using one photograph in more than one article? I have posted a couple of photographs which I thought were pertinent to two entries - but it occurred to me that this may be a "no-no". Please let me know if this practice is discouraged, or whether it is O.K.

Many thanks,

John Hill John Hill 00:55, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Certainly. Extra images in articles are encouraged, as long as they are relevant to the subject, illustrative, and not redundant. — Dan | Talk 01:00, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, re-using photographs is a practice that we very much encourage. Raul654 10:38, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Though please make sure that they're appropriately licensed - if they're fair-use images, we'd discourage using them in multiple articles. On the other hand, if you contributed them yourself, this shouldn't be an issue... Shimgray | talk | 13:14, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Norse mythology naming convention vote notice

A new proposal on the representation of Norse mythology names is now up for a vote. - Haukur Þorgeirsson 00:51, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

And for those who wouldn't pay attention because Norse mythology isn't your thing, be aware that the "vote" they are proposing would force the English-language Wikipedia articles to be named following 13th century Icelandic words instead of their common English ones... It completely violates standard naming conventions here, and, looking at the names of the supporters, appears to be being pushed by members of foreign countries. Make sure you show up and vote against this really insane idea that English language words are inappropriate on English Wikipedia. DreamGuy 02:26, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
That comment is enough to make me go and vote in favour of the proposal. A "member of a foreign country" 11:20, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads-up. I voted in favour :-) Your description here misrepresents the policy, which says to use English names if one exists and to use the Norse spelling if there is no common English equivalent.dramatic 17:36, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Days articles

Why is someone is creating articles like January 21, 2003? If it's to split the January 21 and the 2003 article, I don't think it is right. The years and and the months pages are after all articles that waits to be expanded. There's no need to create an encyclopedic article for every day in the year. I propose they all be deleted and merged back to their original article, regarading that this step hasn't been discussed before. CG 18:23, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

There's relevant discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/January 1, 2005, which ended in a no consensus keep.--Sean|Black 00:06, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
There is every need. If we are doing a decent job of a world chronology, each individual day article would be 10 - 20 KB - that's far too much information to load in to year, month or dayofyear articles. It must be time for a proper proposal. dramatic 17:33, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

My frustrations

First, I would like to say that when I first started on Wikipedia I was very supportive of the current policy of allowing anonymous users to edit articles, but as I have become more active in improving articles I am frustrated by the constant vandalism I see. It is almost always anonymous users who do this. Please do NOT refer to me to Perennial proposals I have already given my thoughts on that page nobody looks at it anyway. I'm sick of anonymous users vandalism, and I think the benefits far outweigh the possible drawbacks. of course there are some good anonymous users in that mess of trolls & vandals, but most of the serious wikipedians have registered already. I'm feeling very angry, because I feel there is nothing I can do to change the policy. I am writing this here as a demand for a change in the policy to a policy where one must register to edit articles, nothing more, nothing less. --Revolución (talk) 02:54, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

New policies can be created and existing policies changed, please see Wikipedia:How to create policy. Pretty much any policy change is difficult to make happen, BIG changes (and this would be a big change) are extremely difficult to accomplish. You are welcome to try, but please realize this may be nearly a Herculean task. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:59, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
The chance of this happening is pretty much slim to none. See Wikipedia:Village_pump_(perennial_proposals)#Abolish_anonymous_users. And actually, I'd say at least half of the anon edits that pop up on my watchlist are good ones; maybe more, as I haven't checked. And some of them are *really* good. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 04:28, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
Not only that, but a good chunk of vandals register an account.--Sean|Black 04:36, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
A lot usefull minor edits come from anons. From what I've seen on RC patrol only ~1/7 of anon edits are vandalism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Geni (talkcontribs) 04:51, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
This is based on a common misunderstanding. More anon edits are vandalism than "registered" edits are (I think). However, this is not because "anonymous" (which they of course aren't; as you can usually track them down to the nearest city and ISP using their IP) editors are more inclined to vandalize because they're "anonymous". Rather, it is that vandals are more inclined to edit "anonymously" (because it's quicker). Therefore, if you block anonymous edits, that will only cause the vandals to make accounts; it won't remove a cause of vandalism. Nothing will be solved. Superm401 | Talk 06:49, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
I think requiring registration would have two consequences: fewer people would vandalize Wikipedia because of having to bother with registration, and those of us tracking vandalism would lose the valuable separation of IPs from usernames that easily allows us to focus on likely vandal edits. I've been tending to think the impact of the first consequence would be minimal compared to that of the second. Postdlf 07:02, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

I think it would be good to stop anonymous users from creating new articles, or at least having them go through moderation. Anonymous users are responsible for almost all of the non-image copyright violations on Wikipedia and they are usually on pages that the user has created. Also, anonymous users create almost all of the articles speedily deleted and a substantial number of the articles deleted at Articles for Deletion. It's relatively easy to revert a bad edit, but it's much more time consuming to have an article go through the deletion process on Copyright Problems or Articles for Deletion.

One of the difficulties with making these changes is that many editors have a doomsday prediction about what will happen if the rules are changed. We can make the change temporary and revert if it causes problems. -- Kjkolb 00:09, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Are there any statistics available on the contributions of logged-in vs. not-logged-in edits with respect to numbers in the several dimensions of a) sheer volume, b) edits per article, c) article creations, d) proportion of edits per article on those created by logged-in users, e) proportion of edits per article on those created by not-logged-in users? Looking at these numbers together might provide a better picture of the contributions of each editor group rather than relying on anecdotal evidence (though I believe in the anecdotal conclusion of their being largely positive and concur based on my own personal experience). Thanks for considering this .. perhaps someone who has experience in SQL access to the database could run a few queries, put the results in a page in the Wikipedia namespace in the Category:Wikipedia statistics. Courtland 00:42, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

I share Revolución's frustration. In cases of page vandalism, I frequently check the contributions of non-registered users (IP address only). In most cases, if that IP address vandalized one page, all the rest of the contributions from that IP address are garbage, too. However, what if the user is sitting at a terminal in his/her public library? In one instance the input is garbage, in another it's great stuff, because a different person is using the terminal. For this reason it's making me rethink whether there's any point to posting warnings to the talk pages of non-registered users. The non-registered users may not even be familiar enough with Wikipedia to realize that they have a talk page, and may thus never see any warnings posted to the IP address they're using. Moreover, with dynamic IP address assignment, a vandal could be wandering around town with his notebook computer and logging in through WiFi hotspots, getting a different IP address each time. Since creating an account on Wikipedia is so easy, forcing users to log in before letting them edit is only a slight inconvenience to determined vandals, who'll gladly create any number of gibberish user names to do what they did with just an IP address the day before. I suspect the only thing that dissuades vandals from continuing is that they guess that something is afoot when they vandalize a page and revisit it a few days later to find their handiwork gone, and eventually just give up when it happens repeatedly. --QuicksilverT @ 19:36, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Being quite new to Wikipedia, I have yet to run into the problem Rick (as well as many others) has experienced with vandalism (although, I hardly look forward to the day when it'll occur to the articles I've contributed to). Perhaps some mechanisms could be put into place to specifically handle the vandalism problem. Articles could allow anonymous posting, and in the event vandalism occurs, the article could be locked so only registered users could make edits. I'm as idealistic as the next person with regards to anonymous editors, but as usual, the few bad apples ruin the bunch for everyone. --BrandonG 03:12, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Frustration with make technical articles accessible policy

Recently there has been some discussion among mathematically-inclined editors on the make technical articles accessible policy. I would like to invite the broader Wikipedia community to help us sort this out. My position is that we must start to recognise that Wikipedia has moved beyond a general-audience encyclopaedia, and now serves specialist communities as well. The policy needs to change to reflect this.

For example, this morning I found a "too technical" tag placed on the article class field theory. Of course I agree that the article is too technical for most readers to understand. But sorry — that's just the way it is. I'm a PhD student studying algebraic number theory (the area of mathematics in which class field theory lives) and I myself have trouble really understanding what class field theory is all about. In fact, the current Wikipedia article on class field theory is far less technical than any other description I have seen before.

The difficulty is this: class field theory is about certain things called abelian field extensions. The author is not trying to be fancy or trying to impress anyone by using the technical terms "abelian" and "field extension". Unfortunately, it just isn't possible to simplify anything by using less technical terms. If you haven't ever done time studying Galois theory (which includes practically the entire "general audience"), then you simply can't make sense of these terms. It's not something you can just pick up in an idle afternoon.

The aims of make technical articles accessible are admirable. I certainly agree that articles should be made as accessible as possible. But a line has to be drawn somewhere. Dmharvey File:User dmharvey sig.png Talk 18:53, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

It isn't a policy. It says right at the top, "References or links to this page should not describe it as "policy"." It was put together by a small group of editors and there's never been a consensus on it; the previous decision to call it a guideline was out of process. Personally I'd look at the article, see if there's any small change that would make it a little more accessible, and then strip the template off. --Trovatore 18:59, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Access is important. It is also important, however, to be able to move highly technical material out of one article and into another. If that has happened, tagging it as 'too much for experts' is not so reasonable; it just induced defensiveness and makes it less likely that required segregation of material by difficulty will happen. Charles Matthews 19:02, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with the comments that material should be made "as accessible as possible". For class field theory, it's possible that identifying the general field (abstract mathematics, or particle physics, etc.) is the most that can be done to explain it to non-mathematicians. I think the tag should be left on, however, as a warning to general readers that they won't be able to understand this article. If Wikipedia develops a difficulty rating system, then the tag would no longer be needed for this purpose. StuRat 19:20, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
So you would indefinitely leave a tag encouraging others to provide a simple explanation on content you don't believe can be simply explained? Dragons flight 20:42, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
I think a brief, one line note at the top stating the article is highly technical would be better, preferably with links to material likely to be easier to understand. ᓛᖁ♀ 04:00, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I doubt that a linearly ordered difficulty rating system would be particularly helpful. The reason that a reader can't follow a specialized article is not that he's not smart enough or not educated enough, it's because he doesn't have the necessary background from that particular field. So what does a rating of "difficulty 5", or whatever you want to call it, really tell me as a reader? Nothing particularly useful. I can still read it if I can read it, and I can't if I can't. The fastest way to find out which, is to try to read it. --Trovatore 01:20, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
I would generally support the notion that we should make technical topics accessible to those who are likely to read them. Class field theory would be of interest to number theorists, mathematicians, and maybe the occasional particle physicist, so it should use language that they can understand. You'll never make it accessible to my grandmother or even to someone with a typical college education, but it doesn't need to be that accessible because the typical college graduate will never travel so deep into number theory that they will need to care about the topic. In the specific case of class field theory, I might suggest adding something to the introduction to suggest why it might be interesting to someone who is not an algebraic number theorist (assuming of course that it is interesting to anyone else, even other mathematicians?). Dragons flight 20:42, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
I'd concur with this; even if the article can't be "made accessible", it'd be nice to have a short introduction for anyone who stumbles across it by accident to tell them a) this is an esoteric mathematical topic; b) it's interesting because x; c) an overview of the general subject of which this is part is at page y. Of course, sometimes even this can't be done - Feynman famously responded to a request to summarise QED by remarking that if he could explain it in five minutes for the news, it wouldn't be worth the Nobel Prize. Shimgray | talk | 20:56, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
True, But Feynman also famously said "If you can't but together a freshman [College] legture on the subject you don't realy understand it." This is quoted in the into to the Feynman Lectures on Physics and seems to have been an long and strongly held view of his. i have found that even fairly esoteric topics in math and physics can usualy be explained so that people with a general college level education and some interst can follw them -- perhaps not well enbough to understand everything involved, nor to make original contributiosn to knowledge in teh field, but to have a fair idea of what is going on. I feel that I understand Group theory and have at least a nodding acquentaince with Galois theory, so if the Class field theory article is too technical for a reader such as myself to get anything at all out of it (I haven't checked it yet) then perhaps it needs a better intro at least. DES (talk) 00:01, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree strongly with this. ᓛᖁ♀ 04:00, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

One requests to people who put the {{technical}} template. Please take some time to explain either on the talk page or in the edit summary what exactly you think is a problem, and if possible suggestions for its improvement. It is not right for a person to just take a look at an article, say "Gosh, what is that?", put a technical template and walk away. First, the tag might not be justfified, and second, the article authors might sincerely believe that the article is already acessible enough, and your insight might be very valuable. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:50, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

I think in a lot of cases it should be fairly obvious that an article will not be understood by most readers. Recall Stephen Hawking's comment on including E=mc² in A Brief History of Time, for example. Equations must of course be included in our articles, but not before explaining what an article is about. ᓛᖁ♀ 04:00, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
One of the great possibilities of Wikipedia is for an editor to emerge who is able to make inexplicable topics understandable to the general public. I do not understand why we should berate an article's editors because either they themselves do not have this gift of translation or the topic has not found its way into the mind of someone with such a gift. This is not a call for a sea of abstruse articles to be unleashed but rather a call for a different way of looking at difficult to understand articles than to label them in a way that says "enter at your own risk - there be difficult brain benders ahead". Courtland 02:05, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Regarding your edit summary - I wonder how many more Velikovskys we have to put up with before our Sagan comes along :-) Shimgray | talk | 02:29, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
"Billions and billions and billions and..." StuRat 04:20, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

It is with some sadness that I watch a trend of anti-intellectualism grow with pages tagged with the {tl|technical}} template or with comments appended to talk pages describing the contents of academic pages as "gibberish" simply because they use the jargon of the subject area (even though extensively linked to explanatory pages). I might agree with the spirit of what Shimgray says, i.e. that there is sometimes a need for technical articles to be translated into lay language. It serves the purpose of making basic concepts more accessible to those without the academic background. I speculate that the success of the [Enter subject] for Dummies series of books profitably serves this need. However, when a specialist writes a page for other specialists, whether it be in science, mathematics, law, philosophy, or baseball, it is appropriate to use the jargon and expertise of that specialism (appropriately linked to explanatory pages for those who want to understand more). If this is arguing the case for a two-tier forking of pages into technical and introductory, then so be it. Those who wish to make sometimes abstruse material more comprehensible can provide a translation service where access to the content will serve a public good. But let us all have a little more respect for those editors with the drive to write pages on the Wikipedia, no matter what their intended market. So, to clarify my response to this topic as titled, it is the mere appending of non-constructive comments and general unwillingness to co-operate in the building of consensus material that is deeply frustrating. If those who object to pages had the humility to frankly admit what is not understood so that remedial action could be taken, accessibility could slowly evolve. But it seems that there is too much fear and insecurity in the world for this to happen. David91 05:10, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

If they do make comments on the talk page, they risk being abused for "talking about a subject they know nothing about". The phrase "when a specialist writes a page for other specialists" also seems rather un-wiki to me. I rather think we should write for everyone, not just for people exactly like ourselves. StuRat 04:30, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree that class field theory is probably never going to be accessible to an average non-mathematician, but I do think that there is a certain elitism involved in not even parenthetically explaining that "abelian" in this context means "commutative", a word known to all who study mathematics, and not just to algebraists. It should be possible to write this article so that an average third-year undergraduate in mathematics could read it. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:11, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I agree that the introduction could (and should) be made accessible to (say) an average third-year undergraduate in mathematics. Dmharvey File:User dmharvey sig.png Talk 15:58, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Any junior math major who hasn't encountered the word "abelian" is going to have a tough time graduating. —Wahoofive (talk) 05:08, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

The technical template currently encourages people to add non-technical explanations without removing the technical material. I don't see why this is a problem. I recently put a technical tag on atenolol, a drug that I take. A few months ago, I understood everything in the article. Now, I only understand the things that I pulled out of the edit history after the non-technical explanation was erased. Wikipedia is for everyone — experts and non-experts alike. And so we should include information for both groups, not deleting one kind of information or the other. /soapbox Jacqui 05:05, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree completely ! StuRat 05:34, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Changes to the articles on major cities

Hello, I was having a debate at Talk:Moscow with some posters who want to glide over the problems or the unpleasant aspects of Moscow, when after arguing for inclusion I realised, on looking around, that most of the articles on cities try to present a sort of tourist agency view on everything. Sure, the best aspects of each city need emphasis, but I think it's extremely deceptive to talk about large cities without mentioning the problems they face. I just noticed for instance that London makes no mention of the squalor that is visible in many parts of the city and which has been one of its major attributes for ages - in the past two centuries alone these depressing parts of London, or the experiences from within, have given rise to many of the great works of sociology, literature and so on. I think there needs to be a change in the approach to writing such articles - apart from mentioning all the wonderful museums, galleries and other tourist spots, there needs to be some perspective offered to the curious reader, not just the kind of information that any tourist brochure or guidebook will give you; in fact, even some travel books are more honest about the areas to avoid, among other things, than Wikipedia is! Of course, every large city has more or less the same kinds of problems. But they all manifest themselves in different ways and to different degrees; corruption for instance is a problem in every part of the world, but it is much more widespread or common at lower levels in certain cities than others; squalor is also visible in every major American or English city, but to a much greater extent than in other industrialized nations like Canada and Australia; housing projects are extremely common now but they are much more numerous - in fact overwhelming and depressing - in, say, South American cities like Sao Paulo, than the ones outside Vienna or Frankfurt; public transport in London is shockingly overpriced and a lot less reliable compared to the equally extensive public transport in Moscow. Not everyone who lives in a big city is necessarily a middle-class, median income, lifelong resident, and the majority of those who aren't face a lot of difficulties, and so would an independent, budget traveller. These articles need to be more rounded out to reflect actual life in these cities, not just a listing of popular spots, and I'd like to see some guidelines to this end. -- Simonides 00:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

  • I posted this at proposals but it probably belongs here
    • I responded at proposals before I saw this here. Feel free to move my response over here & turn that into just a link to discussion in one place. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:52, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
No problem, I think we can stick to that page for now but I'd like to leave this here so that someone will consider drafting a policy. -- Simonides 06:53, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I have no problem with this so long as you adhere to NPOV and don't turn the entire article into a city-bashing page. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:53, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't know why you think 1) I'm going to write up every article and 2) if I do, that I'm out to do some city-bashing. On a side note, I don't know why people in general get so defensive when facts are discussed. It's like with domestic American politics - any presentation of real data about Republicans makes so many Americans go all shifty and woozy and complain about how everyone is "Anti-American", "Bush-Bashing" and their imperialism is oh-so-vicitimised. -- Simonides 06:53, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
I concur with Simonides' position that most city pages need some balancing-out of bias. A year ago, I tried to balance out the boosterism on the Los Angeles page with some information about the city's serious violent crime problem (it has gangs where they initiate new members by handing them a gun and telling them to kill a man to prove their loyalty). This project has been a big tug-of-war, but I think we have all finally arrived at a consensus --- although one which I feel is still flawed as the COMPSTAT statistics fail to reflect the fact that L.A.'s crime rate is still much higher than most California cities. --Coolcaesar 05:46, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
I too concur that cities are prone to gloss bordering on collective POV and find simonides' side note regarding the 'wooziness' of some people when, as he puts it, 'real data' is presented. These two issues meet in a most ugly way on the page about Cuba. where the prevailing U.S. policy/opinion is overbearing in removing even the slightest degree of balance. The page borders on McCarthyesque anti-comunist propaganda. Clearly that view is a valid one in the circumstances, but it should be tempered with some data that recognises the fact that Cuba has a national identity that is not perceived entirely through the filter of U.S. foreign policy.
I am at a loss regarding how to tame the excesses of the single contributor who seems to have taken upon himself the role of cuban information minister in exile, He is a fulltime wikipedian who declines to register, and has written almost all related/linked content on the country singlehandedly. Then I tell myself, wait a minute, wikipedia is american, its servers are based in florida, perhaps I should just see it as a public exploration of U.S. opinion rather than the International resource I mistook it for originaly.DavidP 17:11, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

First, thank you all for the responses.

Second, David, I don't know and can't say whether your own edits are due to a certain allegiance (we all have our own), but I agree with you fully on the general kinds of problems editors face here. At least, it is one of the two most serious problems on Wikipedia - 1) POV pushing and systemic bias (which User:Xed has written about eloquently and which I used to keep pointing out, in different words, before he joined); ie the lapse into a default, parochial perspective on all non-Anglophone topics, and 2) seriously dumb edits by people who, for whatever reason, will argue the same point over and over and keep reverting without actually taking any effort to read the article, read the Talk page, check any facts, correct themselves, present any genuine arguments, and so on. Often the two habits go together. It's more serious than vandalism in my opinion, because vandalism rarely amounts to circuitous rhetoric, and will not have supporters among the admin and other users, who keep popping by to 'correct' or 'NPOV' the issue - in their favour. On a more optimistic note, there are some bright minds here too, and sometimes either the latter take charge or some people finally see the light of day, so if you keep holding your ground, the majority of non-aligned editors will finally see the value of your position and defend it. Case in point - a year ago, before I quit WP (I was hoping permanently - sigh) I kept pointing out the irritating Americentrism of all the News and Current Events page and drafting guidelines everyone ignored or voted against. After a lot of heated arguments and risks of banning, someone finally turned things around while I was away. -- Simonides 13:02, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Proposed amendment to policy on "Neutral Point of View"

Wikipedia:Article_point_of_view_vs_NPOV is a proposed amendment to the policy on Neutral Point of View, as applied to articles that describe a specific point of view. --Iantresman 14:29, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Is wikipedia a tourist guide?

Don't know if this is the right section.User:CalJW wants to convert Category:Philippine sites to Category:Landmarks_in_the_Philippines . [See here]. His previous proposal was tourist attraction.

He also wants to delete Category: Places in Cuba. For some reason , places and locations are ambigous to him.

CalJW has done a laudable and respectable job converting and creating categories, however, I've done a lot of work on categories in the Philippines and I think a places or locations categories are needed which he feels are not.

Wikipedia is not a tourism site! There are Category:Star Wars locations,Category:Bible places, Category:New Testament places and Category:Torah places. I don't see anything vague with the meaning of place. Buildings and places have totally different meanings. --Jondel 07:33, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Deprecate CSD

The whole speedy deletion thing has become utterly over-nomic-ed with CSD, let's get rid of it!

Kim Bruning 01:06, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

No, let's not. Swelling AfD is not a good idea. Neither is keeping nonsense articles. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:02, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
I said get rid of CSD, not speedy deletion itself! *Sheesh*! Kim Bruning 04:06, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
I think your suggestion might have been a bit unclear, could you clarify? Ëvilphoenix Burn! 04:26, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Proposed change to WP:NOT

On Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not#Proposal to modify WP:NOT an image gallery, I proposed the following change to this policy:

Currently the relevant part of the article states (as to what WP articles are not):
  1. Collections of photographs or media files with no text to go with the articles. If you are interested in presenting a picture, please provide an encyclopedic context, or consider adding it to Wikimedia Commons. If a picture comes from a public domain source on a website, then consider adding it to Wikipedia:Images with missing articles or Wikipedia:Public domain image resources.

I propose we change this to:

  1. Unencyclopediac collections of photographs or media files with no text to go with the articles. Annotated collections of images or media files illustrating a topic may be encyclopediac if they provide valuable support to an encyclopediac article or group of articles. Otherwise, consider providing an encyclopediac context, or moving it to Wikimedia Commons. If a picture comes from a public domain source on a website, then consider adding it to Wikipedia:Images with missing articles or Wikipedia:Public domain image resources.

Following general agreement to the principles behind the change amongst participants on that talk page, and three explicit messages of support for the proposed change, I made the change, which has been criticised later on WP:VFD by User:Splash (who raised no concrete objections to the change, but objected to the manner in which the change to policy was executed), and User:Aaron Brenneman reversed the change asserting that the change requires more input.

Observe that several galleries have survived well-participated AfDs, eg. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Gallery of illuminated manuscript images.

Please participate in this discussion! --- Charles Stewart 00:44, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Cookie cutter response to vandalism

I have seen quite a few editors leave wikipedia because of the soft approach to vandalism. Why do serial and blatant vandals get such soft warnings such as the one below:

Thank you for experimenting with Wikipedia. Your test worked, and it has been reverted or removed. Please use the sandbox for any other tests you may want to do. Take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to our encyclopedia.

The above template is currently the standard warning for examples of vandalism such as Amy is extremely ugly !!!!! and worse. This is obviously not a test, or a user experimenting with wikipedia. These are examples of malicious editing and I think it is silly to suggest such a user experiment in the sandbox. One strike and you're out should be standard policy for this type of vandalism not the five or so warning that seem to be the current norm. David D. (Talk) 16:50, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

You have to balance that with not wanting to bite newcomers. I would say we need a few welcome/stop-your-vandalism templates with several degrees of nastiness based on the severity of the vandalism. there would be "thanks for your test" and "you should lay off the stuped edits." and "warning stop it immediately you will be blocked." MPS 17:20, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
There's the concern that using an overly-nasty first warning message will convert someone who would have been a one-off vandal to a repeat offender. There are a lot of people out there who just can't believe that we will let anyone edit Wikipedia, and they can leave incredibly stupid and childish first messages just because they don't believe that it will work. We actually have quite a few editors who started off with test edits that were rather nasty, but have since reformed to become productive contributors.
Oftentimes the vandalism stops as soon as a message–any message–is left on User Talk. It conveys the idea that yes, someone is watching the store. The polite first warning also embarrasses some new editors into behaving themselves.
When I warn an editor, I usually keep their contributions log open in a browser tab and refresh it periodically for a while to check that they have straightened up. If not, I will escalate to the {{test2}}/{{test2a}}, {{test3}}, and/or final warning {{test4}} templates. (I don't tend to give four warnings, but I will pick and choose which templates are appropriate. Except in the most egregious cases I will give a {{test4}} warning before I block.)TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:17, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
When vandalism is also an attack there is {{attack}}. But perhaps we should ahve a warning sereis parallel to test through test3 wherne is is obviously i8ntentional, but not yet serious enough to threaten an instant block? DES (talk) 22:49, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
This sounds like a reasonable suggestion. I think TenOfAllTrades also makes a lot of good points, especially the one about embarrassing the vandal, I had not thought of it that way. Given these points I think a different 'polite' set of test series for malicious edits would be more sensible since the ones that are currently used do not seem to address the vandalism. In fact the current test templates may even give the impression that it is an automated response rather than being a response from a specific admin since they do not really address the maliciousness of the vandalism involved. Possibly a first response to a malicious edit could be along the lines of:

Please do not add gossip to wikipedia. Take a look at the welcome page if you would like to learn more about contributing to our encyclopedia. Thanks.

For me at least, this type of message recognises that the editor is being destructive. It is still friendly but slightly more blunt. David D. (Talk) 23:08, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

To be honest test mostly says that we saw that. Most vandels stop as soon as they relise they have been spoted.Geni 23:13, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

  • I have just created {{vw}} and {{vw-n}} with slightly firmer wording than {{test}} and {{test-n}}, but not quite as strong as {{test2}}. It would be considered a first-level warning, but for stuff that looks more like intentional vandalism than "tests". The higher-level warnings already refer to vandalism and I didn't think more strongly worded versions were needed. See what you think of these. DES (talk) 21:32, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Those look better. I agree the higher tests are fine. I'll try out the new ones next time I revert intentional vandalism. Thanks David D. (Talk) 18:03, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
      • I too once found the 'test' template odd for vandals. Then, I realized the beauty. Any vandal will either be expecting no message, or a stern rebuke. 'Test' sends the the signal that we can't even imagine your intentions weren't noble. People tend to live up to the expectations you set. If they don't, then a sterner message wasn't going to help anyways ... I don't the threat of a 24 hour block sounds like much of a threat to a vandal. Derex @ 06:24, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
        • Well said! Yes, I think the - we-know-you-were-just-testing-us quality of the warnings is a postive good. Why stoop to the level of the vandals? They are trying to fight - we are simply trying(and succeding) in writing an encyclopedia. JesseW, the juggling janitor 19:56, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  • You might want to check out Wikipedia:Wikiproject_user_warnings. Pathos seems to be doing some good work there. Wikibofh 14:27, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Be cautious


I've just created a very short proposal at Wikipedia:Be cautious. Now I'm going to get under the desk for a while. Filiocht | The kettle's on 11:55, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Placement of Portal links

Do we have a policy yet on the placing of portal links?

Now on the whole I think portals (as found in Category:Portals) are a very good thing. They help readers explore a subject and they help stimulate editors to expand articles and round out subject areas. However, the placement of portal link templates on articles seems to be somewhat random and inconsistent. Contrast these examples;

  • Science - small portal box at the top right of an article, not conflicting with any other content at the top right of page
  • Chess - small portal box at the top right of an article, but conflicting with the infobox and picture as well as other objects
  • Canada - small portal box at the bottom right of an article along with sister project links
  • Cryptography - small portal box at the top right, placed below the lead image
  • Cricket (the original portal?) - no portal box, but a bold line at the top of the article like an emphasized disambig link

To my mind, portal links are rather similar to the links to sister projects and so the Canada article has the best placement. I would also argue that anything that is not about the article itself should not detract from the content of the article.

I think there have been a number of mild conflicts over this sort of thing in the past. The situtation often seems to be similar to editors who like to place navigation boxes at the top or top right of related page. Some of the issues verge on spam linking, where the creators of a new portal want as many people as possible to see the new portal and so add links to as many articles as possible, as prominently as possible. -- Solipsist 07:43, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

References/external links headers name-change proposal

There's a proposal at Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability#References_title_misread_as_non-web_External_links to change the References header to "Sources", and External links to "Further reading". So far, the proposal has been accepted by all the editors on the page, but because this is a policy page, I'm putting it here for further discussion before changing it.

The reason for the proposal is that using "References" and "External links" is confusing. Sources are supposed to be listed under References, and any further reading is listed under Further reading or External links. But many editors think that any external links, whether used as sources or not, should go under External links, so then they list any material that isn't online, like books, under References, even if not used as a source. To cut through all this confusion, the proposal is to change the headers to Sources and Further reading, which are self-explanatory, and don't make the online/offline distinction. Comments would be welcomed. SlimVirgin (talk) 21:53, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Can we keep this discussion on the appropriate policy page, please? A vote in this location is likly to drift off into the archives quite quickly. User:Noisy | Talk 12:44, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Agree to change

  1. Slrubenstein | [[User talk:Slrubenstein|Talk]] 23:24, 25 November 2005 (UTC)


  1. Physchim62 (talk) Instruction creep. I don't think it would add to the verifiability of articles, it would be time-consuming to apply to the hundreds of thousands of articles affected, it would be ambigous for certain articles(e.g. Sources of water, ethanol etc), it removes a distinction for certain other articles between numbered References and unnumbered Sources (used in many different places in the article). Physchim62 (talk) 08:33, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Naming of Countries' relations

There are many articles about countries' relations, but with great differences between their titles:

The only stable format that is used is with relations with the United Nations (see Category:United Nations relations)

Anyway there should be a naming convention about these kind of articles. CG 15:01, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Wiktionary Icons

We currently have a debate at wikt:Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Neat icons about weather or not to start to include small icons as they do in the French Wiktionary. Most people seem to think that these icons will have a detrimental effect on the loading of pages. I believe that this is a misguided view caused by their lack of experience with using pictures. I would appreciate if people can leave comments there and perhaps vote as Wikipedia users have more experience using pictures then Wiktionary users do. Gerard Foley 00:47, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

ArbCom election procedure

I'm surprised how few people actually know that there isn't going to be an open arbcom election this year, so I'd mention this here as well. Jimbo has announced he will hand-pick new ArbCom candidates rather than have an open election for them, then have the public vote on his selections, with 50% support required to pass. See Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2005/Straw poll. Radiant_>|< 20:22, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't like this at all. Anyone should be able to run (perhaps with a minimum time as a Wikipedian, say, 6 months, and/or a minimum edit count). —Locke Cole (talk) (e-mail) 21:14, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for publication

Dear fellow Wikipedians, here is the solution to Wikipedia's problem: Wikipedia:Requests for publication -- Zondor 17:12, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

April Fools

I propose the following policy for handling April Fools Day:

  • Allow the creation of April Fools Day subpages, i.e. X/AprilFools, but require the page to end with an {{AprilFools}}.
  • When April Fools Day begins, a script identifies any page X with a subpage of the form X/AprilFools, moves X to X/NotAprilFools, and moves X/AprilFools to X.
  • When April Fools Day end, a script identifies any page X with a subpage of the form X/NotAprilFools, moves X to X/AprilFools, and moves X/NotAprilFools to X.
  • On April Fools Day, {{AprilFools}} will generate a link to the /NotAprilFools subpage.
  • April Fools pranks which do not follow the policy of including a {{AprilFools}} and preserving the original page as /NotAprilFools will be considered vandalism.
  • After April Fools Day, votes will be collected for the best /AprilFools pages, which will be kept, all others will be deleted after one week. People are free to move the losers to user space during this week.

The intent of the policy is to (a) streamline the correction of April Fools pranks, (b) maintain core wikipedia functionality on April Fools Day, (c) redirect the efforts of April Fools pranksters to higher quality & more interesting pranks, (d) allow wikified preperation of pranks ahead of time, and (e) maintain goodwill between everyone. Actually, we don't even need the scripts really, we could just say that pranks will only be permitted if they follow the /NotAprilFools and {{AprilFools}} guidlines. I just thought the scripts kept it cleaner. Thoughts? - JeffBurdges 15:19, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Proposal retracted JeffBurdges 17:23, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
But last year's utter chaos was so much more fun. — Dan | Talk 15:33, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
But haven't you heard that having fun is now against policy and may result in an indefinite block if engaged in repeatedly? Filiocht | The kettle's on 15:40, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
I suspect very few April Fools pranksters would be aware of these rules. I think it might be better to add a disclaimer on April 1 like the current one about the image server suggesting that readers be particularly suspicious of articles whose last modified date is April 1 and understand recent edits may well be April Fools pranks. We could also add something on the edit page asking anyone making April Fools edits to please remember to undo their changes later (although many won't, and mentioning this might encourage more such edits - see WP:BEANS). -- Rick Block (talk) 17:31, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Many of the best pranks were executed by ordinary & serious wikipedians who were quite insulted to have their hard work destroyed as vandalism within a few minutes. If you want a more technical solution, one could imagine having an "April Fools Edit" check box, which would merge such changes into an alternative development tree, which could be used on April 1. At the other end of the spectrum, one can imagine reverting all April 1 edits. If pranksters really will not follow the rules, one could try to follow the above guidlines, but allow seriously messed up articles to be reverted to pre-fools state, with individual editors responsible for sorting out specific good edits from the fools edits. At any rate, I think the above guidlines would be a good show of faith to the honest pranksters that wikipedia is not humorless. People may get ideas for April Fools Day a month or two in advance, being able to implement them in /AprilFools ahead would be a nice gesture. - JeffBurdges 21:47, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Maybe we should consider implementing such rules by appeal to the better nature of wikipedian interested in general article? If Rick Block is right that few people would follow the policy, we could try the following:

  • Create the {{AprilFools}} template, which links to ./NotAprilFools and an page explaining the idea/policy.
  • Recrute a few people known to write good April Fools pages to follow the policy, and execute the movment rules suggested above.
  • Hope that humor prevails, i.e. ./AprilFools pages survive until April 1st and tolerance is shown on April 1st.

Thoughts? Does anyone have something they would like to see in an April Fools policy which this does not provide? - JeffBurdges 01:23, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

But.. Doesn't that miss the whole point of April Fools Day? If I want to have fun, I will. Everybody knows that the Internet goes a little funny in April 1st, and Wikipedia is no exeption. This is just instruction creep.--Sean|Black 01:33, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Alright, you may be right, feature creep is bad.  :) But I feel this is more a problem with my first proposal. The second proposal has almost not policy element to it, just a "pseudo-policy" page asking everyone to be tolerant of April Fools edits which follow a good system for restoring the original page. As for fun, yes, I'm sure plenty of April Fools pranks will want to violate such a "policy". No worries, so long as it makes life easier on some people, either by allowing them to collaboratively develop the prank in ./AprilFools, or by preventing other authors from messing it up. - JeffBurdges 01:39, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
I think the fundamental problem is that on April Fools day there really isn't any way to tell garden variety vandalism from an intentional April Fools joke. So, do we let all vandalism stand for a day (probably not acceptable) or make some effort to identify and tolerate "good faith" pranks (which might encourage same)? Suggesting we'll tolerate pranks only from those already in the know (it's OK, wink, wink, if you've copied the article here and added this template) seems kind of anti-wiki to me. Perhaps rather than revert, we add an {{April Fools}} template (which we could decide to be visible or invisible) so the tagged articles can be fixed on April 2. BTW - lest you think I'm a humorless old goat, please see the following edit: [2]. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:17, 23

November 2005 (UTC)

To tell the truth, I'm in favor of having a notice somewhere (MediaWiki:Recentchanges, maybe) that says something about it. I don't think we should just let the encyclopedia get turned into sewage, but I don't want us to be a bunch of humourless snobs, either.--Sean|Black 03:27, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
It's a nice idea, but it sounds too complicated. April fools day is like carnival - for one day, all rules are broken. I think there should be only 1 rule (already said above): we should ask anyone making April Fools edits to please remember to undo their changes the next day. I think with making this "rule" official, more or less everything will be quite fine. Peter S. 03:36, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I guess "undo your changes" would be sufficent, and my proposal clearly provides this. But it would be nice if people would not delete/blank any ./AprilFools pages during February. Its seems completely reasonable for people to use the wiki to develop the joke ahead of time. I also felt it would be good if the honest page was available as ./NotAprilFools, with a link from the bottom of the fools page, but this is maybe a matter of taste for those who edit the article. However, I still feel its a good way to keep the humorless snobs at bay.

One technical measure of which I would approve is a lock on the MediaWiki namespace for the day. Messing about with the site interface is, in my opinion, going a bit too far. — Dan | Talk 03:59, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

What do we need special policy for? The normal rules apply.Geni 04:32, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

With the proviso that, on that day, the one about breaking all rules is paramount. -- Jmabel | Talk 08:02, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
WP:IAR is not policy. Anyone who thinks they can rely on it is mistaken. April fools on the internet is so five years ago.Geni 13:03, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Alright, it seems wikipedia has plenty of humorless snobs, just made Template:AprilFools and its allready been nominated for deletion.  :) Here is the code of my suggested template: :<div class="boilerplate" id="AprilFools">''April Fools! The [[{{NAMESPACE}}:{{PAGENAME}}/NotAprilFools|original article]] will be back tomarrow.''</div>

I nominated this template for deletion. Please don't think of me as a humorless snob! I feel that it's pretty useless. It takes all the fun out of April Fool's. The whole thing of tagging an article if it's been funnied seems pretty humorless to me. I mean, what's the point if you insert a funny comment and tell everybody that it's there. The fun is in finding it yourself. Also, this template is not going to be used for five months yet so we have plenty of time to think on it. However, since I have put it on TfD, we should be able to get community consensus and know other different points of view.--May the Force be with you! Shreshth91($ |-| r 3 $ |-| t |-|) 12:13, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I've been convinced by the above discussion that (a) no policy is needed and (b) not all good jokes will use the template. I also agree that it does not need to come into existance now. But use of such a template is helpful in a number of ways (see above). I suggest bringing the template back into existance in late February or early March, along with a blank InvisibleAprilFools template. Some will use them, some won't, but life may be a bit simpler on April 2nd.. and it'll let the less wikisavy see more of the jokes via "What links here".  :) JeffBurdges 12:32, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

There was a discussion on the mailing list the day before this year's April Fools that seemed to be gaining some steam (including some praise from Jimbo himself), but probably came too late. In keeping the fun of April Fools with the desire to present legitimate information in a responsible way, we should actually present real articles that seem a little "out of place". One or more unusual articles can be brought up to FA standard, and a few unusual or unbelievable pieces of trivia (or maybe the truth reworded to sound unbelievable). People reading the main page would be absolutely convinced that these articles are false and an April Fools joke, but the joke's on them! These articles are real and true! For an article to be brought up to FA status, an article like exploding whale (which is already FA, so it can't be used again) or any currently non-FAs in Wikipedia:Unusual articles could be done. That would be the FA for the day. The "previous FAs" could link to exploding whale and other unusual articles that were already FA and therefore can't be used for 2006. Examples of facts presented in an unbelievable way can include the fact that Queen Elizabeth II was once a driver and changed the wheel of a lorry when she was younger (see here, and we could include the picture on the front page too with a modified caption, like "Princess Elizabeth changes the wheel of a lorry during her stint as a driver"). This takes some work, so I think work on this should start early, maybe a month before April Fools. --Deathphoenix 14:37, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Creating one or two good April Fool's articles is one thing, but this last April 1st things went beyond that, with edit warring on the Main Page, blocks and unblocks of admins, editing of the tabs in the MediaWiki namespace, name-calling, etc. It was all rather juvenile in my opinion. If that happens again in 2006, every admin involved should be RFC'd and then RFAR'd for abuse of admin priviledges. BlankVerse 14:41, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Here;s one example from April 2005: MediaWiki:Tagline History BlankVerse 14:46, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  • How about we just redirect to uncyclopedia on april 1st? Voyager640 22:41, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
I was just about to suggest Phoenix's suggestion above - if you want to "April Fool" the front page, make something like Nihilartikel a featured article (not a bad article just now, all told) and get it put up; fill DYK with such articles...
Did you know?
You've not put a single fake as such up, but a laundry list of entirely appropriate articles - and given one of the delights of April 1st is seeing what stunt the newspapers pulled that morning, it seems a well-placed set of entries.
("That can't actually be true!" articles like Exploding whale (or Benedict Arnold (congressman), a personal favourite) fit just as well, but listing actual (but explained) hoaxes seems more appropriate) Shimgray | talk | 15:17, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

I instead propose that we impose a one-week ban on people who knowingly deface the encyclopedia in the name of fun on April Fools. You want to do april fools? Celebrate it someplace else. It's stupid to waste developer time to make it easy to be an idiot, and it's stupid that other people should need to clean up the mess. It'd be sad if necessary, but if need be the entire wikipedia should perhaps be locked on that day to stop people who should know better. --Improv 16:13, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

I am completely in favor of doing something that looks like an April Fool's prank but isn't.

I am opposed to tolerating real April Fool's pranks and would happily support locking the whole wikipedia for a day if that's what's required to deal with it.

April Fool's pranks are fun if the audience eventually "gets it." Unfortunately history shows that many people do not get this kind of humor no matter how broad it is. Even if it says "April Fool" in so many words at the bottom of the page, people don't necessarily read to the end.

April Fool articles are one thing in a publication like Datamation (hah! that's a good test of how old you are), because there is reason to believe the editors know their audience (and can gauge the credulity level appropriately). They are something else in a publication with as wide a readership as Wikipedia. Even Technology Review once ran an April Fool's piece that was picked up as real by the news media.

For an encyclopedia to intentionally disseminate inaccurate information isn't funny. Or, as they used to say in L'il Abner (another age test) "If thas' a joke, Ah fails to see th' hoomor in it. Or: "tain't funny, McGee!" (Now, that one IS before my time...) Dpbsmith (talk) 16:53, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Trolls commonly see humorlessness, strict rules, and strong reactions as the target. Locking wikipedia for April 1st will just mean numerous less well meaning vandals descend upon it for weeks afterwords.. reverting every April 1 edit wouldn't encurage them as much. OTOH, They may chill out if people think their pranks just look inferior to our own pranks. Which is why Deathphoenix's comment is a very good suggestion. JeffBurdges 17:12, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Please don't tell me you're actually arguing that unless we do april fools, the terrorists .. ermm.. vandals.. will have won. Policy should never be decided in the name of fear or threat. --Improv 17:36, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Should people actually want a technical solution, like locking wikipedia, a solution less likely to bring on more trolls would be hosting a locked copy on, with links to it from every page. Not a very wiki solution really, but workable. JeffBurdges 17:23, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Shimgray, I like your "Did you know" facts. It certainly is in the spirit of the April Fool's Main page. Having an outlet like that makes it much simpler to revert vandalism on April Fool's. I'd suggest that, at the very least, any attempts to mess around with the main articlespace should be reverted as vandalism. Wikipedia:, Talk:, etc., might be fair game depending on the nature of the edits, but this is up for discussion. --Deathphoenix 15:12, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
I like the idea of recognising the 1st - personally I'm ambivalent, but I understand some are very enthusiastic - but I'm loathe to corrupt a useful resource for the sake of a couple of hours of amusement. (For a start, it's much less fun when you can't see that you fooled people...) Populating the front page with articles about hoaxes (described credulously), or articles that seem too bizzare to be true (we've all written one at some point, simply for amusement), gives the amusement of seeing the joke to the reader without the actual attempt to fool them. Shimgray | talk | 15:46, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
One problem is that it is not just "a couple of hours of amusement". Because of the very international nature of the Wikipedia, if you measured the beginning of April 1st for the first time zone at 12:01 AM through to 11:59 PM in the very last time zone, you have one very long day of shenanigans. BlankVerse 17:03, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Let's not forget that there's nothing corrupted. Everything on the Main page would be true. All the articles (such as the featured articles), all the "Did you knows", they'd all be entirely factual, so there's no misinformation involved. And lest there be some people who need to know that they've fooled someone, I think I saw enough people posting on the various talk pages about being fooled, such as "Is this true???", that anyone deriving pleasure from seeing others fooled can simply take a look at the Talk pages. Having this one outlet as a compromise for April Fools in the main articlespace protects the rest of the main articlespace (so everyone else can revert vandalism in the main articlespace) while still providing for some fun for editor and reader alike. One of the problems with this year's April Fools that I saw was that people dismissed some articlespace edits as "April Fools" stuff that they let slide. If we (meaning Wikipedians) restrict the fun to the Main page, while clearly showing that we still only accept "verifiable facts", we can hopefully minimise some of the damage done to the main articlespace. --Deathphoenix 22:08, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Football (soccer)

I think we could use some guidance here. Soccer fans had been referring to their sport as "football" on Current sports events, despite the mentions of several other types of "football" games on the page. I was under the impression that the compromise term "football (soccer)" had been created to be used in potentially ambiguous or controversial situations. I changed all of the "football" references to "football (soccer)" and put a note on the talk page asking people to use the latter term in the future. A British user objected and changed all the references back. He said soccer is the world game, the true football, etc., etc. and could not be convinced to use the compromise term. So I put a note on Wikipedia:Wikiquette alerts. After doing so, three more British people came to talk:Current sports events and, rather than lecturing the "football" guy for breaking what I thought was Wikipedia practice, supported him. Then an American came to the article page and changed all the "football" references to "soccer," screwing up all the wikilinks in the process.

How can we avoid revert wars and another tedious American English vs. British English argument? -- Mwalcoff 23:49, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I would dispute your characterisation of the people who joined the discussion: Violetriga is British of course, as am I (though I have been regularly contributing to Current sports events for nearly three years now and can hardly be accused of "just coming to it"); however Sam Vimes is Norwegian and Andres C. is Ecuadorian, so plainly the preference for using "Football" to describe the World Game is not limited to British contributors. As I said in talk:Current sports events, my preference, which I have used for well over a year, is to use piped links so [[Football (soccer)|]] appears as "Football" but still points to the correct underlying article describing the game. I've been here long enough to remember the original tedious debate over the name, and as I recall the present solution was adopted specifically so that the "pipe trick" could be used; it's only later that gridiron fans came along and insisted on removing the pipe, which results in what I agree with Jooler is the damned ugly "Football (soccer)" actually appearing on the page. -- Arwel (talk) 01:32, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
My apologies for mischaracterizing the users' nationality. I wasn't including Andres among the three people I mentioned and assumed Sam Vimes was British from his contributions list. Not that there's anything wrong with bring British, of course.
I thought the "pipe trick" was meant for situations in which the meaning was unambiguous. It doesn't seem to make sense to me to create the term "football (soccer)" and use it only for the title of the article on the sport. We might as well just call the article itself "football." -- Mwalcoff 03:25, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Speaking as an American, and one who's usually pretty militant about spelling, I find football totally unobjectionable so long as it's wikilinked. Just plain "football" has too much potential for confusion, though. —Cryptic (talk) 02:31, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
As another American, I also don't see any problems other then the extra typing with using football. It seems such a simple solution. Context should make it clear which type of football is being discussed in an article. Vegaswikian 03:34, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
I think there are two separate issues here: having the round-ball football content at the name "football (soccer)", and what should be displayed. I think having that content at "[[football (soccer)]]" is good, since there are also other things named football, so just "[[football]]" is best suited to be a disambiguation page.
That said, I don't think people should get uptight about leaving the full name unhidden as "football (soccer)". That is in line with other things that have different names in different countries; I think both terms should always be visible, such as "twin town (sister city)", "apartment (flat)", "lift (elevator)", "gasoline (petrol)", "maize (corn)" and so forth. The over-riding motive should be communicating with the reader regardless of which form of English they learned, NOT pushing some POV point about which term is more proper or accurate. Waterguy 23:39, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
I personally believe the term football (soccer) to be a case of systemic bias, more specifically, USA-centric bias. Why? Well, it's pretty obvious that the two main sports that football can refer to would be American Football and the round-ball football - soccer. There are a few different games, but the rest are less popular. Now, in the USA, "football" refers to American Football. Elsewhere, it refers to the round-ball football, soccer or whatever you'd like to call it. This football is quite possibly the most popular sport worldwide. What's more, American Football is not popular except in America (and Canada), so no European or Asian reader would assume just the word "football" itself to refer to American football.
Thus, I would prefer to always refer to American Football as exactly that, American Football. It's completely non-ambigious, no European would imagine that to refer to round-ball football, and no American would be confused either. Solver 17:48, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
I would agree 100% on that rule, Solver (Full disclosure: I'm Swiss). Peter S. 18:55, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Just to confuse things a little more... in Australia (where I'm from), even though mostly the language is much closer to British than US english, the word "football" generally refers to one of Rugby League, Rugby Union or AFL, and we use "soccer" for the topic under discussion. People there are generally aware that most of the world means "soccer" when they say "football". The american game is known as either "American Football" or "grid-iron", but I've never heard the term "grid-iron" in my last two years living in the US, which I find very puzzling. Dmharvey 19:08, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
"Gridiron" (without a hyphen) is an occasionally-encountered colloquialism for (American) football in the USA, but not all that common these days. "Pigskin" (referring to the ball allegedly being made from the skin of pigs, even though it isn't actually) is another term that sometimes comes up in referring to this sport. However, just plain "football" is the most common way of referring to it. I would classify both "gridiron" and "pigskin" as slightly archaic-sounding words most often used by bored sportswriters making overly labored attempts to "pep up" their articles by using different words from the straightforward ones they have to use over and over. *Dan T.* 19:41, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Gridiron is a poetic word for the playing field itself. You might hear, "He was one of the greatest players to ever step on the gridiron," but you won't hear, "Let's go play some gridiron" in the US. -- Mwalcoff 01:19, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Calling Rugby "football" sure seems funny :). Dmharvey makes an important point about recognition of the term "football", too. As far as my experience goes, Americans are very well aware that, used by a non-American, "football" is most likely to refer to round-ball football, not the American variety. That's the whole most important thing about the issue, I think. In countries where "football" commonly means something else, people are aware of its meaning in the rest of the world. In the rest of the world, though, people aren't always aware that "football" can refer to American Football or other games, and many people don't even know the word soccer, which is only used where "football" typically means something else. Solver 21:51, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Rugby is sometimes called "Australian Rules Football" here in the United States. I also think that most American's know that American Football, is just that, American and that the word football usually refers to the other sport (soccer) inthe rest of the world. Morris 22:54, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Just to prevent even more confusion, I must point out that Australian Rules Football is another sport entirely from either form of Rugby, and is more akin to Irish (Gaelic football) - indeed teams playing the Irish and Australian codes play each other at International Rules Football, which is a sort of compromise betwen the two codes. -- Arwel (talk) 00:22, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Just to clarify the discussion -- the question is not what to call American football, which we all agree should be called "American football" in cases of potential ambiguity. The question is what to call soccer in the same circumstances: "soccer," "football," or "football (soccer)."
If the key is to avoid ambiguity and not to favor one brand of English over another, I think "soccer" or "football (soccer)" should be used. I had been under the impression that the latter term was coined just for these situations.
I would be very surprised to find very many English speakers who don't know the word "soccer." I've seen it in British newspapers, and even the monolingual Czech guy at my neighborhood convenience store knew the word, although he pronounced it "soatzer."
(Incidentally, I've been told that Czechs refer to soccer as "European football" or "classical football" when there's a potential ambiguity.) -- Mwalcoff 22:19, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't really think this is an issue of US-English vs. Brit-English, it's more a cultural difference between the terms. By the way, many English speakers indeed don't know the word "soccer". Why? Well, I'm thinking here of those who don't speak English natively but learned it (which probably means the majority of non-North American and non-UK readers). I am European, and I know that English learners will learn the word football, referring to soccer-football, but not the word soccer.
I strongly oppose using "soccer". The term will confuse a good portion of non-native-English readers. I see two options. 1. Always use "football (soccer)". 2. Use "football (soccer)" in many places, but use "football" when it's obvious from the context that the soccer-football is meant. For example, articles on players could initially say that "X is a football (soccer) player", but then use simply "football" for the remainder of the article. This is what I believe to be better. By the way, yes, I've heard (in real life) people saying "European football" in ambigous cases, but not anything else. "American" and "European" are clearly opposite, whereas European languages don't even have a word like soccer. The word they have is also similar to "football" in most languages - fussball, futbols, futbol, etc. Solver 22:45, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
I was starting from what you call option 2. The terms "American football" and "football (soccer)" need only be used in cases of potential ambiguity. In most articles, that will only be the first reference.
But that doesn't solve the question of what we do about Current sports events. If we say that "Football: Premier League" is unambiguous, than isn't "Football: Super Bowl" just as unambiguous? In my opinion, neither is unambiguous. Few Americans have heard of the Premier League, so they can't be expected to know it's soccer. Even if they figure it out, they'll still ask why British naming conventions are used over all others on the page. -- Mwalcoff 01:09, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Context is everthing! Your hypothetical American Football fan may not have heard of the Premier League, but presumably they will be aware that it's not American Football, ergo by process of elimination it must refer to "soccer". Similarly a round-ball fan will most likely know that there are no "Bowls" in his game of interest. Actually, you are correct that "Premier League" is not unambiguous as, according to it's the name of the principal division in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Libya, Russia, and Ukraine, not forgetting all the Spanish-speaking countries that have a Primera Divisiôn, but the English Premier League is unquestionably the widest-followed league of that name worldwide, and in an English-language context is normally the one referred to. -- Arwel (talk) 02:38, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
"Your hypothetical American Football fan may not have heard of the Premier League, but presumably they will be aware that it's not American Football, ergo by process of elimination it must refer to 'soccer'."
Not necessarily. My guess is the average high-school-educated person in, say, Dubuque, Iowa may not know that British people call soccer "football." In the U.S., the word "football" always refers to the American game. -- Mwalcoff 02:47, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Thankfully this Encyclopaedia's intended audience reaches far wider than your average under-educated US high-school student. And presumably the purpose of this Encyclopaedia is to educate them, not leave them in ignorance. Jooler 07:56, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Another option is to go with "dribbling sport" as described by the RFU museum Year 1863 ;-)

Other rugby clubs follow this lead and do not join the Football Association. Without the participation of these clubs many of the Rugby School football influences are dropped from the FA’s laws and the brand new football game (soccer) will become an almost exclusively dribbling sport.

--Philip Baird Shearer 23:53, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

This subject rugger soccer etc is described on the Football page and is done to death in the archives (Talk:Football). I think I have read all the points made here apart from the one about "European football". What does that make the Six Nations Championship? Perhapse Kiwi football :-( --Philip Baird Shearer 00:06, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

As Arwel points out the compromise football (soccer) was made and accepted, after a huge amount of rancorous discussion, simply because it allowed the the pipe trick in running text. The use of "football (soccer)" was intended only for the article title, prior to the argument, the article at 'football' had been about Association football. When used without the pipe trick in running text it looks just damned ugly!. As an article title 'Soccer' alone was wholeheartedly rejected by Britons and many Europeans, 'Football' alone was rejected by Americans and a very loud Irishman. In the specific case that Mwalcoff is speaking of, the context usually clear. This should be an end of the matter. Jooler 01:31, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Here, here!! The soccer establishment does not have a mortgage on the word football, remembering that the laws of Australian Football were first codified in 1859. In terms of the history of all modern football codes - that is prehistoric. As has been agreed previously: Football (soccer) it is!!--pippudoz - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 05:51, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm a few days late on this, but there's nothing about this issue that's unique to football (soccer). Be clear in your writing—if a term is ambiguous and not clear in context (as when referencing one of three popular sports on the Main Page, or on first reference in an article), spell it out. As an American, I would never simply write "soccer" knowing that it's a term unfamiliar to a non-trivial segment of my audience. I know the sport's capable of inciting riots in other parts of the world, but jingoism has no place in NPOV writing. Austin Hair 02:18, 27 November 2005 (UTC)


In response to the overwhelming level of vandalism at George W. Bush, a few users have proposed a better set of tools to use to combat vandalism, without resorting to the anti-wiki full protect; See Wikipedia:Semi-protection policy -Mysekurity 05:38, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

CSD A9 proposal

After 2 msgs 12 minutes apart, an editor added A9 to CSD. I can't tell whether the following response might have been intended sarcastically:

I'm glad to hear that CSD can now be commonsensically amended without the need for a month-long discussion and several pages of voting.

but in any case i am so far the only nay-sayer. We have gotten along without A9 for nearly 5 years, and the idea of introducing a new excuse for immediate deletion in this fashion is outrageous. I removed A9, tho i'm not sure there is any harm in it. There is definite harm in using this kind of shoot-from-the-hip process to authorize immediate deletion.
--Jerzyt 18:46, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Oh, sorry, that discussion is at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion#Unneeded disambig pages.
--Jerzyt 18:49, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

There's definitely no harm in it. An unneeded redirect page isn't really an article at all. I'd say such deletions were fine to do without an explicit rule, and that the explicit rule is fine too—is there any objection to it, other than process? -- SCZenz 18:52, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

This issue is actually about moving a page to its proper name, which can be done through WP:RM (more discussion on talk page). Demi T/C 00:29, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

"Database locked"

Friday and Saturday night, I was editing Wikipedia and encountered "the datbase is locked" conditions. Is this something that happened automatically, or is somebody locking the database? If it's being done by a person, could they give us some warning? How long does this database locked condition normally last? User:Zoe|(talk) 03:12, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

The answer to all your questions is "it depends" (unhelpful I know). If you poke around special:allmessages you will get a good idea of how the process works.Geni 23:47, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Licensing for community images

I have created a proposal which would allow the use of non-free images in special cases outside the encyclopedia. See Wikipedia:Licensing for community images; comments welcome. Thue | talk 17:04, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Elected officers of student societies

The Cambridge Union Society is obviously notable, because of its age and past members, but how are the current or recent officers of any interest to anyone outside the society itself? A recently added article on a student society is that on the Oxford Law Society, "famous within Oxford due to its reputation for hosting large free parties and quality balls" (is it famous for anything else?), which has a long list of current committee members, but nothing on history or anything else of more general interest.

We should have some guidelines on student societies in general (as current deletion policy seem to be very inconsistent), but also on what to include in such articles, when the notability of the society itself is not in question. Former active members who have gone on to do notable things should be included, as it helps establish the notability of the society. Current or very recent elected officers should definitely be left out, unless there are exceptional reasons to include any such individual. Tupsharru 10:19, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

We've been over this one, about a year ago. They are certainly worth mentioning within the article about the society; if it is their only claim to fame it is not sufficient notability to merit an article about an individual; on the other hand, if they are borderline notable, it would be a point in favor of an article. (Thus far, I believe, consensus from that discussion; hereafter, I put on my wings.) For example, if someone was both a former president of the Cambridge Union and was now the youngest counsellor in the history of Tunbridge Wells, and also fronted a rock band that had recorded only on a small label and never played outside of Kent, none of those alone would probably suffice for an article, but being former head of the Cambridge might raise her over the bar for notability. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:07, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
You may have misunderstood my intention, but by "inclusion" I meant inclusion in the article, not as separate entries in Wikipedia. Under what conditions should people be mentioned in, for instance, the article on the Cambridge Union Society?
I agree that people who are notable for other reasons should be mentioned, and that is not really an issue. The problem is whether people who are not in any way notable should be mentioned in these articles. I can imagine a person being notable within the context of the society, for instance as part of a small circle of otherwise notable founders, but just never ended up doing anything significant later. But what about people who are not even that, but just mentioned because of the recentness of their association with the society?
Macaulay and Keynes should obviously be mentioned in the Cambridge Union Society article, but why do we, the general readership outside Cambridge, need to know that Luke Pearce and Alyson Thompson were among the elected officers for the Michaelmas term 2005?
In fact, I can easily accept the List of Cambridge Union Society Presidents, a list of presidents throughout the history of the society, as a reasonable proportion of these are likely to be notable. But with student societies, the most recent officers are almost certain to be the (so far) least notable ones, so why should those be highlighted in an article on a society that has existed for 190 years? It strikes me as either vanity or directory-type information that doesn't belong in Wikipedia, regardless of the obvious notability of the society and qualities of the rest of the article. I just doesn't want to get into an edit war by starting to delete these tables of recent officers where I find them, so I am asking for a policy on the issue. Tupsharru 05:03, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
I presume you are arguing that the article is worse because of the inclusion of information about current office holders? If not, then what is the problem? They may not contribute to the noteability of the article, but given the article is sustainable for different reasons, they are just additional information. Why leave them out? Is the article too long? Sandpiper 21:51, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I do think it lowers the overall quality of an article on a society like this to fill it with ephemeral details of no interest to anyone outside the relatively small group of current active members (who know who these people are anyway). Make a separate page if a historical list is needed or wanted, but the current office-holders of a society like this are not notable enough to be given a significant part of the space in the main article. Tupsharru 19:40, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Is there a policy on pets?

List of U.S. Presidential pets - Is this notable? Even if I were to accept the need for a list, I'd feel that having separate articles such as Socks (cat) may be uncalled for. I am saying this because articles such as Arabella Kennedy were deleted. I don't know if there is a policy, but I thought it'd be safe to ask here. --Gurubrahma 05:55, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Gosh, I hope there isn't—we have policies out the wazoo as it is. ;) If I had to guess, I would say that the list would likely survive AfD (I'd vote keep myself), but that individual pet articles might not. -- SCZenz 06:00, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
Depends on the pet. Fala certainly deserves an article; Checkers speech was definitely a beter choice than the dog itself. Socks (cat) seems borderline to me, though I'd be inclined keep it for the photos (assuming the rights are in order on them, which I suspect they unfortunately are not). -- Jmabel | Talk 06:13, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Australian Folklore

There has been a debate on the Lyrebird article page, where an editor keeps taking information about Australian folklore, dating back to the late 1800's with regard to lyrebirds, and transferring the information to the Talk:Lyrebird because there is no given source to go with the folklore comment.

I feel that the information should be on the main article, and not just 'tucked away' on the discussion page, where people who may be interested may not be able to find it. Folkfore is handed down from generation to generation by 'word of mouth' and, as such, deserves its place on the main article, irrespective of whether, or not, there is a verifiable source for the information.

Could I please have input by other Wikipedians about this. Thank you. Figaro 14:53, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I'd agree with the person removing it. Unless there is a reliable way of verifying the stories, they should not really be in the article, except maybe under an Urban myths heading. But there are lots of Australian Wikipedians out there. Maybe someone has, or knows how to find, a source. Filiocht | The kettle's on 15:03, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Might be worth asking on Wikipedia:Australian Wikipedians' notice board. Shimgray | talk | 15:07, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for the input. I appreciate your help in this. I'll check with the Wikipedia:Australian Wikipedians' notice board as suggested. Figaro 16:23, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
I have now checked with the Australian Wikipedians' noticeboard and the response has been that the lyrebird is known for its mimicry, including the fact that the bird can, and does, mimic alarm calls among a multitude of sounds in its repertoire. This fact is well verified and and has been on the page, also from the start. There are numerous references, and external links on the Lyrebird article, to articles about the lyrebirds' amazing mimicking ability, with some of the articles leading to actual recordings of lyrebirds' calls, where the person who clicks onto these can hear the multitude of calls made by lyrebirds.
Even when the story was first put into the section about the lyrebird, it was made explicitly clear that the story may not be true. The original statement read:
"Australian folklore is rich with tales of lyrebird mimicry: if the story of a male lyrebird that used to regularly halt 19th Century logging operations by mimicing the fire siren is not true, a hundred others are."
The editor under discussion removed the statement because of a lack of verifiable source. It would appear that the comment that the editor has a problem with, when he has been removing the comment, is the lack of verification of the story about bird's calling actually stopping the logging.
The last time that he removed the comment from the article, the information had been placed in a separate subsection called Fact or fiction. In that subsection, it was again made explicit that the story may not be true, but that it was a part of folklore. It read:
===Fact or fiction===
Australian folklore is rich with tales of lyrebird mimicry. One is the story of a male lyrebird that used to regularly halt 19th century logging operations by mimicking the fire siren. Even if these particular stories may not be true, a hundred others are.
The editor immediately removed it as an "unverified anecdote", in spite of the explicit remarks that the story may not be true.
I have absolutely no doubt that if the story is placed on the page under the section heading of "Urban Myth", the editor would still remove the story as an unverified anecdote. This is the reason why I am asking for help with this. What is to be done now, when even explicitly describing the story as folklore is not enough to satisfy the editor under discussion? Figaro 00:36, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
Could a Wikipedian Administrator please comment here about whether it is absolutely compulsory to have verification, or whether the comment about 'folklore', with the subheading of 'Fact or fiction' - or 'Urban myth' - be enough for the comment to be acceptable on the article page. Thanks. Figaro 06:27, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand the problem. If the folklore is as common as you say it is, verifying a source fro it should be easy. If it's not then it's original research, which is bad. DreamGuy 00:30, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

People inserting ethnicity instead of nationality in bio headers

I am currently in an edit war on Robert De Niro. Certain users keep trying to change American to Italian American. Personally I think it is wrong to include ethnic identifiers in the headers as this is not done in other good encyclopedias like Britannica, mainly because often is not entirely accurate. I am not against mentioning that De Niro identifies as an Italian American in an article, just not in the header. There was also a similar problem in the Leonard Nimoy and Alicia Silverstone article with people replacing American with Jewish American, probably with many other bios also. Is there any kind of guideline that would support my stance here or should I apply to create one? Arniep 20:07, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree that nationality rather than ethnicity or religion is appropriate for the header. Many people though, think of someone's "nation" as the group that they belong to, not the state in which they live. We here in the United States of America don't usually make the distinction, but in Moscow for instance if you ask someone their nationality, the response might be Russian, or Jewish. My point is that the word "Nationality" really has more than one meaning. In most biographies, I would consider someone's religion, or ethnic background to be of secondary interest. I generally don't even mention someone's religion unless they are a religious leader or somesuch. Morris 20:57, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Roman Abramovich, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and Boris Berezovsky are all Jewish Russian people but are not described as Jewish Russians in their headers, and, I think they would say are Russian if asked what nationality they were. Arniep 22:17, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I note that Khodorkovsky is described as a Jewish Russian businessman, but, I would say this is precisely an example of why ethnicity labels should not be allowed in headers. Khodorkovsky has been demonised + imprisoned by Vladimir Putin, and there is a notable anti-semitic atmosphere in Russia at the moment which Putin is stirring up. Arniep 22:27, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I also agree that ethnicity is inappropriate in the intro. I think the "people by ethnicity" subcategories encourage this kind of classification. I just discovered that there is a Category:African-Italian-Americans, to give you a hint of how useless these are. Postdlf 23:03, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
This site states Khodorkovsky had mentioned privately to Jewish leaders on several occasions that he did not consider himself Jewish so there goes the Jewish Russian tag on his article. Arniep 23:32, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

I think this really varies. It would be very odd not to mention in the lead that Booker T. Washington was African American or that Abraham Goldfaden was Jewish. But country should be there, too. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:15, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm not against saying someone is Jewish on the header if it is relevant to why they are notable. I am just against using ethnicity-nationality instead of nationality as no other reputable encyclopedia does this. Arniep 00:33, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

I think that in most cases, it's inappropriate to put someone's ethnicity in the header. This came up with Paul Wolfowitz, which originally had his Jewish ethnicity in the lead paragraph. I said that there's no reason to include that unless we call Jeff Halpern a Jewish-American hockey player, Adam Horovitz a Jewish-American musician, etc.

That said, there are some cases in which ethnicity might be relevant in the first paragraph. One instance would be if the ethnicity is essential to the person's notability. It probably makes sense to call Rosa Parks an African-American civil-rights activist. Another case might be when the relationship between ethnicity and nationality is unclear. For example, medeival traveler Ibrahim ibn Jakub was, as the Polish Wikipedia calls him, a Jew of Arab origin from Spain. Nowadays, we'd just call someone from Spain a Spaniard no matter what his religion or ethnicity, but to call ibn Jakub simply a Spaniard would be confusing. -- Mwalcoff 05:18, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

I'd say this should be resolved on case-by-case basis. Let's keep in mind, there is a good reason why serious biographies begin with description of a person's roots. ←Humus sapiens←ну? 07:51, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree. The previous version of Mother Teresa doesn't mention that she became an Indian citizen but talks of Albanian origin. Both are important in this context, especially the former, since she devoted her life to the poor in India. However, edit wars happen because the context is viewed differently by the warring parties, right?? --Gurubrahma 06:17, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Helping Kim's Spring Cleaning

Kim's on of the most on the ball Wikipedians I know, and I want to shuck my policymaking newcomer tag and help Kim in her crusade against outdated policies. Here's my ideas, let me know what you think. karmafist 18:51, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

  • A 3 person mini-arbcom at each section of rfc as an appelate device for rfcs gone awry, or not gaining a consensus to reduce the load on the arbcom, which will be known by another name.
  • A 7 person appelate arbcom for all cases not concluded in the sectional arbcoms to reduce the load on the "main arbcom".
  • A bi-yearly regular caucus, similiar to a Loya Jirga, on topics regarding the arbcom open to all wikipedians so they can know that they have input in the process, and to foster more confidence in the process.
  • A bi-yearly regular caucus, similiar to a Loya Jirga, on policies and how they relate to each other regarding former precedents and their intentions so regular users better know the ins and outs of confusing policies, particularly when they conflict.
  • A new bicameral legislative council to be named later run through sociocracy, basically as any consensus based portion of Wikipedia runs now, only bigger. The "Lower" House would consist of all registered users, all of which could propose new policies(minimum time for discussion is 7 days, average would be 20-30, closed by admins or bureaucrats). The "Upper" House would consist of a set number of elected users, with the majority being at large, but with a minority representing certain geographic regions in order to maintain a wide array of viewpoints that might vary with different cultures and locales. The "Upper" House's job would to either accept, refine, or reject policies passed by the "Lower" House.(minimum time for discussion is 7 days, the average would be 40 or so, but this is just a guess, closed when consensus is clear) Jimbo would be the defacto leader, as he is now with the arbcom, but would be seen as a last resort.

This would replace our now ambiguous and frustrating policy creation process.

  • Assistance by the entire system to admins and board who try to enforce policy
  • Regular updates by arbcom members on cases
  • The right to a speedy arbitration for the subject of the arbitration
  • A cataloging on arbitration histories for ease of reference.
  • Filing of Amicus Arbitrations for users who have broken policies while on probation, to be heard by a 3-7 person "Last Resort" Arbcom.
I see ten new rules here, some of them rather complicated. How is this going to reduce the rulescruft? --Carnildo 19:57, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Karmafist is being sarcastic. Trollderella 20:04, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
I dunno, he might have been intending to use those ten to replace every single other rule we've got. --Carnildo 22:06, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I definitely think we should be more sociocratical in our bicameral hice, using Loya Jirga as an appelate. Radiant_>|< 00:15, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
No, i'm not being sarcastic, i'd much prefer us actually figuring out polcies rather than just having endless bullshit sessions about them and/or edit warring on quibbling parts of some policy. The legislature part would be similiar to afd. The arbcom parts would just reduce case loads on the main arbcom, and in case you didn't notice Carnildo, one of them actually is about making those Arbcom cases less crufty...karmafist 06:19, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Dubious new rulecruft on Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion

Anyone interested in this sort of thing might want to take a look at how the Wikipedia:Notability and Music Guidelines, which did not make it as policy, are being snuck into the Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion rules. Strangely, no one there wants to put this to a vote... Trollderella 18:47, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Ah! So that's your motivation. Well, good point there. I was sort of trying to get discussion going on CSD at least, which is sort of starting out, but you can see it's really tricky to actually *change* the page, eh? :-) Kim Bruning 20:03, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Policy spring cleaning

Ok, so technically it's winter. :-P

Policy has become all crufty and stuck, so I thought I'd try some policy spring cleaning. However, my initial efforts with broom, mop and featherduster are going really slowly. Guidelines somehow seem to bounce off each other and bounce right back, so I'm going to need some help cleaning 'em up, and basically cutting down on our rulecruft.

Note that I've earlier already gone and successfully did stuff like WP:SR, WP:TRI and WP:5P, so how hard can it get? Hmm, well pretty hard. "But but but *MY* guidelines are good, you should deprecate THOSE guidelines over there instead", and then there's delaying tactics, and stalling, and "gosh but that policy has been consensus since my uncle mortimer died in 1903" Ahuh, right... Okay....

What we need is cooperation, and tactics to gently pry people away from their comfortable blankets rules for a minute, so we can put them through a spin-cycle. (the rules that is, not the people ... well maybe the people too O:-) ) . My best effort on formulating tactics to-date is here.

So fair deal, I need some help here. And I hardly dare ask, we couldn't, couldn't maybe get a consensus for a guidelines-freeze while we tidy stuff, could we?

Kim Bruning 17:13, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, most of our policies are supposed to be descriptive, not prescriptive. I have no idea why I bothered to point that out, but I'm sure it's relevant. Could be another argument to wave in the face of objectors. Johnleemk | Talk 17:22, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
If our policies are supposed to be descriptive, then they should be allowed to change as behaviour does, not be frozen on January 15th 2001 or any later date. Come wave it in my face if you like. -Splashtalk 17:38, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Silly! If you're going to mop the floor, it helps to turn off the tap for a minute. :-P Kim Bruning 17:49, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Other than CSD what did you have in mind? Martin 17:31, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
General run-through of policy would help. It's just gotten so huge, for no apparent reason. I just tried starting at CSD and I've been branching from there, and haven't even gotten back yet. :-/ Kim Bruning 17:49, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, would people please stop having ideas? -Splashtalk 17:38, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Not quite the same angle, but I have been meaning to edit all policy pages to cut away the needless cruft (which in most cases is about half of the page). Most important pages have accrued enough bowdlerization, caveats and (counter)examples over time to make them rather hard to read. Radiant_>|< 17:36, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
I think you're talking about WP:Rulecruft, a massive proliferation of rules and semi rules recently about any and everything. A rule for what happenes if someone creates an article about a band that meets one set of criteria, but doesn't meet another, and then decides that they themselves want to delete it? Oh yes please! It needs pruning, and rules established prohibiting new rules. Oh, erm, yes. Trollderella 18:47, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

should wikipedia link to copy vio web sites?

I removed a link to a reference source of a New York times article posted in a forum on the web. Not sure of the policy, but I assume that wikipedia does not want to link to pages like that? Please discuss at the articles talk page. Gary_Stochl and talk:Gary_Stochl also how do I link to the reference, do I link to New York times web site that requires payment or not? Stefan 12:09, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

I'd certainly keep a reference to the story (title, date, author), even if you remove a link to the page. Otherwise, I'm not sure - link to the NYT page and tag it "requires payment"? Shimgray | talk | 14:27, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It seems to me linking to anything on a forum is a bad idea anyway, because they're so time-specific. Why not put an old-fashioned reference without any link at all? (Does the NYT require payment or just registration, anyway? At any rate, I don't think it's our responsibility to provide access to sources - only to cite them correctly.) pfctdayelise 14:35, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
OK, so I keep the article as is now, with link to NYT but not to forum. I'm sure NYT was free but required registration, but when I try the link in the article now I get a page saying I have to pay. So either the rules changed or I used up my free trial time. I'm not sure. Stefan 09:48, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
It's free for recent articles, but old ones go to a pay archive. Superm401 | Talk 13:43, 30 November 2005 (UTC)


  • Okay, seriously though, if I understand what Karmafist just said it's that our RFC system doesn't really work. It seems that far from all article RFCs get substantial feedback from other users. Any thoughts on how we could improve that? Radiant_>|< 00:15, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
When I think of RFCs, I think of "troublemakers", not "articles". Article RFCs are too similiar to Peer Reviews right now for most users to understand or even see a diffence IMO, and since many think of RFCs as "The first step to the arbcom", they tend to steer towards peer reviewing articles instead of these problem articles. karmafist 06:23, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, there is a big difference. Article RFCs have on-going content disputes where more than one party may be at fault or it's just too complicated for a user RFC. PR usually has people looking for suggestions, not dispute resolutions. If people can't make this distinction, then I can see why we have this problem with insufficient feedback on article RFCs. Johnleemk | Talk 13:59, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
My (unpopular) opinion would be that RfC, PR, and other community pages get neglected because everyone's addicted to AfD. AfD is the first community page most new users see (because they end up there), and many of those users -- the ones who don't get discouraged and leave, anyway -- end up being AfD regulars. Other community pages aren't self-perpetuating like that. rspeer 16:12, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Rspeer might be onto something there. The most "successful" rfcs (in terms of participation) are usually the user related ones, which have a more structured format. I'm experimenting with a hybrid of the current "Ut-Oh, something is wrong, go check out the talk page" article rfcs and the structured user rfcs at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Ward Churchill. Tell me what you think. karmafist 22:35, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
RFCs are a lot more intimidating than AFDs. For one thing, there's almost always a huge talk page, most likely with rancorous debate, which one feels obliged to at least skim to find out what's going on. On pages where there are personal attacks, I'm afraid of being attacked myself if I take a side. Furthermore, many of the RFC topics require more specialized knowledge. For example, I don't know enough about the Armenian Genocide to determine whether the Turkish viewpoint is a legitimate alternative or just self-excusing. I'm not sure what the difference is between a cyborg and an android, so I can't comment on the The Terminator RFC. AFDs are generally much more straightforward. —Wahoofive (talk) 23:19, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Ethnical labels in biographies

I have put a proposal Wikipedia talk:Ethno-cultural labels in biographies. Please edit and discuss abakharev 12:55, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Article validation feature - best approach?

There's a recently introduced new feature called "Article validation" to make wikipedia more reliable, which will go live "very soon". I don't feel that "rating an article" is the correct approach. You're welcome to read the reasoning and discuss here: [3]. Cheers! Peter S. 12:42, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Category redirects

I have started going through Special:UncategorizedCategories, and I've come upon this: Category:Animal liberation. It's a redirect to Category:Animal liberation movement, and so it shows up itself as empty and orphaned. Is this kind of category redirect a standard practice, or is it something that should be handled in some other way? -- SCZenz 22:05, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

As far as I'm aware, category redirects don't do anything. --Carnildo 23:43, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
They work in a technical sense, check out Category:Animal liberation. But they seem like bad practice to me. Categories are a navigational scheme; unlike with articles, they aren't designed for people to guess the title, so it seems redirects shouldn't be used. But I'm waiting to see if there's a policy, or info on usual practice, before I put them up for speedy deletion. -- SCZenz 01:41, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
There are also empty "see also" categories, such as Category:Business by country. I think those can technically be speedied, unless someone can think of a reason not to? -- SCZenz 01:47, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Redirected categories are strongly discouraged, see Wikipedia:Categorization#Redirected categories. In some cases, categories have been "soft redirected" using {{Categoryredirect}}, which is not much different from "see instead", but has a little better message (and is easier for bots to find). -- Rick Block (talk) 01:58, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
So the appropriate response to a hard (or soft) category redirect is to switch it to that template? Or should they be speedied in some cases too? -- SCZenz 02:01, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Until category redirects actually work, they should be replaced by a "This category should be empty, all articles should be in Category:Foo" type message, see commons:Category:Church for example - perhaps these shoudl themselves be in a category Category:Categories that should be blank or somesuch so we can keep track of them? If you think that the redirectiton serves only to confuse or is inapropriate in a particular case I would suggest taking it to CfD rather than speedying. Thryduulf 14:34, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
That’s what the {{Categoryredirect}} template does. Susvolans 15:06, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Does a category with this sort of content even fall under the speedy criteria? A redirect to another category would appear to be content other than links to parent categories. The best solution would seem to be to just apply the template to any reasonable "redirects" you come across. Christopher Parham (talk) 15:52, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
I think WP:CSD Category Criterion #1 is actually ambiguous on this point. It says "empty categories," and clarifies that they must have had no articles or subcats for at least four days and "no content other than" links to parent categories. Is a line of text linking elsewhere really "content" for a category? I'm not sure. But in any case, I'll just use {{Categoryredirect}} for all of them. No reason not to. -- SCZenz 04:48, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Yahoo Group as an external link

In the article on the dubiously noteworthy Debra Lafave, someone (an IP, from today a username) as been repeatedly adding to the list of external links, billing this as "Debra Lafave news and discussion". The opening page tells us that it's For fans of Debra Lafave, the sexiest ex-middle-school teacher on earth! [snip snip snip] So, without further adue, [sic] we present the life of Debra told in pictures.

Well actually they don't, because that's "Members Only". (And I for one am not letting my member get anywhere near it.)

To Locke Cole and myself, this looks like spamming a link that's inherently unencyclopedic:

  1. Most of the content is unavailable unless you sign in.
  2. Most of the content is likely to be mere chat, rumor, and unsubstantiated claim.
  3. The opening page suggests that the intent is lubricious (or humorous) rather than informative.

But Locke and I don't want to be rapped over the knuckles by 3RR. Plus I'm not sure I'm Doing The Right Thing: I've gradually become aware that a great amount of what I regard as blather, trivia, fancruft, gossip, speculation, etc., is regarded as worthy encyclopedia content by lots of WP editors in good standing. So what say? -- Hoary 10:09, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I'd have killed it, personally speaking... Shimgray | talk | 13:10, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
It's an unreliable source and no good as a reference. It's a login-only service so isn't much good as an external link. It's prinicipal contribution will be to the membership of the yahoo group, and WP:NOT advertising. Get rid of it. -Splashtalk 13:19, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
FWIW, the user is continuing to add the external link. He's been blocked under WP:3RR, however I am unable to revert it again with violating 3RR myself. Anyone remotely interested in keeping link cruft out should probably keep an eye on this article until this guy goes away ("this guy" being MagnaVox (talk · contribs), his only contribs being to Debra Lafave and various user talk pages). Alternately, if reverting this would be an exception to 3RR, I'd like to hear thoughts on that as well. Locke Cole 04:05, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I have removed the link because it's members-only, and is far from scholarly -- it just makes fun of the issue and provides little or no actual information. We don't have links to Bin Ladin jokes on the article on him, nor joke links for articles on Winston Churchill. Our choice of links should be intended to complement the article. I have removed the link once before -- If need be we can go to a content RfC on this issue. --Improv 04:36, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
    • It's probably not a bad idea. Or, since there's a consensus of users who think this link is inappropriate, bring this particular editor up for an RfC. Either way, something tells me his two WP:3RR blocks aren't going to stop this. Locke Cole 04:48, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Concise definition of what Wikipedia is, and what it contains

As part of work that has arisen on the talk page for WP:NPOV, I ended up trying to summarize in one sentence, what exactly Wikipedia is, in a way that shows exactly how NPOV, CITE, VERIFY and other major principles fitted in and were integral to it rather than arbitrary choices. This is what I came up with: User:FT2/ABOUT

My intent is to define Wikipedia concisely and precisely in under 10 words, in a way that clarifies why certain policies exist and work as they do, and the precise aim of Wikipedia in its approach to summarizing human knowledge. In doing so, it also shows that other core policies are not arbitrarily chosen, how they fit together as a coherent whole, and the reasons for these stated policies and principles.

Please review and discuss if it is useful. Does it have a place or use anywhere?

FT2 03:05, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

It looks really good; you might want to compare and contrast with Wikipedia:Five pillars, a similar attempt. There's also Wikipedia:Simplified Ruleset, although personally, I'm fond of Wikipedia:Policy trifecta... — Catherine\talk 06:31, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Merge tag and removal during discussion.

I added a merge tag on Monday at United Kingdom. I added it in good faith. There is a live discussion which seems to contain no hostility. Unfortunately the tag keeps being removed. Some people have removed but have not said they have. Some have commented, for example discussion has petered out but that was only 2 hours after the last comment. As of now, the discussion on the talk page has not mentioned the tag itself.

I am not a big fan of tags but I can tolerate one for three days during a live debate. I thought the whole point of a tag is so that readers can see it and join the ongoing debate. Please can others comment? Bobblewik 00:53, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

I have worked on some 30+ mergers using the tags. In my experience, it is always better to mention in the discussion that you'd be completing the merge in a week/10 days if there are no objections (deadline to be avoided for highly controversial or not-so-obvious merges). When such a clear deadline is given, people would spend more time on the discussion rather than reverting. Also, other strategies for fructifying a merger discussion are (a) to use mergeto/mergefrom tags rather than mergewith (This wd atleast generate a discussion as to why the merger shd be other way round, if someone feels so), (b) initiating the discussion immediately after adding the tags, (c) ensuring that the discussion is centralised - some people discuss it on the other article's talkpage than the talkpage of the article which is to be retained - this can be done by leaving a polite note on the other article's talkpage with a link to the main article's talkpage. I'm also looking at reducing the merge complexity (wrt tags) by making an appropriate bot request. --Gurubrahma 08:01, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. That was helpful and I have acted on it. We get a tick for your points (a), (b) and (c). But I had failed to suggest a time period. I have now added a comment on the talk page that it will expire 7 days after the tag was added or 1 day after the last comment in the discussion, whichever is latest. I hope that is reasonable for Wikipedia readers.
Despite this, the tag still gets removed repeatedly. I don't like revert wars. Sigh. Bobblewik 21:06, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Bands: grammatically singular?

Sorry if this has been asked before, but I was just wondering if bands are supposed to be reffered to as a singluar object or a group. eg, "The Beatles is a band..." or "The Beatles are a band..." Thanks. SaltyWater 13:46, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

  • This is a British-American English difference, and should probably follow the (complex) rules that come from that. To wit, follow the style the creator of the article used, unless the topic is tied to a particular nation that speaks English, in which case use that nation's flavour of English. --Improv 13:57, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    (after edit conflict) This is a British/American thing. Given the band in question, I'd go with "The Beatles were a band..." I don't imagine that British English speakers would ever normally say "The Grateful Dead is a band." However, American speakers generally would. Sorry not to be able to give a simpler answer. Filiocht | The kettle's on 14:00, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually, even Americans would say, "The Beatles were a band." The British/American difference only comes up with collective nouns that aren't plurals, such as Queen or Cream. -- Mwalcoff 14:18, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Fair point. Filiocht | The kettle's on 14:26, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. The actual band in quesiton at James - but that made me wonder what the consensus on this is as a whole. SaltyWater 16:35, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
James is/are a British band, so the British usage is OK, but don't be surprised if it gets changed by an American who assumes it's grammatically incorrect. -- Mwalcoff 23:47, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I have a related question. Which tense should be used when referring to now-defunct bands? Does the band as a concept keep existing in present tense even though they quit playing together years ago? And people, too. "Foo is an Australian musician who lived from 1900-1951..." pfctdayelise 21:57, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Dead people definitely should be described in past tense, and so should defunct bands. —Wahoofive (talk) 00:17, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
    • This does bring up the difficult question of just how much a band must fade into obscurity before it transitions from present to past tense. I think I would say to use present tense whenever the band is known or supposed to be still producing music, just to draw the line a little sharper. Deco 01:29, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

External Links Requiring Login?

I'm new to this whole Wikipedia contribution thing, so be easy on me. I run a Soul Calibur 3 website, and recently I found out someone had mirrored the videos I host on our website many months back and then posted them up here. However, the person who posted them here recently cleared his webserver so the videos are no longer available. Now I have a powerful webserver of my own and I would like to offer these videos once again to Wikipedia viewers. However, because this is my own website and I dont want people cross-linking to our videos without my express persmission; I require people to register on our website before they can download the video. Registration is COMPLETELY FREE. What would happen, if someone clicks on the link to a video from Wikipedia, and they are already registered on my website, they will be able to download the video. But if they are not registered, they will be asked to register; which only takes about 30 seconds.

Carnildo recently removed some of my Taki match videos from the Taki page because he said "external links should not require logins". I'm not making a complaint, but I didnt see anywhere that said it was against the rules. I spoke to some other people and they recommended I make a post here requesting some sort of decision made on this issue. But as I said before, its my own webserver and I can upload at amazingly fast speeds (try it), and registration is completely free. My website is and our videos are available in the Gallery section. --Jaxel 17:43, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

  • It says (external login required) next to the link, so I don't see the problem. Gerard Foley 01:10, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
    • So does that mean I can restore the links? --Jaxel 23:03, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Sounds like it. Vegaswikian 03:49, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
        • I guess not... I restored the links and MegamanZero removed them again... --Jaxel 04:11, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
          • Maybe you can get MegamanZero to join this discussion? If there is a reason to not allow this, so far it has not been mentioned here. Maybe MegamanZero knows something everyone else does not. Adding back in, with a link to this discussion in the comments, sounds reasonable. Vegaswikian 00:30, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
            • Okay, I re-added the links with a comment about this thread. --Jaxel 02:35, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • My opinion: External links should not require logins, if there are alternative, stable links which do not, with the exception that if they're more authoritative, both the link and the login-less mirror should be linked. However, many documents are only available via a login, or sometimes even a paid subscription. Remember, you're only obligated to cite a source or reference - it's ultimately up to the reader to get their hands on it. Deco 00:37, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Fellow editors should be able to verify statements. If a source requires a paid subscription, and then how can the other editors verify it's been accurately quoted/summarised/etc? I think paid login links should only be allowed as use for more information, not as a source itself. --K. AKA Konrad West TALK 00:29, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
      • Well this is not a PAID subscription. It is COMPLETELY FREE. --Jaxel 02:22, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Well you gotta remember, there are MY videos. The games were recorded at tournaments I run, I encoded them myself and I host them myself. If someone wants to mirror all the videos and supply the 30 gigabytes of bandwidth each week it takes to serve these videos; they can feel free. But because I dont want people direct-linking to my videos from their website, I require a log in. And you dont find better quality Soul Calibur videos on the internet besides mine. --Jaxel 00:04, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Nested Criticisms and NPOV

There is an ongoing discussion at NPOV regarding the subject of nested criticisms in an article, or quoting "critics of critics of critics" etc. when an original criticism of the article's subject is added. Please see [4]. Rangerdude 00:55, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Arbcom Recusal Policy

I'm requesting editor input on how to go about better defining the Arbcom's recusal policy when an Arbcom member has a conflict of interest. Right now the policy is overly vague and doesn't define what constitutes a conflict of interest. I posted some possible clarifying provisions here. Please review and comment. Rangerdude 01:16, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

"Please check" message on Image pages

How does one remove or "check" the message in the yellow box stating:

"Please check that the conditions given above are compliant with Wikipedia licensing policy..."

This message occurs on most of my image pages. They are all compliant.


--Lensim 21:05, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

"Check" is meant in the sense of "verify", not in the sense of checkbox. I've changed all of the {{CopyrightedFreeUseProvidedThat}} tags to {{Attribution}}, which is a more specific tag accomplishing the same purpose. However, it appears you've created those images yourself. If so, please release them under the GNU Free Documentation License by adding {{GFDL-self}} to the image pages. That will guarantee you attribution, and is preferred by Wikipedia. In fact, since September 19, 2004, the upload page has specified that files copyrighted by the uploader are automatically licensed under the GFDL. Superm401 | Talk 10:11, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (numbers and dates)

This page has a guideline[1] on the article names for regular events like the Olympic Games and the Expo. But is guideline is not used in anyway. The given examples are red links, since there are not even redirects. I created a section on Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (numbers and dates) to find a solution. -- Mkill 17:53, 3 December 2005 (UTC)


1 Not "guideline": proposal, as mentioned in wikipedia:current surveys#Discussions. See also Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (years in titles)/Poll. --Francis Schonken 18:04, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia user pages as external links?

I removed a link to a user page from the “External links” section of Andreas Floer [5], but it was reverted[6]. Is this a valid link? Susvolans 11:31, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I'd rather see them in See Also or even better, References. If a user is notable to deserve a wikipedia article, then his wikipedia user page is just another reference no different from a homepage. Btw, the last time I checked, article on Jimbo Wales linked his userpage.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:52, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
The link wasn't to the subject's user page (they are dead, anyway) but to the contributors. It was basically to get round Wikipedia is not an image gallery, without using third party web space to host the images, or at least that is what it looked like from the link, although I didn't follow it ---David Woolley 17:41, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Unacceptable. User pages don't have the same NPOV requirement as articles. And we don't use User pages as webhosting sites. I would delete it. User:Zoe|(talk) 01:06, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
And how do we feel about one User account being used by four different people? Isn't that a violation of the User policy? User:Zoe|(talk) 01:11, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia:Wikipedia is an encyclopedia worthy of official policy status?

Well, is it? (No fair editing it to make it more serious, though.) Lubaf 06:56, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Sure. I'd be fine with that being an official policy. Voyager640 00:27, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

User talk pages

I'd like to propose a policy with regard to user-space talk pages (specifically User_talk:xxxx). It seems to me that a user should not be able to simply delete content from talk pages unless it is truly vandalism. Case in point, these edits by Pigsonthewing (this user is currently up for RFAr, and has also had an RFC filed against him, both of which he has ignored or is ignoring) : [7] [8] (user removed warnings from his talk page, warnings that lead to him being banned for 48 hours) [9] [10] [11]. I realize this user is probably an extreme case, but these edits of his smack of revisionst history: an attempt to cover-up peoples opinions of him. Sure you can browse the history to try and find every point which the user removed content (content removed with an invalid, IMO, edit summary). But most users tend to archive their talk pages, not remove content they disagree with outright.

My proposal is simple: users should not remove content from their talk page unless it is to a) archive that content on a sub-page or b) remove a very limited definition of vandalism (to be discussed if this topic leads anywhere). Users should absolutely, and under no circumstances, remove warnings given by other editors unless it is to archive them. I do believe there should be a process where an administrator can intervene and remove content that abusive (or wrong, in the case of warnings), but I think it's silly that the kind of edits above are, as far as I know, within the rules/guidelines/policies of Wikipedia.

Opinions/thoughts? —Locke Cole (talk) (e-mail) 00:34, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

  • No, archival is not how all of us deal with our desk, and is not the only way to handle wiki content.. and conversations frequently just come to an end. The optimal solution is simply to make more special/procedural pages for users easier to access, via listings on Community Portal, allowing more people to see a users's troubles. - JeffBurdges 01:34, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Alright, fair point. =) But one gets the impression from the edits above that this user is pretty much giving themself the last word on their talk page (note that this user is deleting responses on his talk page, but still leaving parts of the prior discussion in place). That's the behavior I think needs to be addressed via a rule/policy/guideline. —Locke Cole (talk) (e-mail) 11:38, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
      • No idea if it needs to be addressed, but I personally like the idea of "optimizing" discussions. I doubt user talk pages need to be NPOV. Why not just have lists of problem users elsewhere? Then you could have a rule about deleting the problem user tag itself. - JeffBurdges 11:54, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
        • I think people would be opposed to having a "problem user" list, especially if it lead to a tag as you suggest. I mean, who would decide goes on this "problem user" list? Would it be simpler to just extend WP:3RR to user-space talk pages? —Locke Cole (talk) (e-mail) 15:12, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  • No, I removed your false and abusive allegations of vandalism. You were subsequently blocked for multiple reverts (~10) of my talk page, described as "bordering on harassment". Andy Mabbett 15:05, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
    • No, Andy, it's not a "false and abusive allegation of vandalism".. you got banned because of those warnings. —Locke Cole (talk) (e-mail) 15:12, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I plan to start deleting stuff from my talk page when the info is no longer relevant to me. I don't see the point in archiving useless crap. It's stored in the history anyway. Gerard Foley 00:55, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • No. It's the users talk page, so he / she decides. Just because some users caused problems and other users are too lazy to check their talk page history we don't need a policy. -- Mkill 17:18, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I think it would be fine to prohibit removing warnings from a talk page except to archive them. Voyager640 00:22, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Accessibility: stylesheets and text contrast

Is there a place to discuss Wikipedia accessibility?

A couple of editors suggested that text contrast in wikitable is insufficient. One editor pointed out that many elements in Wikipedia style share the same contrast and that we should not modify just one element.

I would like to discuss Wikipedia accessibility. Where is a good place? Bobblewik 10:02, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Accessibility is within the charter of Wikipedia:WikiProject Usability. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:20, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Aha, so I see. I have asked a question there. Thanks for letting me know. Bobblewik 15:15, 6 December 2005 (UTC)</nowiki>


And if anyone want to see about Christianity, the can just go to the parent article of Islam, "Relgion" and from there go to where they want. Isnt that much cleaere than the chaos that we have in many articles? Look at Christianity#See_also:

History and denominations:

Total anarchy! that could be replace with:

== Sub-article notation == Striver has been creating a great many new articles (as those of you who have listened to me kvetch undoubtedly know <g>). Until recently, he has been linking those articles to existing articles either in the text of the existing article (See XXX for further discussion) or adding links in the "See also" section. Recently, he has adopted another tactic. He inserts a notice at the START of an article saying that "This article is a sub-article of XXX". For examples, see: * [[Islamic revolution of Iran]] * [[Islamic leadership]] * [[Ja'fari jurisprudence]] * [[Guardianship of the Jurisprudens (doctrine)]] * [[List of Muslim Islamic jurists]] * [[Muslim Islamic jurists]] - oh heck, he moved [[Ulema]] to this page -- with a title that's an oxymoron - without ANY consultation * [[Muslim leaders]] * [[Muslim politicians]] Those are just a FEW of the articles he created or modified today using his Striver-defined hierarchical schema. (He's made 98 edits on December 5, by my count, and I'm not sure how many of those are new articles.) I don't think one user should arrogate to himself the right to set up a hierarchy of articles without any discussion. Links and "see also" don't set up a hierarchy. Sub-article does. Please comment. [[User:Zora|Zora]] 09:30, 5 December 2005 (UTC) :Ideas on how to handle this can be found in places like: :*[[Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)#Subsidiary articles]] :*[[Wikipedia:Content forking#Article spinouts - "Summary style" articles]] (and its not-merged-yet twin [[Wikipedia:POV fork]]) :*[[Wikipedia:Summary style]] :Don't know if this helps, but I suppose this is somehow the "broader picture" re. the topic you bring to the attention of the community. --[[User:Francis Schonken|Francis Schonken]] 09:39, 5 December 2005 (UTC) :Oops, still forgot to mention: [[Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#Article splitting]] --[[User:Francis Schonken|Francis Schonken]] 09:57, 5 December 2005 (UTC) Hi everyone. Im the guy Zora haves issues with. Regarding me renaming "Ulema", ill take that upp in the articles talk page. I would be intrested to hear about some feedback regarding the idea of arraging article in a hierarchical. I asked for some comments [[Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Islam:The_Muslim_Guild#Islamic_studies|here]], but didnt get any. The basic idea is that most articles can be put in a hirarcy. Of course this could lead to some border cases that could be difficult to agree on, but the great benefits i see in being able to see the articles in the context of more detailed sub-articles and less detailed parent articles outwheights the few border case difficulties this can lead to. It also makes it easier to find related topics and having a sense of where in the jungle of articles one is at the curent monent. Also, this takes further advantig of [[WP:NOT|Wikipedia not]] [[m:Wiki is not paper|a paper encyclopedia]]. Being a [[computer science|computer scienctis]] in the field of [[Computer software]] I took my inspiration from [[Object based]] [[programming]] and [[Inheritance (computer science)]]. I tweak't it a bit and came to a model suitable for Wikipedia. In Object Based Programming, [[Comunism]] could inherit from [[politic]]s and [[Marxism]]. ===Definition=== In a Wikimodel of it, i divided articels to: #sub/parent articles. #parallel articles. #related articles. #none related articles. Sub-articles mention in the beginning of the aritlce what their "direct parent" is, and possibly also what their "parallel parent" or simple "parallel" article is. Related articles are not mentioned in the beginning of the article, just mentined in the "see also" section. "None related articles" are simply hypelinked to in the article text. ===Examples=== For example, [[Democracy]] and [[Comunism]] are both related articles, both being political models. Both are mentioned in the "see also" section of the other article. Alternativly, they could both be put in [[political models]], and link to it as a parent-article. Both Democracy and Comunism are sub-articles to [[politics]]. Democracy is a "parallel sub-article" to [[Majoritarianism]], while [[Comunism]] is a "parallel sub-article" to [[Marxism]]. "Majoritarianism" and "Marxism" are [[ideologies]], while Democracy and Comunism are [[Form of government]]s, and "Form of governments" are not sub-sets to "ideologies". "Form of government" is in turn a sub-article to [[politics]]. Other sub-articles to "politics" include [[Economics]] (''household managemen'') and posibly [[Law]]. [[Law enforcement]] being a "sub-article" to [[enforcement]] and a "parallel sub-article" to "Law", since "Law enforcement" is "enforcement" rather than "law". There are laws that are not "enforced" and "enforcement" is not a sub-set of "Law", one could "enforce" a unlawfull act, [[Chaos enforcement]], that being a related article to "Law enforcment", and a "sub-article" to "enforcment"] and a "parallel sub-article" to "Chaos". Of course there is no such words as "Chaos Enforcement", but the fact that the hirarcy leaded to that word shows how effective it is in categorisation. By tha way, "Chaos Enforcement" gave 23 google hits :P "Politics" coul in turn be a sub-article to [[Distribution]] and a "parallel sub-article" to [[power]]. [[History of democracy]] is a "sub-article" to [[history]] and a "parallel sub-article" to "democracy", since "History" is not a sub-set to "Form of government". [[Comunist party]] is a sub-article to [[Politcial party]] and a "parallel sub-article" "Comunism". I assured that 95% of the articles have one or several natural parent articles. ===Experiment=== As a experiment, i created implemented it in [[Islamic scholars]] and its parallel article [[Islamic studies]]. I actually develped the idea as i worked with the articles, and now i have a finished and presentable proposal. Take a look at those two, and see how deep the sub-articles go, as deep as [[Islamic Banking]] and [[Wilayat al-Faqih]], both tracable back to [[Islamic studies]]. I was very, very pleased with the solution, and the system made a very good job at showing what articles where missing and i needed to create to expand the hirarcy. For example, i discovered that there was no "Wilayat al-Faqih" while doing [[Islamic leadership]]. ===Feedback=== i eagerly await feedback! Peace! --[[User:Striver|Striver]] 16:58, 5 December 2005 (UTC) :I'll hold off on commenting on the actual structure you've set up for the time being. Instead, I'd like to take issue with one of your assumptions. :A "natural" hierarchy may be feasible for ''concept'' articles, but the vast majority of Wikipedia articles are about isolated "things"—people, events, objects. How do we define a meaningful hierarchy to include, say, [[Gian Giacomo Trivulzio]]? He's part of several sets, which are identified by the categories on the article; but is there really a parent article for him? —[[User:Kirill Lokshin|Kirill Lokshin]] 17:48, 5 December 2005 (UTC) ::Thanks for your respons! With regards to persons, if they have a prominent job, like [[George W. Bush]], i would do this: :::''This is a sub article to [[American presidents]]. ::He will be for ever remebered as the president of USA, so IMHO, "American presidents" is the natural parent article. Since "American presidents" is a sub-article to [[American leaders]] and [[American politicians]], and both of them being sub-articles of [[Americans]], there is no need of having "George W. Bush" being a sub-article of both "American presidents" and "Americans". however, if a non-American could be "American presidents", then both "American presidents" and "Americans" whould be parents of "George W. Bush". Oh, acctualy, he was also in the Army, so maybe he should be a sub-article to both "American presidents" and [[American soldiers]]: :::''This is a sub article to [[American presidents]] and [[American soldiers]]. ::''He is also a neo-con, so maybe: :::''This is a sub article to [[American presidents]], [[American Neo-Cons]] and [[American soldiers]]. ::Acctualy, he was a failure as far as soldier goes, so that is upp to disscusion. If this was my personal Wiki, i would have it as... :::''This is a sub article to [[American]] and a parallel sub-article to [[Puppet]]. ::...But that is not going to happen :P ::Regarding Gian Giacomo. His article contains: :'''Gian Giacomo Trivulzio''' ([[1441]]-[[1518]]) was a [[Milan|Milanese]] aristocrat who held several military commands during the [[Italian Wars]]. Initially in the service of [[Lodovico Sforza]], in [[1483]] he switched his allegiance to [[Charles VIII of France]]. Appointed by [[Louis XII]] as governor of Milan, he took part in the [[Battle of Agnadello]], and commanded contingents of the French army at [[Battle of Novara|Novara]] and [[Battle of Marignano|Marignano]]. ::So we know: ::*He was a Italian. ::*He was a soldier, a commander ::*He served both Italy and France. ::*He was a governor ::As far as [[Italian]], that is established. My first thought was to rule out "Italian" in favour of [[Italian soldier]], but him changing allegiance ruins that.... One alternative would be: :::''This is a sub article to [[Italian governors]], [[Italian soldier]] and [[France Soldier]]. ::I dont know if "Traitor" is pov or not, according to the article it says: :::''In law, treason is the crime of disloyalty to one's nation. A person who betrays the nation of their citizenship and/or reneges on an oath of loyalty and in some way willfully cooperates with an enemy, is considered to be a traitor. ::So, include "Traitor" if it is NPOV, then also add "Italian soldier" or "Italian commander", depending on his rank, "France soldier" or "France commander", depending on his rank, and "Italian governor". Whoever, many of those articles are not created. This would give a reason to create them, and make it easier to locate all the [[Italian soldier]] in a [[List of Italian soldiers]]. in cronological order, that whould make: :::''This is a sub article to [[Italian commanders]], [[Italian traitors]], [[France commanders]] and [[Italian governors]] ::I dont know if the sub-articles should be arranged according to cronology or notability. If you dont like all the read links, you could do it this way: :::''This is a sub-article to [[Italian]], [[Commander]], [[Governor]] and [[Traitor]]. ::Regarding events, it can be included in a history article. WWII: :::''This is a sub-article to [[World war]] and a parallel sub-article to [[History of war]]. ::Pearl harbor: :::''This is a sub-article to [[America in WWII]] [[Japan in WWII]]. ::Vietnamn: :::''This is a sub-article to [[America warfare]] and [[Vietnamesis warfare]]. ::America warfare: :::''This is a sub-article to [[World warfare]] parallel sub-article to [[Warfare]]. ::[[Apple]]: :::''This is a sub-article to [[Fruits]]. Thax again for your feedback. Comments? --[[User:Striver|Striver]] 20:32, 5 December 2005 (UTC) ::: As I understand it, computer scientists are trying to get away from the old hierarchical file systems, and adopt newer models that allow multiple classifications of files. Wikipedia, in adopting a multiple classification model, is bleeding edge, not retro. Adopting a hierarchical system also enormously expands the realm of possible controversy. What's the best category for Ariel Sharon? General? Leader? Terrorist? Not only is Striver's idea a bad idea, it was a bad idea to have implemented his bad idea without ever discussing it with anyone. [[User:Zora|Zora]] 22:20, 5 December 2005 (UTC) :I don't see the advantage of what you're proposing. It seems like everything you're doing is already present in the opening sentence, the categories, and the see-also section. Your way may or may not be superior, but it's different from what the rest of the WP community is doing. In the past, Wikipedia did do something like this, using sub-pages, but that method was abandoned. The right way to go about changing the way things are done is to try to build consensus first. While [[WP:BOLD|boldness]] is suitable for article editing, it's not as good for changing the way the entire project is structured. We need consistency in things like this. —[[User:Wahoofive|Wahoofive]] ([[User talk:Wahoofive|talk]]) 22:31, 5 December 2005 (UTC) :This looks like a really good way of avoiding the hard work of actually creating comprehensive, neutral, well-written encyclopedic content, and instead easily fill Wikipedia with a whole bunch of hierarchical lists which, after a lot of clicking, eventually lead you to stub articles. Striver, my advice to you would be to pick a page, make that page the best page it can be, repeat. —[[User:Bunchofgrapes|Bunchofgrapes]] ([[User talk:Bunchofgrapes|talk]]) 23:12, 5 December 2005 (UTC) :I don't like the hierarchy idea. Where it applies, for example with sorting algorithms, we usually have both a main article with details and a list, and a category. The intro paragraph of each sorting algorithm links up to [[sorting algorithm]]. Categories are already hierarchical - and there is a category for American presidents. The sheer number of categories applied to your average article should be evidence enough that single-classification is nearly always inadequate. [[User:Deco|Deco]] 00:08, 6 December 2005 (UTC) :Oh, one more comment: if you browse around a bit at [ Mathworld], I'm sure you can see some of the annoying compromises forced by single classification. Sometimes there is no really good place in the hierarchy for something, and other times something really belongs in 2 or more places. I can already imagine edit wars about where some article really "belongs". Let's stay with multiple classification and also try to avoid adding additional clutter to the article intro. [[User:Deco|Deco]] 00:11, 6 December 2005 (UTC) *Please don't do this without acquiring consensus first. I think it's a bad idea, and also feel that it's being too bold. --[[User:Improv|Improv]] 01:08, 6 December 2005 (UTC) ===Answering feedback - No single inheritance=== Zora wrote: ::: As I understand it, computer scientists are trying to get away from the old hierarchical file systems, and adopt newer models that allow multiple classifications of files. Wikipedia, in adopting a multiple classification model, is bleeding edge, not retro. Zora, what you are taliking about is "mulitple inheritance", something that was available already in C++. In it, you could have "Pegasus" inherit both "bird" and "Horse", getting both wings and hoves. It looks like this: :''class Pegasus : public horse, public Bird :''{ :''void Chirp() const { Whinny(); } //replacing "Chirp" with "Whinny" :''} I have no idea of what maid you think that i was proposing a single inheritance model, just look at what i sugested: :''This is a sub-article to [[Italian]], [[Commander]], [[Governor]] and [[Traitor]]. That one example inherites 4 (four) diferent parent articles, many of my examples gives multiple parent articles. By "parallel sub-articles" i meant things like a "Jesus" inheriting "pacifism", it cant be done logicly since "pacifism" is a ideology, not a human, less a physical object. That is the only reason i argued to use "parallel sub-articles". Otherwise even the "parallel" part can be droped. Zora wrote: :''Adopting a hierarchical system also enormously expands the realm of possible controversy. What's the best category for Ariel Sharon? General? Leader? Terrorist? Use W:NPOV. Is it NPOV to call him a leader? If yes, make it a sub-article to it. Repeat with "Israeli", "General" and "terrorist". My guess is that "terrorist" does not cutt NPOV. :''Not only is Striver's idea a bad idea, it was a bad idea to have implemented his bad idea without ever discussing it with anyone. [[User:Zora|Zora]] 22:20, 5 December 2005 (UTC) I didnt plan on doing it to give everyone a nasty surprice, it was the intuitice result of trying to making sense of the mess that existed in the "Islamic scholar", "Islamic studies" and related article, until i figured out how to make it work. Wahoofive wrote: :''I don't see the advantage of what you're proposing. It seems like everything you're doing is already present in the opening sentence, the categories, and the see-also section. The advantage is in greater overview. Due to this, you can see a logical trace, like this: [[Islamic studies]] :[[Islamic comparative religion]] ::[[Islamic Christianity studies]] :::[[Islamic view of the Bible]] ::::[[Islam in the Bible]] This line is logical to follow, and gives a great sense of "where" you are in what we have otherwise: a jungle of random articles. If you are searching for the information that is related to Islamic view of Christianity, and want to know if there is some related article to the Judaism view, you can simply clim the the hirarcy and look around, instead do wandering wheater the article exists, what it can be named and so on... Try it! Go in to [[Islamic studies]] and see how great the feeling of having a good overview is! You can appreciated it without testing it! Wahoofive wrote: :''Your way may or may not be superior, but it's different from what the rest of the WP community is doing. In the past, Wikipedia did do something like this, using sub-pages, but that method was abandoned. The right way to go about changing the way things are done is to try to build consensus first. You are right, i hope to be able to share my experience with you. I doubt the previous method was like the one i propose, flexibility or neutrality is not an issue with this model, it only have advanteges. Yes true, you can come to roughly the same thing with the way we have now, but you will never get the same sense of overview without this proposal. Bunchofgrapes wrote: :''This looks like a really good way of avoiding the hard work of actually creating comprehensive, neutral, well-written encyclopedic content, and instead easily fill Wikipedia with a whole bunch of hierarchical lists which, after a lot of clicking, eventually lead you to stub articles. Striver, my advice to you would be to pick a page, make that page the best page it can be, repeat. Brother, those things are not exclusive of eachoter. You can have both a great articel in a great categorised structure. About stubs, Wikipedia does have them for a reason. If there are lots of stubs created, that means that there are a need to fill them with information, Stubs are good, not bad :) Deco wrote :''I don't like the hierarchy idea. Where it applies, for example with sorting algorithms, we usually have both a main article with details and a list, and a category. The intro paragraph of each sorting algorithm links up to [[sorting algorithm]]. And that is exactly what im talikng about! Linking up sub-articles to the parents! :''Categories are already hierarchical - and there is a category for American presidents. The sheer number of categories applied to your average article should be evidence enough that single-classification is nearly always inadequate. Categories are great, and this is a in-between that makes it easier to get a quik overview. You dont need to Link the "Islam" article to all its sub-articles, only to #"Islamic studies" #"Muslims" #"Islamic denominations". Everything will be included in somewhere in in those three things, famous Muslims will go, for example *"Islam/Muslims/Muslim leaders/Caliphs/Abu Bakr" or *"Islam/Muslims/Sahaba/Zaid ibn Haritha". Of course, "Caliphs" not only a sub-article to "Muslim leaders" but also to, for example, "Famous leaders". I mean look at this [[Islam#See_also]], its a mess, it have no order what so ever. The See also of Islam now contains: :''[ List of Islamic and Muslim-related topics]'' * [[Adhan]] (also called azan or aazan) * [[Christo-Islamic]] * [[Prophets of Islam]] * [[Dawah]] * [[Islamic economics]] * [[Islamic feminism]] * [[Islamophobia]] * [[Islamism]] * [[Islamic science]] * [[Islam and other religions]] * [[Jihad]] * [[Liberal movements within Islam]] * [[List of Muslims]] * [[Criticism of Islam]] * [[Timeline of Islamic history]] * [[Religion]] That is totaly random! It is much better to replace that with: <nowiki == I agree with former USER: Wyss! == Because Wikipedia's applied sourcing methodologies are not at academic levels across its content I will no longer be participating in this project. I have also pondered the thought that Wikipedia's internal group dynamics more resemble those of a charismatic religious (or political activist) organisation rather than a scholarly team writing an encyclopedia. Wyss 15:51, 19 November 2005 (UTC) :Update: A Wiki-friend was kind enough to observe the following: :People are going to react "WtF?" or "Is he" (as everybody assumes you're he) "so thick that it's taken him a year and thousands of edits before realizing this?" :How about something like: ::"''Because those people who formulate and enforce Wikipedia policies show a cavalier lack of concern for academic standards in sourcing.''" :::Yes, she said, yes. Wyss 14:56, 21 November 2005 (UTC) Wikipedia is a Meta Culture Blog Retrieved from "" :Yawn. [[User:Zoe]]|[[User talk:Zoe|<sup>(talk)</sup>]] 03:42, 30 November 2005 (UTC) ::Why the yawn? I think Wyss makes some good points. She also wrote on her talk page: :::"''I'd also suggest that the wanton enabling of trolls and fools on Wikipedia gives the petty cyber-castle builders endless excuses to waste time on them with RfArs, RfCs, mentor committees, IRC watchlist feeds, loopy talk page discussions/scoldings, insincere civility patrols and other process-oriented, attention-getting stuff they think will help them get elected to roles in the bureaucracy... anything to avoid true volunteer work, the writing of an encyclopedia founded on scholarly principles.''" Wyss 18:06, 21 November 2005 (UTC) :::Why the yawn? Because all of the whining is boring. [[User:Zoe]]|[[User talk:Zoe|<sup>(talk)</sup>]] 02:50, 1 December 2005 (UTC) ::It sounds like a good description of whats going on to me. Is wikipedia going to change with the expanded number of users or is it just going to stagnate? [[User:Daycd|David D.]] [[User talk:Daycd|(Talk)]] 16:45, 30 November 2005 (UTC) :::You can accuse Wikipedia of all manner things, but I don't think you could ever call it stagnant. [[User:Leithp|Leithp]] [[User talk:Leithp|(talk)]] 17:00, 30 November 2005 (UTC) ::::It depends what you mean by stagnate. Just because there are more articles does not mean there is more knowledge. More crap will drive away knowledgable users and without knowledgable users, but with many trolls, who will be writing the quality articles? I know wiki tries not to be elitist but In the long term, as more trolls arrive, this can only get worse. I think this is what Wyss is referring to and I think she has a good point. [[User:Daycd|David D.]] [[User talk:Daycd|(Talk)]] 17:59, 30 November 2005 (UTC) :::::"as more trolls arrive, this can only get worse". Are you sure? Does the proportion of trolls to non-trolls change as more ''people'' arrive? The basic premise is that the number of non-trolls will always far exceed the number of trolls, sufficiently much so that the overall contribution is positive. -- [[user:Rick Block|Rick Block]] <small>([[user talk:Rick Block|talk]])</small> 02:14, 1 December 2005 (UTC) * Note [[Wikipedia:Footnotes]] and [[WP:CITET]]. ([[User:SEWilco|SEWilco]] 04:35, 1 December 2005 (UTC)) Wikipedia is not a scholarly project and it will never be. If you want to read scholarly texts, read scientific magazines, or a scientific wiki. I fully appreciate the efforts of the academics here, and I am too trying to reduce the crap level, but unless we get all schools in every country to teach proper scholarly techniques, an encyclopedia that everyone can edit will always be like that. As for using Wikipedia for scholarly work: Don't. Note on troll percentage: Wikipedia is a [[Scale-free network]], thus the percentage of academics and the percentage of no-brain-trolls will remain more or less constant no matter how much Wikipedia grows. [[User:Mkill|Mkill]] 17:37, 3 December 2005 (UTC) :WP contains a ''lot'' of academic material. It will never be an ''exclusively'' academic project, but, ''not being paper'' it doesn't need to be. No amount of Pokemon and school articles are going to degrade my academic corner of Wikipedia. What ''does'' degrade it is clueless editors who walk all over perfectly good articles. People need to learn respect of ''existing'' articles, so these are not eroded so much, this is a much more serious problem than the shitloads of fresh garbage added daily. I am not whining, and I am not leaving over this, but we ''should'' look towards fixing or restricting the "wanton enabling of trolls" and the "cavalier attitude". WP needs lots of grunt volunteers on RC patrol etc. -- these are valuable, but, frankly, replaceable. ''Experts'' are a much rarer asset, and every academic expert driven away by trolls is a loss that is not easily replaced. [[User:Dbachmann|dab]] <small>[[User_talk:Dbachmann|('''ᛏ''')]]</small> 08:12, 6 December 2005 (UTC) ==Heading==

Thanks, Gerard Foley 01:52, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

I think the Wikipedia article about how the world does not revolve around you might be appropriate reading material. Anyone know the link for that offhand? DreamGuy 00:28, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps Wikipedia:Words of wisdom? -- Rick Block (talk) 00:36, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
AKA WP:WORLD. -Splashtalk 00:32, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Solipsism-gadfium 00:39, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I also edit in the classic skin, in no small part because I loathe those lines. If you really want them, though, put the following in User:Gmcfoley/standard.css:

h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 { padding-bottom: 0.17em; border-bottom: 1px solid #CCCCCC; }
#article h1, #article h2, #article h3, #article h4, #article h5, #article h6 { margin-bottom: 0.3em; }

Cryptic (talk) 23:38, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for the advice. I was not actually serious about this, it’s to do with a dispute over on Wiktionary, where this is common practice. I want these extra lines removed, however Hippietrail said we should wait for comments from Eclecticology because he edits in the classic skin. I just wanted to see how people would react to a request to add them here just because someone wants to edit in the classic skin. You can see the discussion at wikt:Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Four dashes. Gerard Foley 20:26, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Extra lines

I have decided that I want to edit Wikipedia in the classic skin. This skin does not put a line under 2nd level headers, as the default skin does. However, I like the lines, so from now on everyone should insert an extra line above the 2nd level header so the articles look good for me.


pls unblock me

i have more than 3000 edits, see "user contributions" - i was blocked for no reason. User:Haham hanuka

See the comments here: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Haham hanuka. That might have something to do with it. Otherwise, contact the admin that blocked you for more direct info. --DanielCD 14:35, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
That would be Brian0918. --DanielCD 14:39, 7 December 2005 (UTC)