Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive T

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WP:SFD scope - why does it include redirects?

Wikipedia:Stub types for deletion was started because stub types were being listed on both TFD and CFD, as a stub type has both a template and a category. This is a rather admirable goal. However, somewhere along the way, a third type of page got included - redirects. Redirects like {{us-rail-stub}} to {{US-rail-stub}} and {{NYCS stub}} to {{NYCS-stub}}. Redirects that would be overwhelmingly if not speedily kept in their proper place, RFD. However, since SFD is an out-of-the-way page, which most non-stub sorters avoid, these useful redirects are typically deleted because they do not follow naming conventions. See also Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Stub types for deletion and Wikipedia:Deletion review#Various stub template redirects. --SPUI (talk | don't use sorted stub templates!) 03:09, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Addendum - I guess I have two proposals:
    1. Send redirects to RFD. Keep redirects when renaming a stub template.
    2. Completely get rid of SFD. Agree on which page - TFD or CFD - stub types should be discussed on. --SPUI (talk | don't use sorted stub templates!) 03:16, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Merge into TFD; no need to list the categories separately. — Dan | talk 03:10, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Concur. Nuke SFD. I don't care which it goes to. --Improv 03:18, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
  • This isn't a problem with SFD, it's a problem with people who list redirects on SFD when they clearly shouldn't. There should be something that says that it's not meant for redirects. - ulayiti (talk) 03:22, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I tried that, and was swiftly reverted (by Grutness, I believe, who said it had always handled redirects and always will handle redirects). --SPUI (talk | don't use sorted stub templates!) 03:29, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
      • Well, he was wrong then. I completely agree with you in that something's not going quite right here, but deleting SFD is not the right way to go here. It's a useful tool in deleting the templates and categories at the same time, but it should under no circumstances be used for redirects because that's what RFD is there for. I apologise for over-reacting slightly with all the 'bad-faith' stuff earlier though, and I hope you don't consider me a vandal from now on. :) This is the right place to discuss policy, not MFD (and nevermind what Ed Poor did, I disagreed with that too). - ulayiti (talk) 03:40, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
        • If you're going to quote me, SPUI, then tell people what I actually said rather than making things up. Deliberate misrepresentation of a person simply makes you look like the WP:DICK that you keep accusing others of being. For the record, SFD has handled redirects for the last two months or so. RFD was approached about it, and were asked whether there were any objections to SFD encompassing the redirects relating to stub templates as well. There were no objections from RFD for us to handle redirects, so we've been handling redirects. if you don't believe me, check Wikipedia talk:Redirects for deletion. As to remerging with TFD and CFD, please note that the SFD page was split out from those two pages so as to ease the load on those pages (with the blessing of people at TFD and CFD), and to make the process of deleting and/or changing stubs much easier and to avoid the possibility of having, say, a category deleted but the template which feeds into it kept. To do it any other way would be ridiculous. Grutness...wha? 04:08, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
          • I fail to see how that disagrees with my statement. The fact that the people on RFD talk agreed doesn't really mean anything; they probably assumed that you'd act in good faith and not delete redirects for not agreeing with your naming conventions. --SPUI (talk | don't use sorted stub templates!) 04:16, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
        • You fail to see the difference between "... Grutness... said it had always handled redirects" and me saying they had been handled that way since RFD raised no objections two months ago? You fail to see the difference between a notice on RFD talk seeking confirmation of SFD handlng redirects in October and SFD's scope expanding "without warning"? It's either deliberate misrepresentation or deliberate obtuseness on your part. As for okaying it with RFD "not really meaning anything", that is a wonderful example of goalpost-moving. Grutness...wha? 12:50, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
          • I had named this section "SFD is broken"; someone else changed it to be more NPOV or something. --SPUI (talk | don't use sorted stub templates!) 18:24, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
          • I changed the title based on input that has since been re-evaluated (see below and Wikipedia talk:Redirects for deletion#Stub-redirects for deletion, redux.), and the title is now in its third form - which is the best of the three so far. Grutness, I think you are too close to the problem, taking a look at your tone here in saying something like "It's either deliberate misrepresentation or deliberate obtuseness on your part" in an incorrect attribution of activity. If you are going to call someone obtuse, send that call my way. User:Ceyockey 00:40, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
            • Spui misquoted me and then said that my correction of what I said didn't change his statement. The misquoting was misrepresentation; the claim that it changed nothing was obtuseness. I stand by that. Grutness...wha? 01:14, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Strongly disagree. SFD was created for three reasons: First, reduce CFD/TFD load (which it performs admirably). Second, to prevent discrepancies such as a stub template being deleted and its category being kept (which it also performs admirably). And third, to keep out votes such as "keep unless the WP:WSS comments on it" (which it also performs admirably, and note that those votes were prevalent before the creation of SFD). SPUI has begun a crusade against this page because it occasionally ends up with a conclusion he disagrees with. But every process makes the occasional mistake, and that's no grounds for removing it. Radiant_>|< 03:23, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
    • SFD almost always ends up with a conclusion I (and common sense) disagree with, when it handles redirects. --SPUI (talk | don't use sorted stub templates!) 03:29, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
      • You seem to be engaging in the fallacy that you have a monopoly on common sense. No one does, which is why when we disgree on what is common sense we have to resolve the issue. Caerwine Caerwhine 18:29, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
        • Two fallacies, actually. You seem to assume that all redirects that are found are taken to SFD. Quite a number of redirects that are found are kept. No-one has ever nominated {{car-stub}}, for instance, or {{map-stub}} or {{movie-stub}}, or {{Jamaica-geo-stub}}, or {{author-stub}}, to name just a handful. It is only ones that are of little use (and are therefore more likely to be deleted) that ever make it to SFD in the first place. So the high proportion of those deleted isn't really a surprise. Grutness...wha? 00:08, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
The characterization of WP:SFD being "broken" is not accurate; I've altered the heading to be more accurate and informative.
This should NOT become referendum on the existence of WP:SFD, which it appears to be shaping up to be. This should be a discussion of how to handle the scope creep, not how to kill an activity and assistive page set that many dozens of people contribute to daily in good faith. User:Ceyockey 03:26, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Disagree. See my reasons on the MFD debate page. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 03:29, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Regarding the issue of whether WP:SFD should handle redirects - well, we can't just say "all redirects belong on RFD", because by the same reasoning all templates and categories belong on TFD and CFD, respectively. Personally I do not consider it unreasonable to put everything related to stub templates on SFD, including redirects. However, if SFD has some notions about redirects that RFD disagrees with (and I'm not sure as to the specifics), it may be worthwhile to get RFD people involved there for a wider opinion. Radiant_>|< 03:47, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

I must say, I don't see and have never seen the point of deleting slightly-misnamed - or better still, merely miscapitalised - redirects as happens on SFD all the time. In the articlespace, creating slightly-misnamed redirects to avoid confusion is encouraged fer crying out loud! - SoM 04:02, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Totally agree. Redirects are cheap.--Sean|Black 04:56, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The main difference between an article redirect and a template redirect is that you will never be notified that you're using a redirect, and probably will continue to use the redirect since it works so well. People will see the redirected templates when editing articles and start using them, further proliferating their use, and maybe making more misnamed templates based on their experience (and yes, it's a very good thing to be quite anal about the naming of stub templates, I'd much rather memorize 50 classes of stubs than the 1000+ stub types). Also, I am in favour of SFD handling stub redirects, but I also think that SFD is too overeager to delete redirects at the moment. It's just not that simple. I propose the following compromise: SFD should ease up on getting rid of stub redirects (basically keep everything that isn't ambiguous or just plain wrong), but some kind soul(s) should run a bot that replaces the redirects with the proper templates in the articles, as fast as possible. -- grm_wnr Esc 04:47, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
  • FWIW, when this issue came up a couple months ago, it got mentioned at RFD if there were any objections to redirects being taken care of at SFD, where it got no responses one way or another. Also, 3 redirects were nominated for deletion (and later deleted) on the second day of SFD (log of deletion discussions). So considering redirects at SFD is hardly a new development. --Mairi 04:58, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
It is worth noting — and I say this without any trace of accusation or recrimination, as there is no reason why any of this would have been obvious to the casual observer — that RFD was mostly inactive at the time that notification in question was posted on the RFD talk page. The date of the comment from the SFD folks asking if they were stepping on any toes by taking over stub redirects was October 22nd. The last edit to the RFD talk page prior to October 22nd was September 15. The next edit following October 22nd was November 21. During this time, RFD accumulated a rather substantial backlog.
On December 1st, Woohookitty started working on clearing out the backlog. If you look at the state of the page on December 1st, you will see that the backlog dates to October 20th, two days prior to the SFD notification being placed on the RFD talk page. Which meant that RFD hadn't been under any sort of regular admin scrutiny since before the SFD notification was posted to the RFD talk page.
My understanding is that the RFD process was administered for a long time largely by one person, User:Jnc. And then he left sometime in early October, leaving RFD without a hand upon the tiller. The SFD notification was posted sometime after he left. Since RFD was generally ignored at this point in time, the SFD notification received no response.
However, a few admins (myself included) have taken RFD under our wing and have attempted to revive it back into full health and bring it into some sort of cohesion. It is no longer languishing in a state of disrepair. Admins are once again paying active attention to it, and had the SFD notification been posted today, rather than two months ago, I suspect the notification would have generated some actual discussion as to the pros and cons of moving stub redirects out of RFD and into SFD.
I would like to suggest that this issue needs to be revisited. I understand that the stub-sorting folks have very valid concerns about the proliferation of stub names and the difficulty this brings to the task of sorting stubs. But I also see many stub redirects that are 100% in accordance with the redirect policy at Wikipedia:Redirect (particularly in the "Other spellings, other punctuation" category) being deleted or otherwise deprecated.
I do think that, given the circumstances under which stub redirects were subsumed under the aegis of SFD rather than RFD, that the process of handling stub redirects should revert back to RFD until such time as a decision has been made to do otherwise.
All the best.
Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 13:54, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
It has been brought to my attention that my understanding of the situation is mildly in error. RFD did not handle stub-redirects prior to October, when the post was made. Apparently SFD began handling them in June, when SFD first opened its virtual doors. My apologies for the error. Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 18:17, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Speaking as a fairly long-time anonymous article editor that "came in from the cold" and is trying to be more proactive in using templates and categories, redirects of those are Terribly Confusing! I'd say vigorously delete such redirects (after correcting the uses). Please! --William Allen Simpson 09:55, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I think there are two more or less indepenent points to be decided:
  1. whether stub redirect should be nominated for deletion at RFD or SFD
  2. what are the guidelines for keeping or deleting a stub redirect

If a consensus is reached on the second matter, it won't be too important what's decided on the first. When redirects are nominated at SFD, SFD regulars tend to vote delete, and such a vote is either a full consensus of stub-sorters or a "WSS vs. non-WSS" issue (that's how I see what regularly happens). On RFD the audience (if any :) and outcome would probably be different.

So we should probably discuss the deletion criteria for stub redirects. Conscious 12:54, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

What is Policy on Portals in Definition

I am a very new' Wikipedian, so forgive me if I seem to ask obvious questions or questions that have been answered before. (I am also a Platonist, so I always ask obvious questions.)ous questions.)

Is there a stated/written policy and/or guidelines for Portals in Definitions? What is the intended function/purpose of Portals in Definitions? And what about overlapping and redundant information?

normxxx 16:21, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Please don't delete the whole page when posting here. I cleaned it up for you. Broken S 16:29, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I believe Wikipedia:Portal namespace has the relevant policy information (if you haven't yet looked at it). Broken S 16:31, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm sure he didn't mean to blank the page. Don't bite the newbies. Dan100 (Talk) 11:01, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Should semi-protection of George W. Bush be permament?

Or at least, on going? Or should it be turned off soon? And if soon, when? (In case you've not heard, the code implementing Wikipedia:Semi-protection policy has been turned on and George has been so-protected.) Dan100 (Talk) 14:30, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I think we should see how things pan out. Tweak the figure on how long an account has to be active to edit semi-protected pages. See how much vandalism is cut by semi-protection... whether it shoots right back up when the flag is removed... et cetera. How long semi-protection should stay on a page and how long a user has to be around to bypass it should both be partially dependant on how many pages are going to get tagged with this. For instance, if half the encyclopedia winds up semi-protected then it should usually be for very short duration (stopping current vandalism) and have a waiting period of only hours after becoming a user. Or if it is only going to be on the three most vandalized pages then it can stay on for long periods and require a few days of activity to bypass. Et cetera. It'll take some time to sort out how this is going to be used. --CBD 14:48, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I've answered this in 4 places now. :) For now, it's just as a test. I'm going to unprotect it tomorrow. Same with Kerry. Right now it's just to see how much vandalism will go down after semi protection. There's still a major bug in it (all users regardless of newness are able to edit), so I think we need to wait a bit before making it permanent or even discussing it, honestly. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 14:59, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Well obviously, there's going to be much less/no vandalism while they're sprotected and lots more when they're unprotected (although note that many schools are going on holiday every day now, so vandalism is dropping anyway). I'm not sure what this test is going to demonstrate beyond the obvious... Dan100 (Talk) 16:38, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree with CBD's reasoning. We'll need some time to sort out how this policy affects the articles that are semi-protected. I also think that the Bush article is a unique case, being the most vandalized article on Wikipedia. Quite frankly, I don't see much harm in keeping this one article semi-protected for an extended period of time. As long as the waiting period isn't unreasonable (a few days or so), I don't see much of a problem with the restrictions on editing. Carbonite | Talk 15:01, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Semi-protection is not a means to banish anonymous editors from Wikipedia, and it should not be used as such. If you can handle a couple of reverts a day, there's no reason at all to semi-protect. If it's a passing dynamic IP bored schoolkid, then unprotect in the usual 24 hours. If it's a static school kid, then block them and don't restrict editing at all. Semi-protect should be used for the shortest available length of time: if that is 0 minutes, then that's what's appropriate. I've little feelings about George W. Bush, but I did object to sprotecting United States where the bulk of the anon edits are not reverted and thus they should not be locked out. -Splashtalk 15:11, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes, semi-protection should be used on very few article and for limited periods of time...except for George W Bush. For the other 99.9999% of our articles, reverting the vandalism isn't a huge task. On this one article, I think we need to concede that it's an exception and should be treated as such. Carbonite | Talk 15:19, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Nope. We can *not* be preemptive. That's why I added that text to WP:SEMI. Just like full protection, semi is a last resort and I don't think we can assume anything. Will GWB be semi protected longer than it was full protected? Yes. But I don't like this assuming we'll need it to be permanent. We don't know that. For awhile, I like the idea of semi protecting it for 2-3 days, unprotect it and see if the vandalism levels decrease. If we need to then increase the semi protection period further, great. But I don't want to assume the worst. The thing is, we've never had this. 2-3 days might frustrate anons enough so that they will stop vandalising the article as well. We won't know until we try. Let's not assume we'll need it permanently. We don't know that we will. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 16:00, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh, I agree that we need to have a testing period where we get an idea of how much the vandalism decreases (see my comment above). Of course we shouldn't just semi-protect it and leave it that was forever. I also don't want to assume the worst, but we have many months of data that shows the vandalism level when the page isn't semi-protected. The point of my comment (which may not have been as clear as it should have been) was that the Bush article is the only article where permanent semi-protection may be warranted. On any other article, it should only be used for limited periods of time. Carbonite | Talk 16:11, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

The George W. Bush article should be semi-protected until he is no longer in office. Seems obvious to me. Until he's gone, that article is a lightning rod for vandalism. Kaldari 16:08, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I thought it was agreed on at the policy page that semi-protection would not be used for long periods of time or indefinitely? This is exactly what I was afraid of: once the feature is set up, people will clammor to semi-protect this article virtually forever, and I strongly oppose doing that. Semi-protection should only be used as a last resort and probably shouldn't ever be used for longer than 24 hours (unless there's something special going on, like a presidential election involving him, which is impossible). The policy states that semi-protection is not meant to "prohibit anonymous editing in general", and by applying semi-protection for long periods of time, that's exactly what it is doing. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 16:10, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't really see what the fuss is about. Yes, let's first see whether semi-protection is effective against vandals. But if it is, I wouldn't be surprised if there were few dozen pages on Wikipedia that are subject to several vandalisms a day. Why not semi-protect all of them? And why not permanently, or until the motivation for vandalism stops (e.g. when GWB is long out of office)? Why should we tolerate this or burden editors with hourly monitoring and reversion? Wikipedia has almost a million articles — restricting anons and new users to editing 99.999% of them is hardly a draconian policy. If it ever gets to the point where a significant fraction of Wikipedia is semi-protected then it warrants discussion. But now? Pff. —Steven G. Johnson 16:35, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Steven who puts it very well. It's a right royal PITA for RC patrollers (myself included) to have to RV the same ol' dozen or so articles all the time. These should be semi-protected long-term. Dan100 (Talk) 16:44, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
No. The policy page states explicitly that this should not be used long-term or permanently, and semi-protecting such pages is essentially driving out the IP editors and new editors. If you want to stop vandalism, we should just protect all pages and not make this a wiki. A line must be drawn somewhere - how are people to improve those articles if we restrict editing? Flcelloguy (A note?) 16:48, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
It's pointless to even discuss the matter if you're going to fall back on the "it should be policy because that's what the policy says" line of reasoning. Nor have you addressed the point that new editors can still edit > 99.99% of Wikipedia, and that a line has been drawn somewhere—users can improve those pages after having an account for a few days. The sky isn't falling. —Steven G. Johnson 16:53, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Re "not make this a wiki..." This is not "a wiki," it is a project that has the serious intention of producing a free encyclopedia.
Re "How are people going to improve these articles if we restrict editing?" How am I going to get from home to work if I'm restricted to driving on the right side of the road? The answer in both cases is "by accepting these restrictions." Dpbsmith (talk) 17:12, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
(after three edit conflicts) Of course this is a wiki. True, our goal here is to produce an encyclopedia, but the means we chose to produce it was to make this a wiki, where anyone can edit. If we wanted to use the proven ways of making an encyclopedia, we could have become EB or Nupedia by hiring experts to write articles. Instead, Wikipedia was founded. Are we to bite the very hand that feeds us?
I disagree with that analogy, but I'm going to extend it a bit further. How are we to get to work? If we restrict all driving, I guess that leaves most of us with walking or biking. True, we'll get there eventually, but at a much slower pace. Is that what we want? Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 17:21, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
In the U.S. we do restrict all driving to the right side of the road. This restriction does not force anyone to walk or bike. Similarly, "semi-protection" still allows anyone to edit. Dpbsmith (talk) 20:34, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
To extend the analogy even more, in the US we also require that all drivers have a license and auto insurance. These restrictions are much tougher than our semi-protection policy, yet the vast majority of drivers accept them without any problem. Carbonite | Talk 20:45, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I note in particular Dan100 and Steven G. Johnson insisting that the policy says other than it does, and/or that the policy is wrong because they want it to be. Neither of them participated in the discussion, and only Dan100 in the straw poll. Very many people did, we discussed it, we iterated the proposal and it eventually received wide support. Please do not dismiss those discussoins and the concerns of other editors with a simple-minded "oh well, if I think it's wrong then it must be wrong, and so I shall ignore it". Because that's not how playing nicely works. -Splashtalk 17:18, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Whoa, exuse me - I note in particular Dan100... insisting that the policy says other than it does - I've said no such thing. BTW, policy is not set in stone - it can always change. And of course, if it's in the best interests of the encyclopedia, you can ignore the rules... Dan100 (Talk) 09:48, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Splash is right. This was a very-widely supported proposal, and was discussed over and over and in great detail on the same talk page where the straw poll occurred. Now, how much of that support "counts" if we start changing the rules agreed to? That's right, the support isn't worth a can of stale beans at that point, and we're back to square one. Last I saw, it was crystal-clear that we weren't going to leave GWB or any normal page permanently semi-protected (though we might protect 'em for a week at a time, say), and a lot of the support for the proposal actually was contingent on that. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 17:30, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Splash and BOGrapes, I would argue that the policy's internal logic is flawed. To wit:
Administrators note that semi-protection should only be considered if it is the only option left available to solve the problem of vandalism of the page. In other words, just like full protection, it is a last resort not a pre-emptive measure.
One, it will never ever be the only option left available; two, if "like full protection" it is a last resort, then why do we have it at all if we have full protection? So there must be a reason it exists short of putting in full protection. As such, I feel it is reasonble to interpret it as - if there is historical evidence that an article is the object of consistent, unrelenting vandalism due to the either short term or long term attractiveness of the article for vandalism, then it should be semi-protected, and it can be semi-protected indefinitely. To wit, George W. Bush and penis come to mind. Take a look at WP:MVP for a good compendium of these type of articles. Not all should be semi-protected. But the existence of that page shows there are pages that are consistently targets and the RC patrollers who use that shared watchlist know well what I'm talking about. Fuzheado | Talk 17:34, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
If that was the intent of the policy, it would say so and people would have been quite clear about that in their comments in the straw poll. It doesn't, adn they weren't. You misunderstand semi-protection's relation to full protection. It can be used instead of full-protection when an article has a hard to stop vandal. At present, we have to lock everyone out because of a bored teenager. Now, we don't have to. That's the point. I'll leave others to thrash out GWB, but there is no reliance in the policy for a permanent protection. It will have to be by consensus and agreement. -Splashtalk 17:41, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I get what you're saying. Smart people can differ on how long we should keep it, and perhaps when we have more data after this week, we can bring that up again. For me - I'm glad that with George W. Bush, Adolph Hitler, Wikipedia and Penis semi-protected, more useful RC patrol time can be spent on other vandalism that is tricker to track down. You mentioned on my talk page "If an article needs protecting, it's because of a current vandalism problem, not an historic one." But what if the historical pattern is that the article is the subject of ongoing (ie. current) vandalism? I've been doing RC patrol going on three years now, and these articles are always hit, and consistently. Fuzheado | Talk 18:15, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
IMHO, Wikipedia's first responsibility is to its readers, its second to its established editors, and lastly to its newest editors. Permanently emi-protecting pages such as GWB perfectly balances those responsibilities - readers will see much less vandalism, its editors will have a lower workload, and only the newest editors will be inconvenienced. Stevage 20:04, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Of course protection of George W. Bush be permament, if it's left unprotected, people could come along and add new information to it, since information usually makes George Bush look like a bumbling idiot, the only solution is to leave it protected until the end of his term to insure proper NPOV--1 use 17:38, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Oh god, no. Adding new information to article would be terrible. -Splashtalk 17:41, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Why not just say that a page may not be semi-protected for more than one week, after that the protection is to be removed or extended a maximum of one week, etc. ad infinitum. AzaToth 20:53, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I think it should be permanently semi-protected, since it has a frequently reoccurring vandalism problem, but we should also make it abundantly clear to readers that they can leave any suggested changes on the talk page to be implemented by other editors. Consider it a sort of lightweight informal review process. Deco 20:56, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I'd first like to childishly say "I told you so" to Splash about the lack of addressing protection creep, which has lead us to this discussion. Time limits with increasing amounts of admin concensus implemented in policy would have sorted this out. As for now, it's just a test, and if we're not going to address this in policy, at the very least, it should be an unspoken rule that no matter what the article is, it should be un-sp'ed on a weekly basis. Semi-protection should not just be slapped on a page and left on indefinetely, there needs to be regular tests that it still needs to be implemented on pages such as GWB. --kizzle 21:09, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't have any particular stance on whether pages should be permanently semi-protected or not, as there are good arguments for both sides. However, I feel very strongly that if pages are to be permanently semi-protected, then the current template needs to die. If we're to have a big ugly template up the top of an article (which really doesn't do wonders for our credibility), then there had better be a damned good short-term reason. Ambi 00:50, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
Somewhat agree. I like the template's wording but it's much too big and scary. Let's tone it down. I think it would actually help our credibility - in the position of a Wikipedia naysayer, I'd be pleased to see some action being taken to protect obvious target articles. Deco 01:06, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
Input from you two (and anyone else of course) would be welcomed at Template talk:Sprotected, where debates about just this have been taking place Dan100 (Talk) 10:22, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
<sticks out tongue>I'd also like childishly to point out that I did say that admins usually managed to self-police by yelling at each other. Well, here you go. It'll work itself out: there will be consensus to have GWB et. al perma-semi-protected or there won't be. If one admin in 740+ thinks "now is enough", then it gets unprotected. -Splashtalk 02:02, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to offer Japanese media as a proper example of the use of sprotection. A dynamic (thus unblockable) vandal has been hitting it hard. It was vprotected; noone could edit it (apart from admins), but now just about all editors can — apart from the vandal. And since the bug-fix, the vandal really can't. This is what semi is really good for. -- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Splash (talkcontribs)

I suspect that George W. Bush will probably need some kind of long-term protection. Many articles (like Japanese media mentioned above) are targeted by a single vandal who might get bored or discouraged and move on; George W. Bush however attracts new random vandals all the time. Semiprotecting it yesterday and un-semiprotecting it today will do nothing to discourage the brand-new vandal who will come to the article for the first time tomorrow. Most of these brand-new vandals are precisely the opportunistic instant-gratification vandals (as opposed to sleeper-account vandals) that semi-protection is designed to discourage.

As someone has already pointed out above, Wikipedia edits are made by human beings, not by anon IPs or monikers. And long-term semi-protection, unlike long-term "full" protection, does not actually prevent any human being in the world from editing the article if they really wish to. That's an important distinction.

And by the way, lack of semi-protection can have a high cost too, because reverting is an imperfect process. Sometimes vandals alter a legitimate sentence into nonsense or obscenity, the next editor fails to catch it, and then some time later a (possibly inexperienced or careless user) comes along and deletes the whole nonsensical or obscene sentence instead of restoring the good version that is now buried several revisions deep. I've seen it happen far too many times. Or sometimes a revert will accidentally revert legitimate edits along with the vandalism (this is the flipside of a revert that fails to fully revert old vandalism). Constant vandalism creates a state of entropy that hinders legitimate edits or causes them to be lost. It's like a house full of children and pets running around and making a mess and breaking things... things, well, get broken, and good user contributions are sometimes for naught.

The best way to judge success is to see whether legitimate edits get made to George W. Bush. In recent times, those nearly came to a standstill: substantially all the edits were vandalism and reverts of vandalism. "Anyone can edit" isn't supposed to produce the paradoxical result that the article gets frozen, but that's what was happening in practice. It's still early, but there are encouraging signs that under semi-protection the article is now actually being edited, for the first time in a long while.

PS, To really make semi-protection effective, though, we need a way to discourage throwaway registered accounts. Make users go through some 30–60 second non-automatable enter-the-right-answers-to-the-questions procedure to register, which is a one-time very minor inconvenience for legitimate users (they won't mind, if we clearly explain upfront the reason why), but a repetitive hassle for multiple-sockpuppet vandals who have to repeat it over and over again each time they burn a sock with a vandalism edit. -- Curps 08:05, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Regarding the effectiveness of long-term semiprotection, you don't mention the point that a registered user can be blocked out of their account (or if they can't, they should be able to). When someone has to create an account and wait 4 days, just to have it blocked the first time they vandalized, the cost of vandalism gets to be just too high. They can get around this by creating and slowly using large numbers of accounts, but this would take some sophistication and could also be protected against with other measures. It's not perfect but I think it could make a big difference, even in the long term. Deco 22:21, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

PPS, see this Slashdot comment which describes an example of what I mentioned above: a high amount of vandalism/revert entropy churn can often be quite harmful. Preventing existing good content from being trashed is just as important as allowing new good content to be created. Semi-protection reduces the former and does not really prevent the latter. -- Curps 19:09, 24 December 2005 (UTC)


I am korean user. I use kowiki more. In korea, fair-use idea is not exist. so, I think...why don't use we non-commercial image in kowiki?

question! kowiki user can't use non-commercial image? it is worldwide wiki project rule? korean can make a policy for allowing non-commercial image? in kowiki only?? -- WonYong 11:50, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure, but I think the laws of the United States apply to all versions of Wikipedia because it is hosted in Florida. Jibbajabba 18:26, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
It's up to every individual wikipedia, but I think the non-com rule might apply to all of them. For an example of how different pediae have different rules, the Japanese wikipedia doesn't allow fair use, as Japan's laws are stricter than America's, and they want to conform both to Japanese and American law. --Golbez 18:35, 27 December 2005 (UTC)


[1] "NPOV was drafted originally for Nupedia by a philosopher". -- Has anyone seen this version or know who this philosopher was?Bensaccount 19:35, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Presumably it was Larry Sanger.
But it is Larry Sanger who is saying it... Bensaccount 03:48, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
He could be referring to himself anonymously, or simply saying "it was drafted by a philosopher", as opposed to some other profession. Deco 22:18, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Yep you are right, thanks. Bensaccount 17:50, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

re-proposing Wikipedia:Naming conventions (numbers and dates)

This has been mentioned on this page and wikipedia:current surveys before. In the mean while several suggestions were incorporated, and others answered at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (numbers and dates).

So, proposing the updated Wikipedia:Naming conventions (numbers and dates), to be accepted as guideline in a week or so - unless there are still fundamental alterations required.

Note that this guideline proposal absorbs wikipedia:naming conventions (years in titles) (which would become a redirect). Also this is about the last wikipedia:naming conventions topic that doesn't have a "naming conventions" guideline yet, separate from the more general MoS, which doesn't discuss many "page naming" specifics. --Francis Schonken 21:35, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Templates for Writing Articles

I think it would be quite productive if there was an effort to make templates for topics of various types. Obviously, this exists to some degree, in that *most* topics of shared subject matter *usually* have the same headings. However, not only am I suggesting an actual implementation of this process via templates, I'd further argue that the templates could/should include consistent placement of concepts, ideas, links, etc. Groups of stubs/categories could even be templated so that each shares set words except for certain parameters: i.e. [*name* *option:aka* (born *bname* on *date*) is a...] could be the start of a template for a living person.

With the correct amount of set text, this could not only be an extremely useful preventative measure against vandalism et al, but also an excellent way of keeping articles consistent.

Forgive me if this is the wrong section to suggest this, or if this has already been suggested. --mwazzap 21:46, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Some of these already exist as part of WikiProject efforts. For instance, see Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. states and Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography as two examples where this has been attempted. User:Ceyockey 03:01, 29 December 2005 (UTC)


What is the general opinion in using Template:Uncategorized to show articles without a category? My own opinion is that a template is a bad idea as it makes the article look messy, and many articles already have too many templates, but that a category for articles that need to be properly categorised is a good idea, as then people who want to categorise articles can sift through that category.

The reason I ask is that I think it would be a good idea to add the category Category:Category needed to articles that are reasonably big (not all articles, as there are too many at the moment) using a bot or semi-bot like my User:Bluemoose/AutoWikiBrowser. thanks Martin 20:05, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I think categories should only be used when they make sense. Not everything should have a category, and tagging things for that seems like a bad idea. --Improv 21:59, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I disagree, I don't think I have ever seen an article that couldn't be put into at least one category. Martin 22:05, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree, and so does Wikipedia:Categorization, which states that "every page in the article namespace should belong to at least one category." I don't think adding yet more templates is the best way to go about this, especially with a bot. It would be more useful to simply get more people working on Special:Uncategorizedpages, and perhaps set that page to update more frequently. - SimonP 19:33, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Sure Special:Uncategorized pages is the way to go, but at the moment it is useless, I am proposing that longer pages get the uncategorised category so at least we can find the more important articles that need to be categorised. Martin 19:59, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't think Special:Uncategorizedpages is useless, we are making steady progress through the alphabet. More frequent updates and being able to see more than 1000 pages at a time would speed the process, but slowly the entire encyclopedia is getting categorized. - SimonP 20:06, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Ah, I mistakenly believed that page had stopped being updated altogether, still, it would be great if it was updates more often. Martin 00:41, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
  • It would be useful if a modification could be added that would allow the inclusion of article that only have stub-related categories along with a filter that would allow those to be excluded to obtain a "no categories at all" listing. (this follows from my comment below). User:Ceyockey 02:58, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree with the guideline that states "every article should have a category". I use this template occasionally when I can't fathom what category something should be in and it lacks a category. However, I do think that the template could go away without a lot of impact considering the existence of Special:Uncategorized pages. Note that about 50% of the pages I find without categories altogether and 50% only have a stub-template-associated-category; in the latter case a "normal" category is needed as well (which is a generally agreed guideline within the Stub-sorting community) but those pages will not appear on the Special:Uncategorized pages. Also, I think that the main question was about "under categorized pages" rather than "uncategorized" ones. That's another matter altogether. User:Ceyockey 20:38, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Use different software for the mediation of wiki policy, administration, government, etc.

Avoid monoculture. Use a different peice of software to handle all the discussion of meta-wikipedia affairs. Perhaps something that is not (gasp) a wiki, but something designed for goverment of a wiki. Let us not get caught up in a cycle of blind faith. Let's build some software. Kurt Gödel says what? Let's take a look at this thing from the outside. Lilhinx 09:37, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I don't think your proposal is concrete enough to go any further. Why would we want to use a different piece of software for meta? What kind of software are you talking about? Why would it be more suited? --Improv 09:54, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Prophet redux

We had a discussion here several months ago, in which the question of whether or not the word "prophet" could be used to describe Muhammad. One editor (Babajobu was removing all instances of "prophet" in articles relating to Muhammad; I was arguing that an uncapitalized "prophet" was simply descriptive of his role and implied no acceptance of Muhammad as a divinely inspired prophet. As I recall -- and this is not archived, unfortunately -- the consensus was that the use of "prophet" was OK.

The controversy has arisen in another form. One editor, Pepsidrinka looked at the Wikipedia Manual of Style and discovered a rule saying that it was acceptable to refer to Muhammad as "Prophet Muhammad" or "the Prophet". He feels that this should be the new standard in any Islam-related articles.

I have been extremely active in editing Islam-related articles. However, I am not a Muslim. I would feel extremely uncomfortable typing "Prophet Muhammad". He is not my prophet and I do not honor him as such. I try very hard to be neutral, but I do not want to adopt language that, to me, sounds Muslim. I would like to hear what other, non-involved, Wikipedians think about this matter. If the consensus is against capitalization, then I'd like to know how to change the Manual of Style so that this situation does not arise again. Zora 00:16, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I took a look at the manual of style. The "the Prophet" distinction seems pretty clear, but how did he derive "the Prophet Muhammad"? We can indirectly refer to Muhammad using "the Prophet," but is the capitalization necessary (or desirable) when Muhammad is explicitly stated? (I realize this is sidestepping the issue). — Ambush Commander(Talk) 00:24, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
The Manual of Style permits this, and only uses it as an example in any case; it does not require it. This is a special case of the more general debate over use of honorifics. Current policy is at Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(biographies)#Honorific_prefixes, while the proposed interim policy is at Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies)/Proposed interim policy for Honorific prefixes. Deco 00:27, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Quick definition of prophet would be; A prophet is a person who is believed to communicate with God, or with a deity. Since Muhammad is believed to have been a messenger of God, we can safely say prophet but not Prophet, IMO. «LordViD» 00:37, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Definitely you should use capitalized prophet Prophet because in this place it is referring to one specific person not to just a prophet. --Snakes 07:15, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

There is currently an ongoing discussion of this at Talk:Muhammad as well. Pepsidrinka 07:12, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Non-admins closing delete AfDs?

Please see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Anathemacious. Renata3, a well-meaning user closed this AfD as Delete and put it up for a speedy. My latest perusal indicates that non-admins can only close AfDs that do not result in delete (such as keep or merge). Is this still true, or is putting up a delete consensus AfD to CSD the latest way for a non-admin to close a delete AfD? --Deathphoenix 16:10, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I congratulate Renata3 on finding a clever way to (technically) allow a non-admin to close consensus-delete AfDs. However, it's really no more work for an admin to just close it himself, since any admin who actually enacts the deletion has to go back and verify the AfD result anyway. Encourage Renata3 to participate in non-delete closes, and to pursue adminship at some point. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:17, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Closing obvious no consensus AFD discussions almost kept me from passing my recent RFA. Closing deletes, no matter how obvious, will come back to bite this user if he/she opts to pursue adminship in the future. Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 17:17, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I used to close no consensus VfDs when I was a non-admin, but then again, that was before they implemented that rule (and when the backlog of unclosed discussions was huge). --Deathphoenix 18:17, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Any admin acting on such a closure has to do all the legwork themselves anyway, since the person pressing the delete button is the one taking that responsibility. It's fairly well established that admins are the ones to close anything other than clear-cut keep/merge/redirect/transwiki/similar debates because they have received approval from the community that their judgement in such situations is generally pretty good. Since there is no benefit to the system at large by the use of speedy in these circumstances and since speedy has never been approved for use in these circumstances and given the meaning in part of an RfA, I'm still of the opinion that non-admins should steer clear of those things that Wikipedia:Deletion process tells them to steer clear of. -Splashtalk 18:29, 29 December 2005 (UTC)


Does anyone know where Jimbo originally posted this? It seems to have been added to Wikipedia:NPOV when the policy was moved to here from meta. Bensaccount 18:03, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

A general purpose encyclopedia is a collection of synthesized knowledge presented from a neutral point of view. To whatever extent possible, encyclopedic writing should steer clear of taking any particular stance other than the stance of the neutral point of view.

The neutral point of view attempts to present ideas and facts in such a fashion that both supporters and opponents can agree. Of course, 100% agreement is not possible; there are ideologues in the world who will not concede to any presentation other than a forceful statement of their own point of view. We can only seek a type of writing that is agreeable to essentially rational people who may differ on particular points.

Some examples may help to drive home the point I am trying to make:

1. An encyclopedic article should not argue that corporations are criminals, even if the author believes it to be so. It should instead present the fact that some people believe it, and what their reasons are, and then as well it should present what the other side says.

2. An encyclopedia article should not argue that laissez-faire capitalism is the best social system. [...] It should instead present the arguments of the advocates of that point of view, and the arguments of the people who disagree with that point of view.

Perhaps the easiest way to make your writing more encyclopedic is to write about what people believe, rather than what is so. If this strikes you as somehow subjectivist or collectivist or imperialist, then ask me about it, because I think that you are just mistaken. What people believe is a matter of objective fact, and we can present that quite easily from the neutral point of view.

--Jimbo Wales, Wikipedia founder

Have you asked him?  :) User:Zoe|(talk) 19:41, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia English

This will probably go over like a lead balloon, but it's a great idea -- in theory, at least -- so I'm throwing it out there as a suggestion. What if we had a "Wikipedia English", which would be a compromise between British/American spellings; for example, practise as a verb and practice as a noun (which is logical to avoid confusion), organize but analyse (which is actually what Oxford recommends), etc... The biggest sticking point would probably be the -our/-or endings, but it might work and would end a lot of petty disputes. Then again, it might end up being like that joke that was circulating about a new "European English" with "simplified" spellings... Opinions? Jibbajabba 04:48, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Laik þis? Cəd bē much ēziər to rēd. If yū happən not tū bē literət in Ingliş. -- Sometimes I can't help myself Jmabel | Talk 08:41, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I like the idea - after all, we've already set the punctuation rules for Wikipedia English in the Manual of Style, and they seem to work pretty well. I think a reasonable standard for words is that if one has a Wikipedia article and the other doesn't, choose the one with the article. That way we can build on previous decisions. So Wikipedia English says color, not colour, and yoghurt, not yogurt. And this rule is already applied in other ways, like for specialized terms within WikiProjects. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 21:59, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
  • So, which meaning of the verb "to table" should we use, and how do we describe what the other government is doing? --Carnildo 03:55, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
I tried purging use of "tabled" a while back; I really should get back to it. It's something that can always be phrased differently, outside direct quotes, and can cause confusion even when the lingustic context is clear - I always forget which one is the British use! There really isn't anything to be gained by using it, I feel. Shimgray | talk | 19:44, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I strongly oppose this proposal because I feel it will lead to linguistic favouritism. The existing policy works. The reason people are not responding here is, I suspect, an indication that almost nobody else is interested. --Improv 04:54, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I also oppose this ridiculous proposal. That would result in even more of a mess than we have now. I believe PizzaMargherita's proposed solution of special dialect-switching markup (which has been repeatedly debated on the MoS talk page) is the better solution.
      • I oppose it, mainly because I don't think we need to - I strongly suspect my grandchildren will be confused by the idea of American and British English as visibly different concepts. Give it time... ;-) Shimgray | talk | 19:44, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
  • It ain't broken, so don't fix it. User:Zoe|(talk) 19:41, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't think the proposal would help. However, maybe we should adopt the policy on language my firm has adopted. Namely: "We recommend that British English be used..." (only comment on this if you've spotted the error!) jguk 20:11, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Language-specific facts? Or language-specific relevancy?

Having started editing on the English Wikipedia, I eventually found that the German Wikipedia contained more "omissions", and concentrated my editing there. The article here Gay bathhouse, for example, exists there only as part of an article de:Kontaktsauna, and sysops there have repeatedly threatened the article with deletion for covering a "trivial" topic. Similarly, the category for LGBT people has been deleted there, as well as a list, and a currently raging debate over whether such lists can be permitted in a wikiportal workspace instead of as a regular article. Truman Capote gets regularly deleted from such lists, and those who replace him are termed "vandals". Mentioning that a television moderator is gay results in the sentence being removed and the article being indefinitely protected to prevent such mention. (This is not a case of "outing", as the moderator has discussed his partner in the media and corrected journalists who called him single.) Criticizing the freezing of the article leads to threats by the sysop that the critical account will be banned, and complaints about such behavior get regularly deleted. Is this something unusual about the German Wikipedia or does that happen here, too?--Bhuck 14:51, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

I don´t think theres anything wrong with a wiki applying its own cultural standards along with linguistic ones. If in Germany its inappropriate to say someone is gay then so be it. I suspect thats not the case (coincidentally I am in Ulm at the moment :)) but there are very few cross-wiki standards, so its really up to the admins there. Stevage 00:37, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
I think you are also right that it is not the case that it is inappropriate in Germany to say someone is gay. It is, however, inappropriate in the German wiki to say that because the admins there seem to have different standards than the culture as a whole. I don't think it is appropriate to get too much into the specific details here (it's not like there is a hierarchy of wikipedias and that one can "appeal" to another language that has decided things differently), but it does raise some interesting questions on a more general level. Suppose, for example, that while it were acceptable in Germany to say someone was gay, and that it was not acceptable in Austria, and that all the admins at the German-language wikipedia were (by some coincidence) Austrian. Or once could imagine some other situation where in the English wikipedia all the admins were Canadian and refused to allow English-language articles which did not have an interwiki link to the French wikipedia. Because of the user-banning and the suppression of criticism of the admins' policies, there does not seem to be an easy way to change such structures. (Indeed, the question is more a question of power than of content, because the same admins get criticized for completely unrelated reasons (as far as subject matter goes), because they repeatedly use similar (heavy-handed) tactics.) How does one deal with a situation in which the cultural standards applied in the wikipedia (enforced by admins) differ from the cultural standards among the language-users as a whole? Indeed, even if German culture did have this or that standard which were being enforced in the German-language wikipedia, what about German-speakers elsewhere (immigrants in the US, or Swiss Germans)? Language and culture do not always overlap completely; the problem is more how power is applied within a certain wikipedian community.--Bhuck 16:26, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Where can I find the relevancy criteria that apply to the English wikipedia? In discussions about deleting articles, how often do relevancy criteria play a role, and how often are decisions made on a case-by-case basis?--Bhuck 14:38, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Notability for games clubs

hi, there is a growing trend for games clubs (a.k.a clans or electronic sports teams) to get their own vanity articles on wikipedia. these can rarely be deleted because of organized campaigns by members of a club to keep "their" article. i would like to suggest that not every games club should get an article, and that they must have e.g. won a major tournament to be considered notable. (next question: what defines a major tournament?). whats the best way to go about this, without vested interest club members jumping in to "save" their precious pages? i see this trickle of articles becoming a major flood very soon. i know there is nn-band and nn-club but how to define exactly what *is* and *isnt* notable with regard to games clubs? Zzzzz 09:46, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

I cannot imagine how a gaming clan could possibly be notable enough for inclusion in an encyclopedia. Notable enough for a magazine or newspaper, perhaps, but not an encyclopedia. I hesitate to make criteria for them because the criteria would have to be set so that a fair number of gaming clans could meet the criteria. Until AfD is flooded with them, we might be able to keep more of them out on an individual AfD basis. -- Kjkolb 11:47, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't think an organization should be regarded as inherently either notable or non-notable just because it happens to be made up of game players; is the United States Chess Federation to be judged on this basis? Rather, the notability should be judged just like it would be for a non-gaming organization. A gaming club that has a large number of members or is highly influential within its particular game genre would probably be notable; a small group that's merely local in scope or consists of a handful of friends getting together of little interest to anybody else wouldn't be. *Dan T.* 13:50, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

You might be interested in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Urapopstar. Zoe ( 17:34, 23 December 2005 (UTC))
IMHO as long as there are projects to catalogue every asteroid, every river and even every French commune, it is a matter of prejudice whether we catalogue every clan or not. Short of defining a policy for clan notability (eg, membership fees, number of members, mentioned in paper), there's nothing you can do. Stevage 00:41, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
Agreed; I think that User:Stevage is spot-on with his comment. User:Ceyockey 23:24, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Root pages

Please see Wikipedia:Root page for info on this proposed policy.

I've actually listed it on MfD since I feel it is instruction/confusion creep. A discussion is also on going at Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation#Root pages.... Thanks/wangi 01:39, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Listing a proposal on MfD is a pretty strange and disruptive way to oppose it. I suggest you use the talk page in the future. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 05:19, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I think you'll find I was the one who tagged the page as a proposal. As it was originally the page referenced to from the disambiguation MoS, telling people not to use disambiguation pages in certain cases - a change which wasn't discussed. Thanks/wangi 12:07, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

POV at top of page

I am rather upset by the recent banner at the top of Wikipedia: Please take a moment to read this personal appeal from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

While this notice clearly was but up with good intent, that Jimmy Wales is the sole founder of Wikipedia is disputed and saying that he is a direct violation of NPOV. Do we really want a violation of Wikipedia principles to be placed on top of every page. What does it say about Wikipedia if we tell others to be NPOV but Wikipedia is not?

Jimmy's argument is that Sanger's contribution is irrelavent since Sanger worked under him. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I seem to think that this logic is equivalent to saying that William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain don't deserve credit for making the first transistor because they worked underneath the CEO of AT&T. Thus logic is not recognized by most people - they all won nobel prizes.

I propose that the text be replaced with something like "Wikimedia chairman" or "Wikipedia head".

Where 01:48, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

NPOV is for articles. Jimbo considers himself the sole founder of Wikipedia, and the banner is from the Wikimedia Foundation, so it doesn't really matter. You could bring this up on MediaWiki talk:Sitenotice if you feel strongly, however.--Sean|Black 02:33, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
The banner doesn't assert that Jimbo is the only founder of Wikipedia; it simply identifies him as a founder, implying neither that he is the sole founder nor that there are other founders. I don't think anyone can argue that he is not a founder of Wikipedia. The statement is very NPOV. --TantalumTelluride 03:59, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
The implies only one - it is a definite article and not an indefinite article.
I moved everything to the talk page mentioned above.
But it doesn't say "the", it just says "founder", no article.--Sean|Black 04:30, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Sections archived on 16:33, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Newsworthy = Encyclopedic?

Question- are newsworthy people also encyclopediaworthy? Someone that contributed to advancement of mankind such as Enrico Fermi or Thomas Edison etc. are encyclopedia material. People who are newsworthy are people who are insignificant to the masses such as a convicted killer or a man executed at an advanced age. These articles are expediting the dwindling reputation of this cite. Perhaps moving insignificant biographies off this cite to another cite or brown filing them.... chaz171

Persistent spelling errors also affect our reputation. ;-0 —Wahoofive (talk) 05:01, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • See WP:BIO. It depends on what you mean by 'newsworthy'. Someone covered in major national or international news media would be encyclopedic. Someone covered in a local gossip paper would not be. Radiant_>|< 10:49, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree with chaz171. We have too many articles that should be in a newspaper or magazine instead of an encyclopedia. Nobody will care about them in 10 years, let alone 100. If the project survives that long, I suspect they will be removed from the encyclopedia, but not necessarily deleted. -- Kjkolb 02:54, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree also. We have too many articles based on media coverage. For instance, we have one article for each of the victims of the Columbine High School massacre. It's OK to feel sorry for these people, but they are not special because of this. They simply were in the wrong place in the wrong time. And Duke of Cornwall was forked into Duchess of Cornwall just because the term got media coverage when Camilla Parker-Bowles married Prince Charles. I believe this is one of the main problems in Wikipedia, and there should be a serious and thorough discussion on this. JoaoRicardotalk 20:28, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you

Thank you for making it necessary for registration to create an article. I have no doubt in my mind that this will reduce vandalism that is the result of newly created nonsense/spam articles done by anonymous users. I have been saying that user registration should be required to edit articles for a long time and I would like this to be finally implemented. --Revolución (talk) 21:17, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

History articles

It there actually a naming conventions policy that states that the article title should be in the form of "History of X" instead of "X history"? I notice that most of the articles I see are in the form of "History of X", like History of the English penny and History of cricket, rather than "English penny history" or "Cricket history". Zzyzx11 (Talk) 19:58, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to know that too. I'm fairly certain this is general policy, and I'm fairly sure there is a relevant page, but whenever I want to invoke, I simply cannot find the page... — Ambush Commander(Talk) 20:03, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
WikiProject History sets the standard for naming history-related catgories here. I can't find any policy on article names, although I'm fairly certain that I've seen articles moved from X history to History of X with reasons cited in the edit summaries. --TantalumTelluride 04:43, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I think the formula was arrived at partly because of a few difficult cases to form the appropriate possessive from. There are countries named Niger and Nigeria. Both have history articles, suitably named History of Niger and History of Nigeria. It would be confusing trying to name discrete "Nigerian/Nigerien history" articles.-gadfium 05:02, 1 January 2006 (UTC)



I gather from your user page and such that you're a wee bit on the anti-American side. Well, that and the fact that your message was so incoherent and off topic that I'm tempted to erase it, except someone else might find it humorous. :) Jibbajabba 08:34, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Duely added to BJAODN. LambaJan 20:36, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Galleries on Wikipedia (WP:NOT proposal)

Following the earlier announcement, a preliminary poll has shown a super majority (14 to 4) in support of a proposal to relax the injunction against galleries to allow galleries with encyclopedic merit. It looks like some such relaxation will in fact become policy, although there are some issues outstanding. Broader participation in the discussion is welcomed at Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not/galleries. --- Charles Stewart 23:38, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Good Articles

I'm not sure how many people have run across the "Good Article" thing that's been going on. I'm a bit uncomfortable with it though I can't really articulate why well yet. Have a look. Wikipedia talk:Good articles --Samuel J. Howard 08:55, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

This is just dumb. A good article today can be a bad article tomorrow, and there is no reason to sub-highlight an article as "good" to draw eyeballs, as most people find articles based on their own interests, not on what is "good" or not, and Wikipedia's function is not to be shimming users into viewing certain articles, a la advertisers. The criteria of a "good" article, assuming that the article could be made static for all time, would either be so vague as to cover all articles, or so tight as to list articles as "good" based on technicalities, and ending up with a dry, uninformative piece of text.
MSTCrow 10:06, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't really like the "good article" thing either; it smacks of patting ourselves on the back for doing a "good job". My feeling it would be better to create a signable template that says something like "this article is of high quality and helpful" to which anyone passing by could append their signature; such a template would have two sections, an "agree" and a "disagree" with a section for people to add their comments about the article content. I think this might (pending experiments to determine if this is potentially true or not) tend to help editors improve the article and would also help to transition to where Wikipedia seems to be slowly going, an environment where editing is easy but by no means free with controls in place for vetting both editors and content. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 16:08, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
meta:Article validationAmbush Commander(Talk) 16:53, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

AutoWikiBrowser (AWB)

Martin says (above) that AWB "is not broken, it's not even specifically designed for this task as you seem to suggest."

We have no way of knowing the intent of the author that it's specifically designed for any particular task.

Unfortunately, the actual effect of AWB is to mass de-link dates, and to mass de-alphabetize inter-wiki links. For example, see breakage of Wikipedia:Disambiguation and breakage of Israel. That's just two very high profile examples.

Therefore, we should assume that it's misused because of poor quality control by the program author (regardless of intent), and prohibit futher use.

--William Allen Simpson 08:31, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Huh? If you want to know the intent of the person who made those edits, since anyone using the AWB has to approve every edit they make, you could ask him (trust me, Ian is very kind and will respond to any inquries you have), and I don't see how the cited diffs could be interprated as "breaking" those pages.--Sean|Black 08:41, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Sean. William, there is an option in the program that I was asked to implement that removes excess date links (I didnt even make the logic behind it), users have to conciously turn this option on for it to work. Plus every edit has has to be accepted by the user. The software can be used for a range of tasks, it is designed for no individual task in particular. Martin 11:12, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
P.s. I made the software, not Ian!) Martin 11:13, 1 January 2006 (UTC) whoops. Martin 15:28, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Also, if you want to know what intentions were, examples include; Me stub sorting about 50% of "Artist" stubs in just a few hours, Kbdank71 (who pretty much single handidly takes care of WP:CFD) is now able to re-categorise the articles himself and User:Gflores has been correcting typos, many others have been using it as well for a variety of things. Martin 13:18, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I beg to differ:

  1. AWB does not require every edit to be approved by the user. It makes dozens or hundreds of changes with only one approval.
  2. For those who have difficulty reading the diffs that I provided, concentrate on a few things:
    • removing (previously correct) date links for 1948 and 1967 (and many others) in Israel.
    • re-sorting (previously correct) interwiki links so that "Esperanto" is alphabetized before "Español" (in both diffs).
  3. There are many such bad edits, prompting a firestorm of complaints.
  4. If you made the software, you are responsible for its output, not the poor sap that used it assuming that the rules it followed conformed to consensus. There is no disclaimer of warranty in this venue.
  5. Finally, the argument concerning intent is pretty standard in the legal domain, and I'm sorry that's too esoteric for many to understand. Here's the short version:
    • The intent doesn't matter, and is not an element to prove.
    • The actual results are enough to indict.

Please cease and desist using AWB until its results are tested and proven to conform to consensus.

--William Allen Simpson 23:47, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
That's simply not true. The AWB does require all edits to be accepted by tose using it- Why would Martin lie about that? A couple of incorrectly alphabetized interwiki links do not "break" pages.--Sean|Black 23:53, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
A couple of dozen bad edits and damaged alphabetization on thousands of pages -- broken by any definition! --William Allen Simpson 11:35, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
(Thanks again Sean) William, you are simply wrong; every edit is checked by the user, if you have a problem with people removing dates then take it up with them, as long as it is a guidline it will be an option in the software. I dont know where you get these ideas from, but I hope you stop these slanderous accusations. Martin 00:00, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Rather, the user is prompted to check every edit. This is a very different thing; you can't enforce an actual check in code. And if someone's making a change every two or three seconds, he's spending much more time waiting for the page to load than looking at what he's actually doing. I recall one article where an AWB-assisted edit changed "May 9th, 1955" into "May 9, 1955" [2], correctly fixing and linking the non-functional date, but incorrectly unlinking the year; it's hard to argue that this edit was sufficiently "checked".

My own bot has a function to convert old cut-and-pasted tables into invocations of Template:Album infobox. Because of all the crazy things folks have done with the formatting between the paste and my conversion, the function can't be 100% accurate, so I check every edit (in raw wikicode) before it's posted. Regardless, I still run it at the normal 30-second throttle, because the bot, not me, is doing most of the work. AWB should enforce a timeout as well. —Cryptic (talk) 03:46, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

True. But if someone is sloppily checking their edits, then it's the fault of the user who's, well, sloppily checking their edits, not the software.--Sean|Black 04:51, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
The edit you describe must have been done manually, it couldnt have suggested doing that. Martin 10:31, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Plus, any user abusing the software should be removed from the list so they can no longer use it. I have also disabled the date removal thing because I am tired of defending what people do with it. Martin 10:42, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for disabling the date removal "thing", please:

  1. disable the interwiki sort "thing"; and
  2. enforce a prompt for each and every change on a page, not a blanket acceptance of dozens of changes on the same page; and
  3. enforce a 30 second PER CHANGE timeout for speed of page edits!
  • Sorting interwiki links has been carefully and concientiously done by many international editors, and this one program damaged thousands of such pages, sorting by ISO code instead of alphabetically. That's broken by any definition of the term!
  • Moreover, there is no reason for us to have to go to each user of your software to chide them for making the mistakes programmed into the software. Many folks went to your talk page and the AWB talk page and complained, and you did nothing about it while thousands of pages were damaged! Now you (Martin) accuse us of slander?
  • It's apparent to those of us who have been both professional programmers and professional editors that your code was insufficiently tested, and did not conform to any standard of Professional Responsibility.

Please cease and desist using AWB until its results are tested and proven to conform to consensus.

--William Allen Simpson 11:35, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
It has been released as a development version. Plus, the only information I could find on inter language order was the Wikipedia:Language order poll, in which the alphabetical listing was the most popular choice, hence that's why it sorts like that. Martin 11:39, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Suggestion for Incorporation into Wikipedia Rules Regarding Removal of Graphics from Userbox Templates

If and until US Fair Use Laws, as Wikipedia seems to be a majority US concern, change to disallow fair use of copyrighted images in a non-commercial and personal display of likes and dislikes, whose sole purpose is to advocate other Wikipedia user's of that users preferences and affilations, any and all users that seek to remove copyrighted images and text, used under fair use laws, from userboxes, thereby adversely affecting and changing innumerable user's personal pages without prior notice or consent, any such actions should be taken as malacious; as they are not required by any US law, damage content lowering its value and by proxy Wikipedia's, and effectively vandalize other user's personal userspace, any user, Admin, or other entity who degrades userboxes by removing graphics and replacing it with lesser text, should be construed as the actions of a vandal against Wikipedia users, polices and spirit. (also posted at

MSTCrow 08:17, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I highly disagree with this idea. At WP:FU and at WP:FUC, we have stated that fair use images should only be used inside of the article space, not on user spaces. The userboxes will mostly be used on user pages, and they must not contain any fair use icons/photos/pictures/whatnot. The most of the problems I noticed about userboxes breaking this rule is when it comes to political parties (not ideals), sports clubs, shcools and using X product or website. All attempts should be made to find an icon that is under a free licenses, and the Wikimedia Commons is a pretty good place to start. If your stuck there, there are people willing to design these icons for you *ahem* and probably will be happy to do it and release it under GFDL or PD. Most userboxes are fine, it is just mainly those that I mentioned earlier are the most problematic, but I still believe that replacing images on userbox templates should not be considered vandalism at all, unless it is obvious vandalism (like a picture of the Democrat logo is replaced by Goatse). Zach (Smack Back) 08:26, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Why? By what right do you claim to be able to decide that fair use images are allowed only in Wikipedia proper, and not on userpages? There is no legal or moral reason to do so. It is purely arbitrary and a stab at the users who help to make Wikipedia successful. Wikipedians are not capable of changing the defintion of fair use, and then continuing to call that "fair use." It's a scam by those of authoritarian tendencies. To alienate users by creating artificial distinctions between what is allowed on different sections of Wikipedia is harmful to Wikipedia, and wrong.
MSTCrow 08:36, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Under the current US Fair use law, there must be four tests to pass in order for an image, o anything for that matter, that is copyrighted could be deemed fair use. As for the userbox images, they will fail test number one since, to be used under fair use, we have to state "the purpose and character of the use." That means we have to state why we have a dire need to use this image. If all the image is just going to be used for is a decoration for a userbox, then we will not be able to claim fair use, since it's purpose is purely for decoration and not really illustrating anything that text merely could not. Part of that first test too is if the image will be used for commerical or educational purposes. Since the images are going to be used on templates on userpages, that is not really can be considered educational, since users are telling the world "I am using this product," almost like an endorsement, thus, commericialization has begun. As for test two, it mainly means "the nature of the copyrighted work." That is mainly how old it is, etc. This is probably something that might not be a concern in the userbox images that are fair use, since they are probably going to be logos of companies, which are usually copyrighted. This is mainly a concern for articles. The third test is asking how much of the copyrighted work are we using. Will we get sued over one small icon in a user template, maybe not. But if many of these images exist on our servers and all they are used for are the templates, then something may go down, and it will not be pretty for the Foundation. The 4th test is how much will the competition will lose by using the image. This, I cannot gauge since icons like this appear over the Internet, and logos of companies are used a lot in websites, blogs, etc. But, if people come to us a lot and just take the photos from us, over time, people will lose money over it. That is why we do not have recent photos from the AP or Reuters when reporting on current events. The reason why is that they make their money selling photos, and if we take one from Yahoo News or Google News and slap it on our servers, then the AP and other press agencies will lose money, and that will violate test number four. Pretty much, to sum it up, fair use icons are not a good idea and they should stay out of the user space and user templates. Is this fascism, no. Is this mean ol' admins biting the newbies, no. Is this trying to undermine fair use, no. This is trying to not cheapen the value of fair use by having fair use photos stay where they belong: on the article space, where they are of education value and bring insight to the article. Icons on user spaces, frankly, do not. Zach (Smack Back) 09:25, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
The icons are clearly educational, as they are used to educate the wikipedia populace about the likes and dislikes of that user. The purpose and character is to share information with others about oneself, and to offer insight on that person. It is not commercial in character, and the link between genuinely listing a product that you use, for nothing in return, and actual commercial advertising, in which one or more individuals are paid to endorse a product, is tenuous, at best. As you say, the second test is not applicable. Thirdly, when one stops using content under fair use because of what might occur, not what has occurred, you are restricting user rights beyond the actual law based on a purely hypothetical basis. That is not a serious, fact-based objection. Fourth, the company will not lose anything by the use of logos and other data, as they were not for sale to begin with, and it is well understood that US copyright law allows for the use of copyrighted logos, as long as they are not used to fraudently induce another that they are that company, or a representative of that company. There are many, many, many websites that use MS logos, Apple, Nike, etc., and they are all well undertood to be protected under the 1st Amdendment. None of the 4 requirements for Fair Use are unmet, and there is no valid reason to hurt inoocent Wikipedia users based on a logically flawed premise.
MSTCrow 10:02, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protect speech and activities that do not violate the law. You can assemble at a location, as long as your not punching and kicing the people next to you. You can say anything in an assembly crowd, except if you scream fire or "I have teh b0mb." You can write letters to people saying you do not like a law, but you cannot threaten to do bad things to them if they do not do it. And, with the Internet, you can say what you want, as long as you follow the website host's terms of agreement. Most of the websites have policies against hosting major copyright infringing materials, such as music, logos, paintings, etc. And, while you may wish to blanket yourself in the 1st Amendment, copyright violations still can be prosecuted under the law, dispite what use the logos or stuff they use on their website. So while it might be fine and dandy to include a photo of Senator McCarthy on an article related to his life or with his work on the HUAC, including his photo on templates adds no educational value and it serves no purpose at all other than pure decoration. We are here to teach other about people like Senator McCarthy, not decorating our userboxes with his photo or logos of X company or Y sport club. Zach (Smack Back) 10:32, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Look this is not all that complicated. We are here to make a free content ensyclopedia. Use of unfree images makes it less free (or at least less usefull because anyone outside the US who want to use the content will first have to delete all the fair use stuff, or examine it all on a case to case basis to see if it's usable under local laws), so we have this rule: Keep the amount of unfree material to a minimum, and only use it when it serve a usefull ensyclopedic purpose, and even then only if there are no free alternatives. I think it's a good rule and I see no reason to complicate matters by making exceptions just so people can use unfree images to advertise for stuff on theyr userpage. --Sherool (talk) 15:20, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Sherool. We don't disallow fair use images outside of the article namespace just because of US law; a lot of the problematic images placed on user pages in the past - particularly the cowbell one - would be legal in the US because they're parody. The idea is that we're trying to build a free-as-in-freedom encyclopedia; fair use images, wherever they're used, are antithetical to that goal. We make an exception for the article namespace where they're necessary to identify a company or person or such, but in the template and user namespaces, they're purely decorative. —Cryptic (talk) 15:30, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, we must be conservative with our claims of fair use. Fair-use images should be used as little as possible in the main namespace and only very rarely in the user namespace. --TantalumTelluride 17:32, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
You seem to be arguing from a false premise. Fair use images should not be used on user pages because of Wikipedia policies, not because of US law. Therefore, their removal is not the vandalism, but rather their placement in the first place. This issue is not a discussion regarding differing interpretations of United States fair use law, but that of Wikipedia policy on using copyrighted images on user pages. Steve block talk 20:39, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Why should Wikipedia polices apply to both articles and userspace? It seems an unneeded violation of user functions.
MSTCrow 03:38, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I think we should have a vote to change the policy on fair-use images in userboxes. The only complaint I am hearing is about the legality of such images as they are supposed to be used to illustrate the article. However, If the userbox itself lists the name of the product along side the image I don't see a problem. It is free advertising for the ps2 or photoshop or whatever and I don't think they are going to ever complain about such use. For the firefox userbox, even when a link was provided to mozilla's website saying it is okay to use their logo, said logo was still removed by an admin as "unfree". Unless someone can prove that these images pose a legal threat I suggest we amend the fair use policy to allow userboxes.--God_of War 08:32, 1 January 2006 (UTC)(mirrored from by MSTCrow 03:39, 2 January 2006 (UTC))


Many of you have probably noticed that userboxes have been causing a lot of conflict lately. (I don't know if the problem has been addressed here before, but I couldn't find any discussion on this page or in the archive.)

A brief history of userboxes: Anyway, userboxes started out innocently enough, as informative supplements designed to fit snugly into the Babel templates. Then the userboxes themselves were turned into templates, and the userbox templates began including category tags to automatically categorize user under Category:Wikipedians. And then, of course, a number of Wikipedians began creating humorous parody userboxes (such as {{User Geek}} and {{User n00b}}). They were accordingly assigned templates; and they, too, attempted to categorize users. I myself am guilty of creating a few humorous userboxes, although I now regret ever contributing to the disruptive process. Anyway, the silly categories and templates enventually found their way to the deletion process. Most were kept, some were deleted, some were moved, some were redirected. The resulting mess led to the recent creation of WikiProject Userboxes, which has done a remarkable job in cleaning up and standardizing the userbox templates and categories. I applaud them for their quick and effective cleanup. Unfortunately, userbox-related templates, categories, and redirects, etc. were still nominated for deletion. Recently, Kelly Martin boldly speedily deleted dozens of silly and politically biased userboxes. (Discussion and relevant links can be found at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Kelly Martin.)

Proposal: Regardless of the outcome of the RfC, Wikipedia needs a policy regarding the use of templates for the user namespace as well as the categorization of Wikipedians. For example, should Wikipedia allow templates designed for the user namespace which blatantly support particular points of view? Should we allow templates that serve no purpose other than adding humor to user pages? Should we allow categories that divide Wikipedians into political and religious affiliations that can be used for spamming user talk pages? Should we allow categories that serve no purpose except to list users who claim to be furry? Basically, we need to establish guidelines for the creation of new user templates and user categories. What types of templates and what types of categories should be allowed? --TantalumTelluride 03:53, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

What I'm concerned about is how easily one can create a userbox and dump it in the template namespace. I've been worried about this situation for a long time, but didn't take the initiative to start discussion, something I regret now. Some userboxes are harmless, but what I seriously don't like is how one editor can create a userbox, copy the content into the Template: namespace, and then create some categories for it. Then the template and categories become almost impossible to delete, even though only one or a few people are using them. Surely there must be a way to regulate this and ask the people to not use a template on his/her userpage? The amount of user boxes is ludicrous, and I really can't see how some of them help contribute to the encyclopedia. (And frankly, yes, I am disgusted at some of the offensive ones, including some that had the use of swastikas.) There must be some way to stop people from rampantly creating useless templates and categories. (And don't get me wrong: I don't have anything against user boxes, having some myself, but I agree that we need some sort of policy regarding this.) Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 04:03, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Admins who want an object lesson in just how many "ludicrous" is should take a look at Special:Undelete/User:N000. Be prepared to wait a long time for it to render; I'm seeing a full page of 'User foo' categories at 1600x1200 at the top. —Cryptic (talk) 05:08, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Aaah, my eyes! —Kirill Lokshin 08:02, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
A major issue with userboxes, of course, is that unless we delete {{userbox}} itself, it's trivial for a user to create a single-use custom box. Is there any real distinction between 500 users having a template on their page, and 500 users having a hand-made version of the template on their page? Or are we going to disallow the expression of particular sentiments on user pages, whether in template form or otherwise?
As far as categories are concerned, on the other hand, we are in a much better position; we can simply prune Category:Wikipedians of anything inappropriate on a regular basis. —Kirill Lokshin 08:02, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Is there a difference? Yes, there is a considerable difference when the template involves a double transclusion. The WikiProject was doing a good job at reducing double transclusions before it was interrupted by the mass deletions. Anyhow, to rephrase my concerns: I think we need to establish a policy for what is appropriate and what is inappropriate for user templates and categories so that voters on both sides can have a policy to cite in the debates at TfD and CfD. The delete voters typically say the userboxes are "silly" or "unencyclopedic" or "doesn't" contribute to our goal of buildong an encyclopedia" or "divisive" or "offensive." Well, does Image:Jimbo che.jpg on Jimbo's user page contribute to our goal? No, not really. It might even be offensive to some Cuban revolutionaries. But it is a humorous parody that adds creativity to Jimbo's user space. Likewise, other users should be allowed to add POV elements to their user pages, but should we allow them to create templates and categories for it? If we develop a policy establishing which of the aforementioned reasons are legitimate grounds for deletion, we won't have to have the same discussions over and over in the deletion process for each contested template and category. --TantalumTelluride 17:20, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Additional Comment: And don't forget about the double transclusion caused by many userbox templates. Granted, WikiProject Userboxes has been addressing the issue, but many users transclude the basic userbox template within specific templates. Apparently such double tranclusions are significantly more demanding of the Wikimedia servers than regular single transclusions are, and they should almost always be avoided. (For more information, see Wikipedia:Transclusion costs and benefits#Double transclusion and Wikipedia:Avoid using meta-templates.) --TantalumTelluride 04:16, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Also, this would be the time to make it clear that images that are claimed to be under fair use should not be used as part of the userbox template. They were probably some of the reasons why some admins have been deleting them or trying to get rid of them, but we all need to understand that we have to have specific cause and reason to cite an image as fair use, because we are using it for an article, not for just some damn decoration on a ghey userbox. Zach (Smack Back) 04:56, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Fair-use images should very rarely be used on user pages, especially in humorous userboxes. --TantalumTelluride 05:12, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Thanks for bringing this up and for the good summary of where we are now and what some of the issues are. I think it would be good to work through to a consensus policy. Is Village Pump the right place though? Or should a new policy RfC be started? Or should it be discussed on the talk pages, either template_talk:Userbox or Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject Userboxes? One place ought to be picked and then linked from all the other places perhaps, because this is a complex question, with many facets. Personally I don't think this is the place because of the ephemerality, but other than that... just pick one. Thanks again for bringing it up (a fan of userboxes, within reason, they make this place funner-er and people more people-er) ++Lar: t/c 23:50, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Create a new page, like Wikipedia:Proposed policy on userboxes, and just link everyone to there. Zach (Smack Back) 23:54, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
      • The top of the page says, "The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss existing and proposed policies." I think policies are supposed to be proposed here and then moved to separate pages if they generate enough interest to warrant further discussion after about seven days. Anyhow, I will create a proposed-policy page soon, but first I've got some work to do with Victor Hugo and Ducks in a Pram Day. In the meantime, please continue discussion here (unless someone wants to go to the trouble of creating the new page himself). --TantalumTelluride 04:50, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
        • I suspect this will generate enough interest to warrant a separate page so I have created it as Zscout370 suggested at Wikipedia:Proposed policy on userboxes I tried to copy the relevant bits of this discussion there but everyone should please feel free to refactor as necessary (as if that was necessary to say!)... ++Lar: t/c 05:30, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
          • IMO all project related stuff including stuff related to userpages should be somehow moved out of the main template (easy) category (would require software changes) and image (again software changes needed) namespaces. a clean seperation between encyclopedia content and management metacontent is badly needed imo.

Removing Dispute tags and the 3RR

I believe that is a common practice that removing Disputes tags without an agreement with the other side of the dispute or a proper RfC process is a vandalism. Thus, restoring the image as a measure of fighting the vandalism is exempt from the 3RR. It is a right and indeed a duty of an editor to restore an improperly removed tag despite any violation of the 3RR it may cause. I believe it is a common practice and always followed it (even if the tags are against my own POV). Unfortunately, it is not explicitly stated in the Wikipedia:Vandalism nor Wikipedia:Three-revert rule. I think it is a mistake. There should be explicitly said that an improper removing of Dispute tags is vandalism and its restoration is not covered by the 3RR. With probably a phrase or two about the proper procedure of removing the tags.

The question is somehow related to the problem over blocking of User:Mikkalai and User:Ghirlandajo, who both believed that they were acting in good faith and after blocking decided to leave Wikipedia. abakharev 07:59, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

On Dictators and Fidel Castro in particular

A little edit war has been in the making at Fidel Castro on whether or not he's a dictator. We're trying to hammer it out on talk, but I'd appreciate a wider audience as I think the discussion could be useful when applied to the other contentious entries in List of dictators. Respectfully, Wikibofh(talk) 20:45, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguation subcategory and template poll

There is a poll at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages) until 14:00 (UTC) January 15, 2005.

--William Allen Simpson 14:23, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I've now moved this to a subpage, see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)/Disambiguation subcategories for some background discussion and the straw polls. Thanks/wangi 22:53, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguation of TLA, FLA, 2LA, 3LA, 4LA, 5LA, et alia poll

There is a poll at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages) until 12:00 (UTC) January 15, 2005.

--William Allen Simpson 13:23, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I've now moved this to a subpage, see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)/Disambiguation subcategories for some background discussion and the straw polls. One of the proposals here is get rid of {{TLAdisambig}}. Thanks/wangi 22:53, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Titl(ing) books

I've noticed a lot of edit warring regarding the way we treat books. I ask the community to take a look at one of the most representative examples: The Assassins: A Radical Sect in Islam Vs. The Assassins: A Radical Sect in Islam (book). In other words, how would we proceed if we have a book called China? Please comment! Cheers -- Szvest 00:18, 1 January 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;

That practice, of setting up an article for every dang book cited in a reference list, was instituted by Striver, who likes to create new articles. He consulted no one else in doing this. IMHO, unless the book is extremely well-known, like the Bible or the Quran, there's absolutely no point to making articles for books. Furthermore, his habit of citing just the links to books meant that all the author, publisher, and date information was hidden from casual inspection. This can cover up a lot of crufty references, if you're citing from 80-year-old books that have been superceded by later research, or from Time-Life books, or similar dodgy sources. Grump! Snarl! Zora 00:42, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment Zora. Yes, I know that Striver has done alot of mess in terms of starting articles I believe they belong to the same category of Godzilla III, Part 5, Actor X, Screen 43, Time 13h, 59 Minutes, 3 Seconds, 15 crew (members), Director is missing!. Those articles can be categorized under Category:WP:out of control.
Nevertheless, I am pointing out to a dilemma rather than a set of behaviours by a single user. Is there any guideline or policy that I am not aware of? I mean China! Otherwise, what disambigs (zombies) are set for? Visitors or redirected nations from google don't know about the the disambig-wiki-stuff-language-out-of-control§≈ĦζΣ. Sorry for the RED stuff! Cheers -- Szvest 01:05, 1 January 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
Yes I have also seen a single user move (book) titles to a title without the "(book)". --a.n.o.n.y.m t 01:07, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
This says something to the matter → Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Literary works ... but I presume you are looking for something that goes beyond this section of policy, yes? User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:11, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
See also what has recently been said about subtitles at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions#Literary works and subtitles --Francis Schonken 10:17, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
See also, just now, my proposal to get started with Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books), in the context of Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(use_English)#Proposing_.22Spelling_according_to_first_edition_in_English.22 - probably better to start a specific NC guideline on books, than making several annexes to other NC guidelines. Who wants to join me on this job? --Francis Schonken 13:10, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

by the way, this should have gone on Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) and not here on the talk page, I believe User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:13, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I wonder if everyone here is aware of m:Wikicite as that is intended to contain Reference information. Adding details about specific books would seem to belong in that project, whether details are absorbed in the citations database or become Articles of some sort. (SEWilco 17:03, 2 January 2006 (UTC))
Started a version "0.0.1" of Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books) - comments or other forms of collaboration welcome! --Francis Schonken 23:19, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia's 142 user warnings

Category:User warning templates currently has 142 separate warning messages. This is utterly absurd. With the exception of copyright warnings (which I realize have to be specific for legal reasons, and which should probably be put in a subcategory), we should reduce the total number to a dozen different warnings, maybe two dozen at most. A large number of ultra-specific warnings were created by User:Jtdirl, who adamantly defends their use and (on WP:TFD) has said that this category needs to be even bigger (!) Furthermore, some of the warnings violate WP:BP. For instance, Template:Mosblock threatens to block contributors for violating the manual of style, which has no support in policy. Template:Rn4 is both a violation of blocking policy and an ultra-specific warning, specifically warning users not to change the styles on "thousands of royal article files". This has the feel of a warning template that was created for a specific edit war. We have tons of redundant templates: can anyone explain to me what the effective difference is between Template:Blatantvandal and Template:Test4im? Both of them tell vandals to cut it out immediately or they'll be blocked. We not only have six basic Test templates, but each one has numerous forks for specific situations. Template:Test5 and Template:Test6 both say the same thing (and both are redundant with Template:Vbc-t and Template:Vblock), but Test6 adds an additional threat that people will be blocked again and for a longer period of time if they vandalize again after coming back. This whole thing is a huge mess. Firebug 06:18, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't think it's absurd to have a large number of warning templates, generally. Just chose and use which-ever you see fit. However some you mention should be sent to TfD (if not there already).Dan100 (Talk) 09:38, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually I've just speedied the ones that break policy. Policy is set-in-stone, it's not something that can be changed by votes on TfD (let alone by people making it up as they go along!). Dan100 (Talk) 09:46, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
That was not the impression I got from reading Wikipedia:No binding decisions. JoaoRicardotalk 22:08, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
And I've managed to get it down to 117 by redirecting duplicates and removing categories from redirects. I've listed a few more on WP:TFD. Dan100 (Talk) 17:29, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Wow... I didn't even realize there were so many! I'll stick with {{test-n}}, thank you very much. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 18:38, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Indeed, are there decoder rings to keep track of all these? Good grief. olderwiser 22:11, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, there are decoder rings to keep track of all these! {{testTemplates}} Good grief. Rich Farmbrough. 18:17, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

It is worth pointing out to interested parties that several of the warning templates listed on WP:TFD are likely to be kept simply because the people voting on these templates are mainly the small core group of people who find them useful. This includes such templates as {{Mosblock}} and {{Rn4}}, both of which assert as blockable vandalism things which aren't vandalism. Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 13:17, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Dan100 that having a large number of warning messages is not a problem per se. However, templates that violate policy should obviously be deleted. JoaoRicardotalk 22:08, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Sojombi Pinola 3RR violation

over at the biff rose page. I think a block is in order.Jonah Ayers

Please report this at WP:AN/3, not here. Thanks!--Sean|Black 07:48, 4 January 2006 (UTC)


I am currently working towards rewriting wikipedia: News sources and its subpages in order that they are more neutral in their presentation of news sources. I've chosen a method of presentation that requires calculations based on the populations of various countries and the number of news sources currently collected for those countries. Once I have finished doing this others (including myself) may want to view the spreadsheet I used in order to make corrections and updates. However, I am unsure as to whether spreadsheets are accepted for upload on wikipedia.

I am using Open Office so I can upload it in many formats including ones for excel and some open formats. Can anyone advise me on what to do here? Barnaby dawson 06:48, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Archived Current events

Last month's Current events has now been archived as December 2005. However the infobox links to "Other current events : World - Sci-Tech - Sports ; current events by region ; 2005 developments by topic" remain linked to current "current events".

When the info box was a list of current events in "World, sports, US, GB, India" etc there was no problem of what to do. You changed the links to "December 2005 in sports", "December 2005 in India" etc. However the List of current events articles by region does not appear to be a link that can be readily archived each month.

How should this be handled? Whatever is decided should, presumably, go into Wikipedia:How to archive Current Events. -- SGBailey 17:18, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I am working on the 'Science and technology' section of this type and up to now (as of archiving of November 2005) this box was working as expected. Your note alerted me to the fact that the box in December 2005 now is different. I will look at that. Awolf002 19:33, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I changed the template for December 2005, as was done to previous months before. This 'action item' should find a place in the Wikipedia:How to archive Current Events article, yes. Awolf002 20:21, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Systemic Bias, or else "This is the English Wikipedia"

One thing I have encountered a lot wince I have been involved in disputes in wikipedia is the "This is the English Wikipedia" motto. I want to ask, does the fact that en.wikipedia is the english language wikipedia mean that what is said here must depict the worldviews of the english speaking world? Even more, are there statistics that show that most users of en.wikipedia come from english speaking countries? Or is the majority from around the world, as english is the lingua franca of our times? What stance should a non-native english speaker (such as me) hold when confronted with this motto? I mean, well, yes it is the english language wikipedia, but shouldn't we treat it as the lingua franca wikipedia? -- Michalis Famelis 17:15, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Does WP:NPOV answer your question? -- SGBailey 17:22, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
The simple answer is, yes, the information presented here should be free of any bias, including biases commonly held in English-speaking countries. Please share with us a few examples of where you run into this argument though, it's easy to talk about being NPOV in the abstract, but if you provide a few examples we can take a closer look at the issue. --Quasipalm 19:18, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Well the first example that pops into my mind is from here and this particular instance: "This is the English language version of Wikipedia and this term is appropriate to describe the actions of the terrorists that hijacked the planes." I am not saying that I disagree with the particular user on weather they should be name terrorists or not. I didn't even take part in the dispute. Mine is just a, how to say it, "philosophical"(?) question. But I guess that sticking to the "non-bias"-"NPOV"-"good faith" trio I can go on from here. Thank you. -- Michalis Famelis 22:20, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Depends on how the mantra is applied. It should not be used as an excuse to insert POV into an article, but I have used it myself (recently, even) to determine whether to use a word extremely familiar to English speakers or a word almost nobody who speaks English has ever heard. This is the English language Wikipedia, which means it should be written in English, not that it should push an English POV. In the case of "terrorist" I would favor "hijacker" and try to include some comment about different views about the motives and methods of the hijackers, because "terrorist" by itself is definitely taking sides, which an encyclopedia should not do. Aumakua 22:34, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
To add to this, it is a very difficult position to be in when you are trying to assert an NPOV position in a highly charged environment like a 9/11 article. You can suggest that neutral terms be used like hijacker as well as saying something like "George W. Bush denounced the hijackers as 'evil terrorists'" (or something like that). There is no POV problem with attributing the POV to someone who can be cited. Another cite could call them "martyrs" or "freedom fighters". There is no reason why BOTH SIDES of a POV debate cannot be included in an article. But, it is important that ANY assertions made in the article be backed up with citations. Wikipedia is not the judge and jury of controversial topics. If something has been reported by a reputable news source it can be mentioned in an article. If the assertion has been refuted by other reliable sources the fact that the assertion has been refuted can also be mentioned. Everything must be stated in a NPOV way. It is not up to us to decide which assertions are correct. This can turn POV edit wars into citation competitions which lead to better articles that are comprehensive and balanced. I have seen this happen. --Samuel Wantman 10:48, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Allow anonymous users to start their own user pages

Allow anonymous users to start their own user pages. Anonymous users (those known only by an IP address) cannot edit their own user pages until a logged-in user begins it, or they log in (or sign up) themselves. That is, they cannot start their own user page. This has been caused by an oversight from when the policy restricting anonymous users from starting articles was brought in. I propose we allow anonymous users to be the first to edit their own user pages if they so choose.

If anonymous users are to be deliberately banned from starting their own user page, then this should be a separate policy decision, and not an accidental one.

While there is perhaps little benefit to allowing anonymous users to edit their user page, there is no benefit from stopping them.

This seems pretty silly, and I would consider it more of a bug than a policy, but I'm going through the usual wikibureaucracy anyway.

I only came across this problem because I forgot to log in for a couple of edits, and wished to redirect the IP's user page to my own. I deliberately attempted to do this while not logged in, so that the edit would be authentic (coming from the same IP, rather than the username), however I was prevented. allow it .

Please go here for further discussion: Wikipedia:Allow anonymous users to start their own user pages

Is this for real...? The reasons not to have this done are pretty obvious and numerous. But, hey. Whatever keeps the serotonin flowing. Eluchil 11:34, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Could you name some of these obvious and numerous reasons, please? —Pengo 16:19, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
See Wikipedia talk:Allow anonymous users to start their own user pages - maybe this doesn't list all of the "pretty obvious and numerous" reasons, but at least enough to be convincing. --Francis Schonken 16:30, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
They're not particularly convincing and I've put reponses to them all. Not allowing users to edit their own pages is obviously an accidently side effect of changes, and not an intentional policy. Please don't pretend otherwise. —Pengo 05:28, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Occult/Spiritual Policy?

I'm getting really tired of the dogma cops on wikipedia that have to attack occult or spiritually related articles. Usually the first thing out of their mouths is them whining about how much crap or nonsense it is, and most of the time they are totally ignorant and clueless on the specific article or subject in question. Then they just look for any excuse to mess with the information in the page or just mess the page up in general, or the ever popular instant nomination for NPOV dispute or even deletion. Look, just because you don't believe in the stuff doesn't mean you get to decide what belongs on wikipedia or not. If it's something that's notable, then it should have a place, but I've even seen some use this as an excuse for deletion, that it's not notable, but in actuality, it is. Just gets on my nerves. Is there a policy that these kinds of people are ignoring that protects the spiritual/occult articles from this type of rude behavior, or is there not? So that I can point them to the URL the next time I see this behavior happen. Maybe there should be one that's created if there isn't. Also, if this is the wrong place to discuss this, then please redirect me to the proper place...thanks. FistOfFury 01:54, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

These articles are inherently about belief. If they are well-cited as to who holds these beliefs, and what exactly it is that they believe, there should be no problem. If, on the other hand, they are written as if spiritual beliefs are on the same level as belief in magnetic north, then that's a problem.
Similarly for notability. Not my area, so one in which I would generally not presume to judge, but I'd imagine that criteria for notability should be, for example, having been written about by people other than oneself and one's immediate circle (or a small, logrolling mutual admiration society), having written books that have sold significant numbers of copies, existence of large organizations that subscribe to a particular set of beliefs, etc. That would be a start (for this or any other area); if you think there are notability criteria specific to the occult/spiritual, you might try drafting an essay on the topic in your user space, or even starting a WikiProject (if there is no appropriate existing one to cover this). -- Jmabel | Talk 02:18, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
The suggestion to start a WikiProject is a good one, I think. I've taken a look at the list of active and inactive Wikiprojects and it doesn't look like a closely related WikiProject has been started. The closest to something like a Wikipedia:WikiProject Occult is Wikipedia:WikiProject Spiritual Fauna, which might overlap in a minimal way (partial subtopic overlap). I would suggest that if you want to begin a WikiProject of this kind, classify it under "Religion" at Wikipedia:List of WikiProjects but don't give it a parent WikiProject. Regards, User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 03:53, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Suggestion: In cases like this, it can be useful to remember (or point out) that Wikipedia's purpose is not to establish correctness or value, but to summarize the work of others. Make sure everything you write is verifiable, make sure you cite your sources, make sure it is not original research, and you are well on your way to building a rock-solid article. --DragonHawk 06:21, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Why are "talk" pages tabbed "discussion?"

This confuses me. Shouldn't either the tab read "talk" or the page names start as "Discussion:Star Wars Trilogy" or whatnot? MattShepherd 13:14, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

"Talk" is used for historical reasons; since the text on the tab can be changed, the more intuitive "discussion" was used. --cesarb 16:13, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to limit requests for adminship

This is a simple proposal with the intention of limiting the need for request for adminship votes - Only two requests for adminship for the same user should be allowed within six months - after which there is a 6 month waiting period. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Triona (talkcontribs)

Six months? Way too much, in my opinion—I've only been on Wikipedia for a little more than six months! One month or so might by okay, but I don't think quick renominations after a failed one are so common as to warrant a hard limit.--Sean|Black 07:47, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
This is m:instruction creep. Quick renominations are generally shot down in short order, and usually don't stay on the RfA page for more than a day. --Carnildo 08:42, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree, this hasn't been a significant problem, and it seems like instruction creep. -Greg Asche (talk) 20:56, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Template:User anti-anon

this discussion has been copied from Talk:Criticism of Wikipedia

please add {{user anti-anon}} to your user page if you agree with the statement that user registration should be required to edit articles.

Once you do that you will be automatically added to Category:Wikipedians against anonymous editing.

This is my only major criticism of Wikipedia and upon the institution of the new requirement that users must register before creating articles, I think this may be our opportunity to make the final step.

Just look at Vandalism in Progress or to the History page of any major page that gets a high level of vandalism and you will see the vast majority of vandals are IP addresses. --Revolución (talk) 00:57, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Also look at recent changes, you will see a whole host of good anon edits. Making people register will not stop vandalism. Plus vandalism is pretty easy to deal with. Wikipedia has grown from nothing to what it is today in a few short years by allowing anon edits. Changing that is a major change in the way we do things and it simply will not happen just because a few people put a silly template on their user page. 01:03, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I am not arguing the making people register will stop vandalism. I am saying that it will reduce vandalism. And vandals are harder to track when they have a hard-to-remember IP address. I wrote the section in this article called "anonymous editing", please read it. --Revolución (talk) 01:11, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I believe it willreduce good editing. I'd never have joined Wikipedia if i had had to register before making my first edit, and this is probably true of quite a few. Vandalism really isn't much of a problem. Especially as we now have semiprotection. it is simply not worth putting off potential good editors in order to reduce a problem which is easy for us to deal with anyway. Theresa Knott | Taste the Korn 01:15, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I would've joined. In fact, if someone doesn't want to join Wikipedia because they have to register, they're not very interested in the goal of making a good encyclopedia. Registration is a simple and easy task, you don't even need to check your email for a confirmation message, your account is created on the spot. --Revolución (talk) 04:54, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I know registration is easy. But I didn't know that until I registered, and I'm naturally distrusting of web sites that ask for registration - as are lots of other people. -- unsigned comment
Really? Then how do you account for someone like Louis Epstein (talk · contribs · count) who "never register for registration-required websites,as a matter of principle". Maybe you think someone who before deciding to leave Wikipedia, having made 3849 edits from 2003-08-04 is somone who's "not very interested in the goal of making a good encyclopedia"....
Even if we're only talking about anon. who's only edits are spelling correction. That's better than not having them at all. A lot of feq. editors starts off as spelling correction anon. -- KTC 02:17, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
And I simply don't agree with your assertion that vandalism is not a problem on Wikipedia. It's everywhere. --Revolución (talk) 04:58, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I I agree we have a lot of vandalism. But it's very easy to correct. Far too easy for us to think about requiring registration IMO. But the point I'm making above is not that requiring registration is wrong. (Although I feel at the moment that it is) it's that trying to push for registration by adding a template to your userpage is wrong and stupid. The only way to get anything done is by the use of a proper debate. Adding this template is more akin to voting that debating and voting is evil. 12:41, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Debate has been tried before. All that happens is the admin will direct you to "perennial proposals". --Revolución (talk) 21:48, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Where's the template for those of us who believe that anonymous editing should be encouraged, as it's the number-one source of spelling fixes? --Carnildo 23:27, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I have created Wikipedia:Wikiproject no anonymous editing. If you agree, please join. --Revolución (talk) 21:49, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Is this really what Wikiprojects are for? And it isn't going to happen. --Golbez 22:09, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Is this really what WikiProjects are for? --Revolución (talk) 01:10, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I'd *rather* have anon editing - if we require registration then the vandals will just create accounts and be harder to spot. Triona 02:50, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

How about Wikipedia:Wikiproject Wikiprojects are not for campaigningIlyanep (Talk) 03:00, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

You all do realize that non-logged-in editors are less anonymous than registered editors, right? Unless Revolucion is advocating requiring real names at a minimum, the proposal is in effect advocating more anonymity, not less. Usernames benefit the editor, at the expense of the site - more resources are required to handled a registered editor, blocking them requires more care and thought, identifying when they are the "same person" is more difficult, etc. Revolucion, have you read the material in perennial proposals on this? Because you havn't responded to most of the arguments that have been put forward... JesseW, the juggling janitor 01:21, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

etiquette and VfD

When an article is added to VfD, contributors to that article do not necessarily know of the VfD nomination. If the contributor is busy with other wikitasks or is otherwise distracted from visiting said article, that contributor might not be able to chime in.

I have come across on article in VfD that is nearly 3 years old and has close to 1000 edits. I feel compelled to contact many of the contributors and alert them of the VfD nomination - but I also wonder if such solicitation is considered poor etiquette in Wikipedia. My messages to these contributors can be phrased in a way so as not campaign - such as "I just wanted to inform you that the article insert article name here has been nominated for VfD. I saw that you made contributions to this article, so I thought you'd like to know. Kingturtle"

Is such action wrong? Is it considered campaigning? Are there any rules preventing this? I think it is important that contributors to an article have the right to know that their work is under review.

Please advise, Kingturtle 19:34, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

If you contact people interested in the article without regard to the content of their edits, this is fine. It's quite common to alert people about pending actions for articles they take an interest in.
What isn't ok is to contact only people who you think would agree with your own view -- although I've seen that happen as well.
And lastly, I wouldn't assume that people that work on an article would all vote against its deletion; there are a few articles that I think are not fitting for wikipedia and that's precisely why I pay them such attention. Also, if it's a merge request rather than just a deletion, most people wouldn't have a problem with it. Also, keep in mind that VfD are not really votes to begin with; although voting is encouraged, an admin has the last word and may go against the vote outcomes last I checked. --Quasipalm 21:02, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your advice. i don't want to politicize or campaign, but i do think it is important that contributors know their work may be up for deletion. what they do with that information is up to them. Kingturtle 18:12, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Copyrights question

It may be a silly question, but is it OK that copyrighted materials (books, magazines...) could be sources for articles? Doesn't this violate Wikipedia:Copyrights?. 13:38, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

There's no problem, or at least there only is if you copy the text so closely that it would be considered a derivative work. If you cite the book as a source but describe its conclusions in your own words, it's fine. (I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice blah blah). Stephen Turner (Talk) 13:47, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Raw information cannot be copyrighted, merely the words or images used to describe it: hence we are free to take the information from copyrighted sources so long as we do the work of describing it differently. Physchim62 (talk) 15:18, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Physchim62's phrasing of this point is very well-put; it is vital to "do the work" of creating original text rather than making superficial changes. Monicasdude 15:22, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Sections archived on 17:59, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Removing warnings from user talk pages = vandalism.

Is this policy? If yes, is it codified anyplace other than {{vblock}}? Garfield226 05:49, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Removing whatever from your own talk page is not vandalism; a user who does so can be assumed to have read it and if ignoring warnings, will face the consequences. Removing whatever from other people's talk pages may be vandalism, please ask the user who owns the talk page what they think of it. Radiant_>|< 22:57, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
  • We have a real problem. After posting warnings that the user deletes, then another user posts a warning at the same level, which the user deletes. Basically, without the rule against removing warnings, the warning method doesn't work in the case of persistent problems! You cannot have a 4 level warning/blocking system where the warnings are removed, as blocks will appear to be arbitrary. --William Allen Simpson 16:44, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
    • A talk page that has been blanked will still show up as a blue link on the "Discussion" tab, alerting observant editors and admins that foolishness is afoot. Ξxtreme Unction|yakkity yak 17:00, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
      • Yes, if it's been totally blanked, but what about just having warnings removed? Yes they're in the history, but people might not look there. I think a user talk page is public space, just like an article talk page. Well, not just like, I think it's ok to remove cruft and clean it up, but if you remove properly-applied warnings it is not OK and legitimately could be seen as vandalizing the page. Also, I put sockpuppet warnings on a user's page (not talk page) that he kept removing... is that OK too?
To answer the question: I consider that it is vandalism. A user page is in public namespace. Therefore I believe that all polices apply just as to article pages and article talk pages. That's how I read it. There's some discussion of it here: WP:UP. Herostratus 10:43, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability (websites)

I've pulled down a rewrite at Wikipedia:Notability (websites), leaning heavily on Wikipedia:Notability (companies and corporations) for insiration. I've tried to make the guidelines broader so that they can be applied to any form of web content, rather than focusing on specifics. To my mind, the goal shouldn't be to set bars to take account of particular examples, but rather to outline existing policy and consensus at various places. Feel free to read the new version and comment on the talk page. Steve block talk 12:24, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Image with visible copyright information & advertorial

User:Discomike has uploaded a bunch of images with visible copyright and advertorial information on them, such as Image:Acton Depot March 2002 2.JPG and others, all linked to EN pages . They're great photos, but what do we make of the spam on the bottom right of each of them. (Clearly, I think it sucks & they should be deleted, or cropped). Is there a policy on this? --Tagishsimon (talk)

The user probably isn't aware what the implications of licencing his photos as {{cc-by-sa-2.0-uk}} are... Where as normally he'd put that (c) on to prevent casual copying the licence in fact allows (nay, promotes) copying, distribution, derivative works and commercial use of the photo.
It's a mindset thing I'd say... Perhaps a bit of helpful discussion & education on the user talk page? Thanks/wangi 11:52, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Plus of course you can crop the photo and overwrite (derivative work). Thanks/wangi 11:56, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I will get around to cropping them if I have time. I see that Wikipedia:Image use policy Rule of Thumb point 8 says "Don't put photo credits in articles or on the images themselves; put them on the description page." On that basis, as they currently stand, they look like speedies to me. --Tagishsimon (talk)
No that does not make them valid speedies as that is not an entry on WP:CSD. ONLY, I repeat, ONLY the criteria on WP:CSD can be used to make a valid speedy deletion claim!  ALKIVARFile:Radioactive.png 13:00, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Sigh. Yes. I'll put them on WP:IFD then. --Tagishsimon (talk)
Please, only if they are redundant to images we already have (with equal or better licence). There is absolutely nothing to gain in deleting unique images simply because of a copyright symbol which can be cropped out. Thanks/wangi 13:34, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
They'll go on IFD because they breach policy. If they get cropped first as replaced with compliant images, then well and good. If not, take it as part of the normal ebb & flow of image addition and deletion. --Tagishsimon (talk)

Vote in progress on "City names" guideline in Manual of style

This has probably come up before, but just in case you haven't heard, some editor named Serge Issakov has again raised the issue of whether there should be a separate policy for American city names, even though most American editors (myself included) have no problem with the existing policy and there was already a vote on this three months ago. Please review the arguments and vote at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (city names). Thanks. --Coolcaesar 21:57, 5 January 2006 (UTC)


There is a redraft of WP:Verifiability on Wikipedia:Verifiability/temp. The new version is intended to be a clearer statement of existing policy, not a change. So far the response has largely been positive - but there are a small number of issues to be addressed before it goes live. Constructive comments would be welcome on Wikipedia talk:Verifiability/temp, jguk 20:34, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Proposed guideline: Wikipedia:Lists in Wikipedia

The proposed guideline Wikipedia:Lists in Wikipedia (talk) is being developed in response to concerns that such lists are sometimes used as subterfuges to bypass the Wikipedia policies of WP:NOR, WP:NPOV and WP:V. Your comments and suggestions are most welcome. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 20:16, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Just apply WP:NPOV and WP:V to lists rigidly. Make sure every list has NPOV inclusion criteria and that every entry is properly sourced. Problem solved - no need for a new policy, jguk 20:36, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I wish it was that easy... List are a special type of subset of articles that requires special attention. We do have problems enforcing WP:NV, WP:NOR and WP:V in lists. That is the reason for this proposed guideline. It was developed after experiencing what you may call subterfuges to bypass policy in several lists and the frustration of not being able to do so under current guidelines for content articles. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 20:54, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Main namespace redirects to wikipedia namespace

Hi, we have the style-guide Wikipedia:Avoid self-references to keep the Wikipedia namespace separate from the encyclopedia one. However consider redirects such as AfD which redirect the user automatically to the Wikipedia namepace. Rather than a redirect should they be a link on the page using the {tl|selfref}} template, e.g.:

{{selfref|In Wikipedia, AfD may refer to [[Wikipedia:Articles for deletion]]}}, displayed as:

? Thanks/wangi 14:15, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

In that case, I'll be bold and edit AfD to test the water... Thanks/wangi 17:32, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

General "big spoiler" policy

The articles The Mousetrap (about Agatha Christie's play) and Diabolique (famous movie with a big ending twist) both deal with entertainment where the authors requested the audience not to spoil the big secret with other people that have not yet seen the movie. Knowing the secret detracts from the fun of those entertainment forms. And while we could have a stance of "no secrets here, information wants to be free", or "we'll just put a spoiler disclaimer up", so far the authors of those 2 articles have respected the authors wishes, and refrained from spoiling the surprise here. Which leads me to magical secrets, and my question: With magic tricks, too, the audience has less fun when it knows the secret. And with magic tricks, too, the autor or performer would prefer if people that know the secret wouldn't tell it to everybody else. Yet, for magical tricks, the consensus among wikipedians seems to be "those secrets have to be revealed, a spoiler disclaimer will just do it". What does the general community think about this, is it okay to respect the autor's requests in one field and disregard them in another field? Isn't this an inconsistent state? Peter S. 17:00, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

  • We've never been particularly good at consistency in matters like this. I suspect that if you get people talking about it, hopefully people will go the route of distributing information rather than preserving fun. This is an Encyclopedia, not a tourbook :) --Improv 18:30, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • In general, this is what the {{spoiler}} template is for. We don't deliberately preserve the surprise for movies or magic tricks; I'm a bit surprised that we have articles that leave out such important information. We presume that our readers are capable of deciding for themselves whether or not–once warned–they want to read the spoilers. See The Usual Suspects, for instance. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:40, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • IMHO, preserving the audience's entertainment is not a good reason for not containing some information. Perhaps we can present it in a tactful way (eg, The Mousetrap ending if need be), but to not include the information anywhere in WP is going against our charter of being an encyclopaedia, and hence a repository of human knowledge. Stevage 19:08, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Ok, thanks for your answers. Peter S. 18:48, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Any prior revelation of any content in a narrative will, to some extent, "spoil" the enjoyment of watching the work unfold for the first time.
Even a statement like "Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue opens with a multi-octave clarinet glissando" has at least a little "spoiler" effect if you've never heard the work before. Generally speaking, anyone who wants to experience a work with a completely "unspoiled" perspective should avoid looking up any information about it beforehand.
And a story can be "spoiled" even if the twist is not revealed. I once read a story about which I can remember nothing except that the introduction to the story collection, in praising the author's skill, and mentions story in which "the surprise is not revealed until the very last word of the story." Even though the surprise was not revealed (and even though I resisted the temptation to flip to the end)I read the whole story tensely anticipating being bowled over by something amazing in that last word. And it was a disappointment, because the build-up had led me to expect more. I still remember the last sentence, which was "What's the use of luggage to a leopard?" (The gimmick is that until the last word you didn't realize that the narrator is a leopard).
Anyway, I think the Wikipedia spoiler warning is necessary and sufficient. Dpbsmith (talk) 19:52, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Linking to Redirects

Is there any policy regarding articles linking to redirect pages? I seem to remember being told that it is preferable to link to the article that is redirected to, and bypass the redirect, but when this was recently questioned, I was unable to find anything official on it. I’m sure I’ve over looked some obvious page, but can anyone link me to the answer, either here or on my talk page? Thanks in advance. --Falcorian 06:11, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

There's no page discouraging the use of redirect links per se (what would be the rationale for it?) - I suppose it's some invention of people liking bot operations.
When is it advisable a redirect be replaced by a straight link? There are some cases:
--Francis Schonken 07:11, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
It's preferred to link directly to the article because a redirect forces you to load both the redirect and target pages. It's not a big deal, however.--Sean|Black 07:16, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Sean, that was the conclusion we reached, but is there anything official on it that you know of? --Falcorian 08:05, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Neither Wikipedia:Redirect or m:Help:Redirect say anything, so, er, no :).--Sean|Black 08:12, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Ah, then we're back to square one! :) --Falcorian 08:24, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
  • What exactly are you talking about, why is this a problem? Common sense indicates that in most cases we shouldn't link to a redirect. But there's little harm in doing so. Note that many users work with a "Wiki plugin" that automatically fixes links to redirects. Radiant_>|< 10:38, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm talking about official polivy. The question came up, and I wanted to know if there was policy on it, that's what. I never implied there was a problem. --Falcorian 18:34, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

One problem encountered with auto-bypassing of redirects, is redirects to sections/parts of an article. Often there's to little material for a topic to have its own article initially, and is merged in, for the time being, into a much larger article, but later spun-off into its own article later. Example: JoBlough is merged/redirected into BandX, as he's just a minor unfamous short-term member of the famous band. Various links point to JoBlough, and are specifically about him, not the band. Another user goes and bypasses all those redirects. Then, JoBlough after leaving BandX, becomes hugely famous in his own right (nobody remembers BandX anymore), and yet another user spins-off the JoBlough into its own article again (undoing the redirect). All the links related to JoBlough *still* point to BandX, even though they're not about BandX. Somebody clicks on a link about JoBlough and they go to BandX, and are confused as to why (more confused than a normal redirect, as there's no redirect message). This is a minor issue if JoBlough and BandX are tightly linked (e.g. if you know of one, you know of both). However, sometimes we merge articles into huge lists of loosely related things (we shouldn't but we do). --Rob 15:46, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

So it seems there is no policy then, guess that answers my question. --Falcorian 18:34, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Redirect fixing should not be top priority, but bots that scan pages for links to disambiguation pages also have the ability to check redirects, so hey, why not? I know because I've written a bot. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 18:53, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
I think (I haven't checked it...) that if you end up wityh a chain of multiple redirects, then the system only does the first redirect and subsequent ones don't take effect. Therefore a link to the article is "cleaner". One reason to link to a redirect is if there is a likehood that that the redirect page will get itself converted into an article at some time. -- SGBailey 22:36, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
"A link going straight to the target is preferred over a link relying on a redirect." Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links) However, there are a lot of exceptions, such as disambiguation pages. Personally, I think that using a nicely named redirect is handy to indicate where a new article would be useful. Unfortunately, the above mentioned bots keep converting the links. We need more policy discussion on this, and it probably should be at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (links).
--William Allen Simpson 17:57, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

In cases where the redirects are obvious candidates for conversion to real articles at a later time, it would be a shame and a waste of future work converting these links to direct links to the current article. Example: the University of Halle and the University of Wittenberg were each important Early Modern German universities, merged after the Napoleonic wars. Both titles now redirect to the current University of Halle-Wittenberg, but it is obvious that separate articles will at some point need to be written on the predecessor institutions. If some bot goes around extinguishing all these links, it will have to be undone manually. With the current redirects in place, it is still possible to see at Special:Whatlinkshere to which of the universities other articles actually intend to link. Direct linking would make that impossible. Tupsharru 18:33, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)

Today someone put Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) again under {{proposed}} flag. If I'm allowed a personal remark: this is shameful that such quintessential guideline can't be made stable, on the other hand: IMHO this was the right decision, the guideline has been in bad shape for some time - who wants to help out? --Francis Schonken 00:54, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (thorn)

I just started the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (thorn) (talk) guideline proposal, in an attempt to break of a small part of the problems re. WP:UE --Francis Schonken 10:16, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Use of Islamism and Islamist

Islamism has been coined by replacing the term Islamic fascism by many neo-conservative and anit-Muslim writers. The same way, they have also coined the term Islamist from Islamic fascist. Now these terms have been used by many writers to refer to any Islamic organization or any Muslim person. Most of the people with Muslim background have been refered to as Islamist they could be Muslim fundamentalist but they are not Islamic fascist. I would request that Wilikipedia review use of these two term and replace them with Islamic, Muslim, Islamic fundamentalism or Mulim fundamentalist as appropriate. The defination of fascism and fascist should also be reviewed in this context. User:Siddiqui 18:39, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

That's not an accurate origin. See: Islamism on There's no more reason to say that the words are formed from "Islam" and "fascist" and "facism" than to say that they are formed from "Islam" and "marxism", "marxist", "intergrist", "republicanism", "falangist", "falangism" all these ideology words are formed this way.
These terms are in some contexts correctly applied to all muslims (see the defs), but that usage would be confusing and should probably be avoided. But the usage of "Islamism" and "Islamist" for "Islamic fundamentalism" and "Islamic fundamentalist" is probably more accurate than fundamentalist, which is an analogous use from Christian theology.--Samuel J. Howard 21:45, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Another data point, though I'm not sure anyone cares, is that yesterday's NY Times included Islamist in a headline. I don't think they'd use it if they thought it was horribly pejorative or linked to facism.--Samuel J. Howard 01:26, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:User Bill of Rights edit war

Please keep an eye on Wikipedia:User Bill of Rights, which is undergoing edit and redirect attacks. Apparently some people can't discuss the topic and feel the need to hide it or mark it as Rejected while discussion is still under way. (SEWilco 16:51, 2 January 2006 (UTC))

  • Right, I found that out the hard way... I went there, found an article that was (IMO) kind of bad-looking and had some questionable wording, spent some time to try to pretty it up, got smacked down. Since the smack-downer is a senior editor I figured, OK, whatever, just take down the RfC so people won't waste time on this, but he hasn't (last time I looked)... whatever, I just wish someone would take down the RfC. It's not my place to do it, but people are still going there and wasting their time on an RfC that is not "real"... which is too bad. Herostratus 11:46, 7 January 2006 (UTC)


How come they're not allowed for audio on Wikipedia? -- 13:54, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

The encoding/decoding algorithms governing MP3s are patented (in the US and other countries that recognize software patents), and the licensing terms essentially mean there can never be such a thing as a legal open source MP3 player/recorder while those patents remain in force. In what is essentially a showing of solidarity, Wikipedia made a decision to avoid using an audio format that did not play well with the open source software community. Might I suggest you have a look at Ogg Vorbis? Dragons flight 14:19, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I myself prefer Ogg Vorbis. The compression is better and of course, like you said, it's open source and not covered by the MPEG patent. The problem is that few programs currently have the ability to record Ogg Vorbis, and I have no conversion utility to convert MP3 file. -- 14:37, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Media#Audio has some suggestions, though I have never tried to use them myself. Dragons flight 14:47, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
You should not have to record an Ogg Vorbis file. Simply record a WAV file and convert it to Ogg Vorbis (or MP3 if that's what you want) later. --cesarb 15:46, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Any further comments before the Wikipedia:Verifiability rewrite goes live?

Are there any further comments before the rewrite on Wikipedia:Verifiability/temp goes live? I don't want to rush things, I just want to be clear as to whether there are any outstanding points, and if so, what they are. Please put any comments on Wikipedia talk:Verifiability/temp, jguk 11:40, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Small caps and Surnames

I see in February 2005 in Hong Kong and Macao that Surnames are written in Small caps. Is this a convention wikipedia uses? Should it in fact be done there? -- SGBailey 00:10, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

It is used for names in some languages which use the opposite name/surname order as English, to avoid confusion as to which is which (since the surname might be in its original place or might have been moved to the end). However, I think it's normal uppercase, not small caps. --cesarb 03:34, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
In fact, it's explained in the article you linked to: Family name#China, Hungary, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. --cesarb 03:36, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit?

Just a few weeks ago, I seem to remember that clicking on a red link would take me to a page with a blank white text box, and a freindly message saying something like "There is currently no article called [name] but you can start writing this article now", and would allow me to create the article. Now I'm taken to a page that bluntly says "Article not found" (I actually thought it was a 404 at first) and insists that I create an account. Why?

I'm sorry, but this goes against everything Wikipedia supposedly stands for. Why shouldn't I be able to create an article? I always used to, what's changed since then?

I don't mean to come across as rude, but I have no idea where this came from, and it just seems so blatantly against what this site usually does that I had to ask about it. -- 15:38, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

You will also note that the blurb at the top of every page now says:
From Wikipedia, the free encylcopedia
it used to read:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit
The change happened a few weeks ago, but I saw no news about it. Maybe I'm just out of the loop --BostonMA 15:43, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Hi, that change is just some sysops edit warring over the site notice. The appropriate place is MediaWiki:Tagline. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 16:32, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
This is new, put in place to help reduce the high rate of vandalism. Anyone can still edit, just not necessarily immediately. Anons can still create new articles, see Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-12-05/Page creation restrictions and Wikipedia:Articles for creation. KillerChihuahua?!? 15:52, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Jimbo instituted the "anons can't create pages" policy after the John Seigenthal thing. I'm really sorry that anons can't make new pages anymore but it does prevent a huge number of junk articles being created as newbie tests. Kappa 15:54, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Anons can, just not directly. Wikipedia:Articles for creation, if they do not wish to create an account. KillerChihuahua?!? 15:56, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia is a project to build a free encyclopedia. "Anyone can edit" is not part of what Wikipedia "stands for," it is a method that Wikipedia uses to achieve that goal. It can be adjusted and modified as necessary in pursuit of that goal. Dpbsmith (talk) 16:58, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Well said, in my opinion, Dpbsmith. User:Ceyockey 23:30, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I understand about the Seigenthaler controversy, but someone edited that page and added the false information, they didn't create a new article. Hopefully now we'll see a drop in joke articles, although registering an account actually increases anonymity, since it hides your IP address. Why not just IP ban anons that vandalise like that? -- 19:03, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

No, they created with the junk in it. I still agee with you that we should lift the page creation restriction, however.--Sean|Black 23:08, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

anyone can make an account, even a throwaway account, and then create articles. So yes, anyone can still edit (editing implies something was there before), and even, anyone can still create articles [presuming they have an internet connection, and can figure out how to click on links]. Jimbo's line of argument was that if RC patrollers are less busy with throwing out junk-articles, they will be more likely to detect vandalism to existing articles, too. dab () 23:58, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

So has there been any noticible effect making things easier for RC patrol? If anything I'd think the new policy makes things worse. If new users were more likely to create junk, at least having them anon and show up as IP addresses made their articles easier to spot and look over. The new policy strikes me as just being silly hysteria, like taking away nail clippers from people trying to fly on planes. Someone wanting to vandalize anonymously won't be stopped by creating an account. Slowing down account creation or adding delays or Turing tests or other technical measures will create a technological arms race between Wikipedia and vandals. I've created probably a few dozen articles anonymously over the years, some of which have become substantial (e.g. Bill Bradley) and edited hundreds of others. I have a registered account which I use when it seems appropriate but mostly I prefer to edit non-logged-in, as a means of "egoless editing". Too many registered users get wrapped up in their contribution lists and user pages about their hobbies and their cats. As Kelly Martin put it, Wikipedia is not LiveJournal. Making most of my edits w/o logging in (and with dynamic IP addresses that change frequently) has (for me at least) been a satisfying way of sticking to the task of improving the encyclopedia without self-puffery.
What I'm trying to say is that (at least some) people who edit non-logged-in aren't newbies and aren't too lazy to create accounts, but rather, it's an approach to editing that they cultivate on purpose. ("Anonymous" isn't an accurate term since the public exposure of their IP address makes them easier to trace back to meatspace than a Wikipedia handle does--that's how the Seigenthaler prankster got located). Ironically, if the prankster had created an account, he might never have been found without Seigenthaler filing a lawsuit and issuing subpoenas, if WPF is the least bit serious about privacy. The published IP made it easy for a non-admin to figure out where he was, and identify him from there.
As it is now, when I want to make a new article, I end up requesting it at AFC and sometimes an article gets made, sometimes not. This stinks. Also, the policy change was a major, heavyweight decision that seems to have been done unilaterally by Jimbo with no process at all. What's up with that? With all respect to Jimbo, I thought Wikipedia had stopped being his personal fiefdom some time ago.
I think that the new policy should at best be considered experimental. A date should be set, like 30 or 60 days from when it started, after which there should be a discussion and evaluation of how well it's worked. Unless there's concrete evidence that it's doing something worthwhile, it should be undone. 18:30, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Actually, somebody told me that if you submit many good articles into the articles for creation place, then people might see that anonymous users actually create good articles and won't force you to get a username. --anon

Article creation/movement waiting time for new users

Tangentially, I've a question about the above. I'm a believer in writing new articles in userspace for the first few revisions, till there is enough there that it's worthwhile to publish (I am not so keen on one line stubs). I encouraged my son to write an article, so he registered, and created the article in his userspace. I commented that it looks ready to go. But when he tried to move it from userspace to articlespace he got the "you are an anonymous/new user" warning although he was logged in. I could move it for him but I'd rather he did it as my doing it for him would be disenfranchising for him, I want his experience to be positive (he's not very old but he does have some good knowledge and has been well behaved elsewhere online). How long is the delay, or is it edit count based? Thoughts? (admins that want to converse with me can mail me for details, and I will share his email with them if they want to email him about it) Thanks! ++Lar: t/c 23:34, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Have him wait a few days and he should be able to do it himself. Raul654 23:38, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Are you absolutely positive? Has the restriction been extended to a time-delay? Already knowing the answer, can I read the on-wiki announcement of that? -Splashtalk 23:40, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
There is a delay of zero, in my understanding. The message didn't include any mention of "new user" for that reason. Positive a cookie hadn't been dropped by the browser or something? -Splashtalk 23:40, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The delay for page moves is 4 days if I remember correctly. Instead he should just make a new page and copy/paste the contents. Kappa 23:41, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Ah, of course. That's what it is. I was thinking that the page creation restriction was the problem, when it's not that at all.-Splashtalk 23:43, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
    • The screen does say "you cannot move pages because either you are not logged in or your account is too new", and I validated he's logged in. We'll wait 4 days, because I think moving by copying is not the most optimal way to go. For people that want to see the page, it is User:NikolaiP/Tumble bug (which will be moved to Tumble Bug, with uppercase P, because it's a ride name, when the time comes). A pointer to the announcment gratefully accepted as I didn't spot it in my searches...++Lar: t/c 00:26, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
      • The announcement for this was a very long time ago. New users have not been able to make page moves for a long time. The disabling of page creations was a Jimbo decree a couple of weeks ago, somewhere on the mailing list: note that this is not what has affected you, though. -Splashtalk 00:30, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
  • One thing you should note though is that creating a wikipedia account is infidently easier than creating an account at other websites baisicly you choose a name a password and your good to go, you don't even have to give your Email adress.Deathawk 00:31, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

CSD: Could blatant advertising be added?

Sometimes, you get blatant advertising, but as it isn't in CSD, it has to go through 7 days of AfD. Can we just put this up for speedy? Sceptre (Talk) 15:41, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Others, including me, have proposed it before, but the concern was that articles that are merely enthusiastic or biased towards the person or company will be deleted. However, blatant spam or advertising would have no encyclopedic content whatsoever, not just biased content. I think that the criteria should be based on whether there is anything in the article that can be salvaged in a rewrite. -- Kjkolb 16:12, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Which is generally more likely to be discovered in Afd, not speedy. I think this one is never going to be on Csd, for that one reason - and it is a valid one, however annoying watching adverts go by on Afd can be. OTOH if policy changes, and it can be Csd'd, I will not complain because IMHO the articles will eventually be written if the topic is worthy. KillerChihuahua?!? 23:44, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Video game screenshots

Are screenshots of video games OK to use in articles or is there a copyright issue? --Revolución (talk) 21:27, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Generally these fall under Fair use and so need a proper justifiction. a screen shot of the game in an articel about the game, will usually qualify. DES (talk) 23:09, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Attack templates

There is a discussion starting at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion#Attack templates about the possibility of adding templates that serve no purpose but to disparage an individual, group of people, or ethnic/religious/racial group to the criteria for speedy deletion. -- SCZenz 20:50, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Repeated deletion/restoration

The template Template:User GWB has been speedily deleted 4 times (3 of which by Tony Sidaway), and restored 3 (by different people each time). This should not happen, becuase there is an ongoing discussion, with > 70% of votes from more than 70 users voting keep at Wikipedia:Templates for deletion. Check out the log here. I hope something will be done about this. I hope this is where to bring up this issue, because I couldn't think of anywhere else to.

Shardsofmetal [ Talk | Contribs ] 17:24, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I brought the mater up at WP:ANI, wher ethere has been more of a discussion. the next obvious stage is an RfC, but I frankly don't see any point to that -- Tony has read pleanty of comment on this, and he knows what the views of those who thought this action improper are. DES (talk) 20:58, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Anon user still creating new pages

The following discussion is copied from Jimbo's talk page. Please continue the discussion here:

I'm not sure where to put this, but I'll try here. We have an anon user going round creating new short-stub articles on cricketers on talk pages - as the article page does not exist he cannot create them in the main article namespace. (This user also goes round adding spurious claims that various people are vegans and various non-cricketers have played cricket - so it's all rather odd as to why he doesn't create an account, join WP:Cricket and cut out the vandalism.) Could the functionality that doesn't allow anons to create articles be extended so that they can't create talk pages (or at least can't create talk pages where the article does not exist)? jguk 12:46, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

A lot of anons point out errors by posting on talk pages, they probably wouldn't bother signing up and are likely too timid to edit the main page. Kappa 14:58, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Not on the talk pages of articles that don't yet exist, they don't! jguk 18:26, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that anonymous users should not be allowed to create talk pages for non-existent articles. --TantalumTelluride 18:36, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
As do I, however I agree with Kappa that they SHOULD be able to create talk pages about already existing articles. However, this seems like a lot of work for the devs, for what seems to be a small problem. -Greg Asche (talk) 20:58, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. Maybe we should ask one of them how much work it would require. I'll be right back. --TantalumTelluride 23:39, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I've asked a developer to comment[3]. --TantalumTelluride 00:06, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Is this really such a large problem that it requires a software change? Where's the fire?;) —Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 01:57, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I think I've noticed only one talk page without an accompanying article recently. Then again, I haven't done much RC patrol lately, either. So... I don't know. I guess this isn't much of a problem at the present time. --TantalumTelluride 02:10, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I have seen this user before and it is always the 210.55.x.x range. He tends to changes names in articles and prefers to changes the names people are married to. In the history I saw a couple of Talk pages being created about cricket players as well which I marked for speedy delete and they got deleted as per request. So my advice is to speedy delete them, because the other contributions are a form of vandalism, so I am sceptical about the content of those cricket players as well. The reason for the user being anonymous is probably the vandalism since it's a dynamic IP address so a week later you'll see him return with another IP. KittenKlub 11:38, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

A few more facts might be useful:

  • The user concerned is known as Vegan vandal, although not all his edits are vandalism, and not all his vandalism is about vegans. His IP address changes several times a day.
  • The cricket articles he creates are ungrammatical sub-stubs, however they are verifiably true and not vandalism, and they do helpfully put the cricketer into categories according to the teams he's played for. There are usually a few new articles a day. Look for new pages at Special:Recentchangeslinked/User:Stephen_Turner/CricketersTalk to find them.
  • I think we all agree that anonymous users should be able to create new talk pages. The question is whether they should be able to create talk pages of articles that don't yet exist.

Stephen Turner (Talk) 11:58, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Probably a problem, but this seems to be attacking it with a hammer. Is there evidence of this going on from more than one user? Can we create a special page instead that hunts for article talk pages without articles? -- nae'blis (talk) 18:54, 10 January 2006 (UTC)