Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive W

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Should "Trivia" be a valid sub heading for Wikipedia Articles?

In the course of my browsing today, I chanced upon the Moonlight Sonata article, about Beethoven's Piano Sonata in C#m, which contains (inter alia) the following pieces of information, under the sub heading "Trivia":

  • Brazilian heavy metal band Viper made a version of the "Moonlight" Sonata with lyrics in their 1989 album Theatre of Fate.
  • The first movement of the "Moonlight" Sonata figures in the first Resident Evil video game
  • The videogame "Earthworm Jim 2" uses the complete first movement of the "Moonlight" Sonata as background music
  • The videogame Jet Set Willy plays a small portion of the "Moonlight" Sonata during the introduction sequence
  • A rendition of the Sonata, performed by Alan Wilder, is included as a B-side on Depeche Mode's single Little 15.
  • A variation of this song is also on the first track of Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Beethoven's Last Night album.
  • Yannis Ritsos has written a poem called Moonlight Sonata.
  • The musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown features a song that uses the tune to Moonlight Sonata
  • Bass player Stuart Hamm made a version of the "Moonlight" Sonata in his album Radio Free Albemuth using a two-hand tapping technique. He performed his rendition of the Sonata at a live concert with guitarist Joe Satriani in 2002 ("Joe Satriani - Live In San Francisco").

This is utter dreck which I have deleted with satisfaction, but it raises in my mind a bigger question: why does Wikipedia tolerate a "Trivia" subheading in articles at all? By definition, trivia is unimportant, non notable material. Is there not be a guideline saying "please don't include pointless trivia"? If there isn't, shouldn't there be? ElectricRay 00:27, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I see "Trivia" or "Other information" sections as a group of small but interesting pieces of information that have not yet been expanded into complete sections. I don't think "completed" articles should necessarily have them, but they're a handy mechanism for corraling away little bits of info that need future expansion. Deco 00:32, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
...or just make a new page Moonlight Sonata in market-driven culture, pack plastic recycling bags with the content and eject it into deep space, retaining a subheading Main article: Moonlight Sonata in market-driven culture and the wording "The Moonlight Sonata's familiarity has generated many trivial references in market-driven culture." --Wetman 00:36, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I can't tell, Ray, whether your objection is to the content, or just the heading. If the latter, I agree; just change it to something more suitable, such as Quotations in popular culture. If it's the content, address it on that article's talk page (or boldly remove it); our policies already address such things. Still, the fact that the theme is recognizable enough (even in our post-musically-literate society) to be so often used in pop culture is a significant piece of information about this composition, even if the entire list is overkill. —Wahoofive (talk) 01:05, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Eww Eww Eww. Incorporate the info into the article somehow or I will come after you with a vengeance for making such headings. Even a different heading such as Uses... or Mentions in Popular Culture as is said above. If they're not all related to each other, then find a way to incorporate the info into the article. (Have you noticed yet that I hate these trivia sections?) — Ilyanep (Talk) 01:14, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Similar things were discussed at wikipedia talk:trivia - I'll move this discussion there too, when it's finished. --Francis Schonken 07:57, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I hate these. I hate them. I HATE THEM. Look at the last 50 edits to Marduk (as of this post): almost all of them are additions of such valuable gems as "In Namco's PS2 game Tekken 4, one of the playable characters is named Craig Marduk" and "In the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Evangelion pilots are chosen by a mysterious organization called the "Marduk Institute." The Institute is actually a front for SEELE, who are in possession of secret dead sea scrolls that fortell the fate of humanity and the end of the world.". Drivel, written by teenage boys, which has only the slightest tangential relevance to the topic of the article.

Look at the article right now. The crap now fills half of it—in spite of User:A Man In Black's valiant (but doomed) excision of the previous junk not three months ago—and it's only going to grow.

Okay, finished ranting. User:Wetman's suggested solution is the right one; the kiddies can scribble to their heart's content, and people who want to read about classical music or Mesopotamian mythology aren't distracted by poorly-written irrelevancies. —Charles P._(Mirv) 08:23, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Wetman's suggested solution is an excellent one, but for the fact that those opposed to "elitism" (etc.) would object to it. Yes, this trivia is dreary, as are "References in popular culture", which I've seen somewhere. How about the solution of a link from the (very shaky) article on Citizen Kane to "List of references to Citizen Kane in other work"? Failing that, a "Trivia" section is a good idea, given that WP is editable by all, and that thousands of earnest teenagers (of all ages) take this stuff seriously and will insist on sticking it somewhere. Better that it's labeled "trivia" than for it to muck up substantive sections of an article. And of course if some item within it is not trivial, people are free to move this item elsewhere, while leaving all the "Simpsons" references (etc etc etc) as they are. -- Hoary 08:53, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

All very good suggestions. Wetman, I have done as you suggested on the Marduk article - see now References to Marduk in Popular Culture and when I get a moment I will do the same for LVB. Hoary, I sort of see your point, but think there's a fine distinction between elitism and plain irrelevance - it would be equally irrelevant to the topic of Mesopotamian mythological figure - and deserving of jettison to the black expanses of deep space - that there was a character named Marduk in the Book of Kells.ElectricRay 09:13, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I couldn't agree more with Deco ElectricRay; I can't really go along with Wetman's idea, though. It would solve part of the problem, but another part of the problem is that trivia sections trivialise Wikipedia; making separate articles for them will do pretty much the same. Just delete them all. If something's trivial, then it doesn't belong in the article; if it belongs in the article, then it can't be trivial, and should fit into the appropriate place in the main text.
How about starting up "Trivipedia" for all the teenagers out there who add this rubbish? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:24, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Funny that you say you couldn't agree more with me, yet I disagree very strongly with you. I think it's fine to have these sections around and that they will, in time, develop into more integrated and expanded content. I might remove them from a published or stable version, but not from any working article. Your generalization about teenagers and proposed project are also offensive to the well-meaning contributors who add this content. Deco 22:47, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I was too hasty in tracing the writer of the original comment (aided by the absence of a space between comments). I've corrected it. Oh, and it wasn't my generalisation, though I repeated it, and pretty well stand by it. There are too many train-spotters here, and people who know (and care) about nothing other than the trivia of celebrities and popular culture. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 15:59, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
and its comments like that which keep wikipedia as the pile of shit it currently is (and is generally perceived as). those "well-meaning contributors" are dumb-ass schoolboys who play videogames all day, indulging them simply creates more cruft articles about Klingon etc that makes wikipedia = trivipedia already. gotta be harsh. KILL ALL CRUFT.
Although these trivia sections should be thoroughly cleaned of cruft (and wontedly have far too many references to cover songs and other knock-offs generally unrelated to the topic), they provide a helpful way to give the reader bits of additional, characterizing information which might otherwise bog down the article's main narrative. I'm strongly in favour of trivia sections in biographical, film and music articles. I mean, what better way to fluidly let the reader know Frances Farmer let the studio shave her eyebrows off in 1936 but had rebelliously grown them back... and untrimmed... by 1937. This would seem, uhm, trivial to mention in the main text but adds context, depth and interest to the subject. Wyss 23:55, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Cruft should be stamped out. If something has had a genuine impact on popular culture, a sub-article should be created if not a sub-section (see, i.e. Nuclear weapons in popular culture, which grew out of just such a crufty-subsection). --Fastfission 20:09, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

I've been having the same sorts of problems all over the place. Lilith, Chimera, Dragon, Dracula, Behemoth, Jack the Ripper, Werewolf, etc. etc. keep getting filled up with all sorts of trivial references to video games, anime, roleplaying game supplements, one off mentions in tv shows, incidental one off lyriucs in songs, etc. I remove this dreck constantly every day. One of the major problems is that it's difficult to have real consensus to remove them because so many kiddies all get together to try to claim that info is vitally important. "Castlevania is the most well known and important video game series of them all, so I am going to list all the details here." etc. About the only way I've been able to have any lasting sanity is to create Werewolves in fiction, Jack the Ripper fiction, liberally move the crap to disambiguation pages and then just give up on trying to keep the cruft out of that offshoot article. It's like segregation or something. Whenever someone puts crap in the main one I suggest the offshoot, and then the offshoot is total crap but oh well. I personally think Trivia headings should just not be used, and that it's very, very clear that trivial mentions... some character named after some mythical character, one off appearances in comic books, D&D or other RPG adapting something, Magic the Gathering card, Pokemon character, etc... do not belong in the main articles unless those articles are specifically about that fictioncruft and not the main topic. We desperately need stronger policy on this, and maybe, I don't know, something to make it more clear that this is supposed to be an ENCYCLOPEDIA and not just long fanlists of every silly trivial fictional reference you can think of. DreamGuy 22:01, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I think that trivia helps pique the reader's interest. As for relevance, the word encyclopedia comes from the Greek words enkyklios paideia, meaning "general education," or "well-rounded education." Thus, in Wikipedia--the largest encyclopedia ever created--any knowledge can be included. Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged defines an encyclopedia as "a work that treats comprehensively all the various branches of knowledge and that is usually composed of individual articles arranged alphabetically". Stroll by a library reference section and you will find encyclopedias of agriculture, of computing, of slang, and so on. The inclusion of trivia shows just how much encyclopedic Wikipedia is. Besides, deleting trivia will turn off many contributors from adding other information to Wikipedia and possibly turn to vandalism. Further, many of the users who add trivia are younger. If we alienate them, we destroy our future.
    --Primetime 22:43, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
There are plenty of young people adding real encyclopedic content here. Alienating the bad contributors to keep the good contributors is a GOOD thing. Some people just are not cut out to write encyclopedias. This shouldn't be controversial, it just is. If their only contributions are to say that some pokemon character kind of looks like Pazuzu if you squint real hard, let the alienation proceed unfettered so we don't destroy our future by having the clueless kiddies running the show while knowledgable editors get alienated. I know I don't like having to play janitor to a bunch of people whose only experience in the world is videogames and anime who think articles on other topics can be improved with the latest kewl thing they saw. I'm here to write an encyclopedia. DreamGuy 17:42, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • If you want a trivia encyclopaedia, there's a far bigger one than Wikipedia - it's called Google. If some method of differentiation between trivia and useful information can't be imposed, we may as well give up on wikipedia and just use Google. It's a line call whether that's a better idea already. Now it's a sociological fact that anime heads will keep adding this stuff - it's not irrelevant to them - so the answer is to give them their outlet - a "references in popular culture" page which is referenced by, but doesn't form part of, a main article achieves that very neatly. Xbox nuts are not alienated, the page isn't disrupted - that sounds to me like a workable compromise. That's certainly the approach I'm going to take from now on. ElectricRay 23:17, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
That sounds like it would make them very difficult to find. I don't think trivia authors would be too keen on that idea. I admit, though, that it is better than just deleting the information. --Primetime 08:56, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
maybe i didn't explain it properly: there would be a link on the page from the main article - very easy to find. see, for example, Marduk. ElectricRay 09:35, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't we distinguish between trivia that actually relate to the subject of the article, and trivia connected with persons or entities that just happen to have the same name? Many of the points in Marduk in popular culture don't relate to Marduk (that is the subject of the Marduk article) at all, they relate to fictional characters that just happen to have the same name, so they should surely go to a disambiguation page? --rossb 15:35, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Many are expressing views I agree with, in effect, trivia's fine if it relates directly and helpfully to the subject, but the trivia sections are often used for content which is no better than link spam. Perhaps references in popular culture "see also" pages would give the cruft (cartoon characters who play Beethoven and so on) a home. Wyss 15:50, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • except that trivia is, by definition, trivial. If it's worthy of inclusion, is it "trivia"? ElectricRay 18:16, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • rossb, that was exactly what I was coming here to say. There is a distinction between material that really is important enough to a topic and just hasn't been integrated yet and that which isn't important to the topic. For example the WWII article doesn't need a trivia section remarking that it was referenced in X anime show. That's an extreme example, but not far off what is going on. Pop culture trivia or other things that aren't demonstrably important to the given topic should not be on the page, they should instead be in that pop culture topic's specific page. That makes it really easy to include important information in the right place. - Taxman Talk 16:34, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Here's my take, illustrated with two examples (though these are not editing suggestions for the LvB article):

"Helpful trivia":

  • During the advanced stages of his deafness, while composing Beethoven aided his hearing by placing the end of a wooden pencil directly on the soundboard of his piano, then pressed his forehead directly on the other end and struck the keys. Sympathetic vibration transmitted the sounds of the notes through the bones of his skull directly to his inner hear.

"Unhelpful trivia"

  • A retrogade chord progression based on Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata was used as the basis for a Beatles song by John Lennon. Wyss 14:27, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Trivia as a category does not belong. It means "unimportant" and suggests a waste of time. If soemthing is important then say so. Rjensen 16:48, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I do disagree with your interpretation of the working definition of trivia, however I continue to assert that there is a difference between informative trivia and spam-like cruft. Wyss 17:00, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that trivia sections should be blamed on teenage boys. For example, the Richard Stallman article has a sizeable trivia section, and I doubt that many teenagers are really into him, as the oldest current teenagers were only born in the late 1980s (the youngest about 1992-1993). Also, most teenagers have probably never heard of Amiga. Adding trivia is probably more related to interest in the topic than age or sex. -- Kjkolb 17:34, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

One quarter of Gorilla article is taken by "popular culture" references, most of them bellow even trivial value. I suggest to always create leaf article when the amount of trivias reaches certain level. Since it is practically impossible to get rid of trivia at least they can be moved away from more serious encyclopedic stuff. Pavel Vozenilek 03:53, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Call the section Other notable facts and include only "helpful trivia". Delete the 'cruft and "useless trivia" or splice it out into a side article referenced by the main one. MPS 04:28, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that it may be hard to distinguish notable from cruft: most of the trivias come from very current American pop culture/games but some established memes or references from other cultures may be valuable. Having leaf page would be Second Best solution - main articles will stay clean, kids will have safe place to play and possible edit wars over trivia won't pollute the main article (this is real pain). Trivial pages may be linked together so checking them all at once would be easy. Pavel Vozenilek 14:48, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Is this sort of thing really so bad? I'm glad to see evidence that Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata still has an influence on popular culture. Plenty of Wikipedia editors heard their first notes of Wagner by watching Apocalypse Now. Popular references to Joan of Arc didn't get dumped from the page. They inspired me to translate lists of sculptures and paintings from French. The video games, manga, and television shows now have their own section at the bottom of a branching page about artistic representations of Joan of Arc. If this gets young people interested in history, if it leads them to George Bernard Shaw and William Shakespeare, then I'm all for it. Durova 23:12, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Semi-disambiguation pages

There are quite a few disambiguation pages that are stubs or even sizable articles that have a list of links below to more specific terms. For example, hose has two small paragraphs explaining what they are and then links to things like fire and garden hoses. I don't like this example very much because almost everyone knows what a hose is and it is not as long as some other articles, but hopefully you'll be able to get the idea. When making a link, this kind of disambiguation page is often the most appropriate (like if you wanted a link about hoses in general). The problem is that links to disambiguation pages are discouraged and the pages tend to have unrelated disambiguations. Hose is not too bad. It just has pantyhose and a village named hose. Should these pages just be linked to as is, should the disambiguation tag be removed (if all of the disambiguations are subtopics of a main topic, either naturally or by moving related terms to a new article) or should a new page for the overall topic be created, like "hose (tube)"? -- Kjkolb 22:59, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

A better example of this is pseudoprime, which discusses pseudoprimes in general, then links many specific kinds of pseudoprimes. I think you really have to look at things on a case-by-case basis. It definitely seems odd to me to talk about X in general then link 7 unrelated uses of the word; in this case, I would either remove the general material if it's completely obvious, or create a separate article for it if it isn't. Deco 23:15, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

User RFC Straw Poll

I've opened a straw poll on the User RFC process. See Wikipedia:User RFC reform. All comments are welcome. Crotalus horridus (TALKCONTRIBS) 04:24, 7 February 2006 (UTC)


NPOV As a new user, doesn't the 'criticism' in this article: violate the NPOV guideline...? If not why? If so, how does one change/delete it without vandalizing?

user: hebertbrian Hebertbrian 00:30, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

The discussed section does not violate NPOV as far as I can tell. It lacks specific sources, which is a problem, but as long as the information describes the point of view of an external, attributed source, rather than just the contributors who wrote it, it is well within NPOV. Deco 00:39, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
It needs a source, but it doesn't violate NPOV if it is truly the way people feel. Guettarda 13:38, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Rumor, Speculation, and Tabloid Use in Articles

Should rumor and speculation be included in articles? Is it encyclopedic to include rumor/speculation if its unverifiable nature is made explicit? Ditto concerning mention of information contained in tabloids: is it ok to say "in Y article the National Enquirer said X" as long as it is included as speculation? Wondering what everyone else thinks... Turly-burly 04:23, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely not. Only verified facts belong in Wiki. We'd grow pretty fast otherwise! Rjensen 04:31, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Generally, only if the reporting itself became notable, or was verifiable from other sources. For instance, if a celebrity sued a tabloid over claims that were alleged to be libelous, and that lawsuit was reported in the mainstream media, then that should be included in the article. Crotalus horridus (TALKCONTRIBS) 04:43, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
You should not state anything in an article unless you can point to some other source that has already said it first. And even that generally doesn't lead to very good articles. Raul654 04:45, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I think it's obvious that rumors presented as facts don't belong in articles; however, I am wondering if the fact that a rumor/speculative comments exist make them relevant enough to merit addition as explicit rumor/speculation, e.g. "The Playstation 5's release is rumored to be March 2007" or "Certain publications have speculated that the creator of 'Hey Arnold!' was a heroin addict in the early 70s". With appropriate citation, of course. Turly-burly 05:49, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I think what Turly-burly is referring to is the inclusion of information that U.S. President George W. Bush began "drinking again", and having it be a reliable reference in the article George W. Bush substance abuse controversy and the reference from National Enquirer is from here. I am not a big fan of rather slick tabloid media for a reference base of pejoritive information. I find it rather slanderous and unencyclopedic, but I may be entirely incorrect in that assumption. I would be more than pleased if a reference of the information from a media source of a more respected nature was available.--MONGO 08:37, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

The rumor comes down to this "The result is he's taking drinks here and there, likely in private, to cope." Encyclopedia quality? well no. The more junk that goes in the junkier we become. Rjensen 08:57, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

WP should have a clearly written policy regarding tabloid sources (both the periodicals and supermarket books) specifying when they might be appropriate to use (such as when lawsuits, as reported in reliable sources, have been provoked) and when they are not appropriate (most other times), since they amount to unverifiable hearsay and can sway the content and tone of an article completely away from the documented record. This issue has been an editorial cancer in the social sciences, especially in biographies. See Nick Adams and the talk archives for Elvis Presley for how disruptive and unhelpful the use of tabloid material can be on WP. Wyss 19:54, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I think this should be left up to editor discretion. Although most people realise tabloids are outrageous fabrications, they can help to demonstrate popular culture about a topic. They should never be presented as fact. Deco 21:04, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
How does one reconcile your statement, "I think this should be left up to editor discretion," with "They should never be presented as fact"? Wyss 21:20, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, it's a matter of policy that we don't present things as fact that are known to be false. I meant that their inclusion should be left to editor discretion. I guess occasionally tabloids publish true things, but they're not exactly reputable enough for anybody to trust. Deco 21:38, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
If tabloids are "not exactly reputable enough for anybody to trust," what criteria would make a cite from a tabloid acceptable? Wyss 22:06, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
As long as the citation makes it clear that the information is false, it can be used to support things like claims of notability: "The dinner became so notorious that it was referenced in a Pentagon press conference and was the subject of a hoax in The Enquirer claiming that aliens had prepared the food." Deco 23:48, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
So you're saying a tabloid citation would only be acceptable if it is used to cite a falsehood published by the tabloid? Wyss 02:13, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I think in this case, tabloid is being taken to mean specifically the junk magazines in supermarkets that publish exclusively false information that is amusing (not unlike Uncyclopedia). Just like Uncyclopedia, they are probably not appropriate for use as serious sources of information. If you're talking about other types of junk magazines, it may be necessary to handle them on a case-by-case basis. Intellectual Integrity and research standards of the publication are the central thing to consider. --Improv 02:30, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
If soemthing is covered in a supermarket tabliod, that may be evidence of significant interest in the subject, or of notability. It may be evidence of a poo=culture meme. it is rarely if ever evidence of the truthefulness of the facts asserted by the tabliod. DES (talk) 02:33, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I'm referring to the junk magazines... and gossip books... found in supermarkets. Anyway I agree they're not at all reliable (except as indicators of notability). I'm asking because I'm interested in other opinions. Wyss 02:45, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Until January 31, 2006 when User:Jguk posted a rewrite, Wikipedia:Verifiability (Dubious sources)[1] stated that: "For an encyclopedia, sources should be unimpeachable." As such, this change in long-standing policy seems to leave it wide open to quote junk Tabloids or any other such publication so long as you state the source. - Ted Wilkes 19:17, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Blanking user talk pages

I know that blanking one's own user talk page is frowned upon, but is this backed up with any policy or guideline? Thanks in advance for any help! CLW 18:44, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Try Wikipedia:Talk page and the pages that it is currently tagged to merge with. --Martyman-(talk) 20:20, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I tried looking there first of all, but couldn't find any references to blanking. (Perhaps I'm being daft and missing something there, but I don't think so...) CLW 21:05, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Talk page#Etiquette touches on it. Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#When there is too much text says to archive (though doesn't explicitly mention user pages. Other than that, I don't think it is explicitly spelt out anywhere I have seen. It probably should be though, I find it very frustrating when people blank their talk page. --Martyman-(talk) 21:14, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
I think it is entirely understandable and no objection should be made at all. Why should people retain a page which contains criticisms of them? They have to keep looking at it, which no-one else does. CalJW 18:38, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
There isn't a policy against this and probably won't be. We're very tolerant about what people do with their own user pages, userbox wars aside. Deco 11:22, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I think we're talking more along the lines of someone deleting vandalism warnings off their talk. I don't see a problem if its a valued long time member deleting a "Thanks for experimenting..." message they got on their first day here, but for a vandal people need to know if they've already been warned to give the appropriate test message. VegaDark 08:04, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Illegal links?

This is an interesting edit. An anon user deleted external links with edit sum removal of copyrighted material.

Well, the links actually seem to me to be a form of linkspam, but maybe not. They don't actually point to video files; I went to a couple and got a little runaround before being dumped into (in one case) a link farm and (in the other) a link farm plus what may actually be a link to a video. I suspect this dynamically-generated link will not work for anyone else. On sight, I suspect that if there is a video at the end of this rainbow, it's probably bootlegged -- but I certainly don't know this. But all these are side issues, are they not? Another side issue is the question of whether -- assuming that the links were good, that they really pointed to videos, and that those videos were legitimately released -- it would be appropriate to include them in an article about the band that made them. I think so, but I don't think that's the key issue here.

Can we link to illegal content? Easy to say no. But I don't see how we are capable of vetting all our external links in this way. Link to, say, a major film studio's trailer site -- probably legit. Link to one of the many trailer/promo sites (such as, maybe okay too. But there is a continuous spectrum of such sites shading right into the Ukranian Mafia "copywho?" sites. Where do we draw the line? It's clear to me that a link itself violates no copyright.

Take the issue out of the context of copyvio and it sprouts more hair. Some site advocates the violent overthrow of the US Government; if the people that run it are notable, we might create an article about them. Should we not link to the site itself? Note that the site is in violation of US law; free speech does not protect at this limit. (cf this Mississippi State Statute.) "Patriots" will say no link; but put the shoe on the other foot. Another site advocates the independence of Taiwan from China. This site is in clear violation of Chinese law. Can we link to it?


  1. We must allow external links without regard to the legal status of their destinations; and thus forbid the kind of edit I first referenced; or
  2. We must develop some clear procedure for verifying that external sites violate no law; and thus forbid external links until they have been so vetted; or
  3. We must set some policy describing which laws we will permit external sites to violate and develop some clear procedure for verifying that external sites comply with our policy.

What shall we do? John Reid 13:56, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Under US case law, knowingly and intentionally linking to material that violates copyright or a site whose primary purpose is to do so constitutes a form of contributory infringment and is illegal. Such links should be removed whenever they are discovered. As long as effort is made to clean up after such things, the Wikimedia Foundation is unlikely to have any liability, so it is not really necessary to test links in advance of being posted. Aside from copyvios, it is difficult to imagine any other class of material that would be so illegal to even link to. Dragons flight 15:45, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Come on, it's not that hard to imagine another class of material you cannot even think of linking to. --cesarb 16:06, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Fair point. Dragons flight 17:15, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think there's a need for new policy here. We can just keep on the way we've been doing things. Links to obvious copyvio content get the axe; if something's in a gray area (promotional material like movie trailers, for example) try to find a source that's approved by the copyright owner, but don't sweat it too much unless we're asked to remove; use good judgement and common sense with regard to linking external sites likely to be considered 'offensive'; don't link to stuff that the laws of the United States or Florida forbid us to link, because that's where our servers are. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:46, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't know. I'm not a lawyer, but I smell trouble. If we make an effort to remove illegal links and overlook some that are illegal, then it seems as if we've been negligent. If we declare that we are unable to determine the legality of the sites that we link, we're taking a higher ground. Better if we don't assume the responsibility.

I'm certainly not going to restore any questionable external links; but I'm not going to remove any, either. John Reid 17:24, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Poll for naming convention of television content

There has never been a naming convention for television programming on Wikipedia so there are articles currently named:

Please help out by voting at the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (television)/poll and voting on through February 15 2006. There have been two previous polls [2], [3], which failed to reach a consensus and proved to be divisive. Make your opinion heard and fix this issue! Thanks for your input and votes --Reflex Reaction (talk)• 18:00, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I have started to use (TV series). I even got a new entry renamed when I saw that (TV series) seemed to be the most used naming convention. However, here is where the waters get muddy. If there are 2 or more TV series with the same name, it is suggested that the convention be (YEAR TV series).
  • The Invisible Man (1958 TV series)
  • The Invisible Man (1975 TV series)
  • The Invisible Man (2000 TV series)
There may also instances where there are 2 series with the same name in different countries, though off the top of my head I can't think of any. The convention should be SHOWNAME (COUNTRY TV series).
Lady Aleena 10:38, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. You may want to consider voting for the poll. --Reflex Reaction (talk)• 21:41, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Article sabotage

I am new to Wikipedia. I have posted an article about our non-profit organization, which is continuously being sabotaged by right-wing group(s) trying to smear our organization.

Is ther eanything we can do to prevent this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

  • First, while anonymous editors are free to edit from IP addresses, I suggest that you create an account. This way it will be easier to track your contributions, create a watchlist (to watch this and other articles for changes), and you can build a track record of constructive edits. Anonymous editors are sometimes mistaken for vandals, and without a track record, not always taken as seriously by other editors.
  • Second, there are policies such as Neutral point of view, Verifiability, and Citing sources that must be adhered to. I've googled the organization and it seems to meet notability, another of Wikipedia's policies. All editors must adhere to all of these policies. Edits that are smearing and sabotoging probably don't meet these requirements.
  • Third, a warning... Wikipedia often discourages people from writing articles about themselves or their own organizations, as these articles sometimes stray from NPOV. I'm not saying that's the case with Sabeel and assume good faith, but just be mindful these concerns.
Hope this helps. -Kmf164 (talk | contribs) 22:48, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Fair use art

Is it possible to illustrate an article on an artist with multiple images of that artist’s work under fair use terms. Justin Foote 01:32, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Depends. How important are those images to the discussion of the artist's work? --Carnildo 07:19, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Should articles that just redirect to Wiktionary be deleted?

I've seen a number of articles that are either hard or soft redirects to wiktionary definitions and have no other content in their history. These seem like candidates for speedy deletion to me, but I don't know if there's any consensus or policy about this. --Zwilson 06:27, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Some people think these are good to have and I've seen them say as much. Others disagree. So, no consensus it appears. As for what you're supposed to do when there's no consensus in this case... not sure. Deco 07:15, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I'd say they're useful, and they also discourage anyone stubling across them from adding their own dictionary definitions (which are speediable) to Wikipedia. If anything, we need more links to Wiktionary. Ideally, every page (whether existing or not) with a corresponding Wiktionary entry should automatically have a prominent link to it. What's the point of having a separate dictionary if we don't link to it? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 13:24, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes. wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Wiktionary is a dictionary. Simple. If you cannot do better than a dicdef (note this excludes dab page, which have function), zap them. — Dunc| 13:31, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but could you please clarify whether you're agreeing or disagreeing with what I wrote? Out of context, I'd say I agree with what you wrote above, but it doesn't seem to relate to my previous comment. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 17:49, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
They don't seem very good to me, we don't really want to have people find, to their surprise, that they are no longer in Wikipedia. If it were a soft redirect, with something that says, "Wikipedia has no article on this subject but there is a definition at Wiktionary", and then a link they can click on, that would be okay. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:07, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Like {{wi}}? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 17:49, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Works for me. User:Zoe|(talk) 18:26, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if User:Rune.welsh watches the VP, but I know that he picked up the article Raney nickel while it was waiting for deletion after transwiki: it is now a featured article... Physchim62 (talk) 14:49, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

New essay

I've written an essay, Wikipedia:How userboxes help build the encyclopedia, distilling a number of my thoughts on the userbox matter. Any comments, support, criticism, etc. are appreciated. Crotalus horridus (TALKCONTRIBS) 18:25, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Internet meme notability criteria

I regularly watch internet phenomenon / meme type pages and I think that there needs to be some sort of guideline as to what constitutes a notable internet phenomenon. (I posted something similar on the talk page a month or so ago at internet phenomenon but there weren't any takers.) Some questions that arise:

  • When people unwillingly become the subject of the internet meme (see the debate over Brian Peppers), what should be the procedure? Essentially, they are private citizens who have done nothing other than have people make fun of them. Private individuals generally do not meet Wikipedia's standards for notability. Can a person's notability be made for them? If the meme is basically attacking the private individual, does repeating the meme contribute to the attack, and therefore violate Wikipedia's "no attack page" policy. How careful should we be, particularly in light of Jimbo Wales' new "living persons" crusade?
  • Is there some sort of criteria for humorous videos? Mainstream media coverage (or otherwise moving beyond the internet)? A certain number of hits on Google? What about videos that were basically popular otherwise first? Like the Howard Dean scream?
  • Catch phrases: how do these differ from memes?

Just some things to think about. --Hamiltonian 01:27, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, John Bobbit's notability was made for him. Deco 03:08, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
True, but he also made some for himself as well. But I appreciate your point. --Hamiltonian 03:50, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
John Bobbit's notability is self-evident through the widespread mainstream media coverage of the incident. In the case of Mr. Peppers, there has been no such widespread mainstream media coverage - his only "notability" comes from the fact that people have made fun of him on Teh Intraweb. That's not notability, that's people on the Internet being morons. Perhaps we should have a page on the first person who was insensitive and pathetic enough to make fun of this poor guy, and expose his asshattery to the world. FCYTravis 04:59, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I think the key point here is not about "internet memes" in general but rather about permitting private individuals to remain outside the glare of the limelight if they so choose. There are laws on this, IIRC, in every state in the USA, and I would imagine elsewhere as well. Information that is true and even interesting is still not permissible for publication if it compromises privacy. This is still true with public figures but the standard favors publishers more. "Internet memes" that are not personally identifiable, such as the "lost frog" meme, do not pose a problem. "Memes" based on public figures, such as the flash cartoons from whichever U.S. presidential campaign it was, do not pose a problem. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 05:47, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

The Star Wars kid falls under this category as well. If not permissable, his page would have to be deleted, as he didn't seek out notability. VegaDark 06:44, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I think that gets to my point of notability. The Star Wars kid had tonnes of mainstream media coverage, was parodied on various TV shows etc. So, I'm fine with that. Peppers? Not so much. Perhaps a two line thing on the internet phenomenon page would do.--Hamiltonian 06:51, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

To my reading, the relevant policies address this on three points:

  • Has the person been part of a newsworthy event?
  • Has the person been the subject of mainstream media attention?
  • Has the person chosen to become a public figure?

If the answer to all three questions is no, then the person deserves respectful privacy from Wikipedia. Durova 09:05, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

    • There was a local FOX News article on the dissemination of his photo as an external link on the Brian Peppers article at one point. The story has since been deleted on that page, but it's evident that he at least made television news.--Aleron235 20:47, 7 February 2006 (UTC) has an entry on brian peppers, and that site contains much less information and a much smaller scope than wikipedia. There is no reason it is not "newsworthy." 'Brian peppers' on google has 154.000 hits.

Except that he apparently isn't newsworthy. Searching EBSCOhost (which includes 25 major national papers, and more than 200 regional papers) yields zero hits for Brian Peppers. --Hamiltonian 02:59, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Time line Graphs

it's can be really diffucult sometimes to get an accurate feel for time scales when graphs on certain page are on a left-to-right time scale, and some are on a right-to-left. this is (or was) perhaps most prevalent on pages related to Global Warming, or Climate Change, or other geological time scale articles.

could we put in place a policy of all timescale moving from left-to-right? that seem the most appropriate to me, as in mathematics left is generally negative, and right is generally psitive on graphs, and we read left-to-right as well.

I'm no so fussed about the direction, just about the standardisation.--naught101 22:39, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I'd agree that the direction (later dates to the right, earlier dates to the left) is a pretty standard convention, whether it's mentioned in the style guide or not. On the other hand, we have to work with whatever graphs our contributors give us...I'm not sure that I'd discard an otherwise excellent figure because the scale was unusual. You can always ask a figure's contributor if they would be willing to provide a version with an inverted axis. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 23:44, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

In some cases of long time lines (in the hundreds of thousands of years range), some scientists have gotten used to reversed time scales (reversed from the usual convention of time flowing to the right). I reversed the timeline on a couple of graphs in question quite successfully, and with some applause, particularly because they then were consistent with the convention of the rest of the graphs on the page, and because they contained enlargements of recent times. See Image:Carbon Dioxide 400kyr-2.png vs. Image:Carbon Dioxide 400kyr.png and Image:Carbon_History_and_Flux-2.png vs. Image:Carbon_History_and_Flux.png. What I did was reverse the whole image, and then individually reverse the text. In one case I had to do a patchup of a dozen pixels, but that was it. Hu 17:57, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Proposed deletion

This new and simple process for article deletion has gone live for a test run. Please use {{prod}} to mark articles for deletion. If you disagree with such a proposal, please remove the tag, and while you're editing the article anyway improve it to alleviate the concerns. >Radiant< 11:04, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Would you please explain what the duration of the test run will be, how its outcome will be evaluated, and what will be done with the process once the test is complete? Ikkyu2 03:19, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Naming convention for Companies and Businesses

I just wanted to draw attention and comment to on a draft poll to determine naming convention for companies and businesses. I have looked around a number of places and have only seen comments to the effect of "we should have a convention" or "do we have a convention" on how to name a XXX company. This has either the effect of drawing a few uninterested comments or a stirring up a heated debate. In either case the net result is generally zero. Your comments to help clarify this poll and later corresponding vote would be greatly appreciated. --Reflex Reaction (talk)• 17:58, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (companies)/poll

Voting has begun and will continue until March 5. Please resolve this lagging issue. --Reflex Reaction (talk)• 22:38, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

One space or two?

I was wondering if Wikipedia has a specific policy or preference regarding how many spaces to use after the end of a sentence before the next sentence begins (one or two). Most articles that I have seen use just one space, though I personally perfer to use two and believe that it helps to better distinguish the beginnings and ends of sentances in a paragraph. If Wikipedia has a preference, then I would like to know it. Thank you.--Conrad Devonshire 01:57, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I think that it shows up as one space regardless of how many spaces are used, so there is no point in adding any extra spaces. Like. This. (2 and 3 spaces) -- Kjkolb 02:01, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
See WP:STYLE#Spaces_after_the_end_of_a_sentence - no preference. Do what is comfortable to you. Kjkolb is correct; it won't show on page. KillerChihuahua?!? 02:03, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
I use two spaces because that shows up better in a monospace font like the one used in the edit box. Unless you use <pre> tags around what you type, it'll only show up as a single space on the final page no matter how many you use. --Carnildo 05:29, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Editing

--Melsyfox84 01:43, 10 February 2006 (UTC)Melsyfox84 8:42 p.m. February 9,2006 I am writing an article for my school newspaper at the University of Delaware. The article is about the Massachusettes politician Martin Meehan and his staff's recent acknowledgment of their editing of Meehan's Wikipedia profile. More specifically, the edit, which was done by staffer Matt Vogel, consisted of deletion of a campaign policy Meehan did not follow through with. When Wikipedia became aware of the "edit" they blocked certain IP addresses from Meehan's staff. I was wondering if anyone can help me get some quotes for my article, especially anyone very familiar with Wikipedia. Here are some questions I have:

What specifically happened to cause Wikipedia to block certain addresses?

What is not considered appropriate when it comes to Wikipedia's policy on "editing" a page?

How do you define "edit", is deleting info. or omitting certain info. considered unethical?

With hundreds of thousands of articles, how did Wikipedia find the changes made to Meehan's page? The change was made in July '05 and Meehan's staff did not admit to the changes until January...

How are editors dealt with when they violate Wikipedia's policies?

What should people, perhaps students, reporters, researchers, etc. take into account in terms of credibility when using Wikipedia?

Is there anyone I could contact who actively/ frequently edits on Wikipedia?

Thank you, any help is greatly appreciated!!

Questions copied to user talk page - KillerChihuahua?!? 01:52, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
here BrokenSegue 02:15, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Uppercase titles for terms abbreviated by acronyms

I've noticed that some articles don't seem to follow the Wikipedia naming conventions if they are abbreviated as acronyms. For example, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). Is there a reason that these titles should not be lowercase? -- Kjkolb 02:56, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

They should generally be lowercase. The only exception is where it is used as the proper name of a particular system. Deco 10:38, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Would you say that these particular articles should be lowercase? -- Kjkolb 02:02, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Probably not, since they are names of specific protocols. There could be many transfer modes that are asynchronous, of which the ATM is only one example. The same goes for MPLS. Also, in cases like this it is usually best to follow official or established conventions. In this case, I believe that most sources, including the official standards, use the capitalized form. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:41, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Things never change

Ye olde olde page: User:Theresa_knott/Those_who_disagree_with_Angela_must_not_sign_their_comments

Kim Bruning 13:55, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Oh heehee, I revived that by signing it 10 or 15 times :) — Ilyanep (Talk) 01:17, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Citing another internet encyclopedia

At the article Battle of Sarikamish there is an ongoing edit dispute regarding the number of casualties of the forces involved. I haven't taken any part in the dispute but trying to find some figures on the google I came across this which is the most reliable source I've come up with so far. The problem is that this article is from Encyclopaedia Brittanica Online. Can I use this as a citation to help resolve the edit warring?? Or would it be copyright infringment?? --Michalis Famelis 01:17, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Of course you can cite it. Just don't copy any content verbatim. Copyright doesn't cover ideas or facts (otherwise we wouldn't be able to write an encyclopedia at all), only their specific expression. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:29, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Thank you very much! -- Michalis Famelis 16:55, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Citing another encyclopedia whilst not a legal issue is dubious practice at best. Remember here we can have edit wars for all to see and eventually try and reach NPOV. Do closed encyclopedias do the same or do they just put the first set of figures they find. Plugwash 17:42, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Editors of paper encyclopedias (of which I have been one) tell authors not to rely on other encyclopedias. That is a very good rule for Wiki to follow. Rjensen 19:27, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Citing encyclopedias and other secondary sources is totally legitimate and often the only way to get info on things we have no access to the primary sources for. They're rife with inaccuracies, but if a citation is shown by an additional source to be inaccurate we can just remove it. Deco 00:29, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

How do you define ethical "editing" when it comes to Wikipedia?

I am writing an article for my school newspaper at the University of Delaware. The article is about the Massachusettes politician Martin Meehan and his staff's recent acknowledgment of their editing of Meehan's Wikipedia profile. More specifically, the edit, which was done by staffer Matt Vogel, consisted of deletion of a campaign policy Meehan did not follow through with. When Wikipedia became aware of the "edit" they blocked certain IP addresses from Meehan's staff. I was wondering if anyone can help me get some quotes for my article, especially anyone very familiar with Wikipedia. Here are some questions I have:

What specifically happened to cause Wikipedia to block certain addresses?

Edits were made from IP addresses originating from Congressional addresses either inserting a bias in favour of the contributor (usually by removing unfavourable information) or inserting a bias against opponents (usually by simple vandalism.) A more complete summary of events can be found at Wikipedia:Congressional Staffer Edits or Wikipedia:Requests for comment/United States Congress--Cherry blossom tree 01:07, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

What is not considered appropriate when it comes to Wikipedia's policy on "editing" a page?

All good faith edits (that is, edits aimed at improving the article) are encouraged. If someone thinks that a particular edit, though well intentioned, does not improve the article then they can change it back. If the two contributors disagree then some discussion takes place (hopefully) leading to consensus.--Cherry blossom tree 01:07, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

How do you define "edit", is deleting info. or omitting certain info. considered unethical?

Deleting information is acceptable if the contributor thinks that the article would be better off without that information. It is considered unethical to remove information simply because it does not agree with your point of view rather than because it makes the article better.--Cherry blossom tree 01:07, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

With hundreds of thousands of articles, how did Wikipedia find the changes made to Meehan's page? The change was made in July '05 and Meehan's staff did not admit to the changes until January...

Anyone can look at Recent changes to see what is going on. There are people who watch these changes and switch back any that look like vandalism. Editors can also use watchlists which show recent changes just in the articles that interest them. Consequently the changes were seen when they happened, but no-one knew that they came from Congressional addresses until January.

How are editors dealt with when they violate Wikipedia's policies?

Editors are typically warned for first (and indeed second or third) offences but are eventually blocked if vandalism continues. In this case a block was enforced and lifted on January 30, 2006. A new block for additional vandalism was enforced for three hours on February 1, 2006 at 14:59.--Cherry blossom tree 01:07, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

What should people, perhaps students, reporters, researchers, etc. take into account in terms of credibility when using Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is fairly accurate. A study in December by the scientific journal Nature found that Wikipedia articles contained about 4 errors per article compared to 3 in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. On the other hand, like any other source, it should not be relied upon on its own for anything that matters.--Cherry blossom tree 01:07, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
As with anything else on the Internet, information found on Wikipedia needs to be taken with a grain of salt. An article is only as good as the references used to write it. Anyone using Wikipedia for serious research should take the time to verify that an article's content matches its cited sources. android79 01:35, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Is there anyone I could contact who actively/ frequently edits on Wikipedia?

There's thousands of people. If you have any other questions you can post them here, if you want an administrator you can try the Administrators' Noticeboard, there are various mailing lists you can contact.--Cherry blossom tree 01:07, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank you, any help is greatly appreciated!!

I agree with all of Cherry's answers, very well-stated and consistent with general opinions, except perhaps that removing info is never considered "unethical" so much as just "in bad faith". Edits made in bad faith are typically reverted, which means we change it back to the way it was before. Sometimes adding info can be considered unethical if it places someone at personal bodily risk, but this situation is very rare. Deco 01:26, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Unregisted users creating pages

Does anyone know when unregisted users are allowed to create pages again?

Sadly, it might never happen. Jimbo Wales personally created this policy, and although many disagree with it, his word is bond. Sarge Baldy 05:04, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
The way I heard it this an "experiment" for Jimbo, to see how effective it is at decreasing vandalism. Unfortunately, to my knowledge no one is quantitatively measuring the effect of the change - which makes any kind of experimental result we might have derived inaccessible. We do as a community have weight with Jimbo, but without clear evidence that it has a negative impact, I don't know if we'll see it get changed back any time soon. Deco 08:09, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Any editor who ever spent an hour or so under the previous arrangement, attempting to effect triage on the steady flow of garbage, would likely be under the impression that nothing of value is currently being lost. This impression will be easily dismissed as "anecdotal"—even "elite". --Wetman 08:51, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I've spent many hours doing exactly that, and I am, to the contrary, under the impression that much of value is being lost, and moreover that much of the trash continues to be created by fresh user accounts. Deco 22:21, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree completely. The contributions of new editors and user IPs are of equal quality, and by preventing IPs from creating articles all we're doing is reducing the amount of new articles being created, not improving the overall quality of the ones that are. Sarge Baldy 23:45, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Possibly what is needed is stricter registration proceedures. For example making a verifiable email address compulsary when registering, where a link is sent to the account to activate it. Whilst you could argue that it may discourage people from editing articles due to the time to set up an account, I believe that anyone who is prepared to write a paragraph for an entry wouldn't mind the hassle of setting up an account. With regard to vandalism/rubbish, a lot it of seems to take place simply because an unregistered user can still edit an existing page. Its a lot easier to go to an article and blank it than to write random junk on a new page. Hellfire83 01:11, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Policy regarding family trees

Is there an existing policy and/or consensus on the creation of family trees as their own independent articles within WP? Pepsidrinka 21:59, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Intuitively, it seems to me like such articles would not be encyclopedic. Instead, look for relevant topics to include them in. Deco 23:41, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
No, there's no policy, and it's not uncommon. Examples include Bourbon family tree, Caecilius Metellus family tree, Scipio-Paullus-Gracchus family tree. That last one is a great example of why you'll often find there isn't a sensible article into which you'd put a family tree, but the tree is nevertheless entirely encyclopedic. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:50, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I stand corrected. Deco 23:54, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Naming Conventions for Polish rulers

Please help completing the table below. The table is on a separate page, that opens when clicking the "edit" link below.

Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Polish rulers) is the place for discussions on the English Wikipedia page names of individual monarchs. --Francis Schonken 09:48, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

30px This proposal was rejected by the community. It is inactive but retained for historical interest. If you want to revive discussion on this subject, try using the talk page or start a discussion at the village pump.


In office
as ruler
of Poland
(for some
Polish name
(from pl:wikipedia)
Page name at en:Wikipedia Remarks
... ... ... ...
1386-1434 Władysław II Jagiełło Wladyslaw II/V of Poland, Jogaila of Lithuania Compromise, since Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles) has no special provisions when a ruler changes name when acquiring a second realm (this ruler was in office in Lithuania since 1377, he didn't receive his Christian name Wladyslaw until conversion to catholicism when acquiring the Polish throne);
Double numbering ("II" and "V") while both are used when referring to this Polish ruler: "II" is more common (but overlaps with another Polish ruler, see Wladislaw II of Poland dab page); "V" is less ambiguous, and is also often used.
"Jagiello" (the Polish version of Jogaila) is not used in the wikipedia page name while overlapping with another Wladyslaw II Jagiello, see Ladislaus Jagiello dab page.
... ... ... ...
1573-1574 Henryk III Walezy Henry III of France per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles), better known as ruler of France
(most of the
reign together
with her husband
Stefan Batory)
Anna Jagiellonka Anna of Poland per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles), "Anne/Anna Jagiellon(ka)" overlaps with at least two other women (that, btw, also both can be called "Anna of Poland", see Anna of Poland) - because of the unavoidable confusion whatever way it is turned, the "names and titles" guideline is applied very strict in this case, while considered least confusing in Wikipedia context
1576-1586 Stefan Batory Stefan Batory per most used in English; note that there is some ambiguity with his father, a namesake in common English spelling, but presently at the Hungarian spelling of the name, István Báthory
1587-1632 Zygmunt III Waza Sigismund III of Poland per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles), best known as ruler of Poland, although (for some years) also ruler of Sweden. Compare Henry III of France above: it's not because this ruler is better known in France than in Poland, that his name would suddenly be written in French (not "Henri III de France", and even less "Henri III (de) Valois"). So also for this Sigismund the spelling most common in English is used, applying the names & titles guideline:
  • First name: "Zygmunt" (Polish) or "Sigismund" (Swedish, but also most common in English, compare Sigismund of Burgundy, in French this name would be "Sigismond")? → Sigismund
  • "Waza" or "Wasa" or "Vasa" (as in: House of Vasa) or "of Poland"? → only of Poland is free of Polish/Swedish ethnic tension, and is not all that unusual in English.

Note that the ordinal "III" also only applies to of Poland (in Swedish there is usually no ordinal)

... ... ... ...
1669-1673 Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki Michael Korybut Wisniowiecki per most used in English
1674-1696 Jan III Sobieski Jan III Sobieski per most used in English
... ... ... ...
... ... ... ...
2005-... Lech Kaczyński Lech Kaczynski English spelling of name according to the English pages on The official website of the City of Warsaw (PS, the same website spells Lech Kaczyński on its pages in Polish [4])
... ... ... ...

Press releases

User:JQF proposes to include the copyrighted image Image:GuanlongWucaii.jpg in the Guanlong article on the grounds (I think) that the image formed part of a press release and therefore is in the public domain.

Are these grounds adequate? Press releases come with an implied licence for news organizations to redistribute them, but is that implied licence good enough for us?

There's more about this issue at this foundation-l mail thread and at Talk:News release.

Gdr 17:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

It is certainly not in the public domain, but it might be a {{Promotional}} image. Superm401 - Talk 21:16, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Deleting contributions in a Talk page

Hello there. Just realized that some deleted a part of a debate (about wether the infamous Mummad drawings should be in the top of the article about its controversy). I assumed there would be a clear Wiki policy about that - but I couldnt find anything. Has this subject not been discussed before, and is their no policy about it? Bertilvidet 13:10, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

That's a very long talk page; it's been archived (and probably should be so again). Look in the archives or in the history. John Reid 06:40, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes the talk page is long. But one thing is archiving entire sections, another thing is removing one part that you don't like. The argument was that it was an off topic debate, since it had been discussed before. In my regard, removing selected parts of a debate comes close to vandalism. No policy about that?? Bertilvidet 09:06, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:No original research is a bad policy

Wikipedia:No original research is a bad policy. I tried to analyze the semantics of George W. Bush's Sixth State of the Union Address, which keeps on getting vandalized (and no administrator has taken action), and was told this was against policy. I assume Howcheng, who referred me, meant:

"In this context it means unpublished theories, data, statements, concepts, arguments, and ideas; or any new interpretation, analysis, or synthesis of published data, statements, concepts, arguments that, in the words of Wikipedia's co-founder Jimbo Wales, would amount to a "novel narrative or historical interpretation"."

Interpretation or actual original research is one thing, but analysis should not be included in this list. We dont need a source to say that "we remember the events of september 11" is a reference to the September 11 Attacks. Please see the page and my expansion of the page to see what I mean. KI 22:40, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

My interpretation is that very simple synthesis or analysis of documented facts is okay, but various people have various levels of tolerance for this. Just use your discretion and try asking interested parties on Wikipedia talk:No original research if you feel unsure about a particular scenario. Deco 02:40, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Any time anyone draws from a body of existing research material, the editorial choices on what to include and what to exclude produce an original document, i.e. no-one has done it that way before. The simple collocation of existing evidence may, of itself, produce new insights without a commentary being necessary, i.e. the implication is clear when the two or more previously separated elements are seen juxtaposed. Sometimes a commentary is required to explain when the readership may not have the relevant infrastructure of knowledge to make the connections or the elements now brought together are evidence relied upon to produce a coherent argument. This latter case is the originality that Wiki sets its policy against. Those who write here can refer to any existing verifiable source and leave it to be readers to do the work, but the authors here cannot articulate those thoughts for the readers. Except that when writing on a page that touches the sensibilities of those more politically than academically inclined, even the hint of improper thought brings down the wrath of those POV pushers offended: a consequence that has implications for the credibility of the Wiki enterprise. David91 03:07, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Please view Democratic response to 2006 State of the Union address and see if that seems to be original research. Uncle G and Howcheng have both insisted my contributions to 2006 State of the Union address are original research - and since I wrote it (all other changes have been page moves or grammatical/formatting changes) this would mean 99% of the content would have to be deleted. KI 03:17, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
You seem to be taking an original speech and applying your own expertise to analyse it rather than operating as a reference editor to point readers to verifiable sources of commentary on the speech. The same could be said of whoever wrote the page on the Democratic response. Since I have no status in this place I can freely offer my advice which is to walk away from this one. You could consider starting a new page on semantic analysis, introduce the different forms of rhetorical device and then use either or both speeches as examples. That might be half-way justifiable if someone else has verifiably done the same thing (although not necessarily using the same speeches). The culture of this place requires you to be nimble and flexible. David91 11:47, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
He should not be applying his own expertise. There's nothing notable about his opinions and they don't belong anywhere. Superm401 - Talk 23:47, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Maybe I shouldn't point this out, but the quick and dirty solution is to open up a web page somewhere and post your original research there. Then you can cite that page here. This may or may not be in policy, but it will probably fly. John Reid 17:38, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
No, that isn't a solution and it won't fly. The sources cited have to be notable; someone's blog won't cut it. Superm401 - Talk 21:23, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I said quick and dirty and I meant it. Non-notable sources fly all the time -- for good or bad. John Reid 05:52, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Pantone controversy

Recently on the Commons, we had a debate about what colours to use in SVG flag images, and we noted that some of the official government definitions of national flags included references to Pantone colours. So we used approximations of those Pantone colours, but we got them from many different sources, causing conflicts. Consequently, I decided to post a house reference chart of Pantone colours onto the Commons to help us reach a consensus, but then legal issues came up, i.e. the fact that Pantone does not allow free use of its colour name/value list.

Since Pantone has an iron fist on its intellectual property, and references to Pantone colours cause conflicts, we are left with few options. Denelson83 04:53, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

The simplest solution is to point everybody to the official list (if it's not online, where to buy it), and quote entries from it as needed. This is well within fair use and not likely to stir Pantone's ire. Deco 20:46, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Help: Meaning of NPOV policy: Proportion of representation among experts OR among concerned parties

I posted this in the HelpDesk but it might properly belong to this place. Please also see the reply of Eequor below. Thanks for any help, confirmation of my interpretation or Eequor's, or my response to EEquor's, but I would prefer an "official interpretation." Where can I get this? I suppose this is the place? Lafem 05:25, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

The NPOV policy states: "we should present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties."

Since the conjunction used here is or implying that the second part is but an alternative, should we take this to mean that if there are experts on the subject with different points of view, there is no need to look into how the topic itself affects concerned parties nor much less how the ordinary people opine about the subject.

I base my interpretation in that the decision on what is majority and minority viewpoints is based on reference texts (experts I presume) and prominent adherents. See NPOV policy: "From Jimbo Wales, September 2003, on the mailing list: If a viewpoint is in the majority, then it should be easy to substantiate it with reference to commonly accepted reference texts;* If a viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents." Also the policy of No Original Research seems to back this up.

To summarize: the "or" means that if there are experts, commonly referenced texts and prominent adherents, we should not look into the opinions of ordinary people or how people in general feel about the subject? Thanks. Lafem 12:33, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

The comma in that statement is a hypercorrection. I think this is a poorly-written way of saying "we should present competing views in proportion to their representation among concerned parties and experts on the subject" — that is, we should present all views to an appropriate degree, which is what the rest of the policy says. ᓛᖁ♀ 15:50, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Thank you Eequor. That's a very scholarly response. It seems very bad writing indeed if that is the intent and policy-makers could have just chosen another conjunction such as and. That is why I am bringing this up for others to see. Thanks again. Lafem 05:33, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

How about seeing this policy from the No Original Research Point of View:

Wikipedia is not the place for original research. Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: the only way to show that you are not doing original research is to cite sources who discuss material that is directly related to the article, and to stick closely to what those sources say.
The original motivation for the no original research policy was to combat a real issue: people with personal theories that very few people take seriously, such as cranks and trolls, would attempt to use Wikipedia to draw attention to these theories and to themselves.
  1. It is an obligation of Wikipedia to its readers that the information they read here be reliable and reputable, and so we rely only on credible or reputable published sources. See "What counts as a reputable publication?" and "Reliable sources" for discussions on how to judge whether a source is reliable.
  2. Credible sources provide readers with resources they may consult to pursue their own research. After all, there are people who turn to encyclopedias as a first step in research, not as a last step.
  3. Relying on citable sources helps clarify what points of view are represented in an article, and thus helps us comply with our NPOV policy.
  • Is it possible that here lies another connection between the two policies? Lafem 03:05, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

In general I believe that you're interpretation is correct: the topic was in reference to minority points of view, and if the experts are fairly unanimous about something, and the references are fairly unanimous, you can express their views to a greater degree than the opposing view point. Thus, for instance, our article on the Common cold does not say that being cold gives you the cold, even though that is view held by a significant proportion of non-scientists. — Asbestos | Talk (RFC) 15:01, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

anyone who wants to see a complete failure of NPOV policy should look at Nakba Zeq 08:52, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

External links to Forums and Discussion Groups

I'm looking on some guidance on whether external links to forums and discussion groups should be allowed. Their supporters claim that they provide access to a range of opinions on POV issues. But they are usually so wide-ranging, and it's almost impossible to identity groups and their views without a read through thousands of posts.RJB 22:38, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Generally, I don't link discussion groups, because the information on them is generally both non-notable (by anonymous, insignificant entities) and unverifiable, which together make them unauthoritative. There are occasional exceptions - for example, there are well-known FAQs and even Usenet mailings that are the only good source for a major legitimate topic, such as Cindy's Torment. Deco 00:18, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Would be interested for a second opinion on the value of the three forums in the external links of the Christadelphians article. RJB 23:00, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Overzealous userfying

Every so often I notice someone userfying an autobiographical page just to get it out of the article space without going through deletion procedures. Wikipedia:Vanity guidelines recommends doing this under some circumstances and I did it myself sometimes before db-bio existed. However, with the procedures we have now, people should avoid doing this routinely. If someone registers and, as their first edit, creates a vanity article that gets userfied, and never edits again, the article is junk that should have been deleted. In such cases I recommend tagging the article for deletion and leaving the new user a {{nothanks-vanity}} message to encourage further contributions. If an article by a new user appears to mistake Wikipedia for a free web host, it should be proposed for deletion in that case also pursuant to WP:NOT.

This comment was motivated by the article now at User:Worldcantwait, which is not about the user at all, but about an activist organization the user claims to be involved in. Gazpacho 06:53, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

You could list it on WP:MFD. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:57, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. At the time of the userfying, we don't yet know whether the user will contribute more in the future. And, although we realise that their content is inappropriate, having your only contribution deleted is very discouraging to someone who hasn't yet bought into Wikipedia. Let's assume good faith and only delete the user page later if they haven't continued to contribute. Deco 00:16, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Admins should be reachable via email

On 10 February 2006, around 02:58, I was blocked by KillerChihuahua. (OK, so it was only for 15 minutes, but I didn't know that at that time.) I immediately sent an email protesting the block and explaining the reasons for my edits. It was not until some 3 hours later that KillerChihuahua responded to my email. I don't think it's fair for an Admin to block a User -- thereby limiting to email any communication from the User to the Admin -- while that Admin is in a position where (in their own words) "I cannot always access my email and it may be a day or two before you receive a reply". Ewlyahoocom 11:44, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia editors and admins are volunteers. Nobody is going to be at your beck and call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:29, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

There are lots of editors who don't have an email adress set. Having an adress is "accesible", and it's unfair to whine because you didn't get a response right away.--Sean Black (talk) 21:34, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Don't be an admin if you don't wanna work hard. Reverend Abramovich 08:17, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
We could always do a John Galt and simply stop, but I think you'd not enjoy that. --Golbez 08:21, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
If an admin blocks somebody, that means they have already exhausted all available means of nicely asking them to stop. It's a last resort. Even obvious vandals get warnings, and moreover first blocks should never be indefinite. The ability to e-mail the blocking admin is a courtesy. Also, not all admins block people - I think I've only placed one block ever. Deco 09:19, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I proposed this at Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy a couple of years ago, but there'd be no easy way to enforce it, so it's better to encourage admins to do this than try to insist it be a policy. Angela. 10:07, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I disagree, i think it should be made policy with instant loss of admin privs if an admin is caught breaking it whilst using thier admin privilages (admins should be allowed to take holidays from thier e-mail if and only if they also take holidays from performing admin tasks).

A block may be a last resort but it can also be made by mistake. wikipedia has to make a descision. is wikipedia going to be run by a cabel after whose descision there is no appeal or by an open and fair process? Plugwash 21:52, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

If a block is made contrary to policy, they can e-mail any admin and ask it to be considered for reversal. There are hundreds who respond promptly to e-mail. Perhaps a list of "admins who regularly review e-mail" would be helpful. Deco 00:13, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
This particular case is silly as admin replied to the e-mail in 3 hours time. The question arises: "Should admins be allowed to sleep for more than 2 hours in a row?" What if admin blocks an apparent vandal at 1am and goes to bed? Or should there be a rule for admins that they are not allowed to go to bed less than 1 hour after their last block? I generally agree that admins should be reachable by e-mail (in sense that e-mail is entered in their preferences) but it is not always possible to reply everybody instantly. --Jan Smolik 20:59, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

2006: Ilyanep asks a very important question

What is the policy on article headers such as '1992-1995: Early times', '1995-1997: Public recognition', etc? I personally think they seem odd. — Ilyanep (Talk) 02:21, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

There isn't any. They do seem odd. But that's an article-level style choice and I can't imagine we'll make a global policy one way or the other. Deco 02:30, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I think reversing them would be better (e.g. "Early times (1992-95)"), but I suspect that it's just a matter of personal preference. —Kirill Lokshin 02:34, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
When you're working on a history, and there has been no work done by a reputable source to designate eras of history pertaining to the subject, sectioning purely chronologically may be a reasonable way to break up the flow a bit for readability without engaging in original research. A distressingly common area of dispute in history articles is article structure, since you can't structure the article to match each point of view about how histories on the topic should be structured, but choosing one can be seen as endorsing that POV. You want a history article to read like a history of the subject, whatever it is, not like a survey of different POVs about how the history of the subject should be approached. A date-only structure leaves much to be desired for information accessibility, but it's certainly NPOV at least.... --TreyHarris 10:23, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

In general, style manuals (including ours) deprecate starting sentences with numerals, and I think that the same reasoning applies to headings. In other words, I'm essentially agreeing with Kirill Lokshin, but adding a mild appeal to authority. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 11:13, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

_ _ What same reasoning? IMO, that deprecation reflects the fact that a period is not really enough to mark the boundary between sentences, and the combination of a period and a capital is. The combination of a period and a digit is borderline and IMO the reason for avoiding a numeral at the head of a subsequent sentence with a 'graph.
_ _ I would hesitate to start a paragraph with "1989 was momentous in Eastern Europe", but mostly bcz most people have made themselves comfortable only with the overly general rule "don't start a sentence...". (Did Churchhill begin a whole speech with a year? I somehow think of him as the only person who would write
Nineteen forty-one will be...
at the start of a 'graph; perhaps i saw someone else's transcription of such a speech.)
_ _ In any case, a heading is not a sentence, nor is it signficantly like a sentence. It is more like a list entry, and both headings and list entries commonly start with or consist of numbers written with numerals rather than spelled out. In the cases discussed here, it should be preferred: get the objective data out there first, and soften the more subjective and inevitably at least mildly PoV wording into a secondary position where it can do less damage.
--Jerzyt 14:52, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia:Naming conventions (numbers and dates)#Other events - "1992-95" → "1992-1995" (years always written in full) --Francis Schonken 11:30, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I think that section is referring to abbreviating single years; certainly I've never heard anything about shortening the second year in a sequence (per the CMS) being forbidden. —Kirill Lokshin 14:24, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
_ _ Drifting further off-topic, FS's example is not from there and that section (at least) does not deprecate that specific approach. The example there has the thrust of "don't use '89 in place of 1989", which is entirely different form using 1992-95, by being ambiguous out of context, and therefore sometimes ambiguous while skimming thru an article.
_ _ I'm not sure about using 1992-95. What i am sure about is that for someone who died in 1990 at the age of 50
is better than either
(c. 1940 -1990)
(1939 or 1940 -1990)
(although personally i would always write 1940/41 rather than 1940/1).
_ _ (If this aspect is worth discussing, IMO we should probably move it to an existing talk page.)
--Jerzyt 14:27, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
The main MoS page (Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)) has "Do not use two digits to express a year unless at the end of a range, e.g., '1970–87'", for what it's worth. —Kirill Lokshin 14:29, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Oops, sorry, should've mentioned the nuances straight away:

  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) is about what you write in article text
  • Wikipedia:Naming conventions (numbers and dates) is about what name you give to non-redirect article pages.
  • Don't use years (nor abbreviated, nor full) in page names for articles on people (example: Thomas F. Bayard (1828-1898) can only be a redirect)
  • "1992-95" is OK for use in article text (although Jerzy is correct in saying that wouldn't be a format suited to indicate year of birth/year of death of a person).
  • It is not "commandeered", but "encouraged" to use "1992-1995" instead in page names of content pages on events, per naming conventions (quote: "In general, however, abbreviations for years or months are avoided")
  • So, if you happen to have made such "content page" containing "1992-1995" in the title, it's maybe not a bad idea to create a redirect page with the same title, except for replacing "1992-1995" by "1992-95". No obligation, but since people might start using both variants, with double square brackets around them, in article text, this is just being attentive for your co-wikipedians.

--Francis Schonken 16:41, 8 February 2006 (UTC)


Moved from top of section -- Where do I report plagarism these days? There seems to be one involving Marrickville, New South Wales and this page but I do not know where to report it. There seems to be nothing on the wikipedia policy pages, for instance. Arno 01:47, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Copyrights#If you find a copyright infringement. -- Dalbury(Talk) 02:19, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Dalbury. (not sure of relevance of area above my question...)Arno 03:21, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Do other countries besides the U.S. have research databases at public libraries?

I was thinking about ways to improve Wikipedia:How to write a great article and I realized that I don't know that much about availability of free access to private research databases at public libraries in other countries. Do libraries in other countries have widespread access to such databases, just as Americans have widespread access to ProQuest, EBSCO, Thomson Gale's Infotrac, etc.? If so, perhaps a couple such databases could be noted in the article so that it will reflect a worldwide view. --Coolcaesar 20:35, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

The answer is yes and no. I can only speak for the Czech republic and I can say we have got something but generaly much less than that is avaliable in US libraries. For example library in Praha have EBSCO (some databases) but does not have ProQuest. But there is also something in the national library and something in university libraries (but databases in university libraries are not avaliable to general public). So I think that including information about these kind of resources might be generaly helpful. Even relatively poor countries as Czech republic have something. --Jan Smolik 21:11, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Addition: municipal library in Praha has Proquest. --Jan Smolik 21:20, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
My experience in Japan, Australia, Britain and Canada is that university libraries do have these databases, which are availble to tens of millions of students. Also puiblic libraries in very large cities. In the US most high school, public and college libraries have some of the services--but many users are unaware of their value. I think Wiki should promote maximum use of online sources, and I propose that we recommend links whenever possible. This includes links to subscription services (EBSCO, Questia, Proquest, Project Muse, JSTOR) as well as free services like Making of America. We can link to books and articles that users would not easily discover otherwise--which is what encyclopedias are good for. I would recommend allowing links to only when they offer something useful like the table of contents or an excerpt. Rjensen 21:24, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Other wikis as reliable sources

What are people's opinions of the use of other wikis as reliable sources? I realise this is an argument that potentially cuts to the core of the viability of us as a reliable source, but should we cite other wikis as sources or should we verify and then cite the sources they have used? Steve block talk 10:51, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Compare Wikipedia:Template messages/Sources of articles#Citations of specific sources which lists this template: {{Wipipedia}}. Content of that template (with "Main_Page" as parameter):

This article incorporates text from the article on Main_Page in Wipipedia, the free-content Fetish and BDSM encyclopedia.

(Click the link, it's a Wiki, "MediaWiki"-powered, Wipipedia being "the free-content Fetish and BDSM encyclopedia that anyone can edit")
I'm not taking a stance on this (that is: not yet), just notifying about some apparently established practice. --Francis Schonken 11:21, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
As other wikis (and even other language versions of Wikipedia) have different rules about verifiability, we cannot say they are reliable sources. So, either check or find reliable sources for the article, or (and this may not be workable) have a process for certifying another wiki as having verifiability requirements at least as stringent as ours. -- Dalbury(Talk) 12:50, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't know whether you guys ever hear yourself talking: "As other [sources] have different rules about verifiability, we cannot say they are reliable sources." Example: Nature (journal) has different rules about "verifiability" than en:wikipedia (for starters, it allows publication of Original Research, after which Wikipedia can make a reference to that publication).
So, cut out the nonsense, wikipedia can not "judge" on verifiability standards of others (that would be Original Research, not allowed in Wikipedia).
"other language versions of Wikipedia (& sister projects under the "wikimedia foundation"!)" are not rejected as "unreliable", but can not be used as references in a WP:V logic, because they're not independent sources, they fail Wikipedia:avoid self-references. The "Wipipedia" example given above is not a self-reference in that sense, so the question remains: can Wipipedia be used as a source, in the sense of Wikipedia:Reliable sources? --Francis Schonken 13:42, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually, we judge sources all the time and we have too. You can't say stormfront is a reliable source for citing a fact, and if someone has something published in Nature that contradicts it, then Nature trumps it no questions asked. See Wikipedia:Reliable sources. - Taxman Talk 21:30, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Other wikis should be treated the same way that other websites are treated for determining credibility. This means that Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Using online sources should be your guide. As many wikis are rather open about who may contribute, most wikis should be treated as a bulletin board or other open forum. It is only in cases where a wiki excercises solid editorial control over content that it has the potential to become a reliable source. --Allen3 talk 13:11, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • See another problem I'm thinking of is, if we reference other wikis that have referenced us, it becomes rather circular, and creates problems if they reference bad material from us which we delete as unsourced, and then it gets re-incorporated as it is now sourced. I mean, for a few examples we've got the aforementioned Wipipedia, as well as a few I've run across; Memory Alpha, Marvel Database Project and Comixpedia. There's quite a few more comics databases and the like, and also all the wikicities sites.
  • As to Allen3's point regarding "It is only in cases where a wiki excercises solid editorial control over content that it has the potential to become a reliable source." I whole heartedly agree. But then I find myself posing the question: What does that say about Wikipedia? Steve block talk 14:58, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I'd go so far as to say we shouldn't reference Wikipedia either (meaning by extension Wipipedia is not realiable) because we don't have a formal editorial control system. For similar reasons many professors won't allow citing any encyclopedias. There are better sources. Of course we can and are moving towards better validation methods, but we're not there yet. That's ok, there's nothing wrong with being an in process project, but lets not kid ourselves that we are fully reliable already. Any minute someone can swap out an article with some garbage, and if it's not seen right away, using it as a reliable reference would be a disaster. Same goes for Wipipedia. - Taxman Talk 16:41, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • So there seems so far to be consensus developing that we are better sourcing our work in other wiki's sources rather than the wiki's themselves, as they are unreliable sources, yes? Steve block talk 18:25, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • No, on the contrary, where did you read that? Oh yeah, I see, you just wrote it yourself two paragraphs above. That's what you should call "circular" referencing. That's no particular flaw of wiki systems (in Wikipedia it's just forbidden) - Press agencies, researchers, and the like are as sensitive to that flaw.
  • Taxman's remark is not really to the point either: "we shouldn't reference Wikipedia" is unrelated to "we don't have an editorial control system". Why does Taxman put a "because" between these two half sentences? And besides, we have an editorial control system, and, besides, most encyclopedias have, and, besides, that's unrelated to why many professors won't allow citing encyclopedias - why did Taxman link all that unrelated stuff together with "for similar reasons"? And, besides, how reliable we (= wikipedia? or did Taxman only mean him/herself?) are has nothing to do with don't self-reference. And that has nothing to do with wipipedia (seen from angle of referencing in wikipedia), so why is there a "same goes" linking two unrelated sentences? --Francis Schonken 19:23, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • You've completely failed to parse what I wrote and then you're saying I missed a point I wasn't trying to make. Read what I wrote, don't compare it to what you think I was referring to. Ok, I'll make this simpler. Wide open Wiki's are not reliable sources by any stretch of the imagination because they can be at any time changed, and the reader, without knowing intimately how to go into the history and discern if recent changes have improved the article, cannot trust the content. Wikis like ours are works in process and like I said, that's fine as long as we don't kid ourselves. Wikipedia will not be reliable as a source of it's own until we have stable versions at the least, and for some purposes until we have a system where articles are formally peer reviewed by experts. Of course if what you need the information for is not terribly important, the current wiki will do, but if we are discerning what counts as a reliable reference for us to cite, the above applies. - Taxman Talk 21:10, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Francis, that's something of a misrepresentation in accusing me of referencing my own opinion. If you care to read the thread again perhaps you can point out any one person who has made a case for using wiki's as reliable sources point blank. The general feelings tend to be to take it on a case by case basis, note the fluidity of the information and verify the information being sourced. Given those opinions I don't think my summation was as off the mark as you make out. It'd be nice for my opinions to be considered case by case and be granted the benefit of the doubt rather than accused of intellectual dishonesty off the bat. The point I am making is that wiki's aren't of equal worth compared to press agencies, which employ teams of fact checkers, nor are they of equal worth to published researchers, whose works are published in peer reviewed magazines or through editors at commercial companies. Wikis are open to anyone to edit; the question I'm asking is do we apply the same set of criteria when determining what to reference from them as we do in determining what to include here? Otherwise, what stops joe bloggs setting up a wiki for all that original research and then referencing it here? That could well become the case, if it isn't happening already. The point regarding verification is this; I have to check another wikis sources to ensure the information is reliable, therefore I am better off utilising their sources rather than the wiki in question, yes? Steve block talk 21:33, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Interesting discussion, thanks for the pointer, Steve. People who know me here know that one of my areas of interest is in websites as references (c.f. and the AfD it went through) and how that affects their notability. I guess my read on the consensus forming here is "it depends" (although passthrough sourcing seems a very good idea when it's unclear). Whether a site is a wiki or not seems less relevant than how they go about validating their information. If the site gives solid references to primary sources which always check out when you spot check them, that's a good sign. If the site is cited by others as a reference (not the way that sociologists cite blogs as evidence of trends, mind you, but more of the way a librarian points to a magazine or book as a good place to do research) that's a good sign too. If the process of how articles is created is open to inspection and verification, that's a good sign too (and that's something that for the most part, only wikis have) If the author or authors can be tied to real life people who have validatable expertise, that is also a very good thing. Wikipedia, today, is spotty in these regards, I feel. Many many (but not all) articles are very solid, very well researched and full of verifiable cites, and therefore perfectly citable in their own right (via a diff, of course, so that some vandal replacement isn't what is seen) Others, not so much. It seems the Stable Version project, if it succeeds, will end up with a work that is highly citable. (as a secondary source, of course) PS, the grammar dwonk in me changed the title from "Other wiki's as reliable sources" to "Other wikis as reliable sources" because I just couldn't stand it! It was either that or change it to "Other wiki's articles as reliable sources" LOL++Lar: t/c 18:53, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

I realize that this is a somewhat unique case since it's an article about the Wiki using information from the Wiki, but the note in Memory Alpha's references section is along the lines of what we should do if we cite wikis at all. That, and/or put a "date accessed" (with link to the page version, similar to MA's reference for Mr. Doddema's "interview") when we cite them. Anyway, as much as I am a proponent of wikis, the truth is that the average user considers something less reliable and professional if it cites a wiki (including Wikipedia) due to their dynamic nature. So I agree entirely with Steve's observation. Jibbajabba 19:15, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

WP:NOR, WP:V, WP:CS, WP:RS, WP:NOT, and Pillars I-III

Can someone explain to me why an article which fails no fewer than five content policies, and smashes through three of the Five Pillars has only one person advocating its deletion? Currently, it has only attracted the attentions of a half-dozen editors who evidently don't know original research when it is biting at what they perceive to be their elbows. A quick glance at the offending article shows that each entry is clearly new data measured by the users involved. (I've looked, and hard. Trust me when I say that this data just is not available anywhere else). 10:39, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Far too many editors voting in AfD don't give a fig about policy. Unfortunately, I don't know what can be done about that without seriously restricting the franchise, or going to some sort of 'expert' review of grounds for deletion, both of which seem antithetical to the openess of Wikipedia. -- Dalbury(Talk) 12:46, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I concur that the stupid article about the "Longest streets in London" should be deleted. It's original research and not easily verifiable (tracing lines on a map by hand is not verifiability because it's too subjective). Let's all vote to get that piece of junk out of Wikipedia! --Coolcaesar 20:31, 15 February 2006 (UTC)



I think that this "blocking" of members who just want to add something to the Wikipedia by blocking their AOL URL is silly

There has to be a better way to pursue this.

Here's the whole text that I had written today to honor St. Valentine's Day:

"Silly Love Songs" is a song written and sung by the British musical genius Paul McCartney, formerly a member of the Beatles.

McCartney had been teased by fellow Beatle and songwriter John Lennon for always writing his "silly love songs". And so, McCartney paid him back by writing and performing the song "Silly Love Songs" which contains the lyric "silly love songs". "Silly Love Songs" became a hugely popular hit worldwide.

That is all. It was foolish to block this, especially since I had just finished with editing typographical/grammar/factual errors in some other articles. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dale101usa (talk • contribs) .

You were probably blocked because someone else using your IP was vandalizing pages, not because of your contributions to the legitimate article Silly Love Songs. Deco 01:38, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Is there a proper ISBN format?

Traditionally the ISBN is written out with dashes (such as 0-8160-4059-1), however with so many electronic databases that use ISBNs, from stores like Amazon to library card catalogs) the numbers have been written without the dashes (i.e 0816040591). Is there a standard convention on Wikipedia? - Koweja 23:35, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

No. If in doubt, however, it is more correct to use the non-hyphenated one. The hyphens show which portions of the ISBN mean what (language, published, etc). Either is equally correct, so long as you know exactly where to put the hyphens. Sam Korn (smoddy) 23:38, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
There is no standard way. It's either a complete number or seperated by . or - or spaces. It is not that relevant either, since it will cease to exist by 2007 when the UPC become the standard and it was a good system in the beginning, but nowadays you need a different for every unique printing which means that it is a huge chaos especially since the largest blocks are assigned to be big publishing houses so the first printing can be 1912448242 and the second printing of the same book but with a different cover can be 0828578221 Dr Debug (Talk) 00:30, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
As the UPC is the ISBN with a standard prefix and a recalculated checksum digit - and there'll be forty years of material with printed ISBNs on them - it's a bit misleading to claim the ISBN will "cease to exist", any more than the Standard Book Number ceased to exist c.1970 Shimgray | talk | 14:27, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

"Task forces" proposal

I'd be interested in hearing people's opinions on User:Talrias/Task forces proposal. Cheers, Talrias (t | e | c) 22:22, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Problem is divisiveness. Solution is expansion.

The problem is not userboxes. The problem is divisiveness. The solution is not JUST to delete a userbox, but to EXPAND the divisive content into a creative expression of one's self:

"Divisive content in user space, whether in the form of divisive user boxes or any other kind of bumper-sticker type labeling is discouraged as harmful to Wikipedia. Creative, explanatory, or otherwise useful information is encouraged as these efforts can help build a community that in turn builds an encyclopedia. If it is generally perceived that a label, userbox, or bumper sticker type self-expression on your user page is divisive, then expand it with creativity, explanations, and other positive inclusive elements or remove it because that's what is good for building the community that is building this encyclopedia. Facile labels, polarizing "bumper stickers", polemical user boxes, factionalism, and division are bad for Wikipedia. Creative informative explanatory self-expression is good for Wikipedia. Individuality of expression always looks more meaningful than branding." Source = Wikipedia:Divisiveness WAS 4.250 18:00, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Detrimental userspace content (proposal)

It seems clear, though few want to describe it this way, that there is a strong sentiment (from Jimbo and others) that there are certain types of content that, when in userspace, has a negative effect on WP, because they lead to divisiveness, disputes, infighting, balkanization, outrage, etc., etc., etc.

People are walking around this core issue, trying to impose administrative structures on content spaces, creating new speedying criteria, etc. All of these are side-steps, workarounds, stop-gaps, or ostrich solutions.

Let's own up to it -- we can probably consensually agree on a number of things that any experienced WP contributor and/or sensible person would realize are detrimental to WP. Instead of allowing everyone (i.e. every admin) define these on their own, leading to a slew of inconsistent treatments, we should define these consensually, as a community.

To that end, I propose Wikipedia:Unacceptable userspace material (WP:UUSM).

- Keith D. Tyler 21:38, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

This seems redundant to the following long-standing policies
  • WP:NOT: Wikipedia is not a soapbox
  • WP:NOT: Wikipedia is not a free host, blog or webspace provider
  • WP:USER: [What can I not have on my user page] Opinion or other pieces not related to Wikipedia
  • WP:USER: [What can I not have on my user page] Things that fall into "entertainment" rather than "writing an encyclopedia," particularly if they involve people who are not active participants in the project
Physchim62 (talk) 22:14, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, you'd think, but some people still want to allow any kind of garbage whatsoever on user pages under the idea that they are sacrosanct. If you even hint that userboxes should be deleted, immediate cries of censorship and the immediate end of the world coming if any get deleted. Same for other garbage comments on them. Sounds like other languages have solved this pretty easily. The problem here is that consensus has been subverted by a very vocal minority achieving a very suboptimal result so far. - Taxman Talk 03:27, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Is it permissible to implement the guidance in the Manual of Style?

For a long time, there has been a serious mismatch between the Manual of Style guidance and the article implementation of date links. Several editors have been reducing this mismatch in accordance with:

Unfortunately, Ambi and perhaps another admin have applied and threatened blocks if the guidance is implemented. In my janitorial capacity I do a lot of work on a lot of articles but I have been told to leave the guidance unimplemented. A few other editors are also being prevented from implementing the guidance, but are less visible. Thus we now have guidance (i.e. the Manual of Style) and undocumented meta-guidance (constraints from dissenting editors with blocking powers). It really would be better if dissenting editors would work to change guidance rather than target editors that follow the guidance. I care less about the actual guidance than my ability to continue my janitorial work in peace.

The Manual of style is a valuable resource to increase the quality of Wikipedia (consistency etc). It also serves as a reference point for those that have incompatible preferences. It would be a shame if it were not permissible to implement it for fear of being blocked.

We are already several weeks into this unofficial ban on implementation of guidance. My questions are these:

  • if a temporary ban on implementing guidance is required:
    • what duration is reasonable (1 week, 1 month, 1 year)?
    • should the ban be documented adjacent to the guidance concerned (so it is clear to all)?
  • is it otherwise permissible to implement guidance in the Manual of Style? If not, which guidance can we use?

bobblewik 16:33, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for bringing the problem to the wider fora. I went through the discussions and I think it is a problem that deserves better solution than current edit war (or revert war) between administrator Ambi and bobblewik. As I am inclined to support bobblewik I can see the situation is not that simple. I ask other wikipedians to see bobblewik, Special:Contributions/Bobblewik and Wikipedia_talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Can we document scope and duration of suspension of the Manual of Style?. --Jan Smolik 19:24, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
It's very clear that there is absolutely no consensus to either remove or keep all date links, which is why no one should be running around with a bot changing them. As I've stated in several other fora, I have no objection to people not including date links in articles they write - I for one certainly won't go around adding them if that's the case. Furthermore, it has been longstanding bot policy on Wikipedia to not make controversial edits with bots. Bobblewik has been repeatedly asked by a litany of editors (see his talk page) to stop, but has continued making bot edits at a speed of 120/hour, and his responses have essentially amounted to "okay, you want me to stop? make me." This is not courteous editing, and is particuarly bad form for someone using a bot. It is the latter reason why he has been blocked in the past and will be again if he continues. Ambi 03:43, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
It's certainly not "very clear" that there's no consensus on the general issue of year-linking. Bobblewik's position reflects the MOS consensus, and a clear majority of the comments on his talk page (probably a 2:1 majority) support him on the standard involved. There are also a number of questions about the standard involved, and the questioners appear, in most cases, to be satisfied with the MOS guidelines he refers to. A few other editors agree generally, but disagree with regard to particular articles. Blocking him seems to be far more abusive than anything he's doing. And why do you believe, as your comments indicate, that a new consensus is needed to implement/enforce an already-established-by-consensus standard? Monicasdude 04:27, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Where do the MoS guidelines say "remove all date links wherever they exist?" User:Zoe|(talk) 19:23, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
In history articles 9/10 date links are useless and misleading. When we put in a link it should tell users it is worthwhile for them to go there for relevant useful information. And if it's October 24 they are wasting their time. Rjensen 19:29, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
On the issue of year links, I'm fairly sure that (i) a majority of new editors add links to years because that's what everyone else does, and because you have to for full dates and they don't understand the difference; (ii) a majority of longstanding editors, when they understand date preferences properly, realise that almost all year links are useless.
However, that's not really the issue here. The issue is whether Ambi should be allowed to block Bobblewik for following the Manual of Style, however much she disagrees with its guidance, or believes it to be "controversial" and having "no consensus". It is absolutely clear to me that no, an administrator has no business to block a user for obeying anything in the Manual of Style.
Stephen Turner (Talk) 18:35, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
You're missing a very important distinction there. I never blocked Bobblewik. I blocked his account because he runs a bot under that account which is making disputed edits en masse even after being asked to stop, even temporarily. The manual of style is only a guideline, and to make masses of bot edits even after being asked to stop by numerous people is extremely bad form. The polite thing to do with a bot is to stop when asked - not to effectively say "make me." When that does happen, however, blocking said bot is perfectly justified. Ambi 04:51, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining that. Using a bot without authorisation is certainly grounds for blocking, per WP:BOT. They shouldn't be run from a user's own account either. But have we established whether Bobblewik is using a bot? The block notes seem to be in some doubt about this, and when you blocked him, you said it was for bot-speed edits, which as far as I know is not an offence! But if he is using a bot, I would agree with your actions. Stephen Turner (Talk) 09:47, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
It certainly acts like a bot - it's making edits across the encyclopedia at random at a set rate of 120/hour. I'm inclined to say that if it looks like a bot, acts like a bot, and smells like a bot, it's a bot. Ambi 14:59, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
What is the purpose of having a manual of style if its contents are not to be implemented--both for new articles and for past? If otherwise, why not just delete the Manual of Style as a wasteful effort? Hmains 22:04, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't necessarily agree with this, but to give guidance, not lay down strict follow-this-or-else rules. Editors should be allowed to edit articles generally in the format they want, rather than following someone else's ideas of aesthetics. I most certainly do not support making the MoS compulsory. How is anyone supposed to keep track of its sprawling mass of pages? Sam Korn (smoddy) 22:10, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Precisely. There was never any consensus for this particular clause - Bobblewik and friends slipped this in with minimal feedback, then he fired up his bot and when asked by many people to cease, effectively dared people to stop him. Ambi 04:51, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't believe the comment about "slipp[ing] this in" is even close to accurate. The equivalent of the standard Bobblewik is applying shows up at least as far back as late 2002 (or 2002, to give equal time) [5] Monicasdude 17:36, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Yet in all that time, the vast majority of Wikipedians have done otherwise, and including year links remains common practice on this project. This should tell you something. Ambi 03:03, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
It does tell me something, but not that anyone finds them useful. It tells me that most editors are confused about date preferences, and/or they follow the crowd. Stephen Turner (Talk) 09:55, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

A proposal for compromise

It has happened more than once, that someone has "slipped something in" to the MoS with minimal feedback. It annoys me, too, especially when I use the MoS to bolster an argument only to find that—surprise!—it's been changed out from under me when I wasn't looking. I'd hate this misusage to result in the MoS being considered purely advisory, though, or to have its guidance be considered out of bounds for bot editing. Might I suggest that, instead, we institute a new rule: that if someone intends to use a bot to implement MoS guidance, or to start a collaboration project or JavaScript tool or any other mechanism to bring a large number of pages into compliance quickly, that they be required to notify editors concerned with the rule of their intentions, by posting to the relevant MoS's talk page several days ahead of starting the widespread article edits? This would give people a chance to say, "hey, wait, where did that rule come from?" without entirely stopping constructive bot usage to improve MoS compliance. --TreyHarris 05:05, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

??? is the question at hand

  • the allowable mechanisms to be used in implmenting a MoS rule?
  • whether MoS rules should be allowed to be implemented without being challenged or reverted by other editors who do not happen to like the rules?

Unless we know the problem we are trying to solve, we surely have little chance to solve it. Right?

thanks Hmains 06:37, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

The act that started this thread was an instance of widespread editing (via a bot) to implement a rule in the MoS that after the fact turned out to appear not to have garnered consensus. My proposal is suggested to help prevent that from happening in the future. So in that sense, it addresses your first question, "allowable mechanisms to be used in [implementing] a MoS rule".
The Manual of Style is a Wikipedia guideline. As such, it is "actionable...[but] not set in stone and should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception." That means that, with a good reason to believe that an exception is justified in a given case, an edit for compliance can be "challenged or reverted by other editors". But "not [happening] to like the rules" is not a reasonable justification for an exception. Believing that consensus was not reached in the particular rule is a reasonable justification.
Disputes on this should be taken one of two places: if you agree with the rule but you think an exception is justified in a particular case, it should be taken to the talk page of the article in question. If you think the rule itself is inappropriate, or was "slipped in" to the MoS without consensus, or if you think there's an exception that needs to be made in many cases beyond just a single article (i.e., the rule itself needs to be rewritten to allow for your exception), then you should take the issue to the appropriate MoS's talk page.
Undoing an edit to comply with the MoS just because you do not "happen to like the rules" is inappropriate and could be considered damaging to the encyclopedia. --TreyHarris 07:00, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
It is being discussed, and this is a good thing. The problem is that Bobblewik was using a bot to make several thousand edits enforcing his particular stance while that discussion was ongoing, without any attempt to listen or compromise on his part. Ambi 03:03, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
He's already said (below, but earlier in time) that it's not a bot. Stephen Turner (Talk) 10:04, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but my proposed compromise rule would have required him to state his intentions to make widespread compliance edits, whatever the mechanism for doing so. The result in this case would have perhaps delayed bobblewik's edits by a few days, but would have prevented his getting blocked and given folks a chance to verify that the linking rule had in fact reached consensus. --TreyHarris 06:34, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I think your proposal is a good idea. It would certainly help to notify such work in advance. However, I'm still not sure what happens if one or two editors object — aren't we back to where we started? It seems to me that in this case one of the problems is that there isn't even a consensus about whether there's a consensus. :-) Stephen Turner (Talk) 10:11, 16 February 2006 (UTC)


I'd have been much happier if the original poster had written I want to unlink portions of dates with a bot instead of it otherwise permissible to implement guidance.... The latter is bafflegab that strains so hard to cast the debate in terms of Right vs Wrong (with the poster on the side of the angels, or at least authority) that it's almost impossible to discover the subject.

You'll never know where my sympathies might have lain on this issue, since now I'm alienated from the debate. John Reid 06:24, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Use of pre-1923 "copyrighted" stock images

There are a couple of images on Corbis I would like to use for articles, but am reluctant to upload images from such a commercial stock image site. The images in question are pre-1923, as stated in the image information on the website. I do not know if they were in fact published before 1923 though. Corbis claims copyright on the digital version. What has been the general practice or policy with inclusion of such images on Wikipedia? — Eoghanacht talk 14:16, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

if you can asscertain they were published long enough ago tag as {{PD-US}} or {{PD-art}} depending on exactly how old they are. Plugwash 15:13, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Corbis can claim whatever it likes, but even reputable institutions and companies frequently claim copyright over things that are in fact public domain, because they lose nothing by doing so and will discourage plenty of copiers. This chart is very helpful in determining what is and is not in the public domain in the U.S. Regarding whether something was published, if the author died prior to 1936, it's irrelevant; it's all in the public domain. What can you tell us about the images that would help us figure out what category they belong to? Postdlf 15:47, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

They are black and white studio portraits of George Jay Gould II (aka "Jay Gould" or "Jay Gould, Jr."). The pictures are very obviously professionally done -- but with no photographer referenced. The first seems to have an older non-Corbis copyright tag in the lower corner -- although I cannot read all of it (only the city) at the preview resolution. This first one also has a 1910 date in the Corbis info. Unfortunately I just realized that this first image has a faint "CORBIS" watermark over it (not particulary visible in this particular image, though). The second image does not have a date, but he looks several years younger than he is in another image dated 1925. I have a version of this second file without the watermark. — Eoghanacht talk 16:23, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

I would imagine they are safe to use, providing the Corbis marks and etc are stripped off of them. I really hate it when big companies and institutions make false copyright claims. They definitely know better, they just hope people believe their lies so they can sell them for big bucks. If you need help stripping stuff or want a more thorough opinion, you can post the image to someplace like or (I think that's the name) and link to it so one of us can look. DreamGuy 18:53, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Just as a note: Corbis claims the copyright to a ton of known-PD images (including a bunch of PD-USGov images). When one is sure that the image is in the public domain, one should not hestitate to ignore their blanket claims. I once tried to e-mail them about a few images I knew were PD and they responded that they don't care. --Fastfission 19:54, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, here is what they wrote me back (this was some time ago):
Thank you for taking the time to write with your copyright query regarding images NA007397, IH132146 and IH129444. Corbis owns the copyright to our digital scans of these images. The underlying images are in the public domain in which no one owns the copyright.
Which is complete nonsense -- scanning an image does not generate a copyright, at least not in the United States. I wrote back to them:
I'm fairly sure that it was clearly ruled in Bridgeman Art Library Ltd. v. Corel Corporation (1999) [1] that exact photographic copies of two-dimensional public domain images could not be protected by copyright because they lack originality.
So how can Corbis claim a copyright to something which is an exact photographic copy of something which was created by the federal government and not eligible for copyright? [2] That's my question -- it seems to me that Corbis is clearly out of line in claiming such a copyright, and is really opening itself up to a class action suit for anyone who has paid you for a copyright license.
If I'm wrong about this, I would really like to know.
OK -- I'll admit. Using footnotes was a little pedantic. Anyway I got no reply. --Fastfission 20:02, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
You say that like it's a bad thing! Personally I'd award major style points for using footnotes in a letter to a big corp that uses footnotes themselves, but YMMV. ++Lar: t/c 20:12, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for all your comments. If someone would like to take the time to upload and explain the use of Corbis images IH185261 and/or IH179075 for article George Jay Gould II, you are welcome to do so -- otherwise I'll add the task to my to-do list, as I am a little too busy at the moment. Also, I will make a note of this for future reference for other images/articles. — Eoghanacht talk 14:57, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

What about university collections? Such collections often have online search, but then when you read their usage policies, they require a fee or permissions. Is this a crock, as well? For example, The Brown University Archive of African American Sheet Music places this disclaimer on each image page : "This object is available for public use. Individuals interested in reproducing this object in a publication, web site or for any commercial purpose must first receive written permission from the Brown University Library." The images in question are very old, and should easily fall within public domain. I've seen similar disclaimers at other online archives of PD material. (Incidentally, I haven't contacted them, and they might be very nice about letting Wikipedia use their images. I just want some ideas on whether they have the right to make such a demand in the first place.) — BrianSmithson 18:19, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Those are indeed public domain, at least in the US. The US Supreme Court recently ruled (I don't have time to drum up a source -- maybe someone can help?) that scanning and photographing a PD work does not entail enough creative effort to allow libraries and other repositories to hold any sort of copyright protection. They said that copyright is in place to reward creative work, not to reward archives of public domain material. This means that if a library scans a PD image, that image AND the scan are still PD. You can safely ignore claims that they require permission to use.
For example, you can pull screenshots of Google's scan of public domain works and re-post them on your website or wherever you'd like. --Quasipalm 18:42, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Re universities charging for PD images, see Reproduction fees. Apwoolrich 19:17, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, if you do not have access to an image, they can charge you for access. However, if you have access to the image (either on the web or from checking it out at a library) you can do what you want with it for free if it's PD, even if they say they are due a reproduction fee. --Quasipalm 22:22, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
You sure about that, Quasipalm? I'm very interested in this subject because I do a fair amount of writing for entities that can barely cover production costs and certainly cannot afford intellectual property lawyers.
Just recently I was writing a book and found many interesting and useful images (paintings and photographs) in library and museum collections and on the web. Trying to find out what I would and would not be able to reproduce was a nightmare. According to the Australian copyright office (book was being published in Australia), every single image I wanted to use was in the public domain due to age, and I was perfectly free to use any or all of them. Ha! The museums and libraries had other ideas.
I wrote back to the copyright office, explaining that I was being asked for "access" and "reproduction" fees, which the copyright office said that the institutions had the right to charge. Then followed weeks of having folks from the non-profit org that was publishing the book write to all the institutions begging for use of the work. The more I read about copyright, the more I was convinced that we were being led up the garden path, but I couldn't find any competent authority to say in writing "They're full of bunk, use the photos." The thing was that in general, the institutions had place photos of the artworks on the web themselves, so that was enough to make me think, okay, maybe they do deserve an access fee.
The clincher was when I would find the images used at other sites, including a photo of one very famous painting that's owned by a descendant of the painter, a museum charges a fee for it, so does a very large US company that does reproduction on china plates for a fee.
If anyone's got any comments, I'd love to hear them.
Quill 22:31, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
They're allowed to charge you for reproduction, but they hold no exclusive rights to the artwork. Anyone has the same rights to charge for reproduction. They can, of course, milk the fact that they have access to high quality versions. Sam Korn (smoddy) 22:47, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I meant, if I'm actually the one doing the reproducing, are they nevertheless legally entitled to charge an access or reproduction fee, or can I ignore that and go ahead and reproduce/publish and not pay? Quill 22:59, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
If you aren't using their services, you don't have to pay. If they provide a freely-accessible image, you can use it without charge. Tney have no rights to it. Sam Korn (smoddy) 19:14, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Defense of content

Salute to All - I request that you please examine and consider Wikipedia:Defense of content, which is a collection of ideas to fight vandalism better. Rama's Arrow 16:24, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Three revert rule page

There is a discussion on Wikipedia talk:Three revert rule over the policy and changes made to the page. Some users believe the spirit of the policy has changed since originally voted on and adopted as policy. Other users feel the the changes made and the practice of the new implementations applied make it substantial enough to hold new changes, yet their was no formal process of consensus beyond that.

Discussion has led to the point where even an admin has threatened a user with a block from Wikipedia if the user reverts a recent change by another admin to the policy, which essentially changes the spirit of the policy by force without discussion. Any attempts to discuss the changes have led to some admins complaint of "wasting time" or "trying to game the system." An attempt to add a tag by two different users on the policy page to advertise {{ActiveDiscussion}} has led to the revert of that tag and the response of "there is no discussion."

One user reported the changes to wikien-l and immediately declared the page an edit war despite attempts to establish discussion.

The 3RR page needs attention from a well rounded group of users to establish a neutral policy. It appears at a first glance that a few admins have joined together and outnumbered the views of the other users, which is clearly not a neutral view and has not demonstrated any attempt to try for a neutral view and update policy by means of a established procedure.

Dzonatas 14:05, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

An End to the Userbox WArs?

In case anyone missed it, a poll opened at Wikipedia:Userbox policy poll which, I think, stands a chance at ending the bloodshed. Current tally is 26 yay and 4 nay (not that it is a vote or anything). BrokenSegue 04:46, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Synopsis of future policies?

Heyo - long story short, I've ended up writing an opinion piece on whether it's a good idea for students to use Wikipedia when doing research. As part of this, I wanted to briefly mention Wikipedia's future plans to make Wikipedia more stable/reliable. I read in the Britannica/Wikipedia comparison that there were plans to A. have a 'stable article' system, where once an article was deemed accurate/complete enough it would have a frozen 'stable' version and a seperate, 'live version, and B. to have a sort of article review system. I haven't found any other information on A, and am not entirely sure what B means. Could someone direct me to information on future Wikipedia plans, or give me a synopsis? And while I've used Wikipedia for years I've never quite figured out how to navigate the community parts, so this may very well be the wrong place to ask this question - if it is, please direct me to somewhere more appropiate. Thanks! Aerothorn 01:52, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

My take on your query: Jimbo (Jimmy Wales) has talked about doing those things, and, yeah, a lot of us think it's a good idea, but right now we're busy writing an encyclopedia. More seriosly, those topics haven't really gotten beyond more or less idle chatter, unless someone is seriously working on them in some obscure corner I haven't stumnbled across. When the time is ripe, I'm sure some editors will start putting a proposal together. That's the way most things work in here. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 02:15, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
The m:Article validation feature was originally intended to go live in January, but it is being rewritten [6] and has no firm date at present. Stable versions...well, there's Wikipedia:Stable versions, but that's only putative. Tim Starling (a developer) was, according to Jimbo, working on 'delayed gratification' so that an edit would only appear once approved, but I never managed to find a link to a discussion about that. -Splashtalk 02:28, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
You can also check Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team and Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team/Core_topics ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:12, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Userbox policy

This is a policy proposal onn userboxes, developed by Pathoschild from an original by Doc glasgow.

It picked up quite a lot of favorable comments in Pathoschild's userspace and so after discussion I've moved it to WP:UBP (which believe it or not hasn't actually had any concrete proposals on the main page for weeks).

--Tony Sidaway 05:17, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

About Future Products

Articles about future products cite the company as the main source of verifiable information. The problem occurs when the marketing department of a company purposely distorts what is likely to happen in order to gain a market advantage. Example: it is in Sony's interest to keep potential game purchases believing the PS3 will be released soon in order to hold off purchases of XBox 360. It may not matter that there are many credible rumors out there that there is no chance of a significant release of the product within the company stated time frame because the company is verifiable and the other sources aren't. In my opinion Wikipedia policy of NPOV is in contradition with verifiability in this example, since most people looking at the situation would agree on a different release date then the one the company is publishing.

So what is the solution?

  • Don't allow discussion about future products
  • Add a disclaimer to verifiability, saying that NPOV has a higher precedence.
  • Add a disclaimer to verifiability: statements companies make about future products need to be subject to community opinion on probability of being true.
  • Add a policy about future products. Everything is speculation and that the community needs to agree on what is most likely to occur and not the company. Yes company stated information is usually 95% accurate.

In conclusion if we continue the current course of policy we become pawns for companies marketing departments to add credence to their half truths.

Daniel.Cardenas 02:21, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. However, an anouncement is verifiable, but should be in that form; On date X company Y announced the imminent release of product W. However, reports that call the announcement into question that have been carried by reputable sources may also be used in the article. If it is verifiable, and notable, use it. Don't say, "Sony will be releasing the PS3 soon." Say, "Sony has announced its intention to release the PS3 soon." You can then go on to say, "The Wall Street Journal reports that there are doubts in the industry that the PS3 will be released before the 2nd Quarter of 2008." My take on it, anyway. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 02:54, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
The problem is reputable sources. Lets say we have 5 sources that may not be overly reliable but when taken as a whole paint an obvious picture. When trying to add the sources they are deleted because individually they are not overly reputable. Daniel.Cardenas 12:24, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Adding five bad sources together does not make a good source. Those five sources could be getting their information from each other, or all getting their information from the same shakey source. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 12:42, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I encourage you to look at the talk pages. Seraphim doesn't understand why "First available in Q2 2006" is not a true and verifiable statement and why "Sony says..." is a true and verifiable statement. I suggest a policy clarification to avoid the current false statement on the PS3 article "available in Q2" and avoid misleading wikipedia readers. Daniel.Cardenas 17:47, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
I've made my point clear on the article talk page. Sony yesterday stated that they are going to launch the PS3 in spring 2006. That is the official release date, if other sources call that into question they can be noted in the article, but that doesn't change the fact that the official release date is "Q2 2006" not just "2006". Seraphim 03:13, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

What Jimbo said about userboxes in the Signpost interview

Today I took the opportunity of an interview on IRC, organised by The Signpost, to ask Jimbo about userboxes:

Feb 15 16:53:49 Ral315 Tony_Sidaway asks: "In the past six weeks the number of userboxes on English Wikipedia has risen from 3500 to 6000 and, despite your appeals for restraint, the number pertaining to political beliefs has risen from 45 to 150. Can the problem of unsuitable userboxes still be resolved by debate?"
Feb 15 17:11:57 jwales eh
Feb 15 17:11:59 jwales userboxes
Feb 15 17:12:00 jwales eh
Feb 15 17:12:40 jwales I'm looking at the political beliefs one now.
Feb 15 17:13:50 jwales My only comment on the userbox situation is that the current situation is not acceptable.

I think that puts it pretty plainly. It's not just that he doesn't personally like userboxes, but speaking as the leader of the project he finds the current situation unacceptable. Something must change, one way or the other. --Tony Sidaway 21:42, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

That was quite a biased question. :-) I know that Jimbo has had personal involvement in the Userbox Wars and evidently has a certain point of view about them, but I don't think we should take any action based solely on his contention that "something has to change". Let's just wait and see what he comes up with. I may be pro-user-box but I personally wouldn't mind them being banned altogether if it would put the war to an end. Deco 23:02, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
They haven't come close to an agreement at Wikipedia:Proposed policy on userboxes. If I were them, I would try to come up with a compromise, as the people in power are getting increasingly upset about this and may decide to delete most or all userboxes. This would probably cause many editors to leave the project. Unfortunately, many people seem to be very idealistic about userbox policy, as if it defines the project (if opinions via userboxes are restricted, Wikipedia is doomed kind of thing), and are unwilling to make even the slightest sacrifice in their position. People should realize that keeping them all is probably not an option, given the amount of opposition they have, and a compromise is likely to get them more of what they want than a drastic action by Jimbo, the Foundation, ArbCom or anyone else. I'd suggest getting rid of the "politics and beliefs" boxes first, and then trimming them down further categorically or on a case by case basis. That still leaves a wide variety of userboxes, but takes care of most of the divisive ones. -- Kjkolb 23:16, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
To be honest I think this one is going to have to be settled by the board. I appreciate Jimbo's comments above, but taken at face value they offer little. He expresses a view that the current situation is unacceptable. This leads to further questions:
  • What does he mean by the current situation?
  • What does he mean by unacceptable?
  • In what capacity does he speak, editor Jimbo or board member/God King Jimbo?
  • Does he have a proposed solution?
We can all agree the current situation is unacceptable. The problem is, we all have differing opinions on even defining the current situation. Stronger leadership on this issue a while ago may have prevented a recent incident, and would probably mean the issue would be settled by now. To my eye it seems clear that userboxes which do not facilitate the building of the encyclopedia are against policy. My best solution is to just delete every single userbox; the information on them can be expressed in other ways. Steve block talk 23:40, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
There is disagreement on how to fix the situation, but not everyone agrees that the current situation is unacceptable, which is a big part of the conflict. Some have suggested that there be no changes, or that there should be increased freedom in userbox policy, either because they think editors have a right to free speech on their userspace, that userboxes help by identifying bias or that those who are against the userboxes should realize that it is not important and just let it go. Or by the current situation did you mean the warring over the userboxes, not necessarily the boxes themselves? My preferred solution would be something like Wyss's, but I'm willing to compromise and let people have their silly/unhelpful userboxes, as long as they don't harm the encyclopedia. -- Kjkolb 00:40, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
By the current situation I meant the current situation. You have confirmed my point as to the ambiguity of the usage of the phrase, since everyone has their own take on what the current situation is. It is clear the userboxes are contentious, but their existence is having greater impact than seems necessary to a project whose ultimate goal is the creation of the encyclopedia. Their existence, debates on their existence, off the cuff comments on their existence, deletions of them, and even their non-existence have all led to incidents of contentious merit. In all honestly I will now vote for, support or agree with any proposal that has a hint of suceeding just to move the wikipedia and community past this fixation. But I stand by my belief that this now needs an edict from above; it's too contentious for the community to ever get a grip on. How do we determine what is out of order in user space, POV in this instance is unavoidable, finding offence in a userbox is a subjective matter. The solution that seems most balanced is to just ban anything that expresses an opinion. I now await the first wag who points out such a policy would make talk pages a lot quieter. Steve block talk 19:47, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
If transparency is key to an open work, and I do believe it is, then participants revealing their biases is, on balance, a good thing. Userboxes seem to me to be an innocuous way of self-identifying one's biases. If they are not a good solution, then the alternative is for everyone to write paragraphs describing the same things we're seeing in userboxes. But really, what exactly is the actual problem? Is it just a matter of personal distaste of people's free speech? If so, then that is *rotten*. If it's a technical issue, then that's another matter. What on earth is the friggin' problem with userboxes?? — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 04:17, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

This is an encyclopedia project. I tend to think userboxes provoke PoV of the most unhelpful sort. I also think that a user's userboxes can be misinterpreted by other editors, who might make snap judgements about a user's supposed PoV based on her userboxes and edit accordingly. IMHO most userboxes will ultimately be divisive and pull the project away from scholarly principles. That said, I like them when they pertain to practical stuff having directly to do with the wiki interface... OS userboxes, browser, admin, bureaucrat, arbcomm, mediation, country and language userboxes I think may be either neutral or helpful. Wyss 23:49, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

French Wikipedia bans political userboxes and (according to their admins) "doesn't have too much trouble". A quick check on their version of VfD shows that they do not have any userboxes currently up for deletion. German Wikipedia bans all userboxes in Template space apart from language and regional templates. Either of these offers a model for a solution here.
Political and religious userboxes have been non gratae since 2006-01-21 [7] and yet a small number of users keep creating new ones. Blocks as per WP:POINT might be in order here, but doubtless some one will accuse me of "fanning the flames" just for mentioing that! Physchim62 (talk) 00:02, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
As with many things on Wikipedia, it has changed from being a way to build a sense of community by grouping people based on their interests to intentional provocation. The only obvious solution is to put the same constraints on their content as we would with any article on WP. Ideally a userbox should only be a reference to an existing group on wikipedia such as project affiliation. I'd add a "userbox free zone" userbox to my user page but... Garglebutt / (talk) 02:16, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
The following discussion was posted in response to a copy of this post at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion:
I think that puts it pretty plainly. It's not just that he doesn't personally like userboxes, but speaking as the leader of the project he finds the current situation unacceptable. Something must change, one way or the other. --Tony Sidaway 21:37, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
It appears to me to be not only grotesquely unfair but personally abusive to take a short statement that begins with "My only comment..." and use it as a prop in this manner. While the above is couched as a simple statement of fact, when parroted in this way it implies de facto approval of the actions and positions avowed by the recyler of these comments. "See Jimbo really does agree with me! Look, here's something he said that might support that!"
Rather than kowtowing, it might be better to simply proceed in a thoughtful and consensual manner, with less drama, less unilateralism, and more respect. What exactly are we to draw from the above statement, other than the aforementioned implicit approval? How does it help us to move forward? Pardon the rhetorical question, because clearly it add nothing to the debate. It's simply a bit of grandstanding that we could have done without. Everyone thinks the current situation is not acceptable.
brenneman{T}{L} 03:29, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
"Personally abusive"?? How so? --MarkSweep (call me collect) 03:39, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Because it exploits the fact that the person has made a careful and qualified statement and that they have explicitly said they would say no more. If Tony Blair is asked about the ethics of publishing inflammatory cartoon and he responds "All I want to say it the current situation is unacceptable." Hamas reprints this under the headline "Blair says situation unacceptable" that's at best unkind. I'll ask again: What was the point of reporting this almost content-free Q & A?
brenneman{T}{L} 03:57, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
"Everyone thinks the current situation is not acceptable"? I don't think that's true. I think some people think it's just great that they get to keep making political userboxes and feeling like they're involved in a "great userbox war of '06". That's precisely the problem, isn't it? -GTBacchus(talk) 03:45, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, they're having great fun striking a blow for "personal freedom", but they are hurting Wikipedia in the process. -- Dalbury(Talk) 11:20, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

External Links: Is a link to a Google map acceptable?

If a Wiki entry corresponds to a physical location, like a museum, would it be acceptable to add an External Link to the address in Google maps? Seems OK to me, but I don't know about any underlying licenses or other etiquette.

I've added it to the article for the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. --GregCovey 19:36, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

It is legal, if that's what you mean. But it's much better, in general, to use one of the geo-xxx templates, which link to a wide variety of sources, including google maps - e.g. {{geolinks-US-cityscale|37.429289|-122.138162}}, ({{coor dms|37|16|05|N|115|47|58|W|}}, or {{gbmapping|NS705945}}. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 19:40, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I'd call it acceptable (there certainly aren't any licensing issues with mere links, and linking is the purpose of the Internet), but I don't see how it would ordinarily help an article. For example, in the article you gave all the link provides is the location of the gardens. Since the article already linked to the gardens' website, any reader could have gotten that information himself and performed such a search using any mapping tool they wanted: Yahoo, Google, or Rand McNally. If there's a decent sattellite image available it might be nice to add, but I don't see how showing the location on a street map helps. Somebody decided a long time ago that rather than linking to books on Amazon we'd provide a page that links to books by ISBN on many, many different online booksellers, so we wouldn't be systematically providing implicit endorsement to a particular bookseller. I'd say there's a bit of the same principle here, too: we don't want to use Wikipedia to favor a particular mapping tool provider. I'd say leave the link out, though I wouldn't consider it a big deal if it's left in. Jdavidb (talk • contribs) 19:50, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
(after edit conflict): sounds like we already have templates to handle this. I'd say use one of them if all you're showing is how to find the location. Jdavidb (talk • contribs) 19:50, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Gods or Men?

Are admins users who must follow the rules that apply to all users? Is adminship an assigned task or a reward? Are admins entitled to conduct themselves in an overbearing manner, lording it over the little people? Is adminship itself an entitlement that must be granted to any user with a high edit count? What is adminship -- or better, what is adminship not?

These points are addressed in the policy proposal Wikipedia:What adminship is not. This cuts off commonly mistaken ideas about adminship in the tradition of Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not.

I call for all users to participate in the discussion on talk and help to establish answers to the questions above. John Reid 17:47, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Policy/guideline on "famous residents" for cities

Is there a policy or guideline addressing lists of "famous residents" in city/town articles? - Chris 14:39, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't think so. These lists, of course, have a subjective element to them. I would propose that it is appropriate to add any name that already has a non-stub article. For some cities, this list could get very long, so it would be appropriate to break it off into a separate article. But at that point, it would probably better to deal with it as a category ( Category:Residents of Paris ). ike9898 17:56, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I think who's included very much depends on the size of the community. If it's a RAMBOT-only article for very small community, devoid of any human content, I'll put any anybody with an article (stub or not), and even a article-worthy redlink, just so there's some content beyond RAMBOT demographics. If the article and/or community is bigger, I'll be much more selective. For major cities, I think you want a category. But, I don't think there's any universal rule. --Rob 18:13, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Sorting articles with Norwegian letters

I have created two articles, Berge Østenstad some time ago and Leif Øgaard today. I wonder how they should be sorted into the categories. From looking at the Berge Østenstad history, I see it has been moved backwards and forwards between being sorted under "O" and "Ø" a few times. Note that the letter "Ø" is not just a variation of the letter "O". In the Norwegian language it is the 28th letter of the alphabet, and in a Norwegian encyclopedia you would find articles beginning with "Ø" at the back, only ahead of the articles beginning with "Å". The times I create articles with these letters (Æ, Ø, Å) I try to remember to create redirects with the normal English letters, but sort them using the Norwegian ones.

So my question is should Leif Øgaard and Berge Østenstad be sorted under "O" or "Ø"? Sjakkalle (Check!) 12:47, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I'll suggest a crazy idea, that will be promptly rejected. This is an English encyclopedia, and therefore we should give articles English titles. Now, I'm realist, and that's not happening. I can live with non-English spellings, and even accents. But including "Ø" is going to far, since (as you say), its not a variation of "O" but an entirely separate letter. If we allow this, how can deny all the other characters for various languages? --Rob 13:05, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Added: One problem with "Ø" names is in enormous categories that use {{CategoryTOC}}, which disaplays A-Z at the top. If something is sorted under "Ø", you have to click "Z" if you wish to jump to the end quickly. I don't think that's very intuitive. Clicking "O" seems more natural (for an English speaker). --Rob 13:18, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
In Spanish, "ñ" is a separate letter from "n", though it's right after "n" in the alphabet. Also, "ll" and "ch" are each traditionally considered a single letter in Spanish, though their language academy fairly recently decided to remove this status. Different languages have different alphabetization rules, which makes things very confusing. Putting characters in their Unicode order won't necessarily match the alphabetization rules of any particular language. The Olympics' opening ceremonies feature the parade of nations in alphabetic order depending on their names in the language of the host country, which can look weird sometimes in English (with or without "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" to contend with). Since this is the English Wikipedia, it should follow current usage and alphabetization in English, but sometimes things (especially proper names) do get written with foreign orthographies even in English text, though the alphabetization in English is done as if the foreign letters were really the corresponding English one, since foreign letter variants aren't separate letters in the English alphabet. "Piñata" would alphabetize the same as "pinata". *Dan T.* 13:23, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Maybe have a look at #Using diacritics (or national alphabet) in the name of the article above, just above the Dvořák subsection title, a similar issue is discussed for Swedish Ö/ö.
The present guidance can be found at Wikipedia:Categorization#Category sorting. It all depends on whether Norwegian people are prepared to "accept" that "Ø" (a separate character in the original language) is "translated/transcribed/transliterated" in a letter O with a diacritic (however, written the same, as Ø) in English, so in English alphabetically sorted as if it were an "O". My opinion is that if Norwegians can't accept this (invisible) transformation, and take a stance that also in English Ø should be treated as a separate character, alphabetically sorted according to Norwegian rules, in that case that Ø character should not be used in article names for English wikipedia (that is for articles where the content is, I'm not speaking about redirects) - while in that case the name with Ø would still be Norwegian language and not English, and thus not OK with WP:UE.
Hope I didn't make my argument too complicated, and that you can understand what I mean. --Francis Schonken 13:25, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I personally think that it'd be better to use the Norse-style spelling in cases where things are spellable in Latin8 or a close variant (sort under Ø), but I can't guarantee that there is not an existing policy that would override this. --Improv 17:01, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Google Should Not Have Access to Talk Pages or User Pages

I was horrified to see that completely untrue things that were said about me in Talk pages were turning up in Google when searching for my name.

The people saying these things know that (1) they are untrue, (2) they are malicious, (3) they can hurt my professional reputation, and (4) they will show up in Google searches. Knowing these four things, and also knowing that some things they are saying will never be allowed in a somewhat more legitimate article, they use disrespectful, disgusting language in Talk pages and one or two User pages.

We all know there is unadulterated slime in Wiki--but why should EVERYTHING ANYBODY WRITES NO MATTER HOW DISGUSTING be available to Google?

Surely, this is a terribly wrong policy and should be changed!--samivel 23:08, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Agree -- Article space is public; nobody should have any expectation of privacy in any other namespace either, but we'd prefer that the public did not casually drop in. Google (and other bots) should be instructed not to crawl outside of article, template, category, and image namespaces. John Reid 00:12, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Disagree. It is important to be able to search the user and talk spaces. Wikipedia's search box just doesn't do the trick. --BostonMA 00:25, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
If people are saying malicious things about you on talk pages, you could ask to have them removed (under for instance the Wikipedia:No personal attacks policy). Given that, I don't think blocking Google is needed (and being able to use it to search the discussions is very useful). --cesarb 00:50, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Agree. Talk pages, and special project pages, are "internal" things to the Wikipedia project that aren't part of the encyclopedia itself, and while they're not "private", they're not really the things we want to encourage random outsiders to stumble upon, so they probably should be excluded from search engines other than the internal Wikipedia search. *Dan T.* 00:55, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
It would be better to propose it after the internal Wikipedia search gets useful enough to replace Google's. --cesarb 01:07, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Disagree. All of Wikipedia is free-content and open to public viewing. --TantalumTelluride 01:16, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Disagree per Tantalum Telluride and BostonMA. It would be NIFTY if Google were to take flags about which areas to search, and set them to articlespace only (by default, resettable with advanced options or whatever) when invoked outside, but not prevent entirely. ++Lar: t/c 01:23, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Agree I was recently disconcerted when, in the course of searching for additional sources for an article I was drafting, I saw my draft (on my user sub-page) show up in Google. That's just a little too self-referential for me. I do have a "this is a draft" box that I try to remember to put on draft pages. Nevertheless, I would prefer not having the general public looking over my shoulder while I'm writing the first draft of an article. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 01:58, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Agree Talk pages contain material that is not under WP content policies. It may contain libel, personal attacks and other unsavory stuff. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 04:19, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Disagree, although I understand why people are upset. I believe that radical openness is more important in this case. --Improv 02:18, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Disagree per Tantalum Telluride and BostonMA. If you don't want your drafts to show up on Google, you can always store them on your home computer and blank your sandbox after each editing session. Monicasdude 04:05, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I think there's something to this, not because I want to prevent my own user page or talk page from being "broadcast" over the internet, but because I want to prevent other people's user page and talk page from being googled. There are some (though not many) Wikipedians who have turned their user pages into a personal advertisement for themselves, and are using Wikipedia web server space for self-promotion just as surely as if they had written an article about themselves. Blocking google from accessing user pages would discourage this. Just a thought, not a firm position as to whether this should be policy. Postdlf 04:15, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Agree, once the Wikipedia internal search is improved, I would support this. It makes advertising on one's user and talk pages much less effective and while it does not hide the innerworkings or the occasionally unseemly side of Wikipedia (such as talk pages on controversial topics and talk page posting by confrontational users), it would not highlight it either. Also, users are easily found on Wikipedia, as there are links to their user page in their signature and in the history of articles they edit. The only reason I can think of to use Google to find a user is cyberstalking. As for removing inappropriate material, it is done to some extent, but much of it stays and removing it all would be a huge burden, particularly with the controversy over which comments to delete. Not calling attention to it is a better option. Finally, not having the pages indexed would give people better search results, as they are usually not looking for a Wikipedia talk page when they do a search. Of course, the Wikipedia clones are a far greater burden for searchers. -- Kjkolb 05:27, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Agree - and also consider AFD discussions while we're at it. Fairuse images should also be excluded, but that's a whole separate debate (and technical issue). --Rob 05:44, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Disagree in the strongest possible terms, both to the original suggestion and the one above about AFD. Often, searching via Google is the only way to keep track of what has been discussed in the past and how those discussions went. I do so quite regularly, and either suggestion would directly cripple my use of Wikipedia. None of the reasobns given for limiting searches are convincing; nothing written on Wikipedia talk pages or elsewhere outside of article space is any more significant than things written on any other messageboard or communication forum. No offense meant, and I'm sure the suggestion was intended in good faith, but this is a bad, bad idea, one that would seriously restrict users to no useful end. --Aquillion 06:11, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Sorry to hear that you don't like what people say about you. Google should still be free to index it, if only so you can find out and correct people. If you believe, after discussion with a lawyer, that you have been libelled please do feel free to use appropriate channels to address the matter, including possibly removing the content which your lawyer advises you is libelous and placing a clear note in its place identifying what was removed and why. I suggest the lawyer because people often make major mistakes about what is and isn't libel, being confused between it and "what I don't like to read about myself". Jamesday 06:02, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Maybe the first line of pages such as user talk pages should specify "This is not a Wikipedia article" or something like that. ike9898 16:39, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Agree per Kjkolb. Rich Farmbrough 12:09 27 February 2006 (UTC).

Normal Norman man

A Norman T.A. Munder article reads : ""[his] life indicates what can be accomplished by individual merit guided by the highest Christian principles ...".

We should assume here in WP that morality or principles are not the results of one and only belief. Comments welcomed. --DLL 22:01, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

It looks like someone has gotten to it already, but for future reference--when you find something like that, you can just be bold and have a go at editing it, or you can tag it with one of the tags from Wikipedia:Cleanup resources to call someone else's attention to it. If people brought up every article-specific issue like that on the village pump, we wouldn't have room here to discuss anything else! --Aquillion 06:18, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Second-level copyright

This concern several types of images that are normally considered specific occurences of {{fairuse}}, but mostly the various {{screenshot}} (althought the reasoning can be extended to stuff like {{bookcover}} and {{promotional}}).

  • Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. established that "Photographic reproductions of visual works in the public domain were not copyrightable because the reproductions involved no originality."
    1. From there, is it reasonable to assume that a screenshot is copyrighted to the original author, not the screenshot taker?
    2. If the copyright reside solely within the original holder, then there is no requirement to ask the screenshot taker for permission to use it on Wikipedia, since they cannot claim any copyright on it whatsoever, right?
  • However, it remains polite to at the very least acknowledge the taker (e.g."screenshot courtesy of")

Does that reasoning hold? Circeus 13:16, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

No, it oversimplifies a complex set of issues. A screenshot is not an exact reproduction of the original work. If it is viewed as a "derivative work," both the creator of the original and the creator of the screenshot may have copyright interests. Consider the case of a photograph of a stage play. The performance itself is copyrighted, yet the photographer who take a picture of a moment in the performance is presumed to have a copyright interest in that photo. A case can be made for each side on this question, and the courts have certainly not yet come close to resolving it. Monicasdude 13:50, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Myself, I was really interested in tv-screenshots (I want to add sceenshot to some anoimecharacter pages.), so I'll keep these arguments in mind for other cases. Circeus 13:59, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
I think it depends on exactly what the screenshot is of. In some cases, such as screenshots of software, computer desktop layouts, etc., there may be some compositional creativity on the part of the screenshot maker in getting things laid out just right on the screen before capturing it, and hence the possibility of copyright there. On the other hand, if it's just a raw capture of some canned material from the original author (e.g., a still frame from a TV show, or a static Web page), then you're probably right about no further rights being gained by capturing it in a screenshot. Also, in some cases a screenshot may capture works of multiple authors; a screen shot of a Web browser, for instance, includes possible intellectual property of the browser maker, as well as the maker of whatever Web site happens to be displayed in the browser. *Dan T.* 13:51, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. That roughly confirm what I was thinking. Circeus 13:59, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Say you want a perpetual copyright. You could make a new copy of the tape for each broadcast and claim a new copyright because of the new copy. Even thought the content is essentially the same. That decision says that the original copyright status applies and you don't get a new copyright for an effectively perfect copy. That's because there is no original creative work involved and original creation is what earns you a copyright. Lots of hard work or spending lots of money to make something doesn't. A screen shot in an encyclopedia is typically intended to be an exact reproduction of the original - that is, it's objective is not to be original. Such screen shots would not have their own copyright. However, as a courtesy, you're correct that it is good practice to credit the provider of such content. It's likely to be mandatory in some non-US jurisdictions. In any case, it's helpful in tracing the source and tracking the license status and that is something we always want. There's also some need to consider whether the screen shot really is no more than an accurate representation, though the courts would generally describe any potential copyright of this sort as "thin" and the fair use of the original source might well dominate the discussion. Jamesday 06:15, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

What Jimbo said about userboxes on wikien-l

And here's what Jimbo Wales said on the official English Wikipedia mailing list. I don't know why, but a lot of otherwise clued up Wikipedians don't subscribe to that, which is a shame because they often end up wondering what's happening when a big change comes along.


I heard today that the number of userboxes, and in particular the number of very problematic userboxes, has exploded. I think this is seriously Not Good For Our Loving Little Community.
I am not doing anything about it just yet, but I am willing to concede that my nonviolent social request that people knock it off and think about what it means to be a Wikipedian has not gotten very far.
As far as I can determine, and I am very much aware that I am here prejudicing the terms of debate, this is a cultural battle between wikipedians and people who have stumbled into this cool site they heard about on CNN where you can write whatever the hell you want and argue with people for fun.

Full version at

--Tony Sidaway 06:19, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

wikien-l is a reasonably high-traffic list, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of Wikipedians just don't have the time or inclination to sift through it. Personally I don't read a great deal of it, though I typically do read Jimbo's posts. — Matt Crypto 13:01, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Jimbo's nonviolent social request that people knock it off was given about one week at most before his hand was forced, mainly by Tony himself. I myself was working up a series of templates to be used, by following the what-links-here, to bombard the talk pages of users of questionable userboxes and engage and educate them, hopefully leading the voluntary removal by most, thus reinforcing community and consenus and leaving the truly recalitrant isolated, after when a forced cleanup would be much easier, in line with Jimbo's earlier request. But in the current atmosphere that's no longer possible. Thanks a bunch, Tony. Herostratus 13:47, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not clear on how Tony has forced Jimbo's hand, as Jimbo has not actually done anything yet other than comment on the situation. The initial reaction to Jimbo's request showed pretty well the recalcitance of some userbox supporters, just as some opponents of polemical userboxes have pressed the issue. For a workable solution, take a look at User:Pathoschild/Projects/Userboxes and User:Pathoschild/Projects/Userboxes/Policy to see what one user has quietly been doing. (links gleaned from a post on wiki-en). -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 14:23, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
(I'm on a lot of lists, and I tried wikien-I for a few days but it was just too high traffic for me. Even in digest, I'd suspect. I'm going to rely on people providing pointers when something important is said, I guess.) As to whether the request Jimbo made is working, I think it is. Just not as fast as some might like. ++Lar: t/c 16:28, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
Discussions on a mailing list are not a substitute for consensus gathering, discussion and possible voting within the community here. It's fine for a small minority of authors and others to discuss wherever they like, but that's not the same thing as the community. Of course, there's no reason such discussions can't then result in proposed policy changes which go through the usual policy process, just like discussions anywhere else. Jamesday 05:56, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Using and changing pictures in Wikipedia

Am I right in thinking I'm allowed to copy a properly licensed picture to Commons? The one I have in mind is, which I'd like to use at White-winged Dove. I'd copy the Dutch description and license (GFDL).

Am I right in thinking I'm allowed to edit a properly licensed picture and save it under another name? I'd like to crop and enlarge so it will fit better at Laughing Falcon. I hate to do that without the author's permission, but his or her user page and talk page are redlinked.

Are the answers to these questions available somewhere? Are they considered obvious?

JerryFriedman 18:19, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

You can always edit an image that allows editing as long as you follow the license terms, which usually include things like crediting the author and releasing the derived work under the same license. There's no need to inform the author, although it's a nice thing to do. Note that Commons has a stricter license policy forbidding fair-use, non-commercial, and no-derivative-works licenses, so they do not accept all images from the Wikipedias (see Commons:Licensing). Other than this caveat, just copying images around and uploading them under different names or projects should be okay with any of our images, but remember to link to your source. Deco 20:50, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
The first one is GFDL so you can certainly modify it and upload it to commons. The second one is {{CopyrightedFreeUse}} (and is also missing a source :-( ) — I'm not sure, does that permit modification or only copying? Stephen Turner (Talk) 21:17, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I am under the understanding that {{CopyrightedFreeUse}} is as close as you can come to legally releasing an image in to the public doamin (in countries that don't allow you to release to public domain like the US). I would appreciate it if anyone could tell me if this actually is the case or not. Secondly if the image does not have source information then it should be tagged for deletion as there is no way to verify it's copyright claims. --Martyman-(talk) 22:26, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, CopyrightedFreeUse is misnamed. It's very liberal, more than any other license but PD. I've suggested it be called FreeUse instead, but whatever. Deco 23:00, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, all, that helps a lot. —JerryFriedman 17:33, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
So excuse my ignorance, but what's the difference between {{CopyrightedFreeUse}} and {{NoRightsReserved}}? Stephen Turner (Talk) 17:45, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely nothing. Currently {{NoRightsReserved}} (which I'd never heard of before) has a better name and is worded more explicitly, but they have the same legal impact. Deco 23:04, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
There are major differences between the two. One addresses licensing, the other also addresses things like the right to be associated with your own work, the moral rights, for example. It would be completely inappropriate to do things like replacing one with the other, changing the terms under which the work is provided.Jamesday 06:23, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject link spam?

In the last couple of weeks there have been a flurry of changes to article stub templates to remove links to wikiprojects on the dubious basis that the links are link spam. This is being lead by User:Jerzy (sysop), User:Freakofnurture (admin), and User:Carnildo (de-sysop) with justification based on their own comments at Wikipedia talk:Stub. Attempts to restore the templates is turning into revert wars. Garglebutt / (talk) 05:41, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Changes are currently focussed around this list: User:Jerzy/WikiProj-soliciting_stub_templates. Garglebutt / (talk) 05:50, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with what they are doing- otherwise some new person who comes along will mess the article up and not see how they are supposed to improve the article. It helps Wikipedia hy having these links! I've approached one of the users and then they just reverted it back. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 06:00, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
The problem with these links, particularly ones like "see WikiProject Whatever for article coordination" or "help WikiProject Whatever by expanding", is that they are an implicit claim of article ownership, and promote the WikiProject as being more important than Wikipedia as a whole. --Carnildo 07:30, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
You seem to be suggesting that you would rather not have wikiprojects and that you would prefer wikipedia to grow without any internal consistency within subject areas. This is a hard position for me to understand. I can't see how advertising a group of editors who have put the effort in to design a useful set of (optional) guidelines for articles can be a bad thing. Wikiprojects also act as a useful resource to find editors with similar interests, who often colloborate to produce high quality articles. Maybe you are suggesting the wording should be changed to something like "If you are interested in subject X you might like to join WikiProject X", to avoid any implied claim of ownership? --Martyman-(talk) 22:40, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
How about putting some useful information on the WikiProject page, and then linking to that information in a way that does not assert article ownership? "WikiProject Military History has a number of sources that may be useful for expanding this article." or "WikiProject Military History has some guidelines on article structure". See how much more useful those are than "Help WikiProject Military History by expanding this article"? --Carnildo 23:43, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I have no problem with the wording being changed to "WikiProject Military History has a number of sources that may be useful for expanding this article." if you had been making that change instead of deleting the section I never would have complained. But I also don't see the link to the wikiproject purely as a resource for guidelines and style help, the more people we can get involved in the wikiproject itself the better. Editors who are involved in the projects are much more likely to put in useful input to improve the guidelines. --Martyman-(talk) 23:53, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
You are trying to set policy without consensus. Implicit ownership by a project is an accusation you are making that many of us disagree with. If the compromise to stop you fucking up templates is to change the wording until it suits you then so be it. Garglebutt / (talk) 23:59, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't be happy with the change in wording because it's too long (they're stub messages, they should be one sentence, tops). I also completely fail to see why the hell you need to try and generate and help wars. One would think the wheel war fiasco I've just found out about would have cured you of that.
I also don't see how they "convey article ownership," unless you want all Wikiprojects gone. - SoM 02:47, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
"Please see WikiProject Whatever for article coordination" conveys the impression that any editing of the article needs some sort of approval from the WikiProject, while "please help WikiProject Whatever by expanding" elevates the needs of the WikiProject over those of Wikipedia as a whole. Neither wording provides any useful information to the casual editor who has no idea of the inner workings of Wikipedia. --Carnildo 04:53, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
The stub templates themselves do not give any useful information to the "casual editor who has no idea of the inner workings of Wikipedia" either. There is chance by helping them find a group of like minded editors, these "casual editors" may become more involved members of the wikipedia community. --Martyman-(talk) 05:01, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I will point out, on a side note, that the Military history WikiProject has removed links to itself from stub templates ;-) —Kirill Lokshin 03:28, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

The whole point of a WikiProject is for consistency- to make all the articles to conform to a similar structure. By removing the notice from the stub you're undermining this. Do you want California 1, CA-2, CA 3, California Route 4, California Highway 5, California State Route 6, California State Highway 7, CA Highway 8, etc.? Change the wording if you must, but I think that there are more critical things to resist on Wikipedia than so-called "ownership" of articles by WikiProjects. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 05:13, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

  • If there is no consensus or demonstrable policy on this issue I would ask those removing the notices to develop such a consensus or policy first. The allegation that links to wikiprojects is a claim of ownership is highly spurious: what is a wikiproject but part of wikipedia. Steve block talk 21:03, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
    • There is already a clear policy to use. "Is this part of the article content encyclopedic in nature?" Wikiproject membership clearly isn't, so that pretty much solves the question of a mere inclusion of a wikiproject in an article. Jamesday 06:26, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

As it seems, from the discussion above, that at least one of the people removing the links is willing to accept them with a different wording, which is also accepted by those involved with the WikiProject, I strongly urge that everyone work together to change the wordings on the stub templates to follow this form, and neither remove the links nor throw around charges of bad faith, etc. JesseW, the juggling janitor 19:04, 20 February 2006 (UTC)