Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive Y

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Using diacritics (or national alphabet) in the name of the article

I came to the problem with national alphabet letters in article name. They are commonly used but I have found no mention about them in naming coventions (WP:NAME). The only convention related is to use English name, but it probable does not apply to the names of people. National alphabet is widely used in wikipedia. Examples are Luís de Camões Auguste and Louis Lumière or Karel Čapek. There are redirects from english spelling (Camoes, Lumiere, Capek).

On the other hand, wikiproject ice hockey WP:HOCKEY states rule for ice hockey players that their names should be written in English spelling. Currently some articles are being moved from Czech spelling to the english spelling (for example Patrik Eliáš to Patrick Elias). I object to this as I do not see genaral consensus and it will only lead to moving back and forth. WP:HOCKEY is not wikipedia policy nor guideline. In addition I do not see any reason why ice hockey players should be treated differently than other people.

There is a mention about using the most recognized name in the naming conventions policy. But this does not help in the case of many ice hockey players. It is very likely that for American and Canadian NHL fans the most recognised versions are Jagr, Hasek or Patrick ELias. But these people also played for the Czech republic in the Olympics and there they are known like Jágr, Hašek or Patrik Eliáš.

I would like to find out what is the current consensus about this. -- Jan Smolik 18:53, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

The only convention related is to use English name, but it probable does not apply to the names of people - incorrect. "Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things" - Wikipedia:Naming :conventions (common names). Raul654 18:54, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I mentioned this in the third article but it does not solve the problem. Americans are familiar with different spelling than Czechs. --Jan Smolik 19:11, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, since this is the English Wikipedia, really we should use the name most familiar to English speakers. The policy doesn't say this explicitly, but I believe this is how it's usually interpreted. This is the form that English speakers will recognize most easily. Deco 19:02, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Well it is wikipedia in English but it is read and edited by people from the whole world. --Jan Smolik 19:11, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
It's is still the English Wikipedia. The standard naming convention policy should apply as well to people's names as to anything else. Not only that, but there is the additional problem of many of the rabid adders of squiggles not indexing the categories properly. Gene Nygaard 05:03, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
[R]abid adders of squiggles? That hardly seems civil to me. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 11:41, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

There was a straw poll about this with regard to place names: Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English)/Archive 3#Proposal and straw poll regarding place names with diacritical marks. The proposal was that "whenever the most common English spelling is simply the native spelling with diacritical marks omitted, the native spelling should be used". It was close, but those who supported the proposal had more votes. Since, articles like Yaoundé have remained in place with no uproar. I would support a similar convention with regard to personal names. — BrianSmithson 19:17, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm the user who initiated the WP:HOCKEY-based renaming with Alf. The project Player Pages Format Talk page has the discussion we had along with my reasoning, pasted below:

OK, team, it's simple. This is en-wiki. We don't have non-English characters on our keyboards, and people likely to come to en-wiki are mostly going to have ISO-EN keyboards, whether they're US, UK, or Aussie (to name a few) it doesn't matter. I set up a page at User:RasputinAXP/DMRwT for double move redirects with twist and started in on the Czech players that need to be reanglicized.

Myself and others interpret the policy just the same as Deco and BrianSmithson do: the familiar form in English is Jaromir Jagr, not Jaromír Jágr; we can't even type that. Attempting to avoid redirects is pretty tough as well. Is there a better way to build consensus regarding this? RasputinAXP talk contribs 19:36, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I think you misread my statement above. My stance is that if the native spelling of the name varies from the English spelling only in the use of diacritics, use the native spelling. Thus, the article title should be Yaoundé and not Yaounde. Likewise, use Jōchō, not Jocho. Redirection makes any arguments about accessibility moot, and not using the diacritics makes us look lazy or ignorant. — BrianSmithson 16:34, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Tentative overview (no cut-and-paste solutions, however):
  • Article names for names of people: wikipedia:naming conventions (people) - there's nothing specific about diacritics there (just mentioning this guideline because it is a naming conventions guideline, while there are no "hockey" naming conventions mentioned at wikipedia:naming conventions).
  • wikipedia:naming conventions (names and titles) is about royal & noble people: this is guideline, and *explicitly* mentions that wikipedia:naming conventions (common names) does NOT apply for these kind of people. But makes no difference: doesn't mention anything about diacritics.
  • Wikipedia talk:naming conventions (Polish rulers): here we're trying to solve the issue for Polish monarchs (some of which have diacritics in their Polish name): but don't expect to find answers there yet, talks are still going on. Anyway we need to come to a conclusion there too, hopefully soon (but not rushing).
  • Wikipedia:Naming conventions (standard letters with diacritics), early stages of a guideline proposal, I started this on a "blue monday" about a week ago. No guideline yet: the page contains merely a "scope" definition, and a tentative "rationale" section. What the basic principles of the guideline proposal will become I don't know yet (sort of waiting till after the "Polish rulers" issue gets sorted out I suppose...). But if any of you feel like being able to contribute, ultimately it will answer Jan Smolik's question (but I'd definitely advise not to hold your breath on it yet).
  • Other:
    • Some people articles with and without diacritics are mentioned at wikipedia talk:naming conventions (use English)#Diacritics, South Slavic languages - some of these after undergoing a WP:RM, but note that isolated examples are *not* the same as a guideline... (if I'd know a formulation of a guideline proposal that could be agreeable to the large majority of Wikipedians, I'd have written it down already...)
    • Talking about Lumiere/Lumière: there's a planet with that name: at a certain moment a few months ago it seemed as if the issue was settled to use the name with accent, but I don't know how that ended, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomical objects, Andrewa said she was going to take the issue there. Didn't check whether they have a final conclusion yet.
Well, that's all I know about (unless you also want to involve non-standard characters, then there's still the wikipedia:naming conventions (þ) guideline proposal) --Francis Schonken 19:58, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Note that I do not believe no En article should contain diacritics in its title. There are topics for which most English speakers are used to names containing diacritics, such as El Niño. Then there are topics for which the name without diacritics is widely disseminated throughout the English speaking world, like Celine Dion (most English speakers would be confused or surprised to see the proper "Céline Dion"). (Ironically enough, the articles for these don't support my point very well.) Deco 20:42, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Sticking diacritics, particularly the Polish Ł is highly annoying, esp. when applied to Polish monarchs. It just gives editors much more work, and unless you're in Poland or know the code, you will be unable to type the name in the article. - Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 15px 20:45, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Redirects make the issue of difficulty in visiting or linking to the article immaterial (I know we like to skip redirects, but as long as you watch out for double redirects you're fine). The limitations of our keyboards are not, by themselves, a good reason to exclude any article title. Deco 20:50, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Deco, I should rephrase what I said. I agree with you that some English articles do require diacritics, like El Niño. Articles like Jaromir Jagr that are lacking diacritics in their English spellings should remain without diacritics because you're only going to find the name printed in any English-speaking paper without diacritics. RasputinAXP talk contribs 21:20, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I checked articles about Czech people and in 90 % of cases (rough guess) they are with diacritics in the name of the article. This includes soccer players playing in England (like Vladimír Šmicer, Petr Čech, Milan Baroš). And no one actualy complains. So this seems to be a consensus. The only exception are extremely short stubs that did not receive much input. Articles with Czech diacritics are readable in English, you only need a redirect becouse of problems with typing. This is an international project written in English. It should not fulfill only needs of native English speakers but of all people of the world. --Jan Smolik 22:33, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Very many names need diacritics to make sense. Petr Cech instead of Petr Čech makes a different impression as a name, does not look half as Czech and is much more likely to be totally mispronounced when you see it. Names with diacritics are also not IMHO such a big problem to use for editors because you can usually go through the redirect in an extra tab and cut and paste the correct title. I also don't see a problem at all in linking through redirects (that's part of what they are there for). Leaving out diacritics only where they are "not particularly useful" would be rather inconsequent. Kusma (討論) 22:48, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, "Petr Sykora" and "Jaromir Jagr" are not alternate spellings; they are incorrect ones which are only used for technical reasons. Since all other articles about Czech people use proper Czech diacritics, I don't know of any justification for making an exception in case of hockey players. - Mike Rosoft 01:13, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Man, I feel like the bottom man in a dogpile. Reviewing Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names), there'sWhat word would the average user of the Wikipedia put into the search engine? Making the name of the article include diacritics goes against the Use English guideline. The most common input into the search box over here onthe left, for en-wiki, is going to be Jaromir Jagr. Yes, we're supposed to avoid redirects. Yes, in Czech it's not correct. In English, it is correct. I guess I'm done with the discussion. There's no consensus in either direction, but it's going to be pushed back to the diacritic version anyhow. Go ahead and switch them back. I'mnot dead-set against it, but I was trying to follow guidelines. RasputinAXP talk contribs 15:48, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
There are many names, and even words, in dominant English usage that use diacritics. Whether or not these will ever be typed in a search engine, they're still the proper title. However, if English language media presentations of a topic overwhelmingly omit diacritics, then clearly English speakers would be most familiar with the form without diacritics and it should be used as the title on this Wikipedia. This is just common sense, even if it goes against the ad hoc conventions that have arisen. Deco 18:30, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Czech names: almost all names with diacritics use it also in the title (and all of them have redirect). Adding missing diacritics is automatic behavior of Czech editors when they spot it. So for all practical purposes the policy is set de-facto (for Cz names) and you can't change it. Pavel Vozenilek 03:18, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Naming policy (Czech) --Francis Schonken 11:01, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

and: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (hockey) --Francis Schonken 17:41, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

There are those among us trying to pull the ignorant North American card. I mentioned the following over at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ice Hockey/Player pages format...
Here's the Czech hockey team in English compliments of the Torino Italy Olympic Committee [1] Here they are in Italian: [2], French: [3]. Here are the rosters from the IIHF (INTERNATIONAL Ice Hockey Federation) based in Switzerland: [4].'
Those examples are straight from 2 international organizations (one based in Italy, one in Switzerland). I'm hard pressed to find any english publication that uses diacritics in hockey player names. I don't see why should be setting a precedent otherwise. ccwaters 02:19, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Over at WP:HOCKEY we have/had 3 forces promoting non-English characters in hockey articles: native Finns demanding native spellings of Finnish players, native Czechs demanding native spellings of Czech players, and American stalkers of certain Finnish goaltenders. I did a little research and here are my findings:
Here's a Finnish site profiling NHL players. Here's an "incorrectly" spelt Jagr, but the Finnish and German alphabets both happen to have umlauts so here's a "correct" Olaf Kölzig. Who is Aleksei Jashin?
Here's a Czech article about the recent Montreal-Philadelphia game [5] Good luck finding any Finnish players names spelt "correctly"... here's a snippet from the MON-PHI article:
Flyers však do utkání nastoupili značně oslabeni. K zraněným oporám Peteru Forsbergovi, Keithu Primeauovi, Ericu Desjardinsovi a Kimu Johnssonovi totiž po posledním zápase přibyli také Petr Nedvěd a zadák Chris Therrien.
Well...I recognize Petr Nedvěd, he was born in Czechoslovakia. Who did the Flyers have in goal??? Oh its the Finnish guy, "Antero Niitymakiho".
My point? Different languages spell name differently. I found those sites just by searching yahoo in the respective languages. I admit I don't speak either and therefore I couldn't search thoroughly. If someone with backgrounds in either language can demonstrate patterns of Finnish publications acknowledging Czech characters and visa versa than I may change my stance. ccwaters 03:45, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I support every word Ccwater said, albeit with not as much conviction. There is a reason why we have Wikipedia in different languages, and although there are few instances in the English uses some sort of extra-curricular lettering (i.e. café), most English speaking people do not use those. Flag of Croatia.svg Croat Canuck Flag of Canada.svg 04:25, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I must make a strong point that seems to be over-looked: this is not the international English language wikipedia. It is the English language wikipedia. It just so happens that the international communty contributes. There is a reason that there are other language sections to wikipedia, and this is one of them. The finnish section of wikipedia should spell names the Finnish way and the English wikipedia should spell names the English way. The vast majority of english publications drop the foreign characters and diacritics. Why? because they aren't part of the English language, hence the term "foreign characters". Masterhatch 04:32, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree in every particular with Masterhatch. The NHL's own website and publications do not use diacriticals, nor does any other known English-language source. The absurdity of the racist card is breathtaking: in the same fashion as the Finnish and Czech language Wikipedias follow their own national conventions for nomenclature (the name of the country in which I live is called the "United States" on neither ... should I feel insulted?), the English language Wikipedia reflects the conventions of the various English-speaking nations. In none are diacriticals commonly used. I imagine the natives of the Finnish or Czech language Wikipedias would go berserk if some peeved Anglos barge in and demand they change their customary linguistic usages. I see no reason to change the English language to suit in a similar situation. RGTraynor 06:46, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
People like Jagr, Rucinsky or Elias are not only NHL players but also members of Czech team for winter olympics. Therefore I do not see any reason why spelling of their name in NHL publications should be prioritized. I intentionaly wrote the names without diacritics. I accept the fact that foreigners do that because they cannot write those letters properly and use them correctly. There are also technical restrictions. I also accepted fact that my US social security card bears name Jan Smolik instead of Jan Smolík. I do not have problem with this. I even sign my posts Jan Smolik. But Wikipedia does not have technical restrictions. I can even type wierd letters as Æ. And it has plenty of editors who are able to write names with diacritics correctly. The name without diacritics is sufficient for normal information but I still think it is wrong. I think that removing diacritics is a step back. Anyway it is true that I am not able to use diacritics in Finish names. But somebody can fix that for me.
I do not care which version will win. But I just felt there was not a clear consensus for the non-diacritics side and this discussion has proven me to be right. As for the notice of Czechs writing names incorectly. We use Inflection of names so that makes writing even more dificult (my name is Smolík but when you want to say we gave it to Smolík you will use form we gave it Smolíkovi). One last argument for diacritics, before I retire from this discussion as I think I said all I wanted to say. Without diacritics you cannot distinguish some names. For example Czech surnames Čapek and Cápek are both Capek. Anyway we also have language purists in the Czech republic. I am not one of them. --Jan Smolik 19:11, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
People like Jagr, Rucinsky or Elias are not only NHL players but also members of Czech team for winter olympics. Therefore I do not see any reason why spelling of their name in NHL publications should be prioritized -Fine we'll use the spellings used by the IIHF, IOC, NHLPA, AHL, OHL, WHL, ESPN, TSN, The Hockey News, Sports Illustrated, etc, etc, etc.
This isn't about laziness. Its about using the alphabet afforded to the respective language. We don't refer to Алексей Яшин because the English language doesn't use the Cyrillic alphabet. So why should we subject language A to the version of the Latin alphabet used by language B? Especially when B modifies proper names from languages C & D.
My main beef here is that that the use of such characters in is a precedent, and not a common practice. If you think the English hockey world should start spelling Czech names natively, than start a campaign amongst Czech hockey players demanding so. It may work: languages constantly infiltrate and influence each other. Wikipedia should take a passive role in such things, and not be an active forum for them. ccwaters 20:09, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
People like Jagr, Rucinsky or Elias are not only NHL players but also members of Czech team for winter olympics. Therefore I do not see any reason why spelling of their name in NHL publications should be prioritized Great, in which case for Czech Olympic pages, especially on the Czech Wikipedia, spell them as they are done in the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, in the NHL-related articles, we'll spell them as per customary English-language usage. RGTraynor 08:05, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
I wish I understood why User:ccwaters has to be rude in his posts on this subject. "Stalkers of Finnish goaltenders" isn't the way I'd describe a Wikipedia contributor. Also, since you asked, Aleksei Jashin is the Finnish translitteration of Alexei Yashin. Russian transliterates differently into Finnish than into English. Of course you must know this, since you have such a habit of lecturing to us on languages. As for diacritics, I object to the idea of dumbing down Wikipedia. There are no technical limitations that stop us from writing Antero Niittymäki instead of Antero Niittymaki. The reason so many hockey publications all over the world don't use Finnish-Scandinavian letters or diacritics is simple laziness, and Wikipedia can do much better. Besides, it isn't accepted translation practice to change the spelling of proper names if they can be easily reproduced and understood, so in my opinion it's simply wrong to do so. Since it seems to be obvious there isn't a consensus on this matter, I think a vote would be in order. Elrith 16:40, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Alas, a Finnish guy lecturing native English speakers on how they have to write Czech names in English (not to mention the lecturing regarding the laziness) is but a variation on the same theme of rudishness.
So, Elrith, or whomever reads this, if the lecturing is finished, could you maybe devote some attention to the Dvořák/Dvorak problem I mentioned below? I mean, whomever one asks this would not be problematic - but nobody volunteered thus far to get it solved. Am I the only one who experiences this as problematic inconsistency? --Francis Schonken 21:05, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
So is "Jagr" the Finnish transliteration of "Jágr"??? On that note, the Finnish "Ä" is not an "A" with "funny things" on top (that's an umlaut), its a completely separate letter nonexistent in the English language and is translated to "Æ". "Niittymaki" would be the English transliteration. "Nittymeki" or (more traditionally "Nittymӕki") would be the English transcription.
In the past I've said our friend's contributions were "thorough." I'll leave it at that. There will be nothing else about it from me unless asked. ccwaters 21:02, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
My opinion on the Dvořák/Dvorak issue is that his name is spelled Dvořák, and that's how the articles should be titled, along with redirects from Dvorak. Similarly, the article on Antero Niittymäki should be called just that, with a redirect from Niittymaki. You're right that it is a problematic inconsistency, and it needs to be fixed.
The only reason I may sound like I'm lecturing is that there are several people contributing to these discussions who don't understand the subject at all. Ccwaters's remarks on transliteration are

one example. It isn't customary or even acceptable to transliterate or transcribe Finnish letters into English; the accepted translation practice is to reproduce them, which is perfectly possible, for example, in Wikipedia. Niittymaki or anything else that isn't Niittymäki isn't a technically correct "translation". The reason North American, or for that matter, Finnish, hockey publications write Jagr instead of Jágr is ignorance and/or laziness. Wikipedia can do better that that.

However, since this discussion has, at least to me, established that there is no consensus on Wikipedia on diacritics and national letters, apart from a previous vote on diacritics, I'm going to continue my hockey edits and use Finnish/Scandinavian letters unless the matter is otherwise resolved. Elrith 04:32, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Hi Elrith, your new batch of patronising declarations simply doesn't work. Your insights in language (and how language works) seem very limited, resuming all what you don't like about a language to "laziness" and "ignorance".
Seems like we might need an RfC on you, if you continue to oracle like this, especially when your technique seems to consist in calling anyone who doesn't agree with you incompetent.
Re. consensus, I think you would be surprised to see how much things have evolved since the archived poll you speak about. --Francis Schonken 23:14, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
My 2 cents:
1) This should NOT be setteld as a local consensus for hockey players, this is about how we name persons in the english wikipedia. It is wrong to have a local consensus for hockey players only.
2) I have tried to do some findings on how names are represented, it is wrong to say that since these names are spelled like this normally they should be spelled like this, many wrongs does not make it right. So I did a few checks,
If I look at the online version of Encyclopædia Britannica I get a hit on both Björn Borg and Bjorn Borg, but in the article it is spelled with swedish characters, same for Selma Lagerlöf and Dag Hammarskjöld, I could not find any more swedes in EB :-) (I did not check all..)
I also check for as many swedes as I could think of in wikipedia to see how it is done for none hockey swedes, I found the following swedes by looking at list of swedish ... and adding a few more that I could think of, ALL had their articles spelled with the swedish characters (I'm sure you can find a few that is spelled without the swedish characters but the majority for sure seams to be spelled the same way as in their births certificates). So IF you are proposing that we should 'rename' the swedish hockey players I think we must rename all other swedes also. Do we really think that is correct? I can not check this as easily for other countries but I would guess that it is the same.
Dag Hammarskjöld, Björn Borg, Annika Sörenstam, Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Selma Lagerlöf, Stellan Skarsgård,Gunnar Ekelöf, Gustaf Fröding, Pär Lagerkvist, Håkan Nesser, Bruno K. Öijer, Björn Ranelid, Fredrik Ström, Edith Södergran, Hjalmar Söderberg, Per Wahlöö, Gunnar Ekelöf, Gustaf Fröding, Pär Lagerkvist, Maj Sjöwall, Per Wästberg, Isaac Hirsche Grünewald, Tage Åsén, Gösta Bohman, Göran Persson, Björn von Sydow, Lasse Åberg, Helena Bergström, Victor Sjöström, Gunder Hägg, Sigfrid Edström, Anders Gärderud, Henrik Sjöberg, Patrik Sjöberg, Tore Sjöstrand, Arne Åhman, so there seams to be a consensus for non hockey playing swedes? Stefan 13:33, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I also checked encarta for Björn Borg and Dag Hammarskjöld both have the Swedish characters as the main name of the articles, Selma Lagerlöf is not avaliable unless you pay so I can not check. I'm sure you can find example of the 'wrong' way also, but we can not say that there is consensus in the encyclopedic area of respelling foreign names the 'correct' english way. Stefan 14:16, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
This seems like a very constructive step to me. So I'll do the same as I did for Czech, i.e.:
  1. start Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Swedish) as a proposal, starting off with the content you bring in here.
  2. list that page in Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Conventions under consideration
  3. also list it on wikipedia:current surveys#Discussions
  4. list it in the guideline proposal Wikipedia:Naming conventions (standard letters with diacritics)#Specifics_according_to_language_of_origin
OK to work from there? --Francis Schonken 15:22, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Works for me :-) Stefan 00:26, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Tx for finetuning Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Swedish). I also contributed to further finetuning, but add a small note here to clarify what I did: page names in English wikipedia are in English per WP:UE. Making a Swedish name like Björn Borg English, means that the ö ("character" in Swedish language) is turned into an "o" character with a precombined diacritic mark (unicode: U+00F6, which is the same character used to write the last name of Johann Friedrich Böttger – note that böttger ware, named after this person, uses the same ö according to Webster's, and in that dictionary is sorted between "bottery tree" and "bottine"). Of course (in English!) the discussion whether it is a separate character or an "o" with a diacritic is rather futile *except* for alphabetical ordering: for alphabetical ordering in English wikipedia the ö is treated as if it were an o, hence the remark about the "category sort key" I added to the intro of the "Swedish NC" guideline proposal. In other words, you can't expect English wikipedians who try to find something in an alphabetic list to know in advance (a) what is the language or origin of a word, and (b) if any "special rules" for alphabetical ordering are applicable in that language. That would be putting things on their head. "Bö..." will always be sorted in the same way, whatever the language of origin.
What I mean is that "Björn Borg" (in Swedish) is transcribed/translated/transliterated to "Björn Borg" in English, the only (invisible!) difference being that in Swedish ö is a character, and in English ö is a letter o with a diacritic.
Or (still the same in other words): Ö is always treated the same as "O" in alphabetical ordering, whether it's a letter of Ötzi or of Öijer--Francis Schonken 10:56, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

For consistency with the rest of Wikipedia, hockey player articles should use non-English alphabet characters if the native spelling uses a Latin-based alphabet (with the exception of naturalized players like Petr Nedved). Why should Dominik Hasek be treated differently than Jaroslav Hašek? Olessi 20:48, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

If we are using other encyclopedias as litmus tests, we don't we look at a few hockey players: Dominik Hasek at Encarta Dominik Hasek at Britannica Jaromir Jagr at Encarta Teemu Selanne in Encarta list of top scorers

Last argument: We use the names that these players are overwhelming known as in the English language. We speak of Bobby Orr, not Robert Orr. Scotty Bowman, not William Scott Bowman. Ken Dryden not Kenneth Dryden. Tony Esposito, not Anthony Esposito. Gordie Howe not Gordon Howe... etc etc, etc. The NHL/NHLPA/media call these players by what they request to be called. Vyacheslav Kozlov used to go by Slava Kozlov. Evgeni Nabokov "americanized" himself for a season as "John Nabokov" but changed his mind again.

ccwaters 22:54, 25 February 2006 (UTC)


Masterhatch has stated somewhere above that "this is not the international English language wikipedia. It is the English language wikipedia."

Well, if this opinion prevails, it will be the worst thing that could happen to Wikipedia. A lot of topics here are covered by non-native English speakers and a lot of them would not be covered without them at all.

None of the other, to a large extent national, wikipedias, like German or Swedish, grows so quickly. Some non-native English speakers even prefer editting English wikipedia to editting their native language wikipedia, because they consider it international.

Please, do not push them on the edge, do not make them feel this is not their wikipedia as well.

This request has not been written to support using diacritics.

Jan.Kamenicek 01:57, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Being an EAL myself, I adapt. I adapt to English wikipedia when writing here. I adapt to Dutch wikipedia, when writing there.
I'm thoroughly disturbed by nationalist/ethnic POV pushers. I write One gets used to anything, except a guy, when I want to write about Alles went behalve een vent in English wikipedia, and look for references in English to accompany such article. I'm disturbed by pro-Indian POV pushers, when they want to re-define the common name for Arabic numerals in English. I'm disturbed by message boards, like the Polish one, if they're used to push POV (applying a gloss of "being specialists"), etc...
There is no shortage of content contributors (that's no "revolutionary" POV, just quoting Jimbo when he spoke at FOSDEM a year ago - there has not been any reduction of number of editors the last year, afaik)
If you want to write Czech, just go fill up the Czech Wikipedia. Articles can always be translated. Maybe it's kind of a backward mode of operation of wanting to fill up English wikipedia with every imaginable non-notable town/village of the world (etc), and because of that activity neglect that your native tongue's wikipedia would reach a same level of sophistication as the English one. If you prefer to write in English (like I do), there's only one message: adapt. If you can't adapt, no love lost. You know, unbelievable as it may sound, there are still other interesting things in the world apart from Wikipedia.
Anyway, I never felt as if English wikipedia would not be "my wikipedia as well". Apart from when having to read names like Þorláksson, Guðbrandur – whom I think an interesting person, I'm merely disturbed when having to read the name of that person in that format, e.g. at List of mathematicians#Ti — To. The Icelandic POV-pushers club is responsible for that. I'm just waiting for some of them to start feeling just a little less comfortable at English wikipedia, and stop behaving as if they own the place.
In other words, the dictum against word ownership is not alleviated when the ownership is claimed by POV-pushing nationalist/ethnic groups. --Francis Schonken 11:47, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I think I have been misunderstood despite the fact that I stated in the end of the contribution that I did not write it to support using diacritics. I just objected when I read that somebody claimed something like: This is our Wikipedia, not yours (although in different, not so strong words).
I have also never felt that way, just warned against trying to raise such feelings. I respect everybody who came with a sensible argument why diacritics should be omitted (and some arguments were sensible), but I have to object to the above mentioned statement.
Whenever I see wide consensus (which is, however, not the diacritics case), I always adapt to it. If I do not see it, I try to explain my point of view but never revert people with a different opinion (as I have seen many times).
I do not understand why you write about some articles on non-notable villages. Which part of my contribution does it react to? Or do I contribute to such articles? Maybe this irrelevant objection should be moved under some message dealing with such a subject.
I also do not understand, why do you consider my contribution, supporting the opinion that English Wikipedia is (unlike wikipedias in other languages) international, to be nationalistic.
I agree with all people from both sides of the discussion who have claimed that at this moment it is not very fertile and have withdrawn from it. So do I, there is a lot of more useful work to do. Jan.Kamenicek 20:27, 5 March 2006 (UTC)


Could someone clean this up:

Article/category name without diacritics 
Category:Compositions by Antonin Dvorak
Category:Operas by Antonin Dvorak
Cello Concerto (Dvorak)
String Quartet No. 11 (Dvorak)
String Quartet No. 12 (Dvorak)
Symphony No. 6 (Dvorak)
Symphony No. 8 (Dvorak)
Symphony No. 9 (Dvorak)
Violin Concerto (Dvorak)
Page name with diacritics 
Antonín Dvořák
List of compositions by Antonín Dvořák
Symphony No. 7 (Dvořák)

I'd do it myself if I only knew which way the wikipedia community wants it... --Francis Schonken 10:53, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I've been bold and renamed the articles to use diacritics in the title, since they already use them in the text. I've also slapped {{categoryredirect}} tags on the two categories: a bot should be along shortly to complete the job. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:54, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Tx!!! - I'll remove Dvořák as an exception from Wikipedia:Naming policy (Czech)#Exceptions --Francis Schonken 15:22, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

WP:RFCA proposal

See WP:VPR#Requests_for_continuing_adminship_.28WP:RFCA.29 - SoM 19:28, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Sections archived on 00:10, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Eggs in the user page

Wikipedia's policy states that "You might want to add quotes that you like, or a picture, or some of your favorite Wikipedia articles or images (free licensed only), or something like that"

Do eggs fall within that category? I wanted to put some on my page, just for fun, but thought I'd better clear it first. --Eilu 11:56, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Are they public domain? You can only use things that are freely copyable (public domain, GFDL, etc.) on your user page. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 12:07, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not really sure. The site doesn't explicitly say it's "public domain" or "released under GFDL" but it does say
"Choose your egg below and paste the code onto your webpage. You may adopt one egg or all five! ... After your egg hatches, you may keep the critter on your homepage to show off to your guests :D You may even adopt more eggs as they are released!"
It then provides the appropriate code to display them; ie. the eggs were created specifically to serve as forum signatures or to be displayed in websites --Eilu 13:35, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
No you can't use that. First, its (probably) technically not possible (and definately not wanted) to hotlink to external images (e.g. have external images, shown inline). Second, the web site explicitly says the images are copyrighted (in a non-free way). Third, even if it was allowed, it seems like a bad idea, for anybody who likes privacy, and dislikes attempts at free advertising. --Rob 14:27, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I see. okay then. --Eilu 06:42, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Not logging IRC discussions is harmful

Not having a log of IRC discussions is harmful because important decisions, such as whether to block a user or IP address and what should be done with a problematic article are made there. Also, what happens on IRC sometimes spills over onto Wikipedia, such as a user being blocked from posting on Wikipedia for his or her actions on IRC or a user with a grievance about his or her treatment on IRC. Unlike talk pages, or even the mailing list, there is no way to determine what was said. The only thing we have is hearsay from people who participated in the discussion. Those users who were not present have no way to address the arguments of the other side, even after the fact. I only watch IRC occasionally, and it is frustrating when I find an issue that I have an opinion on was decided on IRC. Also, from what I have seen, consensus on IRC is sometimes all in the mind of the user, as some call it a consensus if there are only a few objections while the majority of users keep engaging in idle conversation. If there was a log, users could see what was said and write a rebuttal rather than starting the conversation all over again, which others are sometimes reluctant to do. Not logging IRC goes against the open nature of Wikipedia. If IRC continues to be unlogged, important decisions should not be made there without a full explanation posted on Wikipedia. -- Kjkolb 06:38, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

  • AFAIC, nobody should claim consensus based on IRC conversations. Nor should people be blocked on WP for IRC conversations. There is here, and there is there. Now, it might be useful to quickly discuss some subject matter via IRC, but if a WP decision is made, it needs to be well documented on WP. Logging IRC would never happen, that place is just noise. SchmuckyTheCat 07:08, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
  • If you have seen someone blocked or otherwise sanctioned in Wikipedia for something that happened on one of the IRC channels, please give us some details here, along with the applicable hotlinks. I can't think of any tolerable examples of how that could possibly be proper. - CHAIRBOY () 08:32, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

I want to point out that I am not suggesting that anyone has acted improperly, just that this has become common practice. Here are some examples that I have found. I'm not completely happy with the list and I think I could find better examples, but it would take a lot more time. I just skimmed through these and some may actually be irrelevant. Also, in some cases what happened is unclear because part of the conversation took place by email, IRC or on another talk page. Many of them are not that big of a deal, but it becomes a problem when it occurs frequently.

  • Wikipedia:Bots (Tawkerbot2)
    • Discussing the appropriateness of a bot on IRC (or whether to run without a flag?)

-- Kjkolb 10:55, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

This is a good list of evidence. I really appreciate you making it. I would strongly support a seperate channel, i.e. #wikipedia-logged which would be resorted to when live, real-time discussions or decisions were wanted, and which would be logged. I think making #wikipedia logged is not going to fly, because people do greatly value having a place where their converstations are not permanently visible. But in nearly all cases, I can't see a problem with moving discussions about on-wiki matters to a logged channel. 00:14, 10 March 2006 (UTC) (User:JesseW/not logged in)
Logging IRC does seem like a good idea, now that you mention it. Of course, it would be 97% worthless garbage, but as reference it could be useful in some cases. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 00:35, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Userbox policy

Other efforts having failed, we still face the need to build a workable UBX policy. With some trepidation I've posted a starting point for further work.

I should very much like users to edit the proposal directly rather than attempt to vote on it. This is a wiki; we can work it out. John Reid 05:41, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

That's certainly not bad; I like the writing. I think there are still basic philosophical divisions that need to be addressed, but, baring that, it looks good. 00:21, 10 March 2006 (UTC) (User:JesseW/not logged in)


It went to this additional archive so I don't end up actually deleting any discussions. Sorry if I accidentally archived a discussion in progress. My sincere apologies, and feel free to put it back here.

Colors, templates, tables

Can anyone refer to some policy of "Keep it simple" that is used here in the wikipedias? I often create new templates on other wikipedias and on the swedish one they are often deleated without discussion referring to some "Keep it smple" rule. In my opinion this is in contradiction to the "Be bold" and "Break the rules if you have new information" -policies. MoRsΞ 11:07, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't know of a policy, per se, but I think that Occam's Razor is always a good principal to apply. My favorite version of what William actually wrote is, to do with more what may be done with less is vanity. So I would say make it no more complicated than is necessary to convey the information. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 12:05, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Not knowing the specifics, I think the problem may be that different people want different things kept simple. A template that makes it easier to do one (like make a taxobox) but makes it harder to do other things (like modifying the template). Make sure your templates are making things easier for everyone, and don't make anything more difficult than it already is. That means writing documentation for how your templates work too. Also perhaps get other people on the Swedish wikipedia to look into the issue. And lastly you can read about KISS too. —Pengo 00:22, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Livy Book 1

To what extant can Livy book one be used as a source for wikipedia articles? Book one seems to be a mixture and legend and fact.

davidzuccaro 00:52, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

It is a published and verifiable source and there is no reason in principle why reference should not be made to it in appropriate contexts. But to the extent that it may contain some less-than wholly-accurate historical assertions, caveats to the reliability of those assertions would be beneficial to the lay reader's qualitative understanding of the information. David91 02:43, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I think I have a better approach, which is to treat the material as mythology and state it as such in the wikipedia articles. davidzuccaro 02:47, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps I am being pedantic, but I think the term legend is more appropriate than the term mythology. As I read the terms, myth has a definite connotation of being untrue, whereas the term legend tends to be agnostic about the truth, i.e. this is what was said, make of it what you will. --BostonMA 15:22, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
An interesting volte face since I had thought we were in agreement that some of the material was either factual or had a factual subtext. But whatever your decision, I am simply glad to have been of assistance. David91 04:40, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Similar concerns led me (prior to reading the above) to add the {{fiction}} template to King of the Britons earlier this morning: in this case it's about the fiction/non-fiction statute of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae which is used as a primary source for this list of kings.

Also the Historia Augusta (including the book on the Thirty Tyrants) falls in this fiction/non-fiction crossover category (and there are certainly more). Also fictional books, like the poems by Virgil and Ovid are reliable sources on some historical issues (see e.g. Imperial cult (Ancient Rome): Virgil is quoted as a reference that Augustus sanctioned the cult of Julius Caesar)

Some thoughts:

  • At least the articles on books like Livy's Ab Urbe condita, the Augustan History, the Historia Regum Britanniae, etc should attempt to distinguish the mythical and historical dimensions of such works, preferably based on referenced scholar analysis;
  • Since wikipedia is rather about "verifiability" than about "truth" any such reference can be used to say something about the time in which it was written (but not necessarily about the content of its mythical assertions: see Imperial cult example above: the Virgil reference in used in wikipedia not to "prove" that Julius Caesar descended from Venus, but only to show that in Augustus' time this message was promoted, which is "fact");
  • Finally, this morning, still before reading the above, I expanded the List of borderline fictional characters somewhat: if there's no real chance that the veracity about some historical figures/details will ever be fully proven/disproven this is the ultimate defense: acknowledge that some data are in the fiction/non-fiction borderzone, and work from there. --Francis Schonken 15:10, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Rewriting history

On fr: an admin has recently decided to remove all vandalised revisions from some articles' history. I'm quite sure the idea already appeared on en:, but I can't find any policy or discussion relating to this. Does anyone know where it is? _R_ 17:23, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I hope there isn't. It is too insanely stupid to consider. Kim Bruning 18:56, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
The thing is, some people on fr: are not only considering it, but actively doing it. That's why I'm searching for previously expressed rebuttals to their arguments, instead of expanding a lot of effort to reinvent the wheel. _R_ 20:09, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
This is the problem. When we started, a lot of stuff was so obvious that we never bothered to write it down. Kim Bruning 20:36, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Isn't the basic principle that we want to be able to look in someone's edit history and, if they have a history of vandalism, it be visible, whereas if we deleted vandalism edits, then career vandals are indistinguishable from total newbies? -GTBacchus(talk) 20:40, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
The suggestion's come up a few times. As I recall, the main points came down to:
  1. There's a hell of a lot of it. Deleting it all would take too long.
  2. Deleting vandalism would make serial vandals hard to identify.
  3. A general dislike of re-writing history.
--Carnildo 07:22, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Also the fact that removing all vandalised revisions would probably involve removing attribution for tens upon tens of thousands. It's not unusual on a busy page to discover vandalism that's stuck around over three or four good edits. So obviously deleting every revision that contains vandalism would have a huge amount of collateral damage against good contributors. It's possible, however, that the fr: program is only about deleting the vandal edits themselves. Christopher Parham (talk) 08:47, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Also also, the question of "what is vandalism" is somewhat subjective. FreplySpang (talk) 09:01, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Permanently semiprotected

After a discussion at WP:RFPP about Portal:Box-header, I made a new template {{psprotected}} so it reflects the status of this said page. I know this is against policy, but I was told that we should not be slaves under policies. AzaToth 20:35, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

How's Template:Psprotected(edit talk links history) supposed to work, are the categories all that's needed? Omniplex  20:45, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
I have nominated it for deletion. Superm401 - Talk 22:32, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Criteria for inclusion of biographies/Academics

In the past two months I have seen a large number of WP:AFD debates on whether or not professors are notable. There is a proposed policy on criteria for including academics that, unfortunately, has received very little attention lately. I have been working on this recently, and I'd like to work on building a consensus and collecting comments from the community so that this guideline can eventually become an official guideline. So, I am posting here to appeal to the community: if you are interested in this issue, come, check out the guidelines, enter the discussions, et cetera. The guidelines are at Wikipedia:Criteria for inclusion of biographies/Academics, with attached talk page. Also check out Wikipedia:Criteria for inclusion of biographies/Academics/Precedents for an (incomplete) gathering of academic-related deletion debates. I'd also appreciate if someone could fill me in on how to go about making this guideline official once it's ready. Thanks! (feel free to contribute here if you want, but it would be more useful to contribute at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for inclusion of biographies/Academics.) Mangojuice 19:48, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

How to react to repeated deletions of comments ?

How to react if some users delete on regular basis posts by others in discussion page ? I don't want to face 3RR but what to do about this act of vandalism ? Is restoring such posts 3RR ? --Molobo 22:07, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, this is nothing but a frivolous complaint. The user above has a habit of pasting huge chunks of text (literally kilobytes or text) from external sites directly into Wikipedia. He was reminded many times that the link is enough since others know how to click and how to read. Putting aside a copyright issue for unwarranted copying of external material into Wikipedia, this simple renders talk pages unreadable making discussions impossible. No matter what editors write at talk pages, it is easy to obscure their entries by diluting them by tons and tons of external text the user pastes all over. The user was repeatedly asked to just provide links and write a brief summary, if necessary. He responds with pasting more, accusing his opponents in deleting his comments and ends up getting himself blocked. His activity on Wikipedia mostly comes down to reverting others, removing material he disagrees with and pasting stuff from elsewhere as well as from one article into another. Such a lazy approach is extremely aggravating and counterproductive. --Irpen 22:23, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, Irpen is correct. If User:Molobo would use quotation marks and introduce his quotes properly, it would be less messy and there would be less problem, but he didn't do it, so the quoted person's comments look like Molobo's own, and make reading of the discussion hard. - Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 22:27, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Here is the quote that was deleted by Calgacus and that Irpen claims is a "huge chunk of external material"

In conclusion we might ask ourselves what influence the Tartar-Mongols had on Russia. (...)

There were also important cultural effects. Mongol domination retarded Russia's cultural development. It delayed for at least two centuries any contact between Russia and Europe, which was at that time the only fountain of progress and enlightenment. The Russian Middle Ages were barren of achievement in any field of creative endeavor, except perhaps that of icon painting, which reached high standards in the fifteenth century.

Professor Gerhard Rempel at Western New England College Molobo 22:12, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

The above quote which I entered after responding to Irpen's demands that I shouldn't "obscure webpage" was deleted by Calgacus[6] here. I have seen larger quotes used on discussion pages --Molobo 22:28, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

He responds with pasting more, accusing his opponents in deleting his comments and ends up getting himself blocked. His activity on Wikipedia mostly comes down to reverting others, removing material he disagrees with and pasting stuff from elsewhere as well as from one article into another. Such a lazy approach is extremely aggravating and counterproductive. This is untrue and anybody can enter my personal page on Wiki to see my contributions and articles I made. I don't think that kind of comments are needed Irpen. --Molobo 22:28, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Actually, this edit will show you that Molobo inserted nearly a third of the webpage, which then made up more than half the discussion page, didn't comment on the quote and, what's more, didn't put it in quotation marks. - Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 22:37, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

But you continued to delete a shortend version of the quote as seen here. --Molobo 22:49, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Now Molobo is pasting it here. Just add a diff link, OK? Here is the pasting by Molobo which I didn't delete, but replaced[7] with a properly formatted link adding a comment to the user not to do it again.

But upon your request my shortened quote was deleted as well by Calgacus here. --Molobo 22:49, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

This pasting of material, anyone can see how "short" it is, was repeated perhaps seven or eight times and brought the block on the user. Should this be all moved to WP:ANI? --Irpen 22:40, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

This is not the issue here as we are discussing another topic. After explanation by [8] user Splash I no longer continued to reinsert information despite the fact the one of the sources allows so. Why are you picking up a done issue here? --Molobo 22:49, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

WP:AUM rejected

As of clear consensus of the straw poll on WT:AUM, I have now marked the proposal as rejected. AzaToth 18:40, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

It's about time. John Reid 18:58, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
As a non-template editor who came to the issue late, I'm glad to see this issue has been resolved. There has been way to many pixels (ink) used endlessly debating this issue. Luckily the positions advocated by both sides of the debate have been transparent to most users and even editors so edit wars have not affected a large number of articles. --Reflex Reaction (talk)• 19:08, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections January 2007/Discussion

The page for discussing the next arbcom elections. Lets see if we can sort this one out before the last 5 mins leading up to midnight.Geni 00:41, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Admin on Duty

Would it be possible to have a list of "Admins on Duty" which could be used to find an Admin quickly? Several times I've wanted to find an admin but not known who was online except for recognising them in Recent Changes. Could there be a list, say on the Community Portal, which admins can sign into when on WP and the sign-out of when they leave for the day. This would be like a "the doctor is IN" sign to channel people to those performing that duty at that time.

It need not be obligatory for Admins to sign into this list whenever they are here, but requested that all take a turn once a week or so. That way there is always someone who is publicly saying "I'm on duty NOW" yet they do not have to be so all the time. This would spread the load as well as increasing speeds of vandal blocking and mini-arbitrations.

What do you think? Witty lama 05:52, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

AFAIK, immediate attention of admins is required for vandalism alone. WP:AIV should help, no? --Gurubrahma 07:46, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I just use Special:Log to see who is active. - brenneman{T}{L} 08:37, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Or, even quicker, click on Special:Recentchanges and look for the first admin-ish edit. In cases like vandalism, designated pages such as WP:AIV should be used rather than approaching an admin. However, if the request is for something that there is already a page for, e.g. WP:RM, and especially if the admin is not familiar with the requested procedure or if there is a question of the motivation for the request, then the admin should feel free to refer the user to the appropriate page. Several users have already done this with me and most of the time I'm happy to oblige. - BanyanTree 15:27, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Most admins that proactively fight vandalism of Wikipedia have Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism in our watchlist. Response time is pretty good, IMO. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 04:47, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Whether to revert

An anonymous user ( left a particularly disgusting "question" regarding flatulence at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous. I looked at the user's contributions, and it was clear the user was a vandal who had been vandalizing several pages. I removed the Reference Desk post as vandalism. User:Keenan Pepper restored the "question" as if it was a serious one, despite his doubts about the sincerity of the original post. I removed the question again and alerted the Keenan to the anonymous user's vandalism on other pages. Keenan then restored the question again, saying he prefers to answer the question seriously.

Who's right? While I don't think we necessarily ought to delete a Reference Desk question just because it's gross, I certainly think we should delete a question not left "in good faith." -- Mwalcoff 03:20, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I think the same basic idea as what's supposed to be done with edits from banned users could work: they are to be reverted without question, even if they are good edits, but another editor can "take responsability" for them, in which case they aren't to be reverted. In this particular case, I'd say the question should stay (Keenan has "taken the responsability" for it being still there). --cesarb 03:30, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Arguments on talk page: who may delete them?

I am trying to decide what to do on two pages and wanted to see if there is a formal or informal Wikipedia policy.

During the last year, I put some work into the articles Papal infallibility and Infallibility of the Church. Beginning on 1 February 2006, a new editor became involved in these pages, and we disagreed about many issues. We had several long arguments on the Talk pages, and each of us felt the other was being unreasonable, or violating NPOV, or not using sources properly. Finally, on 4 February, I decided to give up these pages. I still think I was right in the argument, and I thought that some of the other user's edits made the articles less accurate. But I simply have too much work to do at school and can't afford to spend as much time on Wikipedia as I used to spend, and this argument was not going to end.

Since that time I haven't done any editing of these pages.

Today there has been a new development. The other editor wants to delete the argument we had on the Talk page. I objected to him deleting my material, so he responded by deleting his material. Needless to say, an argument with one person's comments deleted is not useful.

I strongly want the argument to remain, because some people who question the content of Wikipedia pages look at the Talk page to see if there have been disputes about it. The other editor wants to delete the argument, or at least his own comments in it.

I know that it would be vandalism for someone to alter my signed comments, but this isn't what's happening: my signed comments are remaining but as orphans. Thus a complete dialogue [9] becomes a set of disconnected responses [10].

Is there any policy covering this? Can I object to this deletion? - Lawrence King 07:04, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Not sure, but it makes sense not to delete things from a talk page. I can find, Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines, Wikipedia:How_to_archive_a_talk_page and Wikipedia:Refactoring_talk_pages that describes how to handle talk pages. None says anything direct about deleting stuff. but the following quotes implies that you should not do that.
Archive rather than delete: When a talk page's content has become extremely large or the discussion of the issue in hand has simply died down and no one has a reasonable chance of adding to it, create a new page. (See Help:Starting a new page and Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page for details.) Place the page in a talk or Wikipedia talk namespace. Give it an explanatory name. Often people simply add "archive" to the original name. Explain on the archive page where the text you plan to archive will come from and provide a link. Cut the relevant content from the original page and paste it into the new page. Replace the text on the original page with a link to the archive. An alternative is to summarise the discussion and provide a link to the version with the full text.
Be aware that not every editor will agree with your refactoring or even of the refactoring concept in general. Provide links to the original, uncut version, so others can check your changes, and if necessary go back to the original to clarify what an author actually said. This combination of refactoring and archiving will often prevent complaints that information was lost. Make it explicit that you have refactored something so no one is misled into thinking this was the original talk page.
If you think people may object to their discussion being refactored, make your summary on a different page. Rather than reducing archives 7 to 10 of talk:New Imperialism, create a new page entitled talk:New Imperialism/Summary of archives 7 to 10. Link this to the top of the appropriate archives, and to the current talk page. This gives newcomers the chance to get a quick understanding without the risk of losing what has gone before. Having a linked archive can help satisfy both those who feel their words must remain intact and those who want a neat summary.
So you should not delete from talk pages but it is not clear if you can revert a deletion especially if you want to revert something the writer deleted. But you can make a new sub-talk page where you keep the old discussion, the deleting user should not be able to object to that or delete what you wrote there. Stefan 09:40, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
What can you do when there are too many notes in the talk page, or

if there is vandalism, or otherwise rude comments that would be best deleted? --Masssiveego 09:47, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

If there is too much stuff and it's old, archive it (as explained above). If there's straightforward vandalism (e.g. deleting Hoary's comment with or without the explanation that Hoary is an asshole), revert it. If there's rudeness (e.g. saying that Hoary is an asshole because he did such and such), edit minimally, if at all: after all, the person who comes out worst is the writer, and the last thing you want is for him (or possibly her) to whine on about having been a victim of so-called "political correctness". If somebody posts personal info (e.g. saying that Hoary's cellphone number is such-and-such), call an admin to revert without trace. (Offhand I don't know what this is called, but I believe it's possible.) If somebody posts an immensely long rant that is clearly irrelevant to the subject or clearly ignores what has gone before, delete it as a hindrance. If somebody copies in a great wodge of copyright (and non-copyleft) material, delete that. Otherwise, leave bad alone: trolls love attention (even or especially when it's angry attention), and are likely to go elsewhere if they don't get any. -- Hoary 10:02, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the policy you are suggesting here. So my question then becomes, if the other party violates this policy, can I revert his/her changes? In this case, the other party is deleting his own part in a previous argument; for me to revert his changes will cause his comments to reappear. And archiving seems unnecessary because the Talk page is quite short.

Essentially, my problem is this: The other party not only wants to control the content of this page, but wants the other viewpoints on the talk page to vanish so that visitors to Wikipedia cannot discover that the page is controversial. I consider this unfair, but I don't have time to formally dispute the page content. All I am asking for, therefore, is for the two-month-old argument on the Talk page not to be deleted. I'm trying to figure out if this is within my "rights". In other words, who owns old arguments on Talk pages: Wikipedia or the commenter? Lawrence King 02:26, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Some random pointers (might be useful, might be not): WP:OWN and WP:RPA. --cesarb 02:56, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia does. Or anyway, they're licensed under GFDL, and this person you're arguing with is vandalizing comments that just happen to be his own. -- Hoary 06:17, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

From the tone, I'd suggest that probably the discussion in question was unproductive, indeed most probably pointless bickering (a brief look at removed comments confirms this--two parties putting their fingers in their ears, each accusing the other of not listening). If so, this is probably better off deleted than left hanging around to stink the place up. Wikipedia is not Usenet. --Tony Sidaway 06:25, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not keen on deleting stuff unless it's really terrible. Why not simply archive the old stuff? Jayjg (talk) 18:07, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Policy on Shared IP Addresses

I've been browsing through pages tagged with listed under Category:AOL IP addresses, and I've found quite a trend. Almost all have received warnings for vandalism, the majority have been blocked once or multiple times from editing, and most have a very significant number of contributions--far more than your average IP user. I'm not trying to say AOL users are bad people, but rather suggesting that, as AOL IPs are shared between multiple users and users receive new IPs everytime they log on, a handful of users are causing entire shared IPs to be blocked, although each vandalizes perhaps a couple times or less (clearly acceptable for newbies). This is an obvious problem, and for a solution I'd like to propose that all shared IP accounts be automatically blocked, such that AOL users MUST register before editing. Is that a solution, or does some one have a better one? Is it even a problem? AmiDaniel 06:39, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Solution have been discussed here Wikipedia:Blocking_policy_proposal, not sure if this is beeing worked on and if so when it would be implemented but I hope soon. Stefan 13:59, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

NPOV policy

An update of the NPOV policy page has been proposed here – implementation foreseen 3/20/2006 --Francis Schonken 13:01, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

RfC: Deletion review review?

An editor created "Wikipedia:Requests for comment/John Bambenek" with the apparent belief that it can be used to overturn a consensus by the Wikipedia:Deletion review process. I've never heard of an RfC being used for that purpose. The editor does not suggest any change in policy, merely insists that existing notability guidelines were not followed. Regardless of the particulars of the matter, is an RfC the proper way to review deletion review? -Will Beback 01:38, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

RfCs, by long standing agreement, have no power to mandate anything. Thus they cannot overturn anything, either, imo. Personally, I'd prefer that RfC stayed away from the top of that slippery slope since things get bad enough there as it is. RfC is really intended as part of dispute resolution, and it's entirely unclear with whom the dispute is; the policies/guidelines themselves can't very well reply, being inanimate as they are. -Splashtalk 01:41, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
In this case, it's a dispute between those who voted to delete despite the clear evidence that this is well-within the guidelines agreed on at WP:BIO. I know at this point there is no mandating, just trying to get comments and come to a resolution of this dispute.-- Alpha269 01:46, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
This is not a dispute, but one single disruptive user who is refusing to acknowledge consensus (on Afd and DRV), administrative decisions, and Policy. --Jeffrey O. Gustafson - Shazaam! - <*> 02:00, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
The cabal has spoken. -- Jbamb 02:34, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
First off There is No Cabal, secondly its not just one incident, Alpha269 is venue shopping, and at every corner decides to ignore the consensus. There is no dispute, no conspiracy, no cabal, no nothing. Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 04:51, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Alpha269 has said that he started the RfC on the suggestion of Onthost/Mike. It sounds like that was not the intent of Onthost/Mike. Getting back to the basic matter here, I'm not aware of any designated appeal from WP:DRV. Items may be brought back there for reconsideration or, after a period of time, re-created if there is substantial new information. RfCs are never used for undeletion. If a user feels that the deletion policy needs to be changed then a proposal should be made, but that wasn't the issue here. -Will Beback 07:48, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
No it defently wasen't what I had in mind (read Jeffery's talk page for an explaination), and there is no need to change the deletion policy, it has gone from AfD, back to AfD, then to DV, how many more times does one thing need to be debated. There are two levels of the deletion policy, and two levels is good enough to pass bills in Canada/America, why not here? Mike (T C) Star of life2.png 19:27, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

External Links

What are the rules for linking to discussion boards related to to the subject of an article. I have been told that this is not allowed, but having searched the guidelines I haven't been able to find anything refering to this. If anyone knows or can point me to the relevant policy guideline I'd be most grateful. Thanks.

Quarkstorm 13:58, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Unless the article is about the discussion board, I can't think of a single reason why it could be worth linking to. Martin 16:25, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I guess it's not allowed for one or more of a few reasons, all included in WP:EL: people often add links to discussion boards as a form of advertising; if the discussion board deals with personal experiences, then it potentially "contains factually inaccurate material or unverified original research"; anything that doesn't add unique and useful content, basically, is unhelpful. Ziggurat 18:27, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Material published elsewhere is not original research. However, random discussion board posts rarely present notworthy POV and may not be factually reliable. Superm401 - Talk 01:25, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
It's just I feel for an obscure topic like the one I tried to put a discussion board link on. ( Project Orion ) I think a discussion board is a good way for someone interested in the topic to learn more. The board I linked to is non-commercial and is the only active board I am aware of on the topic. I can understand what you mean about POV and unreliable information, but can we really guarenttee absolute neutrality and accuracy with any external link. Surely most users will understand that external sites aren't controlled or verified by Wikipedia. I do genuinely think someone interested in the subject who wanted to learn more would find the link useful. I should point out that I am a user of the board thats how I know about it, but I'm not trying to use wikipedia for commercial spamming. I'm trying to help people interested in the topic to find more sources of information Quarkstorm 11:05, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
What a fascinating page! Thank you for referring us to it. As a mere spectator in most policy debates, I would see no problem in referring to an Orion discussion board. David91 12:19, 17 March 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia needs to put its disclaimer at the top of every page. There has been way too much litigation against it recently. It's damaging its reputation, and the solution is so simple. Just make it a general rule that every page has the main disclaimer about taking no responsibility for factual accuracy somewhere very visible, near the top.--expensivehat 21:27, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

There is already a link to Wikipedia:General disclaimer on every page, at the bottom rather than the top. -- 00:02, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Too much litigation? Other than the Boris Floricic issue, I do not know of any litigation involving Wikimedia. Do you have any sources, so we can add the information to the Wikipedia article? --cesarb 23:13, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
If I recall correctly, they claimed to have sued Wikimedia De:, but we never actually received notice. Superm401 - Talk 01:19, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

1RR instead of 3RR for not logged users ?

Would replacing 3RR with 1RR for non-logged users be useful for Wikipedia ? Hopefully it would reduce the number of revert wars at no extra cost. If someone insists of revert-warring, let him at least register. --Lysytalk 10:48, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Many editors choose to contribute without creating an account, and this would penalize them simply because they don't have an account. As the ability to edit by anyone is an important principal in Wikipedia, I do't think this restriction on reverts will gain much support. It would be difficult to enforce, in any case, as many anon editors would not be aware of the rule. There would be many violations of a 1RR, with many unproductive blocks, if enforced. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 12:23, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
The ability to edit by anyone- yes, but revert ? You're right about the diffulty of implementation. How about not encouraging anonymous users to revert by not providing the link to edit past version instead ? --Lysytalk 12:51, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't see the need to do this, or any major benefit. You'll need to present strong arguments to convince enough editors to get a consensus on this proposal. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 13:00, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Sure, I'm only looking for opinions. My motivation is that in my (limited) experience the anonymous users are on average much more inclined to ruthless revert-warring instead of discussing. The assumed benefit would be that all the users (both registered and IP) would spend less time on hostilities and more on productive editing instead. --Lysytalk 13:12, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Oppose Unfair to non-account users. --Masssiveego 23:53, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Something like fully half of our anonymous users are useful to have around, I think. Currently I'm more worried about useless logged in users dragging us down, really. Even so, shouldn't everyone be applying 1RR, or better yet, join the Harmonious editing club ? :) Kim Bruning 13:07, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Agree, 1RR for everyone would be even better. Any hopes for this ? (how can anonymous users join the WP:HEC, BTW ? :-P)--Lysytalk 13:12, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Oooh, good one. Well, they can certainly join in spirit, if not in name, right? :-) Kim Bruning 13:31, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
That is more a matter of courtesy and cooperation, which are kind of hard to legislate. I'm not convinvced that a 1RR will improve the atmosphere in 'discussions'. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 14:23, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

3RR is a sort of a rude democracy. If six users have a strong view on a matter, four have a strong opposite view and the rest of the world does not care, then the article will have 30 reversions a day but 90% of the day it will be according to the majority. If both sides are tired of the revert war, the majority will be in a better position to negotiate a compromise. It is a bad scenario, but at least it is fair. If some bully feels like to create a few registered accounts, then it is easy to catch - e.g. new account, with only a few edits, all devoted to a particular revert war, not even a checkuser is needed. But if a user wants to enter in a revert war using shared IP accounts he is uncatchable. I can post from work, I can post from home, I can post from my mobile phone, I can post from my son's mobile phone, I can dial-up to half a dozen of a different dial-up providers, I can telnet to my wife's university account (all six of them with different IPs for each), I can look through open proxies and see if some are not blocked, I can drive a little bit with my laptop searching for unsecured internet connections, I can go to libraries, internet cafes , etc. The sky is the limit. There is absolutely no way to catch multiple IP accounts using characteristic style, grammar, orthography if the edits are straight reverts. Thus, if IPs are in the edit war, then there is no way to find if there is a crowd angry people or just one dishonest puppeteer. This is not a very common but still a real and very frustrating situation. And frustrated users do stupid things.

My suggestion is that reverts against anonymous users should not be counted against the 3RR at all. If you want to revert war do not hide behide a shared IP or a sockpuppeet. abakharev 00:47, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Abakharev: The encyclopedia is not about edit wars, it's about contributing toward common knowledge (=open encyclopedia). You think about 3 levels: IPs, registered users, and admins, with you being recently promoted to (what you think is) the top of the power pyramid. But more power does not make you a better contributor. If you want the encyclopedia to be a closed club then the privilege of 3RR for registered users (vs. 1RR for the rest) is the first step. And step by step it would not be an open encyclopedia anymore, it would not be something to attract contributors, it would eventually be one of many closed clubs.
There are many reasons for users to use IPs instead of registering. Edit wars is not the main reason. 05:24, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Registering needs only a minute, so I do not see how limiting some options for the unregistered users makes it a close club. Edit warring is akin to voting and voting is not available for the unregistered users for the good reason.
I am strongly for making easy for the accidental users to start editing. If somebody made a Google search, found a Wikipedia article and realized that he can improve it, then it should be very easy for him to make the improvements straight away without hassle of registration. On the other hand I do not see a single valid reason for a user who regularly edits Wikipedia not to register. Can you,, name one? abakharev 05:44, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

There should be no change because there are probably plenty of occasions where the ISP user is a good editor and the account user is a bad one. Osomec 16:37, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Use of Internet Polls and User Vote Ratings in Articles

I believe that Wikipedia should establish some official policy on the inclusion of internet polls and ratings (such as IMDB ratings) in articles. The lack of such a policy is currently leading to a fierce debate on Talk:9-11: The Road to Tyranny. I myself have a few ideas, but I'd really like a broad spectrum of opinions on the matter. My Proposed Guidelines:

  • Use ratings and polls sparingly to illustrate points about otherwise immeasurable public opinion. In this case, a disclaimer of some sort should be written into the article. (this needs more elaboration)
  • No internet poll should be used when a more scientific poll can be found.
  • Some cut-off for particpation in a poll should be established for inclusion (I don't have a specific number in mind but maybe 100 or 1000 or even 25 if the community finds that sufficient)
  • Use only polls from well-known sources.

Cool3 23:28, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

New guideline for Wikipedia:Logos

I'd like to propose that the following be added to the list of guidelines at Wikipedia:Logos: "Corporate logos outside of infoboxes should always have captions." There have been concerns that proposing this at Wikipedia talk:Logos is insufficent, so I'm making the proposal here as well. Ensuring that corporate logos have captions will further support the existing guideline "Avoid using a logo in any way that creates an impression that the purpose of its inclusion is to promote the company." Like most other images, corporate logos should have captions. Kurieeto 12:01, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Wiki Ethics is being voted on

There is a proposed policy on ethics for wikipedia editors being voted on here. Please offer opinions. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 00:04, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

That Talk page is hilarious. User:Zoe|(talk) 07:23, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

==External links==</nowiki>".

More seriously, Wikipedia software should be able to record links added into an article in the past, highlight (or not allow) those that were removed before, show collection of articles containing link to given website together with information when they were added and so on. Pavel Vozenilek 21:41, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Occam's WP Razor

Sometimes proponents of a particular person or view manage to create an imposing array of links out of one website, by linking to various portions of the website. Usually seems to be a ploy to inflate the importance of something, or increase the chances that a reader will visit the site.

In cleaning one particular nest of such links, I came up with a maxim, which I would like to propose for general use:

Occam's WP Razor -- do not multiply links without necessity.

Zora 23:44, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Create a bot that will add this (as a HTML comment) just under every " 1. Is there a policy on it?<br><br> 2. I usually just make a very basic sentence or two on the plot of a work of fiction (IE "Don Quixote is about the misadventures of a man obsessed with the romanticized ideals of knighthood"), and then either leave the rest alone, or if it's a big topic of fan discussion, make a spoiler section. Is there any problem with this, according to policy?<br><br> 3. I will sometimes see on Wikpedia articles, in the case of a TV series, a summary of every single episode (Example: [[Mushishi]]. Or, for example, if you go to [[Terminator 2]] you will see that the plot of the movie has been spelled out in fairly high detail. Is there any problem with this, according to policy? <br> --[[User:Zaorish|Zaorish]] 16:52, 17 March 2006 (UTC) :No. That's what [[:Template:Spoiler]] is for. [[User:Zoe]]|[[User talk:Zoe|<sup>(talk)</sup>]] 20:28, 17 March 2006 (UTC) ::Is that "No" to all three questions? Please explain yourself a little bit more. I know about spoiler policy already, I'm asking if really long plot summaries are discouraged or not.--[[User:Zaorish|Zaorish]] 20:41, 17 March 2006 (UTC) :::"No" to all of your questions. [[User:Zoe]]|[[User talk:Zoe|<sup>(talk)</sup>]] 07:13, 18 March 2006 (UTC) :::There's no reason to discourage comprehensive plot summaries. That's absurd.--[[User:Sean Black|Sean Black]] <sup><font color="#FC0FC0">[[User_talk:Sean Black|(talk)]]</font></sup> 20:43, 17 March 2006 (UTC) I was not asking your personal opinion on comprehensive plot summaries. I was asking what the POLICY is/if there is a POLICY. Thanks.--[[User:Zaorish|Zaorish]] 20:54, 17 March 2006 (UTC) :There is no policy discouraging comprehensive plot summaries.--[[User:Sean Black|Sean Black]] <sup><font color="#FC0FC0">[[User_talk:Sean Black|(talk)]]</font></sup> 20:56, 17 March 2006 (UTC) Thanks--[[User:Zaorish|Zaorish]] 22:11, 17 March 2006 (UTC) == Spacing of Disambig messages == I wanted clarification on how to space disambig messages on top of articles. It's been my preference to move them to the very top; so that articles like [[Benedict Arnold]] have their image moved down so it is in line with the text of the article, and the Disambig text is across the top. But I have come across this style so much; I'm wondering what the consensus was/is on this minor issue. - [[User:RoyBoy|Roy]][[User talk:RoyBoy|'''Boy''']] <sup>[[User:RoyBoy/The 800 Club|800]]</sup> 20:06, 16 March 2006 (UTC) :I think you mean hatnotes (at the top), not disambig messages (at the bottom). Anyway, yes the hatnote line goes after the image in the editbox, so that the resulting text is contained in the same area as the text below it. ::--[[User:William Allen Simpson|William Allen Simpson]] 15:24, 18 March 2006 (UTC) == Website articles == [[AfD]] gets a significant amount of websites on it. There are obviously people out there who are putting articles on Wikipedia about companies for $$$. These companies will get a Google PageRank boast for being linked to by Wikipedia. So, what I am proposing should deal to that. In the link, put rel="nofollow" so that Google bots know not to follow them. This can be done for all new links in Wikipedia. Then an admin could have the ability to remove the rel="nofollow" tag if they feel that the link is appropiate and not spam. This would reduce the gain from putting adverts on Wikipedia and thus, would reduce the number of adverts. This may require a software change, I don't really know. If it does, then it should be something to be thought about whenever the software is next updated. --[[User:Midnighttonight|Midnighttonight]] 03:49, 16 March 2006 (UTC) :I'd never heard of 'rel="nofollow"' so I googled around to educate myself. It's explained [ here] for example. (Actually, rather misexplained, as the article almost consistently uses the word "attribute" to mean not "attribute" but "value". The attribute is "rel"; what's proposed is a new understanding of the ''value'' "nofollow".) Putting aside software issues and the extra work it would mean for admins, this seems a superb idea. What I worry about, though, is the scope it would give for actual spammers, fanboy near-spammers, innocent apparent spammers and jes' plain good folks for banging on about how this or that link should be "de-nofollowed", and how this or that admin has behaved capriciously or unfairly in "de-nofollowing" link X and not link Y. -- [[User:Hoary|Hoary]] 06:15, 16 March 2006 (UTC) :::Actually, the attribute is <tt>rel="nofollow"</tt>. The attribute ''name'' is <tt>rel</tt>. <nowiki></pedant> · rodii ·
I can see where you're coming from, but how much of a boost to a site's google ranking will one link from wikipedia actually give it? Before proceeding with this idea we need to decide if the problem is great enough to merit the extra work for Wikipedians that would result. Are there any particulary bad examples of abuse you can point to.Quarkstorm 14:03, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
A highly ranked site like Wikipedia can add a lot to a site's pagerank. The nofollow idea seems like a good one to me, but be warned, it's been discussed before: see [11], [12] and see especially Jimbo's position on it [13]. Based on that discussion, it just seems like it's not going to happen, though perhaps the case could be made that the situation has changed since the last time this was seriously considered. · rodii · 16:19, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I think this would mean a lot of extra work for admins. We should concentrate more on things like vandalism. Every Wikipedian dreams of this perfect online encyclopedia, including me, but the fact tha anyone can edit it is not making it happen. So, let's be realistic and instead of putting admins to work on articles no one is going to read, admins should work on stuff like vandalism. After all, the whole pt. of wikipedia is to inform.Btw check out Portal:Rock and Roll, or better yet, help out Osbus 02:01, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

PD-user Disclaimers??

Why does the {{PD-user}} license have "Subject to disclaimers"? Other PD licenses such as {{PD-self}}, {{PD-old}} and {{No rights reserved}} do not have this disclaimer clause. —Pengo 09:45, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I had noticed that, but never bothered to say anything. It seems to me that the disclamer notice should be on all of the templates, or none of them. ~Linuxerist L / T 07:52, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Am I in trouble?

A while ago, I wrote a stub for the upcoming Al Pacino film 88 Minutes. I glanced at the "What links here" section for it today and saw that it was proposed for deletion and was deleted back in October. Am I in any trouble for re-creating a deleted article? (Hopefully not, because the current one is copyvio-free, which was the cause of the older one's deletion.) I want to make sure I'm not breaking any Wikipedia policies here by doing this, albeit by accident. Thanks. --Buchanan-Hermit™..CONTRIBS..SPEAK! 09:37, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Oh yes, in deep deep trouble. :-) No seriously, since the previous revisions were deleted for being blatant copyvios and your version is a good effort which addresses that concern, I see no problems at all with you writing up a new article here. Indeed, thanks for doing so. The copyvio versions should not be undeleted however. Sjakkalle (Check!) 09:45, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
*Okay, good. Thanks. I was worried there for a sec because I remember instances of people re-creating deleted articles and getting flogged (virtually speaking). Whew. :) Buchanan-Hermit™..CONTRIBS..SPEAK! 09:49, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
It's only a problem to recreate articles that are flawed for the same reasons the deleted one was. Even then, it doesn't mean the author's really in trouble. It's just that the article's more likely to be deleted and may even be speedied if there's a very close resemblance. Don't worry. Superm401 - Talk 15:11, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Is there a policy concerning Movie Trivia?

I've been noticing in some movie pages, that trivia sections have gotten out of control. Even after editing the Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit References, background jokes, and in-jokes section, to delete trivia listings with questionable or unverifiable sources, there are still some folks trying to add two pieces of trivia that is questionable (in one case) or have two possible sources, neither of which can trump the other due to no sources cited other than wikipedia articles (in the other case). I know the policy on Citing sources, but some of the trivia from movies sometimes is hard to verify, or is more of an easter egg type of a deal meant to be in there as clever jabs or in-jokes.

Is there a policy regarding such items, or should there be one? 07:26, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

There is wikipedia:trivia. The talk page of that essay also contains a fairly recent village pump discussion, generally supporting to avoid abundance of trivia. There is another village pump discussion, archived earlier this month here (sort of proposing to put trivia on separate pages - there wasn't too much enthousiasm to see that as a possible solution) --Francis Schonken 10:39, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
There is also the verifiability policy, which applies to all Wikipedia content, and which does not set a lower standard for items just because they are "popular culture" or "just fun." One needs to be reasonable, but items that are just unsourced assertions that are presumably just something that the contributor remembers (or thinks they remember) can be tagged with a {{fact}} tag, and removed eventually if no source is forthcoming. Dpbsmith (talk) 11:54, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Blocking Policy Proposal

Please see WP:BPP for a new Blocking Policy Proposal. Werdna648T/C\@ 05:31, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Future of wiki

If the Board decided to fold, or ran out of money or the servers were seized or destroyed in a fire ... What would happen to wikipedia. What contingency plans are there? Mccready 11:19, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Good question. I think the short answer is None. The longer answer is that Wikipedia is heavily mirrored; if Florida vanished in a pillar of nuclear flame tomorrow, the project could and would be reconstructed very quickly. But it's not clear who would be the main projector and who the mirrors; the event might lead to all sorts of fragmentation and forking.
This leads to the question, Who owns Wikipedia? I don't speak of the trademark or logo, but the content itself. Since it's all licensed under GFDL, the content may be edited and published by anyone, even for profit. There are both mirrors and forks, even now.
I don't think there's any immediate danger of disaster; relax. Backups are the least of our worries. John Reid 18:19, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
We probobly should promote a mirror to "Official Backup Source" or something just in case Deathawk 23:21, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
And if the "Official Backup Source" blows up? ...sorry, I'm just a really big pessimist. --Eilu 20:16, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
See meta:Contingency planning for some out of date plans. The content is constantly backed up, and not just by Wikimedia developers, but by anyone downloading the database dumps, so there's no chance of most of that being lost, and the GFDL ensures it will always be freely available regardless of what happens to the Wikimedia Foundation. Angela. 13:02, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Are my changes to Transwiki article acceptable?

I have made changes to the Transwiki log article to reflect the new Proposed Deletion method. I'd like someone more experienced than myself to check to see if this sounds reasonable. Mostly what I'm looking for feedback on is the whole idea of using Proposed Deletion instead of just AfD, as the article originally suggested. This link should show what I've altered: --Xyzzyplugh 08:23, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

WP:OFFICE intro section

I have added an introdutory section to WP:OFFICE, attempting to better explain what it's all about (and perhaps reduce the number of people confused about it). However, since the lead section will probably end up being taken as the "official" version, I would like for as many people as possible to review it and make it as clear and as close to the real policy as possible. --cesarb 02:11, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I rewrote it somewhat; my edit summary was pretty comprehensive, so I'll just repeat it here. "Rewrote introduction (removed quote, unneeded for statement of facts), made info about Danny more concise, added reason for actions (legal problems, libel, etc), added "deliberate"". // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 03:23, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

spoiler policy

Excuse me if this has been discussed elsewhere. At I've been questioning the need for a spoiler. Is there 'pedia policy page on the spoiler? --Maas 04:32, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

No policy against it, just guidelines on how to politely handle it at Wikipedia:Spoiler warning to give those who wish to avert their eyes a chance to do so. As those on the Lot 49 talk page told you, you can't write an encyclopedia article about a work of fiction without describing its content. Relevant information about an article's topic will always be included, which includes what Soylent Green really is, and who shot JR. Postdlf 17:41, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Interesting juxtaposition (that batch of Soylent Green was probably pretty oily). --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:11, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I wonder how "Who turned J.R. into soylent green" would have gone over as a cliffhanger. Then he could have surprised everyone by coming back in the shower with Bobby. Postdlf 00:22, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Citing sources

I recently added and corrected information on a page, then got reverted because I did not give any references. Is it okay to do such reversions? And if so, why do I have to give references, but do previous editors of the same page not have to do the same? - Andre Engels 14:24, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

If somebody doubts unsourced information, it is ok to remove it (whether they should do it immediately or give a lengthy warning with the "fact" or "verify" tag, depends on the circumstances of the case). I suggest, simply add back the info, with sources. Also, the lack of referencing in the past, is not a good reason to repeat the problem in the future. --Rob 14:54, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. What happened is exactly what should happen to improve our information quality. Getting information in should require Wikipedia:Reliable references. We're hitting, possibly aided by the negative publicity from the Siegenthaler incident, a tipping point where editors are realizing additions need to be verifiable to be valuable. - Taxman Talk 15:17, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Very well, I'll go through the recent changes and revert all unreferenced changes... - Andre Engels 15:23, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Even better, I go and put most of my articles up for deletion, most aren't referenced, and those that are have claims added before or after they were. - Andre Engels 15:26, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Or, you could move implausible, unsourced article edits to the article's talk page, and note that they should be returned to the article when supported by verifiable external sources. This is less likely to be perceived as insulting or obnoxious by other editors, and also less likely to get you blocked for violating WP:POINT. Please don't construe poor etiquette or editing practices by other editors as a license to engage in bad behaviour yourself. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:41, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, at least now I know that it's considered poor etiquette... And others that it's a stupid thing to do. - Andre Engels 15:45, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Please do revert/remove claims you're skeptical of. It's not a perfect system but it's a step towards verifiability, which is vital. Superm401 - Talk 15:29, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Oh, now it's only claims you're skeptical about that should be reverted? And are you supposed to tell which claims you're skeptical about, or is it okay to just revert everything someone wrote? - Andre Engels 15:38, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I have done that of course. But I do state which claims I'm skeptical of, and why, and do not give as my reason for being skeptic that they're unreferenced or that the editor made some other error in the same edit. - Andre Engels 15:50, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Hi André,
  • This series of edits might seem OK at first sight, apart from not taking advantage of Wikipedia's latest cite.php technology (explained at wikipedia:footnotes), nor of the older "by template" technology explained at wikipedia:footnote3, for harvard references. Nonetheless, the four references you made on that page are none of them compliant to WP:V/WP:CITE/wikipedia:reliable sources - in fact they're self-references, qualified as "to be avoided". The fact that they're self-references to non-English parts of the wikipedia encyclopedia doesn't improve their self-reference status (additionally, the way you wrote them down they're not even complying to Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Sources in languages other than English). See also a recent talk here: Wikipedia talk:Citing sources#The leap-frogged citations problem.
    • My goodness. I have searched two books, read through them to find whether they actually mentioned the facts I stated (I would have wanted more but most of personal library happens to be in moving and several others are in Dutch or German), and now it's still not good because I cited them wrong style? I get sick with you all. - Andre Engels 16:03, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
      Sorry, should've been more precise. Here are the 5 references you inserted in History of Australia before 1901
      • [1]: [[:fr:Binot Paulmier de Gonneville]], 2006. French Wikipedia
      • [2]: Raymond John Howgego: Encyclopedia of Exploration to 1800, 2003. Potts Point NSW: Hordern House. ISBN 1-875567-36-4
      • [3]: Eric Newby: The Rand Mc.Nally World Atlas of Exploration, 1975. London: Mitchell Bezley. ISBN 528-83015-5
      • [4]: [[User:Adam Carr|Adam Carr]]: [[Binot Paulmier de Gonneville]], 2003-6. Wikipedia
      • [5]: [[User:Smallweed|Smallweed]], [[Nicolas Baudin]], 2003-6. Wikipedia
      [2] and [3] are of course OK (the technology issue mentioned above is not really important); still a minor issue: there's a typo in the Newby ISBN: it should be ISBN 0528830155, not 528830155 (leaving out a zero makes it rather hard to find this book by ISBN)
      [1] is not OK (self reference to French wikipedia, has the faults as indicated).
      [4] and [5] are plain self-references to English wikipedia, as a "source citation" at least leap-frogged (and then, only provided that the Binot Paulmier de Gonneville and the Nicolas Baudin article have source references on the issue you want to point to). Not OK w.r.t. WP:V, WP:CITE, Wikipedia:Reliable sources as indicated. --Francis Schonken 17:14, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
      • Look, that changes a lot. You said all 4 were not ok. Now suddenly 2 out of 5 'are of course ok. Could you be a bit more precise before you make me angry next time? - Andre Engels 17:31, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
        • Again, apologies. Could you nonetheless consider improving the three questionable ones (+ the typo in [3])? --Francis Schonken 17:44, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
          • No. 5 can simply be removed, because the fact stated by it (that Baudin circumnavigated Australia around the same time as Flinders) is also given by 3. For no. 1 (Gonneville's full name) I could probably find something on the web; if not, then we can use (2) - it does not give the full name, but it does give the part that I changed. Only for the '6 weeks' I have no further reference, so should I take that part out? - Andre Engels 17:54, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
    • So I really need to get a primary source before I may say that Luis Vaez de Torres was on the expedition of Pedro Fernández de Quirós rather than the other way around? Is Wikipedia going to pay for the costs of getting a 17th century book borrowed by my university library from another library? - Andre Engels 16:15, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
      • Your combative attitude here is not helpful. How about take a step back and consider the best interests of the project. People are just suggesting improvements, they're not saying your references without the best style are not helpful. Hopefully you can see that the WP:POINT violations and disruption you have proposed above (Starting with "very well" and "even better") is not a good idea without us telling you. But they are bad because they are disruptive and therefore not helpful, not because the whole idea as we have explained it to you is bad. It's a method, and like anything else has to be done well in order to not offend. But in the end, information quality is the most important. - Taxman Talk 17:04, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
        • I agree with you about the disruption. My apologies about that. But to declare sources like "Encyclopedia of Exploration to 1800" suspect is not going to help us improve the quality of information. Except by ensuring that this fool is not going to add any information any more, perhaps. - Andre Engels 17:25, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
          • But that's a different issue, one of reference quality. If you cite a source with your edit and somebody reverts it without a) showing you mis-cited the source b) citing a higher quality source that refutes it or c) showing the information is irrelevant, then they are in the wrong. In either case, discussion is the answer and if someone can't substantiate their position with sources, they should conceded the point. So in that case, if you cite a source and it is reverted they are in the wrong unless they can justify their position. But since you hold the stronger position, you can afford not to revert right away and just be patient. The correct position will typically gain support on the talk page. - Taxman Talk 18:28, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
            • Let's close this off, it was based on a misunderstanding of what Francis was saying. - Andre Engels 23:27, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
      "So I really need to get a primary source before I may say that Luis Vaez de Torres was on the expedition of Pedro Fernández de Quirós rather than the other way around?" – if that is matter of dispute: yes (apart that it doesn't need to be a primary source: in fact wikipedia steers for secondary – but nontheless external – sources, per WP:NOR). Otherwise, add the {{fact}} tag.
      • And how do I know what is matter of dispute and what is not? - Andre Engels 17:25, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
        Some indicators about "dispute":
        • someone reverts it, unless that's a clear case of vandalism, it might be assumed that the info you inserted is at least "disputed" by one other person. If you insert an acceptable reference, the one who reverted you would be making the fault.
        • If you're acquainted with the literature on the topic you're describing, you might also know from there which issues are "under dispute" in literature, then give sources, preferably at least for the major plausible versions of the facts you want to present. --Francis Schonken 17:44, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
          • But in this case there were close to 10 different changes I made, many of them unrelated to each other, so am I to assume they are all matter of dispute? - Andre Engels 17:49, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
      "Is Wikipedia going to pay for the costs of getting a 17th century book borrowed by my university library from another library?" – no, it is you who want to insert info in wikipedia. Then, provide a reference. Whether that "reference" is a 17th century book only available in libraries, or an e-book (e.g.) available at Project Gutenberg is your choice. --Francis Schonken 17:14, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
      • No, it is not. You are the one saying I cannot use any secondary works as resources. But don't worry, there are 18th century books too, so why should you care? - Andre Engels 17:25, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
        • Sorry just saw you made the remark about the primary sources; wikipedia's policy is to use preferably secondary sources, but that doesn't include self-references, so I inserted a remark above. --Francis Schonken 17:32, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
          • Apologies accepted. Also my apologies for shooting out so loud... I'm getting angry much too easily in cases like this. - Andre Engels 17:37, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
  • This one maybe, but without doubt this one (emptying a complete page) are rather disrupting wikipedia to illustrate a point (don't!). The point you're apparently trying to make is that the "remove unsourced material" allowed by WP:V, is no good in your opinion. Maybe it isn't. Then discuss at Wikipedia talk:Verifiability. But don't go emptying pages by way of belligerent reaction. Emptying of pages is reverted by bots [14]. There are more suitable ways to demonstrate that bots can do useful jobs ;-)
--Francis Schonken 15:52, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Sheesh! This guy is a former steward and sysop, just so everyone knows. I refer him to Wikipedia:Common sense. --W.marsh 17:29, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
    • So what's your point? Is there in common sense something I should have done differently (not re-revert when reverted, not give references when asked for it, just ignore people here?) - Andre Engels 17:33, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes. --W.marsh 17:37, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
So which one? - Andre Engels 17:38, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty confident you know the answer to that without asking. - Taxman Talk 18:28, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, no. They all seem pretty pointless (just allowing myself to be reverted won't improve Wikipedia, not giving sources when asked for it seems very uncivil and uncooperative and ignoring people here I won't even go into) - Andre Engels 08:08, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
You've answered part of it, so you did mostly know the answer. You shouldn't revert back right away until you discuss and provide references. The stronger position will prevail so you can wait a little bit. Waiting doesn't mean you never add back the material, just give time for agreement. There are few things that need to be reverted right away. Of course you give the sources as we've discussed. That solves all the problems here. - Taxman Talk 14:46, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Okay, may I conclude that:

  • Unreferenced edits may be reverted
  • This should only be done if there is a reason to doubt, not just because it is unreferenced
  • It is okay to ask what point or points someone wants referenced before having to delve into books and provide them.
  •  ? - Andre Engels 23:27, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Although WP:V adds some more "ifs and buts" I think you gave a pretty good summary of the central ideas. Just still wanted to recommend the use of the {{fact}} template instead of deletion (if no outrageous unreferenced claims are made): if you're the one being asked to give references you know immediately what the potential doubts are about; if you're the one having doubts you don't have to return a second time to explain what exactly your doubts were about. --Francis Schonken 00:15, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Your second point Andre is true, that should be the case, but the burden is still on the person wanting to include the information. If someone's being disruptive about it, handle the disruption separately (through dispute resolution, etc), but still provide the sources as that makes the article better anyway. And yes you're free to ask what points they dispute, but then anyone is still free to remove anything they disagree with that you didn't cite. - Taxman Talk 14:46, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
As soon as it becomes pervasive that people reallize more and better research trumps lesser sources, then disputes will end quicker and be more useful because they will result in higher quality content due to the research. The person with the better source should always prevail and other editors should support that until another better source or new information is provided. Removing well sourced information without either consensus or a better source is disruptive and should be handled as such. And like anything else, we shouldn't view this as a battle field, but a collaborative effort. - Taxman Talk 14:46, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

One point. I would have wanted more but most of personal library happens to be in moving and several others are in Dutch or German. This seems to imply that you fear sources in Dutch or German would be thought of as less suitable or credible than, or wouldn't be valued as highly as, those in English. They'd certainly be less convenient for a large percentage (for Dutch, an overwhelming percentage) of people reading the articles, but they'd be fine all the same, I believe (and hope). -- Hoary 05:55, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Sources in languages other than English (I already linked to that section of the "reliable sources" guideline above) --Francis Schonken 09:43, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Censorship policy

I recently came upon the quite brilliant article Wikipedia:Censorship. I think it's one of the policy's we need most immediately. How can it be made into a policy from a proposed policy? Loom91 15:13, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

That requires a consensus to adopt. As the poll on the talk page currently stands at 22 'for' and 17 'opposed', a consensus does not exist. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 17:46, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
How many opposes (or what oppose:support ratio) is the maximum acceptable? Surely we don't need 0 opposes? Loom91 18:42, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
If you want to change Wikipedia policy, I suggest you familiarise yourself with existing policy first. See Wikipedia:Consensus. Sam Korn (smoddy) 19:46, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
For myself, I would like to say that the method is not innocent. The subject is truly important : there is one talk page and twoscore people discussing auto censorship for one million (counting non active users). Will you give your advice ? --DLL 20:15, 21 March 2006 (UTC)


User:Dandelion1 added a section to the article on Naked Yoga, a variant of Yoga. Yoga has several variants and following Wikipedia:Manual of Style, not all variants are described in the main Yoga page otherwise the page would exceed the size limit. I removed the section and added the conerned material to Naked Yoga and the moved the material which it previously contianed to Naked Yoga (film). User:Dandelion1 reverted my edits on both Yoga and Naked Yoga page giving the following reasons:

  • rv last edit, unjustified, as separate article made by me was on film Naked Yoga, not variant Naked yoga and
  • rv edits of User:Deepak gupta reason: this page is on a specific film not a variant of yoga.

I need some help! --Deepak gupta|सदस्य वार्ता 00:57, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Biographies of Living Persons

This question has cropped up in a particular context, but I don't want to cloud the issue by putting it into context. If you want to see the context, check out the mediation subpage of the John Brignell article.

The question is about what information can be put into an article about a living person? The guideline on Verifiability, section on Opinions of critics, opponents, and detractors [15] states Many persons that are notable enough to have an article in Wikipedia about them are likely to have detractors, opponents and/or critics. Their views can be presented in a biography providing that these are relevant to their notability, based on reputable sources and in a manner that does not overwhelm the article. I take this to mean that the view cannot be put into the article if it fails to meet any of these three conditions, specifically a comment from a disreputeable source cannot be put into an article about a living person.

The guideline on Reliable Sources, section on Beware false authority [16] states Would you trust a plumber to fill your cavities? Likewise, you should probably not trust someone who has a Ph.D. in plant biology to tell you about quantum mechanics. Just as actors in TV commercials don white lab coats to make viewers think they are serious scientists, people with degrees in one field are not necessarily experts in any other. Watch out for false claims of authority. Try to use sources who have degrees in the field they are discussing. The more reputable ones are affiliated with academic institutions. The most reputable have written textbooks in their field for the undergraduate level or higher: these authors can be expected to have a broad, authoritative grasp of their subject. I take this to mean that the opinion of an academic talking outside his field is a disreputable source within the meaning of the former section and thus cannot be put into an article about a living person. This is not to say that the academic is disreputable, only that his stated opinion counts as a disreputable source.

Am I full of it? Or is this what the BLP guidelines intend?

If this is what is intended, is the onus on the person making the claim to demonstrate that the his source is reputable, or on me to demonstrate it is disreputable?

Thanks for your comments. Engjs 22:31, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I think the onus is on you. Assume good faith. Wikipedia is a great way of breaking out of the narrow specialisms of academia, which impose a dead weight of convention. Hawkestone 23:22, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not so worried about where the onus lies, but as to whether I am interpreting the guidelines properly. Engjs 23:32, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I do not think that the word "disreputable source" is the best way to phrase it. Their opinion may not be a "reliable and reputable source" but disreputable carries negative connotations which "not a reputable/credible source" does not. --Philip Baird Shearer 23:45, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Agree totally, and tried to make that point above. The source is very reputable in other areas, but I can show his opinion is worthless in the case in question. But this is not the issue, which is whether I am interpreting the guidelines correctly. Engjs 01:00, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Image fair use clarification

We're having a bit of a problem here in the interpretation of the fair use for images. Currently, over at the article lolicon there are two images which shows the example of lolicon manga. User Brennan removed BOTH images on the grounds only one example can be posted on the article, due to his interpretation of the fair use policy. I've placed back the first picture that was in the article before the the second picture violated the fair use policy, and now this is being contested as well since, as he claimed, they both are in violation now, therefore, both must go: Arguments are stated above. Clarification would be most appreciated --Jqiz 19:06, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Ook? Putting aside the fact that I've actually only removed one of the two images ([17][18][19]) it's pretty straightforward: the fair use claim here is that this images are required to illustrate the genre. Unless we demonstrate in the text by citing third parties that there are sub-genres and that these are typical members, we can only use one image to "illustrate". There are several other hurdles to fair use here such as size and fact that it's cover art, but having a single image is the start. - brenneman{L} 23:28, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
We're now arguing if lolicon manga is an example of a subgenre in lolicon, and you want a 'source' to confirm that the picture is a 'lolicon' manga? --Jqiz 02:16, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Does RFC have any value anymore?

Recent events have led to a number of flame-prone RFCs. What I was wondering is, does RFC even have any meaning? The original point of RFC was to establish a community consensus about a particular situation or course of conduct, but most of the 'user conduct' RFCs now are about admins ignoring consensus/process - and surely if an admin (or anyone else, but most of the recent ones have been admins) is in fact ignoring consensus/process they will also ignore the outcome of an RFC (which is, after all, about consensus and process).

Unless something is done with RFC to give it some 'effect' or 'teeth', we might as well scrap it and put stuff straight into RFAr - after all thats where just about all RFCs end up going, since RFC is currently incapable of actually doing anything about the situation unless the subject of the RFC decides to listen to his/her opponents (and if they were prone to doing that, there wouldn't be a dispute, would there?). Anyone got any opinions on this? Cynical 19:59, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

It's an excessively slow, cumbersome and unpleasant process. I can't see why anyone bothers with it. It might as well be scrapped. Osomec 00:57, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
You can't scrap it. People need a place to whinge about other users, and if you take away RfC, they'll still find another page to do that on. The change of name from Wikipedia:Annoying users to Wikipedia:Problem users to WP:RFC didn't really change the fact that the page rarely has any outcome other than some discussion about how annoying or problematic some user is. Angela. 13:07, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't know why people think it's so useless. RfC can establish consensus. If someone violates a strong concensus that can amount to disruption which can be blocked for. So RfC's can have some teeth if the consensus is strong enough. If it's not then the RfC wasn't a useful one in the first place and other methods would have worked. But in a few cases with Marmot and others, the RfC effectively established a consensus against a user's actions and enforcing it was successful with the minimum disruption I think. - Taxman Talk 14:56, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
And then you get the problem of deciding what 'consensus' is - and most RFCs end up in the 'grey area' which is then exploited by both sides for the purposes of further flaming Cynical 22:47, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Then obviously you don't have a consensus to enforce. But maybe there are individual behaviors that are disruptive or violate policies and consensus can be established for those. If that really can't be done, there probably wasn't a problem in the first place that mediation or something else wouldn't have been better for. And deciding consensus is what uninvolved admins do. Yeah technically we only have some extra tools, but if we see a consensus X behaviour violates a policy and the user knows that and does it anyway, they can be blocked to enforce the consensus. - Taxman Talk 23:12, 23 March 2006 (UTC)


  • I have proposed a policy which would allow for the early closure of AfD debates which have become nasty / personal / otherwise undesirable, and where there is already a very clear final outcome. This is in response to many AfDs where the following often apply:
    • New users unfamiliar with AfD / WP-space (see also the "Meatpuppet" section above) try to save a page that is clearly heading for deletion, and resort to taunting, insulting or abusing others
    • Arguments between editors with existing bad relationships (possibly compounded by a (suspected) bad faith nomination) spill onto the AfD board
The policy (full title:Wikipedia:Early closure to avoid unecessary confrontation) is intended to stop the hurt in such AfD's. The full draft of the policy is open for your perusal and comment. Deizio 03:31, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Style: MHz vs. MT/s

I'm a computer guy. I know the difference between actual measured Hertz, and effecitve data rate. Yet even in computer circles, I never see anyone outside Wikipedia (and a few other 'high minded' websites,) use the term 'Megatransfers'. I can't find in the policy documents anywhere that specifies when one is preferred over the other. Obviously, when referring to actual clock frequency, MHz/GHz would make sense. But in some articles, I see MHz used when they really mean 'effective data rate', and in other I see MT/s. While MT/s may be more technically accurate, MHz is the more commonly accepted term. Does anyone know if there is an official policy? (Yes, to me, this is a related question to the Mebibyte/Megabyte controversy, which does have a policy decision, even if it's goofy.) Ehurtley 20:15, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I always use Hertz trucks for my megatransfers. David91 05:44, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Categories for people

I was under the impression that categories for people were usually (but not always) made so that a page wasn't cluttered with a huge amount of categories. However, a user has now removed all the categories from Category:Benjamin Franklin and moved them back to the Benjamin Franklin article. Has there been some policy or guideline discussion which would give some guidance as to which is the correct course? Thanks Arniep 09:46, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Question regarding extreme bias

First forgive my poor English. I am relative new on wikipedia and perhaps this has perhaps already been addressed. Is there a policy regarding this and that case what policy? I will give a principal example of it:

If an editor enters the Holocaust page and it will become apparent for other editors that this person is a revisionist but pretending not to be. Further they can track this user and see that he in other places on the internet inside or outside of wikipedia promotes revisionism, uses a revisionist homepage as he’s own and so on. That he obviously is deep into this belief. And that he at the same time clams to not have this extreme view, but as a Wikipedia’n just want things NPOV. What is then the way to handle this situation? Would it be improper to raise the question of bias, even with good evidence – or would that be judged as a personal attack, and should not be done? Shall a hiding of the true agenda makes it easier for him to work this way then if he had bluntly told he’s stand in this issue?SweHomer 20:54, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

  • As far as I'm concerned, a person can't have bias; only a contribution can have bias. What the person does outside of Wikipedia, and what his other edits on Wikipedia are, that is information that can very useful in deciding how closely to watch what the person writes and how seriously to take his protestations of being neutral, but that's all. If his edits are biased, challange him for citations and/or change them to unbiased versions. If he makes enough edits that violate Wiki NPOV policy or other Wiki rules and can't be persuaded to cease, you have options. See WP:RDIS Herostratus 23:52, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Talk pages being used to draft alternate version of an article

I was doing a search on google and (for the first time) got a talk page (Talk:Scappoose, Oregon) as a content-relevant result. Going there, I discover what looks like an alternate version of Scappoose, Oregon instead of a discussion about the article. After a brief look at edit histories, I saw that (talk · contribs) deliberately treated the talk page like an article, with a couple of dozen edits. A single change to Talk:Scappoose, Oregon by Trtracing (talk · contribs) helps discover that Talk:St. Helens, Oregon has gotten the same treatment, perhaps by the same editor (given the geographic proximity of the two towns).

As a exopedianist who has contributed without logging in since 2003, I wonder if I and other Wikipedians should care about this use of talk pages. Is this early evidence of abuse that could lead Wikipedians against anonymous editing to fight for further restrictions on those of us contributing without logging in? Priot to the Seigenthaler controversy I wouldn't have given this much thought, but it's got me thinking enough about it that I'm posting this comment.

If there's a policy or guideline about this kind of misuse of talk pages, please direct me there. Thanks. 11:33, 24 March 2006 (UTC).

I don't see (a) why it's a "misuse" of talk pages; (b) what this has to do with anonymous editing. It looks like a text dump someone put there while working on an article. Regarding (a): agreed, it might better be done on a user page or a /temp page, but it doesn't look like that user has displaced any other edits. Text is often moved to talk pages to be worked on or to hold on to while sourcing issues are resolved; what's different about this? Why not leave a note on that user's talk page or the Scappoose talk page asking that user what s/he intends? Regarding (b): what would be different if a logged-in user had done this? · rodii ·
Talk pages are not the place to put text of an article. They are there to discuss how to edit the article and what changes/improvements to make. The text should be userfied and removed from the Talk pages. User:Zoe|(talk) 22:54, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree that this should be at best a temporary expedient, and a user page would be better. But talk pages are often used for (shorter) pieces of article text while they're in process. Accusations of "abuse" and paranoia about this leading to restrictions on anonymous editing just seem a little extreme to me, that's all. · rodii · 23:31, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
In this vein, I've seen anonymous IPs create new articles in stub templates due to a lack of other options. I find it a little sad that some people are reduced to "guerilla editing" just to add new articles to Wikipedia. Sarge Baldy 01:38, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Aha, now I begin to see a connection! Thanks, Sarge. (But why not register an account?) · rodii · 02:24, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks to everyone — Rodii (talk · contribs), Zoe (talk · contribs), and Sarge Baldy (talk · contribs) — for their replies. Zoe replied most directly with advice I will follow: The text should be userfied and removed from the Talk pages. I'll move Talk:Scappoose, Oregon to User talk: and Talk:St. Helens, Oregon to User talk:Trtracing, which are the users which created the bulk of the text.
As to User:Rodii's concerns that I am being "a little extreme" about the potential for further restrictions on IP-based editing, I would counter that I have created hundreds of articles without logging in and yet in the span of only a few months saw how quickly the community rallied around new restrictions since the Seigenthaler controversy. We've now got the WP:AFC process, and the WP:SEMI process, just to name a couple. Here's a plausible scenario:
The use of Robots.txt on talk pages was something I thought of as well. 06:33, 25 March 2006 (UTC).

How to get permission for use of image

Hi, for an article regarding a local brewery I e-mailed them asking permission to use images from their website for wikipedia, and they agreed. What steps are necessary for me so I can include those images in wikipedia? (copyright and -tagging wise, the uploading procedure itself is clear to me.

I hope I got the right section for my question, thanks Snakemike 11:05, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Boilerplate request for permission. You need to make sure they give permission to use it under a free license, not just permission for it to be used on Wikipedia. You can forward emails granting permission to where they will be archived in case proof is needed in future. Angela. 14:25, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Nobel and Other Secret Prize Nominations

This started out as an edit dispute in a particular article (R.J. Rummel), but has wider implications, so I am seeking wider comment. Periodically, a bio or other article claims that a person has been nominated for a Nobel prize or (less often) another prize with similar secrecy rules. This strikes me as violating at least three policies, depending on facts and circumstances:

  • WP:Verifiability. Since the nomination is supposed to be secret, any claim to have nominated is inherently unverifiable as to the fact claimed.
  • Wikipedia:Avoid peacock terms. Since such prizes typically receive a lot of nominations, and since the lists of semi-finalists and finalists are closely guarded, such a claim has little meaning.
  • NPOV#Undue weight. Many readers are accustomed to the Academy awards and other such prizes where the term "nominee" actually means "finalist". Accordingly, any claim of being nominated for one of these prizes, even if listed, will tend to be misunderstood and should be qualified to avoid misleading readers.

I would add to this the obvious question about whether a nomination made in flagrant violation of the rules is even considered a nomination by the relevant committee. I would therefore recommend that stories about such nominations not be included in Wikipedia articles unless the claim is widely publicized and somehow relevant, in which case we have a duty to readers to clarify the doubtful nature of any such claim. Am I wrong? What does the community think? Robert A.West (Talk) 06:04, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

From Hugo Claus:

Hugo Claus has been connected with the Nobel Prize for Literature for several years now, but he himself claims to have given up hope of ever receiving it.

For me this is OK. Improvements I'd suggest concern:

  • "has been connected with", find an alternate formulation applying Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words;
  • Find a reference where & when Claus would have said this.

--Francis Schonken 16:53, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

    • Or else the whole sentence should be deleted as non-verifiable and peacockery. Robert A.West (Talk) 17:34, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

See also Talk:Jorge_Luis_Borges#Borges_and_Nobel_Prize, which cites several sources; note that this has not yet made it into the article. Septentrionalis 22:22, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Nobel Peace Prize nominations are my bete-noir. I've deleted dozens of assertions of nominations from articles (including a car dealer from Ohio and a diet guru from Brazil). There are a few cases where the nominations themselves were announced by the nominators, and so are verifiable, for example Stanley Williams. However even when verifiable they are not necessarily notable, since over a hundred people are nominated annually and there is a very low threshold (any college social studies professor or any national legislator may make a nomination of any living person). In general there has been little opposition to my removal of these nominations, but I haven't been too dogmatic about it. A guideline or policy may help, but it should take into account these famous nominations. -Will Beback 22:41, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
For the Nobel Peace Price the only information given by the comitee is who the winner is. They do not give any information about the rest of the nominees, and they advise the nominators to not publish their proposals. Almost all information about people who's been nominated and hasn't won is speculation and can't be properly verified. It is true that there is quite many nominators for the price, but it is still not quite everybody. -- 23:20, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Glad someone else has the same bete-noir as I do. I take a harder line, however. A claim of nomination for a scientific prize is non-verifiable even if announced by the alleged nominator, because the list of nominators (a few hundred) is secret. The peace prize is a different matter, since any lawyer, jurist or college professor of history can nominate; however, even in this case, there is no way to cross-check the claim. If a person bioed claims to have climbed Everest, but provides no evidence outside of his claim, I would not include it, except with strong qualification, and then possibly to document the counterclaim that his inflates his resume. Robert A.West (Talk) 00:07, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

I have to agree that a mere claim of nomination is non-noteworthy by itself. If the claim, however, is a subject of public debate, or a point of public notoriety (other than between wikipedia editors,) then the controversy over the claim belongs in the article. As it is impossible to verify a claim of nomination, that cements that mere nomination doesn't mean squat. (How do you verify that someone was nominated? How do you provide proof that you have nominated someone? You can't, only (in this case) the Nobel committee can "prove" it, and they don't ever reveal.) If the claim of nomination is supposedly the tipping point between the person being notable and being non-notable, then I would land on the side of declaring the person non-notable. I could have a friend of mine (a history professor,) nominate me for the Nobel Peace Prize, publicly acknowledging the claim. That doesn't mean I've just become notable. (Even if I do have a few published works, which I don't.) Any secret prize, which doesn't make its 'short list' public, mere nomination isn't worth mentioning. I haven't even read the article at the center of this debate, just the talk pages, so I have no bias toward or against the person that is being debated. Ehurtley 00:36, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree with this. If a person claims to have been nominated that is meaningless. If a qualified person makes a public claim to have nominated someone, and if there is some controversy or notoriety connected to that nomination, then it may well be notable in the context of the nominee's bio. However no one is notable simply for having been nominated. Claims that someone is a "finalist" are totally unverifiable and should not be included. -Will Beback 01:12, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for the comments on notability. This is very useful in the more general case, but doesn't really affect any of the articles that I have edited. Assuming that both the alleged nominee and nominator are notable, and that the claim of nomination has invited controversy or comment. Is it proper or POV to make a statement cautioning the reader? For example, "Since nominations for the prize are supposed to be secret, the nomination cannot be independently verified, moreover the committee receives a large number of nominations each year, and are silent about which ones receive serious consideration, so the nomination may not be very significant even if true." I don't want to mislead the reader, but at least one editor feels that this is discourtesy at least to a living person. In the aftermath of the John Seigenthaler Sr. Wikipedia biography controversy, I don't want to brush this concern aside heedlessly. Robert A.West (Talk) 21:37, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Avoid the M-word

I've come to the conclusion that most uses of the word "meatpuppet" on Wikipedia, especially on AfD, are inappropriate.

Many contributors start out as "meatpuppets". That is, people who just read Wikipedia will often get the idea to start editing because a "vote" or discussion like AfD shows up on a topic they care about. This was the case for me, for example. Such people should be as welcome as any other newbies, and their first experience in Wikipedia-space shouldn't be that they're being called names.

Note that I'm not saying we have to let anonymous and new users vote-stack on AfD! It is perfectly possible to disregard those votes, and to explain why we're disregarding those votes, without saying "Go away, meatpuppet".

It seems that we've tolerated this form of newbie-biting for far too long. Thoughts? rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 02:11, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't like the term because I tend to associate it with its alternate meaning (aka, the Jim Henson) Raul654 02:26, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm one of those editors that turned up the intensity of their participation here after being called a meatpuppet, in so many words (in Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Checkerboard_Nightmare, my vote was struck through and discounted even though I had about 80 edits at the time). I didn't really like being called that but I realised that maybe the answer back was to build up some history here, make some good contributions, and campaign against certain things (like strikeouts in these sorts of discussions, I remain convinced they are terrifically bad) which I've been doing. The question I have is, for every editor like me that turns up his contributions (and I flatter myself to think I've done some good work here although I don't have a rack of barnstars to prove it), how many are chased away entirely? So ya, dump the term. ++Lar: t/c 02:46, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Hear hear. I have been put off by how disrespectfully this is used in AfD discussions, and how often it's used to avoid responding to the arguments the "meatpuppets" raise. · rodii · 03:38, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree also. Perhaps we should make an amendment to WP:NPA explicitly discouraging the "M word." --TantalumTelluride 03:48, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Either there or maybe WP:BITE? It is more of a biting thing than an explicit attack but it's pejoratively connotated. ++Lar: t/c 04:14, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Oh yeah, that makes sense. By the way, whether it's incorporated as part of WP:BITE or WP:NPA, its addition should definitely be discussed on the respective talk page beforehand. The caretakers of all those policy pages always want to thoroughly discuss even the smallest of edits. --TantalumTelluride 04:40, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Correction: Actually, WP:BITE isn't an official policy. Anyway, you get the point. --TantalumTelluride 04:41, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Hey, it's already policy! The statement "Do not call such users meatpuppets; be civil." has been at the end of Wikipedia:Sock puppetry#Meatpuppets since January 8, 2006, and that page is policy. It seems we just need to draw more users' attention to it. I've proposed adding it to WP:BITE. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 06:54, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem with that section is (was) that, while it ended with a tacked-on note not to use the "M-word", the very same word was used in the section title and the first paragraph. The message this sent was contradictory to say the least. I've now edited the section not to use the word "meatpuppet" outside the cautionary paragraph. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:37, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't really think the message was contradictory -- the term is only uncivil if it is used against a specific editor or group of editors. We can refer generally to the reality that meatpuppets exist, but to (potentially unfairly) ascribe a certain intent to a specific editor whose mind we cannot read is inappropriate. Christopher Parham (talk) 14:00, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I'd say civility problem isn't about potentially unfair characterization, but simply the fact that "meatpuppet" as a word can sound extremely offensive and its implications can be insulting even in cases where the definition given at WP:SOCK is technically satisfied. However the "local jargon" may define it, in a general context the word seems to imply a "person" who is entirely devoid of intelligence or free will, mindlessly obeying the will of their "puppet master". I don't think that's what we want to call new editors, even behind their back (since they may still overhear). —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:40, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Having recently become inadvertently embroiled in a set of... let's say "interesting" discussions with a new and very wordy user after I noted a suspicion of m.../s... puppets when an AfD was flooded with unsigned comments (which all turned out to be from the one user unfamiliar with Wikipedia-space) I'll be more careful about using it in future. But when the sysops of a web forum / BBS etc. tell their members to head over and bombard an AfD because their site is up for deletion, that is still Meatpuppetry. Trying to create a new term for this may or may not work. Rational, intelligent potential new editors caught up in such will recognize why their actions were wrong if they stick around long enough. Partly due to my above experience I have drafted and proposed WP:EARLY (see below) Deizio 03:14, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

My use of meatpuppet is the fairly specific (and, without a BBS or a clear admission on talk pages, quite difficult to prove) accusation that someone is just permitting their account or IP to be used without independent thought. I therefore believe it to be a legitimate term, although most uses of it are inappropriate, and (like any other unproven and defamatory accusation) uncivil. Septentrionalis 14:30, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem I see is that even if that accusation -- that someone is allowing their account to be used without independent thought -- is false, that person's account is still in almost all these cases being used without a sufficient understanding of what it's being used for. Example: User X creates an article on an unencylopedic subject -- say, a dictionary definition for a neologism he invented yesterday. When it's put up for deletion, X goes to his LiveJournal. "Help!" he cries. "Those nasty Wikipedians are going to delete the article on $NEOLOGISM because they don't think it's a useful term!" User Y reads this and thinks "What are they thinking? Of course it's a useful term! Anyone can see that! I'm going to go over there and sign up for an account so I can give them a piece of my mind and help to keep the article alive!" Now, User Y is clearly acting independently -- he read User X's description of the situation and, based on that, made an independent decision to act. But because he's coming in based on a false description of what the argument is all about, and without any of the independent experience of Wikipedia which would allow him to recognize User X's description as completely incorrect, his input is unlikely to be one bit more helpful to the discussion than that of an actual meatpuppet -- a user who simply obeys User X when User X says "Go here and type this in."
So if we deprecate the use of "meatpuppet" to indicate a user of this kind, then how do we communicate unambiguously that just having an independent belief that the article should be kept is not enough, not when that belief doesn't come from an experienced and independent assessment? (I've always preferred the term "run-in voters", myself...) -- Antaeus Feldspar 15:39, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
"Run-in voters" is at least a better term, especially since it doesn't imply the "...controlled by someone else" part. But I think the clearest thing is to communicate the policy that votes by new users can be discounted. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 08:23, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Policy or Technical: Arabic Names

I've noticed from browsing categories (Deaths in any given year being a good example) that Arabic names are not displaying in a standard manner. For example, in 1977 Deaths [20], Abd el-Halim Hafez is the first entry under "A", and yet Fawzi Al-Qawuqji is under F, and Alia al Hussein is under H. So it seems that it is a haphazard mix of listing under first name (which I would think is wrong), some listing by el-, al-, and ibn- type prefixes (which is logical, though not very useful if there are a lot of people with the same name, much as a list of Mac-whoevers would be unwieldy), or by the name following the prefix, which is an English language way to do it. So is there a standard form that should be used? MSJapan 18:36, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

I think names are alphabetized in those lists according to how they are categorized on the original page. So for instance, Fawzi Al-Qawuqji has [[Category:1977 deaths]], and is thus alphabetized by default by "Fawzi Al-Qawuqji", whereas Alia al Hussein has [[Category:1977 deaths|Hussein, Alia al]], and is alphabetized as "Hussein, Alia al", even though the article title "Alia al Hussein" is what appears in the list. See Wikipedia:Categorization#Category_sorting for details. So it's really up the article editors to decide how it should be alphabetized, and there's no technical means to enforce consistency. I guess I would answer your question as "policy," then, but I'm unaware of a place where this issue is discussed in, say, the MOS. There's a little at the categorization article above. It's easy to fix this problem on a case-by-case basis, though--just edit the article page to add the correct sort key. · rodii · 23:46, 27 March 2006 (UTC)


I am pretty sure this category violates WP:NPOV and WP:V as eccentricity is not something that really exists, but is just someone's perception of another who is different to themselves. The header states:

Eccentric personalities are marked by their disregard for society's norms.

No doubt all gay people were once considered eccentric or people with mental illnesses. Please place comments at Wikipedia:Categories_for_deletion/Log/2006_March_20#Category:Famous_eccentrics. Thanks Arniep 12:47, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

time in WP

Could someone who can do so please send a message to all WP editors reminding them that words and phrases such as "recent", "x years ago" "for decades", "used to be" etc should be avoided. All editors should be specific about time in writing encyclopedic entries. Thanks Mccready 06:23, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Also "current(ly)" is used far too often (in fact it should only be used in the {{current}} template). --Francis Schonken 12:57, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not therapy

I have been working on this at Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not therapy Fred Bauder 21:43, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Discussion of Naming Policy on grandchildren of deposed royalty

I have raised the subject of how the articles about grandchildren of deposed royalty (born after the abolition of monarchy) should by titled. Should articles about them bear monarchical titles (prince/princess) on their titles, or is this misleading?

There is no explicit guideline on the matter, and discussing it pre-emptively could help avoid tense debates about such people (such as the former Greek or Yugoslavian royal families) in the future.

Please share your opinions here. --Michalis Famelis 18:42, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Probert Encyclopaedia

The Probert Encyclopaedia - FAQ says : "Can I Use This Picture?

"You may use any of the pictures in The Probert Encyclopaedia in your own projects. But, you should not link directly to pictures served from our web server from your web site. Instead, copy the pictures you want to your own web server ... Please note: some pictures in The Probert Encyclopaedia have been obtained from the public domain in good faith, but may have been released without the copyright holder's permission, while we never knowingly include any copyright images accidents can happen and we cannot guarantee the status of images you choose to copy." [21]

I found images there : is it OK to copy them here ? --DLL 11:42, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

The site is giving any user an express warning that the images may be in breach of copyright. You are asking whether it is "OK" to ignore that express warning. You are free to pick up that pot from the hob, but it may be hot enough to burn you and accidents can happen. David91 16:39, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
There are no guarantees for anything in life. What the site says is that they make efforts to use only public domain figure, but that they do not attest with 100% certitude that all pics are public domain. The same happens here. We may have pics which copyright; and we are simply believing what the person that uploads the files says. I do not see much difference. You try but you can not guarantee third party's actions. Anagnorisis 17:34, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
It looks like they're working on the up-and-up and that they genuinely believe all of their images are unfettered public domain. The statement cited is simply designed to cover their asses if it turns out that they've made an error about the copyright status of an image.
Unfortunately, I can't find any information on their site about the specific source(s) for each image. Are they public domain because they're old enough for copyright to have lapsed? Because they're uncopyrightable for one reason or another? Because they're works produced by the U.S. government? Because they've been released by the copyright holders?
Then again, we just don't know. Are some of them actually under Crown Copyright? Did someone goof and import an archive of copyrighted images at some point? Unless we have a good way to verify their claims, we should probably err on the side of caution. Adding images to Wikipedia under a 'public domain' banner is a pretty strong statement, and it's one that we shouldn't be making lightly. We regularly delete images that make unsupported claims of public domain status, and we make an effort to verify image sources. Is it possible to do that here? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:47, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Am I Right?

I decided to post this here, since this is an issue based on interpretation of our policy -- especificaly, WP:NOT, Wikipedia:Notability and WP:CSD. It concerns this article: it is about an internet community dedicated to the a comic strip published in a British newspaper. By the contents of the article, I considered it a vanity article, eligible for speedy deletion under criterion A7. Because the article's main contributors (mainly the people who belong to that online community) disagreed (Talk page), I thought it would be better that this wasn't based on my interpretation solely. I wasn't going to VfD it, since my opinion is that the article should be speedy deleted (possibly with part of the content being merged into the main Striker (comic) article). Although someone has already VfD it, which I would rather had not happened. Regards, Redux 03:34, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

main article page star for good articles

a new icon directly equivalent to the featured article star on an article mainpage has suddenly appeared, without prior discussion, on hundreds of articles marked as "good articles". please vote on the issue of whether it should be there (note the GA process is not currently policy, and was formerly restricted to talk pages only, putting an icon on the main article page itself is the new development) at Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2006 March 25. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zzzzz (talkcontribs)

There is no "star" for the good article icon! The {{good article}} template places a small Good Article symbol (Plus icon) in the top right corner of an article to indicate that it is a good article on Wikipedia. —RJN 10:41, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't see any problems with it. I also think the "good article" concept is very good and the process is perfect, the very anti-thesis of bureaucracy and instruction creep. I'd hate to see it change. Sarge Baldy 11:46, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
So anyone can use the template without consultation? And anyone can take the view that it is not a good article and remove the template without consultation? It is a bit bold with Wiki's reputation, is it not? David91 12:12, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't see how it's any bolder with Wiki's reputation than giving people the power to edit penis images into articles. It wasn't long ago that Featured Articles (or Brilliant Prose, as it was called then) allowed anyone to remove articles as featured at their whim, and at the time no one seemed to think twice about it. Sarge Baldy 12:26, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
the problem is not with the concept of GA, but with the fact that an additional barnstar is now added to the article space, when there is already a GA template added on the talkpage. the extremely lax good article standards don't matter so much when its restricted to the talkpage, but they do when an article-space barnstar gives a spurious sense of validity to a page. the "add this template to the article space" step is already removed from the standard GA process, final step is just to have this template deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zzzzz (talkcontribs)
How are the standards "extremely lax"? Seeing as any editor can say an article is not good and remove Good Article standing from any article without any discussion, it's rather easy to demote articles that aren't good. Although it's rather easy for a page to get listed, it's just as easy for it to get unlisted, and so I don't take it as a serious issue. It's only different than FA status in that it's informal both to add and remove, rather than formal as with the current featured article process. (Although the featured article process used to be exactly what the good article process is now.) Any articles listed as good that aren't can and should have their status revoked immediately. Sarge Baldy 03:13, 26 March 2006


lack of "formality" = open to abuse. *any* article, no matter how crap, can become "good" now, it just needs TWO editors to make it so. what does the GA star on articlespace actually mean? that "2 people liked the article your currently reading, one was the author, the other his best friend, it will probably be disliked by someone soon, but nobody has got round to it yet"? i used to be a GA supporter, but seeing the type of fancruft-loving user who actively uses it these days, now i'm not so sure... Zzzzz 15:08, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

inappropriate username blocks and summaries

Recently, there has been much debate on the subject of blocking inappropriate usernames. Some administrators are regularly blocking such usernames as per policy, but with undescriptive block summaries. When new users see "user..." as the blocking reason, chances are that they will have no idea why they were blocked. I'm pretty sure that we have already lost potential contributors this way.

So I have been unblocking and reblocking such usernames with more better block reasons, and guess what, someone files an RfC against me for doing so.

I have therefore modified MediaWiki:Blockedtext to reflect this issue and added a link to the username policy. However, I'm not sure if that is enough to keep new contributors from being driven away.

Any thoughts? --Ixfd64 06:03, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I'd agree in the sense that a blocking summary should always give some sort of indication why the block took place. Also, where edits are carried out by a bot this should be indicated in the summary as well. (More or less, the same standards that apply to edit summaries should apply to blocking summaries as well.) Christopher Parham (talk) 20:00, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
  • The RfC doesn't mention that you've reblocked any of these usernames, or even that the "user..." summary is the big problem. If this is really the issue, why don't you bring it up at the RfC? So far, the RfC seems to be about you unblocking users and not reblocking them. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 05:26, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Suggest we comment in the appropriate place on the RfC page, as I have. John Reid 19:18, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm hoping to push through the proposed policy Wikipedia:Censorship. If it suceeds, then we may have a strong case against overturning the username policy itself, which is one of the policies most contrary to the spirit of Wikipedia. Loom91 15:14, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for making your intentions clear. If further demonstration was needed, this certainly provides enough to doom that "proposal". Wikipedia is not a democracy. Have a nice day. 01:22, 25 March 2006 (UTC) (User:JesseW/not logged in)
So wikipedia is fascism? The Psycho 04:35, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
No, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 11:44, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Transwiki process is ridiculous

The transwiki process is way, way too complicated. Transwikiing an article to wikibooks, for example, involves creating a new article on wikibooks, copying the text of the old article into the new article, copying the history page of the old article into the discussion page of the new article, leaving tags on both articles and on the new discussion page saying what you've done, putting info into the summaries of the new article and talk page saying what you've done, adding a line on the wikibooks transwiki log, including links, explaining what you've done, and adding a line to the wikipedia transwiki log, including links, explaining what you've done.

This is, no doubt, why virtually no one ever does this. Go through the transwiki log, either here or on wikibooks, and you'll see that almost every one of these in the last year and a half has been done by Uncle G's 'bot.

Uncle G and his bot haven't been around for weeks, leaving me trying to figure out how to get 90 articles transwikied to wikibooks. I have no intention of spending 10 hours going through this whole laborious process by hand, and am about to rebel against the whole process and just ignore the logs on both sides completely. So, now no one can say I didn't notify anyone of this. I'd have mentioned this on the transwiki talk pages, but no one reads those. --Xyzzyplugh 06:32, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Several of the steps that complicate the procedure follow from GFDL (and its underlying copyright mechanism, see Wikipedia:Copyrights), so I'd be careful about which steps can be cut out, and which ones can't;
If uncle G is on wikibreak (which might be the case, last edit over two weeks ago [22]) or if his bot is on wikibreak (which also appears to be the case, last edit a month ago [23]), it's always possible to place a bot request at Wikipedia:Bot requests – well, I see you did that a few days ago.
I also see that uncle G is not fond of sharing bot code ("The tools are written in C++, cmd.exe script, and REXX. No, they are not currently available to others." ref) — so, maybe try to contact Uncle G by e-mail: he might not have seen recent requests, and other wikipedians might not feel like programming something that has been done before. --Francis Schonken 16:55, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Citation policy

Philosophical question on when a citation should be used or not.

A citation to the following statement was removed from the Poker page here (history):

As it spread up the Mississippi and West during the gold rush it is thought to have become a part of the frontier, pioneering ethos.

After the removal of the citation the following discussion was initiated here at the bottom of the link:

Poker citation removal

I disagree that it's "common knowledge", perhaps it is to someone like you who seems to be very well educated in everything poker. But anyway that's not the real point, which is that Wikipedia does not need less citations, it needs more, even for things that are not new ideas. If you have a good reference for that statement then please cite it. If not, then I see nothing wrong with my citation.

For a good example of what I mean, see Saffron, which is a featured article partly because it has so many citations and references.

from the article:

Saffron, which has for decades been the world's most expensive spice by weight

Well everyone knows this fact, but still the author cites it twice. -snpoj

That's just a terrible example. The fact that poker spread west is self-evident, but beyond that, that it swept west in a cultural way is not something to specifically reference since it can be referenced by literally thousands of texts. The wikipedia most certainly does not need more references like this. Thursday comes after Wednesday. Citing a Jane Austen book to that effect is trivial and unhelpful. Citing every sentence or every phrase would be a nuisance, with this a perfect example. 2005 05:19, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd be interested in what people think about these two apparently different philosophies on citations. Thanks. -Snpoj 22:07, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Citing every sentence and phrase is an excellent idea. I have no reason to believe any claim an article makes that it does not provide a source for. It is not self-evident to this non-poker player that it spread west, since I have no general knowledge that tells me it began in the east. It can't be hard to find one or two good sources to say that, and given the low amount of effort involved, there's no reason not to. -Splashtalk 22:12, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Seems that it's a dispute over whether this is 'common knowledge' or not. I'd say it definitely isn't, especially given the unhelpful phrase "it is thought that". By whom? Ziggurat 22:13, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, I would strongly encourage you to revert 2005's citation edit on Poker if you think it is appropriate. I don't want to do it and start a revert war if you know what I mean. -Snpoj 22:19, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I fundamentally concur with Splash. Beyond just the Poker article, it seems that having copious references (formatted correctly, of course) add to the value of the encyclopedia. In fact, the Poker article is a perfect example for the reason why. What one reader assumes to be common knowledge, another reader may not. That's the beauty of the references. As a Texan, I personally know that Poker spread out west, but would someone from India have that same assumed knowledge? Of course not. Lbbzman 23:21, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, yeah. It may seem obvious that it spread west - how else could it? - but a moment's thought gives a plausible "introduced to California by sea and spread inland back towards the Missisippi" explanation. We don't usually need to cite matters of fact by definition, but we do need to cite matters of historical knowledge, and the earlier comments about the days of the week are really not in the same class as historical details. Shimgray | talk | 23:39, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Note that there's also the issue of citing poker as embodying the frontier culture and way of life. -Snpoj 00:30, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
The citation is either self-evident, or a matter of pov if looked at absurdly like this. "It is thought" is neither encyclopedic or helpful, so removing the passage is the appropriate thing to do. One writer's opinion about what occured and its significance is not interesting or even appropriate to the core topic of the article. Poker spread. Whether is spread up the Mississippi or down is minutiae beyond comprehension. Citing sources is for authoritative content, not self-evident things like the days of the week, nor POV of extremely unimportant nature. Additionally, the statement in question is already redundant to the cited sentence before, leaving ONLY the pov for the sentence in question. 2005 06:10, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Snpoj and Splash that more references and citations are better. My view is that verified, authoritarive citations always add value to an article. If the dispute was about whether the cited author was an authority, I could see removing the citation. — MSchmahl 04:50, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
As above, citations from reputable, verifiable sources are the key to good articles. An encyclopaedia article is similar to research papers, the more you can say that "this is so because (reputable source(s)) say so, the better. One of the main issues that many users of print encyclopaedias take with WP is that there are not enough citations and therefore the academic value is lessened. It would not hurt for every statement to be backed up with a reference. Zarboki 07:27, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
If I pull down the Brittanica from my shelf, and pick a random article I will find few or no footnotes. I will find a bibliography. Now, there is a meaningful difference: Brittanica articles are written by recognized experts who have reputations to protect; Wikipedia articles are not. Some readers find footnotes distracting, and there may be value in adopting some kin of an old rule from high school: the Three encyclopedia rule. If an unsurprising fact can be found in three encyclopedias or other general reference works, you may assume it is general knowledge and avoid footnoting, although the encyclopedia article should be cited in the bibliography. Robert A.West (Talk) 14:34, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Just in terms of practicality I don't think many wikipedia users have even a single paper encyclopedia on hand, or the patience to research something in triplicate to avoid placing a footnote, but this could be a possible solution. I also see a problem with having big general references in a bibliography with no citations. People will unknowingly add statements that aren't referenced in that work and the reader will assume that they are. -Snpoj 22:28, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
You may be right. My position is that, just as allwiki would have been distracting, so are footnotes about facts that can be trivially verified by anyone with access to any library. Many of the articles in the Common law series, for example, go entirely without footnotes, yet are very accurate. On the other hand, some of the politically-oriented articles use footnotes almost as peacock terms to push doubtful statements. I suppose that there is no substitute for good judgment. Robert A.West (Talk) 22:44, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Anyway, thank you very much for the comments. I'll feel more confident citing now that I know I have at least some support from the community. I guess I'm going to use this discussion as a benchmark when editing/citing, along with the Saffron page. Thanks again. -Snpoj 22:28, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Dispute regarding a "dead" page.

This is regarding Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Knightsbridge University, I am in a friendly dispute with a fellow user who stated in the beginning of this discussion:

Knightsbridge University seems to be a diploma mill. We have precedence from VfD that notorious diploma mills may be encyclopedic (see Kennedy-Western University and American World University), but I guess they should be described as such.

In this submission the user implied that Kennedy-Western University is a diploma mill.

Since this article was used as an example of a VfD and is thus accessable to the public I would like to ad a statement saying that this is merely one users opinion on this page.

While I respect that users opinion I would state that Diploma mill is a derogatory term used to describe institutions which "awards academic degrees and diplomas with very little or no academic study and without recognition by official accrediting bodies" (quoted directly from the Wikipedia article). While KWU is not accrdited and does not seek to be, owing to its untraditional online teaching methods, it is most cannot be said that the institution awards degrees and diplomas with "little or no academic study".

In fact, as part of a lawsuit settlement with the State of Oregon (which tried to bar Kennedy-Western graduates from listing that institution on their resumes) it was mandated that the State would not recognize KWU as a "Diploma mill" but merely as an "Unacredited University".

Please see the discussion page for Kennedy-Western University for more discussion on the accrededation issues.

At the very least I ask that a POV be attached to Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Knightsbridge University, as long as the page remains active.

I thank you all very much.Piercetp

Although the previous was not signed correctly, need it be said that neither Wikipedia nor Wikipedia editors are bound by a settlement between Oregon and Kennedy-Western University, as they were not named in the suit. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 23:04, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

But my contention is that an incorrect statement which is potentially damaging to the reputation of KWU was made and this is still a page which can be accessed. Furthermore, it is forbidden to edit this page in any way so it seems like there is not avenue for anyone disputing the validity of this statement. That is why I believe a POV statement is needed.Piercetp

The proceedings of Wikipedia are generally public and should remain so. Records of debates should be treated as minutes: remarks striken should be in strike-out font, and only very rarely should all or part of a debate be striken from the minutes and expunged. All possible AfD debates will say things about the subject that are potentially uncomplementary: arguing that Professor Smith is not notable is not likely to be well received by the good professor. Self-censorship will not make for a good Wikipedia. Robert A.West (Talk) 14:12, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, marking an AfD debate with an NPOV tag would bring more attention to it, not less, as it would now be an oddity in its category. Robert A.West (Talk) 14:12, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

No double standards

I've been concerned lately with double standards in regards to categorization. By categorizing some groups specially and not others, we essentially center around specific groups. For instance, we have categories for "Women scientists" and "Women cricketers", where we don't have "Men scientists" or "Men cricketers", because that's seemingly "redudant". This appears to be a clear androcentric bias.

Likewise, we make classifications such as "Category:American children", but not for "French elderly", "Middle-aged Germans", etc. The term "child" is problematic since there is no world standard, and generic classifications of children are also a temporal problem because categories aren't supposed to represent people as they are now, but as they've ever been (e.g. we classify former presidents as if they're current presidents, actors as actors after they've retired, etc. without making any temporal distinction), which would mean that in order to be consistent (call this retentive if you'd like) we would need to classify anyone who grew up in the United States as "American children". I'd like to see Wikipedia apply the same standards to everyone with regard to categories, whether that means removing existing ones or creating new ones to stay consistent and NPOV.

Thoughts? Sarge Baldy 21:24, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Categorization/Gender, race and sexuality – would that be helpful? --Francis Schonken 21:52, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, yes, thanks. I see that a number of people share my concerns. The only problem is that Wikipedia:Categorization is only a guideline, where I think it needs to be turned into a specific policy, or seen as falling under current NPOV policy. Sarge Baldy 21:59, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
I think you could successfully handle it under NPOV. Your points are exactly right, and those are biases. It's probably meant to counteract a perceived bias, but it's not the right way to go about it. A few of those could be defended under the position that they are know particularly for being something, as Curie is known for being a woman scientist in a time there weren't many. I believe that can be solved by simply requiring evidence. - Taxman Talk 14:25, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
The number of redlinks as category examples in Wikipedia:Categorization/Gender, race and sexuality suggest to me that its guidance is not being followed? Is there another policy which has superseded, or is it just a case of CfD votes not being bound to other guidelines' terms? --TreyHarris 18:32, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Isn't the raison d'etre of categories utility? Female heads of government are, still, relatively rare, and a student might well be writing a paper for which such a category would be very helpful. On the other hand, one is far less likely to be specifically looking for male heads of government, and the Category:Heads of government would be nearly as useful if one is. Attempting to achieve a theoretical consistency here, at the expense of utility, strikes me as foolish. Robert A.West (Talk) 16:11, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

New policy Lindsay

I just found this new policy on Lindsay Lohan articles. Didn't know it was April Fools already :D - The DJ 22:50, 29 March 2006 (UTC)


I've basically tried to write a guideline or policy which gets around the thorny issue of notability or importance or significance by rooting it in the main policies which govern Wikipedia. I hope it can be accepted as a base level from which we can move arguments over encyclopaedic value on, so that we instead have arguments over sources, or points of view, or original research. To me, those are the issues a community building an encyclopaedia should be debating. Steve block talk 21:45, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Usability Study (originally posted in WP:VPN)

AxelBoldt informed us of this : " published a usability study of editing Wikipedia. They specifically studied the German Wikipedia but most of the results should be applicable to all Wikipedias. The paper is written in English."

As a newbie, I posted some questions and remarks because I found it difficult to find information about what to do and how. It is still difficult and prevents one to find courage enough to help improving WP.

What if thas article was the basis for a global policy discussion centered upon usability ? --DLL 18:01, 29 March 2006 (UTC)