Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 20

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quickbar fantasy[edit]

Maybe this feature already exists? Maybe it has already been discussed?

Wouldn't it be great if you could edit your quickbar, adding and/or removing links. Imagine putting a link in your quickbar to your toolbox page. Then you could have better navigation at any workstation you're using! Sounds cool, I think. Kingturtle (talk) 13:22, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Assuming that you are talking about the user navigation at the top right of the page (Username, talk, preferences, watchlist, contribs, log out), you can change it using your skin.js file. I have modified mine to add a link to my sandbox, and to the log of my user actions. You can see it at User:Nihiltres/monobook.js, at or near the bottom. With slight modification, you could use the same to add links as you desire. To remove links, find the CSS class or id of the element to remove, and add .class {display:none;} or #id {display:none;} to your skin.css file (I've removed and altered some things this way via my monobook.css page, you can check that out if you want). I hope that helps, Nihiltres{t.l} 15:59, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

No, I am talking about the sidebar, that contains Main Page, Contents, Featured content, Current events, Random article, My watchlist, My contributions, Edit this page, Post a comment, Stop watching, Move this page, Delete this page, Remove protection, Discuss this page, Page history, What links here, Related changes, Upload file, Special pages, Contact Wikipedia, Donate to Wikipedia. Kingturtle (talk) 16:10, 7 February 2008 (UTC) P.S. But your idea sounds good too! Kingturtle (talk) 16:11, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Along the tabs, you can use the same strategy, though you have to specify a different container - the prefix is ca- for the tab bar. To add a tab, add the following to your skin.js (probably monobook) page, filling in as appropriate:
addOnloadHook(function() {
'display name','css-name','Tooltip text','',
document.getElementById('id of what it should appear ahead of,
omit this entirely if you want it at the end')
This better? I don't remember the code for the toolbox or other boxes, I'm afraid - but the same approach should probably work on them. It does require a certain amount of knowledge of CSS, though. Nihiltres{t.l} 16:21, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

That's going to take me some time to figure out. But I will work on it. It would be nice someday to go to My Preferences/Quickbar and have a system there that's easy to use. Kingturtle (talk) 16:24, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

If you want me to come up with code for a particular link, just tell me where you want it, what it should say, and where it should link, and I'll come up with some code to make it happen. :) Nihiltres{t.l} 16:30, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
You could have a utility function, addQuickbarLink(pagename), and edit your monobook.js to edit the contents of the quickbar. e.g.,
This still might be too cumbersome for non-technical editors, however. GracenotesT § 16:39, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

I made something similar to this last week. Exactly like the "toolbox" pane I added a "personal toolbox" pane and put it up at the top above the "navigation" one. I did it with GreaseMonkey though so I didn't have to waste database revisions on Wikipedia every time I wanted to update the list of links I use (which has grown quite long!). I seem to remember there was also a bugzilla request for a personal toolbox to be added to MediaWiki as a software enhancement. • Anakin (talk) 23:01, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Don't you wish you could enforce assumption of good faith?[edit]

Don't we all wish you could somehow force people to assume good faith? Naturally, that's not normally possible. But I have noticed that a lot of times when people assume bad faith, they are applying policies improperly. They often accuse the vile horrible villains of deliberate violation of not one or two, but usually many many policies, all at once! Seriously, an expert troll typically has enough trouble breaking just 1 or 2 rules properly, and would be quite jealous. ;-)

Now there's something that is actually measurable ..and ... (rubs hands gleefully) punishable. Would it be going too far to say that people making false accusations, where a particular policy actually has nothing to do with anything the poor guy/gal/furry/other did... well, in those situations... couldn't we like... block the accuser? For say 24 hours for every false accusation? They might think twice before pointing fingers next time. It might even force people to actually consider and say what is really troubling them, instead of hiding behind rule ABC G7 L1 N22.

I'm probably being too naive, these are humans here, and surely they'll eventually find a way around it. But I'd be curious to see what that way might be! ;-)

This would also cut down on some amount of bureaucracy I figure.

Is there any good reason *not* to start doing this soonest?

--Kim Bruning (talk) 16:23, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Well that problem with that is that there's no way to know if the accusation is false, so when we accuse the accuser of assuming bad faith, what if that accuser of the accuser is wrong, do we then block him for 24 hours as well? Ferdia O'Brien (T)/(C) 16:32, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
People can assume bad faith if it is not reasonable to assume good faith. (1 == 2)Until 16:45, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Sure, people can. That doesn't make it a good idea. -GTBacchus(talk) 06:39, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
We do occasionally block editors who habitually level groundless complaints; we even block on first offense for particularly obnoxious reports. Vexatious litigants can be blocked for a pattern of disruptive editing—we only put up with them wasting a certain amount of our time. For some reason, some editors seem oblivious to the fact that admins who look at complaints on AN/I generally look at the conduct of all involved parties. We try to educate these editors as quickly as possible.
One of the most useful tests is looking on AN/I for threads that have 'admin abuse' or 'abusive admin' in the section heading. At least ninety-five times out of a hundred the complaint will turn out to be bogus. It's actually a very good way to identify editors who are headed for trouble. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:49, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
You mean, Administrator vandalizing by blanking out article talk page? Or Vandalism by administrator, blanking out comments.? I like assuming good faith always, but sometimes it is impossible (like with the guy who wanted to know how to befriend 5 year old girls). However, I don't like pointing out, ironically you may fall in asking others to assume the assumption of good faith. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 17:22, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
You could also go so far as to tell people to assume the assumption of the assumption of good faith ;-)
What I'm talking about is a situation where people persist in assuming bad faith, even after it has become clear that their accusations are false. And it would be nice if this also happened outside AN/I.
Hmph, basically I guess I'm advocating use of short blocks as a cluebat. ;-)
And if you're using it as a cluebat, perhaps blocking for less time (for instance 1 hour or so) would actually suffice. <scratches head>
--Kim Bruning (talk) 17:37, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
My advice is: lead by example, by being helpful and friendly to everybody. • Anakin (contribscomplaints) 17:55, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes of course! But sometimes, sometimes, don't you just wish? O:-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 18:08, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes Kim Bruning. I believe you should write an essay on various types of punishment which we will mete out for people assuming bad faith. You even have my permission to cackle while doing it. Wjhonson (talk) 07:58, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
*cackle* ... but but wait... what do we do with people who assume the assumption of bad faith? --Kim Bruning (talk) 09:01, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Figure them for trolls and block them indefinitely? (Oh, did I say that?) Seraphimblade Talk to me 09:07, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

(OD) Evil. Pure evil. Have a cookie.Wjhonson (talk) 09:22, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Instead of waiting for people to do something wrong, how about randomly indef-blocking one person a day as a warning to others? It'll keep people on their toes. • Anakin (contribscomplaints) 15:41, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I like this proposal. If questioned, the blocker can simply use the great Oops Defense. We can even name this proposal honorarily after one of our greatest editors. Wjhonson (talk) 16:16, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
In order to accused someone of failing to assume good faith, you have to a assume they thought assuming good faith was reasonable to do and they assumed bad faith anyways. (1 == 2)Until 16:30, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Don't forget Hanlon's razor. You can also accuse someone of failing to assume good faith because they're stupid. • Anakin (talk) 17:18, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Is it valid to assume good stupidity? --Kim Bruning (talk) 13:51, 8 February 2008 (UTC) O:-)
I do that all the time when evaluating image uploads. --Carnildo (talk) 04:56, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Preventing users/anons from blanking[edit]

Blanking an entire page, especially established pages (pages not likely to be moved or deleted anytime soon), seems to be a common form of vandalism/newbie testing. Can this somehow be prevented? It is pretty much inherently unconstructive. --Merovingian (T, C) 05:04, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Maybe some interstitial notice along the lines of Removing all content from this article/page is not recommended. If you are attempting to experiment with Wikipedia, please use the Wikipedia:Sandbox. can be displayed? I'm thinking of something that would work in the same way as when you enable the site to prompt you to provide an edit summary. --Merovingian (T, C) 05:17, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Letting anons blank pages makes spotting vandalism so easy that even a bot can do it. --Carnildo (talk) 06:06, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Offhand, I can't think of any case where it would be valid to completely blank an article page. (It might be acceptable to replace the page with a template like {{copyvio}}, but that's different than blanking.) On the other hand, if someone wants to blank their own user page, they should be allowed to. If such a feature was added, it should only prohibit blanking in article space. I would also limit the restriction to users who are not autoconfirmed. *** Crotalus *** 17:41, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Carnildo, preventing page blanking might just encourage vandalism that won't get bot reverted in 5 seconds. -Steve Sanbeg (talk) 19:02, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

If a page is blanked, links to it should go red, which they currently don't do <sigh>. --Kim Bruning (talk) 13:56, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to update deletion template language[edit]

Hi. I'm essentially duplicating the note that Coppertwig placed at the CSD talk page. Mainly for the purpose of bringing the templates more in line with the actual speedy criteria, we have developed suggested template wording revisions for the speedy deletion templates. We suggest that discussion of the specific wordings of each template be in four subpages we've created for general, articles, images and other (redirects, categories, userpages, templates, portals), and that general discussion about it at talk CSD. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:28, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Linking to other wikis[edit]

Requesting comments for a new style proposal for wikis listed in the EL section is at Wikipedia:Linking to other wikis. Everyone is encouraged to leave feedback. -- Ned Scott 05:38, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Whatever happened to wp:Avoid instruction creep?[edit]

It seems there's virtually no function you can access on Wikipedia (these days) without being hit with line after line of coded warnings. Even creating a page in the article namespace now comes with its own blue box. Is instruction creep a new permanent fixture that we all have to live with?--VectorPotentialTalk 15:24, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

It's turning into a bureaucracy, yeah. Even though that's a REALLY bad idea. --Kim Bruning (talk) 16:17, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
We have always had standards for creating articles, that is not new. We just let the people who are creating the article know ahead of time that is all. (1 == 2)Until 16:18, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
I think my main annoyance is that for some reason it has to be inside a great big blue box, which if anything will just encourage people to ignore it.--VectorPotentialTalk 18:56, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
We always had a message displayed when creating a new page with notes and rules, the only difference is that there is a box now. The fact that you actually noticed it now is a sign that the blue box works better than the old design. No rules were added, they were just made more prominent. Mr.Z-man 20:09, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Blue boxes get ignored by me too :-P --Kim Bruning (talk) 21:19, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
"Ignore all blue boxes"? (1 == 2)Until 21:33, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Search google images for eyetracking heatmaps. Note how people tend to avoid boxes and other things that look like adverts? --Kim Bruning (talk) 22:33, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
We really need to form a committee to flesh out that page. . .it's clearly not long enough to adequately fulfill its function. R. Baley (talk) 21:46, 9 February 2008 (UTC)


Hello, fellow editors ... please see this talk page and tell me what you think of my newly created Template:Oldprodfull ... would you use it, or update it if you encountered it?

I thought that a bot could use it when someone PRODs an article, and it could be manually updated by Some Other Editor when they either second or contest the PROD.

To field test it, I'm tagging articles in Category:Proposed deletion-endorsed, i.e., articles with a {{Prod-2}}.

Also, what are your thoughts on my proposed WP:FLAG-BIO and other flag templates?

Happy Editing! — (talk · contribs) 18:32, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

D'oh! I forgot that (a) Some Other Editors totally ignore messages from anonymous IP accounts, and (b) some just fail to notice/comprehend the prominently displayed {{User Alternate Acct}} userbox ... <Heavy sigh!> — The Bipolar Anon-IP Gnome (talk) 15:31, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Highlight all changes to pages that are unwatched in the RecentChanges list made by anon users[edit]

Many vandals edit Wikipedia but are quickly reverted by RC patrol and by watchlisters get the occasional edits that slip in, but what about edits that slip RC patrol and aren't watchlisted? Maybe these edits could be highlighted in yellow or red in the RC list like we have at special:newpages. I recently had to contact an expert pertaining to many anon edits to Template:Infobox copper. There was false information unnoticed for weeks, and who knows where this will happen again. I believe my simple proposal can help levy the problem -- penubag  (Talk) 17:36, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

I like the spirit of this idea, but it would have to be made so that it doesn't seem TOO obtrusive looking to the eye. Arnabdas (talk) 17:57, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
CSS maybe? -- SEWilco (talk) 02:28, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm of mixed mind. 80% of the random low level trouble here comes from anon editors, but on the other hand isn't it against the spirit of anonymous editing to be looking over their shoulders all the time?Wikidemo (talk) 05:20, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Anonymous editing means that the editor does not wish to disclose their identity, but watching over them closer seems like a fine compromise. -- penubag  (talk) 08:48, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
There is no way that articles that aren't watchlisted are going to identified to other than admins. And there is no way to tell which edits "slip RC patrol" and which in fact are reviewed by an RC patroller and evaluated as acceptable.
What would be possible is to do what another Wikipedia (Dutch language?) is doing - having patrolled edits for anonymous IP edits only. That reduces the percentage of edits that need to be marked as patrolled, and it focuses attention on edits most likely to be vandalism (something on the order of 1 in every 5). -- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:48, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
That's never good enough. Unwatched pages need more attention, even if we only allow admins to view highlighted watchlists. -- penubag  (talk) 02:30, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm sure this edit would have been noticed if my proposal was in effect, rather than go unnoticed for 30minutes. -- penubag  (talk) 08:10, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

bot to auto-patrol experienced article creators[edit]

I'm not sure that many outside the new page patrollers are aware of the new patrol feature for new articles. It's a great idea in theory but it's only so so in practice because of the chronic backlog. Admin- and bot-created articles are automatically marked as patrolled but we all know that there are many experienced users who are not yet or never wish to be admins. Newpage patrollers either skip these (and they go to the backlog) or waste time patrolling a page which they know will be just fine. There was recently an absurd situation discussed in part here where Blofeld of SPECTRE, who has created countless worthy stubs, was asking for a bot account (denied) or some other official help (denied) to have his stubs auto-patrolled. I'm not sure that it's technically feasible (or desirable) to create another user status for this purpose but I think a reasonable compromise would be to create an informal protected list of experienced article creators (something like the now obsolete Wikipedia:Protected titles) and have a bot auto-patrol their new articles. Thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pichpich (talkcontribs) 04:10, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I wouldn't object to it (as I didn't before). Maybe some standard like 1,000 creations and no blocks in the last 12 months? MBisanz talk 04:15, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Standards maybe, but 1000 creations seems way high. My idea was to have it more informal than this. Number of creations is not really the issue: there may be users with a long history of creating pages who still fail to mark stubs as stubs and fail to categorize or wikify their articles properly (and that probably includes a number of admins). Similarly, many users are very thorough and know how to do things properly after a relatively short time, especially when they create a bulk of stubs on a given topic. So this could be handled on a sort of case-by-case basis (Of course, blocks for vandalism would be a deal-breaker), precisely for cases like Blofeld where every patroller knows the article will be just fine. Pichpich (talk) 04:35, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Well per User:Bryan/List_of_users_by_pages_created it seems there would be about 175 users who could qualify if block free. After seeing how RFR was implemented, I think its important to have bright-line rules about these sorts of things. MBisanz talk 04:45, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
The vast majority of these 175 users are bots or admins already. On the other hand, your standard would mean, for instance, that people like User:Tony Sidaway could not be put on that list before creating another 628 pages which seems quite unreasonable. Setting a strict standard is the wrong idea, I think, if only because there's a great difference between semi-automated creation and manual creation. Some of the people on this list have created over 200 articles entirely by hand, spending non-negligible time. Take, for instance, people working at the requested articles desk: those with sufficient experience create quality articles from scratch and there's no sense in losing time patrolling their stuff. Pichpich (talk) 05:01, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
If I might add: why do we have admin- and bot-created pages auto-patrolled? Is it because they always create flawless articles? Of course we're not that naive. But from a pragmatic point of view, the time saved by not having to patrol them is well worth the risk of skipping over them. It's all about positive net-effect. The same principle should apply for this list. Pichpich (talk) 05:12, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Well I would like some hard rules, but the best way to do this would probably be for the devs to clone the BOT tag to something like CREATOR and then assign, preferably by crats. MBisanz talk 05:16, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I have been doing this in a semi-automated fashion from time to time, so that the people going through by hand can focus on more important things. By semi-automated I mean that I choose the editors myself based on how many unpatrolled edits they have and use Newpages for editors I don't recognize. I'd much rather automate it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 04:26, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
If we're going to autopatrol edits by estabished users, we might as well just make it an automatic thing. MediaWiki allows for rights to be auto-assigned after a user has made a specified number of edits, has been registered for a specified length of time, has email enabled, and/or is in a certain usergroup. We can't set it by blocks or creations, but if we set the editcount/time threshold high enough we shouldn't have many problems. The drawback to this is that the auto-granted rights cannot be removed manually and don't show up in Special:Listusers (like autoconfirmed). The alternative would be to manually assign the rights like rollback, which IMO would still be better than a bot. Mr.Z-man 05:39, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I think the rollback solution would be best but this requires a software tweak, doesn't it? Maybe this could be proposed in the technical section of the pump but I'm afraid that this is a slow process. This list could be a temporary hack. I'm not too sure about auto-assigning since many longtime, trusted users have little or no experience with article creation. Pichpich (talk) 06:17, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I'd support the proposal. Would say that Markussep and Dickeybird should be provided with this facility too. Mjroots (talk) 07:49, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Just to add, the granting of an auto-signing facility should be on a case-by-case basis, not automatic. Once it is proven that a) they can be trusted to produce reliable articles, and b) there is a demonstrated need for such a facility, then the auto-signing facility can be made available. 09:35, 8 February 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mjroots (talkcontribs)
Great idea!
It has nothing to do with the number of articles the person has created or whether they've been blocked. It's all about whether their articles have all or almost all, (at least more recently), been such as to be kept long-term, i.e. that would be voted "keep" at AfD. It's even OK if a few of their articles would be deleted, assuming those are sort-of borderline cases. Of course, they have to have created enough articles that we can get a statistical idea of how well they do. If they've created 10 articles and all 10 are keepable, I'd say that's good enough. Even fewer than 10. If some of their articles were deletable, they'd have to have a higher total number of articles to get a clear idea of whether their keep rate is high enough. It has to do with binomial statistics -- I can't do the calculation right now.
I agree that it shouldn't be automatic. It has to be decided on a case-by-case basis. --Coppertwig (talk) 13:37, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Having a bot run along behind certain users patrolling their edits is not the way to solve this problem. Instead, you want the ability to hand out the autopatrolled permission (this option exists in the software; requires a tweak to localsettings).
That said, I fail to see how this is necessary. In the case prompting this proposal, the user should probably have been given a bot flag for a separate account creating these articles, and having that account de-flagged and/or blocked once completed. I don't really understand what happened at WP:RBA, but that would've been a decent solution, I think.
The only need for autopatrolled I really see is for bots creating new articles at high rates. Although admins can be trusted to create good articles (so they get autopatrolled) there's no real need for them to have the permission. As well, editors creating articles, though trusted, aren't flooding Special:Newpages, and don't really need autopatrolled. Since that's the case, the only case where autopatrolled is needed is already covered by the bot flag. If BAG doesn't hand it out, the problem is with them. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 00:41, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Support Patrolling needs to become more highly focussed. To those who think that the limits are too high, or using the wrong criteria you may have a point but lets get the principe established first at a high level and then see if there's a consensus to get it down. JASpencer (talk) 20:51, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I've created around 16,000 articles for wikipedia more than over ten admins on wikipedia have created altogether. I refused adminship long ago because I choose to purely add content and not get tied down with the administrative side of wikipedia. I and I believe many others on here consider me one if not the most contructive editor on here and it would save patrollers a lot of time when they could be monitoring real vandalism and poor stubs created by newbies. The fact is that I haven't created 10 keepable articles I've generated 16,000 of things and I find it silly that nobody can recognize that my work is every bit as good as anybody on here bureacrats included. ♦Blofeld of SPECTRE♦ $1,000,000? 22:29, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

(a) Editors don't have an unlimited amount of time and interest in editing Wikipedia; (b) we should therefore help editors focus on doing what is most valuable with their limited time; (c) reviewing new pages created by experienced, trusted editors is not a particularly valuable use of editor's time; (d) every now and then, an experienced, trusted editor will create a new page that shouldn't be created; (e) such problems are extremely likely to be caught by means other than new page patrolling if new page patrolling were "turned off" for such editors; (f) therefore, the advantage being able to ignore a lot of new pages (auto-patrolled) clearly outweighs the small disadvantage; (g) we already have a system for determining who is trusted - giving an editor either admin/sysop of rollback privileges; so (h) it doesn't make any sense to create yet another category of "trusted" editor; (i) if we don't want to or can't make the software mark a new page as patrolled because the system recognizes that the editor is trusted, then a bot is a good second-best alternative.
As for stubbing or categorizing or any other things that new page patrolers often do, it's not that hard to gin up a bot that could check an hour or so after article creation and add generic stub and generic "needs category" categories where something is short enough to be considered a stub and/or doesn't have at least one category. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 22:42, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Like I said at some point, I have been patrolling edits of trusted users with a script from time to time. It's easy to do, doesn't require changes to the software, doesn't require a complicated approval process, etc. The benefit is that it frees up time for the human patrollers so they can focus on pages that are more likely to need human attention. — Carl (CBM · talk) 23:25, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Is the script on a separate page? If so, would you add a link here (apologies if you've already done so above) so that I can add it to the Index so that other people can find and use it? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:27, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Eliminating duplications (was Organization of content on Wikipedia)[edit]

As the number of articles and the length of articles on Wikipedia grows it becomes more and more common for different articles to needlessly contain duplicate and contradictory information. An example is the needless overlap between United States and the History of the United States. Wikipedia has no policy or guideline that the duplication between these two articles, or in many other other instances is bad. WP:NO DUPLICATION is a red link. There is WP:CFORK, but there are many reasons other than because of POV that duplication exists. The WP:CFORK article refers to WP:SUMMARY, but this article does not talk about the issue of needless duplication and contradiction between articles.

The topic of how to organize content is awfully big. At this time I am opening this discussion with the statement that a problem exists and that something should be done about. There are many different ways in which this issue can be addressed. BradMajors (talk) 20:41, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I see you're not getting much feedback about this but I think most agree that this can be a problem at times. Nevertheless, more policy will certainly not solve anything, but editing will. You find discrepancies? Fix them. Duplication is not that big of a problem though. It's perfectly ok for articles like United States to overlap with History of the United States. Wikipedia is structured as an unsorted network of articles: there is no hierarchy of importance between articles. This is a choice, not an accident. So redundancy between articles is normal and in fact important to maintain to a certain extent. Pichpich (talk) 05:17, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
There is no Wikipedia policy or guideline that states duplication and contradiction is bad. How can one editor reduce redundancy and contradiction when other editors believe that redundancy and contradiction is good? How can someone organize content when other editors are organizing content differently? I do not work on articles I work on subjects. Some of my subjects can not be worked on because the content is duplicated in multiple articles and a whole series of different editors would need to be negotiated with on each version.BradMajors (talk) 06:55, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
There are the seealso and main templates that can be used to reduce redundancy. Also, for certain high traffic information, transclusion may be used. But since Wikipedia's not a paper encyclopedia, this really is only a problem for current event articles. MBisanz talk 05:26, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
No. The purpose of the seealso and main templates are not to reduce redundancy. The word "redundancy" never appears in the description of either. If it is decided that duplication is bad then a guideline could be creating describing how seealso and main could or should be used to reduce redundancy. BradMajors (talk) 06:55, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
It might not explicitly state "reducing redundancy", but it's a likely side effect.
I'm sure many of us imagine Wikipedia becoming more dynamic, with parts of articles being generated from a database, mixed with parts being written uniquely for that article. But that's probably a ways off in the future. -- Ned Scott 07:12, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Let me add my voice to those asking for a new policy that explicitly states that duplications should be eliminated. The current WP:SUMMARY style is the embryo of this policy. This problem was not an issue in the early years but, as Wikipedia grows, it becomes a real irritant. It leads to confusion, contradictions, facilitates POV forks, wastes editor's time and discourages first time users. Isn't the latter a cardinal sin in Wikipedia? It is time to turn this red link into a sixth pillar. Emmanuelm (talk) 13:57, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Outright duplication is not a good practice. If it's a matter of applying summary style, though, then it's merely a matter of synchronization that anyone should be free to do. Further, topics within articles on broader or more intricate subjects can and should be reduced in size occasionally and synchronized with the subsidiary article(s). This is already pretty much the way that the summary style guideline is about. I don't think it needs to be raised to policy to be enforced occasionally.
It is also good, to some extent, that, say, History of the United States and United States overlap. Each parent article should be able to stand on its own with a summary, and the child article can cover the topic in more detail. This helps reduce article size and makes individual articles more cohesive, while a section containing only a "see also:" or "main article:" link is frustrating, especially, I imagine, for users with slow internet connections who have just waited for a page to load only to find that they must wait longer for another. Since this is common sense, can you point out an issue where raising the issue has generated more heat than light? I don't enjoy instruction creep.
Contradiction is always bad, and I believe, though I haven't used one personally, that there are templates to alert other editors of the issue. I'm reasonably sure that it's covered by our core (implicit) policy of attempting accuracy to the greatest degree possible.
I'm not so much fighting this as an idea, but do we really need another policy when the guidelines and common sense cover it? Why not simply "go forth and edit" rather than "ye shall not duplicate content"? Nihiltres{t.l} 15:08, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I'd argue this is a good point in consideration, but attempting to achieve no duplication should be a guideline, not policy; there are cases that likely exist where it makes strong sense to include the same information on two or more different pages. For example, say we have two people that outside of one project, never interacted or affected the other, but for one project, itself not sufficient for its own article, worked together on, and a good sourced paragraph can be written, but that's about all that can be made from an encyclopedic standpoint. It makes more sense to have nearly the same paragraph in both (maybe employing a transclusion stub to make it exactly the same?) instead of, saying, choosing to expand in one article and referring to that in the other. Definitely when one talks about a parent and child topic, there's ways to reduce it down, but for loosely related topic, duplication may be necessary for a consistent read. --MASEM 15:48, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Masem, how long will both paragraphs stay the same? Instead of watching one article, you are now watching two -- a waste of time, effort and a turn-off for the most precious WP editors: the experts with a day job. Emmanuelm (talk) 14:53, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree that's an issue, and unavoidable; I wouldn't venture to guess any numbers but there are points where two or more topics overlap in a very narrow area, the overlap is too small to justify a separate article yet important to cover on both topics.
The technical solution would be to create a sub-page that contains the text that is common to both pages that is transluded into both articles. This would be one short article that could be watched by editors of both pages so they can track changes made on the overlap but not on the parts of the other page that they could care less about. --MASEM 15:13, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Each Wikipedia article is treated as a separate entity, thus duplication between articles is not relevant. If Wikipedia in its entirety was the basis of editing then linking to another Wikipedia article would be enough to supply details on a topic, rather than having to duplicate citations between articles to support each individual article's content. Each article covers a topic on its own; a printed copy of an article is considered encyclopedic coverage of that topic without needing specific other articles. -- SEWilco (talk) 15:20, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Masem, you say that duplication is unavoidable. Wrong. Create the WP:NO DUPLICATION policy and voila!
To both you and Sewilco, let me clarify : I am not advocating the elimination of all duplication, I am advocating the upgrading of the WP:SUMMARY style (which includes a small amount of duplication) to policy status. Emmanuelm (talk) 18:48, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
"Create the WP:NO DUPLICATION policy and voila!" is wishful thinking. Policies don't edit articles, our volunteers do and they don't take well to unneeded dictates. How much duplication to allow is a matter of judgement and for that a guideline seems more appropriate. Can you point to situations where you were unable to convince editors to eliminate duplication?--agr (talk) 20:22, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Gladly, Arnold. Here are two personal examples, with different endings.
I tried last month to slim down the already anemic and moribund neoplasm article, redirecting readers to the much more encyclopedic cancer and benign tumor articles. I argued that to add content to neoplasm would essentially be a duplication of cancer, itself a truly beautiful achievement. I met an offended editor who firmly refused to shrink the Neoplasm article. I wished I could brandish a policy against duplication but there is none. Neoplasm now stands unshortened, and as ridiculous as ever.
After rewriting the Israel, Palestinians and the United Nations article, I created a summary paragraph in the United Nations article on the subject, as per WP:SUMMARY. Two editors kept lengthening my summary with more content. It took me multiple posts to explain to them the principle of WP:SUMMARY. One finally thanked me for the explanations. The summary paragraph now stands short & sweet, as it should.
These two experience taught me that only a fool would attempt to apply the WP:SUMMARY style to a long-standing duplication, for example convince the guys at United States to shorten their very long American History paragraph because it is a blatant duplication of History of the United States. A fool, because there is no policy to back him up. Emmanuelm (talk) 02:37, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
The history section in the United States article seems to me to comply with summary style. I don't think the section is too long given its significance to the main article and the amount of material it is attempting to summarize. So I'm not convinced that there is a problem here which needs to be solved. Christopher Parham (talk) 05:44, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
I think there's a misunderstanding of the scope of WP:SUMMARY here. WP:SUMMARY simply provides a technique for creating child articles from parent articles as the parent articles grow, not necessarily to prevent duplication of content, but to prevent long articles and ensure each article is a readable and maintainable length. WP:SUMMARY simply doesn't apply to existing articles, it doesn't say anything at all about what the relationship between them should be. And for good reason. The Wiki model is a network model with loose, free relationships between articles. Eliminating duplication would require the enforcement of a rigid hierarchy. Could you imagine the enforcement that would be involved in ensuring that United States, United States history, United States law, Civil rights, Race relations, NAACP, Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and dozens of other articles don't duplicate anything? Could you imagine the turf wars over which article should own what topic or tidbit of unique information? A wiki just isn't the right design for such a goal. If you want an encyclopedia that eliminates duplication, this isn't the right one, suggest not using a wiki approach. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 07:02, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
There is no need for rigid enforcement of anything. I am surprised that a guideline which said that duplication should be avoided, contradiction is bad, and order is better than chaos is controversial. Or is the converse our recommended policy?: needless duplication is okay, nothing wrong with contradiction, and chaos is better than order. I can only give my person experience: as an editor since I work on subjects and not articles I am having difficulty updating and maintaining subjects and as a reader I am having a difficult time finding content in Wikipedia. BradMajors (talk) 01:10, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
As a devout Discordian, I disagree with your assumption that order is better than chaos. --Carnildo (talk) 07:30, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Another thought. How is Wikipedia different from the World Wide Web... or is it? Practically everyone has access to free webspace where they can post an article on anything. The reason I edit articles on Wikipedia, rather than simply post articles on the WWW, is Wikipedia forces multiple editors to collaborate on subjects and forces editors to come to a NPOV consensus on subjects. BradMajors (talk) 01:36, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Special pages[edit]

As said on Special:Specialpages:

"Most of the content of these pages is automatically generated and cannot be edited. To suggest a change to the parts that can be edited, find the appropriate text on Special:Allmessages and then request your change on the talk page of the message (using {{editprotected}} to draw the attention of administrators)."

So here, there's two points I think we can improve:

  1. it's now always very easy to clearly distinguish the editable part from the auto-generated one
  2. editing or suggesting a change to the editable part requires to search which on wikipage is the message (this is especially difficult for the newcomers who probably don't know the MediaWiki namespace)

So to solve these matters, I've designed the template {{Specialpages-summary}}. It is intended to be used on these message system pages. Using this template will display its parameter in a message box with an edit link to make it possible to directly go to the associated MediaWiki page without any search. What do you think about it? (my template can of course be modified if there's anything you don't like about it) 16@r (talk) 20:19, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Editinginterface says: "Template parameters do not function in the MediaWiki namespace", so it would have to be substituted. Also, since a special page may use several system messages, just an unobtrusive edit link for each would be the maximum. Or perhaps there could be only one link on the page to a page with links to the pages in the MediaWiki namespace.--Patrick (talk) 01:47, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I tried a template for Special:ExpandTemplates, and a parameter worked after all. I substituted it anyway to make modifications.--Patrick (talk) 02:20, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Remove "Permission" line from "own work" upload form[edit]

Currently when you go to Wikipedia:Upload and click "It is entirely my own work", the Information template skeleton includes a "Permission" line. The problem is that from looking through Special:Log/Upload, it's easy to see that most users who upload images they made themselves are confused by the Permission line and put things like "Yes" or "Granted by uploader". Since when uploading your own work, permission is implicit, and the uploader has to add a license anyway, I'd like to leave the Permission line off the "own work" form. Here's how this would look:

This would mean less confusion, and consequently more useful contributions. —Remember the dot (talk) 18:11, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Mobile Skin[edit]

Would it be possible to create an official skin for use with mobile browsers or modifications to the current skin that uses slightly different code for mobile browsers?

I know that the latter could be accomplished with a media type selector.

@media handheld {...}

I think that this would truly be helpful to users of mobile web browsers. Gamefreak2413 (talk) 01:10, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

I thought we had a mobile phone interface, but now for the life of me I can't seem to find it. -- Ned Scott 01:59, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
We've got, which is official, and, which is not. Prodego talk 02:23, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Limit TOC recursion[edit]

Large articles have ridiculously long TOCs that cause additional page length and an unsightly amount of white space. I see there's a method of limiting how deep into the page's heading structure the TOC will dig to generate links, but this seems to only be available as a site-wide MediaWiki setting. Being able to limit recursion would make TOCs more manageable, ie., the TOC of a large article listing all level-5 headings seems unnecessary. How difficult would it be to make this a per-article setting, perhaps accessible via a parameter of __TOC__, or maybe auto-adjusted in accordance with the length of the article? Equazcion /C 01:29, 15 Feb 2008 (UTC)

{{TOClimit|limit=X}}, I think is what you're looking for. -- Ned Scott 01:37, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes it is. I didn't know that existed (obviously). Thanks :) Equazcion /C 01:41, 15 Feb 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Trash namespace[edit]

I am proposing that articles (other than libel and copyvios) that would ordinarily be deleted be moved instead to a Trash namespace which could be viewed by anyone. More details are available at Wikipedia:Trash namespace. Thank you. Sarsaparilla (talk) 22:34, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Experimental Deletion, especially XD3. --Kim Bruning (talk) 22:38, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Deleted pages should be visible. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:39, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
The proposed namespace can be useful for demonstrating negative aspects of making articles, as one part of the two-part process show and tell; and also for demonstrating faulty deletions. Thus, when used together with instructions telling what to do and what not to do, it can help editors to avoid mistakes both in making and in deleting articles. Can it be made retroactive, so as to include examples from before the time of its implementation? -- Wavelength (talk) 20:26, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Watchlist without talk pages[edit]

Would it be possible for the watchlist function to distinguish between mainspace (or wikipedia space, or any other space) and talkspace? The reason I ask is that I want to watchlist WP:FAC, so I can look out for articles I want to review, but I don't want to be flooded with comparatively large number of edits made to that WP page's talkspace. Thanks in advance, no matter what the response is. Carré (talk) 16:49, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Not a complete answer, but it is possible to filter your watchlist by namespace. Try this link for just the project namespace. Bovlb (talk) 22:52, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Not too helpful, unfortunately, although your response is appreciated. I knew about filtering on namespace, but the problem is I "have" (if you'll excuse any intimation of ownership) a number of FAs that I want to watch, and a couple of other articles that, while not great, are worthy of keeping an eye on. Hence, I want to watch those in their entirety, including their talk pages. However, there are a number of other pages, which have relatively few updates per day, that I'd like to watch... but their talk pages can become hives of activity, and I don't want those talk page edits to swamp my list. Hey ho, it's probably not possible off-the-shelf. Carré (talk) 23:18, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I used to do this with user pages I had responded to. What might help you is the "Related Changes" button in the toolbar (on the left). It gives a watchlist-like function with all the pages linked on a particular page. If you made a subpage in your userspace with specific article you wanted to watch, you could navigate to the subpage, hit related changes, and there you go. Not the prettiest solution, but might help you a bit. --omtay38 18:30, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
That sounds promising Omtay38; I'll give it a bash. Thanks for the suggestion. Carré (talk) 18:55, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
It turns out that this, combined with #quickbar fantasy above, is exactly what I wanted :) One button up the top, lovely. Thanks very much. Carré (talk) 09:16, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
I suggested that "Talk pages only" and "no talk pages" (or some such names) be added to the filter drop down menu. I even posted it to bugzilla]. So now, if someone would like to "poke" a bored developer...  : ) - jc37 09:41, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


I'm not sure if this is under policy or not. There are the various classes of articles ranging from stub to featured. On the List side, it is ether featured status or not. How about an intermediary stage i.e. a Good List? Simply south (talk) 17:25, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

That would be appreciable, along with Featured Pictures and Portals, those would be good too. Soxred93 | talk count bot 21:30, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Commons has 'quality images', and images are more their domain, so I reckon that that should stay over there. Over here, lists can become good articles (The Beatles discography used to be one, for instance) and so there already are levels. In any case, the quality of featured lists is much lower than the quality of featured articles, so introducing a middle 'grade' probably wouldn't be very beneficial. J Milburn (talk) 16:49, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
To make a featured list, it just has to include pictures, be organized, sourced and have plenty of information. This is just like a typical B article, so I don't see why there is a need for "Good lists" and "A-Lists". Feedback 21:30, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

just finished a previous stub[edit]

i have added in a lot more information to the aricle Battle of Lodz (1939). Before i began working on this article, there were only 2 sentences and the information box to the right that was present. all remaining information and referencing came from my work. i am looking for someone to look over my work and make sure i met Wikipedia guidlines. also, would this article no longer be classified as a stub? the link to my article is provided below. any help would be greatly appreciated.


I've redone the refs and cites. The format which you used wasn't one of the formats commonly used in WP. I've changed the cited supporting source for what you had as because that looked to me like a copyvio {{copyvio link}} (copyright-violating source). I sourced this from instead. I could not find any reference to the footnote you had numbered 9 (, so I deleted it.
Your first external link was to a blog, and I deleted it -- see WP:EL#Links_normally_to_be_avoided point 12. I fleshed out the second external link.
The citation style I've used is one of several common styles in WP. See WP:CITE, WP:FOOT. Also see {{Harvnb}}, {{Citation}}, and WP:TEMP.
I've unlinked your redlink September 6-8 non-date and date fragment (see WP:DATE).
Hope that is useful. feel free to revert or modify my changes. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 04:42, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

BetaCommandBot and NFCC10c - New discussion page[edit]

I have created the folowing page Wikipedia:Bots/BetaCommandBot and NFCC 10 c to attempt to centralise discussion on BCB and specifically its NFCC10c tagging operation.
MickMacNee (talk) 17:35, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

The Wikimorgue[edit]

I think the Wikimorgue (see Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia: Positions) is a great idea and should be implemented ASAP to see what not to rewrite or to argue a point to bring back the article. The deletionists can be a little unreasonable at times (this is just my opinion; I am an inclusionist), and the Wikimorgue could help bring Wikipedia even more coverage on many subjects. It's a great idea and should be put into practice! Rdbrewster (talk) 18:00, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

What in Jimbo's name is the Wikimorgue? Feedback 21:25, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
[2].--Patrick (talk) 23:18, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Wouldn't this defeat the purpose of most deletions? I'm all for accountability, but the point of deleting something is to get rid of it. Sure, occasionally deletions are made that aren't great, but that's why all revisions are "kept" but made invisible to non-admins. That's why we have deletion review. It seems like making a so-called Wikimorgue (awful name too, IMHO) would simply give more power to trolls who repeatedly repost articles or fight for POV, OR, or spam. If someone has a doubt about a deletion, isn't it easy to ask an admin in the category "Category:Wikipedia administrators who will provide copies of deleted articles", or start a deletion review? I happen to be in that category, and I've fulfilled a few requests without any trouble. Why do we need some system that defeats the point of deletion in the first place? One might as well suggest that we just make some template {{ThisPageIsDeleted}} and use that instead of deletion. Nihiltres{t.l} 00:53, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
All these arguments have already been raised and addressed at WP:PWD (see specifically Wikipedia:PWD#Material_is_never_actually_deleted) and Wikipedia:Trash namespace. Ron Duvall (talk) 02:10, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

"This article is a bad article" under Template:Crap[edit]

"This article requires a full rewrite", "This article urgently needs work", or heck, even uncyclopedia's "This article is a piece of shit" under Template:Crap.

With all the utterly crappy articles that only get parts of them shifted around by a committee of idiots, this template is sorely needed. (talk) 23:19, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Hmmm I see the great ability of this template to increase the bite factor. Wjhonson (talk) 23:21, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
It'd not be a way to tell off the newcomers, more like "don't bother polishing this turd, just go for a rewrite". Because no amount of shuffling around of parts and grammar rewrites can improve a page that's shitty and has no useful content. (talk) 23:30, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
To clarify more - it could also be "be extra bold when editing this article". I just think it should be under Template:Crap because we all can easily remember that. (talk) 23:32, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
We already have a template for marking an article as AfD due to being too stubby. In addition we have a template for marking an article, please help expand, etc. If you think an article is shitty, perhaps a cordial note to the author might be in-order. Cordial means kind, friendly, pleasant.Wjhonson (talk) 23:34, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
So, there's usually a single author? That's new. I'm talking about long, very aged, articles, that have gone through so many rewrites and readjustments that the articles are incomprehensible piles of shit rather than actual stubs. Also, your cordiality is overrated - usually on Wikipedia you have to use a heavy, blunt object to get your point through. (talk) 23:39, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Blunt? No. You need a sharp argument, I'd say. bibliomaniac15 23:49, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
The original deletion discussion for this template is at Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/Deleted/June 2005#Template:Crap and associated Category:Crap Jackaranga (talk) 23:50, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the link, yeah, cleanup-rewrite sums up my point nicely. Anyone care to link that to Template:Crap ? (talk) 23:56, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
(Reply to If there are many authors, then you'll have many editors to assist you in shaping up the article. Adding a {{Shit}} template does not serve to advance the project, in my humble opinion but rather to throw mud on everyone near you while laughing hysterically. That's just my opinion. I try to treat people with respect, and I expect they will treat me with respect.Wjhonson (talk) 23:59, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, IMNSHO, you're plain wrong. Sometimes it needs to be said the article needs to be rewritten, and I'm watching enough pages to start on new ones as is. I've got a real life too, which consumes most of the time I could (but wouldn't) otherwise spend improving Wikipedia. Also, I quit signing my comments with anything but "-T", because the key required to sign is borken and I can't be arsed to copy it every time. -T —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:06, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure if you submitted a templete request that wasn't quite as antagonistic as {{crap}} you'd find more support. Have a great day.Wjhonson (talk) 00:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Yeaaah. Because there are SO many ways to say "this article needs a total rewrite!" without people getting offended. They should grow a thicker skin if they're on the internet. And once they do, they don't care if it's crap or cleanup-rewrite. -T —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:37, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

(OD) Perhaps you could open a classroom at Wikiversity. Meanwhile us ogres have to make that supreme sacrifice to attempt to maintain a civil tone. I know it's hard sometimes. Just think of all the good karma you'll be building up, to counter-act that one time, you know.Wjhonson (talk) 00:56, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Well, I've considered the possibility of a "bad article" process, similar and parallel to our good article process. We could use something like this:
BA candidate.svg
Village pump (proposals)/Archive 20 is a current bad article nominee. If you have not contributed significantly to this article, feel free to evaluate it according to the bad article criteria and then pass or fail the article as outlined on the nominations page.

Nomination date: Brian Peppers Day

*** Crotalus *** 19:20, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

That template sounds like a good idea for those pages that are just notable enough to survive AfD, but no one ever bothers to do anything with after the AfD closes. (In fact, I've got one in mind right now that's on it's fifth nom as we speak...) -- RoninBK T C 09:24, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Wjhonson; civility to newcomers should be one of our priorities. We need all the resources we can get our hands on, including sensitive people and people who are easily offended. We cannot afford to scare people away with such templates.
By the way, am I the only one who thinks of a pizza when looking at this image? Waltham, The Duke of 10:46, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
  • In my opinion, any article that gets "keep and cleanup" at AfD and is not then cleaned up, should be renominated and "keep and cleanup" specifically excluded. We have far too many articles that people will argue passionately to keep but can't be bothered to make compliant with policy. Guy (Help!) 11:54, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Space at the beginning of a line[edit]

As most of you are presumably aware, putting a blank space at the beginning of a line causes the line to be enclosed in a box:

like so

This is used as a more sophisticated version of the HTML code tag, I think. I rarely see it used intentionally; its presence on Wikipedia seems to consist mostly of new users accidentally putting a space before their comments on talk pages. I'm sure there's some use for this feature, but given the ease of accidentally applying it in unwanted situations, shouldn't something other than a single space be used to create it? Perhaps some template? -Elmer Clark (talk) 03:41, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

It is the same thing as the <pre> tag, and it can be used to show code, like the <source> tag (which has syntax highlighting for programming languages), however it has a significant drawback, it does not wrap text, so if the text is very long, it will go off the side of the screen. Mr.Z-man 07:11, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

The above line was originally formatted in such a box. Refactored as unhelpful. —Random832 15:44, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
There is a slight difference between <pre> and the space at the beginning of the line – the latter allows formatting to be used. For example, compare:
This is a '''test'''
This is a test
Tra (Talk) 13:06, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree that given the infrequent use of this method, we should use a template triggered by something other than an initial space. Sarsaparilla (talk) 22:35, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

How would we fix all the existing uses of the space syntax? I don't think we could. • Anakin (talk) 02:15, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't know, but is this feature even used enough that that would be a big issue? Couldn't any instances of it that are still needed just be manually changed? Seems like it might be worth it. -Elmer Clark (talk) 23:00, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
This feature is annoying! So, I would support anything that can be done to eliminate it or do something about it. Λua∫Wise (Operibus anteire) 19:08, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
This is something i do unintentionally all the time, and catch on preview. I always presumed it was some kind of weird bug. (talk) 10:39, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I too thought it was unfixable, not deliberate. If it is actually deliberate, it should be changed, for adding a space is a very common error. it is particularly frequent when moving material in an article, and it is a nuisance to have to go back and fix it to get things readable. DGG (talk) 17:41, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, this this is not useful. I've never seen a place where it's been used, and given how easy it is to trigger by newbies, it does more harm than good. --Haemo (talk) 03:48, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Regarding the Inclusion of Sports on ITN[edit]

After working on this with some other ITN contributors in my userspace, and then labelling it an essay for a week in the project space, I have decided to propose this as a new guideline or criteria for In The News. Input is appreciated. Random89 (talk) 08:40, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

That would be good, but major sports events should be covered, like the World Cup, Olympics, Super Bowl, etc. And slightly less important ones. There is always arguments about it, so an official guideline would be helpful (talk) 17:26, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Autosave and edit conflict notifier[edit]

I think that it would be helpful for Wikipedia to have an autosave feature so that as you are making edits, it will save periodically, and if the power goes out or something, you can pick up your work where you left off. I know it is already possible to work offline in Notepad and save periodically, but often when people are participating in discussions, reacting to edit conflicts, or something, they tend to type directly into the browser window. Another cool feature would be an edit conflict notifier so that as you are typing, it will signal that a newer version of the page has been saved, and you can avoid finishing typing a long commentary that has just become irrelevant by what someone else said. Ron Duvall (talk) 19:10, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Bugzilla is the best place to request software enhancements, so you should post there. There may also be similar feature requests already. The edit conflict notifier I would like too, but even if it was added to the MediaWiki software I'm not sure if it would be switched on at Wikipedia — it sounds like a big server resource drain. • Anakin (talk) 22:43, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
"Autosave" (actually "restore session") is client-side functionality that decent web browsersabc already have.
A server-based "Edit conflict notifier" wouldn't work because the server would then have to track which pages are open in edit mode and by whom, but mediawiki software is not transactional. So, the tracking (polling) of page history would have to be done client-side. Either way, it would be a drain on resources.
-- Fullstop (talk) 10:00, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Namespace abbreviations[edit]

As you may already know, the WP: prefix was made equivalent to the Wikipedia: namespace. Typing in WP:Village pump (proposals) is the same as Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals) and no redirect is needed. The same should be done for the other namespaces. C: for Category:, I: for Image:, T: for Template:, MW: for MediaWiki:, H: for Help:, U: for User:, and a T added for talk pages. It will save time and effort by not having to type all of that in. If we did it for the Wikipedia namespace, why not the others? Reywas92Talk 22:58, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

We also have WT for Wikipedia talk and CAT for categories. I can think of a caveat of adding more shortcuts — a very small number of pages and redirects start with those combinations and would have to be renamed. E.g., C:\ would no longer work. • Anakin (talk) 23:33, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
We don't have CAT, try e.g. CAT:Wikipedia noticeboards.--Patrick (talk) 09:20, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Apparently it only works in certain situations, such as CAT:AFD See: Special:Prefixindex/CAT: -- RoninBK T C 06:06, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
No, these are ordinary redirects in the main namespace.--Patrick (talk) 07:32, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind having a shortcut for Template space, though. Having to type the word out constantly tends to get on my nerves. I'm always wishing I could just type T: or TP:, something like that. Equazcion /C 01:43, 15 Feb 2008 (UTC)
What about the Special name space? Maximillion Pegasus (talk) 01:45, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I have on my personal wiki set up shortcuts for the Special namespace like Tool: and Query:, which make sense for different pages. They're also shorter. I don't think there's a real need for a Template: shortcut, though, since we can just use e.g. {{tl|template}} to make a link. T: would be more useful as a shortcut to Talk:, IMO. As for the others, User: is pretty short as-is; C: would potentially conflict with existing pages, as mentioned above; MW: would conflict with the interwiki linking feature prefix for; I: I don't see much use for at all; and how many links do you see pointing to Help:? Tuvok[T@lk/Improve] 02:12, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I was referring to typing page names into the search bar, not creating links. You still need to type out the full "Template:" there. I don't think we need any shortcut for Talk:, as it's pretty short already. Equazcion /C 02:14, 15 Feb 2008 (UTC)
Ah, yes, the search box. I hardly use it because of the OpenDNS shortcuts I have set up, but technically I'm still using the same architecture. I just set up wiki to search for fully-qualified page titles and can use wikit to search for templates. Consider my comment about T: struck; further thought and comments from others have convinced me that it would indeed be more useful as a shortcut to the Template: namespace rather than Talk:. Tuvok[T@lk/Improve] 07:03, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Try this little script: searchList. On "Go" button it expands namespace just like requested, except "me" for MediaWiki, but this can be redefined. —AlexSm 23:20, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Random Articles Link[edit]

Moved from Talk:Main Page Ferdia O'Brien (T)/(C) 08:12, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

The current link of /Special:Random links to any given wiki article. This is functionally useless, as the majority of pages within wikipedia are sparse at best. I propose that it either be replaced or supplemented with a 'Random Barnstar' that would link to anything starred, perhaps from any wikimedia (i wouldnt mind clicking it and finding myself in the commons staring at a giant frog).

In any case, at the very least I'd like the ability to get random certified-great content. I didn't know where else to put this and I figured this would be the best way to get attention to a very simple addition. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JJansen (talkcontribs) 04:12, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

See Portal:Featured content for a random selection of featured article, featured picture, featured list, featured portal, featured sound and featured topic. There's a link in the first pane which will give you a different selection.-gadfium 05:22, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually this is a good suggestion. Probably better if it is posted somewhere where this will be intensively studied. (WP:PUMP?) --Howard the Duck 07:26, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

user:dapete has a tool that provides a random link to FAs and one to GAs. (I have them both on my toolbar and they bring me much joy). I agree that they should be added to the nav box. (please note that he made them independent of the toolserver while it was down recently, so i won't link to them here lest it cause problems for him somehow.) (talk) 08:06, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Edits needed[edit]

These edits to Template:Introduction to Wikipedia are obviously needed and ought to be done:

See "edit this page" above? On Wikipedia, you one can edit articles right now, even without logging in. Of course, inappropriate changes are usually removed quickly, and repeat offenders can be blocked from editing.

What is Wikipedia?

Click edit this page to change an article

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia collaboratively written by many of its readers. It is a special type of website, called a wiki, that makes collaboration easy. Many people are constantly improving Wikipedia, making thousands of changes an hour, all of which are recorded on article histories and recent changes. Inappropriate changes are usually removed quickly, and repeat offenders can be blocked from editing. If you add new material to Wikipedia, please provide references. Facts that are unreferenced are routinely removed from the encyclopedia.

Learn more about the project

How can I help? Don't be afraid to editanyone can edit almost any page, and we encourage you to be bold! Find something that can be improved, whether content, grammar or formatting, and make it better.

You can't break Wikipedia. Anything can be fixed or improved later. So go ahead, edit an article and to help make Wikipedia the best information source on the Internet!
--Chuck Marean 09:23, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes — they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). -- RoninBK T C 11:42, 18 February 2008 (UTC)tongue firmly in cheek

Linking to a non-Wikimedia wiki[edit]

In an effort to allow readers (Note, not editors) to have easy access to an "in universe" view of various fictional article, while also attempting to discourage "fan-craft" I have created a new template. It is in my userspace at the moment, and I have only put it on one article. I wanted to get some opinions on it. The main reason I created it is because people come here (to the wikipedia) expecting the find the sum of all human knowledge, as Jimbo once said. I understand that we cannot provide in-universe details for the fictional items, so this seems like an good half way point that satisfies readers as well as editors. Apart from the example on the Everquest 2 page, here is another (For a star trek article):

What do people think? Fosnez (talk) 10:34, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Fine for talk pages, but I would be very slow to put it on an article itself. Stifle (talk) 10:48, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm thinking for it's usefulness to readers, not editors. Readers are not likely to got to the talk page at all. If I come here trying to find what third planet to Captain Kirk visted, I'm not going to find it in the wikipedia, but this template, at the top of the screen, easily allows readers access "in universe" lore at other wikis (maybe a rule only wikia or other "vetted" wikis are allowed?). Fosnez (talk) 10:59, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Seems a little big for the purpose. Examples of similar templates currently in use:
/ edg 10:57, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
While yes they are smaller, they do not explain to readers what may be more accessable to them on a fiction orintated wiki. Remember, readers may not know anything about any other wikis, and may assume wikipedia is the only wiki around (does your mum/dad know that there are other wikis?) Fosnez (talk) 11:01, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't like it as a big template at the top of the article. I realize that it's intended for readers who may not know where everything is, but the external links section should be able to handle this instead of trying to push readers towards another site before they even start reading the article here. --OnoremDil 11:44, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I have seen a lot of ambox templates being deleted because they are not used to alert editors of (hopefully temporary) article problems, but are intended as permanent disclaimers (Wikipedia:No disclaimers in articles). There is also the "give preference" issue. Your proposal sounds very good on the surface, but it causes more problems than it serves a particular purpose. – sgeureka t•c 11:46, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I didn't look into how it was being used. Article top is a bad idea because it pushes the external wiki over the Wikipedia article. I appreciate the need to discourage in-universe writing and fancruft in general, but this seems like overkill. The large template is also somewhat pushy, and the the "in-universe" explanation would be simply confusing to hypothetical mom & dad anyway. I would guess (but don't know for certain) he people who care most for fancruft would be the editors adding it, not the readers scratching their heads over what in-universe means. / edg 11:55, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
  • It's excessive self-reference. If there is a single widely-recognised source, such as Memory Alpha, then this might make some sense on the talk page as a way to deflect cruft, but it definitely does not belong in article space; self-reference, undue prominance for a single source, appearance of advertising or promoting (some people have a holy jihad against Wikia links in Wikipedia, althogu to be fair most of those are already banned for spamming or worse). Guy (Help!) 11:57, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Isn't this sort of thing what the "External links" section is for? —Remember the dot (talk) 17:36, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that's exactly what there for. Preferential prominence for certain links is a really bad idea. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 17:46, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Points to Fosnez for trying something new (I personally think we should encourage such experimentation as long as it's not excessive) but I agree that this is not the way to do it. The box style used here should never be used for permanent notices anyway, IMO. However, even if that was corrected, I disagree with the approach; even a hatnote that serves the same purpose would still be problematic. Powers T 20:13, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Trying to restart Wikipedia:Locations in fiction, fictional locations, and settings[edit]

I am thinking about trying to restart this proposal/project. I would like to know what the editors in general think of this before I start crawling through Wikipedia trying to find every single place to post a message about it. I have done a bit of a rewrite to it, and I am not to happy with the way it sounds, though it is correct. I think I made it too technical, but I am not sure. Would a few people look at it and give me some feedback on this work in progress? Thank you. - LA @ 05:16, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Capitalizing pseudo-demonyms[edit]

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters) doesn't seem to give guidelines for words that originated as demonyms but are not in the contexts where they are used (French fries, Gothic horror, good Samaritan). Should we have a section on them, and if so what should it say? NeonMerlin 06:18, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia_talk:Manual of Style (capital letters) might be a better place to ask that question. -- Fullstop (talk) 16:21, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Questionable sources in WP:V[edit]

Hi everybody, a proposal is being made to ease the current restrictions on questionable sources in the verifiability policy, in response to concerns that an Animal Liberation Front video was being inappropriately excluded from an article. Comments and suggestions are welcome at Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability. Tim Vickers (talk) 21:44, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to replace WP:ACC with a mailman list.[edit]

Just wanted to drop a line here, too, that I have started a proposal to replace Wikipedia:Request an account with a mailman list, here. SQLQuery me! 03:52, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Sponsorship of meetups?[edit]

Maybe this is a bad idea, and, worse, maybe this is the wrong place to make this comment. But I do think, in addition to WikiProjects, having editors in a given area actually physically meet once in a while to discuss things might be very useful as well. I live in the United States, and, like most residents of the US these days, live in a urban area. I think most of these "cities" will probably have at least one of the big stand-alone bookstores, like Barnes & Noble, Borders, and the like. Considering that their products are often the kind that are directly useful to us, I was wondering if there might be any way to set up some sort of agreement with maybe the headquarters of one of these chains to allow "Wikipedia meetups" to take place on a regular basis at some of their locations. Having such meetings, where editors in an area could discuss how they might be able to collaborate on certain content as well as allowing teachers and professors to come and discuss how to have their classes take part in article construction, would I think be particularly useful. Does anyone know if Wikimedia Foundation policy would prohibit such "sponsorship" of meetups, and, if not, where one would go to propose this idea, if this is the wrong place? John Carter (talk) 14:16, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

One thing you might want to look at is whether you have a local Wikimedia chapter that could talk with businesses about such an idea. Alternatively, you can look at WikiProjects or regional noticeboards and see if they want to do a meetup. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 05:52, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
The page you're looking for is Wikipedia:Meetup, and its talk page. I doubt we have much need of Barnes & Noble. Good old-fashioned public libraries also have "products [that] are often the kind that are directly useful to us", and where I live (and probably where you live too) they all have free meeting rooms open to community groups. Our November New York City Meetup was at a public library. The local college or university can also be a good place, if you have a connection there.--Pharos (talk) 00:47, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Table export[edit]

Howdy, my officemate came up with an interesting idea which I thought would be quite useful. He suggested a easy means of exporting the data in a Wikipedia table as comma separated variables or similar. He and I have both been in the situation of cut-paste-reformat data from Wikipedia (which we both use for interesting examples in stat classes). Has anyone considered this idea, or even come up with a solution? --TeaDrinker (talk) 01:04, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Every semi-decent browser "exports" tables in tab-delimited form (both copy-to-clipboard as well as save-as-text).
Preserving (not destroying) those tabs is up to the application that you are pasting into.
-- Fullstop (talk) 11:43, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Shared resources/library[edit]

A few weeks ago at WP:VPP, someone made a suggestion that we have some sort of centralised resource where people can share or request information from books they own. This interested me, and when another user mentioned WP:LIBRARY I investigated with interest. The idea is to have a database or list of books individual Wikipedians have access to, and thus create a resource for others. Frequently when writing articles, or reviewing them, we would like access to a book, and it would be handy to know if other editors own them and can thus contribute or look things up. Unfortunately, as it stands, the "library" is too small to be of much use (it's unlikely the book you want is there) but if it were more comprehensive it would become unwieldy, and it would remain difficult to find what you want. On top of that, such a page needs regular maintenance; users come and go, books come and go, and it is easy to neglect updating an entry you once made.

However, recently I was consolidating the reference titles I've had scattered through my sandbox (for easy copy and paste) into one page, User:Gwinva/Library, and it struck me that here might be the answer. Individually maintained user library lists solve the problems identified above: users can edit, update, remove as appropriate, and they can be as detailed as they wish. Now, imagine a user then adds categories to the page, like Category:User topic library, then instantly other users can search categories for likely libraries (and thus potentially helpful editors). Taking my own library as an example, I could add Category:User Medieval library and a few subcategories such as Category:User Medieval warfare library (which would be in both warfare and Middle Ages categories) . Editors looking for topic books could spin through the categories to find likely libraries/users. Specific titles could be searched for using the "user page" field. It’s then easy to pop a message on the talk page inviting the user to contribute to an article or look up a particular reference. Forgive me if this has been suggested before, of if there is some big problem I’ve overlooked, or even if the idea is daft and pointless! Any thoughts? Gwinva (talk) 07:34, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

The category idea might be shot down. Another way of finding people who have listed a certain book in their personal libraries would be to go to the article on that book, click on What links here, go to the drop down box for Namespace, select User, click Go, and there you go. That should list all of the user pages with that book linked on them. Does that suit? - LA @ 08:22, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
In theory it might be a good idea Gwina but given the rather moribund response to the existing network, I can't see the point. What any book- or resource-sharing project needs IMO, is a much higher profile, and that couldn't be achieved without a lot of lobbying, something that I for one don't have enough time for. Gatoclass (talk) 15:02, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
For the record: I'm the person who merged the WP:LIBRARY project with Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange.
I like your idea, Gwinva, but things to keep in mind: the point made by Gatoclass is very true. I've noticed in person. There isn't enough manpower on the resource sharing project, and I've tried raising the profile before. With not much success. I'd be very glad if you, or other people, would help think about ways to draw attention to resource sharing and the Resource Exchange project, which should be as much a priority as improving the sharing system. Also, if the category idea would be executed, that means we would be starting over from zero sources (you can contact all the participants from the Resource Exchange explaining what they have to do to update their books to the new situation, but that is not a guarantee they'll actually go along with it). The project as it stands does work without the proposed categories: ctrl-f searches for specific titles, the article contents box if you want to look for a topic (same functionality as your categories).
But if you find the time to work on your idea, that be great. You're right about that updating the individual resource entries will be far more actively maintained if the maintenance happens on the individual user pages. Who knows, maybe it will even somehow help attract more people to participate in the resource sharing, give it a boost. Please keep me up to date if you go trough with this, I'd like to still keep an overview of the categories on Wikipedia:WikiProject_Resource_Exchange/Shared_Resources in that case. I'll certainly help you out once the category idea has begun to take shape. I'd also like to help with deciding on which categories to use etc if you need help. Even if it all fails, I'm glad somebody has constructive interest for resource sharing. Key (talk) 13:14, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Make code tag do nowiki too[edit]

I think, if possible, the behavior of the <code> tag should be changed so that it automatically imposes <nowiki> as well. I can't think of any instance where anyone would ever need to use <code> without <nowiki>. The whole point of <code> is to display code rather than run it, so why not have it actually do that? Just a thought. Equazcion /C 05:12, 20 Feb 2008 (UTC)

  1. <nowiki> is a server-side thing while <code> is a client-side (CSS) thing.
    Consequently, <code> can't (shouldn't) be made to do what <nowiki> does (and vice versa).
  2. <code> is to <tt> what <strong> is to <b> and <em> is to <i>. <nowiki> is not a part of that paradigm.
  3. <nowiki> suppresses regular inline html as well, while <code> does not. Coding examples that use html for highlighting/markup would not be possible if <code> also did what <nowiki> does.
    Simple examples:
    • {{some template magic}}
    • try { ... } catch(excep) { ... } finally { ... }
    • XML/HTML entities would not be representable either, and this comment would itself be an unreadable mess.
-- Fullstop (talk) 10:59, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Okaayyy.... that makes sense. Is there not some easier way then to display wiki code? Perhaps a new tag altogether, since <code> is really meant for the purposes of displaying other languages? It would be useful to have a tag specifically for use in MediaWiki/Wikipedia documentation, support answers, etc. Thanks for the detailed response, btw. Equazcion /C 13:38, 20 Feb 2008 (UTC)
For code documentation etc, there is MediaWiki's SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi extension, which provides <source lang="whatever"> syntax. The extension is installed on foundation servers, and is used all over the place.
  • <source> must be fed a lang="..." parameter, so you're not really saving very many keystrokes vis-a-vis <code><nowiki>. Incidentally, for wiki template syntax you'd need lang="text".
  • <source> can't be used as a substitute for <code>, which is an inline (and not block) element. The GeSHiCodeTag extension addresses that, but does not appear to be loaded on 'pedia servers.
So, for template code, these limitations effective make <source> equivalent to <pre>.
There is also that {{t:code|...your stuff goes here...}} thing, but I've never tried it (seems to be more trouble than its worth).
-- Fullstop (talk) 17:12, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
ps: now that I think about it... perhaps <source> can be forced to be an inline element. hmmm!
Note: <pre> does do nowiki, so it's not entirely accurate to say that just because it's a tag that exists in HTML it shouldn't. However, there are numerous existing usages of <code> that depend on the current behavior. —Random832 17:34, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
There's a {{#tag:}} parser function if you want to use <nowiki> and <math>, etc. in templates.... --MZMcBride (talk) 17:43, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

←So basically, in the end, there is no (simple) tag for displaying wiki code inline. Would that not be helpful? Equazcion /C 02:05, 21 Feb 2008 (UTC)

Categories "Textile artists" and "Textile designers"[edit]

I would suggest that the above two categories be merged as they deal with the same occupation Rotational (talk) 10:08, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Have you ever read Wikipedia:Categories for discussion? You can start the process there. - LA @ 12:40, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Disambiguation pages not articles[edit]

This proposal has been brought up multiple times before without much opposition, but it has not been put into place. As disambiguation pages are not considered articles, they should not be included in the article count. I don't think that it would be difficult to implement, as one must only add a #DISAMBIGUATION similar to what is done for redirects. Reywas92Talk 22:08, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Just a comment: obviously this would take some time to implement, if implemented, since there are hundreds if not thousands and more disambiguation pages that would have to be manually changed. I personally don't think the article count is important enough to be deciding if each individual page is an "article." Plus, I'm sure there are some disambiguation pages (maybe John) that have more encyclopedic value than some tiny stub. It's not a bad idea, but I don't think article count matters enough to go through the trouble of implementing it. Quality over quantity --Evan ¤ Seeds 05:15, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be easy enough to do, so basically "why not", if it makes the article count a little more accurate. A bot could go around tagging the dab pages; a couple hundred articles, all of which just need a piece of static code added, is vanilla cake for a bot. Wouldn't take too long to write either. Equazcion /C 05:24, 21 Feb 2008 (UTC)
While the code would be very simple to write, anyone know how many disambigs we're talking about? I got bored with clicking "Next 5,000" at 50,000. Evanseeds makes some good points as well. SQLQuery me! 09:57, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
We do have(or can make) bots that can do such a task, I'm sure they wont get tired of appending every disambig pagem if comes to that. Gnangarra 12:10, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
True, but, we're talking about making hundreds of thousands of edits, all likely at relatively high speed, so that a small portion of our articles, don't show up as articles in the site statistics? I could see maybe doing it, if some important change came up that had to be made to all dambig pages at the same time, but, to expressly make that many automated edits, to make the site stats show a slightly different number... seems like a waste of resources to me, to be blunt... However, someone whom knows the internals of MediaWiki better than I might have a better idea as to how to go about it. Maybe the same way that it detects redirects, but, relying on the already-in-place templates (like {{disambig}} and whatnot). SQLQuery me! 12:48, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Probably the easiest way to accomplish this would be to simply implement {{disambig}} as a magic word, since magic words take precedence over templates when there is a conflict. Granted, this would make life interesting dealing with setting up the magic word for the various types of disambig template, but it could certainly be done and it wouldn't involve editing many pages, since {{disambig}} would be overridden once the page was purged (not that we'll manually purge pages) or edited (without having to specifically change anything related). Nihiltres{t.l} 14:06, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I forgot to mention it: there's a little template at the bottom of every dab page. Template:hndis for example. The coding to make it a non-article could easily be added to those. Reywas92Talk 22:32, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Factual review[edit]

I would like to invite comments on Wikipedia:Factual review, a proposed open system to review articles for factual accuracy. — Thomas H. Larsen 08:23, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Switching languages in Wikimedia pages[edit]

I just have a suggestion of a very general type: Would it be possible to add a means to switch language from every Wikimedia page? Some pages contain the possibility to switch to another language, but some have not. I am multilingual, and therefore would need such a feature quite frequently. If there is no link to other languages, or the language I want to go to is not listed, it is always quite awkward to restart from scratch at the homepage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Etjazz (talkcontribs) 17:22, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, if what you're talking about is interlanguage links: each link is manually (or at least by a bot) added to the article. If there's not a link to, say, the spanish version of a page, it's probably because it either doesn't exist or no one has added it yet. --Evan ¤ Seeds 21:31, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
You can also change the language of the interface in your account preferences, or on indivdual pages, by adding ?uselang=xx to the end of the URL, where xx is the language code - Mr.Z-man 21:47, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

-BOT forum[edit]

Given all the recent WP:DRAMA on various bots, I'd like to get some input at Wikipedia:Bot_owners'_noticeboard#-BOT_Process on ways to standardize user complaints against bots. MBisanz talk 08:44, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I've expanded on it here Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/User_conduct#Use_of_bot_privileges, comments are welcome. MBisanz talk 04:16, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Hiding categories on article pages[edit]

As far as I know there is no way to add a page to a category without the category showing up on the page. How hard would it be to implement this? For example, we can already add a link to a category without adding the page to it, using the [[:Category:catname]] format, so maybe [[::Category:catname]] could add the page without showing the category. This would solve the problem of maintenance categories (e.g. Articles with unsourced statements since June 2000 and the like) , which are useful to some maintainers, but are not really desirable on article pages (see the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Categorization#Maintenance categories for relevant arguments).--Kotniski (talk) 14:08, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Done (though a bit differently than you suggest). See this recent posting at VPT. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:14, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
That's excellent, thanks!!--Kotniski (talk) 16:51, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

A more sophisticated reversion process[edit]

I monitor vandalism on a lot of military-related pages. Battles appear to be a favourite target for what appear to be schoolboy vandals. I've noticed that only the most recent malicious edit tends to get reverted. I.e. if the vandal has perpetrated 3 edits close together, only the last gets reverted. This could be because only 1 edit comes up on "my watchlist". Not sure of the solution here, perhaps a reminder to the reverter that there is more than 1 edit by the IP address which should be checked.Rcbutcher (talk) 02:19, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

WP:TW provides reversion links which clobber all of the most recent editor's changes. -- SEWilco (talk) 15:29, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
This is also what WP:ROLLBACK is for. Algebraist 20:52, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Fixing Wikipedia[edit]

Vandalism is the single most dangerous threat to Wikipedia's credibility (see the rise of Citizendium).

How to fix it:

  • Every edit needs to be approved (seconded) by at least one other editor, within a 24 hour waiting/cooling off period.
  • Every time an editor gets an "approved edit" they (like on eBay) gain a "+" on your their wikiprofile. This would be a measure of their edit-credibility (edibility)
  • Every time an editor gets a "disapproved edit", they gain a "-" on their wikiprofile.
  • I'm sure editors will strive to keep their edibility high (expressed as a percentage).
  • Other editors can suggest an improved text to a pending edit, say to fix typos in a pending edit, to stop essentially goods edits being voted down for trivial reasons.
  • Also, a editor should have the right to retract an edit before the 24hr period expires if they change their mind about an edit, i.e. to avoid a "disapproved edit" if they agree with any comments made.
  • If an editor gets 100% disapproved edits (e.g. 0% edibility), over say 10 edits, their account is suspended/barred.
  • The bigger/more edits an article has, the more positive votes will be required before an edit gains the "approved edit" status, and thus gets posted on wikipedia, for example:
    • e.g. 1 net positive votes (over 24hr period) for new-ish article with say 100 edits
    • e.g. 2 net positive votes (over 24hr period) for an established article with say a 1000 edits
    • e.g. 5 net positive votes (over 24hr period) for a well established article with say a 10000 edits
    • e.g. 20 net positive votes (over 24hr period) for and article with say 100,000 edits (e.g. 22 positive votes verses 2 negative votes - this would count as one "positive edit", not 22 positives and 2 negatives edits). Obviously the threshold and amount of edits can be customised to best suit practice.

This will slow the growth of wikipedia down a little, but at least this would be steady growth with improved credibility, and there would be less time spent vandal-sweeping.

Job done?

(PS - Vote on this edit now ...?!) (talk) 16:16, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Have you heard of Slashdot or Digg or Reddit? --Kim Bruning (talk) 16:23, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Indeed instead of "fixing" Wikipedia by changing it into something it was not meant to be, why not WP:FORK the content elsewhere and have these rules. It has been done in the past, and these sites did not improve as quickly as Wikipedia continues to do so, but it may be worth a shot. We however will not be taking up such an idea. (1 == 2)Until 16:33, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
First, I disagree that vandalism is the biggest threat to credibility. IMO unsourced content is a much bigger problem. Second, how would less time be spent on vandal reversions? If anything it would mean people spend more time patrolling recent changes. Not only would they have to revert the vandalism, but they would have to go through the extra step of "approving" non-vandalism edits which probably outnumber vandalism by at least 5:1. And what happens if an edit doesn't get approved within 24 hours? Mr.Z-man 20:06, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't know about you, but I'd want to keep my edibility as low as possible – the less tasty I am, the lower the probability other editors would want to eat me. GracenotesT § 22:14, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, vandalism isn't a big issue. It's in the top 2 or 3 for the most common problem, but it's probably the easiest to fix. Just revert and protect/block if necessary, the vandal usually goes away. I could scratch my head and nominate a candidate for "biggest" problem but I'd rather think of what's good about Wikipedia and help contribute to it than dwell on the negative.Wikidemo (talk) 23:23, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
There would be massive backlogs for seconding edits if we were to implement. bibliomaniac15 03:34, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. This would be an overreaction to the problem (vandalism and its reversion only occupies ~20% of all edits anyway) and would create far more work for editors. Just look at the backlogs we've got already. Hut 8.5 20:35, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Give the guy some credit for being bold, eh? I'm sure Einstein went through a few rough drafts of E=MC2? I think it's a bold idea, but it doesn't work out practically. ScarianCall me Pat 22:13, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

There are far less drastic measures - "drastic" in the sense of changing Wikipedia's approach - that are either in the works (stable versions) or are being used on at least one other language Wikipedias (patrolling of all IP edits, similar to new pages patrol). -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:35, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
If every edit had to be approved, the backlog here would be months, or even years. There are dozens of edits every second, every hour of every day. Jmlk17 04:29, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, I see the long-term solution as being a hierarchy of articles. There would be working articles, and validated articles. A validated article would be what readers see first. They can't edit it, it's protected. Articles would be validated by users (same as fact checkers work for traditional publishers), and then a validated version would be proposed for transfer to the validated namespace (with specific checkers signing off on it). So ... layers. Top layer: fact-checked encyclopedia. Middle layer: working pages, may contain vandalism, POV edits, and lots of mistakes. Anyone can edit. Many articles may sit here for a long time. Bottom layer? except for copyvio and libel deletions, this is where deleted, non-notable articles go. Subject to actual removal by developers or policy, but I'd make that a s l o w process. This would be the equivalent of the Trash namespace some have suggested. It makes article deletion into an ordinary editorial decision, not requiring administrator intervention.
(The actual transfer to validated space would be fast; in fact, a list of links could be provided to administrators; if a validation proposal appears on a list, and isn't challenged, and the listed checkers are considered reliable, after a short period any administrator could copy a listed article with a click, and this could actually be automated by any admin. (nominated by my trusted user GetItRight, on page for three days no protest, Done.)
Anyway, this way, editing of articles proceeds as now, no need for validation. But an upper layer of fact-checked articles grows as the checking labor is available, and it doesn't have to be done over and over (I see an article a month ago, seemed good to me, come back a month later, it has totally transformed, new sections, new sources, and suspiciously POV.) It could be done without a separate namespace, by having a main article ArticleName, and then ArticleName/Working. Or the reverse might be better: ArticleName is edited and ArticleName/Checked is a fact-checked version (it could actually be transcluded from History, I think, which is protected, and the checked "article" would be protected as well.
--Abd (talk) 21:22, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, this can be done right now. All it would take is an administrator willing to protect the "Checked" subpages. (There is no point if they are not protected). If needed, an RFC on the checked version could be posted on the article Talk page. This proposal (the top level part of it) doesn't take a change in procedures, just some new ways of using them tacked on. --Abd (talk) 21:26, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Vandalism isn't the biggest threat. And on the profile thing, WP:NOT a social site.
Shapiros10 (talk) 14:01, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
The statement this would slow the growth of Wikipedia a little is self-evidently an understatement. Since every edit has to be checked and commented by at least one editor that doubles (at least) the workload - no?. Consequently, the growth rate must (at least) be halved. How many editors are willing to devote 2 to 3 times the effort they already do? Not many I would think. The devoted ones are probably maxed out already anyway. Obvious consequence - progress slows to a crawl. Not much to be gained in anti-vandalism effort either. True it makes it harder to actually get vandalism into articles (along with harder to get useful info in!) but that won't stop the vandals from trying and the same effort will still be needed to counter. SpinningSpark 19:51, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
In the variation that I suggested, there would be less work involved than at present. Right now, article checking goes on, it is a distributed and informal activity, massively redundant on the one hand, spotty on the other, I've seen a serious misrepresentation of a source stay in a significant article for a year. Apparently nobody looked. The present encyclopedia would remain pretty much as it is; there would be added a layer above it, a layer of checked versions of articles, perhaps simply transcluded from article history in the layer below. (Actually, to make the tasks more divisible, each section of an article might be transcluded separately, so a section would be checked and become the section above. What I've seen is that some articles are deteriorating. What this would do is to make the current work of editors more permanent; all too often, now, editors are rolling Sisyphus's boulder up the hill, and then they have to roll it up again. Article validation is really essential; the lack of it is why Wikipedia remains unreliable, all too often. We do article validation when an article is awarded GA status. Why not use this? That version does into the upper shell, the "reliable" encyclopedia. And the middle shell continues to feed it and update it and supplement it (with all the unverified articles that are still interesting and *usually* correct). The article I primarily had in mind when mentioning degeneration has become better sourced, and is definitely much duller. Wikilawyering editors remove this and that for technical reasons (perhaps that really interesting tidbit was from a blog, not allowed, and the other editors didn't know that a blog from an expert might be allowed, if attributed). This article has had reams of sourced material put in and taken out for various reasons. "What kind of source, is it biased? Is a psychiatrist, in practice and published, an expert on behavioral disorders or is he a "social critic," his reports based on clinical experience to be disregarded if they don't match a pseudoskeptic's opinion of what the scientific consensus is? And, let me tell you, if that pseudoskeptic is a persistent and very active editor, it can be pretty difficult to keep an article from sliding the way he wants it to go. The article I have in mind was once a GA. It's lost that status. And there is an active AfD at the moment, where there were about 360 edits to an article over two years, and it is actually an interesting article, but because the subject is a webcomic, and even though everything in the article is verifiable, it's difficult to establish notability of the subject because everything in the field is blogs and fan forums, which have taken over from fanzines. So ... tell it to all those editors (there were many, not just one or a couple) that the present system is efficient, that it's working. I suspect that the AfD will come up Delete, from what I've seen. Trying to find notability evidence myself, I did find a newspaper article that mentioned the subject, too slim to help, probably, but I found many blogs and forums where writers were lamenting that this excellent webcomic was no longer being created. Pretty clearly, in its field, it's notable. But .... who cares about all that wasted labor. 360 edits, images, notes, this could be easily 36 or more hours of work, could be much more. Wikipedia is burning out its users. I've seen many projects analogous to Wikipedia succeed -- for a time -- with great enthusiasm. And then, because they weren't efficient, the effort could not be maintained. It must get more efficient, or it will collapse. "Efficient" doesn't mean that it should give up the core policies and traditions, just the ways of doing things that don't work; but it starts with recognizing the problem, and if you think that everything is just peachy keen, well, give it a couple of years and see how you feel.--Abd (talk) 05:37, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
This is somewhat of a pointless discussion. Vandalism is, in the long run, irrelevant - revert, block, ignore. We have processes, through GA and FA, that add a quality layer. Eventually, FlaggedRevs will add a tangible way of ensuring that article quality doesn't eventually decline, with featured articles having tags on the revision which got them featured. We don't need a more powerful system.
We cannot in any way implement any system as mentioned in the initial suggestion in this post - aside from the blatant openness of such a system to gaming or collusion, it contradicts some foundation issues: we need to remain open to editing; fighting bias, censure, and the iron law of oligarchy are part of this to some degree, and allowing a system where everyone is reviewed only contributes to a hierarchy that isn't necessarily perfect. People are not perfect; why does Britannica have errors? Our strength is to correct the errors immediately, shrug, and move on. I hate when people want to control things too much: Wikipedia is a power precisely because it allows people to make that little fix, that minor correction or addition. Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow. I don't plan on reviewing each person who takes a peek. Nihiltres{t.l} 06:09, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Delegable proxy[edit]

I propose implementing a delegable proxy system so that users will have the option of appointing trusted individuals to represent them in discussions on deletions, policy changes, etc. rather than getting involved themselves. This will help save time that can more productively be devoted to mainspace edits and make debates less susceptible to participation bias. For more information, please see Wikipedia:Delegable proxy. Thank you. Sarsaparilla (talk) 00:52, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Is there a second? Sarsaparilla (talk) 16:57, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I can't see how a proxy can in any way be consistent with WP:VOTE. We already discourage editors from simply saying "Support" or "Oppose", because XfDs discussions are not votes. Now you're proposing to have someone be able to say "Here's my opinion, and you should weigh it more heavily because X other editors - whose experience levels you've going to have to review - have for some reason decided to give me their not-exactly-a-ballot ballots."
In short, the proposal would (a) encourage cliques; (b) encourage sock puppetry; (c) discourage discussion (after all, why discuss when you can hand someone a proxy); and (d) make discussions more like votes. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 20:44, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

(a) What, specifically, is objectionable about cliques? One definition of clique is "an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose." Is the exclusivity the problematic part? It's true that members of a proxy chain or loop can decline to choose a person as their proxy, and in that sense, that person is left outside of that loop. In some cases, that might be desirable, as when no one is willing to name a troll or crank as their proxy; that could actually improve the quality of decisions. The proxy table would be public, so anyone could see the membership and structure of each proxy chain. Moreover, anything that members of a proxy chain do on Wikipedia will still a matter of public record, and other users can review their contributions and participate alongside them in. Lastly, the proxy chain is not affecting outcomes by coordinating mass participation by its members, since participation by any one members counts as participation by them all in the proxy expansion. This makes it different from some cliques we have seen in the past.

(b) Delegable proxy might actually make it harder to influence AfDs through sockpuppetry. See Wikipedia:Delegable_proxy#Objections.

(c) and (d) Objective facts and application of policy will still take precedence over "votes," and the same process of debating the merits, branching the discussion into alternative proposals, etc. in attempt to reach consensus will still go on. Some decisions, such as AfDs, have a limited number of possible outcomes though, and therefore the discussion takes on some aspects of a vote. These are cases in which proxy expansions can be helpful because they can indicate how representative the apparent outcome is of what the larger community would have decided had more people participated. It is impossible for everyone to participate in every debate due to limited amounts of spare time to devote to the project, so we end up leaving some decisions to other people anyway. Delegable proxy gives you a better ability to choose who you leave to represent your interests when you cannot participate personally. Ron Duvall (talk) 23:39, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

This idea is not yet sufficiently formed to deserve wide attention. What is needed at this point is for a few editors to work on it and shape it as a proposal, which does not, so far, alter existing systems and procedures (unless some future proposal does indeed change them). I'd suggest that those who are interested in the idea come to the page set up to discuss this and form it, and participate, and all participation is welcome; but allow me to point out that if you are convinced that there is no merit at all to the idea, and you trust the consensus of this community, it isn't necessary to try to shoot down a proposal which is (1) not even formed yet and, (2) makes no changes unless it is successful, which you would claim is impossible. So waste your time arguing against a useless waste of time if you like, but it would seem to me that it would only be more useless waste of time.--Abd (talk) 17:19, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Such proxies are a way to promote party formation, otherwise known as cliques, otherwise known as cabals. Issue should be discussed buy those who want to discuss the issue. I do not see how it would help to get a list of people who would like someone else to vote keep (or delete) for them on all articles of a certain type. I think it would inhibit rational discussion, and discourage people from learning how to participate. We need more views, and new ideas, and this is the way to discourage them. There are over 10,000 regularly active editors, and there are about 1000 AfD debates a week. If everyone made an effort to participate just one time a week in a discussion about an article which did not directly fall under their principal interests, we would get an excellent representation of the general feeling, and cliques would be much discouraged. This is something anyone can start to implement individually and immediately. DGG (talk) 17:50, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Suppose that tomorrow, 3,000 killer monster space mutants from Dimension X landed and began editing Wikipedia 24 hours a day from dynamic IP addresses originating from the Technodrome. We only have about 6,000 editors who regularly use Wikipedia, and we spend only a fraction of the day working on this encyclopedia. Accordingly, those mutants would likely overwhelm our defenses and be able to control the encyclopedia. Cabal, indeed! BUT...... suppose that we 6,000 formed a proxy tree to counter them? We could easily hold the line against the oncoming hordes and our encyclopedia would remain under democratic governance. The old phrase, "Wikipedia is not a democracy" left off the end of the sentence, "...when there are 3,000 killer monster space mutants from Dimension X controlling it from the Technodrome." (Somebody must have edited that part out a long time ago, to the point where now it's become forgotten.) But as the article delegable proxy notes, "delegable proxy was originally designed circa 2000 for small, stealthy, distributed teams of anarchist kung-fu badasses." My fellow Americans, we can and we will defeat these waves of invaders. Join me in supporting liquid democracy and all that it represents. Ron Duvall (talk) 06:54, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't see how this system would help much in the incredibly unlikely odds of such a massive coordinated attack. A much more sensible solution would be to go on IRC and have one of the Wikimedia sysadmins temporarily disable anonymous editing and account creation, which would take 2 lines of code to a config file and take effect immediately and/or block the IPs from the servers. In the meantime, admins could rangeblock the IPs that they're using and people could start reverting all the edits using rollback. Mr.Z-man 20:24, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, I don't know how likely it is that a spammer would dedicate a zombie network to the task (at least it is spammers who usually build those networks), but ... suppose that the attacker prepared, that lots of accounts were created over months leading up to the attack, and so the attacks come from perhaps thousands of IPs, each one unique for a user. (It's probably pretty unlikely; the intention was merely to describe a hazard situation that could benfit from many users rapidly involved -- in this case cleaning up and blocking (only admins can block, but trusted users could feed lists of accounts to block pending resolution of the crisis). The point was that delegable proxy networks can, in theory, respond rapidly, bypassing normal processes, and even to totally new and unanticipated threats. Had there been a Free Association of FBI Agents, using delegable proxy, prior to 9/11, it would not have happened. DP sets up an inverted hierarchy where each communication link is based on mutual trust and, thus, quite likely, good communication, which can bypass a bureaucracy in an emergency. It's a big filter, is one way to look at it. An intelligent filter, where, if you want an idea to be centrally considered (i.e., by the whole community, or, at least, by trusted servants of the community), you have someone to go to, your proxy if nobody else, who will either tell you it's a bad idea, and why, or will pass it on, up through a network of proxies. The "hierarchy" created is a fractal, formed by the individual patterns of interaction, and it can be difficult to visualize or predict; but what little evidence we have is that large groups could spontaneously connect. It already happens informally, but, being informal, it isn't as usable. If I need to talk to you, but you are busy, if I can find someone in your proxy tree, I can find a path to you, through people you trust, and they will either facilitate it or reject it. Nothing stops me from trying to directly talk to you. But will you listen? --Abd (talk) 05:07, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Show date of last change at top of article page[edit]

Suggestion: Indicate at the top of page when the article was last changed, not just at the bottom.

Why: This is a key first-order indicator of the stability of an article, and so it would be worth the space up top to avoid the reader having to skip to the bottom, in order to briefly assess stability, before starting to read. Spandlingford (talk) 19:07, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

the last modified date is not a measure of stability. Its a measure of how unloved it is by vandals. -- Fullstop (talk) 21:33, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Or how neglected by editors. Crum375 (talk) 21:45, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't know how often the last change information is actually used. Is it used that much at all? Jmlk17 04:30, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
In the real world, a lastmod is crucial for good citation (for electronic resources in general, the lack of a lastmod date is a fairly good indication of an unreliable source).
I'd think that lastmod would also be useful in hard copies and/or on mirror sites. -- Fullstop (talk) 22:26, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Anyone who is citing Wikipedia should use "Cite this page" which already includes time of the last revision. I don't think the time of the last revision is much use for most Wikipedia readers, I don't think it's a good indication of accuracy, and the information is easily obtained if required and would clutter up article pages, so I disagree with this proposal. -Substitution (talk) 19:52, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured portal candidates[edit]

There's an ongoing discussion on assigning the task of a featured portal director(s). Discussion was generated after concerns of consistency in the process, as some users promoted FPOs without complete knowledge of the process. It appears that consensus is tilting on assigning FPO director seats, with various users occupying them to coordinate the effort of promoting and maintaining the FPO lists. The discussion can be found at Wikipedia talk:Featured portal candidates. - Mtmelendez (Talk) 12:54, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Tor nodes[edit]

An ongoing discussion is in progress regarding adjusting the blocking policy in reference to TOR nodes. The discussion is here. Regards, M-ercury at 13:18, January 8, 2008 13:18, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Ipblock exempt proposal[edit]

A proposal has started to allow established or trusted editors to edit via Tor, or other anon proxy. This discussion is located at

talk page

The proposed policy in its “needs to be worked on” form is located at

project page

Regards, M-ercury at 23:21, January 14, 2008 23:21, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Keep deleted articles in contribution histories as redlinks[edit]

When I view my contributions I would like to see deleted pages as redlinks. I'd like to see easily that an article I nom'd for speedy, or prod, or AFD was actually deleted. When I help remove bad material, that is a contribution to the project. Why remove the record of my contribution?

Secondly, it would eliminate a confusion, especially for newbies, who create an article, then don't see it in their contributions. A redlink would make it easy to see that it was deleted, and make it easy to see the deletion log.

Here's another example of why I wish edit summaries to deleted articles would be kept. Earlier I {{db-copyvio}}'d an article. I came back a little while later and saw that the article was still there. I thought that I must have edited, done a Show preview, forgot to do a Save, then closed the tab in my browser. So I speedied the article again. Only after that did I think to look at the log and I found that my earlier nom resulted in a speedy deletion, but the author had recreated the article. It would have been much clearer what happened if my edit summary of "db-copyvio" had remained in my contribution history and on my watchlist, but with a red link.

I checked this out at VPT and it appears to be technically very feasible.

I'd also like to see deleted pages when I Display watched pages. A deletion is after all a pretty big change to an article. Let's make it easy to see that a page was deleted, just as it easy to see that it was changed in a minor fashion. If my watched pages suddenly show a redlink, then I'll immediately see that one of my watched pages was deleted, and perhaps an edit summary explaining why it was deleted. Or I could click the redlink to easily get to the deletion log. (I know that deleted pages remain on my list of watched pages when I View or edit the list, I want them to appear as redlinks with date and time and edit summary when I Display watched pages.)

Note that non-admins would not be able to see content, only the date, time, name of page, and edit summary. The "hist" and "diff" links would be disabled. Sbowers3 (talk) 01:45, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Even were I jealous about the sanctity of admin prerogatives, I would think this reasonable. DGG (talk) 20:54, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
All of these ideas sound good to me. —Disavian (talk/contribs) 21:36, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Good idea. Would be useful. --Coppertwig (talk) 01:27, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Dead project[edit]

Should Wikipedia:WikiProject User Page Help/Help Desk be marked inactive/historical? It gets 1-2 requests a month and only I and another user watch it. MBisanz talk 04:05, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

If that's the case, that sounds like a good idea to me. I suggest proposing on its talk page that it be closed, waiting a while to see if anybody objects, then transforming it into a redirect to the regular help desk. --Coppertwig (talk) 01:31, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

British, collective for English-Welsh-Scottish-Northern Irish[edit]

Time and time again, when reading articles that deals with people, places, inventions etc. relating to the United Kingdom, they are almost always refered to by their respected constituent country. All with the exception of England, where more often than not they're refered to being 'British', not 'English'. But when it happens to involve Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there's usually no mention of it being 'British', or when there is, the article tends to use it as a backdrop definition, with more emphasis on their constituent country.

Some examples of this: British inventions, Dolly (sheep), Anthony Hopkins, Craig David, Judi Dench.

Where's the consistency? The United Kingdom of Great Britain (and later Northern Ireland) has been a sovereignty for about 301 years now, so why continue with this segregation? I believe there should be more emphasis on them all being 'British', for which they are all subjects of the Queen, and all fall under one government.

It's no wonder why Americans get confused upon learning England is not a country. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cobine (talkcontribs) 15:30, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

This is a perennial proposal and it always attracts anger, vitriol and even accusations of racism. England is a country, by the way, it's just not a state. Leithp 15:45, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, there cannot be consistency here, as British people themselves are not consistent, so any abstract consistency would be an artificial and POV imposition. Various people within the UK self-identify and are identified in various ways. That's life.--Docg 16:13, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
There are also issues with people associated with Northern Ireland unionism (e.g. Ian Paisley) being referred to as "British" when they may not identify as such, which is a political hot potato. -Substitution (talk) 20:03, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
The sad fact is that Ireland, Scotland and Wales were brought into union with England not altogether willingly. There is a lingering resentment among many, along with most other countries that were ever part of the British empire. These people want to recover their perceived loss of cultural heritage. This is not the case in England, were citizens of that country, like me, not only do not mind being called British but are proud of it. I think it is reasonable that Wikipedia should identify peoples nationality by the way they identify themselves, ie from each subjects POV. To do anything else, as said above, would be POV pushing. This is pretty much how matters are handled in much more inflamed regions (Serbia/Croatia/Serbo-Croation question for instance). SpinningSpark 00:45, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
"This is not the case in England, were citizens of that country, like me, not only do not mind being called British but are proud of it."
Mmmm... you may just want to read the latest findings from the British Social Attitudes Survey, because you appear to be part of a steadily diminishing minority. Most people in England primarliy identify themselves as English, not British. And this measured decline in "Britishness" has occurred over a very long period of time. --Mais oui! (talk) 07:01, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Their findings are not in the article you are pointing me at. And as it costs £50, then no, I don't want to read it unless you are prepared to give me a copy. You seem to have missed the point anyway, primarily identifying as English is not equivelant to finding it objectionable to be called British. SpinningSpark 11:19, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

About CSS rounded borders[edit]

I don't know if this question has already been asked. I think rounded borders we can see loading Wikipedia in Firefox must be also in other browsers such as Safari, which supports this feature. I suggest introduce two lines of code in the CSS sheets. With the code

          -moz-border-radius: X.Xem;

, that feature only appears in Firefox and Camino. Adding

        -webkit-border-radius: X.Xem;


          border-radius: X.Xem;

it will work in all browsers supporting CSS3.


Benedicto XVI | Talk 12:10, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Search special page review[edit]

I would like to propose a review of the "Search" special page, the one that appears when you type a non-existant article name in the search box and then click Go. It is one of the most frequently seen pages by Wikipedia users. I find it poorly organized and believe it could be improved significantly.

Currently this page has three sections: "You can search again" (followed by some search tips), "You can create this article" and "No results found" (followed by more search tips). For starters all the search tips should be grouped together. I would argue that the the order in which alternative search sites are presented is not the most helpful. I'd list Wiktionary first, than Wikinews, then offsite links. Prefix and what links to this (non-existant) article searches should be last not first, as they are for the more experienced user.

Even better would be an automatic search of Wiktionary and Wikinews, with results presented if any are found. This shouldn't be a huge load on servers. Some improved page layout would also help. I don't think many users wade through the present text. Finally, I think there should be a talk page for this page, with a link at the bottom if a tab is too hard to implement.--agr (talk) 13:28, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

FYI, when you type in a nonexistent article name and click 'go', the text you see is MediaWiki:Noexactmatch followed by MediaWiki:Searchnoresults. If you click 'search', you just get MediaWiki:Searchnoresults. Both those pages have talk pages, but there's no obvious way of finding them from Special:Search; the messages should probably have a 'discuss' link. Algebraist 17:31, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Template:User is now trans-wiki'd.[edit]

Template:User has been transwiki'd.

In other words, if you edit across many different wikis, you can use the second parameter in Template:User to specify a transwiki link.

So, this:

*{{User|Jimbo Wales|en}} - English Wikipedia
*{{User|Jimbo Wales|fr}} - French Wikipedia
*{{User|Jimbo Wales|ja}} - Japanese Wikipedia
*{{User|Jimbo Wales|nl}} - Dutch Wikipedia
*{{User|Jimbo Wales|es}} - Spanish Wikipedia
*{{User|Jimbo Wales|sv}} - Swedish Wikipedia
*{{User|Jimbo Wales|pt}} - Portugese Wikipedia
*{{User|Jimbo Wales|it}} - Italian Wikipedia
*{{User|Jimbo Wales|pl}} - Polish Wikipedia
*{{User|Jimbo Wales|de}} - German Wikipedia

Generates this:

  Zenwhat (talk) 16:31, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Possible revival of Article Improvement and Collaboration Drive[edit]

I still think that selecting candidates for collaboration is a good idea, even if the above page is currently marked historical. I think the idea might still be viable if the collaboration were not based on a single article, but rather on a subject, like I have recently proposed in an essay at Wikipedia:The Problem with Projects#The Future of Collaboration, where we perhaps choose a main category, or alternately the material within the scope of an extant WikiProject or subproject, as being the focus of collaboration by editors from the rest of wikipedia. I would be interested in any feedback. John Carter (talk) 17:44, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

In my (quite limited) experience with ACID, I found the biggest barrier was a lack of direction once the collaboration started. In brainstorming how to improve it, my main thought was that when collaborations are nominated, the nominator a clearly specified a "to do list" of tasks for the collaborators to work on. That way those voting know precisely what they're signing up for (and perhaps we should clearly term it "signing up" instead of "voting"), and the nominator would become the collaboration coordinator. This would allow a boarder scope of project-wide collaborations to be nominated, including the topic/project based collaborations you propose. --jwandersTalk 18:00, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
It would probably be the case that the "main" related project, which would probably nominate itself, would have some ideas which content it saw in most need of improvement, and would probably be in a position to coordinate the various individuals taking part in the collaboration. Alternately, I suppose, it might be possible to create a few "sandboxes" specific for the collaboration, where the involved editors could place their text and then have the main related project insert it into the relevant articles as required. John Carter (talk) 21:34, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Printable Version idea[edit]

I think it might be a good idea to remove blocks (or whatever they're called) such as "This article needs additional citations for verification." from the printer friendly versions of pages. The same should go for the little "citation needed" links etc. Darkimmortal (talk) 23:51, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

  • I disagree (i.e. these boxes are useful even when printing, so that people can consider the sources in context and understand what is controversial, may not be accurate etc). Whatsmore, I can't think of a simple technical way of doing this - how can you differentiate a template that should be included against one that shouldn't? -Substitution (talk) 00:55, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
    • I agree the boxes can be useful when printing. Omitting them would require a software update and a way to determine which templates to omit. For example, start by listing everything in Category:Wikipedia maintenance templates, and then add or remove templates manually on a list or in a special category. There could also be two printer friendly versions so users can choose whether to omit maintenance templates. I'm not sure it's worth the extra work. PrimeHunter (talk) 02:10, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
      • They shouldn't be printing, and they don't for me. Template:ambox, which all the article templates should use, has table class="metadata", which means that it won't be printed. Mr.Z-man 08:27, 25 February 2008 (UTC) (random article with tag) does have the tag in the printable version. Although they are annoying, they do inform the reader that everything might not be sourced, etc, and I have a neutral opinion. Reywas92Talk 20:51, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

It shows up on the printable version, but not on a print preview or an actual print (n.b. I tested this with the Asphalt article). Mr.Z-man 21:03, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh! I haven't actually printed an article but just falsely assumed it looked like the printable version page. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:22, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Spreading the wrong message[edit]

A relatively new editor made me realize something that experienced editors may take for granted. As a result I think we communicate in a way that spreads the wrong message.

I think it is true that we would rather improve articles than delete them. When I place a {{notability}} tag on an article it is with the hope that an author or a WikiGnome will find references to verify notability; its purpose is NOT to prepare the way for a deletion.

An editor removed a notability tag (without adding any references) because - based on the wording of the message - she thought it was a prelude for deletion. She felt threatened that the article may be "considered for redirection, merging or ultimately deletion."

I explained that the tag was a broadcast for assistance. The tag puts the article in the category of "Articles with topics of unclear notability". There are editors who go around improving articles. They look in a category to find articles to work on. Some people like to "wikify" articles. Others like to improve the writing style. Some find references for articles. Editors go to a category and pick an article to improve. Putting a tag on an article makes it more likely that someone will improve the article.

She replied that the tag did not say that at all. It looked like a threat. She asked why doesn't it say that it places the article in a category that invites improvement.

I think she makes a very good point. Experienced editors know that a tag places an article in a category. We take it for granted, but newer editors don't know that at all. I recommend that we reword many of our message boxes to emphasize that we hope to improve the article, not delete it. So here is my proposal for the Notability message:




I eliminated the phrase "If you are familiar with the subject matter" because it is not necessary to be familiar with a subject to find and add references. The precise wording can, of course, be adjusted but what do you think of the idea?

If this is a good idea, I would propose similar wording changes for other message boxes. Sbowers3 (talk) 01:33, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

the problem is not necessarily references--that's a separate message box. I agree we need better and more concise wording, but this will take considerable thought over the details. DGG (talk) 05:06, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I would agree that the deletion aspect may be over-emphasized in the original, but I think your proposal over-emphasizes references as a solution to the notability problem. Yes, everything needs to be referenced, but there's often more to it than that. Powers T 12:44, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
My goal is to emphasize the good that can come from the message - that it invites (by the hidden category) other editors to improve the article - and to deempasize the threat of deletion. I wasn't trying to emphasize references except that references are the key to verifying notability - if they are the right kind of refs.
So any comments about emphasizing the productive purpose of the message and deemphasizing the threat of deletion? Sbowers3 (talk) 13:34, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I thought that's what I did. =) Anyway, maybe just delete the line on deletion and add in the bit about the category, and call it good? Powers T 13:40, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

It should suggest both, too many articles seem to be tagged indefinitely, therefore it should say highlighted for attention, if not improved may be merged/considered for deletion. MickMacNee (talk) 14:49, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I use this template almost always as a precursur for fiction-related mergers in cases where I (as a fan) am unable to establish notability for the fictional element (I only use Prods and AfDs where I am sure it is a lost case). Since the merge discussions are open for a just a few weeks, there is a certain deadline. So If notability cannot be established, the article is more likely to be considered for redirection, merge or ultimately deletion, per Wikipedia:Guide to deletion. Without the sentence, it is very possible for people to wonder why a nn-tagged article no longer exists, and had they known, they might have felt more encouraged to "save" it (if that was possible in the first place). I really prefer to leave the last sentence in, it can just increase the likelyhood that the article will be improved. – sgeureka t•c 09:50, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Can't say I prefer the proposed wording. The threat of deletion is a very good thing which encourages editors to keep articles up to minimum standards rather than leave cruft lying around indefinitely. Besides, most articles that get tagged with the unclear notability template usually don't wind up at AfD for at least a year. - Chardish (talk) 17:40, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Proposals for deletion should include standards[edit]

Proposal: When an article is proposed for deletion or speedy deletion on the grounds that the subject is not notable, the proposal on its Articles for Deletion page should include: 1) a statement of the general presumption of notability (that "A topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject"); and 2) a link to Wikipedia:Notability.

Adam_sk (talk) 05:18, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

A good AfD nomination already cites to and links policy/guideline, but I would agree that it would be useful to encourage this somewhere relevant. What are you proposing for implementation? Maybe some precatory language at Wikipedia:Deletion policy#Deletion discussion and at WP:AFD? As for speedy deletion, except to the extent proposed deletion can be considered a subset of speedy deletion and may be placed on the basis of notability, there are no speedy deletion criteria that are based on notability (CSD A7 is not a direct notability criteria). In any event, the various A7 speedy deletion templates already link to WP:N.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 04:05, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Please note that lack of notability is not a grounds for speedy deletion. Common sense exceptions apply, of course, such as when someone writes an article about their pet hamster. - Chardish (talk) 17:42, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Feeding newbies[edit]

I don't know how often it occurs, but despite there being the help desk and {{help me}} templates, I often see newbie questions in many strange places. And sadly I often don't have time, inkling or even knowledge to answer them. I'm wondering about making a {{FeedMe}} template which editors can use to mark such questions; the template would populate a category that other editors, interested in answering questions, can use to track down where these questions are being asked and respond. Thoughts? --jwandersTalk 22:57, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Personally, I would find it just as easy to drop a link to the helpdesk on their talkpage than go find the appropriate template. But my usual action would be to try to help directly anyway. SpinningSpark 00:30, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Avoid bureaucracy when possible. We don't need a template. Either help the person when you see it or ignore it. Someone else will probably come across it and have the time to help. ~MDD4696 03:41, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
It looks like a great idea to me, very useful. And great username and sig, SpinningSpark. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 04:07, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
A longer-term solution might be to rationalize the help/discussion page structure to make it easier for people to find the right pages to ask questions/make suggestions (and for people with expertise/interest in a particular area to keep the relevant pages on their watchlists).--Kotniski (talk) 08:24, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't see why you can't just use the "helpme" template in the way you suggest using a "feedme" template.
I would like to encourage Recent Changes patrollers to use welcome templates more often. These templates contain an instruction to use the "helpme" template. --Coppertwig (talk) 01:35, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Unless this has already been done, leave a note like that in one\all of the welcome templates. Simply south (talk) 16:12, 26 February 2008 (UTC)


--Tom.mevlie (talk) 10:54, 27 February 2008 (UTC) That is ridiculous, i am not of the Islamic faith, but it seems that if it is a part of their religion not to depict Muhammad, and if depicting him causes a whole lot of contoversy, then wouldn't not depicting him make sense? IT is disrespectful to their whole system of beliefs, and by doing that you are saying "fuck you all of you arabs". WHich is not the message we should be sending.


Moved to Wikipedia:VPR/Persistent proposals. Equazcion /C 03:55, 28 Feb 2008 (UTC)

Main page re-design[edit]

Hi there. I invite you all to share your thoughts on my proposed redesign on the main page at User:Charles Stewart/Sandbox. The templates have been moved around, Today's Picure is now under the article, DYK is next to it, and On this day is next to the featured article. It eliminates WP:ITN, since Wikipedia isn't a newservice. Also, Wikipedia:Introduction is transcluded on the main page, where the featured pic currently goes (the featured pic needs to be formatted to fit this new layout).

Like I said, eliminating ITN helps prove the point where not a newservice. Adding WP:INTRO helps give new people an idea on how to edit the site right away.

Thoughts? Charles Stewart (talk) 06:59, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Have you checked it out on a 800x600 monitor, or does the second clause in the second paragraph of WP:IUP#Displayed image size do not mean anything anymore? Zzyzx11 (Talk) 07:12, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I didn't fool around with picture sizes. I have a 1280x800 monitor. Charles Stewart (talk) 07:15, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
All WP users do not have the same size monitor which you do. Neither do they use the same screen resolution which you do. The mix on a website which I manage is currently 52.96% 1024x768, 13.44% 1280x800, 5.24% 800x600, 4.78% 1280x768, 3.64% 1440x900, 2.16% 1152x864, plus various others below 2%. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 07:48, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
In all practicality, dealing with display resolutions is really a minor issue compared to the basic, original request made by Charles Stewart: remove something that has been a staple on the main page since September 2001. It seems a lot more radical than renaming it to "Current events" or some other title. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 09:48, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I think its a question more of how much we want to do what non-editors want us to. To a regular or new contributor, In the News is known to be less useful as it only reflects what things are current that we've already covered. Something like getting more people to edit, would of course take precdence. But to the average reader, they don't know all the complex policies and stuff, so they just look at it as the news that wikipedia sees fit to print. Given that we're the 8th? most visited site in the world, and that at any single point in time, I'd be surprised if there were more than, 10,000 active editors, I'd suggest leaving ITN there, even though we (10,000) all know its not really news. MBisanz talk 09:55, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I think there is a very good reason we should de-emphasise the newsyness of ITN. This would probably involve a rename at the very least. There have been various discussions including one which I had planned to initiate and to push harder but have now let slide. The reason is for our readers, because any reader who is using wikipedia as a news site should seriously reconsider, we are obviously not a news site and we would be doing our readers a great disservice by letting them think we are a news site. I.E. The sooner people realise wikipedia is not wikinews, the better. However I agree that removing ITN completely seems a little extreme and unnecessary. Nil Einne (talk) 12:01, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I really don't like this new layout, at all. I don't like the idea of the main page trying to encourage people to edit- the main page should be pretty to look and at help people find things they may be interested in- that's exactly what it does. Something they may want to look at, something we cover well if they want to learn about something completely new, some interesting little tit-bits they can follow up if that sounds interesting to them, some things from history that are relevent to today and some things within the world that are going on at the moment. The main page should not be there to encourage people to contribute, it should be there to encourage people to read. J Milburn (talk) 10:37, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I would have to agree. There is a strong sentiment (I don't know whether it's a consensus so I didn't use that word) that the main page is for the reader not the editor. Most of our readers are not going to be interested in editing and I don't think we should emphasise too strongly the editing part. Sure the a few minor mentions on the main page are fine but the section is probably too much Nil Einne (talk) 11:55, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
This is the relevent page. It claims it is part of the MoS. However, whether or not it is official, I think making Wikipedia for readers is something the majority of people would agree on. J Milburn (talk) 13:14, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I think the proposed design has several problems:

  • For a start, from a UI perspective things looking like tabs when they aren't tabs is extremely bad form. I was expecting the "tabs" to use JavaScript rather than taking me to a new page.
  • I don't like the concept of adding further static content encouraging people to edit which isn't relevant to 95% of the people seeing the front page
  • The contents of the introduction would need to rewritten, if nothing else.
  • I personally like WP:ITN and I have a feeling it is often used as a navigation aide (rather than as a "news source") for recent news articles. I believe anyone pushing removing it due to WP:NOT#NEWS hasn't actually read what it says, which isn't "Wikipedia is not a news source" but rather, in my view, the spirit that Wikipedia isn't a place for minor local events or original research. Wikipedia in reality tends to do recent events extremely well, with most recent articles being well sourced.
  • The proposed design seems to have major problems on reasonably low resolutions. IMO, this is extremely bad - any "next-gen" Wikipedia design should, in my view, be optimised to work better at lower resolutions with the increased proliferation of low-resolution devices such at the iPhone, the EeePC and the OLPC project - if nothing else, there should be a 'low resolution main page'.
  • The proposed design doesn't use CSS and still uses tables. I think any "next-gen" main page design should use inline CSS, particularly considering the above point.

I'm not against a main page redesign, but I think this fails on all counts. I do think a project to revamp the Wikipedia main page should begin though. -Substitution (talk) 15:05, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

In my defense, when I made my new design, I just used the code from the current main page, and shuffled things around. In theory, javascript would be added so the tabs on the WP:INTRO part would work. I appreciate the time you guys spent at least looking over my page.
But I would like it if there were some group (call it Wikiproject Main Page) in charge of at least considering new designs (not necessarily mine).
Thanks, Charles Stewart (talk) 16:54, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I oppose this for practical reasons: POTD needs the space. Every now and then something comes along with an aspect ratio of 6:1 or greater which would result in horizontal scrolling, pictures cut off/overlayed/hiding text and/or something like this:

Yes, this thumbnail is only 9 pixels high. I wonder what it will look like on a Pocket PC.

... especially on low resolution displays. MER-C 06:51, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Honestly, any image _that_ wide should probably be either sliced up or put in a scrolling box for the POTD anyway, even in the current format.
Along the River 7-119-3.jpg
25 pixels high is not all that much better. —Random832 16:55, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
For that particular image, yes a small portion was used for the main page: Image:Along the River 7-119-3 portion.jpg. howcheng {chat} 00:56, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I personally like the removal of ITN. I wouldn't object to having a link or transclusion (if possible) to Wikinews's equivalent, if they had one. I don't see that they do, however. I'm all for letting news driven traffic go to the relevant wikiproject. For the featured picture section, on a 1280x1024 monitor there is a lot of white space below it, and moving the picture description below the image looks like a good idea. Flipping the monitor to 800x600 monitor, the featured picture bit looks terrible; the longest text lines are "pivotal role in" and ""Pennsylvania", and there is whitespace above and below the picture that is 2-3 times as tall as the image, so the image is occupying less than 20% of the space for it. In fact, any other resolution I try below 1280x1024 looks even worse than that resolution, and in all of them putting the text below the image would be an improvement. GRBerry 03:46, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I say we keep ITN. It's useful to our readers, and on the Main Page usefulness to the reader is what truly matters. Objections on WP:NOT#NEWS grounds are a classic example of policy fundamentalism. WP:IAR is there for a reason. That said, I commend User:Charles Stewart for even bringing this idea up. Every time you make a proposal related to Wikipedia's design, criticism comes at you from all sides: it's unprofessional, it's too professional, it doesn't display properly on this or that OS/browser/monitor configuration... szyslak 13:01, 27 February 2008 (UTC)


I noticed that if you do not sign a posting a robot will do it for you. After seeing this happen numerous times I came up with an idea: What if we never signed a posting and just let the robot sign everything for us but instead of saying "the preceding unsigned comment added by ..." it should just be the standard signing: User (User talk). I think this should be implemented. What is everybody else's opinion?--Uga Man (talk) UGA MAN FOR PRESIDENT 2008 22:15, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

I think that that idea is definitely worth pursuing. Libcub (talk) 05:14, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Umm, so you are proposing doubling the load on the servers for every talk page comment? I would hope not. And how lazy are you than you can't type four tildes? howcheng {chat} 05:37, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Also, right now if I submit a comment 3 seconds after another user, it posts and doesn't edit conflict. I doubt any bot could be that quick, leading to confused conversations. Also, the custom sig feature would either have to be abandoned or overhauled. MBisanz talk 05:46, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, as Howcheng says, this would mean that 2 edits must be made for every talk page comment. The bot isn't perfect either. Mr.Z-man 06:13, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Good idea, but the servers the robot's running on will crash with the amount of work it will have to do. -- penubag  (talk) 06:24, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Also, the robot isn't the quickest thing in the world. This idea would leave an awkward period of time where one would have to look at the page history to see who made the comment. - Chardish (talk) 17:45, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm opting out from SineBot to avoid edit conflicts. If I forget to sign something, I'll go back and sign it myself - my signature is fairly noticable. I've also blocked SineBot from editing my talk page for the same reason - if anything gets unsigned on my talk page, I'll check the history and add the template along with my reply to avoid multiple edits. There's also the issue of making edits you don't want signed - if I'm fixing a template or something on a talk page and the bot assumes it needs to be signed, there's going to be a gigantic signature blowing up the page five seconds later. Good idea in theory, but in practice this is never going to work. Hersfold (t/a/c) 02:34, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Hersfold, but also think it may be feasible to remove the message "the preceding unsigned comment signed by.." from the start of the auto-signature. It could be left off completely, or perhaps a small "[auto-signed]" after the sig may be appropriate. -- Chuq (talk) 04:02, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I think the present system's perfect. In the majority of comments, the user will leave their chosen customised signature properly, not placing excessive load on the server. When a new user fails to sign, the bot will do so for them - what would be good is if a bot would place {{uw-tilde}} on the talkpage of users who have to be signed more than, say, three times in a week. Porcupine (prickle me! · contribs · status) 16:10, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
User:SineBot already does this: «If a particular person makes three or more unsigned comments in a 24 hour period, the bot will place a single {{Tilde}} warning on his/her talk page.»AlexSm 16:36, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

The current system is not perfect, we could have LiquidThreads or something even better. The proposal for users not to sign themselves would make it even worse. Definitely oppose. —AlexSm 16:36, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Hmm - I'd not realised that it warned users; however, I'd be in favour of increasing that frequency.--Porcupine (prickle me! · contribs · status) 17:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Translating Articles[edit]

If an article is a featired article in one labnguage but a bad aritcle in another, why cant you just translate it word for word or sentence for sentence into the other language??--Coin945 (talk) 05:18, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

You can try, but translation isn't exactly easy. --Carnildo (talk) 05:24, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
If you're interested, there's hints and instructions at Wikipedia:Translation. --jwandersTalk 07:36, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Translation is far from a trivial process (thankfully, since that's how I make my living;) ). However I do have a vague idea for a tool (a kind of database) which could be used to share structured information between different language wikipedias. So that for example when someone dies, or when new census data comes out, all articles in whatever language could be updated automatically with the new data. It could also help with categorization - which vaguely ties in with the discussion I'm about to announce... (Kotniski (talk) 08:49, 27 February 2008 (UTC))

Hidden categories discussion[edit]

There is a discussion underway at Wikipedia talk:Categorization#Hidden categories concerning what kinds of categories should be hidden (using the new HIDDENCAT magic word). For the moment it is proposed that hiding be applied to all categories which classify the article rather than the article subject (i.e. maintenance cats, stub cats, "Spoken articles" etc.) Please weigh in. --Kotniski (talk) 08:49, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

FA count on the Main Page[edit]

Why is FA count not displayed on the main page? 16@r (talk) 17:04, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Because the average reader doesn't even know what a Featured Article is. I believe this has been discussed in the past, too. xihix(talk) 18:38, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, an FA count was displayed on the MP in the past. Long story short, this was run by a bot that would regularly update Template:FA number, which was transcluded on the Main Page. When cascading protection came around, though, the bot could no longer edit the template since it appeared on the Main Page.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 21:49, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth, there is now a new user access group that allows editors in that group to edit fully protected pages, even though not an admin. It was specifically designed for bots. So it's now possible to authorize a bot to (again) do this MP updating without giving it admin powers. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:39, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Persistent proposals[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:VPR/Persistent proposals. It is an effort to keep good proposals alive while the developers are busy with unified login etc. The documentation is a rough draft, so I'd appreciate feedback on the idea and how the page should function. Thanks. Equazcion /C 03:57, 28 Feb 2008 (UTC)

This is a wonderful idea. I appreciate your effort to make Wikipedia a better place! :) -- penubag  (talk) 04:03, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree that this is a great idea. However, I took the liberty of changing the concept slightly - from moving a discussion to copying a discussion. This is particularly relevant for archives; the norm is not to disturb these (I regarding adding a note as not being a disturbance). -- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:59, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that's wise. The norm might be to leave archives undisturbed, but if a discussion is revived then it's really no longer "archived". I know disturbing archives is sort of unheard-of, but it makes sense to do it in this case. Someone looking through the archives will still be able to see the discussion by following the link. Also, if discussions are copied from this page, you'll have two versions going on at the same time that people might be responding to. Equazcion /C 18:17, 28 Feb 2008 (UTC)
Let me clarify. First, no one "revives" archived discussions by posting to an archive page; they copy the discussion back to the current page, then respond. The advantage of leaving the archive page untouched is that someone looking through the archive doesn't have to follow the link to read about a proposal - he/she only has to follow the link to see what's happened since the archiving, IF interested. By contrast, the only clue to what the proposal was - if all the text is moved - is the heading, which often isn't that informative. So there are real advantages to leaving archive pages (relatively) untouched.
As for "having two versions going at the same time", that's a good point. Thinking about this, it seems to me that it would be better to say that a discussion shouldn't be copied to the persistent proposals page until after it has been archived. That way, the possibility of further posting/discussion is kept open until archiving happens. This also means that the instructions get simpified - you don't have to worry about changing the current page. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:27, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
The persistent proposals page isn't an archive. Anyone can still contribute there, as is stated in the documentation. If someone revives a discussion they would move it back, yes, which is what they're doing here, only they'd be moving it to the persistent page rather than this page. I disagree about waiting until auto-archiving, because that takes 7 days of basically no interest -- it makes it a lot easier to forget about a proposal. Who's gonna remember about that proposal they wanted to save, after it's no longer even showing up on this page... I think 5 days is a pretty good amount of time to wait, so that people can actually save discissions while they're still visible here. Equazcion /C 18:33, 28 Feb 2008 (UTC)
Hmm - five days is good, seven days is bad. If something is still visible, and hasn't been commented on for five days, the proposing editor will remember to move/copy it to the new page, but if it gets archived (disappears), the proposing editor will forget about it (somehow).
I've supported the general idea, but have made a suggestion that makes it easier (I think) for readers (no need to follow a link within an archive - or an active page - to find out what a discussion was about) and simplified things (just copy a section once archived, and add a note; leave current pages as is). You've responded that you think your original idea was perfect, you don't want to change it in any way, and you don't acknowledge that there is any merit whatsoever in the comments I've made.
Perhaps you (and I) should step back from this and let other editors comment.
Just because someone makes a suggestion doesn't mean it's a good one, and my reverting it doesn't mean I think my version is perfect. If other people think it would be better some other way then I won't have a problem discussing it or possibly making changes. Your suggestion means the same discussion would exist in multiple places, and I really don't think that's a good idea. I'm pretty sure that when discussions are revived from archives they are generally moved back rather than merely copied. But if anyone else has a problem with this method I'm certainly open to discussing it. Equazcion /C 00:36, 29 Feb 2008 (UTC)

Nice idea - but how about a different name, to avoid confusion with Wikipedia:Perennial proposals?--Kotniski (talk) 21:26, 28 February 2008 (UTC)