Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 22

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Why do we have bureaucrats...

...when Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:42, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

What a perfectly formed rhetorical question, I would feel like I am spoiling it by trying to answer. If only we still had BJAODN... -- RoninBK T C 12:59, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
It's an inside joke. Jehochman Talk 13:12, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The bureaucrats here do not really fit their name. They just have a few special buttons that allow them to give special permissions to users such as adminship and bureaucratship. They also can flag users as bots and rename users. They are not bureaucrats in the way that one usually thinks of a bureaucrat as being. Captain panda 04:01, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
When we say Wikipedia isn't a bureaucracy, we're talking about the Wikipedia environment as far as its users are concerned. The wiki itself, however, on the technical end, does have a structure with clear rules and hierarchy. That's required in order to keep everything working correctly -- Without it/them, anyone could rename their account and assign permissions. Bureaucrats maintain that technical structure, so the name is accurate. Equazcion /C 03:50, 8 Mar 2008 (UTC)

U.S. Supreme Court

Do you think that a category for Unanimous Supreme court decisions would be cool? I mean, Wikipedia is a learning environment at the same time as a research environment, and it would foster a lot of learning. And that's good for society. What do you think? --Heero Kirashami (talk) 02:03, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

To me it sounds like an odd thing to categorize by. Maybe you would be interested in Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Supreme Court cases. You can make suggestions at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. Supreme Court cases. PrimeHunter (talk) 02:56, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
The category is really "Notable U.S. Supreme Court decisions that were unanimous", since non-notable cases don't have articles. Probably a pretty small number of cases. (My first reaction was to consider this a WP:NOT violation - indiscriminate collection of information - but upon reflection it's actually an interesting question as to how many of these cases were unanimous.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 22:18, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Category:United States Supreme Court cases is large. I'm sure many of them were unanimous. I just don't think it sounds suited for a category. But Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. Supreme Court cases would be a better place to discuss this. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:43, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Trivia proposal: Move to talk page

Some articles have various edit wars over the length of trivia dedicated to a given subject. One policy could be implemented to have trivia appear in its own box in the discussion page. This would remove long lists from the article body.

It would be a really, REALLY bad idea to codify this into policy directly, without at least spending some time as a guideline. -- RoninBK T C 03:37, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
The "length" of trivia sections shouldn't be a concern (ie. they shouldn't be shortened just because someone thinks they're too long). We have some pretty descriptive guidance already as to which items should be kept, integrated into other sections, or removed. Each individual item should be decided on its own merits. Equazcion /C 03:42, 8 Mar 2008 (UTC)

Closing admins should provide rationale for closing decision

Since deletion debates are not settled by vote counts, but rather by strength of arguments and appeals to policy, I recommend that closing admins provide a rationale for their decision. A lot of debates include fallacious arguments along with the good ones, so I think it would be helpful for the admin to explain which ones form the basis for the decision. We have already seen with CSD that providing a reason, even if it's just a one-liner, is useful to others reviewing the decision. And the admin who deletes based on a PROD also provides a reason in the deletion summary. But AfD is different from PROD, in that many users provide input, and so a reference to the AfD debate can leave it unclear which were the decisive rationale(s) on the winning side. It would also further help avoid the appearance of it being a vote. Obuibo Mbstpo (talk) 23:14, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I've seen deletion debates closed with "decision was Delete," when the !votes were about equally divided, and there were cogent arguments on both sides. Or with, say, a clear majority of Delete !votes, but mostly bare (no arguments, or per nom or per Username !arguments), with cogent arguments for Keep; what, then, is happening, almost certainly, is that the personal opinion of the closing administrator is being implemented, but we don't know the reasoning. My own opinion is that the whole deletion process is a waste of time, that the encyclopedic project is more properly about the categorization of knowledge, and that no sane encyclopedic project would discard verifiable or verified information on the grounds of non-notability, though it might not be included in a print or other restricted publication. What, exactly, is the harm of having, for example, an article on a "non-notable" grammar school? Are verifiable facts about that school not "human knowledge"? You might call me an inclusionist, but that isn't accurate. I'd have layers to the encyclopedia, with a top layer being not only notable, but essential. Below that would be a layer that still requires something like present standards of notability, and below that a layer with only verifiability as a standard. The exact structure is something that would be worked out by consensus, but deletion is something that most sophisticated computer users have stopped doing with their own systems: disk space is cheaper than the time it takes to figure out what to delete, and, even if it is rare, the work wasted when something that later turns out to be useful, is, again, more valuable than the disk space; rather, they will actively categorize what they see as important, and leave the rest as an amorphous mass that can be searched quickly. I learned years ago about a technique for organizing files: Hold For Discard. When you know something is useful, you file it. When you know it isn't useful, you immediately toss it in the trash. If there is doubt about which category it belongs in, you toss it in a box called Hold for Discard. Periodically, you close the box and date it, starting a new box. After a lapse of time, when you haven't needed anything in the HFD box, you can toss it. With computer files, though, you can keep that doubtful stuff forever, you can bequeath it to your grandchildren (who can throw it away if they like, or not, depends.) If you never need it, what does a DVD cost? Weigh that against the work of going through it all to figure out what to delete, and, here, against the work involved in a single AfD.
What we should be doing as editors is classifying and categorizing knowledge, not deleting it. None of it should be deleted. Every minute, a torrent of information comes in to us from our senses. We pay attention to (we "note") very little of it. But we don't delete any of it; what is kept, though, is only what has been noted in some way, whether consciously or unconsciously. Collectively, as to human knowledge, if someone took the significant amount of time it takes to create an article, and someone provides sources for verification (whether meeting WP:RS or not, but meeting WP:V, i.e., what is stated in the article can be verified by anyone), it has been noted, and we delete it at our peril, just as we would be risking our own welfare by sealing off certain kinds of sensory input, or repressing what we have noticed. There had better be a good reason. Here, the reasons would be that the article is actively causing damage, the two salient examples being copyright violation and libel. And those causes for deletion don't require AfD.
So, personally, I wouldn't be putting much effort into fixing the AfD process. If we keep it, yes, definitely, a closing administrator (nor non-admin closer) should clearly state the controlling arguments, otherwise, we may reasonably suspect, the closer didn't even pay attention but just made a snap judgment.--Abd (talk) 13:51, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I don;'t think the above view will have much support. We're not a web preservation project, but an encyclopedia. But as even you say, if we have the process,we should do it right. so let's discuss that, which was the question raised. I think a closing rationale must do more than ate the result, but given a summary of the reasons and how consensus was judged--we do not want the admins opinion on whether the article should be kept or not, we want the admins judgement about what the people who contributed policy based arguments said. The point of the arguments is not to convince an admin one way or another. the admin merely sums up the discussion, taking account of the opinions that were based on a reasonable interpretation of policy--whether or not the admin agrees with the majority. DGG (talk) 02:28, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Don't bother. When Arbitrators are required to give a rationale for their votes, they ignore the requirement.[1] Why make another rule to be ignored? -- SEWilco (talk) 02:55, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Pointless process. The majority of AFDs are usually close to unanimous, a rationale would just be repetitive in those situations. If you can't tell by a quick review of the discussion why it was closed the way it was, ask. Mr.Z-man 06:59, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree this is pointless as most AfDs are pretty clear in what the outcome was going to be. Note that in controversial discussions it is quite common for the closing admin to leave a closing rationale. Hut 8.5 16:21, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Restore this version

This is an option in Twinkle, but why don't we just make it part of the software? It could be placed right after 'undo' on page histories and such. It's somewhat like the opposite of undo - undo removes what that edit changed, while 'restore this version' undoes everything since and reinstates that revision. It also never fails, whereas undo often can once other edits have occurred after the one in question. I think it would be a great help for editors to go with the undo function, and it really makes little sense to have one and not the other. It's a moderately big change though, so some feedback on the suggestion would be in order first. Richard001 (talk) 07:48, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, for starters it's dangerous. It wipes out all those subsequent edits. Rollback does this, doesn't it? And we restrict the use of rollback to vandalism, and we restrict access to rollback to a trusted class. It's easy enough to restore an old version, just not one-button. The current software, for users without rollback, requires us to pay a little more attention to what we are doing, to actually look at, preferably, each of those changes. But I can restore any article to a prior version simply by loading that version, editing it, and saving it. And we do have rollback, so the essence of this proposal would be to give rollback to everyone, that's all. An idea which has been pretty roundly rejected, given how much fuss there was over giving it to non-administrators.--Abd (talk) 13:58, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Rollback just allows you to undo the latest version (and any other versions by the same user), it doesn't allow you to go back arbitrarily far. Load-Edit-Save is fast enough, I think - it's rarely necessary to revert multiple edits by different users, so there's no need for a one-click way of doing it. --Tango (talk) 14:24, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Since I don't have rollback, I'm obviously unclear on the details. Load-Edit-Save is quite easy, and very rarely appropriate. I've seen it happen by mistake. This is Wikipedia, though, we get to make mistakes.... --14:28, 8 March 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abd (talkcontribs)
If it was like undo it wouldn't exactly be one click but two. If you do any reasonable amount of reverting you get sick of the extra clicks and bandwidth wastage. Perhaps we could restrict it to registered users, perhaps even with a certain number of edits as well. Or perhaps we could even make it like the current rollback system (need to be approved), or require modification of settings (which is basically how you 'get' Twinkle). Twinkle is already far superior than the rubbishy rollback thing, so the whole trusted user thing is a complete waste of time really. Richard001 (talk) 05:26, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

A method of identifying in an article claims which are disputed

Currently, if their is any information in an article which is disputed, it is only mentioned on the discussion page. But the majority of readers will not check the discussion page after reading the article, and will accept as fact anything which is found in the article. I therefore propose that there be some form of format-based identifier, for example a red dashed line under the text, to show that something is being disputed. When the issue has been discussed and concordance reached amongst the disputants, then the word or phrase in question could be rectified to reflect the outcome of the discussions and the format tag removed.

At the moment, it is possible for people to identify in the page claims which are unsourced, but there are cases when the use of this tag would not be appropriate, e.g. if there exist two or more equally reliable but conflicting sources. - R160K (talk) 18:00, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Category:Inline templates has a collection of tags which can be added to a particular statement which seems in need of revision or substantiation. Angus McLellan (Talk) 14:44, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Readers also have to use a certain amount of critical thinking. Just because a sentence doesn't have a [citation needed] at the end, there's certainly no reason be sure it's true. If the truth of what you're reading is important to you, you may want to use a better encyclopedia if the article is weak on citations. Richard001 (talk) 05:29, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Simple English on top of languages everywhere?

What about putting the Simple English language link on top of all languages on all pages like it is on the main page?--Kozuch (talk) 17:52, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

I already suggested this, see here -> (link) and the revelent discussion here -> (link). Although it was very popular amongst us, the developers have yet to implement it. -- penubag  (talk) 21:15, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Nice to hear. Hopefully, it will be available soon!--Kozuch (talk) 21:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Don't count on it, the devs don't really like the idea, but I did file a bugzilla report, I'm not sure how this works but maybe if you vote here (account creation required), they'll implement it faster. -- penubag  (talk) 02:00, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, the Hebrew Wikipedia places links to English at the top of interwiki links. This was the result of a community discussion a few years ago. Shalom (HelloPeace) 16:16, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Greatest Military leaders

I have a suggestion about making a Wikipedia "survey" about who the greatest military leaders of history are. A person can nominate let say three notable leaders and give reasons why they would be in the list. It should include people like Caesar, Atilla, Alexander the Great and other "titans" from the past. This would be an interesting event which can even be put on the main page to attract more people who love history. It would have an endtime of like a month or less and then an article will be made with the final list of a hundred leaders.Dakovski (talk) 20:36, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

WP is an encyclopædia, not a poll service, and the end product of your proposal would be tantamount to OR. Adrian M. H. 20:38, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

The Black Crows Band Info

Does anyone have anything to contribute on this front...The Black Crows, their start in Marietta Georgia, etc. Or do "Wikipedians" consider this to pedantic to write about?

Anyone? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:21, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

There is a whole bunch of information about The Black Crowes (note the "e"). Or are you soliciting help on the "Early Years" section of this article? -08:32, 8 March 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nkocharh (talkcontribs)
I think it might be better to propose this on the article's own talk page. Wisdom89 (T / C) 22:11, 13 March 2008 (UTC)


with User:Gnevin/sandbox2 which gives User:Gnevin/sandbox, have a look , works like standard templates expect takes 7 fields , if the first contain a char is indicates its a birth box if it's blank it does the death stuffGnevin (talk) 00:35, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Can you have a look I've made some further updates Gnevin (talk) 18:41, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
{{AgeDobDOD}} in used with Albert EinsteinGnevin (talk) 18:57, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Language Settings

Copied from Wiktionary:Feedback Conrad.Irwin 01:36, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Oh no, I just noticed that i am not supposed to write about Wikipedia but about Wikitionary. I just found out that it existed and i had somehow stumbled onto it somehow. Well I've just finished writing a long message about Wikipedia now so I might as well send my opinion and suggestion for improval of Wikipedia. Maybe someone to do with Wikipedia as well will read it. If you know where this would be better in place you could copy it there and give me the link: <email removed>

Opinion about Wikipedia

I really like Wikipedia. Its the best source for knowledge in all areas I ever had and I use it very often. I also really like the fact that anyone can contribute. It simply makes it up to date and much better and much more complete than any commercial encyclopedia could ever be. And I really believe knowledge is and must be a public good of humanity and everyone should be free to share his knowledge and should be able to have part in this public good for free. After all knowledge should be spread and preserved and the best way to do this is to share it. I really like the idea of Wikipedia being free and having the option to donate if and whenever one wants to and according to what one can afford and what one is willing to give. When I get wealthy I will donate for sure. I don't contribute a lot, but when i see something wrong or something to be improved, that I know about, I take my time to correct or improve it. Thats simply because I like to share my knowledge to help others. And I really want to give something back to the comunity and to contribute to this great website, which has helped me a lot and is a blessing to mankind.

Suggestion for improval

I have one suggestion for a small improvement I would like and I think it would help everyone and disturb nobody. I grew up bilingual in german and english and as these happen to be the the two most present languages on this site I use it in both languages and switch between them very often.

I mostly visit wikipedia via the german Url, which I find very handy (more intuitive than, and sometimes I don't find what I need in german and want to search for it in english. And now it would really be very handy to have the languages on the left hand side all the time, wherever you are in Wikipedia in whatever situation (maybe with few reasonable exceptions). I know they are there for most of the time, but for example if you search for something and there is no article found, then the main frame and the sidebar are both nearly empty and there are no language settings on the left hand side. I noticed that the languages are displayed according to the search keywords and in which other languages they are found in the search result list. Similar thing with articles, there are only languages displayed for which an article about the same topic exists. That makes sence, its a good feature and should not be changed.

But if you don't find the article with an english searchword, maybe you want to switch to another language quickly and then you will miss the languages that are not listed at the side because there is no article containing the enlish keyword in the german wikipedia for example or because no article was found and therefore no language links are displayed. Or maybe you read some english article and would like to read about something else that has to do with the subject, but you can only think of the german word, then its handy if you can just click german and type in the word thats in your mind to find the article you want. These are just 2 examples for loads of situations that happen where you want to change the language of the site, preferably at one click and without having to press the back-button repeatedly or having to type a new Url.

So I think the section languagues that exists should keep its functionality the way it is, but there should be a second section as well for the languages the article or search word or section is not available or found in, lets call it "other languages" for example. At the same time the current language section should be renamed into "also available in" or "also found in" to make the difference between the two clear: "also found in" for corresponding sites/results found in other languages and "other languages" for the rest of the languages without any hits on the keyword/topic so you can still choose one of them at a klick if you want to.

So there would be a section working like the current language section and another new section beneath that, displaying the languages that were left out in the first, because the article, page or searchresults are not available in those languages, so that users can still switch to these at will.

The names I made up for the two sections in "" are just examples to make my idea clear, there might be better ones for the same thing and then they should be named whatever is best.

I think there are more such situations where the languages should be added on the left hand side in some form, preferably the two-section solution I suggested, because they are simply missing and there are equivalent pages in other languages and there is enough space to add them at the side.

For example if you visite the sidebar-links "content" or "recent changes" or "special pages" there are no language settings at the side. There might be more such situations to be found if someone knows his way through the site well.

I would be happy if that change could be done. I know its not a very big or important modification, but it makes navigation through languages much easier and more consistent, so it does not happen, that you wonderingly search for the languages and think they were somewhere here on the left hand side. Because exactly that happened to me once, when I was fairly new to the site. So changing the language could be faciliated and speeded up a bit. Seeing that there are so many views of wikipedia daily from all over the world I think even such a small improvement would repay the effort hundertfold by saving each of the millions of viewers a little bit of time each time they want to change the language. It would help everyone even if only a tiny little bit. Thats exactly the reason why I just spend so much the time to think and write and explain so much about such a small suggestion.

Thank you to whoever takes the time to read and consider my suggestion! Before you delete this, please send me a link to where it should be post it or post it there yourself and send me the link. Thank you. <email removed>

I would suggest the Qwika tool [2]. It searches in 1,158 wikis and (machine-) translates the text. JoJan (talk) 14:37, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Excellent idea! And when you're looking at search results and click on one of the interwikis which you're suggesting, perhaps it should automatically display search results using the same search term you just used. I don't know whether that would be hard for the developers to set up. --Coppertwig (talk) 01:27, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Making Did You Know archives easier to access

I have been informed that on 31 January 2008, a "Did you know" feature was featured on Frederick Madison Allen,but I have not been able to find it. Do you know where I might find it? Is there way to make back editions of "Did you know" easier to access?ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:07, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

It's at [3]. There are archives at Wikipedia:Recent additions, but they only go back to early February, otherwise it would be easy to find using "What links here" on the article.-gadfium 04:25, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Would it be feasible to modify the template put on the article's Talk page to include a link to the actual DYK diff where the article appeared? Sbowers3 (talk) 18:03, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Bots and the {{bots}} template

There is discussion ongoing at Wikipedia talk:Bot policy#nobots about whether or not bots should obey the {{bots}} template (especially in regard to user talk pages). Please chime in there. —Locke Coletc 03:04, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

We all know what you mean; that you don't intend by your post to convey what the words actually say, but please be aware that "chime in" is generally a pejorative, usually employed to mean the insertion of an unwanted and unwelcome opinion.-- (talk) 06:50, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Er... I was not aware that "chime in" was a pejorative. I certainly didn't mean it in any negative way... —Locke Coletc 06:58, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
That's why I said "we all know what you mean..." It's crystal clear from the context that you don't mean it in that way. I just thought you should be aware. See, for example, here for a definition:-)-- (talk) 14:47, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I have never before heard that it was pejorative. My dictionary defines "chime in" as 1) interject a remark; 2) join in harmoniously. Sbowers3 (talk) 15:07, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
From various dictionaries listing only first entries (primary definitions):

To interrupt the speech of others, especially with an unwanted;
interrupt other people's conversation: to interrupt or join in a conversation between other people, especially in order to voice an opinion Encarta;
To break into a conversation; "her husband always chimes in, even when he is not involved in the conversation" interlingua;
chime in, cut in, put in, butt in, chisel in, barge in, break in -- (break into a conversation...Worldnet; etc.

I just wanted Locke Cole to be aware, not cause a ruckus; I apologize that this is spiraling into a larger discussion and thus causing the original post's topic to be obscured.-- (talk) 15:21, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Now would be a good time for someone to update the Wiktionary entry; it does not mention the negative connotations of the expression. Waltham, The Duke of 22:51, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
The pejorative stuff is merely a connotation, which is merely there sometimes when the word is used. Most of the definitions listed above do not have pejorative primarly meanings, only (in some cases) pejorative connotations. In my opinion, a connotation is something different from "what the words actually say." In my opinion there was nothing at all wrong with what Locke Cole said. In fact, I support Locke Cole's usage of the phrase. I generally oppose the sliding of meanings from neutral meanings to necessarily positive or pejorative meanings, and boldly using a word or phrase in a neutral fashion like that helps prevent that slide. --Coppertwig (talk) 01:34, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
This is not about right and wrong, it's about word usage and primary meanings. "Merely a connotation"? Language is nuanced and delicate and choosing one word or phrase over another because of its connotation is what we must all do when we set pen to paper (or fingers the keyboard). For good or bad, the primary meaning of to chime in is negative, and of those who know the phrase, the majority will understand it under its primary definition (that's why it is the primary), and will thus read the initial post with a bit of puzzlement as to the word choice. The lady squatted has a different connotation than the lady kneeled; the physical act described can be identical, but the reader gets a very different impression from the one as opposed to the other. I don't understand what you mean when you refer to the "sliding of meanings from neutral meanings to necessarily positive or pejorative meanings". Words mean what the mean (including their connotations) until usage changes in society. There is often a lag time between a change in usage and dictionaries' reflection of that change, but the subject we are focused on here has not, I think, had a usage shift.-- (talk) 02:31, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
To avoid taking up space here, I continue this discussion at my talk page. --Coppertwig (talk) 12:46, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

April Fool's main page

See Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page. Are we doing this again this year? Anyone else interested in helping? The "joke" is that everything on the main page is a completely factual (yet unusual or unexpected) collection of information. - Chardish (talk) 01:45, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-03-03/Dispatches. Corvus cornixtalk 18:26, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

CSD R2 and T1, and userbox migration

I propose that, to take the userbox migration solution into account, CSD R2 and T1 be amended to read:

R2. Redirects to the Talk:, User: or User talk: namespace from the article or template space. If this was the result of a page move, consider waiting a day or two before deleting the redirect.
T1. Templates in "Template:" space that are divisive and inflammatory and have been copied to user subpages.

NeonMerlin 21:36, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Requests to alter the criteria for speedy deletion should go on the talk page of the CSD page Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion Harryboyles 03:34, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Proposed blanking

Well, I finally finished with Wikipedia:Proposed blanking and Template:Prob. Whew, it was hard writing all that stuff from scratch, but at last it's complete. (Wipes sweat from brow) Obuibo Mbstpo (talk) 23:23, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Why would we want or need to blank an article? There's deletion on one side and cleanup on the other. bibliomaniac15 I see no changes 23:38, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
But deletion is so permanent! It's almost contrary to the idea of a wiki. See WP:PWD. Obuibo Mbstpo (talk) 23:42, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
Deletion is not permanent; pages can be restored or viewed by administrators. If you ask me, PWD and XD are some of the most WP:CREEPiest things I've ever seen. bibliomaniac15 I see no changes 23:48, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
The idea of a wiki is easy collaboration. How is deleting something that we don't want (and by extension, don't want to collaborate on) contrary to that idea? Mr.Z-man 07:09, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
There are a lot of ways to allow easy collaboration. But the fundamental concept of a wiki is to focus on making things easy to fix, rather than hard to mess up. Deletion, as it currently exists, errs on the side of making it "hard to mess up" (i.e. by the user coming back and making the content visible again). And that makes it harder to fix as well, e.g. if consensus would have otherwise changed somewhere down the road, and the content would have been resurrected. Obuibo Mbstpo (talk) 00:01, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Blanking is temporary. Keeping all previous revisions in history doesn't just "not prevent messing up" but it encourages resurrection with little or no change to the content, which was decided by consensus to be deleted. Deletion on the other hand forces "resurrectors" to request a copy of the deleted material from an admin, whereby upon fulfillment of such a request, an admin takes the responsibility of making the user aware that restoration of the article in too similar a form will not be allowed. Equazcion /C 00:23, 14 Mar 2008 (UTC)

Deletion is intended to be permanent, although:

  • There is a delete page archive that retains deleted content for a limited amount of time, to facilitate undeletion of accidentally deleted content.
  • This archive can be cleared and items can be removed at any time.
  • Though this has not happened in recent history.

More detail from foundation head developer: WARNING ABOUT DELETION

If the intent is to keep a record, then blanking is to be preferred.

--Kim Bruning (talk) 19:31, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

But the intention is not to keep a record, but to remove content that we (as a community through an appropriate XfD process) have decided we do not wish Wikipedia to include. How is that consensus-based system opposed to the ideal of a wiki? Happymelon 10:13, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Then you are in disagreement with bibliomaniac15 I think.
That and records are kind of handy when studying community behavior, among other things.
--Kim Bruning (talk) 22:18, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Tag to prevent plotbloat

I propose that a tag is introduced for when a plot summary in an article reaches an optimum length. At the moment some articles e.g Goodfellas, No Country for Old Men are subject to constant revisions with users placing uneccessary detail, speculation or their own interpretations of what happened.

When a consensus has been agreed upon the tag would be placed before the article which could read The plot summary below is considered to be a suitable length for the article. Please read discussion on talk pages before editing it. Obviously the wording would have to be discussed but I think you get the idea. Users would of course still be able to edit the plot summaries but would hopefully give them pause for thought before firing in. Yorkshiresky (talk) 12:06, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

You might try a <!-- Hidden comment --> that can only be seen on editing, but {{ambox}} style templates should only be temporary. Mr.Z-man 23:37, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Old proposal to view review version

A while ago there was a proposal to make visitors see the last reviewed version of a page rather than the current, potentially vandalized one. This proposal was supported by most users, and the people who own the website said that they liked it, but it was never implemented. What is the point of this place if people can propose good ideas and they are never acted upon? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:06, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Flagged revisions Adrian M. H. 21:49, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
In August they said that they would do it in "a few months", and it's now been seven months. The idea has clearly been abandoned by the higher-ups. We need to find someone who knows how to change the site's code and get them to change it for us. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:17, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
The extension is still under development. Its currently being tested on the test wiki and IIRC, the discussion here really didn't result in anything being resolved. Mr.Z-man 17:28, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Article linking proposal

This is a proposal to simplify locating the relevant text in a linked article - and given that's software based i might try to lodge it over at Bugzilla, but alas, I am a noob.

It would be handy when clicking on a link to be able to have the option to go directly to the main (or first) part of the linked article which is directly relevant to the article the reader was just reading.

For example, I was reading about the Double Layer (Stern potential) and there was a link to Milk, which is obviously a large article. It would have been great if I could have selected, perhaps as a right-click option, the whole article, or the point in the article directly relevant to the Double Layer. Of course, I can easily just do a "ctrl-F" and find that, and I realise funding is not easy for wiki.

Apologies if this has already been raised, but I couldn't find any reference to it. And I have no idea how easy/possible this proposal is, but it would certainly make searching easy for the average reader.

Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Countskogg (talkcontribs) 09:31, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Maybe something like this: [[Milk#Physical and chemical structure|Milk]], which produces Milk, a link to a particular section within an article. It's not exactly what you requested but it is something editors can do now. What you really want is a form of Artificial Intelligence, which takes you to a place based on the context of where you came from. Sbowers3 (talk) 10:09, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I just changed the milk link in double layer to [[Milk#Physical and chemical structure|milk]] which displays as milk. Is that what you were looking for, Countskogg, or did you particularly want to be able to right-click and have a choice? I wonder whether a userscript could be written to give that sort of choice. I'm not sure that it's needed. --Coppertwig (talk) 18:15, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Automatic welcoming

I'm not sure if this has been proposed before, but I think it would be nice if new users automatically got a welcome template on their talk page. That way, we could put them on the right track and hopefully convince them to stay. bibliomaniac15 00:35, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

There is (or was) a welcome page for newly registered accounts. I'll dig around and find it. Nick (talk) 01:02, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
That was quicker than I thought. MediaWiki:Welcomecreation. It did look like this [4] at one point, but the consensus was all that information was too overwhelming for new users. There's no consensus for welcoming bots either, I should add. Nick (talk) 01:06, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

It won't happen -- penubag  (talk) 01:03, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

View oldest non-patrolled?

On New pages patrol, by experimenting with the offset parameter in the URL I discovered that there are more than 14,000 pages that have not been patrolled - and who knows how many older than one month. Could we get an "oldest" button to make it easier to patrol old articles before they disappear unpatrolled from the list of new pages? Sbowers3 (talk) 03:37, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

As far as changes go, this would (hopefully) be fairly non-controversial. It would require a software change though, I would suggest filing a request on Bugzilla. Mr.Z-man 17:28, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd like random non-patrolled, actually. The advantage is that odds are low that 2 different people get the same page. --Kim Bruning (talk) 05:17, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Adding size to the deletion log

I feel it would be helpful to users (particularly non-admin patrollers) if they could see the size of a deleted page in the deletion log. They could then easily compare it to a current page and tag it if needed without having to view it. Now, since I'm new to the VP if this is in the wrong place or has already been proposed and rejected, please point in the right direction. Thanks. --ÐeadΣyeДrrow (Talk | Contribs) 13:10, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Changing the way DYK works

I've suggested a way in which we could encourage article improvement here: Wikipedia talk:Did you know#Changing DYK process. Please take a look and make any suggestions/comments. Thanks RxS (talk) 18:40, 17 March 2008 (UTC)


There is a discussion currently going on in Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Em dash about whether the Manual of Style should only favour spaced en-dashes and unspaced em-dashes for disjunction (thus disallowing spaced em-dashes), each format to be used consistently in any given article.

You are all welcome to comment. Waltham, The Duke of 03:14, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Revert restrictions

Recently, there was an incident reported to WP:AN3. It wasn't a direct violation of 3RR; rather, two editors were at odds, and instead of reaching compromise, they were edit warring across multiple articles. They never violated technical 3RR, but an admin had to end up protecting the pages. So, I notified both editors of my decision to restrict them to two reverts a person should they interact again in the near future. I did this for multiple reasons; first, it kept me unbiased, so that I could still help mediate the dispute. Secondly, they wouldn't be able to get around the technical definition of 3RR. Third, I didn't feel right about blocking two well-established editors for something they really shouldn't have been doing, and wanted to offer a chance to reconcile and compromise. Protecting multiple pages didn't sound fun either. However, this was misinterpreted as an abuse of power, and it was quickly pointed out to me that policy does not cover any of this; the closest would be either getting ARBCOM to do it or getting consensus at ANI.

Now, my idea is; wouldn't it be acceptable for admins to administer actions like this? Instead of blocking established editors and alienating them, or protecting pages and stopping others from contributing, you just temporarily stop the two from interacting with each other negatively. They can still compromise, edit other areas of the encyclopedia, and contribute meaningfully; they just can't edit war under the threat of a block.

I'm bringing this here as a proposal, but also as a means to get some suggestions and commentary from peoples out there. So go on, have a go. Master of Puppets Call me MoP! 22:41, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

If you think that the edit warring would best be halted by blocking, then go ahead and block as normal. The block can be reviewed if inappropriate. I don't like the idea of you creating apparently permanent special restrictions unilaterally. Christopher Parham (talk) 22:46, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Temporary restrictions, temporary. Forgot to put that in. Master of Puppets Call me MoP! 22:53, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Without a specified ending period (which as I can see hasn't been established), it's as permanent as anything can be on Wikipedia. Christopher Parham (talk) 23:08, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that restrictions of that sort are unreasonable, though it's a good idea to post a notice to AN/I if you're going to 'think outside the box'. Remind the involved editors that 3RR is an electric fence and not an entitlement (or whatever the precise wording is) and that edit warring across multiple articles – 3RR or not – is disruptive and eminently blockable.
If you're feeling charitable, offer them a choice—they can take the 2RR, or you can just block them immediately if they start to fight again. There's no reason to make a lot of article uneditable if it's only a pair of editors who can't behave. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:50, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Blocking is fine because it is a one-time, easily reviewable decision. Creating restrictions that are active for a long period raises many questions: Are other admins bound by the new rule - what happens when another admin sees 3 reverts and decides blocking is inappropriate? Can other admins unilaterally lift the remedy or would that be wheel warring? The specific remedy also has problems, being easy to game in the same way 3RR is. Christopher Parham (talk) 23:08, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Not long periods; maybe one week at the most. The thing here is that this is essentially already an unspoken policy; if users have been edit warring and are warned, they'll be blocked if they keep doing it. However, I've always been of the opinion that giving them that extra last chance can turn things around; an ultimatum, imposed on both parties, to get them to play fair without passing out blocks. Master of Puppets Call me MoP! 05:18, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I would say that admins could impose anything up to a block as an alternative to a block, but without some sort of consensus or arbcom mandate, such a restriction would be really difficult to maintain. Mr.Z-man 23:41, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Better yet, why not refer them to WP:BRD? That's the standard way of dealing with conflicts on a wiki. There's an essay out there somewhere that says that when someone reverts you, it's better to leave the wrong version up there and discuss it on the talk page. The idea is to persuade them to revert themselves, or get the consensus on your side. Obuibo Mbstpo (talk) 04:22, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Since it's an essay, BRD is just "a nice thought" right now. Warring editors won't likely take heed from reading it. I think that if it's apparent that editors are warring across multiple articles, they should be blocked for 3RR. Why punish everyone else for the actions of a couple of poor editors? I've been told many times that 3RR isn't a definite line and that 3 reverts don't need to show up in the same article (or even at all) in order for a revert war to be declared and the participating editors blocked. In other words, you don't get to make 3 reverts in 24 hours anymore. So either move 3RR to a different name and make changes in order to reflect that, or perhaps merge 3RR and BRD somehow. That's already the practice anyway, as far as I've seen. Equazcion /C 04:29, 16 Mar 2008 (UTC)
WP:BRD is not merely a "nice thought," it is advice from experienced Wikipedians as to how to break a logjam. The "warring editors" don't need to have a clue about BRD. There mever was a rule that you "got to make 3RR in 24 hours," that was established as a "bright line." You could be blocked for a single reversion as part of an edit war, particularly if, for example, editors are tag-teaming reverts. BRD is, by definition, not edit warring. It's a single bold edit, and if a revert comes, response with discussion instead of edit warring. Let the other side or sides edit war. That Equazion thinks 3RR and BRD are the same thing, to be merged, is bizarre. 3RR is still the rule, it has not changed. Break 3RR, you can be blocked. It isn't a free pass, never was. BRD is indeed an essay, damn good one, too. Good advice. Not policy, rather how to avoid trouble with policy. Mbstpo has been the target of complaints for following BRD, which says more about those complaining than it does about him. Breaking 3RR, you'll see more than complaints. I did it once, had a good reason, and still I crossed every available finger. I *was* blocked, but unblocked immediately, when the reality of the situation sank in. I'd been reverting a cabal including an IP editor who was as COI as imaginable, I'd figured out who he was (it would have been harder if he had registered an account) plus a sock puppet of a banned user. Don't try this at home.--Abd (talk) 03:00, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I stated only what the practice was. The practice has been to block or at least threaten a block, under "3RR violation", for edit warring, whether 3 reverts took place or not. This would indicate that admins are treating 3RR and BRD as the same thing. If you want to argue that there's something wrong with that logic, be my guest. But that is what's been happening, as far as I've seen. Since policies are supposed to reflect common practice, and not the other way around, that would indicate that a merge is in order. Again, only telling you what I see, not what should be. Equazcion /C 03:21, 17 Mar 2008 (UTC)
Huh? 3RR is that you get blocked for making 3 reverts. BRD is where you find out who to talk to, by making an edit and watching who reverts. I'm not entirely sure what the relationship is. People might be reading wrong?
I guess WP:BRD can be added to some "list of most misquoted best practices":
--Kim Bruning (talk) 02:20, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Start referring to admins as "Servants" instead

Administrators need to be reminded of their place.

Too many of them get big heads--and who can blame them? After all, the term "administrator" implies the role of a master.

But really, this isn't what they're intended to be.

They are servants of the community. The name of their role needs to reflect this. The uppity ones need to be taken down a notch or two.

They're servants, not masters; they should be referred to as such. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 22:23, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

"Administrators need to be reminded of their place" ... "The uppity ones need to be taken down a notch or two"... Any evidence to back up these sweeping (and actually rather rude) comments? WjBscribe 22:29, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes master... is this trolling? admins aren't more 'servants' to the community than everybody else, we are all 'servants' to consensus, admins are only experienced users that are given a few more tools, there is no 'power' in those tools but they aren't forced to serve everybody in the community, sysop work is optional like all editing, thus the term 'servant' is awfully misleading. - Caribbean~H.Q. 22:30, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
"Administrator" doesn't necessarily mean a master, it simply means one who keeps things running smoothly - administrates a project. The name makes logical sense, but I can see where you're coming from. Perhaps "janitors" would be better? That's basically what we do—delete the junk, block the vandals, etc Keilana|Parlez ici 22:31, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
(editconflict)Why not just enforce the "no big deal" clause? That way no one's superior to anybody -- RoninBK T C 22:32, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't know how serious you are with this one, but 'administrator' is a neutral word in and of itself. it's not like admins are called Wikipedia Masters instead.:) Not in policy etc. anyway.:)The special, the random, the lovely Merkinsmum 22:33, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Why are we even discussing this? Who cares what it's called? What matters is what people do with the tools they have, not how we call the position. AecisBrievenbus 22:36, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Because it affects how people view it. An "administrator" is essentially the one who runs things--in essence, the boss. But Wikipedia "administrators" don't RUN anything--the community as a whole runs Wikipedia; the admins only carry out and enforce the community's decisions. They are, indeed, mere servants of the community. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 22:38, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Administrator does not imply power - it implies hard work and potential attacks by users like Kurt Weber. Notice how Kurt hasn't bothered to back up his accusation with diffs or evidence? That's because he can't. Now, I highly appreciate Kurt's work on articles, but whenever I see a comment from him that isn't to do with the encyclopedia (be it RfA, here or wherever) I have come to realise it's probably going to not be worth reading. Which is the case with this comment right here. As well as this, the comment itself is a perrennial proposal. The names of admins will not change. You could alternatively call them SysOp, which is probably more accurate, but people are simply not going to stop calling them what they always have. Calling them something else will change nothing. Sincerely, -- (talk) 22:42, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

After all, the term "administrator" implies the role of a master.[citation needed]. —Random832 22:44, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Kurt, excuse me but I am having a hard time assuming good faith here, particulary because all this noise is coming from a user that was previously blocked for disrupting the RFA process, its hard not to feel like you are trying to prove a point of some kind. - Caribbean~H.Q. 22:45, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Tell me, what was more disruptive--my perfectly legitimate comments on RfA, or the grossly inappropriate block on me that was fanatically opposed by an overwhelming proportion of the community? Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 22:51, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Perfectly legitimate? you were opposing only because they were self nominations, did you even took some time to review the contributions of those users? - Caribbean~H.Q. 22:59, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Of course not, because the mere fact of self-nomination makes everything else irrelevant--so there'd be no point. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 23:01, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Please keep discussions that are not related to this proposal out of this thread. Use each other's talk pages if you really can't control the urge to have this discussion. AecisBrievenbus 23:05, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Ooh, does this mean I get to pull out my maid costume with pink feather duster from last Halloween again? :) krimpet 22:47, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
You don't need the outcome of this discussion to do that, (especially if you post pictures...) -- RoninBK T C 22:53, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

ut Wikipedia "administrators" don't RUN anything--the community as a whole runs Wikipedia; the admins only carry out and enforce the community's decisions. They are, indeed, mere servants of the community.

Well, if that's how you feel Kurt, you'll be removing your opposes from those RfAs you've participated in and you'll be stopping making comments which could damage the community, I presume. Nick (talk) 22:46, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

That does not follow--those who think otherwise need to be stopped, after all. And I submit that your illegitimate war-mongering against me has done more damage to the community than anything I've ever done (which has only served to make Wikipedia better). Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 22:48, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
In which case, I invite you to provide the community with conclusive proof that all admin candidates who self nominate themselves don't think of themselves as servants, but as people who "need to be brought down a peg or two" once promoted. The sad reality of all this is you were spurned by the community at RfA and you're having the longest hissy little fit in all history. Isn't it. Pip pip. Nick (talk) 22:54, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't know why you continue to insist that this is all merely sour grapes when it's not. Perhaps you might be close-minded and incapable of changing your mind over the course of a few years, but that's no reason to assume that everyone else is the same way. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 22:57, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Ah yes, it'll be me that's wrong. It'll be me with the closed mind. That's right. I'm the chap who refuses to open my mind to the possibility that some self nominating admin candidates might be really rather beneficial to the project, aren't I. Blocking you might well have been the wrong thing to do, but I can open my mind to that possibility, you on the other hand... Nick (talk) 23:00, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
As you know quite well, I've never denied that many--perhaps even most--self-noms turn out alright. My concern is that WE CAN'T KNOW THAT FOR SURE BEFOREHAND, and so it becomes a comparison of potential risk to potential benefit--and self-nomming is, in my judgment, the factor that tips the scale irrevocably to the side of "it's not worth the risk." Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 23:04, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Becoming an admin is not a promotion to a position of power, but it certainly isn't a demotion to servant level either. Admins are supposed to be regular users with some extra tools. Mr.Z-man 22:51, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Ok, so admins are meant to serve the community. I also note by glancing at my bank statement that admins don't get paid. There's a name for someone that serves without being paid: a slave. Are you suggesting admins should be slaves to the community? --Tango (talk) 22:56, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Mere absence of compensation is not sufficient for someone to be a slave--hell, slaves generally ARE compensated (they still have to be fed, clothed, and housed, for instance). No, the measure of slavery is not compensation but coercion. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 22:59, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm srsly.

--MZMcBride (talk) 22:57, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

(Tweet!) Personal foul, use of cute picture to prove a point, five-yard penalty... -- RoninBK T C 23:04, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't like the proposal because we would need to call bureaucrats "pirates". -- ReyBrujo (talk) 23:05, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Arr! Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 23:07, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Continuing down here, ok so passing a self nomination will undoubtly make the candidate a awful admin? what about "The candidate may respond to the comments of others." how is a candidate supposed to respond to concerns of others if people give blind opposition? how is blindly opposing several nominations a "legitimate concern"? how is it constructive? - Caribbean~H.Q. 23:12, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Caribbean, please keep unrelated and off-topic disagreements out of this thread. If you have an axe to grond with Kurt, you can use each other's talk pages. AecisBrievenbus 23:16, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Don't assume bad faith, I don't "have a axe to grind" with this user, this is relevant, it seems quite obvious that this user opened this based on his past issues with how we select admins. - Caribbean~H.Q. 23:22, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Definitely related and on-topic. --Tango (talk) 23:28, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Except I've never had issues with how we select admins--only with certain individuals becoming admins.
Look, everyone assumes that my end goal is to ban self-noms on RfA. It's not. I don't support self-noms, but if other people don't have a problem with it, or like it, more power to them. It's like members of the Communist Party running for public office--I'd never vote for one, categorically, but I sure as hell don't think they should be forbidden from running either. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 23:31, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I think the problem that some people are having is that on RFAs you claim that self-noms may be power hungry, implying that being an administrator is a position of power, but now you're here claiming its a position of servitude. So are self noms signing up for power or servitude? Mr.Z-man 03:57, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I have never implied that administratorship is a position of power--at least not in the political sense; no one can doubt that it grants additional technical powers--that's the whole point, after all.. I have merely pointed out that some people quite incorrectly view administratorship as a position of political power, and are intent upon abusing the technical power towards those ends--and that self-noms are more likely to fall into this category. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 04:17, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Instead of servants... -- penubag  (talk) 23:26, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Custodians sounds nice! :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 23:37, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

"Custodians" seems like something out of ancient Rome, it sounds good but it still has the "authority" matter that is being used as basis of this discussion. - Caribbean~H.Q. 23:39, 16 March 2008 (UTC)


I don't mind "not" making distinctions between users and administrators (I don't make it public my status as admin because it usually "inhibits" new users when discussing in talk pages). But "servants" is not adequate and, in certain situations, it could even be pejorative or insulting. The Spanish Wikipedia calls them "bibliotecarios" (literally "librarians"). In their discussion they mention the German Wikipedia don't call them administrators. I would like the change here too. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 23:37, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

I wish I knew what the translations of some of those words were. The ones I do sort of understand all sound nice. :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 23:39, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I have always found the term bibliotecario being used in Es. silly to be honest, not all sources here are related to books or written documents wich is what a biblitecario works with. - Caribbean~H.Q. 23:42, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I like it because we are the Great Library of the Web ;-) -- ReyBrujo (talk) 23:45, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Isn't any name change a potential 'spin' and actually may achieve the opposite of Kurt's desire? What I mean is, 'administrator' is not a value judgment, whereas 'servant' or 'custodian' implies someone is good. It would then work against exposing any few 'bad eggs'. The special, the random, the lovely Merkinsmum 23:45, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, I guess I will attract less attention when mailing Flickr users asking for free images if I say "Hi, I am Roberto, a Wikipedia servant". Makes me sound like a zombie or fanatic. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 23:50, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Still I think "custodian" is better than Wikiduende (wich was proposed as a alternative on Es.) that literally means "Wikielf", how would that sound? - Caribbean~H.Q. 23:54, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Custodian is fine, but it also inspire a sense of "strong user". Note that Wikiduende is Wikignome. Wikielf would be Wikielfo. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 23:55, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
No exactly, that varies per region, in Caribbean Spanish gnome = gnomo, duendes and elfos (wich is very rarely used from where I come) = elfs, then again I heard elfo more often in southern Latin American programming. - Caribbean~H.Q. 00:00, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
We aren't serious about this name change are we? -- penubag  (talk) 23:58, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
how about wikilackey ? Just joking lol:) The special, the random, the lovely Merkinsmum 00:05, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Why is this even here? I'd delete it as trolling. I don't know how any of the substance could be considered good faith, with all due respect to the poster. Anchoress · Weigh Anchor · Catacomb 04:39, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Custodian doesn't work since WP:RFC (which WP:RFA would be changed to) is already taken :p Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 04:44, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Also, if the "Servant" proposal went through, then "Requests for adminship" would be changed to "Requests for servitude" (LOL) Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 04:47, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I tried to assume full responsibility for all this mess, Anchoress, but he wouldn't accept it (check the history); he's too noble.
Or simply humourless—after all, "Kurt" does sound German, and we all know how funny these people are. :-D Waltham, The Duke of 04:51, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Ehh, I wasn't the one who removed that. And yes, I am of German ancestry--hell, my full name is "Kurt Maxwell Weber". Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 04:56, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought you did. I was watching the page in real-time, and I guess I missed an edit. Wiki-jargon question: what is a strawman? Waltham, The Duke of 16:35, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Not so much WikiJargon, see Straw man -- RoninBK T C 06:14, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. I've seen the article again, but it's been so long I had forgotten the term's meaning. Now I guess I'll have to start learning the various fallacies' names and argumentum terms as well, or I'm doomed as far as wiki-politics are concerned. :-D Waltham, The Duke of 13:16, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales should be admonished and officially requested to step down.

Two Anti-Vandal Tools

First one: What if we added an option to search for a word that first appeared in the article ONLY back to a certainpoint in time. Most instances of vandalism are relatively new. So, if we added a function so that we could search for word X in articles, where X appeared in the last week or month in that article, it would make it easier to find vandalism.-Link (talk) 22:31, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

It's easier just to spot the words as they are added and revert straight away, which is what the various anti-vandal bots do (among other things). Searching later would be very slow - the code would have to check every diff of every article past the given date, I don't think it would be worth it. --Tango (talk) 22:22, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I think you want wikiblame.-gadfium 00:46, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

About the PNG image file format

While I can understand that the increased use of the PNG file format on the internet as of late steems mostly from people's ignorance and ever-faster internet connections, I find it hard to believe that Wikipedia is following the trend. It should be a well-known fact that high-palette PNG images are substantially larger("often 5–10 times" to quote Wikipedia's own entry on PNG) in size than their JPG equivalent, which in almost all cases does not go in pair with better quality at all. Indeed, unless the JPG is saved at extremely low quality, the difference is simply unnoticeable to the naked eye. Since what motivated me to write this proposal was the article about the video game Crysis, let me use an example: There are three pictures in the article in PNG format, taking together 2.56MB of data. Simply resaving them as 100% quality JPG cuts it to 1.02MB; Resaving them as 90% JPG cuts it to 381KB and yes, the differences between respective versions are still unnoticeable at that point. While most of that doesn't matter to the internet user, it should be a staggering difference to any server owner, and to my knowledge Wikipedia hosts all it's content - the conclusions are obvious. And because Wikipedia seems to favor SVG over PNG for almost all low-palette pictures, I would go as far as to say that the abilitiy for posting PNG by common users should be simply disabled alltogether as there is simply no reason for it. (talk) 17:54, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

You're right that most images should be JPEGs or SVGs. However, some images both exhibit high-contrast edges and are inappropriate for SVGs, such as screenshots of old games and applications, images featuring mixed photographs and geometric elements, and transitional diagram images that have not yet been replaced by SVGs. For a game like Crysis which is designed to appear realistic, JPEGs are appropriate, but if it were to feature significant high-contrast HUD elements, it may not be. Additionally, for some photos it's useful to have a lossless version available for editing even if it's not used in articles, to prevent generation loss. Finally, the servers have plenty of storage - the only issue is the size of thumbnails in articles, which (ideally) could be controlled by rendering thumbnails of PNGs as JPEGs where appropriate, although this functionality is not currently available. Dcoetzee 19:02, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Abuse of Process

It would be nice to have a formal system for levelling sanctions on those who are gaming the system, or abusing the processes on WP. People who file fallacious complaints, or charge others with CIVILity violations which are clearly trumped up (like accusing people who want to enforce NPOV or LEAD or even just disagreeing with FRINGE proponents of being unCIVIL). I am observing an increasing amount of this sort of gamesmanship, and it makes the project less and less pleasant. If we could have clear guidelines and examples of Abuse of Process and suggested sanctions, it would make it easier for admins to enforce it. And easier to point to a policy that would hopefully slow some of these abusers down a bit. Otherwise, we are headed for a lot more trouble in the future.--Filll (talk) 20:49, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

I disagree with the idea of using a formal system. Once you codify something into a rule, the bad actors start to find loopholes to continue their gamesmanship. Best to deal with these things on a case-by-case basis. -- RoninBK T C 23:02, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Hm, how would we deal with people abusing the abuse-of-process process? Mr.Z-man 00:31, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
The same. Abuse of abuse-of-process process is still abuse of process. Next question? They're easy today.--Abd (talk) 02:10, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
And then the person who is accused of abusing the abuse-of-process process accuses the person who reported him of abusing process - which is why we use common sense. Mr.Z-man 16:28, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Nah, a formal process wouldn't be helpful. That would just add another level of bureaucracy to the mix. Best to deal with these cases using common sense. If a potential disruptor knows someone will need to file a formal report in order to propoerly accuse him of gaming the system, he's more likely not only to do it but to find a way out of the consequences. If he knows an admin just needs to use common sense and can block him simply for being disruptive, he'll be less likely to try it. Equazcion /C 16:12, 17 Mar 2008 (UTC)

You could Formally Laugh In Their Face? ;-) If folks who try to just yell process names actually try to take people through dispute resolution., they'd quickly get into huge quantities of trouble. Dispute resolution is designed to backfire on people who try to use it in bad faith. --Kim Bruning (talk) 05:20, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

(reply to OP) More than any formal process for dealing with it, the solution is just to not let it work. If someone's trying to game WP:CIV, just be really professional and courteous, and then giggle to yourself when observers look and say, "what incivility?", and your opponent has no leg to stand on. The trick is not to add another layer of infringement and enforcement, but simply not hand them any of those cards to play, and then let them fail when they try to bluff it. -GTBacchus(talk) 23:42, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

A mechanism should be created whereby non-admins can close AfD debates which are a clear 'delete'

I don't know how it could be done exactly, but this would be very useful, as there's a substantial backlog at Afd. Even articles several days older than the required time for an AfD which are an obvious and almost unanimous, or unanimous, delete, are still waiting. Another idea would be that non-admins, or perhaps only a few who have been okayed to have these powers, could close a debate as delete when the circumstances are similar to those listed at WP:NAC for keeps, but for a delete outcome. Then they could list them on a page "Articles with Consensus for Deletion" and admins need simply delete those on the list. Obviously if anyone concerned closed an AfD questionably, they would risk losing this responsibility and the article would be restored. So- if t is not possible for non-adminns to be given these limited powers on a basis similar to Requests for rollback but more stringent, is there already a page where we can close debates on articles which are an obvious delete, and list them for ease of deletion? The special, the random, the lovely Merkinsmum 22:20, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

If I were to close a debate in this way, it would still require an admin to come along and not only push the actual delete button, but presumably to check my work. Now you have two people doing what it took one to do before, a very inefficient outcome. -- RoninBK T C 22:52, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
you could make it so it were trusted people so the admins needn't review their work- or at any rate it would be easier for them to close as the actual work/writing was done. It would not be inefficient at closing the backlog of deletion debates, there would be less there, and the 'underling' could do half the work for the admin where that AfD's concerned. The special, the random, the lovely Merkinsmum 23:48, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry I'm having a groggy day lol of course admins would have to check our work, but the explanation, closing comments etc would be done already.The special, the random, the lovely Merkinsmum 00:03, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Would saving the time on the paperwork side of the job really be worth it? I don't close many AfDs, but it doesn't really take that long once you've assessed the article and the discussion. If the admin didn't need to review the decision, that would save a lot of time, but if someone can be trusted with putting an article on a list to be deleted without being checked, they can be trusted with the delete button itself, since the effect is the same. --Tango (talk) 00:11, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, if an admin still has to check it, the time is only saved in adding the closing templates, and there are scripts to speed that up. It would just shift the backlog from WP:AFDO to some other page where they would have to be listed for admins to check and delete, the listing there would add an extra step to the process. Mr.Z-man 00:29, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
There is a basic misunderstanding here. Non-admins can already close deletion debates. I've seen it done. It isn't generally recommended, but there is nothing preventing it beyond the minor specialized knowledge involved in proper closing. The rules remain the same. It's bad form to revert the closing without obtaining the consent of the closer, it could be considered edit warring. If the closing is not a Delete closing, done. (remedy if incorrect is renomination.) If it requires deletion, yes, that requires an admin; however, if a user had a relationship with an administrator where trust was normal, the admin could simply push the final button, does not even have to read everything (slightly risky, but not seriously harmful if not repeated). Given that deletion is, in fact, a reversible process, it is not a true, complete deletion, even if occasionally a mistake was made, the result could be quite efficient. (Remedy if improper delete, Deletion review There is no special power that administrators are presumed to have to properly judge the results of a deletion debate. Any experienced user, familiar with relevant policy, should be able to do it. And just as with administrators, there can be problems with bias. That's why no decision is truly final. Even ArbComm can be reversed, though it gets dicey, for sure. (Any examples? I'm not aware of any, but in theory, Jimbo has the final say, and beyond him, the WMF board, and beyond that, the entire community of users *could* decide to do something different. With each stage, increasing difficulty.... but at the level of an AfD, not a problem at all if a decision is wrong. Well, hardly a problem. Delete decisions can seriously alienate users from Wikipedia, and they might immediately walk.)--Abd (talk) 02:05, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Actually, there is another way, which would involve creating another reason for Speedy Deletion: result of AfD was Delete. The AfD would already be flagged on the page to be deleted, so all that the non-admin closer would do is to add that tag, and any admin who patrols for those tags could find it and delete it. After looking at the AfD, I presume. To check that it existed and had been closed.--Abd (talk) 02:08, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, you can. Close the debate as delete and add {{db-afd}} (no parameter needed unless the XfD debate is not the default). My experience (back at the end of 2006/start of 2007, so perhaps not representative of what would happen if you did this today) was that it was fifty-fifty whether closing AfDs this way earns you a message about non-admins not being supposed to close XfDs as delete. Angus McLellan (Talk) 13:47, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh that's brill, thanks. What do you all think? Only I don't see why a non-admin can't close something that's an obvious delete, without risking being 'told off'. Would it depend on how clear cut the result was? Only if people can suggest ideas here I or someone could edit WP:NAC to add that info- it doesn't currently include db-afd I don't think. There should be a precedent started that it's ok to do this, as speedies are handled promptly (maybe it's just easier to do), whereas AfD mounts up. The special, the random, the lovely Merkinsmum 14:38, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
You can do it, sure, but I really don't see the point. I wouldn't delete an article tagged with db-afd without going through the same process I would go through for closing the afd itself (apart from the paperwork, which as someone said above, can be automated), so it wouldn't save any time. --Tango (talk) 14:51, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
No but the closing comments etc, as well as the paperwork, if an admin agreed with them you wouldn't necessarily have to redo. The same as for a speedy delete- the only admin comment tends to be the edit summary. As I understand it, bots for actually deciding an AfD have never been encouraged, because it is not a counting of votes as such but requires a degree of judgement which would be difficult to automate correctly. My point in doing it would just because as a non-admin, the backlog at AfD is frustrating simply because I personally can't do anything much about it, although there are those which are obvious closes which I feel I could do in line with the consensus in the AfD. The special, the random, the lovely Merkinsmum 17:50, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but the point I'm making is the the paperwork (I'm including the closing comments in that) isn't the part that takes the time, it's actually reviewing the discussion and article that takes time, and the admin will have to do that whether someone else has done the paperwork already or not, since a non-admin cannot be trusted with deletion decisions - if they could, we wouldn't restrict access to the delete button. --Tango (talk) 17:55, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
You're still missing a basic fact. The only benefit of NAC for Keep is that it frees up admins to do other things. No matter how you do this, if a non-admin closed for Delete, it requires a second person to actually push the Delete button. Such gains by that sort of thing are negligible. Secondly, if you go the route of db-afdyou run the risk of a particularly partisan Deletionist improperly closing a debate as Delete, and having the article speedy-killed before anyone has a chance to react, and increasing the DRV caseload. (This problem doesn't exist in Keep NACs because you can simply revert the closure and continue the AfD.) I am all for leaving the power to delete an article with people who are accountable. -- RoninBK T C 19:56, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
RoninBK, you said: "The only benefit of NAC for Keep is that it frees up admins to do other things." I don't think that's true. They can also be useful for non-admins to learn more about the deletion process and to practice closing discussions, and see whether the admin who comes along agrees with them or not. It doesn't save the closing admin any work, but it doesn't create any extra work either, so why not? -GTBacchus(talk) 23:55, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
there's a simple solution. Any non-admin who wants to close AfDs and who is confident that he has a sufficiently established record here to be trusted should get an opinion from someone active at RfA if he's ready to be nominated. A person who couldnt pass there shouldn't be closing AfDs as deletes in the first place. There are lots of qualified people who have never applied because they have no interest in doing things that require the mop. But if anyone is qualified and wants to do them, ask for it. DGG (talk) 20:18, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
That almost sounds like an argument against NAC even for Keep. If a guy could pass that criteria, they might as well become an Admin. Besides, in my case, I know I don't have enough mainspace edits to pass an RfA, but I would assert that I have enough experience to close a SNOWy Keep. -- RoninBK T C 21:17, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
According to {{db-afd}}, it is only supposed to be used "if an administrator closed an Articles for deletion or other deletion discussion with a consensus of delete, but the page still needs to be deleted" which is why the associated criterion is G6 - non-controversial housekeeping. And still, an admin coming across a page tagged with this would still have to verify that the debate was actually closed properly. Mr.Z-man 20:25, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I think anyone who knows how deletion works can close a debate. Seriously. The task of an admin is just to confirm that the wiki won't asplode if they push that button. No more, no less.

Now that said, many folks don't have the button (mostly thanks to a horrendously inefficient RFA process... but we can't fix everything at once). Just find a friendly admin, convince them that you're sane, and then they can push the button for you. :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 05:23, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

"Convince them that you're sane"? I'm fucked... :P -- RoninBK T C 05:39, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
(Sigh) You know what's depressing? Reloading this page for about an hour, waiting for someone to post with "No, RoninBK, you're not crazy", only to realize that a) said flattery is not forthcoming, and b) that I've wasted an hour of my life attempting to find validation by complete strangrs on the internet. I'm gonna go play a game for a bit... -- RoninBK T C 06:50, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, if there was some way for a Bot to remove teh AfD notice from Kept pages and add the OldAFDfull tag to the talk page, I'd close a lot more AfDs. We have that script to add top/bottom box and the reason, but htne having to go to 2 more pages and edit gets annoying. MBisanz talk 07:01, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
And no, your not crazy, according to the pink elephant sitting on my printer. MBisanz talk 07:03, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Meh, there's insane, and then there's insane. Would you be the good kind or the bad kind? If you can convince an Admin that you are the good kind of insane, I'm sure we could work with that too. ;-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 13:47, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
What if the admin is insane as well? :-) They chose to put themselves through an RFA! Mr.Z-man 22:23, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I guess I'm sane enough:P -- RoninBK T C 22:29, 19 March 2008 (UTC) They try to make me go to rehab, I say no, no, no....

New Theme

If you check, for example, the Spanish, Portuguese, or French versions of Wikipedia, you'll see that they sport a nicer theme than the English version. I think that theme should be the default for all versions of Wikipedia because it provides a nicer experience. Peteturtle (talk) 21:50, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Each project should be regulated by its own participants. After all, most versions are largely confined to specific cultures, and the corresponding Wikipedias should conform to the styles most friendly to, and comfortable for, people from these cultures. Besides, most readers regularly visit no more than two or three Wikimedia projects, so there is no reason why there should be any kind of strict uniformity amongst the several hundreds of projects that exist. Themes and style are, and should be, decided on a case-by-case basis. Waltham, The Duke of 18:26, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Tabs At The Top

There should be tabs saying, for example, this page:

project page
edit project page
edit discussion page
history project page
history dicussion

Right now, the functionality is a bit lost. I mean the tabs can be moved around and organized, but right now, it's happened and possible and will happen that if the functionality is not there, those few precious seconds can cost a great idea from being exchanged, either on the dicussion page, or written down on the project page, let's say.

I know the developers might not see this, would someone please put this post on BugZilla? Thanks so much in advance. (talk) 10:07, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

There is no reason to force everyone to deal with more tabs than now exist, since individual editors can tailor the tabs to be whatever they want. (But you do have to be a registered user.) See Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts as a starting point. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:50, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Excatly, some people do not want to register, so they should still have great functionality. And how do you determine which tabs should be included and not? + was never included with the original tabs. The tabs just help editing. (talk) 10:09, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia Article Stats


When I read a Wikipedia article, I would like to see information along the lines of:

  • How many have read this article (all time-total)
  • How many have read this article today / last week / last month / last year
  • What are the top 100 (xxx) articles that have been read today
  • Which are the top 100 article based on a per-country IP analysis (e.g. top 100 articles read from US IP addresses etc.)
  • Most clicked links (and click numbers) in a given article today/this week/this month
  • etc.

Ideally this would be accessed via a new "article stats" tab at the top of the page for per-page stats, and links to aggregated stats page for the big picture.

Of course, there are limitations regarding how much information could be provided, but one could also provide sufficient granular data that could be exported into a spreadsheet for the real stats addicts, and only provide a high level data summary of the most interesting data on the web stats page. If performance considerations are a hurdle, then perhaps version 1 of this stats page would just provide basic info and the performance impact monitored, and future updates could incrementally improve the level of information available until performance became a problem.

Providing this level of metadata about what was being viewed, how often, etc. would add another dimension to the amount of value/information that Wikipedia provides.

Besides individual curiousity, I believe that stats would also further improve the visibility of Wikipedia in the media since the stats always provide another dimension to identifying the current "zeitgeist". For example, it would be useful to be able to report that "there were 100,000 views of the Eliot Spitzer article on Wikipedia today".

Any thoughts, ideas, comments about this?

Nish (-- (talk) 23:46, 18 March 2008 (UTC))

I believe the main reason articles don't have counters on is because it makes the article impossible to cache - it would have to be generated each time it's loaded, rather than just when someone edits it. That would be a major performance problem. That wouldn't be a problem if the stats were on a separate page, as you suggest, however. There are some stats available at which might satisfy some of your requests. --Tango (talk) 23:56, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks - the grok stats site is very much along the lines of what I am proposing. It would be hugely more useful if it were integrated into the wikipedia site though, and it could also go so much further re. article level and other stats. It would also reach a much larger audience and would be "official" stats and could be managed and supported within wikipedia. I am not sure how proposals get implemented but hopefully someone who knows how this works would pursue this. Nish (-- (talk) 23:46, 18 March 2008 (UTC)) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gpsnomad (talkcontribs)
The grok site is very new, once it's more established it may well get integrated into the main site - I certainly hope so. --Tango (talk) 00:40, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we could just put the grok link on talk pages, so it wouldn't tax too many resources.--Pharos (talk) 06:52, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
For the most actively edited articles in the last hour or day, see wikirage.-gadfium 00:43, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
On occasion I frequently access a particular page that I think deserves vigilance against the frequent vandalism it gets from halfwits. These are genuine views (my browser really does access the page), but they're only fleeting, partial views, and even if they could be totted up properly the resulting figures would have nothing to do with reading in any normal sense.
There are certain articles that I have viewed when logged in, when logged out, and via any of three networks. I don't understand how any automated system could know that all these accesses were made by a single person, and therefore your first and second requests are impracticable.
You say: it would be useful to be able to report that "there were 100,000 views of the Eliot Spitzer article on Wikipedia today": Useful for what? This strikes me as profoundly uninteresting trivia. What am I missing? Morenoodles (talk) 21:14, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Alone, not particularly much, but with another article it can be a great comparison at a particular time. Thanks for the great link to the hit counter, Tango!! Reywas92Talk 21:40, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
For articles that get frequent vandalism (many times a day, from multiple users/IP addresses), consider adding them to WP:MVP.-gadfium 00:39, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Blacklist Yahoo news?

Do Yahoo! News URLs stay alive if you have an Yahoo account? I don't have one and it looks like their URLs die after about a week. If we can blacklist them it would help with one of WP's big three policies: verifiability. -- Jeandré, 2008-03-19t22:04z

  • Classic linkrot, but that's why you use {{cite web}} instead of bare URLs. I don't see why you blacklist the entire service though. -- RoninBK T C 00:07, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
    • Maybe a bot that (a) watches new links and, (b) if a yahoo news link, puts a note on the user talk page suggesting that the link be changed (there almost always is a New York Times story or a similar story at a website that keeps these around for much longer). A bot that does (a) already exists (for spam monitoring), so this wouldn't be very difficult to program. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:14, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
      • I don't think Yahoo news generates their own content, so it shouldn't be difficult to find another source with the same story. Does the Internet Archive keep copies of Yahoo News articles? Mr.Z-man 15:19, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I disagree with the proposal, and I agree with Z-Man,. Yahoo News is EXTREMELY useful in finding initial refernces and information. by including the full article, title, byline and date, we can make it easy for editors to later find more minor sites which keep the articles up indefinitely. by blacklisting yahoo news, we would be discouraging literally hundreds of editors, who might be eager to help Wikipedia constructively, and to do all the fact-checking and homework, but simply need a basic comprehensive source at which to find useful citations. so let's keep this useful resource. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 15:23, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Does the Internet Archive keep copies of Yahoo News articles? No, it doesn't keep copies of any news stories, as far as I know - newspapers and other on-line providers of news want the ad revenues and revenues from purchases (albeit few) of archived stories. (And in any case, the Internet Archive doesn't post stuff for six months after it is archived, I believe, so there would be a five month problem anyway.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 20:52, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

m and b symbols

What just happened to the little m and b symbols on edits for minor and bot edits? They seem to have been unbolded and changed to a different font. They look absolutely hideous. Reywas92Talk 00:51, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Seriously, this must of just happened within that last 30 minutes -- penubag  (talk) 00:57, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Also N (new). Sbowers3 (talk) 01:36, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I believe the sources are from MediaWiki:Minoreditletter for m and MediaWiki:Newpageletter for N, but these haven't been touched since 2004 and I can't find the one for b. Someone please fix this soon; it was just fine before. Reywas92Talk 01:59, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Discussed at WP:VPT (that's a better page than this one, for such matters; among other things, the developers monitor it). I believe the problem has been fixed. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:16, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Great New idea that (in my opinion) demands the editors' immediate attention.

My name is Charles Wong and I am an avid Wikimedia user. I just graduated from college and am job searching, but in the mean time I busy myself with brainstorming lucrative and innovative ideas. It may have been thought up before, but not that I have encountered, where people can call up a voice activated computer and search a cyberspace encyclopedia for information. This would essentially do just that. My Idea consists of having computers answer phone calls with voice recognition software that allow users to scan wikipedia for information. The computer voice welcomes and asks which wikimedia branch they would like (more specifically Wikipedia) the machine voice will ask what the user would like to search for, give a choice of alternatives according to relevance like "press one for greek mythology" "two for Greece" the user would select what they want, then it would give them the options by subheadings, the subheading would be selected and then read to the user so that they could prove to their friend the validity of the year of Julius ceasars death or whatever it may be they seek. Additionally there would be the opportunity obviously to have the information emailed to your email adress or texted. I hope someone finds this an intuitive idea and can make it happen. I don't expect to be included if its picked up but if I was I would be ecstatic to help watch it develop to completion.

thanks for your time and hopefully suggestions and additions. -Charles M. Wong —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

First off, please don't post personal contact information on wikipedia.
As for your proposal, it relies on the fact that Wikipedia is stable, which it isn't. It takes one change (i.e. someone reorganizing a section) to require searching for something different. Usually, it's much faster to have Internet access and directly access the Wikipedia pages in that fashion. --Sigma 7 (talk) 20:21, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Also, keep in mind that Wikipedia is run by a non-profit organization and virtually all revenues are from donations. The foundation has enough costs with keeping Wikipedia going as is; adding phone banks and computers running voice recognition software wouldn't be offset by any revenue, unless callers were charged - but Wikipedia is The Free Encyclopedia. That said, there isn't anything stopping a for-profit corporation from doing what you suggest - they can use Wikipedia content without paying for it, or licensing it, or even getting permission to use it. It's free. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:21, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
You would probably be interested in our WP:SPOKEN project.--Pharos (talk) 23:12, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
This sounds like quite a good idea to me. It's probably not something the Wikimedia Foundation would do itself, but the content is free, so anyone else can just go ahead and do it (there might be a requirement to read out the GFDL first, consult a lawyer!). --Tango (talk) 01:31, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

An admin bot to fix double redirects

Recently, I've handled several requests for fixing protected double redirects. I was thinking that the best way to deal with these is to promote a double-redirect fixing flag to adminship, so that it will be able to edit protected pages. I'd like the input of other users on this subject. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 06:51, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Might try looking at what RedirectCleanupBot (talk · contribs) does already. MBisanz talk 07:19, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
That's a different task - RedirectCleanupBot deletes broken redirects; what I want here is a bot with the ability to edit fully protected pages who does a task which I believe a few bots do - to fix double redirects. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 07:53, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe WJBscribe could add that the existing Bot. Or a bot could generate a list of all protected pages needing fixing and admins could work it like a backlog page. MBisanz talk 07:59, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Bots could always place {{editprotected}} requests. GracenotesT § 15:20, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
No, that would just clog up the editprotected queue. It would be better, if the bot isn't going to edit, if the bot just made a list somewhere for admins to process. But the easier solution is just to have an admin run the script once a month or so using their admin account. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:42, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Admins don't need to fix all double redirects; they just need to fix protected double redirects—if that's what you mean by "script". Automation shouldn't be required for the latter task, unless protected double redirects really are so numerous it would be inconvenient for an admin to do it. GracenotesT § 17:28, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
You'd have to ask Od Mishehu about that. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:35, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
(ec)We already have a couple of bots that fix double redirects (User:Computer, User:COBot, and User:Muro Bot, I believe). I find it hard to believe that there are more than a couple cases a week of protected redirects that the bots can't fix - redirects usually aren't controversial enough, or the target of vandals, such that fully protecting them is needed. At minimum, perhaps one or more of the bots could be tweaked - if they don't do this already - to list edits they couldn't make because of page protection, as a sort of backlog page, as MBisanz mentioned, or putting editprotected templates in place, as Gracenotes suggested.
If the issue is that someone wants to fix double redirects by changing wikilinks in mainspace articles - that isn't necessary to fix double redirects. If the problem is that bots are trying to do this and failing because of page protection, then the solution is to tweak the bot code so that it changes redirect pages, converting double redirects (bad) into single redirects (okay). -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:26, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I assumed that the bot was trying to edit protected redirect pages. Editing articles to fix double redirects would be pointless, since it doesn't actually address the existence of the double redirect. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:42, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

I believe there is an editprotected right that can be added to the bot flag via localsettings allowing them to edit protected pages. Perhaps if consensus is gained that can happen. FunPika 22:59, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

That would be a much more controversial change than granting the admin bit to one bot - a change to localsettings.php would permit all bots to edit protected pages. Happymelon 11:09, 21 March 2008 (UTC)


This hidden text is found in the birth sections of date articles (eg 7 May);

<!-- Please do not add yourself, non-notable people, fictional characters, or people without Wikipedia articles to this list. No red links, please. Do not link multiple occurrences of the same year, just link the first occurrence. If there are multiple people in the same birth year, put them in alphabetical order. Do not trust "this year in history" websites for accurate date information. -->

I have found a constant stream of non-notable birthdays also being added to year articles. Is there any objection to me adding similar hidden text (the bit about non-notable birthdays) to these articles also? SpinningSpark 17:32, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I suggest you post to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Years. PrimeHunter (talk) 18:46, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd suggest that they don't really need to be added except to the years that are approx. 12-25 years ago. —Random832 (contribs) 03:46, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Enabling interwiki links from any Wikimedia page

I think it would make sense if the search bar present on all Wikimedia pages enabled users to go straight to a page on another Wikimedia project by first typing the appropriate prefix and clicking "Go". For example, typing "wikibooks:en:How To Assemble A Desktop PC" in the search bar in Wikipedia and clicking "Go" would take you straight to wikibooks:en:How To Assemble A Desktop PC; typing "WIKT:en:WT:CFI" from meta:Main_Page would take you to WIKT:en:WT:CFI, and so on. Currently, searching for something like ":wikt:en:wt:GP" in Wikipedia will take you to a page which does offer the interwiki link, but requires one more click than necessary, as none of the Wikipedia results offered are particularly relevant.

After all, it is unlikely that Wikipedia will actually need to have an article entitled "WIKT:en:WT:CFI" or similar, so I feel that implementing this feature would speed up moving around from Wikiproject to Wikiproject. It Is Me Here (talk) 21:53, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Anti Vandal Plan

I think we should make a page on wikipedia that tells us who has been involved in moderate vandalist activities, when I say this I mean either blanking a whole page placing obscene words on it. Over time I have noticed people have used wikipedia to bias a subject, this may be as simple as deleting a sentance highly critical of a subject and or positive about it. When I say this I mean a cited sentance that without a doubt is true. for example British pounds are are more economicaly powerfull than an american dollar. that example although biased to British pounds is true. On the other hand when some one deletes "stalin indirectly killed millions of people in labour camps" that should not be tolerated. I beleive if we made a page showing "vandals" we could more efficently track them ( user contributions) and correct their mess. However minor vandalism ( as I have done accidently my self) such as deleting an ambigious sentance or saying Michael Jackson is crazy that we should use the current Anti-vandal tactics as now. I also think perhaps we could add a new tool or some feature that lets us find bad word @!*$%&. A large percentage of these words are done by vandals.That does not mean we should delete all bad words some have dramaticizing purpouses and are quotes. I beleive we should double the penalty against actual vandals .In a democracy all people decide thier fates. If you want to use my whole Idea or none of it or some of it. Wikipedia as a whole has much individual knowledge greater than I--Zaharous (talk) 02:15, 22 March 2008 (UTC)Zaharous

Main Page, ITN and Recent Deaths

Again the vexed issue of whether a recent death should go on ITN has reared it's head. This time following the deaths of Anthony Minghella and Arthur C Clarke, both rejected for failing to meet the criteria. This follows earlier controversy with the deaths of Luciano Pavarotti, Sir Edmund Hillary. Ingmar Bergman and several others and will no doubt happen again in the future.

I therefore propose that the most Recent Deaths section are highlighted in a seperate box, underneath the ITN box, much as it is in German language Wikipedia. IMO the current criteria for listing deaths is too inflexible. However equally it's not good for ITN to become littered with deaths, so I think this is likely to be the best compromise solution. Yorkshiresky (talk) 10:57, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

The Current events portal shows all deaths of important people, and I believe that this is sufficient. Although the Main Page gives some news (important news, which actually influence our world, unlike most individual deaths), we shouldn't over-do it. After all, this is an encyclopaedia, not Wikinews, and if we look at this matter from an encyclopaedic perspective, most news on ITN are an opportunity to create new articles or significantly expand existing ones; deaths of important personalities rarely are, as the corresponding articles already exist. Waltham, The Duke of 00:19, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I want to add Col. James Rogers soldier to Wiki

Born in Ireland, James Rogers emigrated with his family to Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1730. During the Seven years War also know as the French and Indian War, he served in the Queen’s Rangers (Rogers' Rangers), a provincial corps raised by his brother Robert Rogers, and was present at the capture of Louisbourg and of Quebec. In the American Revolution he commanded the 2nd Battalion, King’s Rangers, thereby forfeiting some 50,000 acres in the old colonies. In 1784 he led a party of about 300 disbanded King’s Rangers and their families to this vicinity where they were granted land. Rogers, who first settled in Fredericksburgh, where he became lieutenant-colonel of the militia, lived for a time in Prince Edward County but returned to this township before his death in 1790. Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario. historical Marker, Sandhurst, Ontario, Canada

You can add this material yourself - you don't have to post here to do it! See Wikipedia:Your first article for some help. Do you have some references covering this person? Hut 8.5 15:13, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

infobox animanga into franchise media summary infobox

{{Infobox animanga}} is an infobox for anime and manga. It brings the summary of a Japanese franchise media, such as manga, anime, novels and films. However, it is also used in an article about a media relased in only one format like Yotsuba&!.

As of now, there is no infobox for the franchise consisting of multiple media, such as books, TV series, radio dramas and films. At least Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia has the {{Infobox book}} as they are originated from the series of books. However, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, originated from the radio comedy, has no infobox for itself.

I wish Infobox animanga moves to something like "franchise media summary". And, for example, TV anime articles uses {{Infobox television}}--JSH-alive (talk)(cntrbtns)(mail me) 05:03, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikiproject namespace

Wikiprojects tend to have specifically defined naming conventions, numerous subpages, and sometimes work outside of normal conventions (like having their own rules of style, own elections, etc). Would it make sense to create a Wikiproject namespace, similar to the Portal namespace to centrally place all projects and help clear up part of the Wikipedia space? MBisanz talk 07:37, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

I fail to see the utility of this. There are probably lots of areas that could be "seceded", if I may freely use the term, from the Project (or any other) namespace, but as long as there is no conflict between either the scope or names of the pages in a namespace, there is no real gain to be made by subjecting Wikipedia to such a change. After all, there is no real confusion between WikiProject pages and other pages in the Project namespace (which would be resolved by such a measure), and I don't think that a separate WikiProject namespace would change the situation with WikiProjects much. If one wants to find a WikiProject, there is the place to do that. Waltham, The Duke of 21:43, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be a positive development. With so many major pages already titled [["Wikipedia:WikiProject" Something]], it's a virtual namespace already. I don't see any reason not to create this namespace, with the WikiProjects having evolved into such a mature part of our infrastructure, and one that could potentially in future take advantage of the distinct organization of a separate namespace. Wikipedia could probably take a cue from some of the other Wikimedia projects, which have not been so conservative in keeping only to the "obvious" namespaces.--Pharos (talk) 00:34, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
This is funny. I find no reason why this should be done, and Pharos finds no reason why it shouldn't be done. I am not against splintering off the WikiProject section, as long as there are some real arguments about the benefits such an action would produce. "Future benefits" is not enough for me; if we discover later that this is useful, we can move the WikiProjects then. It's not like it will be that much harder then than it is today... There is no actual urgency about the matter. Waltham, The Duke of 03:05, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
As you indicate there is no urgency to this proposal. But given that wikiprojects have their own naming conventions, internal policies, coordination system, and a project naming that is so standard that 95% of projects could be bot identified. Help spaces could have remained part of Wikipedia and Portal part of Mainspace, but it just seems to make sense to split them off. That and there is the annoying name overlap of Wikipedia policies like SPAM and RFA and the corresponding Wikiprojects. MBisanz talk 03:15, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
An argument against: Searches checkmarking "Wikipedia" would not include a WikiProject space which would have to also be checked. Some people would fail to do that and not find the information they want. And many people from other language Wikipedia's would expect to find such pages in the Wikipedia space which has a common name in many languages. My English Wikipedia work occasionally causes me to visit Wikipedia's in languages I don't know. It's nice that the interface is generally consistent so you know where to click even if you cannot read the text. PrimeHunter (talk) 04:32, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
The default search currently includes the article, Talk and Wikipedia namespaces. There's no good reason it couldn't include the new WikiProject namespace as well.--Pharos (talk) 05:21, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
I could swear the default search included only Main and that we could customize our own defaults. but I could be wrong. MBisanz talk 05:25, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
You're right; I customized my own and had forgotten about it. Still, as Waltham explains below, that fact that these are customizable makes it a non-issue.--Pharos (talk) 22:27, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, that is what Help:Searching says. And I've had no idea about it up to now, but, to be honest, I've never explored my preferences really thoroughly. I only activated pop-ups and wikEd last week, imagine that.
So, this is a problem solved, I suppose. If one wants to search WikiProjects, one sets it in one's preferences. Waltham, The Duke of 18:28, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, the search issue has been addressed. So what's the next step, then?--Pharos (talk) 02:30, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
In my opinion, such a move would needlessly split WikiProject-operated activities from Wikipedia-wide activities. The main peer review page would be in Wikipedia: but the subsidiary ones would not; collaborations would be split among multiple namespaces; and so forth. Aside from the confusion, I fully expect that such a move would be used by opponents of WikiProjects to argue that WikiProject processes and recommendations are not as "legitimate" as the ones remaining in Wikipedia:.
Aside from that, I just don't see the benefit here. WikiProjects are just another form of project-internal-management-type material; they are not so fundamentally different that they need to be segregated from all the other editor groups. Kirill 00:27, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I think it's a good idea, as it will be easier to find wikiprojects (search). Makes lists of projects smaller (-10 per project, Wikipedia:Wikiproject Example to Wikiproject:Example, when you count how many projects are thats a hell of a saving ()). – i123Pie biocontribs 21:51, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's that a good an idea, as it would separate formal WikiProject pages from all other related pages, which isn't particularly helpful. Also, frankly, we can't be sure that that specific word will continue to be used into the infinite future. The amount of server time spent to create the new space and then transfer all the pages would probably more than make up for the minimal gain in terms of article name length. John Carter (talk) 19:29, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I am inclined to agree with Kirill Lokshin: WikiProjects are just a part of Wikipedia's internal management and maintenance, and I don't think there is a need to dedicate a new namespace to them. As for arguments regarding shortness of name, the change would reduce search terms by three characters only (any search for "WP:" is equivalent to a search for "Wikipedia:"). Black Falcon (Talk) 22:38, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Agreed with John, Kirill, Black Falcon etc - for their reasons and also that having a separate project space may encourage some editors to believe that WikiProject space has its own rules. The KISS principle applies. Orderinchaos 23:14, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Interwiki Userpages

There is one thing about Wikimedia Foundation I do not understand/like. Why not have a single account for all projects? Maybe with activation request controls for some of the projects, but being able to have only one account. Anyway, the thing is that it's sometimes a real hassle even for myself to switch between user pages from Commons to Wikipedia, for example. I have started to make a template that would allow users to add links to their userpages on any or all projects. It is 100% usable right now, looks nice, and works great, but I don't consider it finished since I have only used the English versions of the projects up until now.

To use:
Copy and paste the template code and enter your corresponding usernames in the corresponding fields. You can leave those you don't have blank.

|Foundation = 
|Wikipedia =
|Wiktionary =
|Wikiquote =
|Wikibooks =
|Wikisource = 
|Wikispecies = 
|Wikinews = 
|Wikiversity = 
|Commons = 
|Incubator = 
|Meta = 
|Mediawiki = 
|width = <!-- Use this parameter to override automatic width if you have centering problems. Format: [number]px (e.g. 500px)-->
|border = <!-- Use this parameter to show border. This helps with centering your box. Format: [number]px  (e.g. 1px)-->

An example of mine:

You can also use the individual boxes on your page with the following code:

|Image = <!-- such as Commons-logo-en.png -->
|Alt text = <!-- such as Wikimedia Commons -->
|Project link = <!-- such as commons: -->
|Project name = <!-- such as Wikimedia Commons -->
|User name = <!-- such as Mistman123 -->


Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons
Mistman123 (talk)

I am open to suggestions and requests which you can submit here. Hope you enjoy it! ~RayLast «Talk!» 18:38, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

I think there should be more integration between wikimedia projects, with dictionary definitions in wikipedia more easily moved to wiktionary and wikiHow, along with one user login for all wikimedia projects. Waqqasd (talk) 20:51, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Single user login is in development. Bear in mind it seems to always be in development... x42bn6 Talk Mess 21:07, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Apparently there's going to be an admin only trial shortly (for someone's definition of shortly, which may or may not be the same as yours). MER-C 06:39, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm SOOO snagging this template. My only request is that this template should be uploaded to the other projects. This way I can post links from my User page there back to Wikipedia. -- RoninBK T C 23:04, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
It has already been uploaded in Commons. I'll be getting it to all other projects once I actually create accounts on them Face-wink.svg. ~RayLast «Talk!» 13:11, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't have much use for this since I only contribute significantly here, but I see the value in this, and it looks great. Nice work Ray. Equazcion /C 21:55, 23 Mar 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! I have uploaded it to several other projects but not on all for sure. You can go ahead and try the same exact template on other projects. Please let me know if there is some project where it doesn't work for you by leaving me a comment here. I'll make sure it's uploaded. ~RayLast «Talk!» 20:05, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Biographies of living animals

Some people may find it funny, but I want to make this proposal. There may be a new rule Wikipedia:Biographies of living animals in similar line of WP:BLP. It is especially necessary for famous animals belonging to famous people like Heads of State, celebrities etc. Otolemur crassicaudatus (talk) 19:34, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

The reason for WP:BLP is to protect the Foundation from getting sued. I don't see the point unless the animal or the owner is able to sue under the laws of Florida. Notice; I am not a lawyer nor am I entitled to give legal advice (under the laws of Florida or anywhere else). SpinningSpark 20:34, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
The same logic applies to anything relating to a living person, their official home, for example. A policy specifically for animals seems unnecessary. If any additional protection is required for things like pets, it can be added to the existing BLP policy. --Tango (talk) 20:44, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd create that just for humorous purposes. If it were acceptable to have humorous sections in polices, I would've added something like that to BLP a long time ago. With all the crazy paranoia about BLP, especially when Lawrence Cohen started going berserk recently, I totally wanted to suggest something like this (just to piss everyone off) but didn't (because it would've pissed everyone off). Now that it's calmed down though (a little) maybe the separate page would be cool, if we can come up with an equally funny essay to go there. Equazcion /C 11:54, 24 Mar 2008 (UTC)

Archive links by default in talkheader template

I'd just do this right now, but the {{talkheader}} template is full-protected. The same way the Village Pump header template automatically lists links to existing archives, I think the talkheader template should do the same, rather than needing separate archive templates. There's no reason not to, that I can see.

This is {{User:Equazcion/sandbox3}}. The archive line will only show up if at least an "Archive 1" page exists. Otherwise the talkheader box will be the same size it always was. Let me know what you think. Thanks. Equazcion /C 21:09, 23 Mar 2008 (UTC)

I've requested the edit. If there are any objections or other thoughts please feel free to post 'em. Equazcion /C 02:17, 24 Mar 2008 (UTC)
Certainly seems like an improvement. Is there anything about the methods different archiving bots use, or the manner of existing archives that were done by cut and paste that will cause this to not work for some preexisting archives? I ask this not because I know that this is likely but just because I imagine the change will affect a massive number of article talk pages, and fixing each one if this won't work for some significant percentage, will be quite the headache.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:27, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
The only caveat is that only one naming convention will be recognized: "Archive #", the most common naming convention for archive pages. Archives named any other way won't get picked up. But, presumably, archives named another way will already have explicit links posted to them on the talk page. The method used to archive (move or paste) doesn't matter -- only the name matters. Equazcion /C 02:33, 24 Mar 2008 (UTC)
I just read your response more carefully :) Sorry. All pre-existing archives will get picked up, if they're named as "Archive #". There should be no fixing necessary. The worst that can happen is the links simply won't appear, and in that case, nothing changes. Equazcion /C 02:42, 24 Mar 2008 (UTC)
I also agree that this is a good idea. And if talk archives are not named in the standard format, they should be renamed (moved). It might be worth making clear, on the template documentation page, that this is so, as well as noting that a separate archive box is no longer needed, and can be deleted if one is in place (assuming all the archives do in fact show on the revised talkheader template). -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:01, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

← I also just added a link to the archive index. If an index exists named "Archive index", it will appear as the first link in the archive list. See {{User:Equazcion/sandbox3}} for an example. Equazcion /C 18:55, 24 Mar 2008 (UTC)

Since this isn't the kind of thing that would garner much community attention, could an admin please just make the edit? It's not exactly major, and so far all comments have been in support. Thanks. Equazcion /C 22:08, 24 Mar 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Fuhghettaboutit :) Equazcion /C 22:25, 24 Mar 2008 (UTC)
This makes soem very ugly headers. See Talk:Circumcision for an example. Personally, I think we need to keep the archives and the talkheader separated. -- Avi (talk) 22:28, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Gah! That wasn't supposed to happen. Lemme see if I can quick fix that. Equazcion /C 22:29, 24 Mar 2008 (UTC)
Furthermore, I think this should be discussed at the template's talk page. Many of us have that watchlisted; suggestions at the villiage pump are so fast and furious that sometimes they get lost in the shuffle :) -- Avi (talk) 22:31, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I really screwed that one up. Sorry about that everyone. See Template talk:Talkheader for the continued discussion. Equazcion /C 23:50, 24 Mar 2008 (UTC)

Tightening the screws

I propose that page creation should be done by autoconfirmed (accounts at least 4 days old) rather than new users, as is currently the case. Previously, IP editors could also create pages, but as spam increased and the encyclopedia began to fill up, this was changed to registered users. At this point, I think it's time to take things to the next level. There are three reasons for this. First, it will stop casual spammers and vandals from uploading their "product" here - of course waiting four days is hardly implausible, but it's almost guaranteed that some people's zeal for disruption will fade within four days. Second, it's not a heavy burden on legitimate new users interested in contributing. Such individuals understand the harm caused by spammers and vandals and are sure to be patient enough to wait their turn and then upload their new article. Third, the overall effect will be an improvement on quality and will ease the strain on new page patrollers: less junk uploaded (in an encyclopedia that, at almost 2.3 million articles, should certainly be focusing more on quality than on quantity by now) and better articles. Biruitorul (talk) 15:53, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Sounds sensible, and worthy of support. -- 16:44, 15 March 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fullstop (talkcontribs)
Wouldn't it be nice if we knew who supported it?
In any case, it is discussed whether unregistered editors ought to be able to create pages; even if this movement (which actually seeks to have an "experimental" measure abrogated) does not gain support, it is highly unlikely that we should actually move to the opposite direction. Personally, I have no idea what I'd like to see. Waltham, The Duke of 18:43, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Of course we should know who supports and opposes it - that's why we have this board, to throw out random (well, hopefully not totally random) ideas and see if they gather any traction. IP page creation was banned in December 2005 (apparently) and it seems to have been a pretty successful "experiment", and quite long-lasting too. The question is if we should go on to the next level, at least on an experimental basis. I think I've outlined a good case for it, but I welcome opposing views. Biruitorul (talk) 19:08, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. In fact, I support letting anons create new articles and upload pics. From wiki: "Wikis are generally designed with the philosophy of making it easy to correct mistakes, rather than making it difficult to make them." Let's keep to that as much as possible. We want to encourage people to create articles on impulse. I agree this change would probably reduce vandalism, but I don't think it's worth the decline we would probably see in production in the long run. Obuibo Mbstpo (talk) 04:26, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
You make a fair point. However, the shift in focus from quantity to quality started long ago, and I see this as a small step in that direction. Let's face it: at 2.3 million articles, the encyclopedia is pretty complete and then some, and making people wait a little while before adding yet another article (no matter how good it is) isn't going to put a substantial dent in quality. As for philosophical concerns: we are indeed "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", but just as we are in fact "the free encyclopedia to which any logged-in registered user can upload an article", we'd be "the free encyclopedia to which any logged-in registered user with an account at least 4 days old can upload an article" - not a major ground shift. Biruitorul (talk) 17:20, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Interesting idea, and it would be good to do some investigation of articles created by non-autoconfirmed users to see how many get deleted and what level of quality they are. Personally I suspect most of them will be deleted one way or another. Right now, increasing the number of articles we have isn't a very high priority compared with other tasks. Hut 8.5 13:02, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, we should do some investigation. That's where this proposal should start. I just took a very cursory look at 20 New pages. Eight of them were by non-autoconfirmed users. Of those, four had already been marked for CSD. Three others probably will be speedied. The eighth is a good article that needs cleanup but probably will survive. That's a tiny sample; we really should get much more data. Sbowers3 (talk) 15:13, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. I'll be doing mine, you yours, and let's report back in a week, two, what have you. Biruitorul (talk) 17:20, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. I'm for making the wiki more welcoming to new users, not less. I suspect that many Wikipedians begin by contributing a new article and later stay around to edit other articles and even contribute to the work of deciding which articles to delete. Making people wait 4 days will be equivalent in many cases to encouraging them to give up and take up some other activity instead. People are busy; when they have a few extra minutes and feel like trying something new, that's the time for them to try it. Deleting 7 obviously speediable articles doesn't take much time; it's worth it to get 1 good article and 1 contributor able to write a good article who has not been discouraged from contributing. This encyclopedia is nowhere near complete. It's just starting. There's a lot of work to be done, and we need those people out there to join in and help do it. --Coppertwig (talk) 21:29, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
A few points. First: I've studied the matter using a sample of 30 new articles, which I checked back on in a few hours. For starters, 22 of 30 were by autoconfirmed users. Two of their were deleted: one was a user who signed up in January and has just 3 mainspace edits; the other's account also dates to January and has 1 (soon to be 0) contributions. Of the 8 new articles by non-autoconfirmed users, 4 were deleted, 1 was redirected and 3 were kept. What were the three that were kept, the ones this policy would prevent from being created? Two fictional ships and a resume that was later scrubbed a little.
Granted, I used a small sample size and maybe the overall picture is different (we shouldn't rush into this), but it doesn't seem we're getting that much out of this non-autoconfirmed group. Perhaps it is more trouble than it's worth.
Second: I suspect people edit as IPs for a while, register, edit some more, and only create a new article after a week or two. Whatever the case may be, the fact is that our quality has gone up, not down, since IPs were banned from page creation and non-autoconfirmeds from editing semi-protected pages. So has our work: as you may know, the George W. Bush article was constantly vandalised until the new system came into place; now vandalism happens at a much more manageable rate.
I like the notion about getting more contributors, etc, but in practice, waiting 4 days (even doing nothing in the meantime) isn't that big a burden. It takes years and years to master various hobbies; 4 days isn't really a big deal.
Finally: hmm, with 2.3 million articles, I don't know if you can say we're "just starting". Sure, we need to improve those, and good new articles are still being submitted, but it's overwhelmingly autoconfirmed users who are submitting the latter, so the fear we'll somehow degenerate if my proposal gets adopted is, I respectfully submit, unwarranted. Biruitorul (talk) 02:49, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Foundation issue. Anyone can edit. :-)
  • Perennial proposal: restrict new users.
  • Reason why we won't do it: Everyone was a new user once.

--Kim Bruning (talk) 05:13, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Anyone can edit, not anyone can create new pages (and the fact that anons can't create pages shows we don't consider restricting page creation to be in violation of the foundation issues). Note the perennial proposal is to Prohibit anonymous users from editing not Prohibit very new users from creating pages. Hut 8.5 07:46, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I still think that preventing new page creation by anons was the stupidest thing ever (totally kneejerk too). I got addicted to wikipedia after creating a new page, and I'm sure I'm not the only one... --Kim Bruning (talk) 18:50, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't have much to add to Hut 8.5's comments, except to repeat what I said earlier: "we are indeed 'the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit', but just as we are in fact 'the free encyclopedia to which any logged-in registered user can upload an article', we'd be 'the free encyclopedia to which any logged-in registered user with an account at least 4 days old can upload an article'". The first switch (IPs to registered users creating pages) was indeed a big philosophical shift. This one is far less radical a proposal - a mere tweaking, really. Biruitorul (talk) 22:42, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
It's a further regression. IMO. I'd like to roll back that original decision. --Kim Bruning (talk) 23:59, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Kim Bruning. I oppose any move towards making this "the free encyclopedia created only by people able to write complete, useful, policy-compliant articles on their first edit." The point is not whether those particular articles are much use in themselves, but whether the people who contributed them, if not discouraged, will contribute usefully. They might find a niche as vandalism-correctors or new-page-deletors or correctors of grammar or writers of excellent articles in some highly specific subject matter or something, even if they don't write sparklingly informative articles when they're just starting out.
This reminds me of something I heard about the public bus service in some country. They had a policy that whenever a bus heading out towards the suburbs had 7 or fewer passengers, the bus would dump the passengers at the nearest bus stop, turn around and head back into the city. The passengers would have to wait for the next bus, if it was still too far to walk. Sounds efficient. In effect, though, it's a recipe for getting people angry at the bus company and encouraging people to re-arrange their lives so they don't have to take the bus (e.g. moving to a different city altogether, or buying a bicycle, or whatever) so that after some time, they have even fewer passengers and are dumping them even closer to the city. You have to consider the human element when making efficiency calculations. --Coppertwig (talk) 00:33, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
What about when they get discouraged and quit after their first attempts at creating an article are deleted within 2 hours of creation? Mr.Z-man 01:44, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
What about we shouldn't do that? :-P --Kim Bruning (talk) 02:10, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Now, now, Coppertwig, let's not be setting up a straw-man here! Relatively new users can and do create pretty good articles, but I never demanded perfection from them. My first article (which I started 55 minutes after registering)* is clearly encyclopedic, though flawed (no references, for starters). The point is to separate the vandals - the "Jimmy is COOL" type articles - from the good-faith but imperfect efforts, and I think my proposal helps.
* lest I be accused of hypocrisy: I remember being slightly annoyed at the 4-day wait needed to edit semi-protected pages, but I waited anyhow, and doubtless would have waited to start an article as well. Biruitorul (talk) 14:40, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
My first edit was to create an article about a landed flying saucer, I was an anon editor at the time, and my edits have since been reattributed to me. The original version is at: flying saucers do exist. ;-)
It's fascinating to step through the old revisions, and watch the page grow and improve. For me, it's a good example and lesson about how powerful wikis really are. I'm sad that most new users don't get that opportunity anymore. --Kim Bruning (talk) 08:08, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
A moving tale, but that was Wikipedia 2001. Wikipedia 2008, for better or worse, is a changed place. Biruitorul (talk) 00:16, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
It's not as different as you might think. Many of the "changes" you see are more that people now are less(!) well versed in wiki-technology, and are less(!) familiar with what constitutes productive behavior as they were back then. --Kim Bruning (talk) 20:08, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Part a is to be expected - this sort of project attracts more technologically savvy people in the beginning. Part b is true and lamentable. Biruitorul (talk) 02:40, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

A different view

Rather than the problem of superfluous articles made by new users (how awful is it, really, if some non-notable internet marketing company gets their article left up for 3 weeks instead of three hours), is the problem with good-faith users creating unencyclopedic articles and either being bitten into leaving or disillusioned by our complex culture and rules.

Personally I'd support any editor being able to create articles, but I propose that all IP-created articles, and all first articles by registered users, be accessible only after passing a multiple choice quiz asking such questions as, "what is Wikipedia's editorial definition of 'Conflict of Interest'," "How do you sign your talkpage contributions," and "How do you figure out the name of the editor who placed a deletion notice on your article, and why would you want to know?" I think it would save a lot of speedy deletions and help train up and retain a lot more constructive contributors.

On that topic, I think it's important to recognise the value of rank-and-file editors who know and can navigate Wikipedia's editorial policies; we create a natural buffer for vandals, in excess of the policing work administrators provide. Notwithstanding editorial work like article improvement, I personally think more should be done to retain good-faith editors, because we help make WP an unattractive place for vandals by watching articles, reverting vandalism, noting patterns, sourcing or removing dubious claims, etc. IMO if the accidental biting of good-faith newbies who are mistaken for vandals or spammers continues, with natural attrition of rank-and-file editors, it'll soon just be the vandals, the admins and the POV pushers left, lol. Kinda lonely. Anchoress · Weigh Anchor · Catacomb 00:55, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Probably true. Now, if we move the point where people get an exam to when they get the admin bit, we have a deal. :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 02:12, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I like your idea of an exam! Maybe we could have a bank of about 200 questions (assuming there are that many to ask) and give 5 random ones to new users, or something along those lines. Biruitorul (talk) 14:40, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I think we can be certain that there are plenty of questions to ask. :-) However, there is the issue of the character of administrators to be discussed (a whole new can of worms): must they always be a kind of Wikipediens Vikipaediens universalis, necessarily possessing good knowledge of every area of Wikipedia, or can we take into account the existence of administrators with a highly specialised range of knowledge? Actually, this is kind of a moot question, so I'll rephrase: How much specialisation is acceptable when administrators are concerned? A question not suitable for this venue, perhaps, but a valid one nonetheless, although I cannot know how much it has been discussed already with all the hundreds of RfAs that have taken place so far. If we do deem high specialisation acceptable, then our hypothetical pack of questions should be divided into broad groups like "technical knowledge", "anti-vandalism skills", "media handling", "dispute resolution", and so on. Waltham, The Duke of 18:17, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
WP:BN would be the proper venue for such a discussion, but while we're at it: I think in practice admins already promise to specialise in 2-3 areas only, but the idea of adding questions to verify that promise (in addition, of course, to their edit histories) seems workable. Biruitorul (talk) 00:16, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Seriously? I like the idea, but I have a distinct feeling that most people will find it ridiculous. I am hesitant to take this to BN before I see some further discussion here. After all, there is one great problem which will definitely come up: who will write the questions? (I suppose the easy answer is "the Community", but then that means the questions will be public, and therefore viewable by the examinees.) Waltham, The Duke of 00:28, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
The problem with adding such restrictions is enforcement. If there was some technical means to limit admins to working only in specific areas it would be workable, but there isn't. And blocking admins for doing things outside of their designated area, especially if they aren't really doing anything wrong (besides being outside their area) isn't really a workable solution. Mr.Z-man 20:12, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I do not believe that any one here has spoken of restrictions. We are simply discussing a means of examining whether prospective administrators really are proficient in the areas where they claim to be. If one does become an administrator one is expected to edit in the areas one has mentioned in one's candidacy statement or subsequent interview, even if this only applies to the initial stages of one's administratorship and is followed, after a reasonable time period, by an expansion of the activities of the editor in question. The latter is certainly expected to take place after one has sufficiently educated oneself with regards to this terra nova, and its success or lack thereof will undoubtedly affect the trust one enjoys by the community, and which one should always try to take into consideration when making such decisions.
In a nutshell: it's up to the sysop to make sure that they know what they are doing when venturing into new territory. We simply suggest that what they claim to already know should be checked somehow as a part of the RfA process. It is not intended to be any strict control system, but, rather, a simple precaution and a motivation for RfA candidates to do their homework well. Regards, Waltham, The Duke of 22:14, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Agreed: blocking people for doing productive tasks, even if not "allowed", is a) wikilawyering at its worst and b) sure to drive administrators away. As to the question of how the test should be written and given - well, how about users get invited to submit questions which will then be reviewed and selected by a working group like this one, the proceedings of which are secret? That way the questions remain unseen and fairness is assured due to the calibre of the working group members (presumably too, the test questions would be selected randomly by computer). Anyway, I don't want to make this too complicated, but I think we can put our minds together and make something workable out of such an idea. Biruitorul (talk) 02:40, 26 March 2008 (UTC)