Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 29

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Spammers :([edit]

Hi, Please delete the Users with less than 10 edits (or so)and are absent in Wikipedia for more than a year.

Today I saw the IDs such as {!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!}and so on..... with no records or contributions

Hope you understand

Somehow upgrade the Wiki software to do the deleting part as it is impossible to cope with spammers.Wikipedia shows scores of users (~~7) ,but only ten thousand are genuine.Rest are spammers grabbing the usernames and forgeting the day after ! I myself had a friend like this in school donning wikipedia with 'against wikipedia' usr names
I make a sugesstion : Make a group (like administrators/autoconfirmed users {Who have access to DB} ) who will only patrol round the Wikipedia users DB and del them when they expire with less edits.(higher editing users can be honoured) and this should be stictly followed.

Think this helps You can also drop an opinion in my talk page Raunak' ' ( .:: Raunak Roy ::.. )

Yours sincerely, --Raunak' ' ( .:: Raunak Roy ::.. ) 07:34, 17 June 2008 (UTC) Roy Raunak

User accounts can't be deleted at all, for any reason, due to the GFDL requirements of Wikipedia (and of course users themselves shouldn't be deleted ;-)). I'm sure somebody else could explain this in more detail if you like, but the gist of it is that we have to keep the account in order to attribute their contributions to them. Anyway, if they're not using the account then they're not doing any harm, so it's better to leave it in case they come back and do something good for us. If you think an account's username is inappropriate for some reason, please see Wikipedia:Username policy#Inappropriate usernames for instructions on how to bring this to the attention of a janitor. Hope that helps! --tiny plastic Grey Knight 12:44, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I think he is talking about the names which appear at the front of Special:Listusers, most of which have been blocked without making any edits. "!" being a popular choice as it has the lowest lexicographical order except for white space. — CharlotteWebb 16:39, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
This was originally asked and answered at Wikipedia talk:Community Portal#Delete. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

There is a "middle path' that is a possible way to deal with this. GFDL requires attribution, but there is no problem with renaming accounts. Inactive accounts, with less than X edits and no activity in Y months, could be renamed to User:Inactive1, User:Inactive2, etc... The previous names could then be usurped if they are desired, or forgotten. Many of these accounts have nothing in their logs, so they could be deleted. -- SamuelWantman 19:53, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

There's currently no rule anywhere against creating an account just to set display preferences and not making any edits, although I guess most of those would eventually be attached to a global account. -Steve Sanbeg (talk) 20:39, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Request for comment: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (events)[edit]

Please comment here regarding the appropriate names for articles about plane crashes, train crashes, and similar events. Yechiel (Shalom) 21:07, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Favicon improvement[edit]


As requested by User:Alex.muller, I created a new version of our favicon. The idea was simply to remove the big (ugly) white box and instead make the background transparent. See the screenshot above, which compares the new favicon (FaviconNew.png, left) to the current one (right). Welcoming any comments. Equazcion /C 15:22, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Great work! looks much better, this is a no-brainer for me. The sooner its up the better (Nice job on the logo too btw, hope the devs take care of it) Acer (talk) 15:49, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Agreed. This looks good. Since this is based on Image:Favicon.png, it should inherit the description and license information and be moved to Commons. --— Gadget850 (Ed)talk 15:57, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
    • I'm not that knowledgeable with licensing, but just FYI, Favicon.png is a screenshot, not the actual favicon, so I'm not sure about that. Also, I couldn't actually use any of the old images to make this, it's made from scratch, so I don't know how much of that licensing info should be transferred over. In other words it's not actually "based" on anything, if that matters.Equazcion /C 16:11, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • That looks much better... at 16x16. It looks horrible at 32x32. Yes, making a favicon invloves creating several images at both 16x16 and 32x32 in both 16 and 256-color formats, and maybe even 24-bit with alpha. EdokterTalk 18:37, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
    • Image:FaviconNew32.png. I'll hold off on creating all the other necessary variations until consensus is reached. Equazcion /C 18:48, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
      • Just to be clear, you know the ICO file format actually stores several different icons at different resolutions at the same time, right? Does anyone know if you can upload ICO files to Mediawiki directly? I can't say that I've ever tried. Dragons flight (talk) 18:57, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
        • I knew Windows .ico files could do that, but I didn't know favicons were stored that way. I don't have software that does that, I'll have to look into it. I doubt mediawiki can store them in image space, at least not as viewable images. Equazcion /C 19:01, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
          • Our favicon is Dragons flight (talk) 19:08, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
            • I know -- that's not stored on the wiki in image space though. Also I downloaded that and can't see anything but the 16 pixel version, at least not using the Windows icon choosing dialog. Equazcion /C 19:12, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
              • It's possible that 16x16 is all that has ever been created (it is certainly the most widely used size). Dragons flight (talk) 19:14, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
                • Well since there's currently no 32x32 version, just a single 16x16 version, we can just worry about replacing that one for now. Equazcion /C 21:04, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I can think of one problem with the new version: if the user have configured his OS to have a dark color (e.g. the tabs are black) then the favicon would be invisible or at least hard to see. The vast majority probably don't and it's not a serious issue (in my opinion), but optimally the favicon should display nicely on all backgrounds.
    — Apis (talk) 15:24, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

As regards licensing: {{PD-font}} (it's just a "W" for goodness sakes) + {{trademark}}. Dragons flight (talk) 18:57, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

    • Since nobody spoke against this, and its just a graphical improvement that I don't think will be controversial maybe a bugzilla report can be made? Is anybody opposed to going ahead with it? Acer (talk) 23:35, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I think this is a great improvement! It's been bugging me for a while now as well. But I had a different design in mind, if no one don't objects, and since Wiktionary has the same 'W' as us. How does this look?
Besides, this is more descriptive than just a W; much more symbolic and recognizable. -- penubag  (talk) 01:56, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Wiki letter w.svg <-- Live preview, using Image:Wiki letter w.svg. Looks a bit messy and indistinguishable at favicon resolution, especially against a grey background. MER-C 06:49, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Wikiletter w-white.png <-- Image that may be used if accepted -- penubag  (talk) 04:33, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the svg version above does look messy, which is why I created a different version, which can be seen in the screen shot. -- penubag  (talk) 16:31, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes I was also thinking of using a "puzzle pice", looks good on the screenshot, and it solves the problem I mentioned above.
— Apis (talk) 14:53, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Yep, I like the puzzle on the screenshot too. Looks nice Acer (talk) 19:12, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Well, is the silence an expression of utter indifference or something else? Maybe we could get a bugzilla report for this change, unless someone is against? It solves any problem I can think of at least, and goes well with the main puzzle globe logo.
    — Apis (talk) 00:40, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

No, I don't like the puzzle piece. I prefer just the W. Reywas92Talk 16:22, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Inquiry I kind of like the proposal for a transparent "W" but I think Apis raised a valid point about the black styles. I also like his puzzle piece idea equally (that also solves the black style problem) but I think the "W" isn't big or distinct enough in the sample version shown above. In any case, transparency support for the favicon for many browsers and past versions of browsers should be investigated. If any older browser still with a sizable market share (what is sizable? 0.2%? 0.5?) renders a favicon with transparency poorly this motion should be reconsidered. Jason Quinn (talk) 00:10, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Again there's silence in the conversation, has someone bugzilla'd this? Ferdia O'Brien (T)/(C) 12:11, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Nope no one has filed a bugzilla yet. If and when, I'll provide the puzzle piece image, if that's consensus. -- penubag  (talk) 00:27, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

I like the puzzle piece, but I think I like the W better unless the symbol on the piece can be made larger (I can't make it out on the "live preview"). Perhaps a white outline could be added to the W, that would solve the dark-background issue while still looking better than the white square. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 06:52, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

As penubag said, the "live preview" version is the wrong image! the one he suggested is shown in the image above that (the screenshot).
Apis (talk) 03:17, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
That's right. I uploaded Wikiletter w-white.png to avoid confusion (if this is accepted, I'll tweak the contrast, if necessary)-- penubag  (talk) 04:33, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Finally, the favicon could become transparent! On that note, I prefer the W. While the puzzle piece looks nice, I think the W conveys more simplicity; plus, many visitors to Wikipedia are already familiar with the W. Kal (talk) 11:15, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I actually like the idea of having the W on a white "piece of paper" background! The problems with the current version are:

  • No border around the letter, the W has direct contact with the surrounding
  • The icon has no boundary, the white background melts into the usually gray surrounding
  • The W is somewhat blurred

I have been playing around with smaller W's and I really like the following one:

Wikipedia new favicon on browser tab.png      Wikipedia new favicon on address bar.png

The W has a one pixel white separator and the bottom-right dark border gives it an optical boundary as well as a nice 3D effect. I have tested different background colors (including black) and it looks good on all of them. Cacycle (talk) 05:13, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

The W on the puzzle piece is so small as to be basically just a grey blob, and I've got 20:20 vision. I wouldn't mind seeing the puzzle-piece icon used, but the letter has to be big enough to be easily recognisable. You can't trademark a jigsaw piece. Happymelon 14:58, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

The search box, revisited[edit]

Is anybody else annoyed by the pop-up suggestions that appear when one types something into the search box? What annoys me is that the suggestions cover/override the actual "search" button itself. (talk) 14:44, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

If you register an account, you can turn this feature off in your preferences. And this isn't really a proposal. Mr.Z-man 16:27, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
You know, I'm willing to bet that the "cover/override" bit is more the symptom of a faulty browser. — CharlotteWebb 15:51, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Doesn't just override the go & search buttons on IE, it does it on Safari too. I suggest the symptom of inadequate testing before implementation. I would add that blaming the most widely used browser in the world (by a very long way) for display problems is not terribly helpful. Do we want to be "Wikipedia - the encyclopædia that doesn't work on most PCs?" DuncanHill (talk) 11:25, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
It covers the button in the same way the search history box built into most browsers would also cover the button. The search box works just fine, you can press Enter on your keyboard or click outside the search box to make the suggestion box go away, and the search button still works, it isn't "overridden." Mr.Z-man 05:13, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I seem to have misunderstood the problem. As Z-man says, you can make it disappear by clicking outside it ("Esc" on the keyboard works for me). If anybody has an idea for how to rearrange things to avoid this, they should say so. I can't think of one at the moment. — CharlotteWebb 16:12, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

New-article patrol - Flag recently-deleted articles[edit]

Re: this discussion: Modify Special:NewPages so it shows articles that have been previously deleted, along with the most recent deletion log entry. This will make it easy to spot article-recreation vandalism and make sure those articles don't get lost in the backlog. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:27, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I think this is a great idea but I'm not sure why it should be limited to recent deletions. Only some small percentage of articles will have been previously deleted and in many cases the past deletion will provide just as useful information for articles deleted at some time remove. What would be really great is if the software could also recognize whenever an article is created where there exists a deletion debate; it would search each entry for the query "wikipedia articles for deletion/name" and if a hit is returned, maybe place a symbol to flag that, linking to the deletion debate. That way it would be more easy to recognize G4s which are only discovered currently on a catch-as-catch-can basis of when the article pops up on someone's watchlist and they remember the deletion debate taking place.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 01:18, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, interesting idea. Probably the best way from a software point of view would be to flag any article that was previously deleted for any reason. Undoubtedly some of these will be false positives, so uninformed newpage patrollers who see an item and think "OMG G4" will need to be put in their place, but with care this can be avoided. Yechiel (Shalom) 18:48, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I've written a script that will show the deletion log for any article that has a deletion log, see User:Mr.Z-man/delLog for details. I already had code for much of this from an earlier project I never finished, so this was fairly easy. Doing it for Special:NewPages or doing a search for an AfD would be more difficult but not impossible. Mr.Z-man 22:52, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Missing interwikis[edit]

About a month ago I checked ten "Help" pages and found that:

  • 3 had 5 or more interwikis
  • 4 had between 1 and 3 interwikis
  • 3 had NO interwikis

This seemed quite poor and I wonder if there is a group of Wikipedians interested in helping improve this situation on the Wikipedia, Help, and other namespaces (if applicable).

Best regards,

Virgilio A. P. Machado

vapmachado 01:28, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Brackets around citation numbers[edit]

With what appears to be the growing acceptance on this project of what I call "cite bombing" - that is, the addition of a cite, or multiple cites, for every sentence, and sometimes every clause of a sentence, I am finding it increasingly difficult to read some articles, because of the amount of "clutter" that the cites [1] add.

In thinking about how this might be rectified, it occurred to me that the use of brackets around the cite number [] is arguably unnecessary. One doesn't, after all, find brackets around citation numbers in a book, but they are still easy to see and use, and they don't disrupt the text at all. So why, exactly, do we have these brackets? Are they really necessary? Is it time we maybe thought about dropping them, and just having the number instead? Gatoclass (talk) 10:09, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

I (kinda) agree with you but it is not that cluttered that it isn't unreadableTHROUGH?AWIKI?DARKLY (talk) 10:11, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I've seen a few articles with the condition that you're talking about, User:Gatoclass, it can be a bit awkward. I can't find any examples just now, if you turn any up it might help to link diffs here so people can see what you mean. :-) Anyway, I was wondering if it's possible to have multiple refs written as [10,11,12,13,14] rather than [10][11][12][13][14], which would cut down on the size of the "ref nugget" a little bit. Might not be possible with the way the ref system is setup at the minute, though, and to not much effect. An easier solution might be to discourage people from over-doing it in the first place! --tiny plastic Grey Knight 13:14, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
As far as I'm aware, there shouldn't be multiple refs for a single statement except for rare and very particular circumstances. Even then there should never be that many. If you could give us an example, there are probably a few I could point out that could even be removed (there is such a thing as excessive citing). Still, merging multiple refs into a single set of brackets is a very interesting idea. --.:Alex:. 14:22, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I think instances of it come from either (1) citing all statements in a sentence/paragraph at the end, or (2) people being overzealous in their reaction to "that statement's not cited in multiple secondary sources". I found an example at Soulja Boy#Initial_reception revision, if it's of interest. A mere four refs in a row, I'd like to point out that I have seen bigger "nuggets" in the past! :-) --tiny plastic Grey Knight 14:43, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
It can also sometimes be found when there is a statement like, "Many other critics agreed.[10][11][12][13][14]" or similar. --Ali'i 14:54, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I've seen it often enough. I think it should be written with ranges, e.g. [2, 10-14]. That's how it's done in scientific literature, more or less. -- Tim Starling (talk) 15:18, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Or maybe multiple citations could be placed in one ref tage (I may have seen this somewhere, but now I cannot remember where). Such as "The sky is sometimes not blue.[4]" then when you click "4", you see 5 or 6 different cites either bulleted or lettered, etc. Although if you wanted to use a specific citation again, the ref name feature wouldn't really work. (less helpful?) Mahalo. --Ali'i 15:30, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
A-ha, an example. I knew I had seen it somewhere. The first ref (number 152 currently) in this section has multiple sources in one ref tag. Mahalo. --Ali'i 15:38, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, putting multiple sources under one tag is one way to cut down the mess Ali'i, but you still have the problem of articles which cite refs at the end of every sentence or even every phrase. Even if it's only a single number, I find it very disruptive to one's reading. I just don't see why we need these darned brackets [ ] at all, and I'd like to know why we can't just get rid of them. Gatoclass (talk) 17:55, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I, for one, find the brackets make the references clearer and easier on the eyes. Big "nuggets", as it were, would persist regardless of the omission of brackets as large collections of references which are not grouped will still amount to long lists of reference numbers. While I like the idea of ranges, it is probably unpractical without a major code reworking as we allow reference numbers to be used multiple times in a document, meaning that reference numbers are not necessarily in order. Nihiltres{t.l} 23:06, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
How do you know they "make the references clearer" when you haven't seen the alternative?
What I do know is that citation numbers in books, 1 which don't come in brackets, 2 don't distract me at all, whereas these hefty bracketed things on wikipedia are very[2] intrusive[3] indeed.[4] So it stands to reason that if one removes the brackets, the text should be more readable and more attractive to look at. Gatoclass (talk) 12:35, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree with everything Nihiltres notes, and only need to add that a range like [10-15] makes [11], [12], [13] and [14] unclickable. Not a big deal perhaps, but worth keeping in mind. -- Fullstop (talk) 05:13, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

The quick1 brown2 fox3 jumped over the lazy dog.

The quick[5] brown[6] fox[7] jumped over the lazy dog.

Which is easier to read? Gatoclass (talk) 12:39, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

If the issue is that the view is cluttered when you have five or so cites, then it is probably a good time to look at the content and how it is referenced. Multiple cites indicate an overzealous editor, or there is a content issue and cites are being improperly used. To use Ali'i's example of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, it is my opinion that the bundled use of reference 152 is being used not to back up the statement that "The film was promoted by Christian media", but to illustrate examples where the film was promoted by Christian media— a subtle but crucial difference. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 13:09, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Excuse me for coming in so late, but the phrase "cite bombing" caught my attention. IMO there are aspects of Wikipedia policy, its implementation and its more fanatical enforcers that can make "cite bombing" almost mandatory, for example:
  • In 4X some guy insisted on applying a "notablility" tag to the article, which might have led to the article's deletion. I slapped in about 10 cites for use of the term "4X" to make him go away. Later I realised I could package them all in 1 footnote.
  • On Evolution I put in some extra cites to support the point that's it's the majority view among scientists. In this case I couldn't package them in 1 footnote because most were also used elsewhere in the article.
  • On Talk:Max Euwe someone recently made a comment that virtually demanded a citation (which would have been the same source) for each sentence in a paragraph.
  • Then there are the WP:RS ayatollahs who remove without notice citations that do not satisfy their interpretation of WP:RS or one of its sub-pages. If the sentence / paragraph then gets visited by a deletionist, good-bye.
So editors are driven to "cite bomb" in order to protect content they've spent time researching and writing. Philcha (talk) 15:49, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I sympathise, I am not necessarily blaming editors for engaging in it, I am simply noting the tendency over time for an increasing number of cites to be added to articles. I know of one case, for example, where an editor has basically stopped submitting articles to GA because she disagrees with the number of cites she is now expected to add to her articles.
"Cite bombing" seems to be a growing trend and I am simply suggesting a method by which its impact can be reduced. Gatoclass (talk) 17:04, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
And in most cases, it seems like its just other editors trying to be difficult by requesting citations far in excess of what policy actually requires or demanding citations on every sentence even when the citation at the end of the paragraph cites what they demand be sourced. Mr.Z-man 16:22, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I think that we are creating something new and revolutionary at WP, and we should consider being revolutionary in our approach to footnotes. The current schemes have evolved with the limitations of print and the logisitics of a printed page. I think that some people are a bit anal about citing, but in some cases a critical paragraph could need a citation per sentence or more, where two sources supply the facts for multiple assertions in the sentence. I really like the idea of removing the brackets and allowing multiple sources to be cited under one footnote. --Kevin Murray (talk) 15:10, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi. I've seen on the French Wikipedia, cites are small, kind of like this1214. However, this could cause problems because we don't know if the cites are 1,2,14 or 12,14 or 121,4 or 12,1,4, etc. I like the idea of making them less cluttered, though. ~AH1(TCU) 16:48, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

The numbers don't matter. Just a dot?* Or, perhaps a dash is even less innocuous.- Could the mediawiki be modified to not underline the citation link? Jeff Carr (talk) 16:59, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

The numbers don't matter if you're only going from the claim to the citation; but you'd get into an awful mess if you wanted to edit one particular citation (redlink, deadlink, typo, whatever) and couldn't work out which one it was. In fact, though, not having the numbers will cause problems when the reference list is short and right at the bottom of the article, as browsers won't be able to jump far down enough to put the citation on the first line. I'll have a look at's implementation - I guess it must be a MediaWiki page or something in their .css or .js. I'd have thought that removing the braces and just leaving spaced numbers would be a Good IdeaTM. Happymelon 19:13, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Numbers are also needed for those who print out pages. As for cite-bombing, I understand the concerns, but I think WP suffers more from under citing than overciting. Since we are only a tertiary source, containing no original research, and no one should be citing us, then we must provide cites for our statements. If a paragraph contains several facts from a variety of sources, or facts which might be disputed, or are not in common knowledge, then they must each be cited. If they clump together too much, with too many ideas in one sentence or short paragraph, then perhaps it is a prose issue rather than a citation issue. That said, if there was a way of making the cites smaller without affecting their readability, that would be a good solution. Gwinva (talk) 19:52, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I've had a look, and it's just a trivial CSS tweak: they wrap the braces in a separate css class, then hide it in their common.css. I've added the classes here (called cite_braces here) - you can imitate the appearance by adding the following lines to your monobook.css:
/* Hide braces around references */
.cite_braces { display:none }
The system would be vastly improved if a spacing between the numbers could be maintained: I'll have a play on Happymelon 19:55, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
The solution may be in modifying the skin to let users choose how they want <ref>references</ref> displayed. They may want to toggle references between "hide references", "**", "*,*", "[#][#]", "[#,#]", or even [first10charactersofref1...,first10charactersofref2...], or even [entire reference 1, entire reference 2], and may choose different output for screen or print. In any case, I wouldn't go changing the default for anyone until some alternative gets popular.

C-Class to be added to the assessment scale[edit]

As a result of a "ratification vote" that took place at WT:ASSESS, the C-Class will now be added to the Version 1.0 Assessment scale. Please see this for further details. All comments are welcome. Regards, D.M.N. (talk) 11:08, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Searching Edits by IP Ranges[edit]

This may also qualify as a technical question. Is it possible to adjust the Anonymous Edits Search page to allow for viewing edits made by IP ranges that would for instance allow one to see all edits made by a business/organization? (ie: Search: []) This would allow for greater transparency for seeing coordinated or questionable edits allowing for a system more in sync with the wikiscanner tool. It would make the process more streamlined for watch dogs. does anyone else find this desirable? Some thing (talk) 18:00, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

You can enable a feature that allows you to search for contributions by CIDR range (/16, /24, and /32). Go check it out in your preferences. GO-PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 18:34, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Spaces in Diff[edit]

I've noticed that if a space has been added or removed between two words, it is impossible to detect when comparing revisions. Every other kind of edit uses red markers to indicate a change in the text. There has to be some way to clearly indicate where spaces have been added/removed! --Cryptic C62 · Talk 15:32, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Why is it necessary? ╟─TreasuryTag (talk contribs)─╢ 15:33, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
So we can detect the change and determine whether it needs to be reverted or not. As it works now, we essentially have to either squint at the diff, or scroll down to the edited section and squint at that. Some sort of red indicator would be faster and would involve less squinting. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 15:55, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Note that the addition of spaces to the wikimarkup doesn't actually affect the way that a page is rendered. Any number of spaces will appear as a single blank in the page that is actually sent to readers. For example, in the space between the two arrows → ← I left ten spaces in the markup, but you can see it only shows up as a single space.
The only way that changing spaces will actually 'break' a page is if a single space is removed, so that two words run together. In that case, one of two things happens. If a space is removed between two words, the change shows up correctly in red—the difference detection engine highlights the change from 'two words' to 'twowords' in red, because it sees them as two different words. The one case – that I can see – where it doesn't work properly is if a space is removed between a word and a punctuation mark. the difference detector accepts periods and commas as word separators, and doesn't highlight the words in that case. (So changing 'foo. The' to 'foo.The' wouldn't highlight the words.) Perhaps someone could file a bug/feature request to adjust the behaviour of the engine slightly? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:17, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
A few months ago there was some vandalism to the main page, where someone changed a </ref> tag to < /ref>, which broke the whole reference section from that point on. This was impossible to see in the diff. EdJohnston (talk) 16:29, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we need to be giving any more ideas here. Beans, nose, etc. :-) Mahalo. --Ali'i 16:39, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Then again, we could always fix the difference engine, but I don't know how difficult that code is. If we fix this, maybe at the same time we could also make it easier to do null edits? (Inserting a space usually doesn't work, since the added space is ignored, and the change will not save). EdJohnston (talk) 19:01, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
For those with Firefox, I suggest using wikEd (it's in the gadgets); its changes-viewing tool shows modifications in spacing and other minor edits much better than the standard Wikipedia tool. Waltham, The Duke of 07:36, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
You can use the cross-browser compatible User:Cacycle/wikEdDiff even without wikEd. Additionally, you can change your monobook.cs page to display a background color on the standard diff view. Cacycle (talk) 13:18, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Interwiki redirects[edit]

Is there a good reason why hard interwiki redirects are disabled? In the interests of inter-project co-operation and mutual support, I'd have thought that occasionally diverting readership to wiktionary or wikispecies would be a good idea, especially when the article topic is a niche (dicdef, species, etc) which is more effectively covered at one of our sister projects. Thoughts? Happymelon 20:30, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

The reason can be found at Wikipedia:Soft redirect. Briefly, it is difficult to correct an incorrect hard interwiki redirect, as the target page doesn't have the redirected from foo link that we enjoy for internal redirects. Fixing such a redirect requires manual editing of the URL to call up the redirecting page. Obviously, such redirects were also a target for vandalism. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:09, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
It could also potentially confusing for readers if they search for something on Wikipedia and end up on a different site. Mr.Z-man 05:31, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
It would be especially problematic for interwikis to non-Wikimedia sites, e.g. google:Wikipedia, memoryalpha:Jean-Luc Picard, uncyclopedia:Peer, et cetera. {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 14:28, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion for adding a search box at the end of page[edit]

Hi ,

I am a regular user of Wikipedia though I registered only now. To the point, when we read out to the last part of a particular page (to be specific ,a long page ) and we got another key word to search , then we have to scroll all the way up to the top of the page to reach the search text box. what I have to suggest is to build a search box on the last portion of pages.This one may probably save a little time for scrolling.The same is incorporated in Google search result pages .

Thanking you ,

Sreedish . P .S India —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:02, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Since you're registered, you can change how Wikipedia looks to you. One option for adding a search box at the end of the page is to click on the "preferences" link at the top of the page, and select the "classic" skin. --Carnildo (talk) 19:17, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
(Hi Sreedish, welcome to Wikipedia! Remember that you need to log into your account before you can change the "skin"; it seems that you made the above post logged out. Cheers! – Thomas H. Larsen 00:11, 21 June 2008 (UTC))


You'll see something like

You see the a b c d? We don't know excactly what a b c d refering to, because the referencer will just appear as:

What we need is something like:

As you can see, with out my proposal, you don't know WHERE the letter (a b c d, etc.) is refering to.

Ok, so I have a few limitations, such as the pointed hat\accent\carat\lambda does not look like what it does in <references/> and I could not internal blue link [2], [2c], or [2d].

Please post this on Bugzilla, since I don't haven an account, thanks! (talk) 07:45, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't see a problem with how it's done now. The abcd simply means that this reference has been used more than once. You can click on the [2] in the article to view the reference, or click on the [a] in the reference to be taken up into the document where it's linked. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 13:55, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that it's not clear which letter you have to click on to get back to where you were in the article. Algebraist 15:36, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Ah! Well, in most modern browsers, if you clicked on the [2] to get to the reference, you can just click the Back button in your browser, and it'll take you back to where you were in the article previously. Some will take you back to the top of the page (if that's the last link you loaded), but I confirmed that Firefox 3, at least, will take you back to the last spot you were reading on the page. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:36, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

View deleted images for commons admins[edit]

There is currently a poll on meta which will grant Wikimedia Commons admins the ability to view deleted image and image_talk pages on all Wikimedia projects, including English Wikipedia. No other rights would be granted by this proposal. This is important because many images on commons were copied from other projects and are then deleted on those projects. When a commons administrator is investigating the history of an image (for copyright or other purposes) the admin is currently unable to investigate the image's deleted history on other projects. This can result in inappropriate deletions and wasted time all around. Please take the time to review the proposal and leave your thoughts. English Wikipedia is Wikimedia's largest project and its opinion is important for this poll. Thanks. --Gmaxwell (talk) 21:55, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Grawp Eradication Program (GEP)[edit]

Hi. I would like to propose a set of steps to reduce or eliminate Grawp behaviour on Wikipedia. Below are a list of possible reccomendations:

  • Putting captcha on all page moves
  • Limiting pagemove to 3 a day for users with less than 100 non-move edits AND/OR allowing excessive moves only to administrators OR give this as a userright
  • Upgrading Cluebot to automaticly revert ALL common Grawp-like behaviour, including edit summaries, moved pages, and insertion of megabyte images
  • Giving a bot administrator status that automaticly blocks Grawp vandals, deletes and salts the pagemove vandalism title, and move-protects the page, and puts its actions into a category database for admins and other users to look over OR the bot automaticly reporting suspected Grawp behaviour to AIV, no warnings nessecary
  • Having some users monitor Encyclopaedia Dramatica activities, aquiring any clues about which users are Grawp sleepers and blocking them
  • Implementing a MediaWiki that gives an error page whenever Grawp-like edit summaries are used (eg. "For great justice and epic lulz", anything containing
  • Giving administrators a function allowing rollback of all contributions, AND/OR allowing admins to give other users this userright, AND/OR allowing rollback of page moves rather than plain reverts
  • Allowing users to use their monobook to filter out recent changes to include only "Recent moves"
  • Allowing moving of a userpage or entire userspace ONLY if the username had been changed AND/OR create an error message when moving a main userpage belonging to another user with a high amount of contributions to a mainspace page, especially ones containing Grawp-like capital letters (eg. WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH GRAWP, GIANT DICK MAKES HUGE ORGASMS, etc)
  • Create MediaWiki error messages for ALL detected Grawp-like behaviour

So, any opinions? I would appreciate your input. Remember these proposals are for reducing or eliminating Grawp attacks, so please discuss on which ones are most easily accomplished and effective, or present your own ideas. Thanks. ~AH1(TCU) 17:18, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Um... a lot of these are really unreasonable, and some are just placeholder tactics. A blacklist for edit summaries might be handy, but your idea of an admin bot will never get off the ground. We don't need a bot for that; we generally grab Grawp pretty quickly anyway. Editing MediaWiki just for Grawp... no, I'm sorry, but that's not very likely to happen. EVula // talk // // 17:38, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Cluebot is already doing a great job catching Grawp. We've changed the autoconfirmed to require a certain number of edits, which seems to have significantly lowered the amount of vandalism. Grawp uses Unicode characters that make things hard to target. To me, this seems unnecessary. But I'd like to hear from someone who's been more active in vandal-fighting. Grandmasterka 17:39, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Agree with EVula. This is nothing new, and he doesn't cause any more disruption than WoW, Oompapa etc did. There are far worse problems affecting Wikipedia. I don't think any Grawp account has ever been active more than 2-3 minutes. – iridescent 17:41, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
After thinking about it a bit more, it would be nice to have a one-touch "revert everything" button that undoes all a user's pagemoves and rollbacks their edits all at once; that would be plenty handy, and more effective in dealing with Grawp-level vandalism than some of the other suggestions. EVula // talk // // 17:42, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Same here. Though I worry about the potential for unhappy accidents with "nuclear rollback". I would only support it if the mass-rollback could itself be all undone at once. Grandmasterka 17:47, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I like the idea of 'rollback on steroids' and an edit summary blacklist, at least that should stop Grawp & co. putting shock site references in edit summaries. RichardΩ612 Ɣ ɸ 17:54, June 15, 2008 (UTC)
While I like some ideas, I strongly disagree with a blacklist on edit summaries. If people want to make terrible edit summaries, I would rather it be known and in the public over they not being allowed to. Those kinds of things are huge parts of the arguments at WP:RFA and a technical barrier is not the way to go. Besides, like all blacklists, it just becomes a new game to get around. I mean, Grawp has been shifting his tactics quite a bit and like the other major vandals, it's pretty idiotic in general. I mean, those guys are a ton better than the guys who do sneaky vandalism for long periods of time. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 18:12, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
A captcha on all page moves is massive overkill, probably less than 1% of pagemoves are grawp and a captcha would also affect users reverting his moves. You can monitor ED all you want, but I'm pretty sure they aren't dumb enough to just list the accounts they use, I don't know what "clues" you could "acquire" from their discussions. I have a script that reverts all a users pagemoves, it only seems to work in FF3 now (I also have one that deletes the redirects left over, but its ... buggy) if someone wants to take a copy and make it suck less, User:Mr.Z-man/moverevert.js is the move-only one and User:Mr.Z-man/movereverttest.js has redirect deletion. The problem is detecting "Grawp-like behavior" with no false positives. A captcha on pagemoves, or restricting moves to a new user group are really the only things that would have an appreciable affect and wouldn't require significant software changes, but the benefits are far less than the costs. Mr.Z-man 18:25, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
As a proof of concept I built a module out of off the shelf code that ended up recognizing 87% of all letters which translated into 14% of words pairs on wikipedia captcha's. Low yes but computers don't care about efficiency too much. --Samuel Pepys (talk) 18:30, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I like the idea to put captchas on page moves. We could add captchas if a user moves more than, say, 3 pages in 5 minutes, and only if that user is in no special group (To exclude Admins, Rollbackers and so on). --Conti| 18:54, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
There is a master rollback script written by VoA for use by admins. It reverts all top edits, and all page moves by a user. Just need the password and a couple clicks to confirm. KnowledgeOfSelf | talk 20:39, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
As for Cluebot helping, please see the pages in this announcement. This technique may be effective for special automated reverting of the sock-puppeteer. (talk) 02:38, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Point by point comments:

  • Putting captcha on all page moves
    • Signal to noise doesn't justify this, and there are bots which move pages that are approved, which this would cause many issues with.
  • Limiting pagemove to 3 a day for users with less than 100 non-move edits AND/OR allowing excessive moves only to administrators OR give this as a userright
    • This doesn't help stop Grawp, whose accounts are only active for 30secs tops after he starts moving. One per minute (ie. one page and its talk page) would be better.
  • Upgrading Cluebot to automaticly revert ALL common Grawp-like behaviour, including edit summaries, moved pages, and insertion of megabyte images
    • Would cause more trouble than good. Detecting what is "Grawp behaviour" isn't easy, as it's so dynamic.
  • Giving a bot administrator status that automaticly blocks Grawp vandals, deletes and salts the pagemove vandalism title, and move-protects the page, and puts its actions into a category database for admins and other users to look over OR the bot automaticly reporting suspected Grawp behaviour to AIV, no warnings nessecary
    • No, per above.
  • Having some users monitor Encyclopaedia Dramatica activities, aquiring any clues about which users are Grawp sleepers and blocking them
    • Not likely to do anything beneficial, but feel free to do so yourself.
  • Implementing a MediaWiki that gives an error page whenever Grawp-like edit summaries are used (eg. "For great justice and epic lulz", anything containing
    • Possible, but StN may still be a tad low - he'll just use "F0r gr3at" etc., as he does with pagemove destinations now.
  • Giving administrators a function allowing rollback of all contributions, AND/OR allowing admins to give other users this userright, AND/OR allowing rollback of page moves rather than plain reverts
    • Maybe if it could only be used for contributors with < X edits - accidentally clicking "rollback all" on an established account would be terribly disruptive and a pain to fix.
  • Allowing users to use their monobook to filter out recent changes to include only "Recent moves"
    • If someone comes up with a script then sure, each person can decide.
  • Allowing moving of a userpage or entire userspace ONLY if the username had been changed AND/OR create an error message when moving a main userpage belonging to another user with a high amount of contributions to a mainspace page, especially ones containing Grawp-like capital letters (eg. WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH GRAWP, GIANT DICK MAKES HUGE ORGASMS, etc)
    • Just contact an administrator to do it. Userspaces, a case of "meh".
  • Create MediaWiki error messages for ALL detected Grawp-like behaviour
    • Per ClueBot reason.

Daniel (talk) 04:21, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I concur with Daniel here on most points. The suggestion about blocking Grawp sleepers makes me wonder about how the media is going to perceive that. (Blocking based on ED?) Geoff Plourde (talk) 06:18, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the media will care, just as the media doesn't care about most of Wikipedia's internal workings (unless you count The Register and Valleywag as "the media"). The main problem with monitoring ED is that it will be almost entirely pointless and if you publicize it like this people on ED might start providing false information. (people don't think they read these threads?) Mr.Z-man 16:52, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Not only that, but "what will the media think?" should never be the primary factor in how we behave ourselves. We shouldn't be blind to such things (ie: we should be fully aware that blocking an IP for the US Senate might generate noise), but we should never shy away from doing what's right by our rules just because it might cause a huff. I can't imagine anyone but ED caring if we block people "per ED". EVula // talk // // 18:24, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Evula, I meant that what are people going to say if they see us using a parody site for information on whom to block. Geoff Plourde (talk) 00:26, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Since when do they care about internal minutiae like that? Mr.Z-man 03:55, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

"less than 100 non-move edits" - please fix to "fewer than". I do agree with the ideas above, plus the fact that whatever we do can fairly easily be outdone by those behind Grawp, by their changing of tactics. As easy is it is to forget, there are people behind |Grawp - not some unconscious bot who we can outcode. Some nice ideas though, but I feel they'll give undue attention to those behind this - what they want(?). Also, WP:DENY. Thanks, Martinp23 18:40, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi. How about move-protecting all pages that are either high-traffic, a target for vandals, or featured, that definitely don't need moving without discussing first? This might not prevent move-vandalism, but it might reduce it slightly? Or, should pages not be move-protected simply because they "don't need moving"? Thanks. ~AH1(TCU) 20:34, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
It's pretty complicated, but I discussed the move-only userright on IRC before, we have to stop giving him what he wants, seriously. As for ED, I'm way ahead of ya. BoL (Talk) 21:21, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm working on something a little more targetted. — Werdna talk 09:12, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

  • You all seem to have forgotten that we're supposed to deny recognition and not feed the trolls. If grawp reads this, how much is it going to stoke his ego?--Jac16888 (talk) 10:40, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
    • They are just essays, though. However, I would agree with you to the extent this should be about general changes to improve the project, rather than just how to "eradicate" one user George The Dragon (talk) 14:10, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Why not just put ourselves in a straight jacket and give him the key as a trophy? An autoblocker bot is a good idea, I think we have already disabled recursive page moves. One way to defeat him is to not give so much attention. 1 != 2 14:13, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

What is a Grawp??? When I look it up on Wikipedia, I only get the Harry Potter character. On Wiktionary, nothing. If Grawp is an accepted internet/usenet term like 'troll', shouldn't there be an entry explaining it? Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 13:13, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

It's a group of people vandalising Wikipedia under a variety of accounts by moving pages to titles containing words related to Grawp, e.g. hagger etc. Tra (Talk) 16:15, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Multiple levels of autoconfirm to handle trolls[edit]

Right now, there are 3 basic categories of normal-user accounts:

  • Anonymous, not logged in, cannot move or create pages
  • New accounts: cannot create pages, not sure about moving
  • 3-day-old accounts: can create and move pages, I think with per-limits to prevent rapid-fire spamming

More granularity in autoconfirm will help:

  • New-ish accounts or semi-active accounts should be limited to a few page moves a day not counting page moves entirely within their own userspace.
  • New-ish accounts or semi-active accounts should have large-image uploads "embargoed" so they aren't visible until an administrator has looked at them.
  • New-ish accounts or semi-active accounts should prevent someone from adding more than a certain amount of text to an article at once. Make the person do 2-3 edits if he wants to add 1MB to an article. Have a blanket exception if the new size is not much bigger than any recent edit, so new users can still undo blanking vandalism.

As straw-values, "New-ish" would be anything with less than 10 days old, anything with less than 100 edits, or anything with less than 5 edits in the last year. Obviously these numbers are a straw number and will need tweaking to meet the needs of the project. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 17:33, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Add "censor edit summaries" as a user preference[edit]

Allow users to set a preference so edit summaries will be censored for words on a blacklist set by the user. If the user wanted to, he could include global blacklists, such as {{Wikipedia:blacklist-dirtywords}}, {{Wikipedia:blackwords-offensive}}, {{Wikipedia:blacklist-vandalphrases}}, user blacklists such as {{User:MyBestFriend/Blacklists/religiousinsults}}, or his own blacklists.. There would also be a check-box "Fuzzy - block look-alike letters" which would do just that. Censored words would show up just as "xxxxxx" or something. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 17:33, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, based on a report at WP:ABUSE, I don't think any kind of blacklist is going to help since I personally believe that Grawp is some kind of professional spammer off wiki just because a lot of those IPs are known spammers according to, and considering that those IPs are from all over the world, I'm guessing that Grawp isn't a real person but rather an army of zombied computer systems launching an attack at the Wikimedia Foundation. If my hypothesis is true, then blacklists won't do a darn thing since spam bots dodge spam filters on a regular basis using complicated techniques that are way too advanced for a simple blacklist invented by a bunch of Wikipedians to defeat. If we blacklist the edit summaries, he'll probably start using normal appearing edit summaries that make it more difficult for us to detect him at all. Spammers running bots like the Storm Worm have cursed many websites for many years, and none of them have found it easy to combat them without getting tough on them, and getting tough on Grawp is something that I don't think WP is going to do unfortunately. GO-PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 22:30, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
You're giving him far too much credit, most of the IPs he uses are dynamic dialup or DSL IPs. If they're on spam lists its because they change owner every day or when they reset their modem. He posts on the talk pages of Encyclopedia Dramatica and 4chan to get people to vandalize, which is why the IPs appear to be from all over. Some people might use open proxies to conceal their own IP. If he was running an automated botnet he'd be able to operate more then one account at a time. Professional spammers and botnet operators try to make a profit, I don't see how pagemove vandalism does that. Mr.Z-man 23:02, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
You could be right, but although pagemove vandalism isn't that profitable, it could be a spammer testing out a new technique of some kind on WP before he does it in the world of email or blogs. Also, I do believe Grawp mentioned websites in some of her/his vandalism, correct? The bottom line is that, like Storm Worm, Grawp is a mystery; we really don't have any idea what his/her point is, and why we really care, I don't know. I agree that we're givin' him/her too much attention; he ain't worth our time. GO-PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 23:11, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Ive got a feeling that this is the exact type of attention Grawp is looking for... G2.0 USA contributions 21:54, 23 June 2008 (UTC) Banned user.

Giving accountcreators override-antispoof right and give syops/account creators anti-spoof check[edit]

I just thought I would let everyone here know there is currently a ongoing discussion and two bugs filed to address two issues:

  1. Syops must currently use regular accounts to see if creating a new account triggers anti-spoof (IE, existing or similar account exists), this proposal would create a confirmation page that alerts syops that they have triggered anti-spoof instead of just overriding anti-spoof and creating an account as it functions now. So far there is unanimous support for this.
  2. The account-creator user group must escalate all anti-spoof triggering requests which has limited the usefulness of the usergroup and routinely backlogs the WP:ACC interface tool. The second bug proposal would enable account creators to override anti-spoof after confirmation.

Please leave any feedback or questions here --Finalnight (talk) 16:17, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Routine cleanup template[edit]

What if we forked Template:Cleanup and made a version of it for articles that may need routine cleanup, e.g. Disney Channel? Do we have that already? Raymie Humbert (TrackerTV) (receiver, archives) 22:57, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Wouldn't that be redundant to Category:Articles? — CharlotteWebb 23:03, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
My my, there actually is a Category:Articles. If I didn't make myself clear enough the first time, I'm saying that all articles will need routine cleanup. — CharlotteWebb 23:07, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

References: publication date and access date?[edit]

Showing publication date and access date for the same reference is confusing for casual readers but can only be hidden by expert users. Should the access date be hidden by default? Please comment here. Thanks, --EnOreg (talk) 00:15, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

In what way do you think the access date is confusable with the publication date? – Thomas H. Larsen 05:44, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Anti Harassment Unit[edit]

Stalking is costing Wikipedia contributors. Many qualified productive contributors have left Wikipedia due to persistent harassment. Therefore it is causing a serious problem and opening the Foundation up to liability. This issue is not new and its existence can not be denied. Already, at least two deaths have occurred due to cyber harassment. If the situation continues in its laissez faire state, people could die. We must act now to prevent further emotional harm. We need to send a message to these stalkers that no matter where they hide, no matter who they attack, we will not stand for this any longer. These anonymous cowards must face justice.

I am proposing the creation of a Anti Harassment Unit. This unit shall be run on a system similar to Abuse Reports. Upon receiving a report, it shall be investigated. If probable cause exists of harassment, a second member shall make contact with the ISP and police forces. All actions will be publicized, most likely on an external website, and will be released to the press.

Thoughts? Geoff Plourde (talk) 06:35, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

[citation needed]. Especially the "two deaths," as you're implying they're due to Wikistalking. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:13, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I am not implying they are due to wikistalking. There have been two deaths resulting from social networking sites. I am stating that we must act before someone dies because of wikistalking. Geoff Plourde (talk) 00:28, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
So, two people have died from online stalking in the entire 25-year history of the Internet. Is this really something we should be worried about? --Carnildo (talk) 04:30, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
The two deaths I referenced were teenagers. Those are just the two I can think of at this point. And this is in the history of social networking sites (About 8 years). Even one death is too many. Geoff Plourde (talk) 06:09, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I trust you do not own a car, and your house has neither a bathtub nor a staircase? Each of those causes more than two deaths per day. --Carnildo (talk) 06:22, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
This is not something the community should be responsible for -- we'd wind up looking like rather impotent vigilantes, which would only be embarrassing. If anybody should do it, the Foundation should. Perhaps you should petition them about it. — Dan | talk 04:28, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
The Foundation has already shown over the past seven years that it will do nothing. The community has the authority to make decisions concerning itself. This is one of those decisions. Geoff Plourde (talk) 06:13, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Problematic there as people are understandably reluctant to give information publicly so members of the community turned to a mailing list to address this and enable discussion about how to address the problem editors on Wikipedia. This collapsed after trusted admins were vilified on WP:AN/I over issues relating to stalkers. For any editor all they can do is;

  • Ask for assistance at WP:AN/I
  • contact the foundation,
  • If necessary seek police assistance

That said it is something the community needs to address but the discussions need to be on a noticeboard and any action needs consensus. Gnangarra 04:55, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, the problem is that we need to strike back at stalkers. The reason they are so bold is because all that happens is talk talk talk. That is all the noticeboards are good for. If consensus exists to make a external mailing list for reporting only, I see no problem with it. The time for words is past, the time for action is now. Geoff Plourde (talk) 06:13, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
How about a "report this page"/"report this user" button everywhere, similar to forums and Facebook and stuff? Admins could then receive a job-list type thing if they set it up in their preferences. ╟─TreasuryTag (talk contribs)─╢ 21:00, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
This might be a better idea.. Geoff Plourde (talk) 01:04, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
First, you'll have to demonstrate that this is actively a problem on Wikipedia. Right now WP:ANI handles harassment claims and I've seen nothing to indicate we need a new board to deal with that subject. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 22:09, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Gah, no more noticeboards. WP:DFT applies here too, if we have some sort of system for this, it should be a private mailing list, but not so private as the wpcyberstalking one, more like unblock-en-l. Mr.Z-man 22:45, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

There's a huge difference between the level & extent of stalking & harassment which can result from social networking sites, where users typically divulge personal information including their name, email address & photograph, and any equivalent on a Wiki site with anonymous users. I cannot foresee Wikipedia-based cyberstalking resulting in any deaths. Sure, harrassment should be taken seriously when it occurs, and perpetrators' user accounts should be suspended or blocked, but I don't think that involving ISPs or the police is justified. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 11:20, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, the harassment is escalating to death threats. We need a coordinated method of shipping those cases off to law enforcement. A semi private mailing list staffed by people who know what they are doing would probably work. Geoff Plourde (talk) 02:57, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Please cite examples of harrassment escalating to death threats. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 10:04, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Durova and David Shankbone both have received death threats. Geoff Plourde (talk) 02:52, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

This sounds worryingly like the wiki-police. Are not users who receive such threats capable of consulting police assistance etc. themselves? SGGH speak! 16:13, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

We need a policy regarding DoS Attacks on WP[edit]

Not to give anybody any ideas (which is why I'm not going to be too specific unless I have to), but recently at least one particular person has been targeting WP with DoS Attacks. I don't believe WP has a particular policy regarding such attacks other than the good old WP:VANDAL. I think we need to be a little more strict towards those kind of vandals since that's more destructive than simply replacing a page with "Wikipedia sucks" or "John Doe is a jacka**." In fact, I believe that any DoS Attacks should be reported to the vandals' ISPs; I think ISPs would be more likely to respond to a complaint regarding a DoS Attack than just somebody replacing a page with "I luv John" or "Foo." An example of how ISPs take DoS attacks seriously can be found at

If someone is legitimately attempting to DoS this site, e-mail Though most attempts to do so are entirely ineffective. We usually just do it ourselves by accident occasionally. --MZMcBride (talk) 21:54, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
It was Grawp and his bag of tricks. See this link. So does security AT wikimedia DOT org email ISPs? GO-PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 22:04, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
A single 2 MB page doesn't actually count as a DoS unless it's the Main Page or something. Grawp, et al. aren't crashing the site, they're crashing a browser or two. As others have noted, use Pop-ups to see the page size first, or perhaps we can figure out some sort of JS detection mechanism that would prevent loading of the page if it is over a certain size. Really, the best solution might be getting ClueBot to automatically blank the pages if there is a large spike in the size like that. As I recall, it's always the same content that is added. --MZMcBride (talk) 23:55, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
I've set up the Wikipedia:Denial-of-Service Attacks draft. --G2.0 USA contributions 21:58, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
WP:Denial-of-Service attacks was deleted because User:G2.0 USA is a banned user. GO-PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 00:58, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Control Over Content[edit]

I have on a few occasions tried to create well designed neutral pages on articles that I have had first hand experience on or am in a position to provide a good sorce of information on. Seems every time I try and create an article on something that hasen't already been created it's deemed not important enough to include, I'm currently refering to articles on companies, websites, and other smaller less relevant then mainstream articles.

I see wikipedia as one of the best resourses available on the internet however administrators are quick to delete content they feel people don't care about. I think that if Wikipedia wants to be as great as it could be that it should open itself up to articles on smaller companies, people, or anything that someone feels is relevant enough to write about. Otherwise why would they write about it in the first palce.

I began to create an article on a well developed website today and it was deleted before I had a chance to finish it without being able to defend its right to exist. even though I put the holdon tag below the speedy deletion tag. no time was granted and no discussions took place. I don't think any one person should have the right to decide what is or isn't included.

I understand where problems exist in a wiki, I use to write for wikiHow, I was even an admin. I seen the benefits that Jack Harrik provided by allowing articles on all but illegal issues, I just feel that wikipedia would benefit from others experience with what they know about... one person might start an article but others are usually willing to improve it. Would be nice if wikipedia could cover everything one day... not just what one person decides is relevant. I don't write because I'm bored and have nothing better to do, only because I feel someone might benefit from what I write.

Lucas H (talk) 01:15, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

It all comes down to notability, which, for the minute at least, is wikipedia's guiding policy. There are in the world millions and millions of companies which few people have ever heard of. Generally a smaller business has an article if it does/did something that is particularly notable, it could be that it invented and sells something world changing, or it could be that it was involved in a scandal where it was conning a childrens orphanage out of money, all that matters is that it must have independent sources, if we changed that and said that, for example, every business with over a 100 employees can have an article, that would open the floodgates for millions of new articles, and wikipedia would simply be unable to cope with the onrush of spam, conflicts of interest and traffic increase that would result.--Jac16888 (talk) 01:33, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

No doubt. But I also have no doubt that the many spammers who fill my inbox also believe (and hope) that many people will be interested in what they have to say. I don't mean to equate you to a spammer, because I'm sure your work is head and shoulders above that. But the model of Wikipedia as an absolutely endless resource where deletion is always a negative is one thats easy to disprove. Much (hopefully all, per WP:NOR) of what is in Wikipedia is available elsewhere, much of the value Wikipedia provides is providing a one stop shop for (somewhat) consistent results. But thats not possible if the project is flooded by every though of every person. There would be no way to maintain that, no way to review it, no way to sort it. It would simply exceed the available human resources. So at some point there must be a boundary and no matter what the boundary is set someone will feel their contributions are unjustly excluded. I don't think anyone here would even try to argue that Wikipedia does an especially good job at boundary setting: We're horribly inconsistent and we exclude many interesting things, while sometimes including overt spam (at least for a little while). But much of Wikipedia is built on eventualism: Eventually we'll get right whatever were doing. Hopefully we'll even realize it and hold on to that success. :) Until we either scale up to the point where we can include what you have to offer, or we realize we should already be including it... there are many other Wikis with more diverse inclusion policies out there (such as Wikia's many wiki's or even's company directories), and you can even start your own even using our software!
I'm sorry that you've found frustration with Wikipedia, as we really do want everyone to be able to contribute, but providing the best collection with the resources and technology we have available sometimes means good things left out. I hope you can understand. --Gmaxwell (talk) 01:37, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
"I don't think any one person should have the right to decide what is or isn't included." - But if your article wasn't deleted, isn't that exactly what you would be doing, did you have to ask anyone before creating it? If we allowed anyone to create articles but required a committee to delete, we would probably be overwhelmed in a day. Mr.Z-man 03:18, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Comments needed but can't be found[edit]

Can people have a look at Template_talk:Football_box_end and indicate your support or otherwise so we can proceed with this update? Gnevin (talk) 16:24, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Content Disclaimer and Wikipedia's "ambitious mission of documenting all human knowledge"[edit]

I've been told that changes to disclaimer texts should be proposed here. The Wikipedia:Content disclaimer, a very important document, opens with these rather astonishing words:

"In its ambitious mission of documenting all human knowledge, Wikipedia contains millions of articles on a vast array of topics".

This wording seems to have sat there unchallenged for several years. However, the claim that Wikipedia aims to record "all human knowledge" is entirely unsupported. If there was such an aim, it would be outlined more fully in one of the policy pages, but I cannot find such a claim elsewhere. Clearly Wikipedia cannot and should not attempt to document all human knowledge - much of each human's knowledge concerns things in their everyday personal life which do not belong on Wikipedia. Instead Wikipedia should contain only knowledge which can be of general interest and value to the public.

The "ambitious mission" statement directly contradicts the policy pages WP:NOT#INFO and WP:ENC, which tell us that "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information", that "merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia" and that "WIKIPEDIA IS NOT A DUMPING GROUND FOR RANDOM INFORMATION".

This contradiction may cause some confusion, or the stated mission of documenting "all human knowledge" may encourage the kind of trivia additions which Wikipedia would rather discourage. WP:Trivia is also clear on this: "lists of miscellaneous facts" should be avoided.

I suggest that the opening nine words of the Wikipedia:Content disclaimer be entirely removed. The disclaimer would then start by simply stating that "Wikipedia contains millions of articles on a vast array of topics". This assertion does not require any kind of 'mission statement' to qualify it.

Alternatively, a less contraversial wording could be established, such as:

"In its encyclopedic function, Wikipedia contains millions of articles on a vast array of topics".

Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 12:26, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

That's a good point, it could be pretty confusing. User:RockMFR's comment that "not even sure removals are really possible at all" is also worth thinking about, mind you; if that page has real-world legal repercussions then the Foundation presumably has the final say. But this seems as good a place as any to make our case on the subject, and I don't think this phrase has very much substance with regards to the disclaimer, so it's not infeasible to have a change. I'd prefer something like your second wording; the "encyclopaedic function" bit clearly illustrates why we have all these articles and topics (which is a part that does have substance, I guess). --tiny plastic Grey Knight 14:19, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
If the disclaimer has a legitimate legal function, I think this makes it all the more important that the statements it makes about Wikipedia's aims and functions should be accurate and supported by the Wikipedia community. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 14:39, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I would support making this change. The 'all knowledge' hyperbole used to be part of the stated Wikimedia Foundation mission, but it even got trimmed from there. The disclaimers are even less of an appropriate place for marketing. It sounds snazzy but it's not needed there.--Gmaxwell (talk) 14:44, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the disclaimer is an official, formal legal document produced by the Foundation, in consultation with their lawyers, and I'm sure that we're not supposed to go near it. ╟─TreasuryTag (talk contribs)─╢ 15:01, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Sorry, maybe I didn't phrase my comment properly; what I mean is that we should see if people agree or if they think the existing wording is correct; if we think it should be changed then we should talk to the Foundation at that point. My comment was only meant to imply my opinion that it was uncontroversial, but even if that's true the final decision has to go through the office for the reasons you state. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 15:20, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
We're not talking about changing the whole thing, just one line; a change which would make it more appropriate to the actual purpose of Wikipedia (i.e. to create an encyclopedia, not a complete repository of all 'true' things). Oh, and yes, I support this. RichardΩ612 Ɣ ɸ 15:05, June 18, 2008 (UTC)
This will need to be rubber-stamped by the Foundation and its legal counsel, but it's emminently sensible. Support. Happymelon 15:08, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm, I still disagree with that. Being verifiable proves that knowledge is factual; it does not automatically make it valid for inclusion in an encyclopedia. Have a good look through WP:NOT - plenty of information is verifiable but still does not belong on Wikipedia. The knowledge on Wikipedia should be concise and on subjects that fall within public interest. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 21:25, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I would support this Gnevin (talk) 21:42, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Isn't this similar to our famous slogan "the free encyclopedia that any can edit." Obviously, a person without the Internet access can't edit, and there are articles that are only editable by admins. So, "All human knowledge" is basically a shorthand for "All human knowledge (except for those failing our notability and verifiability policies.)" What counts is a spirit, not actual language. I don't see much need to bother. -- Taku (talk) 22:53, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Don't touch the disclaimers! :) Prodego talk 02:56, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Why not?? Check the history link on disclaimer pages & you'll see that they are regularly edited - not as frequently as other pages because of the restrictions on doing so, but they are still living, changing documents, like any other Wikipedia page. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 11:24, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I also support making a change - specifically, shortening the disclaimer by removing the nine words. The purpose of the disclaimer isn't to provide general information on Wikipedia - it's to warn readers about matters of content that they may be unaware of. In this case, shorter is better. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:08, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I support this change. :-) Waltham, The Duke of 07:25, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly support. That demonstrably is not the goal of this, or any other encyclopedia. --Haemo (talk) 10:31, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

OK, so consensus seems to be largely in favour of removing or ammending the contraversial wording, so how do we proceed from here? People are saying this needs Foundation approval. Can an administrator with some knowledge on this proceed from here? Thank you. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 13:44, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

This isn't actually an official document! It's been entirely written by regular users; it's directed from users to new readers and users, not from WMF to cover our (please read the Wikipedia:Content disclaimer before proceeding) asses. If it is appropriate to change it, it can be changed—the mission statement as it exists on is official, but this should be open for editing to be helpful and informative. Kat Walsh (spill your mind?) 03:15, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Done - an administrator has now put the change in place. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 00:17, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

List or annex namespace[edit]


I’m coming from the francophone wiki (so my english is not very good, and that’s why I don’t know exactly how to tell/say francophone in english, french-speaking?) where we are now discussing about the creation of a new namespace (problably liste but maybe annexe) like there is soon on some other sister-porjet (like es: or cs:).

Is there some discussion on en: about that ? Cdlt, VIGNERON * discut. 13:05, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Francophone is francophone, but normally we say "English wikipedia", "French wikipedia", "German wikipedia", and so on. Anyway, I'm not aware of an active discussion about new namespaces, but it was recently mentioned on the wikipedia mailing list, the archives of which are here. I think it was user:Phil Sandifer who raised the matter, so you could try asking him.
But here would be as good a place as any to discuss things. Wikipedia talk:Namespace has some old stuff, including an interesting, but never implented, idea of splitting the category namespace. The kind of namespaces VIGNERON means are, on the Spanish (Hispanophone) wiki, Anexo, the contents of which you can see here. For readers who'd prefer Czech, the has a Redirect namespace, contents here.
No doubt someone will be along in a minute or two to explain why this is a terrible idea. Angus McLellan (Talk) 17:08, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
This is a terrible idea because it kills puppies! --tiny plastic Grey Knight 17:11, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I made a list of all the prior mentions, in October 2006, at User:Shyam/List Namespace#Prior proposals (archived from here: [1]).Then more recently, it was one of my suggestions for part of an index list overhaul, at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 14#Index lists. It's basically never gotten strong support, because any of the potential benefits are outweighed by the guaranteed increase in arguments over what exactly belongs in the new namespace. As Flcelloguy said, "The main namespace is for all encyclopedic content; lists are inherently articles and contain such encyclopedic information. Namespaces are for distinguishing different uses of the pages, and all encyclopedic pages should remain in the main namespace."

My only (bad) experience with annex-like namespaces, is the Wiktionary:Appendix: namespace, which is where Wikipedia Glossaries were getting sent to die a slow death (see here for details on that).

I'd be very interested in learning what uses for new namespaces the other Wikipedias have found. -- Quiddity (talk) 05:42, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Ok, thanx. In french we can’t say french wikipedia because it mean wikipedia of france and french-speaking wikipedia, that’s why we use francophone wikipedia which is less ambigous). Cdlt, VIGNERON * discut. 13:34, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Report User:Grawp to the people who own the copyright on Harry Potter[edit]

Hey everybody! I've got an idea! Why don't we run checkuser on User:Grawp and report all of his IPs to the people who own Harry Potter's copyright for violating the copyright laws! Comments? GO-PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 00:42, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

i doubt thats its a copyvio simply to write the word grawp, otherwise i imagine a lot of people on wikipedia would be liable. Besides, i doubt that they would care that much to be honest, it would be a lot if hassle, and probably get them a fair bit of bad press--Jac16888 (talk) 00:48, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Could be a trademark violation, though. But that's dubious if the use is noncommercial. *Dan T.* (talk) 00:58, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
My suggestion is to simply file an abuse report. – Thomas H. Larsen 02:44, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually, Dan T., with all the publicity Grawp has received lately, the name's use could as well qualify as commercial. :-D
Now, if nothing else works, we could always try abolishing WikiProject Harry Potter and hope Grawp will go away with it. Waltham, The Duke of 05:11, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

time to do away with Wikipedia:Administrators_open_to_recall?[edit]

I have asked here - Wikipedia_talk:Administrators_open_to_recall#Is_it_time_to_can_this_page_and_process.3F - whether it is worthwhile continuing with this process. Is it fair that some admins are on it and others aren't, and also, what can be accomplished here that cannot with Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct or arbitration? Anyway...Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:09, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Proposed change to category redirect process[edit]

I have posted a proposal to change the way category redirects are handled at Template_talk:Category_redirect#Proposed_change. Please review and comment on that page if you are interested. --Russ (talk) 18:53, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Retrieval date tag for references[edit]

Hey there. Is it possible to add, to the bow below "save page, show preview, show changes" etc where all the wiki markup, symbols, characters and so on are located, a button which adds "retrieved on [[{{CURRENTDAY}}]] [[{{CURRENTMONTH}}]] [[{{CURRENTYEAR}}]]" [but ideally in the format of June 25 (or 25 June) 2008] so that references can easily have the retrieval dates added to the end of them? Rather than continually adding "retrieved June 25 2008" every single time we put references in. Is this possible? Or would it mean that every retrieval date was todays date rather than the date the references were added? I know I'm not explaining myself very well. SGGH speak! 16:10, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Try refTools— it autofills the accessdate. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 10:52, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Perfect thanks. --SGGH speak! 11:13, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

WikiDataSource or WikiStatistics[edit]

I am currently a college student that oftentimes searches the internet(and other sources) for databases of statistics or other scientific data that has previously been collected. This data is very difficult to find, and if it is found high subscription fees usually apply. I believe if people around the world had access to these statistics and datasources then a faster rate of progress would immediately follow. With that data people can run regressions or other data analyses from all sorts of perspectives to learn/prove new truths in our world. Please consider my suggestion of adding a new Wiki page or emphasis.

People could also run preliminary regressions before searching for related data on their own.

THANKS —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:40, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, what you're asking for isn't possible through Wikipedia. We can't aggregate data from for-pay sources here. We're an encyclopedia. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 02:00, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
It would probably make a good resource in its own right, though, perhaps the proposer might like to look into setting up such a service himself. :-) --tiny plastic Grey Knight 13:35, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, taking data from subscription-based sources and putting it on a free website ... that sounds legally questionable. Mr.Z-man 20:23, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Post on bugzilla plz ty[edit]

It would be nice if there was an option at the top of the history page, where we have clicked on 2 radio buttons and pressed the Compare selected versions button, and then we would go back to that point in history, but having 250 older versions to choose to select and 250 newer versions to select. Effectively, a “centering” option from where we are from compared history page, to back to the choosing a number of versions history page. One application of this is when someone gives a link (such as swearing) and then we click on it, but then we want to find a specific user (such as user: kainaw). As you can see, clicking back on the history tab will only return you to the most recent edits, but if we had this option, we would could see when did kainaw reply to User:IntfictExpert, much quicker, and find out when did kainaw reply much sooner with the ctrl+F than without. Post this on bugzilla please thanks (I don’t have an account). (talk) 11:40, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

If I understand you right, you want the option to show "contemporary" history when clicking the History tab from an old revision. This sounds like it could be useful, probably as a Preferences option I would say. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 12:03, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
This is a duplicate of Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Post on bugzilla plz ty. In the future please choose one (1) noticeboard for each thread you post. On the other hand I sympathize with you, and wish that Bugzilla's resemblance to a wiki site was more than skin deep. — CharlotteWebb 14:09, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Template:Contains Chinese text[edit]

Hello. This template's table style must be changed. Because, all page in main namespaces must use article message boxes, and tihs page uses diffrent style. We must use Ambox mini style.

  • Here is the code;

{| class="ambox ambox-mini ambox-notice" |class="mbox-image"|Zhongwen.svg |style="font-size:83%;line-height:1.6em"|This article contains Chinese text.
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters. |}

  • And preview;
Zhongwen.svg This article contains Chinese text.
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.

Thank you.Srhat (talk) 13:38, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

No, it should not be changed. The ambox style is for article message boxes, for temporary tags on an article. Permanent templates should not use the ambox style. {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 14:07, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
OK.Thank youSrhat (talk) 17:07, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikimedia School Team[edit]

The Wikimedia School Team has been founded to develop positive relationships between schools and the Wikimedia Foundation. Its first project is outlined here. to help out, just sign up on the page. Geoff Plourde (talk) 22:31, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

History of people, places, or things[edit]

Should the idea of adding the foundations and/or history of the different clauses for Wikipedias' vast amount of articles be pre-dominately included? I have what seems to be a problem in this respect. I believe a brieg history (one or two paragraphs) should be included even though there might be a seperate article representing the history of any particular article. If not, should the brief history-outline be included in the summary at the top of the page, or am I way off base here? Thank you for your time. InternetHero (talk) 21:56, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

How is this page archived?[edit]

What is the method used for archiving Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)?

The Transhumanist 17:53, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Looking at the source, it's MiszaBot. Look for {{User:MiszaBot/config...}} near the top. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 18:07, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. So far, we have only had messages for here posted in the talk page... Glad to see some symmetry at last. :-) Waltham, The Duke of 07:34, 29 June 2008 (UTC)


As I feel substantial concern towards many fundamental problems inherent in Wikipedia as a community and "encyclopedia", I hereby propose a social fork of Wikipedia to be called Wikipendium. Please read through the proposal, think about it objectively, and comment on the proposal's discussion page. Best and friendly regards, – Thomas H. Larsen 02:15, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Proposing a new project would need to be directed at the Wikimedia Foundation itself. We can't do anything with that on the Village Pump, as we're just editors of Wikipedia, like you. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:45, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
The Foundation is not going to host a fork of its own project. You may independently fork, with or without permission or support from the Foundation or the community, provided you credit the authors (as required by the GFDL) of any content that you copy. — CharlotteWebb 17:10, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
If I understand him correctly, he is intending to host it himself, but just wanted to gather a few comments from Wikipedias on that page (since Wikipedia is an obvious place to do prior research). Probably he should talk to Citizendium as well, since he's using a few concepts from there too. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 13:33, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. – Thomas H. Larsen 03:09, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Take away "sign" button when editing non-talk pages[edit]

I've seen people sign their names on non-talk pages (Wikipedia policies, articles, etc). It's irritating and makes them look like newbs (not that they are). I think that someone should go inside Monobook and add something to remove the sign button for these pages. G2.0 USA contributions 21:12, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi. This is a good idea overall, but can cause some problems. The signing option is also available in the box below the edit box, however. Also, some pages like the reference desk, help desk, and village pump pages (including this one) need to be signed, so it would be helpful if we could sign on select Wikipedia: pages by clocking the tab also. Thanks. ~AH1(TCU) 21:32, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Such exceptions (noticeboard pages, etc. which are for discussion but not in a "_talk:" namespace) are generally identifiable by the __NEWSECTIONLINK__ keyword, and since the toolbar buttons require javascript anyway, well, you know... — CharlotteWebb 04:10, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually the blanket removal of the ~~~~ button from the toolbar when editing an article, category, or template would probably be completely harmless, other namespaces (particularly "Wikipedia:") being less orthogonal in function. — CharlotteWebb 13:33, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
There are other exceptions, such as Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration, Wikipedia:Requests for comment, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion, etc. I think the Wikipedia namespace is too multipurpose as you say. The Article/Category/Template namespaces sound viable, like you point out. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 14:49, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I'd support removing the button from the Article/Category/Template namespaces. The only problem I see is that people could still sign by typing ~~~~ manually, but it would still cut down on signing non-talk pages. -- Imperator3733 (talk) 15:54, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I can't say that I've seen enough abuse of this feature to warrant tweaking it, but I wouldn't be opposed to its removal from Article, Category, and Template namespaces. EVula // talk // // 16:18, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
What about Portal and Image? Is there any reason not to include them? People do have a tendency to sign Images. Obviously User is fine as it is. JohnnyMrNinja 16:24, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind the button being removed from other than talk pages, when I was a newbie, I initially didn't know I SHOULD NOT sign my edits. It's not harmful, but I can see it as annoying to editors and the VERY casual readers of WP.--Hourick (talk) 16:37, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Date parameter to "Do not move to Commons" template[edit]

I propose we add a mandatory date parameter to images tagged with this template which would put images into categories based on the copyright expiration date. Image:The Scream.jpg would be in Category:Move to Commons in 2015 for example. This way we can more easily follow images whose copyright will expire really soon (in a couple of years). Mind that there aren't that many images tagged with this. -- Cat chi? 10:44, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Seems reasonable SGGH speak! 16:10, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
The problem with that is that approach is that it assumes no future changes or extensions to the duration of copyright protection. In the United States, it is well known that the term of copyright is likely to be extended in perpetuity so as to prevent Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh from lapsing into the public domain. Perhaps a better set of categories would be along the lines of Category:Images copyrighted in 1920 or the like. Those wouldn't need to be updated if the law changes.
Note that extraordinary care would need to be taken in the future if someone wished to use automated (or semiautomated) tools to migrate copyright-lapsed images to Commons. Relying on user-supplied copyright dates may be risky. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:25, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Basically reiterating what TenOfAllTrades pointed to: There is no strong reason to believe that a significant amount of works under copyright protection now will ever lapse. It would be better to tag the works with the relevant data which can be used in the future to apply the standing law. --Gmaxwell (talk) 23:46, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I personally believe that they won't extend copyright again - there's a fierce and powerful lobbying group of anti-copyright people now, responsible for the legal fees of Eldred v. Ashcroft in 2003, who will push back against the pro-copyright lobbyists. But I can't say either way. Dcoetzee 02:11, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
This system is intended as a systematic reevaluation of image licenses. If some works copyright expires (for whatever the reason) at the specified date, it becomes PD and we can retag it accordingly. If not we can retag it as per the new extended date. Another thought is that this kind of tagging can be applied to current works covered under a fair use license. For example images whose authors have died (so we have an idea which year the copyright will expire). TenOfAllTrades's suggestion wouldn't work well because date of copyright is rather irrelevant in copyright. It is Generally authors death + 70 years.
I never suggested a fully automated system. I would oppose that in the matter of copyrights.
I do not see "user-supplied copyright dates" as a particular risk. All our licensing is done by "user-supplied copyright". At times people tag non-free works as free (I have seen 2008 movie screen captures marked with {{PD-old}}), that however is dealt with. This system is intended to prevent that. For example PD-Old images can be tagged by date (the date copyright expired - if available). If I see a colored screen capture of an anime in a PD-old image from the 1700s - I can catch the lie in action very easily. In other words oversight is better organised.
This could be a seperate template I suppose. The idea is the creation of a category system to process and reevaluate images based on the time of their copyright expiration - which as pointed out can be extended (somehow) and in such a case the date would be extended over here as well.
Gmaxwell's rationale above falls under WP:CHRYSTAL. If that law is changed as he suggests, we can adjust accordingly. If not, there is nothing to worry about. There is no reason to believe some ~200 countries will switch to the legal system he proposed.
-- Cat chi? 21:39, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Why not use the author's death date instead, and then use {{#expr:}} for the number of years since then? This idea would be best as an optional one, as it could very easily be coupled with the third parameter of "country", which would use (perferably?) a {{#switch:}} to distinguish countries. Example (numbers fictional):
{{#expr [possibly #ifexpr]:{{#switch:{{{country|{{{2|}}}}}}|United States|Sweden|China=100|England|South Africa|French New Guinea=75}}-{{{date|{{{1|}}}}}}}}
From which we can combine the two, with something of an output of
This image will be in the public domain in X years (where X is that output - also use days if you want, though I wouldn't) in both the United States and its originating country. Please considering copying it to Commons when that number equals 0.
Or some such. Feel free to work with the function itself as well as the wording; the concept is what I was looking for. As for categorization, maybe-also possible. Either way, this allows for the main concern of "if they change the number of years" - all you have to do is change the numbers in the switch function. --Izno (talk) 06:14, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Commons has several times pondered a similar idea - a sort of image "vault" for media that is not yet PD, to be automatically uploaded (or undeleted) when the day comes. This discussion fizzled, there were some legal concerns, and no one taking up writing the necessary bot, but no strong objections either. Dcoetzee 23:59, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Links to disambiguation pages[edit]

Would it be desirable, and if so would it be possible, for wikilinks to disambiguation pages to be in a different colour to links to non-disambiguation pages? This would, in my opinion, have certain beneficial effects. It would make the work of fixing disambiguation links mush easier. It would also help edotors adding links to spot when they have mistakenly added a link to a disambiguation page, and it would, I think, encourage more editors to fix suxh links, simply by making them more obvious. DuncanHill (talk) 11:37, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

There are a couple of tools to do something like this. Anomie 02:25, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
The best tool I am aware of is I know I can change the textcolor of e.g. redirects at my own [Userpage]/monobook.css via {color:#308050}, so I guess it is possible in some way to also change the colors of dabpages, but I guess you'd get more help at MediaWiki:Monobook.css. – sgeureka tc 15:04, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

The Do Good Gauge[edit]

The Do Good Gauge is based on the concept where a group refines an argument which is then posted for democratic measure. The Do Good Gauge provides a mechanism to tie arguments together. The goal of the concept is to provide the most comprehensive view for understanding every angle of an argument.

The foundation of the idea is based on refining arguments similar to Benjamin Franklin's Junto group. This refinement would lead to the development of an intelligent argument. These intelligent arguments would be posted on a website where the public would measure its moral goodness. This measurement would stimulate alternative or supporting arguments for refinement.

Wikipedia's collaborative functionality would provide an instrumental tool for developing the arguments refined by the Junto group.—Preceding unsigned comment added by BenDoGood (talkcontribs) 22:01, June 25, 2008

Wikipedia is not a democracy. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 00:22, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

This Do Good Gauge proposal is not intended to turn Wikipedia into something that it is not, but to suggest that Wikipedia has a great potential for collaboratively refining arguments.

Admittedly, the purpose of posting this idea to the Village pump is to recruit individuals in refining the Do Good Gauge Concept. Any suggestions of where Wiki type tools are being used in refining arguments in the nature of Benjamin Franklin's Junto would be appreciated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BenDoGood (talkcontribs) 02:24, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

You don't make it clear what your proposal is in relation to Wikipedia practice or policy. If you are just advertising / recruiting for your website, it doesn't belong here. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 13:57, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

The name of this thread is "Village pump (proposals)" and from reading the guidelines of the the thread I assume this is as good a place to post the Do Good Gauge idea. If not, suggestions of where to post would be appreciated.

I would suggest that a large portion of the articles posted on Wikipedia can be considered arguments. As much as individuals would like to claim objectivity in developing their articles, most topics are subjective. The collaborative nature of Wikipedia brings a democratic balance to this subjectivity.

An argument tends to provide a point of view with a suggested solution. The problem that an argument tends to resolve is rarely binary in nature. Again, Wikipedia does provide a great tool for collaboratively providing intellectual answers to a problem, but there are no guarantees that an article will reference opposing or optional arguments.

As of today, there is no single internet source where arguments can be examined from a multi-dimensional point of view. At the discretion of Wikipedia author(s), an article can reference opposing or optional points of view, but this feature is not built into site.

In short, the goal of this proposal is to provide an internet source which provides the most comprehensive and intelligent views of argument topics. At a minimum, I could see Wikipedia as providing the collaborative method for developing the argument thesis. At a maximum, I would foresee Wikipedia providing more consistent connection to related arguments. --BenDoGood (talk) 15:11, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

You seem to be operating from a false assumption (articles == arguments). While debate may occur as to the phrasing of article contents & sourcing, the entire point of Wikipedia is that you can look up the references yourself to verify what they say. For debates, Wikipedia operates on consensus, meaning we try to find an agreement that fits within our rules. It is not a majority vote, nor is it a place to debate the subject of the article itself. It sounds like what you really want is to start a new wiki primarily for debate and using your system to resolve those debates (to the extent they can be resolved). — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:41, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I looked at your website to see how this system is supposed to work. I honestly think that you would need some specialised coding done, what with all the voting and such. It seems closer to a web forum than to a wiki. Look around, there might be some existing forum software, or extensions to such, that will do something like what you want; as long as users can assign a "value" to each others' posts, you should have the basics of it. Ironically I had an idea for a project that could achieve this (although just as an interesting theoretical exercise, whereas yours has a specific "aim") but haven't got time to build it. As I say though, it's probably been done somewhere. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 13:45, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Apparently the phpBB forum system has an option for rating the post as good/bad; if you want something less binary then it could probably be modified without too much bother. Ask around on their community forum if somebody can give you a hand. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 13:51, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Grey Knight, thank you for taking the time to look at the abstract idea posted at Do Good Gauge. As a software engineer who specialize in developing data driven websites and open source solutions, I feel I can design and manage the development of the site.

The Do Good Gauge processes involves several ideas which are not implemented as an entire internet solution.

  • A collaborative group to refine and prepare a thesis argument. Wikipedia would provide a great tool for collaboratively developing the thesis paper.
  • A forum type site for publicly displaying, querying, arranging, and gauging the thesis papers.
  • Statistical analysis for collecting interesting information which could be used to invoke related arguments.

Several debate type of websites capture a portion of this idea, but the goal of a debate team or website is to win a position not to fairly represent all aspects of an argument.

Grey Knight's suggestion for obtaining a hand from the community forum is appreciated. It is help in refining the idea and in recruiting a junto/community to generate arguments for the site that I am looking for.

--BenDoGood (talk) 15:54, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

As above, it may be a good idea for some kind of website or forum, but doesn't sound like a good idea for Wikipedia. WP should not include original research, so is not a good place for roughing out a thesis. I really don't agree that a 'large portion' of the articles on WP constitute arguments. Subjectivity creeps into a few articles, but it should be discouraged not welcomed. Arguments make a point about something, whereas Wikipedia articles are a thorough examination of the subject, with all statements grounded in verifiable factual sources. Comments cannot be put into an article purely on the basis that more users agree with them than disagree, or that they measure highly on the Do Good Guage.
Wikipedia is 'democratic' to the extent that anybody can add or edit content, so long as they can cite evidence where necessary; but too much democracy in terms of group decisions could be a bad thing. Remember that a lot of article content comes from people who are experts on that specific subject. Their assessment of the article content will be more reliable than somebody, or a group of people, who don't necessarily know the subject too well. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 17:06, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Some system that interconnects a wiki (not Wikipedia) with a forum would be handy for such a project. You might even want to look at just a MediaWiki wiki with the LiquidThreads extension for enhancing the talk pages; and probably some custom extensions to manage the voting/statistical side of things. You could always advertise in your userpage here if you want to, I guess. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 12:38, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Universal navigation bar to go with unified login[edit]

I've searched and searched and can't find this topic so apologize if its already been discussed. Anyway I'm one of those editors who jumps around all Wiki projects to do various things, most commonly being using commons to upload files and linking them with WP (I do voice acting for Spoken Wiki). Since the system already registers my unified login and knows which projects I'm linked to, can you guys develop an icon nav bar that shows each wiki project I'm registered with so i can jump to that wiki right away? I know this is me being lazy but if I'm at a remote computer, then this would be helpful. I think of it akin to GAP and how it owns multiple clothing store sites and its websites are unified by a navigation bar. The best name I can come up for this is Unified navigation bar or Trans-wiki Navigation .:DavuMaya:. 20:33, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

It sounds like a good idea, and I can't think of any draw backs. Leonard(Bloom) 02:47, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
User.gifU25BE.gif my userpage my talk my preferences my watchlist my contributions log out
Perhaps a gadget that adds a little drop-down arrow where you can jump to one of a (configurable) set of projects... --tiny plastic Grey Knight 12:05, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I was thinking of the actual icons themselves lined up in a row before the user name but I realize that would present width issues with smaller browser. A dropdown is ok (for some reason I despise drop downs!) but would it work universally on other browsers or run into conflicts? .:DavuMaya:. 16:30, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
This is a good idea. It could be similar to the Windows Live services where you can link multiple accounts and there is a dropdown menu that can switch between accounts. It seems like it would be easy to do, plus there are many sites that have things similar to dropdown menus. -- Imperator3733 (talk) 16:36, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
It could cause width issues on more than just small browser windows when you consider that Wikipedia alone has about 264 language versions! Of course, what would you even use for the icons, considering the language versions? I'd say a drop-down that lets you select project (Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiversity, etc) first, and then a sublist to let you select the language variant for that project. (In simple skins I guess this would just turn into a nested set of unordered-lists at the bottom of the page.) Maybe I should take this as a cue to try creating my first gadget... --tiny plastic Grey Knight 16:55, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for someone to create a Wikipedic Tree of knowledge[edit]

To honor our intellectual predecessors, I propose that someone with greater technical knowledge than I create a page/portal with internal links that reproduces the Enlightened Tree of Knowledge, i.e. where all the items are internally linked to our articles on them. It would be a way of showing our connection with past encyclopedic efforts and be something of an homage to Diderot and D'Alembert by doing with internal links what their paper tree could not do. For more information on the topic, please see Robert Darnton, "Philosophers Trim the Tree of Knowledge: The Epistemological Strategy of the Encyclopedie," The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1984), 191-213. As the previous source suggests, if we don't already, we can and should cover their Tree of Knowledge as a notable subject backed by reliable sources. Best, --Le Grand Roi des CitrouillesTally-ho! 00:42, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

As in Figurative system of human knowledge? --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 19:40, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Wow! Cool! Thanks! Best, --Le Grand Roi des CitrouillesTally-ho! 19:43, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
You are welcome. Search is a wonderful tool! --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 19:56, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Oddly enough, when I searched for The Tree of Knowledge, look at what comes up instead. Best, --Le Grand Roi des CitrouillesTally-ho! 19:59, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Link revision number to diff page in undo comments[edit]

The undo function generates a comment of the form "Undid revision <revision number> by <username> (talk)". While "<username>" and "talk" are live links, "<revision number>" is not. To the average user and even an experienced one, it is difficult to identify the revision being undone looking at the article's history.

Proposal: Link "<revision number>" in the comment to the diff page of the revision being undone - i.e.,<revision number>.

Alternate solution: Include the date and time of the original edit in the comment text. For example, "Undid revision <revision number> by <username> (talk) from <hh:mm, d mmm yyyy>"

-- Tcncv (talk) 05:58, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Problem: external links don't work in edit summaries. As there is no interwiki map to diffs or oldids (it's a perrenial proposal), it's impossible to create a live link in an edit summary to the diff page. Happymelon 11:41, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Why dont we have warnings for adult pages?[edit]

I mean, just some kind of warning, its open to any users age 0 to 100 to use wikipedia, shouldent there be SOME kind of adult content warning? It may be uncylopedadic, apon thinking about it, as any minor could open an encylopedia and flip to the 'Penis' page or such. There could be some kind of warning system, could there not? If you look up the article on 'penis' you expect to see a picture of one, and thats acceptable fully, but when its the first thing you see, some minors could really be bothered... I guess I sound like an overprotective mother, but I'm not. If you use the internet like I do, you've been 'rickrolled'. Thats when you're told to click a link, that says, "Picture of a Flower" and when you click it, you get anything, from the 'rickroll' video, to some... pretty nasty stuff. Its a sad thing when you can get rickrolled to an encyclopedia. Other articles have drawings of adult images, theres an idea. What about useing drawn or sketched [ie, medical sketches] of things like the penis, before photographs? I juts wanted to throw this out there. Cindy Flynn (talk) 06:16, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Ohkay so a quick read in here made me clearly understand why we dont do that. So the proposal still stands. Should drawn images be placed before photographs in articles with "adult content," [I understand thats hard to defeine]? Cindy Flynn (talk) 06:22, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I am a full grown adult and also agree with Micov. Couldn't we have a "Wikipedia Kids"? It could be composed of article lead paragraphs, selected images and links to the full WP content. I see that a URL squatter has registered, an unexpected hurdle. Emmanuelm (talk) 17:36, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I feel to appropriately make my point, I must state a few things: I'm 15, and I have no problem with the uncensored content. As said in this, we are an encyclopedia. Britannica doesn't censor, neither should we. But, that does not mean we should disregard an internet minority with unsuitable content; (because if you'll notice we are .org,so that URL squatter isn't as much of problem) is a wonderful idea. It would be suitable and understandable for kids, but I realize there might be a hitch: it would have to have an edibility system for registered users only. Any vandalism would be absolutely devastating. I'm very stuck on this idea, and I will push it. Nice job Emmanuelm! Leonard(Bloom) 03:10, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Registered users vandalize as well. To keep it vandalism free, you'd have to approve every new user account and then have trusted users approve every edit before it goes live. Even that wouldn't completely eliminate the possibility of vandalism, but it would make it incredibly unlikely. Mr.Z-man 03:35, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
    • I'd be the first to sign up to approve and add content for wikipediakids. I believe this could be a very good project! Lots of kids, and I mean, children, not teenagers, use wikipedia. It'd be pretty simple to screen each edit for vandalism, if you had a big enough team of trusted users. I believe that this could be a graet project. I noticed you said you where 15, and had no problem with adult content. Thats acceptable, lots of people your age can accept that type of content. Wikipedia kids would be for just that. Kids. Ages 7 [when they first start reading] to ages 13 or so. It only makes sence. I dont see how we'd get though. Cindy Flynn (talk) 22:25, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
What about or Those domains would be more consistent, although we could also use I don't understand why you think that we couldn't get the .org domain. This plan could work - get a decent number of trusted editors, create some policies on what is "adult content", and create a system where all edits must be approved by a trusted editor. -- Imperator3733 (talk) 15:36, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
For all who responded, see the thread below titled "Wikipediakids" Leonard(Bloom) 17:13, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
There is a very simple reason why there aren't warnings about "adult" articles: Wikipedia is not censored. There are dozens of userboxes explaining this. Any kid who comes to Wikipedia is expecting to learn something, and censoring hinders the learning process. This is like Child Psych 101: when you prevent a kid from having something, it only makes them want it more. Wikipedia isn't controlled by the FCC, and neither is the internet. Not only is the idea of an "adult" article entirely subjective (some uber-conservative parents might say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "adult" material), the question about when a kid becomes an adult has been raging for centuries. In the 19th century, it was when a kid learned how to use a textile mill that he became an adult. Wikipedia is not dumbed down, nor indirect. It is blunt and to the point, just like any good encyclopedia. Think about if Brittanica was censored. That wouldn't be a very complete book, now would it? Plus, a wikipediakids would just be plain redundant. Schools across the country already have firewalls to stop kids from using Wikipedia because, since it's a wiki, it's not a "reliable source". So there's no point! Kids wouldn't be able to read it, anyway! ForestAngel (talk) 20:34, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree with ForestAngel to some extent. I think perhaps a 3rd party project outside of the Wikimedia foundation would be much better suited for such an idea. What's great about wikipedia is that it's free both in the way that it doesn't cost money and in the way that it doesnt censor. %%-SYKKO-%% (talk to me) 02:39, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Transcludable XfD discussions[edit]

I propose making all XfD discussions subpages that are transcluded, not just AfD and MfD (meaning CfD, TfD, and SfD). I understand that these discussions get much less traffic, but they would get far more if people were able to add them to the appropriate deletion pages (like Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Deletion), which are designed only for transcludable subpages. I can see no downside to this, and they would work better with our current structure. JohnnyMrNinja 00:26, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Strong Support. This would also help WP:DS, which is a major WikiProject. MrKIA11 (talk) 00:48, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I would find it extremely valuable to have these pages as subpages if only so I could watch discussion I was active in. Adam McCormick (talk) 00:59, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support it would also make it easier for newbies if they do not have to navigate a very complicated page and can instead use a preloaded debate page like the one provided by {{AFD}}. -IcewedgЁ (ťalķ) 01:00, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment While I'm not unalterably opposed, I'm not at all convinced that this is a good idea for SfD. SfD is already transcludable at the day level and it's rare for more than a few unrelated stub types to be brought to nomination. Even for a basic SfD nomination there are such a large number of possibilities (template to be deleted, template to be renamed, category to be deleted, category to be renamed, template to be upmerged with category deleted, template and category to both be deleted, and template and category to be renamed) relative to the number of nominations that I cannot see preloaded debates as being useful to SfD. Given the vast range of possibilities, if SfD were to adopt such a scheme, it would likely have to be something along the lines of Wikipedia:Stub types for deletion/Log/2008/June/26/1 with the discussions individually numbered for that day. Given the usual nature of the fourth level headings on SfD, trying to use those for the subpage discussions would be extremely problematic. Caerwine Caer’s whines 02:31, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The XfD system is horribly unstandardized, this would be a good start. I would suggest doing DRVs as well. Mr.Z-man 03:36, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
    • I didn't think of that at the time, but it is a great idea. Does anyone have any issue with the same treatment for WP:DRV? JohnnyMrNinja 20:40, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Partial support. I agree with Caerwine. Though it does make sense in general terms, and certainly may simplify matters at TfD and CfD, it is likely to increase rather than decrease complexity at SfD due to the varied nature of possible options. A halfway measure (with pre-templated discussion headings but without preloaded debates) might work, though the items nominated 9which may be templates, categories, or a combination of the two) may lead to other difficulties with that. Grutness...wha? 06:58, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
    • I agree that I cannot see pre-loaded debates working for SfD, but what about the basic idea of transcluded subpages? I also agree that many times it may not make things much better, but for the occasion that it does, I think it'd be worth it. This way we can be sure that every SfD is brought to the attention of the appropriate WikiProjects. Also, watching just one (when there are several) is nice. JohnnyMrNinja 20:07, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I can't see a downside either.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 14:48, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose for Deletion Review I can't support this for deletion review. I (and I believe other regulars there) keep each days log on my watchlist, there are rarely more than 5 reviews per day and this enables the keeping an eye on all DRVs. Having templates for each one would make this more complex not less and often DRVs are resolved quickly (e.g. contested prods) and would mean a lot more adding to watchlist then taking it off quite quickly. Also categorising them by subject would be much less useful at DRV as often the discussion is more about the process taken. Davewild (talk) 21:00, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for TfD and CfD. No one has objected to expanding the approach to these two discussion types, but there seem to be good arguments against SfD and DRV. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:31, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
    • RfD also, correct? MrKIA11 (talk) 23:12, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose for DRV. We get a reasonable fraction of our nominations by editors that lack the right to create new pages. The AFD system prevents IP editors and new editors from making AFD nominations because they can't create the page for the discussion, but at least dumbbot can complete a nomination started by putting a template on the article - it can't do that for DRV where the page to be reviewed is normally deleted already. Mu for the rest. I've seen CfDs and TfDs, though rarely, linked on a Wikiproject deletion sorting page. I've never seen a RfD, SfD, or DRV linked there. First show evidence that the deletion sorting wikiproject and its users actually link to these discussions widely. If only a few projects want to follow up on these discussions; they can do the work it takes to have meaningful links on their pages. GRBerry 00:57, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - Okay, so it is pretty clear that the proposal for CfD and TfD meets with no strong opposition (correct?), so I think that is pretty much settled. The subpages for SfD would cause problems due to inconsitancy of naming and content, so making subpages would be awkward. DrV would be problematic due to article creation, and most are resolved quickly and do not need project involvement (correct?). So I am going to consider CfD and TfD resolved, and create a new proposal for everything else (directly below). JohnnyMrNinja 04:39, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't particularly have an opinion about the other ones, but I agree that DRV should remain the way it is. seresin ( ¡? ) 18:40, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support for CfD; as mentioned above, this pretty much is in line with the opinions expressed so far. Good Ol’factory (talk) 08:01, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

I have never done anything like this before, so forgive me if I progress awkwardly. I think it might be best to start with WP:CfD, and once that is completed move on to WP:TfD (though I am not opposed to progressing in a different manner). I have created Wikipedia talk:Categories for discussion/Transclusion for the purposes of making these edits to essential project pages. I ask for any and all help, as I have little idea as how to properly go about this. As most of the changes will need to be in the Template namespace, and I know scarily little about templates, I will very much relying on help and the knowledge of others to see this through. Thanks to everyone who everyone who participated in this discussion! JohnnyMrNinja 09:59, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Deletion/Discussion template[edit]

What about a standard template for all other XfD discussions (excluding AfD, MfD, CfD and TfD) that simply links to the section of the discussion on the appropriate project page? It would simple, and would only need to be used if the need were felt to create a broader consensus from the appropriate project. Something that looked like -

SfD - {{Lauenburg-geo-stub}} / Category:Lauenburg district geography stubs (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs)

This could be used for WP:SfD, WP:DRV, WP:RfD, WP:IfD, and WP:UCfD if and when more attention is needed. It would require no change to the Deletion pages, and would give (close-to) the desired result. The main thing is, as it would only be used as needed, it shouldn't get in anyone's way. Thoughts? JohnnyMrNinja 04:39, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

No comment on the rest, but for DRV we already use {{newdelrev}}, which includes the "(edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs)" already, and has some extras due to the nature of the process: "(restore|cache|AfD)" (the last of which is common changed or added to when necessary). If a standardized template is created for this, I'd suggest a "|drv=1" parameter be used to add those features on (or to redirect to {{newdelrev}}). Cheers. --lifebaka (Talk - Contribs) 11:29, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Breaking up huge discussion pages (like WP:ANI)[edit]

I've devised a simple way to automatically divide up large discussion pages like WP:ANI by having a custom "new section" link start a new section in whichever subpage is the smallest. I tried to drum up interest at WT:AN#Solution to size and subpage issues where a couple people liked it but figured it would never be adopted. But WP:ANI is now at almost 500 KB(!) and barely loads in a few of my PCs so I'm bringing it up here. My original message:

Please check (and feel free to try out) the "Start new thread" link at User:Wknight94/ANI. This link is autogenerated to start a new section in the ANI page that is currently smallest. I've done five but this could be expanded to as many ANIs as needed. The idea is that if one of the ANIs becomes overpopulated by a particular thread, this autogenerated link will cause new threads to start elsewhere and thereby keep all of the ANIs around the same manageable size. It's your basic load balancer. No more subpages and no more oversized ANI. Thoughts? (Of course the templates employed could use some work but you get the idea!...)

Of course let me know if this is the wrong place to bring this up... —Wknight94 (talk) 18:25, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia's background image[edit]

Image:Headbg.jpg is a very low quality picture. I understand it shouldn't be megabytes big, but would it hurt to have it just a little better quality? I know going from 8KB to 16 will provide a longer load time, but this should only be for the first load (as it will be stored in the cache). Or perhaps re-doing the image, and compressing it in a less lossy way would fix the artefacts? The quality of Image:Wiki.png was recently greatly improved, and is still only 16KB. — Jack (talk) 00:12, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

It's a background image, hardly noticeable. It's fine the way it is. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 00:18, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Only about 30% of the image is actually visible anyway; don't think this is a major issue. EVula // talk // // 16:22, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
The image looks adequate to me as well. I think it is more important to keep load times down both for the end user as well as the server. An extra 8k doesn't sound like a lot when thinking from an end user prospective (even at fax machine speeds it would be less than a second on the first load then go to server cache) but considering that it already looks very nice I would think the many times an image like that is requested from the server would make the bandwidth outweigh the small improvement that it would make %%-SYKKO-%% (talk to me) 18:26, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

IE8 activities[edit]

I've just dowloaded Opera 9.50, and I noticed something it offers among new features: when on a web page, any web page, you can select some text, right-click and then open the wikipedia article about the text you have just selected (or serach the text through a search engine, or a couple other options). This gives me an idea.

It seems that all browsers are currently starting to implement such options accessed with a right click.

1) At first glance, FF3 only offers a google search.

2) Opera offers a few predefined functions, among which a wikipedia lookup for selected text. At first glance it looks like site owners can not add anything to the list of options that Opera proposes with a right-click on selected text.

3) Internet Explorer 8, still at the beta stage I think, also proposes a basic list of options (users can remove them or add some from a predefined list that comes along with the installation of IE8); but wikipedia is not among these options (MSN Encarta is the closest to an ecyclopedia among the things that they propose natively). In IE8, such options that you get through a right-click are called "activities." Still, there is something that can be done: it is possible to write some xml codes that would let people add such an "activity" on their IE8 browser, in addition to what IE8 natively propose. It's something that's pretty easy to do, and I know how to do it. Then, you have to leave a link or button with some javascript so that users can add the custom "activity" to their list of supported IE8 activities. From the user's POV it is a process similar to adding a favorite (usr clicks on link, dialog box appears, "do you want to add this activity?", user clicks OK, then he can access the relevant parts of WP from any page on the web).

So, my questions: Is there already a project of creating a wikipedia activity for IE8 users? Would wikipedia be insterested in providing a link to its users, so that they can add the WP activity to their active IE8 activities? Basically, the benefit for the web user is that he can then very easily and directly go into wikipedia to read about some intriguing concept that he's just discovered on some web page.

Here's what the xml xode for a WP activity could look like (no debugging whatsoever done yet; probably does not work as such):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
        <os:name>Encyclopedic knowledge with Wikipedia</os:name>
        <os:description>Encyclopedic knowledge with Wikipedia</os:description>
    <os:activity category="encyclopedy">
        <os:activityAction context="document">
            <os:preview action="" />
            <os:execute action="">
        <os:activityAction context="selection">
            <os:preview action="{selection}" />
            <os:execute action="{selection}" method="get">

This has to be put into an xml file. Let's say the file is called WPact.xml, and it is put on some web site at the following address:

Then, the last step is to add the following link to a webpage:

<a href="javascript:window.external.addService('');">link text</a>

Users who click on the link will be proposed to add the WP activity to their IE8 browser. Should they choose to do so, they would then be able to access WP from a right click anywhere on a web page, and to go directly to the WP article about the text they have selected.ThorinMuglindir (talk) 06:12, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

There is an add-on to do this for Firefox: [2] --tiny plastic Grey Knight 15:12, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Anecdotically, you also have an add-on which is simply is the IE8 activities for FF. And, I wans't truly paying justice to FF3 in my first post. In fact when you change your favored search engine in FF3, it also changes the search engine that is available through a right-click accordingly. That means you can get the WP search with a right-click, natively in the basic FF3, although it would be at the expense of having google or your favorite web search engine. Probably, the add-on you link would let people have both at the same time.ThorinMuglindir (talk) 17:59, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
This is a good idea. Once IE8 Beta 2 comes out in August (which I am planning on installing), I would like to have this utility. I'm sure there are plenty of other people who would be interested in this too. -- Imperator3733 (talk) 18:49, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the encouragement. If others have a similar opinion, the question would be where and how to make this available to people, and how to inform users that there is someplace where they can download the IE8 WP activity. Obviously the best moment to make some noise about it would be after IE8 leaves the beta stage and Live Update has updated IE7 to the new version.ThorinMuglindir (talk) 17:59, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
actually, there already exists a great utility which adds this. check []. It works with the latest version of explorer, is completely independent, and it's free. iespell also works with and can be edited by end-users to include preferred sites (wikipedia is already included, but non-english wikis could be manually added). -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 17:06, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

New Main Page design[edit]

See Wikipedia:Main Page design competition for details. Al Tally talk 20:35, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Auto hide text on post of copyvio template[edit]

We had a short talk over at Wikipedia talk:Copyright problems about using an automatic function in the copyvio templates ({{db-copyvio}} and {{copyvio}}) to hide probable copyvio text until there is resolution. It is currently in use over at Wikisource (wikisource:Template:Copyvio) automatically hides everything bellow the copyvio template on the articles page, see example s:Split Cherry Tree. Bringing the proposal here for wider review and technical application expert should the proposal be as well received here as it was there. Jeepday (talk) 21:45, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Renaming "history" tab[edit]

Last year, editor Borisblue proposed changing the name of the history tab. I felt that renaming the tab to either "versions" or "revisions" would make its function clearer for casual readers and newbies. However, some respondents just didn't see the need for a change, and the proposal faded. (old discussion)

I think it's time to revisit the question. Part of the problem convincing people we ought to change, is that everyone who would be discussing it has been on Wikipedia long enough to know what the history tab is. Thus, it is hard for them to see how opaque it might appear to the uninitiated. They might, as in Borisblue's example, think that the tab on "Poland" would lead to "history of Poland." Or they might simply not get its purpose at all; after all, non-wiki pages don't have a mechanism for viewing past versions. I don't think we should assume that those readers will, out of sheer curiosity, click on the tab to see what it is, or do a mouseover. I believe that "versions" or "revisions" (or even "authors," the German Wiki uses "Versionen/Authoren") would be more likely to get people to click on the tab.

I know some people will say, "why change?," but can someone make the case why the current name is actually better or clearer? --Groggy Dice T | C 16:29, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

There may be issues with GFDL compliance, since I understand that Wikipedia asserts the history tab to be our "section entitled 'History'" as defined in section 1 of the GFDL and referenced in sections 4.I/J and the third paragraph of section 5. Of course, it doesn't seem like the non-English Wikipedias strictly comply with the titling requirements of section 1 anyway, and in any case our application of the GFDL is already rather idiosyncratic given that the license was never designed for wikis in the first place. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 00:56, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
"Contributions" could perhaps increase community togetherness :). Ferdia O'Brien (T)/(C) 14:18, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
I like the idea of renaming it "Log." GO-PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 23:19, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Just to jump back in to comment on the GFDL issue, I don't think that's a big deal. I don't think anyone is likely to make an issue out of such a technicality. (If we're going to be hypertechnical, maybe the GFDL requires that "history" be capitalized!) But after reviewing the GFDL, I don't think it requires that the tab be named history, as long as the page title is named History. Even if there was a ruling that there had to be a link called "history" to the article history, we could probably create a second link called history somewhere on the page, and keep the tab named something else (as kludgy as that sounds). --Groggy Dice T | C 21:01, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
We could name it "revision history" if we needed to... Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 05:44, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
We all know what "revision history" means, but some readers might think it means "revisionist history". rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 18:18, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
And we're accused of that widely enough that it would resemble a freudian slip at first glance. — CharlotteWebb 14:09, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Isn't it called History in order to comply with the requirements of GFDL? Corvus cornixtalk 20:45, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Support 'Revision' seems most appropriate. Old discussion was not as convincing. Jeff Carr (talk) 16:27, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Support The German Wikipedia's menu bar makes more sense to me, and I'm not even that good at German. 'Revision'/'Log' sound like pretty good names if it was changed. Leonard^Bloom (talk) 19:07, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't have a current opinion on the title.. but we could conduct some kind of test or survey to see which possibility is best understood. We could, for example, change it for some subset of the visitors to the site and see which one generates the most usage. Or we could perform a survey where people are asked "which of these would you look at to determine..." ... I think we'll get better results if we test rather than guess. --Gmaxwell (talk) 19:29, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I think the first option (the change and review) is a very good one. Visitors may feel the survey is intrusive. Leonard^Bloom (talk) 19:56, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
It's not so simple as seeing which gets the most usage. What if "history" gets more clicks because people aren't sure what it does and click just to see? It might be hard to come up with a metric that clearly gives an unbiased statistic. Jason Quinn (talk) 23:45, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

On a whim you could do a survey of a database dump (or mailing list archives, or IRC logs, etc.) and determine how our users most often refer to it. I'd bet that edit history is the most common phrase, and that's what I would use if convinced that "history" isn't descriptive enough. But would it be clear enough to absolutely anyone seeing the tab for the first time? No, nothing would, but it would at least be clearer than "revision history" (with or without vague political undertones). — CharlotteWebb 13:57, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I oppose changing the name from 'history'. It is a common enough term in computing contexts (e.g. internet explorer has a 'browsing history') & I believe most users will understand it. A few people may misunderstand at first, & think that it refers to the history of whatever the subject is about, but no alternative would be free of this possibility - e.g. if it was called 'versions' & you were looking at an article about a song or a film or a book, you might misunderstand the 'versions' tab. Anybody who does initially misunderstand what the tab is for only has to click on it once to immediately see what it is. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 14:00, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Support I think "revisions" (with the 's'... not sure why you wouldn't want the 's') is the perfect wording with no room for misunderstanding like the current "history". One of my favorite quotes is "aim not to be understood but to be impossible to misunderstand"; so the argument that most people understand the current 'history' doesn't pass muster with me. Jason Quinn (talk) 23:39, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

What about "article revisions" - isn't that the most explicit answer? --Allemandtando (talk) 23:54, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
There of course comes a point of diminishing returns in clarity and "article revisions" is past that. What other kind could 'revisions' sensibly mean? So "article revisions" is not worth the extra screen clutter of two words. Jason Quinn (talk) 00:21, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
  • I see no convincing reasons to change the title of the tab, and so I oppose any change. seresin ( ¡? ) 00:25, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with Seresin. The history tab leads you to a history of alterations. Not all alterations are permanent, which is implied by the word 'revisions'. The word 'history' is intuitive and I never had any problem understanding what it meant when I first started. Tithon (talk) 11:53, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

The Pocket Wiki[edit]

I am not sure if I am contacting the correct people, but I have been sitting on this idea and I thought I would send it to you guys, on the off chance that you had not heard it yet. I had the idea of the invention of the "Pocket Wiki", a portable cell phone sized apparatus that contains the text available on, for all subjects. Without the pictures, I would imagine that the information could be stored on such a device. It would provide the user with a screen, a small keyboard of sorts in order to sift through the information, and access to all information that is posted on Wikipedia. The caviot would be that it would also have an extendable USB Drive of sorts or a place to plug in a USB Cable, so that when plugged into a computer, it would sync with any new additions that have been made to Wikipedia since the last time it was synced, much like an iPod.

My friends and I are constantly calling each other, asking the other if they are near a computer so they can check something on Wiki and I have a book I write down things I want to look up when I get home or when I get close to a computer with internet access so I can check Wikipedia. It is also my homepage;

I am sure something like this is already in the works, but I just wanted to write this so that I knew and could maybe get some closure that it is. Some may say that the internet on the phones would make this obsolete, but the technology that is available now is slow and such a small portion of the populous have it that it would still be a viable investment for the next 5-8 years in my estimation, until they make the internet on the cell phone cheaper and much quicker. A Pocket wiki would simply be something someone carries or keeps close to them to look up pertinent information when the situation called for it and they could get it immediately.

Just a thought

Thanks for the time

Patrick J. Masters > —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sdpatmasters (talkcontribs) 17:09, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't know of any devices with a hard coded version, but you can access Wikipedia from devices such as the Amazon Kindle, cell phones and PDAs. See Wikipedia:WAP access. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 17:26, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
There is something similar to this in the making, see here, i imagine when released it will be possible to get versions for pda's--Jac16888 (talk) 20:20, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
If you have internet access on your cell phone, you can use that. bibliomaniac15 00:04, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
There are already downloadable versions - see WP:EIW#Mobile. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:36, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Merge all Wikimedia wikis[edit]

I suggest merging all the Wikimedia wikis into a single wiki, because:

  1. There is significant duplication of content between the sister wikis
  2. It is currently not possible to search all the individual wikis in one go
  3. Merging the individual brands into a single brand name will make the brand more popular than any of the individual brands.

-- Masatran (talk) 14:24, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Both theoretically, and practically impossible, and even if it was possible, it contains no logic at all, as different wikis have different languages, which language over-rules other languages?. AzaToth 14:41, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Also, different sister projects have different agendas, that should not be mixed. AzaToth 14:42, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
It is possible searching (and even machine-translating) all individual wikis in one go by using Qwika. JoJan (talk) 14:48, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  1. Regarding the languages: the user interface language can be chosen from content negotiation.
  2. The use of keeping the languages together is that, for example, Wikipedia itself would then be able to provide multiple-language-wiki search. Results can be restricted to a list of languages specified by the user.
  3. Basically, we need an equivalent for Qwika within Wikipedia.
  4. The agendas of the sister wikis have more similarities than they have differences. Currently the user is confused as to which of the sister wikis is relevant for her subject, as there is too much overlap.

-- Masatran (talk) 19:28, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Theres no way at all this is going to happen. ever. Even if you managed to get some form of consensus on here, the foundation would never agree to it. Merging them all would result in a massive disaster. The whole idea of the different projects is that it splits the workload, just like the wikiproject system. Merge them all and suddenly we have a mass of pictures, quotes, free source, free books, dicdefs, news articles and free content all in 246 different languages, with each wiki bringing their own policies and rules, who decides which policies are made top, consensus wouldn't work because each projects users would support their own policies. Then we have the sysops, in smaller projects, its a lot easier to be a sysop simply because they need them, a imagine they would never pass an rfa here. do we desysop them? if we do then who will look after the bits that were part of their project? As for the brand, i really don't think wikipedia has a problem with not being popular enough. And yes there is signicficant duplication of content. In different languages, which is the whole point.--Jac16888 (talk) 19:44, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

This should have been split into two proposals: one to merge all the sister wikis, and another to merge the different language wikis. -- Masatran (talk) 19:48, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

I hate to be rude but it really shouldn't be because either way, its a preposturous proposal and will never ever happen, if its even at all possible. No offence, but you're wasting your time--Jac16888 (talk) 19:58, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is popular enough. It is its sister wikis that do not have enough popularity. Merging them into Wikipedia would give them a much larger audience. --Masatran (talk) 20:00, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

(several edit conflicts later...) Can you give an example of the "significant duplication of content" you're talking about? I don't use any of the sister wikis much so I'd be interested to know. We do use InterWiki links when there's relevant content on a sister wiki, but maybe we could do more. Interwiki search would be cool, but there are other ways of doing it, as JoJan pointed out. I would be extremely sceptical about merging them into a single wiki. Apart from the fact that it would likely be a technical nightmare, I can see it causing far more problems than it would solve, and I'm not sure that it would solve any. If you're actually proposing a single unified wiki rather than some kind of portal, there would be significant problems with merging several huge, mostly-disparate communities, all with varying policies, guidelines and customs. — Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 20:01, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
As others have said, this is practically impossible, I don't want to imagine how difficult it would be on a technical level to merge hundreds of different databases into one. What happens to user accounts? We're running into problems implementing single user login because users on multiple projects share the same username and neither wants to change their name, this would require many forced renames. What about instances where projects have pages with the same title? For example, an article about a person on Wikipedia and quotes from that person on Wikiquote, would they be merged, would one have to change names? What about policies? Would pages follow a different set of policies depending on what type of content they have? There are similarities, but there are also incompatible differences. Wikinews allows original reporting and Wikiversity allows original research, but Wikipedia doesn't report the news or allow original research. The English Wikipedia allows non-free images to be used as fair use, but other Wikipedias and projects like the English Wiktionary don't allow fair use images. And of course, if we merge everything together, we really aren't an encyclopedia anymore and we would have to change the name to something completely new. Mr.Z-man 20:09, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Procedural note: This utopic (or, as I see it, dystopic) suggestion should go to Meta, where it can be deconstructed appropriately and by the rules. I can understand why people see the English Wikipedia as the flagship of the Wikimedia Foundation, but we are only responsible for our own affairs. Waltham, The Duke of 07:28, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

I do think that in the case of Wikiquote and perhaps Wikisource, the integrating them as "Wikipedia Quotes" and "Wikipedia Archive" (or some other name) would result in a whole greater than the sum of the parts.--Michael WhiteT·C 23:33, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Reactivate incoming transwiki log[edit]

Incoming transwiki log is inactive and historical. AFAICT, it means that new entries cannot be added. It should never be, unless it is forbidden to transwiki anything into Wikipedia. --Yecril (talk) 19:24, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

The purpose of transwiking is to preserve the history of a page; otherwise, a simple copy-and-paste would suffice. I think that our assumption at Wikipedia is that the person who creates a page is responsible for everything that appears on the first version of that page - and thus we don't need/want page history, and thus we don't need/want transwikied material. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 01:20, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Problem biographies[edit]

Wikipedia has a problem with too many biographies of living persons that do not adequately meet core policies such as WP:NPOV and WP:V. These can often cause the subject harm and make Wikipedia look bad. I think most people agree that simply deleting all problem bios on sight would be a detriment to the project, but simply ignoring the problem doesn't work either. My proposal is to create a new system, similar to AfD, for dealing with problem biographies without deletion but in a way that will minimize any potential harm to the subject. The process would work something like:

  • An editor finds a biography that they believe is in violation of WP:BLP
  • They tag the article with a template and start a new discussion on the WP:Problem biographies page indicating what is wrong with the article.
  • The article will be listed for a period of time, during which, people can try to improve the article to make it compliant with policies.
  • After the time is up, an admin will review the article and discussion.
    • If it is compliant with policies, the tag will be removed and the article left in mainspace
    • If it isn't, the article will be moved into a subpage of Wikipedia:Problem biographies and the resulting redirect deleted.

To keep the articles out of public view and search engine results, an entry will be added to Wikipedia's robots.txt so that search engines will not index the subpages. This will allow editors to find and work on the articles through the discussion archives, but they will be less visible to the public. If someone improves an article after it has been moved to a subpage, they can relist and reopen the discussion. Other possible ideas include semi-protecting and/or move-protecting the subpages and create-protecting the mainspace title after deleting the redirect. Mr.Z-man 03:09, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

What's wrong with simply removing problematic materials (e.g., an unsourced negative claim) from articles? This can be done without actually deleting articles, which is something we should do only with articles that are on non-notable topics, bio or not. I cannot image how some stub-long bio can be harmful if it only says the name and the birth date of the person, and a sentence or two about who he/she is. -- Taku (talk) 11:25, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
At that point, why do we have an article on that person? If all we have is a name and DoB, there's no indication of notability which means it's a speedy delete. (Please excuse the following linking, it's just to help clarify my point.) Essentially, if an article can be pared down to an NPOV and BLP compatible stub, while still having verifiable sources to show notability, there's no problem. If any of those four principles can't be met, then the article is not salvageable. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 13:41, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
My proposal doesn't call for deleting articles, I'm proposing it so we have an alternative to deletion or nothing. Simply removing problematic materials generally fixes WP:V problems but then you're left with an article with almost all negative content removed, so you've introduced more NPOV problems. The majority of these articles are almost entirely unsourced so its not a matter of just removing the negative content that doesn't have a cite. They can be fixed by normal editing, proper trimming to make it NPOV, rather then using a chainsaw to remove all negative unsourced material, then adding sources for the remaining content. We're currently stuck in a rut with these articles, problematic biographies are rarely deleted at AFD if the subject is notable because any issues can be fixed through normal editing, but no one is doing the editing so the problems remain, generally until the subject actually complains, then we start hacking away. Mr.Z-man 15:20, 6 July 2008 (UTC)[edit]

I believe there should be a sub site, possibly that would provide a forum for satirical content, conjecture, and nonsense. It would be fun, and a nice way to relax after a bit of crawling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:01, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for changes to Wikipedia's Content Disclaimer[edit]

1st revision[edit]

I am moving a copy of my proposal to the Village pump. Per RockMFR's recommendation at Wikipedia talk:Content disclaimer#NPOV Issues I concede that the Village Pump is a better location to discuss changes to Wikipedia:Content Disclaimer. The reason for this proposal is that the Content disclaimer has some sentences which could be shortened and clarified per Wikipedia's guidelines for NPOV. Please consider the following for implementation.

  • Please change In any case, Wikipedia is a work in progress, and many articles contain errors, bias, duplication, or simply need tender loving care. to
    • Wikipedia is a work in progress which may contains bias, duplication and errors.
  • Please change We encourage readers to help us fix these problems. to
    • Readers are encouraged to collaboratively work at fixing any of these problems.
  • Please change The great majority of articles are written primarily or solely by individuals who are not subject matter experts, and may lack academic or professional credentials in the area. to
    • Generally, material is written by individuals with unverified academic, subject matter expertize and/or professional credentials. Readers are advised to read Wikipedia's General Disclaimer
  • Please change Wikipedia contains obscure information that would not be covered in a conventional encyclopedia. to
    • Wikipedia may contain information not covered in conventional encyclopedias.
  • Please change Wikipedia's coverage of subjects is patchy, based on the whims of its volunteer contributors (in particular, subjects of interest to young technical people are likely, but not certain, to receive heavier coverage than other subjects). to
    • The coverage of some obscure subjects may sometimes becomes an interest to the technically inclined volunteer contributors at Wikipedia.
  • Please consider merging some of the disclaimers and cutting down on other repetition. --CyclePat (talk) 19:43, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't see the purpose of the second change, it seems contradictory to WP:BOLD, you don't need to collaborate to fix an error. The third change also seems unnecessary, it seems to imply that most users claim some sort of expertise but we have no method of verification. The current wording is more accurate as it suggests most of Wikipedia is written by random people with no special expertise, or claim of expertise, whatsoever. Considering all the disclaimers are prominently linked on top of the content disclaimer page, an extra sentence to link to the General Disclaimer (which is also where the "Disclaimers" link on the bottom of every page leads to, so odds are people got to the content disclaimer through the general one) is unnecessary. The fourth change seems odd as well - "may contain" - you mean there's a chance that we don't? And the last change seems incorrect (and confusing) as well. The current sentence is quite clear, coverage of some subjects may be patchy because of the interests of most of our contributors, the suggested replacement makes no mention of patchy coverage but changes the meaning to say that we may have extra good coverage of "obscure" technical subjects. Mr.Z-man 19:56, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose The lines in red sound like they are written by humans. Protonk (talk) 15:30, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
    • side note: Hello Protonk. The objective of this proposal is to diminish redundant words and phrasing and to make our disclaimer as concise as possible. Perhaps if you read on my 2nd proposal, addressed to Mr.Z-man, you will better understand why I think this should be done. --CyclePat (talk) 16:43, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

2nd Proposal[edit]

Hello MR.Z-man, thank you for you feedback. I agree with some of your comments and have made necessary changes within a 2nd proposal + some critical comments. Again, thank you for your positive feedback. Here are the my recommended changes with some explanations :

  • 1. Keep  : Implement the suggested change.
  • 2. The problem with this sentence is "we" are using the subjective personal pronoun "We". I think this should be avoided. Also by adding the word collaboratively there is a type of reference to the guideline Wikipedia:Etiquette and Wikipedia's official policy Wikipedia:consensus. I believe if most users respected these guidelines and rules "we" could avoid many unfortunate blocks. Yes, WP:Bold is important element of Wikipedia, however, the objective of bold appears to be a type of guideline to encourage "constructive" or "collaborative" editing. Take for example where it is stated "Be bold and drop your opinion there.", "...but be careful" or "the safest course is to find consensus before making changes, but there are situations when bold edits can safely be made to contentious articles. Always use your very best editorial judgment in these cases and be sure to read the talk page." The Bold guideline even links to WP:CON policy which leads me to believe that it is inspired by this rule. (After all, we are currently using the WP:Etiquette guideline so we can edit the Wikipedia:Content Disclaimer protected page. Side note: perhaps we could discuss implementing further details regarding "protected page" disclaimers. Despite my attempt to rebut your comment, I still see and understand what you mean but here is my second proposal:
  • Please change We encourage readers to help us fix these problems. to
The majority of edits to articles aren't made with any sort of consultation whatsoever. If you see an error in an article, just fix it, that's why Wikipedia works, we don't require people to tell other people about errors or learn how to discuss things to fix a mistake, we tell people to just do it. Mr.Z-man 17:05, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 3. Wikipedia doesn't really have a proper way of verifying who is really editing. All we really know is that someone using an alias, who purports to be MR. X (Hey! is Mr. X a cousin of yours b.t.w? just kidding). We have had at least one RfC that showed how a users has lied about his credentials, and this user at the time I believe was even working for Wikimedia (See Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Essjay for further details). Even if Wikipedia managed to install a state of the art login system there will always be liars, defrauders, people that could send in fake diplomas and the possibility of someone else login under someone's "trusted account". So, in fact, you are correct regarding your inference that "most users claim some sort of expertise but we have no method of verification." I do however concede. The issue which struck me the most was that we currently say "The great majority of articles". Please consider my recommendation which removes the word "great" and changes the word "articles" for "content":
  • Please change The great majority of articles are written primarily or solely by individuals who are not subject matter experts, and may lack academic or professional credentials in the area. to
    • The majority of Wikipedia's content is written primarily or solely by individuals with unverified academic, subject matter expertize and/or professional credentials.
This doesn't really address my concerns at all. I don't believe that most users claim some sort of expertise. Most users are just random, average people, so the current wording is more correct. Mr.Z-man 17:05, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 4. I see what you mean. I've made the change but I still want to avoid the word obscure which feels like a pejorative towards Wikipedia (even though it is directly refering to information). My personal preference, perhaps a type of POV, is to try and keep negative aspects in seperate sentences allowing the end user to come to the conclusion that perhaps the information on Wikipedia is obscure (perhaps it isn't). All that to say that this is a subjective qualifier which is better treated in item #5 (bellow).
  • Please change Wikipedia contains obscure information that would not be covered in a conventional encyclopedia. to
    • Wikipedia contains information not covered in conventional encyclopedias.
This is fine. Mr.Z-man 17:05, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 5. The reason I avoid the word Wiktionary:Patchy is because it has two meaning. Also the meaning we are using is of Finnish background. I think this should be avoided. If necessary we should explore the words "wiktionary:inconsistent" or even "wiktionary:intermittent" which appear to have one clear definition. Furthermore, I question the necessity of actually stating this. Every and any work is never really complete and will have some inconsistencies, intermissions or patches! No matter the case we should not be using parenthesis to explain something. Anyways... Young is a subjective adjective which I think shouldn't be in our disclaimer. Here is my 2nd revision
  • Please change Wikipedia's coverage of subjects is patchy, based on the whims of its volunteer contributors (in particular, subjects of interest to young technical people are likely, but not certain, to receive heavier coverage than other subjects). to
    • The coverage on material may sometimes include obscure subjects based on the various interests of Wikipedia's volunteer contributors.

Please tell me what you think. Thank you. --CyclePat (talk) 16:43, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

This still changes the meaning of the sentence, at least how I'm reading them. I read the current sentence as mainly saying: Coverage of subjects may be unequal and we may not have good coverage of certain things, while the proposed wording just says that we cover obscure topics. Mr.Z-man 17:05, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Discussions regarding procedures[edit]

  • Oppose. It is ridiculous to apply NPOV to the content disclaimer, which is not an article. Changing it to passive voice and bureaucratese doesn't help either. --Itub (talk) 14:46, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
    • Hello, Itub. I'm confussed. Are you trying to interupt this process because your opposed to some technicallity? And you say what I'm doing is Wiktionary:bureaucratese? (b.t.w.: I found the definition of the word wiktionary:bureaucratize but not the other one.). Do you actually have something to which you dissagree or are you just trying to be disruptive? Because I agree with you. NPOV issues, if any, no longer apply to this discussion or proposal and it's not really an article. But we do have some guidelines and rules we neeed to observe and I thinke NPOV is a good one to first look at which can tell us if we have a problem or not. This was simply a guide at the time for bringing this forward for discussion. The WP:NPOV will lead you to one interesting sections which follows the principals of copy editing. This guideline is called Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words. (This may be found from the refereing : Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/FAQ). More importantly thought, is that, we are currently Copy editing this publication which should not only reflect what Wikipedia is but that should also protect the it's interests! Currently weasel words, per the aformentioned reference, do not reflect Wikipedia's House style or protect the interest of Wikipedia which may actually cause it harm. Please take a look at the current status of the WP:Content disclaimer and you should find at least one weasel word. I think this means there is a need for change, not because of NPOV, but because of our responsibility to be good editors that respect the rules of copyediting. I believe these rules should rely on what and how we write here at wikipedia and that includes, in part, NPOV. The definition of Copy editing event states "Typically, via the publisher's house style, copy editing ensures the use of correct spelling, consistently used terminology, accurate punctuation, correct infelicities of style, i.e. grammatical and semantic errors, and formatting of text in accordance with the house style headers, footers, headlines, etc." Copy editing should be done by everyone. And frankly anyone who ignores this, in my view, is pretty much being a disruptive editor towards the improvement of Wikipedia. It is always a good idea to analyse the tone of passages and I Thank you for noticing the passive voice. I believe this follows Wikipedia's "House style" and guidelines which are widely accepted styles of writing here at Wikipedia. However, I do find your use of the word ridiculous and the fact that you say we're changing it to "bureaucratese" a bit insulting. In fact all we are doing is "copy editing" per Wikipedia’s house style. We are making "the copy (i) clear, (ii) correct, (iii) concise, (iv) comprehensible, and (v) consistent". --CyclePat (talk) 04:12, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
      • Actually, now that I think about I now question the English passive voice. Would you be so kind to explain to me what sections you think are passively voiced? In particular, how I've changed it to a passive voice? It's been a while since I've looked over these grammar rule, and in all humility, I can't really remember (though I will be reading up on this some time soon). --CyclePat (talk) 04:47, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
        • "Bureaucratese: a style of language held to be characteristic of bureaucrats and marked by abstractions, jargon, euphemisms, and circumlocutions."[3]. Active voice: "we encourage readers". Passive voice: "readers are encouraged". --Itub (talk) 07:53, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
          • Hello Itub, I appreciate your response. thank you for the explanation. I must concede that you are correct. While talking about using the passive voice I stated : "I believe this follows Wikipedia's "House style" and guidelines which are widely accepted styles of writing here at Wikipedia". However, now that I look at it, it is important to clarify this statement. According to WP:AWW, "While the passive voice is grammatically correct and sometimes appropriate, its overuse makes an article unnecessarily wordy or vague.". Hence, I know what I meant to say, though it doesn't quite say it and I could weasel my self away from this with an explanation... In short I was wrong. Please accept my appology. Again, thank you for the constructive criticism. Obviously I concede that you have a valid point which needs to be looked at. I believe this could be fixed if I simply concentrated more on removing or changing a few of the problem words instead of rewording the entire sentence. If we where to revise key point #2, (Now I think we're going back to what it almost used to be or stet). What do you think about : "We encourage Wikipedia users to colaboratively work at fixing any of these problems." (with a reference endnote after We... stating something like Wikipedia and it's users.). As for the other proposed changes, I think some where already in the passive voice. Did you want to work together at making them active voice? --CyclePat (talk) 15:24, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
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