Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 56

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Mark pages less than 24 hours old for no-indexing

Proposal: Mark all newly created pages and all drafts newly moved into article space as "no index" to search engines. After 24 hours, remove the mark.

Purpose: This, combined with Wikipedia:New pages patrol, would discourage vanity and advertising articles, which would in turn lessen the load at NPP.

Possible unintended consequence: Slimy editors would start hijacking existing articles or writing an article likely to slip past NPP then go back a day later and turn it into adcruft. But the not so slimy ones wouldn't bother, so it would be a net good for the project.

Note: This will require a code change or bot to manage. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 18:45, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

It's critical for new pages on recent events (such as 2009 Jeddah floods or 2009 Nevsky Express bombing) to be indexed as soon as possible, so that they get traffic. Cenarium (talk) 18:57, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Oppose. Articles like 2009 Fort Hood shooting and 2009 Nevsky Express bombing are created in response to current events, rapidly obtain a very high profile, and in my opinion a big part of what Wikipedia can do right. Since Google News started adding Wikipedia results to its listing, it is not uncommon to see such pages listed even within the first 24 hours. In addition, I would say the issue of deciding what to index and how to rank the results is really a problem for search engines and not for us. It goes too far to say that all new wiki pages are bad, but at that same time, I would assume that most search engines would treat new wiki pages as lowly ranked (since they will have few or no incoming links, for example). Also, there is nothing magical about the first 24 hours, except possibly that we clean up / speedy much bad content within 24 hours (and if that's true, then it is already about as strong a deterrent to bad article creation as one could hope for). Dragons flight (talk) 19:04, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Partial Support Provided this was amended to noindex on unpatrolled new articles I would support, but as Dragonsflight explains above we need to have articles suddenly on new subjects. ϢereSpielChequers 19:12, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Limiting to unpatrolled sounds like a good plan. It will be less abuse-resistant but less harm-inducing. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 20:56, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Aye, once it got patrolled it could be given the green light. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 00:24, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea, but it might be better to use an "index this" template of some sort, for those few articles where it actually matters that the thing be indexed right now (not in 1 or 2 days or a week). Some templates like "current events" could include the "indexthis" template automatically. Rd232 talk 09:23, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, if _NOINDEX_ is allowed to work (enabled in the software) for the articlespace, then I'm sure that getting _INDEX_ enabled in the article space wouldn't be too far-fetched. That being said, I don't know the likelihood of that happening. Killiondude (talk) 09:33, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I imagined the software doing this automatically, so everything younger than, say, 7 days would be noindexed - unless it was specifically INDEX-tagged. Rd232 talk 22:19, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
If a search engine like Google has detected a page is noindexed then does anyone know how long it will typically take before it discovers a status change to indexed? Google is quick to spot new pages so I fear many of them would be discarded as noindexed and not revisited for a long time. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:28, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it takes that long. Pages can also be specifically submitted for reindexing. Anyone have any details? Rd232 talk 22:19, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is scanned constantly by Google. Changes on an article can show up on Google search summaries within 12 hours, easily. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 03:39, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Ban off topic political debates

Yes, I know it's coming, Wikipedia is not censored. However, I've become aware of an increasing number of off topic political debates going on outside of the main space, and I find it very unprofessional. I've also been seeing a lot of disgraceful suggestions that people vandalize Conservapedia. Regardless of one's political views, we must all see the immaturity in this; suggesting the vandalism of another site is more of what I would expect out of 4chan and Encyclopedia Dramatica, not Wikipedia. At any rate, bringing biased, unneeded policical chatter into talk pages and discussions could cause readers to get the wrong impression of Wikipedia. Many employers, including Hospital Corporation of America (one of the many), has specifically banned off topic political discussion on the company networks, it seems to me that such a ban would also be beneficial to this encyclopedia project. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 04:12, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

How is invoking WP:NOTFORUM insufficient? --Cybercobra (talk) 04:29, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, that covers it perfectly in most cases, but it seems as if WP:NOTFORUM is under enforced. I have seen cases on user pages however that this would NOT cover, and although I believe users should be allowed to declare what their political views to a certain extent on their user pages, I've seen some political comments on user pages that were just out right uncalled for and I believe a specific policy would fill in that gray area. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 22:22, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
There is already some history here. I got chastised for advocacy over a signature-line that incorporated an "09f9" protest. If I had merely kept this on a user page, I don't know if it would have been an issue. There has also been at least user-box that was deleted either by the community or by ARBCOM because, while it amounted to a political statement, it presence also invited disruptive editing and was therefore seen as disruptive in the inciting-a-riot sense of the word.
I think the bottom line should be: Is the specific instance causing a problem? If its not, we've got more important issues to worry about. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:32, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I believe there's been politically motivated usernames (ie. User:Hillaryforpresident) that have been declined for WP:UAA, and I personally think that such should be unacceptable as it may leave a biased impression on newbies and readers. Also, imagine if I were to add "vote Republican" or "vote Democrat" to my signature. That would be blatant political spamming, and could be taken the wrong way by readers and newbies. This is why I think we need a specific policy. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 00:56, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, but what about political but non-electioneering language like "Support Obamacare" or non-political votes like "Vote Fruity Pebbles"? Let's not forget the "for/against flagged revisions" tags on many user pages. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 01:45, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
WP:NOTFORUM has been enforced regarding this type of behavior, Kirsten Gillibrand (the junior US Senator from NY who took Hillary Clinton's seat, if you didnt know who she is) was "vandalized" on her talk page by an IP who ranted about health care, jobs, abortion, etc (I was accidentally blocked by an admin because they thought it was me wrote the post because I posted at the same time and since the IP didnt sign their post it looked like it had been part of my post, luckily the mistake was caught within minutes and I didnt even know I had been blocked and an apology was put at my talk page). Sometimes though in a discussion at the Village Pump it is necessary to point out the "conservative" elements among us (eg- those who bring their conservative viewpoints about how politics should be run and laws enforced and try to apply that thinking to our Wikipedia policies and way-of-doing things, which is inherently liberal by design as a wiki). But I'm a political science grad student so I tend to think along political lines anyways.Camelbinky (talk) 01:48, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Check your premises. At least one of them is way off-base. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 22:24, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I dont understand who or what that last post was directed to/or about. If it was directed at me, I will try to be civil in response, but I cant guarentee it. 1- I'm a poli sci grad student with a bachelor's in political science; I know politics and technically speaking I am a professional in this matter. 2- There are conservatives on Wikipedia; they are those who dont like to see policies changed from "wording that has existed for some time" and those that consider "policies are laws" and want them enforced strictly, they dont care for IAR; this is based on taking the philosophy of a conservative and applying it to Wikipedia. 3- please remember conservative is not the same as a Conservative (capital C) which is a political party. A conservative (small c) is something different than a political party platform or Republican. 4- A wiki is by definition liberal by fact that its methods of doing things can and is changed due to consensus as often as new consensus of the Community form, Wikipedia in particular clings to many liberal beliefs (and again liberal is not the same as the Liberal Party or the platform of the Democratic Party). If you want more of what you should have learned in high school civics class we can set up a page off your talk page and I can teach you liberal and conservative ideology and explain step by step how Wikipedia is liberal by definition. I dont have time for that right now.Camelbinky (talk) 03:18, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Fork without the bureaucracy.

Can someone direct me to any discussion of creating a fork of Wikipedia content in its current state with the same software and openness that created Wikipedia but without the bureaucracy and hierarchical instruction creep that is ruining it. Bensaccount (talk) 15:55, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Why discuss it? Wouldn't that add bureaucracy ? I suggest you just do it. Much easier. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:07, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Download this. Install it on a web server. (You can download a suitable one here). Export the pages you want from here. Import those pages into your installation using Special:Import on your installation. (Optional: Get a domain name from one of these). And that's that. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 16:39, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
For how to do it, see Wikipedia:FAQ/Forking. You might consider joining another project which has already done this. See Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks, although most of these are not editable and do not have a community base. List of online encyclopedias might also be useful in finding such a project.
Discussion on Wikipedia is supposed to relate to the improvement of Wikipedia, so any discussion on creating a fork such as you propose is off topic here.-gadfium 18:30, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Any fork developing a sizable userbase will end up creating its own bureaucracy, one way or another. The best you can hope for is that a new start would give a chance to design/develop a better (more light-weight, more effective) bureaucracy, by learning from the issues with the WP one. One of the biggest issues with the WP bureaucracy, though, is the widespread insistence that we shouldn't have one - and you seem to share that view. Sadly, it's a necessary evil that a project of any size requires management and rules which can be labelled "bureaucracy". That said, an anarchist version of Wikipedia, declining to implement anything construable as bureaucracy, might be an interesting experiment; but somehow I doubt it would last very long in that state, unless the user base remained tiny. Rd232 talk 20:32, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Without the userbase of Wikipedia it'll quickly fill up with vandalism and spam, quickly resembling MyWikiBiz. Fences&Windows 22:15, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Centralized documentation for flag templates

Hi all, as you may be aware, stubs like {{Hockey-stub}}, have a centralized documentation. This means that their meta template ({{asbox}}), includes the documentation page {{Asbox/templatepage}} and the /doc subpage (for interwiki, cats and further details). Because of this, all stubs now have documentation pages with consistent information as well as /doc pages that can be used for interwiki. I think that in general this has worked out pretty well. Now this week I ran into {{NLD}} and {{PRY}}. These flag templates are almost all protected, and I think iw. is backed up for many of them because of that. Also, almost none of them have any documentation to help editors with figuring out how they work, how to create new ones etc. Since all of these templates use the metatemplate {{flag}}, I was thinking we could do the same trick for flag templates as we use for stub templates. Do people think this would be a good idea ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:37, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Seems a reasonable idea to me. Documentation is not easy, but it is important for future editors. I have taken a slight liberty with the section name, to show that this is about templates, and not about flags that fly on poles. --DThomsen8 (talk) 14:10, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd ask what User:Andrwsc‎ has to say about it. He seems to maintain the flag templates. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 16:44, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Already work in progress. See {{flag template documentation}}. I have "installed" this for the Category:Flag templates through "I" in the alphabet, and will get around to NLD and PRY in due course. Also note that no new flag templates of this style (using three-letter code names) ought to be created in the future, since they are complete, so this documentation effort will likely help with interwiki additions more than anything else. Any new flag templates will be for missing sub-national entities or historical nations. The main page for Wikipedia:WikiProject Flag Template describes how to make them. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:48, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
This sounds like a good idea. I had a similar idea a while back which I discussed on Template talk:Documentation, about creating a template (or adapting {{documentation}}) which would display centralised documentation and also translude a /doc subpage for categories and interwikis. I suspect there are other series of templates which could benefit from such an approach. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:35, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Selective deletion

Please what is the progress on letting ordinary admins delete some edits of a page and leave others? Often when page P has been cut-and-pasted to Q, and I histmerge them, I have to first delete late edits of P which have been made after the cut-and-paste. Currently in this case I must delete all of P, then undelete the edits of P which are to be kept; this wastes my time and Wikipedia's server's time, particularly if P is big and/or has many edits. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 07:15, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

bugzilla:21165 and bugzilla:18780TheDJ (talkcontribs) 07:25, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I think what theDJ is trying to say, and tell me if I'm wrong, is that your problem should be eliminated (in the future) once admins are able to use RevDelete versus the "hack" that is used (with no set policy/guideline, I might add) right now, which is to selectively undelete revisions. Killiondude (talk) 07:43, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
No, per and later, there are still issues with how this extension works and this is currently blocking deployment of the functionality. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:41, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
  • It would be useful ALSO to be able to selectively undelete revisions. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 13:45, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Finding if a page name is forbidden

  • It would be useful if an admin could find easily if a page name is forbidden (e.g. it contains "hagger" or suchlike), without him having to wade through MediaWiki:Titleblacklist, and without (as has been suggested) having to re-log to a non-admin sockpuppet username. I have no sockpuppets, and I would prefer not to have to maintain one merely for this job. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 13:49, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
  • What about logging out? MBelgrano (talk) 14:46, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I thought that IPA users are not allowed to create pages. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 17:06, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like an opportunity for a toolserver script... –xenotalk 21:15, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
This really should be at the "technical" pump - privileged editors should have a way to temporarily disable their privileged bits so they can "edit as" non-privileged users. If this can be extended to autoconfirmed and logged-in as well it can give editors an idea of what it looks like to be not logged in or not autoconfirmed. This would be very helpful when helping brand-new editors. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 21:30, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

bot request for wider discussion: Set page ranges within page parameter of citation templates to use en-dashes

Please see Wikipedia:Bots/Requests_for_approval/RjwilmsiBot: Set page ranges within page parameter of citation templates to use en-dashes. Thanks Rjwilmsi 18:35, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

General search engine inclusion suggestion

Request/suggestion for inclusion into the Wikipedia pages that feature ISBN or book titles, i.e.:

Requesting inclusion under "General search engines." Our site uses a very basic URL structure, so this could automatically be included into any ISBN/book Wiki page with ease and would enhance the end user's experience dramatically if they're looking for the desired book.

Here's an example of our URL structure:

Allow autoconfirmed to edit editnotices

There is a proposal to lower the bar for the creation and editing of editnotices to autoconfirmed. Your input is requested. ⇌ Jake Wartenberg 02:10, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

A Permanent Record

Wikipedia has a kind of "Institutional Memory" issue with regards to not keeping track of past bad behaviour very well. Unless you get a block, there's no easy to identify record of past bad behaviour that can show a pattern of poor judgement / malicious intent.

This is particular in cases where an Arbitration case has passed warnings or cautions on editors or admin. These are solely recorded on the case, and so people might forget about them or never have seen them, and an editor or admin can revert to their past behaviour when the attention from the case has died down.

Do we need some way of endorsing a permanent record associated with an account when there have been such cautions, or consensus to make such cautions from such as AN/I? Would this be best handled with current tools, or would an extension to the codebase be needed? --Barberio (talk) 15:39, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm against the general idea of permanent records of warnings. ArbCom decisions are a little different, but in the whole, Wikipedia should be forgiving. Past performance should not prejudice the future; people change, and relatively easily. We allow people to remove warnings from their talk for this reason, and I'd like to keep to that spirit. Warnings are just that; they have no permanent value, only temporal. As I say, editing restrictions as imposed by the ArbCom may need to be handled differently. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 15:55, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
See WP:Editing restrictions and see the log of blocks and bans under each Arbcom case, for example WP:DIGWUREN#Log of blocks and bans. EdJohnston (talk) 16:01, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I know that page, but it's not exactly obvious if you were going to warn someone for their actions. If someone, say, could not edit particular topics, and you went to warn them about 3RR, you wouldn't realise. In any case, that's really a separate debate. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 16:38, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I think there is merit in this idea (the thought occurred to me before). Forgiving is not the same as forgetting. An annotated record created and maintained at admin discretion could allow for old incidents no longer relevant to be removed from the record, and the annotation would permit a better explanation of the issues than the block log does. A user subpage could serve this purpose, perhaps. It's not unproblematic, but it's worth discussing whether or how it could work (eg subpage created only after first block, annotations by admins only, should the record be visible to admins only, etc). Rd232 talk 16:49, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I am against this idea. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and our efforts should be directed toward improving the encyclopedia rather than creating a database of bad editor behavior. Things which don't improve the content of the encyclopedia are tertiary, and efforts spent on editor records will only lead to bureaucracy. Firsfron of Ronchester 18:34, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Hate to break it to you, but bureaucracy is already upon us (as are various forms of editor records). The issue is how to make it as efficient and unintrusive as possible, so it takes least time, energy and drama to manage. Rd232 talk 21:11, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Just because we have some bureaucracy (and way too much already in my opinion) that does not justify having more bureaucracy to deal with the bureaucracy we already have. I have seen (and had slapped on me as well) plenty of useless and wrong "warnings", why have a permanent open easily accessed location where people can see them and get the wrong impression about a user? I was once blocked by accident because someone thought a particularly bad edit on a talk page was done by me (it wasnt, they misread the history of the talk page, it was a different editor) luckily the admin who blocked me realized their mistake within a few minutes and took the block off before I even knew about it, they apologized on my talk page for it and explained what happened. Do I want a permanent record that I was blocked, a record that might not explain the full details of what happened and that I really didnt do anything wrong? What about editors who go around "warning" other editors based on "pay back" for disagreeing with them? This would lead to so much abuse and tarnish good user's names. Everyone please stick to working on an encyclopedia and dont worry one iota about editors being "rude" or warning editors or disciplining them. Waste of time and ridiculous. Stick to editing and improving and adding information to articles if you want to help build an encyclopedia.Camelbinky (talk) 21:28, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree, to a great extent, with what you've said above. The idea of building and maintaining a permanent record of disciplinary actions has absolutely nothing to do with writing encyclopedia articles, and can only lead to drama and wasted efforts and resources. The effort spending time compiling editor records would be better spent improving encyclopedia articles. Firsfron of Ronchester 21:52, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
For certain kinds of incidents, the record needs to be more open and transparent. There are two reasons. Last year I stumbled across a confrontation-in-progress with a very young Wiki editor, and was invited to contribute. This editor was in the habit of erasing warnings from her talk page, etc. So it took me some time to discover that she'd been warned, blocked, and mentored. One of her critics became an administrator during the resolution, etc. It was a complicated situation that could have been resolved fairly easily — the editor simply was using one device after after another — making promises she didn't keep — to continue her behavior. If the time I spent was any example, a half dozen people spent hours finally bringing her inline. Second, the lack of reporting (in some, limited situations) is an impediment to new-ish editors, who don't know the procedure for researching, and may be unaware that they are dealing with an editor with a troubled history. They may leave Wiki, having had a bad experience — not having any easy way of realizing they themselves, and Wiki as a whole are on the right track. Simpler reports for new users, certainly. Piano non troppo (talk) 22:55, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
(e/c)The issue is how to make it as efficient and unintrusive as possible - Er, no, the issue is whether we should have it at all. There are some things like ArbCom/RFC archives and block logs, but nothing like what's being proposed here. I agree with Camelbinky and Firsfron, there's simply too little benefit to the project to justify this. Mr.Z-man 23:07, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
The issue is how to scope the project. If a new user could push a button and get a summary of an editor's behavior — it doesn't have to use "loaded" language such as "blocked", "banned", "warned" (which a new user won't understand, anyhow) — it would be greatly appreciated by many a new user who has their edits reverted. The report could say, loosely, "This is moderately experienced editor, who is not an administrator, with some experience in administrative issues, who infrequently follows up on edits in a large number of articles, and who strongly defends their position." (That's just one example. Several types of reports are necessary, tailored to specific editor needs.) Regards, Piano non troppo (talk) 23:16, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
(ec)"the issue is whether we should have it all" - LOL. I think you misunderstood - "it" in my sentence was the whole existing superstructure, not this suggested record. Or are you suggesting we abolish block logs, ban lists, AE archives et al? The issue is, when all those records are spread around, keeping track. And in some cases, insufficient clarity and context (eg when blocks are overturned or questioned); and in others, massive WP:TLDR. So an annotated central record would have its uses. Drama could be minimised by making it visible only to admins, a suggestion I alluded to above - but obviously at the expense of transparency. Bureaucracy isn't going away, people, just by rejecting any suggestions to make it work better. I'm not saying this incipient hint of a barely-developed suggestion is unambiguously worth doing, but the argument should be on the merits of it or possible variations. As for "focussing on the content" - suspect you're just not familiar with the problem areas of Wikipedia, and its associated various problem types of editor, or you wouldn't say that. These problem editors need handling better, and the lack of a central, clear record is a massive enabler of drama by allowing problems to fester unaddressed for far too long, because nobody can get a handle on the issues. Rd232 talk 23:24, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty used to people citing "That's just extra bureaucracy" when ever there's a suggestion for a process or documentation that'll make editors lives easier... But I think this takes the cake... This is a call to reduce bureaucracy, by centralising all the various hidden areas people's 'behaviour record' are currently kept. Right now, someone's past behaviour can only be found by doing separate searches on their user name, in WP:AN, WP:AN/I, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Index/Motions, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Index/Cases, and Wikipedia:Arbitration/Index/Involved parties as well as the block log. And that won't even show the times when someone has had to give them a very strong warning on their talk page not to do something again. That's a lot of bureaucracy that could be replaced by a single 'conduct history' for each editor. --Barberio (talk) 00:51, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
There is no bureaucracy behind the current records system. Block logs are done automatically by the software, we have discussion archives because its almost as easy to archive them as it is to simply remove them. Having some sort of centrally managed system would need bureaucracy or else it would just be a free-for-all, controlled by whoever can yell the loudest for the longest. Mr.Z-man 02:16, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
(e/c) Actually, instead of checking all of those places, one can just check the user's talk page history, since it's a requirement that the editors being discussed receive notice of said discussion. This also shows when a user has been given warnings. Maintaining pages containing users' permanent records is bureaucracy, and detracts from the point of Wikipedia: creating a free encyclopedia. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:20, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Are you serious? It could take hours to comb through an established user's talk history in this way, looking for relevant messages. This is in no way a substitute for an annotated record, especially including summary of responses and subsequent behaviour, which takes seconds to skim. The only time you'd put in the effort to do scan the talk history in this way is to argue for a major sanction. A record could be relevant in informing other actions, including the information or advice that should be provided in particular contexts. Rd232 talk 10:40, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I guess I could say the same thing about maintaining a permanent record of bad behavior of hundreds or thousands (or every?) of users: it could take hours... per user. It would take years and years of maintenance for an even semi-accurate record. This effort would take a great deal of time away from building an encyclopedia. Firsfron of Ronchester 18:42, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, that's a point. Maintaining the record should reduce costs elsewhere, but there is the cost of the record itself. I'd see it as an investment, if it works - the efficiency savings elsewhere should be much bigger than the costs. Given how little detail there is on the idea at this point, it's pointless to speculate on the exact costs. The largest investment returns would be if the records were only maintained for real problem users; editors with 10+ blocks, say, off the top of my head, or maybe editors with blocks longer than a month. Rd232 talk 22:23, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

"Unless you get a block, there's no easy to identify record of past bad behaviour that can show a pattern of poor judgement / malicious intent." But, it would also behoove us to realize that merely being blocked, however often, does not necessarily show a pattern of poor judgment or malicious intent. People are blocked inappropriately all the time. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 01:16, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Very rarely. In my experience in years, and tens of thousands of edits, blocks are, I would estimate, correct more than 95% of the time. More than one block is 100% certain indicator of an abusive editor. Piano non troppo (talk) 15:22, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Rubbish. --Malleus Fatuorum 15:27, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you aren't familiar with the daily use of blocking to thwart vandalism? Collect a random sample of blocks (they *are* applied by administrators). They are usually correct in some respect. Speaking from experience with anti-vandalism, a previous block is a strong indicator that an editor is a vandal. It's a virtually certain indicator that dealing with an editor will involve unpleasantness. For the sake of new editors who are completely at sea with the complexities of Wiki culture, a simple description of who they are dealing with would be helpful. Consider the people we are turning away. Piano non troppo (talk) 01:31, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Exactly, which further shows how hard it is to get an appropriate user conduct history. There needs to be some way of giving a suitable record of conduct, that can be edited after the fact when needed, and wouldn't be prone to a single Admin's grudges or mistakes. --Barberio (talk) 01:30, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
So who would it be managed by that it wouldn't be susceptible to grudges, biases, or mistakes? Mr.Z-man 02:16, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I dont understand something, current policy states that if you read a warning then you have the right to delete it from your talk page, it clearly states that. So why are some so intent that warnings must be for everyone to see out in the open and easily accessed? It goes against the core of our "rehabilitate and teach instead of stigmitize and punish" philosophy here on Wikipedia. This, to me at least, is more about changing Wikipedia's core philosophy on how it treats and teaches users than about just a new way of making our current structure work better. This is a pandora's box and leads us down a slippery slope towards punishment, stigmitizing, embarressing, and biting not only newbies but established users as well. Perhaps next someone can propose a "scarlet V" on user pages of those who have vandalized? All in the name of making it easier to know if they have a history of vandalizing should they make the same mistake again of course.Camelbinky (talk) 02:27, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Excellent points, of course. The stigma of having a "permanent record" if they should do something "wrong" (or even the threat of the same) is only going to drive more editors away from WP. Considering the recent news story about the number of editors already leaving WP in droves, is this really a smart idea? Firsfron of Ronchester 03:06, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
The most commonly cited reason for people leaving is an uncollaborative, hostile environment. This requires better bureaucracy (which already exists to address that problem), not less - especially in dealing with the WP:OWNery, WP:GAMEy well-established editors who can easily get their way in dealing with all but the most persistent newbies. Rd232 talk 10:35, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

A possible technical solution: Improve search, "what links here," and contributions to filter by page or group of pages and look at edit histories. For example, if I am at a user talk page and I can filter "what links here" to just look at Arbitration Committee pages, then it's easier to spot related discussions. Likewise, if I can easily search old edits of a user talk page for warnings, particularly recent ones, then I know if I should give him a level 1 or level 4 warning. Edit summaries sometimes help but some editors are coy in their edit summaries when giving warnings. On the other hand, maybe it's a good thing that I can't easily search old versions, it allows those giving the warnings to be more welcoming. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 04:48, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

This is a very bad idea in my opinion. Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia, not a surrogate for parents or school. Our work here is neither to parent, punish, or create pariahs. We are here to build an encyclopedia. If someone cannot edit adhering to our policies and guidelines, we rescind their editing privileges. They ask for a second chance, or they come back and behave, what do we care what they did in the past as long as they are helping now? We do not "brand" people literally, and we should not brand them figuratively. People who cannot edit within our rules usually make themselves known after a short amount of time anyway, from my experience. -- Avi (talk) 04:55, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Fully agree. If you're a good faith editor, we'll accept you and smack you on the nose if you mess up. If you're not productive, we have various methods of dealing with it. –Juliancolton | Talk 05:10, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Comment: It's already been acknowledged that whilst the upside of centralising record-keeping and annotating and summarising those records is greater transparency, efficiency and accuracy, the downside of centralising record-keeping is... greater transparency, to the point where a record might be better not seen by non-admins. Perhaps the respondents could address this issue, instead of beating down a germ of an idea before it's had a chance to be developed. I hate how responses to new ideas are so often so dramatically negative, as people see the worst possible implementation/outcome and reject all attempt to consider the merits of it and of possible variations. Yet discussing bad ideas often leads to new ideas which are good: it's a classic idea generation technique ("come up with a really bad idea"). At any rate, do the respondents so vehemently opposed to finding ways of making the existing bureaucracy work better (a) deny that this "bureaucracy" (block logs, ANI, AE, Editing Restrictions, RFC et al) exists (b) deny that the problem that bureaucracy exists to manage exists (problem editors) (c) consider that bureaucracy unimprovable?

Does the existing system really work so well that attempts to improve it have to be squashed immediately? In dealing with vandals, sure, it's OK. But dealing with persistent, well-established long-term problem editors - no, it's frequently appalling in a number of ways (including being unfair, both to the problem editors and to others, as well as ineffective). The reliance on individual admins to know problem editors enough to judge how to deal with them is a key factor. If we had a central, annotated record (eg explaining block contexts, summarising other issues dealt with elsewhere), it would be much easier for uninvolved admins to contribute. And the issue of admins being "involved" with problem editors is one of the major causes of drama - it personalises everything. But as long as we rely on individuals' personal knowledge of long-term problems, that's how it's going to be. So how can we improve on that? Only with something that somebody can inevitably label "bureaucracy". Funnily enough, I don't think police forces say "we don't need bureaucracy - screw proper filing and paperwork! We're here to uphold the law!" The mantra "we're here to create an encyclopedia" overlooks the fact that there are problem editors who either aren't here to do that (they just pursue agendas, more or less subtly), or have problems in participating in that project in a consistently collaborative way. I mean I'm not making this up, am I? Rd232 talk 10:35, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I'd tentatively have no problem with a private permanent record that only administrators can see, so long as the editor themselves may also see their permanent record. A private permanent record on yourself that you can't see, and thus can't try to correct errors on, would be the wrong way to go. (And also illegal within certain jurisdictions data protection laws.)
I'd be willing to accept semi-transparency as a balance of privacy issues. And I'd also expect ability to have that record expunged for a variety of acceptable reasons, ie actions as a minor. --Barberio (talk) 15:48, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, of course if the record is non-public the subject should be able to see it and at least comment on it, if not edit it. but I'm not entirely comfortable with non-publicness though; maybe, between annotating current/recent issues (all of which is at most summary of info available elsewhere), and archiving/deleting old ones, it wouldn't be necessary - people would learn to interpret the significance of the record. Not sure about that. Rd232 talk 17:08, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Rd232 the reason so many, including myself, are vehemently against this is because the way to fix a bureaucracy is not more bureaucracy, it is with less bureaucracy. You are taking a minor issue of Wikipedia (disruptive behavior) and trying to solve it with a nuke instead of a targeted smart bomb. Your proposal is yet another broad-type of proposal that has been seen around here before, eliminate our problem-children through "Patriot Act"-type actions and oversight. We are here to create an encyclopedia, not find better more efficient ways of controlling individual and group internet behavior and interaction. When it comes to vandalizing, sockpuppetry, etc and other extreme behavior that is related to editing those people tend to get blocked and remembered anyways, so this proposal doesnt help in "catching" them anyways. What it can hurt is those that do things that are subjectively disruptive such as "rude" or "uncivil" behavior at talk pages and forums. The reason I am concentrating on speech related behavior is that this proposal will quickly become the center of any "uncivil" warnings issued to editors, you get into an argument, tempers on both sides get heated, and one side will decide to slap a warning on the other side and put it on his/her permanent record; even great admins will start seeing their permanent record full of such slander whenever they do something that is disagreed with by someone. It will be the number one abuse on this system. Yes, we must look at the worst that can happen, because the worst will happen with any proposal, the best benefits of this proposal are not worth the cost to freedom or the abuse that will be done by using this system.
  • This is only a hypothetical example and I am not really insulting anyone, so bear with this example and give me AGF, ok?- Say I call X a "fucking idiot", and in disagreements with lots of people at different places I say the opposing side is "a bunch of morons" and similar words. Currently I can be brought to the wikettiquete board, AN/I, etc; get warnings I can ignore, possibly be blocked depending on how long this has been going on and if I apologize, it takes lots of editors to deal with one editor's rudeness, lots of threads, lots of bureaucracy. In real life if I drive down the street, curse and flip off other cars that piss me off, does the community take real-life actions against me that take up a similar amount of time and effort and "punishment" or "rehabilitation" in order to get me to conform to societal norms? Hell, NO! It isnt worth the effort of multiple drivers or of even one police officer to take time and "correct" me. It annoys me and pisses me off when I drive by a Planned Parenthood clinic and constantly see those abortion protestors with their signs and stuff, but I cant get them banned from society or a temporary block from society or issue them "civility" warnings or put a permanent record hanging over their heads on what they do so whenever someone meets them the know "this person is ignorant". Speech is speech and it is protected. We dont stigmitize in the real world all that much for crimes, we definitely dont stigmitize here. At an encyclopedia even more than the real world rude or unwanted speech should be protected even more vehemently than in the real world. Some Wikipedians would rather "we all talk nice and civil", fuck that (is an example of what some rude people should be allowed to say regarding that).
  • Perhaps instead of this proposal more editors need to just shrug off rude behavior they find "annoying" and do editing instead. I know the times when I have gotten "rude" or "snippy" with an editor it is almost always because they didnt mind their own business and thought they had to put in their two cents about a conflict between me and someone else because they thought they needed to "resolve" it for us. Everyone needs to simply edit and not worry about anything that doesnt have to do with them editing. If it doesnt affect your ability to edit, why care about it at all? Someone calling X a "fucking moron" doesnt affect your, or X's, ability to edit does it? I guess you could call me the Libertarian of Wikipedia.Camelbinky (talk) 17:41, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
You say we want "less bureaucracy, not more". Well that depends, doesn't it? Unless you're an anarchist, you must accept that there is a level of bureaucracy which is too low (unless you're using "bureaucracy" to mean "stuff I don't like", rather than bureaucracy). So the question on quantity is an empirical one, and citing the principle that we don't want too much is useless. So how much is too little? Well, when it doesn't work properly, and when additions to it can make it work better, by criteria such as workload, effectiveness in achieving goals, fairness, etc. So what goals do we have? Primary goal, build an encyclopedia with certain qualities like NPOV. Cool. Secondary goals derive from that: keep vandalism and spam to a minimum, deal with POV-pushing, maintain a collaborative, friendly environment that is open to newbies, etc. That's what the current bureaucracy is there for, and it's not going to go away, because it's needed. So how can it be improved? If not with the suggestion which kicked off this thread, then how? So often, ideas on Wikipedia are squeezed into a binary paradigm of "Yes, Amazing, We Must Do This Now!" vs "The Sky Will Fall On Our Heads If We Do This", so that if an idea isn't fully worked out in shining magnificence, the discussion goes nowhere, instead of inspiring some self-critical reflection, if not on the proposed solution and possible variations large and small, at least on the identified problem. Rd232 talk 22:18, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Camelbinky, this seems to be more about your opposition to WP:Civility than it does this proposal. I suggest you bring your opposition up there if you want to. --Barberio (talk) 17:43, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I have absolutely no opposition to WP:CIVIL, and I share many of Camelbinky's concerns above: a permanent record will lead to a stigmatizing, "scarlet letter"-type system with more bureaucracy and less focus on what we're here to do: build a collaborative encyclopedia. Firsfron of Ronchester 18:32, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
A better way to deal with long-term problematic users is to handle them (ban them or restrict them) before it becomes a long-term problem, not to treat every user as if they might become a problem user. Such records could easily be turned into a weapon by people against users they don't like. Currently if people want to use ANI as a weapon, they generally have to convince enough people to get the other user blocked. With permanent records, all they would have to do is convince enough people that their complaint isn't totally baseless and they get something almost as effective as a block log entry. Mr.Z-man 18:01, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
"Almost as effective as a block log entry" - what now? The record only summarises actions which would have been taken anyway, but are notable enough to record and explain for as long as it is useful, especially with reference to repeat behaviour or followup actions. Judgement is involved here, admin judgement I would think. And the record's not a new dispute resolution venue or something. It could be a collective notepad for admins, if you will. Rd232 talk 21:59, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
So if its decided on ANI that someone is being disruptive, but not so disruptive that they should be blocked, nothing will go on the record? What's the point then? To just summarize the block log? Mr.Z-man 22:36, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
If there was a clear outcome to a substantive ANI issue, I would think it would be useful to record that (matter of judgement, of course). The situation you describe (disruptive behaviour not quite meriting block) is exactly the sort of thing we're collectively less good at keeping track of (it's down to individuals). So if an admin thought the discussion/outcome was worth noting (even if it's to note that the person was exonerated - it's not unusual for dead issues to be rehashed), then noting it would serve a purpose. Now if you're going to ask me things like how long that note should be kept, I don't have the answers: we're discussing a vague idea, not a blueprint. PS in some cases, summarising/explaining/annotating the block log would be a very useful thing in itself, if the proposal was limited to just that. Rd232 talk 16:10, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

My gut reaction is "Ewwwww, no." I think this would create extra work for admins and discourage the development of young, well-meaning editors. Forgive and forget, is much more friendly and practical. If that sometimes leads to more disruption, then I think that is a price worth paying for having a friendly and welcoming working environment. Dragons flight (talk) 19:00, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I was thinking it would lead to less work, by enabling a better handle on problem editors who create the bulk of the endless WP:TLDR dispute resolution drama. Forgive and forget, as has already been said, should be part of such a record - but active forgetting, with a decision to forget, not merely an inability to remember. As for discouraging development - OK, that I can see, a bit. But getting out-GAMEd by established editors is also discouraging, isn't it? Rd232 talk 21:59, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I ask again, who will be maintaining the records such they they won't be susceptible to grudges, gaming, and mistakes like other processes? Mr.Z-man 22:36, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Admins, I guess, preferably uninvolved ones. Comments supported by diffs/links where possible (which will be easily to hand from the situation being summarised). Rd232 talk 08:45, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Well to address the question poised directly at me- I am a communist, not an anarchist; I am in fact against all bureaucracy on Wikipedia, not just those policies I disagree with, an anarchist would have no policies, a communist would have two (WP:IAR and WP:Use Common Sense). I do consider Wikipedia to be the truest form of communism that has existed probably ever, "to each according to their needs, from each according to their ability" is how we decide who gets adminship, tools, rollback, etc and we dont pay editors and we are all equal in our rights and in our ability to voice opinion, non-admins often have a great voice at resolving things at AN/I for example.
  • I also would like to understand from the defenders of this proposal their philosophical beliefs on the role of policy enforcement. Are A-policies to be enforced like laws with the goal of punishing those who violate it, or B- are policies just as the word "policy" is supposed to be used as in "it is good policy to do X, but eh, this is just the best way of doing things that we have for now" and if you violate it, we can forgive and forget as long as your heart is in the right place? If Wikipedia is about A then sure your proposal is great; but Wikipedia has always been about B and your proposal simply doesnt fit in with our basic philosophy on Wikipedia. So I believe it is very important for all of us to know if your personal beliefs about Wikipedia is in fact A, as it would put the reasoning behind this proposal in full-light.Camelbinky (talk) 03:44, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I reject your A and B. A - no system of law has the goal of punishing those who violate it: it has other goals, which there are rules to support, and sanctions to enforce them. B - unless you have some telepathic way of determining "whether their heart is in the right place", you'll need some kind of system of rules to evaluate that (based on statements and behaviour), or rely entirely on arbitrary decisions by admins. On Wikipedia there is a need, very simply, to distinguish between those who are broadly willing and able to play by the rules (nobody's perfect); to educate those who substantially aren't willing or able; and at some point to give up and throw them out. This requires tools, of which a record of the type described is one. It isn't a new rule, or a new sanction, or an attempt to impose discipline for discipline's sake. Let's go the other way, and suggest eliminating block log, WP:AE, and WP:ANI as "bureaucracy". Wikipedia:Editing restrictions absolutely has to go! The system doesn't really need them, does it? It would be so much better for admins to keep private notes (or need photographic memory to remember everything), and discuss everything on IRC. Anything else is just bureaucracy. Spit. Rd232 talk 08:45, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
If a bureaucracy was government by bureaucrats, those who governed from nice wooden desks with fancy little draws, and beautiful leather blotters; then wikipedia is better described as government by that one frazzled resentful clerical frontliner with pages of garbage all over his desk, and a petulance born from overwork. A disciplinary google search of wikipedia for past abuse is as amusing a concept as a revision of party membership papers as conducted by examination of a card-file. If we are forced to chose between ineptitude and a disciplinary matrix, then for goodness sakes, let us choose a kind and gentle incompetence. Failing is, in many ways, more desirable than success when producing a system of discipline. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:54, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Question: would this smell any better, to those to whom it stinks, if it were pitched as an Admin Collaborative Notepad? Kept in a central place, targeted only at users where there is a history that needs explaining/summarising (generally problem users, but could also include users who were sanctioned in error, say) as identified by easy metrics like number of blocks or length of block. Or, going in a slightly different direction, what if the block log for each user had a protected talk page, for annotating block history? Rd232 talk 09:55, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Not really, they (still) seem too far removed from the goals of the project. By only targeting certain users, you may as well just ban them instead, because you're destroying any possible chance at rehabilitation by permanently branding them as a problem user. IMO, systems like this would only serve to multiply the drama caused by things like ANI discussions. With these, we would have not only the discussion itself, but the potential for drama over the wording of the notes. Also, I'm not sure how these proposals fit into your "improving" the current bureaucracy idea when they just seem to be adding on to the current bureaucracy. Mr.Z-man 18:28, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
We discussed above only having records for users with substantial block logs. Unless there's some movement afoot to expunge block logs, it makes the "but a record brands people" issue moot. If anything, as I keep mentioning, it allows for unbranding by permitting followup to note that problems have not recurred, say, or that new information casts the issues in a different light. As for "adding" to bureaucracy... jeez I give up. If even a talk page for the block log is additional "bureaucracy", clearly this discussion is a complete waste of time. Perhaps we should MFD WP:ANI, PROD ARBCOM, and CSD WP:BLOCK and burn the blocklog while we're at it. War on Bureaucracy(TM) - bring it! Frankly, how does even having administrators advance the goals of the project?? :( Yeah, I'm suddenly reminded that RL isn't the only reason I'm on a 99% wikibreak. Rd232 talk 22:51, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Anyone who gets blocked has a block log, what this is proposing is that anyone who has X blocks or has been blocked for Y amount of time gets something in addition to the block log that summarizes all the bad things they've done, including things they might not have been blocked for. That is significantly different to the block log. Its basically creating criteria for calling someone a problem user. A talk page of a block log is basically a summary of a summary. My point was that you supported an earlier proposal because it would help streamline bureaucracy, now you're blatantly proposing adding more, while streamlining nothing, then calling it a compromise! Its the worst aspects of the initial proposal with few of the benefits. Administrators frequently work directly with content, deleting crappy pages, protecting articles from vandalism, etc. Mr.Z-man 23:11, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
No, I explicitly said that the criteria were aimed at identifying users with records that needed explaining or contextualising; where knowledge needs to be transmitted over time and between people in a neutral way. That certainly includes people blocked in error, or who've subsequently shown good behaviour which is worth noting. This "identifying" aspect would also be irrelevant if the record is non-public (except to admins and the subject). Block log talk page could obviously be used for more than a "summary of a summary" (though that in itself would sometimes be useful), it could include links to relevant DR that would subsequent followup much easier. Rd232 talk 01:16, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
(basically I'm paraphrasing straight from an old criminal justice textbook of mine, so it may be outdated, I was a freshman)- There are four aspects objectives of a criminal justice system - Punishment, rehabilitation, deterence, and incapacitation, the US system has always had the primary goal of punishment, per the Classical School. The Positive School believes rehabilitation is the way to go.
  • This proposal adresses only one objective- punishment; and not deterence, rehabilitation, or incapacitation. Perhaps if a deterent value or rehabilitating value of the proposal was shown some could get on board? Not me though. Personally due to so many being in opposition I think the best thing is to let the proposal die and get archived, perhaps one day it will be needed, but not now.Camelbinky (talk) 23:43, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
"so many in opposition" - LOL. I make it 3 vehemently opposed, 1 proposer, 2 thinking it's worth exploring. Did I miscount? As for your 4 objectives, well (a) punishment, by established Wikipedia lore, isn't a goal of the system of rule enforcement - it's merely the latter three. I think that was touched in this discussion already. (b) rehabilitation - I mentioned "unbranding" and similar ability to cast old details in a new light; plus of course rehabilitation needs to be monitored and tracked to see if it's actually happening. Such monitoring also enables better education and use of measures short of blocking, like mentoring or limited bans. (c) incapacitation - would be improved by better tracking of behaviour requiring it; (d) flows from (c), since much of the time WP:GAMEing is enabling by a collective inability to monitor such behaviour. PS whilst we're, somewhat off-topic, on the subject of legal philosophy, I'm very much in favour of enabling rehabilitation. Rd232 talk 01:16, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

I tire of this evidently pointless discussion, but (since the legal metaphor has been introduced) I suggest as a thought experiment how well a police force of a major city would work if it used a system of records equivalent to Wikipedia's. And how much better it would work if - lo! - someone suggested a central filing system to, y'know, keep track of shit. Of course cops would complain about the paperwork involved in maintaining it, decry it as needless bureaucracy, and generally at odds with the police purpose of keeping order. They'd reckon the status quo was just fine. And since the citizens who hated it would tend to leave, no police chief who wanted to change that would get elected. PS Just to state the obvious, admin != police, just as Anglo-Saxon common law != Napoleonic civil law. But there are enough similarities that comparison is meaningful. The point is that many of the functional benefits of a proper police record system apply here too - and if you think the only benefit is executing murderers more quickly, well, think again. Rd232 talk 01:16, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Well now you've just shown two misconceptions (or three) regarding Wikipedia that may explain where and why you have this proposal. First- Wikipedia is not a state, nor even a city, its function is not to find disruptive behavior and corect it, it is concerned with making an encyclopedia, that is all; not to find a better online way of policing an online community. Second- Admin does not in any way equal police! OMG! I cant believe you even wrote that; a better analogy is admin=janitor (and I'm not the only who uses that analogy). 3- policies are not laws that need enforcing as such, they are our best way of doing things as we know it at this moment, which is why they can and are changed as needed and ignored without the need to change when it suits us. This is a freakin encyclopedia, not a community; treat it like what it is, a hobby. Enough people have had very good points on why this is a bad idea, please drop it, this Patriot Act proposal really scares me, it eats at the core of what a wiki is about and Wikipedia in particular. Freedom. Oh, and I counted 7 who oppose... given that there arent even half that many supporting; yea it really should quietly go.Camelbinky (talk) 02:05, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
OMG! You don't know that != means "not equal to"! OK, too geeky. Well now you know. As for "This is a freakin encyclopedia, not a community." - for realz? A community-written encyclopedia does not involve a community? lulz. Rd232 talk 09:55, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Rd232, I just don't support this police state style of administration. The very words "permanent record" remind me of law enforcement or the threats of a "marked record" back in high school. The janitor analogy works so much better than the police one, and I'd hate to see someone leave WP based on a mark of "shame" in this sort of system. Best, Firsfron of Ronchester 04:58, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
If you want to go with a school analogy, you must recognise that admins are not merely janitors (at least, I'm not aware of any schools were the janitor has Dean-like powers to exclude students). You don't like "police state admin"? Yeah, because obviously any country or city which has a police force that uses centralised records is a police state. And it's much better for deans to exclude students based on personal memory alone, rather than any institutional memory recording relevant knowledge. Rd232 talk 09:53, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Both those replies seem to have been led astray by not recognising my use of != notation, which is fairly widespread geekspeak for "not equal to". Try again. Rd232 talk 09:41, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I'll try again- Admins arent deans of a school, they simply carry out the Community-made decisions, they dont make the decisions themselves. Admins have equal voice, no greater than a non-admin or IP even. Oh, I know I'll get slammed now for saying this isnt a community then using the word community. This isnt a "community attempt at making an encyclopedia", this is simply an attempt at making an encyclopedia, that is all. Enough people have voiced their opposition here and in other discussions regarding these proposals that are only usefull in controlling a population, just worry about spending time on editing, creating, improving articles. What is the point of anything else? You see vandalism, correct it, someone calls another user a dipshit, ignore him. Gee, do we need to sit around for days talking about a specific user who vandalizes or happens to swear at another user? If everyone minded their own business and edited we wouldnt have half the drama that occurs and ends up at AN/I or the Wikittiqute board or numerous other places. This is just one more proposal which will make drama continue and for it to never just die. Which is what this proposal needs to do.Camelbinky (talk) 22:33, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Rd232, I understand perfectly that "!=" means "not equal to" (and that "!vote" means "not a vote"). I've used these expressions myself. I was responding to your comment which stated, "Just to state the obvious, admin != police, just as Anglo-Saxon common law != Napoleonic civil law. But there are enough similarities that comparison is meaningful" (emphasis added). I stated that the "janitor analogy works so much better than the police one". I was responding to your point, and I still don't agree with you on this proposal. Best, Firsfron of Ronchester 23:56, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

What a fantastically terrible idea. The last thing we need are rap sheets that we can use to lord over editors for one godawful reason or another. If we (as a whole) forget about a user's transgressions, that is a pretty good indication that said transgressions are not worth remembering. This project has bigger issues to face than trying to keep track of how many times John Doe has been admonished for failing to follow Guideline A or Policy B. Besides, there are enough editors with a vindictive streak to keep a dirty little list of secrets on their would-be enemies, ready to whip it out at the first sign of a scuffle. Please. Shereth 15:38, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I give up, I guess. The initial framing of this issue seems to preclude any serious discussion of the underlying problem and potential solutions. Lots of wishful thinking on how WP should work... good luck with that. PS if any of you haven't spent any time seriously engaged in some heavy POV warring editing topics (eg nationalist ones - cf Wikipedia:Requests for comment/The Plague), you really should. If you can't solve that problem singlehandedly, the experience might motivate you to consider possible solutions (i.e. improvements - not expecting a magic wand). If you come up with anything, drop me a line. Rd232 talk 20:07, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry Rd232 that this has gotten so emotional for you. I have tried to understand where you are coming from, perhaps if I was involved in controversial subjects I may feel the same way, however in my little corner of the Wikipedia-verse we dont have those types of "Black Hole" articles that suck the life out of editors and leave no remnants of sanity due to vandalism, or POV warring etc. I applaud your efforts to solve problems and reign in unruly editors. I however dont think a policy/proposal such as this is appropriate for Wikipedia at this time. Abuse such as "look at X's history, we shouldnt listen to her, she's been warned about POV pushing three times. Obviously that's what she's doing now" will lead to a lack of AGF at minimum, with further abuses already mentioned at worst. It may not be civil, but it may be ok within policy to keep a page off your userpage where you want to personally list things issued against individual users including blocks for your own and other's use, and encourage others to add to it on editors they have seen be problem children; basically informally implementing anyways this idea manually. Of course should I ever personally be on that list I will of course raise hell. :-)Camelbinky (talk) 02:29, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Um, what ever happened to WP:Assume good faith and WP:BITE? If a newbie doesn't do everything perfectly within policy, and a year later after being an excellent contributer wants to run for WP:RFA or some other process requiring community support, would it be fair for people to pull issues out of a malice log from when they screwed up here and there while still getting aquainted with everything? If someone does something bad enough to warrent a permanent record, they'll be blocked. As hardcore, zero tolerance as I am on nonsense edits (like "cheerleader vandalism" for example), a certain percentage of our constructive users started out breaking certain policies, and sometimes even vandalizing, but not to the extent that a block would be needed. If we impliment something like this, people will be chasing away newbies right and left with permanent entries in their "malice log." PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 09:03, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Administrator accountability

I'd be interested in comments or criticisms of a proposal I wrote requiring all administrators to identify to the Wikimedia Foundation: Wikipedia:Administrator accountability. Cheers. --MZMcBride (talk) 18:08, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Your papers please. Chillum 18:20, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

(Discussion moved to Wikipedia talk:Administrator accountability. --MZMcBride (talk) 23:25, 8 December 2009 (UTC))

Expect a mass exodus of admins if you do that. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 08:43, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Reminder: Comments sought on community de-adminship

Reminder: comments from all interested editors are invited and welcome at Wikipedia talk:Community de-adminship/Draft RfC, where a proposal for community de-adminship is being discussed. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:17, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Boilerplate for new articles extension

Proposal: install Extension:MultiBoilerplate to enable new articles to have a boilerplate template or skeleton added. Rd232 talk 22:08, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

That sounds like a really, really good idea. Many general categories already have WikiProject-designed standard formats; it surely couldn't be very hard to turn them into an article skeleton. It would help prevent a number of newbie mistakes and increase wikification. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 00:24, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Don't forget to add a CSD (and/or filter rule) for pages that only duplicate the boilerplate. OrangeDog (τε) 13:59, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
That would be a straightforward filter rule. I'd assume we'd want to set it on disallow, with a custom warning saying "You haven't made any changes, sorry" or whatever. That makes sense. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 20:00, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Is there any opposition to installing this extension? I'm surprised that this hasn't received more comments. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 20:00, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

The template(s) should be drafted beforehand though, no? --Cybercobra (talk) 20:28, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I support it an excellent extension for Mediawiki, which I can imagine ideal for company Mediawiki installations allowing per-department customized boilerplates, but oppose its installation on en-Wikipedia.
    A lack of intention that it become a straitjacket notwithstanding, it may well be taken that way. The concept of a single formulaic "right" format is difficult to reconcile with my understanding of this site. We've limited layout conventions, such as related wikilinks not already covered go in a See also section near the bottom, but that's a far cry from this. There's a rich variety of article formats and styles, shaped by information the author has available, author style, and more. It's one thing to have an Article wizard; that's a good idea. It's hard to see "This, is how "we" do things here.", a natural connotation of pulldown boilerplates, as a positive step. –Whitehorse1 21:26, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
    • The usage can be determined by consensus in the usual way. One of the things it might be useful for is adding something similar to {{userspace draft}} or {{new unreviewed article}}, providing some help links for newbies. For a standard skeletion, References / See Also / External links (using HTML comments for explanation) might nudge people towards thinking about sourcing etc. Beyond that, being any more prescriptive is highly context-dependent, but as OrangeDog suggests below, might work in some areas. Rd232 talk 23:13, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  • In the general case it wouldn't be that great, but WikiProjects may find it useful for small groups of limited-scope articles (episodes of House, schools in Oaklahoma, mushrooms of north-east asia, etc.). OrangeDog (τε) 22:23, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I think it would be good in the general case. A number of newbies that I've interacted with off-wiki have expressed concern that they don't know where to start when creating a new article. Our basic, basic formatting standards for articles (bold the first named instance of the subject, use wikilinks throughout, leave the lead untitled and add level-2 headers below, add a section for references, etc.) aren't obvious when you're faced with an empty text box. At very least, some commented text beside a {{new unreviewed article}} template or such might be helpful to a newbie. The limited-scope article types are actually less of a concern for me, since we already have preload and inputbox functionality (and combinations thereof) to load that kind of template in. I see this extension as not so much adding functionality, but to making it more usable. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 16:37, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

To disable the immediate indexing of unpatrolled pages into Google search

Proposal Based off the discussion here, this proposal would disable the immediate indexing of all new page into Google until the pages have been patrolled. This would help prevent blatant hoaxes, attack pages, clear BLP violations and test pages from being immediately appearing on Google searches. Basket of Puppies 21:37, 10 December 2009 (UTC)


There seem to be only a couple of comments on each of three threads (one of them archived). Since this is slightly above the routine, maybe we should let more people know through a relatively-brief posting at WP:Centralized discussion. —— Shakescene (talk) 00:28, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

That sounds like a really good idea! Interestingly, CENT says" Village pump (policy) and Village pump (proposals) provide central areas both for giving notice of discussions elsewhere and for debate itself. " But I think you're right in that it should be moved to CENT. Is there a way to do this while preserving the contents here? Basket of Puppies 03:57, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Discussions are listed at {{cent}}, they don't take place there. I've taken the liberty of listing it for ya. --Cybercobra (talk) 04:04, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Splendid! Thank you!! Basket of Puppies 05:18, 11 December 2009 (UTC)


  • Question Is this technically feasible? I strongly support this idea, but I seem to recall it being shot down before on such grounds. How do you propose to implement this? Am I wrong in thinking {{NOINDEX}} will not work in the mainspace?  Skomorokh  22:41, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
    • I believe it would require a software change of some sort. Doesn't sound too complicated though. Rd232 talk 22:56, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
      • From my understanding, it doesn't work in the mainspace currently but that can be changed by the devs. Additionally, if I recall correctly, noindexing only saves it from search engines that "listen" to the coding that requests the page not to be indexed. The internet is an unwieldy place, and I don't think brushing new articles "under the carpet" from certain mainstream search engines and/or mirrors will attain the goal we're seeking. Killiondude (talk) 22:58, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
        • It depends on the goal. If the goal is to deter novelty-article spamming, not making it into the "big" search engines cuts out much of the reward. If the goal is to censor from all mirrors, that is pointless and, except for material that would be WP:oversighted anyways, a bad idea. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:02, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment Special:Newpages is marked "noindex, nofollow." davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:03, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I think the premature structuring of this as a vote has derailed the conversation. Several of the Opposes are basically "we haven't had enough discussion" when we should be having said discussion (but aren't really due to the vote). --Cybercobra (talk) 08:10, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Premature straw poll archived
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.


  1. Basket of Puppies 21:37, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  2. Support for articles less than a few hours old which haven't been patrolled or edited by 2 logged-in users. Yes, I know this would be subject to gaming, but it seems a reasonable balance. I would also apply this to articles moved into article space if they haven't been edited by a different editor since the move and are less than a few hours old in article space, if feasible. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 22:53, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  3. support the basic idea, but not sure if NPP is the best implementation. I'm inclined to set a time limit, so that articles younger than say 24 hours aren't indexed unless an index template is specifically added. (A bot can remove the template once the article is 24hrs old, and the template no longer applies.) Only a handful of articles merit immediate indexing, and that handful should be easily monitorable. Rd232 talk 23:02, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  4. support our promise that anyone can edit does not require immediate search engine indexing of new articles. And I wouldn't limit it to a few hours. So what if a new article isn't indexed for a week. We're an encyclopedia, not a news magazine. I believe some sort of probationary period for new, substandard articles would be less discouraging to new editors than speedy deletion.--agr (talk) 06:01, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  5. Support - Z-man's concern below is valid, but it seems to me Google has made special arrangements to index our pages already, and would likely do so again if we make a change that causes them problems. Equazcion (talk) 09:55, 11 Dec 2009 (UTC)
  6. Support Barring technical implementation issues, this seems a reasonable way to disincentivize attack/hoax articles while not affecting articles created rapidly in response to current events. --Cybercobra (talk) 12:13, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  7. Support Excellent idea, though I'd like it tweaked so that if an article is patrolled and tagged for speedy deletion the noindex is only removed if the speedy tag is declined. ϢereSpielChequers 12:54, 11 December 2009 (UTC)


  1. I think we're jumping into this too soon without fully understanding what we're doing. We know that Google tends to index articles almost immediately after creation, but do we know how often they do it afterward, or if anything triggers a re-index? If editing the article triggers a re-crawl, then this would be fine, but if it takes a week or more for them to just re-crawl everything, then the timing this proposal is partly based on could be all wrong. Mr.Z-man 00:01, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  2. I don't think this is worth doing, although if it happens I certainly wouldn't care too much. I guess that the main point which is making my uneasy is similar to Mr.Z-man's criticism above... although, that's sort of thing shouldn't really be our concern (if Google or any other search engine has a problem dealing with this, they can adjust their systems to accommodate the change) In the end, I think that I really just reject the premise that there is a problem which needs to be addressed here.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 09:33, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  3. Seems a rather pointless change for nebulous benefit, and once Flagged protection is finally released it will be even more pointless. And, at least as proposed, it's trivially easy to game. Anomie 12:38, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  4. Per Mr.Z-man. We have no idea how this will work out. I think it's irresponsible to push for developer's time, while we have no idea if it is gonna work out OK. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:08, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  5. As noted, this a two-parts development with Wikipedia and sites beyond our control. Marking pages as indexable at whatever point we consider they should be ready for indexing, does not mean that Google and other seach engines will actually have it unindexed until then, and index it when we want to. The risk of legitimate articles remaining unindexed has more disadvantages than the theoric benefits of bad new articles indexed. After all, we already have flags, wikiprojects, bots and a lot of systems available to deal with detecting, tagging and deleting them on our own ("our own" meaning "without involving external web sites from outside wikipedia") MBelgrano (talk) 13:31, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  6. Agree with Mr.Z-man. I think such a major change requires more much more discussion and planning before we go strait to a blind straw poll. –Juliancolton | Talk 14:10, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  7. Provisionally oppose: I share others' concerns that since we don't know exactly how Google works, we can't accurately predict whether the proposed new system would work as intended. I'd rather endure the status quo with spammy rubbish appearing in Google searches before its speedy deletion than risk valuable articles remaining hidden for a significant time. If thorough investigation were to demonstrate that this would not normally occur then I could perhaps cautiously support the proposal. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 18:49, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  8. Per above. Seems like a waste of dev time to accomplish very little, and possibly do some harm on important "breaking news" type articles. --ThaddeusB (talk) 01:17, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  9. Per Mr.Z-man. A lot more discussion is needed before we move to decide on something like this. ≈ Chamal talk ¤ 05:21, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  10. Has too much slippery slop potential (e.g. keep at AFD but noindex, noindex articles with cleanup tags etc.), articles in mainspace should be open to the world with poor articles encouraging people to contribute. Davewild (talk) 09:14, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

It seems the straw poll above was premature. More discussion is needed on

  1. the principle
  2. the practical aspect re search engine indexing: how soon after removing a noindex instruction is a page going to be indexed;
  3. the mechanism for identifying "new" pages for noindexing, and for declaring such new pages suitable for indexing.

Rd232 talk 17:20, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

On point 2, I believe Google and other major search engines index and reindex Wikipedia extremely rapidly - typically hours, and more like minutes than days. On point 3, I would say I'm not sure if NPP is the best mechanism. I'm inclined to set a time limit, so that articles younger than say 24 hours aren't indexed unless an index template is specifically added. After that indexing is automatic and mandatory. This would be handled in software by respecting NOINDEX in mainspace, but only for articles less than 24 hours old. (A bot can remove the template once the article is 24hrs old, and the template no longer applies.) Only a handful of articles merit immediate indexing, and that handful should be easily monitorable. Rd232 talk 17:23, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Last chance to vote in the Arbitration Committee Elections

This is a brief reminder to all interested editors that today is the final day to vote in the December 2009 elections to elect new members to the Arbitration Committee. The voting period opened at 00:01 on UTC 1 December 2009 and will close at 23:59 UTC on 14 December 2009 as initially planned. Updated 20:55, 13 December 2009 (UTC).

The voting this year is by secret ballot using the SecurePoll extension. All unblocked editors who had at least 150 mainspace edits on or before 1 November 2009 are eligible to vote (check your account). Prospective voters are invited to review the candidate statements and the candidates' individual questions pages. Although voting is by secret ballot, and only votes submitted in this way will be counted, you are invited to leave brief comments on the candidates' comment pages and discuss candidates at length on the attached talkpages. If you have any questions or difficulties with the voting setup, please ask at the election talkpage. For live discussion, join #wikipedia-en-ace on freenode.

Follow this link to cast your vote

For the coordinators,  Skomorokh  12:59, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Automatically add link WP:media help in header of media file

Currently, a sound clip file is automatically assigned a button to play this file. However, for readers who have not yet installed *.ogg support this will not work. It would be useful to add a link to WP:media help, so they can find out how to install it. −Woodstone (talk) 20:27, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

By header, do you mean the text of the Wikipedia or Commons page? This should be non-controversial. Perhaps bot-adding a template to all ogg files with a link would be in order. That way, if the instructions needed changing, it could be done in a centralized location. You might want to raise this on the Commons's idea page. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 01:17, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
To clarify, it's actually "readers who have not yet installed *.ogg support NOR installed JAVA support" —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:29, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
And Michael Dale is already changing all of this, so I guess it's up to him. I'll forward him this discussion. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:38, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
We should probably just include that link if the client has no way to playback the content. Which the new player does do that. I think the existing oggplayer does that as well. mdale (talk) 21:40, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

"Cheerleader Vandalism" edit notice

I've noticed that some articles have editnotices like Template:Romeo notice, and I was wondering if a similar template would be useful for "cheerleader-like vandalism" and/or "cheerleading is not a sport" vandalism. I'm torn on whether this would help or hinder WP however as a lot of this immaturity is blatant trolling and may be linked to off wiki encouragement, and feeding the trolls is a bad idea. Basically, I wonder if a template like this would be a good idea.

Comments? PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 01:13, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

I recommend you bring this up on the talk page of the one article that needs it most. Any admin can create or change an edit-notice. {{editprotect}} may be a way to get an administrator's attention once there is a consensus to add the template to that page. Once it is used on one page, you can then go to the talk pages of other pages that you think need it, and see if there is a consensus to add it or not. This is not a pump-level decision, but rather an article-level one. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 01:20, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Editnotices are done on an article-by-article basis and only when there is a very good reason to do. The reason being is that any notice is probably going to discourage some legitimate editing, and anyone who wants to vandalize an article probably won't care about a notice that tells them not to. (Not to mention the potential to give people ideas on how to vandalize.) --ThaddeusB (talk) 02:20, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
This is edit-notice creep, as are already the Romeo editnotices. The impact on vandalism is nil and potentially inverse, while it confuses or scares away good-faith editors. Actually this is a good place to discuss on whether we should still use the romeo editnotices. Cenarium (talk) 02:44, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
My idea is to use this editnotice as an excuse to either block immediately or skip to 4im when cheerleaders or cheerleader haters vandalize articles relating to cheerleading. There's a lot of unique immaturity there, and I can think of at least one cheerleader vandal that's a long term abuser. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 03:26, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
IMO, that is an exceptional bad reason for an edit notice. We shouldn't be looking for excuses to block people as quickly as possible, but instead looking foor ways to convert vandals into useful contributors. --ThaddeusB (talk) 03:52, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I've done my fair share of that. It's always cool to convince vandals to come back as constructive editors. That's actually one reason why I will never change my username; I think there's a potential that some users will realize that anyone can be a constructive editor here if a high schooler is reverting their vandalism. However, most of these cheerleader vandals, in my experiences, are unforgivable middle schoolers and HS freshmen who in some cases have come here following the instructions of a disgusting underground chain letter distributed from cheerleader to cheerleader worldwide Myspace and Facebook. The chain letters say that "Wikipedia hates all cheerleaders." If you try to be reasonable with them, they will try to find you off-wiki and harass you to know end. On the other hand, I suppose it's kind of ironic that I'd want to put a big warning on the page before they can even save an edit considering they already think we hate them. I have friends who are cheerleaders at PCH that know I edit this site and have brought some of these chainletters they've received to my attention. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 04:08, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

This is a joke, right? Cheerleader vandalism? And this is way too over the top to be serious. Please tell me this is just a joke. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:27, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

It's not a joke unfortunately; neither it references to "school vandalism." It's like "school vandalism" that carries on beyond school hours, and it's quite annoying IMO. Call me radical if you want filing abuse reports on petty vandalism, but it's still AUP violations. That's the risk one takes when they edit as an IP; just as anybody can edit this site, anybody can view the logs on this site, and it doesn't take much for people that may not even be editors here to file abuse reports on virutually anything they desire to. Abuse reporting is in it's own world from Wikipedia's policies; once an ISP becomes aware of activity it's up to them what happens; there's no "warn four times first." I don't know what other people do, but I usually only file reports if they've been warned three times and it appears there's no way the user has the will and/or intelligence to become a straight forward editor. Obviously there's not enough time to report every vandal, but I personally believe that we could be doing a LOT better in the field of abuse reporting. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 04:50, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Also note there is no rule specifically that says one can't file abuse reports on people who've only vandalized a few times; to take it to WP:ABUSE they have to have been blocked at least five times, but there's no rule that says you can't report them on your own, and there's probably quite a few people who do report vandals and we never know. There's probably MUCH less severe cases than that one that are reported to ISPs. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 04:55, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) That type of immaturity still exists in this generation? Wow. Well for one thing I don't believe adding such notices would help at all. To vandals, they read "Edit me and add smiley faces :-)!!!" . Even the maintenance tags are obstructive. ZooFari 04:56, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Can you post a sample message here so I can see how you are reporting vandalism to ISPs? Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 05:01, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
It's a very professional message; I inform the abuse contacts (A user at) x.x.x.x is violating your Acceptable User Policy by inserting spam/off-topic nonsense into articles at The user's actions are disruptive and the issue should be addressed. Please investigate the logs below and enforce your AUP. The log format is already available at the Abuse Response revamp discussion. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 20:00, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually I was most curious about how you and other "contactors" represented yourselves in relation to WP. Do you state that you are doing this on WP's behalf? How do you identify yourself - with your real name or your WP username? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't identify myself at all in the message unless they ask (this is rare), in which case I would represent myself as an editor at WP. The emails are sent from my personal Embarq email account, so my real name appears as the sender. If it's on behalf of WP:ABUSE, I give them a link to the project. I do not blatantly lie to ISPs or IT&S departments. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 03:55, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you lied to ISPs. I was curious if you were implying that this was an official WIKIPEDIA action, and clearly you are not. I suspect that you are making assumptions about the AUP (acceptable use policy) of various ISPs. Since WP invites people to edit it, typical vandalism (even cheerleader vandalism) won't be breaking the AUP of most ISPs. In any case, I don't really see the usefulness of your actions, but you are clearly of a more simplistic, punitive mindset than I am. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:46, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I try to stray away from being too overly strict, but became a Wikipedian partially because I discovered WP:ABUSE and what vandalism is from a search I ran on an IP involved in off-wiki abuse, so naturally I'm inclined to report to ISPs in certain circumstances; I've been strict like that much longer than I've been a Wikipedian. I used to actually look up the exact part of the AUPs that the vandals would violate, which varied by the vandalism and the AUP, but it was too time consuming and didn't really matter anyway because in my experiences the same ones that do nothing about wiki vandalism also do nothing about spam, port scans, and even phishing websites. For one thing, it's a common misconception that there's "nothing illegal about vandalizing Wikipedia;" most of the time it could be considered harassment when they repeatedly do it after being warned, some of them make threats, some of them stalk the vandal fighters, and that's just on the legal side. I've found that wiki vandalism is actually a pretty big deal considering how there's usually more than one part of the AUP they're violating. For starters, it's maliciously messing with someone else's computer, if they mention someone's name it's slander/libel, and if the person is under 13 it's a violation of COPPA, it often involves spreading hoaxes, if they engage in sockpuppetry to get past blocks it's circumventing a firewall, accessing something without authorization, disguising their identity by technical means, or just circumventing a blocking feature within a website, it affects other ISP users' ability to enjoy the service if they engage in IP hoping resulting in either a range block or IP blocks on one heck of a large list of IPs the person's used, if they say their ISP won't do anything or otherwise mention their ISP they're tarnishing the name of the provider, they're violating third party policies via their internet connection, it's off topic posts/comments, it's unsolicited advertising if they promote anything in particular, they often make "obscene" comments, and the list continues on. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 20:20, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
No offense, but that editnotice makes us look stupid IMHO, and is more suitable for Uncyclopedia than here. Seriously, we have bigger problems than cheerleader loving/hating vandals. I see no reason to move them to a different category from the normal vandals and attempt to block them on sight. Follow the normal procedure for dealing with vandalism (revert, explain and warn sufficiently, report). If a particular article is attracting a lot of such vandalism, get it protected. ≈ Chamal talk ¤ 05:19, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
As does the Romeo templates, or giving them four different warnings when it's blatant trolling. But yes, Village Pump is a place for proposals, some good ideas, many bad ideas, some realistic, some unrealistic. The original idea was to warn test editors ahead of time, and then anyone who ignores it is obviously trying to be malicious. I do agree that it'd be better to just treat them as any other vandal; perhaps we should have a note on all pages directing test editors to the sandbox. It should be brief and to the point; it should not be too bitey (or too silly), but it should be firm and should indicate that sillyness will be promptly removed. It should point test editors to the Wikipedia:Sandbox. Didn't we used to have a message like that? PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 20:00, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Its still there, below the edit box, under "Please note:" it says; "When you click Save, your changes will immediately become visible to everyone. If you wish to run a test, please edit the Sandbox instead.". Personally I don't think edit headers on articles are a good idea in general, they should be more reserved for the project namespace (Wikipedia:) and user (user:), as it is messy and discouraging to new users in the main namespace. Kind regards, SpitfireTally-ho! 20:04, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Vandalism by bored school kiddies is persistent and tends to run in cycles. This fact is not however reason to immortalize the latest fad with a special template (see Wikipedia:Deny recognition for more details). If established policies and procedures are not able to handle the problem then there is reason for change. There is however no evidence presented that this is what is happening. --Allen3 talk 18:10, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Just like TCP portscans and spam mail; it's a problem, but not the end of the world. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 20:02, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Feed for 'Days Of The Year'

How hard would it be to set up a feed for the individual 'Days of the year'? I have been looking for a good online almanac. Your format is ideal:

 * 1 Events
 * 2 Births
 * 3 Deaths
 * 4 Holidays and observances
 * 5 External links

What I want is an RSS feed (or email or facebook post) of the contents of the 12 December page today and 13 December page tomorrow etc. without making a link 366 times. The wiki-sync thingies would be perfect, but there's only a few and none for this. The Days of the year on Wikipedia are about the best almanac type data I have if I could only get it in an almanac form without either logging on every day or making a link to each day's individual page. Gracias! --Genesee.gbh (talk) 00:54, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

You could write a PHP or Perl script to do so yourself (or ask someone), I very recently wrote a few to do similar sorts of things, it's not very difficult (and no, I'm not volunteering). Buena suerte. —what a crazy random happenstance 17:50, 14 December 2009 (UTC)


When patrolling new pages, I find it annoying to click on a seemingly un-patrolled page just to find that it is already CSD-ed or PROD-ed. I propose a bot to hit "patroll" when a new page is marked with a PROD or CSD template (allowing time for the article's tagger to do this themselves, of course). I already made a script that does this, I wanted to see how many people would be on-board with this concept before going to the BRFA. Tim1357 (talk) 03:33, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

My understanding of the current system is that the article starts unpatrolled; the first NPPer tags it; the second NPPer sees the tags, agrees, and marks it as patrolled. So you've got two sets of eyes on each tagging before it's marked as patrolled. I've certainly caught things other taggers have missed, and I'm sure it works the other way round. So if you put a bot in as the second NPPer, we miss out on that review (of a review). Josh Parris 04:59, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
If you CSD or PROD with Twinkle, it marks the page patrolled at the same time. Pseudomonas(talk) 14:57, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
But only if you access it from Special:NewPages. To patrol a page you need the rcid, and as far as I know the only place to get that is from Special:NewPages. So if you access it from any other location and want to patrol the page, you have to check there. Reach Out to the Truth 21:02, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
oh, I realise that; I just meant that the current system doesn't assume that the person that tags should not also mark as patrolled (either that or Twinkle needs fixing). Pseudomonas(talk) 21:14, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
(In response to Josh) But the thing is, when an article is CSD'ed or PROD'ed, an admin (in the case of CSD) or PROD-review (in the case of PROD) will review the deletion tag. That means, that NPP can focus on the pages that need improvement tags. I guess what annoys me is when i hit a yellow page, just to find that has been tagged for deletion. Tim1357 (talk) 22:35, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Sure, but your CSD or PROD might be rejected (say the author gets in before admin), leaving a "patrolled" article with no improvement tags. I've taken to (except in egregious cases) tagging for improvement and deletion. Josh Parris 22:46, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
But then, isn't it the job of the de-prodder or the de-csder to do that? It would make the most sense. Tim1357 (talk) 00:44, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Administrator time is a limited quantity; I do my best to minimise my consumption of it (and things will get worse, the number of active admins is heading south) Josh Parris 03:16, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
P.S. Also, there are bots that prevent the author from removing the CSD template, and warn the PRODer if they remove a Prod. Also, twinkle automatically patrols a page when a user CSD's or PROD's it. With that in mind, there is no reason to not hit patrol if another editor forgot to, as its common practice to do so in the first place. Tim1357 (talk) 00:54, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
That assumes that a patroller will be around to get those messages. Your point of Twinkle does it so it must be okay doesn't seem right to me; I would have thought some kind of consensus would have to be reached that this was appropriate. That the web interface works this way, that you propose to fix with a bot, is an indication to me that multiple editors to fix is okay. But hey, I'm just one guy with just one opinion. You really need more folks than just me to talk to. Josh Parris 03:16, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't even really mind if I come across a PROD, AFD, or CSD tagged page while patrolling. It doesn't take much time to just click on the patrol link, and I could also decide to weigh in on the deletion discussion. And I know I'm not the only one who does that. One time when I was patrolling the back of the new page log I came across an article that had been nominated for deletion at AFD. I commented on the discussion, and then another new page patroller came in and did the same. Because the page had not been automatically patrolled, the deletion discussion received two comments it might not have otherwise received. Reach Out to the Truth 03:42, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Hi there, I did start a similar discussion on the NPP talk page (it's now been archived but is here). We generally reached agreement, I pointed John Vandenburg back to the thread, and it all stalled (I can't remember why). Perhaps this discussion could be relaunched, perhaps with a different bot running it? GedUK  13:30, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia as a Gift (PDF)

the idea

This is a raw idea. I'm in a open yes phase, and need feedback. Is it possible to give wikipedia when it's free? My idea is built around getting more donations and publicity. It's soon christmas, and a lot of people is wondering what to give friends and family that have everything. Is it possible to make a automated PDF that donaters can print and give as a Christmas or birthday present?

Sample dokument

benefints and toughts.

This is just a option for a normal donation. Maybe more people will donate more christmas money to Wikipeida? This is a way to make more people get involved, people who don't use it often, but like the cause. I will be the first to give wikipedia to my friends and family for Christmas, but if this is this an idea that the rest of the wikipedia community supports? When you like the idea, helpe me make this possible. If the wikipedia comunity don't want to try this method for getting more donatinos spread the word and engage the somunity, ok for me. I just need to know that I and hopefully you tried --Gmdahl (talk) 21:09, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I have read breafly Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not and I belive my idea don't connflict directly on the rules. If the do, but I have just read them breafly. --Gmdahl (talk) 05:31, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

What can I do to get more people involved discussing this? The faster we work the faster we can get more donations. --Gmdahl (talk) 05:54, 9 December 2009 (UTC)


I will, but what do you think of the idea? --Gmdahl (talk) 18:08, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Not much, to be honest. This is an encyclopedia, not a generate-your-own-gift-certificate site... ╟─TreasuryTagFirst Secretary of State─╢ 18:25, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I suppose you could contact the Foundation. It's a little close to (December gift-giving holiday of your choice) to get it into action if they don't have it already, but they might have some kind of acknowledgment for donations to the Foundation made in honour of somebody. —C.Fred (talk) 18:30, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
  • "Gifting Wikipedia" in this way makes sense (whatever the precise motivations), and your sentiments almost make it sound like it shouldn't. Rd232 talk 21:12, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I think it's a great idea and if it gets our donation numbers higher, then all the more power to us. –xenotalk 21:28, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Wasn't there already a plan to sell Wikipedia on DVD? Also, it changes the whole dynamic when you sell the actual content, rather than asking for an altruistic donation.--Lester 21:55, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Dead-tree form is also available. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:20, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
You're not really selling any content in this idea, you're just providing an easy to print out certificate confirming a donation-OBO. –xenotalk 00:03, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Her is the sample dokument of my Idea (ok i'm green=). This is a win win situation, people that need a creative present, wikipedia and the inviromet. Mabye we get more users this way to, som more older people with more knowlage to share. I think this is a easy project to do if somone in foundation like the idea. --Gmdahl (talk) 05:31, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm just a student, but if wikipedia likes the gift idea will I donate 250$ this christmas. --Gmdahl (talk) 00:22, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree with this in principle, as long as its done totally free of charge. ThemFromSpace 01:24, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

If you like the idea

Join the Facebook group: Wikipedia as a gift?

Please don't canvass this discussion off-wiki. ThemFromSpace 01:22, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Ok, Do you want me to shut down the Facebook group, or should I just copy the text to Facebook so Wikipedia don't get the traffic? --Gmdahl (talk) 18:02, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm new to the inside of wikipedia, but I wouldn't be this aggressive if it wasn't for my imaginary deadline before Christmas . 1. of December would be the idle time to start. --Gmdahl (talk) 18:02, 13 December 2009 (UTC)


  • Who decides?
  • How to speed up the proses?
  • How long time does it take answer a multiple choice question?
    • Do wikipedia like this idea?
  • ( )Yes, ( )No, ( )Maybe later.

Wikipedia is not a democracy or bureaucracy Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not .So why does it take so long time? STOP ME OR HELPE ME: I need clear guidelines for submitting my idea. What can i do??

--Gmdahl (talk) 18:03, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Don't panic! Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy and it is not a democracy, you don't need permission to do this. So if you want a PDF book of all of Wikipedia then just go an create it.
As you may appreciate a book of the all 3.1 million articles would be quite unwieldy. I recommend completing the Featured Articles book. Go to Wikipedia:Featured articles, click "Create a book" on the left hand side of the screen and start adding all 2,716 to your book.
Here's Volume 1 of your book. Click "[ PDF ]" to download the PDF version. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 18:30, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I belive you haven't read mye Idea properly. Read it Again and you'll understand why I'm panicing... --Gmdahl (talk) 18:40, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
You could sell the PDF yourself per Wikipedia:Merchandise and give the profits to WikiMedia Foundation.
If you want to add a PDF download as an reward for donors to the fundraiser you need to go to m:Fundraising 2009/Launch Feedback and request it be added to the website. The kind of back-end changes to the website cannot be made by normal editors it can only be made by a few users with direct access to the website running Wikipedia.
Someone on that page might also be able to help automate making the PDF (adding all those featured articles would be hard work to do by hand, which is why I suppose it has not been completed). --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 19:48, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Update: I made a book of the complete Wikipedia Featured Articles. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 23:49, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
This won't get done for this Christmas, but I would definitely suggest this at m:Fundraising 2010. –xenotalk 14:50, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

COPPA compliance

Mainstream view here is against age limits on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit," so age restrictions would be completely against our fundamentals. However, is it really necessary for people younger than 13 to indentify themselves as such? A rule banning the representation of one's self as a person 12 or younger would get us out of that gray area we're in on the issue. Not only would it be in better compliance of COPPA, but it would reduce the temptation for pedophiles to try to use this as another Myspace-like medium to contact children. In a nut shell: you're free to edit, create an account, and be part of the community if you're younger than 13, but just don't spill the beans or we'll have to oversight every scrap of personal information you may have posted. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 22:56, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't see how COPPA is relevant, since Wikipedia doesn't "collect personal information" from anyone, as it's an encyclopedia. Ntsimp (talk) 23:45, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Speaking as an Oversighter, I can say that this is already common practice, in the interests of 'Do No Harm'. It is covered by the letter of OS#1, and in spirit by simple morality and decency. The legal issue is a non-issue, as Ntsimp says: Wikipedia does not collect personal information, anything that's up here is what the editors have posted. There doesn't need to be a legal reason to do the Right Thing. Happymelon 23:54, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, there's WP:Personal information, which says don't include personal information anywhere on Wikipedia. —C.Fred (talk) 23:58, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
There's also WP:NOTMYSPACE, which I think this would fit right in under, but I think this perhaps should be addressed directly. Just an idea. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 00:10, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
And I'm saying that it already is addressed, directly and consistently, whenever the issue is encountered. There is no need to have a 'rule' that people have 'broken' in order to be able to take action. Happymelon 11:13, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Featured content stars for featured pictures

Asian Golden Cat
Orange cat sitting with head up and eyes almost closed.
Wikipedia:Featured pictures
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Catopuma
Species: C. temminckii
Binomial name
Catopuma temminckii
(Vigors & Horsfield, 1827)

You know how featured articles and featured lists are marked with a gold star in the corner? Let's mark featured pictures too so they're easier to find. Currently, readers either have to browse the featured content galleries or else click a lot of thumbnails to find featured picture needles in the content haystack. Here's an example of how hard it is to tell a featured picture from a non-featured picture at a glance. Several editors at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates have a proposed solution.

Add a small featured star to the caption box near the featured picture. This communicates at a glance that the image meets the site's highest quality standards. Featured pictures hold up to viewing at close scrutiny, and can be suitable for monitor wallpaperand other purposes. At left is an example of a featured star in a taxobox. Below is an example of how the featured picture star would look in an image caption. Featured picture display, proposed.jpg
The featured picture stars would be implemented and maintained by bot. We think this would make it easier to see and enjoy the site's best content. Bringing the proposal to the wider community for discussion. Durova366 20:42, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

I am something of an anti-star curmudgeon (I don't like seeing FA stars floating around on user pages and all over the place) so you'll have to take my opinion with a grain of salt, but personally I find the solutions presented above to be distracting. FA stars on articles are, at least, somewhat inconspicuous and take up relatively little in the way of real estate; the above stars are intruding on templates and captions and to be honest seem inelegantly pasted in. I also would have some concern as to whether or not the addition of graphics into areas of templates where graphics might not be expected has unintended (and unwanted) consequences in terms of template formatting. So, the short answer is, I'm no fan of the idea but it may be just me. Shereth 21:04, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm a featured pictures regular, so you'd expect me to support this, and I do. I think that the little stars are unobtrusive, and do the reader a service by signalling that the image really is worth their time. It improves the reader experience at very little cost. Mostlyharmless (talk) 22:07, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I have an honest question here. I am curious how knowing which pictures happen to be featured improves the typical reader's experience? I'm not trying to question your statement but rather just trying to understand the point of view presented here, since I am having a difficult time seeing the material benefit of indicating, at least within articles, when an image has been selected as "featured". Shereth 22:33, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
(To Shereth)- I can only speak for myself, but as a "photo-illiterate" who has to rely on others for photos/pictures for articles I create/work on, I often go to other articles and "steal" their photos for my new articles (to represent that existing article name on a new list article, or if I need a photo to represent a particular town and there is a geologic formation in that town with an existing article and photo). If I need a photo and I can tell at a glance which photo is a FP that would help me use the best one for my new article. That is just one example of what this star can help with.Camelbinky (talk) 23:13, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
@ Shereth: It will increase curiosity and hopefully bring people into the project, get them to donate their photos, and maybe even nominated some FPs. I became a member of the project because of some of the beautiful images that were promoted to FP status, and only because I stumbled across some in articles (at first I didn't get the connection between FPs and POTD). Unlike articles though, images can be used in many places, so some rather non-descript articles may have some hidden treasures (which needn't be so hidden if the star were added). My amatuer interest in photography led me to take part in the process and since joining FPC, I've uploaded more than 600 photos, four of which are FPs. Durova is also working hard at getting donations from educational institutions; the opportunity to get on the Main Page sometimes opens up difficult-to-get-at collections. upstateNYer 00:51, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your replies. I am sympathetic toward those who put a lot of time and effort into creating/uploading images and graphics for use in Wikipedia - I've uploaded over 13,000 on Commons, mostly via bot and mostly graphics as opposed to images but I feel I have a certain amount of sympathy nonetheless. I'll chew over some of this information for a while and see if I come up with some additional insight but I appreciate your responses. Shereth 03:34, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong support with inclusion of infobox stars as well Couldn't have said it any better than Durova, and now that we have a way of getting the star in infoboxes, no FPs will be left behind. upstateNYer 22:24, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I like the idea but agree about screen real estate. It would be nice if one could use CSS trickery to place the star overlapping or on the image (with possibly some ability to set which corner it should be by), but then I worry that for some images, the star could become too distracting. --MASEM (t) 22:30, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong support per UpstateNYer and Durova.Camelbinky (talk) 22:33, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
  • "too so they're easier to find." is a poor argument, given that there are other methods to do so. I'm not going to go hunting for featured images by hunting through articles... It also draws the eye away from the image, unnecessarily so, and Masem's idea would simply obscure the image in question in some part. These are enough to draw me to oppose the proposal. --Izno (talk) 22:42, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support except for the infobox implementation. I find it to be obtrusive as used in the example infobox. The thumbnail view is great since that would be unused space next to the caption anyway. Great feature in an article with multiple angles or views of the same subject. Let's the reader know which one may be the best one to view at full-size. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 22:46, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
  • This is a more palatable solution to my curmudgeonly resistance to these stars. I'm still not in support per se but if it has to be implemented I would prefer to see this solution :) Shereth 22:48, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't mind one way or the other about this little star, but if it is "hard ... to tell a featured picture from a non-featured picture at a glance", why is the featured picture project of use for Wikipedia, in which images are generally only viewed at a glance? Fences&Windows 22:58, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
    • There can be times when editors want to view an image in detail. Featured pictures hold up to careful viewing and scrutiny. Durova366 00:09, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support as a good way to encourage more good quality photographs in articles and reward editors that produce them. I think some more tough could be put into how the start is displayed - an overlay on the image might make it clearer that it is the image that is being "starred" and might work better in the info box example too. Is there any equivilent for "good articles" status for images? rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 23:40, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I am pro highlighting featured images, but I'm not sure about the best approach. I'd consider adding a star as an overlay on one of the corners (though this may work poorly for some images). Or one could do something totally different like adding a gold border to the image frame rather than adding a star. Dragons flight (talk) 23:59, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
  • oppose - The majority of people who will see those stars (anons, and regulars) will have no idea what the stars are and can lead to confusion, especially when they click on it thinking the star would do something (as might a regular website)b. The current article stars are okay because they're hidden way up in the top corner, but this is right within the article. Perhaps this can be implemented as a gadget for those who see it as beneficial. -- penubag  (talk) 00:37, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
    • This argument has already been brought a couple times at WT:FPC and the response has always been, "then what do those anons and regulars do about a star in the top-right corner of an article?" It's the same thing. upstateNYer 00:51, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
      • I think the star at the top of an article is okay since it's out of the way and necessary to exemplify featured articles. But I personally think it's distracting to have stars in the middle of an article to point out "featured here and there" parts, and unnessary. One of the criteria for a featured article is that is is properly illustrated with images, and adding featured pictures help the final product get renowned. It seems unprofessional to single out good works within an article and advertise them. Shirley, Encyclopedia Britannica, or any encyclopedia doesn't engage in such practice. The image summary featured templates are good enough.-- penubag  (talk) 01:05, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
        • I dont know what Shirley does in her encyclopedia (Airplane reference, get it?), but for your Enc. Brit. comparison- we arent paper, we can, and often do, do more than an encyclopedia can, we arent limited to doing only what "real" encyclopedias do. That really isnt an argument that can be used against this proposal. Paper encyclopedias dont have templates, infoboxes, wikiprojects, categories, talk pages, and alot of other "shiny things" that we can have being internet-based. This is another thing that helps us make a better encyclopedia, that's my two cents.Camelbinky (talk) 03:26, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
        • Camelbinky pretty much said what I would have. As for your first sentence, what makes FPs any less noteworthy than FAs? An FA being illustrated is completely unrelated to FPs; it's nice to have FPs in an FA, but not required or even expected. Noting that an image is an FP with a star gives the project some needed press and may cause some new users to start donating their images and nominating good content (not all editors build text content, wikignome, etc - some limit their contributions to image-related tasks; why lose a potential contributor because of an argument over a star in a caption?). It's like when you first discover FA as a new user: "Wikipedia has standards? Gasp!" upstateNYer 04:58, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
          • What makes an FP less noteworthy than an FA? Nothing, but the images are being presented in an article, so if the article displays a star for being featured, it's okay. We are not reading images, and if we are, the featured star exists on the file description page, which is where it belongs. If "it's nice to have FPs in an FA, but not required or even expected" then why showcase it just when they are??? Camelbinky only talked about one of my points which I admit was poorly crafted, so I retract that statement. Your second point about "lose a potential contributor" is like the argument for having image placeholders which has been rejected by the community. Also, another comment, if this proposal passes, why not have featured stars on featured quotes from Wikiquote? I would love to see that happen. -- penubag  (talk) 06:08, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
            • Identification of quality images serves the same function as identification of other content, such as articles: to get the attention of potential contributors who could donate material at a similar level. The New York Times ran a piece last summer about Wikipedia's need for better media content, which profiled a successful professional photographer who has contributed a featured picture.[1] To highlight only the featured articles doesn't help to improve the media side, since most featured pictures appear within articles that aren't featured. Few individuals are skilled at both media and text contribution; featured articles often display images that are merely adequate. There's even been a problem with non-media editors replacing featured pictures with lower quality images. It's usually done in good faith; they just don't realize the difference. Durova366 18:18, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
            • Just as much effort is put into getting an FP as an FA, trust me. The time commitment and the number of gigabytes of photos that I don't nominate or upload is large. As for your wikiquote reference, I'd have no problem with that, but note that you're talking about a completely separate project whereas FP is a WP project. And I didn't know the image placeholders had been poo-pooed by the community; I use them all the time and think they're a great idea! upstateNYer 22:32, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
              • I was just going to comment that I also never realized image placeholders werent "allowed", I missed that memo.Camelbinky (talk) 02:57, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Maybe at some point WP can become more of an encyclopedia for readers and less of a repository for signs and symbols of behind the scenes social activity? --Kleinzach 02:17, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. I get the feeling that some of the opposes are on the basis that this is merely project-cruft. However, high quality pictures that illustrate articles in highly encyclopedic ways are important to the project. Wikipedia:Feature Pictures places high premium on the "encyclopedic value" of an image in illustrating particular articles - being merely pretty or high quality is not enough. Wikipedia's Featured Pictures are ones that add considerable value to articles, and thus are likely to be images which readers are likely to get value from in looking at more closely. For this reason having a small and unobtrusive marker is going to improve the encyclopedic experience of readers. Mostlyharmless (talk) 02:38, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
    • Fair enough. Can the star be made 'small and unobtrusive'? --Kleinzach 02:44, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
      • I would say the the star is already 'small and unobtrusive'. If this encourages editors and readers to submit more images and allows users to quickly find good images, I would think it is an excellent idea. Definite support. NW (Talk) 03:12, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. I find this rather uncontroversial. Having a star on the page isn't going to detract from the quality of the image, nor can I see it confusing new users. We already have this for other featured content, so I'm fine with this. PeterSymonds (talk) 03:16, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
    • Do you find the images to be linked inline with the text in every instance? Say, everything linked to Barack Obama? That is the equivalent of what will be done here, in my eyes. How would you not find that obtrusive? --Izno (talk) 04:24, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
      • Would you mind elaborating? I'm having trouble understanding your meaning here. Just to cover the base, the plan is to have the stars link to WP:FP in all instances (though you may very well not be referring to that link; again, I was unclear on your statement). upstateNYer 04:58, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Support — raeky (talk | edits) 06:07, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Fairly obvious support. Wikipedia is known for its crap photos and this may go some way to correcting that problem (by encouraging new photos and keeping crap ones out of articles that already have FPs). MER-C 07:05, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • It gets my support too, following on from Mostlyharmless' comment. A wee star saysclick me, and just like the FA star, it tells you you'll be rewarded by spending some time with the content you find when you do. Per MER-C, images on WP are increasingly underrated, under-employed and overlooked, and this may well prove a key element in reversing that trend. mikaultalk 07:35, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Support When you compare the amount of space advertising "featured articles", the little start is quite minimal. It is also part of a necessary emancipation of the illustration.. remember, a picture paints a thousand words and, many of our articles are overly verbose.. GerardM (talk) 10:23, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Would there be a way to replace "Magnify-clip.png" in thumbnails of FPs with a slightly flashier version - maybe gold background on the larger rectangle, rays, or superimposed star on larger rectangle? No extra screen clutter, easily differentiable for people who are looking for it, and would signify that it's the magnified version that's special. Pseudomonas(talk) 12:32, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
    • We thought of changing that but it would require actual code changes to the wiki, there isn't a template anywhere that would work for that. Then again it's possible to create a custom image box template for FP's that would do as you say, unfortunately that would also be beyond the abilities of us that created the template and proposed the idea. — raeky (talk | edits) 16:06, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose The reason to add this feature is sound and I support it. However, as was stated on the first discussion about this in WP:FPC, this proposal can only works if the star is added through an entirely automatic process (such as "picture has FP tag -> auto include of star whenever picture is included in a page" which would be very tricky to do). Many pictures are featured and some are delisted every week, and all pictures may be included in several places, so ensuring that the star is displayed for the right pictures everywhere is a huge work. Failing to do this properly will merely make this star meaningless, with many thumbnails of FP lacking it, and some thumbnails of delisted pictures having it. Soon, misinformed people will start to add it to any picture they find pretty. Therefore, until someone propose a way to deal with this problem, I oppose the creation of this template which will otherwise probably be misused and then misunderstood. Ksempac (talk) 14:05, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
    • Part of the closing process (specifically for delisting) could be adding/removing this from pages, generally FP's are not on _lots_ of pages but only a one or two or three rarely more. It wouldn't be that much more of a burden. The bot would just ensure that it's not being used anywhere it shouldn't along with catching pages that a FP is used on later. — raeky (talk | edits) 16:06, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
      • An understandable worry, but easy to resolve the same way featured articles and featured lists get managed. A bot would update the displays per the featured picture templates. So other than coding the bot, this doesn't create any more work for anybody. Durova366 18:01, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Some kind of tag to indicate a featured picture would be fine, so long as it is not too intrusive. Surely a bot could take care of the maintenance? How are the featured article stars done? Fences&Windows 15:13, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Definitely. As far as I can tell, the worst-case scenario brought up here is that readers will be confused, click on the link, figure it out, and the either a. go "Okay" and get on with their lives or b. get interested and start editing. Where's the downside? ~ Amory (utc) 16:39, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. I didn't even know WP had such a thing as featured images until I started reading WP:Signpost. Our featured content (and to a lesser degree our "good" content) is supposed to represent our best material, and we should try to make readers aware of that. --RL0919 (talk) 17:26, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - Definitely. We give lots of praise and kudos to the people who work on FAs, but not so much for featured images.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 17:30, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support outside of infoboxes. I'm not convinced from the example above that they look good inside them. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 17:54, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Weak support for this outside of infoboxes as well. I've given it some thought and while I still find them mildly obtrusive I doubt they would do any harm. I wish there was a more elegant way to perhaps replace the Magnify-clip.png symbol with something indicative of the featured status but that is merely nitpicking on my part. However I will still oppose the inclusion of any graphic symbol within infoboxes, as they do funky things to the formatting and are more than a little intrusive in appearance in these instances. Shereth 18:27, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, reasonable proposal. Rather uncontroversial addition to the website. –blurpeace (talk) 20:12, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support but not in infoboxes Great idea, it helps readers to find the best of Wikipeda images. It looks confusing in the taxobox-what's it linked to? Let's leave them out of infoboxes, though. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 20:43, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Note If a bot is going to be used to maintain these, it should be easy for the bot to only add the star for images where the file name is located within [[ ]] brackets, and ignore those without. That would skip any image located in an infobox. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 21:02, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. Maybe it's just me, but I don't have a problem with how the star looks in the infobox example. --RL0919 (talk) 21:05, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Looking at the image above, I don't know what the star is related to. It does not appear, in the infobox with the cougar, that the star is related to the image, but rather that the star is related to the species in some way. Even in this discussion about stars on featured pictures, and knowing exactly what FA and FP stars look like, my first thought was that the star means it's an endangered species or maybe one taken off the endangered list. I want stars on featured pictures in articles, I think it's a great idea, past time to have them. But I don't want to confuse readers, ever. Impossible to reach that goal of never confusing a reader, so I'll settle for eliminating the worst confusion. When I see something that is so confusing, that I'm not sure what it is even when I know what it is, this is, imo, something that may confuse more users than it provides any utility for. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 22:52, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support We do this for other featured content types. — Jake Wartenberg 23:09, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Conditional support In thumb boxes, it looks ok. But I agree with those who find it out of place in infoboxes, and I just can't see how it would not look even more out of place on the other types. Anomie 00:42, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Thiodina puerpera
Thiodina puerpera female 02.jpg
Wikipedia:Featured pictures
Image of a female Thiodina puerpera
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
  • Support - both infoboxes and thumbs. A star below an infobox image would not look obstructive if there's a caption provided, such as the one on the right. Maybe the FPC process can imply the requirement of captions in infobox FPs, which would also merit the EV an image needs to be featured. ZooFari 01:18, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Now it even more appears to be saying the species is rated star for some reason, removed from endangered list would be my guest. My second guess would be the taxon's article is a featured article. The problem is, imo, it appears to belong to the taxon, not to the image. And, I like the idea of attaching the stars to featured images in article space to let users know they're special. But I don't like the idea of attaching stars that don't appear to be for the image. In addition, adding the star to the taxobox will require input from the biology projects. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 01:56, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Readers only care about the content of articles (and images), not about those internal mechansms of wikipedia. They care about if the article is complete, clear, well-written, etc; and if images are of good quality and related to the topic, or not. Being featured, however, is only of community concern. The star can be considered a self reference (by being an addition that isn't related with the article at all), but having no text and being at a corner the problem is so small it can be ignored. Those others, however, would be in the middle of it all. Second, have in mind that internal links to featured articles from other articles make no distinction when they link featured articles, there's no underline, bold text or gold link instead of blue. Why should images be any different? And third, an image is featured or not by itself. For an article to be well ilustrated, the image must be related and ilustrative of the topic, not necesarily a featured one. For example, let's say there's an article that talks about an old war: a portrait about such war, even if available at a low resolution, would be far better than a photo of a sunset in the beach where the armies once landed, even if that sunset is a featured image. MBelgrano (talk) 02:26, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
    • Actually you're overgeneralizing there. Just like an article can't be featured without images, an image can't be featured without being in articles. Encyclopedic value is what makes WP:FPC different from Commons:FPC. upstateNYer 03:29, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
      • Wikipedia Featured Pictures places a very high premium on the encyclopedic value of the image in illustrating a particular concept with specific reference to the articles. Unless it relates to the text that surrounds it, it won't be featured. WP:FP isn't pretty pictures - they do that at Commons:FP. WP:FP is about illustrating the encyclopedia with the best images. Mostlyharmless (talk) 02:28, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Generally support but reasons for opposes need to be taken into account before implementing. See User_talk:Durova/Archive_73#Implimenting featured picture stars easily for a couple of ways implement this automagically. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:42, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
    • I like that idea. Though (as others have said), I'm really not sure about for infoboxes. Pseudomonas(talk) 10:02, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose in Infoboxes As others have commented, it would not sufficiently clear to the uninformed what the star applies to, possible misinterpretations including the infobox itself or its subject. Also wastes a slight amount of space if no caption is present for the infobox image. --Cybercobra (talk) 06:39, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Regarding taxoboxes one of the most encyclopedic uses of high quality images is species identification. Wikipedia's photographers have been doing amazing work in that regard, for example with birds and flowers. It would be a real service to readers to have a cue available when the lead image is that useful. Durova366 19:05, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
    The concern is that the star does not appear to indicate the picture is featured, when it's in the taxobox. Even coming here to discuss this, knowing that's what the stars are, my first thought was the pictured cat had been moved off the endangered list or something.
    So, if the star is not a cue to the image being featured, but leads to confusion about the status of the species, then it's not a cue about the lead image. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 07:47, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose because it doesn't add value. Rather it adds confusion. Rich Farmbrough, 21:41, 18 November 2009 (UTC).
  • Support. Linking the star to Wikipedia:Featured pictures reasonably clarifies any kind of confusion. A bot to monitor them would be good, too. Dan 21:57, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not needed, and causes confusion. I'd rather we start working on improving the encyclopedic content more than adding small features as golden stars in infoboxes for images. warrior4321 22:04, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's metadata, and original research, since there is no independent confirmation of the value of the image. If we want to clue readers on whether it's worth clicking through, add the dimensions in the title attribute.--Curtis Clark (talk) 14:37, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

I've added an endangered species with an image star. It looks like the star is attached to the IUCN red list category in some way, and about the same with a caption or without. Adding this to taxoboxes will require input from biology editors, also. They should be notified of this discussion. Also fossil organisms have age ranges, add the star to the trilobite taxobox with its fossil range to see that it doesn't appear to indicate it's a featured picture. Yes, clicking on it takes you to the FP page, but, it still starts out with confusion. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 07:50, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Barbary Lion
Wikipedia:Featured pictures
Barbary Lion
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. leo
Subspecies: P. l. leo
Trinomial name
Panthera leo leo

Note Due to the proposal to add the stars to taxoboxes I posted a request for input at the taxobox template discussion page, and at wikiprojects Tree of Life, Animals, Plants, and Fungi. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 08:34, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Alternate implementation

I don't think that the core of this idea is bad, but I think that it's clear that the proposed implementation is lacking somehow. I was just thinking that a good solution would be to use the "Designated Metadata Area" (if that's actually a term) that the current featured article start uses, and to use a different graphic (a graphic of something like a photo would seem to make sense). If the Featured Photo appeared anywhere on a Featured Article then both icon would appear.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 13:13, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

This makes the most sense. I'm going through this page thinking "caption areas? infoboxes? Thats ridiculous!" Why would these appear anywhere except on the File: namespace for the photo. We don't put stars in the infoboxes or next to the links of featured articles, why should we with featured pictures? - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 17:04, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Possible Solution to Ambiguity

There is really nothing to prevent the community from decreeing that the star for FPs be the same star as for FAs. If we had a featured image star that looked unique, it would solve all three different ambiguity concerns that I have seen above. Nezzadar [SPEAK] 16:12, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Only for established users who know what the conventions are. For the regular user who just uses Wikipedia as a website, it'd just make things that wee bit more confusing, unintuitive, and excluding. Pseudomonas(talk) 16:27, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't know. That might work. Can you offer a suggestion, a logo about an image that makes it seem the image is unique? I do like the idea of cluing the user in to the quality of the image, particularly since if it's a featured picture it's usually a large file, and, when it's not, it's usually a very important image. This makes finding an image, particularly when it's not your specialty, easier. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 19:32, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Subdividing for clarity

It appears that most people support the use of featured picture stars in captions and a smaller number support it for infoboxes. In order to clarify matters please state your opinion in one of the following sections:

  1. Support implementation of featured picture stars in caption boxes and in infoboxes.
  2. Support featured picture stars in caption boxes only.
  3. Oppose any use of featured picture stars.

Support implementation of featured picture stars in caption boxes and in infoboxes

  • Per above. Durova366 22:35, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • As I said above, I think this is a good idea and I don't see a problem with having it in infoboxes. --RL0919 (talk) 22:37, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Ditto RL0919 upstateNYer 03:45, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support In both places. — raeky (talk | edits) 09:07, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - if the infobox is required to have a caption under the image. Comment - why are we turning this into a vote? We should at least use bullets instead of numbers...--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 13:51, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
    I went ahead and changed the numbered lists in the sections to bulled lists, to keep this as consensus, not voting. I still don't like dividing this into sections, but it's a little late to undo that, at this point.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 13:56, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
    Hmm... opposers are quite convincing... going Neutral.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 14:01, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support -- ZooFari 23:04, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Weak support This should be judged based on its value to readers (if this is aimed more at editors or some other narrower audience, we can seek another method, like categories or something). My reason for thinking the stars may help readers is that they give an idea of whether it is worth bothering to click on a thumbnail link to see a larger image. But I agree with many of the oppose comments about self-references and self-congratulation and clutter not helping readers, so this is a weak support verging on weak oppose. Kingdon (talk) 15:26, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support I think this is an excellent idea, and, IMHO, the stars aren't distracting. I fail to see how the 'new users won;t know what it means' argument works, as, surely, linking them in to our best content is a good thing? :-) Colds7ream (talk) 07:57, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong support, dont find them distracting, and they are beneficial to those who look for the best pictures so we can use them elsewhere on Wikipedia.Camelbinky (talk) 01:51, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, as long as a bot is produced to manage the stars rather than relying on editing by hand. Also, might it be possible to add some sort of mouseover or tooltip to the star, if people are worried that it's purpose might not be clear? --Stormie (talk) 21:46, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Support featured picture stars in caption boxes only

  • Strong, strong oppose - This would be troubling. All FPs should be treated fairly. One of the reasons for stars is the motivation of nominations, and potential FP contributers would be motivated to contribute their images in thumbs only. Taxo bars are what we consider high EV images and we don't want to lower that bar. ZooFari 23:29, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support I find the white space created in the taxobox to look awkward, and the star is not clearly linked to the picture in that location. I also don't agree with the proposal to add a caption in the infobox to fill the white space. Any picture in an infobox should already match the title bar, and a caption would be redundant. They work well in the thumbnail frame, and should be used there. Nothing says that the best picture is going to be most appropriate for the infobox anyway. That one should contain one that will be most recognizable to the reader, whether featured or not. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 00:24, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • For what it is worth, this is not my preferred solution; I actually have a preference for the below option (oppose all stars), however, for the sake of cooperation and compromise I am willing to support this version. I am still quite opposed to any addition of such stars to infoboxes. Shereth 05:54, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support --Cybercobra (talk) 06:35, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Although, leaning toward the below option, as it is hard to communicate to supporters just how inappropriate they look and how confusing their addition to taxoboxes would be to readers. They're too confusing in the taxobox. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 07:50, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose as this would encourage editors to not put the FP's in any infobox so that the star could be displayed. Inferior photos would end up in the most prominent place (ie- the infobox).Camelbinky (talk) 01:54, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
    And what is wrong with that, particularly when the inferior image in terms of photographic quality is actually the superior image in terms of relevance to the subject? Given pictures of the same subject (like the Tower Bridge referenced) then naturally, the FP should be used - but the "most prominent" place in an article should be reserved for the image of the highest relevance, not the highest quality. Shereth 20:13, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Oppose any use of featured picture stars

  • Oppose any use of featured picture stars in article space. Stars linked to internal Wikipedia processes are 'self-referential'. They shouldn't be used in the encyclopedia per se. Nor do I agree that "most people support the use of featured picture stars" (above). The opposition is considerable. How about setting up a thorough-going centralized discussion to see what support this really enjoys? Reg. --Kleinzach 23:19, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
    I note that stars for featured articles and featured lists appear in the mainspace. Anywhow, I agree that the discussion should be fully publicized considering how much input it has already drawn and the diversity of opinion. An RfC with placement on WP:CENT should do the trick. --RL0919 (talk) 23:27, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
    Article stars are a different matter since they appear outside the body of the article; they are as much part of the article as donation banners. If this feature is implemented, we'll have articles literally peppered with stars. mgiganteus1 (talk) 11:05, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
    Of course, at the moment, thanks to said banners, the FA stars appear in the article body. OrangeDog (τε) 12:38, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose featured picture stars. The stars are disproportionately flashy, potentially confusing in meaning (especially in the taxobox), and most importantly, do not improve the encyclopedic merit of the article in any way. The image is already there; it's doing its job regardless of whether a star's next to it. What problem is adding these stars meant to solve? Is there a flood of complaints that unmarked featured pictures are detracting from users' experiences? The point of every Wikipedia article is to present information. Let's keep out unnecessary distractions to that goal, and high-quality images can attract attention to themselves on their own merits. -- Yzx (talk) 09:32, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Distracting and unnecessary. Woefully inadequate as a way of highlighting quality images in an article, because the number of FP-like images on Wikipedia is very many times greater than the number of official FPs, and this will always be the case. mgiganteus1 (talk) 11:00, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose in article space. What next, stars next to article links? Hesperian 11:03, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - weakly for thumbnail boxes, strongly for infoboxes. It's all distraction and clutter that bit-by-bit makes Wikipedia less intuitive. Pseudomonas(talk) 11:07, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Urgh, this is hideous. FA stars are tucked away in the Designated Metadata Area(TM) in the top-right corner, not actually within the main content pane. This is self-referential and a gaudy advertisement, and implementation would be an emormous undertaking. Would that people stopped obsessing over their stars - it's bad enough that people feel the need to tart their home pages up with so many silly boy scout badges without this creeping any further onto articlespace. That said, I would not be opposed on principle to Pseudomonas's suggestion in the general comments section that the "click to view me full size" icon in thumbnails could be overloaded in some way for FIs (certainly not with a flipping star though), but not in infobox templates.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Thumperward (talkcontribs) 12:51, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
    I'd kind of thought of something like Magnify-clip-gold.png but less ugly (that was hacked up in 5 min). Personally I'd be happy to shelve this until MediaWiki allows a parameter for overloading the images - then we could also maybe overload for disputed images &c. Pseudomonas(talk) 13:17, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't personally have strong feeling about this, but I think that the oppose commentary here makes for a fairly convincing argument. It's probably a good idea to bring some attention to featured pictures (and other featured content), but this doesn't seem to be the way to go about it. I find the "self-referential" and "not in the content pane" arguments offered above to be particularly compelling.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 13:05, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose All the featured content within Wikipedia should be treated the same. We don't add stars to everyplace that a featured article or list links in other articles. The thumbnails in the articles are links to the picture page and from what I have seen, the picture page has the star in the upper right hand corner (like articles and lists) but it also has a banner on the page stating it is a featured picture. We do not need to add additional star everyplace that it links. ~~ GB fan ~~ talk 13:24, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, self-congratulatory and kindergarten-ish. Readers can't be expected to dig through our back-office processes to understand what it means. Changing the color of the little magnify symbol would be a more aesthetically pleasing option if this is felt necessary, but I don't think it would be a positive step in any form. Christopher Parham (talk) 13:43, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose in article space . An image can be valuable to one article, while being unsuited or even misleading in another. Having the star in article space may give the sometimes false impression that the image is the one best suited for that particular article. Melburnian (talk) 13:48, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
    Good point, Melburnian. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 20:09, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Swayed by good arguments of opposers. Self-referential; obscure; distracting; clutter. --Cybercobra (talk) 19:35, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Classic example of original research: no independent evidence of notability.--Curtis Clark (talk) 03:28, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
    ...huh? not that I disagree with the !vote, since I opposed myself, but... Original research? notability? What does that have to do with anything here?
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 13:28, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
    If someone were to add a Wikipedian with many barnstars, many newly created articles, and hundreds of thousands of edits, but who was not notable outside Wikipedia, to a "List of people in Wherever" article, it would rightfully be reverted, since there is no independent evidence of notability. If a bunch of Wikipedians formed a project to issue a list of the ten best English-language movies of the year, based not on external reviews, but on their own opinions, it's hard to imagine they'd get much support to put it in mainspace. How are featured pictures any different?--Curtis Clark (talk) 14:58, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
    Humm... I don't have any real issue with the Featured Article or Featured Picture process myself. Labeling them as OR isn't really accurate or helpful here though, since the processes themselves are not really what's at issue here. Let's not overstate our case here, and start an argument about something that is really tangential to the proposal. We're hardly going to develop consensus to deprecate those processes out of this discussion, after all.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 16:43, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
    You asked him to explain his reasoning, and he did. He's not starting an argument, nor does he give any appearance of trying to start one or get rid of the FP or FA processes. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 17:00, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
    I have no quibble with having FA or FP, nor do I disagree with the concept of barnstars: All are ways to encourage quality, cooperation, and all the other good things that make Wikipedia work. On the other hand, elevating the identity of the awardees to encyclopedic content seems counterproductive.--Curtis Clark (talk) 18:00, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
    I disagree that it elevates them by using them in article space. I find it helpful to know an article is a FA or an image is a FP because I know it has received some level of scrutiny higher generally than regular articles. (The FP I admit is more about size and technical issues and poorly about EV, but I still find FP more useful, often, than non-fP.) Still, I see you have valid concerns, because of my ()al remark about FPs. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 18:06, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
    I'm just trying not to be confused here, because I am, and we're essentially on the same "side" so that's not a good situation. There seems to be a rather fundamental viewpoint difference here because I don't see FA or FP evaluations as an "award" at all. Classifying them together with barnstars at least sheds some light on the original question that I had about this, but it only creates a new question. There are people that take personal pride in "getting an article to FA" status, and Durova clearly takes pride in doing the same with images. That's great for everyone because ultimately the encyclopedia wins all the way around. The editors are motivated to (continue to) contribute, and the content is vastly improved. However, the FA or FP "award" ultimately belongs to the article or file in question, not the article. So... again, I hardly begrudge the !vote since I'm !voting the same way, but this position concerns me because it seems to be a repudiation of the whole "featured content" system itself, and I don't want to support that.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 19:46, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
    But you're not supporting any particular other vote by voting the same. Whatever reason you vote, is simply your reason. If someone else votes the same way as you, but for a different reason, there's no assumption that you adopted their reasoning. I've not even heard of that, so I may be wrong about what you seem to be saying. Others' reasons for their votes don't accrue to you when you vote the same. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 19:58, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
    Maybe to you, which is great, but human nature being what it is... Anyway, it's not as big of a deal as we appear to be making it. I was more curious then concerned, really.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 11:21, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, of no help to Wiki readers, and featured pictures is a process which gets very limited community input. These proposals are self-referential "creep". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:39, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, I think the idea is inherently flawed, as there is no good way to indicate that images are featured without either being confusing or obscuring part of the image. No one's going to understand why stars are appearing in their captions. They will just end up being removed. Kaldari (talk) 17:25, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose It's not a terrible idea, but I just don't think it really adds anything that would be useful for most readers. And the infobox stars in particular would just be confusing. Reach Out to the Truth 17:32, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I had been willing to support a compromise solution but the more I think about it the less I am convinced. The only real argument as to a material benefit to the reader is, paraphrased, "Lets users know which images view well at full size/are worth clicking on to see at full size". This reasoning implies that non-featured images are somehow not worth clicking on to look at in full size, or somehow do not look good at full resolution, and that is patently false. The distinction between an otherwise "good" image and a "featured" image can be marginal at best, and to the untrained eye (or those not familiar with the process) may be negligible. Take the Tower Bridge photos above. The featured photo is clearly superior but the non-featured version is not bad. There really is not a convincing reason to encourage editors to view one image at full size but not the other. I can't see any defensible argument that these stars provide the reader any material benefit and thus no longer see any reason to support any version of the proposal, sorry. Shereth 17:38, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  • As I stated before, stars on featured content are added in the content itself, at an unobstrusive place. Featured articles or lists are not linked from other articles any different than non-featured ones and there is no system intended to make their links more "visible". There's no compeling reason not to do the same with images: if they are of featured quality, and are included in the article, then they are already doing their work. MBelgrano (talk) 14:14, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per many above. I fail to see how putting a star beside the picture will "draw someone in" that wasn't already interested in the picture or even how that's supposed to be beneficial. "Yes, nice picture. Now what?" If you're harvesting pictures for different articles, you should use the picture that's appropriate, not the one that won the beauty contest. Matt Deres (talk) 01:58, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong support - big up our featured content wherever possible. --bodnotbod (talk) 16:27, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Dump the essays

Probably perennial. Can the essays be rolled into one and given a template, "Lame wikipedia essay that shows I'm cute and more experienced than you follows"?

Why do we have an essay titled, "Don't be a dick" anyway? To establish our professional credentials in conversations with each other?

Click appropriate box in response, "You're lame," "You're disruptive," "I'm reporting you to AN/I as a sock puppet." --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 18:18, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Without essays we would find ourselves repeating the same things over and over. They also help new users get up to speed in the way of the wiki. One or two bad apples doesn't spoil the bunch. –xenotalk 18:26, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
No, they're just used to hit new users when the established editor realizes they would otherwise revert to biting. In other words, they're a means of breaking a rule without breaking it. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 18:27, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Essays don't hit new users, editors hit new users. –xenotalk 18:31, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
But if it weren't so easy to get ahold of an essay, the editors would not be so ready to use them, resulting in... --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 18:38, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
As Wikipedians one of our fundamental rights is that to bear essays. –xenotalk 18:44, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Just as fundamental as my right to bare stupidity? --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 19:03, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
You'll get my essay over my cold, dead body, you commy, pinko, puke! hehe
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 19:22, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Dead horse's body. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 19:48, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
"A well-regulated militerature being necessary to security of a free encyclopaedia, the right of the editors to write and cite essays shall not be infringed." — Second Amendment to the Five Pillars. Says nothing about trying to smuggle fully-automated trout from Virginia to New York, or who's responsible when they're used in drive-by whackings, or how to deal with concealed minnows on the street. —— Shakescene (talk) 21:19, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't know about everyone else, but I actually find some of them quite amusing. But that's the kinda guy I am :) - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 18:42, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Certainly, they're more amusing to hit someone with than to just say "you're an asshole" and be accused of biting. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 19:03, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

There is more wisdom in some of these essays than in most of our policies. Using WP:ALPHABETSOUP to beat people over the head with is bad, though. See WP:OMGWTFBBQ. — Kusma talk 19:12, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Other crap. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 19:48, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Any discussion like this really needs to mention the favourite of many, m:Friends of gays should not be allowed to edit articles. Yes, it would be a nicer (but duller) world if everyone shared a sense of humour, and if nobody was ever rude/curt, but deleting essays isn't going to change human diversity or behaviour. Read WP:OWB and WP:ZEN, shrug, smile, and continue. -- Quiddity (talk) 21:35, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

But they're not funny or amusing or interesting in any way. Once inserted into a discussion they simply say, "This editor is not creative." Okay, as creativity is not necessarily a useful editor attribute on wikipedia, but ultimately pointless drivel inserted into a tendentious as only the writers and a few remaining users have not been pummeled to the point of knock-dead-boredom by the essays already. I did read, on a user page, ages ago, a great description of them, that I would love to find and quote. Maybe the author is watching this and the essays page and joins this discussion to provide their quote which I can then turn into an essay to use to beat over the head of any editor who lamely thinks they are cute or interesting or clever by quoting a dead horse of an essay at another editor. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 21:45, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Handle these on a case-by-case basis, under WP:Miscellany for deletion. My personal recommendation would probably be to keep most or all and userfy the rest, if any. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 01:23, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Its not just "quoting an essay" that is annoying. Its also those who instead of using common sense and their own words and intelligence they instead just quote straight from a policy or guideline (or more annoyingly just put the WP:whatever link and make you read it yourself trying to figure out what part is relevant). All an editor says by saying "see WP:V" is- "Your an idiot, read this policy, it is law and we dont think for ourselves, we do as what is written. I'm a mindless ape" (So those that do that, remember that is what you are actually saying). All quoting or linking to policy should be banned from a discussion and all decisions based on quality and convincing ability of the arguments in the discussion with no caring to established policies (because if a policy isnt upheld in a normal discussion and consensus then that policy now lacks the Community's consensus and is no longer valid). Obviously that will never fly around here, but its what should be done.Camelbinky (talk) 22:25, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Policies reflect established consensus, by ignoring policy, one ignores consensus, although sometimes consensus should be gathered on a case-by-case method, a lot of the time it should just be found within policy. We can't except the community to make a new decision for every single issue that comes up, which is why we have policy, which describes an example issue, and then details how to deal with it in the way the community has agreed via consensus. People who quote from policy are not being "mindless apes", rather, they're demonstrating what established community consensus is on certain matters, if that consensus strikes you as out-dated then a new consensus can be formed. Kind regards, SpitfireTally-ho! 22:48, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Essays capture what's difficult (well, too time-consuming) to constantly repeat to people. It sounds like you're trying to solve a social problem ("people quote essays too often at other users") with a slash-and-burn approach that's only going to damage good, useful content. --MZMcBride (talk) 22:41, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

POINTy proposal. Forget it. ╟─TreasuryTagstannator─╢ 22:42, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

As a comment, Wikipedia:Linking to external harassment observes that WP:NPA applies to any attack in any context, it notes that therefore linking to external attacks can be considered an attack in itself, which means that the same must apply to linking to internal attacks (depending on your intent in doing so, of course). This doesn't mean that essays should be dumped, just that one should read them before linking and be prudent in doing so. Any essay that makes obvious personal attacks aimed at particular groups or individuals (i.e. new users, admins, etc), should be deleted via WP:MfD. Just because some are attack'ish doesn't mean we should get rid of them all, that's equivalent to saying that just because some users vandalise we should block everyone 718smiley.svg Regards, SpitfireTally-ho! 20:28, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Merge Wikipedia:Colors and Wikipedia:Accessibility?

P: and T: namespace aliases

Over a year ago, there was a discussion about adding P:, T: and C: as namespace aliases for Portal:, Template: and Category: respectively. This discussion resulted with some people supporting and one opposing, and a request was filed on Bugzilla. This request has been rotting in bug hell for over a year until I stumbled upon it today. I'm willing to make this happen, but I'm a bit leery of making a change that was last discussed over a year ago and may have gotten controversial since. If you guys still want this to happen, I'd like to see a fresh discussion or at least a fresh vote. --Catrope 16:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Not that it'll ever actually happen, but support. Maybe someone will notice in a few years and actually implement it. *shrug*
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 16:35, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
    • It'll happen for real this time. I'm dealing with a lot of old shell bugs now, and once this achieves consensus it'll happen within days. It'll also not hold up existing requests (on the Bugzilla side at least), which was a concern voiced elsewhere on this page.--Catrope 21:30, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
  • It would certainly be very useful for many editors, but let's make sure we appreciate what the cost is: I believe it means that we could never create an article with a title beginning P:, T: or C: . Which people might sometimes need to do. (I don't know, but it might work better to use aliases which have less chance of beginning the names of things in the real world, something like P;: or P-: .)--Kotniski (talk) 16:50, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Hmm, that brings up a good point. I wonder if Article: could be created as an alias to files in the article namespace that start with Wikipedia:, User:, WP:, etc. Such articles would be so rare that it might not be worth it. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 17:10, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Just a note that the prior proposal was only for P: and T:, since we saw the issue with C: (computer languages, etc). So yes, I still support P: and T:. MBisanz talk 18:08, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  • A "technical restrictions" hatnote along the likes of C-Sharp (Monkeyshine) The proper name for this article is C:#, due to technical restrictions it has been renamed C-Sharp (Monkeyshines) "C:# is Monkeyshine's implementation of the C# programming language..." davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 18:34, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment: Currently there is one "T:" article, T:kort, and one redirect, T:MP that don't point to templates. There is one "P:" article, P:ano, and two redirects, P:D & P:RUS/NEW, that don't point to portals. There are 4 "C:" articles. The C: pseudo namespace is barely used at all, the T: one is lightly used, and the P: one is heavily used. The normal shortcut for categories is CAT: by a 24:1 margin over C:. --ThaddeusB (talk) 20:09, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  • The request, IIRC, wasn't for a "C:" alias because we realised that then [[C:Foo]] (we discussed [[CAT:FOO]]) would act the same as [[Category:Foo]] - that is, actually add the page to the category. What we really might like is for [[C:Foo]] to be equivalent to [[:Category:Foo]], but that's not supported in the software AFAIK. I definitely support adding P: and T: aliases. Happymelon 20:26, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Seems useless to me. Template links usually use {{tl}}. Are portals linked to often enough that saving 5 characters is really worth it? "CAT:" (not "C:") I could see using if it could be equivalent to [[:Category:Foo]], but not otherwise. Anomie 23:32, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
    Don't forget the innumerable times the required titles are navigated to directly from the search box; I know I certainly 'link' to templates this way often enough to benefit from the abbreviation. "Useless" is a pretty weak argument, especially since you then state a usefulness in the same paragraph; what you mean is "not worth the effort/hassle". But if someone is prepared to put the effort in, what sort of an argument is that? Happymelon 23:49, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
    Having a shortcut for categories that wouldn't require the leading colon would be a use. But having an arbitrary short prefix for something that is rather infrequently used seems like too little benefit for the added complexity and risk of name collisions. Anomie 03:16, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Sure, if it can be done easily and without holding up existing proposals. –Juliancolton | Talk 23:39, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes, it'd definitely be helpful. ≈ Chamal talk ¤ 01:51, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support T: and P:; I'd like C: to be CAT:. MC10 (TCGBLEM) 16:21, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
  • 'Support "P:" and "T:", but "C:" should change to "CAT:"--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 00:09, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support P and T, I'm neutral on C and CAT, could we maybe get both? And some chips? Ta. :) A solution to the problem pointed out by my delicious friend would too be brilliant, but that's a separate problem. Has a Bugzilla report been filed for it? —what a crazy random happenstance 17:44, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Single letter NS aliases and Interwiki links are more likely to cause issues with page naming for both current articles as well as any future articles that may be created (Which has already been discussed in this discussion) so we should try to avoid them were possible, And are we really that lazy we have to shorten them that far? Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 12:29, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
    We as a civilisation saw it fit to abbreviate the three-letter word yes to 'y' and tiny little two-letter no to 'n'. So yes, I think we really are. —what a crazy random happenstance 15:35, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. This or some variation. Even "Temp:" or "Tpl:" would be an improvement. Reading template documentation of various templates to see and compare which is most appropriate is a hassle because one must type out the whole thing. Lambanog (talk) 07:19, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Backlog at PR and GAC

It's gotten to the point where it's actually easier to get an article featured than it is to get a PR or a GAC review. Is there simply a shortage of willing reviewers, or is there something structurally wrong? Serendipodous 17:12, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

As I remember GAC has always been backlogged, although backlog elimination drives usually help. Ruslik_Zero 19:26, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
For an individual reviewer a GAC can be at least as much work as a FAC (if not more so because a GAC can have more problems to fix) and there are surely many more GA candidates as compared to FA candidates. Sometimes you just have to be patient and wait until a volunteer is available.—RJH (talk) 23:41, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
It may have to do with the large number of people who don't think the process is meaningful. (talk) 17:21, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
An anonymous poster speaking for the majority? Hmm, well I'll choose to disbelieve you. That being said, however, I think a way to make the PR/GAC more significant is to require them for all A-class articles and to make them prerequisites for a FAC.—RJH (talk) 22:38, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
GA reviews are often very thorough, and looked upon well when an article comes to FAC. Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:48, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I think both the PR and GAC processes are very useful for the purposes of getting an article ready for FAC.—RJH (talk) 21:08, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
In what environment does "large number" = majority? (talk) 17:35, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Well this is getting argumentative and all I've said is that I chose to disbelieve you. Out of curiosity then, exactly how many wikipedia editors are you speaking for?—RJH (talk) 21:08, 16 December 2009 (UTC)


I've been working on a motivation and purpose statement for a proposed new recent changes and new pages patrolling tool similar to those like Twinkle and Huggle which takes technologies introduced by already-existing tools and incorporates new ideas to promote collaboration between patrollers. I would greatly appreciate any feedback regarding the development of this tool. The tool's statement is located at User:Shirik/CollabRC. Thanks for any comments! --Shirik (talk) 07:34, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Expand the use of messages used when editing articles and talk pages

I made this suggestion on the talk page for the evolution article, and I was advised to come here:

Would it be possible to add a message to the edit page for this article and the talk page, much like the one for BLPs, saying something like "If you wish to add or remove content from this article, or start a new topic on the discussion page, please see the FAQs, which provide explanation as to why certain additions have been deemed inappropriate to include in this particular article. This especially applies to topics regarding subjects such as objections to evolution and others which are not directly relevant to the science of the subject, or which express a belief or point of view." While this is unlikely to deter people such as the user who posted "ATHIEST PROTECTIONISM???", I think it would reduce the numbers of these "zombie arguments", (from people such as this user) which seem to come up very often. It could also be used for other similarly misused articles. I think this would be more effective than the "important notice" at the top, as people would have to see it if they wanted to edit. It's just a suggestion though.

A possible problem arising from this may be that if the messages were used too often, then they would be ignored, but I think that this sort of idea would be useful on evolution and other controversial articles (intelligent design appears to have a similar situation) where editors frequently place information, often in good faith (increasing the likelihood they will respond), which has been deemed inappropriate by editor consensus, and results in time being used up on things which have been discussed before and can easily be fould out by the editor. Jhbuk (talk) 20:22, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

For my part, I wouldn't object to the proposal. The only point that I would make is that I think it's to our advantage to relax when it comes to the subject of fringe beliefs. As a group, it seems to have become our culture to aggressively remove er... less than neutral content as soon as possible. I just think that it's (often, not always) more constructive to work with such additions then it is to simply remove them. It's important not to censor the fact that fringe beliefs exist, and what they are, to me. More importantly, it's easy enough to talk about fringe beliefs without making them seem true. I'd rather let teachers deal with that sort of problem in person then to keep it from appearing at all in Wikipedia (assuming that we can maintain editorial control, of course).
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 21:07, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

LiquidThreads almost ready to deploy

(cross-posted to foundation-l, wikitech-l, Village pump (technical))

Hi all,

With the Foundation's support, I've spent the last few months churning away at Extension:LiquidThreads, a new discussion system that is proposed for use on Wikimedia projects.

Essentially, it's an attempt to marry the radical openness of the wiki paradigm with the usability and practicality of a forum-like system. As the name implies, LiquidThreads is designed to allow any user to easily refactor discussions while maintaining edit history, to edit other users' comments, and to collaborate on a summary of an ongoing discussion. LiquidThreads also brings many standard communication features lacking from wiki discussion pages, such as watching and protecting individual discussion threads, RSS feeds of comments in a discussion or on a discussion page. In the world of online communication, its approach is entirely unique.

LiquidThreads has been in alpha testing on Wikimedia Labs for several months, and, more recently, it's been used in a production context on the strategy wiki, where it has been quite well-received. It's been easy to run these smaller trials, as the extension allows the activation and deactivation of LiquidThreads discussions on individual pages with a simple parser function.

While there are still some issues remaining before wider trials, I believe I can resolve most of them quite quickly (within a few weeks when my vacation finishes at the end of next month), and I'd like to get the ball rolling in proposing small-scale trials on some of the larger wikis, so that a full discussion can be had, and so that adjustments can be made on the basis of ongoing feedback. I'd especially like to see LiquidThreads used on some of the higher-traffic discussion pages on English Wikipedia (such as the technical village pump), and progressive rollout on some of our mid to large sized wikis.

So, I'd like to encourage you to have a play with LiquidThreads, either on the strategy wiki or on the test site (which generally runs a newer version). Tell me what you like about it, and (far more importantly) what improvements you think it needs before we can expand our trials to wider parts of the Wikimedia Universe, and perhaps move towards a full rollout of this very exciting technology.

I should give the following caveats about LiquidThreads as it stands. These are all issues that I intend to address before any trial expansion occurs.

  • Presently the system is somewhat vulnerable to abuse. I intend to make changes to the way signatures work, and improve tracking and listing of thread actions by specific users.
  • While LiquidThreads allows for thread summaries and discussion headers, the system does not currently have support for collaboratively-edited posts which are unsigned or signed by a group of people. These are a key piece of any decision-making framework, and I intend to make adjustments to make this possible.
  • There is no support for embedding LiquidThreads discussion pages on other pages.
  • There are plenty of minor interface issues which I intend to clean up.

Feedback is best directed to the dedicated Feedback page, or, alternatively, to bugzilla (although before filing a bug, you should check the list of existing LiquidThreads bugs).

Werdna • talk 20:59, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Hallelujah! Best thing to happen to Wikiepdia is ages! Face-smile.svg
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 21:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)


I've been watching a lot of documentaries lately on the Discovery Channel and the History Channel and the like, and it struck me: why don't we (Wikipedians) make some short documentaries? For the most part, documentaries have four components: 1) a narrator reading a script; 2) film of images relevant to the topic (lions hunting, for example, or a reed canoe being paddled down a river); 3) interviews with experts (usually college professors); and 4) animations designed to show things like the curve of a trend, or the biological structure of a creature. All of these elements could be compiled by Wikipedians with access to specific resources or with particular editing talents. For example, for the Lion article, we could 1) find some public domain stock footage of a lion using its regular means of attacking a prey animal (there is an amazing supply of such footage available from a variety of sources); 2) get someone with a camcorder to record a few sound bites from a local zoologist or biologist who knows enough about lions to speak authoritatively on the subject; 3) create an animation that shows things like how the lion positions its jaws to go in for the kill; 4) write a short script to describe the details of how the lion is going about its kill and to introduce the expert and the animation; 5) have someone with a good voice record that script; and 6) piece it all together with appropriate subtitles, transitions, maybe even some background music into a ready-made snippet of "documentary footage" which could be embedded right into the article. bd2412 T 03:47, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps because it wouldn't be encyclopedic? :-) Possibly one of the sister projects would be a good home for those?—RJH (talk) 18:43, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd put it that a series of documentaries would simply be an videographic encyclopedia. I don't see why it wouldn't be "encyclopedic" if the information presented is accurate and given an encyclopedic tone. bd2412 T 19:32, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. (FWIW)
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 11:47, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I've done a limited amount of professional video, but I would say this is not practical because of the unusually stringent skills required. Have a look at the professional video accompanying the Britannica, National Geographic, or PBS. These aren't a matter of an enthusiast getting together friends for a weekend, but of an experienced team with professional camera, lighting, video editing, and video compression tools. The nature of the media would make it difficult for subsequent editors to seamlessly change it, making it distinctly un-Wiki.
An alternative that avoids some of these problems -- within the capacity of quite a few people -- would be a narrative slideshow. Regards, Piano non troppo (talk) 00:09, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
A narrative slideshow could work - and it could incorporate some animation in the individual slides. The biggest problem facing collaborative video editing, on the other hand, is the lack of an online platform through which different contributors could add to and work on the arrangement of the whole video. Surely the people who brought us the wiki software could create such a platform. bd2412 T 16:19, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

We at least should have raw videos embedded in the articles. So the lion article should have a raw video of a lion. Sole Soul (talk) 04:05, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Searching through old edits

Wikipedia:Flagged revisions petition

^ --MZMcBride (talk) 15:42, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Different wording for the "rendering" screen when a book is being produced?

When a book is in the process of being generated, the following words appear:

Please wait while the document is being generated.

Progress: [percentage] Status: layouting (wiki page: [name of page being added to the book])

This page should automatically refresh every few seconds. If this does not work, please press refresh button of your browser.

Could the wording be changed to "please press your browser's refresh button"? The current wording sounds like Chinglish. Nyttend (talk) 21:54, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Layouting? -_- Road Wizard (talk) 22:33, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

::Confused, what do you mean? Nyttend (talk) 22:47, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Now I see what you mean; I'd not even thought of that, but you have a good point. I guess it means "making the layout"; perhaps it could be changed to "laying out"? Nyttend (talk) 22:49, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
"...please press **[the]** refresh button of**[on]** your browser." Yes. It took me a few reads to spot that typo too. "...please press your browser's refresh button" is better. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 23:02, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Adds: could User:Happy-melon do this? --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 23:03, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Any admin can do this, there will be a MediaWiki: namespace system message somewhere that can be customised. Not sure which one; have a look at Special:Allmessages. Happymelon 15:19, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Found (MediaWiki:Coll-rendering text) and done for the refresh button, not sure about where one might find "layouting" to change though. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 15:23, 18 December 2009 (UTC) Of course, that's just locally. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 15:25, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Also filed as bugzilla:21889 so other installations can benefit as well. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:32, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Proposal drafting

I suggest that we adopt something along the lines of the template {{proposal draft}}, as shown above, for occasional use at the top of a section or subsection on this page and perhaps elsewhere. It is intended for vaguer or more complex proposals where substantial debate is needed on a wide variety of issues. In such cases discussion currently too often closes off debate too quickly because of some easily identified problems - without sufficient discussion of whether or how those problems might be overcome, or whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

On a related note, I'm also thinking we should try and find a way to do collaborative editing at least of summaries of proposals. Collaborative editing is fundamental in article space, but it barely exists in project space, where proposals are created by individuals, and then discussed and amended by individuals based on discussion, etc, which works fine for simple things, but not for complex ones. Rd232 talk 01:25, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

I support the template, while I must agree I have been one has in the past jumped on and dismissed a proposal in early stages (as Rd232 well-knows) I have also been on the other side protecting an editor's proposal hoping that it would at least get more comments and a look at and I have admonished editors who thought it was best to just say "no" with no reason behind it or comments of what could be done to make it at least a little appealing.
For the collaborative project space, that's a problem with editors, not with any fundamental flaw in our system. Dank at WP:Policies and guidelines had a broad idea and collaborated with many users including myself on how his proposal would work across the entire Wikipedia policy "universe". The fundamental reason why collaboration doesnt work at places like policy talk pages or the VPP is that there are too many of the conservative group who believe policies as written right now are how they should stay and change is bad ("this is long standing wording" is the most common reason I hear, which I dont even understand how that is possibly a reason for keeping something, Leninism existed for 50 years in Russia, why would they change that?!) It's hard to collaborate with people whose fundamental outlook is that things shouldnt be changed if they've been there "for a long time".Camelbinky (talk) 03:07, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Addendum- Oh! What if we always had a system similar to the US Congress, where a proposal at the VPP is automatically labelled "in committee" where it would still be open to comments from anyone/everyone but where discussion is "strongly" encouraged to be debating the wording of the proposal and to add ammendments to it; then after its been "voted out of committee" (basically everyone agrees that whoever is going to be against it is going to be against it no matter what and any further amendments are useless); it gets labelled "on the floor" where it is then discussed whether or not the measure is needed. Its really not new bureaucracy, its basically the same as the template, but instead of a template we just give a short label that is automatic to any proposal; some will move to "on the floor" almost immediately or skip that step altogether, others may take a longer time. But the point is that all proposals will be given a chance to be worked on first.Camelbinky (talk) 03:13, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Not sure about that, it sounds a little complicated (more than it actually would be, perhaps, but appearances matter). I'd be happy to just have a "draft proposal" template that proposers could use if they felt their proposal was complex enough to need it, and if people generally understood and respected the template. Rd232 talk 12:22, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

those 'pleas' are getting needlessly messianic.

seriously, this is the last time i'm gonna hear 'oh pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeash, donate or i'll day' before i'll throw up. this is not a hate message, this is a reality, it's getting old and you know it. tell that to that guy responsible for posting it to know it too. i.e. be more creative. --Leladax (talk) 01:49, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

If you're talking about the donation banner on top of a Wikipedia page, and you're typing from a computer that you control (i.e. not one shared at a library, school, job or Internet café), then just click the link that says "dismiss" and it's gone whenever you're logged in. The only time I see it is when I visit another part of Wikimedia (Wikicommons, a foreign-language Wikipedia, etc.) or when I'm not logged in. —— Shakescene (talk) 04:56, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Arbitration Committee: Logo change poll

Community review and input is requested here. Durova386 23:11, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

I have renamed the section from Arbitration discussion; very important to Arbitration Committee: Logo change poll because the previous title was a little pretentious and gave overdue weight to the matter. Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 06:58, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Intended as dry humor. ;) Durova386 17:37, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

suggest an article

It used to be that when Ityped in a possible-article name, I would get an option to suggest that article if I couldn't find it by tweaking my search. I can't find this suggestion any-more (I had to fumble around to find the suggestion page).Kdammers (talk) 06:59, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Forbidding programme guides

I think we should forbid programme guides like those at some american TV network articles. Those are already at the websites of the networks. This forbidding of programme guides is already at Nl wikipedia. Wikipedia is a encyclopedia not a programme guide KlokkoVanDenBerg (talk) 20:03, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

To an extent, I agree with you, but that information is already present on Wikipedia via the Categories of the shows. Linking them to the network article itself just makes that information easier to find on the site. --King Öomie 20:08, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
It is reasonable for a reader of an article on a programming network to want to know what is on the network currently. The grid format presents the information in a clear, concise format. Further, the grids do not present information on a by-episode basis, but only for the current season. There should only be two rounds of changes (fall premieres and mid-season replacements.) In that respect, it's not a program guide. What do you propose as an alternative? The only things I see are prose sections listing the programs or a long See also section with links to the current programs. —C.Fred (talk) 20:09, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I am wanting the Long See also system KlokkoVanDenBerg (talk) 20:12, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Why? How does it make life easier for the reader? —C.Fred (talk) 20:16, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes but i want a uniform Wikipedia ruleset and this is one of the things of that KlokkoVanDenBerg (talk) 20:18, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
This was recently discussed, at length, at Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not/Archive 30#Per station television schedules. I didn't follow it closely - can someone that did please summarize key points?
Afaik, centralizing the schedules at a single location is preferred, such as 2008–2009 United States network television schedule, whereas per-network lists such as Fox Broadcasting Company#Programming are deprecated. But that might be wrong. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:52, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Please give an example of a program guide. I'm not sure what you're talking about. - Denimadept (talk) 20:53, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Unless I'm mistaken, he's referring to pages like House (season 3) --King Öomie 21:01, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

[Note: Example taken from the article NBC (this diff/section) ]


NBC 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 10:30 p.m.
Sunday Dateline NBC The Marriage Ref The Celebrity Apprentice
Monday Local programming Chuck Day One The Jay Leno Show
Tuesday The Biggest Loser 100 Questions
Wednesday Parenthood Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Thursday Community Parks and Recreation The Office 30 Rock
Friday Law & Order Dateline NBC
Saturday Dateline NBC Law & Order (E) Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (E)

We had something like that at the Dutch Nederland 1 article but i deleted it because it was against the rule sof Wikipedia NL.. as i have said Wikipedia isnt a programme guide KlokkoVanDenBerg (talk) 21:02, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

There's absolutely zero reason for such tables to be in WP. It's a clear violation of WP:NOT. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 21:08, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree that such tables shouldn't be here. OTOH, the list of episodes such as what Kingoomieiii pointed to, I can see a use for. - Denimadept (talk) 21:25, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
There's no good reason for the tables, or for the scheduling information. In rare cases changes to a timeslot have historical significance (say, when Bullwinkle became the first primetime cartoon show) — but that can be discussed in individual cases. Also, it's undesirable to get into a controversy between editors on every network, every TV station about whether its past, current, and future schedules are significant. All of them are promotional, all inappropriate. Piano non troppo (talk) 21:59, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
As I pointed out above, these were discussed in-depth recently. There was a fairly clear consensus that historic lists are relevant/notable/useful. See List of United States network television schedules, and Category:Television_schedules and it's sup/sub cats.
Whether to have the information for current-schedules repeated within each network's article (as is being given as an example above), was the only thing I recall strong disagreement of, but again, I didn't follow the WT:NOT thread closely. I'll ask a couple of the participants there to chime in here.
Someone could also Search through the afds for precedent, if desired. -- Quiddity (talk) 22:09, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
The result on the most recent link from that search was "no concensus". A weakness in the argument of those in favor is claiming that a past schedule is "historically significant", without saying why. The fact that the timeslot for Show XYZ was taken by Show PDQ is probably no more significant than "executives thought they could make more money" ... and that would be somewhat significant ... if that reason was given a reliable citation. Another compound failing of the "historically significant" position is that the instant a schedule changes, it becomes "historical", on the one hand, that's a lovely way to add relatively promotional material to Wikipedia, and on the other hand, it causes the schedules to be at least always slightly out-of-date. I.e., it's misleading. Unadorned "historical schedules" are in some ways more of a problem than current schedules. Regards, Piano non troppo (talk) 22:32, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

The result of the debate was no consensus. Historical network schedules, such as 1951–52 United States network television schedule, can easily be sourced (and are) to any number of reliable print references, but the WP:FANCRUFT crowd is so adamant about deleting television content that they would actually delete articles with tons of inline citations from print publications. Firsfron of Ronchester 00:56, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

A list of the programs presented by a network is no more promotional than a list of vehicles currently manufactured by a car company. It is something that a reader of the article will find useful. It makes sense to present it to the reader in an easy-to-use format—especially for US networks that have predictable weekly schedules. The alternative would be seven bullet points with each day's programs in a row. While that works for late night, it's cumbersome for prime time. The table works better; why do we want to hinder the readers? —C.Fred (talk) 03:48, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

My recollection of the previous discussion was clearly that per-station schedules like the one exampled above (particularly "current" schedules) are inappropriate; the consensus was split, but generally held in favor due to historical reasons of the type of national, larger-picture schedules that compare various networks as 1951–52 United States network television schedule examples were generally ok, as long as they did not take a very fine-grain approach to the schedule. --MASEM (t) 05:49, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

The one exampled above is not a per-station schedule, it is a network schedule. (talk) 17:15, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I've been asked to comment here, but I think I'll defer to Masem. By best attempt at summary was here. It wasn't terribly well received by Firsfron and it doesn't offer a hard and fast rule. So I'll agree generally w/ Masem here. Protonk (talk) 02:56, 6 December 2009 (UTC) It is true that, as readers of WP: What Wikipedia is not will know, Wikipedia is not a "how-to" manual, so no one should view it as a manual to tune in to television channels or a series of programme listings in the same sense that the Radio Times would be. However, it is surely quite central to the basic information about a programme to know when it is on, for example, if a series has been a regular part of the BBC Radio 4 schedule or the BBC Two schedule, it is quite central to know the time of day that a programme is normally broadcast or the day of the week when the programme is normally broadcast. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 23:18, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

What's the argument against their inclusion? There seems to be a tendency among some to say this isn't allowed and this isn't possible and generally forbidding things. All other things being equal that strikes me as being against the original spirit of Wikipedia. If there are people willing to put the time and effort into it, there is some justification for the information, and as long as they do not otherwise infringe on others or harm Wikipedia, then allow it. Lambanog (talk) 12:31, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Where to start? There's always a better source of information than Wiki: The stations themselves. After a few years, there would be dozens of historical schedules in a single article. It's information that could easily be vandalized, and would be difficult and tedious to correct. If the example table in the article is typical, it's amateurish and ugly (in part because there's no easy way to describe to editors some uniform color scheme), and doesn't contribute to understanding the topic. It's a mass of undifferentiated facts being quoted without meaning just because the figures happen to be available. I.e., unencyclopedic. Piano non troppo (talk) 13:24, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
  • The stations are often terrible sources, since they tend to try keeping this info out of the public eye for whatever reason (nevermind the fact that the stations are a primary source, with the attendant issues that comes with).
  • Vandalism is an oft used strawman argument about anything that people don't like. All of Wikipedia is susceptible to vandalism.
  • The example above is just an example. If you have an aesthetic concern with it, then you can go ahead and change it. I don't see an obvious need for a "uniform color scheme", regardless. And the meaning of the content is blatantly obvious by the context.
  • Define "unencyclopedic". Even easier: define "encyclopedic".
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 14:45, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
The point, "encyclopedic" here, is to understand what impact the broadcast schedule has on human knowledge, as without that, it is simply factoids. When you look at a specific station (or broadcast network to address the concern of the IP above), that schedule means little, because it just tells you when things aired. But when you put that schedule against all other significant rivals, now you have information that is more transformative and going to be better sources: the examples I present include the rivalry between The Cosby Show and The Simpsons, and the impact of NBC's Must See TV on ratings of the other networks to the point they didn't even try to compete with it. Furthermore, the side-by-side comparisons bring out the information in a less indiscriminate form, while individual station/network schedules tend to get too detailed (even to the point of week-by-week schedules, which is NOT important). --MASEM (t) 14:54, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I think I understand what you're getting at. I tend to stay away from television articles as much as possible (too much angst involved) so there's probably something that I'm missing here. However, the schedules that stations/networks have and are using is at least information, so I don't see what we're gaining by "forbidding" their inclusion. The transformation of information into knowledge is a writing/editorial function, so I don't see how tying people's hands by expressly forbidding the use of certain information is helpful at all. Anything beyond that is a bit beyond the scope of what we should discuss here, isn't it? Specific content issues should be discussed in the context of the content itself (ie.: the article talk page, or a meta/related Wikiproject talk page).
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 20:52, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
There is always a source of better information for anything than Wikipedia, because we rely on outside sources as a basic principle. But the point of having an encyclopedia is to conveniently assemble information for users. In fact, if we didn't do that we'd be a mere Web Directory, and that's pretty basic NOT. In reality, for material such as this, we are often the best readily available source of summary information. DGG ( talk ) 01:00, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Enable single-click watching of all pages within a category

It's possible to watch a category page, but all this permits is knowing if it is renamed, deleted, commented on, vandalized, etc. There is not, AFAIK, a way of watching all the pages within a category short of doing so one by one. I think it would be handy to be able to click a single thing to watch all pages within that category and a smart feature that automatically adds any pages added to that category to this watchlist. In one's watchlist, they could be organized under that category, or have still have the alphabetical list, but the category next to the article by way of annotation. Watching all pages in a category could be turned off, removing all that were not individually added, or individual pages could be manually removed from the watchlist. Шизомби (talk) 07:18, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

You could use Special:RecentChangesLinked. For example, Special:RecentChangesLinked/Category:Living people. You could even have an RSS feed for that. ;-) Killiondude (talk) 07:23, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, that's neat and I will have to experiment with it! Offhand, it appears to have more limited functions than what I'm suggesting and is less easy to find and set up. I think it would be more intuitive to be able to do it from the category pages (or even possibly for the watch star icon to appear next to categories in articles, so they could be added from there as well. Likewise, perhaps easier and more intuitive to have the watched categories appear under My watchlist built into our WP account rather than our browser. If we are accessing WP from some computer other than our own, we wouldn't have ready access to those RSS feeds. Also, it looks like I will have to submit a browser bug report, because I got this message: "can’t open the page “feed://”. The error is: “The operation couldn’t be completed. (Mach error -308 - (ipc/mig) server died)” (NSMachErrorDomain:-308)" Шизомби (talk) 07:49, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
People have wanted to watchlist entire categories for a long time now, and the only thing I've ever seen that has come close to it is the SpecialChangesLinked option. Some people have those linked on their userpage or somewhere on-wiki for quick access no matter which computer they are using. The RSS feed option is found in the toolbox on the left side of your screen when you're viewing the RecentChangesLinked page. Depending on how your browser is set up to handle RSS feeds, it may not have liked that link. It worked fine for me. Killiondude (talk) 07:59, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
"People have wanted to watchlist entire categories for a long time now," a good proposal then! Yet not listed as a perennial one. Linking from on-wiki would be an option, I suppose, yet without affording the same degree of privacy the watchlist does. I'll work on the bug problem. Шизомби (talk) 08:05, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I would absolutely LOVE this option....on another Wiki I'm on that uses MediaWiki (there, you can't even use the RSS feeds like you can here except on select pages, alas). ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 15:06, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
As a work around you could null edit every page in a category, thus adding it to your watchlist, with the right settings. Rich Farmbrough, 01:03, 22 December 2009 (UTC).
Not quite sure what you mean by "null edit," and if this would require opening pages for each article? Шизомби (talk) 23:55, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

add categories from articles to AfDs

I think all categories that are in an article submitted to AfD should be added to the AfD itself. At the moment AfDs have no categories in them at all. I had suggested adding the categories here Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion#put categories in AfD discussions.3F, where I wrote in part "The search should be able to search through categories in AfD as well then. There appears to me to be mixed views regarding how past AfDs have gone, perhaps partly because policies, guidelines etc. at the time they were done may have been different than at present, or because the consensus was small and unrepresentative, etc. and WP:OTHERSTUFF exists or doesn't exist and so on. However, there's likely (or hopefully) some discussion content that merits consideration. [...] an Afd on an article with for example [Category:Online encyclopedias] as a category should have [Category:Online encyclopedias] in the AfD in some form. That might mean sharing that same category, although in that case it would probably be desirable to have the AfDs in that category display on a different page than the articles do, if that would somehow be possible. Or the category could be slightly altered like [Category:Online encyclopedias (AfD discussions)] or there could be an additional namespace like [AfD category:Online encyclopedias]." Another option might be to have the article category [Category:Online encyclopedias] and a separate [Category: AfD discussions], which could also be subcategorized into [Category: Open AfD discussions] and [Category: Closed AfD discussions]. Then any pages with this AfD discussion category could be displayed separately from those pages in the article space category. I realize there is a secondary categorization system of broad categories utilized for open AfD sorting handled by Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting; I think those categories should be added to the AfDs as well. Шизомби (talk) 07:31, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

What would be the advantage over the deletion sorting lists exactly? --Cybercobra (talk) 08:07, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Deletion sorting AFAIK is to assist people interested in finding open AfDs under general categories they have more interest in than others. People might be interested in finding open discussions on more specific categories, and also for reviewing archives of closed AfDs for articles within specific article categories, like for investigating Common outcomes or developing a new specific notability guideline or further developing an existing one, etc. At the moment, WP:Searching archived AfDs can only be done by title or keyword. Categorizing would enable such simple searches as incategory:Online encyclopedias prefix:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion, which at the moment can't be done. One can often come up with a keyword which is hopefully likely to appear in an AfD for a member of a category, but there's no guarantee. If you're interested in AfDs on academics, and a given AfD nom said just something like "NN, no sources" and subsequent recommendations were "Delete per nom" and so on, that this was an AfD on an academic or even simply on a person might not have been mentioned. I don't know how one would find it, other than paging through all AfD titles looking for peoples' names and then doing searches on and offline to find which of those people were academics, and then if it was an AfD on a person who merely shared the name of an academic, then you wouldn't know without doing a deletion review, but the amount of time it would have taken you to get there would have been ridiculous. Шизомби (talk) 08:47, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I can see why keeping a permanent record of the types of deletion discussion would be useful, but using article categories is problematic as then the categories would fill up with AfD discussions, whereas categories are for navigating articles. Fences&Windows 16:41, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, and I certainly see your point. As I said though, there are a number of ways they could be prevented from automatically appearing in the Category: namespace either by rules the Wiki software would follow, or by amending the name of the category while otherwise keeping the name intact. Some users might like to be able to view them from the categories pages, which could be an option that could be set by default to off, but able to be turned on and off optionally. That could be handy, but not necessary as long as the ability to search the category from the AfD search box, from the regular search box with boolean searches, or with user-created search links was possible. Or such search links could be also be placed on the Category or Discussion page of categories, but again, not necessary. Шизомби (talk) 17:41, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
There could be an Articles for Deletion sub-category for each category, so they would be accessible without cluttering up the category. We could add copying the article categories to the AfD to Twinkle, placing them into the AfD sub-category. Fences&Windows 15:57, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe. An article in [Category:Online encyclopedias] that was deleted would end up keeping that category but it would end up being [Category:Online encyclopedias]>[Category:AfD discussions]>[Category:Online encyclopedias]? I wonder if the duplication of the same name at different levels would be a problem. I suspect some would not like AfD discussions to appear even under a single link on a category page with articles in the mainspace, although I like the transparency of that. Шизомби (talk) 00:00, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Get rid of PROD

I've been thinking about it for a while now. The process involved in PROD, while ideally designed to reduce the workload at afd, leaves too many articles open for deletion that simply don't have anyone watching them. Articles that have inherent notability (such as many facets of geographical locations. Towns and such in countries that do not have any involved English editors) can often be deleted without notice to anyone. These articles are not "less important" because they do not have any sources, or because they haven't changed in several years, or because they contain a bare minimum of information. These articles have broken the ground where other editors will one day expand upon and fill in information.

In short, PROD only determines that nobody is watching an article, not that its deletion is uncontested. All non-speedy deletions merit some discussion. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 19:20, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't know of an admin that would delete an article through PROD that they believe has poor reasoning to be deleted... I don't totally disagree with you, but there are people who watch WP:PRODSUM too.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 19:24, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
This sounds more like an argument of deletionism versus inclusionism. As noted above, WP:PROD doesn't automatically delete pages after seven days. It still comes down to a judgment call by the acting admin. --King Öomie 20:44, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Interesting page, thanks. I might have seen it before, but can't remember. I've just declined a PROD I saw there. –Whitehorse1 12:40, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Admins should not be deleting article on-sight merely because they are an expired PROD. Spurious nominations can (and should be) declined. Shereth 20:46, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Well you can look in the deletion log, and ask an admin to have a second look at deletions that look as if there ws a prod on a notable topic. Do you have some examples you would like restored? Graeme Bartlett (talk) 20:48, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
You are assuming an admin opens the article and looks at it. There are several different tools designed to allow one to delete entire categories (like old PROD categories) without the bother of having to manually open each page. Dragons flight (talk) 20:55, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
That would be bad, and I would be disappointed if that occurred (without review). People have been shot down at RfA's for missing a single CSD borderline case. If we have admins deleting entire categories of content without review, that would be a very bad example. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:48, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
I would expect that an administrator deleting all expired prods without bothering to look at them would be admonished, if not desysopped. That's a severe misuse of tools. -- Atama 22:07, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Well perhaps you should talk to the frequent deleters of PRODs and ask them about their process. (The history of PRODSUM makes it easier to identify who is is really doing the deletions.) For example, NuclearWarfare (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) is a frequent closer of PRODs and often deletes 20 such pages in a single minute. I would assume he uses a tool to accomplish deletions at that speed. Now, he could have reviewed every one of those beforehand, in which case there is no issue. Historically though there are certainly examples of people using tools to clear deletion backlogs with no review. For example, I remember someone deleting some 700 disputed fair use images without looking at their content or considering the validity of the dispute. Such people can get yelled at, but they are rarely desysoped. Dragons flight (talk) 22:45, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that when I was an admin, I often handled several days of PROD at a time. I'd open up dozens or hundreds of tabs, go through them all (removing more than a few nominations, although in general PROD seemed pretty accurate & I consider myself an inclusionist) either editing them or opening up the deletion field, and then I'd make a second pass. So even though the log would show many deletions a minute (and even per second if I was typing particularly fast), I was still reviewing them all exactly as they should've been. Doing it this batch way saved me vast amounts of time because I didn't have to wait for several seconds of loading & rendering time for each page. From the outside, I don't think there's any easy way to see whether NuclearWarfare is employing a batch method or not. (Although I suppose you could look to see whether there are miscellaneous edits or PROD removals in the 20 or 30 minutes preceding a mass-deletion.) --Gwern (contribs) 00:52 10 November 2009 (GMT)
  • oppose if an article has no one watching it, I don't see it as much of a step towards creating a genuine article on the topic. Stubs are good up to a point, as sort of an outline for future development, provided it's actually a good outline. But I would think that the unwatched status of unwatched stubs might be correlated with them not being particularly good outline items. In cases where that's not so, the article can always be recreated. There's a legitimate concern that the editors who do care might have large watchlists and not notice the PROD, but that could be dealt with by formalizing the courtesy notices into a requirement. --Trovatore (talk) 20:54, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Prod is a valuable process. There is a group of regular prod patrollers who could always do with extra help. I regularly prod patrol, and in my experience the vast majority of articles deleted by prod have no chance of meeting our criteria. We delete maybe 60-80 articles per day via prod, and I rarely deprod more than two from a single day. Prod avoids the drama and sucking up of time of editors that AfD involves, and it is less severe than speedy deletion. Admins don't just blindly delete expired prods as they can contest the prod themselves if they see fit, and any prodded article can be restored at any time. Another option if you don't have the time to properly improve a prodded article is to move it to the Article Incubator. Fences&Windows 21:20, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I wonder what basis Floydian has for this argument, as it doesn't seem to match what WP:PROD states or how proposed deletions are actually processed. Articles that do not have any sources, haven't changed in several years, or contain a bare minimum of information would be as unlikely to be deleted via PROD as they would via AfD or CSD. As said above, every article deleted through PROD has been reviewed by an administrator who uses his or her own judgment regarding the deletion justification given when the deletion is proposed. Should we get rid of speedy deletions because someone might incorrectly put an A7 tag on a notable article subject that isn't being watched? -- Atama 22:05, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - PROD helps keep the workload at AFD manageable. Users' time is not an infinite resource, we should allocate it to discuss articles that actually might warrant a discussion. If anything we need to use PROD more. Any article deleted after a unanimous AFD could potentially have been PROD'ed. Mr.Z-man 23:16, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Alternative: WT:PROD#Userfy PRODs instead of delete?. Rd232 talk 00:57, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
The basis I have, which initially got me going on this idea (aside from my own opinion that as long as an article isn't utter BS of defamatory than it usually deserves a place here) was the over PRODing of articles by Less Heard van U (who is an admin I believe, and may have been deleting those articles after 7 days), who was doing so solely on the basis of A) a lack of sources and B) a certain size requirement. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 03:00, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
If you think the articles should have remained, tell the deleting admin, and they should restore it as a contested PROD.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 03:09, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
That's an issue to take up with the admin, or his/her behavior. There's no benefit to changing our policy based on one incident. BTW, you can see who deleted an article in the logs. Would be best to do that before making accusations. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:58, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

PROD was intended to replace AFD and CSD. Somehow that process stopped halfway, and now we have 3 systems, instead of one good one. I wonder how much time it would take to take things a few steps forward again, sometime soon? --Kim Bruning (talk) 01:30, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Kim, I think your memory is betraying you on this one. I don't believe anyone seriously proposed PROD as a replacement, but rather it was originally proposed as a way to take some of the load off a chronically overworked AFD. Dragons flight (talk) 01:56, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
I know at least some folks (like me ;-) )wanted it to be side-by-side and then eventually replace, because AFD at the time was really bad, and admin deletion sucks in general. AFD has improved since then, CSD hasn't. It might be nice to actually work on updating the systems with what we've learned since last time, and simplifying besides :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 02:10, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't know why we need multiple systems and huge bureaucratic structures for deletion proposals. There should be one template that you stick on the talk page if you think a page warrants deletion. Have a bot date these templates, then an admin comes round after the appropriate time and decides what to do (based on the arguments given, if any, plus his/her own knowledge about wider consensus). No fuss (well fuss about whether to delete the page, obviously, but no additional complications spawned by the process itself). Ah, but that would be too simple, we have to let the wikibureaucrats have somewhere to play... --Kotniski (talk) 16:14, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
We don't have to let 'em play at all! I think you could sort of treat it like a hygiene issue analogous to -say- malaria at the panama canal: Eliminate the breeding grounds for them and/or the vector (simplify and tidy areas where too much bureaucracy has encroached), and inoculate people against them (by getting people to understand IAR and consensus as early as possible)
Do you think we can still stamp out the disease? ;-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 22:21, 5 November 2009 (UTC) To be clear, I'm not sure AFD is as much of a problem area as it was years ago. I think the bureaucrats have retreated to other areas.
Getting rid of PROD would at least concentrate the problem in one area (AFD), rather then spreading it out. The real issue with the current deletion process is simple: it's not structured enough. Surveys and widespread general opinion have shown for quite a long time now that at least the perception, if not the reality of, our current deletion process is simply too random. I know from my own personal investigations that the admins who regularly participate in AFD definitely have a brain on their shoulders, and there is at least a DRV process now in order to take care of the more egregious deletion problems. Those two items make me fairly confident that the majority of deletions that do occur are at least defensible. The fact remains that the process itself is still far too random, however. We all know that there are articles that almost every would agree should be deleted, yet when those articles manage to be identified they can still be difficult to delete. More serious is the fact that many "borderline" articles continue to be deleted on a daily basis. What some deletion advocates seem to (continuously!) fail to grasp is just how permanent and therefore demoralizing and damaging deletion is to author/editors... I don't want to turn this into more of an Inlcusionist rant then it already is, so I'll end here by simply saying that I support deprecating the confusing and unnecessary PROD procedure.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 05:00, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, the majority of deletions are via CSD. In terms of deletions per day, there are about as many articles deleted via PROD as via AFD, and about 10 times as many articles deleted through CSD as AFD and PROD combined. Mr.Z-man 05:33, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah. Honestly, I only use PROD if it's only borderline CSD. Most of my prods get deleted under speedy criteria.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 05:43, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
The thing is that you guys are right. Nobody is disputing the point that probably 99.9999999+% of all deletions are perfectly acceptable... but, none of that matters. The 0.0000001% of deletions that are not acceptable are the ones that are noticed, and the fact is that they should be. No matter how much potential good that the proper deletions gain the project, the fact is that the few instances of bad deletions do enough damage to far outweigh the good. At least, in my opinion.
There are those who take similar views and create an ideology that "all deletions are bad", which is just as much of a problem as doing nothing with the current deletion process is. I personally feel that a temporary moratorium on deletions (and a short one at that, possibly even just a few hours) is at least called for. However, that action is predicated on the belief that we can and should actually make a change that will better the project as a whole. Article deletion for it's own sake shold be stopped. Preventing article deletions for the sake of preventing deletions should be stopped as well. The process as a whole needs to be tweaked, at least, and intentionally slowing it all down certainly couldn't hurt (although, admittedly I do recognize that doing so will anger a certain percentage of the editorial population). At the very least, if all but the most egregious deletions take 7 days (or possibly even a couple of days longer)... who or what is harmed by that?
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 06:56, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I would say that even if 5% of deletions by Prod were erroneous, the system is working fine. When people notice that their article is gone, they generally contract the deleting admin, and the article is restored. Abductive (reasoning) 07:01, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
No, no, no... anything as "in your face" as deleting articles simply cannot stand up to this line of thinking. If we were talking about normal open editing procedures then I would agree with the point that you're making here, but the simple fact is that we're not.
Article deletion needs to be treated with the same... "respect" (for lack of a better word) that blocking is treated with, and for the same reasons. I'm not arguing that the deletions are a mistake at all, just as the vast majority of blocks are perfectly acceptable. However, in the exact same manner that good blocks still create controversy and emotion, deletions will and should cause the very similar reactions.
Think about this: if there was some sort of a "speedy block" policy/procedure being proposed, what would your reaction be to that? Granted, the analogy is far from perfect here, but at least give it a chance.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 07:21, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I guess I was just wondering why you seem to have a problem with the lack of a formal process for PROD and not for CSD, even though PROD can be overturned by anyone for any reason at any time. Why are you assuming that all of the bad deletions come through PROD? It isn't a "speedy" procedure at all, so your analogy doesn't make any sense. PROD takes as long as an AFD. Mr.Z-man 17:05, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, if I had my druthers, I would prefer to severely restrict the use of CSD, along with simply switching the PROD procedure to use AFD instead (which is effectively what we're talking about here). I don't really believe that any change in the deletion process is possible, but this at least started a discussion about it. It's just... complicated. For newer editors, and especially for part time editors (which, in my view, are probably the most important editorial members of Wikipedia), the fact that there are three different processes with a fourth follow up (CSD, PROD, AFD, with DRV to follow up) is simply confusing and overwhelming. The WP:DELETION document is in a perpetually confusing state. Whether someone comes along and decides to start one of the deletion processes on an article is way to random, and CSD and PROD almost always occur too quickly for non-regular editors (and even many regulars) to really follow the process (never mind the fact that there are simply too many deletion discussions to really follow). PROD does take as long as AFD, but it's a mostly silent procedure so the perception is still there of fast change.
Anyway, as I said earlier I don't really think that there are many bad deletions, if there are any at all. This isn't actually a discussion about reality though, it's a discussion about perceptions. All of you who oppose this proposal are on solid factual grounds, but the fact is that doesn't change the perceptions of those who are supportive. We're talking past one another still, at this point.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 21:31, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The proposer has brought up some hypotheticals, but I don't see any evidence that clearly notable articles or stubs are being routinely deleted via the PROD process simply because nobody is watching them. Sure, it could happen, but it's very unlikely. The system works, there is oversight to it, there's a strong fail-safe worked in to curb abuse (anyone can ask for it back at any time, an article can only be marked with a PROD once and only if it meets certain criteria.), and while having three separate processes can be confusing to outsiders, it's not that hard to explain things. I'm not entirely convinced PROD is necessary anymore, to be honest, since I'm not sure the problem it was intended to solve exists anymore. But I see no reason it should be dismantled because of what might happen in theory (if we're doing that, let's drop CSD first. In theory, one could get the main page deleted that way). --UsaSatsui (talk) 14:59, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Most PRODs in my experience are merited (and I deleted hundreds if not thousands of PRODs), usually have been looked over by a second user (excluding the deleting admin), and they do us a genuine service in considerably lightening the load on AfD, letting people focus on truly borderline articles. The userfication proposal has merit, but that's a separate issue (though I encourage Floydian to take it up next!). --Gwern (contribs) 00:57 10 November 2009 (GMT)
  • Oppose I regularly partrol PRODs, and regularly deprod about 5-10% of what's PROD'ed. I routinely restore prods per request... just check my talk page archives. The problem may be with individual admins not doing their jobs well, but not with PROD itself. Jclemens (talk) 04:23, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's too easy to stop, if anyone really cares. Unschool 06:14, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. PROD is vital for its drama-reducing effect on the deletion process.—S Marshall Talk/Cont 21:49, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but that's not to say that the process doesn't need serious improvement. Unwatched and uncared-for pages are a problem (I've seen many decent articles go), and the deletions shouldn't be done blindly. That said, the process has its place. As an idea it's much better than what AfD has become. Let's delete AfD instead. I'm not kidding. --wwwwolf (barks/growls) 21:21, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
    • "You are User:Ed Poor, and I collect my 2 pounds", or however the game goes? I'm getting Strong Deja-vu here. ;-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 15:19, 19 November 2009 (UTC) perhaps it's a glitch in the matrix?
  • Oppose with alternative - require articles that have been around more than, say, 30 days to have 3 people agreeing to the deletion instead of just 2. This would allow today's "very easy" prods for new articles that weren't speedy-able but have a higher standard for lightly-watched articles. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:05, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment while I don't follow PRODs it does seem likely that, as I hae observed with CSDs, they do get deleted on the basis that thye are correctly and validly nominated. When I used to do CSD's it was delete, delete, delete.. wait lets examine this one: edit- not speedy, save - the page has been deleted by someone else - sigh, undelete. It may be better now of course. Rich Farmbrough, 21:19, 18 November 2009 (UTC).
  • Comment I don't know what the answer is, but the system as it is doesn't always work as it should. I see a lot of AfDs which were contested PRODs, so although it's designed to lighten the AfD workload it has the potential to add to it instead. I think some editors try to use it as a short-cut process for articles which end up at AfD anyway. Sometimes I wonder how many people actually read the bit that says PROD is supposed to be for uncontroversial deletion candidates. It serves its purpose correctly when it's used for articles like How to be a spy, but on the other hand we have candidates like Wendy-O Matik, which probably has the potential for a decent article even though the current version needs a complete rewrite, and The Novocaines, which looks a perfectly acceptable article aside from the lack of citations and perhaps questionable notability of the subject: since the article was only created in October 2009 it's unlikely to have been completely abandoned by its author, and I think this one would have been better dealt with by tagging it appropriately and perhaps later AfD if concerns were not addressed. I would certainly support Trovatore's suggestion of making the courtesy notices on talk pages a requirement, which would lessen the chances of editors overlooking PRODs on a busy watchlist, but I also think that 7 days is a pretty short time period: editors could return from holiday, internet connection problems or real-life demands on their time to find their articles deleted. This isn't a major disaster with PRODs since articles can be reinstated on request, but it's still a bit demoralising especially for newbies who may be unfamiliar with procedures. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 05:33, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Concur w/CMD. In large part, the problem is editors who do not do a search on their own per wp:before, prior to prodding. The same problem afflicts AfDs.--Epeefleche (talk) 21:01, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per MrZ. ╟─TreasuryTagstannator─╢ 21:04, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - AfD is already overworked. At times, AfD discussions need to be relisted multiple times because no one added any comments after the first relist. I think that PROD is a good solution - it's easily awatched through WP:PRODSUM, and apparently there are a lot of users who do so. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 11:50, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I regularly check the prod categories for anything that shouldn't be deleted. --NE2 11:58, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep Prod All our deletion processes have lots of errors, but at least Prod is far less bitey than Speedy. ϢereSpielChequers 19:30, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • FYI: there's a related discussion here: Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion#Consolidation
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 12:05, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment I both like prod and find it imperfect. I wonder if an article is prodded and the prod not removed if the article could be taken out of the articlespace, the page blocked from editing, but the talk page kept open? Also, is there any searchable record of deleted prods similar to the AfD archives? Шизомби (talk) 06:53, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment As long as it's specifically detailed out that deleting admins have the responsibility of making sure that the PROD is actually a valid one, that bulk deletions are against policy, and one can't use an arbitrary "length limit" as a deciding factor, I'm fine with PROD. As for publicity, why not include PROD articles in the AfD List as well? ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 03:59, 25 December 2009 (UTC)