Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 62

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Setting an upper limit to the number of templates in given article[edit]

This discussion revealed a problematic nature of Wikipedia quality standards. Not that I've something against these, on the contrary. But it became evident that sometimes there is a technical problem to stick to them. Israel article is a featured article, meaning that it meet at least most of the quality standards of Wikipedia. However, that's what get it stuck. It appear that it take a lot of time to many editors to download it. This way, the article is practically less available for reading. Reducing the number of reference templates in it could reduce its ranking. That's a paradox which I'm sure Wikipedia is not in favor of. I suggest to set maximum allowable number of citation per statement, maximum number of templates or at least, reference templates and further ruling to avoid these cases. The article on Israel is not the only article suffering from this problem, I understood that USA article and G.W Bush article also suffering the same problem. Also, I suggest this ruling will be made with special consideration of FA articles (which are also prone the most prone to this kind of problems), such that their status wouldn't be affected without additional reason.--Gilisa (talk) 16:35, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

(copying my comment from the other discussion) Putting an arbitrary cap on the number of citations an article can have isn't really the best approach. For one, it will just mean that fewer sources are used or that less detail is given in sources in order to combine them. But the loading speed is also dependent on other factors like infoboxes, nav templates, and number of links, images, and categories. A better idea would be to reduce the overall size of slow-loading articles - The Israel article is more than 9,000 words and the PDF version not including the references, bibliography, or external links is 20 pages. Or, alternately, create less-complex versions of citation templates. I've proposed this several times but no one ever seems interested. Simpler versions would have only the commonly used fields in the templates and not use the overly-complex {{Citation}} or {{Citation/core}}. {{cite journal}}, for instance offers (at least) 39 parameter options, but the majority of uses probably use less than half of those. Mr.Z-man 17:11, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I think Z-man's right. The citation templates are the most used. A good article can easily have over a hundred. We need to do a review of the main citation templates and see what percentage the various parameters are used and then determine a long term plan for those parameters. Or, a less popular suggestion might be to create a bot that finds a fully populated (and by fully populated, I do not mean one that uses every parameter but one that has all appropriate data for that source and hasn't been edited in awhile) and converts it to a regular, text citation. I use the citation templates because they are there and I have no desire to memorize how to format various citations.—NMajdantalk 17:28, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you both, and I really liked the Bot idea of NMajdan. I think that the Bot should also consider the time it take the server to upload the article. How can we promote this idea further?--Gilisa (talk) 17:31, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
It appears that the speed also depends on the parameters used. I currently have 400 different very simple instances of the citation template (name, title, year) in my technical sandbox as a test. The time spent on these by the server is absolutely negligible. Therefore I think that what we need is probably not simpler versions of the templates but an analysis of them to find out which parameters cause the problem, so that we can avoid them or they can be fixed.
I think much of this discussion is premature. Let's find out all the facts before doing anything drastic. Hans Adler 17:38, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
There were some problems with my test. I am no longer sure that it depends on the parameters so dramatically. Hans Adler 19:48, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Quite. Where's the evidence that the citation templates are the cause of some pages being slow to download? All the tests I've seen appear to indicate that they have very little impact indeed, fractions of a second at worst. Malleus Fatuorum 17:41, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Take a look at the original discussion at WP:VPT (link at the very beginning of the topic). An editor took the content of Israel and put it in their user space. The page took 45 seconds to load. Then, they broke all citation templates and the page then took less than 10 seconds to load.—NMajdantalk 18:19, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I did basically the same test as in the VPT thread. I made 2 copies of the Israel article in my userspace (minus categories and a couple templates that added categories). In one copy, I removed the {{reflist}} and the bibliography section (which consists entirely of citation templates). By removing the reflist, the references are still in the article text, but they never get run through the parser (I verified this by reading the code for the Cite extension). In 5 tests on each, with references took on average (43.631 ± 3.776) seconds, while the version without references took (7.701±0.712) seconds. Only once did the version with references take less than 40 seconds and the version without references never took more than 10 seconds. See also bug 22134. Mr.Z-man 18:50, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I have experimented a bit more. This was complicated by the strange fact that as soon as I copied Barack Obama into my user space, poof!, the problem was gone. Or rather, it wasn't as easily measurable as I expected. When I saved the page I had to wait as long as expected, but the HTML comment of the page served indicated an unrealistically short time for generating it. When I reloaded the page it was again very fast. What I have to do to get the realistic times:

  • pick out a version other than the latest one from the page history and load that, or
  • append "?action=purge" to the URL.

Once I knew how to test, I tested the following:

With 900 citations I get a timeout and can't measure the time. With 1000 citations the same happens, and when I look at the page later the last templates are not properly handled. They are displayed as a link to the article citation. Hans Adler 19:48, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

For context, looking at some of the longest articles, 2009_flu_pandemic_timeline has 611 unique citations (only some of them are templated); so, I think very few articles run into a template run time problem in practice (and many of them probably have other stylistic problems, e.g. WP:SIZE violations. --Cybercobra (talk) 01:09, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War has been under discussion. It uses no citation templates, one named reference used 1043 times and 581 single use references. I can open it only when logged out and it takes over a minute; logged in, it times out. Apparently being logged out causes a fresh version to be served, but I never did understand the details there. So— I don't think it is just the citation templates, but possibly the Cite.php parser. There are several open bugs that are related to the way that cite.php handles data; see bug 20707 and bug 16330 ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 00:09, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
In that case, it probably has less to do with the references and more to do with the sheer size of the article. The wikitext size of Israel is "only" 168 kB, that list article is more than twice that, 438 kB. It is currently the largest article on the site. It results in a 1.4 MB HTML page. It also has links to over 2000 pages that need to be checked for existence. Those 2 bugs are about nesting refs, which isn't really relevant to performance. Mr.Z-man 15:26, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Autolink bot[edit]


I am currently brainstorming an idea for an automated linking bot:

Such a bot should take care of the following things: - see that any related and nontrivial articles are linked - not link any unrelated articles

In order to estimate triviality ( a.k.a. is an article "common knowledge" ) the bot would make a word frequency analysis of the English wikipedia, possibly matching similar sounding words with a SOUNDEX or similar algorithm in order to eradicate differences between British and English spelling. In order to establish whether two articles are related, the bot would look at a) how many categories do the articles share b) how big are those shared categories ( The category "living persons" is huge and therefore doesn't really imply relatedness, whereas the category "Fundamental Particles" is quite small therefore implying a lot of relatedness c) how close together are the articles, a.k.a. how many clicks do you need to get from one article to another d) how similar are the word frequency distributions in both articles, what "rare" words do the articles share e) possibly more

The bot has an offline snapshot of the Wikipedia for word analysis/relationship analysis etc. For every page in the Article namespace the bot does the following:

1.) Fetch page 2.) Eliminate all words that are not the name of a Wikipedia article 3.) Eliminate all words that superficially appear to be unrelated and are quite frequent ( set a threshold ) or on a list of unrelated subjects ( that shouldn't be auto-linked) and that ARE NOT IN A LINK IN THE CURRENT PAGE 4.) For each of the remaining words see if the current page and the article on the word are related. Words that appear in a link ( e.g. if there is one link already in the article) are automatically related. 5.a ) If not process next page 5.b ) If they are, search the first appearance of the word in every section, with longer section in every paragraph maybe , and place a link to the word's page on that word.

This ensures that wikipedia isn't spammed with links, but interesting articles still get their links.

I would implement and possibly run such a bot... Masterfreek64 (talk) 19:33, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

An interesting idea (I think the concept is to automatically add wikilinks to articles). Isn't there a strong possibility of overlinking? Is there any demonstrated need to add links automatically? Hmmm. WP:OVERLINK does not say what I thought it did (I agree with several editors I have noticed who have reverted dubious link additions with an edit summary pointing to WP:OVERLINK, but OVERLINK is actually very weak atm). Johnuniq (talk) 08:39, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
First, there was User:Nickj/Link Suggester and User:Nickj/Can We Link It, so the principle of suggesting links is well established, and if you can improve on existing algorithms, great. Two problems with the idea of automatically adding links though. One, it's going to be very hard to get a balance between overlinking and underlinking; it would require vast amounts of fine-tuning and in the process probably piss lots of people off. Two, linking from an article is both a relatively low priority task, and a rather easy one which is good for newbies to get started with. Far better to put the effort into the third suggestion I made in the section above at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Alternatives_to_TFA_unprotection, namely creating a mainpage box showing visitors/new editors what they can do, with wikilinking appropriately a basic and easy starter task. That said, orphaned articles are a problem, and if you could come up with a really good algorithm for suggesting inbound links, that would help. The suggestion should be left on the talk page like User:WildBot does though, not implemented automatically. Rd232 talk 15:48, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I think one way to improve the suggestions is to exclude linking a single word, because of high FPs, unless the word is capitalized. Sole Soul (talk) 19:31, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we could have the bot err extremely on the side of underlinking( approach the optimum from below) and possibly add a human voters system. The way this would work is that the bot would keep a special page where even anonymous users would be presented with a paragraph and individual words would be highlighted and they could decide if links are supposed to be added. If there were a random rotation, each link would be presented to a user once, the change put in according to this users decision according to WP:BOLD and later on one or two other random users would verify the decision independently.
A possibly even better way, which might be perfected with changes to mediawiki proper, would be to have links "on probation". The software would count every link clicked ( through referers, javascript, id parameter?) and determine if a link is used enough, possibly one could also add a button to disagree with certain links. Through the use of JavaScript, the voting logic could be kept seperate(why am I thinking of a fast, hash-table based FastCGI script here?, with a hidden iframe to send AJAX to that script whenever a user clicks a link, with a connection reset every so often for privacy). A page could either be marked on probation(count links) or as regular, and a page would be placed on probation for 1 week or 1 million views after the bot edited it. Obviously the bots editing rate would have to be limited to one re-visit per month or per 6 months unless drastic changes occured. Of course wikilinking is a task for new editors, but it is one of the tasks most likely to scare them away.Masterfreek64 (talk) 22:48, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
"one of the tasks most likely to scare them away" - why? compared to what other editing tasks? Rd232 talk 23:25, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Is there some evidence that Wikipedia has a significant problem with underlinking? This really seems like an overcomplicated solution to a minor problem. Though if you want to work on an algorithm, nobody can really stop you (though running some script and recording something in a hashtable every time someone clicks a link is probably a non-starter, even a few minutes of collection would result in massive amounts of data). Mr.Z-man 03:00, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Mr. Z-man, if he does no harm and can prove that the task is useful, I say more power to him! I am confused about how recording link-clicks in a hashtable got into this discussion. Tim1357 talk 20:52, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
That was part of his most recent idea. I'm not saying its harmful, but its a massive and difficult automated solution to a problem that's easy and simple to fix by hand. As Rd232 noted, there are similar problems that are much more important and difficult to fix by hand, such as orphaned articles. Mr.Z-man 14:48, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Creating wikilinks is most certainly not a tedious task which should require automation to be feasibly executed. Furthermore, wikilink placement is an editorial decision which should be under the control of human users unless in absolutely exceptional circumstances. These two considerations are enough for the proposed bot to be taken as unnecessary and even potentially detrimental (in defence of the proposal, though, it should be pointed out that the technical challenge of implementing it effectively is quite interesting) --Duplode (talk) 04:42, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
The idea is good, but the bot shouldn't actually edit articles without human intervention. It could leave on the talk page a list of links which aren't there but should (or are there but shouldn't), though. A. di M. (talk) 13:08, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Announcing a Subtle Vandalism Taskforce[edit]

I've created a central area for discussion regarding subtle factual vandalism, a problem I've seen become worse and worse while our general vandalism fighting abilities get better and better. Right now the only purpose is to identify and discuss examples and patterns of subtle vandalism (think date change, statistics change, vital number and formula changes, etc.) and to identify the problem. The next step is to brainstorm ideas, and the ultimate goal is to develop tools to combat these problems.

I'd invite anyone with experience/interest in vandalism patrolling to add their specific expertise and experience to what is sure to be an important challenge as Wikipedia goes forward. Shadowjams (talk) 07:59, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I found some subtle vandalism in one article by tracking down a user's (few) previous contributions made before his getting flagged for vandalism on another page. I think the best way to catch subtle vandalism is to do some SERIOUS auditing of the previous contributions of any user flagged down for vandalism. You're not apt to randomly find things, but if somebody gets caught trying to mow down pedestrians on the sidewalk, chances are there were some other bad driving incidents in the past. Previous contributions by such users are highly suspect — or at least worthy of increased scrutiny. Carrite (talk) 01:10, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

New editing interface is great. But it is in MonoBook too. Move back to MonoBook.[edit]

The new editing interface was one of the big "user friendly" changes added to Wikipedia. I think its great, but a question no one has been able to answer is why the switch to Vector? The new editing interface has been added to all skins not only Vector, so why the need to change the skin? The only identifiable difference is the "look" which was much better with MonoBook. Not only that, but it apparently was composed of less bytes too. I propose we move the default skin back to MonoBook until there are identifiable, significative and noteworthy changes. RaaGgio (talk) 17:54, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

A Higher Quality Article Above Featured Articles[edit]

I propose that a higher quality article standard above featured articles be created. This should have much stricter standards and would be to featured articles what featured articles is to good articles. (I edited the proposal because of the responses)—Preceding unsigned comment added by Iankap99 (talkcontribs) 01:15, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I project that 0 articles would ever qualify for it. --Cybercobra (talk) 01:18, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Yep, none of our articles is ever "perfect" in the sense that nothing could ever be added or taken away without damaging it. Of course, that's really an argument in favor of this proposal, since it would be quite easy to administrate: every article that qualifies for this status has already been identified. Gavia immer (talk) 01:24, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
This is almost biblical... "perfect"? God is not a wikipedian :P Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 01:26, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
"But "Featured Article" doesn't have any units. It's an arbitrary scale mapping..." ~ Amory (utc) 01:37, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
It would be easier simply to raise the featured standards a little more, whenever it is felt that the current ones may not be enough. MBelgrano (talk) 01:48, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
What would these "much stricter standards" be, and who would be the judge? Malleus Fatuorum 03:33, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Maybe have good articles, great articles, and featured articles? Featured articles are already supposed to be "Wikipedia's best work." You can't exceed the best. Tisane (talk) 03:53, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Yea, something like that, you should propose that --Iankap99 04:33, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Call them Awesome Articles. Each would involve sound, video, and a network of subarticles. They would draw the reader in, captivate him, and eventually spit him back out, gasping for breath, an hour later. When finished, they would be reviewed by a team consisting of a genius middle schooler, a high school teacher, and a nobel prize-winner in the field. They would have glossy magazine-layout versions that are printed out, monograph-form, and distributed in the gift bags at NSF and UNESCO meetings. SJ+ 08:32, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, why not have some higher standard like that to aim for? And different versions for different audiences, especially for more technical subjects, is far from ludicrous. Rd232 talk 10:22, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd prefer the category Super Duper Articles. Seriously, I think that as Malleus Fatuorum says, FA are meant to be the best as it is - how do you get better? Raise the bar for FA, by all means, but I don't think a new "FA+" category of pages is needed. -- PhantomSteve/talk|contribs\ 10:26, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I will support this only if we call them Holy Shit, This Is Friggin' Awesome-class articles.
All kidding aside, I fail to see what the point of this is. If FA isn't good enough, we can up the requirements. Voila, "problem" solved. EVula // talk // // 15:38, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

The criteria have already risen enough in the last few years, but there are many articles which were featured before that and probably wouldn't be promoted if they were on FAC today. What about systematically nominating articles featured (or last reviewed) the longest time ago for FAR? (Is there a list of FA sorted by the date when they were promoted or last reviewed?) ― ___A._di_M. (formerly Army1987) 16:16, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Yea that's true, we should do that —Preceding unsigned comment added by Iankap99 (talkcontribs)
How about "Best article in the entire Wikipedia"? Or top 5, or top 10, or something? --Yair rand (talk) 17:05, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
The "stricter standards" I mention would be simply new or more strict requirements at the Manual of Style or content policies or guidelines, and they would be approved or rejected the regular way: a user suggest something, and if gets consensus it's added, if it doesn't, it's not. But in any case, it's not a systematic process (from here to a year in the future, we may develop much more requirements than in the last year, slow down, or even stop creating new ones), so a systematic review is not a good idea. It's better to review the status of featured articles when someone actually finds problems, than merely "just in case". Or perhaps make this periodics reviews at a wikiproject, and bring the concerns to the regular process when an article with problems is found. MBelgrano (talk) 18:31, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Something like this could easily be achieved by having a list top 20 articles by quality or something like that, and advertising it in a prominent place. It would be updated each time a new article, better than the last one on the list, passes FAC. Unfortunately I am afraid some editors would take it a bit too seriously, try everything to get their article on the list, and cause a lot of disruption. I am not sure that the benefits outweigh this cost. Hans Adler 17:20, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Personally, I think standards creep is more of a bad thing than a good thing. It means people spend more time improving articles that are already high quality just to meet some arbitrarily higher standard. If anything, I think our quality standards could use relaxing. Mr.Z-man 20:04, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't put it that way! The real issue is that so much more energy tends to go into articles of more narrow interest, whereas many "basic" articles don't get that kind of attention. That may be partly because it's harder to edit those articles, but mainly it's just what excites people. "Space Age Widgetmakers: The Cartoon (episode 587)" tends to get more interest than "Widgets"... ! Rd232 talk 21:31, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I could care less where the effort goes, I'd just prefer it to be spread around a little more. Most people will stop doing work once there's no more incentive. Once an article is "featured", there's much less incentive to continue improving it. But just think how many fewer unsourced articles we might have if people spent their time adding 2 or 3 sources to those articles instead of adding 175 footnotes to Bacteria or 176 references to Wii. Or how much time is spent checking a few articles against obscure and trivial parts of the MoS that could be spent improving the prose in articles in need of a rewrite. Its like we prefer quantity over quality for everything except (perhaps ironically) quality. We'd rather have a few "extremely high" quality articles than more "very good" quality ones. Mr.Z-man 23:39, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
How can we make articles better than FA status? I can't think of how I'd add to most of them.--Patton123 (talk) 14:31, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Great idea! Non-existent problem, meet unworkable solution. (Seriously, Iankap, we don't need this, though it's a nice idea :P.) AGK 14:29, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I can't really see what's wrong with the current system to be honest, so I'm going to join most others in opposing this. We should be focussing on improving the several million poor articles to an acceptable level rather than improving the 5000 best articles to an even better level. Alzarian16 (talk) 20:57, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

A new LOOK for the Environment[edit]

To whom it may concern,

Recently I heard that dark backgrounds for one's screen saves more energy than Light backgrounds, this apparently is because using a white screen requires more energy. This is why there has been a custom search created known as Blackle (, where the screen is completely black. Now, I know that Wikipedia is a very well known source of information and many people around the world use it. So I was wondering If we could save energy together for our planet's sake and change the main color of Wikipedia to black. It may not be big but every bit counts..and we have come to a point where a change must be done. I thought that to save the environment, I might ask you to please make this change. I know maybe this might make the layout less pleasant But I find it important we do so!

Thank You and please do consider my comment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

No, this has been debated many times and the community has categorically decided against this course of action. It is possible for individual users to select that layout in Special:Preferences, but it will not be made the default. MBisanz talk 15:12, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Using a black background only makes a significant difference on CRT monitors, on LCD displays, there's no difference [1]. Mr.Z-man 15:18, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
It's also usually hideously ugly. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 16:04, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
See our article on which links to references that give proper context to the claims. -- Quiddity (talk) 17:10, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Exact duplicate threads: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_52#Black_background_to_save_energy, Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_39#Public_Black_Background_version_of_Wikipedia. I think this might be WP:PEREN-worthy. --Cybercobra (talk) 21:14, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

That last comment deserves attention, given that exactly the same policy was proposed here in early autumn last year (i.e.

in early autumn 2009) - does any one remember it? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:18, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Add a method of removing pages from your watchlist from Special:Watchlist[edit]

I always find it annoying to have to go into the article to unwatch it. It would be nice to have a small link to remove an article from your watchlist appear on Special:Watchlist. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 15:51, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

What's wrong with the View and edit watchlist link below the Watchlist heading?—Emil J. 15:53, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
That it lists them alphabetically instead of by the last edit, and because it requires an extra click (quite clearly I'm a lazy bastard). - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 16:28, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
importScript('User:Alex Smotrov/wlunwatch.js');
^^^ Add to your special:Mypage/skin.js. –xenotalk 15:57, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Done, it's perfect! Thank you very much :) - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 16:28, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Maybe this could be a Gadget? It's pretty useful. Though it would be neater if it presented the "Unwatch" link as (diff | hist | x) rather than (diff | hist).. (x) Rd232 talk 16:43, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
It may be neater the way that you describe, but I suspect it's presented as such to prevent clumsy editors like me from unwatching pages when they go to click history. —Ost (talk) 17:41, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps, but if you unwatch this way the page is struck through (not immediately removed from the watchlist, until you reload) and there's a '+' to click to rewatch, and effectively undo. So misclicking is not a big deal, unless it happens a lot. And with diff and hist next to each, it can't happen that often, I think. Rd232 talk 21:11, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
That is a good feature that it doesn't make the change until reload, but personally I still would not want the "x" near the other links and I don't understand the logic of why having diff and hist next to each other reduces the likelihood of an accidental click; I would assume that this would increase the likelihood as users would go to that area for at two regular actions. If anything, I'd prefer the x near the front of the title so that they were all lined up and it would be easy to see, but I use them so infrequently, I mostly only care about not accidentally removing items and knowing that they are somewhere when I need them —Ost (talk) 20:00, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

WikiProject Russian Federal Subjects[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject Russian federal subjects

I would like to revive this and spend the summer writing about various things related to them. I also have ideas for standardization that goes beyond what is there now. How do I officially revive this project? It's not very well covered by WikiProject Russia. InMooseWeTrust (talk) 12:12, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Officially? Remove the warnings of inactivity, start jumping up and down and making a little noise. With any lucky, other editors will notice your efforts and agree to help. Wikipedia:INACTIVEWP has some good tips when it comes to getting the whole up and running again. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 12:43, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion#Facility for anonymous users[edit]

Please see the above proposal. IPs can tag articles for speedy deletion and prod but cannot nominate article at AfD because it requires the ability to create a nomination page (and anonymous page creation was turned off site-wide after the Siegenthaler incident). The proposal is to create a page where IPs could place suggested nominations and experienced users could complete AfD nominations drafted by them. Also proposed to help registered users who are having trouble completing nominations, which happens fairly often.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 12:27, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

I would support this proposal. Immunize (talk) 16:06, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Proposal to change the MOS subpage naming scheme[edit]

See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Rationalizing MoS page titles, including the poll. A. di M. (talk) 16:06, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Improve the WP tagline[edit]

The current Wikipedia tagline is "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Suggestion emerging from WP:VPD discussion: improve the WP tagline. Change MediaWiki:Tagline so that it becomes "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." The aim is primarily to make the nature of Wikipedia a little clearer to visitors entering the site via specific articles (which is probably the usual way). NB there is a rather old but substantial discussion at MediaWiki_talk:Tagline#.22that_anyone_can_edit.22. Rd232 talk 00:39, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't think putting links in that text is the best idea. --Cybercobra (talk) 00:43, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Visually it's unappealing, but functionally it's unavoidable if you want to give visitors an easy way to clarify the meanings. I think it's worth it. We could potentially have CSS attached to enable people to kill the formatting via their own CSS page if they want. Rd232 talk 01:47, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm with Cybercobra. It looks terrible. Come back with a version that doesn't look terrible, and that still looks like a tagline, and maybe it would make sense. Gavia immer (talk) 01:57, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Well that's just dropping the wikilinks, isn't it? Rd232 talk 04:05, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I honestly didn't realize that "that anyone can edit" was missing from this. I do support adding that phrasing, just not the links. Gavia immer (talk) 15:34, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Love the addition of "that anyone can edit," but agree that there shouldn't be links. I completely understand the reasoning; however, it just wouldn't look like a tagline. VerballyInsane 03:53, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I think we might get used to it... but anyway, adding "anyone can edit" is good even if we choose not to have links. Rd232 talk 04:05, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Some of you don't like the link but exactly the same link is used within the tag line on the index page. I don't see any problem with that. Xnquist (talk) 08:43, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
But that display is a very, very different form factor from the tagline that appears on every single page except Main Page. I agree with adding the "that anyone can edit" bit, but don't want to see them wikilinked. EVula // talk // // 15:28, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong support With or without a link, it is absolutely necessary to display the "that anyone can edit" phrase prominently on all article pages. For reasons, see this recent Village pump discussion [[2]]. Xnquist 14:19, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support it with or without the link. I don't really have a preference either way on the link, but I do think the added words would be beneficial. Equazcion (talk) 14:30, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support without the links. --Cybercobra (talk) 18:15, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment I can live with limiting the improvement to merely adding "that anyone can edit" to the tagline; this clarification is worth having. But I think the reaction against having the wikilinks is slightly ironic, given the nature of Wikipedia and how fundamental wikilinking is. I think people would get used to a wikilinked version fairly quickly. And it would give helpful introductory links to new visitors in a reasonably prominent place on every page; currently the "helpful links" version is only on the front page. Rd232 talk 17:22, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per Rd232. Specifically, (1) The wikilinking is not unattractive. (2) Even if it is, you'll get used to it. (3) Even if you don't, it's too central to our Encyclopedia to omit. (4) I would, however, like to see a javascript mock-up that we could use for a few days to confirm all this. -Agradman (until the sky stops falling, A Concerned Chicken (talk)) 22:03, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Note: per consensus I have added "that anyone can edit" to the tagline. People are not so sure about the links so I have left these off for now. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:22, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
What's with the full stop?—Emil J. 11:41, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree, the period makes it look odd --Cybercobra (talk) 11:50, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I think this should be changed also in the British English version, for consistency's sake. Svick (talk) 16:31, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

done. Rd232 talk 18:09, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I think this is a major change that should not have gone ahead so quickly - especially after a mere four support votes and four days of discussion. This issue was originally brought up by someone who wanted a tag to indicate that information on Wikipedia isn't reliable (that's the message this tag sends to me, too), and the first several responders to his query indicated that they thought such a tag is a bad idea. This issue should be given a much wider forum to be discussed in - maybe send one of those "check out this discussion" tags at the top of pages, so every single Wikipedia editor can see and give their opinion on this. In the meantime, I think this change should be reverted back until that kind of broad consensus is reached. Something that's been around for six years shouldn't be changed in a day. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 21:39, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree with All Hallow's Wraith; I was really hoping (per my support vote above) that we'd move slow -- starting by creating a javascript mockup. (does javascript do that? i dunno I'm a history major.) Agradman (until the sky stops falling, A Concerned Chicken (talk)) 21:47, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I thought from your comment you wanted a mockup for the wikilinked version. Rd232 talk 07:29, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: I have received a request to revert this change from All Hallow's Wraith on my talk page. I am declining to do so for now, due to the level of support shown for this change here. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:29, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
    • The "level of support"? There are just 4 support votes, one of whom has now stated that he agrees with what I said. A 2005 straw poll rejected this idea with 22 "don't change it"s outnumbering 18 who voted for it (and a few others who voted for different versions). That's the kind of scale something like this should be processed on. I don't think 4 votes should be able to change 3 million articles and 6 years of status quo, not to mention overrule a previous, and considerably broader, rejection of this very idea (and that should be true in general, not just in this particular case). All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 09:59, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
      • The straw poll is not exactly recent. And the amended version matches the well-established existing slogan on the Main Page (albeit sans wikilinks), so this choice of phrasing is certainly well established. Personally I wouldn't have changed it so quickly, but it is a highly visible change, so if there's very little blowback (bearing in mind people liking it aren't likely to bother saying anything), we might conclude it's OK. Rd232 talk 10:24, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
        • The straw poll is not recent, but it took place over several months and involved dozens and dozens of editors - while this has been a small discussion with only a handful of editors. Whether the tag matches the slogan on the main page isn't really relevant to my point - I'm not discussing whether I personally believe it should be changed or not from an idealogical point of view (for the record, I think it should not be changed), I'm discussing whether it should have been changed from the point of view of the process of how changes are made on Wikipedia - in this case, too quickly and without broad support, especially compared to six years of status quo and a significantly larger discussion that rejected this exact change. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 10:37, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
          • The previous state of things could be characterized using the words bad, misleading, and dishonest. I'm glad the issue has been finally resolved. The same tag line is on the main page and there is a very good reason for it to be on all article pages too. Thanks for making this change towards a more honest and much less misleading Wikipedia. Seriously. I don't want to sound offensive, but if there is anyone who would like to censor the truth (that it's encyclopedia that anyone can edit), then he or she has some kind of hidden agenda and should perhaps refrain from participating in the Wikipedia project. Xnquist 18:14, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
  • This doesn't strike me as a change that's so difficult to imagine or with wide implications as to require mockups and extended discussion. With how much proposals tend to fall by the wayside if we wait too long to act on them, I'm sort of glad someone implemented this. It's not like it entails a radical new concept; it agrees with what's already said elsewhere, only it's more visible. Equazcion (talk) 18:19, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I fully agree. Xnquist 18:23, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Per request, I've reverted this change. Without commenting on the change itself, I fully agree that a wider audience is required before a change to the site wide tag line is made. Please make use of WP:CENT and the WP:RFC system. --auburnpilot talk 02:58, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Also without commenting on the change itself (I still have not made my mind after reading the threads), the reversal until more extensive discussions are held makes perfects sense. By the way, I find the ad hominem a couple posts above ("if there is anyone who would like to censor the truth (that it's encyclopedia that anyone can edit), then he or she has some kind of hidden agenda and should perhaps refrain from participating in the Wikipedia project.") to be slightly bizarre. --Duplode (talk) 05:22, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Reboot: RFC[edit]

The current Wikipedia tagline is "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Suggestion emerging from WP:VPD discussion: improve the WP tagline. Change MediaWiki:Tagline so that it becomes "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit". The aim is primarily to make the nature of Wikipedia a little clearer to visitors entering the site via specific articles (which is probably the usual way). Currently this full slogan, with links, is only used on the Main Page. Putting wikilinks in the tagline may take some getting used to visually, but it's not really a big deal and it's unavoidable if you want to give visitors an easy way to clarify the meanings. I think it's worth it. We could potentially have CSS attached to enable people to kill the formatting via their own CSS page if they want. NB there is a rather old but substantial discussion at MediaWiki_talk:Tagline#.22that_anyone_can_edit.22. Rd232 talk 06:42, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I assume you don't mean to include the period? Using logical quoting would remove the ambiguity in your statement. --Cybercobra (talk) 08:16, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
OK, amended. No, the period isn't intended to be part of the tagline. Rd232 talk 09:26, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Do we really need a tagline there at all? We already have the logo in the top left, with the slogan beneath it. If we want to reduce clutter, this seems a good place to start.--Kotniski (talk) 09:31, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Maybe. It was suggested in the VPD discussion to amend the slogan beneath the logo. Maybe removing the tagline would be a trade-off for that. Also, I know "anyone can edit" is well established, but doesn't "everyone can edit" sound slightly more positive? Rd232 talk 09:40, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Kotniski. I'm not much of a fan of the tagline in general. It's not as cumbersome as the longer version, but it isn't great, either. I'd probably be in support of removing the whole thing, if that was brought up. As for expanding the tagline, Jimmy Wales did once say "The tagline is short and sweet and should stay that way", and that sounds about right. All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 10:08, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
It's short, but it's not sweet. And it's not a disclaimer, it's an invitation. Rd232 talk 14:23, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support "that anyone can edit". A lot of people I know, including Wikipedia readers, still don't know this. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:49, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
While there is a worthy motivation for the change (making visitors aware that they can edit - and not adding a disclaimer), I still find the longer version very unappealing. In any case, one thing that must not be done is modifying the tagline on the logo, which would have even uglier results and likely wouldn't be spotted by casual visitors anyway. Finally, an admittedly silly suggestion: if we think adding links to the tagline is ugly, would making the whole thing part of the link ("From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia" being a wikilink and "that anyone can edit" another) improve things? At least the colour would be uniform then. --Duplode (talk) 13:34, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Possibly. Personally I think people are just really used to it, and vastly overestimate how objectively pretty the status quo is. I mean, just take a minute on a Random Article to really stare at that title/tagline. What's so great about it? Also, Wikilinks are so core to WP that it seems odd to object to a couple more. It's just what people are used to I think. Rd232 talk 14:21, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support changing the tagline, oppose changing the logo. Neutral on links in the tagline. Gigs (talk) 14:49, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

It couldn't be more obvious what that hidden agenda is. The more you pretend you don't know it, the more you discredit yourself. (talk) 17:33, 13 May 2010 (UTC) Anyway, is this a joke? All it takes to revert a consensual change is one late request from a random unimportant member on a Talk page? Tell me this is a joke! (talk) 17:33, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I would like to remind to that there is no deadline, and ask her/him to define what is an "unimportant member". --Duplode (talk) 18:14, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I object to adding links (mostly per wp:overlink), but am neutral on the tagline change. -- Quiddity (talk) 17:48, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • oppose. Free is better. "that anyone can edit" on its own implies low quality unchecked neither of which is true. In practice we do not want some people editing things (vandals for example). --BozMo talk 18:16, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
    • What do you mean "on its own"? The proposal is for "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit". And of course this is not an original slogan: it's been on the top of the Main Page for a long time. PS is "everyone can edit" better? Rd232 talk 18:21, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
      • He probably refers to the "alternative" disclaimer interpretation of the phrase. --Duplode (talk) 18:26, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Suggestion What about different wordings? How do you feel about, for instance, "From Wikipedia, the open encyclopaedia" ? A bit vague, maybe, but suggests the spirit of the project better ("free" on its own can be easily taken simply as "gratis") while not looking like a disclaimer. --Duplode (talk) 18:26, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Wikipedia used to be the encyclopedia anyone can edit. That's less and less true every day. TotientDragooned (talk) 19:13, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Hah Hah! Good comment. So true. What if we siphon off all the BLPs to a separate project? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:23, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose: To quote myself from the earlier discussion: "The tagline is fine staying the way it always has been without being dumbed down by this phoney addition. The word "free" is indeed ambiguous, and in that context that's the way it should be. The tag line does have a marketting quality, and that's just fine too. When you have an effective tagline don't spoil it with an anticlimactic qualifier. Others may call themselves "the free encyclopedia", but that's their concern, not ours. There is no need to tell people repeatedly on every page that they can edit. Let it come to them as a eureka moment; the lesson will be better learned that way. The proposed addition is lame and based on the premise that the user is an idiot." My view hasn't changed much since 2005. Wikipedia has built a reputation as "The Free Encyclopedia", and nothing useful is accomplished by tinkering with that. Tag lines are most effective when the are short and to the pithy point; excess verbosity detracts from that. Eclecticology (talk) 20:15, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • After careful consideration, oppose. Eclecticology has summed up the situation quite well. If anything, I would support a change to more vague wording (as in my suggestion above), and not to a more specific one. --Duplode (talk) 20:42, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, the situation hasn't changed since 2005, when this was last discussed. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 20:49, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • (weak) oppose. As the tagline currently appears on articles, adding "that anyone can edit" will make it unfit for purpose. The main page already says that it's a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit; there's no need to reiterate that on every article at a tagline location where all we really want to say is "from Wikipedia". "The free encyclopedia" serves to explain the character of Wikipedia, which may be useful; however adding "that anyone can edit" seems to go a bit too far into explaining the working mechanisms. --Deryck C. 22:23, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose On further thought, it just makes the tagline too long/verbose. --Cybercobra (talk) 01:37, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as Titoxd said. — Ilyanep (Talk) 20:51, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose—I think that it would be needlessly verbose to add the "that anyone can edit" part. The tagline flows very nicely as is, and I don't see value in an addition. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits|}} 23:15, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose ISP editors can not edit to create, and any page that is protected or semi-protected is by definition not a page "that anyone can edit." In my book, adding the line that anyone can edit with such restrictions in place would be false advertising in a broad sense, and how does that make us look in the eyes of the public? Lets just keep it as it is. TomStar81 (Talk) 00:51, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are various aspects of Wikipedia that we might wish to promote, that it is editable is one of them, but is not - for most users - the main reason they are here. I love the collaborative nature of Wikipedia, and that is why I am an editor. But I came here initially mainly to look stuff up (after that, that's what an encylopedia is for) not to write stuff - and, funny enough, I still come here to look stuff up. Highlighting the editing aspect is too inward looking - it's what us editors think of Wikipedia, but we are - I think - only 1% of Wikipedia's users. 99% of users come here because it's a "Free Encyclopedia". SilkTork *YES! 19:58, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
    • I can accept a lot of the oppose rationales, but not entirely that one. We want more people to be more conscious of how WP works, and thereby be more likely to contribute. Raising the proportion of contributors from 1% to 2% of visitors would have a massive impact. Rd232 talk 20:44, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose; a short and sweet tagline works best and the current version projects precisely the image we want. Christopher Parham (talk) 02:42, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, again. I still hold that being a free encyclopædia is more a defining principle of Wikipedia than its being editable. Moreover, we're talking about a tagline here, so KISS should surely apply. Only the most emblematic quality need be stated. To say more, especially as in the proposed addition (editable by anyone? never, by any means), is to mess with a successful formula. There are more important things to be concerned with.cj | talk 14:25, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as above. Keep it simple, short, and sweet. Anything more just looks ungainly and unprofessional. I think the nature of Wikipedia being the encyclopedia that 'anyone can edit' is clear enough in these popular times anyway. -- œ 23:03, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, I hated that change. You might as well put up "The Encyclopedia Anyone Can Vandalize"™ ... Carrite (talk) 00:55, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - more people need to know that the project is editable. Everyone has something to teach, and everyone has something to contribute to the project. SJ+ 05:06, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support -- The tagline seemed like a good place to state this, but if not then I'd like to hear suggestions for an alternative. Sj says it well above. It's still unclear to many people that they actually have the ability to edit the articles they're reading on Wikipedia. There really isn't anywhere prominent that says this; and I'm aware of the main page, but there are a great many readers who never see that page. Equazcion (talk) 05:18, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia ads were mentioned at one point at the original discussion at VPD. What about using the announcement box at the top of the page, the one which currently tells of Wikimania? Maybe that box could be reworked so that it would display one of a small set of announcements, chosen at random on each page load. One of these messages could be a sensibly-phrased invitation aimed at new users; the others being regular announcements such as the Wikimania one. --Duplode (talk) 17:30, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose as too verbose. The current tagline is short, sweet, and easily remembered (which is the whole point of a tagline). Anyone who wants to learn more can click on the "About Wikipedia" link on the left navigation, which says "openly-editable" in the first sentence. First Light (talk) 19:11, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Every little thing that we do to help convert readers to editors is a good thing. per Sj. ThemFromSpace 19:15, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose the proposed change. The current tagline adequately and succinctly conveys the idea behind this project. I don't see the proposal as an improvement. For the record, I'm the one who reverted the initial change. --auburnpilot talk 03:17, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Disadvantages? I can see none ("OMG it's going to be too long no no no no!" ... ehm, OK?). Advantages? The amount of visitors to wikipedia that would like to add to it if they knew they could, but don't, would drastically decrease. And that is a big advantage. So I'm for.--Mashaunix (wordsdeeds) 17:11, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Proposal to turn on revision deletion immediately (despite some lingering concerns)[edit]

I propose we ask the developers to note and prioritize the bug report filed by FT2, but to enable revision deletion (as requested) without further delay. Previous consensus for this from October 2009 is here.

I urge everyone to review the concern raised by FT2 (talk · contribs), as it is an important one - but I feel that the swift hiding of sensitive or dangerous material should be a priority. We could implement local policy with very restrictive use (only matters that would typically need to be handled via Special:Emailuser/Oversight, for example) until the concern about transparency of revision deletion is resolved. –xenotalk 00:57, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Enlighten me: if this going to be available to all admins (and not just oversighters), and it's so buggy, what are the benefits? Pcap ping 03:56, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
The ability to quickly hide sensitive or dangerous information on pages with over 5000 edits, and on pages generally without having to resort to clunky selective deletion or email to oversight (at which point the same log-breaking concerns come into play anyway). –xenotalk 04:02, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
realistical the breaking of all links to a given revision is an unacceptable cost.©Geni 04:39, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Nah This is unneccesary and will make it far too easy to hide 'the wrong version'. Let's not pretend that all (or even most) admins will use this responsibly. Jtrainor (talk) 10:51, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
If admins are permitted todo revision delete, will they also be able to see what was deleted, just as they now see ordinary deleted edits, or will viewing be limited to oversighters? If it's the first, I see no harm, because it does solve the problem of dealing with abuse in articles with long histories without making reviewing work impossible. If it is the second, this is too powerful to be trusted to the entire body of admins. Admins fairly frequently make deletes that need to be undeleted DGG ( talk ) 14:49, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, see [3]. ("As an administrator you can still view this diff if you wish to proceed.")xenotalk 16:22, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
To clarify, administrators can already see all of these (ie, "normal" deletions done with RervisionDelete where oversighters' "suppression" flag was not used). FT2 (Talk | email) 01:43, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Many times have I seen a delay in oversighting material simply due to the fact that an oversighter was not around at the time (or none checked the mailing list). Revdelete would greatly speed things up, as I can always find admins around on IRC, for example. fetch·comms 03:24, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, for removing random instances of defamation in individual edits and edit summaries. I would hope that each use of such a tool would permit instant scrutiny from other admins. bd2412 T 17:35, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't at present, the software doesn't effectively allow it.
The debug issues identified by various users (self included and part cited above) include adding basic deletion log filtering and a fix for the breaking of links, which is not a trivial or minor issue but can break the wiki trail, and prevent tracing of which admin did what actions if it's ever in question. 'Church of emacs' has said he hopes to provide the RevisionMove function, which would resolve most of the problem and Aaron has hinted he may have an approach to this as well. So far these problems are not yet resolved. Oversighters, with just a couple of dozen people using RevisionDelete, found them a problem. If the same ability were extended openly to many hundreds of users, for more matters, and with less stringent use, the issues and possible abuse becomes more concerning because they cannot be checked easily right now.
If there a specific revision is an issue, then we already have a way to handle it that avoids all these problems. Admins have long been encouraged to selectively delete the revision, then pass the details to an Oversighter who will undelete and RevisionDelete as needed. The rapid privacy effect is the same, the only difference is the entire revision is deleted for a short while, not just the privacy-breaching field. It's a little slower than admin level revDelete, but the safest workaround. FT2 (Talk | email) 01:57, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Could you give us some examples of such breakages? And as for your suggestion to continue using the clunky selective deletion, that isn't possible on pages with over 5000 revisions. –xenotalk 14:24, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, at least until FT2's concern is remedied. Selective deletion and restore can be used in the interim, though it's far from ideal. The bug is fine for the oversighters because suppressed edits should never be linked to anyhow. But it's a headache waiting to happen if we enable this on a sysop level. I reject Jtrainor's reason for opposition, and am not in agreement with him; I think our administrators will use this fine, and any misuse will prove no more problematic than a misuse of selective deletion and restore. AGK 14:27, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per AGK. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 14:31, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The benefits of enabling revision deletion now do not outweigh the concerns raised by FT2 and as AGK points out, selective deletion and restoration might not be ideal but it's better than enabling revdel with FT2's concerns not addressed. Regards SoWhy 15:04, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I have reviewed FT2's concerns and while I think we should poke the devs on this, I think it would make too much of a mess to turn it on right now. I think this discussion should be closed early, lest people think it to be a new referendum on the worthiness of admin rev delete, which had a pretty solid consensus in favor. Gigs (talk) 15:12, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Hm, fair enough. It looks like the concerns are compelling enough to an emerging majority that sensitive or dangerous information should remain visible a while longer so that we can have our paper trail. While we don't really 'close' discussion on the pumps, I've removed the note from Cent. –xenotalk 15:43, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment Any fear of admin abuse should be amply outweighed by the quick-and-easy way of identifying such admins at a glance.--Tznkai (talk) 17:12, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Huh?: Where did you get the idea that this is a matter for the community to decide? Huff and puff till you're blue in the face, it'll be enabled or disabled at the whim of the sysadmins. --MZMcBride (talk) 18:11, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
    I don't think anything in my proposal indicated I thought otherwise. –xenotalk 18:18, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
    So, uh, what's the point of this thread? In simple terms, please. --MZMcBride (talk) 18:21, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
    To see if there is consensus to ask (they can, of course, refuse) the developers to turn on admin-level RevDel despite the concerns. –xenotalk 18:22, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
    Isn't "asking" the purpose of bugzilla:21165 (or bugzilla:18780)? --MZMcBride (talk) 18:26, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
    Yes, but I suspect part of the reason why it hasn't been actioned are FT2's unresolved concerns. –xenotalk 18:29, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment Admins can already do all this. Click delete. Click the box. Click invert selection. Click undelete. Takes one more click than revdel. Srsly. Keegan (talk) 04:35, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
    Now try that on ANI... –xenotalk 13:21, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Not now. I think the bug(s) need(s) to be fixed before RevDelete is enabled. decltype (talk) 05:39, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

RevDelete enabled[edit]

  • Hm... RevDelete seems to have been enabled. –xenotalk 13:58, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
    • No idea if it works, but I certainly have an extra button when viewing a page history, so indeed, this seems to be the case. Fram (talk) 14:04, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
      • Judging by the deletion log, it seems to work. –xenotalk 14:08, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Posted a note on Bugzilla noting the concern and asking for sysadmins to attend the issue. FT2 (Talk | email) 20:09, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Update for admins - see post at WP:AN. FT2 (Talk | email) 22:27, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

MediaWiki extension that supports "Harvard" references[edit]

Example of Harvard references extension support

There is mw:Extension:HarvardReferences that supports simple refs like [Smith 2010] in text of article and anchors like [*Smith 2010] in bibliography section. Jimbo Wales on 5 November 2009 strongly supports [4] this proposal (in JavaScript version) "making refs easier to read and easier to use" in discussion about this proposal. This extension can be included to any MediaWiki site. By compatibility reasons, extension does not anything without tag <HarvardReferences>...</HarvardReferences> around bibliography section. Links may be shorter (replaced by *) or hidden by JavaScript selector in the bottom of the page (or optionally in the user settings). Working sample of this extension can be found here. X-romix (talk) 14:35, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Taking a quick look, it seems a lot better then the mishmash of templates currently in use. It would certainly resolve current issues with duplicate ids that result in invalid HTML. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:43, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
It's certainly a lot less horrible and useless than the Harvard refs currently infesting so much of Wikipedia. DuncanHill (talk) 21:15, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
The appearance of links can be configured and ever links can be switched off (hidden) in user settings. See selector in the bottom of sample page (bibliography section is shown anyway).

Harvard References Change Format Animation.gif
Traditional references from extension Cite.php can't be hidden, becouse it may be used for subnotes (text remarks) in article. But "harvard" links is simpler and more traditional for writing in wiki-code than refs and can be hidden for users who don't like view any source links when reading article. X-romix (talk) 01:52, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

In the meantime, please don't start documenting this as if it were available. I don't see a problem with starting a draft help page in your userspace or discussing it on the usual talk pages. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:00, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

All documentation is on the MediaWiki server (it is not a Wikipeda server), links in "see also" sections is intended to inform readers about this alternative variant of references. X-romix (talk) 13:09, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I believe the statement "Jimbo Wales on 5 November 2009 strongly supports this proposal (in JavaScript version)" misinterprets the views of Mr. Wales. I think he just supports improving references, not necessarily this specific proposal. Jc3s5h (talk) 13:38, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes I'm correct it. X-romix (talk) 14:39, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I think this is a great proposal, and certainly an improvement over the templates. My php is a little rusty, but how does the link work? Is it possible to write "[Smith & Jones 2010]", for a two-author reference? Does it distinguish between "[Smith & Jones 2010]" and "[Smith & Brown 2010]"? If you have two Smith 2010 references, can you distinguish them by "[Smith 2010a]" and "[Smith 2010b]"?COGDEN 21:47, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, I'v made a sandbox in my site. [5] (anybody can edit there). There is not affect to [...] - sequences if in the page there is no anchor sequence [*...] with any sequence of chars ("]", ":" and "|" is a special chars). [Smith 2010:b] and [Smith 2010:a] points to anchor [*Smith 2010], but link [Smith 2010b] is not point to this anchor (":" delimits optional part of link where may be page numbers etc.). X-romix (talk) 13:04, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
These are very important questions. If this extension doesn't have all the features we need it will lead to us having one more way of formatting references, and none of the old ones being phased out. Not a good prospect at all. Is this extension currently active on a WMF wiki or a wiki that allows anonymous editing? I would love to test it in a sandbox. Hans Adler 22:25, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Old pages is not affected becouse needed mandatory tag <HarvardReferences>...</HarvardReferences> around bibliography. If there is no this tag, extension does not anything. X-romix (talk) 13:04, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
I see some issues, so I am continuing this on the extension talk page. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 22:51, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Ok. X-romix (talk) 13:04, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

I have tried this extension in your sandbox and I like it very much. It's just as simple as such a thing should be in a wiki. One big advantage over our current Harvard citations system is that it works without tricks for publications without a year. I see the following obstacles to adoption on the English Wikipedia:

  • We already have two footnoting systems (standard and Harvard) and can't agree to standardise on one of them. We shouldn't have three systems for every new editor to learn. We may not be able (sociologically) to phase out one of the others.
  • We currently have trouble with Template:Citation and the other citation templates. Some pages are very slow to load because they use this template more than 100 times. I anticipate that your extension would also be used in connection with the citation templates. If we don't wait until the template problem is solved, both issues should probably be discussed together. The resulting discussion would probably be too complicated to be effective.
  • The current mechanism for switching between footnote displays needs to be replaced by something less obtrusive (i.e. nothing in the article itself). Hans Adler 18:07, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
I second Hans's first point. We really should have some more standardization of reference systems before we add a new one. The current system is a complete mess, and quite possibly the most complicated thing for editors to learn. Mr.Z-man 15:32, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
  • We actually have six referencing systems:
  1. Footnotes- inline using <ref>...</ref> tags linking to the full citation in a reference list; the citation my be defined inline or in the reference list
  2. Shortened footnotes- inline using <ref>...</ref> tags linking to the author, year, and page number in a notes section with the full citation in a bibliography list
  3. Parenthetical references (Harvard)- inline with the author, year, and page number in parentheses and the full citation in a bibliography list; can be done as plain text or using templates
  4. General references- citations in a reference list at the end of the article
  5. Embedded links- usually a URL inline; deprecated
  6. Reference templates— inline using {{ref}}/{{note}} or one of the other reference templates linking to the full citation in a reference list; deprecated for references but still used especially for notes
  • Hans is right about the sociological issues. Ref/note and their forks have been deprecated for references for years and were replaced by the Cite.php groups parameter for content notes, but there are still over 12,000 uses and forks keep being created. (I don't want to get off track with a long discussion on this issue here, so you can discuss at User:Gadget850/Reference templates.)
  • Citation templates and referencing systems/templates are two separate issues. Yes both can cause performance problems, separately or together. We have currently eight templates for Harvard referencing (with about 10,000 uses) that are very often used in conjunction with citation templates.
  • The issue with the dropdown box is under discussion at mw:Extension talk:HarvardReferences, and a solution has been proposed
  • The most egregious issue is that this is not styled as parenthetical referencing (Harvard) and this is under discussion on the extension talk.
  • I do like this system, but it needs some polishing and some work to make it usable.
---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 17:20, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I suppose this is quite a nifty idea. But I use <ref>Aristotle, ''The Constitution of Athens'', p 2</ref> with a bibliography formatted using {{cite book}} in all my articles. The more complicated set-ups are just absurd, and I worry that this extension will only complicate the myriad system of citing one's sources. AGK 14:34, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
    • Thank, there is no complication - you can write [Aristotle] in the text of article, and [*Aristotle] in the bibliography section. It is easy way to write references and easy way to use it (reader can see who is author of sentence - Aristotle - without clicking to reference). But you can use the familiar format, if you want: extension is hidden and not visible for articles where is not written explicit tag <HarvardReferences>. X-romix (talk) 13:07, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
      • As Cite.php using <ref>...</ref> replaced {{ref}} for the most part, then I hope that the Harvard templates would be replaced by this system. We are getting to review and evaluate this before it is installed. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 16:28, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Align all the edit tabs to the left[edit]

They are horrible on the right. Can they all be moved back to the left as on monobook? I refuse to even bother trying the new skin because of this simple lack of intuitive interface. I would like to use it, but I won't unless this is changed or unless we get an option to keep them all on the left. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:06, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

They are on the right with monobook. Perhaps you enabled Special:Preferences → Gadgets → Moves edit links next to the section headers. See the documentation. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 20:15, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm referring to the Talk, edit, history, watch/unwatch, * (purge), and twinkle tabs. They're half on the left and half on the right on the new skin, and it looks like a retarded monkey came up with it (which by the way, the fact that this was paid for guarantees that none of the incumbent WMF board will be re-elected). - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 22:23, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Me, I don't mind the new interface but I would like to move the edit tabs. Maybe a CSS how-to? Also I see no point to the "Read" tab. kcylsnavS {screech} 22:34, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
It'd be rather simple to make it an option in preferences. I doubt it's anything more than an align= piece of coding that determines the side they are aligned to. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 22:41, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
It's slightly more complicated than that. This is the best I could come up with (without resorting to javascript hackery), if you don't mind the search box being in the middle:
#left-navigation {

#right-navigation {

#ca-view {

#p-search {
-- Nx / talk 00:39, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Edit: realized I was stupid, and replaced it with something better. Unfortunately it trips the code that puts view history into the menu because it thinks there's not enough space. -- Nx / talk 01:13, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Heh, I did the same thing, and had the same problem. You can disable that behavior with
wgVectorEnabledModules.collapsibletabs = false;
Of course, once I made all those tweaks to have a somewhat usable skin again, I realized that it pretty much looked like monobook, so I switched back. :) Amalthea 16:34, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Same here. I got through all of this and said "Wait... Why am I trying to recreate monobook, when it's already there?" and switched back as well. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 17:07, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
What's the difference between the Read tab and Project tab anyway? kcylsnavS {screech} 00:49, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
That's pretty good except the big space between talk and edit. I'd like to see this actually implemented instead of being a shortcut for me only. Either that or the community should vote which skin IT wants as the default. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 00:55, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
That's pretty sweet now! I like it!
Now I've got to figure out how to break the drop down menus into separate tabs and I'm a happy editor. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 01:19, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
You can use User:Amalthea/VectorMenuToTabs.js. Svick (talk) 12:25, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Hallelujah! I am now ready to try vector (sounds too much like the cereal). Thank you everyone! - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 14:48, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Reducing Vandalism[edit]

I think an effort should be made to reduce the vandalism present in some areas of Wikipedia, especially articles about schools. These are regularly vandalised by students of other schools, and are harder to act on due to the "lenience" shown to shared IPs (including educational institutions). Hence, I am proposing that they be semi-protected so that IP users do not edit them. I would also like to raise a concern on the rising number of pages on Wikipedia that just don't belong. For example, there seems to be too many pages on unimportant people, such as relatively unknown actors/actresses in the porn industry (who have not achieved anything of notice) or relatively unknown films (especially foreign ones-those should be placed on their respective language Wikipedias). If steps are taken to solve these problems, I am sure that vandalism will not occur on such a regular basis. Deagle_AP (talk) 08:19, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

The Spring makes everything new :) See: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(miscellaneous)#Flagged_protection:_update_for_April_22, Flagged protection on English Wikipedia is coming soon now. I'm expecting to lower the vandalism volume :) --Chris.urs-o (talk) 08:35, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
That introduction would help, but I fear it may complicate the system. After all, creating a new "reviewer" usergroup takes time to put into place, doesn't it? Deagle_AP (talk) 08:40, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Well, I do not know the details. German Wikipedia uses Flagged Revisions as default and it is quite happy with it. I think since 2008, but I can't find the citation. English Wikipedia wants some specials on the feature ó.O A vandal wants to publish on www his "Hello", "I was here", "'XXX' is gay" and so on. So, if it is not published, then it is not interesting anymore. And, if the volume goes down, it is easier to tackle. Some vandals are changing numbers, this is destroying Wikipedia, there is no choice anymore. Quote (Wikipedia:Flagged revisions#Release history): "On May 6, 2008, Flagged Revisions were enabled, first for a test, on the German Wikipedia." --Chris.urs-o (talk) 09:11, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Re your point about putting "foreign" films on the relevant language wikipedias. Firstly EN Wikipedia is global - nowhere is foreign to us, and though I can see a temptation to only have articles about say chinese language films on the Chinese wikipedia, we need to remember that films get dubbed and subtitled and shown in many markets other than the ones for their language of filming, and the English language Wikipedia has taken on a global role because of the huge numbers of people who have English as a second language; Also many actors work across multiple languages, so someone reading up on a particular actor might well want to know about other work they have done even if its in a different language. ϢereSpielChequers 10:02, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree, but with some less known films that have simply not gained sufficient recognition, I believe they should be removed, as Wikipedia-EN is an English encyclopedia, and those articles do not satisfy the requirements to be placed in a proper encyclopedia. Deagle_AP (talk) 10:37, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
The point is that if someone is notable for the Chinese encyclopedia, then they should be notable here using the same references. That the refs are in Chinese is irrelevant. And as far as reducing school vandalism, IMO they should be harder on blocking the school IPs that do cause trouble instead of preemptively semi-protecting an article that may not need it (though FRs would be great of course). ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:11, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia-EN is an English-language encyclopedia, but it is not an English encyclopedia or an encyclopedia for the Anglosphere. If a film "simply [has] not gained sufficient recognition" to meet our notability standards, then that is a valid reason to delete the article about it—that deletion, however, must be completely independent of whether the film is an English-language film. -- Black Falcon (talk) 17:14, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Good point there, Black Falcon. However, I think Wikipedia does need trimming-some articles are hardly ever read, and only serve as potential space for vandalism. Wikipedia at the moment seems to be leaning too far into the creation of unnecessary articles. Take the first example of the biographies of unknown actors (especially in the adult industry). These simply don't have any depth, and give restricted information on the person's life, achievements, etc. other than their date of birth, height and name. I believe these articles of major concern, because they simply don't meet the standards of an article for inclusion in an encyclopedia. Also, the schools' IPs cannot be simply blocked, because we seek to promote Wikipedia as an accessible source of information, and sometimes students can contribute constructively i.e. me (hence protecting popular target pages is better). Deagle_AP (talk) 12:00, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Hi Deagle AP, Firstly there is no deadline, so by the nature of our process there will always be some articles that unfinished. However we do have deletion processes, and we delete hundreds of thousands of articles every year. I'm unclear from your comment whether your concern is that there are always some articles that merit deletion under our current processes but have yet to be prodded or tagged for deletion, or whether you think that Wikipedia:Deletion policy should be tightened with a view to accepting fewer articles. If the former please get stuck in and help us remove some of the spam and fancruft, if the latter I suggest you make a specific proposal at Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy or Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion - but you might want to read the archives first as many proposals to either tighten or loosen the policy have been rejected in the past. ϢereSpielChequers 09:47, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I was referring to the latter. However, since this is not a new issue and the need is not urgent, I suppose we'll wait until there really is a problem. Some current articles, however, do need prodding, but I believe there will be some opposition for some pages I have in mind. Nevertheless, we must watch what articles get created...11:18, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Wow, did I just read this? "I think Wikipedia does need trimming-some articles are hardly ever read, and only serve as potential space for vandalism." A suggestion for mass deletion on the basis of readership on the grounds that an unread article is a potential hotbed for vandalism?!?! It's really time to get the Inclusionists organized and loaded for bear. This is perhaps the single most dangerous idea I've ever bumped into during my time at WP. Carrite (talk) 11:54, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Seconded; I'm sorry but that suggestion is plain ugly, very ugly. Furthermore, if an article is hardly ever read vandalism in it will hardly ever be seen as well, so that issue does not justify deletion.--Duplode (talk) 00:31, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
The fact that such a suggestion could be made goes against the very foundation of an Wikipedia. Thankfully, there are no "readership"/"page views" requirements as of yet.Smallman12q (talk) 11:28, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I think you have misinterpreted that statement--I was attempting to describe some of the articles that I have encountered during counter-vandalism duties. Trimming does not mean mass deletion, I am simply talking about articles that serve little purpose and are repeatedly targetted for vandalism (ie already has a history of vandalism). Of course, whether the article serves purpose should be based on a wide-scale agreement amongst editors. Also, it is inevitable that these smaller, less developed articles will detract from Wikipedia in the long-term if vandalism on them goes unnoticed. Already, some individuals think that because Wikipedia is free to edit, its ability to provide useful, referenced information is compromised. Deagle_AP (talk) 01:28, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I believe that one of the great strengths of WP is its very open-endedness (if you will) and "Trimming" articles that are not popular pushes WP away from the revolutionary ideas that helped to found this information highway. I also believe that even if an article is only viewed once a month it is still useful for that one person and thus remains a pertinent part of the information highway.Finally, Wikipedia's omnious vastness is often one of the biggest factor's in attracting attention and if everyone did a little "trimming" wikipedia would be defying what I believe to be its most important principle "Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia". this is my reason for opposing this trimming. Jimbo123454321 (talk) 17:54, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Proposals for non-breaking spaces[edit]

(Continuing the previous discussion on markup for non-breaking spaces, which was archived without coming to any result.)

A brief summary: I think we can generally agree that non-breaking spaces ("hard spaces") are useful and desirable, but there are some issues in implementation. Particularly, the "&nbsp;" is tedious, and makes the markup hard to read. The unresolved issue of the previous discussion regarded finding a better input representation (such as single or double underscores) for use in markup.

I submit a pair of proposals. First, that in the edit screen (markup) the non-breaking space – what is often called, and generally is, a "blank" – be given a non-blank representation; for this I recommend the glyphs for either the &middot; ( · ), &sdot; ( ⋅ ), or "music flat" (the very lightweight "♭", U+266D, or &#9837;). This would make the presence of non-breaking spaces (actual U+00A0 chrs.) visible in the markup, and prevent their unknowing deletion.

Second, I propose that whichever character is used to represent nbspaces also be taken as nbspaces in pasted-in copy. (In lieu of the previous proposal of underscores.) This presents two challenges. First, conflict with the intended usage of that character. For such usage I suggest either the standard convention of doubling the character, or just using the HTML entity. (Or entering the character directly form the "Insert" bar.) Second is the problem of inputting any non-keyboard character, either nbspaces themselves, or the visible character representing them. This is no problem for those of us that can program our compose keys. For the rest it could be accessible from the "Insert" bar on the edit menu. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:12, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

This is even more complicated than just using &nbsp; or {{s|1}}. –xenotalk 21:20, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Huh? Surely you don't mean that being able to see non-breaking spaces in the edit screen is complicated. As to having an alternative to typing in "& n b s p ;" – what's complicated about clicking on a symbol below the edit screen? - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:31, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
As a start, browsers without javascript don't have that ability. –xenotalk 22:32, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
&nbsp; is already in the edittools thing in the wiki markup section. Mr.Z-man 22:36, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I support the idea of having some simple markup for non-breaking spaces, but the proposal to have a single Unicode character represent one, and two of that character represent a literal character, is never going to get support. I'm not sure why you reject using double underscores out of hand - if any simple markup is going to get support, that would be it. All other representations - including undistinguished blanks, the character entity, and the {{s}} template - are worse than that in some way. Gavia immer (talk) 22:44, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
"␢" (note: this is NOT a musical note char) would make more sense for a character as it's specifically intended for showing visual whitespace, and it's rather uncommonly used in articles. There'd need to be some sort of escaping mechanism for the few literal intended instances of it though. --Cybercobra (talk) 06:01, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Quite right, esp. as the slashed-b has a history for making "blanks" visible. But I didn't quite see how produce it. And what I really like about the flat symbol is that it is so light in appearance that visually it is almost a blank. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 02:04, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia already has an escaping system: <nowiki>. We should continue to use that rather than introducing another notation.
The core issue is that '&nbsp;' is cumbersome to use, and obscures the markup. But for the secondary issue of distinguishing between the special and ordinary usage, any means of escaping should suffice. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 02:04, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm wary of any proposal under which one types a different thing than one sees in the edit box. I would rather we have something simple to type which doesn't conflict with anything in use. For example: A double comma. (This was originally proposed by User:Noetica, if I recall correctly.) I.e., one might write Mr.,,Smith or April,,1, 1990. Since double commas don't occur in normal prose, this would break very few articles (there may be some programming articles that are damaged by it). And it would make it much easier to write correctly spaced articles. Ozob (talk) 01:48, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Double commas don't occur in normal prose, but does it matter how often they occur in URL's? Out of the first 10 long articles I searched, I found one URL with a double comma in List of foreign Ligue 1 players (go into edit mode and search for ",,"), 2 URL's with double commas in 2009 flu pandemic timeline, and 7 URL's with double commas in List of Jewish American entertainers. Art LaPella (talk) 04:29, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
The implementation could exclude URLs, <code> tags and <source> tags, as well as any place where the characters aren't actually displayed in the rendered title such as template parameter names. As for literal hard spaces, some browsers convert them to ordinary spaces when submitting the changes – for example I copied and pasted hard spaces between the following letters: a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a (this is Firefox ― ___A._di_M. (formerly Army1987) 07:37, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Same happens with Firefox 3.0.19. ― ___A._di_M. (formerly Army1987) 20:52, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

I personally find double-underscores and double-commas less than ideal, but acceptable. I think that something like middot or flat would be more elegant, their principal (?) drawback (??) being that they are not ordinary keyboard characters. (Which is what the "complications" of my proposal address.) - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 02:04, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

The problem with using non-keyboard characters is that it takes longer to go and click on something in the edittools thing (as well as the interruption from switching from keyboard to mouse) than it does to just type "&nbsp;". A small fraction of users might be able to program an easy keyboard shortcut, but everyone else will have to use the edittools bar or remember some obscure Windows alt code (or more likely, just continue to use the HTML entity). Mr.Z-man 02:47, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
In addition to the majority who just use the space bar, rather than try to learn something they can't pronounce. Art LaPella (talk) 03:35, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
It looks like we need to review the fundamental basis of this discussion, which is (as I touched on above in the summary of the earliar discussion) that non-breaking spaces are useful and desirable, as well as specified by the MOS (see WP:NBSP). So if you "just use the space bar", you get "just" a space, a regular space, which is suboptimal. While it is possible to enter "hard" spaces directly (by various means, including cut-and-paste), this is also suboptimal: they are not visible in the wiki mark-up, so an editor can't tell what is really there.
My proposals are 1) to make the non-breaking spaces visible (but only in the markup) by means of a special character, and 2) to provide a more convenient method of input. Please note: none of this would remove any &nbsp; functionality. If you prefer to type in "&nbsp;" every time, fine, you would still have that, but many of us feel that discourages many editors from using nbspaces.
I can't speak for Windows, but on my machine the "obscure ... alt code" for a hard space is "Alt-space-space" – and as long as I hold the Alt key down extra hard spaces come with each press of the space bar. I am at a loss to imagine anything more intuitive. As to "everyone else" having to use the toolbar, or type in some obscure HTML entity — the way things are now, that is what everybody has to do; there is no "else" option. And that is just what some of us would like to remedy. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:33, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Better solution, unicode the &nbsp;s, let automated systems convert between the two (as they probably do in 99% of all space -> nbsp cases now) and let people do the hard stuff. Rich Farmbrough, 14:45, 1 May 2010 (UTC).

Which (if I understand you correctly) is essentially what I am proposing. But "unicode" the non-breaking spaces not by their assigned value of U+00A0, which would be not visibly distinguishable (in the markup) from a regular space, but by some other code that has a visible glyph (such as middot, sdot, or flat). And also to have what ever code (character) is selected rendered as a non-breaking space in the wiki output. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 19:10, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
You could do this in javascript, I think, change the non-breaking spaces to the desired character on load, and back again on save. Of course steeps would have to be taken to avoid changing the wrong characters back - either by using a really rare unicode character (flawed in principle, but probably workable) or some escaping mechanism- the simplest might be {{Sic}} - the over-head of that used on a merely very scare character such as ␢ is negligable. Rich Farmbrough, 19:43, 2 May 2010 (UTC).
Surely they should be visible (and typable) as something that we can type, like the double comma or double underscore suggestion. I don't see the point of doing it with non-keyboard characters of any description. While we're at it, can we suggest a double hyphen for an en dash, and triple for em dash?--Kotniski (talk) 19:52, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

I really like the idea to make double underscore not surrounded by spaces a new wikicode for &nbsp;. It is the only proposal in the spirit of the existing wikicode: It is easy to enter, it is non-obtrusive while editing, and it is intuitive and almost self-explaining when you see it: e.g. 123__km/h.

All other characters and options suggested so far cannot be entered by the majority of editors and are not intuitive. Non-breaking spaces (A0) should not be added directly as they are invisible and they will be converted to normal blanks anyway by some editors (including wikEd). Cacycle (talk) 06:23, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

123__km/h - Yes, I'd like it! But there is need a switch-on tag for compatibility with older wiki-code, e.g. <nbsp chars="__"/> in the any place of the wiki-page? X-romix (talk) 11:58, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any persuasive reason why it needs to be a double underscore. Plain _ (without any adjacent ordinary space) would be more intuitive. And as long as it can be escaped somehow (nowiki, if nothing else), it would seem to be an option. There was some discussion previously about titles involving _, but there aren't any that involve them in the page title, and plausible section titles will always have an adjacent ordinary space (eg "/nowiki (ctrl-click)">/nowiki (ctrl-click)">/nowiki (ctrl-click)">/nowiki (ctrl-click)">/nowiki (ctrl-click)">/nowiki (ctrl-click)">/nowiki (ctrl-click)">/nowiki (ctrl-click)">/nowiki (ctrl-click)">/nowiki (ctrl-click)">[[WP:bla#what about __NOINDEX__]]"; WP:UNDERSCORE#the underscore character is _). Rd232 talk 11:00, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Single underscores are quite commonly used in identifiers, so employing them for nonbreaking spaces is going to be a PITA for computer science articles.—Emil J. 14:18, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Examples? Would help clarify that. Rd232 talk 22:56, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Examples of single underscores in computer articles? C++, Obfuscated code, Perl, Visual Basic for Applications, JAPH, SYLK, ASCII art, List of emoticons, OCaml, Standard ML, ... Art LaPella (talk) 23:53, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
See? Those examples aren't as bad as you would think. Anything in "code" tags should be excluded anyway, so a couple need adding, and maybe some example variables renaming to make life easier. Trickier are cases like "@_", which has the odd reference at sentence end so has a _ without an adjacent space. Still, a code tag can sort that out. Maybe a single _ is more of an option than you think? Rd232 talk 12:59, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Double-underscores are also used for computer programming identifiers, so the doubling wouldn't work either. Also, I don't find it intuitive; I would naively think X__Y would insert a larger or more spaces between X and Y, when in fact a nbsp acts like a small space in that it sticks close to the letters on both sides of it and can't cause linebreaks. Either we end up using a Unicode character that's not easy to enter anyway, or we use some ASCII combination that's either not obvious or not much shorter than nbsp; in all cases, no real gain. I don't think this discussion is gonna go anywhere. --Cybercobra (talk) 15:18, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, anything with underscores would have to be interpreted as literal underscores inside <code> tags. That much goes without saying, but it's also easy to accomplish. Gavia immer (talk) 15:58, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Computer programming identifiers usually occur in program code which would be preformatted anyway (i.e. double underscore should not be interpreted in <pre> tags). Wikicode magic words and parser functions also contain double underscores and must be interpreted first.
As for the "no gain": We currently have a huge problem with cryptic, confusing, and too busy raw text, especially for the better and developed articles. Anything that removes clutter and increases readability would be a major gain. And the substitution of &nbsp; for __ does exactly that. A beginner would not have to guess much what it does in e.g. 123__km/h. Cacycle (talk) 19:00, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
@EmilJ: my proposal is to exclude URLS and the content of <code> and <source> tags. There aren't many other uses of underscore characters actually displayed in the rendered article text. ― ___A._di_M. (formerly Army1987) 16:09, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd quite like the &nbsp;'s changed to unicode non-breaking space like people do with &minus; and things like that providing WikEd output them specially like it does all the various versions of hyphen minus ndash and mdash and gave an option for inserting them directly from a menu like it does the various types of hyphen lookalikes. Dmcq (talk) 15:52, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
The problem with just using literal non-breaking spaces is that there's no indication in the wikitext that they are supposed to be non-breaking spaces, and so in the normal course of editing they tend to "rot" back to normal spaces as editors just use the space bar. Moreover, there's no obvious indication that this rot has happened, either, so it will tend to get missed and have to be repeatedly redone. In fact, there's often a similar problem with dash-like characters, including the Unicode minus. Gavia immer (talk) 15:58, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
The fact is that a "feature" of certain browsers automagically converts hard spaces to soft ones on saving the page, so the "rot" will happen immediately as soon as someone edits the page or section with such a browser, whether they "just use the space bar" or not. (See my post of 07:37, 29 April 2010, where I had copied and pasted hard spaces between the a's.) This is not an issue with dashes, which will stay dashes with all browsers I remember using. ― ___A._di_M. (formerly Army1987) 16:09, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
The automated rot (mishandling) is a sufficient reason for not using actual non-breaking ("hard") space characters, as well as their not being visible to an editor. These really are not an option. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:02, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Re "All other characters and options suggested so far cannot be entered by the majority of editors and are not intuitive." (Cacycle, above). Look, if this proposal were adopted (and let's say using middot, '·') NOTHING WOULD BE TAKEN AWAY, everyone would still be free to use the klutzy '&nbsp;' entity. The only difference would be where someone had used a middot instead of &nbsp;—they would see something like "110·miles" instead of "110&nbsp;miles". (For sure, some number of editors would then be asking what the dot is all about. Considering how many editors don't seem to know about the use of non-breaking spaces, I consider this a teaching opportunity.) For anyone that does not want any change, that could be the only change they see or have to endure. It would be like the ability to add an image to your signature: it's there, but I don't have to use it. And as long as I don't want to use it the means of doing so are quite irrelevant.

The question of how to enter an middot (or any other "non-keyboard" character) arises only when someone decides they want to use it. Let me suggest something pretty basic: type in "&nbsp;". That is (this is a sub-proposal) have it converted automatically. Sure, this is a bit more change, but it strikes a nice (and needed) balance between the invisibility of actual hard spaces and the in your face overvisibility of "&nbsp;". No other input methods needed, and that certainly is as "enterable" and intuitive as &nbsp;, because it is the current method of entering nbspaces. (That allows making hard spaces visible, which is my first proposal, but is just as klutzy as the current methods of entry, which leads to my second proposal.)

My second proposal is that whatever character (Unicode entity) is adopted to be the visible representation of hard spaces (here we assume middot) be accepted as markup input. Again, this TAKES NOTHING AWAY from anyone that does not want to use such functionality. And for those that do, there are multiple methods of entry. Let me list a few (variously applicable to on- and/or off-line editing):

  • Click on a menu icon. (If that is too difficult, then why are there multiple drop-down menus of clickable items?)
  • Cut-and-paste. (For the odd odd-character, this often works just fine.)
  • Search-and-replace. (Use underscores [or whatever] in your off-line copy, then convert to middot (or?) in one fell swoop.)
  • Use a virtual keyboard.
  • Editor macros. (For serious editors your editor is a tool. Learn to use it?)
  • Enter middot with Compose key. (Write the code down next to your password.)
  • Enter a hard space with "ctrl+shift+space" (or option+space on Macs), which (second sub-proposal) could be converted to middots in the edit screen.

Or just stick with &nbsp;.

That some users might not be able handle any of these input methods seems a poor reason for not making useful improvements in the handling of non-breaking spaces. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:22, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

So then how would we enter middots? They're used in a large number of nav templates for example. I say just leave it as &nbsp; with no extra fancy stuff to confuse people trying to insert underscores/middots/flat signs/etc.. It requires no specialist keyboard or entry method, cannot be confused with anything else, and has been the way non-breaking spaces have been entered on the world wide web since it was invented. OrangeDog (τε) 20:00, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Are middots ever entered directly, as a middot character (that is, not by the '&middot' entity)? That might take some rectification, but do we have any data on extensive that is? In general I suspect that middots usually are, and should be, indicated in the markup by the entity. So instances of '&middot;' in the markup are rendered as middots, while actual middots (in the markup), as well as '&nbsp;', are rendered as non-breaking spaces. (Or would sdots or some other character be a better choice?) - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:42, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Conversion of regular characters to markup is not something to be taken lightly. It can be taken for granted that something, somewhere is going to break when such changes are done - the extreme example would be using underscore(s) for nbsp. Also, changes that force existing text to adopt <nowiki> wrappers would mean unwarranted trouble to articles which do not use nbsps and nullify much of the perceived benefits of clearer notation from nbsp. Finally, and in agreement with OrangeDog, making markup more complex for a relatively minor readability detail is not worth the trouble. Simplicity of implementation should have priority in this case, and so I oppose the proposal(s). --Duplode (talk) 06:26, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
For sure, any change of how markup is rendered should not be taken lightly. But I beg to disagree on your other points. First, how serious is this specter of 'nowiki' wrappers? That really depends on how prevalent is the use of middot (or whatever character is selected), and if they were entered (see previous comment) as actual middots, or as '&middot;' entities. In the latter case, no problem. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:58, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
As to the clarity/simplicity/complexity issue, would not middots (or sdots or flats) be a clearer, simpler representation of hard spaces than "&nbsp;"? To use a nonsensical example, compare "zippity&nbsp;do&nbsp;dah&nbsp;a&nbsp;minute" – quick! what's the text say? – (and think of how much fun I had typing that in!) with "zippity·do·dah·a·minute". Can there be any denying that the latter is clearer to read? I would say this is not a "minor readability detail", but a definite and desirable readability improvement.
Of course, that might all depend on the prior question of whether an editor bothers with non-breaking spaces in the first place. It is recommended as a matter of style (does that make it quasi-policy?) that non-breaking spaces should be used, and I would say that "articles which do not use nbsps" – perhaps because &nbsp; is so cumbersome and clutters the markup? – is a problem to be addressed.
The only complexity I see (perhaps I am not seeing something here?) is in the implementation, which is not visible to the editors. Aside from editors who are already entering actual middot (or sdot or flat?) characters (is there anyway of searching for such usage?} the only visible difference would be seeing middots in the markup – which is an increase in clarity. I suspect this specter of "complexity" arises from fear of being required to re-program one's keyboard. Which is not the case at all, because "&nbsp;" would still be available. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:16, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
"Aside from editors who are already entering actual middot (or sdot or flat?) characters" - these are the ones I mentioned who will be forced to use <nowiki> markers or some similar trick with text that just worked fine beforehand. Breaking existing code just to add a convenience feature is generally not a good idea. The unnecessary complexity I mentioned refers not just to "under the hood" implementation (which may or may not be difficult, I don't really know) but also to fixing any breakage resulting from the change and, finally, to adding yet another special character (the wiki markup is complex enough as it is; and &nbsp; has the advantage of being no different from what one would do in actual HTML). Finally, after reading a bit more carefully the help pages about line breaks I found that there is already a good alternative to &nbsp;. Using it, your example would read as {{nowrap|zippity do dah a minute}} . A bit more verbose maybe, but as readable as you could possibly hope - you don't even need to know that a middot (or a flat, or a sdot) actually means a nbsp. --Duplode (talk) 02:32, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Anyone using the &middot; entity would not be affected. Anyone entering actual middot chrs. into markup could use the entity. (And because of the similarity of middots and sdots, perhaps they should be entered as entities.) As to the prevalence of actual middot, sdot, and 'flat' characters, is there anyway of finding out?
The point of the example is that '·' is clearer, more readable than '&nbsp;'. (Or, for that matter, any "entity".) The advantage of {{nowrap}} is where mutiple instances an entity can be replaced, For single instances it is no clearer and no easier than "&nbsp;". - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:06, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I analyzed the last database dump and there are 82405 pages with middot (·), 91 with sdot (⋅), 474 with music flat (♭), 3 with blank symbol (␢) and 7965 with literal non-breaking space (U+00A0, not &nbsp;, those should probably be cleaned up). Svick (talk) 01:34, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Data! Good work. I say middot is eliminated from consideration. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:43, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
And (forgot to mention this), the {{nowrap}} example glosses over the first proposal, which is to give hard spaces a non-blank representation, so they can be distinguished from ordinary spaces. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 19:27, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
My problem with using a middot or some other non-keyboard character isn't that there's no benefit, just very little. It only benefits the people who have some easy way to type it. Using a double underscore or a double comma has much more benefit in the number of users who can easily use it, with no more potential problems (conflicts with existing uses). I just don't understand why a middot is better than something easily typeable without having to memorize or program some key combination. Mr.Z-man 19:42, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Keep in mind that the first proposal is simply to make actual hard spaces visible (in the markup), with whatever glyph (e.g., middot) that might be suitable. The advantage here, to everyone that might edit an article, is that a clutter of obfuscating "&nbsp;" entities can be dispensed with, making the markup clearer.
As to being limited to "people who have some easy way to type it": not so! (And I do not understand why this continues to be an issue.) As I pointed out above, there are multiple ways of entering special characters; I would argue that everyone has an "easy way" to enter such characters. I am undecided whether the easiest is to cut-and-paste using the mouse (no typing whatsoever), or (for most editors) hit ctrl-shift-space.
Not that I am unsympathetic to double-underscores or double-commas, but I think there is a convincing case against them. (Would space-comma, or even underscore-comma, work better?) The argument for having the "specialness" reside in a special character, in contrast to a special use of a character combination, gets back to picking where one wants to handle any collisions of usage. Like, I doubt if anyone wants to enter an actual ",,". But what if you wanted a hard space after a comma (e.g.: ",,,")? Is that going to be a problem? I don't know. It seems like it would be simpler in concept and more elegant (and less likely to trip across unforeseen uses) to have all actual middot (or whatever) characters rendered as non-breaking spaces, and to use the entity form where that character is to be rendered. Is that too much work? Again, I don't know (we could use some data here!), but my long experience says to stick with elegance of concept. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:14, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Ah! Now I see Svick's contribution. (Good work!) Okay, I think middot is eliminated from consideration, and the character to consider is sdot. (And I will offer to personally convert all 91 instances (ah, pages?) of that to the &sdot; entity.) As to the 'blank' symbol ('␢') – well, it is to the point I was making above that I do not know how to "type in" that character, but cut-and-paste works just fine (␢␢␢␢␢!). But is there an HTML entity for entering it as itself? And: I still like music 'flat', but allow as how 474 pages is a bit much. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:43, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to see what folks think of just proposal #1: that actual non-breaking space characters be displayed, in the markup edit box only, as sdot characters. This would involve absolutely no changes to input methods; it would be solely to distinguish, in the markup, between the two kinds of "blanks" (spaces). The benefit would be that use or removal (however an editor desires) of non-breaking spaces would be knowing, not accidental. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 19:18, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Protection of Archives[edit]

I think we should have full protection of all archived areas to prevent vandalism and editing. Rin tin tin (talk) 16:27, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Good idea. Only question is -- do the bots that take care of them have admin-status? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 16:41, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose—completely un-necessary. Apart from anything, there are occasions when it is necessary to edit an archive (for instance, to correct links to other archived sections; to remove copyrighted or libellous material etc.) – furthermore, until you just floated the idea, was there any evidence that vandalism of archives was majorly problematic? ╟─TreasuryTagconstablewick─╢ 16:49, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Unnecessary, contrary to protection policy. Archives sometimes do need to be edited. –xenotalk 16:49, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I see what you're saying. I probably should have thought about this idea. I'm expecting one of these on my userpage sometime soon. Rin tin tin (talk) 16:58, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Nope. The idea has problems, but it wasn't a stupid idea.--SPhilbrickT 19:48, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Another reason to edit: if a template is deleted and it is used on an archive page, then it may be useful to subst it. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 20:16, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
  • And many archives are growing, i.e. talk page archives are automatically added to (on a daily basis) until they reach a certain size limit, and only then the next archive is created. This standard behaviour of archive bots would become impossible with protected archives. Fram (talk) 07:55, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Move the search box to the very top and make it much bigger please[edit]

Maybe it could be put here?

It's in an absolutely terrible spot, and it's tiny. Either move it back to the left sidebar, or do what facebook, yahoo and other large sites do with theirs, move it to the top and make it really big. Something like this picture. It can't stay how it is, the suggestions won't show up, and it's in the last place I would look for a search box, and is tiny.--Patton123 (talk) 12:53, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

There is a gadget now (in Special:Preferences) to widen it a little. Making it take up the entire top of the screen would be rather distracting. Mr.Z-man 15:07, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Distracting how? You mean different, not distracting. Every major website with a search bar that I have seen has had it at the top or left side. I proposed an idea like this earlier, I don't know where it has gone.-- (talk) 16:12, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
How is this a good thing ? We want you to edit. You can search with Google already. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:13, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
What are you suggesting? The most important thing to Wikipedia is a good search box, if we don't have that we don't have anything. How are people supposed to use the encyclopedia? Or are you trolling?--Patton123 (talk) 19:25, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Every major website does not have a massive search bar that takes up at least 2/3 of the width of the page, as suggested in the image. The Facebook search bar is only about twice the size of our current one, as is the one on Twitter. The one on is even closer to the top right corner than ours, its just wider. The reason it appears that every major site has a giant search bar in the center is because most "major websites" are search engines. If you look at websites that have their own content (such as The NY Times, CNN, Britannica) the search bar is much less prominent. Mr.Z-man 19:53, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
So essentially you are disagreeing with my proposal because my image isn't very good? I'm just suggesting a search bar like the one at Yahoo. It's infinitely better than what we have now. Anything is infinitely better than what we have now. It's in literally the worse possible place it could be. It needs to be changed. (Also, the yahoo one is about 4 times longer and 1.5 times higher than our search box not including the border, at least in 1440x900)--Patton123 (talk) 20:18, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Your proposal is "Something like this picture" - So, yeah, if I don't like how the image looks then I don't really have any other options. Yahoo is a search engine. The search box is their main business, so they give it prime placement. That really shouldn't be our model, and there's definitely no reason to make it any higher than it is now. Why do we need large font in the search box? Mr.Z-man 20:36, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Twitter search box. It's much too big for wikipedia, but we need placement somewhat similar to that. If you don't like how my picture looks you can say how you would like it. It's not "accept this porposal word for word no matter how tiny the changes you'd like to make are, or reject it". My drawing is hideous, it was done in paint, it just shows where I'd like it. You agree it needs to change at least?--Patton123 (talk) 20:54, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
That's the search box on the search page. We already have that. I presume you just mean the centering when you say we need similar placement, not the vertical spacing. Their search box on the main page is smaller. I agree that it needs to be wider, though I don't necessarily agree with centering it. Wikipedia is not a search engine. The content should get the emphasis, not the interface. Mr.Z-man 21:08, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
A poor interface hampers a reader's ability to access the content. Resolute 01:20, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
There is a difference between creating an interface that isn't poor and one that emphasizes itself over the content. One does not have to do the latter to accomplish the former. Mr.Z-man 02:58, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree with that, but the current default search bar size and placement, which the overwhelming majority of our readers will be seeing, is incredibly poor. As noted, cuts off longer search results and hampers a reader's ability to find some articles. The wider bar should be the default, though that wouldn't eliminate the location problem. Resolute 03:04, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Gotta say, I'll get used to all the other changes, but the location of that search bar is abysmal. I have no idea how anyone thought that was good placement. Resolute 18:32, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

This has me pondering btw. Should we redo to become like a multilingual portal for readers ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:59, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Uhh, isn't that what it is right now? --MZMcBride (talk) 20:03, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Well I mean, a bit more like So indeed a bigger search box, more prominently positioned, multiple language results. I don't know. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:14, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
The gadget Mr. Z-man mentioned doubles the size. I like it. Airplaneman 20:19, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Please tell me that the suggestion illustrated by that picture was in jest. AGK 14:31, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Patton123, you're the voice of reason. I can't see why everyone is up in arms about such a thing. Just make the search bar bigger. Big deal. Its a small change that makes a huge difference. Why should the most important part of wikipedia be so hidden? Maybe if it was bigger people wouldnt actually google '[insert subject here] wiki', they'd come straight to wikipedia. Mr 18:32, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

A poll is being conducted on this here: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Usability/Search box poll 2010. --AllyUnion (talk) 02:55, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Invitation to try out new features, for readers[edit]

Recently I got a nice email from the Foundation, which said:

"Thank you so much for supporting the Wikimedia Foundation. You may have noticed, but Wikipedia is looking a little different these days. Our user experience team, comprised of a few paid staff and thousands of volunteers, recently launched some new features in order to increase participation. Here's what’s different: ..." with a list of recent usability improvements.

I wonder if there's a nice way to reach out to readers with similar friendly notices to encourage editing... like the current 'learn more!' banner, but focusing on what 'anyone can edit' means and how people can get involved. Also, I'd love to see the current page linked from the banner here to include a direct request to sign up and get involved. [for people who don't know what 'editing' means, they may not even understand the section describing changes to the editing interface]

SJ+ 21:37, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

welcoming readers[edit]

Maybe we could start trying sticking in alternate site-wide banners for 1% of all anon pageviews, seeing how a variety of messages work for getting new readers to do [various things].

Maybe there's also a role for in-page banners highlighting other cool on-wiki projects. we could do something like a keyword-matching and geo-matching algorithm to identify pages whose readers would be interested in WikiProject:Fauna , or Wikis Take Manhattan.

I can see this sort of welcoming being adopted to great effect by current 'welcoming committee' style groups, with a little focused encouragement. SJ+

thanking editors for their work[edit]

No via email! Just post a lovely template to people's talkpages. That will also support natural discussion around the outreach message, other messages that might work, whether this is annoying 'spam', &c. You may want to float the idea of such an update, write a bot to make the posts, have it run a few hundred edits and get it a bot flag through normal channels first... rate limit it to a few dozen an hour, &c. SJ+

Why not just have a "A big thank you to all serious editors" feature on the Main Page? I say "serious editors" because this "thank you" would be for them and not for the vandals. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:42, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Possible "topical" article improvement drive[edit]

This may seem like a strange idea, I dunno. But, particularly taking into account the number of schools which occasionally use us, I was thinking that maybe getting together a list of a few "core" topics for collaboration for maybe a given school year might be a possibly workable idea.

If it were to be a specific proposal, it might be something like this. There are currently 10 core categories of content used by the WP:1.0 group. Maybe getting together some sort of page on which active editors could indicate which of the more important topics (articles and logical immediate descendant articles) they think might be best qualified for collaboration topics for the upcoming school year could be listed, and allowing interested parties to support those they think should be included on a comparatively short list of maybe 20? topics per 1.0 category. Then, the selected topics could be put on some sort of list for the upcoming school year, with some indication which editors would be willing to either help develop the content themselves or help some school based project in a regular way. Would such an idea have any appeal to any of you others? John Carter (talk) 22:11, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

You might be interested in Vital articles, which has a few levels. Maurreen (talk) 07:44, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Good List[edit]

I propose that we have good lists, similar to how we have featured lists.--Iankap99 (talk) 21:17, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

They exist already. Wikipedia:Good articles InMooseWeTrust (talk) 21:38, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Those are articles, not lists.--Iankap99 (talk) 21:43, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
What would be the point of "Good Lists"? RaaGgio (talk) 21:53, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
What is the point of featured lists? --Iankap99 (talk) 21:56, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Featured lists are those of higher quality in Wikipedia. When the users see the star in the corner, they know the list/article they're reading is much better and much more reliable than the typical article. RaaGgio (talk) 04:36, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I know, I was being rhetorical for the sake of proving how the relationship of featured articles to good articles could be the same as featured lists to good lists.--Iankap99 (talk) 21:29, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I think Good Lists are a good idea. Maurreen (talk) 05:13, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

I am not crazy about the idea of ranking lists for quality, in the same way as articles are ranked for quality, but what I do think would be extremely useful is to have an "importance rating" or perhaps a "usefulness rating" for lists (there is already an importance rating for many articles). Some lists may be trivial, but other lists - I am thinking here of List of Nobel Laureates are surely high importance lists, and would rank high in both importance and in usefulness. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:24, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

This is a featured list, good lists would be of similar quality as good articles are to featured articles.--Iankap99 (talk) 21:32, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

That list I referred to has been ranked as "High Importance" by the WikiProject Group for Sweden - perhaps we need a WikiProject Group for lists who could rate the importance of lists. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:29, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

All wikiprojects do that

Seems like an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy to me, given that lists simply go from List Class to Featured List. And the latter was only really made because lists could never meet the FA criteria. An interesting idea, but is it really worth extending the the whole process, given that Lists are pretty straightfoward? --.:Alex:. 21:36, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Maybe the easiest way to go to achieve this end would be to discuss with the Good Article people and the FL people what sort of terms would be required for a "Good list," and asking the Good Article people to take on the task of reviewing nominations for "Good lists" in addition to good articles? John Carter (talk) 22:22, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
It's been proposed before, and I think I might have even supported it in the past, but overall there isn't much difference between a "good" (not Good) list and a Featured list (unless they're written primarily of prose). Juliancolton | Talk 23:07, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Why do you propose this? Is there something about the current system that you dislike or find dysfunctional? If there is, then point it out. But if there isn't, then I think proposing this for the sake of proposing isn't very productive. RaaGgio (talk) 07:28, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I see what Iankap99 means, in the grading scheme template, the GA editing suggestion reads:
  • Some editing by subject and style experts is helpful; comparison with an existing featured article on a similar topic may highlight areas where content is weak or missing.

The FA editing suggestion reads:

  • No further content additions should be necessary unless new information becomes available; further improvements to the prose quality are often possible.

Unlike with lists, there are seven different classes for articles. I'm not proposing that there should be seven classes for lists as well, but there should be more classes to give a more specific definition of what the article's quality can be classified as. The FL editing suggestion reads:

  • No further content additions should be necessary unless new information becomes available.

The List editing suggestion reads:

  • Lists should be lists of live links to Wikipedia articles, appropriately named and organized.

Here is an example of a list (according to the suggestion): List of aikidoka
Here is an example of a recently added Featured list: Pussycat Dolls discography
Here is an example of an article that is in-between (GL quality): List of Slipknot concert tours, List of Metallica concert tours
The GL editing suggestion should read something like:

  • Some editing by subject and style experts is helpful; comparison with an existing featured list on a similar topic may highlight areas where content is weak or missing.

I hope this is clear. CrowzRSA 01:34, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Main page Search Bar[edit]

Wikipedia users,

I propose that, on the main page (, as soon as a visitor enters, the search bar is automatically selected (i.e. he/she does not have to click on it to insert text.

Furthermore, seeing as the search is the most important part of the site, I propose that the search bar be lengthened horizontally for greater visibility. The bar can retain its original length when the user navigates away from the main page, e.g. to an article.

The search bar on has the right idea. However I prefer to enter as I enjoy reading the articles and headlines on the front page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:36, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Perennial proposal. It won't be done because it would create a usability problem (see FAQ). PleaseStand (talk) 19:38, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I believe there is an option in the preferences of registered users to make the cursor default to the search box. Fences&Windows 16:46, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Cite error message improvement[edit]

I am proposing some improvements to cite errors; see Help talk:Cite errors#Error message improvement. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 21:00, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Request for comment on flagged revisions trial[edit]

I have created a request for comment on the flagged revisions trial, motivated by an unexpected, unannounced and publicly undiscussed change of configuration removing the reviewer usergroup. Please weigh in there. Cenarium (talk) 12:58, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Subject_style_guide RFC[edit]

It has been proposed that Wikipedia_:Subject_style_guide be marks as a guideline. See Wikipedia_talk:Subject_style_guide#RFC Gnevin (talk) 16:39, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Adding dates to assessment templates[edit]

(I originally raised this at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council where it received no comment) I've been taking part in an assessment drive, and coming across a number of articles which range from stub in one project's assessment to B-class in another's. The most likely reason for this is that the article has been expanded considerably since assessed as a stub.

This gave rise to the idea of adding an assessment date parameter to each Wikiproject template, and having the assessment date displayed with the quality class. (It is currently possible for a user to discover the assessment date, but only by trawling back through the history of the talk page). In future, the date parameter could also be used by bots to compile lists of pages last assessed, say, 3 years ago, which could be a basis for reassessing. dramatic (talk) 19:45, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

I can see problems of the parameter not been completed or updated when the rating is changed. If this could be done, somehow, automatically when the page was saved then it would be useful to be able to see when each of the ratings was made. The idea of producing lists of article potentially in need of re-rating is also appealing. Keith D (talk) 20:25, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
A bot might work as well, though Keith's suggestion would be the ideal. I'm in general support for this otherwise. It might be wise to bring up this discussion on Template talk:WPBannerMeta. --Izno (talk) 05:31, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
WP 1.0 bot already maintains assessment logs for each WikiProject. If that data would be computer-readable, it would be easy to create a tool that e.g. lists assessments that weren't changed the longest time. I asked about it on the bot's talk page. Svick (talk) 16:16, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
If you look at a table like this one, the dates are all listed, and should be computer-readable. The old bot used to produce a sortable table; the new bot is much better, but I see that you can't sort in order of assessment date. If that is a useful option, mention it on the bot's talk page and I'm sure User:CBM can do that. Walkerma (talk) 04:14, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
This could be accomplished by running queries directly on the bot's database in the Toolserver. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 02:56, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

I have no objection to charing the bot's data either by giving access to the toolserver tables or by writing an API to do it. However, in this case it looks like just adding another sort order would be better. I would be happy to have more devs for the WP 1.0 bot :) — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:15, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

I think that the issue is that some people want to place the assessment dates on article talk pages; as such it would probably be simpler (and faster, and overall less painful for the Toolserver) for SELECTs on the db... Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 05:56, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
In that case, the technical issues for getting access to the bot's database are no problem. I would have some other concerns about adding the dates to the talk pages, though:
  1. It's a lot of pages (over 2 million). Maybe this could be reduced by only worrying about pages marked "C" or higher; that would drop the count to under 150k. It seems excessive to edit a million pages for this.
    That kind of defeats the idea of being able to check on discrepancies in class (Today I found an article which ranged from stub to B across 3 different projects). Is it possible to create a link which retrieves assessment dates "on demand" for a given article? dramatic (talk) 00:07, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
    Sure, just enter the article name into the tool and leaver project name blank (example). Svick (talk) 12:03, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
  2. Occasionally something happens that breaks the dates. For example, a small error in the WPBannerMeta template could cause all the category dates to reset, and random maintenance could accidentally reset the date as well. This is a pain to deal with robustly; since the dates are treated only informationally in the bot, I don't worry about it too much. Mediawiki does not keep a log of category membership, which complicates error recovery.
— Carl (CBM · talk) 12:40, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Proposed essay, discussion period[edit]

Some discussion periods are enshrined in custom or by instructions. RFAs last 7 days. So do AFDs. For talk pages, there is none. Some, like the Timor Leste page lasts 3 years and is on going. We never want to cheat the system by closing up discussion. Sometimes discussions get closed on ANI fast. I am interested in writing an essay about article discussions, not ANI discussions.

I was going to suggest that on-going discussions should continue until a clear consensus is reached. If not, the discussion should continue for up to one year. Even if there is a clear consensus, things should be kept open for at least 14-30 days. Too short and results could get skewed. This would preclude the 3 year wait in Timor Leste. Wikipedia is editable so discussion may be eventually re-opened. My essay would propose that discussion, barring a good reason, should not be immediately reopened because that might be looked at as edit warring. Perhaps a 6 week break would be sufficient. I might propose a term "preliminary consensus" or "provisional consensus" so that old decisions would not be cited with the force of law because that might stifle future discussion.

Essays do not require discussion. However, I do want to write an essay with some input from others. Thank you. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 18:16, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like instruction creep. RfCs are the solution to stale or intractable talk page discussions, and last 30 days. Fences&Windows 16:45, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
So I presume that 30 days is the consensus standard for deciding a consensus except in specific instances, like AFD and RFA. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 19:37, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Consensus is usually decided much quicker than 30 days, usually when the discussion peters to a halt, and it usually doesn't need formally closing. What has taken three years on Talk:East Timor? Oh, the name. How unsurprising, these sorts of debates are always intractable. To get a final consensus, post comments at relevant WikiProjects and policy and guidelines pages, e.g. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names) and open an RfC. Fences&Windows 22:55, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
This is reasonable. So the consensus is that consensus can be declared sooner than 30 days if discussion halts. Another good suggestion is that intractable discussions should be considered for RfC and/or wikiprojects. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 16:53, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
WP:Closing discussions might be of interest. Equazcion (talk) 18:01, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Advanced search[edit]

I suggest an advanced search form, e.g. like Google's advanced search, with boolean operators, "exact phrase" and separate textboxes for intitle:, prefix: and incategory: Iceblock (talk) 17:48, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion to have a "Possible Renames" feature in Wikipedia[edit]

Perhaps there is already an "Article Names for discussion" in Wikipedia,butI have not found it yet. If there is not one, then to have one would be an extremely useful feature. There are articles that have got renamed (such as the one called Inaccuracies in The Da Vinci Code, which used to be Criticisms of the Da Vinci Code) and such renaming is almost certainly going to lead to some people declaring that the older name was better. However - I know I must be mad to be concerned about such a trivial, facetious article - there was one article which really prompted me to make this suggestion.

It is the article Wikipedia: Editcountitis. Yes, perhaps I should not be overly concerned about what is really a joke article, but I still object to this article being called "Editcountitis" as "itis" means "inflammation" and so its title is giving a bad name. I have actually raised my objections to the article's name on the talk page of the article (go to Wikipedia: Editcountitis and then go the talk page, where you will see that I am not the only one to have done so, and you will also see I have made suggestions for other names). So, my proposal is to have a "Article Names up for Discussion" feature on Wikipedia, where, if sufficient discussion declares it, an article will be given a new name. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:32, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Requested moves. The name might not seem intuitive at first glance, if you don't know that the way we retitle (most) articles and pages is by moving them to a new title. They are "moves", because we are not just retitling the page, but moving the page's entire history to the new name.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 21:36, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you Fuhghettaboutit - that seems the type of thing I had in mind, so that answers my proposal. Many thanks again, ACEOREVIVED (talk) 23:27, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

You're welcome.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:56, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
"itis" may mean "inflammation", but it's still a common suffix that people apply to random words to come up with a new "disease". (see Senioritis, where it specifically says " colloquial speech is assumed to mean an illness") The talk page has a whopping three people mentioning it, spread out over four years; that's not a particularly strong sign that it needs to be updated. Sorry, but it'll probably keep the name. EVula // talk // // 22:04, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you - and funnily enough, shortly after making this point, I heard people on BBC Radio Four using the term "commisionitis"! ACEOREVIVED (talk) 19:04, 25 May 2010 (UTC)


I was checking over Talk:0.999.../Arguments and found this. One of the comments there was "Wikipedia is not a forum" or something. Now, as an experienced wikian from some of the other wikis, i noticed some of the other wikis have forums. So I propose we make a forum for Wikipedia, so people can discuss stuff there, instead of littering the talk pages with statements that don't improve the wiki (like writing on the Google article: "I think so that Yahoo is better than Google and that we should delete this" or something). Sixeightyseventyone (talk) 02:14, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

If I may fill in the traditional argument against this sort of proposal, it is that Wikipedia/Wikimedia is not in the business of hosting forums, which have their own problems and complications. There are loads of forums out there on the internet, if users want to rant and rave about things, they can do it there. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 13:57, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Renaming the "Flagged Protections" feature[edit]

As mentioned on wikien-l, the team working on the Flagged Protections deployment plans to rename the feature. If you have an opinion, see a full description of the situation on wikien-l, and then comment on the 'Terminology" subpage talk page. WMF plans to pick a name no later than May 28. -- RobLa (talk) 18:15, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Proposal: Semi-protect articles of newly deceased people for 24 hours following knowledge of their death.[edit]

Yesterday, Paul Gray died. Following this knowledge, the page was vandalized a minimum of three hundred and twenty five times. The page was such a mess Cluebot couldn't revert it properly. When Ronnie James Dio died, the exact same thing happened. Dead famous people are, to put it bluntly, an asshole magnet. Now, given the sheer amount of vandalism to the Paul Gray article, it was clearly a coordinated attack, but much the same thing happened to the Dio article and that time it didn't seem to be. Locking the doors for 24 hours might help stem the 'tardtide, as this sort of thing tends to happen right after the information becomes public.

I realize this falls under 'pre-emptive protection' but this is the second time I've seen it happen, so perhaps this could be considered an ignore all rules situation. HalfShadow 16:52, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

It seems appropriate to semiprotect an article about a newly deceased person quickly if vandalism becomes a problem. We need to be sensitive to the fact that a bio article will get lots of views when the death is in the news, and many of the vandal edits on the Paul Gray article would be quite hurtful to friends or fans. It might be an overreaction to have a policy or guideline that all bio articles are semiprotected when the person dies, but there is no reason to leave the article unprotected when several idiots are vandalizing it. If I found that while I was posting a warning on the page of vandal #1, he and 2 others have re-vandalized, I would go ahead and semiprotect, since it would be impossible to keep up, and it would be hard to sort out useful edits from garbage. New or IP editors could propose edits on the talk page during the day or two of semiprotection. (edited)Edison (talk) 17:00, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I think this is a great case for the "use common sense" clause of WP:IAR. There are some situations where the article should be protected upon announcement of the person's death. I'm thinking of Michael Jackson specifically, where the article was, if I recall correctly, protected before it stated that he was dead, because of the amount of rumours, untruths, and unverified statements flying around. I don't think it's necessary in every case—and for some lesser-known people, having the article open for editing after their deaths will improve the article. However, when it's clear the anonymous editors are doing more harm than good, and the harm is coming in quickly or in great quantity, then yes, the article should be protected. —C.Fred (talk) 17:02, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I would support this proposal. Bios of the recently deceased are prime targets for vandalism, particularly in the case of those like Michael Jackson that are very famou and subject to some rather nasty rumours/vandalism. I see no harm in semi-protecting these pages after the death for a day or so. TomBeasley (talk) 21:10, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid I have to oppose any such blanket proposal. Most reported deaths of article subjects aren't a problem. A few, like Paul Gray, are ridiculous problems. It's better to just let administrators feel free to semiprotect such articles if there's a real problem (the Paul Gray vandalism, possible hoaxes, etc.) and not mandate that they must. However, I am all for defending individual decisions to use semiprotection in these circumstances; if this causes a brief delay in IP edits, that's not as big a problem as getting things wrong would be. Gavia immer (talk) 21:53, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't think this is needed "as a rule", but I think that editors should feel free to report articles on the recently departed that are being vandalized to WP:RFPP swiftly. –xenotalk 22:02, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Last year, following the death of Kosuke Koyama in March 2009, I did suggest that just how there is a tag for biographies of living people, there should be a tag for the recently deceased. However, the proposal was not carried. There are definite problems here, we should be careful (after all, what would the friends and family of a recently deceased person think about the article in Wikipedia?) Yes, we do need to be careful, but a mere 24 hours of semi-protection seems quite a modest proposal to me - perhaps we should just say that we should keep a watchful eye on people for a week after they have passed away. I can, however, really understand the proposal, and this is certainly a sensitive, intelligently argued proposal. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 23:02, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

A good argument against this proposal for automatically semiprotecting is the article on Art Linkletter, former TV personality and commercial pitchman who passed away today. So far, 6 different IP editors have added the fact that he died and have made 9 appropriate edits which updated and improved the article (not to say vandals or wanna-be humorists won't jump in at some point in the future). Such proper edits are a good way for IP or new editors to get their feet wet in editing Wikipedia. Edison (talk) 19:34, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Unnecessary process creep. The existing procedures for protecting a page will suffice. The question in this case is why an article that was apparently vandalized 325 times never went through WP:RFPP in a timely manner. Articles vandalized that often will almost always be protected regardless of the reason why. Resolute 20:55, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Proposed Move Of WP:Ownership of articles To WP:Ownership[edit]

There is a proposal to move WP:Ownership of articles To WP:Ownership at Wikipedia_talk:Ownership_of_articles#Move.3F. (talk) 02:42, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Clarifying WP: shortcuts and Wikipedia: page titles[edit]

Currently, the Wikipedia: namespace contains all manner of help, guidance, policy, guideline, essay, supplementary essay, wikiprojects and other miscellaneous pages. Mostly this is not a problem (though it is untidy and contributes to confusion for newcomers), but it is at least occasionally a problem for confusing all but the most experienced of Wikipedians when it comes to referring to policies, guidelines, and essays - particularly in cryptic shortcut form - in discussion. Two related proposals to improve this situation (more ideas welcome):

  1. Have a bot expand shortcuts on talkpages where wikilinked. So WP:NPOV becomes Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Basically, decryptify shortcuts a bit.
  2. Create a "Policies and guidelines" pseudospace and PG: pseudospace for relevant shortcuts, and move policies and guidelines there; and/or an "Essay" pseudospace and E: pseudospace, and move essays there. Create a U: pseudospace for shortcuts for userspace generally, but of particular relevance here to create appropriate shortcuts for userspace essays. Basically, make it clearer from the links what the target is.

Note that point 2. in prior discussion at WP:VPD was felt to possibly be an attempt to demote essays or discourage reference to them; far from it. It is simply to avoid creating confusion, and a sense which too often seems to arise that new users feel cheated "I thought that was a policy you were raising". Clarify that it's an essay, that it's a convenient encapsulation of a user's view in a particular situation, and communication should be enhanced and discussion should just work better. Another issue raised has been (more or less) that it doesn't matter if shortcuts are confusing; it's users' fault for not following the shortcuts whenever they're mentioned. To this I would say (a) not very helpful, or friendly to newcomers, who have to try and remember all this new alphabet soup and cryptic abbreviation; (b) even more experienced Wikipedians can get confused, and think they know what shortcut X means, but they're wrong; expanding shortcuts is just being helpful all round. Rd232 talk 00:08, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Previous discussion: WP:Village pump (development)/Archive 1#Move all essays to userspace (e.g. User:Essay/Coatrack) or separate namespace (e.g. Essay:Coatrack). Flatscan (talk) 04:18, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I think that this is more a problem with how the users link. I think people should not link shortcuts at all, especially as sole reasoningsin !votes. Rather than "Oppose WP:NPOV", I believe one should say "Oppose The article lacks a neutral point of view, a Wikipedia policy" or something of the sort to more justify their reasoning. The link and its status should be secondary, IMO. I know this would make it "easier" because people don't want to do that, but I don't think it would help anything. VerballyInsane 03:46, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Well it's not going to make anything worse is it? It may or may not change behaviour for the better in terms of using links (I think it might), but it should certainly help other users who are reading the links follow things better. Especially new users. Please don't judge a proposal for not solving a related problem it doesn't seek to address - that's so annoying. Rd232 talk 04:09, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I apologise. I thought that was what it was trying to address. VerballyInsane 14:35, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I think that the essay "WTF? OMG! TMD TLA. ARG!" sums up my thoughts on this. It is not directly related, but I do not think that adding these namespaces would help unconfuse readers. The essay " What does per mean? also has a bit of information on what I think. Whenever you link to a page, whether it is policy, guideline, or essay, it is up to the person to go to it. It is also your responsibility to mention how it affects the specific situation. And for that matter, even if it is a policy, people should still feel free to refute it (or ignore all rules) if they think that it does not apply in this case. Please feel free to disagree with me. And if I'm judging "a proposal for not solving a related problem it doesn't seek to address," then I obviously missed what problem it was seeking to address and it was not on purpose. VerballyInsane 17:08, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
"Whenever you link to a page, whether it is policy, guideline, or essay, it is up to the person to go to it." - you realise that by this logic, we should ban seatbelts, on the grounds that it's up to drivers to drive sensibly? Bottom line, this is supposed to help communication. In a perfect world, it wouldn't be necessary. In a perfect world, people would communicate clearly - and probably avoid using shortcuts at all, using the full page title instead, and certainly fully explain the relevance in the context. Well we can't automatically explain, but we can automatically clarify the links. Why is this not helpful, in an imperfect world? Rd232 talk 21:34, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm really confused as to what problem(s) this is supposed to solve. Sometimes shortcuts are mentioned the way that they are because that's the easiest way to do so; in an AfD where the nominating statement specifically states that the article lacks a neutral point of view, it's perfectly reasonable for follow-up statements to simply cite WP:NPOV. Hell, I find it kinda funny that you say "prior discussion at WP:VPD was felt" without spelling out the development village pump (which is far more obscure than your given example of "NPOV").
As for separate namespaces for policies and guidelines and another for essays... ugh, please, no. There's no point in it, and it's needless fragmentation. The Wikipedia: and WP: namespaces/pseudo-namespaces are for project-level pages, which guidelines, policies, and essays all are. If someone is incorrectly citing a user essay as a policy, that's a behavior issue that needs to be addressed, not a technical one. EVula // talk // // 04:31, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
It's not "kinda funny" that I didn't spell out WP:VPD - it was deliberate!! It was an illustration of how a bot expanding links can be helpful! Now you know how newbies feel all the time! Also, you're missing the point - it's not "incorrectly citing" which is the issue; this is rare. It's citing in an ambiguous way. This is common, because people often say "see WP:whatever", rather than "my opinion on this subject is encapsulated in the essay WP:whatever". I don't see the "fragmentation" argument - we have different namespaces for different purposes, this is just applying the same principle for a pretty clearly explained reason. Finally, "there's no point in it" is just plain rude. You may disagree with the point, but the point has been made. It contributes to slightly reducing the newbie-offputting alphabet soup effect. This effect has been cited often enough as a big reason why people find it hard to get seriously involved. Rd232 talk 21:34, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Might be kind of neat if the tooltip of linked redirects displayed the target page title. Hover over these two links to see what I'm talking about: WP:NPOV · WP:NPOV.

More generally, people should simply ensure that they always link when using an initial abbreviation / initialism. And, if possible, spell out the initial instance. --MZMcBride (talk) 04:55, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

That (tooltips showing redirects) is one of my favorite features of popups. VerballyInsane 14:35, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
What about something like this: NPOV or V (code: {{User:Nmajdan/Test3|NPOV}}). It provides a tooltip and a link. Granted, the hard part would be the initial population of all shortcuts into the template, but this would allow editors to hover over the link and see what page/policy it is linking to.—NMajdantalk 15:17, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
WP:POPUPS already does this, and it does help. But we're talking about helping make things clearer for new users who haven't found that; unregistered users who can't; or passersby who find the whole thing ludicrously impenetrable and are put off ever trying to edit. Remember them? Remember that getting new editors to replace those leaving is not an optional extra, but essential to the long-term survival of Wikipedia? We should constantly be striving to be friendlier and more welcoming, and I think these suggestions would be help. Rd232 talk 21:34, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I usually use direct page links in my comments, varying between full page names and piped links (which show the actual link on mouse-over) displaying the common shortcuts or in running text. I use shortcuts when they redirect to specific sections, which are easily renamed, breaking direct links. I tend to avoid linking when a term has been linked nearby, e.g. in a comment that I am responding to. I think that the shortcuts will be used regardless of any discouragement (short of outright deletion and creation protection), and linking them allows inexperienced users to educate themselves and gain familiarity. Full page names are more readable, but they often contain jargon and are not substantially less opaque. Flatscan (talk) 04:18, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Indeed they may contain jargon, but surely you can't disagree that even the most jargonistic of full titles conveys more information than a shortcut. The point about breaking section links is a more substantive issue. That would suggest taking the piped approach you mention - the bot leaving the shortcut for the link part, but providing the full title for the description part of the wikilink. Rd232 talk 17:30, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
While alphabet soup is a turnoff, full page names do not convey the pages' contents. I would be cautiously supportive of a bot that converted untargeted shortcuts to full name links without changing their original appearance. Flatscan (talk) 04:35, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
"without changing their original appearance" - doesn't that mean the shortcut wouldn't look any different? What do you mean? (And if you mean that, what's the purpose of that?) Rd232 talk 09:25, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
It would change the tooltip text only, making it available if the reader needs a quick hint. My opinion is that actively removing initialisms will make users less familiar and more confused if they come across unlinked/unconverted ones. Flatscan (talk) 04:09, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I like the idea of an auto-tooltip when using WP: space a lot. It seems like the perfect solution. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 13:44, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

OK. Sort of like a mini-version of WP:POPUP which doesn't need installing, I suppose. Anyone have any idea how to do it? Rd232 talk 07:36, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Bot possibility:
  1. Identify shortcut links, generally of the form [[WP:SHORTCUT]].
  2. Verify that it is an untargeted redirect.
  3. Replace with a direct link to the target, using a piped link to maintain its appearance.
A slightly smarter bot could parse signature timestamps and use historical revisions to find the target at the time of comment. Flatscan (talk) 04:20, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Note: There is currently a bot request (DASHBot 13) to automatically tag such redirects with {{r from short}}. All community input would be greatly appreciated. Tim1357 talk 22:17, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Rather than a PG (Policy and Guidelines) namespace, it would be better to have separate P and G namespaces, since policies are of higher authority than guidelines. Tisane (talk) 14:54, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

No they're not; any of these pages can have rubbish written on it, and in my experience nearly all of them do. Certainly the tag at the top of the page doesn't magically cause it to be more authoritatively edited.--Kotniski (talk) 15:02, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

A-class articles[edit]

Who thinks we should get rid of the "A-class" category from the quality scale? It seems to me that it is just confusing to have the ratings going C-B-GA-A-FA, especially as the A-class articles are internally assessed. Anyone? Gregcaletta (talk) 10:57, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, it is very confusing. I assumed that being a GA was a requirement for an article to be assessed as A-class by a WikiProject, but it turns out I was wrong. I understand that the scale isn't intended to be linear (e.g., if I understand correctly, a start-class article has insufficient comprehensiveness and a C-class article has insufficient quality, but neither level is necessary above the other); but I don't see the point of the GA-A-FA thing. A. di M. (talk) 11:43, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
OTOH it would make sense if the order was A-GA-FA, IMO. A. di M. (talk) 11:46, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
If you put in stub it looks like a game of hopscotch getting to FA :) Dmcq (talk) 12:36, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
... except that none of those steps are necessary to get to FA; you can take any article straight to FAC. Some of the classifications are clearly fairly pointless anyway, although I doubt there would be much consensus on which they were. Malleus Fatuorum 12:42, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I've always treated A class as having been obsoleted by GA. A class is a project ranking that I rarely see used, GA is a "Wikipedia" one - i.e.: an independent reviewer is making the call on the rank. IMO, the two should be swapped on the assessment scale. Resolute 13:49, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Some projects use A class, where (and I'm sure we'll hear from say, a MILHISTer) they are of use. For the other projects, they do no harm and can safely be ignored. Does getting rid of them accomplish anything then? - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 13:52, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
It gets rid of inconsistency, which is surely a good thing. There's no reason why project members shouldn't review each other's articles at GAN or FAC, so long as it's done openly and honestly. What does the infrequently used A-class add to that? Despite the recurring meme, although GAs are passed by one reviewer, they can just as easily be delisted by another. I've delisted well over a hundred. Malleus Fatuorum 22:55, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd say the main benefit would be that it is just simpler and clearer. It also kind of makes sense that articles above B-class should be externally moderated. It doesn't make much sense to have externally moderated "Good articles" and then to have an internally moderated class above that level. Of course, it is really for individual projects to decide if they want to get rid of that process. It's just a bit messy, frustrating for guys like me who aren't members of a particular project but would like to see the change made across the board, and confusing for novice editors or non-editors who nonetheless are trying to determine the quality of an article. Gregcaletta (talk) 01:14, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I didn't even know there was an "A-class" — it's completely obsoleted by GA, in my opinion. Carrite (talk) 17:13, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
As Jarry pointed out, WP:MILHIST uses them extensively: there are 252 of them at the moment. That other projects don't use a formal A-class review system isn't a reason to trash the A-class system as a whole. At least at MILHIST, A-class standards are much closer to FA than GA. So from that perspective, to say that GA has made A obsolete strikes me as rather odd.
To answer Malleus's question about what A-class adds, I've found them to be quite useful in preparing an article for FAC. I can't find it now, but MBK004 crunched the numbers and determined that articles that successfully passed a MILHIST ACR stood a much greater chance of also passing FAC. And while you might argue that the peer review can adequately cover this function, I've found that they generally draw much less input. Take, for example, this PR I filed on 11 May; it's only had 1 reviewer so far. Meanwhile, this ACR, which I filed 13 minutes later, has since been closed as successful after 4 reviewers participated. Parsecboy (talk) 19:28, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
MILHIST's A class is considerably more rigorous than GA, and is highly regarded by those familiar with the project. The fact that it happens "internally" is actually significant: those familiar with MILHIST expectations/standards/MOS and general milhist knowledge offer a much better critique and judgement than most "external" assessors. As a step to FA, it is invaluable; for those not wanting to progress to FA, it offers much satisfaction as a mark of excellence/achievement, and guides readers to excellent articles. There is no point scrapping A class until GA standards meet the same bar. Gwinva (talk) 22:37, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't necesarily agree with you about MILHIST's A-class reviews, although I suppose it depends on what you call "rigorous" . I've seen several at FAC that were little more than plagiarised copies of old public domain documents. Malleus Fatuorum 23:20, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
If you're referring to those WWII transports that had significant copies from DANFS, those went through a couple of years ago, when standards were more lax than they are now (remember that they passed FAC at the time as well, so it wasn't just MILHIST dropping the ball). Parsecboy (talk) 00:02, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Put simply the fact of the matter is that the A-class review system and the GA-class review system full fill the same general purpose: to provide projects a measure of where their articles lie in relation to the 1.0 assessment scale. From this angle therefore the whole debate over the GA and A-class as they relate to wikipedia are mute: offer both and see what the project members think. MILHIST uses A-class for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that we have the man power to run such a department. Simply because our project has mastered the art of A-class while the rest of the projects haven't is no reason to penalize us. Moreover, GA and A-class both serve as stepping stones up the higher assessment chart. Lets stop having this discussion and simple work on the articles in question, that helps all project's articles move forward, does it not? TomStar81 (Talk) 01:58, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

It should be kept, as illustrated by WPMILHIST, it can and is used in a proper manner. The fact that other WPPs are not using it is not an issue, some projects don't use C-class either, are you also proposing to get rid of that? (talk) 04:48, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Analysis of the results of the WPMILHIST A class process conducted by MBK004 which is available here found that articles within the project's scope which had passed an A class review were much more likely to pass a FAC than those which hadn't gone through the A class process. To my mind that's reason enough to keep A class and other projects should be encouraged to conduct reviews. On a personal level, I've developed and nominated quite a few articles for A class status and can attest that the process works really well and adds a lot of value. Nick-D (talk) 08:38, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Full discussion and results are here on the MILHIST coordinator's talk page. -MBK004 09:19, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I think a lot of editors have lost sight of the fact that article assessment, be it it A-class or GA/FA, is simply a tool: it is not an end in itself! A-class is a different tool from GA or FA. There's no problem with that, nobody is forcing anyone to write A-class articles and there is a great deal of useful work that can be done on the encyclopedia without even considering article assessment. But to go from there to say that editors should not be allowed to use the tool of A-class is just silly: many editors find it useful, if only occasionally, and for that reason alone they should be allowed to continue using it. Physchim62 (talk) 09:18, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
At WP:MED we do not use the A class system. It do not think it adds anything other than further bureaucracy and would have no problems with it being rescinded. But agree that this should be decided on a WP basis.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:25, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Toolserver IPs[edit]

As it is against both toolserver and enwiki policy for bots to edit while logged out, a proposal to permanently soft-block the toolserver IPs has begun at Wikipedia talk:Bot policy. Please join the discussion there. Anomie 15:13, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Good article symbol on GAs[edit]

We currently have a star on FA. I do not know if this has been discussed before but what about putting the GA symbol on good articles?--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:47, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Comes up at intervals and does not gain consensus - see Wikipedia:Perennial_proposals#Indicate_Good_Articles_to_readers - Peripitus (Talk) 06:28, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the very day you asked the question this started being rolled out. A straw poll revealed a 55-19 consensus at the project page, so they're making it happen. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 14:19, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

My opinion about illicit/prescription drug use and how it's manners of use are described on Wikipedia[edit]

Resolved: Wikipedia is not censored. ╟─TreasuryTagconsulate─╢ 21:17, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

As a person who was just diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder as well as Adult Attention Deficit Disorder - one of the medications I was prescribed ( among a couple of others ) was Ritalin. I researched all the medications in a variety of areas. What really shocked me was when I researched Ritalin. Not only does it describe it's uses, effects, contraindications and the usual *stuff*, it also describes it's use as a street drug and even describes how some people like to "crush" it and "snort it" for a quicker high, when abusing the medication. I would have never even considered such a thing and wouldn't even know this was possible until I read it described on this particular page. What bothered me was that college students use this a lot to cram for exams, which is a well known fact and mentioned in the article. Most disturbing however was the description of how to use it in a crushed and snorted form, which I imagine could seriously cause problems for anyone, college student or not, and even lead to death. I wonder if leaving this sort of information out of drugs that can be abused in this manner is censorship or perhaps a smart thing to do?

Editing a page to delete the ways a standard prescription medication can be made to be more "potent" and "a quicker high" is something I think is worthy of debate.

I am wondering if anyone agrees with me or feels like it's just a fact, like it or not and it does need to remain under that specific topic ( or any other similarly abusable drug for that matter)

Is this so parents can prevent it from happening if they happen to see a straw with a mortar and pestle in their child's room? I don't think so. I think it is a way to teach creative and dangerous ways to abuse particular drugs.

Any comments?

BTW - If I were 18 or 20-ish, was on Ritalin for ADD and help with studies and attention problems, at that age - I'd be all over it. I'd be crushing and snorting and thanking Wikipedia for "turning me on". Alas, I am a 53 year old adult with no desire to ruin my life or health.

I have never posted anything, edited anything or even know if I'm in the right place to start a discussion on the matter.

Leeeeenda (talk) 21:06, 30 May 2010 (UTC)leeeeenda <Methylphenidate>

Well I hope this information helps people realize the importance of keeping this type of medication locked up and helps parents realize the potential seriousness of managing this medication use by their children. People may steal it from their kids or their kids may sell the stuff. For those who are involved in this type of behavior Wikipedia is not needed as they will have figured it out with the help of their friends and other resouces. Wikipedia however is not at how to guide. WP:NOT. Will look into it further.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:16, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not censored in any way. That would include descriptions of drug use, which, I'm sure you can see, has encyclopedic relevance. ╟─TreasuryTagconsulate─╢ 21:17, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Well not censored we do not provide how to instructions. It does not look like there are how to instruction in this case however. Here is the first google hit one gets when one types in "shooting ritalin" [6]. I do not think Wikipedia is what people need to be worrying about. I guess the main reason people bring up concerns here is we are one of the only sites that will actually license and address peoples complaints.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:23, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
No, we don't provide how-to instructions per se. Inevitably, describing the way in which drugs are used could potentially indicate to someone how-to do so themselves, but that is not our responsibility. ╟─TreasuryTagconstablewick─╢ 21:24, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
I looked over the Methylphenidate (Ritalin) page - didn't see much anything that was how-to related to remove...unless I am missing something here. Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:09, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Mark the entire contents of Category:Wikipedia_proposals and it sub cats as failed[edit]

There appears to be a large number of failed or stale proposals in Category:Wikipedia_proposals . Would there be an issue if I used AWB to mark these as {{failed}} with no restriction on active proposal being re-added Gnevin (talk) 08:38, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Be careful, some may really be essays rather than active proposals so don't really need that pejorative label plastered on them. I think you should do this manually on a case-by-case basis instead of trying to automate it. Fences&Windows 16:41, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Well maybe mark them all as Essay so. If still think it's an active proposal they can RV without objection Gnevin (talk) 16:42, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
I think that the reverse applies too: proposals which were clearly rejected should be marked as such rather than identified as essays. -- Black Falcon (talk) 19:47, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Well there are hundreds of pages here and I ain't volunteering to read them all. So if we can't agree to a template to use then I guess nothing will happen Gnevin (talk) 23:35, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Any suggestions as what to do here currently there are over 300 proposals listed there Gnevin (talk) 21:16, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

No suggestions, but I too would advise restraint on auto-tagging everything as "failed", and just letting the watchlisters sort out any problems. That's not really solving anything, except emptying out a slightly large category tree.
If someone did want to put the effort into reading them all (and their associated contrib-histories and talkpages), then updating the pages with a mix of {{Essay}}, {{Draft proposal}}, {{Failed}}, {{Historical}}, and {{Promote}}, would be the ideal mission. -- Quiddity (talk) 03:55, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Or, if there are 2, 5 or 6 pages proposing the same thing from different angles, it may be a good idea to merge them into a single page MBelgrano (talk) 11:38, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Good Articles icon[edit]

In case someone is unaware of it (I was) there has been a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Good articles, where many users agreed to create a simbol to indicate good article status at the article mainspace, similar to the star of featured ones (and not just at the talk page, as it was done so far). The template Template:Good article has been created and it's already being added to articles.

This is not a proposal I'm making, but a comment of something that is already being implemented. It's still listed at Wikipedia:Perennial proposals, so if the consensus achieved at that page is considered enough, this should be removed from that page MBelgrano (talk) 14:25, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Oh, heh, I just did [remove it from 'Perennial']. Maybe someone can revert me if consensus changes (again). - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 15:09, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Icon = good idea. Well done! (Are you planning to do a big AWB run and add it to them all?) I just signed up at Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 36#GA symbol to do it. ╟─TreasuryTagmost serene─╢ 15:12, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Query—some Good Articles appear to be absent from Category:Good articles. Why is this, and what should be done about it? ╟─TreasuryTaghemicycle─╢ 15:15, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
    The category was only created yesterday! :) The new template adds to it... - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 15:42, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
    Ah, that would explain it! ╟─TreasuryTagsheriff─╢ 15:43, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I think that the Pass part of the Wikipedia:Good article nominations, page needs to have this template explained so that users passing a article for GA now that they need to put this new template up on the GA status articles as of now. Like "put this template Template:Good article on the newly GA granted articles front page".Or similar.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 20:14, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Can we get a bot to do it automatically?Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:17, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
I doubt it, as featured/good articles cannot be detected—they are human decisions, unlike protection, which is technical and can be detected by a bot. MC10 (TCGBL) 17:15, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I think Jmh649 meant detect Talk: page good article tags. FA bot already does this per request and GA can have the same. Hellknowz  ▎talk  17:22, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes exactly because people are currently adding them manually but you have the talk page tag that the bot could go on.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:25, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I ment more like having it on the Pass part of the Wikipedia:Good article nominations page so that the editor closing a successfull GA-status article knows that the template exist and can put it on the articles front page. As the template is so knew its possible that some editors arent aware of its existance.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 17:35, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
It could be point 5. on the Pass list.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 17:37, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Suggested Portal: Childhood and Parenting[edit]

WP might consider creating a portal for this topic. Parenting already has a substantial template but there's nothing on the Portal page that directs the potentially very large audience for this topic into the Opus.
I waited a year for it to magically appear before this suggestion. (I'm a parent but no other qualification to do it myself.) Twang (talk) 06:05, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

You could always propose it and see if there are enough interested editors. This may not be a very broad topic with particularly interested members, though. Hellknowz  ▎talk  19:32, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Browser Statistics[edit]

I'd like to see Wikipedia publish anonymous browser statistics based on the wikis' logs. We already have wikistats for page views. We used to have Wikipedia:Browsers, which is now inactive, and even a bug has been filed.
Over a year ago I spoke via IRC with Domas Mituzas who runs wikistats, and according to him the statistics he gets cannot identify a unique user, to this needs to go higher than him.

To web developers, browser statistics are an important tool to measure when browser support can be dropped. It is currently impossible to determine browser statistics (see Browser market share). Wikipedia is one of the most visited websites on the internet, its visits are not skewed to a certain user base, it strives to create a summary of all human knowledge. Please make this information available. --bitbit (pka Nezek) (talk) 10:05, 29 May 2010 (UTC) and friends. Happymelon 11:23, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you so much! I have somehow missed that in the browser statistics article. --bitbit (pka Nezek) (talk) 16:40, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Bots to fill proper accessdate[edit]

I have moved this from misc. to proposals, continuing from inactive VP Misc.

I propose that:

A bot may add missing |accessdate= parameters to referenced templates with |url= parameters1 setting the |accessdate= as the date this url2 was first3 added to the page.

1 Such as, {{cite web}}, {{cite news}}, {{cite journal}}, etc.

2 Not the reference itself, as editors/bots may have reformatted it.

3 The bot should adequately check for vandalism/temporary removal, so tools, like WikiBlame should be used cautiously.

I presume it is very reasonable to assume access date matches the addition date in vast majority of cases. The problem pages are those with referenced content copied over (bots can easily ignore links added in the first revisions for new pages). The second is when users are accessing and adding material after the url is already added (although few editors, as far as I know, actually update the access dates afterwards). So the false positive rate should be quite small.

A couple bots currently in development are inadvertently assuming the addition date to be the |accessdate= in order to retrieve archive (e.g. Wayback) links for linkrot battling. I believe the benefit of editors knowing the access dates to work with dead links much outweights the possible mistakes. It would be nice if this discussion can be referenced for current and future bot development.  Hellknowz  ▎talk  16:53, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm very cautious about a bot adding data like this. It makes the assumption that the access date associated with a URL reference is the same as the date that the URL was first added. Strictly speaking they are not the same thing - though probably it's not a bad guess. The problem I would have is that "probably". I think you grossly underestimate the number (not merely proportion) of false positives - and bear in mind that human editors would not so easily be able to identify a false positive so they would likely go uncorrected.
Add to that the technical problem of even knowing when the URL was first added. Some problems:
  • Suppose a reference was added and removed several times (not necessarily in quick succession or through vandalism, but over long slow periods) - which date are you presuming was the "access date"?
  • Or if the statement associated with the reference was updated as the website was updated (so the URL remained on the page but the correct "access date" changed).
  • Or if a user lazily copied over a referenced statement from another article though the content of the URL had changed in the mean time?
Now, while I've no problem in saying that most time this bot process would make a good guess, it is that proportion of the time that it would incorrectly presume an access date multiplied by the vast number of edits this bot would make that worries me. This process would likely make hundreds of thousands of good guesses ... but thousands of incorrect ones. Would the benefit of adding a (best guess) "access date" parameter out-weight the this? Hardly. --RA (talk) 21:15, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I think this is a great idea and strongly support it. We could put a little subscript afterwords saying "bot added" or just "bot" that upon clicking goes to a page which explains all the potential drawback or errors. You know like correct 19 times out of 20 :-) We do not stop publishing just because 5 percent of everything is wrong.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:23, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Should Breaking Stories be written away from mainspace first?[edit]

I have been watching the article and talk page of Gaza flotilla clash, which is obviously a recent event. As a breaking story there have been many sources backing up many viewpoints. My worry is, as in all recent events, there will always be initial misinformation from even the best of sources. My feeling is that we should wait until everything settles before writing this article on main space, and that perhaps writing an article such as this would be more productive if it was done away from main space, at least for a little while anyway. I would like to point out that there has been no warring on the article, nevertheless, for future articles like this I think getting it right as possible before putting it on mainspace is important for the reader. Cheers! Jack forbes (talk) 16:57, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Regarding no edit warring: quite true (and I've mentioned the overall good conduct of the editors at ANI), however: the article was semi-protected early on, and it's subject to a 1RR restriction (it falls under the Israel/Palestine editing restrictions).
I mentioned to Jack forbes on my talk page that there is an issue around the media taking its cue from Wikipedia, which in turn takes it cue from the media, which in turn...
...and I agree with Jack forbes - though I wonder... I've not followed the whole Flagged Revisions debate: is this something that would help here?
Cheers, TFOWRidle vapourings of a mind diseased 17:07, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I think this would be exceeding difficult to accomplish and not necessarily in the best interest of Wikipedia. It would become confusing for other editors were editing is actually occurring. We already tag articles regarding currently occurring events thus in a way warning our readers. Next question is how one would decide when to return it to the main space? I would not support this initiative.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:04, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
My thinking is that this would, in principle, be no different to editing any fully protected article. Gain consensus on the talk page, then someone (OK, an admin) updates. TFOWRidle vapourings of a mind diseased 19:08, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
The media also takes it cues from each other. I do not think this is a sufficient argument to limit the presentation of current events on Wikipedia. The NYTs for instance wrote an article about Wikipedia in which it made a mistake. I wrote the NYTs regarding the need for a correction. A few dozen other papers repeated the mistake of the NYTs without verifying it. This happens and we will not change things here.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:16, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I think this would impede the spirit of Wikipedia, where all changes are live and all edits are visible for anyone to edit. Having a current issue article less available than others seems like an extreme measure for a problem that should be solved differently. I don't have a lot of experience with current issue articles, but surely stricter revert/sourcing rules can be applied instead? If the article is protected and only admins can edit consented changes, then there is no reason to keep it off mainspace. Also, there are enough tags and notices for readers about current event article state. To be blunt, this is more to do with everyone wanting to be the first on the scene...  Hellknowz  ▎talk  19:24, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
e/c I know that there is a warning to readers that it is a current event, but I don't believe any kind of warning is sufficient if the article gets it wrong. There will be many readers who would read the article only once and walk away thinking they now have their facts, warning or not. We are an encyclopedia, not a news agency. Encyclopedias are expected to have a higher standard than news agency's, who are not averse to sending out news reports without too much verification and then changing when the reports are updated. Jack forbes (talk) 19:25, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

(undent) I hope are readers do not come here for the "Truth". Nothing is ever so simple. Even the great field of science is updated on a continual basis. This does not mean that we should not cover stuff.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:43, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I understand that we should cover stuff, but on a minute to minute basis? Have we become a news agency rather than an encyclopedia? I do think the best way to go is to write it up away from mainspace in the way suggested by TFOWR. I've had my say so will drop out for a while and see what others think. Cheers. Jack forbes (talk) 19:51, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
This page 2009 flu pandemic was written on a minute by minute basis and is now a GA. It also was one of Wikipedias most visited page during the pandemic.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:54, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
There is a big, pretty "WIKIPEDIA MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF VALIDITY" right in the disclaimer. Users who don't read disclaimers and microwave-dry their pets are at their own fault.  Hellknowz  ▎talk  20:02, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Current event articles are one of our main draws for readers; let's not remove one of our most popular features. Also, I think WP:NOTPAPER is relevant here; the only reason we think of typical encyclopedias as not having such articles is because it only very recently became feasible to publish so quickly; new medium, new possibilities. --Cybercobra (talk) 20:06, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the general feeling that we shouldn't tie our hands behind our backs just because it can be difficult to judge reliability of information about recent events. Of course we should do the best job possible in regards to NPOV, reliable sourcing and so on, but ultimately it is up to the readers whether to evaluate critically what they read or just blindly accept what is written - be it about recent events or distant history. --Duplode (talk) 20:28, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I think that Cybercobra makes a good point. That printed encyclopedia's aren't able to respond quickly to events doesn't mean that they wouldn't like to if they could. Malleus Fatuorum 20:31, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Invitation to comment at Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation/RFC[edit]

Everyone is invited to comment at Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation/RFC. Two requests for arbitration are now on the WP:RFAR page related to GSCC and some arbitrators have said they are interested in seeing how the RfC goes before deciding whether to take up a case.

User 2over0 began the RfC with this "Statement of concern":

"Articles related to climate change have been one of Wikipedia's problem areas for a number of years now. Most of the disruption boils down to often heated or uncivil disagreement over the proper application of WP:WEIGHT and WP:SCIRS, though sockpuppetry and single-purpose accounts out of touch with wider Wikipedia norms play their roles. Near the end of last year, the Copenhagen Summit on climate change and the Climatic Research Unit email controversy contributed to a surge in interest in this family of articles; that furor has largely died down now. Whether the long term or the short term patterns have been more problematic is an open question, but a few days into the new year the community established Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation, giving uninvolved administrators wide leeway when acting to quell disruption in this topic area, and establishing a Requests for enforcement board for discussing the same.
"Several editors in the discussion establishing this extraordinary probation opined that the community should review it after a few months had passed. It has now been about five months, and I would like to open this question for review."

Please comment there. (This seems to be the first invitation on this page to comment there, but if I'm wrong about that, please just archive this.) -- JohnWBarber (talk) 20:38, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Todays Good article section on main page[edit]

Hi, i was thinking wouldnt it be nice to have a Todays Good article section on the Wikipedia Main page. Just like we already have Todays featured article. I dont now exactly where but perhaps the Todays features picture, or expanding the main page for this section. Especially now since the new template for GA articles I think that Todays Good article could be nice. It would also in the long-run improve the overall standard of the articles on Wikipedia as more people would open their eyes to these articles. Swedish wikipedia also have this exact thing already and it looks great.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 20:21, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

I believe that the main page should be keep reasonably small. There is not really any room to add GA content. The Swedish main page appears to be about twice the length of the English one.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:48, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah but it still not a major issue. actually i think i would be helpful for wikipedia. also it would indeed increase the interest for making articles atleast to GA status as it would mean that the article has a chance of being seen on the main page. as of today people perhpas dont care as mutch.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 20:50, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
For me its about quality and the overall quality on articles would increase with this suggestion.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 20:50, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Will anyone even glance at such a GA section? Hardly anyone (only 10% of readers or so) looks at DYK. PleaseStand (talk) 20:52, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree that this is clutter for readers. But this is also highly motivational for editors. Some articles will never be FA but can easily become GAs. I suspect having "your" GA article appear on the front page is quite inspiring. But this has to do with humans and not really presentation of material. Of course, for most readers this is nothing but additional clutter before they hit search button. From encyclopaedic standpoint, it's not too stellar to advertise "almost" perfect articles.  Hellknowz  ▎talk  20:58, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
First of all Pleasesand, yeah only 10% of readers looks at DYK wouldnt it be better having Todays Good article at that place? Hellknowz I would rather have a Todays Good article section which helps articles improve the overall quality of articles on Wikipedia than having the current DYK section which only 10% of the people on this site reads. I would suggest that the high motivation this would bring for possible GA articles would stand higher than having a DYK section which almost no one cares about. I would also say that Yes I think people would glance at this new section, people are interested in helping improving GA and FA status articles as Todays Featured article has proven.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 21:23, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
To have the Todays Good article section at the place where currently the DYK section is placed would be the perfect place for the section. It would be motivation for users to work on articles they might not have done without the TGA section that i am proposing.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 21:28, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

(undent) We have the little plus signs. That should be all we need :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:31, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes I say we create this new Todays Good article section soon.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 21:39, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I bet someone could fix this immediatly. right?--ÅlandÖland (talk) 21:40, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Was that 10% number just pulled out of thin air? How was that determined? Mr.Z-man 21:55, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I guess the person mentioning it had the numbers. And if they are true as i suspect a Todays Good Article section instead of a DYK section is mutch better. It would also as i mentioned earlier help Wikipedia out mutch better than the DYK section which currently doesnt have almost any interest from the users.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 21:58, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
A easier way would be to do just like o Swedish wikipedia and have the Todays good article section lower down on the main page so we dont have to remove any other section.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 22:27, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
And Chinese Wikipedia have very similar main page format. First FA, then below it is ITN, followed by GA, and lastly DYK. OhanaUnitedTalk page 12:20, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
IMO, a TGA blurb would detract from TFA. I'd rather retain the present layout. Resolute 23:05, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree. The goal of TFA is to act as a magnet for readers, by showing the best we have to offer on the main page. The typical GA is vastly inferior to FA, since it's essentially two random guys' work: one writing, the other approving. FA, on the other hand, undergoes an in-depth scrutiny by many experienced editors, and has to meet its own stringent quality requirements, much stricter than other articles. Bottom line: having a TGA would devalue our front page significantly and reduce WP's attractiveness to newcomers. Crum375 (talk) 23:19, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
That's clearly complete rubbish, as the quality of the overwhelming majority of DYks is execrable, but they're still featured on the main page. It's also complete rubbish that the typical FA is "vastly superior" to that of a typical GA; I could show you very many FAs that wouldn't get through a GA nomination, usually because of their poor sourcing. Having said that, I'm indifferent as to whether GAs appear on the main page or not. I don't really see that becoming a 24-hour target for vandalism is much of a reward or incentive for anything. Malleus Fatuorum 23:34, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Considering the last statement here... the Todays Featured article section should also be removed. As it sometmes brings vandalism with it to the article in question. But that is often easily fixed and I still think that Wikipedia would gain from having a TGA section on the Main page. And it would not as previously stated by some take away any shine from the FA article on the main page, Swedish wikipedia has already proven to be successfull in having both FA and GA status articles on the Main Page so i still suggest i Todays Good Articles section on the Main page.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 23:44, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
The sensible thing to do would be to feature any article at TFA, regardless of whether it's an FA or not, so long as it meets some minimum criteria. But when was the last time you something sensible happen here? Malleus Fatuorum 23:54, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose in its current form - Articles featured on WP main page should be FA, by definition. And please do not remove DYK in any way. It is one of the things that helps news decent articles to go through and gives incentive to both new and old editors in creating content. I'd support a section, say ,of "GAs of the week" along with the DYK, however. --Cyclopiatalk 23:56, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Support Cyclopia suggestion, i agree with you a GA of the week would be a good way to go. I believe that is the closest thing we will ever come to the original suggestion.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 23:59, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Cyclopia confuses "definition" with "convention". Obviously, any article could be featured on the main page, but convention has determined that "featured" is synonymous with FA. I'm a little puzzled as well by this idea of a weekly GA. What would be the point of that exactly? Malleus Fatuorum 00:05, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Having a weekly GA article would increase the overall interest in making articles better i believe. The users need a "carrot" to make more articles GA ready, today it is a huge step between GA and FA which could make an editor not makign those crucial edits that will make an average article into GA for example. But with this new GA of the week i believe people would first of all get to now what a GA article is all about and make people more interested in making articles since they could end p on the main page sooner or later.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 00:08, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Oppose TGA, or any other idea to dilute the front page quality. I accept DYK as a good marketing ploy because of its tease factor. Crum375 (talk) 00:09, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
10% uses the DYK.. how is that marketing?,. When we could get a better section on the main page why not make it?--ÅlandÖland (talk) 00:10, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I would support replacing either DYK or ITN (or both) with TGA. DYK seems to do little good, creating ever deeper backlogs, and as Malleus says many of the articles are not audited for quality at all. The other day I found an article on DYK with several typos and unencyclopedic contractions. ITN is fundamentally flawed because it directly contradicts our effort to avoid being perceived as a news service. We might need a couple people to scrutinize each GA before it appears on the main page, but we should be doing that for TFA as well. Juliancolton (talk) 12:07, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
I must say I like ITN and it brings a little bit more exposure to our sister project Wikinews. It does not matter what DYK is based on. May as well have it based on some of our better work well keeping the same format.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:34, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support TGA. There has been some hoax DYKs that slip through the entire review process (see this page for details) which ended up as BLP issue and subsequently deleted. It's time to replace short, less reviewed in depth and duration with something that actually carries more content and conforms to more MoS guidelines. OhanaUnitedTalk page 12:20, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, GA is a designation that does not mean anything to most readers—I had no idea what a GA was before I became an editor. This doesn't directly help readers, it seems more like back-scratching for editors. Furthermore, this would add clutter to the main page and, as some editors have already said, take some of the specialness away from TFA. rʨanaɢ (talk) 17:01, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

RE:Good Lists[edit]

A few weeks ago, User:Iankap99 proposed Good Lists. After disputes with, User:Raaggio, Raaggio left with the question "Why do you propose this? Is there something about the current system that you dislike or find dysfunctional? If there is, then point it out. But if there isn't, then I think proposing this for the sake of proposing isn't very productive." About three days later, I responded saying the following.

I think I brought up a good point, especially with the examples. CrowzRSA 19:08, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Formal recognition for Gianos special status as Editors Champion?[edit]

More intuitive syntax & no html-Code – like DokuWiki[edit]

Recently, i wrote in a Wiki with DokuWiki-Syntax. I was enthusiastic about that: it is intuitive comprehensible, like writing an eMail.

Why here it is necessary to write unwieldy html-code like <br /> or <ref name="test">e.g.</ref>?
Let's use \\ or (((test)e.g.)), instead. For refs, use Popups like existing Navigation popups in addition. Things like **//bold and italic//** is more logical than '''''bold and italic'''''…

Please, get rid of archaic forms of the beginnings. What do you think about?
--Gsälzbär (talk) 01:43, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Its an interesting idea, but its almost certainly not going to happen. The English Wikipedia alone has more than 20 million pages and nearly 400 million revisions that would all be broken by such a change. Though I don't really see how nested parentheses are more intuitive than a tag syntax. Its shorter, but other than the vague connection with parenthetical citations (it took me a couple minutes to make that connection), I don't really see how its intuitive. What we really need is a WYSIWYG editor. While there are a lot of things standing in the way of that, HTML-style tags are probably one of the easiest things for such an editor to handle. Changing the syntax to do away with tags could actually hamper efforts on that. Mr.Z-man 03:49, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Will Wikipedia survive if in the future most of its editors leave?[edit]

No, it will collapse; vandalism will gradually rot it. Hence, one has to think what will keep people to it. More videos are urgently needed. People are developing a desire to watch videos all the time nowadays. Hence one should be including more and more open videos that are relevant to the article in wikipedia. -- (talk) 10:43, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree with you that Wikipedians keep this project going. I am not however sure if I like embedded videos. Medpedia uses them as one can see here [7] and it just clutters things. They would also be hard to change and edit further.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:55, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Doc James, I agree that the example at Obesity is bad, because the same information can be provided in a fraction as text. OTOH I've used small clips at Cnidaria and Annelid to show how these animals move, which quicker and easier for readers than the equivalent text. --Philcha (talk) 15:53, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
OTOH use of videos as citations is a mess:
  • Hard to hear the speech, because of interruptions and other broken sentences.
  • Videos are often longer than a section of a book. When citing a book, one must provide a page, and I suggest they should also be required for cited videos, so that one does not read the whole video.
You've completely misdiagnosed here. Poor newbie experiences are the looming problem; don't know how the heck you came up with "not enough videos" as the most pressing issue. --Cybercobra (talk) 11:23, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Videos attract readers. Wikipedia is a top-10 (top-5?) website. We currently have no problem on that front. The problem is trying to convert them from readers to editors, then trying to get them to stay. Mr.Z-man 14:49, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Cybercobra and Mr.Z-man that keeping would-be editors is the problem. New editors and WP want to work together, but WP's policies and guidelines, most of which are justified (e.g. WP:V) are obstacles for would-be editors. I'm in the early stages of a personal project to try to guide new editors through the first stages as they come in through the door. --Philcha (talk) 15:53, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
If we would scrap WP:N and loosen up WP:RS, we would have editors out the wazoo. Are there a lot of free content videos available, by the way, that would be considered reliable sources? Tisane talk/stalk 04:14, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

When I said editors I means users; i.e. with no users, no editors (even if you have a problem with converting them to editors). -- (talk) 09:28, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Copied from this thread at Jimbo's talk page.
On all pages that are not protected/semi-protected, the tagline should read: "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. You can edit this page." followed by a button marked "edit" linking to a very short, simple few sentences about how to, and a link to the Talk and Edit pages of the article. That, alone, would double the editor activity overnight. I think that would be a good thing. Anthony (talk) 18:20, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Call me an elitist, but I don't know if we really want to generate an income of editors which are still unable to understand that anyone can edit Wikipedia after so many years of its existence and the subtitle in the main page. --Cyclopiatalk 19:22, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
If we make it easy and obvious, stupid people might start editing? Interesting hypothesis. Only one way to find out, and it could be undone. Anthony (talk) 20:15, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
This is all quite interesting and should be raised with the usability team. Based on my non-Wikipedia experiences (at Wikia), encouraging more people to edit does not result in a reduction in quality, so I disagree with Cyclopedia's view. But, in the end, it is, as Anthonyhcole says, an empirical question. Most things are. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:59, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
End of excerpt.
I have asked at WP:Project Usability if there are any technical obstacles. Is that the right forum to discuss whether this should be implemented? Anthony (talk) 12:28, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

I believe another important step is to massively simplify the body of "instructions" we give people - help pages, policies, guidelines and all sorts of other inward-looking pages that have multiplied and expanded over the years without any attempt to control them, and which really must freak people out when they arrive here, particularly when they start getting linked to them by way of "explanation" of certain things. I'm sure this must turn a lot of people away - and even well-established editors are not served by having this information presented in such a warpedly irrational manner that causes constant doubt and misinterpretation.--Kotniski (talk) 13:40, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

If someone has just come to Wikipedia to correct spelling sure. However if one has come to promote their current fringe views using self published books we need guidelines and policies to help established editors deal with this. The problem is not the number of policies it is often that the policies we have are not enforced (take WP:COI as not applied here for example). If one does reasonable work one can edit just find having read few or none of the policies. Wikipedia needs to promote the creation of top quality evidence based articles. This requires consistency between articles and an in-depth explanations of how to accomplish it.
In reply to the commend above I have no problems with the limited use of video as done by Philcha in these example. While I think it adds to the project it will make little difference in getting people involved.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:49, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree we need policies and guidelines. But we don't need the mass of words and pages that we currently have (which are often impossible to tidy up since certain editors attach an almost religious significance to them, believing that every word and nuance is vital to Wikipedia's continued survival, however illogical and incomprehensible the text actually is). Short, clear instructions would be to everyone's benefit, and would make enforcement more of a realistic proposition too. (That's not to say there isn't a need for detail on certain matters, but most of our texts at the moment don't add substantial detail, only waffle and deliberate fudge - it's much easier to get everyone to agree with you if you write something that everyone can interpret in their own preferred way.)--Kotniski (talk) 15:12, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I think trying to reduce the number of rules and procedures as a way of attracting new users is a Sisyphean task. The reason we have so many policies and so much procedure is because we have so many users. Compare it to traditional education. If you have a student:teacher ratio of something like 5:1, you can rely less on textbooks and lectures and more on individual communication. But if its more like 30:1, then the teacher is forced to rely on lectures and reading textbooks since there isn't enough class time to work with each student. The more new editors we have, the less time we have to work with them individually and we're forced to communicate using template messages and links to policies and help pages. We might be able to trim and consolidate some rules and procedures, but if you do it too much, it will just naturally grow back as people realize that it was needed. Rather than actually reducing the amount significantly, I think more effort should go into organizing so that its presented in a logical fashion and self-guided tutorials so that new users can learn without having a textbook thrown at them but without the need for one-on-one discussions. Mr.Z-man 15:20, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
There seems to be no shortage of people of very low intelligence who find no problem in figuring out how to edit Wikipedia. If potential good editors are put off it isn't because it is too difficult. Dmcq (talk) 15:35, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. To make such an assertion, you would need to not only know how many people do figure out how to edit, but also the number of people who don't figure out how to edit (a number very hard to come by). I consider myself an intelligent person, reasonably proficient with computers, but I found editing a very scary and confusing experience at first (and still do, at times). Our markup language is not intuitive. We have a lot of rules, some of which are very important to anyone editing (i.e. wp:V), and others which are much less important for new editors (wp:DP, etc.). I agree with Mr. Z-man: we could certainly use some more intuitive, self guided tutorials to throw in a welcome template, rather than just link to a bunch of rules. Actually, we do have a tutorial: wp:Tutorial. It would help if we actually linked to it in prominent places, like, I don't know, on the editing screen, or even on article pages near the edit button. Buddy431 (talk) 18:09, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Buddy431, I don't think I've seen wp:Tutorial - WP is poor at delivering information to those who need it. The project I'm working on: --Philcha (talk) 19:01, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Goes through the first steps of a newcomer's attempt to edit/create an article.
  • Uses a formal, conversational style, hoping to make the newcomer relax.
  • Makes citations easy, as I think WP:V and citations are the major obstacles for newcomers.
  • Provide a "lite" introduction to the most important policies and guideline, hoping that over 90% of the sitations are covered by about 20% of the text in the policies and guideline; and hoping that I can tell newcomers when more than the "lite" introduction is needed, and where newcomers can get advice.
I agree with Philcha on the above point. We needs a good process for welcoming and introducing people to Wikipedia. One of the problems I have encountered is a lack of awareness about sourcing. Thus I have created a page explaining how to find good sources for both text and images pertaining to medicine to go with out guideline outlining what good sources are W:MEDRS.
What we need is a Wikiproject to coordinate the efforts of introducing and attracting people to Wikipedia. I know we have the usability project but we could use a Wikiproject here.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:38, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
The problem with all or most of the tutorials to date is that they're still just text-based wiki pages. Editing is a skill, not a set of facts to be learned. It is difficult to learn a skill by reading alone. What we need is something slightly more interactive - it will probably need to be done at least partially as a MediaWiki extension or with JavaScript. The Commons upload system is probably the best thing on-wiki that I can think of. Rather than just saying on one page "pick a license, fill in the info template, and add some categories" it breaks it all up into separate input boxes with pop-up help boxes for each item. Mr.Z-man 22:06, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

How about this: On pages that are not protected or semi-protected, change the article tagline from "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." to "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. You can edit this article." followed by an "EDIT" button which leads to this page:

  • If you're changing the meaning of the article (rather than just correcting spelling or similar) click here to see if the issue is being discussed on the article's "talk" page before editing.
  • To begin editing, click any of the [edit] links within the article and type into the box at the bottom. When you're finished, type a few words describing what you've done and why into the "Edit summary" space below that. Then hit "Show preview". If you like the result, click "Save page".
  • Changes of meaning that are not accompanied by a "citation" (a number like this[14] linking to a textbook or other reliable source among the references at the bottom of the page), and changes that don't conform to Wikipedia guidelines may be deleted by other editors.
  • To learn how to insert a citation click here
  • For a simple, concise outline of the guidelines governing article composition, click here
  • If another editor is mean to you, click here
    Anthony (talk) 19:57, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I do agree some improvement could be made. I could support "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia you can edit". It is only three more words. The content after you hit the edit button could also use some work. We mention verifiability twice while once would be sufficient. We mention plagiarism twice while again once would be sufficient. What we have know is:

Content that violates any copyrights will be deleted. Encyclopedic content must be verifiable. You irrevocably agree to release your contributions under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL. You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license. See the Terms of Use for details. If you do not want your writing to be edited, used, and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here. All text that you did not write yourself, except brief excerpts, must be available under terms consistent with Wikipedia's Terms of Use before you submit it. Please note: When you click Save, your changes will immediately become visible to everyone. If you wish to run a test, please edit the Sandbox instead. Please post only encyclopedic information that can be verified by external sources. Please maintain a neutral, unbiased point of view. Please do not copy and paste from copyrighted websites – only public domain resources can be copied without permission.

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:05, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

I am not proposing tweaking. I am proposing a radical simplification, friendlification, newbiefication of the entry process. In this proposed change, the "EDIT" button after the tagline is a newbiemagnet that drags them into a page that in very simple un-sacry terms, helps them make their first edit or two. The point of the tagline change is the prominant "EDIT" button, that takes the newbie to the friendly intro page. All the copyright and plagiarism stuff on the edit page can definitely be made much friendlier in both content and presentation. But I am suggesting the insertion of a teenie-weenie tutorial (linking to WP:Tutorial) before the edit page for newcomers, with the fundamentals explained in friendly simple terms. Anthony (talk) 20:45, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

These sound like minor tweaks to me :-) I agree that some of what we have now is less than friendly. What we change too however must be unobtrusive. Long term editors do not appreciate being distracted as was shown with the last fundraiser banner.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:11, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Changing the tagline got voted down a mere 2 weeks ago: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_62#Improve_the_WP_tagline. Seems improper to propose such a similar revision so soon. --Cybercobra (talk) 21:22, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Superficially similar. It doesn't have to be the tagline. I had read the discussion you linked to and thought the tagline would be a convenient spot for it. But the newbie edit button could go anywhere so long as it is next to "You can edit this page" and is prominent. Tagline just seemed the obvious candidate to me. Anthony (talk) 21:45, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

We have a tool for how to create disease based articles here
Medical Article Creator


Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:12, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

What a great tool. Wish I'd known about that for the last 8 months. Anthony (talk) 05:41, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Autocreation of horrific spam infoboxes? Yesh! On the plus side, the magic tool did save several seconds of layout time in my creating the projected article poopophobia. Carrite (talk) 05:18, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
There is a lot of support for improving the reader→editor indoctrination process: "Poor newbie experiences are the looming problem."(Cybercobra) "keeping would-be editors is the problem ... I'm in the early stages of a personal project to try to guide new editors through the first stages as they come in through the door. (Philcha) "I believe another important step is to massively simplify the body of "instructions" we give people. (Kotniski) "...more effort should go into organizing so that its presented in a logical fashion." (Mr.Z-man) "We need a good process for welcoming and introducing people to Wikipedia." (Doc James)
I'm suggesting a line on the article page that says "You can edit this article." followed by an obvious "How to edit" button, leading to a page like that I outlined above. Very simple and readable, linking to more detailed guidelines. Surely that would be a vast improvement that we could implement almost overnight. Anthony (talk) 14:54, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I would support an become involved in a Wikiproject whoes purpose is to create pages that act as a central clearing house for stuff like editing tools and resources. And that improves the introduction of people to Wikipedia. This would also be a good way to get established editors interested in theses ideas and propose potential changes to the editing format.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:31, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

When I first read this last week, I was rather surprised by it - I would have thought that in this day of ipods, MP4 Players, nanotechnology and ability to download films on the Internet Movie Database, people were seeing videos as rather old-fashioned (surely, even the more old-fashioned people would be watching DVDs, not old-fashioned videos, today!) However, I understand the fear that there have been concerns that the number of Wikipedians has fallen into decline (a Spanish Wikipedian claimed statistics on this last year). That said, I think we can cross that bridge if we realistically look as if we are about to get to it - after all, the number of Wikipedians for the English Wikipedia means that there will be plenty of us for many years yet. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:27, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Discussions and layout[edit]

Why is this site's architecture and organization so labyrinthine? The design and flow of the site is painfully hard to use. That is, if you are participating in the community aspect of the site, for merely reading the articles the site serves its purpose wonderfully. But when trying to contribute to the site people immediately become lost. There are many tags, many templates, many bots, different edits, many categories, many types of users, many portals, and many groups.

The site specific informational pages such as the FAQ, various portals, or special pages for some reason aren't designed for ease of reading and comprehension. There is a plethora of links on each page, that all lead to inevitably more lexicon thrown at you.

Do people really think that the current state of the discussion page is the most effective way to talk about the article? Rather than reading an actual discussion on a topic relating to the article, I get yet another wikipedia article in which I can't tell where statements end and the comments regarding it begin.

My suggestion simply that there should be an effort made in revising and simplifying the community aspect of the site.

Make the hierarchy of pages simpler. Revise major hub pages, such as the portals, to include a clear information hierarchy designed to improve the ease of comprehension. Change the discussion pages from another article to an actual forum of sorts. And a more liberal application of the "page in a nutshell" banners, those help

I realize that the site is large and inevitably will always be increasing in complexity. I realize that most if not all progress and edits to the site are made by volunteers. Neither of these things should stand in the way of improving usability however. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 03:10, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Discussion pages aren't "another article", they are forums. People make posts and other people respond to them, just like I am doing now. rʨanaɢ (talk) 03:25, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Of course they are a forum, they allow discussion between participants, they do not however do this in an effective, intuitive and easy to read way. Rather than making edits and having that suffice, I would rather see actual posts that are graphically distinguished from one another therefore defining some sort of informational hierarchy. This would increase readability, as well as increase the ability for newcomers to get involved with Wikipedia. For example, I don't know how I should end this "post". For All I know it will be an owner less paragraph.

Post are "graphically distinguished" if you indent them, like this post is. As for how to end the post, you sign them by typing ~~~~, which is clearly explained in the tutorial that only takes a couple minutes to skim through. rʨanaɢ (talk) 21:34, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

LiquidThreads is in the works and will solve the forum problem. --Cybercobra (talk) 20:38, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Allow some DYK hooks to go into newly promoted Good Articles?[edit]

(spawned off from above TGA proposal)

I would support it. Good idea.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 00:15, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Far too sensible. You'll never get support for that idea. Malleus Fatuorum 00:16, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia will never evolve or change to the better if we dont even consider making changes every now and then..--ÅlandÖland (talk) 00:18, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't evolving, it's fossilising. Nothing will be changed by this discussion. Malleus Fatuorum 00:23, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
We have to wait and see about that.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 00:24, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Support I would support the DYK hooks coming from good articles. We could recognize the work of many contributors and draw readers to some of Wikipedia's better content. We have 3.3 million articles and we need incentives not to create more articles but to improve the ones we have. BTW Wikipedia does changed. We did add the little GA plus sign to all the GA articles to recognize in part the excellent work done at the GA reviews.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:12, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Support i definitly support this suggestion. I also agree that it would recognize the work of many contributors.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 10:56, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Good idea. I'd limit GAs to 1-2 hooks/day , but apart from that, excellent suggestion. --Cyclopiatalk 11:11, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support and I'd even suggest all of Did You Know is taken from newly created good articles. I've never understood why new, unreviewed articles, many of which are glorified stubs, should take a spot on the main page. We ought to be showing our better, audited work. Aiken 11:55, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I doubt there are enough newly promoted GAs to fill 50% of all hooks, unless we significantly spread out the updates more. There have only been 15 GAs promoted since Monday. Juliancolton (talk) 12:02, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Perhaps with my idea, efforts could be moved to reviewing GAs, rather than brand new articles. Aiken 12:06, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Eh... still, DYK is updated every six hours, and GAN currently has 220 nominations. That would be enough for 10 or 12 days, assuming no major influx of nominations, before we run out. Juliancolton (talk) 12:10, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. What a brilliant idea (playing on the pun for the former name of featured articles). I echo Aiken's concern. You can't "delist" a DYK even if it turns out to be a hoax (see this page for details) OhanaUnitedTalk page 12:16, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • DYK normally runs 32 hooks/day in 4 updates, no matter what. This number sometimes drops to 24 (3 updates) when we have too few nominations. Thus 50% is too many for GAN. Another DYK specifics, we always have many more nomination than necessary, and the review process can be fast. This way we can handle emergencies and keep the flow. The speed of GA review is unpredictable and I would object rushing GA promotions just to keep up with the DYK pace. Materialscientist (talk) 12:17, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Agree, but I'd say there is no need for a fixed pace. We can keep DYK pace as it is, and instead let the GA stay for 1 day or more. --Cyclopiatalk 12:49, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment I have added the GA stats link above. On average, we should have at least 4 newly promoted GAs available per day. Crum375 (talk) 12:20, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment DYK is getting quite backed up. It use to be that a DYK hook would appear on the main page within a week of being nominated. Now it sometimes takes two. Maybe GA hooks could get their own section like ITN or something.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 12:25, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment We could run the GAs a little longer and keep some of the DYKs based on the newest articles. If this increases interest in creating GAs we may not eventually need the DYKs based on new stubs. In some format this will definitely be an improvement both for our readers and Wikipedia. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:27, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Please don't remove DYK based on new articles. They are a big incentive for creation of new content and usually help attract attention on new worthwile articles, letting them grow. --Cyclopiatalk 13:41, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I see nothing wrong with simply adding newly promoted GAs to the DYK eligibility list, which is currently new or newly expanded articles. A new GA DYK hook could have the new GA icon on it as an indicator. Crum375 (talk) 13:55, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
I like that idea. It always kinda bothered me that an article loses its DYK possibility forever just because it was never nominated in the first place, or something. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:15, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment We could have two subsections under the "Did you know..." heading. One that says "From Wikipedia's good articles:" and one that says "From Wikipedia's newest articles:" Have three to four of each. We do not use the star for FAs so not sure we should use the GA symbol for GAs on the main page. Might look too cluttered.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:19, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • I would make it "From Wikipedia's newly promoted good articles:" — I think the newness is more attractive, plus our goal is to create new GAs, not new DYK hooks into existing GAs. Crum375 (talk) 14:31, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is a perennial proposal that has been rejected before, and I don't see anyone above trying to address the issues that were raised in the last iteration of this discussion (linked from the top of the section)—issues such as creating a large backlog, undermining the "new" concept of DYK, and giving main page recognition to a designation that is essentially project-internal and meaningless to most readers (I certainly didn't know what a GA was until after I had spent a few months editing). Granted, consensus about GAs seems to be changing recently (see, for instance, the recent decision to add a GA icon to articles, a decision which has been opposed several times in the past), but without some direct discussion of why the issue has changed for DYK since the last time this was discussed, I don't see any reason to overturn consensus just because someone happens to have asked a different crop of editors this time. rʨanaɢ (talk) 14:27, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • The idea is to only allow newly promoted GAs. The stats tell us that this would only add a few more eligible candidates per day, but hopefully it will create an incentive to improve existing articles, as opposed to just creating new ones. Crum375 (talk) 14:37, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • consensus can always change. SpinningSpark 14:31, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I am aware of that, I have been here a while after all. But I am asking if there is a reason for the change (i.e., can someone address the issues brought up in the past?), not just for someone to mindlessly parrot policy. rʨanaɢ (talk) 14:49, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • You mentioned that we want to promote "newness", so the idea here is to only allow newly promoted GAs. This also addresses your other point about backlog, since there are only a few newly promoted GAs per day, and only a subset of them will be listed as DYK candidates. On the plus side, this will add motivation to not only create new (or just physically expand) articles, but to improve the quality of existing ones. Crum375 (talk) 15:04, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • The idea received a fair bit of support 2 years ago. Geometryguy and other have since put a lot of work into the recent GA review to make sure that all the current articles meet the criteria. The current GA criteria are also being more strictly applied. As this paper states "the low hanging fruit" have been picked [8]. With 3.3 million articles we need to promote improving the content we have rather than creating new content.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:07, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Thank you for addressing the question. I can see now why this is a legitimately new proposal (instead of just a repetition of previous ones), but for now my vote still remains in the Oppose camp. This is because GA is a designation that is more or less meaningless to readers and therefore this would be more of an encyclopedia-internal drive, which shouldn't be put on the front page. I agree that we need to be shifting out goal from content creation to content improvement, but main page space is not the only way to do that, and we shouldn't be burdening out readers with encyclopedia-internal issues. We can do other content drives that keep themselves behind the scenes. That being said, it is possible that readers' understanding of the GA designation may change, given things like the recent decision to put a GA icon in mainspace; therefore, this proposal may be worth revisiting in a few months, after we've had time to objectively measure what impact that change has had. But I maintain that, as long as GA remains a meaningless designation as far as readers are concerned, it shouldn't be on the front page; all it does is show them the messy inner-workings of the encyclopedia, which are interesting to editors but not to casual readers. rʨanaɢ (talk) 15:34, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I think the recent decision to display GA icons to readers is a very clear sign that we now feel the GA designation is rigorous enough to be useful to readers if they knew about it. If you're waiting to tell people about GA until they already know about it, you are not so much putting the cart before the horse as expecting the cart to also be the groom and stableboy. :D Happymelon 10:17, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah i really like this idea. It will increase the overall quality of the wikipedia.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 17:10, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. A lot of excellent hooks never get on to DYK either because the article took more than 5 days to construct or because the excellent hook fact went in more than 5 days after creation. This would give the article a second chance to get on the front page and to much higher quality than the usual brand new article. SpinningSpark 14:31, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Of the four new GAs per day, how many were already DYKs? I assume we wouldn't re-run new GAs that had already been on the front page. I like the idea of a new section including new GAs and FAs - after all, as long as the FA promotion rate stays above 1/day (or, given the backlog, as long as it stays anywhere near 1/day) most FAs will never see the front page either. Adding a DYK-like list of new GAs and FAs might be a better idea. Alternatively, I'd say reserve one entry in DYK for newly promoted FAs and GAs. But in that case, I'd say restrict it to content that has not seen the front page before. Guettarda (talk) 14:34, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • I agree that no DYK should be allowed if it has already been on the front page in any way, and all "newly promoted" GAs should be first time GAs. Crum375 (talk) 14:40, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. One or more DYK hooks devoted to new GAs, in the same DYK section, is a good idea. Binksternet (talk) 14:43, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, placing newly promoted good articles in DYK goes against the purpose of DYK, which is to promote new content creation. I would strongly oppose creating special rules for GA DYK hooks that would increase the complexity of the DYK process. I don't think a "Today's Good Article" section would be a good idea either, as it would detract from Today's Featured Article. Personally I think the way to promote good articles on the Main Page would be as part of a Featured Topics section, but that's a different proposal in and of itself. Grondemar 15:16, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Only allowing newly promoted GAs is encouraging new content, except it focuses on new quality, instead of new quantity. Crum375 (talk) 15:27, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
      • "Newly promoted" and "new content" don't correlate. Sometimes an article goes from nil to FA in less than a month (Akutan Zero). But far more often the hook-worthy content is already there for years. I'd put it otherwise, promote old content as in FAs and GAs, old as in seasoned, trustworthy rather than stale. East of Borschov (talk) 15:54, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
        • I think the front page focus should be two-fold: enticing readers to dig in, and encouraging editors to improve the content by giving their work recognition. In my opinion, the DYK is a good mechanism for both goals, but I think it is more attractive to new readers when it's focused on "newness". And that new content can be either new quantity, as in "new articles", or new quality, as in "newly promoted GAs". Crum375 (talk) 16:04, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't object to recognising new GAs on the Main Page in a separate section, but not in DyK. DYK and GA are sufficiently different themes, both in the time involved and nature of work, to be kept conceptually separate. MickMacNee (talk) 15:25, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • They are different themes from a 'back office' point of view, but they don't need to be separate from a reader's point of view. I'm open to suggestions, but don't think they need to be kept separated for this reason. hamiltonstone (talk) 22:28, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Make quality the aim, even if that means fewer DYKs per day. Get rid of stub DYKs, they only encourage silly competions. --Philcha (talk) 15:51, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose DYK serves a categorically different purpose on the main page then GA. As the "baby brother" of FAs, GAs already have a clear delineated path towards being featured on the main page. Also, I'll add, that when DYK frequently has a two week backlog (as has been the case numerous times this past year), it would be a misguided approach to open up even more noms to the process and create an even larger backlog. Maybe this proposal would have merit if we frequently encountered the opposite scenario of DYK not even having enough noms to daily fill the slots. AgneCheese/Wine 15:58, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Two points. First, i don't think it is true that there is a "clear delineatedpath" toward being featured on the main page. There is a great difference between GA and FA and there are many articles and editors who work to ensure GA standard but have nothing to do with FA processes. Also, some, particularly shorter, GAs will probably never meet the FA criteria. Finally, GAs that include Fair Use images may reach FA status but don't end up at TFA. Second, adding GAs to the mix at DYK would not cause a massive growth in the queue. DYK is powering through something like 32 articles a day on the main page: there are only about 4 new GAs a day even promoted, let alone there being editors who actually want to then take them through the DYK process. It weould be a very small addition to the numbers at DYK, but could represent a valuable opportunity for editors anf the WP community to gtain exposure of the GA content. hamiltonstone (talk) 22:28, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support including newly promoted GAs in DYK, to promote quality improvement. I don't believe this should be any particular number or percentage of the DYK items; just allow new GA hooks to be submitted along with the rest, and use whatever makes the cut. --RL0919 (talk) 16:02, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support the basic idea, but 50% seems far to high so I'm inclined to agree with RL0919's suggestion that new GA hooks be submitted in the same way as new article hooks. Alzarian16 (talk) 16:21, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes support this new suggestion. I mean it will really step up the quality of the overall Wikipedia. It will also work as a "carrot" for people to do the extra work that will make an certain article into GA-status article.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 17:10, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad you support it; do you need to support it twice, though? (They do say vote early and often.) rʨanaɢ (talk) 17:34, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Oops didnt ment to sound like i supported it twice.. :). Lets hope it passes tough.--ÅlandÖland (talk) 17:37, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't really like this idea as I think DYK as an ecouragement for new/inexperienced editors (here is something a new user without knowing lots of manual of style etc. can contribute and get to appear on the main page) is a great idea and having a fixed number of GA's taking room from these new articles would be something I would oppose. However I would be agreeable to having new GA's appearing on DYK so long as: (1) they stay for the same period of time as DYK's (2) there is no fixed number of GA's required at any time (3) they must be nominated within 5 days of promotion to GA (same length of time as a new article has to be nominated) and (4) they cannot reappear on DYK if they have already been on DYK before they became a GA. I think that at the current rate of GA promotions DYK could just about cope with those extra articles, but if this just becomes a proposal to remove/reduce new articles on the main page then I am against it. Davewild (talk) 17:45, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • I think those points are very well framed, I agree with all of them, and am in favour of the proposal on that basis. hamiltonstone (talk) 05:01, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support the idea of recognizing GAs on the Main Page, not sure about this particular implementation. DYK says it is from Wikipedia's newest articles; that at least will need to change if this passes. Ucucha 17:47, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support I think this is a good idea. From what I've seen recently, Wikipedia has been somewhat stagnating lately -- in the early days, it made all the sense in the world to focus on article creation, because we needed more articles. Now that we have over 3 million articles, how many more do we really need. What needs to happen is to get editors focused on quality over quantity. While some have argued that we shouldn't focus on our internal processes to the public, we need to get some of these processes known more, which will in turn increase awareness and participation in them. Increasing the presence and awareness of GAs on the main page is one way to do that (though I would still be opposed to adding a 'GA of the day' -- overkill). WTF? (talk) 17:47, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - There was recently a discusion at DYK about increasing the minimum article standards (Wikipedia talk:Did you know/Archive 55#DYK rule change proposal: increase prose), and I'll repeat here what I wrote there:

DYK is not based on article quality, beyond a certain minimum standard, and adjustments to the minimum standard won't change that. Every qualifying article gets a one sentence listing for n hours, and a Featured Article gets the same coverage here as one that just barely meets the minimum. The point of DYK is not to highlight the best work (or even good work) from Wikipedia; there are other venues for that. The point of DYK is to highlight new contributions. We want them to meet certain minimum standards, but the minimums are deliberately set low. It's an easy recognition that new editors can get without even knowing about it beforehand, and as such it's a way to retain those new editors. Also, by listing new contributions on the main page, it serves as an entrance point for potential new editors to jump in and contribute to an existing article. It can be a lot easier to contribute to a new or recently expanded article than to one that is stable as, for example, a GA or FA.

cmadler (talk) 18:06, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

  • I don't think this proposal is necessarily in conflict with these points. The proposal emphasizes "newness" in the form of newly promoted, i.e. newly improved articles. This is very similar to the current DYK rules allowing newly added quantity, except here we propose newly added quality. As far as creating "an entrance point for potential new editors to jump in and contribute to an existing article", I think anyone enticed by the current DYK to add quantity to an existing small article, can similarly be enticed to add quality to an existing article. And the bottom line is that since there are only a few newly promoted GAs per day, this would not significantly detract from the current emphasis on quantity, but will add a bit of quality, which can't hurt if our goal is to improve the encyclopedia. Crum375 (talk) 18:23, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Newness != newness. Newborn is not the same as newly deceased, though they're both "new". There is a difference in kind here. Further, newly promoted does not mean newly improved. I suspect that a good portion of the time, GA promotion is more "newly noticed". For that matter, GA criteria (like FA criteria) specificly require stability. cmadler (talk) 19:31, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • I don't know about others, but all my own GAs required a serious investment of time and effort to get them promoted. Are you aware of any case where it was just "newly noticed" and quickly promoted without recent improvement? If so, it should be easy to verify on the article's history. And you are right about the "stability" requirement, but that means that there are no recent edit wars among editors reverting to their favored versions, not that it hasn't been recently expanded or improved. In fact, even FAs, which have the same stability requirement, are often expanded significantly just prior to nomination. Crum375 (talk) 19:49, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • In all honesty, I try to stay as far away as possible from the GA/FA process, so no I can't point to specific examples. cmadler (talk) 20:33, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • The very person who started the discussion that started this, User:ÅlandÖland, is an example. He has a GA credit for Oba Chandler; as far as I can tell, what happened with that article was some other people did a lot of work cleaning it up to address issues from previous reviews, then disappeared, then ÅlandÖland and made some small edits (mostly adding footnotes to existing text) and nominated it for GA. The article itself was certainly not newly improved. rʨanaɢ (talk) 20:48, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support: The "incentives not to create more articles" rationale I think is a very good one. I do think the backlog issue is an important one, though. I would frankly address this by modifying the criteria for new articles (e.g. perhaps have a simple point scale on which each new artice is rated for appeal and uniqueness, and cull only the top rated articles rather than trying to list every one submitted). --Mcorazao (talk) 19:28, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Interestingness criteria, and increasing the competition at DYK, is something that has been talked about many times (I myself have sometimes espoused it) but never gains consensus. The problem is that there's no objective way to evaluate which hooks or articles are interesting or boring, and if we let it happen just naturally (i.e., by removing nominations that don't get reviewed in 5 days---the idea being that the interesting ones will attract attention and the boring ones won't), people might complain about unfairness, standards would fluctuate wildly based on who happens to be free on certain weeks, and it would be open to gaming (people agreeing to review one another's nominations, etc.). To be honest, while I think it would improve the quality of DYKs, I don't think it will ever be workable. rʨanaɢ (talk) 20:45, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Makes sense. --Yair rand (talk) 20:12, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • More input anyone. The more opinions raised the better.?--ÅlandÖland (talk) 22:35, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Grondemar's comments above hit the nail on the head. DYK serves an important function in encouraging entirely new content and thereby expanding the scope of Wikipedia. Cbl62 (talk) 04:56, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, I think it is a good idea because it puts interesting and quality articles on the front page that readers wouldn't otherwise come across (a cool thing about wikipedia). It could make readers (and writers) aware of the whole GA/FA process. I never even knew of DYK/GA until someone nominated an article I was poking at. I think that finding out about the "behind-the-scenes" stuff can open the door to new editors. I think it could make them more interested in wikipedia in general, not just the lone article/subject that got them to the article/talkpage in the first place. I think that's how it was for me anyway. So I think this idea is a benefit for readers and writers. I think that we should be careful not to drown out the newly-created-DYKs, but maybe with the influx of potential GAs the quality of the DYK-hooks would rise; maybe we could be more critical about the DYK-hooks that go on the front page?--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:11, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment - I think it significant that virtually all the "Support" votes here come from people who do not contribute to DYK, while most of the "Opposes" come from those who do. Well, I guess an idea seems a lot rosier when you personally will not have to deal with the consequences of it. Right now we feature 32 hooks a day, with an extra half dozen hooks a day from GA we would either have to have more hooks per update or run more frequent updates. It's more hooks to verify, more updates to prepare, and we are already chronically short of manpower as people generally get burned out very quickly at DYK. And is it really fair that non-participants in the project should be allowed to vote to dump more work into someone else's lap? I have my doubts about that. Gatoclass (talk) 11:59, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
  • It's hard to predict, but given the GA stats, you might get 2-3 new GA candidate hooks per day, compared to the current 32. I think the emphasis on quality vs. quantity will send a message and have a beneficial all-around effect, and will more than make up for that slight increase. But if that's still too much work, I can see the GA project nominating and vetting its own daily GA hook and providing it to the DYK pre-approved and ready to use. I think it would be better to do it in one centralized place, however. Crum375 (talk) 13:03, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
  • It seems highly speculative that making GA status a means to having articles displayed on the Main page would have no effect on the volume of articles being sent to GA. Currently GA status allows for a cutesy green plus sign to be displayed at the top of the article and, for those into such things, on the user page of individuals involved with the article. It is a false assumption that this incentive is able to motivate our entire community of article writers. This proposal would add a new and highly desirable benefit to dealing with the GA process. If things haven't changed significantly since I studied psychology and economics, this proposal would result in a large increase in new GA nominations and promotions as there would finally be an answer to the question, "What is a good article good for?" --Allen3 talk 13:58, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I think this should be done be the GA group rather than the DYK group. Thus the people at DYK who are overworked would have their work load reduced by say 25% - 50% depending on how much we want to have come from GAs.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:05, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
  • (ec)If we allow ourselves to speculate, yes, this could increase the number of new GAs on WP, which would obviously be a beneficial effect. But the complaint I was responding to above was that it would create too much work for the DYK team, though one could also imagine that allowing GA hooks would give the DYK a new life, focused on quality and not only quantity. And therefore it's possible that the DYK vetting process could attract new helpers with this new twist. Crum375 (talk) 14:12, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
  • (re Gato) It is also a bit worrisome that several of the "Support" votes are WP:JUSTAVOTEs like "support, good idea" (ÅlandÖland (all 3 of his votes), Binksternet, Yair rand) and several are supporting or proposing things that are different than the current proposal (Aiken's support is not for this proposal but for eliminating DYK entirely; RL0919's is essentially for a different nomination process; Ucucha says he supports the spirit of this change but not the specifics of the proposal). Looks like a classic case of voting with bold letters starting before enough discussion happened. rʨanaɢ (talk) 20:13, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
  • CommentWe should be directing out readers to our better work. This is good for them as they get to read something that is well written, broad in scope, and true to the best of our ability. This is good for Wikipedia as people will realize that a large portion of Wikipedia is well written. It is also go for Wikipedia as as stated above it will increase peoples interest in improving content.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:22, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment What about a combination of both sources? We can provide articles for the DYK section from either new articles or newly promoted good articles. It can have the best of both worlds, and wont risks the supply of articles from running out during a time with few promoted good articles --MBelgrano (talk) 14:17, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes I think that is the current suggestion. Have a portion of the DYK from the newest articles and a portion from the GAs. This will either attract more people to the DYK task force or the people at GA could put them together.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:29, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Opppose'. In short (heck, its always a hadache to read these threads), it is interesting, doable and .. premature. The backlogs on DYK, and especially on GAN, are much too long, and this has been so for ages. Many articles should not be nominated/promoted. There is a lack of reviewers to screen that, and this idea will only increase the load on them. Materialscientist (talk) 23:58, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
    • I sympathise with materialscientist's view—and materialsci should know, they've got to be one of the most hard-working reviewers we have—but i don't think the change in load will be much (see my reply to H. below). hamiltonstone (talk) 22:32, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Opppose' there are enough DYKs so there's no need to clog up the line and let blacklogs baloon by changing the system in this manner. Hekerui (talk) 19:36, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Yes, ut i dont think this is about filling a gap at DYK; it should be about gaining some exposure for new content and newly-improved content at GA. Given that the proposal is only for newly promoted GAs to be potentially eligible, that is a tiny amount of content compared to the existing DYK queue - my guess is something like 2 per cent of the queue would be newly promoted GAs. hamiltonstone (talk) 22:32, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support for reasons provided by other readers above (but particularly in terms of highlighting/incenitivizing quality; I think it only needs to be 1 or 2 new GA hooks and shouldn't overwhelm traditional DYK compltely new content). I don't buy the notion that the queue-lengths at GAN are a good reason to prevent this; nobody at DYK needs to wait for a review to finish, since the hook proposal will only land at DYK after the review has occurred, and such an article is still "freshly promoted" even if the review took a while to happen. Perhaps I'm misreading the situation, but presumably it would be easier work for DYK editors to verify a new good article, than to verify a fresh article? The GA may be longer but is much more likely to be sourced and has already had somebody else check it first. TheGrappler (talk) 22:02, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
    • The issue isn't the review time at GAN. The issue, as far as I can tell, is that DYK already struggles sometimes to handle the number of DYK nominations fast enough, and if even more nominations are added to the mix then the backlog at T:TDYK (not the one at GAN) will become a bigger problem. rʨanaɢ (talk) 22:33, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • It's hard to see how this proposal is going to seriously impact that problem. The number of GANs is trivially small compared to the number of DYK noms. The number of noms that DYK needs to output per day remains unchanged, there is still the same space available on the main page. A GA nominated for DYK must surely be an easier task for the reviewer since it can be taken as read that length and referencing have been taken care of by the GAR process and date is easy too, that is displayed on the GA banner whereas for a typical DYK 5x expansion nom one has to trawl through the edit history to confirm the date. SpinningSpark 23:00, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Already, more than enough new articles are nominated for DYK, and, in any case, that would kind of defeat the whole purpose of DYK- showcasing new articles. It would further mess with our current systems- the Four Award and the WikiCup would be messed around, for instance. DYK and GA are very different things; both offer prestiege in their own ways. This seems to be a solution in search of a problem, and seems like a pretty poor idea to me. J Milburn (talk) 23:04, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Given that initiatives like WP:FOUR are clearly designed to be timesinks for reviewers, I find your objection to be more than a little bizarre. I have no strong feelings either way about GAs on the main page, but it does seem to me that we ought to be considering what readers might like as opposed to the DYK afficionados. Let's face, it most DYK hooks are deadly dull, and the articles pretty poor. Malleus Fatuorum 23:46, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Does it "defeat the whole purpose of DYK- showcasing new articles"? DYK already contains articles that have undergone recent expansion even if the page has existed for years; the idea is really "new content" rather than new articles, and we are only talking about adding "new content from GA", not the posting of random good articles that were promoted years ago. Would this objection be eased if we only accepted articles that were significantly improved just prior to or during the GA process? A small minority of GA nominations seem to be articles that have been of high standard for some time, but the main writers didn't know or care about GA status, so are "driveby nominated". But this is very rare, usually someone writes good new content, then nominates it. We could clarify that this is the only situation where fresh GAs get a DYK hook if it preserves the "new content showcase" angle that you're interested in. TheGrappler (talk) 15:00, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - Hopefully this will encourage more people to improve the articles we already have, rather than continuing to create new ones. I agree with Malleus's comment above; the purpose of DYK should be to be interesting. Mr.Z-man 03:34, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment. GA is basically the new FA, in that the standards have risen really high to get anything promoted to FA, such that most people will never write a FA. It might not be so bad to provide some means of showcasing GAs. Tisane talk/stalk 03:54, 8 June 2010 (UTC)