Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 88

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New proposal to establish WP:requested moves/Closure review

No need to discuss it here; discuss it there. That's all! --George Ho (talk) 01:48, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Watchlist notice guideline

The watchlist notice facility is very useful, but in recent times has become utterly cluttered. The one that has just popped up on my watchlist is just pure spam;

The annual Wakefield Show invites you to share your knowledge of Acorn Computers and RISC OS with Wikipedia (entrance fee £5)

This is advertising. What is it doing on Wikipedia? And why can't I see it at MediaWiki:Watchlist-details? Why is there no discussion on the talk page? I think it is time that there was a guideline in place for this facility. SpinningSpark 11:26, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

It's not a watchlist-notice, it's in MediaWiki:Geonotice.js. I'm guessing you're in the UK... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 11:33, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
The other geonotices seem fairly innocuous. This one though, appears to be advertising in nature. Was there a discussion of adding this someplace?--Wehwalt (talk) 12:04, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
(ecx2)Ah...thank you. In that case, I propose that there should be a guideline covering both watchlist and geonotices, possibly could be generalised to all Software notice. PS, I have now removed the item. SpinningSpark 12:10, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support creating a guideline. A technology show shouldn't have been placed there (diff). Looking at the talk page, most of these things don't seem to be discussed before adding. Not that I think they should be, but in that case, there should be a guideline in place. Equazcion (talk) 12:09, 15 Apr 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - from the very small discussion, this actually seems to relate to a proposed Wikimeet at the Wakefield Show. Trouble is, it sounds like it's advertising the Wakefield Show, which is unconnected to WMF. Guidance on how to write copy would probably fix this. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 13:58, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Please move this discussion to WT:Geonotice because the initial scope of this discussion was ill-defined, and so that admins handling geonotices will actually read the discussion. Deryck C. 16:08, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I dropped a notice there linking here. This page has more eyes, and the watchlist notices affect everyone, not just those who post them. Equazcion (talk) 16:27, 15 Apr 2012 (UTC)

There already are informal guidelines at Wikipedia:Geonotice and there is a history of rather limited use of geonotices, almost exclusively for meetups or major events. It's not watched by a huge number of admins, though, and maybe that would help. It appears that you received a message that you felt was irrelevant to you. The best response would have been to raise your complaint to the Wikipedian who requested the notice or to the admin who added it or at the request itself, not to complain on a noticeboard that it is "spam" ("pure spam," no less!) and call for some undefined new policy.

On Wikipedia, "spam" is unsolicited commercial advertising, not a message targeted to your geographical area by an editor who believed in good faith that it was relevant. The editor even gave a detailed rationale for the message; what we have here is a difference of opinion. It's probably worth discussing that specific message further. Maybe the message is indeed irrelevant—mistakes happen!—but I don't see what is worth getting so worked up over. Dominic·t 01:49, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Editor notifications are rather broken at the moment. There isn't a good way to subscribe or unsubscribe from "feeds" (WikiProject notices, geonotices about meetups, fundraising messages). The Wikimedia Foundation is working on this, maybe. mw:Echo is the page describing it. Same basic problem applies to Wikimedia-wide notices (CentrallNotice), site-wide messages (Sitenotice), and watchlist notices.
In the meantime there should be an opt-out mechanism for geonotices (or perhaps all geo detection/collection). Work toward that. It's a better use of time than trying to police usage. :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 01:59, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree with what Dom said. I don't see what the fuss is about. Killiondude (talk) 03:49, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I think most of us were unaware of WP:Geonotice, and that these notices were proposed/discussed/approved prior to posting, since MediaWiki Talk:Geonotice.js doesn't contain that stuff (at least that was my issue). However rarely it becomes an issue, though, I think it might be a good idea to propose and approve wording as well in the future. Equazcion (talk) 04:05, 16 Apr 2012 (UTC)
Right, but I'm sure if someone talked to the guy that added it, rather than simply reverting, they would have been informed of that page, which is where it should be discussed. I don't really understand what you are asking for. As you said, there is already a page where these are proposed, discussed, and approved prior to posting. So, yes, it might be a good idea to propose and approve wording in the future, but you can do that now. (In fact, I would say that the admin who reverted not only can, but should do so.) Dominic·t 06:33, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
In this particular case, no one involved here was aware of the process. The reverting admin didn't know where these things were discussed, as it's not immediately evident from the .js page. What I'm suggesting is that watchlist notice wording be submitted for approval along with the notice proposal itself prior to implementation. Of course we can do it after the fact, but I think it should be part of the required process in order to get a notice up in the first place. Equazcion (talk) 06:36, 16 Apr 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I seem to have talked past you. I see what you're saying, that the reverting admin should have asked the admin who added the notice. But this is an interface notice, something more of an emergency, for lack of a better word. He saw something that looked like a corporate advertisement and was looking for a way to remove it as soon as possible; and it's no big deal if a notice isn't there anyway. In the case of these notices I can understand wanting to get it down first and discuss afterwards. I would've done the same thing. My suggestion for changing the process for approval does stand. Equazcion (talk) 06:48, 16 Apr 2012 (UTC)
There's a notice on the js page that says "This is JavaScript for the geonotices" (emphasis mine). Have you looked at WP:Geonotice? Submitters are asked for wording and admins can accept or decline. Really, not a matter of legislating policy. It's about being respectful of the people receiving the notices and using your head. Pretty much like all the other pages in the MediaWiki: namespace. Killiondude (talk) 06:51, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I seem to have missed both of those things (the fact that wording is already discussed and the link existing at the JS page) -- though in my defense, I appear to not be the only one. I looked at that JS page a few times during this discussion and apparently missed it every time. It's possible I just wasn't using my head, as you suggest, but I think I was. One can never know. Equazcion (talk) 06:57, 16 Apr 2012 (UTC)


I stand by my removal of this item. Whether or not it was intended to advertise a wikimeet is another question, but what it actually advertised was the Wakefield show, an event entirely unconnected with Wikipedia. In any case it was never proposed as a Wikimeet - when this question was raised in the discussion, more or less as an afterthought, we got the rather weak reply "I'm sure the hotel wouldn't mind people gathering in the bar". Not that I was aware that there had been discussion at the time I reverted - I looked at the obvious place: the talk page of the interface page and didn't find anything relating to Wakefield.
I did not in any sense delete the entry because "I received a message that was irrelevant to me". It was entirely because the message was inappropriate. Whether or not I am interested in going to the Wakefield show is beside the point. It is worth noting though, that the intended target seems to have been the North of England, if it had been accurately limited to that rather than almost as far south as Dieppe, I would never have received it in the first place.
Getting back to the question at hand, that of guidelines, thank you for the link to Wikipedia:Geonotice. While that page does have a section on guidelines, it is almost entirely concerned with the formatting of messages. It says nothing about what is acceptable content which is the thing really at issue. Further, what is being proposed here is guidelines for all site-wide notices, or at least watchlist notices, not just geonotices. SpinningSpark 13:37, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately it is technically impossible to subdivide the UK when creating geonotices. There has been extensive discussions about several notices competing for the UK geonotice space because of this technical limitation, and there is an informal guideline that there should be no more than 2 UK geonotices running at any time. Deryck C. 11:23, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
What would have happened if the lower limit of latitude had been set north of London? Do we know what percentage of the intended target would be excluded? The answer is of interest for the purpose of writing a guideline. SpinningSpark 12:44, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Regarding the Wikimeet, I contacted WP:YORKS last year, with no result. I wasn't sure it'd be appropriate to pester them again this year... however, I'm now pointing them here for info. -- Trevj (talk) 12:33, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support creating a guideline (Geonotice requester). If I'd been notified of these discussions via my talk page I would've probably commented sooner. To quote a comment from Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Watchlist spam, There's no villainy here. It's not like it's advertising Mousecorp - it's the type of show put on by a local club at a Town Hall, with the suggestion that a bunch of editors meet up there. It's just phrased badly. Therefore, guidance on rewording this current request and for any future requests made by all would be most welcome.
As a brief history:
  1. The notice was proposed in connection with Project representation at the show and running a workshop related to WP:RISCOS. The innocent intention was to try to attract local Wikipedians to take part.
  2. The proposed notice period initially clashed with the Wikimania UK request, which was then amended and delayed due to issues unrelated to this notice.
  3. Whatever the usual discussion of such notices is (it's the first time I've placed a request) was perhaps hampered by the above clash and delay.
I'd like to apologise for the poorly chosen wording and also like to please propose new wording for potential approval at Wikipedia:Geonotice#WikiProject RISC OS in Wakefield, UK at the earliest opportunity, e.g.
If the inclusion of an external link is still seen as spam, then it could be linked to from WP:RISCOS but such a link needs to be in place before the Geonotice, in order that those following the links understand the relevance. Comments welcome, in advance of the Geonotice request being amended. Thanks. -- Trevj (talk) 11:12, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
(ec) I still don't think this is a suitable notice for inclusion. I can see no actual Wikipedia related event here. Sure, it might be a show which may interest members of WikiProject RISC OS, but the Wikiproject would be a more appropriate place to trail it, if anywhere. If every show, exhibition, conference or seminar of interest to every Wikiproject were to be trailed as a geonotice the facility would rapidly become swamped. SpinningSpark 12:44, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
The external link formatting problem comes from the fact that geonotices do nothing but inject (almost) raw HTML into the watchlist notice space, hence the problem with all links being formatted the same. I was actually rather surprised that someone complained that the external link is "formatted like an internal link" - none of the links look normal anyway! Deryck C. 11:32, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
For info, the use of a Geonotice arose during private email discussions with WMUK: In terms of finding local wikipedians, you could try a geonotice over a small geographic area: These are normally used to cover the whole of the UK; I don't know how well they work locally, but perhaps this is a good opportunity to find out. -- Trevj (talk) 13:14, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've now added the above proposed wording at Wikipedia:Geonotice#New Wakefield wording proposed and would welcome comments there. Thanks. -- Trevj (talk) 07:31, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Public Domain

Wasn't everything in Wikipedia supposed to be "free", how is it free with the "CC" license: you need to copy down the URL, rewrite the license and provide a full descriptive explanation of any changes you have made.This is extremely time consuming and very likely to put people off copying material! Whereas if it is public Domain, you can usually use it for any purpose. Sorry about my tone if it sounds a little harsh :).--Deathlaser talk 17:22, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

To quote from Copyleft: "...copyleft is a general method for making a program (or other work) free (libre), and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well." Sure, the project could be a little "freer" in your sense if all rights whatsoever were granted, but around here the decision has been made not to permit non-free derivative works. We're making a free encyclopedia that will stay free, in whatever form people transform it. Ntsimp (talk) 18:13, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Ridiculous whining. Wikipedia material is used reused by uncountable number of people all around the world, in projects, in papers, in presentations, on web sites, etc. Asking people to say where they got is the least we can do. Nageh (talk) 18:27, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Beyond the above, there's a good number, possibly even the majority of large contributing editors, who would never bother with WP if it were all released into PD upon pushing the save button. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 22:36, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
How do you mean Melodia ?
I personally find it very difficult to understand what on earth commons is about. If it takes me 10 minutes to mix up an image, it takes me 30 to upload it properly with all the references in the right place, there is just no guidance at all. The commons wozzard (my butt is more wizard than that thing) should ask you what images you used as components of the image, at the moment, you have to study very hard, and probably still won't understand the difference between a derivative work and a mixture of images or a retouched image. How newbies are supposed to work it out is beyond me. Penyulap 00:56, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
There have been several efforts to improve the wizard and/or write other tools to help with certain common situations. I recommend you contact Wikipedia talk:File Upload Wizard to discuss ways to make it easier and/or more clearly documented. Without input from actual users, the authors there won't have a clue what actual users need improved. DMacks (talk) 01:05, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
well i will give it a go, though, if it is anything like the barnstar page, they'll prefer I teach them rather than fix the problem, I don't have energy for both. Penyulap 01:55, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Copyleft licenses are not created to be newly-friendly, they're designed to be lawyer-resistant. Diego (talk) 12:54, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

I am sorry for my Idea:(.--Deathlaser talk 16:21, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Deathlaser, it's true what you say, and everyone, it does need fixing. The problem is that every newbie has to be a lawyer to understand the rubbish docs. It's especially hard if you mix 5 images into one and then try to upload, it's just impossible. should be something like you tell the machine just the urls of each image, and then it works out what it can by itself and then come back and ask you anything else. You can tell commons an image name, but it can't come back with the license. And how is a newbie supposed to know how to put everything down on that form ? That is exactly like going to court or something, it's too hard for the artist to do the lawyer work, and the lawyer can't do the artist work, so we just don't have the images that you see in any given google search, it's too hard to find the talent cause it's too restrictive. Not restricted by the licensing, but restricted because the licensing is a mess of tape like a spider web. Simple would be proper.
ah don't worry i go waffle in that other place, probably nobody there though. Penyulap 06:27, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

I.....don't understand. Are you frustrated with me or do you think I have a valid point.--Deathlaser talk 11:28, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

  • The time to raise this was many years ago or many decades in the future. As we've built the pedia on our current license shifting to Public domain would mean abandoning almost all of the content. You could fork and ask editors to release their contributions as public domain, and any article that had only been edited by editors who agreed to that could be ported to the public domain version. You could also wait until the copyrights expired and the whole thing became public domain. But for the bulk of the project and for the lifetimes of the current editors we are stuck with licenses that require attribution and which require derivative works to be similarly free. I and I suspect many others rather like that as Public domain is in some crucial ways less free. No-one can take my work, tweak it slightly and then claim it as their copyright and demand money from me or others to use it, if this was Public domain then people could do just that. ϢereSpielChequers 11:42, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

If Wikipedia were public domain, someone could start with Wikipedia, write a super-way-better revised edition (copyrighted because of their improvements), sell it (say, as a book), and Wikipedia could never benefit from these improvements. Free licensing means that all improvements/work on Wikipedia is able to be incorporated back into the main Wikipedia. Calliopejen1 (talk) 15:00, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Just to play a bit of the Devil's Advocate here: would that be so terrible?
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 15:23, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with it except that they'd steal other people's WP contributions in the process. In other words, if they start from a clean slate, not a wp:FORK, it's just fine. But there's no way in hell that every single WP contributor (past and present) is going to consent to having their contribs dumped to the PD. LeadSongDog come howl! 16:44, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
That's not even remotely what I was referring to, but that's OK. I never honestly expected any sort of real discussion about this to be able to take place anyway. We've got to continue to shame Deathlaser for daring to bring the issue up, after all.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 16:50, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
No, certainly not, asking why contributions are not put under PD is a valid question. But arguing that PD should be preferred because CC is so "time consuming and very likely to put people off copying" is dubious at best and easily disproved by the uncountable number of publications that incorporate Wikipedia material. Nageh (talk) 18:07, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree. However, again, that's not what I was talking about.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 20:51, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Well then, perhaps you could tell us what it is that you were talking about, since we've not managed to correctly guess? LeadSongDog come howl! 21:26, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand where there could possibly be any confusion. I replied to Calliopejen1, who said "someone could start with Wikipedia, write a super-way-better revised edition (copyrighted because of their improvements), sell it (say, as a book), and Wikipedia could never benefit from these improvements.", to which I replied: "Just to play a bit of the Devil's Advocate here: would that be so terrible?" What's confusing to you?
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 21:43, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
If you're not just trolling, you should know that the Copyleft provides a strong incentive for participating, one that is not present in contributions to public domain. A significant percentage of participants would not bother to collaborate if Wikipedia license was not share and-share-alike; so there would be a measurable harm in your Devil's Advocate approach. But maybe you weren't referring to that either? Diego (talk) 21:52, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
zOMG! Facepalm Can't you two read?!? I know all of that! What I was replying to was the thought about what could theoretically happen without copyleft, since, you know, that's what Calliopejen1 was talking about. Holy hell! Who are the trolls here?
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 21:57, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
You asked "would that be so terrible"? And several others have replied "yes it would be so terrible". What else did you expect? Diego (talk) 22:02, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
How in the world is replying to a completely different question at all helpful? "Is the sky blue?", "yes, the grass is green." huh? Did you hear what I said? Obviously not, since that's not what I asked! And then you have the fucking nerve to say that I could be trolling?
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 22:06, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
So let's get this clear. If you didn't ask what would happen if Wikipedia was public domain, what did you ask? Diego (talk) 22:08, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
...that is what I asked! You replied with an explanation of copyleft (like I'm some kind of idiot, so thanks for that!), which is not at all what the subject was. How that's helpful is beyond me.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 22:12, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to sleep. HAND. Diego (talk) 22:14, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps the confusion hinges on "If Wikipedia were public domain". Was that intended as a hypothetical course of action, or a hypothetical historic situation? "If wp had always been PD" vs "If we were to make wp PD" are quite different suppositions.LeadSongDog come howl! 22:19, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, "If wp had always been PD" is what Calliopejen1 originally said (...sort of), and was what I was replying to. This whole exchange has me exhausted though. Any interest in the subject has evaporated. Face-sad.svg
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 23:01, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
The lesson may be that it's important to be aware of the venue where things are said. This is VP (proposals), after all. Hypotheticals are likely to be taken as courses of action, not alternate-universe histories. Just sayin'. LeadSongDog come howl! 13:15, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
As LeadSongDog points out, I think you just took a different understanding of Calliopejen1's comment. I didn't take it as "if wp had always been PD," just a hypothetical "this is what would happen if we went PD." I'm guessing that was how Diego read it as well, hence each of you not understanding the other's point. It's easy to do. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 13:23, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Revive Vandal sniper

I have recently noticed that Vandalsniper is being merged with Wikibench(or something). It was said that Wikibench will have RC, but does not mention that it "can revert vandalism and warn with a single click". But any-way, Vandalsniper looks really cool and I want to request access yet it's being merged and the developer is "on Wikibreak" (perhaps in the future we need more then one "developer").--Deathlaser :  Chat  17:46, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Well if we do, lets hope its not a 12 year old eh?♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:54, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

It's quality that matters.--Deathlaser :  Chat  17:58, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Version 1.0 Editorial Team

The Wikipedia 1.0 Editorial Team, which organizes offline releases of Wikipedia, has begun working on our next release—the version 0.9. Now we're trying to identify which members are still active and attract new members, so we can start the work. The issues related to the version 0.9 are being discussed here. Please add your comments to the discussion, and let us know here if you would like to be involved. Thank you. Ruslik_Zero 18:50, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Vandal Bin/Vandal Brake as an alternative to Anonblocks and Schoolblocks has a mediawiki extension that allows sysops to restrict troublesome users to one edit per thirty minutes as an alternative to blocking. It also blocks account creation. In the past, I've been critical of this feature since it's always been my opinion that vandals should just be blocked instead. However, IPs belonging to enterprise networks, as well as some ISPs, often represent thousands of users, some of whom probably have good intentions whereas some of whom probably have malicious intentions.

At Wikipedia, we have a policy of assuming good faith, but due to the problems coming from shared IPs, especially those belonging to schools, it's becoming more and more common for such IPs to be blocked long-term. While I wouldn't support using it for registered users as it would be basically like a cool-down block for them and would be horribly ineffective at combating serial vandals, I believe that Vandal Bin could work beautifully for us if we use it on these shared IPs that have lots of abuse. If we restricted their edits to one per thirty minutes, it would allow people with good intentions to make simple contributions without registering for an account while limiting the damage those with bad intentions are able to do. A vandal would only be able to do one edit, and thirty minutes later, the vandal would likely either be finished with their break if at work or be in a different class if in a school. Something that we would have to work on would be making it anon only (which should be easy for the developers) since at RationalWiki the Vandal Bin applies to both logged in and logged out editors from an IP address.

Any thoughts? PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 03:04, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Moderate oppose for the following reasons:
    1. It's my belief that for schools, they can create accounts at home, normally, and they should.
    2. We do not have many ways to tell whether an IP is truly shared, except for mobile IPs. Actually, the vast majority of client IPv4 addresses are shared due to network address translation, so you kinda have to draw a line here.
    3. We cannot be certain of whether an IP address is a school IP address because not all schools are listed in the WHOIS.
    4. Good faith editors almost always have to make more than one edit, and that becomes an issue with a shared IP address.
    5. For shared school IPs the vandal could just resume it afterschool.

I'd support this for a different reason, which is to limit the rates of LTAs and spammers instead of replacing anonblocks and schoolblocks.--Jasper Deng (talk) 03:12, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

LTAs and spammers can, and should, be hardblocked in my opinion; I do not support using this for long term abusers or spammers with registered accounts. Sometimes good faith editors just fix typos or remove other people's vandalism, and that should only take one edit to do; I agree that long term editors should make accounts at home. However, that first edit might be what sparks an interest in editing and may lead to the person creating an account. As for vandals, they can always resume after school or work, but for that matter, they can come up with the idea to vandalize at school or work and do it when they get home, whereas someone wanting to make a legitimate correction or contribution might just forget about it and not bother doing it from home. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 04:06, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Worst of both worlds. Counter-vandalism tools are extremely effective at reverting ip vandalism that occurs in quick succession after the first vandal edit by the IP has been identified and reverted. So this change would eliminate the vandalism easiest to control without effecting the most problematic vandal edits, those that go undetected for some time. In fact, the more an IP vandalizes in quick succession, the more likely someone is to notice they are a vandal and revert all the vandal edits. Meanwhile it would place a heavy burden on IP contributors who wish to make positive contributions. Trying to do many constructive tasks on Wikipedia would be excruciating if you could only make an edit every 30 minutes. Monty845 16:01, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
One edit every 30 mins wouldn't hinder constructive controls nearly as much as an outright block, and if the anti-vandal tools are doing such a great job, then why must so many NATs with thousands of users be blocked for 6 months and upwards? (talk) 16:55, 26 April 2012 (UTC) Forgot to sign in earlier. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 21:12, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
How about flagging recent changes with a marker to show if that IP / IP range / editor has been vandalizing of late ? Penyulap 04:50, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose many of these IPs are shared, and this would mean that sometimes someone who tried to save a good edit would not be able to because there'd been another edit by someone else in the same building twenty minutes earlier. So we'd lose some good edits. But for vandalism the situation is much worse - we often don't pickup the first vandalism that someone does and instead rely on them doing multiple vandalisms until a rollbacker reverts one and then sees what else they've done. So as well as losing some good edits and needlessly annoying some goodfaith users, we would be forcing vandals into behaviour that they don't want, but which would hide some of their vandalism from our vandal hunters. ϢereSpielChequers 19:32, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

A frequent backlog at RPP

Hello. This issue will be known to everybody, I guess. It's been for a month that RPP is getting frequent backlogs. Do you have any idea what to do about this? Dipankan (Have a chat?) 04:50, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

We need more admins, simply put.--Jasper Deng (talk) 19:19, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Or a breakup of the admin toolset, but that is just about the most frequently rejected proposal there is. Monty845 19:25, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Sock puppet messagery

Well can we have a sort of Message system (Sockuser Message system) to warn sockpuppets that they have been suspectedMir Almaat Ali Almaat 05:38, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

According to me, it's really not necessary to warn sockmasters about their sockpuppets, because then they'll create more and more sockpuppets to get rid. So why warn? Dipankan (Have a chat?) 09:04, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Pretty sure he means notifying the socks themselves that they're suspected, so they can come defend themselves (which is good in case suspicions are wrong), not notifying already-verified sockmasters (which I agree makes no sense). Equazcion (talk) 09:08, 28 Apr 2012 (UTC)
I meant that the person who is suspected of being a sockmaster. Dipankan (Have a chat?) 12:15, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
I think he is after some kind of guidance, for his comedy (I think) related sock, (I think), something along the lines of 'this sock is compliant' or 'this is a dirty sock and will be washed soon'. So it's like a "sock for deletion template" and "where do I explain how my sock is compliant with the appropriate policies regarding alternative accounts". Do we even have any such thing at all ? or are pink striped socks (comedy) just waiting for a humor unaware admin to hit and run with a nuclear strike. ? Penyulap 11:34, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Are you aware of Template:Uw-socksuspect and Template:Socksuspectnotice? Jc3s5h (talk) 12:20, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Discussion ended and you'll say I am a Sockpuppet of my defunct account, Kelphin which is inaccessible.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Mir Almaat 1 S1 (talkcontribs) 11:44, 28 April 2012

We care about your feedback and will answer your call shortly, please stay on the line.

Extended content


Bendable thumb.jpg

This is so cool, it (accidentally) reflects the (too often) WDGAF about you to newbies. I love it, there is no clue given as to where it comes from and it takes a good deal of clicking to get to anything that resembles someone to talk to, nice corporate feel, I should complain to my congressman about this. I give it a thwumbs up Penyulap 12:23, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

It took me quite a while to translate your sarcasm into an actual concern, so if you "GAF" about the rest of us, I'd tone that down a bit (and not just here). I see Wikipedia:New editor feedback as your average customer survey. I don't think it's any more mysterious than that (it "comes from" Wikipedia, will people really be wondering any more than that?). I never participate in them personally, and don't see why any thinking person would want to, but that's just me. As for getting to talk to a person, I don't think we make that too difficult. Aside from being able to post to any user's talk page at any time, the sidebar's Help gets you to the help desk in three clicks (HelpAsk questionsHelp desk). I suppose we could make it 1 and just put Help desk right in the sidebar, since we are indeed not paying the people who respond, so who cares if they have to work alot?
Oh and about the grayed-out button, I don't know for sure but the negative character count seems to be saying you went over your allotted feedback length. I'll wait for someone who knows more about that feature to come comment. I'm not sure how mysterious that is either though -- YouTube has a similar count/limit for comments, as do other sites, and we all know the genius it takes to comment in those places. Equazcion (talk) 14:53, 28 Apr 2012 (UTC)
It's not sarcasm Equazcion, I firmly believe that an image presented should reflect experience likely to be found, and this one does. Seriously, who does actually care about new users here ? a minority at best. I think it's more likely cynicism, but not sarcasm, if you called me cynical in that remark, well, I guess I'd own that.
I may have gone past the twitter sized comment enforcement policy by moving my original comment down, replacing it with a comment on the button. I'll take up the issues raised on the board you point to, thanks. Penyulap 23:54, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Use AJAX for live editing

What I mean is, we should use Ajax for the editing UI so that you can edit pages and see the preview change dynamically (without having to continue loading action=submit). Another possible feature would cause a warning tag to popup when an edit conflict is possible so you can decide on-demand how to address it without becoming the slave of the MediaWiki software. (talk) 21:54, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure becoming slaves of Javascript is better than MediaWiki. (-; Killiondude (talk) 22:03, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I think there would be licensing issues but also not everyone in the world has access to high speed internet which seems to be fairly important for Ajax. Rmhermen (talk) 23:11, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Get to work on coding something. When you're done come back and we'll talk. Face-wink.svg
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 00:12, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
There is a script that is supposed to do this, but it didn't work with Vector the last time I tried. The developers are currently working on taking it a step further that this proposal -- a WYSIWYG editor where you edit the formatted text directly. Who knows how long that'll take to go live, but at least it's in the works. Equazcion (talk) 00:18, 21 Apr 2012 (UTC)
The new Wikia look has a rich text editor. (talk) 00:01, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
I think we should try a demo version of the HTML5 version of Wikipedia, perhaps at some domain like or (talk) 00:07, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
There are still issues with compatibility with MediaWiki. See here. You probably want to take a look at mw:HTML5 as well. Killiondude (talk) 06:34, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
mw:WYSIWYG editordanhash (talk) 20:42, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
At least one implementation of this already exists: User:EpochFail/Wikignome. Kaldari (talk) 08:03, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Patent related stuff -> new words like this patent expires after...

Hi. Basing on "date-> It was about xx days ago" template, and for e.g. Term_of_patent_in_the_United_States, of course date of patent/image would be great to do, especially on commons section automatic info response. For e.g. "This patent expired xx years xx days xx months ago", or "This patient would expire on {<day> <month name> <year> - shown automatically basing on filling/issuing date". This would be great for community, like the date stamp in historic articles, and more in a patent world, info for creator or other engineers who want to make some works basing on it too.

As we generally don't have articles on individual patents, I assume you refer to cases when patents are used as references in an article. 99.99% of the readers will not care about this information and consider it useless clutter. The people who do care should know the term of patent length and can look up the filing date themselfs. Yoenit (talk) 13:59, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Hmm - firstly this is not probably(don't known Wikipedia, but have some little knowledge about programming) heavy to make. Second - why do You think that 99.99% of the readers won't like this feature? You did some research poll? Personally I think that You are not right about it - the term of patents is really -now topic- especially in XXI century today. 1) The discussion about patents and license rights is heavy on Wikipedia(lot of rights too). 2) If the 90s/00s were success of "green" political parties and ecology topics, the patents, license related parties - like "Pirat party" are gaining the same strength - from European parliament to national parliaments. 3) We live in times, where some companies, like Monsanto even are patenting seeds, which the gmo based food is planted on big parts of world. 4) The same argument like with the dates - Wikipedia have for e.g. bio, events articles which are not concerned on the dates but on people, events. Everybody can count (probably) how many years ago this was, but this feature was included. I hope that not only You will read this arguments(I tried to write it logically), and this feature will be included in Wikipedia. If not please make some stronger arguments than "I think it is useless". (Some people using Britannica thought that Wikipedia is useless and won't even gain popularity)....
In the US fees must be paid periodically to maintain patents, if the fees are not paid, the patent expires. It's very likely that the fees will be paid for important patents, but some of the more obscure ones might be allowed to expire early. Also, I agree this is unnecessary clutter. If the expiration was or will be significant that can be stated in the article. Jc3s5h (talk) 15:14, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the programming would be much more complicated than the template that calculates a person's age based on his birthdate, which is routinely used in infoboxes. But because of extensions and early surrenders, it's very likely to produce inaccurate information. You are better off putting that information in manually, based on what a reliable source says. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:26, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Unique page anchors

Currently, each header (== A section title==) on a page automatically generates an anchor in MediaWiki with that same name, so that links can easily lead directly to a section (ie. WP:VPR#Unique page anchors). The watchlist arrow links → use these anchors to jump directly to the section containing an edit.

However, this only works when each anchor is named uniquely. If two sections have the same name, they currently get the same anchor name, and anchor links don't have any way of distinguishing.

I'm proposing we fix this by including two anchors for every header, instead of the one they currently include: one that only contains the header text, to keep that convenience for the vast majority of situations where it isn't a problem, and another that contains a unique ID number. That way, the watchlist → links could link to the unique anchor ID, and they'd be of some actual use on pages like dispute resolution noticeboard etc, where duplicate section titles are standard. Equazcion (talk) 00:47, 26 Apr 2012 (UTC)

How could this work? It is hard to imagine that the unique ID would be part of the wikitext and thus visible in the edit window. If not then somewhere a table is kept with IDs that knows which section to go to. Mediawiki software would need to store this table in a separate place from the wikitext for the page. For WP:DRN and similar pages an alternative might be to create section names in a better way. Someone could improve the preload function or templates. EdJohnston (talk) 05:52, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
The IDs wouldn't need to be unique, just unique within the page. They could even be simple sequential numbers, 000001 000002 etc (leading zeros to prevent duplicating an actual section titled "1" or "2"). This wouldn't need to be visible, just coded into an invisible anchor tag -- currently MediaWiki creates these invisible anchor tags for each section title, which is why we're able to link to them. I'm just proposing another one be created for each, though named with auto-incremented numbers. The numbers wouldn't need to be visible on the rendered page, because generally they'll only be of use to the MediaWiki software (to create auto-generated anchor links in watchlist, recent changes, etc), not to users. They could even match the numbers the TOC assigns, so that users could see them that way and use them. Equazcion (talk) 06:00, 26 Apr 2012 (UTC)
The mediawiki already does distinguish between duplicates - header ids are header-name-based, aye, but given two headers of the same name, the second will have a _2 appended to its id, and the third _3, and so on (the ids are the anchors). Technically it has to do this to be proper syntax; a given id may only occur once on a page, unlike a class.
If the watchlist links aren't going to the right one, it may be related to how when section editing, it also doesn't go to the right one upon saving, though. The mediawiki doesn't check which it is for that, and perhaps doesn't when automatically generating the edit summary, either? I haven't looked at that in particular, but that might be it. Isarra 06:23, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'll be a son of a bitch. You're right, the IDs are already unique. The auto-generated edit summaries just don't use them. Editing ==section a== generates the summary (/* section a */ my edit summary), and just uses whatever's in the /* */ to create the anchor link, but only the visible section headers are used. Maybe we could change that to use the actual IDs instead, since we have them? Equazcion (talk) 12:41, 26 Apr 2012 (UTC)
If the actual IDs were used in the auto-generated edit summary that would allow the watchlist link to take you to the correct section even when two or more sections have the same visible title. An alternative could be a warning to the user about duplicating a section header when they are about to save the file. A user warning scheme would admittedly not solve the DRN problem where identical headers are created 'by design'. Perhaps not wisely. EdJohnston (talk) 14:01, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Isarra is right about the unique suffix used to create unique ids. It is still possible to break the section anchor, as a valid id must start with A-Z or a-z. This usually breaks when the section title is a year or starts with a non-Roman or non-alpha character. There is a bug report on this; the easy fix would be to add a prefix, but this would break a lot of current links. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:27, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Still, the auto-generated summaries don't use those unique IDs, so what do you think of the suggestion to use them? Equazcion (talk) 14:49, 26 Apr 2012 (UTC)
Since you can't click on the auto-generated summary, why does it matter? WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:32, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
You can click the arrow to the left of the summary. See Help:Edit summary#Section editing. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:39, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Face-smile.svg Thank you I should make a habit of using that feature. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:54, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia pages about editing article of a fictional character

I have written down the following pages:

I have tagged them as "essay in development", and these pages are still in development. Do they belong to the "User:" or "Wikipedia:" namespace? If "Wikipedia:", must they be treated as Wikipedia essays or guidelines? --George Ho (talk) 18:00, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

From WP:Essay: Essays that the author does not want others to edit, or that are found to contradict widespread consensus, belong in the user namespace. So, as assuming they don't contradict policy, it is your call on where you want them to be. You would need to establish consensus to make them a guideline, but there are no prerequisites for making them Wikipedia space essays. Monty845 19:31, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I would advise that at least the first three, if not all four, should stay in userspace. Telling editors what they can and can't do in content space should only be in the Wikipedia space if there is consensus, imo. Also, I don't see how this belongs in the proposals section of the VP? —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 01:09, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Where would it belong then? --George Ho (talk) 01:21, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
      • Village Pimp Miscellaneous is always a safe choice. Here's probably not too bad though, but by placing it here, you project the message that you're proposing to move these to the Wikipedia namespace. Sven Manguard Wha? 04:00, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
        • I intendeded to develop them as essays. However, I wonder if each passes the guideline of either an essay or a guideline. --George Ho (talk) 06:34, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
You could cry ot get consensus to approve it and make changes if need be to set as guideline within a wikiproject.Lihaas (talk) 20:27, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Have you read WP:Policies and guidelines? It tells you the best way to make a WP:PROPOSAL, assuming you want to have a page labeled as an official {{Guideline}}. You do not need to make a proposal if you want to tag a page as an {{essay}} or if you want no tag at all (see WP:NOTAG). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:43, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Shall we move this to Miscellaneous page then? Or is it too late? --George Ho (talk) 20:48, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

List of users with paywall/subscription site access

Hi. I've just been sitting in #wikipedia-en with a user who was looking to verify a citation from, and who didn't have OED Online access. It got me thinking - you list users here by the languages they speak; so, why not set up a verification page where editors with access to paywalled or subscription sites which are commonly used here, like JSTOR, can list themselves as having access to those sites — and then users who have a need to verify something from one of those sites and who do not have access, can post questions to them?

It seems strange to me that a free encyclopedia would allow sources which have to be paid for in order to read them, but as I have been told, you can't simply restrict yourselves to free sources, or it may prevent articles from being expanded or even written in the first place — and to me, this seems like a good way round. It might take some organising, sure - but when has Wikipedia been afraid of a challenge? :) Thoughts are welcome, constructive or otherwise - it will be good to hear any suggestions. MarkBurberry32|talk 22:26, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

See WP:REX. Goodvac (talk) 22:33, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Looking at REX, Goodvac, two problems stand out at me in detail. One - it's rather large and slightly confusing (and I'm saying this as a relatively new user), and Two - It doesn't actually suggest which site or what you're looking for. What I'm thinking of is more in line of this -
Say a user needs something from JSTOR, to reference material in an article. They place something like you see here on the talk page of the article, along with the reference they need checking, someone gets notified that there's an article waiting for JSTOR help, goes and answers the question direct on the article talk page. The list thing is merely for people to say which access they have. MarkBurberry32|talk 23:38, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
It's easier to watchlist a noticeboard than for users to constantly be checking a category. If you'd like to propose a way to make WP:REX more functional then I'm all ears. I'm just not too keep on the idea of splitting academic resource sharing into multiple categories (how many would that be?!) that decentralizes. Killiondude (talk) 01:33, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
The info in the encyclopedia is free. The sources still exist even if they can't be accessed without paying. It's not much different than books that don't have their text online, etc. used as a source. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 01:25, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Find a user who's active and is in Category:Wikipedians_who_have_access_to_JSTOR. There's also Category:Wikipedians who have access to Credo and a few others too. By being a member of those categories, people are broadcasting their willingness to share the wealth. Otherwise, why bother mentioning it? Sven Manguard Wha? 03:57, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

  • I see from your user page that you're British (I think). I'm not sure, offhand, how they do things over there, but here in the States all (or at least most) of our libraries offer at least some databases to the public, with access available over the Internet (usually by entering your library card). It's probably worth checking out if you have access yourself. Most people have quite a bit of resources available to them without even realizing it, or knowing where to look.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 04:10, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Yes, Ohms law, I am British. Access to resources here depends entirely on which county's public library service you're working from - Essex (where I'm actually from) doesn't provide free access to anything other than basic references, like Britannica online for example. Other counties, like Buckinghamshire - where I am now, don't provide anything free. If you don't subscribe to it, you don't get it. The best place is London, where the local services provide access to pretty much everything. It's a hit and miss game, sadly. MarkBurberry32|talk 14:11, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Whilst I have a dislike of anything paid, and love free software / music / everything, certainly we do use books, I love books, and they are great references on wikipedia. I'd love to come to this party and I don't want to come empty handed. I'd be happy to create userboxes to help categorize editors by the resources they have access to. Based on the image at WP:REX and the caption, I think these editors would be serious fun to work with. Penyulap 12:34, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Template:Ref expand

Hi I created this as I believed we needed a template like Bare URLs to encourage editors to add full citations not the just the websites. Can somebody take care of this properly and sort out the documentation and note to use such a template like the way Template:Bare URLs is being used? Template:Ref fill, Template:Expand ref and Template:Expand reference redirects to this.. Hopefully it will encourage more editors to fill out references properly and will go a long way to ensuring a more consistent ref formatting on wikipedia with adequate source details and not just titled links. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:02, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Wouldn't an inline tag serve? Regards, RJH (talk) 15:07, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes we should have one of those too! this is for articles though which the entire bank of references are not filled out..♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:44, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Looks a little confusing as it indicates using template {{citation}} then later indicates a number of templates are available. Keith D (talk) 18:21, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Not confusing really. The Template:Citation says its identical to the cite web etc.♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:45, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Use {{Cleanup-link rot}} for this. I see no point in adding yet another template for the same situation. As far as {{Citation}} is concerned, it says it can be made to produce identical output with suitably chosen (not specified, obscure) parameters, but it would be far more sensible to use the appropriate template to start with. It is quite clear that Wikipedia does not impose a particular citation style so any such template should not recommend only one style either. Also, we should try to avoid providing lots of alternative redirects, that just makes the source more difficult to parse. --Mirokado (talk) 20:16, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, by default, {{citation}} uses a different style from Citation Style 1— they are not usually mixed and the display parameters are not often used. And yes, templates are not required. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 22:23, 29 April 2012 (UTC)


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Consensus is against this. Closing before it gets any more heated. Sven Manguard Wha? 04:17, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Proposal to abolish ITN as its highly subjective and often the cause of disputes as a result. ITNR is another disputed feature. Something like DYK is far more objective. Further with WP's popularity current events are likely to be featuresd at the top of searches and will be found anyway. WP should be showcasing quality of WP articles and objectivity of itself, not contributing to WP:Recentism of articles that get created for ITN and then ignored forever. An attack/accident/diesease flare up/flood somewhere is not eneyclopaedic worth but for wikinews, it makes the encyclopaedia project further into a social media outlet to push povs. (As most current events (a la Arab Spring, etc) do). I realise this means changing the main page which is hard but its not that difficult. We could move DYK up or the OTD (As in formal documents where the date is on the top-right). Then we can either expand the current section by increasin the width/height, or the number of current additions within the current sections. Or an alternative idea of objectivity can be proposed. Im thinking we could add some small box of current events as in a link to current sports/elections/the daily or annual calendars which is more objective and can be added to without admin subjectivity.Lihaas (talk) 20:12, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose at a glance. I'd reform ITN rather than abolish it. For example, we could require the subjects to have pre-existing articles.--Jasper Deng (talk) 20:17, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
They already do, which is the problem as current events often times dont go through more than the days/week its on ITN...but the selection process is highly arbitrary in large part.Lihaas (talk) 20:20, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
My idea was to require like 3 months of age to prevent the creation of (non-notable) articles solely for ITN.--Jasper Deng (talk) 20:24, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
The inclusion of new articles written as a result of recent/current events is a fundamental element of ITN. In fact, the section was created for our coverage of the September 11 attacks (obviously not a non-notable subject). —David Levy 23:41, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Surely the place to bring this up is WT:ITN, rather than hiding it here and not leaving a courtesy notice at ITN at all. Shocking behaviour. —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 20:25, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think ITN has a problem that can be fixed. If less concern were placed on international/widespread notability of events and more emphasis were placed on the quality of the updates, we'd lower the amount of subjectivity and stagnancy associated with the section. No other section on the Main Page requires that the content be important to people across different regions; I don't understand why ITN has to act that way. There was a time when, somehow, it worked, but it doesn't work now. -- tariqabjotu 20:39, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Bad behaviour by Lihaas. Why not discuss it at ITN? How rude. Incidentally, no, oppose, but attempt to stop the inevitable bias that goes on at ITN (but that's a local issue). Generally our ITN is a fair representation of what's going on without being ticker tape. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:00, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Relax...its been 16 mins between posting here and there. Just got distracted with multiple windows open till i started closing them ;) Also AGF...bad behviour by you?
At any rate, this as my firstposting at village pump where there were no guidelines as such (As in ANI and SOCK that call for notificaiton). Lets not presume are way through...Lihaas (talk) 21:02, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Fully relaxed. Just odd that you would post this way round. Oh well. Let's see how your "proposal" fares, eh? The Rambling Man (talk) 21:09, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I believe that ITN is useful. It needs to be improved (in what way would be a seperate proposal), not abolished. Shirudo talk 00:00, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Useful part of the main page, which may need some improvement. Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:33, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose- If we get rid of ITN, I'm leaving Wikipedia. Bzweebl (talk) 01:23, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Hi, I came up with a banner that Jimbo quite liked and thought it would do well [1]. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Could we use it for this year's fundraiser? Willdude123|Ƹ21ɘbublliW (talk) 16:42, 17 April 2012 (UTC) JimboBanner.jpg

I like it. (I take it as obvious that the text needs cleanup)--SPhilbrick(Talk) 16:47, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Most people have no idea who Jimbo is or what he looks like, so I don't think that would be terribly useful. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:03, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
THTFY, are you joking? Killiondude (talk) 02:01, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
No, I am not. People who are regularly involved in Wikipedia matters know who he is. The general public does not. Folks just coming here to search from time to time would have nothing to indicate that the picture above was one of the founders of Wikipedia. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:44, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Even for people who don't know what he looks like, I think the message comes across anyway; it's you who writes Wikipedia, not "us". Equazcion (talk) 02:04, 18 Apr 2012 (UTC)
Experience tells us that the WMF fundraising team dosen't really care what the community wants, says, or does, it's going to do what it has determined through studies to be most likely to get donations. The WMF is in the wonderful little bubble where they realize that their relationship with the community is so bad that they need to hire staff members to smooth communication... and they continue to ignore or overrule the community, say and do things that accomplish little except for pissing the community off, and respond poorly to feedback from the community encouraging the to back off. All of this is to say that I seriously doubt that this will ever be put to use. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:34, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
...and then they wonder why editor retention is a problem. Equazcion (talk) 04:10, 18 Apr 2012 (UTC)
The theme has become a meme Penyulap 02:38, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Is this nicer:


 Hazard-SJ  ㋡  03:32, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Much nicer. Could do with darker blue though.Willdude123|Ƹ21ɘbublliW (talk) 16:25, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Even better now? I made it darker.  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  01:03, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Jimmy doesn't write wikipedia.png

Just so long as it's true, I'm happy. Penyulap 06:20, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Wrong account name. He has 9,791 Wikipedia edits, 1581 to the article space. If you were instead saying that you want him to not have any edits, I agree. I don't think he handles his role ethically. Sven Manguard Wha? 14:53, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
What role is that, exactly? (other than "editor", that is)
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 17:04, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Although note that 3,959 of those are comments to his talk page. Only 1,581 are actually article edits. Equazcion (talk) 17:11, 18 Apr 2012 (UTC)
tsk tsk tsk, too much time spent socializing, wikipedia is not for that kind of thing, if he wants to do that he should make his own wiki.
His role? I agree with Sven, he is not acting as an ethical scapegoat, many a time after edit warring I have felt that I am somehow partly responsible. SHAME SHAME SHAME Jimbo. Penyulap 20:08, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
On further thought and reading, I think Sven means how Jimbo stays around where people assume he will provide some cohesion or guidance, but maybe Jimbo chooses more of an editorial role, and so his presence in an unexpected role is surrounded by confusion amongst the masses.
Sven, sorry I realize I didn't answer your query, I was just looking at the banner that has Jimbo denying that he is an editor, and commenting on that. But I certainly can see the tangents that wiki travels along, and it's ultimate destination, at least for the next decade minimum. I think I know where your getting at. Not to say the banner is a big fat lie, I mean it is, but it's not of course, and then there is also the dynamic of 'this mess is not my fault, it's YOURS(collective)' sort of thing. Meh, I don't know. Penyulap 20:37, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Please don't try and put words in my mouth. I'm not going to explain it further, but suffice to say that your wild and haphazard guessing is wrong. Sven Manguard Wha? 17:20, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Ohms law, seriously, is Jimbo no more to the masses than just an editor ? Sure he has the right to be just an editor, and the masses will go on ignoring that choice. Penyulap 20:42, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
A lot of people tend to put him on a pedestal, but I don't (and he doesn't want to be, from what I've seen). He does oversee the arbitration committee, and is essentially an unrevokable administrator. Aside from that though, he's just another user (on wiki, at least). Which, not coincidentally, answers (or sidesteps, at least) the questions of ethics. If Jimbo is just another editor, then there's really no additional ethics defined by his role than there is for any of us. Considering he himself has long espoused that exact view, I'd say that those who are trying to fit another role onto him are more at fault than he is himself, in terms of ethical questions.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 21:18, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Well as to who is at fault for the aura of confusion, It reminds me of one of those 5? step processes, where you just don't believe the masses, then you are angry at the masses, then you try to bargain with the masses and finally accept the reality of the masses. (I'm sure I left out a step). Anyhow, it's all kind of funny to say that he doesn't want to be on a pedestal, but HEY! put me on a banner and I'll be your poster boy, I'm thinking there is something a little fishy about that equation, what do you think ?
Oh! I better say something about the topic hadn't I, Umm, Umm, well we can't use Wikipe-tan on a fundraiser banner because Wikipe-tan is busy fundraising elsewhere. Where is that creepy crawly insect that we all so love, maybe we can dust him off ? I think he is around here somewhere, probably crawled under the refrigerator, they always do that. Penyulap 22:04, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
... those are the five stages of grief. I don't know where you're getting this stuff about "the masses." Regardless, the confusion here only seems to be your own. Jimbo not minding if his image is used for promotion, doesn't mean he's a "poster boy" or wants to be on a pedestal. There's nothing fishy about it. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 22:49, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Anyway, is there some dedicated place where banners and other fundraising elements are proposed and discussed? There should be. Or have we resigned to the fact that the WMF only considers material produced by their high-priced ad agencies? Equazcion (talk) 22:19, 18 Apr 2012 (UTC)
We could try and get Jimbo to discuss it over here I suppose.Willdude123|Ƹ21ɘbublliW (talk) 06:17, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Good luck with that ;)  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  01:03, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Hi! I'm not sure what I'm being asked. I see up above that I'm being insulted, the WMF denigrated, etc. by one person, but other than that I'm not sure what the question is. I think it's the right thing to do to use banners that work while simultaneously getting out important messages. This one seems to me to be pretty good, but testing would be necessary to be sure. I'm not in charge of that. :) I think as a fund raising banner, this one might not work well. As a banner leading to a page inviting people to edit, it could be great, although I'm not sure it's the most effective possible way to increase the flow of new editors. (Nor does the evidence, as I understand it, suggest that recruiting new editors is where we should focus our efforts - it is getting people from the 2nd to the 99th edit where there seems to be a problem.) But I'm a big fan of empirical testing, and if Zack and the fundraising team wanted to give this one a go in the fall, I'd be ok with that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:39, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo doesn't pay for the wik.png
For fundraising, how bout "I don't pay for Wikiepdia, you do" (snicker) sorry couldn't resist. Fair points though. Equazcion (talk) 18:51, 20 Apr 2012 (UTC)
How Often Does Jimbo Speak With Capitalized Words? Face-wink.svg Regards, RJH (talk) 17:29, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Yes banners inviting people to edit have been discussed. I think this is a great idea and if we send a proposal to the WMF board with support from the community I bet they would do it. However if we cannot get support here why should they be running with this by themselves. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 11:54, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

IPs cannot create talkpages of articles

IPs are not allowed to create an article so I don't think that they should be allowed to even create talkpages of the articles. I saw here: Talk:W8MSO, talk page was created without the article's existence by an IP. If IPs are not allowed to do that, we won't come across such problems. Yasht101 13:24, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

This proposal would completely screw up the WP:Articles for creation process. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:18, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
I wonder whether there is a bot that categorizes such non-article talk pages that are not part of the WP:Articles for creation process? Regards, RJH (talk) 15:05, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
In fact there is at least one report generated of talk space pages without corresponding articles, though the location eludes me... Monty845 20:59, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Cool. Found it (here) using search terms from your comment. -- (talk) 21:10, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
The list looks pretty short and they are all redlinks, so perhaps somebody (or a bot) is swatting those as they appear. If so, it's probably not a significant problem. Regards, RJH (talk) 22:13, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
WP:Articles for creation works in the Wikipedia talk namespace and would not be affected by the proposal if it's only about article talk. But I see no need for the proposal. Article talk pages with no article are caught by Wikipedia:Database reports/Orphaned talk pages. If there is an article then unregistered users have many valid reasons to create a talk page for it. PrimeHunter (talk) 15:20, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
I think that's a bad idea. Only the other day I created a talkpage for an article I came across, placing the appropriate projbanner (WPMED in that case). That helps alert the wikiproject to the article so they may assess it accordingly and tag the article for any problems.
Your comment "If IPs are not allowed to do that, we won't come across such problems" is false. The problem is a talk page created without an article--whether the creator has an account or not is irrelevant. -- (talk) 20:15, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
@Yasht101, I create talk pages for articles when I have a concern about the article. For example, when there are COI or NPOV issues that I want to explain fully (i.e. where an edit summary is insuffcient to explain things properly). I also create talk pages to add Wikiprojects so that others can help improve the article. (talk) 14:35, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I am not certain that a single misguided (but note: neither disruptive nor vandalism) creation of a talk page warrants such a policy change. This seems like a solution lacking a problem. Resolute 15:33, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Agreeing with this. This really doesn't seem to be a significant, or even moderately significant problem. Or have there been many other such cases that we don't know about? (btw nice username, Resolute) Well-restedTalk 03:19, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Sometimes useful articles are made on talk pages by IP's. I do not think that this is a problem that needs additional policies or alterations beyond what is already in place. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:54, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • At times, IPs can be constructive with starting talkpages such as submitting WikiProject tags. SwisterTwister talk 02:20, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Ban April Fools pranks

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Because some people are too stupid to get them, such as myself. Wikipedia shouldn't be excludatatious. Equazcion (talk) 08:31, 1 Apr 2012 (UTC)

"excludatatious" That's not a word, at least until my link is no longer red. :-P --Cybercobra (talk) 08:38, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Petrb (talk) 10:04, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    This vote was an april fool prank itself, hoped you get it guys. Petrb (talk) 14:11, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
    Althought it was posted on 2nd, heh Petrb (talk) 14:12, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
    Depends on timezone Face-wink.svg  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  00:33, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support only the ones that affect articles.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 10:10, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is too severe. I support my proposal below.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 14:09, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support blanket ban on all pranks as disruptive to regular process, Main Page exempted. —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 11:06, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

*Support I like a joke as well as the next person, but it has gotten way out of hand, even by my wide standards. Too bad. Mugginsx (talk) 12:35, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose too severe. See alternate proposal more reasonable. Mugginsx (talk) 13:47, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment to all I see and understand that everyone sees this as immature or disruptive and that this year it got out of hand however as long as it doesn't disrupt the flow of information, an entire ban of gags and jokes for a once a year thing is a bit much. If this thing passes, administrators will have their hands full here on Wikipedia during April Fools. I would propose banning all jokes that disrupts articlespace on wikipedia or any other space that is accessed by everyday readers and those that do disrupt article space are blocked from editing for the duration of the day.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 12:51, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Given the time-stamp on the OP, how am I to know whether or not to take it seriously? FormerIP (talk) 13:51, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    True, but the bottom proposal I made is a serious one.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 14:02, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - April Fools' Day is a widely acceptable prank day. While certain parts of Wikipedia (including the article namespace) need to remain intact, jokes in the "background" areas (Wikipedia: namespace excluding policy pages, discussion pages, etc) should be allowed within reason. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 14:02, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Alternative Proposal Ban - only those who vandalize articles and guideline pages

Terms: All jokes that disrupts articlespace on wikipedia or any other space that is accessed by everyday readers are strictly prohibited and those that do disrupt article space are blocked from editing for the duration of the day without warning but a notice stating the reason for their block must be presented.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 12:51, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

  1. Support only the ones that affect articles and guideline pages. Upon reflection, that sounds more reasonable.Mugginsx (talk) 13:14, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  2. Support as proposer.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 14:02, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  3. Support Any joke that disrupts the wikipedia mainpage should not be allowed, this should not include certain AfDs or user made MFD's. For articles if they are to be done I suggest once Arpril fools is over worldwide these should be deleted right away and placed in an April fools day archive. Deleting Articles for a joke must not be people and must be respectful and clean and have the words "AF" in the deletion context (Example: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/AF2013Earth). Also if this proposal is adopted a eikipedia page be made up explaining these guidelines. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:34, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  4. Support The main issue is the article space disruption this brings. Sure, our reader's know this is April Fool's (or maybe they don't, depending on where they live), but they are still coming here to learn and use Wikipedia for some purpose. Disruption to articles is directing disrupting this purpose and shouldn't be allowed, no matter the holiday. SilverserenC 06:06, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  5. Support I'd like to see them all go away, since all these AfDs are of questionable humor at best, but this is an acceptable middle ground. Jtrainor (talk) 13:09, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  6. Support - we need Wikipedia to be useful as an encyclopedia, and to be welcoming to newcomers trying to learn our rules, all year long. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:58, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  7. Support. mabdul 13:01, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
  8. Support - a terrible example. Rcsprinter (chat) 14:59, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
    Oh FFS, I did the same thing years ago. It's in project space, didn't disrupt mainspace a bit, and gave everyone a good laugh. See User:Seraphimblade/vandalbotjoke for the archive. There's nothing wrong with having a little bit of fun once a year, as long as it doesn't disrupt mainspace. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:00, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
    Seriously. I also must say it's very amusing to mess with the MW interface a bit; I rather like what Snowolf and I did. I also have a problem with "blocking without warning", because admins and non-admins alike are known to bitch at people who would dare report penis vandals to AIV who haven't inserted "John loves the cock!!!!" after a final warning. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:18, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
  9. Support April fools pranks outside of the article space certainly lower my respect for the perpetrators, however they're not nearly as disruptive as messing with the article space. That's vandalism, and should be treated as such. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:44, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
  10. Support when article/processes/tools are disrupted, especially if that will require more (long-term) fixing that just reverting an edit. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 11:12, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
  11.  Sandstein  17:53, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
  12. Support per User:Sven Manguard - April fools pranks that don't disrupt articlespace aren't really all that disruptive, but true disruption should be prohibited. - Jorgath (talk) (contribs) 16:49, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Looks a lot like september 11 where lots of new laws were invented, to restrict normal day-to-day life in a way that helped Zero people, but did give authoritarian types quite a trip. Same question applies here, for 911, wasn't there already a law on the books for hijacking, killing 3,000 people and so on, and aren't there already laws in place for dealing with disruption without creating new laws that need further advertising so everybody knows about them ? I mean just how diluted do the docs need to be ? How many laws are needed to define 'Don't disrupt article space' Don't do it on this day or this will happen don't do it on that day or that will happen blah blah blah. What happened to don't disrupt article space ? Yep I can see this bloating up the Docs and I can see the blatantly obvious solution too, I'll do my pranks on a different day 8-P
  • Wait, I already did that DOH! Better make an extra law for April 2, and 3 and 4, actually just let me know what days are OK on my user talkpage once you've finished OK ? Penyulap

Alternative Proposal 2 - Delete editors without a sense of humor

We already have AfD and MfC; I hereby propose an EfD process where editors without a sense of humor can be nominated for deletion.

  1. Support As proposer. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 13:57, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    So do we install the user merge and delete extension and merge them to User:Editors without a sense of humor? Face-wink.svg  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  00:39, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
  2. Support People without a sense of humor should not participate, especially on April Fools.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 14:03, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    Already exists ;-) Regards SoWhy 14:04, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  3. Support but it needs to implement the technical ability to delete users, which isn't possible atm Petrb (talk) 14:14, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  4. Support, but the ban should be lifted for one day each year (every April 1st) - if all editors without a sense of humour were banned all the time, who would be around to be fooled / annoyed every April 1st? Meowy 15:07, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

April Fools Jokes and possible guidelines

I'm starting this as per this thread at WP:AN. I realize too there's a small discussion above asking for a full ban; it's without much explanation and is neglecting the longer discussion that precipitated this.

It's inherently unfunny to propose something like this, so I'll first say that I'm not proposing it myself, so much as I'm trying to start a centralized discussion. There seems to be at least some concern that the perennial April Fools Day jokes on the encyclopedia occasionally get out of hand. These jokes have been a staple on Wikipedia since its early days, certainly as long as I've been seriously involved, and many older editors see them as a tradition. That's part of why an all-out ban seems, un-wiki. There have been attempts at guidelines before, notably WP:Pranking which failed around 2008 or so.

On the other hand the jokes have proliferated, and while they seem to be done without mal intent, they do begin to clutter up some areas of the site, most notable WP:Rfa and WP:Afd. The two most common forms are nominating clearly notable articles for deletion, or nominating one's self or others for adminship with.... novel... motivations.

First, some relevant links:

The AN discussion points seem to involve the following pro and con (this is a rough summary, and are not necessarily my views):

  1. Nominations can disrupt humorless bots, such as those that populate AfD tags
  2. One joke may be fine but many editors feel the need to replicate the same jokes and so the number of disruptions grows each year
  3. Vandalism on April 1 is still vandalism
  4. This is a 9 year+ Wiki tradition and we should be entitled to an annual bit of levity
  5. Mainspace jokes are the bulk of the controversy; few seem concerned about userspace jokes
  6. Some editors did not make just one joke but many
  7. A few, well thought out jokes are unlikely to stir controversy while many, unclever ones, will
  8. A number of editors expressed their concerns as things getting "out of hand" in terms of quantity of jokes

Possible proposals (these were made at the AN discussion; again, not necessarily my view) (some of these were deliberately tongue-in-cheek):

  1. Adopt WP:Pranking for April Fool's day (specifically see this comment)
  2. A single wiki-wide joke that's organized and meets some criteria (no BLPs, etc.)
  3. Change slogan "from saying "anyone can edit" to "no one can edit, ever," full protect the whole project"
  4. "Create an adminbot/cratbot that desysops and blocks everyone on Wikipedia, hard blocks all IPs and fully protects all articles."
  5. "Back up the database on March 31, then restore the backup on April 2."

I'll let others populate the more serious proposals below. Even if this doesn't lead anywhere concrete, we should have at least an organized, recent discussion. Shadowjams (talk) 15:33, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment – Well I don't think we should be adding AfD result notices to the talk pages of articles when the AfD is an obvious April Fool's joke. For example, see: Talk:Mars. Otherwise, I'm not all that concerned about it. Regards, RJH (talk) 20:55, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    That was happening because Snotty's bot applies AfD tags to articles if they are nominated and don't have one. To me that's emblematic of unintended consequences that happen... so it's not as though someone was adding the notices to the pages intentionally. On the other hand, it's almost funnier if the notice is on the page... but I'll digress. Shadowjams (talk) 21:45, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose all April Fools Day material If any of it fools anybody, it's vandalism. HiLo48 (talk) 22:07, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    Not really. Anything that disrupts the flow of accurate information or destroys wikipedia is vandalism. Not fooling.—cyberpower ChatOnline 22:28, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    Hmmm. I'm trying hard to think of a situation where someone is fooled, and the normal flow of information is not disrupted, at least for a tiny bit. I'm struggling. HiLo48 (talk) 22:44, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    A fake new messages bar placed on your userspace does not disrupt the flow of information but, still fools the editor clicking on the links. I can think of more. Anything article space related will of course disrupt the flow of information and should be prohibited.—cyberpower ChatOnline 22:51, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    A fake new messages bar will waste an editor's time looking, thereby disrupting the flow of information. Got any better ideas? HiLo48 (talk) 23:49, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    What information? Userspace isn't article and therefore doesn't have important information to give. It's not like everyday readers will go to my userpage just to look up stuff about me.—cyberpower ChatOffline 00:26, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm sticking to my stand above.—cyberpower ChatOnline 22:28, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    Oppose what? There is no proposal yet. Shadowjams (talk) 22:34, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
    I'm opposing the possible proposals. I considered that a proposal.—cyberpower ChatOnline 22:51, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the tradition of April Fools nonsense and the subsequent discussions on April 2 about ways to curb said nonsense. Killiondude (talk) 23:42, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I support banning all pranks that disrupt the wikipedia mainspace, this does not include usermade MfD's or articles. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:08, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Isn't this getting a bit old? I mean, it's been going on since at least 1752. C'mon. - Denimadept (talk) 00:14, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree but if it were up to some people, pranking would be gone fully from wikipedia. What people here are trying to do is meet in the middle for a consensus as this year's april fools got way out of hand, this includes an AfD joke attacking a living person. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:17, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment to all A proposal banning all jokes and pranks the interfere in article mainspace has been made above before this thread. I believe that would make a great in between. The main focus is the encyclopedia articles contained here and as long as those aren't allowed to be disrupted, editors can joke all they want.—cyberpower ChatOffline 00:23, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
We don't need to "ban" April Fools' Day pranks from the article namespace. They already violate policy. (Wikipedia:Vandalism is quite clear and contains no "1 April" exception.)
And even if explicit agreement that the article namespace is off-limits were required, our annual discussions have consistently established this. Even among those who enjoy April foolery among Wikipedians, there's longstanding consensus that it shouldn't affect the encyclopedia proper.
We simply need to clarify this fact for the benefit of those who mistakenly believe that they're entitled (and even encouraged) to vandalise articles on 1 April. —David Levy 00:38, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
This is also why a villagepump/admin policy should be in place reguarding April 1st. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:41, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
We don't need to "ban" April Fools' Day pranks from the article namespace. They already violate policy. (Wikipedia:Vandalism is quite clear and contains no "1 April" exception.)
Apparently we do as it still goes on and nothing is done. Mugginsx (talk) 19:04, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that nothing is done. But as noted above, we haven't done enough to clarify policy. —David Levy 19:37, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support a ban on all jokes affecting main or portal space (these are simply vandalism) and on joke nominations for things like AfD, RfAr etc., because these are not funny and clutter up the pages intended for actual work.  Sandstein  07:05, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support barring any jokes that disrupt any process, like AfDs and whatnot. While some written jokes might be considered funny, we are now stuck with former AfDs, MfD, bad entries in lists, confused bots, slightly altered statistics, etc. that need fixing. I can appreciate jokes, and frankly don't mind them, but I am strongly against editors who don't consider a long term impact of this seemingly innoxious exercise. A bot being blocked because someone made a "joke" is going a bit too far. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 12:33, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - Apparently I was naively optimistic about this accomplishing something useful. That doesn't seem to be happening. We understand that Levy and Sandstein don't want any April Fools material. However I think the AN discussion and the broader quiet majority, as well as a decade of tradition, mean your interpretation of no jokes ever is a non-starter. I was hoping we'd find useful guidelines here about how to ensure the moderation necessary... but supporting and opposing when there wasn't even a real proposal makes me unoptimistic about reaching a useful guideline. Shadowjams (talk) 17:01, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
You appear to have misunderstood, as I'm not arguing that Wikipedia should have "no jokes ever". On the contrary, I support the adoption of "useful guidelines here about how to ensure the moderation necessary". My above comments refer specifically to the article namespace, not the entire site. Opinions on how far to take the April foolery vary, but there's longstanding consensus that the encyclopedia proper is off-limits. —David Levy 19:37, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that's true though. The links in my OP indicate a long history of tolerated pranks in the mainspace (I suppose I'm including Rfa and Afd in there, maybe that's the misunderstanding). In recent years there's been a proliferation of these prompting more concern. I don't think many people were changing the pages themselves... those edits were treated as vandalism. The AN issue was all about the AfDs, etc., if I remember correctly. Shadowjams (talk) 23:40, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, that's the misunderstanding. I'm referring strictly to edits to the articles themselves. My apologies for the confusion. —David Levy 04:27, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
  • The issue of simple - what was happening on Sunday was Vandalism, pure and simple, and those who were carrying it out were and are Vandals - they should be treated like vandals are every single other day of the year - warn/block them.Nigel Ish (talk) 19:10, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
    Are you referring to the Afd / RfA stuff or other edits? Shadowjams (talk) 23:40, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Compromise proposal on April Fool's pranks

Editors should be able to have fun once a year. However, some pranks are disruptive. I seek to strike a balance between those two aspects. I propose the following:

  1. There should be one April Fool's prank in article space. This should not involve a living person or an article about a living person. It should be clever, well-designed and funny, like Google's pranks. It should not be immediately obvious as a joke, but neither should it be so plausible that it lasts until after April 1 is over.
  2. Other pranks are OK so long as they stay within the community namespaces (project, user, and talk namespaces), do not affect article space and do not involve living people or articles about living people. For example, joke AfDs would be fine, as long as the joke-nominated articles weren't about living people and didn't have deletion templates on them.
  3. Ruining of (legitimate) jokes by exposing them can result in a block after a warning (but only until April 1 is over, as blocks are not supposed to be punitive).
  4. The best April Fool's pranks should be commemorated in an April Fool's Hall of Fame, the worst in an April Fool's Hall of Infamy.
  5. Editors should try to come up with original pranks, rather than repeating the same ones year after year.
  6. Standard vandalism remedies will be applied to violators of item 1 or the BLP clause of item 2.

I know I'm playing the Jimbo card here, but Jimbo said: "That's 100% correct. The idea is not to censor things, but to actually be funny. To actually be funny takes more than cheap sex gags. We should always aim higher." --Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:31, 2 April 2012 (UTC) Apparently, Jimbo is fine with April Fool's pranks in moderation. Also, see above for my main support. "Jimbo said" is just a spare card I've decided to play. Your thoughts? ChromaNebula (talk) 00:56, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

I agree that April Fool's pranks in moderation is fine we just need to agree on some guidelines is all. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:57, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Copying/expanding my reply from WP:AN (where this proposal was posted previously):
  • Main Page (on which we feature humor of the "strange but true" variety) is in the article namespace. Apart from that, no, absolutely not. Wikipedia has enough credibility issues already. The idea of designating an article in which vandalism is permitted and encouraged on 1 April is unacceptable. (And as discussed in the AN thread, because anyone can edit a wiki, if we condone the existence of one such article, we'll end up with many more.)
  • I'm okay with #2, provided that article talk pages (important, first-line resources for readers and inexperienced editors) are off-limits.
  • This is an encyclopedia, not a playground. Any amount of fun and games permitted is purely a perk, not an entitlement. Politely asking users to go along with a joke is fine, but threatening them with blocks would be absurd. If a prank fails, oh well, better luck next time.
  • The rest seems fine, provided that it's worded in the context of what April foolery is tolerated (not encouraged). —David Levy 03:43, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: these antics cause no long term damage to the pedia and they are great for morale. The real issue is improving the funny-quotient of the pranks per Jimbo. That's what we should we working on.– Lionel (talk) 05:02, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Whose morale? Mine is fine thanks, without the idiocy. THAT depresses me. HiLo48 (talk) 06:00, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Just stop the vandalistic nonsense altogether. Once you have to come up with policy this detailed to circumscribe them, the jokes are guarenteed to be unfunny anyway.  Sandstein  07:07, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

The real problem with April Fools

The real problem with April Fools is that the jokes aren't funny. (Except mine of course. Swapping Obama's pic with a caricature is a classic for the ages. user:LioneltBot is also a great one. My bot helps win edit wars and will create undetectable sickpuppets! One editor who was taken in wrote "is it even legal?!?!?!" [2] Priceless.) We should have a list of the best gags so April Fools revelers know what the standards are. We have FA, what about FG (Featured Gag)? Jimbo says "but to actually be funny...We should always aim higher."– Lionel (talk) 05:14, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

No, your defacement of reader-facing material about a living person is not "a classic for the ages". It's vandalism, and it won't be celebrated. —David Levy 05:51, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
And did the "editor who was taken in" enjoy it? It obviously didn't make his day more productive. HiLo48 (talk) 06:03, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
And this [3] wasn't funny either. Given that LionelT is clearly an opponent of Obama, it's hard to see these two edits as anything but vandalism using April 1st as an excuse. Maybe if he'd done it with someone he supports it might be seen differently. LionelT, try that again and you will probably end up blocked. Dougweller (talk) 10:45, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Nope. (1) You don't know my views regarding Obama and (2) I added eight caricatures of all of the GOP candidates to the conservatism timeline. I think you'll agree that the right wingers got the worst of it. – Lionel (talk) 11:55, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
WP:DEADHORSE. Time to move on, Lionel. —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 12:25, 4 April 2012 (UTC)


Task WP:Department of Fun with creating and maintaining a list of exceptional gags, e.g. user:LioneltBot, to establish a benchmark for April Fools Day merrymakers.

  • Support: as proposer.– Lionel (talk) 05:14, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support provided that it's bound by a policy to prevent things like BLP-violating RfAs.--Jasper Deng (talk) 05:16, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Conditional Support There needs to be a help group for people who are not capable of being funny on April fools day, and I'm quite serious here. I was at a complete loss for the entire day, you look at my editing and it's bland and lifeless for the whole day. Most people are serious everyday of the year except for April fools, but what happens to editors who are goofy everyday of the year like me ? It was awful, how are you supposed to act like an idiot on a day when it's made the fashion ? I mean take my Bot, PALZ9000 he might be considered amusing any other day of the year, so what can you do with it on April fools day ? It's like being emotionally bankrupt and unable to smile or joke for the entire day. Then to make it worse, they give PALZ9000 his official approval as the first order of business on 1st April. That was a crushing blow, to take him seriously on the epitome of stupidity day. I haven't been right since. Next day it's like I'm looking at a vandal who has removed a space from the ISS article, and he is thinking he will destroy wikipedia, I'm not going to fix it, it's stupid, it's even beneath contempt for cluebot, he is too dignified to fix it, and I'm not going to. So I turn to vandalism too, I blast away at wikipedia one space at a time as well thinking I'm some character out of star wars. This is the worst possible thing that can happen, because I'm crap at vandalism, I mean, I'm just one person, I can blast away adding extra spaces at two per day for years and it won't destroy wiki, even if I rallied support in the endeavor, it still sucks mathematically. My vandalism is lame, my editing is lame, even my lamest edit war is not lame enough to be lame.

So what am I supposed to do on April fools day to keep myself together emotionally ? I mean even my bot won't talk to me anymore, he talks to his programmer but not to me. I just don't know what to do. Penyulap 12:57, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose. What are you trying to accomplish? Still trying to insist you were in the right, and should be allowed to make similar edits in the future? Seriously? —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 21:14, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Just in case anyone else is/was confused, the above questions were directed at Lionel Penyulap 00:13, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I can find no reasonable argument that this would improve the project. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:40, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
  • weak oppose as far as 'tasking' other editors to do something, because we all should do our own homework really, but the idea is quite good, I say give it a go, make a list somewhere, see how it goes. Penyulap 00:13, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Proposal: Stay out of MediaWiki namespace

I personally love the humorous-but-true homepage on April 1st. I also think a little lighthearted fun in the project space or user space is probably ok too. However, the one thing that has irked me about April 1st for years (and years) has always been when Administrators decide it'll be fun to muck about with the MediaWiki namespace. Changing a page for you or your friends is one thing, but changing parts of the UI for potentially millions of people is very disruptive.

I propose that we set some standards for sysops to stay out of the MediaWiki namespace on April 1st, nothing else.

  1. Support as proposer. ^demon[omg plz] 01:20, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
  2. Support per proposer.--Jasper Deng (talk) 01:33, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Using works from the public domain

A question I've been wondering about: can you copy the entire text of a public domain source (such as from a Jewish encyclopedia from around 1890 that I was using for Missing Encyclopedia Articles) into Wikipedia? Or does it still need to be written in my own words? There just seems something wrong with control c, control v-ing it.--Coin945 (talk) 16:59, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure if there is a formal policy, but there are attribution templates to indicate the source of public domain works, such as {{Jewish Encyclopedia}}. Maybe someone else will know the specific policy to point you to. Monty845 17:09, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Also, some discussion of it at Wikipedia:Public domain resources. Monty845 17:10, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
From the point of view of copyright, you can copy it. From the point of view of attribution, you need to add a note to the article stating that some text came from that source. That is what the attribution templates are for. One of the goals of free content is to let us reuse other free content, not as a reference, but as an actual part of our own articles. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:28, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Some editors believe that such uses require WP:INTEXT attribution as well as license-related attribution, i.e., that you say "According to the Jewish Encyclopedia" in the text of the article. This does not appear to be what the majority of editors actually do, however. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:28, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Wikisource has a project to upload the entire s:1911 Encyclopædia Britannica. They are starting on the s:Jewish Encyclopedia from 1901/1905 too . I remember, years ago finding pages on Wikipedia that were straight imports from the 1911 Britannica like this one.
My suggestion: Copy the stuff straight in; add a template in the references, like the ones Monty linked to above, saying where it came from; save. Then go back in and start editing to make it more WP style. That way the original text is available in the history. filceolaire (talk) 20:05, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Re WhatamIdoing: that is only needed if the JE is being used as a reference within the article and is listed as such in the references. If instead the JE is being re-used as free content within the article, it gets attribution, but it is not a reference. This is no different than if we copy text from one wikipedia article to another. We wouldn't say "According to Wikipedia" when we do that, either, we would just use the appropriate attribution for the text we are using. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:17, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
  Seems to me that there are two different cases here. In the first case ("quotation"), unaltered text taken from other sources is set off in quotation marks (and cited) to distinguish it from the work of the article's editors (the WP "in-house staff"). By the same principle, when an entire article is taken shouldn't it also be placed in quotes? It was done "out of house", by non-WP editors; we don't know (generally) who they were, anything about their editing standards, or even their references. For whole articles it would be more appropriate to provide just an "out-of-wikipedia redirect" to For a WP editor to just copy in an entire article is to entirely abandon the editorial function, to entirely abandon any responsibility for the content.
  Which leads us to the other case: writing an article. It is expected that Wikipedia articles are written by Wikipedia editors according to Wikipedia standards. The editors are expected to exercise an editorial function in organizing the content, evaluating sources, etc. If an editor wants to use someone else's work as a model or rough draft, fine, but we should expect that the material has been gone over line by line, sources checked, etc. If that is not done, then it's just a very big (and probably inappropriate) quotation — and should be quoted. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:10, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Carl, I happen to agree with you. I'm just saying that there are a couple of people who hold a different view, and who have held that view very loudly and at great length in previous discussions of this exact point. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:00, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

WP:PLAGIARISM is a pertinent guideline. We have imported verbatim many thousands of pages of public domain work; so long as we do not try to pass it off as our own work, it's fine. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:04, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Make sure the the ancient content is still "valid" in any sense for the area you're importing it into. I wouldn't trust an encyclopaedia from 1890 on medieval history, for example. Fifelfoo (talk) 23:10, 3 May 2012 (UTC)


Would these two sections be heading in the same direction, that is, the name of the 'talk' tab.

There is a scattering of different kinds of banners and little pics that say 'improve this article' and such things, (there seem to be a few), I probably haven't seen them all, wouldn't the purpose of those promotions, the drive to get new editors involved, be something to discuss combining into the talk tab ? along with the current lack of roadsigns, demonstrated by these two sections, mean that the label 'talk' should be discussed ? Penyulap 14:19, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Proposed Standard Article Element: Questions of Merit

Wikipedia Developers,

If a topic naturally invites questions ( say cosmology, etc.) it would be very beneficial to have a LINK to something like “questions” or “info request” (maybe this could instead become an OUTLINE element,i.e. a standard article sub-heading). This would be an extremely valuable addition to the standard format of Wikipedia, inviting comment and participation.


Subject: COSMOLOGY Question / Request: Propose a unifying cosmological theory assuming the following:

  • Time is infinite.
  • Space is infinite.
  • Energy and mass can trade places.
  • Variation (possibly even chaos) is allowed.
  • Intelligent mind exists / emerges, whatever its capacity.

In other words, many subjects on Wikipedia are presented as “fact” when there may be many alternate interpretations / theories, in which case posing a difficult question might be very stimulative and ultimately edifying to all.

Michael Kasten — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kolombangara (talkcontribs) 05:06, 2 May 2012‎

Wikipedia's discussions are mostly limited to development of the encyclopedia and its content. Aside from the reference desk, we actually don't seek to stimulate discussion of our topics just for the sake of discussion alone (we have a rule that states Wikipedia should generally not be used as a forum). If you come across a topic where you think all prominent viewpoints aren't being displayed, you can leave a message on its talk page to make suggestions -- or you can edit the article yourself to start expanding on whatever you think is missing. Just keep in mind Wikipedia's rules about weight, verifiability, and fringe theories. Equazcion (talk) 06:51, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Proposed blocking

As persuant to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive235#Orange Mike, I propose Proposed blocking – a system similar to Proposed deletion but with regards to blocking accounts that are clearly not suitable here (i.e. violate the username policy) as opposed to deleting articles that are clearly not suitable here (i.e. goes against WP:NOT). This process would give a person with a problematic username (read, not blatantly disruptive) 7 days to get the account renamed, or it will be indefinitely blocked as a username violation.

A person who sees a username violation would tag the talk page with {{subst:prob}}, at which point the user would have 7 days in which to request a rename through WP:CHU. If not done within 7 days, the account can be indefinitely blocked until that is done. This would prevent administrators from making blocks on problematic usernames. Thoughts? --MuZemike 23:56, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Question: I indicated oppose, but just to clarify: what happens to administrators who ignore this procedure and block straight away? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 00:48, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Seven days of license to spam? Have you never seen the damage a corporate PR spammer with a sense of entitlement can do to an article in seven hours, far less seven days? --Orange Mike | Talk 00:06, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as a formalization of what I normally see for username violations, especially good-faith editors.--Jasper Deng (talk) 00:09, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. What good exactly would a delay of 7 days do? People are supposed to take care of this kinda business straight away; after all, they were given notice before they created the account and for some reason ignored it. If you wanna be more friendly, reword the applicable templates. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 00:12, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Not a terrible idea, but not the best idea either. There probably should be some central place where blocks are discussed and reviewed though. The ad hoc use of AN/I for that purpose seems a bit lacking. That and block logs kinda suck, anyway.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 00:19, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Much better idea then our current system, where, assuming the editor has already edited the topic their username is associated with, they get blocked and then request unblock so they can file a name change request. And if they start spamming, or blatant POV pushing, there is nothing stopping an admin from blocking as soon as warranted based on their editing rather then on the choice of username. Monty845 00:39, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm kinda leaning toward what Seb said above. Killiondude (talk) 03:23, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If a user's name or conduct are problematic now, they should be blocked now rather than in a week. If they are willing to resolve the problem with their name or conduct, they can always make an unblock request.  Sandstein  04:45, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Doesn't a username like that make it harder to go un-noticed, is everyone on Wikipedia sick in bed, retired or homeless ? They are going to edit anyhow, so I imagine that there are pros as well as cons about usernames. Penyulap marketing watch me closely 05:04, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Who knows if the proposed tag will even be understood -- I foresee many instances where the user will wait out the 7 days, get blocked, and then say something akin to "Oh I didn't realize what that meant/that this was so serious, can't you just unblock me now and I'll get it changed?" And since blocks aren't punitive, there will be no good reason not to unblock. In effect we'd be doing what we do now, only delayed for a week. An immediate block, on the other hand, has less potential to be misunderstood. They're very motivational. Plus this seems like an unnecessary bit of added bureaucracy to keep track of. Equazcion (talk) 06:08, 28 Apr 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the general idea, but Oppose the 7 days part. I would say they need to ask for a rename in their next 2 edits. Give one edit in case they say "what does this mean?" and then a second edit to go to WP:CHU. This obviously would require bot assistance or a change to the software. In general, I think this is a good idea that should be explored further and refined to get all the bugs worked out. (talk) 12:39, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We have too many procedures already. Rmhermen (talk) 18:59, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unnecessary. This can already be done by leaving a message on the user's talk page and following up to see if they've made the request. —C.Fred (talk) 19:04, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We get all kinds of spammers, but we have enough different ways to deal with them:
  • For "User:CheapBluePills" and "User:DiscountLouisVuittonHandbags" who are clearly not here to help, there is {{spamublock}}. No point giving them a week to carry on spamming. This is also appropriate for "User:XYZcorpPR" whose user page is blatant advertisement - any unblock request dialogue can be used to make sure, by questions like {{coiq}}, that he understands what is acceptable.
  • For "User:XYZcorpPR" or "User:MyUpandcomingBand", whose entry looks something like an article rather than an advert, there is {{softerblock}} - the username is never going to be acceptable, but he is invited to set up a new account while being pointed to WP:COI. One needs to watch here to make sure that any new account is not accused of socking.
  • For "User:SaveThePigeons" from a charity of that name, there is {{causeblock}}.
  • For "User:UnivofXLibrary" or other organization name where edits are not spam, there is {{uw-username}}.
I do not think building in a week's delay will help in any of these cases. All except the first are courteously invited to set up an individual account, which they may as well do at once.
What would really help these people is to explain before they create accounts what Wikipedia is not for. I made a proposal at VPR, now archived to here, that the sign over the gate should not read "Everyone welcome, come on in and edit!" but "This is a project to build an encyclopedia. If you would like to help with that, you are very welcome, but if you looking for somewhere to write about yourself, your friends, your band, etc, this is probably not the site for you." That got some support, not as much discussion as I hoped, but no serious disagreement, and I plan to ask the WMF how to make a formal request. Support welcomed if that turns into a dialogue. JohnCD (talk) 21:37, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose The practice at UAA for borderline or potentially good-faith usernames often involves the little clock thingy and the "discussing with user" option. This allows time for the user to change names or a discussion on the issues. For names like "NlargYrslf" with histories of adding links to penis pill pages, there is simply no reason to wait. Bad faith editing, immediate indef block. These people are not going to be disillusioned with Wikipedia after having a spam account shut down. They probably will have more respect for us, knowing we make an effort to patrol our content. Talk page access is there if there is a change of heart. The Interior (Talk) 13:12, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose I think that it is generally a good idea, but it may get abused too much. As per the above comment, I think blatant spam and corporate accounts are definite blocks, but may be prolonged to spam even further. Unfortunately, this seems to hurt the good-faith editors who get caught up in this sort of thing. I know that this policy would constantly be abused on Negapedia, simply because of the nature of editors there, but I still say it has a chance here on regular Wikipedia. One pier (Logbook) 23:30, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the idea, but it would be enough not to block the ip address used and to permit account creation--this allows them to easily rename. The present defaults for this first tell them to rename, and then prohibit them from doing so--why are we then surtpised people get confused about how to do it? DGG ( talk ) 03:30, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
  • No, they should not be confused: {{softerblock}} and {{causeblock}}, which invite them to set up a new account, do not turn on autoblock or prevent account creation (at least, they don't if done with the User:Animum/easyblock.js script: Twinkle may be different, but if so it should be changed). {{spamublock}} does prevent account creation, but that is (or should be) used where not only is the username unacceptable but the edits are blatant spam. We don't want that user just to create a new account and carry on spamming: instead, the block notice tells him how to request an unblock to change username, which means that reviewing admins can make sure before unblocking that he understands what is acceptable and plans constructive contributions. JohnCD (talk) 11:45, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose for reasons stated above. There are enough measures already in place. Mugginsx (talk) 11:36, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. WP:ORGNAME and WP:UAAI both state that " Users who adopt such usernames, but who are not editing problematically in related articles, should not be blocked. Instead, they should be gently encouraged to change their username." So instead, we have admins who hard-block everyone who admits they are working for a company, in effect even preventing them from registering a compliant account? Cf. User:Admarkroundsquare – "14:06, 26 April 2012 Orangemike (talk | contribs) blocked Admarkroundsquare (talk | contribs) (account creation blocked) with an expiry time of indefinite ({{spamusernameblock}})". And all because some admins think "everyone who works for a company and admits it is evil"? This is insane. --JN466 20:58, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per all the reasons stated above.--Deathlaser :  Chat  12:18, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Click and drag sections in revision diffs

example of how to hide text in an edit war. (why didn't I think of this ?) here is the normal unhidden text Penyulap 07:43, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

When I check the diffs of a revision to see the changes made, I frequently see entire sections highlighted on both sides suggesting changes when in fact they are just moved. This can make a really small edit potentially appear as a major rewrite, wasting chunks of my (somewhat important) time and messes up my understanding of edit wars I see. I think there should be an option to click and drag sections up and down to line changes up with their origins... will this work? (talk) 23:28, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

If I understand what you mean, the comparisons made in diffs attempt to show changes made to the text, but when a section is moved, changes within the moved section are hidden from view, so you can't see changes easily, and further functionality would improve the situation by highlighting those changes within moved sections of text, or allow you to move the sections within the diff display to allow making a visual comparison easier. Penyulap 06:42, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia Information API

An API should be done out of this website, so that applications can externally access information in your articles. For instance, important things from certain people, such as birth dates & said person's article's sections, could be turned into some sort of externally accessible variables. You would obviously do this with all sort of articles, somehow, not just people. This is obviously non-elaborate, and ideas are encouraged. ———— Likamawa (talk) 05:24, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

The core of the idea sounds good, but I'd oppose in very strong terms restricting any feature, current or future, based on donation. I understand the motivation, but the harm that would do would greatly outweigh the gain in terms of increased donations.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 21:10, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Edited. I fully understood your message, however more advertising/publicity about said functions would be needed in such scenario. Wikipedia is as popular as poverty, though.--Likamawa (talkcontribs) 5:19, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Biographical articles currently contain {{Persondata}} which is usable for metadata (see WP:PERSONDATA) but I don't think anyone's really using that metadata to the fullest at the moment. Killiondude (talk) 06:34, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Add source button

we should introduce an add source button to the top of each page, so that if a busy person comes up with a good source they can add it on.--Deathlaser :  Chat  16:45, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Pretty good but where would they be added to? Which reminds me of another idea I had: highlight pieces of information in-text when you hover over them so you can see what sources each datum corresponds to. (talk) 22:35, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
#Reference Tooltips. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 17:45, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Pretty good although not sure if you mean a source to use for new content or for existing unsourced content. For new content there's a couple of possibilities, neither as quick or simple as your idea. Have you seen {{Expand-further}}? Or sometimes people add a Talk page note like I did [4]. -- (talk) 16:37, 9 May 2012 (UTC)


Does anyone here know what's up with deletionpedia? It was such a brilliant, useful concept that ran for most of the way through 2008, and then disappeared without a trace. Why is it inactive? Is there some way we can get it up and running again? It is so intriguing for people to see deleted articles, and to cut a long story short, various news articles commented that the site was a place for analysis on the way deletionists and incluisonsists behave. Fascinating stuff. It would also allow there to be a record of controversial deletions or in many cases, deletions that at the time noone ever knew about but would have objected to if given the chance (I would be in that position with a few of the 2008 deletionpedia articles). Obviously the copyvio ones can be scrapped, but I don't see why the others can't be stored and kept. It's 4 years hence. I truly think this is a very worth-while endeavour. Who's with me..?!--Coin945 (talk) 17:11, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

It would definitely be interesting to get this going again, but only if any legally-tricky content is, as you said, scrapped. dci | TALK 18:11, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree. That way people's work isn't lost forever.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 07:11, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Deletionpedia is a place that enshrines copyvios, defamatory attack pages, utterly incorrect, unsourced biased information, hoaxes, blatant advertising, utterly non-notable subjects, mixes of the all of the above and more. There's good reason deleted content is not accessible to view here and this end run should be burned to the ground with extreme prejudice.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 12:25, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Ummmm.... the point is that all that's stuff is not suitable for Wikipedia, but they are suitable for Deletionpedia. Many people find it intriguing to see what sorts of articles never made the cut. What articles were so specific, or on such a trivial or bizarre topic that they were deleted, but still have intrinsic value or are entertaining to read. It is also a way to preserve controversial articles so all parties involved are content. When people's articles are deleted, they get pissed. It they plead to the people in power who savagely deleted their articles for a copy, and get downright refused, they leave in a huff. It's too late, most of them've gone. Newbies with bad experiences never come back. If you had the power in your hands to help solve this problem, I would press the big red button. Also, during the massive Pokemon article deletion of 2008, many of the articles ended up in deletionpedia. Even today, there are articles sprinkled across Google that discuss various articles that were deleted unfairly because they were rushed into deletion by "uppity high-horse bureaucrats" or something along those lines, while the defenders were relatively newbies who didn't even know the deletions were going on, or know how to fight back. I've had a bit of a hop through the archive and read the deletion discussions and I've found at least a few that seem unfairly deleted. We can bring these back from the dead. Another reason is it would help provide actual examples of what not to do. Another reason is it would help preserve the full story of Wikipedia knowledge. Despite popular opinion, it is not true that the only things that matter in the Wikisphere is the notable stuff. It's all the little things that make a difference too. Articles like Disambiguation (disambiguation) List of lists of lists are a few of the remaining fragments of the once rich joyous landscape, now rotten, stale and quite frankly horrible environment to be in. Deletionpedia may very well help to put the spring in Springfield (as it were...) I don't think my thoughts are articulated *that* well here, but the basic point (to put it rather bluntly) is: you're wrong and deletionpedia is a valued asset to the Wikisphere.--Coin945 (talk) 15:45, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Looks up and running to me. There are notes on the home page about maintenance. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 19:26, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Which has existed since 2008 [5]. In other words, you're right, the site is running. But from an update/doing something POV, I agree with the OP the site is dead. Not exactly uncommon that someone gives up on a site but doesn't bother to take it down. Nil Einne (talk) 04:05, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Looking more closely there has possibly been some edits [6] although it's difficult to say since [7] shows stuff from December 2012 and other months in 2012 that haven't been yet so there was clearly some misconfiguration at one stage. Either way, a look at the more 'recent' edits of Sysop are revealing, many of these are dealing with problematic (generally non copyvio) articles, seemingly quite a while after they stopped updating. Nil Einne (talk) 04:27, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

I have never heard of it. I have heard of something called "Includipedia" - I always understood it was the saviour of those who consider themselves inclusivists, as it was an on-line encyclopaedia to include deleted articles from Wikipedia. Does any one know what has become of that? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 23:24, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

I think there's been a lot of these sort of things. I seem to remember a few months ago we had to deal with a problematic site trying to preserve wikipedia articles but weren't complying with the licensing terms since they weren't including the contrib history. I think eventually they worked out with the help of various wikipedians (possibly including Moonriddengirl) what was required of them, but I don't know what happened after that. Nil Einne (talk) 04:29, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Deletionpedia, and its variants, are independent projects so nothing we propose here matters. That said, they've mostly died off because of their entire purpose for existing: hosting articles not suited for Wikipedia. Keeping up with the sheer flow of such articles must be time consuming, for very little reward. Factor in that you're paying for a server simply to keep cruft most readers don't care about, plus the legal issues if defamatory & copyvio articles slip by the screening process (assuming there is one), and it's no wonder they're short-lived. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 13:05, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Wikidata: mockups for linking Wikipedia articles up for feedback

The Wikidata team has worked on mockups for how we think linking of articles between different Wikipedias should work with Wikidata in the future. You can find the mock-ups and explanations on meta.

It'd be great if you could have a look and give feedback either on wikidata-l or on the discussion page on meta. This is the one important UI change in the Wikipedias that we plan to do in the first phase of Wikidata and we'd like to make sure this is solid. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 10:13, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Admin elections

I propose that admins be given rotational adminship which is up for election every so often (the terms can be discussed later). As it stands when an admin is made, he keeps the title indefinately and often times there are abuses of authority with insufficient recall methods and self-supports within the community. This way knowing they are up for election they will have to be more accountable and responsible. At any rate, the majority of good admins would likely get elected anyways. There are also many admins who are not active but come on to use the privilege once in a while for minor tasks and often without getting the consensus discussions. It also allow for different adins or for some to take a term off and then come at a nother election. Something like the US Senae elections where a third are elected at one go, and then another third. We could do a third every year for three year terms?Lihaas (talk) 20:05, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose - I think this is a perennial proposal. Inactive admins are already desysopped after inactivity for a year. However, I would support a proposal to clear up desysopping of established admins without having to go through arbcom. Besides, we don't use votes, only !votes, so it wouldn't be an election. I would also support a proposal to force all admins to be open to recall discussions.--Jasper Deng (talk) 20:13, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
The latter sees like a good accomodation. But it would be the similar sort of method as currently used to promote an admin.Lihaas (talk) 20:18, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
All that would have to happen is a post at ANI or a new noticeboard with the normal kinds of proposals, with support/oppose !votes similar in format to what happens here.--Jasper Deng (talk) 20:20, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Reconfirm_administrators. When you can overcome the mathematics—annual reconfirmation would require the community to process about thirty (30) admins per week—then I'm sure that people would take the proposal more seriously.
As it happens, all admins are subject to recall: the community has the practical power to demand that someone be desysopped whether that person is "open" to the discussion or not. A typical process is a complaint at AN or an RFC/U about administrative actions, followed by a trip to ArbCom for confirmation. The major problem is "political" abuse, i.e., demanding that someone who takes well-deserved action against a powerful user be shamed and desysopped. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:49, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I sympathize with the proposal, but as WhatamIdoing points out, it's simply not practicable that way. I'd propose an alternative process altogether to replace RfA and recall: a community-elected (and thus again directly accountable) committee of sorts with the power to grant and revoke admin privileges on the community's behalf. It would save us tons of time and drama, as well as POINT-!votes. -- (talk) 02:35, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Well, what I'm thinking is that the community is wary of the power of the Arbitration Committee, especially the fact that the community cannot override its decisions. That doesn't have to be the case, however, for this new committee, provided that we have enough bureaucrats willing to participate.--Jasper Deng (talk) 03:43, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
      • First, in most cases admins stripped on the bit by Arbcom are allowed to go back to RFA at some point, so the community can already restore the bit if there is sufficient consensus. Why would the community trust this new body to remove the bit any more then it trusts Arbcom to do it? Seems dubious for going through the effort of maintaining another elected body with regular elections. Also, why would there be a need for bureaucrat participation? This new body would make its decision, and then tell the crats to carry it out, why would that require much crat involvement? Monty845 03:55, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
        • The new committee could be overridden by arbcom or anything else, and is far less likely to be as busy as arbcom. Bureaucrats are the ones who are best at judging admins, so that's why I suggested that they serve, but it's not mandatory.--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:05, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
I think its a bad idea to tie it to crats, most current crat responsibilities are, well, bureaucratic. The only big judgement call they make is in judging RFA consensus, but thats a far cry from judging if an admin deserves to be de-sysoped. Also, restricting membership to crats will invite accusations of elitism. Far better to have the membership be open to anyone who can get elected, though its likely that the electorate will select many candidates with advanced permissions. Monty845 04:12, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, then election can be open. However, I think it might be smart to have a minimum number of editors without administrative permissions, as to avoid COIs by admins.--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:15, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
  • RFA is a heavily political rectal examination because it's for-life, and re-elections are unfeasible. Personally I'd just make adminship much more tenuous. Make it much easier to become an admin by letting ~voters know that it'll also be much easier to de-op them later if need be. Admins can prove themselves as they go, instead of candidates having to explain every little thing in their past, and not have the impunity to know they can act badly once in a while as long as no one can show a pattern worthy of ArbCom. Rather, if they start slipping, they're gone (not necessarily permanently), and we let someone else have a go. Of course there would still be prerequisites: a minimum length of time between requests, still a !voting process, and we'd need to create a recall process that ensures uninvolved people make the decision. But, I think making adminship a revolving role rather than this permanent political title is worth examining. Equazcion (talk) 04:00, 30 Apr 2012 (UTC)
    • I think it's because we lack a process for that. If we make something as structured as ANEW for this I think we'd have reduced problems.--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:15, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

All I know is that I would feel sorry for any admins who will have dealt with tough cases requiring admin attention right before such an election. (But I suppose one can argue the same for sitting Arbitrators.) --MuZemike 18:44, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

If they care that much about being an admin or an Arbiter, they shouldn't be an Admin or an Arbiter. Hipocrite (talk) 18:58, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I will keep that in mind when I'm up for reelection right after I've forced some neutrality into several Indian caste articles and infuriated dozens of social groups with several editors each. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:38, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Elections are fine for political roles where you want to limit the number of people elected. Adminship is not a Political role as the whole community makes policy, not just admins, and there is no shortage of mops - the more qualified, clueful editors willing to occasionally wield a mop the better. But also, we have a declining number of admins and RFA has almost dried up. Many perhaps most of our admins were first appointed many years ago when the arbitrary criteria were not so inflated. If we implemented annual or even triannual elections there is a real risk that many would not volunteer to go through another RFA as currently constituted - so this proposal is almost guaranteed to exacerbate our admin shortage. We need to remember that admins are volunteers and that RFA has degenerated into a deeply flawed process that very few people are willing to subject themselves to. ϢereSpielChequers 21:03, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - AFAIK the number of administrators is not finite, so I'm confused as to why have elections at all. What would it become if not a popularity contest? Also, check out this graph of the US Senatorial re-election rates: [8]... it'll almost make you swear off elections! Best, Markvs88 (talk) 21:29, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I like this idea, and do support it, but based on the reaction to this and to similar proposals I don't see it going very far. However, forcing a second RfA on a current admin would be a fine idea. dci | TALK 21:39, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

A new venue for discussing userpages

This proposal is inspired by the current controversy surrounding the content of User:Cla68 but I've been thinking about this ever since the last MFD on User:Dream Focus. Cla68 put a controversial statement on his userpage wrt paid editing and it's been discussed at WP:ANI, User talk:Jimbo Wales, WP:MFD and now at WP:DRV. The last discussion was due to the MFD being speedy closed as "forum shopping". One thing that was obvious was that User:Cla68 had a long history and was not going to be deleted. The most that could have happened is that he would have been asked to remove the content in question.

What I propose is a separate venue only for the discussion of content on a user's main userpage ie what someone sees if they type User:Foo. This could be set up as as an XFD called Wikipedia:Userpages for discussion or alternatively it can be patterned after WP:RFCN and called Wikipedia:Request for comment/Userpages. To repeat, it should only be for a user's main userpage unless it redirects to somewhere else. One example would be a redirect to a user's talk page that has questionable content not part of normal talk page posts. If such a venue existed then there would be no doubt as to where such issues should be discussed. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 01:16, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

I have no particular opinion about it, but I forsee that responses to your proposal will be slow in coming and you might wonder why. So running simulations of what other editors might say if they had to say something, I believe many would suggest that we already have the boards that you mention, and the proposal itself could be considered 'forum shopping'. I'd suggest not including, or spacing those points further apart in a proposal, I notice that I get less negative comments about my art if I don't prefix a request for comments with my own criticisms first, because some critics just parrot my remarks back to me. Penyulap 19:50, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

While here, can I ask why User: Cla68 became subject to a deletion review? I just took a quick look at it and did not notice anything problematic about it. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 23:16, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

I now realize that Penyulap was probably right. I should have left it as a generic proposal. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 12:33, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Are complaints about user pages frequent enough to provide enough traffic for this proposed board? SpinningSpark 12:50, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for a bot to bypass redirects in rare cases that are exceptions to WP:NOTBROKEN

All interested editors are invited to comment at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/AnomieBOT 63. Thanks. Anomie 02:51, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Version history tables

I personally think that all software Articles should have color-coded version history tables, not unlike that of DreamWeaver shown below:

Provider Major version Minor update/alternative name Release date Notes
Macromedia 1.0 1.0 December 1997 First version. Mac OS only.
1.2 March 1998 First Windows version.
2.0 2.0 December 1998
3.0 3.0 December 1999
UltraDev 1.0 June 1999
4.0 4.0 December 2000
UltraDev 4.0 December 2000
6.0 MX 29 May 2002
7.0 MX 2004 10 September 2003
8.0 8.0 13 September 2005 Last Macromedia version.
Adobe 9.0 CS3 16 April 2007 Replaces Adobe GoLive in Creative Suite.
10.0 CS4 23 September 2008
11.0 CS5 12 April 2010
11.5 CS5.5 12 April 2011 Supports HTML5.
12.0 CS6 21 April 2012
Color Legend
Red Old version, no longer supported
Yellow Old version, still supported
Green Current version

What does everyone else think? Let's do it. (I realize that discontinued programs would be all red, so obviously this gives priority to Articles on programs that still release new versions.) The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 12:16, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

WP:COLOR: "Ensure that color is not the only method used to convey important information. Especially, do not use colored text or background unless its status is also indicated using another method such as an accessible symbol matched to a legend, or footnote labels. Otherwise, blind users or readers accessing Wikipedia through a printout or device without a color screen will not receive that information." ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:24, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say anything about the table being the only indicator. That's what the whole Article is for, and a table is only a summary anyway. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 14:48, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Why shoudl Wikipedia note if something is 'still supported' anyway? That's getting into WP:NOTGUIDE territory, it seems to me. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 15:32, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
If you're going to that much trouble then it's easy enough to include an alt description, so that is no problem, and tables like that are easy to find on the internet, so referencing is easy too, it's a good way to visually convey the information, so I like it and think it would help lots of people. I suggest putting it in yourself in a number of places and see how you go.
That said, you should change 'no longer', 'current' and things like that to actual dates. That is very important, there is no such word as 'current' in an encyclopedia, you would just say 'after may 2012' for example. Generally discussion of this nature is suited to the wikiproject noticeboards, pick a suitable article and bring it up on the noticeboard of the wikiprojects listed on it's talkpage banners. Penyulap 19:41, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
There is a certain level of common sense to apply, though. We don't need to say that Barack Obama, as of May 7, is the President of the United States. --Golbez (talk) 15:47, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Melodia Chaconne, posting partial source codes or other highly technical details would fall under WP:Not a guide, but that's not what this is. This is very basic information about version history, and version history is something basically all software Articles already discuss, just sometimes without this visual aid.
Penyulap, the dates of discontinuing support on each version could be in version Articles, for any versions of the program that have specifically their own Articles. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 03:06, 13 May 2012 (UTC)


I would like to request the CAT:BJAODN project be relived. I had read some talk pages of WP:HUMOR and I believe that something is correct: Such pages proves that Wikipedians are not robot and have such funny humor and introduces the history of Wikipedia in a funnier way. I believe that the edits of vandals deserves a cemetery which will make them remembered even if the creator was already blocked. Kj plma (talk) 12:09, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

The new article will be titled Wikipedia:Truthfully the Best of BJAODN. We all want humor, and Wikipedia really needs a page like this. And another reason is that I am very lazy to search for old vandalisms so I need your help... please enter funny vandalisms you did saw, reverted, or deleted or are in your user talks.Kj plma (talk) 12:18, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
We don't all want humour. We certainly don't want to memorialise vandals. Oppose. --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:23, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Strongest possible oppose, seeing how this is apparently some people's idea of "humour". It was the same crap back when we decided to get rid of it. Fut.Perf. 12:27, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I'd suspect that the best thing to do here, if you haven't been banned would be keep most of it in your own userpages, they are more flexible on what is tolerated because what you find funny goes on your user:page, and what everyone seems to think is funny goes in community pages. For the community spaces like wp:humor it's best that it doesn't have things that are personal attacks, there are some funny visual things there which fail because they are personal attacks. That kind of stuff goes on other projects like unencyclopedia. Penyulap 12:32, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
You can ask to have it certified as comedy-free in the next humor eradication drive, pages like that seem more tolerable. Penyulap 12:34, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Horrors. We may have to banish you to the Wikipedia:Department of Fun for even suggesting such a thing. RJH (talk) 19:07, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Or WikiProject History. That would be more monotonous :). I understand the concerns about memorializing vandalism, but some really is quite funny (e.g. "Hush Hush Hush, Here Comes Rick Santorum", complete with the description of the effect the former Senator has on liberals) and this proposal isn't some kind of grievous sin. dci | TALK 21:39, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment Most people argue that wikipedia is not reliable because of its "anyone can edit policy". However, if ever some people saw those pages, they might be convinced that wikipedia is reliable because of a living evidence that some people are really ruining the encyclopedia but they are captured and are prevented by our hard working, vandal fighting editors. They might appreciate us more.

Imeoneta03 (talk) 07:34, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Would placing BJAODN-worthy content in another website be better than a local page? I'm aware of this site but it doesn't seem to be updated anymore and is now a dead site. (Too bad, I liked that site, it was where I would find my Wikipedia-related humor.) Also, what we could do is that only good-faith edits would be added, but few good-faith edits are humorous to my knowledge. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 08:09, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Topic of the month

Proposal: create a "Topic of the month" wikiproject, premised on the idea of selecting a topic of the month which cuts across lots of wikiprojects (eg a geographical topic like a country, where you've got economic, political, cultural aspects etc etc etc), and tries to get lots of attention to that topic for one month. Besides identifying wikiprojects to invite to that topic, the key thing (without which it's probably not worth bothering with) is agreeing to advertise each topic of the month via a watchlist notice. That will get the attention to the topic to actually make a difference - get fresh eyes from lots of different perspectives on it. The need to agree this recurring watchlist notice is why I'm not just proposing a wikiproject in the usual place. (And yes, some means must be found to allow editors to opt out of that recurring notice - and I believe that's not difficult to do.)

Background: There are various ways in which Wikipedians try to collaborate - see Wikipedia:Collaborations. Generally these focus on specific articles within the scope of specific wikiprojects. This proposal is different, because of the scale of its ambition: to improve lots of related articles at once, by a big influx of editors. For some topics, the influx may be enough to overwhelm issues of WP:Ownership and WP:Battleground that may exist, which can only be a plus; but in general, many hands with different interests all working on the same topic in a coordinated way ought to make a really measurable impact for some of the more problematic or underserved topics (cf WP:CSB). A somewhat similar idea was discussed a year ago here (use watchlist notice to highlight a vital article collaboration), but despite some support, nothing happened.

Thoughts? Rd232 talk 16:51, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Absolutely opposed to more watchlist spam. SpinningSpark 12:01, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your careful, detailed and considered evaluation of the pros and cons of using a regular watchlist notice system to encourage collaboration, taking into account that users could opt out of the system. Thank you so much. Rd232 talk 10:05, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
You're welcome. Be sure to ask if I can be of any further help. SpinningSpark 20:21, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose this method of notification. If users were interested, all they'd need to do is which a page that lists the topic of the month.--Jasper Deng (talk) 18:40, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
    • The point is to maximise participation by reaching out to everyone. We're reaching the limits of what just waiting for people to wander past and notice a problem can achieve, we need Big Collaboration with a capital B. Creating "Yet Another Page People Can Visit (But Won't)" is a waste of time; we need "A Page You Can Visit (Well OK, If You Don't Want To, You Won't Be Asked Again)." Just look at how dead most WikiProjects are and tell me with a straight face the status quo is working fine. Rd232 talk 18:46, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
      • I'd support using a watchlist notice to canvass for the first time only, and then opt-in after that.--Jasper Deng (talk) 18:49, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
        • Then it'll it work for a while and slowly die out, as user churn has people leave, and new users not aware of it. The combination of opt-out and continuous advertising is a key part of the idea to make it sustainable - and all previous collaboration projects have struggled with that. Incidentally I find cookie-based dismissing of messages a pain when you use multiple computers; it should really be saving a user preference in the user's css file, so you really only dismiss it once. (Plus, that gives you a fairly easy way to change your mind.) Rd232 talk 18:54, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
          • Continuous advertising does tend to irk experienced users. Perhaps we could link it in the sidebar?--Jasper Deng (talk) 18:56, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
            • Not sure about the sidebar; could be better than nothing, but I'm not sure how well it would work. And being a permanent link you'll need to create something to allow people to hide it, so you're back to optout anyway, so what's the real difference? I don't know why the watchlist notice would irk people. When I say "continuous advertising", I mean a regular dismissable notice at the beginning of every month announcing the month's topic. Anyone who's opted out won't see that notice, whether they've opted out because they don't want to be involved, or because they're happy with just watching the relevant page. The main target audience is occasional users, new users, less experienced users. (The sort of people who'd never come to VPR and say "yeah, great idea!"...) Rd232 talk 19:03, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Watchlist bolding

If the IRC conversation I just saw is any indication of the wider community, the new automatic bolding of unvisited pages (which was slipped in under the radar, as far as I'm aware) isn't very popular, and I can't see a way to turn it off.

Therefore I am starting the following petition:

"We, the undersigned, request that the bolding of watchlist items feature either be removed in its entirety, or that we be given an opt out in our preferences at the Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-watchlist page. We request the change be made as soon as possible".

  1. Sven Manguard Wha? 17:21, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  2. Rschen7754 17:22, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  3. I don't think a poll is the best way to go about this, but no, I'm not happy that a feature I explicitly removed from my personal Javascript file is now back as the norm without any consultation with the community. I'm aware of how small this issue is, though, and am therefore wary of crafting a mountain from this molehill. — foxj 17:24, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  4. Yeah, the poll seems a bit of an awkward way to go about this, but I really, really would like a way to turn this off. For users like me, who do a lot of their pageviews and diff views through popups, this "unread" bolding misses the point entirely, and results in nearly my entire watchlist being perpetually bold. I understand it could be a useful feature for others, and I can live with it being enabled, even by default, for that reason but pleeeeease give me a way to turn it off in my prefs. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 17:30, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  5. There should definitely be a way to turn it off. Having some pages on my watchlist in bold is the sort of thing that irks me wildly because it makes my watchlist look "messy". OohBunnies! Leave a message 17:41, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  6. Yes, please allow us to opt-out. While this bolding might be beneficial for some editors, it is clear from other comments in this thread that it is not a "one size-fits-all" solution. Besides, generally speaking, options are a good thing.--JayJasper (talk) 18:54, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  7. Turn it off!
  8. Repeating what I said at the technical village pump: The thing is, I don't want to check each page that has changed. About half of the pages that pop up in my watchlist are vandalism reverts, some others are on discussions that don't bother me. I usually open all the changes that interest me in a separate tab before I'm reading them, so this change doesn't help me in any way. If it is kept it should be made optional. It could also help to mark viewed pages in italic letters, which are far less distracting. Nageh (talk) 19:40, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Note: See Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 126#Watchlist - bold letter article titles! Chris857 (talk) 17:33, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

  1. Again, community not asked by the WMF... mabdul 18:22, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    Or maybe this was entirely a community decision that the WMF had nothing to do with... --Yair rand (talk) 18:49, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  2. A way to turn this off should be non-controversial. If anything, always providing a way to turn off significant interface changes ought to be the norm.--agr (talk) 17:06, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I guess it's then my fault that I don't watchlist everywhere a potentially relevant discussion takes place, I suppose. Really, really, really needs some way to turn it off because my watchlist is going to remain bold forever sicne I don't click on the articles thanks to popups. — foxj 17:43, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  1. Who in the name of all things Holy considered the bolding of unvisited pages a good idea? This is utter bilge, and yet another change which has come in without advertising, warning, signalling or notification. Utterly without merit, utterly without reason, irritating and irresponsible. Can we PLEASE get this reverted? Who is responsible? Why are these changes going through without discussion? Is this how Wikipedia has now become? doktorb wordsdeeds 20:01, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    Everyone who voted support here tought it was a good idea. There was a discussion, and you missed it. --Yair rand (talk) 20:18, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    What the fuck. Do we have to scan all possible policy pages 24 hours a day to not miss a discussion? Are some people (those with way more time than others) more equal than others? This is a change that affects everyone, so its discussion should have been publicized as such. Yeah, and no reason to insult me in your reply. Nageh (talk) 20:31, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    If you glance at WP:CENT at least once every couple weeks or so, you'll be aware of all or almost all major (non-WMF imposed) changes. If you follow VPR, you'll be aware of essentially every proposal. --Yair rand (talk) 20:47, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    By the way, could you please limit the use of profanity? --Yair rand (talk) 20:50, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    Not good enough As has been mentioned, editors should not be expected to monitor every single page of policy and process. We are not here to act as employees expected to read the company newsletter. That this grotesque vandalism by the few has been enacted on a whim to inconvenience and annoy the many is a hideously ugly example of Wikipedia at its very worst doktorb wordsdeeds 21:29, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

There's an longer & older discussion at WP:VPT#Watchlist - bold letter article titles!. It might be worth keeping the discussion in one place (ie. over there). ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:33, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

  1. The bolding looks horrible and is hard for me to pick out the normal, looked at pages from it. Of course, I don't need to know which pages are updated, since updated pages are those after the last time I checked my watchlist. Seriously, do I need it to be bolded to know that a page on my watchlist at 00:02 is newer than 00:01? SilverserenC 22:33, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    The bolding tells you what pages/changes you've not visited, it's not a matter of time of the last change. And no, you don't have any way to know this without this feature. Nemo 14:30, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
  2. Who is anyone to decide how I view my watchlist? I don't have time to spend time watching everyday what kind of nonsense might be being proposed. Turn it off.Mugginsx (talk) 23:12, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
You do realize that WP:You don't own Wikipedia, right? The WMF is allowed to do whatrever they want with their website. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:34, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
If that were their official stance, a good many of us wouldn't be here. So far, though, they claim to do things predominately based on the consensus of the community. They've been having some trouble proving it lately though. Equazcion (talk) 02:22, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Please don't come here with that atttitude; it stinks. "You don't own Wikipedia, things change that you can't revert" is not a catchy slogan, nor a philosophy which will keep casual editors hanging around the place. This is not the first problem which has angered editors who don't keep an eye on hundreds of proposal articles - the differences between edits disaster is still fresh in the mind. Whoever came up with this stupid idea should be made to explain themselves. I want the watchlist vandalism reverted, and done so immediately. doktorb wordsdeeds 04:46, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Then let's redefine "vandalism" as Any edit in which another user disagrees with, as that is what the current consensus clearly is. --MuZemike 06:43, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
  1. I pretty don't like it at all. It's too boring. Dipankan (Have a chat?) 11:28, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

A new section for people whose reactions are more like "I actually like it" and/or "I don't give a shit"

  1. I'm okay with this. —Tom Morris (talk) 19:18, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  2. People don't like any change to the layout or structure of Wikipedia, plain and simple, because it puts those affected out of their comfort zones. Those who say "please get consensus" for this or any other change to the software know full well that it would be impossible to get one per Parkinson's Law of Triviality. I, for one, am astonished how we ever got from the "Classic" skin to the "Monobook" skin, and moreso from that to the "Vector" skin. This is exactly why the design of this site is still stuck in the 2000s. --MuZemike 19:27, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  3. Comment. Why are there discussion both here and at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)? Nageh (talk) 19:38, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    I don't know, but one or the other needs to be closed to keep discussion at one location. —{|Retro00064|☎talk|✍contribs|} 19:45, 10 May 2012 (UTC).
  4. I'm okay with this also. Why all the complaining over something so insignificant? (See also: WP:BIKE.) I mean, seriously, is the bolding of unviewed entries in the watchlist that big of a deal? —{|Retro00064|☎talk|✍contribs|} 19:43, 10 May 2012 (UTC).
    You can of course ignore every change, but for many this one doesn't provide any benefit and is solely distracting. Nageh (talk) 19:48, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  5. The quick way to get lots of negative feedback is to change anything. It doesn't actually matter if the change is for the better or worse, people just dislike anything ever changing. --Jayron32 20:21, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    That's a verifiable fact. I wonder whether we should add that to articles like Web design. (As I said at WP:VPT, I'm one of the people who asked for this change to be made, and I'm thrilled with it. If you can't figure out why people are getting so worked up about a change, try reading WP:You don't own Wikipedia. Maybe we should turn it into a bingo game, with each square being a standard complaint about a surprising change. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:48, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    It might be a fact that people will always complain about change, but it's not a fact that change is always good and people that complain about it are always just complaining about change. I see now that there are stupid green stars that have appeared after I'd changed my css to remove the bolding. Does anyone have a fix ready for that stupid change? --OnoremDil 20:59, 10 May 2012 (UTC) a{background:none;padding-left:0;} --Yair rand (talk) 21:51, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    It's a hugely dickish position to discount people's complaints by saying that 'people don't like changes'. None of this would be an issue if they let us opt out. Sven Manguard Wha? 00:45, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
    Which explains why people complain so much about the Article Feedback Tool, which you can opt out of, and which people continued to complain about even after being told that they can opt out. No, I think that the evidence is that at least some people simply do not like change, and that they definitely do not like changes that surprise them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:10, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
  6. Yep - I like it, and change is good - Alison 21:00, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  7. Well, it's just got better - but that's three changes in an hour. It really is not acceptable to carry out tests in the live environment. I'd get shot if I did that. Elen of the Roads (talk) 21:31, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    Not testing... just an emergency response. Edokter (talk) — 21:51, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    YOU suggested the green stars...and while I see more support for them than I did the bold since you made the change, I don't see any support for your your suggestion yes, you were testing. I still see more complaints about it than thanks. Who are you to decide how I view my watchlist? I've asked this once already...and would like an answer. --OnoremDil 22:01, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    Whatever helps you sleep. Whichever terminology you'd like to choose, today's events exhibited some rather poor judgment. Equazcion (talk) 23:24, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
    Should blame for the quick changes be laid? As I understand it, it's an old feature, happily used in Commons and other wikis for years, and a decision was made with only a modest level of warning, to implement it here in en. I figure it was Admins who quickly decided they had a better idea and "corrected" each others work without discussing it in our usual exhaustive Wikipedia way. Oh, and yes, I actually like it, no matter whether it's bold or green star or italics or something else. Jim.henderson (talk) 02:28, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
    It was fun watching the back and forth between bolding and stars. That was funny actually.--Amadscientist (talk) 06:34, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
  8. Something I've wanted for a long time. The major objection seems to be the bolding, but it could easily be changed to something else. I would also like to see a small amendment - visiting the history of a page should also result in the page being marked as visited. If the last edit to a page is a vandal reversion or similar, I might look at the history page to see if that is hiding earlier edits, and if it is not I may not bother to open the page at all. SpinningSpark 11:12, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
    I don't know if it's a good idea but I filed the suggestion under bugzilla:36763. Nemo 14:43, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
    Fine with me, I'll go and vote for it, but unlikely the devs will do anything while there is so much opposition to the feature at all. SpinningSpark 23:37, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
    You haven't voted for it yourself by the way. SpinningSpark 23:44, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
  9. I like it. Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:12, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
  10. Me too. HiLo48 (talk) 23:43, 11 May 2012 (UTC)


For everyone who actually wants to be involved in a RfC that shows the real consensus on the issue, go here. SilverserenC 03:50, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

I really think that that RFC ought to be hosted here. There are clearly a lot of people who don't like this (I am not amongst them) but hosting at VPT is likely to get some very biased results. Many people only go to VPT when they have a problem/complaint so the discussion is bound to be heavily biased to the antis. SpinningSpark 11:07, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

I started a section there to discuss a move someone tried -- they moved all the discussions from VPT and VPR to a newly-created page in WP space though. Personally I think everything should stay where they are except possibly for the RFC section itself, which might be better suited for VPR (here) or maybe a WP:RFC subpage. Equazcion (talk) 11:12, 11 May 2012 (UTC)


  • List the RFC on WP:CENT.  Done
  • create a help page documenting the issue  Done (WP:Customizing watchlists)
  • Merge the VPR discussion with the VPT one. Having two is just stupid. By contrast, three is just the right number (now 2 sections on VPR). Rd232 talk 10:30, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Move the merged discussion somewhere where it doesn't take over an entire noticeboard for a month. Possibilities:
    • VPR subpage
    • VPT subpage
    • RFC subpage
    • Somewhere else, because it actually doesn't make any difference where the discussion is, as long as old locations point there. Rd232 talk 12:09, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

I think the venue does matter. VPT is where people go when they see interface changes they don't understand. The RFC section alone could maybe go somewhere else, but VPT/VPR subpages seem an odd choice; and I don't see all that pressing a need to make any move. Equazcion (talk) 12:33, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

I do wish there was a way to link discussions on Wikipedia - so when people go to VPT or VPR they can find where the relevant discussion is located. Maybe we should file a bug asking for such a thing? Rd232 talk 13:38, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Don't strawman. I know you're pissed, point made, now breathe. My point still stands though -- venue matters, and VPT is the best place. We do have venues purposed for different things for a reason. VPT is where people go when they see interface changes. Links are great when a discussion is more appropriate for a different venue, but I don't see how this one is. Equazcion (talk) 13:42, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Rd232 would be right if only the "RFC" section contained an actual RfC; currently it's just a place where to get some basic info about the feature or CSS snippets to change it (besides get something off one's chest). This issue will probably be best discussed after a short while when the situation is normalised (and, for instance, not every page is bolded in the watchlists because in the meanwhile people have visited the pages or they just learn to use the "mark all read" button; the current situation is statistically outlying). Nemo 14:24, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
    • The RFC section does contain an RFC tag (I see an IP had removed it though, and that was just reverted). Nevertheless, most people don't know to check those listings, whereas they do know to check VPT when they see strange interface stuff happening that they'd like to weigh in on. Equazcion (talk) 14:30, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Template:Location Map Nile Delta

The Nile delta (Lower Egypt) is crammed full of large settlements and points of interest, and it would be of immense use to create a location map for it. Using the 'Egypt' location map makes it hard to distinguish where things are. I had a look at the documentation and am quite puzzled as to how to do this myself; I imagine we could use an existing 'Egypt governorates' svg file | Moemin05 (talk) 21:18, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

I think I managed, and it seems to work fine, good times Template:Location map Lower Egypt | Moemin05 (talk) 22:16, 12 May 2012 (UTC)


I found it very difficult to find a way to suggest some additions to the page/topic I was researching. Primarily, I would reccomend a "SUGGESTIONS FOR THIS SITE" tab, so users can suggest ways for the more educated to add wanted detail to articles; which I could not find. Specifically with regard to the site I was researching ; I wanted to see the millimeter relationships to frequency (Band/Hz/MHz/GHz). Regardless of whether this particular is updated in this way, I belie3ve having a suggestions tab would benefit Wiki, as a general addition.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 13:32, 3 May 2012‎

You can do that on the article's talk page. -- (talk) 14:09, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
There is talk page; but WP is not a forum. Well though suggestions are encouraged, and since this is a wiki, why don't you edit? Remember- you can edit even if you have not created the account. Dipankan (Have a chat?) 15:50, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
It's a bit hard to add questions to the article. Just add the question to the talkpage or ask at the helpdesk, the helpdesk is meant for exactly that purpose. Offhand though, the distance light travels in one second divided by the frequency equals wavelength. Penyulap 16:49, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
from the speed of light article, multiplied for millimeters, 299,792,458,000 is the number to divide by frequency to get the wavelength in millimeters. Penyulap 16:53, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
'Talk' is a remarkably vague and ambiguous title for the tab at the top of the article. I would wonder if it does a poor job of describing itself. I see a whole lot of 'WP:NOTAFORUM' yelling going on(I don't mean you, Dipankan), maybe something less ambiguous would help there, rather than setting a BITE trap. I mean, if there is just so much NOTAFORUM going on, should "talk-(notaforum)" help or something better ? maybe separate links to the helpdesk and to the talkpage.Penyulap 17:27, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Well of course it USED to be called 'Discussion' but consensus decreed that 'talk' was better. *shrug*. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 17:59, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
oh no, where did that happen, if we carry on the tradition by first merging the word talk with edit, then calling every single tab 'click here' it won't do. Where is the conversation about that, perhaps they didn't monitor for unintended consequences like this. Penyulap 03:42, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I think that "talk" is a very appropriate title for the page (although I didn't take part in the discussion to rename it). With cautious reference to your comment on "NOTAFORUM yelling", it really is worth noting that Wikipedia isn't supposed to be a forum, and that's the way it's going to stay unless consensus changes it. There are other places for people to discuss contentious topics, and if they want to talk about the content in the articles, there is a talk page precisely for that purpose. Well-restedTalk 15:14, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
"Not a forum" doesn't extend to article suggestions. Suggestions are always welcome at an article's Talk page -- in fact, that's what talk pages are there for. Simply click the "Talk" tab at the top of any article, then place a comment there (much like you did here). :) Equazcion (talk) 04:24, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Article Feedback Tool/Version 5 is expected to provide another way to offer suggestions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:29, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Why has everyone gone off on a NOTAFORUM hunt in this thread? The OP asked about suggesting a change to the article that was on-topic, focused, and specific. There is not a hint of a forum issue in the post. By the way, the second sentence of the article in question says "This is equal to wave lengths between 15 cm and 10 cm" so all suggestions on how to convert frequency to wavelength where superfluous. I can't believe the OP is having difficulty converting centimetres to millimetres, but rather, was looking for a summary table of all the bands. So the talk page of E band is, in fact, a remarkably poor suggestion for a place to go on this. The article the OP really wants is found at Radio spectrum and is actually linked in the infobox template.
However, I can understand a new user having difficulty finding their way around all this so the idea that there should be a pointer to a place for suggestions not connected to the article currently being viewed was actually a quite valid one from the OP. No idea how that would actually work though, or even if its a good idea. SpinningSpark 09:51, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Watchlist styles update

I have reset the default to look how it did previously, as there seems no agreement on what it should look like. The underlying software change - to enable you to identify unread changes in your watchlist - has not been reverted. Which means that if you go to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#Watchlist_styles you'll now be able to pick a watchlist style - jazzy, bold, italic, muted, starry - to suit your mood. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 03:47, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

This is very bad: there's no consensus backing such a change and it should be reverted immediately, see VPT. --Nemo 06:27, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Since there was no consensus for the change to begin with, there doesn't need to be consensus to roll it back; so no, this shouldn't be reverted. Equazcion (talk) 10:22, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Bugzilla:33123 implementing $wgShowUpdatedMarker was based on a community request agreed in December 2011 here. Rd232 talk 10:29, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes that discussion has been pointed out before, but most users here don't consider it a broad enough consensus, nor advertised enough, nor its actual effects shown enough. Take a read through the VPT discussion. Equazcion (talk) 10:34, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Just to be clear, the underlying change (allowing you to highlight unread pages in your watchlist) has NOT been rolled back. People wanted it - it's there. However, even reading the discussion that approved it, it's clear that most people didn't realise that the bolding came with the software - not in the css - and were expecting to be able to 'opt in'. All I have done is enabled the second half of the discussion. You want is - VPT is currently full of opt in options, and I'm hopeful that can be put together into some kind of gadget to allow the less confident to just pick from a list and have their custom css updated for them. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 12:41, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
    I like the bold. It was messy at first but if you combine it with the green stars as I did on User:Cyberpower678/vector.css, it actually makes it look good and less disorienting.—cyberpower ChatOnline 13:11, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Feature update

We can now make subsections to existing sections, using === subsection === instead of == section ==. Now if only there was some way to merge discussions on the same topic, we'd really be cooking with gas! Rd232 talk 10:12, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Customizing watchlists

A new page to try and collect the ever-shifting sands of this styling thing in one place: Wikipedia:Customizing watchlists. Contains instructions to disable, enable, and use alternative styles. Rd232 talk 10:27, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Nifty features. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 13:58, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I think this is the way to go. I removed the bolding and the button using CSS as suggest and that works fine. There just needs to be accessible instructions on how to do this. MathewTownsend (talk) 15:37, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Next steps

Now what we could do next is see if we can get a little input from the wider community. Could we set up a page with screenshots of the options, and ask for opinions. If there's a style that three quarters of folks favoured, that could be the default with the option for others to "turn off" or change by customising css. As this will affect pretty much every regular users (aside from the few that don't use watchlists or already run a custom script), would it be appropriate to have one of the message delivery bots add an invite to talkpages of all active users. Or would that be overkill? Would a watchlist notice be better?

Also, going forward, will we be able to put something on Special:Watchlist to alert people to the customization options. It already offers a number of customisations via the page, people would expect to see something about the highlighting options there, even if it took you out to a page like Wikipedia:Customizing watchlists. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 13:53, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

A different way would be to make a gadget that provides different styling options, and records the choices people make in some way that can be used to generate statistics. Then you just need to put the info about the gadget reasonably prominent at Special:Watchlist, and let people do what they want. After a month, say, you can look at the stats to determine if there's an obvious choice for the sitewide default (other than MediaWiki's default of bolding, or the current default of nothing). Rd232 talk 15:35, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
That would work too. I'm very in favour of tracking how people use something before making big changes. I'm hoping someone cleverer than I volunteers for the gadget - if only so we get it this side of hell freezing over :) --Elen of the Roads (talk) 15:41, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think this works at all: the results would be very biased (towards the very few super-users) and not statistically significant because the feature would be very, very hidden. Nemo 18:47, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't like to fool around with CSS/JS for something like this. The Gadgets tab of the user preferences page is quite obscure too - I want a setting on the Watchlist tab.--Jasper Deng (talk) 18:51, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
What I had in mind was a JS script (maybe an on-by-default gadget) which gives you access to styling options direct from Special:Watchlist - so you can see the effects of different styles immediately. Choices would be saved to the user's CSS page. Rd232 talk 19:30, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
That's exactly what I was thinking of. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 17:48, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I think you would have to spoof it. You can't actually toggle this setting on/off - it's a switch in the code that's either on for the whole wiki or off for the whole wiki, and the default formatting (bold) is part of the switch code. So whatever you do has to mimic an opt-in by amending custom css. As far as I know that's the only way it can be done.Elen of the Roads (talk) 19:07, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Nemo, I would at minimum think one would want something in the actual watchlist - a watchlist notice probably - to direct folks to where they can make changes/discuss things. Relying on them stumbling across it by accident isn't enough. I'd be tempted by a note on all user talkpages, as it affects pretty much everyone...but I know that pisses lots of people off as well. Elen of the Roads (talk) 19:10, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
This is something I strongly feel must not be encumbered with yet more options or gadgets; we just need to agree on the styling, as was agreed back in december. This is a default feature for MediaWiki. I also understand some people may not like the change (as they don't like any change), but I don't understand their attempts to make it "opt-in", which is nothing short of forcing their own opinion donw everybody else's thoat. The change has been decided on and it is a valuable feature for any editor, veterans and newbies. It will not be "opt-in" when I can help it. There are plenty of option to use this feature without being obtrusive and without having to add another option/gadget. Remember that the community own the content of Wikipedia, not the software. Edokter (talk) — 20:49, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
As you say - the community owns Wikipedia. It gets what it wants - not what it gets. It is completely against the open source ethos to deliver something that the users are stuck with. And there are plenty of modification options opened up by this new facility. So let's find out what the community likes best, and make that the default if there is an overall preference. And give the ones who dont fancy the default, have accessibility needs, use their watchlists differently, easy access to all those options. You're brilliant in the software side - much better than me. But I'm a brilliant project manager, and the great implementations only succeed with first class stakeholder involvement, and excellent user acceptance testing. So let's pool our talents and go for it. The facility this gives is first class - lets engage with the community to get this out there in the form that suits them best, whether they have accessibility needs, particular ways of using the watchlist, or love it as it comes out of the box. Elen of the Roads (talk) 21:39, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
As you say - the community owns Wikipedia.
Actually, that's exactly what Edokter didn't say. The community doesn't own Wikipedia. Individual contributors own the copyright to their individual contributions—and that's it. The WMF owns Wikipedia: the servers, the software, the Internet connection, the domain names, the trademarks, etc. We-the-community happen to be a necessary component of writing the encyclopedia, but we-the-community don't collectively own anything here. It's the WMF's ball, and they have the right to paint it green, or take it home, if they want. (Mind you, the cost of truly alienating the community [something that small software changes like this won't actually do, notwithstanding the squeaking and impotent threats of certain power users] would be very high, but it's their choice, not ours.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:26, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Edokter, take this comment from a single editor. The bolding feature is extremely bright with purples and blues on a white background. I'm prone to migraines, and seriously some editors sigs can cause migraines. I simply could not see anything except a sea of blue and purple for two days. It was impossible to distinguish unread changes from read changes. Partially this was because the change affected all the pages on the watchlist at once - but these are considerations from a design point-of-view. If we are to use such bright and garish colors, then bolding really isn't optimal in my view. That said, given the opportunity, I'm happy to opt-out. Truthkeeper (talk) 14:02, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I am willing to bet that there is a style that most users will find sufficiently unobtrusive that they will agree to it even though they have (or think they have) no need of it. If it can be identified, then we can go for it. Interestingly, over at Commons, the sitewide css is hacked to give the green highlighter pen effect in the history tab. They obviously like it bright. Elen of the Roads (talk) 17:47, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
A lot of people are photosensitive and frankly the design of this site has much to be desired in that regard. Small splotches of bright blues and purples against a white background are very difficult to bear - an entire page covered in bright purple and blue, impossible to bear. Obviously all the pages on a given watchlist lit up when this was rolled out, so the effect was intensified greatly. The neon green highlight was impossible for me to look at, so I've used a script to turn it off. I don't mind using scripts that make this a better visual experience for me because I understand not everyone is light sensitive, but we do keep access issues in mind in general, so it's something to be aware of I think. Truthkeeper (talk) 18:17, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
The green highlighter pen effect is currently turned off - it just has the text in green. I understand your issues - a bold effect isn't a problem in my email client because it's in black and white, but it was very vivid here. Elen of the Roads (talk) 00:25, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
"but I don't understand their attempts to make it "opt-in", which is nothing short of forcing their own opinion donw everybody else's thoat. The change has been decided on and it is a valuable feature for any editor, veterans and newbies. It will not be "opt-in" when I can help it." You seem to have problems with consensus, you might like to work on those. As noted above excessive bold type is a disability issue. It is also a typography issue. I woke up three days ago to find your poorly consulted concepts forced down my throat—right now I don't care about what you "help" when it comes to user interfaces because you have a recently demonstrated history of poor conduct in this area. Fifelfoo (talk) 10:42, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Opt in or opt out should be mandatory for new features, always, period If you give people the choice to join, or not to join, there will be much less blowback. Also, when at all possible, opt in is a better option that opt out. That is all, Sven Manguard Wha? 21:44, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
  • +9000. This should be a minimum standard, and would greatly reduce the complaints around new changes. Nikkimaria (talk) 13:52, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Not always feasible, but should always be considered, and done if it's reasonably feasible. At any rate, not doing it when the community specifically requested it is just asking for trouble. Rd232 talk 16:04, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Where possible I would generally support opt-out for new users and opt in for existing users, with a follow up study of how many new users tend to opt out of the feature determining whether it should be continued or not. Often it just takes a new generation of users to acclimate to the feature. Dcoetzee 17:14, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
    Actually comments on the village pumps have shown that this change would have taken only a couple days for the users to acclimate, hadn't it been hidden by default. And it's not strange: it's the default on MediaWiki, the bold is more or less an universal standard and no single user on any other wiki seems to have complained about this "sudden change". Nemo 18:44, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I saw a question about it at Meta (I think it was Meta) from someone at de.wp. I'm not sure that it rose to the level of "complaint", though. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:50, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

See User:Elen of the Roads/Watchlist survey for a possible communication strategy - the intention would be to move it into RfC space and use a watchlist notice to draw attention to it. All comments, positive and negative, gratefully received. Elen of the Roads (talk) 12:05, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Images now all uploaded, final tweaks done. I notice people have already started to fill it in. I'll give it 24hrs for final comment then move it out from userspace and ask for a watchlist notice, unless anyone objects. Elen of the Roads (talk) 00:27, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
It works for me ! I left an example response :) couldn't help myself. Penyulap 09:59, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, it looks good. Fifelfoo (talk) 11:06, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Broken "Improve this page"

On Barack Obama, I currently get an annoying blue "Impove this page" link in the bottom right corner. Not only does it take me (as a registered user and admin with ~20000 edits) to an inane "Did you know you can edit this page?" question, it also refuses to budge when I click on the little dismissal "X" on the note. I use Google Chrome on MacOS-X. Is there any place where a regular user will be notified of inept experiments like this and the recent watchlist bolding before they happen? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:37, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

...and to add insult to injury, Barack Obama is a semi-protected page, so new users will be frustrated by the accompanying "Edit this page" link. And confirmed users will have the joy of getting the full page, not just the current section in the edit window. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:40, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Unregistered users don't get the "Improve this page" link on Barack Obama. They get it on for example Nicolas Steno which is not protected. Wikipedia talk:Article Feedback Tool/Version 5/Help#The 'Improve this page' thing needs to go says:
Registered users can remove the link without disabling the whole feedback widget by adding this line to Special:MyPage/common.css (applies to all skins) or Special:MyPage/skin.css (your current skin):


PrimeHunter (talk) 15:51, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, that helps. But if we differentiate user anyways, why ask experienced, confirmed users if they knew they can edit a page"? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:23, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Because a lot of logged in people aren't editors? :). People create accounts for all kinds of reasons - to show they support Wikipedia. Because the button is there. And yes, occasionally to edit. But the first two groups are people we should be encouraging who wouldn't be if it only appeared to logged out people. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 12:43, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Which is why he specified "experienced, confirmed" users. There's no reason to have this for autoconfirmed accounts, which have obviously created accounts to edit. Nikkimaria (talk) 13:37, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
I've seen feature requests for something like the little blue tab on the lower right-hand corner. It seems that some people don't want to remember the ctrl-e shortcut to edit pages, and don't want to have to scroll all the way back up to the top of the page to find the edit tab. Some "experienced, confirmed users" are going to like this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:31, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Control-e just gets me a query prompt. I think that all the tabs that are available at the top of the page should also be available at the bottom. I'd even welcome access to the same tabs on the right hand side of the screen. --Khajidha (talk) 13:56, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Misuse of the sandbox

Hello everyone.

It appears that the page in question has been considered for addition by at least one editor as an official behavioral guideline, however, it was later removed by another editor, who stated that it was not discussed. I am posting here to request discussion regarding this, and if we should add a tag to that page to identify it as an official behavioral guideline. Thank you. (talk) 21:07, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

For sure that should stand as a guideline, carefully looking at it, it is all commonsense and/or policy. Penyulap 10:08, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Oppose. Instruction creep. Yes, those are all things that one shouldn't do in the sandbox, but we really don't need an official behavioural guideline for this. Who cares if the sandbox gets mangled? That's what its for, to stop the articles getting mangled instead, and the bot will soon sort it out when that happens. Everything else is already covered in other guidelines. SpinningSpark 11:33, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Oppose per Spinningspark, silly to make it a rule. Nobody cares what happens in the sandbox. It's kinda like Vegas. Equazcion (talk) 11:39, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Object to both statements; while I believe that the sandbox is a place with less restrictions for the purpose of experimental editing, I do not believe that it is the place that can be used to harass, slander, libel, and defame living people, or any similar inappropriate or disruptive behavior. Thank you. (On another computer) (talk) 02:04, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Nobody is saying it can be used in any of those ways. There are policies against all those things which apply to the sandbox as they do everywhere else. SpinningSpark 15:54, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Comment. Either Wikipedia:Misuse of the sandbox actually means something or it doesn't. If it is the latter, then the page should be tagged with {{Essay}}. Apart from that I agree with Spinningspark that some of the content on Wikipedia:Misuse of the sandbox is instruction creep and the sandbox should be kept a place with as few rules as possible. Thus Wikipedia:Misuse of the sandbox should perhaps be rewritten. Furthermore it should be made clear what kind of page that is (policy, guideline, an essay?, it's not clear to me). -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 11:45, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
I tagged it, although when there's no tag on a Wikipedia: page it's assumed to be an essay. Equazcion (talk) 11:57, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
It is a completely pointless page, any important instructions need to be either in hidden text or on the page notice in the sandbox itself. The guideline/essay is not going to get read before newbies start experimenting, nor should we require them to read a bunch of guidelines first. SpinningSpark 13:03, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Meh... an essay is by definition not required reading. I don't think it does any particular harm to have a page where the details are laid out in a long form we wouldn't place at the sandbox page. A vastly summarized version could go on the sandbox page in conjunction though. Equazcion (talk) 13:09, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
A more appropriate tag would be "failed guideline", {{failed}}, this is not really an essay as such. SpinningSpark 13:12, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
I've never quite understood the difference. There are two types of failed proposals -- the type that propose new standards and the type describing existing standards that someone thought should be hardened into rules. This seems to be the latter. If the point of the "failed proposal" tag is to imply demotion, should we be doing that when we've already admitted these actually are standards that are generally to be adhered to (even if they're not that important/are already stated elsewhere)? Equazcion (talk) 13:18, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Maybe something like {{poicy detail}} like a sub-article for further reading, and not having any effect upon policy in itself, instead simply relies on the main policy page. Penyulap 13:40, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
That is just evading the issue. We don't need it. SpinningSpark 15:54, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
You're thinking of {{supplement}}. You might also consider WP:NOTAG. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:54, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Oppose. If this were a guideline, this would also mean it were a generally accepted standard. I guess this would also mean people repeatedly violating it would have to be sanctioned in some form. If this were not the case, then why make it a guideline? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 12:07, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
disperse check if the relevant policy or guideline pages haven't covered it, and address it on those pages where necessary. Penyulap 13:14, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

I have changed the tag to {{infopage}}, given that seems most sensible to me. In fact, I feel that there are many, many essays on Wikipedia which should be re-marked as information pages, and I've done it several times. If anybody disagrees, feel welcome to contest it. Thanks. (talk) 18:30, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Software screenshots

I'm having serious thoughts about expanding this article (and removing the historic tag from it) to be a guideline of sorts, meaning, that while it would not be a policy article, it would refer to policy. A collection of best practices, if you like.

The reason is that the article's focus from the outset is going to be on non-free screenshots, which have been covered in various discussions and tl;dr policy pages, just so it would be possible for potential uploaders to carefully choose whether to include a screenshot or not, — while free screenshots by their nature are acceptable in Commons.

The plan would be to extrapolate bits and pieces from various discussions and policy pages (including those in Commons) and outline some of the requirements for non-free screenshots; how to make them (for example what to avoid when making non-free screenshots), how to tag them (with examples and links to templates) and so on.

Advantages would be the following:

  • That new uploaders would not have to ask over and again in here about what would be the right thing to do (although each case is individual);
  • Hopefully, to reduce the frequency of bad non-free screenshots (lossy JPEG files with artifacts and very large pictures) and the associated overhead in dealing with them;
  • To reduce the frequency of free screenshots initially uploaded to Wikipedia, after which each new version of the same file gets updated with bad images and then the most recent of these is moved to Commons (the good in-between versions have been and are subsequently lost).

The potential disadvantages would be that:

  • Every now and then, a non-clear case may happen, in which the uploader won't consult Village Pump (as he or she should), and chooses instead to upload the screenshot anyway. (Maybe then it would still be easier to handle, if there are hopefully less non-free screenshots uploaded in the first place.)
  • The revised article (if not done properly) would run the danger of inviting more non-free uploads, even if they do adhere to guidelines;
  • Chances are that the article would become in part a duplicate of policy on non-free media;
  • After I'd be done with it, the article would most likely remain static and might eventually become outdated, especially if there are changes to current policy.

-Mardus (talk) 00:36, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Go for it. Some of your concerns are trivial (we have loads of pages that overlap slightly in content so no worries there, pages frequently get out of date and someone at some point decides if they should be updated or tagged as historical, etc.). My main reason in commenting was to say that you might be able to pull from Commons:Commons:Screenshots for some of the information. Killiondude (talk) 00:54, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Which was exactly the idea; I'm also going to refer to Wikipedia:Preparing images for upload. The current situation is that there are several template tags which actually link to policy and guidelines (in small print), and these tags are often applied once an experienced editor notices a fault. -Mardus (talk) 01:12, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Limit number of watchers to those active in the last ?? days

This is regarding User:MZMcBride's "watcher" tool, which shows the number of people watching a page. The tool is currently linked from all page histories. In this discussion, MZMcBride notes the following:

  • "The Toolserver masks the necessary field to look up which users are viewing a particular page. So it's impossible to assess whether a page is being watched by all active, inactive, or even bot users. A proper solution could possibly be coded into MediaWiki, though you'd have to find someone willing and get developer consensus that it's a good idea."

I'd like to propose that the necessary MediaWiki changes be made that would allow this tool (or a similar one) to show us a number based on the number of active watchers. Currently the number includes inactive users and bots -- even those who haven't edited or even logged in in years. Limiting to active editors would provide a better picture of how many eyes are actually on a page.

I think "edited within the last 60 days" is a decent figure -- but before even choosing a limit, the MediaWiki changes need to be made. Of course, whatever changes are made, the toolserver should still be blocked from seeing which particular users are watching. Equazcion (talk) 16:51, 15 Apr 2012 (UTC)

I like, I expect centijimbinarians like, I expect peasocking centijimbinarians don't like it. I extrapolate anitpeasockingcentinjimbinarians would like it too. I suggest I should round down my extrapolationdefiningjargon vocabulary to a less significant number of decimal phrases. Penyulap 18:50, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Is it difficult to give us a choice?

  • Total watchers
  • Watchers active in the past ^ days
  • Watchers who have ever edited this article
  • Watchers who have edited this article in the past ^ days

Jim.henderson (talk) 19:00, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

The easiest way to add this functionality would be to allow Toolserver users to see who is watching a particular page. Then you would just need to look at the individual users' last edit date and determine their activity level (or look at whatever other metric you wanted). Because you're proposing a specific time period (and masking it), I'm not sure it'll be very easy to get implemented (if not impossible). The MediaWiki and the Toolserver folks will both buck. Maybe it could be implemented in a MediaWiki extension? That's the only hope, I think. If you can convince someone at the Wikimedia Foundation that it relates to editor retention, you'll have much better luck at getting resources devoted to the idea.
Dispenser has been doing some work using an anonymized "active" users table (I think it relies on a masked copy of user.user_touched), but you'd have to ask him for details. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:39, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
tools:~dispenser/view/Watcher is my version of a watcher tool after TS-1198 was implemented. Active users are those have logged in or performed an action in the past 30 days (to match $wgRCMaxAge). — Dispenser 20:27, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I think it would be a bad idea to allow users to see who is watching a page. People watch each other's talk pages, often because they are not friendly. Think of the conversations which will start "Why are you watching my talk page?" and degenerate from there.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:53, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Looks like that does the trick, Dispenser, awesome. Question, is it be possible to have the definition of "active" accepted as a URL token, like 60 days instead of 30? Or is your tool working off a pre-built table? Equazcion (talk) 20:54, 15 Apr 2012 (UTC)
Brilliant stuff Dispenser, that needs to go on the history page, bump off the fossils. Penyulap —Preceding undated comment added 21:32, 15 April 2012 (UTC).
In the meantime I made a script to insert this. It doesn't replace MZMcBride's, just adds a new link after his: User:Equazcion/ActiveWatchers.js. Equazcion (talk) 22:43, 15 Apr 2012 (UTC)
I originally used 30 days to match the automatic log out period, but that's since increased to 180 days. Look at the distribution there is a very rapid fall of watchers after only a few days and a spike around August 27, 2010 which is most likely the WMF Usability update. There's nothing here that operates on 60 day period so there's little point in providing the option. — Dispenser 01:02, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
60 days was just an example. I think people have varying definitions of "active", so the ability to provide that as a parameter would make the tool more versatile. I'm just not familiar with how this works, so I'm wondering if the time period is submitted with the query (meaning it wouldn't be that big a deal to make it variable), or if you're querying some sort of cached table that already has the the total watchers logged in with 30 days. Equazcion (talk) 01:18, 18 Apr 2012 (UTC)
The default for the history page needs changing, whatever the period is, it is better than what is the current calculation done on, 7 years ? more ? If it includes dead wood that is years old, then the current situation is totally pointless, except as an option. The new idea, for a short period, needs to be implemented as the default now and the length of time is better left up to the people who notice the change and then come and comment on it, you'd get a better scope of what people are after that way. Better to speedy do this one, and discuss time and so forth once people take an interest in the change. Penyulap 02:48, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is something admins have access to change, but if they do, there's no reason not to do it immediately. Unfortunately nothing is speedy on Wikipedia though, except maybe response to copyright paranoia. If developer intervention is needed it'll take eons. I'll change my script to replace the link instead of add, in case they want to gadget it and enable by default. All I can do. Equazcion (talk) 04:18, 18 Apr 2012 (UTC)
...done. Equazcion (talk) 04:21, 18 Apr 2012 (UTC)
here, let me lend you a little train, it worked for me when I railroaded Pentrain.gif my bot proposal through early, and this train I will lend you is an extra fast train, so it should railroad your brilliant idea through that much faster. Stands to reason. When you are thinking up blatantly good ideas like this one, you shouldn't be forced to stop everything to lecture and teach, you should be out there doing more. Penyulap 05:48, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Its at MediaWiki:Histlegend, but MZMcBride's watcher lets trusted users see the raw results. It's all dynamic, it could count today's users or those who's last activity was January 9. But a good justification is needed as this could be used as a stalking tool (Are you cheating on your wikibreak). — Dispenser 05:57, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps then a few preset choices could be offered, like 30/60/90/180? If MZMcBride's tool provides functionality that's only accessible to developers, it should continue to be included in their interface, while everyone else should have it changed to the newer tool. Equazcion (talk) 15:03, 18 Apr 2012 (UTC)
It provides a functionality provided to trusted users (as Dispenser said): m:Toolserver/watcher. It would be nice if the two tools could merge into a supertool (so both benefits are provided). Killiondude (talk) 17:19, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I didn't know about that list. I'll have to change the script to link to both again, though I'll keep it compact. Until one combined tool exists, I think both should be linked. Equazcion (talk) 17:49, 18 Apr 2012 (UTC)
I updated my script to display both links. Equazcion (talk) 18:00, 18 Apr 2012 (UTC)
I've started using Equazcion's script, and I'm pretty happy with it. Perhaps someone would update Help:Watchlist to let users know about Dispenser's tool? WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:03, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

I've look at implementing TUSC support and I do not like what I see. The passwords are stored md5(password+tusc_salt), not hash(hash(username+password)+salt), which requires software to work with the password in plain text rather (as opposed to hashing and discarding ASAP). I found a few username/password in the web server's logs. At least one tool stores the password in the cookie (as to keep state across pages). MZ's watcher is smarter, the user is given watcher's internal token which is then hashed with their username. However, the token is the same for all users and doesn't change, allowing replay attacks. And since the backend's written in PHP, I'm suspicious of make_db_safe() function. Lastly, TUSC isn't designed for SUL.

Since I'm hesitant to endorse TUSC and WMF's years away from anything, I'm looking into identifying users with their watchlist token. This method is technically less secure than TUSC can be, but uses a randomly generated token rather than a valuable likely-reused-password. The whitelist will still be around for quickly eliminating comprised accounts. I will consult the Toolserver admins if this is acceptable. — Dispenser 05:32, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Added Authentication with valid watchlist token. TS roots tell me I answer directly to wikimedia-tech if they don't like it. If you're on m:Toolserver/watcher, then Sign in (top right of tool). — Dispenser 21:33, 25 April 2012 (UTC) (Corrections 14:21, 2 May 2012 (UTC))
Who cares who is watching a particular page? I have never understood that and perhaps someone will explain it to me. Thanks. Mugginsx (talk) 10:55, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Generally it's inversely proportional to the mischief you can get away with on that page, the more people watching the less chance you have, or, the better the chance someone will answer your question, consider your proposal and so forth. For users, it's straight infamy, (cough) I mean popularity ? Either people watching to see what you mess up, what you do that's charming, where you need assistance, that kind of thing. For articles, it's to keep an eye on work being done to that article. Either it allows you to check and see each edit is a good edit, and fix up the ones that are not, or just own an article and revert everything that you didn't do. (sigh). I just recently started using it, so I don't return to pages weeks later to find a conversation I started has a response, but rather I can return straight away. It works like that.
So as you can see, it all counts for nothing if the watchers are old ones who have left wikipedia. So Equazcion's has about 100 watchers who wait to see his next brilliant idea, but some of those 100 are going to be found by police slumped over their keyboards in the coming months after the neighbours notice that there have been no signs of life from that apartment for a very long time. You read about it all the time, there are 5 like that watching me, and I need them to stop following me, it's spooky ! (argh! I have to get off the computer. ARGH!!!!) Penyulap 00:23, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I tried to use it in deciding whether or not to quit watching a page, on the theory that if someone else is watching, I needn't. However, it turned out that every page I considered dropping was being watched by nearly nobody, so I no longer check; just drop if vandalism or interesting changes have become rare. Jim.henderson (talk) 00:39, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
How can one tell who is watching their page - or is this something only administrators do? Mugginsx (talk) 11:20, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think anyone but developers and system admins (not to be confused with wikipedia admins) can see that, but generally if someone is watching you, it means they commented at some point on your talk page, so you can get a rough idea that way.
I've found it useful to know how many are watching a page when I'm trying to decide whether I should suggest a change on the talk page first, and if so, how long to wait for comments. If a page has very few watchers, I might be more inclined to implement changes quickly since I anticipate little participation/argument/potential for reverts. I've also checked the number in order to see how much attention I should pay to a page that's been getting vandalism or questionable edits -- if there are lots of watchers I don't have to worry as much, someone else will probably catch things. Just a couple of examples, you get the idea. Equazcion (talk) 11:30, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Evidentally, I stumbled into a discussion that has nothing to do with me. Nevertheless, thank you for your tolerance and your explanation.Mugginsx (talk) 13:12, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
It involves you as much as anyone else here, and your question was perfectly relevant. No worries :) Equazcion (talk) 00:38, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

This idea would make sense. To limit the number of watchers to those active in the last thirty days would help to improve parity between this function and the "Page View Statistics" function. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:14, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

What became of this idea? It seemed a very sensible one to me. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 23:18, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

I took a similar question to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(miscellaneous) - you can look at the outcome there. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 23:22, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Categorization of pages with ticker symbol templates

Recently an auto-categorization function was removed from the stock-exchanges' ticker symbol templates. Although this removal was in line with WP:TEMPLATECAT, it caused depopulation of a number of categories in the series [[Category:Companies listed on the XXX Exchange]]. As a number of companies listed at the stock exchanges and having an article in Wikipedia, is too big to re-categorize these categories manually, maybe it could be possible to use a bot for this. The issue was discussed also here. It concerns all 90 templates listed in Category:Ticker symbol templates. Example of these templates and categories which should be populated by companies which are using relevant ticker symbol templates in their articles, is here:


Beagel (talk) 17:05, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Not every page that uses one of those templates belongs in the corresponding category. See, for example, the use of Template:Amex in List of public REITs, Palisades Water Index, State Street Global Advisors, and Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index. Toohool (talk) 01:18, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion: Change the "administrator" title to a more suitable one

The title "administrator" does not adequately represent an admin's responsibilities and position. Its confusing for newbies (who typically associate an administrator with a website administrator) and there's no denying that it adds a certain aura that makes the position more of a reward than anything else. RfAs !votes are then based on who deserves adminship, rather than who can be trusted to not abuse it. Here are some possible alternatives:

  • Librarian -- per es.wp, better indication of what admins do.
  • Helper -- also better, and would change the ambience of RfAs.

Just something I've wanted to bring up for a while. FeromoneFly (talk) 03:50, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose these alternatives. I would support "moderator". Simply "sysop" could be better, but not everyone knows what that means.--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:07, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Moderator does sound better, change the oppose to a neutral.--Deathlaser :  Chat  12:14, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I've been thinking about this, too. "Admin" is confusing to newbies who think ANI is part of dispute resolution. But I don't care for "Librarian" or "Helper". I'd support "sysop". That not everyone knows what "sysop" means is a good thing, as newbies will be less likely to report someone to admins instead of following WP:DR. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 04:17, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Administrator sounds officious and officey. Librarian is quirkily apt for wikipedia, I like the idea a lot. I do not really like sysop, it sounds Orwellian and un-English. Good luck in trying to change the system, though... --Squidonius (talk) 04:23, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - This is kind of perennial and never goes anywhere. As far as these examples, "Librarians" and "Helpers" help people find/do things, and admins don't really do either of those primarily. Other suggestions have been "janitor" or "custodian" which were somewhat popular. Personally I think the admin position should be done away with -- just because someone is good with content doesn't mean they'll be good at blocking or judging speedy-deletes. There should be "blocker/protectors", "deleters", "interface editors", etc instead. The job is too prolific right now and aside from making RFA even more sucky than it already is, we don't have a way of gauging who will be good at all these things. And why should anyone have to be anyway? Equazcion (talk) 04:28, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: Words like 'Administrators', 'Bureaucrats', 'Arbitrators', etc. are now woven in the Wikipedia framework and they should not be changed without a very specific reason. Personally I find Moderator to be a better option, but it goes against the spirit of NOTFORUM. Also, everything we do on Wikipedia is with the intention to make it a better encyclopedia and I do not think that changing the hard-woven wikispeak is helping us to achieve that goal. EngineerFromVega 06:12, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia has no fixed policies or rules, surely you know that by now.--Deathlaser :  Chat  12:14, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support with change of how user permissions are granted Agree with Equazcion. It is ridiculously easy to create user groups with different powers in mediawiki. Just edit Localsettings. There is no reason not to create groups which can delete, or have other powers separately. BeCritical 06:20, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
    • I agree, rollbackers specialise in fighting vandals, we should make "blockers" who already have rollback and can block users.--Deathlaser :  Chat  12:14, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, there exists no word in the English language describing "people who can block, delete, and protect". Any choice different from "administrator" will be just as arbitrary, and many are worse: "Moderator" implies more content control than admins should have, "sysop" sounds like we actually have deep access to the system, and "librarian" like we're in control of research. We're not precisely in control of administration either, but at least that's the word we have agreed to use for the last couple of years. —Kusma (t·c) 07:21, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
    • It sounds friendlier and people who edit simply to become an admin would be put off.--Deathlaser :  Chat  12:14, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • This proposal is insulting and demeaning to librarians and helpers. Fifelfoo (talk) 07:25, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
    • How is it insulting?--Deathlaser :  Chat  12:14, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
      • I believe it was a joke. And a pretty good one at that. Equazcion (talk) 13:29, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose In addition to the many pages written about this in the past, it would be misleading to hide the fact that an administrator can (and often should) block accounts, and delete or protect pages, and more. That fact should not be hidden behind some cheery title. Johnuniq (talk) 08:01, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Sounds much friendlier.--Deathlaser :  Chat  12:08, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Anyone who doesn't know what a Wikipedia administrators is merely needs to look it up on wikipedia. Mugginsx (talk) 13:35, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Please stop the voting to allow some discussion

Would someone please close the 'vote' so that the idea can be discussed in the form of a discussion, which is more likely to be productive than voting on it, which will inevitably deadlock. Penyulap 08:51, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

See WP:VPD. Equazcion (talk) 10:26, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
sweet, no problem. Penyulap 02:47, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, because I'm feeling ironic. RJH (talk) 14:40, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Indefinite Block for RJH, for being difficult. As for the name issue it's irrelevant really, "administrator" is engrained in the community's collective mind, change it to "Cheese-eating block-monkeys" if you like, (which btw I would Support), people would still say "admins"--Jac16888 Talk 14:52, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Well, if you block me then I'll just leave and do something useful for a change. Ras.gif Regards, RJH (talk) 16:36, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. None of the alternatives above or below, save perhaps "sysop", describe the capabilities and responsibilities of such an editor better than "administrator". These editors administer Wikipedia policies, enforce decisions in some cases, and are responsible for the management and maintenance of incredibly important parts of this place. The title is embedded into this Wikipedia community, and changing the name seems wholly unnecessary. dci | TALK 21:29, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
    • This is supposed to be some sort of a vote, but against the original proposal rather than Penyulap's above. dci | TALK 21:30, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • No change is going to happen here. Benefits of any change are too questionable and ill-defined, and change too hard to make stick since the existing name has a decade of history. A new name can only realistically work for a new role (eg a new bundle of user rights). Rd232 talk 16:08, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

another possible name

What about Custodian. Someone charged with looking after the place and keeping it running. filceolaire (talk)

I quite like Guardian myself, for some role somewhere, I should suggest it to Pesky. That'd be a cool name for the likes of her :) Penyulap 10:18, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
FeromoneFly, your suggestion of librarian would be ideal for many of the admin jobs on commons. It should take hold there first before it takes hold here. Penyulap 10:40, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Librarian denotes a Masters Degree or higher in Library Science. That is out;
Custodian in this context, denotes an Archivist - PhD in some cases. That is also out;
Helper?' Reminds me of elementary school;
Guardian? I am all for a Friendly Wikipedia but I do not think, in this case, there is anything unfriendly to remove;
Hey, I know, what about Administrator? If someone does not know what an Administrator on Wikipedia is, all they have to do is check it out. Mugginsx (talk) 13:35, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I use the term "Janitor." Carrite (talk) 23:47, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Infrastructure engineer. Face-smile.svg Actually I like using custodian in the context of an article's primary authors. Regards, RJH (talk) 14:30, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

The problem here is that the term "Wikipedia administrator" has been around for such a long time now, that it would mean quite radical changes to Wikipedia if we were to change the name. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 23:26, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

I like custodian, because that's what they called the old guy with the mop and bucket when I was in school, and our admin corps spends a lot of its time cleaning up messes. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:40, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

propose rename to "men in white coats"

rather than 'blockers' Penyulap 14:16, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

How about "men who stare at articles for deletion"? dci | TALK 21:42, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I have a feeling those of the not-men persuasion might take exception to that title. DarkAudit (talk) 11:38, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

At the Dutch Wikipedia we use "moderator". Multichill (talk) 17:26, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Giving birth to Wikipedia:Requested moves/Closure review?

This proposal has been existing for weeks, and it needs broader attention than it already has. Lately, there may have been disagreements about move consensus, especially in WT:RM, WT:Disambiguation, and closers' user talk pages. Shall this be either supported or opposed? --George Ho (talk) 04:37, 19 May 2012 (UTC)




  • I'm supportive of a closure review process, but I'm not sure if the current proposal is fleshed out enough to start voting on. Did you ask the users who had been drafting the proposal whether they thought it was ready for primetime? Jenks24 (talk) 06:08, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
    • No. --George Ho (talk) 06:09, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
    • I concur that the current proposal is not ready for prime time. I would like to see more input to shape how this would operate. I don't sense any basic opposition to the concept. However I can see serious discussions as we try to flesh out the skeleton that exists. Personally I'd like to see more input into shaping the process. If the pointer here helps to do that then I'm supportive of it. Vegaswikian (talk) 06:29, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Introduce "blockers"

We should introduce blockers who specialize in only fighting vandals. A good alternative to them becoming admins.--Deathlaser :  Chat  12:16, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Support, per nom.--Deathlaser :  Chat  12:17, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Strongest Oppose Its much too dangerous. If he is trusted like a admin, get him nominated at RFA. Thats a good idea. Dipankan (Have a chat?) 12:39, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose for reason given directly above. With the authority should come the vetting the way administrators are vetted, i.e., this authority should only be given to administrators. Mugginsx (talk) 13:36, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Even though everyone will be all like, "Blocking ability with no RFA?!?!?! Blasphemer!" consensus on this is pretty much out. I like it anyway though (as it was my idea to begin with). Incremental rights people prove their ability to handle, and that can be removed just as easily if it doesn't work out, (eg. rollbacker, autopatroller, filemover, etc) have been working very well. Much better than adminship ever did, in my view. Let's try this one out. Equazcion (talk) 13:34, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Maybe, but only if they are limited to short blocks, and can only unblock short blocks. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:47, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Blocking arguably carries greater potential to cause lasting harm than any other administrative act does. Anyone who can be entrusted with this tool can be trusted to be an administrator. —David Levy 13:52, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Admins are given permanent and broad discretion. I believe this proposal is to grant a tenuous ability on the provision that it only be used where blatantly appropriate, and only in vandal cases. Equazcion (talk) 13:59, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
      • Have you seen the fights um I mean "discussions" over what is and is not appropriate for Wikipedia? Reality-the eye of the beholder. Mugginsx (talk) 15:19, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
        • Vandal blocks are very rarely contentious. Editors are blocked uncontroversially many times per day at WP:AIV where the call is often obvious. The battles that break out are over other types of blocks. Equazcion (talk) 15:31, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
          • The vandals in question are blocked by users trusted by the community to determine when such a measure is appropriate (i.e. users sufficiently trustworthy to be administrators). —David Levy 18:42, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment – Would their "logo" be a Lemming? --MuZemike 16:15, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but only because it is a perennial proposal. While I like the concept of a blocker-only user, the blocking tool is a very powerful tool that is only given to especially trusted users (administrators). If a person has enough trust to be given the blocking tool, then he/she has enough trust to become a full-administrator. That said, such a user-right could be useful for those people interested in becoming an admin, where they could try some of the admin tools at least on a temporary basis to gain some admin experience. It would have worked with admin coaching, but sadly it's now inactive. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 13:48, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose AIV is not backlogged to the point where we need to get more people with this userright. If someone wants to have the ability to block someone to help with the fight against vandalism, become an admin. --Jayron32 16:38, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Opppose as a perennial proposal. We've got enough bureaucracy here, we don't need more. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:04, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: saying that it is a perennial proposal alone does not imply that it can not achieve consensus now either unless it is a complete WP:SNOW case. The proposal for introducing the right is reasonable and uncontroversial as it is limited to vandals. See my proposal for checks to limit it to vandals only below. --lTopGunl (talk) 18:11, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
    • On what do you base the assertion that the proposal is "uncontroversial"? —David Levy 18:42, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
      • The fact that repeat vandals should be blocked. There's no disagreement on it. Now if it is done by some one other than admins, is simply taking down the workload. I don't think blocking actual vandals is controversial at all. Blocking other newbies who are adding original research is... and that should be excluded from the scope of the right. Simple as that. The users holding the right will know at the point of flagging that such misuse will result in removal. --lTopGunl (talk) 19:04, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
        • No one asserts that "blocking actual vandals is controversial". But identifying and acting on such a situation requires a high level of trust — that which an administrator possesses.
          I don't know why you keep mentioning original research, the insertion of which usually doesn't even resemble vandalism (while other good-faith edits, particularly on the part of an inexperienced user, sometimes do).
          This proposal clearly isn't "uncontroversial". —David Levy 19:27, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

proposal to introduce blockers who can only block for 6hours

Admins are given many other rights like file mover, autopatrolled, same of which are not needed by a vandal fighter, specially if that's what they only do

So I suggest we introduce blockers who can only block for 6hours., as nom

support, as nom.--Deathlaser :  Chat  15:10, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

oppose In the end it will only make MORE work for the administrators who will have to intervene.Mugginsx (talk) 15:24, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Why? How often do we block vandals for 6 hours? What exactly does this or the proposal above achieve, I wasn't aware we were so overrun with vandals that we so desperately need more people to block them. Not to mention this is a perennial proposal: Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Hierarchical structures--Jac16888 Talk 15:27, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Oppose One of the reasons vandal blocking is uncontroversial is that it is restricted to users who have passed the high bar of RFA. The comparative error rate among less experienced users with Rollback or Huggle in handling vandalism reversion is significantly higher then the rate of error in vandal blocking. MBisanz talk 16:41, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

No one suggested Rollback or Huggle rights would be the bar-to-entry for this rights group. Equazcion (talk) 19:13, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Comment People are terrified of splitting the admin tools away from the oh-so-pleasant gauntlet known as RFA. Look at WP:Tool apprenticeship, which got shot down like a pay-raise for teachers. Angryapathy (talk) 17:29, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Withdraw and I wish I never started it.--Deathlaser :  Chat  19:41, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Nah. That's the nature of new ideas; sometimes they pan out, sometimes they don't. As Edison allegedly said, "We now know a thousand ways not to build a lightbulb". Regards, RJH (talk) 00:31, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
edison ? eww see my userpage please. Penyulap 16:17, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Also I can attest to having been through more than a few proposals that got rejected again and again but eventually did get implemented once people got more used to the new concepts. People are resistant to change. Letting a non-admin perform blocks is one of the biggest changes you could've possibly proposed. Even if it winds up being a good idea, it'll probably take at least a few tries before people start to consider it seriously. You might try WP:VPD which was started to overcome some of the closed-mindedness that occurs regularly on this page. Equazcion (talk) 00:40, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
      • How about this. Let's simply have a straw poll with only certain responses possible.--Jasper Deng (talk) 02:13, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
        • Thanks for not mocking me, the straw poll is a great idea.--Deathlaser :  Chat  16:07, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Straw poll

You may only !vote for one of the following:

  1. Whoever can be trusted with any of the tools can be trusted with all of them - regardless of the reason he/she becomes an admin.
  2. A new usergroup for vandal-fighters is needed (you do not have to specify the tools) and should be assigned in a process no more controversial than a simple RfP
  3. A new usergroup for vandal-fighters is needed but should be assigned in a process similar to RfA.
  4. An existing usergroup like Rollback should be given the block button (specify the group).
  5. It's unnecessary bureaucracy.
  • I support #3, because AIV needs to be freed up so that we don't have hours-long backlogs and so administrators can work on RPP, AfD and CSD instead. Deletions usually can wait, but blocking vandals, especially blatantly obvious sockpuppets, often cannot.--Jasper Deng (talk) 02:13, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support #1. They are trustworthy, or not. Trustworthy to be careful, responsible, to learn from mistakes, or they are not. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:54, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support #5. Unncessary bureaucracy that the Administrators will have to clean up after. Mugginsx (talk) 13:11, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support #3, To free AIV and focus on CSD,NPP and Afd.--Deathlaser :  Chat  16:05, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support #1: The only use for this right is to reduce the workload on admins working at AIV. There is never a significant backlog at AIV. --Jayron32 16:38, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
  • #1 and #5. It's both unnecessary WP:CREEP and one of the most contentious responsibilities of administrators. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:04, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support #1. We entrust our administrators with multiple tools, tools that are evidence supporting our trust in them. Someone who is given the power to block other users from editing should have that trust. However, I wouldn't really be bothered by a solution resembling #3. dci | TALK 21:35, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support #5 If its going to be a process like RfA, why not go to RfA. SpinningSpark 10:15, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support #2 with the condition that the users with this right can only block users with edit-count below 100 (or another such limit) so that it is limited to vandals. Quick removal ofcourse if it is intentionally misused on newbies with genuine edits. The AIV itself might not have a backlog but other areas do. Admins freed from AIV can then work on those like Jasper Deng said. See proposal below. --lTopGunl (talk) 18:11, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
    • You've proposed that the tool's application be limited to the editors whose good-faith contributions are most likely to be mistaken for vandalism, who also are the users most likely abandon the project if blocked inappropriately (whether intentionally or unintentionally). —David Levy 18:42, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
      • Actually that applies to the whole idea in the first place and that's why it should be given to the users with a good understanding of what is a pure vandalism edit and what is simple WP:OR and not vandalism. I've replied in detail below. --lTopGunl (talk) 18:58, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • #1 and #5. Anyone trustworthy enough to possess the "block" tool in any form can be trusted with all of the sysop tools. And yes, the proposed setups would introduce unnecessary bureaucracy. —David Levy 18:42, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support #2 on the grounds that the utility of individual tools is currently hamstrung by the arduous process needed to put those tools in the hands of those who can use them effectively. bd2412 T 11:52, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Proposal to limit the blockable users to edit count < 100 and a max time of 1 week

I propose that such right be given with a simple process like RFP with a positive judgement by atleast 2 admins on the user to have the right. The blockable users should be limited to those with edit count less than 100 (or another suitable limit) to reduce error and limit it to vandals only. The block time should however be a max of 1 week. Quick removal ofcourse if it is intentionally misused on newbies with genuine edits. --lTopGunl (talk) 18:11, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose. You've proposed that the tool's application be limited to the editors whose good-faith contributions are most likely to be mistaken for vandalism, who also are the users most likely abandon the project if blocked inappropriately (whether intentionally or unintentionally). —David Levy 18:42, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
No, it is for pure vandalism only and should be clarified to the users with the right. I think the proposal is clarified now. As for the rest, it is actually the same that has been proposed in the main section, just with a little preventive margin as editors with more edits are not very likely to vandalize. --lTopGunl (talk) 18:55, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Block length restriction is counter productive. The clearest cases of logged in vandalism should result in indef blocks as vandalism only accounts. Repeat IP vandals should get escalating blocks, which quickly exceed 1 week. In both cases, which represent both the clearest cases and a large portion of all vandal blocking, the tool provided would not allow for an appropriate block length, requiring review and block extension by a full admin, at which point, its not much better then reporting to AIV. At the same time, much of the potential damage that an admin can do blocking can still be inflicted under the tool, so you have the worst of both worlds. Monty845 19:08, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Well said. —David Levy 19:27, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I'll slightly disagree over indeffing logged in vandals right away without first giving a short block as I've seen many users actually just testing in the main space and not checking their user page for warning messages (however I do agree that it can be done by an indef block and later unblock after showing of understanding too). Other wise I agree about the point about block length restriction. As for the "worst from the other world", I don't think an experienced editor who has not gone through RFA can differentiate (or make a mistake) while blocking for vandalism an any less than an admin. To check for such, the two admins reviewing can simply ask questions on the matter (other than reviewing editor's contributions like other permissions) to know how well the user understands and reject or accept on those basis. --lTopGunl (talk) 21:23, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
An editor whose understanding of the blocking policy is flawless might nonetheless behave carelessly, sloppily, immoderately, mischievously or vindictively. RfA's purpose is to ensure that an editor is trustworthy, not merely knowledgeable. —David Levy 23:38, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, right. Malleus Fatuorum 20:38, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
No, it is for pure vandalism only and should be clarified to the users with the right.
I don't know what distinction you're drawing. (I've seen good-faith edits mistaken for "pure vandalism" on many occasions.)
You can set whatever restrictions you want, and it won't prevent honest mistakes from occurring. To mitigate this problem, we limit the tool's use to editors with a high level of trust. Such individuals are inherently trustworthy enough to be administrators.
As for the rest, it is actually the same that has been proposed in the main section, just with a little preventive margin as editors with more edits are not very likely to vandalize.
I oppose that version of the proposal too. —David Levy 19:27, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
If you oppose the proposal to introduce such right at all in the first place, I rest my case for that matter on whatever I have replied. For the honest mistakes, the admins can also make mistakes. RFA doesn't make them a supper human, just checks their understanding of the matters which the reviewing admins in this case would do for just the understanding of vandalism. --lTopGunl (talk) 21:23, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Of course admins make mistakes. Everyone does. That's why I used the word "mitigate", not "eliminate". Restricting blocking to administrators minimizes the errors' quantity and severity.
I don't believe that a hypothetical "blocker" permission should require a lesser degree of trust or narrower understanding of Wikipedia than the "admin" permission does. (This relates to my previously expressed views on the unreasonable expectations that have evolved at RfA, which I believe the advent of permissions such as "blocker" and "page protector" would exacerbate.) —David Levy 23:38, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Comment: this is the sort of idea which should really be discussed at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab) first, to give it at least a sliver of a chance. Let people kick the tyres before taking it on the road. You might get people more willing to explore what the point is you're getting at - what the problem is you're trying to solve. Rd232 talk 19:06, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree this needs more discussion before we have straw votes. Here's my thought: maybe create a group of "block recommenders" who would assemble the case for a block, with diffs showing the problem behavior and needed warnings. These would be reviewed by admins who would issue the actual block if they felt it was warranted and provide feedback if not. I see no obstacle to setting something like this up since there would be no special powers granted to the block recommenders. As they learn what's required and demonstrate their ability to make sound recommendations, they would be in a stronger position to apply for admin status, since we'd have a record of their tool judgements to go by.--agr (talk) 17:05, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Anyone can do that at the moment. Normal vandal fighters do that already. Why would there be any need of a group such as this? --lTopGunl (talk) 17:53, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
We have this. It's called WP:AIV, WP:AN, or WP:ANI, depending on the precise situation at hand. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:23, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support at least for the block editors with less than 100 edits. Though I don't see much point in the one week limit. Controversial blocks are invariably of regular editors who would not be affected by this. As for why we will need to do this or something like it; We have hundreds fewer admins than we had at peak and with RFA broken beyond hope of reform there is no prospect of stabilising the number of admins. AIV needs to be staffed 24/7 and as the number of admins falls that will become increasingly difficult, unbundling the block button is probably the easiest and least contentious option available to us. But it does need to be programmaticly controlled, otherwise we'll have people invoking IAR to defend blocking someone on 120 edits, or 120,000 and very badly behaved. ϢereSpielChequers 14:59, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Will only need checking for misuse on newbies, if the blocking can be made technically impossible for 100+ editcount users. The 1 week limit was just an idea, no problem with removing it from the proposal. --lTopGunl (talk) 15:34, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
If you agree with my argument feel free to strike that bit of your proposal. My thinking is that it is the actuality of a block that rankles - length is less of an issue. When people block for excessive lengths of time it easy enough to appeal and get the time reduced. But the sort of blocks that these editors would be meting out would mostly be very short ones for IPs and indef ones for vandalism only accounts. If they could only block for a week that would mean an admin having to go through the blocks and where appropriate lengthen them to indef. So a one week block system wouldn't greatly help with the growing shortage of admins, though it would potentially give us some cover at times when there were no admins and yet we needed to block someone. But unbundling block for editors with <100 edits would mean we no long had to always have at least one admin around, so this would postpone the problem of not having enough admins for years. ϢereSpielChequers 20:26, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
So if admins have to go through the blocks then where's the benefit? Malleus Fatuorum 20:37, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Well they don't have to now, as I've retracted the time limit. See below. --lTopGunl (talk) 21:03, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I agree about the timing (struck the part)... the thing is that we should build up the proposal such that the objections above are dealt with. The non contentious vandal blocks can be easily judged by even rollbackers (though I do not mean to propose that we use the same user group or give the rights to the same people without a check by admins). I however stand by a positive judgement being made by two or more admins. This significantly solves issues about unambiguous vandalism. There are many areas of project which need more admins and clearing up AIV will help. I don't know whether giving the unblock right for the same is justified (or needed?) or not. --lTopGunl (talk) 21:00, 20 May 2012 (UTC)