Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive AA

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Semi-Protection restrictions for new Users

I hope I have read the rules properly, and that this is the right place to propose this: An account must be four days old before it can edit a semi-protected page. I am tired of Users creating an account, waiting for four or five days, and then vandalize a protected page. This User: Oliviagundry created an account on the 29th of December, waited, and then vandalized the Paris Hilton page, which is semi-protected. I propose that we change the days from 4 to 10. This change won't stop all Users from vandalizing, but I'm thinking that a lot of Users might lose their will to vandalize if they have to wait 10 days to edit a semi-protected page. Acalamari 04:32, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

To prevent sleeper socks from vandalising semi-protected articles, I have previously suggested we change the autoconfirmed suffrage from 4 days to X edits. (A value of X should be decided later, but should not be lower than 20 or higher than 100.)
Consider the possibility that someone may create an account with the sole purpose of contributing to (not vandalising) a semi-protected article. Increasing the length of time they would have to wait would discourage them.
Requiring X edits would discourage vandals while being friendlier to contributors. A vandal has to make X non-vandalistic edits to vandalise a semi-protected article (if their first X edits are vandalistic, they can be blocked). A contributor could use their first X edits to learn about Wikipedia (by, for example, asking questions and experimenting with markup) and discuss on the article's talk page (assuming it's not semi=protected as well).
--J.L.W.S. The Special One 05:56, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
The obvious problems with the X edits as the criterion is that a user can make the required X edits to his own user or talk page (just hit the save button X times on your own user page). I believed the correct decision would be to have "Y days after the Xth edit)" or even "Y days after the Xth edit outside the user space)". The Wiki way IMHO would be to flag "established users" (non-novice) manually by any established user and deflagging by admins. I believe it was proposed but rejected as generating to much drama Alex Bakharev 08:37, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure increasing the number of days would be especially effective - they don't have to do anything with the account in this time, just leave it as a "sleeper", so they'll just wait a bit longer and then do it. I feel it's more likely to annoy the anons who sign up in order to contribute to a sprotected article, and have to wait even longer. The edit count limit makes more sense to me (especially if it excludes edits in user space and perhaps sandbox), although I suppose that could also annoy anons. Trebor 09:16, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
An article is semi-protected for a reason. If we can cut down on vandalism to those pages by making more restrictions, I think it should be done. I've seen articles like Paris Hilton and the Michael Richards get vandalized by accounts four days old. Whether we make it a number of edits (User Page and User Talk Page edits not counted) or increase the number of days to wait, something should be done. Acalamari 16:04, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I think that extending the number of days (say, to 10) would be more effective than adding an edit requirement. Someone intent enough on vandalizing to set up an account days in advance will presumably be able to figure out how to do a number of trivial edits really quickly, negating the usefulness of any edit count requirement.
The absolutely best approach to eliminating vandalism would be to do what is done at Metafilter.com - you pay a one-time fee of $5 to get a login/account, which isn't refundable even if your account gets permanently blocked after its first day of use. But Wikipedia is built around minimal (aka "virtually no") barriers to editing, for better or worse, so that kind of entry fee isn't likely to be implemented in anything resembling the near future. John Broughton | Talk 20:12, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Although I like the idea, I am quite certain that the Wiki community will not sanction the idea of a fee, either refundable or non-refundable, to open an account. How about combining the various ideas outlined above, and make the requirement for editing semi-protected pages that the editor must have an account, must have had it for at least ten days, and must have made (say) twenty edits in that time, none to his own userpage or talkpage?--Anthony.bradbury 20:24, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I am opposed to an entry fee. If one was instated, I, and many other Users, would probably have our accounts blocked, as we wouldn't have paid/will not pay. Also, there will still be anonymous editors, unless they are all blocked. However, I agree with Anthony.bradbury in combining ideas. The requirements to edit a semi-protected page should be something like this: having an account, ten days old, with fifty edits that have been done to articles, and not to any User or Talk/User Talk pages. Acalamari 21:20, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Does anyone have anything else to say on this subject? Acalamari 03:54, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I would think that a much longer waiting period would probably suffice and serious new editors know that proposed additions to the articles' talk pages, or requests for temporary unlocking, would get their edits added quicker. I would also like to propose something of a chaperoned registration, wherein an established user or admin could vouch for a new user so as to bypass the waiting period. The "drama" might be avoided by having the authorization happen at the time of the registration, either by a code given to the new user by the sponsor or the sponsor registers the username for the user. Grika 04:45, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Please explain this more. Forgive me for sounding stupid, but I don't quite understand what you mean. Acalamari 16:42, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
The idea needs some fleshing out, but it would mean either adding a "Code" field to the "Create account" page wherein the user would enter a code that established users and admins can generate or perhaps easier would be to add a "Sponsor user" link to the toolbox that brings established users and admins to a "Create account" page and displays an error/info page for everyone else. Grika 03:29, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the proposal as modified here. Any obvious vandalism by a user reverts them back to a new user status. Ronbo76 04:49, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Good idea; if they vandalize, they get lowered back to new user status and are given a minor block. How about this extension of that suggestion: if they return to being able to edit semi-protected pages, and they vandalize again, they are permanently lowered to the new user status, and are given a longer block. Acalamari 16:42, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Pure edit count is obviously not sufficient protection because people can just dick around on their user page. Even pure edit count plus waiting period has the problem that they can just dick around on their user page then go sleeper. On the other hand if we only look at the edit count in mainspace, then someone just making junk edits might at least pick up some talk page warnings before they go sleeper. —Dgiest c 17:22, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
We already countered for this: edits to User or Talk Pages don't count towards being able to edit semi-protected pages. Acalamari 17:58, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Or, they could make a bunch of small edits, such as changing the wording about the way a sentence was worded, adding links, or adding unnecessary words that might kind of sort of in a way fluff up a somewhat long article that was pretty big and large ;-) . That really wouldn't be to difficult for someone who wanted to vandalize a page. --Tewy 00:46, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Is it technically possible to so arrange that an editor guilty of, say, three vandalisms can never, ever edit a semi-protected page? And if it is technically possible, is it a reasonable idea? We could allow an appeal to a beaurocrat in the case of demonstrable and sustained repentance.--Anthony.bradbury 14:09, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't know; it'll have to be looked up or asked about. Acalamari 18:46, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
OK. But is it a reasonable idea?--Anthony.bradbury 22:22, 7 JanuaAry 2007 (UTC)
I don't think so. People change, you know. Since we block to prevent further damage, it is sound that if an editor is vandalizing a semi-protected page, he should not be allowed to further edit it. But I don't believe in "infinite" punishments. This would be a "semi-block", something that should be available for admins, but by no means an infinite measure (if such is the case, block him for vandalizing directly). -- ReyBrujo 22:36, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Just a thought - in addition to being blocked from editing that particular page, how about going immediately to a final warning after vandalizing a semi-blocked page? Part of the block notice could mention something like"This page will be strictly monitored for detrimental changes, vandalism could result in your account being blocked from editing" I would apply this only to clear vandalism, nonsense edits could be handled the normal way. Citicat 03:12, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
If vandalising a semi-protected page is their first edit, the block time should be a lot longer than if they have some legitimate edits. Someone doing genuine edits first may do vandalism, but does not deserve as strict a punishment. Seldon1 00:24, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Slightly off-topic, but is this discussion going to get moved? There has been at lot of talk here, and I'm wondering if this is going to be moved to an appropriate Talk Page, as it will be deleted within the next day or two. Acalamari 00:25, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

A Composer's works

Is there a policy or guide line concerning how a composer's works should be listed in an article? For instance on the John Coolidge Adams page the works are listed by form and then by date of composition with the date first. However on the Steve Reich page they are listed only by date but with the date at the end of the entry. If there is no guide line about this could one be made to help standardize things? S.dedalus 00:16, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Probably best to discuss this at Wikipedia:WikiProject Composers. User:Zoe|(talk) 00:30, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Displaying age on bio articles

Has anyone ever suggested some function be built to use the birth and death dates on biographical articles to calculate the age of the subject? It would be nice to look at, say, Jimmy Carter and see (born October 1, 1924; current age 82) or Gerald Ford and see (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr., July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006; deceased at age 93). Parentheticals after subject names would need to be standardized, but I personally think that they need to be cleaned up anyway (they're often quite cluttered with nicknames). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tysto (talkcontribs) 16:59, 8 January 2007 (UTC).

I think I've seen a template that does that, but I can't remember where I saw it. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:20, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
{{birth date and age}}? -- ReyBrujo 17:30, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
That's it, thanks, ReyBrujo. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:45, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh, cool. It looks like others are working on perhaps making this a standard. Thanks! --Tysto 18:08, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't like this, because it adds information that dates easily. If someone prints a copy of an article with this, it's guaranteed to become wrong. There's way too many people who disagree with me though. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 18:52, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Isn't there a category or tag to specifically exclude items like this from being printed? Something similar to Category:Unprintworthy redirects? —Quiddity 20:59, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
{{noprint}}, I've put in to have it included. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 21:17, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Recruiting New Article Writers

I hope I wrote this in the right spot, I'm a little confused.

I propose a campaign to encourage University professors to either require or encourage their students to submit or edit articles.

In the same way that professors often have research exercises to help students learn how to properly research and use citations, they can require their students to submit an article to the Wikipedia project as an assignment. The professor could teach students the proper method, style, and policies for submitting to Wikipedia, and review the material before or soon after its post in order to quickly correct or resolve mistakes. The topics for articles could be decided by the teacher, perhaps something related to the course. This assignment could be a good exercise for students to study published material regarding a topic to establish a firm understanding before they attempt to create their own original essays based on that information. It might also be a way to encourage academics to contribute to Wikipedia, perhaps helping to make it a habit.

The campaign itself would most likely involve emailing or contacting college campuses throughout the world asking for their participation. Perhaps if a clearly defined description of the campaign, a description of how to contribute to Wikipedia, and sample guidlines on how to administer such an assignment were given it would make it easier and more likely for professors to participate. While Wikipedia is growing more credible as an academic source, perhaps this would be a good way to help the academic world embrace it more fully. What do you think? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Morphix18 (talkcontribs) 15:26, 8 January 2007 (UTC).

  • Well, this can sometimes be problematic, it has happened before. It's best if those involved truly understand that stuff added to articles should be referenced to published sources. There should also be some oversight, e.g. the prof and his TAs take responsibility if any messes are created because of their assignment. Beyond that, a good place to start is Wikipedia:List of encyclopedia topics which lists good topics about which we don't have articles yet. But with 1.5m articles, what doesn't have an article yet is usually very obscure... a better focus might be improving articles that need references, rewrites, etc. E.g. find a below average article and add 5-10 referenced paragraphs. --W.marsh 17:55, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Actually, we have a lot of good articles on obscure/semi-obscure topics. What we really have trouble with is good general overview articles for hugely mainstream topics, like the main ones for areas of science, or something like horse or human. Everybody thinks they know something about it and so they end up making edits that degrade the quality. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 18:54, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
      • Well uh, that's kind of what I said. A lot of what we are missing in 2007 are articles on like like state senators from the 1920s and TV shows that aired for 10 episodes in 1982 in France. While certainly I think we'll get to these eventually, long gone are days where truly missing articles were a primary concern. But at the same time perfecting a general topic article is a daunting task and requires, almost counter intuitively, a great deal of familiarity with the topic and with encyclopedia article writing as opposed to just general knowledge, as with so much information to cover in 3-5,000 words, it takes a lot of finesse to do it well. Anyway, a good an approachable project for college students would be to take articles from say, Category:All articles lacking sources, and expand/rewrite to include sourced information. --W.marsh 19:36, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
      • They could also have a look at the vital articles, some of which need a lot of work. Trebor 20:54, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Content in tooltip of links

I wanted to suggest that the tooltip that appears when I pause my mouse on a link to a different article in Wikipedia, will show the first sentence of the article (the short description of the subject), instead of showing the article name.

the reasons for this change are -

  1. I can see the name of the article in the URL in the status bar (at least in IE, I don't know about other browsers).
  2. It will save the need for opening a new page to read the definition of every term you don't understand.

I hope I was clear... I don't know if it is implementable, and if so - in a user friendly way, but I hope it is. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 212.143.88.130 (talk) 07:46, 8 January 2007 (UTC).

Registered users can install popups (if their browser doesn't have a pop-up blocker, that is). --J.L.W.S. The Special One 08:05, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I would rather like that to be there in Category pages. Vjdchauhan 09:52, 8 January 2007 (UTC).
Popups works for category pages as well. Tra (Talk) 17:33, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
popup blockers have no effect on wikipedia popups, because they don't open a new window. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 20:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

United Nations

What is the possibility of Wikipedia, and I’m talking here about Wikipedia only because I’m not familiar with the other wiki projects, to become a part of the United Nations programs? Which means to be fully financially supported by UN?
For me it makes perfect sense: Money-wise - every citizen, supposedly, in a country pays their taxes, every country pays to UN - so each one of us is going to contribute financially; Humankind-wise - world without borders, knowledge for all, etc. And which county is going to say "NO" to an opportunity that would let the others know more about its history, culture, tradition, geography, etc?
P.S. If there has been a discussion on this topic please provide me with a link, i couldn't find any in the archive. -- Boris 21:14, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Given the reputation of the United Nations for bureaucracy, lack of decisiveness, incompetence, and corruption, I'd say the chances of the Wikimedia Foundation, which owns this place, agreeing to hand over its keys to the UN are pretty close to nil. John Broughton | Talk 02:55, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
As, for that matter, is the chance of the incompetent, indecisive, unimaginative, directionless, impotent United Nations wanting to take wikipedia on board. --Anthony.bradbury 22:12, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Depending on the point of view one could easily say these things for Wikipedia as well. -- Boris 22:39, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Category Lacking: Jewelry Design

I am working on several projects about great jewelry designers ranging from Celinni, Castelani, Lalique, Tiffany, Boucheron, Belperon Jensen and Andreasen. I am begging to see that Wiki is lacking in the area of Functional Art.

You have no category for Jewelry Designers under the main category of Design. To whom can I address this problem?

thanks, Archie Martin 01:53, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

This is when we paste a {{sofixit}} template :-) You can read some about them at Wikipedia:Categorization. If no similar category exists, and you think it is going to be important, then just go to Category:Jewelry designers, add some text like This category is intended to hold jewelry designers or akind, then save it. And done, the category is created. Remember to categorize the category (maybe Category:Jewelry and Category:Designers, in example) so that the category is not orphaned. And finally, add Category:Jewelry designers to the articles you think qualify to be there. -- ReyBrujo 02:04, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Ehem... while checking the categories I wikilinked, I found Category:Jewellery designers... is that the one you want? -- ReyBrujo 02:05, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Performers by performance

Notice: Please see Wikipedia talk:Overcategorization#Performers by Performance et al., for a "CfD-like" discussion about categorisation of performers by performance. - jc37 21:44, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Researchers Audit Trail function

I suggest adding an "Audit trail" function for researchers.

The function, when turned on, would record all the areas visited by the researcher and allow him/her to then, when the trail is turned off, download (or save) the audit trail in order that they can come back to the same articles in a convenient manner.

Why? Wiki's power is a negative in that if one is doing research it is often inconvenient/time consuming to find the same articles/chapters again. One can cover a lot of ground due to the hyperlinks and references.

I'm not a web programmer, but the way I would see it implemented is a "button" to turn on the audit trail, thence every article visited (title and link) would be recorded in an html file with the titles and embedded links. Possibly a very brief resumé of each article would be written into the audit trail.

When complete, the researcher would "turn off" the audit trail. (A "pause" button could also be considered as well as "resume later").

Alternately a button that says "Add to audit trail" can be presented on the left and the current article would be added to the current audit trail.

Thank you for your attention and consideration.

Alanbrowne 16:03, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

You could do this with the browser history function, by filtering it to show the pages visited in en.wikipedia.org Tra (Talk) 16:08, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

User option to make "Show preview" default button on edit form?

I find myself often clicking "Save" by accident when I have not really finished editing. This leads to multiple edits. I propose that there should at least be a user preference to choose the default button, if it is not made the universal default. This would be extremely beneficial, I think, to new users, and to users like myself who click first, think second.

I don't know the technicalities of the mediaWiki software, but I presume that this is possible. -- Jonabofftalk 10:07, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)‎ would probably be a better place to discuss this - among other things, that page is monitored by the Wikimedia Foundation programmers.
Also, changing your default so that there must be an edit summary would help, if you haven't done that and if your style is to wait to add an edit summary until you're done with previewing. Then inadvertently hitting "Save" would just generate a request for the edit summary, rather than doing the save. John Broughton | Talk 15:20, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I will post this in the tech page. And to answer you, I have set that option, but I tend to make changes, then make changes, click save again accidentally; of course it only returns the no history prompt once, and so this does mean there are half the number of edits, I suppose.
I suppose that I am trying to use MediaWiki to repair my own faults, but there must be others out there with a similar problem...
If this was implemented, it would bring the guideline to show preview into line with the guidline to provide edit history, as both would provide warnings.

Thanks, Jonabofftalk

21:31, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Remove the Glossariea

In going through List of glossaries, I noticed that it is really just a list of definitions with a little additional material to put it in context & link to some Wikipedia articles. (which is what a glossary is) But it doesn't seem to fit into an encyclopedia. A glossary is typically found in a textbook. Therefore, I propose to basically move the Wikipedia Glossary to one of the sister projects, either Wiktionary, Wikibooks, or Wikiversity. This would remove unnecessary pages from Wikipedia, while expanding one of its sister projects. Thank you.--Wikiphilia 03:59, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I think you misunderstand the purpose of Wikipedia:Glossary, which is intended as a glossary of common terms used in community pages and discussions (such as talk pages and deletion discussions), not as an actual encyclopedia article or general glossary. It's in the Wikipedia namespace to separate it from the encyclopedia. BryanG(talk) 04:43, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
I think what's being suggested is removal of glossaries like Backgammon glossary, Neon Genesis Evangelion glossary, and Glossary of poetry terms. My guess is that editors feel they're needed because it avoids (in theory) having to define terms in articles, and that having them in Wikipedia provides more control. But I've not used or contributed to them, so that's just a guess.John Broughton | Talk 03:01, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
In fact, this proposal was recently discussed at Talk:List of glossaries --- John Broughton | Talk 03:06, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Which sister project should move the glossaries to? Or are we going to create Wikisary? --J.L.W.S. The Special One 14:33, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
  • If a list of terms is purely dicdefs, it does belong in wiktionary. If it has actual encyclopedic content, leave it here. >Radiant< 13:49, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Better inform new users of notability requirements

I've recently started reading AfD debates. A significant number of articles that end up there were authored by users completely unaware that Wikipedia has notability requirements.

When new users create new pages, is there some way to provide a prominent link to the notability guidelines? Hopefully this would 1)discourage articles on non-notable subjects, and 2)help prepare editors who are writing on notable subjects, but don't realize they have to provide evidence of notability in the article. I've seen a couple of AfDs that seemed like throwing good-faith editors of potentially good articles "to the wolves".

Since I didn't try to create new articles as a new user, maybe this is already in place and I'm just not aware of it? Not sure how I would be able to determine that, but hopefully others here will know. Lyrl Talk C 20:36, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I use {{nn-test}}, {{empty-warn}} {{nn-warn}} and {{nn-warn-deletion}} after deletion. -- ReyBrujo 20:45, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I think she meant for a warning on the actual page, before they even clicked Save and started the page? --Tewy 20:53, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps you should add something about notability to MediaWiki:Newarticletext? Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 21:45, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I was actually hoping for something specifically targeted to new users, but the template Night Gyr pointed out will do. (Thanks!) I've started a discussion on its talk page. Lyrl Talk C 01:34, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I support the idea of including a sentence about notability to the template Night Gyr noted. If newcomers knew about Wikipedia's notability requirements, they are less likely to create articles on non-notable topics, new page patrollers would have less work to do. We should discuss what the exact phrasing of the sentence would be. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 14:25, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Buffy location proposal

I copied this proposal over from WP:BUFFY because nobody seems to be around to go one way or the other on this. I put it there because I don't know anything about Buffy stuff, and I wanted to give people who know the material the right to voice their opinions on the subject. As the proposal says, after debate across the four below articles this is what I propose:

The following below 4 articles have been nominated for deletion. As these articles stand now they are un-referenced (making verifiability difficult) and full of what is arguably original research. After a discussion on the varied AFD pages, we are now talking about making a single page where they may better be looked after under one roof. This would enable important locations in the Buffy world to be added and cited properly.

The proposal includes the above text, and the following:

We hereby propose redirecting the old below articles to a new single central Buffy location article, and starting anew. The new article, with a title suggested by NeilEvans of Locations in the Buffyverse, would be a new article detailing the central locations in the Buffyverse. It is our hope that by consolidating the important locations of the Buffy world we can start anew with references and proper citations. We would then redirect the articles old individual names to the new article dealing with Buffy locations.

This is a compromise proposal and a work in progress at that. It was brought here for the people who know the subject matter. Hopefully we can shape a proposal and then move forward with a consensus. I would ask for Support, Oppose, or Comment. KnightLago 21:26, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I added notes to each article's discussion page about this proposal. KnightLago 21:39, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Support KnightLago 21:27, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment - If the article cannot be added to and improved then they should be redirected to the suggested page. If however the locations are significant to the plot of the series as a whole, such as Hellmouth or Sunnydale High, then those pages should be kept, as they play key roles in all, if not most episodes of the series.--NeilEvans 21:53, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
If the articles such as Hellmouth, or Sunnydale are an integral part of the plot, and not something that could be covered in a central article I would be ok with keeping them as stand alone articles. If, and only if, they can be re-written with sourced and cited material. If we want to go with this proposal I will withdraw my AFD for Hellmouth and add the appropriate unreferenced and cleanup tags and see how the article develops from there. KnightLago 22:05, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment - The locations with their own articles are very important in these series (with the exception of the newly-made "The White Room"-article which featured in a dozen or so episodes and probably had a combined screen-time of around 30 minutes). The rest of the location articles feature in dozens and dozens of episodes, accumulating literally hours and hours of screen-time that was/is seen by millions of viewers. However I would agree with KnightLago that these locations need work. I think that we will see improved referencing. I agree with withdrawing all AfDs and instead tagging them and letting editors improve these articles in the coming weeks. WikiProject:Buffy is gradually helping to improve citing across the appropiate articles, and in the coming months I expect to see Buffy articles be raised to a standard much higher than the average article. It's easy to sneer at popular culture, but the fictional narratives that millions share say a lot about us. A group page maybe useful for keeping standards and formats consistent, but that does not mean that all the locations need to be merged there if they already have plenty of content. - Buffyverse 05:00, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment - I agree the locations page maybe useful for improving these articles but do not believe that they should all be merged, many deserve their own articles IMO. Also my thought is that original research is creation of primary sources or subjective analysis of primary/secondary sources. E.g. Creation of statistics through a survey, or making a subjective comment without a secondary source like "Buffy broke barriers in television". I think that if you are neutrally and uncontroversially outlining a plot from a film/book/series that isn't really original, you are simply outlining the story which has already been stated, but I'd agree we should try and use more secondary sources like magazines, and related documentaries. - Paxomen 14:22, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment: Having looked at these articles, I think most of them are just summaries of primary source material, consistently failing to pass the guideline suggested at Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction). Where they do mention external references, they're either tenuous, original research, or promotional material directly affiliated with the show. If you do merge them into one article, I'd suggest a title that does not use the fandom invented word "Buffyverse", such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer series locations. Deco 03:19, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
  • This merging is an excellent idea. >Radiant< 13:50, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Original research

I am missing a possibility to add original research on Wikipedia. I am mainly working on non-western cultures, especially african cultures. Some interesting topics are severely under-researched (e.g. african dance), so there is little scientific literature about them. The bias seen on wikipedia also exists in science and research (funding) itself. There is a lot of knowledge about Africa and other topics that just disappears unrecorded. My idea about this is the following: besides the article, the history and the discussion (and maybe a peer reviewd stabilized version) each article should have a section for original research. I observe that many people acutally do put original research on the pages that is not covered by the references (if there are any). I think this is necessary and there should be a place for it. Wikipedia would then become a two- or three stage "knowledge distillery" in which material can enter as original research or unreferenced material and be moved up when references are found or be moved down if doubtful, while now, such material, although it might contain important information, is sometimes deleted or it ends up in discussion pages which are actually not intended for this purpose. For a severely under-researched and under-documented topic like Africa this could be of great advantage. The good stuff could be kept even if references are missing and only the trash would be deleted. Users could better distinguish between peer reviewd and original material because editors could better separate it, researches could identify underresearched topics because editors would have a place to put things they happen to know. What do you think? Nannus 18:32, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

In a lot of cases that would just encourage a junkyard of poor-quality soapboxing; in the few cases where peer-review OR might be scholarly and verifiable, why can't you just use the talk page? —Dgiest c 18:56, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
If this is so (and I am not convinced it is), that poor-quality soapboxing is now happening in the main articles (or on the talk pages). Talk pages are for discussions about the articles, not for unreferenced parts of them. Nannus 20:12, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
  • If you're producing research, why not write up a paper or a book and publish that, then cite it here? We have no problem with citing your own work, it just has to have been previously published in a reliable fashion. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 19:11, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
As an amateur, I don't have access to the journals. An example of what I mean: I have learned from somebody from the Kom people of Cameroon that they have a dance called Samba, not the same as the Brazilian Samba (a different rythm with a different music) but interestingly sharing some features with it (e.g. the use of a friction drum (also called Samba in the Kom language)). A search of the internet about this has yielded absolutely nothing. A search in the libraries available to me has yielded nothing. It looks as if no musicologist has ever researched this. There are many kinds of music, (dance, language etc.) that are totaly unresearched and this is one of them. There are not enough funds to do all that research. Languages and cultures disappear before anybody has worked on them. But I am a computer programmer working in Germany. Which scientific journal is goining to publish an article I provide. If I could publish this bit of information in an original reserach section in wikipedia, a musicologist could become interested and research it or he could provide a reference from some specialist publication I could not find. Nannus 20:12, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, although what you want to do is outside the scope of wikipedia (we're here to collect existing knowledge, not produce new knowledge), Wikiversity is currently developing procedures for original research right now. You might want to get involved there and set up a system to allow you to publish your information. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 20:28, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm facing similar issues when editing articles on Singaporean movies. Due to systemic bias, it is difficult to find referenced information on Singaporean topics. I intend to raise this issue on the policy's talk page. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 14:49, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

WikiQuestions

Dear guys,

What would you think of if, at the end of each article, there was a spot for questions or requests for additional knowledge that could then be subsequently added to the article. For example, let's say an article is about a naval battle, and states several important figures. However, there's some information omitted. So a curious party submits a question to the tail end of the article, say, "How long did Captain Such and Such serve in Her Majesty's Royal Navy?". At this point, anyone who knows the answer to it can submit an answer in that section.

Tell me what you think. This would be great for pretty much every article, in my opinion, as long as it's used with respect.

--B —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 76.168.56.160 (talk) 04:52, 5 January 2007 (UTC).

Without saying yes or no, I wonder if this purpose might also be accomplished through better advertising and accessibility of talk pages, the reference desk, and Wikipedia:Requests for expansion. Melchoir 04:57, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Ummm, isn't the whole point of talk pages to post questions about improving the article? S h a r k f a c e 2 1 7 05:56, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
    Sure, but the fact that someone made this proposal suggests that the interactive nature of articles through their talk pages isn't obvious enough. If it were more obvious how to participate, we might get more participation. Melchoir 07:16, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Every casual Wikipedia user I meet seems unaware of talk pages. I've learned more from some talk pages than I have from their articles. Perhaps every page should have a link on the bottom of the article that says:
To read the discussions by the editors of this article, see the talk page or click on the discussion tab on the top.
-- Samuel Wantman 07:31, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
If you have a question or suggestion regarding the content of this article, please post it at [[Talk:{{{PageName}}}]].
It would also be nice if talk pages had, at the top, a "click here" sort-of-banner (I have one on my user talk page, as do many other editors) that is a mini-wizard for creating a new section. If nothing else, since there are way too many editors who think that new sections go at the top to talk pages, or insert their posting into an old section, such a "banner" would improve how talk pages get laid out. John Broughton | Talk 16:21, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

This sounds like a good idea, adding a direct mention of the talk page into the footer, perhaps? Something like "For further questions or to suggest improvements, see [talk page]" Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 19:13, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

"...or to suggest improvements, see [talk page]". This makes it sound like the user should seek approval on the talk page before editing. Any wording would need to be very exact. LukeSurl 00:25, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the fact that I even brought this up speaks for itself... I'm a casual user of wikipedia, and consequently don't know about this kind of stuff. The "talk page" would be good, but I feel as though if it were on the same page it'd be even more accessible.

Thanks.

The interface can be difficult for newcomers to understand. I support the idea of a sentence "To inform us of errors, give feedback or suggest improvements, please leave a comment." with a link to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:X&action=edit&section=new.

The sentence should be prominently displayed at the bottom (or top) of the article. We don't want it to be ignored, like the "talk" tab. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 14:36, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

External links and references

It sucks when external links and references points to website which you are required to register for an account and login to in order to be able to read the content. Examples are The New York Times website. I think we should avoid links to these kinds of websites.

I also think that we should verify sites with SiteAdvisor so that we can have references and external links that don't get people infected with adware/spyware, etc.

The policy's discussion page would be the best place to raise this. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 14:39, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

New crossproject interwikis

I contribute to other versions of Wikipedia by adding intrawikis and images from Commons, and in two of those I had been told that {{commons}} is obsolete, replaced by a template based on it:Template:Interprogetto. The main difference between {{commons}} and this new template is that it adds a new entry to the left bar for other Wikimedia projects, similar to an intrawiki. You can see one at es:Simone Simons. I have roughly copied/pasted the first two at {{crossproject}} and {{crossproject/Box}}, there is one more left. I wanted to try it out to see if it worked, but since it is in Italian, maybe it is better if someone who knows Italian can check it out first. Can it be used here? -- ReyBrujo 02:45, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

If it was used here, it would require changes to MediaWiki:Common.js since it uses javascript to accomplish its function. Tra (Talk) 03:07, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Not as simple as I thought... well, off those templates go. -- ReyBrujo 03:16, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

iMac Page

A while back I noticed when looking at the Apple iMac page that the entire (very long) article covers every model of an iMac ever made. To break down the pages and make them more detailed for the specific model and give information encyclopedically (rather than in its almanac-like condition), I thought and tinkered with the idea of making the iMac page have three "portal boxes" with images of the design of the iMac linking to its page. This way the articles wouldnt be related to the specific generation or revolution of each mac update, but just the design of the computer (like the CRT jelly-bean ones have one page, the desk lamp like LCDs have one, and the TV-like LCDs have their own page).

I edited the ideas for creating this on TextEdit, so as to not interfere with Wikipedia by accidentally clicking "Save Page" or anything, and had them coming alot quite nicely and aesthetically. But then Intel Macs were introduced and I realized that Wikipedia admin may have a problem with putting two very different computers one page just because they look the same. So with that I deleted the files from TextEdit and did away with the idea.

Now I am seeking public approval for the concept to see if I could try and spearhead it again. If others think it sounds like a good idea please let me now, and I would be very happy to take this job upon myself and fine tune it before submitting it to the actual database.

Please leave your opinions here but I personally am much more likely to catch them here.

Thanks in advanced, --Alegoo92 05:18, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

This sort of posting really belongs at Talk:Apple iMac. This page (here) isn't really for discussing improvements to the content of articles, it's for proposals about Wikipedia policies and processes. John Broughton | Talk 02:45, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Wickey Selpub Factor

Ronbo76 came up with a theory on using Wikipedia to make a marketing base or a place where someone could create a citeable reference which could come in handy if you wished to be self-published on a reputable source. Below is a copied version of his work (so far). It's a bit rough, but you should be able to get the gist of it. If you don't understand fully, scroll down to the So what does this all mean? section located at the bottom of this post. S h a r k f a c e 2 1 7 20:58, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Theory as an Anti-vandal Patriot

Wickey Selpub Factor (n. pna How do I self Wiki-publish Factor) - The Wickey Selpub Factor (WSF) is defined as what some people will do to get themselves listed on something other than a blank wall (grafiti), MySpuce dot com or their other fantasy isle location where they are king. The WSF is usually closely followed by an editor who has a big black dog (The Fast Eddy Wheelie Theory) to take care of their vandal edits. Typos in the WSF help because they usually become a searchable factor on the Interfet SEarch Engene of your choice and why this editar included as an exampill in this sentence. Please do not correct the spelling of this paragraph, as it is vital to the WSP Theory. Thank you.

  • Theory Defined

Since someone asked, I am an anti-vandal patriot. The WSF is a theory I have developed that concerns the self-publication of articles on Wikipedia. Basically, someone seeking more glory than just the self-postulates put up on private pages that do not get reviews will seek to find a legitimate place where their grandiose will last forever. Wikipedia is that place because it means they have arrived so to speak. If the stuff they post here sticks to the wall, the post becomes a searchable and citeable item. In researching self-posts, I have noticed that Wikipedia is usually the first place or hit someone seeking notable status gets besides dubious hits on answer dot com and then my space. One such spammer only had three internet search hits in this order: Wikipedia, answer.com and myspace. No, I am not advertising for anything. I just want to snuff out self-publishing vandals with my big black dog truth edits. Ronbo76 20:44, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Formal Discussion on Wickey Selpub Factor

Those words were inserted as a test on another consenting user's talkpage. If you follow the Yahoo search link you will see the first major indented paragraph where two misspelled words, wickey selpub form the basis of a poorly written self-published article. If someone were to create a self-published article in this manner, similiar results will arise and have in the AfD I have nominated.

  • Theory Vindication

Guess what? The test worked and in less than three days (as of January 4, 2007. Please see: the search for Wickey Selpub Factor on Yahoo. I almost feel like publishing this as it vindicates my theory. Do the search and you will get one hit. My original theory concerned what some people will do to get self-published. It arose because in an AfD I nominated, there was a mispelled word similiar to one in this article Ha-Ash. That mispell is "epynomus" and you can see my thoughts on that article's talkpage. I may ask for a helpme to see how to bubble this up to the admin types. Ronbo76 16:23, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Epynomus

To make it easier on the reader, when Ha-Ash, a Mexican singing duo, was researched, the word epynomus appeared in the article. This is a mispelling that occured because the article creator lifted the translation from another website. The translating website created a word that has no meaning or history. When that word was originally Yahoo searched, the hits were Wikipedia, answers.com and reference.com (in that exact order). Answers.com and reference.com appear to cache articles from Wikipedia. If you follow reference.com's link, epynomus websearch, that site offers the reader the option to "Cite This Source." How much more easy could that website make it for someone to self-publish on Wikipedia and then cite wherever desired?

  • So what does all this mean?

In the words of Ronbo76 from my talk page, found here.

If you have read my userpage, some of the self-publishing vandals have put up pages that are either vanity bios, business ads or something in between. The way a smart young user could use my theory is to create an article that meets the basic wiki standards. Then over the years add stuff with newpaper article titles that really exist (even better if your last name is in it as you could claim that was a typo) and build a bio that becomes searchable. The other night a user Curtis Newart that flashed onscreen when I did a Recent Changes check like you mentioned to caught my attention. I caught an error that he made in a change displayed onscreen. Turns out this guy is the owner of the record company Immaculate Records. Part of what caught my attention on his direct named page is that he claims that he received support from "Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Hope, RuPaul, Carol Burnett, (and) Ned Beatty"(sic). After I AfD'ed both articles, he put a bunch of Canadian newspaper article citations that are non-searchable. He might be a legit one-hit wonder but it appears to me and others that he is trying to build a searchable business and market for his CD.

On his talk page, found here, I asked how this would be used in a real life situation.

Like, say if I had a book called "ZYZZYSDDS and Friends". How would I use your theory to..... do what, exactly?


To which he replied:

In your example, the book ("ZYZZYSDDS and Friends") now becomes searchable in three days because it is on my talkpage. It amazed me that answer.com and reference.com cache Wikipedia's talkpages. The prime reason in the cases I provided are because of the typos. ZYZZYSDDS should become a double searchable because now it is on your page. If you were to cleanup the title and present a good wiki page, in a couple of years you could cite yourself as printed author.

I do not know if this theory has already been presented, as I am only here presenting it on behalf of Ronbo76. Questions and comments are appreciated. Written by S h a r k f a c e 2 1 7 .

Note: Ronbo76 is somewhat new to Wikipedia, so please keep WP:BITE in mind with dealing with him. Thanks! S h a r k f a c e 2 1 7 21:11, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your help in posting my theory this forum. I am working on the Fast Eddy Wheelie Theory. To other Wikipedians, I bid hello. If you post Wickey Selpub Factor in the Edit Summary, I will see your comments and respond if necessary (the big black dog likes to obey and sit up as an editor)! Ronbo76 21:17, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
ZYZZYSDDS is now a searchable term here via a [ZYZZYSDDS]. Since Yahoo is caching our user talkpages, this has serious ramifications Wikipedia may wish to consider. Ronbo76 13:57, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Add character deltas to the history pages

I find the character deltas in the watchlist to be quite helpful. However, once the page is edited again, they are gone for that edit. It would be nice if this feature was extended to the history pages. --EMS | Talk 06:14, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

{{sofileabugonit}} [ælfəks] 07:44, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
I like this idea myself. Kat Walsh (spill your mind?) 08:10, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Me too. —Quiddity 09:35, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Very nice idea. That way, if an article shrinks (or grows) significantly, for example, it's fairly easy to see where that happened, and who did it. Or to see that a particular user consistently deletes text. Which implies, I guess, that it would also be very nice to see this function in a USER's edit history as well as an article history. John Broughton | Talk 00:42, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
That too, strongly. These'd be immensely useful.
I can't think of any downside, except the server-hit as we'd probably want/need them generated retroactively for all the 100million+ edits done so far... Would that be a big problem? —Quiddity 02:34, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

What are these (colored numbers) properly called? Character deltas? Byte-differences? I tried searching bugzilla for existing requests, but don't know how to refer to them. Thanks —Quiddity 20:08, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

The article describing them is at Wikipedia:Added or removed characters so they might be called 'Added or removed characters'. 'Coloured numbers' also seems to be used to refer to them often. The problem with both of these terms is that they are specific to the English Wikipedia, since other wikis may not have their monobook.css customized to give the numbers colour, and in non-latin languages, the byte count could be very different from the character count. Tra (Talk) 20:18, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Print Versions for Articles

I do quite a lot of research work and Wikipedia is one of my most visited sites. However, like Wikibooks, I'd like to suggest to make PRINT VERSIONS of articles that are completed and comprehensive.

Thank you. 04/01/2007

--203.81.199.161 00:09, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

    • The reason Wikibooks has print versions is because the book is split among pages. Wikipedia articles, having only one page, have a printable version in the sidebar. -- Chris is me 00:35, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

A Ciriticism on the current discussion mechanism

Discussions are hard to read. Discussions are not articles, so they should not be treated/shown the same way as articles. Discussions are like bug reports. I would like to suggest a "New Suggestions Mechanism".

Creating a Suggestion: Suggestions are like bug reports. Suggestions should be added using a form, with properties like "headline", "content", "severity" and "opened by".

Showing Suggestions: Like a forum page. In a tree. Each branch shows the "headline" field of the Suggestion. Also in each branch "severity" and "opened by" fields.

Editing a Suggestion: By adding a sub-branch in the forum tree.


Sandman2007 20:46, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Free Images

Images can be divided between free and non-free ones. Recently, there has been a push to eliminate the non-free ones that, apparently, can be recreated. However, until now I have seen many places with suggestions about how to request free images, but not a project to coordinate efforts. Because of this I am giving the first push to WikiProject Free Images, aimed at centralizing discussion about free images. Currently, it is situated at my userspace, User:ReyBrujo/WikiProject Free Images, but with enough positive feedback and help, it will be moved into the Wikipedia namespace.

The WikiProject aim is broad: first and foremost, educate users about the benefits of free images, but also to teach the differences between free licenses when applied to images. Aside this, the WikiProject will focus in replacing the current fair use images with free ones of good quality, by contacting the media, agencies, publishers or other copyright holders as necessary. It would keep a list of requested images to different organizations, with the different steps that had been taken and the different replies. It will also have an index of all the images that had been donated by these organizations, so that they are able to review their contributions. Also, the members of the WikiProject would review the usage of these images in Wikipedia, verifying that attributions are applied at all times when requested by the copyright holder.

This WikiProject was given as a thought during the Wikipedia:Elimination of Fair Use Rationale in Promotional Photos discussion, and since apparently there has not been a similar one, I decided to try it out. With some luck and effort, it should be possible to replace many of the current fair use images with free ones of similar quality.

Please drop by and give some thoughts in there. Thanks. -- ReyBrujo 18:12, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability (architecture)

I thought it might be a good idea to establish some notability criteria for architecture and I seek discussion and comments. It's my first time at proposing anything like this so please be gentle with (but robust in your comments!). Cheers. --Mcginnly | Natter 01:58, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Since there is significant overlap with WP:BIO (for architects) and WP:LOCAL (for the buildings themselves) I think it would be best to add your work to those pages, rather than creating a new page for it. >Radiant< 12:23, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
    • No problems, I can do that for buildings and architects - There quite a lot of related fields for architecture though other than just buildings - Law, Building technology, Material science, Art, planning, urban studies, psychology - should I incorporate the notability criteria for architecture into all the related policies or would it be better to have it all on one page? --Mcginnly | Natter 14:19, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
      • I believe it's best to keep it with the existing guidelines (e.g. WP:SCIENCE); it's probably not so practical to have one guideline for "architectural law" and another for "criminal law", because that'd be confusing to editors. Having one for "law" is easier. As an example, of course; it applies equally to the other fields. Note that most of the fields you mention have not, so far, needed any notability guidelines so they might not actually exist yet. >Radiant< 12:18, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Proposal to create a better article submitting system

This is my proposal to create an article-submitting system that ensures that articles are nearly 100% verifitable, fit our guidelines and policies, and follow the manual of style.

My system would work like this.

  1. Any editor can browse any article.
  2. Each article has a "sandbox", preferably in a subpage, for example "Apple/Sandbox".
  3. Whenever someone edits the article, they instead are redirected to edit the article's sandbox.
  4. Only an experienced editor (for example, a user with over 500 edits and no blocks) can sync the sandbox version of the article to the article itself, or vice versa, if they deem the sandbox version appropriate or not, respectively. There would be two links that appear if the user meets the criteria for an experienced editor: a link to sync the sandbox revision to the article, and a link to sync the article to the sandbox revision.

Obviously this would strictly only apply to mainspace.

So basically any editor can edit the sandbox version of an article, but only an experienced editor with over five hundred edits and no blocks can sync the sandbox version to the article. In this way, no article should ever contain vandalism or unverified content.

The question is, why have I suggested this?

I have multiple reasons for making this suggestion. Among them are the facts that Wikipedia is a prime place for nesting vandalism and hoaxes; its warm coves and backwater locations allow the possibility for misinformation to remain dormant for months, even indefinitely if the article is never found. It's not a good look for our encyclopedia. Take the Nature comparison of Wikipedia and Britannica[1]:

The exercise revealed numerous errors in both encyclopaedias, but among 42 entries tested, the difference in accuracy was not particularly great: the average science entry in Wikipedia contained around four inaccuracies; Britannica, about three.

In my opinion, we can do better than this. We can get our encylopedia to much lower error levels. I hope my proposal helps bring this vision to us, and that it is successful.

Your feedback is welcome. Yuser31415 07:17, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Stable/moderated versions are an idea that's been tossed around many times before; this just seems to be another version of that. As for ensuring articles follow guidelines and policies, your proposal won't do anything for that. I know numerous editors with thousands of edits who regularly add material to articles that doesn't meet standards. Count of edits doesn't indicate quality of edits, and anything more complicated would entail enforcement and overhead and get very ugly very quickly. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 08:40, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Ending FAC

Looking at old FAC pages, it is impossible to tell when they ended and what happened. Why aren't the pages archived like the XFD pages. It would not take long to do after a discussion is closed. I am not suggesting that we go back and fix all the old ones, but they should at least be archived in a similar fashion to the XFD pages. Does anyone else agree with this? The Placebo Effect 20:24, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree, the nominations have no indication of Raul's ruling or even that they've closed. I once relisted a closed nom because it was practically blank and there was no sign it had actually passed through FAC before. There should be a sign at the bottom to indicate results, like is already done for WP:FPC.Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 08:42, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Notability (science) criteria

I'd like to draw attention to the work people are doing at Wikipedia:Notability (science) to refine and make explicit the criteria for inclusion of scientific content. (My involvement was spurred by the stunning amount of cranky articles -- unmonitored by all except their specific enthusiasts -- that hide in the intersticies of the WP and to my mind really affect the quality of the project.) Sdedeo (tips) 20:20, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism studies project

I was thinking of setting up a wikiproject whose purpose would be to research, study, and gather statistics regarding vandalism on wikipedia. This would help us understand which vandalism is the most damaging, which lasts the longest, who is responsible for the most and other points of interest. Nevertheless, I didn't want to propose this if someone is already doing this. Any thoughts? Remember 16:17, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

You may have seen Wikipedia talk:Don't protect Main Page featured articles/December Main Page FA analysis, which looked at anonymous IP vandalism from December 1-7. I'm not aware of any other studies. I think it such a wikiproject would be a great idea, and if done right, wouldn't require an extraordinary amount of time. If you do start such a project, please let me know. John Broughton | Talk 19:59, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I am something of an anti-vandal fanatic. If I can help, please get back to me.--Anthony.bradbury 20:05, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, with this quick positive response I'm going to try to start a wikiproject page. I will add a link to it here when it is up and running. Remember 22:25, 3 January 2007 (UTC) Ok. I have quickly set up a page here Wikipedia:WikiProject Vandalism studies, please come on by and help improve the page. Remember 22:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Search Tool for Featured Articles

How about a search bar for Featured Articles? Db0255 07:31, 3 January 2007 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Db0255 (talkcontribs) 07:30, 3 January 2007 (UTC).

I'm not sure how useful that would be. If you want information on a specific topic, you don't want to be limited to the (relatively) small number of FAs with your search - in most cases, you'll be disappointed. If you want to browse FAs, you wouldn't be searching (as you wouldn't know what FAs there are); you'd want to be looking through a list. For what purpose do you envision this being used? Trebor 09:10, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Display What links here feature more prominantly

What links here link (there at left column below search button) is a very useful feature and more use of it will help better inter-linking of wikipedia pages and can also avoid creation of duplicate articles (the merge tage cases). May be this link can be made as tab of the article itself like Discussion, Edit this page, History tabs. Vjdchauhan 20:31, 2 January 2007 (UTC).

I'm not sure what purpose that would serve. It's not nearly as integral as the tabs on the top, but is already easily accessible on the menu. I only really use it when sorting links to disambigs and to avoid double redirects. Trebor 22:13, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Enhanced notification mechanisms

Wikipedia with this size and user base needs better notification mechanisms which will help improve productivity of active users having big watch lists: Vjdchauhan 20:08, 2 January 2007 (UTC).

  • 'Categoty Watch' should report new addition/deletion to the category in question. Also it should show changes to the pages directly contained in it.
  • 'Section Watch' for Discussion pages (some are pretty big and dynamic) and may be for pages like this one itself.

New proposal: {{rejected-section}}

I have a new proposal {{rejected-section}} --HIZKIAH (User &#149; Talk) 19:56, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

What is this for or say where will it be used, an example pls, but not on my section(s) pls. Vjdchauhan 20:36, 2 January 2007 (UTC).
Is that really useful - marking a section of a proposal as rejected? If there is such consensus, the section ought to be just removed. If it's needed for historical purposes, copy it to the talk page. After all, if the section is rejected but debate continues on the main proposal, who wants to see irrelevant sections still sitting in that? John Broughton | Talk 21:57, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
HIZKIAH, perhaps we should tag this section you just created with {{rejected-section}}? --J.L.W.S. The Special One
lol, that makes two of us who thought of it immediately. I couldn't find a sufficiently recursive way of tagging it though. --tjstrf talk 08:49, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Not particularly useful; such sections tend simply to be moved to the talk page. >Radiant< 15:01, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Voting Buttons on discussion page to 'build global consensus' / debate

I feels that 'discussion' page should have a debating section (only editable by Admins i.e. not all pages will have this section) where a NPOV/neutral Admin moderator can summarize all the distinct points (typically there are very few even for hotly debated/controversial topics) and each of these distinct points should have voting buttons as well.
Wikipedia is a good consencus building site as well, better than blogs. This will also bring in more new users (e.g. bloggers) and attention to Wikipedia. On the other side it could also bring in more noice and unwanted attention as well but than can be an elitist opinion/resistance.
Another POV from me: A globally unique (per language) page with voting capability can kill other blogs. Vjdchauhan 19:53, 2 January 2007 (UTC).

Wait, what do blogs have to do with this? --tjstrf talk 20:00, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
My experience with blog says that in very active blog there is more noice and sometime many-to-many heated abusive posts. If one can summarize the whole debate there will be very few distinct discussion points coming up and with voting buttons one can build consensus and if one feels to put across new distinct point he/she is welcome (and which will be moved to disting section as well by Admin-Moderator) and he/she is also welcome to push across already listed distinct points in his/her own language as well. Thus a better (and gloally centralied) blogging mechanism in Wikipedia as well. Vjdchauhan 20:22, 2 January 2007 (UTC).
Er... Wikipedia is not a blog. However I think your suggestion could still be useful here - we need to end the charade that 'xFD/RFA etc. is not a vote' (for example, how many RFAs have succeeded with 40% of the vote?) and this would be the best way of doing it. Summarising the points of each side in a neutral way (not everyone has the time or inclination to read 20 pages of flames before forming their opinion) would allow people to form an opinion based on the arguments at hand. 86.132.3.8 21:44, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I suggest reviewing m:Polls are evil and Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a democracy. Yes, an RfA will almost inevitably fail if a candidate gets less than 75% of the vote, but you'll find when that's the case that the 25+% have good reasons. And there are certainly those out there who are likely to vote FOR a candidate if the objections seems unreasonable. More importantly, an RfA is an up/down decision; summarizing the points of dispute on a talk page is not trivial. And as with XfD discussions, a well-reasoned argument can affect a lot of subsequent comments, while pure yes/no votes are totally worthless for helping understand the arguments - it really is a popularity/in-crowd/interested-bystander sort of thing. (In other words, there would be a HUGE dependence on the moderator to get the question right - and we'll all human here, so I doubt that there could even be consensus over the question.John Broughton | Talk 21:55, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
How many AfDs have gone against the majority? I've seen at least three during my time here. A well explained and uncontested argument in support of an article could be more significant than a dozen "as per" votes. People with experience editing that sort of article also have more weight for their votes, and conversely, people who've never touched an article of that kind before are more likely to go unacknowledged. –Gunslinger47 22:03, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I think there's a consensus building up here :).... Gunslinger's right, a good point is worth 15 "as per". Plus, I'm not sure how good this is, but as Wikipedia is communautary (sp?), who has what points also counts. For who knows what I mean, if Tony says an article doesn't meet FAC's 1a criterion, it's not the same as if an annon casts a speechless vote.--SidiLemine 16:47, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Encyclopedia of Earth

I see external links to Encyclopedia of Earth start popping up in wikipedia. I also see that our SpamWatch have already put their eye on them. Unlike what SpamWatcher think, it is not just "another encyclopedia website"; it has quite a few points in common with wikipedia, both in its history and in rules of the game.

We have to figure out what would be wikipedia's policy with respect to it.

I am inclined to allow links to it, introduced via a standard template similar to e.g., {{imdb-title}}, {{1911}}, or {{wiktionary}}, since EOEarth declatres to satisfy our fundamental requirements of WP:Verifiability and WP:NPOV.

Another approach, implemented by Wikipedia:WikiProject Spam now is to treat them as spam.

EOEarth uses Creative Commons license, and AFAIU, we cannot copy their content into our GFLD realm. Or can we?

Any other opinions? `'mikka 23:36, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

You're right, we can't copy their text verbatim into Wikipedia, it would violate the "Share-alike" part of the CC license they're using. If linking to this encyclopedia adds to the article, it should be fine to do so. Can you give some examples of pages where the links have been removed where you think they were good for the article? --Tango 23:59, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I didn't do any investigation. (BTW, it can be a good idea, similar to Nature's "Wikipedia vs. EB"). I stumbled upon this in my watchlist, then I noticed that EOE was declared spam by our spam police, and decided that this must be done by a wider consensus. You know, no offense, but police is good for policing, not for creating policies. At the first glance, their 'Wetland' article looks better in one respects and worse on others. `'mikka 03:19, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
  • The one problem that I can see is that Wikipedia:Reliable Sources states: "Posts to bulletin boards, Usenet, and wikis, or messages left on blogs, should not be used as sources. This is in part because we have no way of knowing who has written or posted them, and in part because there is no editorial oversight or third-party fact-checking." (bolding is mine)... Encycl. of Earth seems to be essentially another wiki. Blueboar 02:25, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Not exactly. The whole point of it is that it is a wiki during the development stage only, closed to general public. Articles have authorship under real-life names, peer-reviewed by recognized experts in the field, and when posted to public cannot be modified by a random vandal. `'mikka 03:19, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Not all EoE links are treated as spam and there are several WP articles that have this website cited. The reason it has caught the eye of Wikipedia:WikiProject Spam is the systematic addition of links to this website from one or more users whose only (or primary) contributions to WP is the addition of links to this site - clearly the footprint of website promotion and link spamming.
"Adding external links to an article or user page for the purpose of promoting a website or a product is not allowed, and is considered to be spam. Although the specific links may be allowed under some circumstances, repeatedly adding links will in most cases result in all of them being removed." WP:SPAM
WP is not a directory of links nor is it a forum to promote any website and there should never be a campaign to promote a specific website on WP. Calltech 11:17, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Let's avoid any wikilawyering, please. That some accounts have been abusive in adding links doesn't address the basic question of whether EoE articles meet WP:RS criteria. If they do, then the second question is whether such links add value if added to Wikipedia articles. I think they do - first, of course, they help the reader find further information; second, they provide links for editors who are interested in improving Wikipedia articles - who can use concepts and sources in the EoE articles, though not copy paragraphs wholesale.
Let's also not be defensive here: EoE is almost certainly going to have high quality articles. How many, and how current, is another matter - but if some Wikipedia articles serve as waystations to EoE articles, that (a) increases the value of Wikipedia and (b) serves as a spur to improve own own quality. John Broughton | Talk 16:13, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
John, a posting was made here which I am addressing, not wikilawyering. First, the statement above "EOE was declared spam" is not correct. If it were, then all links would have been removed. The efforts of one or more users (mostly anonymous) to systematically add links to EoE IS spamming and that is why most of their EoE links were reverted by myself and a half dozen other editors. When warned, most of the users stopped spamming (or switched IPs). Calltech 19:00, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with John on this point. As long as the EoE article being cited is germane to the current topic, the link most likely is adding value to the Wikipedia article. Only if the link is to a non-specific EoE page or a significantly more general article should it be treated as "spam". --EMS | Talk 16:59, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I would have thought EoE could be safely considered a reliable source, per mikka. While our primary use of EoE should probably be for sourcing facts, external linking is also fine (IMHO). — Matt Crypto 16:57, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Let me offer a hypothetical: let's suppose Nature magazine decided to make it's older issues available on-line at no charge, and someone at that magazine went through the archive and post links to hundreds of articles in the now-accessible on-line archive. Let's also suppose the links were relevant - to make the case extreme, let's suppose that the links were added only to stubs. Is that a violation of WP:SPAM? If it is, I for one would think that WP:IAR should be invoked. And I'd also feel, strongly, that someone going through and deleting such links would be damaging Wikipedia, not helping it - whether or not Nature magazine made money from Google ads displayed on the pages or not, whether or not the person at the magazine was being paid to post links or not.
Here's an example (from the top of the specialpage list) to discuss, if one is so inclined (and, by the way, Wikipedia:WikiProject Spam was focusing on nearly 100 links - which doesn't strike me, per se, as an exgregious number): Tropical Andes links to the eoearth.org article called "Biological diversity in the Tropical Andes". -- John Broughton | Talk 22:18, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I concur with John. Information should never be removed unless you're 100% sure it's Spam or not notableJust H 02:57, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
There is a distinction between a user spamming, and a website link being spam. For example, if I were a member of WikiProject Films, and I added IMDB links to 100 film articles which did not have IMDB links, would I be spamming? If the creator of IMDB did that, would he be spamming? Is IMDB spam?
If a user is spamming, but the website itself is not spam, the user should be sanctioned, but the website links should not be removed (or should be treated on a case-by-case basis).
--J.L.W.S. The Special One 06:15, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the hypothetical example above, it smacks of conflict of interest (both financial and promotional). WP makes it clear that links such as these should be suggested through talk pages first, and not added wholesale when a COI exists. Regarding the damage to WP, EL's added in bulk as described in WP:SPAM can be added in minutes. These aren't thoughtful edits that took hours to ponder and create. It's doing pretty much a cut and paste in the EL section. Every website owner (manager, etc.) argues that his/her website adds important value to WP. In the hypothetical situation above, if the website is that worthwhile and there's a COI, then why not take a moment to put an entry on the talk pages. If it involves that large a number of links, put it in a discussion. (None of the bulk added EoE links that were reverted were discussed).
It takes 4 warnings to block a user who appears to be spamming (as it should to give them a chance to review guidelines). Many of the multiple link edits, however, are being done by anonymous IPs that don't surface again, so blocking them has little effect, especially when a new IP shows up doing it again. Calltech 15:46, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Ultimate Articles

I have an idea for Wikipedia that could change Wikipedia for the better and make it as accurate as possible. You might argue that it would not be an open source encyclopedia anymore but I think people would trust Wikipedia even more than they already do. I did not know who to send this to; however the Board of Wikipedia seemed like the right place.

My idea is to select the very best articles in Wikipedia once a day, once a week, or once a month however you choose. An article that has been a featured article and is an FA Class article should be required for the “Ultimate” ranking an article can get. The importance of the article should also be considered as this selection would be representing the very best of Wikipedia.

Once an article is chosen, someone should look back at the entire history of the article and make sure no valuable information or useful information was taken away; although this would be an extremely long and tedious process. Then the article would be entitled “Ultimate Article” and Wikipedians would have to submit edits and experts on the subject should look to see if those edits would be useful to the article. Eventually a lot of very trustworthy article entitled “Ultimate Articles” would be assembled and Wikipedia would become an even more accurate and used encyclopedia than ever before. This would stop articles from degrading because of vandalism and make people think and consider their edits more before they submit them. I don’t think this will stop people from adding great quality content to already great articles Please consider my suggestion and send me back an email telling whether my suggestion will be put into action and why or why not. Thank you for your time as all I want is for Wikipedia to be the best free encyclopedia it can possibly be. My dream would eventually be that every article would eventually be an “Ultimate Article” because then Wikipedia would be the ultimate Encyclopedia.

Thank you for considering my Suggestion. --Independentdependent 21:27, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

So, you're saying just put articles on protect after they become featured is the way to go? Just H 22:00, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
This is basically the same as Wikipedia:Stabilizing featured articles. Other related suggestions are at Wikipedia:Stable versions and Wikipedia:Static version. The German Wikipedia is experimenting with a related system described at m:2006 proposed approval for anonymous edits. -- Rick Block (talk) 22:04, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
you could just put all the featured articles on your watchlist and keep an eye on them to prevent degradation. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 04:54, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Or create a Citizendium-like fork of Wikipedia and ensure only "trusted" editors are allowed to edit articles. Eventually something along the lines of all these proposals needs to be done in order for Wikipedia to remain credible. We have gone far past the point of needing more quantity (bar some glaring exceptions) and time has come to focus on quality instead. Zunaid©Review me! 11:11, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
How about simply semi-protecting all featured articles? I have several featured articles on my watchlist, and checking their histories, most of the edits are anonymous vandalism or reversion of said anonymous vandalism. There are also some anonymous edits which, although made in good faith, decrease the quality of the articles. However, there is the occasional good edit by a registered user. I don't advocate completely locking featured articles, because we may need to update them with new information. For example, if the news (and I don't mean The Onion) just reported that Microsoft went bankrupt, the featured article on Microsoft would need to be updated. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 06:38, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
That would be an over-reaction. Semi-protection should be used in response to vandalism, not as a preemptive measure (from WP:SEMI). Trebor 09:25, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Why do you propose we find these experts? The Foundation cannot afford to hire experts on retainer for every possible subject that might become an ultimate article, nor can the afford to verify that a user claiming to be an expert is actually one. Koweja 15:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Movie Wiki?

Why don't you introduce a wiki for movies? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Christopher.demicoli (talkcontribs) 07:59, 1 January 2007 (UTC).

Firstly, new projects should be suggested on meta:, secondly - Wikipedia already has information on movies, what would be different about a special movie wiki? --Tango 16:38, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Search spell check

There should be a Google-style spellcheck in the search engine, I'm sick of not knowing how to spell something and not being able to find it on Wikipedia. 84.70.112.198 15:26, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

This feature has been disabled for performance reasons. I recomend you just use the real Google spellcheck to search Wikipedia. Tra (Talk) 15:42, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
In case you don't know, you can restrict Google's search to Wikipedia pages by adding "site:en.wikipedia.org" as a search term. -- Rick Block (talk) 16:47, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Someone came up with this, too. --Connel MacKenzie - wikt 19:15, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
There's bugzilla:974 which explain why it's disabled, and which has some possible alternatives. Martinp23 01:42, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Two-revert rule

I have the following proposal: Two-revert rule http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Two-revert_rule I think the large majority of the users would support this change. --HIZKIAH (User &#149; Talk) 13:37, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:One-revert rule#One-revert rule ;) The more sensible editors tend to follow that, otherwise pages tend to get protected on m:The Wrong Version. —Quiddity 18:59, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

New permissions level

I say we make another permissions level other than absolute admin; this level should be liberally given out. The reasons for this are:

  • To help stop getting four-day sleeper accounts before editing sprotected articles
  • To give some light admin features and autoconfirmed user features one rank
  • To have a rank liberally given out, like admin was supposed to be, to make people who start editing feel accepted and welcome. Or something.

This rank should not be based on the current four-day system, nor on edit count. One established user would nominate a user or anonymous editor (that's right!), a one-day comment period would occur, then an admin would up the permissions of that user.

So, here's how my little rank system would work

Rank table
Permission Anonymous or New User Established User or IP Administrator
Edit articles Not immediately visible (sorry, 69...) Immediately visible Immediately visible
Flag as non-vandaliized (e.g. make visible) No Yes Yes
Create new articles Through WP:AFC Yes Yes
Revert (without popups) No Manual edit summary required Yes, edit summary optional
Edit pages still protected after German system implementation No Not immediately visible Yes
Delete pages No No Yes
Block users No No Yes
Vote in RFAs, etc, Not immediately visible (an established user can screen for vote stacking this way. Note: gives anons more freedom, right to vote in RFAs) Yes Yes
Other admin-only things No No Yes
Making users established No No Yes
Making users admin No No Still No

Alright, here goes. -- Chris is me 21:24, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Also, all currently active contributors with 200 edits would be given the tool at its implementation. This is a one-time thing, so we don't have 8,000 requests. -- Chris is me 21:53, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Another add-on, the standards of this new rank should be oh-so-low; editors should approve anyone who isn't a troll, vandalizing, or otherwise malicious. -- Chris is me 22:29, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

So basically people should have to be approved to have all the privileges editors do now? I don't see this giving registered editors any more power than they already have by default (stable versions aren't yet implemented, and popups give you rollback), and adds the step of proving that they're really not a vandal. We assume good faith here, and that means trusting people with the power to edit pages and do other things with the knowledge that we can revert or block them later if we find them guilty. Anyone who is a troll, vandalizing, or other wise malicious can already be stripped of these privileges under the current system by blocking. Why assume people are bad by default? Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 22:40, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

  • This would mean admins/bureaucrats have to spend their time giving out priviliges instead of actually editing articles. What is the advantage of approving people for something they don't need yet and why would we want to restrict editing when we can block vandals when they do something bad? - 87.209.70.231 00:26, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Chris: I like your idea in concept, though I think there are issues with the specifics. I do think it would be good to have some intermediate level of permissions, that could be granted with much less fuss than the current RFA process. However, this may have to wait until we actually have some new features implemented (like delayed visibility of edits, or flagging edits as not vandalism). I think that taking away rights from anyone is not going to get much support. –RHolton– 00:51, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

How do the undo and already existing "patrolled edit" functionalities relate. I am not sure whether patrolled edits are enabled on wikipedia, but my mediawiki has them already. 131.181.251.66 05:37, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Patrolled edits are disabled on the English Wikipedia, at least; not sure about other languages. -- nae'blis 05:39, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Since 69... is an established IP, you've put your (sorry) in the wrong column - immediately visible edit revocation under your scheme is stated not to apply to established IP accounts. Is that a mistake in your table, or do you feel ambivalent about this proposal? How is Sanger's Citizendium doing? They adopted editor screening - a perennial proposal here. I've lost track - is that taking off like a rocket? 24.136.25.194 08:54, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

The "sorry" thing is a leftover from before I added the option for IP addresses to be nominated and established. So stricken. -- Chris is me 07:13, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Things being thoroughly thought out goes against the wiki idea that other participants will take care and see to it that things get perfected. I ammended your strikeover. Mr. Wales and the board preside over the mess, then there are stewards, bureaucrats, administrators, users and newbies. Last year any anon could start an article. That's gone. I suppose server tenders and developers are like air - they have to be there so it's needless to note them in the hierarchy. If you want to get people interested you'll have to stir up a fuss. Extending your chart has potential to do that. Metarhyme 00:28, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
It's an interesting idea, but somehow I can't imagine it happening, for a variety of reasons: namely:
  1. Abuse of process: I think too many inexperienced or vandal editors would flood the requests page. It is also possible that vandals or users-that-pretend-to-be-good-but-become-vandals-when-they-are-promoted-to-semi-admin-status will become dominant.
    As we do for bad-faith RFA and AFD nominations, blocking may be necessary for disruption. -- Chris is me 14:58, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
  2. Fueling the "I'm-better-than-you" philosophy: experienced (but possibly uncivil) users would "boast" to new users that they had more powers.
    Those people would be promptly demoted. I thoguht of that problem, and then I realized that our Administrators do not go out to newbies and brag, either. -- Chris is me 14:58, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
  3. Practical implementation: the proposal will need a large amount of work on the part of the developers, and will require a huge policy overhaul.
    It requires enabling a feature (stable version) that's already there, then changing the "atuoconfirmed" permissions level from an automatic assignment to a manual one, plus a few permissions. -- Chris is me 14:58, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
So, while I agree in principle with the idea, I don't think implementing it is going to help Wikipedia. Yuser31415 04:59, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
You provide interesting arguments, but I still don't think it will help. Who's going to block the users who abuse the process? Face-smile.svg No, I'm sorry, but I like our current system with no partial rights. There's another reason too: admins are not only users with a few extra buttons, they're people that editors can come to when they need help. Reading WP:WAIN, "It may help to consider the other meaning of the word administrator, that is one who organises and facilitates, rathan than one who controls." And some users, who might use the tools responsibly, might not have the temperament to be an admin. Yuser31415 21:20, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Changing Wikipedia's Colour

Many of us know just how annoying wikipedia is to read in such a dull grey. This sites ratings and the quality of information absorbed by readers will sour if we based the colour scheme around a more exciting colour. Personally I desire green, possessing a subtle relaxing tone but at the same time a hidden sense of vigour, although obviously I am open to suggestions from other responders. Let us take it upon ourselves to rid the boresome load that grey brings as we enter the new year, so that we can start fresh with a more placid, more rousing and (hopefully) greener future. Seagull landbird 12:57, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

If you know css, you can change your custom monobook.css to modify the interface colours so that, under your account, it appears in the colour scheme of your choice. You can also look through m:Gallery of user styles for ideas. Tra (Talk) 14:37, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

RFC: Wikipedia is not for things made up in school one day

The page Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not for things made up in school one day has been "made" a guideline - which was disputed - and is now labeled as a notability criteria guideline. This seems quite ridculous to me, and is instruction creep in my opinion, as it is entirely covered by WP:V and WP:OR. But I'd like to see the opinion of some other people over there, to make sure i'm not crazy. Fresheneesz 23:12, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

I think you are correct that it is covered by other policies. OTOH, most guidelines are implementations and/or explanations of policies. The important criteria for a guideline are: 1. is it correct; and 2. is it useful. IMO both answers are 'yes' for this one, and I have not been involved in the discussion. I see too many enthusiastic editors, some possibly of younger age, who try to use WP to push their latest ideas, with little regard for WP:V or WP:NOR. When something sounds like it was just made up, using this guideline as reference may help them better understand the issues than just the generic V and NOR (which are still there of course). I don't see this as instruction creep, as it does not introduce new instructions. Crum375 23:24, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 20:14, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Oppose. Good way to create bad feelings among people. User:Zoe|(talk) 04:41, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

"Edit this page" button at the top

Can the "Edit this page" and all of its "friends" ("Discussion," "History", etc.) appear first when you load a page? --Howard the Duck 16:24, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

If you switch your skin to nostalgia, you'll get this. Tra (Talk) 16:41, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Having them appear at the end is a benefit to many screen readers and search engines by suggesting these are less important elements than the text of the page. Dragons flight 18:39, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I proposed this since WT:FU took forever to load, and when it loaded, it wasn't even complete, and the "edit this page" button wasn't displayed. This can be handy for very slow connections (like what happened after the 2006 Luzon Strait earthquake or for pages where people forget to archive things). --Howard the Duck 04:55, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Create method for registered users to record their movements across Wikipedia

This system would enable registered Wikipedia users to access a user list of visited sites. I surf Wikipedia constantly, but I cannot store and organize all the amazing Wikipedia sites I visit with my Favorites bar. I wish there were a way to record and organize my visited sites. The server would track visited sites by registered user, and cache the sites in a user special page. Kreepy krawly 02:24, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

There are a several such programs/tools offered for browsing in general across the entire Web (sorry, don't have specifics - google? firefox?); there really isn't a need for such a tool for just wikipedia browsing. So I very much doubt that any programming resources could or should be devoted to this. (Hopefully others will help out here with some specifics.) John Broughton | Talk 02:46, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
And, of course, you can always create a subpage off your user page in which you add and organize wikilinks; that's a bit more manual but certainly gives you total control. John Broughton | Talk 02:49, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
If you want an automated list of Wikipedia pages you have looked at, you could go through your browser history. Tra (Talk) 02:57, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
You could just add them to your watchlist. It's like bookmarking the page, but it also keeps you updated on changes. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 18:12, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Create bot-updated list page containing all Wikipedia searches without articles

What I mean by this is that every time a search request is entered into the search bar by anyone, and a page does not exist, the search topic will be cached into a special page. This way, new users can find what people search for, and perhaps take it upon themselves to work on that page. Would be useful for project teams to discover what people are looking for while searching. Could be usefull to Nutch. Also would be useful for the total encyclopedia-ization of human knowledge. One of my favorite things to do, as a new Wikipedian, is to challenge myself to find pages not yet created or entered into the special page for requested topics. I have found four pages I can create; once I feel confident I understand the rules well enough, I shall upload my data. But if I could check a special page with a list of unfulfilled search results, then I could search that and look for projects. I think this could greatly enhance Wikipedia. Kreepy krawly 02:16, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

This would be an excellent way to find missing redirects as well as topics that should possibly become articles. I'd support it (IANADev, etc). -- nae'blis 17:40, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
The problem I can see with this is what if someone decides to type in something confidential like their credit card number? It could also cause problems if too much of this sort of information is released accidentally. Tra (Talk) 18:36, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
This would only be a concern if the information that was being entered in the search field could be associated with a context and a person's identify. In other words if a credit card number, to use your example, was entered, someone would first have to recognise it as a credit card number, then would have to be able to link it with the user name / IP address of the searcher and then somehow identify the true identity of that user, before it could be any use to them. I don't think that's likely anyway, but I agree with you that it would have to be carefully implemented so that the data collected was completely anonymous - no records being kept of where the searches were coming from (name or IP or both), anywhere, in the view that would be displayed on the website, or on the server itself. Remember the fun Google and the American Justice Department had over releasing information to do with what searches were being carried out?
Having said that I think it's a great idea as long as it could be implemented practically i.e. you don't want every single search term being displayed, including millions of mistyped terms etc., it would have to be a top 100 / top 50 thing. I think it could be extremely useful though and agree with Kreepy Krawly that it would or could be used to greatly enhance the coverage in Wikipedia and make it more targetted towards what readers are looking for. Rmkf1982 | Talk 20:08, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I too believe this would be an excellent idea, though I don't know how to go about implementing it. I doubt there'd be any real privacy concerns as we could simply ensure that editors names wouldn't be associated with the terms that were searched for. Anyway, who is going to actually type in a credit card number? --The Way 23:25, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Maybe someone who is worried about their privacy and wishes to ensure that Wikipedia does not contain their credit card number, e.g. If theirs was 12345, they might type in '12345' in the search box and hope that nothing comes up. If something does come up, they would ask for it to be oversighted. Tra (Talk) 23:34, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

A way to be protected from vandalism

Wikipedia is protected from vandalism by the help of its "good" editors. Mt proposal would, in my opinion, greatly help them fight vandalism.

Current State of Wikipedia

Today, to fight vandalism Wikipedians look at a list of all the recent changes or all the new pages and some filter the list with words commonly used by vandals. Vandals can also be blocked. But still the problems with all the lists are eather they show all the edits (including vandal edits) or that they miss vandal edits.

My Suggestion

I suggest we add a new type of user: Good User. This would go along with the user types already in use like Admin, Beuracrat, Developer. These "Good Users" would be lower than all user types except of a regular user. "Good Users" would be upgraded to "Good User" by other "Good Users" or anyone higher than them by a diccesion of only one of the "Good User". The criteria for a "good user" would be that they were not a vandal and had 25 edits (to make sure they were not a vandal. Also everyone with 25 edits would be automatically added to a list (by a bot) to be reviewed for "Good User" status.

Sounds good but I think becoming a good user may need to be a bit hard. Like having 50 good edits (including things like having the right sources). Samaster1991 21:00, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
See #New permissions level below. -- Chris is me 15:04, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Effects of My Suggestion

  • Recent Change, and New Page lists could be filtered to display only users without a "Good User" or higher status. Proposed by Natl1 21:07, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Comments

I am sorry, but this really is not clear to me. If a user achieves 25 edits, which of course is a very low total, he becomes a good user? And then what? Is it assumed that all of his edits are vandalism free? (which they might well be). And following from that, do we assume that edits from editors who are not good users are vandalism? Which they mostly will not be. Do we assume that the first 24 edits of all new users are suspect? And do we assume that all edits of "good users" are trustworthy? No, I am sorry but guidelines of this type will not work, although I certainly wish that they would.--Anthony.bradbury 21:17, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

The suggestion is that you need 25 edits and the approval of an existing good user. --Tango 21:26, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

This kind of thing has been suggested multiple times in the past, and has never achieved consensus. A lot of the benefit of this form of the idea can be gained by filtering out logged in users (which is already possible). While some vandalism is done by logged in users, most is by IPs. Most vandalism by logged in users is done by users that wouldn't qualify as good users, but not all, so people would still need to check the full recent changes list anyway. Filtering by "good user/not good user" wouldn't be much more useful than by "logged in user/anon user". --Tango 21:26, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

I disagree that filtering by "logged in user/anon user" would be the same as filtering by "good user/not good user" because when you filter by anon user you miss all the speedy-delete class new articles since they cant be created by anon users. As a revent change patroller, I know that several page of this type are created every minute.--Natl1 22:22, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

We already have the division of New User/anon vs. "established" user for semiprotection, edit counts are just begging to be gamed. Newpages is not so busy that we need to filter it; everything should get checked regardless of who creates it. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 00:47, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

  • See also WP:PEREN. A hierarchy is probably not a useful way of solving this. >Radiant< 13:38, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Admin list

The admin list is getting kind of tough to load (crazy right, who the heck would ever want to check and see if someone is an admin). Any ideas about perhaps chopping it up in some way so as to alternatively load an alpha TOC and go from there? --hydnjo talk 21:57, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

My first thought would be a simple alphabetical split like A-K on one page, L-Z on the next, and semi-active and inactive on a third. Of course the place in the alphabet would have to be determined, but I think doing it alphabetically would be the most neutral and useful, while still retaining the usefulness of listing semi-active and inactive admins separately. Dar-Ape 22:21, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Strongly agree. Why does it take so long to load, there aren't that many lines? It's a lot faster to use the link to Special:Listusers/sysop currently. Also, the inactive section at the end seems to have a problem - entries from #65 onward don't list the name properly, but just link to the word admin (I can't see anything wrong/different with the code there). —Quiddity 22:27, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Short answer: the list is over the maximum pre-include template size. Kirill Lokshin 02:55, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Is there any particular reason why we need a manual list when we have an automated one? >Radiant< 13:40, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, the manual list does differentiate between active/semi-active/inactive/former, which is useful.
One solution would be to remove the "active" section of admin list, and link to the automated one for that part. We'd lose the few dozen "AKA ..." style notes, but that seems acceptable. That'd reduce the page size by at least 75%. —Quiddity 21:40, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Semi-automatic article quality ratings

How does one (especially an inexperienced reader) determine at a glance how reliable or thorough an article is, or how many well-written and poorly-written articles there are on a specific topic, or in what ways an article is lacking and in what ways it isn't? I propose a semi-automated system that would answer these questions. It's a method to rate articles on several criteria -- Reliability, Neutrality, Thoroughness, Subject Importance, Text Quality -- by combining automated scoring with editor votes.

The automated scoring would look at things like cleanup/unsourced/stub/dispute tags, (ex-)good/featured status, page protection (and the reason for it), being up for or having survived a VfD, and WikiProject quality/importance ratings; it would also analyze the article content to detect things like stubbishness or lack of references. To reduce the motivation for vandalism, it wouldn't re-evaluate after an edit by a non-admin until that edit had sat unchallenged for half an hour.

The voting portion would have a variable weight that increased asymptotically from zero to 60~70% with the number of votes cast. New, anonymous or banned users' votes would be ignored, and admins might get multiple votes (no more than five), but experience metrics such as edit count would not determine voting strength. Votes would have to be renewed when they were, say, three months and fifty non-minor edits to the article old. One could vote on each criterion with a single click from the article page, or make a vote with a comment. The votes could even be a section of the talk page, with a template for each vote and a bot in place to stop people from changing each others' votes.

The ratings would be displayed on the side bar as a bar chart with red-yellow-green colour codes, one bar for each criterion, with numerical ratings from 0 to 1000 (although they'd actually range from 1 to 999, both as a built-in disclaimer and to stress that there's always room for improvement). Anyone who clicked the ratings could see what positive and negative factors affected them, who had voted them up or down and how the final calculation was made -- in short, it would be an open-source set of scores.

Will this work? I know it would be a bit complex, but I could produce a more detailed draft design, with all the factors, numbers and equations. NeonMerlin 18:21, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

I am seeing two immediate problems with this. First, this could/would be hopelessly vandalized by patient users who wait out the auto-confirmed time limit. This could easily skew the results, rendering them essentially invalid.
It's not just a matter of "waiting out," it's a matter of keeping the tag's addition un-reverted for that length of time. Keeping vandalism from reversion for half an hour would probably be difficult, and if not we can raise it to a few hours. NeonMerlin 20:52, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Second, in my opinion, administrators should not get multiple votes. Administrators are simply users with a couple extra buttons. I believe voting strength and weight should be equal for all users. I think that this could be good if the kinks are ironed out, but there is just too much potential for misuse at the current time. PullToOpenTalk 18:29, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
I said "admins might get multiple votes." If the consensus is against multiple votes for admins, that's fine, but as I understand it an admin is someone whom the community consensus trusts more than they trust non-admins. NeonMerlin 20:52, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
While technically it is true that an average admin is more verified than an average user, we really don't want to create arbitrary levels - when people are given admin access, they are given a specific set of tools, not a level up; and extra votes aren't included, as of now. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 05:03, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
I can envision a variant of this approach that starts with a smaller scope. We already have a list of known spelling mistakes that can be used to count the number of spelling errors - this would be a hard, indisputable metric.
Great idea; a spelling check would be one of the factors in the Text Quality score under my system. But it would have to be on a per-thousand-words basis. NeonMerlin 20:55, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
As this starts to prove itself we could add in other tests that flag the articles as deficient in some other areas. Start with a rating of 0 and then deduct points for errors. Going positive only invites problems as stated by PullToOpen. --Hooperbloob 18:40, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
So "positive" just means "free of serious deficiencies." (Instead of a scale of 1 to 999, maybe it would be –999 to –1; in an ideal world, perfect scores would be the baseline.) It's still the same idea. NeonMerlin 20:55, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, "positive" wherein 0 is the topmost score that denotes an article free from computationaly detectable mistakes. Allowing people to rate articles subjectively invites all the issues mentioned here by others and obliterates the baby steps we can take now to encourage minimal adherence to proper English usage. Opening the ratings issue to human intervention just opens huge Pandora's Box. It is easier for people to agree on usage errors than it is to identify positive qualities. Start small with the errors, let people get accustomed to it then build on it. In other terms, you will never have perfection, just the pursuit of it. --Hooperbloob 21:22, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
The potential for problems is too large, such rating polls are evil at it's greatest. Besides, a rating system already exists Category:WikiProject assessments and is far from complete and needs help.
That's what automated evaluation tools, multiple scores and voting can provide. NeonMerlin 01:15, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Why implement another system of assessment, articles with problems already greatly outnumber the better ones. We should be concentrating on improving them rather than judging them. - Tutmosis 18:49, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree with the above; there are just too many factors and potential problems involved. The proposal also sounds similar to the stable versions test currently being developed, where a "stable version" is identified and shown on the article page, depending on votes by users on its "completeness". Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 21:01, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

How about this then: We'll implement the automated scoring and display first, see how well it works on its own, then talk about maybe adding the voting component later. NeonMerlin 01:15, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, definitely start with an automated system first, and get some feedback. For example, I suggest NOT evaluating after any edit by an anonymous user. Also, am I correct to assume that the rating will be posted on an article's talk page, not on the article itself? And will the rating template include a category? John Broughton | Talk 01:31, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
File:Ratings mockup.PNG
Ratings could be displayed as red, yellow and green bars on the page sidebar.
I was actually thinking of the ratings being displayed on the sidebar, and handled completely separately from the wiki code. NeonMerlin 04:12, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
About the system as a whole: Too complex, in my opinion. Maybe we would be fine with something very simple (like the system on Uncyc). Or the machine can provide its own automated estimate, to make it easier for someone's assessment, done as usually, manually. The problem with voting is that voting is too slow and inert, and wouldn't say much more than a simple glance. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 05:03, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Yet you're proposing something like the system on Uncyclopedia, which is pure voting. I agree that at least for now, we should just do the automated system. And it wouldn't have to be terribly complicated either; see the algorithms I'm building at User:NeonMerlin/Scoring system. NeonMerlin 04:12, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
While the voting is generally to be avoided, for minor tasks it's better to make it as quick as there. Automated system complemented, or just auto-system. Keep in mind, though, that machine can't possibly gauge readability, writing quality and many similar human-related aspects. Reliability as well, actually, as number of tags has little correlation with sourcing - most of the times articles with tags are actually better sourced, because for ones without nobody even bothered to put them. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 23:09, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the reliability rating method I propose doesn't rely just on tags; it also includes a way of automatically counting sources that will tend to err, if at all, on the low side. An article with zero detected sources automatically gets the lowest possible Reliability score unless marked good or featured. To score full points given the tags, an article needs at least three sources. Stability and need for updating are also taken into account (although sourcing is the main factor), both through tags and by counting recent edits and editors. So no, you can't rely solely on tags to gauge reliability, but under my system you're not. NeonMerlin 20:33, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Downloadable open source Wikipedia software for your computer

I have an idea of developing an open source application that you can download and install on your computer, much like Encarta from Microsoft. The catch is that this downloaded encyclopedia is faster to access then on the web and also this program can have built in update capabilities so that every user can stay up to date. This will not only get some of the traffic off Wikipedia's servers but also publicize Wikipedia and make it into a household name, much like Google. Imagine that parents download and install this for their kids so they will still be able to do their homework and stay off the web that is filled with pedophiles and bad things for children. Not only will this help Wikipedia but also many parents who do not want to waste money on Encarta. Therefore, seize this opportunity and begin working on this project because it is the future of Wikipedia. 20:36, 21 December 2006 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mcstcisco (talkcontribs)

Not only of the future but of the past... Although not mentioned in the Internet Explorer article IE has a syncronization option which most other browsers probably have which offers download scheduling capability much the same as scheduling for any other task. Click on the "Favorites" dropdown, select "Add to favirites..." and click on the "Make available offline" checkbox. Adaptron 10:08, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
This sort of idea is very important for those of us who work in less-wealthy regions and do not have constant internet access. We must rely on expensive Encarta subscriptions or other resources for general reference. It would be extremely useful to take a "snapshot" of the most popular Wikipedia articles and distribute it at low cost on a DVD. --From a global health student, Dec. 2006. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jmr30 (talkcontribs) 21:45, 23 December 2006 (UTC).
There is Wikipedia DVD and a downloadable Wikipedia browser.--Natl1 15:55, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Check this out: Wikipedia:Database_download. Btw, the web is not an awful place for children - its one of the best places for kids to learn about the world. The internet isn't just a cess pool you know.. we're not in the 90's anymore, toto. Fresheneesz 23:26, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

How about compensation for contributors...?

Direct compensation of writers by readers might be a good way to compensate Wikipedia contributors but another method that comes to mind is the idea of establishing a system of voting for the best contribution of the week, month or year wherein the contributor with the work with the highest number of votes would be named contributor of the week, month or year and granted an appropriate sum. I say this because most of the articles I have read seem to be of such exceptional quality that they are equally, if not more, deserving of reward and compensation as are revisions and improvements to Wikipedia Foundation facilities (hardware and software). And I would not stop there. I can think of just as equally deserving contributors who work or participate in the reference desks as well. Adaptron 09:33, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Can't they just use Paypal?--Foundby 10:59, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Do we have to introduce capitalism to Wikipedia? Egads! It is is prolific enough elsewhere in life. CyberAnth 11:18, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
No, thanks. We just like working as slaves. — Nearly Headless Nick 11:23, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedians are free to go at any time. Slaves are not.
I am all for a system of non-monetary rewards.
CyberAnth 01:08, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Most Wikipedians, being volunteers working on a free encyclopedia, would reject monetary rewards for their contributions. According to the list of missing Wikipedians, Colin Kimbrell left when Reward board, a similar proposal, was implemented. If implemented, this proposal would drive away even more editors.
As a writer, I work on articles because I enjoy doing so. Recognition of my work - such as an article I've significantly contributed to achieving GA status - motivates me. Therefore, I support the idea of "contributor of the month" awards, but no money should be involved, please.
--J.L.W.S. The Special One 11:36, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
The issue is that we could attract people who are only looking for money. That's said as I'm sure many good editors, who would like to contribute more, have to limit themselves in order to leave room for they paid job. It's exactly the same in many open source software projects: they advance in the developers spare time only, because they are unpaid. *If* a way existed to economically support people's work *without* all the bad effects that this could have I'd like the idea. Of course recognition is another matter, as others have pointed out. For other POVs, it would perhaps help to hear opinions from someone involved in Yahoo! Answers. —Gennaro Prota•Talk 11:54, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I see a different problem. It lies in quantity. The quantity of monetary support Wikipedia could offer is pretty low; make it a prize or share it, it is way below the real cost of the work done. However, with money being introduced into this, everything would be viewed from a different angle, the angle of money.
Or, phrasing it simply: Now I contribute for my own sake, good of WP, etc, with monetary system I would contribute for $200/year. Negative effects are dual - first, contributors will feel underpaid, second, people will think "oh, it's their job".
And concentrating money into a single or a few rewards created the spirit of competition rather than collaboration at least, and coups, factions, conflicts... well, all these problems are far beyond possible benefits. Extra $200/year won't make me, as well as most editors, contribute more, but will make others edit less, relying on the paid ones. We have some problems of undervalued contributors, factionalism, competitions, but they are relatively harmless; adding money would make them all surface, solidify and expand. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 15:01, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
  • There used to be a system for this but it fell flat almost immediately. >Radiant< 16:18, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
For "best contribution of the week", see WP:FA. User:Zoe|(talk) 16:40, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Okay to summarize: From what I am hearing then it is the absence of monetary gain that is not only responsible for the quality but for the doing. Compensation is not in monetary gain but in the accomplishment. The idea of nominating and voting on the best contribution (and hence contributor) of the week, month or year is good but not the 3 to 14 day cruise through the Caribbean they would derive from the honor. No-strings-attached Direct PayPal donations by any user to any other user as thanks or to show appreciation or gratitude for a well written article or reference desk solution to a problem would be okay.

Thanks very much to everyone for expressing your head and heart felt opinion. Adaptron 23:02, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Just thought I'd throw in some food/links for thought: Wikipedia:Bounty board and Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Featured users, which was intended to be somewhat analagous to WP:FA, I believe. Dar-Ape 23:13, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Having linked to the Wikipedia:Rewards board and read Wikipedia:Reward_board#Iran the thought occurred to me that if a newspaper editor for instance needed research on a particular topic this might be one way to get it without paying boo coo dollars to a hired gun for it. So there may already be means of compensation present which simply find no need to be well advertized. Call it the Wikipedia writer pool - sort of like the bar down the road where all the local writer types hang out? Adaptron 00:53, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
The honor of contributing to this great encyclopedia is the only compenation that I need. I'm proud of it. --Tohru HondaSign here! 01:48, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Check WP:REWARD. -- ReyBrujo 04:35, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
2Adaptron: My opinion is that direct donations by someone to someone are fine. Having a WMF budget for prizes isn't, because it will make it look "Mostly non-profit". Maybe something independent would work well. I mean, when people donate to Wikipedia, they donate for servers and their maintenance, all the things which keep the system running. Having a separate initiative with a fund for rewarding contributors would work fine. However, to add to, not to replace what we have now. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 06:08, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Whatever meets consensus is fine with me since that's how the Wikipedia got to where it is today and can get to where it's going in the future. Besides keeping hardware and software state-of-the-art, eliminating bottlenecks, adding servers, increasing speed, etc. is an ever increasing expense that demands every penny donors can provide. Adaptron 08:29, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

This is similar as in free software: Wikimedia cannot itself pay contributors, but third parties are free to hire people to work on a specific article, similar to SUSE hiring programmers to work on the Linux kernel. Nobody can keep me, for example, from hiring three people to clean up vandalism and do categorization tasks. Or from promising $100 to my mate if he should get Chronology of the Ancient Near East to FA status. Funding 'wikijobs' could be a new form of donation to the project, without direct involvement of Wikimedia. dab (𒁳) 09:23, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

And there's nothing to stop individuals from donating to Wikipedia indirectly by hiring someone to work on it for them. For example, lets say I'm a CEO and I earn 99 bazillian dollars a year, and I love the idea of improving articles on Wikipedia. I can't "afford" to work on articles myself because my time is so valuable to my company, but I can easily afford to hire 100 college kids during the summer to do nothing but sit around and improve articles on Wikipedia. They get $15 an hour, Wikipedia gets improved a lot more than it would if I did it myself. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 15:23, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Some stuff to think about
  • Where would the money come from?
  • How would we know where to send the money (users aren't required to say anything about their real identities or place of residence)
Ninetywazup? 20:43, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

There have been PR firms which were taking money to write Wikipedia articles for their clients, but this is frowned upon as a violation of WP:COI. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:30, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

This sounds like an interesting idea. I'm confused as to how a monetary reward system would drive *away* users.. Monetary rewards would be easy - small rewards for good hard work. Money would come from the same place wikipedia gets money now, donations. Obviously users that win such rewards would either have to give some sort of information - or donate it back to the foundation. However, the type of people that are volunatarily contributing now would very much appreciate some simple recognition, like those barnstars, more than money. Fresheneesz 23:32, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

"Search" function needed

(This is a repeat of a suggestion months ago that got no helpful response.) Editors are often at a loss at how to do things. The FAQ/Help pages are still daunting and yet also quite incomplete. There are a lot of instructions and tips that are not likely to be found by the people who need them. SO, it would be nice if we could search the meta-Wikipedia pages and not just the Wikipedia contents. For example, finding out how to make a redirect or to link to a Wikipedia article on a same subject in another language are both topics that one could spend a long time looking for help on before probably giving up. But if we had a search function, "redirect" would pop right up and solve the editor's problem. Kdammers 04:56, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

This sort of functionality is available, but you have to be a little creative. For example, with the following google query:

site:en.wikipedia.org intitle:wikipedia intitle:faq OR site:en.wikipedia.org intitle:redirect

gives you some good leads. Also, you can search within wikipedia itself using the wp:shortcut prefix notation (e.g.,).

wp:npov

as far as *new* people finding information they need, it's possible, but it takes some effort. But then being new to anything takes effort. Sometimes it's easier to just know a humanoid with experience and ask them. dr.ef.tymac 05:10, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

The above is mostly wrong. You can search the pages in wikipedia:, help: or any other namespace without resorting to google by using the little checkboxes at the bottom of the search page. The WP: prefix does not search by namespace, it's nothing but a convention among a system of redirects that form WP:SHORTCUTs to pages that are easy to guess and easier to remember and type than the full name. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 05:55, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

:What search page?  If you mean search box, then I don't see any checkboxes.  Kdammers 06:10, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
You can try Wikipedia:Searching, also, clarification, the above "the above is mostly wrong" is mostly wrong. The stuff I mentioned does work. TMTOWTDI. :) dr.ef.tymac 06:18, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I just went through wik/searching (Is this the page night gyr was referring to?)and could find nothing that jumped right out. Why can't we just make it (taboo word) easy for people?

Kdammers 06:26, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Clarification: to get "checkboxes" enter a term in the search box and click "search" *instead of clicking "go"*. This factoid is indicated on the link I gave you. HTH! :) dr.ef.tymac 06:28, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Okeh, I found those hidden boxes (how many people are going to scroll down to find them, when all they see is garbage above them?), but when I clicked what SEEMS to be the right one and entered 'redirect,' I only got garbage. Kdammers 06:49, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
If you're interested in a specific term (like redirect), there's nearly always at least a redirect in the wikipedia namespace to a helpful article. For example, typing "wikipedia:redirect" into the search box and clicking "go" gets you to Wikipedia:Redirect. If you look for a term this way that ends up not going anywhere useful please let me know. And, if you're ever simply stuck, posting a question at WP:HD nearly always will get a very prompt response. -- Rick Block (talk) 16:24, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I've been working on a "editor's index" that might be useful, since one doesn't appear to exist. You're welcome to look at (and use) the draft. -- John Broughton | Talk 16:42, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Take a look at WP:QD and WP:DIR, they seem to be fairly extensive and you might want to try to avoid duplication of work. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 22:11, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. WP:DIR is the closest thing I've found, but it's still quite limited - for example, there are no links whatsoever about copyrights (except the very small standard link at the bottom of the page); nothing on bots; nothing on graphics; only one link for disambiguation, nothing on templates/transclusion, and only one link pertaining to images. And it's organized by category, not alphabetical (the two approaches have different strengths and limitations). John Broughton | Talk 16:01, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Spell check in edits?

I'm pretty sure someone has discussed this before as its such an obvious topic but I'll say it anyway.

Would it be possible to incorporate a spell check functionality within Wikipedia? I am regulariliy coming across (and fixing) typos in articles, and I have seen discussions elsewhere that refer to the number of anonymous edits that take place just fixing typos that someone spotted.

Would it not be possible to incorporate a spell checker into the edit window? There's a toolbar across the top already that would be the perfect place for a spell check button, or even better, if it could be set to run automatically when someone presses the preview or save page buttons. Many webmail interfaces support this already e.g. Gmail, so it is definitely possible to do it in a web based environment, and I am sure free dictionaries exist (OpenOffice's ones perhaps?).

If this was implemented it would easily fix a lot of individually small errors, that when taken together can simply make an article look amateurish when it is otherwise great content.

If this is the wrong place to suggest this I'm sorry.

Any thoughts? thanks. Rmkf1982 17:43, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

This is among the Perennial Proposals that get suggested here frequently. Please refer to the link here for the archived discussion. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 17:53, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I see.... yeah it's been discussed to the death, sorry I did try locating previous discussions but couldn't find any. Thanks. Rmkf1982 18:08, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Call me disheartened but I have learned that anything requiring the developers to hit the keyboard... (really, never seen *one* proposal getting through). I might only suggest using Mozilla Firefox, which incorporates spell-checking facilities as of version 2; an extension, called SpellBound, exists for earlier versions. —Gennaro Prota•Talk 19:47, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
You do realize that the developers are all volunteers, right? They do their Wikipedia work in addition to their regular jobs and regular lives. They can only work on major things at any one time. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:57, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
comment from ceyockey It's also reasonable to Assume Good Faith among the developers just as we do among the editors - as Zoe implies, they work on the problems and enhancements as their time permits. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 18:13, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Without commenting on the actual proposal, it should be noted that most, not all, of the developers are volunteers. Brion is employed by the Foundation as its Chief Technical Officer, and Tim Starling, along with a few others, are contracted as technical staff. However, they are also charged with other responsibilities (such as keeping the site running, etc.), and the other developers are indeed volunteers. In addition, devleopers routinely respond to community requests; multiple patches on bugzilla have been fixed/implemented, and semi-protection was also developed after widespread community support. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 18:14, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I do realize it. FWIW, I'm an open source developer myself. My personal opinion, gathered from some bugzilla threads I initially participated in, is that they are the most "unwilling volunteers" I've ever come upon. It might just be the case that on average I've encountered over-enthusiastic guys so far, though. Or it could be that Wikipedia has pushed the software limits beyond what they were expecting and like to support. In that case, a more explicit statement of their stance would be nice, so that others could get over the job (note: I'm not one of those, at least if the software is to be written in PHP, so please don't take that as sort of self-promotion). —Gennaro Prota•Talk 18:17, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Don't take this as a slam, as it is not intended as such, but as an open source developer, would you be able to volunteer some of your time towards development here? User:Zoe|(talk) 18:29, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm certainly willing to contribute time (why would I contribute to articles but not to code? :-)). Not sure what you mean by "being able" though. If you mean contributing to MediaWiki I'm hardly able to contribute as I know nothing about PHP. I think, however, that Wikipedia has pushed MediaWiki to its limits _and_ that we really need an SCM system (think for instance of 'Featured articles': what we have is actually 'featured versions'... the very same page which is declared 'featured' can become a total mess a few edits later). If an effort is begun to write a new contents editing system with integrated version control (SVN being a likely candidate for integration) I'd be more than happy to contribute. —Gennaro Prota•Talk 10:54, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

'Number of watches to an Article' data available to 'Very Active' (non-admin) users as well

Since not all Wikipedian wants to become an Admin yet want to maintain articles, availibilty of this data to Very Active Wikpedians(can be defined say using a point system based on number of non-reverted edits) will help them increasing their productivity level in Wikipedia. Vjdchauhan 13:01, 29 December 2006 (UTC).

According to data there at http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/Sitemap.htm, there are more than 40,000 'Active Users' (> 5 edits per month)and 4000 'Very Active Users' (> 100 edits per month) out of total 1.7M total users at Engligh Wikipedia. There very active users should be able to see number of watches per article and can also adopt some of the least watched pages. Vjdchauhan 13:01, 29 December 2006 (UTC).
The motivation is clear and I suspect shared by all. The problem is implementation. In theory, if we allow access to 'unwatched' (or poorly watched) article info to non-admins based on edit count only, I can see vandals/trolls artificially jacking up their edit count to get that vaunted data, then perhaps sharing it with other like-minded vandals. I think the idea is very valid, however, and we do need to find ways to distribute the watching load. One idea: each admin nominates 'helpers', non-admins s/he knows can be trusted, and these users are then allowed access to the 'poorly watched' info. Crum375 15:08, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
The point system that I was talking about is based on non-reverted edits whereas vandals edits are typically reverted (grant negative points for such changes). You suggestion is also nice. Vjdchauhan 15:38, 29 December 2006 (UTC).
Yes, I agree about the point system; in fact I would reset the points to 0 or just eliminate the candidate, even for one vandal edit (or maybe a couple, to allow for innocent mistakes). But my concern is that smart trolls/vandals/badguys would then jack up their edit counts by doing minor legitimate edits (I don't want to give WP:BEAN examples). You can catch these things visually, but teaching a bot to spot these patterns would be harder. Therefore I am worried about a simple edit count criterion. Crum375 21:22, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Request for Rollback

As I have posted here, I am formally requesting rollback privileges. Please see my reasoning there. -- Jmax- 22:08, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

There is no such facility for non-admins. There are some bots which allow a pseudo rollback capability, but you have to sign up for them. I don't know where the singups are, though, hope somebody else can help you. User:Zoe|(talk) 22:52, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I currently have a version of godmode-light enabled, but it seems to be buggy, and I don't really want to have to use a javascript hack for something that should be available for all users. -- Jmax- 22:57, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I've been using this one with much success for about one month, and have not noticed any bugs. It really slows down older computers, though.

 // Admin-like RC Patrol tools
 document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src="' 
            + 'http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:VoA/monobook.js' 
            + '&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript&dontcountme=s"></script>');
//

Hope this helps. Accurizer 23:33, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Please disable a re-direct command to allow for a new page/article

Re: Immortality. Searching for "eternal life" re-directs to "Immortality", which philosophically is not the same. May I suggest to remove the re-direct command, so that "Eternal life" can attract contributors and thus become an article in its own right. 86.136.188.189 10:31, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

You can just follow the redirect link back at the top of the page - here is a direct link [2]. Megapixie 11:01, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

counters?

i don't know if this has been suggested before, I think that it would be nice to add counters for all articles. so people who have contributed can know that their hard works have been paid off well. SummerThunder 01:00, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

It has been suggested before. The feature is disabled for performance reasons but you can view a list of the top 100 most-viewed articles at Wikicharts. Tra (Talk) 01:13, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Overcategorization

Please join the discussion at the talk page of Wikipedia:Overcategorization, as to whether the page should become a guideline. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:20, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Wish List Vs Watch List

I miss this feature in Wikipedia where I want to maintain a list of pages that I wish to read in future /the ones that I like. Watch List whose prime purpose if to help in maintaing the sanctity of article something else. Vjdchauhan 09:20, 27 December 2006 (UTC).

You can do this by making a subpage of your user page with links to the articles you are interested in. Tra (Talk) 12:10, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Or you can even create a folder in your bookmarks and bookmark the pages you want to read.++aviper2k7++ 22:50, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I think subpages will help but not up to my satisfaction as I think one can reach this (persoanl preference) data by following What links here for the article on my wish-list subpage.
Bookmarks have the problem of sharing across machines. Thanks, Vjdchauhan 00:28, 28 December 2006 (UTC).
If you prefer to keep your list confidential, you could store it on another web service such as Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Tra (Talk) 00:56, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Single logon to all Wikimedia sites including non English Wikepedia

Why is this feature not there, technical difficulty or some other policy issues. I am sure same issue would have been raised earlier as well, so do we have a bug id for this. And Should this go to Wikipedia:Village pump (perennial proposals) as well. Vjdchauhan 08:59, 27 December 2006 (UTC).

I can't say much on the status, but see m:Help:Unified login which addresses what you're looking for. --Dapeteばか 10:09, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, this upcoming feature will help us/Wikipedia a lot in coming time. Vjdchauhan 00:18, 28 December 2006 (UTC).

Review edits and anons, new editors, restricted editors

This is an idea that seems to only be halfway present on perennial proposals. The basic idea is that for anons and certain classes of editors, their edits must be reviewed before going "live".

The purpose of this is to discourage the vandalism of Wikipedia. In my experience, I have found that there is nothing as frustrating to an editor as to have thier edits not "stick". For a casual vandal, they would be left with the fact that their edits would not even get posted: They would lack the satisfaction of seeing their edit appear at all. (I don't think that the casual vandals mind the edit not sticking. Instead it is the thrill of being able to impact Wikipedia at all that is what they are after.)

I also propose to have the edits of new editors be reviewed, but for them I would set a low bar: Call for them to have 1 dozen edits approved before they can edit freely, but with a catch: For every edit that is rejected, they will then need two additional edits accepted before they can edit freely. The idea here is to get the "good" editors out from under this as quickly as possible, while at the same time being able to reign in those who at the least get off on the wrong foot.

In addition, an admin would also have the right to impose review on an editor. Whether this would be a time-based pseudo-block or just setting a value in the edits-needing-acceptance field for the account is an open issue.

Here are my deatils of how this scheme would operate:

  • When an anon, new editor, or restricted editor views a page, they will not see an "edit" tab but instead a "proposed edit" tab.
  • When the editor goes to the "proposed edit" tab, they will get a screen that is almost the same as the current edit screen except that the "save page" button will be replaced by a "submit edit" button.
  • Using the "submit edit" button will place the proposed edit into a queue of proposed edits for the page.
  • Notification to editors will occur in one of two ways:
    • The watchlist will note that a proposed edit is pending fot the article and give the editor a link for reviewing the edits, or
    • When an editor goes to that article or its talk page, they will see banner that proposed edits are pending and a link for reviewing the edits.
  • IMO, the preview page should show the diff of the proposed edit, and give the reviewing editor the choice of accepting, rejecting or defering consideration of the edit.
    • If more than one proposed edit is queued, the review will proceed to the next edit unless the editor should choose to terminate the review.
    • Edit conflicts will need to be handled using the current edit conflict screen.
      • The option of discarding an edit due to a conflict should be provided.
      • An edit discarded at this stage should not cause the edits-needed-acceptance count to be increased.
    • The editor is returned to the page from whence they came once the review is done.
  • An proposed edit that goes 24 hours without being ruled on will be "aged in". (This prevents proposed edits from being lost due to lack of review, and also encourages said reviews.)

Other open issues include:

  • Should this be restricted to the article space only (including categories, templates, and Wikipedia), or should the talk pages also be included? (I advise again incuding the talk pages, but have seen problems there too.)
  • Should the new editot's number of edits needing acceptance be higher or lower than proposed? Could the count start at zero but an "undo" done early enough start ratcheting the count up? (I advise against a zero start as it means that a vandal can get a "running start" before being stymied.)

Do note that this scheme will not deter a vandal who is determined to get around this system, nor is it intended to. Instead, I see this as a way of letting the good but anonymous edits into Wikipedia fairly quickly whicle closing the door on the vandalizing/unproductive ones. The only catch would be the delay in posting a good but anonymous edit, but as long as editors are dilligent about checking out anonymous contributions promptly, that should not be an issue. In fact, I often find that the anonymous editors are finding trvial mistakes in spelling and gammar that are worth accepting, albeit not as often as a vandal comes along.

I hope that people will find this idea useful. --EMS | Talk 04:18, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

It is similar to the proposed approval for which the German Wikipedia was preparing a test, right? -- ReyBrujo 05:05, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Isn't deleting vandalism just as easy as accepting an edit? What happens if an IP "proposes" an edit and it goes untouched for days. Then another IP wants to edit the article, which creates edit conflicts. Then a member has to review both the edits and if they are conflicting, the member has to blend them together somehow, which most likely means it gets deleted in whole.++aviper2k7++ 06:17, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
First of all, I have noticed that Wikipedia has gotten much more sophisticated about edit conflicts. If edits are made to different parts of an article simultaneously, they will be blended instead of an edit conflict being cited. Even so, it occurs to me that an anonymous edit should be allowed to "age in" if it is not ruled on in a reasonable amount of time. Also, the conflict will be with the second proposed edit, so that only it gets discarded.
As for the german experiment: That is a variation on the theme of "approved versions". In that case, the edit is in but it may not be immediately visible to most readers. Whether this approval process will work well or not remains to be seen. It makes for a different kind of work. --EMS | Talk 07:00, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

This idea goes against the whole point of a wiki - Wikipedia is the encyclopedia anyone can edit, not the encyclopedia anyone can submit recommendations for edits to. If anon edits don't go live immeadiately, anons will get bored and not contribute to the site. --Tango 15:40, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I keep seeing these arguments and they don't wash with me. Wikipedia has a real problem with trvial vandalism. As best I can tell, there are usually at least three inappropriate edits by anons for every good one that is done. For popular pages, the edit history is often a series of vandalism attacks and reverts puntuated by the occasional genuine, accceptable edit.
I addition, I do not believe that anons need to see their change go "live" immediately. However, they do need to know what is happening to their edit. They should get a message saying that it will be reviewed and will be acted on within (for example) 24 hours. I noone acts on the edit sooner, it would "age in". That way, a good anon will come back later and see that their edit has indeed gone live.
I don't want to poo-poo you too much however. A process needs to be in place which encourages prompt review of anonymous edits, and that is part of the reason I set up the scheme above as I did. --EMS | Talk 19:24, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
By what methodology did you come up with your numbers? I am a regular reviewer of Recent Changes, and disagree with your figures. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:56, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not going to clainm a scientific analysis, but for instance looks at the edit history for general relativity and the edit history for special relativity. Even if my numbers are high, there is still a lot of just plain malicious vandalism that goes on here, and even more edits that are well meaning but not acceptable (such as those by the SR editor who keeps saying "LETMEFIXYOURCRAP"). We need a way to reign that kind of stuff in. If anonymous editing is not going to be banned, then it at least needs to be reigned in somehow. Letting ANY change by anyone "go live" immediately is only an invitation to the kinds of childish vandalism that affects this venue so often to its detriment. Wikipedia needs a way that permits the good editors to see that indeed their contributions are wanted, while at the same time puts up a barrier so that Wikipedia is not worth the bother for the casual vandals. That is what this is all about. If you knew that a certain type of edit that would be fun to see would not get in, would you bother with it? I think not, and that it what this is about. --EMS | Talk 01:22, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

TextBook Wikipedia

I would like to propose that groups of articles pertaining to a similar discipline(ie: Calculus, Electrical Eng.,Carpentry, or etc.......) be grouped together in a similar fashion to that of a textbook.

This exists at Wikibooks. Tra (Talk) 01:22, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
there's also the Wikipedia:Wikireader project. Wikibooks is good for howto and instructional material that would be inappropriate here. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 02:00, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Terry Davis

I have tried to update the Terry Davis page to include the author Terry Davis. Why does my edit keep getting erased? Can someone fix this? Here is Terry's author page for info:

http://www.terrydavis.net/index.2ts

He is the Author who's novel "Vision Quest" was made into the popular 80's movie of the same name.

Firstly, when multiple people have the same name, we make separate articles for them, for example, your article about the author should go at Terry Davis (author), and the existing Terry Davis article would link to it at the top (something like, "This article is about the politician, for the author see: Terry Davis (author)"). Secondly, it appears the text you added was copied from his website - unless that text has been released under a suitable license (which I can't see any mention of), including it on Wikipedia is a copyright violation (ie. it's illegal), so we can't allow it. If you would like to write an article in your own words on a different page (just click one of the red links in this paragraph), please feel free. Thanks! --Tango 21:19, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Page popularity

Why don't article talk pages have a template at the top which gives an indication of that page's popularity? This would be the number of hits that page got over a certain period (week/month or year). The benefit would be that it would be clear which articles were in high demand but in a poor state. The idea may have been discussed elsewhere - but I can't find it. Would this slow the database up too much? Andeggs 20:05, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Hit counting is disabled in the database but approximated by the tool server; I'm sure you could set up a system to tag talk pages of highly-trafficked articles to make them a higher priority for improvement. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 20:18, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
    Here is where it's approximated by the tool server. Tra (Talk) 20:30, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Brilliant - these are the ones to work on then. Why on earth is Irukandji jellyfish in 11th place??! Andeggs 00:04, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
The statistics are partly random, due to the way the system works. It could be that the visitors to Irukandji jellyfish just happened to be several of the 'lucky' ones who got their request recorded in the toolserver. Alternatively, there could be someone constantly refreshing the page or, somebody could be deliberately sending multiple requests to the tool server to artificially increase the page's rank. It's because of anomalies like these that the statistics here should be taken with a pinch of salt. Tra (Talk) 00:15, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

ReadMore Tags

This is a proposal for READMORE tags. PROBLEM: Articles and talk pages sometimes contain relevant content that is nonetheless very long, negatively affecting the flow and continuity of the text for some readers. SOLUTION: Enable "readmore" tags that work similarly to the "show/hide" functionality of "article contents" boxes. RATIONALE: This would allow editors and readers to bypass sub-regions of text that are long and not necessarily needed by all readers (e.g., articles that contain source code). PITFALLS: Potential misuse of READMORE tags as a subterfuge for editorial disputes (but editorial disputes are always a factor). EXAMPLE: I got this idea from perlmonks, a site that uses ReadMore tags to show/hide large sections of sample code. (see e.g., http://www.perlmonks.org/?node_id=591056). When the READMORE tag is "closed" it simply shows the link "READMORE" with the size of the obscured text in parenthesis (e.g., READMORE (15kb)). dr.ef.tymac 19:23, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

  • comment we already have javascript collapsing nav boxes--you could put article content in one, but if it's that long, you might be better breaking it into a new article. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 20:41, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I believe the show/hide feature only works in certain skins, so this might not be a good idea for that reason alone. The "Main article: XYZ" technique works well enough in most cases. Source code is a good example of a case where that doesn't work, but I'm not sure if that's a large enough problem to warrent such a solution. --Tango 20:50, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I've checked; show/hide works in all skins but it won't work if javascript is disabled/not supported and it obviously won't work on paper. Tra (Talk) 21:13, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Upload form change proposed

I have proposed a change to the upload form in hope of reducing the number of duplicate images being uploaded. After 5 days, there has been no comments so I am listing it here. Please see MediaWiki talk:Uploadtext#Suggestion to add and provide your comments. Thank you. --MECUtalk 18:06, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Moving the main page

Please see Talk:Main Page#Requested move for a proposal to move the main page to the Wikipedia: namespace. —Mets501 (talk) 04:31, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Hungarian Names

I'm not sure if this should be posted here or under miscellaneous, but please hear me out: in doing research on the PRC, I noticed that pages about Chinese personages have their surnames first, according to Chinese custom: it's Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, not Zedong Mao and Xiaoping Deng. Zhao Ziyang even has a little disclaimer template on it: "This is a Chinese name; the family name is X." This is all well and good. So why is this not followed for pages about Hungarians, who have the same custom? It's downright awkward for a Hungarian to say "Lajos Kossuth" and "Sándor Petőfi" instead of "Kossuth Lajos" and "Petőfi Sándor." Nonetheless, this is how it is: Arany János's page (of course, at János Arany) even has a disclaimer tag to the opposite effect of the Chinese: "The native form of this personal name is X. This article uses the Western name order."
This, to me, seems unfair.
Korossyl 04:01, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

This is the English language Wikipedia. To English speakers, the method you propose would be awkward and sound strange. You can create redirects with last first redirecting to first last, and you can put something in the first sentence of the article explaining the Hungarian naming methodology. User:Zoe|(talk) 16:50, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree that this is the Enlgish language Wiki, but I'm not sure you got the gist of my message: we already do this for articles with Chinese names, even in the Enlgish version. See Mao, Deng, or Zhao for examples. I'm asking for consistency. Korossyl 20:50, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

That does actually seem to make sense. Google stats: "Lajos Kossuth": 98,000 hits; "Kossuth Lajos": 1,040,000 hits. It seems the latter order is used roughly 10 times as often. I'd be in favor of moving it. AnonEMouse (squeak) 21:25, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

new marketing idea

TO whom this may concern,

My name is Simon Farquhar, I am a 4th year Univerisity of Guelph student and recently while relaxing with my roommates over a nice cool refreshing drink I came up with what I believe to be two great new marketing slogans to be used by Wikimedia...they go as followed...

"In a quiki...search for it on Wiki" -or- "In a jiffy...search for it on Wiki"

now, the first slogan can be altered as followed...

"In a qwiki...search for it on Wiki"

and here i'm thinking wiki media should develop a search bar that can be put on to ones desktop known as the "Qwiki" search bar

Anyways that my new idea slash suggestion and Ishould mention that I do not seek any royalty (although perhaps a Quizno's sub might do)from this. If you would like to get a hold of me here is my contact information...you know...have your people get back to my people.

Simon Farquhar sfarquha(at)uoguelph(dot)ca —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 72.140.207.158 (talkcontribs).

Pardon me, but I have to ask...did the cool refreshing drink contain alchohol? Cheers, PullToOpenTalk 04:04, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

"Line-item veto"

I find too often that I get a page in my watchlist that I'd rather not be there. And it becomes such a pain in the neck, especially when it's one of those Wikipedia:Articles for deletion..../...../December.../14/....; I takes forever to single it out of the humongous list I have in there!

What I suggest is to somehow make a button that'll remove a page from your watchlist right from the watchlist. All you would have to do is look to the left of the page that has been recently edited and click "remove" or something. It'd be very helpful to quickly remove one or two pages you don't want to look at any more.

Suggestions? JARED(t)  16:06, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, you could uncheck the box that says "watch this page" when you edit a page you don't want on your watchlist. You can also set the box to be unchecked by default in your preferences, I believe. That would solve the problem before it starts. Cheers, PullToOpenTalk 16:40, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
There's a script at Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts/Scripts/Unwatch that does what you're suggesting. You can copy it into your monobook.js. Tra (Talk) 19:03, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

"Edit Summary" capacity

I think the area for "Edit Summary" should have a larger capacity. I think it is unrealistic to expect people to say all they want to say about why they are making the changes they are making, especially as concerns the reverts of someone else's writing. The Talk page is a good thing, but it is too far away to allow for the immediate explanation that is called for. I think the "Edit Summary" should be further divided into a "brief" section and a slightly "extended" section. The "extended" section should still be very limited. But it should allow several times the length of writing that the present "Edit Summary" allows for. I think this would allow people to appear to be acting in a more humane way towards one another. Presently, it is very common for reverts to engender bad feelings. It is almost impossible to try to smooth over the almost inevitable bad feelings that tend to result from reverts. Bus stop 02:52, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Oppose - I see this as adding an odd level of omplexity, and being unlikely to be used much. As for the reasoning: It is the fact of the revert that hurts and upsets poeple, not what is written in the edit summary. It is on the talk pages that the differences need to be ironed out. --EMS | Talk 05:02, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment I do not think we need this complexity. However, I would like having the limit raised to 250 or 300. I usually write long edits when reverting, and could use an extra 50 characters :-) -- ReyBrujo 05:07, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
  • You're asking to change an arbitrary limit into another arbitrary limit. Since this requires a database change, it is probably Not Going To Happen. >Radiant< 12:29, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes, of course it is arbitrary. How could it not be arbitrary? My argument is there's a big gap from the edit summary to the talk page. The edit summary is a necessary part of making changes, but the talk page is seen as an option. I think there should be an "option" built right into the edit summary. Like, "click here for extended space for edit summary." That way, those who are so inclined, can try to smooth over hurt feelings that are so common. I think the extended area should be about 2 or 3 times the present edit summary area. Bus stop 13:13, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong support, together with making the summary mandatory. I can't say in words how much time I spent (i.e. waste) looking at diffs of people who don't write edit summaries; that's just an irresponsible behavior. (Bogus edit summaries, in case someone begins adopting them as a "workaround", should be treated as vandalism.) —Gennaro Prota•Talk 12:52, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes, it should be mandatory. It should not be possible to proceed without inserting something in the edit summary box. I hadn't thought of that, but I wholeheartedly agree with that. I think these are the sort of things that are more likely to result in compatibility between participants. (And Wikipedia should more clearly post the importance of explaining what you have done and why you did it.) Bus stop 13:27, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
    • I disagree. It should not be mandatory. Besides from simply editing own userspace, there are different kinds of articles. There are high-profile articles where conflicts are frequent, true. But there also is a lot - and a bigger lot - of noncontroversial articles worked upon by one or a few editors who trust each other, or at least know to use the talk page. They don't need edit summaries. Also, making them mandatory will not only take time, but deter newcomers, and most people will use primitive summaries like "edit", "sp", "style", "expand". I actually find myself at times unable to write anything more about editing an article where I'm the main contributor; not to mention wikiprojects, talk pages, et cetera. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 16:30, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
      • Pretty much anything needs edit summaries. The "articles worked upon by one or a few editors who trust each other" issue is not even worth commenting; if you want a private wiki set up one. Summaries consisting only of the words you mention, and others, would not be accepted, similarly to stop words in search engines. Users trying to "workaround" these measures would be just vandals and treated as such. Note that this is not being harsh but being responsible, which is totally different. —Gennaro Prota•Talk 16:51, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
        • I often run into the edit summary limit, but I think the current length is relatively ok. I would also ask the edit summaries be made mandatory, but for non-minor edits ... I think that the summary should be optional for minor edits. I wonder is there is a way to have a 'say more' button available that would create an link automatically to a new section on the talk page, the link appearing in the edit summary - I think that would be a helpful addition. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 17:39, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
          • Lot of things could be done. One can sort of imagine ClearCase-like comments, for instance. But when it comes to modifying MediaWiki we have to cope with the most recalcitrant open source team that I've ever come upon. —Gennaro Prota•Talk 17:46, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
        • "Users trying to "workaround" these measures would be just vandals and treated as such." - Do you just realize what you are saying? And what we are here for? Wikipedia is not an experiment in enforcing discipline and ordnung on volunteers. It is not army. Not even volunteer corps. And not a police state. While some people try to make it more accessible to newcomers and attract them, others find nothing better than to invent regulations they want their lined up units to follow and punisments for failure to comply. Is "vandal" a new term for "regulations violator"? Do you consider the fact that this term has off-wiki meaning, and a pretty specific one? Am I a vandal now, because I used edit summary "reply"? CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 14:43, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
          • Sorry for the late reply: I missed you comment. May I suggest you to read my post with more care? I said: "trying to workaround", which implies deliberateness. And I used the term "vandal" in the same meaning it is normally used here. —Gennaro Prota•Talk 11:03, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
            • Trying to workaround use of edit summaries is not vandalism, not even remotely related. See definitions we use. General: "Vandalism is the conspicuous defacement or destruction of a structure, a symbol or anything else that goes against the will of the owner/governing body." - I don't see how unwillingness to write edit summaries is defacement or destruction. Local: "Vandalism is any addition, deletion, or change of content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia." - and again there is no attemt to compromise integrity; most non-summarized edits are positive and in good faith.
            • While I understand that many people would like see as much info about edit as possible right in watchlist or history, without looking at the diff, and I would like as well, I don't see why we have to demand it, and clearly don't see how are we in right to call people not doing so vandals. Wikipedia is for readers in the first place, not for editors and patrollers. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 11:22, 29 December 2006 (UTC)


  • An automatic link to the Talk page, accessible from the Edit Summary area, would be an excellent idea. That creates a smooth continuum from Edit Summary area to Talk page. As I see it, there is too stark a break between the two areas. People either use the Talk page or they use the Edit Summary area, but far less frequently use both areas. Bus stop 18:58, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Or perhaps a subpage of the talk page? In that case, it should also be decided if the page would be manually editable or not (the former being useful e.g. to fix typos, but dangerous). What I'd like most in this solution is that Popups would fit like a glove to it :-) —Gennaro Prota•Talk 19:06, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Perhaps implementation of these things could proceed in stages. As a first step I would see simply increasing the capacity of the Edit Summary space. I would also like to see some wording in place encouraging editors to use the Edit Summary space. The wording should encourage people to explain what changes they have made, and why they have made them. I really think the Edit Summary area should be about 3 times it's present maximum capacity. I think the importance of this is that it would allow editors to explain to previous editors why they are massacring their work. The more important use for the Edit Summary box is an explanation of what changes were made. But it is normal human tendency to get wordy wherever they are given the opportunity. This would allow the Edit Summary area to also be used for a much trimmed down version of the Talk Page. I think, as a first step, this would be an experiment. The more ambitious changes would have to await evaluation of this step. Bus stop 17:01, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, edit summaries are supposed to be at-a-glance ways to identify when changes have been made. If you need an extensive explanation, put it on the talk page. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 20:25, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. And no, the edit summary is not redundant to the talk page in all situations. For a prime example of where the talk page will not make an effective substitute, the circumstance of blanking a talk page conversation. There is no place to explain this except in the edit summary (unless you seriously wish to suggest I make a talk page topic explaining why I blanked the talk page topic...) but its potentially contentious nature requires a detailed explanation that is often longer than can be easily fit into the edit summary box. For another case, reverts of non-obvious vandalism (like detailed and semi-believable hoax insertion) where making a talk page topic would be counter-productive by giving the vandalism attention but an "rvv" type summary would look incongruous with the edit made. --tjstrf talk 11:17, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Just an idea for dealing with problematic users

Here's a simple way I thought of for dealing with users proving to be a problem on Wikipedia. This process would apply to those whose "problems" prevent them from doing constructive edits, even though they have good intentions (i.e. are not vandal accounts or blatant trolls).

  • First Offense: User gets a short block (12 hours at the longest) and a warning, which attempts to educate them on how what they're doing is not good. The reason for the block is to show them what can happen. If they apologize, that can be grounds for lifting the block early; use common sense.
  • Second Offense: User must go through mentoring. If they refuse mentoring, then they will be blocked indefinitely until they agree. It is then up to the mentoring user to talk to them or block them when appropriate.
    • Always make an effort to educate
    • Block iff it is appropriate to do so.
    • If it's clear they're just gaming the system so that through mentoring they are allowed to not be blocked, the mentor can block them indefinitely at their discretion.
  • If a user is really showing improvement, they will no longer need to be under mentorship, although the mentoring admin may still want to keep an informal watch on them.
  • If a user fails to make improvement in a long times (around six months), they are banned for a long time (either indefinitely or something like a year).

Comments? Suggested improvements? MESSEDROCKER 12:16, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Can you give an example of the kinds of problematic users this is meant to help? --Tango 12:24, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't know (and would not wish to give) specific names, but really this is for the kind of person that want to be involved in the goodness but don't exactly have the rules and common practices down yet. MESSEDROCKER 15:43, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I meant kinds of user, not specific users. Can you give a hypothetical example of the kind of mistakes the users you're think of make? --Tango 16:48, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Based on my history of controversy, do you think I should be mentored? --J.L.W.S. The Special One 12:25, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Do you have the mentors available for those (many) users who make a second offence? (Radiant) 13:41, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
It would be volunteer work, really. I would get invovled as well. Luckily, it doesn't have to be one-on-one (though I'd imagine it'd be a headache to do much more). MESSEDROCKER 15:43, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Ban them all, God will know his own!
Ok, seriously, the idea of mentoring is very nice and warm and fuzzy, but I don't think it would work. How does one tell the difference between a user who is a problem on purpose and those who are a problem because they don't know any better? Blueboar 20:23, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
If wikipedia had that much moderator manpower vandals would not have been a problem. There is no need in fanciful rules to ban an especially annoying one; the big huge problem is that you CANNOT ban a person from editing Wikipedia. IPs and even those hard adresses as MAC, not to mention the account itself, are all easily interchangeable. A funny solvation was met by some online rpg which issued a 'whole country ban' on Turkey because there were some problematic users from there. Nevertheless, people from Turkey and even the people in question could still play it via a proxy server. South Korea, on the other hand, gave each citizen an unique Internet ID, eradicating both the anonymity and anarchy in internet. Wait untill it is so far in the rest of the world and come again with that suggestion.Turkmenbashy 21:28, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I doubt that there'll be enough users to act as mentors. The backlogs at AIV, etc. suggest we need more manpower to deal with anonymous vandals. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 12:25, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Good idea, but there are such things as abuse of the mentoring system, the mentor might be 1. friends with the violator 2.enemies with the violator or 3.just plain abusing their newfound power to block a person there isnt much wikipedia can do to know about this but otherwise sounds good -Charlie34

Sounds like something that could be remedied with a conflict-of-interest disclosure requirement. Nothing fancy. If someone violates it, they get banned. I am merciless towards people who game the system. MESSEDROCKER 22:21, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd give the idea support, but I'm willing to bet that there are some users who an adminsitrator might think are "problematic" who just differ from the consensus of Wikipedians. I don't think we should start by blocking good-faith editors before mentoring, that's a bit repulsive and cabal like. -- Chris is me 20:43, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
By the way, talk me if you need a mentor, I'd be very happy to help! (Not that I'm the best user or anything, but it's something to do that helps Wikipedia)-- Chris is me 20:46, 28 December 2006 (UTC)