Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive AG

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Contents

Proposal: add "Contents" to Wikipedia's main menu

This proposal is to add "Contents" to the navigation menu on the sidebar, directly below "Main page", so that Wikipedia's table of contents is avaiable with one click regardless of where you are in the encyclopedia.

Users, and especially new users, should not have to search around for Wikipedia's table of contents. It should be the easiest page to find and access on Wikipedia...

Here's what the main menu would look like:

Wikipedia-logo-en.png

I look forward to reading your thoughts on this matter.

The Transhumanist 20:55, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Have you guys ever considered getting rid of stuff on that menu? Or spliting it up (ala n:MediaWiki:Sidebar). As it stands its way to long, and I find it annoying to read it all when i'm looking for a specific link, so I just don't. Bawolff 00:36, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good. bibliomaniac15 00:30, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I still disagree, and request that this wait until:

  1. The List of reference tables page needs to have its merge completed. (only 3 sections to go!)
  2. As I suggested at Wikipedia talk:Contents#Merge Proposal, I'd also like to see those 2 list pages merged. (struck per Transhumanist's reply below) --Quiddity 08:40, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
3. The various wikiprojects/portals/groups need to be informed that there exists a "basic topic list" and "topic list" concerning their subject. Many of the lists, whilst of good quality, were written by a single editor (you), and I'm not comfortable promoting that on the sidebar as something representative of Wikipedia.

I understand that you're tired of waiting for the Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Sidebar redesign to find developer time, but I can't agree with promoting these pages any more, until they are of a higher total quality. --Quiddity 05:04, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Contents is extremely useful regardless of the configuration of the little header line at the top of the page. As Wikipedia's table of contents, it should be as easy to find as possible.
Concerning the recruiting of assistance to develop and maintain the topic lists, notifying each WikiProject of the lists which correspond to them would be a logistics nightmare, and would have to be done by hand. A much more effective solution would be to simply have Contents on the main menu, because that would make the topic lists easily accessible for everyone to work on, as they are displayed at the very top of the Contents page.
On the side issue Quiddity mentioned, merging the two topic list pages would ruin the basic topic set, making it much harder to browse the basic topic lists. You'd be forcing beginners to scour a more extensive general list to find them. On the current Lists of basic topics, it's easy to find the basic lists, because they are all basic. The page Lists of topics is far more extensive, with vastly more entries, and if links to the basic lists were added to it, they'd be obscurred in a sea of non-basic list links.
The more people who use Wikipedia:Contents, the more people there will be to potentially work on the pages listed there. All the more reason to make it more accessible.
Keep in mind that every page on Wikipedia is already representative of Wikipedia, including the pages listed at Wikipedia:Contents, -- which has a link on the Main Page. So they're very "representative" already. They are very useful browsing pages, and they would be even more useful if the table of contents was given a link in Wikipedia's main menu. The Transhumanist 07:36, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Notifying the relevant wikiprojects would not be "a logistics nightmare". All it requires is a summarised 'form-letter' style of note, posted to each talk page. "Hello, I've created a "List of basic philosophy topics" linked to from Lists of basic topics, that could benefit from your project's input and oversight."
The pages written just by you are not representative of Wikipedia in the same way that the Community portal or Features articles are. That should be obvious; perhaps you are blinded by your pride in this work?
Overall the set of pages is at maybe a "B" quality level. I'd like to see them all at an "A" or even "Featured" quality level, before adding the Contents link to the sidebar. --Quiddity 19:06, 15 March 2007 (UTC)


Quiddity, there is no reason to get personal by doubting my good intentions. You should assume good faith. I am approaching this matter with the utmost of objectivity...

The two users most critical of the topic lists, you and I, both agree that they need lots of work, and so did the Community portal, before someone stirred the community to action. My main desire here is that more people help develop these pages, and I frequently urge people to do so. But the element you may be missing is that the reason the Wikipedia:Community Portal has reached its current well-developed and well-maintained state is because of its visibility and centralized accessibility. I don't know about others, but for me, that was the key reason I got involved with it - it was on the main menu, yet it was in comparatively sad shape -- the same thing applied to the Main Page and Help:Contents, both of which have been on the main menu for a very long time and have been improved while so positioned.

I think the pages you are worried about could reach "A-level" or "Featured" quality a lot faster if they were linked-to based on their function. Yet, in their present incompleted form, they are still extremely useful -- they are the table of contents system, after all - so hiding these pages is counter-productive to their function and limits their usefulness.

Your "representative" concern is counter to the way consensus works on Wikipedia. The pages have consensus, being fairly well-used with almost no complaints. Quoting Wikipedias' concensus policy:

Over time, every edit that remains on a page, in a sense, has the unanimous approval of the community (or at least everyone who has looked at the page). "Silence equals consent" is the ultimate measure of consensus — somebody makes an edit and nobody objects or changes it.

The unwritten corollary to the above principle is that traffic drives change. The more people who visit a page, the more likely the page will be edited and improved.

The main contents pages are much better along than the Community portal, the Main Page, and the main Help page were before their respective overhauls. Yet those three examples were on the main menu the whole time! Here's what they looked like:

Form follows function. The Community portal is placed where it is most useful, and so should the table of contents. Everything else on Wikipedia is positioned based on its function: articles, help pages, etc., and the vast majority of pages on Wikipedia are works-in-progress. The essense of Wikipedia is that it is a work-in-progress. So your position baffles me.

For a book, it makes no sense to have the table of contents buried somewhere in the middle of the book. The same principle applies here.

Contents is a well-polished and emminently useful page. We should place it on the main menu where it will do the most good.

Sincerely, The Transhumanist 21:00, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

You asked for feedback, I gave it: 2 requests for things that need to be fixed/done first. --Quiddity 00:50, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Well that's not as bad 3.  :-) I've been picking away at the List of reference tables, so it's down to about 2 and a half sections (I knocked off half of Natural Science a few days ago). AWB should be able to handle a standard notice to Wikiprojects pretty easily. So don't worry about it. We'll get there. The Transhumanist 08:35, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Improving the sidebar immensely with just a single link

This proposal is to add "Contents" to the main menu, directly under "Main page".

The only thing this proposal has to do with is the utility of the current sidebar and how we could greatly improve it by adding a single link. It's such an easy upgrade. And users would benefit immediately from having a link to the table of contents on Wikipedia's main menu. Meanwhile, adding it would not conflict in any way with the pending redesigned sidebar, because it's included in that design.

Contents is the perfect companion to the search box. By including Contents on the main menu, both major methods of finding things on Wikipedia would then be covered. It just seems like an obvious improvement to add a link to Wikipedia's table of contents to the main menu.

The Transhumanist 07:03, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I think its perfect Rostik17 13:41, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I second that. --Cremepuff222 (talk, review me!) 23:20, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I've been a (very) active user for a year and didn't even know it existed. Add it! --Dweller 23:24, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like an excellent idea. Thank you for proposing it. DurovaCharge! 05:27, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Good evening all; I've always said Wikipedia should go a little bit further to meet that medium between HTML-sites (for example answers.com) and an encyclopedia such as Wikipedia. The contents page would perfectly meet that medium - a link to the main subject areas, as well as more specific options - for example, the indexes. An excellent addition that meets our goal to ever strive to improve our encyclopedia.
Regards,
anthonycfc [talk] 20:33, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

A 'normal' wiki usually doesn't have a core structure, and so people don't expect it, but Wikipedia has quite a lot of material, and various ways of organizing it. Having a link in the sidebar to the contents page will help people to discover what organization there is. (whether perfect or not a separate topic). And, actually, pointing people to the contents page and getting their resulting comments will improve the page. Don't wait for the improvements first... Shenme 04:47, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I support the proposal to add the Wikipedia:Contents link. Quarl (talk) 2007-03-17 07:42Z

There's a contents page? I didn't even know there was one till I spotted this article. I think it would be a good idea to make it a little more obvious for the idiots like me. --**CatoftheNight** 17:58, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Me neither! I think this would be a great addition! --Spixels 23:40, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

See also the proposal below, #Sidebar redesign. Could use feedback. --Quiddity 02:02, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I put this link in based on the discussion here. However, that hasn't been extensive enough to indicate a true community-wide consensus so we'll have to see how people react. Note that you may not see this change right away as it takes a while for the sidebar to update.
  • Currently I added this as just a simple link (the same as 'Featured content'), but there are options for showing the link in the language set in the user's preferences which we can implement if this change is accepted. I also put in a 'tooltip' for the entry. Let me know if we should use some other text for that. --CBD 10:46, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia "State" Movie

Many businesses and states and other organizations have logos, themes and other favorite things which represent what they do or stand for. In this regard I think the Wikipedia should adopt "Thanksgiving" which was Amazing Stories' second season, ninth episode to first air on November 24, 1986 as the Wikipedia theme movie since it portrays interaction with the Wikipedia by all users very well. Nebraska bob 01:51, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

If this 1986 tv episode portrayed interaction with Wikipedia by its users, that truly would be Amazing. --Xyzzyplugh 02:14, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: explain abbreviations on "User Contributions" page

OK, I'm a fairly new contributor, and I look at my "User Contributions" page, and I see various abbreviations apparently indicating something about my contributions. But I can't find where they are explained.

So I propose that they be explained right at the bottom of that page, every time it is displayed. I think that could be done in just a single line.

The specific abbreviations I'm referring to are:

  • top -- this one is fairly obvious. And I did eventually find an explanation.
  • m -- still don't know what this means.
  • hist -- history of changes. Guessable, but should be explained.
  • diff -- difference between revisions. Also guessable, but should be explained.

Having an explanation of these right on the page would be helpful for new contributors.

I think something like the following would be sufficient:

top=most recent edit.     m= something???.     hist= revision history.     diff=Difference between revisions.

T-bonham 13:30, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

m means that the change is a minor change (you clicked on the "minor edit" box or a process was performed which is by default considered a minor change (such as using the admin rollback capability). Corvus cornix 20:25, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
There is a key at the top of the page history that describes these (and some other things), so I think people become familiar with them there. Plus I think it's quite easy to remember what they mean when you've seen them once and when you click them (the links) you can see what they do. I don't think there is a MediaWiki message at the top of the contributions page, so it would need developer attention for implementation (if desired by the community). mattbr 21:54, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Redlinks replaced by redquestionmark?

I don't know if there was an unannounced design change but I noticed over the past hour that I cannot seem to find redlinks but rather where there is a non-existent link it is now comprised of blacktext followed by a red question mark, all of which act as a hyperlink to the non-existent edit page. I for one do not like this design because it makes it more difficult to find the tags and the redlinks as well as the question marks are incredibly distrating to the flow. --Valley2cityShalom‽ 06:24, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

for an example, nonexistantlink. That wasn't a question, but it sure looks like one.--Valley2cityShalom‽ 06:29, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
From the Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) FAQ:

... it's probably because your browser failed to load one of the stylesheets (or the server sent you a wrong one). Do a forced reload or bypass your cache.

Wikipedia:Bypass your cache explains how to do that. It is also an option in Special:Preferences under 'Misc' which you might want to check if that doesn't solve it. Hope that helps, mattbr 10:29, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Major problems with Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary

At the moment, WP:WINAD forbids articles on words, but in reality we have probably thousands of articles on words. Either we need to delete these thousands of articles, from Truthiness to Thou, or we need to make some major changes in this policy. Please come to Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_is_not_a_dictionary#Major_problem_concerning_this_policy and discuss this issue. --Xyzzyplugh 02:18, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Um... nearly all of our articles are "on words". Some of those words are people's names. Some of them are things like 'aardvark', which you could also certainly find in a dictionary. The difference is not in what we have articles about, but in what the articles say. One glance at our article on Truthiness will tell you that it is nothing like a dictionary entry... it talks about the cultural significance of the word rather than just it's meaning, etymology, et cetera. Ditto Thou. Our entry for Yes, on the other hand, doesn't contain anything you couldn't find in a dictionary... such as wikt:Yes. --CBD 10:22, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
No, almost none of our articles are about words, they are about the subjects the words describe. War is not about the word "war", it is about war as a subject, it's about violent armed combat. If it were about the word, it would instead be about the etymology, how the word is used, examples of use, and so on. George Washington is not about the word "George" or about the word "Washington", but instead about the famous person who happened to have that name. There are several pages of discussion on this at Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia is not a dictionary, which would be the place to respond if you want to say more about this. --Xyzzyplugh 14:03, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Just AfD anything you think is in violation, and explain why. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 14:06, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Modification to WP:3O

I propose that Wikipedia:Third opinion be revised to reflect its use. I believe 3O would be best served as a general request for an outside opinion. Most of the articles that get listed there have more than two parties disputing various issues. It is very useful for soliciting a neutral opinion. I believe that WP:3O should reflect this broader usefulness and the actual usage of the page. I raised this on the 3O talk page on March 16 and no objections have been made. I wanted to seek some outside input to make sure this change was acceptable to the community at large. Vassyana 04:16, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I object. Let's all discuss this a bit more on the 3O talk page, instead of here, to have one unified place of discussion. Smee 04:19, 23 March 2007 (UTC).

Category:Christian hymns

I note that many articles in this category contain the full lyrics to the hymn, which is source text and really should belong in wikisource. Should we do something about this? Comments please. >Radiant< 08:28, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree that we should transwiki some of them. The few I briefly looked at, however, do not indicate the specific source (i.e. hymnal, music dictionary, etc.); the text should be redacted from those as it may be a copyright violation - especially the translations. Many are also rather small. Perhaps a merge might be in order? That, however, is a ways off. --Iamunknown 20:08, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Or a merge and move to Wikisource - Wikiprojects need to do a much better job of crosslinking and crossreferencing on matters such as these. bd2412 T 00:22, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

A proposal

There are hundreds of accounts of Users that have never made an edit at all.

I know that it's not standard practice/policy as the User may at any time return & edit - but there are some Users that have registered in 2004 and have never made an edit. Why not bring up a policy and delete such useless accounts (if anyone returns after three years, he could simply re-register). --PaxEquilibrium 19:58, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

According to Interiot's edit counter, Tra vanished for 16 months, and has now returned, and has become a highly active user. It may not be a wise idea to block all the accounts that are doing nothing. Also, accounts cannot be deleted. I agree that most of those accounts probably won't do anything, but blocking them all won't solve anything. I actually don't know what to do with them; maybe I could create a new template to place on talk pages saying about a user who has never done any edits, but the account has been around for more than a year. Acalamari 20:47, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
You're effectively proposing WP:DUU90, which gained consensus but was rejected by the developers. --ais523 14:22, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

A comment

This is a hindrance to people trying to register an account.
Yesterday I was trying to register me a username, ... and I am a bit annoyed by the first 20 or so names I came up with already being taken, in most cases with no edits to its credit.

[ comment here deleted and reworded below ]

Since Usurpation isn't allowed for registering new accounts, what I think I'll do is to register my preferred name on some other Wikimedia project, and then wait for it to be given to me on Wikipedia when the transition to Unified login happens. --83.253.36.136 10:45, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I made a suggestion for a tip to be added to the message that is displayed on the account creation page

Since more than 1,000,000 usernames have already been registered, most common names and words have already been taken. Therefore, be creative when making up your username: Choose an unusual name or word, make a creative combination of words, or modify the name in a unique way.

--83.253.36.136 10:16, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
HA! My username can never be usurped - between Wikipedia and Wiktionary (and a few other miscellaneous projects) I have over 70,000 edits. Muaah-ha-ha-ha-ha! bd2412 T 00:19, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

"Print this article"

Last year I was studying to get into college (which I did) and I printed about 200 articles from Wikipedia. I understood the importance of the sources in the articles, but I never checked them. I thought it was a waste of paper and ink to print so many pages of sources that I was just not going to read. So I had this idea: that there should be an option to choose which sections of the article you want to print, including the possibility of not printing the references and sources. Can it be done? A.Z. 08:46, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

It's possible to print a single section at the moment, but only in a hacky way, by editing the section, previewing it, and printing the preview. Most browsers will have an option to 'print selected text' if you go through the menus to print rather than using their toolbar, so you could try selecting the sections you want by dragging over them and using that. --ais523 09:04, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Most people will never think of doing those things. And a lot of people would prefer to waste paper and ink rather than figuring out how to print only the sections they want. Don´t you think that trying to figure a way to allow sections to be chosen is worth it? A.Z. 09:09, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
A software solution is often possible (and you're right to put the proposal in), but listing the possible workarounds can't do any harm when a proposal's made. The MediaWiki developers are usually somewhat busy, and it can take a long time for an enhancement request to be implemented (if ever). One thing you could do is to request a user script for this, but user-scripts have to be installed individually by the users who use them and can't be used by people without usernames (presumably who would benefit from the feature), so the software solution is probably better overall here (but less likely to happen). --ais523 09:16, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
User-scripts really don´t seem to be the best choice here. I was thinking that it could work like that: when you clicked on "Print this article", there should be a list with the names of all the sections and you would choose whether you want to print the whole thing or just some sections, and then choose which sections you want. This would befefit not only those who don´t read the sources, but also those who for any other reason want to print only a section of an article. I know nothing of software development, but this doesn´t sound too hard to do. It´s good to know I posted the proposal in the right place, though. Is there any other thing I can do to make it more likely for the proposal to be implemented? A.Z. 09:24, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
You can make an enhancement request for the MediaWiki software here. --ais523 09:52, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Interwiki registration

Maybe a shot in the dark but some of us multi-lingual folk, as well as those of us who also work on Metawiki and the Commons, would probably benefit from the ability to cross-register; that we don't need separate accounts for the various Wikimedia wikis and can easily transfer things over. Just checking if anyone likes the idea and if developers think it's feasible. --Valley2cityShalom‽ 06:36, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Not a shot in the dark at all: meta:Help:Unified login. I'm not sure how far this really is--I thought it was successfully tested sometime last year, but it looks like it's currently stalled again. --Dapeteばか 09:56, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
There are pieces of it that show up in some login messages and such... my browsers autolog me in so this is a faint memory, but the implication is that the background pieces of support code are being put in place. // FrankB 15:59, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

User:Naconkantari/cleanup - Wikipedia cleanup day

For those that may not have heard, there is a proposal at User:Naconkantari/cleanup concerning holding a "cleanup day" where editing will be restricted to autoconfirmed editors only. There is also a non-binding poll to determine the specifics and community reaction to the proposal. Before commenting, please read through the entire proposal as it should answer most questions that may arise. This message has been crossposted to several noticeboards, please direct comments to User talk:Naconkantari/cleanup. Cheers, Naconkantari 05:58, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I have to say this idea is a goodie. Please notify me of further progressins in this project. But... will it work? Zesty Prospect 19:15, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Trashy articles

Looking at the large number of new articles that are total rubbish Ebony spears, Gilbert snatch I realise what an ongoing battle is needed to keep the situation under control. The Request for Deletion process is far too elaborate and should take the form of a tab at the top of the page which might speed up the process of bringing such articles to the attention of whoever does the final deletion. Paul venter 16:41, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts/Scripts for information on how you can make speedy-delete requests into a tab. (By the way, are you aware of Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion, which is a lot simpler than AfD for deleting obvious rubbish?) --ais523 16:46, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
As a "veteran" of the Newpages patrol, I understand your frustrations. Thankfully, we have an infrastructure designed for this, so 90% of the "inappropriate" articles can be deleted through Speedy Deletion. GhostPirate 18:54, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
About 4000 articles are added every day here, and about 2000 are deleted every day. The solution to rubbish, if the present system is to be improved, probably is a more radical approach to vetting articles before the get to mainspace. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 01:47, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: Temporary fix for main menu on the sidebar

Mission accomplished - consensus-version implemented. Nicely done. The Transhumanist 03:26, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Implementation of the redesigned sidebar (which was completed via consensus last September) is way behind. In the meantime, Wikipedia's main menu has become bloated.

I propose that while we're waiting for the developers to implement the new design, that a temporary fix be made to break up the main menu and make it easier to read. Like this:

Wikipedia-logo-en.png

The rest of the sidebar would remain the same. This proposal only affects the top menu box.

It wouldn't require a developer, and any admin could implement it.

There's the same number of links, but the lines and rearrangement make it much easier to see the structure and to read.

The Transhumanist 20:46, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Support - as proposer. The Transhumanist 21:25, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Sounds like a good idea, but wouldn't it make more sense for "Community Portal" to be in the top section? Nihiltres 21:10, 21 March 2007 (UTC) (never mind, that's not a problem Nihiltres 21:16, 21 March 2007 (UTC))
  • Why do I dislike that Help is sorta buried in the middle...?   Having it at the end (current state) means that when in reading all the items they become a blur, at least you'll see the important last item 'help'. I'm thinking leave it at the end, or put it above the line and after Current events. The divisions do help to some extent, but two or one, which items above and which below? Ouch, I already have a headache! Shenme 21:11, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
    • I've moved "Help" back down to the bottom, as you suggested. The Transhumanist 21:21, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Sorry, I'm just entering the discussion. Where would the search box be? --Iamunknown 21:12, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Same place it is now. The proposal only affects the top box on the sidebar. The rest have been left off, but will remain the same.
    • Below all of that. Prodego talk 21:13, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I already have to scroll down to reach useful tools; the more space that is used for decorative purposes, the more scrolling will be needed. Notinasnaid 21:46, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Good point - we could remove the word "navigation" from above the box to make up the difference. Would that help? --The Transhumanist 21:57, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support -- I like it, and I agree w/ removing the "navigation" text. I do kind of feel that the Community Portal should be in the top portion, but I'd be fine either way. --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 21:58, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support - I like that; the separation is clearer. I can certainly appreciate Notinasnaid's comment about scrolling, but I think this small increase in height is worth it. Adrian M. H. 22:00, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I feel that this is a fix for a problem that doesn't really exist. The sidebar is not really bloated as it currently stands, and I doubt that a redesign will slim it down much anyway. (at least none of the proposed redesigns I saw seemed to do so) Then again, I usually browse with a very high resolution, so everything looks small to me. Is there any possibility of writing a script or adding a preference to customize the sidebar? (i.e. remove links that you don't use very often)--Danaman5 22:04, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Can already be done with user CSS (e.g. to hide the "Main page" link, add
#n-Main-page {display: none} 
to hereQxz 22:09, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment Why are you ignoring the #Sidebar redesign proposal above? In the future, please add comments at the pages that are affected (like Mediawiki:Sidebar) instead of just the promotion at WP:CBB and WP:Help desk. --Quiddity 22:12, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Because this doesn't affect the sidebar redesign at all, only the current sidebar, as a temporary fix while we're waiting for implementation of the other. No need to muddle the other discussion with a tangential issue. The Transhumanist 22:17, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
      • It's not tangential at all! It's exactly the same discussion, with 2 different drafts. Both attempting to re-implement the change that almost made it in December. Gah! --Quiddity 22:43, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
        • This is only a temporary fix. Not a developer issue. Even so, it is a seperate proposal - the proposal you referred to above wasn't getting much traffic, and if you've touched upon the same issue there, it sure wasn't obvious. The Transhumanist 23:15, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
          • Fine, I'll just repost it below then. --Quiddity 23:36, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the reasons already stated: I fail to see the need for this change and it pushes the most important feature (the search bar) lower on the page. That's a big negative for the vision impaired who have to use low resolution settings. Well intentioned but counterproductive. DurovaCharge! 22:15, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
    • removing "navigation" from the top of the box should offset any drop in the search box. The Transhumanist 22:19, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
      • I still don't get it. The introduction calls this long overdue yet fails to provide any reason why change is even needed. The current organization looks just fine. What exactly is lacking that any of the proposed changes would improve? And before assuring anyone the new version is better, please readjust your screen resolution to the appropriate levels for an eighty-seven year old grandmother with cataracts or her twenty-two year old grandson with glaucoma. Test before you put this to a vote. I'm rather surprised to have been the first to raise this objection, which makes me wary of quick oh-that's-no-problem assurances. Too many times in the past I've seen tech staff give hand waving promises for stuff they hadn't quality checked and then walk away from the problems they had created. DurovaCharge! 01:21, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
        • Allow me to explain... What I was referring to as "way behind" is the implementation of a design that was already ratified back in September. It received consensus, but has been held up by inavaiability of programmers to make the necessary changes to the MediaWiki software. The problem we are trying to solve here with this proposal is that the main menu has become cludgy and hard to "get" at a glance. It needs to be broken up visually to make it easier to read. Two horizontal lines are fairly inobtrusive and do not elongate it by much, while providing most users with an immediate benefit. The Transhumanist 05:55, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
          • Changing to Neutral per previous consensus. I'm not confident enough in this to support. DurovaCharge! 05:42, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. A great improvement and easy to implement. Terrific. --Dweller 22:22, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. Awesome its a lot easier to find what you are looking for with this. -- Darkest Hour 23:02, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. It's probably the only thing that brings people away from usership, since the rest of the links on the sidebar are community-related. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by HubmaN (talkcontribs) 05:08, 22 March 2007 (UTC).
  • Support design B — while I'm still convinced that the original #Sidebar redesign is the way froward, I guess this is a logical compromise — Jack · talk · 05:49, Thursday, 22 March 2007


Alternative designs

design A



Wikipedia-logo-en.png

design B



Wikipedia-logo-en.png

design C



Wikipedia-logo-en-fixed-bg.png

design D



Wikipedia-logo-en-fixed-bg.png
  • This is the other potential design, as proposed earlier, at #Sidebar redesign. Just as easy to implement, and the searchbox only moves down by about 1.5cm. Many other Wikipedias have 2 nav boxes above the search, e.g. all 6 of the 250,000+ {{Wikipedialang}}uages do. --Quiddity 23:36, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
    • So that's what you meant by "Oh hell, I'm ready to throw up my arms and let the simple draft be discussed/implemented." Man, I didn't have a clue what you were talking about. A simpler sidebar redesign to submit to developers is what I thought you were referring to. The essence of your proposal should be in the heading. My guess is most people skipped it or skimmed over it. --TT
    • It does drop down quite a bit. To improve it, you should move "Help" to the bottom, and remove Questions, because that is already at the top of the Help page. That way you keep it to 11 links. The interact box is already starting to suffer from bloat. The Transhumanist 00:00, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
    • By the way, where does the wikicode for the boxes go? They're not at MediaWiki:Sidebar. The Transhumanist 00:06, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Also, "navigate" and "interact" don't serve any purpose whatsoever. So we should remove those. The Transhumanist 00:37, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I actually like the navigate and interact. They're verb tense, so it makes the reader interested in helping out, or at least getting to know Wikipedia. I like the separation of the third one, too, because it's not so overwhelming. I say #3. Jaredtalk  01:00, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Exactly, and that was one of the points we spent weeks arguing about. --Quiddity 03:38, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Design D implements most of the redesign draft ideas, removes 'Questions' (per TT), moves 'Featured content' back to the 2nd spot and leaves both 'Help' and 'Donations' prominent (per Jack). That's the best and smallest I can suggest. --Quiddity 04:21, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Featured content is going to be included on the contents navbar soon, and so will be displayed at the top of the Contents page. Therefore, there's no need to place it before Contents on the main menu, as it is more specialized than Contents. "Contents", being the more general of the two should probably go first, because "Featured content" is a subcategory of it and not the other way around. Contents is the table of contents for the entire encyclopedia, not just a sampling of it. It makes logical sense for it to go first. The Transhumanist 05:33, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
      • 'Featured content' should go before 'Contents' because Wikipedia is currently striving to improve quality, not quantity. (Do I have to go hunt down Jimmy Wales' quote, or do you know what I mean?) --Quiddity 18:41, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

The order of links in design A is superior. Both "Community Portal" and "Help" stand out, as they should, and "Help" stands out more by being placed at the end. "Make a donation" still stands out, as well, because it hangs out over the end of "Help". And since the eye is drawn to "Help" when it is on the end, it prompts the user to read the items in reverse order, which creates an unintended but appriopriate message: "Help, make a donation." It's perfect. The Transhumanist 05:40, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Design E, for Eloquence

Well, it looks like Eloquence bypassed the discussions and went straight for the throat, and changed the MediaWiki:Sidebar directly. A bold move. But I LIKE IT! And five stars for audacity. Cheers.

It's close enough to all the versions above, but has one distinct advantage: the job is done. So now we can move on to more productive tasks. The Transhumanist 08:08, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I'll agree that Eloquence was very bold, and it's clearly been demonstrated we can do it, go Eloquence! Although, the changes weren't exactly what we asked for, and I've left a message on the MediaWiki talkpage — Jack · talk · 08:22, Thursday, 22 March 2007

Was there something wrong with the original?

I just don't see why there's this strong trend lately to change parts of the user interface that have worked just fine for years. Plus, I just went to click recent changes, and wound up with Featured content instead, because someone moved the button (: VectorPotentialTalk 11:27, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Wow, this is really annoying... everything's pushed down. I'm a vandal hunting admin, and it bugs me to have to scroll down to access 'user contributions' and 'block user' every time I do a block. Is there any way you can turn this option off? Something I can put in my css? – Riana 15:29, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

"#p-about h5 {display:none}" helps a bit, but still leaves about a line's worth of space. --ais523 15:51, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
That's better, thanks. At least I can get to contributions quickly - blocking is secondary. – Riana 15:56, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Come to think of it, ".portlet h5 {display:none}" probably saves you enough space to reach both links ('block' is just below 'contributions' isn't it (I test on a sysop account on a non-Wikimedia MediaWiki wiki), yes it is). It removes all the sidebar headers, even the ones that were there before. --ais523 16:30, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
That's excellent, that totally works. Thanks! :) – Riana 16:37, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
You can also suppress various elements;
  • #n-Contents {display:none} - Removes just the new 'Contents' link.
  • #n-portal {display:none} - Removes the Community portal link.
  • #n-currentevents {display:none} - Removes the Current events portal link.
  • #p-about {display:none} - Removes the entire 'about' box.
  • #p-search {display:none} - Removes the entire 'search' box.
And so forth. See Wikipedia:Catalogue of CSS classes for a (nearly) complete list of sidebar elements. --CBD 14:20, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Well done to all concerned. It's a big improvement. --Dweller 18:19, 22 March 2007 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Sidebar redesign

What ever happened to Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Sidebar redesign? It was so active in Spetember 2006, and then just sort of fizzed out without any explanation. Below is the final draft, if anyone fancies restarting the discussion. — Jack · talk · 07:06, Sunday, 18 March 2007


Original

Wikipedia-logo-en.png
search

Redesign

Wikipedia-logo-en-fixed-bg.png
search

Re-Redesign?

Wikipedia-logo-en-fixed-bg.png
search

It was implemented in early December 2006, but was later reverted to do something or another. GracenotesT § 14:30, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

More correctly, someone tried to implement the parts of this that didn't require developer involvement, but doing so pushed down the search box to the point of causing display problems on small screens, and so was reverted. As I pointed out during the course of the Sidebar redesign discussion, changing the toolbox or creating a second box below the search box require developer effort. Since the developers aren't interested in this, nothing has changed. (And frankly the toolbox changes create so many cross-platform issues, that they might never be implemented even is a developer was interested.) Dragons flight 14:41, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Or you could say that the developers are interested in it if the community is... [Gracenotes mourns over the contrapositive] GracenotesT § 15:45, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree. IMO, the proposed version is superior to the current version in many ways. Should we contact the developers again? Exactly what cross-platform issues will the implementation create? — Jack · talk · 22:28, Sunday, 18 March 2007
  • Support. Oh hell, I'm ready to throw up my arms and let the simple draft be discussed/implemented.
    Since 3 of the links were merged into the single Wikipedia:Contents link, it's not as bad size-wise anyway. I've added a Re-Redesign draft above, which would be very easy to implement.
    The only thing that would require moving/discussion is where to put "Recent changes" link; I somewhat randomly selected above "Make a donation". Does that look good?
    (And thank, Jack, for updating the proposal page, and bringing this up again :) --Quiddity 06:27, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd have to say, I think I'd rather stick with the original redesign. The rationale behind the three boxes is "viewing encyclopedia" -> "running encyclopedia" -> "editing encyclopedia". Search should probably stay with viewing(navigation), and recent changes should stay with editing(toolbox), in amongst the none-contextual links(below the line). How can I inspire this idea in people? Should I make an announcement somewhere? — Jack · talk · 14:01, Wednesday, 21 March 2007
Eep! Just realised the current sidebar has grown by one link...look how bloated the navigation box is! It seriously needed to be cut into bitesize amounts; especially since there are the two key "featured" and "donate" buttons in there. We need people to push those ones! — Jack · talk · 14:18, Wednesday, 21 March 2007
I'd rather have the original redesign too, but the devs don't appear to have the time/workforce to implement it, so I was suggesting we go with the half-implementation for now. Many other Wikipedias have 2 nav boxes above the search, e.g. all 6 of the 250,000+ {{Wikipedialang}}uages do.
As for the new 'Contents' link, yeah, The Transhumanist pushed through his proposal above and then asked an admin to implement it this morning. I still stand by my disagreements listed at the proposal, and am annoyed by his tactics such as making a subheader purely to detour past my criticisms. I'd suggest pushing "Featured content" to the 2nd link placement, ahead of 'Contents'. --Quiddity 19:13, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
What if the search box was moved under the interact box? That way it is more visible, and it can be used to search the encyclopedia, whereas the interact box is not directly encyclopedia-oriented .--HereToHelp 03:04, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Assuming you mean "above the interact box", that was the original/optimal redesign (listed above as "redesign". see Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Sidebar redesign), but it requires a developer to do extra wiki-backend work in order to implement it, which isn't a high priority for dev time, hence hasn't been implemented yet (since we achieved consensus on the final draft back in September). --Quiddity 03:17, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Why is it more visible under or above the interact box? It's there either way, and if it stays ajacent to the navigate box it seems more obvious what it's for, IMO — Jack · talk · 05:55, Thursday, 22 March 2007
The Transhumanist started a new discussion on this topic.
See #Proposal: Temporary fix for main menu on the sidebar below for continuation... --Quiddity 04:23, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Mine is a lot different with custom modifications. It stays in place as you scroll and generates its own scrollbars for the translations and the entire bar if the browser is too small to display it. See m:Help:User style/floating quickbar. Maybe we should incorporate some of these changes site-wide? — Omegatron 19:59, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Sounds interesting. And would make for a good proposal on its own, started from scratch. We've wrapped up this design session via its continuation below, which has concluded with the implementation of a consensus-derived design (look at the sidebar itself), so I've closed this discussion to minimize confusion. The Transhumanist 03:38, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Wikisuite

I have proposed Wikisuite. Please comment. -- Punk Boi 8 09:14, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Seems fine to me. I don't know much about these Wikipedia programs on it, but it looks useful. Captain panda In vino veritas 00:04, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Captain panda, please check the talkpage of that link Wikipedia talk:Wikisuite. The proposal currently amounts to nothing more than a purposeless renaming scheme.
It's always best to understand as much as you can before commenting on any issue. Positive feedback is always to be encouraged, but uninformed feedback doesn't help anyone. Thanks. --Quiddity 01:48, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposal wasn't put to the AWB developers and I daresay we would have rejected it anyway as not making any sense. Page in question has been deleted. --kingboyk 18:05, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Time for a style guideline on navigational templates

If you're interested in participating in a discussion about a potential style guideline for navigational templates (specifically footers), please indicate your interest at Wikipedia talk:Navigational templates#Style guideline for footer templates. -- Rick Block (talk) 02:01, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Typo Team

If there's a spam fighting team, is there a typo/spellcheck team? I think this would be really helpful concerning everything. Grammar problems, misspellings and nonsensical statements clog up the articles here, sometimes. Deletion Quality 22:20, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Typo. By the way, great user name :) GracenotesT § 01:50, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

spell check on search function

Does aynone else think that a spell checker on the search function would be useful. The idea being that if no results are generated it would display a link like google asking if you really meant something else? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 24.186.165.186 (talkcontribs).

This function exists in the software used here, but is disabled for performance reasons. Please see bugzilla:974. -- Rick Block (talk) 22:07, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

world map by centuries

I think it is a good idea to make a politica world map by centuries or decades and include it in the articles about that century

Having maps of various time periods is a good idea, though I question 1) the utility of a world map, that would be a big much to maintain, and 2) When in the century? That is to say, what map would you include in an article on the 20th century? A map as the world was on January 1 1900? May 15 1945? December 31 2000? --Golbez 22:24, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I've often thoughts this same thing and even started a book on just that. If I recall is off the top of my head, I had used periods of 500 years prior to 5000 BC(E), 100 years up to 500 AD (CE), 50 years between 500 and 1700, and decades afterward. It was a hefty project, rife with errors, and of course never completed due to its sheer scale. Definitely fascinating, however, to see how varying cultures meandered about over time. I think it'd make a fine addition to Wikipedia, but would be a major endeavor for even a team of professional historians. --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 23:28, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
These maps may be a good starting point - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Maps_of_the_world_showing_history -- Chuq 00:44, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
It might be an idea to see the world through the eyes of the cartographers of the period - in other words, don't do a high-tech 21st century version of Gengis Khan's empire, but rather a compendium of maps that survive from that era - or perhaps both versions would be better - awful lot of research! Paul venter 04:51, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
You'll find some maps at Wikipedia:Blank maps#Time periods. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 01:43, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
This is the kind of thing animations, and specifically Google Earth, will do best.
See also history of religion, journey of mankind, europe's changing borders, and growth of a nation for some good examples. --Quiddity 20:06, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Illustration and Graphic Lab

Nuvola apps edu languages.png Relevant discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Graphic_Lab#Merge_with_Wikipedia:Requested_pictures

There is a relatively new project called the Graphic Lab that is trying to find its place on the English Wikipedia. A French version of the Graphics Lab enjoyed great success on the French Wikipedia. However, the introduction of this project to the English Wikipedia brings up a few conflicts with already-existing projects, such as WikiProject Illustration and WikiProject Maps. Foremost among these is:

  • How should users nominate articles for cleanup? Tagging? Posting requests at Graphic Lab? Both?

Please see the relevant discussion regarding the Graphic Lab to help us determine this project's status and function (if any) on the English Wikipedia. Thanks! MithrandirMageT 18:11, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Greater distinction between fact and fiction (possiblly using a template)

I think that for pages such as Ankh-Morpork, Admiral_Daala and Lilliput_and_Blefuscu (all fiction places, characters or so on) a template should be created for the top of the page to make clear that the topic under discussion is about a fictional place, person, whatever.


Currently they say some thing such as "Lilliput and Blefuscu are two fictional island nations".


However, I think that a more obvious template would be clearer.


Something along the lines of


The page is about a fictional person, place, weapon or something else. This page is not about a real person place or whatever. Please keep this in mind when reading it.


For pages about books or films (etc.) this is obviously not needed, only for pages that are dedicated to fiction, which is known to be fiction. So for pages about a biography of a person who was not known to be not real, it might not be needed. (I'm not being clear am I :( ) Thoughts? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AFA (talkcontribs) 21:01, 22 March 2007 (UTC).

Wouldn't that be a disclaimer template and thus forbidden under Wikipedia:No disclaimer templates? --tjstrf talk 21:09, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Maybe not. No disclaimers seems to focus mainly on disclaimers relating to objectionable content (this page contains profanity) and legal disclaimers (Wikipedia is not a substitute for a doctor). Also, its a guideline, it has exceptions. I see this more like the future/planned templates, like those here. While we couldn't require it, it may be a decent idea. Mr.Z-mantalk¢Review! 21:28, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Why is this necessary? It says it's fiction at the start. If the reader doesn't bother to read the first sentence, I'm not sure any notice will help them. Also, what's the cutoff? Will this be included for Sherlock Holmes? Loki? Uncle Sam? --Golbez 22:25, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't think a (flashy? ugly?) template would help. The articles generally clearly indicate "<foo> is a fictional <bar> from the works of <quux>". If not, {{sofixit}}. >Radiant< 13:48, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • We already have one. {{in-universe}} Hint: It's a cleanup template because articles are supposed to be about things from a real world perspective. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 16:43, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Actually two: {{Fiction}} as well. But agree with Radiant!, not very hard to change the introductory sentence to use the word Fiction, fictional, etc. and just cure most such problems. OTOH, I'd have no problems with a small discrete tagging template about the size and appearance of the Portal Templates (Thinking postage stamp here) seen on categories. Submit, that having it sit left (Our right margins are getting overly busy), so the Intro starts nested against it to the right would be sufficiently undisruptive (Much like illustrated manuscripts in a way, those decorative illustrations really don't detract much) that an unprinting tag might be worth discussing further. One benefit would be it's Whatlinkshere list would give a count of fiction articles, which may have some statistical uses as well. // FrankB 17:34, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

April Fool's Day Joke

We should have a April Fool's Day Joke, or a collection of them. - PatricknoddyTALK (reply here)|HISTORY 19:25, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Oh, Wikipedia does do this. See Wikipedia:Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense/April Fools' Day 2006. x42bn6 Talk 20:39, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
See Wikipedia talk:April Fool's Main Page. Or let it be a surprise ;) --Quiddity 21:41, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Edit summary quicklinks

I proposed this a while ago and it got support, but nothing came of it, so I am proposing it again. (discussion copied from the archive) Mr.Z-mantalk¢Review! 17:44, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not really sure what exactly to call them, but the Polish Wikipedia has some very handy links under the edit summary box for automatic edit summaries. As I don't speak Polish and I was just there to add an interlanguage link, I don't know what most of them do, but some are:Interwiki, stub, redir, infobox, and image. These could prove helpful here. Mr.Z-mantalk¢Review! 22:27, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

The green boxes below the edit box (eg. [1])? If so, they seem to be added via javascript, in pl:MediaWiki:Onlyifediting.js, via przyciskiOpis(). Yeah, if there was agreement to add it, it could be copied over. --Interiot 22:51, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd really like to have this. Or maybe some kind of keyboard shortcut. For example, typing 'ce' in the edit summary would expand to copy-edit. GfloresTalk 14:46, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes please, and yes please. Great ideas :) --Quiddity 18:50, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree. These ideas would make our chores here easier/faster. The Transhumanist 23:10, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
If your browser has form auto-complete, enable it. This works nearly as well. For example, all I have to do to insert the edit summary "fix double redirect" is type "fix d" [down arrow] [enter] – Qxz 02:46, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

"This page has been verified" template

A lot of people seem to like to complain about how Wikipedia isn't very reliable however, when the Wikipedia articles are written according to how Wikipedia says to write them they appear to reliable especially when trusted Wikipedians review the pages. My suggestion is that a template or stamp should be created for exclussive use by a group of trusted Wikipedians who would check pages and leave the template or stamp behind if the page was up to Wikipedia standard(s). On the template would be text saying the page has been verified by a trusted Wikipedian (whatever the name might be for trusted Wikipedians), the number of edits since and a direct link to the page version they approved. Whether or not the username should be listed can be determined later. Just an idea sounds like it would be a nice tool if possible; tell me what you guys think

comedy_watcher 03:15, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

It's a well-intentioned proposal, but I don't like it because it reeks of m:instruction creep, and the verifiability is already a criterion for WP:GA and WP:FA. Besides, it's not clear how we would check that an article is "verified": it's always conceivable that an author will just fabricate the references, and nobody will check after him, and will just tag an article because it "looks" referenced. YechielMan 15:35, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
A similar idea I've thought of was the ability to "accept" an edit to a page, so that bad edits could be weeded out and good or unharmful edits could be OK'd. The edit would go into place like normal, but anyone could go though the history of a page and review edits. Jaredtalk  15:37, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
We have {{unreferenced}} which is the opposite, I can certainly see the verified template being applied when an article is not perfectly sourced. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 15:41, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
The concept is attractive, although it might be difficult to define who is a trusted wikipedian. I quite like it in terms of frequently vandalised pages, in that if a "trusted wikipedian" made an edit or reversion, the community would know that in the case of subsequent vandalism this would be a safe page to revert to. Yes, I understand about the loss of intervening edits.--Anthony.bradbury 16:11, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmm you do have a good point in terms of m:instruction creep, YechielMan however, pages that follow the guidelines of Wikipedia tend to be more reliable than those that are not. As far as good and featured articles go, I doubt anyone has actually painstakingly verified each and every good and featured article source and much the same would go for these articles. In a way this is a 3rd level of quality article but much more common and possibly not even listed seperatly if this idea goes ahead and that is the final decision. Why trust a selection of trusted Wikipedians? First, its more reliable than millions of random people and beside that fact, for translation purposes (both from and to foreign language Wikipedia(s)) there are translators and proof readers, if you are unable to trust people with checking pages, then why trust people with translating and proofreading for foreign language articles? The revert idea can also be applied seperatly to other pages so you will know if an edit has been made and also, be able to find and/or revert to the "verified" (verified is a pending name just as all the other names suggested by me) without digging and guessing which page version hasn't been vandalized via the page history. Of course this is a draft idea also so changes such as names to imply different meanings and additions or cuts are not out of the question. I hope you guys will consider some variant of this idea? comedy_watcher 04:22, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Some Wikipedias use the "patrol" option. Check, in example, the Italian log. -- ReyBrujo 04:34, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I've meditated on this idea myself, and would certainly support it if it become feasible. A potential issue with the well-meant instruction creep guideline is that it can beomce a victim of itself -- after all, conceivably any idea could, one day, go "too far." Why hasn't the existence of uncategorized pages gones "too far," I wonder? So yeah, I will support this strongly when someone comes up with a way to make it work. In the meantime, Wikipedia will just have to settle for the current roster of fully protected pages. Lenoxus " * " 06:35, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Chemical compound stubs

Wikipedia has hundreds, if not thousands, of articles on chemical compounds, generally found in the many subcategories of Category:Chemical compounds by element. Unfortunately, many of these are permanent stubs and low on content, such as those listed here. Wikipedia:Chemical compounds has been created to discuss what to do with all this. Deletion is arguably a waste, but perhaps some articles can be combined into lists for greater comprehensiveness. Please join the discussion on Wikipedia talk:Chemical compounds. >Radiant< 16:23, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Aesthetics

I've just been looking at the large number of articles whose various authors have never heard of the concept of an aesthetic layout - in other words just plain, ugly articles - badly chosen photos or diagrams that have been poorly placed - images crunched into atrocities called "infoboxes" - horizontal lines cutting the article into pieces - the list is almost endless. My proposal is that Wikipedia thinks seriously about having watchdog groups to monitor and rearrange badly designed articles. Such groups should be made up of editors who know what a good layout is - professional painters and photographers and the people who compose advertisements know what to look for. It's high time Wikipedia had a facelift. Paul venter 10:04, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Your best bet is to set up a WikiProject for this purpose. >Radiant< 12:47, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
  • See also the templates {{cleanup-restructure}} and general {{cleanup}}. A good WikiProject already in place to alert would be the Maintenance one, and especially its subprojects on illustration and general copyediting (listed in the table). The way I see it, you probably won't actually have to start a new WikiProject -- just help to keep a current one on track. Thanks for your input! Lenoxus " * " 16:39, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Content Disclaimers

A new perennial proposal has come up at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(perennial_proposals)#Content_disclaimers. mrholybrain's talk 10:19, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

  • "new perennial" is an oxymoron. The same reasons as always apply against this. >Radiant< 13:36, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Well, I wouldn't go that far: What mrholybrain means is "a new proposal, which is essentially the same as a type of perrenial proposal." Dang, that's hard to phrase right. Maybe "The perennial disclaimer proposal has resurfaced"? Lenoxus " * " 09:21, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Spiffy new way of choosing the TFA

I have designed a new policy for choosing the TFA in a way that will make everyone happy and solve a lot of problems. Please add to the debate at Wikipedia:SweeTFA proposition! David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 22:18, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia's main aim

Rather than providing free knowledge to everybody on the globe, shouldn't Wikipedia's main aim be to provide in-depth free information. I think Wikipedia, rather than striving to create more articles, should focus on making the articles it already has as Featured Articles. What do people think? Ahadland 13:40, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps true, but directing everyone's efforts to this end is a futile task if you ask me. AdamBiswanger1 14:16, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Please state why you feel that way? Id rather have 1.6 million featured article, than 3.2 million stubs. Wouldn't you? Ahadland 15:40, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Easy to say, harder to do. I take credit for 1 featured article and 2 featured lists. I've probably edited several thousand other articles. If those are your priorities, by all means walk the walk. DurovaCharge! 16:04, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you in principle, but I don't see how we could direct the efforts of someone who likes writing articles about obscure cricket players into someone who likes sharpening language and finding sources and references. There are those who enjoy writing and editing within their interests, and then there are those who enjoy improving the encyclopedia because they are passionate about it. The latter are much less common, and they are willing to do what you ask. But making the former into the latter would be a herculean task. The way to achieve this, or at least try to achieve it is a separate question. Advertising? Incentives? Who knows, but convincing users to delve into the nitty-gritty fact-checking, organization, and reference-finding work needed for and FA seems futile. AdamBiswanger1 16:14, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Ye but we could still direct our efforts into achieving that, try and make users passionate. One way we could do this is by leaving templates on their talk pages, such as, to use your example, if you are interested in cricket players please consider looking at and cleaning these: Article here —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ahadland1234 (talkcontribs) 16:17, 21 March 2007 (UTC).
That wouldn't help me: I know almost nothing about cricket. DurovaCharge! 16:22, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Maybe you could make it a personal habit of yours to solicit the help of users toward specific articles that you think deserve more information. That would be just fine, and I have several personal practices myself that are like that. But to embark on a widespread campaign toward this end would waste time that is better served editing the encyclopedia. I'm glad to see you interested in and passionate about Wikipedia, though. AdamBiswanger1 16:33, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo made a comment to exactly that effect. He wished that we could have a hundred thousand featured articles by the end of 2007. Not gonna happen, but it's a good sentiment. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 18:36, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Well if all users have the same defeatist attitude it obviously wont happen. All users with the tireless contributor barnstar im sure would be happy to help.Ahadland 23:53, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Good luck with the articles, but you can't force people to focus where you want them to in an online voluntary project. If you tell people who make other types of useful edits that their work is of little value, and they should refocus on raising articles to featured status, the most likely response is not that some of them will switch to working on featured articles, but that some of them will leave altogether. We should be grateful for all types of good faith editing. LukeHoC 00:54, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
LukeHoC is right - Wikipedia is not a project to be finished easily or which can be manually concentrated. Work on Wikipedia by its very nature is diffuse and eventualistic. Encourage every person to contribute, but every positive contribution is a step in the right direction on Wikipedia's path to more FAs. Nihiltres 03:02, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Editor assistance

As it seems that the AMA has generated quite a bit of controversy, and is currently on MfD, I've proposed an alternative to it at WP:ASSIST. Whether or not AMA ends up being kept or disbanded, I think it may prove helpful, and would like feedback and comments. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:13, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Sidebar

I find it rather rude for something on every page to be changed without alerting the community. I don't think "interaction" is the right word, and I prefered the original or perhaps another from the first discussion. I believe that the debate should temporarily reopened so others can give their opinions. Thank you, Reywas92Talk 00:29, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

The community /was/ alerted, on this very page. Please check here often, as well as at WP:VPP, in order to stay abreast of recent developments, so that you don't miss out on the important process of consensus. GracenotesT § 13:39, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

A suggestion for a much needed scientific journal database

You may already have this (if you do, please send me the link), but I wanted to suggest that you create a database of scientific journal articles. Google has a small searchable database, but a larger, more complete database would be most beneficial to scientists world-wide. Not to mention, such a database would serve to unite us globally . . . Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.67.6.11 (talkcontribs) 15:29, 26 March 2007

Allow me to introduce you to WikiSource [2] and its science category. Also, there's no need for the distracting > symbols in comments, unless there's something I don't know. (And I don't know plenty, believe me...) Lenoxus " * " 16:42, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
'"Email quotation" > removed.--83.253.36.136 11:09, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Periodically access all external links to verify them

See the subject, above. Background: I was just on the WP (WikiPedia) article Salem Witch Trials, and its 6th Reference is to an erroneous external link, as follows. If the link's four letters "ukmc" are changed to "umkc" (for U of Missouri at Kansas City), it will work.

I suppose this may be due to vandalism. The next question is, can such errors be checked automatically by WP software running on WP computers when not busy, and thus check all of WP's external links at least once a week, say?

I'm a former software writer so I know this would not be an easy program to write.... but would be possible to write, and well worth WP's while.

And of course the poor overworked volunteers at WP, such as myself, would still have to correct all the invalid links found, or do something about them. That's for you WP experts reading this to figure out.

Above, I wrote how to handle this particular invalid link, although I choose not to carry it out, so readers can still look at it for themselves. Just above it, the 14th Footnote, the "umkc" is correct.

I myself discovered the problem when I noticed "ukmc.edu" being similar to a URL from a Google search just an hour before, when I had wondered which university "umkc" was. So I clicked on the external "ukmc" link and it turned out to be invalid. Who knows how many others have tried this invalid link? And while I know how to check when and by whom this error was introduced, I do NOT choose to spend my time that way.

Good luck to us all, For7thGen 00:35, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

The Wikipedia servers are already streched thin, this is why we don't have spell-check on searches. There are hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of external links on Wikipedia. To check all of them, we would probably have to temporarily shut down the site. Mr.Z-mantalk¢Review! 00:56, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I've updated the link in question at Salem witch trials (it was originally entered incorrectly). And for anyone interested, Wikipedia:Dead external links contains lists of dead links (roughly 10% of about 2.5M links as of Nov 2006). -- Rick Block (talk) 01:02, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
This is an appropriate job for a bot, and one was proposed - see Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/ShakingBot. Unfortunately the request expired without the bot being finished or tested, but my sense was that it would have been approved if it had in fact been finished. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:02, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Today's Featured Article proposal

I am not sure whether this belongs here or at the policy section.

It has been proposed below that Today's featured article procedures be amended. The original proposal was rejected at as per discussion at the archive.
Discussion is now open on the amended proposal 2 below. Support or oppose the amendment should be on the proposal page, under the heading "Survey". If, after a few days, a clear consensus for the amendment is reached, please notify the administrators noticeboard for further assistance.


TonyTheTiger (talk/cont/bio) 21:52, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Class/Priority Datestamps

I propose that talk page class and priority assessments be datestamped with the month. I.E., Instead of adding |class=stub |priority=high one would add |class=stub|cldate=March 2007 |priority=high|prdate=March 2007. TonyTheTiger (talk/cont/bio) 21:11, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Spanish Wikipedia

Hola, amigos, perdonad que no sepa apenas inglés.

Os animaría a todos los que sepáis español a que tradujeseis a la Wikipedia en español todos los artículos sobre cultura o geografía anglosajona que juzguéis que faltan en la misma, o que ampliéis aquellos artículos que creáis que carecen de suficientes datos. Es la mejor forma de difundir la interesante cultura anglosajona en el mundo hispánico.

Si me queréis enviar algún mensaje (en español, please), escribidme a mi página en la Wikipedia en español.

Un saludo afectuoso. --El filóloco (The Mad Philologist) - Talk to me 18:55, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

American State maps

Can the main maps of the American States, such as North Dakota (so you can see how it currently looks), be changed to look more similar to the maps of the European Union States, such as Italy (so you can see how it currently looks). The EU state maps are prettier, and show rivers. The American state maps are poorly colored (opinion) and very basic, without much in the way of geographic features. Just a suggestion. Flag of the United States.svgChiss Boy 12:42, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

If you can find someone willing to do the extra work, sure. Borisblue 15:14, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Your best bet would be the Graphic Lab and their page for requesting image improvement (of course, you might want to just make a new, general post there instead of going through that process for every state you're thinking of). For future reference, this is not quite the place to post requests like yours — if you can't find an appropriate WikiProject for some improvements you have in mind, try Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous). (This site is generally for proposals to changes to Wikipedia policy, to which you are naturally still welcome to add). Thanks for your help, though! Lenoxus " * " 02:19, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Shall go to the WikiProject link. There should be a USA WikiProject. Flag of the United States.svgChiss Boy 09:36, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Cleverly, there is: Wikipedia:WikiProject_United_States. -- nae'blis 15:57, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Preventing abuse of pseudoscience

I'm having a lot of problems with a number of users who have been abusing pseudoscience policy/guidelines in order to delete material that is important from a historical perspective, but does not meet modern scientific levels of scrutiny. For example, Deleting early experiments in a particular field because they are not supported by modern mainstream science, even though those experiments are of historical importance to the field.

I propose that we should provide exemptions under pseudoscience policy/guidelines for historic opinions, experiments, and data.
perfectblue 09:19, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

2 quick points:
  1. This sounds rather vague -- are you referring to WP:Notability, WP:Verifiability or what? When the editors deleted "early experiments", what reason(s) (if any) did they give?
  2. You should definitely give at least one specific example of what youre talking about.
Lenoxus " * " 16:31, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok. Typically, the problems that I am having involve users declaring that, because the topic contains elements of pseudoscience, WP:FRINGE meant that they could systematically delete anything historic that does not agree with the current scientific mainstream, or follow current best practice.
For example, deleting every reference to historical figures who believed that the world was flat, on the grounds that they are using pseudoscience and do not represent the current mainstream. Or deleting information on a 1970s ghost hunter who is credited with creating the modern day craze for using "spector detector" equipment (thermal cameras, em detectors etc) to hunt ghosts, on the grounds that his experiments were not peer reviewed.
Stuff like that, where the historic value of the information significantly outweighs its scientific value/accuracy.
perfectblue 09:12, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

There is currently a big problem with paranormal/pseudoscience articles, namely that editors like perfectblue97 have been pushing to include fringe info from poor sources, define unproven concepts as if they are proven and accepted, and put undue weight on fringe beliefs giving them more emphasis than mainstream views.

I'm not sure where the "flat earth" and "ghost hunter" examples are from, they seem hypothetical and don't really apply to the articles in question. One real example is Electronic voice phenomenon, where they have insisted that the "scientific consensus" should only include EVP experts, and thus should be presented as the mainstream view (including listing fringe theories first and in more detail). They have insisted on including details of some experiments that were self published or released via press conference because they are "historical". They have insisted on presenting details of an experiment as fact even when it hasn't been reproduced or had third party verification of methods or equipment. They have insisted on listing credentials that are either unsourced or sourced to questionable fringe publications. They have insisted on removing terms like "alleged", "purported", "said to be" etc in favor of phrasing that flat out says that unproven concepts actually exist. It has been argued that an article on a given topic should have all info that we can find, regardless of reliability because "that's what the reader wants" or "it's interesting".

Putting "exceptions" into WP policies to allow inclusion of poorly sourced info, particularly when it is written in a way that presents it as "evidence" supporting a theory, is an awful idea. There are issues with WP:V, WP:RS, WP:NOR, WP:N and particularly WP:NPOV specifically WP:Undue weight. These policies are already being wikilawyered to death on these articles, the last thing this site needs is new loopholes that make POV pushing even easier. --Minderbinder 16:29, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


You're twisting things somewhat, and you're generalizing to a single article. This goes beyond EVP. It's just that you're personally involved in that page so you have opinions on it.
To clarify. On one hand you have something that is fringe within mainstream science, but on the other hand you have something that is notable in relation to the topic (for example, blue pond algae isn't notable in science in general, but it is notable in the field of algae). It's also one thing for something to have scientific value, and it's completely another for it to have value in spreading public awareness of the topic. Would you delete all references to the Korean scientist who faked his cloning work on the grounds that his work had no actual value to cloning?
As for no third party verification. As I recall, in most cases there is plenty of third party verification, but certain users simply haven't accepted, and have demanded unreasonable amounts of proof. In one case, a user actually demanded to see paystub from 40 years ago as proof that somebody worked for certain company, in another they demanded to see a college role from 25 years ago. None of which are likely to still exist. Yet they rejected 2-3 scientific papers from people with Phds in relevant subjects and a similar number of books.
perfectblue 07:43, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, when it comes to your examples, what's relevant about making such claims is the principle of falsifiability -- that is, if Wikipedia allows disputed information to be printed as outright correct, without the "allegedly" beforehand, on the grounds that "Oh, that information is unlikely to exist anymore," then there is absolutely no threshold for stating something as true other than having someone say "I said so". There are few, if any, exceptions to the verification policies.
That said, it may be helpful to (if you haven't already) consider other avenues of evidence that would be nearly as convincing as specific documents -- for example, even if you can't access a diploma itself, sourced quotes from someone's professors and schoolmates should be enough to indicate that a person went to such-and-such college. Without something equivalent to that, the statement simply must be present in the form of "so-and-so claims," possibly (but only if this is also sourced) followed by "few have seen reason to dispute such claims" (or conversely, "many have"). Lenoxus " * " 10:29, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, I think I see what this is about. Still, it's definitely a tricky area for anyone to understand at first, perhaps best explained by the guideline (I can't find it, grr!) that says Wikipedia is not about "proof" or "disproof", just verifiabillity. It is not supposed to "take the stance" that alleged phenomenon X is or isn't "true", merely confirm that such and such expert/institution/whatever said so; it is up to you whether to trust them. I see no problem with including information about experiments, so long as it is made clear that such experiments did not undergo peer review or outside observation, as conventional in all scientific practice, and are therefore disputed. I like the way it is done in the current version of Masaru Emoto. Lenoxus " * " 18:54, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
That's a good way to describe it. Including various experiments doesn't seem to be in dispute, the arguments are mostly about "X happened" versus "researcher Y interpreted that X happened" and referring to those doing experiments as "scientists" or "experts" regardless of whether we have reliable sources backing that up. There's definitely a push to describe unverified experiments in a way that screams "Hey look, another guy confirmed it"! --Minderbinder 19:13, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Wow. The article Masaru Emoto is a great example of how a fringe viewpoint is presented and weighted with appropriate mainstream critique. Note that Emoto's "experiments" are not detailed in the article. Neither are anecdotal references to Emoto cherry-picked to create a false impression of factuality/credibility. We could certainly apply this paradigm to the EVP article, which, as Minderbinder says, suffers from those who hope to attract some credibility for the subject by including as many extraordinary anecdotal claims as possible. --- LuckyLouie 20:36, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Of course, in his case, it doesn't hurt that he himself has said he's not a scientist. I wonder how a phrase like "Sasha Placeholder, an author and self-described scientist" would fly with the paranormalists… Lenoxus " * " 02:10, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
The problem comes when somebody adds "Self described" on the front of somebody with 20 years of experience and a couple of doctorates.
perfectblue 07:43, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Doctorates, eh? Well yeah, sounds like "self described" no longer, then... assuming those are science doctorates, and from an accredited institution. Lenoxus " * " 10:29, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
"a user actually demanded to see paystub from 40 years ago as proof that somebody worked for certain company" Perfect example of the ridiculous strawman arguments that are going on. Perfectblue, you say a couple of doctorates, I assume you're referring to MacRae? What universities are those two doctorates from? And what's your source for the info? --Minderbinder 15:09, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

That particular issue could probably be discussed further at Talk:Electronic voice phenomenon. I'm afraid I don't see Perfectblue's point. WP:FRINGE doesn't mandate that we delete articles about people who believed the Earth was flat, nor delete all historical but now-discredited ideas (see the existence of the Flat Earth article, for example). Therefore, the proposed exception to WP:FRINGE seems completely unecessary. I'm getting the sense that this discussion might be based on a specific content dispute - perhaps we could get a more specific example of the proposed change in WP:FRINGE and where it would be applicable? MastCell Talk 00:00, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for making post-April Fools cleanup easier

I have a proposal on dealing with April Fools day pranks on Wikipedia. Commonly there were lots of pages "vandalised" on April 1st, however such edits aren't considered vandalism, just April Fools jokes. However, it is a great pain cleaning up the mess after April Fools Day.

My proposal: If you make an April Fools edit, add the article you aprilfoolsed to the category "April Fools 2007". This way, on April 2nd, Wikipedians can simply look at the above category to un-prank these articles (removing the category tag). Once the category is empty, it can be deleted. This way, the after-effects of April 1st can be undone quickly.

Honestly, we should disable anon editing on April 1. But I know that won't happen.↔NMajdantalk 17:33, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Link on any word, not just hot links

One thing that I find very distracting and that detracts aesthetically if not practically are the numerous hyperlinks strewn throughout articles. Further, the edit pages are littered with square brackets and pipe symbols, indicating internal links as well as Web URLs.

Perhaps every word in an article could be made "clickable," much like on the WikiAnswers site or the New York Times's web site. Any word that already has a Wikipedia entry could automatically link to that. It should not be necessary for article editors to hardcode the internal links. Save the blue hyperlinks for external URLs and footnotes.

My comment: I think that would be a very bad thing. The hyperlinks in articles are supposed to be there because they are chosen by the editor as relevant. If every word which happened to match turned out to be clickable you would end up with links as useless as the ones in this sentence. Observe also that in such a sentence the one thing that might reasonably have been a link "clicked" was not, because no editor was able to write [[mouse click|clicked]]. Nobody would bother to click anything and the point of careful linking would be destroyed. Careful and intelligent linking is at the very heart of what makes this more than a paper encyclopedia. If you don't use and don't like to see links, you can probably set your display up so links are in black, and not underlined. Notinasnaid 08:09, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the link to useless was potentially useful. There's something to be said for allowing any word to be automatically linked to wikt:, as well as the within-Wikipedia links that are added when useful (letting the reader know what might be a relevant article to link to), though. --ais523 08:16, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
While I agree with Radiant and Notinasnaid, there may be something to be said for making non-linked words link to wiktionary under special conditions - perhaps an interesting idea would be to use Javascript to make non-linked items through-clickable to Wiktionary under special conditions, such as holding down a specific key. I know that I, however, would disable such a feature if it were available, but such an idea might be something along the lines that whoever posted this would like. Nihiltres 16:19, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
This practice is used on LOL (Internet slang) to ensure notability of variants. And more importantly, to provide the reader with a useful link. GracenotesT § 17:06, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I mean, the practice of linking to wiktionary. GracenotesT § 17:06, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Slideshow?

I noticed that with images like this there is an animated gif to show change in Rome over time. However, I personally think they can get annoying because what if you want to look at the specific shot of the map and go at your own pace? I'm thinking that instead of these animations we can do slideshow things where at first it only shows one image then you click the "next" button and then you see the next one. It could go on from there. This could be more convenient. The King of Rocking 02:45, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Interesting idea, but I think this would have to have JavaScript, Java or Flash support which isn't always supported by all users and browsers. I do believe that some people wish to keep stuff like Flash applets off articles and I am inclined to agree as well because they can be annoying. We do have galleries which might be a little more simpler. x42bn6 Talk 15:43, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

CSS for horizontal lists

Rather than repeating myself, please see MediaWiki_talk:Monobook.css#Horizontal_lists and discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Horizontal lists Thank you. Andy Mabbett 23:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Free Images

As all images under a free license are being pushed over to commons, shouldn't we remove the free license templates and simply prohibit people from uploading anything but WP:FAIR images on enwiki, or is there something I'm missing here? mrholybrain's talk 02:25, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Surely you mean "shouldn't we remove the free use templates"? -Amarkov moo! 02:30, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you're correct. mrholybrain's talk 12:09, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Ideally yes mrholybrain. There is Wikipedia:WikiProject_Moving_free_images_to_Wikimedia_Commons, but there is a current problem with the "Upload file" link in the sidebar going to the upload form, so people tend to ignore the pointer to Commons and upload free media here anyway. I think the "Upload file" link should point to page (eg Wikipedia:Upload, which is currently a redirect) that directs people to the Commons upload form (for free material) or the Wikipedia upload form (for fair use material).--Commander Keane 08:31, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, occasionally an image is best left only on this project, i.e. a photo of a Wikipedian used only on their userpage. It would be nice to have a toolbox link to the Commons upload page. —Remember the dot (talk) 04:02, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Editor assistance

As it seems that the AMA has generated quite a bit of controversy, and is currently on MfD, I've proposed an alternative to it at WP:ASSIST. Whether or not AMA ends up being kept or disbanded, I think it may prove helpful, and would like feedback and comments. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:13, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Word hunt game

Hey,

I’d like to suggest an idea. I know it may sound a bit “odd” at the first glance, but believe me if implemented properly it’s an entertaining stuff that involves rapid reading, rapid thinking, general knowledge and fast mouse movement. It’s something me and my friends do at home every now and then. Simply put, it’s a word hunting game mainly based on wikipedia interface. I randomly choose two totally different and unrelated words in mind (for instance, Presbyterianism and sonar) and try to jump from the first word (Presbyterianism ) to the target word (sonar) within the shortest period of time, just by clicking only on the shortcuts on the page. With a little bit modification (a chronometer, nickname of other participants or contesters), it'll attract other user’s interest and will also help people improve their general knowledge (both a contest and a source of knowledge on any topic). Users may be given a rest period at the end of each stage to look at what those words actually mean (Transcendental Idealism?? :)))

Well, I hope it will attract your interest.

Thank you

Gunhan Pikdoken, 30, Turkey e-mail removed

See Wikipedia:Wikirace and related games. –Pomte 15:05, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposal concerning Userbox issues & Template Namespace Clutter

Hello Wikipedians,

I have a proposal to make conserning the Userbox issues. Since Userboxes are used by everyone, I do not think they should be put in User Spaces, per the userbox migration policy. Also, the template location does not work well, because they are not really templates. What I propose is to make a different section of Wikipedia for them. We have the template section for templates, wikipedia things are in the wikipedia section, user spaces are in the user section. I believe userboxes would be well organized and more easily used in a section called "Userboxes"; thus, in order to go to a userbox you would put in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Userbox:{{{Userbox Name}}}. Having them in both the Template section and the User section is a bit confusing and not well organized. Also, this would work well with the different kinds of templates. All different types are cluttering the Template section. There are over 50000 in the template section. I believe the ones that are for inside articles (such as ones showing other related articles and showing detailed information on the chemical or animal that the article is about) should be moved to new sections, rather than confusing the sections with all kinds of templates. What do you think?

Someone from the Help Desk said that you don't create new namespaces for "things not related to the project". However, if something is not related to the project, then it shouldn't be here. This has started the Userbox Wars. However, what would it hurt to do this? Would it hurt the project? The Babel Userboxes would have a place to be put that is outside the other templates area. It would increase organization. As it is, your templates need serious organizational help (along with the rest of this site). Bots could easily move all these things and reduce clutter. I originaly thought of this idea because I was trying to compile a tool containing all templates that could be put on a user page and would just be a small line that expands to show all templates and codes that could be needed. New people edit without tools, and even the people who have been here a while have to make their own toolboxes to be equiped to easily do jobs. I searched for all pages in the template section of Wikipedia and found a whole bunch of clutter. The same with the catagories and such that are suppose to contain all this. It's a mess that needs cleaning. This bookshelf of tools clearly needs more shelves installed to reduce clutter and increase organization. There are too many types of templates. It's a lot of work, but bots could do a lot of it, and it would put the tools of editing, catagorization, and all other needed abilities of the average user into the hands of the average user. Well... so what do you all think of this? For, or against? I haven't worked out details, but this is the problem, and proposals on how to posibly fix it. I ask for input from all. Thank you for your time. SadanYagci 03:44, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there's anything wrong with userboxes. Those who say that userboxes should not stay because they are not project related are probably too uptight. So what's next? I can't have customized color theme in my user space? Now, where do we put userboxes? I can understand the rationale of "we don't create a new name space just for ...". But if there are so many userboxes, and there isn't a good place to put them, then maybe it's ok to create a new name space. We just need to rationalize this with the cost and benefit, and if there is other stuff that deserves "upgrade". --ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 08:04, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
The longer it goes on, the more templates, the greater the cost of doing this. What would happen if all articles got their own template inside their page? That would be over a million new templates. Good articles usualy have them. Add to that the creation of new templates for maintaining Wikipedia and you have an even greater mess. SadanYagci 15:55, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
You left a message on WT:UW about this, but I cannot see how this applies to user warning templates. As you put it there are 50,000 templates in the 'root' of Templates: but there are 1,500,000 articles in the root of Wikipedia. This is not clutter as you call it. All that is required is a well organised entry point for these various pages and templates. For wikipedia it is the main page and the search facility, for templates it's WP:TEMP, for user boxes it should be WP:BOX. I would suggest if there is a fault with clutter or organisation it is a fault of the focal entry point and not the structure. Khukri 10:00, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I was calling attention to all those I could find conserning the subject of the templates namespace. Also, the main reason this came to my attention is when I was trying to compile a tool that would also help with the UW Templates. Anyway, it is clutter. The main namespace is cluttered, but this cannot be helped. They are all articles. They cannot be organized by subject or anything like that (at least with their locations). But this namespace contains anything that could be considered a template. If someone creates a new template and forgets to organize it into proper catagories (which I found done many times) then it's not as good. There are a lot of templates for many different uses. The ones for inside articles should be in their own location. Userboxes would be better in their own namespace, but that is not the source of the clutter, just another catagory of "templates" that seem to need more organization. Userboxes are in existance and need a place to be put. It's not easy to find all the userboxes, even with all the main pages and stuff that link things together. New namespaces clear clutter. What is wrong with them? Do you really want to just keep trying to organize different kinds of things that are in the same directory by making catagory pages for them? Certainly catagory pages are harder to organize. However, when you want a template there they all are, right in the template namespace. Main pages should catagorize what cannot be easily catagorized by namespaces. Articles aren't even easily catagorized by all these catagories and pages. Pages get lost (specificly new ones). Do you see my point? However, articles cannot be catagorized like that. They are all articles and they cannot be catagorized easily any further without falling into multiple catagories. However, templates can. There are a few different types of templates. Maintinence templates, Inside-Article templates, and Userboxes and templates like them for the purpose of just going on userpages or user talk pages. Three types in the same space. Images already have their section, and though they are a bit difficult to look through they cannot be seperated into different catagories easily (unless it was into JPG, GIF, BMP, etc..., which would be a bit pointless). SadanYagci 15:50, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think creating a separate namespace for just userboxes is a good idea. I was not involved in the original discussion that led to the userboxes being moved out of template-space so I do not agree 100% with it (then again, since I wasn't involved in the discussion, I am not aware of all the reasoning). However, the current solution seems more than adequate for me. I think it would be a waste of developer resources to creates an entire new namespace just for userboxes.↔NMajdantalk 13:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Question: How hard is it to create a new namespace? How many developer resources are used to do it? SadanYagci 15:50, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
None whatsoever. Creating a namespace is a piece of cake. However, the community has to be strongly for it. GracenotesT § 17:24, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Userboxes are not so important that they need to be found more easily by searching Userbox:I like pizza. As long as WP:UBX and categories attempt to list them all, it doesn't really matter where they are. I don't think the template namespace is confusing: Templates are things that get transcluded so they all get dumped in there. Any cluttering is a deep organizational issue with no apparent effects as long as templates (the ones used in articles) look standardized and function how they should, which is the main problem that should be tackled. –Pomte 11:49, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
How can they be standardized easily if they are not well organized? This is not something that would help the look of wikipedia directly. I agree with that. However, it is something that would be good for Wikipedians. Something that should speed up their jobs. I always have to keep looking for templates and such. Their organization is not good at all. Now, you could just temporarily solve the problem by going through them all and catagorizing them properly... but then in a few months you would have more mess to clean up. Do you not see all the backlog on this site? Organization tends to be a big backlog. Creating a namespace would be a permanent solution. File location helps organization a lot. You don't see articles getting mixed up with templates much, do you? You don't see articles catagorized as templates, or the other way around, do you? This organization would not help the look of wikipedia... it would help the editors of wikipedia edit faster, making it look better. SadanYagci 18:00, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Pinhead

I would like to see a page Wikipedia:Pinhead. That way, when someone is being overtly obstinate, and recalcitrant in the face of reason, you can ask them to stop being a pinhead. -Just call me zippy 03:31, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

That's somewhat uncivil, and in any case there's already Don't be dense. —dgiestc 04:13, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Except as a politically correct alternative to Wikipedia:Don't be a dick, this would be pretty useless. WP:PIN is already taken anyway. --tjstrf talk 04:34, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
WP:DICK does cover this quite well... plus it also covers the fact that calling someone a DICK, or refering them to the WP:DICK page is "something of a dick-move in itself" and thus, is nicely and somewhat ironically a self-defeating proposition. Seriously, if someone is disruptive, there are ways to deal with it. If they are just annoying, but not causing any damage or disruption, ignore them. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:15, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Referring a person to Wikipedia:Don't Be a(n) ''X'' in reference in reference to their present behaviour amounts to saying “You are a(n) X right now.” Given that X is something such as dick or pinhead, this is simply a personal attract thinly disguised as a reference to quasi-policy. The only legitimate use of WP:DICK — on any Wikipedia page — is in contexts where no identifiable editor is being thereby described. Given that Wikipedia:Pinhead is proposed as a way of slapping “someone [who] is being overtly obstinate, and recalcitrant in the face of reason”, I'd say that it should be seen as fruit of a very poisoned tree. —SlamDiego 18:27, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

New deletion system proposed.

According to the oft-cited guideline WP:NOVOTE and the policy WP:NOT, Wikipedia is not a democracy. This means that votes should be deleted to prevent these policies from being violated.

To facilitate this, I am hereby proposing the new Votes for deletion system, in which votes can be proposed for deletion. Please comment here or on the talk page! —Dark•Shikari[T] 00:30, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Not to bash this without fully reading the proposal, but why do you think it's appropriate to negate comments that a user wrote on an XfD/FXC page? It seems anti-anything-Wikipedia-should-stand-for. Jaredtalk  00:41, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I was about to say "It's not quite time for things like that yet...", but I guess I'm in the wrong timezone. --Interiot 01:25, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Setting up a talk page for a future but not yet created article?

For awhile there, I was using a talk page template and whenever I found an article that needed creation, but which I couldn't justify creating while at work, I would create the talk page first, and use said template. It worked great for months, I would periodically go back, and then create the article, sometimes after getting the feedback I needed to create a proper article. This happy experiment of mine was brought to an end when the talk page template, the category, and every talk page that used this template, (but hadn't yet had the article itself created), were deleted.

So I spent some time looking at related wikipolicy, and I got the impression it now frowned more strongly on this practice then when I began the experiment. It also seemed that wikipolicy was gray in this area, and subject to various interpretations.

Anyway, I highly support the idea of lowering the barrier to entry for new users, trying to create worthy new articles, or simply trying to suggest the creation of a worthy article. The current method of putting in a request for article creation is abominable.

I suggest, that if talk pages are created for the purpose of assisting in the creation of the article, and they are used such properly, then they should be left up for a period of months. If it is found after suitable period of time that the talk page has not lead to the creation of a good entry, then it would be appropriate to delete.

Anyway, this is my request for comment. Thanks. For your reference:

Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines#Setting up a talk page for a future but not yet created article?


Template:Future_article_talk_page
Template_talk:Future_article_talk_page
Template_talk:Futureart
Template_talk:Db-talk
Wikipedia_talk:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion#G8:_Talk_pages
Wikipedia_talk:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion#Extend_G8_to_include_.22needed.22_articles
Wikipedia_talk:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion#Scope_of_G4
Wikipedia_talk:Talk_page_guidelines#Setting_up_a_talk_page_for_a_future_but_not_yet_created_article.3F
User_talk:Mathiastck#Template_moved
User_talk:RyanGerbil10#Deletion_of_Template:Future_article_talk_page
User_talk:BigNate37/TM/Future_article_talk_page
User_talk:Nae'blis#Template:Future_article_talk_page
Category_talk:Candidates_for_speedy_deletion#Talk_pages

Mathiastck 15:57, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Have you considered just making a subpage in your userspace and then transferring that content when you're satisfied with it? --Kyoko 20:54, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
This is similar to the thing about whether this should be allowed for tagging uncreated pages with talk page tags for WikiProjects, saying that this page should be created. I would definitely say that this should be allowed, because it would definitely help WikiProjects better sense where they need to put their efforts. Jaredtalk  21:12, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
That is a very good point, though it might be better to make even a brief article and preferably tag it with the appropriate stub notice, so that other people can contribute too. --Kyoko 21:21, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Some good ideas here
  • Setting up a page start and tag as a stub, add early ideas in talk page.
I like this idea best. I think the lack of any article at all existing was the main reason the talk page was discouraged. So what's a good generic stub I should use? I plan to drop that, and then fill the talk page with content, but not in proper wiki format. How does that sound as a general strategy when time is short, but I want to enable others users to finish the job as well? Perhaps I'd make a new stub, which specifically encourages discussion of the notability of the article in the discussion page. I never understood why the articles talk page wasn't used as a place to discuss it's deletion. Mathiastck 02:08, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
  • If time is an issue, use a user page that is what I do, see the user page Kidsheaven, I use it to keep track of what I would like to do and update it to link to what I have done.Kidsheaven 21:31, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Time demands were one justification some ignore above, which I perfectly understand. I'd used the talk page creation myself here and there, though without a template. Also understand not wanting a user page all the time.
   Submit creation of the article name as an appropriate redirect using also the {{R with possibilities}} template, then creating a talk page with a link to your to-do list user page (So shows on whatlinkshere) would be a good way to tag such work needed without any 'unique' template. When you can ethically take the time and care to properly stub in an article, or have the time to begin it in earnest, you're well begun, and there is nothing to stop you from tagging the redirect page with a stub tag at the same time. I do that quite a bit for such titles... someone may get there first that way, vice the other. // FrankB 17:11, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
I like the redirect idea as well :) I've tried that one recently. Mathiastck 02:08, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Wording of otheruses template

Template:Otheruses is used on thousands of pages to direct readers to disambiguation pages. But its wording has been in contention for a long time for good reasons: it is unclear and confusing. All proposals to remedy it have failed, so the only option is to revert to the traditional wording. I propose a new wording which makes no claim to perfection but, in my view, is at least an improvement over the traditional wording.

Please discuss at Template talk:Otheruses#"For other articles, see X (disambiguation)." Thanks. Punctured Bicycle 18:36, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Improving referencing efforts

As a result of several very long discussions on the mailing list, I've launched a proposal that should promote the addition and maintainance of references and make it easier to find articles to reference in a specific field of interest. I invite you to share any thoughts and additional ideas on the proposal's talk page. - Mgm|(talk) 15:08, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Today's Featured Picture aesthetics

The violet colour of the TFP infobox is quite dark, and sometimes also clashes with the colours of the TFP itself. So my proposal is that the colour of the infobox be changed to any lighter, neutral colour like steel-grey, silver or even white. --WoodElf 08:24, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Condensed cleanup template

I have an idea for a condensed article cleanup template. Instead of putting 5 or 6 tags on an article, with this, we could just put one and have it display the necessary text. Right now, the cleanup templates have a lot of redundant text, if multiple are used on the smae article. This works similar to {{articlehistory}} but without the show/hide function. I only have the text for "cleanup" and "NPOV" now, but more could be added easily. What I have is just a very rough draft. If anyone has any tips on appearance or on simplifying the code, please tell me. (It uses #if and #switch parser functions now). {{User:Mr.Z-man/Sandbox|npov|cleanup}} gives:

-- Mr.Z-mantalk¢Review! 16:44, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Very interesting. I'll look into this.... Jaredtalk  00:42, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
The main discussion on this seems to be here. Mr.Z-mantalk¢Review! 17:29, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Anyone who wants to translate this article into English?

Siento no saber hablar inglés.

Como en la Wikipedia en español, algunos wikipedistas están más interesados en lo que borran que en lo que redactan, es decir les interesa más destruir que construir, el artículo "Teoría de la conspiración electrónica" [3] (entre muchos otros), casi con toda seguridad, va a ser borrado próximamente. ¿Hay algún alma caritativa que lo quiera traducir al inglés? Cabe decir que en esta Wikipedia en inglés sí que se respira un aire de auténtica libertad y totalmente constructivo.

El artículo no es un ensayo original: su contenido está sacado de partes de la bibliografía que en él aparece.

Saludos cordiales a todos. El filóloco (The Mad Philologist) - Talk to me 08:18, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Si :) --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 16:05, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks very much for translating the article. El filóloco (The Mad Philologist) - Talk to me (in Spanish, please) 15:08, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Academics on Wikipedia

I feel that academics should be allowed individual pages of their own on Wikipedia. This is because a lot of the research that they do is publicly funded and so they should be accountable for it. Wikipedia could help a lot in this, as it already exists. Academics working on particular fields could be searched for and their work examined by interested folk. I have noticed that a lot of less well known academicsa get deleted from the site based on their lack of fame. However, these academics tend to be famous in their own field and less well known outside of it. As such it seems strange to allow people to delete these articles just because they are not celebrity characters.
Could anybody explain this to me? If so what is the deletion policy.
Many Thanks. Synthesis for all 14:26, 19 March 2007 (UTC)Curious Gregor

As far as I'm concerned, I will not nominate anyone for deletion if they have a published research document under their belt. That, to me, is their notability. 99% of the world may not have heard of him or her, but that 1% of experts in that field may be more than familiar with the work or could be attempting to track down that very info. I agree with you: academics should be permitted to have their respective articles on Wikipedia per WP:PAPER. --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 17:40, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
"Anyone who has ever published a paper is notable" wouldn't work; we still have to have criteria. Quarl (talk) 2007-03-22 06:23Z

There are already sister projects at WikiScholar and [WikiBooks that are perfect for that kind of activity. Vassyana 04:08, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikischolar is not a sister project.
Wikibooks is not suitable for biographies of academics, nor for attributed articles (though WikiSource: might be suitable for those.) --Quiddity 20:12, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
  • For the record, this isn't about user pages, right? It's about articles about professors who are well-regarded within their field if not considered notable outside it. Hmm... part of me feels we should stick to the current policy, which means that the subject is still only notable if others have written about her/him. Then again, having pages that link differen topics as person has discussed, partly to establish their credibility in the area (for the sake of other references) would be pretty fine as well. So I'm stuck. Lenoxus " * " 15:02, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
A wiki is a great idea for that plan, but Wikipedia is not. It is not hard to set up the same software Wikipedia uses, such a site could do well. But that site is not Wikipedia. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 15:15, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
  • If a scholar wants to find info on a particular person or article, they have databases and journals available to them. Wikipedia wouldn't add anything they don't already have access to. - Mgm|(talk) 16:05, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposals: 1) Dynamic Searchable 'Intelligent' Keyword FAQ & 2) Watch Feature Renamed & 3) Mail & 4) 'Did You Mean' suggestion

1) Wikipedia should have an FAQ which allows a user to literally ask a question, and the site will direct the user to possible FAQ's that may answer their inquiry, based upon keywords in their question. Friendster.com has such an FAQ (when contacting customer service, any inquiry will be filtered through such a system).

2) The 'watch' feature is a great one, but its function is not entirely obvious. I recommend it either be renamed to, 'Watch This Article' or 'Add to Favorites' (or something to that effect).

3) I had new mail and didn't realize it until stumbling upon a small message informing me of this fact. Perhaps there should be a more localized place for new messages, such as "Check Messages", or "Inbox"

4) Before rejecting this suggestion, hear me out. I was told that there would not be enough processor power & servers available to achieve the following suggestion. Please read my suggestions on how to possibly achieve this at the end of this recommendation:

Wikipedia should have a "did you mean" feature when users search for a misspelled term, such as the one dictionary.com offers. If one looks up a word in dictionary.com and it is misspelled, the site offers several suggestions of words that the user may have meant to write. This will not only help people find the articles they are seeking, in an age where spelling is worsening due to computer spell checks, but will also help people find articles they seek that may be worded just a little differently than how they wrote their search term.

For example, 'Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis' is a word in the English language. But if one replaces the last vowel with an 'o' to yield: 'Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosos', then Wikipedia falls short of suggesting any similar terms.

I recommend using 'google' or dictionary.com some how (perhaps an agreement between wikipedia and the aforementioned) to achieve this. If Wikipedia doesn't have the processor power and servers, could it not take advantage of google's vast amount of servers? Could Wikipedia not run the search through a 3rd party? And how much power would it really take to run a search through a dictionary even, to at least check for probably spelling errors?

Sincerely, Danfogel 05:10, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Robots.txt keeps google out of AfD and a number of other places on wikipedia. We need an internal search for those. Search Suggestions are a perennial propose and just too taxing on the servers to implement. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 17:34, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
A rough equivalent to the FAQ you brought up happily exists at Wikipedia:Reference desk. Lenoxus " * " 09:19, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
  • There is a searchable FAQ feature called Nubio somewhere. Also, the "did you mean" search suggestion is encoded in MediaWiki, but disabled for performance reasons. - Mgm|(talk) 16:02, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Poll on transparency chessboard pattern

Should a chessboard pattern be used to indicate image transparency on all image description pages?

There has been some back and forth on whether image description pages should show a checkered background image (repeated over the dimensions of the picture) by default to indicate transparency (the alpha channel of the image). A poll is being prepared on MediaWiki talk:Common.css#Poll on transparency issue; I would appreciate all comments there. The poll will likely not begin before April 10.--Eloquence* 03:05, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Pinpoint Supporting Text In Large References

I was about to add a reference to an article from a 40 page paper when I realised and remembered back to the last time that I saw a "suspect" reference. I had to read through a lot of tripe just to determine that the reference did in-fact, not support the fact it had been used support (judging from the summary, the editor hadn't read it (thoroughly) which is what incited me to check). Checking the veracity of a reference could be made a lot easier if a page number of even a page and line number could be provided. Alternatively, if such a practice wouldn't voilate copyright laws, a character string could be provided in the form "modular character of transcription factors allows natural" (<< this is an actual snippet from the 40 page paper I just mentioned) which would allow a fast computer-powered search to the correct point in the text. It would of course be as voluntary as any of the other referencing paramters but would be helpful in a few obvious and considerable ways. --Seans Potato Business 23:42, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

The {{cite web}} template certainly has pages and quote parameters that do what you suggest. Not sure if any of the other Citation templates have these. --TheParanoidOne 05:38, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Get rid of tallies on RfAs

Please participate in the discussion. Thanks. Xiner (talk) 18:31, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia Live

My mom and I were thinking about the Library of Alexandria, and saying how it wasn't like a modern Library because it was filled with the people who knew things. It was more like Wikipedia Live. To both of us the idea seemed fantastic. Is there such a thing? Could there be such a thing? What would it be like?

FLF — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fiveline5 (talkcontribs) 00:17, 27 March 2007

There's Wikipedia's Reference Desk, which goes some way towards what you're describing. --ais523 11:27, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
But do you think it would be fun/useful for people to gather together - perhaps in large auditoriums - one weekend a year - to ask experts questions about anything?
This page isn't the place to discuss matters not related to Wikipedia. And this isn't, since Wikipedia isn't about either experts or asking questions. You need to take the discussion elsewhere - perhaps Wikipedia:Alternative outlets will give you some ideas. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:08, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Well no, it could be related to Wikipedia. She's essentially taking the Antiques Roadshow concept (where experts in various areas of antiques) congregate to lend their expertise for free. It's quite possible, though I'm unsure how it would be funded. -- Zanimum 16:13, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Journalism noticeboard?

Here's another dish that's been simmering on my back burner: a lot of mainstream journalism articles about Wikipedia either contain factual mistakes (such as failure to distinguish between editors, administrators, and arbitrators) or overlook features and developments (such as stories about vandalism that fail to mention semi-protection, anti-vandal bots, and plans to adapt the German Wikipedia's stable versions feature into the English language site). In fairness to those hardworking members of the press, they operate on tight deadlines and may not have sufficient time to learn the knowledge a devoted Wikipedian acquires over months or years.

So would it be practical to implement a journalism noticeboard where they could post factual questions and get answers from Wikipedians? I foresee a couple of pitfalls here: journalists normally ask these questions through private channels and need a contact's full name. Also there's a risk of the page getting abused by disruptive users. But if experienced editors provide verifiable diffs and links, if journalists provide their bona fides, and if some of the discussion follows up via e-mail, then this might be useful. The main advantage is that this could provide more and speedier answers than a query to a particular contact who might not receive it until after press time.

What are your thoughts? Would the benefits be worth it and could we resolve the pitfalls? DurovaCharge! 16:22, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Don't we have centralized locations for press about wikipedia already? It seems like it would be best integrated there. (a place to go before you write the story, as well as a collection of stories that have been written) Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 21:07, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Is there any interactive place where they can ask questions and get swift answers? The Help Desk has its own problems and doesn't seem appropriate for that function. I've given my name to the Foundation as someone who's willing to answer questions, but nobody's followed up with me via that route. My only interactive contact with journalists has happened when I initiated it myself. DurovaCharge! 22:21, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Speaking as somebody who has been a journalist, Durova has a point. Journalists often step into a story knowing absolutely nothing about the topic and are faced with the requirement to have a newspaper article written before it's time to put the paper to bed or have a television package edited in time for a given slot. I once worked a story with a reporter who had to interview a colonel and a staff sergeant (Army Reservists) and had to ask during the interview who outranked whom. Some sort of media-friendly spot on Wikipedia that would answer some very basic questions for the uninitiated so that the journalist can do their job properly would probably not be a bad idea. It would have to be very well protected against vandalism, however. --Molon Labe 08:46, 26 March 2007 (UTC)


Well, they're invited to email press@wikimedia.org ... Sandra Ordonez is standing by 5 days a week full time, and about a dozen or more volunteers in all different timezones have access to that email thru Wikimedia's OTRS system. -- Zanimum 16:10, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for changing the WP:EA shortcut

The shortcut WP:EA currently redirects to the inactive Esperanza main page. I realise that changing a commonly-used and established WP shortcut is likely to be very controversial (which is why I'm posting it here, rather than just doing it), but I think the shortcut should redirect to Wikipedia:Editor assistance. Surely an active project (albeit a very new one) merits a shortcut more than an inactive one does? Walton Vivat Regina! 19:11, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that there are a few thousand pages that link to Esperanza using that shortcut. Changing the shortcut would disrupt all of these links. Even though the project is currently dead, that's where all of those links are supposed to go to. WP:ASSIST can use other abbreviations; there's nothing wrong with WP:EDA or something like that. Koweja 19:19, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I was just about to bring that up...that would be a lot of work to change all the old links to Esperanza, and it would probably confuse people that're used to WP:EA going there. Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:21, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
What about putting {{redirect1|WP:EA|the former Wikipedian organization|[[Wikipedia:Esperanza]]}} at the top? ^demon[omg plz] 19:41, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Because it would still create potential confusion in cases where the context could have referred to either. --tjstrf talk 22:14, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I suppose you could list it on WP:RFD but I suspect people will not approve the suggestion. >Radiant< 08:43, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Esperanza was deactivated four months ago and already there are phalanxes of new users who have never heard of it. It does not seem right that a dead organisation should supplant a new and active one. SatyrTN has calculated the links and is happy to use his bot to change all current EA links to Esperanza ones so we can change the redirect. Is that ok with everyone? Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 15:56, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Block Turnitin spider with robot.txt

We should consider adding a robots.txt entry denying the Turnitin spider. Turnitin is a service that some schools use to detect plagiarism. Student papers are submitted to their site and compared against a database of previously submitted papers and other content that includes sites like wikipedia. Many of our best articles are from editors who re-work their school papers. By allowing turnitin to spider our site, we discourage editors from turning their schoolwork into wikipedia articles not only because they find turnitin distasteful (as I do) but also because their homework may be flagged as plagiarism just because it also appears on wikipedia. Leafyplant 15:34, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be easy enough for them to prove that they wrote the allegedly plagiarized content through the history feature? --tjstrf talk 23:55, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
The site is GFDL, we should not be denying access to it without a good reason, such as server load. HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 23:57, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Many of our best articles are from editors who re-work their school papers.' I doubt that. How in the world would you know?
Also, an editor who is knowledgeable about Turnitin should be also be smart enough to wait until after getting a grade on a paper before using the information on the paper to improve a Wikipedia article. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:38, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. No need for this change. -- nae'blis 19:11, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposal concerning Userbox issues & Template Namespace Clutter

Hello Wikipedians,

I have a proposal to make conserning the Userbox issues. Since Userboxes are used by everyone, I do not think they should be put in User Spaces, per the userbox migration policy. Also, the template location does not work well, because they are not really templates. What I propose is to make a different section of Wikipedia for them. We have the template section for templates, wikipedia things are in the wikipedia section, user spaces are in the user section. I believe userboxes would be well organized and more easily used in a section called "Userboxes"; thus, in order to go to a userbox you would put in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Userbox:{{{Userbox Name}}}. Having them in both the Template section and the User section is a bit confusing and not well organized. Also, this would work well with the different kinds of templates. All different types are cluttering the Template section. There are over 50000 in the template section. I believe the ones that are for inside articles (such as ones showing other related articles and showing detailed information on the chemical or animal that the article is about) should be moved to new sections, rather than confusing the sections with all kinds of templates. What do you think?

Someone from the Help Desk said that you don't create new namespaces for "things not related to the project". However, if something is not related to the project, then it shouldn't be here. This has started the Userbox Wars. However, what would it hurt to do this? Would it hurt the project? The Babel Userboxes would have a place to be put that is outside the other templates area. It would increase organization. As it is, your templates need serious organizational help (along with the rest of this site). Bots could easily move all these things and reduce clutter. I originaly thought of this idea because I was trying to compile a tool containing all templates that could be put on a user page and would just be a small line that expands to show all templates and codes that could be needed. New people edit without tools, and even the people who have been here a while have to make their own toolboxes to be equiped to easily do jobs. I searched for all pages in the template section of Wikipedia and found a whole bunch of clutter. The same with the catagories and such that are suppose to contain all this. It's a mess that needs cleaning. This bookshelf of tools clearly needs more shelves installed to reduce clutter and increase organization. There are too many types of templates. It's a lot of work, but bots could do a lot of it, and it would put the tools of editing, catagorization, and all other needed abilities of the average user into the hands of the average user. Well... so what do you all think of this? For, or against? I haven't worked out details, but this is the problem, and proposals on how to posibly fix it. I ask for input from all. Thank you for your time. SadanYagci 03:44, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there's anything wrong with userboxes. Those who say that userboxes should not stay because they are not project related are probably too uptight. So what's next? I can't have customized color theme in my user space? Now, where do we put userboxes? I can understand the rationale of "we don't create a new name space just for ...". But if there are so many userboxes, and there isn't a good place to put them, then maybe it's ok to create a new name space. We just need to rationalize this with the cost and benefit, and if there is other stuff that deserves "upgrade". --ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 08:04, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
The longer it goes on, the more templates, the greater the cost of doing this. What would happen if all articles got their own template inside their page? That would be over a million new templates. Good articles usualy have them. Add to that the creation of new templates for maintaining Wikipedia and you have an even greater mess. SadanYagci 15:55, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
You left a message on WT:UW about this, but I cannot see how this applies to user warning templates. As you put it there are 50,000 templates in the 'root' of Templates: but there are 1,500,000 articles in the root of Wikipedia. This is not clutter as you call it. All that is required is a well organised entry point for these various pages and templates. For wikipedia it is the main page and the search facility, for templates it's WP:TEMP, for user boxes it should be WP:BOX. I would suggest if there is a fault with clutter or organisation it is a fault of the focal entry point and not the structure. Khukri 10:00, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I was calling attention to all those I could find conserning the subject of the templates namespace. Also, the main reason this came to my attention is when I was trying to compile a tool that would also help with the UW Templates. Anyway, it is clutter. The main namespace is cluttered, but this cannot be helped. They are all articles. They cannot be organized by subject or anything like that (at least with their locations). But this namespace contains anything that could be considered a template. If someone creates a new template and forgets to organize it into proper catagories (which I found done many times) then it's not as good. There are a lot of templates for many different uses. The ones for inside articles should be in their own location. Userboxes would be better in their own namespace, but that is not the source of the clutter, just another catagory of "templates" that seem to need more organization. Userboxes are in existance and need a place to be put. It's not easy to find all the userboxes, even with all the main pages and stuff that link things together. New namespaces clear clutter. What is wrong with them? Do you really want to just keep trying to organize different kinds of things that are in the same directory by making catagory pages for them? Certainly catagory pages are harder to organize. However, when you want a template there they all are, right in the template namespace. Main pages should catagorize what cannot be easily catagorized by namespaces. Articles aren't even easily catagorized by all these catagories and pages. Pages get lost (specificly new ones). Do you see my point? However, articles cannot be catagorized like that. They are all articles and they cannot be catagorized easily any further without falling into multiple catagories. However, templates can. There are a few different types of templates. Maintinence templates, Inside-Article templates, and Userboxes and templates like them for the purpose of just going on userpages or user talk pages. Three types in the same space. Images already have their section, and though they are a bit difficult to look through they cannot be seperated into different catagories easily (unless it was into JPG, GIF, BMP, etc..., which would be a bit pointless). SadanYagci 15:50, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think creating a separate namespace for just userboxes is a good idea. I was not involved in the original discussion that led to the userboxes being moved out of template-space so I do not agree 100% with it (then again, since I wasn't involved in the discussion, I am not aware of all the reasoning). However, the current solution seems more than adequate for me. I think it would be a waste of developer resources to creates an entire new namespace just for userboxes.↔NMajdantalk 13:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Question: How hard is it to create a new namespace? How many developer resources are used to do it? SadanYagci 15:50, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
None whatsoever. Creating a namespace is a piece of cake. However, the community has to be strongly for it. GracenotesT § 17:24, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Userboxes are not so important that they need to be found more easily by searching Userbox:I like pizza. As long as WP:UBX and categories attempt to list them all, it doesn't really matter where they are. I don't think the template namespace is confusing: Templates are things that get transcluded so they all get dumped in there. Any cluttering is a deep organizational issue with no apparent effects as long as templates (the ones used in articles) look standardized and function how they should, which is the main problem that should be tackled. –Pomte 11:49, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
How can they be standardized easily if they are not well organized? This is not something that would help the look of wikipedia directly. I agree with that. However, it is something that would be good for Wikipedians. Something that should speed up their jobs. I always have to keep looking for templates and such. Their organization is not good at all. Now, you could just temporarily solve the problem by going through them all and catagorizing them properly... but then in a few months you would have more mess to clean up. Do you not see all the backlog on this site? Organization tends to be a big backlog. Creating a namespace would be a permanent solution. File location helps organization a lot. You don't see articles getting mixed up with templates much, do you? You don't see articles catagorized as templates, or the other way around, do you? This organization would not help the look of wikipedia... it would help the editors of wikipedia edit faster, making it look better. SadanYagci 18:00, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia's triple crown

The standard triple crown.

I'm initiating a new personal user award called Wikipedia's triple crown for editors who achieve all of the following:

  1. Start a new article that gets highlighted at Template:Did you know.
  2. Be a major contributor to a good article.
  3. Be a major contributor to a piece of featured content (featured article, featured list, featured picture, featured portal, featured topic, or featured sound).

Two special edition triple crowns are also available: the imperial triple crown jewels for editors who qualify for multiple triple crowns and the valiant return triple crown for editors who satisfy all three triple crown requirements after an arbitration sanction or a lifted siteban. Editors who think they qualify are welcome to petition me at User talk:Durova and I'll keep an honor roll at User:Durova/Triple crown winner's circle. DurovaCharge! 01:43, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Hell no. Trophy cases are baaaad. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 02:16, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Pfff... trophy cases encourage good work, so I'll tolerate them. Besides, this award's requirements are high enough that it does signal some very good contributions. Nihiltres 15:13, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Avoid the word "vandal"

I recently created Wikipedia:Avoid the word "vandal" to counter a recent tendency to call edits made in good faith "vandalism".

I would deeply appreciate any modification to the essay to improve it. Thanks, Luc "Somethingorother" French 04:02, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

MediWiki

I have an idea for a medical wiki... It will have information on and help for doctors and Med Students, giving information on proceedures and effects of different drugs.

Vagery 12:31, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Why couldn't the information be stored here on the Wikipedia? -- drumguy8800 C T 12:33, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

It could be, but it would be alot easier for Medical Professionals to access it if it was seperate. Vagery 12:39, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

What about PubDrug wiki? I work on several medical wikis, drop me a message for further talk if you're interested. NCurse work 13:49, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Considering we have a Wikipedia:Medical disclaimer, I'm not actually sure this is a good idea.  ;) Because of Wikipedia's nature, there is no guarantee the information is useful (or won't kill patients), especially as we have not been ratified/supported/etc. by, say, the FDA or something. This type of stuff would be better off on other wikis. x42bn6 Talk 17:06, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
See this listing of medical wikis, and this follow up post.-gadfium 21:58, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Snap Previews

We just added Snap previews to all external links on ValueWiki. Now when you mouse over the external link icon, you can see a preview of the link.

I think this could be good added functionality for Wikipedia. It took our mediawiki developer about 5 minutes to implement (basically, adding a script tag to the monobook.php). To see how it looks, mouseover any external link icon on ValueWiki.com.

If there is any interest in adding this functionality to Wikipedia, I'm happy to paste a tutorial for how to add Snap to MediaWiki. Cheers, Jonathan Stokes 18:44, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

  • My 2cents, Snaps annoy me as they block they text, plus not keen to propietarize WP. -Reagle 20:37, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Just a note, I get similar functionality on internal links by using Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups. -- Chuq 22:40, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Snap previews also drive me crazy, I don't see any benefit in them. - cohesion 23:04, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
They make me want to throw my computer out the window.--ragesoss 01:17, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely not.--Eloquence* 01:53, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I work with Jon on ValueWiki. We made the decision to implement Snap to enable users to preview link destinations before they click. I agree that the "full-link" previews (a la wordpress) are obnoxious, but implementing the "icon-only" method that does not interfere with link performance works really well. Does this type of implementation make anybody reconsider? Zgreenberger 03:03, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia's pretty strict about using only open-source tools -- which means no flash, etc. If they're not implementing flash, they're definitely not going to implement Snap. Plus, the development team tends to focus on performance issues, and this sounds like it would add workload without increasing performance (possibly even decrease it). Snaps is also a controversial technology: some people like it, a lot of people are really annoyed by it. There are any number of other reasons this wouldn't be implemented, but it's late. Tlogmer ( talk / contributions ) 04:57, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
That's an interesting point about open source technology. Of course any code used to implement Snap would be open source, but the service itself is not OS. Snap does not have any server-side performance issues, so I don't think that would be a factor. It can even be deployed as off for users by default. They would have to activate the function to view the preview at all. Zgreenberger 19:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Maybe it could be implemented independently by someone as an addition to Monobook.js, similar to the Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups, and that way people who want snap preview functionality can have it, and those who don't would not be affected? -- All the best, Nickj (t) 05:28, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
This is a great idea. I will work on this and release something soon. I've also decided to write an extension that would enable users to activate Snap previews on a per-article basis by adding a magic word to the article. If it ever gets deployed, that will give the community the ability to decide for itself where Snap should go. For example, I may want it on my user page. Or maybe it should go on the Snap article page. Zgreenberger 19:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Thanks to Nickj's suggestion, I've implemented Snap Preview Anywhere in a similar way to Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups. To install, just add {{subst:snap}} to your monobook.js. I know the value of this feature is controversal, but at least now Wikipedians have the option to implement. I gotta say, I like the feature and will keep it active on my account. I would appreciate any constructive feedback on how I implemented and documented this new feature. While I do manage the ValueWiki installation, I'm not as active here as I should be. Zgreenberger 05:16, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I propose that we reject the current logo until discussion at m:Logo and trademark policy concludes, and permanently unless such discussion results in the logo image being released under a GFDL-compatible copyright license (the foundation can still protect it with trademark if necessary) --Random832 14:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Mini-Summaries Instead of Titles

When you move your mouse over blue text, you get the title of the article that is being linked to. This tends to be redundant. It would be more convenient to readers to see the first sentence of the article when the mouse is above the link.

For Example, mousing over Wikipedia would show "a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project." instead of "wikipedia" in the white box next to the mouse.

A great idea, but Wikipedia already has it! Try Wikipedia:Popups. Reywas92Talk 02:49, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Showing the title of the page being linked to is useful when the link is piped or mystery meat. –Pomte 04:36, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Very unlikely proposal regarding Citizendium

At this point, Citizendium is basically the enemy of Wikipedia. It steals our users and somewhat undermines our free online encyclopedia authority. Due to it still being a wiki, run by Mediawiki, would it theoretically be possible to simply delete the opposition? Due to bad media coverage, prospective users could turn there instead, due to the "inaccuracy" of Wikipedia, and the "expertise" of Citizendium (I trust this). I know that Wikipedia supporters may like this idea, though it is rather unplausable. (Should this be moved to a different discussion place?) This may seem crazy, and it has a long way to go, but I don't wan't Wikipedia to ever succumb to Citizendium. Reywas92Talk 23:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

NO We can both learn from each other. If you think that we have bad publicity now, imagine what we would get if we did that. And I haven't even thought about whether it was possible or not. The Placebo Effect 23:29, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Users could turn there, but it looks like it will be a while before they'll go there and stay there. At least it depends on how long it takes them to get articles on things like say, George W. Bush. They're not immune from bad media coverage either. Users will go to either site depending on how they like the encyclopedia and the policies. Besides that, I don't think there's anything wrong with a little healthy competition - my bigger concern is copyright/license violation on their part. --Minderbinder 23:33, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Wait, did he seriously suggest that we go delete their website? That do more to hurt our reputation and help Citizendium than anything else I can think of. The ideas some people have... --tjstrf talk 23:38, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Egads no... I can't even think of where to begin with expressing the many reasons why I'd be against such a thought. You hit it right on with "very unlikely"! :) --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 23:48, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Making an act of war like that makes an already tense situation worse. I wrote an essay regarding this at User:PullToOpen/Citizendium and Wikipedia. There isn't a way that Citizendium will undermine us completely. PTO 00:19, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Reywas92, I'd recommend withdrawing this "proposal" ASAP. --Minderbinder 00:21, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I realize this is crazy, I was just wondering about some opinions. I withdraw my proposal. Reywas92Talk 00:25, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Please explain, for the curious among us, how you would go about "deleting the opposition"? 86.136.31.149 23:25, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

1) I've already closed this; It really doesn't matter. 2) I have no clue. Someone at MediaWiki could do it. Reywas92Talk 23:36, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

"MediaWiki" isn't a hosting provider or organization; it's the software used by Wikipedia, Citizendium, and many other wikis, some hosted by Wikimedia (the parent organization of Wikipedia) and many by others. It's open-source, free software, so anybody is allowed to use it, and there is no legal way anybody can retroactively revoke anybody's right to use it simply because they're judged an "enemy". *Dan T.* 23:40, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Display of last time the article was modified (somwhere in the top of the page)

I would like to know when was the last significant update on an article. It would not matter that somebody changed a letter 1h ago and the rest of the article has been unchanged for 5years, at least it will be possible to know if a specific article has not been changed AT ALL in the last 5years.

It's already displayed in the footer at the bottom of the page. Is that good enough, or does it have to be visible at the top? --ais523 11:09, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Such a function doesn't exist - but you can go through the history of an article yourself. x42bn6 Talk 14:08, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Colors and shading of text background according to its age and priority.

For every article, it would be nice if one could at a quick glance distinguish between very recent edits, those less than a day or a few days old, and those that are simply ancient.

Background shading and colors might be useful. Light greens for new edits. A brighter green for recent edits and fading to white or the user's default color with time!!! If an edit was reached by consensus, an administrative color, a light purple perhaps, that also fades with time could be used. The automatic green tints and subsequent purple tints could be changed periodically by bots.

I think such a system would prevent readers from getting too worked up when edit wars, vandals and temporary editing mistakes occur.Modocc 23:40, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Also, since such a simple system is likely to evolve, lets call the bots cuttlefish or cuttlefishbots or something similar. These cute creatures were featured this week on NOVA and they put on a wonderful display of colors! Modocc 01:44, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

excellent idea. The feature would need to have a "disable" option somewhere, because all the colors could get obnoxious. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.32.38.79 (talk) 02:05, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree. A personalized babel-fish tool should be developed to interpret the cuttlefish colors. :-) The babel-fish would enhance, interpret and/or eliminate the colors as they evolve into a detailed, yet useful, text presentation. Modocc 02:27, 5 April 2007 (UTC)


I must admit I do like this idea... though I foresee a need to defend against "colorvandals" whom add background colors to words to confuse others. Additionally, if such a concept were implemented, the default setting should be OFF so that it does not bewilder newcomers. However, with a toggleable setting, would this be something added within the wikicode to set the background color? Seems like this wouldn't be so much of a simple "throw in some extra wikicode with a bot to colorise everything" but rather "modify the coding behind Wikipedia's engine". --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 02:11, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh and to reflect a post further above within this policy forum, perhaps I should refer to "colorvandals" and "color-mishaps" for those whom do it unintentionally :) --Bossi (talk ;; contribs) 02:13, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the support. Perhaps the cuttlefish and/or babel-fish will be trained to recognize colorvandals and color-mishaps since edits are sequential and archived. Thus,I'm hoping there isn't any insurmountable obstacle. Modocc 03:00, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh, come on. I'm trying to quit facebook :{ If this isn't approved, what about a personal client-side plugin that checks diffs for new content to display your own version of the article with colors? This may even highlight content that was deleted. Would take a load of parsing on every page view though. –Pomte 04:45, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Client-side plugins could work. Yet cuttlefish would likely be better suited to large-scale development and are would also be subject to wiki imposed standards. This will allow additional content; specific colors can have added meaning. Whether or not third-party developers create plugins, I think wiki should have a babel-fish too.Modocc 05:12, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Also, your point raises another important consideration, if cuttlefish are not employed soon, then client-side plugin(s) that might become popular due to the need for them would tax servers with redundant dif info requests and waste server time as well as the client's bandwidth and resources!! In fact, human clients may be making more dif requests, currently, than they otherwise would with my proposal. Modocc 08:15, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I should add too that most, if not all, the colors need apply only to the most recent edits(those within a week, month? or so) and are removed by the bots as the colors fade out completely, therefore the extra storage space required should reach a stable and relatively fixed amount per article. Most articles would lack colors, and many would be green tinted for a few weeks(if one's wikipedia babel-fish tool is set to "see" it, for the poetry might be too ghastly:-)).

Currently, considerable distrust and confusion with wikipedia is due to the difficulty all readers have in distinguishing new edits from established edits. Adding this important information with color-coding should make a dramatic difference to all parties by helping both casual and serious readers easily spot and assess the newest edits as they are reading and assimilating the information. Of course, novel editorial uses of standardized color-coding can be employed as well and these could be very interesting and helpful to readers and editors alike. Modocc 08:15, 5 April 2007 (UTC)