Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive AR

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New Disambiguation system

I'd like to make a suggestion not a minor one: redoing Wikipedia's article storage/retrieval method/system, or at least creating an add-on retrieval method to deal with one of Wikipedia's most problematic aspects: disambiguation - I'll outline only the latter suggestion here.

Today, typing "Cork" in the search field and and hitting "go" will take you to a contributor-created disambiguation page - yet once there the list contains far from all articles containing that term. Typing "Cork football" will send you to a "search results" page (as the article does not exist). My question is: would it be possible to automatically create disambiguation pages that resemble the second circumstance - a search results page? This should of course be applied to searches containing only single terms contained in many article titles, or multiple terms contained in many article titles.

The only problem posed by this method would be the organisation of the results returned - what order would results for a search for "Cork" be returned in? My only suggestion for now would be to sort them (upon retrieval) by their category, the latter transformed into a sub-heading under which would appear all articles in that category.

I also think it would be useful Wikipedia (and the above method) to assign (visibly or invisibly) Wikipedia articles to three 'base' categories: "people", "places" or "things". In my experience, search patterns seem to revolve around these, and presenting a contributor with this choice would cut search time drastically (if they choose to use it).

Wikipedia is trying hard to define itself as an encyclopaedia, but I find it has yet to adopt a method best for both the web media (technology) and the habits of web-users. I hope you don't mind my two cents - cheers. THEPROMENADER 06:46, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

If you want to search for articles which mention "Cork" rather than going directly to the disambiguation page, press the "Search" button rather than the "Go" button. Go invokes search only if there is no article directly matching your query. See Wikipedia:Searching and Help:Go button for a more detailed explanation of how these two buttons work.-gadfium 09:07, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I think you misunderstood: entering "cork" and hitting "go" turns up a manually-created disambiguation page; I propose to make an automatically-generated one. BTW, I'm not a newbie. THEPROMENADER 18:19, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I still don't understand. To get an automatically-generated page, enter "cork" and hit "search". Most of the time, the dab page is more useful.-gadfium 21:26, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
It's the "most of the time" in the present method I don't like - as I mentioned above, a dab page requires contributor creation and (I'm sure often neglected) maintenance, and, as per the examples above, often do not list many of Wikipedia's articles containing the search term. An automated system would assure an up-to-date resumé of all Wikipedia articles whose titles (stress on "titles") contain the search term, should "search term" article not exist, and this without any need to update a dab page every time a new article is created. THEPROMENADER 06:22, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Just to add that I usually just use Google for this. In another tab I just type a string of keywords that narrow my search eg. Cork Jesuit sock puppet *and* Wikipedia. Usually the particular cork article I am looking for is the first one that comes up. It's a workaround that works because Google is a search engine and the Wiki is an encyclopedia. I like to use things to their strengths rather than trying to make something that does one thing super well into something that has to do everything kinda well. But I can understand why you feel the way you do and in a perfect world with unlimited funding I would agree. Saudade7 16:59, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Good suggestion, but don't sell yourself short. In a perfect world, "funding" would be irrelevant and we would not need computers to simulate access to the storehouse of unlimited understanding. Nevertheless, nice workaround. dr.ef.tymac 13:51, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh, good point dr.ef.tymac! Reminds me of an article (I think by Martha Rosler?) about the WPA photographers taking pictures to use as appeals for charity, but how charity itself is a concession which always leave the ontological/economic structures that make charity itself necessary intact. That was shocking the first time I thought about it as an undergrad. Don't we want something more? Ciao! Saudade7 14:29, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Verging almost totally off topic, is it not possible that charity itself is a public good - that the giver gets more than he gives and the receiver gets more than he receives, when the transaction is motivated out of charity and is not a coerced obligation? Perhaps there are social structures which create a need for charity without themselves being unjust, and that the charity they motivate is an additional just benefit. Of course, this requires rethinking quite a few assumptions commonly made about certain sorts of social programs... User:Bckirkup 03 October 2007 —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 18:54, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Wiki has all the technology it needs to install a "google-like" search engine (and I already find it hard to imagine that, because of its media and structure, it doesn't have one already) or an automated disambiguation system, but perhaps the manpower (programming) is what needs to be "funded"; but really, these are not questions for we contributors. If an idea is good and good for Wiki, I'm sure that Wikipedia would be willing to invest if it is for its own better function/use. Cheers. THEPROMENADER 15:15, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

As a relative newcomer contributer but a longtime reader and 13 yrs of Yahoo and little less of googling, I must say the go and search buttons are about the most frustrating entities on the entire web (after porn and spam of course ) I've read many times that that Google searches are the way to go, well if that's the case and the underlying causes of this are finances, then let's just be done with go and search thereby reducing the workload for Wikipedia and just use a specific Google search tool on site... just as many other sites do--Tallard 08:20, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Those sites pay for the priviledge of doing so. Many take on Google ads to help pay for it, which is something Wikimedia Foundation won't do. So, until donations become enough to pay for it, we won't get such a search system. -- Kesh 01:41, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

E-mail this article (to a friend)

Sorry if this has been brought up before, but I didn't notice it in the list of perennial proposals. What do people think of adding this simple functionality to Wikipedia? Yes, it's very easy to copy the URL of an article from the address bar, but it would seem to be a rather convenient way to let others know about certain articles, and even to flag certain articles for one's own later reading. --Lukobe 21:58, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Good idea Lukobe. Zantaggerung 01:52, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

That's been rejected before, on the basis that a user might vandalise a page and then immediately email the result to someone, making it look like Wikipedia endorsed the vandalised version. --ais523 09:17, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Zantaggerung and ais523. I can understand the concern, but surely a note could be included at the top of the mail indicating that this was not the case? At any rate, my proposal would basically be to e-mail the first couple lines plus the URL, not the entire article. (If the entire article were to be e-mailed, perhaps it could be set that not the most recent revision would go out, but rather one from the previous day.) --Lukobe 17:47, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I haven't used Firefox for a while, but IE has this capability built in. I'm using IE 7 right now, so I'll just give that as an example. At the top of the page, there is a "Page" combo box next to an icon of a piece of paper and a pencil. If you click on the down arrow next to that icon, you get several options, including "Send page by E-mail" and "Send link by E-mail". Corvus cornix 21:46, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it's on FF (I'm using it, after all), but someone could possibly write an extension that does this. (I haven't checked.) ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 03:09, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

For more details, see bugzilla:227. --ais523 13:56, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

As I recall from a while back, part of the problem is that Wikipedia doesn't want it's servers put on spam blacklists. Andrewjuren(talk) 22:42, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

User pages in search engines?

Moved to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Proposal:_Mandatory_noindex.2Fnofollow_for_User:_ns

Proposal to add RSS feed for the Featured Content section

I love the featured, feature. I was wondering if there has been thought given to generating RSS feeds for the featured content. This would allow people to see at least a clip of the featured article in their blog-roll / reader software they use. If a small intro blurb to the article was provided via an RSS feed I would think some people would end up more inclined to click through.

It would allow users to see the content easily without having to remember to visit the site daily. Just my two cents, and I apologize if this has already been suggested and rejected, I didn't notice it anywhere on this page. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dmcnelis (talkcontribs) 3 August 2007.


A new type of welcomebot proposal is being discussed here.

Overhaul of article assessment


Wikipedia toolbar ?

Hi there, I was wondering - why there does not exist a search toolbar of Wikipedia for internet browsers (like Google's one)? It will make information flow much faster! Any thoughts?

Thanks, S.

See Wikipedia:Tools for the various toolbars that have been invented. (If you use Firefox 2, you don't even need to add a toolbar; click on the dropdown box to the left of the search box, and you can add Wikipedia from there if you're viewing Wikipedia at the time.) --ais523 10:18, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Upload wizard

Commons uses a 'wizard' when uploading, to help people identify the correct licence. There is ongoing discussion about doing something on Wikipedia at MediaWiki talk:Uploadtext#Proposal for mass overhaul, matching Commons. Could people contribute to the discussion there? --ais523 12:45, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

I propose a fixed left hand panel or toolbar

Might it be possible to have a fixed left hand panel so that features such as "community portal" and, especially the search box are available at all times.

In editing I want to focus on a particular section in "Show Preview" mode and at the same time access the search box to help me research for further editing. (It's not a problem in "edit this page" mode as the edit screen scrolls and the search box is static at the left of the screen.) If I were to “compare selected versions” on the “history” page I reach a “difference between revisions” page and have the same problem. I lose the section of interest if I just use "home" on my keyboard to access the search box.

At the moment I set up a separate tab for Wikipedia home so that I have access to the search box, and a separate tab for Wiktionary. A fixed search box or a toolbar for search and Wiktionary (is that possible? costly?) would be very user friendly. --User:Brenont 03:52, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

With browser frames? You're likely to give many people another vertical scrollbar, which is wide and often confusing; especially those with older and less-capable equipment. Although, I'm very sympathetic; I often want to search without losing my place in scrolling. Maybe there is a nicer-looking way to do it than frames. 1of3 03:56, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I hate frames: to me, they're visually unappealing, never let me see the address of the page I'm on, annoy me when I am scrolling and my mouse leaves the frame, and just generally stink. ¿SFGiДnts! ¿Complain! ¿Analyze! ¿Review! 04:19, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
The three inches at the left of every Wikipedia page is devoted to a Wikipedia panel and it has scrolled off the screen much of the time. I don't understand the frame problem but I'm not that technical. A docked or floating toolbar could achieve my aim, couldn't it? --User:Brenont —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 04:45, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
The problem with a floating DOM element window is that it would have to be made compatible with non-javascript and non-css browsers. 1of3 14:08, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Easy fix: Take the bottom three lines from my CSS file and copy them into yours. Adjust the margin values according to your browser, default text size, and the number of links that you have in each portlet. If you have not customised the portlet links, you may need more space. And you will need to hide the language section as well (fourth line down in my CSS). Hope that works for you as well as it does for me. Some trial and error will be needed with the margins. You can use the same technique to modify the navigation portlet as well if you want to. Adrian M. H. 16:30, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
That would be perfect were it not for the long list of interwikis on, e.g., the Main Page. Almost exactly perfect, though. 1of3 16:49, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
That's why I wrote that you need to hide the language section. Adrian M. H. 16:51, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

I have been using this a few days and I think it is very close to being ready for prime time. There need to be conditionals based on screen height (javascript) and the number of interwikis, but this is a tremendous improvement. In order for this to get implemented though, this discussion has to move over to WP:VPT. If nobody objects in a day or so, I will be moving the thread. 1of3 15:30, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I tried something similar in CSS a while ago (I'm not sure whether I used the same code or not), and it had problems with position:absolute and position:relative CSS elements. Could you test the code on some of those first, to make sure it works? (By the way, I put a scrollbar on the interwikis if there were too many of them, to solve the interwiki problem, but that isn't enough on smaller screns.) --ais523 15:35, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
It is really not something that everyone (or even a majority) would want. I tried it as by way of an example for this thread, but I have not kept it. I'm in the habit of hovering the pointer over the left pane when I when I want to scroll the whole screen while editing, and a fixed object gets in the way of that. Best left for individuals to adopt if they want it, I think. Any positional inheritance issues would be easy to fix, though. Adrian M. H. 15:42, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Is this what you're looking for? meta:Help:User_style/floating_quickbarOmegatron 02:55, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

New FL on the Main Page proposal

We now have over 400 featured lists and seem to be promoting in excess of 30 per month of late (41 in August and 42 in September). When Today's featured article (TFA) started (2004-02-22), they only had about 200 featured articles and were barely promoting 20 new ones per month. I think the quality of featured lists is at least as good as the quality of featured articles was when they started appearing on the main page. Thus, I am ready to open debate on a proposal to institute a List of the Day on the main page with nominations starting November 1 2007, voting starting December 1 2007 and main page appearances starting January 1 2008. For brevity, the proposal page does not discuss the details of eventual main page content, but since the work has already been done, you should consider this proposal assuming the eventual content will resemble the current content at the featured content page. Such output would probably start at the bottom of the main page. The proposal page does not debate whether starting with weekly list main page entries would be better than daily entries. However, I suspect persons in favor of weekly lists are really voicing opinions against lists on the main page since neither TFA nor Picture of the day started as weekly endeavors, to the best of my knowledge. See the List of the Day proposal and comment at WP:LOTDP and its talk page.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/tcfkaWCDbwincowtchatlotpsoplrttaDCLaM) 14:23, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:What The Fuck? Oh My God! Too Many Damn Three Letter Acronyms. ARRRGGGHHH!!!!~!@!~1`2 --Ali'i 15:24, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Sorry. Revised.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/tcfkaWCDbwincowtchatlotpsoplrttaDCLaM) 16:32, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

CC template standardization

The Creative Commons copyright tags are a bit varied in their layout, and I think they should be standardized. Here are the differences I see:

  • They all start out with different words, either "this image," "this work," or "this file."
  • Most of them simply give the license version followed by the raw URL of the license (and among these, some say "version X" while others say "v. X"), but {{cc-by-2.5}} and {{cc-by-3.0}} render the URL with the name of the license as the link text.
  • {{cc-by-sa-2.0}} is noticeably different from all the rest, with a different frame and width, and smaller, left-aligned text.
  • In {{cc-by}}, {{cc-by-2.5}}, and {{cc-by-sa-2.5}}, the "CC", "by", and "sa" are icons combined as one image, which renders the "by" and "sa" icons larger than they are in the other templates.
  • {{cc-by-2.5}} and {{cc-by-3.0}} are missing the word "the" before the license name.
  • {{cc-by-sa}} renders the words "this image" as a link to the image's URL, which none of the others do.
  • Most of them render "Creative Commons" as a normal wikilink, while {{cc-by-2.5}} and {{cc-by-3.0}} have it as an interwiki link.

To me, {{cc-by-3.0}} looks the best stylistically, so my proposal would be to use it as the standard for all of them, with the following changes:

  • Add the missing "the" before this license name
  • Change "this file" to "this image"--unless the tags are used for things other than images, in which case "file" or "work" might be better.
  • Change "Creative Commons" to a normal wikilink. Having it as an interwiki link is unnecessary, and without the different shades of blue the two links look like one.

I don't think that the direct link to the image in {{cc-by-sa}} is necessary, but I think it's used on all the CC tags on Commons, so perhaps it should be included for the sake of uniformity.

What do you think? --CrazyLegsKC 09:36, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

I would prefer "work" to "image," since IIRC the templates are used on audio files. Work might also be better because I think some editors use their userpage to license their own work under multiple licenses. --YbborTalk 13:21, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
The tags are also used to licence sounds and videos, as well as their more common use on images. --ais523 16:58, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree they should be standardized, but while you're at it, standardize the userpage licenses listed here: Wikipedia:Userboxes/Large/Licencing and decribed here: Wikipedia:Multi-licensing and User_talk:Ram-Man/MLFAQ. -kslays 18:31, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Link to search results on disambig pages

When a disambiguation page exists, it may prevent some users (novice ones especially) from finding other relevant pages that show up in the search results for that term. For example, the disambig page Beds lists two items and a link to Bed (disambiguation). If you search for Beds, however, you get 23,000 results, at least some of which are probably of interest to someone who types Beds into the search box and hits Enter or clicks Go.

The current {{Disambig}} template is worded like this:

This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article.

Between those two sentences, I propose that we add:

You may also search for Beds in the full text of all articles.

I'm not sure on the most succinct way to word this. Any other thoughts? — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 18:17, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

My only suggestion would be to make it
You may also search for Beds in the full text of all articles.
So as to look better. Other than that, I agree.-Ljlego 19:04, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
That makes perfect sense to me too. --OES23 19:26, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Any opposition to this change? If there is none within a week, could an admin please make the change? — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 19:47, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Very sensible! Approve--Tallard 08:25, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
I support changing the template. It's been more than a week, so please make the change. -kslays 18:25, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
No, no... First of all the problem to solve (in my understanding) is that user enters Beds into search box and intuitively clicks Go expecting a Good Thing to happen. Ups, it is not happening! The root cause is not the broken disambiguation pages, but the Go button acting not so intuitively.
Your solution will only help a little, because reader remembers he/she have already searched for Beds, why to search again then? I think this hint should be displayed, but not hidden somewhere inside the {{disambig}}. It should be displayed as a separate line on any page, but only as a result of Go-search user action. --Kubanczyk 08:54, 9 October 2007 (UTC)


I was surprised not to already find this somewhere on the Wik, especially in perennial proposals or in the Project of Fun or similar locations. The proposal is this: set aside some corner of WP, either all the subpages of the format Wikipedia:Lexicon/whatever or some other subdivision (if it got hugely popular, perhaps its own namespace) and play Lexicon on it. I'm aware that isn't really what Wikipedia is designed for, games do not belong here, we are trying to be serious and spread information, take your games elsewhere, etc. But clearly, pretty much by definition, Wikipedia has the largest editing community of any wiki around, and a Lexicon hosted by WP or at least by Wikimedia would be sure to never die through inactivity--there would always be new people to step in for dropouts--and the lexicons would, I believe, be of superior quality to games cobbled together out of whoever you can find online. Thoughts?--Mobius Soul 19:48, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

From the Lexicon article: Players assume the role of scholars that write the history and background of a particular time, era or world (completely fictitious in nature). So precisely what would be the value to Wikipedia - as an encyclopedia - to have superior lexicons of this nature? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:24, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
That they would be fun. Enjoyable, in a creative, literary, smart way--presumably exactly the way Wikipedia editors like to have fun. I don't claim they would be useful for any practical purpose. But a lexicon written by smart people who love words and stories is immensely fun to play, or read.--Mobius Soul 01:55, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I would say be bold and make it. But one of the 1300 administrators would probably delete the page. A.Z. 03:50, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Sounds amusing enough. It might become a problem though, I think the best idea would be to host it off site or perhaps just direct users to -Icewedge 06:27, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, Lexicons are immensely hard to keep alive. I've started or helped start three, only one of which was played to completion, and that's the only completed one I've ever seen. It's hard to get people to come and play in the first place--a Lexicon only appeals to a certain kind of person--and they tend to get bored and stop writing after one or two rounds. It only worked on Urbandead because the game the wiki was attached too had a big community, many of whom were on the wiki and could see the announcements calling for players. Trying to start one on an independent website would result in its withering on the vine very quickly. But hosting one on Wikipedia would result in a functionally infinite pool of just the right type of person being in a position to see the announcements. Nowhere else would work--Uncyclopedia wasn't interested. It's too intellectual for them and frankly, I think it's too intellectual for the average prolific Uncyclopedia editor to be very interested in it or good at it. Anyplace with a smaller editing community than Uncyclopedia wouldn't be enough to support the Lexicon. Can anyone tell me how exactly it "might become a problem?"--Mobius Soul 14:03, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a place to play lexicon. Your playing it would not help improve the encyclopedia. Atropos 19:42, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. I think it'd be a grand addition, like a more interesting sandbox. DEVS EX MACINA pray 04:25, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
You might try userspace, but it is possible that it would be MfD'd. ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 03:07, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I feel that this could actually hurt the project more than anything, Sure playing Word Association is all fine and dandy, but what your doing here, if I understand it correctly. is writing falsified information, and I think that's a road we don't want to go down. Deathawk 01:55, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Concur on that -- but maybe the board and Jimbo would want a new sister project --and could sell ad space to fund projects like this one. Non-profit is not the same as no revenue streams coming in. // FrankB 17:11, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Finding a specific link in "What links here"

Using the what links here feature, when it directs you to a very long article, is there any way, right now, to quickly find a specific link to a specific page within that article? Especially when the words used in the text are not the same as the title of the page linked to? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blanchardb (talkcontribs) 23:06, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Search in the edit box (does not work for links in transcluded templates).--Patrick 23:27, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
You could also view the source of the page and search for the (appropriately encoded) page title, and look at the adjacent text to determine where to look. Anomie 02:20, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Anal-oral contact

I think the illustration for this article is unnecessary and probably break some law of United States. What does mean the community? This can be located in a encyclopaedia like ours? ServusDei 21:11, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Its probably about as tasteful an illustration of the concept as you can get and I see no reason to remove it. The image isn't crude, provides a valid and exact illustration of the article's topic, and Wikipedia isn't censored Collectonian 21:16, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
And the description in article isn't enough for understanding, what is a anal-oral contact? this image isn't crude?? What is crude then? ServusDei 06:28, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Crude is what your emotions founded in prejudices react to strongly enough to have as a opinion. Setting aside our natal and religious prejudices is part of our job here. So, our task is to make dispassionate evaluations of whether an illustration depicts the topic, or not. This one comes "close"—the tounge is not in contact though, so some could argue not close enough. Disengage the emotion, and go with the flow. Making judgments such as "crude", "obscene", is not part of the job. // FrankB 17:06, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Job is making of money. Wikipedia isn't job, it's a hobby, not more. OK, if the people here want to change wikipedia into a porno-site, I have nothing against, It's your choice. And I will stay with my "religious prejudices" ServusDei 19:37, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually, judging "obscene" is part of the job. Any image used on Wikipedia needs to be non-obscene according to the Miller test. As a rule of thumb, any image used in an encyclopedic context is not obscene. --Carnildo 19:46, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the image. It's almost certainly illegal per 18USC2257. Quite apart from any issues of censorship, I don't think the Wikimedia foundation wants us to be committing felonies here. If there's an admin around, that image should be deleted and we should probably contact Paul Godwin to get a reading on how to deal with sexually explicit imagery around here. Wikidemo 20:47, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Since wikipedia is non-commercial it doesn't fall under 2257. Downstream users might have a problem. Besides, you can't see a face on the image so I don't think there is a reason to delete it or remove it from the article. Garion96 (talk) 21:36, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Contacting Paul Godwin might prove difficult btw. :) Garion96 (talk) 21:37, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
2257 has no exception for non-commercial, encyclopedic, or educational use. Nor is there an exception for cases where you cannot see the face of the "performer." If you see anything to the contrary here or in the new proposed regulations please share. Wikidemo 23:49, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Note, I've proposed a ban on sexually explicit imagery here because of this issue. Wikidemo 00:00, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
See [1]. I couldn't quickly find the text of the actual law. The link you added linked to civil penalties for controlled substances. Garion96 (talk) 00:33, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
It does not seem to apply for non-commercial and educational. See [2]. To quote "(d) Sell, distribute, redistribute, and re-release refer to commercial distribution of a book, magazine, periodical, film, videotape, digitally- or computer-manipulated image, digital image, picture, or other matter that contains a visual depiction of an actual human being engaged in actual sexually explicit conduct, but does not refer to noncommercial or educational distribution of such matter, including transfers conducted by bona fide lending libraries, museums, schools, or educational organizations." Garion96 (talk) 00:54, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
The law is poorly worded. The non-commercial / educational exception you quote is to "sell, distribute, re-distribute, and re-release." The law does not provide that exception for what Wikipedia does, "inserts on a computer site or service a digital image of, or otherwise manages the sexually explicit content of a computer site or service." That's why we need to look at the regulations. The regulations I linked to (which are from the Wikipedia article) got deleted, presumably in favor of the newly proposed regulations. That's why the reader is automatically defaulting up to the next regulation in the list. I'll see if I can find the regs.
Okay, found the regulations, here. The commercial requirement applies to brick and mortar distribution; all websites are covered, whether commercial or not. Wikidemo 01:57, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
In that case, you need to contact the Wikimedia Foundation's lawyer. Nobody here is qualified to deal with it. --Carnildo 02:04, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I just said the same thing in the other thread. -Chunky Rice 02:07, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) What article exactly? I don't see it. See also [3] for more info. Besides, we shouldn't do anything anyway until the foundation legal counsel confirms that explicit images should go. I still don't see a legal reason to do so. Garion96 (talk) 02:06, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
§ 75.1(c)(2): a "secondary producer" is anyone..."who inserts on a computer site or service a digital image of, or otherwise manages the sexually explicit content of a computer site or service that contains a visual depiction of an actual human being engaged in actual sexually explicit conduct." § 75.2(a) says any producer "shall, for each performer portrayed in such visual depiction, create and maintain records containing the following:" [draconian record-keeping and record availability requirements we cannot follow]. I'm not about to launch a deletion campaign on Wikipedia without a green light from the Foundation; however, on a case-by-case basis, it's fair to say that when you think it's a felony to have the image it's best to delete the image and wait for further instructions, not leave it up until you confirm it's a felony. It's the same as if you found an actual instance of child porn on the site. But I will ask. Does anyone have Godwin's email to ask him? I must have it around here somewhere. Wikidemo 02:15, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. You shouldn't be doing anything that's based on your determination of illegality. Even if you are an attorney, that determination should not be made by you. Otherwise, what's to stop anyone from removing random content, saying that they think it's illegal? -Chunky Rice 02:25, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Also still disagree, I don't work with American law but this does not seem clear enough. Let Mike Godwin handle this. Garion96 (talk) 02:36, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
There's nothing to stop anyone from doing anything on Wikipedia, that's how this thing works. But people do remove things unilaterally for all kinds of images. But I agree, we need to figure out a policy on this and be consistent. I will be asking MG. Let's see what he says. Just don't be surprised whichever way his answer comes back. Wikidemo 18:36, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
That because Wikidemo decided it was illegal and arbitrarily deleted it despite the ongoing discussion about it. You can see the image under discussion in the last revision Collectonian 02:12, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh, absolutely I should be avoiding illegality on the site, and there's nothing arbitrary about that. Copyvio gets deleted on sight and this is a much more serious issue than copyvio. If I thought there were any real risk I would revert again (see below), but I don't think the FBI will be breaking down the Foundation's doors on this image anytime soon, so I'm fine with waiting for Mike to take a look. For a little more reasoning on this feel free to take a look at the very polite discussion between me and User:Chairboy on my talk page. Wikidemo 03:01, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Note: I've reverted Wikidemo's change for now, the legal situation remains to be defined and redacting it from the encyclopedia for legal reasons is premature. - CHAIRBOY () 02:33, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I think this is a ridiculous discussion. The intercourse article doesn't have a close-up photo of penetration, or any photo of humans having sex, for that matter; and it never would. Even if you want to make the argument that the photo doesn't depict actual contact between the partners, the intercourse article doesn't even contain a close-up photo of a penis approaching a vagina, and similarly, never would, because such a thing is pornographic and totally inappropriate for an encyclopedia. The same goes for fellatio, cunnilingus, oral sex, and countless other articles describing sex acts. They all contain drawings and textual descriptions of the act, which are enough. A close-up explicit photographic depiction is completely unnecessary and adds nothing to one's understanding of the subject. I challenge anyone to find an encyclopedia that does contain such material.

Equazcionargue/improves03:03, 10/13/2007
I challenge you to find an encyclopedia that contains an article on Jigglypuff. No? Well, that argument didn't go very far, did it? I'll agree that a line drawing would be preferable to the photo, and if you have one, feel free to swap it in. -Chunky Rice 03:10, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
We have articles about topics that other encyclopedias don't, but content itself still needs to be encyclopedic. Just because other encyclopedias don't contain articles on the more trivial subjects doesn't say anything about the way we limit content. We have rules about notability that tell us which topics we can have articles about, which allow for many topics other encyclopedias wouldn't include; but we have separate rules governing content, which state that such content must be encyclopedic, that unless I've misunderstood something means content that would normally appear in an encyclopedia. This image would never be in an encyclopedia article, no matter what the topic.
Equazcionargue/improves03:17, 10/13/2007
There's nothing unecyclopedic about a visual illustration of any article that we have here. (Un)encyclopedic is such a useless vague term, anyway. -Chunky Rice 03:27, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
This is an encyclopedia first and foremost, so it's not a useless term; nor a vague one, as the only thing required to distinguish non-encyclopedic from encyclopedic content is to ask whether or not the content would ever appear in an encyclopedia. There answer here is no. Similar to the way a close-up photo of a penis approaching a vagina would be deemed unnecessary (and even unacceptable) for the intercourse article, the same should apply here, and if you think that's an undue comparison then I'd like to hear why.
Equazcionargue/improves03:37, 10/13/2007
Please cite specific Wikipedia policy or guideline instead of the extremely vague "non-encyclopedic." -Chunky Rice 03:39, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Please answer my question first, as even without the word "encyclopedic", my larger point still stands.
Equazcionargue/improves03:43, 10/13/2007
Your point, as far as I can tell, is that this content would not appear in a standard encyclopedia. Which is completely irrelevant, since Wikipedia is not other encyclopedias. It is its own encyclopedia, with its own policies and guidelines, which we follow. So if you aren't going to cite any, then you really have no leg to stand on. -Chunky Rice 03:47, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Forget about encyclopedic vs. unencyclopedic. "Similar to the way a close-up photo of a penis approaching a vagina would be deemed unnecessary (and even unacceptable) for the intercourse article, the same should apply here, and if you think that's an undue comparison then I'd like to hear why."
Equazcionargue/improves03:48, 10/13/2007
You're right about that, since the appropriate image for sexual intercourse would be actual intercourse, not the moment immediately prior. A line drawing is preferable (I see we have one), but if one was unavailable, a photo would be appropriate. -Chunky Rice 03:54, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

←Why would a drawing be preferable?

Equazcionargue/improves03:57, 10/13/2007
It's less titillating and more illustrative. -Chunky Rice 03:59, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Why should we be concerned over titillating?
Equazcionargue/improves04:04, 10/13/2007
Because our primary purpose is to inform. If you have a point, make it. Or if you have policy to discuss, cite it. Otherwise, I'm done with these rhetorical games. -Chunky Rice 04:07, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

(ec)We aren't censored for you or for anyone else. There are subjects on here that you may find distastefu;l, but as long as ythey are presented in a neutrally worded and factually accurate manner then they should remain. The same goes for an image that illustrates a concept, we do not remove images because they offend your sensibilities - you don't like them, stay away from sexually orientated pages. ViridaeTalk 04:11, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't personally have any problem with the photo, and if I did want to stay away from such photos, I could go look at any other article on sexual acts, because they don't have them.
Equazcionargue/improves04:19, 10/13/2007

So anyone has actually sent Mike Godwin an email yet? Could be there a chance that our former attorney, Brad Patrick, dealt with this issue before? User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 04:10, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I was under the impression that Mike had been emailed. I would do it myself if I knew his email address.
Equazcionargue/improves04:19, 10/13/2007
I think Wikidemo contacted him. His contact information is at User:Mikegodwin if you need it. -Chunky Rice 04:22, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Probably. Check this google result: pornography 2257 Anchoress 04:23, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

(←) Well, considering the topic, another related issue has been brought up at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Requiring reliable sources in media. It's regarding the video of an ejaculating penis in the Ejaculation article. LaraLove 04:59, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

And the same response was given; talk to Mike (Gowdin). User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 05:06, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

As an outsider, the following comment. Some people argued that the image was "unencyclopedic" and "you would never see this image in an encyclopedia". That is simply not true (at least not outside the US). If a publisher was to release an "encyclopedia on sexacts" then there might be a reasonable chance that such an image would be included. Hell, there are countless Kama Sutra publications that contain photo's of all the sexual positions. To say that the photo is unencylopedic in the context of the article is simply rubbish. At most we are violating a US law. No more, no less. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:03, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

As a man, wich tongue presents on this foto, I want to explain something.
We just wanted to illustrate article, nothing more. We don't have a plan to change Wikipedia to a pornographic resource. The low of the USA and Florida is unknown for us, so in many cases we guided by rules of Wikipedia and our intuition. On Commons we founded some fotos, that can be classified as pornographic in Russia. So, we decided, that foto of anilingus has no differences from (for example) this or this, and maded foto for article. If our foto break some law of United States, it must be deleted from Wikipedia. But can somebody to make me know, there we can find text of the low, which prohibits foto of the anilingus in Wikipedia and allow foto of masturbation (or video of ejaculation)? (sorry for my English)--FearChild 17:10, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the background and for the contributions to Wikipedia. If the US law applies to this image it requires that you keep your own ID (that could be a Russian passport, but I doubt anyone from the US is going to go to Russia to check). The problem is that the law would also require the Wikimedia Foundation in Florida to keep a copy of your ID, which obviously is not going to happen. The law specifically mentions both oral-anal sex (real and simulated), and masturbation (real and simulated), so definitely those two images. The ejaculation video isn't as clear to me - it depends on whether a court would decide it falls under the category of "lascivious display of the genitals."
My personal opinion is that the image is encyclopedic and belongs in Wikipedia, except that the US law might prevent it. We don't censor and we don't require reliable sources to prove that an image shows what it says it shows - we just look at the image and decide. At some time in the future we might want to flag explicit images as "not safe for work" so that people can filter them out and Wikipedia doesn't get put on companies' block list. The law has some problems, but if it forbids these images without ID we'll just have to remove them. It creates a chilling effect on adult imagery and nudity, but nobody ever said the US law always makes sense. Wikidemo 18:36, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
This is more of an aside, and I could be wrong about this, but to address the over-18 issue: the anal-oral contact photo, and especially the photo of the "woman" masturbating (this) look to me as though the subjects might not be over 18.
Equazcionargue/improves18:30, 10/13/2007
I see. So, the question. If I will upload the scans of some documents, which prove, that me and Yanachka over 18, how somebody can relate it with tongue and anus on foto? Or this is not a problem of Wikipedia? On this foto there is no any faces. How can I prove, that scan of ID is mine? How can I prove that this foto is real maded by me and Yanachka? Is it real?--FearChild 19:19, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
No, please don't upload your ID! (and I'd be careful about saying my real name if I'm uploading explicit imagery). The law distinguishes between "primary producers" (who actually take the pictures and make the videos), and "secondary producers" who merely distribute or republish them. The law requires parties to appoint a "custodian of records" who is responsible for the recordkeeping. For primary producers that person must examine the ID personally, and verify the accuracy of the information. If you take a picture of yourself that's fine - you've looked at your own ID. For secondary producers, the custodian is allowed to rely in good faith on the primary producer's statement that they examined the ID and that the data is correct. But they still have to keep a copy. Hypothetically, that means Wikipedia would trust you, and if you lied or made a mistake that's your problem, not Wikipedia's. But let's wait to see what Mike Godwin, Wikipedia's lawyer, says, before we spend too much time thinking about all the possibilities.Wikidemo 19:29, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

So the issues are:

  1. Do we want some form of photographic illustration to some of our sexuality related articles (i.e. is it encyclopedic) ?
  2. Are we subject to that specific law, and which kinds of pictures ARE acceptable under that law ?
  3. Source of said materials and how to make sure everyone involved is over 18 and known to the foundation
  4. Is the viewer over 18.

What I think

  1. We have a lot of drawn representations. Educationally speaking, I would prefer to have a good photo in there once in a while (my biology book had more "graphic" content than Wikipedia has today). That does not mean just any photo depicting intercourse, but a carefully selected "as tasteful as possible"-photo. Example: the article Human severely lacks a photo that shows a man and a woman side by side in my opinion.

Legally I see that having any nudity pictures in Wikipedia would be extremely difficult if we follow US law to the letter. However if someone volunteers, I'm sure Mike Godwin could set it up if desired as long as we are talking about just a few pictures by just a few people. In the end, I think that is something we should strive towards, though I doubt that with the current load on the Foundation it will happen any time soon.

  1. No idea.
  2. Well if you speak about amateurs and volunteers then this is always going to be problematic to some degree I fear. We cannot send a Foundation employee somewhere to oversight the process I guess. We will have to rely on contracts and copies of identification papers. However after that, a contract is a contract, I'm sure Mike has binders full of them, I do not see the problem with "keeping records". The problem is creating records.
  3. Making a "are you 18" button has been done before and should be no problem. The problem is mostly that it conflicts with: "Wikipedia is not censored".

If only America wasn't so Anal about nudity. Pun intended :D Unfortunately all we can really do here is wait for the Foundation, as stated before :( They are the legal entity that is affected here. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:40, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I have a problem with the image because it needs color correction! Arg! It's not natural. Jeeny (talk) 00:15, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Military history style guide

We of the Military history WikiProject have been planning to tag our style guide as part of the official MoS. In light of this, we would like to invite community comments regarding this; if you have any opinion, suggestions, and so forth, please drop by WT:MILHIST#MOS. Thanks! Kirill 20:31, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

User:Gp75motorsports/Wikipedia Users' Alliance

There is a proposal to create a new group, either separately or under the umbrella of the WP:CVU, with the express purpose of creating a "mass discussion of vandalism and what to do about it" and the further suggestion at Wikipedia_talk:Counter-Vandalism_Unit#Help.21 that the group may also "also reorganize messy articles and re-classify wrongly-classified articles". Please contribute to the discussions at Wikipedia_talk:Counter-Vandalism_Unit#Help.21 and User talk:Gp75motorsports/Wikipedia Users' Alliance/CVU-WUA debate. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:12, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Doesn't this group already exist? Isn't called "wikipedia"??? SamBC(talk) 18:29, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Please, join us at one of the linked discussions. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:32, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
And I've just discovered there's a third location, at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Proposals#Wikipedia_Users.27_Alliance. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:01, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Replying in talk page section headers

Why can't we put a "reply" link on talk page section headers? That would make it easier to reply, instead of having to section edit. Jonathan letters to the editorthings I've written 17:34, 19 October 2007 (UTC)


If a female actor is an actress, and a female waiter is a waitress, shouldn't a female writer be a writress?

Cizzam18 16:24, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Seems like you are asking a general knowledge question, in which case it is probably more appropriate at the reference desk.--VectorPotentialTalk 16:27, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Should a female footballer be called a footballeress or a female swimmer, a swimmeress etc? I think Wikipedia:Manual of Style has it covered. Yorkshiresky 16:37, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Today's featured list proposal reboot

I have rebooted and rewritten the old proposal to allow for Wikipedia:Featured Lists to be placed on the main page. The prior proposal, which was losing ground and had no consensus, although well meaning, called for a complicated selection process for prospective Featured Lists on the Main Page. This proposal assumes the simplest possible selection process (chronological, similar to Today's Featured Picture), and asks not how a Featured List should appear on the main page, but whether or not Featured Lists should be on the main page in the first place. Please visit Wikipedia:Today's featured list and leave feedback at Wikipedia talk:Today's featured list. Thanks. --Jeffrey O. Gustafson - Shazaam! - <*> 10:02, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Download version history as RCS file

This is a request for a new feature in the MediaWiki software. On the article history page like I have to click a thousand times if I want to download all versions so I can grep them. Of course, I could write a shell script to do the job but that would burden the server and only help those who have the script. I think it would be better, if the version history page contained a prominent link to download the entire version history as Pedophilia,v in RCS format as created by multiple

ci -d$DATE -w$USER -l $ARTICLE

commands. Any volunteer implementors reading here? Roman Czyborra 11:34, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Can't you just use Special:Export? It allows downloading about 100 revisions each time, and there is an offset parameter so (I believe) you can work your way through a thousand history pages if you want to.
You also don't mention why you want to do this. If you're searching for specific text, for example, then Wikiblame or User:AmiDaniel/WhodunitQuery may be better options. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 11:43, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the pointers to tools I hadn't known before. Special:Export is already helpful, but it is wasteful of bandwidth as it does not apply RCS diff compression, and it is limited to the 100 last revisions while I need a complete revision history. The WhodunitQuery is nice but limited to Microsoft Windows. So I still recommend my initial proposal be implemented. Roman Czyborra 08:35, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Stop the practise of edit comments within main article

Articles have talk pages for suggesting improvement or the removal of errors IF it is not possible for the critic to simply make the changes themselves. While done in good faith, I find the litter of commnets often pasted on pages in parenthesis rather bad preentation for wikipeida, not to mention ugly and unnecessary (her is one example [[4]] at the time of posting. I certainly don't remember such text insertions being as common in the past. I suggest what is picked up on is Edited or discussed in the relevant arenas instead Dainamo 07:37, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm not seeing anything out of the ordinary. Can you quote what you mean? - Mgm|(talk) 10:25, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
    • I would guess the reference is to the weasel-word and citation-needed stuff. SamBC(talk) 10:46, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
    • Don't see what the problem is. The alternative is just to delete the tagged comments, with the tags it can act as a prompt to whoever posted the information to provide credible citations to back up their claims and as a warning to other users to treat with caution. Yorkshiresky 16:33, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Article space templates

I've been wondering, why are all the "page might not be neutral", "page needs cleanup", "page might be compromised by weasel words", "page lacks sufficient cowbell" templates in article space? They're horribly obtrusive, in many cases convey the opinion of the editor who has deigned to "drive-by tag" the article more than any measure to which they reflect consensus and are next to useless for the reader. That information on Wikipedia ought to be cross-referenced and taken with a grain of salt (much like any other source) is a fact unknown to virtually no regular browser of the site, and at any rate is a notion that would be much better conveyed with a small universal disclaimer rather than with humongous, descending, colorful, graphic-laden monstrosities of a template, equivalent in all respects to the much-deprecated "Under contruction!!" notice notoriously plaguing novice websites.

In what is in no way an invocation of Argumentum ad Jimbonem, I must note that the assertion "[Wikipedia is] like a sausage: you might like the taste of it, but you don't necessarily want to see how it's made" applies to exactly this sort of case. I suggest that Templates like these should be relocated to their respective discussion pages, and anticipating that this might very probably have already been suggested and rejected, would at least like a link to the obligatory behemoth discussion that took place so I can understand the rationale behind things being the way they are now. --AceMyth 17:07, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if this has been discussed, but I know that I am against such a measure. There are two reasons why these templates should remain in article space: first, we like to encourage new editors, so it serves us well to give new editors a place to start, and second, it is important that a reader knows that what they are reading is not the best of Wikipedia. Someone might be very turned off from Wikipedia if the first article they read is full of grammatical mistakes and POV and they don't know that we realize that fact and want to fix it. —METS501 (talk) 17:12, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I use wikipedia far more than I make changes. I'd like to see a compromise between the above two viewpoints where the "cleanup" templates are made quieter: smaller, no box, no color, no icon. With only a little exposure I can know that wikipedia is a work in progress and that some pages are better than others, and that I can edit nearly every page. The only time I care about the box is if I happen to be editing the page anyway and it suggests something I can actually do. Quirkie 18:46, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I concur with this and add that a clear separator plus a healthy amount of space between the templates and the article would also be a good idea, both aesthetically and functionally. i.e. something like this, which still has a box etc. but I think would be a step in the right direction (cf. this quasi-current version of the same article, which begins with the equivalent of putting the reader through a powerpoint presentation). --AceMyth 00:23, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Whether as user or editor, I find the whole lot of "IN YOUR FACE" templates to be obnoxious and in poor taste—and worse, unprofessional. To me, they are self-inflicted wounds that could be replaced by a modest 2 line tall notice. I don't buy the idea that such tags encourage someone to become an editor. An "editor mentality" will spot and error and fix the typo or grammar without a tag. There are a lot of reasons to quiet them down and make an understated message, not least that they half blast me off the chair when viewing said page. {{underconstruction}} is probably the worst of the lot, and the least needful to be a big box. A simple statement that the page is a work in progress is sufficient. // FrankB 17:47, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
It's certainly true that many of these "cleanup categories" have fairly dedicated "locals", for whom it wouldn't matter at all if there were no (visible) template at all, as they'll be "consumed" by those editors regardless (a minority do work this way: see Category:uncategorised albums, say). The argument the other way is that high-visibility templates act as reminders to editors visiting the pages for other reasons, and perhaps even induce someone without the "editor mentality" to become an editor. (I suspect a lot of that's supposition rather than anything backed up with in-depth research or cognitive insight, but I don't doubt it's deeply felt in good faith.) I suspect {{underconstruction}} is trying to out-shout other templates, and feels it "needs" to be so visible because of its history as a supposedly short-term "am editing this Right Now, please avoid edit conflicts", but it's since had some wording drift, and of course tends to persist longer on articles than makes any sense. The last point could be dealt with fairly easily by automated removal, though it doesn't look like a large-scale problem at this instant. Alai 08:07, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I know I started regularly editing 2+ years ago because of a {{wikify}} tag somewhere. I thought "I can do that", and did. Prior to that I'd only added a couple of external links to a few pages. Soon after, I received a {{welcome-anon}}, and started a named account. --Quiddity 16:30, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I also meant to add: even if there's no real "passers-by" effect (and evidently, there is at least some), it's certainly fairly likely to spur regular contributors to that article into taking some sort of action, if the template is sufficiently conspicuous as to make them actively want to remove it. (Of course, sometimes removing it is literally all they then do, but one lives in hope.) Alai 16:56, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Certainly I started editing because of BJAODN. But I don't really care if it was deleted: I was that much younger and sillier then. This does not mean that BJ... should've been retained because then another user would not have been attracted or such. Of course, we're building an encyclopedia. ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 22:40, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Acceptance of printed word versus internet as resources for Wikipedia entries

I recently put Avis M. Dry in the category of "Deaths in January 2007", and any one who goes to her entry will see that there is a reference for the date of her death, "The Psychologist" for September 2007. However, on the talk-page of her death, I was told that an external link should be found for people who have passsed away. Can I suggest, however, that printed material is accepted as equally valuable citation material as the Internet? I have fears that if we merely allow other web resources to be seen as acceptable resources, many people will start to plagiarise other websites for Wikipedia articles. ACEOREVIVED 19:32, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I looked and don't see anything in the talk page saying anything like that? Printed resources are just as acceptable as web ones (maybe more so) as per WP:SOURCES. I would, however, suggest you take a peek at WP:CITE to see how to format the citations and references in the article to be more wikified :-). You might also want to add in her cause of death was, family info, etc and what her degrees were in. Collectonian 19:59, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Talk:Deaths_in_January_2007#Citation_for_Avis_M._Dry is what ACEO is talking about. I weighed in there. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 20:41, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Disambiguation page cleanup bot

Some wiki-savvy creators of speedily deleted articles also add entries for the articles they create on disambiguation pages. Could a bot handle removing dab page entries which link only to a speedily deleted article? — Swpbtalk|edits 13:09, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't think this is a good idea - if a vandal created a nonsense article at the title of a missing valid article, the bot might remove the missing valid article from the disambiguation page. This task requires some human judgement - such a bot would only be worthwhile if manually assisted, and that might defeat its purpose. Nihiltres(t.l) 14:41, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, what if it were limited to removing entries that were added by the same editor who created the speedily deleted page? At the very least, it would be useful to generate a list of such entries, which are easy to miss. — Swpbtalk|edits 21:39, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Cursor in search field

When I enter Wikipedia I have to click on the search field before I can start typing my phrase. Why not have the cursor there automatically, as is the case for Google and other search engines?


Norman Sabin Montreal, Canada (email removed) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

  • This was addressed several days back (around the 10th, iirc). Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a search engine. Our search engine is actually relatively poor, but the software is optimized for record archival and retrieval, not searching. When accessing a search engine, automatically positioning the cursor makes sense. In wikipedia, you may want to follow a link... so no auto positioning. You can always google and add the additional term Wikipedia, which will find it here. Many browsers can process a script so that prefixing the search criteria by w: will find whatever on wikipedia. The tool (very short script, iirc) is almost certainly navigable from here, but will likely be browser dependent.
  • Perhaps someone can find the exact section and link that in below. // FrankB 22:43, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
More to the point, focusing the cursor in the search box would prevent the arrow keys scrolling the Main Page, something which users expect to be able to do. (In pages that don't need scrolling as often like Google's homepage and, the cursor is focused in the scroll box.) --ais523 16:47, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

A Nasty Images Ahead Tag?

I propose that we create a tag, to be placed at the head of an article that would war readers of possibly, disturbing or downright disgusting imageages contained therein. I know Wikipedia is not censored, and nor should it be however I do believe that we should WARN people, because let's be honest does the average reader ever read any of our principles, and in that vein, couldn't we cut down on the whole angry letter business if we were to take the "hot coffee is hot" approach? Comments, my friends.

Tennekis 23:32, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

As you said, Wikipedia is not censored, but also, no disclaimers in articles. This is a perennial proposal, see here. Mr.Z-man 23:41, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
In most page layouts, the chances are good that most viewers will be able to see at least one such image in their viewport before they have scrolled down, which would render any warning rather superfluous. If you don't want the pic, don't click the link, which I find is a very effective way of avoiding images that you don't want to see before breakfast. Adrian M. H. 23:55, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
My solution is to use Opera, which has a mode where it will only download those pictures you want it to. There's probably a Firefox plugin to get the same effect. --Carnildo 00:25, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
We may have to do it someday for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, US law may require us to shield some content from young people, and not breaking the law is in most cases a higher directive than any Wikipedia consensus, guideline or policy (though unilateralism on questionable matters of law is not - adopting content warnings or filters would be a big step and need considerable discussion). Most likely the best approach would be to tag possibly offensive pictures rather than putting a dislcaimer in the article. That would allow people to filter them out by their browser or some user setting but without censoring things for everyone else. The second reason is that if we don't screen out certain images, Wikipedia may end up on various block lists and we wouldn't want to deny Wikipedia to people at work. Third and most important, some classes of images are illegal themselves no matter who views them. Obviously we can't host child porn, and certain new laws about child porn seem to make all sexually explicit images illegal unless we follow a recordkeeping protocol that is impractical for us. Wikidemo 09:03, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't agree with your second reason, that falls clearly under WP:NOTCENSORED. Garion96 (talk) 20:29, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Exhibit A: thumb
Tennekis 20:05, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Wikidemo - your wikilink to 2257 is in error. If you're referring to Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act, which is CFR 2257, I suggest that you take your concerns directly to the Legal Counsel of the Wikimedia Foundation. This page really is the wrong forum. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:31, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Human readable pages

[5] is old, and raises a number of issues that would be difficult to fix. But one issue raised strikes me as relatively easy to fix in the immediate term - the bloat of syntax necessary to include infoboxes and templates at the headers of both articles and talk pages such that many pages, when a user goes to edit them, have almost a full screen of text that is not human-readable before you get to the actual article text (which, while still syntax-laden, is at least mildly intuitive). This is a particular usability problem, because it falsely gives the impression that articles are hard to edit, and is deplorably newbie biting. It's a larger problem on talk pages, which are supposed to be where people go to ask questions.

This could easily be fixed by offloading infoboxes and other information that goes before the lead in an article and all talk page templates to a subpage designated as "Header" (i.e. The weather in London/Header). Then that subpage could be transcluded into the page with a single, short template call, thus drastically reducing the amount of screen real estate necessary to get to the stuff that most people will actually be editing.

The only disadvantage I can think of is that it makes editing infoboxes harder. But given how utterly terrible template syntax is, I don't think the added step of going to a subpage adds to the difficulty particularly. In practice, if you can't figure out how to go to the subpage, you probably shouldn't touch the big infobox.

Obviously some things we'd want to exclude from this - the major dispute tags spring to mind (Which I would say are unsourced, NPOV, inaccurate, and cleanup - no more, I should think, though I'm open to having my mind changed).

Thoughts on this? Ways the proposal could be improved? Particularly template-happy WikiProjects that need to be consulted on it first? Phil Sandifer 21:46, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

The editing window for the bulk of the articles is unreadable anyway because of all the citations. Try editing [6], for example. I don't think there's anything we can do about it. Also, the subpages feature has been disabled for the main namespace, so "The weather in London/Header" would be counted as an article in its own right by Special:Statistics, Special:Randompage etc. Melsaran (talk) 21:50, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
That should be an easy switch for someone to throw if this gets implemented. Citations are indeed another HCI problem that we could use to fix, but I don't think its existence is a good reason not to fix the thing that can be fixed easily. Phil Sandifer 21:53, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
At the moment, subpages in the main (article) namespace are verboten. I'm not sure if the verbotenness is achived via software blocking or not (I suppose I could test that, but ... ); if so, the software would need changing.
I certainly support anything that makes editing easier. My understanding is that WYSISYG editors are being considered - see this page regarding wikiwyg and this page regarding fckeditor. As for citations, I think a tweak of cite.php (essentially, putting citations/footnotes into a separate edit box) is both feasible and effective. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 22:07, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Note that I am also proposing doing this on talk pages - there's no good reason why the WikiProject infoboxes (which are probably already too widely distributed) should be clogging the top of the page that newbies are expected to go to when they run into trouble. Phil Sandifer 22:15, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Use a single template on the talk page, {{/talk headers}}, one problem solved. -- Ned Scott 22:26, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I really think the argument about talk pages is largely bogus. No regular editor should ever click "edit this page" for a talk page, and see all the templates. If they want to edit a section, they should click a section edit; if they want to start a new section they should click the "+" tab to create a new section. If that isn't clear, then let's try to make it clearer. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:03, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I think the "edit this page" link is always going to be the most intuitive way to add information to a page, and we should try to make sure that what appears when people click it is human-readable. Phil Sandifer 23:55, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Talk pages are a red herring here. Apart from the few banners at the top (which you can easily avoid by scrolling down) and signatures, they consist only of plain text, and are pretty easy to edit in a variety of ways (also with the + button). Melsaran (talk) 09:25, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
That is an easy thing for us to do, because we have been editing the site for months. My concern is a newbie who tries to make a few edits, has somebody ask them to take it to the talk page, goes to the talk page, and hits "edit this page" to find a mass of non-human-readable text. It's an unnecessary bump in the learning curve that we could easily avoid. Phil Sandifer 13:09, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

(undent) You know, the simplest solution to this would be to just add a "What's all this junk in the edit box?" link above the edit toolbar that links to, say, Help:Wikitext examples to explain it to new editors, perhaps in a new window so that they don't feel like they're being directed away from editing the page. If you really wanna get slick about it and make it non-intrusive for established editors, you could either add something to the user preferences to allow hiding that link, or move it below the Edit Summary editbox after n edits by a registered (i.e., non-IP) user, but those are optional and a lot more work. I just think doing this would be a simple way to help new editors figure out what the Wiki markup is, and make it a lot less intimidating for them to try their hand at editing articles. Rdfox 76 14:11, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Sure, but you've switched now to a technical solution that needs developers to implement, which immediately makes it harder to actually do. Phil Sandifer 17:40, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't claim to be a developer, but based on my (admittedly minimal, and more than ten years out-of-date) knowledge of webcoding, I'd expect the basic version (adding the link to every edit page) would be about a five-minute job for just about any coder. Still, it was just a thought. Maybe instead, a similar link should be added to the user-welcome template, or the main page? Someplace where it wouldn't require digging through the manual to find it, anyway. Rdfox 76 13:08, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

The editing window for the bulk of the articles is unreadable anyway because of all the citations. Try editing [6], for example. I don't think there's anything we can do about it.

Hell yes. And there is something we can do about it: replace cite.php with something better, maybe like meta:wikicite, or maybe even better than that. Why does everyone assume that there's only one (highly complex, computer programming-esque) way to do something? Where's your imagination?
We shouldn't need a WYSIWYG editor. Our site should be a wiki. A wiki is a website that uses a small, simple set of code that's simple and easy to deal with, even by regular old non-technical people, that makes smart assumptions and does as much work as possible for the user. Things like images, navigation boxes, interwikis, categories, references, and so on should not be part of the article's syntax. They should be added with this thing they call a "user interface". Someday I hope that the developers will understand this, and if we're lucky, Wikipedia might even become a wiki. — Omegatron 02:50, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I think Phil Sandifer has made an excellent suggestion and the only concerns appear to be practical. The fact that many user-pages already use this technique should allay some fears and I hope that Phil will continue to push this idea (a few mocked up examples would be a good start) and not let it drift forgotten into the VP archives. CIreland 17:16, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

En dashes in article titles

Currently the Manual of Style says to put en dashes in physical titles, as long as there is a redirect from the hyphenated version, for articles like Eye-hand span and Bose-Einstein condensate.

This is ok and all, but hard to type, so freehand links (like the above) generally become redirects, and URLs of the actual articles are a little complex ("Eye%E2%80%93hand_span"). I want to propose using the DISPLAYTITLE parameter instead, like we do for titles that start with a lowercase letter.

Thoughts? — Omegatron 02:46, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Many Wikipedia article have such cumbersome URLs, but I am not sure this is an issue, really. Who types in such URLs by hand, or trys to find a Wikipedia article in that way? If the redirects exist, the articles should be easy to find. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:14, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
MoS also states (regarding article titles): Special characters such as the slash (/), plus sign (+), curly brackets ({ }) and square brackets ([ ]) are avoided. Personally, I think that should apply to all special characters, including n-dash and things like '…' (ellipsis). They simply do not show corrctly in URLs (they are encoded like "%E2%80%93") and there is no easy way to enter those in an URL or search box. Redirects are fine, but why use these special characters in the first place? EdokterTalk 13:34, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Because many other "special" characters are needed, such as accents and diacritical marks and ligatures. Again, what is the problem with the URL? Do you really use the URL to find an article? Who types out the URL? --Jayron32|talk|contribs 02:13, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Redirects work with URLs as well, so this is really a non-issue. If it's hard to type, why not use a redirect? Melsaran (talk) 02:19, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Redirects are fine, but when people type this stuff as wikilinks, they're going to type a hyphen 99% of the time. Why not make the article at the hyphen and just fix the punctuation with the DISPLAYTITLE option? — Omegatron 02:37, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Why do it wrong and fix it with DISPLAYTITLE when we can just do it right in the first place? Wikilinks to redirects work, and can easily be fixed by bots or those with the inclination to do so. Anomie 11:35, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Not to change the subject, but I'd think all unicode should be prohibited in titles. Ndash should be simply the normal hyphen, in that world view. Last week ran into a German town article with a strange character in the title, and no redirect. (I guesed wrong, not even close to 'B' for 'β')

Wikiproject:Germany's response was mainly off point and I dropped the matter until I saw this discussion. Bottom line, users do not have the ready means of generating unicode characters be they äëïöü or β, as was that case, or n-dash. How's the poor reader to generate that, or the editor not in edit mode? [Yeah, I could do some kind of keyboard extension, but why should I—this is supposed to be the English Wikipedia, and English uses 26 letters]. As I pointed out in that discussion, there were and are other representations of a name (β apparently coresponds to 'ss' based on a following comment.) I have no problem with a unicode containing redirect, or even (really) a redirected to unicode containing page (So long as both name versions are clearly given establishing equivalency) but don't see that article titles should be allowed that are not searchable by English's standard character set. Most readers won't have a clue about keyboard mapping, and above all, retyping a title should go there. Perhaps it's time to revisit "disputed" naming conventions and settle this. // FrankB 23:49, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Related to that, see Sḵwxwú7mesh. An RfC at Talk:Sḵwxwú7mesh#Name: "7" and pronunciation from a few weeks ago did not come to any satisfactory conclusions. --Quiddity 02:58, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm confused here. "I have no problem with […] even (really) a redirected to unicode containing page" and "don't see that article titles should be allowed that are not searchable by English's standard character set" seem to be contradictory. IMO, if the correct and generally accepted name is "Roßla-Südharz", the redirect should be at "Rossla-Sudharz" rather than the other way around. Anomie 03:43, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Citations -- Help page proposal

Wikipedia:Citation templates has two big failings when one is fumbling to figure out how to cite a kind of reference new to one's experience— 1) so much is crammed into it's columns, its hard to read any of it and 2) it doesn't define any of the fields (template parameters). In it's defense, it does provide a link to the full doc page with full detail, but I just noticed that about an hour back. (Perhaps WP:CITET can be given one of those ugly IN YOUR FACE notice boxes highlighting that in the head section.)

In general Category:Citation templates has been too cluttered to be of much use, too cryptic as well, and sort of playing a safe form of russian roulette when guessing whether that one would be better or suitable at all.

Burned by struggling for a media cite last week, I suggested a help page (goto) here on Wikipedia_talk:Citation_templates. Well actually above 'here', but the current discussion will reveal a method was explored and that the feasibility of the page is established. (No reason to recap all that here--that's what I want consensus and comment on!)

The question is now whether to procede with a Wikipedia page creation, whether to cross-link it with the existing Wikipedia:Citation templates page, and how (Whether we section that, or have no back links from the new page to the alternative form [both would list the same templates, but display different information about same]).

Bottom line, I think the idea worthy, especially as once things are set up both the new variation on Wikipedia:Citation templates, and the new page ([[Wikipedia:Citation templates II?) can be written so changes on the source pages (template space /doc pages per this method) automatically update the two complimentary compendiums. That should be obvious given the discussion. Cheers! // FrankB 21:10, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Citation can be easily done using the small program User:Dmoss/Wikicite JoJan 15:38, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure the following qualifies as "easily"; The program does not need to be installed and makes no registry entries. To run it, simply copy the executable to a convenient place on any computer capable of running .NET programs. Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 can run .NET programs.
I think Reference generator is a much easier way to generate citations; all it takes is a bookmark. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:38, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the above, but the question got missed!

The question is whether the community would agree there is value in having a new citation templates visual help page providing parameters as well as cut and paste representation. The current WP:CITET has examples, but no parameter defines. The test I ran shows the method I suggested in response to the answers to my original post, is quite feasible. The question is whether or not to put forth the effort. // FrankB 00:22, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Is this graph evidence of a problem with Wikipedia?

This blog includes a graph (which might not be accurate) which seems to indicate WP has gone through some sort of transition. Is this because:

  • There are not enough administrators to handle the internal dissension?
  • English Wikipedia is now complete?
  • People are bored with Wikipedia?
  • Wikipedia is getting better at driving off unproductive users and discouraging less productive edits?

Is this graph accurate? Does this indicate a need to change policies in any way? What does it mean?--Filll 14:28, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

You seem to be linking to an offsite copy of the graph; see User:Dragons flight/Log analysis for the original graphs, and that page's talk page for discussion about them (and some later graphs produced by me and by Gmaxwell). --ais523 14:33, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I believe you are correct. I followed it already to that page and left a note there with some wild speculation. It is thought provoking. Of course, exponential growth cannot continue forever. However, the timing of the change is interesting and it is interesting to make conjectures about all the factors involved. It would be great to see all of this collected and forged into a real article or set of articles.--Filll 15:26, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

automatic text promt

As it is often the case that you go to the main page of wikipedia to search, it would be useful if the text cursor automatically was in the search box, without you having to click in it (like on google) 18:38, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

But then you couldn't scroll the Main Page using the arrow keys on your keyboard. --ais523 18:40, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Google's homepage is a one page thing that doesn't require any scrolling (in contrast, it's not focussed in the search results). Seeing as how focussing the cursor would not allow scrolling with the keyboard or immediate typing in the address bar it is a plan that has been suggested and shot down numerous times. - Mgm|(talk) 12:29, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

"Forced rename" for non-blatant usernames with edits

Please join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/User names#Change name or else.... Cheers, Melsaran (talk) 15:46, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Restore this version - request for additional reverting functionality

Just as we let users 'undo' a certain edit, I think the 'restore this version' feature should also be available. Often undo doesn't work or doesn't cover a series of vandal edits, and even with Twinkle I can't always use it on computers with IE7 as the only browser. Richard001 22:50, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

It takes 3 clicks to do what you are saying. Not really that big of a deal. 1) Open the old version, 2) click "edit this page", 3) enter an edit summary and click save. What more can one want? --Jayron32|talk|contribs 00:13, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Normal revert? Anything more would essentially be an Administrator power. x42bn6 Talk Mess 09:35, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
It might be useful to have a link to open up the edit view for an old version, accessible from the history, simply to make things easier for new users and anons who might otherwise not know how to do a non-undo revert. It saves only one click-step from the current method, and still requires a summary, so it's not as if it's giving anons rollback. --ais523 11:37, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
If you set your preferences to Edit on Double-click, you can save a step. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 19:48, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay then, let's get rid of undo shall we? And Twinkle, since it doesn't require administrative authority? Any other ideas for making vandalism harder to fight?
I might also point out it would save trying to type out an edit summary explaining what version you have reverted to, which makes the task of reverting multiple cases of idiocy even more difficult. Richard001 03:41, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Feel free to make a feature request for this; there isn't much we can do here. What is proposed here is more than what admins have now. If an admin wants to rollback edits made by multiple users, the process outlined above is still used. If you are just reverting vandalism, you don't have to give a detailed summary, just "rvv" will do. Mr.Z-man 03:58, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm aware of BugZilla, but I'd rather get support for a feature before requesting it. The functionality of what I've outlined is available to anyone using Twinkle, so I'm surprised if admins don't have it. It's basically the same as undo but allows easy reversion of multiple vandalism. Abuse of it can be reverted just as easily as abuse of undo, or any other sort of vandalism.
I've spent over half an hour today just going through my small watchlist and reverting nonsense. Anything that can speed this process up would be worth coding, especially considering how much time even small changes could save when multiplied by all the Wikipedians that would be affected. Richard001 04:31, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Page histories - marking edits as vandalism?

A lot of the page histories of articles I watch are nothing more than a school boy's play pen of vandalism and reversion. Is there some way we can mark vandalism in the page history? Of course, it's a subjective matter, but for cases that are just plainly vandalism, and edits that are just straight forward reversion, it would make the history section a lot easier to navigate, especially when finding a useful edit is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Richard001 22:29, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree that would be a useful feature.-gadfium 04:16, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Too easy to open to abuse. Editors in an edit-war often label their opponents work as Vandalism, even when it is clearly not. If they had the means to make their opponents work disappear at the click of a mouse, is that something we want? --Jayron32|talk|contribs 05:32, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
It's just the same as marking edits with rvv, which can and is also abused, and would contain no more authority than doing so. Other editors could unmark edits as vandalism or reverting if required, and explain and if need be warn other users. Ideally it would be limited to established users, i.e. semi-protection criteria apply. It would require work on the software, so the main question is whether the use of it is worth while or just feature creep. The other issue is which edits should be marked - vandalism only? vandalism and reverting? What about reverts that also add some information? What about incomplete manual removal of vandalism? Good faith edits that clearly don't improve the article? Also, there would probably have to be some sort of 'edit history' for the marking of changes, which themselves would then be candidates for marking as vandalism and reverting. The idea is to make navigation simpler, but if it would make things more difficult overall it wouldn't be worth it, so I'd like to hear more input. Thinking about some of the difficulties it could bring up, I'm tending to think it might not be such a good idea. Richard001 22:44, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
But the deal with rvv is that it is transparent and in the edit history for all to see. If I understand this proposal, it is to redact all vandalous edits so they no longer appear in the edit history. That sounds like a bad idea all around. With only a FEW exceptions (which is why the power is reserved for Beaurocrats), making a page in the edit history disappear hurts credibility. All edits, even vandalism, should be visible to all. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 00:15, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
This smacks of a desire to sweep things under the carpet and, apart from the obvious scenarios that are already dealt with, there is absolutely no need to do that. It is not desirable and the system would be abused habitually. Which would only make more work for others; more reversions and messier disputes. Adrian M. H. 00:56, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

One way this could work is for admin rollback to add a flag to the database hiding the revisions being rolled back, and for suitably trusted users (those with accounts more than four days old, or some new level of trust) a checkbox to set the flag would be available next to the "This is a minor edit" checkbox when using the "undo" feature or editing a previous revision. Viewing of history would omit such flagged versions by default, but a checkbox would enable anyone to see such flagged revisions (not dissimilar to the checkbox enabling or disabling viewing of minor edits in "Recent Changes").

I'm not at all sure whether the benefits of this would be worth the coding effort, the additional complexity to the interface, and the issues of dealing with those who might abuse the features, but it's certainly worth discussing.-gadfium 02:08, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with Adrian, there is far too much potential for abuse of this with edit wars and sockpuppetry with such little benefit in convenience in searching the history. If an article gets so much vandalism that there is as much vandalism/reversion as good edits and it is frequent enough to have the effect of clogging the history, long-term semiprotection would be something to consider. Requiring edit summaries would be much more helpful in searching the history, but that will likely never be implemented either. Mr.Z-man 02:18, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Just to clarify any confusion above, the edits would still be visible, it would just be visually much easier to see which were vandalism. Rvv isn't as easy to see as a different colour, and many people don't even leave an edit summary. As for reverts being more common than good edits, I think we must be editing different wikis, Mr Z man. In most of the article I watch, edits that even try to be constructive edits are rare, and separating them from the overpowering noise is quite a task. Richard001 03:24, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Even if the edits are still visible, there is still the potential for abuse by sockpuppeteers and in edit wars. If this were restricted to bot reverts and admins, then maybe. It would still have to be a separate option to tag the revisions as not all rollbacks (by admins) are rollbacks of what would be considered vandalism. And of course there would have to be a way to undo it in case a bot malfunctions or a admin clicks the wrong revision. But bot and admin reverts only make up a small percentage of reverts. And then there's good faith assumption issues as well; would good faith editing tests be marked in the history as "vandalism" and would edits marked as vandalism show up as vandal edits in users' contribution history? Mr.Z-man 03:44, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the system could easily be abused. It's one of several things a 'trusted' user status would be useful for. It's also difficult where to draw the line, and how many to draw. If it was only vandalism that was marked it would have to be something that was clearly not in good faith. But then terrible good faith edits might also be marked as such, e.g. 'vandalism' = pink, 'revert' = blue, 'good faith', but still reverted = blue. It gets rather complex, as you can see. My thoughts on changing the status of an edit would be that any trusted user could do so at the click of a button - it wouldn't be set in stone. But if someone were to go back in the history of a page and mess around with things it would be impossible to see what was happening without recording that too, somehow. So the difficulties it generates seem to me to outweigh the utility. Richard001 04:24, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Source Languages

As far as i know there is currently no standard way to indicate if a source is not English. I may have missed this, but im pretty sure no such guideline exits.. So what about standardize the way to indicate the language of a cited source if it isn't English? Yzmo talk 19:33, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

You can do this:
  • (in Latin) Valesius, De vita scriptisque Eusebii Diatribe
Or use a template that has a language field (and {{cite book}}, {{cite web}}, {{cite journal}}, {{cite news}} all do if I remember right):
  • Döblin, Alfred. Berlin Alexanderplatz (in German). 
Any use? Angus McLellan (Talk) 20:42, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

See Category:Language icons and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links)#Non-English-language sites --Boson 21:54, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Transclusion at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration

I'm fairly new to the process but it seems to me that each of these arbitration requests gets rather long rather fast. It might make things easier to have each case on a subpage and transclude them onto the main page, the way we do for deletion discussions. Any thoughts on that?

Equazcionargue/improves02:11, 10/14/2007
Ask the arbs and the clerks. It is they that have to put up with them. ViridaeTalk 05:17, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea. It'l be much easier to navigate--Phoenix 15 (Talk) 13:59, 14 October 2007 (UTC)