Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive M

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Era Proposal

Hello, everyone. I am in support of the anno Domini terminology personally, but I have a different proposal that may just satisfy everyone who reads Wikipedia. This proposal would remove the edit wars, as well as all problems of "confusion" and the extreme likeness of BCE to CE. Also, it would stop confusing pages like this one from referring to years like 164 BC/BCE. I got this idea from the customs of the History Channel. Here is the proposal:

Years from 1 forward will be abbreviated with CE (Common Era; can be interpreted as Christian Era).

This ensures that nobody is acknowledging that Jesus Christ is God, and it also leaves Christians with the Christian era option.

Years 1 BC and previous will be abbreviated with BC (Before Christ; can be interpreted as Before Current).

Although this method would acknowledge Jesus (Christ) directly, noting this era as Before the Common Era simply masks the reasoning behind the Gregorian/Julian calendars. Unlike using AD, using BC does not acknowledge Christ as a god, simply as a historical figure, which most scientists agree that he is. It is basically the same as saying the days of the week, such as Wednesday, because it only acknowledges the historical meaning behind the word, not that the historical meaning is a god. It can also be difficult to speak BCE in dialog, and also, it has three letters. When we drop the "E" and use just BC, it has no grammatical similarities to CE, meaning the terms cannot be confused with one another easily. (One of the reasons of support given for the use of AD and BC on the common era page). Finally, using both BC and CE in a sentence also roll off the tongue easily (e.g - It was ongoing from 2 BC to 5 CE).
The best part about this proposal is that it will not be required that we change the current Wikipedia policy. The current Wikipedia years pages use BC, but they use neither CE nor AD for years after 1. Also, like the History Channel does, we can use AD in replacement of CE for exclusively Christian pages, and we can use BCE rather than BC for exclusively non-Christian religious pages. However for religion-neutral pages, meaning all pages other than those associated with religion, will use the proposal above. How does this sound? Darwiner111 07:15, 4 February 2006 (UTC).


  • Delete. Violates WP:NEO. ^_^ Johnleemk | Talk 07:27, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
    What neologism are you referring to? The common era system in its entirety? If so I agree with you, but not enough people agree with us to use AD/BC only, so we need to offer a reasonable compromise. Darwiner111 07:29, 4 February 2006 (UTC).
    "Christian Era"? Johnleemk | Talk 07:32, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
    See Common era, where the term Christian era is referenced in the opening. Many Christians use CE and interpret CE as Christian era, and it is recommended for Christians that may use CE/BCE. Not to mention, the use of CE in my compromise has it standing for Common era, but it can be interpreted as Christian era for those who want to. Darwiner111 07:36, 4 February 2006 (UTC).
  • Check out date formats above; I proposed that the mechanism for date formatting preferences should be extended to handle this. IMHO this is the right solution; no-one can say that one style is "right" and one is "wrong", except for themselves, so make it selectable. But you can't just use "CE/BC" as proposed here, because there's no such standard in the wider world — all you'll do with that is introduce more confusion. — Johan the Ghost seance 15:46, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
  • BC - if used in the way proposed - could lead to confusion of interpretation. 2000 BC is actually 4000 years before "current", so is simultaneously 4000 BC. 1996 AD is 10 BC as well. If we were going to change it at all (which would only be accompanied by the greatest amount of screaming and bellowing in forums across this fine encyclopedia), I'd advocate CE and BCE. Not only would BCE and CE be symmetrical (both referring to CE), but there would be less cause for confusion. Having said that, as a non-Christian (or not in the accepted sense) I see nothing wrong with continuing to use the currently used terms, as they are the terms most widely encountered. Grutness...wha? 23:32, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Standardization of Featured content interface

I just finished converting all featured article-related pages to use a new interface (see wikipedia:featured articles and related pages). It's gotten pretty good feedback so far -- I want to now convert the remaining featured content pages -- wikipedia:Featured pictures, wikipedia:Featured lists, and wikipedia:Featured portals to use the same interface. Raul654 09:29, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Seems like a good idea. The only complication that I can forsee is that some of the more useful pages on Featured Pictures are the ones that show thumbnails of the pictures themselves. It should still be possible to conform the formatting, but there has been some previous discussion on changing the layout at Wikipedia_talk:Featured_pictures_visible. That was somewhat inconclusive, but we probably do need to break the page up into a collection of pages in order to reduce loading times. -- Solipsist 12:14, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Good idea. I've started with WP:FLC and WP:FL. A couple of questions
  1. You don't seem to have a place for the shortcut in your design. I think top-right of the top-right pane is probably the best place - see WP:FARC.
  2. I think it makes sense for the page rubric (instructions/how this pagew works/nominating/etc) to be included in a double-width pane below the top two - again, see WP:FARC. -- ALoan (Talk) 13:45, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Excellent ideas, Aloan. I've implimented them (if I missed any, go ahead and fix it). Raul654 17:29, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

All done! I think it came out quite nicely. Raul654 20:04, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes it did. Good work Raul. (Although I might change the colour of WP:FPORT).--cj | talk 04:59, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Time Delay for Non-Registered Users

  • I find that most non-registered editors fall into two groups: those doing small adjustments such as typos, and those blatantly vandalizing. If we incorporated a short wait time between posts (like on IMDb's message board) for non-registered editors, the positive contributers would still be able to make their changes while the cannonading by vandals would be minimized. Pattersonc(Talk) 12:55 AM, Monday; January 30 2006 (EST)
    • ...and meanwhile those of us doing maintenance and sorting edits to blocks of 20-50 articles in one go would do what? Grutness...wha? 00:49, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
      • Um, those of you doing so could concentrate on writing/updating the encyclopedia? Cjmarsicano 02:09, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
        • Most of us who do block-sorting also do considerable amounts off writing and updating. But if everyone only did writing and updating, Wikipedia would be unusable. That's why that work is called things like "maintenance" and "cleanup". It would be like trying to run a car if garages didn't exist. If you want to try to have an encyclopedia where no articles are correctly linked, spelt correctly, or sorted into appropriate categories, then fine, but a lot of editors here would like Wikipedia to at least try to be like a proper encyclopaedia. As such many of us do block-edit maintenance work. Alongside our work writing articles. Grutness...wha? 23:24, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
      • I don't understand the question. Pattersonc(Talk) 8:07 PM, Monday; January 30 2006 (EST)
      • I think I see the confusion now. Despite my initial mention of non-registered editors, I didn't reiterate this point and you thought I meant to include such a time delay on all users. Pattersonc(Talk) 8:12 PM, Monday; January 30 2006 (EST)
    • Ah - right. Sorry, yes, that is what I thought you meant. Could work... and would tie in with some of the suggestions at Wikipedia: Blocking policy proposal. Grutness...wha? 01:47, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The usefulness of this may be limited. Recent changes in editing policy have led many vandals to create accounts where they would not before. Deco 03:34, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Which is fine. Blocking a registered user for vandalism will not hinder the IP address of other's on their subnet. Also, the majortity of vandals are non-registered, and I suspect this will be the case for quite some time. Pattersonc(Talk) 1:07 PM, Tuesday; January 31 2006 (EST)

Quest Name

Narrator's note

  • Desription:
  • WikiMaster:
  • Start date:
  • Number of points for quest:
    • xxx points per...
    • yyy points per...
  • Realized by:
  • Below write your realized quests + —Crypticbot (operator) 00:09, 6 February 2006 (UTC)


Here is link to the quest "Interwiki" with a lokal hall of fame. It is boring work when we do it daily, but not when it is Quest.

But it is only a tutorial ;) Now I want to lead a campaign.

First quests in pl wiki was Writing articles about castles and legends, Welcoming - it is still big quest - almost everybody newcomer is welcoming (without vandals of course). But pl wiki has another problems. I think it is worth to find a group of Wikipedians who want to start WikiRPG. Przykuta 00:19, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

What can players do with the points? Who judges whether quests were completed with sufficient quality and care? Deco 03:39, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
WikiMaster is the person, who judges players and enter players (with their points) on a list (Hall of Fame) Przykuta 21:06, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
It's an interesting idea, but as it is now it's not very practical. Eluchil 07:04, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
So - on pl wiki start has not been easy too... Przykuta 21:06, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
I think the idea is to make a game of production as a opposed to a game of finding stuff. The problem I see is point tallying. It's almost more work checking to see if work is done then actually doing the work. I was thinking for this welcoming quest, you could give each player a link that they could include in their welcome, and then the "wikimaster" could just go to the page and click what links here to get a tally. Of course, maybe we could just set up the quest and have the players edit the accomplishments, sort of like the Wikiholic hall of fame.--Rayc 22:41, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, yes. This is only example of Wikiquest (Quests with finding stuff - NPOV, NPA, vandalisms - it is very funny too :) Others quests are: killing stubs, finding Cthulhu rituals (special vandalisms like "gfdkfdgkfdskgsd"). Maybe this quest (Welcome) will be easier (for wikimaster), if players will put only links to logged users, not IP. And - maybe it is quest for 2 WikiMasters on en wiki... This is hardy work for WikiMaster. Look for archives of that quest on pl wiki ;). So, about sort - if you want :) (but maybe without comments ;) We have on pl wiki local tally on every quest's page and global Hall of Fame. Przykuta 12:45, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Vandal report section?

Why not add a section where you can report a vandal instead of having to post on their talk page or trying to find an administrator? Life would be so much easier for those fixing the vandalism and the administator can take the necessary action. --Acebrock 20:58, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

WP:AIAV.--Sean Black (talk) 20:57, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  • WP:AIV does that already, I believe; if you want to find an admin in a hurry, for something non-vandal related, WP:AN/I may also help. Shimgray | talk | 20:59, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  • The original is at WP:VIP. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:12, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Why aren't Discussion pages add-only?

I'm finding it hard to phrase my idea, since so many of the reasons are similar to those who wish to permanently protect actual articles, but I'll give it a shot. Is there any reason for a discussion on an article's talk page to allow users to delete/modify the comments of others? Not only is it next to impossible to catch on high traffic pages, but I can see no benefit to simply changing it so that you can only append to to page.

Take the mohammed cartoons page. So much energy is being wasted reverting vandals on the *talk* page alone. And making this change has absolutely no drawbacks as far as I can tell

The wiki philosophy allows anyone to edit anything. Vandals are a pain in the ass, but protection is typically a last resort, since vandalism is easily reverted. Some policies like NPA also require allowing editors to edit others' comments (i.e. to remove personal attacks). Johnleemk | Talk 16:52, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
There are some advantages to it, albeit they are mostly introduced by the lack of discussion thread features. Fixing mixformatted threads, adding section titles to stray comments, and blanking old or misplaced discussions, etc. are all important aspects of maintaining talk pages, which would be impossible if the pages were locked somehow. --W.marsh 17:06, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
We have strong conventions against editing of other's comments however. I would argue that a message board format, where a person can edit their own posts, would be a much better way of organizing talk pages. Wiki really just isn't suitable for this. Deco 20:50, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Honestly I don't disagree with you. Wiki is brilliant for creating articles, not so much so much so for having discussions. It certainly works... but it is often a lot of needless hassle keeping things straight. I do not believe it would be easy to effect a change, though. --W.marsh 20:53, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Village pump (perennial proposals)#Discussion Pages - Bring Modern Interface. --cesarb 21:20, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
meta:LiquidThreads. The short treatment at perennial proposals really doesn't do it justice, so hammer out the details over at meta. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 02:00, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Hm, there's been no real editing there in over a year. Are there actual plans to include LiquidThreads, or is it more of a wishlist thing? The suggestion looks okay, but I'd much prefer a more standard forum layout like the mockup on Perennial proposals. Any new system should have a subject-only view and keep different threads on separate pages. I don't see a use for the thread summary; all threads should be archived by their subject. ᓛᖁ♀ 02:38, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I really don't know. Part of the problem implementing the feature is that no one really has thought it out yet... ^_^" — Ambush Commander(Talk) 02:41, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
_ _ I'll go look at liquid threads, but as i just noted on perennial, IMO, the Add-only proposal is far too restrictive for the problem identified, and additions of talk-vandalism information specific to the discussion pages, in their histories, are a better medium-term response. I'll post specific suggestions if there is interest.
_ _ Elevator-speech version of my long-term proposal: Traditional Wiki-markup (TWMu) is optimized for collaborative editing of articles but not discussion. Supplement TWMU with extensions (minor enuf to conserve editors' investment in learning TWMu). Lightly process each contribution before saving: enforce sigs, suppress editor-specified color markup, and use trivial variations on existing facilities to assist detecting additions from re-ordering, from corrected, sanitized, or rethought replacements, and from refactoring. Use color coding and color-coded annotation to flag authentic sigs and the various sorts of replacement, including any endorsement by original editor of a replacement of their contrib.
--Jerzyt 06:22, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Full semi-protection of Wikipedia

Moved to Wikipedia:Village pump (perennial proposals). — Preceding unsigned comment added by JosephBarillari (talkcontribs)

Creating syntax for date preference formatting that isn't linking

This has come up in repeated discussions and I think it's important enough that something needs to be done. Currently, the only way to get date preference formatting to work is to link the date. While this works, it has the unsightly side effect of cluttering up a page with unnecessary links. Wikipedia:Make only links relevant to the context is a good guide in this regard. Unfortunately, because of the desire to get date formatting preferences to work, you end up seeing lots of unnecessary links. Let's take the high profile Christmas article. It has over a dozen links to December 25 and all sorts of links to other dates as well. It's ugly and it clutters up the page. Links should only be used when the user would actually have some valid reason to click through and find out about a topic. But I can't think of any reason anyone would need to be able to click through to December 25 a dozen times from the Christmas article. The desire to get dates working with the date preferences formatting is causing our Wikipedia pages to unnecessarily be cluttered with useless links.

Also, keep in mind that the majority of the people browsing or viewing Wikipedia either do not have user accounts or are not logged in, so they are not receiving any kind of benefit from the date preferences formatting. They're only perceiving the negative aspect of it: articles that are way overlinked to irrelevant dates and years.

I am therefore proposing the creation of a new kind of syntax or function in Wiki source that identifies a phrase as a date so that it can be properly formatted without having to have a date be linked. I don't exactly have something in mind, so for now let's just call it <date> and </date>. I'm sure someone else around here can figure out the appropriate way to implement it. With this feature implemented our article could be a lot better. We could link the first occurrence of December 25 on the Christmas page as [[December 25]] because it is conceivable that someone may want to know what else happened on that date, but for subsequent uses of December 25 we would use <date>December 25</date>. This would help to drastically cut down on the number of unnecessary links.

I'd link to point out one more area in which my proposal would be useful: chronological lists. Many, many articles have them, and typically they consist of bulleted lists starting with the date and then a description of what happened on that day. And those dates are always linked for the sole reason of getting the date preferences formatting to work. Wikipedia:Make only links relevant to the context makes it very clear that something should only be linked when it's relevant to the context; a date link is pretty much never relevant to the context as who exactly is going to want to randomly click through and see what else happened on that day in any other number of thousands of years? So what if the first launch of the Ariane rocket occurred on the same day as the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. Who cares? It's not relevant to the context!

One more thing I'd like to add - it's not obvious to me why date preferences formatting was implemented in the fashion it is now. There are two separate issues: linking to other articles and automatically formatting dates. Why the two were conflated as in the current implementation is beyond me. From the current state of matters one thing appears to me: the situation must be fixed. That is all. --Cyde Weys votetalk 21:47, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Addendum: Please see Talk:Christmas#Snipping extraneous links for relevant discussion. --Cyde Weys votetalk 21:49, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

simple suggestion; ISO format dates (2005-12-25) could just be auto detected. Surpression with some simple sequence (2005-12&dash;25) in the very rare case it's needed. These have the advantage that they are reasonably country neutral and understandable for all when seen in edit mode. Mozzerati 21:56, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
  • So your suggestion is to not have any special formatting but just recognize ISO 8601 dates via some sort of regex, i.e. /\d\d\d\d-\d\d-\d\d/ (yyyy-mm-dd in common English). I'm not sure if this will work. Anonymous users, which describes the majority of the people who use Wikipedia, are always going to be seeing ISO 8601, which isn't necessarily as clear as spelling out the month. It might be possible to detect which country the IP address belongs to and format the dating appropriately, i.e. "December 25, 2005" for Americans and "25 December 2005" for Europeans. But I still think the best solution would be some kind of added syntax. It doesn't seem right that it should be done automatically (and only for ISO dates). Wikipedia as it is is very explicit: words are only linked when you specifically say they should be linked, etc. A lot of this could be done automatically but there is going to be some error rate. A workaround like 2005-12&dash;25 in the situation where you wouldn't want auto-formatting seems very clumsy. I think the easiest way to resolve this issue is to just create the <date> and </date> tags (or whatever they end up being called). That way as you're editing articles that have too many repetitive linkings you simply convert [[ and ]] to <date> and </date>. You wouldn't have to go around changing all of the dates to match ISO format. --Cyde Weys votetalk 22:10, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

(after edit conflict) I strongly support the addition of such a feature. The "simple" suggestion above is a start, but the vast majority of dates are NOT in ISO format, and that format is not the most helpful one for people without any prefernces (which is the majority of users) so i think it is unlikely to become the dominant format any time in the near future. The mechanics of the synmtax don't matter to me -- it could be pesudo-HTML as shown above or soem more wiki-like markup such as <<5 March 2003>>. Ideally, whatever methos is used, it would involve a single markup for each complete date. DES (talk) 22:13, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) and Wikipedia Talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) for more related discussions. DES (talk) 00:12, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Someone tell me why we should add new syntax to the parser to replace something that is intuitive and works already, just because it's "ugly". rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 04:56, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

It's intuitive to you because you've 'grown up' learning how to do it that way. If you had learned to enclose dates in #12/25/2005#, do you really think it would be all that much harder to figure out? Some of us have a problem with overdetermining the bracket syntax. -- nae'blis (talk) 09:35, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
  • There's absolutely nothing intuitive about it. Most new users to Wikipedia get very confused by this. Why should you have to turn a date into a link to get it to format properly? That's actually very counter-intuitive. And guess what, something being ugly is a very good reason to change it, especially because Wikipedia is a resource used by millions of people. --Cyde Weys votetalk 15:58, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Strong support; I've been meaning to propose this myself. I also strongly support auto-parsing yyyy-mm-dd syntax. The default date format can be something other than yyyy-mm-dd. Other possibilities like {{yyyy-mm-dd}} or {yyyy-mm-dd}.

Related date gripes/suggestions:

  • Signature timestamps should obey date locales.
  • This is probably assumed by the <date></date> proposal: [[December 25, 2005]] should work like [[December 25]], [[2005]].
  • Group linked yyyy-mm-dd dates by yyyy-mm in addition to mm-dd
  • Format any date such as year-month or just year in addition to year-month-date
    • e.g. <date>December 2005</date> should show up as 2005-12 in ISO8601 locales.
    • e.g. <date>567 AD</date> should show up as "0567" in ISO8601 locales.
  • Dates in various article names/categories would be better as yyyy-mm-dd or yyyy-mm instead of spelled-out or American "middle-endian" style (e.g. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/2005-12-26, Category:Cleanup from 2005-12)

--Quarl 10:18, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

This edit gives clear evidence why something really needs to be done on this issue. Look at how ridiculous it is to create literally dozens of unnecessary links on a page just to get date preferences formatting working. Some sort of syntax like <date> and </date>, discussed above, is absolutely essential. --Cyde Weys votetalk 20:23, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Looking into this one now. :) Rob Church Talk 20:23, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Excellent! I am very much looking forward to this one. --Cyde Weys votetalk 21:51, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Just wondering how this is going. Hope it's going well. --Cyde Weys votetalk 01:06, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Someone said this same kind of proposal is somewhere on the Wikipedia Bugzilla but I have been unable to find it with relevant search terms. Can anyone confirm? Thanks. --Cyde Weys votetalk 19:30, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Now enter3ed as bugzilla bug #4582. DES (talk) 21:21, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
That bug was marked WONTFIX, although I am tempted to reopen it. I'll probably do so as I'm implementing it, which will be...whenever, I'm afraid. I've been distracted from development by a number of things; but should be back on track within a few days. Rob Church (talk) 19:02, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I think that <date> and </date> is a little too bulky, but otherwise yes — using the same syntax for two things is very bad practice. I would introduce a new, and simpler, syntax that could be used for user-preferred formatting of things other than dates. My suggestion:

 <<January 13>>           produces  13 January                       formatted by user prefs
 <<2000-01-13>>           produces  13 January 2000                           ditto
 <<2000>>                 produces  2000                                      ditto*
 <<12 BC>>                produces  12 BCE                                    ditto*
 [[<<January 13>>]]       produces  [[13 January]]                            ditto
 [[<<January 13, 2000>>]] produces  [[13 January]], [[2000]]                  ditto
 <<1000 kg>>              produces  2400 pounds (1000 kg)                     ditto*
 [[<<1000 kg>>]]          produces  2400 [[pound]]s (1000 [[kilogramme|kg]])  ditto*

Note *: I'm assuming that in the future, user prefs might be extended. For example, there might be a user pref for BCE/CE versus BC/AD in years, for currency and units formatting, etc. So you could choose to have "1000 kg" presented as "1000 kg", or "2400 pounds", or "2400 pounds (1000 kg)", etc.

Thoughts? — Johantheghost 13:04, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I like that idea, I was actually thinking of using double angle brackets originally (it's parallel to [[ and ]]), but I was worrying if it might throw people off, so I went with the universally understood pseudo-HTML code. --Cyde Weys 2M-VOTE 02:02, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

It's not so much the syntax, as the idea that by not saying "date", we can use the same feature for more generic user-preferred formatting (in the longer term; it wouldn't have to be implemented all at once). — Johan the Ghost seance 11:51, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
For dates, this seems like a great idea. If we have a locale feature for dates, it should of course support unlinked dates. For unit conversions, this is only good if you can provide the number of significant digits to be used. For example, 1000 kg should usually be converted to 2200 pounds, but 999.95 kg to 2204.51 pounds. Automatic conversion that gives a wrong number of significant digits is misleading, see WP:MOSNUM#Units. Kusma (討論) 23:49, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I think unit conversion (i.e. kilograms and pounds) is not nearly as necessary as these proposed changes. Overloading of the linking syntax to mean two separate things is a pretty big problem right now. --Cyde Weys 21:14, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I strongly support some kind of action on this subject. My user preferences are set to yyyy-mm-dd and it is so frustrating seeing dates not in that format mixed in with links that are. Additionally we need to review date ranges such as [[December 25]] - 26 or December 25 - 26.
For those unsure how the various options currently are displayed (EG me), I have listed a few variants below to see what your preferences do to the display (The third section in each is what I see with my ISO preference - links shown as italics.) -
      • [[December 25]], [[2005]] - [[December 31]].
        December 25, 2005 - December 31.             2005-12-25 - December 31.
      • December 25, 2005 - December 31.
        December 25, 2005 - December 31.             December 25, 2005 - December 31.
      • [[25 December]] [[2005]] - [[31 December]].
        25 December 2005 - 31 December.           < > 2005-12-25 - 31 December.
      • 25 December 2005 - 31 December.
        25 December 2005 - 31 December.             25 December 2005 - 31 December.
      • [[December 25]] - [[December 31|31]].
        December 25 - 31.             December 25 - 31.
      • [[December 25]] - 31.
        December 25 - 31.             December 25 - 31.
      • December 25 - 31.
        December 25 - 31.             December 25 - 31.
      • [[March 2005]] - [[June 2005]].
        March 2005 - June 2005.             March 2005 - June 2005.
      • March 2005 - June 2005.
        March 2005 - June 2005.             March 2005 - June 2005.
      • [[March 2005]] - [[June 2005|June]].
        March 2005 - June.             March 2005 - June.
      • March 2005 - June.
        March 2005 - June.             March 2005 - June.
-- SGBailey 12:03, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Thanks for that. --Cyde Weys 05:27, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Change to MediaWiki:Watchdetails for page move bug

Bug 4898 is a fairly major bug that affects the integrity of watchlists. It basically means that if a page is moved, until the point where it is edited again, it disappears from the watchlist. This makes it kind of difficult to catch pagemove vandalism from the watchlist alone until someone else edits the page.

On Wikipedia talk:Bug report, User:Zen-master has insisted that this is a major issue and people should know about it. I would, then, propose editing MediaWiki:Watchdetails to notify users of the bug. The text would look like this:

Note that page moves do not show up on watchlists until the page has been subsequently edited. See Bug 4898.

Ambush Commander(Talk) 21:55, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Parity within US Senators' articles

As it stands now, there seems to be a de facto bias against Republican US senators within their personal articles. Beyond the tone of individual articles, which for some Democratic senators is far more positive than some Republican senators, there's the isssue of dedicated criticism sections, or sections which essentially serve as criticism sections.

The following Republican Senators have 'criticism', 'controversy' or other such sections in their articles, or parts that serve essentially as that: John McCain Ted Stevens Jeff Sessions Richard Shelby Saxby Chambliss Johnny Isakson Mel Martinez Sam Brownback Jim Bunning David Vitter Norm Coleman Trent Lott Conrad Burns George Voinovich Tom Coburn> Rick Santorum John Thune Bill Frist John Cornyn George Allen

Contrast that with the Democrat senators with comparable article layout: Dianne Feinstein<b Richard Durbin Mary Landrieu Ted Kennedy John Kerry Max Baucus Charles Schumer Hillary Clinton Patty Murray Robert Byrd

And I think you'll see that the criticism of Republicans is much more noted than that of Democrats. Additionally, senators Dorgan and Biden, both Democrats, have extended 'defenses' against criticisms which many of the Republican senators lack.

So, I think it'd be beneficial to have a drive to improve the articles for US Senators, to achieve a greater semblance of balance. Trilemma 17:31, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Change (last) to (dif) in History pages

It would be logical and standardised with the watchlist. Ksenon 06:09, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Category talk:Living people#Category:Living people of South Korea

Category:Living people is too big to be navigable. It needs to be sub categorised like stubbing. -- Zondor 12:27, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Category math feature - let's add a few feature to make this easier. -- Zondor 15:28, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Not a new idea (although not a bad one). See also bug #2725; bug #1106; bug #3972; Talk:List_of_sailors/Archived_feature_proposal. You can vote for those bugs. — Johan the Ghost seance 16:32, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
The developers have said they ignore votes. Superm401 - Talk 15:31, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Request for rollback privileges poll closing soon

The requests for rollback privileges poll, a poll to gauge consensus on whether good contributors who are not admins should be given the rollback privilege, is closing at 00:00 UTC on Tuesday, 7 February 2006. If you haven't weighed in, please do so! Talrias (t | e | c) 11:14, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

January? Johnleemk | Talk 14:47, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
Don't tell me you didn't pack your time travelling device this morning! Talrias (t | e | c) 14:49, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
No, I packed it tomorrow morning. >Radiant< 23:42, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
I will pack it the previous Febturday, Octember. Going back to the poll, I've suggested a way forwards based on the trends shown. Talrias (t | e | c) 23:43, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
You most assuredly mean a way backwards based on the trends to be shown. -Splashtalk 02:47, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
No, he meant a way forward from the past from the future to the present. :-) Flcelloguy (A note?) 02:43, 6 Tertiary 2009

Collaborative tagging

Propose that metadata is created (in order to complement categories, et al) by users. Relational searching (i.e. tag cloud) could be generated.

Although at present, folksonomies are freeform (see, with metadata generated and controlled by individuals, I'm not aware that there is a community-wide collaborative metadata generation system. Wikipedia would be a perfect project for this to be deployed on.

Metadata could be generated by all and controlled by the masses (like a folksonomy with a vaguely controlled vocabulary based on democracy). Also, weighted relational links (i.e. 'What links here') could be changed so that there is a visual representation of the strength, relvance or importance of the connection between the viewed article and other articles, related through key words. Effectively, a PageRank (Google ranking technique) system that is user generated. --bigpinkthing 10:09, 8 Feb 2006

Weighting how closely related two articles are seems potentially useful. This could allow us to build semantic networks of articles that could be used to suggest related articles that are not directly linked. Deco 10:17, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Would it work to use an article's incoming and outgoing links and categories (possibly extended by a few levels) for the tag set? It seems like a folksonomy would take a lot of effort to maintain, and I can see a lot of potential for vandalism or keyword stuffing. ᓛᖁ♀ 11:23, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Response so far.. Using in/out links is certainly viable to establish relationship strength between articles, and may go a certain way towards defining the root words used to start a metadata vocabulary. What I am proposing is not a true folksonomy, but a metadata schema that can be initialised by software (not by a defined controlled vocabulary) and then enhanced by users. Because the schema would be updated by users under a one-user, one-vote style system, the relevance of correct and valid links will always be reinforced and vandalism / key word stuff would be controlled democratically (i.e. the long tail of meta noise would not be seen unless someone was specifically looking for it). --- --bigpinkthing 11:33, 8 Feb 2006
The main problem I see is that adding anything to all articles, even a single piece of metadata, would be a huge effort. Categories took a long time to get put in everything. However, I'm sure that individual Wikiprojects would entertain the idea of tagging articles in their area with metadata relevant to their area. A great example is Tree of Life and tagging animal/plant articles with all the details currently listed in their infobox. Similarly cities could be tagged with their demographics and location details. Pretty much anything you see in an infobox now could be made into semantics tags - and with clever template modifications, perhaps with relatively little effort. Deco 18:41, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Surely the very essence of Wiki is an improvement of the product as a whole, over time. As I said, the initial burst of metadata could be a software development project and turned around in a couple of days using something like Perl. The gradual improvement would take a tiny amount of time (on a per user basis), since many would contribute and improve gradually over time. It is an identical modus operandii to the main principle of Wikipedia, but applied to give meaning to the content, futureproofing and improving it ready for future iterations of deployment and advanced uses that may not have yet been conceived. bigpinkthing 09:55 8 February 2006

Deletion flag

Sometimes while browsing random articles, an editor who is not necessarily involved in what I'll loosely call the "deletion scene" runs across an article that he or she feels should probably be deleted. However, the deletion procedures have become unwieldy for those who are not involved on the deletion scene, making it hard for a casual editor to know how to get an article into the deletion pipeline. The rules for speedy deletion are confusing and constantly evolving, and the AfD nomination process is somewhat complex and time-consuming for the very occasional nominator. This leads to overuse of the speedy {{delete}} tag, and even worse, no action taken at all on dubious articles run across by most editors.

To solve this problem, I propose that we create a {{deletereview}} tag, that allows casual editors to flag questionable articles for further follow-up by editors more involved in the deletion scene. I think this would significantly reduce controversy over the misuse of the speedy delete tag, and make the entire deletion process go much more smoothly and efficiently.

Thoughts? Comments? Volunteers for implementation? - Bantman 23:32, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

You may be interested in the new Wikipedia:Proposed deletion, which is undergoing a live trial right now. It's very lightweight and easy for anyone to use. Deco 02:15, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Add "Email this Article to a Friend" Option

This idea has probably come up already at this point and may already have either been shot down or put into the implementation process, but here goes anyway...

I think Wikipedia articles should have the option to "email this to a friend", like many online news sources do.

I frequently use this service option on other sites (e.g.,, and to alert friends and acquaintences of interesting news items. I realize that Wikipedia is not really a news website, but as a constantly updating repositiory for information, it couldn't hurt to offer the option.

For instance... Say two friends are having a "discussion" (argument, if you will) about some topic. One says something, the other denies that it is true. Later that day the first is online, heads to Wikipedia, looks up the answer and discovers he is correct. He can then, right there, click and send a link to the article straight to his friend, with a little (gloating?) message. Now, I do realize that this very thing caused the scandal with mis-information on the site, but I still think that (with the new scurity messures that have been implemented) Wikipedia can act as a wonderful tool for personal intellectual debate and the emailing option would therefore be an attractive option.

It would also serve well for aiding in research or other academic endeavors through the site, as a student or teacher/professor, could easily alert class members or colleagues to reference information throught this service, which would aid the site's use as a learning tool, as well as giving it additional (free) adviertising within the academic world.

  • I love the idea. It's also simple to code and implement. Pattersonc(Talk) 11:17 AM, Monday; January 30 2006 (EST)
Doesn't your browser have this capability? I use IE, and ther's an icon at the top of the page which mails the current page. User:Zoe|(talk) 16:39, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Blocking anonymous article creation was not a security measure. It was a policy decision that may or may not reduce vandalism. As for this, why can't you just email the url? I never got that. If you want to, you can even email the permalink. To get to the permanent version (permalink), click "permanent link" at the bottom of the navigation area on the left of your screen (assuming you're using the default interface). That means they'll see the exact version you do. Doing the email seems like an unnecessary drain on resources. It could also result in spam or copyright issues. Superm401 - Talk 23:55, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
I actually think this is a good idea - it would increase interest in Wikipedia and help us drive editing and new editor arrival rates. The mail should send out a permalink so that they see the same version. We could add little trailers to the e-mails going out linking to the main page and maybe even encouraging donations. Admittedly, this would've been more useful when Wikipedia was nascent and little-known. Deco 00:44, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Could we accomplish the same thing with a simple mailto link including the URL? I created a template to demonstrate, {{email}}. It renders as:
The source is (previous post was wrong):
[mailto:?body=Check%20out%20the%20Wikipedia%20page%20{{FULLPAGENAMEE}}%20at%20{{SERVER}}/w/index.php?title={{FULLPAGENAMEE}}%2526oldid={{REVISIONID}} Email someone this page]
The template should work on any page and could be included in the toolbox with some adjustment. The only problem I see is that it puts underscores instead of spaces when mentioning the name of the article (to avoiding breaking the link). This could be easily fixed when converting to a toolbox link. The advantage to this solution (besides allowing adoption elsewhere on the wiki) is that it doesn't requre server resources to send the mail. The converse is that not everyone has access to a mail client (and some clients don't read mailtos) Superm401 - Talk 08:53, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
No need to use underscores - if you visit a URL with spaces the software will automatically convert them. This looks like a pretty good solution - let's bring it up on the talk page of whatever Mediawiki page corresponds to the toolbox. Deco 20:14, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I know, but the problem is the wiki syntax for links. There can be no spaces in the mailto URL (which here is everything before "Email someone this page") because spaces separate the URL from the displayed text. That's why I've escaped the spaces in the text as %20 . I had to escape the page name (and permalink) using underscores because Wikipedia variables don't seem to provide a way to escape page names with %20 (and I spent a while working on this). Also, I looked through Special:Allmessages and I don't think there is a corresponding MediaWiki page for the toolbox. We would probably have to get the devs involved. Superm401 - Talk 01:56, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
We'd have to remember to include the full text of the GFDL in every email, e.g. as an attachment. Yay for the GFDL. -Splashtalk 00:47, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Why would we have to do that? — Knowledge Seeker 02:11, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Because the terms of the GFDL insist you include a full copy of the license with each copy of GFDL'd material you distribute. Which is why it's a PITA for e.g. images. See Wikipedia:Text of the GNU Free Documentation License#2. VERBATIM COPYING. -Splashtalk 02:29, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
You are correct, but this does not apply to mere links to the material, only if we send out the full text of the article, which we have no intention of doing. Deco 02:38, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Deco: the GDFL may apply to the text of the articles itself, but not to the URLs that link to those articles. — Knowledge Seeker 03:46, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I was interpreting the section heading literally. -Splashtalk 03:47, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I think this is a bad idea. First of all, email is for plain text, not for HTML. Would you also email all the pictures as well with this? Now you're sending a quite-possibly large file. Also, what if the content changes because of new research/editors after you sent it? I generally never mail people an actual page, but just a reference to it. That way they can be assured of always getting the most up-to-date content. Pass by reference, not by value. Aaronw 20:56, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Artist of the Month

I think that in today's world, many intellectuals cherish the arts. Having said that, I think that Wikipedia should begin an Artist of the Month program, whereby a nominated artist's article is rectified, brought to featured article standards, and pulled more towards the front pages of Wikipedia, via a link or small statement with a picture. ----Jwhites (talk)

You might want to propose this at Wikipedia:WikiProject Visual arts, or otherwise consider it for a feature of the Art portal. jnothman talk 23:12, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Peer review user contributions

Is there any system where a specific user, such as mine can make a request for a peer review of their work? I think this would be good because mistakes, persistent flaws and other editing imperfections can be corrected at the source instead of fixing individual errors on a page by page basis. - Shiftchange 09:26, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

An interesting concept, especially for new users, but I'd be surprised if people found it very interesting to do - few people have completely overlapping interests. Deco 09:36, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I think Shiftchange is referring to grammatical, technical, style and editorial judgements - if that's the case, then I concur, but I agree with Deco if you meant content accuracy review :) bigpinkthing 09:50, 9 February 2006
There is no such place right now. I would like to see it happen, however. You might suggest it at Wikipedia Talk:Boot Camp; the Boot Camp project is broadly intended to help people learn to edit and use the community structure effectively. +sj + 19:40, 9 February 2006 (UTC)


IMO Wikipedia's info pages have grown very unwieldy for anyone who wants to help with things a little deeper than just article content. Looking for well-grouped, simple information pertaining to the ins and outs of policy and guidelines is downright scary. Everything is scattered, and information that's not is bloated to to point of absurdity. Does anyone else think we need a "common knowledge" page where anyone can refer to at any time to find any piece of relatively mainsteram information about accepted WP practices and unspoken rules, etc.? This page would need to be extremely clean and provide information in a well-organized format. On a bloat scale from 1 to 10, Community Portal and VP would be somewhere in the 7-8 range, and this would preferably have to be in the 1-2 range. If we already have this, it should definitely be one of the first links in the Navigation box. Noclip 00:12, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I think Wikipedia:Five pillars and Wikipedia:List of policies are excellent pages that do much of what you ask. Wikipedia:Simplified Ruleset and Wikipedia:Wikipedia in eight words are other attempts. (I'm fond of Wikipedia:Policy trifecta myself.) Actually an overhaul of Help:Contents (which is linked from the Navigation box) is underway right now, and an associated Wikipedia:WikiProject Help to tidy the Help and Wikipedia namespaces was launched a couple of weeks ago -- I'm sure they'd be happy to have your help there. — Catherine\talk 02:49, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Australian character

Question: Is the famous Australian "tall poppy syndrome" merely the opposite of Australia's renowned "cultural cringe"?

Is this a proposal? --Golbez 05:59, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

No, the "cultural cringe" is an inferiority complex, the "tall poppy syndrome" is resenting the success of others. Quite possible to have both at once. Average Earthman 20:00, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Bayesian Classifier for contributions

Bayesian classification works very effectively for spam. A Bayesian classifier for contributions to Wikipedia could make it easier to more quickly detect edits which are highly likely to be reverted.

How would it work? Each revert would be automatically submitted to the Bayesian filter in order to train the filter to recognise edits that are likely to be reverted (for WHATEVER reason). New edits would be passed through the filter and classified according to their reversion probability. This could be used to compile a `revertability index' for each edit.

How could it be used? In the first instance the Bayesian filter's opinion could be indicated on the recent changes page to help flag edits in need of particular scrutiny. In the long term, if the filter proved as accurate as one might hope, then a more aggressive approach might be taken, whereby edits with a high revertability index would not be automatically implemented but would pass through a moderation process of some kind.

Note: Such an index would not pass any value judgement on the quality of an edit. It would simply judge its probability of being reverted. I would expect it to accurately flag all edits on both sides of an edit war, for example. This would have the effect of automatically calling attention to the dispute and possibly automatically invoking moderation procedures, not a bad thing in my opinion.

That's a really good idea. Difficult to implement, but I'd really like to see how it plays out. I can imagine a Recent Changes page with each edit colour coded. Likely vandalism would have a red background, while suspicious stuff would only have a yellow background, with a gradiant in-between. I suggest we do an offline trial of this with a training and test set. Deco 04:59, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
It is a very good idea. Another way of listing the frequently-reverted articles would be simply to do a database dump every couple of weeks, and list Wikipedia: Top 100 articles by number of reverts or similar. Grutness...wha? 05:18, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
The top 100 articles that Grutness refers to is pretty close to WP:MVP.-gadfium 07:40, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
A fairly subtle analyzer would be needed to provide useful input to any such clasifier. It would need to recognize the toopic, for example, and changes such as the addition of tags, presence or absence of references, adn the like. Also even if absolutely accurate, a high change of reversion could mean vandalism, or anb absolutely accurate commetn likely to be targeted by a PoV pusher. It would be interesting, but it wouldn't be simple to program. It would ahve soem server cost. Also to be at all sueful it would need to recognize non-rollback reverts, includign revrts to a version other than the just previous one. DES (talk) 15:58, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
You're right that ongoing training of the filter is a sticking point. However, if we give all registered users the rollback function (which is sort of like a current proposal), then rollbacks would be easy to identify and train on. Meanwhile we can guess from the edit summary pretty well. Deco 22:32, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
This idea is a good one. You could probably count edit summaries containg terms like "rv", "revert", etc. as reverts as well; there might be a few false positives, but they'd definitely be too small to seriously affect the algorithms. This seems very workable; the bot could just crawl through the recent changes RSS feed (or whatever the vandalism-catching bots use) and find the reverts, while at the same time using its past experience to determine which of the new edits are liable to be reverted. This information could then be fed to an IRC channel along the lines of the ones currently in use for the vandal-catching bots. Johnleemk | Talk 16:58, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
You want to talk to User:Gmaxwell, who has apparently done this a while ago. Lupin|talk|popups 14:52, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
We can't include ALL reverts: rollbak is made for vandalism (although it is often misused); "rvv" is a reversion of vandalism... But reversion of POV/OR additions should not be covered by the classifier, as these will be too topic-specific. jnothman talk 23:03, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Purge cache (Sidebar)

This can be very useful when the page you are browsing is not refreshing when you clear your cache. Hope you find this useful. --MarioJE 01:06, 10 February 2006 (UTC)


(the link ifself)



("purge cache" or something similar)

Purge cache


(at the bottom of the Sidebar)

** purge-url|purge

Show Last Editor's Comment When Editing

A simple proposal that the edit summary from the last edit gets included somewhere on any edit page, eg in grey at the bottom.

This would be useful for many reasons (particularly collaborative ones), but a specific reason is thus:

Often, if someone makes an edit, they will include as a summary "Changed X because of Y, see Z." Or similar. This message will only reach watchers of that pages - if someone else comes, they may be likely to be unaware of Y or Z, and thus may change X back. This is sometimes very tedious. -- Alfakim --  talk  14:40, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

If you're talking about reverting to an earlier version, you must go through the History page, so you see the edit summary. If you're talking about someone *actually* editing the page and changing it, well, the problem is what if the change was three edits back? In cases where something could be disputed but was already resolved, HTML comments, e.g. <!-- PLEASE SEE TALK PAGE AND DO NOT REMOVE --> can be used to notify prospective editors. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 20:27, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Contrast showers

Can someone write up an entry about contrast showers? It's apparently a method of detox or cleansing that involves alternating between hot and cold showers every few minutes. I was hoping to learn more from here only to be disappointed there exists no entry for "contrast showers".

Never have I ever come across such a wonderful site as this. Very informative. I found myself addicted to reading stuff for hours.

Thanks for the compliments. I just wrote a short article on the topic on Contrast showers. -- Chris 73 | Talk 08:39, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Protection against vandal images

Could there reasonably be a form of protection developed that only restricted the changiing of images in an article? For example, if someone added a new "Image:Something" that wan't there before, the edit just wouldn't take. Having an option like this could cut down on the worst vandalism on our main page FAs while still leaving them generally editable.--Pharos 01:22, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

An interesting proposal; keep in mind that the reciprocal would also have to be blocked, i.e. you can't remove image tags either. Because if you could, then a vandal could go in, remove them, then we'd have to wait for an admin to readd them. --Golbez 01:36, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Another and probably easier to implement alternative is to simply not allow very new accounts to upload images. Sort of permanently sprotect image uploads. It might be a too radical change, but it sure would solve this problem on FA's as well as image vandalism in general. And as an added bonus reduce the number of copyvio-images that new users in particaular tend to upload. Shanes 05:55, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Shanes, that's not the point. You don't have to upload pictures of penises; they're already on Wikipedia. That's what Pharos is proposing preventing, new images from being added to an article, not necessarily new images being uploaded. --Golbez 07:04, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
I think there is already an embargo on image uploads before someone made has some minimal number of edits. But whether that number should be raised or prospective uploaders otherwise educated is another matter; as Golbez says, there are already plenty of images appropriate for, say, gentitalia articles, that are mighty embarrassing on computer science articles.--Pharos 16:58, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, images are embedded in wikitext and can be transcluded through multiple levels of templates. This makes them very difficult to exclude, even if we wanted to. Deco 10:13, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
There would only be a couple of templates on any one article, and these could either be subst'd or easily "i-protected" as well and put in a temporary category. And I would not assume that vandals are always smarter than us; indeed experience shows that most of them are rather clueless– remember WP:BEANS--Pharos 16:58, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but sophisticated vandals such as Willy on Wheels vandalized templates transcluded onto the Main Page and Mediawiki messages. Also, I don't think it's much more obscene to replace an article with pictures of penises than it is to replace it with erotic stories or reams of profanity in all caps. Deco 00:40, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

A proposal that might eliminate 50% or more of vandalism

Dear fellow vandalism patrollers,
I've been involved on some cult related pages which it is my guess, probably suffer some of the highest rates of chronic vandalism within Wiki. The cult that I believe probably tops the list is Scientology, and related articles. I just did a review of the last 50 edits on the main Scientology article page. Of these last 50 edits, 14 were vandalism. This pattern of heavy vandalism by multiple seemingly random IP's at this page seems to possibly be an orchestrated strategy to encourage cult members to make frequent anonymous vandal attacks. Having thousands of members, obviously all they would need to do is to get a handful of volunteers to do this, and much key-pounding and frequent logins by vandal-patrol-editors become necessary in order to maintain any reasonable semblance of a good article there. Of the 14 vandalism edits, 12 were done via anonymous IP, and 2 were done by sock-puppets that had been created within the previous 20 days.

I have a humble proposal that I believe might be able to reduce the workload of vandal-patrolling by 50% or more.

Create a restriction on page editors, that could be called something like the Controversial material- editing restriction rule.

Then set this editing restriction up so that the only editors who will be permitted to edit these pages must:

  • Be registered.
  • Have been registered for at least one month.
  • Have at least 25 edits in their contributions file.

I know that all 14 of the recent vandal-edits the the Scientology page would have qualified for blocking under these rules. My guess is that probably at least 50% of these attempts would have been completely stopped, discouraging the prospective vandal from going through all of the trouble of jumping through all of the hoops, before doing the vandalizm. Perhaps even 90% or 95% would have been stopped, who knows?

Two further consideration about when such restrictions could be placed and/ or lifted.
(Please also note -and/ or comment on- the counter-proposal as discussed by Sherool and Scott P. in comment section below.)

For placing the restriction: Perhaps such a restriction could only be placed on pages for which:

  • Three or more editors had petitioned for such a restriction.
  • The article clearly showed at least a 1 month history of an average of one or more vandal-edits per day.
  • A discussion about the validity of the claim of such frequent vandalism was allowed for, that lasted 15 days, and which the outcome was that these vandalism-edits did indeed meet the criteria for frequency.

For removing the restriction: Perhaps such restrictions could only be removed by a special vote that required a 75% consensus vote.

I don't know. I am new to this page. Maybe this type of anti-vandalism measure has been proposed before. If so, still I would like to know why it hasn't been acted upon, and what others think about this proposal designed to cut down significantly on vandalism to high-vandalism types of articles, without significantly restricting access to serious editors.

Such suggestions have been made before, but there has always been disagreement about the specifics of implementation; who would write new software and what metrics would be used. I like to say of such recommendations : this sounds good, but rather than preventing anyone from editing, perhaps you can simply make it more difficult for them to edit. For instance, redirect them to the talk page, with polite instructions to post both the existing text and their suggested changes. +sj + 21:25, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Please let me know what you think about this by preceeding your comment with one of the following:

Neutral: or
Other/ reason:
(Note, before placing comment or vote, please review Other comment by Sherool, and followup comment by Scott P. below.)

Thanks for reading this,

-Scott P. 21:08, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

PS: I am not entirely familiar with what the software requirements would be to accomplish something like this, but if it appears that this proposal is met with a positive consensus here, I will promise to bring this proposal to Jimbo Wales' attention, and to make certain that the results of this interaction with Jimbo are reported here, whatever they might be. My sense is that it would probably be technically possible to do this, but might possibly be somewhat time consuming to write such a program.


  1. Not necessarily support, but don't instantly reject. Right now we only have "unprotected" (anyone can edit it) and "protected" (only admins can edit it). It's not necessarily unwiki to have an intermediate "semi-protected" status, where only "users in good standing" can edit it. It may or may not be a good idea, but it's not necessarily "unwiki" to suggest it. However the normal status for nearly all Wikipedia pages at nearly all times should be "unprotected", not "protected" or "semi-protected" (with perhaps a handful of exceptions like the Main Page... remember we permanently protect the Main page by necessity, no matter how "unwiki" this may be... many pages that are currently permanently protected could become "semi-protected" instead, which would be a good thing). Read this insightful article by Clay Shirky and remember what Wikipedia is not: it's not a democracy. Right now sock puppets and anon IPs are actually more powerful than registered users in any edit war because they're effectively immune from 3RR, and that's not a good thing. When an edit war flares up, users in good standing should at least be on a level playing field, and quite possibly ought to be at an advantage. Again, read the Clay Shirky article (the part about "core group" and "members vs. users"). -- Curps 22:43, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
  2. Support Wikipedia will never be a real encyclopaedia until it adopts and enforces encyclopaedic standards, and one of the steps necessary to achieve that is doing something to deter vandals, particularly cranks and cultists. There is nothing in this proposal which would prevent or deter genuine editors from editing articles, and therefore it does not contravene Wikipedia's open access principles. Adam 22:58, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
  3. Support I'm supporting this, even though I don't necessarily the right implementation. But it doesn't matter. What matters is supporting people like you trying to make a difference on the wiki. If you listen to some people around here, you'll hear stuff like "Vandals cant' just be banned outright has they have equal rights and may become valuable editors anytime" - Yeah right! As if the schoolkids who write 'cunt' on 16 different pages of the wiki will ever notice the err of their ways and become valuable editors. Ha! You, on the other hand, will probably be slammed by the wiki jihad who will remind you that 'edition of editing by anyone' is one of the 5 wiki pillars. What those people don't understand is that because the man-hours of good editors are limited, reverting vandalism actually HAS a cost - unlike what the propaganda says. Anyone who has ever tried to combat vandalism is probably familiar with the 16 consecutive revert dance, followed by unanswered complaints to a non-existent or overworked admin. Then the vandal notices your warning on this page and stalks you, or revert your edits to that very page (because vandals have rights, remember?) Finally, if you are still part of the wikipedia after your ordeal (during which you could have read a book or spent time with your kids), the admin may freeze the page, but very rarely blocks an IP for more than a few days (after which the vandal comes back if he hasn't already via a sockpuppet). Adidas 23:33, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
  4. Support in principle, with details TBD. The number of pages that would need some kind of guardianship would be very small, the "open to all" provision would not be compromised (hang around just a little while and you can touch anything) and articles that are now functionally damaged goods would rise in quality. I had a page I cared about which is subject to constant reverts, edits, sabotage etc. I now ignore it because I don't have time, and other pages have collaborative work by editors. That means the "shout them down" people are winning. Thanks for listening. Coll7 01:04, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
  5. Support. I don't see this proposal as creating even more restrictions to users, but as removing some restrictions. The "semi-protected" articles could replace many of the completely protected ones, giving a chance for non-vandals to clean up and article and still add to it without giving the responsibility of cleaning up an article to an admin. Because of this, an article may be semi-protected for a shorter time than if one were completely protected. These semi-protected pages would not be permanent, but in some cases could be. The Main Page could even become semi-protected giving even more credit to the anyone-can-edit philosophy. Zhatt 21:05, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  6. Support. I agree with Zhatt; it's more wiki to have some pages semi-protected long-term than to have them fully protected some of the time and constantly vandalized the rest of the time. And it isn't just cult articles like Scientology, it's articles on topics the immature find funny as well, like Homosexuality and Obesity. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 21:39, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  7. Support. Details TBD. No need to repeat all the good reasons given by others. Brandon39 12:27, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
  8. Support. Unfortunately, rules like this will become indispensable with the growing popularity of WP. Just no way around it. I foresee a time when a certain class of editor will need to be defined: not Admins, but sort of "known and trusted editors". Contributions/edits to certain articles by all users not in that class will have to be "submitted in advance" to an editor in that class who has assumed "oversight" duties for that article. JDG 22:10, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
  9. Support. It's better than any anti-vandalism idea I would have had. Since the controversial pages are the ones most vandalized, and since RUs don't vandalize (as much, since we can catch you guys), it will definitely cut down on vandalism. Better idea: Perhaps we could even restrict editing to RUs. Davidizer13 17:06, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
  10. Support. This will allow the trimming of vandalism. I imagine that some work will need to be done on determining when the semi-protection can start and how long it can last, but it will reduce the incidents of vandalism. --Habap 14:32, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
  11. Support For all the reasons stated above. DaGizza 08:34, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
  12. Support It's a good idea as an alternative to full blown protection. Agree with many points others have made too Nil Einne 15:27, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  13. Support Also, people should be required to provide their email address in order to be able to access pages under these restrictions. Asdquefty 16:46, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  14. Support - Together with WP:Semi-protection, it is a good way to keep Wikipedia manageable. JoJan 18:35, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  15. Support as long as only used for very heavily vandalised pages. Hopefully, this would also allow us to reduce the number of protected pages. Average Earthman 20:05, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  16. Support. The requirements are too stern. Why not just have it like the semi-protection policy (no anons, and users who have been members for a few days)? I still think it's a GREAT idea. Gflores Talk 02:33, 10 February 2006 (UTC)


  1. Strongly oppose: This proposal is in complete contravention of what Wikipedia is, and I don't think you will find many people who support it. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:11, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
    Zoe, could you point to any guidelines or policies that might support what you just said? It seems to me that Wikipedia is a place designed to encourage honesty, community, and the free flow of information. Vandalism opposes all of these things. It is true that such a rule might place some minor restriction on some of this, but just as some rules are necessary for the betterment of all, even if they sometimes do create minor inconvenience for some, I believe that the net effect of this would be to free many of us up to focus on real edits, creating a better flow of information, rather than having to concentrate so much on vandalism. Also, can I take it that you would oppose this? -Scott P. 21:16, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
    I would strongly oppose it. See Wikipedia:Five pillars: "Recognize that articles can be changed by anyone". User:Zoe|(talk) 21:40, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
    All but heavily vandalized pages could still be changed by anyone at the spur of the moment. Heavily vandalized pages could be changed by anyone with a little patience. That would be the only difference. No?-Scott P. 22:22, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
    Actually, it isn't against the concept of Wikipedia. It is similar to protected pages. This type of page protection just restricts some edits instead of all edits. Similar to page protection it can be for a restricted amount of time. - Tεxτurε 21:24, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
    I don't see the proposal as being temporary. It seems to be permanent unless there can be a 75% consensus to unprotect it. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:40, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
    Zoe, how would you feel if some less restrictive unlocking rule were used instead? -Scott P. 21:58, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
  2. Oppose: This is unwiki.—encephalonὲγκέφαλον  22:02, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
    The problem here is a fundamental one. It goes to the heart of what a wiki is. It is proposed that new registered users be barred from editing certain articles, through no fault of their own, for a month. A wiki simply does not work that way. It must virtually always be open to editing—page protection must be applied with the greatest reluctance, for the strongest of reasons (ie. concerted, unrelenting, continuous, damaging vandalism or edit warring), and for the shortest possible time. And it must be open to every good faith user—registered, anonymous, steward, newbie—one and all. The solution to vandalism is not to lock down pages from users. It is to fight the vandals.—encephalonὲγκέφαλον  22:57, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
  3. Oppose. Wikipedia is not a clique, and we should not support the formation of such. siafu 22:34, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
  4. Absolutely not! I have to oppose this for all of the above reasons. It would also initiate voting, which is not tolerable. And a consensus has little to do with a hard number. And it's simply unwiki. --Phroziac (talk) 00:16, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
  5. Noooooooo. There's absolutely no way I would support this- the point of Wikipedia is to be open. Most controversial pages are the ones anons/new users want to edit, and in many cases, the edits are _GOOD_. There's no need to create another block for users to edit. And, as Ryan Delaney says below, Jimbo will never let it happen (rightly so). Ral315 00:26, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
  6. Oppose in its current form. However, a similar temporary flag to be used as an alternative to full page protection and in the same fashion as existing page protection might be useful--a temporary flag that prevents all anons or users created after the protection was placed from editing the page. It shouldn't be placed on pages forever, though, just for a brief period on pages facing a specific persistant vandal, the way full protection is occasionally used against vandalism now... and the only time I'd support that is when the alternative is having the page protected completely just to stop one persistant vandal attacking it via socks. Aquillion 00:28, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
  7. Completely and Fundamentally Opposed This is a terrible idea. It is entirely against everything that makes Wikipedia daring and innovative. The whole idea of Wikipedia comes down to freedom of everyone to edit everything (with a few exceptions where it is impossible to maintain any kind of consistent quality without some limits.) This is why there is so much concern about keeping pages linked from the main page open to edit; it is our ideology. The implementation of this proposal would essentially cut Wikipedia out from under its knees.
  8. Opposed, but not due to any non-wikiness. Mostly because controversial often means little-known in a lot of ways, and one-off anon editors could also have a lot of value to put into those articles. --badlydrawnjeff (WP:MEME?) 17:16, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  9. Well-meant idea; opposed to it as currently presented. It makes sense to make it slightly harder for unknown users to contribute -- throttling the frequency with which they can edit certain pages, asking them to verify they are not a robot, or directing them to talk pages during an active controversy. It does not make sense to make certain articles entirely 'off-limits' to new editors, or to say to them "sorry, we don't want your input". +sj + 21:25, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  10. You are kidding, right? As someone who edits controversial material about Malaysian politics all the time, I can tell you that despite 90% of all anon edits being vandalism, I appreciate the 1 out of every 10 edits that contributes something to the article. This proposal essentially amounts to semi-protection for all controversial articles. THIS IS NOT HOW A WIKI WORKS. ANONYMOUS EDITING IS A NECESSARY EVIL. Johnleemk | Talk 09:17, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
  11. Strongly opposed Well-meaning concept, but would substantially reduce the differences between Wikipedia and any other online purveyor of information. We'd lose more editors by denying them the rush of the first-time edit to a topic they care about than could be justified by any reduction in vandalism. Anything that reduces the ability of new users to jump into the mix harms our ability to maintain a community. User:Adrian/zap2.js 09:31, 11 February 2006 (UTC)


Other Comments

  • If the same rules that apply to "regular" page blocking now where applied then I think it would be a good idea. It could be the first line of defence against vandals. Temporarily block anonymous users and very young (think a month is a bit long though, maybe use the same rules that apply for accessing the "move" feature) registered acounts only from editing for a brief period rather than blocking everyone like we do now. That way vandal blocks would be less intrusive for normal contributors, while still very effective against your average vandal. I do however not agree that all controversial pages should have this installed as a permanent measure. Strictly on a case by case basis just like page blocking works now. --Sherool 22:19, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
    Thanks for that idea Sherool. I think everyone agrees that Wiki's current page locking policy is beneficial. How about if we had a rule that said that if the vandalism-edits clearly exceeded 1 vandalism edit per day, for 1 week, then the restriction could be applied for 1 week (and if abused, could be removed prematurely by a sysop)? Would you support this? -Scott P. 22:32, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
      • Well as I said I think it would make a good alternative to the current "full block" protection we currently use, but I rely don't think we should apply it much more liberaly than we currently are. One or two vandalism-edits per day is not realy that much of a problem on an active article, and a week sounds a bit long. IMHO the first goal should be to get such a limited block feature actualy implemented into the software and then use it instead of regular page blocking (as a first resort anyway). If it works out we can discuss the finer points of when to use it and for how long at a later date. --Sherool 23:21, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose, Undecided. I think it's a good idea, but the problem is that it has an unintended side effect: namely, a group of devoted people who wanted to prevent anons from editing some pages might then vandalize some pages with the intent of getting this sort of block placed. I don't think we want to give people an additional motivation to vandalize. If this concern can be addressed somehow I would strongly support. Colin M. 22:47, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
You think anti-vandals will suddenly vandalize pages in order to get them semi-protected? Are they doing this now, when they can get full protection by being enough of a bother? I don't think that people who are anti-vandals would find it worth their time to game the system this way. Of course, with billions of potential editors, it is possible that someone besides you would think of this. --Habap 14:35, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
  • This is against the will of Jimbo, so this whole vote is pointless. It will never be implemented, regardless of the result of this straw poll --Ryan Delaney talk 00:19, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
    I know that Jimbo wants Wiki to be available to all users. But he also wants 3 revert rule violators to cool off with a lock. Do you know for sure that he doesn't want vandals to cool off at all? -Scott P. 00:46, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
  • While I agree that in the context of making decisions and setting policy for the community, it is important to differentiate between user account holders (for whom there is at least a somewhat accountable record) "in good standing", and anonymous or new users, this solution would institutionalize the idea that anonymous and new contributors are not as worthy as other users as editors. I don't see a way reconcile that conclusion with the spirit of wikipedia and 5P. siafu 00:29, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
    I think the right implementation would be to set a bar for "good standing" which any well-meaning editor could meet in a matter of minutes. I do not think that requiring a few minutes of non-controversial contribution is in any way against the spirit of 5P. +sj + 21:25, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  • While I think that this proposal would make certain Wikipedia articles better, on the whole quality would suffer Makenji-san 23:16, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I'm sure I've seen related proposals to give admins the additional power to "intermediate-protect" a page, as a less restrictive option than "protect". The problem with that was that if you merely excluded anonymous users, you encouraged vandals to sign up and vandalize, which is slightly harder to spot, and wastes account names. And a "good standing" criterion to get around that is a whole big nasty kettle of fish. Rd232 20:42, 16 October 2005 (UTC)
    • The obvious fix to that is to make it apply to users who had thier first edit after the protection started. Ofc this may encourage account stockpiling as our old friend willy does now for page moveing. Plugwash 01:05, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
      • The original proposal mentioned that only users that have been registered for at least one month and have at least 25 edits in their contributions would be able to work on these semi-protected pages. I believe that minimum number of contributions may need to be a bit higher (~100-500), but that should be able to remove the account stockpiling side of things. Zhatt 21:55, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Maybe we should redirect some vandals to Uncyclopedia. That site is pure vandalism (and very fun, too!). Davidizer13 22:10, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Deciding policy is beyond the scope of Vandalism in progress, so I've moved the page to the Village pump. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 17:10, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

From College Paper to Wiki?

There's a nearly infinite number of term papers being submitted in college that get read only by the professor and the n thrown away. What if a system was created for having professors assign topics that are needed for wikipaedia, so after they are marked they could be integrated in the project? The professor could have every student select a username, and the article could be locked until the professor has marked it to make sure that no one modifies it. For example a botany professor could assign each student a couple of species to write the paper on, and that would mean 30 articles or so per class, per semester. This would help 'recycle' the tremendous amounts of time wasted on papers only one person ever reads. Obviously this could be organized in various ways depending on constraints. For example contributing to wikipedia could be an extra activity for bonus points. Sensitizing college professors to the issue could yeld tremendous benefits. Redfax 13:35, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

They'd have to be created in userspace (i.e User:Foo/My article), and comply with our no original research and neutral point of view policies. If there's anyone willing to put in the effort to ensure such compliance, then go for it. Johnleemk | Talk 13:40, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
That is essentially the problem: college papers tend to present theses, not to summarise existing knowledge. User:Fuzheado does something like this with his students, but he's working in a specialist area which is amenable to encyclopedic writing. Markyour words 14:44, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
This is already been done at several universities, to some success. Please see Wikipedia:School and University Projects. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 17:52, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I personally recommend that school papers get posted to your userpage or a subpage thereof, and links added to the talk pages of relevant articles. Interested contributors can extract and fix up information from the paper. You can do this with practically any document (well, as long as the people on MFD don't get to you). Deco 23:43, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Analogies to understand Disciplines

An analogy can be used to understand a concept. For example, transistor be explained using the concept of handpump. Wikipedia contains a lot of terms belonging to different fields/disciplines of Science, Engg, Arts. And I am sure people who are not experts in the field/discipline can understand them using analogies. If we could contribute by adding analogies that really made sense, it would be really great. In this fashion we can help build our understanding across different fields/discipline in less time.

Deleting replaced fairuse orphans quicker

I've suggested we allow admins to delete promptly (on-sight, not 7-days) nonfree orphaned fairuse images, if an adequate free image is in place. Please discuss at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion#fairuse replaced: should they be speedied faster?. --Rob 04:43, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Frank Ticheli Page

Hello. I am new to the editing aspect of Wikipedia, so I apologize if this sounds dumb. I was looking through the encyclopedia, and I discovered that it lacks a page for the great American composer Frank Ticheli. Now, I have tried to look into the Wikipedia rules, and I think this page is perfectly inoffensive. Ticheli is very well known (in fact, my all-district honor band just preformed a piece by him earlier today...), he has numerous pieces out, and just about every band director I know has at least three of his pieces. So, if it's not too much to ask, can I or someone else please write a page for him? I think it would greatly benefit the Encyclopedia.

Thank You

-- 03:04, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Ah, how would I not know him (our regions band and my high school have played his American Elegy! And Wikipedia, it seems, knows him too: Frank Ticheli. P.S. It seems that something real hokey was going on a few minutes ago as when I checked the first time Ticheli didn't exist. Ah well. — Ambush Commander(Talk) 03:18, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Oh! Good! Thank you! I was rather frightened when I didn't see it. (By the way, American Elegy is probably the most beautiful piece ever. My brother's All-state band played it (with him as the conductor) two years ago, and they even sang the Columbine School Song (which ticheli wrote) beforehand. I must say... there wasn't a dry eye in the audience.)

Anyway, thanks again! Sorry for the confusion.. -- 03:21, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Unanswered Questions

I am sure most regular users would have had the experience of asking a question on a talk page, and receiving no answer for a long time (in some cases, never). The answer would in most cases be known to someone who doesn't happen to have that particular article on their watchlist. Would it be possible to automatically copy all talk page questions that haven't been answered for, say, 2 weeks, into a common "Unanswered Questions" page where everyone can have a go? Eg. the regular contributors to the Reference Desk are full of never-ending knowledge about, well, just about everything, and would welcome the opportunity for almost unlimited ego-gratification (all in a good cause, of course). Why not bring the questions to them? JackofOz 02:24, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

I believe a really good solution to this would only be possible as part of the proposed conversion of talk pages to a message board format (which I think is a good idea anyway). Then there could be forums that automatically view unanswered posts from talk page forums, without any forking or other issues associated with copying of content. Also, if we were to do this now, any attempt to determine what's a reply to what by parsing wikitext would be a nightmare to implement and occasionally wrong. Deco 02:28, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Penis vandal

I want to see if anyone can identify penis vandals; namely, vandals who put a picture of a penis in a Wikipedia article. I want to know if anyone can create a template for penis vandals' talk pages. Georgia guy 01:16, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

This is much too specific a vandalism to create a template for. This falls under the more useful broad umbrella of "obvious vandalism". Deco 02:07, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
How is it too specific?? I think it is so common among kinds of vandalism that I think it deserves a template of its own. Georgia guy 02:07, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Wouldn't it become a badge of honour? Your average adolescent male would see a template like that and think, can I have one too... JackyR 02:16, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
{{bv}} and {{bv-n}}. Johnleemk | Talk 06:10, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
WP:BEANS. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:31, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Change election standards?

I have been looking at some of these elections, and emphasis is mostly put on number of edits and such. It just kind of bothers me that that seems like the determining factor of being elected admin, etc. Maybe some users just don't know enough to make that many edits, such as myself, but are useful in other ways such as settling disputes. I have been watching the arbitrator position elections for a while, and it seems to me that the best people for the job aren't getting elected because of their edits. But the way candidates with few edits conduct themselves around Wikipedia seems better than those elected on the basis of their edits. I don't know, maybe there should be a distinction.Osbus 02:14, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

What you're referring to is called "editcountitis". Editcount is one factor taken into consideration at RFA, sure, but it is far from the only one. The reason for it being a factor at all is that when voting for an admin, we need to be sure that the candidate understands all the features of Wikipedia and is confident and competent in its use. If a person only has a small number of edits, and all in one space, hen there's no way of guaranteeing that. If you look at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Standards, you'll see that many regular voters a AFD have set standards that cover a large number of different factors. Vrtually none of those standards listed have editcount as the only - or even the main - determining factor. Grutness...wha? 21:04, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

New user talk page template

I don't know where I need to be to propose a new user talk page template (or if this is covered by WP:BOLD), so I'll do it here. I regularly patrol Recent Changes and Category:Candidates for speedy deletion, and I come across a lot of recreations of deleted articles. I have a feeling that in many cases, the creation was a test or an error by a confused newbie. They create an article, upon returning they see that it has been deleted, don't know what is going on and recreate the article thinking there may have been a technical glitch. Many recreations are currently treated as vandalism. I believe that we need a softer notice for probable newbies, telling them that an article they have created has been deleted, and that they shouldn't recreate the article, but have to go to Deletion Review instead and plead for the article's merits there. Aecis Mr. Mojo risin' 22:08, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I should be bold, so that we can see the proposed wording and maybe use it ourselves! Physchim62 (talk) 02:28, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
    • The wording I had in mind is something like this: "You have recently created the article <name>. This was deleted in accordance with Wikipedia's deletion policies. Please do not recreate the article. If you disagree with the article's deletion, please go to Wikipedia:Deletion review and plead for the article there." Aecis Mr. Mojo risin' 08:41, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Something like {{Recreated}}, for example? (I edited the wording a little). Physchim62 (talk) 23:16, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

I've tried to use the template on User talk:Hindol, who had recreated Robbie van Leeuwen, but the name of the article didn't show up in the message. I've looked at other templates, and they have a colon in front of where the page name goes. I added the colon to the template, but that didn't help either. Aecis Mr. Mojo risin' 18:42, 14 February 2006 (UTC)


I've created Wikipedia:Don't panic in response to the recent handling of the user_pedophile template incident. It is a proposal for a guideline and I request comment as to whether or not it should be adopted. The shortcut I have suggested for it is WP:PANIC, and I hope that it can be a tool to help identify and stop quickly developing and emotionally charged incidents in the future. The current form is embyronic, of course, and if the community decides it can be of use, I hope you will all help develop it further. Best regards, CHAIRBOY () 19:00, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I really like it. --unforgettableid | talk to me 22:46, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
It's really good - but how long do you think it'll be before someone suggests putting a link to it in big friendly letters on the main page? Grutness...wha? 08:10, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Would that be a bad thing? These collective panics (Kelly Martin's RFC, the user_pedophile template, et al) are really getting tiresome Cynical 18:32, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

==Safety precautions== __WARNING__

or some such thing, the icon would appear both in the heading itself and its ToC entry, and the latter might appear in bold or highlighted in some other way. This would draw attention to those sections needed to protect users' personal, family or property safety, without being a disclaimer template. Of similar benefit would be making it appear near the link to Wikipedia:General disclaimer and following the example of the French Wikipedia in moving said disclaimer link to the top screen (a more conspicuous place). Seahen 03:00, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Warning icon for headings

I propose that a small warning icon, such as Nuvola apps important.svg (which has the benefit of being scalable Nuvola apps important.svgNuvola apps important.svgNuvola apps important.svgNuvola apps important.svgNuvola apps important.svg with the browser font), be available for addition to specially designated headings. If someone typed a heading

Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion/Patch

My proposals (please respond/discuss/vote on sub page so as not to disrupt regular discussion here)
  1. I am quite satisfied with the m:9/11 wiki move proposal argument style and I propose it here for all deletions.
  2. I also propose the merging of Wikipedia:Requested moves and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion (Articles for deletion). Perhaps a system that takes care of both moves (renames), deletion and keeps would be more productive.
    • Articles for deletion is misleading, this is not a page where only deletions are determined. Many (if not most) end up as keep or move/rename as well as delete. Also the process is more like a vote which is easily infested by "vote only accounts" and other nonsense

--Cool CatTalk|@ 02:06, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

You are welcome to make alternative proposals. Also please explain why you support or oppose a particular view point. --Cool CatTalk|@ 02:06, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Article Webs

I sent this message to Wikipedia's email before I knew about this proposals board. Now that I know where to put it, I thought someone might be interested in trying to accomplish this with the articles.

  I have been glancing through pages on Wikipedia for the last few weeks and 
  it is igniting inquiry for every possible subject related to the main topic 
  Im looking at.  I thought it would be a nice feature to make a link that 
  presents an entire web of every link in an article and its related topics so 
  that they would pop-up in order in printable versions, with each closing of 
  one window initiating the next window to open.  Of course someone might get 
  caught in a web too large to tackle at once so there would need to be a 
  "terminate chain" link somewhere on each page to stop it.  And also, if you 
  could make a cookie that would allow them to resume the chain later, Im sure 
  that would be appreciated as well.  I figure since Wikipedia is a free 
  encyclopedia it might as well be useable offline as one.  And this way, the 
  user would be getting just what they wanted and nothing extra that was 
  useless to them.

I also looked through some of the Wikibooks, they kind of touch on this idea just because of the fact that they encompass all of one subject and dont go too far away into further-defining links of other words in the article. But it still doesn't quite give the simplicity of just reeling off a full, in-depth definition of one full subject in the few minutes that it takes for your printer to get it all done.
You mean you want Wikipedia to become an electronic Memex that prints the content of associative trails as hard copy? I'm not sure that's a good idea. Laptops and electronic paper are going to become ridiculously cheap in the next five years in the First World, so printing hard copy of Wikipedia will become less and less of an issue. As for developing countries, the last time I checked, there has been a lot of talk about a special offline paper version of Wikipedia for such audiences. --Coolcaesar 02:22, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Well it doesn't have to be printed out, it could display online. There are connection mapping tools like this and they are very handy to visually see the links a topic has. Think of the music map thing that by default shows two links deep, and clicking on another moves the center of the map to that artist. It would be a useful visualization tool, but like any other good idea is unlikely to be implemented unless someone steps forward with the code. - Taxman Talk 17:02, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Auto-Detect Capitals Mistakes in Search

When I search for, say "George bush", if there wasn't a redirect then I might get a "this page doesn't exist" message because the page is actually at "George Bush". In most cases you'll get a search result that has "George Bush" with 100% relevancy, but there ARE some cases in which bad capitalisation leads to an all out red link.
When I search for something, and when anyone searches for something, chances are they will type it in all lowercase. So the suggestion is this: that if an article can't be found, the engine automatically looks for alternative capitalisations - if there is one, then it goes straight there.
So if you searched "emperor foo", it would also check "Emperor foo", "emperor Foo", and "Emperor Foo" before telling you there's no such page. -- Alfakim -- talk 14:40, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
We have a system in place for this: Category:Redirects for alternative capitalisation. I believe that programming a system like this would be unfeasible, but you can always take it to Bugzilla if you're willing to defend your proposal against possible problems (such as disambiguating between two articles spelled the same with different capitalizations). — Ambush Commander(Talk) 20:46, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

This would probably entail storing and indexing capitalization-normalized versions of every page name. This wouldn't be too hard on the database, but it would certainly require a not-insignificant amount of effort to code. If it were done, however, pages like EBay could drop the damn capital at last.

This would probably be more noticed by coders if you posted it at Village pump (technical). No doubt there's a long-standing Bugzilla request for this. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 04:30, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

World Knowledge Base

had an idea for the editors of wiki
googled for the concept of a World Knowledge Base. Nothing there. > > World knowledge base is kind of a generalized idea about a compliation of all info about all subjects on the planet. Kind of like how our civiliazion has developed to the current state. i.e. what does free speech or freedom mean. how the people on a beach should know to run when the tide goes out. How to make widgets. whatever. an informal concept about all knowledge on the planet. The knowledge base is being developed on wiki and google and yahoo and other sites there is just no concept found by searching that describes the effort being accomplished. For instance when you call a help desk for MS Word (if you can reach them) the help desk has a knowledge base about word. So there is now being developed a World Knowledge Base that describes everything. There is just no searchable page on google or wiki or sites that describes the concept.
Wold knowledge base does not does not reside at any single location but is available through spoken, written, and internet exchange of information - at least so far.. > > If you choose to add the concept I am certain someone can do a much better job > of writing the description - I just had the concept.
We have an article on knowledge base. Superm401 - Talk 04:13, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

See also World Brain, Project Xanadu, etc. Intellectuals have been musing over variations of that idea since at least the 1930s (and maybe even the 1910s if one includes Paul Otlet). --Coolcaesar 02:11, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Soft redirects internal to article space

There are a number of redirects around (I forget specific examples) where it might not be entirely obvious to the user why they are being redirected (particularly if the connection is explained "below the fold", since we can't redirect to sections), or if there is more than one sensible redirect target. Example: Grant Naylor. This refers to the joint work of two people, though we can't really redirect to one or the other. Since their work together is more than simply Red Dwarf, we can't point at that (though this would be yet another example of a confusing redirect). The nature of the case also means that it's not really a dab page either. It wouldn't be a stub, because there's little more to say than is already on the pages on the people referred to (Rob Grant and Doug Naylor).
Thus, I propose that in cases such as this, we have a "soft redirect"-like mechanism for doing cross references such as these which aren't strictly dab entries, and when the reason for a redirect might not be obvious. Thoughts? 02:53, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

A proposal for simple "no image loading" preference on Wikimedia related sites

Note: This proposal is not about content filtering but simple user definable image load, no load settings.
After doing a cursory perusal of this proposal Wiki area, I could not find a similar proposal however if my following proposal has already been made please do direct me to it!
On a number of sites on the web it is possible to have a user defined user experience relative to these sites. For example most search engines have a type of 'Safe Search' where once activated allows the engine to censor out certain material that certain individuals would find disagreeable (ie: to block pornography,or for parents who want to restrict what content their children see). While I do not find such functionality useful in my own use of the web I can appreciate why such functionality exists.
Lately as I'm sure many of you are aware of there has been much vandalism by certain individuals regarding the display of the caricatures depicting Muhammad in the Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons_controversy. In the discussion area for that topic some who have provided thoughtful input regarding this issue, have proposed making 'activate image' links on that particular article with the images being 'invisible' by default. This has been overwhelming opposed (thankfully in my opinion) by the majority of editors who have voted about this issue. Others have wondered if the images could be censored so as not to alienate Muslim contributors (to me, a sensible question). Of course the images have been vandalized hundreds (if not thousands) of times already. What this has lead me to wonder is if WikiMedia could put in place a simple (one click) link (or button) that any person using the sites could click to disable the loading of images for that session? And possibly an actual preference item to disable image loading?
Outside of this current controversy (and plenty of others I'm sure) it seems to make sense to me to have such functionality for those wanting to do research on sensitive image oriented topics in public places (like cyber-cafes, libraries, in classes, etc).
Now I am quite aware that most visitors have the option to disable image loading for a given browser, however for those in public places using publicly accesible computers (and the technically challenged) it can be a bit difficult (or even impossible on restricted systems) to do so.
Does such an idea make sense?
-Scott Stevenson
Netscott 21:01, 15 February 2006 (UTC) <-- signature got deleted with poll.. heh
For further clarification on this proposal I'm adding this code below which would appear in a small and discreet way perhaps under a user's name in the upper right hand corner of any page (under Username | my talk | my preferences | etc. | etc.) (which granted would look nothing like the final UI) but just for clarification:
<font="-1">Image loading is: ON, Turn OFF?

<font="-1">Image loading is: OFF, Turn On?

Netscott 01:05, 16 February 2006 (UTC)


I've removed the voting sections. Let's discuss first before blindly voting (see also m:voting is evil). --cesarb 19:57, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Now that I removed them (with only one edit conflict this time): yes, it has already been beaten to death before. The result has always been "your browser has an option to disable images, use it". For a particularly evil similar proposal, see Wikipedia:Toby. --cesarb 20:00, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Many computers are set so that you cannot alter the browser settings, like at kiosks or in libraries. --Golbez 20:46, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Let's admit something, for many of those Geeky people editing and using Wikipedia (meaning a large number of us) disabling images is a no-brainer... but to the average person on most browser configurations of today such a change in preferences isn't evident. Also when using publicly accessible computers it isn't always obvious (or in many cases even possible on preference disabled systems) to disable image loading... whereas a solution like this would be 'universal'. Am I wrong? Netscott
Many of those Geeky people also probably would like to see the rendered MathML on the math articles. Turning of images in the browser is an effective way to kill them as well... TERdON 23:41, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Geeky people can understand the TeX markup, which show up as the alternate text when an image is disabled, so it's not that big of a problem . --cesarb 00:05, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
I support this idea as well, I have no problem letting users have an option in their own little console which allows them to enable or disable images, possibly even "offensive" images but that might require more work than it is worth. Disabling images in general however makes more sense on just an "offense" scale, it can help those on dial-up load pages even faster and speed up browsing and server load as well. I do not support putting any type of warning on pages though, "viewer" modification only, not wikipedia wide. -Moocats 20:35, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I support this, however, I do not support having a vote for it at this time. Discussion is always required before a vote. --Golbez 19:55, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • The objection to tagging offensive content has always been that this is a subjective discussion. For instance consider nudity; you may want to tag as offensive any image featuring any nudity, but does that include an image of Michaelangelo's David? So for instance you say only photographic nude image should be filtered, but there are some fairly explicite line drawings of sexual acts on Wikipedia pages that are relevent to the context. Its opening a can of worms. The only way to protect children from inappropriate image is to not allow them to surf alone, thats a plain and simple solution that works better than anything technological. --Neo 00:39, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Sorry Neo, did you actually read the proposal?? Netscott 00:41, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Babelfish Translations

Recently I stumbled upon the article Anthem of Uzbek SSR. It featured a Russian language version of the anthem but without any translation to English. I used Altavista's Babelfish and added the incomplete Russian-to-English translation to the article. I also added the following note in the article right above the translation:
This is an incomplete automated translation done using Altavista's Babelfish. You can help Wikipedia by fixing the inaccurate parts.
Is this something that could be useful as a template? Are there any other articles that could use similar Babelfish translations? --Michalis Famelis 10:08, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
I would suggest machine translations are extremely unreliable, and we should never put text directly from them in article (except possibly an article about machine translation itself). I could see posting a translation in a talk page or something, maybe, for discussion purposes, but never in an article. --Rob 10:29, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
But can't we use machine translations while clearly notifying the reader of their unreliability? Even an unreliable translation is more informative than no translation at all, isn't it? It could be like a stub warning or a factual accuracy warning, and the machine translation only stays there until someone goes on and actually fixes it. --Michalis Famelis 10:48, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I beleive/recall some translation sites let you link directly to the translated version of the page. So, that provides the needed information for the user. The danger of posting the text in the article, is machine translations aren't just slightly bad, they often say the exact opposite of what they're supposed to. Also, factual dispute tags are a bad analogy, as you should only use those for things you think shouldn't have been put in the article in the first place (but somebody else has done so, and might have a reason you don't know of). --Rob 11:02, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Using the example you gave, compare the machine with the person. Its not simply a matter of bad English, but the meaning itself has been lost. I am unable to say if the human translation is a good one, but I definately know the machine one is bad. So, when you say "Even an unreliable translation is more informative than no translation at all", I disagree. I think in some cases we would be misinforming people, which is worse to than saying nothing. --Rob 11:16, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Even translations by people are not always that good - see English as she is spoke. -- ALoan (Talk) 12:26, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

The translation projects strongly feel that machine translations should never be used in articles. At best they could be used as a start on the talk page or a subpage. They often miss the meaning pretty badly. - Taxman Talk 21:33, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

The machine translation for the Uzbek SSR anthem was really bad, I removed it. Many words, even common words like partiya ([Communist] party) and put' (path, way) weren't even translated, just transliterated. Gibberish is unencyclopedic, it just doesn't belong here. -- Curps 22:07, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Even the word i (meaning "and") and v (in) were transliterated as "I" and "V" !!! -- Curps 22:11, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Added an external link to a somewhat better English translation. -- Curps 22:19, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
I would like to see all Babelfish translations deleted on sight. People don't seem to like to clean them up: look at Category:Rough translations, say, at Kocher Valley Bridge. Some of these pages were Babelfished from other Wikipedias. I guess if people had submitted a translation request at WP:TIE instead of dumping this stuff here, we would have better articles on these topics now. Most translators seem to rather prefer translating from scratch to cleaning up the complete nonsense the Babelfish produces. Kusma (討論) 22:27, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Now, that's what I should have heard from the start. I didn't even know there was a Translation Project. Thanks for the tip guys. --Michalis Famelis 00:40, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
One problem with Babelfish translations is that often a human translator can't determine the intended meaning from the Babelfish translation. Access to the original source is absolutely necessary. Assuming you provide this, I don't have a huge problem as long as the translation has been looked over to edit out anything totally bizarre. Deco 05:20, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the other comments, but word for word translations are awful whether they are done by machines or humans, such as someone looking up words in a dictionary. This is because words usually don't have the same meaning in each language and words are placed in different places in the sentence depending on the language. The degree of the variation depends on the word used and in some cases there is no satisfactory replacement. In addition to being an approximation, both of the words usually have more than one meaning depending on how they are used. This can result in the true meaning being misunderstood or may give the translation a different meaning than intended. Which is more likely to occur depends on the whether the translator is more or less familiar with the language being translated than he or she is with the other language. Also, idioms cannot be directly translated and must be replaced with a very similar idiom from the other language or a phrase with an equivalent meaning. For these reasons, text that is translated word for word may not be understandable, have a different meaning or be a mixture of both. In most cases, such as literature and letters, it is better to translate one sentence at a time, using the rest of the text for context. Once the text's meaning is determined, it should be expressed in an unambiguous, elegant manner in the other language. The best translations read as if they were written in that language originally. Poor translations are choppy, ambiguous, translate idioms literally and don't make use of idioms when they are less awkward than a literal phrase. -- Kjkolb 01:39, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Classification of articles

Wikipedia is growing by the second (just click recent changes), but we've got a lot of rubbish in among the features and the useful. Just recently, we've had the little star added to the top right of featured articles. Although some have reservations about this little self-referential icon, I believe that such things could help keep Wikipedia goal oriented — encourage to write more, better articles. I believe that Wikipedia could benefit from having its articles graded into a small number of classes based on their content. At the top, we would have the featured articles, continuing to demand high criteria for inclusion. At the bottom, we would have a new class of sub-standard articles, the contents of which could go one of two ways: improvement or deletion. Into this bottom category would fall all articles tagged for clean-up or non-neutral point of view, as well as those listed for deletion. All articles that meet certain basic standards would be standard articles and sit a step above the non-standard. This could be the default for all articles: we would have to demote them to sub-standard. Once an article is resting comfortably in the standard category, it could be listed to be promoted to good article status. We already have good articles, but we could with a simple, clear process for promoting standard articles to good articles (probably based on fairly loose criteria). Then, if candidacy for featured status was dependant on having already gained good-article status, we would have a simple ladder of quality control. I believe that such a system would not create too much bureaucracy, but would help marshal our contents more effectively. If we need little icons, we could have bronze/silver/gold stars (back to school), one/two/three stars or different Pokémons! Here come the nice bullet points:
  • Featured articles — high criteria, not given lightly
  • Good articles — good, all-round articles that we can be proud of, yet aren't quite as good as they could be
  • Standard articles — stuff that doesn't make us howl acronyms (AFD, POV)
  • Sub-standard articles — stuff that does

What do you think? --Gareth Hughes 20:13, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand. How is that different from what we already have? Markyour words 21:25, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Gareth proposes that each of these categories of articles be marked with an icon in the corner appropriate to that category.
As to the proposal, I there would be a lot of unnecessary effort in classifying. The distinction between good and standard is also quite hard to draw, although, I know, there are already markers for good articles. It also makes it more effort to add "acronym" tags, because we have to change the icon. Finally, there are some good articles on controversial topics that are occasionally, if not permanently, given POV/disputed tags.
I don't think the icons should be different coloured stars. FACs already have the symbol of the star with a corner removed and I think this would be a good symbol to use for good/FAC articles. The others, I'm not sure. jnothman talk 23:09, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm not really so keen on the icons, but more on the process of improving articles. Currently, only a tiny proportion of articles have featured status, and I would like to see a more obvious staircase up which articles can climb towards featured status. At the moment, we have al sorts of ways to mark our disagreements with articles, but no way to say 'this is an article with which no one can disagree'. I feel that's the first step, the next is that hard-to-define 'goodness' level, on the way to featured status. Saying that the English Wikipedia has just under a million articles is impressive, but I would like to be able to put a number on quality as well. The random article test (click through random articles to see what you get) can be very depressing. --Gareth Hughes 00:40, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
You may be interested in Wikipedia:Stable versions, currently undergoing discussion and experimentation. Deco 10:33, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Some WikiProjects already do this, for example Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemicals/Worklist. Physchim62 (talk) 14:52, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

The discussion at stable versions is along these lines, but seems to focus on the top end of the spectrum: it's about getting the best articles into print. The system at WikiProject Chemicals/Organization is closer to what I am suggesting: it classifies the entire gammut of articles by quality as a means to their improvement. The featured-article system is good, as it gives us a clear definition of quality. I believe that it would be good to have a graded system of quality definitions that covered the entire project. --Gareth Hughes 16:11, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Not exactly. It's more a process for creating alternate versions of articles that are stable, reliable, and have been fact-checked. It can be applied at all levels equally well. Deco 00:41, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Maybe a star system; five-star articles are featured, one-star articles are sub-stubs.--Keycard (talk) 09:56, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
No, classification of articles in Wikipedia is bad. We shouldn't make the reader unconfortable when he reads a "one-star" article and make him trust blindly wikipedia when he reads a "five-stars" article. Stars judge articles on their quality, whereas stub status is put according to the content. And besides WP:FA there's no "formal" status or categorisation of articles in Wikipedia "regulated" by WP:FAC and WP:FARC. If we put the stars system, any user will classify articles according to his likes and dislikes, whereas featured articles are chosen by vote and discussion, that's why it may be the only category where a star should be allowed. CG 13:58, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
How useful is a categorization when the already in use "Featured Article" category has contained un-cited, false or defaming information? Yes, I'm refering to the Portugese tsunami page, for one. A number of articles, including that one, I have looked at have no indication in the page history as to whoposted the initial information, so you can't even go to their user page to (possibly) see info regarding credibility or to their talk page to ask Where did you get this? 16:48, 18 February 2006 (UTC) (I somehow got logged out; I'm EllenT)

Talk Page Edit Message

There is currently a debate about including wikitext similar to Template:talkheader on MediaWiki:Talkpagetext. This would result in the template appearing on every talk page edit screen. Please comment at MediaWiki talk:Talkpagetext, not here. Superm401 - Talk 04:18, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Sockpuppet restriction

Could we make it so IP's that have created 2 sockpuppets cannot register new accounts? - RoyBoy 800 04:50, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Which would screw a huge number of would-be Wikipedians who make edits from behind large-user-number proxies such as schools, universities etc. Cynical 08:38, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
The Help Desk mailing list (when it existed) was constantly getting complaints from AOL users that they couldn't create accounts because there is a 10-user limit on IP addresses, and AOL accounts were always butting up against that limit. User:Zoe|(talk) 19:30, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia Secular or Religious?

This question needs to be addressed in policy. Although NPOV policy covers the fringe this debate, it does not cover the secular bias VS religious bias nuance. And when there is no applicable policy, edit wars generally ensue. Editors involved get frustrated, admin has to weigh in and make a decision viewed as arbitrary. Nobody is happy. It simply would save a lot of our time if there was a policy stating that wikipedia takes no religious stance.--Colle|File:Locatecolle.gif|Talk-- 06:48, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
NPOV does cover it, and, yes, Wikipedia takes no religious stance. Equally, Wikipedia takes no secular stance, either. That's the essence of the NPOV policy: Wikipedia doesn't take any "stance" on disputed issues; it just documents the different opinions people have about topics. — Matt Crypto 06:54, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
That is the theory in it. I'm saying the NPOV theory is not working in nuanced cases. I'm looking at HOW an article is written. It is obviously standard to write from a secular pov, and cite religious views when appropriate, even the most religious editors generally follow this. Right now there is nothing (other then our common sense) stopping someone from re-writing the theory of evolution as a conspiracy thoery (to take this to an extreme). There needs to be some policy that backs up the secular scientific reality, and save us all from future headaces. I'm not saying there should be a policy that says wikipedia is secular, but there just needs to be something confirming that it is not religious.--Colle|File:Locatecolle.gif|Talk-- 07:09, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Can you provide an example of where NPOV doesn't work? Perhaps the expanded community can offer some alternate suggestions without deciding whether secularism or religion is correct, a decision slightly outside of the scope of the project. - CHAIRBOY () 07:15, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
When speaking of secularism and religion in writing, there is no 'none of the above.' To keep this out of the projects scope is to simply ignore it. Yes, I am confident the admins are usually able to deal with individual problems, but it rarely is in a positive manner (as I have outlined in my preamble). I can understand a lack of willingness to address this concern, but it will keep on popping up. What do you say to an editor that calls "secular bias?" Pretend it's not there? --Colle|File:Locatecolle.gif|Talk-- 08:57, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Any other opinions on this?--Colle|File:Locatecolle.gif|Talk-- 03:19, 17 February 2006 (UTC)(re-added 05:38, 17 February 2006 (UTC))

No article should contain an unsourced or original claim assuming the truth or falsity of any claim made by a religion. A large proportion of editors have a secular bias, so you'll naturally see that emerge in our articles, but if you see any obvious secular bias (like say, "in an inconsistent theory, you can derive any false statement, including the existence of God"), try to edit it out. Deco 07:40, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Attracting contributions from older, highly qualified people

I'm a retired chemical engineer with a 55-year career in designing, commissioning and operating petroleum refineries, petrochemical plants, natural gas treating plants, and similar industrial plants in the USA, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa. Most of my career was spent in the USA and in England. I have written two published engineering text books and I am a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
I am not trying to boast about my accomplishments, but my career experience is pertinent to what I want to say here.
About 2-3 weeks ago, I decided to contribute some of my knowledge to the Wikipedia, so I submitted some articles. Before doing so, I spent about 2-3 days reading the Help, the how-to use Wiki markup language, the how-to use TeX math markup, the Wiki style guidelines, etc. The amount of material available to read was completely overwhelming. And, in my opinion, most of that available material was way over the head of a newcomer, unless the newcomer was a computer guru. In fact, most of that learning material seemed to be written by computer gurus for reading by computer gurus rather than by newcomers wanting to learn.
Other than a welcome letter posted to my User Talk page, nobody stepped up to offer help or guidance on how to get started. In effect, I was expected to have learned how to start a page, how to format it in Wiki markup, how to use TeX to create math formulas, and to be completely conversant with the Wiki style guidelines when I submitted my first article. That would have taken weeks to do.
So I did my very best (and I am quite comfortable with HTML which I used rather than Wiki markup) and I submitted some articles. Within a short time, some administrators not only did major edits of my articles but I was also criticized for using HTML for my text and for my formulas. I was also criticized for using .jpg graphics for some of my formulas and for one of my tables because they were not in the spirit of the Wiki collaboration methodology.
I admit that most of the criticisms were completely justified. However, in most cases, what was lacking was any discussion or explanation of most of the edits and criticisms despite the fact that I took great pains to ask for explanations on the Talk page for the articles I contributed. With a few notable exceptions, none of the editors and critics responded to my asking for explanations and for help. In fact, my articles were twice posted with Cleanup Needed tags ... but no explanation or help offered on what needed cleanup and how to do it. The only way I even knew who had posted those tags was by looking in the History pages. It seems to me that common courtesy would have been to at least explain on the Talk pages why the tags were posted and by whom ... and perhaps to offer some help on how to comply.
If you want contributed knowledge from older, experienced people, you must find a better way than expecting them to spend weeks learning how to create and format contributions. Here is what I suggest:
  • Get some of your best volunteer administrators to become person-to-person editing helpers for newcomers.

  • On the Main Wiki page, clearly invite newcomers to submit articles written either in Microsoft Word or in HTML.

  • If the person-to-person editing helpers agree that the article is worthwhile, then they completely Wikify the submission and have it reviewed by the submitter. When both the submitter and the editor have agreed on the final version, then publish it on the Wiki.

Before rejecting this proposal out of hand, just ask yourselves how would you handle a submitter who was a Nobel prize winner and who did not want to spend weeks learning how to Wikify a submission.
Which is most important to you? Is it the substantive quality of the published material on the Wiki or is it getting everyone to become experts in Wikifying an article before they make their very first submission?
mbeychok 07:31, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Although you're absolutely right that we should have done more to help teach you and answer your questions, please don't think your contributions are unwelcome. Even if you were a user who uses no markup, no links, and uploads all sorts of images in the wrong format, you would still be valuable to us, because any contributor on here can fix up an article - not all of us can write about advanced chemical engineering. Although talk page comments can sometimes be strongly worded, we really only intend it to be friendly advice, and you are not obligated to follow it. We appreciate your feedback and I hope you'll stay.
As for doing something about improving the user experience for people like you, I think part of the problem is that it's hard to identify users who really have something to offer and need our help. Maybe if we made more of an effort to learn a little about all our new users and their experience it would help us to direct this effort better. Thanks again. Deco 09:00, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, in all fairness, we rarely get competent people willing and capable of contributing in arcane areas such as advanced mathematics (which require learning LaTeX and all that) -- and wikimarkup is fairly easy to learn. It's sort of a chicken and egg thing, really. People won't make room to accomodate people who know their stuff but need some guidance unless such people are coming in droves. :{ Johnleemk | Talk 09:38, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

It should be noted that there is now a way that newcomers can ask for help. The standard help template (Template:Welcome) explains that if a user places {{helpme}} on their talk page, someone should show up to provide assistance. Jacoplane 09:44, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

My experience differs somewhat, but still points to a problem in bringing in new editors. The last 20 years of my career involved supporting computers, and I have a lot of experience in working in on-line forums, so I was fairly comfortable starting in Wikipedia. Nevertheless, after six months I'm still finding policies, guidelines and resources I didn't realize existed.
The "welcoming" processed is flawed. There has been some recent discussion about the impersonal nature of slapping a "welcome" template on a new editor's talk page, sort of the equivalent of the Welcome Wagon throwing a basket at your front door as it drives by. In my case, I never have been "welcomed", although after 6 months, 4700+ edits, 65+ images uploaded and 80+ articles and 7 categories created, I don't think I need to be welcomed now.
I have found individual editors and admins very helpful when I've asked for advice, and occassionally have received useful responses to questions on talk pages. It is true, however, that talk pages are often black holes. I suspect too many editors like to slap a template on an article and move on, never to look at the article again. If I put a template on an article, it stays on my watchlist, and usually goes on my suspense list (although I have trouble finding time to get back to it). -- Dalbury(Talk) 12:23, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
On this related "newbies" point, I, too, found it difficult to discover all of the policies and guidleines. After two years, and a modest but reasonably active editorial career on WP (working mainly on a core of maybe 40-50 related articles), I only began delving into the "behind-the-scenes" intricacies after what I saw as a ridiculously poor article featured on the front page. That lead me to WP:FAC, and so on, which included not only the various processes, but having to gain a MUCH greater familiarity with the policies and guidelines that should inform editing (WP:NPOV, WP:NOR, WP:V, WP:NOT, and maybe a dozen more CORE guideance pages). Had I known more about these in a practical way earlier, my editing work would have been different, probably somewhat more focussed. The larger point is, one finds "consensus" for significant things (like FAs) established, it seems, by relative handfuls of people (5, 10, 30, 50), and my suspicion is that it's not for lack of interest, but simply because many people really don't know. Until you get plunged into something, editing in WP can seem to be in a bit of a vacuum, where you're unaware of Stable versions debates, guideline changes, and all sorts of other things that interested me as an editor first. A more informed editor is a more committed and responsible one, it would seem. It'd be nice to have a "this is how WP works" summary right on sign-up; if one exists, I haven't seen it... --Tsavage 18:07, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
The appearence of the learning material seeming to be written by computer gurus for reading by computer gurus is not really an appearence — it's true, and an unfortunate reflection of the systemic bias caused by the fact that the initial contributors to Wikipedia mostly came from a formal or informal Computer Science background. The main obstacle to making it better is that, by the time you know enough about how it works to enhance the documentation, you aren't bothered by it anymore. There are projects to enhance the documentation, but I haven't seen much change. Also, the documentation is helplessly fragmented into a large number of pages, making it harder to find what you are looking for. --cesarb 17:47, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Exploding Wales

Recently, Jimbo Wales de-adminned several users for their participation in a wheel war concerning a userbox that claimed its user was a pedophile, clearly an example of dark humor. Among these was Radiant!, who attempted to uphold policy by unblocking the creator of the userbox. Radiant! left the project on February 7.
We've seen on numerous occasions that Jimbo simply does not have the requisite respect for the community for a social project of Wikipedia's size, nor sufficient respect for the core values of the project (witness, for example, his editing to Jimbo Wales). I think we need to reassess the saying "Wikipedia is not a democracy". We have no recourse against people with too much power going off the hook. That needs to change. ᓛᖁ♀ 05:56, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do, short of forking. Jimbo runs the Foundation which runs the servers. (I've already blabbered on about this on my talk page and the talk page of the proposed decision in the pedophile userbox case, so I'm not about to repeat myself here anymore than necessary.) Johnleemk | Talk 08:10, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Minor correction. Jimbo did not desysop Radiant!. He did 'reprimand' him for removing the block, but also later apologized for doing so. Unfortunately, by that time Radiant! had apparently already left. --CBDunkerson 22:48, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

This unhappy event is not alone. For example, User:Weyes and User:Rl left after getting besmirched in RfA. Simply, those people who devote lot of time and dedication to Wikipedia need to be treated with utmost respect. Danger of being misunderstood and mistreated on electronic medium is very high. That's quite normal for human nature. Pavel Vozenilek 23:05, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't think Jimbo's ultimate veto powers are written into any Wikimedia governing documents, but I could be wrong. De facto, the arbcom has upheld that he does have them. If the board truly felt Jimbo's actions were not in the best interests of the Foundation's goals, they could remove his rights as they deemed necessary. You could take up whatever petition you felt necessary to gain support for having the board take such an action. I just think you'll find very weak if any significant support for it and the process would liekly be a net negative for the community and for the project's goals. Overall the biggest miss in your comments above is in thinking that the social project is the important part. We are an encyclopedia and that takes precedence. Diseminating free information is the goal, not having a social project. - Taxman Talk 23:36, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

But it is a social project. Without the community, the encyclopedia would not exist, and could not progress. ᓛᖁ♀ 00:29, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes it takes people to accomplish important things. But I would ask you to consider if your current actions are the best thing that you could be doing to build and strengthen the community to meet the project's goals. Is building dissent helpful, or would time be better spent knowing that while people are flawed and will make mistakes, overall they can still be doing the right thing. - Taxman Talk 04:03, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't always agree with Jimbo's actions, but I can't think of anyone who could does what he does better. If we did start to become more of a democracy then the project would become very difficult, I couldn't see that working at all. Martin 23:42, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

As far as I'm aware, only the English Wikipedia is under his direct control. The projects in other languages seem to have done fine without his influence. What essential work does he do within en:? I'm not necessarily saying someone else should do what he does in dealing with the outside world, but the level of authority he's given within the project seems to be a mistake. ᓛᖁ♀ 00:29, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

The only Wikipedia comparable to the English one is the German Wikipedia, and it is operated by a cabal with powers delegated from Jimbo. Most other wikis are sufficiently small that they can run themselves; the English Wikipedia is unique in that its consensus mechanisms have not scaled with the size of the community, ocasionally leading to impasses. There's also the fact that the English Wikipedia is the most well-known one, which thus forces the Foundation to devote much of its time to it. (Because, believe it or not, what goes on in here has a lot of effect on what people think about us.) Don't get me wrong. I'm not a Jimbo sycophant. I think he fucked up WRT Radiant, and I think he's capable of fucking up further in the future. But I haven't seen any other way to butt in and handle the tough problems the community can't tackle alone (cases in point: the autofellatio controversy, appointing the arbcom, and more recently, the pedo case -- yes, Jimbo fucked up WRT Radiant, but he did the right thing by desysoping the most egregrious wheel warriors). Johnleemk | Talk 06:18, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

It's a fact of life on the Internet that He Who Sits at the Keyboard makes the rules. He could voluntarily restrict his power, but he could also voluntarily expand it again. Our only real recourse is to fork, and the damage would be irreversible - just look at Wikinfo's article count (35,000). It would also simply place us at the behest of a new hardware owner, and also sacrifice our access to the valuable Wikipedia name, logo, and Google rank. I think most of his actions have been either quite positive or at least not so bad - for now I'm willing to stick things out and I hope everyone else will too. Deco 02:15, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

But if enough of the Wikipedia community threaten to leave the project unless Jimbo does, then hopefully he would listen to our grievances Cynical 18:36, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

And what are your grievances? Or are you throwing him out just for the heck of it? Johnleemk | Talk 18:41, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Making major policy changes without any community discussion (see CSD T1), pressurising the ArbCom not to take action against admins who delete out-of-process, de-sysopping people (and driving others from the project) for upholding policy. Cynical 19:12, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Ok, and the major policy change has affected us detrimentally *how*? (Oh, yes, I agree it has been abused by some -- but so have a lot of other policies.) Just because Jimbo pushed it through without discussion doesn't automatically make it bad. If you ask for a more general "consultation with the community", I'd agree, yes, this principle is good -- there have been cases where people not subscribed to the mailing list were almost totally in the dark WRT policy changes. And again, if the out-of-process deletions were bad, where's the proof? If the net effect of the out-of-process deletion is to reduce the crap we have here, then it's good. And honestly -- I don't see why anyone should care that a pedophile userbox was deleted. A vast majority of userboxes have never been touched by the "deletionists". And kindly point out where Jimbo has desysoped people for upholding policy (and why this particular action here was bad). Last time I checked, it wasn't policy that people have a right to self-expression on their userpage. (WP:USER has loads of exceptions, and presumably Jimbo was pointing out one of those in this case.) Nor was it policy to call for the banning of all self-identified pedophiles from Wikipedia (nor to block them). Neither is it policy to indefinitely block people who have committed the aforementioned actions. The only action I think you could be alluding to is Jimbo's desysoping of Karmafist for wheel warring with him, but I don't see where Karmafist upheld policy. Johnleemk | Talk 19:26, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I believe Cynical was referencing the desysoping of people who had engaged in the pedophile wheel war, some of whom merely unblocked users who were blocked out of process, if I recall correctly. I think the idea was to nip the whole war in the bud, but it was quite a drastic action. I oppose CSD T1, on the basis of it not being sufficiently objective, but not Jimbo's right to create such a policy if he so chooses - I just hope as its danger becomes evident that the community will come to a consensus to remove it. Deco 20:41, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Precisely. If people haven't broken any rules (and are simply seeking to counteract bullying and vandalism [lets give out-of-process blocks and deletions a more accurate name]) then they shouldn't be blocked, period. Cynical 08:36, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

(shifting indent back) As I've argued before, I think Jimbo's actions were justified, if overly drastic. We all make mistakes, and this definitely could have been handled better (as Jimbo has admitted himself). Jimbo's actions were not unilateral either; he consulted with the arbcom before blocking/desysoping anyone. And the rules don't apply to Jimbo, because it's his webservers running this project; when necessary, he makes the law and is not necessarily subject to it. (Compare with Crown immunity in the United Kingdom.) Of course, that doesn't make it wrong to criticise him or his actions. However, do bear in mind that userboxes and wheel warring (and/or some combination of the two) are the most explosive issues in the Wikipedia: namespace right now. I think Joeyramoney was the straw that broke the camel's back, even if he didn't mean to. Jimbo unblocked him as soon as he could confirm Joey meant no harm, and left the issue of desysoped admins to the arbcom, since the situation had calmed down. However, at the time of his actions, the wheel war was still raging. I think Jimbo's actions are understandable, if not entirely condonable. After all, userboxes and wheel warring have been two most hotly discussed issues over the past month or two, and scandals related to them seem to break every other day or so, so as I said, Joey was probably just the straw that broke the camel's back. Johnleemk | Talk 15:19, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

breaking limits


I think wikimedia is still too limited due to lack of financial resources. There is a new idea that I believe it could help solving that problem. If you're interested in helping developing it, consider taking a look at wiki mark.
--Cacumer 07:46, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
This seems to just be a poor "markating" scheme itself. JHMM13 (T | C) 22:55, 19 February 2006 (UTC)


I also believe there are some good solutions to solve technical issues for every day usage of mediawiki growing up in wikipedia. Ideas such garbage collection should already have been applied to wikimedia because it could help to solve most dispute issues, by applying a baby steps mathematics to the software. We could find no new name on internet for it just yet.
--Cacumer 07:46, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't really understand any of your ideas. Deco 08:39, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Nor me, you'll have to explain much more clearly what you're saying - Adrian Pingstone 10:11, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Neither do I, in fact, it looks dangerously close to patent nonsense (of the second type) to me. Also, the so-called "new idea" is already on AfD. --cesarb 15:55, 19 February 2006 (UTC)


I introduce to you: Template:Dict. -- Zondor 07:13, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Bohold, Cryptic reverted your edits -- template "Dict" is now just a redirect to to template "Move to Wiktionary". Your version is available in the history. I can't comment on your version because I'm not sure what it's supposed to do... it says "this is... a list of articles with titles that [are also] Wiktionary entries". Why a list? Where might this template be used? Herostratus 12:59, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Complexity Relevance (Voting)

Recently I've been browsing mathematical terms' entries, and it's accentuated something I've thought about before to the point of me digging out this section of WP.
Many entries on WP are highly technical - which is great; repository of knowledge and all that... But if I want to understand the basics of something, often the first paragraph, there are so many links to referenced terms (in the interests of brevity for experts I guess) that I have to choose between spending a couple of hours with my head approaching detonation (because the problem is recursive) or just taking what little I can, knowing that a much more basic (although, perhaps a little longer) introduction would have given me much more and what I wanted.
I offer 'polynomial' as today's example.
The issue I want to raise is one of feedback - sure, I could add to the few comments in the discussion page with a 'me too' - but I'd be doing that for a number of maths and other pages - and what would it mean? Who would really care? Those looking to add definitions are involved in the subject, more interested in providing deeper, not shallower description.
I wonder how many other visitors to expert-intolerant pages feel the same as me? How would anyone know?
If there was, whether on the main page or on the discussion page, an option to indicate (whether on a sliding scale or not) an easy way for those coming to the entry to say 'less expert definition PLEASE!' then it would be possible to gauge the importance (to the caring experts) or providing a more simple or a more expert sub-entry, based on the experiences of those visiting that entry.
Some pages have the 'This entry is in need of attention by a subject expert' tag, but never is there a 'This entry is need of attention by a subject expert with a knack for explaining things to the plebs' tag...
So that's it - give us plebs a way to easily indicate a desire to understand the topic more readily, and I suspect the experts, appreciative of the interest, will try to accommodate. At the moment, they have no way of knowing what the interest level (and hence worth) of adding decomplexifying examples and definitions might be.
(NB: WikiExperts, please feel free to edit / enhance text above for conformity) --Jaymax 01:08, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
The templates you're looking for are {{technical}} and {{technical (expert)}}. There's a project to address this issue — WikiProject:General Audience. We also have a very controversial style guide at Wikipedia:Make technical articles accessible. A lot of people agree that accessibility is a useful goal, but what isn't agreed on is how to achieve that. ᓛᖁ♀ 01:12, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I am personally interested in adding more intuitive explanations to many mathematical topics and other technical topics. The only problem is that making complex things simple without creating a misleading or blatantly incorrect impression is really hard. I've seen some articles do an excellent job of this, though - give it time. :-) Deco 02:19, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
There are some topics that need both an elementary and an advanced treatment and it's difficult for an article to do both. Sometimes a reasonable solution is to link to Wikibooks in the intro paragraph (see Limit (mathematics)). Other times it's reasonable to have separate intro and expert articles (there are some examples that I'm not remembering right now). In general I think editors of these articles should try to keep the non-expert and experts sections separate where possible. For some articles (Étale cohomology) no real nontechnical explanation is possible but there should still be a sentence or two mentioning what subject area the topic comes from. Most math articles I've seen (including that one) do a reasonable job of this. Phr 19:54, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Autoblock on inactive new accounts

New account formation is currently running at over 250 per hour (that's faster than new page creation). Many of these are surely dormant accounts for future trolling/sockpuppeting/vandalism. Would it be possible to autoblock a new account which has not been used for editing after, say 72 hours? Physchim62 (talk) 02:32, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
That's a lot of accounts. Has there been an increase lately? I would be cautious in blocking such accounts. Once someone realizes that that happens, they will just make an edit after creating each account. Also, some people are overly cautious when first signing up and may not may an edit for a little while, or they could sign up one day after exploring and then either not come back to Wikipedia for a couple of days or not even go online for a couple of days. -- Kjkolb 03:34, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Blocking would probably upset some legitimate users. Would it be reasonable to simply delete these accounts if they haven't been used to log in for a month? ᓛᖁ♀ 03:18, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Note that some idle accounts serve a legitimate purpose, for example for reserving a username for a pending username change, or for preemptive protection against Doppelgangers (Wikipedia:Doppelganger). However, both of these really have better potential solutions in the software. Deco 03:52, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Doppelgangers shouldn't have to worry about blocked accounts, and usernames which are "reserved" for a username change (I'm not sure that's really encouraged) could be unblocked when needed. I'm not sure how deleting the accounts would be any less upsetting than blocking them... Physchim62 (talk) 00:36, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

A lot of sites do expire inactive accounts eventually. I think people wouldn't be surprised if an account they'd never used disappeared. If they decided they wanted the account, it'd be easy for them to recreate it. ᓛᖁ♀ 00:53, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Click here to see the current rate of new account creation! Physchim62 (talk) 00:39, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Whilst I agree inactive accounts should expire after some time, 72 hours seems far too short a time. I did not make an edit with my account for several weeks after signing up for it, and probably wouldn't have if I had been blocked without doing anything. Chairman S. 10:10, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Not all people use accounts for editing. Some people use accounts just to be able to change the preferences (for instance, the skin). So, blocking accounts just because they don't edit is completely inappropriate. --cesarb 15:49, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
How about blocking accounts that have not made a single edit for a time period equal to the period one is required so that they can edit semi-protected pages? And of course warning every user that creates a new account about this! --Michalis Famelis 21:18, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I occasionally use non-English wikis and forks (mostly to enter the interwiki links). I can edit something on a Japanese or Georgian wiki only once a half-year, but still would be upset if somebody would block my account there. If we suspect that somebody could create dormant accounts for a sock farm able to circumvent the semiprotection and/or suffrage, can we do the other way around and count only the "active time" that is like 1 day around an edit. Thus, if I appear on a Japanese wiki only twice in my wikilife, then my experience there is two days despite the first edit been around 7 months ago. It would mean that I can not edit sprotected articles and vote there, that I think is fair. This way there would be not much use in creating dormant accounts for the sinister purposes abakharev 07:51, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
I think that requiring them to make edits is silly - but why not require at least one subsequent login in the next few days? Michael Ralston 04:47, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
That's a reasonable idea. Also, looking at WP:AIV it's obvious there are blocks of accounts made by vandals. Maybe a software patch could detect when a block of accounts gets created by a small cluster of IP addresses, and flag that cluster for admin review. Phr 19:25, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

A subsequent login test would fail as some folks never logout. hydnjo talk 19:38, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Editing feature

I just moved to a new computer and accidentally made a few changes without logging in. I propose that every attempt to edit by someone not logged in results in them being presented with the option to log in, create a new account or continue on anonymously. Hackwrench 23:19, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Support. I've had a simmilar exeperience. This would not stop people from editing as an IP but still give new users the idea that they can become a member easily. Also it wouldn't be intrusive. Witty lama 09:49, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Strong Support. This has been something that has bothered me since I started using Wikipedia. The problem is significantly worse when you sign on a talk page with tildes and end up signing with a IP on accident. Noneloud 04:10, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

It's a good idea, but I imagine it would become very irritating for anonymous users to have to click a "continue anonymous editing" option every time they edited. — Knowledge Seeker 04:28, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Support. To avoid that irritation, let the anonymous user check a box "continue anonymous editing" and store the results in the cookie. If the would be editor wants to edit anonymously, she only has to say so once. Hiyya54 20:51, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
But what if the user is posting anonymously because he/she doesn't want to / can't use cookies? 23:40, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Support, with the option to turn off the login page as Hiyya54 suggests. Hairy Dude 00:34, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Support (and strongly) - but not without the checkbox. --Celestianpower háblame 12:03, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Support but let the login fields be above the edit box, so you don't have to click extra. This will be a strong enough reminder for people, but not intrusive. Cookies is evil. --vidarlo 21:26, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Support, very strongly, as Celestianpower. -b 19:55, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Support only if the checkbox feature is implemented. тəті 05:45, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Support - as above -Chairman S. 22:51, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Strongly support, brilliant idea, this gets me all the time -- SAMIR ! Talk 10:20, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Strongly Support, I'm all for registering to make edits. This is a great comprise to hopefully cut back on vandals and keep post counts more accurate. Pattersonc(Talk) 12:37 AM, Monday; January 30 2006 (EST)
Support Strongly' Its happened to me. --Larsinio 16:14, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Suport this would be helpful, and unexpected logouts do seem to happen with significant frequency. But ther would need to be an easy way for an anon to respond once and not again for that sesson, or at elast a significant time -- intil a "not-logged-in" cookie expired, perhaps? Is this on bugzilla yet? DES (talk) 16:28, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Logged as Bugzilla bug #4841 express your support on bugzilla. DES (talk) 16:37, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Support! --Cool CatTalk|@ 16:49, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Strong oppose - I don't see a current problem. If you accidentally edit unregistered (as just happened to me), it's not that big of a deal. You can always go back and re-sign. This would present significant problems to those unregistered users who don't have cookies enabled; we're making life harder for them. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 16:55, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
The rather tame patch that's been commited to CVS just gives a warning above the edit box when editing anonymously. Lupin|talk|popups 01:41, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Support with the cookie-disable option Hiyya54 suggested. As for people that don't have cookies enabled, I don't see why the vast majority of Wikipedians should be without the benefit of this feature to make life a little easier for people that have disabled standard functions in their browser Cynical 12:43, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Strong Oppose: the idea of wikipedia is for it to be easy for anyone to edit anytime. Editing will get tedious and people will do it less if they are forced to log on. Just like how you lose interest in a site (or at least heave a sigh) when you click a link and it says "You need an account! Join here!". Secondarily there is no big advantage to having all edits nonanonymous. However, when you edit something without being logged in, it should give you an automatically off checkbox beside "watch this page" which reads "sign me in" - if the box is checked when you save, it goes through a login first.-- Alfakim --  talk  14:59, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Support. All the problems can probably be solved by setting a hidden variable on the edit page for logged-in users. If the login expires before the form is submitted, the variable can trigger a re-login. There's no need to affect anonymous users or use cookies. ᓛᖁ♀ 16:07, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Oppose - this would just make life hard for anons. Maybe a box like below could be above the editing box, instead:

--Keycard (talk) 09:47, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
Oppose The highest priority should be to make editing as easy as possible. Logged in users should learn to look for the "minor edit" checkbox. (If it's not present then you forgot to log in.) --PeR 18:46, 19 February 2006 (UTC)


I'm not sure if this has been posted here or not, but discussion on it has died down recently, so please check out WP:DFA. Thanks :) — Ilyanep (Talk) 21:46, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Place "edit current" link in warning about not editing current?

I've just seen that the text displayed when editing a version of a page other than the current version has been changed; it now links the word "removed" to Wikipedia:Reverting and it's also in a very visible red-pink box. Well, I think this is a good idea, since from experience it was all too possible to miss the old notice when it was displayed. However, what about also extending the text to include a link to the edit page for the current revision? Perhaps change the text from:
You are editing a prior version of this page. If you save it, any changes made since this version will be removed.

to something like:
You are editing a prior version of this page. If you save it, any changes made since this version will be removed. If you want to edit the current revision instead, click here.

Here would of course have to be different for whatever the name of the page being edited was, but I can't picture that being too much of a strain on the server -- less so than if the user has to first load the current revision, then click the edit button on that page. -- Antaeus Feldspar 02:42, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Please see the discussion here: MediaWiki talk:Editingold regarding the message (also note the announcement above on this page). xaosflux Talk/CVU 02:59, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Editingold proposal

A few editors have expressed an interest in making this notice more visible, please see the current version at [MediaWiki:Editingold]] and a proposed version at MediaWiki talk:Editingold. Please comment at the talk page. xaosflux Talk/CVU 03:11, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Only slightly related: Would it make sense to force or at least suggest an automatic edit summary that contains "edited old version" whenever you do that? Kusma (討論) 18:08, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

  • The new box has been implemented. Please report any issues at the Talk Page. Kusma, that sounds like a good idea, looking in to it more. xaosflux Talk/CVU 01:19, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Shortcut to this page

Please see The Talk Page regarding this prop. xaosflux Talk/CVU 04:02, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the info User:Flcelloguy, I've added the shortcut box to the top of this page. xaosflux Talk/CVU 02:29, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

1,000,000 articles

Will it be any milestone commemoration to mark 1 million articles reaching achievement? :) Brandmeister 16:07, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
  • As of this time, there are less than 19,000 articles to go before this exciting number. I'm trying to see if I can find out the actual day for this number. Georgia guy 18:04, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
    [1] and [2] might be of use for this. Kevin Baastalk 18:31, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
    Assuming an exponential growth, and using the data from [3], using 10 samples from dec 2002 to dec 2005, I calculated that the article count on day x equals the article count on day (x-1) times 1.002035629... Thus, at 981.388k articles at about 1pm on Feb. 19th, I calculate that wikipedia will reach 1,000,000 articles on March 1st. (999.5k on feb 28th 1pm, 1001.5k on march 1st 1pm) Kevin Baastalk 19:03, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
    Scratch that, 7pm on feb 28th. But activity is peeks at about 6pm, so i'm going to skew that to 6pm Feb 28th, that's Central Standard Time (GMT -06:00). Kevin Baastalk 19:22, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
    Using 26 samples from [4] Dec 2003 to January 2006, resulting in a day-multiplier of 1.002110584..., starting at 1:30 on Jan 19th, I calculate reaching 1,000,000 articles at 11am on Feb 28th, again, (GMT -0:600). Kevin Baastalk 19:45, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Don't forget to expect a brief surge of articles as soon as we get within spitting distance of 1m; I wouldn't be surprised if a few editors have a couple of dozen short articles drafted and ready to post to give them a good shot at getting page #1,000,000... Shimgray | talk | 20:32, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Yeah I got a few articles ready to go for one million --Jaranda wat's sup 04:33, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

I've refined my calculations: I weighted each month's multiplicative difference (month x+1 / month x) by an exponentially increasing factor (*1.01 per month), to take into account logarithmic decay in informativeness, and started at the sample closest to the predicted end time of day (1:00pm), to compensate for variances throughout the day. My refined estimate comes to 12:00pm. At that time there's about 86 new articles an hour. So depending on how big one considers that surge to be, one can make their own adjustments. Kevin Baastalk 20:54, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
On closer analysis, there's an anomaly in the monthly difference of the natural log of the article count, on feb. and march of 2004:

Wiki-diff ln month count.JPG
And before then, that quantity is consistently lower. So I've refined my calculations to use only data past march 2004 (starting april 2004). This puts the arrival time much later, at around 6pm on Feb 28th. Kevin Baastalk 21:39, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
With activity generally peaking around 6:00, and an expectation of a surge in article count around 1m, I'm willing to gamble $50 on 17:25 +/- 15 minutes (GMT -06:00). Kevin Baastalk 22:17, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
So anyway, getting back to the initial question, what sort of "ceremony" will happen at 1,000,000? Great work on all this extrapolation, Kevin, and I don't think it really matters if you use AM, PM, 24hr, or a sun dial. JHMM13 (T | C) 22:53, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure we'll put a banner up, but that's about it. Probably some press releases too (as if anyone would resspond to them at this point, there has been way too much news about wiki as of late). Do you have any suggestions? BrokenSegue 05:06, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Doesn't look like there's going to be a press release unless some people decide to go start one. Wikipedia:Press releases would be the place to coordinate it at. Though I'm sure hitting 1 million articles is going to get picked up in the press whether we have a press release or not. - Taxman Talk 19:27, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Kevin: I don't want to be a dick, but I think you should use 24-hour clock instead of 12-hour clock. AzaToth 22:23, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
Let's stop it at 999,999 and ruminate. Lotsofissues 06:11, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
I heartily endorse this idea. - Randwicked Alex B 13:54, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Gollum skin

I stumbled across Gollum, the Wikipedia browser, a simplified AJAX-ified interface to Wikipedia. It presents the user with a very basic but functional interface - to demo it, go here and select the big blue "Start Gollum browser" button on the right.
On the website the author says
In my opinion the interface of Wikipedia is too overloaded and confusing. [5]

I'm inclined to agree that our interface is a nightmare for newcomers, and I like this approach. We should be able to easily mimic the simplified interface with a skin, and the AJAX stuff (which seems to amount to a Google-suggest style search box) can come later. Is a Gollum skin a good idea? Lupin|talk|popups 14:47, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Inclusion of Hindi as a language in Wikipedia

For the benefit of hindi-speaking people all over the internet I suggest that Hindi should also be included as a language.
Not just that by including Hindi, a lot of information about Indian scriptures and culture can be made available to the wikipedians.
I think what you want is already here. Or maybe I misunerstood your request. --Rob 13:28, 25 February 2006 (UTC)


Should portals have Today's featured article as today Main Page does have. I am asking this question because i created Today's featured article for Portal:India and done work very deeply in this. But Wikipedia administration is going for deletion all these articles. Is it feasible? I need your feedback. Please help to save these articles from deletion. -- Shyam (T/C) 11:49, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Should portals have Today's featured article as today Main Page does have. They can, but it's not mandatory. But Wikipedia administration is going for deletion all these articles. There's no need for a whole separate process for this. I mean, Indian featured lists? If you want to feature an article on the main page, you don't need to fork FAC, FA, FARC, etc. Johnleemk | Talk 12:20, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

First of all, Thank you for responding on the topic. You are correct that there is no need of indian featured list to post a featured article on a particular's main page. But I have already created those pages. If we want some feedback from other people, i supposed there is no harm to do so. Thanks -- Shyam (T/C) 13:32, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Category statistics

I think it would be interesting for many people here, if someone who has the database dump, could create a list of categories and number of articles in them (including subcategories). It would like to know how many articles are tagged, what is the coverage in certain areas and so on. Samohyl Jan 08:13, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Fundraising on the search results page

I think there should be an appeal for donations on the search results page. For example:

Please add at least one of those on the search results page(s). --James S. 23:12, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Anon's already see a notice in the upper right of all pages; however, one on every search page for all users at all times would be quite garish. Superm401 - Talk 04:09, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Anonymous browsers aren't the most likely to donate. How about one appeal in the unused white space in the middle of the page for new searches, and one at the bottom of the search results if rand()*c>1, where c=2 to begin with and is tuned based on user feedback and Foundation need? --James S. 04:57, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Seems like a good idea, but perhaps not so gaudy? --LV (Dark Mark) 05:30, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I've removed the excess rules and the image. --James S. 05:35, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

This one might fit better on the new search page:

<form class="contrib" action="" method="post">
<input type="hidden" name="business" value="" /> <input type="hidden" name="item_name" value="One time donation" /> <input type="hidden" name="item_number" value="DONATE" /> <input type="hidden" name="no_note" value="0" />
<input type="hidden" name="cmd" value="_xclick" /> <input type="hidden" name="on1" value="Comment" /> <input type="hidden" name="lc" value="en" /> <input type="hidden" name="on0" value="Anonymity" /> <input type="hidden" name="notify_url" value="" />

<label for="don-amount">One time gift of</label> <input type="text" name="amount" id="don-amount" maxlength="30" size="5" /> <select name="currency_code">

<option value="USD" selected="selected">$ (USD)</option> <option value="EUR">€ (EUR)</option> <option value="GBP">£ (GBP)</option> <option value="CAD">$ (CAD)</option> <option value="AUD">$ (AUD)</option> <option value="JPY">¥ (JPY)</option>

<label for="os1">Public comment
(200 characters max)</label>
<input type="text" size="25" name="os1" id="os1" maxlength="200" />
Public donor list
<input type="radio" name="os0" id="name-yes" value="Mention my name" /><label for="name-yes">List my name</label>
<input type="radio" name="os0" id="name-no" checked="checked" value="Don't mention my name" /><label for="name-no">List anonymously</label>
<input class="centered" type="submit" value="Donate Now!" /> <img src="" alt="Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, eCheck" />


Well, that HTML doesn't seem to work well because it's a form. Can admins make a template out of the above failing HTML? --James S. 05:35, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

"Copyrighted and subject to deletion" image tag

Currently, when I see a recently uploaded image that was obviously grabbed from some other website, I am supposed to do a 3-step procedure to post the image to Wikipedia:Images for deletion, explain why, and post to the talk page of the submitter to alert him. In a few cases this seems to be warranted, but in 90% of cases, it's just a blatant copyright infringement with no fair use asserted (or, alternatively, clearly not a legitimate fair use claim, and the uploader just tagged the image "fair use" so it wouldn't get autodeleted by a sysop), by a user who is new to Wikipedia or new to image uploading and is unfamiliar with policy.
As a result of the tedious AFD posting process, I never do it, and instead I change the incorrect license tag (often "fair use" with no justification listed, or "CopyrightedFreeUse") to the "no license" tag or "somewebsite" tag. This lets the image stick around for another week until the sysops are supposed to be free to delete the image, which is unfortunate.
Could someone set up a "copyrighted" template tag for images like this that alerts the uploader and marks the image as subject to deletion by sysops? The template tag should have an argument for what the illegitimate source was, and it should automatically post a notice to the submitter that he shouldn't do that in the future, and if there was a mistake then please upload again with the correct copyright tag, fully explained. Thanks - Tempshill 00:10, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
You're not supposed to do an ifd listing in the case of copyvios. Just add {{imagevio}} to the page, and copy the text that shows up into the days listing (there is a link). Notifying the uploader is recommended, but not really mandatory. Unfortunately, notifying the uploader can not be done through a template (you would need a bot). If an image is obviously a copyvio and not used on any article, you can now tag it with {{Orphaned unfree not replaced}} {{or-cr}} for short) and it will be deleted after 7 days. You do not need to notify anyone if you use this tag (though it's always polite). Superm401 - Talk 04:06, 25 February 2006 (UTC)