Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive O

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Proposing RSS feeds for specific wikipedia updates

I didn't check if this idea has already been proposed and discussed somewhere. If it's the case just ignore my post. The idea is proposing some kind of RSS feed for things such as the wikipedia:reference desk, Wikipedia:Village pump or Special:Recentchanges and even others I didn't think of.

The point is to increase flexibility and response of the community by increasing visibility of specific wikipedia updates, it could even save some bandwith too as it won't be needed anymore to fully load/reload whole pages to find out that there is nothing interesting for you there at that particular moment. If possible offering subscription to a limited number of feed should be limited to prevent abuse. Offering that kind of subscription for a few articles per wikipedian would be a nice and useful addition to the watchlist feature.

This is a preliminary idea, and it certainly has to be submitted to devs for review and check to separate what's technically possible from what's not. izwalito

This requires talk-page style parsing. — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 05:55, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
That depends on how it's implemented, I would think. What about (to throw something out there), an Atom/RSS feed for an article's History, much like the existing feed for RC? — Saxifrage 07:02, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
That would give us over a million different RSS feeds, all needing to be automatically updated whenever their parent article was changed, all needing to have a filter to prevent any formatting errors in the edit from screwing up feed reader software Cynical 22:30, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
This is not a problem technically. Each of the million different feeds would only "exist" when someone accesses the feed's URL and the server runs the code to pull the information out of the database and form it into valid XML. This already happens every time someone loads a History page. — Saxifrage 22:56, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Port contents of disambiguation pages to Wictionary?

Should there be a project to port the contents of disambigiuation pages to Wictionary terms?

Remove the background color of math-elements

There is now a white background color on all math-elements created as an image. I would like that background-color to be removed so the image is transparent. AzaToth 21:50, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree somewhat, but I don't think it's too important because most pages have a white background anyway.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Mets501 (talkcontribs) 2006-03-19 02:29:18
Actually, the default background is a light blue. — Saxifrage 08:51, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
It's white in the main namespace, and light-blue everywhere else (including here). Superm401 - Talk 10:51, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Whups! Let me just wipe this stupid off... — Saxifrage 11:28, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Lets check: . For me it's a white background on the math object here. (I'm using a TFT-screen, so I see the difference better than on a CRT-screen). AzaToth 11:44, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Support Jonathan Kovaciny 18:25, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Page background color is dependent on skin as well as namespace. Transparent math PNGs would be nicer, but so long as articles are backgrounded white in all skins I don't see it as a high priority. John Reid 23:21, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
WP:BUG. I suspect this might be a TeX limitation/feature. — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 18:59, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia tackling great conflict through editing?

Is it possible to create a page called: "The solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict"?

The aim for this page is to let people present the conflict and solutions, arriving at some sort of consensus through editing. Using Wikipedia to tackle complex issues of world state could be a interesting exercise in diplomacy and even if not creating a solution, at least it would promote discussion.

This might be an interesting experiment, but the purpose of Wikipedia is to create an encyclopedia so this isn't really the right place for doing that. There are many other wikis out there that might be more appropriate, or you could set up your own site for that purpose using the MediaWiki code that Wikipedia runs on. — Saxifrage 11:34, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
For some of the articles that have ongoing wars, perhaps something like the California Ballot Pamphlet approach should be tried, with sections like
  • Neutral summary of issue
  • Arguments in favor
  • Rebuttal to arguments in favor
  • Arguments against
  • Rebuttal to arguments against

Something like this has worked for Abortion debate.

Auto-vocalization for IPA text

Most articles that give information on how a term is pronounced use IPA. I and probably 98% of the WP audience can't parse IPA easily, and even if you do have the requisite linguistics knowledge it's a pain to remember what all the symbols mean.

What I propose is a Special webpage that works something like WP:ISBN. The WP software recognizes an IPA string (probably with some sort of delimiter) and makes a link to a page that generates a .wav or .ogg of a computer synthesized voice saying the term. As IPA has zero ambiguity as to pronounciation I think this would be relatively techinically feasible, though I certainly don't have the know-how to do it. --Pyroclastic 04:17, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

This would be technically complicated because IPA may not have ambiguity, but it does have significant vagueness built-in. Compare the more general /vænkuvəɹ/ and the more specific and accurate [væːnˈkʰuv̥ɚ], not to mention the sub- and supra-phonetic effects that would be missing from a synthesised version (such as coarticulation and intonation). — Saxifrage 10:58, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
However, adding an optional part to the IPA templates that allows for a "speak this word" link to a media file speaking the word might encourage editors to record such files. — Saxifrage 11:00, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm fairly certain that the MediaWiki developers wouldn't want to work on something like that. However, if you can find a non-CPU-intensive, GPL licensed program that does do that, integration may be possible. — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 20:37, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Numbering popes called Stephen

I have a long discution with User:Jerzy about the uportunity to rename Pope Stephen III into Pope Stephen II and Pope Stephen IV into Pope Stephen III and so on until Pope Stephen X into Pope Stephen IX (and to keep Pope Stephen X as a redirect to Pope Stephen IX). My reasons and Jerzy's answers are explained in detail in Stephen (ephemeral pope) and in Talk:Pope Stephen.

I'm waiting now for Jerzy's answer or for new arguments for a long time now. And it's a shame that we two only are taking part in this controversy. I wish some oser users showed themselves and expressed their opinion on the subject if they have one.

Švitrigaila 00:44, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Have you tried listing the article at Wikipedia:Requests for comment? — Saxifrage 06:58, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
No, I didn't know such a page exists. It's hard to find the good special page, they are too many... Švitrigaila 12:38, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
I've done it, prompting no reaction at all... :o| Švitrigaila 20:45, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Port to other languages via google translator or similiar utility

There are language translation engines - one could translate english wikipedia pages to other languages quickly and in high volume. Likewise it can go in other directions. Kevin Baastalk 18:03, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

  • An automated translation is not encyclopedia quality. If this is done, it would need to be specially tagged as a machine translation. Jonathan Kovaciny 18:14, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
    • That sounds like a good idea. A tag and a category - a tag that puts them in a "machine translation" category. Should we have "machine translation" articles? Any multilingual people want to bring this idea up on the other wikipedias? I'd imagine smaller wikis would have more to benefit from larger wikis than vice-versa, and this is an idea that may benefit from inter-wiki coordination. Kevin Baastalk 19:44, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't know of any language engine that can translate articles. In my opinion, articles that have been Babelfished (like those in Category:Rough translations) should be speedily deleted to improve the quality of this wiki, as usually nobody ever cleans them up (by which I mean, translates the original entry, because "cleanup" by somebody not speaking the original language is typically not good). Please put machine "translations" on a separate wiki or in a separate namespace so nobody ever has to see them via Special:Randompage. Kusma (討論) 19:54, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Alternatively, one could put a "Translate this page" button on the wiki skin, then people speaking only one language can see wikipedias from a variety of languages (and compare articles or what have you) (provided that those wikipedias have this feature). And people from other language wikipedias could easily transfer article content from other language wikipedias as desired. Kevin Baastalk 20:07, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

  • That would be much better. I think having a "Use Google translate" button next to the interwiki links for which there exists a Google translate utility might be useful for some people, especially in cases where one language has a stub and the other has a real article. It needs to be made clear, though (in a way that does not violate WP:BEANS), that these "translations" should never be cut-and-pasted, but translation requests at WP:TIE or a similar page on other wikis should be filed instead whenever Google translate or other tools show that other language wikis have better content than this one. Kusma (討論) 20:18, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
(why are we using *'?) I think would all be fairly simple, as would stuff in the section above: #Cross-referencing "non-existant" articles with the foreign-language Wikipedias, via the google translator.
  • The google translator tool:
  • en main page translated to english with the translator tool (notice the tool is invoked via a URL string!): [1]
  • es main page translated to english via google translator: [2]
How about implementing this in the "in other languages" sidebar box? like this:
Kevin Baastalk 21:49, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
These links don't work for me (I only get the original text). Kusma (討論) 21:58, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Try this one: [3] Kevin Baastalk 22:43, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
I've requested this in bugzilla here: [4]. Kevin Baastalk 00:53, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Language translations are unreadable! Take this example... the first paragraph from the article Wikipedia was translated via Google into German and back. It came out like this... (I removed all the IPA symbols and so on). Wikipedia "the free encyclopedia", is regaled a website, a multilingual free contents knowledge data base, which is editable by everyone. The project caught 15, 2001 on January, when addition of the expert-written (and now deceased) Nupedia on and now functioned by the non-profit basis Wikimedia. Wikipedia has more as 3,700,000 articles in many languages, including more than 1,000,000 in the English-language version. Since its establishment Wikipedia rose constantly in popularity and some sister projects gelaicht. Publishers become lively, a policy "of the zero-criterion" under, which remarkable perspectives are summarized to support without an attempt, objective truth determine. Q.E.D.--Keycard (talk) 15:58, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Copyright desk

Everyday I get questions about the copyright status of material people want to use in Wikipedia. It's mostly images - users wanting to know which licence to use. For example: "There are few pictures available of St. Laurent class ships, but they're all Department of National Defense, under Canadian Crown Copyright. Under what licence can I upload them?"

I propose Wikipedia:Copyright desk. A place where people can ask these questions. Hopefully it will attract help from those experienced in copyright issues (lawyers etc). So, should I start it up?--Commander Keane 20:52, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Send them to commons:Commons:Help desk??? (Don't worry, if they're copyrighted, we'll send 'em right on back here via WP:FU.) pfctdayelise (translate?) 23:32, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Well someone recently created Wikipedia:Image legality questions. It's mostly geared towards dealing with already uploaded images though, but if people actualy use it (rather quiet as of yet) I don't see why it could not be expanded (and possebly renamed) to also deal with querries about images not yet uploaded. Though in my experience most people who would benefit from it just upload first and don't ask questions later anyway. --Sherool (talk) 08:55, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Maybe a link to that page could be put on the image upload page very conspicuosly, so people could go there before uploading.--Esprit15d 14:08, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Why not add a new "Project" tab to the user intertace?


This is my first proposal, so I'm not at all sure whether I'm doing this right.

Often when I read an article about a movie, I see that the "discussion" tab is green, meaning that there is content. I therefore reasonably assume that somebody has written something on that page, some question or additional information, or criticism of the article. But very often I'm disappointed. I find no text, instead I just find some kind of box that tells me that "This article is part of WikiProject Films, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to films on Wikipedia"...

Here is one example, [5], the link to the "discussion" page for the movie Ronin.

Such projects are fine, but I don't think they should be under the "discussion" tab. Instead, they ought to have a seperate tab (keep in mind that some articles may be included in more than one project - also keep in mind that the movie project isn't the only one).--Peter Knutsen 01:48, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I think that the point is that Projects are usually relevant to discussion, as they contain guidelines about formatting, what should and shouldn't be included in the article, etc. Sticking them in a separate page would most likely mean that few people saw them. (There is something a bit odd, even galling, though, about creating an article, and then finding someone slapping a "this is part of Wikiproject x" on it — as though the Project is responsible for its creation.) --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:06, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I am kind of in favor of the project boxes being put on the discussion page as well, but I agree that the wording is a bit galling. Maybe those boxes could be reworded to be less self-aggrandizing.--Esprit15d 14:35, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

AMA citation

My proposal is that Wiki pedia include the AMA (american medical association)style of citation in the citing Wikipedia Pages. I Am a student an have a teacher insists n this style, ima sure that She is not the only one. if this is done Students all over the world will rejoice.( i think they will at least)

I disagree. All of my teachers insist on the MLA citation format. Where (meaning where in the US or where in the world) do you go to school? I go in New York. --Mets501talk 22:09, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
She's probably in college (or grad. school), and at any rate it's not a competition; there is room for multiple styles. I've already added it. If this seriously bothers you, go to MediaWiki talk:Cite text and explain why. Asker, you can go to Special:Cite and automatically generate a citation for any page. There is also a link called "Cite this article" to the left of every article. It will now include AMA style. Superm401 - Talk 22:42, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to close September 11 Wiki

A proposal has been made to close the September 11 Wiki. This is a separate wiki hosted by the WikiMedia Foundation that was spun off from the English Wikipedia in 2001. Kaldari 06:18, 30 March 2006 (UTC)


This page is empty, although de:MediaWiki:Allpages-summary makes me think it should be filled with some content describing Special:Allpages (see de:Special:Allpages). It would be nice if the page could explain the sorting order, link to the naming conventions and explain that redirects are in italics, which is perhaps not totally obvious. I can provide a translation of de:MediaWiki:Allpages-summary if necessary. Kusma (討論) 03:38, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Vote Stacking

I really feel this should become an official policy. Collecting one sided votes to achieve an artificial conensus in my view is an obvious problematic behaviour which should be discouraged. --Cool CatTalk|@ 09:01, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I suggest that what this editor is actually concerned about is the fact that a series of attempts to delete articles and topics on Kurdish topics have been beaten off by the international consensus that they should be kept, which conflicts with the consensus for deletion among Turks and Iranians which he would prefer to see applied. CalJW 15:17, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Having a look at some of the examples on that topic that Cool Cat has mentioned to me, there does seem to be more to it than that. I'd say there is good cause to look deeper into the issues regarding votes on articles relating to Kurdish issues. Wikipedia is supposed to keep a NPOV on such issues, understandably, but there seems to be little in the way of NPOV regarding this subject area in general. The area's too quaggy for me to know exactly how to fix it or what to fix, but there is clearly a problem. Grutness...wha? 02:13, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Remember that polls are non-binding and evil anyway. If people are forgetting this there is a larger problem going on than just vote stacking. — Saxifrage 10:04, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
    • However, many AfDs appear to be closed based on "vote" counts rather than on an analysis of the mertis of the points made in the discussion. This results in cases where no consensus is declared because no position gets at least 70% or 80% of the "votes". In the few cases where a closing admin reaches a decision based on the merit of the positions presented that runs counter to the "vote count", a great howl goes up. All of this encourages a small group of editors to try to save a favorite article by recruiting "votes". A policy against recruiting to stack "votes" would address part of this problem. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 13:16, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Hebrew text

There is currently a template:Hebrew which adds <span class="he" dir=rtl style="font-family:SBL Hebrew, Ezra SIL SR, Ezra SIL, Cardo, Chrysanthi Unicode, TITUS Cyberbit Basic, Arial Unicode MS, Narkisim, Times New Roman;font-size:12pt">{{{1}}}</span> to the text. It would probally be better if the css was in the main style sheet not inline. Is there any way to add the <span class="he"> to all hebrew text automaticly and put the css in the main style sheet? Jon513 12:59, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

How would it be better in the stylesheet? Explicit style declarations or in a separate style sheet are equally correct in a technical sense. The advantage to Wikipedia of having this in the template is that it can be updated easily (say, when a new, popular font comes out that is preferred to SBL Hebrew, maybe), while it is extremely hard to get the stylesheets changed. — Saxifrage 19:59, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
This format is better for mirrors. Sam Korn (smoddy) 20:04, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
The vast majority of the hebrew words don't have any template. Puting them in for every hebrew word is not a trival amount of work. Jon513 13:17, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
But adding the proposed span to all those hebrew words is no less work. As for whether it could be done automatically, yes, I think a bot could be coded to recognise hebrew characters and to enclose them in the appropriate "stuff", but this could be done for the template as easily as the proposed span. (Incidentally, the bot called Tawkerbot takes task requests—you might ask its owner if this would be technically feasible to have Tawkerbot do.) — Saxifrage 09:31, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikibooks linking

Can I get comments on the merits of this idea: to use WP:AWB or a WP:BOT to link references in article to lines in the Abrahamic Bibles (Old Testament/New Testament), Qur'an or other holy scripture to the appropriate Wikibook chapter. I've tried searching around Wikipedia for any sort of group or policy related to this idea, but I have not found any (please correct me if I'm wrong.) Andrewjuren (talk) 19:50, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Category Proposal: Body Enigmas ...

I'd like to propose a new category, which for want of a better title, I'm calling Body Enigmas and Little Known Facts (Maybe somebody can suggest a better title.)

I'm proposing it here because I don't know how to create a new category. If I can simply go ahead and do it, maybe someone will be so kind as to tell me how.

This new category would be used to list facts which are not widely known or discussed in normal articles. For example, the fact that parsley, which is a diuretic, actually helps reduce the frequency of nocturnal urination, or that eating beets will cause a person's urine to turn red or purple.

I was thinking of adding these facts to the appropriate articles, but then I started thinking about how many other facts of this nature might exists that don't normally appear in traditional articles and where would one look if they wanted to find more of these little gems.

Am I on the right track in thinking about creating such a category? Should I even be discussing this here?

--Jaxhere 14:59, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

This sounds more like an article to me than a category. Categories contain the names of articles, not even sections of articles and certainly not specific facts from articles. Perhaps you might create an article List of body enigmas and little known facts - with each entry linking to the appropriate article. You could also create a template for use in the article the fact is from to highlight the fact in some way and provide a link to the list article. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:37, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
By the way, be sure that you give a verifiable reference for each little-known fact. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 19:55, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps this is more an article than a category. What I had in mind when I put in this proposal was planting a seed that would encourage others to add to the list because I might only come up with a few, but the reason for thinking of a category was my understanding that when an article is placed in a category, it is automatically listed there, whereas if an article is created, then the writer or editor of a new article would have to place a "See Also" link to the List Article which Rick Block mentions. That is to say that it would be somewhat more complicated to encourage the development of such a list.

Re Rspeer's comment, if anyone can verify that beets turn their urine red by eating them and then looking at the result, would it be necessary to cite a "verifiable reference"? This is another aspect of the "little known facts" that I had in mind ... that virtually anyone could verify the fact for themselves by observing their own body. Would we really need some authority to verity these things?

--Jaxhere 22:45, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, yes, they would need to be verifiable - for instance, the one about beets turning your urine red/purple isn't true for everyone. FreplySpang (talk) 22:50, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think this is a good idea for a couple reasons: (a) Categories are for grouping like articles (not facts), and no whole "article" is a funky fact; (b) 90% of wikipedia is little known to somebody. So there would be no clear criteria for what would go in such an article or category, which, by extension, would make it difficult to manage, and wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. If anywhere, there might be a place for such an article in wikibooks or wikiversity.--Esprit15d 18:49, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Reference notes font size

I have seen some articles with code similar to this in the Notes section of the article: <div style="font-size:90%;"><references /></div>. Although I'm indifferent about the font size since I can read it either way, this is what you might call a "shot across the bow" that I will be editing mercilessly to remove the extra div whenever I see this. And I'm not joking! The ordered list does have a class and it should be modified in the CSS to provide a consistent and standard font size (whatever the community decides that should be). There is no good reason to have it vary from article to article. And if you are one who would prefer the smaller font size, you are welcome to propose it here for discussion. Thank you, —Mike 06:49, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Of course there's a good reason to vary it: the number of footnotes. What may work for articles with five generally won't on articles with a hundred or more. Kirill Lokshin 14:50, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Agree with Kirill, please do not go around changing all these. Christopher Parham (talk) 17:21, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I think you missed the point. What is good for a page with 100 notes should be good for a page with only five. But because this isn't a paper encyclopedia there isn't really any great advantage to making them smaller simply because there are more of them. —Mike 01:49, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Paper or not, it is still subject to aesthetic considerations. Making short sections shorter and long sections longer should both be avoided. Kirill Lokshin 01:52, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
And that is why you can always change your own CSS if you think it looks better that way. —Mike 02:30, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, no one can't. That would require having "short" and "long" lists of references distinctly classed or id'd, which isn't the case. — Saxifrage 23:21, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Userfying userboxes: Poll

Please comment. John Reid 23:46, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

India towns bot

I created a bot to create missing Indian town and city articles based on Census 2001. It is currently waiting for approval. Could you please take a look and comment? Thanks, Ganeshk (talk) 15:34, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

"End Notes" style of links reduces readability

As per this message left for Jimbo, I am deeply troubled by the "end notes" style of links in certain articles. I am convinced that this style of external links is degrading the quality of the wiki. See Rationale to impeach George W. Bush and Killian documents for example pages with this problem. Merecat 08:29, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't see the problem. The system seems to work very well in those two articles. In your post on Jimbo's talk page, you complain about the imprecise "jump to", but the "jump to" puts the relevant note at the top of my screen (except at the bottom of the page), and the numbers make it clear what goes with what. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 10:32, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
The 'direct links' work great for references which are on the web... you click the link and you are at the site. However, that doesn't work for non-web references. You either have to put the reference info right there in the text, which looks terrible, OR use something like the 'End Notes' method. If you look at those articles you cited you'll note that many of the references aren't "external links". The problem with using inline for external links and endnotes for other references is that the two methods aren't synchronized - making the only way to distinguish the third inline link from the third endnote link the size of the '3'. However, as we get more precise about references more and more articles are going to include information which can't be found on the web. The 'End Note' links work for either type of reference and thus are overall superior. If the two methods could be made to use a single number sequence/appearance (e.g. always superscript) then I think it would be easier to use both in one article. --CBDunkerson 11:29, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
It should also be noted that all references, even online ones, ideally are accompanied by a substantial amount of text, describing the author and title of the material -- and for web pages, when it was accessed. It would be disruptive to the article to include all this text in the middle of the prose. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:45, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

My primary issue with this is that links to web-based articles are being end-noted. This defeats much of the value of the link. Web-based articles ought to use the in-line link style - see for example the new article in The Register which addresses the issue of Wikipedia accuracy and states "[N]ature's reviewers considered trivial errors and serious mistakes as roughly equal...". [6] Simply put, for web-based articles, links of the type we have here are the best - far more to the point than an end-note, much easier to check and less susceptible to gaming towards POV. Merecat 05:03, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Why are you spamming this complaint all over the place? User:Zoe|(talk) 23:35, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
See my talk page and stop hurling the "S" word - play nice. Merecat 05:03, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
See above. If the page is altered, moved or deleted, it cannot be determined easily what was cited. The date the webpage was accessed must be provided for future fact-checkers. Johnleemk | Talk 15:24, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a collection of links... in other words, the articles should be basically self contained. In line links should be there for fact checking, not for needed content (possible external links section excepted). If that's the aim, then having a way to check that the material referenced is still the material at the other end of the link is crucial. Indirect linking is much better for this. IMHO Direct linking is positively dangerous and risks being misleading. Mozzerati 21:34, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Everyone start preparing for April Fool's Day

It's only 10 days away. Bring out the Charles Chaplin/Lewis Caroll in you, let your imagination run free. Aim to outdo yourself. Recently there has been too much conflict (necessary) about the issue of censorship and freedom of expression, both in general and specifically. To lighten up, we need some good jokes. Last year there were some good ones (like Deletionof the Main Page and Time Travel), let's match that or even outshine. Feel free to use my talk page as coordination zone. Loom91 12:43, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Um no let's not, this is an encyclapedia and it should be that 356 days a year, a holiday isn't a reason to goof off. Deathawk 16:00, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
So I can have fun on the other nine (or ten) days of the year? :D Johnleemk | Talk 05:46, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
No we don't. Wikipedia doesn't need to be the place for your jokes, as it just wastes tons of time in cleanup. There are plenty of people out in meatspace to saran wrap toilets and play other jokes on, so it's not an excuse that people need a venue to break Wikipedia policies in. Vandalism in the name of an April fools joke is still vandalism. At the minimum, anyone adding hoaxes should remove it themselves. Keep in mind April fools day is not an international thing. So start preparing by being ready to clean up the crap that takes away from what we are trying to do here. - Taxman Talk 16:05, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
If you want to create a joke page, do it at Uncyclopedia. If you want to insert a joke into an existing page, slap yourself until the urge goes away. Melchoir 02:50, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Sure, Wikipedia should be accurate 365 days a year, but only on Leap Years. And I think all responsible Wikipedia editors clean up their mess afterwards, so let your hair down a little. Loom91 08:56, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

You can let down your hair somewhere else. Wikipedia is a collaborative community of volunteers, and we should all have the basic decency to respect the hard work donated by our peers. I deal with enough hoaxes and vandalism already without them being encouraged internally; please don't make the task harder. Melchoir 09:37, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
You need to lighten up! I'm backing up Loom91 on this one--Manwe 13:47, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Seriously people, I've got my jokes planned. On friends, coworkers, etc. There's no need for it to be in articles. The discussion among admins is that user space jokes are fine, but vandalism to articles is vandalism and can be blocked for/reverted, etc. - Taxman Talk 15:02, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Loom91 and Manwe, I have looked through your contributions, and between both of you, you've performed 6 reverts and handed out 0 warning templates on user talk pages. I can only assume that you remain blissfully ignorant of all the crap Wikipedia must fend off on a constant basis, every day of the year. Perhaps if you knew how old the joke has gotten, you wouldn't be so eager to join in. Well, it's fine if you don't want to participate in Wikipedia's immune system; we've all carved out different roles here. But the least you can do is offer a little moral support to the troops. Instead, the thanks we get is that you plan to aid the enemy? Unbelievable. Melchoir 18:00, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Another way of looking at it is: what's the point of spending time to create a well-thought out, amusing joke if someone's just going to revert it? --Sam Blanning (formerly Malthusian) (talk) 18:49, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I was only encouraging responsible editors who clean up. As for jokes being reverted, I quote from Herge: Why climb up mountains when you have got to climb back down. It is true I've never seen patent vandalism, though a couple of time I missed them by only hours.And vandalism troops have all my moral support, but they need to take breaks to keep THEIR morals up. ANyway, don't take all this too seriously. Loom91 11:10, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
A responsible editor doesn't create a mess in the first place. Moral support does not mean deliberately causing more work. Or did someone decide that April 1 is Opposite Day as well? Melchoir 11:45, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I wasn't thinking of destroying every single article on Wikipedia... What I think an april fools joke on wikipedia should be is saying something funny and/or unbeliavable on the main page! (e.g. "Jimbo reveals plans to open a Wikipedia Theme Park in Florida. The first ride to be built is House of Vandalisms") Something that takes about a line of text space and brightens up the always boring news and did-you-knows (I said boring not insignificant) You think that would be so disasterous???--Manwe 14:56, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
How about having the Main Page as featured article? EamonnPKeane 18:14, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
See... now we're talking :) Good proposal.... The Main Page is really no "article" per se... it's more of a... main... page :) ...and hey, feel free to interrupt by saying how this would be vandalism that will ultimately lead to the destruction of wikipedia....--Manwe 21:07, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Niiiiice. I like this idea. :) Cathryn 02:14, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

see Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page for more. --Quiddity 02:32, 25 March 2006 (UTC)


We started a new policy page Wikipedia:Wikiethics and need more input to improve the current text further. I thought somebody here might be interested... Thanks for your contributions in advance. Resid Gulerdem 09:19, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

The proposed policy on ethics for wikipedia editors being voted on here. Please offer opinions. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 02:05, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
A straw poll for Approval on this Policy Proposal was conducted, the results can be seen here. Netscott 00:06, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Asking for smaller TeX font for creating equations

This is an equation created with Wikipedia's TeX font for math markup:

This is the same equation created using WikiCities' TeX font for the very same math markup:


It is quite obvious that the WikCities TeX font is smaller than the Wikipedia's TeX font. In my opinion, the WikiCities font is also much neater and tidier. What I mean by neater and tidier is that it is much closer to the size of the regular text so that the overall look of an article that uses equations is more balanced.

Also, the smaller TeX font allows for displaying longer equations (within the limited display screen width) than does the Wikipedia font.

I submitted a request to Bugzilla about a month ago asking that Wikipedia make available the smaller WikiCities font as an alternate option ... not to replace the font now used by Wikipedia, but only to offer the smaller WikiCities font as an optional choice to Wikipedians. My request was assigned the bug number 4915. Anyone can vote in favor of proceeding with the bug request at Bugzilla Bug 4915 and thus far I am the only one who has voted to proceed.

If you agree with me that the smaller font should be offered as an alternate, please visit the bugzilla page at Bugzilla Bug 4915 and scroll down to the page bottom where is says "Vote for this bug" and do so. If you are not already registered with bugzilla, it will ask you to do that first ... but it only takes a minute to do so.

If this isn't the correct place for me to lobby for the smaller font, please let me know where I can do so. Thanks and please vote.
mbeychok 23:34, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Wiki toolbar

This may have been suggested before, or even already be in existance, but there should be a Wiki toolbar, as with the google toolbar for instance, that can be downloaded onto your computer, allowing you to search wiki sites, especially wikipedia quickly.

--Chris rigby 69 15:51, 2 April 2006 (UTC)Chris

Aggree It would be extremely useful and not that hard to create you can get many programs, like [ this one]. There are some which may be better or Wikimedia could just make one themselves using the base programming. Lcarsdata 16:03, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

There's a toolbar for Firefox. I don't know about one for IE. User:Zoe|(talk) 19:37, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

This is the link for the Wikipedia toolbar for Mozilla, which is a really great tool. There is also a different toolbar here for IE (here) but it is nothing more than a search box. --Mets501talk 21:39, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

External links

Is there anywhere in Wikipedia which says that neither Wikipedia contributors nor staff take responsibility for the content or implications of any external web-sites mentioned in Wikipedia? If there is not, should there be? ACEO 08:48, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

It's kind of mentioned at Wikipedia:Disturbing or upsetting content. Melchoir 09:25, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Medical articles

Can I please make a proposal about medical articles on Wikipedia? If the neutrality of an article in Wikipedia is disputed, we do see a very clear warning logo at the head of the article. Can I also suggest that for medical articles in Wikipedia, we have a clear log heading the article which states: "This article should not be used as any substitute for any information you receive from health care professionals". I do appreciate that from what I have read of medical articles in Wikipedia, as far as internet resources go, they are quite informative and reasonably well-informed (at least compared with many internet health resources!) but I do feel that this would be a sensible proposal. Also, should such articles have a "Disclaimer" statement, to clarify that neither Wikpedia contributors nor professional watchdogs take responsibility for the content or implications of any external web-links mentioned in such articles? ACEO 08:43, 2 April 2006 (UTC) April 2 2006

There's always {{HealthWarning}}, but it should be used sparingly. There's already a "Disclaimers" link at the very bottom of every page. Melchoir 09:20, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Different policies for proper nouns

After a few days of watching and edited newly created articles, two things are clear. First, well over half of new articles are candidates for quick deletion. And second, almost all the bad articles are about proper nouns, not general subjects. In fact, almost all the new articles are about proper nouns. Looking at the last 50 new articles right now, 49 of the 50 are about proper nouns, and only one Fabrication and testing (optical components) is a generic subject.

This may be an indication that some policies should be different for proper nouns.

Actually, almost all new article trouble is in the following categories:

  • People
  • Places
  • Companies
  • Entertainment media (movies, songs, albums, etc.)
  • Web sites

Those specific areas deserve special handling.

There's been ongoing debate over restrictions for new users. Perhaps tightening the rules for creation in those areas would help stem the tide of incoming junk. At the very least, it would be a big help if, during the article creation process, the web form offered a menu for some basic categorization. It doesn't have to be complete; just the above categories plus "other" would be enough. Not that many new "other" articles are coming in. Although those are usually the good stuff.

Alternatively, it would be a big help if article creation in those areas was web form driven. Articles in those areas tend to have (or need) a generic format. Certainly movie, song, album, and performer entries could be created via forms.

This could cut the cleanup load way down. --John Nagle 06:10, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Good idea, like little box which automatically adds a category if you select one. Lcarsdata 16:17, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Position of newly-appeared "(Talk)" links on Special:Watchlist/edit page (and elsewhere?)

Might these be moved to sit between the checkboxes and page names, please?  I imagine the list would then look less cluttered. Regards, David Kernow 11:38, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Category Templates

Looking at today's FA New England Patriots I noticed a discussion on whether or not the current staff of the team should be included or not, and wondered if there was a way to make this sort of thing more consistent where we have groups of similar articles. The idea would be to add them to a category (i.e. Category:Teams in the NFL, which oddly the article isn't in anything like this which surprised me) and on Category pages of this sort of grouping where all the articles are expected to be somewhat similar it could link to a Template for Teams in the NFL.

These templates wouldn't be prohibitive but it would act as guidelines to try and standardise the articles, and the talk page of the template could act as a central point for getting a consensus on the levels of detail that would generally be suggested for articles in the category, i.e. what sort of information is considered encyclopaedic, and what is generally getting too deep into cruft (although there will also be the case of significant exceptions to the general rule of course). The template could also work on incomplete categories to act as a starting point for say the general information a new article might need adding if the information can be found/sourced, and also help standardise the way sections are named, ordered and such if people want to try and keep similar articles uniform.

Some of the above is done already via infoboxes of course, but this would extend that idea to an entire article where it is appropriate, but it would be more flexible than an infobox as it needs to be as outside of certain key elements most articles even on the same category of object has significant variation, but still it might be useful to consider a way to standardise formatting as much as possible.

In case this idea has been brought up many times before and shouted down, well sorry but I couldn't find anything searching in wiki or via google that related to wikipedia, so felt I would throw it out there. Sfnhltb 01:48, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Getting feedback on edits

{{helpme}} I wrote two articles, Google Groups and Homerun, and am seeking feedback on them. An hour's surfing and repeated {{helpme}} requests were in vain - I couldn't find a page where I could post my article simply for feedback that would help me write better articles. {{peerreview}} is only for very established articles, and Template_talk:Did you know is only for articles less than 5 days old (it took me much longer than that to write the complete articles).

I am going to be bold and create the Wikipedia:Article Feedback Desk for Wikipedians to post their new articles to get feedback on them. Please read the text on that page, post feedback on my articles, post your own articles for feedback, and post feedback about the Article Feedback Desk (paradoxical). I understand that the acronym AFD clashes with Articles For Deletion - perhaps someone could suggest a better name? I hope this becomes an integral feature of Wikipedia that I will become famous for starting.

--J.L.W.S. The Special One 06:23, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Have you seen Wikipedia:Peer review? User:Zoe|(talk) 19:36, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I notice he mentioned he thought Peer review was only for more established articles that have had many editors over a fair period of time raise them to a certain standard (and are now aiming to polish for good/FA status). I haven't really seen peer review in practise, but I imagine if the same group of people tend to do peer reviews then in comparison to the regular fare they might be fairly heavyweight on an article that's only had (mostly) one relatively new contributor working on it. I'm not sure if the helpme system is too light for this task and peer review too heavy, maybe something in between is needed, or maybe one of the existing systems is applicable. Sfnhltb 03:02, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Per the above, peer review is not really geared toward this -- it mostly provides a pre-FAC check for articles that are close to that stage. One good place to search for feedback on this sort of article is the talk page of an associated wikiproject; or, find active contributors in the field and ask them directly to take a look. Christopher Parham (talk) 06:04, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
The information on the {{peerreview}} page suggests that this feature is mostly for already-good, established articles that are aiming for Good Article or Featured Article status.
As per your suggestion, I will look for articles with subjects related to my article's, such as Google, Gmail, Yahoo! Groups, etc. for Google Groups, and other Singapore movies for Homerun, as well as WikiProjects related to the articles. I will then link to my article from those articles, and request feedback on their talk pages. However, when requesting feedback, I will ask them to reply at the Article Feedback Desk, partially so the replies will all be in one place, and partially to promote the Article Feedback Desk, so other users will post their articles there for feedback.
Could you help start the ball rolling by going to the Article Feedback Desk and giving feedback on my articles, and more importantly, posting your own articles for feedback to ensure the growth of the Article Feedback Desk? When posting your articles on the Article Feedback Desk, you could use the methods above to encourage Wikipedians to give feedback, and those Wikipedians may in turn post their articles for feedback, thus creating a healthy cycle for the growth of the Article Feedback Desk. In addition, as mentioned earlier, the acronym AFD clashes with Articles for Deletion, so could someone suggest a better name? --J.L.W.S. The Special One 11:05, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Email articles

I think it would be great to have a feature where we could email the link (or maybe the whole article if it didn't get into copyvio territory) to a friend, much like many sites have. A link in the toolboox would be ideal.--Esprit15d 14:05, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I have an email option in my browser's toolbar. Yours doesn't have that feature? User:Zoe|(talk) 23:36, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I think he means to copy/send the url of an article or the article itself to a friend which can be done manualy... An interesting idea. --Cool CatTalk|@ 09:06, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
That's what IE does -- you can either send the page or the URL when you click on the icon in the toolbar. User:Zoe|(talk) 20:54, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that is nice, but what for other browser users, or if you want to use a different email return address, of you're at a computer that doesn't have your settings (like at work or in public)? There could just be a link that you clicked on, that took you to one of those classic email pages with a pre-fab blurp and feilds to insert addresses. Also, statistically, it would be interesting to know which articles are being emailed the most. The feature I am describing can be found at many site: [7] [8] [9] [10] [11], just to show a few.
Presumabley, you would use this to send an article to a non-Wikipedian. Presumably, you'ld allow some custom text to go with the article, to explain it. Allowing that, leaves the potential for unsolicited messages being sent, causing us to be labelled spammers. Many other sites allow this feature, as its a very effective way of promoting their site, and sometimes, its a nice way of collecting valid e-mail addresses. Wikipedia doesn't need to promote itself in this way. Wikipedia already had to disable sending e-mail to Wikipedians who haven't validated their e-mail. So, I can't see how Wikipedia could ever allow users to send e-mail to non-Wikipedians through this proposed feature. --Rob 20:04, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Agree It would probably go in the toolbox, you could be given the opertunity to send it to a wikipedian or a e-mail address add some own text and have to enter a word verification code because it would be attacked by hackers otherwise. Lcarsdata 16:23, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Although some browsers can autosend a web page, it doesnt always do so very well - for example just tried it in IE and it turned all the hyperlinks/wikilinks into just blue text, which would kind of defeat the purpose to a large extent. It's possible something like this could be somewhat useful, but in the end just emailing someone a hyperlink alone is usually just as useful. Sfnhltb 02:43, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Proposal: no page-creation for new Users until after a "cooling-off" period

This is what I'd thought that the proposal further up the page was saying.

The proposal is that, just as new accounts can't be used to up-load images or move articles until after a short probation period, so they shouldn't be usable for creating new articles for some period.

Advantages: it would substantially cut down on the huge problem of one-shot accounts created simply in order to create one vandalistic article (see Special:Newpages), as well as forcing new Users to do smaller-scale editing, learning about Wikipedia, before creating articles (a large number of new pages are un-wikified messes, created by people who have never edited before, and often never edit again. Many more are crude cut-and-paste copyright violations). --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:24, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

My response to this is the same as above. I should also note that one of my very first edits was to create Education in Malaysia -- and I didn't even bother with an account at the time (I registered one and forgot about it). Yes, I know it says that I was logged in then, but I had some of my edits reattributed from the original IP to myself. Johnleemk | Talk 17:44, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Probably not a good idea. The idea that new users create bad articles is there because the current system doesn't help them create good articles. Creating even a "decent stub" has a steep learning curve when all you're starting with is a blank editbox. You can't really expect people to read 15 scattered guidelines to figure out what to put in the blank box and what not to, chances are they're just going to do what they can, and chances are that will not look so great to people who've been around for a while. Go about changing the software, don't punish people because the software doesn't help them enough. We still need many of the articles created by new users. --W.marsh 20:34, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Also, as an active newpage patroller, the 1-shot vandalism new articles are not a problem. They essentially never "survive" 12 hours, and take all of 30 seconds for an admin to deal with. What is a problem is people who post stuff that can't be properly speedy deleted, it's about valid topics but is badly formatted, maybe a copyvio of some sort, an oprhan/deadend article, not categorized or stubbed... problems that are time-consuming to deal with to people unfamiliar with the topic, basically, and will make the article pretty useless until adressed. --W.marsh 20:40, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
      • I don't really follow W.marsh's point; this isn't about punishing people — it's precidely about trying to make sure that they learn to walk before they run (and fall flat on their faces, causing problems for those around them). I disagree with the thirty-second claim, but that isn't the point; I've often been New-page patrolling and found that there have been so many problems that by the time I've worked through the screenfull of fifty pages, another few hundred of new pags have been created. What's more, there are times when no-one esle seems to be involved — and that means that dozens of page-creation vandalisms, blatant copyvios, or just unwikified messes, slip through. That's confirmed by the number of times that I come across such articles weeks after they've been created. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:22, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not denying that there are problems, but the vandal new articles (aside from sneaky hoaxes) are easy to deal with, and rarely survive. If they do they're orphans anyway. But believe me I realize a lot of "hit and run" contributers who write a new article leave us with a mess, but a lot don't... I just think we need to deal with the problem in a way other than denying all new users the ability to create articles. Perhaps... only let new users create non-orphan articles (that have been linked to for 24+ hours)? I think that might just keep out the junk while allowing nearly all of the good articles. --W.marsh 21:41, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Hit and run contributers can work out in the end too, I fixed up an article today when I was checking a new article creation, it was heavily POV towards an organisation listed in the article (of the same initals of the user who had never editted before). But in the course of fixing it up and wikilinking it I noticed many significant topics in the area redlinked, so I ended up making about a dozen new, very encyclopaedic, stubs as starting points (I will go back tomorrow and keep expanding them, but it's slow work as almost every sentence has a redlink in it which just adds to the task, eventually it should start to cohere I hope...). Sfnhltb 02:18, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Like Johnleemk, my response to this is the same: oppose for the same reasons. The discouraging effect is still too great a disadvantage. Melchoir 20:47, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Though I opposed above, I am open to considering this proposal, but I would need some firmer evidence to consider what the impact would be. It would be very helpful if someone would go through a chunk of the newpage log and figure out how many pages are actually created by accounts less than 4 days old (the typical newbie period) and how many of those are good vs. messy vs. crap. Dragons flight 20:49, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Personally, I just check very short articles and ALL articles created by people with no userpages (redlink users) when doing newpage patrol. The latter tend to be new users, and almost always account for 25-50% of the articles on the 50 latest new articles... obviously new-ish users create new articles at a disperportionate rate. Probably a majority of them aren't properly formatted, or are vandalism, copyvios, or otherwise need attention. This is all anecdotal of course... but I do spend 30-60 minutes a day checking that page, and have for months. --W.marsh 21:37, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I think a very short delay in allowing new users to make articles is a good idea. Letting somebody make an article to quickly/easily might initially attract new users. But, when they see their article speedy deleted, they're not so pleased, and might give up. Until somebody has edited an existing an article, they aren't likely able to make an article that has any chance of being kept. I doubt many new user read any guidelines before contributing (either guidelines for inclusion or for style/markup). People learn what's accepted/wanted at Wikipedia by seeing what's already in existing articles (e.g. reading articles, and seeing wiki markup while editing them). Also, this "probationary" period would discourage people who already have accounts from constantly making throwaways. --Rob 22:08, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I can't imagine any user making a new article as their first edit, and that article actually being of acceptable quality. I think something has to change, as the rate of crap flooding in is far greater than can be sustained, unless we are happy with just ignoring the rubbish, and I am not at all happy to ignore it at all. I'm sure a lot of people will say that nothing should change or that any change would be "un-wiki", but then they will be the same people who would have said that anonymous users will always be able to create new articles as well. Martin 22:22, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Sorry to disagree there, but not allowing users to create new pages would inhibit the free contribution culture we all value so much. Additionally, almost all my pages were new pages when I first started out because I came on board specifically to translate from dewiki. If I had not been allowed to create new pages, I would not have been able to contribute as I have so far and my learning curve (still steep, I admit) would have been a lot slower. In addition, there is this great feeling of pride a new user gets from the first really good article all done. Nothing will get them hooked like that feeling. That said, however, I think it would be great if we could have something like coaches assigned to new users that watch them for a period of time. The Welcoming Committee is a start, but it would need to go further than just welcoming new users to be effective. We need to really watch them and coach them along for a little while (say 4 weeks or so) until they learn to look around or ask questions and know where to get the information they need. User:JHMM13 did that for me and it made ALL the difference. --Mmounties (Talk) Pawprint.png 22:42, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Almost forgot to counter Martin's argument (I'm only picking on you for your admitted lack of imagination Smiley.png). For examples of good firsts from new users, see: Sanssouci currently being prepped for FAC, and there are several listed on my user page as well (Achern and Bruchsal both created within the first couple of days of active editing). --Mmounties (Talk) Pawprint.png 22:47, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Um, Sanssouci was created by User:Rd232, and it was nearly 2 months after hir first edit. Did you mean a different article? As for coaching, it would be a good idea -- for users who volunteered for it. It would be a useless waste of effort to attempt to coach every new account created. pfctdayelise (translate?) 06:45, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
And Achern and Bruchsal were both created by anons! Given that they're German places, it's pretty likely they're substantially translated from de: anyway. Not great examples. pfctdayelise (translate?) 06:47, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I didn't say that they were newly created pages. What I did say was that they were first articles with very high quality. All three translations that completely replaced the stubs that were there before (you really need to check the history). What this does proof is that there are quite a few new users around who are and were perfectly capable to put together high quality articles right off the bat. Therefore, the comment about new users not able to do so is inappropriate, not to say a little arrogant. I do understand that many here are frustrated. But putting the brakes users' edits in the "free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" (see the Main Page) is definitely not the answer. --Mmounties (Talk) Pawprint.png 04:00, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Creation of Pavel Filonov was my very first edit on Wikipedia. I think it was in a reasonable shape in a few hours. Creation of Ukrainian dance was the very first edit of User:Mrrria. I could recollect quite a number of similar examples. I am strongly against forbidding newbies to create new articles. It might make sense to have a special page "Newest articles by newbies" and "Recent changes by newbies" so people could control and mentor. abakharev 07:05, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
  • oppose. The problem with vandalism isn't the creation of new articles but damage to existing ones, which usually matters much more, since it's harming work already done. A vandalistic new page is a nuisance but doesn't really cause any real harm. Graham 09:57, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Vandalism isnt the problem, the problem is stuff that can't be deleted easily, and actually requires a gerat deal of effort by other people to fix up or eventually delete after an AFD debate, or a copyvio check. Martin 09:59, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose: we don't need any more discouragement for new users. Loom91 12:08, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

The arguments against seem to fall into two main categories:

  1. We mustn't discourage new users. Anyone who decides not to edit simply because they have to wait for a few days before adding new articles is probably someone we can do without. Wikipedia is growing extremely fast, and most of the million users are one-off or very short-lived accounts, long abandoned. We always need new good editors — but I just don't believe that a good editor would be put off by this.
    You've missed the point. No one is referring to people with the attitude "I'd like to edit lots of existing articles, but if I can't create my own immediately, forget about it!" They're referring to people whose initial interest in Wikipedia relates strictly to the insertion of missing articles (which they may already have written) on subjects in their areas of expertise. Upon adding said articles, only then do such individuals often realize that they also would enjoy contributing to other articles. If implemented, this idea would turn these authors away (possibly forever). —David Levy 15:32, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
  2. There are some good articles that were origianlly created by newcomers. Aside from the fact that most examples that have been given turn out not to have been genuine examples at all, this is irrelevant. No-one is arguing that every article created by a newcomer is bad. We impose a delay before new users can move pages and up-load images; I've no doubt that some page moves and up-loaded images by newcomers were fine — but again, that's not the point. If the claim is (as with 2) that an editor who wants to add a good article will refuse to if they're not allowed to do so immediately, then I can only repeat that I don't believe it. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:23, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose, for the reasons cited above. —David Levy 15:32, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Proposal: No new pages until mentor has marked User page

Alternative -- I'm a content expert, not an admin, so I don't watch for new articles, and only see the vandalism on the ~870 pages I'm watching. Still, the real problem that I've seen is lack of mentoring.

So, I'd be in favor of not allowing new page creation (even on their own talk page) until somebody has given them the welcome message (after that they can edit their talk page), and asked them to read the Introduction and Tutorial. (WP:YFA really isn't useful, it's all negative with no helpful hints.)

Once the mentor (or coach mentioned above) has helped them, and confirmed that they've read the basics, then a flag could be set and the mentor could help them with their first article. Sure anybody can edit, but it's hard to know what to do without a little help, and builds a sense of community. --William Allen Simpson 10:13, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Heck, I just thought of the flag! Blank the User page. The software could easily check for an existing user page.
  • The two steps leave a nice history trail, too. It would be easy to see who'd done the welcome on the Talk page, and who'd done the first blank edit of the User page. Just a bit of security against folks setting up sockpuppets.
  • It's a lot better use of time for folks to help each other than {{prod}} bad pages. --William Allen Simpson 10:33, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Strong Oppose: we don't need any more discouragement for new users. Loom91 12:08, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Why are we coming up with all of these ideas to force new users away? User:Zoe|(talk) 02:17, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Here's my confession for the day: I spent a good deal of time espousing ideas very similar to this proposal, such a throtteling page creation exactly as page moves are. Having thought it through, I've now recanted this heresy, and now think that it's the worst idea ever. A better solution would be a more robust clean-up culture, to find a home (via merges and redirects) for all the scraps and nuggets of informatin that one sees in the horror that is new page patrol. - brenneman{L} 02:44, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with this revised view. WP's strength seems to be an improbable number of people happily doing an unlikely range of tasks, without much "regulatory pressure". That's! Encouraging that is good, trying to "automate" culture through pinpoint regulation seems...not cool! --Tsavage 18:32, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Strong Oppose see my argument one section up. Restricting new user contributions are a solution that's far worse than the evil we have now. I like Aaron's suggestion a lot better. --Mmounties (Talk) Pawprint.png 04:12, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

This proposal partially defeats the purpose, as it would require considerable extra work on the part of mentors. There are also technical issues (who chooses a mentor? how would one distinguish between a genuine and a fake mentor adding a flag? etc.). --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:23, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Strongly oppose. This idea is impractical and counterproductive. —David Levy 15:32, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose As in the similar proposal above, I don't see any clearly identified "problem" that this is likely solve. It seems more of a "can't hurt, might help" proposition, and that sort of experimental regulation is a rule, not a constructive thing. --Tsavage 18:32, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I hate to clamp down on new users. But, if you want to see how bad the problem is, look at the last 50 new articles at any time. There are times when 80% are candidates for immediate deletion, as out and out junk, self-promotion, insults, and similar trash. It seems to take about three people, full time, 24 hours a day, just to keep up with and delete the incoming junk articles. (The new one-step quick deletion process is a big help.) This is a great way to burn out volunteers.

What might help is a more structured process for creating an article, where the process is form and menu driven. "General subject: person/movie/tv show/book/concept/other?" This should be optional, of course, but it would help newcomers get a reasonable article on the first try, and would give them a sense of what's expected in an article. Many people are terrified of a blank page, too. Giving them a kickstart might draw in more good articles from people afraid of embarassing themselves with format errors. --Nagle 04:34, 29 March 2006 (UTC)


It has occured to me that Very Flare could be merged with flare (pyrotechnic), because very flares are a type of flare, and the very flare article is a stub anyway. The idea is that just maybe we could have an article about flares, signal, very, and all other types of flare in one article. Erafwiki 17:27, 5 April 2006 (UTC) Erafwiki

You can propose the merger on the talk pages of the two articles. Use the templates at Wikipedia:Template messages/Cleanup#Merging and splitting. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 17:46, 5 April 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia serves as all Wiki Projects' highest form of governemnt; I don't think that's right. I think that Wikimedia should be where Help, Reference Desk, Proposals, Policy, etc. should be located. Also, Beer Parlour & Tea Room should be deleted, etc. & if there are any other institutions like as mentioned in this comment, then they should be deleted to. User pages should also be consolidated into 1 central location, namely Wikimedia, or a separate place, but these are draft ideas, but the general idea, would organize Wikimedia & save resources. Taking the point of saving resources, Accounts should be allowed to be deleted.

Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me <redact> [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNU licence hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].

thanks 14:23, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

See Martin 13:11, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I went to the link, & I noticed that all Wikimedia Projects including Wikimedia is sorely disorganized;, still, the above issue has not been addressed;: on the link, nowhere was there Refernce Desk, Compliants, Help Desk, etc.. Also, Wikitionary has no links in any part of its entirety which would lead to Refernce Desk, Compliants, Help Desk, etc.. Coudn't there be a project or devlopers clean this mess up?!?!
Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me <redact> [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNU licence hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].
thanks 14:23, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Your premise is simply incorrect, Wikipedia has no power or jurisdiction over the other projects. They are all self-contained. Wikimedia is not a project, it is the umbrella organization. Wikimedia is the only organization with power and jurisdiction over the others. And yes, Meta (which is a wiki about wikimedia) is quite disorganized, and they are working on that.
Thanks for the reply.
Your right wikipedia has no power of jurisdiction over the other projects, & I'm glad for it; if that wasn't the case, we'd have a bigger problem on our hands. Excactly, if Wikimedia is the Umbrella organization, then it should have Help Desk, not Wikipedia; in the current state, only Wikipedia has Help Desk, & this is just an example, as you can see with Refence Desk, etc.., which correlates to the fact that Wikipedia acts as the Umbrella organization, in some areas, & I hope that this gets brought up & I hope this changes.
And I'm a bit puzzled by what you mean by Meta.
By the way, you forgot to sign-_-'
Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me <redact> [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNU licence hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].
thanks 16:03, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Notability, significance, importance, verifiability...

Anyone interested in creating a guideline from the following?

We've got a template, {{Importance}}, which is linked to by quite a few articles, which implies that has consensual approval, yet the page it redirects to is either historical or proposed depending on when you look at it. There needs to be some guideline on how to make a claim of notability or importance, and the value of such a claim. Steve block talk 09:58, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Weights and Measures

Not sure how possible this would be, it might require code changes, but the idea would be to allow us to embed weights and measures in a template such as {{kg|20.5}}, which by default would do nothing except show 20.5 kg (in some agreed format), however with the extension of allowing users to choose preferred units for items such as weight, length, area, volume, liquid volume etc in one of the tabs of my preferences. This would save having to have articles showing dual units (i.e. the height of mountains in metres and feet), they could just be entered once in whatever the article writer wants and then all users can view the article with whatever units they are most familiar with. Sfnhltb 05:51, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Somebody else suggested the same thing couple of years ago (cannot find the discussion any more, unfortunately). IIRC, it turned out to be too complex to implement. - Skysmith 11:33, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
However, it is not too difficult to implement the selection of displayed units in CSS. See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Selecting SI or imperial units based on CSS. No automatic conversion, though. -- Eugene van der Pijll 16:04, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Footnote style

There is no unified footnote style in Wikipedia, which bothers me. some put external links as footnotes, like this [], while others put all the notes in a seperate section. We need a unified style--Exir KamalabadiJoin Esperanza! 08:45, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

See citing sources, verifiability and footnotes for some guidance, the manual of style probably also has a section. However, wikipedia is collaborative, and the perfect article doesn't exist, nor is it required. Happy editing! Steve block talk 10:43, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I think if we could get everybody to just use sources, that would be an enormous accomplishment. I think details of formatting are secondary (even the issue of using footnotes versus inline citations is secondary). It seems a fair number of editors, including long standing ones, including admins, regularly make new articles, with no sources of any kind. So, I would never want to criticize somebody who gives sources, for not using the right format. --Rob 22:21, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Javascript signature reminder

On Talk and Special pages, could there be a small javascript that checks to see whether the user has typed ~~~~ or clicked the signature button, and, if not, would pop up a confirmation box asking if the ~~~~ should be added? This would reduce the number of unsigned comments significantly, and I don't think it would be that complicated of a script to write. There would need to be an option in user preferences to disable the script, of course. Jonathan Kovaciny 01:22, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Sounds a good idea!--Keycard (talk) 15:54, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Good idea Lcarsdata 16:27, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, but I'd rather we didn't have this. Failure to sign one's comments is another indicator that one may not be fully up to speed. I value such indications, since I can't maintain a record of every user's personal reputation in my head. For the same reason, I oppose any policy forbidding outlandish sigs; they tell me too much about the user. I automatically discount any unsigned comment and I'd like to be able to continue to do so. John Reid 07:58, 5 April 2006 (UTC)


I would like to propose that pronunciations should be provided for all main subject terms, the way a regular dictionary or encyclopedia does. To me this is one of the main characteristics that makes Wikipedia less useful than other online reference sources. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 22:25, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

  • We do have guidelines on pronunciations. They are posted on Wikipedia:Manual of Style (pronunciation). However, because it is currently a guideline instead of an actual policy, it is not strictly enforced. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 22:30, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Ironically enough, my last edit was adding a pronunciation for the title of an article, something I've never done before; go figure. I still have to disagree with the proposal, since it is unnecessary and contrary to Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary. An encyclopedia article covers a concept, not a word or even a group of words. Sometimes editors feel that a prominent word should be clarified, but that's on a case-by-case basis, and I would not want to see the practice become standard in any way. Melchoir 22:45, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Anon-can't-create-pages issue

I'm curious about the MediaWiki text used to explain to unregistered users that they can't create new articles. This has come up at MfD recently, see Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Talk:Hinged handcuffs. User:Rossami feels (and I think they're right) that the talk page in question was created by an anon wishing to create an article, who used the Talk space because the article space was protected.

Should we alter the code so that talk pages cannot be created for nonexistent articles? Should we alter the warning text (wherever it may be) so that it warns users not to do this, or is that going to violate WP:BEANS? (Where is that text?) -- stillnotelf is invisible 22:24, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Status icons

I'd like to see the addition of small icons beside each article title when they appear within search result listings or categories. This is currently being done (hardcoded) in some of the wikibooks to denote their completion status:

I think its a great way to add more detail to the listings without being too obtrusive. The existence of status icons would be a great motivator for folks perusing categories to jump in and fix things while they are within an area they're familiar with. For example, I can browse all the listings for {expert} tags but how do I filter out any of the articles for which I'm not an expert? It would be far easier for me to go to the category, i.e. Category:Electronics and view all the articles within and look for the telltale status icons.

icon candidates: wikify, expert, importance, sources, etc.

I would suggest making their appearance on the pages an option that can be toggled in the user preferences, default=off for the first while until the bugs get worked out.

[To implement this I'd encode the status flags as separate bits in a status code byte/word/long that gets updated whenever the article gets edited, fast retrieval & decoding.]

--Hooperbloob 22:17, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Search results

It would be helpful if the "Special Results" page, listing relevancy, included a little more information to provide a hint as to the page content.

Bringing All Of Wikimedia Closer Together

I was thinking of having search displaying all the results of a search query in all the Mediawiki projects;, I'm not sure if because Mediawiki isn't that powerful, or that our\the technology isn't that powerful yet? Please leave 1, & mabye if possible, let me kno, thanks. 11:06, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

You can do a search of all Wikipedia languages via Google by adding "" to the end of your search. User:Zoe|(talk) 22:08, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Proposal: Disallow new article creation for a month

Rationale: Having hit the million mark in both users and articles, now is a good time to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. Having half a million poor quality stubs is nothing much to be proud of - not every blue link leads to a well-written, rounded, somewhat-complete article. Not being able to create new articles (in the main namespace only) will force everyone to work on existing articles only.

Why a month? It's a compromise between nothing and forever. We can try it out and it won't damage WP's up-to-dateness. Perhaps people who are creating articles on everything that happened yesterday can use this time to try out wikinews:.

Actually I don't think gaining consensus on this proposal is the best way to implement it, I think it should just be implemented from above, but let's see how this goes anyway.

(Weaker version: Only allow creation of new pages that already exist as redlinks.)

Inspiration from User:Adam Carr. Is there any good reason we shouldn't give this a try? --pfctdayelise (translate?) 03:25, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I like this idea (I'm not sure about the red-link version, though, unless new Users aren't allowed to create red links...). It would kill two birds with one stone, as it would help to cut down the huge number of one-shot accounts, created simply in order to commit page-creation vandalism. The latter, at least, would accomplished with a probation period of less than a month, of course. What's the current period before Users can move pages? It seems odd that they can't move them, but they can create them. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:10, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Heading in a different direction, what do you think of #Allow newbies to move their own pages above? Melchoir 10:12, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I think it is a fantastic idea, it would be a great oppurtunity to deal with all backlogs. We would of course have to allow someone to create articles, to keep up with important new events, but that is an insignificant point. I urge anyone who thinks this is a bad idea to patrol new pages for a while, it is very depressing. Martin 10:11, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Not too keen. I think the red link suggestion is too open to abuse, and would be unworkable, and I think not being able to create an article for a whole month could prove counter-productive. Some people can become notable over-night, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham spring to mind. Whilst it can be argued a month without an article on these might not be a bad thing, I'd hate to see the ability Wikipedia has to be flexibile removed. People's strengths lie in different areas, and I think this proposal fails to respect that somewhat. Steve block talk 10:27, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I'll be the first second to oppose the idea. I spend much more time patrolling new pages than dealing with the cleanup backlogs (although I do have a bit of experience in the latter), so I'm not sure what kind of bias that gives me. I think both areas are pretty depressing, and it's mighty tempting to support the proposal.
However, I am very afraid of the chilling effect a further restriction on article creation could have on new user enrollment. I entered Wikipedia through copyediting, but my experience on Newpages tells me that a substantial number of new recruits feel strangely compelled to start with a new article. That includes a lot of vandals, but it also includes a lot of potentially great contributors who go on to improve existing articles. Right now, all they have to do is sign in; if they were hit with a waiting period of any kind, I think many would lose interest. This would be a Bad Thing; we need fresh blood as we grow in popularity (and vandalism).
When I try to imagine the failure modes of Wikipedia, I think that the beginning of the end would probably be a tapering off of interest in the project. Any policy that might conceivably precipitate that taper has to be worth the risk, and I'm not convinced that this proposal is worth the risk. If it sounds too paranoid, you can ignore this paragraph; I still think that discouraging interest in Wikipedia is to be avoided. Melchoir 10:44, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
This reminds me of the miserly farmer who decided to train his horse not to eat. Just when the training was succeeding the horse up and died. The idea of stopping article creation for a period of time is intriguing and promises several benefits. However the project requires new pages all of the time, for redirects, page moves, new talk pages, new user pages, categories, templates, plus Wikipedia Afds and other process pages, all of which would be needed during an improvement-drive. Not to mention the general self-organizing nature of Wikipedia which requires inputs of energy to maintain itself. Cutting off new pages would be cutting off some of the energy that keeps Wikipedia alive. But I agree with the sentiment. With a million articles we should find ways of preferring improvement over creation, perhaps by adding a speed-bump after the red link. Regarding Mel's point about moving pages only after four days, that bump is due to the page-move vandals. I think it has been of some value as it gives admins a chance to identify vandals who use thematic usernames. -Will Beback 11:09, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
So me, number of others who prefer to create more articles and practically every member of the projects like Countering Systemic Bias and Missing Encyclopedia Articles and all its subprojects would be cybernetically ostrasized? Would that include the wikipedias in other languages who try to increase the amount of their articles? - Skysmith 12:11, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly support this proposal. I cannot imagine improving Wikipedia and not being able to create new pages, for example by splitting or moving pages, so I'd have to take a wikibreak. I'd really welcome that. Perhaps I'll even be able to shake off my wiki-addiction in that month. That would do wonders for my spare time. -- Eugene van der Pijll 13:29, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Opposed. If new articles are low quality, it doesn't matter much, because most new articles aren't very notable, so not many users are likely to find them, anyway. And eventually those articles may be improved to the point where they will be a nice addition to Wikipedia. I've created some new articles recently which I think are well-written useful additions to Wikipedia. On the other hand, restricting access to create new articles will likely piss off potential new users and old users alike, who will then quit Wikipedia permanently. I am already seriously frustrated by being constantly accidentally blocked because of my dynamic AOL I/P address, and this just might be the "final straw". Don't piss off the users, without them there is no Wikipedia. StuRat 14:13, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Some responses (which sometimes apply to more than one comment above):
    • Steve block: I agree about the red-link idea, but I don't really understand your other objections. The overnight notability of people is surely unconnected with the ability of new users to create articles. What, also, do people's different strengths have to do with the case? The biggest problem of new pages, aside from the outright vandalism (a huge number, as any New-pages patroller will testify) is the creation of pages by people who have no idea about how Wikipedia works, and make a total mess for other editors to clear up. More often than not, they create strings of articles – usually stubs – all of which need work. The time wasted on this is incredible.
    • Melchoir: Wikipedia's increasing popularity means that worries about discouraging new users are misplaced, I think. I seriously doubt that anyone who is likely to turn out to be a valuable contributor will be discouraged by having to learn how to edit properly and only edit existing articles. Anyone who would be discouraged by that enough not to edit at all strikes me as someone we're probably better off without. No-one is essential to Wikipedia, no matter how many edits they've made, and of what quality; that surely applies to would-be editors too.
      • No single editor is essential, but it is essential to continue to recruit, and simply being popular is not enough. I've read Fark and Slashdot and, hell, even everything2 forever, but I never felt like joining them. Wikipedia is not just popular, it is qualitatively different in how it draws in new users. I've seen too many good contributors enter the project by creating missing articles, and I have a hard time believing that they all would have joined up in a different way if they'd been restricted. Melchoir 20:43, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Will Beback: again, with the large amount of increased interest, I don't foresee a problem. note that, if the delay period were a month (and I'd be happy with a shorter period — say a fortnight, or even four days), the negative effects on Wikipedia, if any, would only be felt during the first month.
    • Skysmith: I don't really follow this — why would anyone be ostracised? Also, this is a proposal for the English Wikipedia; other Wikipedias make their own policies.
      • "Ostrasize" might be wrong word. The point I intended to make it that there are whole wikiprojects whose sole purpose is to add new articles Wikipedia still does not have. I mentioned just the two I remember. Their work would be stopped for a month. In addition to these projects, many individual editors try to do the same and at least add stubs. This would stop our work as well. - Skysmith 14:50, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
        Are you saying that these projects are all staffed entirely by people who have started editing within the last month? Even if they were, unlikely as that seems, by the time any such plicy was implemented they'd all have been here for longer, so wouldn't be affected. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:14, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
        • Okay. The original proposal above gives me an impression that it is about stopping creation of new articles for a month instead of not allowing new users to create articles for that period (and it seems I was not the only one to see that, based on StuRat's comments below). As for me, I've been here since 2003 and I would still oppose that. That's how I begun, writing new articles when there was none. - Skysmith 20:21, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
    • StuRat: why would this annoy old users? And what does this have to do with your being accidentally blocked? With regard to your first point, see above about time wasting. Editors who don't concern themselves with vandalism and New-pages patrolling would be appalled at just how much of a problem there is. Of every fifty new pages, up to a half are either page-creation vandalism or hopelessly messy articles that need considerable work by other editors. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 14:37, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Unless I misunderstood your proposal, it is to ban all users from creating new articles for a month. Did you mean you will only ban new users from creating articles for a month ? The accumulation of annoyances, like this and the blocking policy, is what will cause users to quit, didn't I make that clear ? If you are annoyed by having to clean up new pages, then don't do it. Either someone else will do it or it will be left as is. The article would have to be really bad to argue that it's worse than having no article at all on the given topic. In your stats, you seem to be saying we should trash 25 perfectly good pages because of 25 others which need work; how does this make sense ? And one new point, if you keep people from creating new pages containing vandalism, they will likely vandalize existing, more notable, more frequently accessed pages instead. How is this an improvement ? StuRat 15:01, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Well, it's not my suggestion, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that I misread the suggestion (I swa what I wanted to see, damn it). I thought that the suggestion was that all new users would have to wait a period before they could create articles (just as now they have to wait before they can up-load images or move articles. Now that I've finally seen what it really says, I agree with the opposition to it. I'lll add my version below. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:14, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Vandalism is dealt with by 2 clicks of a mouse button, the problem is articles that are of such poor quality they require much work to fix, and copyvios that take 5 seconds to sumit to wikipedia but a substantial amount of time for others to identify and delete. Martin 15:27, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Even for an admin, page-creation vandalism takes more than two clicks (unless you don't give a reason for deletion).--Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:14, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Oppose. It's a volunteer project. We get the most bang for the buck by allowing people to work on what they want to work on. Also, if someone does a bad job at creating new articles, there is no reason to believe they will do a much better job at editting existing ones. You just shuffle the problems around with no real benefit. Dragons flight 14:56, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that there are a lot of people who want to work on flooding wikipedia with crappy articles, and not nearly enough people who want to deal with them, see Category:Articles that need to be wikified for > 6700 examples. Martin 15:05, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
If only 6,700 of 1,037,622 articles are bad, that's only 0.64%. I don't see a problem here. StuRat 15:21, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
That's because that's only the tip of an iceberg. It fails to include the articles that are appalling but haven't been caught, the articles that were put right by editors, the articles that were deleted almost immediately, or after copyvio of AfD processes, etc. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:14, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
What makes you think banning article creation will make much of a dent in that backlog? Even if we do succeed in reducing the backlog to 0, once article editing starts up again, most of our gains will disappear. Johnleemk | Talk 15:10, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Refer to Raul's 3rd law. Johnleemk | Talk 15:10, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Ideally I would like to see the same restrictions to article creation as there are to a semi-protected page, "banning" article creation totally is clearly not a long term solution. The thing that makes me think it will make a dent on the backlog is the obvious fact that the backlogs will stop increasing in size. Martin 15:15, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
But as I said, how will this work in the long run? In case you didn't know, we already have something like semi-protection for article creation; only those with accounts may create articles. Has this helped with the backlog? Preventing people from creating articles won't necessarily cause them to focus on addressing the backlog of poor articles, btw. Johnleemk | Talk 16:01, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
It takes 2 seconds to make an account, it isn't that much different to how it used to be, although I would say that even that extra 2 seconds has noticably decreased the level of vandalism type articles created. Having a semi-protection type restriction would all but eliminate vandalistic new articles, and dramatically reduce the number of adverts/copyvios. Martin 16:16, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
It is wrong of you people to get up and dance around ecstatically because we've now achieved a million articles, which is several times more than what Britannica has. The fact is, we're far from done yet. The problem is that we do not cover all subjects well. Our coverage is extremely skewed towards a few topics, such as ultra-popular entertainment. It's good that I can go here to read about movies or television shows, or any of the few other subjects were Wikipedia does really, really well. But there are also lots of subjects that we cover very badly. And that is because the coverage reflects who we are, the demographic composition of the bunch of people who edit Wikipedia and create new articles. I'm not some kind of hippie who demands diversity at all times and everywhere as a matter of ideology, but this project, Wikipedia, is one place that needs it. We need to wring in more different kinds of people, so that our subject-coverage can become less skewed, and (maybe) several years from now we can then reach a point where our coverage is not skewed at all. At that point we'll have five million articles, or twenty million articles. But that's not a nightmare, it is a necessity. We should not forbid tech-enthusiasts or movie enthusiasts from writing long and elaborate articles about very specific subjects. That would be wrong, for starters, and secondly I happen to like articles about those subjects too. We just need to recognize that we're short of enthusiass in a great many very important areas. Any kind of restrictions, such as a one-month probation time for new users, will reduce the inflow of new users, specifically those users who are less tech-savvy than the average Wikipedian. Stop talking as if one million articles is an important accomplishment. Wikipedia isn't worthy of the esteemed title of encyclopedia yet.--Peter Knutsen 16:19, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
(Changed typo in the above text: "not" to "now" --Peter Knutsen 15:53, 31 March 2006 (UTC))
Exactly. I note that until recently two of the most famous present day Malaysian entertainers did not have any articles at all. These are only the top tier -- below them are plenty more who deserve articles but don't have any (Sharifah Aini comes to mind). And this is just Malaysian pop culture! There are a lot of holes that haven't been filled yet. I'm very active in Malaysian political articles, and most of them have been started and edited mostly by anons. Wikipedia is still a work in progress, and every possible help we can get should be appreciated and encouraged. (This is a response to Martin from above.) Johnleemk | Talk 17:02, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I initially interpreted this proposal as "a one-month probation time for new users" (which I also oppose), but it seems to actually refer to a one-month moratorium on the creation of new articles by anyone (which would be even worse). —David Levy 17:08, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongest opposition possible! In my opinion, this is a terrible idea (no offense intended).
Whenever I tell people about Wikipedia, the conversation goes roughly as follows:
Person (confused): "You mean I can actually edit the encyclopedia?"
Me: "That's right! If an article should be changed, go right ahead and do it."
Person (intrigued): So...if I notice that information is wrong or missing, I can just correct or add it myself?"
Me: "You sure can!"
Person (excited): "And what if I want to write about something that doesn't already have an article? Can I start a new article?"
Me: "If the topic is encyclopedic and you can cite reliable outside sources, sure! Just request that the page be added. If you register a free account, you'll be able to create the new article pages on your own."
Person (sold): "Wow, that's terrific! I'm going to sign up right now!"
I can't imagine why we would want remove this capability for a day, let alone a month. If we're going to allow the fear of bad additions to compromise the encyclopedia's natural expansion, we might as well protect every article and shut down the project.
I'm stunned by the claim that this "won't damage WP's up-to-dateness." If someone assassinates a world leader, or a natural disaster claims thousands of lives (two random examples), these previously undocumented subjects instantly become encyclopedic.
The redlink idea couldn't possibly work, as nothing would stop someone from linking to a nonsensical title from any existing article. —David Levy 17:08, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment: I just noticed the irony of this proposal's rationale ("Having hit the million mark in both users and articles, now is a good time to concentrate on quality rather than quantity."). Don't you realize that this statement itself concentrates on quantity? You're actually arguing that we already have plenty of articles (and users to edit them), so we shouldn't concern ourselves with the many notable subjects that have not yet been covered (and the potential new users who might be drawn to the project for this reason). —David Levy 17:29, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Sounds like the 19th century head of the US patent office who suggested closing the office down since everything that could possibly be invented, had been invented. Do you realize how many potential valuable editors you would lose by doing this? User:Zoe|(talk) 18:29, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose It is heartening to read the oppose arguments above. I've taken from various discussions here and there on WP that some (hopefully far from a "consensus majority") feel it is NOW necessary to move to a an ill-defined Phase 2 (perhaps because we have "so many articles already" or "quite enough editors" or simply "what's next?"). The notion seems to involve a lot of curtailment, such as locking articles, reducing privileges, requiring credentials, and so forth, and this proposal fits in that IMO alarming scenario. WP has a pretty solid policy and guideline foundation, and great operating principles, which should be developed through application by the "community", not by regulations and bureaucracy. I think some are under the impression that immutable laws of WP behavior have been identified, and problems thus defined can be "fixed" with rules. But once you actually get involved in a particular collaboration, anything from editing a somewhat contentious article, to processes like WP:FAC/WP:FARC, it is instantly obvious how it's all about people attempting to work things out, and not about trying to follow to the letter the policies and guidelines that already exist. WP needs PEOPLE of all shapes and sizes and educations and inclinations, coming and going over time, to create healthy, evolved mechanisms. These things don't happen overnight, not matter the speed of the Net. The "screening" process is (and should remain) in the editing, not in creating restrictions and moving in any way toward a gated community. IMHO. --Tsavage 18:55, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

From Peter Knutsen above:

"It is wrong of you people to get up and dance around ecstatically because we've not achieved a million articles"

I presume the million articles includes redirects? If yes, then we've probably only got about half a million 'real' articles - MPF 19:17, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Includes Dabs but not Rdrs, IIRC, FWIW.
--Jerzyt 19:44, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
A little off topic, from an attempt to gather basic stats in the Stable Versions discussion (might as well use 'em wherever...):
Number of articles: 946,207 (30-Jan-2006)
Number of stubs: 366,102 (as tagged, approx as of 08-Feb-2006)
Number of Featured Articles: 878 (30-Jan-2006)
Number of articles by size: 368,570 <1K (stub); 452,034 1K-4K; 102,677 4-8K; 60,256 8-32K; 5,483 >32K (db dump around Jan-2006)
If you use Featured Articles as some sort of measure of a "complete" article, the shortest FAs are around 16K, and most are much bigger. So the numbers might indicate around 65,000 well rounded articles (although many topics won't need to go that long, 8K is stull only maybe 8-10 average paragraphs), or 165,000 "decent" sized articles including the shortest (4K and up). Any which way, it looks like still a lot of work to do in Phase 1. --Tsavage 20:02, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Oppose. We have enough instability and unpredictability from long-term chanages.
--Jerzyt 19:44, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I oppose this for the reasons above... but we do need better article creation. Giving everyone a blank editbox is not a good idea, it's rather surprising that we still do it after all these hoaxes, horridly formatted articles no one ever cleans up even after years, etc. There should be a more new-user friendly creation process, with access to "advanced" creation for anyone who wants it, i.e. the blank editbox. --W.marsh 20:28, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

OK, some further comments:

  • It's only a month (or however long - 2 weeks, whatever). It won't kill anyone. I realise projects like Countering Systemic Bias are doing excellent work. There'd be nothing to stop people working on articles in the user space and transferring them to the main space after the month is up. It is unlikely vandals/schoolkids would bother doing this. So I would expect a 'bump' in new articles after the month was up, but I would also expect them to be better than the average new article because they've had extra time to be worked on before going live.
  • I also don't like the redlink version and agree it would be hard to implement and open to abuse, so that's why I'm gunning for this. Stopping ALL newpage creation, not just newbies either.
  • I'd hate to see the ability Wikipedia has to be flexibile removed. People's strengths lie in different areas, and I think this proposal fails to respect that somewhat. Again, it's only a month. People might discover new strengths and new interests they had never considered before. It's just an experiment that wouldn't seriously harm the project. If we do it and EVERYONE hates it, we can never do it again. No problem. Or maybe it would work out well, we could do it once a year.
  • As for rebuffing would-be recruits. Yes, I agree newbies should be able to create articles (which is why I oppose Mel's proposal below). It's the way many people get addicted. But en.WP has more than reached critical mass, in terms of users. We're not in danger of becoming out-of-date due to lack of interest or lack of volunteers. If someone tried to create a new page in this period, we'd have a temporary page to lead them to explaining the experiment, and offering a list of suggestions of other things they could do in the meantime. Similarly with DYK, of course. Rebuffing someone this month doesn't mean they won't come back next month and try again. This idea doesn't discriminate against newbies because it applies to everyone equally. IMO I would find this less confronting than having my brand new article speedied in 2 seconds, or reading an AfD about it, etc etc. Therefore I am not of the opinion that this would have a serious impact on new users that wouldn't be made up for within a couple of months afterwards.
  • Although I don't do NP patrol, I am aware of its existence and thus that it is a problem. I didn't make this proposal directly because I want to solve that problem. I think it would be an interesting experiment that has the potential to do a lot of good for the community. Again it would be a LIMITED (one month) EXPERIMENT.
  • I agree with user:Peter Knutsen's comments, although I think he is opposed to this. The thing is there are so many barely-there stubs or half-pages on extremely worthy topics. They exist as bluelinks but not every bluelink leads to a well-written article. That's what I hope we as a community would be able to begin to address.

--pfctdayelise (translate?) 03:31, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

    • I think it's Mel Etitis who said: - Steve block: I agree about the red-link idea, but I don't really understand your other objections. The overnight notability of people is surely unconnected with the ability of new users to create articles. What, also, do people's different strengths have to do with the case? The biggest problem of new pages, aside from the outright vandalism (a huge number, as any New-pages patroller will testify) is the creation of pages by people who have no idea about how Wikipedia works, and make a total mess for other editors to clear up. More often than not, they create strings of articles – usually stubs – all of which need work. The time wasted on this is incredible.
      • First, this proposal is about turning off article creation for a month. No mention was made of just for new users, was it? The point regarding people's strengths is that some peoples strengths lie in spotting gaps in our knowledge and creating new articles. Turning off article creation would prevent that. As to wasting time on cleaning up after others, to be blunt, if you feel it's time wasted, don't do it. m:Eventualism. Steve block talk 09:15, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Very Strong Oppose There are still huge numbers of missing articles in almost every subject area. This is a volunteer project and we should accept what people want to do. You can't clean up an article until it exists. And what about all the current events articles, which are among the most heavily edited? This proposal could have prevented the creation of a 9/11 article until 10/11Choalbaton 19:03, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. I think that this idea is great. Wikipedia is filled with too many stub articles, so why should more constantly be made. I say that we have a WikiWeek, during which all new pages are suspended and users are asked to expand like 25 stubs. At that rate, WP will lose many stubs, and the whole cycle can start over again, making another WikiWeek when the stub # gets high again. Comments? J@redtalk+ ubx  03:34, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
    As long as we're dictating the types of selfless contributions that people can and cannot make, we might as well designate specific articles that can and cannot be improved/expanded. We don't want people working on articles that already are in decent shape, so we need to force them to work strictly on the ones most in need of attention. As added incentive, we can block all access to the rest of the encyclopedia until the 25-stub quota is met. Anyone who's unwilling to play by these rules can just go away. We don't need them and their "free editing" during WikiWeek! —David Levy 04:07, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Partial agree I'd argue for a one month moratorium on new articles in the "entertainment" area. Specifically, limit new articles on bands, songs, albums, movies, actors, TV shows, show episodes, games, and game characters. That's a huge chunk of article creation right there. Then we can have an cleanup month during which the existing articles in that area are fixed, merged, or deleted.--John Nagle 17:46, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
  • oppose. What a strange proposal! More strange is the part that goes: "... force everyone to work on existing articles only." and "it should just be implemented from above, ..."(!) As User:Dragons flight said, it is a volunteer work where you just can't FORCE anyone to do anything in particular. Also, it is wrong to assume that the consequences of such implementation, from the "above" or elsewhere, is even knowable by any epistemology, for a Wiki of such size and purpose. The most drastic degeneration is an equal possibility to the proposer's hopes of improvement. Finally, there is no need to force people around here; perhaps, if a consensus about the value of the proposal has been ensued, a general note of encouragement, to the priority of fixing and improving stubs and the like, will be a lot more better than "forcing from above"! But also notice that such consensus cannot be but temporary itself - more people are supposed to be joining in - we want to act as though that supposition is constantly actual. It is a wiki, please, oppose all unnecessary restrictions. Thanks to you all, Maysara 18:19, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose the biggest advantage of using the web is hyperlinks, the biggest advantage of using wikipedia is wikilinks, even if we all went and spent an entire month expanding stubs all it would do is massively increase the amount of redlinks and hence number of new articles that were needed. Better having a lot of stubs that only give a precis of the information, than a situation that is half well rounded articles and half nothing at all. Sfnhltb 02:23, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Barely biting back a wide range of creative violations of WP:CIVIL oppose. Per Raul's third law. Like I'm actually going to go and write about astrophysics because I'm not allowed to write about desi or German culture anymore. --Sam Blanning(talk) 10:22, 6 April 2006 (UTC)


When we click on the 'show changes' button, spaces, & returns should be shown as changes; we need to know excatly what has changed, & everything that has changed. If you need ispiration, look @ schorlarly journals-_-

Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me (Redacted) [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNUL hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].

Please fucking reply! Did I have to REALLY use that word?!

thanks 19:56, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikimedia prize?

If physics has the Nobel, math has the Fields Medal, basketball has the MVP, and bad acting has the Academy Awards, .. why can't we have an award too?

So, I'm willing to donate a new Dell XPS 170 laptop (unless someone comes up with something popular of same ~$2000 price range or a trophy of some sort instead?) to a Most Valuable Wikipedian or Most Valuable Contributor prize (i can't decide on a name either heh) IF we can come up with a way of ensuring we get a positive benefit to wikimedia/wikipedia. I think this prize should be open to everyone who contributes to wikimedia projects (including for example wikibooks). The problem is do we go about ensuring it's fairly awarded without creating infighting, angry persons, portals to hell, or even worse ..overall negative controversy. I wouldn't want someone who worked harder or nearly as hard as the person who wins the prize to get frustrated/jealous etc. and stop contributing. I suppose the same thing applies in other fields but prizes have not prevented people from excelling in those.

Anyway, I'm thinking we can eventually expand it to a few special categories like de-vandalizing, science, math, etc. someday if it works out. What do yall think?


Note: I looked in perennial proposals and saw that a wiki-award idea got moved there .. but I still put it on here cause well I am willing to donate something and want to find out the best way of doing things rather than have it shuffled away.

Fantastic idea Johan! Only thing I worry about is people editing with the prime aim to win the prize; not to benefit the Wikipedia. Also, editors are volunteers, and this could be seen as 'paying' us off. Computerjoe's talk 15:28, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
It could be a good idea. I'd like to make sure from the start that editcountitis never has anything to do with the prize. The prize should be given based on a small, humanly-verifiable number of the user's best contributions, not an aggregate of thousands of contributions. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 18:00, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Then why not limit the qualification criteria to the very first version of the article? Any subsequent edits would be appreciated but do not count towards the judging. This way the onus is on the original editor to get it fleshed and accurate from the onset as much as possible.--Hooperbloob 19:12, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
The whole point of the Wikipedia is to improve. An editor may create an article as a stub, then expand and expand until it becomes a featured article. One idea would be to give editors who make big edits to a featured article (leading it to the status) get a small prize like a $20 gift voucher? Computerjoe's talk 20:50, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting it be used as a yardstick for this prize, but people interested in such things might be interested in Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by featured article nominations. -- Rick Block (talk) 15:16, 8 April 2006 (UTC)


On April 4 in Announcements, it was announced that 2006-Wikipedia-CD-Selection was available. Wikipedia should help ensure the 2007 version has all feature articles by making sure the articles already selected for 2006 are reviewed. Can we have a project page that lists all the articles in '2006-Wikipedia-CD-Selection" so that editors can easily find the selected articles are otherwise categorize/tag those articles? This is effectively a small Wikipedia 1.0. Samw 00:26, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Discussion continued at Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Test Version. Samw 03:03, 8 April 2006 (UTC)


This is not so much a proposal as an informal request for proposals. :p Basically, a lot of our lengthiest (and many of our best) articles use summary style to keep detail in subarticles and a summary in the main parent article. The problem is ensuring excess detail goes into the subarticles. Let's take a couple of featured articles as our examples. The Beatles' history section often has a lot of new detail added to it, and the History of The Beatles article is completely ignored (despite an HTML comment in The Beatles begging editors to add new content there instead). Theodore Roosevelt also has a subarticle on his presidency, but if my watchlist is not mistaken, new detail is far too often added to the main article instead of the subarticle. To make summary style practical, you either need an article that few people care about enough to add new content to — but such an article often has such a limited scope that it doesn't need summary style — or an article that is watched like a hawk by someone constantly maintaining it. (Not practical.) Should a software modification be made to take into account summary style? Perhaps what we could have is meta-data about each section (which for now would probably consist just of its main article, although I can think of other uses -- such as listing references), and then the software could insert a big bold notice at the top each time a section is edited, giving a form message like "This section has a main page: Foo. This section is meant to summarise that page, and probably doesn't need excessively detailed content added here. You might consider contributing information to that page instead." Thoughts? Johnleemk | Talk 14:53, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, how about summary style pulls in the top paragraphs (until the first heading break) of the subarticle automatically and the entire section should always be left blank. When people edit and find only a template and none of the text they were reading that should probably more loudly hint to them they are adding information to the wrong place. Seeing as the top part of an article should be a summary anyway, we are to some extent repeating content when doing this anyway (although no doubt in practise there are vast differences between most in practise currently). Sfnhltb 18:59, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I assume that you could do this already with transclusion and the "noinclude" tag? But I think that this would be make the editing interface unacceptably non-transparent. Christopher Parham (talk) 22:03, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't know that simply maintaining these articles directly is all that complex a task; it just requires trimming them once a month or so, which is an exercise in cutting sentences and pasting them elsewhere. It is problematic where the original text is badly written enough that it is impossible to easily tell what is important and what is not. Nevertheless, the functionality you propose could probably be worked in as a side effect of the same template that creates Main article: Foo. Christopher Parham (talk) 22:03, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I've tried to tackle this problem at ENIAC with a short HTML note using upper caps (not too much in caps, or that fails, too) at every section head. Eg: "THIS IS A SUMMARY. Please add your info at ... " Give this a trial? Tho it can't do anything about people, including apparently experienced Wikipedians, who hit "Edit this page" before reaching the 2nd paragraph (the 2nd para - I ask you!). JackyR 15:16, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I like that idea - Just have HTML comments in ALL CAPS that tell people to limit the length of summaries (even suggesting a max length of 5 to 7 paragraphs, for example) and to put detail in daughter articles. I think that will help a lot. --mav 09:34, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

To add the "Politics" and "Religion" sections on the Reference Desk

Humanities is so general, it grows fast. I believe Politics and Religion should have their own sections on the Reference Desk. Users will definitely have a lot to ask about them. Please consider. Thanks. --Shultz IV 22:23, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

We've had a lot of people trolling the Humanities page recently trying to stir up discussion and controversy on Politics and Religion, instead of asking questions. I'd hate to see any new pages turned into discussion and argument forums. User:Zoe|(talk) 22:45, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Color coding on "other languages"

I think it would be useful if the links in the "in other languages" box betrayed a little detail on the articles behind them, so as to help the reader decide which languages are worth reading, or translating. The furthest I got in this scheme is: Featured articles on top /horizontal line/ All articles here, bold links for longer articles, italic links for articles that are shorter than the one you are looking at. /hor. line/ Stubs at bottom. Jenda 20:51, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Initial thought would be that it would be a bit of a performance bitch. It also requires MediaWiki to be able to communicate with other installations of itself and request information like article sizes, templates and categories; the interface needed for that doesn't exist right now. File it on BugZilla, but don't expect it to be done within 24 hours. Rob Church 19:41, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Featured articles are already marked by a star, though I'm not sure if that's standard or if I had to make some change to make them appear.— Preceding unsigned comment added by TERdON (talkcontribs)
There's a template, {{Link FA}}, which adds a star to the inter-language link if the article in the other wiki is a "featured article". HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 10:46, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
The template isn't universal, and is thus useless in this sense. We need a way to tell a user "if this article isn't good enough for you, you can check out the one our <language here> counterpart has". Jenda 06:58, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Maybe something like this could be done by a bot, i.e. create a series of templates like the existing FA one and have a bot occasionally go through articles checking each languages version and assigning them to one of several groups accordingly (i.e FA, Good, Normal, Stub) and then break up the languages box into appropriate sections if more than one type is present in the list. Sfnhltb 02:34, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Support! Just went here to bring up this idea and someone has already proposed it. Great! I also think that is is bot-work. It would also help if just the article sizes (in Lines or kiB) were given.Michbich 09:42, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Support! fascinating idea. --Quiddity 10:33, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

OpenCyc server

I think Wikipedia should have its own OpenCyc server. It is free, so there should be no problem. One of my reasons for suggesting this is because it would be nice if you can generate lists (OpenCyc queries) other than creating them manually. A good idea for this would be that every OpenCyc constant could have an associated Wikipedia article. I hope you take this into consideration and carry it out. Thank you very much.

FLaRN2005 19:03, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Cyc is not really intelligent. Or very useful. That project has been running for 22 years, with Lenat promising intelligence real soon now since the late 1980s. --John Nagle 19:11, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Hovering cursor on an internal link to display a definition

Sometimes when I am reading an article, I open several other articles just to read the overview/introduction and continue reading the previous article.

The feature I am proposing :

Hovering the cursor on an internal link gives a quick introduction/definition about the word (instead of just the same word repeated). The target article could contain meta-data that would be displayed with any link to that page on the site. If this meta-data is inexistant, the first few words of the article would be used.

Where do I start to make it happen? --Alex 15:50, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Install Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups. Making this a default feature has been proposed before, but IIRC it was rejected as too taxing on the servers. That was some time ago, though, so I don't know how true it is now. Johnleemk | Talk 16:05, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Fantastic! :)--Alex 17:10, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Zip (post) code when submitting location articles such as villages

I love the articles that people write about villages and towns, unfortunately, they do this and don't quote a postcode. Here in Belgium we have several towns which are spelled the same but are very much different.

I think it would be GREAT if you would recommend people specify a post code (zip code) when writing a story about a town.

For example:

Perwez This is 1360

The postcode of the above is 1360 but there is another Perwez, postcode 5352

and there is another pronounced the same but spelled Peruwelz Péruwelz

Quoting postcode would avoid confusion.

FIFO on backlogs

(Moved to Wikipedia talk:Maintenance for further discussion.)


In australia recently there has been some media coverage of a young surfer named James Robinson.... I would like to add a page to him as he has recieved several large surfing awards and i have recenetly interviewed him for Australian TV shows.... unfortuanly i cannot edit but would like to help by giving info..... if any1 would like 2 help me with this plz email.... <email address removed - User:Zoe|(talk) 17:28, 10 April 2006 (UTC)> — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robbo james (talkcontribs)

If you sign in, you can create the article yourself! Melchoir 06:16, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, please review our policies and guidelines, particularly Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:Notability (people). An article about a person may be removed if a consensus of editors agrees that the person is not notable enough, or if the subject of the article is unverifiable. Keeping the policies and guidelines in mind while writing an article can avoid misunderstanding. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 11:59, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Thirdly, just in case you are "James Robinson" (as the now-deleted email-address suggests) .. please also see our guidelines regarding writing about yourself. We don't recommend it. FreplySpang (talk) 12:34, 10 April 2006 (UTC) (updated to reflect deletion of email address) FreplySpang (talk) 17:35, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikiplaces - the online catalogue of shops/restaurants/museums etc

Google Earth's community is a large resource of knowledge for what it at various places around the world how about a wikipedia version. For big chains e.g. Mc Donald’s you could have addresses for their locations while small shops and restaurants could have reviews sample menus and recommended dishes. If it had a built in function for searching buy area and it was easy to specify where a pace was when the article was made (preformatted address box like when you put your address in on an online store etc) it could quickly become invaluable in finding what was in you local area or what’s worth doing on holiday.

Perhaps you could try Meta:Proposals for new projects? Melchoir 02:07, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Have you seen Wikitravel? User:Zoe|(talk) 17:27, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Catalogue of Historical Documents

I think that it would be great to have great historical documents available on wikipedia e.g. Magna Carta, doomsday book, American declaration of independence. I'm sure there too old to be copyrighted and it would be a great resource.

See Wikisource's historical documents. However, note that transcribing Domesday Book is probably out - I'm not sure there's an out-of-copyright English translation, or an easily acquirable edition Shimgray | talk | 18:38, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Those are hosted on Wikisource. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:26, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

More info on dates

Like on all the days we can add: Movies out, Games out, Books out, CD out, etc. For that day. Like births but for movies etc. --Actown e 16:51, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

It's not the most lively of fora, but you might want to post this on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Days of the year too. Melchoir 01:51, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Requiring All Changes To Be Made With An Account

It seems like there's a LOT of Vandalism GOing Onn. Well, we could require all changes made to be made from a logged on Useraccount. Depending on the vandalism though, I acually don't know what the vandalism is like,[since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNUL hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up], but it must be made clear User Accounts have the option to be deleted, & after a certain period of time, they should be deleted; somepoeples personalities are like that they like to have things open ((open ended/no closure)).

Please reply.

Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me (Redacted) [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNUL hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].

Thanks. 20:04, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (perennial proposals). You should have looked at it the last time I mentioned it to you. Also, why do you constantly repeat "your" email address and that screed about why you won't sign up? We saw it the first few times, we don't need to be reminded of it every time you make a comment, unless you're just trying to make some point. --Golbez 20:11, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Maybe we should require to register before making any more edits. ;) -Will Beback 22:27, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I checked Perennial Proposals, but the thing thats' not there is the ability for the user accounts to be come deleted after a period of time, & the option to delete an account. 1 reason people do not sign up for an account is because a name they want has been taken. Another reason is because they want closure; if the person decides they no longer want to be associated with Wikimedia, they have no way to achieve that.
Please reply 15:15, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Allowing users to delete accounts is legally incompatible with the GFDL which requires attribution, and hence that the edits associated with a particular online identity stay associated with that identity. One might be able to work around this in a few ways, but the amount of legal and technical hassle involved make it unlikely that there will ever be an option to delete accounts. Dragons flight 22:06, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

==Extra Space==$. Does this make comments larging in size as bytewise? Even if not, it could create confusion. So I guess Mediawiki needs to be tweaked/the devlopers\the codes needs a little editing?

Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me (Redacted) [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNUL hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].

thanks 20:22, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

The mediawiki parser, like most parsers, ignores whitespace in many places. What's your point? -- G. Gearloose (?!) 20:47, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Somebody brought this exact point up a few weeks ago. Even if we removed all of the whitespace from the code, the space savings would be extremely minimal. ~MDD4696 21:09, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks but this is better than none.
Sorry you can't contact me [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNUL hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up]. 10:23, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
The opinion has been that the extra space improves readability of the wikitext and hence is worth the nearly neglible cost. Dragons flight 15:39, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
This is to Dragons flight.
Well, we argue that there is no limit to how much formatting it takes to improve readability. You can improve readability infinitly. There's a arguement, called {an Ancient Greek's name} Arugement that I can not remeber the name, but ... YEA! Here's something for you: If you look at the HTML version of: $Dragons flight$, you'll see that there r no spaces between in the raw link. OH MY GOD, ITS SO HARD TO READ! WHERE ARE ALL THE SPACES!?!?:
Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me (Redacted) [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNUL hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].
thanks 18:59, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Not true. Minimal savings that take a lot of developer work and make editing harder are not good ideas. — Saxifrage 16:11, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
This is to Saxifrage.
Who are you talking to?
If your talking to me: Well if you use that arguement, there has been LOTS of things that devlopers have spent time on to change. How could you decide which things should be changed & which should not? Don't go all selfrightous with me and discriminate & prentend, as some people say, your God.
Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me (Redacted) [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNUL hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].
thanks 18:59, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Please fucking reply! Did I REALLY have to use that word!? 21:56, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
No, you didn't. Melchoir 22:04, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

There was actually discussion about standardizing the whitespace in the source code and having Mediawiki add extra space where needed to make it more readable on save. Discussion here. See also Programming style, Indent style. I think it's a great idea. — Omegatron 00:08, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

== Extra Space ==$ is also the same as

Extra Space

I noticed that in wikihtml, when we edit, formating has extra space, for example, when we edit a comment, there's a space between the $Subject/headline:$ & the content of the message. Another example is

TOC Template

The Dog article; how it appears now, with default table of contents
The Dog article; how it would appear with my idea
The Dog article; how it would appear with my idea in 800 X 600 resolution

If you type {{TOCleft}} at the beginning of your article, the table of contents appears to the left of the rest of your article (and the same for {{TOCright}}), instead of the default format with the article introduction at the top, then the table of contents, and then the rest of the article. I think the default format looks ugly, especially in an article with a very long table of contents. But the Wikipedia article about it says that you should only use the TOCleft for just a few articles that really need it. I think lots of articles could use it, but I don't want to go around Wikipedia changing all the articles if someone doesn't like the idea.

Could I propose that most of the articles on Wikipedia be modified so that the table of contents fits in nicely with the text?

I understand that someone looking at the article might want to read the introduction before the table of contents, but it's no trouble to arrange that. You just have to type {{TOCleft}} after the introduction. Jonathan W 00:11, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Looks good to me, a much better use of space. --Hooperbloob 03:58, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Have you considered how it looks at lower resolutions? At 1024x728 (which is what I use here), there is room for only five or six words on a line between the TOC and the taxobox on Dog. That looks ugly. At 800x600 the TOC gets pushed down to start at the bottom of the taxobox. I can't adjust my monitor to 600X480, but I would hate to see what that looks like. We need to consider how our pages look at various resolutions. It is possible to have a page where the text is confined to a very narrow column at a given resolution when images or other boxes take up too much room. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 14:05, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Good point. But I tried looking at it in 800x600 resolution and it doesn't look ugly to me. Maybe you're right though. Maybe if we do this we have to make sure our taxoboxes and TOCs aren't too wide. Jonathan W 21:10, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Interesting! Here is how it looks on my system in Firefox at 800x600 - Image:8x6dog.PNG. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 00:54, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Ya and I looked at it in 1024x728 resolution too and I thought it looked okay even if the letters were squished. (But the dog article is protected against editing for now so I can't show anyone) Jonathan W 02:14, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I think if you want to increase the usage of TOCleft, you should try softening the language at Wikipedia:Section first and see if it catches on. Many articles are formatted (by the placement of tables and images at the top) assuming the default TOC placement, and if the default changes, they'll have to be fixed.
On another note, Dog has way too many sections, many of which are just a paragraph long. If some of those subsection markers were removed, it would increase readability and decrease the TOC footprint. Melchoir 21:29, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for all the ideas! Another thing that would help is if I could find a way to shorten the width of the TOC so that it takes up less space. Jonathan W 16:46, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Change History

We should be allowed to compare more than 2 versions at 1 time. 20:12, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

You mean like when you select two versions and click Compare selected versions, and it shows you all the changes in the interval between those two versions?
Donald Albury(Talk) 20:40, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Yep Excatly.
Thanks. 20:59, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure how you want us to reply. Dalbury explained to you how to do it.
User:Zoe|(talk) 21:31, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Well you could email me. Or if your wondering what I mean by reply, I just mean, please leave a comment.
Thanks. 21:46, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, let's spell it out for you because you appear incapable of understanding Dalbury's instructions. Press the "history" tab at the top of your screen when browsing Wikipedia. Use the radio buttons to select the revisions you want to compare. Press the "compare selected revisions" button. Got it?
Johnleemk | Talk 16:02, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, you know that there are only currently 2 radio buttons, that means only TWO versions of anything can be VIEWED AT 1 TIME. We should be allowed to view MORE THAN 2 VERSIONS IF WE'D LIKE. 22:07, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
For once you are suggesting something that is possible to do and isn't a bad idea. However, I don't know why you would want to do this. Besides, you can already do this if you look at the three edits in two different windows.
Saxifrage 03:30, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

UN languages poll

user:Alanmak has added a template at the top of all united nations-related articles containing the alternative names in 5 languages. This has caused a great deal of controversy. There is a poll being conducted at Talk:United_Nations_Commission_on_Human_Rights#Poll to settle the issue. Raul654 19:08, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Change History

We should be allowed to compare more than 2 versions at 1 time.

Please Reply.

Please leave one if you'd like more clarification on this issue. You could also contact me (Redacted) [since they haven't instituted the option to delete your account, made their own licence, or the GNUL hasn't changed yet, I haven't signed up].

Thanks. 20:12, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

You mean like when you select two versions and click Compare selected versions, and it shows you all the changes in the interval between those two versions? -- Donald Albury(Talk) 20:40, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Yep Excatly.
Please reply.
Thanks. 20:59, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure how you want us to reply. Dalbury explained to you how to do it. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:31, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Well you could email me. Or if your wondering what I mean by reply, I just mean, please leave a comment.
Thanks. 21:46, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, let's spell it out for you because you appear incapable of understanding Dalbury's instructions. Press the "history" tab at the top of your screen when browsing Wikipedia. Use the radio buttons to select the revisions you want to compare. Press the "compare selected revisions" button. Got it? Johnleemk | Talk 16:02, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, you know that there are only currently 2 radio buttons, that means only TWO versions of anything can be VIEWED AT 1 TIME. We should be allowed to view MORE THAN 2 VERSIONS IF WE'D LIKE.
Please reply.
Thanks. 22:07, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
For once you are suggesting something that is possible to do and isn't a bad idea. However, I don't know why you would want to do this. Besides, you can already do this if you look at the three edits in two different windows. — Saxifrage 03:30, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Bots hidding vandalism

I don't know if it happens to others as well, but the recent heavy activity by robots that format articles has given me a lot of extra-work spotting vandalism in the articles I watch by getting extensive watchlists of modified articles that have only been slightly touched by a Bot.

To illustrate the problem, let me show you this edit that added some nonsense, but at the same time removed the chinnese interwiki link (zh:). Hours later to this vandal edit YurikBot restored the interwiki link, leaving the vandalism untouched. The following day I check for the last changes, and saw tha the page has been edited by YurikBot, thus thought that there's no need to check its edits, but luckily checked it anyway.

Since bots produce a huge number of changes in articles that might have not been otherwise modified in months (and therefore there's no need to check them for vandalism), it might be reasonable to give Bots a special status that would later allow us to ignore their edits when requesting your our watchlist. This way watchlists would be much more compact, and we would have less work doing our everyday check.

Another idea would be the display in the watchlists the number of edits to that page since your last log-on, or something like that. Any other ideas? Good wiking, Mariano(t/c) 05:33, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

I noticed a similar thing. Perhaps you should contact the botmaster. Computerjoe's talk 06:45, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I believe the ability to ignore bot edits in the watchlist has been suggested to the developers, I don't know if it is going to be implemented though. Martin 22:16, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

I have mentioned this several times to various bot drivers. At last, one of the bots (Tawkerbot2 rider, thank you) implemented what I wanted: its edit summary lists previous editors, see here, so that I can still do eyeball search for red-inked vandals easily in my watchlist. Why not enforce this for all bots? `'mikka (t) 21:59, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Proposal: "Further information needed to determine if qualified for inclusion" template

A template for "Further information is needed to determine if this article qualifies for inclusion in Wikipedia. The information needed is: ... If this information is not provided within N days, the article will be deleted." would be useful. Effectively, this would be equivalent to "prod", but nicer in tone.

The intended use is for articles where some minimal information has been posted, but not enough to determine if the article qualifies for inclusion. Typically these are articles with a few lines of text, but with no references. The idea is to give newbies clearer guidance of what's needed in the article. Technically, "prod" works for this, but using it on incomplete articles by newbies comes across as stomping on them. This would be a more positive approach to the problem. --John Nagle 19:00, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

That has potential. Maurreen 02:38, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes. I agree that this would provide a more welcoming approach than using the prod template. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 17:10, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

"Inadequate" tag

I am considering creating a template to mark inadeqate pages.

This would be placed on the article page. Its primary purpose would be to tidy up the articles that have multiple templates indicating multiple problems. Those templates would go on the talk page.

The "Inadequate" tag could also conceivably be used to indicate other problems of at least moderate import. But any such problems would need to be noted on the talk page.

This could serve as a simple general quality indicator. It could also be used in a way similar to the different stub tags -- such as, hypothetically, "mil-inadequate" to draw the attention weak articles within a given topic area.

Thoughts, anyone? Maurreen 04:00, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I could be mistaken, but I seem to recall that a similar proposal was rejected by the community. —David Levy 04:34, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Since no one opposed, I created Template:Inadequate. Maurreen 02:39, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Um, it looks like this is a slash between stubs and {{cleanup}}. I'm leaning toward TfD. John Reid 08:01, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
This is my position as well. We don't need yet another tag when existing tags fit the bill. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 16:48, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Shade of standard-talk message boxes

In MediaWiki:Common.css, .messagebox.standard-talk is set to background-color: #f8eaba; like this, which seems a bit too low contrast.
Would some admin please bump that up to this #fcfada ? The tone is the same, but it's more of a tint than a shade, and thus easier on the eyes. Thanks.

--James S. 22:57, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm afraid it will probably require considerably more discussion before such a change were implemented. Talk page templates used to designed in all different styles and colors; eventually, they were standardized following a lengthy discussion and vote. There was considerable support for the current scheme. — Knowledge Seeker 23:11, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the second is not very high-contrast on the Classic and Nostalgia skins. — Saxifrage 02:16, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Article awards/recognition noted on article page

Instead of having various awards/recognition for an article (e.g. "used as press source", "featured article", "main page article", etc.) on the talk page, why not have them on the actual article? For one, it'd allow the reader to recognize that an article is particularly well-established and well-researched. It'd also be a nice sort of commendation for editors who worked on the article.

Some counter arguments: it detracts from the page (I don't really think so, nor do I see how a few lines at the top of a page really changes anything); it attracts vandalism (I doubt it'd attract a significant amount more given the vast number of articles {decorated or general}, and it'd equally attract people who'd make the article better -- either out of an adamance to improve what is already considered great or out of a vandal-esque drive to demean a good article by showing it still has flaws); it could just be left on the talk page (but that undermines the aforesaid reasons for putting it on the article page in the first place!, not to mention the fact that one has to almost intuitively know to look on the talk page to confirm suspicions about an articles respectability.)

So there you go... Give it some thought. 00:26, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Subtle stuff like the star in the top right on the title line for a FA is good enough imo, expanding it to include good articles might be worthwhile, but I can't see much more than that is needed. -- Sfnhltb 00:55, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

A star of recognition is good enough for me. So long as it's something that recognizes and rewards the efforts of the page's editors, as well as notifies and encourages the person who stumbles across the page, it meets the same ends as I (on a different IP) originally proposed. I'd still like it if it noted other achievements ("used as press source", "main page article", etc.) as well though. 05:13, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Lists - a new page feature?

Many biographical articles - for e.g. composers, artists, and writers - are made unwieldy by having long lists of their subject's creations. Such lists are of course an appropriate part of encyclopaedic articles - but they are often almost as long - sometimes even longer - than the body of the article. In some cases anomalies appear when editors try to avoid this by creating seaprate, or even partial articles - e.g. the article List of string quartets by Sergei Taneyev (why not 'List of Songs Without Words by Felix Mendelssohn' or 'List of paintings of bridges by Monet' in that case? - this way surely lies madness). So I suggest a page feature 'lists' to be available (like 'discussion', 'history' etc.) with each topic page, on which relevant list(s) can be posted. That way the info can be easily available and referenced without distorting the balance of the main article. --Smerus 20:39, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I support this 100%. I often become very disappointed when I open a new article, and I see that it is 4-5 screens long. I then look forward to lots and lots of content, factual information and so forth. But then I find that after 1 1/2 screen, the rest is just a list of items. Sure, such lists are occasionally useful, even for me, but they are deceptive and disappointing because they give a false impression about the article's length. Even more so if you print the article out for off-screen reading (which I often do) and then find that you've spent a lot of laser toner and paper on a list. I think it would be a good thing if one could have confidence that the full length of a Wikipedia article was prose content.--Peter Knutsen 16:23, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Agreed --Manwe 12:57, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

see also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lists of works). I've been hoping people will come add to the discussion there, help revive and then implement it is a guideline. I'd would suggest that "List of works" be used, instead of the more ambiguous "Lists". --Quiddity 02:26, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Would it be possible to create a {{show/hide}} template so that a long list could be hidden with CSS on pageload, and then displayed inline when the user clicked it? Say there where 3 paragraphs about the composer and then a hidden list of works, with a link List of works by composer which, when clicked, would make the list visible without leaving the current page? That way the article would not be visually cluttered with lists, but everything would stay within the same article for easier maintenance. Jonathan Kovaciny 21:19, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

CSS methods of hiding text are generally being phased out of Wikipedia because they do not work properly for all users. --CBDunkerson 21:31, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
I hope they are being mended and not completely phased out, because this is the exact idea I had. I agree with Smerus - long lists can be disruptive to an article. I hesitate to say a list page is the answer, since those tabs tend to be for wiki-beauracracy issues, and not content, and new or casual users tend to ignore them. But I think the drop down menu addresses the vertical legnth issue, while still being very accessible to even casual users. We can still brainstorm which way of executing this would benefit maximum users and still be practical. I'm curious to know how many users can't use the CSS methods, and whether the poulation is large enough to totally dismiss this idea. And, if it is too large, there might be another way of accomplishing this. But I definitely think its worth exploring.--Esprit15d 14:19, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Another alternative: The lists are often very narrow as well as long. This is easily remedied by placing the info into columns in some way. There might be many methods for achieving this.

I'm against a new top-tab, or show/hide css. Hidden information will not be found by a significant enough proportion of users that it is inadvisable. --Quiddity 21:38, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I guess this can already be done in the case of a long enough list of works anyway, i.e. creating a section with the works the artist is well known for, but then with a subarticle for a more exhaustive list. Sfnhltb 02:29, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't think an extra tab would be a good idea, especially because the number of articles that require/benefit from lists is somewhat limited. In the field of life sciences, many entries have lists of subgroups (ex. a genus page will have a list of species). However, these are easily moved to a seperate page which can be linked to prominently in the appropriate section of the text. For example, see Pinguicula. The individual lists should be as exhaustive as possible, and can be divided into sections as needed as has been done here. NoahElhardt 22:31, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not too keen on this. Sure, lists can be unwieldy, but often they are integral to the sense of the rest of the article. Having them as separate pages will mean toggling back and forth between the two pages. They may make some pages cumbersome, but I'd prefer them to stay as is. Grutness...wha? 01:42, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Veterinary Stubs

While looking around i noticed the Zoological medicine stubs category.

This of course is of great interest to me as i am a current vet student.

However it seemed like most of the subcats pointed solely to human related articles. Is there any way i'd be able to somehow integrate a purely veterinary perspective on existing stubs or create new ones with a veterinary slant?

eg. if i were to go category:animal anatomy and then click on the "subcategories" cardiovascular system, Arteries and finally selecting Radial artery as a layman and inexperienced wiki user (which i am) i would expect to see the radial artery as described in an animal system, however that is not the case

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated Biliskner 22:18, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I was a bit confused by this, since Category:Zoological medicine stubs doesn't have any subcategories! Category:Animal anatomy does, though (which is probably the one you're referring to), and you're right - a lot of them do point at more general anatomy, which is strongly weighted towards human anatomy. I'd have a look through one of the parent categories of Animal anatomy, though - Category:Veterinary medicine - that may lead you into more fruitful areas. Grutness...wha? 02:29, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
In any case, all the stub articles in Category:Zoological medicine stubs are (or at least should be related to zoological medicine. If they're not, they've been misattributed and need their templates changed. A quick glance through it suggests they are all animal-related, though. As to making new stubs (by which I take it you mean the articles themselves), sure - feel free. That's the beauty of WP - if you find an encyclopedic subject which has no article on it, go ahead and make it. There is actually a list of requested articles, too (Wikipedia:Requested articles) which might give you a few ideas as to what needs writing about. Grutness...wha? 00:09, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Removal of In Depth Fictional Entries

As an encylopedia of facts and not fiction I was thinking Wikipedia needs to go on a rempant deletion spree of articles that refer to fictional items. Wikipedia has become a dumping ground for useless fanboy trivia from hundreds of science fiction and animated programs. Take for example the relatively obscure SciFi series Firefly. I'm not opposed to an article on the show or even its major characters. But there are articles for each episode, items, ships, and planets from the show. It's too much. More popular shows like Star Trek or Lost are even worse perpetrators. All of these shows have there own Wikis and fan sites that do a more thorough job of documenting these programs. There is really no reason why Wikipedia should host redundant info when these fan sites can be liked from the main article. No fictional article should need more info than something like Moby Dick.

My suggestion is not just deletion of offending material, but guidelines for works of fiction. The entry for the anime Outlaw Star is a good example, with plot, characters, and important items in the actual article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mark 2000 (talkcontribs)

Wikipedia:Village pump (perennial proposals). --Golbez 05:08, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I tend to agree with the original post. It really is getting out of hand. Recently, I've seen articles going in for each "army" from Ender's Game and each team from Wacky Races. Remember, unlike a paper encyclopedia, we have a search engine. We don't need all these little items. --John Nagle 05:13, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
So propose a specific merge, rather than work for a blanket policy. --Golbez 05:26, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Merger would create huge pages. Look at Lost. There's a page for every object and symbol in the show. We'd have massive pages. And besides, just because something is new and has a rabid fan base does it warrant such huge amounts of info past the works of major classical authors?--Mark 2000 05:32, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I didn't say merge everything. I said merge small articles into large lists. I assumed the OP was complaining about stubs; if things like every army from Enders Game are well-developed articles, then there is no problem whatsoever. --Golbez 06:24, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
There is no size limit for articles- Though when they get past a certain length, they're usually... split up. Ahem. Additionally, if you feel that articles related to works by classical authors are not getting the coverage they deserve, do something about it instead of complaining that we have good, comprehensive articles.--Sean Black (talk) 05:57, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
This particular ship has long since sailed. Feel free to work on merging material where it makes sense, but trying to tell people that they can't provide verifiable, factual content about the things they care about is a hopeless battle for very little benefit. If you are feeling frustrated with the expansion of fictional content, might I suggest you visit our recently featured articles on Bulbasaur and Spoo? Dragons flight 05:40, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
You can verify it all you want, but Wikipedia should not be an episode guide or a show companion. There ae other sources for that info. To Sean, I have to say that I think the classics get all the deserve. I'd hate to see them fleshed out more. Can anyone tell me why Wikipedia needs an article on Number 42 or Vorlons or Mr Leslie who was in the back corner of the bridge of 6 seconds in a 2nd season Trek episode? That sort of thing should be reserved, or I think this needs to be looked at more seriously. I think what I really want to get across is: Is Wikipedia a place to get general info on many topics or a repository for every scrap of info ever? Mark 2000 06:14, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree that it should not be an episode guide. That does not, however, mean it can't have articles on Vorlons or Number 42. It is not a repository for every scrap of info ever, which is why you offered the strawman of "Mr Leslie". --Golbez 06:24, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Leslie was not intended as a strawman. Please tell me how Vorlons or 42 are more important to an encyclopedia than Mr. Leslie. How is he less important than a Wacky Race team? --Mark 2000 06:28, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, why shouldn't Wikipedia be a place for every scrap of information about something? Jonathan W 02:32, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Because it constrains the developing reputation and image of Wikipedia as a serious rather than trivial encyclopedic reference work - and from a functionality point of view, the noise-to-signal ratio gets too high Bwithh 09:47, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to make another point separate of the other arguments. If you go to (the Star Trek Wiki) you will find that if a real world item is linked (such as a Black Hole or a dinosaur) it is linked to Wikiepedia. There is no dinosaur entry in Memory-Alpha because the rules say it isn't relavent enough. So why then doesn't Wikipedia link to Mmeory Alpha on specific trek items as opposed to having a selfcontained page? Does Memory-Alpha have higher standards than Wikipedia?--Mark 2000 06:35, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Fancruft and its talk page. jdb ❋ (talk) 08:34, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

See the discussion from 2002 at Talk:Mithril. It's far too late. User:Zoe|(talk) 15:50, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Its funny. No one is answering my questions here. They're either blowing me off or sending me to links of past discussions - that don't answer my questions. That tolkien argument was puely emotional and avoided facts and logic at all costs. This is leading me to the sad conclusion that the major players of Wiki are all fanboys with no objective vision. Its so much like religious folk I've dealt with it's not funny. Guys, grow up. Mithril and Dilithium don't belong in an encyclopedia and Wikipedia is tainted by their presence.
This is a dead horse. You can't prevent people from contributing on topics which they are interested in, and whether you like it or not, pop fiction is significant in this day and age, and is encyclopedic as such. — Saxifrage 17:19, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
You are changing the argument to make me seem like I'm anti-pop culture. However I've said no less than 3 times that I don't think classical culture or any other subject deserve this much attention. Just because I want pop culture (and not even pop culture. Scifi is not really popular in the way "Friends" or "Mandy Moore" are which makes them even less deserving of attention) to have equal amounts of reserve as other subjects doesn't mean I'm against its inclusion. I'm a fan boy, dude. I can write you a 3 page essay on Tellarites. But at least I'm sensible about it.--Mark 2000 18:27, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I thought you were arguing for it being removed from the encyclopedia, but now it sounds like you'd prefer some kind of... edit.. cap? Or something? How do you propose to enforce "reserve" on contributors? And why does fictional stuff get your ire when, say, the subject of high schools doesn't? — Saxifrage 06:44, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia does a lousy job on entertainment content. Wikipedia has the trivia, but not the reviews. The database-type info (credits, track listings, etc.) isn't accurate and isn't properly indexed. Eventually, it will probably be necessary to move list-oriented entertainment content to a different, more database-oriented system. IMDB is synchronized with the Director's Guild of America official credit database, while Wikipedia is not.
Some of the same issues apply to sports, where fans want statistics and current info which Wikipedia doesn't have.
Entertainment content requires a different system. Some fan will probably create one at some point. Then we can move out all the entertainment content and cross-link the search engines, so that it looks seamless to the user. Be thinking about this; it's going to be necessary at some point. --John Nagle 17:30, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I think this is the right idea but also that it is necessary now. There are fan wikis out there already (like for star trek and battlestar galactica), but this policy should be driven by Wikipedia administration not fans. Large fancruft clusters could be detached from the main wikipedia site onto their own wikis. and further fancruft content inputted onto the main wikipedia would be immediately dispatched to their relevant wiki. This already happens with e.g. quotes and Wikiquote (try putting a small list of relevant quotes in an article and it'll surely be removed and transplanted to wikiquote pretty quickly), so why not with fancruft. It need not be a seamless transplantation (wikiquote isnt really), and I'm sure fans will appreciate their own wiki that they decorate nicely and have chats about. And the main wikipedia site would be able to have purer mission as an encyclopedia Bwithh 22:00, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
This is exactly the kind of thinking I was hoping for. I think its a good idea, not how do we get the attention of admins?--Mark 2000 01:28, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Plenty of admins read this page, but admins have no more voice in changing policy than do other editors. It would require a consensus of the Wikipedia community to do what you are proposing, which I think currently has a snowball's chance of happening. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 01:59, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

The way I see it, Wikipedia is supposed to be a place where people all over the world can log in and exchange information. So what if you are a fan of Firefly or Ender's Game? Take Calvin and Hobbes for example. If you're a fan of Calvin and Hobbes (like me), this article will give you lots of information you never knew before. In my opinion, if you aren't a fan of science fiction, just leave those artciles alone. Jonathan W 21:00, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

To delete a neutral and verifiable article because it "doesn't belong here" would be a violation of NPOV. --Sam Blanning(talk) 21:14, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

No it wouldn't. If I wrote a biographical article about me, a little known San Francisco artist, you could have it deleted no matter how NPOV and verifiable it was. Some things are not appropraite for a serious encyclopedia and no one has an answer as to why sci-fi fluff is.--Mark 2000 05:54, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Deletion of non-notable people is in accordance with WP:V, deletion of autobiographies additionally in accordance with WP:NPOV. Deletion of 'stuff that people are stupid for writing' would violate NPOV. The answer to "why sci-fi fluff" is worth an article is "because people can and want to write articles about it that meet encyclopaedic criteria". The same is not true for your autobiography for the reasons already mentioned it. --Sam Blanning(talk) 14:36, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, you're not making a sensible argument. You're saying that a non-notable bio is against the rules because it is against the rules. That Fancrust is legal because there is no rule against it. That doesn't make sense. Your second argument for facruft - "because people can and want to write articles about it that meet encyclopaedic criteria"- is also not logical. I have about a hundred fans who visit my site. If I asked them to start an article about me and maintain it it would meet your criteria, yet I'd still be non-notable and unworthy of an article according to the rules. So just because people are willing to write a page doesn't mean its worthy or an encyclopedia or a rule can't be made against it.--Mark 2000 21:20, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
You would also be censured for meatpuppeting, but that's beside the point. What he's saying, is that is it a violation of NPOV to delete a neutral and verifiable article based on your personal opinion that it doesn't belong here. You countered with an argument that was missing the point and he pointed out why it was missing the point. Go back to the part about NPOV and personal opinion and you'll see where the sense in the argument is. — Saxifrage 21:42, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Everyone on the planet then should have a wiki article if it is factual and encyclopedic. Why is there a rule against it? I'm not missing the point, you are. There are appropriate subjects and non appropriate ones. Explain to me why non-notable person is bad subject matter but the different Dharma stations in lost good? There still is not explaination except that it is currently allowed. Rules can be added or modified, you know? Do you have an argument to not modify them?--Mark 2000 22:14, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
If you made the argument that each of the individual Dharma stations shouldn't have their own articles because they're too non-notable, then you might have a case. Your argument is not that, however. You are advocating the blanket removal of all entries on fictional subjects, which is a position in such excess that is a very minority point-of-view. That last is why NPOV is being cited. — Saxifrage 23:08, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I wonder whether the original poster has seen WP:FICT. There are guidelines as to what deserves its own article and what does not, and under what circumstances. — TKD::Talk 03:24, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
He, meaning I, actually has not! But obviously no one else here has either. So what do you know! Buried in the depths of the guidelines is EXACTLY what I'm talking about already writen as plain as day. So I guess this argument can end. But now a new discussion should start about actively enforcing these rules. As someone previously commented, pokemon and characters from babylon 5 have been featured articles. The guide states only characters major enough to be icons in themselves are worthy of articles. That would mean the only Pokemon who really should have an article is "Pikachu". However, EVERY POKEMON EVER has its own article. So where should we start?--Mark 2000 04:59, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Probably by discussing changes to WP:FICT on its talk page - it would seem from the above that the policy does not match consensus practice and may need to be changed. -- stillnotelf is invisible 05:14, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
The current guidelines do mention that major characters (regardles of their status as cultural icons or not) can be broken out into separate articles once length of a combined article becomes a factor. This especially is true for long-running series. From what I've seen, length is probably somewhat more so than the guideline lets on. Articles on fiction run the gamut as far as quality goes; some have problems with verifiability and original research, but there are also a fair number of well-written and well-sourced articles as well. An essay that might interest people here is at User:BrianSmithson/Writing about fiction, which lists several good featured articles on fiction.
Also, it's worth mentioning that fictional subject matter as featured content has also been a recently heavily debated point at Wikipedia talk:What is a featured article?. Just to give you an idea, the precedent so far has been that there is no consensus that obscure fictional subject matter is unworthy of featured status. The article on Bulbasaur had a very controversial featured article candidacy, but was promoted to featured article status. It was almost immediately listed as a featured article removal candidate and speedily kept since the FARC process discourages the listing of recently promoted articles. Spoo was listed on featured article removal candidates, but consensus was to keep it as a featured article. Probably worth reading over those links to get a feel for where things stand with editors involved in the featured article process. — TKD::Talk 05:48, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Remember that guidelines are not policies, so calling them "rules" that need to be "enforced" is missing their point. More to the point would be to start a campaign to educate users on the existence of these guidelines. — Saxifrage 20:25, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Here is a page written by the founder of wikipedia:[12] Acording to him since there is no size limit, there is no reason why everything shouldn't be included. And I agree 100%. The whole point of wikipedia is to have as much information as possible in one easy-to-use source. Why exclude content just because it's obscure. The great thing about wikipedia, is that people can get incredably obscure content from a mianstream source. Fictional information in some regards is more relevant then some real information. Lets say that you have a book read by 20,000 people, and a town in which 10,000 people live. The book, even if fictional would be twice as important as the town. But even if it's less important, the goal here was to create an omni-includisve source meaning everything. Why exclude things just because a particular group of users don't find them interesting. The point here is to include, not exclude stuff. Fiction is perfectly lagitmate. Tobyk777 19:23, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Tobyk777 wrote: "Why exclude content just because it's obscure." I agree. Maybe it's my inner nerd, but - no, it's not, come to think of it. It's human curiosity. I sometimes click on "Random article", or link-hop (follow a trail of links that pique my interest). Many of the results I get are seemingly trivial, but might very well be fascinating or even useful to me. I could care less about Star Wars or orchids, but some people will find those interesting or even useful, if they're planning to write a fanfiction or grow an orchid plant; in recent years, I became interested in Romanian mythology, in part because I'm writing a fantasy novel that I'd like to use it for - to almost ANY other person, the stub article on balaur is completely useless. To me, it is not, because it was a creature so unique to that region's mythology that I had never heard of it before - and yet, could be a fascinating addition to my novel; or, if you were writing a thesis on the representations of evil in European cultures, it could provide an interesting tidbit, as well. It can't really be merged with anything else - a balaur is not a dragon, despite the simularities, and it would not make sense to merge all articles on characters and creatures in seperate myths that all happen to be Romanian, into one article, especially since the resulting article could very well end up being massive and massively confusing and difficult to use - so it has its own article, even if the article is a stub right now. Why? Because it matters to someone, somewhere, and someone else, somewhere, took the time to start the page. Is it obscure? Yes. Useless? Not to everyone. Interesting? To at least some, it would be. This is why there are so often people quick to defend even seemingly "trivial" articles from deletion. Because it will be useful or interesting or both, even if it won't be either to everybody under the sun. Mind you, I do think that if something is an *object* from a specific fictional universe, it should be kept on the page for that universe. Tricorders and phasers are objects that only exist in Star Trek, so why not just merge or link to the main Star Trek article in the searchs? Although I do think that in some cases, a particular universe, as it were, might deserve multiple entries if it exists in multiple formats. Buffy, M.A.S.H., Stargate, Dukes of Hazard and Firefly all have TV series AND movie versions, most of which differ greatly from each other (well, Buffy and Stargate's series' were sequels to the films, but they do have many differences, such as cast, for one). Buffy and Firefly also have series of comics; Fray is a sequel comic to Buffy (itself a rather notable cultural phenomenon), but it's its own story, so if it doesn't have an article already, there's nothing that should prevent it from having one. And so on. But really, that's completely an organizational matter, and it's also the reason we have these wonderful (if sometimes dauntingly large) Talk pages. Er, but to address what it SEEMS to me is the main concern of this section's OP - if the character is minor or the object or event is one which only exists in a SINGLE fictional universe, it should be merged into either a list (such as the one for Firefly's minor characters), or the main article for that universe. Otherwise, though, I'd usually just say "leave it alone, it'll be useful to someone and it doesn't clog the page so much". 04:48, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
100% Agree Everything you wrote is right on. I just want to add that some fictional universes are large enough, popular eunough, and important enough to have entire projects, like these: Wikipedia:Wikiproject Star Trek, Wikipedia:WikiProject Stargate, Wikipedia:WikiProject Star Wars, the list goes on. Tobyk777 05:20, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

The Re-addition of Wikifun

The Re-addition of Wikifun link to the community portal and other areas where user whether new or not can find it easily. I think this is important due to the fact that it has slowed severely and in addition this comment made by a user on the discussion page: " this participation made me learn several features of WP I didn't yet know". so as you can see there is a large benefit. --Larsie 16:10, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

The draft for the new Community Portal includes links to Wikipedia:Department of Fun and Category:Wikipedia games. I'd suggest making an infobox for the tops of those 2 pages with the more active games listed. --Quiddity 02:42, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I made one quickly for you (using an orphaned template page). Template:Wikigames Go edit it and reorganize it and place one on each mentioned page. If ya like :) -Quiddity 03:06, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Cognitive Map of a Wiki Space

I'm looking for the ability to create, maintain, and manage a set of wiki spaces using a cognitive map or graphical interface. I've found a couple of open source tools for creating mind-maps, but they are limited to single paths to the leaves. A wiki space is more appropriately modeled as a 2-D or 3-D network. The idea would be that a user would be given an interactive visualization of the pages (content) and the links to other content. If made flexible and powerful, such a visualization tool could be used to create, manage, and navigate a wiki; brainstorm projects; create complex plans; or map out detailed decision making processes. Of course, the power of the wiki is the ease of use by the community and the openess for adding new content..

This just isn't technically feasible for a wiki of this size. A private wiki might benefit from such a feature, but there's proportionately less demand for that. — Saxifrage 00:08, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
There are many ways to make such a system scaleable. It is technically feasible for any size. Kevin Baastalk 22:20, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps you're right. I still remain dubious, considering that just the navtools popup is considered too taxing on the servers to implement by default. — Saxifrage 07:58, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
If you're looking to learn about methods in general, you might get a broader response at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science or Wikipedia:Reference desk/Mathematics. Melchoir 22:37, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I'd be interested to know how you could make it doable, I tried taking just one moderately large article Permaculture and graphing the link relationships. There were about a 100 incoming and outgoing links and just graphing those filled the screen. --Salix alba (talk) 16:40, 15 April 2006 (UTC)