Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive S

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Better Search Tool

I don't know whether this has been proposed before, if this is the proper section to propose it in, or if it is even possible, but I'd like to see Wikipedia have a more user friendly search function. With most sites on the web, there is a standard sort of search where a misspelled or uncommon spelling of a parameter still yields results close to what the user was looking for and/or suggestions on the correct spelling of the misspelled word or phrase. In Wikipedia, when a word entered into the search is improperly spelled, the user is simply greeted with an awkward screen stating that no such article exists and left with no real recourse to find the proper name of the article. Moreover, even when it does yield possible results, it often skips over many articles that contain the phrase, and often times I have found the proper article to be missing from the list of results. 11:04, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

See Mediazilla:974. We have fuzzy searching; it's currently disabled for performance reasons. Possibly someone could write a more efficient fuzzy search at some point in the indefinite future, possibly not. For now we have to live with it, unless you're willing to give Wikimedia the money.  :) —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 05:01, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I had the same problems until I downloaded the free i=Internet explorer spell checker at this site hope that helps Jodywebster 21:11, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to make page frameworks consistent

I propose that we make page frameworks consistent. If you look at 'User contributions' it says 'Newer' and 'Older' (with capitals). If you look at the same thing in article histories, it says 'previous' and 'next' (without capitals). Some pages have an 'edit' tab and others have an 'edit this page' tab. I am sure that a review would reveal other inconsistencies.

I was told on the Village Pump Technical page that Admins can customise interface text. So it seems that it is possible to make them consistent. What do others think? bobblewik 17:45, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Seems like a no-brainer, in principle. "Newer" and "Older" should be what gets instituted as standard rather than "Previous" and "Next", in my opinion. As for editing, I'm quite certain that all pages on the English Wikipedia use "edit this page", not "edit". I would invite an example to the contrary. Other projects, of course, may have their own standards.

Are there any other consistency-related changes you would like to propose? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 04:51, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Search feature

Wikipedia is a great website, but if there's one thing that I find slightly frustrating it's that the Search feature isn't very smart. I misspell things often, and if I don't know how to spell what I'm looking for on Wikipedia, sometimes it can be a dead end. So I guess I'm proposing a more advanced search feature?

You want to propose this as a software suggestion. See Wikipedia:Bug report. Deco 04:46, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
That's hardly appropriate. What is required is a major upgrade to include fuzzy searching. It has been mentioned often before, and I'm sure the developers are already aware that it's a major feature that it would be nice to have one day, but actually doing it is not easy and probably not likely to happen soon. Osomec 04:12, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
This is Mediazilla:974. The functionality exists, but is disabled for performance reasons. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 05:51, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Search Wikipedia with Google, add "site:[lang]" to your search. You'll find the page you want, even if Google has cached an old version. --Stellis 08:44, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

DVD version of English Wikipedia

Has a DVD version of the English Wikipedia been considered? It would be very useful to people without internet or if their internet wasn't working. It could also make the Wikipedia a lot of money. 17:11, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

No, its coming soon see the Version 0.5 and the Version 1.0 projects that talk about this idea. Lincher 17:14, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Article Maturity Rating

Just a suggestion: Add an "Article Maturity Rating" to articles so that users can have a quick understanding of the accuracy and therefore maturity of the article they are reading.

The rating can be based on the number of times the article was viewed, appended, edited, and reviewed by Wikipedia administrators, etc..

Keep up the good work.

This is, well, the first use that pops into my mind when I think about the good article assessment project. First, we assess the articles, then we decide if they are of that quality, NPOVness, accuracy and all that jazz. Then, readers have to look on the talk pages to find the things missing in the articles, and to see if the article has been assessed and brought up to the quality demanded for GA. Lincher 17:14, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
If what you have in mind is an automatic measure, I think this would be very difficult. Number of edits, views, etc. has no clear relationship with quality - there might be a correlation of some sort. It could involve a combined metric based on size, number of citations, images, and so on. But in the end this would determine nothing that a person looking at it couldn't determine for themselves. Deco 21:08, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Stub removing

In the page Stub we have two different definitions of that a stub is.

Either it is "3 to 10 short sentences long". Or it is "an article so incomplete that an editor who knows little or nothing about the topic could improve its content after a superficial Web search or a few minutes in a reference library." A few minutes????? This means that a stub is any page between 3 and 300 sentences long.

I think the first definition is correct. And I propose that the page Stub is corrected, together with related pages like Perfect stub article. A new page Stub_removal is created with guidelines for then a stub should be removed.

Right now we have tens of thousends of incorrect stubs. We need a Stub_removing_project. It exists a stub bot User:Triddle/stubsensor what might help.

Reko 11:45, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Too many characters

See my proposal at MediaWiki talk:Edittools#Too many charactersMets501 (talk) 13:49, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Make sure, if you have any objections or suggestions to post them here before this gets implemented! —Mets501 (talk) 16:10, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Main-space only blocking option for low-level vandalism

Most vandalism by anonymous IPs are to wikipedia articles, and vandalism to articles is more problematic than vandalism to other sections of wikipedia, as it involves damage that non-wikipedians see.

Given the above, rather than blocking low-level vandals from wikipedia entirely, how about giving temporary blocks from editing article space (ie "main") only?

Low-level vandals would have little interest in vandalising talk pages and the like, whereas legitimate users may (or may not) be willing to use talk pages to point out errors in an article.

There may be the possibility that this main-space only blocking option would lead to more aggressive blocking, but that'd be a potential pit-fall of any harm-minimisation approach. And, if the vandals decide to vandalise non-article pages, they can be given a full block.

This proposed fix can be done independently of, or combined with, the Wikipedia:Blocking policy proposal being implemented by Robchurch. Andjam 10:17, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

View stable version, rather than latest

Right now, the default view of Wikipedia is to show the latest article. That's not the only option. Perhaps readers should optionally see a "stable" version, rather than the latest edit.

Deciding the "stable" version is an interesting problem. A reasonable first cut might be this:

  • If the article hasn't changed in N (maybe 10) days, the latest version is the stable version.
  • Otherwise, go back to the last edit by an editor who can create articles (non-anon, and non-new account), and does not have a recent history of being blocked.

This would have the effect of hiding most vandalism from casual readers of Wikipedia, with very little effort. It's a way out of the "The truth was there, three revisions ago" problem.

Comments? --John Nagle 00:40, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Now there's a thought, hiding the most recent anon/new edit. Hm. Interesting thought. --Golbez 01:09, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Nice, release articles just like we do with software. If people go to edit the article they'll have to be brought up to speed on the changes they didn't see, but that might not be so bad. -- Andrew Delong 01:28, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Found a related suggestion here. --Andrew Delong 01:31, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Both Wikipedia:Static version and Wikipedia:Stable versions are also related to this. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:26, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Don't forget that vandals dynamically adjust to every measure you throw at them. In this case, they could simply create a large number of new accounts, age them, and use them to repeatedly attack the page faster than they could be banned. Deco 05:34, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
This idea is alread happening but since people monitor new articles, new users and modifications by non-registered users then the aged vandals account are left into oblivion and they will come back to attack. Lincher 14:46, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Don't you think that by making the effort MUCH greater vandalism will go down? Guitar George 11:59, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
The question is whether the decrease in vandalism, if any, would justify the problems with getting legitimate changes to show up and the technical difficulty of implementation. Deco 17:17, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
This isn't intended to decrease vandalism. It's intended to decrease the visibility of vandalism. The concept is that most users won't see vandalism at all. It's a real problem with mirrors of Wikipedia. There's an incident right now where Google picked up a really insulting bit of vandalism, and it won't clear out of Google's cache until the next crawl. --John Nagle 18:46, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I've had this thought myself. I don't think of the default revision displayed as being any more stable than any other; and I think that, by default, the latest should be displayed. Nor is this a specific against vandalism.

Old, heavily edited pages do often reach a sort of maturity; from that point on, new edits tend to be of decreasing worth. Often this is due to vandalism and unwise newbie editing; often it is due to eternal edit warring. When pages reach such a point it may well be wise to determine, by community consensus, a given good revision of the page. This revision would be the one displayed by default to all readers and editors. The page could still be edited freely by anyone but such edits would accumulate in history; the good revision only would display by default.

If implemented, I hope selection of the good version not be done directly by admins. These have already too many responsibilities and temptations. Some scheme under which all editors vote for good revision is needed.

This would require a nontrivial extension to the MediaWiki engine. I don't know if it will happen any time soon. John Reid 17:47, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

There are already methods to mitigate two of the problems targeted by User:John Reid, vandalism and edit wars. Both involve reverting and temporarily locking the article, for which there are protected templates and edit requests. When a stable version is needed rather than a latest one, this can be addressed by reverting to the stable version and locking the page. Edit requests can still be processed but must be reviewed to make it to the stable page. To repeat myself, this is quite analagous to what has been proposed here.
As for unwise newbie edits, I think these ought to be welcomed. A new Wikipedian is only a newbie for so long; after long enough the persistant Wikipedian will become a veteran editor and give much more back to the project than he/she had taken from it as a newbie. All veterans were once newbies and surely mistakes are part of the learning process. This change will have the most negative impact for newbie editors (of which I am one). The editor is already different enough from other computer-based content development systems to provide challenges even for newbie editors like myself who hail from a background of software engineering. As a new editor, I can attest that newbie editors would become discouraged more easily if they are caused greater difficulty in trying to properly contribute, and that would negatively affect the turnover/replacement rate for wiki editors. In short, this is not the ideal solution to any of the reasons brought forth for why we might wish to do this.
Perhaps these purposes could better be served by making available an online version of the static Wikipedia 1.0 as described in Wikipedia:Pushing to 1.0. Note that I haven't looked into the two links Rick Block made above (Wikipedia:Static version and Wikipedia:Stable versions), I suspect they offer a similar combination of advantages and implementation to what the Wikipedia 1.0 push offers. BigNate37 08:16, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

The way I see it is it could be done on articles that have been PR, GAnom, GA, FAnom, FAC, FARC and the ones that have been assessed for CD. This way it would lessen the charge on the admins. Lincher 18:15, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

I like this idea, but what happened to the user patrol idea? I thought that was going to be implemented a long time ago, but I haven't seen it appear as of yet. At any rate, I think this idea definitely deserves extended discussion. —  Stevie is the man!  Talk | Work 20:04, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Date on Main page

Why don't we put the date on the front page? The only thing relevant to the date is the "On this day..." But I think the main page would just look "more complete" with a full day.month.year sort of date in one of the corners or at least somewhere on the page. If infact there is already a date (i've tried looking), then maybe you can make it a bit more apparent because I can't seem to find it for the life of me. 17:27, 8 May 2006 (UTC)someguy.

Indeed that's a good question. But I like the layout as it is; it seems like any new addition might disturb the balance. But that may just be me. joturner 22:47, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
I have created a copy of the main page in my user sandbox, and added the date to it in what I think is a good position. Could someone with a more experienced eye than myself please take a look at it to find out what effect the date has on the layout of the page? Andrew 23:15, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
I barely noticed it. (In fact I only noticed it because I was looking for it). I don't think the date disturbs the balance in anyway, although I'm not sure what the point of putting the date on is? The only use I can think of is in screenshots, and even that is of only a little use. Captainj 17:05, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I delibrately made it small so that it didn't interfere with the layout of the page. However, I'm only an amateur at web design; has anyone else got any ideas on where the date should be placed on the Main Page, if at all? Andrew 22:56, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I also couldnt find it easily. Although, if it is too large, people will complain that it messes it up. Adding a date in small writing below the title cant hurt, can it? I think someone should just put it in - • The Giant Puffin • 19:33, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't know... I just... I really think this is a stupid, pointless idea. I'm sorry, I don't mean to insult anybody, I just think the idea is stupid. Yeah, it seems nifty and we could do it somewhat-succesfully, but what would be the point. Doesn't just about everyone who has a computer have access to the date? If we were making historical backups of all of wikipedia but for some reason removing all edit history, then it might be important to have date somewhere, say on the front page, but we're not doing anything like that, and because we're not there's absolutely no reason we would need date.
The front page does not need more clutter. My computer has the date on it. So does my cellphone, my newspaper, my desk phone, every piece of email I get, the calendar over my desk, and every news-oriented website I visit. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a newspaper site, not a portal, not a My Yahoo home page.--Valwen 07:01, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
If we want date to be included on printed articles so people can tell if their printouts are out of date without going online to verify against the article, that's a separate issue. But my point here is although it might seem cool to have featuritis and put on everything which we think might possibly be "useful" on the main page, I can not think of any instance in which it would be remotely necessary to have a date there. Just useless bloat on the main page, a page that needs to stay as clean as we can keep it. -Monk of the highest order
I would like to modify the idea. The date would be useful for identifying the approximate version of WP when printed, but then it would have to show above every article. I don't see much use in putting it on the main page, as I think the main page is rarely printed. In addition, real estate on the main page is very expensive, even if the date would fit. -Pgan002 03:42, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
The last-modified date already shows up on every page, at the bottom, at least with the default page style. Isn't that sufficient? —johndburger 02:00, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Could we put the date and time on pages where discussions are edited? That would be useful for timestamping posts.--Superflyguy 20:20, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
What's the point of putting a date on a front page? I've always found the idea annoying except as when stated by johndburger as a last modified date. If you want to know the date, why don't you just look on your computer? - Rudykog 00:32, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

And the date would change when it is midnight EDT (where the servers are) or midnight universal time? Either way lots of people would see a date which was not correct for their location.Filceolaire 13:11, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I would think that an advantage of having the date on the main page is time zone clearification. In, for example, the mountain time zone, it doesn't immediately make sense why the featured article is replaced daily at a time other than midnight. I would like to see what day it is in wikipedia world as opposed to in my own time zone. Also, the date gives wikipedia a sort of credible newspaper feel.Amanaplanacanalpanama 21:03, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
I definitely support the date on the main page. How about a box somewhere like this:

Mets501talk 21:28, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

That seems to work well; I actually like it. joturner 05:07, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I've been wanting this for a while; several other Wikipedias do it. Here's a version I swiped from Angela:


BRIAN0918 • 2006-06-02 14:58

Saw a link to this discussion on Talk:Main Page, and I have to say that I really don't like the idea of having the time. The date I can understand (see the BBC) but the time is silly (though a hidden time code would have to give people the right date for their time zone). But really, I don't rely on the website I am browsing to tell me the time and date. I rely on myself knowing the time! Carcharoth 21:38, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree carcha, plus once your on another page than the Main page (like 80% of the users time on WP) then you don't have the time anymore. It would have to be implemented into MediaWiki and I doubt they would want to add that. Lincher 14:54, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Wikiproject: US Governors

I am looking for 6 coordiators for this new project I started called WikiProject:US Governors Wikipedia:WikiProject:US Governors If your interested please respond. --Zonerocks 06:03, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Only a few wikiprojects need a single coordinator, let alone 6. Members, maybe?
Also, this project should be moved to Wikipedia:Wikiproject US Governors. See the Wikipedia:List of WikiProjects - it's a common convention. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 16:36, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I already have it listed. But with an assistant coordinator and 5 other ones that can handle ten states each to help it go faster. --Zonerocks 17:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Fixed link given. Nominated wrong namespace redirect for deletion. -- nae'blis 05:53, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Allow user-set unit preferences

There are hundreds of unit discrepancies between Wikipedian articles. For instance, InterCity Express uses kilometers per hour for all velocity measurements; TGV uses kilometers per hour with miles per hour in parentheses; Acela Express uses miles per hour, followed by kilometers per hour in parentheses; and British Rail Class 43 (HST) uses miles per hour—and all four are part of the same WikiProject.

Therefore, I suggest this: Each statistic that requires a non-universal unit (e.g. velocity, distance, acceleration, luminosity, power, etc.) recieves a special markup. For instance, a velocity of 200 kilometers per hour could be formatted as such: {{stat|kmh|200}}. This would register the 200 kilometers as a statistic rather than simple text.

Registered users could then set unit preferences for all measurements, and all statistics would be displayed converted to the user's preference each time they visited a page.

This would require several software changes, such as a unit converter and acceptance of the statistic templates, but I think that's a small price to pay for a solution to the unit discrepancies. C. M. Harris 20:25, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

  • This is a bad idea -- one, it adds a large amount of markup that would render the edit window even more unreadable; two, user preferences shouldn't change these figures in most cases because the figure given should be in the same units as provided in the source. Wikipedia policy provides that for convenience a converted measurement should be provided in parentheses. So the inconsistencies you point out in your opening paragraph are more-or-less intentional and desirable. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:31, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

article specific edit messages

I think that article-specific edit messages would be a very useful addition. When the user clicked the "edit this page" button, a short, custom message somehow set by previous editors of the article would appear. This could be used to deter link spam, etc. It would only be displayed on the edit page. The article would not need redundant "please cite sources", etc. boxes. As with anything, it could get out of hand, but I think that some in good faith edits that by consensus don't acutally help could be prevented.

As an example, some editors of playstation 3 wanted external confirmation links for each game in the list of launch titles. This content is better suited for the individual game pages, partially because it makes the article messy, and also because the details are more related to the game and its publishers, and may be more complicated than shown in single external links. --gatoatigrado 05:01, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

That is done using hidden text by placing text within special makers, as <!-- '''Text of request or warning here.''' --> at the top of the page. See LOL (Internet slang)#Variants and translations in widespread use for an example. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 11:39, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

link to other languages on main page

I think that the main page should display language links. All of the articles have links to other languages. Google often redirects to the English language, and though most people searching English google would want the English homepage, bilingual people might appreciate the links, and it shows the diversity on Wikipedia. Not a big issue, just a suggestion. -- 04:47, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Did you notice Main page#Wikipedia languages? -- Donald Albury(Talk) 11:34, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia should suggest spelling corrections in our searches!!!

Lets say I was searching for articles about the sugar substitute "xylitol" but accidently spelled it "zylitol". Wiki doesn't do a THING to help me out with the spelling. Not even a suggestion as to what the correct spelling might be!! Take another sugar substitue: "sorbitol". Well, if I spelled it "sobitol" by mistake, again, Wiki will leave me in the dark. For a site as wonderful as Wikipedia the lack of an autocorrect feature is just startling.

Let me provide you with another search that left me in the dark: BOTH "xylephone" and "xylaphone" turned up NO results in a search for "xylophone"! Ridiculous!

The autocorrect could be much like's. It would ask "did you mean: xylitol, xylophone".

I really think Wiki's search engine needs work, especially in terms of autocorrection. This feature could allow thousands of more acticles to be viewed, and thus make Wiki a better place to learn. A feature like this could help one find an article even if he doesn't know exactly how to spell it. Someone really interested in "Ohsamah Ben Ladin" WOULD FIND AN ARTICLE ON "Osama Bin Laden"!

Please consider this!


Niklas (faithful Wikipedia user)

Hi, Niklas, this has been suggested many times before, and the main problem is that we don't have the resources, processing power or software (unlike Google) to do this sort of thing. We have, however user-based spelling correction. Whenever you misspell something, and figure that it's a reasonably common mispelling, you can create a redirect page to the real spelling. You can also search for Wikipedia articles with Google using . — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 17:28, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Village_pump_(perennial_proposals)#Better_search_feature. Deco 19:07, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Subscription To Journals

Would it be possible for Wikipedia to subsribe to scientific journals (particularly review ones - since these aren't "original research") as an institution so that its member could improve it better? --Username132 (talk), UK or Netherlands 12:42, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

No subscription needed. See, for example, Public Library of Science and The original concept, in Physics but one needs an appropriate education to read these sources. --Ancheta Wis 16:58, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
If there were in fact subscriptions to the expensive on-line journals, typically those subscribed to by departments of well-known universities, then special arrangements might have to be made to be made for Wikipedian access. One possible side-effect might be that these special access accounts might constitute publication to the general public -- for free, without the needed revenue stream to these on-line scientific journals. Ideas, anyone? --Ancheta Wis 18:23, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't an institution or school. We're a project to build an free online encyclopedia anyone can edit. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 02:26, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
According to Wiktionary, you could describe Wikipedia as an institution ("An established organisation, especially one dedicated to education, public service, culture or the care of the destitute, poor etc."). I would happily pay for access to the journals through Wikipedia if this then constituted not publication to the general public.
PLOS is nice but it doesn't seem to have anything on adenoviral gene vectors. If you're wanting to pursue a particular subject, it's not necessarily a lot of use. --Username132 (talk) 13:20, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
I would love it if the Wikimedia Foundation could get us access to something like JSTOR. Access to such resources would be invaluable in terms of boosting the quality an accuracy of the encyclopedia. - SimonP 03:51, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Great addition to Wikipedia

Hey everybody, I am new to this so if I have posted in the wrong environment, sorry.

I was just writing because I have (well, what I think) is a good for the main page of This will add more funtionality to this page and, add as publicity for the Wikitionary service.

Somewhere on the ( main page a "word of the day" should be included. It a word not so common, but one that people could easily pick up on and prononciate. If misunderstood they can click a link that would take them to the word searched with Wiktionary. From there they can also look at synonyms' because of the additional thesaurus services Wiktionary offers (the built in thesaurus).

Anyways just an idea.


I like the concept of showcasing impressive work from another Wikiproject on the Main page, but it would require development of some sort of cross-wiki collaboration to approve Wiktionary entries as 'top quality' (or possibly also things from Wikibooks, Wikiquote, Wikisource, et cetera) and then get them displayed here. Worth doing if people like the idea, but would require a group dedicated to getting the project off the ground. --CBD 00:09, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
This would be better suited for Wiktionary. Perhaps it could be a way of promoting Wiktionary. However, as CBDunkerson said, it will require some co-ordination between the two projects. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 02:05, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
You could make this a Wikiproject. Contact me on my talk page for further details. Zonerocks talkpage --Zonerocks 04:18, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Add Design Patterns Patterns template to each of the Design Patterns articles

Semi-large edit proposal: I want to add the Template:Design Patterns Patterns template that I just created (shiny, yes) to each of the design patterns linked from Design Patterns (the book) (basically all the articles mentioned in the template). Any objections or ideas? --shadytrees 15:53, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Looks fine, I say be bold. — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 17:29, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Please no. The GOF book isn't God's final word and the whole topic is more complex than it may look. Please consider improving the articles - I found them (and their classification) to be of very low quality, on general. Pavel Vozenilek 16:18, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Link in biographical articles to LC name authority file

I propose adding links in articles about people to the LIbrary of Congress Name Authority file. de:Wikipedia has linked to the name authority file of the Deutsche Bibliothek, Germany's national library, since January 2005: see Jakob Voss 'Metadata with Personendata and beyond', a presentation at Wikimania 2005. I have automatically generated some tables matching (currently over 12,000) people in WIkipedia with the LC Name Authority file: these show the feasibility of linking large numbers of en:Wikipedia pages in this way. ( My earlier experimentation suggests these automatic matches are at least 99% accurate, and around 20-25% of the approx. 188,000 biographical articles with name of birth can be automatically matched: this would provide about 40,000 Wikipedia records linked to the LC Name authority.) Dsp13 15:06, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Good idea. Can the automatic links be corrected for the rare cases of error? Physchim62 (talk) 15:18, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
No reason why they shouldn't be manually correctable, or (where matches exist, but the automatic process - high on precision, low on recall - hasn't found them) manually added to pages one-by-one. (As in de:Wikipedia.) At present the matches I've generated are just lying in (equally manually correctable) tables on my user page: I have no idea how to move them en masse from there onto the individual pages they ultimately need to be on. Dsp13 18:10, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Forgive my ignorance, but what useful purpose does this serve for readers of Wikipedia? Fagstein 17:44, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
In de:Wikipedia, this allows an external link into the German national library to search for all titles by or about the person involved. At present the Library of Congress does not allow provide the facility to link in directly in this way: it to be hoped that this becomes possible in the future. Even without this, the standard form of name in the LC name authority file is that used in its own library records and by many other libraries. It would allow automated readers of Wikipedia to move beween Wikipedia pages and library holdings on the individual involved. Dsp13 21:39, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Language list

Suggestion: A list of the "Other languages available" in those languages/scripts with the English equivalents (and likewise in non-English language Wikipedias), so we can see what they are. Jackiespeel 13:16, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

This was proposed before, and was rejected. The point of the interlanguage links is so that people who speak the other languages can get to articles in the other language. Therefore, it is easier (for example) for someone who speaks Spanish to look for espanol, instead of Spanish, if they stumbled upon the English page by accident. —Mets501 (talk) 13:24, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Why not have both the English equivalents and the equivalents in their own languages side-by-side? I guess it would waste page space. Why not make this a configurable option in Preferences - so I can decide whether I wish to see the English names of all the languages, or see them in their own languages. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 15:10, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

What I meant was more of a link to a "list of languages" as a separate article. Could a table be created, and each language wiki merely pulling out the appropriate pair own language:other languages? Jackiespeel 17:30, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Unreferenced articles

Category:Articles lacking sources was deleted. Reasons given for deletion included avoiding self-references, that it was unsightly, not helpful to readers and was confusing them. I do not want to make matters worse, but I would like to point out that Category:Wikipedia cleanup has 17,100 articles in it. Also, if we actually worked on referencing articles, there would have been much fewer articles in the category. The template, {{unreferenced}}, used to put articles in Category:Articles lacking sources. Now, there is no category for that template. The category was meant to help in the fixing of the articles with no references. There were two problems with this, few or no people were working on fixing the articles and the template was being misused, in my opinion. Some of the articles did have references, but the template placer thought that there were not enough or he or she did not like the references used. In addition, the template was changed so that it could be added to sections as well as articles, which greatly increased the glut. I think removing the section without references would be a better way to go, but that is another discussion. There is a rather big problem with the template not putting the articles into a category. Whereas before there was not much work done on the templates without sources, the lack of a category makes it unlikely that organized work will ever be done. Currently, the only way to work on articles without references is to click on "what links here" on the template's page, which is very awkward to use for this type of work, especially since there are now 16,650 articles (1.28% of all articles) with the template. Therefore, I think that we should either put the articles in a category and get a project started on referencing unreferenced articles and removing the template from inappropriate articles, or we remove the template from every article with a robot. -- Kjkolb 09:03, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

The only problem I see with this kind of job is that we don't know where the entry's information comes from and that will really impeach the progression of such a project. As of now, the only book resource we have to tackle such a project is and even that isn't much to help us considering that all the pop culture stuff and fancruft information can't be found in so called reliable books or reliable websites.
To go with that project what I would like to see is a removal of unnecessary trivia or trivia sections in such a way that if it pertains to the article's breadth than it should become prose or else it should be removed. Lincher 13:03, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
A laudable goal, and if you work at it you will see your efforts overturned or ignored, and sooner or later you will be flamed. Nevertheless, I keep poking at it. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 21:12, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Lincher, we usually have to settle for verifying the information using new sources because we do not know what sources were used to write the article and in many cases, no sources were used. -- Kjkolb 02:09, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I know, I do that too. Can you point me to other web resources that are somewhat like Google Books that would help in adding source to articles. Lincher 13:39, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I do not know any. -- Kjkolb 04:47, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
What about a library? Ardric47 06:58, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

There appears to be a long discussion (now closed) on this at [1] which no one here has linked to yet. That discussion mentioned Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Unreferenced as an alternative to the category for the use cases you describe. Quarl (talk) 2006-08-14 07:00Z

Thank you, Quarl. :-) However, I already explained why I think that is a bad idea. I was aware of the discussion, but I did not want to link to it because I did not think it would be helpful (also, I seriously considered leaving Wikipedia after I found it). Some of the arguments are just flabbergasting. -- Kjkolb 09:36, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

(de-indent) What about redirecting {{unreferenced}} to {{Not verified}}? It's not as friendly a notice but it would serve the purpose. Or change the category for {{unreferenced}} to Category:Wikipedia articles needing factual verification.

I agree with the point about maintenance categories detracting from the page for non-editors, but until there is a way to hide these categories from anon browsers we don't have many choices. I don't agrre with robot removing the tag, because it feels like we are saying "it's too hard, so let's just ignore it". Kevin 09:51, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

That was a strange deletion (should probably have been done through TFD, as the category and the template shouldn't be separated, but we should be able to get it back without process-wonking this at WP:DRV). We deiniftely should have categories for all our maintenance templates (Whatlinkshere can't be navigated as nicely as categories can). For people concerned about self-references, we could invent a consistent naming scheme or bug developers into giving us an extra "WCategory:" namespace for "unencyclopedic" categories like cleanup, merge, stub, wikify, or deletion categories. Kusma (討論) 10:01, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Why not put the category on the Talk page instead (with or without related template), like we do with many other editor-related templates/categories? It's still easy to look at the list in the Category, and get to the article itself, and it doesn't bother readers. Some (all?) articles might still need a reader-oriented template (without a category) on the article as well as the talk page. You might be able to get someone to write you a bot that would synchronize the two automatically if an editor forgets to do both. — Catherine\talk 12:00, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Do not redirect {{unreferenced}} to {{unverified}}. Those templates serve different purposes. I do like the idea of a special namespace for "unencyclopedic" categories. Garion96 (talk) 12:10, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

As an aside, the absense of such categories will neccesarily prevent my category and backlog tracking bot from monitoring them. Dragons flight 14:54, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

There was obviously no clear consensus for deleting this category. I've started a DRV discussion [[here. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 17:52, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

userbox format for talk page templates

I've been increasingly frustrated with the amount of templates that are being addded to article talk pages, e.g. Talk:2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. I don't believe users should have to page down to get a look at what is actually being discussed on the page.

As an experiment in cutting down on template clutter, I took 3 of the 4 templates at Talk:Lord's Resistance Army and tried to covert them using the userbox template. The rough draft is in my sandbox. Before someone accuses me of being a userbox acolyte, I don't use them, but I do think they are a nice size for a streamlined talk page template.

Please take a look at the two pages and feel free to tweak (I know almost nothing about formatting tweaks) and/or comment on my sandbox talk. I would in particular like to hear if people think that matters have reached the point where a widespread switch from the current templates may be accepted, or if I'm the only one annoyed with the mosaic of pastels when I just want to see the TOC. - BT 01:46, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I think it might be more useful to right-align the talkboxes, similar to the babel superbox, so that the TOC could show on the left. Article talk templates wouldn't have to be quite as small as userboxes, then, but I think your general sentiment is good. -- nae'blis 01:58, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps, instead of reducing their sizes, if an article has too many of these boxes we can simply move them to their own subpage? Then link to that with a generic template. Otherwise, I think right-aligning them is a good idea, with regular content on the left. Fagstein 06:23, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Why not put the templates in a show/hide box? An example of that done to the same thing as BanyanTree's draft is at my sandbox. --Samuel 69105 00:53, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Want to officially start new categorization for actresses...

I am new to wikipedia categorization and I mistakenly started several categories regarding the categorization of American actors. I found that the existing policy lists American actors and actresses into one huge category. I worked to categorize this by having two separate categories for "American actresses" and "American actors" because I feel that the current list is just HUGE and disorganized. I feel that the list is too big to the point that it is very intimidating so people will just leave insteading of enjoying the work of other editors to provide that list. I believe categorizing the pages will alleviate the huge burden of overlisting. I also don't know if it is correct to list actresses as actors. Please let me know if I should continue with the following categories or have a vote. I also apologize for starting them but I didnt think anyone would mind. Here are a few categories that I have started on the categorization:

I hope we can receive a consensus on how to proceed.

Here2fixCategorizations 21:52, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

This is more disorganized. "Actor" can refer to both genders. By making a gender-division, it makes no sense at all. Is there reason for such a division? It actually adds to a great deal of disorder and clutter. Having both genders together worked out perfectly fine. Michael 21:58, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I just feel that the current setup is very overwhelming and by having a list of American actors and American actresses is more clear cut. I believe that it will also help the reader because if someone wants to look at for instance "Irish American actresses" why should they have to shift through loads of pages of Irish American actors? I feel that the current setup is very disorganized and overwhelming. I believe it will help the reader find exactly what they are looking for and save time. I also dont see a problem because you just have two pages with one "American actors" and the other "American Actresses". I would just like to receive a consesnus.


Here2fixCategorizations 22:05, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

The categories are alphabetized, though, so they only need to look under the letter for the name. As opposed to having so many dub-divisions, the present structure is actually far more simple and user-friendly. Michael 22:25, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Please read Wikipedia:Categorization/Gender, race and sexuality. This issue (men & women categories) has been discussed many times in the two plus years since categories were added to the software. Hundreds and hundreds of hours work from many people went into coming up with guidelines for how categorization works. These guidelines can and do change, but they change slowly and only after a good amount of discussion. It is important to learn where the best forum is for discussing things. There is a reason why this is called the "village pump". I think of it as the office water fountain. You cannot decide corporate policy at the water fountain chatting with a few people. You need to go to the office where the policy is discussed. In this case the place to take your concern is probably Wikipedia talk:Categorization. But I can save you the trouble of posting your proposal there. What we would tell you is to read through Wikipedia:Categorization/Gender, race and sexuality and the discussions leading up to those guidelines on its archived talk page and formulate good arguments why the guidelines should be changed. If I have any advice for you and others who are new to Wikipedia it is this: Learn how things are being done before you try to change them, and don't expect change to happen quickly. -- Samuel Wantman 08:32, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, I agree completely. Extreme changes should not be made without concensus. Michael 00:24, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Note: The proposer, Here2fixCategorizations, is a sock of banned user:Jerry Jones/user:JJstroker. -Will Beback 21:43, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for new project: Bots and spoken articles

It seems rather inefficient to me to record spoken versions of articles on Wikipedia, since the articles never stop being edited and enhanced. Why don't we get a bot to speak the articles, and update the spoken versions automatically as they are being edited by users? --Gary Germeil 20:45, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea. But wouldn't blind users simply use their own computers to have articles spoken to them? I thought the whole point was to have human intonations. Fagstein 06:26, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
It could be. However, we have to remain aware that not everyone has or knows how to use the function you just described; some people may be accessing Wikipedia from public computers. I personally thought the point was to make Wikipedia as accessible as possible; this would mean every article would have to be spoken, and updated in real time, so that the content can be read or heard by anyone who wants to access it in either fashion. And I guess automated intonations will become better over time anyway... I don't have the slightest clue how to program such robots, however... --Gary Germeil 23:18, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I like the idea. Perhaps something like is in use hereMets501 (talk) 23:35, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Any bot we program for this purpose will require a very extensive vocabulary. Not just for words, but for the names of people, websites, corporations, etc. Do you think we can program a bot able to recognize and pronounce every single word on the English Wikipedia? --J.L.W.S. The Special One 15:02, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Please install some text to speech software on your computer and have it read several Wikipedia articles to you. Let us know if you find a satisfactory tool. (SEWilco 19:00, 14 August 2006 (UTC))
There is this software, KDE text-to-speech manager (kttsmgr). It seemed to recognize every word I fed it (I made it speak parts of articles on World War II, Gnome Desktop Environment and Inu Yasha). It seems to have problems pronouncing correctly certain names (ie Japanese names). The intonation is terrible (sounds robotic).
However, the software is impressive, considering. I'm not sure, but I think more languages can be recognized with it (if you download the synthetizer files, which I have not, it seems to be able to recognize not only english, but French, Italian, German, etc.) It can read text files or contents of clipboards (copy of text). Most importantly, it is an open-source software, meaning its code is open to all, and can be used in the programming of an automated bot.--Gary Germeil 05:05, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I've had one of its synthesizers read Moby Dick to me. Compare its quality to that of an existing Wikipedia spoken article. Also notice it may be easier to grab an article's text with the Print version. (I mention that for your testing, as I know quite well how a bot grabs the text.) (SEWilco 06:03, 15 August 2006 (UTC))

Skill badges

This is a proposal for a completely new type of award. Please see Wikipedia:Skill badges. NeonMerlin 15:21, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

(Discussion moved to Wikipedia talk:Skill badge by NeonMerlin 17:17, 11 August 2006 (UTC))

Badges!? ;-) — RJH (talk) 20:23, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Best of Wikipedia Publication

I sent and email to the info coordinators of Wikipedia and they directed me to this page to relay my proposal. The email is as follows:

Dear Wikipedia,

I am writing to you to outline an idea which came to me after Jimmy Wales stated that he hoped the focus of the Wikipedia Project would shift from increasing its scope to increasing its quality (in not so few words). Perhaps at some point you could publish a, "Best of Wikipedia," hard copy of the best content available from the website, and funnel the proceeds back into the project (and likewise sell the hard copy at a low price, since it would not be intended for profit). I beleive this would encourage users to improve current articles, and write new articles of higher quality as was suggested by the founders of your organization. It would also help to give the project a more credible base, as it would display highly reliable information, and critics could not argue that someone had gone and edited the pages of a book. Yet another long term goal could be to expand the text to a full sized, multiple volume encyclopedia (with the updates on the web version appearing in each successive edition) to compete directly with mainstream encyclopedias such as Brittanica. This could also be coupled with an included CD or DVD version so that users could access each editions articles when an internet connection is not available and it is not convenient to use the hard copy. For instance, a user might bring their laptop on vacation to an island resort with no internet, but they could still use Wikipedia to search for notable destinations in the area or even as breakfast reading material. Through its funding potential, usefulness, convenience, and credibility, it is evident that Wikipedia could benefit greatly from publishing a hard copy of its best content, later to be expanded to a full multi-volume encyclopedia and CD/DVD yearly editions. I do hope that you consider this suggestion if you have not already considered something to a similar effect.

Sincerely, Joseph Basile WPI Aerospace Engineering 2008

(Line breaks and differentiation between paragraphs are lacking)

I do not, however, know how wikipedia organizes and dsitributes funds or would make decisions on publications. However, I honestly feel that wikipedia has to potential to become the premier encyclopedia on the planet, effectively eliminating all disputes about credibility, if it takes these steps and perhaps others, as ideas come to the table. Please, everyone involved in this community, take my idea seriously and consider it carefully.

Featured Articles is a list of the best articles on Wikipedia. There are currently some plans to release Wikipedia in book or DVD form (Version 1.0). We could select some featured articles after triple-fact-checking and spelling/grammar-checking. The main advantage of this idea will be that Wikipedia will gain credibility as an encyclopedia, and people will not have to worry about these articles being vandalised (unless a sibling sprays red paint on the pages). However, I believe that in book form, some of the advantages of the wiki system will be negated. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 14:57, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
You might be interested in Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team. Maurreen 08:44, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Guidelines for Wikipedian categories

I just put a proposal at Wikipedia:Guidelines for Wikipedian categories. This proposal deals specifically with Wikipedian categories. The current guidelines for categories say very little about Wikipedian categories, and it is implied that they must follow the same stringent requirements as categories in the article namespace. On the other hand, many joke categories and other pointless categories are often created for Wikipedians. This guideline takes a middle ground, stating that the standards for Wikipedian categories are not as high as those for article categories, but there still needs to be some boundaries. Feel free to comment on the proposal and edit it if you have some recommendations. --Cswrye 00:06, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia gold-standard pages?

For pages that achieve FA status, how about placing some type of clickable tab at the top of the page that can send the view to the archived FA release? That is, the version that met the FA criteria and was not subject to subsequent vandalism or mindless editing. Once that's done, what about a peer-reviewed edit process that can make updates to these archived FA pages? I.e. anybody can propose a set of revisions, and there's an approve/object poll before making the update to the archived release. — RJH (talk) 22:06, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I think Stable Versions would be a better implementation.
Also, many (if not most) of FAs lose their status not because they became worse, but rather because standarts became stricter. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 22:14, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Similar concept -- the GA template was recently improved to include a link to the reviewed version. But I think that including the link is optional. Maurreen 08:40, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Some featured articles become a lot better after achieving FA status, with Louisville, Kentucky a very good example. There needs to be a regular review of FA articles to determine if they continue to meet the requirements and also establish a new archived version. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 15:39, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, the recent FA I was involved with, shotgun house, is much better now than it was the day before it appeared on the main page. I'm sure that's not always the case, but usually the post-main page version is blatently better than the pre-main page one. Anyway, people have proposed variations on "stable versions" for a long time and it's never happened for various reasons. --W.marsh 15:59, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Conflict of interest proposal by Eloquence

Please see Wikipedia:Conflicts of interest created by User:Eloquence 10 August 2006. WAS 4.250 21:59, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Advanced random article paramaters.

I know many people use the random article feature to pass time and learn, well, randomly. In doing so though, it is often irritating that so many of the articles that come up are places such as counties and townships, or proper names of obscure people. It would be beneficial if parameters could be selected prior to the request of a random article so that certain catagories of article could be excluded. Or... vice versa, you could request a random article from within a certain field.


Okay, this is like the fourth time this month. Why isn't this on perennial proposals already? Deco 09:12, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for new project: Car interior diagrams

How about a project where we post on Wikipedia diagrams of car interior for all types of cars (Honda, Volkswagen, BMW, etc.) to show where the brakes are, where the suspension is, where the engine is, etc.

This could really help everyone who's into mechanics, or who wants to know what could potentially be wrong when they hear a noise, etc.; we could consult Wikipedia to gather technical information on our own car.

--Gary Germeil 20:34, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not for how-to information. Details at Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. Michael Z. 2006-08-09 04:32 Z
Would you be drawing these diagrams yourself? If you got them from the companies, they would more than likely be copyrighted, and if you drew them yourself, they might be considered original research. User:Zoe|(talk) 16:45, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I see this information as more useful than unnecessary, since much more than what I said could be done with those diagrams (comparing car structures, observing their evolution, discussing potential flaws, etc.) And user Zoe is right, this would require original research, unless we asked the car companies to willingly give us this material and allow us to post it. I wouldn't be drawing them myself however. But if there are people out there who do have these kinds of diagrams, it would be great. --Gary Germeil 23:10, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
It's quite useful, but I doubt that article format is enough for how-to; there are Wikibooks, where how-tos on these subjects are already being written. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 11:03, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Stable versions

I strongly support the idea of a move towards article stabilization and authentication, but I'm sympathetic to the idea we need to move conservatively. Let me start with some observations:

There are three basic metrics of article quality:

  1. content (completeness/appropriateness/etc.)
  2. accuracy (fact-checking, balance, and citation)
  3. readability (clarity, style, grammer, and mechanics)

Few editors care equally about all three.

When refining an article in one of these regards, a frustrating eventuality is that another well-meaning editor will come along and negate your work to further one of these ends. This is obviously the case for readability and accuracy: careful fact-checking and careful grammer correction work often gets mauled when someone decides to change the content. To a lesser extent, content can get unfairly negated too: if I add x but don't cite it, someone else is just as likely to come along and just delete it rather than improve the content by finding a citation (which can be understandable, but still frustrating); whole sub-topics can go undeveloped this way because the only person who thought to bring it up got shut down. I would say, though, that the work of readability and accuracy are far more delicate than content development, and they are therefore more fragile to the wiki process. You really can't do those kinds of work well when the content sands shift underneath you.

Ideally, these three aims could be treated in seperate processes to minimize the frustration. In fact, the ideal development goes something like:

  1. first, stabilize content
  2. then stabilize accuracy
  3. then stabilize readability
  4. then do a quick pass on accuracy again
  5. rinse, repeat

The seeming problem with adopting this model is that it would introduce down time for the various factions. For instance, those working on the content will have to wait for the accuracy and readability folks to put their stamp on an article before continuing work. But is this really necessary?

I think it's safe to assume that the majority of Wikipedeans much prefer to work on content, for most people find the minutia of writing and verification to be onerous burdens. If there is to be a stability feature in Wikipedia, it must respect that primary motivation.

The 'stable versions' marker

Here's what I propose:

I'm going to sidestep the whole issuse of authority selection and just say that the readability- and accuracy- stamps-of-approval will be in the hands of priviledged committees, perhaps divided into subject areas or perhaps not.

  • Whatever the selection process, the authority will be excercised with a simple extra checkbox on an edit page-- 'this is a stable version'-- which commits the edited page and gives it the special mark of a stable version. So the stable pages are just versions of a page within the normal main namespace.
  • If the current version is not a stable version, readers are presented with a link near the article name to 'view the last stable version' (assuming there is one for that article). Viewing the last stable version is just like reading a page in the history, and if you look in the history, stable versions are marked as such.
  • It's up to these priviliged editors to indicate at the top of the page the kind and degree of stableness that is being asserted.
  • It will be up to the priviliged committees to coordinate their efforts (esp. so that readability people and accuracy people don't negate each others work).
  • It may be desirable with some pages to present the 'last stable version' to visitors by default rather than the current version. This could replace much of the need for page locking.
  • These commitees will often have the need to work on branches of the page in a seperate, protected namespace. This should be done by copying the last decent version of the regular article and working from there. A problem I forsee is that, if committees take too long to do their work on a page, they will frustrate regular editors who contribute edits between the time the committee starts their work and when they then finish because their edits will be discarded when the stable version is checked in. There are three ways to mitigate this:
    1. Strict time limits should be imposed on the committee's work.
    2. When starting the process, committees should post a notice on the regular page.
    3. After commiting the stable version, committees should be responsible for going over the edits made while they did their work and incorporating the reasonable edits that can be reasonably reconciled with the stable version; the reconciled version will be commited as a nonstable version (so this would not be official committee endorsement of the material, just a courtesy); the flaws in these edits will be worked out the next time the committee works on the page.

I think a key virtue of this system is that it leaves open the question of what stability means, for it is something that is indicated on each particular stable version. The kind of assurance being given can be specified as appropriate.

A problem that arises, though, that users looking for one kind of assurance may not necessarily want the last stable version but rather an earlier stable version. It could be a history option to see only stable versions, but if the assurance semantics are in the page rather than in some tagging system in the software, the reader would have to look at the actual pages to find the one with the best kind of assurance he's looking for. This won't be such a problem, however, if the committees are sure to incorporate the virtues of the last stable version; as long as the stable versions get progressively better on all counts, readers will always want the last one.

Another solution is that, if a committee creates a new stable version that is in some way inferior to a previous stable version, they could note this at the top with a link to that other stable version.

Taking the committee system one step further, there could be a mechanism for committees to authenticate their pages. One idea is to have certain special category-like links for each committee with the restriction that only a member of a committee can add its special link to a page. This would make it easy to browse the category of stable pages given a seal of approval by some particular group. This mechanism would protect the 'this is a stable version' checkbox privilige be not allowing anyone to claim to speak for any particular committee they don't really represent.

Isn't this a form of elitism?

Yes. I don't see how you could have a stability/quality/accuracy system in Wikipedia without some kind of privilege. However, the system I propose, I think, creates only a shallow kind of elite, one based on reputation that is not so very different from what already exists with well-known members. Wikipedia, like other free/open projects, does, in fact, have a very definite hierarchical structure, and this is fine as long as they remain open hierarchies. --Apantomimehorse 14:26, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Integration


For the last month, myself and 1-2 other individuals have been jumpstarting a massive cleanup project as an attempt to bring order to Wikipedia. I think I have the methodology sorted out: now we need participants. There are more details on the project page. Thank you. Cwolfsheep 12:29, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Mark articles as COMPLETE/STABLE

There are different classes of users, who use Wikipedia differently. The simplest division will create two groups: producers who advance the wiki by adding content and consumers who reference the created content. The problem is that as the wiki grows, it becomes more useful, more trusted and more likely to be used as a consumer's primary reference. As a result, it becomes far more profitable for malicious producers to play pranks, libel or otherwise vandalize the wiki. The will become the biggest challenge facing the wikipedia in its destined path to become a real life Hitchhiker's Guide.

The way to solve this problem is to apply Computer Science's advances in source/content revision control to the human knowledge contained in this wiki. The typical person wants to use software that has been tested and debugged so it runs without crashing on the person's system. Those interested in the bleeding edge version with all the new features (and bugs) will download the beta version or CURRENT build.

The same is true with knowledge. Once an entry has been debated and hashed out by the authoritative producers/authors for awhile, label it as STABLE/COMPLETE/CONSENSUS/FINISHED. When a consumer seeks out a topic, they are given the STABLE version by default. If a producer arrives with a new perspective or new information and breaks the consensus, it can then be flagged as needing to re-reach consensus. The authoritative parties can then hash out their differences until a new consensus is reached and the STABLE version is moved to the new consensus of opinion. If the consumer is interested, they can request the CURRENT version being debated, but all throughout this expert debate, the default version given to consumers will be the most recent consensus reached about the opinion. So an external link on a blog to a congressman will never suddenly become a porn advertisement or a libellous account of his/her person. This will eradicate most vandalism, and go great lengths to answering the concerns about the trustworthiness of the Wiki starting to brew. But at the same time, it will stay true to the (worthwhile) goal of the Wikipedia to allow anyone to advance the state of the wiki by adding their own content.

When the reputability of the wiki is challenged, the response can be, "We give the best of both worlds. By default we give users a version fo the story that experts in the field have debated and come to a conclusion based on the best information at the time. But knowledge is an ever evolving phenomenon, and todays good ideas can become bad quickly. So we still leave the topic open for debate, allowing that person not only to read the consensus, but view the most current and provocative thinking on the subject." Erick Fejta July 8th, 2006

Please see Wikipedia:Stable versions and the related Wikipedia:Static version and various other entries in Category:Wikipedia editorial validation. One major hurdle is that pretty much any implementation of this requires software changes, but there is not a general agreement for precisely how this should work, so the software changes don't get made. Another issue is that the number of articles that might be considered stable/complete/consensus/finished is extremely small (out of about 1.2 million articles in the English Wikipedia, only about 1,000 are featured articles and another 1,200 are tagged as good articles). I think what is needed is a software change supporting a separation between the "working" version of articles and the "generally viewed" version and a practical, scaleable procedure for updating the "generally viewed" version to the current "working" version. I also think that without the direct support of Jimbo Wales, this will never happen. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:52, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
In my opinion, the best metric of the quality of an article is the number of people who currently have it on their watchlist. If an article has 50 people watching it, it almost certainly would qualify as a "good article", even if it is not currently labeled as such. Unfortunately, that information isn't visible today, but hopefully a future version of MediaWiki could display that number. --Arcadian 15:15, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Should Wikipedia use spoiler warnings

Whether or not Wikipedia articles should have spoiler warnings has come under debate again, despite the issue being recently visited via TfD Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2006 May 4#Template:Spoiler. Feel free to share your thoughts at Wikipedia talk:Spoiler warning. -- Ned Scott 00:58, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Note, the discussion is not related to deleting the template, but seeks to build a consensus on the usage of the templates and the deifinition of what constitutes a spoiler. Steve block Talk 22:52, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

New article tag

I propose we have a default tag for new articles. I believe this will help wikipedia's credibility and protect from potential hoaxes. The default tag would last for a certain period of time unless an admin removes it or is replaced by an afd or speedy tag. It could say something to the effect of: "This is a new article and may not have been reviewed for following wikipedia guidelines." I know most questionable articles get deleted but some stick around before anyone notices. I am a relatively new wikipedian and do not know the technical issues involved with this but I think this seems to be a good idea. MrMurph101 23:21, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Israeli apartheid and related "apartheid" articles

At Wikipedia:Central_discussions/Apartheid a series of competing proposals have been made on how to deal with various articles on modern uses of the word "apartheid", namely Israeli apartheid, gender apartheid, sexual apartheid, Crime of apartheid and global apartheid and also the articles Apartheid outside of South Africa and Apartheid (disambiguation). The proposals vary from merging various articles (particularly Israeli apartheid) to leaving the articles in their current state. The debate and voting has been dominated by various interests - it would thus be best for the community if a broader cross section of people including disinterested and neutral parties, reviewed the proposals and had their say. Homey 23:17, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Infobox for file comparison software

An infobox for file comparison software is needed, and I created one here. It should go on the bottom of each file comparison software article, and several other pages. One anonymous editor is against the idea, I think mainly because one of my own (free, web-based) tools is listed in the infobox. Another editor is supporting him for now because the guidelines say that generally others should decide whether to add a link rather than the person whose website it is. This discussion is taking place mainly here.

Could I get some support for using that infobox? This is especially hard for me because my tool is included and the articles that the infobox belongs in are probably watched mainly by those partial to the tool covered by the article. -Barry- 20:01, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

User designation name change

I propose that the name "user" of a Wikimedia foundation participant be changed to "citizen" so as to better characterize user roles, relationships and responsibilities to each other as well as to the Wikipedia Foundation administrative hierarchy. ...IMHO (Talk) 10:00, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Organization Folders in Favorites List

when the favorites list has many things, it looks unorganized and confusing. it can be setup to make your own folders, and put each favorite in whichever one you desire. for example, you can make a folder, and label it "Flora/Fauna". That folder will be specifically for animals and plants. Get it? its much more convenient and organized. User : PitchBlack

Barnstars and awards in need of an overhaul

While we have now a rather good method of discussing new awards, in the past quite a few barnstars and awards were added in good faith, but now create a mess, making it hard to distinguish between some awards and barnstars that cover overlapping areas (or don't cover what their name suggests - want to guess what Barnstar of Life is awarded for?). Comments would be appreciated regarding a major overhaul proposal, which would redefine some barnstars and remove a few that are rather pointless.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:00, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Internal PageRank

There are currently two ways of objectively evaluating the notability of a Wikipedia article, and both are flawed.

  1. One way is to count the number of links to an article from within Wikipedia. The flaw in this is that it treats obscure articles, and even user and user talk pages, as being just as important as the Main Page, a portal or a widely-linked-to article such as Game.
  2. Another way is to check an article's Google toolbar PageRank. The problems with this are that it would tend to favour old articles (to the point that many new ones such as Pac-Man (Atari 2600) have PR0), those about information technology (given to the influence of Slashdot and Digg). Also, it has very low precision: a scale of 0 to 10 and rounded to the nearest integer. Finally, the toolbar PageRank is only updated once every three months, which is ages in Wikipedia time.

I propose an alternative: that we create a script that implements PageRank, but applies it only within the English Wikipedia, excluding user and user talk namespaces, and updates daily? MediaWiki could report an article's internal PageRank above the article. Would this be possible within Google's patents, the way [2] is? Even if not, I suspect they'd give permission just because Google and Wikipedia have such a good relationship. SeahenNeon Merlin 21:19, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Naming Convention Proposal: Rockets associated with space

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (rockets):

The purpouse of this naming convention is to standardise naming for ICBMs and space launch vehicles. It also covers other forms of ballistic misslies, such as IRBMs, and sounding rockets.

So far I have found 13 different ways of naming them - obviously this is a mess, so they need to be standardised. I have reccomended that the best naming convention would be to use the name, followed by the term rocket in parenthesis. This could be used in conjunction with a name only format where appropriote, for example a page could be located at Titan III, but with a redirect at Titan III (rocket) rather than the other way around. --GW_Simulations|User Page | Talk | Contribs | E-mail 20:56, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Multi Page Delete

Moved to Wikipedia:Village pump (policy).

Wikipedia helping the hackers

It is my firm belief that Wikipedia is abusing the privacy of users around the globe. It uses IP address tracking, and subsequently puts your privte IP onto itself, making your IP avalible to anyone who cares to look. Who would look? Hackers. It is a free ride for them. All they need to do is look at that page, and its a open invatation into your computer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Spazit (talkcontribs)

If your computer is so vulnerable that knowledge of its IP address is all it takes for it to get cracked, then I am sorry to say that it is going to get cracked soon regardless of whether you edit anonymously on Wikipedia. I also do not see your proposal on how to handle this supposed problem, which makes me think you are probably trolling. Haakon 14:50, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes. People who have static IP addresses should at least have a firewall to block incoming connections. SeahenNeon Merlin 17:39, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Your IP address is visible to anyone who has SSH access to any server running any website you visit. It is by definition (in the TCP/IP protocol), not private. So, as Haakon says, if that's all it takes for someone to hack your computer, then you have serious security issues totally unrelated to Wikipedia. Raul654 18:09, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
I would also like to add that your IP address is only recorded if you edit while not logged in. No one is obligated to reveal there IP address in this way. You can avoid revealing your IP address in two ways. 1. Registering an account or 2. Not editing in the first place. Ydam 22:23, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Then vote to prohibit anonymous editing on Wikipedia! Revealing your IP address to a website will not compromise your computer security, althoguh it may compromise your privacy (unless you're using a shared IP, like me). --J.L.W.S. The Special One 02:49, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps this user edited anonymously and found out that his or her IP address is in the history of articles that he or she edited. Others have said that there is not a security risk, but if it really bothers you, there are some things you can do. You can ask your ISP to assign you a new address, if they have more than one available for users. You might be able to get a dynamic or shared IP if you have a static or unshared one currently, too. A drastic step that you could take is to change your ISP, but services are usually not equivalent (same speed, price and reliability) if you have broadband. If you have dialup, you have a lot more choices. -- Kjkolb 10:53, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Create a User id. Then your IP address will only be visible to a select few. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:53, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Archive splitting and size limit

Recently I visited Wikipedia:Reference desk archive/Science/February 2006, and found that the part I wanted to read had been cut off. Using the edit history and a diff, I found that the most recent edit was responsible for the truncation, so I went to revert it. I received an error message: "ERROR: The text you have submitted is 1,237 kilobytes long, which is longer than the maximum of 1024 kilobytes. It cannot be saved." Then when I went back to read the intact version, my browser crashed!

This led me to the decision:

  1. to split the archive page into four. (On a second attempt to load the unsplit page, minus a bunch of other browser tabs, there was no crash.)
  2. that we need to set a limit on archive page sizes. 1 MB appears to be the upper limit for whole-article edits; but I think to accomodate users with less RAM (I have 1 GB), the limit should really be no higher than 500 KB, and possibly as low as 200. If the archive page produced by the usual schedule — or a pre-existing page — is above the limit, the archiver or a bot must split it. Unless Wikipedia wants a reputation as a site that makes everyone's browser crash, I think a measure like this is the only possibility. Seahen 06:25, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Content warnings

Shouldn't we have so called "content warnings" on certain pages? What I'm saying is, that on pages with explicit content (eg. f**k, or pornography or certain other pages with a high percentage of profanity), a banner could be displayed at the top saying something like:

This page contains material that some (people) may find offensive

I know Wikipedia dosen't get censored, but this could provide clear information on the article's explicit content. -- 19:50, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

We don't censor Wikipedia, but we try to adhere to a 'Principle of Least Astonishment'. That is, material that under some circumstances might be considered offensive or inappropriate for minors should only appear in articles and locations where one might reasonably expect to find such content.
In other words, if someone goes looking for the article fuck, one should not be surprised that the article contains profanity. Similarly, a reader that goes to the article list of sex positions might reasonably expect to encounter descriptions and diagrams of sex acts. On the other hand, one wouldn't expect to find pictures of sex acts in our article on Minnesota, and such images would be removed.
The disclaimer that you propose is, unfortunately, much too general to be useful. It might best be applied to all of Wikipedia — in fact, it's part of our Content disclaimer. Trying to decide whether or not content should bear a specific additional warning is an invitation to endless argument:
You can see the problem. If someone is going to look at a particular article, we try to ensure that the images and text are appropriate to that article; that's the best we can do. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:15, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with the arguement its too subjective. One can have objective criteria, such as saying depictions of sex require a standard warning tag specific to that type of content. Decisions may be debated, and mistakes made, but that's what a wiki always has. Also, I disagree with fears that warnings are related to censorship. A great example of hypocracy here, is {{spoiler}} warnings. Take The Village (film) and Million Dollar Baby as example. The most noteworthy parts of those films can only be discussed after we give a spoiler. Yet, we give the spoiler warning as a couresy to our readers, and the film makers. We wouldn't want somebody to miss out on enjoying a good movie, even if it means the intro of the article fails to explain what the film is truly about (even though a person reading about a movie in an encylclopedia, aught to expect spoilers, as we're not a movie guide). But, in other articles, we have an explicit/offensive image, with no advance warning, with no concern of harm/offense. --Rob 20:43, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

It being a spoiler is simple fact. It being offensive is opinion. --Golbez 22:55, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
The main reason that we don't have content warnings is that what constitutes obscenity, unlike what constitutes a "spoiler", varies widely from place to place. This is why the courts have consistently ruled that a crime involving obscenity must be tried according to the moral standards of the place where the crime occurred, not the most ultra-conservative little town in the country or the most lavicious casino strip. Deco 23:33, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
It comes back to the Principle of Least Astonishment. Articles which contain depictions of sex – to take your example – need not be flagged with an additional warning because the accompanying images are appropriate and reasonable within a given article's context. If a reader looks up list of sex positions or fuck, then that reader should be unsurprised to find depictions of sex acts or profanity (respectively).
There's also the technical issue, of course; it just won't work. If we start treating all our readers as incompetent children, then every time there's a failure of the system we'll bear the brunt of the resulting anger and resentment. If people start relying on some sort of paternalistic tagging system, how do we ensure that all articles bear the appropriate tags? Frankly it's an impossible task, unless we're willing to contemplate major changes to how editing happens on Wikipedia (we aren't). TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:19, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:No disclaimer templates. --cesarb 03:29, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Viewing changes/contributions for a specified date

I propose that there be something in the page history and user contributions pages that allows you to enter a day or month, and then view the changes to the page or the user's contributions on that specified date. This would allow people to quickly jump to a particular edit that they know happened on a certain day, or a particular activity that occurred during a certain period of time, which would be useful for dispute resolutions, RfAs, and other user-related discussions. SCHZMO 21:29, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Move Protection

I say we permanently move-protect articles such as cat and dog, because there is no point in moving them. If some sceintist somewhere decides to rename them, then a sysop will probably know in enough time to move it his/herself. --GeorgeMoney (talk) (Help Me Improve!) 21:03, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Subpage Deletion

I propose that we give users the ability to delete their own subpages. If the subpage should not be deleted, then admins can "userdelete protect" them, so only admins can edit them. If an admin creates another users' subpage, it is "userdelete protected" by default. Users can delete anything in their userspace except their talk page, which is by default "userdelete protected". This would be useful, because a user won't have to hassle an admin if they want loads of their subpages deleted (i.e. User:GeorgeMoney/delpage ). Thank you, GeorgeMoney (talk) (Help Me Improve!) 21:03, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I say no. Way too much potential for abuse. For example, someone gets warnings for vandalism; he moves his talk page to a subpage (as we do with so many of our archives), and deletes it. No more record of the warnings, unless you go digging. Even worse if they move an article to a subpage of their userspace. The speedy templates are sufficient. --Golbez 22:27, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, how about if a page keeps its attributes when moving, so if it is originally an article, and the user has a legit reason for it to be their subpage, then an admin will have to take off the protection before they could delete it, and the same with talk pages. --GeorgeMoney (talk) (Help Me Improve!) 03:16, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not a dev, but I don't think pages have any attributes - it's decided entirely on the name. --Golbez 09:01, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Also, you can copy and paste archive your talk page, which I do instead of moving my talk page to a archive page and then starting over. Wouldn't that cause problems for the attributes solution? Anyway, it's not that big of a deal for admins to delete user subpages, even if there are a lot of them. I suppose if you created several hundred subpages, it could take a single admin a while to delete them all, but several admins could still take them out relatively quickly. -- Kjkolb 10:12, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Wiki Backup

Just a thought: If not done so already,it would be a good idea to backup wikipedia every year or so so that future generations can learn from our current news and trends. The internet is a brilliant resource that in the future will be used to learn about us, so making sure that information is kept so that future updates and events do not replace the current information, or it will be lost forever. 15:37, 29 June 2006 (UTC)(Not logged in when posted)

Everything is backed up frequently, see Martin 15:45, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, most information is never removed from the database. Every version of every article is kept, and even versions of deleted articles (which are hidden from the view but still available to admins). As of recently, even deleted images are still stored in the database. Nothing's getting lost, really. Deco 16:58, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

User Levels

I was thinking that Wikipedia should have user levels. I think this would be good, since almost all user-oriented sites have them. I hope you look at some examples I made and consider them (I used userboxes, but the they wouldn't be if this happened). Please take some time to look at them. Also, if you would rather see more of the "meat and bones" rather than the fancy userboxes, I can do that instead. Thank you.

User: Trosk/User Level Suggestions

--Trosk 14:33, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

You're welcome to put whatever level-related stuff on your userpage you feel like; you can even encourage others, within reason, to do the same. In general, however, you'll probably find a philosophical objection to any sort of ranking or rating scheme. There's a cultural aversion to anything which tries to categorize editors into different 'classes' or might encourage 'pulling rank' or similar antics and attitudes. We also tend to discourage editcountitis — anything which furthers an obsession with number rather than quality of edits.
Ultimately it comes down to the idea that we're an encyclopedia-oriented site, not a user-oriented one. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:15, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Does that mean that you actively encourage those who are more likely to contribute high-quality content? Folajimi 18:51, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Fully protect ALL closed and archived AfD discussions

An archived AfD discussion (example) reminds users in bold red text saying "Please do not modify it". And why would anyone need to, as it is a closed discussion no longer open for contributions? --NicAgent 21:34, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Requiring a full protect of all such debates would add a small amount of additional work to the already rather bureaucratic closure process. Far more importantly, it would mean that non-admins could never usefully close a debate, without having to either find an admin to come along and protect or produce a backlog of (rather pointless) closed but not-yet protected debates. -Splash - tk 21:47, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
And there are occasionally reasons to modify (for example, if the AfD is reviewed and relisted). Septentrionalis 01:59, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Ok then - this is just really a proposal for gain and not real important - but how about protecting lots of controversal redirect pages such as Dubya? --NicAgent 02:33, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
It should be done automatically if at all. Adding another step to closing discussions isn't a good idea... it's rather tedius as-is. --W.marsh 12:22, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

List created articles

I think it would be a good idea to implement a feature in Wikimedia that allows a user to be able to list all articles that he/she have created. -- Frap 19:02, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Just list them on your user page. Wikibout-Talk to me! 19:06, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

User:Interiot has a tool that can generate such lists on demand. He's quite responsive to requests made on his talk page. -- Rick Block (talk) 02:24, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

The Word "Recently"

No article on Wikipedia should contain the word "recently." It is not specific, and the fact that something happened recently isn't important. It also has to be changed when it is outdated, but it is impossible to know when something is no longer recent when you don't know when it happened. --Macarion 17:32, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Agreed. Perhaps that could be added to the manual of style? Wikibout-Talk to me! 18:06, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
    • Support but of course most people won't see it. Chicheley 21:17, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
    • I thought we already had a policy on time-sensitive language. Somewhere? Isn't that what all this "as of <year>" stuff is about? Deco 22:52, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
  • See Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Time. -- Rick Block (talk) 02:28, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Idea for a bot? Scan edits for the word "recently" added in article space and drop a note to the editor who put it in? Martinp 03:21, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
  • not all uses of the word "recently" in articles are bad. there's nothing wrong if an article says that "Poet X's work displayed a change in style in 1954, as the poet had recently converted to Catholicism". legit uses of the word like that should be allowed to stay. BL Lacertae - kiss the lizard 05:54, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
That's the same as saying "...the poet had converted to Catholicism," since recently means still nothing there --Macarion 18:43, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
"the poet had converted to Catholicism" doesnt imply that it was immediately before his 1954 work. "the poet had recently converted to Catholicism" does. BL Lacertae - kiss the lizard 02:02, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
yes immediately. "he had recently converted" indicates that the poet converted sometime in 1953-54. leave it out and thats not clear. unless you mean " the poet had immediately converted to catholicism" which soulds silly. BL Lacertae - kiss the lizard 00:46, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
I must admit I agree with BL on this... the word "recently" in that context and other similar ones "He was unaware of the situation as he had only recently arrived in the country", etc. is a good, clear usage of the word "recently" that is legitimate and flows far better in encyclopedia writing than alternatives (such as "just"). A global removal of the term "recently" is a bad idea IMO, although i do agree that its use to refer to items recent to the article's writing should be removed. Grutness...wha? 01:46, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

"its use to refer to items recent to the article's writing should be removed" Right, that's what I was was talking about --Macarion 22:58, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

I thoroughly agree with that - I was just agreeing with BL's comments which indicate why a bot couldn't be used to replace them (as had been suggested by Martinp). Grutness...wha? 01:07, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
It seems like every acceptable use of "recently" will come after "had," so...
"X had only recently arrived in Brazil...". But yes some kind of filtering ike that would work. BL Lacertae - kiss the lizard 23:17, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Top of Page link

When an article is split into sections, there's an 'edit' (=edit this section) link at the top right of each section. Wouldn't it be fine and dandy if there was also a 'top of page' link there? MikesPlant 15:11, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Aha! found this on the Wikipedia Bugzilla MikesPlant 15:28, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia jurors.

How about having a jury for AfD, RfA, and similar activities? Members will be drawn at random from the community, and will be tasked with examining the nominee's activities. --Folajimi 19:32, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I can see some attraction because it would ensure a cross section of Wikipedians would be involved thereby ensuring it wasn't the same old few users always getting their way. However, the downsides are considerable. A lot of users probably just dip in and out of Wikipedia and having to commit to something might drive them away. Secondly these activites do need users for experience and knowledge of policies etc to decide the right course of action. --MarkS (talk) 19:42, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
    • Of course. Having newcomers/novices in the jury pool would be an unmitigated disaster. Regular contributors for a year or more would probably be a sizable pool to draw from.
      • Perhaps a "competency test" would be in order? --Folajimi 19:55, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
        • part of the reasoning behind afd though is to get as many people as possible to input there knowledge on a matter. Articles have to be reasearched inorder to determine if they meet the requirements for inclusion or are accurate. to limit afd to a jury would reduce the number of eyeballs on the issues. Ydam 00:23, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
          • The jury's input is in addition to the opinions of the community; it would be ill-advised to limit participation to the jurors. The idea is that you would have disparate but seasoned members of the community who are tasked with determining whether – or not – the nominee satisfies accepted standards, qualifications, etc. The goal is to avoid steamrolling by the mob. Folajimi 01:48, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

One thing we could do very easily is to look at Recent Changes, choose some random people who are editing right now, and solicit their vote on a random current AfD. This ensures us that they're an active user, creates no long-term commitment, and has no apparent bias. There could be a template for this. Deco 01:42, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Do you think this will transfer to other situations, such as RfAs? Folajimi 01:50, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
    • Sure, as long as you give them some links for sufficient background (requirements, etc). I think many users want to become more involved with the encyclopedia and so would be inclined to invest a bit of effort in it. Deco 02:01, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Here's an example message:

You've been randomly selected to participate in a discussion regarding X at the page Wikipedia:X. For background on this type of discussion, please read W, Y, and Z. We welcome your input and hope you will take this opportunity to make your voice heard.

Something like that. Deco 02:03, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

To be blunt, frank, and possibly rude this proposition does not make anysense at all. People should be allowed to participate in whatever they see fit. Currently we have a sizeable amount of people whom work in RfAs and XfDs. Rewarding experience with "privilages" seems a little ludacrious, if people have knowledge of policy and are willing to place themselves into the trenches they should be allowed to. Currently these discussions work fine under the system they exist under. By creating a jury you will create more red tape for the maintance of Wikipedia and bog everything down. Wikipedia is growing fast, and is reaching obscenely new high numbers, it is not wise to slow the pedia down. Yanksox (talk) 04:17, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Allow me to respond to some of the points you raised:
  1. This proposal does not deny current participants a role in this process; the "usual suspects" will still be able to participate. The idea here is to introduce heterogeneity and keep groupthink at bay.
  2. As it currently stands, anonymous editors, regardless of their contributions to this project are denied equal participation in these discussions. From that standpoint, it is safe to conclude that a registered editor who has been contributing to the project for a year is more "privileged" than an anonymous editor who has consistently contributed for three years.
  3. Knowledge [of policy] does not correlate to wisdom.
  4. Perhaps you could explain how this proposal "will create more red tape for the maintance of Wikipedia and bog everything down." It is unclear to me how having randomly selected participants will tax the system. --Folajimi 05:24, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
At first blush, it sounds like instruction creep to me. It will add a significant amount of complexity and overhead to our processes for somewhat vague benefits.
I also have questions about the feasibility of implementation. How would you select your jury candidates when we are an all-volunteer force and you never know if the person selected is actively volunteering during the discussion period in question? I suppose "Recent Changes" gives you a hint that they were active a few minutes ago but a selection process solely on that basis may (will?) create a selection bias. Now, a selection bias is not necessarily bad as long as that bias lines up with the kind of jurors we would want for this purpose - calm, analytical, mature and articulate users who will read and fully understand the nuances of our policies and practices. Grabbing random current users would appear to create a mild bias away from users who have full-time jobs or families. This isn't a perfect analogy, but I'm mindful of the stereotype of the US jury system where your "peers" are considered to be the people too lazy or stupid to think of an excuse to avoid jury duty.
Still, it sounds like a creative idea and maybe I'm being too critical. Is there a small place or process where you could test out the concept? If you do, I would recommend selecting a process less complex and less confrontational than the deletion processes. Maybe the featured articles selection process would be a candidate for a pilot of the idea. Rossami (talk) 04:59, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
There are a few points I am counting on to make this proposal feasible:
  1. Vandals are outnumbered by those who make constructive edits to this project; filtering out for vandals will likely improve the quality of the pool of those to draw from.
  2. Yes, the pool from which the jury will be drawn is "an all-volunteer force." However, I seriously doubt that I am the only editor to the project who enjoys making contributions. For me, this is not a job; this is something I do for fun.
  3. The parallel to the jury system you are comparing this to is flawed in that it draws from a pool of mostly unwilling participants. No one is forced to serve in this capacity; so disgruntled jurors will be removed from the list.
  4. Users will be free to opt-in or out from this activity. When such users decline an invitation, they may also express a desire to be left alone.
Like you, I detest instruction creep. If this proposal creates a new bureaucracy, I will be one of the first people to call for its obliteration. Folajimi 05:41, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Um, proposals should address an existing problem, not just shuffle around the deck chairs, so to speak. I don't understand or see any discussion of what problem this would supposedly fix. --W.marsh 13:07, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Disagree for the proposed usage, I'm afraid. RfA (Requests for Adminship), by definition requires Wikepedia-experienced editors. Inexperienced editors would have no idea what admins do, so would not be good at selecting good candidates. AfD, on the other hand, requires subject-experienced editors. If an editor knows nothing about a subject, then whether or not a given borderline notable article is sufficiently notable is going to be a mystery. The only place where it could help would be on RfC (Requests for Comments), where things are closer to a criminal trial. There a jury of random editors, some experienced, some not, would be useful, to give an idea of what is and what is not a reasonable editor action. But not for RfA or AfD, please. AnonEMouse (squeak) 13:21, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
    •  : Excellent points. Allow me to re-iterate that newcomers and novices are exempted from this process. We are in agreement that it would be ill-advised to have inexperienced contributors in the pool. If I may, I would like to address some of your concerns:
  1. Regarding RfAs, there is nothing stopping inexperienced contributors from joining the fray with a simple Oppose/Support "per nom" response, without providing any rationale for such decisions. There have been cases where uninformed participants (yes, even admins) have exercised poor judgement, either by cherry-picking the information used in making a decision. The current process does not control for any of this. Besides, I am yet to be persuaded that it is impossible to bring contributors up to speed on what administrators are required to do. Unless there are "trade secrets" only other admins are privy to.
  2. About AfDs — Correct me if I am wrong, but I gather that the Project is opposed to having deference for "subject experts." (See Wikipedia:Anti-elitism.)@ As you seem to suggest, it would be unfortunate if the participants are uninformed about the subject matter. However, this is addressed by Deco's draft above; users are provided relevant information to make informed decisions. Again, the current process allows anyone to vote to keep or delete articles, without providing a rationale. (For examples of those who are apt to behave in this fashion, please see deletionists and inclusionists.)
  3. Although criminal trials are dramatic, juries are also present for civil cases.
I hope this addresses your concerns. --Folajimi 14:11, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
@ For more on experts within the project, I would like to invite you to read what Matt Crypto and William M. Connolley have to say on the subject.
Thank you for your courteous response.
Your points 1 and 2: It is certainly not impossible to bring contributors up to speed in theory, merely in practice. The really interesting AfDs are the borderline cases, the ones where it is not easy to see if an article really is sufficiently notable. The ones that are easy to see one way or another by briefly scanning the article and related issues are not a problem now. The ones that are a problem now are the ones where it is not easy to figure this out. Some specific examples of difficult issues that tend to come up on AFD:
  1. subject of article doesn't have many pages about it on the Internet, but defenders claim this is because subject is notable in Bangladesh, or Togo, or Mongolia, or some other country which does not have a big Internet presence, and cite print and news articles that, again, editors not in Bangladesh or Togo or Mongolia might find difficult to get (and if they got, to read).
  2. text of article is an arcane scientific language that requires at least a Bachelor's degree in astrophysics or microbiology or lapro-endo-ondoscopie to really understand if this is an important article about the current state of the field, and can't be phrased in any other, simpler way, or merely nonsense
  3. article is claimed to be nominated "in revenge" for another editor's actions
  4. article is claimed to be part of the anti-Islamic/pro-Islamic/Zionist/anti-Semitic/neo-Fascist/anti-Croatian/Scientologist/Masonic/ antidisestablishmentarian (pick one, several, or make up your own) conspiracy. Or nomination is. Or both are.
And so forth. These all come up, if not not regularly, at least often. All of these are areas where well informed angels justly fear to tread; we shouldn't be encouraging well intentioned but uninformed ... shall we say, mortals? ... to rush in by having an automatic program spam them. I'm not as knowledgeable about RfAs, having only participated in 2 or 3, but I suspect the difficulties are similar.
2, experts on AfD: I didn't write "expert", and don't mean it that way. People who participate in AfDs voluntarily now are those who care about the subject. They do tend to be more knowledgeable than those who don't care about the subject, but that doesn't mean they have a degree, sheepskin, or other formal expert status, it only means they care, one way or the other. We shouldn't draft people who don't care, their opinion is more likely to be noise than data. AnonEMouse (squeak) 17:07, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I definitely agree with you on the AfD issue. However, I think I have a solution which might address that concern. There are at least two members which come to mind — Longhair and JJay — whom I have helped create articles on arcane and obscure subjects. More often than not, I am uninterested in the subject matter; yet, I am able to address their requests without too much trouble.
Perhaps someone could prove me wrong, but I seriously doubt that I am the only member in the community who is able to do this. If panel members are volunteers who are determined to amicably resolve difficult AfD episodes, I am willing to bet that they will come up with an appropriate solution. Even in the event that the nominated article is on a hot-button issue.
For malicious nominations, I think the RfC model is apt; the instigator is given the "Cluestick Treatment." That seems to cut down on the number of such frivolous nominations.
Finally, this process will work without having to draft users. This, I believe, is one of the reasons the jury process is looked upon so poorly offline; those who refuse to participate when drafted for jury duty are punished. Here, the nominee is given the opportunity to opt-out.
Rossami's idea of having a testbed for this process will be a very useful means of determining whether this idea is worthwhile; hopefully, that will establish what becomes of proposal. Folajimi 22:42, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I like the idea. I don't think it would create any red-tape at all. Jurors could be selected by AfD nominators, to get the first few votes. I don't think, however, that this should apply to RfA. Wikibout-Talk to me! 15:41, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Note that the nom is biased towards deletion by definition. That is like having a jury in a trial selected by the prosecutor. AnonEMouse (squeak) 17:07, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
By selected, I meant the nom would go to recent changes and click on a few talk pages. Not going to people he knew who were like minded. Perhaps a governing body could run the process, who would prevent an all deletionist jury. But, to prevent red tape, calling people to a jury could be done whithout contacting the governing body. On a side note, if this becomes a reality, the jury should be listed on the AfD page so everyone knows who it is, and two aren't selected. Wikibout-Talk to me! 18:04, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't mind the concept, but I have a lot of problems with it. First and foremost is the name - it implies a binding decision. Something clearly needs to be done about de facto vote stacking. Right now, if you create an article that mentions Israel, Star Wars, GOP/Democrat, etc, when that article comes to AFD, hoards of people will show up who couldn't care less about Wikipedia policies, but just want to protect their crufty articles or see articles contrary to their views removed. Administrators do have the technical ability to disregard those votes they feel to be without merit, however, there are obvious problems with this as such administrators are not necessarilly unbiased themselves. (Consider the recent silliness with regard to Be bold after the DRV was concluded.) So I agree that there needs to be some unbiased committee, but I don't know that this is the right solution. What I think would work better is creating a step in between {{prod}} and AFD. Most of the deletions on AFD are nearly unopposed. If non-controversial (say, snowy deletes) could be kept separate and a new area for controversial deletions could be created, then that itself would be an invitation for unbiased members of the community to offer an opinion and to help to minimize the ability of a fanbase to override a community consensus. BigDT 17:15, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I would have to oppose this idea, even though I see advantages. The main one being, more likely to have unbiased people deciding than there currently are. (that sentence failed at English). Even so, that could also go the wrong way. Interested parties probably have more useful information on which to base their decisions. It also seems wrong to me that if I see an article I like or have invested time in go up for deletion, I might not be allowed to even comment on why I think it should be kept (or the opposite, in another case). -Goldom ‽‽‽ 20:35, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
    • Could you please clarify what specific issues you have with having unbiased people providing input? As I see it, one are more likely to get a fair shake from disinterested parties. Why do you think you will be denied input in the discussion? That would be incredibly counterproductive to the Project (at the very least, it will discourage contributors – an undesirable outcome).
Remember, the goal is to have people who are capable of articulating their position(s); surely such will be much more useful than the boilerplate "per nom" responses. (FWIW, although I seldom vote on AfD, I have managed to save several articles I have no personal interest in. I actually go about finding the information which will establish the subject's notability.) --Folajimi 02:09, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with this proposal. The current system works great, and we should not take the "power from the people" unless necessary. We use a set of people to do requests for arbitration, that's where juries belong and nowhere else.

In different words, AfD, RfA, etc. work best in a distributed fashion, and it would take an impossible amount of work to be done by a jury.

This idea has as much merit as asking that wikipedia articles be written by a jury. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:54, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Why a jury? Why not just leave it to the cabal? Just zis Guy you know? 21:10, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

"Wikipedia is not a democracy" --Macarion 23:52, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Typing prompt

When I open Wikipedia I can't start typing in "search"; I have to click in "search" first. Is there a reason why the prompt isn't automatically in "search", as it is for example when one opens Google? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pmjensen (talkcontribs) 02:30, 28 June 2006

This has been proposed and rejected many times, with the rationale that users would rather be able to use the arrow keys to scroll on than have the cursor/prompt in the text box. This is not an issue for Google, as it is all displayed in one screen (i.e. no scrolling is required) — Mets501 (talk) 02:33, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Fair enough. My mouse has a wheel and I tend to use that for scrolling. Perhaps this is something that could be reconsidered once the mouse-with-wheel becomes the norm?--Pmjensen 02:52, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

How about a user preference, default to what it is now, but at least you can change it. I would put the prompt in the search box. -- 22:25, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually I just found out that hitting Alt-f brings your cursor to the search box -- 15:56, 4 July 2006 (UTC) (same guy diff ip, i should create an account, i know)

Pronunciation Keys

I propose including pronunciation keys for some entries. I often find myself needing to check an online dictionary to find the pronunciation of things I'm looking at on Wikipedia. It would be convenient to have it right at the begining of the entry.

IPA pronounciations are present in many articles, right at the start. For the ones that aren't, go for it. --Golbez 22:49, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Do you mean providing a key for the different IPA symbols? SCHZMO 22:50, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Automatic conversion between American and British/Commonwealth English

This proposal was originally brought up by User:A Transportation Enthusiast as a result of the long-term dispute with User:RichardHarrold who kept moving the page Train station to Railway station (saying that British English was the "correct" English). See Talk:Train station#A Software Solution?.

Would it be possible (or is it possible today) to add the capability to switch based on locale data? In other words, if a user specifies he (or she) wants US english, "color" is displayed; for UK or Canada, it's "colour".

To do this, it would be necessary to specify alternate versions of words or phrases for different locale settings, while editing. Something like:

"The {US:color|UK:colour} of the {US:train|UK:railway} station's walls is blue."

For common terms like color/colour, a shorthand could be used, i.e. something like {!color} that would look up a database of localized terms for that specific term.

The Chinese Wikipedia has a similar system that automatically converts characters between simplified and traditional Chinese according to the user's preferences. Conversion is done through a set of character conversion tables that may be edited by administrators, and regular editors may override the conversion tables for specific sections using special syntax (Chinese Wikipedia#Automatic conversion between Traditional and Simplified Chinese). Maybe the same idea can be applied to the English Wikipedia to convert between American and British/Commonwealth English? SCHZMO 21:40, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps something in the software that automatically displays whichever spelling people want whenever one of the words is detected, words like color/colour etc. where it would make sense, instead of forcing people to code it into every article. --W.marsh 21:54, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Then you'd have to code in an exception tag for direct quotes or exceptions. Not worth the effort, at all. I'm fascinated people think this is a problem. --Golbez 22:07, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Why stop there? Why not do it for entire languages? {US:My name is Golbez|JP:Boku no namae wa Gorubezzu|SWEDISHCHEF:Me Golbez de bork bork}? I think the Brits and Yanks will live 120% perfectly happy having to read a misplaced Z or U here or there. There is no way on heaven or earth that this is worth half the effort it would require. --Golbez 22:06, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I have to admit it does seem like more trouble than it's worth, and RichardHarrold is the only user who is vehemently opposed to using American English. SCHZMO 22:40, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
If the default behavior doesn't change what happens today, then it would not need to be a hassle. In other words, "color" can remain "color" everywhere, until someone decides that an article has enough international overlap that "color" should be internationalized. So it becomes just another tool at the editor's disposal. Also, if desired, page migration for common terms like "color" can be automated.
Using it for multi-lingual support would be ridiculous, I agree. That's why you have different Wikis for different languages. But for US English vs UK English, the amount of variation would probably amount to less than 1% of the text, so an intrusive mechanism is not so unwieldy (and could be very useful in some cases).
But, it doesn't really affect me too much. I live in the US right at the Canadian border, so I'm used to the occasional spurious "u". :-) I just figured it could help for cases like this where there is a dispute over spelling or usage. A Transportation Enthusiast 23:50, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
And I manage to put up with the occasional missing "u" Face-smile.svg. The problem becomes insurmountable when you realize that Canadian English is sort of half-way between UK & US, Australian English has its own idiosyncracies, etc. etc.Bridesmill 15:20, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

And then there's the vandalism potential. {US:Hello.|UK:Cheerio!|AU:G'day, mate!|NF:KILL ALL NEWFIES}, and unless you saw the diff go by or you edit that article - and with so many, that could be rare - the small percentage of folks set to Newfoundland English would be a bit shocked. Also, and here's another major problem - what about non-logged in people? What's the default, American? British? Do we add another layer of processing by figuring it out through their IP? In other words, no. --Golbez 22:32, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

The vandalism potential is certainly a valid concern. Perhaps a function could be run to extract all recent changes involving locale macros like this, so that vandal activity could be caught quickly. As for anonymous editors, a default can be assumed. But this is certainly not something I care enough about to fight for... I just thought it'd be a neat idea. A Transportation Enthusiast 01:10, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
It's all an interesting idea, I like fresh ideas and especially people who look for solutions to common problems, but it seems like an unimaginable magnitude of extra work for a gain which would probably be both small and elusive. There are already good policies dealing with UK/US/AU/CA/etc. English within articles (use what's locally appropriate, or if it doesn't matter, just maintain consistency as best you can); it's only really a notable problem when it comes to naming articles. When that comes to the fore, just do a few redirects, for chrissake. It shouldn't be that hard, and people who insist on turning this into a problem should immediately be referred to WP:POINT. Just a few suggestions, Luna Santin 08:50, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
SOMETHING really ought to be done, I know it's ridiculous, but the British spellings ("ageing, labour"), especially on article titles or projects, really annoy me. Google any difference between U.S. and British spelling and you'll find the American spelling is more common, typically 4 to 1 or greater. -- C. Hopkins, July 7, 2006— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
<HUMOUR>Yeah and you really annoy me, can we get rid of you? No. Oh well just have to live with you then. </HUMOR> Jooler 16:46, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

What about having something like


in the wikisource that would then be converted to either color or colour based on user preferences. The words color/colour etc. could be in a separate list so it wouldn't have to be defined in every article. The articles could stay like they do now, just with $$ added in front of the words, by default it could display the article in whatever it was originally written in, then there could be a link, Display in American English/Commonwealth English, for setting a cookie for default behavior. U195 18:52, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Here is a small number of the many talk pages talking about British vs American spelling, this REALLY is needed. Talk:Armour, Talk:Theatre, Talk:Grey, Talk:Yoghurt, Talk:Aluminium/Spelling, Talk:Humour/Spelling, Talk:Metre/Archive1, Talk:Kilometre, Talk:Color, Talk:Fiber, Talk:Sidewalk. U195 19:07, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

It might be easy to think about the British and American english for differences but when it actually comes to the real thing there are so many english that it is almost impossible to create a system or to implement the concept in the media wiki software because it doesn't really serve a purpose. I really doubt that british can't read the american english and seriously doubt the contrary. Altough if this process is taken into action there will be requests of other varieties of english and that is not really necessary. Maybe for a printed/static version of the WP it is necessary to have all the types of english but for the evolving encyclopedia that WP is, it needs not to have a user-preference-choice of english since they are intelligible by all the parties concerned. Lincher 20:07, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Listing number of recent article edits on each article page

We periodically have visitors who stumble across an article just after it has been vandalized, or read a poor stub and walk away disaffected with WP. Even more experienced wikipedians should get more into the habit of checking the history to see if an article is in flux when they consult it. How about automatically adding a little sentence at the top of each article whenever displayed which would read something like

2 edits in the last 10 minutes, 10 in the last 24 hours, 160 in the past year.

That immediately warns readers to look for vandalism/major reverts recently. In contrast,

5 edits in the last 30 days, 40 in the past year

is likely a slowly evolving article, and

2 edits in the past year

may very well be an orphaned stub.

In this, I am assuming we would have a sequence of timeframes (e.g. 10 mins, 24 hours, one week, 30 days, 1 year) and the software would leave out "0 edits in ...". Plus, I think this would actually help motivate readers to join in and fix things, since they would see others are doing it. Thoughts? Martinp 20:13, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I really like this idea, actually...but if it requires calculations on every page load, it might be too much of a server drain. Still, I think it would be definitely worth a suggestion at Bugzilla, in case there's an inexpensive way to do it. — Catherine\talk 01:18, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Wouldn't this be kinda' redundant to the date/time of last revision already at the bottom? You can infer frequency from that without checking the history or talk page... -RJFerret 01:36, 10 July 2006 (UTC)


I am reintroducing the topic of an "Email this page" in the toolbox. Many times I've read simply fascinating articles, and would have loved to've been able to quickly share it with a freind. I've also had freinds who were not wikipedians copy and paste the text of a wikipedia article and send it to me. It would be great if there was a link that you could click on and either (1) send a link to the article to someone, (2) send a text version of the article (since some of these articles are gigantuous) or (3) (my faviorite idea) send the lead in HTML, with a More here... link to the rest of the article. Many magazine, reference sites, and newspapers have such a feature, and I think it would be great here.--Esprit15d 14:42, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Support I love that idea. I can't count how many times I've copied and pasted articles or links into emails. It would be great if there was an "email this page" link and then in the next screen you can select email addresses to send it to, your email (who it should appear to come from), which would have a default value of the email associated with your account if you have provide one, and an option to send a link to the article, the article in plain text, or an HTML version with a "Read the rest of this article here" link. I do realize that this would be a decent-sized software change, but I think it is worth it. — Mets501 (talk) 14:49, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
E-mail this page (or a link, whatever) is a natural feature for websites that have an interest in increasing readership... I'm kind of surprised we don't have such a common feature. --W.marsh 20:18, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
This is a nice idea. I suggest a feature request bug be filed on Lupin|talk|popups 22:26, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Every current browser has an "email this page" option. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:46, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Front Page notice

It is regarding this:

Welcome to Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
1,210,396 articles in English

I believe the "anyone can edit" should have disclaimer that source must be verifiable, useful, and bunch of other stuff that people usually not read through. Many users and editors do not even read the bottom Content must not violate any copyright and must be based on verifiable sources. You agree to license your contributions under the GFDL. --Dooly00000 18:32, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I don't think it's going to make much difference regardless of where we put it, unless it's a check box that needs to be checked before the edit can be accepted. — BRIAN 0918 • 2006-06-24 18:50
  •  :Sure it does, whevener people click edit they view the "disclaimer". ;) --Cat out 23:13, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

< Scraped from Main article, 23:15, 24 June 2006 (UTC), by Dooly00000

One problem with front page stuff is that 99.999% of new users end up entering and being introduced to the Wikipedia via an article following a Google search using a keyword that gets a Google Wikipedia hit. Once in an article there is no backtrace to the main page through a classification hierarchy shown at the top of the article as there is in disk file folders and most web pages. Consequently you never as a user look for or see the main page. ...IMHO (Talk) 20:29, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

There's a giant picture at the top that links to the main page and another link in the Navigation box that explicitly states "Main Page". Obviously, there's plenty of ways back to the main page. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 20:34, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes but why would anyone ever want to take a direct route to the main page versus going back up through the hierarchy. Remember people come to the Wikipedia in search of knowledge about the topic they are interested in not to learn about the Wikipedia. ...IMHO (Talk) 20:38, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
That's your opinion of what people want and Wikipedia does not work as you seem to think it does. There is no hierarchy, only groupings of relevant topics. Everything exists within the same sublevel, more or less. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 20:42, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Where is the giant link to the Wikipedia:Browse on the article page??? ...IMHO (Talk) 20:45, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Petition the MediaWiki people to add it if you feel it's so important. Generally, people don't just randomly read encyclopedias. They search for a topic they want to read about, making random browsing a somewhat pointless venture, don't you think? – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 20:51, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually an acyclic graph for each article might be more appropriate. When people are searching for knowledge they may use a variety of techniques. The idea is to accomodate this fact. ...IMHO (Talk) 21:07, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
That would look terrible. This is an encyclopedia, not a directory listing. If anything, you should look into creating an index of sorts. – Someguy0830 (Talk | contribs) 21:12, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
A nice icon that links to an ugly graphic would still do the job. ...IMHO (Talk) 21:17, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
  • And if pretty is what you want the Mind map is what you get. ...IMHO (Talk) 09:51, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
  • What is really needed is a list of knowledge criteria so that dynamic classification of articles can be handled by a computer. ...IMHO (Talk) 21:25, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
It's a matter of fact that the Main Page gets a lot of hits. A lot of hits. Way more than any other page. To the point where things linked off the main page tend to be more popular than anything else. It's a very popular portal, and I'm confident people are reading it. Deco 21:58, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
On the other hand the hits could simply be due to reflex action after a Google search brings a person to an article page. After a couple or three hits the jigsaw puzzle globe would entice even adults to click on it to see what might happen. ...IMHO (Talk) 22:29, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Classification of articles within the Wikipedia

Whoever first recognized the need has probably been long since been obscured but Dewey ended up with the credit for the Dewey Decimal System. What is becoming apparent is that the entire Wikipedia project is in need of a similar classification system. Anyone have any specific ideas of how such a system should be organized or if it would be sufficient just to start with the divisions upon which the reference desks are already based? ...IMHO (Talk) 12:11, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Does anyone know of a list of intellectual criteria that could be used as the basis of article classification? ...IMHO (Talk) 12:18, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Two points, one irrelevant to this question - firstly, I've been reading a few of your posts to the Village Pump and it's slightly aggravating that each post seems to be followed up by several minor corrections. If you use the "Show Preview" button, you can proof-read your contributions before they "go live" as it were - it would save a lot of effort. To actually reply to your point, however - how would this differ from, or what is in your opinion needed in addition to, the Categories system? --JennyRad 12:21, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Post script here in case you have this on your watchlist... I have installed the following CSS script which seems to have helped my poor eye sight to better deal with the problem. Now all I need are some fingers, hands, elbows and shoulders with muscles that lack minds of their own. (textarea {font-family: "Comic Sans MS"; font-size:150%;}) ...IMHO (Talk) 00:31, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Its a problem for me as well. What I need is an offline editor. I try most of the time to use Word but a built in Wikipedia speller would do most of the trick. Have any ideas? The the Categories system is exactly what I would start with but the reason I would not stop there is because there are so many articles that cover a great portion of the same thing because whatever that thing might be has become almost a common tool which many people still think of as particular and special to their own particular application. Example? Half life. Half life is such a common and wide spread concept it is even used to describe gasoline consumption on common digital dashboards. I'm looking for a list of criteria that is about 10 to 30 (multiple state) independent variables deep. ...IMHO (Talk) 12:32, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Also I would propose that the the Categories system hierarchy be listed at the top of each article as the subdirectories are for disk file folders and most web pages. ...IMHO (Talk) 12:48, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Any more references as to the classification of knowledge besides the the Categories system? ...IMHO (Talk) 20:42, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
There are the various index pages, and things like "AllPages", but the thing I find most helpful when wanting to get a reasonable starting point towards what exists in a certain area, is to use the Prefix index. Also, using the "What links here" link on the toolbox (at left) is sometimes a powerful tool to see the links within the encyclopedia. And then, of course, there is always the outward bound links from any page - I'm not sure if there is a way to list those for a particular page. This all works much like a cross-referencing system, rather than a classification system as such, but I sometimes find these entry points and browsing methods more useful than the category system (which I also find useful). Carcharoth 07:37, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree that depending upon where you want to go next its great to have a choice between a bus, a car or a Star Trek Teleporter. Its just that I can't seem to get the idea out of my head how great it would be to have a list of all the criteria upon which just categories in the Wikipedia are based much less articles. The main difficulty of course is in coming up with criteria that must be combined in order to define all categories or articles. I mean certainly things like "author" and "creation date" would qualify in that regard but what I am really looking for are things more content orientated. ...IMHO (Talk) 09:48, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry. I read that three times, but still don't understand it! :-) Carcharoth 23:39, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Forgive me. I guess I have been a logician for too long. I naturally assume that everyone else lives with dependent and independent variables and their states on their minds at all times. What I am referring to is the breakdown of knowledge in terms of criteria with combinatorial capability. Like for instance one might use "logic" as such a criteria and then check off logic in terms of how it relates to a category or article. The various possible ways that logic could relate to an article or category would be listed under logic as potential states. (I can give you a highly detailed example if this description does not suffice.) Then one might look at another potential independent variable like "time" asking if the category or article relates in any way to time and then check off the state of time that indicates this relationship. An alternative scheme might be to simply use the old writer's guide of who, what, when, why and how. I want to consider a few basic possibilities before focusing on any one. ...IMHO (Talk) 23:55, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Ah! "Who, what, when, why, how" - simple! I understand now! ;-) Carcharoth 09:22, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I've thought for awhile that categorization isn't Wikipedia's strong point; we've got cross-referencing on the head, and once I find an article, I'll be able to find dozens of its cousins with no difficulty... the trick is finding the first one. I wish I could understand your proposal more fully, but for whatever reason it's not coming to me; that said, I encourage you to develop the idea. One other consideration, you might be interested to look at the portal system (or the directory), and see if that gives you any new ideas. Luna Santin 09:08, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
For instance if I want to classify microbes then I look for distinguishing characteristics which are in most cases based upn some parameter that can be or is measured in the laboratory whose combination can uniquely identify a particular microbe among millions and which can be updated to accommodate new microbes and new characteristics. With articles instead of classifying them as history I might instead use "when" as a characteristic and "history" as a state of "when." The idea is to reduce the descriptive criteria of knowledge to its essence such that a computer can classify articles such that each article will be represented by a unique rule or combination of multiple state characteristics. Combination and multiple state are critical terms here. You need both to do a comprehensive yet comprehendible classification. ...IMHO (Talk) 10:18, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Popular culture - link in, not out

I edit a lot of military related articles, and often someone will add "This gun/tank/missile is used by (insert some fictional character) in (some fictional piece of work) to do (something fictional)." I think it's pointless and crufts up factual articles with a load of fictional references that are basically not notable, and not encylopedic. See Colt Python for a good example. I think it would be good to have a policy/guideline in place that basically limited "Popular culture" references for real things or objects to only iconic references - i.e. Dirty Harry. Popular culture articles - video games/films/fiction should link to the objects in question, not the other way round. What do other people think ? Megapixie 09:51, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

I personally don't mind those sections much other than I think that they often needs to be trimmed of less notable appearances and have lists converted to prose. Jeltz talk 12:39, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I think that at the very least equal importance should be given to both directions, i.e. making sure that each fictional character has a link to the article on the real world weapon they use. Lor 08:48, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Portal:Current events?

There is a still-open Portal:Current events creation proposal and an earlier discussion on Talk:Current events that suggests some support and no opposition for moving Current events to the portal namespace with minimal initial changes in layout and organization. I'm not convinced the proposal has had enough scrutiny so I hope it's appropriate to mention it here as well. Please comment at Wikipedia:Portal/Proposals#Portal:Current events or here as appropriate. Suggestions for other places to make this proposal known would also be welcome. Thanks – kayaker (talk · contribs) 09:30, 26 June 2006 (UTC).

Automatically providing primary authors with copy

The process of article deletion is harrowing enough to then deny or delay the primary author from obtaining a reference copy of the article for continued revision and/or personal use. I propose that upon deletion of an article that a link to a hidden copy of the article be provided to the primary author or to everyone involved in the deletion discussion so as to uphold the Wikipedia civility policy. Otherwise I fear the deletion process will appear to simply be viewed as a mugging carried out by a bunch of ruthless thugs. ...IMHO (Talk) 00:58, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

If you want the contents of a deleted article, you may request them at Wikipedia:Deletion review#Content review, with the stipulation, they can't be used to recreate the page in article space, but may be used outside of Wikipedia. A high percentage of deleted articles are made by throw-away accounts, so this "on request" approach probably makes more sense (though it's admittedly not well known). --Rob 01:19, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Its a matter of courtesy and civility in line with the idea that setting an example of proper attitude and operation makes better sense. Essentially the Wikipedia needs to follow the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." ...IMHO (Talk) 01:38, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
This is a bit tricky. If anybody else significantly edited the article before its untimely demise, then the author is constrained to use it under the terms of the GFDL - but with the article deleted, they have no history to link to, so they can't give credit in the usual manner. If such a case did arise, it would be necessary to supply interested parties with both the original article contents (in wiki source form) and the complete history to enable license compliance. Deco 04:23, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Not being that knowledgable yet about Wikipedia structure I have no basis for arguement but it would seem that it should not be that difficult to simply make everything that aleady exists hidden or invisible from the Wikipedia yet retaining everything just as it was and even being able to limit access to those parties involved, especially those who participate in the discussion. Perhaps just sending all parties detailed instructions on how to make a copy request might even be sufficient. Again its just a matter of taking Wikimedia operation to a level that is beyond reproach or at least making the effort. ...IMHO (Talk) 06:32, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

What would really help is making it mandatory for admins who delete an article to provide a link from the deletion log summary to the deletion discussion. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to hunt high and low through the archives to find the discussion. Carcharoth 10:52, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Each deletion discussion is reached as a subpage of WP:AFD, as Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Articlename. (Older discussions are under the old page name at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Articlename.) No high-and-low hunting required. You can always watchlist specific discussions, too — then you'll have a link from your watchlist page. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:23, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Ah. Thanks. Rather embarassingly I did actually find this out a few weeks ago (well, that was actually when trying to find an ArbCom ruling), but it seems I promptly forgot again! :-) Carcharoth 00:19, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Cite the subject of this article

Several times I've been starting or expanding a video game article, and I've had to cite a book with an article. Since the book is already cited by several other articles, a copy-and-paste should be possible. But the only way to do this seems to be to go to the Special:Whatlinkshere of the book in question, click on one of the links given, and hope it uses the cite template. There has got to be a better way.

We could just decide that a wikilink to the book was sufficient for citing it. However, this would be inadequate for printouts of the article, and the book article might be deleted, so I don’t think this is a good idea.

What I think would work well would be to associate a set of Template:Cite book arguments with each book article. This could take the form of a human-readable template on the talk page ({{citethisbook|title=this|last=that|first=and so on}} → "To cite this book in a Wikipedia article, use {{cite book|title=this|last=that|first=and so on}}") and could be botted from Template:Infobox book arguments. Finally, we'd set up a cite template whose sole argument was a wikilink, and a bot to replace it with the completed template fetched from the to-cite-this-book template. Thus, an editor might just type {{cite bwa|High Score!}}, and save a lot of work. (BWA would stand for Book With Article. Note that High Score! is a redirect, which the bot would have to deal with.)

Would this work? Maybe it could also be used for sources other than books, when the piece of work is the entire subject of the article. Seahen 20:12, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

I think the flaw is, that one book title, can have multiple variations, each with its own ISBN. A page number in a reference for one, doesn't always work for another. --Rob 20:39, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
If it is really necessary to cite specific editions and page numbers, I can see a way around this: For books with multiple editions, place multiple copies of the cite-this-book template on the talk page, one describing each edition, and make sure they all include the ISBNs. Then, create a variation of the BWA template that takes ISBNs as input rather than titles. (Each edition of a book gets its own ISBN.) The bot would search cite-this-book templates for the matching ISBN. This would have a further advantage: if the book didn't have an article, the bot could use the ISBN to look up its details from an outside source, more easily than it could use a title. Seahen 01:18, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I guess the latter could be implemented just using the existing {{cite book}}. Seahen 03:19, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
You should really take a look on the bibtex system. Some adaptation of the scheme used there could probably work. Bfg 09:12, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for common look and feel for geographical infoboxes

I've created page for discussion about creating a standard look and feel for geographical infoboxes, please contribute at Wikipedia:Geographical infoboxes if you're interested. -- Rick Block (talk) 17:37, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

AOL users can edit ... after accepting the CACERT certificate.

"AOL users can edit Wiktionary here after accepting the CACERT certificate. For more info, visit IRC or Wiktionary:AOL."

Go to Wiktonary, this is the line you read on the main page. Could we adopt this sort of policy for Wikipedia? (Is this a question better left on Meta?) -- Zanimum 13:09, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

No, not better on Meta, but better at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). Wiktionary requires AOL users to use a secure (https://) server, and I think it was mentioned that if all AOL users were to use Wikipedia on the secure server, it would be terribly overburdened. But anyway, it's worth a try to ask at WP:VPTMets501 (talk) 13:15, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Then why not switch more servers to https? Seahen 17:48, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
On a per connection basis, https takes considerably more resources than http because of the encryption step. As it would seem to be just a matter of having enough resources, I'm sure it could be done someday, but I'm not sure it could be accomplished on the presently available hardware. Dragons flight 07:30, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I've filed a configuration request at Mediazilla:6459. — Simetrical (talk • contribs) 04:07, 27 June 2006 (UTC)


(I don't know if this is considered policy-related or not - I think not.) I think there should be a separate search function for finding items in the guidelines, at the Pump, etc. That is, for finding stuff that is in that part of Wik which is NOT part of the content of articles. I always have a dickens of a time trying to find any-thing, such as copyright, special symbols, etc. It is especially difficult, since so much of the "Help" information is linked, meaning I go through 5 or 6 links before I get whither I want to go. Even with a "fast" connection, this often takes me around ten minutes to find out a simple think such as how to make the won" (Korean currency) sing. I often just give up or ask on a member's page. This seems like a poor set-up to me. Kdammers 09:16, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

2 solutions here: a) you se WP shortcuts like WP:NPOV and WP:AFD for policy you want to referene, or, i seem to remember (at the bottom of a search page) a bunch of check boxes for which namespace you want to search. I hope this helps, but somehow i'm not sure I know what you're looking for. MichaelBillington 05:47, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Category:Wikipedians by politics for deletion

I have nominated Category:Wikipedians by politics and all of its subcategories for deletion. Feel free to comment at Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 June 19/Wikipedians by politics. Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:58, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

If electioneering belongs in Cfd, this entry should be removed. — &nbsp;Stevie is the man!  Talk | Work 13:35, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Huh? This is notification. This is the right place to notify people about stuff. Hipocrite - «Talk» 14:11, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
And if we did this for every xfD, this place would be a mess. This is electioneering, and should go. — &nbsp;Stevie is the man!  Talk | Work 15:35, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Slippery slope fallacy. Hipocrite - «Talk» 19:51, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Nothing fallacious here. Your nom (which failed, to the betterment of the Wikipedia) proves my point, in which it is claimed that these categories have gotten out of hand, and anything that gets out of hand had to start somewhere. There are many movements in here that started with a permissive attitude toward one person or a few people doing something. Your advertising of this vote here was indeed electioneering that can easily get out of control, no matter what anyone says. — &nbsp;Stevie is the man!  Talk | Work 06:12, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
But we don't do it for every XFD, so it's fine. This CFD is of particular interest, so it's reasonable to publicize it. If too many XFDs start being publicized here, then we can talk about banning them. — Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:59, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Electioneering is "trying to influence people's votes", not "trying to get people to vote". The latter can potentially be electioneering as well if you select people who will vote disproportionately the way you want the vote to fall out, but notifying the village pump doesn't qualify. — Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:59, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Web of Trust

The German Wikipedia has a relatively successful "Web of Trust" scheme to help with continuous rating of users' "trustability". The English equivalent, Wikipedia:Trust network, has been resurrected as a proposal, with a strong basis in the German system. If you want to make a public record of which contributors you find particularly trustworthy, you can follow the instructions given there. TheGrappler 21:54, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure how this fits in with the whole "assume good faith" thing - shouldn't we be assuming that all users are 100% trustworthy? Waggers 12:10, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
"Assume good faith" is to prevent knee-jerk disputes arising simply because a person is wrong. It does not mean that all users are 100% trustworthy or have 100% good faith. A Web of Trust would, ideally, show that a user does not, in fact, have as much good faith as might be expected of some randomly selected user. -- Centrx 23:35, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a place to make arguments (or rather to copy the arguments of others) and then back them up (with links or information about where to find those arguments). You are arguing that the statements made by others are true. To use a "Circle of Trust" not only, to me, sounds a little clique-y (which would put new users off), it also aids people making ad hominem arguments against others. Ad hominem arguments are, obviously, not valid and should be stifled. Users should be on a level playing field. --Stellis 08:39, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Nobody should argue against a person on the grounds that they aren't so well trusted - but there are already rules against ad hominem attacks. I can understand that it might be seen as cliquey, but would it really be such a bad thing for new members to be watched a little more closely than established ones? If some articles that you are mildly interested in, just enough that they are on your watchlist but not so much that you inspect and verify every edit, starts being edited by a newbie I expect you would go and take a much closer look than if you saw it being edited by a well-known and respected editor. This is not only natural, but sensible, and in no sense exclusive or cliquey (new editors may well appreciate a degree of oversight and feedback). This system is of the most help in marginal cases, where an editor with some experience has started editing in one of your main topics. It is natural to try to get to know a little about other editors (read their user page, talk page, sift through their contributions) but that can be time consuming. This is just an alternative tool to help to gauge an editor you have just come across. They may well be well-trusted and respected for sterling work on another area of Wikipedia, though this may not be obvious from their talk pages (in fact the best contributors often have the most negative sounding remarks put on their talk pages!). On the flip side, I have seen users who display an array of barnstars, but it turns out to be the work of a group of POV-pushers, awarding one another for their efforts. A trust network might not reveal level of trust so much as it reveals patterns of trust, and these can often be both informative and practically useful. TheGrappler 01:11, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
This sounds interesting. Could you please give me the location on the German Wik. Kdammers 10:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC) , unless it's some other non-standard Wikipedia. - PhilipR 19:24, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
The particular system is at de:Wikipedia:Vertrauensnetz.TheGrappler 03:48, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Epinions has had a web of trust for many years and I can tell you that it has led to an enormous amount of bruised egos, hurt feelings, backbiting, etc. It can be used as a weapon--removal: "I just don't trust this person anymore" as a revenge tool--spamming pages of other users with "I noticed that you have NAME on your WOT, please see this edit ___, he/she is not trustworthy" and many more scenarios. And it is incredibly cliquish, with members gloating over how many people have trusted them and statements to new members "well you haven't earned enough trust so ____". Even if you build into the guideline proposal language to attempt to insulate against WP:AGF violation, they are bound to clash. We joke about the cabal; this will create it or at least give its appearance great strength. It is stated right up front at Wikipedia:Trust network that the proposal will be "neither a popularity contest nor a measurement or assessment of an editor's trustworthiness or value." The reason this statement is prominently displayed and necessary is because that is how, at least to and by some, it will be used and seen — prescriptive guideline language notwithstanding. I think it sounds useful on paper and will be a disaster if implemented. I would be interested in seeing an experienced German Wikipedia editor's take on these matters.--Fuhghettaboutit 20:54, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't see a web of trust as being particularly useful. What do you do, rule a dispute in favour of whoever has the higher rating? Have bots revert edits from distrusted people? In the former case, you'll have lots of Wikipedians crying foul; in the latter, distrusted editors — legitimate or otherwise — will either discredit our claims of openness or circumvent using sockpuppets. As well, if the most established editors have a collective POV, they might use the Web to reinforce that POV by distrusting neutralizers. I think a WOT, if actually used for anything important, will tend to create a caste system that favours:
  • Those who have been here the longest, highest edit count, most user page views etc. at the time of inception.
  • Those with friends in high places (admins, stewards, bureaucrats, developers, ArbCom, Foundation staff).
  • Those who are good at meeting other Wikipedians on the outside Web or in meatspace.
This will tend to be self-reinforcing if the WOT rating is used to discount edits, campaign for adminship/stewardship/ArbCom, hire employees to the Foundation or for social networking. Hence, if the WOT is implemented, I won't consider the trustworthiness ratings trustworthy. Seahen 22:15, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Some would argue that all three of these things are important for judging suitability for the above. GreenReaper 22:59, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Then according to them, we should favour older editors at the expense of fresher ones, the admins' friends over those they have yet to acquaint themselves with, and those who socialize with lots of other Wikipedians (mostly extroverts in large Wikipedian-rich cities) over all others. All this at a time when WikiProject Countering Systemic Bias depends on gaining new editors from new geographic regions, new walks of life, new circles of friends. So the people who argue that are the people whom we should all argue against if we want to advance the goals of openness, equality, diversity and NPOV. Seahen 23:13, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I think a "trust rating" would have a chilling effect on freedom of debate and consensus, and would eventually formulate a stratification of wikisociety and create "experts" and "everyone else", which as far as I can tell is the opposite of the goal of wikipedia. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Fact Finders International

What i'd like to propose is a list of people, spread across the globe cooperating to get and check facts and spread the news of newly ermerged ones, each member working within his/her own country, speaking the local language and having easy access to monuments, musea and websites in their respective languages. This group of volunteers take requests from a list detailing the request.

The full proposal and rationale can be found here and i'd very much appreciate your input.

Kleuske 19:37, 13 September 2006 (UTC) (nl:Gebruiker:Kleuske)

You might be interested in Wikipedia:WikiProject Fact and Reference Check Tra (Talk) 21:12, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Interesting... What bothers me about it is that it seems to be strictly an affair. I can't really find any referenced to any other wiki's, which would make things a lot better for all. What use is having internet if we all retreat onto our national language islands and 'do not cooperate internationally especially for purposes like this?
What a waste of time and effort to check out things on,, and (and all the others) _separately_ if proper cites and sources are a mere translation away? What a waste of effort to correct something on one place and then failing to correct it in all the others (or rather, waiting for them to find out by themselves). So i think Wikipedia:WikiProject Fact and Reference Check] is a good initiative, but too limited in it's scope. Kleuske 08:38, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree! This is a great idea! FreddyE 10:44, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
What is a fact?--Light current 21:21, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Verifiability. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:06, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Funding Wikipedia through the Advertisement Model

Wikipedia is a massive compendium of knowledge, I feel that it could use some security (staff, hardware, finances) and I also think the easiest an best way to secure stable funds is through adbertisement...with monies coming in, THE ENYCLOPEDIA could pay the writers and editors of the most widely viewed articles, or create a prize for the wierdest of articles...on a more serious note, Wikipedia could offer its own Nobel Prize of Wikipedian Literature, it could push the community to produce that which will change society, or societies.

Perhaps, with more cash, Wikipedia could upgrade its site, it could offer ways of implanting software (interactive charts, graphic organizers)...Wikipedia could even afford to stream video into the site, this could transform the encyclopedia into a firsthand, immediate, journalistic tool...Wikipedia could make an addition adding audiobooks of each of the articles, or even full voice animated site that could ease the burden of ignorance from the visually impaired.

I know the greatness that is Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, yet I can also imagine the death of Wikopedia from the current plague or epidemic of apathy (perhaps from the threat of terrorism? I certainly hope not, but noney can supply multiple hard backups of the data). I hope that this is taken in good faith, as it was sent...long live Wikipedia!

Perhaps a seperate wikipedian site could be made and would act as a review site? I am just throwing out ideas, and I hope that you all can add to my whimsical interests in keeping alive human interest in human matters, through the use of Wikipedia.

The above was contributed by User:Cementkilla. I am just copying it here. Melchoir 05:12, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Most of Wikipedia's editors contribute for the enjoyment, and would balk at receiving monetary rewards for their work. However, I agree that Wikipedia should seek alternative methods of funding and not rely solely on donations, so they can be more finanically secure and buy more servers. Many Wikipedians oppose having ads on Wikipedia, but I support having Google AdSense ads on pages, as such relevant ads are non-obstrusive and may actually help readers. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 09:42, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, monetary rewarding for editors would create some problems greatly outweighing benefits. Salaries would be better left to people doing more technical work, like technicians, lawyers and other full-time employees. Also, the community would not support ads on Wikipedia
However, it would be a good idea to create a new Wikimedia project, named, for instance, Wikiextras, which would serve as supplementary and include many of the useful things Wikipedia could be, but can't because of encyclopedic restrictions. Something closer to most wikis and to Wikipedia in its earlier days. It could have no notability requirements and only minimal guidelines about NOR and verifiability (some wikipedias work well without these policies, correctness being sufficient). For community it could as well allow discussion on subjects themselves and more essay writing. Transwikification there would quickly solve the problem with many useful, but not encyclopedic articles, satisfying both deletionists and inclusionists ideals (assuming linking to articles there would be allowed in navigation templates).
Such a project could be funded by google text ads (as usually, under the sidebar, practically unintrusive), and, due to high popularity it will quickly gain (being just what originally made Wikipedia polular), it alone could easily fund all Wikimedia Foundation's projects. I think it should seriously be considered as a solution which would not harm in any way the existing projects, but provide income, which could be used to extending hardware and software capabilities, at the same time inviting new editors and readers with more different interests. Of course, it doesn't have to be ad-funded. Such funding would resolve the problem of server load increase which is a frequent objection to hosting such wiki. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 17:20, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I generally agree with the add funded Wikiextras idea. There is a lot of good but non notable stuff which I find does not suvive AfD. I guess this is partially the role of Wikia. --Salix alba (talk) 18:03, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

emailing articles

okay, i read the news all the time online and when something interesting comes up, or say somthing having to do with the coast guard i click the email this article to a friend and send it to my guardsman brother, similarly i think wikipedia should have an option at the bottom of the page or sidebar where u can click, email to a friend provide your email or wikipedia user name and their name and email and send them the article or the link automatically, i think that would be very cool and it would be a great way of word-of-mouth spreading the visibility of wikipedia and i think it would attract for contributors and editors, whatya think? Qrc2006 01:56, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

It's interesting. Since we're already the number 17 Alexa site our articles usually appear among the top returns at search engines. Has it been hard for your friends to locate our pages? Durova 03:43, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
This has been proposed a number of times, often with strong support. It has not been implemented. Meanwhile, it's really not much more difficult to e-mail the URL (or the permalink, by first click Permalink in the Toolbox). Deco 00:47, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

If this excellent idea is implemented, we will have more ways to encourage our friends to contribute to Wikipedia. For example, after I write an article, I could e-mail it to my friends, asking them to give feedback, and sign up and improve my article. I am a manager in a 1000-member RuneScape community: I could e-mail the RuneScape article and suggest they create accounts and work on the article to improve it to Good Article status. The possibilities are endless. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 11:53, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

That's why e-mails shouldn't be sent out from Wikipedia itself. They'll be spam. We have enough trouble with self-promotion via Wikipedia. If Wikipedia will generate spam on demand, it will be used that way. --John Nagle 16:52, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

what the hell are you talking about nagle? limit emaiol articles to registered users then, or 10 per hour per IP address or include a identify the charicters image thingy its a great idea your very pessamistic, why should we be denied this great feature bcuz of what some spamholes might do with it, i also fail to see a problem with self promoting wikipedia, do you think promoting this project is a bad thing, that we shoudnt tell people about it? generate spam on demand it will be used that way, what does that even mean? and no they wont be spam, theyll be cool informative and attract people to wikipedia and actually i dont see how its self promotional at all i mean you could send the article about your Virginia if your doing a state report or if u write an article about unagi sushi to your chef friend or an article on Xena to your brother whos a astronomy buff or the article on britney spears or tom brady to a pop or patriots fan. that just makes wikipedia able to be more widely distributed and helps the learning processQrc2006 00:11, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

if the consensus seems to be do it is there an appropriate discussion page to continue this dialogoue, or what can be done to implement this?Qrc2006 00:11, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Doesn't your browser have an "email this page" function? I don't really see how adding this functionality into Wikipedia adds much unless you're using it from a public kiosk (or something) rather than your own PC. And, even if it were a feature, where do the addresses come from? Are you suggesting typing them in by hand, or do you also want Wikipedia to keep some sort of address book for you? Wikipedia is not Gmail. -- Rick Block (talk) 13:41, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
... and directly answering your question. Requests to change the software (bugs or enhancements) are entered using bugzilla. Unless it's a critical problem, the way it works is bugzilla users vote for bugs and the bugs with the most votes tend to get implemented first. -- Rick Block (talk) 13:47, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

A related essay

In some of my contributions, I have written things that I felt some people might presume to be original research. I describe three cases of these in my essay Wikipedia:These are not Original Research. Comments welcomed. -- llywrch 21:02, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I have made some edits to that page removing the subjective language. I hope this is OK.--Light current 00:30, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I have a question on original research. Let's say I wanted to write an article on a notable book or movie. Would the Plot section be considered original research, since it can't be satisfactorily written without reading the book. An example is an article I wrote, Homerun (film). If I was writing an article on a notable website or online game, would information on the website's internal features or gameplay be considered original research, since it can't be written unless you have been using the website or playing the game? Would screenshots help, in this case? Such a question should be noted in your essay. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 04:23, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
A book, movie, or game is a legitimate primary source, and reasonable use of primary sources is explicitly permitted by WP:NOR. - SimonP 12:21, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Yeah but hes talking about what is not explicitly written in the book, its just the readers view. So J.L.W.S. The Special One has a good point.--Light current 13:24, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
This question has arisen once or twice -- I don't know how seriously. However, to my knowledge no one has ever listed an article for deletion, arguing that the plot summary was original research. (I'd imagine that doing this would be a violation of WP:POINT.) Details about games or operating systems would be a little trickier -- but having copy-editted several games-related articles, I've seen alot of what I'd consider original research (or statements that badly need sources) but no one has clamped down on them -- yet. As for describing the internal features of a website, how can you guarrantee that these features will persist for more than a day or two? (If I was a webmaster, & I discovered that Wikipedia had information about my website, I'd consider it a security risk & make the appropriate changes.) -- llywrch 22:28, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Interesting. Another thing along these lines that has been troubling me can be seen in a number of the games articles, like Hearts (game), Spades, and Euchre. On the one hand, I like these articles and find them interesting, helpful, and, to the best of my knowledge, accurate. On the other, there are no references. When I come across unreferenced and possibly unreferenceable articles about bands, coroporations, or living people, I'm for swift deletion. But I believe those articles on games should be kept, and are fine as is. This apparent double standard bothers me.

It wasn't until looking recently at some of the articles on big cities that I think there's another sort of reliable source: the introspection of large numbers of editors. Looking at San Francisco, for example, I see a number of statements that are unreferenced and that I wouldn't expect to see in a formal reliable source. But any San Francisco resident could judge the truth of them, and there are enough San Franciscans and San Francisco visitors editing Wikipedia that I'm not afraid that the article would be significantly wrong for significantly long.

Similarly for the card-game articles: Even if no researcher had ever written about Hearts (game), I think that there are enough players that we can have a good article about it. Although this could be seen as original research, I think the material is still verified through wide peer review, and so fits the spirit and goals of Wikipedia. Is this reflected in the policies anywhere? And if not, should it be? Thanks, William Pietri 15:38, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Harnessing RSS feeds from quotationsbook to expand WikiQuote

I maintain, a highly comprehensive and usable resource of quotations. It's also the only site with freely available | RSS feeds of all content. Seeing that all this content is public, I thought of asking appropriate people at Wikiquote if WikiQuote collections can be extended to include quotes from my site. There are subsets of data available at quotationsbook that don't exist at Wikiquote, especially in stubs. Data can, of course, be formatted as required, since it's delivered as XML.

Can Wikiquote make use of these feeds to fill out stubs and append content to existing collections, etc.? Who would be in charge of thinking this through and deciding to use the feeds?

I think it would contribute very significantly to WikiQuote content, and reveal many more quotes. My feeds are traffic-ready and being used at This topic was posted at WikiQuote | here to no response.

Amit 19:37, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Your biggest problem will be licencing - quotationsbook copyright itself, is all rights reserved - which is normally not compatable with the GFDL. And yes, I release that many quotes may technically not be under the GDFL, that's more of an issue for the wikiquote people to try and figure out. LinaMishima 21:18, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Checking, I find that I believe that some of your content is under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License (freely sharable as long as the author is acknowledged). It is unclear if you mean the original person being quoted, the person who added the material, or yourselves. I am seeing a slightly major issue here in general accross all quote sites as to licening problems, especially since the first and foremost licence being attempted is generally that reproduction would be considered fair use. LinaMishima 21:24, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I believe all quotes are under fair use provision. A guideline by ProQuest (the major supplier of electronic information to libraries and schools worldwide) is that anything over 150 words might need permission - but that's a mere guideline. I mean from the CC license that all my collections (the way I've put them together by subject and author) are openly shareable, and by RSS feeds too. The individual quotes of course, retain author's rights. We've already crossed the hurdle in terms of reproducing quotes, as many authoritative sites across the web make collections of quotes available. For reasonable use, there's no endemic problems or legal issues at all (otherwise Wikiquote wouldn't exist!). My collections are my copyright, and I've let that "go". Indeed, they're public, in a format anyone can use. Amit 06:55, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I previously had this discussion a long time ago here - and there was technical feasibility in doing this. Before this topic dies a death, I think it would be a great idea and fill out many stubs in Wikiquote. Can someone make this? Amit 07:07, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

The Tildes, and linking to user's talk page

One of the big things about talking to other users is to add 4 tildes (~~~~) to identify yourself in a discussion. However, some users manually (I assume) add a link to their talk page in their signature. Why doesn't adding the 4 tildes (adding a sig) to a comment include a link to your talk page? When I click on a person's sig, I most often am more interested in their talk page than I am their userpage, and (again) assume I am not alone in this. Also, when a user who hasn't set up their userpage is referred to, they come up as a red link, making it difficult to access their talk page. For instance, most anonymous ip 's have a red link, but active talk pages. Can't their be a way to more easily access user's (whether registered or not) talk pages. Autopilots 09:53, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Some users include a link to their talk page by merely modifying their signature in their user preferences. Even for redlink users it's just one extra click though, and I often wish to know a little about someone before posting to them anyway. Deco 12:01, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Sensitive images: The 'censoring' of Wikipedia for minors (or anyone else)

To my great surprise I didn't find anything about this either here orhere. Maybe if I checked the history links, but I really couldn't be bothered.

Anyway, I wanted to suggest this: User:TRiG/Suggestion for policy on raunchy pictures. Any thoughts?

That page is in two distinct sections, the second of which is not really realted to the title.

If anyone thinks that this comment should be moved elsewhere, please feel free to cut-and-paste it.

I don't really know what I'm doing here yet. I'm a [h2g2] person.

TRiG 19:15, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps it should be on perennial, as there are frequent (at least once a week) proposals to censor content, with the usual objections being Wikipedia is not censored for the protection of minors, the lack of a universal standard, and the general guideline of avoiding frivolously sexual images (in other words, attempting to confine them to situations where they add obvious value). Deco 04:41, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Would there actually be any way to limit access to certian pages by minors? If not, we are wasting out time discussing it. How do we know which editors are minors? How do we know which minors are admins who could maybe unlock any locks that are put on.
The book is on the shelf. Children are either:
  • allowed by their parents to read it or
  • not allowed to read it . 8-|--Light current 04:54, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Also see Wikipedia:No disclaimer templates, which references some of the previous discussions about such ideas. -- Rick Block (talk) 04:56, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
The basic question is:

Is information of itself bad (or evil or offensive etc)? I dont think so. If Im right, all we need to do is present pure information without connotation.--Light current 05:02, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Another objection to this approach is that, since this is an open edit site, Wikipedia cannot guarantee that any page will be free of vandalism at any particular moment. Responsible parents ought to understand that intuitively. Specific disclaimers also make it clear. While such damage usually gets undone very quickly, it's a fact of life on any wiki. Durova 19:14, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Another variation on the idea: Whilst the concept has been presented in a well-meant manner, the idea that wikipedia should be opt-out-only uncensored runs contrary to many of the core beliefs. However I see no issue with the idea of opt-out uncensorship. By this I mean that above tags should be added as part of a greater meta-tagging scheme (another common suggestion). Then, a user can select on an account-passworded part of their preferences to display or not display certain tagged content (or content that is not tagged, as vandals are unlikely to bother). By default, all content would be allowed, but this would allow parents and those who find material objectionable to prevent it from being seen. Obviously, this is part of a much bigger set of changes, but it's worth remembering. LinaMishima 21:14, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Most censoring schemes based on tagging are objected to on the basis of the need to establish a universal, culturally-independent standard where one does not exist. Deco 22:03, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
True, the idea here is that the selection of tags to block is entirely the users', making it a little more flexable. The same can be said about wikipedia in general. Infact... "Most censoring schemes based on tagging are objected to on the basis of the need to establish a universal, culturally-independent standard where one does not exist." is why we don't sensor, and rightly so, really. LinaMishima 22:16, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
  • If parents want to censor websites for their kids, they should install parental control software, not bother us. As was said above, we can't guarantee we're free of vandalism anyway. So we're always a so-called 'risk'. - Mgm|(talk) 10:08, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Just had an idea: Junior Wikipedia . Same as normal wikipedia with all the 'naughty' stuff removed. ie certain pages would not be available in the junior version. Any thoughts?--Light current 15:24, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Redundancy. Won't work. The only way would be to set a flag for potentially disturbing images and allow a pref flag to display them as links instead of thumbs. Considerable anw worth suggesting further, IMO. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 16:02, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
No it would be a different URL, passing thro a filter then onto main WP site. When a sensitive (flagged) page is requested by this URL, it is not returned by the WP servers. Could that no be done?--Light current 16:29, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
  • And who gets to decide what gets left out? Junior Wikipedians who want to study articles on sexuality would have to resort to another less reliable place, because I'm pretty sure it would be considered too naughty for Junior Wikipedia. A parent is responsible for their own child. And some children are more mature than others. Let's not treat them all the same. - Mgm|(talk) 10:05, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Well of course the decision would have to based on CONSENSUS. Young children wanting to study sex etc can always get thier parents or teacher to log onto the normal uncensored site. In other words we pass the responsibility of what children see right back to whom it belongs-- the parents!--Light current 10:17, 12 September 2006 (UTC)