Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive X

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Semiprotection instead of full protection for Main Page bits?


A few months ago, I noticed an inconsistency on the Main Page, in the "Today's FA" text. When I tried to edit the text I noticed that the featured article text was also protected, as are apparently all main page templates.

Thus, I had to discuss th change on the talk page. When the edit was finally done by an admin, the day was almost over. Too bad.

The motivation someone gave for the protection was as simple as it was logical: "We used to allow users editing main page bits, but when kids started inserting pictures of penises, we protected them". Sounds very plausible, once some vandal has found its way to the main page parts, they won't stop. But we have the very convenient possibility of semiprotecting pages and we have had it for months now. So give me one reason why we shouldn't allow ordinary users to edit these main page bits again? Steinbach (fka Caesarion) 08:41, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I do not think that main page and its contents should be semi-protected because main page is the main source of wikipedia. Any person who makes little contribution to wikipedia could make changes to main page but the person may not be reliable. (S)He can make vandalism to the main page. Administrators hold responsibility and could not make vandalism. But there is no constraint for other users. Shyam (T/C) 10:24, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
It would be nice for the rare occasions when typos find their way onto the main page. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 13:16, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is too strict.

Wikipedia's administration is becomming too strict.

If i want to write a bio about my teacher, i should be able to.

I tried, and the page got deleted because the person wasnt "noteworthy".

This is a rash injustice, and i dont see how having a page that might not be "notable" by everyone will hurt anyone.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Shmirlywhirl (talkcontribs)

Here's a question; what sources did you cite for the bio on your teacher? Did you cite any at all?
Notability is a controversial word, but to be honest what it really boils down to is sources and verifiability; and if we want to create a reliable reference, we must be strict on verifiability. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 16:08, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

No. If you want to write a bio about your teacher then get yourself a website and do what you want with it. We are writing an encyclopedia, not a directory of likeable human beings. Pascal.Tesson 16:19, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Pascal.Tesson, some teachers are notable and deserve encyclopedia entries. See Category:Schoolteachers and Category:Educators for examples. True, not all teachers are notable, and true we are not writing "a direcory of likeable human beings"; but who knows, this person's teacher may be deserving of an article. Without seeing the page (which was speedy-deleted 3 times) you and I can't know. From what I've seen, articles are deleted because they are poorly written and unsourced at least as often as they are deleted because they don't belong. I think this is a major problem with Wikipedia's deletion system; but I don't have any ideas for how to fix it other than to tell people who complain that if their articles are sourced, they will be a lot more likely to stay. Notability and sources really do go hand in hand. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 16:39, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Well I don't disagree that some teachers are notable but they are very very few. In fact, if you look at the Category:Schoolteachers you'll find very few people (actually I believe none) whose sole contributions to world history is their work as a teacher. Some were renowkned pedagogues, some were notable politicians, some have a place in history for utterly unrelated reasons. I think the CSD criteria are effective in avoiding the unecessary clogging of Wikipedia by non-notable bio-subjects. Pascal.Tesson 17:06, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
If your teacher is not notable, you should not write a Wikipedia article on her because:
  • If she's not notable, there won't he enough verifiable information about her to write a good article.
  • If she's not notable, no one will want to read an article about her.
  • If she's not notable, she would not be happy when she sees she has a Wikipedia article.
Of course, if she's notable, the article must establish her notability.
If you want to contribute to Wikipedia, there are tons of notable topics which do not have articles, and you can write articles on them. And there are over a million articles which you can improve. Please don't get discouraged; try to become a quality contributor. All the best to you, both in real life and as a Wikipedian! --J.L.W.S. The Special One 05:39, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

ref tag and such

I am sure that this must have been proposed before, it's such an obvious thing. There is already a <ref> tag which allows for inline citations to be cited at the end of the article. Could there not also be a <foot> or <note> tag to allow for separate footnotes to be in articles. At the moment there is no MoS way for the subheading for inline citations, i think most people agree it to be 'References' but then some think it should be 'Notes' having a separate <note> tag would prevent this as well has being able to have both citations and footnotes on one page but listed as separate things. chris_huh 15:18, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

I have run into this problem before and have used the older {{Note}} system to provide separate notes and references sections. Rmhermen 16:05, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Places of local interest

This is a proposed guideline about articles on local malls, parks, masts etc. It appears to be stable and already in use, but feedback would still be appreciated. >Radiant< 09:04, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

contributions link

I'd like to see a link to contributions in the user talk and or user namespace section. When warning vandals its a bit of a runaround to get to their contributions. All in all the whole navigation through user talk, namespace and contributions could be a little bit more intuitive. RichMac 02:51, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

On both user talk page and user pages there is a link to "User contributions" on the left hand side of the screen in the toolbox (at least there is in MonoBook (default)), as well as for every entry for each user edit in all history pages. Have you missed that link? If not, what is counterintuitive about it? (or am I misunderstanding the meaning of your post).--Fuhghettaboutit 02:57, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I've completely missed that toolbox, I need to scroll down at my resolution, my bad. I'm generally looking near the top of the page. Thanks, that'll save me a lot of time in navigationRichMac 04:42, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Glad to be of service. I suspected that you had missed the link. If it's any consolation, I have many times looked high and low for a pencil that I had tucked behind my ear.--Fuhghettaboutit 04:49, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I have never noticed that either! I've always visited the page history of a page I knew the person had edited to click on "contribs". That's why I put a link to my contributions in my signature; to make it easier on others. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 15:12, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Inactive admins perennial proposal explanation

Looking over perennial proposals, I spotted this one:

Demote inactive admins

  • Proposal: inactive admins should have their admin status revoked automatically after a given time period. The reasoning behind this is generally that the accounts might be compromised.
  • Not a good idea because: an inactive account is less likely to be compromised than an active one (and also, if a vandal had successfully breached an admin's account, he would presumably use it for something and not let it stay inactive).
  • See also: Wikipedia:Inactive administrators (2005)

Although I agree that demoting inactive admins, even on a temporary basis, is not a great idea, the reason given here is not credible. There's a reason system administrators routinely deactivate idle accounts - if a large number of inactive accounts are left lying around, it's highly probable that an attacker can perform a successful dictionary attack against at least one of them, especially in a system like Wikipedia where password quality is not enforced and login attempts are not restricted. To quote password cracking, "Repeated research over some 40 years has demonstrated that around 40% of user-chosen passwords are readily guessable by programs." Even if you assume only a 2% chance of cracking each user's password, the chance of breaking one among a pool of 100 independent users is 87%.

On the other hand, active accounts frequently transmit their password in plaintext when logging in, making it easy to capture with packet sniffers located anywhere on the route (in particular, from any machine attached to the same hub as the admin's machine). Web proxies may also easily be configured to log this information, which many admins use.

In short, all admin accounts are highly vulnerable, whether active or inactive. I think a more effective defense is to say that promoting and demoting accounts manually is a hassle, and it's easy to reverse any damage done by a compromised account. Deco 00:09, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I'd agree that all accounts are equally vulnerable with respect to dictionary attacks, and active accounts have the additional vulnerability to packet sniffing. This does imply that active accounts are more vulnerable total, does it not? >Radiant< 09:07, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
    • The main difference is that inactive accounts never change their password, making it possible to crack a pool of them systematically over a long period of time. Admittedly, active admins don't change their passwords either nearly as often as they should. Deco 09:41, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

in Special:Contributions/User, showing new page creations.

I just noticed that on viewing the contributions of any given user under Special:Contributions/User, you do not see N's as I have seen elsewhere for the creation of a new page. Wouldn't it be useful to be able to see in Special:Contributions whether a certain edit was the creation of a new page? Forgive me if this is a drastic technical problem, but I think the ability would be useful. Nihiltres 14:27, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Bumping this topic - does anyone have a comment? Nihiltres 14:29, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Color of names on history

Is there a way to get your own name show up in a different color in history and on the watch page?

Like...back when my userpage was still a red link, i found it really convient because i could immediately pick out where my edits where on the history for an article, or on my watchlist. Now that my userpage is no longer a red link, it's a bit annoying trying to pick out my name on history pages and watchlists.

So i don't suppose there's any way to make my name show up differently on history and watchlist for me?

If there isn't, would such a feature be possible to add? (as in people when logged in, will see their own names on history pages and watchlists in a different color)? --`/aksha 08:41, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I'd recommend making those lines bold or italicized instead. Fagstein 03:22, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
When I want to quickly point out one person's edits in the article history (doesn't matter if it's mine or someone else's) I visit their user page. Then click back to the history. Voila, their username is purple. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 14:59, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
That's....actually a really good idea ONUnicorn, it never occured to me. Thanks! --`/aksha 23:43, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Maybe they should just be bolded, like stuff on your watchlist in the Recent Changes.--HereToHelp 01:26, 12 October 2006 (UTC)


Why don't we have a listing under the navigation box or toolbox that makes it easy to email an article? Most other sites make allowance for this. 13:31, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Do you want it to e-mail the article as it exists when e-mailed, or do you just want to send the link to someone? — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 13:19, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Doesn't your browser have this feature? User:Zoe|(talk) 02:09, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Generally speaking, if your browser has this feature, it automatically sends the e-mail using Outlook or some similar program. Not everyone uses Outlook, or necessarily wants to send it from the e-mail address that is tied to their Outlook. Some people use multiple computers, and don't always have their Outook on the computer they are using. I think what the person is suggesting is a feature more like's e-mail this article feature, where you type in the from address as well as the to one. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 03:17, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Push for commons

Does anyone else use Magnus Manske's CommonsHelper? Would it be a good idea to make a page promoting this idea, perhaps, Wikipedia:Push for Commons? --evrik 19:46, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Anyone? --evrik 17:59, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
What is the CommonsHelper? What does it do, what is it for? Maybe if we knew we'd use it. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 03:12, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

--evrik 17:01, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

See WP:MFIC (Moving free images to the Commons). pfctdayelise (translate?) 17:08, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Other Simple Wikipedias?

Seeing as the Simple English Wikipedia is an indispensable tool for learners of the language, I'd like to ask for simple wikipedias in other commonly taught languages, such as french, chinese and arabic. The Chinese one could be written in pinyin (just a thought). - Anders Hjortshøj 20:00, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean by simple. But you are aware that Wikipedia has running versions in just about every language widely spoken on the planet, right? Pascal.Tesson 20:10, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
In addition to the original English Wikipedia (this one), there is a simple English Wikipedia. Anders proposes that simple versions be created for other languages. —David Levy 20:24, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Aaaah. Thanks. Pascal.Tesson 21:49, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
but I would tend to dispute that it is an "indispensable tool for learners of the language". And even if it were, it is of course not the object of the Wikipedia project to provide language courses (it is, rather, to write an encyclopedia). The problem with simple-wiki is that it isn't aware of its target audience. Is it for children? For learners? Learners of what age? Does "simplicity" trump "accuracy" (since, obviously, if you wanted the facts, you'd consult a non-simple edition) -- just consider its headline, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can change". They found no way to replace the "difficult" word 'encyclopedia', but they thought 'change' is "simpler" than 'edit'. For whom? Certainly not for learners of English who come from another European language ('edit' is from Latin and has counterparts in practically every other language. 'change' is Englich inherited core vocabulary). Certainly not for learners with access to a dictionary (as an ancient English word, "change" has a large range of meanings and shades of meanings. 'edit' has one straightforward meaning. This just what I have to say on the very first line of text of that project. The problems get worse from there. dab () 12:39, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the simple language writing faces a dilemma when approaching any technical or just complicated subject: it either fails to provide information or becomes almost normal language; or a compromise which reads funny and still omits most details. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 05:43, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, I see your points, and might reevaluate my opinions of the "simple" idea, but I still think a mandarin pinyin wikipedia would be useful.

Support Simple Wikipedias in other languages, such as Chinese. I am weak in Chinese, and trying to improve my Chinese, so I would find a Simple Chinese Wikipedia very useful. Oppose having a Simple Chinese Wikipedia in pinyin: many Chinese characters of different meanings may have the same pinyin. It would be easier to program a bot to read out Simple Chinese articles. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 06:18, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

I know I for one would love to see a simple wikipedia in French. My french is just good enough that I can decipher articles on the French Wikipedia on topics I know stuff about (like the U.S., Indiana, Water), but when I go to the talk pages (where there are misspellings, typos, poor grammer, abreviations, and generally informal language) I get lost. I'm also lost on more complex subjects. For example, they had an article in their current events section of their main page a while back that talked about a ban on genetically modified rice grown in the U.S. I knew just enough French to understand that the European Union was going to introduce a trade embargo against the United States. For whatever reason I didn't understand that it was related to rice, or to genetically modified foods, and finally, desperate to figure out what the article was talking about, I used Google translate on it. I rarely contribute to the French wikipedia, even when I can understand an article and know I have something valuable to add, because I'm paralyzed by the fear that what I write will end up seeming like utter nonsense. A Simple French Wikipedia based on the same principles the Simple English Wikipedia is based on would be a valuable tool for people like me.
However, the Simple English Wikipedia seems to be sort of an experiment, and one that, from what I've seen in my (short, limited) experience there, is not terribly successful. From what I've seen articles on the Simple English Wikipedia are written by two groups of people 1)Well-intentioned native speakers and 2)Well-intentioned non-native speakers with limited knowledge of the language. Take a look at their article on John Kerry for example. It uses words like "nominee" and "Senator" and "lieutenant governor" without explaining them at all (even by internal links). It would be useless to a non-native speaker with a level of English understanding equivilant to my level of French understanding. They might as well come here and read our article on John Kerry. Except that it's longer, it's no more difficult to understand, and it provides more information. Then, on the other hand, they have articles like Uri (an old version), with virtually no content and horrible misspellings, or Go Fish which might well be a bad joke, but if I were to assume good faith, I would think that it was a non-native speaker who maybe wasn't all that familiar with the game trying to explain it.
Moreover, English is by far the largest of the Wikipedias, none of the other languages have anywhere near the number of participants and articles as us. English can afford to have would-be participants split their efforts between a main encyclopedia and a simple version. Most other languages cannot. The Simple English Wikipedia already has more articles than 202 other language Wikipedias; do you honestly think a simple version of some other Wikipedias would be nearly as successful? Moreover some other Simple English projects (Wikitonary, Wikibooks, Wikiquote, but not Wikipedia) are up for deletion, see here. If Simple English is failing to generate enough interest for these other projects, do you think any other language will be able to generate enough interest for even a Wikipedia?
Finally, Simple English is based on word lists created by people outside Wikipedia. These word lists are established, known, things that already exist that contributers can refer to in working on the Simple English Wikipedia. SE contributers don't have to argue about what Simple English is, these word lists have been around for a while. Do other languages (like French or Chinese) have anything similar? Is there anything around that says what Simple French or Simple Chinese really is? Or would contributers to the Simple French Wikipedia each be making up their own version of Simple French? That's already one of Simple English Wikipedia's problems.
At any rate, this really should be brought up for discussion on Meta, as it has little or nothing to do with en.wikipedia. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 20:59, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Move protected template to edit page

For aesthetics, I would suggest (theoretically) moving protected templates (see Category:Protection templates) to the edit page. There are pros and cons, although the cons are a bit more definite that the pros. However, may I quote Otto von Bismarck: "Laws are like sausages: It's better not to see them being made." For a visitor not to see the complete inner workings of WP would be best, although I by no means wish to deceive. For example, when I first came to Wikipedia and saw the article on the PLO (from a Google search, I believe), there was a protected template on the top about protection due to a dispute. After this I vigorously avoided Wikipedia in the general manner of a victim of propoganda (I was 13 years old at the time), although the conception that I formed was a personal misconception.

In short: editing applies to those who edit. There is the Wikipedia protection policy of "a protection is not an endorsement of the current page version" that appears only on Template:Protected, which may be a reason to eschew this proposition. Does a Protection Template really make a difference when a page is being protected for something other than content disputes, and is it more or less professional to hide a page protection? I'm in favor of the former position, overall, when disputes are not involved.

This is fundamentally a technical issue, which may be difficult to implement. Maybe. It's not entirely a policy, either: it's a modus operandi. So I thought it belonged in proposals. Gracenotes T § 19:56, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

We announce that a page is protected on the article page because it's intended to inform the non-esoterics that there is a problem with the page of some sort. Hiding that is unprofessional, and indeed strikes me as distinctly dishonest. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 07:04, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Besides the "edit war" case, I don't see what someone could learn from knowing that the page has been vandalized recently. I know you're right, I suppose, and more or less knew so before I submitted the comment. I spoke of pros and cons, after all. However, WP users continue to note that an article is a former FA on the Talk page instead of on the top of the article. The issue really is how involved the non-esoteric wants to be: if they want to restore the article to its former glory using the best of their resources, or whether they want to rip off some content for an essay, or simply to look up a quick fact. If a non-esoteric just wants to look something up and not edit a page, then changing the template from the article to the edit page is fine (except in the case of a dispute). Overall, the main problem for me is that if a great article like Wikipedia, which attracts a lot of eyes, has a notice on top unnecessarily indicating the inner workings of Wikipedia (unnecessary because vandalism can be reverted and the article would still be fine without anyone knowing), then the contrast disgruntles me somewhat. If the 1984 overtones/undercurrents disturb you, then you should note that I have good intentions about this, and am simply wondering if this proposal would help WP in any way. Apparently not, and I didn't really think so, but I may as well mention it. ~ Gracenotes T § 23:16, 27 October 2006 (UTC)


The term "vanity" is frequently considered derogatory by the subjects of articles, who then complain about it to the Wikimedia Foundation. This is undesirable, and it is a situation we can alleviate by trying not to use the term "vanity" in deletion debates and such (there's a host of other terms that are not offensive, such as "unencyclopedic"). To give people the right idea, I would suggest renaming the {{nothanks-vanity}}. I would like to hear suggestions and feedback about this; I've also asked the RCP and the CVU. >Radiant< 12:22, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree - we should try to get rid of the term "vanity". How about {{nothanks-a7}}? That is cryptic but inoffensive. Kusma (討論) 12:25, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't know... if people remember to subst the template, then the message target never sees the "vanity" and it's an easier shortcut for people leaving the message to remember. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 18:36, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes, the trick is to find another shortcut that's easy to remember - because if people think of the term 'vanity' so often, they'll also use it in deletion debates, which is what we're trying to avoid. >Radiant< 21:18, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Good idea. --Quiddity 02:50, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Disagree -- We're not responsible for people who don't understand the language, sorry. I've vanity published periodicals which barely mention me; the term has nothing to do with a valley girl staring at a mirror. John Reid 13:32, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Chime -- Too much like 'Political Correctness' none of us should be writing down to readers or fellow authors. The slope down that path gets really slippery and winds up in primary school (Sorry, I don't write Primers). If people don't understand the language, especially the one they were born in, then they should improve their literacy. --Slamlander 04:29, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
FANTASTIC IDEA Wikipedia is a bully to new users. It is inward looking and like any organisation without a customer focus it will only get worse. Unfortunately that means your idea will never be taken up - only customer focussed organisations with a concept of customer care take up ideas like yours! --Mike 20:57, 27 October 2006 (UTC)


Please see my proposal at MediaWiki talk:Common.css#span.texhtml. Thanks. —Mets501 (talk) 03:01, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

New template {{needs watch}} and new Category:Articles needing watchlisting

I'd like to propose a new template and category be created. My idea is to have a template that any editor could put on an article Talk page that adds it to a Category:Articles needing watchlisting. My reasoning is that many articles are only monitored by a few editors and expanding this "net" to include a wider audience will lead to more balanced articles. For example myself and a few like-minded editors form a de facto majority on many South Africa-related articles, which means that any content or POV issue invariably goes our way. It would be handy to post such a template on the Talk page so that any other user browing the category can weigh in on the article. This system works differently to (and IMHO better than) WP:RfC in a couple of ways:

  1. An RfC has to be initiated for every different issue that may crop up at different times in the article's life.
  2. RfC can be a slow process and usually only gathers a response from people interested in that particular subject area.
  3. This process will be akin to NP and RC Patrolling. In the same way that Patrollers tend to watchlist articles that they otherwise have no vested interest in, so too can these Category Patrollers keep an eye on general POV and content issues in articles they have no vested interest in.

How I would want this to be implemented:

  1. Editor adds {{needs watch|Reason|date}} to top of talk page.
  2. Template displays (in a nice block) as: An editor has requested that this article be watchlisted by the broader community because of the following concerns: Reason. This template was added on date.
  3. The Talk page automagically gets added to Category:Articles needing watchlisting, (listed alphabetically under the article name obviously)
  4. If it is possible to program this in, the template expires after a set time (does 2 months seem okay?). This is to prevent the category from being flooded after a time.
    1. If this is not possible, the template can include wording to the effect that any editor may remove the template after a set time.

Righto, rip this idea to pieces ;) (p.s. can someone suggest a better name? both "watch" and "watchlist" are taken.) Zunaid (TC) Please rate me at Editor Review! 13:18, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

I think, as this concerns editing and not reading for the causal reader, that the template would be better placed on the talk page. If you watchlist an article or talk page both pages are on your watchlist. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 14:59, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, but that would mean very few people would see it. There are plenty of tags about improvement, wikilinking, sources, etc that show up on the article namespace page. Also, {{watchlist}} could be used, Zunaid, it's not being used by any article and thusly is an orphan. drumguy8800 C T 15:21, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Right, but if an article does not cite any sources that is something important for a casual reader to know as it effects the level of trust they should place in the article. How does the number of people with an article on their watchlist effect the reader? Besides, the template would add the article to a category, and from my reading of your proposal, you think people should check the category and then add articles in it to their watchlist, so having it on the talk page rather then the article wouldn't effect editors at all. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 16:03, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

To answer both of you: the template is obviously a self-reference so should NOT be placed on the article page itself, but rather on the Talk page. ONU has it right: the idea is to have people check the category (when is Category watchlisting going to be implemented?), not randomly stumble onto Talk pages that happen to have this notice posted (although if it achieves widespread use that could increasingly become the case, which IMHO is a Good Thing). Besides that, what do you think of the idea? Good? Bad? Possible? Doomed to failure? Zunaid (TC) Please rate me at Editor Review! 16:25, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

OK, how do we, the great unwashed without admin tools, see that the article isn't already heavily watched but with few active contributors to debate?
I think the point is that there are a wide range of articles with only niche interest. The challenge is actually to get people interested in the topic and the discussion enough to want to participate, rather than advertise for the busy-bodies who could more usefully spend their time contributing to articles elsewhere. Just how useful is someone who has no knowledge, or real interest, in a topic to advancing the development of the article? We already see the issue in AfD where people feel the urge to express a view on something they don't understand, hence we unbalance the quality of the corpus of material.
ALR 16:30, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
"We" don't have to see anything. If any editor wants wider participation or "more eyes" on any article, they could use this template. It is not about "advancing the development of the article" in terms of contributing content, rather it is meant as a way for non-partisan editors to play a monitoring role and weigh in on content, POV and other issues which might affect articles. Like I said it should be like an RfC but hopefully better. One suggestion is maybe to create a section on the talk page for "watchlisters" just to sign indicating that they are watching the page. Then an editor can remove the tag once there are enough. Zunaid (TC) Please rate me at Editor Review! 16:51, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
If your not doing anything to help develop an article, then why bother. Go and do something useful elsewhere in Wikipedia. Developing articles is the whole point, otherwise it just becomes A.N. other social networking tool.ALR 20:35, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
We already see the issue in AfD where people feel the urge to express a view on something they don't understand If you have an initiation by fire as I had, then I not surprised people with any knowledge aren't coming to Wikipedia - you cannot expect experts to come in and contribute when newcomers are treated so hostily by the entrenched crowd. Sometimes if these deletion discussions it is like watching lawyers in a court rather than normal people - policy this policy that - a form of discussion that puts a newcomer at a severe disadvantage, antequated procedures and a presumption of guilt (you must prove an article is worthwhile) - I must be a mug to still be here! --Mike 17:41, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
The fallacy that many editors make for a good article. Where something is current such as a news highlight, or related to pop culture then it probably is useful to have many contributors. Otherwise it's just a magnet to the social networkers to come and increase their edit count. Personally I'm quite deletionist, so I do think that topics need to demonstrate their value, but I also think that too many people pitch up on AfD thinking that something might have value, then can't actually be bothered to do something about it.
The whole system is a bit cliquey :) such is life, but then it is also an effective social networking facility, much as the hard core network members might not like to admit that.ALR 20:35, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Another example: I often catch articles on NP Patrol that I do not have enough knowledge about. THERE IS NO OTHER OPPORTUNITY for an editor to catch these articles (besides randomly or RC Patrol), especially of they are orphans with little or no incoming links, or part of a walled garden. I've asked this question before; there does not exist a mechanism for alerting the broader community to such cases. Your only options are using various tags (which are already over-used and have far too large categories) or taking it to AfD and seeing what falls out of the wash. Also, benevolent editors creating new articles can place such a tag for precisely the reason of getting enough eyes on it. Zunaid (TC) Please rate me at Editor Review! 16:51, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the issue then is not so much that an article needs watchers, but rather that it needs experts. For that we have the {{Expert}} tag. Fagstein 02:20, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Getting Feedback from readers

A friend of mine told me the other day that he was looking for some particular piece of information in an article in wikipedia but couldn't find it. I think it would be good if wikipedia could somehow asks the readers about the information they were looking for but couldn't find in the article. Not all readers are interested to post something on the talk pages of course. --Aminz 08:29, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

The talk page is probably the best way of saying if there's something missing in a particular article. Just write how it could be improved at the bottom of the talk page. Alternativly, there's the Wikipedia:Reference desk for asking for information. Tra (Talk) 21:20, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

I know that but most of the editors don't care to do that. We should actively ask them to give their feedbacks. --Aminz 08:11, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I have been thinking about a similar idea, whereby at the bottom of an article, there is a little form asking readers to provide feedback on the article, which will allow them to point out issues they can't fix themselves. For example, I may point out than an article on an online game lacks information about how it was developed, but I can't help as I don't know such information. Or I may point out that an article on an American tourist attraction lacks pictures, but I can't provide pictures since I'm from Singapore, and don't want to fly there just to take pictures.
With this form, passing readers would play a greater part in building the encyclopedia, and when they spot an issue they can fix, they would be encouraged to sign up, be bold, and contribute! --J.L.W.S. The Special One 11:48, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
It would be a problem of self-referncing. A better place to put the form would be on the side bar. So it would be a general comment-on-whatever-article-is-currently-loaded form, rather than on the bottom of each article.
i'm thinking just three small boxes under the "toolbox". One for subject and one for comment. Submitting a comment in this way would result in a new topic created on the article's talk page (similar to what the form following the "+" sign does). The form should also contain a 'expand' link (which would either take the person to a new page with a bigger form for longer comments, or generate a pop up window with a bigger form), and possibly a "log in/sign up" link. --`/aksha 12:27, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
That's a good idea. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 14:11, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
That does not address the main issue, which is that newcomers often have difficulty understanding the interface. If self-referencing is your only concern, then the form should be implemented as part of the interface, instead of being part of the article itself, if you understand what I mean. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 04:51, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
having a form implemented as part of the interface and not the article...isn't that what i just suggested? --`/aksha 05:21, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
I meant that having the form in the toolbox may not be conspicuous enough to new readers. I was thinking something along the lines of a large form below every article, but above the "this page was last modified" text. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 07:48, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Anyone can use the talk page to suggest improvements. Durova 15:34, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

The key problem being addressed here is that the average new user or visitor may not realize that they can request, suggest, or ask about changes that could be made to an article to make it better. Another problem is that new users may make unspecific comments - if we get one reasonable comment requesting an image, we may for that one get five requests for "general improvement", something which all articles should get anyway. We can use a link to a Special page, perhaps something along the lines of [[Special:Feedback/{{PAGENAME}}|Give feedback for this page]]. At that page, to structure requests and filter out casual requests for general improvement (which are a waste of time, in general) we offer a number of forms asking for specific types of requests. This form could then autopost to the talk page, adding a subst'd template which would make these requests noticeable and categorizable. Imagine the possibilities: Category:Articles with requests for pictures, Category:Articles with requests for simplification, Category:Articles with requests for sections... and so on. While using the talk page plainly is the method that should generally be used, adding an easy way for newcomers to give feedback to a page is certainly in line with WP:BITE. Nihiltres 17:49, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
This is only anecdotal eidence, but over the past month or so several of my friends have commented that they 1) didn't realize that they could edit articles themselves and 2)didn't know there was a talk page. For myself, I think I orininally thought of the discussion tab as some sort of tool for Wikipeople, rather than readers (not realizing that there's a little Wikiperson in all of us :).) --Badger151 18:04, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Second this completely. I thought the "discussion tab" was like a chat room thing. So you can discuss live with other readers/writers? Calling the discussion tab a "talk page" is confusing in itself. it's also not balantly obvious how to use the talk page (especially if a talk page doesn't already exist). Most people are more used to the forum&post style for internet discussion. Adding a comment by "edit this page" isn't intuitive.
Talking about which...anons and newly registered people can't create new articles? Does that mean they can't create new talk pages as well? Or does talk pages not count? --`/aksha 04:01, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
When I first started using Wikipedia I found the unstructured nature of the talk pages quite offputting. I, too, was used to much more structured "post and reply" forum-style interfaces. However, it soon became comfortable and familiar, so I guess the problem is gettng users over the initial "hump". Matt 21:00, 26 October 2006 (UTC).
Absolutely Agreed. --Aminz 01:37, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
New creation blocking is a bit of a hack, but SFAIK only applies to "mainspace" pages - you can happily create talkpages, or usertalk pages, as normal. Shimgray | talk | 14:43, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Proposed addition to WP:NOT

Wikipedia is not perfect. See Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 13:51, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I like that. The item should include something along the lines of:
"If you find anything wrong in Wikipedia, you're by definition an expert. Go fix it and become part of something great".

--Slashme 14:49, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Though this might actually be part of the problem... Carcharoth 08:51, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

As Carcharoth writes, unfortunately, "you're by definition an expert" is not true, and leads to well meaning people putting in uncited misinformation. We need to write something like "Find a source for the real information, and put it in with a citation." AnonEMouse (squeak) 13:14, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I'm not with you; please explain? --Slashme 13:37, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
The point is that if you know something to be wrong and just change it (without citing a source), someone else might know what you said is wrong and just change it back. If you provide a source, the question becomes "does the source support what you say" rather than "am I right or are you right". Supporting Wikipedia's content with verifiable (and cited) sources is a fundamental policy to make sure the content is encyclopedic. Please see Wikipedia:Verifiability. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:03, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
I believe that the purpose of the What Wikipedia is not policy is to tell Wikipedians what to explicitly avoid. For example: avoid using Wikipedia as a dictionary, avoid using Wikipedia as a soapbox, etc. Adding "Wikipedia is not perfect" tells Wikipedians to explicitly avoid perfection. I leave it to you to judge whether this is good or bad. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 04:51, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
I believe there's a page in the wikipedia namespace for common criticisms of wikipedia. Telling people that "wikipedia is not perfect, if you find a mistake, go fix it" would probably belong better over there.
I also had a feeling the WP:NOT page was there to tell people what to avoid. So like...defining what wikipedia is by pointing out what wikipedia defintely isn't. And although wikipedia defintely isn't perfect, perfection is the directing we're trying to head in. --`/aksha 11:05, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Isn't that just stating the obvious? Wikipedia is also not a small section in the northeast corner of the village green in Leipzig where women in yellow frocks meet every second Tuesday to discuss model railroading techniques... but I don't think that needs to be added to WP:NOT either. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 16:07, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Plato's Form rewrite proposal

I am always annoyed when the english translation of form does not mean relation. A student is then very confused by the writing and the meaning of all forms as opposed to the form is then hidden and hard to understand.

I am good enough to rewrite.

--Eaglesondouglas 02:10, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Maybe, indeed, you are good enough to rewrite, but who is good enough to rewrite you?
To put it another way, please, when you do go ahead and edit the pages in question, remember to use full sentences, and identify the subjects of your sentences! --Slashme 12:13, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

--Eaglesondouglas 23:38, 20 October 2006 (UTC) It is not allowed to always have completed sentences when studying forms. A certain a priori of English as a high language is abstract subject. And this is not utilized when reading the forms discussed. Reading the relation as it is exemplified by words selected is the only method. Now when I write in Greek acceptable translation.

A form to the student of a priori relation.

Another clear distinction between english and the translated Greeks appears these subjects.

Set Category

Two foundational relations cause each. And these transcendental forms need explaination. Nth category school systems exist. Classical Greek form is in the world's school systems, but exact Nth order discussion needs to be commonplace. I read the scholars of the schools and they are capable of utilizing forms while Nth Catergory discussion is difficult.

A category appears to be the computer letter d. Where each d and its adjacent appears. A relation causes the adjacent. A formal list as written denotes letter a. And the next a appears always next. Adjacency of the list is not unique for each pair of a.

Aristotle's Category is a true unique form. When he defines category of animal's the unique property is distinctly advantagous. How else to have each animal possibly the first?

--Eaglesondouglas 21:33, 21 October 2006 (UTC) Writing is a funny business.

What are you talking about? I don't understand anything. --Apoc2400 06:54, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

British Isles new compound phrase

Given that British Isles is not favoured by all and that the acronym IONA is fraught with its own problems and clunkiness, why not take the first sylable from "British" and the second from "Irish" and put them together consecutively for a new name fo the Islands? Dainamo 15:23, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Or vice versa. Toss a non-aligned coin to decide which way...?  Chuckle, David Kernow (talk) 14:11, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Perhaps because that would be overstepping our bounds into the invention of new words, and because no-one in their right mind would ever use BritIrish Isles (or IriBrit Isles) as a search term? --tjstrf 16:12, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
      • In fact, it has 0 Google hits. (Soon to become 1, because I said it.) --tjstrf 16:13, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia must use the language as it is, not make up new terms. I have never heard the term IONA, so that won't do either (it isn't even remotely accurate for this use in any case, as Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic). Wimstead 13:25, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Is it just me, or is the word "syllable" causing a little confusion among some people here? How would taking one syllable from each word create "BritIrish" or "IriBrit" (each of which is three syllables)? Might I suggest you reread the first post and think about it! -- Necrothesp 01:08, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Wiki accounts

I would like to see accounts for all of the Wiki projects, not individual ones. I belive this would boost usage of the other projects, as it is extremly annoying to have to make an account all over again for Wikiquote, ect. Could someone tell this to Jim? I don't know how to contact him. Mindofzoo999 06:25, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

A Wikimedia-wide single-account login system is currently under development by the MediaWiki developers, though it will likely be some time before it is implemented – see m:Single login specifications for details – Gurch 18:48, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Cool. In the meantime, see Reserve your username on the sister projects, before it gets taken.   The Transhumanist   12:50, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion, Transhumanist. Rock on, guys! Mindofzoo999 07:31, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Photos in Wikipedia

Wikipedia has one lacking feature that needs serious attention. That is the absolute lack of photos on the encyclopedia, in particular to lesser known people or subjects. (Needless to say, the more popular subjects have photos). I find this disconcerting, as I fail to see why it cant be included. Surely jpeg files can't take that much space on the server. Could this be addressed please!

Be bold, create an account, take some photos, and upload them to Wikipedia. That should help alleviate the problem.
Sometimes, we may not be able to include an image in an article, due to copyright/fair use restrictions. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 09:37, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
It is very easy to rewrite an article from various sources on the internet, it is (nearly) impossible to do the same for images! --Mike 10:02, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
a lot can be done under fair use. precisely in cases where the image is difficult or impossible to recreate, a low resolution image is perfectly fair to use. And I daresay Wikipedia makes frequent use of that, I am not sure which topics are so terribly lacking in images. dab () 10:14, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

New Article Template

I think the conversation leading up to this request says it all:

(Me- a newby) Are there any article templates? <reply-snip> There really ought to be a template somewhere like: User:Haseler/template

Ideally I want to put { {new article|history } } hit "save page" and hey presto I have an entirely new article with all the subheadings etc.

Hey Haseler. ... As for the {{newarticle}} that might be a bit too easy.. doesn't exist to my knowledge.  :) But my, that {{newarticle}} template sounds good :) — Deon555talkReview 23:40, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

New Article temple (NA)


Yesterday we briefly talked about a template that magically filled in a black article, I think I may have made a good start, and I'd appreciate you having a look:

Open up a blank document.

If you want a document with lots of comments enter:

{{subst:NA}}    //without "clutter"://    {{subst:NA|0}}

save the page - then open it again to see what is there! --Mike 00:02, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Hi Mike, Wow looks great! A few things.. in the green box, remove the part about edit conflicts. Only one person at a time can edit a page, not a section, or, rather then removing, change the part the says "Choose a section" [sic], and replace it with "Make sure only one person edits the page at a time, to reduce [[Help:Edit conflict|edit conflicts]]
One more thing, there's a little space... ah no matter I'll get it ;). Well done for taking the initiative of making such a template. Perhaps you could put it on WP:YFA. — Deon555talkReview 00:18, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Okay, i've changed little bits, and delete a line and a half, because it was substing the template for somereason? See [1], [2], [3]. — Deon555talkReview 00:30, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Before I do as Deon555 suggests I would like to get some more comments. As a newcomer I've put in NA the basic styles that I find useful. It is not intended to be a style guide! I was thinking of putting more comments, but it was already too long. I'm aware there's another way to reference (but I don't know it yet). I did a few "random" articles last night to see what headings were common and these seem to be the more common. As you will see my original intention was to have different templates for subjects, but in fact there isn't much difference at this level except the category. So, I've just entered it as "Stub" (there has to be a category so that the basic user knows where to put it!)--Mike 08:45, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

East-West understanding.

The Globalisation is going on for a few centuries as of today. Still the divide between the Esat and West is not bridged. I would like to propose (1) a write-up on the history and the status of the understanding, as it stands and (2) create a discussion group that would enable this bridge building. I would like to participate in a group or article that would achieve the above goals.

You may want to discuss the Globalization article at Talk:Globalization. Bear in mind that Wikipedia should only refer to issues mentioned in a reliable source and WP:NOT actually get involved with them. Tra (Talk) 21:13, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Don't link directly to .zip or .exe files anymore

I propose that we eliminate links to executable-binary or compressed-package files (.exe, .zip, .tar.gz etc.) without an intervening page on the hosting site, for several reasons:

  • If the downloads turn out to contain malware, we may get blamed by automated site safety inspectors. [4] Even if not, it would make us look unprofessional.
  • I, for one, prefer to see a site before I download software from it.
  • As much as possible, users should be aware of the file size, ‘official’ description and system requirements before they begin downloading.
  • Not all users will recognize the file extensions, if all their computing experience has been with the wrong platform; so for all they know, these could be spreadsheets or video files.
  • Wikipedia articles are supposed to be cross-platform, and AFAIK this extends to the files they directly link to.
  • On school and public computers, you can't necessarily install and run decompression software, due to draconian security policies (which, in my experience, cripple legitimate use more than the small percentage of malware/abuse they stop would) and lack of hard drive access.

This is the natural extension of the existing "rich media" guidelines at Wikipedia:External link (which I think should maybe be spun off onto a separate page). We can use the above link (although it's probably not updated often enough) to find some of these links. NeonMerlin 02:10, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

  • On a similar note, I'd like to see a bot that automatically adds a warning to all .pdf links that it is such. One could be made for .exe and .zip files as well, but I can't think of any reason why an article would ever need to link to an .exe file. wikipediatrix 16:53, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
    • PDFs are already identified by an icon. Previously, I identified links as PDFs manually in case someone does not know how to check links and so that they are easier to spot. I do not think that a policy for zip and exe files is needed very much. I almost never see such links and the decision to link or not link might be better decided on a case by case basis. If we are to do anything, I suggest that it simply be noted on Wikipedia:External links that there is rarely a reason to link to an exe, directly or indirectly, and that zip files should be linked to carefully. It should also say that when there is a page that can be linked to with a prominent link to the file, that should be done instead. If it would be easy to create an identifier for such files, as was done for PDFs, that would be useful, too. I am unfamiliar with tar.gz files (and not very familiar with exe files, since I have a Macintosh). If it is zip-like, then it should follow those rules and if it is exe-like, it should follow the other rules. If no automatic identifiers are created and a link is appropriate, I suggest that zip, exe, tar.gz, doc, xls, ppt, pps, dmg and other non-html files be identified by placing the file extension in parentheses. I do not think that image file formats should be linked to at all since it is considered by some to be bandwidth stealing. -- Kjkolb 06:26, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Instead of placing the file extension in parentheses, why not make it a span title for a link, so the file extension pops up when the user hovers over the link with his or her mouse? -- Denelson83 18:12, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
The whole issue becomes moot if all files (no exceptions) being uploaded get scanned by ClamWin, or the *nix equivalent. This should be a standard practice anyway and I sort of assumed that it was already being done, if for no other reason than liability protection. --Slamlander 04:39, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
The issue at discussion here is links to external files. This is totally moot for uploads, since Wikipedia doesn't even allow PDFs or ZIPs to be uploaded.
Note that there is no absolute solution for things like this: a file might be named "pdf.php", but if it gets sent with the appropriate headers it will be interpreted as a PDF": the file extension is only advisory. Any policy like this would be simply a "rule of thumb." — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 01:30, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Imagination- Total Change Requested

--Eaglesondouglas 00:37, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Well I will rewrite the article on imagination I guess. It is voted the best lousey article on the wiki! I promise to be careful the next time I try to get permission.

-- 00:25, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Please create an account, be bold, and contribute to the article. You may wish to seek feedback on your contributions, and work on other pages. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 11:35, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Inclusion of Tamil.

I would like to see the inclusion of Tamil language in the 'other languages' list. How do we go about it?--Chocka 20:50, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

You will need two articles on the same subject. One written in English, one written in Tamil.
At the bottom of the English page, put [[ta:###]] replacing ### with the name of the equivilent page in the Tamil Wikipedia.
At the bottom of the Tamil page put [[en:###]] replacing ### with the name of the equivilent page in the English Wikipedia.
See Wikipedia:Interlanguage links for more details. Tra (Talk) 21:07, 24 October 2006 (UTC)


I wish to reopen Wikipedia:Hangman. Is that O.K?? -- Nathannoblet 03:40, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Hangman doesn't look closed to me. You can discuss it at Wikipedia Talk:Hangman. Tra (Talk) 21:28, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Over the Hedge characters

I think the characters for "Over the Hedge"(the film version) should have character pages. The kind that explores their personalities and their growth and development throughout the movie.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Unfortunately, this would most likely be original research and, being an encyclopedia, we are not a forum for that kind of content. Cheers, Pascal.Tesson 00:00, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
First of all, please sign your posts. Second, only if the pages will be long enough to actually illustrate the topic should they be created. If not, consider making a page such as List of Over the Hedge characters. I also suggest creating an account. Cbrown1023 00:01, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

I have a job

I need someone to make a Ed, Edd, n Eddy Fan Arts (Writing and pictures and songs, anything origanil) and a Xaiolin Showdown one also. If you do I'll put you as the maker and me as the, Idea Maker. So please agree. If you do, go to my Talk page. Xaiolin monk 17:14, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Shared IP flagging proposal

There's a feature request to allow admins to block an editor, but not the associated IP address, and some associated configuration options. This is under discussion at the page mentioned. >Radiant< 15:04, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Since I wrote this proposal, I wish to clarify that this proposal will allow bureaucrats (or admins, since we don't have enough bureaucrats) to flag shared IPs. When blocking a registered user operating from a shared IP, the autoblocker will be disabled by default. In addition, the default blocking options for shared IPs will be different from those for non-shared IPs. This proposal aims to reduce collateral damage further. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 15:14, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Heck, why not request the user's MAC address from a shared IP as a method of disambiguation? -- Denelson83 18:13, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Because Wikipedia doesn't receive it. MAC addresses are only retained as far as the first router; beyond there, the MAC address transmitted is that of the last device to "touch" the packet - in Wikipedia's case, probably some sort of load-balancing device. Zetawoof(ζ) 04:38, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day

Similar to Earth Day, a day to take a step back and appreciate and improve what we have, I propose Wikipedia Day as an annual day where editors are encouraged to improve the existing articles on Wikipedia. We have huge backlogs (large percentages of our articles have basic problems like a lack of categories, incoming links, formatting, basic verification that they aren't hoaxes, etc.) Articles can sit for years waiting for cleanup. This is because really just a handful of editors work on backlogs. My thinking is that if thousands of editors spent a day cleaning up a few articles, we'd see massive work accomplished.

To that end, get rid of the distractions for one day. Turn off new article creation and most other areas of Wikipedia that aren't directly related to articles, such as policy talk pages and so on, AN/I, whatever. Create a prominent link to a list of backlogs from the main page.

Anyway, thoughts? --W.marsh 15:26, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

I've seen similar proposals for article-only days and the like, and I have to say that they all have the same flaw: if you "shut off" the Wikipedia space, there will be no effective way to get larger input on disputes which emerge on that day, and no way to effectively collaborate in building articles via the Wikiprojects either. Bad idea. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 16:05, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Improving articles is a bad idea? Heh, sorry. I just think we could do without purely meta discussions like what a vote is and so on for a day and actually improve some really neglected articles. --W.marsh 16:06, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
No, (and way to strawman btw) but locking off the rest of the site in an attempt to force people to improve articles is a bad idea. It would aggravate all ongoing edit wars, undoubtably start several new ones since people could no longer discuss their changes, and not necessarily even increase the number of article edits that day. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 16:13, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Sheesh, I never said turning off talk pages... just pages where people aren't really discussing article issues at all (who's strawman-ing now?)
Anyway I'm talking about encouraging people to do simple cleanup like verify that neglected articles aren't hoaxes, address ones where basic formatting, cleanup and improvemeent is badly needed... there are hundreds of thousands of articles out there that are just neglected and aren't the subject of edit wars or much editting at all, these are the ones I'm talking about trying to improve. It would do the project good, I think, if people stepped outside of the usual edit wars on a handful of articles for a day. --W.marsh 16:19, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Interesting concept I'd suggest a slightly longer period. maybe even create a bot that would put a barn star type template on user talk page for doing 100+ article edits on the day. Would think turning talk pages off would cause problems as editors need to communicate. Gnangarra 16:07, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
I've kind of had this thought too, that there should be a "Clean-up day" (or maybe week) where we turn off (or at least discourage) new article creation and focus on cleaning up existing articles. However, I think turning off talk pages is a bad idea. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 16:09, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
I never said anything about turning off talk pages, they'd be crucial on such a day. But it would be interesting to at least discourage meta discussions for a day and focusing on directly working on articles and directly discussing improvements to them. --W.marsh 16:12, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, just newpages and a big link on the main page would already be very helpful. Looking at the backlogs of wikify, cleanup, merge etc a day(s) like that wouldn't be bad. Garion96 (talk) 16:15, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Turning off new articles for a period of time would be a great idea, though we would of course have to allow admins or b-crats to make new pages to deal with any high profile news events. Martin 16:21, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
the only concern is that Wikipedia is about anyone being able to edit/create articles and turning functions off doesnt agree with that. There are back log of requested articles that should also be addressed. Gnangarra 16:26, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is more about building an encyclopedia, I think getting a handle on our enourmous and rapidly growing backlogs is critical for this. Martin 16:43, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
This just rubs me the wrong way as being heavy-handed. I like what gets done now: highlighting needed tasks on Community Portal and holding article improvement drives. Durova 22:56, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Are you suggesting a day where we all collaborate to clear backlogs? How about this: every week or month, we pick a specific backlog, and work on clearing that backlog?

Wikipedia is growing fast, but it seems unable to manage its growth. Many fast-growing websites, such as MySpace and Neopets, were ruined by failure to manage their growth. Please don't repeat their mistakes. I see prohibiting anonymous edits as the best form of growth management.

--J.L.W.S. The Special One 05:06, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

As has been explained numerous times, that proposal violates the core principle of Wikipedia (anyone can edit), and we will never ban all IP's from editing. The closest we may get is stable version implementation. Also, last I knew overcommercialization killed Neopets, not growth. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 07:39, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
"prohibiting anonymous edits as the best form of growth management" yeah...sure. prohibiting anon edits will do a wonderful job of managing the growth of new users. And i'm sure a slower rate of growth in the number of editors will really help us to manage the ever-increasing rate of growth in article content. --`/aksha 10:57, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Proposal tags

New policy proposals are tagged {{proposed}}, which makes perfect sense. If and when consensus gathers about one, it is tagged {{guideline}}; as this consensus solidifies, it may be tagged {{policy}}. Well and good; very clear.

We run into some trouble, though, with proposals that stand for some time without gathering consensus. I believe there are 4 different states into which such a proposal may fall; there were an insufficient number of tags with which to represent these states, leading to inappropriate tagging and the occasional tag war. I have remedied this lack.

  • {{inactive-proposal}} is meant for proposals which failed to attract much interest; they simply petered out with insufficient discussion.
  • {{stalled-proposal}} is meant for proposals which have been active, with plenty of comment but no other outcome.
  • {{polarized-proposal}} is meant for proposal discussions in which, unfortunately, participants have solidified into competing factions, unable to compromise. The discussion may rage on but consensus is unlikely to emerge without the intervention of neutral parties. This tag is appropriate when the meta-issue of which tag is appropriate is itself disputed.
  • {{rejected}} is the existing template; it has attempted to serve all 4 functions until now. I believe it is only appropriate when consensus has formed in opposition to the proposal.

The icons I have attached to the new templates are abstract representations of participants in the corresponding states. Anybody is free to improve upon them.

I encourage community members to consider one of these new tags when attempting to deprecate a policy proposal. This may not only avoid tag warring; it leaves open the door to improvement, always a goal. Finally, it is much more honest. John Reid 13:07, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Actually, "inactive-proposal" (and arguably "stalled" as well) is currently served by {{historical}}. I do not think that creating more templates really solves the problem; it might help to reword or rename the existing ones. Some people interpret "historical" as a "everybody must shut up about this topic now" even though it clearly isn't worded that way. Some people argue that even if consensus opposes a proposal, they can still propose it again and again and again. >Radiant< 14:35, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I thought "historical" was for templates that were superceded by a new template, or rejected after a period of time when they had been accepted (ie. consensus changed on the issue)? In other words, historical is to preserve the history and links in discussions about a proposal. I agree though, that some proper historical archiving and thought needs to be given to this. The whole site is set up to preserve the history of what happened, but inappropriate cut and pastes and deletion of pages and redirects can really muddy the water when you are trying to follow old discussions, or find out what happened in a particular case, or otherwise trying to follow an 'electronic trail' back somewhere. Carcharoth 08:35, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Maybe we need an equivalent off {{Tdeprecated}} for deprecated policies? That would distinguish deprecated ones from merely historical ones that could be revive later if people want to? Carcharoth 08:49, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

I detect a bit of confusion -- very common here -- between a proposal and a process. The former page states a position; it asserts a rule or several and demands conformance. The latter describes and often is itself a mechanism or tool for doing something. For instance, Criteria for speedy deletion is a policy; Templates for deletion is a process. To the extent that some pages are both policy and process, the community has generally made a categorization error and this should be fixed.

If consensus forms in opposition to a proposal, then rejected is appropriate. The historical tag is not appropriate for any proposal whatever; it applies to process pages and has been mis-re-purposed to stand in for the missing functions of inactive and stalled. These latter two states are distinct and deserve individual recognition. Again, a policy proposal is never deprecated; only a process may be so. It's quite all right to tag a failed proposal as rejected -- if it has indeed been. Any dispute over that tag suggests that it's inappropriate and one of the other 3 I've listed may be a better choice. Yet even if a proposal has been rejected, it is not completely out of the question that discussion be reopened on the subject. It's merely unlikely that it's wise; new information should be added or the thing left alone. John Reid 01:46, 21 October 2006 (UTC)


I think Wikipedia should not be case-sensitive, for the following reasons:

1) Many people cannot be bothered to employ their shift key all the time, especially when typing names of articles with many capital letters, and will have to type the title over and over again. Quite a few people have this habit, as non-case-sensitive search engines like Google and Yahoo are very popular and typing entirely in lowercase letters becomes habitual after a while. 2) Some people are not aware of the correct capitalisation for certain titles.

Will follow up, got to go now. 10:45, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Sum of us are not awear of the corect spelling of certen words. I suposse it would be beiter for al of us editors if wikipedia beacame non spelling-sencitive. Many of we also has habits of typed without grammers, after a while it becames quite habital. Employying my brain are real hard work. --`/aksha 13:26, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Mock all you like, but the idea is actually very sound. Why on earth would we ever want two different pages whose names only differ in the case of the letters? If not, then why be case sensitive? --Slashme 12:50, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
umm...because articles already by default have their first letters capitilized? For articles with long names, redirects are almost always used? So what other reason do we need to make wikipedia non-case-sensitive? So people who can't be bothered learning the correct captilizations can just do whatever and copyeditors will have to come and fix articles where captilizations are all over the place?
And to answer your question - we would want two different articles whose names only difer in the case of the letters if the case of the letters changes the meaning. See Quantum Leap (where leap is a proper noun, being part of a name), and Quantum leap, where leap is just an ordinary noun. --`/aksha 01:56, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
When using the "Go" feature people are not generally sure of the case combination that has been chosen for the title of the article they want, or assume, reasonably, that it doesn't matter - for example, many would just type "quantum leap" for the TV series, which actually goes to the physics article. Therefore this argument holds no water for me. If case-insensitivity had been implemented from day one then this situation would be handled by a disambiguation page and disambiguated article titles, such as "Quantum Leap (TV series)", in just the same way as different meanings of exactly the same title are handled. However, the fact is that we do have pages whose titles differ only by case, and retrospectively fixing all these seems a non-starter. Therefore an algorithm needs to be devised to make the behaviour of "Go" case-insensitive, while at the same time coping sensibly with what's already in place. As I have said several times before, the current behaviour is plain silly. If you create an article called, say, "Isle of Something" then you need to create a redirect page just so that people typing "isle of something" and hitting Go (or Enter) will get taken to the page. This complaint comes up again and again so I am clearly not the only one. Matt 12:55, 21 October 2006 (UTC).
well, redirects aren't only for the search box. I don't think i'm the only one who likes to just type things into the URL (instead of typing them into the Go box). Often, i do end up typing in the correct name, but otherwise, redirects take me to the correct page.
Anyhow, for most cases, all it means is another line needs to be programmed into how the Go box works. Something like trying to captilize the first letter of every word except a certain list. The certain list would include words like of, a, the, for, in, characters (for articles like "main characters of x)...etc. Go button aside, i believe the search button is already case insensitive. --`/aksha 13:17, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I'm talking only about the operation of the "Go" button when an exact case-sensitive match is not found but a case-insensitive match does exist - not the behaviour of redirects in other circumstances. In this instance redirects sometimes take you to the correct page, provided that someone has thought to create the redirect page! The point is that it shouldn't be necessary to have to create these redirect pages. I don't like the idea of just capitalising certain words and doing further case-sensitive lookups on that. The "Go" logic is already arcane enough, and this risks just introducing further anomalies where lookups don't work as expected. Instead, I think that at some point in the "Go" logic (maybe just before "Go" falls through to "Search"?) a completely case-insensitive comparison should be done. The exact details would need a bit more thought by one of the system designers (e.g. what should happen if more than one article matches this case-insensitive comparison?). I'm sure someone could come up with something. Matt 19:07, 21 October 2006 (UTC).
  • The idea has merit but should really be discussed with the developers, who are in charge of software upgrades. >Radiant< 14:41, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
True. How to contact them though? 08:05, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia's search is already case insensitive, the issue is the search index is not rebuilt very often. When entering an article name to find (using the "Go" button), an algorithm is used to find the right article that usually works even if what is entered is not an exact case match for the article name (but there are cases where this doesn't work). If the article is not found using this algorithm, the software then defaults to doing a (case insensitive) search. If the search index has been rebuilt, I really don't think this is a problem. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:14, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

In my experience, most cases where I found the correct article by typing entirely in lowercase resulted from redirects. Well, how is the search index rebuilt? 02:34, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
redirects are in the main (article) namespace. They're really just articles that redirect to other articles. So if you type entirely in lowercase, and a redirect exists - then you will get taken to a redirect since the redirect is a closer match to what you typed.
For example, if you type "nasa" into the search box and hit go, you'll get taken to "Nasa" (a redirect page) instead of "NASA" (the actual article you want). This is because the Go button is programmed to try turning "nasa" into "Nasa" before trying to turn "nasa" into "NASA". So you'll get taken to the "Nasa" redirect page before the Go butten even checks to see whether a "NASA" exists. However, if the "Nasa" page didn't exist...then typing in "nasa" in the go button will take you directly to the "NASA" page. --`/aksha 11:14, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Go button for an explanation of said algorithm. The only thing is doesn't catch is mixed-caps, so the Go function will fail to automatically find things like "haroun and the sea of stories"[5], unless a special redirect is created. I've made a note at m:Help talk:Go button, but no reply yet. --Quiddity 03:35, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Wiki-Medical Dictionary

I noticed that Wikipedia has several interesting sister projects, such as Wiktionary, Wikiversity, Wikispecies, but the only one they dont have that would come in handy is a Wiki-Medical Dictionary. In this Med-Dictionary a search could be put in for lets say "fever+bloodshot eyes+nasal congestion", and any illness that is tagged with these symptons would appear as a link.

Sounds like an interesting database to create, but I don't see how it would be implemented as a wiki. Fagstein 07:39, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be like....massively against the no medical advise disclaimer? --`/aksha 08:02, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia does have a disclaimer that it does not provide medical advice, but since the proposal is for a seperate sister project, this does not apply here.
Mtdlevy, do you see the link near the top of the page: Proposals for new projects? That is the place to post your suggestion. However, I just checked that page, and it seems someone has already posted a suggestion for such a project.
Please remember that wikis are easy to vandalise and information in wikis, including Wikipedia, may not be reliable or accurate. It is of utmost importance for medical advice to be reliable and accurate - people's lives are at stake! Therefore, such a project does not seem feasible. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 09:12, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I think there's an inherent contradiction between allowing everyone to edit and making a good medical textbook. At any rate, you can propose new projects on Meta. >Radiant< 09:44, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Supplement "Citation Needed" with small wikipedia polls

Not a regular user, so I can only hope this is in the right place.

On various Wikipedia articles, I often run into sentences I agree with but for which there is no citation. Instead there is a "citation needed." Obviously this phrase is necessary, but I would like to suggest a very small "though I agree/ I disagree with the stated point" poll that can be added to "citation needed."

I just thought this might be interesting to get a sense of how legit, or controversial that particular point might be. --Wikimuku 04:31, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I think you are missing the point of WP:Verify. It doesn't matter how "truthy" the information is — it needs to be from a verifiable, reliable source. Megapixie 04:46, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
  • If an article gets overly verbose, the best place to discuss is the talk page. >Radiant< 09:45, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Bring Back

A few months ago, I was able to type in and get straight to the English Language Wikipedia from any (real-life) location. That page now draws a blank, so I have to go to the .com or .org version and click through to the English version. Having to click to get to the page may not sound like much, but does anyone know why the page was taken down? I propose bringing it back.Kaid100 22:38, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

You want to use Deco 08:55, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Making anti-vandal-bots more "secret"

I am an avid rc-patroler, and I often see bots in action. I'm wondering, if I was a vandal, and I see "XXX-bot has reverted vandalism", wouldn't I think of anti-bot strategies? I would start to avoid swear words and blanking and use more secret methods. So can we use measures such as changing bot names into the likes of "superman143"? That way vandals will believe that these are actual Wikipedians and believe that they can't get away no matter what. Eager for comments, Exir KamalabadiJoin Esperanza! 12:31, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

But it would also make it hard for ordinary users to tell who is a bot and who isn't. Is there actually any evidence of vandals getting smarter? If anything, the presence of bots should scare vandals away more - since it shows we're coming up with more efficient ways of combating vandalism. Instead of having to meet their vandal attacks edit by edit, we've now programming bots to combat them. --`/aksha 12:43, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Bots are out there to handle the stupid vandals. Knowing that a bot is reverting edits shows enough knowledge about Wikipedia to make any attempt at automatic countermeasures useless. If they're smart enough to know about the bot, they're smart enough to defeat it, no matter what its username. Wikipedia has a policy that all bots are identified, and for good reason. Fagstein 21:44, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Okay, then. Anyways, thanks for replying.--Exir KamalabadiJoin Esperanza! 23:08, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Email Notifications & 'Send To A Friend' Idea

I don't know if this has been proposed before but I think it would be a useful addition to wiki if users had the ability to subscribe to a tread by recieving an email notification when the page has changed. I would also like to see a "send page to friend" addition, where you could send an automation email to someone linking to an article. Tell me what you think! Mrdrewblue 02:20, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

1. See Special:Watchlist. Emailing every change would use up too many server resources.
2. This has been suggested before. Not sure on its status. Fagstein 02:42, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Regarding #2, please see here. >Radiant< 09:42, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Specific per-list article guideline

WP List articles all seem to suffer from common problems, such as vague inclusion criteria, haphazard format/style and overall bloat. We have a specific List article that we are focusing on, but the issues could be easily generalized to other lists. The solution we are proposing is to have a per-list guideline article, that will serve as a clear reference for potential contributors to the list as to inclusion criteria and format/style. It will hopefully result in reduction of confusion and disputes about inclusion criteria, as well as improvement in the article's uniformity and readability. It would be really useful if people could have a look at the proposed guideline and comment. Thanks, Crum375 02:14, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

This is what Talk pages were invented for. Feel free to create subpages in the Talk space (or a header on the main Talk which gives instructions). My experience has shown that vague inclusion criteria are a result of a bad title and/or unclear intro paragraph, and can be solved there. Fagstein 02:47, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
  • That is mostly a good idea and probably best discussed on the talk page of WP:LIST. >Radiant< 09:48, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I thought the same, but that Talk page seems very inactive -- my request for basic info there is still unanswered. Crum375 12:03, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree that lists are the stepchildren of Wikipedia. However, there are 150 featured lists to use as models for improvements to the rest. Durova 14:30, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the 150 FL's are definitely worth studying. I attempted a brief review, looking for similar lists that collate notable chronological events meeting certain complicated criteria (such our case of 'notable' 'commercial' aviation 'accidents' and 'incidents' - each term needs to be precisely defined) and couldn't really find a close similarity. It seems that our situation is somewhat unique at this point. Does anyone have any comments about using an individual guideline to control the list content and style, as we are attempting to do here? Crum375 14:59, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Reordering of MediaWiki:Licenses

This is the MediaWiki file that controls the licenses in the drop-down menu in Special:Upload. I think the order of the free licenses should be rejigged. At the moment {{GFDL}} is probably one of the most widely used of these, because it is placed first in that section. The ordering jumps around as it lists them by type (GFDL, CC, Dual, then others...) - it is unlikely that a new user will read through that and select the more appropriate licenses. I think we should modify the file to be like the current Commons file, which lists them by the usage of the free tags. In particular I think the "self-made" pic templates should be listed first then the others. This would encourage better use of the self templates in my opinion. Also I think the GFDL/CC dual license should be listed first of the self templates as it is the most flexible. Any thoughts?--Nilfanion (talk) 22:13, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I like the order as it is, because of the order people read it in. We want invalid licenses singled out first, and then to give preference to free/GFDL-type licenses, with fair use listed last. Fagstein 21:53, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
That would stay the same in this ordering. The change I propose is to alter the Free licenses to be ordered by what they mean (self made / non-self) instead of what they are (GFDL/CC)...--Nilfanion (talk) 21:58, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
From an ergonomic standpoint, GFDL-self should come first -- not in the list, but first under the mouse when the list pops up. Frequently used tags should come after; any item that comes before means an up-gesture, therefore should be reserved for rarely-used tags. The current setup -- at least in my browser -- is all wrong; it puts all licenses above my mouse on popup. This is the direct opposite of conventional display, where all items appear below the mouse or the mouse appears in the middle of the list, selecting a default.
For what it's worth, I attended an Apple Computer seminar on UI design; a study indicated that (for the convention of all items appearing below the mouse) the 2nd item in a menu was most easily accessed.
As long as we're asking the elves for toys, I'd rather see a GFDL-self checkbox on the upload page, so I can avoid the giant menu altogether. For that matter, a setting in my prefs to apply such a license to all uploads by default. John Reid 02:02, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Category for Wikipedians by access to sources and references

There are various categorisation categories for Wikipedians, but, surprisingly, there was not a category for Wikipedians by access to sources and references until I added it this week. If you find this category and click on it, you will see several categories such as "Wikipedians with access to academic journals". My plea is that as many people who can honestly add themselves to these categories do so, to enhance the credibility of individual Wikipedians and the status of Wikipedia in general. ACEO 21:21, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

umm...doesn't "with access to academic journals" just means, well...access to journals? Which anyone who has access to a decent state or university library has? So having access to academic journals doesn't really say anything about the credibility of the person. --`/aksha 03:02, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I like it. It means a bit more than "I can go to a library", it means "I tend to go to an academic library and look things up". That's not at all the same thing - there are many Wikipedians who tend to edit only using resources available on the Internet or their own private bookshelves, and don't go to the added effort of going to a university library. AnonEMouse (squeak) 13:19, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia: Be part of the local community

Before the term Wikipedia grew synonymous with the word encyclopedia, the greatest singles resource of information were only available, by purchase, on information libraries; such as Microsoft Encarta and Encyclopedia Britannica. However, these libraries are slowly becoming obsolete as a single company's endeavors to provide creditable and comprehensive sources of information cannot match that of today's internet users who, with nothing more than an internet connection, has managed to bestow his knowledge to the entire world wide web with nothing more than the satisfaction of having contributed to the open source dream.

And all this knowledge, this vast resource of information has been made so readily available that we truly take for granted the wonders of a certain free online encyclopedia; Wikipedia.

Notwithstanding this resource being one of the major catalysts to the open source dream, not everyone may enjoy what Wikipedia has to offer. There are certain users, who have limited or no access to the internet and therefore do not have the privilege of being part of this experience. So, I propose a downloadable version of Wikipedia that can be locally stored on one's hard disk.

Since Wikipedia do not generate any revenue from advertising (to my knowledge), creating a downloadable version will not have much impact on their income. Apart from this, which I need to further corroborate, a downloadable version of Wikipedia, which may be updated every week or so, can be viewed normally in an internet browser, will allow users with limited or no connectivity to still be linked to the entire Wikipedia community and make a contribution, however small to the open source dream whilst wholly enjoying the thrill of accessing an encyclopedia so freely and efficiently.

You are aware that our compressed, image-free database dumps are something like 50 Gigabytes in size, correct? Anyway, please see WP:DUMP, which addresses how to acquire downloadable versions of Wikipedia's content. --tjstrf 16:09, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Er, sort of. If you include every version of all articles (including talk pages and project space), then the English Wikipedia is about 46 GB compressed with the current dump system. Articles only, current versions only, is 1.6 GB compressed. Also, compression of the all-versions dump is very poor, because diffs between versions are not performed. Deco 16:25, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for link and feebbacks boss.

star trek and star wars

Whenever I look either Star trek or Star wars on the wekipedia,it labels Star trek as "science fiction" and Star Wars as "science fantesy". This is absoloutly absurd. Infact,wekipedia has got the two switched.

The elements used in Star Trek are pure fantesy such as time travel,a god-like being known as Q who has unlimited abilities,teleportation,weapons that can send planets milions of years into the past,seazing them from existence or weapons that can destroy matter(which directly goes against the laws of physics). Take anyone of these elements and each rules out the concept of Star Trek being science fiction.

Star Wars on the other hand has none of these elements. Infact,Star Wars carries none of the false elements used in Star Trek. In Star Wars they have used technology of which a few are available today and technical terms borrowed from real life technology such as "laser" or "proton" whereas in Star Trek,fictional words have been created to sound like real life words such as "phaser"(to replace laser)or "phroton" obviously to replace proton. Some technology used in Star Wars is being used today such as robots,though not as sophisticated. Laser guns are used today to cut through metal(also used in Star Wars) but obviously unable to have rappid fire.

Regarding the "force" which has been the main contribution into classyfying Star Wars as "science fantesy",people who have followed the Star Wars saga should know that this energy field is generated by by mediclaurians(a fictional term,but with explanation).

The organisms in the Star Wars universe possess these microscopic life-forms in their system that allow them to conduct the energy known as "the force". It basically reflects on scince inour world. For example,why is the human body vunerable to electricity?The answer is it contains blood,which is a conductor of electricity.Had humans been made of wood,they would almost be invincible to electricity.

The simple reason it's been classified as "sience fantesy" as oppossed to Star Trek is it lacks in scientific terms whereas Star Trek is filled with made-up scientific(or so-called "scintific terms"). Most of the technology used in Star Wars may not be available today or probably even centuries from now,but to say Star Trek is "more realistic" than Star Wars is pure ignorance. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nadirali (talkcontribs) .

You have posted this to the wrong place. You should discuss this with other interested editors on the respective talk pages of the two articles (i.e. Talk:Star Wars and Talk:Star Trek). This page is for discussing proposed changes to Wikipedia's basic structures, not the content of specific articles. Thanks, Gwernol 15:54, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

It's time for a new namespace: "Contents:"

Wikipedias lists of topics are rapidly becoming lists of articles. As Wikipedia expands and matures, all the redlinks are turning blue! We've got contents pages in the Wikipedia namespace as well as in the article namespace. For examples see Wikipedia:Contents and List of mathematics articles. Perhaps we should have a new namespace called Contents: in which to put all the tables of contents, lists, glossaries, and indices of articles. Wikipedia's glossaries, for instance, are currently overwhelming articles about actual glossaries. Wikipedia's glossaries and Lists of articles (like the math lists) violate WP:SELF and really shouldn't be in the article namespace to begin with. Just a thought. --The Transhumanist 11:21, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

There's a proliferation of self-references being made in article titles. Here's a doozy: List of mathematics categories. Wikipedia's glossaries are all implicitly self-referential, because they aren't articles about glossaries in the real world. --The Transhumanist 11:34, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't think this "Contents" namespace is necessary. And I don't see how it would apply to lists of articles. A list is not a contents. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:47, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

The current namespaces seem to work fine to me. The list guideline and its related links do a good enough job spelling out how lists should be developed. If a particular list is a self-reference, it should just be moved to project namespace. Rfrisbietalk 19:08, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Ditto. There is some argument for moving these pages to project-space, but it's a grey area, let's leave it for now. And the Glossaries rename issue has already been resolved :)
See also, the (withdrawn by nom) #List Namespace proposal above. New namespaces need very very strong reasons for existing, as theyre a bundle of extra work for the devs to implement. --Quiddity 20:13, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

confusing text in Wikipedia e-mail address confirmation

I suggest correcting the current illogical and otherwise confusing text to the following because most normal users whose email address is misused would not understand the current message:

If you did not register an account with this email address or do not know what Wikipedia is, please do *not* click on the link.

(Current message text: Someone, probably you, from IP address xxxx, has registered the account "xxx" with this e-mail address on Wikipedia.

To confirm that this account really does belong to you and activate e-mail features on Wikipedia, please open this link in your browser:

If this is *not* you, please do not follow the link. This confirmation code will expire at 08:48, 21 October 2006.) --Espoo 11:10, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Well it can be changed easily enough (MediaWiki:Confirmemail body), but I don't see anything confusing in the current version. What is it you find hard to understand in it? Prodego talk 14:17, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
If normal computer users (much more clueless than even WP users) are victims of harassment and get an email due to a bogus registration saying "If this is *not* you, please do not follow the link", they will think "why yes, this *is* me" and think they have to click the link. People who understand the technical aspect involved of course understand what is meant although the verb "is" is a completely illogical and ungrammatical attempt to refer to "belong" and/or "register". --Espoo 14:48, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
  • How does this sound... "if you did not recently register for Wikipedia..." ? >Radiant< 09:02, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Better than my suggestion in any case :-) How about this addition (to prevent social engineering)?:

If you did not recently register for Wikipedia (or if you registered with a different email address), please do *not* click on the link. - You don't have to do anything else to ensure that the registration of this email address at Wikipedia is automatically rejected. --Espoo 13:35, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Sounds good. I would personally say the last phrase would be better as "otherwise, this request will automatically be rejected in x days." With x being whatever we use. --tjstrf 16:18, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Lock Facts?

I believe that 100%, indesputable facts should be locked, as in unable to be edited by the open community.

This is just an idea, obviously, and the reason I think it should be implemented is this - if something is indesputable, how could it be changed to better human knowledge? Obviously, this would only apply to certain areas of the entries. For example, the players in the Miracle on Ice ("Team Rosters" section). This information has nothing to be changed, as this isn't anything controversial, desputable or biased. The information is set in stone, so to speak. No alternative theories or viewpoints can in any way affect the people who played in the game, nor are minor spelling or grammar mistakes present. Why not simply "lock" the information by removing the "Edit" button from anyone but, say, editors and moderators. Another good fallback for this plan would be to have the content be unlocked.

I feel this will be a simple way to cut down on vandalism. I also believe it is a logical step towards higher quality content on Wikipedia. 07:34, 14 October 2006 (UTC) Charles Watson

  • Please see WP:PEREN which has a section about that. Note that we cannot lock parts of a page, only pages as a whole. >Radiant< 09:24, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Also, even if the facts themselves can't change, the presentation could reasonably be modified, including which facts are included or omitted. Deco 07:12, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Radiant - I understand that it currently cannot be changed. That is why this is under the proposals section - I think that should change. And Deco, for the example how could it be changed? My idea wouldn't apply to anything with the slightest hint of being edited. Things like the roster for Miracle on Ice - it was a well documented game, the original roster still exists, ect. There isn't anyway such a fact could be improved - only made worse. Why increase the number of uneccesary changes?

    • Well, let's say a book was written about the game in the future which introduced some controversy into the game. Or even simply caused people to perk up and take notice of the event once more. Or what if the article was found to be out of standardization at some later point with other, similar articles? In those cases, more might need added to the article, or it might need reorganized. Regardless, page protection is only done in cases of edit-warring or WP:OFFICE, semi-protection only done in cases of confirmed ongoing vandalism. And that shouldn't change. --tjstrf 16:18, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
I truly hate to admit this, being a committed objectivist and rationalist, but there are an infinitesimal number of absolutely true facts. Even the most obvious "facts" are subject to endless, sophisticated qualification. For instance, it is a settled fact that the angles of any triangle sum to a straight line. However, this must be qualified to an ideal, flat universe; we have learned that we do not actually live in such a universe.
While the actual underlying reality in Miracle on Ice#Team Rosters is historical, therefore (we believe) not subject to change, it is possible that the information as presented is in error. No matter how many sources are given, no matter how vocal the support, it is still possible that an error will be discovered in future.
As has been mentioned, technical limitations prevent us from protecting only part of a page. In any case, your proposal suggests that registered editors are more qualified to edit than anonymous editors; and that admins are still more qualified. Experience has proven contrary.
You may be looking for any number of Wikipedia forks which attempt to subject content to strict review, then lock it in place. Good luck. John Reid 13:20, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia toolbar

I don't know if this has been discussed before or if such a thing even exists, but considering Wikimedia has become such a huge community, why not create a wikipedia toolbar for our browsers, as an open source software, similar to the google toolbar? This would allow tons of people to more easily use the different wikimedia projects, most importantly wikipedia. I'm sure someone out there can contribute to program and make such a toolbar. I dunno, just an idea passing through my head, sorry if it has been discussed before. --Ludvig 20:29, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Ref Wikipedia:Toolbars; I see at least 3 such bars listed. Deco 22:18, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the link; I'm using Opera, so a Wikipedia search in the toolbar would be very useful! Unfortunately, the instructions provided appear to be for Opera 9, and I'm using Opera 8.5. Do you have instructions for Opera 8.5? If not, I'll ask my friends on the My Opera Community Forums. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 09:26, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll start using it right away =) --Ludvig 23:53, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Unreleased products/albums/games/movies and crystal balls

I've noticed that there are a lot of articles on "future albums"; unfortunately, it looks as though these articles attract a lot of unverifiable speculation. (The particular case I'm noticing is a set of unreleased hip-hop albums; a number of users are modifying the track listings and/or artists expected to be featured on the album without any sourcing whatsoever.) Should WP:NOT be expanded to note that articles on future releases of all types must be referenced? Should Wikipedia maintain articles on unreleased products at all in the absence of verifiable coverage? Zetawoof(ζ) 01:57, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

It already is, isn't it? "If preparation for the event isn't already in progress, speculation about it must be well documented." --badlydrawnjeff talk 02:13, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
I suppose. Guess I'd better just be bold and remove the speculative bits I've seen around. Zetawoof(ζ) 04:01, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Also, I'd appreciate some help adding {{fact}} tags and removing unsourced material where necessary. Just pick an article at random from Category:Upcoming_albums - it's probably got some sort of speculation or other unsourced information. Do what's necessary. Zetawoof(ζ) 04:19, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
  • It depends really on how much information is available. Saying "artist <foo> is likely going to release a new album in 2007" isn't saying much and should be deleted. If there has been marketing hype about the album, otoh, we should cover it (e.g. Harry Potter #7). {{prod}} may be useful for some. >Radiant< 08:13, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
  • A good example of an article on an unreleased game that has received extensive coverage - and extensive insertion of unverifiable rumours - is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. But I think its maintainers have done an excellent job of pruning it and referencing damn near everything in it. It's spectacular work. Deco 09:16, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

If unverifiable speculation is regularly added to an article, the article should be semi-protected to keep out the anonymous vandals. (Unfortunately, admins seem unwilling to deal with anonymous vandals.) --J.L.W.S. The Special One 09:46, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Make a page specifically for advertising?

I think it would could down the vandalism problems we have here. If we made a specific page for advertising, such as WP:Advertise Here, it would give people less of a reason to blank pages and put ads in, or start pages that are just ads. Of course, this has bad sides too...but...feel free to discuss. --SonicChao 20:50, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Who would use it?... Spammers want to spam what people frequently read. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 20:58, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
It's not exactly a case of who would use it, more that it might make some people not spam articles. --SonicChao 21:01, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
  • See also WP:PEREN. People who (ab)use Wikipedia for advertising tend not to read our 'rules' first. >Radiant< 22:28, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
On top of the above, spammers tend to want to have their links stick around for as long as possible, so that Google sees it, and continues to see it. Thus, the above-average spammers try to stick the spam in as out-of-the-way places as possible. (since, well, would we let WP:Advertise Here grow endlessly? Would we really do work to keep archives of it? More likely, we'd just blank it) --Interiot 01:23, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I also think this is a case of "Give an inch..." and the spammers will take a mile. Agne 07:08, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Do you think spammers would really use it? Most would not even be aware of it, and those aware of it would not use it because they want spam to go into the relevant places. For example, posting links to a Gmail invite spooler on the Gmail article.
However, it would be useful to have a place for established editors to advertise. I would advertise my blog, and advertise Opera (for a good cause; to get people to use a secure browser). --J.L.W.S. The Special One 11:28, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
You just did.  :) --The Transhumanist 12:07, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Clean up

This is just a proposal but while looking at the source code, well I have to say it's just so untidy and cluttered. Here are a list of average download times: 14.4K - 139.95 seconds, 28.8K - 70.77 seconds, 33.6K - 60.89 seconds, 56K - 37.17 seconds, ISDN 128K - 12.49 seconds, T1 1.44Mbps - 2.55 seconds,


Why not try converting to XHTML 1.0 strict instead of transitional, and in addition to the tips below try to keep your internal script files external to.

1/The total number of objects on this page is 37 - consider reducing this to a more reasonable number. Combine, refine, and optimize your external objects. Replace graphic rollovers with CSS rollovers to speed display and minimize HTTP requests.

2/The total number of images on this page is 25 , consider reducing this to a more reasonable number. Combine, refine, and optimize your graphics. Replace graphic rollovers with CSS rollovers to speed display and minimize HTTP requests.

3/The total number of external CSS files on this page is 8 , consider reducing this to one or two external files. Combine, refine, and optimize your external CSS files. Ideally you should have one (or even embed CSS for high-traffic pages) on your pages.

4/The total size of this page is 178500 bytes, which will load in 37.17 seconds on a 56Kbps modem. Consider reducing total page size to less than 30K to achieve sub eight second response times on 56K connections. Pages over 100K exceed most attention thresholds at 56Kbps, even with feedback. Consider contacting us about our optimization services.

5/The total number of external script files on this page is 3 , consider reducing this to one or two. Combine, refine, and optimize your external script files. Ideally you should have one (or even embed scripts for high-traffic pages) on your pages.

6/The total size of your images is 96044 bytes, which is over 30K. Consider optimizing your images for size, combining them, and replacing graphic rollovers with CSS.

7/The total size of your external scripts is 33568 bytes, which is over 8K. Consider optimizing your scripts for size, combining them, and using compression where appropriate for any scripts placed in the HEAD of your documents.

8/The total size of your external CSS is 37349 bytes, which is over 8K. Consider optimizing your CSS for size by eliminating whitespace, using shorthand notation, and combining multiple CSS files where appropriate.

You'll want to head to MediaWiki to discuss the development of the wiki engine. --Wolf530 (talk) 01:45, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Run for adminship!

There is presently a lack of candidates for adminship on WP:RFA. So, please consider nominating yourself or another editor you think would make a competent admin. >Radiant< 09:00, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I have to agree with Chairboy here. I think that there are a number of editors who feel they are doing a competent, useful job without being an admin and feel that the whole RFA process is a way for people to explain to you that you suck. I don't participate in RFAs much but I still have seen what happens to enthusiastic candidates [6] [7] [8] [9]. It takes really devoted people to want to go running the gauntlet of RFA. Pascal.Tesson 15:18, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Sure, I'd love ... oh wait, I haven't written 10 feature articles today all by myself. Nevermind. Fagstein 05:37, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Strong oppose Obviously Chairboy would make an awful admin he didn't even sign the above comment! (yes this is sarcasm). JoshuaZ 05:45, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Strong oppose As JohnnyBGood put it there are already too many admins and you can only be an admin if you don't have a real life. Pascal.Tesson 14:09, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Strong oppose "I am unsure from the nomination of the candidate's reasons for wanting to become an Admin, other than to generally help out" (oppose vote reasoning by User:SilkTork). CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 11:28, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
You are taking the p!ss aren't you. Editors have better things to do than turn themselves into bland sycophantic non-entities in order to do that.ALR 19:24, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Radiant, you should link this to the RfA talk page : ) - jc37 21:48, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Part of the reason that I haven't yet even considered becoming an admin (or nominating friends) is that it won't help many people. I generally do not have much time outside of my real life to contribute, but I do help, start things so that they can grow, and clean up things that I find. I do a decent job, don't correct something that I'm not sure about (or revert myself if I make a mistake) and try honestly to help people if they ask and I have the ability. While I can't claim anything special (many of my ~1000 edits are minor) I have made a difference - I watch ~100 articles and have been casually rewriting a few articles to bring them past stubs. I've made a userbox that features as an example on Wikipedia:Userboxes#Grouping_userboxes. Despite this, the only time that I needed help with administrative power was when my user page was being repeatedly vandalized and needed a brief protection to discourage the vandal. I'd love to be an admin, but it wouldn't help me help more people through my editing. If I really thought that my becoming an admin would allow me to do that, I'd be on RfA right now pleading my case. Nihiltres 04:14, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
While your proposal is made in good faith, I think the underlying culture needs to change first before I will stick my head into that meat grinder. Sorry. John Reid 13:23, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I personally think I'd be a pretty good admin, but reading over the reasons that people are rejected makes me think the lot of them are insane. The bar is nonsensically high, especially for someone like myself that has little interest in the user blocking powers that come with adminship. - Richfife 21:35, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
We're having a similar discussion Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Arbitrary conversation break here, and I said pretty much the same thing -- I think I'd probably make a pretty good admin, but I have no desire to see my edit history torn apart piece-by-piece. It's a shame, really, don't you think? I'd love to hear some suggestions on how this can be fixed. --Wolf530 (talk) 01:38, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
I think anyone worried about having their edit history torn to pieces should consider Wikipedia:Editor review, which can be very helpful. Also, follow RfA for a bit, and plan your answers and responses, and allow time to nurture your RfA. Notice the common mistakes made (terse or incivil responses tend to lead to masses of oppose votes, quite naturally), and be on your best behaviour. The other alternative, which I want to do eventually, is to do a complete and comprehensive personal analysis of my contributions, thus giving a more complete picture than someone can get from a 20 minutes of lookin through my edit history. Carcharoth 01:46, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you, very good suggestions! --Wolf530 (talk) 01:52, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
In today's RfA climate, I'm not sure I'd be able to make it. There might be a reason for the ebb in the flow. - 01:29, 29 September 2006 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chairboy (talkcontribs)
There's a point to that, but the best way to counter it is with a new wave of enthousiastic candidates. >Radiant< 09:49, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
"Oppose, user needs at least 500 Portal Talk and 15000 WP namespace edits to display familiarity with policy."

Wiki testimonials

Hello. I'm not entirely certain if this is in the right section or not, but here goes--I've been reading on a number of different message boards about how people have been "burned" by Wikipedia: whether due to getting involved in revert wars with anonymi who strike and then slink back into the darkness, those who consider themselves Keepers of All Knowledge and would rather blank out someone else's hard work rather than do research in other places to confirm the data, those who feel they "own" certain pages and will hinder all attempts to change them, and so on.

So how about a section about those who have stayed by Wikipedia over the long term, and their general thoughts on why they keep coming back? I think (hope) the last thing we want is for it to turn into a propaganda page (Wikipedia is the best and has no problems! EVER.), but more like just telling why people endure despite the vandalism, edit wars, and beans being stuffed up noses. Alright, I've said my piece. Viewer 06:27, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Try having a browse among Category:Wikipedia essays -- there's a few folk there explaining why they are here, as I did on my user page. 03:53, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
It's a good idea. Well crafted testimonials can be the right kind of propaganda. --Wolf530 (talk) 01:33, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
When this popped up on my watchlist, it reminded me of testimonials of a different kind. Specifically, the sort found at Wikipedia:Deceased_Wikipedians... :-/ Carcharoth 01:42, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Video Transcripts

There has been a large influx of video files being flooded into Wikipedia lately, generally, from television networks and independent media sites. It would be better, for users with incompatible codecs, have trouble working with flash on their system (*Nix users, for example), are using a text-based browser such as lynx, or generally are using older, slower systems that we could work collaboratively to provide transcripts of these video files that have been seen in such large numbers so that the sources given are accessible to all people, not just those with the neccesary plug-ins. There isn't possibly any counter-argument to such a proposal, except for maybe laziness, that would constitute NOT doing this. This is neccesary to increase the accesibility of wikipedia. Unless, of course, doing this would violate some copyright law, in which case, the use of the video itself hinders the quality of the article itself. Doing the same for audio, too, would be helpful. Even for the naturally, not technically, disabled there are issues. Those who are deaf, for example, cannot hear the video when on the contrary they can read the text.

Just -- try to make Wikipedia more accesible to ALL users, not just the current status quo majority. That's the best way to increase the volume of traffic this site gets and to attract new users. Work to add transcripts, or some fashion of a transcripts database, or at least use already made external-transcripts as references over the raw video. Similar things could be done for other mediums, such as audio, but typically aren't as neccesary. --Mofomojo 07:42, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Should this belong in the Policy section? I don't think so, does it? All it really is a user-initiated project to type out - in full - what's being said in the video. Pretty amatuer stuff, really.--Mofomojo 07:45, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Names of Karnataka cities

Hey all. Some of you may be interested in the discussion on whether to move the articles of several Karnataka cities to names proposed by the government: Wikipedia talk:Indian Wikipedians' notice board#Article name updates for some Cities of Karnataka. --Xiaopo (Talk) 23:30, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

What's going on here is an attempt to move articles on cities such as Bangalore and Mysore to spellings that reflect the local pronunciations (although, no one seems to know if this means Bangaluru, Bangalūru, or Bangalooru). This blatantly contradicts Wikipedia's well-established principles of using English names and using common names, but nobody seems to care.—Nat Krause(Talk!) 20:49, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Roadmap (was Reverse Understanding)

Idea: To use Wikipedia, and it's hyperlinks to related articles, to assist in understanding advanced ideas.

Hello. =)

My problem came up tonight for about the third time since I found Wikipedia. I watched NOVA on PBS tonight about the Neutrino, and that got me to wondering about the speed of light. I decided I would get on Wikipedia, and learn about the speed of light; but found that the concept is more advanced then I am. That is to say, the article about the speed of light has several terms in it that I also don't understand, so many, that I don't know where to look to start understanding the speed of light.

I hope that makes sense to someone. ^^;;

Anyway; my suggestion, or idea, rather is this: Is it possible, feasible, and appropriate (to Wikipedia as opposed to other Wiki Projects) to post a kind of reversed knowledge list; that would give someone who is interested in learning about the topic of an article a kind of road map to understanding the topic they're interested in.

I suppose the idea comes from playing too much Sid Meier, with those glorious technology trees. "In oder to learn topic C, you must first learn topic A and B", and so on. I understand that real knowledge does not fit so nicely into little boxes... but I was hoping I could start a discussion, that might lead to a useful tool for Do-It-Yourself-Scholars, such as myself. =)

Thank you for you time; and Health and Happiness to you all. ^_^ Vm CrispyDruid 15:39, 1 November 2006 (UTC) (forgot to sign. ^^;;)

In other words, a tree of logical progression for all ideas? I don't think Wikipedia's the place for that, as it would violate our policy against original research.
As for understanding the speed of light, the easiest way would probably be to simply take a formal physics course. It's a rather complex subject, and requires knowledge of everything from basic Newtonian physics to relativity. The Speed of light article gives a very nice overview of what you would need to know first. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 10:15, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I can see how a lesson plan would be unverifiable; there is not any way to say that a subject has to be learned in a certain way to cite. =) I was thinking along the lines of a sidebar that would include something like a lesson plan, crossed with an Amazon-like 'If you liked this, you might like:' suggestion area; not any content for the topic, but a list of links to related subjects that the current topic is built on, and subjects that are built on the current topic. A rough example for c might include a link to Physics below, and perhaps Time Travel above (blame my heavily sci-fi influenced upbringing for my assumption that c is involved in time travel ;-) ). Especially if it was a teacher or student posting the links i had in mind, Wikipedia could become not only a storage vault for knowledge; but a useful tool in gaining understanding. =) CrispyDruid 15:39, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately real life isn't as nice as the civ technology trees! In science it would be possible - for most concepts - to broadly pigeon hole them - i.e. speed of light belongs in the physics box, covalent bonding belongs in the chemistry box, evolution belongs in the biology box. Each one of the "child" articles could (and in quite a few cases probably does) have a link back to the parent subject - the other way around though is quite difficult. The c article could have a link to time ravel "below it", as knowledge of c is part of time travel concepts - but c is also a prerequisite for a vast array of other things - to send you to a few places off the top of my head, special relativity, dispersion, lasers. i.e. the "children" of the speed of light - in a civ style tech tree - are very numerous - too numerous to list efficiently as part of the viewable page - that is why we have the category lists. SFC9394 23:52, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
That's true... Well; maybe a mind better then mine can refine the idea to something that could work. ^^;; I'll keep mulling it over in the meantime. ^_^ Health and Happiness! CrispyDruid 04:19, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

This is an excellent idea, though unformed. I would like to see all technical subjects put in as much context as possible. When it can be done, the subject should be put in the most common, everyday context; otherwise, it should at least be put in the proper context of its own field. Nothing is more disconcerting than to stumble onto a page full of technical jargon, realize the discussion is over one's head, determine to study up and get more background -- then have no idea where to begin. One follows links out of the article body randomly and perhaps learns much; perhaps one is only dazzled; and perhaps one returns to the original article as confused as before.

Every highly technical article should have a road map box that at least sketches in the prerequisites needed to understand the article; it should also point the way to more advanced topics that might be of popular interest. Simply seeing where a given article sits in the tree -- seeing which other articles support it and which it supports -- gives a well-rounded person a good idea of the significance of the page at hand. I've seen this sort of navigation provided in other references and it is a great help.

The matter is complicated by the fact that scientific knowledge is not a simple tree; it is more a net. However, the network is a directed graph; if concept A depends on an understanding of concept B, the reverse is never true. Apparent cases always resolve to a dependency of both on C. Somewhere down at the bottom, there is a little ring of interdependent fundamental assumptions that support the entire technosphere above. But this ring can and should be treated as a unit, the catechism of the Church of Reason.

I can't support this proposal strongly enough. Now, if I only knew where to begin... John Reid 03:04, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Suiting the action to the word: Wikipedia:Wikiproject Roadmap. John Reid 18:19, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Stable pages

To limit the visibility of vandalism, could we offer Robots a 'latest stable version' of pages? That is, if a page has changed recently, and is being requested by a Robot, eg Google, then we keep serving up the old version of the page, until the latest version has been stable for a while, perhaps 8 hours. Regards, Ben Aveling 12:47, 22 October 2006 (UTC) (PS This has been discussed at AFD and I know this will have to be raised as a DDTS to be actioned, but before I raise a DDTS, I want to run the suggestion past people here, see if they can think of anything I've missed.)

How will stable versions be selected? Selecting them manually will cause excessive backlog, while selecting them automatically may still result in a vandalised version accidentally being selected. If I understand your suggestion correctly, Wikipedia will send the robot a version which has been "live" for at least 8 hours. Of course, this is based on the assumption that vandalism will be easily caught and reverted within 8 hours. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 14:40, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Stable pages would have to be selected automatically. I think that's technically feasible. And yes, if a vandalised version goes live, then it then stays live for 8 hours. But it takes 8 hours longer to go live. I believe that most vandalism is caught much faster than that, so we should come out ahead. Ben Aveling 02:50, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
It also assumes low-traffic pages which will have at least one version unchanged for eight hours. Articles like George W. Bush change by the second. What's the "stable version" of that? Fagstein 01:26, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
The stable version of George W. Bush would probably end up being a really out of date version from when there last was an 8 hour break in editing (there probably is a break somewhere, perhaps when it was protected). Also, I think Google bans having different versions of a webpage sent depending on whether or not it's a robot. Tra (Talk) 01:41, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
The current latest stable version of George W. Bush, using 8 hours as a metric, is:
(cur) (last) 13:06, 23 October 2006 GiollaUidir (Talk | contribs) (→Criticism and public perception - Added Belfast pic and fixed a ref)
(cur) (last) 00:29, 23 October 2006 Graytonwho (Talk | contribs) m (→Criticism and public perception)
It was semi-protected at the time, as usual. The previous stable version was 05:10, 22 October 2006. Regards, Ben Aveling 02:50, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
OK, but another more important issue is that sending a 'stable' version of pages to Googlebot but letting humans see the 'unstable' version is that it is regarded as cloaking which can get Wikipedia banned from Google. Tra (Talk) 21:33, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as "cloaking."
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?" [10]
From a moral point of view, my answers to the above questions are: yes, we are presenting the same pages to the search engine and to people, just with some delay added; yes, I'd feel comfortable about explaining this behaviour, in fact, I'd like Google to automatically treat all our pages like this - if it's changed recently, don't index it, keep using the old one; yes, this does help our users; and no, I wouldn't do this if search engines didn't exist, but they do, and this allows us to give them a cleaner feed than they currently get.
From a technical point of view: most of the time we will present the same page to humans and to robots; sometimes we will present a version a few hours older, but our pages change constantly already, so I don't think this will surprise Google, they already have to deal with getting different versions of a page each time they request it. If page thrash is bad, this might improve our rankings. And we do get punished for link vandalism, so reducing that should definetely increase our rankings.
Regards, Ben Aveling 00:37, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
It's still cloaking. I know often there would not be much difference between the stable and unstable version of an article but if there has been sections re-written and/or large, unnoticed vandalism (it does happen sometimes) then the page seen by Googlebot at a given time would be significantly different to the same page seen by a human at that same time. You said that Google expect the pages to change - well, they do expect that but they don't expect to see a different page if they send out two requests within a split-second of each other with different user agents.
Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as "cloaking." A 'stable page' is a page made for search engines, and involves presenting different content. It is slightly dishonest to show robots the 'stable version' because you are effectively telling them that the site doesn't get vandalised, when actually, it does.
You mentioned in your edit summery for the above comment that you "doubt Google will even notice". They probably will notice because Wikipedia is one of the largest websites in the world.
You mentioned that it would reduce the impact of linkspam. Unfortunately, I've noticed that linkspam can often stay live for several days before it is removed so it probably wouldn't be caught by the '8 hour' filter.
Incidentally, by looking at Google's cache, how many of the pages in their index contain vandalism? I very rarely see vandalism in a page when I look at their cache. Tra (Talk) 01:54, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Given that their pages are a random sample, they should contain exactly as much vandalism as Wikipedia does, as a percentage. Most vandalism should be reverted before they sample it. But not all, and when they do get a bad page, it will stay in their cache for a fair while.
You're probably right about them detecting the difference between pages. They must have some tolerance, but probably not enough. What do you think would happen if we just declined to serve the page, said 'come back in 8 hours'? Would Google delist that page? Or would it just keep the old content?
And given that Google is fairly serious about link-spam, and that they do change their algorithms all the time anyway, do you think that they would be accomodating if we asked them to allow us to do this, or something similar? Regards, Ben Aveling 02:26, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps we should just ask Google whether they would agree with this idea. That should settle the debate on whether this is "cloaking" or not. After all, we are trying to reduce the visibility of vandalism. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 11:30, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I'll do that, if people agree that apart from the Google issue, this is a good idea? Regards, Ben Aveling 23:28, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, apart from the possible problems with cloaking, this is a good idea. Incidentally, if there are some pages that hardly ever go for 8 hours with no edits, there would probably need to be a mechanism to stop Wikipedia sending out month-old articles. Tra (Talk) 23:35, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
I've raised it in one of the Google Webmaster forums. [11] We'll see what people there think. A search of the forums for "cloaking" does suggest that there might be legimate uses of the technique. Regards, Ben Aveling 11:07, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
No responses. What now? Time to raise it in Bugzilla? Maybe as a comment on this bug? Regards, Ben Aveling 09:38, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, having no responses doesn't mean it's necessarily acceptable. Raising it in Bugzilla might be good, where more people can comment on whether it's a good idea. Tra (Talk) 19:02, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Just to make sure you are all aware of Stablepedia. Crum375 23:33, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

That's useful for humans to see stable versions of Wikipedia articles, but Wikipedia wouldn't be able to use their code, since they're using asp. Tra (Talk) 23:43, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Maybe not directly, but maybe there could be some arrangement for the top level logic or algorithms. Crum375 23:46, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
OTOH, I have encountered many stable WP articles with awful errors, including serious BLP problems, that I fixed and I would be happy for the fixes to get to Google ASAP. Crum375 23:48, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

An incredible business opportunity

I have a very profitable suggestion to make about a service that Bell Canada and Wikipedia could provide to it's customers; a service which will trade in the most valuable commodity of the future; "information" if Bell offered a service to the public which allowed them to ask a question, and receive an answer to it, whether it be an "encyclopedic (Wikipedia)" answer or a stock market quote ( it would be an invaluable tool to the "on the go" wireless user, and the best part is the information is widely available on the internet, you are merely eliminating the research involved and providing a "push button" solution, I have many further ideas concerning this service and would love to be involved should you (wikipedia) consider affiliation.

Thank you, Jamie Lanctot

Actually, I'm not sure what's stopping Bell Canada or anyone else for that matter to send its customers to Wikipedia for answers. In any case, Wikipedia is not for profit so it's not clear that any of this makes sense. But if you work at Bell, you're free to convince them to donate a boatfull of cash to Wikipedia for new servers. I'm sure we'll gratefully acknowledge the support. :-) Pascal.Tesson 04:22, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day/2007

January 15 is Wikipedia Day, the anniversary of the founding publication of Wikipedia. 2007 January 15 is the next Wikipedia Day.

On this day, at 1200 noon your local time:

  • Stop whatever you are doing, wherever you are. Park your car or land your aircraft first. Reserve 15-30 minutes from your day.
  • Wear a symbol of your involvement in Wikipedia. Teeshirts and similar items are available through CafePress. Or draw a capital "W" on your hat.
  • Talk about Wikipedia for the first time with someone, face-to-face. Speak honestly and answer questions selflessly. Bonus for speaking with a complete stranger. Extra bonus for listening.

See Wikipedia Day/2007. John Reid 17:09, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Infobox Professors

  • I have created an infobox for professors' articles. The bare template with usage instructions can be found for now at User:Chabuk/Sandbox, and a filled out example can be seen at User:Chabuk/Sandbox2. Please let me know what you think, what improvements can be made, if there are any fields that I've left out, etc, etc. I've already posted this at Wikipedia:WikiProject Education, but no one seems to want to comment, so I brought it here... Thanks! -- Chabuk 16:48, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Cool! Thanks --Little Professor 20:21, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Move of Current China page on Culture to Chinese Civilization (Proposed)

One thing at a time, What I am proposing with this article is to move it to Chinese Civilization, seeing as the article is about Chinese civilization. This is part of a two tiered phase in, but I will only talk about phase one here, I am not even proposing phase two at the moment (the move of PRC to China, or rather the redirect of China to PRC.) Anyway what I want to do for now is restore the disambiguation page to the querry and name China. This would be more objective than the current system which would seem to favour the one China policy more so over the idea that Tiawan is perhaps independant. Having the disambiguation page as the default is at the moment move objective. So to sum it up, I want to move China Disambiguation to China, and the page at China which is about Chinese Civilization and the geographic region to Chinese Civilization. I am posting this here becuase I have not been getting the response (volume of) that I would like in the China discussion page. So I would now like to invite others to fire away. --Meanie 03:53, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Catalog numbers on LP/single entries?

One of the things that bothers me most when using Wikipedia for music is that relatively few of the entries on individual albums, CDs, singles, etc. contain labels or catalog numbers for the records or CDs -- or alternately, they are either UK-centric or Americocentric (ignoring differences between releases in the two major markets). And they are sometimes incorrect, reflecting currently available versions rather than the originals. I know that it could get crazy because of different numbers and release dates in different countries (US, UK, Canada, Japan, etc.) and different configurations (LP, CD, etc), not to mention reissues and remasterings. But if this is going to be a comprehensive encyclopedia, I feel that this information is essential. Cheemo 1 November 2006

You should probably discuss this at Wikipedia:WikiProject Albums. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:11, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Medical watch news

I take it that there are medical people who regularly watch over medical article in Wikipedia, but my proposal is for, within this category, there to be specialists who deal with particular diseases, such as diabetes mellitus. There has been some recent concern on the article on hypoglycemia unawareness of late, and experts on diabetes who could re-write this article could probably rectify this. ACEO 21:36, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

One of the problems being that most people who are diabetes have little to no clue as to what Hypoglycemia is, or how to treat it. My sister is Hypoglycemic; and it took her about 10 'diabetes expert' doctors, just to diagnose her. That may be a result of our family having grown up in Lancaster, CA; but if there's an article here about Hypoglycemia unawareness, then it's probably wider spread then I thought. I guess what I'm getting at, is that we might as well ask for Hypoglycemia experts to contribute to the topic; as they would be more suited then diabetes experts. =) Health and Happiness. CrispyDruid 04:10, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

If Wikipedia-specific entries go above critical mass level

It seems to me that there are two types of article in Wikipedia, those that are specific to Wikipedia, and those that are on topics likely to be covered in other sources. About the former, one can really see how there are certain terms ("Darwikinist", "immediatist", "incrementalist") which make one feel that,at any time now, a university will be offering a seat in Wikipedian language. If these Wikipedia-specific entries go beyond a certain percentage of articles in Wikipedia, say 15%, would it then be time to start to have TWO Wikipedias - one dealing with generic articles, one dealing with Wikipedia culture?ACEO 21:36, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

The pages are already separated. The Wikipedia-specific pages are in a separate namespace, and can be identified by having 'Wikipedia:' in the title. As for having a separate wiki, there's meta: which deals with Wikimedia in general. Tra (Talk) 00:59, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't think there's much risk of the Wikipedia: article reaching 15% of the total mass. I don't know what the specific stats are, but we have over a million articles and nowhere near that many Wikipedia: pages. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 01:02, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Bigger category should list all subcategories on first page

When one goes to a big category (having more than 197 pages e.g. [[Category:Cities and towns in Uttar Pradesh]]) one can see only first 197 individual pages list and to see other pages in this category one have to navigate further but since typically number of subcategories are quite small they should be shown on first view/page itself. Vjdchauhan 11:32, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree. At the moment, to force this, you have to find all the subcategories and pipe sort them to the front by using '*' or ' ' or something similar. In some of the larger catgories, it is quite possible that some subcategories are genuinely lost. Carcharoth 01:25, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree as well, and since so many of the categories already use the piping "workaround", I wonder if this wouldn't be something that would be a valued change to the software. Who would we ask? - jc37 01:31, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I'd raise it on the technical area of the village pump. I'll do that now. Carcharoth 10:36, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

section copied to Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Bigger category should list all subcategories on first page.

Trivia Games

Wikipedia is the perfect place for Trivia gamers. It should be called WikiTriv or Wikivia. Here is the basic rundown: 1. Members submit Trivia questions based on content in Wikipedia. 2. There should be three basic levels of expertise at the beginning - Jr. High / Sr. High / College Grad. 3. Each level should be numbered in question sequence eg 1-1000 with the question always remaining with it's assigned number so the players can keep track of those questions they have encountered. 4. Once a player has seen all 1000 questions and answers he/she becomes the moderator (Alex Trebek). 5. Points should be given for correct answers and half points should be taken away for incorrect answers. 6. To become a verified member of the Wiki Trivia organization members will register and contribute $5.00 and be given a special password and member number. 7. Yearly competition among members (of each level) will take place with prize money going to the winners. I have more ideas but this is the skeleton of the trivia game.

In an advanced version, answers should be in essay type detail with so many points for each detail item.

You're welcome to hold these contests privately, or on another website, and use our content as the basis of the game, but I don't think this would be a proper use of the Wikipedia servers. We're here to write an encyclopedia, not play Trivial Pursuit. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 18:18, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Seems like something that would be in WP:FUN -- Coasttocoast 00:03, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Own creations????

I have written a a play which i was thinking of uploading on wikipedia. Can i do that? Can i upload my creations on wikipedia or one of its sister sites?

Charmed4ever 12:37, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, but plays don't belong in an encyclopedia. Encyclopedias contain information on topics. I don't know which sister project would welcome plays - Wikibooks is the closest I can think of. If you can't find any, you may wish to check out the link "Proposals for new projects" at the top of the page. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 13:46, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

I thought that one of the rules of Wikipedia was that its articles are not meant to rely upon unpublished sources. If, for example, as a lecturer and researcher, I had merely submitted a journal article and had not heard whether it had been accepted for publication, I would not consider it acceptable for it to be referenced in Wikipedia until after it had been published. I was not sure whether the play you mentioned was published or not. ACEO 20:03, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Why would you want to upload this onto any Wikimedia project? Although my specialty in writing isn't stage drama, in other writing genres it could hurt your chances for awards and competitions to publish on the Internet in advance. Go find an acting workshop and see if they'll produce this or lend monologues to actors for use in audition studies. Look for writing competitions and enter them. It's highly unlikely that any actors' group would download a play from an unknown and unproduced playwright and produce it, but some group may use your work if the participants get to know you and enjoy working with you (you could volunteer to help with set design, box office, etc.) Durova 16:54, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
And another consideration might be that by putting your play on any other wikiproject(they clearly don't belong on wikipedia), you'd have to give up some of your rights under copyright law (either releasing into the public domain or some sort of non-commercial license). I myself am a writer(and songwriter). I love devoting my time and effort to helping writing articles here and on other wikiprojects but there are some things I would not want to lose rights to. Be careful releasing material into the Public Domain or you could regret it later. Jcam 17:52, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

User Boxes without 'mandatory' categories

I tend to find user boxes useful in the sense that one small box can convey more than one will typically be able to convey in a small sentense. But I have seen that most of them come with a 'Category' which the user may not wish to add. e.g. my page belongs to 15 categories whereas I wish to retain only three of them but at the same time want keep all the user boxes there on my page (would have added more boxes but the categories...). Vjdchauhan 12:08, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Just subst the userboxes and manually remove the categories. If you don't want to have lots of code on your user page because of that, move your userbox section to a sub-page and transclude it. :) Nihiltres 14:56, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

A proposal to the Community here

Now that I'm back to enjoying my retirement, I thought I would tempt fate with a proposal for you all. I've put it on my user page (not really the right place, I know, but it seemed as good a place to start as any). For a number of reasons, it could not fit into this wiki as currently configured, but if a partitioned area could be made available, then we could make progress. That David Marshall 10:46, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

It sounds like you're proposing WikiNews. Fagstein 11:07, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Looks to me more like the Wikistreet Journal. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 11:09, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Well. I'm proposing something clearly more substantial than WIkinews, with amibition to be as good as the best hard copy, on-line "professional" newspapers, periodicals, magazines, and comics around. Why should Wikis limit themselves to high-flown projects like 'pedias? Blogs cross over from personal to professional writing. I see no reason why free-to-view wikis should not take on commercial publishers on their own turf. That David Marshall 13:04, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

short formulation of three basic policies on edit page

Proposal: why not put the short formulation (the nutshell) of NOR, NPOV, Verifiability on the page that appears when somebody starts to edit

Presently this appears:

Please note:

  • If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed by others, do not submit it.
  • Only public domain resources can be copied without permission—this does not include the vast majority of web pages or images.
  • See our policies and guidelines for more information on editing.

After this last sentence, just add: All Wikipedia articles and other user-facing content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing views fairly, proportionately and without bias. Articles may not contain any unpublished arguments, ideas, data, or theories, nor any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published arguments, ideas, data, or theories that serves to advance a position. Articles should contain only material that has been published by reliable sources. Editors adding new material to an article should cite a reliable source, or it may be challenged or removed by any editor. The obligation to provide a reliable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it.

Or a much shorter version of the above...

Reasons: (1) this will help prevent so many edit wars, npov disputes, other disputes. (2) it will remind even old editors who think they know these policies or think Wikipedia is an anarchy, (3) it will facilitate referring to this -- people will not have to seek out the pages when they are faced with a dispute, (4) it will help people focus on quality.

Please consider. Thanks. Thomas 09:40, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

No one would read that. As is, I glaze over even the "Do not copy text from other websites without permission. It will be deleted." and it's in bold and right next to the edit box, rather than on the next page down that you only see if you're looking for template transclusions. It would be possible to implement, but weighing the potential usefulness vs. page clutter, I come up with very little usefulness and a whole lot of page clutter. Besides, the POV warrior types would continue to campaign regardless. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 09:59, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
On the other hand first-time editors are more likely to read it (make it bold and red in flashing lights if you have to), which would achieve the immediate goal of making them understand the policies so much the sooner. This is a Good Thing(TM). Zunaid©Please rate me at Editor Review! 12:42, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I personally think the only way people are actually likely to read such a warning is if there's a screen that pops up the first time that they try to edit an article, with just simple text explaining the basic rules, and they have to click "I agree". A lot of other websites do this kind of stuff. Another option is a warning screen if they submit an article with no formatting, or no category or no incoming links. But it's been pretty strongly resisted here at WP... mostly by people who never ever do newpage patrol, but that's another rant entirely. --W.marsh 12:58, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the rationale behind this proposal, but it is unlikely to work in practice. Newcomers are unlikely to read the extra sentences. W.marsh's suggestion will work for registered users; however, it will not work for unregistered users because IPs are often shared or dynamic, and there is no way to determine whether an unregistered user is editing for the first time or not; if the warning always appears, those using static IPs will be put off. Another proof that anonymous editing is detrminal to the project. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 06:50, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

I did original research and put it on Wikipedia… or did I?

I apologize for such a droll and provocative title on this sundry page. Basically, there are two proofs which I am convinced are truth that I added to the L'Hôpital's rule page: “Proof by local linearity” and “Proof that L'Hôpital's can be applied to infinity over infinity.” I am more positive of the veracity of first proof than of the second. Am I allowed to add a proof if it is mathematically thorough, and true, even if I can’t find it anywhere else? This is certainly what happened in this case. I realize that I’m not allowed to do original research, particularly because it may be more anecdotal than statistical. However, this is a proof, people. Is it permissible to add it to Wikipedia? Do not revert it, please, yet. Also, I hope I’m not turning myself in to the Wikipedia Policy Police. I don’t want to die! I’m too young! (16 is under the death penalty age in most countries, so I’m safe, unless lynching is an option.)

A second question is a bit simpler: is an indeterminate form, since it always evaluates to zero? (). If not here, where shall I ask this?

Thanks. Gracenotes T § 18:21, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

As you guessed, your work does indeed qualify as Original Research, even if it is true and accurate. We are strongly discouraged (prohibitted really) from publishing anything here which has not been previously published by a verifiable and credible source. I'm no mathematician, but are there academic journals you could submit your work to for review and publication? If so, that would be the proper first step. After publication your work could certainly be written about here, and hey, you might even warrant a bio article on yourself. Good luck :) --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 18:40, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
There's a fundamental problem here though - math journals do not publish uninteresting or simple proofs, simply because they don't engage readers, but these are much more important to a general readership in an encyclopedia. Because proofs are formal, they can be verified independently of any cited references, although they are original research. Sometimes recreational journals publish simple proofs, but not too often. On the other hand, just as I frequently see code samples (which are similar) "broken" by careless edits, I would expect to see formal proofs also temporarily "broken" (made invalid) by well-meaning contributors.
Maybe what we need is another website to reference where proofs of simple facts can be published by people with no qualifications, but with very careful scrutiny for accuracy prior to publication. Or maybe there are other solutions - it's a thorny problem. Deco 22:07, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
The proofs you posted have some issues; the place to discuss those is Talk:L'Hôpital's rule. In general, when you add proofs you should verify that there is a source for them among the article's sources, to ensure verifiability. The issue of original research in mathematics proofs is full of thorns; the proposed gudelines for citation in math and physics articles have a little guidance.
The place to ask questions about mathematics is either on the talk page of the relevant article or at the reference desk. CMummert 19:14, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Or Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics when it concerns editorial issues. --Salix alba (talk) 20:45, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

New Project Proposal

I'd like to propose a project called "Lyrics", for people to submit song lyrics to create a searchable database. Don't know if this is correct policy, I just thought it wold be interesting to throw the idea out thereSmokizzy 15:59, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

There's that thorny issue of copyright...unless you're in love with those ragtime hits that are just coming into the public domain. Durova 01:50, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Disagree. Copyright problems plus waste of WP space--Light current 01:51, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
For the ones without the copyright problems, there's a category in Wikisource. Tra (Talk) 02:02, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
There's a wiki already dedicated to this, called lyriki. I don't know how their current quality is, but they've been useful to me a couple of times. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 11:02, 31 October 2006 (UTC)


I propose the creation of a religion based on Wikipedia, known as Wika. I already wrote an article on it, but then I realized that it didn't meet the criteria for an official article. The article I wrote currently resides on my user page. This is, of course, a joke religion, but I think it may be a humourous addition to the Wikipedia community. This probably isn't going to fly, but I figured it might be worth a shot.

Impossible is only that which we don't yet know how to do 23:06, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Don't we already have something called Wika?--Rayc 06:03, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Rayc, that's Wikia, not Wika. Wikia is a wiki hosting site run by - you guessed it - Jimbo Wales. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 08:14, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
You might also be thinking of Wicca ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 15:37, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, lets not bother!

My first ever article was on incrementalism which it seemed to me was the fundamental principle of wikipedia (and one I had read about - but apparently the vultures hadn't!). I was soon proved that wikipedia is anti-incrementalist, because within a few minutes of starting the article I had numerous Wiki-vultures descending down on me and I thought it would very quickly become a Wiki-ghost. For many months I hid away in the bushed that surround the Wiki-plains occaisionally looking out to where the Wiki-preditors and Wiki-vultures were devouring the offspring of first time Wiki-mothers. Then I was involved in a campaign on Lords Reform and finding there was a very old and badly written article (mine) I started to update cutting and pasting the information I had. Very soon I heard the sounds of the Wiki-vultures and the distinctive sound of the Delete delete delight song.....
Anyway what I was going to say before I got vastly carried away was that Wikipedia may be able to be interpretated as a form of philosophy rather than a religion. If you totally rewrote your article and put in some factual discussion about the philosophy from a neutral point, it might just become an article. The only term I know that is appropriate is incrementalism - why not add it there! --Mike 10:17, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
What is your problem, guys? I didn't have a religion, but I do now (just joking! (hang on, I'm not joking!) Sorry, I've confused myself. Anyway, I think it is a good idea. All hail the Wiki... Hummm... (goes into meditation) Mindofzoo999 07:59, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I remember seeing something like this on Wikibooks a while back... Apparently, they were rewriting the Bible or something. It looked interesting at least, although I'm unable to locate it now. Kari Hazzard (T | C) 23:00, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Unit conversion

I'd like to see a series of templates created that could be used for unit conversion. For example:

The [[chemical element]] with the highest melting point is [[tungsten]], at 3695 K (3422 °C, 6192 °F).

... would be changed to:

The [[chemical element]] with the highest melting point is [[tungsten]], at {{unit-temp|K=3695|C=3422|F=6192}}.

Then, in the user preferences there would be a "Units" page, with choices to show metric, imperial, etc. If the user had checked "Imperial units" and unchecked "Metric", then it would be displayed as:

The chemical element with the highest melting point is tungsten, at 6192 °F.

If no preference was specified, it would display all three, as in the original. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 01:28, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Why not {{unit-K|3695}}? The other values can be calculated by MediaWiki. --  (talk) 13:17, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

This is a very good suggestion, and would eliminate the imperial vs metric revert wars that occassionally crop up. 3247's modification makes sense. Now if only the imperials could decide what exactly they mean by horsepower, gallon etc. ;) Zunaid 08:34, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

So do I have to submit this to Bugzilla since it would require the addition of something to the preferences? — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 13:18, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I was just wishing for this today when trawling through a million Premier League player pages, about half with their height in feet and the rest in metres (and occasionally meters). Impossible. Even if one adds one or the other, which comes first? Either way, an underhanded attack on US-European solidarity. As if the whole football thing itself wasnt bad enough. Hornplease 09:49, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Mets501 recently created Template:Dist which does this very sort of thing for distances. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 14:47, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Great! However one important thing is missing, the ability to turn on and off which units you prefer to see using your preferences. It's probably gonna require something similar to our date-format preferences setting. Zunaid 14:56, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Excellent idea for feature request. John Reid 13:25, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, I just went to bugzilla to submit a feature request and found this from August 2004-August 2005. Apparently this idea has been suggested a number of times in the past but no one's ever had time to plan and implement it. Is there enough interest in this to bump this up in priority? — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 14:32, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

You know, the list of words spelled differently in American and in British is sufficiently short that the engine could handle that as a user preference, too. No template is needed, just a search through the page for matching terms. John Reid 02:06, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

This is an awesome idea. On the other hand, when I looked at Template:Dist without looking at its source or the syntax explanation, I was not immediately sure of the template's syntax. This is a problem for general implementation, because users in general need to easily understand how to use such a template. There are so many variables to give a template like this:
  1. Significant digits
  2. Input and output units
    • Multiple ways of writing those input and output units for the syntax (ft, feet, foot, ')(km, kilometre,kilometer, kilometers, kilometres)
    • Would there be an encyclopedia-wide standard output unit set? (I'm biased towards metric/SI, I admit.)
  3. Input value
  4. Multiple spellings of the same unit (metre, meter) which are standardized, as far as I know, only on a per-article basis.
  • Different units with the same basic name (different ounces?)
With so many variables, I can't imagine the syntax being immediately easy to understand. Since this is critical to implementation through usability, I have to question (despite my support of the idea) the overall feasibility of the use of such a template. Nihiltres 17:50, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

My personal $0.02: I generally like seeing both English and Metric units. I'm an engineer and it saves me from having to make conversions. Middlenamefrank 16:45, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Strongly Agree I've wanted this also! meters/feet & pounds/kilograms. Currency conversion is also needed. Jeff Carr 04:19, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Writing Competitions

I saw how many pages still have to be written and thought that it might be a good idea to implement some friendly competition that would solve this problem. Every so often a writing race (to be named) would be declared and Wiki users would sign up in either a singles or team event. Every entrant (or team) would be assigned one article from the [Wanted pages]. They would have about 1 week to write the article. At the end a panel of objective users would judge for quality, information value, style, etc. and assign points. Then the winner(s) would get some sort of medal (a barnstar?). This is just my idea to promote the writing of these missing articles. Any ideas and improvements to my idea are welcomed. --The Dark Side 01:48, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Might be a fun way to improve Wikipedia:WikiProject Red Link Recovery? Fagstein 06:23, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Standardisation of UK town and village article names

When doing mass edits on these sorts of articles a number of times I have mistakenly put a template for one county on an article for a village in another. I would like to propose changing all of these from Town Name to Town Name, County. It would also help users make sure they are at the correct article. Lcarsdata (Talk) 17:03, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

But then, there would be the question of whether to use the pre-1974 county, the 1974-1990s county, or the current modern county. Each has its own proponent. Bluap 17:51, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
The simple fact is that most British people, unlike American or Canadian people, do not add qualifiers to town/village names unless absolutely necessary for clarity. We should follow local practice in this. -- Necrothesp 15:09, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
This is a totally unacceptable proposal. There is almost nothing that would do more to make Wikipedia look like it is designed with only Americans in mind, or which would alienate British readers more. Wimstead 13:22, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
This is an ill-considered proposal. Wikipedia should reflect the normal use of the language, not try to re-engineer it so you can do 'mass edits'. There is a perfectly acceptable mechanism already in place to disambiguate between places with the same name, which fits well with ordinary usage (e.g. Newport, Isle of Wight). Mass edits should only be used where the outcome fits universally accepted conventions. Carbonix 02:26, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

New fair use image tag proposal

I would like to propose a new fair use image tag concering branded food product covers. No template has yet been created, but it should look somewhat like the following:

This image is of a branded food product cover, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the company responsible for marketing the food product in question or the manufacturer which produced either the cover or food itself. It is believed that the use of low-resolution images of branded food product covers

qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Any other uses of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, might be copyright infringement. See Wikipedia:Fair use for more information.

To the uploader: please add a detailed fair use rationale for each use, as described on Wikipedia:Image description page, as well as the source of the work and copyright information.

Please express your opinion over the issue here. Michaelas10 (T|C) 11:38, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

By branded food products, do you mean beef? You may want to clarify that distinction (with "branded"). But food products with brands seems fine for fair use display: it's noncommercial, it's on display for free elsewhere (like at the supermarket), it brings no benefit to food box forgers, if any exist, and the effect on the food products' values will do nothing but increase sales, if only incrementally. I Support this, although it will require some "manpower" -- the exertion of a template replacement over a substantial distance by humans -- to complete. Gracenotes T § 14:43, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Surprising error message while creating an account


I tried to create an account with a login name "yogeshpatil111"(I used it for most of my accounts) and it gave me following error,

Login error: The name "Yogeshpatil111" is too similar to the existing account "Yogesh Patil". Please choose another name.

What does "too similar" mean? In that way, I can not create an account using my name which is unfortunately "Yogesh Patil"!!!

If anyone want to respond on this, please send an e-mail to (removed for your protection) Thanks.


It looks like we have another Yogesh Patil! TRy Yogesh111Patil. THat might fool the software!--Light current 12:10, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
"Too similar" means that since the names are so similar, the two of you might be confused for one another. This is serious, because Wikipedians can be held accountable or even banned for bad edits. If one user is mistaken for another, then there's a problem if either of them goes rogue and vandalizes or otherwise harms the project. Once you register, put a message on your user page at your user page establishing that your name is similar to the original Yogesh's and that you are not him nor a sockpuppet of him. Good luck, Nihiltres 15:02, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Infobox for pronunciations, etymologies, etc.

In many articles we see packed right into the first part of the first sentence this information about the word itself, as opposed to the encyclopedic subject. As this is an encyclopedia and the reader should not be immediately faced with some verbiage, sometimes unclear, instead of the explanation of what the subject is, I tentatively propose we move pronunciations, etymologies, alternate names, spellings, symbols, etc. to a simple infobox that would clear up the text of the article. Perhaps they should be simply be moved elsewhere in the article, but they are very common and are possibly necessary to have a complete article on a topic. —Centrxtalk • 01:33, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Sounds reasonable. Maybe ask the Manual of Style gurus? >Radiant< 13:39, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

{{Disruptive Editor}}

{{Disruptive Editor}} - thoughts? JBKramer 20:03, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Horrendously abusable by trolls and vandals. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 20:14, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
So is pretty much every other maintence template. Minor edit to address bad-faith placement. JBKramer 20:16, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Other maintenance templates may be abusable, but this one is wantonly so because we already have an existing process to deal with these people. Dispute resolution. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 20:24, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Is this supposed to replace the standard procedures of reporting to [{WP:AN/I]], opening an RFC, etc.? Have admins volunteered to patrol the category this will create? --W.marsh 20:19, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it promotes good wil among the community if editors can mark others as "disruptive" with a template like that. —Mets501 (talk) 20:25, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
That has to be weighed vs. the cost of continuing to humor editors like the anonymous gundagi editor, Ruy Lopez+socks and what not with convoluted processes that work only when both sides are seeking to resolve disuptes rather than harass other users. JBKramer 20:28, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Also, "Anyone can remove this template if they feel it was placed in bad faith." I can't imagine why someone wouldn't remove this from their own page then, unless they put it there themselves as a joke. --W.marsh 20:36, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

It is patently obvious that removing the template if it was placed in good faith is a disruptive action that merits preventitive blocks of substantial duration. For instance, if I were to place the template on your page, you could remove it and block me with little fear of being in the wrong. If, however, User:Cat-Enthusiast were to do the same, I should suspect that would be the end of that particular loathsome troll's stay at that new sock. JBKramer 20:39, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
So this is to entrap people into an action we can block them over? This seems a very vague, subjective and abuseable template and it's relationship to policy such as WP:BLOCK is unclear. --W.marsh 20:44, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
No. It's an honest way to point out editors who have absolutly no intent of helping to write an encyclopedia such that editors who would like to write an encyclopedia will not be bothered by their disruptive behavior. JBKramer 20:47, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
A user may be blocked when their conduct severely disrupts the project — their conduct is inconsistent with a civil, collegial atmosphere and interferes with the process of editors working together harmoniously to create an encyclopedia.
How long will we have to wait before User:Tallboydoctorpepper is dealt with? JBKramer 20:50, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, if you can provide decent diffs and are willing to get on IRC for it, probably 3 minutes... --tjstrf Now on editor review! 20:53, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
I am neither willing nor able to get on IRC. This is a wiki, not a chat channel. JBKramer 21:04, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
So you're expecting us to indef block a user who Arbcom repeatedly has not indef blocked, who community blocks for have always been controversial and never happened, because you add a template to his user page? Blocking for disruption is often controversial and needs discussion, this is why we have a dispute resolution process. --W.marsh 20:56, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
An indefinite block of that trolling-only account has lasted since mid-July. The new incarnation of it has done nothing but harass the same GOOD editor that the previous incarnation harassed, in addition to attempting to impersonate a valued (but troubled) contributor. There are TWO EDITS in the contribution history of the account in question, and it is patently obvious to all involved that there will be NO valuable edits coming, ever. Watching accounts that are near-certain to be disruptive is not controvercial, and needs no discussion. We have a dispute resolution process that involves talking to the other parties. Do you honestly believe that this valued contributor should be taken to dispute resolution? How about this one? Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest? As an aside, please feel free to make it stop harassing me. JBKramer 21:04, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Uhh, what's the point of this template? It seems to really smack in the face of AGF, not to mention its provocative and adversarial nature. Fagstein 08:09, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Is a disruptive editor the same person who has been a good editor but is now thought to be disruptive because of his recent edits? The tag (if needed) should be called 'Disruptive edits'. Its the effect if the editor on WP that we want to stop. We dont want to go round slapping names on people. For instance , if someone has this tage applied to him/her it may unjustifiably brand them for life. If someone however is accused of submitting disuptive edits that is a fairer way of doing things that does not slap a permanent label on them.
Compare the two:
  • You ARE a disruptive editor. (implying you always were and always will be)
  • You have made some disruptive edits (implies this is a one off situation and assumes good faith generally)

--Light current 09:39, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

how does this differ from a page full of {{test2}} {{test3}} and {{test4}} as well as block notices. This is more likely to provide a template for vandals to place on User pages of those that are reverting the vandalism. I think the category will accumulate a high quantity of malicious Gnangarra 11:08, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Why is this neeeded? If I find a user being disruptive, I can take appropriate action. If I don't, I don't. If you find a user being disruptive, you can take action. Why do I need to know about it? If you feel you need more help in dealing with such a user, you can post to WP:AN/I. John Reid 19:02, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I think that is well said. Its not needed and could be counter productive.--Light current 19:17, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

The template has been deleted. Debate over. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 11:34, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

That's correct. I tagged it db-author. JBKramer 15:58, 6 November 2006 (UTC)