Discussion Reports and Miscellaneous Articulations
The following is a brief overview of new discussions taking place on the English Wikipedia. For older, yet possibly active, discussions please see last week's edition.
Is that an image in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?
Image size has been the subject of discussion at Wikipedia talk:Image use policy. On 28 September User:Tony1 initiated a discussion regarding the policy not being "entirely consistent with the WP:MOS#Images. After a lengthy discussion at the MoS talk page, the section there covering image sizing has been changed, and certainly does not insist on the default thumbnail size as a norm, as this page appears to."
With the policy edited by User:Eubulides to better reflect the consensus at the Manual of Style, Tony1 asked User:Tim Starling about the possibility of "changing the default thumbnail image size from 180px to, say, 220px". This prompted fresh discussion at Wikipedia talk:Image use policy on 30 September. A quick straw poll was opened with people asked to "[p]lease consider giving a range of the pixel widths that would be acceptable ... if not a single favoured width."
Tony1 kept track of the options suggested and their support in two graphs, the latest made on the 9 October, after 51 people had responded:
urged caution: "Although the idea of a larger default feels attractive to a media editor, it's so simple to change one's default setting manually that this isn't an important issue for most of us in the first world. Handheld devices and third world readers are pertinent concerns--especially the latter. Wikipedia suffers from too much systemic bias already; any significant increase in bandwidth is going to have real impact." While User:MIckStephenson
appreciated the caution, he offered the view that
If we take the consensus as 180px is inadequate what remains is a decision on exactly what the minimum tolerable thumb size is, and going with that. The tradeoff for 220px is considerably smaller than that for 250px. Perhaps we should be weighing that up, rather than wringing hands over unlikely scenarios. Really, I think a serious drive to audit articles and remove forced thumbs (given a new default off 220) would be a net bloat-reduction, as a great many articles are currently either over-illustrated or have 250px+ forced upon them.
On the 11 October User:Juliancolton wondered what the next move was: "It has been quite a while since this discussion was started, and we have a fairly strong consensus for changing the default size to 220px. What next?" Tony1 responded that they were awaiting a response from Tim Starling, noting it was possible he was "on a month's leave". Debate quickly shifted to discussing whether 220px was actually the true consensual figure. Tony1 felt that "since the range of acceptable widths is well weighted on the greater than 220 side rather than the smaller than 220 side, I suggest that 230px would be a truer reflection of community opinion. I believe the Swedish WP has 250px." The quick discussion saw 220px put forward as the consensus size, and Tony1 filed a bug request on 12 October at bugzilla.
No more GeoCities linking
At the village pump, User:Shakescene asked for thoughts on how to handle the sudden breaking of links caused by the closure of GeoCities:
Would it be a good idea for someone to set up a 'bot to locate and test these links now, and then to search for mirror sites with a view to rewriting or redirecting the old links? Should we archive some pages' content at WikiCommons (if that's even legal)? How easy or difficult a project would this be, from the technical point of view?
to contribute, as the user is responsible for User:WebCiteBOT
, a bot whose stated purpose "is to combat link rot
by automatically WebCiting
newly added URLs." ThaddeusB said "Obviously time is short here, so I am going to make the necessary code modifications tomorrow [8 October] and start archiving ASAP". The bot will also handle Encarta
links, as that site is to shut on Halloween, and ThaddeusB noted that:
I am planning on having [the bot add archive links to] external links for this task since sometimes the "External links" section is really just a mislabeled references section. I figure it is easier for a human to remove the [archived external link] later if they deem it inappropriate then it is to recover the content once its gone.
A round up of polls spotted by your writer in the last seven days or so, bearing in mind of course that voting is evil. You can suggest a poll for inclusion, preferably including details as to how the poll will be closed and implemented, either on the tip line or by directly editing the next issue.
- The process to appoint the three non-arbitrator members of the Audit Subcommittee is underway, with the election itself starting on 30 October. If you think you may be suitably qualified, please see the election pages for the job specification and application arrangements. Applications close 22 October 2009.
- There is a poll shaped discussion at the manual of style as to whether to "modify the guideline to say that square brackets should always be used when an ellipsis is not itself quoted."
- There is a definite straw poll at the village pump as to whether we should bold or not bold the italicized scientific name of a species with a well-known popular name
- Proposal shaped poll spotted as to whether we should rename Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words to Wikipedia:Avoid vague attribution
Your writer has trawled the deletion debates opened and closed in the last week and presents these debates for your edification. Either they generated larger than average response, centred on policy in an illuminating way, or otherwise just jumped out as of interest. Feel free to suggest interesting deletion debates for future editions here.
Around the old campfire
Doctor Who campfire trailer was nominated for deletion on 1 October by User:YeshuaDavid, who felt that while it was "a well written article, [he couldn't] see how a trailer for the series can qualify as notable", suggesting either deletion, a "merge into Doctor Who (series 4), or move to a Doctor Who wiki". On 9 October User:MuZemike closed the debate with a brief statement noting that the consensus was merge to Doctor Who (series 4). User:Sceptre, who had argued for the article to be kept, questioned the close at User talk:MuZemike#Doctor Who campfire trailer. This led MuZemike to list the deletion close at deletion review, Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2009 October 9#Doctor Who campfire trailer, asking for a review. During the debate, User:Flatscan noted that the policy issues raised by merge closures could be discussed at the talk page of Wikipedia:AfD and mergers.
- Group nomination of Comparison of Australian and New Zealand governments, Comparison of Canadian and United States governments and Comparison of United States and United Kingdom governments at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Comparison of Australian and New Zealand governments. User:TreasuryTag nominates the articles as being "essentially ... essay[s] better suited to a dissertation than an encyclopedia." See also Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Comparison of Australian and Canadian governments
- Comparison of Star Trek and Star Wars is nominated for a fifth time at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Comparison of Star Trek and Star Wars. The article has been deleted in a previous form as a result of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Star Trek versus Star Wars (4th nomination).
- Bad smell award: According to my count and understanding of Wikipedia:Coordination/Relisted AfD debates, one hundred and eighty-one of current open deletion debates are relistings. Although if I pick one, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Tricephalous (comics) is on its third relisting
- Is List of narrative forms original research? Discuss
- This week's too long didn't read award goes to
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/SliTaz GNU/Linux Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Law of maximum entropy production Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Hamed Minhaj
- The closure of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Stephanie Birkitt looks like a no-brainer
- The notability of articles on Governors Towne Club, Greg Pritchard, Ze plane! Ze plane!, Aveyond series, Death of Jeremiah Duggan, Igor Krajcev, Resignation of Sarah Palin, Ganfyd, Kohana (web framework), List of fixed-wing aircraft without flaps, International of Anarchist Federations and Bigfoot trap is contested in the relevant debates.
- I feel dense award: the debate at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Selfconsistent electromagnetic constants went right over my head, sorry. Educated readers feel free to summarise:
- Do you know the Ladder theory?
Redirects and templates
Administrative notices round-up
Twenty Requests for comment have been made in the week of 5 October – 11 October: