Article ownership, WikiProjects vs. Manual of Style, Unverifiable village
After a long hiatus, the Discussion Report is back this week, with drama, discussions, deletions and RfCs from the English Wikipedia.
Protection against "ownership": how much of WP?
On June 28, H3llkn0wz requested that Wikipedia:Ownership of articles be renamed and moved to Wikipedia:Page ownership, a name that is shorter and avoids the implication that only articles can become the subject of ownership by an editor, as opposed to talk and administrative pages.
Crazycomputers weakly opposed the idea of a move: "the use of the term 'article' is much more appropriate in the context of an encyclopedia than 'page'. Obviously, as this policy is meant to apply to all articles/pages/documents/whatevers on Wikipedia, not just those in article-space, the name 'page' does make sense. But if we make a sweeping terminology change from 'article' to 'page' that may lead others, especially companies that try to self-promote themselves on Wikipedia, to justify their non-encyclopedic edits."
Good Olfactory supported the change: "however it is phrased, it's clear that we need to expand the concept beyond articles—certainly to templates and categories at least, which are covered in 'page'."
Dcoetzee opposed the change: "This policy has always been primarily concerned with articles, and it's much more important as applied to articles. A person is understood to have a (limited) level of control over editing of their user space and their own comments in discussions. By all means the policy should describe how it applies to other types of pages, but I think the title should focus on the most important part."
Before long, several other names were suggested, including WP:Ownership, WP:Own, and WP:Content ownership. Colonel Warden said that "ownership seems the simplest and clearest title. The guideline can then explain how ownership varies depending upon the nature of the object – article, userpage, talk-page comment, RfA vote, fair-use image or whatever."
Towards the end of the week, all votes were opposed to the change. Warrior4321 said, "ownership primarily relates to articles. It's just much more easier for anybody who's new to Wikipedia". Carrite agreed: "the current wording is more descriptive of the problem being addressed than the proposed wording: the issue relates to encyclopedia articles in mainspace."
The discussion was eventually closed as no consensus to move.
Style guidelines: should WikiProjects override the MoS?
On June 30, Moonriddengirl started a debate at Wikipedia talk:Consensus over the extent of custom article appearances that deviate from the manual of style. After a recent RfC regarding color usage in tables was closed with no consensus, Moonriddengirl believes that these issues raise certain questions, such as:
- Who determines when deviations are gratuitous or constitute a substantial semantic distinction?
- Should a WikiProject launch a central conversation before adopting such deviations, or may they decide such matters locally?
- If they adopt such deviations locally and these are challenged, where is the matter to be settled?
- If customized styling is employed, how and where should this be implemented? (inline, templates, stylesheets...)
Sunray responded: "the community should make the decision on whether there should be a deviation from site-wide style guidelines." Meanwhile, Active Banana responded to all of the points, saying "To what an extent? To the extent of their influence (muscle power) and dedication (lunacy). Either they silence the opposition, or step back, or get slapped."
Crohnie said, "Wikipedia projects should be allowed to make consensus about what concerns them, of course within reasonable standards". At the same time, LeadSongDog thinks "On the off chance that there is some sustainable justification for having wikiproject-specific colours, they should be implemented using some form of stylesheet that will be applicable without hand-coding of individual articles." RexxS offered a technical viewpoint, focusing on "future-proof[ing]" Wikipedia: "inline styles are inferior to classes, but I accept that it's difficult for end users to make use of that. Nevertheless, for styles that have widespread usage across the encyclopedia, there is an argument that they would be better implemented as classes within one of the sitewide style sheets."
Ntsimp takes a different view: "I never understood the obsession some Wikipedians have with stylistic consistency. It's okay for different articles and different kinds of articles to look different. When there are legitimate questions of larger concern, such as accessibility, these can be raised on the relevant talk pages. But most of the time it doesn't matter; there is no One True Way, and local consensus is sufficient."
Tony1 said, "The style guides make WP a cohesive force on the Internet. In my view, they should be contravened only where: (1) the relevant MoS talk page had been notified of the discussion; and (2) editors have generated consensus at the WikiProject talk page that a contravention is in keeping with the particular nature or needs of the WikiProject topic, with well-stated arguments that this will improve the articles. This should be limited to exceptional cases."
Carcharoth related the issue to the need to publicize style-guide discussions more widely in the community.
The discussion continues at Wikipedia talk:Consensus/RfC.
If it looks like a village and quacks like a village, is it a village?
On July 12, Vardough was nominated for deletion. In the nominator's words, the article was about "a village with no references. I was unable to find any verification of its existence. Of course, if verification of it arises, it can be speedy kept. Otherwise it should be deleted."
The first comment was from Oakshade, who stated that he "was about to say "Of course it's notable, it's a village." But so far I can't find any evidence of a place with this name. There does appear to be a small village approximately 5 miles from Miyaneh with the Latin character spelling of Vardevaq."  If this is the place the article creator meant, I wouldn't be opposed to [renaming the article] Vardevaq"
TheCatalyst31 supported the nomination for deletion: "I'd guess that this is Vardevaq (or Vardūq, as the GEOnet Names Server calls it) based on the location, but unless there's a source, that can't really be proven. Since practically everything in the article is unsourced/unverifiable anyway, nothing will be lost by deleting this article and creating one for Vardevaq. (If anyone finds a source for the name Vardough, the article should just be moved.)".
CaliforniaAliBaba suggested the article be kept, but renamed: "[A] place with this name seems to exist, there's a Persian Wikipedia page on it  and a reasonable number of "natural" GHits mentioning it in Persian (e.g. not just endless lists of placenames copied and recopied from geographic databases, like in the English hits). "Vardough" is a slightly odd but certainly reasonable transcription of that (transcribing "و" as "ou" instead of "u", and "ق" as "gh" instead of "q")".
The nomination was closed when TheCatalyst31 replied to CaliforniaAliBaba that he was retracting his support for deletion. "I'll take your word for it on the transcription, since I don't speak Persian; I'm changing my vote to kep and rename based on that evidence." The deletion discussion was closed by Jujutacular, who had nominated the article. The result was keep and move to Vardevaq.