Wikipedia talk:British Isles Terminology task force/Specific Examples/Meta discussions

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Copied from User_talk:Black Kite[edit]

BlackKite, I've grave concerns about the British Isles Specific Examples page. I'm contacting you to ask for you opinion since you seem to be the closest thing to a mediator for that page. I have (and am) a contributor to the page myself but increasingly a wary one.

Initially, it would appear, the page was created in order to discuss specific examples of use of the term in order to reach agreement on appropriate/mis-appropriate uses of the term. Its existence now seems to be permanent and its function seems to be to serve as a discussion point for a limited number of editors to make changes to a contentious area across the encyclopaedia.

While in itself that might not be a problem, the concern I have is that the page is being used to make changes to articles based on a concern over use/non-use of a term that is at the fringe of genuine (community) consensus on the matter. While some of the instances raised are quite valid, I am worried that the decisions being reached are based on a limited set of concerns. Consequently, changes are being made to the text of articles on topics about which the participating editors have little interest in beyond their personal preferences over the semantics of one term used in them and no substantive understanding of the topic that would allow them to make informed decisions one way or the other. I'm concerned too that it appears that the editors of the page seem to have taken it upon themselves to decide that the SE page is the only appropriate venue to discuss additions/removals of the term across the encyclopaedia.

The entire page strikes me now as no more than a trolling exercise and a means to push the POVs of a limited number of editors. Rather that serve its original purpose, it seems to now have been turned into a devise to manufacture "consensus" in order to continue the activitiy of making systematic changes on a contentious subject, which the community rejected at ANI.

I believe that it should be closed down as disruptive and wasteful but wanted to get you opinion first before I invited community input. --RA (talk) 11:24, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

  • No, feel free to invite community discussion; as I said to HighKing the other day, I agree with him that the use of BISE either needs to be tightened up or I suspect it will fail anyway. However, there is also an argument that discontinuing it would merely push the conflict into random other corners of Wikipedia, because short of issuing mass topic bans and/or blocks (and even then we'd probably end up with a group of "new editors") it's not going away any time soon. Black Kite (t) (c) 11:43, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I share RA's concern, which is why I was calling for initiation of each debate on local article talk pages. But in all seriousness, what a sad commentary about Wikipedias's systems, that we have this farcical situation because to conform to WP norms would merely mean bringing on a bunch more determined POV-pushers. In no way is this situation your fault Black Kite, but doesn't it demonstrate that what's really needed here is a firm hand with what boils down to a rather extreme POV that the cyclopedia should be excised of all references to the British Isles. Not just that, but if that is allowed to progress (which is actually the net effect of the current position) then the POV attack-dogs will move on to further turf - removal of "Great Britain". "British". "British Empire". The list of possibilities is endless. The wearisome evidence of past deletes shows, as RA expertly confirms, that there is zero interest in the quality of sourcing, local content and sometimes not even the pretense of it in these operations. HK has, sometimes, almost I have to say by chance, made good deletes. When closely scrutinised, he nearly always turns out to have (a) nil knowledge in the subject matter and (b) zero interest. How can this ridiculous situation possibly be in line with creating an NPOV cyclopedia? I rest my case M'Lud. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 12:29, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree with both RA and Jamesinderbyshire about the problem, however the issue is not going to go away. I once read a good piece on a user page about how POV pushers always get there way in the end as editors without one tend to give up fighting them long before the POV does (can't find the link though). So as frustrating as it is I can see no end in sight for this one. Codf1977 (talk) 12:38, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
My 2c - I believe a resolution may be to extend the terms of the general sanction to include any editor or group of editors that adds/removes the term, or initiates discussions to add/remove the term, from multiple articles (regardless of sourcing or justification) in a systematic or habitual fashion. Obviously this would only apply to actions that the enforcing admin considered to be primarily designed to add/remove the term (so as to not trap editors who simply work in the area). Such editors should be topic banned from making edits that add/remove the term or initiating (even participating in?) discussions to add/remove on the term IMHO. Errors etc. in use/non-use of the term can be corrected in the normal wiki fashion as individual articles develop.
Is that too draconian? I feel it is the spirit of the general sanction from ANI. --RA (talk) 13:56, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Within the spirit but not that comfortable with restricting "everyone" in such a undefined way. By that I mean what constitutes "systematic or habitual fashion" one editor listing 10 in one day or another one listing 10 over 10 days ? do we treat challenges that prove "valid" differently to "invalid" or "vexatious" ones like in Tennis? If a given editor abuses it then make that editor subject to a defined restriction say no more than 5 listings per month. Codf1977 (talk) 15:48, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Everybody has a POV. And at this project, the "unspoken" aspiration is that the "right" or "wrong" or "truth" on any issue will eventually seep into articles over time, through regular editing, as editors are creating and updating content they have an interest in. The entire project is based on the core assumption (and policies) that editors behave responsibly, while assuming good faith, and with respect for all opinions and other contributors.
It doesn't always work like that though, and then we end up with a situation not unlike the current situation.
But the idea that editors would be banned (regardless of sourcing or justification) is against policies, and against the spirit of this project. But I understand why RA suggests it and I can also see that it actually has some merit.
That said I think it is too draconian - yet I genuinely want to find *something* that can work. RA said above Initially, it would appear, the page was created in order to discuss specific examples of use of the term in order to reach agreement on appropriate/mis-appropriate uses of the term." That's true. What we haven't managed to do successfully is categorize the commonalities we've seen across the numerous articles that have been looked at, and extract some measure of what is appropriate, and what is not.
What about an approach where we aim to produce guidelines on usage *without* changing articles? It might allow some measure of discussion to find common ground, and identify the polar extremes, without the now-familiar disruption. --HighKing (talk) 16:49, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I, personally, would not see discussion to produce guidelines on usage (*without* changing articles) as being in breach of the change to the sanction that I propose below. I think it would be a good idea. --RA (talk) 17:03, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I'll respond here to leave your proposed sanctions easy to find since I see you've addressed it to BK (and I know how annoying it can sometimes be when the discussion gets hijacked). In a nutshell, the problem with your proposed sanction is that it is against policy, and could never be upheld. It would be open to challenge by any admin that disagrees. --HighKing (talk) 17:07, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Sorry to be taking over your page, BlackKite.
Sure, "habitual" is probably a bit much. "Systematic", as in the current sanction, is the core issue. Through that too is ill-defined - is the Specific Examples page "systematic" for example?
" we treat challenges that prove 'valid' differently to 'invalid'...?" All the same. It really doesn't matter. And besides, the issue of what is "valid" or "invalid" is the point in question. These kinds of problems can be corrected in through the normal wiki process by individual editors.
The following is an amended version of the current sanction:

Any editor who systematically adds or removes the term "British Isles" from multiple articles without clear sourcing and justification, or systematically initiates discussions to add or remove the term, or who edit-wars over such addition or removal, may be added to the list of topic-banned editors. For the purpose of this sanction, "systematically" will be broadly interpreted. ...

And the following a possible additional topic ban to add to the list of possible topic bans under the sanction:

TB02 (Topic ban two): User is banned from adding or removing the term "British Isles" on a Wikipedia wide basis. The user may not initiate related discussions but may still participate in related discussions so long as they engage in appropriate conduct, and do not add or remove the term.

What do you think, Black Kite? --RA (talk) 16:56, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
That actually looks pretty good to me. Since the discussion seems to be taking place here, what do others think? Black Kite (t) (c) 17:30, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I think "TB02 (Topic ban one)" should be "TB02 (Topic ban two)" ;-)
Looks good to me. It would probably be worth advising any editor to whom proposed-TB02 was applied that this applies. TFOWR 17:44, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Fixed "one" → "two". --RA (talk) 18:00, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps you missed my response above. In a nutshell, the problem with the proposed sanction is that it is against policy. It's effectively a ban on editing and discussing a topic, and could be perceived an attempt to subvert existing core policies. It would also be open to challenge by any admin that disagrees. Is anything so draconian in place for anything else? --HighKing (talk) 18:02, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm not a policy guru by any stretch, so I'd happy to defer to more knowledgeable editors on this one. Is it worth running it past counsel? TFOWR 18:07, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
@HK: no, it would certainly have to go back to ANI if not ArbCom, it's not something that's going to be decided here; it's useful to get opinions though. Black Kite (t) (c) 18:09, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I support it, but I'd be surprised if you got it through. LevenBoy (talk) 18:24, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I support the proposal @ 17:56 by RA. I would also like to see a mention of how we handle new "involved editors". Like the case with that user who removed BI from two articles recently which was only just found today. BritishWatcher (talk) 18:36, 20 July 2010 (UTC) However, if we have to take this back to ANI or even Arbcom simply to get agreement it would seem like a waste of time. We could keep the current wording, but those of us "involved"(everyone talking on this page and on BISE) volunteer to go by the tougher wording. Then if one involved editor is clearly ignoring the rule we go to ANI or use the currently agreed sanctions. BritishWatcher (talk) 18:40, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

FWIW, why not the suggestion I put forward above? Less draconian, enforceable, in line with policies, and with a promise of making progress. --HighKing (talk) 18:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
What about an approach where we aim to produce guidelines on usage *without* changing articles? It might allow some measure of discussion to find common ground, and identify the polar extremes, without the now-familiar disruption. --HighKing (talk) 18:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I think trying to get agreement on usage would be very time consuming and heavily disputed. We attempted to set some guidelines, we all agreed on some points, but we clearly can not all agree on certain other points and no matter how much debate we have, we will simply not agree. BritishWatcher (talk) 18:45, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Any solution which "freezes" articles as they are at the moment whilst encouraging discussion is also fine with me. Both HK's and the one above do that, in different ways. This one would certainly be easier to enforce; "new" editors would be treated as the one that's suddenly popped up at BISE has been; revert, inform, discuss. Black Kite (t) (c) 18:46, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree. It would also make socking less attractive, which, whatever about the nuisance of to-and-fro POVing, is a much more serious disruption to the project. RashersTierney (talk) 19:05, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
"revert, inform, discuss" - The behavior of Triton Rocker on Northern Ireland is disruptive IMHO but the change he/she made to Artemisia vulgaris certainly was not. The Northern Ireland disruption can and is being dealt with through normal lines. Bringing otherwise sound changes to Artemisia vulgaris to WT:BISE in fact led to disruption. We need to normalise the situation, not make anythig more special out of it. IMO that means putting an end to the systematic changes (which BISE is a being used as a device for). --RA (talk) 19:10, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm very surprised by the degree of support. I don't see any contradiction between HK proposal and the proposed change to the sanction. In fact, I would see that they would be complimentary. Prevent disruption and work towards a common agreed (community-wide) resolution. Is there enough initial support to move to ANI/ArbCom to amend the sanction? --RA (talk) 19:10, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I am happy to move to ANI/ArbCom to amend the sanction but am concerned in relation to the twin track approach as I am not confident that a set guidelines can be compiled that can be both agreed to by all and that can work in practice simply because the two terms "British Isles" and "Britain and Ireland" are not interchangeable and any source or reference based guideline is easily susceptible to a common sense failure if for example the source or reference is using the wrong one or using one in favour of the other for politically correct reasons. To overcome this it would need some "override" guideline that would be open to good faith mistakes as well as abuse. Codf1977 (talk) 19:36, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
There's another option. Merely volunteer to stop deleting/re-adding British Isles to articles (i.e. call it a draw). This would satify most editors involved. GoodDay (talk) 19:40, 20 July 2010 (UTC)


  • It would have been really helpful if many of the editors here had engaged over the last two years on the project page
  • Remember history - when matters were handled on the individual pages we had multiple edit wars
  • I think there is a general issue with SP accounts on both sides of the issue, a sanction on systematic removal or addition, or rejection of any change by an editor whos sole purpose in life is these articles (that is not just BI, but the whole Unionist-Nationalist debate) might be a valid Arbcom proposal
  • Freezing changes while encouraging discussion is the position we are now trying to achieve - that may mean that some sensible edits (like to Artemisia vulgaris have to go through a brief report and request phase - compared with multiple article edit wars its a very small price to pay
  • The entrenched positions are not going to change without some independent review process which clicks in when there is no immediate agreement. When conversations are allowed to go on to long then people lock into positions. I made a proposal on this some time ago |here after we lost Blackkites role as an arbitrator. Its not perfect but something along those lines (ideally simpler) is needed
  • A sanction which prevented editors proposing changes would break all the principles of WIkipedia
  • The position that people should stop adding or subtracting the phrase BI (per Goodday and others) is a POV position in respect of removal and a silly restriction in respect of addition (such as Artemisia vulgaris

--Snowded TALK 20:55, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I have big concerns about some arbitration panel consisting of a small number of people being able to determine cases regularly. I think the current method on BISE is better, just so long as each editor is limited to the number of cases at a time they can bring forward to prevent systemic alterations. BritishWatcher (talk) 21:27, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

List of voluteers who will stop adding/deleting British Isles

  • I volunteer, provided certain others do the same. LevenBoy (talk) 19:48, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Voluntary oblivion? You 'contribute' to nothing else here. RashersTierney (talk) 21:18, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I guess I'm about as much use to Wikipedia as you are. LevenBoy (talk) 21:43, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I've proposed the amendment at ANI. --RA (talk) 21:56, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Except you've merely repeated the proposal above. Yes, there was support, but there were also many reservations expressed and other suggestions which you have just ignored. You haven't linked your proposal to any tangible effort to make constructive progress, and as it stands all your proposal is designed to do is to shut down, permanently, all efforts and discussions. It's censorship and against fundamental Wikipedia principles and policy. For example, try replacing the term "British Isles" in your proposal with, say, "Child Pornography" or "Global Warming" or "Ordination of Women into the Roman Catholic Church" and reread it. It should give you an idea of why it won't fly. --HighKing (talk) 23:28, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Discussion is good. I'm not saying anything against discussion. In fact, I thoroughly support your proposal to discuss with a mind to arriving at guidelines - and not *make* changes in the manner that they are being made at the SE page. --RA (talk) 23:50, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Great - but as it stands, your modifications to the sanctions are "stand alone", and could even be interpreted as being *against* any discussions. Your comments an ANI suggest that you're against the SE page. Where would discussions take place to develop guidelines? I believe we're all in the same place - freeze changes and encourage constructive discussion. Develop guidelines, perhaps try to categorize usage to avoid repetitious discussions. Somehow that has to be linked to your modifications so that the systematic changes are linked to the timeline and constructive life of the discussions either on the SE page or another centralized location. --HighKing (talk) 00:06, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorting out these pages[edit]

Is there a way to tidy up and rationalise these pages?

I am specifically thinking of cutting this one and Wikipedia:British Isles Terminology task force/Specific Examples down to one page.

Discussion seems scattered across a number of page and it is very difficult for newcomers to work out what is going on where.

It seems we have discussion of Specific examples and talk of discussion of Specifical examples. Can we get t down to just one topic page and one talk page with references else where? --Triton Rocker (talk) 07:52, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, maybe I'm missing something here, but THIS page is the talk page for Wikipedia:British Isles Terminology task force/Specific Examples, and you are suggesting cutting them down to one page? I'm not sure that is possible on Mediawiki. Is that what you are suggesting? I think you could make Wikipedia:British Isles Terminology task force/Specific Examples into a redirect for this talk page, but I can't personally see the point. Am i missing something? Fmph (talk) 08:58, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Agreed that should be a redirect or atleast have a link at the top of that page to this one. BritishWatcher (talk) 09:28, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
woops no matter, thought that was a second Specific examples page rather than just this ones project page.BritishWatcher (talk) 09:32, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Would not it make sense to have all the fairly stable decisions or closed discussions listed on the Project Page and all the nationalist bollocks and banter ongoing discussions on this one? --Triton Rocker (talk) 10:15, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Moved from #Republic of Ireland[edit]

Not the place for this discussion[edit]

This has been discussed on Talk:Ireland. There is an on-going discussion on Talk:Republic of Ireland. Please take discussion there, or re-open one. If you want to propose changes to United Kingdom or to Great Britain, the relevant discussion pages are Talk:United Kingdom and Talk:Great Britain.

Talk pages are linked to articles for good reason. --RA (talk) 11:50, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

WP:CONLIMITED: "Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale". WT:BISE is a wider scale. Talk pages are not, and never have been, the only place to discuss issues pertinent to the linked article. By all means summarise discussions there in the relevant sections here, but trying to limit discussions to talk pages is not an option. TFOWR 12:24, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Eh ... BSIE is WP:CONLIMITED. Consensus reached here has (and will continue to be) overridden by the wider community consensus at the relevant article talk pages and elsewhere. The Ireland and Republic of Ireland articles, for example, are a case in point where "consensus" reached here has been over-ridden.
The relevant place for discussion about changes to individual articles are those articles' talk pages. You'll get wider input from the community there. --RA (talk) 13:28, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, this is about more than just changes to individual articles - we're aiming, or should be aiming, for consistency as far as possible across multiple articles. I don't accept that individual articles normally have wider community participation than here, though it may be true in some limited cases. That can of course be solved by editors participating here. TFOWR 13:33, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Holy smokers, 6 sub-sections & each with numerious sub-sections of their own. It just might be time to continues this at the RoI talkpage. GoodDay (talk) 13:38, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Four or five separate articles, though, so it's not as bad as it seems. Not far off, though... ;-) TFOWR 13:48, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
A compromise that addresses concerns of both sides has been made at Republic of Irelands talk page. I think we should all agree to that and move on. The agreement there could then also be copied and done on the UK page, although there will be no need for the pipelink on that page. BritishWatcher (talk) 09:15, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
That's an impressive and well-though out proposal by Malke. I have a few concerns, unrelated to the details of the proposal:
  • We're looking for, as far as possible, a solution that applies consistently at United Kingdom as well as Republic of Ireland.
  • The proposal is based on keeping both sides happy: I do not believe this is a healthy way for this process (i.e. WT:BISE) to proceed. I realise that there are many fans - on both sides - of WP:IMOS ("the Derry/Londonderry compromise") but I'm not convinced that horse-trading - trading a concession here for a gain there - is much more than a short-term numbers game. I'd greatly prefer decisions be based on policy and precedent than on barter.
That said, if there's consensus here to accept Malke's proposal I'm happy to close this out and move on the United Kingdom (or should we follow the same process at UK? That would render my 1st point moot, I suppose?) TFOWR 09:30, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I think that Malke 2010 summed it up quite nicley when he said "the fact is, every intermediate school child knows ROI is located on an island that is part of an archipelago named the British Isles. But more importantly, this is an encyclopedia.", IMO any compromise or solution that avoids using "British Isles" in displayed text of the Geography section is advancing a POV, I am happy to see a footnote/endnote to the use along the lines Malke 2010 made, I also agree with TFOWR we should avoid compromises and horse-trading, we need to resolve issues based on policy and precedent. Codf1977 (talk) 12:03, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I want to express my total agreement with RA above. TFOWR says, "we're aiming, or should be aiming, for consistency as far as possible across multiple articles", but this "we" he refers to is a limited group of editors who are not necessarily representative of the community, who certainly have no mandate to speak for the community, and of whom the community at large is unaware, at least until they appear on articles that people like me are trying to maintain as decent articles, and say "BISE decrees..." Besides the fact that you people (I am not one of you) cannot legislate for "consistency" on articles which are not within your narrow remit (i.e. that do not have "British Isles" in the title), "consistency" at the expense of strife among editors is not worth aiming for. Scolaire (talk) 12:39, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
No small group of editors is necessarily representative of the community as whole - not the editors on an article's talkpage, not the editors here, not even the limited subset who participate in any given discussion at, say, ANI. WT:BISE has no mandate to, nor does it seek to, speak for the community. What it attempts to do is build a consensus for usage or exclusion of the term "British Isles". It can't do that unilaterally, there are no decrees. All WT:BISE can do is try and pull together local editors with other editors. You don't want to use the term "British Isles" in one article - fine. The best way to ensure that the term is kept out is to build a wide consensus to keep the term out. Ignoring the problem won't work - sooner or later it will crop up again, and you'll be left with the limited local consensus for exclusion (assuming the local consensus itself hasn't changed). TFOWR 14:15, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

I have mentioned this in a discussion over on the ROI article talk page but i thought i would just post it here too. British Isles was in the introduction of the United Kingdom article for some time. It first got added in 2004 [1]. It was there at the start and end of 2005(not sure if anything happened to it in between). It was removed by an IP in 2006. [2], that IP has quite an edit history and a look through a couple of their posts, and the talk page comments show that IP removed British Isles from a few articles and made certain comments about the British Isles like [3] shows. The talk page says the IP was registered to the University College Dublin so it could have been several editors, but many of the edits appear to be to similar articles. It then at some point got readded and was removed again in 2007 [4] by an editor whos contribution history from his 3rd edit speaks for itself. I believe these removals and the fact it was in the article for some time are notable to this debate which is why i have mentioned the above here, ive tried to avoid talking about the wider dispute (which i included in my posts on ROI talk page) to stay focused on the specific issue of the UK article here. BritishWatcher (talk) 00:19, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

The identity and ideology of the IPs is certainly of historical interest, and I don't doubt that you have the measure of them, but the fact they haven't been reverted in over three years makes the current version the stable version. Silence equals consensus. It would be unusual if we based current decisions on the content of the articles in 2006 or 2007. Most articles have grown in that time, and most of them (I hope and sincerely believe) have improved. Scolaire (talk) 11:00, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
The question is if it should be mentioned somewhere in the article, i think the fact it was in the introduction itself for years until it was removed on several occasions, by editors clearly involved in the dispute at the time does matter in this debate. I am not suggesting we should restore that previous wording, but if the information was valid for the introduction for years it should atleast have been moved to the geography section of the article itself as the removal was unjustified anyway. Of course back then people were less aware of certain issues. Just imagine if such a removal had been put forward here now. . BritishWatcher (talk) 11:10, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I can't agree with you there, BW. I can remember editors who have long since retired - and who were very from being Irish republicans - going into apoplexies over the term "British Isles" at precisely that point in time. People back then were acutely aware of the issues, and that's precisely why I think the failure to revert the 2007 edit is so striking. Still, I'm glad you brought it up. I love a bit of history, and it does shed valuable light on the current discussion. Scolaire (talk) 11:57, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Getting real[edit]

Taking part in this page involves long conversations and a lot of resilience. I think its clear a lot of editors are simply waiting to see if anything hits a page they are interested in and only engaging if a a change is proposed. I'm not too concerned where that takes place provided its not replicated. What is very clear from the discussion on the ROI page is that there is little tolerance for tokenistic insertion of terms --Snowded TALK 09:31, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

WRT to "tokenistic" - that is one of the greatest failings of this page IMHO. Discussion here centre around whether the term in in or out in shallow terms. Discussions on talk pages, by being focused on developing the article (and not simply the use or non-use of one term), will always have more depth and be multi-dimensional.
If I understand your heading of this section correctly, discussion on talk pages are "real". Discussions here are not.
Do I understand you correctly (even if we disagree in what should be done about it)? --RA (talk) 09:43, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I think an active discussion on a talk page would take over from discussion here, as it did in one case. However there are a lot of articles which have no active editors which are being improved as a result of the attention they are getting here. So discussions are real in both cases, but we need to "get real" about realising the strengths and limitations of this page. --Snowded TALK 12:17, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
One of the strengths, as I see it, is that it's central - which in this case is an asset. This issue affects multiple (well, two...) articles, so holding the discussion at Talk:Republic of Ireland suggests a bias against Talk:United Kingdom. Fmph makes a suggestion below that discussions (wherever held) be transcluded: I think that's an excellent suggestion: it'd accommodate editors on multiple talkpages. TFOWR 12:28, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Transclusion is fine and it would help, but I don't really see any argument on bias as editors can track through from this page if a discussion is transferred as it was recently. Neither is it the case the the UK and Irish articles should be identical, Ireland is more focused to Europe than the UK anyway (see Euro etc.) We need to realise that at the moment discussions on this page are becoming a nightmare, going on for weeks with tedious repetition etc. and in several cases bordering on trolling. It is fully understandable that some editors will simply wait to see if there is a proposal to change an article in which they are interested. --Snowded TALK 12:38, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
:I think an active discussion on a talk page would take over from discussion here - agree 100%. Local consensus implies topic experts, and "guidelines" here, should guide their decisions, but shouldn't overrule them. I also believe the "transclusion" option sounds good - I'm very interested how that pans out. As to the repetitious behaviour here - hopefully a pattern has emerged that can be dealt with in the future. I hold my hand up to getting very involved in the James Kay discussion and repeating myself a lot, apologies for that, but mostly I was trying to dissect the decision so as to understand it, and how it might apply to other articles. Not sure if I went about things the best way - maybe it can be done a different way, I'm open to suggestions on that. --HighKing (talk) 12:44, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
To deal with repetition[edit]

One way to handle this might be to copy the way an Arbcom case is made - subject created and each editor makes a statement which they can amend, open for a designated period. Then balance is reviewed and decision made ideally by a neutral. If really needed a section for discussion for those who can't contain themselves, but the rest of us can just ignore that. --Snowded TALK 13:03, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

When I started here I was keen to avoid anything too formal, so I ignored the early approach here, on having pro- and con-discussions in separate sections. I'm no longer convinced that that was sensible, hence the "new" approach above. I like the Arbcom suggestion - not being an Arbcom regular, is that broadly similar to the RfC approach, where editors make statements and then other editors append their support? I'd be happy with either approach - anything to keep things moving... TFOWR 13:23, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I think keeping a debate would be better then going straight into for and against. It allows more arguments to be brought forward and considered. A nice approach would be to keep debate for X days, then move to the for or against arguments. This would allow the final arguments to be more developed. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:02, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I am against making it some form of vote, like voting on positions or statements etc. Debate is far superior, although there are risks every debate will simply be dragged on long enough to move to such a formal process and then we have gridlock in a vote. BritishWatcher (talk) 19:05, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
No one is suggesting a vote, or stifling debate. Instead the idea is that each editor has an area to make and develop their argument. After a period of time those arguments, if they do not indicate a consensus go to an uninvolved admin to determine. That way we don't get the same argument repeated again, and again and again, but each persons argument can expand and develop in their area. --Snowded TALK 19:10, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like stifling debate to me. Let us see the outcome of the method used for the ROI / UK section above before we consider fundamentally transforming how we do business here. BritishWatcher (talk) 19:14, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
The ROI boat has sailed BW, its not about stifling debate, its about allowing editors to clearly articulate their case once, rather than constantly repeating the same points. Its also a proposal to use an established wikipedia method. It will also allow you to get used it it, its only a matter of time before the behaviour issues here end up with Arbcom or a formal RfC; unless of course there is some change. --Snowded TALK 19:46, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
"behaviour issues"? are you implying i am doing something wrong. BritishWatcher (talk) 20:24, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Summaries - Closed1, first stab[edit]

I've made a stab at summarizing the first archive page and set the page up here. It's food for thought, nothing official. Please don't change the main page, discuss on Talk page. Any changes can be best carried out by one of the policing admins or after agreement. --HighKing (talk) 22:09, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Good idea, but I think the page will get lost. Maybe what you wrote should go above the table of contents in the archive page. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 10:43, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
I'd put it on the top of this page, or on the project page so it is easy to refer to --Snowded TALK 11:15, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
The stuff on the project page should be archived and given a new introduction then put that table there, summarizing cases that have been handled. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:18, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Maybe put it on both. This project page should have our guidelines and the documentary of all archives wouldn't be bad. Placing it on the archive page would help too, a summary of all the archives should be on the front page. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 11:22, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
I've no problems where it's eventually put. There's been a number of calls for a summary of past-resolved articles to see if anything can be learned in terms of guidelines (which may also include blanket rulings). With that in mind, I've tried to classify the closures as simply as possible, based on the primary reason for the result. If other editors are OK with the classifications and can't see any other problems, I'll post the final summary on this page. We can discuss the summary at it's current/temporary home for now. --HighKing (talk) 16:02, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────OK, great. No comments on the first summary. I'll start into the 2nd and post up ASAP. I believe a separate page for the index of articles dealt with by the Task Force is best, although I'm not fussed about the naming. --HighKing (talk) 20:29, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

No strong views on where it goes, but go somewhere it must. Extremely useful. TFOWR 11:02, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Editing articles under discussion[edit]

TR has added material to James Kay that is not supported by the reference he included. This could easily be seen as an attempt bolster an argument for his particular POV. All references and changes on articles actively being discussed should be passed by us here first. Can we get a ruling on this please? --HighKing (talk) 18:53, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

provided he does not insert or remove British Isles in violation of his sanctions, i do not see the problem. Unless what hes adding is completely inaccurate. BritishWatcher (talk) 19:22, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Unless he's a content expert on the Linen industry, which he is not, you have to wonder why he's adding content. And yes, the content was inaccurate and unsupported by the reference he added. But there's a bigger issue, which is that if an article is under discussion here, participants should not edit the article, especially to insert or delete content to bolster their argument, until agreement has been reached. --HighKing (talk) 20:37, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
You raised concerns about an issue, he and others bother to find some sources on it. Why should he not add that to an article? BritishWatcher (talk) 20:39, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
His additions to the James Kay article are WP:OR and unsupported by the reference. He inserted It made a very significant contribution to the development of both the British and Irish linen industries which led to the Irish linen industry dominating the world for much of the 19th and 20th centuries.[1] and nowhere does the reference make any of those claims.
But the main concern is that he is simply trying to add a "British" element to the content, so as to bolster his POV in the argument, without regard to content quality or relevance to the article. It is best if TFOWR simply makes a ruling on whether articles should be edited by participants here while the article is under discussion. --HighKing (talk) 21:05, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
No one should add or remove BI whilst something is under discussion, i am not sure about adding extra references and text (if done properly) is a problem. If what is added is incorrect then it should be removed, with clear reasoning to avoid edit wars breaking out. BritishWatcher (talk) 21:13, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Sure, all well in theory, but in practice when I removed the text, my revert was reverted... In practice, there's a general pattern of ignoring policies going on by a hardcore number of editor accounts. Best to simply have a ruling made and it avoids this type of running-around-the-edges and spirit of previous agreements and rulings. --HighKing (talk) 22:20, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
If a bloke is editing such an article, with a short or long-term purpose of adding/removing British Isles? Then he shouldn't edited as such, 'til discussions are through. GoodDay (talk) 21:17, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Do we have an agreement or ruling on this? If so, what exactly is that agreement/ruling? --HighKing (talk) 21:32, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm reluctant to stipulate "no editing" for articles not under discussion as it goes far beyond the topic ban. If editing is sourced accurately and otherwise policy-compliant then I have no concerns about what the underlying motives may or may not be. To a certain extent this applies to articles that are under discussion as well. However, I'd add that while an article is under discussion there is clearly an attempt being made to establish some sort of consensus. Editing against any emerging consensus is likely to be reverted. I have no problem with WP:BRD (bold, revert, discuss) but I would be concerned about edit warring - if you're reverted: stop and discuss. Reverting reverts is something I'd regard as edit warring. Taken in isolation reverting a revert wouldn't qualify for WP:3RR/WP:AN3 but it is something I'd take into account when considering longer-term disruptive editing. To be clear: we are not constrained solely by topic bans: the usual policies and norms apply, and ignoring discussions is disruptive, edit warring is disruptive, and I can and will block editors who are disruptive. TFOWR 08:57, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't think anyone was considering a "no editing" on articles not under discussion. But I understand where you're coming from - best to not have to invent new policies and rules where not necessary. I've reverted the James Kay additions by TR - let's see how this works out in practice. I've opened a discussion on the article Talk page since the content but I believe the discussion should actually take place here since the addition of the material could be seen as an attempt to bolster an argument for inclusion of "British Isles" in the article by adding material on the UK. --HighKing (talk) 09:32, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't think anyone was considering a "no editing" on articles not under discussion Agreed, but I mentioned that to provide context. You're correct that I'm seeking to limit "policy creep": I believe existing policies cover this. TFOWR 09:55, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
I do not see the problem. If British Isles is in an article already and you raise concerns about it, why cant additional material (provided it is accurate and sourced) be added? Just because it may weaken the case for removal, is not a reason to stop people adding to the article. If they enter incorrect material, then it should be reverted and the editors need to ensure they do not edit war. But provided all other rules are followed, i do not see the harm. BritishWatcher (talk) 09:46, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
why cant additional material (provided it is accurate and sourced) be added? Agreed, which is why I'm reluctant to issue a ruling here. It is important to note, however, that all policies that apply should be followed, and disruptive editing will be treated as such (warnings issued, blocks enacted, etc). TFOWR 09:55, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, in the case of the James Kay article (reopened btw), the argument came down to wanting to show a link between James Kay, Britain, and Ireland, since the references dealing with wet spinning solely dealt with the industry in Ireland. To that end, TR started to add material relating to the linen industry in Britain, and WP:ORed and WP:SYNTHed a connection. It wasn't added for the benefit of the article, and the editor is not a content expert. I had reverted the content, but LevenBoy reverted my revert. More WP:SYN material was added. I've not reverted as per TFOWR's comments above about BRD, etc. Don't get me wrong - I'll accept whatever ruling we agree on here, but I believe it would greatly simplify things if it's made clear that it's best to avoid adding/removing content from article being discussed. --HighKing (talk) 10:22, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

One case at a time[edit]

What happen to the case-by-case method? We've got numerious articles up for review con-currently, again. GoodDay (talk) 20:58, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

There was no agreement on a limit sadly. I did push for one on a couple of occasions. BritishWatcher (talk) 20:59, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Too many cases at once, tends to discourage me from participating here. GoodDay (talk) 21:04, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
It would help if there was a limit the trouble is defining it, is it per editor or is it a set number at a time. Restricting to just one open case at a time i think would be very difficult as one case could go on and on and on, unless there is a "set period" of time a case can be open, but some cases need more debate than others. BritishWatcher (talk) 21:11, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Even if one case took months to solve, so be it. There's no time limit in the land of Wiki. GoodDay (talk) 21:15, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Yeah there are currently too many on the go. Maybe we should create a page where new concerns can be declared and dealt with when its their turn? Mabuska (talk) 21:25, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, a waiting list. GoodDay (talk) 21:28, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Alternating between the two "sides" to avoid "stuffing". --HighKing (talk) 22:20, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
I really don't think it would work. Editors would just go off and find new articles and edit them without coming here. It wouldn't solve anything. It would only push the problem below the horizon. Fmph (talk) 09:56, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm still slightly sceptical about the utility of a case-by-case approach: it doesn't follow how we operate elsewhere (ANI, AIV, etc) and I'm not convinced that we can reasonably expect issues to arise neatly one-by-one. There are going to be times when this page is quiet for several days (it's happened recently, honest!) and other times when it's going to "explode" with several heated issues. What I would like to see is better processes for treating each issue: punt it to WikiProjects and Talk Pages in the first instance, we then return to it after a few days/a week when there are comments to consider. That gives us breathing space during which we can consider other issues, which have been commented on by outside editors, and hopefully gives us more information to work with. And I'll reiterate that I don't believe in "fairness" here - we go by policy and consensus, we don't do something for "one side" simply because the last thing we did was for "t'other side". TFOWR 10:20, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I like the idea of some form of limit, its just difficult to decide exactly how such a limit should be set. Setting a limit on the number of cases each editor could bring seems like the least problematic but it is still a problem. For example in the debate above on things like Geography of Ireland and United Kingdom, i mentioned the articles first and said they should be changed, but Codf1977 put forward the specific proposals. So would they count as one of mine or one of Codf1977s. Just to reassure people though, i do not intend bringing lots of random articles here and requesting things be changed to British Isles. I just happen to think all of these articles rightly should mention they are in the British Isles and its informative. This is very different to random articles which could use different terms. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:59, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I believe it all comes back to the idea of article categories for guidance. Your list of articles all fell within one single category of article, so I would simply count it as one topic. A bit like the "extremities" discussion too. But there's been zero comments on the categorization from the first archive of this page to date, so I'm not hopeful that there's an appetite to deal with the issue in this way. --HighKing (talk) 12:45, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorta the loudest in wanting a 'case-by-case' method. However, if the majority are comfortable with the current method, then so be it (no need to change the world, for little old me). I won't always be here, but I try the best I can. GoodDay (talk) 12:53, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I won't always be here - aww dont say that. Without doubt GoodDay you are the most neutral non admin here! lol BritishWatcher (talk) 14:01, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I thank ya. GoodDay (talk) 14:06, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
The current system isn't perfect, but I don't see how a limit would make it better. If you can't participate in everything, just do what I do, ignore half the arguments and hope they settle themselves ;) Not perfect, but it makes sure you aren't overstressed.
Additionally, looking to cutting down the page, I reckon anything marked as resolved with no objection for say... 2 days? can be moved to the archives by any editor. That sound fair? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 13:18, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I've been doing that all along. Best to continue in that matter, as it's easier on the brain cells. GoodDay (talk) 19:11, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Template for encouraging local article editors to participate[edit]

TFOWR and others have suggested that it would be valuable to encourage local article editors to give their views on specific-example usages of "BI". Sometimes we see gaps in our knowledge on this page, so it would be helpful.

I proposed we try to template this - below are two slabs of proposed text for an add/delete situation - I would be grateful if someone can help template this, sorry, I don't know how to do that part. Note the THISSECTION part in the second link.

Please note also that it promises uninvolved editors a friendly welcome and hopefully our friendly neighbourhood admins will help keep it that way. :-)

Comments/ammendments welcomed. Thanks. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 10:49, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

It has been suggested that the use of the phrase British Isles in this article should be deleted. Use of this phrase can be controversial in some circumstances and so a seperate talk page has been set up to discuss specific examples. If you are interested in the subject matter of this article and would like to comment on the proposed deletion of the phrase British Isles, please do so at the discussion. Editors there are discussing the usage in general and so will welcome your comments and opinions, which will help in forming a view about the specific usage here.
It has been suggested that the the phrase British Isles should be included in this article. Use of this phrase can be controversial in some circumstances and so a seperate talk page has been set up to discuss specific examples. If you are interested in the subject matter of this article and would like to comment on using the phrase British Isles, please do so at the discussion. Editors there are discussing the usage in general and so will welcome your comments and opinions, which will help in forming a view about the specific usage here.

Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 10:49, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure that i agree with that wording. I think it would be more neutral to state something like "Some editors find use of the term British Isles in articles controversial". BritishWatcher (talk) 11:06, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
The term is not controversial, it's just that a miniscule minority of people in Ireland don't like it (unfortunately many of them have found their way here). We should not be saying the term is controversial. We should merely say "The usage of British Isles in this article is being discussed ..." LevenBoy (talk) 11:22, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Agreed it would probably be best for the text to be as short and just mention there is a discussion on its use. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:26, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I kind of thought, if it's not controversial, what would editors experience when they see this page? Amazement? Stupefaction? You decide. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 11:32, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I'd wikilink to this page and the project page, not just the specific example. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 11:33, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I kind of thought, if it's not controversial, what would editors experience when they see this page? Amazement? Stupefaction? ... Yes, both of those, and they'd no doubt come to the conclusion that Wikipedia is in the process of being hijacked by POV pushers. LevenBoy (talk) 11:43, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
James I like your suggestion and also approve of the text. Bjmullan (talk) 12:04, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Good work. --HighKing (talk) 17:08, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Well sorry but I can not support the present wording. BritishWatcher (talk) 18:07, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Neither can I. All is needed is something to point editors here. We don't need another example of non-existent-controversy promotion. LevenBoy (talk) 18:15, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Simplify the message, James. GoodDay (talk) 18:18, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Then suggest alternate wordings. If not, I think we should disregard the last three comments. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 18:20, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Try this one - There are disputes over the usage of British Isles on Wikipedia articles, please give us your input on whether to use the term or not per articles. GoodDay (talk) 18:24, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I would support something like that, changing the final part to "whether it should be used in this article or not." BritishWatcher (talk) 18:52, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
There are disputes over the usage of British Isles on Wikipedia articles. Please give us your input on whether it should be used in this article or not. GoodDay (talk) 18:59, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
The template should *encourage* local content experts to give their opinion. Most steer clear of "disputes" and "controversies". GD - your version is far too abrupt and has no clue as to what is being proposed. GD, what do you see as wrong with the suggestion by James? --HighKing (talk) 19:01, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
'Tis a bit long winded & possibly over one's head. But, I'll accept it. GoodDay (talk) 19:04, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

My main concern is that uninvolved editors will take one look at this crazy house and run a mile. :) Seriously, it needs to convey something about why it's an issue and how they won't get their heads bitten off. If that can be made simpler, please explain. Just obstructing this process by saying no to everything is not a useful option and will be ignored by me and I suspect, others. :-) Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 19:26, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm not a habitual vetoer. Your version is acceptable. GoodDay (talk) 19:29, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that last comment was general, not aimed at you GD. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 19:48, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Okie Dokie. GoodDay (talk) 19:49, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I consider the wording to bias towards exclusion, because it is stating the term is controversial. Use of the term on wikipedia articles is controversial for some editors, and the template needs to state it that way. It is also far too long. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:32, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Could we change "controversial" to "incorrect" or "inaccurate"? Our remit is to assess whether the term is used correctly or not - "controversy", like "fairness", is something that shouldn't affect our decisions - purely correctness. TFOWR 10:41, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Inaccurate / more accurate would certainly be less problematic in my opinion. Although i do still think its too long. Is it possible to see what it would look like in an actual template? BritishWatcher (talk) 10:46, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I'll knock up a draft version for consideration. Please stand by...! TFOWR 10:50, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
What is the purpose of this template? It's simply to alert knowledgeable users that an aspect of the article in which they have an interest is being debated elsewhere, and that's it. There's no need to sow doubts in their mind that usage is controversial, inaccurate or anything else. They can make up their own minds. Accordingly we just need something like "The inclusion of the term British Isles in this article is being debated at WP:BISE. Please feel free to contribute to the discussion." LevenBoy (talk) 11:14, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Another thing; I assume this is a template for talk pages only. I would consider it inappropriate to have such a template in an article. LevenBoy (talk) 11:17, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
It's a talk-page template. I am happy with TFOWR's proposal that it use another word than "controversial" - how about "sometimes disputed"? The reality is, even if you think it's always OK, it's hard to argue that it's not sometimes disputed here in Wikiland. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 11:22, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Why? Can editors not make up their own minds when they get to BISE? Who are we to lead them in a direction of inaccuate or controversial use? Many terms can be controversial. What's so special about this one? I'm not saying it's always OK. If I'd suggested something like "Some editors would like to remove British Isles from this article because they are a bunch of tossers ... " then maybe you'd have a complaint, but all I'm saying is that the template is merely a pointer. It should not in itself suggest anything at all about the usage. LevenBoy (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 11:30, 2 September 2010 (UTC).
  • Prototype template can be seen at User:TFOWR/Sandbox/BISE. I've used "inaccurate" without prejudice to whatever wording we eventually settle on. I've used one template for two scenarios (adding and removing), so I've also tried to reduce the complexity of the template code by using common text where ever possible: if that's a problem it's fixable. I stress that this is an example, and that text etc can easily be changed during and after this discussion. TFOWR 12:04, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Those look good to me. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 12:18, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
What is the purpose of that? It doesn't look like a template so it's back to discussing the text. Please explain why there's a need for any type of leading statement in such a template. To me, using such words just supports the notion that there's something generally problematical with British Isles rather than its use in a particular instance. LevenBoy (talk) 12:42, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I can see why it could be objectionable, both put a negative slant on British Isles, but of the top of my head can't think of anything better. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 13:21, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I am rather assuming that this would be a talk page template, and as such I do think it should be boxed and coloured in line with other templates. As for the wording, agree with Chipmunkdavis. Codf1977 (talk) 13:35, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, I was thinking of it as a quick way to post a new section on a talk page, but it could certainly be done as an orange talkpage box instead. TFOWR 13:41, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Or both - create a new section, add the box with the text and then sign off would be v good ! Codf1977 (talk) 13:59, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I fear you over-estimate my template abilities ;-) The more I think about it, the more I think an orange box would be good - something just to point to the discussion, we could probably use the same box for insert and delete cases. I'm not convinced I could make the box also post and sign a message... sorry! It would need to be a two-stage process: add box, then add message template. TFOWR 14:03, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think having a template of some description would be very good. I'm very busy at present, and would like to contribute to the discussion. Is there a need for this to be so rushed? Fmph (talk) 15:53, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree there is no need to rush this, hopefully we will have no new cases in the next few days considering there is still a number of outstanding ones. I too thought this was going to be in a template box as mentioned above by Codf, but that is the reason i have been concerned about the amount of text, there is simply too much there for a template. BritishWatcher (talk) 17:18, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
This is just using the template used on that Briland template above for actual articles, but when you put it in a box, it just looks far too long for many people to want to read. it should be about 3 lines rather than 5 or 6. BritishWatcher (talk) 17:22, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Whatever ya'll can agree to, I'll go along with it. GoodDay (talk) 17:31, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)on my screen it is indeed 3 lines ! - I have been working on one that uses the {{tmbox}} - see User talk:TFOWR#Template. Codf1977 (talk) 17:33, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
It does look better in the that template, but still too long in my opinion with too much additional information that is not really needed. I have no idea how you can read what it says if that is just 3 lines on your computer lol. BritishWatcher (talk) 17:36, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
"Use of this phrase can be inaccurate in some circumstances". Please show me a phrase, any phrase in any language about any subject on earth where this statement would not apply. No, this is just subtle POV pushing. LevenBoy (talk) 17:41, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I think saying inaccurate in some circumstances is a more reasonable way of describing it, its certainly much better than use of controversy. The only thing is, clear inaccurate use like "British Isles invaded Germany", should get support for removal here straight away anyway taking away the need for the template and input from other editors. This template is going to get used in cases where BI is justified and not inaccurate, otherwise we would not be arguing about it here. But like i said before, id rather inaccurate in that sentence than can be controversial. BritishWatcher (talk) 17:59, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Let's go for neither - since neither of them are required to draw the attention of interested editors. Like I say, it's a form of subtle pov pushing, dropping a little hint that all is not well with using British Isles. LevenBoy (talk) 18:08, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
On Wikipedia, all is not well with using British Isles. If it were, the BISE never would've been. GoodDay (talk) 18:17, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes - LevenBoy is apparently confusing real-world controversy with controversy within WP. This page contains all the evidence we need for the latter. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 18:21, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
You couldn't be further from the truth. It's the anti-BI club that seek to conflate the non-existent real world controversy with the all-too-apparent artificial one at Wikipedia. LevenBoy (talk) 18:24, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
It's needed because in many cases, uninvolved authors of local articles will be better placed than most here to determine if it's common name, notable, etc. I suspect that as in some other cases, you are rather defeating your own cause here LevenBoy. Simple obstruction will get you precisely nowhere. Also there is no precedent for having fact tags in talk page templates, so forget that. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 18:16, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Joke FFS! Yes, it right what Triton Rocker said - Wikipedia is devoid of humour. I know it's needed. Can you not grasp that from my input? My objection is to the subtle pov pushing with insidious implication in the text that British Isles is somehow not a wholesome concept. LevenBoy (talk) 18:20, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Outdent again: Here's my contribution.

  1. I'm not convinced that this is the best place/venue for EVERY discussion.
  2. It would be nice to get to a point where these discussions could take place locally to the article and engage editors working on that article or in the genre.
  3. A template might be a solution, but I do understand the problem with saying "This is contentious". Just doing so may influence contributors.
  4. I'm no expert in these things, but from doing my recent WP:AFD, I note that all the AFD discussions pages are separate and are transcluded into the holding page. Might it be possible to use a similar system here?

I'm thinking about a situation where each top level section would actually have its own discussion page, which could be transcluded here AND into the local discussion page. Maybe we would need to become more disciplined (no bad thing IMHO) about what goes on here. Maybe the discussion about specific examples themselves should be on the SE Project Page itself, and the discussions about process and procedure either here on the talk page, or perhaps more appropriately on WP:BRITISHISLES Fmph (talk) 13:31, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Quick answers: (1) possibly, (2) agree, (3) agree, (4) superb idea - it would neatly solve several issues. I'm a numpty when it comes to stuff like that - how easy would it be to set up (bearing in mind we'd need to set it up for each discussion)? TFOWR 08:24, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Personally I think its enough to place a notice on the page, if a template is needed it does not need two just something that links here. --Snowded TALK 05:24, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
So long as we have a link here I'm happy, and ideally I'd like things as simple as possible - if we can reduce it to one template that would be great. James' trial, below, should help with that. TFOWR 08:24, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Should we test the templates?[edit]
  • Where we are now with this

I know codf1977 and TFOWR spent quite a bit of time putting this together and we have some workable text. Shall we now agree to use this (it seems a majority are in favour) and try it out on the next, say, 5 that come up and then come back and discuss any changes needed? All those in favour say "aye". Nay-sayers say "nay". Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 06:50, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Wheres the link to the final template we are voting on please? BritishWatcher (talk) 08:33, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Orange box at User:Codf1977/BISETest, post at User:TFOWR/Sandbox/BISE. I don't think either of these are "final" as such, they'll need tweaking as we settle on which one (or both) to use, how effective they are, etc. I'd suggest we start with the "orange box" and see how that works out. TFOWR 08:49, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Aye. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 06:50, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Aye. TFOWR 08:24, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Conditional Aye. A template is OK, but it needs to say that the use or not use of BI has been raised and link to the discussion with the invitation. Most current cases are insertion not deletion. Otherwise Nay --Snowded TALK 08:28, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
    • Both examples (above, in reply to BW) do link to the discussion, and provide insertion and deletion cases. TFOWR 08:49, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Aye I still think its too long - for example "Editors there are discussing the usage in general and so will welcome your comments and opinions, which will help in forming a view about the specific usage here." does not seem to be needed at all. However i will support this for a trial of the next few cases. Perhaps this template should only be used on articles with limited activity. So on major articles (like Ireland) after an issue gets raised we all move to the article to discuss it where as something like that James Kay (i think that was his name) can be fully debated here, and no need for a discussion on their talk page if weve posted the template. BritishWatcher (talk) 09:19, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Aye It would be great to just have one template, but lets start with what we have. --HighKing (talk) 11:07, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Aye Bjmullan (talk) 15:21, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Aye By the way, what's with the 'Aye/Nay' stuff? What happened to 'Yes/No'? GoodDay (talk) 15:28, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
    • On a point of order, I believe my honourable friend wished to use more parliamentary language. To which I can only say: hear, hear. TFOWR 15:39, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
      • Yeah, I'm just pretending to be annoyed. GoodDay (talk) 15:42, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
        • Per WP:BEANS I probably shouldn't direct you to unparliamentary language, then ;-) My favourite is New Zealand's very own "idle vapourings of a mind diseased". TFOWR 15:55, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
          • It wasn't the British parliament that inspired me. I am watching the entire West Wing on DVD and the US Senate and House use "Aye" and "Nay" a lot, so I was kind of on auto-pilot. Sorry if it has destabilised anyone's karma. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 18:45, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Aye Codf1977 (talk) 16:03, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

The template, in concept, is fine. The current wording is garbage and POV-ridden. LevenBoy (talk) 16:42, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

What part of it is POV-ridden ? Codf1977 (talk) 16:49, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Because of this; Use of this phrase can be inaccurate in some circumstances .... As I pointed out above, show me aphrase, any phrase, on any subject, that this statement doesn't apply to. Consequently to make a special case with British Isles is, in effect, a statement that there is some other problem with British Isles, and that is a POV. There is no need for the phrase in the template. We just need to alert interested parties that a debate is being held elsewhere. Why should the text of a template make a particlular assertion? LevenBoy (talk) 16:54, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I take your point but to an unaware editor the first thing they will ask is what is the problem, so I see no way of getting around this other than to explain it - feel free to suggest other wording, but we do need to briefly explain that the problem is. Codf1977 (talk) 17:01, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
With the template they are one mouse click away from finding out about the "problem". How about "The use of the termBritish Isles in this article is being discussed at WP:BISE#..... If you would like to contribute to the deabte please do so. " LevenBoy (talk) 17:09, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
(reeling from shock) I agree with LevenBoy, keep it simple. But OK with the ones planned if others don't agree --Snowded TALK 17:12, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Likewise happy with either. Codf1977 (talk) 17:13, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I would prefer the most simplest wording, as ive said before i think its currently too long. But i will go along with either for a trial period to be tested on the next few cases. BritishWatcher (talk) 18:56, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Updated template with new wording - comments please ? Codf1977 (talk) 21:39, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Present it to the public. GoodDay (talk) 22:05, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
A white paper detailing the honourable member's proposal is available at User talk:Codf1977/BISETest. I'll stop with the parliamentary "humour" soon, I promise. TFOWR 22:17, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Okie Dokie. PS - I relish the funny stuff, I can mustard it. GoodDay (talk) 22:20, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Aye Would prefer just one template, but there is no reason this one cannot be used now Chipmunkdavis (talk) 11:32, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Template and documentation created[edit]

I have, created a Template name space version of the above, with brief documentation at Template:British Isles Discuss (also a redirect of {{BID}}), the template is designed to be subst: at the end of an article talk page, it will also add the talk page to the hidden Category British Isle Discussion. For examples of it's use please visit User talk:Codf1977/BISETest. Codf1977 (talk) 13:55, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Purely from a technical point of view (but actually not knowing how to do it), isn't there the possibility to have one template that can be switched (like template:wikibreak can be switched betwenn LONG, SHORT, etc) so that one template could have the option to suggest inclusion/deletion/discussion. I'm sure somebody at the warnings project would know how to do that
Apologies I was seeing it as a two template version - I see you did incorporate the switch - well done--Cailil talk 23:31, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

It may just be that I'm not up to speed on this, but it seems to me that the BISETest template linked to above applies only to articles already under discussion on this talk page, whereas the original proposal was one for informing talk pages that the article might benefit from the addition or deletion of BI, and anybody interested in the idea would find a forum for it here. Once again, is this not putting the cart before the horse - discussing the unsuspecting article to death here and then inviting the people who wrote the article to add their two-cents worth? Scolaire (talk) 08:47, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

You would add the template to the talk page of the article at the same time you open the discussion here. Codf1977 (talk) 09:21, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
It does put the cart before the horse by conducting "local" discussions at a "central" location. This page should build on decisions that arise from local discussions to arrive at generalised guidelines - but it cannot and should not pull local discussions in here away from local editors.
I've proposed another direction (that puts the cart behind the horse) below. --RA (talk) 11:00, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I think we should only use the above template (that people have been voting on) on articles with limited activity. So for example the debates on the issue of Ireland and Republic of Ireland were always going to attract a lot of local input and there for it would be helpful if we held the single discussion there rather than have two going on at once. In such a case, the template dragging them here would not be needed. But on articles with fairly limited activity, like James Kay could use the template and anyone interested come here to the relevant section to respond. BritishWatcher (talk) 11:54, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, at least we are closer in thinking - but (apart from practical issues like how would you determine "articles with limited activity" from other ones), why make a difference? If it is to be discussed then discuss it, but discuss specific changes to specific articles on those article's talk pages (and advertise them there so interested parties are made aware). Even if it is only the participants here that are discussing it there, the discussion itself should take place in the open and in the right place, not in some distant bear pit at the far corner of Project namespace far away from the article it proposes to make changes to. --RA (talk) 12:02, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
RA is right that nothing should be hidden about this process. The BISE page is convenient for centralisation, but the reason I originally suggested this template is precisely to prevent any remaining attempts to avoid openness in the process. We also often need input from editors more knowledgeable in the particular context. It really doesn't matter if it's only discussed at the local article, but in all cases I suspect it will help local article editors to understand what is happening - certainly when I first came across this issue, I was wholly unaware of the history and just saw it unexpectedly at the history-related article I was reviewing. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 12:49, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry RA, but I think the discussion should take place here. The whole point of this page was to centralize the issue, so editors wouldn't have to run around between a bunch of different articles. The template does the job of bringing local editors to here. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 15:47, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, we don't know if it does a good job yet :-)
It is a step in the right direction to at least notify editors of those article that changes are being proposed here. TBH I am concerned about the approach here in a more generalised sense and its impact by setting a precedent. Are there other WikiProjects/TaskForces that conduct their affairs in this way? I may be wrong (I often am and I am ready to be told otherwise) but I feel there are very some very important principles of how we conduct our affairs that are threatened here.
Would editors here be OK with an RfC involving the entire community before going forward? Before doing so, I would want the RfC page to invlude the opposing view to my own and to set out your view before going to the community at large via the regular places (not only UK and Ireland, but the entire WP community)? If the community at large OK this kind of approach then I'm OK with it. --RA (talk) 17:25, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
An rfc for putting a template on talk pages informing people there's a project page discussion? Seriously? Perhaps I'm missing something here RA. Can you explain a different way if possible why this is setting a precedent for something different and important please? I don't get why. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 17:28, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I think RA's concern is more with where the discussion takes place, which is reasonable. (RA, I assume you'll set me straight if I'm wrong?) However... there's an alternative, which Fmph suggested, and that's to transclude the discussion. That way it really doesn't matter where the discussion takes place - for intents and purposes it takes place in multiple places, simultaneously and seamlessly. It appears to be on any local talkpages involved, and it appears to be here as well. Comments here appear there, etc. It means that editors on talkpages din't need to clutter up their watchlists with yet another page, and editors here don't face an ever-growing watchlist of individual articles. I've asked Fmph to look into how to do this (I'm a transclusion numpty), but my request was very recent - earlier today, if I remember rightly. TFOWR 17:33, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
It seems my job here is to be a fly in the ointment; I'm really sorry about that. I made the point on Talk:ROI today that the discussion there has passed 92 kilobytes. If something like that happened even on two talk pages, what would their transclusion do to this page? Scolaire (talk) 18:17, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
If we transcluded from, say, T:ROI - then not much ;-) This page would look huge, but we'd have the ToC to navigate, and within discussions we'd be no worse off than we would be at T:ROI. For that matter (and I am not recommending this approach), we could always create a new page for each new discussion, and transclude to here and to the local talkpage. (Don't like this approach because we'd end up with a metric shed load of new page cruft). TFOWR 19:22, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
(ec)As far as I can see the template notifies editors of something going on here. We can't mandate or prevent a discussion on the talk page of the article and in some cases that will be the best place. As has happened once we just note here that the discussion has moved to another place. --Snowded TALK 17:34, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I've lost track. Has the proposed template been put into trial mode, yet? GoodDay (talk) 18:23, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Aye, nay, kind of. I think there's general agreement to give it a whirl. My thinking was we'd try it out with the next issue to crop up. Amazingly nothing has cropped up. TFOWR 19:18, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Sometimes, it seems like a 20-lane highway around here, for me. GoodDay (talk) 19:22, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I have a case waiting in the wings. But there is such a huge backlog i was going to wait a week or two, when hopefully more of this page will have been resolved and archived by then. BritishWatcher (talk) 20:19, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I'll try and reorganise this page tomorrow. I suspect it's not as bad as it looks - lots of discussions are meta discussions about - well, about templates, page organisation, etc. I'll reorganise them into one thread, to keep them separate from the actual issues. GoodDay also suggested collapsing open threads, with a header that shows whether the discussion is open, resolved, done, whatever. I'm putting that idea out now, as an idea, because I can see collapsing open discussions as being controversial. I like the idea - it'll keep the page more navigable, but I do accept it will "hide" discussions. TFOWR 20:27, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I would support collapsing the threads, it would certainly make navigation so much easier which at present is one of the biggest problems with this page. I dunno whos entering so much text, but i wish i got paid per word for my posts here. BritishWatcher (talk) 20:32, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Discussion location, transclusion AfD-style[edit]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────My concern is "where" discussion takes place. Why would we discuss specific changes to individual articles anywhere except on the relevant article's talk page? It's backwards. If you want to propose a change to an individual article, go to that article's talk page and propose the change. Why would anyone go anywhere else - far less to some obscure page at the far corder of the Project namespace?

I feel it is a problem for a number of reasons. For example, it takes context away from the article and onto the narrow question of use or non-use of British Isles. Discussions about specific changes to articles should be set in the wider context of improving that article. That is more likely to happen there, not here.

There is also a sense that it demands that "local" editors come here. Yes, they can put the foot down as in Talk:Republic of Ireland but the editors there have stronger mettle to most and familiar with the conflict. If a discussion is already underway, in most cases, an editor will acquiesce and go there. But why should they? It is a basic wiki principle that if you you want to make a change to an article, you go there and propose it. You don't demand that they come here to you.

The argument to hold discussion here have been that it is better to "centralise" things. Why? For what end? If what was being discussed were changes to a number of articles or generalised guidelines, I'd agree. But that is not what is being discussed here. What is being discussed are specific changes to individual articles. That is a thing that inherently does not benefit form being "centralising". Discussions about specific changes to specific article belong on those articles, not on some distant Project page.

We already have a familiar model for these kinds of things: WP:RM, WP:RFC, etc. These take place on the relevant talk page and use centralised locations to promote discussion to interested persons. That is the model that I believe we should be following here.

A concern I have (as expressed several times) is that this Task Force has lost the run of itself. However, in a more general sense, I do not want the model for discussion that is being proposed here to receive a precedent without wider community consensus. I believe it fundamentally changes the way discussion happens by removing it from the appropriate context and taking 'power' (in an authoritative sense) away from "local" editors.

If the wider community gives it the nod then that's fine by me and this project would be on a firmer footing because of it. So, are you folks OK with an RfC and see what the wider community says? --RA (talk) 19:25, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Howabout my automatic copying idea? If a BI discussion breaks out on an article, it would automatically be copied here (like they do with AFDs). GoodDay (talk) 19:32, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
But but but... you've missed the more recent part (and, coincidentally, I've just pinged you about it...!) about transcluding. i.e. have the discussion in multiple places. Editors at, say, T:ROI don't need to leave their familiar environs, editors here don't need to watchlist yet another article. So... if discussion isn't being removed from local talkpages - would you still want to pursue an RfC? TFOWR 19:32, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Just answered. The big problem (as I see it) with the transcluding solution is that it doesn't actually update Watchlists until editors manually Watchlist the transcluded page. (They will see the initial addition of the transcluded page.)
I'll happily do it for you if you want and (initially anyway) I think it is a good half-way house between having discusion here and having discussion there - although I don't see the advantage over actually conducting discussions there.
WRT to AfD's, Goodday, there's a good reason they don't happen on the "local" page - a possible outcome of the discussion is to delete the local page (and consequently the AfD discussion also if it took place there) ;-) --RA (talk) 20:06, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Just replied! We should have transcluded the conversation... ;-)
Watchlists I think aren't a deal-breaker - talkpage editors get to watchlist one more page, editors here get to watchlist two pages instead of one (article/talkpage + BI discussion page instead of just article/talkpage).
I appreciate you doing this. I'm assuming you won't want to spend the rest of your life doing it, however, so how easy will it be to copy what you do? Could an idiot like me do it? Would a dummies-guide instruction set for non-technical editors be possible? Ideally, I suppose, an editor would set this up as part of the reporting here process. TFOWR 20:14, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I'll do up the basics so folk can see what it would be like in action. I'll take a discussion from the archive and test it out. It would just be a copy and paste job after that. --RA (talk) 20:28, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

The wrong way around? Another proposal[edit]

As a parallel to the above discussion on a template to notify article talk pages of discussions here, I'm going to propose another.

Like others, it strikes that the activities of this page have moved beyond discussion between interested parties on sounding out a common position on the use or non-use of British Isles. It seems now that this page would like to become a central location for addition/removal/use/non-use of the term across the entire Wiki.

(That assumed role can be seen in the statements that were added to the top of this page stating that a community sanction had decided that "all and any insertion or removal of British Isles requires prior discussion here". I removed that claim and commented on a "guideline", which I assume was based on it.)

It may be that the original purpose of this page has simply lived-out its natural life and that there is a sense of consensus between the relevant participants that now needs expression in terms of changes to articles. However, there is a fundamental error in centrally discussing changes to individual articles. The content of individual articles should ordinarily be discussed on the relevant articles talk pages, not at some central location. The proposal above seems like an attempt to remedy that however it does not address the essential problem.

What am I proposing?

Instead, what I propose is that the function of this page change slightly. What I propose is that discussion over individual additions/removals/uses/non-uses of British Isles takes the usual form of requests for comments on content i.e.:

  • That the discussion takes place on the relevant article talk page.
  • That there be a central location where those discussions are advertised to interested parties.

I propose that this page (or a new one) become the central point to notify editors of discussions — either by "involved" or "uninvolved" editors — but that discussion take place on the relevant articles. This page (or where ever) could record the outcomes of those discussions but, fundamentally, the discussions themselves would take place where they belong: on the relevant article's talk page.

Template, etc. could be used for doing this.

General discussions, that propose broad changes or guidelines, should continue to take place a central locations (either here or somewhere else).

This would allow contributors to this page to continue in their efforts as they have been doing, but it would address the concerns (expressed now by several editors that I have read) about the role that this page seems to be assuming for itself.

--RA (talk) 18:26, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Disagree - we should keep all this in one place Codf1977 (talk) 18:30, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Discussion should only take place on the talk pages. This page should just become a register of proposals. LevenBoy (talk) 18:31, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Well i will wait and see what others think, i always thought it was handy having all the pointless debate take place on this page rather than clutter up dozens of talkpages with our little problems. BritishWatcher (talk) 18:32, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
BISE has no authority over any articles. It's merely set to help prevent edit-wars breaking out on any articles, which it has successfully done. GoodDay (talk) 18:34, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I think you're right technically RA, and we haven't afaik pretended to have total jurisdiction, at least not by agreement - but I do think this is a better process overall. There isn't anything to stop the discussions also happening locally - in fact, the template will kind of encourage that. I think one thing I am trying to overcome (and I think the admins have also sought to prevent) is any kind of hiding behaviour around changing the term. Sneaking changes is now not an option and in fact the sanction also specifically mentions that multi-article deletes/adds must be discussed at this page. The declaration at the top that you (RA) deleted might not have been totally accurate but it was near the mark. We don't want people to get confused and think that a local article discussion policy means a greenlighting site-wide changes so long as you stick a quick marker on local articles. I hadn't noticed that you'd deleted the text at the top of this page and we need to re-introduce something. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 18:40, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
The "declaration" at the top was no where near the mark.
I 100% agree with you on "sneaking" changes in. I don't think you'd have much problem in getting community consensus that all changes, particularly from involved parties, should be notified here first and given sufficient time for discussion. But that discussion really needs to take place where it belongs: on the relevant article talk page.
This is not only so that discussions can involve all (truly) interested parties but so that discussion can be guided by a richer understanding of the topic, and not be blinkered solely by the use/non-use of an individual turn of phrase.
Notifying of discussions here but holding discussions there would be a simple (and sustainable) approach to bring some normality back into this situation, which IMHO is truly getting out of hand. --RA (talk) 19:00, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
At least leave a link here about an article discussion. GoodDay (talk) 19:03, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
It seems simpler to group all the discussions here. Having it all spread around would confuse us. Once consensus is achieved here, discussion can move to the talk page of that article, as it did with Ireland before. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 01:12, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Keep it here and move when appropriate as per Chipmunkdavis --Snowded TALK 05:21, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Whatever is easiest for everyone. GoodDay (talk) 11:51, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
"Once consensus is achieved here, discussion can move to the talk page of that article, as it did with Ireland before." Are you referring to this? Where everybody trotted along to "enforce BISE", only to discover there was no consensus, and no semblance of consensus, to do so? Scolaire (talk) 12:47, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
If a consensus can't be reached on the article-in-question (i.e. the article's talkpage)? then no changes can be made there. Even if it contradicts anything reached at BISE. The article talkpage always has the final word (AFAIK). GoodDay (talk) 13:58, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────BISE was set up to keep edit warring and disruption away from Article Talk pages. If nothing else, it has served to expose the source of the disruptions and the proponents of civility breaches, and also removed a couple of the socks. Progress is slow, but TFWOR's involvement has accelerated the good progress and halted a lot of disruption. But the question is a good question to pose - has BISE outlived its usefulness and has the purpose moved on? Unfortunately, I'm of the opinion of "Not Yet". And I know this and base my answer on a simple fact - Because *any* removal of "British Isles", regardless of sources, reasons, etc, in *any* article will be instantly reverted. This is precisely how BISE got started. Back then any admin that supported a deletion was attacked - some have vowed never to return to this topic. There's also admins, and I suspect BlackKite belongs in this group, that would prefer to simply prevent any discussion on usage of British Isles, dismantle BISE, ban a selected list of editors, and allow "natural editing" to take its course. But that's where it started. Contrary to what a small hardcore set of editors would have you believe, this problem isn't about a ranting nationalistic Irishman taking exception to the hated term "British Isles". This problem is primarily about standards of conduct relating to collaboration to create content. Until the conduct problem is recognized, and addressed, BISE will be here. Again, thankfully, we appear to be moving in the right direction. --HighKing (talk) 16:55, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

I totally get where you're coming from, HK, but there are other views of what this page is achieving, which mightn't appeal to you as much. This comment says it all: "there's 46 more instances of articles linked to BI now than there was this time last month, so while BISE bogs down the BI deletion POV pushers, normal editing goes on apace. How good is that?" Scolaire (talk) 17:30, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
BISE "bogs down" POV pushers from both sides. It also brings together editors who have previously discussed the issue of wording to discuss new topics, and so hopefully allows a more efficient debate. Members of "both sides" are present, those who want to include and those who don't, as well as neutrals. If any of those 46 are objectionable, then surely they can also be discussed here. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 17:48, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
As far as I'm can see, "bogging down" and "efficient debate" are not compatible. If editors are in fact adding (or deleting) links while their opponents are "bogged down" then the debate is not only inefficient but totally unproductive. Now, I don't know whether that is true or not, but one of your more vocal members believes that it is, and that would be enough to make me seriously question the usefulness of this project. Scolaire (talk) 18:25, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Bogging down POV pushers surely can't be a bad thing, it may even open their minds slightly. The debate of couse is kept to those who will debate, and not simply argue. One or two rogue editors does not a bad page make. If that was the case wikipedia itself would be pointless. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 18:30, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If editors are systematically adding or removing links to "British Isles" they'll be warned, topic banned, then blocked. As far as I'm aware that isn't the case here. "What links here" isn't the most efficient tool for analysing this, but I'd imagine the 46 new instances are just the usual ebb-and-flow of article creation on Wikipedia. Individual editors can shout "victory!" if they want; as far as I'm concerned, victory is closing these discussions and archiving them... ;-) TFOWR 18:36, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Running counts of the change are just another absurdity - we aren't engaged in a POV-war with two sides keeping score and a final victor to be declared!! Repeat, we aren't fighting a war. Given the rest of LB's prognostications, I don't place too much credence on this one. We shouldn't care less about it being more or fewer mentions across Wikipedia. We should be concerned about the accuracy, applicability, context and meaning of the usages. I'm just not interested in this being a "fight" and frankly don't want to hear from people who think it is one. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 17:46, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm with you on that one, James. But are we in a majority? I have to say it doesn't look that way from where I'm standing. Scolaire (talk) 18:28, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Hey, if this place keeps all the old warriors of the BI debate in one spot (here), then that can't be too bad for the related articles, giggle giggle. GoodDay (talk) 21:55, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Less of the 'old' please. I'm only as old as the woman I feel! Fmph (talk) 22:31, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Heheheh, a fellow Groucho fan. GoodDay (talk) 22:34, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Scolaire, you quoted - This comment says it all: "there's 46 more instances of articles linked to BI now than there was this time last month, so while BISE bogs down the BI deletion POV pushers, normal editing goes on apace. - Like James says, I don't get the relevance of the comment. I don't understand your statement that there are other views of what this page is achieving. So what that there's more instances? The purpose is not to decrease usage, but to increase *accuracy* and *understanding* of usage. If anything, that statement undermines the notion that there's a "crusade" to rid the WP of the "dreaded term". Seriously though, I would welcome your involvement on this page, even if only occasional - hopefully not to ridicule the purpose and effort of editors here, but to participate and collaborate by voicing your opinion since it is an opinion that I and others value. --HighKing (talk) 23:51, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Best just forget what I said. It seemed to me that somebody was advocating going ahead with controversial edits while ones opponents were distracted at this page. But TFOWR in his edit summary said he thinks I am "believing the propaganda a little too much", so I accept that was probably the case. As for getting involved here, I know you can remember when I got involved with the "Ireland Disambig Task Force" in its early days - I was determined not to get involved in the BI task force then and I still am now. I genuinely am disinterested as regards the addition or deletion of the term in articles, as long is it done in an encyclopaedic way and for encyclopaedic reasons. I'm sorry if I appeared to ridicule the project; I think that for what it does it is worthwhile and worthy of support, but I do find the self-importance of some of its members a little ridiculous. To be honest, I'm just waiting for the current brouhaha at ROI to blow over so I can unwatch this page. Regards, Scolaire (talk) 11:39, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

The reason for BISE[edit]

This relates to the 2 preceding discussions. I can't speak for other frequent editors at this page, but I assure you all, I don't see the BISE as having authority over Wikipedia articles. It's merely a place of co-ordination, to help prevent edit wars breaking out & to keep track of article discussions. If it's still a concern for editors, by all means have your discussion on the respective article talkpages - but could yas at least somehow have those respective discussions copied here? GoodDay (talk) 19:17, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

So we're going to turn this into an eternally growing repository of links of pages stating British Isles and not stating it? Might make a good article lol ;-) But yes a link to each discussion should be put here however i feel that some will not be declared especially with minor articles etc. Mabuska (talk) 19:29, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I hope I've eased any fears about BISE. GoodDay (talk) 19:43, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I see this as being the place to discuss if the use of British Isles is appropriate in any given article, If it is not appropriate I would see that as overriding any Talk Page consensus in favour of it's use pure and simple. If it is appropriate, and if the users at the talk page decide to remove it (or not allow it to be added) then that is grounds for the article to be tagged NPOV (if appropriate) and/or other dispute routes. Codf1977 (talk) 20:41, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I see it as having as much authority as anything else - which is to say: it has authority only if that authority is accepted. The wider the consensus, the more binding it is, etc. If we pull editors from local pages here, any consensus here outweighs local consensus, but we're still subject to wider consensus elsewhere (policy, manual of style, etc). When resolving discussions, I've been considering: am I going to meet with massive disagreement here and/or elsewhere? And I've tended towards the path of least resistance. "Resistance" being not just the number of voices shouting at me (here or elsewhere), but the policy arguments we're likely to encounter in the wider community. GoodDay, I assume you have a specific example in mind? I can think of at least one talkpage discussion I've been doing my best to avoid looking at for several days, which is mirrored here. I'd suggest that if editors here go off and argue there, then the largest consensus may well be obtained there. I'd prefer it if discussions remained here, but so long as there is discussion, and we reach consensus one way or another, I'm broadly happy. TFOWR 09:38, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Based on recent experience, I would think the most likely outcomes of devolving it entirely to local articles will be (a) numerous flamewars breaking out at random articles all over the shop but with people who have limited past knowledge of the situation (and are just begging through their innocence of the battles to be taken advantage of, right?) and (b) multiple returns to ANI demanding action, driving admins nuts and calling for sanctions. I think we've been here before. Which is why we're here now. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 10:06, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Who says it's not broke? RA states the situation is getting out of hand, and I agree with him. Take the example of FourFourTwo below. There was no discussion at the talk page. The only discussion was amongst the amateurs here. Consequently that article ended up with misleading information. And that's the case with nearly all articles brought here; they are mulled over by people who don't know the subject and then make uninformed edits. The template might help this situation, but as a general rule subjects should be discussed by knowledgeable editors and the relevant talk pages are the proper place for that. LevenBoy (talk) 11:40, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
I say it's not broke. GoodDay (talk) 22:05, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
TFOWR says, "If we pull editors from local pages here, any consensus here outweighs local consensus". But what if you don't? What if editors on unrelated or marginally related articles (e.g. Republic of Ireland) don't want to be "pulled" here, don't have any interest in your bickering, and just want you to leave their articles alone? Can there not be a community consensus not to import local squabbles onto articles where they don't belong? Scolaire (talk) 12:53, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I assume if there's a higher number of editors who don't use BISE for an article, compared to those who do, that would greatly marginalize BISE. As far as I know, an editor can't be forced to come here. GoodDay (talk) 13:32, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
If we don't, we don't. There's no way currently that anyone can compel anyone to participate here, provided they're not systematically adding or removing "British Isles". But without wide consensus, the problem remains, and will likely recur at some future point. TFOWR 14:07, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Resolved template and archiving[edit]

I remember some time ago there was a case that was marked as resolved and archived but the action on the article itself had not been taken and it got forgotten for a period of time. I see this has happened to some others as well. For example Geography of the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and Geography of the United Kingdom. There are many open cases and its sometimes hard to keep up with each case at all times. There for i was wondering if it may be better to have two templates rather than just the one resolved one. We need one template to say the dispute has been resolved but another one to say the resolution has been implemented and the section is ready for archive. Thanks BritishWatcher (talk) 08:55, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

That's probably a good way to do it. I've been using the {{resolved}} template (as you all know), and then archiving after a decent interval. I'll change this process, and hold off on the archiving until someone adds a {{done}} tag under the "resolved" tag. Obviously this requires editors to action stuff, and apply a "done" tag... I'm reluctant (lazy...) to commit to actioning resolved items myself, or commit other sysops/non-involved parties to this, hence my hope that involved editors will "done" [sic] issues. TFOWR 10:37, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it can't all just be down to TFOWR to do all the work - I suggest we all monitor stuff and help out whenever possible to implement final resolved ones and also, as BW has done above, to draw attention to any problem ones. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 12:57, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I like that idea. If the editor who applies the done template signs off, others can check if they want. Is it only TFOWR that can archive? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 17:44, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Example (discussion)[edit]

Quoted use: "... A quote from the article showing current use or non-use of a term in context; ..."
Concern raised: A summary of the concern with current use in the article.
Reported by: Example (talk · contribs) 10:53, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Quoted use: "... A quote from the article after discussion. This showing the new use or non-use of a term in context. ..."
Comments: A summary of the outcome of discussion and reasoning.
Closure reported by: Jimbo Wales (talk · contribs) 10:53, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Please discuss proposals to changes this article's text at the article's talk page. This area should be kept for discussion on broader issues raised during this discussion relating to the use of terminology relevant to the task force.

Like Scolaire, I think the currently proposed template puts the cart before the horse.

The above is an example of a kind of template that I feel is more in line with normal practice by keeping discussion about specific changes to a (single) specific article on that article's talk page. It would allow editors here to keep a track of the various discussions and to collate the outcomes of each. But, importantly, it would keep the two strands of discussion (general and specific) separate and where they each belong.

The template would be filled in over the course of the discussion (i.e. the closure section would be initially blank). The comments section here would be for discussion relevant to this Task Force (i.e. the generalised discussion about use and formulation of guidelines). --RA (talk) 10:53, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I like the look of the table, my concern is its when its used. I have always thought the best thing about BISE was we keep most of the conversation about the dispute here to avoid cluttering up other talk pages, it is also then much easier to search through the archives for each case than have to go to different articles archives.
I believe we should use something like your template above for major articles (so like Republic of Ireland and Ireland), so that all of the debate takes place there. But on fairly inactive articles like TwoFourFour (or what ever it was) and James Kay or Kray, we use the template suggested above that people have been voting on to drag any potential editors who may wish to comment here and all the debate take place here. BritishWatcher (talk) 20:38, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Its over-elaborate and not flexible enough. Ditto where the conversation takes place. Some of these are (or should be) minor: post a notice, quick consensus, act. Others end up with longer discussions which would not fit into the template above. Some discussions can be handled here, every now and then they will go to the talk page. We are in danger of creating an overly complicated set of processes here.--Snowded TALK 00:58, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Transclusion option[edit]

Per a request form TFOWR, I created a "transclusion" option to notify talk pages and transclude discussion onto it. The option can be seen here. Hopefully it is understandable without instruction. I won't be around this weekend to answer questions, if it isn't :-) --RA (talk) 00:34, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

FYI - despite being happy to implement this from a technical point of view, my 2¢ is that this approach is OTT for something that is run-of-the-mill a content discussion. The appropriate location is simply the article Talk page in my view, with discussions advertised centrally here per norm. --RA (talk) 06:57, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to echo RA's sentiments one last time. As regards transclusion: from the point of view of compromise it is the most effective solution, but I will repeat my caveat on page size. This page here is now 498 kilobytes. If you were to transclude only the recent discussion at ROI that would push it close to 600kb. Archiving isn't an option because the great majority of threads are still current. I am finding my pages increasingly slow to load. There is of course the possibility that my ISP is deliberately slowing me down to persuade me to buy their new superfast package, but these kind of page sizes aren't helping. Scolaire (talk) 07:27, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Not to mention tracking changes to threads. Here is a single day's changes on this page; here is a typical day (not the same day, because the 10th was slower) on ROI. Some people will want to track all the changes on all the pages anyway, but that is their choice. Scolaire (talk) 07:44, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Transclusion is major overkill. Most of the articles handled here do not have active editor groups so its a lot easier to monitor conversations here at a single point. For major articles with active editors IF (and I suggest only if) a proposal for change gets serious then it should transfer to that talk page. Lets keep this simple and practical. --Snowded TALK 07:30, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Snowded on this one. We just needed something to let local editors know there is a discussion here about it, hence the template. Most of the articles that come up here are only lightly edited. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 08:03, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Transclusion should be kept as an option for those articles that have more participants. Articles Ireland, Great Britain, Republic of Ireland & United Kingdom, for example. GoodDay (talk) 12:55, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Not said it yet, so thanks, RA, for setting this up. GoodDay, I agree. I've made a proposal at WT:BISE#Process proposals which includes your suggestion. i.e. use transclusion when things get complex, but otherwise keep simple discussions in one place (typically at WT:BISE - I'm assuming "simple" discussions are one where local talkpages don't have active participants). TFOWR 13:03, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

The new structure of debate (Resolved)[edit]

Resolved: Leaving this for now. Let's see how things work out and revisit process later. TFOWR 11:57, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

I think the more structured approach of Arguments for / Against does seem to be helpful. However as i mentioned before, these sections get very messy when people respond in them and it just turns into a full debate making it less clear. There is a need to keep all discussion in one section so the For/Again remain simple and clear points. #Great Britain is the perfect example of the situation. There is basically a discussion section first, then there is For and then against. Without taking too much credit the FOR section presents clear points stating reasons why it should be added. The arguments against section however is just a debate. We should be required to challenge peoples points in the first section (above For/Against) to keep the FOR/Against section clear. If points are proven wrong in the discussion section then the point in the For/Against gets striked out. BritishWatcher (talk) 12:06, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

One approach used (with varying degrees of success/compliance...) is the WP:ITNC approach, where noms and blurbs ("teaser text" for ITN items) get marked with a "*", and !votes/comments get indented with a ":". We could try something similar - arguments are bulleted ("* This is my argument. ~~~~") and responses to arguments are indented ("*: This is my response. ~~~~"). That would create something like...
  • This is an argument. ~~~~ note that this is bulleted.
    This is a response. ~~~~ note that this is not bulleted.
    Yes, but... ~~~~ note that this is also not bulleted.
Also, part of the problem is the arguments themselves. If they stick to policy and precedent, and not opinion (which I'll ignore anyway...) there's much less need to respond outside the "designated area".
TFOWR 12:19, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't fully understand, but perhaps I will, when/if this is put into practice. GoodDay (talk) 21:16, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Maybe allow a couple of days for discussion, then put in the structure for summary arguments only --Snowded TALK 21:18, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Whilst i was concerned originally about this new format it does seem to be working well. Providing we can continue to try and keep the debate above For/Against sections, it keeps everything so much clearer. Perhaps this section + the previous long discussion near the top of article should be archived to help clear some space. page is still so long BritishWatcher (talk) 12:18, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

I'll archive it in a day or two - I tend to leave things that have recently been marked as resolved to give people time to object, comment, etc. I take your point about the above debate - I'll move that either to the general archive or the "meta" page. TFOWR 12:23, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Discussions about this page[edit]

I've moved all "meta" discussions, open discussions about this page and how it's operated, to Wikipedia talk:British Isles Terminology task force/Specific Examples/Meta discussions. I intend to summarise current issues here, and hopefully get a quick resolution to all this while reducing page-size and load times. This is not intended to "censor" current discussions, simply to reduce some of the "clutter" on this page. TFOWR 10:08, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Argh (headbangs) another page to watch. Surely there must be a better way... no doubt something that would be discussed now on the new meta page... sigh. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:11, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Live dangeriously; women love that. GoodDay (talk) 14:15, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
My hope was that we'd continue "meta" discussions below, not at the new "meta" page. So... how about that as a new proposal? Any continuation of a discussion moved to "meta" should take place below, un-"archiving" as required? TFOWR 14:18, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Process proposals[edit]

When this page first started, it followed a fairly clear format for discussions. Each discussion was split into arguments "for" and "against". I'm not big on formal processes, and chose to ignore that. I'd still like to avoid formal processes as far as is possible, because:

  • The more formal we make this, the harder it is for newcomers - whether editors or sysops - to understand and use the processes;
  • Formal processes have a danger of becoming a "weapon" - discussions get bogged down in an editor's "failure" to follow rules and regs.

However... discussions differ. Some are short, and relate to new, stubby articles with no active talkpage discussions. Such articles may have been created by one editor, who has since vanished, or by an editor who has no wish (and who can blame them...!) to get involved here. Other discussions involve multiple articles, spread across multiple talkpages, with many active editors (who may still not with to participate here, for whatever reason).

With that in mind, and in an attempt to summarise the discussions at Wikipedia talk:British Isles Terminology task force/Specific Examples/Meta discussions, I'd like to propose the following:

  • Editors raising issues here should create a new heading, and add a note, with a diff if appropriate, explaining the issue. This is basically what happens now.
  • The editor raising the issue should post a template at the talkpage(s) affected, directing talkpage editors to the discussion here. This is a new process.
  • Responses should be split into arguments "for" and "against". This is intended to avoid the repetition that sometimes occurs - state your argument, taking the opportunity to respond to arguments by other editors (if necessary, adding to your argument to respond to other editors who have posted since your first post). This is "new", but is intended as a return to the original process.
  • An admin or uninvolved party will - as soon as practical - look at the talkpages affected and decide whether to transclude discussions. Transcluded discussions will be hosted on a subpage of the local talkpage, either of the local talkpage or, if there are multiple talkpages involved, a subpage here. Where necessary, the template added by the "raising editor" will be updated to reflect the change. I expect transcluded discussions to be the exception, used where local talkpages are active, or where multiple articles/talkpages are involved. This is a new process.
  • I anticipate transcluded discussions to be longer, and consequently I'm proposing two different methods for handling discussions:
    • Non-transcluded discussions take place here. Once a consensus emerges, or clear policy-based reasons for closure emerge, an admin will mark the discussion as {{resolved}}, indicating what action should be taken. Any editor may then carry out the action(s) required, and should then mark the discussion as {{done}}, providing a diff showing the action. This may be done as soon as the discussion is marked as resolved. No sooner than one week after the discussion is "done" then any editor may archive the discussion.
    • Transcluded discussions take place on sub-pages of either the local talkpage or this page. The admin or non-involved party transcluding the discussion should prepend a header summarising the issue and the state of the discussion. This header will be at WT:BISE. Transcluded discussions take place on sub-pages, so the entire discussion, apart from the header, may be "collapsed" on this page and/or any talkpages to aid navigation and scrolling. Collapsing should not occur on the sub-page. Collapsing will be the decision of local editors: we may decide here to collapse here; local talkpage editors may decide there to collapse there. As for non-transcluded discussions, an admin will update the header to indicate "resolved". Any editor may carry out the action(s) required, and should then update the header to show the discussion state, providing a diff showing the action. Both actions (resolving and acting) should be communicated to the local talkpage(s) affected (remember that the header is only used at WT:BISE, and is not transcluded). As with non-transcluded discussions, archiving may be done by anyone, but no sooner than one week after completion.

Blimey, that's a lot of new rules and regs! Actually, I don't think it's as bad as it looks. It;s basically what we do now, apart from splitting discussions into "for" and "against" sections, and the "marking as done" bit is new (except BW has already done that once), and the "rules" on archiving are firmed up. Use of the notification template is new, but we should all be familiar with this by now. The real change is transcluding "complex" discussions. We've never done this, and I'd imagine there are going to be hiccups. That's life. We can deal with issues as they occur, and I'd expect this entire process to be a work-in-progress.

I'll immediately ignore my suggestion for "for" and "against", as this is a "meta discussion" and I suspect there may be aspects of my proposal which are less OK than others. So... what do you think? Which parts of this proposal are sensible, and which parts just reveal my technical/legal ignorance? TFOWR 10:47, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

The transclude discussions point sounds very complex, especially if it gets used often. I am also rather concerned about this For and against section, which to me sounds like something which will stifle debate and is a very big change. I can see the benefits of having the main points for/against in separate sections, but there will also need to be a discussion section and whilst debate is ongoing, it shouldnt be decided simply on the points in For/Against. Also how exactly the For/Against sections are formatted is going to be important, we need a way to respond to the points, but doing that will likely turn each section into a discussion, as the counter point is countered etc. The other thing is does each editor write in the section if they are supporting it with their own general comments, or should it be a list of points. So for example...
Person A - Because....
Person B - Because....
Person C - Because....
Person D - Because....
Person E - Because....
Or is it...
Point 1 -
Point 2 -
Point 3 -
Point 1 -
Point 2 -
Whilst i have concerns about this for or against thing, if it was the second example, where editors can add single specific points id be more supportive, rather than what will end up just as a vote with editors signing saying "per reason above" or a general comments rather than specific reasons. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:29, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Both these proposals are a tad complexed for me (not to mention alot of reading). I'll let the more frequent visitors (at BISE) decide on these. If they're adapted? I hope ya'll guide me through it. GoodDay (talk) 13:35, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Transclusion would only be used for complex cases. Of the 10 (only 10!) open cases we have, the biggest and most complex is the Islands/Countries one, and that's the only one I think we'd currently want to use transclusion. And we'd probably want at least two transclusions: one for the islands (transclude to GB, I, IoM, each CI) and one for the countries/states (transclude to UK, RoI, IoM, each CI).
Regarding "for"/"against" each editor would post where they felt appropriate. If they had points both for and against they could post in each section. I'm open to the idea of having a third "Discussion" section, but it's something I'd like to avoid if at all possible. Editors can respond to other editors arguments when they make their own arguments, and can edit their arguments later to respond to new arguments by other editors.
GoodDay, the first ("simple" - yeah, right!) process is broadly what we do now, with one or two tweaks. The second ("transcluding") process is - hopefully - something we won't have to do too often. TFOWR 13:41, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Okie Dokie. GoodDay (talk) 13:44, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I do not like the sound of this idea. This would totally remove all debate and make this simply into a voting page. Having to edit ones own statement to add new information and expecting others to re read it or notice you have added to it is problematic. BritishWatcher (talk) 13:58, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
It would definitely not be votes - I'll ignore simple "I agree." comments. It'll be argument-based - editors will need to state why they're for or against. Incidentally, this is just a return to the way things were done back at the dawn of time - take a look at Wikipedia talk:British Isles Terminology task force/Specific Examples/Closed for examples of this process being used. I take your point about editing existing comments; a better way would be to add a new comment below your existing comment(s). TFOWR 14:03, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Those old cases are like the method id be prepared to accept. With a for/Against where anyone can make specific points.. like the first case where Highking made two separate points. Rather than a full statement by highking, followed by a full statement by another editor and so on. With the discussion taking place separately from the points for/against so they remain clear. To avoid cluttering up the for / against sections, it should be possible to challenge and point and if get the point striked out if the challenge is justified. BritishWatcher (talk) 14:23, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

The example below is what i mean if we do have to adopt some form of For/Against section, id much rather that than no discussion section and each editor simply making a statement. BritishWatcher (talk) 14:14, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

So, would the arguments then just be adjusted by any editors? It seems like it could all go up badly. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:16, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
No. The usual "don't refactor other editors' comments" rule would apply, for precisely the worry you state. TFOWR 14:20, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Well if the arguments can be updated, then wouldn't there just be a bunch of duplicate arguments under for, and a bunch of duplicated arguments under against? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:23, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Theyd have to be like bullet points and there should be a way of challenging them if they are misleading, incorrect or duplicates. If we were just doing the specific points for and against. I would much prefer that than each editor making their own statement in the for / against section which could get lengthy and repetitive (which is what this change is meant to reduce). BritishWatcher (talk) 14:25, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
There is a way of challenging them - in the opposing section, with links to policies or diffs. Respondign to individual editors as a reply, or in the discussion section, is what I'm hoping to avoid - that leads to repetition. What I'd like to see is:
  • JoeSoap79 is incorrect: WP:POLICY1 states "lorem ipsum etc yaya", which directtly contradicts Joe's conclusion. User:SoapDodger23.
What I really want to avoid is opinion. I want to see sound policy and precedent supporting this, not opinion, because that leads to counter-opinion and then counter-counter-opinion. It takes us seconds to check policies and diffs; it takes centuries to convince others that our opinion is correct ;-) TFOWR 14:34, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Okay, now it is beginning to make sense. I assume we could indent to augment others arguments etc. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:51, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Well i cant support a change if it doesnt by default always come with a discussion section. I agree with the For/Against sections being specific. But if people are able to say "Joe is incorrect because"... in the against section its going to lead to the other side wanting to counter their response again underneath the persons point, which will turn it more into a discussion aagin. For/Against area should be just for specific points about inclusion or exclusion, each editor can add points if they want with a separate section or way of editors being able to challenge the points and if successful because the other persons point is incorrect, misleading or simply a duplicate of a previous point it has to be struck out. BritishWatcher (talk) 14:55, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I suppose there might be some value in having a discussion section if it helped editors formulate and clarify their arguments, provided arguments then got inserted into the correct sections above the discussion. But for my part, and I suppose this doesn't revolve around me (!), I don't see much value in the discussion in terms of assessing resolution: I'll be looking at policies and precedents, etc, not at opinions, and for that I'll need clear arguments, diffs and links. Conversations, particularly the repetitive, heated type of conversation I've seen elsewhere, won't factor in my assessment. My concern here, obviously, is to try and keep things focussed, and to avoid the opportunity for civility problems. TFOWR 15:01, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
one of the uses of the discussion section should be so that we can challenge peoples points if they are incorrect, and if proven the statement is wrong, get it struck below like in my example below ive added to. I think that would be more organised keeping the points for and against very easily available for all to see, rather than allowing people to challenge each others points within the for/against section. BritishWatcher (talk) 15:06, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree there's value in keeping the for and againsts neat and tidy, I'm just not seeing why we need a discussion to do it. Take a look at the "JoeSoap" example above - surely that's all that's needed? I can all too easily imagine a case where the discussion gets bogged down with two editors arguing over an interpretation of policy - all we need is for both editors to make their argument and move on. They're not going to convince each other - we've seen that time and time again. TFOWR 15:12, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, such editor -vs editor stuff, belongs on respective editors talkpages. GoodDay (talk) 15:19, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I do think there is a value in discussion. It allows arguments to be fleshed out and observed by other editors. I disagree with completely cutting it out, I think it is worth the civility risks. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 15:21, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
But if i am JoeSoap how do i challenge SoapDodger23 rubbishing my argument? It will give an advantage to the person who posts second unless i am allowed to reply somewhere. And if i am able to reply (underneath his post, or in a new post in the For section) then again SoapDodger will want to reply. All of which would clutter up the For/Against section. Which is why if such debate was in the discussion section it would keep things clear, especially if successfully challenging a point gets it struck out. BritishWatcher (talk) 15:23, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Invite SoapDodger to your talkpage (particularly if he's commenting on you). 15:27, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Aha, that's the beauty of this approach: you don't need to. JoeSoap has made their argument (linked to a policy), and SoapDodger has made their counter argument (implicitly linked to policy through reference to JoeSoap). Now it's up to the rest of us to follow JoeSoap's link and assess which editor is correct. There may well be occasional times when policy itself is ambiguous - that'll be readily apparent and we can post on the policy's talkpage or wherever to get clarification (or bounce it to our friendly legal eagle). TFOWR 15:29, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
But could Joesoap then change their argument, and this go unnoticed by SoapDodger? This would make it seem like Soapdodger was stupid, and put him in the wrong. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 15:31, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That's a risk with any kind of system - it occasionally happens at ANI, for example. In practice it tends to be noticed. The preferred way would be for JoeSoap to strike part or all of their comment, and add a new comment, signed, below it. I'd hope that if JoeSoap didn't behave themselves, SoapDodger, or someone else, would notice and comment, and JoeSoap could be "persuaded" to rectify the situation. TFOWR 15:35, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

It is not fair on Joe. Joe must be allowed to respond to Soaps point. Soap has been allowed to challenge joes point. So where can joe challenge Soaps? If im Joe, id have to strike out my first comment simply to make a new comment to state the same thing but include a defence against Soaps point? Soap would then want to respond to my response, so would he have to strike his comment and make a new one? it would get very messy, very fast. Which is why having a discussion section is handy, keeping all of that sort of thing separate, and if a statement is wrong an admin agrees in the discussion section and strikes the persons point in For/Against, or they strike it themselves when they are presented with new information. BritishWatcher (talk) 15:39, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't see why JoeSoap would necessarily need to strike anything out. If Joe feels their argument is correct, they leave it. If they feel SoapDodger has made a valid point, then they can strike their argument. This isn't the Oxford Union, it's just putting forward arguments for and against something. No one gets points or applause for beautiful rhetoric, the "points" come from the policies or precedents cited. If JoeSoap advances their WP:POLICY1-based argument, and SoapDodger then says WP:POLICY1 doesn't actually say that - the rest of us can look at WP:POLICY1 before putting forward our arguments, and the resolving admin can look at WP:POLICY1 before resolving, but that's all that's required. There's really no need to have opinion-after-opinion on each others arguments. TFOWR 16:51, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Could JoeSoap edit his entry if he failed to clarify something which was used in the against argument? And if he did would SoapDodger be able to edit their point to argue that too? And how do we keep track of all these edits? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 16:54, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Joesoap would want to reply and should have a right to. This is my point, it gives an unfair advantage to the person who posts second. They get to challenge the first persons point and the first person has no way of defending themselves or their point if there is not a discussion section. This proposal (with out a discussion section) is an absolutely huge alteration to the way things are done here. I think it would be extremely problematic. Stopping all debate is like asking people to sit on their hands when they are desperate to get chosen or answer a question in school. I fully agree that we need an area for each case where the For/Against arguments are clearly presented and remain so until the admin closes the case. But we should have an area for debate, even if the debate itself carries far less weight to the closing admin than the points. We also need a method to get other peoples points to be striked out if they are incorrect, misleading, or new information arrives changing things. BritishWatcher (talk) 17:03, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Sure, something like this:
WP:POLICY1 states "the sky is green". -- User:JoeSoap79 00:01, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
WP:POLICY1 states that "the sky is blue". SoapDodger's claim of ambiguity is not how I read the policy. -- User:JoeSoap79 00:03, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually, WP:POLICY1, while mentioning the blueness of the sky, leaves open the possibility that... [etc etc] -- User:SoapDodger23 00:02, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think this is that different to existing norms for discussions, it's just split into two sections. An RfC/Arbcom approach, which Snowded advocated (and I think may be appropriate for complex cases) would be even more extreme than this, and works well in practice. This is just a simplified form of that approach. TFOWR 17:05, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
But what happens when SoapDodger wants to reply? will he have to strike his comment to respond to JoeSoaps second comment and the same thing will carry on as the debate simply happens over two sections, with each posting their response in the For or Against section. BritishWatcher (talk) 17:09, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
BW, what I'm trying to move away from is the interminable stream of replies which add nothing. Each party makes their case, and if necessary corrects what they've written if they've made a mistake. We're really not talking about lengthy debate here - it's simply a link to the relevant policy and an explanation why. If the link is wrong, then it can be corrected. But I'm really, really keen to get away from the abstract, informal, tendency-to-get-heated-quickly approach that open discussion permits. So in this case, if SoapDodger feels the need to argue the toss with JoeSoap - they both have talk pages. The rest of us have lives to lead. TFOWR 17:18, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I get it now. This does seem like a useful way to cut the need to repeat all arguments. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 17:22, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I have serious concerns about this method, but i suppose we could see how it works in practice when the next case comes up depending how others feel about it. Id still prefer a method like my example below, which allows debate still, but keeps all the important points clearly available for the closing admin in For/Against. Also this point about policy, is it a requirement for each point, if so then that is very problematic. For example "Other articles dealing with these types of issues use the term British " i believe is a valid point, but i dont think theres a policy to quote on it. BritishWatcher (talk) 17:34, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
"Other articles" would fall under the "precedent" umbrella, and would be fine (provided there were links... "Other articles do it" wouldn't be OK, "Other articles, e.g. This article and Another one, do it" - that would be ideal. TFOWR 17:39, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok, i dont mind us trying this on the next case or two coming up if others agree, and problems do not arise with it. During the testing phase we will need a comments section to comment on the actual process / clarify if things are ok to do or not. We need to be sure it works on a complicated case though, no good if a couple of trial runs work fine because they are simple cases, then we are stuck when a harder one comes along. BritishWatcher (talk) 18:57, 11 September 2010 (UTC)


New case example

I want British Isles added to this article. BritishWatcher (talk) 14:14, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Reasons for the change
  • The following references use the term British Isles about this issue.BritishWatcher (talk) 14:14, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Other articles dealing with these types of issues use the term British Isles.BritishWatcher (talk) 14:14, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
  • It was in the article for four years until it was removed with no debate 2 months ago. (Signed Person B)
Reasons against the change
  • There is no proof this had an impact outside of Great Britain (Signed Person C) - Incorrect statement (signed by admin)
  • The following sources just say Great Britain (Signed Person D)


Person C's point about no proof is incorrect, the following source clearly talks about his impact on Ireland. BritishWatcher (talk) 15:03, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Agreed (signed by admin)

"Stop! Are you starting a new discussion?" (Resolved)[edit]

Resolved: Instructions in place, updated for WikiProjects. TFOWR 20:12, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

This page has a shiny new edit notice.

This page also has instructions.

I'm open to ideas for refining both, however the general principle is non-negotiable. It's part of being considerate members of a wider community, welcoming new-comers, and so on. Sorry to be a hard-arse about this, but that's the way it goes. TFOWR 16:20, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Good idea, I assume then we leave it to you to structure the discussion? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 16:36, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I support. Codf1977 (talk) 16:37, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Aye, I'll hold off on the structuring bit. It may be that there's a really quick resolution. If it become obvious that's not the case I will (well, anyone can) create "for" and "against" sections. TFOWR 16:45, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I like the stop notice. I'm a bit confused though (sorry for any foolishness on my part) - is this a warning about a specific recent misbehaviour, or are you announcing a new bit of templating, eg, the stop notice? Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 18:23, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
It's prompted more by DuncanHill (talk) chastising us all for being crap ;-) No one individually has been bad, it's more a comment on us all. TFOWR 18:34, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks TFOWR, that's kind. But...I think I got my virtual wrist slapped earlier for not templating the previous discussion immediately. An uninvolved editor requested that we template straight away, and it simplifies things. My excuse was that I was holding off templating until we decided we needed a debate in case it was an easily resolved case. Still, no harm in the end, and another small bit of progress. --HighKing (talk) 18:43, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
To be fair to HK, it hasn't been completely clear, but it is now, so that will make things easier. I'm really pleased with the way things have developed here for my part - we are now having orderly, constructive discussions and nothing hidden. I must say I think it really helps also when obviously disruptive editors are speedily assisted by admins in taking editing holidays - we really notice the difference! :) Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 18:45, 6 October 2010 (UTC)


Is there a necessity to post on every single wikiproject listed on a page? Some may be tangentially related, at best. As such I think posting on every relevant wikiproject would be better? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:52, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. I'll update the instructions accordingly. What I'm going to say is basically: let every relevant WikiProject know; if you're unsure whether a WikiProject is relevant, err on the side of caution: either let them know, or note here which WikiProjects were and were not notified. TFOWR 10:09, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
 Done - instructions updated. TFOWR 20:10, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
    • ^ The Irish Linen Story by Kathleen Curtis-Wilson, Gary McCain, Nina M. Ray. Journal of Business Case Studies – Third Quarter 2006 Volume 2, Number 3