Wikipedia talk:Drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass

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Whilst this seems to be common sense, I have seen this being used as an underhand way of someone saying 'I've won the debate, so piss off'. Perhaps not the most diplomatically phrased essay. Man from the Ministry (talk) 21:00, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Not designed to be diplomatic. But if someone is using it as a way of saying "I've won the debate, so piss off", then they are missing the point of the essay and they are falling foul of m:Don't be a dick, and should be pointed directly at the latter. Unless, of course, they have been provoked by a "I won", "No, I won", "No, I won", "NO, I won", "NO, I WON" style "debate". In that case, both parties are failing to drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass and are being dicks. A horrible combination. ➔ REDVEЯS says: at the third stroke the time will be 21:36, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

The nutshell says: "If you are the only person left beating the horse after it has died..." Isn't the expression "flogging a dead horse", not "beating..." almost-instinct 11:56, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

If you're British or Australian, then "flogging" is the term. But for Americans, it's "beating". ➨ Ʀƹɗѵєɾϧ collects very sharp bread knives 13:59, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Ah! Learn something new everyday. Isn't WP marvellous? almost-instinct 20:51, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Love the essay. A suggested expansion would be "If you're not willing to drop the stick, don't worry! A nice man from the ArbCom will be along shortly to place it somewhere moist, warm and out of your reach." Ironholds 02:33, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Moving image[edit]

Moving images are a cause of problems for people with a variety of conditions, such as epilepsy, and reading disabilities, and are distracting to many more.

WCAG guideline 7.3 states with priority 2 that we should Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid movement in pages. This has been discussed previously at Animated Picture of the Day and Avoid movement in pages.

Such images should be used very sparingly, if at all, and then only when necessary in the context of an article. Accordingly, I removed the animated image from this essay; and, having been reverted, intend to do so again. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 21:06, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

(I also note that, far from the essay being "stable for quite some time", the image was only added on July, with only two intermediate edits since then). Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 21:13, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

There is no rule against Gifs in our image policies, and we have our Wikipedia:Risk disclaimer to warn people things could be dangerous. MBisanz talk 21:44, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
I have not referred to any "rule against Gifs"; and no disclaimer (particularly: not one which refers only to factual accuracy) absolves us of the responsibility of making WP as accessible as reasonably possible. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 21:59, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
That image is used on lots of pages, this is just an essay, not even a policy, how does having it on this page prevent a user from accessing or contributing to the sum of human knowledge? Further, Wikipedia:Accessibility itself is a guideline, not a policy, and it applies to articles, not project pages. MBisanz talk 22:32, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
If WCAG guideline 7.3 is to be a standard that Wikipedia recognizes and observes, you must bring it up on WP:MOS and build a consensus before it is so recognized. As it currently stands, there are many looping animations currently in use on Wikipedia (there’s one here on our Moon article) and, by your standard, you can now wade in and delete them all because you don’t like them and also because you have now found some organization to cite that recommends the practice. If you want to deprecate animations on Wikipedia, please discuss your proposal on WP:MOS. In the mean time, don’t start whittling away, bit by bit on Wikipedia’s content. As for looking out for the welfare of epileptics, I’d bet $10 there are browsers they use that have preferences settings to deactivate animated GIFs. If epileptics didn’t have this ability, there would have been some flashing GIF animation-based advertisements that would absolutely put them into a comma. I use the “Floppymoose” css style sheet myself to block those annoying flashing adds. Sufferers of epilepsy don’t need patronizing paternalism by you or me or anyone else. Greg L (talk) 22:38, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
WCAG (and not just point 7.3) are the internationally-recognised web accessibility standards. I've raised the matter at Wikipedia talk:Accessibility#Animated image in essay. As for the rest of your baseless tirade, this is not a matter of what I don't like. Meanwhile, just what does the image in question add to this essay? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 22:55, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Good. You’ve raised the issue on WP:Talk. Now you are playing by the rules. When there is a project-wide consensus on the use of looping animations on Wikipedia and there is a change to the current guidelines governing their use, then that is the time for you to begin deleting (*wheeeee*) all those animations that other editors took a lot of time to create. Greg L (talk) 23:08, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

    P.S. Regarding you question: “just what does the [animation] in question add to this essay?”, Uhmm… it’s an image of wildly exaggerated violence juxtaposed against the relatively benign reality of edit conflict. “Error”: the basis of all humor. It’s a humorous sight gag added to help relieve tension and defuse conflict, which often occurs in a collaborative writing environment (that’s a link to another use of humor to defuse tension) like Wikipedia. Others “get” it. Lighten up please. Here you are climbing the Reichstag dressed as Spider-Man over an essay on lightening up! Greg L (talk) 23:33, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break[edit]

That particular image doesn't affect me using JAWS. I don't know about other screen readers though, and there are more important things to be fixing accessibility for, like the Main Page and actual articles. Graham87 08:49, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Are we talking about the nuke image? Personally, I've never really liked it or seen what it really has to do with this page. Can we find something better, perhaps from commons:Whips? --Elonka 15:18, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Yeah, the nuke image. I didn’t put it there. I just didn’t appreciate the basis for removing it. Some editor went through a fair amount of effort to produce that animation and post it. It’s all quite easy to delete things like that—like spraying graffiti: too easy. I’m not particularly pleased with the quality of the animation (256 colors). But I like the way the animation humorously helps put edit disputes into relative context. If someone can suggest a better animation and, perhaps collaborate with the editor who took the effort to put the nuke animation here in the first place, I’d think that would be an outstanding example of collaborative writing. All of what I’m describing here is, in my opinion, the better way of improving Wikipedia. Greg L (talk) 15:34, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't see a huge problem with the image. It may be slightly annoying, but I don't think it would be a problem for people with eplilepsy- usually it's blinking or fast movement that triggers photosensitive folk, neither of which happens in this image. Just me two cents. ~ L'Aquatique[talk] 06:49, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
You acknowledge it could be slightly annoying, but don't see that as a problem? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 10:02, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
That "some editor went through a fair amount of effort to produce" something is not, so far, as reason to keep anything according to any policy on Wikipedia,. Perhaps you could tell us the policy which recognises such a criteria? (Liking something is specifically excluded as a criteria)Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 10:02, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, Graham87, but in this instance the concern is over the problems the image causes to sighted users. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 10:02, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
And I just told you it doesn't. While I appreciate your spunk in furthering the cause of accessibility here on the wiki, it may be time to drop the stick and back slowly away. ~ L'Aquatique[talk] 18:57, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Very droll, but you didn't - you referred only to a subset of the people affected by such images. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 20:53, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, I try. grinning smilie face However, I believe photosensitive epilepsy is the major reason why moving images are generally frowned upon. There's a good explanation of the issue at this web page maintained by the Royal National Institute of Blind People. The image seems fine under their criteria- it is not used to convey information, it does not flash or flicker rapidly, it has alt text, and, according to Graham, it does not cause problems for [modern] screen readers. We good? ~ L'Aquatique[talk] 21:20, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

←Even if your belief about PSE is true, there are othrr reasons than one "major" one, as I noted in my first post on this page.

From the page you cite:

  • It is important to avoid using animation that can cause the screen, or parts of it, to flicker and change rapidly." - rapidly is not defined, but I contend that this image does change rapidly, since each frame is shown for well under a second.
  • "The animation should also come to a rest after 3 to 5 cycles." - this image flickers ad nauseum.
  • "7.1 Until user agents allow users to control flickering, avoid causing the screen to flicker. Priority 1."
  • "7.2 Until user agents allow users to control blinking, avoid causing content to blink (ie change presentation at a regular rate, such as turning on and off). Priority 2."
  • "7.3 Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid movement in pages. Priority 2."

The latter three are WCAG guidelines; priority 1 being the most crucial of three levels. Not good. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 22:01, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Pigsonthewing: The visual effect that sets off epilepsy is high-contrast, repetitive flickering; particularly at magic range of 17–25 Hz. The animation has none of that. It simply is a slow-frame-rate animation—and rather low contrast at that. I think you have good intentions here, but I also think that, deep down, your dislike of the animation may have biased you to grasp at what is arguably a wholesome sounding basis to give your personal preference some credibility.

    It’s clear that the foundation of your position is that looping animations that can’t be stopped by the user should be banned. And for some baffling reason, you keep on citing someone else’s policy (WCAG guideline 7.3) to buttress your position even though it’s been explained to you that Wikipedia does not consider this to be relevant. Looping animations are all over Wikipedia.

    Another issue, already raised above, is that epileptics can take care of themselves. There are CSS style sheets to load into browsers to block GIF animations and users who are extraordinarily sensitive to animations can avail themselves of these things.

    What you seek amounts to a broad policy change that has project-wide consequences. It is highly inappropriate to simply whittle away at animations one by one in an effort that effectively imposes your view that is a matter of extreme urgency. It is not. I see that you went and tried to persuade others that this is an important issue by posting an alert on Wikipedia_talk:Accessibility#Animated_image_in_essay a week ago but got zero responses to it. So what do you do in the face of this reality? You come here (again), entirely convinced of the correctness of your position and the righteousness of your cause, and are trying to get your way by advocating the deletion of a low-contrast animation: whittling away on Wikipedia, animation by animation. What’s next? Are you going to go to our Moon article here and delete that looping, high-contrast, low-frame-rate animation too?

    You are beginning to look like the sort of editor who hasn’t learned how to drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass in the face that A) the other editors here disagree with you, and B) you’ve been told that this isn’t the proper venue to even discuss such a sweeping policy change.

    Your hyperbole (“warn people things could be dangerous”) and your knee-jerk tendency to diminish those who disagree with you by insulting their writings (“Very droll” and “baseless tirade”) is a tactic that oh so-many editors with weak arguments resort to. Please stop. If you don’t like the animation, vote with your mouse and stop coming to this article. The use of animations on Wikipedia is a broad policy issue that isn’t going to be resolved on this backwater venue by a handful of us editors. If you think looping animations should be banned on Wikipedia, take it up elsewhere please. And if no one bites again, like happened over the last week with your last plea, then please take that as a clue to just drop it. 00:17, 1 November 2008 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Greg L (talkcontribs)

    • "It's been explained to you that Wikipedia does not consider [ WCAG ] to be relevant" Cite? (I'm disregarding the rest of your straw-man arguments and fallacies) Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:00, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Of course you’re disregarding what I wrote. You are disregarding everything that everyone else wrote above. You are convinced you are right and dismiss what others wrote by labeling it as “droll”, a “straw man”, or “baseless tirade” and similar such backhandings. Such techniques are the trademark signature of an editor with weak arguments.

    Funnier still, it is your arguments that don’t withstand scrutiny. WCAG is a Wikipedia article about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It does not represent Wikipedia policy; it is not titled WP:WCAG. What you advocating (elimination of all auto-running, looping animations), has project-wide implications. Animations are all over Wikipedia. Note that many of our self-running, looping animations have achieved Featured Picture status and there are galleries, like this one showing them off. If you don’t like that *inconvenient truth* you can go over there, don orange robes, pour petrol over yourself, and set yourself alight over how animations are evil.

    This may come as a shock, but you don’t unilaterally make the decisions as to whether or not Wikipedia will observe WCAG proposed guidelines and how it may or may not apply to our animations. Nor do you stealthly achieve your ends by slowly visiting articles that have animations you don’t like and delete them. No one died and made you boss. Wikipedia is a collaborative writing environment and your behavior, if you keep on deleting the animation, would be a violation of Wikipedia:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point. Policy decisions are made by consensus. Your views have been heard by the others here and rejected. Please accept that fact. Most importantly, this is not even the correct forum for discussing project-wide policy on animations. You will not be allowed to circumvent a policy you disagree with by slowly hacking away at Wikipedia bit by bit. Please accept that reality and don’t edit against the consensus again. Greg L (talk) 20:16, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Animated gif is distracting[edit]

It is very hard to read this page with that low quality loop of the a-bomb. I don't think seizures are a problem it is just damn annoying. Surely we can use a better quality image that is not alway flashing at the side when one is trying to read? I see this discussed in the past, lets see where opinions are now. Chillum 13:33, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

I found and added a picture of a man sitting on a dead horse as another illustration, so if consensus is against the nuke gif then there will be still an image on the page. Fences&Windows 23:55, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Ah, I see it. Nice. I have been bold and replaced the animated gif with that picture. Lets see if it is accepted. Chillum 16:52, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Support. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 19:03, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose I was unaware that the image was so "distracting"/problematic. Personally, I like it (which is why I added it), but I'm open to other options. The problem I see with this image is that it doesn't really clearly show the horse...which is supposed to be the whole point of the image. The A-Bomb image is showing an a-bomb explosion for the purposes of humor. Let's see other opinions... — BQZip01 — talk 00:18, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
    But it has nothing at all to do with a dead horse. Chillum 04:57, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
    The humor was supposed to be that there were other options available other than beating a dead horse (such as precision-placed high explosives...), which is the other half of the phrase. If ya'll don't like it, fine. Perhaps a corrollary to this is to consider not reviving a dead horse only to continue to flog it mercilessly... — BQZip01 — talk 17:24, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I just love the title of this article[edit]

I just love the title of this article. It is so appropriate. I am going to use it (diplomatically, of course) to someone who has a tendency to belabor a point until I want to scream. Thanks for introducing it to me.

I Wikipedia. JGKlein (talk) 16:40, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

good article. lousy nutshell.[edit]

Actually, the only thing wrong with the nutshell is the link to the article on metawiki. I hate that being there. (the link, not metawiki) But this is not a horse I even want to see in a pretty picture, let alone start flogging. Someone have mercy on readers like me who get tired of being dragged to irrelevant pages in that other place and change the link please. And I don't think links should be in the "nutshell" things at all. Just my opinion. Bacrito (talk) 05:58, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

ehhh, changed it myself. What the hell. Bacrito (talk) 06:01, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Not as cute as you think it is[edit]

These wikipedia essays that established editors throw around are not as cute as you think they are. Could they all be put on one page, then a standard link, say Lame essay quote be given for them? A template maybe. Wait, I'll drop stick, drink tea, back away from the carcass.

The carcass that really needs to be backed away from is quoting essays at each other. Just stick to the topic. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 18:03, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Title (minor change)[edit]

Shouldn't it be "back away slowly" rather than "back slowly away"? "back+slowly+away"&word2="back+away+slowly" GoogleFight agrees by 8:1 or so... Should we move this article to Wikipedia:Drop the stick and back away slowly from the horse carcass? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 23:49, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Either is correct English, depending on the intended emphasis. The word closer to the end of the sentence bears the greater emphasis. So, do you want to emphasize "away from the... carcass" (as in the present title) or "slowly from the... carcass"? (Another possible variant is "slowly back away...")
Yours is a good question, which relates to some of the finer points of style and precision in writing a text. Nihil novi (talk) 05:43, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Nicely put. Piotrus may have been thinking about infinitives, and whether correctly to split them or not. It is a very good idea to back slowly away from that one. Rumiton (talk) 15:27, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Good point. That aspect had not occurred to me. Nihil novi (talk) 03:37, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Wp:letgo being deleted[edit]

Someone wants to delete WP:LETGO a category for users who agree with this page. Maybe because of slight usage over time. I'm adding it to the main article so it gets more publicity and maybe some votes to save it. פשוט pashute ♫ (talk) 00:39, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

really, I didn't see any sort of deletion discussion at WP:LETGO?? Roberticus (talk) 16:48, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
it's at the category's entry on the Categories for discussion page. פשוט pashute ♫ (talk) 17:16, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Hanging modifier[edit]

Shouldn't it be "Drop the stick and back away slowly from the horse carcass"? Mr. Spink talkcontribs 17:17, 1 March 2016 (UTC)


In the interest of honesty, let us note that failure to be meek and servile with some Wikipedians is _officially_ considered to constitute "not dropping the stick", and this page is cited in support of servility. Michael Hardy (talk) 06:40, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

I feel like that would constitute misuse of this essay, would it not? I'd hope such situations would be obvious enough to notice. Plus, this essay isn't a formal policy or guideline, so anyone claiming this to be official would be mistaken. Dustin (talk) 07:02, 28 October 2016 (UTC)