Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates

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FACs needing feedback
South Park: The Fractured but Whole Review it now
Hi-5 (Australian band) Review it now
Solrad 1 Review it now
Featured article removal candidates
Superman in film Review it now
Tyrannosaurus Review it now
Featured content dispatch workshop 

Oct 1: Let's get serious about plagiarism


Jul 10: Infoboxes: time for a fresh look?


Nov 15: A guide to the Good Article Review Process
Oct 18: Common issues seen in Peer review
Oct 11: Editing tools, part 3
Sep 20: Editing tools, part 2
Sep 6: Editing tools, part 1
Mar 15: GA Sweeps end
Feb 8: Content reviewers and standards


Nov 2: Inner German border
Oct 12: Sounds
May 11: WP Birds
May 4: Featured lists
Apr 20: Valued pictures
Apr 13: Plagiarism
Apr 6: New FAC/FAR nominations
Mar 16: New FAC/FAR delegates
Mar 9: 100 Featured sounds
Mar 2: WP Ships FT and GT
Feb 23: 100 FS approaches
Feb 16: How busy was 2008?
Feb 8: April Fools 2009
Jan 31: In the News
Jan 24: Reviewing featured picture candidates
Jan 17: FA writers—the 2008 leaders
Jan 10: December themed page
Jan 3: Featured list writers


Nov 24: Featured article writers
Nov 10: Historic election on Main Page
Nov 8: Halloween Main Page contest
Oct 13: Latest on featured articles
Oct 6: Matthewedwards interview
Sep 22: Reviewing non-free images
Sep 15: Interview with Ruhrfisch
Sep 8: Style guide and policy changes, August
Sep 1: Featured topics
Aug 25: Interview with Mav
Aug 18: Choosing Today's Featured Article
Aug 11: Reviewing free images
Aug 9 (late): Style guide and policy changes, July
Jul 28: Find reliable sources online
Jul 21: History of the FA process
Jul 14: Rick Block interview
Jul 7: Style guide and policy changes for June
Jun 30: Sources in biology and medicine
Jun 23 (26): Reliable sources
Jun 16 (23): Assessment scale
Jun 9: Main page day
Jun 2: Styleguide and policy changes, April and May
May 26: Featured sounds
May 19: Good article milestone
May 12: Changes at Featured lists
May 9 (late): FC from schools and universities
May 2 (late): Did You Know
Apr 21: Styleguide and policy changes
Apr 14: FA milestone
Apr 7: Reviewers achieving excellence
Mar 31: Featured content overview
Mar 24: Taming talk page clutter
Mar 17: Changes at peer review
Mar 13 (late): Vintage image restoration
Mar 3: April Fools mainpage
Feb 25: Snapshot of FA categories
Feb 18: FA promotion despite adversity
Feb 11: Great saves at FAR
Feb 4: New methods to find FACs
Jan 28: Banner year for Featured articles

Image/source check requests[edit]

FAC mentoring: first-time nominators[edit]

A voluntary mentoring scheme, designed to help first-time FAC nominators through the process and to improve their chances of a successful outcome, is now in action. Click here for further details. Experienced FAC editors, with five or more "stars" behind them, are invited to consider adding their names to the list of possible mentors, also found in the link. Brianboulton (talk) 10:17, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

FAC source reviews[edit]

For advice on conducting source reviews, see Wikipedia:Guidance on source reviewing at FAC.

RfC regarding the use of "alt-text" for all FACs[edit]

Should "alt-text" be a requirement for all FAs? At present (per MOS:ACCIM and as expanded upon in MOS:ALT), it is part of our MoS and advised for WP:ACCESS reasons for those who are using a screen reader due to a visual impairment. Currently, its implementation at FAC is not universal: should we make it a requirement, possibly to be checked as part of an image review? - SchroCat (talk) 19:39, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

  • No. It's been a decade since it was discussed to death, but the underlying issues haven't changed. Alt-text is good practice and should be encouraged, but there are numerous occasions where it's not appropriate, and even in those cases where it is appropriate the overwhelming majority of Wikipedians don't understand how to write it (as a general rule, if your alt-text for any given image is more than six words you're doing it wrong), and enforcing this would cause a huge amount of bad feeling as we'd be failing otherwise-fine FACs en masse. ‑ Iridescent 20:30, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
    I am finding online that 125 characters is a good limit (though shorter if possible is better). Is six words a rule of thumb or is that recommended somewhere? Kees08 (Talk) 21:04, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
    125 characters is the maximum at which screen readers can't handle it; alt-text should be significantly shorter than that. The canonical example is "dog leaps for a stick"; as concrete examples from a fully-compliant website, the alt-text of the first ten images in this story on the BBC News website is "Vic in the exclusion zone", "Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant", "Gennady Laptev and his colleague working in Chernobyl in 1986", "Narodichi, Ukraine", "A researcher holds a radiation dosimeter", "Inside Unit 3 of the Chernobyl nuclear power station", "Map: Current radiation levels in the Chernobyl exclusion zone", "Red Forest, 4km from the Chernobyl reactor", "Przewalski's horses in the Chernobyl exclusion zone" and "Burayakovka". Basically, the alt text should be the absolute minumum necessary to give readers an understanding of what they're missing, and not—as most Wikipedians believe—an actual description of the image. RexxS can give a more full explanation if you want all the technicalities. ‑ Iridescent 21:25, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
    Iri, Thanks for kicking off the discussion here. The 'overwhelming majority of Wikipedians' don't know how to write an FA either, but those than can should be good enough in their approach to writing to be able to manage it, n'est-ce pas? You're certainly right to say that Alt text isn't appropriate in many situations, but the guidelines specifically allow for it not to be used for every image. Personally, I don't think that enforcing this would be any more onerous than having to jump through the hoops of any other part of our FA criteria - it's quite a low bar to have to hurdle, after all. - SchroCat (talk) 21:16, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
    I take it you weren't around when they briefly tried to make alt-text mandatory at FAC? It can't be emphasised enough how much of a disaster it was, and caused bad feeling that literally lasted for years. If anything, we should be pushing back more firmly against the increasingly prevalent notion that the MOS is somehow compulsory, not introducing yet another level of bureaucracy for nominees to jump through. (If you want a concrete example of how big an issue this would cause, if "make the alt-text compliant" were included in FAC, then in your last three FACs every single image was non-compliant.) ‑ Iridescent 21:31, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
    No, I wasn't around, and I'm bemused it could have caused so much friction. You know (or at least I think I've told you before) about my attitude to the MoS: it's there for guidance, not a series of ten commandments that have to slavishly be followed (to the point I have been called "anti-MoS" and more); I think you and I are, broadly, on the same page on that front. I don't see alt texts as being another level of bureaucracy: to me they are a small tickbox to be completed (20 mins in total for most articles, if you have to struggle with them - mush less time and much more use than an IB, for example) - certainly less of a burden than many of the other accoutrements necessary for an FA. For those readers with a visual impairment I understand this is extremely useful (sometimes vital) for them. Yes, my Alts may not be great, but I disagree that every single image is non-compliant, although many of them are less useful than others: even a badly written alt is a whole load better than no Alt at all. - SchroCat (talk) 21:41, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Encourage it rather than enforce it I'd love to see alt text on all images in Wikipedia, but I was around in 2010 when we we lost User:Eubulides through burn-out, trying to get alt text implemented. I think that for some editors, alt text can be a seemingly insuperable bar, and I'd hate them to feel disbarred from the FA process if they would otherwise have participated.
    For SchroCat, I'd be more than happy to work with you to find ways of helping and encouraging potential FA nominators to use alt text. But I'd really rather not enforce it.
    For Iri, the BBC website gets it wrong as well: alt text shouldn't contain information that can't be gleaned from inspecting the image - that's the job of the caption (otherwise, either folks who don't see the alt text miss out on information, or screen reader users hear the same info twice!). The BBC alt text should have been: "Victoria Gill walking along a road" (with caption: "Vic in the exclusion zone"); ""Gennady Laptev and a colleague" (the caption is fine, but you can't tell it's 1986 from looking at the picture); and so on. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 22:14, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Let those who want it do it - another layer of work for FAC writers doesn't really motivate them (judging from my own experience), rather, those who really want it implemented could be given free reign to add it to FACs and promoted articles (a task force?), or maybe to all articles in general, if it is a general rather than FAC specific issue (as it seems to be?). I'd be more than happy to pass on that responsibility. FunkMonk (talk) 22:56, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Encourage rather than enforce per RexxS for a number of reasons. I dont like scope creep, esp wrt MOS, which is frankly why FAC is so off putting [1]to a very great number of fine editors; the perception is of form over substance. Also, if it is codified, as proposed, I don't see how that would work. I normally add if requested, but sometimes refuse as with [2], an extreme example, where any desc would have necessitated personal selective bias, and risked my adding uncourced addition of POV. A further worry is logical conclusion...wait 3 months and someone will demand that alt texts are referenced. Ceoil (talk) 00:16, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - As it turns out, I've been alt-captioning very wrong indeed, Iridescent. I thought I needed to detail the image in as descriptive language as possible to create the image in the reader's head if they couldn't see it. Try explaining the features of a map to a blind reader in six words or less. In other words, my alt captions for an image such as a detailed map can be several hundred words long.
  • Map of the substructure to Unas's pyramid. From top to bottom: Ascending corridor terminating at vestibule; horizontal passage leading from end of vestibule and terminating at the antechamber. Three granite portcullises guard the passageway at approximately the mid-way point from vestibule to antechamber. PTs present at the very end of the passageway: 313–317 on the north wall of the passageway, and 318–321 on the south wall. PTs of the antechamber clockwise from north to west: 302–312 north, 273–301 east, 260–263 and 267–272 south, and 247–258 and 260 west. Serdab lies east of antechamber and is not inscribed. West of antechamber is a passageway with PTs 23, 25, 32 and 199–200 on the north wall and 244–246 on the south wall. Passageway terminates into the burial chamber with PTs of the burial chamber clockwise from north to south; 23, 25, 32, 34–57, 72–79, 81–96, and 108–171 north, 204–205, 207, 209–212 and 220–225 east, and 213–219 south. The sarcophagus lies near the west wall of the burial chamber with no texts inscribed north, south or on the wall west of it. The gable above the west wall contains PTs 226–243. The walls of the substructure are colour-coded in the map. The ascending corridor, vestibule and horizontal passage up to about 1.5m – distance values are calculated from Sethe's "ungefährer maßstab" (approximate scale) – from the granite portcullises are lined with fine white Tura limestone. Starting from 1.5m north of the first granite portcullis to 3.4m south of the last granite portcullis the walls are lined with red granite, and the portcullises are made from red granite as well. The lining spans 9m of the wall on each side. The last 1.5m of the passageway is lined with Tura limestone, as is the entirety of the serdab and antechamber. The first 4m of the burial chamber (entirety of east wall, part of north and south walls) are lined with Tura limestone, while the last 3m of chamber are lined with white alabaster (part of north and south walls, entirety of west wall).
  • What do? Delete the alt-captions, replace the alt-captions with a phrase like "Annotated map of x"? Nobody's pointed out to me my egregious misunderstanding of the function of an alt-caption up to this point. :( Mr rnddude (talk) 01:01, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
    @Mr rnddude: Making the effort to provide alternative text is far better than not having the text, so don't beat yourself up over it. Have a read of WAI Images Tutorial for complex images and see if you can incorporate your "long description" into the article, with a link or pointer from either the alt text or from the image caption. Alt text needs to be succinct, but you can be forgiven for using a dozen words when dealing with a complex image – alt=Map of the substructure to Unas's pyramid. See section xxx for full description.
    You'll be improving the article for anybody who has images switched off as well as those using assistive technology. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 02:03, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
RexxS - Thanks. I'll take a look at the tutorial you linked, and also see what I can move from the alt-caption into the body text. Mr rnddude (talk) 06:01, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • No. The problem when we last tried to require this was that no one knew for sure what editors who use screen readers need. We were encouraged to write long detailed descriptions of the images. The next thing we heard was that people using screen readers had complained about it at Wikimania, so we stopped. According to WebAIM, alt text is any text that makes clear what an image is (e.g. "George Washington", not "an older man with white hair"), including text in the article and caption. There's no need to repeat that in the "alt attribute", which they say (if I've understood them correctly) can consist of alt="" to avoid redundancy. We were told years ago that alt=photograph or alt=map were fine. Given the confusion, I think we should not require it. SarahSV (talk) 01:50, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • No per Iri, Rexxx and SV; it seems from the above that many/most are still unclear what the alt text is supposed to do (and the BBC apparently). I've just looked at WP:MOSALT, perhaps for the first time in ten years (when I think it was pretty different) & found it fairly clear. But it could be clearer on what we are trying to achieve. I found the options of a blank alt and "refer to caption" useful & new to me. I'd almost favour making at least one of these compulsory. In a large % of cases a good caption will almost remove the need for alt text, I'd think, except for a blank alt to stop the screen reader reading out the file name. I note the first example at the end contains well over 6 words: "alt=A red flag divided into four by a white cross slightly offset to the left." - 15 in fact, if short ones. Poor old User:Eubulides! Johnbod (talk) 03:20, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm vaguely leaning towards "No" on this for a couple of meta-reasons. My primary concern for the purpose of this RfC is that expressed by RexxS and Iridescent above: we cannot afford to lose any more Eubulideses (Eubulidi?)!
    However, a possibly more fundamental concern is with the framing of the question. In one of those linked 2009 discussions I wrote: I get the feeling the discussion has an odd emphasis on the “This is too hard, we can't do it” angle, rather than “This is how and to what degree we are practically able to do it” (on which latter point reasonable editors may disagree). The question really shouldn't be whether to require accessibility in the FA criteria, it should be which specific measures should be required, to what degree, and what tools do editors need (e.g. shared alt text on image page) in order to comply.
    SarahSV's argument is a valid one (I agree with her assessment of the status quo), but I also think, as an argument, it has a flaw: the reason we have widespread confusion and lack of expertise in this area is because we as a project have done too little to work on it (requiring it at FAC or GAN being two potential tools in the relevant toolchest). All such efforts require periods of confusion, disagreements, failures, discussions, wrong paths taken, corrections, and so forth. What the extensive archive at Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/Alt text tells us is that starting by "making alt text required at FAC" is probably not a good idea today any more than it was a decade ago. However, I would argue that having alt text (and some surrounding issues) and accessibility a requirement at FAC is a desireable end state once certain prerequisites are in place. And the world and Wikipedia has changed since 2009: while the effort might land in the same place (or it might not), it probably wouldn't play out in the same way (for better or worse).
    What I would like to see discussed, with subsequent RfCs as appropriate, is what are the slow baby steps along the path that will eventually land at that desired end state? Is tooling a prerequisite perhaps? The WMF is working on structured data for Commons, and starting with captions for images. Maybe we should request they work on support for structured alternative text on Commons so that it can be shared between articles and projects? And reviewing for accessibility (alternative text being just one aspect of that) takes not just process but reviewers. Do we actually have anyone willing to take the lead on that, vaguely similar to how image reviews and source checks are handled today? If someone was willing to be the go-to person for accessibility reviews, and carrying the load for a good long while, we might be able to make it work; otherwise it probably won't.
    Nothing prevents reviewers who care about the issue from mentioning it in FA reviews now even if the criteria do not require it. That might be a good way to start. Perhaps there is some way we could mention accessibility in the criteria without making it a requirement to remind all concerned that it is an issue and encouraging them to go the extra mile? Some people mention MOS:LISTGAP as an aside in discussion threads when applicable, and similar type of gentle encouragement might move the needle at FAC too.
    Bottom line is that starting by adding alternative text as a criteria at FAC is unlikely to work; but I'd love to see effort put into more manageable and more likely to succeed first steps towards that. It's been a decade already (it's been a decade already?!?): let's think in terms of what can be achieved if we keep chipping away at it for the next decade! --Xover (talk) 08:07, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Personally I think SarahSV's argument is ignorant horseshit. A poorly written Alt is better than none, and ignorance of how to do it should not be a bar to writing what we hope will be our supposedly best articles. Arguments along the lines of 'I don't know how to do it properly, so we shouldn't have to do it' is too laughable to be a basis of a serious argument. Sadly it looks like this won't pass, but people arguing that it's too much work to do or that they don't understand it enough is rather crass when we're trying to make sure our articles are readable for everyone - there are more people upset over ensuring computers can read metadata than there are people trying to make things better for the visually impaired. - SchroCat (talk) 10:08, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Please, watch your language. Calling somebody's arguments "ignorant horseshit" is a clear no go. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 10:19, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
If I want your opinion on my language, I'll ask for it. The argument, in my opinion is "ignorant horseshit". If you don't have anything sensible to say about the substantive point of the discussion, then don't patronise people by telling them what to say. - SchroCat (talk) 10:24, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Still such a nice man. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:39, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Pointless and inflammatory comment struck. - SchroCat (talk) 14:53, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
By you (shall I also strike "ignorant horseshit" as "pointless and inflammatory"). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:56, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
And now, back on topic. Xover and RexxS, I am unclear where the notion that we lost editor Eubulides because of alt-text burnout is coming from. When he was around, he was willing and able to help on alt text, and FAC indulged this passion of his. I have quite a few other ideas about what caused the loss of Eubulides, which I will not commit to public print, and it was not alt text related at all. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:38, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
@SandyGeorgia: Although it's most likely that other factors played a part in Eubulides' retirement, I am in no doubt, myself, that the extraordinary amount of effort he put into trying to make alt text useful on Wikipedia contributed significantly to his retirement. Perhaps re-reading his talk page for March 2010 will refresh your memory of where the notion came from. --RexxS (talk) 16:07, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, RexxS-- our editing interests quite significantly overlapped (neuropsych articles and FAC), and I followed his page closely always, and did everything in my power to indulge his wishes re alt text, but I am also aware of other issues that impacted his editing, that are best not disclosed here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:11, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Your restraint is remarkable as always, SandyGeorgia. :) I was under the impression that the stress surrounding the previously linked discussions was a strongly contributing factor (in the straw... camel... etc. sense), but I'm happy to be corrected on that count. In any case, I just seized on Eubulides as an example of why trying to add this to the criteria now is a bad idea: someone is likely to end up burnt out, ragequitting, or getting themselves dragged to the dramaboards. And then the issue would be off-limits for another decade before we rinse and repeat. A baby steps approach is needed, which in turn requires agreeing on the eventual goal and then building stone on stone until the house is ready. --Xover (talk) 16:29, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Xover your wisdom is remarkable as always. Best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:31, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • No. We shouldn't be making it harder for FACs to pass; it's hard enough already. The benefits are questionable anyway because of the concerns of people writing crap for alternate text just to check a box. --Rschen7754 08:41, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • An extra 15 minutes of effort for you to get a gold star? Doesn't seem to be that hard a step to undertake. The benefits are for those with visual impairments, and it won't be "writing crap" if people do it properly - something an image review should easily pick up on. Ignorance of how to do it, or laziness of not being bothered to do it, should not be acceptable. We have standards, and asking FA writers to reach those standards should not be a big deal. - SchroCat (talk) 10:01, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • It's death by a thousand paper cuts. FA standards should not be meaningless bureaucracy but should serve to provide meaningful and high-quality articles for the reader. If too many standards got passed that did little for the reader, such as alt text, then yeah, I would probably forgo "the gold star" entirely. Not that I don't want to write more featured articles, but writing more featured articles doesn't put a roof over my head or food on my table. --Rschen7754 03:58, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
  • No. Per Iri, RexxS, Ceoil, Johnbod & Sarah. Bringing it back to discussion isn't a bad idea because it's been a decade since we last discussed, when it was mandatory. The reasons for making it not mandatory haven't changed, and have been documented here (honestly, I didn't realize it's been a decade, but remember well writing very convoluted alt-texts which later had to be changed). Also, Ceoil makes a good point about scope creep and Johnbod about captioning in general. Victoriaearle (tk) 17:18, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. I tried here, a couple of times, to get some clarification on exactly how to write alt text. The responses weren't unhelpful but don't fill me with confidence that I can use WP:ALT to write good alt text. I would be much more enthusiastic about writing alt text if the guideline made more sense to me. I think the first task here is making WP:ALT easier to understand and use. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:01, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • No. As much as I loved editor Eubulides, who was behind previous FA enforcement of alt text, it was an enormous PITA. Back then, there were gobs of reviewers in a very active FAC process, so we went with it, and it was still too much work. In today's FAC environment, no way. When Eubulides was active, we could count on him to help write the blooming stuff, which was always a challenge. Without him, this is placing an additional burden on a dying process which is already struggling to even address existing standards. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:50, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Lean support, but oppose for now. When I was taking a college-level English composition course, or other classes involving a lot of writing, we had guidance on how to manually craft a citation in APA/MLA/CMOS formats, so it was expected that our papers would properly use the expected format. Writing alt text to me seems like a similar writing skill, so if we can get good guidelines, we should have our best work apply that tool in the toolkit. I'll wholeheartedly support a proposal like this once we have the proper resources in place so that editors know how to write the alt text. Imzadi 1979  16:21, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I could live with this I don't write good ALT text and find it very hard to do. It would be greatly appreciated if images had a default ALT text, which could be overridden in a particular article. There's also the issue of what happens when, as is permissible under MOS:ALT, no alt text is required. But I agree with Sandy; it would place an additional burden on an already overloaded process. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 20:30, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
I believe the appropriate alt-text in many of those cases is an alt-text of "See caption." If it's purely decorative (which I sure hope it's not), the alt text can be a word which describes the object such as |alt=painting. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 20:50, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support - being inclusive is usually not convenient. NASA chose not to train black and female astronauts early in the 60s because they thought it interfered with their mission to land on the Moon by 1969. I agree, it is not easy to add alt-text right now, our guidelines and our tools should be improved (see here for one attempt at that). Alt tags are just one aspect of accessibility. There are other elements that we, including myself, fall short of (for example Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Accessibility#Block_elements). It would be beneficial for the encyclopedia to embrace accessibility, starting with alt text. I think requiring alt text at FAC would be a net positive, and hopefully better tools along with the very proficient editors at FAC improving their alt-writing skills will reduce the pain of alt-text over time. However if we do not implement it, we cannot get past the pain. Kees08 (Talk) 00:12, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Moral support the best content on Wikipedia shouldn't be limited to people whose bodies we deem convenient. However, I don't think the right way to go about this is through rules telling people how to act rather than documenting how people already act. I think the better first step is to make it easier for editors to become aware of and create good alt-text which may even include reviewers adding alt-text themselves. Adding simple alt-text writing tips to new editor guides, help pages, and documentation would be more productive than this change. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 20:45, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

FAC reviewing statistics for February[edit]

Here are the FAC reviewing statistics for February. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:32, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

Reviewers for February 2019
# reviews Type of review
Reviewer Image Source Content Total
Nikkimaria 12 6 18
Squeamish Ossifrage 4 5 9
Jens Lallensack 1 8 9
Casliber 1 8 9
FunkMonk 1 7 8
Jo-Jo Eumerus 3 4 1 8
SchroCat 7 7
Mike Christie 2 5 7
Serial Number 54129 6 6
Sturmvogel 66 1 4 5
Tim riley 1 4 5
Jimfbleak 5 5
HJ Mitchell 4 4
Buidhe 2 2 4
Ian Rose 4 4
Kees08 2 1 1 4
Peacemaker67 1 3 4
Brianboulton 2 1 3
Ceoil 3 3
Aa77zz 3 3
Lingzhi 3 3
KJP1 3 3
J Milburn 2 2
Dweller 2 2
Wehwalt 2 2
Gog the Mild 2 2
CPA-5 2 2
Mr rnddude 1 1 2
Sabine's Sunbird 2 2
Aoba47 2 2
Cattivi 1 1
Chiswick Chap 1 1
Johnbod 1 1
Giants2008 1 1
Catslash 1 1
Nick-D 1 1
Chetsford 1 1
Usernameunique 1 1
Praemonitus 1 1
Dunkleosteus77 1 1
Mark viking 1 1
Oerjan 1 1
Ebbillings 1 1
Tomruen 1 1
Harrias 1 1
JennyOz 1 1
Moriori 1 1
Dudley Miles 1 1
Parsecboy 1 1
IJReid 1 1
Moisejp 1 1
SlimVirgin 1 1
A. Parrot 1 1
Grand Total 21 29 120 170
Supports and opposes for February 2019
# declarations Declaration
Editor Oppose Support None Struck oppose Oppose converted to support Struck support Grand Total
Nikkimaria 18 18
Squeamish Ossifrage 1 4 3 1 9
Jens Lallensack 1 6 2 9
Casliber 7 2 9
FunkMonk 5 3 8
Jo-Jo Eumerus 8 8
SchroCat 6 1 7
Mike Christie 4 3 7
Serial Number 54129 3 3 6
Sturmvogel 66 4 1 5
Tim riley 4 1 5
Jimfbleak 5 5
HJ Mitchell 3 1 4
Buidhe 4 4
Ian Rose 3 1 4
Kees08 4 4
Peacemaker67 3 1 4
Brianboulton 1 2 3
Ceoil 1 1 1 3
Aa77zz 2 1 3
Lingzhi 1 2 3
KJP1 3 3
J Milburn 1 1 2
Dweller 1 1 2
Wehwalt 2 2
Gog the Mild 2 2
CPA-5 1 1 2
Mr rnddude 2 2
Sabine's Sunbird 2 2
Aoba47 1 1 2
Cattivi 1 1
Chiswick Chap 1 1
Johnbod 1 1
Giants2008 1 1
Catslash 1 1
Nick-D 1 1
Chetsford 1 1
Usernameunique 1 1
Praemonitus 1 1
Dunkleosteus77 1 1
Mark viking 1 1
Oerjan 1 1
Ebbillings 1 1
Tomruen 1 1
Harrias 1 1
JennyOz 1 1
Moriori 1 1
Dudley Miles 1 1
Parsecboy 1 1
IJReid 1 1
Moisejp 1 1
SlimVirgin 1 1
A. Parrot 1 1
Grand Total 3 86 78 1 1 1 170


On the FAC page

Transclusion error example.png
something distinctly odd. FYI.
——SerialNumber54129 14:37, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
What's odd? I think I must be missing something obvious! - SchroCat (talk) 14:48, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) What am I missing? That all looks fine to me. ‑ Iridescent 14:48, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Using the nominations viewer script, only the first three FAC transclusions show up for me. On PC in Chrome. Kees08 (Talk) 14:50, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Per Kees08 and the image---->
Only listing the first three noms. PC/ Firefox, should've said. ——SerialNumber54129 14:52, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Fixed it. The moral of this story is, always close your html. ‑ Iridescent 14:55, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Brilliant, thanks Iridescent. It always gets me, how a single tiny character can destroy a massive page... ——SerialNumber54129 15:16, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Bot report[edit]

@WP:FAC coordinators: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/National Popular Vote Interstate Compact/archive1 has not been transcluded on the nomination page. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 00:10, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

ISBN Formatting[edit]

What's the consensus on ISBN formats for FAC? I've seen inconsistent use of ISBN-10 and ISBN-13, and even inconsistent hyphenation, attract comments in source reviews, which I then parrot in mine. Is this something we should be looking for in source reviews, or can we let it slide? Factotem (talk) 22:47, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

I assumed we should stick to ISBN 13 following endless FAC comments, but it seems, from a discussion at the Citationbot talk page, that this isn't agreed on by everyone... FunkMonk (talk) 22:50, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
That would be correct. Let the books retain the ISBN that they were printed with.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 22:52, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
Speaking just as an editor, I'm with Sturm. I think if the edition you use has a 13-digit ISBN then use it, if has 10-digit only then use that and don't convert, and if it has both then use the 13-digit. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:57, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
This seems like an extreme form of pedantry. Just use whatever is in the actual source. There's a point beyond which "consistency" becomes an obsession. Mr rnddude (talk) 00:09, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Wait... if I understand you correctly, obsession is a bad thing ;-)? Far more seriously, I almost always just let Citation Tool for Google Books bother with all that.  ♦ Lingzhi2 (talk) 02:19, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I tend to convert to 13s and be consistent with that because that is what source reviewers are most likely (in my experience) to ask for. I don't care greatly about the matter, personally.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:07, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Curious to hear from the @WP:FAC coordinators: what the 'official' line is. Would a candidate be 'marked down' if a nom refuses to address this issue after it has been raised by a reviewer? Factotem (talk) 09:23, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

  • See Ref: Stinking badges. Official line? We don't need no stinking official line. Ain't never no official line, not on anything, ever, period.. [well except for BLP probably, for legal reasons]. Ain't no official line any stinking thing. If you get three reviewers who say use 13 and are even willing to Oppose for bullshit like that, , then &^%&^%&^%&^ you, use 13. And if they Oppose over that bullshit, and no one else else is around to call their hand on it, guess what? Go hang your head in shame, your nom just Failed. In the final analysis, your one-and-only protection against the vagaries of arbitrary reviewers is the much-to-be-desired presence of sane ones. Pray for such. ♦ Lingzhi2 (talk) 10:15, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I am with Wehwalt. I never comment on isbns when reviewing but always convert to 13 when nominating because it is one less thing for reviewers to object to. Dudley Miles (talk) 11:59, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @Factotem: Our job isn't to weigh in on such issues, just to assess consensus. Personally, if I saw a reviewer and a nominator at an impasse over something like that, I'd encourage a third opinion or other consensus-building methods and hope it's worked out. I case could be made either way, so we rely on others to weigh in. --Laser brain (talk) 13:50, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Citation tools and GBooks links[edit]

Thanks everyone for the clarification. All makes sense. Follow-up question: are there any on-wiki talk pages for the citation tools mentioned, specifically ones that relate to GBooks links? When reviewing articles that provide both GBooks links and ISBN numbers in the bibliography, I often find the two are mismatched; GBooks links to one edition, while the ISBN relates to a different edition (a problem compounded by the fact that GBooks often lists the details for one edition on the "about" page, but offers a preview for a different edition). This becomes a problem when the two editions have different paginations. If there's a tool that automates the generation of the bibliography, then maybe it needs tweaking. Factotem (talk) 09:03, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

I don't link to Gbooks if it's at all avoidable. If it's full text, it's usually out of copyright and it's often possible to link to an archive. If it's not full free text, to my mind it's basically then a spam link, not to mention that what you see depends on what country you are in and when you access. I've never provided a link to Gbooks in my FAs unless it's free full text Jimfbleak - talk to me? 11:27, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes, but in the majority of cases you just do it because it is simpler than arguing about it, and arguing about it may not be the wisest course of action. In the final analysis, if a reviewer wants it, it is likely to happen. Same with alt text.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:22, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Not gonna lie, properly formatting references is the most excruciating part of article writing. I tend to simply accept whatever Citoid and the cite tools offer; I do check whether the ref points to the correct source however. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:54, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm sorry that some editors find reference formatting so painful. Having recently returned to FAC source reviewing after a gap, I find that most nominators have a generally good grasp of this aspect, certainly far better than used to be the case when FACs were often littered with unformatted references. I believe we need to maintain our standards of presentation and uniformity, although I agree that sources reviewers can ease off on such nitpickery as ISBN formats without detriment to these standards.
On the matter of Gbook links, they are mainly useless beyond evidencing that the book exists, especially when no preview is available. They could easily be dispensed with, and should certainly never be asked for in a source review, although if nominators choose to include them I don't object. Brianboulton (talk) 23:32, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Strongly disagree. Links to Gbooks or perhaps Amazon are very useful, assuming they are stable. Quick case in point, see Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Waterloo Bay massacre/archive1, my comments. See highlighted text, potential close paraphrase or even copyvio. I am on the other side of the freaking planet from any place that might even conceivably have a hardcopy of the book in question. Seriously, I ain't gonna pay for ship or plane to get there, and I ain't gonna pay Amazon big bucks for a single book that I would never consider reading outside of a single FAC review. Without gbooks/amazon preview, no one would have found that issue in that FAC... Oh! And in the same review, I was able to catch other errors that I consider to be fairly major, and track down more missing info from other books. Not gonna lie, gbooks is quite nearly indispensable. ♦ Lingzhi2 (talk) 02:05, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Where Gbooks links to the snippet you want, I'll put them in. It can save buying the book, which isn't a negligible consideration - the last FA and the one I'm working on now have cost me just north of £100 on sources. And it helps the Source reviewer, as Lingzhi indicates above. Where there's no snippet, I'll link to Worldcat. As Brian says, although he reaches a different conclusion, it proves the source exists and allows easy access to the book details. That said, I appreciate why other editors strongly dislike them and, as here, will drop them if there are objections. If editors go to the trouble of giving me a review, I'll go with their preferences on this. KJP1 (talk) 06:42, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
One problem I've heard of with regards to Google Books is that often not all people have access to a given page. One editor might get a whole chapter and another one might only see a snippet. And there is a systemic bias issue - Google Books tends to host mainly NAmerican books out of copyright. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:22, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Its trivial to look up a book title, and google books is neither stable nor consistent across territories, so why include? I feel strongly against the use of snippets; unless its for a very specific details, dates, measurements etc, should be avoided. Otherwise their used can be very suspect given the lack of visibility of a (literally) broader context. Trying to dress this up with a link is to be avoided; per Brian "they are mainly useless beyond evidencing that the book exists". Ceoil (talk) 07:19, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

Trying again[edit]

My question was not about whether or not GBook links are a good idea, but about the accuracy of citation tools used to generate bibliography sections. The problem came up in the Marchioness disaster FAC with Plugging that URL into gives:

but the GBooks preview is actually:

I've notified the app owner, but they do not appear to be very active on WP these days. Factotem (talk) 10:48, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

  • And thanks again for picking up the inconsistency: I had assumed that there was a publishers' master file from which the information was taken, ensuring the same information from all outlets, but I guess I'll have to double-check them all in future. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 10:58, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Welcome. I'm pretty sure this is a GBooks issue. The GBooks listing for a given book (complete with bibliographic details) relates to one edition, but the preview is of a different edition. It looks to me that the app pulls the data from the listing page, as I'm sure most editors do, and not from the information actually shown in the preview. Factotem (talk) 12:14, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

External link checking tool[edit]

The external link checker, which appears in the toolbox on each FAC nomination, is currently returning me a 404 messsage saying that the page doesn't exist. Are others getting the same message? Brianboulton (talk) 19:11, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

In fact, all the links in the toolbox are returning 404 messages so there appears to be some systemic fault. Brianboulton (talk) 19:18, 25 March 2019 (UTC)