Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive21

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Encouraging participation

I tried adding "When you nominate an article, please consider also choosing another article from the list to review." to the instructions and was told that was not a good place for it. I would like to encourage more participation in FAC; what do people think would be a good way to do this? --Ideogram 19:30, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Inform relevant WikiProjects and noticeboards; you are a lot more likely to get knowledgable reviewers that way than any other (unless you know specific, appropriate individuals to solicit). - Jmabel | Talk 06:22, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Noticeboards? -Ravedave (help name my baby) 05:25, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Regional notice boards. Titoxd(?!?) 05:26, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Request for Comments

I don't like to whine, but I was wondering how to make sure a FAC gets enough third-party attention. I've put Serial Experiments Lain up for two weeks now, and it has had only four answers. Is there a place to post about that?--SidiLemine 14:03, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, adding a note to relevant WikiProject discussions (like anime, tv series, computers?) is a good idea. You can also leave messages on talk pages of editors that in the past have significantly edited this article or discussed it. Beyond that, it's just luck...-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:24, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

A simple list?

Is there a place where the current FACs are shown in a simple list, with links to the relevant FAC discussions (without all the comments/supports/objects/etc.)? I don't like how I often have to wait for the entire, humongous FAC page to load. If there isn't such a list, how would I go about creating one? Many thanks, Gzkn 02:16, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

IF you don't mind doing some pruning, this is probably what you want. Raul654 06:18, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Hmm...not exactly. I was hoping more for a simple list like so:
Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/New York City/archive5
Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Sei Whale
Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Katie Melua
Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Bacteria
Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Mark Foley scandal/archive1 etc.
Is there an easy way to make a automatically populating list like that? Gzkn 06:31, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Again, some pruning and tidying would be necessary, but could scrape the source from WP:FAC (which contains transluded links to the subpages), chop the header and footer, and replace "{{" and "}}" around the {{Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/<regexp>}} with "[[" and "]]" Some sort of bot? :) -- ALoan (Talk) 11:11, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Ah, guess there's no easy way. :) That does look more like the solution I was looking for though! No experience with bots though (although I am familiar with Perl), so I'll have to look into this...many thanks! Gzkn 11:37, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
No doubt perl could do it (or even an offline text editor), but if you wanted to set up a page and keep it updated, presuambly a bot would be easiest? -- ALoan (Talk) 11:58, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
If you use ?action=raw, this should be easy. Titoxd(?!?) 21:18, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
OK. Is this the beginning of FACBot? :) Or should I make it my own for now (GzknBot)? Gzkn 12:14, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
This may be useful to you if you're looking for past FACs, but I've now realised you merely want current FACs. CloudNine 21:03, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

facfailed template

Since the Nov. 11 promotion, none of the failed facs have had the fac template updated on their talk pages. Should I/someone do that? If so, where do we find a list of all that need replacing? Do we go through each one, by reviewing the history here? Sandy (Talk) 02:41, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Archived nominations/November 2006 and Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Archived nominations/December 2006 Raul654 02:45, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Raul, I'll work on them. Sandy (Talk) 02:54, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Done. Sandy (Talk) 03:49, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

autoformatting and date-links

The vexed issue of date-links occasionally takes up space in the FAC room. I'm trying to gather support for an attempt to have the developers create a parallel syntax that allows dates to be autoformatted without being linked, while retaining the current system. We hope that this will have a number of benefits for the project, including a reduction in conflict.

The discussion, draft request text, and list of supporters are here. Tony 08:42, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


I was peer reviewing Psycho (1960 film), and found it tagged (with a big ugly tag on the article page) as "extra-long" by the Wikipedia:WikiProject Extra-Long Article Committee. It was 53KB overall, lots of inline citations (about 90), and had 38KB of prose: lots of overhead in references. These folks are trying to hold articles to the old 32 KB limit, before inline citations improved, and when technical limitations were different. If they're going to be tagging anything over 32KB, that would result in many FAs carrying this ugly tag. Sandy (Talk) 06:33, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Ack. Sometimes articles have to be long, no matter what Wikipedia:Article size says. Titoxd(?!?) 06:35, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
double-ack. I just came across Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Extra-Long Article Committee/Conduct, and I'm troubled that the committee doesn't seem to be calculating prose size at all. Sandy (Talk) 07:04, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I found their project page today as well. They even compare themselves to the IRS — no one likes them, but they do necessary work. I'd just remove the templates for now; they seem to be concentrating efforts where there's the least amount of opposition for the moment. — BrianSmithson 07:59, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I noticed they aren't really frying the bigger fish, that need to be fried (the massively huge articles), rather going after a little film article with 38KB prose. They indicate on their Conduct page that they plan to gang up and go after editors who remove tags. Wikipedia:WikiProject Extra-Long Article Committee/Conduct It bothers me that they don't even seem to be considering calculations of prose size. Version when I checked. Sandy (Talk) 08:07, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I left a note on their talk page as well. I'm also highly concerned about the wording of Template:Long-article-committee (the version I'm looking at, in case it changes). Sounds like something official, is vaguely threatening, and it is definitely off-putting to newbies. Gzkn 08:30, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
They are starting off very cabal-ish: In addition to their "Conduct" page, they also have a revert page. Wikipedia:WikiProject_Extra-Long_Article_Committee/Reverts and a whole team-tagging strategy of how to get articles below 32KB. They're even rating talk page reactions to decide whether to back off: very un-Wiki-like. They appear to believe 32KB is a hard and fast limit, and they don't seem to account for readable prose or references. Even though WP:LENGTH says, "Readers may tire of reading a page much longer than about 6,000 to 10,000 words, which roughly corresponds to 30 to 50 KB of readable prose," the tag I removed from Psycho (at 38KB prose, explained on the talk page) was just re-instated, with no talk page dialogue from the "committee" member. WP:LENGTH is a guideline allowing for a calculation of readable prose: I don't know why they are picking on an article with 38KB of prose, but a hard and fast 32KB limit will affect FAs. Sandy (Talk) 10:28, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Length of article depends entirely on the subject matter and the organisation of the material. Overlong articles are self-evident because they contain non vital material that would be better moved elsewhere. On articles which cover broad and diverse subjects, and are potential gateway articles to other pages, such restrictions will impede information and diminish the credibility of the page. If the articles are well organised, going above 30-50KB is not an issue for readers. To attempt to apply a rule as an absolute would be disasterous, ignorant and should be resisted.--Zleitzen 13:11, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Discussion has moved here. Sandy (Talk) 13:14, 12 December 2006 (UTC)


New text was added to the Project page, targeting Featured articles, FA review, and editors of Featured articles. The text inserted by Tim Vickers about overall size vs. prose size was removed. I reverted these changes, and discussed on talk page, where FA editors are accused of "derogative attacks". Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Extra-Long Article Committee. Sandy (Talk) 15:18, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

A problem

The ELAC may have been misguided in its approach, but there is a problem when FAC lets through an article with 91KB of prose (127 KB overall), as we did this week. I believe we've now reached a new high in ultra-long FAs. Apparently, because of the topic, few regulars bothered to review the article (I didn't). For anyone interested, you can get Dr pda's script for easily calculating prose size, and I implore other reviewers to please begin watching for basic structural items like length and compliance with minimum standards such as WP:MOS, WP:MSH, WP:GTL, etc. We should be looking at these articles which truly are "extra long" and asking about WP:SS. On a related note, we also need to make sure that supporters who are significant contributors are following the FAC instructions. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:00, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

closing an FAC

I would like to close the Serial Experiments Lain FAC, as there is material to add to the article, and copyediting to be done, in order to re-submit it in 2-3 weeks. I couldn't find how to do this, could someone point out the procedure please? Thanks--SidiLemine 16:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

You mean withdraw it? To my knowledge you just leave a note there explaining you withdrawing the nomination and just remove it from Wikipedia:Featured article candidates. If you talking about passing it to FA, then you have to wait for Raul654 to do it, him being the featured article director. - Tutmosis 20:07, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

except the template also has to be changed on the talk page: if SidiLemine wants, I'll do that. Sandy (Talk) 20:49, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. The template has been placed, I'll now remove it from WP:FAC.--SidiLemine 10:18, 13 December 2006 (UTC)


This article seems to have regained its FA status, yet there's no sign of the process at[[1]] being closed/decided. --Dweller 09:17, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

There are no top/bottom closing templates for FAC - the list at WP:FA is definitive. -- ALoan (Talk) 12:20, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
But someone arriving at Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates/Bodyline wouldn't know it's been closed and could waste their time contributing to a closed debate. And if he/she can't bring themselves to mention on that page that it's closed, wouldn't it be polite for the person who closes the process to at least let the nominator know whether or not their nom has been successful? Why this insistence on opacity? --Dweller 12:26, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
The person who "closes" the process is User:Raul654, who decides on all promotions and failures here. I suspect he would be rather displeased to have yet another thing to do. -- ALoan (Talk) 12:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not so sure that Raul654 being busy is a terrific argument against changing things if they aren't optimal. Of course there may be better arguments as to why a nom can't be visibly closed, but if this is the only one, can't someone help Raul654? Are we so short of people who understand what makes something an FA? And, now that you mention it, I'm not sure it's a great idea having just one person deciding these things anyway, for all kinds of reasons. Heck I know I'm a skinny wet-behind-the-ears newbie and I'm sounding kind of arrogant telling all these admins and whatnot that the systems they've been using for yonks aren't very good, but... they aren't. Sorry. --Dweller 13:27, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I think part of the reason there is no "closing" tags for FAC is that nobody really thought it was necessary. FAC pages are difficult to stumble upon accidentally. People usually find them from the article talk page - where it will be clearly indicated if the FA was successful or not by the change of template. Gimmetrow 14:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, AIUI, it was thought at the time - early 2004, IIRC, and [[2]] some months later - that a single person was needed to keep control of the FAC process, and decide what would be "featured" on the Main Page, to avoid different standards, edit wars, etc. OTOH, the other "featured" content pages (WP:FLC, WP:FPC, etc) and the other Main Page selections (WP:POTD, WP:SA, WP:DYK, WP:ITN) seem manage with a cohort of admins to do the closing/selecting/updating. -- ALoan (Talk) 15:32, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Dweller, your concerns would be addressed by the template being discussed below. Most people come to FAC or FAR pages via the article talk page; the proposed template would put everything in one place on the article talk page. Sandy (Talk) 15:43, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

While that's true, the people who've already visited the page and commented will probably have it on their watchlists and there's no reason to think they have the article or main FAC page on their watchlists, so unless they check either before revisiting the page they wouldn't know the process was completed (something the template below won't solve). Yomanganitalk 15:53, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
ah, yes, correct. On the other hand, most people watching a FAC/FAR are also watching the article, so would know what's on the talk page. Sandy (Talk) 16:02, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Multi FA template

(copied from SandyGeorgia's talk page):

I wonder if an all-singing, all-dancing featured article talk page template is the way to go, like the all-singing, all-dancing WP-milhist one. It could have lots of optional parameters, like "FAC=yes" and "FA=yes" and "FARC=yes" and "FAR=yes", with most of them hidden by default (the FA text would be displayed by default for FAs, then the FAR text for FFAs, or the FARC text for older FFAs, then the FAC text for failed FACs). Optional parameter for second, third FACs or FARs... The maintainers would just have to add a "yes" to the right parameter in the template. Would this help at all? --ALoan (Talk) 11:41, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

One template to rule them all. Sounds like simplification to me. pschemp | talk 11:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
And on the talk pages find them. Yes, my precious. -- ALoan (Talk) 11:41, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, a basic one is there if anybody wants to try it {{FAmulti}} - defaults to the FA box, but if you add type= FAC/FAR/FFA it will use the appropriate message (so {{FAmulti|type=FAR}} would replace the FA message with the FAR one). It's just pulling in the existing templates at the moment, so it will need some work to list x number of reviews, FAR passes etc., but I'll do that if anybody wants to use it. (Why is this going on on Sandy's talk page, by the way?) Yomanganitalk 14:23, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
haha. /me points at Raul. Great work, but yeah, there's probably a better place to show it off....? pschemp | talk 15:23, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Because I saw the above discussion about talk page templates and the idea came to me. Perhaps we should move or copy to WT:FAC or similar.
Thanks for diving in with an idea, but that is not really what I had in mind. I was thinking of something like {{WPMILHIST}} with multiple optional parameters to trigger different bits of the text. -- ALoan (Talk) 15:23, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Good stuff -- add main page date ? Sandy (Talk) 15:27, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
A thought - I should have my coffee - parameter=yes might not work, because LOTS of people archive their old FARs and FACs with non-standard article titles. Need to allow the parameter to be the article name. Sandy (Talk) 15:30, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
The existing parameters to all the templates should carry over in this template, so in effect it does have the multiple parameters. It would be quite easy to convert the existing FA templates, so you could have "This is an FA"+"it was on the main page on this date"+"it was reviewed on this date" all in the same box, but I didn't want to start work on that until we knew there was some interest in it. Yomanganitalk 15:39, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Just to confuse things, I realised that having FAC/FFA in there was slightly pointless as they replace or are replaced by the FA tag rather than adding to it (correct me if I'm wrong). I've started work on having the mainpage date/FAR in progress/FAR passed all displayed in the single FA box, just by handing it a series of parameters as ALoan suggested. They will be maindate (day and month of main page entry), mainyear (year of main page entry),far=yes (is it currently in FAR?), fardate1 (day and month it passed FAR), faryear1 (year it passed FAR), farpage1 (far nom if it is different to that expected). It can then have fardate2, fardate3 etc, depending how many times it gets reviewed and passed. I've stuck it on Talk:Platypus to show the main page date in the FA box. If there are any parameters that need including that I haven't thought of, let me know. Yomanganitalk 17:00, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm confused :-) I thought the idea was to show the entire FAC/FAR history? On Platypus, there should be two FACs and one FAR, no? Also, however the paramaters are set up, I hope they'll allow for the easiest possible cut-and-paste for the folks closing the FACs and FARs. Sandy (Talk) 17:05, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, I was going to give the FAR history if it survived (so the history would basically reset if the article was demoted). Do you want it give FAC nominations in the history too? I'm getting the feeling updating these would be a good job for a bot. Maybe a closing template on FAC and FAR and then a bot that ran round looking at the closures and handing out tags and stars to the articles and informing the nominators? That would lighten the load on those closing FAC and FAR/C and solve Dweller's problem too. Yomanganitalk 17:45, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Whether to include the full history is something we need to decide. Raul indicated (wrt Hero of Belarus and Bodyline) that he preferred to see the history removed from talk page on re-promoted (previously FARCd) FAs, giving the page a clean slate with the most recent FAC. My concern with that is the problem with archived versions of FACs and FARs. Often they are archived wrong, or with non-standard article names, or new noms overwrite old noms - so if there's a subsequent nom, the nominator could be confused by running into an old piece when trying to set up the new nom. I was thinking that keeping old noms in the template would clear up some of the issues there, and make it more clear to future editors how to archive an old nom correctly when starting a new nom (I'm always trying to fix those on talk pages, and I'm not sure I do it correctly). On the other hand, I don't want to create more work. We should generate consensus about whether we want a clean slate when an article had a previous FAC, several previous FARs, and a new FAC, or whether we want the template to reflect the entire history of archived noms. But, the most important thing, IMO, is whatever generates LESS work for those closing FACs and FARs. Sandy (Talk) 17:57, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I can appreciate the simplicity of linking only the successful FAC submission for complex histories, but what if an article is featured, then un-featured in FAR, then fails a subsequent FAC? That history is relevant, including when it was featured on the main page. (Note that the current {{formerFA}} template allows for linking to an alternate FAC page so that subsequent FACs can be handled.) If FA goes to a combined multi-template, I would suggest thinking a lot about how the options should look. Any syntax/interface can be programmed into the template, and I can help if needed. Someone should work up what a number of simple and complex cases "should" look like before anyone starts programming the template. Gimmetrow 18:53, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I was hoping that we could have something like the following:

  • One template to replace all of the current featured article ones, that would be added to all FACs, with lots of options, most of which would not be ticked most of the time. Each option would activate a different block of text in the template. The argument for invoking some of the options change the block that was displayed.


  • Ticking a box ("FAC=yes") would display the text from the usual pro-forma {{FAC}} template with a link to the subpage on WP:FAC. Perhaps this would be unnecessary, on the assumption that all articles with this template have been to FAC. The argument "yes" could be replaced by something else to link to an archive under a different name - say, "FAC=blah/archive 1", FAC2="blah/archive2", FAC3="bla-de-blah", etc., all linking to the right subpages of WP:FAC (or WP:BP for old ones). Perhaps an optional argument could be used to display the date when it was nominated. Which articles have been nominated at FAC the most times? I would guess that some may have been three or four times, perhaps?
  • Ticking another box ("FA=yes") would add another pro-forma version of the {{featured}} template, with a link to WP:FA, and hide the FAC template text, with an option to unhide it. Perhaps it would not be necessary to have a duplicate link to the FAC subpage in the new "featured" template text, as there is at present in {{featured}}, as it would be there, hidden, already. An option could to display the date when the article was promoted. FA2 and FA3, etc, could be used to link to the subpages for repromoted articles. (I don't think we have any FAs that have been demoted and repromoted more than once yet.)
  • A cross in the box ("FA=failed") would replace the FAC text with the FACfailed text and links to the most recent FAC.
  • Another box ("FAR=yes") would add another pro-forma template with a link to the subpage on WP:FAR, with "FAR2=yes" and "FARC=yes" and so on to link to second FARs and archived WP:FARC subpages.
  • You may need a separate "formerFA" option, as some articles have been repromoted.
  • And so on. Mainpage date would work much the same, perhaps even WP:PR.

I am not describing this very well, and the combination of parameters can be rather complex, but the idea is that maintainers would only need to flip a switch when the status of an article was changed, much like they do now, but in one template, and that much of the text in the template would be hidden by default, but all there for someone who was interested, much like {{WPMILHIST}}.

Given the proliferation of talk page templates, I am beginning to think that many of them should be largely hidden by default. Look at the page full of templates on Talk:Bodyline, for example. -- ALoan (Talk) 18:53, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Most of them ought to respond to the "small=yes" option now. Kirill Lokshin 19:15, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Do people really find the "OPTION=yes" style easy to work with? It's fine if all the options are independent, as with WPMILHIST task forces. If they are dependent, I would find it confusing. In particular, how would you keep this history in order: FAC(fail), FAC(success), MP, FAR(remove), FAC(fail), FAC(success), FAR(keep), MP? Or would you only keep the history since the last successful FAC? Gimmetrow 19:07, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. I'm not sure whether we need to know which FACs and FARs succeeded or failed - we just need links to the relevant subpages (all the FACs, all the FARs and FARCs), and the current statuses ({?PR, FAC, FACfailed, FA, FA in FAR, FFA} and {futureMainPage, pastMainPage}). I am not aware of any article being featured on the Main Page more than once, or any likelihood that it may happen any time soon.
Perhaps this is just too hard. -- ALoan (Talk) 19:30, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

It would be possible to have a purely chronological structure instead, e.g.

|action1link=Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Foo/Archive 1
|action2link=Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Foo
|action3link=Wikipedia:Today's featured article/June 3, 2006
|action4link=Wikipedia:Featured article review/FooBar
|action5link=Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/FooBar

This is doable in terms of coding the template, but the actual usage syntax may be too complex. Kirill Lokshin 19:15, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

This is a good suggestion, but I suspect it would be too time consuming for the maintainers to use. But at least some finer minds are thinking about the problem :) -- ALoan (Talk) 19:30, 13 December 2006 (UTC)


Something closer to what you wanted at User:Yomangani/Sandbox. Still very rough but now handles the FAR history (in two sections, one for "pass" reviews, one for "fails"), status parameter turns FAC/FA/FFA on and off, mainpage date automatically switches from due to past on the right day (thanks to some code from Dr Pda), review=yes pulls up the FAR template. It still needs previous FACs adding, but I'm going out now. Feel free to play with the sandbox version. Not sure it is easier to maintain though - I'm still thinking we should have closing templates for FAC and FAR and let a bot maintain the template parameters on the pages. Yomanganitalk 01:43, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Neat! What do you think about adding "Candidate history" for multiple FACs? Gzkn 02:30, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
That's what I meant by "previous FACs" but I was hampered by poor phrasing. (I really am going now) Yomanganitalk 02:36, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Ah...whoops! Didn't read closely enough. :) Gzkn 02:54, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

That does look pretty good.

  • Adding some rudimentary FAC support would be great, so we can see how the whole thing fits together.
  • I think the five statuses are "FAC", "FACfailed/failedFAC/FFAC", "FA", "FAR" and "formerFA/FFA" - no? If we have a "FAR" status, does that do away with the need for a "review=" toggle?
    • Yes and yes (adding the combined FA+FAR wording would just take 2 minutes longer than I had yesterday)
  • Does it deal with the toggle in the wrong case (e.g. "fac" rather than "FAC")?
    • Not now, but that is a simple fix.
  • Does it deal with a null status, or defaults? (for example, review="no" does not do what I expected)
    • Should be a simple fix too.
  • Can it have small icons for mainpage, review, and demoted?
    • Yes, I did have them, but it looked a bit cheesy (as I'm no designer)
  • Can you have multiple levels of show/hide, so you can have a plain "history" level, with FAC, FAR, and demotion as levels below that?
    • That should be possible too, but the history for each only appears if it exists, so if there is no demotion history you'd end up with a double reveal for one set of history (I could probably work round that but it would increase the size of the template)

The real question is, will it be easy enough to use? A nominator will need to add, say, {{subst:fac}}, which will dump in the whole template, with lots of blank options and "status=FAC", and perhaps the default option would be to add in facdate1=today's date and facyear1=today's year, and facpage1={{subst:pagename}}? Then someone will have to toggle the status when the FAC passes or fails, when when a review becomes active, and then when the review passes or fails.

Well done. -- ALoan (Talk) 11:31, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I hadn't really thought about subst-ing the template in through another template, but that's a good idea. It can be kept fairly simple if we adopt the bot idea as only the first FAC nominator would need to use the template "manually" and all the would need is {{FAmulti|status=FAC}} (the other options would default to the pagename etc.) That would mean having closing templates for FAC and FAR though and a bot to be written. I think FAC/FAR closing templates would make things easier for the closers as they wouldn't have to go round individual pages changing the statuses, but since I don't do it I can't really comment on how much of a bind that is. Yomanganitalk 11:58, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Re defaults: my idea, really, was to have as much information added automatically from the start: it is almost certain that the first FAC, FAR, whatever will start in a subpage with the right name, and on the date when the template was added, but names can change.

I suppose it makes sense to have closing templates for the subpages, although it is an additional faff for the admins. What would the bot have to do?

To repeat: the idea would be to have one, unified template, to bring together all of the information and links relating to the history of the featured status of an article rather than have 3 or 4 templates on a talk page at the same time, but without significantly adding to the maintenance burden of the decision makers on FAC and FAR. Is this getting too complex, compared to the current process of slapping on or taking off specific templates for the relevant actions (fac, facfailed, featured, far, mainpage, etc)? -- ALoan (Talk) 12:48, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

  • FAC - it seems that adding the template the first time is the same amount of work.
  • FACfailed - that is being done manually right now by anyone who happens to do it (happens to be me right now). With a new template, it would still be a manual switch done by someone.
  • Second FAC - very often messed up - I'm always going in and re-archiving, fixing, and altering talk pages. This may make it more clear to second nominators, and may eliminate mistakes. May not.
  • Featured - Raul does it all manually - would still be one switch he does manually.
  • FAR - usually done correctly by nominator (I've seen one mistake, where nom didn't add the FAR template to the talk page), manually, would be the same amount of work.
  • FormerFA (FARC'd) - done manually by Joelr31 or Marksell, work would be the same.
  • Mainpage - right now, added manually by one user ("to come" on mainpage), switched to "on" mainpage by a bot.
If that helps, Sandy (Talk) 12:59, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I think it is more complex than the existing system which is why I suggested that updates be mostly handled by a bot. If we had closing templates on the subpages it would allow a bot to parse the pages and find those that had been closed - it could then archive the noms in the correct place, add the appropriate parameters and values to the template in the talk page, add/ remove the star, update the FA counts, and even notify the nominator (assuming we find somebody brave enough to write it). It would mean that the closers would have to add the closing template to every closed page, but it would negate the need to remove those transclusions from the main page, archive them and alter the templates on the talk pages (plus, of course, closed templates will stop people adding comments after the process is complete which is what Dweller was complaining about). The only manual changes required to the templates on the talk page would be for FAC nominations, FAR nominations and mainpage date (as the decision process takes place on a whole different page). Yomanganitalk 13:06, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Other thoughts: if we got the multi-template up, it would be easier (? - more standardized) to eventually implement a bot. And, someone would have to switch the templates on 1500 + FA and FFA talk pages. (I can do that kind of work, and I may have found someone - SmthManly - who would help.) If it's worth it. I'd like to hear from Gimmetrow and Kirill, and wonder if there are any bots running on the MilHist template. Sandy (Talk) 13:10, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I was thinking of the multi-template and bot working in conjunction (just because the long list of parameters would be daunting). I've asked Martinp23, who has a bot running a few admin tasks, to have a look at the suggestion here to check it is feasible. If the bot can be written it could probably do the replacement of existing tags automatically too. Yomanganitalk 13:24, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I like Kirill's chronological-type suggestion. This also lends itself to a single-history format, similar to what ALoan suggested. The output then corresponds closely to the syntax, which makes it intuitive to use. The people who make the FAR/FAC decisions then just need to add or change at most two switches (the latest result and the current status). Subst:-ing for simple/common cases (like the first FAC or first FAR) is also a good idea. I've coded a rough example and added it to Yomangani's sandbox (hope you don't mind), for comparison with the other one.Dr pda 16:36, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
  • From a quick review I prefer Dr. pda's version (the second one on that page) as it makes the whole history clearer and the parameter names are more uniform, but it would be nice if the page names could be defaulted to the appropriate process page + pagename rather than having to type out the whole thing.
  • I would also suggest using the "result" fields to actually generate readable text, rather than just dumping them out directly onto the template. (The easiest way to implement this would probably be creating a meta-template that would take a set of parameters—process, result, date, link—and generate a single line of output; and then repeating calls to that meta-template for each action passed into the main banner.) Kirill Lokshin 18:43, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

A new thing to consider: it's important that editors notice when an article is at FAR (the FAR instructions say to put the template at the top of the talk page) - with a combined template, are editors less likely to notice a change within the template, indicating it has gone to FAR, or can a large icon pop up next to it? Sandy (Talk) 17:14, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Could change the background colour, or put the far notice in its own frame within the box, change the text colour, put a warning icon next to it or any number of things to draw attention to it. Whatever you prefer really. Yomanganitalk 17:43, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm a little confused. Combing the FAR template into this template might not work out. If the article is demoted, then the article introduction becomes wrong in stating that it's an FA. To fix this I propose there should be 2 values in the "status" specification, value "FA" would produce the introduction that is currently used automatically linking to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/{{pagename}}. While a different value "FORMER" would introduce a different introduction stating the article is a former featured article, autmatically linking to Wikipedia:Featured article review/{{pagename}}. Thoughts? - Tutmosis 18:41, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
This functionality is already there. The currentstatus parameter (in my version) can take the values FAC, FFAC, FA, FAR, or FFA. Each of these changes the main text in the message box to more or less what the different templates currently say. I'm planning to tweak my code tomorrow, so I'll add a page detailing the different scenarios. Dr pda 20:34, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh okay, great to hear. - Tutmosis 20:38, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

An example

Here's a classic that just showed up on FAC - it will take me a while to sort it out on its talk page. It would be good if the template would help avoid this. This article is on its third FAC, with neither of the previous FACs archived correctly, and with the article talk page showing the wrong template. I'm not aware of what admin tools can do - is an admin better able to somehow "roll back" this mess and do it correctly? Whenever I try to fix them, it's with a cut-and-paste, and it's never correct. Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/South Australian legislative election, 2006. Sandy (Talk) 17:04, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Charles Darwin is another example - although its old FACs were archived, they don't show on the talk page. (Notice the two archives - the anmes are rarely standardized when filed by different editors over time - one uses cap A, the other doesn't. Sandy (Talk) 17:09, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm not entirely sure how either of the proposed template styles would alleviate this problem. I almost wonder if having a separate template inserted for each FAC would be easier. We could, for instance, imitate {{afd1}} and {{afdx}} - these templates create a link to the appropriate subpage, which the nominator would then click on and edit to create the nomination text. Most articles have a single FAC. This should be as simple as possible - nom goes {{subst:fac}} and this sets up the box with redlink to subpage. Nom edits the subpage, and then manually adds it to the WP:FAC page. (Ultimately, a bot could do that.) When the FAC is over, currently the template is changed; I don't really see much difference if an option within the template is changed instead. Let's say it fails. I suppose I would like to see a later nom able to just {{subst:fac|2nd}} and have everything set up correctly. I suspect most of the problems Sandy sees are due to the page moves currently asked of 2nd and later noms. How this should go, or even whether the templates need changing, probably should have more input from the people who will continue to use them manually. (I'm mildly surprised some automated tabs haven't been written yet for the FAC/FAR clerks.) We really should discuss the interface more - the programming is not a big deal. Gimmetrow 03:53, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I've updated my example template, and added documentation/examples for the various different cases on User_talk:Dr_pda/Sandbox. This incorporates Kirill's idea of using another template to generate the lines in the history section of the box, and also Gimmetrow's suggestion of having other templates which are subst:ed to correctly fill in the template. The afdx templates raise an interesting point - rather than moving old noms to /archive1 etc, the new noms have pages like /Nomination 2, so no moves are necessary. As far as I can see there doesn't seem to be any compelling reason to move old fac nominations from pagename to pagename/archive1, except that some of the existing FA templates assume that the nomination subpage will be /pagename. It seems to me that not requiring a move but making the template automatically point to a new subpage would address some of the issues Sandy raised. I've added this functionality to my example template as well, i.e. when an editor subst:'s the appropriate template for a second FAC there is a redlink to the page WP:FAC/pagename/Nomination 2, which they then click on to create the nom. No move is involved, and the link the the previous nom (which was already listed in the template) stays the same. The template is also smart enough to link to the most recent nom once the FAC/FAR is completed. Note that since the links to the subpages are spelt out in full in the template (the subst:ed template just fills them in automatically) this approach is fully backwards compatible with existing FA's (though now I think about it, it might be worth adding another case for Brilliant Prose).
I note in passing that User:Feature_Historian is a great resource for seeing when articles were promoted/demoted, and also re Gimmetrow's suggestion of automated tabs there exists Wikipedia:WikiProject_User_scripts/Scripts/CloseAFD.js, which could possibly be adapted. Dr pda 16:02, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Won't have time to look at it until after the holidays, but if you've eliminated the Move/archive problem, that's a good reason to move forward, as that helps eliminate editor time, effort and involvement. I was beginning to be concerned that our idea of a multi-template wasn't going to save us any effort. Sandy (Talk) 16:07, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

This seems to have gotten stalled over the holidays: other issues raised on Raul's talk page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:00, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Bot idea

I'm not certain how this idea will go with the community, but I'm proposing a bot that will monitor Special:Prefixindex/Wikipedia:Featured article candidates checking if one is present here (Wikipedia:Featured article candidates). Those that are not currently FAC's but old discussion it will tag with one of the Archival templates to show that the discussion is closed. The bot can run, I guess, once a week. This could help improve organization and can also fix any user mistakes, for example, commenting on an FAC directed there another page like Special:Contributions/ or a WikiProject news template, not knowing that it had already failed/passed. Just wanted to see how people feel about this here before going to Wikipedia:Bot requests. - Tutmosis 15:56, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

My response is probably a tangent (sorry), but with the holidays approaching, it's increasingly harder for me to dedicate time to FA. Any possibility of putting that off to January? In theory, I like it - just don't have time to focus on it. Sandy (Talk) 15:58, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
I've put in a bot request for this, only following the simpler method of watching the FAC archive and log to tag failed/promoted respectively. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 23:47, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I think Raul tags all the promoted FACs (and I think he wouldn't turn that over to a bot, not sure? - so the bot would need to doublecheck, and indicate article was promoted) - so it's really the facfailed tags, which I've been doing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:56, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
This is for tagging the FAC pages, not the articles themselves, though. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 00:04, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
ah, yes, good idea - then the same bot could flag the WP:FARs - same task, in reverse. The archive is at Wikipedia:Featured article review/archive. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:27, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Song samples

Is there a maximum number of song samples on an article to be worthy of FA? M3tal H3ad 04:46, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

In order for an article to be worthy of FA, it must meet the criteria. Since song samples are usually copyrighted they should be only added if they help understand a large part of the subject, and to answer your question samples barely if at all influence an article's FAC. Lastly there is no policy on minimum/maximum number of samples per article. See also Wikipedia:Music samples for further information on samples. - Tutmosis 17:04, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Allright, thankyou for the reply. M3tal H3ad 06:58, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

FAC in general

I'm rather discouraged by the quality of some of what is offered up as FAs and by some of the articles that have succeeded (Cladistics, for example, is utterly awful imo). I think that this process goes rather fast. This may be because more participants have more time than I do to review the articles. However, it seems that there is a sense of a need to do this quickly. How much time does it usually take for an article to go through FAC? Is there some minimum/maximum? I would like to comment on more articles but simply don't have the time. KP Botany 21:13, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Most of the articles from 2004 don't meet the criteria set in 2006, as its undergone big changes. As for your question for how long, it all depends on the votes and the person who nominated. Articles with all objects and major problems get failed quickly. While articles with even votes and the nominator making the necessary changes can take a number of weeks (see scouting). I hope that answered your question. M3tal H3ad 05:48, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
For old FAs not meeting the current criteria (2006's criteria are not the same with 2004's) there is WP:FARC and WP:FAR, where I encourage you to participate (until recently there was a backlog). As far as the time is concerned, there is no official time limit and no time pressure. Raul is the final judge to estimate when there is a final consensus (or not), and I know FACs that have been there for more than a month; I think Macedonia (terminology) stayed there almost two months until it was approved.--Yannismarou 12:39, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I think I need to take speed reading classes, though. KP Botany 20:35, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject League of Copyeditors

The project now has a special section for FAC articles in need of a copyedit. Perhaps we could advertise this in nominations where prose seems to be the only major obstacle. Gzkn 02:44, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Cool!--Yannismarou 16:42, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 19:57, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

How to end FAC?

How come the nomination page isn't archived tile XFD nominations? It would make looking back on the old pages easier and the outcome accourding to the director would be explained. Has this been mentioned before? The Placebo Effect 16:11, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it's been mentioned before; I think the main opposition to archiving them like XfD's was the addition of even more work for an overburdened FA director (User:Raul654). However, I thought I heard somewhere that there was a plugin for WP:AWB that made closing XfD's a simple affair. If so, it probably wouldn't be that hard to modify the plugin for the purposes of an FAC. And I'd be willing to do the archiving in that case. Anyone know about this plugin? Or is it just some figment of my imagination? Gzkn 00:52, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Help on Featured list candidates

The Featured list candidates could do with more reviewers. The holiday season hasn't helped. The criteria are very similar to Featured Articles. Have a look and see if you can contribute some of your time there too. Thanks, 12:02, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

A lengthy question.

Concerning article: Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia

There are few truly reliable sources written on or even relating to the last Grand Duchess of Imperial Russia (both on the internet and in print). I have been bolstering the article in preparation to nominate it for FA status since the summer of '06, but now I must go through the article and thoroughly cite the facts/assertions (with footnotes presumably). I am wondering if it would hurt the article's chances of entering FA status if one source is used several times? The source is The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga, written by John Curtis Perry and Constantine Pleshakov. Olga Alexandrovna Romanov (the subject of the article in question) is listed as a consultant in the book and a contributor of personal information, which evidently is a rarety. With the credentials of such a book so great, would the FAC allow one source to be used several times over? Thanks. -- AJ24 00:02, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

It's perfectly normal for a single source to be cited multiple times in a featured article; doing so shouldn't lead to any difficulties. Kirill Lokshin 00:06, 7 January 2007 (UTC)


I have been attempting to add Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Massachusetts Institute of Technology for FAC review. I proceeded through all of the steps, however, when I try to edit the FAC project page, it states that the link (turkishweekly) is spam blacklisted, although MIT does not exist on the blacklist nor turkishweekly in the link or article! Can someone help me resolve this? Madcoverboy 07:11, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Wow, this is a weird one. I can't even find the turkishweekly link in the blacklist! Maybe try the blacklist talk page or the technical Village Pump. Gzkn 07:35, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
OK. The entire FAC page is uneditable! So it's not just a symptom of trying to add the MIT FAC... Gzkn 07:36, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
You beat me to it by a fraction of a second - I edit conflicted ;) Raul654 07:45, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict with Raul) Found the Turkish weekly links. They were in the Turkey FAC. I commented them out for now, and added MIT (the FAC page is now editable). I have no idea why they are on the blacklist's a news site no? Gzkn 07:47, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
See Raul654 07:48, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Ah whoops. I added a "proposed removal" before I spotted that... Gzkn 07:54, 7 January 2007 (UTC)