Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive27

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February FAC stats

For the month of February, FAC had:

  • 129 candidates (69 promoted, 60 archived)
  • Over 500 declarations from more than 200 editors, including
    • 21 editors with 6 or more FAC declarations
    • another 59 editors with 2–5 FAC declarations
    • another 128 editors with 1 FAC declaration.

The top five reviewers in terms of quantity of articles reviewed were:

I reviewed the FAC archives to score all declarations relative to the outcome of the FAC or subsequent work on the FAC on a scale from +5 to –5. Minus 5 represented an invalid oppose or a support on an article that other editors subsequently identified as having significant deficiencies (that is, more than easily fixed MoS issues). A plus 5 represented a significant, "roll up your sleeves and dig in" review that was decisive in the outcome or in helping an article attain featured status. Scores in between were for routine supports and opposes that either agreed with (+ 3) or differed from (– 3) the outcome. All of the top 5 quantity reviewers had significantly positive average quality scores. Among the top 10 quantity reviewers, the editors with the highest average quality of review scores (above 4) were:

In the top 20 quantity reviewers, high quality scores (above 4) also came from:

The editors above had more than five reviews and either rarely missed the mark (for example, declaring a Suppose Support on an article that failed or where other editors found sufficient deficiencies), or dug in and helped get a stalled article promoted by providing the feedback necessary for the nominator to bring the article to status.

Combining quantity and quality of reviews reveals topnotch work at FAC in February from Karanacs, Laser brain and Ealdgyth, and Epbr123, Tony1 and Juliancolton.

That's the good news. Additionally, among the most active reviewers, 2 of the top 10 (4 of the top 20) had negative average quality of review scores, meaning they more often than not entered a declaration that was out of step with the other declarations on the FAC (usually an unwarranted Support, occasionally an invalid Oppose) ... yes, in the content areas that most often come under fire for quality.

Putting together the spreadsheet to tally all of this took me all day; I doubt I'll be able to do it every month. As I expected, a very small minority of reviewers are entering declarations that aren't well grounded in WP:WIAFA, and a handful of reviewers are keeping FAC moving forward, doing the bulk of the work. Epbr123 (talk · contribs) is now semi-retired; we need more quality reviewers, because these few people are helping featured article writers put Wiki's best work on the main page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:25, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I declare Suppose! Seriously, though, excellent work, Karanacs. Is there an FA barnstar? ЭLСОВВОLД talk 04:27, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
There are two in fact: {{CRM}} and {{ReviewersAward}}. Ling.Nut (talk) 08:04, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

FAC and FAR review lists

I've become a bit embarrassed that VeblenBot's data is being used "in the raw" to list FACs and FAR candidates. That isn't what was intended, so I've set up WP:Featured articles/Candidate list and WP:Featured articles/Review list, which present the data in a slightly less techy way, and provide some handy links. I'm sure those pages could be improved e.g., maybe we don't want such a big header (this was a cut and paste job from WP:FA), or maybe the data should be presented more compactly. Geometry guy 13:42, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm interested in hearing what editors use these lists and to what advantage. I've removed the link from {{fapages}} in the interest of keeping those pages as clean and readable as possible. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:36, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Some earlier comments (by two editors) can be found at WT:Featured article review/archive 7#Introducing_User:VeblenBot.2FC.2FWikipedia_featured_article_review_candidates. I don't mind whether they are linked via Fapages. Geometry guy 14:47, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Of the two previous comments, one used the list to catch an unlisted nom and the other isn't a regular FAC participant. I check regularly for unlisted noms; that comment about an unlisted nom was when I was otherwise entertained at the end of December. If a lot of people use those lists, we can add them, but I'd not like to see the FA pages become as cluttered as the GA pages, so we should only add things that have demonstrated usefulness. Let's see what others say. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:50, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Ah, this is much better than the "raw" version I'd been using to keep track of FAC/Rs. In response to Sandy: I mainly just use them because I find loading the entire FA pages unwieldy and slow. The lists allow me to quickly scan through the listings and spot any articles that pique my interest. BuddingJournalist 17:19, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Good grammar article

Good grammar articles are an FA reviewers best friend! Funny, I ended up using Rule #4 in my sentence. Top ten grammar myths -Ravedave (talk) 19:34, 8 March 2008 (UTC) (corrected link Abecedare (talk) 03:25, 9 March 2008 (UTC))

Dead link. Tony (talk) 02:59, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
It works for me; by the way, those are good rules. — Deckiller 05:42, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Last night it didn't work for me. I had to go to the homepage and click on the article there. But it works fine for me now though. (Guyinblack25 talk 15:44, 9 March 2008 (UTC))
Rule 1 is something up with which I shall not put! BuddingJournalist 17:08, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Why we should be judicious in citing newspapers

10-minute radio documentary on the ABC, 21 Feb—transcript, and audio stream until 21 March.

Journalists and their information: A closer look at journalists and the information they gather... where they get it... who tries to stop them getting it... and how some can be shaped by what they see and experience. First up an interview with the Guardian's Nick Davies, who has a new book called 'Flat Earth News'. Tony (talk) 02:58, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

This is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, unfortunately. Read Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky for much more. Serious papers present opinions as facts. News outlets hire actors instead of journalists. Where else do we turn, though? Only select discourse communities actually produce vetted, peer-reviewed, scholarly work. --Laser brain (talk) 04:32, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
...on both sides of the political spectrum, the news is slanted pablum. Yes it is. CNN. Fox. All the major US networks. The only way to even *begin* to get a full account is to read from many, many sources. Ling.Nut (talk) 04:42, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Extreme cynicism and skepticism of this sort quickly spirals into "trust no one" ...not even yourself! Even 'vetted, peer-reviewed, scholarly work' is subject to nepotism, elitism, and cliques. To get ones work in a scholarly journal, it helps immensely if you're a full professor at a top university. The scholarly world is very small indeed. The editor is often a professional friend. Two of the three 'peer reviewers' are quite often professional friends of the author due to subject specialty. Yes, the process is anonymous but talk to a scientist who is very active in her field and has quite a few papers under her belt; such a person can often guess - accurately - the identity of two of the anonymous reviewers. Often only the third reviewer who is likely a technical specialist - such as a statistician - is unknown. On the other hand, professional reporters for ‘big’ media are neither stupid nor stooges. Note well, that a lot of the ‘media warnings’ are reported by journalists themselves. The ABC story was told by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. The New York Times scoops itself. A good example was the covert deal between the CIA and the Associated Press and United Press International to feed false wire stories in support of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. The New York Times broke the story on 24 March 2001: see The New York Times ’C.I.A. Had Ability to Plant Bay of Pigs News, Document Shows’ by Tim Weiner 24 March 2001 Retrieved 13 March 2008. The free professional press is self-correcting (sometimes it takes a generation). In practice it is as trustworthy as the scholarly press. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 16:03, 13 March 2008 (UTC)


I just noticed that User:FightingStreet has been nominating article and lists (List of official Halo series media, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Ninja Gaiden (2004 video game), et al) that he does not appear to have edited substantially, if at all. Similarly, we just had a random nomination of GTA IV even though it was clearly not FA-material. I just wondering how we should exactly explain that it's common courtesy for the article authors to nominate? Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 21:16, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

The instructions actually say that self-nominations are to be pointed out, which presumably implies that once it was the norm to nominate other people's work. From what I've seen, that hasn't been the case in a while, and few people now bother to say "self-nominated" in their FACs. Should we change the instructions to imply the reverse -- that you need some justification to nominate if it isn't a self-nom? Mike Christie (talk) 21:30, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, as was the case with the recent Gears of War FAC, the actual editors weren't sure it was ready for FAC, but someone went along and nom'd it still- so it seems to be frowned upon. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 21:42, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
I think no matter how it's worded, these things will happen. Of course, that doesn't mean we should try to reword the statement. FightingStreet didn't indicate that he had contributed, only that he thought they were FA quality. So it looks like they were well-intentioned, as I'm sure similar incidents in the past were as well. (Guyinblack25 talk 21:47, 11 March 2008 (UTC))

My concern is when two conditions coincide: 1) the nominator has never or not actively edited the article, and 2) the significantly active editors agree it's not ready. In those cases, as established by precedent here, the nom should be withdrawn, but I can only withdraw it if there's a siginficantly principle editor who speaks up and says it's not ready. Otherwise, no one owns an article; if the active editors don't want it withdrawn, the FAC has to run its course, and I don't think our instructions can advocate article ownership. I'm not sure why we're seeing so many of these video game driveby noms suddenly, but the March fail rate is going to be high because of this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:49, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Video game question

I think I asked this question the last time Defense of the Ancients was at FAC, but I can't find the answer, and I'm still not clear. If this very short article is about a map that is part of the video game Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne (another short article), why does the map warrant a separate article and why isn't the content merged to the main video game article? Perhaps I'm missing something because I don't know video games? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:30, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it does warrant a separate article. Its Gamecruft. Its been AfDed twice and somehow survived. However the articles it was nominated with in the second one have all since be deleted and that second one was before the crackdown on cruft realyl started, so I wonder if it would survive a third one. AnmaFinotera (talk) 23:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
OK. So considering today's brouhaha about the main page ... I'm reluctant to promote this until I hear more feedback. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:08, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that's a reason which should hold much water here - FAC isn't a second shot at AFD. In general, I think that FAC should assume that all articles which are kept at AFD are sufficiently notable to be featured. As for the organizational issue, it's difficult to get a good sense of what the best structure is because the broader article is so weak. I suspect that ultimately there is a place for a subarticle on this map. Christopher Parham (talk) 23:41, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Three AfDs (found one not listed in the box) does point the issues with stability. I also don't agree we should just presume notability is established if an article is brought here. If this is a sub-article, is it qualified to be an FA? Would we want a sub-article to be featured on the front of the site? AnmaFinotera (talk) 23:44, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I’ve always thought it odd that review criteria (GA and FA) have no consideration of WP:N when the other major content policies (WP:V, WP:OR, WP:NPOV) are front and center. Personally, these articles define the systematic bias at Wikipedia and have little, if anything, to contribute to an “legitimate” encyclopedia. That being said, however, we’re here to evaluate against the FA criteria. If those criteria don’t include WP:N, what can we do? ЭLСОВВОLД talk 23:50, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The reason notability rarely comes up here is simple: FA has no extra notability requirements beyond general WP rules, and there already exists a process to determine whether an article is notable, under the deletion policy. People who think an article fails notability send it to AFD, and if it survives, it's not the place of FAC to reject that community judgment. If we wish to change the featured article criteria to require additional notability standards the place for that is WP:WIAFA. I forecast you would find it difficult to develop a consensus for that move. Christopher Parham (talk) 23:57, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
To be clear, I’m not necessarily proposing WP:N become a criterion and I’m certainly not proposing extra notability requirements. Notability is notability. FA is a place to identify concerns. In the absense of AfD(s), we don't necessarily have assurance that WP:N has been adequately scrutinized before arriving here. ЭLСОВВОLД talk 00:02, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Not necessarily. If the article has never been PRODed or AfDed, that doesn't mean it has auotmatically been considred notable, only that no one has noticed it before. With the number of articles here, many slip under the radar until someone calls attention to it. Such articles shouldn't pass FA just because they haven't been noticed yet. Similarly, an article AfDed on seemingly a yearly basis obviously has some questionable notability. I think a year since its last AfD or having its notability questioned would not be a unreasonable note. In either case, as ЭLСОВВОLД has noted, the criteria do explicitly state several other policies and guidelines, so it would not be unreasonable and seems strangely absent that notability is not something to be questioned/considered as well. AnmaFinotera (talk) 01:54, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The difference between Defense of the Ancients and the example I posted below is that NPA personality theory had slid under the radar until it got to FAC, while DotA already survived three AfDs, so I think that answers the question for FAC purposes. But I'm still not following the video game jargon as to why it can't be merged to the main article and why it's a separate topic. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:01, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Note: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/NPA personality theory (had a peer review, passed GA, got all the way to FAC before it encountered ... me). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

To respond to notability questions: originally there were two DotA articles; one on the original gametype, and one on Allstars. The merge was completed because the game itself, in its original format, was just a custom map- no more notable than any other, and could be discussed under the Mods section of Warcraft III. DotA Allstars (which is what the article is primarily about) is notable. It has been featured in tournaments, the subject of a chart-topping song, and has become more popular than Counter-Strike- as this points out, DotA "is one of the most popular local area network games worldwide." The game has in turn inspired other variants. Is it a minor piece compared to some other topics? Hey, I'm not saying it isn't. But I think its notability has been clearly established. As for the main page snafu, I think that's more evidence of bias against video games than the other way around- I was opposed in my FAC for Halo 2 because "it was another video game." Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 00:07, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Another thing: just because The Frozen Throne is currently a crap article doesn't mean throwing in DotA will make it any better. In any case, it bridges both the original game and its expansion, so placing it in one or the other is a bad organizational move as well. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 00:09, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

(undent) I've been around a while, and many of you know me. I'm just now starting to become involved in FAC... and I know I will get killed for this (and peppered with <adjective deleted> links to WP:IDONTLIKEIT), but I think WP:WIAFA needs some method of weeding out trivial articles that have absolutely zero refs beyond internet shtuff. These are our best? I... OK... how do I write this without seeming elitist? I could slap these things together in a nice slow weekend, if my wife weren't watching ;-). Yet they have no fundamental grammatical flaws, the idea of using web refs on pop culturte is long-established, and who the heck can say if these articles are comprehensive? Whether or not an article is "comprehensive" is a profoundly arguable point [A scenario? from a video game? How much can you write on that?]... Ta da! Featured article... The idea of incorporating some changes to "...the featured article criteria to require additional notability standards" strikes me as long overdue. Ling.Nut (talk) 13:09, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I quite agree. No FA should be less than 173 notable. Yomanganitalk 13:32, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Cool use of sarcasm. Thanks for helping me check whether or not I am able to comprehend various social layers of communication ;-) Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know.... it would be killed by turning it into a minor version of the old debates about the notability of schools. Yes. I know. But. Video game scenarios? I spent months and months working on... oh never mind. Ling.Nut (talk) 13:40, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
The problem really needs to be approached from a policy (WP:N) angle. Asking FAC to tackle notability questions seems, to me, an unreasonable extension of scope; although I think AfD is worthless, it exists and is the proper venue. I agree that it’s ridiculous that these articles make FA, but the failure is with WP:N, misinterpretation thereof and systematic bias. These articles are neither “worthy of notice” or “important” (double standard criterion for firms, groups, people, etc). If When they survive AfD, however, fairness requires they receive due process at FAC. ЭLСОВВОLД talk 14:35, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Ah, the refreshing experience of finding a kindred soul... one of the many joys of being a Wikipedian. :-) So... umm... two classes of FAC then? <cue sarcastic reply by Yomangani> Or more likely, just extra stinginess with the star? ... I'm not ignoring your observation that the change should happen at WP:N; I just wanna talk about goals that reflect reality instead of stark staring fantasy. :-) Ling.Nut (talk) 14:42, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I've used my quota for the day. I think you're on a hiding to nothing with this: we struggle to define a binary notability measure for use in AFD so trying to produce a graded one for FAC is highly unlikely to be successful. The fact is that some FAs are always going to be harder to produce than others, and some are always going to be of a higher standard than others, and often the harder to produce articles are going to be the better ones. I find it helps to look beyond the shiny star. Unless you are measuring your worth by how far up WP:WBFAN you are, the star doesn't mean hell of a lot. If the article was hard to research and had a tough time at FAC it is probably a better article as a result. Who cares if a lot of video gamers don't read it? Yomanganitalk 15:00, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Village pump proposal to "lock" featured articles

See here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:16, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Template:E no longer acceptable in FAs

The Template:E facilitates and makes consistent the formatting of scientific notation. About three weeks ago, after notice by at least two editors, the spacing of the multiplication sign in the rendering was changed to satisfy the requirements of MOS (spaced on both sides). Until then, FAs using the template were in breach of MOS and thus of FA Criterion 2.

User Knowledge Seeker, abetted by User SRleffler, has now reverted the template so that it produces a squashy format without the required spacing, for example:

μ0 4π×10−7 H/m


1.60217653×10-19 ± 0.00000014×10-19 C

rather than

μ0 4π × 10−7 H/m

6.24150948 × 1018

1.60217653 × 10-19 ± 0.00000014 × 10-19 C

This was perpetrated despite a warning that MOS requires the space (with good reason, IMV, given WP's display on computer monitors rather than hard copy, and our generalist readership.

Unfortunately, this means that the template cannot now be used in FAs, and will need to be removed and replaced with manual type in all FACs. Tony (talk) 11:55, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the update, Tony; I wish we could get a monthly update of changes at FAC, as things keep slipping through that reviewers might not know about. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:20, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Only that the talk page shows that there is more than meets the eye. In either case, I don't see how having a template (which can be changed later if consensus dictates) can be a bad thing, as it creates a uniform appearance (the whole point of the MOS). Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 18:28, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Not if it knowingly introduces a significant breach of MOS. And not if it makes scientific notation harder to read, especially for non-experts. In any case, nominators may wish to try another template, the {{delimitnum}}, which has several advantages, including the proper spacing of the ×. See MOSNUM Tony (talk) 02:19, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
There is no such thing as a "significant breach" of MoS; it's a guideline. Any effort to impose this nonsense should be appealled to a wider audience. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:59, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree with PMAnderson that this is an exceptionally poor reason to object to an FAC. The spaced scientific notation is odd looking to me so I prefer the change but it's just so incredibly unimportant that I really think it's an unproductive debate. A serious mathematician or scientist is, in my opinion, going to be extremely turned off to write a technical mathematical article and then meet such a ridiculous objection. Let's let this one slide until it is resolved on Template Talk. --JayHenry (talk) 00:46, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Since it's equally easy to fix, there would be no reason not to. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:48, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
But I think it's about where to fix it. In this case a template used on 1,000 pages has a different format than the Manual of Style. The place to resolve this issue is Template talk:E or WT:MOS. By dragging FAC into these MOS disputes I really feel that we alienate a large portion of the community, who aren't interested in getting into battles over such trivialities as placement of non-breaking spaces. --JayHenry (talk) 00:55, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Exactly: fixing MOS breaches is easy compared with some of the other requirements for FACs, particularly prose and verification. Doing so is a useful activity that can engage contributors with the text in new ways. Anderson and Henry seem to have a knee-jerk reaction to any imposition of stylistic uniformity. It's their mantra that appears to be "incredibly unimportant". Tony (talk) 00:55, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • That's hardly fair to lump me with PMAnderson. I disagree with almost everything he says :) --JayHenry (talk) 00:57, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
JayHenry, any "serious" mathematician or scientist should be used to dealing with far more stringent requirements when they publish a paper. I've learned in my professional life that some style guidelines can be ignored when it makes sense to do so - the ultimate purpose of any writing is to serve the audience. If the Wikipedia audience is best served by spacing or not spacing mathematical equations then that's what we should do. We're serving our audience, not our writers. That being said, any serious writing pursuit needs a style guide for that very same reason. --Laser brain (talk) 14:50, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • True, JayHenry does almost always disagree with me. We concur that this is a point of such mind-blowing triviality that opposing FA for it is simply silly. We do not need to be, and will not be, consistent from one article to the next on points like this; it's incompatible with being a wiki. We do not need a style guide made of points like this; a discussion for what would actually be a useful one, which treats our contributors like adults, may be found at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Manual_of_Style. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:19, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

This is all an unfortunate misunderstanding. The MOS did not discuss exponential notation at all; it said, reasonably, that actual multiplication, as 4 × 4, must be spaced. There does not appear to be a consistent practice in the literature in spacing exponential notation (I have seen both myself) and there is considerable sentiment at Template talk:E against altering the template. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:53, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Manderson, most users disagree with everything you say, and JayHenry's point is thus not trivial. You might sit up and take note. What you don't hear are the cries of exasperation expressed in many quarters at your contrarian tactics, which people are too polite to pass on. It is those tactics that are counter to a healthy wiki process, not the creation of guidelines and rules for achieving consistency in style and formatting. Tony (talk) 03:23, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Cries of exasperation added. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:51, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Speaking of cries of exasperation, you have certainly heard from those who believe that your constant aspersions against other editors are contrary to a healthy wiki process, and yet you should no signs of committing to basic civility. PMA isn't making remarks about your agenda for totalitarianism or calling you Toni; it might be helpful for you to treat him with the same respect he shows you. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:57, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Failed without explanation

The article was not promoted 19:48, 21 March 2008. by a bot without any explanation: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Flight 19/archive1 Why? (Can't fix it if I don't know what's broken.) Anynobody 08:22, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Just a note that a bot does not promote or archive FACs; it only updates the talk page. This recent Signpost Dispatch gives helpful tips about how you might locate editors to provide more feedback on the article at peer review; peer review might be able to provide more information as to why the article was unable to garner support in almost two weeks at FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:40, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

If I understand correctly, the discussion was "archived" by a bot, on its page after you failed it here then? Anynobody 03:55, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Correct. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:58, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

With all due respect SandyGeorgia, that's not how this is supposed to work as I understand it based on prior experience with a FAC nomination and participation in the GAC process. I don't want to seem combative so I'll give you a chance to explain before I re-list the article. (Thank you Christopher Parham :) Anynobody 04:08, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

No, this is pretty much how it works. Sandy is one of those who makes the final decisions on this page. In this case, users had raised a number of problems and were not confident that they had been addressed: mainly referencing issues. Also, the article had not attracted any supporters; even without direct opposition, a lack of support may result in a nomination being failed. Christopher Parham (talk) 04:14, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry Any; I thought I had explained above. You can consider getting further feedback at peer review (I gave you a link with some tips for how to locate good reviewers at WP:PRV) and you can re-list it in a few weeks. I can see many deficiencies on a quick glance, but I can't provide a detailed review on all 50 articles listed and I'm confident you can get excellent feedback from the volunteers listed at WP:PRV. The FAC did not have consensus to promote after almost two weeks; that is, in fact, how FAC works. I'm sure you'll be in great shape next time, and you shouldn't consider an archived FAC as anything but a chance to come back stronger next time. Good luck ! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:16, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia, and anyone else interested, please don't take these as anything but serious good faith questions;
1) Wouldn't these editors have provided feedback while the article was listed? That is to say if I get feedback elsewhere and nobody comments one way or another here, what good will that have done?
2) Is this a vote? (if it is that's fine) The only opposition didn't participate in efforts to address his/her concerns, leaving open a possibility he/she just didn't like the article.
3) Why is a tepid response seen as reason to fail an article abiding by the listed prerequisites?
4) In response to your answers as to how FAC works, shouldn't it say so on WP:FAC rather than what it does say: If, after sufficient time, objections considered actionable by the director have not been resolved or consensus for promotion has not been reached,...? This ties into question number 2) in that if the objections were actionable why didn't "the director" step in and respond to unanswered questions posed regarding the objections? On consensus, given that I laid out point by point why the article fits couldn't the lack of response indicate that it does meet the criteria and people simply aren't interested in the topic?
Rest assured I have no negative personal feelings on this matter, just an interest in understanding the logic behind what I'm being told. Anynobody 04:53, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
To address just one of your points, if you've received feedback elsewhere on an article (e.g. peer review), feel free to invite those people to contribute to the FAC. Christopher Parham (talk) 04:55, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
1) There is no time pressure at peer review, and editors who comment to help out at peer review aren't obligated to return to revisit Opposes as they are at FAC, so some reviewers are more willing to engage an article with issues in the more leisurely pace of peer review.
2) No, it's not a vote. There was no consensus to promote the article; I looked at it and saw the deficiencies, I archived. A peer review is recommended; a second FAC at this stage is not likely to generate a different outcome.
3) See 1. and 2.
4) The instructions do say that; there was not consensus to promote, and the article does not yet meet the criteria. FAC is not peer review and is not GAC and the "director" judges if there is consensus to promote or archive. Peer review is the best way of getting feedback to move the article forward so your next FAC will result in promotion. Good luck ! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:09, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Christopher Parham if I understand you correctly anyone giving feedback (and thus satisfied by the time I've brought it back) would be able to support the article here too? I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable doing that, in a way it seems like authorized canvassing. (The point of this discussion process seems like it's meant to garner outside opinions, getting feedback from other editors actually brings them "inside".)
SandyGeorgia, I appreciate and respect that you believe it would be in the article's best interest to be on peer review but your responses didn't answer my questions about why you think so. Sometimes I can be unclear and maybe they weren't phrased very well, so I'll be a bit more direct. 1) Getting consensus via peer review doesn't seem like it will ensure positive consensus here if arbitrary, unfulfillable oppose opinions are accepted as part of FAC discussions. Why is this incorrect? 2) It's my understanding that lack of participation in discussions indicates general apathy, essentially deferring to "the director"*, why is that incorrect? Question 3) was actually two in one, isn't consensus supposed to be for or against something and what if consensus was for an article that didn't meet FAC requirements? 4)I guess you interpret lack of discussion as consensus against the article fulfilling the requirements. (*I know "the director" means possibly several people, so shouldn't they be listed where "he" is discussed in order to avoid confusion?) Anynobody 06:07, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
No, I'm sorry but you don't seem to understand yet. Please read the WP:FAC instructions; perhaps others can better help you understand. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:36, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

FAC instructions

For some reason, there was a discussion going on at the Village Pump about changing FAC instructions[1] that didn't involved FAC. I reverted the changes so we could discuss.[2] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:47, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

And now here, too.[3] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:06, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Allright, since the discussion has started there, maybe we can keep it there. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:13, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Oh, for gosh sakes, blocked user, wasted time. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:52, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

FWIW Even though this turned out be a blocked user it's probably worth noting that, believe it or not, discussions regarding changing almost any aspect of Wikipedia can occur at the Wikipedia:Village pump. As it says...This set of pages is used to discuss the technical issues, policies, and operations of Wikipedia, and is divided into five village pump sections In order to avoid being back-doored it could be a good idea adding Wikipedia:Village pump (policy), Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals) and Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous) to one's watchlist. Anynobody 05:07, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, blocked users and sockpuppets sometimes play around FAC; Archtransit, a sock of Dereks1x even had a featured article, Boeing 747. Anyway, changes to FAC instructions should be discussed at FAC, and at least that sock issue is ended now. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:54, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

The checkmarks are back

Since the graphical templates {{done}} and {{not done}} slow down page load times, I've created two alternatives that use Unicode symbols for the same effect:

I haven't created such an alternative for {{doing}} because I haven't found a suitable Unicode character. And yes, I know not all browser/OS configurations support Unicode, but I figure if it's good enough for article text, it's good enough for FAC pages. szyslak (t) 02:58, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I read through 50 pages at a time several times a day, and I hate those checkmarks; they make the pages indecipherable to me, and I hope you'll take that into consideration. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:13, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Well why create the alternative unicode if they damage the accessibility and look of the page (which I believe they do)? They should be proscribed; nothing wrong with a (bolded or italicised) done and not done, so maybe that solution should be explicitly included in the instructions ... Tony (talk) 03:17, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
And PS, if we were to ever allow those ugly checkmarks, for heaven's sake, make the colours less bright and make them SMALLER, please. Tony (talk) 03:18, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
 Done. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) I myself had second thoughts about the bright crayon red I used in {{not done-t}}. szyslak (t) 03:25, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
BTW: I used web-safe colors, for those who care about such things :) szyslak (t) 04:19, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
The other problem with them is that altering someone else's commentary is completely against talk page guidelines, and that's how they are always used. When people use them, they chop and interrupt a reviewer's comments, so they lose all coherence, and it becomes impossible for me to easily see who said what or where things stand (such that I have to step back through diffs to see if something is actually addressed according to the reviewer). You are not supposed to alter someone else's commentary per WP:TALK. Please, if it makes you feel good to check things off, think of the mess it leaves for me when I'm trying to read through and make sense of the FAC to determine consensus and if issues are addressed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:28, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
(ec) I don't agree that these templates are always used to alter other peoples' commentary. Most uses I've seen are on a completely different line. A note along the lines of "Don't alter other users' comments per WP:TALK" should take care of that problem. So, now that the image loading problem has been "solved", I don't agree with proscribing checkmarks in the introduction page. We should keep instruction creep to a minimum, plus I don't see any reason to disallow them besides WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Aesthetic issues are almost always a matter of WP:ILIKEIT versus WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Anything that's design-related will draw some degree of criticism: the colors are too bright and not bright enough, it's unprofessional and too professional, etc. szyslak (t) 03:33, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
If you have the need to put a checkmark under someone else's comments, why not just type the word, "done", which accomplishes exactly the same thing and doesn't clutter up the entire page. Yes, I don't like it, because as soon as they start up again, people do start altering other people's comments, and then I have to sort it out. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:37, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, I rarely, if ever, use checkmarks myself. I figured these templates would be useful for those who do like to use them, and there are uses for them outside FAC. szyslak (t) 03:41, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Further, it takes four keystrokes to type the word done (which still has no meaning to me until the reviewer strikes), while it takes for example, 13 keystrokes to type { { t l | d o n e - t } }. I don't get it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:50, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Or ten keystrokes to type { { d o n e - t } }. But then again, it takes 14 to type { { n o t d o n e - t } }. szyslak (t) 04:17, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Passing comment: I don't use the check marks either, but you can't always rely on reviewers striking comments. As well as drive-by nominators, we have plenty of drive-by reviewers who make (often useful) comments, but apparently never come back to check whether their requirements were met. A check mark (or a simple note 'Done') is useful to the nominator, and I would have thought to the FAC director or deputy, in checking progress. Cheers. 4u1e (talk) 13:15, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Article validation tested

In case you didn't see the Signpost article,I've copied this bit. Article flagging is being tested. An open beta of article validation is in progress, in English. Registered users can grant themselves one of two statuses: "Editor", which allows a user to flag a revision as being checked for vandalism and obvious nonsense, and "Reviewer", which allows a user to flag a revision as a "good" or "featured" article. When implemented, these statuses will likely be granted manually by administrators, but for the purposes of the test, any user can make themselves a "reviewer". Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 20:47, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Archive cutoff date

Automatic archiving has been running most of this month, and I think it's been going fine. The cutoff is currently set to 30 days; that is, a thread is only archived if it has been inactive for 30 days. Looking back up the page, I don't see any discussions that went inactive for more than ten or twelve days and then had further comments.

I suggest we change the cutoff to 21 days; I don't think this will remove any discussions that are at all likely to be continued. Mike Christie (talk) 13:46, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I didn't see any objections so I made this change. After we see the effect, if it seems it's archiving too much, it's easy to change back. Mike Christie (talk) 13:17, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Full-Protection during FAC

This article has been fully-protected during it's FAC due to disputes (and due to details involving his private life come out in the media). Should the FAC be speedy failed? What happens in these circumstances? D.M.N. (talk) 17:12, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

I would say it would fail since it is not stable as per the criteria, and no improvements can be made in such a state. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 19:51, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
What is the issue that was just revealed in the media? 1e is oft-abused at FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:55, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
A tabloid alleged that Mosley held a Nazi-themed sex orgy with several sex workers. No, I'm not kidding. --Laser brain (talk) 19:58, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh. Oops. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:02, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I say we just block those guys who are inserting it for disruption...Those German tabloids are basically just gossip rags and are usually libelous as far as F1 goes. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 00:56, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
That would be a British tabloid - News of the World. Peanut4 (talk) 01:02, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Helpful wikignome editing

I was wondering (a) whether this was a worthwhile tip and if so (b) was it helpful putting it anywhere:

  • If I am editing an article in its advanced stages before FAC or sometimes at Peer Review or GA, either as nominator and responding to issues raised, or as helpful reviewer, I find this is a good time to save after each small edit with extra care to detail the reasons for the edit in the edit summary (well, some of the time unless tired, hurried or whatever), to assist with clarifying and getting consensus on changes. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:32, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
    • I tend to read until I find some minor tweak that needs fixing and then fix section by section. This keeps the edits small and I can describe all of my changes. -Ravedave (talk) 01:41, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

April Fools, double checking

Three hours from the end of April Fools and archiving, I just want to double check :-) I'm pretty clear on this and this, but not so sure on this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:14, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Given the work being done on the article, I'm guessing the Tenacious D article is a serious nom. I sure hope so, reading all those websites was a pain! Ealdgyth - Talk 22:51, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Not sure, since it's listed at LOCE? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:52, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Could be, but at least it looked more serious than the other two. We'll see, I guess. (grins) Ealdgyth - Talk 22:53, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I'd leave it running. After all, a LOCE review usually takes a while, so it wouldn't surprise me if the nominator forgot to remove it from there. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 04:09, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Monthly update of substantive styleguide and policy changes

Sandy and others have requested regular updates of substantive changes to MOS (not just copy-editing). I hope I haven't left anything out that's substantive. Here's the whole-month diff.

March 2008

Manual of style, main page

  • Multiplication symbols. Inserted: Do not use an asterisk to represent multiplication between numbers in non-technical articles. The multiplication sign in exponential notation (2.1 × 108) may now be unspaced, depending on circumstances (2.1×108); previously, spacing was always required in exponential notation.
  • Images. There were minor changes to the advice concerning the direction of the face or eyes in images, and concerning the size of images.
  • Punctuation in quotations. "Punctuation" was added to the requirement that "Wherever reasonable, preserve the original style, spelling and punctuation".
  • Em dashes. "Em dashes are normally unspaced" was strengthened to "should not be spaced".
  • Instructional and presumptuous language. "Clearly" and "actually" were added to the list of words that are usually avoided in an encyclopedic register.
  • '"Pull" and block quotes. Removed: Pull quotes are generally not appropriate in Wikipedia articles. Added: Block quotes can be enclosed using {{quotation}} or {{quote}} (as well as the existing specification, i.e., between a pair of <blockquote>...</blockquote> HTML tags).

Layout styleguide

  • "See also" sections. It was clarified that links should be presented in a bulleted list, and that rather than grouping them by subject area, it is helpful to alphabetize them.
  • As an alternative to striking out their "objection", reviewers may "cap off their resolved comments; the cap should include the reviewer's signature, and editors [not nominators] should cap only their own commentary.

FAC instructions

  • Added: "Nominators must be sufficiently familiar with the subject matter and sources to deal with objections during the FAC process. Nominators who are not significant contributors to the article should consult regular editors of the article prior to nomination."

Non-free content policy

  • Criterion 8. The second clause was removed: "Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding."
  • Enforcement. Inserted: An image with a valid non-free-use rationale for some (but not all) articles it is used in will not be deleted. Instead, the image will be removed from the articles for which it lacks a non-free-use rationale.

TONY (talk) 03:58, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Tony. This is a big help in keeping up with MoS changes and getting a better handle on how we should be writing. (Guyinblack25 talk 04:25, 5 April 2008 (UTC))
I added a link to the Dispatches at the top of this page. Do people feel it would be helpful to set aside one weekly Dispatch per month to cover MoS and any other process changes? (For example, we added a line to the FAC instructions this month to try to lower driveby noms.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:59, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
I think that's an excellent idea, Sandy. It's really hard to monitor changes to all this stuff, so a central way of seeing all the updates would be very helpful. — Dulcem (talk) 05:21, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm wondering if a quarterly update would be more useful than a monthly update? Tony, what would Jan, Feb, Mar look like? It could be published in the April 14 Dispatch. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:35, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Quarterly would fine, IMO (as long as the list isn't horrendously long!). Awadewit (talk) 22:38, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, if it is done quarterly most of the changes from month one will have been changed back by month three, so the report should be quite short. Arf. Yomanganitalk 23:07, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Maybe this would be a good time to drop in the question, on what style manuals (if any) or grammatical rules/regulations is the Manual of Style based on? I know plenty of people consider it a sort of dense and foggy sorta page... Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 23:10, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Good question: MOS and other style guides on WP typically take some account of other style guides (which are often inconsistent with each other), but form their own guidelines according to what suits this project best, with its unique readership, goals and mode. As far as the frequency of summary updates, I'm for monthly. If an issue flip-flops occasionally, that's fine, it will just appear in a subsequent summary as having gone back to the previous wording, probably with a note to that effect. What I'm wondering is whether I might not have a list of styleguides and policy pages to include in the summary, as well as MOS central. I surveyed a few other pages in preparing this one, but found nothing much worth including! TONY (talk) 05:07, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
    • A page has been established for users to notify substantive changes to styleguides and policy pages here. Monthly update summaries will be stored on a dedicated page here in chronological sequence, as a service to the community. The summaries will not rely on the notifications alone, but will involve a survey of the whole-month diffs for each of the major pages. TONY (talk) 06:21, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Beavis and Butt-head is a drive by nom

Use has never edited it. -Ravedave (talk) 04:27, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

And there are warning and a WQA on the editor, so I removed it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:18, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Triple H FAC

I had no involvement in the FAC, but I suggest you guys see this. D.M.N. (talk) 19:51, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

I've responded at that location. TONY (talk) 16:30, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Withdrawing a nomination

Should instructions be listed as to how to withdraw a nomination? An editor recently withdrew Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Thriller (album)‎ but failed to archive it properly (I went ahead and did it...hope that was OK, Sandy). I guess there are probably two ways to go about this. One is to instruct nominators to do the deed themselves: remove the nomination from WP:FAC and archive it at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Archived nominations. The other is to just instruct them to let the FA director/delegates know that they wish to withdraw the nomination. BuddingJournalist 22:28, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually, it's all goofed up :-) I'm still trying to catch up with what you've done. I'll Be Back. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:29, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Generally, it's best to encourage nominators to either leave a note on the nomination or a request on my talk page when they want to withdraw; this avoids problems that may stall the bot or result in extra steps for me. The biggest problem is that nominators frequently removed the {{fac}} tag from the article talk page when they withdraw, which forces GimmeBot to stop and restore it, so when a fac is withdrawn, I doublecheck that the tag is still on the talk page and I make sure the nominator is aware of the bot issues via a link to WP:FAC/ar. Also, when a premature FAC is withdrawn with no opposes, it doesn't need to be archived and botified into {{articlehistory}}, and is handled completely differently (I do those manually so GimmeBot doesn't have to engage, and since articlehistory isn't affected). If a couple of fac regulars want to learn to do this, that would be welcome, but I don't really want to put out general instructions, as I don't want to risk errors that may stall my favorite bot. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:12, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Gotcha. BuddingJournalist 23:24, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Admin attention needed

I'm not an admin, so I can't restore Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Rongorongo/archive2, an archived botified FAC that was deleted by the nominator. I also need help from FAC regulars in stopping this trend of nominators bringing a FAC back within hours of it being archived. There are at least six steps involved in resolving this, and in this case, because the editor deleted an archived FAC, I can't solve it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:57, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Sounds to me like an admission that you need the admin bit. There's an easy solution here ;) Raul654 (talk) 06:02, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, you tell 'er :) --ROGER DAVIES talk 06:47, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, to repeat here what I said on my talk page - Sandy is my proxy. I expect her decisions to be treated just as if I had done them myself. And if someone went and immediately renominated an article after I had archived it (or worse, undone an archiving) I would be extremely irritated. Raul654 (talk) 06:30, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Rather than having her as a proxy why not elevate the position so that it blatantly carries clout? --ROGER DAVIES talk 06:47, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Roger, she does carry clout, and with Raul's long experience as Director, it's a great team. Re: mop—Sandy should herself be free to choose whether she wants to turn into a mop or stay as she is, IMO. TONY (talk) 08:26, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Tony, I never said she didn't (nor that she and Raul weren't a great team). The key word there was "blatantly". Oblique passing references in the FAC preamble – ("the FA director, currently Raul654, determines whether there is consensus. (References in these instructions to 'the director' include Raul654's nominated delegates.) – are insufficiently transparent. --ROGER DAVIES talk 09:14, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Per your suggestion, I've modified the directions to make it expressly clear that Sandy is working on my behalf. Raul654 (talk) 09:27, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Excellent :) Thank you very much, --ROGER DAVIES talk 09:40, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Query on closure

When is a nomination closed by GimmeBot? Sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm not in the mood to sift through twenty-seven archives. Nousernamesleftcopper, not wood 17:29, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

See WP:FAC/ar. Nominations are closed when Raul or Sandy decide to close them, which is indicated by transcluding the nomination in the featured or archived log. The bot/script does the other paperwork. Gimmetrow 17:57, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, no need to sort through 27 archives; when you add a FAC, this information is included in the {{fac}} template. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:13, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Ah, all right. Thanks. Nousernamesleftcopper, not wood 03:20, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

FACs that have no support/oppose decisions

What happens to FAC's that have no support or oppose's after about ten days, but does have comments? I'm just wondering - would the FAC be closed as it doesn't have sufficient support, or would it be kept open for more time. Regards, D.M.N. (talk) 17:37, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Depends on the article, the topic, what the comments say; a number of other factors including a look at the article to what the issues might be. There's no formula; it's a matter of trying to determine why the article may be receiving no Support. On an extremely rare and technical topic, it could be because others are waiting for content experts to weigh in, and more time could be warranted. An article on a well known topic with dozens of non-reliable sources could indicate something else is going on. Generally, an article can't be promoted without Support, so at some point, the FAC has to be closed. Timing is variable depending on a multitude of factors. FAC is not a vote, but there's usually a reason when articles aren't getting Support. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:08, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
OK. I'm currently working on this FAC, yet despite it being up for FAC for nearly a week, it's had two comments only (one from someone about sourcing which appears to be resolved; and another comment from a WP:F1 member about an image, which seems to be resolved). In this instance, would it be failed? I think it's a little unfair if an article is not promoted even if there are not any oppose comments. I personlly think an ordinary FAC should be given a full month at FAC, so that:
  1. People get to Support/Oppose/Comment on the article within a long-timespan.
  2. The nominator can review the comments without feeling "under pressure" that the article they are working on could be failed in the next few days. They can also make further improvements based on further comments.

Obviously if there are FAC's which are "Strong Oppose" throughout, then yes, it should be failed, but if there are only comments at the FAC the FAC should not get archived until new opinions (Support/Oppose etc.) come along. D.M.N. (talk) 16:34, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

The practice of closing articles without any comments (neither opposes nor supports) introduces the point of view of the regular FAC reviewers expertise into the set of FA's. I don't know how to deal with this, but it worries me. Arnoutf (talk) 16:55, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
The main problem is that there are not enough reviewers for the number of articles that are nominated for FAC. The problem with leaving FACs up for a month is that the list gets incredibly long and reviewers get overwhelmed. At one point last year, the least reached 100 nominations, and reviewers were spread so thin that most articles had issues getting enough reviewers to look at them so that consensus could be determined. Until we can convince more people to become FA reviewers, some nominations get closed because there is no feedback. Generally, if that happens wait a few weeks and nominate it again.Karanacs (talk) 16:57, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree entirely with Karanacs. Until we have enough reviewers, the system simply cannot promote more than a limited number, for want of reviews. Against this is the understandable fact that nominators don't like the feeling of having their article archived and needing to resubmit it to FAC. But I urge nominators to rethink this issue: promotion without sufficient, meaningful review, is a hollow achievement. And having nominations hang around for lengthy periods on the list is a huge problem; the list has to be kept manageable—when it's large, it's a psychological downer for those who might review (the drop in the ocean feeling—and we all need more reviewers). If a nomination hasn't attracted sufficient reviews to enable judgement as to whether the criteria are satisfied, it's a fact of life that promotion can't occur. There should be absolutely nothing wrong with non-promotion followed by a stint of work, in a time-frame convenient to the article contributors, to improve the article; resubmission is more likely to succeed, experience tells us. TONY (talk) 17:55, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree entirely with both of you. And having nominations hang around is not good for the nominators; particularly if they get stressed by the process, (as I do). I don't want to see a huge FAC list. FACs that get no reviews might not get promoted but they do not fail. The nominators should be encouraged to re-submit later. Although soliciting support for a FAC is un-cool, soliciting comments and criticism for a non-FAC isn't. GrahamColmTalk 19:15, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • One more agree, and well said to all of you. It's a fact of the process that reviewing is a bottleneck. I feel really bad that I know how to review articles but that I just don't have the time right now. The latest Signpost article on the featured article process was a very well written overview on how to review articles, so good job on that too, and hopefully it will help get more good reviews. There isn't two ways around it, more reviewers that know how to review are needed. So the best solution to the frustration of not getting enough reviews is to review a few other articles at FAC. It's not going to guarantee that anyone reviews yours, but if everyone did it, it would. - Taxman Talk 19:30, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Don't take my remark personally. To be honest, I see the pragmatics of the current solution, and I have a lot of respect for FAC reviewers who (in general) do a very good job. I agree there is no other solution right now. Sadly to do a good review takes a lot of time, time which I don't have myself. Arnoutf (talk) 19:40, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm glad you liked the article, Taxman; Tony poured heart and soul into trying to add wording that would increase the "prestige" associated with reviews, to attract more good reviewers, yet his effort was criticized by one person as a "self praised" "opinion piece".[4] I, on the other hand, am still offended that Tony made me take out my Yomangani insider FAC joke, because he said only FAC regulars would get it :-) See this version. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:45, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I have a half-remembered memory of having read somewhere that great writing isn't so much determined by what you put in, but by what you leave out. So Tony was probably right. :-) --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 19:54, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Tony's usually right, but I'm stil pouting because I love that Yomangani blurb :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:02, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
You should pout. I got the joke and thought it pretty funny. --Moni3 (talk) 20:19, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • FWIW, the "prestige" theme is a big turnoff for me, but I review FACs anyway. I think touting "prestige" better than nagging. That said, how about more positive reinforcement? I am surprised that editors who take the time to review often are neither thanked for their effort nor informed of the outcome. Both tasks could be achieved using a bot, couldn't they? --Una Smith (talk) 20:10, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Patience; have been working on several schemes, but any scheme to reward reviewers also ... uses reviewer time, which is scarce. A month ago, I spent an entire day reviewing over 150 monthly FACs so I could reward reviewers. Too time consuming. Working on a plan. Diligently. Believe me. Patience. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:20, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Bot thanks aren't really that meaningful. I watch all the pages I comment on, so I can tell when they are promoted or archived. I would personally trade a thank-you at the end for a good attitute through the process. Some nominators seem to see this as an "us-vs-them" battle and are a tad too combative for my taste. I have no problem with being told I'm totally wrong in mentioning something, but it can be done in a nicer way than some do. My reviewing output tends to drop a bit when I accidentally wander into one of those situations because it sucks some of the fun out of the reviewing. I think I'm going to start rewarding nominators who are especially pleasant in the hopes that others will notice and follow their example. Karanacs (talk) 20:26, 11 April 2008 (UTC) Oooo, Sandy has a plan! When do you have time to sleep? ;)
Sleep? Check my contribs; I didn't last night. This is a big concern for me; we need more good reviewers, and we need to recognize and reward them. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:30, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely agree with Karanacs. Impersonal bot thanks would be, if anything, a reason not to review. The “thankless job” aspect is indeed a deterrent. In nominating an article, an editor is explicitly requesting scrutiny. Constructive criticism is, however, too often met with a combative reaction, dismissal of the reviewer as being “too strict” or even off wiki complaining ahem. A thorough review is not an inconsequential investment of time; it becomes particularly hard to justify the investment when nominators either give the impression of merely wanting a rubber stamp or become unduly combative. FAs are only as good as the reviews behind them. A collaborative and respectful culture will bring reviewers faster than rewards and further improve articles, the latter of which is priority one. ЭLСОВВОLД talk 20:36, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
ahem, indeedy. Hence, no sleep here. Gratitude matters. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:49, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
FAC is too often seen as a fight between the nominator and the reviewers, when it should really be seen as a collaboration. I hope that I have always tried to show my appreciation for the reviews that the articles I've taken to FAC have received, and I think that many other nominators do as well. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:59, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I propose that the anti-Barnstar awards be instituted. They should be called the Dementors awards 'cause the receipient has sucked the joy out of Wikipedia. And, SandyGeorgia should be given a special function key to Dement someone at will. Also, get some sleep. This is only a hobby. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 20:37, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I love it!! ;) Karanacs (talk) 20:41, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, folks, no can do. I have to keep my dementing (and often my praise, too) to myself :-) You can judge my dementing based on when I'm up late at night; I don't like seeing nominators or reviewers picked on at FAC, but most often, it's the reviewers who get beaten up on, and that bothers me, because they're not getting the star at the end of the process. They're doing it for nothing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:45, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) A reward? For the few FACs that I have reviewed, the best reward would be Sandy (or someone else I respect) saying, Graham you were right about that one. A bigger reward, (and I have this one), is when I am told that I got it wrong. That way, I get better. GrahamColmTalk 20:47, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Graham !! You're always right! The only problem with you is that gosh-darn-awful British spelling :-))))) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:53, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Ewww... british spelling! as a fairly prolific FA nominator (and not as much a reviewer, I'm sorry Sandy, I'll try and shape up!) I can say that there's a significant onus for the nominator to get out there and drum up supports and opposes (not by canvassing/vote stacking, I mean notifying wikiprojects or people you believe are knowledgeable in the area, as well as leaving notes on reviewer's talk pages.) It's annoying to have it fail due to lack of attention, but I do agree with Tony (my god! the stars have aligned?) that it's a hollow victory to have a FA pass with issues still. As much as I like looking at my name go up the charts, we should always be concerned with quality first, shiny medals second. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 22:06, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I know the feeling :-) I try to wait, when I can, for opposes to be struck even when I know they're resolved or judge them resolved, so they won't stay in your articlehistory. It's not always possible, though. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:12, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Lead sections, take two

I've attempted to raise consciousness about this here before, but here I am again after seeing the lead of today's featured article Kansas Turnpike. I don't think anyone can respectably disagree that this blatantly fails to meet the guidelines. I also see no reason why it couldn't be expanded. The lead is meant to be a summary, and when you have an article that is about 50kb it's not hard to write a lead that's more than half a dozen lines. How this could pass by unnoticed baffles me. I suggest anyone who so much as glanced at this article and didn't notice the lead issue read WP:LS, regardless of whether you've read it before. Richard001 (talk) 01:10, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Hm, you're aware that the article passed FAC over a year ago, right? The Article history says that it was promoted March 30, 2007. Ealdgyth - Talk 01:16, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
To be honest, I had the same thought when adding the main date tag. Additionally, if the "Interchanges" section is brilliant prose (exit, exit, exit, exit, ...), I am seriously misinterpreting that criterion. I'm not really familiar with WP:FAR. but perhaps it would be appropriate? ЭLСОВВОLД talk 01:21, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Though I must agree with Eclcobbola, here, the prose is a bit... rough. Yeah. If I had time to mess with FAR, I'd put it up there, honestly. I wonder if we need to do a more systematic sweep of articles to catch this sort of thing. Ealdgyth - Talk 01:31, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Route sections in road articles are hard to write without following "exit, exit, exit, exit". Sceptre (talk) 01:35, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Hard, perhaps, but I don't think impossible. Perhaps a table-based organization could work. The "exit" issue notwithstanding, I don't think phrasing like "The interchange has been around for a while" is really befitting an encyclopedia. ЭLСОВВОLД talk 01:44, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
In this case, I've just expanded the lead. I have to say, however, after doing that, that the mainpage blurb would have made a pretty good lead. --jbmurray (talk|contribs) 01:53, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Why is this here? This is a discussion for WT:FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:36, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Discussion moved from Wikipedia talk:Featured articles‎. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:39, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

I just looked at the FAC, and it had one Oppose amid a sea of Support. Who would have done such a thing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:19, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

I can't imagine. Ealdgyth - Talk 03:24, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

WP Signpost on FAC and FAR/C reviewing

This week, it's all about the aspects of reviewing that are critical to maintaining WP's high standards, and the other advantages of being a reviewer. Here's the link:


Happy for the word to be spread, since we need more reviewers, if people have a mind to alert others at WikiProjects and the like. TONY (talk) 08:30, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

It might be working! [5] I spammed notified the projects I belong to and the College Football project since a lot of their noms get closed because of lack of participation. What other projects have that issue pretty regularly? Karanacs (talk) 15:13, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Nice. I notified about four WikiProjects—the ones at the top of FAR talk. TONY (talk) 16:23, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Acceptable sources for film awards

What, this again? I'm working on an article for a film, and I'm hoping to bring it to FA at some future date. As per WP:Films, listing the awards is customary, and they'll have to be cited. However, the most significant award for this film (Mulholland Dr.) is the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Director. Cannes doesn't seem to have a website. The film won 33 awards and was nominated for 30 others. Sites like have them neatly listed, but I had to remove a link to IMDb recently for the awards won and nominated for To Kill a Mockingbird. Is IMDb not acceptable at all? Turner Classic Movies also has awards listed - can I use that website? If not, does anyone know a print source that I could use to replace these? --Moni3 (talk) 17:12, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

New York Times should be acceptable for Cannes bit. Others will need to weigh in on the larger IMDB issue. ЭLСОВВОLД talk 17:17, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
IMDB is "acceptable" to use to look up credits in place of trying to squint at the screen while watching the credits. It can also be useful as a starting place to see what awards something has won, however as a cited source, however, it is pretty much unacceptable. I don't think the TCM can be used either, as it is similar to IMBD in being user editable. For awards that don't have their own sites, you'll need to find another source. BTW, Cannes does have a website: and here is the page listing Mulholland's award: AnmaFinotera (talk) 17:25, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm a dork. Thanks for the website there. There are other awards that may not have sites. I'll just have to find print references or other nods from reliable sources, won't I? Curses! --Moni3 (talk) 17:33, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Another one: Box office mojo. I'm working with some active editors in WP:Films who are graciously assisting me, so I'm trying to balance out the directions I'm being led in here. --Moni3 (talk) 21:47, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I would consider Box Office Mojo a reliable source for box office receipts. Big name news organizations regularly cite Box Office Mojo, and unlike IMdB, it is not user-generated content. If the movie is notable enough though, the box office receipts will probably be available on "more mainstream" sources if you don't feel comfortable using Box Office Mojo. Look for an attribute to "Nielsen EDI" in those. By the way, if there are any editors at WP:FILMS that are lucky enough to have access to Nielsen EDI box office results, perhaps you can contact them when you need a reference for receipts for a particular movie. BuddingJournalist 21:57, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the tip! I have access to a university library and its associated databases and search engines. How would I find Nielsen EDI? --Moni3 (talk) 22:22, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh I doubt any academic libraries have access to it (mine sure doesn't). It's more geared towards the movie production studios so that they can analyze the demographics/box office results of their movies. It would probably be editors actually working in the movie industry that would have access to it (and I'm not sure how proprietary the Nielsen EDI data is). Perhaps ask on WT:FILMS whether anyone has access and would be willing to field requests for box office results on particular films. Then you'd also have to find out how exactly to cite that data ;). BuddingJournalist 22:28, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
BoxOfficeMojo should definitely be considered reliable. A lot of newspapers subscribe to the service, and we consider their reporting of other data services to be reliable. Here's last weeks BoxOfficeMojo numbers in the Washington Post, for example: [6]. --JayHenry (talk) 04:49, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Wiki policy on Verifiability

Now that Ealdgyth is checking all the websources on each FAC, some of the responses to her queries about reliability are revealing, and it's frightful to see how many articles are getting all the way to FAC with editors sometimes having no apparent awareness of our most fundamental policy of verifiability and reliable sources. I've noticed interesting answers when she asks what makes a source reliable, ranging from, "it's reliable" (no reason), "the WikiProject recommends it", "it's a large database", "other featured articles use it". A recent example is this source: " is simply an online database of my family's record collection."

There is particular confusion about self-published sources. Wiki's policy on how we define an "expert" particularly in BLPs says:

Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason, self-published books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, forum postings, and similar sources are largely not acceptable.

Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. However, caution should be exercised when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so.

Self-published sources should never be used as third-party sources about living persons, even if the author is a well-known professional researcher or writer; see WP:BLP#Reliable sources.

WP:BLP#Reliable sources says: Self-published books, zines, websites, and blogs should never be used as a source for material about a living person, unless written or published by the subject of the article (see below). (See below says: Self-published material may be used in BLPs only if written by the subject himself. Subjects may provide material about themselves through press releases, personal websites, or blogs.)

This policy does not say, except for interviews. I hope reviewers will take more care to check sources, and hopefully better understanding will trickle back to other processes. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:46, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Interestingly, a current case before arbcom deals with whether a book review and analysis by a UCLA professor and acknowledged expert Edward L. Wright (posted on his website) can be used as a source on the author and "independent" researcher Eric Lerner's wikipedia page; or if such a review falls foul of the "self-published source on BLP" guideline. There is no risk of the article being nominated as a FAC anytime soon, but the example does provide some food for thought. Abecedare (talk) 06:48, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Thank you Sandy for this important post, and thank you Ealdgyth for doing such an excellent job in raising the standards of sourcing at FAC. I learn from reading both your comments. TONY (talk) 10:51, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you

To whoever decided to put the article statistics link on the candidacy page. Thank you! Ealdgyth - Talk 14:57, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Aye... 'tis helpful rather than going to my userpage and digging up the link. By the way, how do the readability tools only show up on the main FAC page, but not when transcluded to WP:FAC? Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 15:14, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Look at the FAC in edit mode; there's a noinclude parameter. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:16, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Ah... tricky, tricky (actually, really obvious, how did I miss that.) Right then. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk)�~

We shouldn't abbreviate journal names?

Hi guys, there's a discussion at WT:CITE#We shouldn't abbreviate journal names that you might want to look at. - Dan (talk) 21:18, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not a guy, but I looked anyway; I hope that's OK :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:48, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Grin. I don't know if you saw the discussion a few days ago where Stanton was saying that Esther Dyson wanted to be called "chairman". My reply was that women and minorities should have wide discretion to be called whatever we/they want; it's our/their battle. So, Hi guys peeps (too goofy) folks (too informal) people (too sterile) ladies and germs. - Dan (talk) 23:00, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
I hope the Medics tune into this discussion, or failing that, someone is very good at programming robots to translate J. gen. Virol. into The Journal of General Virology and PNAS, (commonly referred to as Penis), into The Periodical of the National Academy of Sciences. I foresee tears being shed Dan. GrahamColmTalk 23:07, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
The discussion comes around regularly, Graham (obviously, from editors who don't depend on Diberri's tool a gazillion times a day and don't regularly cite PubMed :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:31, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Ah, yes, Diberri's tool. An absolute godsend. bibliomaniac15 Hey you! Stop lazing around and help fix this article instead! 00:33, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
And it returns abbreviations; the folk who advocate for full journal names have no idea what it would cost us in time lost :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:49, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
whew, remind me never to get on the wrong side of DavidRuben !! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:34, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't mind if full names are enforced; and I don't mind if either full names or recognised abbreviations are used (preferably without the dots, IMV), as long as consistent within a list. It's very easy to work out what they mean, and for the user, there's this and this. TONY (talk) 09:39, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Emery Molyneux

Dear Emery is hanging perilously onto the bottom rung of the FAC ladder, swaying in the wind. This is not an article I have been involved in writing, but I like it (it's about a sixteenth-century globemaker) and would urge one or two more people to review it. At the moment, it stands at Karanacs, neutral; Tony, provisional support pending a thorough copyedit, and me, support. I've started a copyedit this evening, but have to knock off for now. When I've done, in a day or two, I'll ask Tony to have another look.

Although I believe that unworthy articles sometimes make FA, I've yet to see a worthy article fail, but I am starting to fear this could happen here. Speaking from my experience of this sort of article with, for example, John Day, John Chamberlain, Robert Peake the Elder, etc. there tends to be a limited and specialised amount of scholarship available, often fragmentary and tricky; this means the editor has to work in pretty much all the detail possible, leading perhaps to a dense, slightly knotty read. It's not easy to achieve a flowing, rounded portrait or even a totally coherent set of events in these circumstances. I recognise this texture in Emery Molyneux. By chance, I have a book that deals in some detail with two of the globes, and I have discussed a few small issues in the article with the editor User:Jacklee on the talk page. I am convinced there is no real problem with the article factually; on the contrary, it is thorough and comprehensive. And no one at the FAC has said otherwise. Things have been said about prose and organisation, but even these aspects are solid, I believe. No one should, of course, take any notice of the above personal opinions of mine; but I'd love to see this FAC get some attention, so that the article is given at least a fair chance of fighting for its star. qp10qp (talk) 23:50, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm wondering why no one has pinged Geometry guy and asked him to have a look. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:51, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
I was thinking of mentioning this to the FA team, which he is on; but they are so busy right now. Do you think they might help? It's really not going to take much. qp10qp (talk) 23:57, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
I had a quick look. I don't have any particular expertise which would help determine whether this article is FA status, nor help the article to reach that status. Without extensive research into the sources (which I don't have time for) I could only make comments as a generic educated wikipedian. It does look thorough and well sourced, but I doubt I would be able to say more than that.
The FA-Team is indeed quite busy right now, but team members are always willing to help if the cause is good. The FA-Team cannot help with content and sources, and is primarily interested in helping editors with limited experience of FAC overcome the hurdles. If you have a case for FA-Team help, you can make it here. Geometry guy 00:13, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
OK. So, in general, when a FAC is languishing only because we lack content experts to review it, it would be helpful if FAC regulars would try to round up some content-knowledgeable people. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:20, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
I've placed a heads-up at the three relevant project talk pages. Just thinking out loud, but shouldn't the relevant project talk pages always be notified of an FAC. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 00:22, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
I said "FAC regulars" because they tend to know other editors who know the FA standards. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:27, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Sure, but all comments can provide useful information, even if they also provide some useless information. I've alerted math folks in case anyone can help. Geometry guy 00:34, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, G guy ! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:36, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

<outdent>Ping me when the copyedit is done and I'll take another look and see if I can support. Karanacs (talk) 01:05, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I've started a review of it as well. Thankfully, I have access to some of the sources, so I can read up on the topic and contribute my thoughts on the content besides giving more general comments. BuddingJournalist 01:47, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Block quotes

Please see WT:MoS#Blockquote for emphasis. - Dan (talk) 15:29, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Non-free content

The folks at this central and highly contentious policy page are, I think, coming around to the conclusion that it has serious problems. This concerns the policing of NFC and the ways in which the wording of the criteria—especially the interrelated Criteria 8, 3a and 1—are interpreted. Such policing has the potential to erupt into vicious disputes, and the use of NFC has external legal implications.

We should expect ongoing evolution of the policy; this will have ramifications for nominators and reviewers at FAC and FAR/C.

Just two of the issues are HERE and HERE. TONY (talk) 15:41, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I'd appreciate feedback

... on my style and language reviews for FACs. My contributions will be "lopsided"; I am unfamiliar with FACs, so I'm sure some of my edits will look awful, but I'm familiar with WP style guidelines, professional style manuals, and editing in general. I'm around during the day so I might be the first one to catch some of these as they show up. I'll stick an in-use tag on them when I'm working, and try to keep it to 20 minutes. My guess is that my contributions will be more positive than negative, but I'm sure I'll be told if they're not :) - Dan (talk) 15:25, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I use a notepad/text editor file to do my reviews in then just copy-paste the review into the wikipedia page, that way I'm not tying up the page with editing and don't run into edit conflicts. with a bare bones text editor you can use wikimarkup too, which is nice. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:00, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Dan, I can't parse what you're saying; you're going to put an inuse tag on a FAC page ? Please don't do that; we can't take those pages "out of service" for anyone who needs to comment. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:02, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I meant at the top of the article page. If an article has just shown up at FAC, and the language looks like it's going to need 20 minutes of work, what's the preferred approach? Should I stick an in-use tag on the article and do it all in one pass (as I did on Yao Ming ... see the diff), or edit sentences one at a time, with explanations in the history? - Dan (talk) 16:41, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
My preference when an article is at FAC was always to edit one change at a time, with detailed edit summaries linking to the precise policy or guideline page, so the principle editors can learn what they missed. You leave a broader instructional footprint that way: teach them to fish rather than giving them the fish. If you put it in use and do all the work, they may not follow, and their next FAC may have the same issues. Also, I dunno ... I do occasionally put articles at FAC in use, but I'm always conscious it could cause a bad impression on a subsequent reviewer. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:48, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Be happy to do that. - Dan (talk) 17:06, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Can you guys get me up to speed on commas separating phrases and clauses? TCMOS says "On Tuesday he tried to see the mayor" is okay, but longer introductory phrases need a comma. 20 years ago, "Up to that point he had been averaging 26.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game, and had been mentioned as an NBA MVP candidate" (Yao Ming) would have absolutely required a comma after "point", but usage varies in "persuasive" writing these days. - Dan (talk) 20:35, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
It varies in all writing, and we must allow that variety. Consistency within single articles is important, though. I like to use commas after introductory phrases, even short ones; but one has to respect the existing style of individual articles, as for the serial comma. qp10qp (talk) 19:20, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

year tagging FAs?

Giano brought this up a long time back, and I actually thought it was a sensible idea, especially when I've found lots of our old FAs are pretty piss-poor compared to todays (for example, Starcraft is getting a complete overhaul over at WT:VG, and I think I might be doing the same to Halo 2 soon.) What I'm wondering is if when FAs are promoted, they get tagged with a template that includes a category or whatnot for the year they were promoted- Category:2005 Featured Articles or something similar. That way its easier to tell what kind of standards were in place and whether the article may or may not be up to spec now (since someone said at WT:VG that at one point "brilliant prose" was the main requirement, and sourcing was done without the ref tags we use now.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 11:04, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Is this information not in the article history template for older FAs? The information is already there in the ones I've seen, and I think the article history template is better for this because it also includes relevant information like if it's been dusted up at FAR, or demoted and promoted back. If you just want to search by when an article was promoted to look for others in need of clean-up, there is Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Featured log. A category would contain precisely the same info as the Featured log. --JayHenry (talk) 13:11, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Good references

Does anyone know where I can look on Wikipedia to find information on reliable references? I am taking an article through FAC and have been asked if several references are reliable. I've changed some for the BBC, local government etc, but there are two or three which I know are reliable, but I'm not sure how to make this point under WP guidelines. --seahamlass 08:42, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

The relevant guideline is at Wikipedia:Reliable sources. BuddingJournalist 09:03, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
You can also get feedback on whether specific references are considered reliable at the reliable sources noticeboard. Abecedare (talk) 18:02, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, checking with the relevant wikiprojects can help clear things up (for example, is "such as such" video game website reliable, bring to WP:VG.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 21:52, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I've encountered a number of WikiProjects who have alarmingly inaccurate perceptions about reliability of sources; I wouldn't necessarily rely on them, but that depends on the Project (certainly, the Medicine project won't lead you astray, but others may). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:54, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice. I've posed the question (about three refs) on reliable sources noticeboard, but no answers yet.--seahamlass 22:23, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
The wheels move slowly.. :P sandy does have a point though, sometimes the general population at wikiprojects don't know a reliable source from adam, but even the video games wikiproject is remarkably good at sources (also, they keep a list of sources considered valid, so you can always check that first before asking; I'm not sure if other projects have a similar mechanism, but I would hazard a guess and say they do.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 01:29, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Reliability of web-sites as sources is a particular problem for articles on pop culture. TONY (talk) 14:35, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
    • On the upside, a lot of mainstream media also report on pop culture and pop culture phenomenon. Gary King (talk) 19:14, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I have added my views on the sources at RSN. Abecedare (talk) 19:08, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Citations feedback

This article was mentioned in this week's Signpost. I like to think FAC gets some credit for this favorable mention, as we've consistently raised the standards on quality of citations and citation style, particularly in science, biology and medicine articles. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:30, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Not doing too shabby in biography, history, or film either, since hunting down all the references is a huge pain in my backside (but o so worthwhile in the end) (HAAH backside - end!! I didn't just...Ok I did.). --Moni3 (talk) 16:34, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I also think the increased rigour demanded of the citations in geographical articles (particularly those of places in the United Kingdom) is a particularly welcome change, even though it is not yet uniformly accepted by some editors. The improvement in standards may, however, need to be reinforced at some stage by a greater clarification of some of the guidelines that seem to allow a less rigorous approach to verification and citation (see WT:UKGEO#Notable People section–need for verification and extra checks for one example.)  DDStretch  (talk) 17:26, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
All across WP there is a definite increase in the quality of citations. One thing to note is that the study used data from july 2007. -Ravedave (talk) 02:03, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Correct; that was well into the time when medical and biology articles began to improve (think TimVickers heyday), and I've been chipping away at others (like the planets and elements) at FAR since then. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:06, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
And more recently, of course, there's been an increasing acceptance of reputable published sources in general. Not so long ago an article would have been criticised if its sources couldn't be checked online. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 02:54, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
...and this extremely positive trend owes its origins to more than merely the obvious set of editors. Even within (dare I say) WP:GA the trend to require more & better citations involved a brief culture war. Ling.Nut (talk) 03:08, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
You may just have started another culture war by mentioning GA, but FWIW I agree with you. It seems to me to have a broad movement across almost the whole of wikipedia, whose time had come. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 03:18, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, my post was focused on science not because I intended to leave out any other category but because, um, the article is titled "Scientific citations in Wikipedia" :-) As to GA and reliable sources, at your service :-) It's occurred to me that GA could put together a sweeps project, to take advantage of the work already done at FAC, in our monthly archive (example, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Archived nominations/April 2008). Thanks to Ealdgyth, almost every FAC now has questionable sources and citation issues identified; the GAs can be picked out of our archive and reviewed, and that could make a big dent towards raising GA standards and improving understanding of WP:V and WP:RS across Wikipedia. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:49, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
But you mentioned medicine, which was perhaps what confused me. ;-) I'm not going to get involved in an FA vs GA pie fight with you or anyone else. My view is that they both have their place, and I'll leave it at that. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 04:15, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
ah, I see; if you browse TimVickers' contribs at WP:WBFAN, you'll see his characteristic biology/medicine/science straddle: articles like bacteria, immune system, DNA, RNA, metabolism, enzyme kinetics, etc. (that list leaves out the Tuberculosis save at FAR). And there's a similar overlap for Casliber (both Cas and Tim have populated a lot of the Biology and medicine category at WP:FA along with Yomangani) but again, Casliber's medical saves are at FAR so they don't show on the WBFAN. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:38, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

(undent) That is a worthy idea... you should take it up with G Guy. I deeply wish I could help.. but you know the ball and chain I carry (and to those with mischievous minds: I ain't talking about my wife). Ling.Nut (talk) 03:59, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

LOL, is it a good idea? By the way, someone was supposed to notice (without me pointing it out) Casliber's influence on the link I posted. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:01, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
(gloat gloat gloat gloat etc.) Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:21, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
@Sandy, re: "GA could put together a sweeps project, to take advantage of the work already done at FAC". GA already has a 'Sweeps' project (which moves pretty slow, as its only a handful of trusted GA reviewers for vetting older articles; you can see the project here (I've delisted three or four GA because they had no citations). What do you mean by "taking advantage of the work done at FAC" though? Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 11:07, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
David, I meant that thanks to work already done by Ealdgyth, our archives are full of GAs that may need review, where the questionable sources have already been identified. The GA sweeps Project only has to review our monthly archive files. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:53, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Is there any review procedure for featured lists? There seems some variation between, say, basil cultivars and Kansas birds Jimfbleak (talk) 12:19, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Featured Lists must go through the WP:FLC process before achieving that status. It's similar to WP:FAC in that a consensus is made on whether or not to promote an article to Featured List status. Gary King (talk) 09:48, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Unless something has changed recently, my understanding is that FLC is not similar to FAC. Last I knew, vote stacking was possible at FLC because there is no director/delegate, and Lists pass automatically with a specified level of Support. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:34, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Jim, Featured list removal candidates is at WP:FLRC, but my understanding is that because there is no director/delegate at FLC, votestacking leading to varying standards may be an issue (this came up on a thread here a long time ago, don't remember which/when). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:45, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Promotions are at the discretion of usually a small number of people at WP:FLC, most notably Scorpion0422 (talk · contribs), or someone else when he nominates a list. If an article has an ongoing concern and lasts for a while, then it will fail. Out of the 18 lists that I have nominated, two have failed; one because the scope didn't match the list very well and needed a major overhaul, and another because it was decided that the content needed references from a wider range of sources. This means that at least lists don't get promoted all the time and works in some cases. Gary King (talk) 19:08, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Readability tools

Since I have limited time to take on projects, I need to know if the readability toolBeta ver. should be developed further. The new thing I've added the bottom is the SMOG scores per paragraph. It known that a single author writes in a constant style and their work will be roughly the same score with any given text. But Wikipedia's articles have multiple writers. The tool will indicate on some article[7] if the style varies too much in readability. If there's no significant interest then the tool will only be developed as an academic excess. — Dispenser 05:19, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

That's excellent. Should help reviewers and editors quickly identify some paragraphs needing work. Shouldn't the number of monosyllabic words and polysyllabic words equal the total number of words? Check spelling of "readable prose" ;) Gimmetrow 05:48, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
You forgot about words which only have two syllables. There are (glaring) flaws in the software, so the idea is to rewrite it with properly researched algorithms. — Dispenser 13:05, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Forgive me for saying this but I'm profoundly suspicious of automated analysis. Probably just the Luddite in me. In one experiment I read about (which I've tried Googling for but can't find) the "To be or not to be" soliloquy was supposed to have a reading age of eight or nine, based on the shortness of the words used. Hmmm. --ROGER DAVIES talk 13:48, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I found it interesting, but I'm a geekette, so while I wouldn't use it to support or oppose, but it is a good all around extra tool to use. Just like I don't completely trust the link checker tool (I usually click on most of them anyway) I wouldn't trust any tool totally, without reading the article myself. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:50, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
BTW, if you find something incorrect with the results of leave a note. — Dispenser 14:46, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Your absolutely correct. I had same doubts when first learning of readability tests and early on added a boilerplate message advising them not to take the results too seriously. I plan on adding flags if the parameters of particular tests are not meet in the rewrite. Right now I've hack in a word count check. — Dispenser 14:46, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Cool. I like it. I'm addicted to Word 2003's readability statistics. I find them useful as an objective score that I can use to show my progress in revising. (Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 7.8) Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 15:05, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
The best use of the tool would be to help us improve the prose; the scores themselves are probably not so important. I like tools that list the most "difficult" sentences. qp10qp (talk) 15:58, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
You wouldn't want to use the scores directly because of the rather large standard deviation and the use of names (especially Japanese) will only give something good in ±2. As for individual sentences, the sample size is too small to inaccurately do that. It is actually good to stick short sentences in to break monotony. — Dispenser 04:37, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

"Readabible text" - intentional jest, holy typo, or exhortation to study the scriptures? Yomanganitalk 00:20, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Whoops, I'm surprised I hadn't caught that. — Dispenser 04:37, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I think I'm missing something. Can someone explain how to use this tool to improve an article? It looks like an interesting tool, but I'm not sure how to apply its findings. — Dulcem (talk) 00:27, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

You're not alone in that. --ROGER DAVIES talk 00:43, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
The idea is to find outlier and other unusually thing as well as to monitor constancy. For example, when newspaper first started using readability tests they were able to increase the size of their audience by making it more accessible. Most adults read at a 7/8 grade level. — Dispenser 04:37, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Does it mean that having consistent even bars with little variation is good? Is a small bar easy or hard to read? Blnguyen (bananabucket) 01:45, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

The end section gives SMOG values per paragraph. Smaller numbers correspond to easier-to-read text. Wild variation might show a text needing more unity, but some paragraphs will need to use longer words to cover what they need to cover, and they will naturally have higher scores. Gimmetrow 01:57, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
I still don't get it. Apparently the final paragraph of Donkey Kong (video game) requires 23 years of education to understand? (link) Perhaps someone could write a walkthrough on how to use the tool and interpret its results. Might make a good subject for a Dispatch article. — Dulcem (talk) 04:53, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
There are articles on the readability tests. Each produces different numbers. The bar chart at the end of Dispenser's tool uses the SMOG test. Depending on your browser setup, if you mouse-over a bar it shows the first sentence of the paragraph, so you can tell which paragraph it is. The paragraph with the 22.92 score is short with a few 3+ syllable words and only two sentences, so it scores high. You can decide whether that paragraph is really too complex, and if it is, whether it needs to be. I would just treat it as a tool to identify paragraphs that may be rough for readers. Gimmetrow 06:21, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Yup, readability tests are in the same category as spellcheckers and grammar checkers. They are all tools that automatically point to possible problems in writing. They are not magic and have a false positive and false negative rate (no surprise). Nevertheless, they are very useful tools when you are bleary-eyed and too familiar with a text. They focus your attention to a possible problem. You, though, have to decide what to do. (Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 7.3) Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 12:30, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank for you feed back. I have abandoned the 1.3beta and am moving forward to the 2.0 rewrite. And hopefully I'll come up with better graph and method of explaining the data. In a way I had felt disillusioned that the algorithms were combinations of sentences and word length. — Dispenser 03:54, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Seems to have sparked off a discussion at Talk:India. Some folks are measuring the article by the magnitude of the number. I tried the test on some FAs and some really bad articles and it seems that the really bad articles, eg, Rahul Dravid, Baazigar and Sachin Tendulkar. I presume this is because of the three articles have really short and choppy sentences, since that is what the formula measures. One could write "He am Australian" and "He is Australian" and get the same readability score although one fails 1a and the other does not. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 05:36, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Readability tests are not grammar or spelling checkers! Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 15:50, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Criterion 2b

WP:WIAFA, criterion 2b, states that an FA has:

"a system of hierarchical headings and table of contents that is substantial but not overwhelming".

But some articles are camouflaging an overwhelming, rambling TOC by limiting the depth of the TOC display to only the first level (when the TOC may actually go to three or four levels), by using {{TOClimit}}. For an example of the difference, see this full TOC compared to this hidden TOC (which gives a different impression of the article structure). This is not dealt with in WP:MOS (should it be?), but hiding the TOC may circumvent one of the FA criterion that we should be evaluating at FAC (a reasonable article structure reflected in the TOC). Are reviewers watching for this? (And I'm also seeing lots of commercial and non-reliable external links; is anyone checking that?)SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:25, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

So MOS should proscribe this practice, do you think? TONY (talk) 02:44, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm having a hard time imaging why we use that in articles. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:46, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Yup, seems to me that if TOCable segments are created in the article, they should appear in the TOC. Otherwise, some of the linkable subheadings should be reformatted so as not to appear in the TOC. Can't have it both ways. Who invented this template? I'll have a look. TONY (talk) 03:05, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
It's just been fully protected by a mop. Ais523 put it up a year ago; Amarkov, Circeus, Alex537, Gog Dodo, Superm401. TONY (talk) 03:08, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Whatever the outcome of the template and conclusions at MoS, since TOC is FAC crit 2b, we need to see the TOC in articles at FAC, and I hope reviewers are watching for this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:35, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I can't speak for others, but it is something I'll check because I have noticed that in both FACs and GANs. AnmaFinotera (talk) 03:37, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Forgive me for my typical reticence about being overly-proscriptive. It seems that sections have two purposes 1) organizing a table of contents for navigational purposes and 2) allowing editors to edit smaller, manageable sections of an article. While often these two purposes will align quite nicely, especially in articles on the shorter end of the spectrum, I see no reason to disallow occasionally having the editable chunks be somewhat smaller than the headings that the editor considers preferable for navigational purposes in a TOC. I don't see any reason that the two purposes must always strictly align. --JayHenry (talk) 03:50, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Unless that results in short, choppy sections. But my dilemma is that we're supposed to evaluate the TOC; how do we do that when it's hidden (and we may not even realize that)? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:01, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, I guess I'm saying that I consider the TOC only to be what is in the TOC box. The TOClimit template allows an editor to have editable sections in smaller chunks than the TOC. I agree that only section 1 headings in action potential, for example, is a distorted Table of Contents. But using {{TOClimit|3}} on the same article does not hide the table of contents, but does keep it a bit more manageable and also allows one of the larger sections to be more conveniently editable. So when it results in short, choppy sections, we of course can change the headings. But that's not always the case, as demonstrated by my example above. --JayHenry (talk) 04:11, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that the table of contents is what's visible to the reader. The tools can be used to create a table that maintains a reasonable length while providing adequate navigation. At any rate it seems to me that if one is unwilling to use the available tools to make the table shorter, one can't at the same time complain that it is overwhelming. Christopher Parham (talk) 04:12, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
A system of hierarchical headings and TOC are linked (in our crit); they both relate to how well the article is structured and organized. They aren't separate. Hiding part of the headings camouflages part of what we're evaluating wrt article structure and organization. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:33, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
That they are linked I agree. That they must always therefore be fully and completely inseparable and that this must be mandated in our MOS and FACs must fail for slight deviation, does not follow. There is a gray area between linked and separate (in this case they are linked at level 2 and 3, but not necessarily at level 4). Using a level 4 heading with a {{TOClimit|3}} template is actually exactly the same as using a ;Heading within an article, only with the added functionality of an edit tab. And we don't prohibit that (though maybe you'll argue we should?) --JayHenry (talk) 04:52, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I think this needs to be discussed in terms of whether or not it improves the article, not in terms of the process of evaluation here. In this particular case the TOC is quite long and this seems like a reasonable way to condense it so as not to be overwhelming. The criteria say that the TOC should be substantial but not overwhelming, and in my view this would encourage rather than prohibit the use of the TOC magic words to accomplish this. Christopher Parham (talk) 05:03, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Proscribing limits on TOCs? What have we come to? Seriously. We should allow limits when necessary. Long articles that are appropriately broken up by sections should be allowed to limit their TOCs. If the TOCs are appropriately informative, editors should be allowed to limit them. Such situations should be evaluated on whether or not the TOCs work as a TOC. I didn't see anyone complaining about Joseph Priestley, which has a limit. If it didn't, there would be an enormous TOC. This doesn't mean that the article is poorly organized - this means that it is long and divided up appropriately to help the reader. However, the TOC is limited appropriately. What I see emerging from a ridiculous rule like "no limits" is gigantic sections and demands that the sections be broken up. The sections are then broken up and then people complain about the long TOC. Well, you can't have your cake and eat it, too. The "limit" function on the TOC is a perfect way to fix this problem and as long as the TOC still makes sense as a TOC and helps the reader, I see absolutely no problem with it. Awadewit (talk) 05:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Whether or not MoS or WIAFA addresses this, reviewers should be aware when it's in use, and make sure that crit 2 is met and the article structure and organization is OK (not all articles are like all yours, Awadewit :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:11, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
My point is that the reviewers should consider whether the article is well-organized and whether the TOC is helpful. Proscribing limits on TOCs would not help this. Would it be better to rewrite criteria 2b to something like this: "a helpful system of hierarchical headings and table of contents that is substantial but not overwhelming" (italicized new word) Awadewit (talk) 06:23, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that one word would change anything; I just want reviewers to be aware when toclimit is employed. For example, I'd always question external links having five different sections, hidden in a toclimit (practically defines an external link farm), and I want to see what an article organization looks like with the limit off. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:29, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Again, I'll disagree with you on the external links. For example, Jane Austen has sections in the "External links" but we have been rigorous in keeping the number of links down (I just had to prune again, though). I think the sections there are helpful. I tend to evaluate such things when I see them and see if they work in context. The Austen one works, I think, dividing works from author info from fan societies. Other versions might not work so well. This is why reviewers need to take time to think, right?! (Note: Check out the out-of-control Austen TOC. No limit there.) Awadewit (talk) 06:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed and repeating; not all articles are like all your articles, and in order to "evaulate such things when [we] see them" we need to be aware when the TOC is hidden, so we can evaulate and take time to think based on full info, not a Wiki feature we're unaware exists. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:50, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Are you, *gasp*, promoting article ownership? They're not really "my" articles, you know. :) Awadewit (talk) 06:53, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Unless articlestats say they're all your fault, er, credit, er ... edits :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 07:01, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I just got a chance to look at Jane Austen. I would solve the External link farm and problem with constantly needing to prune it by taking advantage of Jane Austen at DMOZ. Since they already have those categories (for example, societies and fan sites), they can do the job for us, and we don't have to constantly prune the additions; we can add only the truly superlative sites (since a featured article should be comprehensive, there should be little we need in External links, so we solve the whole pruning need by linking to DMoz. See Tourette syndrome.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:10, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • So is Cr 2b really a requirement that the structure of the article be kept under control? Is that the intended meaning, expressed in terms of the ToC? TONY (talk) 11:52, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

My view:

  • I agree with the above comments that the article structure and the ToC are related but not synonymous (Anyone can easily confirm this by picking ten random books from the bookshelf). So both need to be judged independently by FAC reviewers. Articles should be written and structured with the view of what is best for the reader; not what is easiest for the reviewer.
  • Prescriptions against use of {{TOClimit}} are easily circumvented and hence unenforceable. For example I edited the Bibliography in the Jane Austen article to not display the sub-subsections in the ToC, without using any template (before, after). This, in fact, may be an improvement in terms of the TOC for that article although I realize that using HTML directives is usually deprecated. Abecedare (talk) 18:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I strongly agree with Abecedare's first bullet point above, and with JayHenry and Awadewit's analyses in general. --Melty girl (talk) 19:03, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I hope someone who has been engaged with WP:WIAFA longer than I have can clarify the purpose of 2b. When I was reviewing, I always reviewed the TOC as part of my first pass/overview at evaluating article organization, comprehensiveness, and compliance with 2b. Hiding the TOC circumvents part of the way I pre-reviewed articles to determine if they passed muster for a more indepth review. If something crucial to comprehensiveness was missing, if the flow of the TOC seemed off, or if there were many levels of headings, that was a tipoff to check the article flow and organization more closely. I'd like more guidance from old-timers as to just what 2b's intent is, if not this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:59, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I know I don't fall in the category of people whose opinion you specifically invited, but to me the and in 2b suggests that both hierarchical heading and ToC need to be checked. Hiding part of the ToC may make a reviewer's job more difficult, since they cannot simply look at the ToC to judge the article organization/headings. But that is fine IMO, as long as the "hiding" is of some benefit to the reader.
We face a similar issue with piped links, in that they make a reviewer's job more difficult, but those too are justifiable in specific instances. Please let me know if I am misunderstanding your objection to hiding of sub-sections in ToC and consequently barking up the wrong tree. Abecedare (talk) 20:20, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I think a literal reading pretty much says exactly the intent - it just echoes the general principles about organization that were found in the various style guides at the time. Christopher Parham (talk) 23:48, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
If an article is poorly organized and this poor organization is reflected in a hidden TOC, this is not a problem with hiding/showing the TOC, this is a problem with the organization of the article. We shouldn't confuse the issues. In my opinion, one cannot decide whether an article is poorly organized without reading it. For example, a glance at Richard Dawkins suggests to me that it is poorly organized (too much on recent events), but I wouldn't say that in a review until I had read the entire article. Perhaps there are internal reasons for what looks like a poor organizational structure on a quick glance. Article organization (an issue that I rarely see addressed by reviewers, sadly), actually requires a lot of thought and can only be decided upon after one has all of the material on hand. Sometimes articles themselves do not provide all of this material. Awadewit (talk) 01:40, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Here is the first version of WP:WIAFA (written by Raul); it refers to a "substantial, but not overwhelming", Table of Contents. The notion that the Table of Contents should not be "overwhelming" has been present since the beginning of WP:WIAFA, so the question remains whether hiding the TOC circumvents the criterion, or whether something else was intended. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:33, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Like others I think, I'm struggling to understand why the contents of the TOC are being linked to the structure of the article. I see nothing wrong with having a "hidden" TOC per se, and no reason for it to be added to one of the things automatically checked for at FAC. Horses for courses. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 21:54, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
But, also like others, you haven't explained (at least, that I can understand) why we have a criterion that requires that the TOC and system of hierarchical headings (linked) not be "overwhelming". I wasn't here when the criteria evolved, so I can't explain that. But I do know that many articles (and let's not consider nominations submitted by Awadewit as necessarily typical of all noms) that have overwhelming Tables of Contents also have organizational and structural issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:05, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I think I may be misunderstanding what you're asking, but here goes anyway. Of course the TOC ought not to be overwhelming, because its purpose is to allow readers to navigate around the article. If, to prevent its overwhelming presentation, editors decide to limit the TOC at a particular level, that seems eminently sensible, and not something that ought to be a cross in an FAC listbox. The TOC is not the structure, it's a presentation of the structure, one that the editors decided allowed good navigation around the article. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 22:14, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
It's abundantly apparent that I haven't been explaining myself clearly :-)) The criterion says that the system of hierarchical headings and TOC should not be overwhelming. The criterion doesn't only mention the TOC; it mentions the hierarchical structure of headings. They're linked: always have been, and have always made sense to me, because many poorly organized articles have rambling, out-of-control headings. That doesn't mean all do; it's just something we need to check by engaging further with the article. I don't know how other reviewers work, but when I was reviewing, I has a series of things I glanced at in deciding which FACs to engage, since it's not humanly possible (unless you're Ealdgyth) to engage with and review every FAC. That was one of the things I looked at it in deciding whether to further engage with the nomination and the article. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:21, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I guess we all approach reviewing in different ways. I hardly even notice the TOC unless it's causing an excessive amount of white space, I just scan the article. I'm unconvinced by your apparent argument that the TOC should be designed to entice reviewers. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 22:31, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
That's a significant twist of my argument. Anyway, I don't think we'll see the full brunt of this practice until it trickles down from Awadewit's articles to others, and then we might not see such good results. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:34, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't believe that it is a twist on your argument: "[The TOC was] ... one of the things I looked at it in deciding whether to further engage with the nomination and the article". Anyway, I've said my piece, I've nothing more to say on this subject. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 22:44, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

(←) Sandy, apologies if we're being unclear. When I first started learning the ropes at FAC, WIAFA was different. The criteria were "(b) a system of hierarchical headings; and (c) a substantial but not overwhelming table of contents." I don't know how to put it any simpler than this: I still believe they're two separate things. 1) Headings and 2) table of contents. Looking through the history, I've determined that they were combined into a single point in a series of edits trying to simplify WIAFA, and at the time nobody considered that it might lead one to the impression you have -- that the hierarchical headings and the table of contents must be exactly the same. I see no evidence that the conclusion you're reaching was ever something intended. Perhaps we should return it back to the original wording? The table of contents is the material in the box. The headings are something related, but ultimately somewhat different. They should absolutely both be evaluated, but needn't be absolutely identical. --JayHenry (talk) 23:20, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

No, it's probably me who has been unclear :-) I have not intended to say that structure and TOC are the same (there are other ways of sectioning that don't appear in TOC); I have interpreted it that neither section headings nor TOC should be overwhelming, and it's our "job" to evaluate both at FAC. If something is hidden, we might miss it on a flyover, if we decide not to engage that particular review. Your info gets us closer to an answer, but I'd not like to juggle WIAFA until we get more perspective, including historical, on the whole matter. Hopefully Raul will weigh in, since he wrote the first version. It's the trickle down that concerns me, if this trend becomes widespread and people stop realizing they need to check. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:29, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, the version you linked still equates section headings with TOC, via: "(c) a substantial but not overwhelming table of contents (see section help)," so I'm still wondering about intent. Regardless of wording changes to WIAFA, I hope it's clear that we need to be checking both, and now we need to be aware that TOCs are being hidden. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:40, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
This is getting more and more obscure. How on earth can section headings be "overwhelming"? Have you ever criticised a book for having too many chapters? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:45, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Of course I would criticize a book that had the Wiki equivalent of a lot of choppy, one-paragraph, poorly organized section headings. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:53, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
But that wasn't the question I asked. Once again you're confusing presentation with content. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:03, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't care if parts of TOCs are hidden. I care if TOCs work as a table of contents and I care if the article is well-organized. How that is achieved is irrelevant - there are many of ways of constructing useful TOCs and well-organized articles. Let's not get bogged down in technicalities. Let's agree that useful TOCs and well-organized articles are the goal. Awadewit (talk) 23:51, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we disagree on that. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:53, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid the problem that you are raising is not really clear. If we agree on these fundamentals, what is the issue at stake? Awadewit (talk) 00:03, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Was the hole in our instructions on drive-by noms clear until the HRC nom ? I'm prepared to wait and see if this becomes a problem, as long as reviewers are aware that TOCs are being hidden, and know to view the article with all the section headings shown. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:16, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm still struggling with this. TOCs aren't being hidden, and surely any reviewer worthy of the name would at least have glanced at the article regardless of what's in the TOC. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:24, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Malleus, as a reviewer, do you really look at every article at FAC? Hat's off to you then, and send me a dozen more where you came from :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:02, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
No I don't, and neither have I ever claimed that I did. Like most, I guess, I look at those articles that have for whatever reason attracted my attention. Is my opinion therefore less worthy of consideration? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 01:22, 24 April 2008 (UTC)


To solve a dispute at WT:Naming conventions, can I assume that there is still consensus for including the diacriticals when writing École Polytechnique massacre and Søren Kierkegaard (both FAs) on Wikipedia? - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 14:54, 22 April 2008 (UTC)


Months (years ?) ago, I used to maintain the WP:LOCE page to make sure the list of FACs was accurate, and we occasionally got help from them. The requests page there no longer seems to be maintained; I'm wondering why we continue to recommend it, or if anyone is interested in doing something to keep the page up to date? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:11, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

What do you need, just someone to clear the list once articles are passed or archived? Can an idiot (me) do that? Or would I have to know something about how to work a kompewtur? I watch the FAC list regularly, but don't feel like I have much to remark most of the time. Maybe I can help with this. --Moni3 (talk) 02:17, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I used to know the answer to that question (I just manually moved the requests to the right category), but they've done something to that page that involves some level of automation, so I have no idea how to make it right. I just know there are a ton of articles listed in the FAC section which aren't at FAC, and there may be some in FA that aren't FA. If you're interested in taking this on, the goal would be to keep the categories up to date over there, so hopefully FACs would get some attention. But you'd have to ask over there how to do it, now that it involves some complicated level of automation that I haven't kept up with. If you do follow it there, I'm interested in knowing if LOCE has actually helped on any FAC: I can't recall any recently, so I'm wondering why we carry it in our instructions. Thanks, Moni !! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:27, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Aw, dude! Automation! I'm gonna have to create new neural pathways! Dang... Let me see if I can find a Simple English article for it. --Moni3 (talk) 02:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
LOCE has an enormous backlog and I would never direct an editor there for help with an FAC. –thedemonhog talkedits 03:26, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
But maybe if someone would clean out the categories, it would start working. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:33, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Agreed...I've had an article listed at LoCE with a request for a review since February 8! Not sure if anyone is even doing any anymore as I rarely see much activity there.AnmaFinotera (talk) 03:36, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, LOCE has much potential. –thedemonhog talkedits 03:37, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
It was great when Gzkn was shepharding it. These Projects come and go, fall in and out of favor, but the work at FAC goes on. So, I guess a placement at LOCE no longer has relevance. Shall we remove it from the FAC-instructions ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:48, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I never recommend it anymore. When it comes to FACs, I either do the copy editing work myself or recommend an editor I know. Too bad - LOCE used to work. Another project that desperately needs help. If only I had the time... I agree that removing it from the FAC instructions is probably a good idea. Awadewit (talk) 05:42, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Does anyone disagree with removing LOCE from the FAC instructions? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:23, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Not I. Of course, we have PR in there, right? I've been trying to get over there more often and hit the folks who are saying they want to go to FAC with source audits before they hit FAC. Ealdgyth - Talk 22:25, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I've never had a good experience with LOCE to date. Even PR is dead, but it's a good place to post a request then explicitly ask for feedback, so it basically serves the same purpose that LOCE does now (which is basically just a place to house requests now.) Gary King (talk) 08:59, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I think it should be removed. I've nominated several articles for FA status and more often than not, people tell me to take them to the LOCE. Seeing as this means that it takes about the best part of a year to get through the process and nominate the article again, it is a process that takes to long. I think PR is a good enough process to go through. ISD (talk) 10:34, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Infoboxes in articles about historic or other notable buildings

In WT:CHES#Little Moreton Hall a discussion has begun about the placing of an HTML comment in Little Moreton Hall. It requests that no infobox be added to the article. When asked about this, someone who appears to know the editor concerned has replied producing justifications that suggest that similar articles may have had FA status rejected because the infoboxes they had were judged to be ugly in various ways. Can anyone cast any light on this? The infobox which would be of particular relevance in this instance is Template:Infobox Historic building. Surely a broad overall viewpoint about such a matter should be advertised widely if it were that case? Wouldn't it be a matter that could only be considered on a case by case basis? Have any similar articles been rejected because this "ugly" infobox was used? It should be noted that this HTML comment has been placed on many articles by the same editor this evening. Many thanks.  DDStretch  (talk) 23:16, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Infoboxes are not required by any criteria, and many editors (myself included) find them ugly and disruptive and redundant on some articles. That said, opposing an FA on the basis of an infobox being present or not being present would not be a valid oppose. It's a consensus item, and if editors don't want them, they need not be added. And that answer has nothing to do with FA, since there is no FA requirement or any requirement otherwise for infoboxes. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:59, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for confirming what I thought was the case.  DDStretch  (talk) 00:23, 26 April 2008 (UTC)


Obviously it isn't the article doing the nominating. So why in the world are so many of these applications characterized as "self-nominations"? Hasn't anybody here read Wikipedia:Ownership of articles? Gene Nygaard (talk) 05:09, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Writing "self-nomination" might no longer be necessary anyway as I believe that it has become the norm. –thedemonhog talkedits 05:17, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
So why are these improper ownership claims condoned? Gene Nygaard (talk) 06:27, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think anyone really uses those indicators anymore. That text is just a relic of older times and if consensus here agrees, it will be removed. SorryGuy  Talk  06:30, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
How is it an ownership claim, improper or otherwise? Self-nom indicates that the person nominating did a large amount of work on the article to bring it to FA level and that they aren't just some random person who went "oo, I love this topic so it should be an FA cause I love this topic." WP:OWN does not mean editors aren't acknowledge for having actually done work on an article. Beyond that, I don't see many self-nom indicators anymore either, as it is presumed to be the case and I believe the FAC is axed if the nominator is not one of the major article contributers (or if a major contributer objects to the nom), as as it is generally the the nominator who will be expected to fix any issues brought up. AnmaFinotera (talk) 06:36, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Now we're getting somewhere. It isn't generally the attitude of the nominators I'm concerned about. It is the attitude of the FAC reviewers, and their pushing of this notion of ownership and responsibility onto the nominators. It isn't right. Gene Nygaard (talk) 11:33, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I think its is an inadvertent 'ownership' issue. The practical problem is the nomination of articles that are doomed to fail. Perhaps that is what should happen but a FAC culture of 'article remediation' has taken hold. Good faith FAC reviewers point out flaws but are unable actually to fix the problem themselves without bootstrapping themselves on the topic. Supposedly, the contributing editors can easily fix the problem themselves. However, Gene Nygaard (talk · contribs) has a good point in that the Wikipedia ethos is against 'ownership': why can't any editor nominate. I think SandyGeorgia (talk · contribs) dislikes drive-by noms because of the impractical number of them, which she finds very time-consuming to process. Therefore, the interest of the FAC reviewers - and directors - is being served here. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 13:45, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
The biggest flaw with drive-by nominations is that the nominator is often not familiar with the topic. SandyGeorgia has had to remove a lot of nominations because the major contributors, who are assumed to be very familiar with the content, say that there are comprehensiveness issues. This is sometimes hard for reviewers to spot, because we aren't usually that familiar with the topic either. Karanacs (talk) 14:31, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
There is also the issue that a non-involved editor who randomly sees an article they like and sticks it up at FAC may not be capable of addressing reviewers' concerns. They may not even be aware of the need to address them, in fact. Typically, they list the article and then never come back, leaving the comments and oppose !votes to stack up. FAC is supposed to be a collaborative process, with feedback and suggestions and compromises, but if non-involved editors nominate articles, there is a chance of little give-and-take. Self-nomination notes are usually followed by "I did this amount of work on the article and I'm looking forward to feedback" -- it's not ownership, it's assurance. Or at least that's how I look at it. María (habla conmigo) 15:01, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
This is an interesting conversation, but little of it is related to why or how the "self-nom" term came to be used at FAC. In the "olden days", editors rarely nominated articles they had worked on; it was traditional for another Wikipedian to put them up instead. Then, the nominator would also Support the article, since they were viewed as an independent, neutral voice, not having worked on the article. When self-noms became more common, it became necessary to know whether the nominator was an involved party or not, in terms of supporting the article, so the term came into use. (I'm not sure how Raul handled Support from significant contributors, but I look for a level of independent Support, aside from the principle contributors.) "Self-nom" is unrelated to the wording change proposed after issues like Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive26#Sea Otter and Wikipedia talk:FAC#Drive-by nominations, when several nominations were put up by new editors who had never edited the articles, without participating in the talk page or inquiring if the article was ready, and when significantly principle editors agreed the articles weren't ready. Another sitatuion occurred when User:Wassupwestcoast nominated The President (novel) in spite of extended talk page discussion about the work still needed on the article among several significantly principle editors (the article was not yet finished, had not been copyedited, had sourcing issues, needed a MoS check, and had several principle editors and an entire WikiProject who were still working on the article and discussing a FAC nomination). That premature nomination was withdrawn, re-submitted when work was finished, and a better prepared article is now succeeding at FAC. Yes, it takes me about twenty minutes to do all the edits and archiving and talk page messages to deal with withdrawing a nom, and it takes even more reviewer time to provide a peer review on an unprepared article, but the bigger objection is from the significantly principle editors who have the sources and know the work remaining, who are forced to jump through hoops before the article was ready at a time that may not be optimal for them. If a significantly principle editor agrees an article is not yet comprehensive, copyedited or well sourced, no one is best served by continuing the nomination. Wassupwestcoast asks, "why can't any editor nominate"? Any editor can nominate, there is no requirement that the nomination be from a principle editor (see Walter de Coventre), but when an article has significantly principle editors who agree the article wasn't ready, or when an editor new to Wiki has never edited the article or participated in talk and there are multiple significantly principle editors who agree the article isn't ready, continuing the nomination isn't productive. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:42, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia, I'm never going to live this down, am I? I was the one who both prematurely nominated and withdrew the nomination! Yup, I wasn't particularly involved on the article's talk page so was a bit oblivious. On the other hand, I wasn't a typical drive-by nom. I was and am still involved in the article. I was surprise to find that I was the sixth most frequent contributing editor. Nevertheless, I'm resigned to being the exemplar par excellence. Never again, will I nom an article :-) Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 15:47, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't know if you're going to live it down; you brought it into the discussion by saying SandyGeorgia "dislikes drive-by noms because of the impractical number of them, which she finds very time-consuming to process". That wasn't exactly a spot on description of the situation. Time consuming or not, I'm here to make the process work the best it can for all involved (articles, nominators, reviewers), to yield as many examples of Wiki's best work as possible. I'm always open to better ways to make FAC work, but I did nix the strong wording originally proposed wrt driveby noms, specifically to discourage a culture of ownership. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:56, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the strike, Wassup; the gesture is appreciated. All the best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:07, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I want to reinforce what Sandy is saying about the so-called drive-by nominations. The FAC process relies partly on the fostering of a healthy culture on the part of both nominators and reviewers. An accepted protocol—either written or unwritten or both—that minimises the nomination of premature candidates, is essential to make FAC work properly. So is the avoidance of drive-by reviewing, in which reviewers write simply "oppose" or "support" with no or little supporting text. I'm concerned when I see statements here such as:

It isn't generally the attitude of the nominators I'm concerned about. It is the attitude of the FAC reviewers, and their pushing of this notion of ownership and responsibility onto the nominators. It isn't right

It's the attitude of everyone that is at issue, and I hope that Gene isn't promoting an us-and-them mentality.

Furthermore, keeping the FAC list under control (it reached more than a hundred items not long ago) is essential to the psychology of all players here. I support Sandy's efforts to minimise inappropriate/premature nominations, which gum up the works, make reviewers feel that they're confronting a cascade in which they can barely make an impression, and generally lead to an unsatisfactory process. TONY (talk) 16:09, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Its not Gene who is promoting the "Us and Them" attitude: the idea of a "selfnomination" promotes that idea in my opinion. "Reviewers" and "nominators" and "contributors" are all peers in their capacities as editors. Having to identify as a contributor or self nominator makes the nominator feel like a student who is trying to pass an exam, and gives the idea that "reviewers" have some kind of special authority over the article, which the selfnominator and other contributors must subject themselves to. I don't believe this is the way it should be according to the Wikiprinciples. Basically I think the idea that a nominator or reviewer must identify as a contributor is based on assumptions of bad faith - it seems to indicate that "reviewers" don't think "contributors" are sufficiently able to recognise an article that conforms to the FA criteria. I also see this attitude in the FA review process where reviewers often seem to have a feeling of being automatically right in their opinions, and contributors seem to often conform to reviwers suggestions without questioning them. I think the review process as it is now promotes a hierarchical structure in the project that I believe goes against the fundamental principles, and I believe that the idea of nominating contributors having to identify as such is a part of that problem.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 16:51, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
So you disagree that there is value added in having new, fresh, independent, uninvolved editors looking at and Supporting an article, and you promote the idea that significant contributor Support from the editors who worked on the article, without independent peer review, should be sufficient for promoting to featured status? Then let's eliminate FAC and just let contributors assign themselves a star :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:55, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Strawman.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 17:50, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
No. Without identification of significant contributors, what differentiates self-promoting articles to featured status? Or what differentiates FAC from GAC, where one editor can promote? Please don't evade the question; without identification of significant contributors, how do we achieve independent peer review? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:54, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
My point is that making a sharp division between "reviewers" and "contributors/editors" is detrimental to the solidarity between the editors who are supposed to collaborate on improving articles. Reviewers are editors like all other editors who can edit the articles under review and who should seek consensus for their proposed changes. I do not want to cast doubt on the fact that review process are beneficial for article - because new eyes see things differntly and because old eyes often stare them self blind on certain details and lose sight of the big picture. This is undoubtful in my opinion. However, in a FAC review process the power balance tilts in favour of the reviewing editors because the "nominating contributors" of course have something to gain or lose if they fail to achieve the support of the reviewers. This is natural and probably cannot be completely avoided - but the power relation could be better balanced by focusing on the fact that a review process is a discussion between peers about how to improve an article achieve the most and not an examination of someones homework by a board of tenured professors. The idea of a "selfnomination" takes the FA process closer to the examination scenario because one editor assumes a special responsability for the state of the article and expresses a personal wish to see an article reach a certain state of perfection. Ideally this wish and responsability should equally pertain to the reviewers, who like the nominator is working to improve wikipedia, and maximising the amount of high quality articles. I think that the FA review process should strive to balance the power relations between reviewers and nominators instead of putting nominators in the spot as is the case now. I think that maybe the ideal nomination would be a drive by nomination where an editor accidentally discovers an article that is of very high quality and which only needs a little work, nominates it, collaborates with reviewers to make the finishing touches, and finally promotes it. I think that the FA process could be improved if it were explicitly stated that the goal of the process is for reviewers and nominators to collaborate on improving the article - and not a forum where nitpickers can go to get an easy night out on the nominators cost. Also I don't see why there must be differences between the processes that leads to an FA or a GA - why should there be? GA and FA are just distinct marks of quality, there are no reason the review processes should be different. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 18:33, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
For all the very time-consuming and thankless work they do, it's interesting to me that you don't view reviewers as collaborating to improve articles, while I see them as very selflessly collaborating to improve articles and help nominators succeed. Without the selfless work of reviewers, who often get little thanks or recognition for what they do, we wouldn't have an independent community process resulting in our best work to be displayed on the main page. I guess we all see things differently :-) GA is no mark of quality, since an editor who was a troll vandal or sockpuppet yesterday could promote an article to GA today. Question: why should we presume that a process whereby "an editor accidentally discovers an article that is of very high quality and which only needs a little work, nominates it, collaborates with reviewers to make the finishing touches, and finally promotes it" will result in anyone who has access to the highest quality sources and knows if the article is comprehensive working on the article, particularly when the editors who do have access and do know the topic agree the article is not yet ready? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:42, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If I may butt in, I would hate to see articles being presented at FAC which are clearly far from ready in the hope that reviewers will fix them. GrahamColmTalk 18:49, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Again you are reading something I didn't say into my words. I did not say that reviewers are not collaborating to improve articles - I said that I think we should do more to stress that this is actually what an FA process is about. Reviewers do a great job and my own experiences in the FA reviews in which I have participated have been almost purely positive. If I understand your last sentence correctly, then my answer to your question about "why we should assume..." is that we should assume that because Assumption of Good Faith is a basic tenet around here. And in my opinion it is also near self evident that articles that are very far from being perfect in the opinions of the editors who are experts on the topic would not be promoted because the FA reviewers and the expert editors (who assumedly have the article on their watchlist) together would quickly see that the article was not ready and form a consensus to denominate. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 19:00, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Peer review is a good place for "an editor [who] accidentally discovers an article that is of very high quality and which only needs a little work, nominates it, collaborates with reviewers to make the finishing touches" to move the article closer to FA, hopefully garnering input from editors knowledgeable about the topic. If we had an unlimited supply of selfless reviewers and wanted the FAC page to regularly run 100 noms, we could do it all here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:55, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I try to stay out of actually editing most of the articles that I review for FA and just offer comments on things the nominators should be able to fix. This is for two reasons: a) I'm not an expert on most of these topics and have no access to the sources) and b) when I do get sucked into editing an article that was having FA difficulty (like Roman Catholic Church) it ends up taking a great deal of my time and then I don't have the opportunity to provide constructive feedback on any other articles. A lot of nominations get closed without promotion because there aren't enough reviewers to go around. This is compounded by the fact that too many nominators either don't understand the FA criteria or want the FA reviewers to finish writing the article for them. Nominators and contributors should push back if they find reviewer comments unreasonable. I've struck my own comments when the nominator can provide a good reason for why something is the way it is in the article; and even if I don't strike it, with their explanation Sandy and Raul can at least weigh the objection and throw it out if needed. As a nominator, I've also refused to make changes because I didn't agree with them, but I explained why.
As a reviewer, should my opinion count more than the contributors'? I think that depends. The contributors are obviously the factual experts. However, contributors can get too close to an article and not see its problems. The regular FAC reviewers read lots and lots of Featured article candidates; we know what gets promoted and what doesn't and why. The "opinions" we present are often the result of the consensus we've seen in those promotions and non-promotions. Reviewers seem to be the target of a lot of anger about the process; if I didn't think Sandy would drag me back kicking and screaming I would have quit a few times by now (that, and the fact that occasionally I find an article that is really, really good). Karanacs (talk) 19:38, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
P.S. I'd like to add that a lot of people don't realize that many of the regular FAC reviewers are also regular FAC contributors; we've been on both sides and are still here. Maybe if other contributors started reviewing articles they'd change their minds about how awful the reviewers are. Karanacs (talk) 19:38, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Reviewer burnout is something I worry about; I don't like to see either nominators or reviwers taking a beating. Reminder to self to stalk Karanacs' for personally identifying info so I can drag her back kicking and screaming if she ever leaves :-)). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:43, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I also dislike the "self-nomination" label on so many FACs, for the same reasons already stated. That said, I think a large amount of triage is inevitable. Rather than write ever longer and more complex instructions to nominators, how about expanding the instructions to reviewers? Reviewers now respond with "support", "oppose", and "comment"; how about adding "premature" to the list? Or, hey, how about encouraging reviewers to oppose because the nomination is premature? --Una Smith (talk) 19:21, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Already discussed in several sections above. Some nominations which appear grossly unprepared might make it; some do. And we need actionable opposes; premature doesn't do anything different than Oppose if it's not actionable. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
There aren't enough reviewers, period. How does it matter whether they hang out in PR or in FAC? --Una Smith (talk) 19:27, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
It matters because peer review affords the luxury of time. Extensive work can be done outside of FAC, without pressure. And "not enough reviewers" is the opposite side of the "too many driveby noms" coin :-) Same thing. There are enough reviewers if they don't have to peer review premature noms. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:30, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Reviewing a FAC can be quick, easy and a pleasure, if the article has been well prepared.[8] It's not a pleasure when the article is far from ready and the nominator can't understand why or thinks FAC is the place for articles to get fixed,[9]. But, enough from me. GrahamColmTalk 19:42, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
This is really a pointless discussion. "Self-nom", whether implicit or explicit, is a matter of ethics. It is crucial to know whether someone who is "supporting" an article has significantly contributed to it. I always make it clear in my "nomination" statements that I am the primary editor or the article by explaining my contributions. If I were to offer a "support" vote under that nomination, it would become clear that I was trying to !vote stack. "Self-nom" is just another way of making this claim clear - I do not see a big distinction between this phrase and other phrases people use to indicate that they are the primary contributor to the article. Let's not get picky. If we want to have a discussion about the ways in which FAC itself promotes article ownership, by all means let's do that, but let's look at the real issues, not tangential ones. Awadewit (talk) 23:07, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
To me the pint is precisely that a selfnominators vote of support is worth exactly the same as a reviewers vote of support and has nothing to do with vote stacking. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 06:09, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I think major contributors have a conflict of interest and must be identified. Obviously they think the article is FA-ready, or they should not have nominated it. The point of FAC is to see what the rest of the community thinks, and we need a way to easily see who that is. Karanacs (talk) 14:47, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Just as a comment from a different angle, is it necessary or reasonable to expect that the person nominating an article will be the "go-to" person should any issues come up during an FA review? There can be some value, if this is the case, to indicating self-noms as to know if there are people that are going to jump in to fix anything that may come up. --MASEM 15:08, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I think it is reasonable to expect nominators to pick up and deal with issues raised during the review, or at least be prepared to act as a backstop if they're not dealt with by someone else. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 16:13, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Comment: I think people have read it but choose to willfully ignore it when it comes to the FA persuit process (after all, autocracy and oligopoly have always been much easier and faster ways to reach a defined objective than consensus building). I think that the featured article criteria and the FAC page should both be amended to include a firm reminder that the Wikipedia:Ownership of articles policy must be unquestionably adhered to throughout FA development as a prerequisite for consideration as a FAC. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 04:00, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Unactionable or invalid opposes

A concern has been raised elsewhere that the FAC instructions may need to better explain that the director/delegate can ignore invalid or unactionable opposes. We say:

Nominators are expected to respond positively to constructive criticism and to make an effort to address objections promptly.

but we don't specify that unactionable opposes can be ignored. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:46, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

  • If this could be made explicit, I think it would reassure we nominators that we can post a little message on the FAC page such as "that is an unactionable oppose and I don't need to address it" or something like that. However, what precisely an unactionable oppose is not entirely clear to me and I have nominated a lot of FACs. This gets at the heart of the matter: what do SandyGeorgia and Raul654 think unactionable opposes are? How clearly does this need to be laid out? I think that different reviewers might have different interpretations of the FA criteria. Whether those interpretations map onto SandyGeorgia's and Raul654's is not entirely clear to me. Awadewit (talk) 07:36, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Just add "actionable" before "objections"? TONY (talk) 09:01, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I look forward with interest to watching this issue get dissected. It caused me much confusion in my only experience with moving an article through the FAC process, and it's part of the reason I doubt I'll ever participate again as a nominator. Whether something is unactionable is interpretive, and you can rarely know how it was interpreted by the only two people who are making the crucial decision on how to interpret it. And what does a nominator do when two reviewers raise contradictory objections that no one other reviewers help sort out? Which one is unactionable? Oy vey. --Melty girl 17:29, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Melty, can you pls link us to your first FAC? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:54, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Melty's was this one. We obviously need to strike a balance that discourages neither nominators nor reviewers, and most importantly in my mind, keeps the discussion polite and professional. Differences are generally resolvable between reasonable adults. --JayHenry (talk) 20:48, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the link; I'll look it over as soon as I get a moment. In this discussion, I'd rather focus on closed FACs or past discussions than FACs that are underway, so as not to disrupt or influence ongoing FACs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:53, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
If this is updated, please make sure you don't use ignore—as Tony suggests, unactionable objections should be refuted instead. Pagrashtak 21:16, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps there's a misunderstanding, Pagrashtak; the issue raised was to clarify that the director/delegate can ignore unactionable opposes (we don't refute them)? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:22, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
You have the quote "Nominators are expected to..." up there, so it sounded like you were going to add the bit about unactionable objections to that sentence. I have no problem with you or the director ignoring them. Pagrashtak 04:48, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
ah, I see: yes, you're right. The concern is that we leave the impression that nominators must respond to all opposes, without ever clarifying that the director/delegate can discount invalid or unactionable opposes. The idea is to append something to that statement to reassure nominators. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:50, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

(od) Tony's proposed amendment to the instructions is a fine one. It might be a good idea to include examples of unactionable opposes for reviewer guidance. In the interests of transparency, it might also be a good idea if unactionable opposes were flagged as such. It would help de-mystify the promotion process. --ROGER DAVIES talk 05:09, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Read the next thread :-) I thought it was helpful to flag what I consider to be unactionable opposes as I become aware of them, to help reviewers better frame their concerns, but that seems to be backfiring in at least one case (although it has been helpful in most cases, since reviewers were then able to clarify their concerns). The logical conclusion is that I should, then, be silent instead, no? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:17, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I've also done this and this in the very few cases where I've had to close without a clearcut "!vote tally". But if my attempts towards transparency are going to open me and FAC to the kind of criticism in the next thread, it might not be the wisest path to follow. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:27, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
No, don't go silent :) There's bound to be some grumbling at first but once the ground rules are clearer and regular reviewers get a feel for what is and isn't actionable, it'll get much easier :) Incidentally, as a quality-control exercise, we ran a B-class-article-checking drive last month at Milhist. By applying the B-class criteria more strictly and more evenly, 1400 articles out of 4300 were demoted from B-class to Start-class. We came in for flak at first but once editors understood the process was fair and even-handed the complaints died away. --ROGER DAVIES talk 05:30, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Sandy, I thought what you were doing was excellent. I noticed a marked increase in others following your example. I thought it was working well. We could see your principles in action. Awadewit (talk) 06:01, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the encouragement, Awadewit; and just a note, I'm going to let this thread simmer a bit, see what others think, and engage more once a few current FACs are closed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:18, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

An FAC should not be failed because of lack of comments

Right. I've been working on for a months now, the 1995 Japanese Grand Prix article. It's been through PR, had it's GA passed and a thorough review by two users at the talkpage without no major problems. So, my expectation was to nominate it for FAC have a lot of constructive critism and support/oppose opinions. However, if an article is nominated, it should not end in "Not Promoted" if no one has opposed it fully!! My point is, is that articles should not be faield because of lack of comments. It's not my fault that people don't comment on the article. I could of left a big banner sailing across the FAC, along with my talkpage saying "REVIEW THIS NOW!", but I'm not like that, and I shouldn't be forced to do that. I also think it's damn unfair that articles are archived without thorough opinion for oppose. This is a decision to decide whether it should be an FA or not, if there isn't a lot of discussion, the FAC should continue, continue and continue until there is a lot of discussion and until there is 6/7 opposes. The current FAC process is absolutely bad and needs changing. I'm pretty sure this is only one of many articles that falls foul to this system that shuod be dropped. IMO, FAC's should only be archived IF there are six/seven opposes. At the end of the day, it's not be fault if no one hardly comments on it; I refuse to run round every single project begging on my knees to ask them to review it, because I'd only get it in the neck several days later. I just feel the FAC process should be changed, because in it's current state, it is very bad. D.M.N. (talk) 09:51, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

It's happened several times and it's unfortunate. One thing I would suggest you do is follow up to the people that have commented on your nomination, because my first impression after reading this was that it did not receive any comments, but it looks like it did. Let those people know that you have addressed their concerns and ask them to re-review the article again. I'd think that's the best way to go about this type of situation, because most people will return and then promptly reply with a Support if they have no more concerns about the article. GaryKing (talk) 10:03, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid that we're faced with a process that is central to establishing and maintaining WP's standards—the FAC system—that is drastically short of reviewers, even more so of skilled reviewers who don't drive by and fling a "Support—great article" comment. The latter is increasingly viewed as not meaning much, with good reason (it's open to abuse, provides no evidence that the person has actually read or, dare I say it, engaged with the article, and has little to do with the critical commentary that prompts improvement in nominations. Another serious problem is the length of the queue; having 70 to 100 nominations in the list is a psychological drag for current and potential reviewers. Raul and Sandy endeavour to keep the size under control, but it's hard. Under these circumstances, if there's little interest on the nomination page, there's no presumed automatic right to a promotion; on the contrary, it's likely that a nomination will be bumped off. This is a healthy aspect to the process, since taking a little more time to polish an article (so that it garners more interest next time) is usually just what is indicated; a renomination is often a learning process for all involved and results in improved quality in the encyclopedia: we all want that, yes? TONY (talk) 10:47, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
That's my problem. I can't improve the article as they were not any specific comments on how to improve the article. One comment left was to expand the lead, which I have already done. Another comment was about the TV coverage, but I cannot find any sources for that. I could if I wanted to go to WP:LOCE, but I'd be waiting in a very long queue. Therefore my only option is to re-nominate for FAC. But, if I did I would get Oppose: This article was only just failed. It shouldn't of been failed for lack of comments. D.M.N. (talk) 10:52, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I sympathise; we realise that nominators can put in a huge amount of work, and it must be a let-down when there's insufficient response at FAC. All I can say is: give it time; seek wider collaborators (it's the essence of WP, and makes the whole thing worth it); and resubmit after a while. There's not hurry, and nothing to stop you preparing another in the meantime. TONY (talk) 12:39, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I sometimes wonder if FA reviewers lose sight of the fact that contributors are volunteers, not professional writers; it's a bit of a knock-back when you are failed without getting anything wrong. I've no axe to grind on this, since it's not happened to me and I do occasional reviews at FA - usually having read the articles first (: Jimfbleak (talk) 12:56, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
We're all volunteers, and all equal, irrespective of the role(s) we choose to take on here. TONY (talk) 13:03, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Now that I'm maintaining the Urgents list daily (see the top of this talk page), all articles are getting feedback, and it is extremely rare that I have to fail an article for lack of feedback. The article in question received feedback from at least eight editors over almost two weeks, none of whom decided to Support it. Suggestions for getting further feedback can be found at WP:FCDW/March 17, 2008; opening a peer review and inviting editors who commented on the FAC, as well as seeking out other editors from the list at WP:PRV, might help uncover the reasons the article was unable to garner support at FAC. A few steps like that are often enough to push the article over the line on its next FAC nomination: good luck ! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:12, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Right, let's see:
  • Ealdygth: Only checking sources, nothing else. It's strange how an article she's developed gets the 1st Class treatment from two others who have commented above and are involved in the FAC process, what about the rest of us??? Where's our reviews from two of the best here?
  • Guroardrunner - Member of WP:F1 - none of WP:F1 will support because it's "vote stacking"
  • AlexJ - Member of WP:F1 - none of WP:F1 will support because it's "vote stacking"
  • 4u1e - Member of WP:F1 - none of WP:F1 will support because it's "vote stacking"
  • Diniz - Member of WP:F1 - none of WP:F1 will support because it's "vote stacking"
  • SandyGeorgia - I don't know, you'll have to ask yourself. You had enough time to copy-edit Ealdygth's article, but when it comes to reviewing someone else's article who she doesn't know that good, well....
  • Readro - Member of WP:F1 - none of WP:F1 will support because it's "vote stacking"
  • Laser_brain - (S)he reviewed the article, but only comments, no support or oppose despite the fact I sorted her comments out. Not much I can do about that.
  • Blnguyen - I addressed his oppose, he said he'd look at "other things", but that failed to materialize.
That's nine, but only four could of supported it. Why didn't they? Well, that's not my problem if they didn't want to, is it. I feel like renominating it right this second. D.M.N. (talk) 13:35, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Nothing prevents members of a Project from Supporting an article. Many editors are willing to engage with an article that is not yet at FAC, as they have the luxury of time to work as they will (which is why I suggest you open a peer review and specifically invite editors to comment there). I know horses and the lingo—I don't know a thing about race cars; I doubt I could add anything helpful to your article as I could to the horse article I edited last night. Finally, I don't Support or Oppose articles at FAC. I hope you'll consider opening a peer review and seeking out editors knowledgeable in racing, as well as volunteers from WP:PRV, to help prepare the article for a successful candidacy. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:54, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Done. I hope you realise that I feel that the article should 110% be re-instated as a FAC, and that the crap process called FAC should be changed, and also that I have heavily considered leaving this place today. D.M.N. (talk) 14:23, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
DMN, I appreciate your frustration, but believe me, WP is just great for finding collaborative friends and sharpening our skills at a number of intellectual tasks (I'm gradually improving). Now give Sandy (and me) a little slack here: just as you are free to join W'projects and form collaborative friendships (one of the exciting things about the project), so are we, yes? I, for one, would have to spend every waking hour on copy-editing duty if the gates of the dam opened. Yet I've etched out my role here, which is highly selective direct work on articles (for whatever reasons I choose), reviewing, and negotiating style and policy. You're free to choose your role too. So while I give you every encouragement, please don't put pressure on me or anyone else to do what you'd like us to do. Have you researched the edit histories of similar pages to the nomination in question, to locate copy-edit-type people from their edit summaries? That's how you get to know the lie of the land. TONY (talk) 14:33, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
No, because out of the 755+ Formula One race reports, only about 3 are fully race reports, all the rest of stubs. On the subject of FAC's and promotion, just why was this promoted?. Yes, three supports, but there were a lot of concerns that were not addressed. Oh dear. D.M.N. (talk) 14:36, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Four supports, and the editor who left a list of concerns subsequently Supported. All editors don't necessarily return to strike; the subsequent support is the indication that concerns were satisfied, and striking every line isn't necessary. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:15, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
DMN, you're not the only person to have difficulty in an FAC. Many editors find it a very frustrating process. You're more than welcome to leave, or just write excellent articles without trying to get them featured. In the grand scheme of all things, the majority of people who read Wikipedia have no idea what a featured article is. It's my opinion, small as it is, that your article wasn't presented as "sexy" enough, if we use Giano's terms. There are a sore few FAC reviewers here, and I never feel competent to review anything but the 2 things I think I know about. It's quite natural for you to be angry at feeling like all your work has been ignored, but the next time an article of yours comes up for FA, it will be a better article. Many editors who have multiple FAs got plenty of rejections and re-nominations after being opposed and told to go back and work on the article. So, leave if you want to (although I would just leave without announcing it), but accept the possibility that your article needs more work. If you love the topic you're writing about - and you shouldn't be writing about it if you don't - it might hurt your pride, but it shouldn't be a chore. --Moni3 (talk) 14:44, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry that having friends look at my articles (when I didn't even ask them to, mind you, although I'm more than willing to egg them on when they start!) is somehow wrong. As for why I didn't review the grand prix article more fully, it was several reasons. One, while it was up, I was pretty busy helping seahamlass with Navenby, where she was pretty busy with some major sourcing issues. Much bigger than your article had. Another was the first couple of comments I got on the Grand Prix FAC. Being snapped at didn't exactly make me want to come back and look at the prose in depth. It's not a bad article, but I'm sure there would have been something I didn't understand (im not a race fan) so I just wasn't motivated to get snapped at again. And third, I've been on the road. And will be again, so I didn't feel it would be fair to review and run if I couldn't give that much time to the effort.

May I make some suggestions? I really respect that your other racing project participants won't just mass support. THAT sort of statement makes me more likely to read the article if it comes back to FAC. But one reason why I get help and my articles get reviews is that I review/peer review/help with sources on other articles, not just here at FAC (although I do that too.) I do some peer reviewing, trying to help folks out with sources over there. I get requests on my talk page to look at articles, I do GA reviews. All that work means that folks are more willing to look at my articles when they come around. We need more reviewers, and the simplest way to make sure that YOUR article gets more looks is to at least look at and comment on other articles. I don't know about others, but I'm much more willing to look at other articles outside my interests when the nominator has spent time reviewing other articles and not just nominating nominating nominating. I'm not saying the F1 project has nominated too much (hardly!) but a bit of time spent reviewing will probably pay itself back. I have one FA to my credit, with one in the wings. On the other hand, I've done nine "full" FA reviews plus however many just reviews of sources. I'm up in the 50s in GA reviews, to under 20 GAs that i've worked on.

If you'd like me to look the article over, I'll try to look at it when I get home Tuesday. I can't promise that it'll be a great copyedit, I'm not the world's best, far from it. I know you're upset, I would be too in your shoes, but just like you are a volunteer, so am I and so is everyone here. Reviewers are just plain scarce, not just here, but everywhere. Current wait time on GAN is about a month. PR is working better now, but it for a while there it was lacking in reviews too. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:02, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

I think PR is working better because we've made an effort to explain to people that they can't just put up a PR and hope for feedback: they need to seek out reviewers as explained at WP:FCDW/March 17, 2008, by contacting knowledgeable editors in the topic area, previous opposers, and volunteers from WP:PRV. Many peer reviews still close with little input, but if nominators at PR aggressively seek out reviewers, PR can be very successful. PR allows you to solicit input without concern for canvassing, and allows reviewers the benefit to work without any time pressure: they can contribute as much or as little as they're able. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:10, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Understood. It might be an idea to raise at the wikiproject that principle of recusing from supporting (or opposing). In my opinion, it is not only acceptable for members of a project to support or oppose FACs (so long as they are not major editors of the article), but they make the most useful reviewers—particularly with specialist topics like this. Occasionally there have been examples of projects or national groups supporting an article en masse, but this is very rare. Projects want articles that represent them to reach the highest standards.
If an article gets few reviews, it is a good idea for the nominator to ask people to review it. The sort of people to ask are your contacts, or people whose articles you have reviewed, people who have commented on the article's talk page or on talk pages of similar articles, and anyone you can remember doing a good turn for. As someone said above, this is a collaborative project, and the more one edits here, the longer grows the list of colleagues one has collaborated with. This is the reason why certain FACs receive a lot interest and others little: networks of collaboration come into play, and there's nothing sinister about it. qp10qp (talk) 15:12, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Ealdygth, please do, and I'm sure your review won't be crap. If you don't mind, leaving comments on the PR will make my day. :)

Right, Qp10qp, the thing about WikiProject's in FACs is that it is classed as a canvassing if all members are Supporting. I would prefer it if a lot of people who know nothing review it because:

  1. They have no knowledge at the subject
  2. The review will be entirely neutral
  3. Their review would probably represent the overall opinion - if this person knows nothing about the subject and finds some sentences confusing, then someone else who is "dumb" at the subject will also face the same problems.

People working at the WikiProjects which are involved in the same article (e.g. with 1995 Japan and WP:F1) is that they may not recognize the problems as well as a "dumb", neutral reviewer, hence why I'd prefer neutrals to review it. If anybody above does which to comment at the PR, that would be much appreciated, and if anyone did, who has no involvement in motor racing, the comments would be appreciated more than if a WP:F1 member commented on it. D.M.N. (talk) 15:21, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Just to clear up some possible misunderstanding about Project support: we need content knowledgeable, expert review, and that comes often from the Projects. For example, when WikiProject Medicine members don't support a medical article, there may be a reason. We also need independent review and fresh eyes; an ideal FA promotion has both (topic area experts and independent reviewers) kinds of support. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:26, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Just chipping my 2p in. I've supported a fair few WP:FOOTY-based articles recently, but I've made comments at Peer Review to try help improve them. I'm sure if the four editors above have made critical comments, suggestions or improvements themselves, it doesn't matter if they're "vote stacking", it wouldn't be a problem, but endorsement of the work put in. I'm sure User:SandyGeorgia notes where the votes are from when she promotes / archives work. If your fellow editors have putting in the work at PR, to help bring a polished article to FAC, which doesn't require much work, then their support ought to be expected really. Peanut4 (talk) 15:35, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
How about we split up WP:FAC into different categories, similar to WP:GAN, so that reviewers can find the category they are most interested in and engage themselves in those articles, rather than having to sift through articles that do not interest them? Just an idea, but it's also important to consider that the number of nominations will only surely increase over time, while the quality of WP:FA will decrease unless something is done. Gary King (talk) 19:03, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Or just use WP:FACL. BuddingJournalist 19:09, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I was not aware of that page. It must be new? It's also almost completely orphaned. It's also NOT a good page to Watch because it transcludes its list from ANOTHER page, and most people will not be aware of this. Gary King (talk) 19:19, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
What's that page actually used for? D.M.N. (talk) 19:22, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
How about we not try to turn the FAC pages into the kind of jumble seen on the GA pages? Notice a backlog template at the top of WP:GAN? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:26, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
You're surely not suggesting that the "jumble" is somehow responsible for causing that backlog? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 19:33, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Peer review/1995 Japanese Grand Prix/archive2 shows a productive peer review, and provides examples of why the nomination didn't succeed at FAC and how peer review can be used effectively, per Dispatches: Changes at peer review. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:07, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikiproject chums and support vote chestnut again

I do feel for DMN and no-one in WP:F1 supporting. I have no problem supporting noms from other WP:birds or dino articles, mainly because I am not shy to point out issues or oppose if need be and all the others I know of in both wikiprojects can be frank and brutally so at times with issues in my noms (especially when I have been a bit sloppy/casual which can happen), and I am grateful for their honesty if it makes a better article. One positive of two active reviewers is two sets of eyes is better than one. Anyway, if they can give moral support then that may be something....Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:55, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. A minor apology for my attitude yesterday above, I was a little peeved that the FAC was failed for 1995 Japanese Grand Prix, and I'm happy that I brought it up for discussion over here. I've put it up for Peer review, so I'll have to see where that takes the article. ;) D.M.N. (talk) 09:10, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
DMN, please don't leave: we need you to foster a collaborative culture in your field. You're doing good here. TONY (talk) 09:21, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Woah, who said I was leaving? I was a little annoyed yesterday, and probably over-reacted. Of course I'm not leaving. ;) D.M.N. (talk) 09:24, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Good! Coming a bit late to this, you have all my sympathies. The only thing I can say is that FAC reviewers are spread very thin and regulars (I include me here) do do their best to cover as much as possible. I'll keep an eye out for this article when it re-surfaces at FAC and will do my best to chip in. (Leaving me a reminder on my talk page is a good idea!) --ROGER DAVIES talk 10:36, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
D.M.N., let you know when you nominate it again so I can review it against FA standards (it's not vote stacking since I asked). I can do an unbiased check since know a lot about racing without being a Formula 1 fan. I can provide specialist knowledge of racing without being influenced by WikiProject Formula 1. I am also concerned about getting enough reviewers for a NASCAR driver GA that I've been working on for a FA, so I know where you're coming from. Royalbroil 16:03, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Undent - I have to say I contribute to this problem, I personally only like to review animal/plant/chemical/state FACs because those are the ones I enjoy. This is a volunteer organization so people are going to focus on the things they like. One thing that I did to drum up reviews when I submitted Minnesota was to review other articles (even in subjects I didn't like) and then ask the submitter if they could take a look at mine. Didn't always work, but it got some extra people to look. -Ravedave (talk) 16:43, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Since many people do exactly that, it can result (at the extreme) in uneven standards for FAs. If serious reviewers jump right on the technical or scholarly topics, and Oppose anything less than perfection, while they ignore more popular or everyday articles that have glaring grammar and prose deficiencies, some of our content experts end up getting the short end of the stick. I've said it before: anyone can glance at an article on a well known or pop culture topic and see if it has glaring prose and grammar issues; you don't need to be a topic expert to glance at an article and see deficiencies. (Example of this problem at the other end, lack of reviews on technical topics, while popular topics garner Support: look up the page at Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates#Emery Molyneux.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:53, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I tend to do the same, sticking mostly to anime, manga, television, and film FACs. They are the topics I enjoy and the areas I'm familiar enough in that I can speak to those areas specific MoS requirements and how the article may fail to meet it. When I've stepped outside of those areas and tried to review other topics, the reception was not so good and I got chastised for the items I picked up "not being something to worry about for an FAC." I felt they were problems regarding MoS and other issues, and some were even things that had been pointed out to me in my one FA, so it was disconcerting and discouraging enough that I just stick to my own areas. AnmaFinotera (talk) 18:03, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Perennial proposal for GA icon in mainspace

At Wikipedia talk:Good articles#Good article signs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:58, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. As Wiki struggles for legitimacy, its editors struggle for pomp. ЭLСОВВОLД talk 02:20, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I hope the discussion will stay over there, as an admin will be closing the proposal in a day or so, and the discussion is already split in several places. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:25, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for a fundamental change in the Featured List process

Consensus is being tested concerning a proposal to establish a directorate (possibly two of the regular reviewers) as part of a program to improve the FLC process. Input is welcome. Wikipedia talk:Featured list candidates#Should we have a FL director? TONY (talk) 12:16, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

A reminder that input on FL director is welcomed over there. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:27, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

April FAC stats

For the month of April, FAC had:

  • 120 candidates (61 promoted, 59 archived)
  • Over 765 statements from more than 230 editors, including
    • 5 editors with 25 or more reviews
    • 4 editors with 11 to 15 reviews
    • 6 editors with 10 reviews
    • 41 editors with 3 to 9 reviews
    • and another 174 editors with 1 or 2 FAC statements.
(N.B. Changed methodology from February, where I counted only Support/Oppose declarations. Here I counted all meaningful commentary.)
The top five reviewers in quantity of articles reviewed were

I reviewed the FAC archives (featured and archived nominations) to assign positive points for extra effort on a review or a review that was a determining factor in the outcome, and negative points for unactionable opposes or support on a nomination that other editors subsequently identified as having significant deficiencies. Three of the top 15 quantity reviewers (having 10 or more reviews) had a net negative on this measure of quality of reviews.

Accounting for quality of review scores from the group of the top 15 in quantity, the top 10 FAC reviewers in April were
  1. Ealdgyth (talk · contribs)
  2. Tony1 (talk · contribs)
  3. Elcobbola (talk · contribs)
  4. GrahamColm (talk · contribs)
  5. Karanacs (talk · contribs)
  6. BuddingJournalist (talk · contribs)
  7. Awadewit (talk · contribs)
  8. Yomangani (talk · contribs)
  9. Jbmurray (talk · contribs)
  10. Roger Davies (talk · contribs)

"Honorable mentions" go to Epbr123 (talk · contribs) (for running through countless FACs at my request, to do pre-promotion MoS cleanup even if he never weighs in on the FACs), and Dweller (talk · contribs) and Laser brain (talk · contribs) for especially in-depth reviews, even though they didn't reach the threshhold of the top quantity reviewers. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:56, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Overhaul of FL criteria

I've re-started the process here. The input of reviewers and nominators from FAC would be valued. TONY (talk) 05:26, 3 May 2008 (UTC)


Howdy everyone!

I have a problem with the way some of the nominations have been run with regards to "restarts". Both Raul and Sandy have done this and I'd like to get some feedback from the community at large. The problem I have is not with starting over with a new nomination. I could care less if a nomination is closed as failed and someone resubmits it for FAC a few seconds later. Nothing in the FAC process prevents that.

However, I do have a problem with Raul or Sandy deleting everyone's comments and claiming a restart. IMHO, this is unacceptable. All previous discussions are "lost" from the process. All comments are removed and a fresh slate is given. IMHO, this is the antithesis of an open process. These comments should be able to be viewed. I request that any nominations currently under review (and all in the future as well) that get a "restart" should

  1. Simply be failed due to a lack of clear consensus...that's why we're restarting right?
  2. A new nomination started by the director or his delegate with the annotation why the previous discussion was terminated and restarted.
  3. The comments of the nominator may be kept if that person so desires, but should have the right to pull their name from the nomination (if the article they nominated fails, they may not want to be associated with it. Associating someone else's name with a new nomination may not be their intent).

Thoughts? — BQZip01 — talk 04:07, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I could care less if a nomination is closed as failed and someone resubmits it for FAC a few seconds later. Nothing in the FAC process prevents that. Yes, the process does prevent that. That would be a phenomenal waste of nominator time, reviewer time, director/delegate time, and GimmeBot time. I archive a nomination when I'm convinced it's not going to make it in the timeframe of a FAC, and if it's brought back right away, that makes me pretty darn unhappy, since I don't take the archiving decision lightly. (And Raul agrees.[10]) No previous discussion is lost: comments are linked and bolded at the top of the nom, and if your comments are still relevant to the current article (after FAC improvements, they rarely are), you can copy them forward. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:10, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
"Yes, the process does prevent that." Really? Where? Haven't seen that in writing anywhere.
"That would be a phenomenal waste of nominator time, reviewer time, director/delegate time, and GimmeBot time." but removing everyone's comments and forcing us to sift through a previous diff to find what we typed isn't? It's a collosal waste of reviewer time because it deletes valid previous objections/concerns/support. If something has been addressed, then a comment should be available right after it showing what has been done. By wiping the slate clean and deleting the comments, you are deleting what was written. I'm sorry if you find it a waste of time, but I believe this violates Wikipedia guidelines: Wikipedia:Talk#Good_practice and Wikipedia:Talk#Behavior_that_is_unacceptable specifically...BTW, I'm pretty sure GimmeBot isn't working so hard that it can't take a break once in a while (give me a break, the bot's time is wasted?)
"I archive a nomination when I'm convinced it's not going to make it in the timeframe of a FAC..." perhaps it is time to broaden your criteria? Just because an idea is new doesn't make it wrong. Why not archive it with the note that the article has significantly changed and a new discussion was warranted?
"...if it's brought back right away, that makes me pretty darn unhappy, since I don't take the archiving decision lightly." Respectfully, your happiness shouldn't be a criteria for an FAC...neither should Raul's. My happiness shouldn't be a criteria either.
"No previous discussion is lost" Yes it is. Your deletion of it and replacing it with "I'm starting this all over and deleting previous discussion" does not keep my original comments. I agree the article has changed and should be viewed in a new light, but that does not mean you should remove everyone's comments.
"...comments are linked and bolded at the top of the nom," Yes they are, but only those that were closed. You have unilaterally decided that my comments don't apply and deleted them when, in fact, they still apply. So do others' comments (both Support and Oppose).
"...if your comments are still relevant to the current article (after FAC improvements, they rarely are), you can copy them forward." 1) I resent your implication that my comments become irrelevant after FAC improvements. I assume you meant "anyone" and not "your" (meaning me personally). 2) I shouldn't have to retype/copy comments I wrote already to the same talk page where they previously existed.
In short, you deleted our comments and they should be restored as part of the FAC process. — BQZip01 — talk 04:54, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Is it really so hard to copy and paste any comments that you still feel are relevant over? Geez. It does not really make any difference if the comments are archived via a link to an oldid rather than archived on a seperate page. The link is placed quite prominently. The difference is a rather minor, technical one and the end result is the same (people can see the old comments quite easily if they would like to). -- Naerii 05:07, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Valid point. It isn't so difficult in many instances, but why should I have to do it in the first place? In this specific case, I have comments all over the page. I shouldn't have to go back, collect them, rewrite them to include the context in which they were written, etc. In short. Why can't the comments be left alone and archived like every other talk page? I wouldn't have a problem with even simply hiding them under a banner, but they shouldn't be deleted from the page and no one else should erase them. — BQZip01 — talk 05:14, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
They are not deleted. They are archived, i.e. there is a prominent link to a place where old comments can be read. -- Naerii 05:25, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Archived implies they are in an existing page. Point of fact, they are not. They are in the page's history only. An archive is generally a separate page. — BQZip01 — talk 21:17, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I shouldn't have to retype all of my objections for the same nomination. — BQZip01 — talk 05:17, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Why can't you find them in the edit history, copy them and then paste? The rest of us can, so why not you? LuciferMorgan (talk) 07:39, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Why should I have to in the first place? No one should edit my comments anyway: WP:TALK. — BQZip01 — talk 21:17, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I can see where BQZip01 is coming from. Reviewing is time-consuming (a self-motivated voluntary commitment) and it is a pain in the neck to have to re-iterate your views. Following through to another review may seem more like a perceived barrier but it is a barrier nonetheless. I can understand when a restart may be more fair than a fail, like if the article has significantly changed since it started. But I say that having never walked in Raul654's or SandyG's shoes. maclean 08:05, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I am 100% opposed to "restarts".In my opinion, it comes across as unintentional Forum shopping because it has the effect of nullifying/diminishing prior input. I will not be participating in any restarts, myself. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 13:29, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I think a good solution would be to keep the old nomination, but collapse it like this:

My article FAC

This article should be featured because the images are pretty. --FACnominator

Note about this FAC being restarted, etc. --Sandy/Raul

  • Support It's still awesome! --Luvzit

Pagrashtak 13:59, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

That's a nice idea, Pagrashtak, but the problem is that reviewers would still have to edit around all of that (even though it's capped, it's still there). Also, out of respect for reviewers, when possible, I try not to restart when clear actionable opposes are still being discussed (if I'm still able to sort out the conversation). If a reviewer like BQZip has a new oppose, based on the current article, they can formulate that and re-enter the new oppose, but since articles change during FAC, and as opposes are addressed, there should rarely be a situation where an old actionable oppose is copied forward verbatim. Editing around and sorting out old, no longer active or current or actionable opposes isn't helpful for the process of evaluating the article. I can understand that BQZip may be frustrated that he may have to formulate a new oppose, as his old oppose was addressed, but the purpose of FAC is to thoroughly examine the current article (reflecting changes at FAC) vis-a-vis WP:WIAFA and promote/archive based on a clear picture, not muddle. Followup regarding BQZip's commentary on immediate re-noms; it's not about being unhappy over the extra work (although that's part of it: reviewers shouldn't have to review again the same article which was just archived, and people operate bots). It's about following the FAC instructions. The first point in the nominating instructions is: "Before nominating an article, ensure that it meets all of the FA criteria." If an article was just archived, it was deemed not to meet the criteria, and time should be taken to address issues before a new nomination. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:18, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Given all the trouble that we go to in maintaining archives of process discussions (linking to them from ArticleHistory and so on), it does seem a bit odd that discussions that get restarted are deleted with only a link to the edit history. I agree that Pagra's suggestion doesn't work — also because it doesn't deal with the page-length/load-time issue. However, why not move the old discussion to the next free archive page, close it as "restarted" with a link to the new discussion, add to ArticleHistory and begin again like that? That would making it clear that it is a new discussion, while providing a standard and transparent way to access the old discussion. Geometry guy 17:30, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Another worthy suggestion, but the situation is so rare that I'm not sure creating the overhead to deal with it, and doing all of those extra, time-consuming steps, is a good use of time. We should explore that, but what you suggest actually involves a lot of time, for such a rare situation, and I hate to add unnecessary "process" to FAC. I don't restart very often, and the link to the previous (outdated) commentary is always prominent. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:42, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Well it would be replacing one process by another, which would not necessarily have to involve all the steps I suggest. At a bare minimum a page move to the next free archive page is probably faster than deleting the discussion and linking to the edit history. What more is done is a balance between transparency and efficiency. I'm glad you agree it is worth exploring. Geometry guy 17:57, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
The most time-consuming part would be adding to articlehistory, and since it's one event, one FAC that wasn't closed, I wouldn't want to go that route. But moving the old FAC to the next open N archiveN and linking as a restart can be considered: I'm not sure if Raul wants to add that kind of process, but you are correct that the number of steps involved could be the same. I'll count next time it comes up, which isn't likely to be soon :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:08, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
If a restart were handled by moving the page, the redirect would still need to be edited. I permalink-archive my talk page, and I don't see how moves could be faster. Gimmetrow 05:33, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I completely disagree with SandyG's comments that my oppose has been addressed. As posted on the "new" nomination are my comments that were followed up on by exactly zero people.
Furthermore, if this is a "new" nomination, who nominated it? The person who originally nominated it nominated a different article, by your logic, but you attach his/her name to the nomination. This seems to be putting words in their mouths, a violation of WP:TALK.
Such a drastic change was made that you believe it isn't the same article and everyone's comments are null and void. Why? My comments and others were never addressed and now we need to sift through a previous version of the same page or re-type all of our comments. For the same nomination, no one should have to do this at all.
As for the apparently painful process of archiving, which near as I can tell takes all of three steps (article creation, cut & paste, save), why couldn't this be done? It is used in subsequent nominations with no problems. On top of all that, you are complaining that it increases your workload. Sorry, this doesn't increase it that much and can be quite simple. You are making it complicated.
— BQZip01 — talk 18:25, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Being argumentative is not the best way to achieve the change in process that you would like. I think Sandy has appeciated that there is a point here, and a way of dealing with it. Let her think on it, instead of suggesting that it is unreasonable that she is concerned about the extra work. She is one of the hardest working Wikipedians there is.
And before posting your comments which were not addressed, please check whether they have been addressed in the new discussion. The more courteous and patient we are, the more we will enjoy contributing to Wikipedia. Geometry guy 19:51, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
No disrespect was intended. No one is questioning her work ethic. This is all about the process. — BQZip01 — talk 20:02, 1 May 2008 (UTC)


Maybe I could be more clear. I am not against a "restart", but only the manner in which it is currently being done. — BQZip01 — talk 21:19, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I put this on BQZip01's talk page,[11] but I'm also putting it here so others will be aware. Please do not disrupt a FAC again to make a WP:POINT.[12] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:27, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
That was lame. (His edit, not your warning). -- Naerii 02:50, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but anything that intentionally disrupts a FAC is seriously unfair to all involved (reviewers, nominators). That's why we have talk pages. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:54, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that editors with views in opposition to significant contributors are often,eventually, accused of disruption or other shunning labels for perceived minor infractions whereas supporters are never disrespected in such a way for similar and often more blatant behavior. Same thing happened to Ottava Rima [13] the FAC (1ST.start) that generated this topic. It's a common occurance in most anglo-american competitive venues (discredit the person with an opposing view) but its commonality makes it no less obvious nor any more tasteful. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 04:13, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Do you disagree that he was disruptive in this instance? -- Naerii 04:15, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
At least in my case, Mr.g, you are wrong. I staunchly and vehemently defended Ottava Rima's right (at AN/I) to oppose a FAC based on his/her interpretation of WP:WIAFA. I argued the importance of not silencing any oppose and allowing for vigorous debate and review of any candidate (which is also one of the points of a restart, when a page has become bogged down in details that have already been addressed). I strongly defended O.R.'s right to oppose even if others believed his oppose was disruptive. (Someone can find the old AN/I thread if interested.) I will just as staunchly argue that no one should intentionally and admittedly disrupt a FAC to make a WP:POINT. Two different things. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:40, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia, firstly I just spent about 10 minures trying to find that AN/I thread: WastedTime's link doesn't seem to get to it but WastedTime's edit at the FAC leaves the impression for those who won't/can't check the thread that OttavaRima is a trouble maker. It would have been helpful,maybe, if you could have made an OttavaRima supportive edit at the FAC to mitigate the impression left there by WastedTime's edit which really had no place at all at the FAC. I'm not saying that anyone is consciously attacking the credibility of editors with opposing views in order to get their way at FAC or with article content. I'm saying that Ad hominem is a culturally systemic, almost habitual, tendancy/approach in many areas of our society right now where opposing views are expressed, whether it be politics or wikipedia; but it should be squashed at every opportunity because it is the antithesis of consensus building.Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 15:16, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't have time to look through AN/I archives, so I'll summarize it for you. It was proposed that O.R. should be banned from FAC for disruption (and not on this FAC, by the way). I strongly and vehemently dug in against that, and argued that no oppose should be stifled by such actions, and that even the proposal was a dangerous trend. I absolutely endorse your concern about the importance that opposing views be heard, and that is precisely what I argued on that AN/I thread. Further, when a FAC has gone on for so long, and has covered numerous issues, some of which may be addressed, some not, and gets to the point where there is no longer clarity about where things stand, a fresh start allows for better examination and debate, to resolve any remaining concerns. It appears to me that some people believe a restart is to stifle issues, when it can actually serve to better focus on what, if any, issues might remain. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:36, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Just for the record, the two ANI's against Ottava Rima were Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive407#Repeated extreme incivility by User:Ottava Rima and Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive408#User:Ottava Rima. I stand behind my role in the first one. I had nothing to do with the proposed FAC ban in the second one. Wasted Time R (talk) 03:17, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Hence it being lame :P -- Naerii 04:15, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Lame is ok,I think, but "disruptive" is blockable and identifies the behavior of the person as a threat to the group. Of course he was not disruptive; it was just a little friendly joke and his edit could have easily been undone if someone took it as a problem edit. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 04:24, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Wrong again. I don't have any evidence it was a "friendly joke", it was disruptive to FAC (he removed info that subsequent readers need to know), and the last thing we should be doing is encouraging edit warring on a FAC. If that sort of thing ever happens regularly, unlike my staunch defense of Ottava Rima's right to oppose, I will argue for a page ban at AN/I. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:46, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
But,SandyGeorgia, AGF policy directs us to AGF even without "evidence" of good faith. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 15:20, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
The edit summary admitted it was a WP:POINT; that's where AGF ends. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:25, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
"...anything that intentionally disrupts a FAC is seriously unfair to all involved (reviewers, nominators). That's why we have talk pages." THIS is why I have a problem with what you did. I view it as a disruption. I made his quite clear with Raul when he restarted one of my discussions. The major problem I have is that you have restarted this with no result from the previous one. There is no reason you can't simply archive the previous discussion as "inconclusive, but restart" or something else like that. Simply deleting everyone's comments and assessing that the article has changed so much that the previous discussion is no longer valid is the height of hubris, IMHO. This is especially true if the discussion is ongoing, which this one was. If it is no longer valid because of changes, just archive it! :-)
BTW, I said it might be a little bit pointy, not a violation of WP:POINT. I could accuse you of the same thing, but that won't facilitate a discussion. — BQZip01 — talk 20:18, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

If the principle of a "restart" is accepted, then it's only a matter of process. Permalinking is the way Raul did it for ages. The end result is not much different from putting the discussion on a separate page (either by a move or copy-paste). The only difference I can think of with a permalink is sections can't be edited individually, but since there are rarely if ever sections in FAC pages, it shouldn't make any difference here. Gimmetrow 05:33, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

making sausage

A few times editors have used the sausage making metaphor to describe an article which has a good end result although the process for getting there was not too pretty. That metaphor has appeal on a certain level and I wonder if it could be applied in terms of the FAC process in opposition to "restarts"; i.e., even if the FAC "voting" process is long,garbled and confusing, as long as the reviewers and "voters" read and assess with the abilities we've come to expect then what's the problem? The end result will be just fine tasting sausage. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 14:05, 2 May 2008 (UTC)