Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive3

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Quick poll

Bullets (current version):

  1. Bullets. Indentation hurts the eyes after a while. →Raul654 21:54, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC)
  2. fabiform | talk 22:00, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  3. and not switched until there is consensus to change it... the button points are easier to read and easy to move if necessary. Jamesday 02:21, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  4. Acegikmo1 22:51, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Indentation (this version):

  1. —Eloquence 21:37, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC)
  2. Proteus 22:30, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC) (This layout looks much nicer to me, it's certainly clearer to read, and it makes it far easier to follow the discussions. Each article's section is obvious because the article name is in big bold letters and is linked, and it's easy to see the original proposer because their text is on the same indent level as the article name, so I see no disadvantages to it.)
  3. Emsworth

Mixed both

  1. Taku 22:24, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC); discussion doesn't need to be well formated.
  2. I agree with Taku, let the people do whatever they want. Gentgeen 23:17, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  3. Anthony DiPierro 23:34, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  4. Toby Bartels -- Good formatting does matter, but each section can do its own thing without harm.
  5. Ryan_Cable 11:17, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)


This sort of thing was already discussed, and most people (myself included) thought it was a bad thing to put on articles, though it could be put on the talk pages. Please do not use the message on the articles unless it is decided that consensus has changed. Here's where it was discussed: Wikipedia talk:Brilliant prose candidates#Brilliant prose Dori | Talk 22:13, Mar 12, 2004 (UTC)

Yes to reiterate, these sort of messages are welcome on the talk page, but not welcome on the article page itself. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 21:07, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I have created a new template {{FACfailed}}. Edit at will at Template:FACfailed. --TreyHarris 02:10, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Recent removals and proposals for removal

Why are the recently removed, and the proposals for removal lumped together? Thats not good. Sam Spade 06:49, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

In some ways, they're almost the same thing, as this was only more true before Eloquence's new clarified policy. That is, one may remove a page just like that (now), but it still needs to be brought to discussion. However, since people also discuss things without removing them first, I agree with you that the sections should be separated. -- Toby Bartels 01:44, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I removed Ambition (card game). There were good reasons presented for why the article is not, as of current, appropriate for featured status. In addition, the inclusion of the page here exposed it to link-attack and trollish vandalism. Mike Church 01:22, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Date featured article additions?

I just ran through all the Technology featured articles--sorry Eloquence, totally missed that!--and it became pretty clear to me that some of them were added a long time ago, before our standards had gelled and Wikipedia had really grown into itself. Which is fine, and not really my problem here, but may I propose that we date our additions to the featured articles page? Standards do change over time, and in 2008, it may be useful to review Featured Articles that were added in 2004 and see if they are still up to snuff. jengod 22:06, Mar 12, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, it would be nice to have a "last reviewed" timestamp for each article on FA until we have a more automatic system (revision tagging and easy linking to tagged revisions). This is delayed because of the current database layout which makes all features related to revision handling difficult to implement.
Incidentally, we did a big Wikipedia:Refreshing brilliant prose review of the old articles a while back, but for some reason I'll never understand, someone decided that all the nominations with objections would have to be re-listed on FAC, that the people who had objections would have to make these objections again, and that all articles without objections in that obscure second phase which most people who voted in the first one forgot about would automatically go back into the list. This led to some articles ending up on FA that clearly shouldn't have.—Eloquence 22:17, Mar 12, 2004 (UTC)
So, how about, going forward--we'll deal with the past later :)--we just apend (Added: March 31, 2004) to any new Featured Articles. And when and if they are reviewed we can expand to (Added: March 31, 2004; Last Reviewed: August 1, 2004) or whatever... jengod 22:32, Mar 12, 2004 (UTC)

"Redrwan nominations"

There is a section in the article entitled "Redrwan nominations". This word is so bolloxed I don't even know what to correct it to! -- Jmabel 08:30, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Considering the content currently within the section, I renamed it to "Withdrawn nominations". Correct me if I'm wrong, of course. ;) -- Hadal 08:39, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Another example of my featured english. I will not apologize because i know this will make people laugh... :) Muriel 23:45, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

What happens when an item is removed or moved from here?

I see that Yellowstone National Park has been moved to the Featuredarticle list - this pleases me. What I don't see is any of the talk associated with that decision in an easy to find place. IMO all talk, good or bad, should be moved into that article's talk page. This would lay-out to future readers of that article just why it become a featured article or why it was rejected as a featured article. What does everybody else think? --mav 21:27, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

We already do have Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Featured log. Some people forget adding articles to it though.—Eloquence 21:30, Mar 14, 2004 (UTC)
I also missed the fact that Kingturtle did exactly what I suggested. --mav
Ya gotta be quick around here :) Kingturtle 00:06, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Copying the discussion to the talk page was part of the procedure I origionally put up at Wikipedia:Wikipedia maintenance#Featured articles a while ago, but I have to admit that I've failed to comply with my own instructions more than once. Lazyness = bad. Gentgeen 13:58, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

msg:featnotice vs msg:featured

I just created Template:Featured but then saw that MediaWiki:featnotice already existed. IMO, the page I created has a more easy to remember name. Can I replace mention of {{msg:featnotice}} with {{msg:featured}}. We should also have a msg for candidates. --mav 21:46, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Why not? As long as you update all the pages that have the message. Perl 21:48, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
OK. I'll do that in a few hours or so. Some FAs don't have the message at all. --mav
Done. --mav
Please don't put the message on the article itself. See discussion above and on the other page. Dori | Talk 21:49, Mar 14, 2004 (UTC)
Heaven's no! Only the top of talk. --mav

I made a tag for candidates at Template:fac, and already made changes to the page to reflect that. Sorry if I stepped on any toes. Gentgeen 14:07, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Looks good to me. I don't mind temp tags like that on articles. --mav

Why are recent removals and proposals for removal in the same section?

This is very confusing and unworkable. As it is, DNA has been removed from FA and Origins of the American Civil War is still there. Yet both articles are confusingly tracked in the same section here. This has got to be changed! --mav

The news style mantra

A fair few articles have been objected to on the grounds that the lead section is not good, and a reference to news style is given. Note that the MoS does not place that much emphasis on having news style (it does have something to say about a Wikipedia:Lead section, which in turn mentions that one of the possibilites for a good lead section is to use Wikipedia:News style). The MoS is right in my opinion, news style is drastically more appropiate for some articles than others. So could we place emphasis on "articles need a good introduction" not "articles need to follow news style" which has a more specific meaning, please. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 12:55, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree. News style has it's place, but that is not in the majority of wikipedia articles. Nonetheless, the introduction is (arguably) the most important portion of an article. Stewart Adcock 16:56, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
A good intro would form a lead section. All news style is about is not overwhelming the reader with too much detail up front by properly subdividing subjects in to sections and sub-subjects on related articles. The reader can then explore the topic as far as they want - and so long as they read the lead section they should have all the basics covered. This allows the reader to stop at any point after reading the lead section and still have a basic idea about what the topic is about. Maybe "news style" isn't a good term for it, but the concept is a valid and very useful one. Perhaps 'pyramid style' or 'pyramiding' would be a better name (since the idea is to organize information so that readers get an overview of the most important data at the top and get into more and more detail as they descend the pyramid/set of articles). An example of what I am talking about is the way the information at United States is organized (also, Yellowstone National Park). --mav 17:25, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Can someone clarify the difference between news style and essay style (introductory paragraph)? I am inder the impression that both aim to summarize the rest of the contents in the first few sentences of an article. In the natural sciences, peer reviewed articles often have an abstract, which may or may not be the same as what you've discussed here so far, and there's also an introduction and conclusion. Often, all that is needed to understand the article is to read those three parts. Only specialists will read the rest of the content. --zandperl 04:08, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Both styles have the same excellent introductory paragraph. As I understand it the news style has a very specific pyramid structure that mav mentions above.. i.e. each parapraph is essentially more detailed than the last. The reader could stop reading at the end of pretty much any paragraph and still have read a complete piece of text. This may sound unrealistic but actually many newspaper news pieces (not editorial or opinion pieces) approach this ideal. Mav believes that this specialized style could be much more widely employed in Wikipedia. I believe it has its place, but you can't just say it will work for every article. Biographical articles, for example, will have a summarizing lead paragraph or two and then will become chronological. Articles about a mathematical theorem will have an introductory paragraph about which bit of maths the theorem fits into, maybe who first proved it etc. Then three will be a statement of the theorem and then a proof, then some examples of its use. Again the excellent introduction is the key for me, after that specialists in each topic area will make their judgements on how to present material the best. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 11:01, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I think people have been misreading me (happens a lot). I'm thinking of the big picture on how articles relate, not the small scale of how particular articles are organized (except where the big picture comes into play). I agree that news style is not appropriate for many, if not most articles (except that almost all of them should have a good lead section), but I still think that news style is most appropriate for Wikipedia as a whole; *information* about a topic should not all be contained in a single article since different users have different needs (some need just a quick summary, more people need a moderate amount of info, and yet others need a lot of detail - we must serve all groups). The top article (the top of the pyramid for that topic - many pyramids overlap BTW) should have general summary information (like at United States) and the detail should go in daughter articles (such as History of the United States) and in specific subjects (such as Abraham Lincoln). Again I have failed to communicate so I will stop talking about "news style" and instead explain things and give examples. A name for it will come in time. --mav

Please judge facts, not just prose, and demand citations

I'm mildly disturbed by the number of people that vote to "support" an article based on it being "well-written". I hope that people here check the content as well as the style (e.g. spot-check a few dates and other "facts").

A proxy for fact-checking is the quality of the sources the article cites—we should demand that featured articles cite authoritative sources, and come down harder on the ubiquitous "some people say" that litters so many Wikipedia articles. Just my $0.02. Steven G. Johnson 03:51, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hallelujah! Sam Spade 03:59, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. There is a issue that if someone is knowledgeable enough about a subject to judge the facts, chances are they will have already contributed to the article and therefore shouldn't get involved in nominations and seconding. A decent set of citations appropiate to the article type is a way round this issue. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 11:01, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

What to do if not seconded within a week?

The procedure for addition and procedure for removeal do not specify what to do if a article is not objected to or seconded for a week. Jrincayc 02:51, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

  • How I read it, if an article has achieved the necessary requirements to be added after a week or more, it can be added. If it does not meet those requirements after a month, it can be removed and archived. In the past, when self-nominations (the only ones to need seconding until recently) recieved no support, I often archived them after a month. I'm also not starting the one week clock for adding until the second support, but that's just my own guideline, I wouldn't oppose anyone else adding an article sooner. Gentgeen 07:09, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Mass update

I just moved ~6 articles from 'some objections' to 'no objections' b/c it seemed that all of them had either satisfied all objectors, or responded to all objections without getting pos or neg response from the original objector. That doesn't mean they should necc. be made featured arts right away, even if it's been over a week -- but I noticed that some of the obviously recitied arts had remained unfeatured and undiscussed for over a month (ROC elections, Leopold & Loeb).

There are also three articles with significant support and only a lone objector -- Doom (objecting: Kingturtle), Asperger's (objecting: +sj+), and Dutch Free Congo (objecting: Kingturtle). I feel bad about moving Asperger's from 'no objections' to 'some objections' when 8 other people really like it, but think these three arts should be handled in concert.

Discussion on any of this much appreciated. I think this process is one of the best ways of producing the top-fleet articles that can transform WP into a work of beauty. +sj+ 06:33, 2004 Mar 28 (UTC)

This article needs help!

This listing is far too long. There's nominations here dating *way* back. I think someone needs to take the initiative to start strictly enforcing timeliness. If it has no objections after a week, it's in. If it is still here after 2 weeks, it's bounced. Very simple. →Raul654 07:06, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)

What about those that had objections that were subsequently withdrawn? How long after the withdrawl of the last objection does it take to get it into FA? whkoh [talk] 07:15, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
Say all objections are withdrawn and no new ones are raised within a day or two, then promote it (assuming it has been there the full week; otherwise, just leave it there until the week is up). →Raul654 07:23, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)
Also the number of users is increasing (exponentially?), so the unilateral veto of single users on featured articles needs to be weakened to prevent a complete freeze. In fact the number of recommended articles should be going up as the total number of new articles increases. Some of the objections I've seen seem rather perfectionist. Perhaps people are working at cross purposes. It's not difficult for an expert to identify simplification and omissions in the even best reference books, but these are not usually errors but an attempt to make the material more accessible. In particular, the Soap bubble article was a very fine article in my view, and it seems to me a little harsh to expect it to provide a full account of the Quantum electrodynamics of thin films too. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but in my view too many objections run the risk of producing stagnation. Maybe a compromise would be an intermediate category, so we have "highly recommended" and "recommended". Another alternative (this is a better idea in fact) would be to have "recommended introductory" and "recommended advanced" articles. I recently contributed to a printed encyclopedia, and this was they divided articles along these lines - with the additional policy that introductory articles should not cite original sources, while advanced ones should. So for instance I would agree that Soap bubble should not be recommended as an advanced article, and presumably Banach-Tarski paradox should not be recommended as an introductory article. Just my twopennethworth. Washington Irving | Talk 08:48, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Recent Removals

The last batch of removals seem to have gone without being archived or listed under recent removals. According to the procedure outlined on the FAC page reasons should be given for removal. BTW would anyone care to comment on my suggestion about introductory v advanced featured articles above? Should I move this to the village pump? Washington Irving | Talk 10:59, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

It's a great idea. Please do. Securiger 02:56, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Notices shouldn't go into the articles, but into the talk pages, as they make the articles look ugly. This was discussed for the featured article notice, and a featured candidate notice is even worse. There is no reason for the readers to have to deal with what goes on behind the scenes unless they want to. Dori | Talk 17:25, Apr 10, 2004 (UTC)

I agree. They should go on the talk page, but there is no need for them to go on the articles. Angela.

Please stop putting those notices on the articles, unless there has been a discussion, and probably a vote to do so. The only notices that should be on the articles, have to do with improving the articles, and this notice serves no such purpose. Dori | Talk 13:50, Apr 13, 2004 (UTC)

Apologies for messing that up in assassin. I know for next time. :) Wally 21:54, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Don't feel bullied by Dori, there is a large group that feels the readers of an article, who are unlikely to go to the talk page, should be informed that the page is being listed for featured status, and thus the nomination notice belongs on the article page. It's always been optional for the nominating editor to choose if the nomination text is used, and where. Gentgeen 23:22, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

This intro sucks

Seriously. We have ~3 pages of text telling people what to do. So does anyone actually read it? - No. Just so no one is surprised, I am going to be cutting it down sooner or later. →Raul654 22:02, Apr 16, 2004 (UTC)

I read it, and when I did, it said something about
  • adding msg:fac to articles that are nominated (in contrast to advice above),
After nominating an article, you may want to place a notice on it to alert readers:
CODE: {{msg:fac}}
and secondly
  • about archiving deleted items, archiving discussion and giving reasons under recent removals a heading which has now been removed (see above items).
I agree that the msg:fac messages get in the way of the main article text and should be kept to the talk page. On the second point however, I think that following the procedure for removing articles would be helpful so that articles can be renominated when the issues raised are addressed. I appreciate that this means more work for those who take it upon themseleves to maintain this page, though (BTW, thanks for your efforts on this, Raul). Either way the intro should be changed to reflect the procedures that are actually followed (e.g., there is no recent removals section now, but the link is still there). I also agree the intro is too long and should be tidied up.
And what about my suggestion regarding advanced and introductory articles? :) Washington Irving | Talk 10:18, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Compressing the intro further

Maybe this is too radical, but I believe it could be made into something like the following:

The purpose of this page is to determine which pages can be listed on Wikipedia:Featured articles. For information on what makes a featured article, see Wikipedia:What is a featured article.
Anyone can nominate any article. If you are nominating an article you've worked on or copyedited, note it up front as a self-nomination. Sign (with date/time) your nominations and comments with "~~~~"). After nominating an article, you may want to place a notice on its talk page to alert readers by adding the message {{msg:fac}} (which expands to this).
If there are no objections after at least one week, candidates can be added to FA. If there are objections, a consensus must be reached. If enough times passes (approximately two weeks) without objections being resolved, a candidate may be removed. Anyone can add approved candidates to FA, or remove old candidates.
After an article becomes featured, a link to the article should be added in the proper category on Wikipedia:Featured articles. The nomination statement should be removed from the article's page, and a notice placed atop its Talk: page should be added by adding {{msg:featured}} (which expands to this).

Cleaner, leaving the TOC for the feature nominations entirely. Fredrik 01:10, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)

It sounds good to me, although I'd have to see it on the page before I make a final decision. Let's see what other people say. →Raul654 01:15, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)
Edited in. If it makes anyone vomit, revert :) Fredrik 01:25, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Where are the links to the archived nominations? Why was the time that an objected article is left up reduced to two weeks? While I don't really object that much to the reduced time, I think some consideration should be given to active articles, like if an article has been nominated and objected to for at least two weeks, and no work has been done for one week, then archive the nomination. Gentgeen 23:22, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

What happened to the Ludwig Wittgenstein nomination?

I nominated Ludwig Wittgenstein awhile ago. A few people had concerns, but there weren't any outright objections. It seems that it didn't make it to the featured articles list (though again, there were no objections), but neither is it on Featured Log or the unsuccessful candidates list. What gives? Adam Conover 19:54, May 1, 2004 (UTC)

  • Eep, please excuse me for being a bozo -- I looked in the wrong section, and hadn't checked the history yet. Disregard this post, and my stupidity. Adam Conover 19:56, May 1, 2004 (UTC)


Several series have recently been proposed as featured articles, and the consensus seems to be that "featured articles" is not appropriate for drawing attention to a series of related articles which together form a nugget of quality in Wikipedia. This is very reasonable. But how should we draw attention to such things?

Two concrete examples:

  • Vowel is a good page, with links to information on each individual vowel, including a sound recording. Each page is detailed and well-written. The central page, vowel itself, is probably of sufficient quality to be featured on its own merits.
  • Spacecraft propulsion is an interesting example. It became a featured article because it contained discussions of many interesting hypotetical and real methods of spacecraft propulsion, taken from NASA and other places. But it quickly became cumbersomely long, and all that information was taken out and put into individual articles, leaving behind a big table. This wasn't really feature-quality. The page has since been significantly edited, filling in a reasonable amount of general information, pictures, and so on, bringing it back up to featured quality (I assume). But really, a great deal of the quality in the page resides in the individual propulsion methods pages.

What is an appropriate way to indicate that such regions exist? As I see it, "featured articles" fulfills three goals:

  1. Directing readers to quality pages - readers sometimes show up with no particular question in mind, and "featured articles" is a good way for them to find something interesting to read.
  2. Rewarding authors of quality articles with praise.
  3. Attracting a wave of attention during the candidate phase which results in many minor and major improvements.

It would be desirable to be able to apply these goals to things bigger than a single article. There are several kinds of such things:

These probably all need different treatment. (And my selections here are not supposed to indicate quality).

Does anyone have suggestions? I recommend just going ahead and adding the suggestions to the suggestion above; indented and signed comments can go below here. --Andrew 20:25, May 9, 2004 (UTC)

I think it would an excellent idea to have "featured series". In fact we used to have them. The only reason that I remember that they were removed were that they were "not articles" which struck me as pointless pedantic procedural-ism over-ridding the idea of featuring our best work. I move we start including them again and extend the preamble to say "this pages features Wikipedia's best articles and series of articles." Obviously it may be more tricky to feature a series on the main page. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 21:27, 9 May 2004 (UTC)
When a series consists of articles that are subtopics of the main idea, there should be no bar to featuring all of the articles en bloc. Consider, for example, Dreyfus affair, which, I believe, has been split up for the purpose of reducing page size. Another example is Peerage, which was recently featured on the main page. But when a series is a set of related but independent articles, I think that each article could be voted on and featured separately. For example, I believe, the 76 articles on the provinces of Thailand should be considered independently. -- Emsworth

I am by no means asserting that we should treat series as blocks: certainly there will be series with just one or two good articles; so feature those articles. But if the wholse series is good, it'd be nice to feature that in some way. --Andrew 19:17, May 11, 2004 (UTC)

Length, arbitrary size of 30k

I spotted a comment on the page:

Oppose - it needs to get below 30KB in size and needs an expanded lead section. --mav 10:39, 9 May 2004 (UTC)

Now, apart from any questions about the particular article, what I want to ask is: what's wrong with articles longer than 30kb?

I know there can be technical issues; some browsers may have difficulty editing the page, but that's what section editing is for.

I think a long, detailed article is more suitable for featured status than a short article. Of course, it should have a helpful lead-in and a good table of contents so that readers can fins what they're looking for, but it seems perverse to object to an article that is too long. --Andrew 19:17, May 11, 2004 (UTC)

In contrast to Andrew, I think mav is right that an article shouldn't be too long, like the articles in all encyclopedias. More importantly we don't need to write long articles, unlike paper encyclopedia to be comprehensive because articles can be spun off in detailed articles. But the size of 30k that mav uses seems so arbitrary. Why not 40k? Andries 09:46, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
The limit of 30K is used because articles longer than 30K have a warning posted on the editing screen. I feel, however, that there should be no arbitrary limits, 30K or otherwise. Only articles that are tediously detailed or repetitive should be disqualified on the basis of length. -- Emsworth 10:50, May 20, 2004 (UTC)
I agree there should be no arbitrary limits. I think it's useful to have rough guidelines on maximum length, though. The fact that an article is, say, 50k, might be a strong hint that it is too tedious, verbose, detailed etc. Another thought: it takes a lot more effort to write a long article that's "brilliant" prose than a short one. And, to reply to Andries, some of the articles in Britannica are very long (although subsectioned). — Matt 11:41, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

Hello Matt, I don't know to which version of Britannica you refer to but if you refer to an originally paper version then I think you miss my point. I tried say that the advantage of a HTML version of an article is that one can make separate main articles easily and hence avoid making any article lengthy, whatever its complexity and importance. You may be someone, like me, who likes to read long articles but many people like short articles. I know many of of those people. Andries 11:59, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

I think that it is not necessarily appropriate to split up even a very long article. The effect on the reader of splitting up an article is to distance the pieces from each other and encourage people to read only some pieces. Keeping the pieces in one article forces a sequential structure on the article. If the information in an article splits up nicely, it may be easier for the reader if they're separate articles. But if the reader is going to want to read all or nothing anyway, or if the article's pieces need to be read in a particular order, then I don't think it makes sense to split them no matter how long an article is. (Well, perhaps up until it reaches a megabyte or so; then browsers will get sluggish trying to render it.)

From a community point of view, splitting articles has a cost, too: it encourages people to edit the pieces without having read the other pieces, and it encourages duplication of information. On the other hand, it;s good if people edit the pieces.

For an article that was split up with some success (but some problems), look at the history for spacecraft propulsion. --Andrew 22:17, May 22, 2004 (UTC)

By the way, today I had a look at the a paper version of Britannica 1993 version and I noticed that the encyclopedia consists of two parts (each of circa 12 volumes) i.e. a micropedia with short articles and an macropedia with longer articles. Andries 20:36, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

Harrumph. Andries said an "article shouldn't be too long, like the articles in all encyclopedias." To which I holler and scream horsefeathers. Also poppycock. Fiddlesticks, too. What Andries means is: not too long, like the articles in some debased modern so-called encyclopedias that are apparently trying to serve high-school students writing five-paragraph essays.

In the Encyclopedia Britannica 11th Edition, I would estimate that a full printed page contains about two seventy-line columns averaging around 60 characters per line, or about 10K per page. Well, Baptism runs 6 = 60K = four times the length of our article. Bacteriology is 19 pages = 190K = sixty times as long as ours and ten times as long as our article on Bacterium. The EB article on Bible, admittedly probably one of the longer articles, runs from page 849 to 894 = about 45 pages = 450K, followed immediately by an 8-page = 80K article on "Bible, English." Yes, "Wikipedia is not paper," and hypertext has its virtues, but if the result is to force us to limit the depth and coverage of our articles, that is not a good thing. Dpbsmith 22:40, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

Dpbsmith, I think you misunderstood me. I advocated spinning off longer articles in daughter artcles, like mav. But I oppose very lengthy articles. As mav wrote this is the way to get a maximum audience. Andries 08:18, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Articles longer than 10 printed pages take a rather long to to read for what is supposed to be a general encyclopedia article (this is a major problem I see with Britannica). They should thus be broken-up to improve readability and ease of editing. See Wikipedia:Page size. Longer sections should be spun off into their own articles and a summary should be left in its place. That way our content is useful to those people who just want a quick overview and to those people who want more detail. Both groups win. This should be encouraged and that is why the error message is displayed on such long pages. Such articles are less editable and less readable than a more compact treatment. They thus have a major flaw and cannot be considered to be among our best content. In short, summarize long sections when they get too long and move the detail to a daughter article (for examples see the various country pages - although most should have longer sections - one paragraph simply will not do for a country's history).

To be clear, I'm not advocating arbitrary hacking of long articles just to get below the 30KB limit. I'm talking about summarizing longer sections into a few to several paragraphs and moving the detail to become its own article. This makes the content more useful to a wider audience since those who want a quick summary or of the whole subject (concise article really) get what they want (that is what the lead section is for), those that want a regular encyclopedia article get what they want (that would be the sub-30KB article on the subject) and those who want detail get what they want (some sections would have a "Main article" link or an inline link to an article that takes the subject of the section and presents an entire article on it: See Grand Canyon#Geology and Geology of the Grand Canyon area for an example). I'll go ahead and create Wikipedia:Summary style to explain this later. It's all about making Wikipedia maximally useful to the largest number of people - having everything in one article only serves some readers (those who want detail) while not serving those readers who want a summary of just the major aspects of a subject. There are also technical issues with editing articles over 30KB that lead to duplicated information an poor structure. Few editors will read an entire 50 or 70KB article just to make sure a piece of info they want to put in is not already there. The result is that the information is misplaced, duplicated, or not put in at all. --mav

This is a statement of your stylistic preference, but it's not clear what this has to do with the Saddam article. The size of the article in and of itself is only a possible clue suggesting that it may exhibit the problems you are associating with "long articles." But Saddam is simply one of the contemporary figures who's likely to get a longer than average biographical entries in any encyclopedia. Long biographical articles can be succinct too when there's a lot of information to get across. 172 06:10, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
The problem of editing and reading still exist. The article also seems more like a rundown of the modern history if Iraq instead of an on-subject article about the man and what he did. Yeah, I know that is hard for dictatorships (esp cult of personality ones) but it is possible to concentrate detail directly related to the man in his article while explaining the history in more detail in the various articles on the nation he ruled. For example, The 'Foreign affairs' section and its subsections along with 'The Gulf War', and part of '1991-2003' could be summarized to be half their current total size at Saddam Hussein and the current text could, with some changes, be merged into the rather sad and short Foreign relations of Iraq. And when that article gets a bit long, then another round of summarizing could happen there and the detail spun into Foreign relations of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. But I already removed my opposition to Saddam article to give people a chance to improve it. --mav
Yes, it is hard do this for dictatorships, especially this one. Among contemporary figures, perhaps only Kim Jong-il is going to be shrouded in more secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation. Admittedly, the article is more concentrated on his rise, consolidation of power, and rule over Iraq as opposed to his personal life. But I'd be wary of an article concentrating too heavily on detail directly related to the man, as it's effectively impossible right now to sort out verifiable facts in the proper context from rumor, speculation, and propaganda. 172 09:54, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

I suggest that if there is ever cause to split a very long article up into many different smaller ones, then all of them should become part of one series. Take, for example, Peerage. The article was gettting to about 100KB in length, so I had to split it up into many different sections. The series formatting helps address the issue of keeping the articles together to avoid duplication, etc. Grand Canyon, Geology of the Grand Canyon area and related articles (if there are more) should similarly be put into a series to keep the information together. I think that simple "See Also"s at the foot would not suffice. -- Emsworth 13:16, May 23, 2004 (UTC)

I don't see how chopping an article into a series improves anything but the technical page length issues. Peerage is now a stub - it has no history and only serves to introduce the series. To make that article worthy of its featured status each of the articles in the series should be summarized at Peerage and a 'Main article' link given to lead the reader to the more detailed article on that subtopic. As it is, if I want to know about hereditary peers I have to go to another article to learn about it. In my Grand Canyon example there is a long summary of the geology at Grand Canyon#Geology, a concise summary acting as the lead section at Geology of the Grand Canyon area, and then a full article about the geology below that. This makes the article useful to many different user types from those who want a quick summary, a detailed summary, and those who want a full article (it also reinforces the most important concepts for those people who read all three). Since Peerage lacks the detailed summaries, it is not as useful as it could be. Since Wikipedia is not divided into a megapedia (long artices) and micropedia (short articles) like Britannica, we have to accommodate both article types under the same roof. Summary style lets us do that. --mav 17:04, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
I think we agreed to disagree on this issue before. :) Though the "summary style" (i.e. news style but across several articles) will work in most cases (where the extra maintenance effort is worth the gain in presentation), it is also not always the best way. Chronological biographies are a major category that do not really suit news/summary style, for example. I am all for you pushing good style, but you give the impression that some solutions are the be all and end all, when they're not. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 17:40, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
Chronological biographies, like anything else, can be either summarized or presented in detail. We should have both. --mav

The FAC process seems broken

I'm a newbie to Wikipedia, so perhaps I'm missing some important elucidating point. If so, please call it to my attention. The process on Wikipedia:Featured article candidates seems to me badly broken. Consider:

  1. The philosophy of featured articles, as I understand it, is that "any article, given enough effort, could be made a featured article."
  2. There are some intractable objections about some articles that cannot be solved with any amount of effort. For instance, some say Ian McKellen must use "Sir Ian" to refer to the subject, and any other use would be objectionable; some say it must use "McKellen" to refer to the subject, and any other use would be objectionable. Or, for instance, the interminable debate over Gay bathhouse, where some say the article must discuss how objectionable homosexuality is to social conservatives, and others say it must not.
  3. Intractable objections disqualify an article from featured status.

These points are incompatible. If no amount of effort can resolve these objections, and yet the objections will disqualify the article from being a featured article, then the statement in #1 is false. Perhaps #1 isn't a philosophy, but merely wishful thinking? --TreyHarris 03:19, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Fundamentally, it's a democracy (technically, a consensus/supermajority democracy). There is no-one to rule someone else's objections invalid, no matter how silly they may be. Other wikis, like H2G2, use complicated heirarchies of editors and reviewers, an idea wikipedia fundamentally eschews. Sometimes it's a subobtimal system, but most times it's less suboptimal than any other. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 04:06, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I wasn't going to comment, but since Finlay said it, I feel obliged to reply: "There is no-one to rule someone else's objections invalid" - Yes, I have done this on occasion. Consensus does not mean unanimity. If people want to lodge...erm, "silly" complaints then I reserve the right to disregard them. →Raul654 04:09, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)

This isn't really an answer. While I trust Raul654 to guage and reject "silly" objections, I'm asking a question about objections that are not silly, but are intractable. If the process is in fact consensus, then it should work like polls, and an 80% support should carry, but that's not how it's written--it's written as without objections vs. "with unresolved objections."--TreyHarris 10:50, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Use of illegal images in FA candidates

I have a bit of a dilemma. I self-nominated Fanny Blankers-Koen, but, as a I expected, it is now objected because there is no picture in the article. However, I have been unable to find any pictures of her in the public domain, and I'm not quite sure such images even exist. However, several other articles nominated for featured status do have pictures of dubious quality. For example, some of the images from Papal Tiara list "widely used image" or "regularly copied image of papal coronation across many websites - no copyright", while Alan Turing picture and the image of the Bill of Rights in First Amendment to the United States Constitution don't even have their source annotated.

What should I do? Object to all these candidates because their pictures have no good source? Or just put some "regularly used" images in the Blankers-Koen article because "all the others are doing it"? Jeronimo 09:06, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

You should object to all of them. We do *NOT* want copyvio's in wikipedia, especially in our featured articles. On a related note, the Alan Turing image was one of my earliest additions, and I wasn't very careful about copyright'd pictures in those days. I think I just copied it from the web somewhere. →Raul654 09:21, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)
PS - don't feel bad about objecting to articles. I have a very high opinion of what a featured article should be, so when something gets nominated, I try very hard to find things that are wrong. →Raul654 09:22, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)
Tragically few of our contributors are trained copyright lawyers. ;-) Fair use might come to your rescue, but I've never been able to find out what it means (except "I know it's in copyright, but I still want to use it"). Markalexander100 09:26, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Fair use is an exception to copyright law. Where copyright law blankely prohibits you from making copies of something, there it is a recognized (although legally unclearly) that in some cases, there are exceptions. The 4 primary considerations when evaluating whether something is fair use are ([1]) -
  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

In effect, you can distribute subsections of copyrighted works. That's why we are allowed to quote copyrighted texts, or put put up book covers→Raul654 09:45, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)

And whole photographs? I presume it depends, but on what? Markalexander100 02:29, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Proposal for FAC voting rules

May I propose some common-sense modifications to the process, stated in the form of rules for counting votes, to work out these dead-ends where one person with an axe to grind can exercise an unfair veto? I don't think these rules would need to be at the top of Wikipedia:Featured article candidates, as they mostly just follow the conventions already in place; they can be shunted off to a subpage and linked to. Furthermore, they mostly just need to be known by the person collating the votes rather than by the voters themselves. What they do, though, is prevent veto behavior while still preserving near-unanimous consensus, by changing the definition of what a valid vote is:

  • All objections must give a specific, actionable rationale for the objection. If nothing can be done to "fix" the objected-to matter, then the objection is invalid.
Invalid example: "Object. Insipid subject matter, and too many edits were made by a user who I can't stand."
Note that "actionable" is not the same as "easily fixed". If a candidate is generally of poor quality, then an objection saying so, and stating why in actionable terms, is valid.
  • Actionable objections must be answerable from within the candidate article itself (including linked media). Answering an objection cannot require changes to other articles or to Wikipedia policy (though such changes may be used as a consensus-building mechanism where appropriate).
Invalid example: "This article is about horses, and we already have too many Featured Articles about mammals. Object until we get some reptiles featured, too."
Note that objections requesting the movement of information into or out of the candidate article are valid.
  • No actionable objection is valid if answering it would be a violation of Wikipedia policy, including the Wikipedia:Manual of Style.
Invalid example: "This article is about e.e. cummings. He did not use capital letters. Object until capitals are removed from this article."
  • An editor who has answered an objection by editing the candidate article should state that he or she has done so, immediately below the objection. The objection will be assumed struck unless it is renewed. If it is renewed (whether by the original objector or by a new objector), it must state why the proposed answer was insufficient. The new objection must still be a valid objection as described here.
Invalid example (in response to an answer to a previous objection): "Nope, not good enough. Try again."
  • Some objections may be intractable. An intractable objection is one whose answer would require re-instating a prior objection (whether or not the objection has actually been answered).
Example: (A) "Objection. This article gives listings in chronological order. They should be in reverse-chronological order." (B) "I have fixed this, the listings are now in reverse-chronological order." (C) "Object. Chronological order was correct to begin with."
In such cases, usual dispute-resolution and consensus-building mechanisms should apply but failure to reach consensus should not disqualify the article from featured status. Instead, the intractable objections should be restated as a poll and placed on the article's talk page. The intractable objections, for the purpose of Featured article candidates, "cancel each other out."

Note that this last having to do with intractable objections is the one that is necessary if we are truly serious that any article can achieve Featured Article status. Otherwise, it's just a utopian platitude with no grounding in reality, and folks who choose to work on certain articles and subjects should learn that featured status is something they should not aspire to.

I don't intend to make Raul654's life a living hell by giving him complicated rules he has to follow, nor require him to read and validate every single objection, so perhaps we can ease the rules of etiquette a little bit to allow people to strike out others' invalid objections when they have been invalidated for one of the reasons above. --TreyHarris 10:50, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It sounds like a fair proposal (although I am somewhat of an outsider on this issue, since I have limited experience with this area of Wikipedia). I noticed the bloated list of candidates with unresolved issues, and I suppose it would be beneficial to sort through those and get some featured articles out of those. - Mark 12:14, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Sounds good. Also, what's the policy on choosing featured articles? Does one objection render an article inadmissible? Exploding Boy 13:26, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)

As the policy is currently written, yes. However, when promoting articles, I have been known to promote articles that had an objection. If I saw that the vote was 7-1 or 16-2, I would promote it, simply based on the fact that so many people thought it was good compared to those who didn't. I would like to add that objections based on "main page featurability" should be considered invalid, while I consider vanity objections (such as of promoting wiki or wikipedia) to be valid. →Raul654 15:30, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)
Sad to hear you so willing to flout policy raul. How about 8-3? (I refer of course to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Gay bathhouse) Do you see my objections as invalid or due to vanity? An objection = an objection, and a vote = a vote, IMO. Sam [Spade] 16:06, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Sam, first I'd like to point out that I helped write most of the policy for this page, so I humbly suggest that I have a better idea of what was intended than you do. Second, you're complaint is moot because gay bathhouse has, in fact, not been promoted. So what are you bellyaching about? Are you intentionally trying to cause trouble, does it just come naturally to you? →Raul654 (16:32 UTC, Jun 12, 2004)

PS - I retract my original comment: "As the policy is currently written, yes". The policy says If there are objections, a consensus must be reached. -- consensus does not necessitate unanimity. →Raul654 17:07, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)

Actually, if you took the trouble to count you'd discover that there were eleven votes, not eight, in favour of featuring. Of the three opposed, one supported featuring if the article wasn't placed on the main page, making it pretty much neutral vote. All of the objections were based on subject matter, rendering them pretty much invalid. That is, until you decided to throw in a non-NPOV objection, one that still remains unaddressed. Exploding Boy 16:18, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)

On third count I see 9, and I dispute your interpretation of objections. This is not the place for this, BTW. Sam [Spade] 16:28, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Then take it back to where it belongs. I've been waiting for a week. Exploding Boy 16:32, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)

And by the way, here's the relevant text of the two objections other than your own:

     Our society still has taboos . . . I would respect the (dis)tastes of 
     the majority of population . . . Do we really want to turn this tool   
     into the moral shocker? 
     I found it a well-written article . . . I found this article to be 
     relatively well-written, informative, and a valuable addition to 
     Wikipedia. However, I must object to featuring this on the main page 
     because there are those that will be offended by it.

Seems pretty unambiguous to me. Exploding Boy 16:42, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)

Getting back to the main point at hand - Trey, since (as I have shown) this page does not require unanimous consent, I think your suggestions are unnecessary. →Raul654 21:15, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)

I disagree. Note the current objection to Another World (television series), which is unanswerable, since it's based on the "gut feeling" of the objector. Also, I'd point out that at this moment there is not a single candidate in "without objections" that was placed more that 24 hours ago and several are held on a single intractable or unanswerable objection, and none of those have the 7-1 or 16-2 vote necessary to be promoted.
I disagree that my objection to Another World was "unanswerable". It was certainly "actionable" (see User talk:Matt Crypto#Another World). — Matt 02:40, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Yes, now the objection has been resolved and his vote has changed to "Support". TheCustomOfLife 18:44, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
If this situation persists for another week or two, I think that a deadlock-breaking policy such as this is to be desired, if you believe as I do that the FAC process is broken unless it continues to produce featured articles. My point is that a simple numerical threshold for allowable objections is insufficient, when some objections should be considered prima facia invalid regardless of their numerical significance.
However, regardless of the official status of my proposal, I will act in voting as if I am bound by it. I won't be making any unactionable objections.--TreyHarris 01:56, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I agree with User:Raul654 that consensus (as opposed to unanimity) protects against "unreasonable" objections. However, I think your proposal could be reworked to make a good set of informational guidelines for raising objections, as opposed to a set of rules for counting votes. — Matt 02:40, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Honestly, I think that a general gut feeling with a few points is fine for opposing an article. This is supposed to represent the *best* articles that Wikipedia has to offer. If I see an article and it somehow hooks me in, then I support it. If I see an article and it doesn't strike me as "The best that Wikipedia has to offer", then I'll oppose it. I don't think that we have to promote every single article that happens to have a fair amount of text, a graphic and decent grammar; after all, this isn't Lake Wobegon. - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 19:41, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)
It is important, however, that one have at least "a few points," as you put it. I think that arbitrary objections, with no stated basis, and with no way to be acted upon, would defeat one of the purposes of this system, that is to say, to encourage contributors to develop articles. -- Emsworth 20:35, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)

Trey, the problem is that complaints are not being addressed. People making the nominations "Fire and forget". No one addresses objections, and articles go unpromoted. The only objection to Battle of Normandy was that its TOC was too long (which, for the record, is totally valid - a resonable sized TOC is explicetely mentioned in the 'What is a featured article' as a criteria for a featured article). Now, how hard it is to cut down a TOC? It took me 15 minutes. No one else is doing this stuff. There are a lot of objections right now, but I have already moved 2 back into the No-objections section. →Raul654 18:42, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)

Trey, one more thing. On further consideration, I have included the first of your suggestions (complaints must be actionable) to the rules. I thought that much was implied already, but after seeing some of the current objections, I've decided to include it. →Raul654 20:47, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)

Promotion of Articles

According to the FA page, "Anyone may add approved pages to FA or remove prospects that have failed." Is this rule interpreted, however, as precluding one from adding a page one has nominated or supported? -- Emsworth 22:31, Jun 17, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, but (IMHO) it's bad form. There are enough people watching this page that you can let someone else do it. →Raul654 03:07, Jun 18, 2004 (UTC)


Note - all objections must be actionable. That is, they must give a specific rationale for the objection. If nothing can be done to "fix" the objected-to matter, then the objection is invalid

When was this decided, and is there any debate? I don't think this policy is good for the wiki, long term. There should be other ways of praising quality articles or editors than placing them on the front page for all to see. Special interest topics, and particularly offensive topics should not be displayed on the main page. Sam [Spade] 00:31, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
That was added per Trey's suggestion on this page (See above). Note, the last time someone said that special interest topics should not be featured, they were roundly shouted down. I wholeheartedly disagree with this, as to most people - we feel that special interest topics absolutely belong as featured articles. As far as "offensive" topics, that is left up to the good judgement of the person putting up the articles. →Raul654 00:35, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)
Regarding "actionable": I don't think there wasn't a consensus in favour of Trey's suggestion (DropDeadGorgias favours the idea of "gut feeling" as a rationale). Personally, I think objections being "actionable" is a good idea, although I still have a lingering doubt that there might be cases where you can read an article and think "this just isn't featured article quality", purely intuitively, and not be able (or have time to) give "actionable" reasons why. I think this probably deserves a little debate, at least. Regarding main page topics, I support having special interest topics on the main page, but think we should exercise discretion when deciding to put potentially-offensive topics on the main page. — Matt 01:04, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Sam, you made no effort to mention why the actionable criteria is bad for wikipedia long term. I see only long term benefit in removing deadlock for objections. If nothing specific can be done to fix an objection, then the deadlock is cleared. Problem solved. If you feel there should be other ways of praising quality articles then feel free to propose one and do the work to keep it going. If other people find it valuable, then it will be a viable alternative. No one is stopping you. Matt, if you just think an article isn't good enough but can't come up with a single thing that it is lacking, then sorry, that's just a cop out. There's a big difference between can't think of a specific objection and nothing can be done to solve the objection.- Taxman 01:11, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)
I think "actionable" objections should be encouraged, because they are more useful; I'm not so sure about it being the rule. What's wrong with a cop out? Just because a person is unable to produce a neat rationalisation for their evaluation, does that then mean that their evaluation should be automatically rejected? Some people think "intuitively", and we shouldn't discriminate against them. Consider also the (potentially) parallel case of Featured picture candidates, where much depends on aesthetic judgment. — Matt 01:24, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The problem with unactionable objections is that they tend to be arbitrary. Let us say that User A dislikes User B. A could then make "gut feeling" objections to all articles proposed or edited by B. Similarly, one might not like the topic (for instance, one might have a distinct oppositions to all things related to monarchs and nobles). Thus, said individual might abuse the FA process to block all royalty or nobility-related articles. Another scenario would be where one dislikes a particular Wikipedia naming convention, but, knowing that he cannot change it, objects to all articles that follow such a naming convention. As one can see, objections that do not have specificity tend to be open to abuse. "Vague" objections-that the article is "incohesive," that the article "lacks clarity," etc.-might under some circumstances be acceptable, but an arbitrary "I just don't like the article" simply won't do. -- Emsworth 01:39, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)
OK, I can see the appeal of your argument, and I acknowledge the problem, but I have (some) concerns that the current "actionable" solution might be problematic. For example, what's the difference between the objections, "the writing is mediocre" and "the article is mediocre"? I think both comments would be classed as "inactionable", as there's no way to measure when the problem is fixed. It might prove to be very difficult for a reviewer to explain exactly why he considers the writing to be mediocre; it's something that I think can legitimately be a "judgement call / gut feeling". As an alternative, Raul654 suggested earlier that "consensus isn't unanimity" might be a workable way of coping with unfair / minority objections; why would that not be sufficient? — Matt 02:47, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I think that every objection should at least explain the thought process of the objector, if not the specific rationale. The objector might give an example of one or two sentences that stand out to him as objectionable. If not particulars, some general sense of the reasons underlying the objection should be given. Then, those who support the article can at least discuss and explore the issue (if not being able to fix it directly), instead of being left entirely clueless. -- Emsworth 03:08, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)
No, that's still on the books too. →Raul654 02:49, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)
Sorry, not quite with you; "No" to which question, and what's still on the books? — Matt 02:56, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I think that currently, "consensus" is not interpreted as meaning "unanimity." -- Emsworth 03:03, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)
"As an alternative, Raul654 suggested earlier that "consensus isn't unanimity" might be a workable way of coping with unfair / minority objections" - No, I didn't suggest it, it's always been that way (at least since I simplifed the instructions months ago). →Raul654 03:07, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)
Ah, OK. Sure; then why, if consensus (and not unanimity) is required to feature an article, is "actionable" necessary? The consensus process works reasonably well on Wikipedia; can it not be trusted here? — Matt 03:11, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

some articles, like say "fuck" are apt to offend a casual reader or newbie. Thats not good. Offensivenes can be easilly qualified by anyone interested in doing so, but it can't necessarilly be "actionable" (except by removal or segregation). I'm actually not really concerned about special interest topics, but more so offensive ones making readers and editors feel uncomfortable. Sam [Spade] 01:49, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Consider Wikipedia:Profanity. It clearly indicates that in articles about profane words should use said words. If an article does not deserve deletion, it should be as acceptable as any other in terms of the topic. -- Emsworth 02:04, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)

common sense

"should" aside, it isn't as acceptable. I for one don't agree w your "should" POV either. I think many things (including "fuck") are acceptable for content, but not for featured article status. Would any reputable reference source, even an encyclopedia of slang present "Fuck" on its cover page? To me this is simply common sense, no matter the quality of the article. There are other ways to show appreciation for quality contributions/contributers (maybe there should be more). 02:13, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It has not been decided, however, that the article will find its way onto the main page. -- Emsworth 02:16, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)

Your right, and I didn't mean to dwell overmuch on that particular article. Rather I ment to illuminate the potential Public Relations damage featuring such articles could present, and thus a reasoning for reconsidering "Actionable". Sam [Spade] 02:23, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I was trying not to comment on this, but since it relates directly to the matter at hand: As the one who chooses the main page articles, I used to be of the anything-that-is-"encyclopedic"-could-go-on-the-mainpage mindset, but after some discussion I realized that there are practical issues to consider. In particular, several people have expressed fear that if certain articles were to be put on the main page, we could be filtered by censorware or otherwise blocked. Therefore, there a *few* articles that I wouldn't put on the main page (IMO examples - prostitution=ok, finger fucking=not). However, I do not think that should stop them from becoming featured articles - trust the judgement of the person making the choice of what to put on the main page. →Raul654 02:31, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)

Good point, I wasn't really giving you proper credit for that. Nothing downright shocking or offensive has yet been placed as "the" featured article on the main page, it was only the potential that worried me, and where the line would be drawn. Sam [Spade] 02:51, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I feel really uncomfortable with the idea of not featuring an article because it might get us filtered by censorware. I hate censorware with a vengence. It's really stupid, usually draconinan, and can often be got around anyway. The whole idea of censoring seens completely anti wikipedia to me. theresa knott 14:55, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I agree. We shouldn't be hiding our content to avoid filters. If filtering software wants to filter something like finger fucking, then by all means Wikipedia should be filtered. (Maybe if we started rating our pages they could selectively filter, though). anthony (see warning)
Like it or not, censorsware does exist. And while the two of you might be content to ignore the impact of such an action, others (the ones who made the point in the first place) would not be. And more to the point - we are not "hiding it"; we are simply not putting it center stage. →Raul654 16:28, Jun 24, 2004 (UTC)

Don't think censorship, but rather P.R.. Theres a big difference. One is enforced, and often detrimental. The other is voluntary, and generally beneficial. Do you swear alot and grandma's funeral, or read porno's at a cafe? Probably not, altho I doubt these things are illegal. Sam [Spade] 18:38, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

opposed v. unopposed

We need to get rid of the two sections, and instead we should have a tag in the headline (Dracula (NO OBJECTIONS) or (Dracula (UNVRESOLVED OBJECTIONS)), or maybe even voting like in rfa. I don't care what mechanism is used, but the current method of moving nominations around is imprecise, and could cause votes or comments to get dropped. This article is getting far too long, and I tend to just edit certain sections instead of the whole article, making moving a nomination almost impossible. - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 14:36, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)

100% agree theresa knott 14:57, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Raul? Is this cool with you? I think that the rfc style vote is overkill, but my first suggestion would be ok, right? If you give the go-ahead, I'll go through all of the current noms and mark them accordingly. - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 15:03, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)
I just got back from 18 straight hours on the road, so please give me a day or two to think through what's been said. →Raul654 03:53, Jun 24, 2004 (UTC)
I, too, agree with such a scheme. I would suggest the following:
  • Dracula (contested)
  • Dracula (uncontested)
  • Dracula (unseconded)
A self-nom would initially be categorized as the last of the above, but once someone supports it, it would become "uncontested." To avoid premature promotions, and the like, it might be convenient to include in the parantheses the earliest date possible for featuring: for instance, "Dracula (uncontested; 10 July)" An explanation of all these rules, of course, would need to be put at the top. -- Emsworth 16:10, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)
Very good ideas. We should encourage high traffic on this page, since we want the max number of featured articles, and because we in some time will need to produce one new featured article per day, to keep up with the main page. ✏ Sverdrup 18:42, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)