Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive33

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Easier unlinked dates in {{Cite news}}[edit]

Template:Cite news has been updated to allow for unlinked retrieval dates by using either the accessdaymonth or accessmonthday parameters in conjunction with accessyear. (These are the same parameter names employed in Template:Cite web for the same purpose.) By using these parameters rather than a manual retrieval date outside of the template, the retrieval date can be included in the COinS metadata generated by the template. — Bellhalla (talk) 12:13, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Do you have a similar fix for Template:Cite book? Using the method you describe above yields "Retrieved during XXXX", where XXXX is the year entered. The access day and month are ignored by the template. Using accessmonth and accessyear returns "Retrieved on MONTH YEAR", where MONTH and YEAR are the month and year entered. Not only is "on" the wrong preposition, the MONTH and YEAR are autoformatted by the template. If anybody has a fix for this, I'd be pleased to know it. I prefer unlinked dates from top to bottom even though MOSNUM does not require it. Finetooth (talk) 17:34, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Instant re-noms[edit]

In light of the ongoing discussions, and considering I've seen multiple instant re-noms lately (within three or four days, sometimes within only one day after archiving), I added this to the FAC instructions. Please review my addition. It takes four edits minimum to remove a premature re-nom, and usually results in a longer discussion with an angry nominator; having something in the instructions may help. There have always been exceptions: as an example, suppose I were to misread a nomination and completely miss Supports (haven't done that yet, but it could happen); then we would allow a re-nom right away. There could be other extenuating circumstances. I read the discussions and concerns about FAC being stretched thin above as asking for more time between noms to better address issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 09:39, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't the vague "several weeks at least" be replaced with a concrete, say, "two weeks at least"? --Redtigerxyz (talk) 10:18, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think two is "several"! The moment you add a number, you can forget about "at least". It might be worth adding that the Director and delegate can remove any nomination that is clearly not ready, or not sufficiently changed since the last FAC. Johnbod (talk) 10:46, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Thats my point "several" should be defined in terms of time. Also, maybe a peer review can be made compulsory before the next FAC.--Redtigerxyz (talk) 11:19, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Or it could be dealt with case-by-case, in which articles can be renominated once the issues from the previous FACs are sufficiently addressed. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 16:21, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Compulsory peer review has been disapproved by the FAC community many times, for good reason. Almost everything at FAC, in fact on Wiki, is dealt with case by case; the wording should allow that flexibility. I don't disagree with Johnbod's suggestion, although I can't envision every doing that except in the cases already allowed (significant contributors not consulted and premature re-nom), so I'm not sure we need it. If a FAC is clearly badly unprepared, a few quick opposes will solve that; I archive almost daily. Actually, "several" probably should have been "two". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:22, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Is the criteria correct?[edit]

The Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Alien (film) in my opinion meets the featured article criteria number three, however it has 13 non-free images in it. An article with so many non-free images clearly is contrary to the m:mission of the foundation, creating a free encylopedia. I would be very disappointed if an article damaging to the mission of the project could be seen as to "exemplify our very best work", but beyond stating WP:IDONTLIKEIT, I can see nothing in the Wikipedia:Featured article criteria that would preclude this happening. Thoughts ? Fasach Nua (talk) 13:06, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

  • I only see 9, but that still is a lot. :) Intothewoods29 (talk) 16:30, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
It is a lot, but if all meet NFC then I don't think it's an issue. -- how do you turn this on 16:41, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Part of Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria is minimal use of non-free images. Do you feel that each of the nine images is essential to conveying something the article content cannot? In asking questions about this on other pages, I have been told that perhaps two are justified but no more than that. Maybe this article is an exception. —Mattisse (Talk) 19:05, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
As the FA nominator and primary editor of the article in question (I don't want to get too involved here as I may have a COI), I think it is worth noting that the article itself is 98K long, and perhaps depth of coverage should have some bearing on the determination of how much NFC is too much. If this article is being used as an example in order to provide clarification on the featured article criteria, I'd like that to be addressed. As several others have said, both here and in the FA review, each image on its own seems to be entirely compliant with NFCC (and I took careful consideration and did all the legwork to make sure that they would be). When one steps back and looks at the article as a whole, yes, 9 non-free images does seem like maybe a tad much, but individually they are all compliant. If some sections of the article were split off into independent articles, these images would still be used in those new articles and I doubt there would be any objection. So if, say, 4 short articles with 2 NFCs each is okay, should not a very long and detailed article with 8 NFCs be okay by the same token? In either case the same amount of NFC is present on WP as a whole, it's merely a question of whether it's in the same article or separate ones. A parallel example might be: a stub article on a musician with 4 song samples is clearly excessive, even if they might individually meet NFCC, because the amount of NFC is vastly disporportionate to the amount of free content in the article. However, the same 4 song samples in a GA would be perfectly acceptable because the amount of NFC is very small in proportion to the free content in the article. This is all contingent, of course, on each piece of NFC being compliant with the non-free content criteria in its own right. But Alien (film) seems to represent just such a situation, and I think it bears discussing: To what degree do factors like article size, depth of coverage, and proportion of free content to non-free in an article come into consideration when applying criterion 3? --IllaZilla (talk) 21:13, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
We should never say "You can only have X nonfree content images". How many is too many depends on the article. For Alien, for example, I think we could do away with the early stages of the alien as those images are already in the parent article for the creature. Remove Image:Alien model filming.jpg as it doesn't add much beyond what the text gives us, and then perhaps the concept art as it is not directly in support of the text. That leaves 5 nonfree images, which I think is fairly decent for such a long article (although the cast image is another possible candidate for removal.) But my point is that we shouldn't say you can only have two nonfree images or the like. After all, if the mission statement interferes with greatly improving the article, ignore it. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 15:36, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
While they may work well with the text, having that many non-free images just doesn't pass the smell test. Take the cast image, which could be replaced with a free photo of Sigourney Weaver, and possibly one more actor. As long as nobody opposes for lack of pictures (which the FA criteria don't require if they would be inappropriate), what would be the problem with using them to illustrate the cast? While I'm here, I have an issue with the "mission" in that it says nothing about quality. Does the fact that our articles are free mean that they get a pass if they're crap? Our mission should be to have the highest-quality free content possible. But I guess that's beyond the scope of this debate. Giants2008 (17-14) 16:51, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not saying the cast image is entirely scot-free in my book. It's been my opinion (see Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan#Cast) that cast images are valuable if in addition to just grouping the cast one or more of the characters differs substantially from their real-life appearance, the shot shows elements of the film's cinematography, and other aspects of the image are commented upon. For example, in the cast image for Wrath of Khan, the specific scene of Spock's burial is referenced later in the prose, and the costumes the characters are wearing are discussed in length. I do agree with you in that to only focus on our mission is a myopic stance that is overly accepting of crap if its free. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 03:32, 12 October 2008 (UTC)


This talk page is insanely long. Would someone be able to either a) Manually archive old discussions or b) Set up a bot to do it? It's taking forever to load for me. I would do it myself, but am not sure which threads are "over", and don't want to cause any problems. Thanks. -- how do you turn this on 16:43, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

It's all related, and premature to archive; I'll manually archive the unrelated/done items now (but there aren't many). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:10, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I would be happy to set up Miszabot to do it, if you like. It can be set to only archive threads that have been inactive for a set number of days. --IllaZilla (talk) 21:14, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Miszabot is already set up; the items that are still on the page are still under discussion. Please don't alter Miszabot; I'm manually archiving resolved items for now because of the discussions underway. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:15, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
If you're manually archiving, the timer setting on the bot needs to be changed. Isn't 10 or 15 days satisfactory? Tony (talk) 10:31, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
No, I'm temporarily manually archiving so that I can assure that all of this discussion of Short FAs ends up in the same archive, in order, instead of the random mess created by automated archiving. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 10:33, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Does anyone mind if I archive now the lengthy "What's being talked about" section, leaving the "Short articles: consensus so far, and next steps" section? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:15, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Bump; anyone care if I archive the top? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:53, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't. –thedemonhog talkedits 22:59, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Corrupt conduct at FAC[edit]

A nominator has backchannelled Sandy (copy to me, amazingly) asking that I not review a current nomination or any of his/her future nominations as part of a political trade-off involving his/her staying out of another debate on WP in which I'm involved. Sandy apparently responded that she wanted nothing to do with this (exactly the response you'd expect from a thoroughly decent person). I have not corresponded with her about the matter. Here is an excerpt from the message:

... as I went through [title of nomination withheld] again today, there were several times where I stopped and felt anxious because I was thinking "What would Tony say?" I shouldn't have to operate under a cloud. I'd like to request that Tony not review this or any of my future FAs. Your word is good enough for me, Sandy. In exchange, Tony, I won't participate in the [withheld] issue".

I find it extremely disturbing that a nominator is attempting to influence the review process by bargaining with favours elsewhere on WP. In other forums, this would have very serious consequences indeed. My response to the nominator is that a professional reviewing process can't be beholden to under-the-counter horse-trading. We deal with technical issues here, without fear or favour. I need to state unreservedly that such corrupt behaviour has no bearing on my reviewing. Tony (talk) 10:19, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Nothing we can do, of course, other than decline to play along. The sad and patently corrupt behavior shows three things: 1) people take the acquisition and possession of those bronze stars too <adjective deleted> seriously. 2) people will do anything to get what they want, and 3) We should WP:MfD WP:WBFAN. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 11:09, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
But then I couldn't put my FA-ranking on my CV! :) Awadewit (talk) 11:14, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
<evil cackle> But I can put a successful MfD on mine.</cackle> But seriously, we've been down this whole road before elsewhere. We can scold—a little. We can decline to play the same game. That is all we can do.Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 11:20, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Review as you wish, Tony. The quality of the article is all that matters. --Moni3 (talk) 21:52, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

For what it's worth, there was a similar tossup during the GA review of Horse. --Una Smith (talk) 23:22, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

I think the way this has been done is not very professional. However most scientific peer review systems (how much more professional can you get it) do explicitly allow the author submitting an article for review to mention a few editors to be excluded. (note that will in principle peer review in science is blind I manage to identify about 80% of all authors of papers for review send to me by my familiarity with the authors previous work).
For example APA lists as an argument for exclusion something like "I ask you not to send this paper to prof X, although he is an expert in the field, we recently divorced and I do not think I would receive a neutral and fair review".
While such sensitivities are not the case yet at Wiki, I have seen a lot of debate (for example at an EU FAC) where and editor who had been going against consensus was truly frustrating the process by opposing and rehashing all his lost cases. I can imagine (not saying Tony is doing this) that if a FAC reviewer becomes similarly involved this would indeed be a problematic issue for that specific article, regardless of its quality.
I am not sure that is the case here, but it may be something we might need to start thinking about. Arnoutf (talk) 00:07, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, an author can provide a list of peers who should not review the article, but in some fields the intent is for the author to list friends. Friends should not review the article. --Una Smith (talk) 06:14, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
But not to do so as a trade-off for political favours, yes? Tony (talk) 07:11, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I wish I knew which FAC it was. I would give it a *through* review. Tony is one of the best regular 1a reviewers, and one of few who can write brilliant prose. There's much to learn from Tony, and if Tony can find bad prose, it should be a learning experience, not one of intimidation, for the nominator. Tony is above petty politics, I wish the nominator would be more proactive, not 'be under a cloud'. =Nichalp «Talk»= 07:31, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I fully agree with above, and in any case it should never be undercover. Please don make it a rule...... but perhaps we should allow open conduct during nomination "I nominate this article, I would prefer if XX and YY (max of 3) do not take an active role in this procedure because I have had problems with them in the past and fear they may not give the article a fair chance; I also would like AA and BB not to have an active role as these editors are friends of me in several projects and may give this article too much support." (That way it is open for all, and for all to decide what to do), But as I said no rule for this please..... Arnoutf (talk) 08:15, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I know your suggestion is a serious one, and I appreciate and respect your thoughts, but I am currently ROFL. FAC is the place where the end result is supposed to be professional-caliber product, and criticism is actively invited. FAC reviewers are critics (though hopefully civil ones). Critics criticize, and criticism sometimes ouches a little. We can't have folks asking to avoid criticism; that's the same as avoiding FAC. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 08:20, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Yep, I'm laughing this one off too. So nominators pick and choose who can and can't review their nominations ... yeah right. Sorry to be sarcastic, but the system is supposed to be professional and without fear or favour. As I pointed out above, it's a technical exercise. I presume the proposal is not a serious one. Tony (talk) 08:27, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
While I never suggested it should be a rule, the practice by most peer reviewed international scientific journals got jyst laughed off as unprofessional........ I think that is a very worrying approach to the issue.
The (very) professional editors and publishers of scientific journals acknowledge that their (also professional) reviewers can sometimes have a problem in providing completely objective reviews, especially in cases were conflict of interest, or personal involvement occurs. Therefore the journals (very professionally) decided to prevent these issues by trying to avoid them. Arnoutf (talk) 08:37, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Still laughing. In practice, this is rarely used, since it makes the applicant/author look defensive, and announces at the start that they have negative relationships with some peers. I advise against it in all but the most extreme situations (e.g., where there's a danger that IP will be leaked, or where a likely reviewer/panellist has already stolen information from previous submissions—I know of such examples, but they're gossip-worthy and very rare). Excluding simply because you think the person will be hard on you is not acceptable; there's no boundary between that and suspicions that the whole system is corrupt. Anyway, all reviewers should be hard on nominations. If a reviewer us unreasonable, it is for all to see. Tony (talk) 08:49, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Tony may perhaps be surprised that I agree that one should not be able to pick and chose reviewers. Although a regular recipient of his oppose votes, I value his expertise and have learned to live with the uncivil way it is sometimes delivered. I get more annoyed with vague or unactionable opposes jimfbleak (talk) 16:58, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
< Off topic moved to next section>: [1] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Hi Arnoutf. I believe your suggestion is extremely appropriate in other contexts. I apologize if I sounded impolite. Truly, though, the medium at Wikipedia is worlds apart from the medium of a print journal (see WP:NOT), and many other elements of the milieu are vastly different as well. An approach that works well in other contexts can sometimes be unworkable at FAC. This is probably an example, for several reasons.
@Giggy: Oooh, that is a breach of really real-live wikipedia rules. Needs a response from someone with authority. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 08:55, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Re Ling.Nut, No problem with your remarks, I agree Wikipedia is not a scientific journal, my only intention was that we may copy some of the reality checks on professionalism they use (ie to prevent a well liked editor to get too easy a time, while a hated editor gets an overly harsh review (there is always a stick to beat the dog....).
Re Tony, Of the about 10 scientific papers I published (until now) I have used this option in about five (several times by request of one of my co-authors, usually a full professor who has had some time to make enemies in the field) so don't say it is not used unless you really know (of course if you are an editor of a scientific journal and you have a better overview on this (in your own domain) you may have a better view compared to me). Arnoutf (talk) 09:05, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Pity you have to publish with this person. It's a disadvantage, especially if you're submitting to a very high-ranking journal in the field. Please don't do it in grant applications. Generally, if you feel you need to for factional reasons, the arguments are not framed the right way. The main difference here is that the reviews and process are open for everyone to see. Tony (talk) 10:46, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

I must admit, given an oppose has to be defined and actionable, it would be hard for an editor who was (for some reason) antipathetic to an article to oppose on emotional grounds and get away with it, so to speak. I guess, if the arguments are scrutinised, either they have merit or they don't, so the question of who supports and opposes is in some way irrelevant once the material is examined (I guess). Anyway, I am going goggle-eyed as I have not looked at this page for several weeks (my, haven't we all been busy...). Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:46, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

I've made it clear to Sandy, and those who read my inspired rants on her talk page, that I despise politic and its ugliness on all scales, including its many forms on Wiki. I do not believe nominators should be allowed to request certain reviewers not read their articles for FAC, and certainly not to trade arguments on another talk page. The first request will be "Don't allow XX to review this, my second nomination, because s/he opposed it the first time", when there was probably good reason to oppose. Tony, if you have reservations about this article, you should post them frankly at the FAC and allow the nominator to address them one by one. If the nominator refuses and makes a personal case to SandyGeorgia about it, I think that puts unfair weight on Sandy. That's very unfortunate, and would actually put more negative light on the article that it should get. The quality of the article should be the only thing that matters. I'm sorry you got this forced upon you...--Moni3 (talk) 13:54, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

There's nothing for anyone to apologize for: I get some interesting e-mail, I avoid getting entangled in FAC business off-Wiki. Other than my brief "I'm not getting involved in this" response, it's business as usual on the FAC (evaluate the content, not the commentor). Tony's summary is correct: I have not discussed this with him, although the person who e-mailed me did say that Tony had been copied. Casliber sums it up: comments at FAC either have merit or don't, regardless of who is making them. Arnoutf, in our environment, your suggestions would mean that we'd lose almost any chance of review by topic experts: ideally, we need a mixture on FAC of domain experts and non-domain experts, friendly and potentially unfriendly editors to make sure all issues are brought to the table. We aren't a journal, we don't have as many content experts at our disposal as a journal has. I look for both (domain and non-domain input), and if I don't see both, I may leave the FAC open longer to try to assure all issues are aired. As far as this unfortunate incident goes, this sort of thing is rare but not at all unheard of in terms of what I see in my inbox. I'm sorry when interpersonal conflicts affect editors who are doing good work on featured articles, and I hope we'll all put this incident to rest and move on quickly. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:54, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Okay, I have to come clean here. It was me. I did it. I'm sorry Tony. >.> Ottava Rima (talk) 22:23, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • That's a funny :-) In case anyone wondered. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:39, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Righty-ho then, shall we archive this in a nice coloured box to effectively stake it through its wikiheart? Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:55, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
For those who don't realise, Ottava's "admission" is meant as a joke. Tony (talk) 03:13, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Whew! That's a relief. I was just about to suggest that we take Ottava to ANI for a community ban, or at least a WP:AAAARGH. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 03:21, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Political payback is quite common on WP, and it is depressing when it happens on articles but it does. If Sandy or Tony run for RfA I predict more than 100 oppose votes each, ostensibly for some patter like "incivility" or "ABF", but actually because they're cheesed off because their FAC got held up for improvements and their ego was bruised. It's happened to other folks before. But I'm surprised people explicitly put the cards on the table, because most people don't have to be told and would automatically understand that if you oppose someone, there's always they will retaliate and that mutual turning a blind eye is quite a common unspoken strategy in wikipolitics. I know one guy, who only participated in GACs and FACs on his country, always supporting no matter what, without prodding for improvements, actually I don't recall any Wikipedian from this country who has opposed an article from this country. After I FARed two articles of this country, which had poor English, unsourced/badsoursed sections, multiple different formatting styles, nationalist POV and peacock, he FARed one of my articles, and complained about the prose (ce by ALoan), randomly cited random sentences that were allegedly wrong in grammar and complained about the referencing, even though it was about 4 times more densely cited, etc. YellowMonkey (click here to choose Australia's next top model) 02:54, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Wiki FAC comments are open to all, completely different from scientific peer review, therefore excluding editors from commenting is indeed impossible.
However YellowMonkey's example shows the vulnerability of this system because of conflict of interest (being in favour of a topic, and wanting to promote it as that apparently shows the value of the topic (rather than the quality of the article). And even more sadly, revenge exercises. These are topics we may have to deal with one way or another. Arnoutf (talk) 12:46, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Both of my FARs got the article delisted, while the payback/point FAR got no support, so it was doing alrught. YellowMonkey (click here to chose Australia's next top model!) 01:23, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

In my experience, a smart author wants her article to be reviewed by her worst enemies, under the eagle eye of an experienced editor. More than one smart editor has said the author can only suggest, and the editor can (and often does) pick reviewers from the author's no-review list. --Una Smith (talk) 06:06, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

the whole community ban thing[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
I'm archiving this discussion for now. Let us see if the editor concerned responds. We can always take this up again. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 21:59, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Speaking of corrupt conduct - is that common? Giggy (talk) 08:53, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

@ Giggy. Interesting.[2] No, that's a first in all the years I've followed FAC. Um, this would be one of those times when I remind the FAC community that I'm not an admin; in fact, I'm unaware of the proper course of action, so will leave it to all of you. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 08:57, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
On closer examination, that's the same editor who gave me the I kill you barnstar; I'll ask someone to look at this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 09:01, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
That vote (and my wtf comment) have since been removed. Giggy (talk) 09:10, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Even so - should be followed up. Silly side note: I have to say Sandy's accented translation made me giggle. Obviously a Paul Whitehouse fan. Johnbod (talk) 09:46, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
uh, oh. I don't know Paul Whitehouse, and other than the usual typos in my translation, I'm not sure what you mean. Translation? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:43, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
...Real Madrid Footabll club at teh beginnings The only clips I can find seem to be inaudible unfortunately. Johnbod (talk) 23:10, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

(outdent:) I blocked this user. If I knew how to cap this bit of discussion, I would. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 09:57, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

< Text above moved from previous section> [3] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

I've never been involved in a community ban. But making what (if taken at face value) is a death threat to the FAC director #2, then forging a Support vote, is destructive behavior far above and beyond the usual thin-skinned truculence that we all know and love. I know we haven't gone through a long series of warnings and so on... but.. death threats seem beyond the pale of what should be put up with. An admin would be desysopped by Jimbo, I think, post-haste.. go to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard? .. Comments? Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 16:04, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Ling.Nut, I would be happy to broach the subject of Hadrianos1990's behaviour at the appropriate noticeboard, but I think it would be important first to get some sense of what restrictions are desired here. Should he be constrained from interacting with the FA process, for example, where there is clearcut evidence of improper behaviour? Banned entirely from Wikipedia - a shakier proposition, as there don't seem to be the same level of concerns generally about his editing behaviour? I quite agree that his behaviour is worthy of further examination and possibly further restriction, but before initiating the discussion, I'd like to see some idea of where it should be heading. Risker (talk) 16:34, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
There is something fishy going on with some of his edits. In a period of 24 hours (Sep 21–22), he performed several series of edits in which he picked a word and removed a character from it (or in some cases altered a number) then immediately fixed it in his next edit, often within the same minute. See [4] for an example of a series of 105 such edits. There are others, as well. No idea what is going on. Maralia (talk) 17:38, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I suspect that this may be an example of Hadrianos1990 beefing up his edit count on the article so that he is now the most frequent contributor to it; as of today's date, Hadrianos1990 has 587 edits to the article, compared with 520 by User:KSA13, and an additional 420 by an editor working under an IP address. Risker (talk) 17:52, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah, surely that's it. I couldn't figure why someone who had 587 edits to an article would be gaming his edit count on it - I hadn't noticed how close behind the next editor was. Incidentally: [5]. Maralia (talk) 18:18, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
(Aside: This is why "significant contributor" should not be linked to an edit counter in the FAC directions. It encourages this kind of gaming.) Awadewit (talk) 18:27, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
@ Ling.Nut: I don't feel comfortable framing this as a death threat, considering the background that was explained to me about that barnstar. The issue is that, after the barnstar he stopped editing for a while, so no one could engage him in dialogue. Yesterday was basically his return to editing. I'd rather see someone discuss with him (preferably in Spanish, sorry to put Jbmurray on the line there, or Jossi or Titoxd :-) before drastic decisions are imposed. There has been very little dialogue with him, and I've never been in favor of topic bans at FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:49, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Sandy, you're taking this so zen it's almost bizarre - is this because it's you as the target of this nonsense? How would you react if a nominator threatened an editor who opposed an article by placing such a barnstar on their talk page? At the least, I see this as a very cowardly version collecting all of one's toys and storming home. I'm relatively apathetic to the constant shouts of "Incivility!" on the ANI page, and consider my threshold of getting offended apparently much higher than many others. Hadrianos' "barnstar" left incivility a few miles back. Neither nominators, editors, or FAC officers should be manipulated or cowed to make any other decision than what is best for the article and the encyclopedia. Hadrianos' unwillingness to explain himself, his speaking for Giggy, and padding his edit count point to a very mixed up editor whose modus operandi does not complement the way FAC works. Wikipedia is not for every one. --Moni3 (talk) 18:59, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Several reasons :-)) First, there are many editors on Wiki who make me feel personally threatened way above and beyond that "I kill you" barnstar, so perhaps I'm becoming immune :-)) I assume he's a young editor, and he's certainly not going to act on the threat. Of course, if a nominator did that to a FAC reviewer, I'd probably come out of my chair to defend one of you, but I expect it to some extent as part of my "job". Second, I don't yet know if there's an English-language issue; I always like to give the benefit of the doubt as long as possible so that, if drastic measures are taken, we can all feel comfortable that we did our best and that they were justified. Third, I'm always against any sort of ban at FAC as we must keep it as an open process where all criticism can be aired: if the "delegate" has to take some shots, that's OK with me. To a point ... we just haven't seen adequate dialogue with this editor, who for all we know could be a young, frustrated soccer fan feeling picked on by FAC. It's worth a try ... on the other hand, third strike, you're out. But, in the final analysis, FAC is a community of all of us, so I'm only one part of this decision, and I hope none of you feel constrained by me offering my two cents. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:07, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
If whoever threatened you above and beyond Hadrianos' gesture was able to continue editing, perhaps that was made possible because similar comments to Hadrianos' were allowed to pass. If the community defined such a statement as unequivocally unacceptable, it would help to clarify threats that are much worse. I also think this editor is young and his English probably isn't too good. But, to use perhaps an odd comparison, neither is my dog's and she knows it's wrong to go after the cat because I told her so very clearly. Had I told her one out of 4 times she did it, or allowed her to do it and ignored it, she'd just be a very confused dog. --Moni3 (talk) 19:23, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I think we agree re setting boundaries: this time, Hadrianos has been told. But I hope there will be some attempts at followup dialogue, although I don't think I should be the one to do that. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:36, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure there's a way to community ban someone from nominating FAC's - I know you can ban people from certain spaces (i.e. Main, Wiki, MediaWiki) but I don't think you can actually ban someone from nominating FAC's. I'd be tempted for this to go to ANI to let the wider community have a say. D.M.N. (talk) 19:48, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I am not in favor of taking this to ANI yet: the reality is that many editors who follow ANI may not understand how FAC works. I'd rather see some consensus here. Of course, if the community here wants a topic ban, then it would have to go to ANI for broader input. I am on record as saying I am not yet there in terms of supporting a topic ban and I am generally not in favor of topic bans at FAC: this editor deserves a chance at dialogue first. And, as I said in an earlier case, if we're going to start topic bans at FAC, we can put up a list of editors who are more disruptive to the process than Hadrianos has been. As soon as we start banning people from FAC, we head down a very slippery slope that can affect the integrity of the process, stifle criticism, and lead to elitism. The cure could be worse than the ailment. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:01, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Any editor can be placed under editing restrictions in lieu of a block, with the sure knowledge that they will be blocked if they break the restrictions. It happens post disruptive editing on individual articles for example.
However, in this case, the editor has been so blatantly stupid in his actions that I'm more inclined to roll on the floor laughing than frown sternly muttering about blocks and bans. I agree with Sandy that some dialogue is necessary — if only to give this guy a bit more of a clue about how Wikipedia works and how this kind of mucking about is risible. In the meantime, there's a case that the village stocks might be a more appropriate venue than ANI. Rotten tomatoes, anyone? Geometry guy 20:12, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
My advice would be not to make fun of it, even if you find it funny. That is unlikely to help. Carcharoth (talk) 21:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

(outdent:) I'm also against making a huge fuss. The editor has been blocked. And he (I presume it is a he) has been offered a chance to respond and explain himself on his talk page. I've just added that he should feel free to respond in Spanish if he wants. --21:56, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Template:Featured article[edit]

I'm posting here on a higher traffic page to get input on this. Thanks. -- how do you turn this on 17:33, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Brilliant prose[edit]

I notice articles featured these days that are not exactly "brilliant prose" but acceptable prose – without grammatical flaws. Does anyone know of current featured articles with prose at professional-level ("even compelling") quality? =Nichalp «Talk»= 09:47, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Depends who you ask really, of mine, Emperor Penguin seemed to get the best feedback when it was promoted. I thought William Shakespeare was good when I read it at the time of its promotion. Erm...I'll think of some more. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:26, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
You might look at Balzac or Stonewall riots. I remember being impressed with the writing of those articles when I read them. Awadewit (talk) 10:46, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I am always impressed with Brian's prose. Graham Colm Talk 15:34, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
If you want an article with great prose, look no further than Donald Bradman. It's long, but a very compelling read. Giants2008 (17-14) 15:44, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I'd say Farthest South ranks quite highly. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 17:46, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Dispatch feedback[edit]

Feedback needed please on Wikipedia:FCDW/October 13, 2008 before it publishes; sure could use more help over at WP:FCDW, would rather not be writing too many of these myself. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:10, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Would you like to include anything from WP:Update? The 25 style guidelines that are also General style guidelines were covered. I didn't get to WP:NAME or WP:NFCC, because I've been asking around to get someone to cover the 7 pages in Category:Wikipedia content policies without any bites so far. I'll go do September changes for WP:NAME and WP:NFCC. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 16:10, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I haven't figured out what that page is and what became of Tony's Monthly updates: I haven't seen September updates, not sure why that page says October, and not sure how I'm supposed to craft a Dispatch out of that. If you're picking up the Dispatches, weighing in at WT:FCDW would help, and we can try to sort it there. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:52, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Will do. Have now finished all the September changes to the 7 content policy pages as well. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 18:56, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
No feedback: is it that bad? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:31, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Or that good? Sandy, perhaps everyone's WP budget is fully booked in reviewing and managing existing affairs. I think it's just too much that this sub-community prepare a high-quality article weekly (I'd opt for monthly, but fortnightly would be a start). And we will before too long run out of easy pickings. Tony (talk) 03:42, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Tony. Help me out here, guys, I'm not sure how to respond to Sandy. Do you guys read "is it that bad" as a statement that we should be dubious anytime someone posts a list like WP:Update and no one responds? (In which case, does someone want to read some of the page diffs from Sept 1 to Sept 30 and decide whether you like my summary? I understand what Sandy is saying about not knowing how to use my summary for a newsletter, because it's not short and punchy; I erred on the side of putting in too much, which I think is the right way to go, especially since I'm also doing the diffs for content policy pages ... someone will roast me if I leave something out they considered important.) Or do you guys read "is it that bad" to suggest Sandy is dubious about my ability to create an accurate summary? In which case I should probably ask over at WT:MOS whether anyone else has similar doubts. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive)
The "is it that bad" is a reference to my prose and the first Dispatch I've written myself; it wasn't related to the Monthly updates at all, Dan.  ??? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 08:00, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Ouch! I didn't catch the indentation; I thought you were talking about my work. Sorry! - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 15:59, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

FA is different[edit]

  • I want to be Shockingly Honest.
  • Much earlier I started a thread with the assertion that FA is broken, is overwhelmed.
  • Don't sizzle your brain reading all the responses. Count the lines. Count the proposals. The voluminous response is evidence that others agreed, at some level, and in some way (albeit perhaps in different ways)..
  • But it all went nowhere. Sandy was adamant: "There is No Problem Except That No One Will Oppose".
  • Let me speak frankly: I was speaking in Secret Code when I said that FAC is overwhelmed by Too Many Noms. What I really meant was this: a nontrivial minority of FAs that are passed do Not make the Internet Not Suck—they can't, because They Suck.
  • Stop! Halt! Stop the drama! Everyone will think I'm blaming Sandy. I am not. Some FAs Suck because Something Somewhere is structurally wrong with FAC.
  • But Sandy says No, we need more Opposes.
  • Let's run with that logic, shall we?
  • In too many cases, No One Will Oppose because they can't.
  • WP:WIAFA permits articles that are grammatically sound and written with at least some modicum of skill to Pass. No one will !vote on a certain class of articles because because they know the article sucks, but WIAFA can't prove it. So my main point is this: FA is different.
  1. One the problem is that Wikipedia's general concept of Notability was hammered out at XfD, or at least with reference to the XfD process. It is patently true that the standard of Notability for surviving XfD should be different than the one for surviving FAC. I think Notability is the elephant in the room. e've been talking about length, and scope, and so on. In our hearts, we mean Notability.
  • I propose a more qualitative approach to FACs. We should be able to Oppose on a stricter definition of Notability (and length, and scope, and perhaps other qualities) than is spelled out in non-related WIkipedia policy. The potential for abuse (e.g., I don't like your article because it disagrees with my nationalist views on Lower Elbonia) by that Ominiscient One, the FA Director (vesions 1 and 2).
  • talk amongst your selves. I may not have free time for a couple days (not sure).
  • Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 14:20, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Hmmmn. One can only hope that by not commenting on non-notable FACs they quietly die a death by having neither supports nor opposes. DrKiernan (talk) 14:27, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
The problem with that is that it leaves Sandy or Raul in the hot seat, getting complaints on their talk page about closing the FAC. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:31, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh well, another good idea bites the dust. DrKiernan (talk) 14:37, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure they're both able to cope with that kind of thing. -- How do you turn this on (talk) 14:41, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

(undent) We need Fuzziness in WIAFA. Not Chaos or Anarchy; just Fuzzines. It won't result in the Wild Wild West, at least not after a transitional period. A culture will settle around a set of flexible principles. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 15:02, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Can you state how the fuzziness might be applied? One of the issues that frustrates newer users is they want to know *exactly* why their article doesn't qualify as FAC. Actionable opposes are required, but FAC isn't the place for a comprehensive peer review. There's a lot that goes into experience at FAC that new nominators just don't have. What kind of fuzziness were you thinking about? --Moni3 (talk) 15:05, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
The ability to say (in a polite way), "Your article about X is not FA material. Let me tell you why". And then present sound reasoning that goes beyond WIAFA. I would love it if WIAFA could have its own crystal-clear guidelines for "sparkling prose" and notability of the subject (and notability of the references! I repeat, "!"), but it just can't work. We need an excape clause or two for "My gut says No, but WIAFA won't let me Oppose." Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 15:11, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't thik anyone would doubt, by your definition, that Paul Gondjout is FAC-notable. He served as President of the National Assembly of Gabon during a very eventful time in its history. However (other than the use of machiene translators, which I find quite ridiculous) the main point is that it's too short. Honestly, if I were to scrape two sentences more out of him I wold be amazingly lucky. Why? all mentions of him are in passing or his relationship to Leon M'ba. ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 21:51, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, where does the concept "actionable" come from, as in "actionable opposes are required"? It sounds so legalistic and not very fuzzy. —Mattisse (Talk) 22:08, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
This would be the same in education as calling a comment from a teacher "specific criticism". Instead of "Prose needs work", there are comments that point out particular places where the prose needs work, what needs to be done - they are actionable because the nominator can go take action on them to fix them. An unactionable oppose is so vague it leaves the nominator without any recourse to overcome the objection. --Moni3 (talk) 22:14, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I asked where the concept originated; that is, where is it defined in the FA criteria on Wikipedia, not what does it mean. Sorry if my question was not clear. I am familiar with its legal meaning. You must be a school teacher! —Mattisse (Talk) 23:55, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
It is in the first version of the FAC instructions, written by Raul, similar wording is still in the FAC instructions, and if you Google on it, you get too many hits to track down all of them, but an early sample discussion is in archive 3. Another huge discussion occurred during the Schiavo nomination, at Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive11. Anyway, the concept is whether the Oppose is based on WP:WIAFA and gives enough info about the deficiency that the nominator can theoretically fix the issue. For example, "article is too short", "article is too long", "article is POV", "article needs a copyedit" are not actionable statements. Article is missing info about X topic covered in Y source, or the Z section of the article is rambling and could be better summarized to the sub-article, or the failure to adequately cover the info in sources A, B, C, and D result in POV, and samples of the prose problems to back up copyedit needs are actionable Opposes. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:13, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Was. Not anymore. Though the words "actionable oppose" aren't used, the same concept is described at the top of the FAC page under "Supporting and Opposing". --Moni3 (talk) 00:01, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Is this another thread about length, in disguise? –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 22:46, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
It is another endless FAC "discussion" in disguise. —Mattisse (Talk) 23:59, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

(undent) Question for Ling.Nut: You say some FACs have passed even though they're not up to snuff? Do you have any specific examples? It seems to me that any comments or opposes that are unactionable (e.g. This article is horribly written even though I don't have any specific examples in the text) border on being personal opinion about the article's composition. Anything specific, pertaining to the FA criteria, that is fixable is addressed during the FAC process, with perhaps the exception of an article not being reviewed by enough editors. As for notablility, that's a whole different ballgame. Intothewoods29 (talk) 22:54, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't like to draw attention to specific articles, but I can think of several times where Ling.Nut has indicated he was just about to Oppose an article I had just promoted, and in each case, the FAC had been running for several weeks, had no Opposes or anything unresolved, and had gained significant Support, which is why I told him that the solution to that issue is to enter more Opposes. If reviewers are waiting two weeks to get around to looking at FACs that are at the bottom of the page, I'm again concerned they some may have been waiting for me to add FACs to the Urgents template before looking at them, which is why I have stopped updating that template. And, if you're getting ready to review an article, but need a few hours to a day, then please, put a note on the FAC to that effect, and I will weigh that along with all of the other info already on the FAC page. I don't read minds or invisible words written between the lines :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:21, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I was about to ask the same thing - FAR is a place if you feel stronlgy enough and are able to explain why. If a subject is non-notable, then AfD is the way to go. Either it is notable or not. I think another problem is the rigour of the process scares people off meatier (more 'core') subjects, as the amount of work invovolved becomes huge. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:11, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
PS: I would add that the rigour of through inline referencing with Reliable Sources does a very good job at weeding out OR and non-encyclopedic mateial. So...I'd really like some examples of which articles "suck" and why. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:16, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree that Reliable Sources is a good measure. Unfortunately, it is hardly worth the hostility involved from entrenched folks in nominating an article for FAR. Takes a strong stomach. Not something that is worth undertaking very often, if at all. —Mattisse (Talk) 01:15, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Wait till they're on a wikibreak or in a lower phase of activity...YellowMonkey (click here to chose Australia's next top model!) 01:25, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • (undent) I can't name specific articles; the drama would be unbearable. A bit of research would reveal cases in which one or more (probably several) of the following are true:
  1. none of the more stringent FAC reviewers showed up—or more likely, none of the regular reviewers of any kind (stringent or lenient) showed up
  2. there are three or four votes (all Supports) by.. who.. who are those names? Oh wait, their names are on the membership list of the relevant Wikiproject...
  3. all or almost all of the references are websites. Ealdgyth prudently backs away, saying "I'll leave it up to reviewers..."
  4. the article is either short, OR is loaded with tons of trivial details, probably garnered from websites OR primary sources.
  • Oh, to Casliber: I specifically stated that FA should have different standards for Notability than AfD! many articles that deserve to exist do not deserve to be FA.
  • That's all. I'm taking a two-day wikibreak because my wife wants to spend Quality Time together. Quality Time away from Wikipedia??? Imagine that! . Cheers. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 01:33, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
OK, well, none of these reasons gell with the reason cited above of "knowing" an article is not FA-worthy but not knowing why. All these listed above are very actionable opposes. WRT notability, that would be extremely difficult to nut out, heck, notability is still a battleground after years of banter. This would open up a can of worms and cires of instruction creep. I don't agree with you on this one, I think application of policies as is WRT RS and vigrous inline referencing is fine, and would have addressed the problems listed above if someone had pulled them up on these candidacies. I certainly think ruminating on all this stuff is owrthwhile from time to time though, and will try to keep a closer eye at FAC, which I haven't of late. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:50, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
When an article is notable but doesn't have enough Reliable sources to meter a full article, it's pretty obvious. I would need several examples of articles passing via unreliable sources/overload of primary sources, as I don't think it's a common occurrence. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 01:51, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I want to know where reliable sources can be found in the spoo article?--Stone (talk) 11:20, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I would like to have Ling.Nut name a few examples, say three, of articles that he feels were promoted but should not have been promoted. I have a few general ideas, but I'd appreciate something more concrete if this discussion is going to happen properly. Imzadi1979 (talk) 14:55, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Collapsible headers[edit]

Quick question, yes or no answer will do: are collapsible headers OK for use on individual FAC pages for resolved issues? I've seen them used in the past, but I don't want to use one without asking, in case it causes problems with transclusions and the like. Cheers, Steve TC 22:39, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

We try to avoid them, because the pages that transclude all the individual FAC pages (like this one) can take forever to load, or reach transclusion limits. Just be very selective—capping your comments just to mark them resolved is not really done anymore, but capping very long resolved comments on a very long FAC page would be a good call. Maralia (talk) 22:46, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
How about the length of the list I left at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/JFK (film)? One they've been resolved, do you think that would that justify the use? I'm just aware of how much room it's taking on the page, and don't want to put anyone else off commenting. Steve TC 22:49, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I would consider that an appropriate situation for capping (for me, your comments there scrolled over five screens). Maralia (talk) 03:07, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Reliable sourcing from different languages[edit]

Something is very unsettling about the recurrence of 1964 Gabon coup d'etat on the FAC list. The fact that a computer translator is used to complete translating French sources where the nominator's own language skills are deficient are very worrying. I opposed Paul Gondjout from the same editor for the same reason. Less than a week later, the same editor nominates another French language-Wiki FA using Google translator again.

My main issue is that it is not defensible, not only by most editors but by its nominator and chief contributor. Articles with the majority of sources in another language, such as Same-sex marriage in Spain, and the various articles about foreign subjects have been nominated by editors with fluency in the languages used. This is not the case with this one. How can an editor defend his article when he is unable to understand the majority of its sources without computer-generated assistance? Is the FA system not only relying on the editor's judgment about what to use from these sources, but also the reliability of Google translator? Doesn't Wikipedia have enough trouble justifying the quality of the majority of its articles?

Is this merely my personal standards bordering on elitism, or a sincere problem with the reliability of sources? Is there a practical outcome to this discussion? Should we require nominators to be fluent in the language they use for their sources? Does it have implications like forbidding second language English editors from writing FAs in English? --Moni3 (talk) 00:38, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I completely agree. Just looking at the one translation issue that has already come up at the FAC... if this is the standard of translation, it's appalling. Starting with the first phrase, in which the translator can't recognize a reflexive verb and confuses democracy with democrat. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 00:47, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Translators should never be relied on. They can be used to assist but relying on them simply can't work. -- How do you turn this on (talk) 00:55, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Read the first line. It received professional help, and yet (tiny) mistakes are still made. If we require nominators to be fluent in languages that they translate to, that would severely downplay articles in countries that speak a language other than English. Take for example my to previpous FAs. One was a stub before I came around to it, and the other didn't exist. They relied partially on translated sources, though not as much as the current article. Nonetheless, even though FAs are featured doesn't mean they are perfect. The can never be, and someone can always fix a bit more. This is the underlying issue here.
(ec, reply to HDYTTO) I didn't rely on the translators, I used them to assist me, as well as Fluent French speakers. ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 00:58, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I would certainly require a translator to be fluent in both the target and source languages. Honestly, you seem to have problems with both. The FAC discussion to date is sufficient to show this. These are not "tiny" mistakes. They are significant errors in articles that are aiming to be examples of Wikipedia's very best work. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 01:09, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
It was not my intention to make this about a single editor, but predicting that EotW has done this more than once, there is nothing preventing it being done again, from other editors in other languages. I am deeply uncomfortable with this becoming a trend. --Moni3 (talk) 01:15, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I would very much agree that fluency in both languages is required. I think a point is being missed by the editor defending machine translations. There is no desire to increase articles on countries that speak a language other than English at the expense of accuracy. A machine translation is not a reliable source. It is hard to know the implications of a "tiny mistake" in a language you cannot read. It is difficult enough to write accurately in a primary language. —Mattisse (Talk) 01:33, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely right. I'm sorry to say that this new trend just seems to me to be another way for the kiddies to notch up an FA or two for free. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 01:38, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Eotw, I think you're missing the point. Of course you're correct: there is no "perfect" article. However, to be our best work it must be verifiable. If we can't verify the article, then the article may be incorrect. If it were incorrect, then we are advertising to the world that we have vetted an article as "our best work" without thoroughly checking the sources. I am further concerned with the nominations--the article just failed MILHIST's A-class, why nominate now? Why not go through MILHIST again? I am worried; you've also been sending articles that are directly cut & paste from the Library of Congress (pd) through DYK...why the rush? Lazulilasher (talk) 01:40, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Children have no sense of what this project is about. They see DYK/FAC/GAN as an opportunity to collect brownie points, a step towards becoming an administrator on a project they have no understanding of. The children are slowly but surely destroying the project. One day soon there may be only the children left. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 01:49, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
It's been disillusioning me. Just recently the cut & paste thing seems to be everywhere I look, now it's the google translate thing. Maybe I was naive before, but it seems everywhere now. We're not wikisource. Lazulilasher (talk) 01:54, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
And, yesterday, I saw an article that was basically NOAA weather reports with the sentences broken up and put back together again in a new order. I mean, the same phrases--but, in a different order. Lazulilasher (talk) 01:55, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the above editors. We cannot translate articles OR sources with aids such as Google Translators, which are demonstrably unreliable. Just as we would not use unreliable sources, we should not use unreliable translators, which can turn reliable sources into unreliable sources by giving false information. Only those who are fluent in other languages should be bringing articles sourced to foreign-language publications to FAC. With a shortage of foreign-language speakers, we have to rely exclusively on those people to check the sources at FAC (not the case with English sources). Should we add something about this to the FA criteria? Awadewit (talk) 14:23, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

It might be argued that the FA criteria already cover this. My thought is that an auto-translation automatically fails to meet the 1(a) requirement that the prose be "engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard" and that an auto-translation of sources fails to meet the 1(c) requirement that "claims be verifiable against reliable sources". I take 1(c) to mean that any reader fluent in English should be able to verify the accuracy of the article. If the accuracy of translated material cannot be verified by the general reader, our mostly English-only audience, it fails the test. Finetooth (talk) 18:07, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I wonder if it meets WP:V and WP:RS for any article. —Mattisse (Talk) 19:02, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
@Finetooth: While English-language citations are always preferred, foreign-language references are fine if they are from reputable sources. A Google translator does not meet this standard, as mistakes apparently occur frequently. I fail to see how that is considered reliable. Giants2008 (17-14) 21:43, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
These are interesting points raised here. Two articles I'm building towards an eventual FAC both use a couple of articles from languages other than English. One of them is Spanish, which I don't speak (and for which I used an online translation tool), and three are French, with which I'm pretty damn good. However, no English mongolot can verify these easily, even though I'm certain the French ones are correct, and I checked the Spanish one at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language. But to answer the original question: no, it wouldn't be a good idea, if only because it wouldn't work. While it may seem like a good idea to write something into the instructions that articles or sources translated from another language should be predominately included by someone fluent in that language, less scrupulous editors would soon cotton on and might just lie about their levels of multilingualism, relying their continued access to (some pretty decent) translation tools and a good dictionary to see them through any challenge. Our best bet in cases where we suspect this has happened is simply to get a second opinion from an uninvolved speaker of the language to check that the text matches the citation, in the same way we would get someone with access to university tools or whatnot to check an offline journal citation. Steve TC 20:04, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I would expect a nominator or an involved editor to be competent in the target language at the very least. From a personal stand point if a user has to use Google translator then they are NOT competent in the language. As an English/Spanish speaker my abilities somewhat transfer to Portuguese and Italian as I have also studied these languages at a rudimentary level. However, my advice is that if you have never studied the language then you should either find an editor who understands the source or leave the reference alone. Google translator is entirely unreliable and I can confirm that (naturally) mistakes are frequently made in every sentence. Translation tools do not provide fluency nor complete understanding — machos, ¡espero que me entiendas! Sillyfolkboy (talk) 02:27, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh I agree, which is why for the Spanish example I gave I got a second opinion, but my point is that demanding fluency would be unenforceable, so we might as well not bother. In one recent example, we were fortunate that the editor's paraphrasing skills were lacking enough that it was easily spotted. In other cases, we'll just have to soldier on as we always have until someone thinks of something better. Steve TC 07:49, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

There is a wide gap between relying on Google translator and fluent in two languages. Few expert translators are fluent in two languages, and many translate only from other languages into their native language. Don't raise the bar any higher than necessary. Re how to evaluate these translated articles, how about asking for input from Wikipedians who use the relevant babel tags? --Una Smith (talk) 05:53, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

  • There is a question of degree. I can't speak Spanish fluently, but have used (for example I think in Las Meninas), the Prado full catalogue, which has shortish very concise & fact-packed entries full of useful dates & details, & I think there is no problem with that. Using a Spanish prose article would probably be unwise for me though, except again for straightforward dates or facts. Johnbod (talk) 16:17, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

One citation template to rule them all[edit]

One citation template to find them,
One citation template to bring them all,
And in the darkness bind them [evil inconstancies].

Yeah so there's a discussion about a new template I wrote going on at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style and apparently you folks would have some interest in that. The scope is to merge most of the commonly used templates into one to procude uniform reference formatting. Headbomb {ταλκWP Physics: PotW} 04:35, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

FAC size[edit]

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Roman Catholic Church/archive5 is at 434 KB at 3 weeks, the largest FAC I'm aware of recently. (For comparison, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Samuel Johnson hit 256KB after 7 weeks.) Reviewers have been angered by past restarts, because they have to retype their Opposes, but this page will become unviewable on dialup soon. I installed page breaks. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:10, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

RCC's FAC already crashed my laptop... –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 01:38, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Great googly moogly... I can undestand time and time again getting annoyed at restating supports and such, but at some point it's kinda ridiculous... even with breaks it's near unreadable. This is why I stick with my pop culture and video games... Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 01:50, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, working up big Featured Articles I definitely need a break between, it is exhausting. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:04, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm on dialup, and it's still viewable for me, but I think it needs a restart anyway. On my monitor, the discussion on Roman Catholic Church is nearly as long as the discussions on all other FACs combined. When one review becomes this long, it always seems to become a drain on the process as a whole. The editors that come flock to the long review, and the other articles on the page don't seem to be as active as they usually would be. Luckily, the other articles have gotten some decent activity this time, but the size of the page will turn off reviewers if it gets much larger. Giants2008 (17-14) 02:43, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I was wondering about it yesterday too. I think it be best if the comments be moved to the article talk page for the nominator to work on the opposes. With the comments approaching half a megabyte, I do not see a possibility of promotion. =Nichalp «Talk»= 06:49, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
My biggest fear about a restart in this case is that it will only cause the FAC to drag on and on, and, like the others mentioned, cause a drag on the other nominees. Three weeks is long enough, in my opinion, for the FAC to be open. Many of the current opposes at the RCC FAC have been debated in previous FACs for the article with no consensus reached. Because of that, I don't think a restart would be helpful. In my opinion, when they get this long (especially when the nominators are regularly posting 2k responses to everything), we just need to make a yes-or-no decision and close them. If consensus can't be measured, archive and let the nominators try again later. Karanacs (talk) 15:44, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Wow, I didn't know all this was going on about RCC. I just did my job of creating a page and putting it up for FAC. I hope I am not going to be penalized because it happens to attract a lot of attention. I have worked very hard to answer objectors comments which has resulted in a lot of new information being added that they wanted to see. Several of them have not struck opposing comments even though they have been answered at length. Several opposing comments were unactionable and required me to actually post what the top scholars were saying about a subject because the objectors just could not believe it was true. I disagree with Karanacs evaluation of "Many of the current opposes at the RCC FAC have been debated in previous FACs for the article with no consensus reached." which is not true. No opposer comment in this FAC has been debated in previous FAC with no consensus reached. That kind of comment needs a diff. please. I have placed a note on Sandy's talk page to let her know that I do not have a problem with a restart. Especially since so many opposer comments have been addressed and remain unstruck.NancyHeise talk 14:24, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
I can't agree with your last point, Nancy. Many of the issues raised have come up time and again, sometimes with different examples cited, but the same issue. Whether no concensus has been reached on them is a matter of judgement - certainly no unanimous agreement has been reached, and many opposers have not been satisfied. Even on the matter of the phrasing re the name there are strongly held and mutually-exclusive positions, as we know. Johnbod (talk) 20:58, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Nancy, I assure you that what's happening is not exclusive to RCC. Samuel Johnson clogged up FAC in a similar fashion last month, and I see a similar pattern forming with the Romeo and Juliet FAC. This always happens with general-interest candidates, and it's a shame because these are the articles that would represent Wikipedia's best work in a perfect world. But people will always have differing views on important topics, especially those with a large scope like RCC. This is why I believe that FAC is tilted in favor of narrow topics. As a way to reduce the page loading time for us who are on dial-up, perhaps you and the others at the RCC review could shorten your comments. Giants2008 (17-14) 20:14, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Just to keep things straight wrt Samuel Johnson, the FAC reached 256KB after seven weeks (RCC is over 600KB at three weeks, but I've been constantly moving text to talk to keep the long replies from jamming FAC), I don't believe Johnson ever had more than three opposes at any one time (it had six or seven at various times, but they were all eventually struck except one, with editors consistently moving in the direction of satisfying opposes via talk page discussion without jamming up the FAC), and one reason it was carried so long on FAC is because I was a co-nom and couldn't close it. Different situation: it closed with 32 Supports and 1 Oppose. Perhaps a thought that might help resolve some of the issues ... there seems to be ongoing confusion about the role of "voting" (both at FAC, and in the lengthy discussions at Talk:Roman Catholic Church attempting to resolve the naming and other conflicts). Arguments like "8 editors wanted x and only 3 wanted y" will not resolve issues so that the article could go on the main page without other editors raising the same issues that have surfaced in the previous RCC FACs, which usually come down to how the article deals with RCC history. At this point, I'm inclined towards the idea expressed by Karanacs that a restart won't help: there doesn't yet seem to be an understanding of how to work towards broad consensus. Some editors have refused to return to review this article because previous restarts caused them to do the same review many times. As Raul said last time (emphasis mine): "What I'd like to see from all the remaining objectors is a list of specific problems with the article in its current form. I'd like the nominators to take some time and address the remaining issues prior to renominating this. I do want to see this featured, but it's not there yet. Raul654 (talk) 16:59, 13 June 2008 (UTC)" Taking a vote and declaring that most of the editors frequenting the talk page have decided not to make changes is not necessarily the same as addressing issues and reaching the broad consensus necessary for featured status. The goal is a featured article that would not be clobbered and immediately sent back to WP:FAR if it were to appear on the main page. I'd also like to see this article featured, and it is frustratingly close, but consensus will not be reached unless reviewer concerns are engaged rather than argued. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:42, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to restate Raul's words at the end of the last FAC, that Sandy just quoted, with some different words emphasised. "What I'd like to see from all the remaining objectors is a list of specific problems with the article in its current form. I'd like the nominators to take some time and address the remaining issues prior to renominating this." In other words this is the point we have been making time and time again. Unless people come up with specific points, and not vague, "this is POV" style opposes, nothing can be done to address real or imagined issues. In fact very few of trhe FAC opposers came back with specific points when asked to do so immediately after this, so it is unfair to criticise article editors for not dealing with opposes, which were never specified as Raul asked. In fact it could be said that certain people only seem interested in the article when it appears at FAC. And now the vague but persistent oppose is raising its head again. What happens when some opposers are not interested in a broad consensus on anything but their own viewpoint, and refuse to be pinned down to specifics? I would call this a blocking oppose. If the text of any other encyclopedia were put up for some people here, it would receive just as many accusations of POV, since no article is the diatribe of negativity about the Catholic Church that some people want. The fact is that such opposes need to be dealt with rigorously so ensure that they are not themselves simply "I don't like it" statements, which many seem to be. Xandar 22:47, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
A great number of things have been changed since the last FAC and during this one, but, as the problems over 3-4 words over the name show, there are some issues where people just won't agree. The inability to include everything, or much detail on anything, is also a severe problem, though it would be difficult to get everything people want covered into a book, never mind a WP article. Johnson is hardly an apt comparison, as the differences there were miniscule in comparison, and mostly about the article's form, not statements in the content. There are also still many who think a neutral RCC article would be Criticism of the Roman Catholic Church. Johnbod (talk) 21:53, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I also wanted to point out that the comparison to Johnson isn't apt for a number of reasons. What can be noted is that, on Johnson, Ottava consistently worked towards addressing and resolving reviewer opposes, even when that altered his vision for the article. The two-week long distress over the article name can stall the RCC FAC, illustrates that there is still disagreement even among the regular editors of the article, but I suspect that will eventually work itself out so it doesn't concern me yet; perhaps discussion could re-focus on the longer standing issues that continue to come up with respect to the History. Until that happens, I don't see that a restart will lead anywhere different than where things currently stand. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:04, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
I meant my comments to be about the general effect of long FACs; this one is obviously longer and more contentious, and a yes-or-no decision will have to be made at some point. One thing I wanted to mention above is that as I type this, there are 28 candidates, the fewest I've ever seen here. So much for FAC being overloaded in terms of total candidates. Giants2008 (17-14) 22:55, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
True; smallest number in a very long time, but no discernible difference in the number of reviews. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:07, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Sandy, would it be a good idea to archive the supports and resolved opposes, with a summarised note left on the FAC page? The size truly is a major disincentive to edit the page. --Dweller (talk) 14:29, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Maybe. There's a record of each oppose on the talk page, and I've encouraged each reviewer to strike and respond there. We archived one in the past (as an experiment rather than the usual restart method), and as I knew would happen, we now see claims that this is the fifth FAC, when in fact, it's the fourth. I'm not sure what we can do about the size other than what Giants2008 has already done with a polite request that nominators shorten their responses or that issues unrelated to WIAFA move to the article talk page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:49, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

With the Roman Catholic Church FAC at 500KB and the Major depressive disorder FAC at almost 200KB, the total page has hit 1MB, and I'm having a hard time loading the page. Anyone else? It might help if people would put lengthy commentary on talk pages. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 07:48, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I thought you generally didn't want discussion on talk pages. Could you explain what commentary should be shunted sideways to talk? Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 16:01, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Image review or resolution of concerns needed[edit]

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:09, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Augie March too. Giggy (talk) 04:56, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
That's only been up three days; if we're going to list all of the FACs have no image review, well, it would be most of the page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:32, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Good morning, all. I can do these in a few hours, but I have to go teach Adventures of Huckleberry Finn first. :) Awadewit (talk) 10:29, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I am doing them now. Awadewit (talk) 13:42, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks to all who pitched in ! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:14, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Page number citations[edit]

I have started getting some e-books from Mobipocket, which offer advantages including fully searchable text, ability to add notes and bookmarks, and can easily take with when traveling or living overseas. (I also have some material from The one downside to these formats is they don't have page numbers in the same sense as printed books. So, if I cite them on Wikipedia, I can't always put page numbers in the references. An example is the book cite I just added to the American Airlines Flight 77 article [6]. The book is not available on Google Books so I can't find page numbers that way. I can provide chapter numbers, and want to know if that would be sufficient? or how you suggest referencing books in these formats, in a way that is okay for FAC? --Aude (talk) 23:59, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

I had a similar issue, in that reviewers wanted page numbers for a plot section but I had only listened to the audiobook... I trust the nominator, but I would agree that chapters at least are necessary. We can't just throw the book (pun intended) at people wanting to check our facts. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 00:05, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
The goal of a page number is to let a reader find the cite easily. If a chapter is the most precise identifier available for an e-book, that doesn't disqualify the source, so I think it's OK. For reader convenience the cite should be replaced with a cite to a paper copy with a page number if it's easy to do so, but that's just a nicety, not a requirement. I have a similar issue with a CD version of an encyclopedia, which allows me only to cite the article name -- that's good enough to get to within a page or two, but whenever I get back to Texas, where the dead tree version is, I replace it with a cite with a page number. Mike Christie (talk) 00:16, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, I recently had a FAC passed (Morotai Mutiny) that used a fairly lengthy online source as a key refererence and for which I couldn't provide page or even section/chapter numbers. No-one complained but if there were issues, my plan was to provide a direct quote in the citation (if I wasn't doing so already in the body of the article) so people had something to search for to verify if they wished. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 00:53, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
For an audio book, wouldn't the appropriate reference be the minute? :) Awadewit (talk) 14:12, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Currently, minutes are not required for videotape and DVD citations. Is this an anticipated change? --Moni3 (talk) 15:09, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Probably not, but I've urged it from time to time. It's just common sense. The point of a reference is to enable a reader to find the supporting material. There are established traditions in scholarly work for books and journals. There really aren't for newer media. But an editor should always provide the best and most helpful citation possible.
In a case where there's really any serious question as to whether the source really supports the statement, then, sure, an editor should be required to provide whatever is needed to enable verification. This was important in one matter I was actually involved in, where an editor asserted that his source for something that would have been very interesting if true was microfilm of a college newspaper, and could only provide a range of several years within which he was sure the material had appeared.
Note that for eBooks and online sources, a text search is usually available, so a short unique search phrase is another possibility.
There shouldn't be any point to or need for precise rules, just use good faith in providing citations. Dpbsmith (talk) 17:59, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
It does make sense and I would do it because it is the "best and most helpful citation possible", as Dpbsmith points out. Awadewit (talk) 19:59, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

When I can get to a bookstore or library that has the book, I can look up the page numbers and add them. For now, it sounds like the chapter number will be okay. In the particular book I'm citing, the chapters are not long. --Aude (talk) 20:11, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Odd, I had a similar problem very recently. Jappalang helpfully recommended me two books on Luan Da to expand it and take it back to FAC; however, he accessed them by translating them from websites, so I can't include pages. He suggested to simply link to the websites in the citations, but noted that the website on which the snippet from the second book is included isn't reliable. The two websites are [7] and [8]. Does anyone know for certain whether linking the first website as a source would be acceptable? (Jappalang and I are fairly sure that the second isn't acceptable, but I'm not entirely sure on that one either.) Nousernamesleft (talk) 20:14, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Elcobbola retires[edit]

Elcobbola's sudden retirement is a huge blow to the FAC process. Nobody was more meticulous, patient and fair in their judgements about images. He was always the person I, and many other, turned to when an image problem arose, and he will be greatly missed. Thank you, one more time. Brianboulton (talk) 00:43, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

As most FAC participants know, Elcobbola was the kind of editor Wikipedia should bend over backwards to retain. And absolutely a gentleman; my first encounter with him was on a difficult FAC where he showed his character as the gracious, kind and civil person that he is. Unfailingly polite, thorough, knowledgeable, responsive, dedicated, and meticulous. In his honor, I will try to remember the importance of kindness and civility, particularly towards reviewers and more specifically towards image reviewers, who really do a thankless job and get beaten up a lot. I feel priviledged to have been able to work with Elcobbola, and thankful that he left us a legacy of his knowledge: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-08-11/Dispatches and Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-09-22/Dispatches. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:55, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm stunned and saddened that he's no longer working here. I don't know how we're going to be able to pick up after him. Just...give ourselves a crash course in images, I guess... --Moni3 (talk) 01:13, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh no! Elcobbola was the kind of mentor every editor longs for: patient, detailed in his explanations, witty, generous, and well-informed. He will be sorely missed. Awadewit (talk) 13:58, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Is there a reason for this? It all seems so sudden and mysterious. --Dweller (talk) 14:09, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

As someone who has watchlisted Elcobbola's talk page for almost a year, it is neither sudden nor mysterious. The concerns were evident for a long time, and he became less and less willing to visit certain FACs. I have periodically put out hints that we lose reviewers because it's thankless work, but if I see rudeness on FACs and if I take a stand, it usually results in my neutrality being questioned. This is an issue that should be addressed by all. Civility and kindness towards volunteers who donate their time to review articles at FAC is an issue that should be addressed by the community here: without reviewers, we don't have high quality FAs. It will be a long time before we see another Elcobbola. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:14, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm happy to come in and have a word with uncivil contributors (noms or reviewers). Please page me. As for Elcobbola - a great shame. Perhaps in a few months his enthusiasm might be reinspired by an appropriately worded email. --Dweller (talk) 15:31, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I've seen the same at GAN. For every ten nominations you do, maybe more, all but one are happy and it's a pleasure to review them. Then one crops up, who is blunt, uncivil and totally unrecognising of the work you do, and it makes you question why you really bother. It's a huge shame to lose Elcobbola particularly for this reason. Peanut4 (talk) 19:10, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
There's also a general issue with resentment against the tight requirements of the WP:NFCC. See, for example, the recent argument on the use of 38 non-frees for an article in how heated this can get against those that are trying to uphold the Foundation's requirements. (Mind you, you do get a few NFCC-supporters with attitudes that lend to such problems, such as BetaCommand). --MASEM 19:32, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Repeating my post above. I have periodically put out hints that we lose reviewers because it's thankless work, but if I see rudeness on FACs and if I take a stand, it usually results in my neutrality being questioned. This is an issue that should be addressed by all. Civility and kindness towards volunteers who donate their time to review articles at FAC is an issue that should be addressed by the community here: without reviewers, we don't have high quality FAs. It will be a long time before we see another Elcobbola. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:16, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Any particular reason you're repeating this? --Moni3 (talk) 23:19, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I haven't read FAC for four days, so I hope your question doesn't mean I'm going to find even more rudeness occurred in my absence. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:28, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

"Brilliant prose" and controversial articles[edit]

As we are all aware, controversial articles have a much different history than non-controversial articles. In particular, the structure of the article and the writing is often a hard-won compromise (e.g. Roman Catholic Church and Millennium '73), however these compromises are not always in the best interest of the reader. Let me give an example. At Millennium '73, many of the topic sentences have been removed from the article under the auspices that they were uncited. For example, the fifth paragraph in the "Media coverage" section used to begin "Relations between journalists and the DLM were strained" (a statement amply backed up by the examples), but this was removed because the sentence had no footnote. My question is this: Is the "brilliant prose" bar the same for these controversial articles as other articles? If the bar remains the same, very few, if any, controversial articles, will ever pass FAC (we all know how rigorous Tony1 is!). However, lowering the bar in this one instance hardly seems equitable. Thoughts on this issue? Awadewit (talk) 17:00, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I've seen this particular problem, the removal of topic sentences on the grounds that they were uncited on a hot-button controversial article. In that case, after being consistently reverted, I just left the article as it was. But it seems fairly obvious that a topic sentence is much like an article's lead: it doesn't need to be cited, because it merely introduces and summarizes what is about to follow. There should be no good reason for removing such sentences (and in fact, editors should be actively encouraged to use them), frankly for readability's sake as much as for any other reason.
Indeed, too many editors seem to think that the "brilliant prose" criterion is some kind of impossible barrier imposed by people who are more concerned for style than substance. But the point about improving an article's prose is that the article also becomes clearer and more readable as a result.
So my problem with an article such as RCC (well, one of my problems) is that it is a chore to read. This is both because it dispenses with the stylistic strategies by which good writing guides a reader; but also because it zig-zags from point to point, governed by the footnotes rather than any attempt to make the prose flow.
This is a perennial problem with Wikipedia, of course: that the tendency is towards cookie-cutter articles in which the part takes precedence over the whole. But at FAC it is worth trying to resist this tendency, and to offer examples of how to do things otherwise. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 19:23, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Jbmurray, is there an example you can put forward? Mine seem to have backfired :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:29, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Heh. I do think that there are plenty of examples of articles that are both meticulously well-referenced and also well-written. Many of the articles that Awadewit brings to FAC, for instance. I'm also a great admirer of Qp10qp's combination of scholariless and attention to language. Sadly, he hasn't been around much recently.
However, I felt that one of his recent FAC nominations went decidedly downhill in terms of the prose while under the scrutiny of FAC. I see that happening too often, and perhaps this is the real issue here? (Not to mention my own somewhat unhappy experience.) --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 19:36, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
FAC didn't get to opine over Peter Wall because the nominator withdrew in the heat of the battle :-) I was hoping for an example of a controversial article that does not have compromised prose: not sure Learned Hand is all that controversial. And prose deterioration at FAC, because too many cooks put their hands in the broth, (I suspect) is different than what Awadewit is raising. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:44, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm thinking about articles that, because of their topics, are inherently controversial. Intelligent design would be a good example. I find the prose in that article to be far from "brilliant" as well. I just looked at Islam - on a brief skimming, the prose is hardly "brilliant". It is more like "adequate", IMO. However, without studying the article history, I don't know why this is. Awadewit (talk) 19:50, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I can give many examples of prose being gutted of topic sentences in the name of "verifiability". One blatant case involved a sentence in a BLP saying X had been indicted for A, B, and C, followed by three sections about A, B and C. I'm glad Raul features articles like Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me) occasionally as it helps counter the bias for citationism. Not long ago, an article passed FAC where almost every sentence was lifted from some source and slightly rephrased. The sentences were weaved together fairly well, but the approach treats articles to a collection of facts with some structure. This seems to be where wikiculture is heading, though. Gimmetrow 23:54, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
My thoughts are that the same standards ought to apply regardless of the controversial nature of the article's subject, but it's clear that they don't. I share your concern that certain high-profile articles get mauled at FAC, and I am coming to the conclusion that in the not too distant future it may well be impossible for any controversial article to become featured. The increasingly common fetish for insisting on one citation per sentence is not helping to produce "brilliant prose" either. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 18:23, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I think that we have to admit that, for some articles, it is impossible to be seen as neutral in the eyes of a significant majority. Wrad (talk) 18:38, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Two examples that did it (there are many more): Islam and Evolution. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:41, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
This just shows the hypocrisy of the system. Just look at the Islam article - aprticularly the History section. Is there ANY mention of the massacres of Mohammed perpetrated on Jews and fellow Arabs, and MENTION of the destruction of neighbouring civilisations, piracy slavery? NOT A WORD! One section is even titled
I think those articles are great, but I still think that both of those lack a significant majority who see them as neutral. We just choose to ignore those that disagree. Wrad (talk) 18:43, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Wrad. Islam got through in early 2007, and its recent FAR was not well attended. It would not get through FAC today in my view. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 18:47, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I was trying to focus on the "brilliant prose" part of the criteria. (Evolution dispensed with the bulk of its controversial editors before coming to FAC. Through various tactics adopted by the editors on that article, there weren't "factions" fighting it out at the last FAC. There was only one dominant faction left at the article when it was nominated for FAC. The last FAC for the article, for example, looks nothing like the RCC.) Awadewit (talk) 18:52, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Firmly disagree: Tim Vickers didn't "dispense" with editors via any "tactics". He worked with editors on all sides. Perhaps you're thinking of a different article? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:00, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I am not going to discuss individual people's actions here. Have you read all of the archives for that article? I have. It is pretty clear that creationist editors were encouraged to edit articles on creationism and go to other wikis, for example. This is just one of the tactics that was used. I'm not saying I don't agree with this. However, it was a clear tactic that made it easier to write the article from a scientific rather than creationist perspective. Also, the editors at the page created an FAQ so that they wouldn't have to repeatedly answer the same questions from creationist editors. Again, I don't have a problem with this pragmatically speaking, but to someone from the outside, just editing wiki for the first time, it is off-putting (they are unwilling to engage with me? why?). This specific FAQ was even used in a scholarly talk I heard to demonstrate how Wikipedians "police" discourse and shut down debate. However, rather than debating the debate over the Evolution article, perhaps we should get back to my original question about "brilliant prose". Awadewit (talk) 19:12, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
But your statement above did personalize that FAC with what could be seen as a rather strong opinion about the involved editors. Also, I'm not sure how we can dispense with the core policy of neutrality at FAC. Are you saying Evolution isn't neutral, or didn't reflect brilliant prose, and shouldn't have passed FAC? Or are you saying RCC is neutral and prose is being compromised? A bit confused about how you want to separate neutral writing and brilliant prose, so I offered two examples. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:20, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
But I did call out people by name - I try not to do that when they are not in the conversation. Anyway, like I said, I'm not here to debate the history of Evolution article, which is long and messy. 1) I didn't say we should dispense with neutrality; 2) I have said nothing regarding Evolution's status (you brought that up); 3) I brought up the example of Millennium '73, whose prose is being compromised (I gave an example); 4) I haven't commented at the latest RCC FAC, but I have noticed that other editors have brought up the issue of prose independent from that of neutrality and POV. Awadewit (talk) 19:28, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough: but since Tim Vickers was the nominator, the effect can be the same as calling someone out by name. 'Nuff on that, I didn't intend a digression. To jumble things a bit more, what you mention at the Milennium article seems to be related to the issue of citations in the lead, and that may be another front that needs to be addressed independently of FAC. (I was once the subject of a strident personal attack for merely mentioning off-FAC, without taking a stand, that it's OK to cite hard data and statements that surprise the reader in an article lead, but that is separate from topic and summarizing sentences, and that distinction may need to be better sorted in the Lead guideline. There seems to be some confusion or disagreement over citations in the lead, still, after all these years.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:39, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
There are many issues currently at play at the Millennium FAC, but the one I specifically mentioned has nothing to do with the lead. It is entirely internal to the article. (I agree, though, that we really don't have a firm grasp on what needs to be cited in the lead.) Awadewit (talk) 19:42, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Can "brilliant prose" be separate from POV? Absolutely. Clearly sometimes they are tied together, but they are not necessarily tied together. Awadewit (talk) 19:30, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
The more 'technical' an article is, the less POV. The more 'social' or 'emotional' an article is. the more the chances of POV creep. I do not think they should be tied together. =Nichalp «Talk»= 19:35, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I think the two (neutrality and brilliant prose) are related. I think that we are so thirsty for NPOV that we abandon brilliant prose. I also think that our idea of NPOV is an illusion, since in our most controversial articles we always are forced to ignore very significant points of view in order to get the past FAC. If we recognize that it is an illusion, maybe we cna fix the imbalance between neutrality and prose that currently exists. Wrad (talk) 18:57, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I think everyone recognizes that philosophically-speaking, NPOV is an illusion. However, I'm not sure what you means when you say that our most controversial articles are "forced" to ignore very significant views to pass FAC. Could he explain a bit more? Awadewit (talk) 19:16, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Islam on the "picture of Muhammad" issue. Millions of people consider it incredibly offensive to have pictures of Muhammad on the page. Millions of others think it would be lacking without them. Something had to give. Wrad (talk) 20:06, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I very much doubt whether "brilliant prose" can ever be produced by committee. Can anyone point to an example of an FA which would be generally accepted as being written brilliantly that would get past FAC today? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 19:05, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I wish there was less use by reviewers of "brilliant prose" as a stated requirement for FAC because first, the criteria wording does not unambiguously state it as an absolute requirement and second, by my reading of the FA list (and I've read a great many of them on at least a cursory level), few if any featured articles reach the level of brilliant prose throughout their entire content.
Brilliance is an admirable ideal, but, unfortunately, brilliant prose is often brittle; it is so carefully crafted as to make even a minor change by a subsequent editor break it down to "merely" well-written or engaging. I've seen a number of articles where sections or paragraphs reach the level of brilliant, in my opinion, but an article written entirely in "brilliant prose"? I can't think of one. True brilliance is exceedingly rare.
The bar on controversial articles, as with all featured articles, should be set at the more reasonable "well-written", "engaging" and "of a professional standard" level, as required by the current featured article criteria. Those requirements are still a high and clearly difficult standard to meet. -- Michael Devore (talk) 19:13, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with your sentiment, but I think the problem would still exist for controversial articles, however, because it is difficult to write well when editors are arguing over every sentence. There is just no coherence to the article's "voice". :) Awadewit (talk) 19:18, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Looks like your original question is actually asking whether we should be pandering to the desire for citations for the bleeding obvious (not a criterion) at the expense of the other criteria. That's a "no" (Did somebody hear something? Probably the wind). Yomanganitalk 19:25, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Me, snorting and biting my tongue probably. Giano (talk)
Quite. Like the demand in the Polydactyl article to provide a citation that most human beings have five fingers and five toes. That kind of stupidity is what prevents even good prose, never mind brilliant prose. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 21:53, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I think Michael Devore's analysis is spot on. Impossible to achieve "brilliant prose" with so many cooks spoiling the broth at FAC. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 19:21, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Another factor contributing to the poor overall quality of controversial articles is that the energy of the main contributors is focused almost entirely on endless fights over a few small sections of the text (particularly the lead), rather than working on the article as a whole. If you can bear it, look at the talkpages on Chiropractic or Homeopathy, two articles that have been extensively edited and are densely-cited, but I'd never nominate as FAC. Tim Vickers (talk) 20:14, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
All too true. Wrad (talk) 20:21, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I've actually read all of the archives of both of those articles. A grueling few days. Tim, at one point I think you said at Homeopathy that people who want to contribute positively to the article should edit the body of the article rather than the lead because many fewer editors notice or care about changes to the main body of the article. A huge proportion of the edit warring and debate takes place over the lead. :) (I think I may have included a quote from you on this point in my Wikimania talk.) Awadewit (talk) 23:44, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Cool! One of the higher-risk strategies in dispute resolution is to submit the article as a GAC, which brings in an outside reviewer and forces people to work on all of the article, rather than just the "hot-button issues". This is a bit risky because if the disagreements are very strong, the article can simply be rejected for instability. Tim Vickers (talk) 18:23, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I have one example. 2008 attacks on North Indians in Maharashtra failed on FAC. Some of reasons were reviewers failed to understand the hate crimes done and article seemed POVish to them. Article otherwise was well referenced and has good prose. --GPPande talk! 21:14, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
That is a problem with reviewers in general. I find that often they do not read the entire article. However, I always appreciate it when reviewers admit they had not read the entire article, which many do. —Mattisse (Talk) 23:54, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

To quote a section from the posts above:

::I think that we have to admit that, for some articles, it is impossible to be seen as neutral in the eyes of a significant majority. Wrad (talk) 18:38, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Two examples that did it (there are many more): Islam and Evolution. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:41, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

This just shows the hypocrisy of the system being run here. Just look at the Islam article - particularly the History section. Is there ANY mention of the massacres of Mohammed perpetrated on Jews and fellow Arabs? Any MENTION of the destruction of neighbouring civilisations, piracy slavery? NOT A WORD! Oppression of women? Not mentioned. Mention of massacres in Spain, Byzantium, Armenia, Greece? No sign. The Crusades were "launched" by Christians. No mention of the Muslim attacks on Byzantium, Georgia and Armenia that provoked the response. One section is even titled with the amazingly "POV" heading Golden Age! Imagine if we had put that title up on a section of the Catholicism article! How the same people who supported Islam would have howled and wailed - and been supported by the same SandyGeorgia who now tells us how wonderful and NPOV Islam is! Yet "Islam" flies through, and Sandy and her followers at FAC strain at gnats over the Catholicism article, wanting us to list every negative action ever commited by a Catholic and cut out anything that might hint Catholics ever did anything good. A simplThat one e comparison shows the hypocrisy of what goes on here under the present regime. Xandar 23:40, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Brilliant prose and the French[edit]

Partly for a bit of levity and partly because I mused over it recently, here's a (possibly very bad) translation of the 1a criterion from the French Wiki, which might provide some insight into our use of "brilliant":

Bien écrit signifie que le niveau de langue est correct, voire recherché, et exempt de faute de style; que l'orthographe, la grammaire et la typographie sont irréprochables et homogènes.
Well written means the level of language is correct, even sought after, and free from errors of style; the orthography, grammar, and typography are impeccable and consistent.

We don't actually mention orthography, grammar, and typography at WIAFA. But what I thought more interesting is that, while they obviously mimiced .en in general, they didn't carry "brilliant" across (I believe it could be "voire brillant" or "voire magnifique").

What would "sought after" mean if we unpacked it at WIAFA? Maybe distilling the following: "for the discipline in question, this is the professional language I am looking for." Our medical articles don't need "brilliant" prose; they need clinical prose. Ditto evolution related topics. "Brilliant" perhaps works for literature and theatre but not philosophy, which often needs to be laboriously precise. As for the religion debates on-going, I might agree that Islam is not brilliant prose but I firmly disagree it could not get through FAC on 1a: its prose is didactic, in the positive sense of the term. See what the Denver Post had to say about it, Global warming, and Evolution. The FA process is clearly capable of managing prose, but perhaps it is time to drop "brilliant" in favour of something else that better reflects best practice. Marskell (talk) 07:04, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the "brilliant" prose part seems like a literary standard that does not apply to many topics that are not, as you say "works for literature and theatre". I see many complaints of dull prose for articles that have be made "laboriously precise", although the articles may be extremely well organized and clearly written, "didactic in a positive sense", on a difficult topic. —Mattisse (Talk) 23:27, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Image review needed[edit]

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:30, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Farce of RCCs Fifth FAC[edit]

I think it's quite clear that after this fifth round of the farce that is FAC, that the FAC system is broken, and that no Catholic article that isn't a "blistering expose of Catholic evil" is going to make it past the clique of POV-pushers at FAC. The FAC process and personnel need an urgent and thoroughgoing review so that a few biased opposers are no longer allowed to continually stymie an article with vague and unspecified allegations of POV until it fits in with their viewpoint. The running of the RCC FAC by Sandy has been chronic. She has done nothing to rigorously test opposes and see that they were precise and fitted the criteria, and has consistently made laughably biased interventions on behalf of the the same clique of "reviewers". I notice the same Marskell whocame late to the FAC with POV opposes, is actually a delegate on FAR - the same FAR that voted the extremely unbalanced Islam article (see my post above) a free ride back to FA status! Unbelievable! The bronze star means very little in real terms now by the standard of much of the junk that gets passed on the nod, while articles of effort and substance on major topics are treated in this manner. All that this ludicrous joke of a process will produce is a total lack of articles on major topics coming up for featured status. Xandar 23:17, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I really can't stand high-profile FAs. They are unbelievably ridiculous. Wrad (talk) 00:19, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Just accept that FAC is controlled by a small group of people who toe the bit, so they can get their articles through when the time comes, and who like to "discuss" things a lot but not change anything. You have to become one of the FAC group if you want to pass a controversial article. No big deal. It is not "fair". The Roman Catholic Church FAC is one in a long line of ridiculous FACs. Look at FAC as a reality show that (thankfully) doesn't reflect reality or even (thankfully) Wikipedia. —Mattisse (Talk) 00:44, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
FAC promotes petty bickering ahead of adding real content to wikipedia. FAC highlights the accomplishments of editors who are good at the bickering process, not necessarily at the writing and researching process, though there are exceptions. One could, hypothetically, sabotage FAC by picking every article apart detail until the nominator collapses to his or her knees in tears and agrees to worship their critic as a god or goddess.
It would be so easy. Just pick things apart to a ridiculous extent until the nominator reacts as any normal human being would: with intense anger and frustration. Then, you could hypocritically accuse them of personally attacking you! Ohohoooh! The evil genius of this is so brilliant it makes my spine tingle. Yes! You could counter your evil reviews with just enough good ones that so-called "cool-headed" editors would step in whenever somebody complained and say "but he's valuable to FAC!" Your enemies thus silenced, you could walk the world with relative impunity...hated, but voluntarily ignorant of the hatred against you. No... not ignorant, conscious of it. Conscious of it and fully savoring and relishing the sufferings of the poor, helpless recipients of your cruelty. Oh, to be such an editor of Wikipedia! To have such power!
It's already happening. Wrad (talk) 01:04, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Techically "promotes petty bickering ahead of adding real content to wikipedia" is wrong - you have already added the content to the wiki :p
"highlights the accomplishments of editors who are good at the bickering process" - I did next to no bickering to get a history article promoted to FAC - maybe the history section is better :p
"hypothetically, sabotage FAC by picking every article apart detail until the nominator collapses to his or her knees in tears and agrees to worship their critic as a god or goddess." Or you could write long winded posts littered with attempts at sarcasim to enternain drunken people who have not better to do this evening :)
"The evil genius " thank you :)
"Your enemies thus silenced" hope your not going to pay anyone to do that!
"you could walk the world with relative impunity" You can - i have! :)
"Conscious of it and fully savoring and relishing the sufferings of the poor, helpless recipients of your cruelty. " Satan works on the wiki? Where does he get the spare time?
"Oh, to be such an editor of Wikipedia! To have such power! " Power's overrated, its true!
Taty bye :)--EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 01:17, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
To all editors who think this rant is directed at them personally, I have one suggestion: peruse our article on the song "You're so vain" and maybe read the lyrics over once or twice. :P Wrad (talk) 02:37, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Actually, a big part of it is in topic choice. If you are going to pick a controversial subject, pick one that is not very interesting to current historians, so that all the sources are old and reflect a POV bias. Then you can say, well, these are the sources. And no one can argue because the topic is not sufficiently interesting enough for anyone to have bothered to refute the POV. If you are a FAC groupie, that is all you need. Bam! You have your FA. —Mattisse (Talk) 01:28, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
To be serious now, that is a major pain with history - due to the relasing of new documents/new evidence for hsitorians to use and what era your source comes from, you could techically be typing balls on to this here encylopedia. --EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 01:33, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it recently happened in an FAC. I know of what I speak. —Mattisse (Talk) 01:52, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
So you can edit wikipedia, just not the stuff that you want to. Not the controversial stuff. In other words, the controversial stuff is hopeless. Wrad (talk) 02:40, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
This only applies if you want an FA. However, if you don't care about FA, then you can edit what you want happily. In fact, I would suggest that the Good article nominations process is a far more helpful and satisfying experience than FAC, if you want a certification for your article. —Mattisse (Talk) 02:57, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I dont see why a decently wrote, well sourced and neutral article would not be passed - there are plently of controverial history articles 2 of which am working on now and hope to get passed one day :)--EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 02:42, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
After those articles pass, then you can talk. Wrad (talk) 02:45, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Roman Catholic Church/archive5 - the fifth FAC nomination for this article. (That is what began this thread to begin with, see above Farce of RCCs Fifth FAC). —Mattisse (Talk) 03:05, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Well history is allot easier to write - a description of events and an anyalais balancing opinions etc (ive just helped out on prmoting one with some controvery attached to it) but anyhoo i am really just butting in on this because am bored.
Again - just poking my nose in- glancing over the FAC it would seem the majoirty of people supported the article and the majoirty who opposed was over niggling things like referancing, writing style etc which is understandable. So why did it fail?--EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 03:51, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't know which article you are talking about, but I suspect the main editor was not a FAC groupie. If you are talking about Roman Catholic Church I would say, that there is a lack of protocol or whatever in the FAC process, and so it was just easier to fail it than to sort out the niggling picks from the valid concerns. Also, FAC tends to focus on the niggling things as the crucial issue. This is where being a FAC groupie is important. If you are a groupie, the other groupies will rush in and fix the niggling picks, overhwhelming the ones who disagree, and the FAC director will tend to be more tolerant and fix things personally as well as discourage the nonsupporters, and hold the article open longer. (Although sometimes, paralysis sets in and articles are held open endlessly, discrediting the FAC procedures.) It is not an unbiased process and it essentially has no fixed rules but is at the director's descretion. —Mattisse (Talk) 04:11, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Have you read the RCC FAC? I have, and there's no way in which it could be considered to have failed because of "niggly little issues". There was substantial opposition due to POV-and-similar concerns (whether one agrees with them or not), including concerns from editors other than those I see regularly at WP:FAC. All this talk of "FAC groupies" is a serious red herring. As for it being "easier to fail", that ignores the creditable efforts that were made to keep this alive in the face of the opposition and almost 500KB of discussion. The FAC was kept open for more than a month, which is more than a lot of articles get, and it's not every FAC that gets such a detailed rationale for its closure. Nancy is not a name I see regularly on these pages, and yet from what I can tell, the FAC delegate bent over backwards to keep alive the possibility of the article's promotion (hardly cabal-ish behaviour). To suggest otherwise is to wilfully ignore the facts. Steve TC 08:32, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
All i said was that i glanced over it - only looking at the support/dont support comments in bold - i didnt have the time to sit and read the whole discussion - hence the comment. As i said am just poking my nose in because i was bored :) --EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 18:24, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Well said, Steve. Marskell (talk) 09:23, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

A lot of heated rhetoric here. If there's one thing I can say about Wiki processes, it's that they are perpetually "broken." Someone is always saying that AfD, RfA, FAC etc. are broken. But the processes keep on ticking: they are necessarily imperfect, not broken.

People need to take a step back here and consider the RCC nominations in sum. Repeatedly, opposers have been berated and howled at, not listened to. Relata refero, Vassyanna, Jbmurray, Awadewit, Karanacs, Tony1, Marskell, Geometry Guy etc. These editors do not constitute a secret cabal. They are not radical POV-pushers. They are not groupies. There's no grand FA conspiracy. The RCC noms are failing because the nominators and supporters are not handling them properly.

It is hard to be all things to all people, admittedly. If the RCC editors want to pass the article the first thing they should do is radically shorten it. Nancy's habit has been to add, add, add. This is not the way to go. Marskell (talk) 08:09, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Most of the group complaining over the RCC article you list above (some of whom are from the previous FAC) are strongly linked and certainly know one another. You, Marskell, are part of the FA team, which passed the totally uncritical Islam article. Yet you, (in my view improperly,) intervened to oppose the already far more critical FAC article for not having enough anti-Catholic POV! I don't see how you can remain part of the supposedly neutral FA admin team after that. I also notice that the FAC page itself has been altered before archiving (again, in my view not in line with proper processes). All the comments positive of the article from supporters, all responses to opposes, and all of the comments from several editors critical of the repeated process with regard to the RCC article have been removed. The whole FAC discussion needs archiving AS IT WAS, without history being rewritten. The RCC is failing because of a DOUBLE-STANDARD applied to certain articles by an in-group at FAC. Xandar 09:21, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
For the record, the information above about the FAC page being altered is completely false. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:15, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Having been around for more than a few years, it really is an issue of topic choice. The RCC is a controversial topic where individuals are certain they know the "truth" of her history. In reality, the vast majority of editors are clueless and have only a superficial understanding of such topics. As a non-Catholic, but one interested in religious topics, what I have seen over the last five attempts is just the norm. There is no standard that is uniform across Wikipedia articles; it is highly subjective. My advice is to forget about the FAC process; just drop it. It is much better to produce as good an article as possible and leave it at that. Monitor it so that it does not get ruined by the passing nimrod and move forward. --StormRider 10:00, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
@Xandar. The editors I list are strongly linked? I think a more accurate description is: random English speakers scattered across the globe. Honestly, the very nature of Wiki makes serious conspiracies of the sort you are suggesting impossible. I had not received a single word regarding this article from any of the other editors I list before I opposed. Scout's honour.
Now, there's some accuracy in your comment on Islam and perhaps through bad phrasing I haven't made myself clear. Is there less criticism in the Islam article? Arguably, yes. But there's also less apologetics at the level phrasing. This is the key point. They decided to keep it short and to avoid value judgements in any direction. I'll pull out one comment, addressed to me, from that FAC:
"Marskell, we have one small overview section on criticism of islam. Once we mention more specific points, we need to balance it out with specific answers and the section becomes bloated." --Aminz 08:09, 13 May 2007 (UTC) (The section was later merged into Modern times.)
This is the attitude they adopted and I now see the enormous wisdom of it. I'll give you specific examples, but we need to be less heated if it's going to be productive. Marskell (talk) 10:30, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't see a "Criticism" section in Islam, and the rest of the article is wholly valedictory ("Golden Age" etc), and completely ignores virtually ALL the negatives: massacres of jews and Christians, oppression of women, slavery, terrorism, suppression of science post- 1100 etc... Yet it is the infinitely more critical Catholic article that gets stopped for POV! There seems to be a clear double-standard here which needs to get sorted out. Xandar 13:05, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, there is a group of editors/reviewers of FAC that are strongly linked. As a hanger-around-FAC editor, I could list a group that are "strongly linked". Hang around FAC and you will see. Do some follow up nosing around on relevant talk pages. From a sociological perspective, it is very interesting. —Mattisse (Talk) 13:59, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Ok. List them. Particularly those who are supporting articles that should not be passed. --Moni3 (talk) 21:50, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Thanks Moni for saying this. I have been concerned about these accusations for the past few days and have felt that my integrity as a FAC reviewer has fallen under suspicion. The subject of many of the FACs that I have commented on over the past year interests me not one iota. What interests me is the standard of research and writing. Graham Colm Talk 22:38, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I would suggest the opposite, per Sandy's complaint that there are not enough "opposes" (registered somewhere not too long ago). They rarely "oppose". Rather, these editors show up to "support" (for articles by certain editors), even when they have not scrutinized the article and have no real interest in it. To paraphrase Ling.Nut, who was also recently asked to "name names", I am not crazy enough to do that! —Mattisse (Talk) 01:05, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Either show us specific evidence of wrongdoing by specific editors (this pattern you claim to see) or cease complaining. I'm tired of these vague accusations. Awadewit (talk) 02:15, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I am perfectly willing to end this thread. Just did not want to be accused of not replying. You know perfectly well that "naming names" would be suicidal. That is nuts! (as User:Ling.Nut said when he was attacked with the same demand). So stop asking. —Mattisse (Talk) 02:25, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Just think of all the charges that would be leveled against me if I fell for that bait!!! All I am suggesting is that people notice. Is that a crime on Wikipedia? —Mattisse (Talk) 02:28, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Notice what, exactly? That is my whole point. You need to show us specific evidence of what you think the wrongdoing is. Without that, your accusations don't hold much weight. You are in a catch-22, I'm afraid. Awadewit (talk) 02:31, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I am sorry, but I don't "need" to do anything. I don't know where you get your "policeman" status. I made a comment. People can take it or leave it. Apparently I hit a raw nerve, judging by the responses. Sorry, but that is not my problem. —Mattisse (Talk) 02:36, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I've seen the political trade-offs on Wiki: support here hoping for a support somewhere else. It's interesting on any and all levels to watch the way that Wikipedia society grows its many facets. One of them is here, at FAC. There are regulars here, that's true. However, I find that this group of editors is brought together by something different than other Wikiprojects. At least among the editors I respect, and whose opinions I seek, I find a group who challenges me and refuses to allow an article I nominate to be low quality. They spend an extraordinary amount of time cleaning up after each other, giving hints and tips, support during difficult discussions, and advice. When they do these things to the articles I write, I hope I can return the favor by being honest in my opinion, not supporting something that is questionable. Should any of them support an article of mine that they truly felt was substandard—one they would be embarrassed to see on the main page—they would lose my respect. Similarly, I hope, what they would think of me if I tried to pull sneaky doings in a poorly-researched, partially plagiarized, dull and uninspiring nomination that I was unable to defend or speak about with any intelligence. I don't know why some people see a vibrant, challenging and sometimes difficult (in the good way) group and others see an all-powerful cabal impossible to break into. Much has to do with perception of oneself and of ones expectations. However, I have grave concerns with "I hold in my hand a list" declarations. If there are problems, then they should be fixed. Speculation about who the problem might be is not productive I think. It's either a specific editor, a group, a behavior, a trend, or it's not. If it is, let's identify it and handle it. If not, let's move on. --Moni3 (talk) 02:54, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Agree. Mattise, if it were "suicidal" for you to name names, why do you bring it up in the first place? We should be trying to fix issues if there are issues, not griping about vagaries. What's really at stake if you name names? There is no cabal... Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 03:08, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I made many comments above, but for some reason only my last comment is being fixated upon. It was a general comment advising that if a person were interested, to follow the proceedings of FAC for a year or so and then certainly they could determine for themselves if I am correct in noticing a sociological phenomenon. Apparently I hit a raw nerve, as this thread is being perpetuated now ad nauseum for no productive reason. I hardly feel like being a victim of the FAC McCarthyists who are demanding that I "name names". I am also keenly aware that FAC admins are involved, hardly an atmosphere conducive for open discussion regarding what apparently is being construed as a personal attack on the FAC group. If you do not like my comment, drop this thread, rather than blowing it up out of proportion and making demands for naming names. Ling.Nut refused to even name articles for fear of creating a hornet's nest, in a thread that now apparently is archived. This is a valid concern. I am sorry that any remarks critical of FAC are met with this response meant to intimidate. This will not stop me from making general comments and suggestions when I feel like it. —Mattisse (Talk) 14:55, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

A quick note[edit]

You know, I see supports from myself, Ottava, Ceoil, Malleus, Majoreditor, Kensplanet, Ling-Nut, Mitch32, Dweller; all of them semi-regulars at FAC. I see opposes from Vassyana, Soidi, Vb, Taam, Ioannes Pragensis, Savidan, Rreagan007; none of them FAC regulars. Yes, some FAC regulars opposed this time around, but glancing over the FAC page, I see a lot of supports and opposes from outside the "FAC ranks", so I'm not seeing this problem with an FAC clique, and so I'd appreciate it, as an FAC regular, if I didn't keep getting lumped into some rather heated rhetoric. Now, there may or may not be a problem with articles on high profile subjects, but surely we can discuss this calmly and rationally without personalizing it. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:01, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Comment: I've worked with Vb on Belgium FAC, and I think he also commented on the Nepal FAC back in 2005. =Nichalp «Talk»= 14:34, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I'll go further. I think some of the comments above about FAC and the regular reviewers are downright insulting, unconstructive, uncivil and also frankly untrue. Those who posted them were no doubt upset about the failure of the FAC, but that is no excuse. You should be ashamed of yourselves. FAC reviewers spend an enormous amount of time helping all kinds of articles reach Featured quality; articles they often have 0 interest in whatsoever. Reviewers don't expect bouquets and chocolates but these kind of generalising and astonishingly inaccurate characterisations are unkind and wrong. --Dweller (talk) 14:15, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Well said, Dweller. Lets cool down. --KnowledgeHegemonyPart2 15:10, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
The mischaracterization of reviewers who voluntarily spend their time evaluating articles as some sort of cabal or clique is insulting and inaccurate, but the mischaracterization of SandyGeorgia as someone who does not take opposes seriously and who has made "laughably biased interventions on behalf" of a clique is appalling. To accuse SandyGeorgia, who does everything she can to help nominators, of this kind of behavior is absolutely ridiculous. SandyGeorgia and Raul654 have kept FAC running smoothly for several years now. Their fairness and hard work have made this is a pleasant part of Wikipedia to work on and I applaud them. Awadewit (talk) 15:26, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I am sorry, but I am perfectly entitled to point out the Double-standard in the treatment of the Catholicism article and other articles by some reviewers and in the process. Everything I have said I am prepared to back up. Indeed some naysayers may have been from outside FAC ranks but a lot of others were, and vague unjustified claims of POV bias in the article and claims that pro-article editors have been abraisive, while the abraisiveness of anti-article reviewers has been ignored. The contrast in the treatment of this article and other articles, such as Islam is glaring, and the spirit of WP rules has not been carried out. Dweller may rail all he likes, but in-group self-justification cuts no ice. Xandar 21:50, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm usually as up for a fight as the next man Xandar, but in this case, while I have some sympathy for your attitude, I think it's best to turn the other cheek. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the recently closed FAC, nothing will change by railing against it. It's sometimes best to take a leaf of Machiavelli's book, The Prince. What is the course of action most likely to lead to the desired outcome, that the RCC article gets the bronze star it deserves, and that all those who've sweated over it deserve? It surely isn't to antagonise broad tranches of FAC reviewers, the very people who could help the article get over this final hurdle. Time to look forwards, not back. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 22:15, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Also, turning this into an WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS-type argument is a false reflection on Sandy and/or FAC regulars. If Islam is horribly POV, it is due in part to a lack of scrutiny at FAC and later at FAR, but you can help change that at any time!. Bad FA's get that way because there aren't outside reviewers who offer up their opinions, without fear of this sort of backbiting. It often happens unintentionally, as I know occasionally happened at video game FACs; video game project editors supported without realizing there were accessibility issues, for example, that they never noticed because they were gamers. But the point is the FAC process isn't broken just because controversial articles don't just breeze on by. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 15:55, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I have been the nominator of Roman Catholic Church the four times it has been up for FAC. Each time it has failed it has resulted in article improvement. It is encouraging to me to see this improvement and see more and more supports from regular FAC reviewers. Personally, I find the process interesting and fun - sometimes I get offended when people accuse my good faith edits of being POV (which necessitated the need for substantial source quotes both in the article and on FAC page) or disparage the article in an uncivil way- not to mention the daily page vandalism which spews hatred at article editors in the process. It just shows me that there are a lot of hateful people out there who hate the Catholic Church and are full of misinformation about it. I find that part very sad and painful. Xandar has been subjected to this too and I can understand his frustration and feeling like the world is against us but I disagree that FAC is broken and I am upset that he has leveled such criticism of both FAC and FAC reviewers which I find inappropriate and unfair. FAC is doing what it is supposed to do - get the issues out and addressed - find out what people think so we can address the issues that they are wondering about - that is really interesting stuff. I never knew how misinformed the general public was on Catholic Church issues until we went through these FACs and it has really been an eye-opener. (I have learned a lot too) I am excited to be part of this Wikipedia FA process and have been participating here and there in other FA's. I find fault with past FA's such as the original FA on Pius XII [9] which never mentions the notable facts we mention in our little paragraph on WWII yet that FA is a "chore to read" and does not give Reader any context for any of Pius XII's decisions - the lead and the entire article leans very negative POVish!. I hope this is not an example of what opposers want to see on RCC. Sometimes omission of facts that give Reader context can be a very POV way of presenting material. I don't have criticism of Islam FA because when I went to that page to find out about Islam facts, I found the page very informative. I was inspired to spend time on RCC because of that page, it was encouraging to see that a religion topic could be treated fairly and respectfully. If I wanted to know about Criticism of Islam (not linked anywhere in main Islam article), I could always go to that article but it was nice to read just and informative piece on the subject without having it all muckied up with everyone's little axe that they have to grind. It is ridiculous to me to see that opposers asked us to insert material that was not sanctioned by the Church like Saint Bartholomews Day Massacre and the like. Those kinds of FAC comments are what screw up our prose. I would like for RCC to be treated in the same light as Islam was and with the same goal - make a useful and informative page. NancyHeise talk 16:17, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I checked the Islam article and the article on criticism of Islam was linked twice, once as a dab link with the text "critique of Islam" and once in the sidebar with the link "criticism". I added a third link, under "Other religions". Tim Vickers (talk) 18:32, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Xandar, just so you know I am a member of the FA team. I was one of its founding members. Wrad (talk) 20:44, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
There may be a link to a criticism of Islam article. There's a link to "Criticism of Catholicism" and other critical articles on the RCC page. The point is that there is no criticism of Islam on the Islam page itself. Yet it was recently confirmed as FA, while the Catholicism article was failed again, despite being infinitely more balanced and critical. THAT is the double standard. And Wrad, I am not saying everyone on FAC is in a conspiracy. I AM saying there seems to be a group on FAC who are unreasonably hostile to the Catholicism article. Xandar 00:40, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Criticism is not one of the FAC criteria that has to be included. FA criteria just says it has to be comprehensive and omit no notable facts. I chose to include the various criticisms of the Catholic Church in the article because I thought it made the article better and more informative. I still think it does that! I just have a problem with FAC reviewers who want us to include mentions of things that were not sanctioned by the Church like Saint Bartholomews Day Massacre and Battle of Cajamarca. These are what I consider to be "kitchen sink" comments that screw up our prose and format and make the article veer off topic. NancyHeise talk 19:07, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Praise from an IP[edit]

Joseph Priestley was one of those FAs that was a true wiki-effort and I just wanted to mention that today that effort really paid off. An IP editor dropped by my talk page, leaving helpful links to add to the article and this message: "Recent personal research into the Writings of Thomas Jefferson caused more than a passing personal curiousity regarding Joseph Priestley. The Priestley Wikipedia stub greatly exceeded my expectations when arriving there from a Google search. It's breadth and scholarship are of outstanding quality, and is deserving of especial éclat." - Every once in a while we need a pick me up here at FAC. It is nice to know that when people read our FAs, they recognize their quality. Go team! :) Awadewit (talk) 01:57, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Yay! Wrad (talk) 20:46, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

FAC Etiquette[edit]

FAC etiquette considerations are being discussed on the Roman Catholic Church talk page here [10]. I am hoping that some improvements could be made to the FAC process by considering some of these ideas and I invite FAC reviewers and nominators comments on them. NancyHeise talk 13:35, 10 November 2008 (UTC)


What happened to User:Deckiller/FAC urgents? It hasn't been updated for over a month. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 21:36, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I think(?) it got killed off again? I dunno, Sandy's always been against it... Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 21:45, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Um, David, you deleted it. [11] No, I haven't always been against it; in fact, I regularly maintained it for a very long time. This duscussion came up several times, and what I said was that I feared that reviewers were waiting for me to add articles to the urgents to review them, which was contributing to a backlog, and angry nominators appearing on my talk page when their FACs had sat here for weeks, and then got a rash of opposes two weeks later, after I added them to Urgents. I don't care if someone else wants to maintain it, but those are the problems. If someone is going to maintain it, it should be linked back here, and I should start redirecting the angry nominators to here :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:22, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Sandy said she was going to stop adding to it in a thread a couple weeks ago... Y'all are going to make me find it, aren't you? Fine. Here it is.--Moni3 (talk) 21:47, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Meh, that stinks, it was a helpful page. Is there any way for me to update it? –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 00:31, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
WP:BB. I too find a need for the list especially if articles in my zone of expertise. =Nichalp «Talk»= 07:43, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Significant editors[edit]

I've seen some FACs withdrawn this way: "Significant editors not consulted". While I agree with the removal at times if the articles are half-baked, should minor editors always consult significant editors? What if it's an A or GA grade article worthy of FA? Isn't making some sort of consultation mandatory an instruction creep and bordering WP:OWN? =Nichalp «Talk»= 18:46, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I've never removed such articles; the last couple in question have been horrible articles or ones simply not ready for FAC and the editors in question had next to no editing experience with the article. When the distinction between minor or significant comes up, then I'll have to think :P Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 19:03, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
David, you're perfectly justified in removing those poor nominations. But it's mentioned in the rules that significant editors should be consulted, so was wondering how this was enforced. A few years back, I was a victim of one such nomination while I was still working on the article text, when it was abruptly nominated by someone else. =Nichalp «Talk»= 19:14, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Several participants here asked, um demanded, that clause; it's probably in Archive 26 or 27. I have always advocated that it needs to be very carefully exercised, and in fact, I don't think it's optimal for editors to regularly be removing nominations as it's a delicate subject (I've asked Karanacs, Elcobbola, Maralia, Moni3, and Roger Davies to help with this, and they know the correct steps and to exercise discretion to avoid ownership and elitism issues ... whether to withdraw is not a straightforward decision, and there are many factors involved). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:33, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Well Nichalp, we could always walk over and swamp them with strong opposes very quuickly, rather than perhaps banning the nomination, and yes I should help with this as well. You can also oppose and say that you are in the process of writing it and it isn't complete, there's nothing to prevent authors from opposing another person's nomination of an article they wrote (or partially wrote), I did it once. YellowMonkey (click here to choose Australia's next top model!) 01:31, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Found it in Archive 28: Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive28#Drive-by nominations. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:07, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

FAC citation precedents[edit]

I posted a note about this on Sandy's talk page, and I did get one response from an editor which I've copied in below, but I'd like other opinions. I think this is the right page to post the questions anyway.

Here's are the questions I posted, with the response preserved in the middle.

First, there are multiple paragraphs that have no citations. Take a look at this section, for example. I will be posting a note to the talk page to ask about this, but I suspect that the situation is that the material is generic, to a chemist, and all of it would be covered by a single textbook. What's the standard citation approach for multiple paragraphs in this situation? Does one simply slap the cite on the end of each paragraph? Or is there a standard way of indicating that a given reference covers an entire section, avoiding individual citations? I know I've seen this topic come up before, but it's never come up on an article of mine so I don't recall the resolution.
In the past, I've done just what you suggested: slapping a citation onto the end of each paragraph. That way, there's no question in the reader's mind whether specific material is covered by a ref or not. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 03:22, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Second, I wanted to draw your attention to the references in this section. Many of them have no page number because they cover the entire topic mentioned: the section discusses the importance of pKa, so each "important" topic is supported by a reference that discusses that entire topic. I haven't seen this done before but it seems reasonable to me. Is there an issue with this approach?

(end of copied text)

Thanks for any comments on this. I don't often work on scientific articles so any help would be much appreciated. Mike Christie (talk) 00:15, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Each of these paragraphs can be found in about a 2-5 page range of a book on "Physical Chemistry" or "Analytical Chemistry". YellowMonkey (click here to choose Australia's next top model!) 01:29, 13 November 2008 (UTC)


Any chance of adding something to the nomination instructions suggesting that people might want to make their nominations engaging? They are so boring nowadays. "I'm nominating this article because I believe it is FA standard" No! Really?! "This article recently passed GA" Golly, how thrilling for it! "PersonX helped a great deal" Does anybody but PersonX care that you namechecked them? "This article was last nominated for FA 5 months ago" And last edited yesterday, don't forget that! "Part of a drive by Project X to get Topic Y to to featured standard" What's that? Advertising for the next instalment? These are all bearable as part of a nomination, but why do we hardly ever get any reasons why a reviewer might want read the article? Why should we be interested in [insert name of person/thing you've never heard of here]? One line to hook the reviewer, that's all I ask. Otherwise just put the article name and leave it at that. Yomanganitalk 19:05, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

I try, myself :) [12][13]. And I usually try to put something in the edit summary besides "+1" and link to the FAC (which I really which everyone would do anyhow for practical reasons.) But is this really that big a deal? Most of the people here have no sense of humor or creative writing, but it's hardly in the job description :P Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 19:38, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Yomangani- What did you have in mind as a hook? Can you give an example an FAC that has a hook?
Also, I've always felt some of the stuff you mentioned helps give background to the article, is a part of transparency, and introduces the people that will be addressing comments. (Guyinblack25 talk 19:39, 13 November 2008 (UTC))
Look at David Fuchs' above (although I hear naming names is suicide). And yes, some of the stuff does give background but it isn't a nomination in itself. Yomanganitalk 19:52, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Erm, it really doesn't seem like a huge deal to me. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 19:41, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Me neither. I usually leave my nominations blank :) Gary King (talk) 19:43, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Did I say it was a huge deal? Anybody who wants to go on stating the obvious as the entirety of their nominations is welcome to do so. Yomanganitalk 19:52, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we could set up a featured "featured article nominations" nominations page. Hee hee. Sorry, couldn't resist. Wrad (talk) 20:33, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, instead of this, I'd like to see nominators pre-empting opposes in their statements. For example, with sourcing. Maybe examine the reflist, have the foresight to guess which you'll be asked to justify as reliable, and set out the rationale in the nomination statement. "And before anyone asks, here's why X, Y and Z are reliable." Steve TC 21:12, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Jappalang's nominations are always interesting. Nousernamesleft (talk) 21:29, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
That's a bizarre edit summary. :-) –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone21:33, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Well everyone knows I have the best edit summaries [14][15] :P But to keep this topic relevant, Steve brings up a good point. Nominators should use the statement to help reviewers understand aspects of the article, or what parts of the article were specifically worked on, or how the nominator feels it meets criteria if on first look it doesn't seem to do so. But I still like the DYKs myself :D Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 23:23, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Preempting opposes is a good idea by explaining certain issues, although sometimes one is reticent to draw attention ot a potential problem (but they always find out anyway, I shoiulda learnt that...). Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:02, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

On the general issue of "boring" nomination statements, frankly, I'd rather write something bland and neutral than have to think up jokes. Some of the self-conscious attempted "wit" I read in nominations is a bit annoying, or embarrassing. And as for trying to preempt opposes, well how long is a nomination statement supposed to be? Best keep it short and to the point. Brianboulton (talk) 14:13, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I do think the nomination should explain who or what the subject is, even if it seems blindingly obvious to the nominator. No jokes required as far as I am concerned. Johnbod (talk) 15:09, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Quite. They don't have to be witty, but to give the potential reviewer some idea of the subject matter and why it might might make interesting reading has to be a better idea than a statement that the nominator feels the article is FA standard. Maybe I want to look at the article's PR once my interest has been piqued, but you aren't going to hook me by telling me that it passed GA when I don't know what it is about. Yomanganitalk 15:13, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Flagged revisions[edit]

The proposal is to experiment the Flagged revisions on FAs: Wikipedia talk:Flagged revisions#Trial. Doesn't seem to be consistent with Wikipedia:Main Page featured article protection. -maclean 21:00, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

The sooner quality controls on FAs are implemented, the better. =Nichalp «Talk»= 18:24, 14 November 2008 (UTC) links[edit]

Hi. I'm looking for evidence that we still endorse linking to within the "External links" section, in certain circumstances, for a discussion at Wikipedia talk:External links#Linking to archive where they are trying to eliminate all of them, again.

They've requested that I find a Featured Article promoted within the last year, that included a {{wayback}} template or similar links at the time. Can anyone help with that, or provide other advice? Much thanks.

(For context, the guideline mentioned the Wayback Machine from May 2005 (added by User:Kingturtle) until September 2008 when a small group seems to have decided to remove it despite objections.) -- Quiddity (talk) 19:10, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Geez, I hope this won't end up killing the articles' FA status.
Super Mario 64 promoted February 4, 2008: FAC and promoted version. (Guyinblack25 talk 21:57, 13 November 2008 (UTC))
Also, Final Fantasy promoted December 4, 2007: FAC and promoted version. The fourth must be a lucky day for me. (Guyinblack25 talk 22:01, 13 November 2008 (UTC))
And Space Invaders promoted September 29, 2008: FAC and promoted version. (Guyinblack25 talk 22:04, 13 November 2008 (UTC))
Whoops. I completely read over the part about it being in the External links. My mistake. :-p
The only one that used in the External links was Super Mario 64. (Guyinblack25 talk 22:15, 13 November 2008 (UTC))

We can still use links in prose though, can't we? D.M.N. (talk) 22:04, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

I wouldn't see why not. I had never really thought about it, but on further pondering I have to say it makes sense not to have EL's pointing to the Wayback. Really, the purpose of external links is to provide further information on the topic beyond the scope of WP, and a dead site isn't the best way to do that. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 23:26, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
There are many FAs that include a link to the Wayback, such as Metabolism and Encyclopædia Britannica, and they are definitely fine for citations. When to use Wayback in just the EL section should be judged on a case-by-case basis. [As seen in the FAs linked, just because a site loses it's hosting, doesn't mean the information is disposable.] It's just a couple of hardline-exclusionists at WP:EL that continually try to "ban" certain groups of sites, that we're running up against here (more moderate voices would always be welcome at that talkpage). Thanks for the help. -- Quiddity (talk) 18:16, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
That is another of the absurd but increasingly common issues coming up across many Guideline pages, that have caused me to stop trying to keep them in shape. Multiple decent guidelines recently have been picked apart to where they are no longer intelligible (a couple of my old favorites were WP:LAYOUT and WP:LEAD, now very messy compared to months ago and I gave up). And, a see a lot of editor names at those pages that I've never seen working on many GAs or FAs, so I'm unsure what they're basing their changes on. Marskell and SlimVirgin used to keep a lot of those pages in shape, and many are really declining now. That External link discussion is just random. I could give a lot of examples, but then, I could spend all day just trying to keep our guideline pages clean. Or not. The GA and FA communities should be paying closer attention to all of those pages. Should I point out that the Tourette Syndrome Association, for example, for years has had some volunteer juggling around all of their URLs once a month (not content, just changing URLs) so that the only way to avoid a headache with them was to link to wayback? There are many examples: these hardlines at guideline pages seem to be coming from editors who just haven't been involved in writing or reviewing a lot of articles and seeing all of the issues that come up. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:48, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Thoroughly agreed. So many issues, so little time to address them all. I try to participate cyclically - whenever feeling buoyant enough to withstand the siege-mentality encountered. (Eliminating/educating/changing a very small handful of people would do wonders, but RFCU's are depressing and ineffective, and the longterm hardliners usually know how to tread the fine-line of arbcom-proof behavior.) Ah well, back to articles... -- Quiddity (talk) 21:15, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

note from participant earlier[edit]

I'm on the road again, so I won't be able to give much input into this until Tuesday or so. Ealdgyth - Talk 03:17, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Leaving wiki for more than 24 hours! That's not allowed! :) Have fun! Awadewit (talk) 03:29, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Primary source or secondary source classification of highway maps[edit]

Wikipedia talk:No original research#Regarding maps being "primary sources" according to this policy --Rschen7754 (T C) 05:18, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I think it would be excellent if this policy were clarified at the RS page. Awadewit (talk) 05:21, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Commons account[edit]

Can someone who has a Commons account please note on these two graphs over in Commons that the totals are wrong? [16] I try to be very careful about the stats and I don't want to see an error in the FA tally picked up and repeated somewhere down the line in history. The total is 2306 (as stated at WP:FA), not 2309, the error is in Math, which is 16, not 19. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:37, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Done. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 17:51, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, David :-) Hopefully, the original uploader will fix them, but I don't want the error to propogate anywhere (because that proportional difference in the Math category is huge). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:54, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Major depressive disorder[edit]

I would like to call attention to the deplorable way Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Major depressive disorder has been handled and also its associated talk page. Personal attacks have become regular, as you can tell from the edit summaries. There has been no attempt to clarify whether WP:MEDRS or WP:IAR applies to a medical article. It appears from the talk page, that a popular vote will determine this question. This is very discouraging. It leaves the question of standards for medical articles hanging and it allows systematic attacks of well-meaning editors to continue. I have to seriously question if I will participate in any more FACs. If you want to know why it is difficult to get reviewers for FAC, this is why. Thanks for hearing me out. —Mattisse (Talk) 01:11, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

It looks like most of the trouble is coming from one editor, yes? I personally think that if FAC ettiquette rules were stricter, it would be a smoother process. By stricter, I mean that if an editor is hurting the process, they are blocked from the page somehow, for an hour or a day or something. I realize that might be a controversial view, but I think if we had a no tolerance policy on personal attacks, harrassment, and bickering, it would be a more peaceful place, reviewers and nominators would be happier, and FACs would go smoother. Wrad (talk) 01:37, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, that one editor was me, at least I was the target of the abuse, because I was under the impression that a medical article was supposed to follow WP:MEDRS. If someone besides the editor that was harassing me had said, no, you are under a misunderstanding, as the real standard is WP:IAR, then I would have known. I think before anyone could block me, I would have to be warned that I was misapplying a standard, and then if I insisted on that standard, perhaps there would be a reason to block me. —Mattisse (Talk) 01:52, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Now let's get the chronology clear on this one shall we? See here, and let anyone who cares read through it. Oh, and the section above it is amusing, as I apparently have ADD - very funny. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:38, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

07:30, 23 November 2008 Casliber (Talk | contribs) (46,441 bytes) (hahaha)

I have warned Mattisse for that outrageous comment. --Dweller (talk) 12:07, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Since I have been warned [17] that I will be blocked because of a joking comment I made on my own talk page in response to User:Casliber's continued harassment of me on my page, I will not respond to any more comments by User:Casliber on my talk page. I respectfully request User:Casliber to stop harassing me on my talk page. I have never posted on his talk page and do not intend to do so. I will stop commenting on his FAC article also, as I have been repeatedly personally attacked and demeaned there. Consider this a formal withdrawal. I have been successful driven away from that FAC. —Mattisse (Talk) 16:11, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Mattisse, joke or not, that's a poor choice or words to use. You could have not used it. Jokes about guns and bombs at inappropriate places such as airports and planes can get people arrested. Please use more discretion when replying considering the situation and places. =Nichalp «Talk»= 17:40, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. I have ADD and am proud of it. It was pointed out on ANI that Casliber knew it was a joke and that the Admin was wrong in his block warning: 07:30, 23 November 2008 Casliber (Talk | contribs) (46,441 bytes) (hahaha), nevertheless, it is too scary for me to continue involvement with these threats. Casliber has driven me away from further involvement with his FAC. I will never Oppose another FAC again. Way too dangerous. —Mattisse (Talk) 19:02, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

FAC reviewer/community response to contentious FACs[edit]

I watched the FAC for Major depressive disorder off and on until several days ago when it seemed to implode. I was out of town for the past couple days to return and find it a pretty embarrassing display. I have in the past seen very personal comments between editors during the FAC process become more of a show than the article itself; a couple of them have gone to the ANI page. I considered them rare occurrences. However, with MDD it appears that perhaps we should have stepped in to prevent it from going as far as it did. How should we as FAC contributors respond to the derailing of the process? I'm asking for the community's input on what should be done in the future by all of us to ensure the comments provided in an FAC review stay actionable and about the article only.

  1. Since many editors clearly spend a lot of time, energy, and in some cases money on trying to get an article featured, many of us have a personal stake in the FAC process. Once we spend time and energy to review an article, we as reviewers then also have a personal stake in the discussion so the environment is already highly charged. In some interactions, however, this crosses a line from discussion about what should be fixed to making accusations about an editor's personal qualities, or claiming that dissent is an attack. Participants will be quite unwilling to voice their honest opinions if they will be labeled personal attacks, or the commenter categorized merely as a member of a cabal. So - who steps in to say what has gone too far?
  2. Where do we draw the line between intellectual banter and commentary that is no longer helpful for the article or FAC as a whole?
  3. Are these decisions SandyGeorgia and Raul should be making, or is this up to all of us to determine what we will not tolerate?
  4. Should we all take the responsibility of moving any comments not about the improvement of the article to the FAC's talk page, or just reverting them from the FAC?
  5. Should individuals be warned in the FAC or their talk pages once, twice, then three times for derailing the FAC discussion to follow with some kind of admin action? --Moni3 (talk) 21:42, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
If we don't have some method of putting problem editors in time out, then the good editors will leave and the number of FAs will shrink. People need to understand that attacks aren't going to be tolerated here, somehow. I think that the easiest way to do this would be for regular reviewers and nominators (neutral parties) to warn editors who may be slipping a bit. Wrad (talk) 21:51, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad the issue is raised, but Dweller has apparently come under some scrutiny for attempting to enforce some decorum and the NPA policy at FAC. As to number 3, I am concerned at how I often I have to intervene because no one else does it. I do not consider it should be my role, and I don't ever recall seeing Raul intervene in a FAC, because other people did it for him. I hope you all can sort something workable here: NancyHeise is also calling for more enforcement, and in that case I also had to step in myself. It is not ideal for me to have to step in and sort issues when a FAC degenerates to personal commentary. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:51, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Dweller threatened to block me because of a comment I made on my own talk page, responding to the harassment on my page, that Casliber admitted was a joke - 07:30, 23 November 2008 Casliber (Talk | contribs) (46,441 bytes) (hahaha). Dweller was defended and did not "come under some scrutiny for attempting to enforce some decorum and the NPA policy at FAC." That is a distortion of events. Dweller's warning had nothing to do with the FAC page directly, other than that my comment on my talk page to Casliber was in response to the harassment on my talk page that stemmed from my "Oppose" on the FAC. Casliber spent all last night adding more, while I was asleep, then the block warning to me came after that, saying I should have been blocked without warning. I have been harassed unmercifully on my own talk page by Casliber and his supporters over that FAC. I think there should be some provision against harassing commentators on their talk pages. In any event, I will never "Oppose" an article again. I certainly will never seek to impose standards, as it was my misunderstanding that WP:MEDRS applied to medical articles that caused all the trouble. Someone should have kindly informed me I was wrong about that long before. Now I know that WP:MEDRS does not apply and that WP:IAR does. It would have saved a lot of trouble if that had been made clear early on. —Mattisse (Talk) 22:27, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I've seen Karanacs do it once or twice, but that's it. It would definitely be good if we were our own police on this. Wrad (talk) 21:53, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Correct (I doubt that the followers of AN/I have a solid understanding of the workings of FAC). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:55, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
AN/I comments were addressing the warning about my comment on my own talk page. FAC did not come up and was not the issue. —Mattisse (Talk) 22:32, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Personally, I wanted to avoid the kind of "enforcement" I have to do in the classroom, but I can do it. Awadewit (talk) 21:54, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps another question is: Who is a neutral party? Someone who has no stake in seeing the article get promoted? Someone who has never argued with the editors in question?
Shall we determine what the line is? I know what other editors take personally and find offensive I do not. Should those who watch FAC simply remove all comments that aren't actionable and about the article, including positive or light-hearted interactions? --Moni3 (talk) 22:03, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
(Not the light-hearted interactions! Thank you for hyphenating that compound adjective, btw.) Awadewit (talk) 22:08, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I would request that you never just remove something (unless BLP or NPA policy requires it): you never know what I might find useful in evaluating the big picture :-) At most, remove the commentary to talk, but always leave a link to talk on the page (I view the entire FAC page, which doesn't show talk tabs, so if there's no link to talk, I might not realize commentary was removed). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:10, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
So you would prefer a link to the talk page saying something like Comment by UserX moved to article talk page by UserY: comment not actionable. Or other wording? --Moni3 (talk) 22:14, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I usually just put "Off-topic commentary moved to Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/articlename#Section heading" (which gives readers a direct link to the talk section). The problem is that when the FAC page moves to archive, all those links have to be updated, so this really should be a rarely used option because it creates a lot of work. Optimally, the off-topic and personal issues would be nipped in the bud before this becomes necessary, because it's a lot of work. A lot of work. The first two RCC FACs required practically non-stop intervention and moving and rethreading on my part, and I don't know if others even realized how much work I was doing to try to keep it on track. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:18, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

(undent. Free the colons of Wikipedia!) Slow response: FAC is FAC and Community is Community. FAC is a process whose goal is to discriminate between FAs and non-FAs. Sandy and Raul should be in charge of FAC 'as just defined. When people start food fights or worse, it's interpersonal behavior, and interpersonal behavior is Community. We should all be involved in pouring balm on chapped egos, hiding sharp objects like forks and knives. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 22:19, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

How far, Ling.Nut? Would editors here support an admin block of another editor who has attempted to disrupt an FAC several times? What if the editor may have valid concerns but goes about it wielding a verbal hammer and trying to cower everyone who tries to discuss it by using accusations of cabalism? Could we potentially post a sentence or two at the top of the FAC page, or an amendment to Dweller's reminder to play nice that editors who participate in disruptive behaviors will have their comments moved and may be blocked? How about a warning box at the top of the FAC after an editor or two notices discussion has headed south, to say "This FAC has been noted to cause passionate responses. Editors who make comments that are not relevant to the article may be blocked?" --Moni3 (talk) 22:31, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Something like this. --Moni3 (talk) 00:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) It occurred to me with regard to the discussions about editors' unwillingness to vote "oppose", and about FAC becoming a workshop rather than a forum for decision, that it might be good to ask commenters to limit themselves to only two or three comments on the FAC, and add additional specifics to the article talk page (not the FAC candidate talk page). That would move some controversies on article talk pages, and would make the article talk pages the workshops. Which is fine; that's what they're supposed to be. FACs would then be short lists of oppose, support, comment, with "see talk page" where appropriate. FACR would have to be cited on the FAC page, not the article talk page, for opposes, and opposes would still have to be actionable but might say "see examples given on article talk page". If this siphons off the workshopping tendency to the article talk, we might be left with a more "support or oppose" culture at the FAC page itself.

If this approach were to be adopted, editors such as FAC regulars could then snip FAC comments to article talk to comply. This would help manage the "out of control FAC" problem; it would become "out of control article talk" and might then cause a FAC fail on the stability criterion, come to think of it. Mike Christie (talk) 22:28, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Correct assessment; it is not optimal to have disruption move from the FAC to the article, nor to have to watchlist two different pages. That is why I recommend summarizing FAC concerns and comments on the FAC talk page, where everyone following the FAC will see them by watchlisting one page, not two, and where everything related to the FAC will be kept in one place. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:15, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Do not challenge references
  • I think it would help if the "rules" were clear, so I would not have spent so much time challenging references. I was under the genuine assumption that for the MDD article, since it was an offical medical diagnosis that WP:MEDRS applied for referencing. If I had been told in the beginning that it did not, and that WP:IAR, I would not have been challenging the references. Now I know better than to challenge references, and will never do so again. —Mattisse (Talk) 22:38, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Do not Oppose
  • People should realize that if they "Oppose" they will be harassed on their talk page by the nominator and supporters of that nominator from the beginning. I was harassed for weeks. I certainly will never "Oppose" again. I usually do not, so I was not ready for this experience. If I reacted poorly, I apologize. Truly I do. I spent a lot of my time on the MDD article and have made 213 edits on it myself in the last few weeks, cleaning it up and fixing references.[18] I am now one of the major contributors. I was not prepared to have my comments ignored. I am sorry that I took being ignored so badly. I was too interested in the article being good, and I take responsibility for that. I wish the article name had been changed, so it did not reflect an official diagnostic category; then I would not have been so invested in its accuracy. Again I apologize for the disruption. I pledge not to challenge references again, as that is where the trouble came. I am very sorry. —Mattisse (Talk) 22:48, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I did not start this topic about you, Mattisse. As I said above, I have seen contentious articles devolve into personal accusations from editors I respect - a couple in mind happened months ago. I haven't watched any of the nominations for Roman Catholic Church, although it does not surprise me that the discussion got heated. As the FAC process evolves, we as its participants need to decide how far we will allow personal commentary to derail the FAC process. The main event should be the article, not the egos of two or more editors who feel slighted in some way. Major depressive disorder has only been the most recent in a few articles I have watched in which the commentary turned hostile. Where I thought it associated with the topic or with a particularly rough editor, now I can see hostilities will be welcome to return until FAC participants recognize it, remove it, and communicate the inappropriate behavior to the editor(s) in question. --Moni3 (talk) 22:51, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I genuinely do not know how to handle the situation at MDD, other than not to follow up. My comments were argued against by five or six people going on irrelevant tangents, threading down the page. Yes, I did enter in, and several times I tried to redirect the topic back, which I now know is wrong. I also don't know how to handle the situation when the nominator says he has addressed a problem and he has not. If I bring it up again, I am accused of repeating myself. The MDD article took an enormous amount of time on my part checking references. I guess I wanted my concerns at least to be addressed and did not handle it well when they were ignored with edit summaries like yawn, blah. I guess I should have just let the article alone and accepted that not all FACs are going to be well scrutinized for accuracy and correct referencing. If I had been able to let go of that feeling that the article needed to be accurate, I could have disengaged. However, that is hard to do that when you know the subject matter thoroughly and have for years. But so what? I should have let go. I hope I have learned something from this experience besides never to oppose again and to ignore the accuracy of references. I have never had this trouble before and I have participated in many FACs in the last couple of years. —Mattisse (Talk) 23:12, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Let's try to make this discussion a general one about solving this problem rather than a specific one about individual articles. Awadewit (talk) 01:33, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Back to the contentious FAC general issue[edit]

I was offline yesterday but very pleased to come back and see a discussion started about how to deal with contentious FACs. I've seen more and more of these lately, but it looks like we do have a small consensus that reviewers/FAC regulars may need to step in occasionally and remind nominators or reviewers to keep comments directed solely at the FA criteria. What does not look resolved yet is how to do this or who should be doing it.

  1. If I make a comment or declaration at a particular FAC, is it appropriate for me to issue warnings (gentle or official) or move inappropriate comments? Or am I considered an involved party at that point and should request an impartial reviewer to take a look and see if action should be taken?
  2. What types of action should we be taking? Note on the FAC page asking everyone to please focus on WP:WIAFA only? Personal note on the talk pages of the editors who are getting too far off-topic? Just remove the offending comments (even if that means we have to refactor because some of the comments are useful and others are inappropriate)? Official warnings and/or blocks? I have been very reluctant to give official block warnings or to block someone for actions that have taken place at FAC because I do not want to drive anyone away from FAC. Even in the most contentious FACs, if a reviewer or nominator is being a problem, they generally have made at least a few good points that need to be recognized, and I'd hate to discourage them from ever coming back. On the other hand, if we don't draw the line now, are things just going to get worse? Karanacs (talk) 15:44, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for re-tracking this conversation.
  1. On neutral parties giving warnings - I don't believe the nominator(s) or major contributors to the article should be the ones to do this, even if they are long-time established regulars to FAC. They should ask SandyGeorgia to look into it, who could then suggest an impartial person to police the nomination. Ideally it would be someone who has not contributed to the FAC, but since we're so low on reviewers, this may be impossible.
  2. While the derailment of Major depressive disorder was very disappointing to watch, perhaps it would have been avoided early by someone screening out personal comments from the discussion. I'm in favor of moving these comments as the first step. But at what point is an escalation inevitable and circumstances are necessary to place a warning on the FAC and on contributors' talk pages? I don't know. This is uncharted territory for us. --Moni3 (talk) 15:52, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • And one of the problems, as Snowmanradio, the other opposer to MDD has pointed out [19] at Wikipedia:Editor review/Cosmic Latte is all the snide demeaning comments, made with little words, in edit summaries or at the beginning of remarks. It wore on him also. And he did not even formally "Oppose". He had the sense not to, so he was spared much of the venom. —Mattisse (Talk) 00:13, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Chronology of events at MDD FAC[edit]

Given that Mattisse removed this from her talk page making it hard to follow I will repost. I will reiterate; actionable criticisms I am happy with. I am posting the chronology of the early part here and see what viewers make. I am sick of Mattisse repeating that I have harassed and made personal attacks on her.[20][21][22][23] and being 'driven off' [24]She is obfuscating that it was she who began all this mess, which I tried very hard to keep calm and constructive:

Right, here is the sequence of interactions from the beginning of the FAC until the time of Eusebeus support (it took me 2 hours to look through these). Timeline shows you started this:

  • here you join in with some comments.
  • [25] here I reply 28 minutes later, agreeing with both, and then notifying I had reworded 4 hours later.
  • here you highlight prose, which I answered here and tried to fix up but was tricky.
  • here I think you misinterpret me, I didn't say I was going to use the word conjectural and I try and clarify...
  • here you make a suggestion, and here I agree with you

The next few diffs we talk about rating scales, and you say this which is odd as the extra ref I got you just removed and I replaced (???)

In the middle, PMID crashed

here you raise some good points, which have been very tricky to thresh out with good secondary sources, and I do concede we did not get on the religion issue sooner, but it is frustrating for me to see it frequently talked about yet insanely hard to cite, until I (finally) found one on google after juggling a bit

  • here you mak a note of primary sources, I concede it has taken time to whittle them out
  • here we are back to religion again but the mood is still good as far as I can see; I am having no problem at this stage.

In between, Garrondo notes the 'non-asked for little speech'

  • ...and here it starts. Note I do not/did not have a problem with paras 1-10, though was taken aback by "Further, I am shocked (naive as I am) that anyone would register a "Support" for this article on an important topic without carefully reading it through."
  • here I begin explaining and trying to address.
  • here you pull me up on nihilism (which is actually mentioned in some psych textbooks, but you were right in that it wasn't the right word. Still you are starting to get bitey here. And here I concede the point.
  • here you chime in and repeat yourself again and complain about points not being addressed. This speech was uncalled for and quite threatening. There was material cropping up which I was dealing with steadily, and had dealt with some of your by this time. As I said, some refs were elusive.
  • here I am staying calm and positive
  • here I make a measured comment as by this stage I am becoming worn out by your previous comments and I say that "reams of self-righteous invective and feeling like I am being held to ransom." was pretty much what your comments felt like to me.
  • [26] you apologise here
  • So here I try and wave an olive branch.
  • here is a thankyou from you.
This page shouldn't be a referendum on who was/was not acting poorly on a specific FAC. In this particular case, since the FAC has been brought up repeatedly here, I'd recommend that if someone wants action taken to file a Wikiquette or RFC. Let's keep it off of here, though, please. Karanacs (talk) 15:00, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Sources not being checked at FAC[edit]

Because the great Ealdgyth is currently on vacation, hardly any FACs since 16 November have had a sources check. Does anyone else know how to use the checker tool (or what it is)? I'd accept training if someone would train me, but for the present I feel I can't do much. Is there anything that can be done, apart from waiting for Ealdgyth's return? Brianboulton (talk) 21:48, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I believe the "link checker tool" just checks the links (it is on every FAC page in the toolbox to the right). You have to assess the sources yourself, however. That is what checking sources is - going through the notes and seeing if they are reliable. It is extremely tedious and we should bow down to the God of Ealdgyth for doing this. Awadewit (talk) 21:51, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Juliancoltan also has been training in evaluating sources, but ideally, all reviewers should be doing this, to lighten the load on Ealdgyth and decrease this trend to specialization. Everyone active at FAC should have a working knowledge of how to evaluate sources. See Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-06-26/Dispatches, and Ealdgyth has a cheat sheet somewhere in her userspace. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:54, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Doesn't everyone look at the list of sources? That's the first thing I do when assessing an FAC. Awadewit (talk) 21:57, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • It was always my first priority as a reviewer as well, and I didn't even go to the next level if the article wasn't reliably sourced. But ... I've seen many indications that few reviewers are even considering this, and we even get Supports over long list of questionable sources. It's a mystery to me, as WP:V is a core policy. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:00, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Err, I've somewhat forgotten about reviewing sources. I'll try to review some tonight. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 22:02, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Ealdgyth just used the link checker tool. It is extremely easy to do and takes at the most 5 minutes per article using the link checker tool. Takes no special training, except knowing to check some links, despite what the link checker says. He did not evaluate the links, other than the minimal checking that they are not dead. A little extra checking by the user can ensure that the redirects go to the right place. In fact, I often check after he has, as have found dead links that have become dead since his check. Also, sometimes he finds links dead that are actually fine. With a little extra effort, not much, you can check the link for relevance of content and reliability of source. Of course, this only applies to web sources. Anyone one can put book references in and someone must have the book also to evaluate accuracy and appropriateness. —Mattisse (Talk) 23:38, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Point of order, I did not "Just" use the link checker tool. I'm home, and will be doing FAC tomorrow morning. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:14, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that was ever in question; it was one of numerous misstatements filling up the FAC page which are best let go. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:17, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Unless of course the book is online, like on Google, which is where I get a lot of sources for my articles from. – How do you turn this on (talk) 23:44, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that is a wonderful resource. —Mattisse (Talk) 23:55, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Also, the webchecker tool completely misses any link within the {{LondonGazette}} template so they need to be checked manually. That was a note to all reviewers actually, as I have had to fix a few dead ones through my time here. Woody (talk) 00:03, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
      • Sorry, I was mesmerised by the Ealdgyth mantra: "Sources look OK, links check out with the link checker tool" . I can do links. I can do some sources too, but there are some subjects, e.g. wrestling, film stars, where I simply don't know whether a source is reliable or not, and have tended to rely on others. This discussion has made me feel a little guilty about my inactivity in this area, particularly as I owe the FAC process an enormous amount for the time it has spent reviewing my stuff in the last year. So I'd better buckle down and become a trainee sources reviewer. I may have to ask for help. Brianboulton (talk) 00:05, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
You can do a fair amount of real checking with link checker tool if you go to the actual links, and don't just check for the dead ones. Subjects like wrestling has some experts, User:Giants2008, User:GaryColemanFan, names you get used to seeing reviewing those articles. Hurricanes and weather the same way, as some other topics. You become familiar the names. Also, scientific topics and such, usually editors knowledgeable about the subject matter turn up. A wonderful resource, I find, is Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard where you can ask questions and quickly get answers that I find quite useful. For example, there are some medical specialists who monitor that page and give good answers and suggestions for other sources. —Mattisse (Talk) 00:22, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Ealdgyth did not just use the link checker tool - she helped nominators figure out which sources were reliable and which were not. Awadewit (talk) 01:36, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Ealdgyth made it clear in statements on FACs that no endorsement was intended. Ealdgyth just listed the fishy sounding ones, which takes a few minutes, and asked the editor to justify them. But checking them out is not hard. All you have do to is follow each of them and look at it. Usually, it is not hard to tell per WP:RS whether it is a legitimate source. For things like wrestling, etc. I suggest my comments above. I had thought that WP:MEDRS applied to medical article, but apparently that is not true anymore, and WP:RS applies. There are special guidelines for science articles, but the science editors are good about policing that. Ealdgyth did not address non web-based sources. I don't think the job involves nearly what you do for images. —Mattisse (Talk) 02:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't think source checking is hard - it is tedious, as I said. I've done it and clicking all over websites and tracking down books is very time-consuming. Awadewit (talk) 02:28, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Checking sources is indeed more tedious than difficult. Sometimes, issues are borderline, which leads to some difficulty at FAC, though. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 02:34, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
All I am saying is that Ealdgyth didn't deal with books or verify whether the material was actually sourced by the citation. Ealdgyth just used the link checker, picked some fishy looking links, and asked the nominator to justify them. No one checks anything else, like whether journal articles say what the editors claim. If someone did, Major depressive disorder would never had so many supports. I checked them, and that is where I got into trouble. I don't recommend doing it unless you are prepared to encounter hostility. —Mattisse (Talk) 02:40, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Fact-checking is entirely different - we have no fact-checking system at FAC, you are correct. I've always thought FAs should be fact-checked, but that is a different issue and I don't see that we have the resources to do that at the present time. Ealdgyth checked to see if the sources were reliable. That is a huge help. Awadewit (talk) 02:43, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
What Ealdgyth did is not hard and takes only 5 or 10 minutes at most for most articles. For example, I just did it for the new Major depressive disorder submission. I have done it many times. I would do it for FAC, hands down, if I did not have such a negative feeling about FAC and the way I am treated there. So I will not do it. —Mattisse (Talk) 02:49, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Is it hard? Maybe not. Is it important? Definitely. Verifiability is a core content policy. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 02:52, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree. But if you do it at FAC you will encounter enormous hostility if the nominator is popular. Some nominations are foregone conclusions, so I don't recommend doing it. —Mattisse (Talk) 02:58, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Yes it hard checking others books etc. as well as any offline content. Some material can be intuited as there is a sense by checking online that a reliable published source will concur with it. I do feel a bit embarrassed about some of the sourcing for MDD which has now been just about rectified, and I have learnt alot in the process. Mattisse I repeat again, I did not have a problem with your checking sources and appreciate you did that so please stop misrepresenting the unfolding of events on the FAC. If someone else wants to look at the chronology above I would appreciate it, I am getting tired of being repeatedly accused of this.Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:05, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, thank you for recognizing the tremendous amount of work I put into that article, even if you did try to get me blocked today. —Mattisse (Talk) 03:11, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
(sigh) I did not notify Dweller. I note that you have refused to comment on the chronology provided too.Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I might be blocked, since I am on probation apparently by Dweller who is lurking, so I will be careful here. I will not comment on your chronology other than to say I noticed it was extremely selective and self-serving and did not include 90% of the talk page and FAC posting. It also neglected to show all the demeaning remarks by Cosmic Latte and others who made mincemeat of any attempts I made to list cohesive remarks at the FAC Further, your chronology seemed to stop around November 5 or so, leaving out approximately 3 weeks. Plus you did try to get me blocked. It was a direct result of you malicious posting that Dweller wanted to block me without warning for an innocent remark, you know very well, on my own talk page after your continuous posting there. I should never have let my guard down enough to joke with you. That was a dangerous mistake I made that I will not repeat with you. —Mattisse (Talk) 03:39, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
The purpose of the chronology was to show the genesis of the problem. I will make no comment on Cosmic as that happened later, also I was referring to your comments on me which you keep making, and you chose to remove this from your talk page. OK, you figure I have left out some implicating comments from the period? Produce them then, otherwise just drop the comments about me and my alledged attacks or your attributions to how events unfolded. I will drop it if you will. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:56, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I see. The genesis, Book I? Is this god speaking? Don't want to be blocked by your friend, so please note the strike out. Cheers, (I love it when someone ends a hostile remark with "Cheers") —Mattisse (Talk) 04:13, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
"Cheers" is part of his signature, IIRC. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 04:25, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes. It is extremely irritating when the remark the "Cheers" follows is disparaging or in other ways negative. Very obnoxious and obviously impersonal. Why bother to sign off with an insincere or incongruous "Cheers". Very inflammatory, from my point of view. I have discussed this with other editors in the past. No one likes a pat, insincere "signature". Especially, something like "Cheers" following a threat or other negative comment! —Mattisse (Talk) 06:02, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Wow, we have come a long way from sources. Perhaps we should get back there. Awadewit (talk) 06:09, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Err.. Gee. I'm so glad to know my source checking was not hard or take a long time. I guess that hour or so every morning where I read sites and looked at footnotes and stuff can be handled by others easily enough. Guess I don't need to bother with FAC in the morning then, huh? Ealdgyth - Talk 02:17, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Join the crowd; let it go; keep up the good work. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:18, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, Ealdgyth. Couldn't tell by the articles, as I often follow up behind you and found problems. But I'll not bother anymore, since it is not a big deal. —Mattisse (Talk) 02:40, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Err, I think we should all try to avoid attacking Ealdgyth and her work at FAC. This work is very unlikely to be done by any other editors, and it would be great shame if we lost her to discouragement. If you have indeed found issues after her check, why not just point it out? –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 03:12, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
"Err" is one of those unfortunate terms used by editors, I guess, to express disapproval. No more hurricane supports for you! To answer your question, sometimes I point it out on the FAC page if I cannot take care of it myself. Usually, it is just an error, so I just inform the article editor. Sometimes, when there are major problems, I spend time finding alternative sources. However, since Ealdgyth is going to do all that now, the double-checking, replacing sources and such, I guess I won't have to bother. So I will cease and desist. —Mattisse (Talk) 03:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I never claimed I read each source and double checked that the information sourced to the footnote is reflected in the article, but neither is the source check as simple as "check the links". I look at the formatting of the sources, I check the publishers, I check they aren't vanity presses, that they are from reputable publishers, that journal articles are to the best of my knowledge respected journals or other news sources, that other issues connected with sourcing follows things. When possible, I spot check the online sources against statements in the article. I generally also, if I have the printed sources in my library, spot check them against the statements in the article. I'm sorry that you don't approve of what is done, and I'm sorry you're so obviously upset with FAC processes. Amazingly enough though, this thread didn't start out as about MDD, but somehow lately everything discussed about FAC seems to go that way, doesn't it? But it would be nice if discussions on the FAC pages that are unrelated to specific articles didn't always turn into a discussion of the faults of the MDD FAC, you know? Ealdgyth - Talk 04:22, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Ealdgyth, for that clear explanation of what you do. I started this thread simply because I was concerned that, in your absence, FACs weren't getting the usual source checks, and wondered if I could help. I have been doing a bit, and am happy to continue doing so. It a bit like checking my bank statements - not very interesting, but necessary. Brianboulton (talk) 11:32, 25 November 2008 (UTC)


I believe when someone does mass mailing to many people, not just contributors, that is canvasing. For example, in the case I am thinking of, A. Nobody was not a contributor but nonetheless a receiver of a mass mailing. But, of course, this FAC is sponsored by the FAC foundation. —Mattisse (Talk) 03:16, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

It is standard practice to contact people who have participated in an FAC when it is restarted so that everyone can restate their comments. This is a courtesy, not canvassing. Awadewit (talk) 03:20, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, Sandy had said on that FAC page that it was alright to notify contributors, but since this is an FAC Foundation sponsored FAC, I am sure your statement will become true. Why should we worry about details when our director has an investment in this article, being, I believe, the fourth highest contributor (after me) since the first FAC started. —Mattisse (Talk) 03:24, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
It may be worth noting in 1-2 sentences on the FAC page about restarting FAC noms and notifying previous contributors. Nice accusation there Mattisse. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:33, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
My suggestion is to all parties: stop turning WT:FAC into a personal battleground. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 03:34, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Good point, Casliber; on future restarts (which are very rare), I'll be sure to leave an explanatory note. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:36, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Is A. Nobody a previous contributor? How about that other "contributor" somebody "sentence" who said the introduction had improved? You didn't notify him, so I can't get his name off your spam list. So what does "contribuor" mean, as he said as much as A. Nobody. Oh yeah, he didn't say "support". I can't find his exact name as the prior FAC is inaccessible from my point of view. —Mattisse (Talk) 04:03, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Personally, I'd always want to be notified of a restart, whether I've previously supported or opposed. Similarly, I'd want to be notified if an article that failed a previous FAC came back - which is a much more common occurrence. I think that notifying all contributors, positive and negative, is the best way to avoid accusations of canvassing. As is the obvious point that even more than other !votes on Wikipedia, FAC is very much not a vote, as one (unaddressed) well-stated, WIAFA-based oppose will counterbalance any number of supports. An official line about notifications in the instructions is not a bad idea. --Dweller (talk) 20:30, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

My complaint about canvasing is that often, when that happens, there are a pile support votes within a day or two of nomination, as occurred in a recent one, with the support editors admitting they had not read the article for a month or more. I believe editors should read the article before voting, but politics are inevitable. I agree with your suggestion that it would be a good idea to emphasize that it is not a vote. If you look at FACs, some are reasonable, but some are very much conducted as a vote. In a recent FAC, someone tallied up the "votes" on the talk page, regardless of how considered the "vote" was. So that seemed to confirm that weighing in with any sort of an opinion was a vote.
However, I don't agree that one "oppose" even well-considered will derail. The supporters can obfuscate the "well-considered oppose" so that it becomes meaningless. In the end, I do think it is a vote, regardless of what is stated. —Mattisse (Talk) 21:14, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
That's bad. Something that Sandy's always been very hot on is picking out serious opposes and holding them above being outweighed by any number of supports, especially trivial drive-bys. Perhaps this is something the FAC regulars can help with - discouraging and disputing this kind of behaviour. Tallies of "votes" are just ridiculous. Sandy, perhaps an addition to my tag for contentious FACs could be a reminder that it's not a vote, or even a !vote? I'll draft something when I have the head. --Dweller (talk) 21:22, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Don't believe everything you read on this page lately, Dweller. I list declarations on talk pages when the FAC has been so badly disrupted that it's no longer readable. That doesn't make it a vote, and anyone who reads it as such is misguided. I'd also encourage more discussion as to whether we should be tagging FACs as contentious, as that might not work in favor of the article's best interest. In all of the contentious FACs, it's not been the FAC or the article as often as it's one or two editors causing the disruption, so perhaps the focus should be on dealing with editor behavior on talk pages, and leaving the FAC cleaner for subsequent reviewers. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:36, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be best to make that clear when doing tallies, especially when numbering the editors' names on a lists under Labels Support and Oppose as you did here, as it gives the impress of counting [27] I am listed by name as Oppose while 9 editors' names are listed under Supports. What is the point, however confusing the page, of making tallies and lists of names, if lists and tallies do not count? —Mattisse (Talk) 22:50, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Tagging a FAC as contentious? <bonks forehead> Now why didn't we think of that earlier? That is of course merely common sense. I... am very leery of coming down with a heavy hand at FAC because you know, I sometimes think a little impersonal conflict or heat can be constructive. But how many admins do we have at FAC? The first step would be tagging a FAC contentious, along with a big note to tell everyone it's been tagged contentious... I sometimes miss templates atop a page, if someone else posts immediately thereafter... the next step would be for an admin to start gently persuading folks that they don't want to stand tall in front of The Man. ;-) Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 22:54, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • (ec) I don't always agree with Ling.Nut, but this time I do. --Malleus Fatuorum 23:03, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • @Matisse: I haven't read the MDD FAC, which is apparently the source of your obvious frustration. May I ask, simply and clearly, what do you want? Sorry to point you out etc. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 22:59, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Ling.Nut, it is hard to convey. Only two of us opposed, and the other had the sense not to actually vote oppose, so he was not trashed as much. It was a very uncivil FAC, with no order being maintained. A little of the flavor comes from this [28] from Wikipedia:Editor review/Cosmic Latte where the other opposer of the MDD FAC is trying to convey, in a gentle fashion, why it was so unpleasant for him. He lists some of the unpleasant wording chronically used by that editor. It was just generally uncivil. I have never experienced anything like it. It was like a gang rape. —Mattisse (Talk) 23:24, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • (ec) Mattisse, it was nothing like a gang rape; it was a disagreement amongst friends. From which, according to my favourite philosopher, truth springs. Disagreement is crucial to the success and integrity of the project, and the way disagreement is handled even more so. --Malleus Fatuorum 23:36, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • It is not a dispute among friends. Where do you get that idea? Those people are not my friends. —Mattisse (Talk) 00:00, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Let's leave the overblown rhetoric out of this discussion. FAC is not "like gang rape" in any way. Thanks. Awadewit (talk) 23:35, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Speak for yourself. You did not experience it. It has totally changed my attitude toward FAC. I have never experienced anything like it since I was chased by sock puppets for six months. Allow me to have my feeling without being so dismissive. —Mattisse (Talk) 23:56, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I will be dismissive. Virtual attacks, however horrendous, are nothing like the brutal physical attack of a rape. I find the entire comparison sickening. Awadewit (talk) 04:34, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

(undent) Eek, I should've known the question would reopen the debate. But Matisse, if you have probs with Latte and Casliber... I would think that the appropriate thing to do would be to head to some dispute resolution forum.. Wikiquette, RfC etc. Talk FAC is for reforming the FAC process. Aside from Sandy's suggestion of a "Contentious topic" template & my addition of an admin on hand, the behavior of individual editors is not within the purview of FAC. And the template/admin suggestions are actually simply doorways to take interpersonal disputes away from FAC and into dispute resolution forums... Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 23:41, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Ling.Nut, do you live under a rock? Those processes are useless, time consuming waste pits. I had to go to ArbCom to get rid of the pile of sock puppets after me, after numerous RFCs, Mediations, Dispute resolutions. They are worthless. They make the problem worse. —Mattisse (Talk) 00:04, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Huh? Aside from Sandy's suggestion of a "Contentious topic" template ... I have not suggested a contentious template: on the contrary, I don't recommend it. I'm concerned it is unfair to prejudice an article and a FAC when the rare cases of FAC disruption usually come from very few editors, and those editors should be dealt with outside of FAC. A FAC should be templated as a last resort: the problem to date has been that no admins have dealt with disruptive behavior on FACs, obliging me to frequently intervene (and now we also have suggestions that FAC commentary should go to article talk pages, which merely moves the disruption out of sight). See my post above, since this idea is not mine: "I'd also encourage more discussion as to whether we should be tagging FACs as contentious, as that might not work in favor of the article's best interest. In all of the contentious FACs, it's not been the FAC or the article as often as it's one or two editors causing the disruption, so perhaps the focus should be on dealing with editor behavior on talk pages, and leaving the FAC cleaner for subsequent reviewers. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:36, 24 November 2008 (UTC)" SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:47, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Clarity: it was my idea. (that's why it's in my user space) And if Sandy thinks it's a bad one, or needs rethinking or further thought, I'm happy with that. Most (vast majority) FACs do proceed without problem, it's true. --Dweller (talk) 23:57, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Not a bad idea at all, Dweller; I'm just saying it should really be a last resort, rarely needed, only if other attempts to deal with the disruptive editors are unsuccessful. I spent hours reorganizing the MDD FAC several times to try to impart some readability to the opposes; perhaps other editors don't realize this, as they only see the finished product, and not the interim chaos? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:00, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Good points. But I share your concern for nasal trimming --Dweller (talk) 00:05, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

(undent)* @Sandy. OK, I saw "I'd also encourage more discussion as to whether we should be tagging FACs as contentious" and missed the latter half. Sorry. It wasn't your idea. I retract tht statement.

  • @Matisse. The processes we have are all we have. The situation as you describe it seems to me to be a classic case of an interpersonal conflict. All we have for interpersonal conflicts are... the processes we have for interpersonal conflicts. If you don't feel that they work, then I don't know what to suggest. But I would suggest that FAC is still not the place to resolve interpersonal conclicts. It simply is not the correct forum. It's like going to an art gallery to watch a baseball game, or going to a dentist to get glasses. It just isn't the right place for tht activity. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 01:29, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I am not seeking to solve them. I'm not stupid. —Mattisse (Talk) 01:42, 25 November 2008 (UTC)