Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive4

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Dates articles nominated

I've added these so we can see how long articles have been hanging around and whether consensus is ever likely to happen can be evaluated more easily. Any objections? I considered the idea of putting "earliest can be promoted" (seven days from previous objection resolution), but I really doubt it would be consistently maintained - David Gerard 22:37, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure about this. Ian McKellen, for instance, is the oldest article on the list at this moment, but if you read through the comments, they've been mostly actionable—once the interminable titles argument was quashed by Raul, anyway—and there's been progress. Perhaps the date should be the date of last comment rather than date of creation? --TreyHarris 00:23, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
If someone feels like keeping it updated. These things in headers tend not to be updated. It's only meant as an indication. e.g. if an article's been there for a month or two without being resolved, it may be time to put it in the 'failed' pile if no-one will fix what is asked to be fixed - David Gerard 00:35, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
If a nomination fails, are the objections put on the article talk page for future reference? They should be, so that if they ever get fixed the article can come back here. Pcb21| Pete 08:44, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
If not, they certainly should be! - David Gerard 11:38, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Whatever happens to featured articles, relevant text from the discussion on FAC - or the entire thing, if you're in a hurry - should be moved to the article's talk page. +sj+ 14:04, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I like the new dating system (it makes it easier to keep the page clean) but I have no intention of putting a notice on the article's talk page. People keep making additional demands (first I had to archive them instead of delete them, now you want me to add notice on the talk page) that make it progressively harder to keep this page tidy. →Raul654 17:52, Jun 24, 2004 (UTC)
I know from personal experience what a bitch cleaning up vfd can be. I'll endeavour to take some of the donkey work off your hands here. Pcb21| Pete 18:10, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I've been adding {{fac}} to talk pages where it should be. I'm sure when articles are moved off the page (either to acceptance or not) I can help put the text on talk - David Gerard 18:24, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

New distinction

I'd like to come up with a good way to flag articles, so that they could be featured without ever appearing on the main page. Featured Articles was supposed to be a way to recognize the best work of Wikipedia, not just a factory churning out material for the article of the day.

As such, I'd like to propose a new system. When nominating, the nominator could include in their comment a note ("not for main page"). That way, articles could be recognized without igniting a bunch of people yelling "This isn't safe for children" etc.

The likely consequences would be in part beneficial--for example, we likely would have avoided the recent Zionism fiasco. And it's no greater honor to be featured on the main page than to simply be a featured article.

Then, when it's promoted, an asterisk or some other mark could go next to it, warning off whoever's doing the selection. Any reason this shouldn't be done? Best wishes to all, [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 01:09, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The reason against, which I got when I proposed the same thing, is that Raul654 handles the decision at runtime :P - Fredrik | talk 01:14, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Perhaps a better solution would be to add the following text or something like it to the introductory material. I think putting it in boldface is probably a good idea:
This page is not the place to decide whether an article's subject matter is suitable for the Wikipedia Main Page. What to feature on the Main Page is a decision made by the administrators with responsibility for the Main Page. This page is to determine whether the article itself—regardless of its subject—is an example of the best quality Wikipedia has to offer, and if not, to provide guidance on how to make it so. An objection to an article being featured because of its suitability for the front page is invalid and will be ignored.
--TreyHarris 01:35, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I support the idea. -- Emsworth 03:03, Jun 24, 2004 (UTC)
Yep, put that para on the page - David Gerard 07:29, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I agree with your original proposal, Meelar. It is absolutely right that "ok for featured status" and "ok for main page" are separate issues but I don't think its right to put the onus on a single user (as good as Raul is) to make the latter decision. In the rare cases where main page featuring is inappropriate, we should decide that in the usual consensus fashion here. The asterisk suggestion seems a fine way of implementing it.
Further I don't like the part of Trey's suggestion that highlights that an admin is taking an editorial rather than administrative role. Perhaps the admin has to go through the mechanical process of actually putting the article on the front page, but in an ideal world any user should be able to write the precis that goes on the front page, if they wish. Pcb21| Pete 09:03, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps link to the page where the Main Page decision is made. The essential point is to emphasise that these are different functions - David Gerard 11:37, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I think part of the point is that there isn't really discussion before those decisions are made (see Template_talk:Feature for more on this). Sure there are ad hoc discussions at Talk:Main Page after the decision is made, but by then it is too late. The FAC stage has allowed in the past comments like "Feature, but recommend not main page" (I think I saw this in the case of the gay sauna article). We should allow comments like this but disregard comments like "Object, not suitable for main page" as Trey suggests. If there are a significant number of such comments, we put an asterik when it gets featured. Pcb21| Pete 11:55, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I support Trey's suggestion. If we think that Raul is doing a terrible job, we can ask someone else to do it, or institute a formal procedure (I hope we do neither). But whether an article should go on the main page in three months time shouldn't depend on what the nominator thinks about it now. Markalexander100 09:37, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
To be clear, I think Raul is doing an excellent job and thank him for his dedication. However we shouldn't create a single point of failure unnecessarily. What if the poor guy wants to take a holiday or write up his thesis? Pcb21| Pete 11:55, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The widespread agreement that "feature" and "main page feature" are subtly separate beasts means this might be a great opportunity to bring up my own hobby horse again - It would be great if we could also have "featured categories/article series/wikiprojects" in addition to featured articles. These can't go on the main page for reasons of practicality, but some excellent article collections deserve recognition that the current system does not allow for. For semantic reasons we should move Wikipedia:Featured articles to Wikipedia:Features if this proposal finds favour. Pcb21| Pete 12:04, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I see no reason not to list a category here. Although we'd have to sort out to what standard each article in the category would have to reach - all of 'featured' quality, most of 'featured' quality and minor articles well-written, or what - David Gerard 12:19, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. Raul, again, you're doing a fine job; it would just seem more wiki-like to give all users some say in what articles go on the front page, and giving them veto power is the simplest way to achieve this. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 13:32, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I object to any Wikipedia article being considered inappropriate for the main page due to subject matter or images. By the way, what was wrong with Brilliant Prose? I mean, we're supposed to be identifying articles that are exceptionally well-written, complete and neutral, right? At any rate, any article that fits that description is suitable for featuring on the main page, no matter what its subject, from Michaelangelo to child pornography. Exploding Boy 13:42, Jun 24, 2004 (UTC)

I strongly disagree. If you type in an URL or click on a link about blowjobs (say), then you should not complain if you see explicit images or text. You are getting what you paid for. However if you click on a link or type in the URL to the main page of an encyclopedia, you do not expect to see such content. In fact, it is unreasonable to spring it on readerws in that way. For example, I would be extremely annoyed if I opened the main page at work or other public place and there was an erect penis in the middle of the screen. Pcb21| Pete 15:36, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Personally I would be very amused if that happened to me.But thats me! Anyway to answer your point let's not exaggerate here. The pictures are small, and they are not in the middle of the screen. Also let's say we took penis as an example, I think it highly unlikely that a picture of an erect penis would be the one chosen. Far more likely IMO would be a diagram of a penis such as you find in school biology books. theresa knott 15:51, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
You are illustrating quite clearly the problems of binding together the issues of being featured and being on the main page. Suppose the fellatio article is really good, and it should be featured. Then we have to have a debate about what is suitable kludge for the main page image (and it would be a kludge, unless biology textbooks have changed a lot since my day!) simply to get the article listed on Wikipedia:Featured articles. Thus the debate about article quality gets bound up in a debate about the ethics/morals etc of forcing those images upon people unasked. I think it is really important to separate the two out. Pcb21| Pete 16:25, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Since there seem to be about 100 seperate objections being lodged, let me try to list them and and give my opinions and observations on them:

  • Feature everything vs limited censorship: people seem to be arguing this from a chiefly philisophical point of view. That is, they are philisophically inclined to argue against censorship. I sympathize with this point of view (until very recently I agreed with it). However, no one has yet put forth a logical arguement in support of this, and everyone seems to be ignoring the practical implications. Censorware exists, even if you don't want it to. It is used *heavily* inside schools, a "market" to which we cater heavily. Were we to be blocked by one of the major censorware apps, it would represent a *major* loss of viewers to the site, and a lot of bad PR on top of that. We're not deleting the articles, simply not "pushing" them onto others by putting them center stage on the main page. More to the point, the system (as it existed until I instituted the 'actionable' requirement as per Trey's suggestion) made it impossible for these articles even to gain featured article status.
  • Flagging articles as 'no-mainpage' - I strongly disagree with these suggestions. I think these decisions should be left in the hands of whoever is making the decision, be it myself or whoever is putting them up. As long as that person has a history of good judgement, I think we can safely rely on that. More to the point, objections along these lines were the primary reason that "Objections must be actionable" was added to the page - objections that an article is intrinsically not featurable are not actionable. (Full disclosure - it was added by me as one of Trey's 4 suggestions; the other 3 were not added) I do support what Fredrik and Trey said above - we should add this to the header at the top of the page:
    • This page is not the place to decide whether an article's subject matter is suitable for the Wikipedia Main Page. What to feature on the Main Page is a decision made by the administrators with responsibility for the Main Page. This page is to determine whether the article itself—regardless of its subject—is an example of the best quality Wikipedia has to offer, and if not, to provide guidance on how to make it so. An objection to an article being featured because of its suitability for the front page is invalid and will be ignored.
  • Categories/wikiprojects/etc as featured - I strongly disagree with making these featured, for several reasons. The purpose of the wikiprojects is to make high quality articles - for example, the tree of life has generated many featured articles of which several have made it onto the main page. Categories, on the other hand, only serve to lead readers to good articles; in and of themselves, there is little to no room to define what "quality" is.
  • Single point of failure: what to do if I get sick/go on vacation - I've actually given this quite a bit of thought. In cases of where I know I wil be away, I had planned to do one of three things - either set up the feature to cycle like the rest of the main page until I got back, using some predetermined set of articles, OR I could designate someone to do it using text that I had written, OR I could just designate someone to do all of it for me for a few days.
→Raul654 18:24, Jun 24, 2004 (UTC)
I disagree w the above. It looks like a total of two people (Raul and trey) agreed on this actionable policy (maybe.. 3 of treys ideas were not included). That’s not near enough, IMO. I also strongly disagree w one person deciding what goes on the main page, and doing so arbitrarily w/o clear policy as a basis for what can be featured and what cannot. Wikipedia:Featured articles is a group of articles that are ment to be able to be featured (i.e. placed on the main page). Allowing articles to achieve featured status when they should clearly never be featured is counterproductive, disingenuous and dangerous. While we may trust you implicitly as an unfailing adjudicator of what may appear on the front page (I see were taking this as a given here ;) I certainly do not trust the judgment of future others, appointed by yourself, or by the whimsy of fortunes. There needs to be a clear policy on what can be placed on the main page and what cannot, and it needs clarified that that is what this page is for. Sam [Spade] 18:31, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I trust you implicitly, Raul, but I'm not saying that people should decide what goes on the main page--all I'm saying is that the readership at large should have the power to decide what doesn't go on the main page. It seems fairer. As for Sam, the "featured article" status was never the same as "will go on the main page". [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 19:15, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Comments by Anthony

This page is not the place to decide whether an article's subject matter is suitable for the Wikipedia Main Page. If that's true, and it seems to be so, then we should completely separate the two concepts, and make it clear on this page (I'll do that part now). I guess we should start a "Main page candidates" page?

What to feature on the Main Page is a decision made by the administrators with responsibility for the Main Page. No. What to feature on the Main Page is a decision made by the community. The administrators are simply agents who enact that decision. Apparently the featured article template is unprotected, so the struck sentence isn't even true.

anthony (see warning)

This is ludicrous. Surely you agree that there needs to be a schedule, that timeliness and variety are important—no featuring Christmas trees in July, say, or four different articles of the U.S. Constitution four days in a row? There seem to be about two or three dozen of us who are active on WP:FAC right now. If all of us edited Template:Feature whenever we felt like it, we might as well just make {{featured}} be a variant of Special:Randompage that grabs the intro and first picture from some random Featured Article and displays it. That could be easily done, by the way, and if those of you claiming that Featured status exactly equals Main Page suitability are right, then the two shouldn't be differentiable to anyone who visits Wikipedia only once a day.
Wikipedia collaboration is hardest when it comes to pure matters of taste, when a decision must be made, and compromise isn't possible. I'll make up an exemplary scenario that should be all too familiar to you unless you hang out in very obscure corners of WP:
One person uploads a photograph to Washington Monument from the perspective of The Mall, making it the first image. Someone else decides that a photograph he took of the monument from the Lincoln Memorial across the Reflecting Pool, complete with shimmering reflection and the stars appearing shortly before sunset, makes for a more striking image, so he replaces it. The first person says, "oh, that's so cliched" and reverts, the second reverts back, the first drops an angry statement on the talk page about how it's illogical to use a photo with double image in an encyclopedia because it's just an artistic device that reduces encyclopedicity, and reverts again. Then the second "compromises" by putting the first's image further down in the article, pointing out on the talk page that his image in better color-balanced and so naturally deserves the top spot, and then the edit war repeats over who gets the "prime" position. And so on, maybe with third-parties getting involved and removing one, or both, images and maybe it'll eventually go to arbitration and one or both parties gets banned from editing that page ever again....
Do you really want these kind of arguments going on about what is going on the Main Page today? (The argument over Zionism was bad enough.) And in this case, the "stakes" are higher, emotionally--everybody gets to see the article. Benevolent dictatorship is necessary in this case. --TreyHarris 01:18, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
What the hell are you talking about? I never said that all of us should edit the template whenever we feel like it. I can't figure out how your response relates to my comments at all.
Apparently you are saying that our only choices are benevolent dictatorship and a free-for-all? That's clearly not the case. When I say that what to feature on the main page is a decision made by the community, that doesn't mean it is a free-for-all. anthony (see warning)
Boo Sam [Spade] 01:21, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The main page is an inherent target for vandals. Many above have claimed that it must be subject to "PR" considerations, or protection from children, or perhaps outright censorship. Such individuals appear to recognize the vulnerability of the main page. Hence, the page is open to editing only by administrators. Since it is the first part of Wikipedia that most visitors see, surely every part of it also deserves some degree of protection from vandalism. Therefore, the various Template pages comprising the main page ought to be protected. This class would include the Main Page FA section. The actual editing itself would be done only by administrators, addressing Mr Harris' concerns. On the other hand, such a scheme would not prevent regular editors from opining on such important matters. I suggest that rather than putting the onus on a single administrator, one might possibly have two or three individuals regularly checking the FA Template page. One of them—Mr Raul, perhaps—could be responsible for randomly selecting the main article, keeping in mind and balancing the arguments of both the pro-censorship and anti-censorship sides. The remaining administrators would act as a "check" on this so-called benevolent dictatorship, and could, in Mr Raul's absence, take over for him. -- Emsworth 02:19, Jun 25, 2004 (UTC)

Fine then. Come up with some clear policy about what is and isn't suitable for the main page, replace "brilliant prose," and have a team who scans the brilliant prose articles for featured article candidates, place those candidates on a page for voting by the community, and feature them that way. Exploding Boy 02:37, Jun 25, 2004 (UTC)

Anthony's proposal is so ridiculous it makes my head hurt. First, as was said before, you're flately wrong that the FA exists solely for the main page. The Featured articles (under the previous name, Brilliant Prose) predates articles on the main page by a *LOT*. The featured articles *DO NOT* exist solely to provide content to the main page (I'm to blame that much, at least. It was my idea to put FAs on the main page- although I'm told I wasn't the first to discuss it - but it went into place after I pushed for it on talk:main page in December/January) Second, the administrative overhead of this idea would be enourmous. And the end result would be virtually the same thing we have already. Third, I *promise* that at the first sign of an edit war on template:feature, it would be protected. I'm seriously considering putting it on the semi-permanetly protected pages anyway, since a large portion of the edits there are vandalism. →Raul654 02:48, Jun 25, 2004 (UTC)

Which proposal of mine are you calling ridiculous? A "main page candidates" page? That's ridiculous? Please explain.
I never said that FA exists solely for the main page.
When talking about administrative overhead, I assume you're talking about a "main page candidates" page. I don't think there would be much overhead at all. In fact, as you've said yourself, we have virtually the same thing already. The only difference is it would be made clear that no single user determines the content. Seems like a very minor change to me. anthony (see warning)
If everything went perfectly, then it would be close to what we have now because (as it is) we don't have any featured articles that are so controversial as to warrant their exclusion - there's no room for difference. That is not to speak of the overhead of having to vote daily on a featured article - hell, the article of the week is becoming a big enough mess as it is, and they have 7 days to decide. Not to mention the potential for abuse, and the fact that mobs don't really make decisions as coherently as a single person can (hence, we end up with 9 science articles in a row). This idea is easily the worst I have heard in a long, long time. →Raul654 22:02, Jun 25, 2004 (UTC)
Wow, the worst idea and I'm not even sure what idea you're referring to. Apparently it's the idea you imagined I must be thinking of, or something. Thanks for a good laugh, Raul. And you accuse me of creating strawmen? anthony (see warning)
That's why I favored my original proposal. In it, the community holds the power to decide which articles go on the main page--it just devolves that power to Raul (or someone else, if he goes on vacation). It retains both community power and administrative simplicity. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 18:02, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
That's essentially what I'm saying. I've always assumed that if the community objected to an article being put on the front page that it would not be put there, despite what Raul wants. But his recent comments seem to suggest that he believes his powers are somehow greater than the rest of us, despite the fact that no one even elected him to any such position. If Raul starts featuring Fuck on the front page I think he'll quickly find out that his current "powers" are mainly a result of community indifference. anthony (see warning)
I fail to see how this isn't implicitly obvious - David Gerard 23:55, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Since Fuck currently has many objections against it, there is virtually no chance of it becoming a featured article, and therefore it wouldn't get featured on the main page. So please don't resort to strawmen to make your case. More to the point, the community is "indifferent" to me doing it's because there's been little reason to complain. You, on the other hand, are making proposals that no one seems to support. →Raul654 00:01, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
It's not a strawman. It's not even an argument. It's a simple if...then statement which I stand by. I haven't made any proposals, and yes, there's been little reason to complain. anthony (see warning)


I want to make it clear that I for one appreciate how Raul has been handling the main page (looks great, and no smut!). My concerns about that were alleviated by a comment he made above (well above, like here). That said I'm not comfortable with the idea that an article could be featured, and yet not placed on the main page. That seems foolish. What does "featured" mean, if not featured on the main page? Sam [Spade] 00:30, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Featured articles: Featured articles are...Wikipedia pages we think are particularly well-written and complete. Notice, no mention of the main page at all. →Raul654 00:35, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
I'm clearly not alone in seeing the name "featured" as well as that only featured articles are featured on the main page as a "featured article" to be worrisome when we are not allowed to object on that basis. I think changes need made, and "actionable" needs to go. Sam [Spade] 00:45, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Huh? What does that mean? As for your previous remark, really? I thought you were one of those in favour of having certain articles not featured on the main page. Exploding Boy 00:47, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

Ok, I'll try again. We should be able to object to articles in ways that are not actionable (i.e. this subject is offensive). Trust in the judgement of those who place articles on the main page is not enough, we need clear policy keeping articles which are likely to offend separate from others. Also, the above idea of bringing back "brilliant prose" as a separate catagory from featured articles might well be a good one. Sam [Spade] 00:55, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Well, I disagree but anything's better than the nonsense that goes on on the FA page now. Exploding Boy 01:02, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

thats good enough for me, chalk up one more vote for a policy change ;) Sam [Spade] 01:10, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Actually, what I support is a policy clarification. Exploding Boy 01:13, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

There is, in my opinion, no point in reconsidering the title of the page. We have already had a vote on the issue; there is no need for a new vote. -- Emsworth 01:17, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

Yes there is, because it's obviously confusing people. After all, a "featured" article is one that is "featured," and currently we "feature" articles on the main page. I, for one, always assumed that any article that had "featured article" status was eventually going to be "featured" on the main page. Apparently this is not the case. Unless every "featured article" can be "featured" then we need to have a clear policy about which articles are "feature"- worthy and which aren't. In that case there needs to be some other mechanism for recognising excellence in non-"feature"-able articles. What on earth was wrong with Brilliant Prose? Exploding Boy 01:23, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

I support Meelar's suggestion. It's simple, and it guarantees that the community gets advance veto power over what goes on the main page, while still allowing any article the chance to attain featured status. I was among those who didn't realize there was a distinction between a "featured article" and an article that goes on the main page. Since I was wrong, I think it would be good to allow the community an explicit say on what goes into the latter category as well as what goes into the former.

This is not to say that I have any complaints about how Raul is doing his job. I just think it would be good to make sure people have no strong objections to an article being on the main page before it actually goes up there. For the record, there are reasons besides censorship that we might not want to put something on the main page. George W. Bush would be a 24-hour edit war. Wikipedia would make us look very tacky. And advanced math articles just won't pull in readership. Isomorphic 01:36, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Explanation and clarification

I too think it's time for some clarification, so let me try to provide some. Featured articles (located at Wikipedia:Featured articles) are the articles we think are the best in wikipedia. That has been around a long time (at least since last July), although it used to go by the name "Brilliant prose". Around December-ish, at my suggestion, we started putting articles on the main page. Naturally the 'featured articles', being the best that we have, were the best choice to put on the main page - thus, they are the daily "featured article" that you see every day. All the articles that are featured on the main page are chosen from our featured articles.
However, there is now a concern that "morally objectionable" but otherwise well-written articles could go through the FAC process, become featured articles, and at some point be put on the main page. I have outlined the reasoning for both sides in my previous comments.
It seems therefore, that we have a choice - we can:
  1. Shoot down all morally objectionable articles on the FAC page; therefore they never become featured status and never make it to the main page. (This was how it was until a week ago or so, until the actionability requirement was insituted at Trey's suggestion)
  2. Then, we put the 'actionable' requirement on the page. This alleviates some objections that were otherwise bunk ("I just don't get a good feeling from this article" and alike - objections that give no way of rectifying them) but also prevents moral objections ("This article shouldn't be on the main page because it would scare the children..." etc). This means that under the current system, morally objectionable articles get promoted to the featured articles, and it is left in my hands (at the moment) to decide whether or not to feature them.
  3. Meelar has suggested that we flag articles on the FAC page as "no main-page". That is, if enough peopl say so, then the articles would be promoted to the featured articles but would never have any chance of being put on the main page. I have opposed this, but I might reconsider if it were limited to moral objections only - I don't want people objecting because layman wouldn't undrestand it, or that it would be an edit-war magnet.
  4. Anthony has suggested that we have an entirely seperate process for choosing *all* main page articles from the featured articles. He has yet to recieve any support in this idea, and I don't think he will find much in the future.
Right now, this is all academic - as I see it, there are no morally objectionable articles that have already been promoted, and (given that I don't think Fuck is going to make it) there are none under consideration. →Raul654 01:44, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
It still seems a bit too loose and undefined for me. I'd like the see the reinstatement of the Brilliant Prose page and have FA reserved for those Brilliant Prose articles people would like to see featured on the main page. Such articles could be nominated continuously, creating a large pool of Featured Articles to choose from at any given time. I'd also like to see a specific policy on what articles can go on the main page -- it's got to be either everything or only articles that fit specific criteria. Let's make those criteria clear if that's going to be the case. Exploding Boy 01:51, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
As with Anthony's plan, this is extremely high on administrative overhead. And it creates an unnecessary heirarchy of articles. And as the people on IRC can attest to, I *tried* developing a written policy for the main page, but it was stillborn. →Raul654 01:56, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
I'm in favor of plan 3 above. I also agree that specific criteria have to be chosen for the "no-main page" flag. What are the standards we are to use when determining offensiveness? Are to adopt some variant of the Higgins test, in which the standards of the msot sensitive individuals are taken into account? Or is offensiveness to be determined on the basis of the reasonable individual, or abitrarily, or something else? There need not be criteria for the selection process itself, except, obviously, that the flagged articles be ignored and that the featuring not be too monotonous - for example, we should not have all sports articles consecutively, followed by all history articles, followed by all science articles, etc. Obviously there will also be an image requirement for appearance on the main page. -- Emsworth 02:00, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
I should note that none of those plans except Anthony's determine the *order* of featuring - under plans 1-3, that much is still left to me, and I think I've been pretty good about spreading it them around. →Raul654 02:01, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
I should note that I never presented any plan at all. anthony (see warning)
Also, it's a very bad idea to flag an article as no-feature because it has no picture, because one may be added later. And as it is, I don't feature articles without pictures (no way of doing it on the main page). →Raul654 02:08, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

Why? We need a way to recognise exceptional articles. We want to feature articles on the main page. If we can't draw from the same pool for both of these then we have to create different pools. Since FA would be drawn from only from BP articles, all we'd need would be a simple yea or nay vote for FA articles, without a bunch of long, drawn out arguments (that would be dealt with on BP). Tabulating the votes would be simple, and there'd be a large and immediately accessible pool of articles for featuring, while at the same time exceptional writing would be recognized as well. Exploding Boy 02:04, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

We need a way to recognise exceptional articles. (True)
We want to feature articles on the main page. (True)
If we can't draw from the same pool for both of these then we have to create different pools. (False)
Simply put, we don't need two seperate groups when one (the articles for the main page) is a subset of the other (the best articles we have). →Raul654 02:10, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
sorry, badly written. What I meant was, we need a separate mechanism for recognising well-written articles and articles we want featured. Exploding Boy 02:12, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
Meelar has proposed just that - that all featured articles be assumed suitable for main page use except a few that are tagged during the FAC process (Plan #3 above). →Raul654 02:17, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

Right, and a number of folks seem to agree w him (meelar) on that (myself included). I like the idea of separate catagories, i.e. bringing back brilliant prose as a first step towards featured article status. I see a number of others seem to share this sentiment. My specific ideas are:

  1. Rename featured articles brilliant prose, and thus all current featured articles would be brilliant prose (as they were before).
    • Non-actionable objections would not be acceptable for brilliant prose.
  2. Create a new, currently empty "featured articles" page, to promote articles into after they have been featured on the main page.
  3. Create a process of voting for which brilliant prose articles were currently acceptable to feature on the main page (reasoning for objecting would need not be specified)
  4. Raul (or whoever) selects from those which have been deemed featurable and place one of them on the main page, placing the previous entry into "featured articles".

IMO this would solve all problems :D Sam [Spade] 02:24, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No, I do not like this idea. What I had in mind (should Meelar's plan go forth) is that we keep everything at featured articles, and articles that are tagged as 'no mainpage' have an asteritck after them to show that they are no mainpage - this is very simple and (as I said above) require no extra heirarchices. No one besides EB has suggested bringing back the brilliant prose. →Raul654 02:29, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

It seems stupid to call articles Featured Articles if they are, in fact, not featured. Obviously the two are different in people's minds, so let's separate them and say that only Brilliant Prose (or whatever new name you want to call it) articles are eligible for featuring, as long as they meet whatever criteria it is we decide on for main page features. Exploding Boy 02:33, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

They are featured, though, just not necessarily on the front page. They're all featured on Wikipedia:Featured articles. I dunno, I don't think it really matters what we call them, as long as it is made clear on the candidates page what these articles actually are. anthony (see warning)
One should note that the name "featured articles" was approved in a vote before the concept of putting them on the main page arose. -- Emsworth 02:41, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
The two plans are exactly the same, except in nomenclature. In both cases, "Main-Page Articles" (as I will call them to avoid confusion) are a subset of "Good Articles." In Meelar's and Raul's plan, the latter are called "Featured Articles" and the former are shown in bold, while those that may never belong to the former are shown with an asterisk. In Messrs. Spade and Boy's plan, the former are called "Brilliant Prose" and the latter are called "Featured Articles." So we've established that the basic premise of both plans is the same.
Now, I think that Meelar's plan is much simpler, as the other plan requires a new page, a new set of criteria and more "administrative overhead," as Raul calls it. Therefore, since the effect achieved by both plans is the same, and Meelar's plan is less complex, I say that we should choose it. -- Emsworth 02:39, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
I agree, an asterisk is simple, and would serve to make the "main-pageable" vs "featured" distinction. I think anything more complex than Meelar's plan would be overkill. — Matt 02:47, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Too confusing and ignores the fact that that's not most peoples' understanding of "featured article." Again, what was wrong with Brilliant Prose to begin with?

If an article has a Featured Articles tag I, for one, would assume it had been placed on the main page. This is clearly not the case. The reason for the establishment of criteria is to make it clear exactly what articles can and cannot be featured on the main page. In fact, I don't think it's even strictly necessary for there to be a voting mechanism for selecting main page features. Raul, or whoever, could simply chose from the BP articles based on the criteria we all decide on. What on earth is so complicated about that? Exploding Boy 02:44, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

The problem is that when BP was being reorganized (at the time, there was no voting process; articles were added at will by nominees), there were objections to the label "Brilliant Prose." Some claimed it was too arrogant, etc., etc. The point is that a legitimate poll came up with "Featured Articles." What is there to get confused about? The "featured article" category on the main page is merely a box where one Featured Article is "displayed," (if "featured" is too confusing) just like, say, the "In the News Category" is a box where current affairs-related articles are displayed. So to resolve the confusion, instead of coming up with separate pages, just change the terminology: featured articles are "displayed", rather than "featured," on the main page. -- Emsworth 03:06, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

Call it Wikipedia's Best or something, I don't know. Featured Articles is silly if the articles aren't featured anywhere, or confusing if only some of them are featured (displayed, whatever). Exploding Boy 03:09, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

having voted on something doesn't mean we can't vote again, y'know. Sam [Spade] 03:11, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

everybody agrees

asterisk or new page, brillaint prose or featured articles, we all agree on one thing it seems: Some articles should be made clear to Raul (by policy preferably) not to put on the main page, cuz they may upset grannies and kiddies, or annoy other wikis. Am I right that we agree on this? Sam [Spade] 03:11, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm willing to agree as long as it is limited to *just* that - morally objectionable articles - I don't want people objecting because it's too complicated, or not interesting enough to the general public (too special interest), etc etc. →Raul654 03:13, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
Not really. I don't think we should censor the front page due to concern over offending people. If an article is featured and has broad appeal, we should feature it regardless of whether or not it's offensive. anthony (see warning)

Erm, no. Actually I heartily disagree. I just think we need to have it made clear one way or the other. Exploding Boy 03:14, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

I fail to understand what still needs to be made clear - I wrote out that long explination above specifically to make things clear. →Raul654 03:17, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

Your long explanation only makes clear what some of the possibilities are. I'm saying we need to have some sort of specific policy regarding what types of articles are suitable for the main page, and that that needs to be made clear. Beyond that, there needs to be a clear disctinction between articles we think are worthy of recognition and articles we think are worthy of featuring (displaying, whatever) on the main page. Exploding Boy 03:20, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

This was discussed *extensively* on IRC when I was attempting to write up such a policy last month. The best "test" for moral objectionability we could come up with was the 'USA-basic-cable-test' - if it's something you could see on basic cable television in the USA (think - Fox), then it's OK for the main page. →Raul654 03:25, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

Lots of us don't have IRC. Exploding Boy 13:31, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
I don't think that we need a formal policy on what can go on the main page. I don't think that articles should be tagged as not to go on the main page. We should either (best option) leave it up to the discretion of someone we trust, as now; or (distant second) have a formal procedure of voting, or some such. Markalexander100 03:41, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Policy on what can go on

I disagree with what Markalexander100 says above, that leaving it up to the community is a distant second. However, there does need to be some policy saying what shouldn't make it up there. I would support several reasons not to put something on the main page:

  1. Offensiveness--if users believe that a given topic will offend a large portion of the population (or some other phrasing--this can change), then the article won't go on the Main page
  2. Controversy--if users believe the article will cause an undue amount of controversy, edit warring and vandalism, it won't go up.

All current "featured articles" would stay where they are. If someone wanted to add an asterisk to one, they would have to nominate it at WP:FAC, citing their justification under the rules. If people decided that they were right, it would receive an asterisk.

If you feel there should be any other reasons to not put something on the main page, mention them below. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 07:19, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

This is still all a bit vague. Under "may offend a large portion of the population" some people might put any article concerning homosexuality. The "US basic cable test" might create the same objection. "Offensiveness" and "controversy" are just far too open to interpretation. Exploding Boy 09:22, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
Openness to interpretation is good, as it allows us to decide on a case-by-case basis as we discuss the articles. Fredrik | talk 12:25, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I strongly agree with this. Trying to pin down things very precisely in advance around here always to lead to problems with those "users who like to keep us on our toes" like Anthony's current list nomination. Pcb21| Pete 17:33, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I hope you will remove your personal attack on me. If you think my nomination is a problem, let me know, and I will remove it. anthony (see warning)
I've delinked the phrase. Tell me, did you list that page because you genuinely thought it was the best example of Wikipedia's work and should be featured, or did you list it because you thought "a-ha this criteria is badly worded and doesn't actually convey what's really meant. I can prove it by nominating a list article." Pcb21| Pete 18:36, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I was thinking about the idea that *any* article could potentially be a featured article. So I thought to myself, what about lists? I then chose the best list I could think of, and tried to think of what could be done to make it even better. Having not come up with anything, I figured that must make it a featured article, so I nominated it. If anything, I was trying to prove that any article *could* be a featured article. But apparently this list was a bad example, as after further reflection it seems there are at least a few things that *could* be done to make it better - things which I'm not personally willing to do at this time, and which I doubt others are going to do either. anthony (see warning)
I agree that this phraseology has some gaps that need filling. Certain religion-related topics may be offensive to a "large portion of the population," such as the article Arguments against the existence of God. The same goes for the recent gay bathhouse article. -- Emsworth 14:14, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

You seem to be missing the point. Articles like these should not be on the main page. Sam [Spade] 18:11, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I certainly don't think that the arguments against god article should be automatically disqualified, but may be under the scheme proposed above. That is why I said that there should be clear criteria for determining if an article should be displayed on the main page or not. -- Emsworth 18:47, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)

Well, we could have a policy of: if any user objects, then an article won't make it to the main page. This would certainly decrease the debate, and ensure that only articles entirely free of controversy would go up. This would, in all likelihood, disqualify gay bathouse, Zionism, and fuck; however, the cost of these pages not going on the Main Page might be outweighed by the benefits of increased community control and increased chance for controversial topics to become featured (free from concerns that "Oh god, the children might see"). [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 22:43, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No, because then we are beholden to a single user objecting. I would say that there must be a consensus of (supporting) voters to keep it off the main page. →Raul654 22:47, Jun 26, 2004 (UTC)
I agree w meelar. If a user objects, thats a clue it might not need to be on the main page. As far as I know the current policy for featured articles status allows a single objection to disqualify an article. Why lower the bar for what goes on the main page? Sam [Spade] 23:51, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Your understanding is incorrect - "If there are objections, a consensus must be reached." This does not mean it has to be unaimious. As has been stated numerous times on many differnet discussion pages, consensus != unanimious →Raul654 00:34, Jun 27, 2004 (UTC)
Also, the issue with making it so that even one objection disqualifies a candidate is that such a system is far too open to abuse, as was clearly demonstrated with the gay bathhouse article. Exploding Boy 01:23, Jun 27, 2004 (UTC)
We really should come up with a better word than "consensus" for these situations, because the word "consensus" actually does mean something much closer to unanimous than to a large supermajority. For instance, see the consensus page, where it says: Rather than one opinion being adopted by a plurality, stakeholders are brought together (often with facilitation) until a convergent decision is developed. Also: Consensus decision-making is a decision process that not only seeks the agreement of a majority of participants, but also to resolve or mitigate the objections of the minority to achieve the most agreeable decision. It seems to me that not featuring a controversial article on the front page would generally minimize objections. anthony (see warning)

actionable II

Actionable needs to go. The current (unspecified, but we all should know what I mean ;) nomination is one example of why. There are others. Sam [Spade] 23:57, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No, because that current nomination falls short of almost every featured article criterion, so the actionablility requirement doesn't help it at all. →Raul654 00:31, Jun 27, 2004 (UTC)

Regarding "featured" articles, a quick look at the page reveals that what a lot of people are voting on there is whether an article should be/is suitable to be featured on the main page. People are not voting on whether a given article is worthy of recognition as superior work. So basically we've lost that. We won't get it back unless we separate the two. Exploding Boy 01:48, Jun 27, 2004 (UTC)

I don't think this is particularly true at all. Other than the fuck nomination, I count exactly 1 objection based on main page featurability (Muriel's objection to The Eye of Argon). →Raul654 05:28, Jun 27, 2004 (UTC)
If people are voting on whether the article should go on the main page rather than on whether the article should be a featured article, then their objections can and should be discounted. If people don't understand the process, it's better to help them understand rather than to change the process. Markalexander100 06:53, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)
It is interesting to consider vfd about this. There are, formally speaking, rather inclusionist rules governing deletion. It used to be the case that when these rules were ignored by commentators, their comments were ignored. But slowly, the rules have got ignored more and more until the admin doing the clean up couldn't simultaneously respect the rules and the consensus wish of the voters. So in effect mob rule has overturned the rules, which thus really need to be rewritten. Pcb21| Pete 09:37, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The first amendment article was also objected to based on its suitability for the front page. anthony (see warning)

Is it? Why not just make the process clearer? What people should be voting on is whether a given article is exceptionally well written, complete and engaging. Whether the article is suitable for featuring is a whole other matter. Exploding Boy 06:57, Jun 27, 2004 (UTC)

I would actually go so far as to suggest there should be a variety of catagories of praise. One of the fundamental flaws of our wikiculture is an excessive negativity, and a lack of celebrations of sucess. Good articles of all types (including lists, or catagories, or whatever) should have some "featured" status. I think the more catagories the better, so long as the characteristics are specified. Sam [Spade] 07:05, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Don't just complain about it, do more praising yourself at Wikipedia:Great editing in progress! </advert>. Pcb21| Pete 20:16, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Coolm page, thanx for the link. Sam [Spade] 21:42, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I'm trying to get my head around the 'actionable objection' concept. I guess it means an objection that can be fixed. But there seems to be an assumption that an unactionable objection is one that can be ignored. Now this might be true, but it might equally be that an unactionable objection is one that points to a problem with a candidate that cannot be fixed, thus rendering the candidate wholly unsuitable for featured prose. IMHO, pointing out that a candidate is a list is one such unactionable but unanswerable objection. If a list is rewritten as a prose article, it ceases to be a list and needs a new name. This new entity may become an accepted featured prose candidate, in the process proving the objection valid. Maybe others disagree and feel that lists could make FA status, but I'd need a lot of convincing. Bmills 14:33, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

My proposal

OK, I've thought about this and come up with the following proposal to handle which articles are featured on the main page: On Wikipedia:Featured Articles we put an * next to pages which are candidates for the front page, and link the asterisk to a template containing the text and image for the feature. Anyone can do this with any featured article. If there are objections, they can be handled on the template talk page, and the intention is that if there are any objections, consensus should be reached before featuring the article on the front page. Proposals with unresolved objections could be linked with a * or some other symbol. Templates should be created at least 24 hours before featuring. The timing of when articles should be featured will be handled on template talk:feature, essentially as it is now (mostly by Raul, but with suggestions from others). Raul can continue executing the changes, as he is now, though if he forgets or dies or goes on vacation it is a job which can be easily picked up by anyone. Preferably at least 24 hours notice should be given on template talk:feature before an article is featured, but I'll leave that out of the original proposal to be decided separately as an amendment.

So this is essentially what we have now, except for a few improvements.

  1. Raul (or whoever) must give us 24 hours notice before featuring an article on the front page, thus allowing us to review the actual content of the feature.
  2. It is more clear that it is the community making the decision, and not a single person.
  3. The features are saved in a format much more suitable for viewing after they have been featured (without going through page histories).

I'd like to hear comments on this proposal. Please note that I intend to modify this proposal after comments are made to reflect any new ideas or fix any problems. If it seems like there is support, I won't edit the proposal after it goes up for vote.


  1. The use of astericks was for those very few articles that are not main-page worthy. Your idea tilts that on its head and declares all but the astrick'd ones not-worthy.
  2. Now every featured article has discussion of featurability constantly going on - a ton more overhead to fix something that already works fairly well.
  3. About giving advanced notice - several people have commented that they don't want advance notice, that they like being surprised by the new article. More to the point - I usually don't pick it until an hour or so before the change.
  4. Under Meelar's proposal, the community *is* making the decision about what to allow (or disallow) on the main page.
  5. The feature archive has all the previous featured articles in viewable form.
  6. Just in general, I really don't like this proposal. As I said previously, it's an over-complicated way to solve a non-existant problem, and simply opens us up to , ahem, breaching experiments. →Raul654 16:44, Jun 28, 2004 (UTC)
  1. Yes, good, you can read. If it really matters, feel free to suggest something other than an asterisk.
  2. No, I suspect that the vast majority of articles will have no discussion whatsoever. It's only the objectionable ones that might have some discussion, and this is an improvement, because these articles would otherwise appear on the main page even though there is no consensus that they should.
  3. People who don't want advance notice don't have to follow the pages where the discussion exists. And the fact that you only pick the article an hour before the change is exactly the problem I'm trying to solve.
  4. Perhaps, but it's much more difficult with all the discussion on a single page.
  5. You're talking about the page histories? This is very difficult to access.
  6. No comment.

anthony (see warning)

I like some of these ideas, mainly the idea that (even if Raul654 does a tremendous job) this should not be a one-man thing, but a community thing, to put articles on the main page. I don't think we should formulate the proposal with musts, but I think the general idea is fine.

Also, on the matter of giving an advance: I think this is a good thing, so that (again) it's not a one-mans job to do a final touch-up of the article to be featured just before prime time; with an advance, any featured article can be chosen for the main page, and we have ~20 hrs to touch it up.

Heavy metal umlaut was actually a quite poor featured article, but David Gerard (and others) expanded it quite a lot and brought it up to standards during and after the day it was on the main page. Again, with an advance, he could have done this _before_ we put it there.

It's not important if the text to be put on the main page is prepared, or any marking of appropriate articles on the Features articles page; this should not be needed. Let the each day's discussion take care of such issues (and in some cases, perhaps switch article). Choosing it in advance should not mean that we should have any form of poll to select them. It's important that we atleast pseudo-randomly choose articles.

[[User:Sverdrup|✏ SverdrupSverdrup]] 18:41, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
(Also; if some people like to be surprised, tell them to not look at the perparation discussion [[User:Sverdrup|✏ SverdrupSverdrup]])
By defintion, the featured articles should already be main-page worthy; there's no need for 24 hours notice. The only "touch-ups" that I ever do involve adding a pictures to the (older) featured articles that don't have them already. I let everyone else handle the rest of the issues. →Raul654 18:49, Jun 28, 2004 (UTC)

Ah-hah! "By defintion, the featured articles should already be main-page worthy". I agree, and this is the basis for all of my frustrations with "actionable". Some articles are not "main-page worthy" due to circumstances which are not readilly actionable. Ergo "actionable" is a poor criteria for validity of objections in this circumstance. Sam [Spade] 18:58, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No, that's not what it means. It means the writing quality and length should be up to par for the main page, but it does not that the article itself is eligible for the main page. It's a suble difference, but a difference nonetheless. &rarr;Raul654 19:03, Jun 28, 2004 (UTC)
A subtlety I appear unable to percieve... is this from lack of perception on my part, or perhaps due to the astuteness of my (and others) perceptions.... I'll have to ponder that over a cup of tea (lets all do that, shall we? ;) Sam [Spade] 02:34, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Sam, the difference in thus, in my view. We here are discussing the prose, style and completness of an article, regardless of its contents. Does that clear it up? Burgundavia 06:35, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)


As long as we're changing the list, can we talk about my proposal from last week? It got archived, even though the discussion wasn't over. I proposed that we do away with the "opposed" and "unopposed" sections, and just had a tag in the headline "UNRESOLVED OPPOSITIONS" or "UNOPPOSED". Raul, have you given it any more thought since then? - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 14:10, Jun 28, 2004 (UTC)

I'd say go ahead and do it. Seems like it would be a big improvement in terms of usuability and maintainability. Pcb21| Pete 15:37, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. Let's try it for a week. +sj+ 20:26, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I support this idea. Shuffling discussion between sections is a big hassle. — Matt 15:58, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The consensus from the old discussion was fairly positive as well. I just want to confirm with Raul before I do it, because he's the guy that actually has to go through and parse this. If the old format was necessary for some procedural reason I'd hate to be the one to break it. - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 16:05, Jun 28, 2004 (UTC)
Before anyone does anything, I'd like some clarification - so you want to remove the two sections we currently have now, and instead you want to put opposed/unopposed into the headline? →Raul654 16:36, Jun 28, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, that's the proposal. Pcb21| Pete 16:47, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Hrm - that would cut down on people switching articles from one section to another, but I think it would make page maintence quite a bit harder. Why don't we try it out for a test period (a week, say) and see what people think of it at the end of that? →Raul654 16:50, Jun 28, 2004 (UTC)

Maybe we could save ourselves from the clutter by only labelling those which are uncontested? (We could also label those which are contested, but there's usually much more of them, so that wouldn't change much :) -- Fredrik | talk 22:04, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

None of this makes any sense at all. I don't understand what the stumbling block is here. It's obvious that changes are needed to this process -- we need to recognise great writing and great articles, and we need to select articles for the main page. It seems such a simple solution to separate them somehow. The above proposals are just more confusing. Exploding Boy 22:30, Jun 29, 2004 (UTC)

My Proposal

This whole business with the asterisks and links and stuff is just more confusing than it already is. I propose the following:

  • 1: We start a new page for determining which articles we should recognize as exceptionally well written and complete. This would be like the old Brilliant Prose page, but perhaps we could call it Wikipedia's Best or something similar. Articles would be nominated and voted on there only for this specific recognition. Articles would not automatically be featured on the Main Page.
  • 2: The Featured Articles page would be only for voting on those articles nominated for featuring on the Main Page. Featured Article candidates must have already been voted as Wikipedia's Best. There can be discussion as well as votes.


  • 2: Raul (or whoever) simply choses from the Wikipedia's Best articles each week and places his choices on the Main Page.


  • 2: Articles already voted as Wikipedia's Best are nominated as Featured Article candidates. Based on a set of criteria (to be established) people vote yes or no for featuring, with no need for discussion.

This proposal covers

  1. the need to recognize exceptional writing and generally great articles,
  2. the need to select articles to feature on the Main Page, and
  3. the mechanisms for doing each of the above.

Exploding Boy 02:58, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)

I just don't understand why there is so much discussion here about how to change a system that already works (IMHO) pretty well. Sam wants to make sure that morally objectionable articles never become featured articles (which is why he keeps trying to remove the actionable requirement), while EB wants to fork off the high-quality articles from the main page articles (thus doubling the workload), despite the obvious fact that there would be a huge amount of overlap in between. Anthony's proposal is both unncecessary and bad for the half-dozen reasons I outlined above.
And again, everyone is saying "Ok, the system we have now is pretty good, but it would be better if we radically change it like so..." - in engineering, there is the idea that you shouldn't go reinventing the wheel. This is something everyone here would do good to remember.
Meelar's proposal, that objections could flag an article as no-mainpage, is good a good one (read - small and effective), provided that the reasons for such an objection were few and entirely enumrated beforehand.
But quite honestly, I think the system works fine just as it is. Notice, as I said above, this is all academic anyway, since there are not currently any 'morally objectionable' articles that are featured or feature candidates. So, for this as-yet hypothetical problem, why are people pushing to re-invent the wheel? It makes no sense. →Raul654 03:20, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)
The system needs to be fixed because right now you're acting as benevelent dictator. That is unacceptable. anthony (see warning)

I don't think the system we have now is that good. I always assumed, being that the page was called "Featured Article Candidates," that we were voting on whether a given article was suitable for featuring on the Main Page. Looking at the Featured Articles List I would assume all had been featured on the Main Page at one time or another. It turns out this isn't the case. The name is inherently confusing, because it doesn't mean what it suggests.

In effect what happens now is the same as my suggestion above, but just much less clear. Beyond that, how would you ever know, looking at the list of Featured Articles, which ones had been featured on the Main Page and which ones were just great articles? The system doesn't work well at all.

Beyond that, as a couple of recent nominees have helped to demonstrate, there's little agreement about what articles are and aren't suitable for featuring on the Main Page, which leads to the issue of whether all articles are suitable or not. And if not, surely there needs to be some way to differentiate between articles that are simply great, and articles that are being or have been featured on the Main Page.

My proposal would simply make it clear which articles are considered Wikipedia's best work, which articles we'd like to see on the Main Page, and which articles have already been featured there. Exploding Boy 03:30, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)

I like EB's proposal, and agree w most of what he said (in this thread). On the other hand the asterisk idea is better than nothing. Raul thinks things are great, but I'd say they’re rather acceptable, and should be made better. We are far from inventing the "wheel" here, this is more like a debate on the best way to pull the sled, one person (page) or two. I think two pages is better, but if not that, than at least a way to differentiate in which way the article is "featured" is needed. Sam [Spade] 03:40, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Let me just chime in to say that I've remained silent because I agree with Raul. With the actionable objection modification, I like the system as it is. I think someone has to hold the reins, and Raul's done a good job. And I don't understand how these other options could work in practice. If we had a "Main Page Candidates" page, for instance, would the nominations be for a particular day? Chaos—rejected candidates would crop up again, and again, and again, and would the average Wikipedian have patience to go through such a process just for seeing an article they care about get onto the Main Page? Alternatively, would the page simply create a subpool of Featured Articles (Brilliant Prose, Wikipedia's Best, whatever) that were allowable for Main Page use? If so, someone has to choose exactly which ones go on and when, and so this is just a more-cumbersome asterisk system. Or would it be first-come, first-served? Then we have Christmas trees in July and eventually the pipe will either run dry when we have a lot of objections, or the pipe will be so full that there's little point in nominating an article to be featured some time in 2006. This last is probably self-correcting, as people will lose interest in the page when the pipeline's too full, and then gain interest again when the pipeline gets dry. But it seems like an incredibly odd solution to a problem that doesn't really exist. --TreyHarris 04:17, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I agree with Raul and Trey. Markalexander100 05:13, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Ok, here is what I don't get. Actionably complaints make it hard for someone to say "I don't like it" without actually sitting down and reading it and figuring out why. As for the proposal from exploding boy, I really don't see how the system is that much different, except in adding overhead. Right now the system is very academic is nature, essentially a giant peer review process without dicussing the relative moral merits of an article. Possibly what needs to be worded better is the top paragraph, showing the line of progression from FAC --> FA --> Template talk/Raul --> Main Page. And as for morally objectionable things, if Fuck or Clitoris is good enough to be put up on the Main Page, then we need to do that. If we start self censoring, we are doomed. Burgundavia 06:32, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)
Doomed eh? ;) From not putting fuck and clitoris on the main page? I'm sorry, but I'm not here for a social experiment, nor to push the edges of the moral envelope. I thought this was about writing and promoting an encyclopedia. Sam [Spade] 06:44, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
This is about writing an encyclopedia, and that is why self censorship is a very bad thing. As Jimbo said in relation to China, we are nothing more than a respository of information, a descriptive body, rather than a proscriptive one. Thus it makes no sense to ban us, as we are not trying to push a POV. Not placing an article some call objectionable on the Main Page is pushing a POV, that of censorship and morality of a certain type. Burgundavia 06:50, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)
Casting this debate in terms of censorship is quite the wrong way to look at it, as I said (maybe in an archive by now). Of course we should have an article about clitoris, or any other encyclopedic topic. However, we must have respect for our readers. Our main page, which people will visit without knowing what is on it, MUST be school-safe, work-safe, library-safe and cybercafe-safe. When someone visits fuck they know what they are getting, the main page however they don't. Please stop trying to make wikipedia an idealistic encyclopedia for its writers only. Pcb21| Pete 11:18, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
"Our main page, which people will visit without knowing what is on it, MUST be school-safe, work-safe, library-safe and cybercafe-safe." In what country? If libraries in some country block sites that discuss dissidents, must we not put a dissident on the main page? What schools? If Scientology schools have blocks on all non-church discussions of Scientology and articles about conventional psychology, does that mean we must avoid those subject on the main page as well? I went to a school where reading about Islam, Noam Chomsky or heavy metal would be considered subversive and might result in a teacher speaking to parents about troubling behavior. You seem to believe that there is one obvious definition of offensive. There's not, and the least common denominator is grim indeed. --TreyHarris 18:17, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I only ever wanted to estabish that there was a pragmatic difference between having an article on a topic and having that topic on the front page. I thought this difference was obvious, yet no-one else seems to have acknowledged it. Instead they prefer to engage in a rather theoretical debate about censorship. Pcb21| Pete 20:12, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
If the article on clitoris was the best-written human biology article in Wikipedia, I'd support it for the main page. -Sean Curtin 17:39, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
There is a pragmatic difference between Featured Articles and non-Featured articles. FA's are good and well written, regardless of the nature of the content, non-FA's are generally not. FA's have travelling through a grueling peer review on FAC's. Anyway, FAC is not about putting articles on the main page, as it clearly states in the first paragraph. That debate happens elsewhere, so I propose we move it there. Burgundavia 21:50, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)

Let me make it clear again that I'm fine with Raul being the one who chooses which articles are featured on the main page. What I'd like to see is a more clear distinction between those articles and articles that are just really great. The name "featured articles" is misleading and confusing. Changing it so that we're voting only on which articles are recognized as exceptional (not which articles should go on the main page) streamlines things, it doesn't complicate them.

As far as I'm concerned, Raul can continue to choose the featured articles from those that are recognized for their writing and completeness, or we can create a mechanism for voting on which articles are featured, if we decide that's what we want.

In fact, to make it even easier, if we (the Wikipedia community) want more control over what gets placed on the main page, all we need to do is vote on a set of guidelines. Raul, or whoever, can then use those as a guide in selecting a feature for the main page from those articles that we've already recognized.

Again, I'm proposing that what is now called "Featured Articles Candidates" be renamed (perhaps as Wikipedia's Best). This will be a place to vote only on whether an article is an example of excellent writing and completeness. As for the main page features, as stated above, that can either be left to Raul, be put to a vote (using the current Featured Articles Candidates page), or a set of guidelines created enabling Raul or whoever to select from Wikipedia's Best for the featured articles. Exploding Boy 09:39, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)

  • Ok, I can understand what you are talking about, but I think that is some wasted effort. After FAC it goes to FA and then on the Template talk:FA, the discussion can be made there. Maybe then we need to clearly state that these are simply good articles, and objections to listing them on the main page should be made at the talk page I just listed. This saves the effort of lots more renaming and moving. Burgundavia 10:24, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)

I support the proposal to rename all Featured articles pages to Wikipedia's best. I know it's a lot of work, but "featured" leads consistantly to the incorrect assumption that selected articles must be safe so we can feature them somewhere, like the main page. By saying "best," it's obvious that the quality of the article is what's important, not its sutibility. And of various #2s above, I like the one with voting that doesn't sollicit commentary; anything to cut down on the arguments around here! Nathan 14:59, Jul 1, 2004 (UTC)

I do not support this proposal or a name change. Our system here just needs to be augmented a bit - not replaced. I also see nothing wrong with having any article which has gone through this process be a candidate for being on the Main Page. See section below for a proposal to augment the current system (which is a bit clogged with contested nominations). —mav

First of all, renaming is augmenting not replacing. Second, there is nothing wrong with articles that have gone through the (for sake of clarity let's call it ) brilliant prose process being candidates for the main page. That's exactly what I said. Exploding Boy 01:41, Jul 5, 2004 (UTC)


I am also an inclusionist, but not to the point of losing sight of good P.R. Sam [Spade] 07:05, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I would like to urge MOST STRONGLY against making actual policy on this point. Because policy rapidly ossifies. We will select high quality articles on this page, and trust whoever is selecting Main Page articles to have good sense. I wouldn't expect Fuck to show up as a featured article (unless it was just about the BEST ARTICLE EVER), but I fervently do not want a policy saying it should or shouldn;t - David Gerard 19:31, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

How about just removing the "actionable" rule? Wouldn't that be the simplest way to solve everything? Sam [Spade] 19:58, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No, then there's no recognition for a truly superb article on clitoris. There must be a distinction between "main-page articles" and "honored articles"/"Brilliant prose"/whatever we want to call it. Best wishes, [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 20:06, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Selecting articles to feature on the main page is in many respects an inherently POV task. I don't think it's fair to complain about "censorship" in a situation like this, because the fact of the matter is that a choice has to be made. I don't think there should be a set policy here. If there are unresolved objections to one article, and aren't unresolved objections to another article, we should feature the article without objections. It seems so simple to me, but apparently it isn't. When it was just Raul making constant objections to any change I could understand, as Raul has grown accostomed to working however he wants without any oversight. But now it's grown to others, so I don't know what we can do. I'll sit back for a while and watch the discussion. anthony (see warning)

Add wikipedia:peer reviewed as another requirement

There is a great deal of overlap between the FAC and peer review processes that needs to be worked out. One thing I would change would be to add an extra requirement for featured articles - that they have gone through Wikipedia:Peer review first. This would encourage more participation in the peer review process in two ways:

  • It directs the attention of FA people there
  • The peer review page is more help-oriented instead of the gate keeper-oriented FAC page. Thus people will likely more freely list items there and won't have to worry about the dreaded 'object' - getting a self nom FAC shot down isn't fun.

The peer review page would also act to filter out many of the more obvious non-feature ready articles (notice all the 'contested' items on this page). —mav

Could we then, in addition to "featured" articles, have "verified" (or some other word) articles? That is, articles which have been checked for content, NPOV, and language, but are disqualified for featured status due to being too short, too technical, etc? In essence; articles that wouldn't look too bad if placed in a real encyclopedia, but don't necessarily represent Wikipedia's "best work". What I'm suggesting probably overlaps with what's already being planned for eventual offline editions of Wikipedia, but I'm not up to date with those plans. Fredrik | talk 21:56, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I've tried to use Peer Review several times with no luck. Exploding Boy 00:36, Jul 3, 2004 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree with EB - the two times I used peer review were pretty fruitless. It's not our job to fix their visibility problems, especially when (in my experience) they do such a poor job; nor is it desirable to add extra layers to (already) baroque nomination proces - having a heirarchy of quality in our articles is a Bad Thing (tm). If someone nominates an article that is unsuitable - too bad. That's the risk you take when you nominate something. →Raul654 00:39, Jul 3, 2004 (UTC)

The reason it is fruitless is due to the fact that the FAC process is sucking all the peer review effort here (which is a special case) when it should be a general thing. If articles had to go through peer review first, then that could create a larger per review effort. FAC peer review is all about gatekeeping for a small subset of articles, while general peer review is a way to obtain feedback on how to improve any article. --mav
Rather than giving Peer review a whole lot of extra work and hoping they suddenly get better at doing their job (and in the meantime, the FAC goes dead while we wait for articles to get through peer review), I prefer to wait until they start doing a good job on the work they have, before we give them a lot more. But aside from that, as I said above, the FAC process is complex enough as it is without more layers. →Raul654 02:12, Jul 3, 2004 (UTC)
Being listed for one week on the peer review page would result in much better articles being submitted to the FAC page. The fact remains that most nominations are getting opposed rather early for mainly simple things - stuff like that should get worked out through the peer review process. This page is way too cluttered with "Contested" sections. --mav 07:28, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I don't know whether the people who contribute to Peer Review do a good job or not (Should we care? Is this a turf war?), but, to be fair, there is a huge motivation for people to contribute here, because it's clearly very important that Featured Articles — what we identify to be the best of Wikipedia — are top-notch. There's no equivalent motivation on Peer Review. People sometimes seem to list things on FAC just to get some kind of peer review, which is clearly a problem. Anyway, while I think a requirement for a week on Peer Review would be a good idea, even a note suggesting a week on Peer Review would be useful. — Matt 15:42, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I think listing for recognition does the same job as listing on peer review would...might... People read the article, they correct mistakes or make suggestions for improvements. Unless a given article poses particular challenges in terms of verifiability, or needs an expert to check for accuracy, I think the way we do it now works well enough. I still think, however, that the current system is not clear enough. A simple name change would work wonders. Exploding Boy 09:16, Jul 3, 2004 (UTC)

As per a suggestion from David Gerard, I have added instructions that you should not have more than one nomination at a time (because too many people have concurrent nominations and cannot pay enough attention to them), and also suggesting that nominators take articles to peer review first before bringing them here. Mav - do you find this compromise acceptable? →Raul654 17:24, Jul 4, 2004 (UTC)

NB: this was from a discussion on IRC. I suggest that first putting a suggestion is better than making even a soft policy. Peer Review also now suggests using 'What is a featured article' as a checklist - David Gerard 18:13, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

How long before relisting?

I've put up a few articles here that have been knocked back. One, The Eye Of Argon, only had the lack of a picture as the remaining objection. I'm still trying to track down a scan of the original (I'm hot on the trail!) - so would that be enough to relist it, or is there a time requirement or convention? - David Gerard 12:43, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Resolving the only objection should techincally allow you to relist is at once, I think. However, a quick glance at the article and the discussion show that the discussion was not very long or thorough, and I can myself think of objections. I think the article should be fleshed out and peer reviewed further before relisting. For example, a short snippet of the text itself would be interesting to include [[User:Sverdrup|Sverdrup❞]] 16:58, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)
See below. - David Gerard 20:54, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Immodest proposals: rules to keep this page manageable

The purpose of these proposed rules is to keep the page to a manageable length and ensure crappy nominations die quickly.

0. The period on FAC is dropped to a week. 1. An article gets nominated. If it's not seconded in 24 hours, it fails. 2. No renomination in less than a month after failure, all objections having been answered. This does not preclude new objections.

New rules are inherently a bad thing. So I'm proposing these here for your derision - David Gerard 20:54, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

As I told David on IRC when he suggested posting these here -- since the rules have already been changed once today, let's wait and see if the current situation gets any worse before we propose changing the rules again. If it does, then we can seriously consider these. →Raul654 21:15, Jul 4, 2004 (UTC)

David, if this rule does become effective, let's say 48 hours. I've been watching the page for awhile and have noticed that it often takes slightly more than 24 hours for someone to say anything about a page. Then again, maybe simply having the rule will make people respond more quickly... --TreyHarris 23:17, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I don't support the 24 hour rule. Not all of us live in the same time zone. Exploding Boy 01:20, Jul 5, 2004 (UTC)

Forget the 24 hour thing - why not just say that it has to have two people support it at the time of nomination? That puts the effort of finding a second person on the would-be contributor. I think that would be a good thing. They could ask on the talk page or wherever else to get someone else to support it. It would also slow down the "dart-board" mentality where people make a bunch of nominations hoping something sticks. →Raul654 01:27, Jul 5, 2004 (UTC)
Is there really such a epidemic of "dart-board nominations"? A scan of the current list doesn't seem to indicate that. If it's just one or two folks won't a quiet word on a talk page or email be more effective than bringing in yet more prescriptive rules and regulations? Pcb21| Pete 07:45, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
You're probably right there - David Gerard 12:49, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The more I think about this...

...the more ridiculous it is. The first paragraph on the Featured Articles Candidates page reads:

    The purpose of this section is to determine which pages can be listed on 
    Wikipedia:Featured articles. A featured article is an article that 
    exemplifies Wikipedia's very best work . . . Articles featured on the 
    front page are currently chosen as a subset of the featured articles

Could it be any more confusing to give two vastly different things practically the same name? So featured articles that are featured are chosen from the featured articles, but not all featured articles are featured articles. Something like that.

Something that is "featured" is given special prominence. "Featured articles" (the ones that aren't featured) are not prominently featured anywhere; they're merely listed on another page (called Featured Articles...). On that page, pages which have already been featured on the front page are listed in bold. You then have to go to yet another page (Template:Feature/Archive) to find a listing of when these articles were featured... I don't think this could be any more confusing if we set out to make it as confusing as possible. This is ridiculous.

By simply renaming two pages (Featured Article Candidates and Featured Articles -- the Template:Feature/Archive page can stay as it is) most of the problems we're discussing here would be solved. We'd have a mechanism for recognising our best work (which doesn't even have to change), a place to keep track of what's been recognized, and a place to feature some of our best work (the main page), as well as a place to keep a record of it (the existing Feature/Archive page). It's the only thing that makes any sense.

Exploding Boy 15:44, Jul 5, 2004 (UTC)

I agree a rename is in order for the reasons you give.
If I remember right, we had a first past the post voting scheme last time and it really didn't work. Could we have some sort of approval voting this time please - gets much closer to consensus. Pcb21| Pete 16:28, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I don't really feel strongly about what the name is, and I don't think there's currently much of a problem, but I would support a rename. (1) "Featured" can mean "a prominent or special article, story, or department in a newspaper or periodical." (; if we're going to make a distinction between featured and main page articles, then the name "featured" would probably be a little confusing, as others have argued. (2) "Featured" isn't the most informative word; how do we pick featured articles? We choose them because they are well written and complete, but "featured" doesn't convey this — as far as anyone could tell, we might select them because they are interesting, or because they have lots of pretty pictures, or because the topic is timely etc....— Matt 16:58, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Articles which have passed through the nomination process become featured on a special page called "Featured articles". This page is prominently linked on the Main Page. Excerpts from all these articles have been or will be shown on the Main Page. I think the mechanism is perfectly logical, and choosing a different name will only make things more, not less, confused.--Eloquence*
Excerpts from all these articles have been or will be shown on the Main Page. - I think the last 300K or so of text on this page and its archives establishes that that is potentially not the case. Pcb21| Pete 17:43, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Just because in 300K discussion the right decision has not been reached doesn't mean that the status quo is justifiable. The right decision is to flag articles which some people consider objectionable as such (this can even be done for segments of a page using CSS) and to make them filterable in the user preferences. Content censorship is POV. I find nothing objectionable about the word fuck and I see no reason why I should bend my morality to fit other people's sensibilities.--Eloquence*

All that proves is that you haven't read the discussion. The issue is not censorship. Pcb21| Pete 07:52, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Choosing an article to feature on the front page is POV. This is unavoidable (unless we're going to stop featuring articles on the front page, which is fine with me and probably the best solution, but not one likely to have consensus support). anthony (see warning)

And as mentioned, "featuring" suggests being given special prominence. Articles on the main page can justifiably be called "featured." Articles merely listed by title on another page (one that you have to specifically seek out) cannot. Exploding Boy 23:40, Jul 5, 2004 (UTC)

Yes they can. In fact, they were called featured before featured articles were even added to the Main Page. Having a page which says "We think these articles are some of our best work, so we feature them here" is a way to feature articles, just a less prominent one. Moreover, as I said, the FA list is linked right below the excerpt on the Main Page. The two clearly belong together.--Eloquence*

A "featured" article is one that is featured prominently. A link on some page is not being prominently featured. To add to the confusion, the space on the main page where the featured articles are featured is called .... Featured Article. This is beyond ridiculous. Where can I start some sort of official vote? Exploding Boy 00:31, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)

A link on some page is not being prominently featured. This statement is wrong. It depends on the page. Given that the FA page is itself prominently linked, the articles there can be said to receive permanent attention (the FA page is among the top 100 visited ones). I agree, however, that the heading "Featured article" should be changed. It was chosen originally because it was thought that "Article of the day" could not be kept up-to-date. Feel free to start a vote right here to rename either page/section, and then list it on Wikipedia:Current polls.Eloquence* 00:38, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
Previously, someone had suggested changing the main page text to "Daily featured article" - I think that would probably clear up a lot of the confusion. →Raul654 00:56, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
PS - it was on talk:main page, and it was actually "Today's featured article" (which IMHO sounds better than 'daily featured article'). I have made the change now, and I think that should clear up the confusion. →Raul654 01:05, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)


Currently we have four areas of Wikipedia that are similarly named:

The purposes of these pages are as follows:

  1. . Wikipedia:Featured article candidates -- to select articles for recognition as outstanding
  2. . Wikipedia:Featured articles -- a list of articles chosen in #1, linked from Main Page
  3. . Today's featured article -- a rotating article that is featured on Main Page
  4. . Template:Feature/Archive -- to list articles chosen from #1 and featured on the main page (#2)

Some have argued that the current arrangement is confusing because the function of Wikipedia:Featured articles is different from the featured article on the Main Page. They therefore want the Wikipedia:Featured articles page to be renamed.

The counter-argument is that both are ways to give an article exposure -- temporary high exposure or permanent low exposure. The naming is consistent according to this argument, and should not be changed.

The purpose of this poll is to determine whether or not to rename the Featured article candidates and Featured articles pages. This poll is only to decide whether or not to rename, not to select a name or names. Please choose one option from below:

Poll Option 1:

Rename the Featured article candidates and Featured articles pages to avoid confusion

  1. Exploding Boy 03:48, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
  2. Nathan 13:20, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
  3. — Matt 16:39, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC) (although I don't think it matters much, there could be a slightly better choice of name).

Poll Option 2:

Keep all the existing names Wikipedia:Featured article candidates Featured articles, Today's featured article, and Template:Feature/Archive as they are

  1. Eloquence* 05:08, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
  2. Ambivalenthysteria 05:18, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  3. Neutrality 05:26, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  4. With all due respect to EB, this is a needless distinction. →Raul654 05:39, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
  5. Markalexander100 06:56, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  6. Burgundavia 07:40, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
  7. Emsworth 15:19, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)


  1. I won't vote, this poll is badly worded. You all know what I thought was best. Sam [Spade] 14:34, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  2. I agree, this is a poorly worded poll, and doesn't follow Wikipedia:Polling guidelines. See below (and above). anthony (see warning)

Poll Discussion

    With all due respect to EB, this is a needless distinction. 

I disagree, obviously. I think the current page names are ridiculous. But, whatever. At least when this is over we won't have to discuss it any more. Exploding Boy 05:42, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)

The system is confusing, but I'm not sure a name change will fix that. I don't oppose a name change, but without knowing what the new name will be, I can't support it either. anthony (see warning)

Why on earth not? First, this poll is not binding. It's merely to guage people's opinions. Second, if we decide we want to rename you can have a part in deciding what the new name(s) will be. Exploding Boy 14:20, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)

I wasn't looking to change the name of featured articles, but rather change its purpose, and revive wikipedia:brilliant prose. Sam [Spade] 14:34, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
You seem to misunderstand. Featured Article Candidates fulfils the same role now as Brilliant Prose did before. The problem is the confusion that arises from having four different pages, with different purposes, called nearly the same thing. And what's wrong with the wording of the poll? Exploding Boy 14:40, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
The purposes aren't all that different, though. FAC is the page to propose candidates for featured articles. FA is the list of the pages which are featured. The featured article is one of the featured articles which has been chosen to be featured on the main page. And the archive page is the list of articles which have been featured on the main page. They're all related. There is some confusion as to the fact that not all featured articles are really eligible to be featured on the main page, but that's not going to be solved by changing the name of the page. anthony (see warning)
My god this will never end! FAC is not the page to propose candidates for featuring. FAC is the place where we decide what articles are really great. We currently don't get to vote on what articles are featured. FA is the list of articles we think are really great, not the list of articles that are or will be featured. The only one you've got right is the archive page! Doesn't this just demonstrate how irredeemably confusing this whole mess is? And actually, FAC currently acts as a sort of Peer Review/Brilliant Prose all rolled into one. Exploding Boy 14:53, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
FAC is the page to propose candidates for featured articles, in other words, articles which are featured on Wikipedia:Featured articles. Articles which are really great are called featured articles. FA is the list of articles which are featured articles. That has nothing to do with the front page, except that Raul has decided to take one of these articles and put it on the front page. That's all. anthony (see warning)
That's not confusing at all. Exploding Boy 15:12, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
The process is somewhat confusing, but changing the name doesn't make it any less confusing. If we listed "Stub of the day" on the main page, and only chose non-offensive stubs for the main page, should we then change the name of Template:stub to something else, because that's confusing? anthony (see warning)
Oh come on. If we changed FAC to Really Great Articles Candidates (note: that's not what I'm suggesting for a name) and Featured Articles to List of Really Great Articles it would make everything so much clearer. It's very simple really. Exploding Boy 15:25, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
If we can come up with a better name, and agree on it, that'd be fine. But I don't think it's necessary. If the poll was whether or not we should change the name back to "Brilliant Prose", I'd support it. anthony (see warning)

I think the name is fine as it is, but I don't oppose changing it if we can agree on something better. I don't see how my position fits either of the options. anthony (see warning)

This poll is not addressing the main issue, which is how do we decide which pages to feature on the main page. The names as they stand seem clear enough to me, it's the process that's a mystery. Bmills 15:28, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

We don't decide at all. Raul decides. Exploding Boy 15:30, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)
I've tried to discuss this a bit on template talk:feature. See the first paragraph. anthony (see warning)

Just wanted to note the fact that in the discussions of least two current nominations -- nominations that were made since the discussion on this page and the changes to the FAC page intro -- people are making reference to featuring on the main page. It's clear that there's still confusion about what exactly Featured Articles are. Exploding Boy 08:58, Jul 8, 2004 (UTC)

Then politely inform them that they should read the top of the page - that's about the best we can do. →Raul654 11:19, Jul 8, 2004 (UTC)

We could rename the page to avoid this type of confusion. Exploding Boy 12:23, Jul 8, 2004 (UTC)

Overly high standards of objection?

While the hot fires of peer review on this page are doing some great work for most of the nominated articles, a lot of the objections appear to be working to the standard of Wikipedia:The perfect article rather than Wikipedia:What is a featured article. The page isn't called Perfect Article Candidates - David Gerard 11:20, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I agree. For instance, the 'images where appropriate' guideline seems to have become 'images absolutely required'. Bmills 11:35, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Some comments from someone who has "high standards of objection": Note that the "what is a featured article" page includes: "Exemplify Wikipedia's very best work. Represent what Wikipedia offers that is unique on the Internet." The system of Featured Articles is (currently) the only validation / quality-recognition system we have on Wikipedia, and we trumpet it as the "Best of Wikipedia". These are the articles we direct people to when they say that Wikipedia can't work or can't produce decent articles, and the articles we (mostly) advertise on the front page to overawe newcomers with our greatness, and so on. For example, the current Slashdot story about Wikipedia's mentions two Featured Articles [1].
Because of this, I think our Featured Articles should be as good as possible; emphatically not perfect, but equally, not far off. Accordingly, I will object to an article if A) I can see any obvious flaws, or even B) If I can see any obvious way it could be improved. Indeed, I will actively seek out and wrack my brains for an "A" or a "B". This will result in "nitpicking" and "petty" objections sometimes, but it's motivated out of wanting Wikipedia to be represent itself well. If I'm being over-picky, and that's entirely possible, then I'm happy to trust the mechanism of consensus in Wikipedia; if many people support and there are few objections, the article will still be promoted.
While I appreciate the danger (and annoyingness) of an objector demanding unrealistic perfection, I think it's safer to sometimes err in that direction than to demand too low a standard; it's not hard to trawl through the list of Featured Articles and find many merely mediocre articles. — Matt 12:57, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Here's my observation: There are currently a lot of people who look over articles to list their problems, but very few people who actually fix them. While the onus should be on the nominator - and, for the record, many nominators do very little to fix objections, although I think they're getting better about this - I also think everyone needs to take responsibility for fixing problems. It also implies that we're getting too many nominations now (some of which are no-where near FA quality and so should not have been nominated in the first place). →Raul654 17:07, Jul 7, 2004 (UTC)
PS - The slashdot mention was my doing - look who submitted the story :)
I think the "gladiatorial" model of nominating/objecting/fixing works reasonably well for self-nominated articles. In this case there is a reasonable expectation that the nominator will do some fixing in order to achieve the inestimatable glory (:)) of having their article featured.
However that model does seem inappropriate for other nominations, which is why we have seen them dying off in favour of self-noms recently. Suggestions for quick fixes: With non-self-noms objectors should either say "I will try to do this" or "I can't do this, are there any other takers". The objector might like to drop a note on the user talk pages of the major authors of the article. Unresolved objections should be placed on the talk pages for future reference, not hidden on any archive page. Pcb21| Pete 17:55, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Another way of measuring how close "featured" is to perfect is that, roughly speaking, we want to create (roughly) one new featured article per day, for the main page. Thus if we are creating more, then our standards are too lax. Less, and we are too nitpicky. Of course this means that the threshold for featured status slowly increases over time (because there are more articles; there are more FACs), this has certainly been true. Pcb21| Pete (still mourning that Nude celebrities on the Internet has lost its FA status).
I would disagree. If we're generating FAs at less than one a day, our standards may be too tight, or Wikipedia might just not be very good (though I don't think that's the case). If we're generating FAs at more than one a day, that's excellent news, as FA standard quality is something as many articles as possible should have. If it's much more than one a day, it'll be time to completely separate the FA list from the concept of main page articles - David Gerard 13:23, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I agree with David. Articles should be FA when they're good enough, not perfect. And the only target should be to get all articles there, not 'one a day' or whatever. Bmills 13:39, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I would also disagree with David and Bmills about the "one a day" quality metric; we shouldn't be constantly varying our standards to match the zeitgeist of editing and nominations. I think we all agree that articles should be "good enough", rather than "perfect", but that's always going to be a spread of personal opinion about what constitutes sufficient quality, and I don't think any checklist or strict definition will fix that. — Matt 14:03, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I think a good case in point at the moment is the Book of Kells discussion. IMHO the article is an really good encyclopaedia entry and the objections seem aimed at turning it into an in-depth academic study with too much detail. surely a further reading listing is enough to point the way for those who want that level of detail? Bmills 08:13, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
As the objector in question to the Book of Kells, I would like to say that don't think my objections are not aimed at turning into an overly detailed study, as you claim. One of the first points in Wikipedia:What is a featured article, is "support facts with specifics and external citations (beware vague justifications such as "some people say")". I think both my objections are about parts of the article that violate this guideline.
My first objection is about the unexplained and unverifiable, and hence potentially POV, statement that the book is one of the most important works of art. Even if this is the "general opinion", at least give some explanation of this statement should be given.
My second objection is again about unexplained facts. If "scholars" or "most people" think something, an encyclopedia should either present the reason for this general belief, or, if explaining this is beyond the scope of an encyclopedia article, name at least one explicit reference (preferably at that point in the text) in which the issue is addressed in detail. Jeronimo 09:45, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)