Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive42

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Big, bold

I highly reccomend someone but up a banner at the top of WP:FAC, WP:PR, WP:FLC, WP:FAR, WP:FLRC etc. etc. saying If you are here to nominate an article, it is highly reccomended that you review another article in the backlog. if every listing author gave a full-prose review to another article on the list, then the backlog wouldn't be nearly as bad. ResMar 22:05, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

I understand the sentiment, but I don't think it will work (and I'm sure the idea has been suggested here many times before). Both shepherding an article through FAC and doing a thorough review of an article are time consuming. During a recent FAC I nominated my time was severely limited, but afterwards I had time to do a couple of reviews. Not to mention that for some people it's easier to write a Featured Article than review one (there's a similar problem at WP:GAN). There's already a note encouraging people to review when opening the edit window. Nev1 (talk) 22:20, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
That's part of why it would be a bad idea to make it mandatory (another part is it would lead to really slack reviews). But I don't think there's a problem with providing nominators with a gentle reminder that FAC works only because people are willing to review. Be it at the same time as their nominations are up or at a different time, nominators - especially frequent nominators - should try to pull their weight (I try to do roughly three content reviews and an image review for each article I nominate, which I figure makes me a net zero on the backlog, but as with you I don't necessarily nominate and review at the same time). Steve Smith (talk) 22:27, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
(ec) I noticed that a notice to that effect appears when you edit WP:FAC, which is good. Similar notices would probably be advisable at those other venues (at WP:PR, at least; I'm not familiar with the other ones), but here's probably not the place to initiate it. Steve Smith (talk) 22:23, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I din't say to make it mandatory, I said to make it recommened. because it's already been mentioned doesn't mean it shouldn't be mentioned again :) ResMar 22:31, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Tiny images significantly compromising FACs

I'm finding lots to complain about WRT image sizes. Carabane, for example, has tons of tiny images, many of them rather underwhelming no matter what the size is. Why so many when rationing them to the good ones could save bandwidth for readers with slow connections, to be (partly) spent on giving us all decent sizes. Let's remember also that slow bandwidth makes it very slow to double-click on an image that is useless at tiny size. The map in the infobox at the top of Carabane was simply unreadable. I've made it the maximum 300px for the lead, and why not? See what it was like before? Unacceptable, IMO.

This pic in "Flag of Singapore" is a pretty blotch of red, similar to something I saw at the local museum of modern art. I can't even make out the flags, which are the whole point of including that pic. The Singapore Airlines pic just below is kind of feeble given that the flag is a red fly-spec and, well, a flag that size on an airplane is pretty ordinary. As much as Bush makes me want to vomit, the caption to the pic of his giving a speech in front of the S. flag refers to things I can't make out in the image. This is way below professional practice. Why not enlarge a few of the good ones and get rid of the weak ones?

When are nominators and reviewers going to treat image placement and sizing professionally? See the MoS, to start with. Tony (talk) 14:21, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Tony, nominators are going to take it seriously when it becomes an issue which holds up promotion. That, I think is the practical standard. The MoS is big, people focus their limited ration of time on the issues that "are important", that is, which have the potential to defeat a nom unless addressed. The next time, they'll most likely come to FAC with the issue corrected in advance. People learn, but there's got to be an incentive to learn, whether a cookie or the threat of it being taken away!--Wehwalt (talk) 14:45, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, very few reviewers review for MOS, and generally, Karanacs, Dabomb87 or I have to do a MOS cleanup before promotion; there's only so much we can do or check, particularly when reviewers aren't concerned. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:50, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, but I agree with Tony that images in featured articles should as a general rule be interpretable without readers having to click on them. This is especially true of maps, which often need to be read alongside the text. For example, Battle of Morotai has a couple of tiny maps which can't be read at all as they stand in the article. If MoS militates against best image sizing, then perhaps MoS should change? Brianboulton (talk) 15:03, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Or reviewers should change those items when they encounter them :) It's not one of the things I have time to fiddle with upon promotion. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:12, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Scrap featured articles altogether and the problem would be solved! Editors like Tony1 (talk · contribs) could then go improving images across the whole of the encyclopedia, instead of just concentrating on the minority efforts which make it to WP:FAC. Physchim62 (talk) 16:23, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Or (gasp!) we could require high-quality images, not just well-placed images. Falls over in a faint. Awadewit (talk) 16:52, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, gee, it's hard enough finding images for people active after 1923 and before the dawn of the age of the digital camera. I have to deal with complaints on talk pages that they would like better images, and very often, they are just not there, or will require difficult research to prove copyright was not removed. I would be reluctant to see such a move as Awadewit proposes. And I can't be termed lazy when it comes to images, I've taken them for my articles (without ownership there) from California to Cologne.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:05, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Images are the only area of FAC where we accept substandard work. :) Awadewit (talk) 19:11, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe that's true, but in any case it could be argued that even a poor quality image adds value; the logic isn't the same as with prose. --Malleus Fatuorum 19:14, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm with Malleus on this one......(5 second pause to hear sound of penny dropping)......hey, was that tongue in cheek a little Awadewit? Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:21, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
A poorly annotated diagram? A blurry photo of a Vermeer? I think those add just as much as poorly written prose. Awadewit (talk) 19:23, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I expect the non-blurry ones don't have a source! Johnbod (talk) 19:25, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Poorly written prose can be fixed. The nominator can't just delete a paragraph of poor text without probably failing to be comprehensive. But he can do that with an image if it is criticised. This happens all the time with non-free images that fail the rules. What do we do if the only free photo of the Vermeer is blurry? Would you advise it be removed in order to pass FAC? I agree that there is no excuse for self-made photos or diagrams to be of poor quality. If we had money to buy good quality images for our FACs.... Colin°Talk 19:57, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I think starting with the basics is important, but we haven't even done that. We don't even demand that self-made images are in focus, straight, etc. There is no reason to start bringing up all sorts of exceptions when we don't even demand basic competence in images. This is the point I'm trying to make - people are so quick to rush to the problems that we are making no effort to have high-quality images and the articles are suffering as a result. Awadewit (talk) 20:05, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
But the same standards can't be applied to all images, as they can to text. Take the example of an explosion at an oil storage depot, for instance. The picture may not be technically of the best quality, but it may be the only one there is that captured the initial explosion. --Malleus Fatuorum 20:12, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is saying that the same standards should be applied to all images, but these excuses are being used not to have any standards and therein lies the problem. Awadewit (talk) 20:17, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Awadewit that we should at least try. This is probably one of those things where the opening sentence of our FA Criteria should be sufficient for a reviewer to make a stand against the out of focus or wonky. Or do you feel we need a tweak to the criteria? Colin°Talk 20:22, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure what you're getting at Awadewit. Are you proposing an extension to the FA criteria to include some judgement on the quality of images? If so, what it would likely achieve is candidates with hardly any images at all. Would that be an improvement over where we are now? Or are you proposing another level of FA, one in which every element of an article (prose, images, audio, video ...) has been assessed as of featured quality? --Malleus Fatuorum 20:27, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I think an extension of the FA criteria to include something about image quality is important. Candidates with hardly any images at all are irrelevant, just like candidates without any significant scholarship don't have deal with the issue "high-quality" sources, as no distinction can be made between the sources that do exist. Not every criteria is equally important to each article. Summary style is much more important to articles about large topics than those about small topics. Again, saying that the criteria won't apply equally to each and every article doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to have the best where we can. Awadewit (talk) 22:26, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm. Certainly food for thought. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  • If you find default images, which all these were before the recent tinkering, too small, the solution is to change your default setting on your preferences, as a "tiny handful" of about 100,000 users have done. The recent changes have reduced several images for me, at a 300px default setting, & put some below the incoming default size of 220px (whatever happened to that, btw?). There are still one pair of side-by-side left & right images, otherwise the article looked slightly better to me before the recent changes. Johnbod (talk) 19:23, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  • The other day I was talking with an editor about how compatible text and media really are: wouldn't it be something if people could look up a species of bird and find a featured article on the species, with a featured picture and a featured sound? Kudos to the meteorology editors who've joined the featured picture program as an adjunct to their FA work. Some of the MILHIST writers also search for restoration-worthy images to go with their article drives. It would benefit the site if more of the text editors got into media in a serious way; we're at the point where some of the museums are talking to us and releasing high quality media. Let's build upon the synergy. Durova379 19:39, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  • A featured video would be good too. --Malleus Fatuorum 19:55, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  • We feature videos within existing programs. Would be great to incorporate more of them into featured articles. :) Durova379 20:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I haven't read all the above (life is too busy and too short) but IMHO images are very important, particularly in the sort of articles I contribute to. Finding free images is a nightmare and the the Commons is almost completely unreliable. So, I draw or photograph my own more often than not. I am a virologist, not a professional illustrator and I know that my drawings are not perfect, but, and this has to be said, beggars can't be choosers, and at least my images are free. I needed, for something, a drawing of a bacteriophage, but I could not find a suitable free one. So I drew this (badly) using PowerPoint:


Later, another editor replaced it with the one below, which is much better:


My point being, images can be improved as can prose. I recall that Tony's original point was about the size of images, and I agree with him, readers should not have to click the thumbnail to see them clearly. But this discussion seems to me to be leading towards including the quality of images into the FAC criteria, which I disagree with. Clearly, useless, unhelpful images should be criticised, but to decline FA status to an article based only on the quality of the images will not be productive. Free images are Wikipedia's most severe headache (again IMHO), let's not discourage editors from coming up with the best they can. In fact, I remember reading somewhere, that Jimbo gets a large donation with the proviso that the submission of free images is encouraged. Sorry, this has turned into a bit of a rant. Graham. Graham Colm Talk 21:25, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

That's an excellent graphic of a T4 bacteriophage. It should be a featured picture. Yours is well done also, Graham. -- (talk) 06:03, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

PS. In a nutshell, I think a useful, albeit less than perfect, free image is better than none. Eventually, more talented editors, inspired by the original contribution, will improve it, as is often the case with the prose. Graham Colm Talk 21:54, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

"Clearly, useless, unhelpful images should be criticised" - But right now, there is no criteria that justifies such a criticism and you seem to be saying that we should not institute such a criteria. Awadewit (talk) 22:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
No, not quite, I would like to see something like (and better written), "The use of copyright-free images, especially those created by editors and nominators is encouraged. However, the quality of these should be the best attainable or obtainable. Wikipedia recognises that not all editors have the means to produce images to a professional standard and FA reviewers are encouraged to take this account. Images that can clearly and easily be improved might not be considered to be worthy of inclusion in a Featured Article. But, a useful image that despite its faults, adds value and interest to an article is acceptable." Graham Colm Talk 23:00, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Image guidelines then...

Ok, what we have is:

It has images that follow the image use policy and other media where appropriate, with succinct captions, brief and useful alt text when feasible, and acceptable copyright status. Non-free images or media must satisfy the criteria for inclusion of non-free content and be labeled accordingly.

what do we add? Something simp0le like - "Each image should add something susbtantive in information or aesthetics?"

Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:17, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me that Wikipedia:Images#Image_choice_and_placement, which is already bundled into the criteria, covers the ground, & if anything is to be added it should be there. I had never looked at it before, like most people I suspect, but I see it covers Awa's point above adequately: "Poor quality images (too dark, blurry, etc.) or where the subject in the image is too small, hidden in clutter, ambiguous or otherwise not obvious, should not be used." In the past, reviewers have often not been at all bashful in criticising uses of images, often for very home-made and contentious reasons, and nominators often, imo, too ready to remove images that are attacked, in a way they are not with text. I really don't see the need to add anything to the FAC criteria. If I would add anything, it would be that captions should be "informative" as well as succinct; but both are covered by WP:CAPTION anyway. Johnbod (talk) 00:52, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
In which case, maybe a prominent link to the image discussion should be directly linked from the Featured Article Guidelines. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:56, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
No point linking to a moving discussion, any guidelines would be for the FAC regulars to look at providing in the future. It is amazing really that there are no guidelines or criteria for image quality but then again this is the Featured Article arena and common sense would suggest that we need to add the very best images available, the problem seems to be that this is not the case. Many editors (including myself) think very long and hard about the quality of images and their placement in an article. I would not object at all to a new concise criteria on image quality to keep the standards of Featured Articles high. Several Wiki projects do have extensive image guidelines but they are seldom commented on in pre-FAC peer reviews, must make an effort myself to be more critical but I know that this is not popular from previous experience. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 02:49, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • My concerns were not that we need an elaborate set of criteria. The FA criteria already say "A featured article exemplifies our very best work and is distinguished by professional standards of writing, presentation, and sourcing." Reviewers are already empowered to insist that images be well-positioned and appropriately sized, and that if the article is cluttered with images, some of which appear to be less than important, their number should be reduced. The problem is that reviewers are not insisting. Tony (talk) 10:36, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • ...speaking of which, Carabane could use some guidance on image placement... • Ling.Nut 10:47, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I would agree, reviewers already have the ability to raise questions. I think the problem is, that a poor image is most always difficult to replace, either because shows something that took place in the past, or that it is of a place which may be difficult or expensive to return to, to take another one. I wonder if there would be that many cases with images that could be easily replaced with better ones of the same subject. I should note that, in doing historical articles most often dealing with an era still under copyright, I rarely have enough dead on relevant images. I generally have to fill in with images of people or places mentioned in the article, if it is places, I've often taken the photos myself. I would say that worry more about this when there are more choices of images out there.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:49, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree; with the exceptions of maps Graham Colm's suggested text in the section above has little applicability for great swathes of articles, however appropriate it may be for science articles. Johnbod (talk) 19:04, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I have the same problem as Wehalt, although in a different manner, because the period I'm dealing with long predates photographs or copyright. Finding images that are relevant to a medieval article can be tough. I make a conscious effort to keep my images of good quality, and relevant to the time frame if at all possible. It does me little good to insert a 19th century engraving of the subject of my article if the subject is from the 10th century -- chances are that the engraving is woefully inaccurate and gives the wrong impression of the clothing/etc of the time. I also have problems finding images of "places" relevant to the subject, especially for the early medieval period, as showing the interior of a Gothic-era cathedral is just as inaccurate and again gives the wrong impression. I don't think a link to the relevant section of the images section would be bad or perhaps making clearer that "presentation" includes images and layout -- maybe change it out for that? I don't know, we can't expect professional photographers to release their images for free use all the time, though. As a professional photographer, I know I do not give Wikipedia my "best" images, that would be insane. Why would anyone buy an art print from me if they could go to Wikipedia and get the same image for free? I do, however, give decent images to Commons, and we should expect all images in FAs to be in focus, straight, clean of imperfections, decently cropped and without distracting details that aren't relevant to the subject. Expecting "professional photographs" or "professional maps" or "professional graphs" might be too much to ask. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:28, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • As an aside, speaking again as a pro photographer, sometimes I'm astonished by what quality standards most non-photographers are willing to consider "good". Blown highlights, horizons unstraight, out of focus, cropped badly, etc. It might be a good idea to do a dispatch on what makes a "good" image, that might help at FA as much as raising the standards. (I get friends sending me pictures all the time asking me what I think of their vacation photos. If I really told them, I'd have no friends.) Simple rule, folks - any image in an FAC should be in focus, the horizon should be straight, it should be cropped to the subject of the photo, and their should be no areas of extremely bright highlights or extremely dark shadows. And quantity does not make up for quality. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:33, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Shadow and light, extremes of both sorts, are something I'm drawn to as an artist. I'd like specifics explained, examples and nonexamples, with room for discussion and understanding before this may become a criterion for an FAR. --Moni3 (talk) 19:48, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Let me set something up in my userspace, it's probably easiest there. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:56, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
That's fine. However, note that if I take a photograph someplace thousands of miles from home and it has a crooked horizon, well, odds are I'm not going to be able to replace it (yes, I do take several but ...) Let's tread cautiously here.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:00, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Wehwalt, in most situations the solution to that is a rotation and crop that could be done in two minutes in GIMP (a free program). Moni3 and Ealdgyth raise good points. It's hard to expect FA contributors to avoid blown whites or rotate to a level horizon when they don't understand those fundamentals. Durova379 20:05, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Ditto with some rare plants and animals - Obviously we replace images with better ones as they come along, but sometimes we are stuck with what we have. I think and informative approach to start off with is a good one. I was thinking more along the lines of, say, a bird which had part of its tail covered or slightly (something which can't be photoshopped easily). Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:07, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
User:Ealdgyth/Picture examples for Moni. And for Wehalt, if you want a picture worked on in Photoshop, just drop me a note. I'm pretty decent with transforming things from "so-so" to "wow" (it's part of the job description as a landscape photographer). I'm certainly up to cropping and straightening. I can do some stuff with slightly out of focus and color balance also. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:12, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Not so, Casliber. As an example see Angkor Wat, which was a 2005 promotion that passed FAR in 2008. Most of its images date from 2005-2006 although better material is available in the Commons category. Most surprising is that during the 2008 review nobody noticed that someone had gone through about half the photographs and made them worse: review the file histories of File:Angor_Wat_NW_Cnr.jpg and File:Awatcornertower01.JPG for examples of really bad image editing. And this is an architecture article about a World Heritage Site--where the attention to media ought to be greatest. Durova379 20:46, 11 December 2009 (UTC)


Criterion 3: It has media that are of a decent technical quality and that help readers to understand the subject of the article. The images must follow the image use policy, and include succinct captions, brief and useful alt text when feasible, and have acceptable copyright status. Non-free images or media must satisfy the criteria for inclusion of non-free content and be labeled accordingly. Awadewit (talk) 19:45, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

I support the principle, but I am not sure about the details. I think that there are two points that should be made clear in the criterion: a) images should conform to a certain standard of quality; b) what is acceptable should depend on the topic at hand. For certain topics, it may be much more difficult to get "decent" images than for others, and the standards should not be the same (to give one example, the current, somewhat non-decent image at Lundomys is the only free image available of the animal). Ucucha 19:56, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
What is the best way to make this clear? (We had a similar discussion when we revised the source criterion, btw.) Awadewit (talk) 20:16, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Good question. I can't think of anything now, but will try to devise something and perhaps someone else will have a good idea. Ucucha 20:18, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
And a technical comment: when we make criterion 3 that long, it might be good to split into 3a-c or something for easy reference. Ucucha 20:19, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
How about something like "images of a quality commensurate with the feasibility of obtaining examples relevant to the subject." PL290 (talk) 21:41, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I actually like Elcobbola's more concise proposal below, which would be "media that are of a reasonable technical quality". That leaves open the possibility that what is "reasonable" may depend on the article. Ucucha 22:11, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm concerned the requirement to "help readers to understand the subject of the article" is getting a little too close to being NFCC#8 for free images. The factory image in my recent FA, for example, is completely worthless in terms of assisting understanding. It's there because it's verifiably free, relevant to the section and helps to visually break up the prose - nothing to do with understanding. The notion of assisting understanding is already a headache for non-free images, and I'm not sure the stress to nominators and reviewers enforcing this would likely cause would be worth it. Criterion two already requires that the MOS be followed; WP:IMAGES, a sub-page thereof, addresses the need for pertinence and quality. The best change to criterion three would actually be its removal altogether, but that's another discussion. Эlcobbola talk 20:23, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Elcobbola. It strikes me we have little need for creeping instructions. There is ample language in the current criteria for reviewers to be backed up in their expectations.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:26, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
What I was trying to get at was a balance of technical superiority and the need to retain historically important images that are not technically superior. How could that be worded better? Awadewit (talk) 20:29, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Well there are two additions here: technical quality and contribution to understanding. I wasn't necessarily expressing concern about the quality issue (although I think "reasonable" would be superior to "decent" - "decent" compared to what? "Reasonable", alternatively, doesn't really require such a reference point and has an inherent allowance for the technical limitations of times gone by), only the understanding issue. Эlcobbola talk 21:01, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I still don't see it. When there are issues as to whether an image is free use or not, well, the question is raised, and most of the time the nominator deals with it. Is there a concern that without a change in the language, that nominators will blow off image reviewers who question quality? I don't believe that will happen.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:07, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't want any change, to be clear. My reply was meant to retain/restore focus (I commented on the understanding issue, and A replied about the quality issue; it seemed a non sequitur). Necessary verbiage is already present at WIAFA ("exemplifies our very best work and is distinguished by professional standards of writing, presentation, and sourcing" - emphasis mine). Tony is right; reviewers just need to start engaging it. Эlcobbola talk 21:13, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm on board that it would be easier to just start making it an issue. Look at what was involved in changing 1c and how the aftershocks still ripple across here.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:15, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
This would actually be a bigger issue most likely; at least the skills necessary to address 1c concerns roughly align with the skills needed to write the article in the first place. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:17, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

In practice, who's going to be responsible for raising the quality of the images in the article to a "decent technical quality"? Are the skills needed to meet this criterion in the skillset of our most active FA writers? Taking into account Ealdgyth's comment above that what most laypeople would consider "good" is not necessarily of a decent technical quality, we should be aware that asking writers to correct images when they (1) lack the expertise to understand the errors and (2) lack the technical knowledge to correct them easily could stifle the process or scare nominators away. The alternative is that people will simply remove images that draw quality criticisms; I'm not sure this will make the articles better in the end. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:17, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Tony1, God bless his heart, makes comments on prose that are unquantifiable. "I'm not happy" or "Needs massaging". That really doesn't mean anything unless you can read Tony1's mind. But Tony1 wrote an entire exercise in understanding good prose, so that goes along with his comments. Whatever is decided upon should be painfully clear, and not just in a dispatch, as to what consists of an exceptional, good, decent, passable, and unsatisfactory image. It appears what I consider to be artistically exceptional Ealdgyth, God bless her heart, considers passable. Clearly she's on drugs. It's the only explanation. --Moni3 (talk) 21:25, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
LOL. Or it could be that I'm not approaching pictures for an encyclopedia solely as an "artistic" enterprise, there is also ... does it illustrate and explain the subject? Artsy stuff doesn't always illuminate a subject of an encyclopedia article. An artistic shot of a horse won't always show the conformation and color well. There is more to encyclopedia pictures than just excellence in technique and art quality. Ealdgyth - Talk 21:59, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
(ec, to Christopher Parham) How is that argument fundamentally different from a debate over whether interlibrary loans and inline citations are within the skillset of FA writers? Five years ago those weren't expected either. Encyclopedia writing that most laypeople would consider "good" is not necessarily of a decent technical quality. FAs are supposed to be the best. Durova379 21:29, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Because skill in writing citations, and library research generally, is a part of the normal skillset associated with scholarly writers. Expecting people writing a scholarly article for an encyclopedia to have the basic skills associated with that task is reasonable. On the other hand, there's little relationship between a skill in scholarly writing and a skill in digital image editing - one might wish this were not the case but it simply is. Generally, most written works where high-quality photography is desired (beyond the standard which a layperson would glance at and say it's okay) would employ different people to do the two jobs. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:45, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Yet isn't our site inherently collaborative? Quite a few featured articles are illustrated at a level that doesn't do justice to the quality of the writing. See the Angor Wat example mentioned above. It isn't hard to notice that the lead image is 36 KB or that sharper alternatives several orders of magnitude larger are available at the linked Commons category. Anyone could see from a three minute survey. Fewer would realize that the current lead image also needs counterclockwise rotation, but that's why one seeks second opinions. If the text contributors were doing what they could and receptive to input, more assistance from the media editors would be forthcoming. Durova379 22:41, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Nominators/authors are responsible; that's who. Wikipedia is supposed to be a collaborative process. The Graphics Lab, for example, is available to request the creation/improvement of images. Wikiprojects, similarly, may assist in locating editors who have access to different sources and localities and thus, alternative images. No one is expected to be alone in the process-quite the contrary. There's no excuse not to seek the help of others and not to utilize the resources available when something needs improvement. Эlcobbola talk 21:40, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
On the other side of that, Elcobbola, your first statement kinda trumps your last. I cannot depend on any individual or project to assist me in getting an article to FA. Help is great, and I appreciate it very much. But I'm accountable when I solicit for assistance and everyone is busy and can't get to my request for weeks or months at a time. If I get told no or my request goes unanswered, the only thing to do is teach myself. --Moni3 (talk) 21:48, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps one of the effects of including very clear language in criterion 3 asking for quality images is that more people will learn those skills and thus the pool of people available to help out will widen. Awadewit (talk) 21:59, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
(@ Moni) There's no trumping; you seem to be assuming this has to happen right away ("everyone is busy and can't get to my request for weeks or months at a time"), or that teaching oneself doesn't count as taking responsibility. Neither are true. Sometimes quality means waiting. What I've said is analogous to the current practice of prose reviewers requesting an outside copyedit. If prose of sufficient quality is beyond the nominator, they seek outside assistance and then return. If quality media is beyond the nominator, they need to seek outside assistance and then return. Christopher Parham asked who was responsible for raising the quality. The nominators are, through whatever method necessary (enlisting assistance from others or learning themselves). Эlcobbola talk 22:07, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
To give one example, I'm not very good at making maps. Here was my effort - it is not very good. So, I've solicited help. The result is worth the wait. Considering there are no deadlines on Wikipedia, we should aim for quality. Awadewit (talk) 22:17, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
The thing is, I think that wherever possible, those comfortable with images should just go ahead and fix any problems with the images used. I really don't want to hear, as an article builder, "image widjet.jpg needs to be rotated three degrees left to bring the horizon level and appropriate cropping made, plus have you considered playing around with the contrast?" I do two things when I take a photo, I point and I click (well, I do zoom). I wouldn't have a clue where to begin. Yes, I could learn, but WP is a colloborative effort and shouldn't I be spending the time on prose? If you think it is a problem, just fix it, you'll be saving time what with the inevitable argument!--Wehwalt (talk) 22:57, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • (outdent)If images were just window dressing then Wehwalt's solution would be fine. Here's an example of where that runs into trouble. In five minutes I can see what would be visually better and in another five minutes I could implement the change (the edit would be very basic), but am not taking the five hour detour to determine whether the change would be appropriate or accurate. Durova379 23:06, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
So? The nominator's talk page got deleted or something?--Wehwalt (talk) 23:10, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
That article was a 2005 promotion. Today I am undertaking a restoration for the Tropenmuseum curators who selected half a dozen files of special importance, and am coaching an editor through the final steps of his first restoration. Chipping in a little advice here because it's the right thing to do. Both of the other projects are a joy because the people are pleasant and respectful. If the tone of interaction at FA discussions were similar then FA wouldn't be deprioritized. Durova379 23:28, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Wehalt, I'll repeat my offer above, I'm more than happy to do basic image work on files for folks. It won't be to the level of Durova's restorations, but assuming the picture is in focus to begin with, I can crop, straighten, color correct, etc. All I have to be done is asked nicely. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:38, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
That's a generous offer. FA writers take note: Ealdgyth is very good with images. :) Durova379 23:41, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the offer, I'll probably take you up on it sometime. However, I'm still thinking that this is a solution in need of a problem. Can you give an example or two of FAs that have passed with images whose quality makes your teeth grate?--Wehwalt (talk) 23:49, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually one of my own, but there isn't a lot I can do about it. Paulinus. The lead image is... fuzzy and it's not at all relevant, but it's very hard to not put an image in the lead when there is one available. I've found that if I don't use the image, I get a lot of flack, but if I use it, the only bother I get is over permissions and sources for the image. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:55, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, as I gather it, the concern is mostly about user-created images, obviously there is little that can be done about about yours, Ealdgyth. I'd like to see that there is a problem before buying into a solution that could cause me, as an FA writer who fills in with images for his articles when needed and possible, considerable inconvenience. It still seems better for those who are image-savvy to just fix any problems, with advice from the nominator in the Angor Wat style case. Frankly, there are enough hoops you have to jump through to get FA status and I'm not convinced they all go to article quality. I'm hesitant to see another added.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:05, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Since you ask, Wehwalt, two of the images at Jerry Voorhis are incorrectly licensed: the subjects of File:Voorpl.jpg and File:Voorhisplate.jpg are presumptively under their original copyright and ought to be downsampled with a nonfree media rationale, although the copyright on the latter might not have been renewed (did you check?). This image suffers from perspective distortion and would probably be better if the foreground were cropped. And the lead image is only 5 KB although the Library of Congress has three unused alternatives in the 150 MB range.[1][2][3] Durova379 00:20, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Glancing elsewhere, the University of Virginia Miller Center for Public Affairs hosts the audio to Richard Nixon's Checkers speech.[4] With minimal editing that ought to be a shoo-in for featured sound. Durova379 00:27, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to).--Wehwalt (talk) 00:32, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
There is no need to instruct at this page on the basics of how wikis operate. Wehwalt, you asked for examples of recent FA promotions with glaring media problems, and received examples as requested. There is something worth saying here about honey catching more flies than vinegar. I'm being nice; am not speedy deleting the incorrectly licensed files from Commons for copyvio. Durova379 00:55, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent)Unless I'm mistaken, Voorhis was promoted 7 months ago and those images were not in the article at the time of promotion. And those are copyright, not image quality problems. Straw man?--Wehwalt (talk) 01:01, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

No straw man: multiple problems at one FA promoted this year. To state this another way, two with quality issues (perspective distortion, bad crop, badly undersized) and two with license issues which ought by any normal reckoning to take precedence over esthetics. This interaction has reached a crossroads: it could take a right turn toward mutually respectful dialog, or perhaps you would prefer to contact the Commons administration for access to deleted versions of those and any other policy-violating files you have uploaded, when you have time to write nonfree use rationales for local upload? Durova379 01:16, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Do as you please. Obviously I'm not convinced by your arguments that a change to criterion 3 is needed, and heavy handed tactics turn me off. Later. Please mark me down as oppose.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:25, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Sad to see someone who's obviously dedicated and talented throw away the chance at an easy featured sound credit and possibly a featured picture credit. Let me know if you change your mind. Durova379 01:28, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Credits for featured sounds and so forth that someone else created mean nothing to me because I didn't create them. I do take pride in articles, because I for the most part have created them or else at least greatly improved them. Asking for credit for the Checkers speech as a featured sound, that I should put someone else's work on my trophy shelf? Well, those who like that sort of thing are welcome to them, but it's not for me. Now I really am getting back to that FAC article I said I would review. Durova, things sometimes get heated here, but I have great respect for the work that you do. But I'm just not seeing a problem that needs solving here, and WP:CREEP is an issue too.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:36, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Upon further consideration it was also necessary to nominate a third image for deletion regarding the Jerry Voorhis article: the baby photograph was uploaded with a pre-1923 PD rationale, yet Voorhis first ran for office in 1934 and there is no reason to suppose it was published before he became a public figure. You may wish to review your other uploads for compliance; one of them has been nominated for deletion since October and you seem to misunderstand Russian freedom of panorama. Anyone could make an honest mistake, yet the surprisingly combative response to feedback leaves little option. Photography is not a sanctuary from copyright. Durova379 02:26, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps this discussion could go to the article or user talk pages now? We have very good image reviewers at FAC now; individual issues should be addressed where they occur. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:34, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm uncertain what point Durova was trying to make, Sandy, but it didn't seem well directed at building the project. I gather Durova's trying to make it personal, but the target's missed, as usual. It injures me not at all to have images deleted, after all, I have the file copies and will replace with others which will escape Durova's objections faster than she can say "Gotcha"!--Wehwalt (talk) 02:41, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Images either replaced or deleted. I always like it when people act in a collegial, friendly, and constructive manner.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:51, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I maintain my oppose. I suspect exchanges such as the above would become commonplace. Condescending comments on one's grasp of copyright law are hardly a way to build the project. Bottom line. If you see an image and you don't like the horizon, fix it; if you need guidance as to how to fix it, contact the nominator. I am sure that if a nominator is approached politely, he will be glad to assist you.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:09, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

(ec) To Sandy: originally came to this discussion expecting that it would discuss matters such as whether map legends ought to be legible. Per an invitation from Wehwalt made the disappointing discovery that much more basic licensing problems not only exist, but that discussing them gets mistaken for wikipolitics. It is worrisome to see multiple copyright compliance problems at one of en:wiki's best articles because featured articles serve as models for other editors. Compared to English Wikipedia, Commons has one-sixth the administrators to manage nearly twice as many pages. It would be wonderful to get to the point where we can couple featured media drives with featured article drives on a regular basis. Unfortunately things aren't far enough along to where that could be a workable priority. Nor would it appear to be welcome. Durova379 03:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
My "invitation" was to answer the question "Can you give an example or two of FAs that have passed with images whose quality makes your teeth grate?" You instead chose to answer the question "Now, which of Wehwalt's uploaded images can I criticize? Let me leaf though his FA's. Easy target for sure, after all, he doesn't understand Russian freedom of panorama." But I agree, there is little chance of any agreement, so why don't we let this drop?--Wehwalt (talk) 03:48, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
When someone invites honest opinions I assume in good faith that the person would accept candid responses. Jerry Voorhis was linked from the upper left corner of the user page section; it was naturally the first place to go. Anyone familiar with the featured sound galleries would know why I glanced at the Checkers speech. So the first two places yielded the two examples. Had no intention to look further until after repeated rebuffs on the licensing issues. Three semi-useful insights have come out of discussion: one more name to add to the list of thin-skinned people to tread very lightly around, the knowledge that "I have great respect for the work that you do" is quoteworthy insincerity, and affirmation that featured article pages are a political cesspool. The lattermost is instructive: every now and again I feel the urge to write another FA and an occasional firsthand encounter with the process serves as reminder why the effort truly isn't worth it. Durova379 04:32, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for assuming my insincerity. Please also keep the Checkers speech as my gift. Make sure you include it in the trophy case!--Wehwalt (talk) 04:56, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

I'm still not seeing what this buys us that isn't already in the "presentation" part of the criteria, quite honestly. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't know either. I still feel that FA criteria are what reviewers make of them, so long as there is a reasonable basis for objection, people are going to fix the problem if they want the thing passed.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:41, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Context: Karanacs was able to promote one article this week, and on my first pass through tonight, I identified potentially four for tomorrow, which (if they're all clean) would make five for the week, when we used to average two a day. Because reviews are lacking, Karanacs has now taken over a good part of that burden, and nominators are frequently waiting several weeks before they get any kind of prose review, finding their nominations closed with little to no review after weeks of waiting. Prose and comprehensiveness are getting less and less review and yet, this page is for featured articles (which has something to do with the writing, we hope :) Is this the best time to be adding an artistic hurdle, when we already have MOS requirements on images, policy requirements, and the ability to oppose truly unprofessional quality images on the basis of the professional standards already expected of FAs? I suggest viewing images that are good enough as red links: if image people want to turn them into artistic masterpieces, they can do that later; as long as the images appear professional enough, are well sized, and meet image policy, I'm not sure it's productive to expend time on this, while prose reviews are lagging and the FAC page is straining. I don't support the idea that we should expect our writers to also be artists and photographers, and we already have the ability to oppose truly unprofessional images. I'm all for standards improving, but I'd like to see writing and sourcing and policy standards improve before we start adding artistic standards, when the page is already strained. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:47, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Bravo, Sandy. God knows we have our differences but I'm with you on this one.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:49, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
If image folks want to make acceptable images in FA better, they can go to town, but we really need our writers to be, ummm, writing :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:53, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Was that a hint to get back to work? :) --Wehwalt (talk) 00:55, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the discussion started because Tony was merely asking for size tweaks, and suddenly we're all learning photography. We already have the ability to oppose the really bad images; folks, please go review some articles, or we won't have FAs. Karanacs has had to take on reviewing, and I still have to close noms with no review! What will it serve us to have featured quality images, if no one is reviewing prose on the featured articles page? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:58, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
All right, all right, I'm not a wonderful reviewer but I'll go look at one.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:10, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
So, if I oppose an article based on its poor-quality images, will my oppose be considered or not? Awadewit (talk) 05:20, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes. The FAC goddesses are not machines; they are human, and can think independently. WIAFA, for all its Wiki-precise language, has a few helpfully vague clauses about being "simply the best". If someone Opposes 'cause the image looks like the one in Curtis Painter, the FAC goddesses have leeway to accept the Oppose. And let all mere mortals tremble. ;-) • Ling.Nut 06:41, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Otherworldly beings manifesting in the person of gridiron players should result in a top importance article. Fifelfoo (talk) 06:43, 12 December 2009 (UTC)


I think this has been a valuable discussion. Like good linking practice, the basics of image management are hard to disentangle from our prose and formatting in many articles. FAC is the powerhouse for setting standards in article writing. While I agree with Sandy that writing and sourcing are primary concerns, I urge you all to consider taking the opportunity to shape and promote the unique skill-set that WP articles demand of us; this includes the management of images. We need to encourage not grand artistry, but the application of a few simple rules concerning the acceptable management of images. Why shouldn't we be armed with Ealdgyth's list of desirable features and be prepared to ask for improvements on that basis?

"... in focus, straight, clean of imperfections, decently cropped and without distracting details that aren't relevant to the subject ..."

But not "all images in FAs", as Eadgyth suggests; clearly, some topics are image-poor, particularly historical ones, and it is reasonable to apply a lower quality benchmark. I'm not suggesting this should be an explicit part of the FA criteria, but our attitudes might well be influenced by the Featured Sound Criterion 2 and the exception written in at the bottom (I see that repetition has crept in, regrettably):

Recording quality.

  • (a) For modern recordings, the recording is of high fidelity and is reasonably free of technical faults, such as unintended noise and distortion, and sonic and compression artifacts. Technical quality is of a generally high standard.
  • (b) Historical recordings are of reasonable quality for their age. Exceptions can be made for importance when it is unlikely that any better-quality copy of the same recording could be found.
  • (c) Musical performances are of a high artistic standard.

Exceptions to Criterion 2 may be made for historical recordings, and recordings made under unusual or extenuating circumstances.

Conversely, when an article has a large number of images, we should be more fussy about quality and relevance. So the first sentence in Awadewit's proposal for Criterion 3 ("It has media that are of a decent technical quality and that help readers to understand the subject of the article") I would apply with increasing strictness the higher the density of images. That is my complaint about Carabane, or London Heathrow Airport, the latter still obscenely crowded with images that judder against each other and squeeze the text, including the lurid purple monster; they remain despite my requests that image use be audited there. Frankly, some of them are forgettable, so why not bin some and boost the tiny size of the remaining ones, including the maps? What would we, as reviewers, say if this came along as an FAC?

Heavens, for years I've been able to crop and tweak personal photographs on my computer; it's hardly rocket-science. We need to interest a band of editors in doing just what Ealdgyth and Durova are doing: offering their expertise in directly improving images, teaching others to do so, and advising when asked ("Is this a good way to crop this pic?", "Should I brighten this one or alter the contrast or leave it as it is?").

Maps are a recurring problem—specifically, tiny text on them. It should be made very clear that this is unacceptable. Is there a guideline for maps on WP? You wouldn't think so, and we need to set the standard.

Can I remind both nominators and reviewers that Wikipedia has recently been panned in the press for its management of images. Should we ask for input from the people at WP:FPC and WP:IUP? Can we prepare a succinct guide for the use of images in FAs? Tony (talk) 12:27, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Tony, I'm still not convinced that there is anything here that cannot be solved by the strategic use of opposes by reviewers. If an article is obscenely crowded with images, strict triage needs to be applied, that goes to presentation. I don't, frankly, want to spend my time learning to use graphics programs, there are people who do such things far better than what would be my ten thumbed approach to this thing. Frankly, my response to "I don't like xxx.jpg because the perspective is bad and so I oppose" is going to be what I do with images where there might be copyright difficulties, I delete them from the article. If the image hawks want to improve the images, God bless them for it! But I don't have the time, inclination, or expertise to do it myself.
There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through for a FA, some are justified, others less so. But I look askance at the possible addition of another. If my good faith efforts at photography are going to lead me into a trap at FAC (I was going on Wednesday to take photographs of John Diefenbaker's birthplace, we don't have any, likely my next FA project, now I don't know) then I'm not going to bother to take pictures. You learn with experience the smoothest ways to get through FAC, I avoid having my articles show obvious red flags, if self-taken photos becomes another, well, so be it.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:51, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes Wehwalt, I agree with everything you say, except the defeatist "not going to bother". Please do take photographs; I'm sure you'll do it well, and if they need tweaking, ask Ealdgyth? I don't particularly want another criterion written in. Let's change the culture, please. Tony (talk) 14:12, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
The problem with this demand for user-generated photographs is that the appearance is all in the eye of the beholder: composition, saturation, color balance, etc. There are some obvious fixes that can be done: for example, a photo of a landmark that also includes some people in the foreground to one side can be trimmed down to just the landmark. Ease of replacement of already-freely taken photos can be considered: an image of Times Square that happens to be too dark to be useful can easily be fixed, compared with the ease of, say, taking a replacement picture for Victoria Falls. But that's just one part, the other is, again, things that can be fixed in a program like Photoshop but otherwise are trending on the original's photographer's intent. We are a volunteer program, so I don't expect all free photos to be of professional quality, just as FAC is not looking for professional writing, just the best we can do considering all other factors. This still allows that if consensus at FAC was against the original photographer's intent to alter an image, then the image should be altered, for example.
Of course, I'd fairly argue that free user-generated, non-photographic images (eg the T-cell virus above) can always be improved to meet readibility standards as presumably these are as easy to correct as prose is and does not require extensive, expensive effort. But again, this is only for readibility and the printed version - I can't expect every author to be able to transform a 2D denoted image to a 3D version (that's a professional skill, not a volunteer one). It would be great if there was a task force devoted to helping to improve such iconographs, maps, diagrams, and images for all articles akin to PR.
The other aspects - number, sizing, and placement of images, is part of the existing MOS and other guidelines, and need not be spelled out further. --MASEM (t) 15:12, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Masem, improving images directly is only one matter. My main concern is upsizing and locating appropriately. That is a skill everyone should possess. It concerns the amount and type of detail in an image, its resolution, its importance in the context, its original dimensions, and the other images and formatting in the vicinity. Tony (talk) 16:17, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
The trouble with that is that there is absolutely no consensus on many of these issues - sizing & the ideal number of images in particular. There is a choice of approaches, all of which have down-sides as well as up-sides. This has been shown time & again when these matters have come up in FACs. The guidelines generally & rightly avoid prescribing a particular appproach, & so should FAC. Johnbod (talk) 16:25, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, that kind of throw-up-hands and do nothing approach would mean no one could critique prose. We do and we get good results. Tony (talk) 01:51, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
There is far more agreement on the style & type of prose we should be writing, & we don't even have to specify font type or size, plus the prose adapts to all types of screens. I don't throw up my hands, but I do, for example, find it necessary to register strong disagreement on many occasions when I come across you expressing your views on image sizing. Johnbod (talk) 01:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I like them larger than you, but I see discussing these matters leaves no impression, so perhaps I will throw up my hands after all. Plenty of people like tiny images in fact, or think tiny images are quite large. Since nearly all the LHA images seem to be at default setting, they appear large enough to me (300px prefs set), though the side-by-sides don't work well. Johnbod (talk) 03:10, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Johnbod, I guess I wonder why you don't use default settings; it's the only way you can see what our readers see. It's really difficult to size and locate pics in an article if you're on 300px. Why not try it?Tony (talk) 16:17, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Obviously, I did before I set preferences, which was some time. Actually, if it works at 300 it will work at default, but not always the other way round. Of course the pictures will be too small, but most people seem to like them that way. Johnbod (talk) 05:11, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
My personal point of opossition is that you suggest that an article can be junked because its images are sub-par. Yes, images are nice, but when no free alternatives exist (thank god I work with volcanoes, USGS or some other government geological service always has me backed up), you're in a tight spot. But I also understand the argument that bad images add nothing to their respective articles. If you can fix the pixilated gof map or svg that tiny png emblem, great. But some of us don't know how to do that and waiting for week+ for someone to help you with it can be an ordeal in itself. ResMar 22:19, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
No, my point was that (1) when there are lots of images available for a topic, be more discriminating; (2) pay more attention to upsizing and positioning the images that are used. This is on a different planet from what you are talking about. Tony (talk) 02:48, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I like that idea. ResMar 15:14, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
As Tony1 writes above, "FAC is the powerhouse for setting standards in article writing" - that includes article design and illustration. We should all take some time to assess these aspects of every FAC. In answer to Tony1's question, "Can we prepare a succinct guide for the use of images in FAs?", I would like to answer "yes" and volunteer. Awadewit (talk) 21:51, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Well....I guess then we should do a straw pole, first? ResMar 01:09, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Awadewit, I am willing to assist in preparing a draft, but you know a lot more about the issues than I do. Please buzz me when you're ready. Tony (talk) 07:18, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't know all that much, but I'll start putting something together. As the holidays are approaching, I don't know how quickly I'll finish, though. Awadewit (talk) 14:15, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Straw poll

Awadewit volenteered to write it out, but let's first have a quick straw pole first :) Support on the grounds that if no better alternatives are available (or given directly), it won't infringe on the article's ability to pass FAC. (yes I'm a shtichkler for that) ResMar 01:09, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Er, what do we need a straw poll for? If Awadewit would like to write such a guide, she can do it (and I certainly would support her doing so), but we don't need a straw poll for that. Ucucha 01:11, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I am also unclear why we would need a straw pole for a guide on reviewing the quality and placement of images. Awadewit (talk) 01:16, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I would like to start a straw poll to ban straw polls. Anybody else in? But seriously, I actually think WIAFA has matured as far as it will ever need to, and if anyone wants to write guidelines or whatever, then I will be quite happy to thank them, give them a barnstar, and enshrine their name in the Wikipedia walk of fame. Aside from that... • Ling.Nut 01:21, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
And what exactly is this straw poll, anyway ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:38, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I assume it's on whether to add Awadewit's image quality proposal to the FA criteria? If not, I've never heard of a poll being necessary to write an advice guide. Giants2008 (27 and counting) 02:10, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Lol, ok let's have a straw pole on eliminating straw poles forever ^^ ResMar 02:16, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
There's a scarecrow somewhere in Gdańsk who profoundly resents all this hate speech about straw Poles. In line with my support for the oppressed, I Support his silent voice. We shall overcome! • Ling.Nut 02:56, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I think you're committing a straw man fallacy there. Ucucha 02:59, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Considering this from another angle

There is certainly nothing wrong with critiquing the number and placement of images at FAC - in fact, that seems to be the only place if the content is free images over non-free media, outside of the article talk page. However, my concern here is that any attempt to describe image place need to be extremely agnostic towards page layout. There are just too many devices that WP can be rendered at that pixel-perfect image sizing and placement is a waste of editors' time to fix, but at the same time, throwing images around willy-nilly is not a solution.

Any policy or guideline (which likely will have to be added to WP:IUP if not its own section, should be focused on consistent use of images such as that all WP pages have a similar, consistent look rather than multiple editors. Some of these we have spelled in place: images should be on the right side, alongside or within a para of the text they support; human subjects looking towards the text if possible, etc. Things like number and density are not spelled out well, and I can see improving details on that for all articles (with FAC a final check). However, the thing to consider here is that some articles can support a higher density of images well, and others can't - it is a matter of selection. Take Tony's example of Heathrow - where there's a lot of extraneous (but free) images that at times don't see to correlate with the text, and Inner German border, an article with a similar density of images but looks much more professional. Comparing just these two, some advice point would be:

  • Even free images can be added pointlessly as decoration. If an article lacks significant amount of imagery, decorative free images can help, but free images as decoration should not be added to an article that is already overloaded with images.
  • In-line image density should be no greater than about 1 "image block" per 2-3 paragraphs or about 500-700 words. Here, an "image block" can include horizontal or vertically placed sets of 2-3 images that work in conjuction. A section or subsection of an article will likely only have one image block, if any at all. It is not necessary that every subsection have an image, nor recommended.
  • Consider grouping free images into galleries to support the whole article or specific sections if there are a lot of images but little text.
  • Image sizes should be selected to make sure that the content of the picture is clear, but consistent with the rest of the article. Save for selected images like critical maps, diagrams, panoramic views, and infobox images, no single image should dominate the article space by being much larger than others. User-created maps, graphs, and figures with text labels should always be shown to make sure the text is legible without having to click-through to the image page; this may require redoing the original image if this makes the image extremely large. In the case of diagrams which cannot be easily recreated, whereby making the text large enough to read would make the image too large, attempt to figure out the best size and image caption to portray the general gist of the image. For example, the image File:DDR Grenzuebergangstelle 1982.png as displayed in Inner German Border, should it not be possible to resize further (it can, but lets presume it cant), can be summarized by identifying the color key of the crossing type (rail, road, etc.) in its caption.

I *would* consider adding one line to FAC's criteria, and that is mentioning that images, if used, should be placed in an engaging manner to supplement the text. By this, that means meeting most of the above, but also includes appropriate placement - not only in relevance to the text, but in terms of watching text flow. There should be no "choke points" created by sets of images placed right and left immediately after each other, for example. Images can be considered as "white space" for breaking up the article to help the reader complete a section, seeing the image that is upcoming will help "reset" their thoughts if it is a new section. A lot of this is subjective, and is going to depend on what resolution people are viewing the page at. But if we at least consider "engaging" as applying to the standard printed page (default text and page width settings), that sets some idea of what we're looking for. --MASEM (t) 14:56, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Aging FACs that need image reviews

The following FACs have been here for over 10 days and not yet received an image review. The earlier these reviews are done, the more time there is for nominators to address problems.

If you would like to learn how to do image reviews, please consult this dispatch on non-free images and this dispatch on free images. On behalf of FAC nominators, we thank you. Awadewit (talk) 21:27, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I have reviewed Dick Turpin, it wasn't difficult ;-) Graham. Graham Colm Talk 22:05, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I'd appreciate it if a knowledgeable image reviewer could make Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Xa Loi Pagoda raids/archive1 a priority. Thanks! Karanacs (talk) 20:02, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Done. NW (Talk) 04:32, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Featured articles and imported material

Hello all - I don't know if this has come up before, but thanks to the efforts of User:Witty lama in his role at the Dictionary of Sydney, they've just launched a whole bunch of really interesting, well written, articles on subjects which are a good fit for wikipedia. See Chinese immigration to Sydney, Australia for example (I've only just begun tidying it up, wikifying etc. etc. - and it will have to be reconciled with Chinese Australian - which is worth a comparative look as a 'not quite as good in some ways' product of the wiki processes) - I wonder if other freely licensed material has been imported, and been 'feautured'? - and I wonder if it's worth having a discussion about how the process might work in this area - whether or not it might be possible for someone (me) who is not the author, nor an expert in the area of the article, to be able to chaperon it through the application process. It would also be wonderful to bear in mind the generosity of the author in choosing to freely license their work, and the possibility that other institutions might take a look at how we handle such things in making up their minds whether or not to release material - I guess I just mean that respect for the author becomes, in a funny way, even more important when they're not actually 'on wiki' to discuss matters! 'Play nice' would sum it up too, I guess :-) thoughts most welcome.... Privatemusings (talk) 07:58, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Don't take my thoughts on this as indicative of FAC regulars, but I think Wikipedia should work to create articles that are originally written. I know text was imported from free sources to fill article space as Wikipedia was growing, but I think we should work to create something original. I don't think Wikipedia should feature an article on the main page that was written by another source. I appreciate the generosity of the author--as this generosity is mirrored every time we "save page"--but I have long believed the just because we can use a source in its entirety does not mean we should. --Moni3 (talk) 13:18, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, DYK doesn't accept straight copies, I don't know why FAC should either. I know some FAs that were largely built on the US govt PD stuff and paraphrasing online minibios a few years ago, and they weren't nice. Also, with the comprehensiveness and research criteria, copying from one source will bring a big fail on that criteria anyway. Finally, the essay has to be reworked to remove free-flowing opinions as well YellowMonkey (bananabucket) (Invincibles finally at Featured topic candidates) 13:46, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Although the guideline may or may not agree, I consider this to be plagiarism (at the least, the notice at the bottom is entirely inadequate). That notwithstanding, "A featured article exemplifies our very best work" (emphasis mine), and is "a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature on the topic". This isn't our work. Has Fitzgerald conducted such a survey? Would a nominator, having not read and analyzed the underlying source materials, be able to make a genuine representation that the article is comprehensive? Would they be able to address comprehensiveness issues arising at FAC? Would they know whether Fitzgerald has given the topic neutral treatment (the "real world" doesn't have NPOV)? Эlcobbola talk 13:51, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Per the last point, most award winning historians, are not NPOV at all, or even centrist, but rather have their own distinctive POV, often strongly non-centrist or not in the average YellowMonkey (bananabucket) (Invincibles finally at Featured topic candidates) 14:06, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't see why there should be a problem with the fact that it was written by an outside entity - the incorporation of freely licensed outside work is one of the hallmarks of the project and many (most?) of our featured articles already do it on the image side - but by its nature it would have a tough time meeting the other standards without significant amendment/revision, I would suspect. Addition of other reliable sources would be a must. Christopher Parham (talk) 14:14, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Images in FAs that are not generated by Wikipedians aren't there because someone else merely created the image. They're there because I would venture 90% of the time it's impossible to use anything else; Wikipedians are unable to create images showing the Battle of the Alamo, or supplant an image that affected the events during the Birmingham Civil Rights campaign of 1963. It is not impossible to write an article on the Chinese Immigration to Australia using the same or perhaps better sources than what has been provided by a similar encyclopedia. --Moni3 (talk) 14:22, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Such articles (like translations, another concern, and original research in recolored images, yet another concern) certainly can't meet FA comprehensive and survey of literature criteria, but my concerns about these kinds of articles on Wiki extend beyond FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:35, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Seems like we're saying these articles would be subject to the same criteria as any other FACs and, as they stand, could not be rubber-stamped as FAs. Seems reasonable to me. Awadewit (talk) 16:50, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm the one who used to work for the Dictionary of Sydney (from where the text in question was copied) and instigated the cc-by-sa option there. I completely agree that the editorial style of the Dictionary of Sydney is not the same as that of Wikipedia, they do not have NPOV requirements and this makes for a very different "voice" that would need to be edited to fit our style. Also, a lot of extra references would need to be added in to this article. Clearly, nothing is ever going to be copy/pasted straight into Wikipedia and be given a Featured Article stamp directly, and I don't think that was the suggestion to start with. However, I think it strange that people are saying we should not use articles that have been brought in from elsewhere as the basis for FAs. If they get good enough, they're good enough is my understanding - not "it's become good enough to the FA standards but it was originally created elsewhere and therefore isn't "ours"."
Quite clearly, this article is not (yet, at least) at even a "Good article" standard using Wikipedia's criteria - but it's a damn good start. No one is suggesting it, or any other article, should get some sort of special rights. But to say that articles that are begun as imports from external sources should never be featured because they're not *our* best work is pretty sad. Also, why is the attribution statement inadequate? There is a live link, author's name, license, name of the original publishing location and there's an attribution reference in the edit summary, on the article and on the talkpage. Witty Lama 00:07, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
It did seem like PM wanted to nominate this as it was, not do extra research or substantially revise it. It did not seem that he wanted to use it as the basis for a future FA, but perhaps I misinterpreted his statement. I agree with Elcobbola, btw, that the attribution at the bottom is insufficient. Once new material is added to the article by Wikipedians, it will be impossible, without laboriously combing through the history, to determine what came from where. That is why blanket attribution statements are not helpful. It may be legally acceptable, but it is intellectually sloppy. Awadewit (talk) 00:30, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
If the original suggestion was to somehow "fast-track" a FA then I too don't want that. This, like all articles, should conform to the same high standards. But, I would not like to see a position where only "home grown" articles have the possibility of getting FA status eventually. By the way, I've blogged about the relationship between WP and Dictionary of Sydney at my blog here although that seems to be down right now, instead, try here and scroll down to December 17. As for the attribution statement what way do you think could the attribution be done instead? This is a case where the author and the external website specifically want us to incorporate their content. (I know, I helped for that website to be created that way). So, is there anything we could do now, with the tools that are currently available to us, to make the attribution better? Witty Lama 01:20, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Posted to your talk page, as this is a tangent to the discussion. Awadewit (talk) 18:09, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with using properly-attributed PD/free use material in early stages of an article's development; to, flesh it out as it were. This is especially true when the PD/free use source is itself a reliable source. But there should be a strong effort to survey the relevant literature and revise the text as needed before submitting to FA. I think our current standards almost guarantee that, in general, PD/free use text will change significantly by the time this process is complete. Most PD text I use in articles is too wordy or technical and must be revised. PD/free use text is part of the commons. It would be irresponsible to discourage its correct use. --mav (please help review urgent FAC and FARs) 11:23, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Correct. I believe that having this discussion at FAC is a bit of a red herring since I think we're all agreed that this is not about FAs but about use of imported materials in general. Of course, any article needs more than one source. The discussion about correct attribution of imported material is a different thing too. Witty Lama 04:59, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I think I gave an impression in my original post which was unintended - I really wanted to know if any appropriately licensed article had been imported, and featured previously, and wanted to see the role of the 'on wiki' person in that process (probably the word 'chaperon' may have created the impression that I was underestimating the amount of work required - apologies if so).
The article is now up for deletion (!) - so clearly talk of featured is way jumping the gun! - I do have queries relating to the talk of plagiarism, and intellectual sloppiness above, because they concern me a bit, but it's probably best I roll up my sleeves and try and get the article into better wiki-shape before progressing. I'm sure 'featured' folk are as busy as the rest of us at this time of year - so it'll probably be feb. before I get back over here - so the very best season's greetings to everyone here, and have a happy new year too :-) Privatemusings (talk) 03:53, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Are autobiographical publications reliable sources?

I'm considering attempting an FA about a journalist (Barbro Alving, 1909—1987) who worked mainly as a foreign correspondent and is something of a legend in her own country, though surely unknown in the Anglosphere. An interesting person, both in her writings and her life. She covered the Spanish Civil War, the Berlin Olympics, and stuff like that, and was extremely productive. I mean extremely. She published lots of books, such as her letters and diaries, her columns, selections from her reportage, etc etc. There's no question of "self-published"; these books were extremely popular. There's a new book out now, edited by her daughter, to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth. Anyway...I was taken aback to see what a lot she had published in book form, and even more taken aback to see that there was nothing but her own texts out there. I had planned to use her own stuff as my sources, sure, but I also expected to find a standard biography to use. Nope. Alving was famous for her style and panache, so perhaps nobody wanted to compete with her stylistically, I dunno... whatever the reason, there's nothing else than autobiography, with the exception of a few webpages (which obviously plagiarize her own texts anyway).

To my question. There's no reason to believe the author is untruthful, any more than other memoirists. If anything, I take her to be more truthful than most, in her published letters and diaries; it's not like she makes herself look good. And yet... well, everybody lies when they talk (and especially when they publish) about themselves, don't they..? Her own texts are great, and I think very frank, but I still wish there was in existence at least one biography which took more of a distance to her. Thoughts? Bishonen | talk 17:01, 22 December 2009 (UTC).

If the only available sources are hers, I think it could meet the criteria, if the odd reminder as to the sourcing is included. There must be obituaries at least? Johnbod (talk) 17:05, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
There's not a single secondary source about her? How does she fit the notability requirements, then? Awadewit (talk) 18:48, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, of course there are obituaries and, as I said, webpages altogether. They're kind of pathetic, though. But aren't professors supposed to be notable if they've published a couple of books? I would say Bang is notable by being the best-known journalist of the 20th century in Sweden, by being the best-known byline of several major newspapers, primarily Dagens Nyheter, and by having published a crapload of bestselling books[5]... any good? [/me is gobsmacked by the notion that Bang is not notable while every British baronet is, by virtue of being a baronet ]. No doubt there's plenty of secondary newspaper commentary from the thirties to the eighties, but I don't know how to find stuff that pre-dates the digital revolution.
Hmm. How about this, which I just found: Marcos Cantera Carlomagno, 2001 (ed.) När Alving blev Bang (=How Alving became Bang). It sounds slightly promising, but clearly, the problem is the "ed", which suggests yet again that these are mainly texts by Bang. Presumably with a bit of an introduction by Carlomagno—I suppose I'd better go look (groan). (I live fairly close to the National Library.) Or this: Birgit Petri (1993),Bordssamtal med Barbro Alving; introduktion till "Personligt" och andra Bang-texter. (=Table talk with Barbro Alving; Introduction to "Personligt" and other Bang texts). As far as I can see, that one's an actual book in itself, even though it's an "Introduction".(It's number 15 in [6].) Still, these are meagre secondary sources in any case, and I would certainly use mainly the Bang texts (the way everybody else does). Perhaps it was a bad idea. Pity—she was an amazing person. A whole lot more interesting than the baronets. By the way, I've only found one (primary) book translated into English: the journal from the month she spent in a Swedish prison (interesting ain't the half of it). Tricky for most editors to check my references, in other words. Best forgotten altogether? Bishonen | talk 22:10, 22 December 2009 (UTC).

A couple of minutes of googling establishes that Alving's notability is not really disputable,. I think Bishonen's question is whether a wikipedia article that is mainly based on her autobiographical writings, can be an FA. I don't see why that should be a problem as long as, (1) the article truly represents a fair survey of the available literature, and (2) informs the reader of the sources used, through scrupulous attribution The reader is then free to accept/disbelieve the details. (Aside: see these posts by Stanley Fish for some related thoughts on autobiographical writings: [7], [8] ). As a non-Swedish speaker, I look forward to reading such an article. Abecedare (talk) 22:35, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Abecedare, that's encouraging. Bishonen | talk 11:38, 23 December 2009 (UTC).
I agree with Abecedare; if the attribution is clear I don't see a problem. One suggestion: if anything appears to be an extraordinary claim (e.g. "I was the first journalist to do X", where X is particularly notable) then I would make it clear in the text, not just the footnotes, that this is a claim made by her. In cases of real notability you might be able to find independent confirmation, of course.
I don't know if you're familiar with Sławomir Rawicz's The Long Walk; it's not self-published, and is autobiographical, but has often been regarded as deceptive or fraudulent. In that case, there are sources explicitly asserting the inaccuracy of his work, so it's not a parallel; in fact it's only the existence of the other (reliable) sources that allows the article to express doubts about his word. Alving's books are not self-published, and so have editorial oversight. They should get the benefit of the doubt as reliable sources. Mike Christie (talk) 13:21, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I also agree. Topics should be represented by the best available literature written about them. Some lesser known biographies and topics obviously have less source material to work from. Whereas a better known topic might deserve a comprehensive survey of literature, a more obscure topic as in this case should be exhaustive. --Moni3 (talk) 13:25, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Should be exhaustive..? Really? Gee, did you click on my diff with the 197 Barbro Alving hits at the Swedish National Library database (LIBRIS)? [9] Even though some of those may be different editions of the same things, most aren't (the topic being un-obscure in this corner of the world). I think an exhaustive survey of the literature would require something on the lines of a separate Featured List. Bishonen | talk 15:36, 23 December 2009 (UTC).
No, that's not quite what I meant. I would not expect an editor trying to get an FA on Walter Cronkite to read everything ever written about the subject. But for someone more obscure, this becomes more possible. I don't mean compilations of other works already published, reprints, later (or earlier) editions, etc. I was not envisioning a list. I'm not sure what the disconnect is, but I have a feeling you and I pretty much agree on this. --Moni3 (talk) 15:54, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
You might be interested in taking a look at Mary Martha Sherwood - I used her autobiography as a source for the article, since there is so little written about her. The important thing, as everyone has already been saying, is to clearly explain to readers where the information is coming from. Anyone remember A Million Little Pieces? Autobiographies and memoirs are tricky things. Also, as they are primary sources, an article constructed entirely or almost entirely out of references to such works would be original research, so I would suggest that you be very selective in what you take from her writings. Awadewit (talk) 18:36, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
A mistake in Marjory Stoneman Douglas' article was pointed out to me by someone writing a book about her. The inaccuracy was based on Douglas' own voice as a source. (See cite #40 in the article to explain the discrepancy.) --Moni3 (talk) 18:41, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd agree with Abecedare above - some discretion and common sense will go a long way. Alot of material I imagine as being okay from a primary source, e.g. thoughts/feelings/emotions and non controversial material which expands upon material verified elsewhere. Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:58, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Just a note, I'd suggest spamming the reliable sources noticeboard about this, as it may elicit more opinions. Mm40 (talk)
I think it's easy to forget is that you are only supposed to reference things that are controversial or liable to challenge. The practice has become that everything must be referenced, resulting in a density of referencing that you would never find in a book or scientific journal. With the safeguards suggested above, I can't see any problem with the sourcing for this proposed FAC, good luck and merry Christmas Jimfbleak - talk to me? 14:23, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes we cite more than academic journals. The reason is that we are inarguably less credible, and the reason in turn for that is that we have far, far less control over our content and contributors. Cites are a check/balance against plausible vandalism. No, they are not foolproof, because people seldom nearly never (even at FAC) follow the cite to its source and see if the text is cited accurately. However, if the cite exists, one could track it down to verify its accuracy. The abundant cites serve a useful purpose here on Wikipedia, albeit one which a journal would not require (and thus, would not desire). • Ling.Nut 15:16, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I understand your reasoning, but that's instruction creep, it's not what the policy says. I've had a cite tag added to a basic (in lead) description of a common Eurasian swallow before now, which could be verified by looking out of the window (damn! WP:OR too) Jimfbleak - talk to me? 16:21, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I've seen one case repeatedly cited where some poor editor requested a cite for the fact that the human hand has five fingers. yes, there are such things as common sense statements, and their nature varies by academic field. But. Still. we need more cites than academic publications do. Many, many facts fall short of the common sense standard. WP:IAR on all cries of instruction creep. • Ling.Nut 04:37, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the point that editor was trying to make is that the human hand does not have five fingers. It has five digits: four fingers and one thumb. The cite request was used as part of the dispute over the correct anatomical term. DrKiernan (talk) 11:54, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

WP:FAT's revival

Some editors may remember the FA-Team from the MMM project with Jbmurray. After being inactive for a time, we have decided to move ahead with a mission involving a topic underrepresented at WP:FA—food and drinks. Our current effort is to bring coffee (currently a GA) to featured status. You may see more information here and join the discussion on what needs to be done at Talk:Coffee. Mm40 (talk) 02:59, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

An appropriate article for a wake-up call. --an odd name 03:30, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Always good to talk over coffee.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:48, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
This one shouldn't be far'd be great if folks coud skim over and advise purely on comprehensiveness at this stage. Or join in. or whatever. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:28, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

2010 WikiCup participation

Hi, this is just a note that if you want to sign up for the 2010 WikiCup, then you have until 23:59 UTC on December 31 to do so. This can be done here. The WikiCup is a fun competition aiming at improving Wikipedia's content, with points awarded for featured articles, good articles, featured lists, featured pictures, featured sounds, featured portals, featured topics, good topics, did you know?, in the news and valued pictures. Over 170 people are already involved, but there's still time to sign up. If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact myself or one of the other judges on our talk pages or on IRC, or ask on one of the WikiCup talk pages. Hope to see some of you there. Thanks! J Milburn (talk) 17:57, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Image reviews needed

  • Tried this one. Could somebody doublecheck my work? –Juliancolton | Talk 04:17, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Note: Also, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Baker Street and Waterloo Railway/archive1 was nominated 30 November but still awaits a proper image review. I have tried, but like Julian above I need someone with better knowledge to check it over. Brianboulton (talk) 11:43, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:28, 2 January 2010 (UTC)


More reviewer input and feedback is needed on Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Carabane/archive1; curiously, none of the Supporting reviewers raised the issue that it was a translation from the French Wiki (which leaves me in the position of being unsure if they were aware), in which the nominator did not have access to the original sources.

The article is a translation from the French Wiki (Wikis are not reliable sources), relies exclusively on French-language sources (although some English-language sources are available, whose reliability I haven't evaluated), and the translator/nominator acknowledges not having access to the original sources. To my knowledge, an article has never been promoted under these circumstances: at issue is the core Wiki policy of WP:V, as well as WP:NONENG on direct quotes, WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT (the source of the text was another Wiki), and the absence of the use of English-language sources when available. (There is also some uncited opinion and data, and text sandwiched between images, but those should be easily resolved.)

For comparison, El Hatillo Municipality, Miranda and Same-sex marriage in Spain relied heavily or exclusively on Spanish-language sources, but in both of those cases, I personally checked and verified the sources, and complemented the articles with all English-language info available. (I speak Spanish; I do not speak French.) Further, they were not translated articles; they were written directly from the Spanish-language sources.

Raul is the FA director: as delegate, I do not want to be in the position of establishing a precedent in promoting translations in which the original sources weren't consulted, absent broader feedback and input from the community. Promoting an article in which the nominator/translator can't directly speak to comprehensiveness and verifiability vis-a-vis the sources could head us down a slippery slope, so I welcome more feedback from the FA community. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:16, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm doing a source evaluation now (my apologies for not being more thorough in my initial review). I can read French well, so I'll also be double-checking the sources, but that will take some time. I had previously done some checking in English-language sources and not found much that isn't already in the article. More reviewer hands are welcome! Karanacs (talk) 20:32, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I would say Sandy is absolutely right about the issue of WP:V, and we're fortunate that a French-reading editor has offered to work on that point (though hopefully it won't often be the already-busy delegates stepping into that kind of role!). However, the nominator or other active editors should only be required to address issues actually raised in the review process. You are concerned about a nom who "can't directly speak to comprehensiveness and verifiability vis-a-vis the sources". However they only need to speak to them if a reviewer has concerns. And it does not have to be the nom: it can be any editor, including the one who examined them at the other wiki, as long as they are willing to provide the feedback here. If they then cannot do so, sure, that is a problem. But we have to assume good faith within the broader project at some level. If the French WP article is fully referenced; no-one has queried the refs there; and no-one queries the refs here, then i would say that is fine. That's my initial reaction anyway. I will also be interested to see other comments here. hamiltonstone (talk) 23:02, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm OK with the idea in principle. In practice, I think we should expect that the nominator should have checked for English language sources, if only to fulfil 1(c), and to promote WP:V. If there aren't any, that is fine.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:15, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Keep the comments coming, please :) Yes, I, too, am concerned that 1) both delegates had to step in here to correct and identify issues, and more importantly, 2) I don't want to make a precedent-setting decision alone :) I don't know what the French Wiki FA standards are, but we also need to make sure translated articles meet our standards and guidelines (even on minor things like LAYOUT, but more importantly on WP:V). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:24, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Some of you may recall that I have brought up this topic incessantly, to the point of carping... albeit indirectly. And when I was involved, people from the non-English wiki even came over and hinted that they were offended that they weren't being trusted... and still, the article was a disaster in several ways. So here's the take-home lesson, boys and girls: TRUST NO ONE... Nullis in Verba. [If you wanna be all nice-nice and Reaganesque, you can say "Trust, but verify". But the end result is the same: ALWAYS VERIFY.] This goes for info from books, from journals, from Wikis, and from wherever... Track down the original sources. You'll find blatant and repeated find copyvio in FACS – I have. You'll find glaring (though as per WP:AGF presumably innocent) inaccuracies – I have. In the cases where the text was transferred from a Wikipedia, you'll even find subtle vandalism being carried over – I have. Nullis in Verba is my motto. • Ling.Nut 23:54, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I think it's a fundamental principle that the nominators are familiar with and stand behind the sources used. Hard to do if you don't understand the language they're written in. --Malleus Fatuorum 00:02, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
You miss the point: Toss that fundamental principle in the garbage. It is the source of all I have just described. It is a huge problem, but you are painting it as a feature rather than a bug. It is in fact an excuse to skip the work of verification, although I know I will offend folks by saying that... • Ling.Nut 00:08, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand the point I was making, or perhaps I stated it poorly. --Malleus Fatuorum 00:11, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I thought you meant that a) In general, we should trust noms to represent their sources accurately, but b) translations are a potentially hazardous exception. My point was that a) We should never trust anyone. We should say "I love you, I admire you, I respect you, and here have a barnstar, but I'm checking your sources." • Ling.Nut 01:20, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. We're telling the world these are the best articles we have, the least a reviewer can do is check a book or website.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:29, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Not at all. I was simply saying that I expect nominators to be familiar with their sources, whatever language they're written in, which is clearly not possible if they're written in a language the nominator doesn't understand. Nothing at all to do with trusting anyone about anything. I agree that it's for the reviewers to judge whether the sources have been represented accurately, not to take it on trust that they have, but that's a different point. --Malleus Fatuorum 15:38, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Having read both the discussion above and the exchange over at the article's FAC page, there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what a translation is. Claiming that an article fails WP:V because it was translated from a French WP article and so is not based on a reliable source is an expression of this misunderstanding. The translated article was not "based" on the French original in the same way as you would base an article on a book, magazine or newspaper. It is for all intents and purposes the original article transferred to a different language. So, if the original was based on reliable sources, these same sources should also provide support for the translated version. It isn't the translator who should be guaranteeing the reliability of the sources used. That’s not his job. When a translator adds his signature at the end of translated piece he is certifying to the fact that the end product faithfully reproduces the contents of the original, and not making any assertion on the nature of said contents. Now this is where the problem arises for us here on Wikipedia. The issue is not whether the article meets WP:V or not, but rather, who is vouching that it does. When an editor submits an article for review he is implicitly taking responsibility for the accuracy of its contents and the reliability of its sources. The translator cannot be expected to do this. So what’s the solution? For our particular situation here it’s actually quite simple, all it would take to solve the problem would be for the author of the original French version to come over and add his name as co-nom. By doing that they assume responsibility and automatically solve our little dilemma. I’m actually more worried about a more general situation where the original author would be unavailable. In this case there would be nobody to vouch for the text... and my initial inclination would be to require whoever is nominating to also check the sources. Still, in our particular case, since we have the original author at hand, I see no reason to block the article's promotion if it meets all the other FA criteria. Denying it FA status solely on the grounds that it is a translation would be a draconian solution, based on a misunderstanding of the issues involved and would also harm interwiki cooperation efforts that should be promoted instead. (talk) 17:45, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but the French Wiki FA standards are not the same as English Wiki FAs. I don't know what French FA standards are. Just like there are disingenuous editors who attempt to pass of shoddy work here on English Wikipedia, I imagine there are French editors who do the same. Providing sources allows readers and editors to verify that what is in the article is reliably summarized and accurately represents the sources. If reviewers cannot access or read the sources, it's not possible to check this. These are the major concerns with translated FAs. --Moni3 (talk) 17:58, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
You are conflating two different issues. One is what to do with regards to translated texts in which the translator has not checked the sources themselves and thus cannot vouch for the contents and its veracity. I indicated a solution for this particular situation (have the original author co-nom). The other, which you are alluding to, is what to do when reviewers are unable to verify the sources themselves. This is in no way limited to translations, for instance you can have an article based on hard to find or even inaccessible books which the reviews would be equally incapable of checking, or you could have an article originally written in English on some forsaken village in Siberia that is completely based on Russian sources, it’s not a translation but the issue is the same. To turn it around, you could have an article written originally in French on a tiny little village in England based solely on English sources. If this article gets translated into English and submitted for FAC would it be in the clear then? If so, then the problem isn’t so much with the translation as with the sources. As for the French WP standards I don’t see why they’re relevant, nobody is claiming that because it is an FA there it should be an FA here. If that was the case there would be no point in making the article go thru FAC in the first place. The article should be reviewed here and if it’s not up to standard it should be failed. So, ultimately it all boils down to: What is the current practice when dealing with non-translated articles that are based on inaccessible (for whatever reason) sources? Do reviewers take a leap of faith and take the nominator on his word? If so, then the same practice should be extended to translations. (talk) 18:27, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm quite certain that different reviewers will take different approaches to checking sources, so there's no general answer. Speaking only for myself, if none of the sources are available to me, for whatever reason, and it's a subject on which I'm ignorant, then I simply wouldn't review it. My view is also that checking every source is just mindless busywork, so I tend to spot check where things smell a bit fishy to me, don;t quite seem to hang together, or the style of writing seems to be subtly different, perhaps suggesting plagiarism. None of this is helped though by a French editor co-nominating an FAC. My reaction to that would be "So what? Doesn't change anything." The additional issue with a translation is that the original author may not speak English well enough to know whether or not the translation is accurate. --Malleus Fatuorum 18:54, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I was interested in's points. I agree with Malleus that having the main editor of the French version as co-nom isn't of any help per se: what would resolve the issue would be if that editor responded (whether as co-nom or otherwise) to queries raised by reviewers about sources. hamiltonstone (talk) 01:22, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Quick note: All of the queries raised by reviewers about sources which I have not been able to respond to myself, I have been passing on to Ji-Elle (the main editor of the French version) and Ji-Elle has responded swiftly and comprehensively to each. Neelix (talk) 03:33, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Impending announcement: silliest wikilink of the month awards

Users are advised that His Grace the Duke of Waltham has agreed to be the inaugural judge of the Silliest wikilink of the month awards. There will be five monthly winners (August–December 2009) and an overall winner for 2009.

His Grace will make the announcement at WT:LINK when He is ready. The Duke's private secretary, Harold Cartwright, has emphasised that no correspondence will be entered into regarding the awards: His Grace's decision will be final. Tony (talk) 23:49, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

His Grace has certainly got a tough job on his hands, there were some real doozies. --Malleus Fatuorum 23:51, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Some of the entries are amusing. Tony (talk) 00:00, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
The announcement has been made here. Tony (talk) 10:34, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Video spoof

A historian friend who knows I am a Wikipedia editor noticed this video spoof, and told me about it. It's about FAC, the MOS and other stuff. I'm not sure whether to laugh or be mad. Does anyone know who is responsible? Ohconfucius ¡digame! 04:34, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Very funny! Who can it be based on ... Johnbod (talk) 04:51, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Very, very funny—I'll be smiling all the way to work. Graham Colm Talk 07:06, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, hilarious but MOS is not the stumbling block for some articles. I think I would caption it differently if the article in question were Catholic Church. Something about POV-pushing reviewers and those who think it is too long and others who think it's not comprehensive enough.... --Richard S (talk) 07:30, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Very funny. I've had one or two reviews that left me that way ...--Wehwalt (talk) 10:49, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
That is purely hilarious, obviously someone who has intimate knowledge of the process created that, bravo! -MBK004 11:00, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Best video I've seen in ages! And so true! :-D We should find whoever made it and shower them with barnstars! Colds7ream (talk) 11:21, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Can I also say that's done wonders for my WikiStress. Now whenever some stupid pedantic objection is brought up, I've got something to cheer me up! Colds7ream (talk) 11:23, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
We should find whoever made it and shower them with barnstars! - No, we can do better than that - lets create an article on the video and bring that to featured status. Then we can all have a laugh. A BIG one :) TomStar81 (Talk) 12:32, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Not FAC related but I prefer Hitler Gets Banned From Wikipedia. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:20, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't know. Him getting banned from Xbox Live is still the best, though :) –MuZemike 19:01, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Dude, HOE, LEE ShIT did I laugh my ass off. Felt the cold clammy hands of death upon me while watching this. If I could embed this in my user page, I would. This is officially fucking hilarious. High point: addressing the major contributor as "Mein Fuhrer". --Moni3 (talk) 16:24, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to know just what everyone is so darn gleeful about; I watched it three times, and can't find anywhere that the "person in the know" who wrote the damn thing refers to the delegates as hawt babes, so I'm officially neglected and offended. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:10, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Actually, it's pretty clear you have piss in your pocket. Finally someone had the balls to say it. We piss in each others pockets. Bravo. --Moni3 (talk) 17:17, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I guess we're all laughing at how accurate the thing is with regards to the pedantic, cabal-like state this process has become. Colds7ream (talk) 19:08, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
How can this video (which I can't access where I am now, darn security filter) be accurate if it doesn't mention that Sandy and I are princesses of the wiki? I have a tiara and everything of course, I had to "borrow" that from my kid, but hey, we make do! Karanacs (talk) 19:19, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Good one, FAC always reminds me of that scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie is daydreaming about his teacher: "You call this a PARAGRAPH!!! A Semicolon you DOLT!!!!!!"--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 06:57, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Article about parodies of this scene in Downfall (film) here, sadly not all available due to copyright claims. The one with Stephen Harper as Hitler is very funny though. But not worth a Canadian nickel (nickle?) compared to the FAC one.--Wehwalt (talk) 07:07, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
  • This is yet another outrageous attack on the MoS and FAC processes. I suppose I am the "precious little ass-wipe", am I? Tony (talk) 05:10, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Tony, I think they may have been satirizing people who react poorly to constructive criticism, rather than the ones who provide it - after all, it wasn't the MOS folk who were compared to Hitler. Steve Smith (talk) 05:24, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Right, but the 1945 Uncle Joey Stalin, back when he was a good guy. He didn't become evil until after the war. Steve Smith (talk) 06:12, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • For what little it's worth, he's not comparing anyone to Stalin; he's saying he should have liquidated his officers as Stalin did. ("Ich hätte gut daran getan, vor Jahren alle höheren Offiziere liquidieren zu lassen, wie Stalin.") That aside, I don't see this as an attack; it appears to have been made in good fun. As nominators and reviewers both, we need to be able to laugh at ourselves. The author does call en-dashes Verräter (betrayers/traitors), after all. :) Эlcobbola talk 14:15, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Fairly certain they're having a go at picky reviewers, not editors who actually contribute to articles. Colds7ream (talk) 07:53, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Speaking as an article writer, "picky reviewers" contribute enormously to articles. Steve Smith (talk) 07:58, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Hmmm, uses AmEng spelling. That really narrows it down. I must point out that it's MoS-compliant. Tony (talk) 08:55, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
I do not think any particular person was targeted. For example, it would have been easy to say which Delegate was the subject of Hitler's rage, without using names, from what Sandy and Karenacs have disclosed of their personal lives. If you want to view the segment with real, translation subtitles go here. There are at least a hundred of these parodies, with everything from Hitler banned from Xbox to his anger at the Star Wars prequels. And it wasn't me. I wouldn't have a clue how to do it. I'm a technological ox.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:46, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
I first saw this done with a spoof off of a text-based internet game I play. Oddly enough, it happens to be the same game company that Elonka works for, and she's not mentioned nicely in the spoof, so we got off easy here, folks. Ealdgyth - Talk 21:56, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I'd have thought the whole thing was a spoof on nominators, Colds7ream, not reviewers. A nominator who thinks it's fine to create socks for support? Tony (talk) 21:26, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

"Turn it into a featured list..." Disgraceful... Made me chuckle, at least twice... The Rambling Man (talk) 21:35, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

It was all I could think of that would fit into Hitler's short utterance. Tony (talk) 21:40, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
As they said in Die Hard... "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho."... The Rambling Man (talk) 21:43, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
My back is right up against the wall. Tony (talk) 21:50, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Your back is up against more than one wall; you still have to explain away those crying FAC women and how you left out mention of the hawt (thx TFM) FAC babes. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:59, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Very funny, Tony, congradulations. Where would you like the shower of barnstars? Bishonen | talk 12:01, 10 January 2010 (UTC).
Barnstars? Ah, they will save me when my back's up against the wall! Tony (talk) 12:26, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

**Yawn** Same exact video was spoofed with subtitles about Hitler waiting for the 4th season of Big Love.[10] I wonder how many other spoofs there are of the same video?

This posting is also mentioned on the most recent signpost. Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2010-01-11/In_the_news. (talk) 17:34, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Hundreds. Did you read the Globe and Mail article I've cited?--Wehwalt (talk) 17:35, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Ah. Downfall (film) [11] thanks. (talk) 17:37, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Super awesome. The featured list comment really made me laugh. I've thought that myself once or twice. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 21:32, 12 January 2010 (UTC)`

The Youtube video was funny because it contained a germ of truth: reviewers at FAC often come across as arrogant & more concerned about how well the article conforms to the MoS than whether the article actually covers the subject comprehensively. (That's understandable: it is far more difficult to criticize the content of an article one is not an expert in, than to quibble over grammar & punctuation.) And it was funny because the way to deal with this is not to create sockpuppets in support or other abuses of the process, which is what the protagonist -- who obviously had a tenuous grasp on reality -- of this video tried to do. Sadly, people who are arrogant lack the ability to laugh at themselves so the joke is lost on them; I am glad that most FAC regulars did see the humor here, & hope that those who still don't consider contributing to Wikipedia in other ways. -- llywrch (talk) 21:44, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree that it is very funny, yet whilst I fear that you are only too right about the MOS vs content problem, for me the humour was more that it brings to the surface feelings some us will have experienced but to which it would be questionable to admit. Tony is right - it is really a parody of a nominator. It is all too easy to imagine someone having such feelings whilst typing limpid prose such as "thank-your for your comments which I have attended to....". Not, you understand, that I have ever witnessed or experienced anything of the sort. Brilliant. Ben MacDui 12:11, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
Kindness versus stringency, the eternal question. I'm a teacher, and every day I face this question – and every day I come out with a different answer, depending on the circumstances... Here at FAC, often it is in fact more kind to be harsh. Sometimes reviewers need to wake up to the fact that copyvio is never acceptable, that bringing an article in without ever having other eyes look at it is unwise, and so on and on and on. Please do not hand me a load of namby-pamby crap about consensus and getting along and etc. FAC is supposed to be the best, and if you want to have the best, then (ideally) you should grow thick skin, enlist lots of help, and be prepared to accept that your first or second tries may not succeed... Having said that, I confess that I personally have completely given up being a wikidragon at FAC. I say that even though I believe I am wrong for giving that up. Nowadays, if I see a pop culture or hurricane or street intersection whatever, I very studiously ignore it. I personally am no longer willing to go through the stress of arguing, and no longer willing to be labeled an asshole for doing what is simply right – letting folks know they simply need to work harder. FAC is supposed to be a place for mature contributions. I can be very very kind to my students (and far more often than not, I am). School is a place for learning and growing. FAC is a place for performing. FAC is a place for adults, or for minors who are willing to be treated like adults. • Ling.Nut 06:26, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Image reviews (and reviewers!) needed

The following articles have been at FAC for over ten days and not received an image review. If you would like to learn how to do image reviews, please see this dispatch on free images and this dispatch on non-free images.

The FAC community appreciates your hard work! Awadewit (talk) 00:38, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

The above also need attention. Awadewit (talk) 03:46, 8 January 2010 (UTC)


I'm a grizzled old FAC contributor, without so much recent activity. I thought that use of sections on FACs, FTCs, FLCs were a bad idea because they interfered with transclusion or some such that I don't understand very well. Is this no longer the case? --Dweller (talk) 11:01, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

If there's a temptation to use section headings, it suggests the FAC was nominated prematurely, since the review page has grown long and/or complex enough to be hard to follow without fragmenting it into sections. Tony (talk) 11:48, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Hah, nice reply. But I thought it was something more technical. Your suggestion is pretty subjective - I thought there was an objective reason. --Dweller (talk) 12:26, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
I think they may have caused problems in the past because they interfered with the table of contents, and the way Raul archived noms. However, since Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive41#fourth lev headers I believe this has now been resolved by using TOC-limit, and so as long as non-bias fourth-degree sub-headers are used, they are not a problem on, and can assist organisation of, very long FACs. They are not, however, particularly welcome or necessary on short or uncomplicated FACs. DrKiernan (talk) 13:26, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Gotcha, thanks. I'm just an old fool. --Dweller (talk) 14:13, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Dweller, you are so confused (it happens to old farts :) The problem with archives is templates (they cause archives to exceed the template limits); DrKiernan is correct about the issues with sub-headings. That has been somewhat corrected with the use of TOC limits, but we still have to watch for POV sub-headings, and that they aren't overused. Best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:06, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Problem with scripts

I check the Project Page everyday, at least once, but I am recently getting problems when loading the page because of scripts. The latest one seems to have been added by our dear friend Gary King. I need to allow scripts to run to make other, non-problematic, tools work, but every time I check out WP:FAC I have to stop a script and reload the page, and it is a long one. Is this just my problem? Graham. Graham Colm Talk 21:49, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

FAC loads fairly slowly, but not unbearably so. You are referring to scripts in your .js, aren't you? Perhaps someone can code something that prevents any script from loading on WP:FAC. Ucucha 22:00, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Hi Ucucha, it depends on your bandwidth, I have 50mbs, but it still takes too long to load, God knows how long it takes our friends who have to use dial-up :-) The problematic scripts seem to be tied to the FAC project and not any that I (consciously) have added to my monobook.js Graham. Graham Colm Talk 22:07, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Which of Gary King's scripts are your referring to? Dabomb87 (talk) 03:22, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
I do wish someone who understands these things could figure this out or remove the script, because the page is miserably slow to load, which makes promoting and archiving quite a chore! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:10, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Is it just me...

...or are there a very high number or totally unprepared FACs right now? Why might this be? Awadewit (talk) 16:17, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

WikiCup? Guettarda (talk) 16:48, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
I checked yesterday, and the nominators for the most underprepared ones were not listed as WikiCup participants. Perhaps a lot of editors made New Year's resolutions to get an article featured? Karanacs (talk) 16:55, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Maybe the rest of us should make a resolution to review an article - look at the FAC urgents list after my latest update! Awadewit (talk) 17:09, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

FACs yearning for image reviews

The following FACs have been here for at least 10 days and received no image review:

Resolve that in 2010 you will do at least one image review per month! If you would like to learn how, see this dispatch on reviewing free images and this dispatch on reviewing non-free images. Thanks! Awadewit (talk) 16:58, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:54, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

I've unstruck some of the image reviews above, per Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Halley's Comet/archive1; it would be most appreciated if these could get another look. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:10, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Also, could image reviewers please sign as they strike in the future? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:27, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
ZScout, thank you for the reviews, but I'm not aware of your experience with image reviewing; could you please fill me in? It's a pretty specialized area. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:03, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
ZScout, if you did an image review and found no problems, please indicate as such on the FAC project page for that article. Otherwise, it is difficult to keep track of what articles have been reviewed. Thanks! Awadewit (talk) 15:47, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I pinged both Jappalang and Elcobbola for backup reviews on these, but they've both been offline all weekend. So, the backlog will have to stand for a bit; my apologies to ZScout, and thanks again for his work, but because it's such a specialized area, I need to know we've got it covered. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:17, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I should, but the M-28 Business entry should be struck from this list because ZScout and NuclearWarfare have each done image reviews now. It's been stricken from the list below, but not here. Imzadi1979 (talk) 18:42, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Overlinking tool

Is there a tool which identifies wikilinks that are repeated in a single article? It would be helpful to identify and address overlinking in FACs. Ucucha 16:57, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

One of AutoWikiBrowser's functions is finding duplicate links. See this section of the user manual, "Multiple wiki-links" bullet. Mm40 (talk) 20:27, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
That looks like the thing I want; unfortunately AWB doesn't work on my OS, and I think it would also be useful to have something that can be used during normal editing (ideally: a link in the sidebar that when clicked pops up a list of the links used multiple times). Ucucha 20:34, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Review it now??

Among the FACs listed as "requiring feedback" is...Muhammad al-Durrah incident, which has nearly 200kb of discussion on its FAC page. Can this be right? Brianboulton (talk) 17:30, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

There are disagreements on that one as to whether parts of the article meets NPOV. More opinions would be useful. Karanacs (talk) 18:25, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Division of labour

I've been wondering for some time about the division of labour that has developed on FAC, so that one person checks all the ALT text, someone else checks all the images, and so on. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, of course, but it leads to the situation where all-round reviewers feel they can't or shouldn't comment on those areas. The result is that, if the one or two people who specialize don't do it, those issues remain unreviewed. I see above there's a problem with image reviews, for example. Should we not be emphasizing that everyone who wants to comment on an FAC can review whatever issues they want to, and that they won't be stepping on toes if they review MoS issues, images—even just one image—or whatever? SlimVirgin TALK contribs 04:43, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

It is a thought, however, not everyone feels comfortable dealing with image issues. I know I don't. I would disagree that those issues go unreviewed, the delgates won't promote until the images are checked--Wehwalt (talk) 05:11, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
By unreviewed, I mean the delegates have to wait until one of the people who focus on that issue arrives. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 05:21, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. The rules dealing with images are complex, especially with non US images. Unhappily there are only a limited number of people with that expertise, and there is turnover because the debate on images has gotten acrimonious in the past. I would think the delegates are looking to make sure that the image check is done, but also done accurately, and that isn't expertise you develop like that.--Wehwalt (talk) 05:39, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I do look at all aspects of an article when I review it, but I do not feel comfortable "signing off" on the images. I've read all of the image policy pages and I still don't think I completely understand it all, much like most people could read the entire MoS and not grasp the corpus. --Andy Walsh (talk) 05:55, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
But some of the images, and perhaps most of them (I don't know) seem fairly easy to review. Tedious, but not difficult. By setting it up as a specialization, we risk making people think they daren't touch it in case they screw up. It would be as though I started reviewing all FAs for the correct use of semi-colons, and only that. Soon enough, people might hesitate to comment if they saw one out of place, because it was Slim's job and she's the semi-colon specialist. That's the only point I'm trying to make—that division of labour has its drawbacks. Maybe we could leave the tricky images to specialists, but otherwise do our best. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 06:28, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but if they have to review some in an article, they might as well review them all. Probably the best route is to educate more in the ins and outs of image policy!--Wehwalt (talk) 07:45, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, I've started helping out. The first one was easy enough (I think). The second one has me raising the kinds of questions that I groan about when I'm on the receiving end, so we'll see how that goes. :) SlimVirgin TALK contribs 07:51, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Just some more thoughts. Would it make sense for the delegates to keep an urgent image-review list, and to add an article to it if it otherwise looks as though it's going to be promoted? That way, image reviewers wouldn't have to spend time on articles that were not going to make it for more substantive reasons. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 07:57, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
The way, I look at it, SV, the articles I write are still having image problems, (not many but still ...) so I don't feel I should be reviewing. I think the delegates do more or less what you said, though somewhat informally, by posting requests for image reviews.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:04, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, SV, that's exactly what we do. I don't add unprepared FACs to an image review list; I add them when they're getting close. Our image reviewers burn out easily; it's hard work, so I try to minimize it by only posting FACs that are maturing. However. If the list keeps growing, I'm not sure what we'll do-- promote without an image review? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:06, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I'll try to do a few from now on. I've started with Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/River Parrett/archive1, which seemed straightforward; Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Johann von Klenau/archive1, which was trickier; and Zscout's Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Flag of Japan/archive2, which was mostly fine, but I posted a few questions on the page. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 14:15, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks so much (and to ZScout as well): this should help lower the backlog, which is quite a concern right now, as the page is taking so long to load and there is little I can close today. Because Elcobbola is so experienced in image review, I've asked him if he has time to spotcheck a few. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:20, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Any feedback on my newbie reviews from experienced reviewers would be appreciated, if they have time, in case I'm doing anything wrong. Criticism will be taken constructively. :) SlimVirgin TALK contribs 14:31, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! (One thing that might help the page load time would be for you and Wehwalt to discuss whether any of your FAC can be moved to the talk page of the FAC, leaving a link to the talk page.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:48, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Sure, will do. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 15:14, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I managed to knock out all of the image reviews except for the Flag of Japan article (because I sent it to FAC and I am the main author of it). User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 08:15, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Zscout, but I'm not aware of your image reviewing experience, and it's a very specialized area; could you fill me in on your work in that area? We frequently get image reviews that are found to be incomplete once Elcobbola, Jappalang, Awadewit, FasachNua, Fuchs, or other known image reviewers go through. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:12, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I've graduated to "known image reviewer" have I? :P I'll try and get back on the saddle now that I return to university... who knew I'd be busier working during break :) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 14:32, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Don't let it go to your head, Fuchs :) Thanks for the offer to help. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:46, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I would like to point out that no image reviewer is perfect. Ideally, we would have more than one person checking images, as we do other areas of the article. :) Awadewit (talk) 14:56, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
And this would be a good time to mention that I'm also concerned about this "division of labour" issue. We need more reviewers in all areas (content, prose, comprehensive, sourcing), not just images!! In many ways, the increasing specialization of reviewers on certain aspects has really helped improve the quality of articles wrt certain factors, but we need to make sure that all areas are being looked at. Articles in certain content areas often fall to the bottom of the list as I wait/hope that an independent editor (not involved in that content area) will review them. I'm troubled when a FAC has been up for three weeks and has ample Support, but independent reviewers refuse to engage that content area (pop culture, hurricanes, milhist, whatever). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:06, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I, for one, am not so concerned about the division of labor. To fully review an FAC for every criteria takes hours. Very few people have that kind of time to dedicate. If, however, we can share the burden, that would be wonderful - we just need to come up with a better way of sharing it, I think, or we need more people willing to review for content (which often involves doing a bit of research to check the article's level of sour[c]ing and comprehensiveness). Awadewit (talk) 15:14, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
"Souring"? Freudian slip, but presumably "sourcing"? Brianboulton (talk) 17:02, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Fixed. Awadewit (talk) 19:40, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Village Pump proposal for a standard citation style

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 57#Proposal: Wikipedia Citation Style. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:50, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

School Rumble

I believe School Rumble was improperly closed. I had addressed every concern brought up by the one member who opposed it (the other 2 were comments), including getting a 2nd copyeditor to come in. The copyeditor came in just 1 day before the candidate was closed and I did not get a response after the article went through a second independent copyediting. I also never got an image review either.

I feel given the way this was closed compared to the last time (I, the nominator, had lost my computer access) when I got just getting 1 oppose, from which I had met each of the objections with before the close, did not recieve a image review (in spite a link being posted here twice) that my article was all but completely ignored by the staff.Jinnai 23:57, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

This is an ongoing problem at FAC - there simply aren't enough reviewers to give reviews to every FAC that comes along, so some get closed due to a lack of reviews. Awadewit (talk) 00:33, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
The directors are not "staff"—they do not get paid for closing FAC nominations. Please keep in mind that they, just like every other editor, are volunteering their time and effort without receiving any kind of "payment". While they try their best to understand the situation, they can't make everybody happy. Dabomb87 (talk) 00:58, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry about the misuse of the term - however this is the 2nd time its been put up and I have yet to recieve any decent review or an image review either time. Both time I have to say it was largely ignored by everyone; this time more than last.
If its a matter of time then don't auto-close them. I addressed every issue and feel as though I've been cheated out of a fair review compared to other FACs that have been on their as long or longer.
I mean what am I suppose to do? Just put it back up because their are "no outstanding issues" with the article.
I mean I have 1 image and 1 video and other images were reviewed that were listed on this page. I feel as though my article was discriminated against being reviewed on some basis. FE: Twice my article was the only one not image reviewed and was the only one as such.Jinnai 01:34, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Jinnai, for what it's worth, I looked at your article briefly yesterday, because I was going to do an image review, and I decided to do another one instead, because I saw that several of your sentences—and even parts of sentences—had six or so footnotes after them. I concluded from that that the article still needed a copyedit, and would be unlikely to be promoted without it. That was just my snap judgment, and I'm only an occasional reviewer, so I could be quite wrong. But it did look at first glance as though the article wasn't as polished as it could be. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 18:51, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I've gone several seperate and completely independant copyeditors. If it still needs copyediting then please when explain so I can give concrete examples to the next copyeditor. Telling vague stuff like "it needs copyediting" or "the prose is flat" obviously isn't cutting it for getting it copyedited when I ask others to look at it. These aren't random people I ask; they are known for copyediting feature quality articles so I know its not my fault for asking the wrong people.
I don't see why the number of footnotes matter. There was only one that has an extraordinary amount and I've explained that one.Jinnai 22:47, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
There are three sections—music, anime and manga—that contain long lines of footnotes after or within sentences. It tends to signal a problem, along the lines of "doth protest too much," or it can be a sign that you're using primary sources. For example, if you say it has been serialized in six countries, and that's followed by six footnotes, it suggests you have a source for each country, and that none of those sources say, "it has been serialized in six countries." It also looks untidy; you could combine them between one set of ref tags to get round that.

These are not insurmountable problems, and some reviewers might ignore them. If I were reviewing it, though, it would concern me. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 23:02, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

SV presents a good example of what sometimes happens at FAC: when reviwers see numerous problems in an article, they hesitate to get involved because that may require extensive work (reviewers are expected to revisit their opposes). For that reason, FACs that don't gain support after several weeks are closed, and peer review is often a better option. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:07, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I had a PR 4 months ago and other than prose being cleaned up and the addition of the video, nothing major has changed. I feel I would be traveling in circles.
@SlimVirgin: Not sure what you mean by "doth protest too much" as many are based on reviews of multiple volumes/discs so there will naturally be multiple citations. For the translation, yea, there isn't a RS site that says "School Rumble is translated into multiple languages" but the sources are not all primary sources either. If it's a matter of combining them, I'm not sure how to do that and make it look fine.Jinnai 23:16, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
My own preference (and I stress that's all it is) when I have multiple sources after a sentence or paragraph, is to place them between one set of refs tags. So I might write something like: <ref>For the names of the killers, Smith 2010, p. 1; for the dates of the deaths, Jones 2010, p. 2; for the locations of the murders, Doe 2010, p. 3.</ref> And if there's nothing contentious about the issues, or if it's otherwise obvious which sources match which claims, or if they're all addressing similar claims, then I'd also leave out the explanations and just list the sources: <ref>Smith 2010, p. 1; Jones 2010, p. 2; Doe 2010, p. 3.</ref> SlimVirgin TALK contribs 01:29, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Beyond that is there anything I can do? The last PR found beyond the impact section feeling our-of-place being quite (it's not really reception or info on the various spinoff media) there wasn't any major issues. I don't want to have another PR say basically the same thing and end up coming back here to have my nom ignored once again.Jinnai 02:48, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
It's hard for me to advise you because I know nothing about the subject. The first thing I notice when reading it is that you don't say why it matters. Why should I, as a reader, read beyond the first sentence? The lead should say pretty quickly what's special about it, distinctive, interesting, or of consequence. Is it popular, for example? You don't say. I think when the various seasons were aired is not appropriate for the lead, because it's pedestrian detail. The main problem is that the lead is a list of facts, without a connecting narrative taking the reader from one fact to the other, all the while answering the question, "and this matters because ..." If I were writing it, I think I'd have more about the contents in the lead, and less about the various seasons.

Maybe you could imagine yourself writing a lead for someone who knows nothing about this issue and doesn't want to know, or even for someone who strongly dislikes it, and doesn't want to read about it. How could you structure the lead to interest even the most resistant of readers? SlimVirgin TALK contribs 03:11, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Jinnai, for my part, I'm sorry that you didn't care for the quality of my review, and I'm sorry that I didn't revisit it in a timely manner. I honestly didn't see your update, which was unsigned, undated, lacking an edit summary, and inserted into a jumble of my own text. I don't have a problem being pinged to revisit something, however, if a couple days go by and I haven't responded. I would only be one "support" though, which isn't exactly an avalanche of consensus to promote. To get more reviewers, have you considered reviewing a few FACs yourself and asking for a review in return from the nominators? --Andy Walsh (talk) 03:36, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)@SlimVirgin: Thanks. Basically I have been basing the lead off one of WikiProject Anime and manga's few FAs, Tokyo Mew Mew which is basically set up along the lines I currently have, although it looks like the 4th paragraph is used for reception and stuff, ie the "why this is important" aspect.
@Laser brain: I had, but since I didn't even begin to know about any of the subjects it would mostly be concentrated on structure and prose of which I'm not sure what standards to employ that wouldn't bee to linient or harsh.Jinnai 03:47, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Don't be worried about being too harsh. This is FAC. If you see something that can be improved, don't be afraid to make a suggestion. Dabomb87 (talk) 04:06, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Multiple submissions

Looking for candidates to review this evening, I noticed at least a couple of instances where individuals have submitted two (single-nom) FACs, and the second nom was made prior to any consensus being achieved on the first nom. Further, these nominators have not reviewed any other FACs (that I can see). Is there some "unwritten" rule against multiple submissions like this? Sasata (talk) 03:12, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

If that happened, I missed it. Cluestick? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:15, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
A more comprehensive response. The FAC instructions say:

Users should not add a second FA nomination until the first has gained support and reviewers' concerns have been substantially addressed.

A second nom can be added after the first nom has sufficient support, and there are no important unresolved issues. There are currently several nominators who have more than one nom up. In one case, the first nom has support, no unresolved issues, but has not received independent review (i.e. outside of that content area); promotion is held up only because independent review is lacking. I missed the other case; since it is already underway, I'll let it run this time, but I do appreciate when others point out multiple noms I may have missed. With so many noms on the page, it's hard for me to catch them. On the issue of nominators who haven't reviewed any other FACs, it's not really in our best interest to force nominators to review, because not all editors give solid reviews, and we don't want to encourage quid pro quo supports. Having said that, I don't think, for example, anyone would object if Ealdgyth put up three noms at once (but I suspect she's too busy reviewing everyone else's FACs to write that many FAs at once :) Thanks for alerting me! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:12, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I think you might be underestimating Ealdgyth's endeavours. She's quite capable of getting three FACs up at once.[12] --Malleus Fatuorum 22:17, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps so, but editors who invoke this rule have not been causing a problem. The reviewers are more or less keeping up with the articles, in part because more nominators are stepping up to review (I am now reviewing one article for every article I nominate) and the delegates have been improving the efficiency of the process. No current problem.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:21, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
The way you've written that gives the impression that you think I was being in some way critical of Ealdgyth, when nothing could be further from the truth. I'm actually in awe of the woman. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:51, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm confoozled. What do you mean by "no current problem" and "efficiency"? I'm looking at a FAC page with 61 noms, and almost nothing I can close because of lacking reviews, lack of image reviews, lack of independent review, or articles that are passing that I'm finding problems with. I think I've lost the plot here. Reviewers are not at all keeping up with articles; we used to be able to hold the page size under 30; now I'm lucky if I can read all day and get it to 50, and promotions are a month old, when I used to be able to move them in a week ! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:58, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I admire Ealdgyth, and wish I could write like her, we should all be as good. Perhaps I have not checked recently, it seemed to me that there were fewer noms backlogged and the process was moving more quickly. Perhaps the image review snuck in while I wasn't looking.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:23, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Nope, actually today's FAC reading was rather depressing :) There were 61 noms on the page (one of the highest recently), and I was on number 53 before I could even consider promoting. There are image reviews lacking on more than seven FACs that are otherwise ready, general reviews lacking across the board, independent reviews lacking in topic specific areas, reviews that missed too much and when I checked the articles I found them not ready, topic areas that haven't been visited by any of the reviewers who work in that area (content review specialists, for example, an art article), and the FACs that I could promote were all a month old !! Not a good day. Summary: I could only promote 4 of 61, and nothing is archivable. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:39, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I wish I could write like Ealdgyth as well. ;-) --Malleus Fatuorum 23:38, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Unhappily, Dief is looking for a few good reviewers, so it will have to wait. Well, then, is it worthwhile to ask people to stick to one article until the backlog is down again? I know a lot of it is due to image, not content, but it might annoy people into getting more reviews!--Wehwalt (talk) 23:52, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
FAR's the same. If there is some work on the article and it is not an obvious delist, people will either not review, or just do a driveby keep YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 23:59, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
It would be helpful if nominators understood that it takes about a dozen reviews to get a FAC passed, so they might review a dozen others when they nom :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:04, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I think nominators don't always realise how much work's involved in a review, and hardly ever thank the reviewers for their time and effort. Maybe a little bit of politeness might help. Nobody gets an article through FAC all by themselves. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:53, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
There does seem to be a tendency for nominators to take reviewer time for granted :) Except, that is, for those nominators who frequently do in-depth reviews, and know how much work it is. I wonder what became of the Barnstar culture :) When I was an active reviewer, I got my barn starred quite often, about twice a month. That has dried up!! LOL, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:55, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I've never been a great fan of barnstars, a simple thanks is enough, but I will admit to having been pissed off in the past when an article is promoted after I've done considerable work on it with nary a word of thanks from the nominator(s). I don't demand any credit, just a little bit of politeness. --Malleus Fatuorum 02:05, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Most nominators display their thanks to me by letting me live. --Andy Walsh (talk) 02:15, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

FAC urgents list

I've been updating the FAC urgents list for the past few months, but I don't have the time to do so any more. Would anyone like to take over? Awadewit (talk) 21:59, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Is there no way it could be automated? --Malleus Fatuorum 22:05, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
No: it requires human judgment. For example, I just added one because it needs independent review. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:13, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I guess that could be maybe done by adding a category to the review though? Can you clarify for me what you mean by "independent review"? --Malleus Fatuorum 22:20, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Support only from editors who work in that content area, no fresh eyes from reviewers not familiar with the topic. If a cat worked that would be good (would it add to our template limits problem?) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:55, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm no technical expert on wikistuff, but perhaps an alternative approach would be to initially flag every article as needing whatever reviews all articles need when it's created, and then to remove the tags as the appropriate reviews are done. --Malleus Fatuorum 23:04, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Is it a good idea to have "urgent" become presumptively "all"? I don't see how that cuts down on Sandy's workload, she would have to remove tags from all articles as she sees that reviews are done, instead of adding tags to only some.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:53, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
The other option is to simply drop the Urgents all together; I don't think it works, and the fact that it exists is misleading. I've often suggested we should AFD it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:06, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it works either; at any rate I hardly ever look at it. I simply look at FACs towards the bottom of the list that catch my eye. --Malleus Fatuorum 00:18, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
The problem as I see it is that because we have it, people think it works, so we have to maintain it :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:20, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I admit that I use it, but it seems to be transcluded on fewer that 50 user pages and maybe it's too much work. We could do a straw poll to see who actually grabs items from the list and does the reviews, but I suspect it would be only a handful of people. I'm willing to volunteer to maintain it, but if no one really cares about it we might as well delete it. --Andy Walsh (talk) 00:25, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Or you could maintain it for a while and discover how much work it is :) To keep the list up to date is much harder than one might suspect; you basically have to read all of FAC every day :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:40, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I might not be the best person for the job then. There are definitely entire days when I don't get the time to read through FAC or even visit WP at all. --Andy Walsh (talk) 02:16, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

(Undent) I use it all the time (when I am active), but am absolutely OK with going along with others if most folks think it should be banished into limbo... If we keep it, why not simply have a bot add all articles that pass a certain (somewhat lenient) cut-off date to a category or something? But I'm not opposed to simply getting rid of it either, if that's what everyone wants. • Ling.Nut 03:57, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

I think I'd drop it in favour of specific requests at known reviewers' talk pages from time to time. I certainly think it loses its effect when more than three or four items appear on it. I'm concerned that the maintenance effort could be better allocated. Tony (talk) 11:48, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Certainly that is what I came to conclude. It takes several hours each week to keep this updated. I decided I would rather review articles. :) Awadewit (talk) 16:18, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Decision time! As long as it's around, people will think it's useful and up-to-date, as some editors have it on their talk page. Do we AFD it or not? An alternative is to add a strong disclaimer to the top. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:47, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
  • In my opinion, we should delete it. Anyone who is committed enough to update it should be reviewing FACs instead. Awadewit (talk) 22:23, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I also agree that it should be deleted. If there are particularly pressing issues that need more eyes then Sandy or I can leave a message here instead. Karanacs (talk) 22:27, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
  • (ec) It's in user space, and we've already formed a loose consensus here to delete, among people who care anyway. Why MfD? --Andy Walsh (talk) 22:29, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I remember it was helpful when Stanley Green had very little response. It was added to the list, and was quickly reviewed by several people. I think the list is a good thing so long it's restricted to items that are languishing without attention. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 22:28, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately, almost everything is languishing without enough attention to allow us to close them. I agree that the list can be useful when there are relatively few articles at FAC( or relatively few with little attention), but we haven't had that luxury in some time now. Karanacs (talk) 14:15, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
    Ha ... maybe we should do something drastic :) Close everything older than two weeks, no matter how many supports, with a closing note saying "Bring this back when ... " !! <just kidding, but seriously, we need to do something ... > SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:19, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm trying to do my part. After all, Dief is in limbo with one support and the image check done. I am an indifferent reviewer, but I've done two of the articles on the present list and I will see if I can get to a third this weekend.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:26, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

While acknowledging Karanacs point above, would the list be effective if it were restricted to the top five (or some other arbitrarily small number) of reviews needing attention? Seems to work for the FBI...  Skomorokh  15:31, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

That's generally what we tried to do in the past; right now, there is no "top five"-- they all need attention. It may be time to discuss options. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:42, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
That would be the point of the arbitrary limit (rather than a merit-based threshold); Sort by age if you have no better way of distinguishing between candidacies. Cutting down to a small number would also leave room for a short FARC-like description of areas needing review e.g. "History of Rome [image review, copyedit, subject matter expert], Ganges [comprehensiveness, MOS:ITALICS, original research]". If there are only a handful of urgent candidates, and one or two of the issues listed are your specialty, you might be more inclined to pitch in than when faced with a context-free list of 18 FACs.  Skomorokh  15:54, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Any volunteers?  :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:19, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
I would like to reiterate that generating such a list takes hours every week because you have to keep track of what is going on at almost every FAC. It is not an inconsiderable amount of work. I had just such a spreadsheet for about six months, but it was very hard to keep updated. We could make a communal spreadsheet, but, again, I think that the energy should go into reviewing, not keeping the spreadsheet updated. Awadewit (talk) 18:29, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Ummmmm. I was gonna say, post a little message somewhere encouraging folks to come here to Talk and make a blanket request for reviews after x amount of time and x number of reviews. More to the point, just something more bottom-up and nominator-driven rather than top-down and done by the review crew. But even that has probs; overeager beavers will be begging after three days etc.... But go ahead and nuke the template, if it's too labor-intensive. • Ling.Nut 04:40, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have regularly used the Urgents list in the past to guide my reviewing - i have often chosen from those in that template. But I agree I stopped using it once the template got so many in it. What about a bottom-up rule-based approach along these lines:

  • Nominators may add their nominated article to the template
  • If a nominator adds one to the template that doesn't meet the rules, it will be removed.
  • The rules are:
  • Do not add to the template until the article has been at FAC for more than 2/3 weeks [on current performance, i would say 3; the delegates may have a different view about maximising manageability of the list]
  • Do not add to the template unless there has been a dab links and web links check performed and declared OK, or performed and you have fixed all identified problems
  • Do not add unless there has been a source check comment (a la Ealdgyth's regular contributions)
  • Do not add until there has been an image review. Image reviews should be sought through the FAC talk page [ie. based on our current system, thanks esp. to Awadewit for the admin], not through the Urgents list.
  • Do not add if there are already more than X supports [I suggest this because, in my experience, an article with a large number of supports but which has not been promoted is likely to have issues that are best not resolved through Urgents, but through discussion between existing reviewers, or through directly seeking input from specific, often experienced, editors.]

You could also have one or two additional process rules as options:

a)"An article can stay at FAC Urgents no longer than 7 days, after which it must be removed from the list."
b)"An article that has been at FAC Urgents for seven days and has been delisted, and still does not have the necessary support, will be archived by the delegates."

Finally, you could have a numerical limit as well, along the lines that the list cannot have more than ?five items at any one time. This would make it a bit like the oldest-in-the-queue list at GAN, which is fixed at five items. There is a potential conflict between this rule and the bottom-up self-adding system, though, which would need to be thought through. I have suggested this could be done as a bottom-up, or nominator-led process, but it would also be possible for an individual editor to apply these rules as Awadewit has done, to generate the list. The advantage of the list of rules is that you would not have to read the whole FAC, you would simply apply the checklist. Quicker. If it was done by an individual editor, i would suggest not updating the urgents on a daily basis. That seems like too much work on something that operates on a timescale of 2-4 weeks, not days. Suggest every 48hrs or so. Again, saves work. hamiltonstone (talk) 05:13, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

'Em er a lotta rules. You wanna play the traffic cop for that rule set? I don't. • Ling.Nut 07:08, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • meh. In general, the idea of alerting reviewers to distressed noms is intuitively appealing. However, the implementation is apparently a bear. While bearing in mind that we can still simply delete the whole thing, why not have a stripped-down process. Forex, some or all of the following:
  • Change the title to "Weekly" and add a date. That means no one is responsible for updating it more than once per week.
  • Change the title to "restarts". Aren't restarts distressed noms by definition? And it wouldn't be extra work for the FAC coordinatrixes; just add the article to the list if you have already decided the nom should be restarted.
  • Change the title to an explicit number of items in the list: "FAC Coordinator's Five Distressed Noms". That way you list only the (subjectively) worst five and stop. Heck, make it the "FAC Coordinator's Five Distressed Noms, week of date' to date."
  • etc etc. Add your own timesaving shortcut here. • Ling.Nut 07:39, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

If we're going to limit it to 5, it would be a lot more useful; the problem is that seems to barely scratch the surface. There are a lot right now languishing at the bottom that have been up for over 3 weeks and have at least 2 supports, but we're waiting for a little more interest from uninvolved (or in some cases any) reviewers. I'm wondering if we need to redirect our focus. Reviewers should know that anything at the bottom of the list needs some type of help. Perhaps we could restrict this list to FACs with no feedback other than image/source/technical checks? I really hate archiving nominations if they got zero feedback. Karanacs (talk) 14:53, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Your understanding of which articles would be the best to include is obviously better-informed than mine; my suggestion was just to limit the list to articles that can be added without any need for additional or in-depth review. Your suggestion obviously fits this description. Articles can almost be added at a glance. The problem, though... As for zero feedback... uh.. there's a little elephant in the room here. Many articles get zero feedback because no one wants to Pass them, but they're so fluffy that the actual content of the page leaves little room to Fail them. I call them "tuna fish sandwich FACs". But after saying that, I will have mercy on everyone, and speak no further on that topic. I'll just say that the template may not do much to attract additional reviewer attention if many reviewers have already seen the FAC, and are studiously ignoring it. But maybe it will. I dunno. You can try it and see (or in Chinese, "try try see"). • Ling.Nut 01:45, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
That's an interesting point. I do sometimes come across FACs that I have no strong opinion on either way, and so I simply ignore them. I also think that over recent times there's been a reluctance on the part of reviewers to come out with a clear yeah or nay. Who wants to be the first pratt to support if you're subsequently going to get called an idiot for supporting when the alt text/citations/facts/MoS/image copyrights/professional prose ... don't stack up according to another reviewer. --Malleus Fatuorum 01:58, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

New MOS template

Users are advised that a Template:MOS has been created for use at that top of articles that have significant compliance problems. It can be inserted simply as:


However, the date of posting should normally be included, thus:

{{MOS|date=January 2010}}

to render this:

Thanks to User:Ohconfucius for arranging this. The link to the page will refer to "this article page". Tony (talk) 11:39, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Such a large stick. I'm sure you'd argue that the template documentation already states in what circumstances the template should be used, but we should be very careful to discourage overuse, or it will be more trouble than it's worth. If we're going with this, it shouldn't appear at the head of any but the most egregious offenders (as the documentation says, those with issues that "may be confusing to the layman, or even to everyone"). There are lots of very good articles, literally, that aren't fully compliant with the MOS; less discerning use of the template on these could antagonise a lot of good editors. Can you give an example of an article where the template would be useful, i.e. one with a "confusing" style which nevertheless doesn't have a bunch of other template-able problems (where the MOS will be the least of editors' worries)? Steve T • C 11:56, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Where there are deeper problems, this template should not be used. Completely unverified and non-NPOV articles usually tend to have MOS and prose issues as well. In addition, because the MOS is so broad, editors who put this template on articles should be strongly encouraged to describe the specific problems on the corresponding talk page (this is something that should be done more with all cleanup templates, really). Dabomb87 (talk) 13:34, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm having a difficult time imagining when this template might be used when dialog with the primary editors would serve just as well. The only possible scenario would be someone bringing an article all the way up to the point where it was only missing fit and finish, and then walking away. When does that happen, really? Seems like template glut. --Andy Walsh (talk) 14:38, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Basically all articles need that template, so I agree it is not that useful. Besides, other templates alert readers to serious problems (POV) - this is not a serious problem. Awadewit (talk) 15:12, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure we need this template, especially given that we already have Template:Cleanup (which serves the same purpose, including a link to the MoS as part of its text). --Ckatzchatspy 18:29, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree that this tag seems redundant. There have been front-page articles that were not MoS-compliant but lacked other flaws. Tags indicating a need for copy editing, fact-checking and NPOV should be sufficient. Still, there's no sense in assuming that this tag will cause problems. Why not approve it for a one-year or six-month trial period and then take it out if it either does harm or fails to help? Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:59, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
On the contrary, many wikignomes pass by a large number of articles, performing their chosen task. This tag is appropriate where a number of MoS-related glitches are noticed, and the editors seem to be unaware of the MoS. Tony (talk) 22:30, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I reiterate that all articles fail to meet the MOS, so I feel this tag is pointless. One can always find a way in which an article doesn't meet the MOS. Moreover, the MOS is a guideline - this seems like raising it to the level of NPOV or V, which are policies. Awadewit (talk) 23:51, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Agreed that pretty much all articles fail to meet the MOS, making this template unnecessary. Gary King (talk) 02:28, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps limit its usage to the most egregious violations? Then again, those articles might be better served by tagging them with {{wikify}}, or something similar. Perhaps use it on a trial basis on a few articles, and if it is not well received we can junk it. Dabomb87 (talk) 04:25, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Clearly yes, it's applicable to significant and probably multiple breaches of the MoS, and intended for use by gnomes who—of course—usually deal with their own chosen one or two issues in a quick succession of articles. Tony (talk) 07:12, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I Agree that it is too close in scope with {{cleanup}} for it to be necessary to have both. Editing {{cleanup}} unpiping the link to the MOS would've been more useful. ― A._di_M.2nd Dramaout (formerly Army1987) 13:30, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

How list-y can a FA be?

List of named waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park was originally written with an eye to submitting it to WP:FLC. It is currently at peer review where Brianboulton thought "As it stands this could not be accepted as a List - far too much text." I asked The Rambling Man and he also suggested splitting out much of the text into another article before a possible FLC. I then asked SandyGeorgia if this could be submitted to FAC, but she was not sure and suggested just trying either an FAC or FLC.

I like the article as it is and would rather not split it up, if possible. If it is split, much of it can also be used in parts of the Ricketts Glen State Park article once that is improved (we plan to eventually get the article on the park itself ready to submit to FAC).

Anyway, my question to the FAC regulars is: Do you think this article could be submitted to FAC or is it too listy? (If we submitted it to FAC it would be under a new name, probably Waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park). Thanks in advance for any advice, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 17:14, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm interested in this question as well. It strikes me that there may be quite a few high-quality articles whose most sensible structure falls into a middle ground between potential FAC and FLC. Here's one I've worked on over the past few years: Hollywood blacklist. I've never attempted to bring it to Featured status, because I believe the present structure is the most effective and I know I'd face the same conundrum that Ruhrfisch has encountered. DCGeist (talk) 17:35, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't even blink if I saw it at FAC, Ruhrfisch. It strikes me more as an article with large tables than any kind of list. --Andy Walsh (talk) 17:36, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Laser brain; it seems better as an article. I'm also somewhat torn on this as I am planning to work on Mammals of the Caribbean and subpages: they range from a near-listless format at the main article to a nearly unambiguous list at Bats of the Caribbean. Ucucha 17:44, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree with myself. It is not a list, it doesn't have to be split (though that is an option), and could be presented at FAC without raising too many eyebrows. We would be far too busy admiring the wonderful illustrations, anyway. Brianboulton (talk) 18:54, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree too. It's an article with a few tables, not a list. If renamed as Ruhrfisch suggests I wouldn't see it having too many problems at FAC. --Malleus Fatuorum 19:01, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

With that amuont of prose it would be an article, but it should be renamed Waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park, as you said, because it's more than just a list. Reywas92Talk 19:37, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

It looks like the consensus is to leave it as is and submit it to FAC. Dincher (talk) 20:06, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Renamed, of course. Dincher (talk) 20:06, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, thanks to everyone for weighing in. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 20:09, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I moved it to Waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park, thanks again. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 20:45, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Needing image review

  • Done. NW (Talk) 04:10, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:08, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:45, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Image review question

This is a question that has arisen a few times with FAs I've written, and it just came up again in an image review I'm doing. If an image would not be regarded as PD in the U.S., but it is regarded as PD in its country of origin, is it acceptable for it to be labelled PD for its use in a featured article? SlimVirgin TALK contribs 02:29, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Just answered my own question. The Signpost article on FAC image reviewing says yes, they need to be PD in the U.S. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 02:36, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, no, it doesn't say that. It says, "Images used on the English Wikipedia, however, need to be public domain only in the United States, as the Wikimedia Foundation servers are located in Florida" (my bold). The word "only" makes the sentence unclear. Is it a necessary or only a sufficient condition that they be PD in the United States? SlimVirgin TALK contribs 02:41, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
It is not enough for images to be PD in the country of origin, but not in the US. I am running into that with a current article, which featured images I had to delete because they were PD in Canada, the country of origin, but not in the US.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:48, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Wehwalt. I've run into quite a complex (for me) image review at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Steve Dodd/archive1. I'd appreciate it if someone more knowledgeable than me could check my review, as I'm about to post that the images can't be used because they're not PD in the U.S. I'd like someone to make sure that my reasoning for them not being PD in the U.S. is correct. If you do a search on the page for "image review," you'll find the section, and the pertinent part of it begins, "The situation is quite complicated". SlimVirgin TALK contribs 02:58, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Wehwalt, do you happen to know where it says this—that images have to be PD in the U.S., and that it's not enough that they be PD in their country of origin? I'd like to be able to refer the nominator to the policy or guideline. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 03:03, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
See here.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:22, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. That talks about uploading to the Commons: non-U.S. works uploaded to the Commons have to be PD in the U.S. and the country of origin. But I'm talking only about Wikipedia—whether images claimed as PD on Wikipedia have to be PD in the United States. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 03:26, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps someone more versed in image policy than me can respond? As I understand it, we use Commons policies when it comes to FAs, at least.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:46, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we do. I've used images at FAC that I could only confirm as PD in the U.S. I think they may also have been PD in the UK, their country of origin, but I didn't have to confirm that. It was enough to show they'd been published before 1923. That's WP's rule, not the Commons, where they'd have to be PD in both. But my question here is slightly different, namely whether, on WP, being PD in the U.S. is a necessary, or only a sufficient, condition. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 03:55, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm. It may well be that practice and policy differ. I'd appreciate an answer, from someone in the know.--Wehwalt (talk) 04:01, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Jappalang answered it; it's a necessary condition. "Per WP:IUP#Public domain, "Wikipedia pages, including non-English language pages, are hosted on a server in the United States, so U.S. law governs whether a Wikipedia image is in the public domain." Basically, images hosted on Wikipedia as public domain images have to qualify as {{PD-US}} or {{PD-1923}}." SlimVirgin TALK contribs 04:07, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

We've run into a similar problem recently with W.B. Yeats, whose work entered public domain in Europe on the first of January. Unfortunately the United States does not recognize the rule of the shorter term so only his works published before 1923 are available for hosting at WMF sites (I was hoping to do expansions at Wikisource). Who knows? The Obama administration is reasonably friendly to free culture and might be persuaded to change that. Until/unless a change comes our hands are tied. Durova403 05:17, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

The problem with citation templates

Feedback on the use of these templates is requested here. Tony (talk) 11:04, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

More general, already somewhat advanced discussion already in progress at Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Wikipedia Citation Style --Cybercobra (talk) 12:14, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

As a note directed toward nobody in particular, I just want to remind editors that templates are not required for articles, nor are they banned, though I see more comments regarding the former. Dabomb87 (talk) 04:34, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

You know, as a comment, this is something which could have considerable effect on FAs, but I hadn't heard of it. I hadn't heard of alt text until it was implemented. Possibly because I don't spend all day gassing about n-dashes and so forth :) Do you think it is time to have, on this page, perhaps a box containing, say "Current discussions of possible interest of FA writers and reviewers"?--Wehwalt (talk) 01:57, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
That would be very helpful! As a newish editor, since May I've been told that citation templates are preferable to bracket style (don't know the correct name) so I changed to templates in all my articles! When I realized how cumbersome it was I learned Harvard style. So, if everything has to be changed again, it would be helpful to be notified. Thanks. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 02:31, 27 January 2010 (UTC)