Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive46

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Radical suggestion: stop encouraging review of oldest first!

Ponder the problem how we may, and can,

Time has enigma been since Time began,

The subtlest of confusions known to man.

What Sandy said in a recent thread has been percolating through my psyche to the point where I finally realize its implications: we are concerned lest the oldest nominations fall off the end of the list without receiving sufficient reviewer attention; yet we are creating the very conditions that produce that exact problem! Reviewers can only do so much in a given period of time, especially if they are few; if we direct their attention to the oldest nominations, in practice that means no nominations receive attention until they become the oldest! Okay, that's not exclusively true, but it is the strong general trend we are systematically producing with the present thinking. And old nominations have far less chance than new ones of receiving an adequate response to any serious opposition. I therefore propose a reversal of our current thinking, as follows:

Reviewers are encouraged to review articles in the "Older nominations" section of the page first. as early as possible after nomination, in order to allow sufficient time for consensus to be built and issues resolved.

PL290 (talk) 14:20, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

That makes no sense, unless what you're saying is "under the current setup, articles only reach the bottom of the list without comments because they don't deserve to be reviewed". People don't work through the list methodically, they work on those which catch their eye as being of interest, meaning "difficult" looking topics tend to be skipped over and drift down the list. What's being discussed is potential ways to make the articles most needing reviews more prominent; at present, people start at the top of the list and work down until they find something they want to review, which potentially penalises the articles which have been up longer as few people reach that far down the list. – iridescent 16:55, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Gah ... where do I start. Your reply makes no sense, unless what you're saying is, "No one takes any notice of the request to review older nominations first." You yourself may do as you describe (start at the top of the list and work down till you find something you want to review); that's up to you. What I'm discussing is whether the current wording, which specifically encourages us not to do that, is actually correct, and if not, whether we should change it. You call the oldest nominations "those most needing reviews"; that's precisely what I'm saying we should question. The oldest nominations were once new nominations, and what I'm suggesting is, that was the best time to start reviewing them, to allow time for reviewers to build consensus and issues to be resolved. If we agree on that, surely we should update the guidance accordingly. PL290 (talk) 18:52, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
That's assuming people check in at FAC every day, or every couple of days. It doesn't work like that—if you look at the patterns of editing, it's much more likely that someone pops by perhaps once a week or so. We want to encourage them to focus on those candidates that are likely to be bumped through no fault of their own if they don't get reviewed; particularly with the New System, in which nominators of FACs that don't get promoted are no longer allowed to come back and try again with something else (or resubmit the same article again), it penalises older nominations that "slip through the cracks" through no fault of their own. Sandy is generally pretty good at doing an early weeding out of the ones that are unlikely to make it. – iridescent 19:18, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Double gah!!! Where do you get "That's assuming people check in at FAC every day, or every couple of days" from? What I said has nothing to do with any such assumption—we seem to be having two separate conversations here! I agree there needs to be a focus on trying to save noms that are nearing the bottom; that is addressed by the FAC urgents page (now linked above on this page). I continue to say that as well as that, we should encourage reviewers to start reviewing noms as early as possible, and, given the resource shortage, that telling them to focus efforts on the bottom of the list instead of the top is perpetuating the issue of noms ending up down there without sufficient attention earlier. PL290 (talk) 19:49, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
If reviewing was a salaried job, then your argument might have some merit. But it isn't, and it doesn't. I tend to look at articles near the bottom of the queue if they catch my eye for one reason or another. That might be because of the subject, because of the nominator, or because someone asked me to look at it. What I definitely will not do, no matter what the exhortation, is to look at articles that don't interest me, no matter what their position in the queue. I don't have to be interested in the subject, but I do have to have some motivation beyond being told that I have to. It's posible of course that I'm uniquely selfish in wanting to spend my unpaid time here doing something that at least vaguely interests me, in which case please feel free to ignore my observations. Malleus Fatuorum 21:46, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Isn't PL's argument a bit like conservationists saying, "Let's concentrate more on saving the least endangered species, because that way they won't become seriously endangered. By concentrating all our efforts on the most endangered, we are perpetuating the problem."? Brianboulton (talk) 21:49, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
That's an interesting analogy. The bottom line for me though is that it doesn't matter whether articles are displayed oldest first or last first, or what exhortations are given to reviewers, I'll continue to look at those FACs that catch my eye and I think are getting dangerously close to the bottom of the pile. Malleus Fatuorum 22:03, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Malleus, you seem (as Iridescent seems) to be saying, "It doesn't matter what the FAC instructions encourage reviewers to do: I and others will ignore it." I recognize that that may indeed be so, to an extent (although I think we can safely assume not all others will ignore it). What I don't yet understand is why those adopting that position are taking any interest at all in a discussion about that particular wording! PL290 (talk) 07:03, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Equally, if you want to concentrate your efforts on the newest nominations, then please feel free to do so. I see nothing wrong with the present instructions. Malleus Fatuorum 19:00, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Brian, as Malleus says, your analogy is interesting, and though I think you may intend it to illustrate that my suggestion is dubious, may I develop it to show that it actually supports my argument: assuming we equate the complete set of active noms at any given point with the set of species at risk of becoming endangered inside a timeframe within which environmentalists perceive it possible to take any action to reduce that risk, yes, the environmentalists would be right to say that. The key words being, "all our efforts". It would be preferable to concentrate sufficient efforts on the most endangered to do what we can for them, while at the same time recognizing that the latter's existence demonstrates a failure of process if there was something we could have done to address matters more comprehensively at an earlier stage. That would lead us to routinely concentrate a great deal of our efforts on the early part of the cycle. Which brings us back to the question of whether we wish to encourage reviewers in general to concentrate on fire-fighting or best process. The fact that there will always be some who ignore our request makes no difference. PL290 (talk) 07:03, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
PL, we seem to be the only two who see your logic here :) Is it possibly true that no one else reviews FAC the way I used to? I read every FAC, starting at the top, with an eye towards whether Raul had the info needed to close. If there were lots of Supports, I checked if all bases had been covered. If there was nothing, I indicated if it looked clean or if there were lots of fixes needed. Are all reviewers now thinking they must do only one thing or a full review? Does no one read the whole page, starting with the newest, to make sure some guidance is given? I seriously don't understand this business of waiting for FACs to fall to the bottom, rather than putting something on them as soon as they come up. I so often see grossly deficient FACs that have to ride here for weeks before anyone says anything. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:35, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't review nearly as much as I used to, and I do have constraints that other reviewers don't, but I generally review those at the bottom that don't have enough feedback to be closed yet. Before I was a delegate I reviewed an even mix of old and new - whatever looked interesting at the time. I see both sides of the argument and suspect we might just want to remove any guidance as to what to review. Karanacs (talk) 18:56, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I certainly don't read the whole page (if by that you mean look at every nomination), and I'd be surprised if very many others did either. Like Karanacs, I'm more likely to look at those getting near the bottom without sufficient feedback. Malleus Fatuorum 19:04, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I start at the top, but these days I'm afraid I normally only look at those articles I'm likely to find interesting, which is a minority. There are still far too many articles where neither the title nor the nom gives a clue as to what the article is about, or who the person was. These just get skipped. Johnbod (talk) 20:29, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Karanacs is quite right I think. Until we get paid for this job, it doesn't matter what the "instructions" say, so they might as well be dumped. Malleus Fatuorum 23:35, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. If I am making a choice of article, I go down the list until I see something interesting. I sometimes get well down the list or even have to decide which one looks most interesting of a dull-looking (to me, anyway) lot. I'm a history/politics/law buff and that seems shared by few making nominations, alas.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:00, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
From reading everyone's responses, I agree we should just remove that bit. Removing it achieves the main goal I am banging on about. It's only natural that reviewers will be drawn to articles of particular interest to them, that they can review most effectively. Better to leave individuals to judge their own most effective contribution, and to welcome that, without guilting them with an oversimplified and possibly flawed rule they must often ignore. We can safely assume that anyone making a serious contribution to FAC will be well aware of all these factors (and of FAC urgents) and is quite capable of judging the best focus. I've removed the sentence. PL290 (talk) 06:51, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
  • If that instruction is to be dumped, why keep the binary sectionalising of nominations? Tony (talk) 12:06, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
    I'd like to keep it. I've been too busy to post to this thread, but I don't think it's right to say that we can reduce the queue length by focusing on newer FACs. If we had enough resources and they were simply misapplied that would imply we were excessively focusing on older FACs, when in fact there are many older FACs languishing without enough reviews. My preference is to jump to the "Older reviews" mark when looking for something to review, though unfortunately I've been too busy to do more than a couple of reviews in the last few months. The divider does no harm to those who wish to ignore it. Mike Christie (talk) 12:25, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

What to expect in a "History of..." article

Hello. I know this isn't the ideal page on which to have this discussion, but the talk page at Wikiproject history isn't particularly active, so i thought i would flag an issue here. If anyone wants to steer this to another place, fine.
History of Hertfordshire is currently an FAC nominee. I began my oppose saying:

  • "There is a general problem that the article reads (in some, not all, sections) more as a chronology of events that occurred in Hertfordshire, than as a History of same. The text lacks coherence, with frequent isolated "factlets"."

Part of the nominator's response was:

  • "Yes, the article's essentially a chronology:- a list of things that happened in, or are related to, Hertfordshire, rendered in prose. And that's what it ought to be. There should be no speculation, no "angle", no point of view, and no amateur analysis bolted onto the facts. Not least because this article needs to cover well over a thousand years in summary style, and it's already seven thousand words and 68kb long, and reviewers are already concerned about length."

Clearly the nominator and I disagree to some degree. There are other issues with the article, but i don't want to canvas them here. I want to focus on one question: what a "history of" article should look like in terms of outlining major themes or topics versus a chronology of notable events / information. My feeling is that History of Minnesota or History of the Australian Capital Territory exemplify the use of organising themes (in a broadly chronological framework) and are amongst our better "History of" articles, while History of Sheffield is not so good and should probably be headed to FAR soon, but is still more themed than History of Herts. History of the Philippines is more of a summary article, but again more coherent. All of them appear to be directed toward being a history of the actual subject, rather than of things that happened within the subject's geographical area, and that takes me back to the question: what should such an article look like? Thoughts? hamiltonstone (talk) 04:03, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

I think it varies considerably depending on the article topic, even within the same type of article. For example, Madonna (entertainer) (current FAC) received the same criticism from one reviewer (too diary-like, no topic sections), and I initially agreed with the criticism, but on closer consideration, because of the nature of the particular artist, there are no obvious topics I could see that it would make sense to isolate in separate sections. John Lennon, on the other hand (recent FA), has a large part devoted to topic sections, even to the extent that that came under scrutiny as a possible issue during the FAC. In the case of the latter, I (as nominator) defended it as the right organization, given the nature of the artist, and reviewers ended up accepting that. I suppose the bottom line is, whether an article is at one extreme or the other, or somewhere in the middle in terms of chronology vs. topics, overall, the prose should be as engaging as possible, and not be characterized by collections of unrelated sentences or proseline. PL290 (talk) 07:45, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm the person who made the remark about chronology above, and the first thing for me to say is, I'm more than capable of being wrong. :) Nevertheless, I believe that Wikipedian policies don't give me any wiggle-room in this.

(1) WP:NOR says: "Wikipedia does not publish original research. The term 'original research' refers to material—such as facts, allegations, ideas, and stories—not already published by reliable sources. It also refers to any analysis or synthesis by Wikipedians of published material, where the analysis or synthesis advances a position not advanced by the sources." (Emphasis mine). This informs my reply above, and in my view it means that an article (whether at FAC or not) can only group material into topics where the sources do so.

(2) Importantly, I think it means that where I do group material into topics, I must use broadly the same topics as the sources do. Thus, in the case of this article, if none of the sources discuss immigration into Hertfordshire as a separate heading, then there should be no heading in this article called "immigration". Separating (for example) immigration out into a separate topic would surely constitute original research?

(3) In the specific case of Hertfordshire there aren't many theme topics. The most NPOV history—Robinson (1978)—isn't written in prose. It's a 300-page list, and it's literally written in bullet-point form. Other histories—such as Rook, or Slater and Goose—do use theme topics but there's no overlap between the ones that Rook use and the ones Slater and Goose do, except where these are chronological headings (such as "Hertfordshire in the Tudor period").

This informed the structure I put on the article: I decided it should be strictly chronological. I decided it should identify the important things that happened in the county, and the important people who were born there or who lived there, and it should give enough context for readers to know why these things or people are important. And I decided it should state these things without any commentary from me. I think Wikipedia's policies and guidelines specifically require me to state the sourced facts, and specifically enjoin me from commenting on them as I do. The matter would of course be different if the sources used similar structures and had similar commentary to make.

This might mean that HoH is simply not an appropriate topic for a FA, in which case I'll accept that.—S Marshall T/C 09:19, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

The NOR policy only prohibits unsourced synthesis that advances a position. If no position is being advanced that other editors might find contentious (remember: challenged or likely to be challenged), there's no problem. SlimVirgin talk contribs 09:25, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, the History of Hertfordshire isn't contentious and I don't think anyone will challenge my scholarship except at very small levels of detail. If there's a reasonably strong consensus here that I can legitimately create my own narrative flow from the bare facts in the article, then I'll do so. It will lead to a substantial number of unsourced sentences being introduced into the article, some of which I've recently removed them from the article's footnotes because Brianboulton complained they were unsourced.—S Marshall T/C 09:47, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Creating your own narrative flow from the bare facts is exactly what you should do, and it doesn't change the sourcing question: where inline citations are judged appropriate to support facts being presented, those citations apply just as much to your paraphrasing of those facts. PL290 (talk) 09:58, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I've only glanced at some of Brian's comments, but they seem to be reasonable. Policy is: anything challenged or likely to be challenged needs a source; SYN to be avoided if it advances a position not advanced by any of the sources. Can you give an example of the kind of sentence you were expected to remove or source that you felt was okay without a source? SlimVirgin talk contribs 10:01, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────*Well, you can see here examples of where I've tried to give additional context or amplification, and been brought short because I'm talking from personal knowledge rather than being able to cite chapter and verse. But on re-reading, I think that might be tangential to what PL290 and Hamiltonstone are saying.

Let's imagine, hypothetically, I were to restructure the article on a thematic basis. For example, a theme that runs through the whole of Hertfordshire's history is the development of the county's agriculture. Just to dash off a quick paragraph to illustrate what I mean, I might write:


Historically, agriculture was important to Hertfordshire, but less comparatively important than in most other counties, and the county developed more through commerce than through the agriculture that drove most counties' economies before the Industrial Revolution.(unsourced; serves to introduce and summarise the subject.) Hertfordshire is largely situated on a clay subsoil.(unsourced, but uncontroversial; from personal knowledge.) The land is "heavy" and not well-suited to crop cultivation with a medieval plough.(Slater & Goose 1992, p. 81.) Most of the county's land is Grade III soil, with some Grade II in the north of the county, but there is no Grade I soil in Hertfordshire at all.(not really checkably-sourced; this is from personal correspondence with Mr Charles H. A. Franklin, who served as the County Council's Principal Land Agent until summer 2009, although you can sort of semi-verify it here.) This probably explains why the area was relatively sparsely-populated from the mesolithic through to the early bronze age.(Williamson 2000, p. 24.)

However, the "heavy" soil is excellent for growing barley, and starting from the 17th Century, Hertfordshire became an important region for the brewing trade.(Slater & Goose 1992, p. 375.) ... and so on.

(Off-topic, Wikipedia contains no decent explanation of agricultural soil-grading in the UK, but there's a reasonable summary here.) I could then write similar thematically-linked sections on paper-making, on Roman Roads, on Hertfordshire's role in the various wars that impacted on the county, on the notable writers, politicians and other people who've lived or worked there, and so on. My concerns are that to do so groups topics in ways that my sources do not, and you can see from my attempt to construct narrative flow from the list of facts means there's a sentence that introduces the topic (and later, a sentence that concludes the topic) which I'll find rather hard to source.—S Marshall T/C 12:48, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

You don't need to group things the way sources do, unless there's something contentious about the grouping, but you do need sources for the material. Personal correspondence or other personal knowledge won't do. That isn't just a SYN violation (which is putting together sourced material in a way that advances a position not advanced by the sources); it would be a plain old NOR violation (posting material for which no reliable source exists). SlimVirgin talk contribs 13:28, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Then because the sources don't talk about agriculture as a theme, it's hard for me to talk about it as a theme. I could write about agriculture, but only in the form of a list of sourced facts strung together in paragraphs, which is what I said from the beginning that Wikipedian policies require. In terms of narrative flow or structure, it certainly doesn't strike me as any advance on the present organisation of the article. What am I missing?—S Marshall T/C 13:38, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting anything about this particular article, just speaking generally. :) SlimVirgin talk contribs 14:04, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
(ec) (Disclaimer: I have not looked at the article in question, so this and all my preceding comments are discussing principles only.) My answer to your question, "What am I missing?", is as follows (and I hope it helps!): a little up the page, you said, "Let's imagine, hypothetically, I were to restructure the article on a thematic basis." I think you need instead to treat it as a very specific, practical excercise. Now that you are (I hope) liberated from the notion that it would be against policy, it's up to you to assess what structure the article should have. (As I said in my first reply, it varies considerably depending on the article topic, even among articles of the same type.) Then, having done that, make any structural changes you deem appropriate—or leave it as it is, if that is your conclusion—and justify your structure in your response to reviewers on the FAC page. PL290 (talk) 14:07, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I did, and opposed. I think the FAC should be withdrawn and then brought back once the changes are made. I think there's a FA in there somewhere, but it's going to take some more work. That probably isn't what S Marshall wants to hear, after doing all the preliminary work, but it is not there yet.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:10, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I've withdrawn it.  :) I don't see the reviewers' complaints as capable of being addressed within the limits of the sources I have, so I'll work on something else.—S Marshall T/C 16:14, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Is a noticeboard a reliable source?

A current FAC, St. Michael's Cathedral, Qingdao, cites a notice board outside the cathedral as a source for certain architectural information. The acceptability of this as reliable is supported by a discussion here. However, I have not encountered this form of sourcing before, and would welcome some further opinion as to whether such sources meet the FA criterion for reliability. Brianboulton (talk) 08:39, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

It came up on Maiden Castle; consensus there was that signs aren't reliable unless they themselves specify where their information has come from. – iridescent 09:08, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Note – can't find the original discussion, but User:Nev1 will probably remember where it was. – iridescent 09:10, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
In the Maiden Castle article the sign was used as a plan because I thought it was free-use under freedom of panorama. The discussion at the FAC was about licensing rather than reliability; I don't think there was a wider discussion elsewhere. As far as signs are concerned, they should be treated like any other source; if the producer is considered reliable (for example information boards at English Heritage sites, or local historic sites maintained by local groups) they should be considered reliable in the same way a book produced by the same people would. Signs and noticeboards are not ideal sources as they may be out of date (permanent signs designed to be outdoors all year are not cheap to make and so updating may not occur often or may over simply matters for reasons of space) but in the absence of better sources I think they should be fine. Nev1 (talk) 16:02, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

This has been discussed on the Reliable Sources Noticeboard (which Brianboulton knows, but did not mention...not sure why). Consensus among all editors involved with that discussion is that it was acceptable. My statement in particular was that a sign should be considered a self-published source, and admissible as per Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources#Self-published and questionable sources as sources on themselves: "Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves, without the requirement that they be published experts in the field..." The reason being that if the information on the sign was published on the source's website, or written into a book that they distributed, there would be no question that it was admissible under the above cited section. Considering that a sign takes considerably more work, time, and money to produce than a source's website, it should be at least as reliable. ɳorɑfʈ Talk! 00:45, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

I included the link to the Reliable sources noticeboard in my comment, above, so the implication that I was concealing this discussion is unwarranted. My concern here is not to repeat that discussion, but to establish whether a noticeboard is considered reliable within the FA criteria. I have no personal animosity to the source, but the principle has not, so far as I can see, been raised previously at FAC; the Maiden Castle, Dorset discussion clearly preceded that artice's FAC. Brianboulton (talk) 16:45, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
You were inferring, but I wasn't implying. That would certainly not be assuming good faith. I meant it when I said "not sure why." It turns out I didn't see the wikilink. To your point, is there a double-standard for WP:RS when at FA? If there is, it should be explicitly stated somewhere. To me, if guidelines state that something is acceptable, it should be acceptable everywhere. If it is a situation where it is minimally acceptable but not considered best practice, that should be made clear. Otherwise it appears arbitrary to require it at FAC. ɳorɑfʈ Talk! 02:23, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I suggest you read the featured article criteria, which specify that claims are "verifiable against high-quality reliable sources" (emphasis added). It is not double standards to require a higher standard for our best work - this applies to other aspects of featured articles (prose, comprehensiveness etc). I am merely seeking to establish a consensus that your noticeboard is acceptable within the FA criteria. If nobody chooses to gainsay, then you're home and dry. Brianboulton (talk) 09:09, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I've read the criteria. If we say X is good enough for Wikipedia in general, but not good enough for a Featured Article, that is, by definition, a double standard. But the point I'm arguing is academic, so we don't need to continue. And consensus (below) appears to support signs as "high-quality" reliable sources when posted by credible entities. That should probably appear in a guideline somewhere. Oh, and I've got a {{cite sign}} template in development which will be ready as soon as I have time to get back to it. I'm pretty sure as soon as I move it to Template space, it will get TfD'd and I'll have to cite this discussion so that it gets kept. lol ɳorɑfʈ Talk! 17:57, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Depending on whose noticeboard it it, I don't see any reason on why it shouldn't be considered reliable. For instance, we have a small local nature reserve nearby, and outside the hide on the edge of the reserve the Mersey Valley Rangers (employed by the local council) have put up an information board giving details of the wildlife that's been found in the reserve. The Rangers also have a web site, giving more general details of all the LNRs they look after.[1] It seems illogical to me to accept their web site as a reliable source (which it clearly would be for information about any of the LNRs), but not their onsite noticeboards. Malleus Fatuorum 10:21, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Here are some sign boards. I have used the first two as references (IMO they are RS) in Elephanta Caves.

  1. File:Elephanta info.jpg: Put by Maharashtra Government tourism dept (with UNESCO world heritage site mark)
  2. File:Elephanta_Rock-cut_Temples_Sign.jpg: Such blue boards are put by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) outside all monuments under their control
  3. File:Elephanta Map.jpg: Another plaque near the Caves.
  4. A signboard by a tourist company near Elephanta Caves

If a sign-board is put by an known official party (ref 1, 2), then IMO it must be considered a RS. It is like placing information on a website by the official party. Though if the creator of the signboard is unclear/unknown (3)/unreliable(4) like the third sign-board, then its accuracy can be questioned. --Redtigerxyz Talk 13:02, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

I've been thinking about this because Brianboulton's point regarding setting a precedent is valid and worth consideration. Agree with the points that knowing the sign's publisher helps establish reliability. Out of curiosity I looked for policies in MLA and Chicago Manual of Style: neither book has an entry about signs/signage. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 18:32, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Since noticeboards were a major way that governments informed citizens of goings on, I have no objection. I would take an image, just to be safe. The custom still survives in such things as service by posting.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:54, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Please consider these 2 TDRs

Wikipedia:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2010_June_4#Template:Harvcol and Wikipedia:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2010_June_4#Template:Harvcolnb have been put for deletion. I have no intention of influencing your decision, but urge to you express your opinion at the TDR. --Philcha (talk) 15:36, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Ummm. Are we OK with cquotes in FA articles?

..all 185 of the FAs that have cquotes? I looked at velociraptor; the cquotes weren't in the promoted version. OTOH, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant had the cute little blue tadpoles in full display on promotion day... I thought cquotes were only and only and only for pull quotes; I furthermore thought that ahem encyclopedia articles simply never have pullquotes. By extension, um.... well. To my mind, pullquotes are far, far more characteristic of journalism (and the associated POV issues) than of the encyclopedia genre. • Ling.Nut 02:00, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

What is the issue? Why have a pull-quote template at all if it is not to be used (which is indicated by your sentence "encyclopedia articles simply never have pull-quotes")? Velociraptor does indeed have two pull-quotes. The documentation for Template:Cquote states that Template:Rquote is used to set off quotations from the text, magazine-style; the text at Velociraptor instead incorporates the text into the body of the article, so that template is not at all appropriate. Template:Cquote states that long blocks of text are to use Template:Quote. However, the two short quoted sections are three sentences long each. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:26, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
It's genre-related. Pullquotes are designed to... you know, pull... which is characteristic of genres that are more interested in pushing a POV or attracting readers with short attention spans than simply presenting facts. Pullquotes, to my mind, are for user space only. This is... you know.. an encyclopedia. Not, umm.. The National Enquirer or whatever.• Ling.Nut 02:34, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I like pull quotes in long articles because they break up the text for the reader. So long as the material is neutral, or where it's POV so long as we make sure we have some in this and some in the other direction, I don't see a problem. Ditto with cquotes used for other purposes. It's a good thing to allow editors to make their FAs look a little different. SlimVirgin talk contribs 02:49, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
WP:MOSQUOTE advises against fancy quotes and recommends straight quotes for short quotations and blockquotes for quotations of four lines or more. The MOS says, "Do not enclose block quotations in quotation marks (and especially avoid decorative quotation marks in normal use, such as those provided by the {{cquote}} template, which are reserved for pull quotes)." In my view, MOS trumps the template documentation. I'm not sure what would fall outside of "normal use". Finetooth (talk) 02:52, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I would describe "normal use" as meaning where the narrative and grammar of the quote text is embedded in the article text. This describes short quotes and block quotes. The alternative is pull out quotes, where the text in the quote is a feature of interest, and will complement the article text, but is not embedded in the main text's narrative. SV's example here is a good one. hamiltonstone (talk) 04:03, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I'm not sure what the genre has to do with a quoted section. Wikipedia editors tend to call lots of things (tables, charts, graphs, diagrams, bulleted text, quotes) "unencyclopedic". Only basic prose text, by itself, is apparently safe. The problem is that most encyclopedias incorporate all of these features. Page 286 of my 1990 World Book encyclopedia, article "Education", has a pull quote. Page 296 in the same volume has a 12-point bulleted text section. These formats are only "unencyclopedic" because a Wikipedia editor (or several) decided they are "unencyclopedic", despite their use in encyclopedias. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:55, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Negatory good buddy. "Unencyclopedic" and "not genre-appropriate" are vastly different thingies. The former goes for WP:TRIVIA shit that has no place at any time on Wikipedia and should always and everywhere be deleted on sight. The latter is much more flexible. I'm willing to let the blue tadpoles swim with little or no concern, actually. They are relatively more a matter of taste and style... But trivia is genuinely unencyclopedic. • Ling.Nut 03:04, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I was actually responding to your comment that:
Since I know that traditional encyclopedias can and do use pullquotes, there's little weight to the argument that pull quotes (or other types of quotes) are unencyclopedic, should be removed, etc. (As long as the quoted portion is reasonably short, to protect the copyright owner's rights, where applicable). Firsfron of Ronchester 05:31, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
A huge amount of stuff in Wikipedia is unencyclopedic, according to most people's pre-Wikipedia understanding of the term. That's why it's popular; we changed what "encyclopedic" connotes. If people enjoy writing articles with pull quotes, and if that enjoyment leads to more FAs, that's surely a good thing. SlimVirgin talk contribs 03:24, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
A large number of people enjoy adding the fact that Albert Einstein's name was mentioned in episode seven of Diff'rent Strokes in the year 19xx to Einstein's article. "Enjoy" can't be the standard, then, can it? Because the evils of trivia are legion, starting with the fact that most trivia is only tangentially related to the topic at hand... • Ling.Nut 03:29, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
But that has nothing to do with pullquotes. I'll give you an example from a page I'm working on at the moment, a description of what the Animal Liberation Front does from a key activist. It sums up the ALF better than any dull Wikipedia writing ever could, and it's the kind of thing that I see as just right for a pull quote: informative and easy on the eye in a mass of dense text. What would you see as wrong with it? SlimVirgin talk contribs 03:39, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

(undent) I wasn't changing the topic. I was trying to help you see that your argument, while appealing, is too powerful. It lets in things that unequivocally should remain banished. I'm thinking about ALF• Ling.Nut 03:53, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

I didn't focus on enjoyment alone, though. I said "and if that enjoyment leads to more FAs." So it has to be quality enjoyment. :) Pull quotes are just like images when used well. The rhythm of that ALF quote shows us what they are: fast-moving, dodgy, anarchic, young. I'd hate to see a situation emerge where someone said that wasn't allowed just because the picture's being painted with words. SlimVirgin talk contribs 04:02, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • (ec) First, Finetooth is right; you need to swim over to MOS to argue in favor of protecting blue tadpoles. Seriously. Second, your pullquote is awkward become it looms into article space without ever having been referenced within the body of the article. If the quote were famous, and if its context had been provided, then.. {{quote}} within the body text would be cool. As it is, it's... jarring? Distracting? Without context. Like hearing two people talking at the same time (although on the same topic). • Ling.Nut 04:06, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • As I have tried to point out above, I don't think there is a problem at MOS, other than perhaps awkward wording. "Normal use" is use in the flow of the WP article text; pull-out is not. Both are OK. hamiltonstone (talk) 04:28, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I disagree, but I see your point of view too. I'm only arguing that we need to allow the option in FAs. SlimVirgin talk contribs 04:11, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
options are allowed or disallowed within FAs as they are allowed or disallowed at MOS. So as I said, don yer best swim fins and wriggle on over there. • Ling.Nut 04:26, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
MOS explicitly frowns on cquotes. • Ling.Nut 04:34, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
OK, i see what you are getting at. I don't interpret the text at MOS in the way you have, but like SV I now see your point. I read the MOS as saying "if you are putting in a block quote, don't put it in fancy quote marks" - i don't read it as meaning "because we don't like fancy quote marks, don't use pull-out quotes". I see a block quote and a pull-out quote as different things and therefore not subject to the same rules. SV is right, a pull-out quote is where a picture's being painted with words. hamiltonstone (talk) 04:42, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
But as Wikipedia's article Pull quote helpfully informs us, a pull quote is a repetition of text that is properly quoted in the article's body. Now if you look at SV's decorative efforts on the ALF article, that quote is pretty lengthy. You wanna add it twice? Nope. So it ceases to be a pull quote. And cquotes become frowned upon.. I say that even though I think they should be banished altogether from article space. • Ling.Nut 04:47, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Then I'm just goin' to stop calling them pull-out quotes - though i note there are no citations in the WP article - how about i delete it as challenged content that lacks an in-line cite? :-) Look, i think we can argue about this as much as we like, but it isn't a policy issue. So, to go back to your original question "Are we OK with cquotes in FA articles?" - yes I am, so long as they make sense in the context of the article. cheers, hamiltonstone (talk) 05:05, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
  • But here's the key point — it doesn't make sense. Look at A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant again. Why the hell do we have blue tadpoles there? Why? Why? Why? No reason! The quote is not a pull quote, either technically or functionally. It's technically not a pull quote because it does not repeat body text. It is functionally other than a pull quote because it is far too far down in the text to be useful as a device to catch attention. What is it then? It's ornamentation. I suggest that it is excessive ornamentation, both tacky and useless.. and explicitly frowned on in MOS. • Ling.Nut 05:09, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
No one would want to have such a long quote twice. Call them something else if you don't like the term "pull quote" (though I think often see pull quotes in magazine articles not necessarily repeated in the body). The point is that they can nicely illustrate something, in the opinion of the writer. We have to allow FA writers some editorial judgment and creativity. Otherwise we might as well be bots. SlimVirgin talk contribs 05:30, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Well maybe i've misunderstood Ling's concern. The curly quote marks shouldn't have been used in the Scientology etc article because it isn't a pull quote, it is a block quote - a quote embedded in the sequence of the WP article text, complete with preceding semicolon. Long's call was absolutely right on that i think (per MOS anyway). SV's point, and the purpose of pull-quotes, is different and should allow, in fact demands, the use of the big curly quote marks. As per her example. So maybe i wasn't arguing about anything. Wouldn't be the first time... hamiltonstone (talk) 05:42, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, one of LingNut's points was that pull quotes can only be used in user space, and that such quotes cannot be used in articles ("Pullquotes, to my mind, are for user space only. This is... you know.. an encyclopedia"). I think this is clearly a mistake. Ling's other point is that Wikipedia's article on pull quote states that pull quotes must be used twice; however, it doesn't outright say that (it does give an example of that usage), but as SV pointed out, we've seen articles which don't use the quoted material twice, not to mention that the article on pull quote is completely unsourced... Basing decisions on unsourced Wikipedia articles is never a great idea. I'm not a big fan of the "MOS trumps this other page" argument. It is technically correct, but ignores the fact that these inconsistencies lead to project-wide confusion. When MOS was updated with the advice on how to use Cquote, it most certainly should have been added to Cquote as well. Firsfron of Ronchester 06:15, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I wasn't basing my argument on the Wikipedia article; I've always known what a pull quote is. I was using it to back up the point... And your collective suggestion of referring to pull quotes by a different name is a verbal sleight-of-hand that does not solve the problem, because it merely elides the fact that the issue resides in the contents of the articles; not the terminology we use when discussing them. ... but... however... eh. Meh. I want Wikipedia to look scholarly. This, in my mind, aids the quest for respectability. If others want it to look like a sort of half-scholarly/half-popular glossy magazine-type-thingie... umm.. I am no longer a fighter. I think you're wrong, but I won't fight the Glossy Look Consensus. Moreover, I've seen journals that took the half-n-half approach. I'm a one-fourth linguist/three-fourths English teacher, so I see journals from both fields. The latter field tends to have glossier, sexier journals that may even include <gasp> pull quotes. So everyone wants the glossy look. I won't fight you. But you MUST go to MOS and argue that it needs to be rewritten to accommodate this Consensus of the Silent Majority that approves of the glossy look. Don't fold your arms and say it doesn't need to be rewritten. It does. The things that folks don't want to call pull quotes actually are malformed pull quotes (sometimes masquerading as prettified block quotes, which is much worse). • Ling.Nut 07:41, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Case by case. I think pull quotes can be appropriate. MOS:QUOTE is sufficient, by deprecating decorative quotation marks in normal use and reserving them for pull quotes. If FAC reviewers feel that a particular article makes inappropriate use of pull quotes, they can say so. PL290 (talk) 11:10, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Cquotes in prose are hideous and not to be taken seriously. Pull quotes in boxes off to either side to highlight a particularly symbolic or representative quote in an FA should look smart and clean. --Moni3 (talk) 11:52, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

I betcha dollars to donuts that 170 of the aforementioned 185 instances of cquotes in FAs are the hideous "Cquotes in prose" animal. Some conscientious editor who values our FAs and who can spend time on the task should investigate. After all, Enquiring minds wanna know. • Ling.Nut 14:15, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

The first knife to journey into space was the Randall Model 17 Astro Knife. It was conceived by Major L. Gordon Cooper, Jr. to be a survival knife specifically for astronauts. Proper design and construction were crucial, for astronauts orbited over deserts and jungles, as well as ocean. Cooper studied many factory-made knives, but found none to be satisfactory. He finally turned to knifemaker, Bo Randall.[2]

  • In a nutshell, I somewhat agree with Moni3, but I also think that using {{cquote}} where a blockquote should be used is a breach of the MoS, and thus not acceptable on an FAC. As to whether pullout quotes ever have a purpose in a wikipedia article, I'm less certain. I wouldn't want to say "never", but I don't see them as being as useful on a web page as on a printed page. I'm absolutely certain though that I've never actually seen a wikipedia article use pullout quotes correctly. I think that the quotation marks produced by {{cquote}} are far too large and disatracting anyway, and I far prefer the rather more subtle {{quote box}}, as here. Malleus Fatuorum 14:48, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Return of the Mummy - Wikipedia:GLAM/BM/Featured Article prize

FYI, the British Museum is offering prizes of £100 worth of books each for the first five FAs to be promoted (in any language) on objects in their collection etc. Johnbod (talk) 10:46, 7 June 2010 (UTC)`

Hyphens in book titles

Got a question for an article now at A-class review, headed to FAC: WP:MOSQUOTE doesn't currently ask for hyphens in book titles in the references to be changed to en-dashes where MOS would want en-dashes, such as in "2008-2010"; does FAC require it? (And if the answer is yes: the next time you write a book, do you mind if I change all the punctuation in your title to the MOS-approved punctuation, so that people won't be likely to find your book title on Wikipedia using a search facility?) - Dank (push to talk) 13:47, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Articles should adhere to WP:DASH, so en dashes must indeed be used where appropriate, in prose as well as citations/references. As for searching for book titles, were I looking for British Modernist Novels, 1920–1945, I would search under keyword perimeters along the lines of "'british modernist novels' 1920 1945". Googling isn't exactly rocket science; it doesn't have to be exact. ;) María (habla conmigo) 14:00, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Articles should also adhere to WP:MOSQUOTE, which has specific recommendations for where to fiddle with punctuation; we're supposed to leave it alone except for the list there, and hyphens aren't mentioned. "Styling of dashes—use the style chosen for the article: unspaced em dash or spaced en dash." A book title is of course quoted text. Does anyone plan to make a change to MOSQUOTE? - Dank (push to talk) 14:11, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
On the other point, you didn't answer the question. Of course you and I know how to search for book titles; my question is, if you spend 5 years of your life writing a book, and someone goes through every mention of your book on Wikipedia changing the hyphens to en-dashes, so that anyone who doesn't know MOS and expects to be able to search using a hyphen fails to find it (they might after all have forgotten your exact title so they're trying to find it by searching for "2008-2010"), will it bother you that the project that you've just spent 5 years working on isn't found on Wikipedia using that search because we changed the punctuation? Would it bother you that spiders that crawl the web looking for mentions of your book miss all the mentions on Wikipedia? The edit to MOS that would allow changing hyphens to en-dashes inside quotes would be unfortunate but wouldn't be a big deal to me; the titles of sources, however, shouldn't be altered in a reputable encyclopedia. - Dank (push to talk) 14:11, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
The title of the source isn't being altered by changing hyphens to dashes, just its typographical layout. We don't insist that the same font used by the source is also used in wikipedia. The MoS already deals with the search issue: "When naming an article, a hyphen is not used as a substitute for an en dash that properly belongs in the title, for example in Eye–hand span. However, editors should provide a redirect page to such an article, using a hyphen in place of the en dash (Eye-hand span), to allow the name to be typed easily when searching Wikipedia." Malleus Fatuorum 14:24, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
We're not talking about article titles here, although point taken that if the reference is formatted to be different from the article title, that could cause misunderstandings. And the reason typeface isn't a useful analogy is that different typefaces don't cause searches to fail. - Dank (push to talk) 15:25, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
What Malleus said. Also, I didn't answer your second, hypothetical question because I thought it rhetorical. Your first question, however, was whether or not en dashes should be used in book titles: the answer is yes, where appropriate. MOSQUOTE refers to WP:DASH, which gives the proper usage of en dashes as opposed to hyphens, so the issue is addressed. María (habla conmigo) 14:29, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
MOSQUOTE has a strong proscription ... "leave it alone" ... and then has a list of exceptions. Hyphens aren't in the list. Hyphens aren't dashes. Rhetorical? We fight a daily struggle to be taken seriously by academics and professionals, many of whom still claim that, despite the common practice of just about all students, Wikipedia shouldn't even be a starting point to learn about anything. We're certainly helping their case by giving them such as easy example of how a simple search for any source with a hyphenated date fails on Wikipedia for articles that have been through FAC, unless the work has appeared as an article title.
However, to argue the other side, if I win on this, there are a lot of FACs that would need to be changed (but many more articles that wouldn't need to be changed). There's also a certain institutional intransigence at MOS, so I don't know which way this argument is going to go; all I can do is make what I think is the right argument, and comply with MOS as written on articles that are headed to FAC. I don't see how MOS doesn't back me up on this, but I know that FAC practice is different, and you're welcome to edit MOS if you like; I rarely do. - Dank (push to talk) 15:25, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
P.S. In the interest of peace and harmony, I could live with a FAC requirement (which I'd rather not see at MOS) that someone should run a script when a FAC begins that checks for and adds hidden comments with the properly formatted (i.e. hyphenated, usually) title of every book that appears in the section of long references, and then you can have your "pretty" display and the search won't fail. - Dank (push to talk) 15:41, 7 June 2010 (UTC)


Hi All,

User:SandyGeorgia mentioned that this article needs more reviewers before the FAC can be wrapped up, so I wanted see if I could attract a few more editors to read and comment. I'm not sure if this is the proper venue to request more reviewers, but I couldn't find a better place (or a list of FAC reviewer volunteers). If there is a better place to make this request let me know. Anyway, if anyone has a few minutes I would appreciate it if you would come over and take a read!. Thanks, -SidewinderX (talk) 12:45, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

I'll try and give some comments later today or tomorrow. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 15:43, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Great! I'll look forward to seeing your comments. Thanks! -SidewinderX (talk) 19:23, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Load time

I've raised this issue before to no avail, so I'm trying to come at it this time from a different direction. I'm finding that it's an increasing problem on Wikipedia getting well-developed articles to load. I'm using a good desktop with lots of RAM, so I hate to think what it's like for people on smaller machines. When I last raised it, I discussed it in terms of an over-use of citation templates—and for me that's still the key issue—but others disagreed and we got side-tracked on a discussion about that.

I'm therefore wondering whether we can put templates to one side and focus only on load time. Could we add to the FAC criteria that load time must be acceptable? That would be regardless of whether the loading problems might be caused by excessive length, too many citation templates, too many images, or whatever else.

I just tried to load Israel, and stopped counting after 60 seconds. I really wonder whether we should be promoting articles that are hard for readers to open. SlimVirgin talk contribs 02:11, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure what previous issues were raised, but, anecdotally, I was able to load the Isreal article in less than 3 seconds. I have a quick computer (Dual-core 3.0Ghz Intel processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 64-bit OS) and quick-ish internet. I think if you want to make that a criteria of any type you'd need to figure out an unbiased way to test load time. -SidewinderX (talk) 02:19, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
You're right that we'd have to find some way of measuring it. Can you try Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and see how long that takes you? SlimVirgin talk contribs 02:29, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
The other problem is the speed of wikipedia at times can vary quite considerably. Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:32, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
PS: Israel took me about 3 seconds, Deepwater Horizon oil spill about 22 seconds. Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:38, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Both articles loaded for me within one second in the UK on broadband. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 02:40, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I had particular difficulty loading Madonna (entertainer) on several computers. The talk page, too. --Moni3 (talk) 02:43, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
All three pages loaded for me in less than 5 seconds in the US, although I do have a 100 Mbps up/down connection. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 02:49, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I just tried Madonna: 25 seconds. SlimVirgin talk contribs 02:52, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I've left a question about this at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Load time. There must be an objective standard out there that Web developers use to measure whether pages are loading fast enough. SlimVirgin talk contribs 03:05, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
As I mentioned here in response to SV's edit summary in that article (and as others have mentioned here), pages are cached. A long page like Deepwater Horizon oil spill will not load slowly for most users (e.g. users who don't have an account and are therefore not logged in). Just log out, and browse around, and you'll see that pages load really quickly. If pages, such as United States (a pretty long page), are taking more than 5 seconds to load before any text appears on your page, then you probably have settings that are not the default settings for most users so the page needs to rebuild the cache for you specifically. It's best to change these particular settings to the default ones so that pages load much more quickly for you. Gary King (talk) 05:13, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

"I really wonder whether we should be promoting articles that are hard for readers to open." Well often many pages are long because of large numbers of web cites that are much longer than shorthand book refs, so maybe this could be an indication that too many bad quality refs are being used. YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 05:19, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

New TFA/R procedure

See Wikipedia_talk:Today's_featured_article/requests#Sixth_slot. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:56, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

The Signpost copy-editing team

Dear colleagues, The Signpost is undergoing a make-over during the next month or two. One of the things it needs is a team of regular copy-editors to share the task of last-minute polishing. The pages usually come together in a rush on Mondays and Tuesdays, a little after the deadline, I'm afraid. I've created a row for "Copy-editing team" here. I am keen to do this in collaboration with other editors. A cursory knowledge of the MoS is desirable, I guess. Please sign yourself up or ask more about it if you're interested. Tony (talk) 13:57, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Requirement for inline citations

Three editors (S Marshall, Rossami, and John Z) are trying to remove from Wikipedia:Verifiability that inline citations are required for anything challenged or likely to be challenged, and for quotations. Instead, they want the language to be more nuanced, to reflect that there are other sourcing options apart from inline citations. Several of us are arguing that the requirement for inline citations (in the form of footnotes or parenthetical referencing) has widespread consensus.

If anyone here is willing weigh in on this discussion it would be appreciated. The discussion began at Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability#Must references be in-line?, and the latest sub-section is at Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability#Consensus. I've asked them to post an RfC rather than continuing to change the policy, so they are now discussing how to word an RfC. SlimVirgin talk contribs 18:19, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

I prefer to watch angels dancing on the head of a pin. Malleus Fatuorum 18:39, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
What a waste of time! The big problem isn't the need for in-line citations, but the fact that in practice FAC insists on references for every sentence, whether the content is likely to be challenged or not. Show me a proper academic journal that has the density of pointless referencing of the typical FAC. In a similar vein, npov is clearly meant to avoid overtly partisan viewpoints, but dear old FAC again takes the extreme position. If you say "the nightingale has a beautiful song" or the "peacock has attractive plumage" it's deemed pov despite what writers and poets through the ages might have thought. If as much effort was put into reviewing articles as is expended on these hair-splitting debates, we wouldn't have a backlog. (And the same analogy that Malleus used occurred to me too). Best wishes, Jimfbleak - talk to me? 18:50, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Show me an academic journal that actually references anywhere near the same amount of sources; an average FAC article synthesizes information from far more sources than most scholarly papers I've written or read. Sources aren't required every sentence, but if you're mixing information from Source A and B into one paragraph, then I'd expect it to be clear that Sentence 1 is from Source A, Sentence 2 is from Source B, and Sentence 3 is Source A. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 18:55, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more about the density of citations, and there's an essay at WP:CLUTTER that could be developed into a guideline if people wanted to work on it. But this is a separate issue, namely whether inline citations are required when adding sources, or only preferable. If they are downgraded to preferable that will impact FACs in the future. SlimVirgin talk contribs 18:59, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Late comment: Wikipedia is not an academic publication and none of our editors have the credentials that authors in such publications have. That is why we require so many citations. I agree that sometimes we go overboard, but let's be clear that the reason we do is to attain legitimacy and provide readers a way to verify the information in an encyclopedia that is rampant with misinformation. Awadewit (talk) 22:34, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Precisely. We need to have more citations than an academic publication would because every article is written by God knows how many people; it's not just the opinion of one academic. Malleus Fatuorum 00:15, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

I've taken to bunging almost all the citations at the end of each paragraph - there's usually no more than 3 or 4 different ones. If I've quoted I'll cite that right next to the quote, but in general the approach seems to diminish the visual clutter somewhat, admittedly at the expense of a little inconvience for the reader, but as we are now required to give specific page numbers, my view is that choosing which of the 3 source pages refers to which particular sentence, shouldn't be a big deal. But then I've not run the gauntlet of FAC for a while now.--Joopercoopers (talk) 01:03, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Well, I do run still that gauntlet from time to time, and I do prefer to know who said what rather than having to unpick from an end of paragraph listing. Malleus Fatuorum 01:25, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
My preference is like this. This is somewhat because my memory is so awful that I can't remember what source said what. I often read sources so fast that many weeks or months later they all merge into one large book-memory. If I wasn't me and I had to check up on one of my articles to verify the source actually said what the article does, this method is helpful for that. I think that's rather the point of verifiability: easy access to the verifiable info. --Moni3 (talk) 01:43, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
It may be because I'm not as young as I used to be, but if some Tom Dick or Harry is trying to persuade me that, for instance, the Donner Party did not partake of cannibalism, then I'd prefer not to have to waste time trudging through unrelated citations, just because it looks tidier to put them all at the end of the paragraph. Malleus Fatuorum 01:53, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've started putting mine mostly at the end of paragraphs too. For example: <ref>

  • For Smith's opinion, see Jones 2010, p. 1.
  • For his date of birth, see Simon 2009, p. 2.</ref>

It makes the footnote easy to read, and gets rid of the clutter. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:07, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

But unless you spell it out in the footnote as SV has done here (which I don't think is commonly done), it also makes it harder to know whether edits to cited material are valid or not. PL290 (talk) 09:46, 12 June 2010 (UTC)


Slow going at reading FAC today; could anyone watch this? Also, there are a number of FACs with niggling issues to be resolved, and not a lot I can close for now. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:34, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

And this editor is trying to prove.....what? auntieruth (talk) 20:32, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

The four FACs at the bottom of the page need additional or independent or MOS review:

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:38, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Getting long

More and more FACs are becoming tediously long, looking like peer review more than FAC. Perhaps experienced reviewers could take more commentary to talk, and gently instruct newer reviewers in how to best use the FAC pages? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:28, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

I always try to either say "support, but here's a list of changes I suggest" or "oppose, and here's why". I know it makes things longer, but if I've supported it makes it clear that I've noticed potential issues but decided to support regardless, and if I've opposed it makes it clear what I think needs fixing. It makes things easier for the nominator and, in theory at least, avoids nonsense like this if the reasons for support/oppose are spelled out at the time. – iridescent 17:41, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
As always, the bitter question is "How much time is too much?" Where are you gonna draw a line in the sand? You'll face opposition no matter what you choose to do...• Ling.Nut 06:50, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Can a book be cited three months before its publication?

Gustav Mahler was recently made a FA. Since then an editor has added text, cited to a book: Reading Mahler: German Culture and Jewish Identity in Fin-de-siècle Vienna by Carl Niekerk. All good stuff: the only problem is, the book is not due for publication until September 2010, so the information is not currently verifiable. Gustav Mahler is a candidate for TFA on 7 July, Mahler's 150th birthday; could this be a problem? (Intriguingly, the editor adding the book and text is a redlinked "Niekirk", perhaps the author himself?) Brianboulton (talk) 22:44, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't think this is a good idea, for the same reason you give: information is not verifiable from an unpublished book. That also agrees with the statement on WP:RS that Wikipedia should rely on "verifiable, published sources" (emphasis mine). Ucucha 05:53, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Ucucha on this one. It's not published yet, so until it is, it's not reliable for our purposes. Additionally, this editor has inserted a reference into another FA, Anton Chekov, which could be problematic since the book is written by an author who has another book cited in the article. Imzadi 1979  06:48, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
If the book is not out, it can't be used. Book reviewers, authors, and others who get early copies will just have to wait for public release, as it is not verifiable (I would say it is reliable if it's going to be reliable, but it is not verifiable). Don't get fooled by copyright dates, I bought Nick Smart's book on Neville Chamberlain, copyright 2010, in September 2009, which led to some comments at FAC.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:54, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
In addition to a note at the talk page, you might want to leave a note on the user's talk page -- some new users may not think to look on the article's talk page, and it would be nice (particularly if this really is Niekirk) to let him know his edit is not being disregarded. Mike Christie (talk) 10:30, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. I have deleted Niekerk's edits and left a note on the article's talkpage. Niekirk doesn't have a talkpage, but I reckon he will find my note through the article's edit history, where I have signposted it. I have kept his book on the page itself, under "Further reading", with a note of the expected publication date. Brianboulton (talk) 16:05, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Their talk page is at User talk:Niekerk. The "user" you are linking to is actually the article Niekirk, not the user. Gary King (talk) 18:26, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
I see. I simply followed the link from his edit summaries. Brianboulton (talk) 20:20, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

"Reviewer" userright

The "reviewer" userright, allowing you to to review other users' edits on certain flagged pages. Pending changes, also known as flagged protection, will be commencing a a two-month trial at approximately 23:00, 2010 June 15 (UTC).

The Flagged Protection trial is going to be starting very soon, and non-admins who have had access to edit semi-protected articles since roughly Day 4 of their editorship will now have their edits going into a vetting queue unless they are granted autoreviewer and/or edit reviewer permissions by an administrator. This will have a significant impact on editors who have, for years, been working on quality content. More detailed documentation and guidelines can be found here.

If you have not already done so, please request this "right" at WP:PERM/RW or ask any administrator. Cheers, Dabomb87 (talk) 15:18, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

I've gone through the list at WP:WBFAN and believe I've granted this to everyone who is still active who is listed there. If I missed you, I apologize! I'll happily grant this right to any active content contributor - please post here or on my talk page. Also, if anyone does not have rollback and would like it, I am also willing to grant that. Karanacs (talk) 16:09, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, me too, although I'm not as active as I used to be and might not get to it immediately. Matthewedwards :  Chat  17:26, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Linking acrobat files

I raised the issue of the use of a low resolution copy of this logo to link pdfs at Media copyright questions in article references, but failed to stimulate much of a discussion. My opinion would be that this is not a free image as it is well above the threshold of originality, and thus comes under wp:nfcc. If this is the case, it fails minimal use, contextual significance, and any other number of usage requirements. I am reluctant to raise it in a specific FAC, but I wanted community input as to whether we can reasonably promote any article using this image? Fasach Nua (talk) 17:24, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

If you're talking about the PDF icon that follows a link to a PDF file, that is beyond the control of a FAC nominator. For example, just linking to an external PDF file generates this. If you are talking about something else, please give an example. According to "What links here" for that image, the only article that uses that SVG file is the article Adobe Acrobat. In that case, you should probably request that the file be deleted and replaced for the reasons you gave above. – VisionHolder « talk » 18:15, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
I have to disagree with you, Fasach, on this, and say that it has to be in the public domain because it only consists of simple geometric shapes. Since it's on Commons, we can use it on talk pages:
Icons-mini-file acrobat.gif I've made it a bit bigger so we can see the shapes clearly, so let's discuss it.
The design consists of a light grey square. A white border traces the inside of the square. The square has a dark grey/black outline. The top right corner of the square has been cut, and the inside of that corner has been shaded grey, reminiscent of a piece of paper with its corner folded over. On the right side of the square is a red triangle. At each corner of the triangle, the lines extend and loop back on themselves.
The elements comprising the logo consist of nothing but colour and geometric shapes and/or minor variations thereof, none of which, either alone or in combination, meet the threshold of originality. Originality comprises of two parts. Independent creation (in that it has not been copied from another work), and sufficient creativity. In Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service, the Supreme Court ruled that "the requisite level of creativity is extremely low; even a slight amount will suffice". It also said that standard designs, figures, names, lettering, typographic ornamentation, colours, and geometric shapes, such as the red triangle or grey square, are not creative enough to be copyrightable.
Even though the square has its corner turned over, a la a piece of paper, or the triangle's lines have been extended and looped at the corners, Alfred Bell & Co v. Catalda Fine Arts, Inc determined that "what is needed to satisfy the US Constitution and statute is that the author contributed something more than a trivial variation", in other words, "something that is recognizably 'his own'". Copyright cannot be claimed on "a simple combination of a few standard symbols or shapes such as a circle, star, and a triangle, with minor linear or spacial alterations."
It should also be noted that while Adobe says how you can use their logo, they have not actually registered copyright of it:1
Anyway, that file isn't actually Adobe's .pdf file image. File:PDF.png is. And even that cannot be copyrightable, for the same reasons above. Adding the letters "PDF" in white against a red background in the top left corner, placing the triangle in the middle of the square, and adding the word "Adobe" in black lettering in the lower right corner does not create a new copyright, because it contains the same elements as before, with some letters. Why we are even claiming fair use at WP, I have no idea.
Back to the original question, yes, I think it is safe to promote an article with that graphic. As Visionholder said, it's something Wikipedia inserts into all urls to .pdf files, and not something we as editors can control. It would probably take a bugzilla report and/or a dev to change it. It should be noted, however, that the German Wikipedia uses a different image. Matthewedwards :  Chat  19:56, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Technical note, the CSS is defined MediaWiki:common.css about 3/4 down so no need for devs. And this has also been discussed elsewhere, BTW. — Dispenser 20:19, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense. What was the outcome of similar discussions? Matthewedwards :  Chat  20:22, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Note that I changed the PDF pic to a link because we can't display fair-use images in non-articlespace. Dabomb87 (talk) 21:05, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Okay. But as I said, just because we're claiming fair use for it, doesn't mean it's right. It should be a PD file. Matthewedwards :  Chat  21:18, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
No problem; I haven't been following this discussion too closely. Feel free to re-display the image. Dabomb87 (talk) 21:20, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Naw, it's no biggie Matthewedwards :  Chat  21:28, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Should some aspects of review be automated?

I'd like to get others' thoughts on whether the common FAC review tasks listed below should be done automatically by a bot. Off the top of my head, the bot would check for:

1) dab links and dead external links,
2) the presence of information on each image: author, source, some sort of license, perhaps at least one category,
3) ALT text for all images,
4) nominator's status as one of the top contributors to the article, and if nominator isn't that they've left a note on the talk page of the top contributor(s),
5) at least one reference per paragraph,
6) references in the middle of a sentence/not preceded by punctuation,
7) references in lead,
8) appropriate lead length per WP:Lead#Length.

Perhaps this could be done by coordinating and/or customizing existing bots. I imagine a succinct report being posted immediately after the nomination, showing pass/fail/warning notes for each test. Emw (talk) 13:49, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Not so sure about this. In order:
  1. There are sometimes good reasons to link to dab pages (for something like spoil (disambiguation), for instance, where the dab page is the only Wikipedia page which explains a particular meaning of the term);
  2. No bot can check whether an image is correctly licensed (I can stick any licence I want on something I found on the internet; that doesn't mean it's correctly licenced, and only a human can check that). Checking for categories is pointless; there's certainly no requirement that every image has a category;
  3. Alt-text is not a requirement, and certainly not "alt text for all images";
  4. A bot can't check "top contributor to article". There are plenty of articles where the primary author has worked in a sandbox, and thus has only one or two edits to the article in question; conversely, someone reverting a batch of vandalism can easily be the "top contributor" by edit count but have made no significant contribution;
  5. "At least one reference per paragraph" is meaningless;
  6. "References in the middle of a sentence" is certainly not an FA criterion. The reference goes in the most appropriate place; sometimes that's at the end of the sentence, sometimes in the middle;
  7. There's no policy on references in the lead; some like them, some don't;
  8. "Appropriate lead length" is nonsense. On some topics the lead is just a couple of sentences; on others it's almost as long as the body text itself. – iridescent 14:55, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
    You're never suppose to link to a disambiguation page, if its a definition then put it on Wiktionary and link there. — Dispenser 03:59, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
I was looking into this when working on the automated peer review script. The idea was to use the script as a central hub for all the things listed. People also liked the new on-demand nature rather than the pseudo-bot. Unfortunately, that script needs to be completely rewritten.
I've also noticed that submitters often don't check their articles with the tools. Considering they likely preview they should see the toolbox. We could add a note to urge them on Template:Featured article candidates/editintro, but Sandy worries about instruction creep. We then can catch those which fall out of line with the FAC wide version I have crafted. — Dispenser 03:59, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't want to see this kind of automation. If a writer deliberates links to a dab page that should be fine. Leads vary in length. Alt text isn't a requirement. Articles should be referenced as needed, not in some stock way. References in the lead are fine, or not, depending on what the lead says. Citations in the middle of sentences are best avoided, but they're sometimes necessary. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 14:29, 16 June 2010 (UTC)


Could anyone check the images at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Pithole, Pennsylvania/archive1 and Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/St. Michael's Cathedral, Qingdao/archive3 (or verify that they've already been checked) in the next few hours? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:39, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Pithole image licenses look fine to me. I listed my findings just now on the FAC page. Finetooth (talk) 20:10, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
St. Michael's Cathedral, Qingdao may have some issues with one of its images: File:St. Michaels Cathedral 1935.png Added details to FAC. – VisionHolder « talk » 20:18, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
thank you muchly !! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:27, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Redlinks in FA candidates

Sorry if this is clearly answered somewhere, but I wasn't able to find it. Is there a current definitive rule for redlinks in FA candidates? Should all redlinks be removed prior to submission? Thanks, Crum375 (talk) 01:58, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

No, they have no bearing on an article's quality. I believe this has been discussed several times before; check the archives. Dabomb87 (talk) 02:02, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)There is not, as far as I'm aware, any rule against redlinks in FAC articles—but on a personal level, I find the usefulness of non-existent hyperlinks highly dubious. Juliancolton (talk) 02:02, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
This has come up on a DYK I was reviewing, which is obviously a far lower standard than an FA or even a GA, but what is special about a DYK is that, like TFA, it is subject to a large viewing spike. It was my understanding that in such cases, we need to put on our Sunday's Best, since the redlinks are for editing, not viewing, and in fact redlinks are quite bothersome for readers, if not downright ugly. So is it common for FAC review to ignore them? What about TFA? Crum375 (talk) 02:35, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree they are visually unappealing, & they should only be in an FAC if the missing article is clearly a real gap, and one likely to be filled; and of course there are fewer of those these days. Even then it may be best to remove them here. Elsewhere they can provoke someone else to actually start the article. Johnbod (talk) 02:41, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
See WP:RED; there is no reason to remove red links from FAs or FACs. The only problem with red links is if the article being reviewed doesn't make sense without the redlinks being stubbed out or explained. Red links are desirable, and need not be removed. They aren't ugly-- they are how Wiki is built. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:52, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, in theory. But I do get peeved at people who redlink each obscure passing professor or journalist they refer to. Not that that is seen much here. Johnbod (talk) 03:06, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
Articles that meet notability should be redlinked; redlinks are only a problem if the article being reviewed isn't understandable because of missing content. If editors are including redlinks to non-notable articles, then they should certainly be removed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:11, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I know that redlinks are supposed to prod people into adding articles and building the wiki, and my problem is not the visual aesthetics, although having needless reds is not visually appealing. My main problem is that in an article like TFA or DYK, where we know it will be deluged by viewers for a short time, the vast majority just want to read the thing. And for a plain reader, ending up in a redlink dead-end is no fun and detracts from the experience. But I guess I am in a minority. Crum375 (talk) 03:00, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
FAs follow Wiki policies and guidelines, e.g.; WP:RED. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:10, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll reply here to your comment above: "If editors are including redlinks to non-notable articles, then they should certainly be removed." The problem with that is that we can only determine notability after examining the secondary sources, so while reviewing an article, each individual redlink would require a reviewer to research the potential sources for it, to decide whether it's "trivial" or not. I can see this being a reasonable criterion for an average article, and even a normal FA. But for TFA and DYK I'd prefer to at least temporarily eliminate those things. But I won't belabor the point, since I understand there is no consensus for it. Crum375 (talk) 03:27, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
Presumably, if an editor has submitted a well-prepared FAC, they usually wrote most of the article, know the topic well, know the sources and know if the redlinks meet notability. Reviewers can certainly ask that they establish notability in the FAC review, or remove the redlink, but removing redlinks just because isn't good practice. An FA writer should not be required to stub every redlink, nor should they be deleted if they are notable. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:12, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if it would be possible to set up a special "presentation mode" flag, which would suppress redlinks for a limited time for high visibility articles, like TFA and DYK. Perhaps my problem is that I am too "customer oriented" and I care more about the reader's experience than our internal wiki-building issues. I know that the two aspects merge on a daily basis, because we expect all readers to become editors, but for certain special cases where we get a short term viewer spike it could help our image. If it was just a simple flag, like a template you put on the page to tell the page rendering software to suppress the redlink, it could be easy to turn on and off when needed. Anyway, that's just an idle wish. Crum375 (talk) 04:26, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
That could be addressed <somewhere, I don't know where>, but as long as WP:RED is a guideline, FAs follow it :) I don't personally see the harm. If you look at some of the bio articles, you see they frequently make good use of redlinks, to articles that just haven't been written yet. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:28, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I don't have a problem with redlinks in general, for run of the mill articles "under construction", although I am ambivalent about mature articles like FAs and even GAs. But my key issue here are "special occasion" articles like TFAs and DYKs which are subjected to a sudden spike of readers. In such cases I think our main goal should be to leave the best possible impression, so they'll come back for more (or buy our advertised products :)), and the redlinks only add frustration if you click them looking for info. If there were a simple switch that would turn off the redlinks for those special occasion articles, I think it would help. I know that dev wish-lists are thataway, but I am just thinking out loud. Crum375 (talk) 04:41, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Well, I've seen a lot of people deliberately have no redlinks in their FAs even when they're obviously notable, such as not linking a variety of suburbs and towns that the subject of the article lived in, probably to make the article look more prestigious. Personally I think redlinks carry an undeserved stigma. Even in normal articles people choose to omit them, and when it does get created, there isn't a link or people have to come back. This is also very common in military history articles about non-western countries written by westerners. The content in non-western areas is very depleted, and when many westerners write articles about their military's activities in these places, most of the links would be red, but they are just left unlinked instead (including medium-sized towns, generals, corps and other major stuff). YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 00:35, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
As I noted above, I think it could be nice if there were some "read only" or "presentation mode" flag that suppressed redlinks as an option. This way we could turn them on for editors and off for readers. I know the wiki principle is that any reader can (or should) be an editor too, but in reality, only a tiny few are. Perhaps it should be a preference setting, so for non-accounts such as the average reader it would suppress the redlinks, but display them if/when they log in. I do think that redlinks are ugly and distracting, and should be used only when their potential advantage outweighs their ugliness. Crum375 (talk) 00:43, 21 June 2010 (UTC) {color:purple;text-decoration:underline;} (or whatever you prefer). Encouraging readers not to become editors shouldn't really be a target. Yomanganitalk 01:23, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Like everything in life there has to be a balance. The redlinks are ugly scaffolding. If we have a beautiful article, and readers come back for more and more, they may fall in love with the site and eventually contribute. Having the redlinks in their face all the time is no guarantee that more of them will be snared as editors. Crum375 (talk) 01:30, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Shouldn't be, but it clearly increasing is. I'm not fond of redlinks myself, so my approach is to create a stub. It's not hard to do if the subject really is notable. Malleus Fatuorum 01:33, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I'm in favor of having redlinks. It shows that Wikipedia is very much in the process of being written and that we need help! Awadewit (talk) 03:06, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia needs help to improve its 3 million or so crap articles, not to create even more of them. Malleus Fatuorum 03:09, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree with MF. Crum375 (talk) 03:12, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps this discussion could take place at WT:RED? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:29, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
I think redlinks are probably OK for the majority of WP articles, which are "under construction". So WT:RED would logically focus on the 99.9% which need it. I think where it would help to have no redlinks, perhaps as a display option, is for FAs, GAs and other mature articles, and perhaps temporarily DYKs. But I agree that we have exhausted this topic. Crum375 (talk) 04:34, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Alt text (yet again)

I was surprised to find that there seems to have been a change of emphasis over at Wikipedia:Alternative text for images advocating non-descriptive, short alt text. I personally don't agree with this change which seems to have been made following a discussion which apparently only involved four Wikipedians, but either way I think it's something that FAC editors should be aware of. Although alt text is no longer a requirement for FA status, a cursory look through current nominations reveals 'old style' alt text in almost every article. Cavie78 (talk) 22:31, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

I've about given up on trying to understand alt text, much less employ it on the articles I write. Juliancolton (talk) 13:03, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
More importantly, that discussion involved input from an independent expert on the subject, who was very critical of the old-style alt texts. Malleus Fatuorum 13:07, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
The old-style descriptive alternative text was overwhelmingly rejected by the community and involved a large number of editors, including (as Malleus says) an expert. The new-style is much less onerous and is consistent with guidelines from W3C and WebAIM. However, Cavie78 is right that not enough editors are contributing to the text or talk page discussions. Since Malleus was kind enough to copy-edit the wannabe-guideline in April, it has undergone a series of undiscussed edits that I'm not at all happy with but am powerless to do anything about. There is no issue with the points the wannabe-guideline is trying to get across. The issue is with the way those points are explained and particularly the terminology we should use. I would encourage collaborative editors who wish to improve our guidance on alternative text to come to the talk page and in particular to comment on proposed changes to the lead. Colin°Talk 11:00, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes and TFA

Ernest Hemingway is scheduled for WP:TFA on June 25 June 23, (tonight/tomorrow) and is now a pending changes article. Thought I'd post here, for those of you interested to see how pending changes, TFA, and a highly vandalized article mix. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 18:02, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Let me get that straight—someone's unilaterally removed the protection from an article three days before it goes on the main page? Was there any discussion about that, or is this yet another "I'm an admin, your rules don't apply to me" situation? – iridescent 18:38, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Someone listed a slew of FAs on the queue list, including four articles I watch, and probably did not know that Hemingway was going on the main page. Protection would have been lifted for the article 10 minutes before it went live anyway. --Moni3 (talk) 18:40, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
No, that doesn't happen any more; "Semi-protection prevents all unregistered or recently registered users from editing a page. The Main Page featured article may sometimes be semi-protected in accordance with the protection policy. Pages which are already indefinitely semi-protected because of vandalism are left protected while on the Main Page." (my emphasis). – iridescent 18:42, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for putting me through a world of crap then on July 11, 2008, Wikipedia. However, I don't know who listed all the FAs on the queue list. I would not have suggested To Kill a Mockingbird for this autoreviewer thing because I'm concerned once school is back in I'll spend all my time unaccepting edits. I don't believe they checked the schedule for articles on the main page, though. I don't know how this is going to work on a regular day or on main page day. I'm just waiting to figure it out. --Moni3 (talk) 18:50, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, living in denial and wrote the wrong date. It's going up tonight. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 18:53, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
All of the FAs that were added to the pool of PC candidates were those that are currently semi-protected. Dabomb87 (talk) 19:01, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm not surprised to the see the article moved to PC; am surprised to see it happen right before a TFA. Should be interesting. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 19:11, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, my own rollbacks have to be reviewed and I can't accept them myself, so I'm thinking this is a mess. Also, thinking I'll let it be and have others take care of it, and maybe pick up the pieces tomorrow. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 00:42, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't know if it's really supposed to help the FA writers. I have to clean up a couple days after main page day without the pending changes. --Moni3 (talk) 00:58, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I think that's about right. The best approach is to abandon the article to its fate on TFA day, and then to rescue it when it's all over. Malleus Fatuorum 01:01, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I think so too. Will be interesting to see how this plays out with pending changes. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 01:03, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I can see the sense in experimenting with pending changes using FAs and other articles that aren't currently semi-protected. I'm not seeing the sense of removing semi-protection and adding the reduced PC protection. SlimVirgin talk|contribs
This was semi-protected and heavily vandalized. I can see the sense in sending it to TFA without protection and picking up the pieces tomorrow. Not sure, though that I have the will to continue to tend it and pick up the pieces without protection beyond tomorrow. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 01:12, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't know if you've ever been on the main page before, Truthkeeper. It's always bad, but exponentially worse when it's a topic everyone seems to (think they) know something about. You might just have to allow other editors to take over for the next 24 hours and pick up the pieces afterwards. --Moni3 (talk) 01:16, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

You're a registered editor Truthkeeper. Your efforts count for nothing in the face of the amazing contributions of the IPs who now have carte blanche to vandalise Hemmingway. We live in strange times. Malleus Fatuorum 01:20, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
(ec)My first main page. The problem I have is this: look at this diff - [2] - vandalism was added, a user reverted but someone reverted again, allowing the vandalism. Then someone else had to manually fix [3]. I think the accepting/not accepting, that's confusing me. Anyway, I'll leave to others to deal with. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 01:32, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm noticing a lag with the pending changes. I edit conflicted with someone trying to overturn vandalism. Two or more editors trying to be helpful may be causing more harm than's difficult to figure out what's going on. --Moni3 (talk) 01:35, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I think it's rather easy to figure out what's going on. It's just another arcade game for the children; who can get there first? Malleus Fatuorum 01:41, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
(ec)Yes, that explains some problems - how good edits unintentionally turn into bad edits. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 01:45, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I, too, am noticing editors getting involved in the Pending Changes articles, who don't necessarily know the subject matter. I hope that will die down once the trial is over and decisions are made. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:01, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Let's not forget though that are there RfA points at stake here. Malleus Fatuorum 02:49, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we need an existing admin to full-protect the article and roll it back to the version just before it was scheduled for the main page. That should avoid Randy in Boise behaviour ("the action, not the the person").
And it avoids sniping at RfA. --Philcha (talk) 06:15, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Proposal of review changes for FA

I recently nominated His Band and the Street Choir for FAC, which received little attention from reviewers and eventually got failed because of lack of reviews. I fixed all the problems that were highlighted from the two reviews it received within hours after the review was posted. I now have no idea how to improve the article further because there is nothing from the FAC nomination that I haven't already addressed. I think this is a fault with the reviewing system, because you're essentially failing FACs that could have very little wrong with them. I propose that if an article doesn't have a sufficient amount of reviews (without either support or oppose) then the review should be restarted without the nominator having to nominate it again. Thanks  Kitchen Roll  (Exchange words) 11:07, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

How many FACs have you reviewed? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:08, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
None. But I don't feel I have the knowledge to do so yet. I've spent a lot of time reading through reviews to see if I can spot mistakes in artcles, but I think I have to develop my English skills a bit further to actually review an article. I know reviews are thin at the moment but I feel it's a bit harsh on the nominator to fail it because of a lack of them.  Kitchen Roll  (Exchange words) 11:28, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
They don't "fail"; they are archived. It may help to think of it that way? This page explains reviewing: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-04-07/Dispatches. Everyone can help! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:33, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Just a quick question: All of these wikipedia help pages (like the one you've just linked to) are hard for me to locate, I find them useful in editing, but I can't find the ones I'm looking for, possibly because of their unidentifiable names (I wouldn't have found Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-04-07/Dispatches without you linking me to it). If I had found some of them earlier I would have picked up how to edit to the best of my ability much much faster. Is there any way of making them more accessible to new or unexperienced editors?
In reply to your comment above: Many reviewers get critisised for reviewing articles incorrectly, such as recently at Wikipedia talk:Good article nominations#Advice requested for GA article review, so I don't want to do it wrong, but I think I probably will.  Kitchen Roll  (Exchange words) 11:50, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Helping hand offer: I checked out the sources at the recent FAC and my concerns were addressed. I didn't check out the prose etc. I've just read through the article and it looks pretty good, though I find a few things I'd have picked up on in a full review. What I will do is leave some suggestions on the talkpage in the next couple of days, for you to work on. It's tough when an article is archived for lack of feedback, but you are not alone (it has happened to me) and, moreover, you should be able to bring this one back to FAC quite quickly after just a little more work. Brianboulton (talk) 12:02, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
@Kitchen, the Dispatches are linked in a template at the top of this page. Don't worry about "wrong reviewing" at FAC; unlike other content review processes, delegates can overlook faulty commentary here, and account for inexperienced reviewers. Just dig in; without reviewers, there are no FAs. @Brian, thanks for everything! Once Ealdgyth is home from travel, things should start moving again, with you back on board with more time! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:05, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Brian that's very kind of you, I'd find that very helpful. I'll have a go at reviewing, but it might take the right article to be nominated for me to start (I feel more at home with what I know). Thanks very much everyone  Kitchen Roll  (Exchange words) 12:16, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll review it in my usual style, not just as someone's WP-buddy. --Philcha (talk) 22:50, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Re the books:
I need to WP:AGF on the books. I guess the publishers want the sales revenue in popular culture topics. They're more liberal in more "intellectual" topics. Hopefully other reviewers will have libraries near them that have some of the books. --Philcha (talk) 00:27, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I can't note review comments here. But Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/His Band and the Street Choir/archive2 is archived, i.e. I shouldn't add comments there. How do we get this going. -Philcha (talk) 00:48, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
(EC) I also had a review recently chopped for lack of reviewers: British European Airways Flight 548. It had been there a while but the only comments were on minor referencing format which was fixed, sadly nobody commented on the text of the article (good or bad), a great shame as months of work went into it during last winter. I publicised the FAC review once in the aviation project but did not canvass further as I don't personally like canvassing and like to see independent reviews. I can renominate it in a couple of weeks but this is extra work for me (and the article standard might well go downhill if I don't watch it carefully). I shrugged my shoulders and carried on but there is a potential problem (nominator burnout) if their hard work is chopped due to apathy.
It is my observation that many articles have now climbed the 'quality ladder' and many more very good articles will be soon be in the queue for FAC. I agree with the FA standards and they should not be lowered to promote more but it probably is time to have a rethink on how this all works. The problem that I see all the time on this talk page is 'lack of reviewers', there are lots of ways to address this; we have reviewer, autoreviewer, rollbacker etc. How about 'Featured Article reviewer'? It would give some sense of status and a responsibility to review often to keep it, could be awarded after reviewing five FAs for example where it is judged that the comments were fair and in accordance with Wikipedia guidelines. Even 'Wiki Project FAC reviewer' (or a task force) could be created. I have reviewed a few FACs and I would agree with the comments above that new reviewers are sometimes scoffed at, in my case the words from a seasoned reviewer were 'contrary to the review above...etc.' It's definitely not the way to encourage and keep new reviewers. Cheers Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 23:39, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Nooo, we'll have 15 year old kids submitting superficial reviews as a way to grab the next brass ring on their way to touch all the bases and knock over the kewpie doll to grab the Admin prize!--Wehwalt (talk) 23:49, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Wehwalt's right. No toys to review articles. Just reviewing. This sort of thing, awards, prizes, etc., to review FAs and GAs has been tried before. It ended badly, with editors colluding to pass articles that were clearly not ready so they could rack up points in a contest. Nothing should detract from quality reviewing and awards like these are a significant detractor to some editors. --Moni3 (talk) 23:52, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Moni and Wehwalt, and think it's time we started putting more pressure on nominators to do their share at reviewing. We all know who reviews and who doesn't. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:56, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Sometimes, it's a case of focus. I'm well aware that I haven't reviewed anything since River Parrett and am currently in "review debit" given the number of disused stations I'm funnelling into the process, but I'm trying to write two bunches of related articles and don't want to get sidetracked and start forgetting things before they're done. While there are some people who nominate without ever reviewing, in a lot of cases I imagine that what looks like people being too arrogant to deign to review material despite wanting others to review their own stuff, is actually something similar. – iridescent 00:10, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I've suggested a few times that nominators should do their share at reviewing. But some article writers are not good reviewers (e.g. reviewers have to be quicker, not just take their own time) and some reviewers for various reasons do less article writing. Iridescent's "review debit" highlights that some accounting would be needed. --Philcha (talk) 00:48, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't mind reviewing, but when I'm working on an article, as I am currently, I often don't have the time. Also, when I did surface to review an article recently, it took too much time. I think it's important for reviewers to be allowed to take a initial look at an article to determine whether or not it's ready and post a few initial comments. If that involves opposing nominations, then so be it. Better to move on to quality articles. Opposes can cause all kinds of other problems, but shouldn't. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 01:35, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
The thing with review debits is that people with WikiProject support don't have to worry about not having their articles reviewed, so while it is good form to review, not doing so isn't likely to make much difference to whether one gets served. There are plenty out there who don't review except supporting others in their group, not necessarily in a corrupt way, and there is no guarantee of reviews resulting in a return from the reviewee or a third party. Hamiltonstone reviews a lot and always gets ignored YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 02:39, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I want to apologize because I know that I'm one of the ones that gets reviewed a lot, but does little or no reviewing. Initially it was a lack of comfort. With each article of mine that gets reviewed, I learn lots of new things to look for, so I feel like I'm in a perpetual learning state. I don't see that as a problem any more, though. Now the biggest factor is time. Unlike some editors, I can't churn out detailed, high-class articles in a day. I set reasonable deadlines for myself, and miss them by weeks or months. I also have massive projects on my plate, and I sincerely want to complete them within a couple of years, not decades. Furthermore, I easily get distracted. My forte is writing, not reviewing (in my opinion). I also lack the resources to judge comprehensiveness and accuracy.

Despite all of those excuses, I will try to pick up the reviewing. But with my busy schedule, I can't promise to be one of the major reviewers. Hell, I can hardly finish my current project in less than a month. It should have taken 2 weeks at most. – VisionHolder « talk » 02:56, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

@ SandyGeorgia, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/His Band and the Street Choir/archive2 is archived, i.e. I shouldn't add comments there. How do we get this going? --Philcha (talk) 04:25, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
@ Visionholder: you need to prioritise, i.e. something get delayed; until your confidence increases, look for topics where you have some knowledge, e.g. primates or mammals; and avoid the "have been waiting for a long time" cases at the top of the queue at Wikipedia:GAN, as these are ones that experienced reviewars avoid, with good reason. --Philcha (talk) 04:25, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
The notion that you have to know a topic to review it is part of what has FAC bogged down. Anyone can look at an article for poor prose, poor citations, jargon, MOS issues, etc. Many FACs drag on when they could be archived if someone would just look at them. You may not want to Support if you don't know the area, but you can do a partial review. Philcha, for collaborating on articles, we have article talk pages. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 10:57, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Maybe that could be posted somewhere more prominently if it seems to be a myth going around that one must be versed, the only way to burst that is to tell people where they will see it is that it isn't true.Jinnai 17:22, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
The Dispatch linked above is also linked in the first line of the instructions-- how much more clear can it be? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:29, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
A brief blurb at the end of the first paragraph on the main page that technical expertise on a subject is not nessesary to review as their are other things one can look at common to any FAC (the list can be in a link). This makes it as present (without bolding or highlighting it in red) that it is on the first paragraph one reads-ie a prominent location. Thus, most first-time editor reading about the FAC process will likely read that statement.Jinnai 03:35, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
The instructions are already so long that no one seems to read them anyway, but if anyone can find an elegant fix ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:52, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

One good reason to review something one knows little about is to help the writer make it as accessible as possible without losing meaning, and maybe clarify some terms for those unfamiliar. Thus there is a place for reviewing unfamiliar material - okay, one can't judge comprehensiveness too well but sometimes even there a reviewer can provide some pointers. Anyway...Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:57, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Sandy-Don't need it all just a blurb at the top of the page with a link. It won't make someone who didn't plan to review suddenly review, but it may make someone who thought about reviewing, but was intimidated do a review.
Casliber-I agree, but the average user might not get that.Jinnai 00:50, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

The Political Cesspool

I may have missed a step; could anyone tell my why The Political Cesspool (a radio show) is in WP:ITALICS? Is that an oversight in MOS, or a problem with the article? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:52, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

I'd say it's a short distance between "Television series and serials" (listed there) and radio shows... Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 01:57, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
If there is consensus, could that be cleared up in MOS? Is it a common usage of italics? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:59, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
MLA has both radio and television shows under italics, so I'd support such a move. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 02:05, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Radio shows aren't listed at all in WP:MOSTITLE. MLA, 6th ed., section 3.6.2 (page 104) has it as underlined (the same as italics) with books, televisions shows, newspapers and so on. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 02:06, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks both-- does anyone have time to deal with fixing that at MOS? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:30, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
I boldly added it, Sandy. Imzadi 1979  02:55, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Changing a link in Template:TFAfooter

Shameless spam for this tiny suggestion. - theFace 19:47, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Best method for getting current feedback on an older featured article?

Basically, there's this older featured article (Microsoft) that I want to bring up to current standards (that I nom-ed myself no less), but I could use a bit of clarification on MOS changes and various - mostly "drive-by" - user input throughout the years and such. Is FAR still the only way or is peer review acceptable for a featured article? My fear with FAR is that with even slightly controversial subjects - at least in the past - gets vote-happy and rather combative. If the article is really that bad to where it can't be fixed by me alone, that's fine (also, now-FAC-closer Sandy raised a ton of good points at the end of the last FAR that went mostly unnoticed that I'd like clarification and other input on). RN 01:37, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Also, I really do mean years - it's been 3 years since my last serious edits here. I just wanted to keep it a really nice article - it's part of a lot of different wikiprojects of top importance and really doesn't get much input from them. Perhaps I should talk to those first? RN 01:39, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Ask for a peer review at WP:PR.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:41, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Road to the Multiverse

I'd appreciate it if some members active with FAC could contribute to the peer review for the article Road to the Multiverse, as I know once I receive very minimal feedback at peer review, and then nominate the article here, hundreds of issues will be magically discovered that should've been brought up at peer review. So if anyone here could help at the review, I'd really appreciate it. Gage (talk) 21:55, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Sources reviews at FAC

If anyone feels deterred from carrying out a sources review on the FAC page for fear of trespassing on my territory, please feel free. Although I continue to patrol the page in my faux-Ealdgyth capacity, it is a great delight to me when I find that one has already been done. And it might even enable me to do the odd "proper" review. Brianboulton (talk) 15:02, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

I tried out a source review on Central Morocco Tamazight - is there anything I'm overlooking / need to do differently? I don't know anything about the topic, so I can't tell if the author is missing an authoritative source...Nikkimaria (talk) 02:03, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
No, it looks thorough. I know nothing of almost all the subjects on which I check the refs. I basically look at two things: do the references provided look trustworthy and reliable (i.e. from reputable publishers or institutions)? and are they formatted correctly and consistently? Ealdgyth's sterling efforts over the years have largely driven the dodgy sources away from FAC, so I find I rarely have to ask the question "What makes such and such a reliable source?". Subject experts can judge whether the best sources have been used, and whether the sources support the statements cited to them. Much of my work is numbingly tedious nitpicking - checking page range formats, spotting missing ISBNs or the misuse of italics - and tends to irritate people, but it has to be done. Please do more, if you can spare the time. Brianboulton (talk) 18:02, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Whether Template R should be supported or opposed

I've spend over 3 hours discussion template R ({{R}}}, and will not spend any more. I hope a few of you will comment at Template talk:R, expressing your own opinions as no anyone wants WP:CANVASS. --Philcha (talk) 21:40, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

I think I remember someone, possibly MF, saying that most editors who retired have found that maintenance and other chores have taken most of their time. --Philcha (talk) 21:40, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this up. I've left comments. – VisionHolder « talk » 23:38, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Important information for FAC pages coming from WP:MILHIST

Ladies and Gentlemen (and all you other hard working reviewers), when a page comes to FAC from milhist and you determine it needs to be renamed please check the article's talk page and makes sure that the PR and ACR links (if applicable) get moved to the new name as well, otherwise we end up with situations where an article is claimed to hold an assessment or to have been internally peer reviewed (or both) and the links to the alleged PR and/or ACR are red. Case in point: Siege of Godesberg (1583), which was moved to Siege of Godesberg during the FAC, but the move broke the ACR link and the moving party either did not to check for it or checked and did not care. Its fixed now, but for future reference please try to keep this in mind. TomStar81 (Talk) 22:56, 11 July 2010 (UTC)


Is there a rule against editing a featured article candidate once you've commented on it? I've noticed several users take note of several mistakes but make no effort to fix them. Is there a reason why? -- Jack?! 04:47, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

No, there is not; I often fix minor problems as I see them. Ucucha 06:02, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
The FA criteria recognises a need to respond to the FA process in the articles' content under the stability criteria Fasach Nua (talk) 08:05, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
It just seems rather odd and actually quite annoying when one person is telling you everything that is wrong with an article and not contributing towards it at all. It would be nice to see reviewers joining in more in trying to get featured articles up to standard. -- Jack?! 18:48, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Seems to me if they are telling you what they think needs to be improved, this is valuable feedback, and they are in fact contributing to the article. What's to be annoyed about? Personally, as a reviewer, its easier for me (i.e. quicker and hence more efficient) just to type my comments into a text file as I read the article and them dump onto the FAC page. Sometimes I make simple typographical corrections, sometimes not—I would hope that nominators don't get annoyed at me if I don't fix them myself. Sasata (talk) 19:06, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
The only reason I say annoyed is because some people seem much more willing to criticise than to fix. The only time I've been annoyed is when people are vaguely criticising - I think if you are willing to criticise, you should be willing to fix it too. -- Jack?! 19:34, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
By the time an article is thought ready for FAC, there should be no typos so trivial that discussion with the main authors about the implications of a change is unnecessary. If there are still such trivia, it is probably important to record that as part of the review, since lots of them may indicate the article is not in fact ready. Some of us may well find it easier to make simple corrections than describe exactly what must be changed where, and just report how many changes were needed. However, the authors may well make the corrections more thoroughly (catch multiple instances for example) and anyway the review process should not degenerate into "saving the authors the trouble of doing all the boring tidying up," so it is quite reasonable to let the punishment fit the crime and simply note remaining problems. Reviewers editing the article should take care to remain independent—that is probably an argument against their making substantial edits themselves. Mirokado (talk) 19:40, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
I just don't like the whole idea of an article being put up for review or a nomination means a limited number of people can edit it.. -- Jack?! 19:43, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

It's time consuming enough just reviewing an article accurately, and there's always a need for more reviewers, especially with the backlogs. Plus, even the smallest "fix" can be misunderstood and reverted, just wasting time. RN 20:32, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

If a reviewer becomes an editor then they loose their objectivity. Most reviewers give feedback, and it is up to the editors to decide how to act on it, I also think it is useful for editors to bring articles up to code themselves, so that future nominations are in a better shape when they arrive here. Fasach Nua (talk) 22:34, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Depends on what you mean by "editor". Certainly if a reviewer adds content or citations, then they've become a significant contributor, but I don't think I've ever supported an FAC without doing at least a little copyediting on it during the review, and I certainly wouldn't accept that caused me to lose my objectivity. Hell, I've even opposed articles at FAC that I've contributed to myself. Malleus Fatuorum 22:54, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
The way I see it, reviewers are allowed to edit the article (although as Malleus and Fasach have pointed out, depending on what they add they may lose their objectivity), but they are by no means obligated to do so. However, there are certain things that reviewers shouldn't do, like determine English variation, date style or citation style if there's no obvious format already set - those things can be contentious, and the major contributors are the ones that should be making those decisions. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:25, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Proposal about article rating systems and vetting processes at the Village Pump

I have started a new, more general discussion about article assessment and the vetting process at the Village Pump: Proposal: Article rating systems as an informative tool about vetting

Please join the discussion and share you opinion. – VisionHolder « talk » 16:10, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Good news

FAC is rebounding! As of today, we have 31 promoted this month, which is almost on track for our old numbers averaging two per day, and a whole slew of new FACs nominated on the 15th. There are at least eight FACs almost ready to go, except for MOS and image reviews. I found MOS issues in almost every FAC I checked, so those reviews seem to be sliding, and I'd like to see nominators take more responsibility for making sure images pass muster once all other hurdles are cleared, so I don't have to keep pinging for that. Looking good otherwise! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:02, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Good news indeed. :) --mav (reviews needed) 19:38, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

reference only available for a fee... delete or add explanatory text?

  • Article has a reference to a document that is only available for a fee (not a subscription; you order an electronic scan of a document). I have no way to verify the cite. Should I delete it, or add some explanatory text? Tks • Ling.Nut 12:22, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Articles don't have to be available online-- just use the format field of the cite templates to add "fee required", or manually add it in parentheses. If you doubt or want to verify some of the content, you can request a quote from the editor who added the source, and use the quote field of the cite templates to add it to the citation. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:26, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Tks :-) • Ling.Nut 12:27, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Reading level for advanced topics

I've got some ideas that I'm thinking about bringing up at the Village Pump (policy) regarding reading level for articles on advanced topics, but I wanted to get a general feel for the opinions here first. Quite often, I see reviewers who generously review articles outside of their expertise (which is great!), but often comment that the article is hard to understand, usually citing WP:NOT, specifically WP:NOTTEXTBOOK. Often the emphasis in on the following statements:

  • "A Wikipedia article should not be presented on the assumption that the reader is well versed in the topic's field."
  • "article should be written in plain terms and concepts that can be understood by any literate reader of Wikipedia without any knowledge in the given field..."
  • "Texts should be written for everyday readers, not for academics. Article titles should reflect common usage, not academic terminology..."

What I don't see is an emphasis on other specifics of the policy, which I'll italicize:

  • "Introductory language in the lead and initial sections of the article should be written in plain terms and concepts that can be understood by any literate reader of Wikipedia without any knowledge in the given field before advancing to more detailed explanations of the topic."
  • "Texts should be written for everyday readers, not for academics. Article titles should reflect common usage, not academic terminology, whenever possible."

So is it just me, or do others feel like these points are often missed during reviews? I have no problem with writing succinct, understandable lead and introductory paragraphs. Although I don't do the best job at it, I usually strive for it. But at some point, more than enough complex terms are going to make their way into the article, thanks to WP:FA Criteria 1b (comprehensive) and 1c (well-researched). You can't stop to explain each and every one. If I'm talking about a dietary study of an extinct animal, and the sources discuss fine details of tooth morphology or cranial anatomy and how the details affect the interpretation, the article can quickly get bogged down with explanations (usually in parentheses). Sometimes the terms can't be explained easily without multiple sentences, paragraphs, or even entire articles, making the following policy quote impossible to follow: "While wikilinks should be provided for advanced terms and concepts in that field, articles should be written on the assumption that the reader will not or cannot follow these links, instead attempting to infer their meaning from the text."

Again, I'm not suggesting I want Wiki articles written as advanced textbooks or journal articles, per se, but I do feel that we should be more flexible with advanced topics. After all, how many readers are going to look up or follow links to Babakotia, Helicobacter pylori, Oryzomys, Cyathus, Homologous recombination, etc.? And even if we could magically explain the terms and concepts that even college professors struggle to get across to advanced students in terms the average reader can understand, what are the odds they'll do more than skim the article? Can these articles stand as starting points for advanced students and researchers, or act as repositories for human knowledge, no matter how complex? (Again, I emphasize my support for keeping text as simple as possible.)

I bring this up because I have begun to wonder if the Wikimedia Foundation might not benefit from making the most of two of its English-based services: English Wikipedia and Simple English Wikipedia. Rather than trying to make editors of advanced content try to squeeze through the special cases in the policy at WP:NOT, why not try to find a way to make the two Wikis work together. For example, if Babakotia is too complicated for most readers, why not eventually require FAC submissions to also include a Simple English (SE) version, either for the article itself or one of its parents (in this case: Sloth lemur), where a more Britannica-like version is provided for readers wanting a general idea without the mind-bending details?

Again, I'm just looking for general feedback. I'm not looking to ruffle any feathers or imply that I don't appreciate any of the reviews that I've had that commented on language complexity. In most cases, I agreed and made much-needed changes. I'm just thinking about the future of English Wikipedia, Simple English Wikipedia, FAC, and maybe other specialized wikis, such as Wikispecies. Why not find a way to make them all work together (in a more cohesive, transparent way than they do now) to provide the most for our readers, both elementary and advanced? – VisionHolder « talk » 02:48, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Babakotia is a piece of cake compared to Homologous recombination, not that is a criticism of either. Where possible I favour making surely the lead, or even a seperate section, contains a full idiot's version, which Babakotia more of less does, but Homologous recombination probably can't do, as the subject is unavoidably very complex. I'd as soon not drag Simple WP in. Johnbod (talk) 03:04, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Admittedly, I may not be familiar with the history and fully intent of Simple English Wiki, so my post from last night may be a little misguided. (I didn't read the Wiki article, just the opening sentences on SE Wiki itself.) Also, comparing Babakotia and Homologous recombination illustrates how articles grow increasingly complex as the topic deepens into specialist territory. Babakotia is a type of Subfossil lemur, which are extinct types of lemurs. Homologous recombination is a type of genetic recombination utilized by the DNA, covered most broadly by the topics of genetics and reproduction. I don't see a two-tier Wiki, where articles use either basic English or are written for experts. Instead, I see articles getting gradually more complex, and I feel they should be written at a level that is appropriate for someone who is just starting out in the field or getting ready to enter the field. Someone looking to enter the field of genetics will have some background in basic biology and chemistry. (The lead and introductory paragraphs, however, should be in plain English because the term "genetics" is a commonly used term.) Someone looking to understand homologous recombination will have a background in genetics and organic chemistry. (Admittedly, the article should have a simple lead and introductory paragraphs in case the beginner in genetics wants a deeper understanding.) A big question for me is whether the FA criteria and Wiki policy can or should facilitate that. – VisionHolder « talk » 11:24, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone other than Johnbod have anything to say on this (forgetting about my mention of Simple WP)? I may bring this up on the policy page soon because the conflict between comprehensiveness and understandability seems to pop up several times a week on talk pages, GACs, and FACs that I'm involved in. I would appreciate more feedback from this crowd before I push any further. – VisionHolder « talk » 13:22, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm with you on this one. While I understand that articles are to be written for a "bright high school student", how does that apply for topics taught at the graduate level, like advanced quantum mechanics? How is it possible to write a FA article on a topic that normally needs several years of undergraduate training in math and physics just to understand the basic concepts? Since Wikipedia is to be the repository of all human knowledge, we should collectively agree how to handle these subjects. This probably isn't the right venue for it, but I'll be watching with interest wherever it goes. I've been meaning to write on some more advanced biochemistry topics I'm familiar with, but haven't because I'm not quite sure how to handle them here. Sasata (talk) 15:51, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, this is difficult. But I think we have to remember that this is an encyclopedia and not a textbook. I try to write articles that in turn make the textbooks easier to digest rather than as a substitute for them. Surprisingly, I think this is less difficult to achieve with broader topics. Viruses, for example are a broad topic that requires huge textbooks to cover in detail, whereas our article only covers the key concepts. Homologous recombination, other the other hand, needs the detail to be comprehensive. Graham Colm (talk) 16:09, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm not promoting the idea of Wikipedia as a textbook, but as a repository of all human knowledge, it seems to me like this issue needs to be addressed. Do we simply need a little more clarification on the policy, or do we need to look deeper and start a more general discussion? Given that my proposals and discussions usually get misinterpreted, I'm no longer certain that I want to carry the torch for this. That's why I'm hoping to see a lot more interest from the people who also deal with this issue, either in the sciences or advanced studies in other disciplines and areas of interest (such as the arts). – VisionHolder « talk » 16:52, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me that if an article requires an advanced reading level for full comprehension, it's not something we should consider a problem per se. That is the reality in the case of a great many articles (and such potential for enrichment of the encyclopedia is perhaps not adequately reflected in the current policy wording at WP:NOT). That said, I believe we really do need to include, as much as is possible, on a case by case basis, a way into the topic for the everyday reader. If that latter is something we're currently neglecting to consider at FAC, the reason may be understandable enough: reviewers who don't have knowledge of the relevant area leave the review to those who do; meanwhile, the latter are not best positioned to automatically notice whether or not the everyday reader is catered for. Assuming that is the explanation, I suggest we need to identify a reviewer role of "everyday reader" of an article whose subject matter is advanced. Exactly how that takes effect (and is or is not formalized), and whether the FA criteria need expanding to address the concern, appear to be moot points. PL290 (talk) 17:55, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
WP:DETAIL is a relevant policy for this discussion. From my reading of the guideline, it suggests that level of detail be gauged by an article's position in a parent-child hierarchy of specificity on a subject. I think most editors would agree that increasing level of detail tends to decrease accessibility.
Given that, some articles on specific and advanced subjects will be less accessible than normal. This is true even among some of our featured articles -- consider Distributed element filter, RNA interference, and other technical FAs in engineering and science. In my opinion, these featured articles are written in a style appropriate for undergraduates in electrical engineering and molecular biology, not high school students. However, those subjects are on specific, advanced subjects have discernible parent articles, where readers without background should be able to get a less detailed and more accessible overview of the subject. Because of that, at least to me, the relative inaccessibility of 'Distributed element filter' and 'RNA interference' and others is not a significant problem.
I agree with Sasata that there should be clearer guidelines for level of detail in featured articles on specific and advanced topics, like those typically covered in undergraduate or graduate courses. If there were clearer guidelines on this, the process of writing featured articles in these areas would be more efficient. From my experience, using existing featured articles on advanced topics is unreliable when trying to calibrate the appropriate level of detail for similarly advanced articles. Emw (talk) 18:11, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
This is a topic that's actually very timely for me right now. I think the real answer lies in the hierarchy point that User:Emw brought up. The first key point is that the Intro should always be accessible. But aside from that, I think hierarchy plays a big role. For example, I'm working on several technical articles right now, such as Combustor and Turbine blade. The details of those topics get very technical, very quickly. I wrote the lead in a general manner and included a history/fundementals section. From there, however, I dive into some of those details that are useful for someone looking for a bit more. On the other hand, another article I'm working on, Jet engine, is all at the general level. You *could* go into the nitty gritty in that article, but the editors have chosen not to. Those details are rightfully in the "child" articles. For example, if you want to get to the Combustor details, you get get there via Jet engine to Turbofan to Combustor, with each level getting more detailed. -SidewinderX (talk) 15:32, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
My personal feeling is that WP:NOTTEXTBOOK is intended to emphasise that it's not our business to teach a subject. It shouldn't be used as an argument for avoiding technical writing in the body of an article (though I agree that the lead should at least indicate why a subject is notable in easily-understood terms). I see it more as a question of the way in which we present information rather than the depth of that information; Wikipedia should be as useful a resource for subject experts as for laymen. EyeSerenetalk 19:08, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I think that creating child articles is usually best reserved for articles which push the limits of WP:Article size. It make for disruptive reading if too much is spun off, and I can think of many potential child articles which would lack notability on their own. As to the original point about reading level, my own opinion is that reading level tends to rise to match the reader's interest in the subject. • Astynax talk 20:37, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Perhaps I was using "child article" in the wrong context. In my mind Combustor could be considered a "child" of Jet engine, Gas turbine, Turbojet, etc., because it is an article about a component of all of those.-SidewinderX (talk) 00:12, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Use of Foreign language names

A question has risen in the review of Siege of Godesberg which needs a broader consensus. In other reviews, reviewers have requested that names be consistent w/ those used in maps. Ideally, maps would be in English in the English wiki. In this article, there is no broadly legiblee map of the the territory of the Electorate of Cologne, so one of Wikipedia's mapmakers made one. He categorically refused to put the map names in English (i.e., Rhein remained in German, not Rhine (English), although I specifically asked for this). Furthermore, he asked that we not change it.

A reviewer objects to this. I've interpreted guidelines in favor of consistency: for example, if we use "Rhein" on the map, we use "Rhein" in the text. The reviewer wants to consistently use the English spelling, Rhine, regardless of the text of the map. The mapmaker refused to use the English words. What is the consensus? I'll be happy to change the text to Rhine (instead of Rhein), but I'd like to not have to change it back and forth (AGAIN). auntieruth (talk) 22:39, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

I'd certainly want to avoid using foreign-language terms in running English text, where there's a standard alternative, as a general rule - and "Rhine" is very definitely standard English usage. It doesn't seem right to change the normal practices of article-writing to conform to the style of a supporting illustration. The approach I'd suggest would be to use "Rhine" throughout, and gloss "Rhein" only where directly relevant - in the caption to the map. Shimgray | talk | 22:48, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
With due respect for the labor that went into making the map, it's a disappointing effort, brought down by its lack of a rational naming system. If the mapmaker is going to insist on the German Rhein, why put the English River after it? Again, if insistent on Rhein, why the English Cologne and not Köln?
Since absolute consistency is impossible with such a map—yet it is, at the moment, all that is freely available—my advice is that you use the preferable English nomenclature in the article text. Meanwhile, see if someone is willing to produce a proper map.—DCGeist (talk) 22:50, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
"If you do not want your writing to be edited, used, and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here." means what it says. It would take all of 30 seconds with Inkscape to change the captions. – iridescent 23:13, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
it would take me much more than 30 seconds. I'm a newbie with inkscape. Would you do it? Then I could change to Rhine throughout, and the problem goes away. auntieruth (talk) 00:04, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Would Rhine (Rhein) on first use, as in the geobox and first sentence of Rhine, solve the problem? Finetooth (talk) 23:01, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd be happy to draw up an alternative map - it wouldn't take long and (although iridescent is perfectly correct) might save some aggravation with the original map maker. There'd be German and English versions available as well then. EyeSerenetalk 09:37, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

which style explicitly bids you to put full references in footnotes for one-off cites?

Where is a style guide (point me to the exact page, please) that explicitly states: "If you cite a book only once, put its full reference in the footnotes, not the References or Bibliography section; if you cite it more than once, use a shortened footnote, and put the full reference in a later section"? • Ling.Nut

That is how I do it, but I don't know of a style guide that says so. It is just how I learned to ref.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:33, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I almost always put books in a source section (not in the text), whether I use them once or multiple times, because it decreases mess in the text. Then I use a short note. I don't think a restriction against adding books to the text multiple times exists. I've also done it that way, but having the citation in the text was awful. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 19:38, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I've also done it both ways, and echo the belief of there not being such an "official" restriction. Listing a one-off book/article source completely in the footnotes caused confusion in one of my past FACs, so I stopped for the most part and only do so with web-based sources. Like most formatting, it's subjective and up to the primary contributors. Is someone holding up an FAC because of it or something? María (habla conmigo) 19:45, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
That's easy; there isn't one. Malleus Fatuorum 20:07, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
OwhereOwhereOwhereOwhereOwhereOwhere did this <adjective deleted> practice start on Wikipedia, then? I see it again and again and again, and every single time it's more annoying to me than watching a Three's Company marathon surrounded by munchkins with nose rings singing Verdi off key... I don't want to do that again unless there is at least one style guide that explicitly bids writers to do it. • Ling.Nut 20:50, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I do it that way if it's a work that's not particularly related to the article subject but is just being used for background context. To me, it makes things more confusing to readers if there's a book on an unrelated subject in the bibliography. – iridescent 21:14, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
More confusing than not knowing where to look for a reference? I'm working on Six-Day War, and there's eight million references by Oren, eight million books all starting with the words "Six Day War", two different Segevs... etc. But anyhow, to each his own. If I review FACs again, every single time I see this style, I will add a one- or two-sentence comment to the effect that this style does not exist outside Wikipedia (unless we are all mistaken), and is highly inconvenient to those folks who actually attempt to track down references.• Ling.Nut 21:27, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
These kinds of controversial articles seem to attract the add-a-fact-throw-a-source-into-the-text type of editing. For Catholic Church I spent some period of time pulling all the books out of the text and having them only in sources. But I've noted the source creep has started again. It's hard to tend an article like that. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 21:43, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but I am railing against a systemic practice rather than a source-rot phenomenon. • Ling.Nut 21:52, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Are citations required at the end of every sentence?

An editor has insisted that citations are required at the end of every sentence; even if an entire paragraph is cited to one source, he claims that every single sentence in that paragraph must duplicate that citation. His argument is that someone might later come along, insert new material in the middle, or break the paragraph, and then the initial sentences have lost their citation. I have explained to him that citations need only be at the end of the group of sentences, per Featured Article requirements, and that if someone breaks a paragraph cited to one source, then they should insert the duplicate citation at that point. Thoughts? Jayjg (talk) 00:31, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

No, unless there are quotes or subjective claims in the middle, or complicated non-integer stats and the like. It's true that if a person later adds something in the middle they should also reiterate the original cite that also contributes, but it's unlikely to happen YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 00:38, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree. Since many FA paragraphs are drawn from a single source, it would clutter the article with footnote numbers to do that.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:10, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm supposed to be nice. So I won't say anything. Carry on. • Ling.Nut 07:53, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
That editor is wrong. Malleus Fatuorum 14:25, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
The point isn't helped by Wikipedia's software, which in this aspect I think could stand to be improved. It would be nice for a reader to be able to hover over a citation, and have highlighted exactly what text in that paragraph is supported by that citation. We can't do that however, so I tend to use citations only on outlandish suggestions. Anything obvious, like "the sky is sometimes blue" doesn't need citing. I'd say that 99% of what I write in an FAC is fully cited, however there are instances where something is so blatantly obvious that it isn't worth cluttering the prose up. Sometimes I'll insert a hidden note to that effect. Parrot of Doom 20:55, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Where does it say explicitly that a wikiproject cannot decide if its article titles should be italicised or not?

Because that's what appears to be happening on Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Eagle (comic)/archive1. Its pretty bloody annoying to see people objecting on this basis, and then presenting no real arguments to support their case. As far as I've been able to tell (and I have looked around, believe me), it is the Wikiproject that decides if their article titles should be italicised. That's what happened for species articles, and nobody objects to that. So why are people objecting when a comic Wikiproject makes the same decision?

Do such people realise just how bloody annoying it is to put in a load of effort creating one of the best subject resources on the internet, and then oppose its promotion because of five slanted letters? Never mind the factual accuracy, the quality of the sources used, the amount of time spent, no, lets just object because something looks different.

/rant Parrot of Doom 18:48, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Er, its articles? /rant. The guideline ("an English Wikipedia naming convention ... that editors should attempt to follow") states,

It is technically possible to display formatting in titles using DISPLAYTITLE. A template, {{italic title}}, exists to display the title in italics. This should be used only in special cases – currently its only common use is for academic journals, taxonomic genera and species.

PL290 (talk) 19:20, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
My experience with articles that fall under WP:LGBT are that wikiprojects don't own shit, and further, are unable to influence any stylistic or content-related issues in any specific article. Wikiprojects are simply groups of like-minded editors who track articles. --Moni3 (talk) 19:22, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
(ec) That is a good point, but you currently have 2 opposes which say they are purely on those grounds, & indeed don't otherwise comment on the article. You've explained your position, & it is up the the FA delegate to decide whether to ignore them or not. Personally I think comic titles should probably not be italicised, if it was up to me, but I respect the Projects's capacity to choose a convention. If the delegate agrees, the opposes are in effect not "actionable". Johnbod (talk) 19:24, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Heh. I think books, journal articles, etc, that we would normally italicise in bibliographies should also use the template to display in italics in the title of the article. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:25, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree. The key phrase is surely "currently its only common use is for academic journals, taxonomic genera and species", which apart from not being proscriptive appears to be out of date, as the comic project's example shows. It seems absurd to me to display journal titles in italics but not books or comics. Malleus Fatuorum
Since nobody seems to have actually linked it, this is the discussion in which that "academic journals, taxonomic genera and species" compromise was agreed. – iridescent 19:34, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Not so; academic journals aren't mentioned there, as far as I can see. But that only proves the point that we don't need to limit italic titles to taxonomic groups (which is what some of the opposers of Eagle were saying). Ucucha 19:39, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
My apologies for the poor grammar in my post up there, but steam was gushing from my ears and my face was a particularly deep shade of beetroot. What really grates though is that as with FACs with lots of comments, many other editors will just pass by them subconsciously thinking "hmmm, not ready yet obviously". It really boils my piss to have an article objected to over a minor formatting issue. I'd rather see it archived because people didn't like the grammar, or sources, or because they thought it lacked something in some area. At least then I could do something about it. Parrot of Doom 20:12, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
There are several things that could be done, including making a small change to {{infobox comic book title}} to introduce a new parameter to optionally switch italics off, but as per the discussion above, that just seems like pointless busywork. Malleus Fatuorum 20:23, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Thou shalt not consider who wrote this policy page
But why can't people see beyond what is written on a policy page, and consider a) who wrote that page, and b) that the page doesn't actually support their position? Am I expecting too much, or being obnoxious? Parrot of Doom 20:31, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Is it at all relevant that the original Eagle (not the relaunched version) displayed its title in italic form? Brianboulton (talk) 20:44, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Not really, I think if we looked down that route we'd have people wanting specific fonts for certain titles. I remember the fuss over my use of the long s in articles, I shudder to think how people would view that... Parrot of Doom 20:51, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Since you ask "Am I expecting too much, or being obnoxious?", it seems to me you're not expecting enough! Not expecting enough of policy—to be meaningful, helpful to you, and changeable. Having raised the question on 28 June, why not try and get the guideline changed? Perhaps it should include comics as one of the special cases, or perhaps even scrap the idea of special cases altogether—but there just might be a valid reason for the restriction (it didn't come from nowhere). Instead, here we are a month later, unclear about the basis for the restriction, and expecting the guideline to simply be ignored. Well, you asked! :) PL290 (talk) 20:56, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I've made a minor change to the policy page to imply that taxonomic articles aren't the only instances where one might find an italicised title (I did also mention this on the policy talk page), but really the best solution would be to edit that policy page so as to summarise how that decision was arrived at. I believe that would be something like "Presently, only certain articles have italicised titles, such as blah blah blah. The decision on whether or not to apply italics to articles usually rests with the Wikiproject concerned." I must admit though, I find such discussions incredibly tedious, and tend instead to stick to articles, which I believe are my strong point. Parrot of Doom 21:03, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
STOP PRESS Had you braved that guideline's talk page, you would have found the following entry, made by an editor on 14 May, which has provoked no opposition:

Comic books

The addition of {{italic title}} to {{Infobox comic book title}} has effectively made italics the standard for comic book titles. I have no particular opinion on this matter, I just thought it should be noted.

Wonders will never cease! Your case seems to have already been established. PL290 (talk) 21:31, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
One of my main reasons for opposition to it is its inconsistency of implementation. If this formatting is such a norm like Parrot is stating, then why do only a few at the most of the comic-related FA/GA's use it? Most of the articles that Parrot cites for its use are low-class articles, while FA's like The Adventures of Tintin or Krazy Kat do not? All other media articles which should be italicized under this notion (such as movies, films, books, etc) do not, so allowing this would only promote inconsistency throughout Wikipedia. It should be used either as all or nothing, IMO. Ωphois 23:11, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Erm, those are comic strips, not comics. Parrot of Doom 23:22, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
They still fall under the comics wikiproject. Ωphois 23:26, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
You're missing the point. The convention is that comic titles are italicised, but the titles of comic strips are not. Consider Roy of the Rovers vs Roy of the Rovers, for instance. Malleus Fatuorum 23:38, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
But like I've been saying, I'm just voicing my concerns. Wikipedia is based on consensus, which it appears you have. Ωphois 23:29, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Personally I agree with Ophois, & those who don't like the convention, but an FAC on one article should not stand or fall on following what seems to be an established local convention. No doubt if the project policy changed the PofD would happily change this article to conform. The species etc may be different, & are at least in foreign, but really either all types of titles italicised in text should be italicised in article titles, or none of them. I'd strongly support the latter. God only knows how the debate linked above came to the precise conclusion it did; there was evident strong pro-italic feeling from the scientists, but otherwise no consensus at all & little mention of academic journals or other copyrightable works. Plus it was on template talk page!Johnbod (talk) 23:32, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I think part of the problem here is that the "consensus" invoked as to italics in comics articles was scant—only three ayes, really, which is small even by Wiki "consensus" gatherings. This really hasn't been hashed out properly since the last big RfC, but I'm not sure FAC articles (while perhaps an effective venue) are the place to do it either. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 23:51, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I've opened a Rfc on the topic, so I will remove my opposition and see what the consensus is. Ωphois 00:07, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
That's here. Johnbod (talk) 01:06, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

RFC: Changes to Football squad templates to comply with WP:MOSFLAG

A change was made to the Football squad templates to make it comply with MOS and it was reverted in dispute. Thus an RFC (Template talk:Football squad player#RFC: Changes to Football squad templates to comply with WP:MOSFLAG) is raised. The RFC is brought to the attention here because the use of current Football squad templates in associate football (soccer) articles violates the MOS, thereby failing WP:WIAFA #2 ("does not follow style guidelines"). Nominators, however, cannot resolve this violation on their own because WP:FOOTY enforces the use of said templates, preventing their removals or replacements with substitutes (most editors do not know how to change the templates). By participating and helping to achieve a consensus, the decision (whether the template is brought into compliance with MOS, or it is decided they should be exempt from MOS) would help to resolve any future disagreements by avoiding opposes on grounds of violation against "Accompany flags with country names". Jappalang (talk) 21:44, 23 July 2010 (UTC)



Is it customary to close a nomination with three supports, when all issues have been addressed, while an editor is still reviewing? --William S. Saturn (talk) 16:40, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Karanacs has restored the nomination[4]. Dabomb87 (talk) 16:50, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. I apologize for my initial reaction.--William S. Saturn (talk) 16:58, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

WP:Featured article candidates/The Basement Tapes/archive1

Recently this nomination was closed. Apparently the archiving was done before the closure notice was added, which meant that one support comment was noted as being after archiving even though there was nothing at that point to indicate that archiving had happened. As editors are not mind-readers wouldn't it be better to put the closure notice on before archiving so that editors know what is going on? The nomination had been at FAC for just 23 days and progress had been made so why was it closed so abruptly? –– Jezhotwells (talk) 22:23, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Just addressing the idea of having closure notices precede archiving, I can think of two arguments against it:
  • I don't think we want, even briefly, noms with closure notices appearing on the master FAC page.
  • While doing closure notices first would likely cut down on the potential for the kind of missed connection that occurred, it could never eliminate it entirely. There could (and, over time, surely would) be cases where a reviewer started writing a declaration just before a closure notice was posted, only to discover the notice after finishing. In this scenario, the discovery would be made via edit conflict, so the reviewer would have the choice of whether or not to post the belated declaration—though I'm not sure that would constitute an improvement.
No system is perfect, and there's room in almost any system for betterment. But what happened in this case is sufficiently rare that I'm not sure it calls out for a procedural change.—DCGeist (talk) 02:18, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
The only thought I had was as follows. Clearly it's simplest and best if the delegates can take a single action to promote/archive a nom. Currently that action is to remove the nom from the list on the master page, and the bot (I believe) uses that fact to do the rest. I note Dan's possible aversion above to the idea of closure notices visible on the master page, but I wonder if we should consider accepting—and even welcoming—such, particularly if the one action taken by the delegates became placing archive tags around the discussion. The bot could then respond to that by doing everything else (which would now include removing the entry from the master list). I agree that we can never address the fact that an editor could be preparing a response just at the moment a delegate promotes/archives a nom, but let's not forget that closure notices are only used in special cases, so there's currently usually a much longer window of time when responses could arrive after archiving. So I believe this change would still bring a significant improvement, by giving clear visibility of what's happened. PL290 (talk) 06:53, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't always add closure notices, as the bot usually runs not long after I archive them. There have been relatively few instances of declarations in the interim. (I did add them today, as I'm promoting/arching on a day the bot doesn't usually run.) Another potential timing issue (one that we've long faced and won't likely be able to solve), is that Sandy and I generally look over the whole list at FAC before taking action. This means that the version of the page we are looking at may not be the most recent, if a reviewer made changes in that little window between when we opened the page and when we took action. Reviewers likewise may open the page, spend an hour or so on a review, and not realize until they go to post their comments that the page was archived 58 minutes before. I remember complaining to Sandy about this when I was a reviewer, but neither she nor I can find any way around the problem. Karanacs (talk) 14:26, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Karanacs, also, FAC pages are closed when they are removed from WP:FAC, and we add the closed template to the extent we have time to do so. It would be extremely rare to close a FAC when one declaration would make a difference anyway, and discussion can continue on article talk-- the closed template is merely a courtesy if we think we're closing a FAC sufficiently ahead of bot processing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:52, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
It would be interesting to see the rationale for closing this nomination. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 23:03, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

The rationale is clearly stated at Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates
* actionable objections have not been resolved;
* consensus for promotion has not been reached;
* insufficient information has been provided by reviewers to judge whether the criteria have been met; or
* a nomination is unprepared, after at least one reviewer has suggested it be withdrawn.
I would guess that the reason for closing was principally the second given, as the majority of contributors were neutral Fasach Nua (talk) 18:38, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Yep (and 23 days is certainly not abrupt, rather, it is a very long FAC); considering the recent backlog, perhaps nominators are forgetting that well prepared nominations used to routinely clear FAC in six days? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:45, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thanks for the explanations, please accept my opinion that the FAC process is somewhat obscure to those relatively new to it. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 22:40, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Flag urgent FACs directly here

I have a suggestion: instead of maintaining the FAC urgents page, why not show an "urgent" flag next to the nom in the main list here? What I have in mind is that instead of the direct transclusion currently used:

{{Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Rivet/archive1}}

we employ a template, called, say, FAC-entry:

{{FAC-entry |article=Rivet |archive=1 |urgent=no}}

The template would obviously assemble params and transclude the nom, but would additionally show, say, a red exclamation mark or other symbol if urgent=yes. Having this direct visual cue on the same page would bring urgent noms more immediately to reviewers' attention (and probably to more reviewers' attention); additionally, it would reduce maintenance, since there would be no need to take any action to remove noms from the urgents list when they get archived/promoted. On the strength of the small amount of playing with templates that I've done, I think this is possible to do quite easily (though I could of course be missing something). What do others think about the idea? PL290 (talk) 18:37, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

What is the best way to let potential reviewers know the nominator will be away

I nominated Sweet Track some weeks ago (nom) and believe all the comments raised so far have been addressed. I am going to be away from 7-20th August and wondered what is the best way to let those who may have questions or comments about the nomination know that I will be away and have no internet access during that time?— Rod talk 21:13, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Put a note in the FAC. Hamiltonstone recently did the same in WP:Featured article candidates/Minnie Pwerle/archive1. Ucucha 21:14, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks - done.— Rod talk 21:24, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Loretta Jones

This candidate has detailed comments, but all are concerned either with images or sources. It needs some review of the content. The article doesn't appear on the "urgent" list, but perhaps a reviewer will give it some attention. Brianboulton (talk) 16:48, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

His Band and the Street Choir

Yet again there have been no reviews other than sources and referencing for this article so far. I know that reviewers are few at the moment, but I've nominated this three times and for two of them I've had minimal feedback. This time I added a note at wikipedia talk:wikiproject albums page, but still no luck. This is a clear floor in the FA reviewing system, as some articles have to be restarted because the reviews are too long, while others don't receive any reviews at all. I would like to review articles at FAC in the future, but I'd like to have an article passed before I do, so I know how to get an article to that standard.  Kitchen Roll  (Exchange words) 16:17, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Could there be a consistent policy on fair use of seals / logos / flags in FAs?

There are a number of articles about subjects that will tend to have copyrighted seals / logos / flags. For example cities, states, and universities often have a seal (and may also have a flag), government agencies have a seal or logo, and businesses and sports teams will have a logo. I know of at least two recent FACs on American cities where there was an oppose for use of a copyrighted seal (Kent, Ohio and Stephens City, Virginia). At the same time, there are many FAs that use such fair use seals or logos like Youngstown, Ohio, Girl Scouts of America, Elderly Instruments, and Baltimore City College.

My personal experience is that for many organizations like cities or colleges or teams or businesses, the use of such a seal or logo is one of the primary ways of identifying physical assets and members of the organization (city trucks have the seal on the door, college buildings have a seal or logo on them, players for sports teams wear the logo on thier uniform, business cards and stationery have the corporate or school logo, and so on). I realize that some of these will be free images, but it seems to me that there should be consistency on fair use - if it is OK for an article on a business to use that logo under fair use, then why not a city seal? Or if the legal opinion is that fair use is not valid for such logos in current FACs, then why not remove them from all FAs?

I am trying to start a discussion here, with the hope that some sort of final decision can be arrived at that will simplify images reviews at FACs (either they are allowed in most cases or not). My personal opinion is that they should be allowed in almost all cases where they are official and used for identification purposes. It may be that a legal opinion is needed. I finally want to say that I am not an image expert, and appreciate the work of everyone who reviews iamges here, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:11, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, I'll make a preemptive comment. Tonight I nominated Capitol Loop, and it currently has a fair-use marker at the top of the infobox. Unlike other state highways in Michigan, it doesn't use a marker design that dates back to 1919 or is a work of the federal government. The only way you'd know you were on the roadway in question though is that sign. Except for a few usages on guide signs to direct motorists to the Capitol Loop, the only signs used are along the loop itself. Now, I've also e-mailed my contacts at MDOT to verify that the department hasn't released the copyright from this sign, but until they reply sometime next week, I have to assume that there is a copyright. This should be acceptable fair-use though to properly identify something that's rarely identified any other way. Imzadi 1979  03:22, 8 August 2010 (UTC) I've received confirmation today that the marker was not copyright protected, so the fair-use restrictions don't apply. Disregard my comments to that effect. I do agree though that where there is sufficient identification related to a logo or seal, it should be used in the article, and FA status shouldn't be denied to the article solely on the grounds that it uses a fair-use image. Imzadi 1979  21:55, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I would argue that seals, like logos, cover images, and the like, falls under this concept of "Image for identification", where the image is used with what is an acceptable weaken treatment of the NFC (typically of #8) but under very strict concepts:
  1. Only on the article that that image directly represents (for example, a company logo can only be used on the page about the company, not its subsidiaries or products)
  2. Only one image per article can be treated in this manner; additional NFC images must have normal allowance per the NFC (like alt. album covers)
  3. The image is expected to appear in the infobox or equivalent summary block at the top of the article.
  4. All other aspects of NFC are followed as necessary (like including rationales, licenses, low-resolution, sourcing, etc.)
Now, I will preface this that I personally think this allowance is too much; WP can stand to tighten up this "image for identification" (as it causes implementation issues when you start getting into arguments on discographies or articles that approach that but really are editor-selected agglomerate articles, and so forth). I've tried to propose this but I realize that consensus is far from this view; in practice the above outline of "images for identification" are the majority of cases when this occurs. Unless there is a more global aim to cut down these types of images, then I believe there needs to be a global consensus that a cover, logo, seal, or other single non-free image used for identification cannot be questioned for failing NFC#8 (though all other parts of NFC are fair game). --MASEM (t) 04:43, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Instructions for lengthy commentary

The FAC instructions currently read: "Alternately, reviewers may hide lengthy, resolved commentary in a cap template with a signature in the header. This method should be used sparingly, because it can cause the FAC archives to exceed template limits." However, this use this technique is not typically welcomed in reality. Why not change it to something like: "Alternately, reviewers may transfer lengthy, resolved commentary to the FAC archive talk page, leaving a link in a note on the FAC archive." (if this is indeed a preferable way of doing this). Sasata (talk) 04:16, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

yes! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:20, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Ok, done. Sasata (talk) 20:53, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Copyediting for logical quotation compliance

First, let me say that I remain opposed to logical quotation on Wikipedia, as I have been for years, and the following reflects the main reason why:

One of the basic tasks of a FAC copyedit is to bring the text of an article into compliance with our Manual of Style. Perhaps the most vexatious aspect of this is how to enforce our logical quotation style, assuming we do not have the time, capability, or crazed obsessiveness to eyeball every single quotation at its source for the original terminal punctuation.

Here's the approach I take:

  • Uniformly move any "terminal" comma outside the quote marks, since that's the proper position in probably 95 percent or more of all cases. Pretty uncontroversial...I think.
  • For quoted fragments of a word or two (or three?) followed by a period, uniformly move the period outside the quote marks. Similarly uncontroversial...I think.
  • For any longer quoted passage longer, I leave the period where I find it. I believe this is in accord with our guideline: "This punctuation system does not require placing final periods...outside the quotation marks all the time but rather maintaining their original positions in (or absence from) the quoted material" and "When quoting a sentence fragment that ends in a period, some judgment is required: if the fragment communicates a complete sentence, the period can be placed inside." More specifically, I can not assume that the contributors have mistakenly placed a period inside quotation marks that should go outside, and I think it would be an egregious waste of time to demand verification of each such instance.

It is concerning this last point where I have observed a difference of opinion, prompting my interest in hearing others' views on the matter. The alternative editing approach I have observed calls for placing all final periods outside the quote marks except where the quoted passage is a complete sentence. That has the benefit of greater visual consistency (though if consistency were a primary concern here, of course, we would scrap the whole darn LQ system).

As a specific example to mull over, here is a passage from a current FAC, Statue of Liberty:

The drive captured the imagination of New Yorkers, especially when Pulitzer began printing the notes he received from contributors. "A young girl alone in the world" donated "60 cents, the result of self denial."[3] One donor gave "five cents as a poor office boy's mite toward the Pedestal Fund." A group of children sent a dollar as "the money we saved to go to the circus with."[4] Another dollar came in from a "lonely and very aged woman."[3]

I would leave the periods alone. What would you do?—DCGeist (talk) 08:44, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I would move the final two periods outside of the quotes, as otherwise their containing sentences are not terminated by periods. Malleus Fatuorum 14:09, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand how the final two periods are different in that regard from the first two.—DCGeist (talk) 19:42, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
The final two are at the end of their respective sentences. Malleus Fatuorum 19:45, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Very confusing. This period is also at the end of its respective sentence: "A young girl alone in the world" donated "60 cents, the result of self denial." And so is this one: One donor gave "five cents as a poor office boy's mite toward the Pedestal Fund." There are a total of four periods inside quote marks in the excerpted passage. Would you actually move just the last two outside, or would you move all four?—DCGeist (talk) 20:12, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Re: "A young girl alone in the world" donated "60 cents, the result of self denial." I only glanced over the text, and I'd thought the whole sentence was a quotation. I'd probably be inclined to rewrite that slightly to avoid the LQ issue as "A young girl alone in the world [donated] 60 cents, the result of self denial." In summary, I'd move three and rewrite to avoid the problem with the fourth. Malleus Fatuorum 20:20, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't like LQ either, but Dan won't like what I would do with those full stops: given a free hand in the matter (i.e., when not adhering to a convention for collaborative work), I would put them all outside the quotes. They belong to the article's sentences, not the quoted material. What could be more illogical than the following: given that we would say
  • After a young girl donated "60 cents, the result of self denial", another donated five.
we demonstrate that inclusion of that particular full stop has nothing to do with our wishes about the way the quotation is reproduced. Therefore, by insisting on
  • "A young girl alone in the world" donated "60 cents, the result of self denial."
we surely demonstrate that all we have achieved is a stylistic convention—and not even one that meets its declared aim (per our MoS) of "maintaining their original positions in (or absence from) the quoted material", since, when terminal puctuation is not present, it is "either known not to be in the source, its presence in the source is uncertain, or its coverage within the quotation is considered unnecessary", leaving the reader never knowing anyway. I prefer a convention that actually is logical and consistent: never include terminal punctuation, unless it makes sense to do so given the paragraph structure within which the quote appears and the terminal punctuation's coverage within the quotation is considered necessary. PL290 (talk) 16:15, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Pondering... It does sound logical and relatively consistent, but what about this very common sort of case, where we quote a complete sentence within an article sentence:
He said, "I don't want to hear any more."
Given that we could easily recast thus
"I don't want to hear any more", he said.
doesn't the logic of your approach demand that we move the period outside the quote marks in the first case?
This even applies to multiple sentences:
He said, "I don't want to hear any more. I'm bored." / "I don't want to hear any more. I'm bored", he said.
If I understand correctly, your approach calls for:
He said, "I don't want to hear any more. I'm bored".
I'm not sure anyone's ready for that.—DCGeist (talk) 19:42, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps not everyone, but (and I hate it when people say this when discussing the merits of a stylistic arrangement, but bear with me!) I myself might recast to avoid it (although I actually don't think it's too bad: like any convention, it becomes "right" once you accept and employ the convention). The fact is, it seems to me, LQ condones an artificial exception to the rules of punctuation should the quote be located at the end of its enclosing sentence. Apparently the requirement for the enclosing sentence itself to have terminal punctuation can be ignored. That's my whine about LQ (though I can happily work with the convention if the majority wish to do so). What's yours, by the way? PL290 (talk) 07:55, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
The basic rule of LQ is to "place all punctuation marks inside the quotation marks if they are part of the quoted material and outside if they are not." It is simply impossible to properly enforce LQ in an editing environment like Wikipedia's where a given article may attract hundreds of contributors, where many contributors are unable or don't care to access many of the sources of quoted material, and where there is no professional pressure on contributors to adhere to a given punctuation style.
Wikipedia's particular editing environment logically demands a punctuation style where commas and periods at the end of quoted material are consistently placed, so any contributor can tell instantly that this is right and should be left alone and that this is wrong and can and should be corrected on sight. Given all the things there are to think about in perfecting a Wikipedia article, we should not have to think about the positioning of every terminal period in quoted material, but LQ demands that we do. We should not have a system open to different interpretations about proper editing practice concerning such a nonsubstantive point that could so easily be settled by an alternate, widespread system...yet we do.—DCGeist (talk) 12:22, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Would it not have been a good idea to notify me, as nominator, that what remains of my hard work was under discussion?--Wehwalt (talk) 16:26, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
"What remains of [your] hard work"? Statue of Liberty is not at the center of this discussion; an excerpt from it was used as an example to focus discussion on a widely applicable editing question. Do you have a view on the matter that you'd care to share with us?—DCGeist (talk) 19:42, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Disagree. The discussion involves an evaluation of the appropriateness of words that I had written, and also nominated, expressing my view that the article is FA worthy and generally MOS complaint, absent the usual rough edges. It is appropriate to let me know. And are you saying I did not work hard on building the article?--Wehwalt (talk) 19:48, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Get that chip off your shoulder, nobody's talking about you or your hard work. It's quite clear already that there is not universal agreement about the interpretation of logical punctuation anyway, so it's hardly going to affect your FAC one way or the other. Malleus Fatuorum 19:59, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
  • First, "A young girl alone in the world" donated "60 cents, the result of self denial." should clearly be a single quotation: "A young girl alone in the world [donated] 60 cents, the result of self denial." The first is awkward to read: not only does the reader have to cope with multiple quotation marks, but an ungainly comma two words into the second chopped-up half. However, if we're talking skillful quoting—and we desperately need a show/tell tutorial on this—you'd be inclined to reduce the ambit of the quotation marks to fix up the punctuation (two errors): "A young girl alone in the world [donated] 60 cents" as a result of self-denial. This is easier if the context is such that you can still show it's the intended meaning of the original speaker/writer (or when quoting a translation, in which your licence to fix is much greater); sometimes it is not possible, I concede, but in The Signpost, which quotes a huge amount, I'm constantly reducing ambits to smooth readers' pathways, minimising the bump-bump of shitty English in sources.
  • Second, I will revert any editor who wantonly goes around shifting LQ periods into the ambit of the quotation, unless they can assure us they have checked the original text in every instance. Why would you bother, anyway? It is extremely rare for a reader to need to know that a clause finished a sentence. Show me an example, please.

    Clauses are much much much much more important than sentences, even in written mode (see Halliday, for example). Sentences are not a basic structural unit in language. This is why we can often treat the boundaries between sentences like putty, relocating, turning into semicolons, etc. But fooling with the clauses within is typically a deeper structural matter. This mania for tying off quoted fragments as though they must be endorsed as coming to a halt (or a skip) in the original should be bucked for what it is—anally retentive.

  • Third, I believe—and would be pleased to see endorsed in the MoS—that a quotation should never finish with non-final "punctuation mark;" like "that—" or like this:" and that periods should be within where its use in that exact position in the original can be confirmed and we need to know it. Putting false "commas," inside quotation marks inserts grammatically useless information and is usually a falsification of the original. However, there is a class of punctuation marks that do convey essential information, if they are in the original; these must be inserted before the closing quote-marks—like "this!", or "this?" or "this)". And, of course, finall "ellipsis points ...", on the uncommon occasion when it is important for the readers to know the statement was not the end of a sentence. But all too often I see these added unnecessarily. Tony (talk) 01:02, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Tony, I realize this is a general discussion and not specifically about the statue, however I think you are under a misapprehension. The two quotes from the young girl are from the note she sent NOT a secondary source, which I would have flagged inline. The relevant part of the note is "I am a young girl alone in the world, and earning my own living. Enclosed please find 60 cents, the result of self denial. I wish I could make it 60 thousand dollars instead of cents, but drops make the ocean." While your advice is reasonable, it would in effect convert this quotation of a primary source into a secondary source. The paragraph in the article, which of course you are free to view and may have already, should make it clear that all the quoted material is from the notes sent to Pulitzer.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:19, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
The use of direct quotations is not affected by whether the source is primary or secondary, is it? Tony (talk) 04:41, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Tony, we agree about the transgression committed by "any editor who wantonly goes around shifting LQ periods into the ambit of the quotation". The question I am concerned about is proper editing practice when the move would go in the other direction: in terms of general procedure, when you come across a quotation in a WP article longer than a word or two but shorter than a complete sentence, where sentence and quotation end with a period within the quotation marks, do you favor (a) leaving the period alone or (b) moving it outside the the ambit of the quotation?
Of the examples above, perhaps the case is presented most clearly by this: Another dollar came in from a "lonely and very aged woman." Or this: One donor gave "five cents as a poor office boy's mite toward the Pedestal Fund." As an editor—presuming we agree that it is not a useful expenditure of time and energy to hunt down the original source—do you leave the period alone or move it?—DCGeist (talk) 05:06, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I would leave it alone (punctuation before inverted commas, as with ref tags, so it doesn't dangle), though I think we should let writers choose logical or aesthetic punctuation as they see fit, so long as they're consistent. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:10, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Tony, perhaps I wasn't clear on what was a very stressful day. My concern was that the notes from the contributors are of course primary sources, your solution, to combine the two quotes with the word donated in brackets in the middle, would make the reader think that the quotation was from a secondary source. I would say that the question is close enough that we should leave it to the discretion of the article writer to do it as he pleases, so long as he is consistent. In the case at bar, the quotations, complete with punctuation, are consistent and do an adequate job of giving the reader a flavor of the notes which for a period of five months fascinated New York City. We can ask no more, I think.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:57, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Dan and Slim: my practice in copy-editing The Signpost every week (it's full of direct quotations) is not to move periods from inside to outside or the reverse. But I often move a non-final punctuation mark dangling at the end of a quotation from inside to outside, unless it's a case of breaking a statement with a speech tag, where it looks as though the comma is in the original. I've softened over the past year or so WRT periods (not commas), much through talking with WPians about it. Noetica pointed out to me that it's impossible to maintain either internal or external system with complete consistency, but I've lost the email in which he gave a good example of where LQ doesn't work properly; I might buzz him back here to explore this point. I don't think the MoS guidance is well-written, anyway. Tony (talk) 11:02, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
As the scope of the discussion has now broadened, I must add another voice concerning the intrusiveness or otherwise of multiple quoted fragments. In my opinion—notwithstanding the minor question of terminal punctuation placement—the passage above flows absolutely beautifully. Such multiple quoted fragments are highly engaging. The alternative proposed by Malleus and Tony, on the other hand, insertion of annotations in square brackets, I find highly displeasing and disruptive to the reader. I would only ever use such annotations as a last resort, i.e., if I could find absolutely no other way to assemble a sentence which conveyed what was required. (And it hasn't happened yet!) PL290 (talk) 11:07, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm grateful for the praise. I personally find these voices speaking from the very different world of 1885 utterly fascinating, and would not silence them by paraphrase for the world.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:04, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Don Valley Parkway

Since this FAC had two supports, one pending, and no opposes, can I open a new nomination? - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 05:07, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Ask SandyGeorgia (talk · contribs) or Karanacs (talk · contribs) at their talk pages; you may get a quicker response. Dabomb87 (talk) 15:53, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I see one support (Risker); who else am I missing? Only one support might be considered "insufficient information ... to judge whether the criteria have been met" or lack of consensus (not that you asked about its merit - you'd need to ask a delegate about time frame). Эlcobbola talk 17:14, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
According to this post one of the reviewers was about to support (hence "one pending"). Of course, the FAC delegates do not have crystal balls. Dabomb87 (talk) 17:19, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I had read that as a list (i.e. a serial comma). Эlcobbola talk 17:23, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I was referring to this post by Imzadi indicating pending support. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:44, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
FAC is backlogged and reviewers are lacking; please give it about five days to allow other articles a chance. The idea here is for nominators to understand that serious work should be done on the articles before they are nominated, so that FAC won't continue to resemble peer review, with nominations running three weeks. Reviewing some other FACs in the meantime will help lower the backlog. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:12, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
The length and duration of many FAC noms indicate that too many noms are coming here underprepared! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:27, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
I'd agree with you if all the actionable objections hadn't been dealt with before it was removed. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 15:19, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Seems like its removal was rushed, though. What's done is done, I suppose. There were some comments about content lacking and I think I've addressed those with some editing over the last few days, although my changes could probably use some proof-reading. The route map needs work, too and that's very important. Finish up the route map and that should give us time to clean up any minor issues. Then, renominate. ʘ alaney2k ʘ (talk) 16:37, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
More than three weeks is not "rushed"; I'm afraid some folks are forgetting that FAC is not PR, and well-prepared articles routinely clear FAC in six to ten days. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:44, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Reviews lacking

The Urgents template is growing again :)

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Royal National College for the Blind/archive3 is on its third FAC, and has no declarations-- I am loathe to archive a third FAC for lack of feedback. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:40, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

  • I've had a run through with some copyediting, though not source-checking. The non-free use rationale looked OK to me, and that aside the images seemed OK. Hopefully a couple omore regulars will pile in... hamiltonstone (talk) 00:19, 16 August 2010 (UTC)


My impression is that the recent British Museum competition resulted in some increase in interest and activity in the FAC process, as well as some interesting articles.....or am I just looking at this through rose-coloured glasses? Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:53, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

I think you're right. How come WM Australia hasn't got a kitty up to bait people into writing Australian art FAs? YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 03:56, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Yep, I think so. It helps that we've had more high-profile and important (to our readers) articles at FAC lately, such as Statue of Liberty and Manchester United F.C., as well as underrepresented topics (Sentence spacing, Confirmation bias). The more unusual ones don't hurt either (how could Daniel Lambert not reel you in at first sight?) Dabomb87 (talk) 04:02, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Looks like Witty Lama is going to try and make it to the next wikipedia meetup in Sydney next week, so I can hassle him over beers there (there was the Powerhouse Museum thingy last year but maybe we can use the BM/GLAM thingy as a model). Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:29, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I do suspect however, on many projects, that the number of people actually participating is decreasing, in the older days there were more group efforts (excluding FAC diehards and untiring copyedit regulars) but nowadays, from the projects I am in, more of a few people pumping out a lot of FAs YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 02:15, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Disagree that is a FAC issue-- there are less editors everywhere for everything. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:36, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm agreeing with Sandy on this. I've been chalking it up to summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. The weather's been beautiful here and people are busy doing things. My regular Wikiproject partners are all a bit less active than normal, and several of them have not been able to edit much at all, draining numbers there. Imzadi 1979  02:59, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Interesting one to try and quantify - that is, regular/established editors across the 'pedia...and certainly a bigger-picture type issue than can be discussed here. Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:45, 19 August 2010 (UTC)


In this edit my nomination was removed. Was that in error or am I missing something? Sandman888 (talk) Latest FAC 09:43, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Please see WP:FAC/ar. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 10:38, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Also, please note that this is already in the page instructions:

A bot will update the article talk page after the article is promoted or the nomination archived; the delay in bot processing can range from minutes to several days, and the {{FAC}} template should remain on the talk page until the bot updates {{ArticleHistory}}.

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:18, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

An image check request

It's probably unusual for an FAC nominator to make this request, but can one of the regulars give Capitol Loop a review in the image department for its FAC? Any other reviews are appreciated as well, but no one's reviewed the images yet. Imzadi 1979  08:35, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Once all other hurdles are cleared, and several supports are in place, it is good for nominators to seek out an image reviewer, so I don't have to ping. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 10:55, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

2011 wikicup and influencing content building

Some editors might be interested in adding their tuppence worth at Wikipedia talk:WikiCup/Scoring#Award more points for vital articles. I have been musing on how to use wikicarrots rather than sticks to influence content development, which as we all know is at the whim of active contributors :) A few of us have been pondering this in discussing point allocation for the 2011 wikicup and whether introducing some form of multiplier for some types of articles might induce development of audited content in areas currently underrepresented or otherwise more "core" content. Essentially, I am tryin to think of concrete categories that can't be gamed. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:41, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Fixie linkie? Ealdgyth - Talk 23:47, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Link fixed. Dabomb87 (talk) 23:50, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Would something like the importance and diversity criteria at WP:TFAR work? --Nasty Housecat (talk) 15:33, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
It might, but I would not like to see TFA be a part of the WikiCup. It might turn TFA/R into a battleground again, and we're trying to avoid that.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:38, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree and was not suggesting that it should. I just think the TFAR criteria are pretty solid and a variation thereof might work well for the WikiCup. Thanks for clarifying. --Nasty Housecat (talk) 15:45, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
That would be fine. I was just trying to head off any bright ideas!--Wehwalt (talk) 15:52, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
All I think that's needed is some modifiers to point tallies - something like these --> User:Casliber/wikicup scoring to try and bait folks into writing different stuff. I don't think it needs any relation to TFA whatsoever. Casliber (talk · contribs) 16:13, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Eyes needed - "high quality reliable sources" question

I'd like to direct experienced reviewer eyes to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/German Type UB I submarine/archive1. There is some discussion on whether is a "high quality reliable source" as required by 1c. From discussion at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard and previously at WP:SHIPS, it seems that the source may qualify as "reliable". The question then comes as to whether it meets 1c and is a "high quality reliable source." I would appreciate more involvement so that I can accurately judge consensus here. Karanacs (talk) 17:47, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks to all who gave an opinion. I've closed the nomination for now. Karanacs (talk) 19:20, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

RfC on Featured List Criteria section 3b, regarding inclusion criteria for lists

There is currently an RfC in progress at Wikipedia talk:Featured List Criteria concerning criterion 3b, that featured lists must meet the requirements of WP:Stand-alone lists. As this debate seems similar to the occasional debate over whether the WP:FACR need to state that Featured Article Candidates need to meet WP:N, it would be nice for FAC regulars to provide their perspective. Grondemar 03:53, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Image reviews

Some of the image reviews lately have not covered all of crit. 3 of WIAFA; there are two excellent and helpful Dispatches on how to review images at:

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:26, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Feedback on IP Opposes

... please, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:51, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

What? I don't understand.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:53, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
See its contributions; this IP has apparently opposed a few FACs. I think the evaluation of an oppose should rely on the quality of the opposer's argument, not on whether an IP or a registered user happens to have made the oppose. Ucucha 01:58, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Though this is of course uncalled for. Ucucha 01:59, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, well, that is plainly not an actionable oppose and I think the delegate can interject into the discussion and say so. If the IP makes a valid point, then we take it in good faith. I've had IP involvement in my FACs, usually in good faith.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:02, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I hope Sandy will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm relatively certain she wanted feedback on this IP, not IPs in general. Эlcobbola talk 02:04, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Correct, I hope my stance on IPs in general is not in question at this stage in the game :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:25, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps. Well, this IP's contributions range from utterly unhelpful (the one I mentioned; since removed from the FAC) through a mix of helpful comments and random insults to a strongly worded but actionable oppose. Ucucha 02:08, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
The general and the specific are the same, I think. If it is bad, delete it or disregard it. If it is good, use it. Same was for anyone.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:19, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
We have some new nominators, who could be put off by unactionable and rude opposes. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:21, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
It makes a difference whether they are coming from an IP or a autoconfirmed user?--Wehwalt (talk) 02:25, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
No, but in this case, since the editor has no username, I identified him/her by his/her IP-- perhaps that got the discussion here off on the wrong track? I'm hoping that FAC "regulars" will help manage the effect on new nominators. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:29, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'll keep an eye on it, and I can certainly block for disruptive editing after appropriate warning, as can other regulars who are admins.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:38, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! ... but no one has tried talking to him/her yet, explaining how FAC works, what is an actionable oppose, etc. and I prefer to stay out of such discussions so my neutrality/objectivity isn't called into question. His/her declarations are improving, so perhaps someone can help out-- one of the rudest comments was to a very new nominator, and we should try to contain that lest nominators be chased off. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:41, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
OK, bit of a warning now left, and I deleted a few of the worst personal comments at two FACs - didn't want to tinker too much though, lest I alter the tone of the article criticisms as well. hamiltonstone (talk) 03:13, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I didn't like how this user reviewed an article (one of my first) I have nominated. I'm not sure whether to take them seriously or not? I don't like how they presented their comments with bullets and didn't use complete sentences. It's confusing. Mike Allen 04:23, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
See also this and this Brianboulton (talk) 09:06, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, the former already noted. But the point is, he/she doesn't even support graciously. As to Sandy's point that "no one has tried talking to him/her yet, explaining how FAC works", etc. I suspect that this individual knows exactly how FAC works and may well have past experience of it, under a username. Brianboulton (talk) 09:15, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Also, this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:04, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)This personal attack is uncalled for. Aiken (talk) 11:06, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I think he/she should be told to get lost, especially given his comment on his talk page. A few sensible points don't make up for a barrage of abuse. Nominators really don't deserve this. Johnbod (talk) 12:21, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
If the personal attacks and lack of civility can be curtailed, we can always use reviewers. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:25, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Regardless of the language, the attitude behind shows a reviewer who's a long way from being constructive. Johnbod (talk) 12:44, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

It can take some time to get into the spirit of FAC. I'm inclined not to have him walk the plank just yet, though I share Brian's suspicions ...--Wehwalt (talk) 12:50, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, I favour the plank tout de suite. This editor isn't here to help improve articles, but rather to destabilise the FAC page and waste everybody's time. Even if he makes a few valid points, how can anyone negotiate or discuss issues with him? His approach is deeply cynical, he harms the whole process, and he should be shown the door without more ado. Brianboulton (talk) 15:33, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh, great! Thanks to your toute de suite comment, I've got that song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang going through my head.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:46, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Hello. (talk) 03:57, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Obviously their intent here is to be disruptive. And it seems to be working... Mike Allen 04:09, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Not really. For someone that is actually disrupt, see the opposer above in butterfly. (talk) 04:04, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I think you're doing better—keep the critical attitude, don't keep the personal comments. Ucucha 04:13, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
You're calling me an "Opposer"? Why don't you find something better to do than disrupt Wikipedia and insult editors.--PeterGriffinTalk2Me 04:28, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Obviously I'm not calling you an "opposer". I'm calling the person who opposed (Baratayuda) above me the opposer and the disruptive one. Not sure how you would misunderstand since it's your article, you never said "oppose" and you yourself called him disruptive. (talk) 04:35, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Also please don't do anything bad to me. I promise to be good. (talk) 04:40, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Well no, at first glance I didn't understand it that way. Yes I agree with you about Barayatuda being disruptive. Your comments are all good and understood, however there was no need for the insults. My suggestion: Make an account.--PeterGriffinTalk2Me 04:57, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Two articles urgently needing reviews

There are two articles in the "below the line" section of FAC that have no content review comments. If someone will do one, I'll do the other. The articles are Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 and Things Aren't Simple Any More. You can have first choice, I'll do the other. Brianboulton (talk) 17:51, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

I'll volunteer to do "Things Aren't Simple Any More"; I remember watching that on TV when it was first broadcast. Malleus Fatuorum 18:47, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Chocolate for both of you! Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Don Valley Parkway/archive2 has no declarations, and its last FAC was closed for lack of feedback. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:23, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
For double chocolate rations I'll look at that one as well. Can't say fairer than that. Malleus Fatuorum 20:37, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I've also tackled Don Valley Parkway. I've opposed, but it should be a quick switch to support if the nom has reference materials to hand. hamiltonstone (talk) 00:40, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Image reviews

Hi. The article that I've nominated for FAC, His Band and the Street Choir, has already had an image review in a recent FAC nomination, does it need another one during its current nomination? Thanks  Kitchen Roll  (Exchange words) 17:02, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but refer to the old one in the nom, saying if the images used have changed. Johnbod (talk) 17:20, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok. Thanks  Kitchen Roll  (Exchange words) 14:57, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Query to a delegate

Not sure if i can be of help, but thought I'd ask whether a delegate would like to leave a quick comment(s) about what is needed to resolve School for Creative and Performing Arts and Paul E. Patton at FAC - i'm not the nom, just seeking guidance, esp. in case of the School, as to whether it is the debate about the logo in the infobox, or whether it is also other matters (where maybe I could assist as a reviewer). hamiltonstone (talk) 23:49, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Busy elsewhere, but I'd get there faster if you link the FACs :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:26, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
OK, caught up and looked. Karanacs reviewed both of those articles, so she is recused. She promotes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and I promote the rest of the week. The School is lacking image clearance. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:01, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, sorry i didn't link - will try to next time. Will take a look at the School from that perspective. hamiltonstone (talk) 01:42, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Credo accounts

There's a discussion about the possibility of 200 new Credo Reference accounts being distributed to Wikipedians via the Foundation.

Erik (User:Eloquence) would like help in drawing up criteria for distribution, so we don't have a repeat of last time where they were handed out to the first 100 who signed up, even if they weren't regular content contributors. He's looking for people to help him decide the criteria, and to set up a spreadsheet with potential recipients' details. If anyone is interested in helping with those issues, please see Wikipedia_talk:Credo_accounts#Usage. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 11:25, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Tell him I lose access to all my databases in October, and will suddenly become crippled and blind. • Ling.Nut 11:38, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Technical help

I don't know what happened here; I tried to fix the endashes with the punctuation script, and it introduced a cite error. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:57, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

I'll come back to this: needs a general MOS check, but something is off with the punctuation script. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:25, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Gimme found the obscure error stalling the script. Who knew? Thanks, Gimme ! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:27, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
It's just what caused the error. One of the named refs had a comma without a space. In [5], a refname "Alberti,Dabert" was changed to "Alberti, Dabert" in two instances, but not a third, which created the cite error. The one not changed was the last named ref in the section. It might be that the script requires a "word" following the comma, and looks for spaces to identify words. In this case, there was no space character between the comma and the next section heading. Gimmetoo (talk) 21:28, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
    • ^ Mann, Keith. From Dusk Till Dawn. Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, p. 55.
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Wolfe was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ a b Harris 1985, p. 105.
    • ^ Sutherland 2003, p. 51.