Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive5

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Archiving failed candidates

I suggest that unsuccessful and withdrawn nominations be archived on the article's talk page since there is usually suggestions as to how to improve the article. It will be more visible to those interested in improving and editing the page.

Quite a few discussions have not been archived at all. Tags also need to be removed once the nomination is removed. See "what links here" at Template:fac. There's some housekeeping to do. --Jiang 20:45, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the discussion here is quite valuable, and should be archived on the Talk: page as well as the various FA logs, and I'd say that that's also the case even when the article is successful, although this means we'd have, for a successful promotion, 1) Remove from WP:FAC, 2) Add to FA, 3) Add to "Featured Log" 4) Change the tag 5) Archive discussion to the talk page, and 6) Note on WP:Goings-on, which is quite involved. Still, I'm up for some housekeeping. — Matt 23:26, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
OK, I'm willing to volunteer to cover 5) whenever I can (that is, archiving to "Talk:"; I hope Raul654 is still happy to archive to the normal places) and simultaneously check "4" (the FAC tags). Some elaboration on why I think the discussion here is valuable: 1) During the nomination process, discussions about various changes in the article take place here, rather than the Talk: pages. There's clear advantages in keeping discussions related to the evolution of a page, and keeping them in a single place. 2) Explicit peer review is desperately scarce on Wikipedia — this page generates a lot of good peer review, and we should make the most of it. — Matt 01:28, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)


From the project page:

    As of this writing, we have 133 Featured articles that have not yet gone 
    on the main page. However, of those, 61 do not have a picture and are 
    therefore ineligible for the main page. 

...So.... All featured articles will eventually go on the main page? Exploding Boy 14:55, Jul 13, 2004 (UTC)

No, that's not what it says. Does it now? - David Gerard 18:40, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Since we've had this discussion 87 times already, would it be too much to hope that this one just goes away? Sigh... to wit - the articles I listed there are ineligible on the grounds that they have no picture; they may also be ineligible for other reasons (for example, although it has a picture, the lead section for Horatio Nelson is abominable and no one has yet straightened it out. Until then, no main page summary is possible. Therefore, it can't be featured). →Raul654 18:58, Jul 13, 2004 (UTC)
Ergo they are not featured article material ;) Sam [Spade] 19:19, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
To be fair, the rest of the article (from what I saw) is pretty good. Rather than removing it, someone just needs to spend 5-10 minutes writing a good intro. →Raul654 19:24, Jul 13, 2004 (UTC)

It's like being in the twilight zone or something. The whole world's gone mad and I'm the only one talking any sense... I just don't get how people don't understand how confusing, and ultimately illogical, it is to name all these different things the same way. It's obvious from reading the entries on the project page that people still think they're voting for the suitability of articles for featuring on the main page. The name change to Today's Featured Article only adds to the confusion. FAnd reading the above comments it makes perfect sense that all Featured Articles Candidates are just that -- candidates for featuring as Today's Featured Article. Exploding Boy 02:07, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)

You say that "it's obvious that... people still think they're voting for the suitability of articles for featuring on the main page." — this doesn't seem to be the case currently, as far as I can see, and if it were, surely it's not much effort to point out what's clearly stated at the top of the page, that Featured Articles do not automatically make the main page? — Matt 02:21, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Last time I read over all the nominations, about 2 days ago, there were several. And no, it's not a big deal to point it out, but since it appears that people are still confused, surely it's better to remove that potential confusion? Exploding Boy 02:28, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)

No offense, but your solution (to split the pages and have two seperate versions) is a bit like burning down the house to roast the pig. →Raul654 02:33, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)

Again, what? My solution is to give Featured Articles Candidates a different name, a name that differentiates that page from Today's Featured Article. Exploding Boy 10:07, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)

61 do not have a picture and are therefore ineligible for the main page

Knowing WP, this topic has probably either been discussed to death somewhere (and I missed it), or one person unilaterally decided this on their own. Anyway, I'll bring it up: is an image truly necessary for the main page? Pictures just aren't an important part of some topics. Although we can probably think something to put as an image for any given article, particularly if we allow ourselves a liberal intrepretation of fair use, it does seem rather like an unnecessary hoop-jumping exercise. Again, the main page and FAC shouldn't make demands on our articles, they should merely encourage the spreading of best practice. Pcb21| Pete 08:20, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

That part only came up once, to my memory, on template talk:feature:
"...since we made the switch over to the new format, I've been looking for ones (featured articles) with good pictures, but I think I'm going to abandon that criterion soon - only a small fraction of the featured articles have pics. →Raul654 07:13, Feb 26, 2004 (UTC)"
"We should definitely keep the pictures criterion as long as we can. This is a good incentive for people to look for pictures to add to "their" articles to get them on the frontpage!—Eloquence 07:15, Feb 26, 2004 (UTC)"
I thought about it for a little bit, and I decided Erik was correct - the pictures are generally a good thing. I've never looked back, and it never came up again. →Raul654 08:25, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)

I'd have to agree with Pete on this. The demand that Main Page articles need pics potentially excludes entire subject areas where the availability of relevant images that actually enhance (as opposed to decorate) the page is approaching zero. I'd also like to see a bit more transparency in the whole relationship between FA and the Main Page article of the day. There are so many open questions about this that we need to get past argument by assertion and try to close at least some of them. Bmills 10:02, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

deleted entry problem

This is the second time I've had to restore the Mount St. Helens entry on this page. [1][2] I think this has something to do with all the section title changes back and forth from 'contested' to uncontested. If that is the case, then we should get rid of the practice and go back to the two section (or better yet, two page) set-up. --mav 02:59, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Heavens please not a two page set-up. The potential bug you identify notwithstanding, the current layout is much more usable than the old two section layout. If there is a bug, we should take the "(un)contested" and start date bit out of the section heading (where it is ugly anyway) and put in italics on the line below. Pcb21| Pete 07:51, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I've implemented this, and think the page looks better for it. Pcb21| Pete 08:12, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The advantage of having it in the heading is that, although ugly, the automatically-generated Table of Contents acts as a handy summary of the page. — Matt 08:26, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Indeed; the TOC allowed me to see, at a glance, articles that weren't objected to, and to go and see if I could find grounds to do so myself, and, further, to see quickly if any articles that I might be able to help in have fallen to contested status... James F. (talk) 09:48, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Rats, sorry guys. I dutifully went through and checked how it looked on various skins, but completely forget that TOCs are completely separate option. I have them turned off completely because I hate how they make you scroll down all the time to see content. But given I am likely to be in the minority, it may well be worth reverting me :/. Having said that, the summaries are rarely up-to-date - few people seem to dare to change a listing back from "contested" to "uncontested", diluting the usefulness of the TOC. Can your bear to be without the TOC whilst the problem mav identified is sorted? Pcb21| Pete 12:49, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Seeing that about half of the articles which passed in FA status were still marked as "Contested", I fail to see how that fact is so important as to be in the TOC given the noted bug. --mav 02:20, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)
This issue just happened again. This time it may have been due to one of the sections disappearing while someone was editing/adding their comment. I fixed, but it is troublesome.--Gregb 05:30, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)


I'm confused by the note by the entry for Freemasonry, which states that the article is ineligible for the main page because it has a (small logo only). As the image on the main page is only 100px wide, I would think that the logo in the article is fine. Is there some requirement other than looking good on the main page? - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 14:28, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)

I'm also confused by the (non free image) note. Does this mean that the images in the article are only fair use and not public domain? We have Main page articles in the past that only had fair use images, namely The Beatles, Superman, Batman, Star Trek, etc. Is this now a requirement to have a pd image?- DropDeadGorgias (talk) 14:32, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Avoid copyright paranoia unless your name is Anthony - David Gerard 14:38, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Umm... so... my question is, can't we remove the parenthetical distinctions on those articles? Small logos and fair use images are fine on the Main page, so they're good to go, right? - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 14:42, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)
I would say so. What do others think? - David Gerard 14:52, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Seems sensible to me. James F. (talk)
I fail to see what this has to do with copyright paranoia or fair use. anthony (see warning)
It means the images are not released under a free license. Since we're building a free encyclopedia we shouldn't have non-free images on the main page. This may have been broken in the past, but it shouldn't continue to be broken in the future. anthony (see warning)


[a bunch of talk shifted from the page itself] - David Gerard 10:35, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

As of this writing, we have 133 Featured articles that have not yet gone on the main page. However, of those, 61 do not have a picture and are therefore ineligible for the main page. Some of these could be fixed pretty easily, but there are a lot of them (and up till now, I've been doing it myself). Please add your pictures and then remove the article listing - remember, avoid fairuse images wherever possible. →Raul654 03:48, Jul 8, 2004 (UTC)

Is it really reasonable to ask that Free will, Illegal prime, or Peer review should have a picture? Any bets on whether any of these will EVER get a picture in the history of wikipedia?? Revolver 10:44, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Difficult. Maybe a diagram?
Maybe. That's just my point. It might be possible to come up with a pic (in some really stretchy sense) for these, but do they really add to the understanding of the article? I can't think of any pic that will really help people understand free will or illegal prime. So, this seems to be encouraging the situation of adding a pic only because it will become okay for the main page, but for nothing else. Revolver 11:03, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I agree. I would favour using tangentially connected pictures for the main page feature, even if they would not be appropriate in the article. For example, a picture of an early exponent/theorist of free will may sit well on the main page for featuring Free will but not on the article itself. Lupin 15:06, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
That sounds like a great idea/compromise! Revolver 22:21, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
This idea isn't new at all - it's exactly what I did when Frankfurt School was featured, and it's fine with me. But more to the point - I'd rather have a tangetially related picture in the article than none at all. →Raul654 22:27, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)
I am moving Freemasonry to the "now with pictures!" list, because the small logo is fine for the main page (which only needs to be 100px wide) - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 14:50, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)

Remember, images which are fair use in articles may not be fair use on the main page.

What is a featured article? says that featured articles should have pictures (diagrams, maps, etc) where appropriate. NOT every article needs a picture. Featured articles is supposed to be about writing, not decoration. More to the point, a "tangentially related" picture can just be irritating. If it doesn't add anything to the article, there shouldn't be any fuss about there being a picture. Exploding Boy 07:14, Jul 15, 2004 (UTC)
I have added images to a number of articles. These images are not always neccessary, but i believe that Free will or Split infinitive look nicer with them. (Images added to Damascus steel, Free will, Schizophrenia, Quantum computer, Split infinitive, Telephone exchange). These are now listed under the section These now have pictures. Happy editing -- Chris 73 | Talk 11:53, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Slight formatting issue

For purposes of archiving, please leave the nominations as ===[[article name]]=== instead of == Otherwise, the archive gets all messed up. 19:33, Jul 15, 2004 (UTC)

A new method for putting articles on the front page

The endless bickering here, coupled with Anthony's antics on the main page yesterday and today (for which Danny banned him) have led to a proposal on Template talk:Feature for changing how articles go on the main page. Basically, everyone would get 24 hours notice. I think everyone should go there and voice your opinions. Personally, I think this could go a long way in appeasing some of the criticisms that have been voiced. →Raul654 21:22, Jul 20, 2004 (UTC)

What? What antics? Exploding Boy 03:38, Jul 21, 2004 (UTC)
Look at the history for Template:Feature - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 04:07, Jul 21, 2004 (UTC)

Page protected???

It seems the project page is protected. Why? Could some admin please unprotect it? Thanks. Lupo 19:57, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I was doing my usual cleaning out here (wherein I protect the page and put an inuse message at the top) and I forgot to unprotect when I was done. Mea Culpa. It's fixed now. →Raul654 20:02, Jul 22, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, man. I wouldn't have shouted if I had known you were still around, but your last edit was half an hour ago, so I thought you'd left. Lupo 20:07, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

This page is out of control - too many noms

Ok guys, I've been busy elsewhere, but things on this page are getting pretty bad. There are currently 35 nominations - this is *way* too many to properly evaluate them all. Something needs to be done. Even if all we got were mostly-good article noms, we still couldn't check them all. So, I'd be happy to hear some discussion for how to fix the problem. I'd like to get it back down to 20 or so. (Actually, I'd *really* like to get it back down to 7-8, but that's never going to happen). →Raul654 03:56, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)

I think we need a hierarchy, as is being proposed in many places, including (but by no means limited to: here and here. Sam [Spade] 04:00, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
What do those proposals have to do with the Featured Articles page? They're rather seperate. And Raul, while I sympathise, I don't see what could be done about it. Ambivalenthysteria 04:14, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I can think of several things:

  • Limit everyone to one nom at a time (as is already suggested by the instructions)
  • Require two (or even three) people to nominate an article. This should eliminate the most frivilous ones. (Especially if combined with the above)
  • At worst case, limit it to 3 or 4 noms/day (first come, first serve).

I find that last option to be particularly distateful, and I'd appreciate if someone could suggest something better. But, IMHO, we cannot sustain 35 noms and keep our standards consistently high. I don't like the idea of a hierarchy or pipeline because it just shifts the problem elsewhere. I'd prefer to settle this "in house" if possible. →Raul654 04:33, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)

Well, what we should try to avoid is avoid the "FAC as suggestions-for-improvement board" phenomeona that seems to have taken hold recently. While it's all fine and good to suggest minor improvements, we seem to have many articles that were submitted here for the express purpose of improvement, or making it up to the Featured Article status, rather than an unbiased opinion on whether or not it deserves this status. One way to ensure quality before the page would certainly be a hierarchy, but as you mentioned, that would be putting the problem elsewhere.
Another way, one I think deserves some consideration, would be to have a certain implication of responsibility tied with the nomination. That is, by nominating, you're implicitly agreeing to do your best to respond to the criticism, to make any minor changes needed to move it from good to great. That would cut down on the awkward limbo that many articles seem to be in, where no one with the expertise or the will to make improvements is there.
And I guess, having a dichotomy of "Active" vs. "Inactive" noms would be nice. This would be like opposed and unopposed, but more accurate. Inactive nominations are ones in which no further reviewing action would be needed, because there are already clear flaws to fix before further consideration is even possible. This would cut down on the overwhelming feeling upon seeing the list, and hopefully keep people reviewing the nominations. And maybe even move the inactive ones to a seperate page of sorts, like an "good pages needing improvement" list. But those are just my ideas, take them as you like. --Gregb 06:08, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Raul said: "There are currently 35 nominations - this is *way* too many to properly evaluate them all." I hate to say that I told you so. We need to redirect many of these noms to wikipedia:Peer review. --mav 04:01, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

That would migrate the problem to another page rather than fix it. The same number of articles would get "nominated" just on a differently named page. Pcb21| Pete 18:42, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The "problem" you mention is the function of the peer review page. So moving it there would solve the problem of having it here. --mav 01:38, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
No that is incorrect. The problem that Raul claims exists is that there are too many nominations on this page. If all 35 nominations on this page had to be put on the peer review page first, then there would be 35 nominations on the peer review page. I.e. instead of this page being too long, that would be instead.

Splitting the page again?

In addition to requiring a second within 24 hours (I had added this previously but Raul apparently objected and removed it), maybe we could split the page up again (and a bit differently). New nominations (not seconded) would go in one section. Nominations with a majority of support would go in another. And nominations without a majority of support would go in another. This way people wouldn't have to waste very much time on nominations which are unlikely to succeed anyway. The criterion for featuring would still be consensus, majority would only be used for splitting into sections (see explanation below). anthony (see warning) (comment edited after reply)

Just for the record, I personally like the idea of no support after 24 hours means removal. I removed the requirement because I didn't like the way it was added - I thought it was sneaky. It didn't have much support on the discussion page. However, I strongly encourage discussing it here and now - I think it would help the current problem (although, I don't think it would be enough). →Raul654 17:54, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)
For one, this is a unanimous consent page, not a majority voting page, and I think it should stay that way. For another, that creates the lovely task of, for borderline articles, moving them back and forth between majority and minority support constantly. Snowspinner 13:35, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)

I understand this is a unanimous consent page, but I still think the more appropriate sections would be majority and non-majority. The idea is to split the ones that have a good chance of receiving unanimity from the ones that probably don't. And yes, there would be some moving back and forth, but I think the work saved would outweigh the work spent (especially using majority/minority, as I think articles rarely pass through this threshold). Alternatively, and similarly, maybe we could have a separate page for nominations, which would only be moved to candidates after a certain level of support (say 5 people). There would be no objections at the nomination stage, and wouldn't even need to be explanations. anthony (see warning) 13:53, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Standards too low/too high?

- I think people are being far too quick to support articles, many of which really don't deserve it. There still seems to be confusion among many users about what a Featured Article is -- people are listing articles on the grounds that they should be on the main page because the topic is interesting. We need to be very clear that what we're doing on that page is nominating and voting for or against articles that represent the very best writing, research and presentation that Wikipedia has to offer, and I still say the best way to do that is to change the name of the page. By the way, why are we no longer putting a notice on articles that are nominated? And when a nomination is successful is there a notice permanently placed on the page? Exploding Boy 13:30, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)

I actually think the standards are too high. Yes, we are only selecting the best, but what percentage of the best is not defined (and presumably that percentage can eventually rise to 100%). I put my threshold at what I would consider acceptable for a non-stub article in a 1.0 version of a CD-ROM Wikipedia. Adhering to the standards in Wikipedia:What is a featured article is essentially enough. anthony (see warning) 13:40, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Anthony (eek! That's twice in one week!). The standards sometimes are a bit too high. Better than having them too low, I suppose. And to reply to Exploding Boy, the featured article/featured article candidate notices are now placed on the talk page, and not in the main article. Johnleemk | Talk 13:45, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

If the standards aren't going to be high, what's the point in recognising articles as being exceptional? If they aren't exceptional.... Exploding Boy 13:52, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)

Also, if the nominator does not respond to objection votes or address them within 48 hours, the article should be removed too. Johnleemk | Talk 13:48, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I disagree with this one. It is not the job of the nominator to fix objections. Objections, especially minor ones, are frequently fixed by others. anthony (see warning) 13:56, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Ok, then if the objections aren't rebutted or fixed by anybody within 48 hours, the page should be removed. Johnleemk | Talk 13:59, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The current time period is 2 weeks. 2 weeks may be a little high, but 48 hours seems too low. I would think there are a large number of highly valued contributors who don't even participate every 48 hours. anthony (see warning) 14:03, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The two week limit for old nominations seems rather unfortunate. Suppose that an article is nominated on 1 August, objections are made and fixed, save for one made on 13 August. Suddenly, without the nominator having had a chance to rectify the problem, the article is removed because the 2-week deadline has expired. Alternatively, one might object on 2 August, but have to wait for two weeks to see if the nominator will do anything about the objection. Therefore: I suggest that the 2-week rule be abandoned. Instead, if X days (perhaps 7 days, but a shorter term if desired) pass without a particular objection being dealt with, the nomination should be removed. -- Emsworth 14:05, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Johnleemk | Talk 14:09, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
It was my understanding that objections had to last for two weeks. If there were no objections, the timer would be reset. The page says "If enough time passes (~ two weeks) without objections being resolved..." so it seems that in your scenario where an objection is made at the last minute the time limit would be extended. I think 7 days without a particular objection being resolved is a good change, though. anthony (see warning) 14:13, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

While I really don't understand what you mean, I heartily disagree. The standards should be high. Every article, even very short ones, can be excellently written. That's what we should be aiming for. Exploding Boy 13:44, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)

I agree wholeheartedly with EB in this case - it's *MUCH* better to have FA standards that are too high than have them too low - otherwise, it defeats the purpose of having an FA. I think that's just common sense there. →Raul654 04:16, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

Consider the Emacs article as an example of a featured article that may have been featured too soon. I'm not sure exactly when it was featured, but at least before this version, which had a number of problems. (Sorry for the html link, dunno how to cite old pages with wiki markup.) I know because I was drawn to contribute to the article by its featured article status. Much of the Customization section belonged in either the User Interface section or the Internals section. The User interface section may or may not have been 'good enough', but I think Wikipedia is looking for better than that for featured articles. The interface section wasn't really useful, even in the most basic sense, to an actual Emacs user. Perhaps it was useful to someone doing casual editor research. To say that "The user issues editing commands by entering keystrokes." is not useful enough, considering that the whole point of an editor is to alter text and Emacs does this with commands. The article goes some way but does not really make clear why the choice of Lisp is a good one. Attmittedly, the new version does contain a lot more information that the featured article version and perhaps not all of this would be required to reach featured article status, but still. BTW, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm the one who did most of the latest Emacs writing so naturally I think that what I've written is useful. Please comment, I guess on the Talk:Emacs page, if you think the Emacs article contains too much operational info. --Kop 18:30, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Sections by date

One approach to this problem might be to section the nomination process by date and pre-schedule a general topic area for featured articles: that is, let's declare that August 1 will feature a scientific topic -- a section is created for "August 1 featured article candidates"; of the nominees (within the topic area) the one with most support is selected; articles not selected may be re-nominated next time that general topic area comes up (or if another applicable topic area comes up). This would have the effect of automatically culling out the queue. The topics could be scheduled a couple of weeks in advance to allow plenty of time for nominations, discussion and debate. The list of topics could initially start with a cycle of the general wikipedia categories on the main page; a discussion section to add new topic areas to the cycle could also be useful. Now, rather than just a potpourri of unrelated topics, the FAC section is a process. If I want to nominate a particular article, I can look at the schedule and find the next, or most, applicable topic area rather than just throwing disparate candidates into the mix. Likewise, if I want to review candidates, I can focus on a particular topic area that I have interest or familiarity with. Jgm 13:40, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
And actually, I don't really see the problem with having a lot of active nominations, as long as people are thoroughly reading them and applying a consistently high/tough standard of evaluation. I don't usually vote on all the nominations, some of them because I find the topic boring so I don't want to read the article, sometimes because there are too many nominations to read them all. Exploding Boy 13:42, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)
The idea, in my opinion, is not desirable as it may be approximated with mere voting. The present process does not allow majority rule, as the proposal would; it requires an actual consensus. -- Emsworth 13:59, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I refer to the idea proposed by the user Jgm, above. -- Emsworth 14:08, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean, then. The current process for selection would remain under my suggestion. Jgm 14:23, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I've taken the step of creating a sample page reflecting my proposal: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/proposal -- perhaps this will provide food for thought and discussion. Jgm 15:23, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
This pits articles against each other. What if two different articles are deemed excellent? Then, does one simply choose the article with the greater number of supporters? Furthermore, what does one do with all the articles that have already been featured, but not displayed on the main page? What does one do with excellent articles that cannot possibly have a relevant picture, and therefore cannot appear on the main page, but still qualifies as a Featured Article? What about controversial articles that are deemed "inappropriate" for the main page? -- Emsworth 16:07, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I addressed this briefly in the proposal -- if more than one article for a given day's batch of candidates is deemed worthy, one is selected and the other(s) go to the front of the line the next time that topic area comes around. Jgm 16:57, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

From what I can see this is just another way, not necessarily a better way, to reorganize the page. Why is it a bad thing having a lot of nominations again? Exploding Boy 16:15, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)

Considering that title of the main section above claims "this page is out of control" and nobody disagreed, I thought that was the consensus. Certainly it is less than clear how a Featured Article, among all the candidates, emerges from this gauntlet. The suggestions for control offered above (X candidates added per day, etc.) seem like comparatively poor solutions. Note that the proposal I'm making doesn't necessarily result in *fewer* candidates, they are just easier to deal with and unsuccessful candidates are dropped more gracefully. Jgm 16:57, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Yet again we're dealing with misunderstandings about what the Featured Articles Candidates page is for. We're not searching for candidates to "feature" on the main page (in the Today's Featured Article section), we're nominating and voting on articles that we want to recognise as being Wikipedia's best examples of outstanding writing, research and organization. They are actually very different things, although they are confusingly similarly named. To add to the confusion, the Today's Featured Article article is chosen from among the successful Featured Article Candidates. Exploding Boy 04:10, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

How are they so different? Almost any featured article is eligible for the main page, so long as it has an accompyning picture (save the hypothetical case of a "morally objectionable" featured article, should one ever be promoted) →Raul654 04:13, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

Didn't we spend hours arguing over how they were different just recently? This is just becoming crazier and crazier... One or the other! Exploding Boy 04:18, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

EB - you seem the be the one who keeps saying that they (the "good" articles and the "to be on the main page" articles) so different they require seperate pages. Everyone else keeps telling you that no, they're the same in almost all instances. Now, I really don't want to rehash this discussion (it already fills up 3 FAC archives.) I'd much rather get some nice, straight-forward suggestions for how to cut down the nominations we're getting here. To answer another question you asked -- The reason lots of nominations is bad is that (a) it makes this page unmanagable (it requires almost daily cleaning now) and (b) individual nominations aren't getting the attention they deserve. →Raul654 04:27, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

Fine, but since we don't in fact get to vote on which articles are placed on the main page, even with the new Tomorrow's featured article page, we should still be voting for or against articles based on their writing, completeness and organisation. "This is interesting; it should be on the main page" is not a valid reason for FA status.

At any rate, I still don't see why having a lot of nominations is a bad thing. As I said below, not every user needs to, or should, vote on every article. I don't see how the number of articles correlates to the amount of attention each one gets: I'm perfectly capable of reading 10 or more articles; I'm sure most people are. Those that don't interest me I don't read, and so I don't vote on them.

But if it's really such a problem, then why not just limit the number of active nominations and create a back log (or waiting list)? Say we limit the FAC page to 20 active nominations, each to be active for a given time period, and have an FAC backlog page where articles are listed by (linked) name and date and then moved to the FAC page in order of posting as slots become available? This might help a great deal with cutting down on minor objections and the use of FAC as a second Peer review, because people could patrol the backlog page and read those articles that interest them, and note suggestions for improvement or objections on each article's talk page. To help the process, we could state that a link (see Featured Article Message, below) must be placed on the article page, and a section started on the article's talk page announcing that the article will be nominated and that until it moves to the FAC page discussion should take place there. Exploding Boy 10:36, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

Sounds like another good idea, but it adds a bit of complexity to the process. I like it, though. Johnleemk | Talk 12:02, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

24 hours without support

Requiring nominations to be seconded (even with "Support if you fix this objection") within 24 hours (or 48 hours?) would help a bit - David Gerard 09:18, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Sounds like good ideas, Gregb. I'm often frustrated by the number of articles I see where the nominator doesn't do anything to address the objections (I used to do this, but nowadays instead of letting my nominations lapse, I push them through — of the six or seven nominations I've done, three are currently featured, two are currently being discussed and one/two was let to lapse by much more ignorant me). Another issue is that some people seem to stigmatise others for taking a personal interest in the articles they nominated — when I was copyediting Coca-Cola, Drbalaji md asked me why I was caring so much about it since it's not like I get a prize for successfully nominating an article for featured status. And yes, all too often many of the pages here are far from featured and are placed here as a place for comment (which should be on WP:RFC) or peer review. I think we need to draw more attention to those pages and have a regular patrol — when I placed an article dispute on RFC, nobody answered (except maybe one or two people who did not get directly involved with the dispute). Johnleemk | Talk 10:02, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
P.S. I've just realised this is *eek* becoming like VfD! The MediaWiki software is corrupting the page because of the edit conflicts — IIRC, I accidentally knocked off a section earlier today, and another user complained that his nomination of an article mysteriously disappeared after one day. This has to be tackled fast.
I think these are good suggestions. What about requiring a second or third nomination within 24 hours or so, in order for it to remain? In addition, I like the idea of limiting it to one per person, and perhaps removing articles with objections that the proponent isn't prepared to fix. But most importantly, we need to really get people using peer review again. Ambivalenthysteria 13:17, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

As for the issue at hand (too many nominations), I think that any nomination that's proven to be frivolous within 48 hours (no support votes, withdrawn nomination, etc.) should be removed immediately. We don't need second/third nominations — we just need to set it so that an article needs X number of support votes to stay on the page for more than 48 hours. Johnleemk | Talk 13:45, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

We had a requirement for support within 24 hours, but Raul removed it [3]. anthony (see warning) 13:56, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Raul, why did you remove the policy that a nomination can be removed if it is not supported within 24 hours? anthony (see warning) 13:33, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

He removed the policy because it never got consensus. Personally, I strongly object to it - an article that is 98% of the way to Featured Article status but has a couple of small things wrong with it could concievably get only objects in the first 24 hours despite the fact that it's clearly likely to get it eventually. Although I'm sure the idea will be distasteful to anthony, and probably to some others, I'd suggest that the Featured Article Director be given the perogative to remove nominations with the direction to resolve all outstanding objections before relisting. The discussion could be archived to the talk page of the article in qustion. This would, I think, curb the use of FAC as "Speedy cleanup" in a fair fashion, and would serve the useful function of clearing out the back end of FAC instead of newer entries, which is probably a smart move. Snowspinner 14:27, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)
It seems that having a policy written with no one removing it is consensus. Your objection to the policy makes sense though. As for the Featured Article Director, I wasn't aware we had such a thing. Where was the consensus reached for that decision? anthony (see warning) 14:33, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I think Snowspinner has an excellent idea going there. As for the Wikipedia:Featured Article Director, see Template_talk:Feature — nobody was opposed to the idea at all. Johnleemk | Talk 15:02, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
That is, none of the very few people who commented there. If FAD is going to be official, it needs to be listed on current polls. anthony (see warning) 16:23, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
There's plenty of precedent for style and procedure for specific pages being decided on those pages and not in general polls. This is not a Wikipedia-wide policy. It's a policy addressing the selection of articles for the frontpage. Template_talk:Feature is the right place for that discussion. Snowspinner 16:32, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)
If its relevance is limited to that template, then why are we bringing it up in a discussion about this page? Also, there is plenty of precedent for polls regarding a single page to be listed on current polls. anthony (see warning) 16:40, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I didn't say its relevence was limited to that template. I said it was limited to articles selected for the main page, that is, to featured articles. That template is a sensible place to discuss policy on featured articles. Snowspinner 16:47, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)
You said it addressed the selection of articles for the frontpage, which has nothing to do with this page. anthony (see warning) 16:51, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Except that this page is to select articles to be put into the pool of articles chosen for the frontpage. Snowspinner 17:32, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)
No it isn't. This is the page to choose featured articles (formerly known as brilliant prose [4]). Raul has decided to use featured articles for his template, but that has nothing to do with this page, any more than if I chose to feature an article on my user page. anthony (see warning) 17:37, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Sorry, but again, why is it a bad thing to have a lot of nominations? Exploding Boy 16:39, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)

For those interested in keeping up on featured article nominations and interested in making sure good articles get in and bad ones do not, it makes it very, very difficult to follow. One cannot keep up with all the discussions. Snowspinner 16:47, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)
You don't have to vote on every article. You probably shouldn't be voting on every article. It would be easy enough to add a section at the top of the page listing the name of each article and the date it was nominated -- for easy perusal, like. Exploding Boy 16:52, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)
What exploding boy said is especially true for the very nominations that would be removed. Once a few people object with serious objections which are unlikely to be fixed, it makes no sense to add in your "me too" or even bother reading the article. anthony (see warning) 16:57, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The 24 hour requirement for a vote of support is wrong. In scientific peer review, an article is not necessarily rejected even if all reviewers (though there ae usually less than five selected, so the analogy isn't perfect) demand revisions. Instead, publication is halted until the objections are satisfied. Yes, Wikipedia has a Peer Review section, but, to be honest, it works very slowly, much more so than the FAC. In any case, Wiki's Peer Review is more akin to the academic discussions of work in progress, whereas the FAC emulates the process of submission. (That's why self-noms must be allowed, by the way). Besides, what's the problem with length? 35 articles out of 310,000 is 0.0001 0.01 percent. And, as Exploding Boy has said before, support or objection is a serious matter -- it's more than a yes/no vote. A. Shetsen 04:19, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I don't see the problem with a submission being removed for lack of support. Once the problems are fixed, it can be renominated. In the mean time, it shouldn't continue to waste people's time here. anthony (see warning) 19:57, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Ok, I like some of the suggestions I have seen. It seems that these ideas are the ones that people like most:

  • After 24 hours, a nomination must have a supporting vote, or it will be removed (I removed this from the rules once before because it didn't get consensus before it was added)
  • Everyone is limited to one nom at a time
  • If an article needs a lot of work (but is not a blatantly bad nomination, per se) instead of voting support/oppose people can suggest it go to Peer review first. (Example - PaX, as it was a week ago)

To this, I would also add that:

  • Self-nominators are expected to fix objections when they are raised.

What do people think about these 4 ideas? →Raul654 04:38, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

Snowspinner has pointed out that "an article that is 98% of the way to Featured Article status but has a couple of small things wrong with it could concievably get only objects in the first 24 hours despite the fact that it's clearly likely to get it eventually." Personally I feel that in that case it can just be renominated as soon as those small things are fixed. We don't have any restrictions on renominations, it seems; so long as those renominations are made in good faith, anyway. anthony (see warning) 05:16, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Re the first point: Has anyone done an analysis on this? What is the general pattern of support/objection for an article that does eventually reach the standard we seek? It would be nice to be able to say with confidence, "Oh every decent article has this level of support after 24hrs anyway so it isn't much of an ask"

Re the second point: Don't like this. What about people like Emsworth who churn great articles at a rate of knots? Seems a very arbitrary way of trying to cut down on the perceived overuse of this page. Really the rules should be limited to ensuring we are not cluttering up the page with bad nominations, not arbitrary constraints like this.

Re the third point: Seems like a good idea. (Note it is much better this way round than insisting that _all_ articles go through PR first, which just moves the bottleneck)

Re the fourth point: This is true, and selfnommers generally do fix their articles. However it can't be an enforceable rule, you can't force people to fix articles with valid objections with a particular timeframe.

Other reasonable suggestions: "Idle" nominations should be moved to the talk page not the log, this would make it much easier to bring articles back, and thus we would have less qualms about moving them out in the first place.

Be more emphatic about having supporters really read and copyedit the articles they write support next too. I've seen articles have all their typos fixed only by the fifth or sixth person who comes to review it - suggesting the first four or five didn't read it too hard.

Pcb21| Pete 18:58, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I think all four suggestions would be good; tweak the wording of the fourth, maybe "Self-nominators are expected to respond to objections, and they have the primary responsibility for fixing problems." Not all objections must be fixed (maybe the objection is misguided), and not all self-nominators are able to fix all objections; also, the complete responsibility for fixing problems doesn't lie with the nominator, but with the WP community. — Matt 00:05, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I like propositions 1, 3 and 4, but not 2. I oppose putting artificial and arbitrary limits on the number of serious nominations that may be made. -- Emsworth 02:53, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

24 hour support is arbitrary and wrong. See my comments in its section above for details. A. Shetsen 04:21, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Featured article message

Why is the message that tells users a given article is a candidate/featured article not placed on the article page itself? Exploding Boy 16:15, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)

Because metadata should not go in the body of an article. This principle is admittedly being adhered to less and less as time goes on. In my view, VfD should just be about the only exception to this rule, because of its particularly time critical nature. Pcb21| Pete 19:00, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I've wondered this myself. anthony (see warning) 16:25, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

It was decided to place the message on the talk page because it is considered "polluting" the article to have a message like that there. →Raul654 17:19, Jul 24, 2004 (UTC)
How? The average user reading a given article wouldn't know it was nominated for featuring, so we're losing a lot of votes from people who don't watch the FAC page (or don't know about it) but have actually read articles from interest. If a candidate is successful, there's no way for the average user to know that what they're reading is what we consider an example of our best work. I'd venture to say that, like me, most users don't bother with the talk page of a given article unless it's particularly controversial or has some kind of dispute message, and in both cases they wouldn't be featured articles or candidates. Exploding Boy 04:13, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)
I don't know about you, but one of my favourite things to do when reading articles is to look at the Talk. We probably need to come up with some sort of compromise — either way is too extreme. Johnleemk | Talk 06:11, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I decide to try a little test. I created a featured article logo and added the logo to the top of a featured article. I even got the logo to go to Wikipedia:Featured articles when you click on it (by doing some horrible, nasty things you aren't supposed to do or know about). See User:Raul654/sandbox and tell me what you think. →Raul654 06:28, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

A good idea, but the logo is horribly ugly. No offense meant. Hopefully if this idea pans out we can get a better logo. Johnleemk | Talk 06:45, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I think it's a great idea. There should be one for candidates too. Exploding Boy 10:36, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

How about just Category:Wikipedia featured articles? - David Gerard 13:43, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
There is something deeply satisfying when someone comes up with a completely obvious idea that is nonetheless the absolutely right solution. Yes, of course, a category. :) Snowspinner 13:46, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)
Categories are supposed to be used only when there can be no exhaustive list of components (e.g., "Russian poets" would be a good category, but "Presidents of Russia" would not be). -- Emsworth 13:52, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Eh??? I've never heard that. The usage of categories is very much still an evolving thing. (I would have thought it would have replaced the accursed article series box, but my hopes have been dashed repeatedly.) - David Gerard 14:32, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I don't see the distinction. At any given moment there are a fixed number of Russian poets, Presidents of Russia, and Featured Articles. But that number changes over time. Perhaps the distinction you're looking for is that Presidents of Russia can be easily ennumerated, whereas poets cannot? But in that case, Featured articles are not easily ennumerated. anthony (see warning) 15:10, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
It is possible to make an exhaustive list of Russian Presidents. It is not possible to do the same for categories such as "politicians," "Russian poets," "People," etc. In other words, where a list is appropriate, a category is not. -- Emsworth 15:50, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Is this actually any sort of convention that's used in practice, or just your own assertion? I see no reason to not put a category when a list is possible. IN ANY CASE, we are talking about using it as an unobtrusive way of marking featured articles - I really don't think this will somehow taint the sanctity of the category system, 'cos it hasn't got any yet - David Gerard 18:30, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Considering we had Category:Dead people until not too long ago, I don't think we have to worry about damaging the credibilty of the category system. →Raul654 18:31, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)
Indeed. I'll just start adding it. We'll need the list too, as changes to categories don't show on watchlists. This will lead to having to hand synchronise two lists, but then again some sort of FA marker would lead to the same problem - David Gerard 18:55, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I don't see why it isn't possible to make an exhaustive list of "politicians," "Russian poets," "People," etc. They'd be large lists, but it's still possible. anthony (see warning) 20:00, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Category:Wikipedia featured articles is a great idea! I love it. Only one comment: Is it possible that the category page is not a redirect to Wikipedia:Featured articles? I think that is a bit unusual, and feels wrong to me. Otherwise it's a great idea. Can we have a Category:Wikipedia featured article candidates, too? -- Chris 73 | Talk 01:19, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

(As the one who redirected the category page) - it's one more page to maintain and I *REFUSE* to do it. Plus, it is only going to increase confusion as to which is the "real" page to list featured articles on. →Raul654 01:39, Jul 26, 2004 (UTC)

I disagree with creating further text on the category page. Individuals would not know which page is authoritative. Secondly, the two pages would be redundant. Both pages, for example, would have the instructions "This page highlights some of the Wikipedia pages we think are particularly well-written and complete. However, since there are hundreds of thousands of articles on Wikipedia, we can't keep track of all of the great ones. In order to put an article on this page, it must first pass a review at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates for style, prose and completeness," etc. -- Emsworth 02:02, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Thirded. The category redirecting to WP:FA saves a lot of work all around, and this isn't your usual category.
(Although people should feel free to occasionally check the two lists match.)
I have now put into the category everything except Politics, Psychology and Religion (I have them here open but have to go to work now). Will get to those later - David Gerard 07:10, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC) - all done. Some listings on WP:FA are now redirects and need to be changed to the current article title. Anyone should feel free to check the two lists as soon as they like - David Gerard 10:52, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Can we have a category for candidates too? We could redirect it like was done with the other category. Johnleemk | Talk 11:13, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

This category a) is in violation of Wikipedia:Avoid self-references, and b) clutters up the real categories the article belongs to. It does not add anything to articles except metadata and I would like to see it go away. Lady Lysiŋe Ikiŋsile | Talk 11:48, 2004 Jul 26 (UTC)

The previously agreed compromise was that detail like this should go on the talk page. I agree that it is very unfortunate that the compromise has been broken, without any new reasons to have the metadata on the article page (though I do agree that the category is a neat way of organising the metadata). Is it ok if I shift them all to the talk page? Pcb21| Pete 11:57, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I think that should be fine (as that's where the message goes right now). It might seem a bit weird to see a load of talk pages in a category, but... ;-) What might be nice is a way to put an article in a category but not show that category on the article's page. Lady Lysiŋe Ikiŋsile | Talk 14:44, 2004 Jul 26 (UTC)
It is possible to hide the contents of a template being included (on a user-by-user basis) by judicious use of divs and custom style sheets. Irritatingly however, categories are the one thing (well that and interwiki links!) that are scraped out of the divs and so you can't avoid seeing them!
It might seem a bit weird to see a load of talk pages in a category, but... ;-) ... yes but this is a weird category :). Pcb21| Pete 14:50, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)
If you are going to have them on the talk page instead, please just add the category to Template:Featured so it appears on talk pages automatically without having to edit them all individually. Angela. 01:18, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I feel a need to comment on this matter. Metadata is already included on hundreds of pages in the main namespace. We already tell readers, "someone feels this article has no value in an encyclopedia, so we're discussing deleting it," and, "someone broke international law by uploading text protected by copyright," and, "the editors at Wikipedia can't agree on the facts in this article." All the metadata we allow in the main namespace is negative, and I think it should change. I see no problem letting the casual reader, who will never venture to the talk page, know that we think the article they are reading is the best written, most complete, and most unbiased encyclopedia article on this subject available. Besides, the articles are featured, not the talk pages. Some of the talk pages for featured articles are not the best that wikipedia has to offer. Gentgeen 04:09, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The difference is that these messages are about the information in the article, alerting the reader to a possible problem, rather than being about the article itself. Featured Article status is not about the quality of the information, it's about the quality of the presentation. Shades of Smalltalk classes and meta-classes :-) HTH HAND --Phil | Talk 11:19, Jul 30, 2004 (UTC)
Even if you ignore the fact that it's a self-reference, it obscures useful information, i.e. which categories an article is part of, with unimportant and unrelated metadata. If a featured article really must be somehow marked, a better way than this should be found. Further, what is the point in telling the user that "this article is good"? Surely, having read the article, they can see that for themselves. Lady Lysiŋe Ikiŋsile | Talk 04:52, 2004 Jul 27 (UTC)
Yes we have some metadata in articles. That does not change the fact that there are plenty of people that do not like that, and do not want to see more of it. The metadata that is tolerated is the time-critical stuff like vfd and copyvios. If you look at the talk pages for more long-term stuff you will much disagreement about their usefulness. Pcb21| Pete 16:04, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

What's wrong with self-reference?

Wikipedia:Avoid self-references

We do have articles about Wikipedia, Jimbo Wales, and the Wikimedia Foundation.

And Wikipedia doesn't say "Welcome to Wikipedia! This website is...". It describe it in a neutral tone that doesn't make any


I feel compelled to note that we don't have an article on Jimbo Wales. That page redirects to his user page for historical reasons. Pcb21| Pete 16:04, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

What information is obscured? Is there some artificial limit on the number of categories that an article can be placed in? I wouldn't mind the metadata type of categories always being placed after the subject categories. Additionally, all kinds of metadata is presented in an article, from "see alsos" and external links to the categories themselves, metadata makes up an important part of what makes wikipedia unique. And the point of Category:Wikipedia featured articles isn't just to tell the user that this is a good article, but to also let them know where they can find other good articles. Gentgeen 06:43, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

If you really must put that information on the article page, make it a template with a small note at the bottom of the page or something similar. This isn't even a useful category because it just redirects to the FA page Lady Lysiŋe Ikiŋsile | Talk 15:53, 2004 Jul 27 (UTC)
Using a template would allow the category to be added without violating "Avoid self-references". It's also the way we include all that other metadata that Gentgeen was talking about. anthony (see warning) 20:04, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Things like Category:Wikipedia Featured Articles are simply not acceptable since it complicates third party use. Same goes for WikiProject messages. I remove these all the time and will continue to do so. --mav 06:48, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

In Polish wikipedia the following Featured Article logo is used: pl:Grafika:Wikimedal.jpg. But if stub messages are tolerated, why not the opposite - FA messages? Ausir 11:02, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Improper objections

Objections should, first and foremost, be based on content. No content = no article = nothing to spew over.

Instead, what do we see all too often?

  • I don't like the style. No example given, nothing. Can't be improved. Just mindless aethetics. Give an example -- alles gut. Can be fixed or at worst argued over. But no example = nothing to spew over.
  • Only one writer. Non-collaborative. WHAT THE ****? What are you supposed to do? Impose a minimum N contributors over mdT time metric? Gimme a break. Again, "unactionable" in the flawless English style of the "community".

This is an encyclopedia, people. Not a mutual aid society, not an art gallery. Complaints without an implied means of resolution are jerking off without a monitor to do it in front of. A. Shetsen 07:05, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I've so far not seen any objections like the first one above. Objections about writing style are different; they usually indicate problems with formal writing or organization. That's a valid objection. Exploding Boy 10:36, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)
Ah, Exploding Boy!! I suppose you guessed it was your objection to my self-nomination I was talking about.  :) Of course style is a valid objection. But please, give an example, or examples... That way something can be done. I agree "problems with writing" are very real. I appreciate sometimes it's hard to make edits unless one knows a topic very well, and I thank you. But, especially in a long article, "problems with writing" can be very hard to find unless you've already found them.  :) A. Shetsen 02:53, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

In order to exclude an objection, there should be a large supermajority support to exclude that single objection. I think this is more appropriate than considering the number of support votes vs. object votes as a whole. anthony (see warning) 15:03, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

By the way, having only one writer is clearly an actionable objection. It can be easily resolved, by adding more writers. anthony (see warning) 15:04, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I would prefer a policy on what objections are considered valid objections and what are not. Snowspinner 15:24, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

I don't think it's possible to enumerate all the possibilities that may ever come up, so while I agree that we should make policy when possible, I don't think it's a complete solution. anthony (see warning) 17:01, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I don't see what the problem is with having only one writer. As long as the article is well written, complete and unbiased it shouldn't be an issue. Exploding Boy 15:26, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

"Actionability" may not always be a the only criterion. Reasonability is also important when determining objections. That said, I don't think that having one primary writer is a problem. We need not penalize articles because the number of people who possess interest in them is insufficient. -- Emsworth 15:53, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I don't think it's possible to have a well-written, complete, and unbiased article written by one person and a featured article should of course have undergone some sort of peer review (which is bound to uncover at least a few problems). However, I'd suggest that an objector point out actual problems rather that talk about the number of writers. If it is an esoteric subject, simply requesting that someone knowledgeable on the subject other that a single author comment is probably acceptable. anthony (see warning) 17:03, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

"I don't think it's possible to have a well-written, complete, and unbiased article written by one person" -- why on earth not?? Exploding Boy 17:07, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

Because no single person can know everything about a topic worthy of an wikipedia article. anthony (see warning) 17:29, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

True, but I'd say plenty of single people can know everything about a topic worthy of putting into a Wikipedia article. Snowspinner 17:43, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

Anthony, I don't think that's true at all. Encyclopaedia articles are frequently written by only one person. Besides, all Featured articles are read and voted on by the community. Exploding Boy 17:46, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

I guess we just disagree on this one. Fortunately we agree on the important point. Simply stating that only one person wrote an article is not helpful, and shouldn't be a valid objection. anthony (see warning) 17:59, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I agree with Anthony and EB on this one - complaining that only one person wrote it is not, in and of itself, a valid objection. It *might* imply other problems (incompleteness and/or POV issues) but those are the things you should be objecting to if you notice them. →Raul654 18:14, Jul 25, 2004 (UTC)

My two cents on the "only one author" thingummy: given time, I think all articles will tend to reflect the work of multiple authors. If you look at the edit history of an article, it will tend to show periods of fevered work alternating with one of relative stasis. I have often noticed (in my short experience of wikipedia) that when one author starts a "fevered activity" phase, others tend to jump on the bandwagon, which is a good and healthy thing. Then, a consensus begins to emerge; people make small tweaks and copyedits; and soon the article reaches an equilibrium which can last months, until somebody touches off the next period of activity. It seems to me that the healthiest time for an article to be featured in the harsh glare of the public gaze is during one of these equilibria. Don't rush an article onto the front page when it's still in a revision cycle; and if an article has been overwhelmingly the work of one author, that probably indicates that it hasn't yet reached equilibrium. See what I mean? Doops 21:53, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • Equilibrium in a wiki cannot be defined. Although everyone understands the vague notion, if Wikipedia's desire (many outside the community would say "pretension") to provide a free store of all human knowledge is serious, standards for featured status especially must be very stringently expressed. Subjective notions should be kept to a minimum. A. Shetsen 18:24, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

What if an objector goes on leave?

I have this problem with my nomination of Yesterday (song)Oldak Quill has left on holiday till August 10, but Yesterday's nomination expires on August 7. I've done my best to copyedit the article, but how can the article become featured now that Oldak Quill can't withdraw his/her nomination? Johnleemk | Talk 07:38, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

If someone wants to re-iterate Oldak's objection they should speak up, otherwise we have to assume it is fixed and ignore the objection. Pcb21| Pete 08:25, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)
User:Sjc hasn't explicitly stated he/she will be away, but he/she has not responded to my query on his/her talk page about why he/she didn't strike out his/her objection. If the objection isn't withdrawn by August 3rd, even if he/she hasn't explicitly stated a leave of absence, yet hasn't responded, is the objection ignorable? Johnleemk | Talk 12:10, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Is there any policy in place to unfeature an article? For instance, it appears that History of the English penny has become the lead page of a lengthy series instead of a featured-quality article unto itself... and I can imagine similar things happening to other articles. Alternatively, it's possible that an edit war could, in the future, break out over a featured article, leaving it in a less than quality state... Snowspinner 16:02, Jul 26, 2004 (UTC)

Never let is be said that Wikipedia's volunteers underdo the bureaucracy - see Wikipedia:Featured_article_removal_candidates Pcb21| Pete 16:13, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)
My heart is warmed. Snowspinner 16:21, Jul 26, 2004 (UTC)
NB re the English Penny article... isn't this yet more proof that we need someway of honouring series of articles (see also my suggestion on the project page). Pcb21| Pete 16:13, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Are we still quibbling over what to do?

If people think there really are too many nominations to handle, then lets just

  • Limit the number of active nominations, say to 20
  • Each nomination lasts a week, like it does now
  • Create a back log, or waiting list on a separate page (how about Nominations for FAC?)
  • On the back log page, people can list upcoming nominations; nomimations are listed by (linked - to the article and article's talk page) name and date and then moved to the FAC page in order of posting as slots become available
  • Place a link/message on each nominated article's page to alert readers, and make it a rule that for all nominations a section must be started on the article's talk page for discussion while the artile waits to become a featured article candidate.

This will limit the number of active nominations on the main FAC page, while still allowing people to nominate articles they think are deserving, and will help by cutting down on minor objections and the use of FAC as a second Peer review, because people could patrol the backlog page and read those articles that interest them, and note suggestions for improvement or objections on each article's talk page.

This also works for people who feel they can read and comment on a large number of articles, and should (hopefully) reduce the size of the FAC page by reducing the need for long objections and discussion.

Exploding Boy 03:49, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)

I like Raul's recent edits to the FAC policy. It should help. Thank you Raul! --mav 06:16, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Thanks Mav. Just a summary for the impatient - I didn't make any *big* changes, just several small ones. I don't think everyone will agree with all of the changes, but I think most people will agree with most of them. The biggest changes are:
  • 1 nomination at a time goes from a suggestion to a rule
  • If you don't get someone to support your nom in 24 hours, it gets removed
  • If an article needs a big rewrite, you can refer it to peer review. If an article gets a few of these, it gets moved there. That should allievate complaints that we're not supposed to be writing FAs, just judging candidates. →Raul654 06:25, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)

Firstly, I must note that I strenuously disagree with the 1 nomination at a time rule. Furthermore, I object to the arbitrary removal of the Coronation of the British monarch nomination merely to retroactively enforce the policy. I will, though I disagree with it, obey the rule in the future. -- Emsworth 11:20, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Um, is that the same Coronation of the British monarch article that is listed on Wikipedia:Featured articles now? 11:25, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
How unfortunate... The article did not have a Featured Article Category or a message. Obviously, I must have been looking at a cached version of WP:FA as well. I offer my most sincere apologia. -- Emsworth 11:38, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I object to the one nomination at a time rule as well, and to the 24 hours rule (for reasons stated above). Since when can one user unilaterally decide policy changes? Exploding Boy 16:46, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)

Since Raul was named dictator of everything having to do with featured articles, of course. anthony (see warning) 20:06, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I think the policy changes will go a long way towards reducing the bloat on this page, but I want to make sure that the 24 hours starts when both of these conditions are satisfied:

  1. The page is listed on WP:FAC
  2. The fac template is placed on the article's talk page

Too often, nobody places a link on the talk page, and the people really interested in the article don't hear anything about it. - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 17:04, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)

I've reworded the 'one self-nom at a time' statement to be a strong suggestion, with the reason - it's REALLY HARD to do justice to the article and its objections for more than one article at a time, and is strongly disrecommended unless you're a Featured Articles machine and are sure you can handle it ;-) - David Gerard 18:56, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I tried to word it this way too but I prefer your wording to mine on the grounds of clarity :) Pcb21| Pete 23:09, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The FA category is now in Template:Featured

Please use only on the talk page of a featured article, else I'll set mav on you! Pcb21| Pete 09:58, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Grrr! :-) While this still does pollute the category namespace with a Wikipedia-specific reference, it at least leaves the article namespace alone. So I guess this is an acceptable compromise until we get a real meta tagging system for this type of thing (matadata are not the same thing as categories - although categories are a subset of metadata). --mav 17:51, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Wholeheartedly agree that a more advanced metadata solution is the proper solution longer term. Pcb21| Pete 11:08, 31 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I think you'd have to really work to "pollute" the category system more than it is already ... We could do with some proper metadata, yes. Perhaps when the much-vaunted rating system is added (though consensus appears to be supporting that as per-version, not per-article) - David Gerard 17:22, 31 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Where's it gone?

Where has Mains power plug gone?

There was no more objections, so it needed to sit there for a week. — Chameleon Main/Talk/Images 21:24, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Whoops. It's been promoted, but incompletely so. Let me finish. →Raul654 21:26, Aug 2, 2004 (UTC)
Ah, OK. Great, then. — Chameleon Main/Talk/Images 21:53, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)

mediawiki overwrites sections

When you're working on a section, and someone else deletes a section before yours while you're editing and you save the section, it deletes the section below yours. This happens because the section-specific editing is done by indicating in the url that you're editing, say, the fifth section. But when someone else deletes a section, what WAS the fifth section becomes the fourth, so when you save the previous fifth section, it deletes what WAS the sixth section, but is now the fifth. It's a rather nasty bug, I'm afraid. --Gregb 04:48, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Looking for articles to bring up to FA status?

Go to Wikipedia:List of articles all languages should have, find one that isn't bolded and get to work. That list is pretty much complete for en: - now, to make the kernel of an encyclopedia, we need good articles. Many of the things on that list aren't even close.

(Note on list: it's the simple: list. The full list at meta: is the one that is being added to by people.) - David Gerard 19:01, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Another place to look is FAC archived nominations, where articles end up that not accepted as Featured articles - many are almost, but not quite, up to Featured standard. With a little more work, many of them could be Featured. -- ALoan (Talk) 23:26, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Obama, Keyes, politicians in general

Recently, there was a controversy over whether putting Barack Obama on the main page would be neutral (he's currently running for U.S. Senate). I received the following message from JamesMLane:

The article on Obama's opponent, Alan Keyes, is in fairly decent shape, and is in Peer Review with the express goal of improving it so it can be featured. Do you have a problem with that plan? Frankly, my feeling is that we should bend over backward, and feature it even if it were to fall a wee bit short of the usual standard. JamesMLane 04:52, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

This raises a few questions. First of all, are we now obligated to put Keyes on the main page, and if so, should he also go on the list of featured articles? I have to say that, in other circumstances, I would object to Keyes being featured (several sections need expansion) and unfortunately, I'm not sure I'll be able to do the necessary research (classes begin soon, I have to travel, etc.) So should we put Keyes on the main page; should we wait until it's up to par; and more generally, is it neutral to feature articles on the main page that deal with controversial current events. I await discussion below. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 13:25, 2004 Aug 20 (UTC)

Of course we shouldn't put articles that aren't up to par on the main pageas a featured article. If it's current events, ( contraversial or not) then we could link to it from the "in the news" section [[User:Theresa knott|Theresa Knott Sig.gif]] 13:33, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Definitely not. Make the article good enough, get it past FAC then we can consider it. That Barack Obama didn't become a battleground the day it was featured augurs well for the possibility of current political articles becoming features, however - David Gerard 14:17, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)
How big a controversy was it? If it can just be ignored, I would suggest merely refraining from putting such political/current issue pages on the main page again. zoney  talk 14:25, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Several people expressed that they felt it wasn't neutral; see Talk:Barack Obama. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 15:48, 2004 Aug 20 (UTC)
Well, I'm not quite sure pushing a well-polished page on Obama and then turning around and featuring a not-so-well-polished page on Keyes would be balanced either. My personal preference would be to continue to follow the existing procedures for approving articles as featured, and then be more careful about featuring political articles during a campaign. Perhaps add a disclaimer directly below that an article from the other side of the spectrum will be featured soon. We should throw this particular case out the window, IMHO. Of course, there's still the issue of the DNC 2004 article, which is featured but hasn't yet made it on the main page. Hopefully we can get the RNC article in excellent shape so we can feature them back to back. Gregb 16:27, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)
This isn't really the page to discuss it (Wikipedia:Tomorrow's featured article and/or the talk page there is). That said, I won't put a sub-par Alan Keyes article up just for the sake of putting it up. Also, I think complaints that it could influence the election are specious - last I heard, Obama was polling at like 95%. I do like Greb's idea of putting up back-to-back articles (or possibly two at the same time?). →Raul654 17:19, Aug 20, 2004 (UTC)
No, please don't put up two at a time. We do not need to make wholesale changes just to address such minor problems. If a user is really concerned that the featured articles are not idealogically balanced, let him or her write his own featured article. -- Emsworth 20:06, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)
We don't need a sweeping policy of not featuring articles on controversial topics. If there's a doping dispute at the Olympics, and we happen to have a well-researched and well-written article on the substance allegedly used, great, feature the article when people are especially interested in it. Even on an electoral matter, a pending state referendum on same-sex marriage (like the recent one in Missouri) would be no reason not to feature an article on that subject. Presumably it wouldn't be considered feature material in the first place unless it were suitably NPOV.
The one place where I'd make an exception is contested elections for office. Even if the article on a candidate is balanced, featuring that article (but not the opponent's) is inherently unbalanced. For the future, I would say, as a general rule, we shouldn't feature an article on anyone who's a current candidate in a contested election (regardless of poll standings). There might be an exception for a race with only two candidates who are taken at all seriously, and both articles are feature-worthy, in which case they could be featured on successive days (both weekdays so no one complains about different traffic levels on weekends, whether or not such a complaint would be accurate). I'd restrict this exception to the two-candidate situation to avoid the problem of minor candidates. For example, featuring George W. Bush and John Kerry this fall would lead to calls for featuring Ralph Nader, and if all three were featured then supporters of David Cobb would feel slighted, etc. If there's a great article about a candidate, it can be featured after the election, when it's been updated to include the results. JamesMLane 23:26, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Articles should be featured when they are worth featuring, and not before; we don't need affirmative action for disadvantaged articles. Featured articles are only up for one day anyhow, so I doubt there could be any serious accusations of promoting one candidate (or POV of other polarized issues) over another. -- Wapcaplet 00:02, 21 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Agreed. We can only be POV if we try to be "fair", featuring pairs of articles that takes out each other. Featuring should be decided by the hopefully topic-neutral featured articles candidates process, any article in the pool of featured articles should be possible to feature. [[User:Sverdrup|Sverdrup❞]] 17:30, 21 Aug 2004 (UTC)

A precedent

I noticed Exploding whale was archived as a failure. I'm not necessarily suggesting that was wrong, but I do note that there were no actionable objections to the article when it was archived. There were previous objections about possible shortness (article length doubled since they were made), incompleteness (the objection was addressed) and a possible mistake relating to HHGG (was fixed).

Thus the nomination failed for a more vague reason of "inappropriate-ness". We should decide whether we are happy with that - and if so remember this as a precedent - previous nominations that have failed despite there being claims of "no actionable objections" have been rather frivilous nominations. Is this the first that isn't? Pcb21| Pete 11:16, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I agree, I wasn't sure that the one objection was valid - although it made a relevant point. -- Solipsist 12:40, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)
There were 4 supports, and 3 objections that it was too short (none of them struck out). That doesn't strike me as consensus. I left it there for almost 2 weeks hoping that it would move in one direction or another, but it never did, so I removed it. →Raul654 13:29, Aug 27, 2004 (UTC)
Ah, if it was for too short - that's fine. (Although probably only one objection for too short - I suspect the line from User:Pcb21 was a joke rather than an objection) -- Solipsist 13:50, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)
At the time I did think the article was incomplete. It is much better now, but only the second of my two comments on this was struck out unfortunately. Here is the diff that shows the article's expansion since Meelar and I suggested it was too short. Mintguy was the third to query the length but he withdrew that comment once he realised the HHTG stuff was sorted. Thus it is perhaps worth at least renominating it again, or if that is too much bureaucratic nonsense promoting it directly. Pcb21| Pete 14:33, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)
If I promote it, will I be reverted? Pcb21| Pete 08:40, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I don't think you should - as I see it, it was 4-3, and that's not consensus (also, it sets a *BAD* precedent). Re-nominate it if you like, but don't promote it based on the old nom. →Raul654 14:55, Aug 28, 2004 (UTC)
Raul654, the objections to length you refer to frequently were mostly over the article's size. These were resolved - the article was expanded and doubled in size. The objections were addressed! - Ta bu shi da yu 07:55, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)
To quote the page directions, If you withdraw your objection, strike it out (with <s>...</s>) - if an objection is not striken out or otherwise explicetely repudiated by the poster, objections are assumed to be valid. →Raul654 08:20, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)
But that's hardly fair... the objections were dealt with and people were either too lazy/lax to strike the objections! And I can't strike them for them. They did say it was fixed. - Ta bu shi da yu 08:43, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)
If they did say it was fixed, then they "explicitly repudiated" it and you can strike it out for them. →Raul654 17:38, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)
Oh. I didn't know that. - Ta bu shi da yu 04:56, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

References as FA requirement?

Recently mav has started objecting on several articles that they ought to have a ==References== section. I'm starting to think this makes a lot of sense. References are a Good Thing in several ways:

  • they increase the credibility of Wikipedia
  • they provide a useful resource for further reading
  • in the long run, they may increase the quality of articles as readers follow the references and then come back to the article to add some of what they've learned

Moreover, this isn't an unreasonable demand: it should be possible for the majority of FA candidates to have references, since any quality article should have been researched in books, journal articles or the web. Currently only a small minority of articles have references: the WP "culture" hasn't encouraged it. If we want this to change, the first place to do it is with FAs. If every article on the main page has references on it, contributors will start to understand that they should be adding some to their articles. I suggest making references a requirement for FA status, either by adding a mention to that effect in Wikipedia:What is a featured article, or just informally objecting whenever we see an article that has no references. --Shibboleth 15:09, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea to me.
James F. (talk) 15:22, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Makes sense. Just about every article should have a references section with at least two references in it. There might be exceptions, but I can't think of any. anthony (see warning) 15:42, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Many excellent articles have their notes woven in along the way rather than having a separate reference section. A good example of a featured article that is by no means short on references but doesn't have much of a separate referencese section is one I mostly wrote, Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius. I'll also add that many of what could have been footnotes I turned into Wikipedia articles in their own right, so that they are now links within Wikipedia and the actual references are given in the linked article. -- Jmabel 16:05, Aug 30, 2004 (UTC)

That's pretty good too. My main concern is that there be references at all. --Shibboleth 18:36, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Shibboleth. Yesterday (song) is an example of what Jmabel is talking about; instead of a section for references, an external link is included after the appropriate sentence to indicate where the information was taken from. Johnleemk | Talk 19:21, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Assuming "references" means either book references or web references this seems like a bit of a no-brainer. The only problem arises when a article without references is nominated without the original author around to add references in order to finish the FA requirements. In that case you have the choice of not featuring the article, or "making up" some references - i.e. suitable books/pages for further reading that may well not have been used during the creation of the page. Pcb21| Pete 20:08, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Actually this problem may be more common than I hoped - already happening at the Coronation Street nomination. Pcb21| Pete 07:43, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The requirement to have references is valuable enough to get by that problem. Besides, adding references that were not directly used in the writing of the article are better than none. At least then a later editor has a resource by which to fact check the material if they choose. That is what references are for in the end anyway. - Taxman 21:53, Aug 31, 2004 (UTC)
Of course those "references" may not contain the information that needs will verify the facts in the article. By all means add "further reading" but don't call it "references" if they weren't necessarily refered to. The guideline should be "a featured article should contain a resonable set of references and/or further reading lists". Pcb21| Pete 22:19, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Even if they're added later, if they contain the facts mentioned in the article they're references, right? anthony (see warning) 23:17, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yes, that would be fine. I am more concerned about someone saying "needs references", someone else going to Amazon and getting a couple of likely suspects and then throwing them in as "references" just to jump the FAC hoop, without the books every being looked at. This situation seems entirely plausible. Pcb21| Pete 23:20, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Even then the article is better as long as it is a reasonable source. Then it is the job of the editors to make sure the sources contain some of the best sources in the field or on the subject, just like it is the editors job to improve the grammar, etc. - Taxman 00:36, Sep 1, 2004 (UTC)
Being intellectually dishonest isn't exactly a great way to write an encyclopedia. Pcb21| Pete 06:02, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I put references into the Windows XP article, and immediately someone complained it was too long and unnecessary. What's the go here? - Ta bu shi da yu 00:27, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well I guess it depends on how many it is and how long, but consensus is shaping up to support references as being a key component of a great article. - Taxman 00:36, Sep 1, 2004 (UTC)
Fair enough - I'd like to know how to cite legal sources. The APA style guide is US-centric and each country has a different format. If we're going to encourage writing of references, then can someone tell us how to do it with legal sources? - Ta bu shi da yu 05:17, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
By "legal sources" do you mean statutes and caselaw? If so, each legal system will have its own standard, which should be followed, since that's the system you would use to check the reference. Markalexander100 05:32, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
That's what I meant. OK, so where do we find out about this stuff? It can be difficult tracking this sort of referencing information! - Ta bu shi da yu 08:57, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The unhelpful answer is that that would depend on the legal system you have in mind. Slightly more helpful answer: I'd start by Googling for "legal citation Albania", etc. English-speaking jurisdictions would obviously be easier than others. Markalexander100 09:46, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I also think this should be a written FA requirement. It is such an obvious thing to have that I'm embarrassed that I haven't been looking for this until now. If nobody objects I'll add this if somebody else doesn't beat me to it. --mav 08:29, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I disagree. There are articles where those who know have collaboratively written "what is". You mentioned a requirement for references on dual gauge for example. It's simple facts (three rails, run trains with different gauges. Gauge = gap between rails.). There aren't any references, and it would be difficult to find any. Now, I entirely agree that in many circumstances, especially larger and more important articles, it's necessary for FA, but to slap a blanket requirement is excessive IMO. zoney talk 16:30, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I am inclined to agree with Zoney - I don't think we need a blanket requirement for *every* featured article (particularly non-technical articles). →Raul654 18:22, Sep 2, 2004 (UTC)
I disagree with Zoney, certainly on the example given. The dual gauge article is not just a definition of what a dual gauge is: it includes reasons for the system and examples of it which may or may not be true, but which are not obviously true. We need references to be able to check if they are true. Someone must have found the facts out from somewhere, so where's the difficulty in saying where? Markalexander100 01:40, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Actually, come to think of it, that wasn't a great example. You're right, the example in particular are not just general facts. The Irish and British ones I have book references for, which I shall add once I have time to pull out the books, add the details to WP, etc. I still believe it should be a case-by-case situation, not a blanket requirement. zoney talk 09:55, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Any article worth reading is going to include information which is not obviously true. That information can only be evaluated if there are references to check. If it can't be checked, it's worthless — the author could have been mistaken, making it up etc. Markalexander100 10:29, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think that references are good, but that, however, a formal reference section is not necessarily a requirement. When I wrote Government of France, I gave pointers to the official sites of the various institutions discussed (perhaps of not enough of them?) and foundational texts, but they were given in "Related links" sub-sections. I don't think it would help much if all these links were given in a very large "Reference" section. David.Monniaux 15:43, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)

That is another valid way to do that. The main point is that references are used. There seems to be a consensus to add such a requirement. --mav 20:55, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Much as it pains me (because, when I contribute substantive text, I generally do so from my own knowledge rather from references), I agree that references should be required for featured articles (either as an explict Reference section, or embedded in the text) - there is nothing more intellectually dangerous than the things you think you know you know (known knowns, to use Donald Rumsfeld's famous expression).
Of course, that means that many existing featured articles are inadequate (some of them are nowhere near as good as the one that pass FAC these days - indeed, not as good as some that fail FAC) - is that a reason to demote them? -- ALoan (Talk) 10:36, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)
No, of course not. When we add requirements for FAs, we don't make them retroactive. →Raul654 15:46, Sep 3, 2004 (UTC)
No? An amount of retrospectivity seems to be applied to featured articles when they are proposed in Featured article removal candidates (which looks a bit slow at the moment - Zionism has been there since 13 June despite mentioning a two-week turnaround!). -- ALoan (Talk) 16:30, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Use of Peer review

Just wondering if all the people who vote here regularly also use Wikipedia:Peer review as a premptive way of upping candidate quality? Filiocht 11:36, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The reason I ask is because I posted a couple of articles to Peer review yesterday and noted the relarively low level of response visible on that page. I think it would be good if more of those people who have clear ideas of what will make FC standard went to peer review to comment on possible future candidates. Filiocht 11:36, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The problem basically is that there are so many places to check for article improvement. FAC frequenters often don't have time to visit peer review. This has been discussed on Wikipedia:Village pump recently, but with little coming out of it. Johnleemk | Talk 11:56, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Anarchism in Spain was archived without objections -- why?

"If there are no objections/referals after approximately a week, the article may be promoted to featured article status. If there are objections, a consensus must be reached. If enough time passes without objections being resolved, nominations will be removed from the candidates list and archived."

I had nominated Anarchism in Spain, it got two "Support" votes and two "Neutral" votes; no "Object" votes. Why was it archived? Do objections under "Neutral" (I believe the request was to expand the intro) count as "objections"? 01:51, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It's a judgement call, really. To me, 2 supports and no objections doesn't really sound like "consensus" - it's too small. That's why I left it on this page much, much, much longer than usual. No one else supported, so I remove it. →Raul654 02:16, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)
I'm thinking that other potential voters were driven off by my lengthy minor-objections-that-turned-into-support. They saw that the article had lots of commentary, but didn't realize that only 4 people had voted! I'd suggest making sure the neutral's comments won't turn into objections, then re-nominating it. I'll support it succinctly this next time! ;-) • Benc • 21:35, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I Want To Hold Your Hand, too

I Want To Hold Your Hand's first nomination got only one vote — a support. Why was it removed after only a week? Johnleemk | Talk 09:28, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
How quickly they are removed is also a function of how crowded the page is at the time - when the page gets crowded, things tend to get removed more quickly. Also, 'borderline' (such as a 2/0/2 vote) tend to get extra leeway (a 1/0/0 vote is not borderline). →Raul654 18:33, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)

Should there be a hard limit?

Does there need to be a documented cutoff minimum number of votes cast, as, say, on WP:COTW? Filiocht 10:12, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

No. This would be a form of instruction creep. →Raul654 18:33, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. Any borderline cases can simply be discussed here on the talk page and possibly re-nominated. • Benc • 01:57, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)