Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive9

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Still brilliant

I just did a little a little analysis and of the 110 articles that were featured in August 2001 (the oldest time for which data exists) 26 are still featured now. I salute these examples of long-standing fine writing User:Pcb21#Still brilliant. Pcb21| Pete 09:05, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

What are those 26? --mav 20:08, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Actually, Pcb made a slight error - there are actually 25. From the page he cited, they are →Raul654:

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Warren County Canal was removed on April 28 but it's not listed in either archive page.

it was promoted and can be found in the April archive (you were checking the current one, which is for May) →Raul654 17:07, May 2, 2005 (UTC)


The resubmit information seems to be missing from the page or the link from the "facfailed" template is incorrectly linked. I'd like to know whats the appropriate length of time for a re-nomination since my article's 1 objection (making it easier to verify references) was fixed prior to failing. K1Bond007 15:31, May 9, 2005 (UTC)

There is no specific length of time you have to wait before resubmitting (I strongly dislike numerical requirements). When this has been asked before, I suggested waiting a week or two before resubmitting because (in my opinion) it is inappropriate to immediately resubmit something that just failed. →Raul654 19:05, May 9, 2005 (UTC)
I was going to probably resubmit after a week anyway, but wanted to make sure. Thanks for the feedback. K1Bond007 22:47, May 9, 2005 (UTC)

Pics in FAC

I just thought - why not submit pic with FAC request? This could save time for chosing which pic to nominate for Main Page, and would also serve as a VISUAL mark for those viewing the FAC page - after all, for many people, pics are easier and quicker to recognize then words. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:51, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Probably a good idea, based on what you mentioned above. If it will be ok with everyone, I will add a pic to my self nom of Hero of Belarus. Zscout370 (Sound Off) 03:12, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Neat idea. Why didn't I think of that? :) --mav 03:22, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Meh - I'm lukewarm on the idea. First, I don't look at the FAC nom when writing something up for the main page, so chances are any such 'suggestions' will be missed. Second, it will make this page (and *especially* the fac archives) take much longer to load, and I don't really see much practical benefit to doing it. →Raul654 17:03, May 17, 2005 (UTC)
That can all be discussed on the Tomorrow's Featured Article page. violet/riga (t) 17:19, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Featured lists

Just a silly thought, but does anyone else feel that there could be a place for Wikipedia:Featured list candidates? Filiocht | Blarneyman 11:51, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

Nice idea, if only because it would create a set of exemplars—which we badly need—and encourage us to identify the characteristics of a desirable list. --Theo (Talk) 12:19, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
Could start with Wikipedia:What is a featured list. -- ALoan (Talk) 12:28, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
And as a first nomination, I'd go with List of North American birds. Filiocht | Blarneyman 12:45, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
Well. I've just been bold and created Wikipedia:What is a featured list. Improvement required, I think. Filiocht | Blarneyman 12:54, May 18, 2005 (UTC) and Wikipedia:Featured list candidates. Filiocht | Blarneyman 13:13, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
If we did anything on these lines I would like to be more general than just lists - some groups that can be collectively "good" are lists, wikiprojects, categories, article series .... Pcb21| Pete 13:03, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
I think that a number of these could be captured under the lists heading Featured groups is open to misinterpretation, I'd fear. Article series would probably need their owen voting page. Filiocht | Blarneyman 13:13, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
I'd like the simple Wikipedia:Features. Pcb21| Pete 13:58, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
That's a good suggestion for the destination, but the voting page WP:FAC is already big, so other voting pages may still be a good idea. Filiocht | Blarneyman 14:00, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

I think that there's a substantial difference in kind between, say, list of popes and list of notable libertarian theorists and authors. Random crap keeps sneaking into the latter, and there's no way of telling if it's comprehensive or not. I think the popes are featurable, the theorists are not. I'm not sure how to express that difference in the criteria, though. Something about the list being verifiably complete. Dave (talk) 13:37, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

I doubt that many lists will ever be complete, unless you stick with closed sets like popes. Does stability cover it? After all, FAs often have crap added to them after they become featured. Filiocht | Blarneyman 13:48, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
As I was about to say before being edit conflicted, Wikipedia:What is a featured list is a good start - list of notable libertarian theorists and authors is likely to fail one or more of the comprehensive, stable, and uncontroversial tests. List of Popes, List of British monarchs, List of Presidents of the United States are all likely to be fine, though. More of a problem may be lists of the type set out in President of the United States#Presidential trivia lists. -- ALoan (Talk) 13:51, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
Sorry for the edit conflict. You've said what I was trying to say, but in proper English. Filiocht | Blarneyman 13:55, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

I fail to see how a list or category can be of 'featured' quality. First, as Filiocht said, unless you stick with very clear cut, closed sets (like popes) you're bound to run into ambiguities. What is a 'comprehensive' list? Who is to say that the list should include A, B, and C, but not D. Also, a list is, um.. devoid of content. There's not really anything there to differentiate a good list from a bad one. [Raul]

Second, Wikiprojects (and categories) shouldn't be featured at all. The whole idea of 'featured' is to highlight content we feel is good. Wikiprojects are *not* content, they are designed to produce content; categories an lists are associations of content; they are not content in and of themselves →Raul654 14:45, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

I have to admit a slight sense of frustration when you have responded this way on each of the three or more occasions I have suggested Wikipedia:Features. Featuring Category:Charles Dickens would not mean we think that that category page is particular pretty or nicely alphabetised. It would mean that we are particularly pleased with all the content in that category (i.e. in the articles listed in that category). Ditto portals, wikiprojects. This is not a difficult point so why do you keep pretending that I am suggesting something I am not?
One likely response is: Well just get all articles in the category featured separately then. My point is that this way encourages bulky articles that all carry sufficient mass to get them featured, even though the ideal layout from the reader perspective is to split things out more into small, more readable, but less "featurable" hierarchies. (There is a case in point with some of Emsworth's articles for example). The ultimate goal of the FA process must be to encourage creation of ideal Wikipedia pages. The current FA process is slightly off-centre in this regard and I firmly believe that Wikipedia:Features is a way to get it in line. Pcb21| Pete 15:10, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
There is a real-life example on FARC right now - nuclear weapon content has been getting better recently, and this has meant that sub-articles have been started. Thus nuclear weapon is likely to be removed from WP:FA, therefore removing the recognition that the creators of that content deserve! Pcb21| Pete 15:18, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
More edit conflicts - anyway - don't we run into ambiguities with featured articles already? How can any featured article claim to be comprehensive, since there is always more to say. We deal with the ambiguities by reviewing, discussing, and voting to build a consensus on whether an nominated article meets our standards.
If a list is useful, comprehensive, factually accurate, stable, and well-organised, uncontroversial, meets all applicable standards, and has appropriate images, what else would it have to do to be featured? There are plenty of very good closed-category lists out there. List of popes is a good list. List of cricketers is always likely to remain a bad list. Simple, really.
I can see some justification for a "featured series" - that is, a collection of articles that may not be good enough to be featured articles individual but that are good enough as a collective (cricket is featured, but I hope that many of the other cricket articles are getting there - see Portal:Cricket).
As for Wikiprojects and categories, I can see less justification for some sort of "featured" status - they are really meta-content rather than content (and yes, I do think a list is content). -- ALoan (Talk) 15:22, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
I am thinking of it from the perspective of categories/projects defining a series or collection of articles. Perhaps portals would be ways of doing this (but then again I advocate merging portals and their relevant category page). Pcb21| Pete 15:32, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
I can see some justification for featuring a "series" - a well-defined, finite (preferably small) group of closely related articles. For example, if we had articles: History of the United States 1776-1860, History of the United States 1860-1914, History of the United States 1814-1945, and History of the United States 1945-Present. Or, for that matter, the kings of England. On the other hand, I dislike the idea of opening up the term 'series' to lists and categories which are massive and potentially endless - list of Gay writers, things having to do with soccer, etc. →Raul654 18:07, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

It seems like two different things are being discussed here.

  • Featuring lists (and tables, data pages, and other not-exactly-articles that are nonetheless valuable), and
  • featuring collections of articles.

Personally, I think if lists and such are to be featured, they should go on WP:FA and be held to similar standards.

Featuring collections is a different question. The most common situation is when a good article grows and is exploded to subarticles; this happened to nuclear weapon and to spacecraft propulsion, for example. Of these, nuclear weapon is now a mess and shouldn't be featured regardless; spacecraft propulsion was run through the featured process again and is now featured on its own merits. However, it still derives much of its quality from the staggering number of supporting articles on individual methods of spacecraft propulsion, which were part of it when it was first featured.

Perhaps a "Featured topics" section on WP:FA would fit the bill; this would be for featuring whole collections of articles, and would link to an overview article (which should be good, of course, but it would be the quality of the detail articles that would be featured). An example (not of featured quality) would be nuclear technology. --18:12, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

Returning to my original suggestion, I think we should have featured lists for a number of reasons:

  1. Lists are part of what we do and we need to raise the overall quality. an FLC process will help to define what good lists should look like and set overall standards.
  2. As Raul points out, articles and lists are different; articles are about content while lists are about organising content to make it more useful. At their best, tyhey are also about presenting content in a digest form. FOr instance, List of North American birds tells me how many North American List of North American birds tells me how many North American Ducks, Geese, and Swans there are, what their common and Latin names are, and provides images of two of them. Useful information all.
  3. Creating and maintaining lists is a significant part of the contribution made by a lot of editors here. FLs is a way of recognising the excellent work done.
  4. Nobody has to get involved in the FLC proccess, so those who thing it is a bad idea can just not get involved, much like everything else that happens here.

I'd just suggest that those that are interested go edit the relevant pages and lets see what emerges. Filiocht | Blarneyman 07:35, May 19, 2005 (UTC)

One final point; if there are concerns over the value of certain lists, can their resolution not be left to the good sense of those who write the criteria and who vote on the candidates, just as happens on FAC? In other words, can't we just trust in the wiki way? Filiocht | Blarneyman 07:37, May 19, 2005 (UTC)

Ranks and insignia of Starfleet

I am pleased to say that this article's updating, revamping, and recompliation, appears to be complete. The issues raised on the FAC candidate page I have attempted to address and I now belive that the entire article conforms to every aspect of a featured article. I ask the administrators to declare it so.

With vote changes, withdrawals, and recasts, this is now I count the tally:

  • 6 Votes for Support
  • 4 Votes for Oppose
  • 2 Oppose Votes would I believe should be disregarded
    • Request vote calling article "petty" and a "collection of images" be disregarded
    • Request vote calling article "crufty minutiae abounding with original research" be disregarded

Counting the questionable opposes, its a dead tie but I believe everything possible has been done to turn this into an outstanding article. It matches other Featured Articles I have seen (see Medal of Honor and Order of the Bath) and I hope that the hours of work into this article will now be rewarded with Featured Article status. Thank you and Good Night! -Husnock 04:40, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Without being familiar with the article, or the FAC comments, let me point out that a 6-6 tie vote, or even a 6-4 majority in support, does not come close to "consensus" and I for one would therefore be surprised if it gets elevated to FA status at this time. - Bryan is Bantman 06:03, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
The four opposition votes raised issues which were dealt with and corrected. The Users simply never returned to change their vote. My initial understanding of the prcoess was that to become FAC all objections had to be "resolved", which I attempted to do. My main claim for this is that is mathces the format and layout of the examples mentioned, Medal of Honor and Order of the Bath on which the FAC candidacy was based. -Husnock 06:25, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
You may want to contact the users who voted oppose on their talk pages. Evil MonkeyHello 06:28, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
That is not true. My objections have still not been addressed. --mav 14:26, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
There were addressed on the FAC talk page. Please revisit and clarify if theres still an issue. -Husnock 15:48, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
Responding to my comment and not acting to fix the thing I'm objecting to is not addressing my concern. FAC page already updated. --mav

I've been hesitant to either promote or archive this nom (along with Papal Tiara) on the page because they seem to be getting a lot of commentary. →Raul654 07:55, May 19, 2005 (UTC)

Raul, the way things are going, it should probably be closed. There are at least three people who have outright attacked the article and called it names and others raised objections, which were handled, and then they thought up new objections just to create further problems for the article. Not to mention several of the sources are being questioned with people saying that a book published by producers of the show is "fan fiction". How ridiculous. In an event, this thing will just get nastier and God help us if vandals and sockpuppets find the FAC page. Its a very sad state of affairs. it should have been an FAC, but there are people who visit this site that simply will not rest until the nomination fails. Its really amazing that any articles at all make it past the process. Oh well, Ive done all I can do and we still have a great article now that I'm proud of. -Husnock 21:03, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I don't think that greater level of scrutiny could be harmful, instead it should lead to better articles, so I don't see any problem with extending their time a bit. I for one, plan to dig into the Papal Tiara article by tonight to see if the POV problems I saw last have been resolved. - Taxman 15:20, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
It was kind of sad that so much resistance came from trying to turn this into an FAC. I will work on it more this weekend. -Husnock 15:48, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
It's situations like this that encourage me to believe that featured series is an idea with legs. I have some sympathy for those that don't like the featuring an article on a "trivial" topic, but bounds of sympathy for those who have spent time on these topics and then receive those objections. However no one is going to object to a feature on Star Trek as a whole. Thus, as long as all Star Trek articles are good, a Star Trek featured series is a way to please and encourage everyone. Pcb21| Pete 16:14, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
It's not sad, it's just how the process works. Your response leads me to believe that you are more emotionally attached to this article being featured than you are to making sure it meets the requirements. As explained before you don't need to worry about objections based on the topic, only the criteria. Topic is not in the criteria at all. - Taxman 19:34, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
I do have a question based on one point brought up. I currently have an article going up through the FAC process, Hero of Belarus. There have been two objections raised, and I replied to them both. One suggestion that was brought up here is to go to their talk page, address their concerns and see if they are happy with the changes. However, when I did that, I do not recieve any reply to the changes. Is there anything else that I can do? Zscout370 (Sound Off) 17:21, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
You don't need to do too much else. Just note on the FAC entry page that you feel you've addressed the objection. The objector can either clarify why they felt you didn't, or if others agree you have, the objection will more or less be considered handled, and you don't need to worry about it. - Taxman 19:34, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
Ok, pretty much the FAC of Hero of Belarus is pretty much done. How long until the FAC is closed and will I know about the result of it? Zscout370 (Sound Off) 20:09, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Should PR be formal requirement of any FAC?

As Phils wrote in Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Anschluss: "most of what we do here (suggestions, objections, discussion, etc.) belongs in WP:Peer Review. Ideally, articles in Peer Review are the ones with a "basis for a FA", but that aren't quite ready yet. When your article lands here, there shouldn't be much left to correct (relatively speaking, of course, improvement is always possible)". I agree completly. Should we make this an official policy? PR first, only then FAC? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 11:36, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm split on this question. If the purpose of PR is to groom articles to be FA quality, then yes, it probably should be a requirement (and the nominator would have to add a link to the PR discussion in the FA nomination). However, we've seen several articles come through in the last couple months that did not go through PR but got promoted. It's the nominator's responsibility to ensure that nominations meet the FA criteria before nominating them. Articles that have a lot of work to do should be voted Refer to Peer Review. slambo 12:47, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
Sometimes it's hard to get feedback on peer review, especially if it's not at the top of the list. Also, experienced wikipedians (e.g. emsworth) will almost never need it. Perhaps we should recommend prior review. Maybe it should even be required if someone hasn't passed an article through yet, but that might be too much. We should also keep in mind that articles stay on PR for a month, and forcing people to wait a month to submit an article they're excited about could really hurt the process. On the other hand, I'm fairly new, so I don't know much. Dave (talk) 13:32, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
Don't undersell yourself, Dave. The only thing I'd add is that we sort of do recommend PR by having it on the FA path list. Filiocht | Blarneyman 13:48, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
I'd be opposed to any formal requirement. Lots of people can write FA's without any PR, and adding one more bit of red tape would not be helpful. If the worry is too many articles are nominated that are not making the grade, then simply make your comments Refer to peer review and give the criteria it fails to meet. Recommended, sure, I would support recommending it as the first step, given that PR is much more successful now. And Dave, no worry about the month. They are just allowed to stay on PR for a month, but many are removed from PR by their nominator and nominated at FAC well before the month is over. Especially when a number of people compliment the article and suggest it go to FAC. - Taxman 14:54, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
I concur with Taxman. →Raul654 18:07, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
Ditto (even though I suggested this before). --mav 21:36, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
Instruction creep. — Xiongtalk* 02:14, 2005 May 20 (UTC)

Not everyone needs peer review, particularly those who've been through FAC numerous times, however, it should definately be recommended so we don't get half baked articles on FAC, the question is how do we effectively recommend peer review to articles approaching featured status?--nixie 03:48, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Probably articles submitted by people who are sending their first article towards FAC. Zscout370 (Sound Off) 03:57, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
That will seem like a "do as we say, not as we do" attitude to many newcomers to FAC and be quite offputting. Pcb21| Pete 07:06, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Now now, let's not be elitist about this. We were all FAC newbies at one time or another (yes, even me). →Raul654 07:17, May 20, 2005 (UTC)
I regularly do take my nominations to PR first (and would not consider myself an FAC newbie now). However, I'd resent being told I had to. Filiocht | Blarneyman 07:34, May 20, 2005 (UTC)

I found PR to be a really good way of delaying progress on my article. I put it up there for the regulation month. I got a few comments early on and I solicited others. After a few days there was no more traffic, except for my occasional pleas for further guidance. I knew that the article was not yet at FA standard but I could not see what needed to be done and could solicit no advice so I put it back on FAC and got immediate constructive feedback. I am still going through the improving iterations but this is all stuff that I would have hoped to get on PR. I will put future articles through PR too, but I do not expect it to do any more than introduce a one month delay in the improvement. --Theo (Talk) 22:08, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

I left my article at PR for a few days, got a few quick responses, pretty much saying the article is good. I really did not get much feed back either until I placed the article at FAC. Now, the article has been spellchecked, Babelfishiness is gone, beefed up, all thanks to the FAC. Zscout370 (Sound Off) 22:11, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
I submit all my FA to PR, but after a few days - two weeks the most - there is no point in PR, as nobody apparently bothers with reading the mid-to-bottom ones. I guess faster archiving is in order, but this is more appopriate for discussion on PR talk, I think. On the closing note, I would recommend all readers of FAC to check PR at least as often as FAC. There are people there who need our comments...and if they don't get them, they will come here with half-ready article :> --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:13, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Have pity on those of us who don't like "inote"

More and more we are seeing calls for inotes to be used in featured articles. I really hope they remain non-mandatory. Inotes are useless to readers because they don't even know they exist. They have some value to other editors but no more so than other referencing systems do. Also because they are so free-form (indeed the implementation is blank) these templates are never likely to be used by some fancy software-supported referencing/metadata system. Pcb21| Pete 22:15, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Replacing the blank content at template:inote with whatever code needed to make a real citation via a not-yet-implemented MediaWiki citation feature will turn these invisible notes to visible. The only thing that is required is the appropriate use of inline citations. The particular system used to accomplish that is up to the article authors. --mav 22:32, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
I am worried that that "not-yet-implemented" system can never be implemented because each user of inote can put whatever they like into the template and so there is no consistent way to parse it.
I agree with appropriate inline citations. We are in a bit of a minefield right now though because there is precious little consensus on what "appropriate" means. Pcb21| Pete 07:03, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't think implementation will be a problem. The system could allow notes to contain either arbitrary text or parametric data. When the software is upgraded, inotes could be converted to arbitrary text-type notes, to be changed manually later. Fredrik | talk 08:07, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
But the same could be said of any other current footnote template. Why hide the data now? Why not display it now, with the possibility it be displayed differently and more cleverly later? Pcb21| Pete
The inote system does not require users to add entries to a ==Notes== section. True, readers can't see the notes yet, but writers can. Not a perfect situation but something that can be easily converted to a real system once that is implemented (a ==Notes== section would be generated automatically in that case). A little history: Inote was created to replace HTML comment cites. --mav 11:59, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Just a further advert for the parallel discussion at Wikipedia talk:What is a featured article -- ALoan (Talk) 10:59, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Pace ALoan and the parallell discussion, I'd just like to emphatically endorse every word Pete says. Why hide the data now? The idea of hiding information from readers, even for a short time (? indeterminate? how long?), is mystifying to me. Readers have as much need as editors to be able to verify information. --Bishonen | talk 18:32, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Because every referencing system other than inote is a pain in the ass to implement and almost all are easily broken (moving a section, for example, will break the numbering sequence). --mav
Writing "I am your father, Luke (Vader, 1980)" is actually slightly less a PITA than writing "I am your father, Luke {{inote|Vader, 1980}}". In either case you still have to a Vader 1980 line in your references section. Moreover it is visible! I appreciate that inote is better than its evolutionary predecessor, the HTML comment, but still don't think it is very good. Pcb21| Pete 09:06, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Personally, I hide the source citations because I find them intrusive in any of the conventions that are currently available. My overriding concern is the readability of the text. I want my reader to get the core information smoothly. Subsidiary information begs a subsidiary system and I prefer footnotes to the interuption of inline citation; this is an encyclopedia, not an academic archive. Wikipedia:Footnote3 is approaching an acceptable solution but it requires one to eschew other inline links. In a perfect world the reader would be able to right click on any text to see a pop-up note about sources. In our less perfect world I would accept small superscript numerals as note indicators but they must not require me to manually code the numerical sequence. I used to use html comments to hide the source data. Now I use inote because it promises to make the data more accessable one of these days. --Theo (Talk) 19:53, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree. Take a look at the code for, say, Technetium or Helium. There are a lot of references - a footnote after every sentence is not reasonable: a reader will be swamped with little superscripted numbers. I, for one, would find that extremely unpleasant to read. So if the choice is between providing fewer inline references and providing invisible inline references, I'll choose the invisible ones.
For those two articles, at least, I don't think *any* visible reference scheme is going to be acceptably unobtrusive; inotes (or HTML comments in Helium - not that I think that's a good solution) allow a level of verifiability that just can't be matched by any kind of visible referencing scheme I've ever seen.
A challenge: For those who don't agree with me, try the following: take Technetium, make a copy in your user space, and convert the references to your favored reference scheme. Then report back here with a link to the page and a report on how much work it was. --Andrew 20:34, May 20, 2005 (UTC)

The following (hopefully coherent :-) comments:

  • I don't see mav criticising articles which have footnotes. He just prefers Inote, so there is an acceptable alternative which is visible to users. Please give specific criticisms so they can be fixed if you don't like any of the systems.
  • You can use a references section and just give page numbers in the inotes/footnotes. This fixes problems with free formatting. You can then just use reference templates.
  • currently the "best" articles on wikipedia are fully verifiable. New FAs should at least make some atttempt at verifiability. Emsworth's recent work shows ways of doing this without either. I think, however, as standards rise it will become reasonable to ask for "reasonably verifiable" as a baseline fairly soon.
  • please help with CSS experiments to make footnotes visible/invisible, this will make them easier for everyone to agree to.
  • please try making a note system which provides proper arguments as you wish. It is probably easy to use templates to do this. At least tell us specifically how you think it should work.
  • it is perfectly okay to mix Inote with Footnote3, this will give a reasonable number of visible notes along with full verifiability.
  • apart from Footnote3, there are also manually numbered semantically linked systems under development such as Wikipedia:Footnote4.
Mozzerati 21:24, 2005 May 20 (UTC)

Question about references

Wikipedia is an amazing resource. I think this is a given, however we are now fast approaching the point where some of our articles are so comprehensive that other articles will be able to use them as a source! For instance, the Mozilla Firefox article has whole sections that reference more specific subarticles — this is great, but has left the article with a serious lack of references. The subarticles, however, have many references. I think that we should be including the Wikipedia article as a source using the citing Wikipedia standard - this, of course, uses the date and time of the revision referenced by the article. What do people think? - Ta bu shi da yu 17:40, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Not objecting, but I am a bit afraid this would be used as argument against Wiki - 'a publication that cites and references itself'. Wouldn't a simple solution be to copy and paste the relevant references? Perhaps some kind of a template would come in handy... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:15, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
That's only a solution if you actually go and read those resources. If the only article you actually read is the Wikipedia one, then it's misleading to claim you've verified it against the original sources - after all, what if someone made an error in the Wikipedia article?
Of course it's better to go back to the source, but if we are reasonably disciplined about it, it's perfectly reasonable to use (for example) nuclear weapon design to write the nuclear weapon design section of nuclear weapon. --Andrew 20:48, May 21, 2005 (UTC)
Um, no, I really, really don't like the idea of doing a full citation every time you want to cite another wiki article. In Academia, yes, you do full citations even for things you yourself wrote, but for our purposes that's very pedantic and instruction creep at its most devestating. →Raul654 21:04, May 21, 2005 (UTC)

Hold on all, we have a criteria that we must note all the source of an article. If we use summary form, we only choose the most essential information and leave out all the extraneous stuff — yet if that extraneous stuff is referenced in the subarticle and then we copy ALL the references from those articles, won't that be a bit misleading? As for being a "publication that cites and references itself" - well, we already do this through wikilinks. With Raul's objection: yes, I agree that's not the best solution. However, I was really only referring to the subarticles. After all, what happens when an article loses it's references due to summary form causing them to be removed? - Ta bu shi da yu 05:08, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Then you keep those references that are still valid for the summary. Problem solved. I am very much so against any article citing another article. The only exception I would allow would be a translation of another Wikipedia article from another Wikipedia wiki. For example, if somebody translated an article from the German Wikipedia, then a note in the references section of the resulting English Wikipedia article should mention that. Everything else should be accomplished by giving good edit summaries. Oh, and the resulting translation would still need to have a list of actual good references used to create and/or check the information in the article. --mav 13:08, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
What's wrong with a summary article not citing redundant references from the "main article"? Filling up the summary article with repeated references simply makes it more difficult to read. It may be useful in some cases - but not comprehensively. --Golbez 07:14, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
The references section is a list near the end of the article. How could that make the article more difficult to read? Those references are not repeated if they were actually used to write the text in the article or confirm the information contained in it. --mav 14:26, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Because there's an annoying tendency in some articles to simply fade out, information-wise, as they reach the end. The most common "summary"-type articles we have here are obviously the country articles, and looking at FAC-winner India, the lowest fifth is nothing but links, which is useful, yes, but my eyes start to glaze over around the Holidays table. It's probably worse on United States, with a larger holiday table and the US topics table. Now imagine if every single thing in the History section was referenced - is it just me, or would the references section balloon, possibly filling a full page even on my monitor? I don't mind having a few links to other articles to get more information, or even a huge link farm at the end of summary articles to get more information, but if you're going to have the internal link farm, then there's no reason to have an external link farm as well. Having both of them fills up the end of the article with text but no content. --Golbez 15:09, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
Ok now you've lost me. What does the external links section (what I'm assuming you're calling the external link farm) and the See also section (what I'm assuming you're calling the internal link farm) have to do with the references section? Besides, even if it does take up some room, like Mav said, the references section is at the end of the article. It can be easily skipped with no loss by those that don't care to look it over. If you really think it is so onerous to have a list of references at the bottom of an article, then submit a feature request to have a preferences feature where you can elect to hide every references section. But that's your personal preference. - Taxman 15:48, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
I was referring to references as the link farm. External links are (usually) short and to the point - an official web page, an unofficial web page, this and that. India, a Featured Article, has two Wiki external links, five official links, and two well-known profile links - nine in toto, plus five Wikimedia boxes. And thirteen references. Add in all the references required for History, even though the History of India article is fully referenced (and sadly either it isn't, or only four sources were used), and that can balloon. But either way, this is probably a petty argument. :P I'm just in it because 2004 Atlantic hurricane season got object votes because it lacked references - when they're scattered all over the article, and for the major storms, the main articles contain references, and it would be a duplication of time and effort to refence everything in the season article. I rather like the idea of having a preference to hide references, but for something like that you're looking at at least MediaWiki 1.9 and a complete overhaul of how articles are marked up. --Golbez 16:22, May 24, 2005 (UTC)

Personally I think that an article that is or should be a summary of other more detailed articles like Germany should not contain references because they take so much space but insted refer to the more detailed articles for references. Andries 16:26, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

That only works if:
a) it's clear that references are available elsewhere
b) the editors of the Germany article only use facts that are already present in subarticles
c) it's clear which subarticle has the references for each point.
I don't think any of those requirements (except possibly the first) will ever be fulfilled consistently. And taking up space doesn't matter. Wikipedia isn't paper and so on. Dave (talk) 16:56, May 24, 2005 (UTC)


What's happened to FAC? I don't see too many people voting anymore :-( have things slowed down that much? - Ta bu shi da yu 03:27, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

I think it's a seasonal thing - with finals and whatnot, it's been slower than usual for the last couple weeks. →Raul654 03:31, May 26, 2005 (UTC)
We can probably say this is not just solely killing the FAC. The whole Wiki is hurting due to this. However, at least we hope the school vandals will drop now that finals are close to being done. Zscout370 (Sound Off) 03:32, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
The stats don't really show an "exam time" effect over the last four years. Pcb21| Pete 08:24, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
Must be the effect of WP:FLC! Filiocht | Blarneyman 10:31, May 27, 2005 (UTC)

I have had a lot of work lately, and I like to read FACs entirely before voting. I hope I can start voting on every FAC again soon.Phils 20:44, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Inactionable Votes

Question about inactionable votes. If someone "opposes" a Featured Article Candidate but writes something silly like "this article stinks" or "this piece of garbage should never be an FA", are other users permitted to line out the objection so it doesnt get counted with legitimate votes? I recently ran a featured article candidate and it was called names by two users who offered no items to fix, simply stated they thought the article was stupid. I felt then, as I do now, that I should have been able to just line those comments out. Opinions? -Husnock 05:52, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

You mean strike out? No. Invalid votes will be ignored by the promoter/archiver (generally Raul). The best you can do is ignore them. (Having said that, as I said last time, the users who criticised the article's triviality also criticised its poor sourcing. If Raul took their votes into account, I expect that's what he was looking at). Mark1 06:06, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
Hopefully I wont run into those two again. I saw nothing positive about the comments. One called the article a "petty collection of images" while the other referred to it as "crufty miniutie" or something like that. I saw them as totally inactionable. One user even added insult to injury by adding a section on his user page about why the article in question should be deleted. How low. Oh well. -Husnock 06:35, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
Point the inactionable objections out, but don't strike them out. I'm pretty quick to say that someone's objection is inactionable. When I see others making similiar comments, I'm usually pretty good about posting a comment agreeing or disagreeing with that evaluation. →Raul654 06:53, May 27, 2005 (UTC)

Notability and cruftiness detail for FACs

This is issue has come up quite a few times on FAC lately, and was raised by User:Karmosin (Pete Isotalo) in the discussion about the Starfleet insigna article FAC; I want to settle this issue once and for all. Do other FAC regulars (or anyone for that matter) think that any article about any subject, as long as said subject is notable/verifiable enough to have an article, can be featured, so long as it complies with all FA requirements? (formulated otherwise: Can you object a FAC because you think the subject is too specific/not appropriate for FA, although it "deserves" coverage in an article?) I have already voiced my own personal opinion on the matter; I think one of the only strengths of Wikipedia over printed encyclopedic reference works is the amount of detail found about obscure topics. As such, any article, whether it is about a well-known topic or extremely specific should be "featureable". User:Karmosin has raised the issue of some articles being "not encyclopedic enough" to be featured; I assume by encyclopedic he means "broad in scope". I believe this conception originates in the old-fashioned conception of extremely broad encyclopedia articles we can find in printed encyclopedias (for example, in a printed encyclopedia, most information about Star Trek would be put under one Star Trek article, and entries like "Enterprise" or "Spock" would point the reader to that article). Wikipedia as a whole has long moved away from this model; this is exemplified by the use of "sub-articles" to avoid pages that are too long. We have more space, and thus can provide more detail: that's what makes us interesting, and that's what we need to show off. The idea that an encyclopedia article must give you a broad view of a concept as a whole (which I think is User:Karmosin's conception, after reading what he wrote on the project page) is not applicable here: we have hyperlinks, so that people can quickly look up things they don't know. A good example for a class of very specific articles that has become popular on Wikipedia are articles about songs (many of which are featured, like Hey Jude). What is your view on this? Phils 21:01, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

I think yes, with one exception: there are some subjects that almost certainly should have articles, but the subjects are so obscure that you can't write more than 3 or 4 paragraphs even if you really stretch it. I know lots of historical figures fall into this category. But with that exception, I'll say that as long as there's enough info available to write an article of reasonable length, yes, it should have FA potential. Everyking 21:24, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
That extremely obscure topics can be covered by us is not something I'm opposing, even if I suspect that my interpretation of Wikipedia is not a general knowledge base is probably quite strict.
I clearly specified that I have no problem with semi-detailed topics on fiction like Mr. Spock, Darth Vader or dalek being valid FAC-topics, since they are in themselves cultural icons and have had such an impact on modern pop culture. However stretching this definition to truly extreme levels such as in ranks and insignia of Starfleet is something I can't accept. It's one to thing to say that Star Trek and it's very notable characters are very notable, but saying that every single imaginable detail of Star Trek is equally notable, equally important and just as valid FAC-material as blue whale, peer review or Elizabeth I is utter nonsense. I think we need to draw the line somewhere, and it should be applied equally to all types of meta-fiction articles. That meanst that an attempt to write about evil characters in Robert Heinlein's novels is just as invalid as costumes of Charles Dickens's collected works. Both of these are perfectly good analogies to the current Star Trek-nomination and I suspect that the current supporters of the Star Trek articles would show little, if any sympathy for anyone who tried introduce such world literature-cruft into the FA process.
And could we please try to keep in mind that Star Trek, even if quite notable, is very limited to specifically the Western Anglo-Saxon cultural sphere (and especially the US)? I'm still pretty sure that it has a gross over-representation among the more technically crafty internet users, young males and therefore probably among Wikipedians as well.
Peter Isotalo 21:28, May 29, 2005 (UTC)
Well, my opinion is that you determine in the first place whether or not Star Trek ranks and insignia should even have an article. Maybe it should just be one section in some other article. But if you make the determination that it is in fact notable enough to have its own article, then it should have FA potential. I don't really believe in saying that Elizabeth I is more inherently worthy of being featured than an obscure topic, because I think the question of featured quality should be independent of the issue of notability. So basically, if I saw an article I thought was too obscurely detailed to be a FA, I would only vote unconditionally to oppose if I thought the article should be merged or deleted; if I agreed that it should exist, then I would also have to agree that it had FA potential. Everyking 21:41, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
I think the central question here is, what is a featured article? I don't mean the specific criteria at Wikipedia:What is a featured article; I mean what does it mean to this community to call an article featured.
  • Is it an article we believe represents the best way a topic -- any topic -- can be handled in an encyclopedia-style fashion on the Internet? Then I'd say that fancruft is eligible, if well done.
  • Does "featured article" mean something that we, as a community, are proud of? Then perhaps fancruft is out -- I'd venture to say that at least some of us find fancruft somewhat embarrassing.
  • Are featured articles our way of putting our best foot forward? Then again fancruft may find serious resistance.
This gets to the heart of all the Wikipedia is... and Wikipedia is not... guidelines. I would suggest that if an article fits within the former, it should be featurable; if it fits in the latter, it should not be. One might suggest that an article that fits under "what wikipedia is not" should not be an article at all, although any of us would find it very difficult to suggest the deletion of an otherwise excellent article. Just a few thoughts. - Bryan is Bantman 00:40, May 30, 2005 (UTC)
Are you saying we shouldn't feature some "otherwise excellent" articles because they "embarass" some conservative minds? Phils 05:37, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Level with me here: are you telling me you wouldn't protest an FAC that was about the geography of Mordor or the costumes of Huckleberry Finn? Because, really, there is not the slightest bit of difference between these two examples and ranks and insignia of Starfleet.
And when speaking of "conservative minds" try to keep in mind that Star Trek still is a very, very narrow subject with a very, very specific focus group. Yes, it has probably widened a lot since the 60s. Yes, it has many followers among prominent celebrities. It is however a very white, very male, very Anglo-Saxon (particularly American) and very tech-nerdy phonomenon. Saying that everyone who don't share the same enthusiasm about an article on the ranks of this fantasy universe is conservative is not something I would perceive as a reasonable assessment of the outside world.
Peter Isotalo 14:39, May 30, 2005 (UTC)
Pasting this here, because you obvious did not read it, judging from your reply: ::::Pete, reading you, I seriously believe you have no arguments besides the fact that you personally feel the insigna topic pushes the detail too far. I can understand that feeling, but it's not a valid reason. If you can write and interesting costumes of Charles Dickens's collected works, that actually shows costumes have some level of importance in his works, and gives insight into why they play a role in his books, go ahead. I do not know much about Star Trek (I watched Voyager once in a while when it aired), but what I do know is that there was an incredible variety in the insigna: this is something that is of interest to some people. Insigna did play a role in Star Trek; they were notable in their variety. Let me give you an example: Ovid's Metamorphoses are notable because of the transitions between the different tales. If there was an extraordinarily long article on Metamorphoses, I would support making a separate Transitions in Ovid's Metamorphoses, because this is something the Metamorphoses are known for. Would you object such an article to be featured? Another example: Ezra Pound's Cantos are known for the sheer amount of literary references in them; List of cultural references in The Cantos is on WP:FLC and will probably pass. This is no traditional encyclopedia; we might need to draw a line somewhere, but that line is much further than the line traditional encyclopedists have to draw. Phils 05:54, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
If it can exist, it can be a featured article. End of story. Johnleemk | Talk 15:03, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, then I'll be eagerly awaiting for someone to bring the list of actors who have played lesbians, bisexuals and gay men (around since september '03) to full FA fruition.
Peter Isotalo 16:24, May 30, 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Featured list candidates. Phils 19:42, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
That's almost as astoundingly pointless as the list exampe I gave you. But if you want to make this two-week old project an equal of FA, I could't possibly argue against it.
Peter Isotalo 21:47, May 30, 2005 (UTC)
How long it has been around is completely irrelevant—or are you trying to introduce some kind of academic tradition here, to go along with your disdain for articles about fictional subjects? Respectable and knowledgeable contributors who know the FA process participate in the project; attempting to denigrate is does not help your case. The point is you do not have arguments, beyond your personal dislike for articles that have little relation with what you percieve is reality. I can understand that feeling, but I do not share it. Phils 05:53, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I qualify as "Respectable and knowledgeable", but as one of those involved in WP:FLC, the main contributor to List of cultural references in The Cantos, and someone who has been involved in FA land since the old brilliant prose days, I suddenly feel the need to poke my nose in here. The point of featured lists is to encourage the creation of better lists. It should have been created long ago, but that is no reason to denigrate it for its newness. On the more general point, is is and always has been the case that if an article is fit to survive VfD, it has the potential to become an FA. IMHO, this is non-negotiable. Filiocht | Blarneyman 10:12, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
My opinion is as follows- Yes, I think that any article, provided it can and/or has survived the VFD, can be a featured article. I do not think that objecting to something on the grounds that it is not encyclopedic is a valid objection on this page. The FAC is not the VFD. (In other words, assume that everything listed here would survive a trip through the VFD. If you don't think this is true of a given nominated article, then list it on the VFD, not here) Objections that something is not encyclopedic are inherently inactionable and therefore invalid.
Now, about the insignea article -- among the objections, there were some that it had too much non-canonical materiel. I do think this is a valid objection - wikipedia article should, for the most part, stick to canonical material. Personally, I think it's OK to mention a bit of noncanonical material here and there, provided it is clearly delimited as such. On the other hand, objecting to it based on the subject of the article is clearly not actionable and therefore not valid. →Raul654 06:12, May 30, 2005 (UTC)
Well said, Raul. I attempted a purge of the Starfleet ranks and insignia article of all non-canon sources and added in-line citations as references. The vote page unfortunaetly turned into a debate, and a nasty one at that. I admit it, i was upset at the other person. I have been here well over a year and have never bashed someones work by calling it "unencyclopedic", "unworthy of FA status", and "barely academic". The tone of the other user really seemed like they just flat out didn't like the fact that the article existed. That made me hot, yes it did.
In any event, am I allowed to move that debate section to the article's discussion page? Everything the user had to say as pretty much about the validity of the article and not comments to help turn it into an FA. I feel that entire section just clutters up the vote page.
For that matter, I believe all the objections have been handled. With the inline citations added, teh talbe of contents reduced, and non-canon info removed, I believe the article is ready for FA status. One user listed an "object", but never came back to change it. Lets take a look, please, and see if it can now be raised to FA status. -Husnock 08:06, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Why exactly are you making excuses to Raul? It was my comment that you responded to with a pretty nasty personal attack [1] and then simply (re)moved without even asking me about it. Criticizing someone's article is not slander, especially after I tried very hard to motivate it and without degrading myself to simple name-calling. You constantly try to make this into an anti-Star Trek thing when I've very clearly explained exactly why it is not. How am I even supposed to take you seriously when you proclaim "pure fiction" to be an insult when directed at an article that is about pure fiction?
Peter Isotalo 18:16, May 30, 2005 (UTC)
I agree with the arguments above that if it is allowed to exist then it is allowed to be featured. It would be too much of a slippery slope to try and judge what is noteworthy and what isn't. You could also argue that more people will want to look at Starfleet ranks and insignia than the Abbey Theatre or action potential articles. We shouldn't judge any article to be less worthy than another simply because we personally see it as "cruftier". violet/riga (t) 18:41, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

The problem I see with the article and Trilobite eloborated it well, is that particular article contains a significant amount of original research, stuff fans have inferred from watching the tv show and movies. We're not going to put suburban reading groups x's interpretation of The Davinci Code on the main page, and it would probably be deleted from any article I tried to add it too and from the main namespace. If anything this artilce is protected from deletion given the precedent to keep most stuff on star trek and star wars. I thank this article would be perfect featured material for the Star Trek WikiCites (if there is one yet) but not for Wikipedia--nixie 03:24, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Not sure of the specifics in this case, but I think direct observation of something like a TV show or a movie is acceptable and not original research...interpretation stated as fact would be a different story, of course, but that's pretty easy to avoid. Everyking 04:06, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
Yes, direct observation is allowed and encouraged. In fact, policy even allows "critical analysis" of art, if grounded in direct observations. Fredrik | talk 09:38, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
That is in such direct conflict with the no original research policy that I've ammended it to be consistent with NOR and with the spirit of what was being said there. The only direct observations allowable are objective items like color and size and events. Any critical content would have to be from an outside source. - Taxman Talk 14:03, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
My take on it is this - if an article is noteworthy enough to exist, by all means, it should, potentially, be a featured article. That being said, however, as a representative of what Wikipedia can offer to everyone, it should at least try to be interesting to everyone. In other words, there should be stuff in there that goes beyond fan trivia and actually be able to tell non-fans why the subject is interesting, be useful to them in terms of introducing them to things they may not have known before, and maybe even get them interested. That is what a featured article should do, and in fact, that is what all featured articles, fan or not should do. It should tell the non-initiated something that will interest them.
I'm not saying that the whole thing should consist of non-fan stuff, but there should be a reasonable amount, clearly delimited, to balance the rest out so that a non-fan won't just look on it as evidence of more kooky Trekkie obsessiveness. My main concern with Starfleet ranks and insignia is that a non-fan looking at it will not get any useful real-world information or understand why this is significant. --khaosworks 11:27, May 31, 2005 (UTC)

"We're not going to put suburban reading groups x's interpretation of The Davinci Code on the main page." Exactly. As I see it there are two problems here. The first is the question of whether FAC should have notability criteria over and above those of VfD. Just because we tolerate an article's presence in Wikipedia, does that mean we should tolerate its featuring on the main page? I don't think we should, but I see that many people take it as a given that any article notable enough for inclusion is notable enough for the main page, and Raul agrees with their assessment. Filiocht says it's non-negotiable, and with the greatest respect to him, I cannot see why that's the case. It's quite possible of course, that the likes of me and Peter Isolato are in the minority on this, in which case I'm happy to accept community consensus and shut up. There is a second problem though, which refers specifically to the article we're all currently arguing over, but could conceivably apply to many other fancruft articles. This article isn't primarily about a work of fiction, but penetrates a long way into the realms of arbitrary conjecture about fiction. The fans have put together an entirely suppositious area of study based on conjecture about the military structure of a fictional body belonging to a fantasy universe, part of which is glimpsed through the lens of a fictional TV series. We would be mad to slap it on the main page and present it to the world as a showcase of our greatest work. — Trilobite (Talk) 12:11, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry if my comment came across as a bit blunt; in retrospect I should have expanded more, but I'm having a lot of problems editing today (error messages). Anyway, here goes.
A lot of articles land on WP:FAC that I would find to be of no real interest (because it's cruft, because of my relative ignorance, etc). However, I have long since (as in, long before Wikipedia was even technically possible) learned not to use my own limited field of interest as a yardstick by which to measure anything at all. The reality is that far more people are interested in Star Wars than are in modernist poetry. The first consequence of this is, it seems to me, that a good article on the latter appearing on the Mian page is likely to attract more users to this project than a good article on The Cantos is. And maybe some of these new users have other areas of interest and expertise, or other needs to learn. And so the project grows. If you, or I, are allowed to impose our collective tastes and interests to limit which sets of articles are eligible, we may be doing Wikipedia a well-imtentioned disservice.
Now, the vital thing here is a "good" article. If we accept that Wikipedia should contain articles on fictional universes, let's do what we can to ensure that they are good articles. And one of the primary extrinsic motivators we have for article improvement is the possibility of attaining FA status. If we agree to exclude these articles, we are failing to do all that we can to ensure that they are the highest possible quality. The main role of WP:FA is, it seems to me, to drive article quality; ultimately, all our articles should be that good. It is this that I consider to be non-negotiable and it can only happen if all articles can go through the process. This also why I mooted the featured lists idea a couple of weeks back.
I hope that this is clearer than my previous post. I do not expect to change anyone's opinion, but I do want you to see that my reasons for disagreeing with you stem from my concern with the quality of Wikipedia, a concern I believe is reflected in my history as a contributor to the project.
Filiocht | Blarneyman 13:01, May 31, 2005 (UTC)

Lets be clear here, that since the criteria now have nothing in them about the topic of an article, that not liking the topic (even by every editor) cannot keep an article from being featured. The only thing that can, is the article not meeting the criteria. If we wished as consensus to have a limit on what topics can be featured (by adding a new criteria), that could be done, but I think there are many good reasons above why that shouldn't happen and I am quite confident that there will be many editors that would never support a limit on what topics can be featured articles. Now we do have a separation that articles not believed to be suited for the main page can be marked as such so that they do not go there, so offensive articles and such are covered by that. - Taxman Talk 14:03, May 31, 2005 (UTC)

Understand me Trilobite, I too am opposed to fanfiction and fan conjecture articles becoming FAs. My point is we shouldn't close the door for "crufty" articles. "Pop culture", as much as I dislike most of it (with the exception of video games), has it's place in this encyclopedia, and I feel that as long as articles about pop culture phenomena are written with the necessary distance, free of any conjecture and personal analysis, and have a reasonable length, it should be possible for them to become featured. I think these conditions, combined with the established FA criteria, are sufficient to prevent any innappropriate article from becoming a FA, without the need for additional "notability" or "non-fictionality" requirements. Besides, where would we draw the line? There a lot of topics in other areas than just pop fiction, like philosophy and mathematics, most people do not care about, and which are entirely "virtual". Phils 14:13, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

(After edit conflicts and server errors.) Filiocht and others make a good case, and since I'm finding myself in the opposite camp to several editors I hold in high regard (and who make persuasive arguments), I'm going to withdraw my objection based purely on the subject matter. I don't know if the featured criteria should be changed, but it's worth thinking about. There's not much point me continuing with inactionable objections to the Starfleet article now I've made my point, but I still think the article describes in more detail than is sensible the intricacies of a fantasy world constructed by some fans around a fairly two-dimensional work of fiction. Blowing up minutiae into a big article raises issues of original research and verifiability. I still think the analogy of a reading group's impressions of The Da Vinci Code is quite a good one. Next time an article that consists of highly detailed fancruft comes up on FAC, the same problems will come up. It is not easy writing a featured article on very obscure and conjectural topics. — Trilobite (Talk) 14:27, 31 May 2005 (UTC) (Now how about this? I just googled "minutiae" to confirm my spelling, and what should come up but this site. Their introductory paragraph is very fitting. — Trilobite (Talk) 14:32, 31 May 2005 (UTC))

  • I think criterion 6 covers this kind of thing; overly-long detailed articles are in breach of this guideline. My only concern is with the idea that certain classes of article would be "banned" from the FA process. Filiocht | Blarneyman 14:52, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
  • Right, so object to the article on the basis of the criteria it fails to meet, of which there are currently more than enough. Just change the reason for your oppose from topic to the criteria. Conjecture, unless by valid sources, has no place on Wikipedia, since it directly violates the No original research policy. - Taxman Talk 15:30, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
    • Thanks, Taxman. I've changed my objection. — Trilobite (Talk) 16:37, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
No. Pure fancruft is, by definition, non-notable and unworthy of inclusion within a general-purpose encyclopedia; it certainly does not belong on the Main Page. Surviving VfD is not an endorsement; it just means that defenders were able to rally to its defense. To put it another way, consensus must prevail to delete a page, in practice demanding a supermajority in favor of deletion; while consensus must prevail in favor of a page in order for it to become a FA. There is a wide band of contention between these extremes.
FA represent the best we have to offer and all aspects of a page are subject to scrutiny; there is no such thing as an invalid objection to a FAC. Let's not degrade the concept of FA by parading pages which pass some tortured definition of merely acceptable.
There are articles related to fantasy universes, even about individual elements of such, that may be worthy of FA status; but these topics must, at the very least, be notable in the Real World. Such pages must be more than mere collections; aspects must be weighed, analyzed, explained, related to each other and to outside elements.
The recent Starfleet-rank-cruft, for example, could be improved greatly if someone was able to show that the particular design of a given rank was somehow significant -- that (even in the Trek-world) it actually mattered in the slightest that a Power Engineer Second Class wore round instead of square pins. Or one might delve into connections between Trek ranks and those of real military arms. But the driving force behind fancruft is that it exists and that alone. This captivates the dedicated fan, but is meaningless and insignificant to others.
Of course, it takes serious effort to produce a notable, factual article, and it's doubly hard to do this while being hounded by castle-jumpers. I well understand the motivation of the creators of fancruft; they hope that their totally non-controversial edits will not be reverted out of hand by zealots. The worth of a FA is demonstrated by its survival of this trial by fire; pages that evade this are unworthy. — Xiongtalk* 00:42, 2005 Jun 2 (UTC)