Wikipedia talk:Featured list criteria/Archive 1

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Red links

While I fully understand User:Dmcdevit's revert, it leaves us with no criterion on red links in lists. This means that the sentence reverted is our de facto position: objections on the grounds of no red links may be considered invalid because no criterion is breached until such times as we agree one. That was my intention in adding the sentence in the first place, and not an attempt to circumvent discussion. So now we need to agree something. For the record, my own position is to retain the status quo; that is I believe no criterion is needed, just as with FAs. Filiocht | Blarneyman 08:37, May 23, 2005 (UTC)

Well, I would submit that having a sentence that says there is no criteria, and votes based on it are invalid, is much different than just not having any mention of it. That is why I was offended. (Though often, upon reading it later, my sarcasm looks a lot ruder written down, which is not how I'd like to be remembered.) So anyway, to discuss the actual criterion, I can't quite remember the article, but I do remember an FAC going down or being objected to for redlinks, especially with main subarticles that are considered standard. I do recommend that the following be added to the criteria: "the list should aid the reader in navigation by pointing them to the specific articles from a list of generally related ones." Not necessarily that wording. From the Wikipedia:List: "If the user has some general idea of what they are looking for but does not know the specific terminology, they would tend to use the lists of related topics (also called list of links to related articles)." That is why I think there should be some general kind of standard about red links. I certainly don't want a specific number set (ambiguity is good for special cases), but I would be satisfied if we could say a "large majority" should be blue linked. This is because I see this as pretty crucial to aid in navigation, the list needs to mostly point to articles to be very useful to the reader, according to one of the purposes of lists: navigation. --Dmcdevit 05:07, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Against which we might balance this form Wikipedia:Lists: "Development — Some lists are useful for Wikipedia development purposes. The lists of related topics give an indication of the state of the 'pedia, the articles that have been written, and the articles that have yet to be written." I'm not sure we need a criterion, but would go along with "large majority" if pushed to it. Filiocht | Blarneyman 12:44, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
"Large majority" seems like good wording, with enough ambiguity to allow for special cases. Kind of like asking for "consensus" in other Wikipedia contexts. As to the above point, I would say that links consisting mostly of red links can be extremely useful for development, but they fall down as examples of the best of Wikipedia content, which is surely what being featured represents. OpenToppedBus 16:09, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
In articles, many red links make the text less readable. In lists, this is not so much of a problem (IMHO); e.g. List of islands of Switzerland has a lot of red, but except if none of the lakes or rivers had an article, I don't think it's unreasonable. -- User:Docu
I agree with Dmcdevit and OpenToppedBus regarding the "large majority" wording; "featured quality" doesn't in my opinion coincide with a list of primarily red links. The guideline could be added under "useful". --Spangineer 15:13, May 31, 2005 (UTC)

Based on this discussion and regarding the recent addition of a red/blue link guideline, I think the wording of the guideline should be along the lines of "A useful list is composed of a large majority of links to existing articles (blue links)", not "A list with a large majority of links to non-existent articles ("red links") is not considered useful." The two sentences do not mean the same thing. --Spangineer 19:31, May 31, 2005 (UTC)

Agreed, and I just revised it. --Dmcdevit 19:47, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Other suggested additions

Add any more below, I guess:

  • I wonder if we can agree on a policy about embedded lists. Certainly some of those may be featured worthy. (President_of_the_United_States#List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States comes to mind). But I don't know how it should work. Any ideas? --Dmcdevit 05:33, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Also, should we come up with any size restrictions besides comprehensiveness? The FA criteria has: "Length appropriate: Stays tightly-focused on the main topic, using summary style to cover sub-topics in other articles." If an article is only a list of links and it is still large, that can't count against it, I think, since comprehensiveness is more important. But if we allow embedded lists, then we'll have to take the rest of the article into account. So President of the United States, which is 52 kB, would be unlikely to pass FA for that reason, and we may want to think about that here. Another consideration: what about lists that are comprehensive but still small. To continue the example, take a look at List of Presidents of Somaliland. It's comprehensive and well done, but only three lines. Would we consider it? Just hoping to stimulate discussion. --Dmcdevit 05:33, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, President_of_the_United_States#List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States should probably be spun out of the article into a a separate List of Presidents of the United States (neatly making the article shorter and creating a feature-worthy list :). On the substantive questions, I think we should not feature embedded lists (can you imagine featuring sections of an article?) nor should we have any size restrictions - lists were always one area where the old 32k limit was waived. For List of Presidents of Somaliland to be featureable, I would want significantly more context. Perhaps it should be merged into a List of Heads of State of east African countries? -- ALoan (Talk) 11:33, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
I'd agree on embedded lists and on size limitations, unless we set a minimum? Filiocht | Blarneyman 12:24, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
I think we could probably rely on "Exemplify Wikipedia's very best work" and "useful" as objections to a nomination of a list of three people. -- ALoan (Talk) 12:46, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Fair point. Filiocht | Blarneyman 15:48, May 24, 2005 (UTC)
IMHO embedded lists should qualify. There are good reasons to keep President_of_the_United_States#List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States within the article, but this doesn't change its quality.
A list should cover its defined scope, but it needn't be exhaustive.
Personally, I think a list should have at least five items. List of Presidents of Somaliland exists because there is the same for other countries, but it's seems difficulte for it to be featurable. -- User:Docu
Also, List of Presidents of Somaliland doesn't have much potential for adding other types of material than the actual three lines, since it adheres to the format of other lists of presidents, as it should do. Some lists which were comprehensive at a mere three lines, or, say, eight lines, and didn't have to worry about being congruent with a particular format, might benefit from a more imaginative treatment. Say an outstanding references section, or brilliant prose in the lead section. If we do say anything numerical about length, I think we should follow the FAC criteria in specifying that excellent short lists can also be featured. Bishonen | talk 16:13, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree - excellent short lists should be featureable. List of Presidents of Somaliland is just not that excellent: if it had images of the presidents, perhaps short biographies, references, and a decent lead section, then it would be featureable - compare List of Presidents of the United States. -- ALoan (Talk) 16:30, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree with the statements about short lists being featurable, but just to clarify your (ALoan) statement about "short biographies", are you suggesting that shorter lists should have more content per list item in order to be featured? I not sure that I am necessarily opposed to the idea for now, but I just wanted to check. --Spangineer (háblame) 16:38, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I think I am saying that a short list needs to have more content per list item for it to be an "excellent short list": for example List of moons of Mars would simply say "Phobos; Deimos" (although I suppose you could add the orbiting man-made satellites too) - would that be featureable? Even if it had images of the moons, links to appropriate references, etc? (Actually a bad example, since Mars' natural satellites does it better, but you get the point.) -- ALoan (Talk) 17:14, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Maybe will nominate soon, need feedback

I will be splitting list of cultural and regional genres of music into User:TUF-KAT/List of genres of music by region and a list of genres of music by people. See the User:TUF-KAT/List of genres of music by region for the format I've come up with, basically nicked from list of popes. Would this seem agreeable? The references present so far are essays from a collection by various authors -- ideally, however, a reference should be more authoritative and academic than a world music book, but adding a separate reference for every region with a "music of" would make this page very long, so... Anyway, feedback would be most appreciated. Tuf-Kat 19:04, May 28, 2005 (UTC)

One, very superficial, response is that without gridlines, this kind of table becomes hard to read. Filiocht | Blarneyman 11:33, May 30, 2005 (UTC)
What's a gridline? Are you referring to the difficulty in remembering which column is which? If so, I agree, but I'm not sure how to make it easier. Tuf-Kat 22:27, May 30, 2005 (UTC)
Maybe gridline is not the right word. I mean horizontal and vertical lines to make it easier to follow across roads. Does anyone know how to do this? Filiocht | Blarneyman 07:25, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
I added colors to the columns. Does that help? On an unrelated note, do all lists really need references? This is primarily meant as a list of articles that either exist or should soon, to aid in navigation. References should be in their respective articles, I think, but only make User:TUF-KAT/List of genres of music by region even more bloated. Tuf-Kat 20:35, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)
Also, I notice a lot of lists with countries on them have begun using the little flag icons (e.g. European Constitution#Parliamentary approval of the Treaty). Is this considered standard now? Should I implement it? Tuf-Kat 20:42, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)
I think the flags are pleasing to the eye (and may be your best way to fulfill the images requirement). --Dmcdevit 20:47, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Absurd ways of construing "comprehensive"

Believe it or not, at Wikipedia_talk:Featured_list_candidates, it is being claimed that list of religious topics should never be featured because we can never hope to prove that every possible religious topic that anyone could ever think of is listed there. Only things like list of presidents of the United States, in which we can prove that every president is there, can be considered comprehensive, on this view, and therefore only those can be featured lists. I proposed list of lists of mathematical topics (NOT list of mathematical topics) as a featured list. It is comprehensive in any reasonable sense of the word, and it's really an amazing work. But it's being opposed on those grounds. Michael Hardy 22:24, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Proposed new criterion: List-ness

Well, "List-ness" is a bad name, but what I mean with it is that featured lists must not be substitutes for categories. I.e., having a list instead of a category must be justified - An alphabetical, non-annotated list with no images would be perfectly acceptable under the current criteria. Note that a category can also have a lead section of sorts. -- grm_wnr Esc 03:16, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Sometimes an alphabetical list is all that is needed. With categories, one can't be sure you got all elements. It currently already reads "Annotated with additional information as appropriate". Besides, even if it's featurable, it won't be featured. -- User:Docu
I think one could argue that an alphabetical list with no annotations would not be featureable material, in accordance to the current criteria (see "useful" and especially "well-constructed"). I think with those two criteria, the door is open for people to object based on them, which would require the list to be redone and not featured until the objections are addressed. I would probably not be opposed to a minor wording change that clarifies those two criteria, however. --Spangineer (háblame) 12:48, Jun 5, 2005 (UTC)

Dynamic lists

Personally, I think lists such as List_of_songs_whose_title_includes_geographical_names don't need to list all of them to be featurable. Thus, I'd like to reprase "comprehensiveness" from:

"Comprehensive: Covers the topic in its entirety; does not omit any major components"


"Comprehensive: Covers the defined scope; does not omit any major components.

-- User:Docu

I'm not sure how much difference there is between the two versions, except that the word "entirety" is not explicitly included in the revised version. "Defined scope" seems ambiguous - where should the scope be defined? Can I create a list and call it "List of presidents of the U.S.", even if it only includes presidents up to Abraham Lincoln so long as I say in the lead, "This is a list of presidents of the U.S. up through 1865"? And where in List_of_songs_whose_title_includes_geographical_names is the scope defined? Is the scope only "famous" songs, or "famous" places? Or is the scope "whatever we can think of at the moment"? This is not to be critical, I'm just trying to understand what the new version is trying to accomplish. --Spangineer (háblame) 22:23, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)
List_of_songs_whose_title_includes_geographical_names includes {{dynamic list}} which defines the scope as necessarily non exhaustive. If it would lacked the 5-6 songs everyone would expect to find in there, it would omit a major component. If there is a reasonable argument to be made to limit the list of presidents to 1865, it would be ok. The list of presidents couldn't be dynamic and featured IMHO. -- User:Docu

I updated the wording as per above and included {{dynamic list}} -- User:Docu

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I think you're on the right track, though I'm a little bit unsure of the current wording; it might be a bit confusing. I'll think about it some more. --Spangineer (háblame) 11:00, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
I changed the wording, so please take a look at it. I think Michael Hardy's addition (see history) is covered in the "major component" part, if you disagree, let's work on wording for that as well. --Spangineer (háblame) 10:28, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)


I'm posting Filiocht's proposal here for more discussion; I'm not sure if I agree or not. He said 'I would also propose that the criteria be ammended to read "Includes references where appropriate"' in the context of the List of lists of mathematical topics. Thoughts? --Spangineer (háblame) 13:00, Jun 5, 2005 (UTC)

I suppose, but in any case, couldn't some external link to a useful website, that may not have been usd in writing the article, always be scrounged up? And shouldn't there always be some "See Also" WP links? It's just, if we make references optional, I don't want the bottom to be totally bare, so we could require a See Also or External Links section. --Dmcdevit 18:50, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Adding "where appropriate" is fine with me. We wouldn't want sections to be added just for one to be there. -- User:Docu

I agree. Sometimes references are not appropriate. Michael Hardy 00:08, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This may be silly, but...

...Shouldn't it be Wikipedia:What is a featured list? (note the question mark)? Either that or Wikipedia:What a featured list is, but I like the first better. After all, it's a question, right? Things like these bother me sometimes, so excuse me for wasting your time. --Dmcdevit 07:19, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You're absolutely right. I've moved it. Filiocht | Blarneyman 07:40, Jun 7, 2005 (UTC)
 :) --Dmcdevit 18:39, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What about Wikipedia:What is a featured article - shouldn't it be at Wikipedia:What is a featured article? -- ALoan (Talk) 18:17, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, yes. Filiocht | Blarneyman 07:31, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

I'm not convinced. "What is a featured article", with no question mark, is, aside from a possible slight difference in emphasis, synonymous with "What a featured article is". Michael Hardy 21:04, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Huh? Grammarily speaking, if you're not taking it to be a question, as I had assumed, then aren't you saying that "What" really is a featured article?! --Dmcdevit 21:17, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No. It means the same thing as "what a featured article is", or, if you like, "A featured article is what". The subject comes after the verb, as in "A merry old soul was he". My first name, Michael, is reported in some old reference works, to me "Who is like God", with no question mark, i.e., in early-21st-century colloquial English, "one who is like God". Syntactically it is somewhat parallel to a dictionary definition of the word visible, that says "that may be seen". Apparently dictionaries don't use that syntactic form anymore and maybe we've now reached the point younger people are confused by it. Michael Hardy 21:37, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Proposed emendation to the list of criteria

Covers a topic that lends itself to list format by bringing together a group of related articles that are likely to be of interest to a user researching that topic

"Researching" is too narrow; it means you have a clear idea what questions you want to ask about the subject. One of the current candidates is absolutely magnificent for use when you're browsing to learn about the subject without yet knowing what questions to ask. That is an important part of learning, and an important reason to regard some lists as immensely valuable. See the comments at Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/List of lists of mathematical topics under "Being a partial reply to Dmharvey's question posted above". Michael Hardy 20:23, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

How about changing "reseaching" to "interested in"? Filiocht | The kettle's on 07:09, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

"Interested in" sounds good. But "interesting" and "interested" sound awkward so close together; it should be rephrased a bit. Michael Hardy 02:10, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Amendment of criteria (usefulness)

As a list doesn't need to link to numerous stubs to be useful, I suggest to update the criteria to:

Useful: Covers a topic that lends itself to list format likely to be of interest to a user researching that topic (See Wikipedia:List). When linking to articles, the list should be composed of a majority of links to existing articles (blue links).

-- User:Docu

Sorry - should have replied before. The regular comments on FLC indicate that most participants think that a list needs to link to other articles to be useful: a list with a preponderance of redlinks (or indeed very few links at all) is just not that useful. -- ALoan (Talk) 22:52, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
There is no change on this, a preponderance of non-redlinks would still be required, lists may still link to others. Besides, generally, people just refer to this page, which refers to Wikipedia:List. The later page doesn't note add any additional conditions. The current version may lead to a series of stubs just created to reduce the number of red links, but not including more information than already in the list. -- User:Docu
My concern is that your amendment could be used to justify acceptance of an unwikified list - Wikipedia is not paper, and one of its strengths is being able to link topics together. -- ALoan (Talk) 10:16, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
"Wiki is not paper" doesn't mean that all lists need to be completely wikified. Besides, there isn't much to worry, obviously, a list with a {{wikify}}-tag isn't featurable. -- User:Docu

List criterion that requires links

After some discussion on the project talkpage of Featured List Canidates, an interesting point has risen regarding the format of lists being only consisted of blue links. Recently having nominated List of Mega Man weapons and taking a gander at a few other lists, I noticed that not all lists have links all around to plead completeness.

The criterion states ...A useful list must be composed of a large majority of links to existing articles (blue links). However, should a list have only links for each subsection, then List of Mega Man weapons would merely consist of stub links. I'd like some second opinions on this. -ZeroTalk 14:58, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Please: the singular is "criterion". Michael Hardy 00:32, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Thank you for amending my failing in my rushed attempt at grammer. Could you please answer the question...? -ZeroTalk 10:16, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
See #Amendment of criteria (usefulness) above. -- User:Docu


Would a glossary or terminology be considered a list? Such as Numismatic terminology? If yes, then I can work on it. Joe I 12:17, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Changing a criterion

At Wikipedia:List guideline, the first "purpose" of a list is:

"The list may be a valuable information source. This is particularly the case for a structured list. Examples would include lists organized chronologically, grouped by theme, or annotated lists."

Currently, a featured list must have a good amount of blue links to pass, and that seems to favour lists which are used for navigation, and not those for information. Also, it says that lists are used for development, and the featured list criteria seems completely set against this. A good, and complete list should not require blue links throughout it. The current criteria favours one of the purposes for lists, and completely ignores the other two. There are many subjects which could have brilliant lists, but do not have enough contributors to create the hundreds of articles which could be required. --liquidGhoul 14:53, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I concur. Let's amend the criteria accordingly. -- User:Docu
Can you give an example of a good list that contains hundreds of redlinks? -- ALoan (Talk) 10:46, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
List_of_Presidents_of_Venezuela would have been just as valuable without the stubs were created shortly before it was nominated. (Many of the stubs had to be fixed and included less information than the list, apparently this didn't affect the featuring-process though). -- User:Docu
List of plesiosaurs and List of crurotarsans are good list which have heaps of red links. Though they aren't what I call featured quality, but I am sure that they could be. List of Lacertilia families, List of Serpentes families and List of Testudines families are all good lists, which are currently incomplete, but once the extinct families are added, they will be flooded with red links and never pass the current criteria. --liquidGhoul 11:11, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
  1. You cannot navigate through topics where the links to most of the articles are red.
  2. The purpose of featured content is to highlight good quality content in Wikipedia at an advanced stage of development. FAC will also reject good articles with a high level of redlinks.
-- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 11:11, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Navigational lists are generally included in footers, e.g. Template:Current U.S. Senators. They are not really featurable as such.
The Venezuela presidential stub hadn't affected the good quality content of the list. IMHO red links would have been preferable for users than finding the stubs. -- User:Docu
This is Featured lists not Featured templates. Template:Current U.S. Senators would never survive as it is in the Article namespace. It is also arguable whether a template is encyclopedic content at all. Template:End certainly isn't, but is used in a large number of articles. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 13:21, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Can you give an example of a FA which failed due to red links? Nowhere in the FA criteria are red or blue links mentioned, and you can only fail things from the criteria. Navigation is not the only point of lists, read my first statement. Currently, the FL criteria only concentrates on navigation, when there are other reasons a list can be useful. Secondly, the point of Wikipedia's featured content, is to "exemplify our best work". If someone creates an incredibly beautiful and useful list, which has lots of red links, it could still be Wikipedia's best work. That list's purpose would be information, not navigation, and the presence of red links would be completely irrelevant. Also, by the way things currently work, it doesn't matter whether the blue links have empty articles, they just have to be blue. If the point of a list is navigation, then a featured list should only be granted if all the links contain articles which give lots of information. If it wasn't for me expanding more than half the Anuran families, the List of Anuran families would contain more information about some families than the actual articles do! --liquidGhoul 11:35, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
FAC criteria don't require the use of m:cite.php (use is only "encouraged") but no article will pass it if it does not use it. Same thing with redlinks, but at least on FLC we make that fact clear. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 13:21, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, an unlinked or largely redlinked list does little to demonstrate the best qualities of Wikipedia. List of current United States Senators and List of former United States Senators are bothis very good. -- ALoan (Talk) 11:32, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
To compare with List of current United States Senators: Canada has a (possibly complete) list of current (and former) senators (see {{SoC}}), that is just as good, and, with the red links, possibly more valuable than the two US ones. -- User:Docu
List of former United States Senators might be better if it included all senators (if there are any left without articles). -- User:Docu
Sorry - had not spotted the "incomplete" in the "former Senators" list. It would be interesting to know how many are not included.
I have seen articles receive objections on FAC due to a large number of redlinks, but usually in combination with other objections too. The spin off effect (creating stubs for linked list entries) is one of the benefits of this requirement, IMHO. A stub is more useful to a reader than a redlink; the only drawback is that a person seeing a blue link may not be motivated to write a better article, when they would have been if they had seen a redlink . -- ALoan (Talk) 11:56, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't get it. What is the benefit of a stub? --liquidGhoul 12:47, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Some information is better than no information. -- ALoan (Talk) 14:46, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that the stub may include less information than the table .. -- User:Docu
So copy it! -- ALoan (Talk) 10:30, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Then the article would contain the same amount of information as the table, and it is still useless for navigation. Your whole point of it not being Wikipedia's best work if there are red links is void if a blue link contains an article with no extra information. --liquidGhoul 10:48, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
You are assuming that people will only get to the articles through the list, which in many cases is obviously not true. If people arrive to a stub from a related article on a subject, then the information they get from it is many times more useful than the redlink. That may also encourage people to expand a very short stub, or at least give people more information to refine a Google search. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 13:21, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
That has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion. I am not questioning the validity of stubs. I just don't like that people have to create them to get an informational list passed, when its purpose is information and not navigation. --liquidGhoul 14:09, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I was just replying to your objection on stubs. If you're going to get worked up on this topic I may as well end the conversation here. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 16:48, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not getting worked up over it, and I don't see how you could see that. I was replying to your objection, which is not related to this discussion. I would rather say that, than to reply as if it is valid. Getting back to the subject, I would like to relpy to something written earlier. Do you have any examples of a FAC failing (or looking like it would fail) due to red links. The use of meta:cite is still mentioned in FAC criteria, whereas red or blue links isn't anywhere near it. --liquidGhoul 00:51, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/List of rock and roll albums and Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/List of state leaders in 1339 for two nominations that didn't pass because of redlinks. Also see Wikipedia:Featured list removal candidates/Sri Lankan national cricket captains for an example of a list that was defeatured because of excess redlinks. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 12:03, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I said feature article candidates. You said above that articles may not become featured because of red links. --liquidGhoul 13:02, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I am not aware of a FAC failing in recent memory simply because of redlinks, although an excess of redlinks is often indicative of other problems, and a number of people feel that a featured article should not have too many.
But, in a sense, this discussion is getting the cart before the horse. WP:WIAFL sets out the criteria that we, as a community, think are important for our best lists. When WP:FLC was set up, there was clearly a concern that a list that represnets the best in Wikipedia should not have too many redlinks (see the second section on the talk page!). -- ALoan (Talk) 13:34, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I read that before I posted this. It was your point in that discussion which made me notice that there was a problem.
"Well, shouldn't we be judging the list, not the article that the list links to?"
The only argument against this reasoning, was:
"But it is not just that, one of the main purposes of a list, as seen on Wikipedia:List, is navigation for readers who only know the general topic and are looking for a specific article
Therefore, the decision was based on the list guidelines, but did not include the entire guidelines. Yes, the development lists should not become featured as they are more for the writers, but a comprehensive information list should, reguardless of the number of red links. --liquidGhoul 13:56, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, thanks for the compliment, and I hope I am not being too inconsistent with my stated position just over a year ago: I went with the consensus when I edited WP:WIAFA to add the redlinks requirement (see the edit summary here) and, from what I have seen on WP:FLC, there is still a consensus for that requirement to remain (or, at least, no consensus for it to be removed).
I really don't think List of plesiosaurs is a patch on List of Serpentes families. However comprehensive the former may be, and however well-referenced and well-illustrated it may become, it is really not an example of the best that Wikipedia can offer while it has quite so many redlinks. -- ALoan (Talk) 14:49, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree it isn't featured worthy. I think it was created as a development list, so it should never really become featured. I am still working on the reptile lists, but still don't know what to do with the extinct families. You will probably see them on FLC in a couple weeks. --liquidGhoul 15:02, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

(left) I don't get it. What is the benefit of a stub? ... I am not questioning the validity of stubs. Massive interlinking and ease of navigation is one of the best qualities of Wikipedia, which our featured content should illustrate, no? Looking at your suggestions, List of Serpentes families could almost certainly become featured with little effort, I should have thought. Why not limit it to extant families, and have a separate list of extinct ones? It shines in comparison with List of plesiosaurs. -- ALoan (Talk) 14:21, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

I would still rather have the extinct families included in the same article. Creating one article is better than two short (that's just my opinion of course). Yes, I do believe that navigation is one of Wikipedia's best qualities, but if I had submitted List of Anuran families with all the families red linked, and someone can through and said
"(family name) is a family within the order Anura"
and added a taxobox. Would that be any better than just having the list? --liquidGhoul 00:51, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
To be honest, yes, I think that would be better to have an article with a couple of sentences, a category or two and a taxobox, rather than just having the list. If you went down to a single sentence without the taxobox or categories, then I think it is arguable that a redlink would be better, to encourage someone to write something better instead of making them think that someone had done it already. -- ALoan (Talk) 10:02, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Please change this guideline. Redlinks are a very useful part of wikis. They inspire people to write articles. I created scores of stubs to get List of largest suspension bridges accepted as a featured list. I don't think that was a good thing. Here is why. I used to like to write bridge articles and get them listed at WP:DYK. I've stopped doing that now that they are all stubs. There are few rewards at wikipedia, and while we should all have the best motivations, getting things posted on the front page, putting a star at the top corner, or listing an article as something you created on your user page are some of the few feathers we can put in our caps. I was really excited as a newbie to find a red-link to a subject I knew something about, and wanted to write about. Red links are good.

I have seen the comment "one of the main purposes of a list, as seen on Wikipedia:List, is navigation for readers who only know the general topic and are looking for a specific article". I believe this is left-over language from the time before categories, when lists were the way people navigated through Wikipedia. Ironically, these lists are the ones which are now the least FL worthy. I would like the featured list criteria to ONLY promote lists that stand on their own as a source of information. If someone creates a thorough, useful list comprised or red links, this is a very useful thing. Not only does it present useful information, it brings attention to an entire field of knowledge that is missing. This is a very good thing. It is worthy of note. FL status will encourage others to make similar lists. FL status will bring it to the notice of more people, who will see the red links, which will lead to more articles. All of this is good. -- Samuel Wantman 07:43, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

I am rather concerned if writing a stub has dissuaded you from expanding the article further. FYI, WP:DYK will accept not only brand new articles, but also articles that have been expanded significantly beyond their original stub status. -- ALoan (Talk) 09:19, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
This is good to hear. They used to reject articles that were expansions of stubs. I'm sure I will continue to write these articles. Perhaps I am just burned out from writing all the stubs and don't want to look at a bridge for a while. -- Samuel Wantman 09:26, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Image copyright

If no public domain images exist, can a list become featured with images using fair use and used with permision tags? --Arctic Gnome 17:42, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

It can and has in many of the previous featured lists. As long as all the images pass WP:FUC and have proper fair use rational write-ups on their image page, then it shouldn't be a problem. -- Ned Scott 06:33, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Finished Appearance

I wonder if it would be useful to have the criterion:

  • Finished appearance: Does not give the impression that it is still a work in progress.

This can be thought of as a clarification of the comprehensive criteria, which currently is concerned only with the presence of list entries rather than the details of each entry. It might be possible to combine it:

  • Comprehensive and of finished appearance: Covers the defined scope by including every member of a set, or, in the case of dynamic lists, by not omitting any major component of the subject. Does not give the impression that it is still a work in progress.

This is intended to discourage featuring lists (often in table format) that have a significant number of gaps or empty cells, where one could reasonably expect a finished work to have the data. Examples:

I think this criterion is needed to be explicit for FL rather than FA. Firstly, our current text is specifically concerned with the presence of entries for the list "set". The FA text says "does not neglect major facts and details" and it is the details bit I'm trying to cover here. Another difference with FA's is due to the way lists are constructed. Often a skeleton list takes shape, including all the entries, before all the details are filled in.

An alternative phrase might be apparently complete. We all know Wikipedia articles continue to change and evolve. A reader looking at featured material is entitled to expect to get the impression of a finished work.


Colin°Talk 17:06, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

There is a tension between requiring completeness and requiring verifiability. Information could be required to be is included (to meet the completeness requirement) but also required to be excluded (because it is not verifiable). Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal is a case in point - the missing information simply does not exist in a verifiable source, as far as the authors have been able to discover. I think "comprehensive" does this to a sufficient extent already - the whole of the defined scope must be included, and no major elements missed out. -- ALoan (Talk) 12:56, 3 October 2006 (UTC)


The new rewritten WP:WIAFA seems to have bedded down well, so I thought it was worth trying to rewrite the FL criteria in a similar style (the original FL criteria were based on a modified form of the old FA criteria in the first place). I have copied the new FA criteria over, and then amended to remove the FA criteria that we don't use (well-written, neutral, length) and add in our extra ones (useful, uncontroversial, well-constructed). I have tried to keep the paragraph numbering the same (so (b) is "comprehensive" in both, for example) to make it easier for FA reviewers to make the transition to FLs, and vice versa.

Comments, as ever, are welcome. -- ALoan (Talk) 12:56, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Surprisingly I did not have this page watchlisted and only noticed the changes now. Well done with the rewrite! -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 09:38, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Image Captions

The current criteria state:

It has images if they are appropriate to the subject, with succinct captions and acceptable copyright status.

The requirement for captions resulted in debate at

I think that for such table-lists, the need for a full explicit caption is eliminated by the fact that the row identifies the person being illustrated. There is an argument that a caption provides extra info on the picture itself (location, context, date, artist, etc). The Wikipedia:Captions guideline says

Not every Wikipedia image needs a caption: some are simply decorative. A very few may genuinely be self-explanatory. If you decide that an image does not need a caption, then please follow the advice at Wikipedia:Alternative text for images to specify appropriate "alt" text.

Therefore I suggest the FLC be rewritten:

It has images if they are appropriate to the subject, with succinct captions or "alt" text and acceptable copyright status.

Colin°Talk 12:13, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Alt text would be fine; it's just the table will be a mess if there are captions. --Majorly (Talk) 13:17, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Images in tables rarely need captions. --ALoan 14:41, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
I think "alt" text is a perfect solution. I really did not strongly want to have captions, so much as I wanted the issue clarified. Which seems to be happening. So perhaps there is not really much debate needed here since I am the only one who made comments saying captions were needed--Birgitte§β ʈ Talk 16:54, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
  • The text has now been changed. Colin°Talk 17:10, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

"Useful" criterion

This currently states " 'Useful' means that the list covers a topic that lends itself to list format by bringing together a group of related articles that are likely to be of interest to a user researching that topic. (see Wikipedia:List). A useful list must be composed of a large majority of links to existing articles (blue links)."

There have been a couple of recent nominations (specifically on Administrative divisions of Adygea and Chicago Bears seasons) where the article does not list "a group of related articles"; the article lists a group of related items, many without articles of their own.

Should the criteria be changed to reflect this? Tompw (talk) 23:02, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes. Renata 21:15, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Nice you agree with me :-).... question is, what to? Tompw (talk) 23:43, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I also agree with this change. Tuf-Kat 21:24, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
  • How about this wording:
'Useful' means that the list covers a topic that lends itself to list format (see Wikipedia:List). This can be either by bringing together a group of related articles (in which case it must be composed of a large majority of "blue links" to existing articles), or by listing items which in themselves would not merit individual articles but which as a group would be of interest to a user researching the topic." --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 14:54, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I note that the Featured article criteria do not mention blue links yet an article with lots of red links (or that was insufficiently wikified) wouldn't pass the grade. Similarly, I note that these criteria don't mention "well defined entry criteria" even though that is a significant objection. It can be argued that those ideals are covered by other guidelines. How about if the Useful criterion gave a few examples:
'Useful' means that the list covers a topic that lends itself to list format (see Wikipedia:List). For example:
  • The list brings together a group of existing articles related by a well-defined entry criteria.
  • The list is a timeline of signficant events on a notable topic, the inclusion of which can be objectively sourced.
  • The list contains a finite, complete and well-defined set of items that naturally fit together to form a signficant topic of study.
Since the set of items is weakend by not requiring articles, I've strengthened the other aspects. I think the third example fits the Administrative divisions of Adygea. Thoughts? Colin°Talk 22:00, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Well, Administrative divisions of Adygea does have a list of articles (the 7 districts, Giaginsky, Koshekhablsky, Krasnogvardeysky, Maykopsky, Shovgenovsky, Takhtamukaysky, Teuchezhsky) and Chicago Bears seasons lists the NFL seasons while also giving details of the Bears' performance, but I see what you mean about Narnian timeline.
    I am not sure how seriously an objection over redlinks would be taken on WP:FAC. The rationale for including it here is to avoid featuring lists of things for which Wikipedia has essentially no useful content.
    I would argue that a decent "entry criterion" is part of comprehensiveness and verifiability - how do you decide what to put in and what to leave out; and is everything that should be included mentioned. -- ALoan (Talk) 23:18, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I would want to add to the third point something like "...and the set's members are not notable enough to have individual articles". If any items in the list are notable enough to have articles of their own, then they must do so if the list is to be a FL. For example, the villages in Administrative divisions of Adygea weren't notable enough to justify articles. However, the elections in List of Nova Scotia general elections were and are all notable enough to have indivual articles, and that list didn't get FL status until most of the elections were no longer redlinks. (Btw, the "complete" bit on the 3rd point is already covered under the "comprehensive" criteria, so is redundent.)
    Interestingly, the 1st point is actually stronger than the current version, as it effectively means *all* the items on the list be bluelinks (which I agree with) (memo to self: deal with remaining redlinks on List of Nova Scotia general elections)
    With regard WP:FAC being OK with redlinks.... the important thing about an article is the prose - the wikilinks are a useful extra feature. With lists, the items on the list are the thing... it's not the list of articles itself which is useful, it's teh ability to easily access the articles in question. Hence why anything which is trying to be a list of articles must make sure all those articles exsist. Further, FAC woukldn't allow an article that wasn't sufficiently wikified, as it would fail criterium #2, compling with the standards set out in the manual of style.
    There's also a common thread runnign through the examples that the inclusion criteria must be well-defined... possibly this shoudl be included in the intial part "...that lends itself to list format (see Wikipedia:List), with well-defined inclusion criteria....". Alterntaively, include as a seperate item under point #1 "It is useful, comprehensive, factually accurate, stable, uncontroversial, well-constructed and well-defined", with "well-defined" meaning that the list's inclusion criteria are clear and unambiguous.
    Tompw (talk) 01:01, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I like the idea of adding "well-defined" as a separate item, though I would add to its definition that the list's inclusion criteria must be non-arbitrary. I seem to recall lists being rejected in the past for having arbitrary cut-off points - we wouldn't accept a list of US presidents from 1859 - 1986, even if it met all the other criteria. --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 17:19, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


OK... I propose that the following replace the exsisting definition of "Useful" under WP:WIAFL 1a:

  • a) "Useful" means that the list covers a topic that lends itself to list format (see Wikipedia:List). For example:
    • The list brings together a group of existing articles related by a well-defined entry criteria.
    • The list is a timeline of signficant events on a notable topic, the inclusion of which can be objectively sourced.
    • The list contains a finite, complete and well-defined set of items that naturally fit together to form a signficant topic of study, and the set's members are not notable enough to have individual articles.

I also propose to add a explanation of "well-defined", as point 1g (with point 1 ammended to add "well-defined")

  • g) "Well-defined" means that the list's inclusion criteria are clear, unambiguous and non-arbitrary.

As the whole FL process is a policy, this is not something to be voted on; there must be a consensus. All I am doing here is setting out a proposal in light of the above discussion, with the aim of establishing whether or not the consensus amongst editors is to implement the above proposal. (Also, I'll post about this at WP:FC). Tompw (talk) 14:30, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Just to make things interesting, I'm having second thoughts and starting to wonder if we really need to completely rewrite this clause and add more rules. The Wikipedia:List guideline already says:
Lists should always include unambiguous statements of membership criteria based on definitions made by reputable sources.
Also, (b) Comprehensive implies that the scope is defined. Deciding if the criteria are arbitrary is probably a quality judgement that reviewers are allowed to make. Taking each raised issue in turn:
  1. The Chicago Bears seasons list is now full of blue links so isn't a problem. I think that without the links, that list would have been much less useful. A Wikipedia Featured List needs to be more than a list or table of facts – it does need to help the wiki.
  2. All seven districts in Administrative divisions of Adygea had articles. The list was hierarchical, which is unusual. The top level of the hierarchy was fully blue-linked. The bottom levels (rural villages) were not notable enough. If thought of as a list of seven, it meets the current requirements.
  3. Timelines such as Timeline of peptic ulcer disease and Helicobacter pylori and Narnian timeline. By their nature (lists of events), many of these will not have articles for each entry. Some do, for example: where the event is the discovery or launch of something.
Before rewriting the rules, can we find more examples of quality lists that might currently be excluded? Would the following minor change (articles → items, and an extra sentence) be enough for now:
1 (a) "Useful" means that the list covers a topic that lends itself to list format by bringing together a group of related items that are likely to be of interest to a user researching that topic (see Wikipedia:List). A useful list must be composed of a large majority of links to existing articles (blue links). A timeline is a chronological list of events, which are not required to be articles.
Colin°Talk 16:42, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I prefer it with the rewrite - there are high quality lists which would be excluded without it. For example, under the minor characters policy, a list such as List of Torchwood minor characters is required not to link to existing articles. (That's just an example - I'm not saying that one in particular is up to FL standard - but I bet one of the ones you find if you search for "list of minor characters" is). --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 11:47, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree there are examples where we don't want to encourage articles. Not many TV series warrant an encyclopaedia article per episode. I did a search for Minor character lists and was rather underwhelmed. It is next to impossible to determine inclusion criteria that doesn't end up with everyone who had role barely above "man in bar". Should any such list really qualify for being featured as Wikipedia's very best work? Can you find some other lists you think that would otherwise be featurable? Colin°Talk 13:36, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Finding specific examples is hard when I don't necessarily know the topics. I suspect that not all of the battalions in the List of battalions of the King's Regiment (Liverpool) would merit their own article. Potentially (this isn't such a good example) the List of bus routes in Brooklyn - the places are linked but the routes themselves are not and probably should not be. I'm happy to hunt for more, but I guess my point is that I just don't agree with your statement that "A Wikipedia Featured List needs to be more than a list or table of facts". In my opinion, a good enough "list or table of facts" should indeed be featurable as long as it is appropriately linked, which may or may not mean the individual entries in the list having their own articles. --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 15:17, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, a FL does have to more than a table of list, as it has to be "annotated with additional information, as appropriate" (1f - comprehensive). Tompw (talk) 16:28, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I think I was assuming that in using the words "good enough". --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver
OK, fair enough. Tompw (talk) 22:08, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

So, where do we go from here? --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 17:20, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Good point :-) My proposed "well-defined" bit is superfluous because a list has to have clear inclusion criteria per the MoS, and this is already included under criterium #2. I don't think anyone disputes that, so I've withdrawn (struck out) that part of the proposal.
The question is whether or not there is a consensus on the proposed changes to 1a. No-body has come out and said "no, this should not happen". Editors have pointed out various lists that could not FLs under the exsisting criteria, no matter what their quality. I think the general feeling seems to be that these changes would be a good thing. So, I think there's a consensus for the changes to 1a. If on Monday (29th) no-one has objected, them I'll implement the proposed changes. Tompw (talk) 22:08, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Ok. Let's give it a try. If we start getting featured bus timetables then it has not worked. But first, can we correct the spelling and grammar errors (my fault) and reintroduce the italics. I've also changed one word to avoid repetition:
  • a) "Useful" means that the list covers a topic that lends itself to list format (see Wikipedia:List). For example:
  • The list brings together a group of existing articles related by well-defined entry criteria.
  • The list is a timeline of important events on a notable topic, the inclusion of which can be objectively sourced.
  • The list contains a finite, complete and well-defined set of items that naturally fit together to form a significant topic of study, and where the set's members are not notable enough to have individual articles.
Colin°Talk 13:14, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, since we seem to be in agreement I've made the change. Let's see how it goes. --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 12:30, 1 February 2007 (UTC)


I don't know if this has been done before but would dates qualify for featured list status? They certanelty are not articles. If anyone else thinks it is possible than I will start nominating some dates to see how it works. The Placebo Effect

Can you give an examples? Are you thinking of articles like 2006 and 23 February? -- ALoan (Talk) 16:24, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I was just thinking od dates, but years would work a,so. The Placebo Effect 19:44, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
You many struggle to find references... -- ALoan (Talk) 20:49, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Discography pages

Would discography pages like The Beatles discography, Green Day discography, etc. be considered lists and therefore be eligible for featured list nomination? – Zntrip 00:51, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Seeing as a discopgraphy is a list of albumns and singles produced by band or artiste, I would say yes, these are lists, and thus potentially Featured Lists. Tompw (talk) 22:43, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Fair Use images

This subject keeps rearing its head, mostly at nomination pages for lists of television episodes. The parts of the Wikipedia:Fair use guideline that keep getting cited are:

  • #3 The amount of copyrighted work used should be as little as possible. ... Do not use multiple images or media clips if one will serve the purpose adequately.
  • #8 The material must contribute significantly to the article (e.g. identify the subject of an article, or specifically illustrate relevant points or sections within the text) and must not serve a purely decorative purpose.

That's the guideline. I would argue that these do not allow the use of one image for every episode in a list. Firstly, it is possible to have FLs of TV episodes without using a screenshot per episode (e.g. List of Dad's Army episodes), and so "as little as possible" is less than one per episode. Secondly, using an image per episode means none of them contribute significantly to the list, and I feel they are being included primarily to make the list look pretty - the list works fine without them.

(Further, point #9 states "Fair use images may be used only in the article namespace". This means that Featured Lists with fair use images cannot appear at Wikipedia:Featured content, because that page display the opening part of the list. This is a practical matter, rather than applying a guideline).

Consequently, I wish to propose that Wikipedia:Featured list criteria #3 be amended to explicitly state that excessive numbers of fair use images are not allowed on Featured Lists.

I have posted about this proposal at Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria, Wikipedia talk:Fair use and Wikipedia talk:Featured content. Tompw (talk) 22:58, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Wholeheartedly support, just come up with right wording. When people debated (now dead) Wikipedia:Fair use/Fair use images in lists one of the arguments was "but present FL have plenty of FU images!" So let's start the clean up here and set example how to create the free encyclopedia (and not the pretty). Renata 23:12, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. I guess this goes for discographies too? Has anyone confirmed your Wikipedia:Featured content conclusion? The "it helps identify the episode" argument is lame IMO (it is truly hard to see how all episodes could be identifiable from one frame). If the episode isn't identifiable from the prose, then the prose isn't good enough for a FL. Time to take down the decorations. Colin°Talk 19:16, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I didn't give a specific wording because I hadn't thought of one at the time. I suggest "Fair use images should only be used to illustrate the topic of a list as a whole, not individual items on the list" (Add as #3a) Tompw (talk) 21:17, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
One one hand, that's potentially more generous than the Wikipedia:Fair use guidelines as it might still be decoration. On the other, restricting it to only one lead image is stricter than the guidelines. This is the problem with rephrasing the guideline or trying to get consensus for a stricter one just for FL. You are also falling into the trap of calling them "fair use images". These are "copyright images". I'm not sure we need to say anything that isn't already mentioned in those guidelines. Perhaps just pull out the relevant and often broken bits:
"Any copyright images must meet the fair use guidelines, which require a fair use rationale and discourage multiple images or purely decorative usage".
What is needed is a consensus of editors who will accept those guidelines. Colin°Talk 22:43, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

"# Fair use images comply with U.S. copyright law which states four factors to consider:

    1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes → Wikipedia is both non-profit and educational
    2. the nature of the copyrighted work → screenshot can be interpreted as "promotional"
    3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole → Wikiepdia displays one screenshot out of thousands
    4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work → one screenshot has no effects on sales of DVD's
  1. Owners of a TV series have not complained about the images used in a list.
  2. Images contribute significantly to the quality and visual appeal of lists.
  3. Screenshots are carefully chosen to depict the most defining moments of the show and therefore help to identify the episode and better understand its plot summary.
  4. TV shows are visual and no amount of text can replace that.
  5. Both "encyclopedic" and "decoration" are very subjective terms.
  6. Images assist the user in finding the information they want more quickly.
  7. Many lists, including featured lists, currently use fair use images.
  8. Most if not all images comply with the current fair use criteria, are tagged with relevant templates and provide a rationale on their description page."

-- Wikipedical 23:14, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

STRONGLY OPPOSE. As suggested above by Tompw "as little as possible" is less than one per episode.

This is patently false. Every episode is individually copyrighted and as such the minimum is one per copyrighted work (read: episode). The only way to get less than this is the complete absence of an image and, in which case, "minimum" has lost its meaning. Since the true minimum is one per work then amending to exclude "excessive numbers" is meaningless and just opening things up for more interpretation. Especially when the basis of this amendment (minimum per work) is unsound. Cburnett 00:16, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I obviously didn't explain myself clearly enough: the use of images should be minimised, and it is possible to *not* use one image for each and every episode (e.g. List of Dad's Army episodes, which uses a image to illustrate the list as a whole, or List of Smallville episodes, which uses an image per season). No-one is saying "no pictures" - what is being proposed is not using a copyright image for every single episode. Tompw (talk) 12:58, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
STRONGLY OPPOSE. I agree with the points of those in opposition above me. In addition to their points: Images only serve to enhance articles. Eliminatiing or even limiting pictures would spell disaster for Wikipedia:WikiProject Anime and manga. Forget all the work needed to switch over to the new policy, screencaps help you remember the episode, and even sometimes help determine if you scene it without having to read summaries which could spoil the episode. And Manga covers, not only say a ton about a specific volume but offer some of the only cannon character colorings being that for the most part its the only colored page. A side from all of this, an episode list would just be so bland without pictures.--88wolfmaster 00:34, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
No-one is saying "no pictures" - what is being proposed is not using a copyright image for every single episode. I don't think anyone could say List of Smallville episodes is bland. Tompw (talk) 12:58, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Ooops: Smallville (season 1) has a screenshot for every episode. In the case of Dad's army, several of the episodes were lost, and screenshots are harder to come by. A case could be made that very long lists could eschew images and plot summaries, but season sub-lists would be needed as in the case of Smallville. So Dad's Army is the only example that applies here, and as an image-less episode list it's more of an exception than the rule.--GunnarRene 14:41, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't talking about Smallville (season 1). I was referring to List of Smallville episodes. Also, none of List of Oh My Goddess episodes, List of The Simpsons episodes, List of Smallville episodes and List of X-Men episodes (all featured lists) have an image for every episode - a third of all TV episode lists is hardly "the exception rather than the rule". The point remains that it's possible to have a list of TV episodes the highest quality without having an image for every single episode. Tompw (talk) 17:22, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Actually List of Oh My Goddess episodes has a picture for every episode of the actual series (maybe not the OVA or the advetures of mini-Goddess) but both seasons are in the Japanese episode list template with a screencap per episode.--88wolfmaster 21:33, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • The images on List of X-Men episodes were temporarily removed - it was featured with images, and the images are now restored. The other lists either have screenshots, or have screenshots in the season articles/lists. For a contemporary TV show, the de facto practice is that the plot summary must be accompanied by a screenshot in order to be featured. If those two things don't exist in the list itself it has to be in the daughter lists (and yes, evaluating daughter articles are a part of Featured review). So I guess I was right. --GunnarRene 16:34, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Summed up: If we have screenshots from a TV series, they have to be in the episode list or a daughter list for the mother list to be featured. That is how it has been. If consensus were to change, we'd need to review them. --GunnarRene 16:47, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't follow the TV wikiprojects. Since when has there ever been a requirement on WP to force editors to use copyright material? And since when have the aspects of "daughter articles" ever affected a FL. I'm sorry, but many TV episode articles are 1mm away from AfD (100% plot summary) and if we took that into account, none of the lists would ever be featured. We don't rate lists of people on how good their bio page is, or whether it has a photo. Colin°Talk 18:57, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Many episode articles are truly in a bad shape. You seem, however to have missed the difference between scrutinizing list items and scrutinizing daughter articles. It is true that the articles of list items are not evaluated in FAC/FLC, but when a section says
  • ... then Some show (Seson 1) becomes part of the featured candidate evaluation. I'm not a frequent contributor to the evaluation process, but it happens often. (Almost allways?) --GunnarRene 22:02, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
(unindent) "If we have screenshots from a TV series, they have to be in the episode list or a daughter list for the mother list to be featured." No they don't. I've given examples where this is the case, so won't repeat myself. Also, when a FL candidate is a list of articles, the quality of those articles has no bearing on whether or not the list becomes featured. Tompw (talk) 19:06, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
"No they don't." In practice, yes they have been. Dad's Army is the only exception, since it doesn't have pictures in the episode articles. See above for the difference between daughter articles and list item articles. --GunnarRene 22:02, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Oppose as above plus this:

  • It is very bad to have a different copyright policy for featured articles than for all other articles. Truly we check the featured articles more thoroughly for fair use rationales, but non-featured articles that use fair use images without rationales can also have them removed today. There is thus no different policy between non-featured and featured articles. The same should apply to lists.
  • "excessive numbers of fair use images are not allowed on Featured Lists" : This is already true; the debate is over what is excessive or not. The above amendment is thus unnecessary. How about an amendment that says that
    "Screenshots or audio samples that are used to identify an episode or other work must have an accompanying rationale that explains to an unfamiliar reader why this screenshot/sample identifies the work in question — not just a generic claim that it is used for identification."
    This has been the practice for a while on featured lists anyway, and I'd support review for older FLs that don't comply. Perhaps it should even be kicked up to the fair use guideline/policy.
  • With the help of a screenshot, an episode can be identified by a reader (more accurately a viewer) with less plot summary. As paraphrased plot summaries also are an instance of fair use of copyrighted material (the plot), the use of a screenshot may actually help reduce the amount of reproduced material, in that a written plot summary serves to replace watching the episode more than what a couple of screenshots per episode does. --GunnarRene 04:21, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment We all know what "limited", "minimum" and "excessive" means and don't need it quantified. The issue some folk are arguing about is that these words are in relation to the episode and not the article/list. This is just wrong. The official policy says simply "The amount of copyrighted work used should be as little as possible." It does not say "The amount of a copyright work used..." or "The amount of copyright work lifted from one source ...". Also, the "Acceptable uses" of "Screenshots" are for "critical commentary". This means discussing the scene: the artwork, the camera shot, the set, the actor's designer clothes, the special effects, etc. I have never seen such commentary on a TV episode list, and don't expect to. Colin°Talk 08:04, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Featured Lists are called "the best lists on Wikipedia". If it serves the purpose to add fair-use images (which I strongly think it does, because those images allow fast identification of episodes, for example when I am searching an episode I do not know the name of I can search for a familiar picture to identify it), they shouldn't be removed in reference to the above stated fair use guidelines. The choice is not fair-use or free images but fair-use or no images and in this case I think fair-use is preferable to no images. --SoWhy Talk 12:24, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
    • No-one is saying "no fair use images" - what is being proposed is not using a copyright image for every single item in a list. Tompw (talk) 12:58, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
      • Please explain how you propose to decide for which items you use images and for which you don't. First and last? Every two items one image? 4 for 20 episodes? There is no way not to decide it randomly, thus the choice has to be Fair-Use or not Fair-Use, not Some Fair-Use or No Fair-Use. --SoWhy Talk 13:30, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
      • Good point SoWhy.--88wolfmaster 21:08, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Another approach

The previous Wikipedia:Fair use/Fair use images in lists proposal failed for various reasons. I think the arguments for ammending the FL criteria are different to and stronger than those for a general WP rule. The difference is similar to the way arguments for keeping an AfD are different to arguments for promoting an FA.

It is difficult to obtain consensus for one interpretation of the fair use guidelines. Some interpret their use on lists to be stretching the idea of "fair" too far; others do not. There is another approach that might hold for featured material.

In a nutshell:

  • Featured content represents the best of what Wikipedia has to offer. (Wikipedia:Featured content)
  • Wikipedia is a ... free content encyclopedia project. (Wikipedia:About)
  • An article or list where nearly every vertical inch contains a copyright image cannot represent the best of Wikipedia.

Thoughts? -- Colin°Talk 21:37, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

  • So rather than saying the Fair Use guidelines disallow it (which is contentious), you are proposing just limiting them as a specific FL-only thing? I'd 'support that. Tompw (talk) 21:54, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I think this has to be depend on the list and the subject of the list. We have some television show lists with seaons going up to 20 (the simpsons) and I think it would be extremely excessive to have an image for every one of those. I say image, because you can not get "free images" of television show screen captures. But, a show that had a limited running, say like Arrested Development, might be ok with having those images. I think if we are going to propose a guideline for the limitation fair use images, then it may need to be something a little more than just "can't have more than 5 fair use images" type of deal.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 22:00, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
    • I disagree that a short list could "get away with it". Rather than an absolute number, we should consider the relative use of copyright material in the article. If most of the list/table contains copyright images, that isn't playing the free content game. Colin°Talk 22:28, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
      • Saying "get away with it" is like accusing it of doing something dirty, or illegal. I'm saying that, just like with every article there is, what you do for one article is not always reflective of what you should do for another article. It's a judgement call, especially when dealing more so with things like television shows, where there is no such thing as a "free image" when you are talking about a screen capture. But I'm not saying that I think there should be 120 fair use images rolling around in a list either.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 22:33, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • As long as our policies are met by a list, that's all that should matter for a featured list. Lots of FLs have images, such as [[1]] and this is just an attempt to ghetoize media lists. - Peregrine Fisher 22:20, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
    • It has never been the case that merely scraping through a policy checklist is enough to become featured. Both FA and FL have higher standards than that. The example you gave List of French monarchs is full of public domain images. Colin°Talk 22:28, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
      • I know, that's what I was looking for. Those images are important to that page just as screenshots are important to a LOE. - Peregrine Fisher 23:15, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
        • The importance or usefulness isn't relevant. An article on a pop song would be infinitely enhanced by having a "Play" button so you could hear it. Clearly that's not going to happen. We have live within the goals and restrictions of Wikipedia, the free content encyclopaedia. Colin°Talk 08:17, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
    • This is *not* an attempt to "ghetoize media lists". No-one is saying "no pictures" - what is being proposed is not using a copyright image for every single item on a list.

I'm a bit torn on this. I used to defend screenshots in LOEs, then I became unsure of how vital they actually are. Still, it's really hard to let go of these images, they really add to those lists and make them great. For this matter, I'm not ready to force others to the same conclusion I have come too. I still wish to seek a way to have the best of both worlds. I'd consider myself neutral on this current discussion, for now. -- Ned Scott 00:26, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

It becomes more difficult to identify an episode, because you can only rely on the summaries. and you can't find any free use images for shows. Gman124 00:29, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Question? If we have to remove images from Featured Lists, then would we be required to remove them from individual episode articles as well. Gman124 00:38, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

generaly the articles should be in a better position to talk about that specific screenshot.Geni 02:16, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Agree. Though they seldom do. Colin°Talk 08:17, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
One might also say that an episode list is in a better position to contrast episodes by using screenshots, as well as limiting plot summaries (fair use). There was a case were the use of album covers in a discography was ruled to be safer fair use than the use of individual covers - that seems relevant here. And oppose, by the way.--GunnarRene 04:31, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Name one list that does this.Geni 06:49, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
No current list "contrasts episodes". You could imagine a Featured List that uses multiple screenshots of e.g. Bart Simpson to describe how his character has been drawn differently over the years. That would be critical commentary (though probably also Original Research :-). Colin°Talk 08:17, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
See the screenshots on Image:1008mlnw.jpg for example. That identifies the episode and contrasts it to all the usual 2D episodes. And your exmple is an even better example of a fair use of Bart Simpson images.--GunnarRene 15:25, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose-Frankly, I see this as an end run around that rejected policy amendment. Personally, were this to pass, I'd support allowing the FL I usually edit (List of Avatar: The Last Airbender episodes) to loose featured status rather than compromise it like that.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 03:48, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I fails to see where that list talks about the screen shots.Geni 06:49, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Then propose a policy amendment saying that kind of use isn't allowed...oh, nevermind, that was tried already.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 18:13, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I've seen editors withdraw from FL because they weren't prepared to drop unsourced (or unreliably sourced) material. It is a shame but the choice of whether they want to change the article to achieve FL is with the list's editors. Colin°Talk 08:17, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
That's a bad instance of WP:OWN. Unsourced material should not even be here - if that happens we should hit that article hard with the WP:V-hammer. Slinking away to hide bad practice by withdrawing from FAC/FLC should not succeed - an neither should copyright violations (that is, unfair use). If it's fair use in an article, it's fair use in a featured article, - it's just that the featured article is better than most. --GunnarRene 15:31, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose/Support. On lists which leads to an entire article (per episode) images are not really necessary. Ultimately the objective is that but for lists which do not have one article/episode such images are necesary. Images do help us identify/discuss the subject better. -- Cat chi? 09:40, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
    • Cat, I'm confused as to whether you support or oppose limiting the use of copyright images in FLs. Tompw (talk) 12:38, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
      • Wikipedia is not paper. If we have an article about a particular episode/peice of art/whatever, the image can and should be moved to their respective article (for practical purposes). But if the information is only presented inside the list, images should be welcome to the list. This is a case by case issue, generalizing is a very bad idea. I do like to point out my personal "hate" towards fair-use images, I work in commons wiki. -- Cat chi? 14:02, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I support the proposal to minimise fair use images in lists. If every item in a list can be illustrated by a free image, then great (the featured lists of birds, for example, tend to have fewer images than this, not for lack of images, but just because there is no need for the list to illustrate every item mentioned). If not, we should be sparing in our use of "fair use" images. -- ALoan (Talk) 00:12, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
  • ALoan, any suggestion on how to express this in the criteria? "Copyright images should be used sparingly, if at all"? IMO we can't be too exact (Renata's earlier proposal failed partly on that technicality). As long as folk don't interpret "sparingly" to mean "just one per entry" but rather "very few in the list as a whole". Colin°Talk 07:45, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
    • I've seen some lists, like lists of alumni from a certain college, that provides images to the right of the list of the famous people that have graduated from the college. We could do something like that, provide 1 or 2 images per season that encompass something major for the show. Obviously, people would have to determine what constitutes "most important" but that can be left up to the regular editors of that article. We one could create a verticle gallery, or something, to the right of these television lists that have a select few images for each season, instead of 22 images for each season. If we went that wrought, I think 3 per season should be about the maximum used.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 00:43, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
      • Those photos down the side (often unaligned with the person's entry) are to some extent decoration. Yes, if you see the picture of someone famous then it might stick longer in your mind that they were the alumni of XYZ or whatever. But they don't identify their entry in the list any more firmly than a name, DoB and description, and they certainly aren't subject to "critical commentary", which is one of the fair use requirements. In other words, if those photos were copyright, then we probably couldn't use them in that way. Colin°Talk 07:45, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
        • There are cases when an image per item is an important part of the list (e.g. List of counties in Kentucky), and cases where the images are purely decorative (alumni lists). There is nothing wrong with using free images for decoration. However, I'm digressing from the main focus of this discussion. Tompw (talk) 09:56, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
          • Geeze Colin, you guys say "we aren't trying to get rid, we are trying to limit the number". Then when someone says, "ok, why not this", you shoot that down also. It seems like you are trying to get rid of fair use images. Nothing will please you guys. Did I say pick any random image for those? No, I said use images that would best sum up the season (i.e. images that are the major climaxes during the season). But hey, I tried to make a suggestion, but I think we're back to the "no fair use" against the "as many fair use" stand again, because I've yet to actually see any suggestions from the other side as to what to do. My suggestion is talking about taking articles that have 130 images and changing it so that they only have 18 afterward. That's a major change and difference, and huge compromise considering that Wikipedia doesn't actually set a fair use number for articles, and that is exactly what the argument here is about, setting a number.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 11:09, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
            • Sorry, Bignole. I guess it looks like I'm shooting down all your suggestions. I really do appreciate them since you are trying hard to think of solutions rather than just reiterating the tired old arguments. The problem with this whole fair use thing is that we can pick flaws in any detailed suggestion. Until WP employs some lawyer to write in stone "Which part of limited are you guys having a problem understanding" or the opposite, or whatever, then the arguments will drag on. Colin°Talk 12:35, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree that an image every two inches is excessive, but I think if we say we can only use "free content", as that is what Wikipedia is, "a free content encyclopedia project", then we will have to remove every fair use image on here, and the encyclopedia itself would become rather bare considering there are way too many articles where it is impossible to have "free images" acquired.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:05, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
    • I agree. Have a look at Wikipedia:Fair use#Policy. English WP does not adopt the "no non free content" that other WP's do. This proposal isn't attempting to change that. Colin°Talk 13:14, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

OK. We've got distracted by trying to find solutions, which isn't what I intended for this section. Lets go back to the nutshell points:

  • Featured content represents the best of what Wikipedia has to offer. (Wikipedia:Featured content)
  • Wikipedia is a ... free content encyclopedia project. (Wikipedia:About)
  • An article or list where nearly every vertical inch contains a copyright image cannot represent the best of Wikipedia.

Can we get some consensus on this, and this alone? Simply: "yes we agree, that is too much". If that can be achieved, then the Wikiprojects themselves can hopefully work out some compromise and consensus guidelines. Coming up with some generally acceptable rule is proving too difficult. Colin°Talk 12:35, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree that 130 fair use images in one page is excessive.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:05, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I disagree that any number applied to an article or list can determine whether the use is excessive (i.e. unfair) or not, or whether or not it's our "best work". It has to be decided article-by-article guided by existing policies and guidelines. 130 images is more likely to indicate that the list may be too long or lacks sufficient information. The remedy is to consider splitting the list. In the case of episode lists, adding plot summary isn't necessarily the way to reduce fair use either, as we summarize plot also under fair use. --GunnarRene 15:10, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm explicitly not asking for a number. Please comment wrt the nutshell list, rather than other people's comments. Colin°Talk 15:47, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Why vertical inches? Why not diagonal? Area? We know that fair use galleries are not allowed (apart from a few exceptions) because putting images together in a matrix is not derivative enough to be a fair use. A list, on the other hand, can have other information in it that makes the resulting work a derivative work which fairly uses the unlicensed material. So I agree with points 1 and 2, but not point 3. Whether or not the work is "our best" depends on the stuff around the screeenshots, and also in the selection of screenshots. --GunnarRene 16:12, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I am totally against setting specific limits with numbers. On that note, saying that we should limit fair use images without setting any specific numbers isn't any better- unlike having a strict policy/guideline, we would just be creating a vague area that would be open to broad interpretation. As far as lists of television shows are concerned, I still believe that screenshots, which cannot be replaced by free images, should be kept because they allow for much greater identification of an episode, which is the point of a list of episodes. Setting a specific limit on free use images or allowing for more general interpretation for list of episodes articles both create many problems. -- Wikipedical 00:00, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Specific proposal

Ok... given the (vast) amount of discussion above on the general idea, I'd like to propose a specific addition:

The use of a copyright image for every item in a list will be held to contravene point 3 of the fair use policy, which states "The amount of copyrighted work used should be as little as possible".

Please indicate your support or opposition, including a brief comment if you wish. If you have more detailed comments to make, please put them in the above section. Tompw (talk) 15:40, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Strongly oppose Imho "as little as possible" is achieved when there is only one image per episode. Point 3 is to use when you excess the usage. As said before as well, above "addition" is not saying, how many images should be allowed and which criteria should be used to determine which to keep. It actually just says "Not 100%" and thus allows anything between 0% and 99%. As there is no way to determine such a number without choosing at random. --SoWhy Talk 18:57, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Support. The key phrase is "the amount of copyrighted work used". Not the amount taken from each copyrighted work. Or the amount per entry in a list. It is "the amount". On no stretch of normal English usage could "one per entry" in a list of featurable size be considered "little". Please also note that the typical usage in episode lists fails the "we may permit some non-free material for critical commentary" statement in the policy since no "critical commentary" of the scene is made. Colin°Talk 19:22, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Screenshots are not only to be used to comment them but to illustrate the articles they are used in. Images are very effective to allow people to identify episodes easily for example. And of course it can be considered little, depending on the viewpoint. Ten images per item are much, then one per item is little. You also fail to specify how many images would be allowed and how many won't be. --SoWhy Talk 20:15, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment - you should just start something like Wikipedia talk:Fair use criteria/Amendment 2 and deal with the issue directly. - Peregrine Fisher 18:49, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • STRONG Oppose Images can easily help identify a given topic. Hence the saying, "pictures are worth a thousand words". Well, Wikipedia contain countless words, and only with emphasis are they truly worthwhile. Pictures only HELP to clarify and educate; nothing more. Jmlk17 06:38, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Oppose-Television is a visual medium, visual identification does things words alone can not. Furthermore, what "will be held" to violate a policy ought to be settled on that policy's talk page, not here.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 21:24, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

It might not be needed to say it here, but it is still a requirement for FLs as FLs require lists to follow policy and applicable guidelines. -- Ned Scott 01:53, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Of course they do. But the policy doesn't say that, and amendments to that effect were rejected in the past. It doesn't make sense to apply special interpretations of polices to featured content. The policy says what it says, or (more to the point here) doesn't say what it doesn't say.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 18:22, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I've retracted my opposition: consensus got established (elsewhere) to ban this sort of use all together. Can't say I agree with it, but c'est la vie--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 22:38, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Where did consensus get established? All I've seen is a few people insisting they are Right and Supported by Policy and huge disagreement with that. --Minderbinder 22:58, 1 May 2007 (UTC)


The above issue has exploded in a huge fireball over at the Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Removal of images from lists of episodes. Colin°Talk 21:50, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

You don't say :) I have long been uncomfortable about the extent of non-free images on television episode lists. -- ALoan (Talk) 22:23, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I wonder if this might have lit the fuse... Tompw (talk) (review) 22:37, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I, the author, don't think so, because the mini-battle and subsequent protection of List of Family Guy episodes happened before (only a few hours, but still) the Signpost was published this week. --Phoenix (talk) 23:13, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


I've archived the discussions. Seems like a good time for a clean sheet of paper. Colin°Talk 16:38, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Inline Citations

Can a list be featured if it does not use inline citations? Todd661 08:08, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes. The bird lists are an example (though not a good one since IMO they contain way too much unsourced text). See also List of Oz books and Narnian timeline. Generally, a short list containing a well-defined finite set of members could reference just one or two sources and so not require inline citations. For a dynamic list, I insist on inline citations for every member. Colin°Talk 11:25, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
See also Timeline of Canadian elections for an example of a FL that doesn't use inline citations. Tompw (talk) (review) 20:04, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

redefine "usefulness" criterion?

It seems like more and more, the "usefulness" criterion is taken as "more than a mere list of links." Few lists that are nothing but a list of links actually become featured. Any thoughts? Circeus 19:20, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree that a "list of links" isn't particularly useful, and thus might fail under #1a. However, a "list of links" would definately fail on #1f, becauuse it wouldn't be "annotated with information as appropriate". Given #1f, I think it's a somethign of a moot point. Tompw (talk) (review) 22:05, 26 July 2007 (UTC)


"Non-free content (fair use) images must pass the non-free content criteria."

All WP articles must do this; the criteria are additional to this. Thus, the statement may be ripe for removal. Tony 15:28, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Agree. It was added on the day of the great fair use purge/fireball. This issue seems to have settled and the emphasis is no longer required. Colin°Talk 16:24, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Agree. Every article *must* follow this. (The "fair use fireball"... kind of trips off the tongue nicely.) Tompw (talk) (review) 22:05, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Notablilty of FL

How notable does a FL have to be? Or as long as it meets all criteria it will become a FL —The preceding unsigned comment was added by PGPirate (talkcontribs).

Actually, it does not to be notable by itself. In example, a list of TV episodes, or a list of persons who have had problems with dogs could become featured, as far as I know, as long as it fulfills the criteria. -- ReyBrujo 01:10, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
The criteria demand that each list entry is notable by the requirement to link to existing WP articles. Exceptions are timelines on "a notable topic" or a finite, complete set of items on a "significant topic of study". The list of TV episodes doesn't need to link to episode-articles, as long as it is complete and the TV program isn't too obscure. The list of "persons who have had problems with dogs" is unlikely to make it :-). Colin°Talk 08:05, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Question on subject matter

I am working on an article for a sports team that happened to set several records. Currently, the article contains an embedded list of records set either by the team or by players on the team. The main article is getting a bit long and I am thinking about splitting this list out into a stand-alone article. If I did so, I would use the criteria "awards and school or national records won/set either by the team or by an individual on the team". I am wondering if this criteria would be considered clear-cut enough for the list to be featured.

Also, is there any criteria concerning how many items are in the list? This list would have about 15–20 items.

If you would like to view the current list, it is here. A couple of the items there would not migrate because they would not fit the clear-cut criteria. Thanks for your input. Johntex\talk 02:14, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

List content guidline criteria

Wikipedia:Lists has been turned into a style guideline and its guideline content criteria has been demoted to essays. WP:AfD is seeing a number of "List of <x> Americans" listed for deletion and those are flowing into WP:DRV. See, for example, List of English Americans DRV.) I believe that the lack of a single, coherent, list content guideline is a main cause of the inability of AfD to deal effectively with lists. Those of you who determine featured lists know what a Wikipedia list needs. Would you please gather up all the list content criteria scattered throughout Wikipedia and produce a list content guideline that is written in a way that it may be cited at AfD during AfD discussions about lists. Thanks. -- Jreferee t/c 16:40, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Linked articles as quality criterion

Hello. Over at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places#Quality Rating of Lists we have a discussion going on about quality standards for NRHP lists. One of the proposals being discussed is to look at the not only at the list itself, but also at the quality of the individual NRHP/NHL articles that the list links to.

I.e. for the list to reach "Start" status, all of the linked articles must be of stub status (trans. no redlinks). For the list to reach "B" status, all of the linked articles must be of "start" status. Presumably then, the NRHP Wikiproject would look for all of the the linked articles to be "start" or better before supporting an FL nomination.

Has there ever been any discussion of something like this? Is there any Wikiprecedent for it? -Ipoellet 04:37, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

How many items need to have their own articles?

Do we need a minimum number of items on a list to have their own articles in order to qualify for FL? There's a push to improve the quality of List of tallest buildings in Hong Kong right now, but we fear that some of the buildings are not notable enough to have their own articles. Will this prevent the list from achieving FL status? What if some of the items on a list are just plain text (not red-linked, just plain text), would it prevent a list from achieving FL status? Also, any suggestions on how to improve that list would be welcomed. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 21:21, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Index lists - RfC

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 14#Index Lists, a complex issue which I've tried to summarize. It concerns unsourced pages in mainspace like List of timelines, List of basic mathematics topics, and List of film topics. Its scope is currently a few hundred pages, and potentially a few thousand pages. Feedback would be appreciated. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:25, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Topic lists

I've nommed Lists of mathematics topics for removal, as it doesn't meet current standards (it provides no sources).

Can or should an exception be made in featured list criteria on sources required in topic lists?

The Transhumanist 22:05, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Question regarding criteria 1a1 and 1a3

Is it possible for a list to meet FLC criteria if it includes some items that are notable enough to have their own articles, and are therefore linked appropriately, but other non-notable items that are not sufficiently notable to have individual articles, and are therefore not linked? Criterion 1a1 states that a list must bring together a group of existing articles related by well-defined entry criteria, and criterion 1a3 states that a list must contain a finite, complete and well-defined set of items that naturally fit together to form a significant topic of study, and where the members of the set are not sufficiently notable to have individual articles. However, there is a discussion going on at Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/List of tallest buildings in Albuquerque about whether a list could meet the criteria if some items are existing articles brought together per entry criteria, and some entries are a well-defined set of items that fit together, but are not notable enough to have their own articles. One editor has opposed on the basis that a list cannot not use both 1a1 and 1a3, and can only meet 1; therefore, lists such as List of tallest buildings in Albuquerque, where the tallest buildings listed are notable enough to have their own articles but lower ranked hotels on the list, which cannot by excluded, are not notable enough to have their own articles, fail to meet the criteria, as a) not all entries have articles (failing 1a1) and b) some entries have articles (failing 1a3). If this editor is correct in saying that lists must have either no linked articles or all linked articles, then many FLs, including List of tallest buildings in Portland, Oregon, List of works by Joseph Priestley, List of Shetland islands, List of Knight's Cross recipients, List of United Nations peacekeeping missions and List of tallest buildings and structures in Manchester, do not meet the criteria; however, if a list can meet the criteria with some linked entries and some unlinked entries, then perhaps the featured list criteria should be reworded to clearly state this. Cheers, Rai-me 21:56, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I definitely think the criteria should be reworded so that both can apply. -- Matthew | talk | Contribs 01:56, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
There should be drawn some line between those two criteria. If both apply, then confusion is going to arise as to what member is listed under 1a1 and which one is under 1a3.--Crzycheetah 23:41, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I think that it would be best to reword 1a3 to state that "where some or all members of the set are not sufficiently notable to have individual articles". -- Rai-me 00:57, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough.--Crzycheetah 06:22, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Raime's proposal too. Seems logical. --Jza84 |  Talk  13:28, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

FYI, this has been discussed before. Mr Stephen (talk) 14:47, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

If there is consensus to reword the criteria, does anyone else have any ideas on how it should be reworded? -- Rai-me 11:49, 15 March 2008 (UTC)


Along with the process of instituting a directorate, we urgently need to address long-standing issues in the criteria and the instructions. Perhaps participants might wish to suggest below (and discuss, provide feedback, etc):

  1. which parts of the FAC instructions might be borrowed/adapted to meet the requirements of the new ternary process involving nominators, reviewers and directors;
  2. how we might get Criterion 1 right, building on the discussion above; and
  3. which other parts of the criteria might need to be modified, and what might be added or removed from the criteria.

TONY (talk) 09:09, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

"instituting a directorate"? When was that proposed/decided? Tompw (talk) (review) 12:38, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Tony, as so often, I think you make a lot of sense. We've had a lot of problems with the criteria recently, which is fine, as they're not set in stone. Perhaps it's worth considering setting up a subpage for doing this, as it'll probably get quite messy? I also strongly recommend that the debate is widely advertised in advance of it opening, so that people don't feel they were late to the party and too late to influence change, or (on the flip side) too late to argue down proposed changes that seem to be agreed already. To this end, I propose:
  1. We create Wikipedia:Overhaul of Featured List criteria with some holding copy
  2. We protect that page and its talk page with an expiry of a few days to stop people kicking off prematurely
  3. We create an advert template with a link to the debate (and, while we're at it, the new list of FLC volunteers) and post it at FAC, FLC, FA criteria, here, VP policy and anywhere else appropriate that I've not thought of
What do people think? --Dweller (talk) 15:27, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I believe the featured list criteria were based on the featured article criteria in the first place - someone can probably confirm that from the edit history or the talk page archives or something - but changes to WP:WIAFA have not necessarily been copied over here. Some of the criteria here are different, of course, reflecting the differences between a list and a more expansive and cursive article. But I agree, it is probably time for a root-and-branch review of WP:WIAFL. It will help to encourage participation by people who are familiar with how the criteria have been applied and interpreted in practice, of course. -- Testing times (talk) 22:37, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good, Dweller and Testing. But the publicist in me says that the page should be first established and then, immediately, strongly advertised at VP (Policy?) and the talk pages of all featured content pages and their criteria pages. I think it's safe to establish the page without advertising it, with a note at the top that it's under construction. I think the current page should appear in the first section, and should be left untouched as a reference point. In the second section, we could throw open debate by asking people for suggestions as to which parts of the FA criteria might be relevant, and in a third section we could ask for other suggestions for change. Items of discussion could be moved to their own section or subsection further down at appropriate times to keep the discussion in an orderly, structured state (I think no one will object to this).
Having established the page with its basic sections, we could advertise and kick off. TONY (talk) 16:16, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure all of those steps are necessary, Dweller; editors most involved in these processes usually have the pages watchlisted, and input from editors who don't understand the processes might lead to paralysis by analysis. I would think you could discuss the changes at the talk page where you have the instructions (here), and also announce at FLC and FAC, where editors understand how the criteria are applied. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:21, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Overhaul of Criteria: here's another start

Here's the current wording of the opening:

A featured list ... has the following attributes:

  1. It is useful, comprehensive, factually accurate, stable, uncontroversial and well-constructed.
    • (a) "Useful" means that the list covers a topic that lends itself to list format (see Wikipedia:List). For example, the list:
    1. brings together a group of existing articles related by well-defined entry criteria;
    2. is a timeline of important events on a notable topic, the inclusion of which can be objectively sourced; or
    3. contains a finite, complete and well-defined set of items that naturally fit together to form a significant topic of study, and where the members of the set are not sufficiently notable to have individual articles
    • (b) "Comprehensive" means that ...

Taking into account Colin’s misgivings about my “clean-sweep” approach (see his comments here, I’ve come up with another possible solution that is also much simpler.

Some points:

  • The timeline-linking issue. I’ve tried not to complicate matters by explicitly referring to timelines (in which it’s hard to link many of the individual items) by including the “and/or non-trivial links in the lead” phrase. If a non-timeline list has fewer linked items than is considered desirable, navigation to related content would still have to be “clarified and facilitated by links ... in the lead”. If this is not tight enough to rule out non-timeline lists that are not sufficiently embedded in WP, please say below. The objective sourcing of items in a timeline is covered by WP's general requirement, and shouldn't need to be stamped out here.
  • The notability issue. I think a requirement to fit together to form a notable topic does the trick, doesn’t it, rather than talking in terms of the notability or non-notability of individual items? This would, to some extent, work synergistically with the linking/embedding requirement. I’ve explicitly added a reference to Colin’s issue of manageable size, too.

And further:

  • Remove repetitive announcement? I suggest we dispense with the FA criteria structure in which a list of epithets is first announced and ‘’then’’ treated one-by-one in detail, in favour of just launching into each point with its own short subheading.
  • Redundancy: additional to normal requirements: Can we remove requirements such as that concerning copyright status and non-free content justification, since all WP’s content is subject to those requirements?


A featured list ... has the following attributes.

  1. Well-delineated. It comprises a set of items that:
    • (a) naturally fit together to form a notable topic; and
    • (b) are defined in terms of a manageable size for an encyclopedic article.
  2. Well-embedded. Navigation to related content in Wikipedia is clarified and facilitated by links from a significant proportion of items and/or by non-trivial links in the lead.
  3. Comprehensive. Where a set is “knowable”, the list includes every member; in the case of dynamic lists (which may never be complete because of changes in membership or for other reasons), no major component of the set is omitted.

And concerning a point further downs: Any reason the “Factually accurate” point is longer and more complicated than the corresponding one for FACs?

That’s all I’ve looked at. TONY (talk) 05:09, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Personally, I like how our criteria are worded now. I really don't see how the change makes anything different except for maybe rewording some items. I think the criteria now should stick, and I also think that if there are any changes to the criteria, that they need to be small. This whole time I have really not seen anything wrong with the criteria, it is more the lack of attention that reviewers give to candidates. I think with a director and the review system we have in place, this will get better and there will be more focus on the small issues. The criteria already state that lists have to follow the MoS, which was one of the main complaints brought forth, so other than encouraging reviewers to focus more on MoS issues, I really don't see a need for a large change like this. But heck, that's just my opinion on the matter.
Personally, I think that the 175 kilobytes of chit-chat (yeah thats how much we've talked on this whole thing) could have been better used to actually review the lists. Let's get this director into "office," tell the reviewers to be more stringent on their reviews, and if the lists don't pass the criteria than don't feature them. Look, all our problems are fixed! But again, that's just my opinion on the matter. For what it is worth, I am kinda done with this convo, I think I'm going to go bring Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame up to WP:FL quality. Good luck with all this guys. « Gonzo fan2007 (talkcontribs) @ 05:44, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Right, let's count you out of the endeavour to improve the system. Go chit-chat elsewhere. TONY (talk) 08:22, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

I will watchlist, but suggest that because so many editors participate at FAC and FLC, trying to maintain similar numbering as in WP:WIAFA will help minimize confusion. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:10, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Of the featured lists I've looked at (mainly regional bird lists) the two main weaknesses seem to be lack of adequate in-line citations and non-MoS formatting. Whilst I don't disagree with the proposed guidance, I'm not sure how it addresses these problems. I've come late to this discussion, so ignore if I've missed something. Also, if featured lists are reviewed it would be courteous to let the relevant project(s) know. One recent delisting attempt was only picked up by the birds project by chance. Jimfbleak (talk) 17:13, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
We try to notify relevant Projects at FAR, and the instructions say nominators should do it, but they rarely do, so volunteers have to pick up the slack. Something similar to the WP:FAR instructions might be needed, but if an article isn't watched by anyone on the Project, one wonders how it maintains standard. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:25, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

I think for criterion 1, a bit of both versions should be combined. Something like "1. It is comprehensive, factually accurate, stable and well-constructed. It comprises a set of items that: (a) that naturally fit together to form a notable topic; (b) are defined in terms of a manageable size for an encyclopedic article." As for #2 in the proposed set, I'm not entirely sure if its needed. -- Scorpion0422 17:53, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to add not "Owned" to the criteria list for the purposes of this discussion. How can I add that to the list for discussion purposes? Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 19:07, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
You just did. How do you plan to demonstrate when an article is "owned"; that is, how do you plan to make that actionable, and how do you distinguish it from stability and POV criteria? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:08, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I think the normal,regular way in which the Ownership policy is enforced will be sufficient. Your recent points at the HRC FAC (prior to restart) shows how stability and POV concerns were distinguished from the ownership concern. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 19:18, 3 May 2008 (UTC)


A featured list ... has the following attributes.

  1. Well-delineated. It comprises a set of items that:
    • (a) naturally fit together to form a notable topic; and
    • (b) are defined in terms of a manageable size for an encyclopedic article.
  2. Well-embedded. Navigation to related content in Wikipedia is clarified and facilitated by links from a significant proportion of items and/or by non-trivial links in the lead.
  3. Comprehensive. Where a set is “knowable”, the list includes every member; in the case of dynamic lists (which may never be complete because of changes in membership or for other reasons), no major component of the set is omitted.
  4. Not Owned. The article, throughout its development, demonstrates a receptiveness to infrequent editors and their edits as well as an absence of individual or cliquish article control.

I would oppose the addition of a reference to ownership, as it's too hard to prove and will become unactionable. Editors who argue ownership should instead focus on article content and stability, demonstrating the effect rather than focusing on a difficult to prove alleaged cause. The question is whether alleged ownership has resulted in POV, lack of comprehensiveness, or instability. Already covered. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:21, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Actionability is not policy: ownership is policy. An Ownership issue,therefore, trumps an actionability issue. I suppose 1 metaphor might be the process of a criminal prosecution within the confines of a constitution which prescribes certain conditions upon the process. e.g. If the person charged was not properly mirandized or evidence was gathered without a proper search warrant, then the entire case is not able to move to the indictment stage. Similarly, if an article here has been developed in such a way that the Ownership policy has not been adhered to, then it should not make it past the FAC qualification criteria because if that is allowed to happen there would be a fundamental structural problem similar to a compromise of architectural integrity. The policies are the foundation: the so-called "actionable" details are the detailing of the fixtures, cupboards etc.To give the details priority over the foundation puts the whole house/project in jeopardy. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 19:40, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
You still haven't shown how you would demonstrate ownership, or how that would add anything to the process of evaluating articles not already covered by NPOV, stability, and comprehensiveness. Cause or effect. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:45, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Ownership would be demonstrated in exactly the same way it usually would be in a non-FAC article. Maybe you can say how you think it would be demonstrated in an effective way? If you are saying ownership can not be demonstrated, then, I think, you are saying that the policy is moot. I would say that Ownership would be demonstrated if the article's significant contributors, throughout its development, showed an unwelcoming/inhospitable or dismissive receptiveness to infrequent editors and their edits and/or if the article reflected individual or cliquish article control. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 05:07, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Ownership is about editors' conduct; if there are such problems, the Dispute Resolution process should be followed. The Featured Content Nomination process is exclusively concerned with content evaluation, and the conduct of editors is not its concern and lies outside its scope (policing its own pages is, of course, another matter). As bureaucratic as this may sound to some, it is actually a very sensible distinction. Content and community matters are separately addressed because they are different in nature, and although they are, naturally, interconnected, their separate handling is both more effective and more efficient. Repeating a known policy in an irrelevant process is counter-productive, in my opinion; if there are problems with editors who disregard policy, and will not accept reason, then there are the channels in place to ensure that the community and its policies will be respected. Use them. Waltham, The Duke of 09:59, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the Duke here. The problems of article ownership are not related to the content of the article. We are trying to evaluate the content of the article and not the actions of the editor who brought it to the standard of Featured content. That is for the myriad of WP:DR processes. Woody (talk) 11:38, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Tony seems to be saying (please correct me Tony if I am wrong) here-lower edit that the ownership matter should be addressed during the Nomination process and I would agree with him. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 17:17, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
No, Mr.g, you're still not understanding, and you're still putting words into other people's mouths. It seems that no one else shares your confusion. In the review processes, ownership issues are revealed in content problems: comprehensiveness, stability, neutrality, etc. That's how we evaluate. The behavior that led to the content issues is dealt with elsewhere; if you want to object to the article, you do it based on the content and the criteria, not the editors who got it there. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:22, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia, here are the words from Tony: "Mr Grant: the same way we monitor and improve all WP's content according to policy and style pages. Here, reviewers are quite entitled—indeed should—pick up such issues in a nomination." Ok, the expression "such issues" is in relation to the question of Ownership. I'm simply agreeing with the plain English meaning of that statement; that the Ownership issue should be picked up on within a nomination, whereas the Duke of Waltham and Woody appear to have the opinion it should,instead, be dealt with at DR or as you say, "elsewhere". It's no problem if there is a difference of opinion and I'm eager to reach a consensus on the matter. If Tony did, somehow, not mean that an Ownership issue should be picked up in a nomination with that edit or if he has changed his mind then maybe he could say as much but I really don't think it's reasonable for you to say I put those words in his mouth; if I misrepresented what he said then he should be the one to say so and I'll immediately drop any reference to that. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 04:58, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Neutral Criteria missing

Interesting gaffe; why is there no neutral/POV criterion in lists? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:28, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
It's at 1(d) titled "Uncontroversial", so if a list is POV, then it's controversial and fails the criteria. If you meant why there was no such criterion in the Tony's proposal, then we'll have to wait for him to answer that.--Crzycheetah 20:30, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks; I had the impression Tony was focusing only on the opening, not everything. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:34, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I thought Tony said that "the rest is redundant and should be removed"? Maybe I am misinterpreting him.--Crzycheetah 20:45, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Tony, can you clarify if you are overhauling/replacing just 1ab or all the criteria? I think both the old and any proposed new criteria have to be judged against some metric, otherwise it is change for change's sake or a change for the worse. Here are some tests. Are the criteria

  • a clear set of goals that a potential nominator can aim for and judge when their list is ready
  • restrictive enough to be cited as a valid reason to oppose an unworthy list
  • permissive enough to prevent worthy lists being rejected
  • precise enough that disputes over interpretation are rare
  • focused on what makes a featured list, over and above the relevant policy and guidelines.

In order to justify substantial change (rather than just tweaks) I'd like to see some examples of where the current criteria have failed these tests. Can people point to problematic wording or example FLCs where the criteria let us down? I'm not saying this to block change. I believe examples will help this process. And we can use them, plus the existing FLs to judge whether the new criteria are good.

WP has two specific list guidelines, Wikipedia:Lists and Wikipedia:Lists (stand-alone lists), that can be consulted by nominators and cited by reviewers. It may be useful to repeat aspects of those guidelines for emphasis, but only if necessary.

Looking at the current proposal:

  • well-delineated This is a rather erudite term saying the scope or entry criterion of list membership is well defined. Those two words are not actually a summary of the following a/b points. Wikipedia:Lists (stand-alone lists) says "Lists should begin with a lead section that presents unambiguous statements of membership criteria." If we are to repeat this guidance, I think the current "well-defined entry criteria" was fine.
  • naturally fit together to form a notable topic This is similar to 1a3's "naturally fit together to form a significant topic of study". Whether this is a notable topic is possibly an issue for AfD rather than FLC. Remember that 1a3 was phrased to be particularly restrictive as it did not require wikilinks. Are all our featured lists a "natural fit"? Could someone reject out hurricane or "Gay, lesbian or bisexual people" lists because they contain fairly arbitrary slices out of the "natural" set (date or alphabetical subsets)? Would you mind?
  • are defined in terms of a manageable size for an encyclopedic article This is trying to address the issues on the Arsenal FLRC. Is the size of a list and any trucation of the fullest scope a common issue? Can we find a way of handling this with less words? Or should we just leave this to the subjective judgement of what is "useful", which is a criterion that has been dropped from the proposal. The wording "defined in terms of a manageable size" isn't great English IMO. Sorry, Tony.
  • Well embedded This isn't a characteristic I've seen promoted before. I'm not sure it is an improvement on "useful". What do others think?
  • Navigation to related content in Wikipedia is clarified and facilitated by links from a significant proportion of items For goodness sake, Tony, have you been copyediting business documents recently? "facilitated"! Noting your previous point about "bringing", can we just tweak the existing criterion to become "links together a group of existing articles"? Although a minority of redlinks is often allowed, the existing phrasing allows reviewers to judge when that falls below "useful". By making it explicit, "significant proportion", there is a danger that a short list, which has no reason to contain any red links, could demand promotion. Think of a discography--I can't think of a good reason why all the links shouldn't be blue.
  • and/or by non-trivial links in the lead. This "cop out" is intended to replace the existing 1a2/1a3 exclusions for lists that lack wikilinks per list-entry. I'm afraid it is too generous. I'm not quite sure what a "non-trivial link" is. The lead should obey standard WP guidelines for prose wrt wikilinks. I don't see how links in the lead have any bearing on whether there need to be links in the list body. Perhaps we need to review just what sort of lists we want to allow that don't fit 1a1? I see timelines and bibliographies fitting that exemption. Any others? Can we categorise such lists without being explicit as we do with 1a2?
  • Comprehensive. Where a set is “knowable”, the list includes every member; in the case of dynamic lists (which may never be complete because of changes in membership or for other reasons), no major component of the set is omitted. I don't see this as an improvement on 1b. The new requirement of "knowable" be problematic. I fear some lists are technically "knowable" but practically impossible to complete (obeying WP:V), nor would such a complete list be "useful".
  • Tony asks why "Factually accurate" deviates from FAC. I guess it once matched but FAC split it into 1(c) and 2(c). Most of the other FL criteria could be brought into line with FAC (they are, every now and again), though the purpose of a list's lead is different to an article's lead.

I'd like to maintain the concept of "useful" as a goal/requirement. I believe the current 1a1 rule (with a change from "brings" to "links") is good for >90% of lists at FLC. I'm open to suggestions on revising the other two sub-clauses. Are there other examples than timelines and bibliographies that need exemption from 1a1?

You can tell I'm taking a fairly conservative approach to change. I don't want to discourage Tony or anyone else (future Directors speak your mind) from suggesting change. For example, are there new restrictions you want, where a bad list has slipped through. Are there some restrictions you want removed? I've personally used the "our very best work" phrase to abstain from supporting a list that doesn't shine, despite fitting the objective criteria. Do people think we need to be more explicit about minimum length or importance? Colin°Talk 21:09, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Revised proposal (1)

This one is complete; the one above was only a start. TONY (talk) 03:22, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

A featured list exemplifies our very best work and features professional standards of writing and presentation. In addition to meeting the requirements for all Wikipedia articles, a featured list has the following attributes.

  1. Notable. It comprises a set of items that come together to form a notable topic.
  2. Appropriately linked. It is linked to related articles on Wikipedia.
  3. Comprehensive. Where the membership of a set is known and stable, the list includes every member; in the case of dynamic lists, no major component of the set is omitted.
  4. Well-structured. It has a concise lead section that summarizes the scope and entry criteria of the list, and prepares the reader for the greater level of detail in the subsequent sections. Where appropriate, the list has a system of hierarchical headings and table of contents that is substantial but not overwhelming (see section help). The list is easy to navigate and is annotated with information as appropriate.
  5. Factually accurate. Claims are verifiable against reliable sources and accurately present the related body of published knowledge. Claims are supported with specific evidence and external citations (see verifiability and reliable sources); this involves the provision of a "References" section in which sources are set out and, where appropriate, complemented by inline citations. See citing sources for information on when and how extensively references are provided and for suggestions on formatting references; for lists with footnotes or endnotes, the meta:cite format is recommended.
  6. Neutral. It presents views fairly and without bias.
  7. Stable. It is not the subject of ongoing edit wars and its content does not change significantly from day to day, except for edits made in response to the featured list process.
  8. Manual of Style. It complies with the standards set out in the Manual of Style.
  9. Images. It has images if they are appropriate to the subject, with succinct captions or "alt".
  • Comment Tony, could you please clarify what the point of #2 is? I'm not sure if it is entirely necessary. -- Scorpion0422 03:41, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Later comment: Scorpion and others, can you suggest how the current #2 might be slightly expanded to qualify the linking of FLs? (That is, for the purpose of ...?) TONY (talk) 10:32, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

[Edit conflict: Scorpion, I wonder whether my recent change to it and explanation below are sufficient.]

My responses to comments in the previous section:

  • Colin, you said "Can people point to problematic wording or example FLCs where the criteria let us down?" I've done that at FLC talk. In the voting for "Should we have a director" there are calls for the criteria to be dealt with at the same time; on the talk page I see confusion and doubt over the opening criterion, confusion about the term "usefulness". I also take a conservative approach to changing things that do not need changing. Perhaps the proof of the pudding is that criteria are rarely cited by reviewers. They need to be, to make the system more focused and objective; the current structure is almost impossible to grasp and remember, and is daunting for outsiders to approach. Why have I had to ask so many questions about what the opening points mean? I've changed "Well-delineated" to "Well-defined" after your point.
  • Colin's point: "Are all our featured lists a "natural fit"? Could someone reject out hurricane or "Gay, lesbian or bisexual people" lists because they contain fairly arbitrary slices out of the "natural" set (date or alphabetical subsets)? Would you mind?" Probably not; why is alphabetical or chronological order the essence of what is "natural"? I think this is a red-herring: can you provide an example that would be a problem in this respect?
  • Colin's point about "are defined in terms of a manageable size for an encyclopedic article". Well, it was your point, which is why I included it. Same with "Well-embedded"—the term is mine, but the concept was yours. Both seem worth including. "Useful" could mean anything; better to explain what is meant by that general word.
  • I see nothing wrong with "facilitated". Your suggestion "Links to a group of existing articles"—surely they need to be "related articles". What are "non-existing articles"? I've changed the point—is it OK now?
  • Sandy: (1) the FA criteria numbering is already departs from the FL criteria numbering in several respects, and there's little point in banging a square peg into a round hole. (2) The structure of the FA criteria is, IMO, unnecessarily complex and repetitive (especially the list of what we're about to get, then we get them, with "x means that" again and again"; there's no need to duplicate that here. Simplicity and brevity are more likely to attract reviewers to FLC and to make the task of both preparing nominations and reviewing them simpler. The directors will also be aided by simplicity and brevity. (3) I've added a NPOV point; yes, that was a hole.
  • I see a proposal at talk (including Colin's agreement) that some of the information in the criteria is redundant because it's required of all WP content. For that reason, I've removed some of the wording about non-free content and copyright. The criteria are too long and complex, IMO. This shouldn't be a checklist, but a set of additional requirements for featured lists, as is announced in the lead paragraph to the criteria. More could be removed, but I dare not go that far without further suggestions here.
  • On that note, Scorpion, concerning your feeling that the list of epithets at the top be retained and repeated on a lower level of the hierarchy below: do you not think it's simpler to say them once, as in this proposal?
  • The ownership policy covers all WP's content and is not required here. TONY (talk) 04:19, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I've relocated Mr Grant's green box into a dedicated page here, plus his posting here concerning "ownership"; I've done this because I believe that this is the wrong place for that debate. TONY (talk) 09:02, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I prefer the revised set of criteria for FLs above. 1) The criteria are written in list form, instead of a block of prose, which I think is clearer. 2) There is a systematic identification of what are the desired characteristics of FLs, which is very helpful, and the number of criteria listed is greater than before, implying more completeness. Overall it does a better job of explaining what is a FL than did earlier versions. - Neparis (talk) 13:12, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • One issue with the set of criteria for FLs is that it seems to ignore the idea of the humble, alphabetically sorted list. I am thinking of simple, alphabetical lists, including but not limited to alphabetical indexes, of the form List of topics in X (alphabetical), where X is a particular field or even the whole encyclopedia (in which case the list is an index to the encyclopedia).
Such lists, which may be nothing more than "flat" lists in alphabetic order, i.e. sorted but otherwise unstructured lists, are useful in both navigational and non-navigational ways. They enable the reader to browse alphabetically adjacent or nearby topics. They enable at-a-glance checking of the completeness of coverage in X.
I think it would be useful that the FL criteria address the possibility of alphabetic lists. The present criteria, particularly "1. Notable. It comprises a set of items that come together to form a notable topic" and "4. Well-structured" could be seen as a deterrent. - Neparis (talk) 13:44, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments, Neparis. I'm new to FLs, and I'm already noticing lists in alpha order that I'd rather have in chronological order. But isn't it a case-by-case matter, editors choosing the angle (structural form) that is best for the list as they judge it? I think it's covered by #4 (easy to navigate), and should not be specified precisely. TONY (talk) 14:50, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Tony, regarding the second line in your green box: "In addition to meeting the requirements for all Wikipedia articles..", how will that be ensured in relation to those requirements which, as SandyGeorgia pointed out in relation to 1 policy[2], might have contraventions which are not demonstratable in an actionable way when they hit FAC ? Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 13:52, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Mr Grant: the same way we monitor and improve all WP's content according to policy and style pages. Here, reviewers are quite entitled—indeed should—pick up such issues in a nomination. TONY (talk) 14:50, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm baffled because what you are saying is in direct conflict with this and this. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 23:52, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't understand the need for 2, and in 8, we specifically eliminated mention of WikiProjects in WIAFA because any Project guidelines that enjoy broad consensus are already part of MOS. Is there no prose standard ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:17, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Some concerns (just concerns, not obstacles):
  • Point 2 is possibly too watered down to be a useful defence against a list with either the majority red-links or (worse) a majority no-links per entry (without a good excuse). One interpretation is merely "Articles on WP have internal links" -- which I think is why Sandy doesn't see the need for it. Rather than offer guidance as to community consensus through the criteria, we've left the "appropriateness" of the linking to reviewer and nominator judgement. Perhaps people want the rules to be less rigid and more flexible. I'd like the potential directors to comment on this.
  • "Notable" is a novel requirement for FLs and is rule #1. Are we saying the most important thing about an FL is its own notability? How does one establish the notability of lists of locks on canals? Should List of former county courts in Wales be rejected on this point?
I haven't seen many suggestions of new criteria. At the director nominations, people talked of tightening the requirements and ensuring our FL selection was improved. I'd like to step back for a while and let others contribute, because we need more voices here. Colin°Talk 19:32, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah, now that I see what 2 is about, yes, it should be refined. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:35, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, by stripping away what was unclear, the new 1 and 2 are now redundant, it seems. Perhaps I could never understand in the first place the old Cr. 1, which suggests that there were serious problems. Here's a lateral idea, then: get rid of both 1 and 2 (new). What would that let through that is undesirable, given that all WP topics must satisfy notability criteria. What FL nomination is likely to come through with insufficient links? (Overlinking, however, is a problem.) TONY (talk) 12:26, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Question This question has come up Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/Charlotte Bobcats draft history and, previously, here. In short: How long should a FL be? As you can see from the discussion, the consensus is that the criteria doesn't cover it, which means that the discussion degenerates into a "support by silence/oppose by silence" debate. I think the question really should be addressed, in some way or another, in the new FL criteria. Noble Story (talk) 11:11, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
    • Length has come up at FAC talk a number of times. It's not an easy question, and impossible to legislate on. We must, IMO, rely on the "comprehensive" criterion. TONY (talk) 11:20, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
      • But the point is that the "comprehensive" criterion doesn't cover it. Well, actually it does, in saying "'Comprehensive' means that the list covers the defined scope by including every member of a set". However, that would seem to say that anything with more than two items is a list. Is that really true? Noble Story (talk) 11:39, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Colin asked me to post his response from my talk to here:

There are aspects of the criteria (notable, factually accurate, neutral, MOS) that are fully covered by policy and guidelines. At FL, those aspects should be scrutinised and should naturally rise above the low standard elsewhere. Other aspects of a high quality list are not covered by existing policy and guidelines: comprehensive, well structured, stable, appropriate images. It is useful to mention them as prompts for reviewers to consider, and to establish some consensus as to the level required. To those, I'd argue that blue-linked list entries is another requirement that raises an FL above any old compliant list. Ignoring the oddball timelines and bibliographies, nearly all "useful" featured lists on WP have a blue link per list entry (or close). Too many redlinks (or not enough links at all) is still a relatively common complained at FL. List of ammonites is an extreme example. Underlinking doesn't help Wikipedia and too many redlinks makes the article look unfinished. I think FLs (and FAs) should look finished. Another list-specific failing we sometimes see is where a list (usually in table format) is annotated with information for only some of the entries. Without good reason, such tables also look unfinished and could be improved with effort (though sometimes the sources just don't permit). You say "Overlinking" is a problem. I can see that with the prose bits, but is this common for the tables?

So we need to draw some kind of boundary around what is uniquely required in FLCs and what is required of all WP's content (as implied in the existing and proposed lead sentences. I'm inclined not to make it a checklist of things that all content should have. Our nominators and reviewers should be checking that anyway, shouldn't they? I'm a minimalist: keep the criteria as short and simple as possible, and we'll attract the most participants and streamline discourse on the nomination pages.

If we do include checklist issues (notability? linking?), I think they should be expressed in a way that relates specifically to lists.

We really do need more people to comment, including, of course, the new directors (as Colin said on my talk page). I suggest that we try to nut out these issues in the next week or two. TONY (talk) 12:28, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

I can understand why nobody's too interested in commenting because this topic and process, as it currently stands, amounts to an introverted type of dogmatic navel gazing. I'd certainly like to see the discussion expand with a much broader and less controlled brainstorming methodology of related idea generation. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 01:44, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Two more observations to ponder:

  • It relatively common for nominators (and reviewers) to ignore the lead sentence in the criteria, and think only the numbered ones count.
  • A difficulty with opposing a list because it has fundamental problems (for example, too short, or just not enough reliable sources) is the old "inactionable" complaint. How many here believe that any list (or article) that can survive AfD could achieve featured status?

Colin°Talk 12:37, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

I think the "inactionable" complaint is patently Kafkaesque and the fact it is taken seriously here is both humorous and disturbing. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 01:35, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
In answer to Colin's question, I, for one, do believe that any article, no matter how fundamentally questionable, which can survive AfD could achieve featured status if managed by a well-liked significant contributor and with sufficient attention given to dealing with all the little "actionable" details. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 18:58, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Revised proposal (2)

A featured list exemplifies our very best work and features professional standards of writing and formatting. In addition to meeting the requirements for all Wikipedia content—in particular, that it present views fairly and without bias, be appropriately linked, and form a notable topic—a featured list has the following attributes.

  1. Comprehensive. Where the membership of a set is known and stable, the list includes every member; in the case of dynamic lists, no major component of the set is omitted.
  2. Well-structured. It has a concise lead section that summarizes the scope and entry criteria of the list, and prepares the reader for the greater level of detail in the subsequent sections. Where appropriate, the list has a system of hierarchical headings and table of contents that is substantial but not overwhelming (see section help). The list is easy to navigate and is annotated with information as appropriate.
  3. Factually accurate. Claims are verifiable against reliable sources and accurately present the related body of published knowledge. Claims are supported with specific evidence and external citations (see verifiability and reliable sources); this involves the provision of a "References" section in which sources are set out and, where appropriate, complemented by inline citations. See citing sources for information on when and how extensively references are provided and for suggestions on formatting references; for lists with footnotes or endnotes, the meta:cite format is recommended.
  4. Manual of Style. It complies with the Manual of Style.
  5. Stable. It is not the subject of ongoing edit wars and its content does not change significantly from day to day, except for edits made in response to the featured list process.
  6. Images. It has images if they are appropriate to the subject, with succinct captions or "alt".
  • Slap me down, but I've had another go at the proposed new criteria. This time, I've put all of the universal requirements for WP's content—the "checklist" that someone mentioned—in the lead, except for the item that would be too long and cumbersome: "factually accurate". Thus, the numbered criteria are, with this exception, the unique requirements of FLs. All lists must comply with the universal requirements. I've retained the "Manual of Style" point since, like articles, it's the featured class that absolutely must follow MoS. Colin, I do believe that once the criteria are more user-friendly, people will take notice of the lead. I've been doing so, because that's where the requirement for a "professional" standard of writing lies.
Thus, I've stripped back the numbered criteria to a short, simple list. TONY (talk) 14:23, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Looks much better to me. I'll support it. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 18:03, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Revised proposal (3)

OK. Enough criticism from me. I've had a go. I too have separated the universal requirements from what separates our "best work". Although my version mentions and links to more policy and guidelines pages, I've tried to strip away anything that is already covered elsewhere, or is uncontroversially a good thing that doesn't need explicit handling. I've completely done away with the bold summary-word for each point. It needs a little polishing, but what do you think of this approach? Colin°Talk 22:46, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

All stand-alone lists are expected to

  1. Comply with our content policies. The list should be correctly named, take a neutral point of view, contain no original research, be verifiable through appropriate citations of reliable sources (taking particular care with living persons), and be suitable for Wikipedia.
  2. Take heed of our guidelines, in particular the Manual of Style and its subpages.

Over and above this, a featured list should exemplify our very best work and

  3. Feature professional standards of writing, with an engaging lead section, which introduces the subject, defines the scope and establishes the membership criteria.
  4. Comprehensively cover the defined scope: providing a complete set if practical; all major components otherwise.
  5. Appear finished (for example, having a minority of red links or empty table cells).
  6. Provide more information than a bare list through appropriate annotations and body text.
  7. Be visually appealing, making suitable use of use of text layout, formatting, tables, colour and images (with succinct captions or "alt" text).
  8. Be easy to navigate, having (where helpful) a table of contents, section headings and table sort facilities.
  9. Be stable (ignoring vandalism reverts and improvements towards featured status). Lists that cover a highly dynamic subject or are controversial (provoking edit wars) are unsuitable.
I like this one also. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 01:09, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
I could live with both, but Tony's is clearer and more readable. Jimfbleak (talk) 05:48, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Colin, I very much like most of the changes you've made; I'd like to pose the following issues.

  • Bolded subheadings: I thought they made it easier to digest.
  • Lead: We cannot legislate here for non-featured lists, and "All stand-alone lists are expected to" might give that impression. I think it would be better to retain the current (and previously proposed) mention of this in passing "In addition to meeting the requirements for all Wikipedia content ...", changed to "all of Wikipedia's lists" if that's better.
  • Cr 1—excellent, but I think better in the lead.
  • Cr 2—"Taking heed" of the style guides, including MoS, is quite a come-down from the current insistence on following them. FACs must comply, FLCs must, and I see no reason to weaken this requirement. Non-featured lists and articles are, unfortunately, under less pressure to comply, a situation we have no control over.
  • Cr 3—excellent.
  • Cr 4—conceptually much better, but needs a punctuation tweak: "Cover the defined scope, providing a complete set if practical, and otherwise all major components. Could 6 be tacked onto the end of this?
  • Cr 5—only "a minority" of links red and table cells empty? That's less than 50%. Perhaps something stronger, such as "Have a finished appearance, including a minimal number of red links and empty table cells."? And could this be tacked onto the end of 7, since both concern comprehensivity?

Cr 8—much better.

  • Cr 9—"improvements towards featured status"—I'd like not to encourage the idea that nominations might already be at featured status; the old "except for vandalism reverts and edits made in response to the featured list process" might be better. TONY (talk) 09:49, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
We can bold phrases if you like. I found the single or compound bold words to be insufficient to express the concept and not all were "attributes". The MoS example was particularly awkward.
I didn't think points 1 and 2 were "legislating" above what is "expected" on WP. However, I see you want to strengthen the compliance with MoS, which is above what WP demands. How about we merge 1 and 2:
1.Comply with our content policies and take heed of our guidelines. The list should be correctly named, take a neutral point of view, contain no original research, be verifiable through appropriate citations of reliable sources (taking particular care with living persons), and be suitable for Wikipedia.
then move MoS compliance to the second section:
2. Feature professional standards of writing, compliant with the Manual of Style and its subpages. The list should begin with engaging lead section, which introduces the subject, defines the scope and establishes the membership criteria.
The reason I wanted Policy and Guideline compliance to be point #1 was because #1 is a special number and it makes citing this criterion easy. This is the fundamental criterion and any oppose based on that should be taken very seriously.
The "Appear finished" examples aren't phrased well. By empty table cells, I'm thinking about a table-list with only patchy annotations. However, it may well be legitimate for a table to have columns that are mostly empty if any entry there is exceptional. So maybe we need a better description of "patchy annotations or detail".
The original "comprehensive" criterion was concerned only with set-membership, which I've maintained. One could extend "comprehensive" to cover red links and missing annotations (5) as well as the need for extra detail (6). So 4/5/6 could be merged. Is there any aspect of "appears finished" that isn't satisfied by being "comprehensive"? It might be worth waiting for comments on 5 and 6 before merging them into 4. Both ideas have been suggested in the past, but are new to the criteria. It might make it easier to debate them if left separate for now. Keeping the points separate was something I was trying to achieve.
Other than that, I agree with your suggested tweaks and, of course, I expect you to do a better job than me on the punctuation! Colin°Talk 11:50, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

While I admire its aim (I shudder to think about the Arsenal list recall shouting match) I think that criterion 4 needs consideration. Who decides what is "practical"? Do we try to pin this down, or deliberately leave it vague? Is it something that the new Directors will or even should rule on? Lots of qs from me and not many as for now, on this issue! --Dweller (talk) 12:08, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Cr. 5 is too weak. I actually disagree about the redlinks in particular, but it seems I'm in a minority. Talking about minorities, I think we should be more tolerant of problems the longer the list is. I.e. 3 lacunae in a massive list will look far better than in a very short one. So how about "Proportionately comprise very few, if any, lacunae, such as redlinks, missing data or empty cells in tables." --Dweller (talk) 12:19, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Can you clarify: is your opinion that we should be more or less restrictive in disapproving of redlinks? I think that "proportionally" (relative term) conflicts with "very few" (absolute term). Tony suggested "a minimal number of"? If we agree the number should be relatively small then that is as precise as we can probably get. We'll leave the absolute threshold to be on a case-by-case basis. For example, whether a given short list has any excuse for having redlinks. BTW: lacunae is a new word for me, so my guess is that it will be for lots of readers. I'm still not totally comfortable with the "empty cells" phrasing (I know I brought it up). Perhaps "missing data" covers that since a cell may be empty without missing data, which is fine.
At the moment, my feeling is to leave the judging of "practical" to be on a case by case basis to be determined by consensus. Though this is one of the things that Wikiprojects could establish a useful consensus for a particular domain (such as football team member lists).
On the issue of "ownership" (see below), I don't believe this should form any part of the FL criteria. Editor behaviour has no bearing. We are here to discuss the merits of the article. Colin°Talk 12:32, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Colin, I agree about ownership. On your merged 1 and 2, I really have to say that universal requirements shouldn't be in the numbered criteria, but in the lead. I have a few problems in explicitly mentioning/linking two sites:
  • content policies lists lots of policies that are irrelevant to our task here, such as behavioural policies and—ensconced at the top—"Ignore all rules". I think this is not helpful. Are there any further specific policies that need to be singled out explicitly? That would be preferable, I think. Here, I think generality at the top of FAC is simpler and better, although I could cope with the special mention of policies that have been a particular issue in FLCs.
  • Guidelines—same deal—I see that weird "All the web" thing, run by a small band of people who want to link just about every word. Please, let's not give it oxygen; I can see a nominator using that to rebuff reviewers to object to linking common years and dictionary words.
  • "Take heed of" really means nothing, does it, in this context: "complies" or "doesn't compy" is all that we can go by. TONY (talk)
I agree re ownership. --Dweller (talk) 13:07, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
I would really like someone, anyone, to explain how any project, with even just a basic level of integrity, can profess an OwnershipPolicy while excluding consideration of contraventions of that policy when evaluating the project's "best work". Wouldn't that qualify as Doublethink? Absolutely! Doublethink is certainly all the rage in 2008 in most venues, so it would not be unusual to see it prosper here; but at least we should be clear thinking enough to recognize it, and honest enough to admit it, when it's being brought into, and accepted by, the project and its contributors. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 14:39, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean. --Dweller (talk) 14:43, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Ok, Let's start here: What do you mean when you say above: "I agree re ownership."? I assume you are agreeing with Colin that "I don't believe this should form any part of the FL criteria."Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 14:50, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes. I don't feel we need to list every policy. WP:OWN applies across the whole of Wikipedia. The criteria should be stressing the policies that have particular relevance to the assessment of Featured List candidates. This one doesn't. I'm also unconvinced about mentioning BLP, but that at least refers to content of the article, rather than behaviour of editors. Anyway, I'm afraid my weekend starts here. Back Monday. --Dweller (talk) 14:56, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
To understand my comment, one needs only to read our OwnershipPolicy and also the Doublethink article and put into the mix the view that "I don't believe this (Ownership) should form any part of the FL criteria." My meaning is: That view can only co-exist with our Ownership policy within the realm of Doublethink. Even worse, there is also the expressed view that Ownership concerns should be specifically excluded from consideration when evaluating FACs.Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 15:03, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
No doublethink required. We are limiting judgement to the article, not the behaviour of any editors involved in its creation. Once we start analysing editor behaviour, there is no end to the problems. Should ownership issues spill over into edit warring or article protection, then the article will fail the stability criterion. A shouting match on the article talk page, which doesn't affect the article page, is not our concern. Bad behaviour on the part of editors results in sanctions against the editor, not the articles they have worked on. I get the impression this isn't a hypothetical issue for you? Colin°Talk 16:15, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
I completely disagree with the conflation of Policy contravention with editor behavior. It is possible to have a contravention of Policy while the Editor was behaving in a completely "good faith" way. If you disagree with my opinion, that's just fine, but I fail to see why any of the policies need be ignored when evaluating FACs nor do I see why there should be thousands of FAs. To be brutally honest, I think it would be just plain lazy of us to approve FL criteria which narrowly focuses on the final content while ignoring the adherance to Wikipedia policies in the article's construction. I absolutely maintain that it is possible and necessary to evaluate the article in a holistic way as opposed to simply dropping by to view the final product. After all, it's the methodology of Wikipedia's process which as much as, if not more than, its products, gives it its integrity and appeal. Yes, it would be more time consuming and difficult and there would surely be far fewer FAs, but the few that do reach that status would then truly be able to be seen as this community's "best work". Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 20:24, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

This is what I mean by confusing - I don't know where to respond on redlinks, so I'll put it here, several lines below the relevant bit of conversation. I don't think it's necessary or even desirable to insist on no/few redlinks. If I create a comprehensive list of every single Norwich City player who ever played because I don't want to depend on the >100 games issue, I'll have a list of hundreds, possibly thousands of names (the club was founded >100 years ago and has played c.50 games most years since then, with 11-14 players taking the pitch each time). My otherwise FL quality article will be stuffed with redlinks, because there are very few active editors with an interest in NCFC. So, what will I do? I'll go on a stub-creating spurt that'll take me ages and add little of value to the project. Or, and this is the worst outfall from this, I won't bother creating the FLC because the concept of having to do that fills me with dread. The fact that many constituents do not yet have articles does not reduce the quality or the utility of the FL I'm actually trying to write. If the crappy stub articles are (rightly) outside the purview of the FLC then what difference if they're brilliant/stubby/rubbish or... not yet in existence. If the list pulls together information that belongs together and is inherently notable, I have no problem with even large chunks of the material being missing as articles, so long as they are in the list (which, after all, is what FLC is supposed to be judging). --Dweller (talk) 12:58, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Dweller, I'm intrigued to know why you wouldn't take a third course of action: not link them at all. Having red links spattered all over the place (I've just reviewed one) looks awful, especially to visitors who don't even know what they are. TONY (talk) 13:01, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Because the thing about Wikipedia is that it grows and develops. If included as redlinks, they'll hopefully all turn blue eventually. If unlinked, unless someone has a clever bot I don't know about, the Featured List will not link to newly created articles that are within its scope. There's nothing inherently aesthetically unattractive about redlinks vs blue. --Dweller (talk) 13:04, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Lacunae: no problem not using that word. Think there needs to be some sort of proportionality. I suppose that could be something interpreted by the Directors if not spelled out in the words, but I do think "very few" or similar is asking for trouble when someone makes a 300K list with say 3 omissions. --Dweller (talk) 13:01, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

7: Images needs a reminder about licensing. Can't be said too often. --Dweller (talk) 13:13, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

I know where you're coming from, and I'm as much a copyright zealot as anyone, but it's the case for all content. I do think it can be said too often in a text that is best when shortest and simplest: that is an overriding principle here, for me, anyway. Here, the whole idea is to sequester the universal requirements into one place. TONY (talk) 15:00, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
  • WP:Accessibility has been raised at FAC as an area we've neglected in reviews; I think there are some color implications there, and since tables make use of color, you all might want to come up to speed in that area (I'm not up to speed on how lists work with accessibility, so can't help; so far, Rick Block seems to be the person to ask). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:08, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Comments I've skimmed through the above discussions, but read them in depth, so I apologize if these points have been mentioned before.
    • I would like to see some kind of basic definition of a list added to the criteria (similar to #1 in the old policy). Something like "A list fits naturally fit together to form a notable topic; and is defined in terms of a manageable size for an encyclopedic article."
    • 1 through 3 - No problems with those, although perhaps the word our should be replaced with Wikipedia.
    • 4 - It could be worded better. Using the term "if practical" could be seen as a loophole.
    • 5 - Again "Appears finished" seems like a loophole, allowing for people to leave out some stuff they can't source, as long as the list basically appears finished.
    • 6 - No qualms here.
    • 7 - I'm not sure about this one. A list should definitely be visually appealing, but it seems like it is open to vast differences in interpretation. For example, I find that a lot of our discographies leave a lot to be desired in this area.
    • 8 - See #6
  • Anyway, I think I like Colin's proposal the best, although Tony1's second one is worded better. -- Scorpion0422 16:51, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Scorpion. I suppose it would be useful if I make a fourth version out of Colin's and my take on the feedback. I suspect some of it won't be hard, but some will be, and that I'll have to mark with colour the areas in which I need further help. In a day or so? TONY (talk) 17:08, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to hear other opinions on whether the core stuff should be #1 or moved to the lead, and whether it is useful to merge the "comprehensive" 4/5/6 topics. I'm happy to accept Tony's points on those issues, but they're not my preference.
Wrt to loopholes. We have to find a balance between saying nothing (such as about visual appeal) and being very precise (for which we may never achieve consensus such as with an absolute rule on redlinks). Having subjective aspects to the criteria is no bad thing -- I sometimes felt that FL was rather too objective, which set the bar low. I didn't intend "appear finished" to mean "almost finished". Only that nothing on WP is ever cast in stone. But a reader viewing the page should see something worth publishing, rather than a work in progress. Alternative phrasing suggestions welcome. Colin°Talk 17:30, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
I prefer that the core stuff remain #1. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 00:43, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Confused discussion

Resolved: I'll post in Proposal 3 --Dweller (talk) 11:35, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

I think this discussion is confusing and off-putting to anyone "late" to it. What we should be doing is cracking, point by point, the contentious issues. We need a separate section where people can discuss, for example, the "owned" point, so all debate on that matter is kept together, it can be crafted and consensus to adopt or reject can emerge. At the moment, we have various variations on a theme popping up.

I have strong opinions on many of the points being raised, but have no idea where to place them. I therefore propose we create subsections, headed by a concise precis of its issue, paste into it some wording and crack on with analysing it in detail.

Maybe it's just because my brain's limited and everyone else can cope with the way this is going, but we're attempting to do a large, important and (most relevantly) complex task here, and it strikes me that the best way to do that is to simplify the admin of it as much as possible. --Dweller (talk) 10:02, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

I have no idea why a green box clearly setting out a full proposal and criterion-by-criterion comments below it are confusing. Can't you read through them? Can't you post your own "strong opinions below that? Splintering the discussion is not the way to go. That would be to make it complex. It seems to me that we're approaching a workable version; it's certainly not as confusing and complicated as the existing criteria. I'm soon to post another green box that modifies Colin's Version 3. I'm interested to see your views before that. TONY (talk) 11:04, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
After I posted the 3rd proposal, there were two competing drafts and I didn't want to suggest mine superseded Tony's. It might be confusing to know which draft to suggest changes to. However, it appears that Tony likes the 3rd enough to use that as a base to work on. It is a long discussion, so if anyone feels there is an issue raised further up that is still "open", you could repeat it down here to save "late comers" having to read the whole thing. We could then consider archiving some of it. The "variations" are at the moment all quite different as we are trying to boil down the essence of the criteria and find a good way to frame the rules. As we approach consensus on that, it will make it easier to discuss the finer points of #8, or whatever. Colin°Talk 11:24, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
OK, I've been around long enough to know that my brain works differently from others'. I'll post in Proposal 3. --Dweller (talk) 11:34, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Colin, I'm not sure what you mean when you say: "if anyone feels there is an issue raised further up that is still "open", you could repeat it down here." I feel the matter of where/how to include what you refer to as the "core stuff" (including the Ownership Policy) is still open. Should that be repeated here? Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 12:45, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Mr. Evans, this is really not the place for your argument. I don't think anyone here has agreed with your assumption that this is an appropriate location for dealing with ownership. Please take the issue further up the chain, or it will appear to be obstructive to a task that is already challenging. TONY (talk) 13:37, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Tony, you misunderstand and have misread my comment above.Ownership is not the only issue here,Tony. The issue here is what Colin calls the "core stuff" which includes all of the major policies. Please do not mis-quote my comment above which references all the core policies. Yes, Ownership may be a particular concern addressed in other comments, but my comment above is a direct response to Colin's reference to the much broader issue of "core stuff". I am interested in how all of the core policies are treated in this discussion, not just Ownership. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 13:49, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Revised proposal (5)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

A featured list exemplifies our very best work. In addition to meeting the requirements for all Wikipedia content—especially official english Wikipedia policies—a featured list consists of articles nominated and selected as such by the community at large by consensus. There will be a limit of 10 selections per month and 100 per year.
  • Rather than just try to evaluate the suggested changes by Tony and Colin, I'm also putting a proposal of my own forward. I think that the varying subject matter of articles, e.g. BLP, precludes the workability of listing subjective criteria like "stability" in the FLC. Therefore, I've simplified the criteria and added a quantity governour which together should force to the top our "best work." Now, I do not want to see my edit/proposal removed from here because this discussion does not belong to any one editor and if any one editor wants to control a discussion on this topic they can try to do that better on their own talk page. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 14:38, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
    • This isn't really a "Featured list criteria" proposal, but a proposal to completely change the way featured lists are selected and processed. Other than meeting core policy, this removes all documented selection criteria and leaves all judgment in the hands of those reviewers who comment each month. The best place to discuss this is at Wikipedia talk:Featured list candidates. Colin°Talk 18:37, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree; this proposal change is far too radical to be placed on a discussion page for the criteria, of which this does not contain any. It should be moved to WT:FLC. Gary King (talk) 05:53, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Let's just leave it here for another 2 days and then I'll move it myself if nobody else wants it here after 48 hours from now. I think it belongs here because it does have criteria (consisting of a nomination, consensus selection process and strict adherence to official english Wikipedia policies), does no harm and is not confusing. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 15:43, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I'm late to the party, as ever, but sorry, saying this isn't confusing is confusing. So 10 a month, then when you get to mid-September, no more promotions since you've hit your max? Why? Why prevent gifted and thorough editors getting hundreds of FL promotions in a year as long as their work is the "best" Wikipedia can offer? Not sure why you seek to arbitrarily constrain the promotions... I'll be back on RP (4) soon. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:24, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
So: 10 per month, 100 per year? So what, November and December are going to have no FLC's? (10 per month x 12 months = 120)? And why would we say to editors, "you know what, we have had enough good content for this month/year, please stop improving Wikipedia?" Please do remove this, and go a little farther and please do not restore it anywhere else. « Gonzo fan2007 (talkcontribs) @ 19:58, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Obviously, there could be a mechanism for replacing an existing FA with a better one if the limit had been reached for that year or month.
  • If the object is to recognize our best work then I think this proposal has merit; otoh,
  • if the object is to flood ( 2,000+ at last count- more than all the academy awards of all types over a century's time) the project with articles of mediocre quality (I think the 2,000+ number would indicate a low bar of achievement to a reasonable person), then this proposal has no place here for sure and in another 24 hours or so I will move it to WT:FLC as suggested above. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 20:27, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
What are you talking about?? You are making no sense, 2000 what? We have 703 WP:FLs. If the object is to recognize our best work, then why would we limit our best?! For the past 9 months we have averaged around 40 promotions, why would we limit our featured content to 10?! I assert again, please remove this from here. « Gonzo fan2007 (talkcontribs) @ 20:39, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Grant, I was being generous. This proposal doesn't have a snowball's chance. You are wasting your time. And our time. Colin°Talk 22:05, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Don't remove this discussion. Just use {{archive top}} and {{archive bottom}} so it's here for posterity's sake. Gary King (talk) 00:04, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Damn, I feel like an idiot. I came here from [3], which was a topic at a discussion about FACs and all this time I thought that FL criteria is synonymous with FA criteria. I apologize profusely and I am really embarrassed. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 14:05, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Not to worry, we're all of us human. The Rambling Man (talk) 14:17, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Revised proposal (4)

A featured list exemplifies our very best work. In addition to meeting the requirements for all Wikipedia content—in particular, naming conventions, neutrality, no original research, verifiability, citations, reliable sources (taking particular care with living persons), non-free content and what Wikipedia is not—a featured list has the following attributes:

  1. Prose. It features professional standards of writing.
  2. Lead. It has an engaging lead section that introduces the subject, and defines the scope and membership criteria of the list.
  3. Comprehensiveness. It comprehensively covers the defined scope, providing a complete set of items where practical, or otherwise at least all of the major items; where appropriate, it has annotations that provide useful and appropriate information about entries.
  4. Structure. It is easy to navigate, and includes—where helpful—section headings and table sort facilities.
  5. Style. It complies with the Manual of Style and its supplementary pages.
  6. Visual appeal. It is visually appealing, making suitable use of text layout, formatting, tables, and colour; it has images if they are appropriate to the subject, with succinct captions or "alt" text; it has a minimal proportion of red links.
  7. Stability. It is not the subject of ongoing edit wars and its content does not change significantly from day to day, except for edits made in response to the featured list process.

OK, here's my rationale in a nutshell:

  • I can't overemphasise how these criteria should be short and sweet, crisp and clear; especially, short. In this respect, I think they might serve as a model for other featured criteria—particularly the FA criteria—which are unnecessarily long and complex, IMO.
  • There are too many problems in explicitly linking to guidelines and policies (clunky, long list, problematic items in the lists of contents and guidelines too, as I pointed out above). IMO, it's better just to keep to the "requirements for all WP content", as does the lead to the FA criteria. Putting them in Cr 1 so that reviewers may cite that number is redundant, since nominators will need to be told exactly which policy or guideline is at issue, not just "breach of Cr 1". I'm afraid we shouldn't be here unless we know about these universal requirements, at least vaguely, and are able to respond when they're cited. For example, including copyright in the FA criteria has never forced the issue there; they rely totally on the presence of reviewers who care about it and know how to insist. Same with citations/factual accuracy, frankly (but see below, because I've broken my rule and included those—your advice, please ...). Before I finish on this, I don't want users at large to get the idea that our universal requirements are not taken seriously, and somehow need to be stamped out here to remind people. Bad signal, don't you think?
  • Red links and blank squares: too-hard basket, as Dweller is saying—in any case, isn't it more flexibly covered under "Visual appeal"?
  • Scorpion's query about "practical"—OK, let's retain the existing mention of "dynamic" lists, which seems more objective a distinction.
  • I've changed the grammar of the bold subtitles after Colin's objection.
  • Because MoS involves lots more than prose, it's in a separate point.
  • I'm sorry if I've missed feedback that I should have integrated. The ownership stuff makes it hard to hunt through. PLEASE, sequester further stuff about ownership in a separate section. TONY (talk) 15:59, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Note: the following comments were made on an earlier draft of #4

It is better than #2 but still misses some of the aspects of a featured list that I think are important, some longstanding, some new. I think we've reached the point where you'd phrase it one way and I'd phrase it another, I'd mention this, you'd ignore that. We desperately need a serious level of participation from reviewers and nominators who are active at FLC. It is only with experience of regular failings or strengths that we can draft some criteria that are helpful.

  • I think there is merit in listing our policies and we've gone from "excellent but move to the lead" to "clunky" and dropped altogether. I don't think repeating them sends out the wrong signal. The level of WP experience among FL nominators is generally lower than at FA. It does no harm to remind folk that these are non-negotiable requirements. Failing WP:V is the most common fault I see. So one does wonder if nominators do take them seriously.
  • Earlier you suggested dropping links to content policies and guidelines. Perhaps but not for the reasons you give. If some of our guidelines are troublesome, not linking to them won't make them go away.
  • "Comprehensiveness" hasn't incorporated the "appear finished" and "more than a bare list" points. I'm trying to come up with new criteria that help raise the standard, so would like those criteria discussed rather than chucked away too quickly.
  • I think both you and I liked "if practical" but Scorpion thought it was a loophole. I'd like this debated further as the old text (you restored) of dynamic list is actually worse. The words "dynamic list" require definition and the linked template merely says "an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy certain standards for completeness" without really giving a reason. The wording at "incomplete list" takes us to a stale wikiproject rather than a guideline. It is all rather circular: "a list may be allowed to be incomplete... if it is an incomplete list". I believe "practical" handles the situations where a list of thousands or millions might be expected; where the list can't be complete since not every instance is documented; where a complete list would be huge and of little practical value; etc. It also incorporates a solution to the Arsenal FLRC. If a nominator can give a practical reason for curtailing the scope, and it is a reasonable one, then why not.
  • "Factual accuracy" is actually not a WP requirement. Meeting WP:V is not the same thing as being accurate (correct). So those bold words are at odds with policy. You ask about the need to repeat this policy and not the others. I think FL/FA used to require inline citations more than policy demanded, but perhaps WP:V is no so different now. The "where appropriate" clause still applies and plenty undynamic short lists can be sourced to one or two bulleted references.
  • Is there a good reason to drop "and its subpages" from the MoS requirement? You may disagree with some of them, but as long as they remain consensus-agreed guidelines, they count.
  • I don't see the need to split "images" from other aspects of visual appeal.
  • Lastly, and most importantly. No, the issue of linking is not handled by "visual appeal". I know you have a problem with blue and red text being visually distracting, but the issue of whether to link or not and whether that link should point to something useful (or anything) is far more than just aesthetics. The "linking articles" text is currently our #1 criterion. I won't see that dropped without a fight (well, a discussion that involves significant consensus for change). Here's my take on list-entry linking:
    • If the entry subject has a reasonable chance of a Wikipedia article, it should be a link. This is quite a different requirement from "if the entry subject is notable, it should have a link". Notability is a lower threshold designed to protect articles from deletion. It has little bearing on whether an article stands much chance of existing in the first place. For people in the past, a reasonable test for this is whether they'd have an obituary or not. If you have an obituary, you've got the material to write a short article.
    • Failure on the above is the only reason for making an entry black to avoid it being red. Removing red links merely to pass FL is a sin.
    • A list with too many redlinks isn't "useful". There's that word that Tony thinks doesn't mean much. I think it means a lot and is something worth considering when judging a wiki list. Let's not fall out over it. We have different viewpoints and that's fine. Another reason why I'd love more participants here.
    • Creating lots of stubs so the links are blue won't impress me. I consider that just as bad as a list with lots of redlinks as it still isn't "useful". If I had my way, stublinks would be in the criteria along with redlinks. Remember, we're judging whether the list is useful to a reader now, not whether it is useful to editors trying to build articles round a topic.

OK. If these drafts are to stand any chance of maturing and improving on what we have, we need experienced reviewers and nominators to comment and to offer suggestions and new criteria. Colin°Talk 22:27, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Item 5 seems a bit weak. If the standard for FL is to mean anything, it should be comparable with FA. Are there any FA articles with no in-line citations? Whilst it would be a nonsense to cite every species in List of birds in Canada and the United States to the same source, if you don't have at least some in-lines you end up with something like this, which I at least cannot see as being of the same standard. I'd rather change the end of 5 to complemented by appropriate inline citations. Jimfbleak (talk) 05:51, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Bit narky and personal in tone, Colin. Have I been narky and personal towards you? I resent it, frankly. There's a lot of you, you, you, in your comments. It's accusatory, and often, you're wrongly ascribing assumptions/believes to me ("You may disagree with some of [the MOS subpages]"—actually, I don't agree with all of the central MOS page, and MOS subpages are part of MOS. There's no need to explicitly mention them, but I have no objection it they are mentioned. "The "linking articles" text is currently our #1 criterion. I won't see that dropped without a fight ..." Well, your version took it out, and I used that as the basis. Who wants to fight? Not me; but you do, apparently.) I spent a lot of time and effort which I find now slightly put down in your constant requests for other people to participate. I'd welcome it, but they can't be forced. There are clearly ownership issues going on here, for which I have no respect. TONY (talk) 06:29, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, Tony, about the tone. The reason "you" and "I" feature in the criticism is because frankly only you and I are making any proposals or significant rationales. If I'm wrong about why you dropped "and its subpages" from MoS then, sorry. You seemed enthusiastic about version 3, which was nice, so I was disappointed that version 4 lost some of what I was trying to add. I should have been more positive towards you about the bits I liked rather than just mention the bits I didn't. I'm not very good at that.
Version 3 still had a requirement for few red links and I hoped that other WP guidelines would cover the need to have links in the first place. Don't interpret "dropped without a fight" strongly. I did rephrase it immediately afterwards. The point is that IMO that's an important characteristic of a featured list and always has been. By removing all mention of links from the criteria, we are telling nominators and reviewers that it is no longer relevant. Why?
I too have spent a lot of time on this but where's the support? I'm not even a regular FL reviewer any longer, and you're mostly FA. So how can we "force" these criteria on the rest if they don't say what they like and what they need. Ownership? No. I didn't write any of the current criteria apart from expanding 1a. And as for version 3, it isn't important. My request for other participants isn't because I hate your version and want someone else to say so. How can two people achieve "community consensus"? If you can find a way of handling links, version 4 is good enough to get my support. Colin°Talk 09:10, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
You don't mean red links, I presume? You mean the linking of FLs to related articles? Can you clarify? I don't see that in your Version 3 .... TONY (talk) 13:26, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Because I suspect that a lot of people would rather it be nutted out here among a few, and when there's some kind of agreement, taken to them for supports/opposes/comments. They have wisdom, those people, because a complex proposal becomes just impossible to develop if too many people are involved at the start. I regard these Revised Proposals not as some attempt to elbow others out, but a chance to evolve the wording and provoke comment, even if it's from you alone; but Scorpion and Dweller et al have put in rather smaller comments, and it was those I responded to as well as yours, specifically on red links. I agree with you that red links should be discouraged, but Dweller was very insistent. I think they look horrible, and would prefer to risk a delayed linking of an item if, perchance, an article is created on it without our realising it. I'm quite willing to argue with Dweller about that. The alternative is to write stubs for them, damn it. Now, Colin, can we work together to move this forward? We seem to have a stumbling block about whether the universal criteria should be explicitly linked. I still think not, and that somewhere we might have a checklist for nominators and reviewers (even in the instructions?). But I can't cope with the idea of forcing people to comply with some of those zany "policy" or "semi-policy" pages such as "All the web", which in any case is inconsistent with other guidelines. By explicitly linking to a list in which it appears, we're saying that you need to maximise the linked items in your text: it's a requirement for a FL; at the moment, most folk simply ignore such idiocy on WP. I've tried to have it moved out of policy status, but gave up after enduring a torrent of unpleasantness from its one, dogged guardian. TONY (talk) 10:07, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I think this set of criteria is fundamentally sound, and most of my worries are related to minor phrasing issues. (Structure. "It is easy to navigate, including section headings, table sort facilities and annotations where useful"; Images should have "'alt' text", not just "alt"). My main issue is that the criteria do explicitly say something about scope. The scope of a list should be clearly defined and sensible (e.g. you couldn't have "football seasons 1992, 1996, 1999 and 2002", but you could have "football seasons 1992-2002"). Tompw (talk) (review) 12:22, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Good points, Tom, except that that odd sequence of football seasons would lack notability as a topic, wouldn't it (contravening the policy)? I can't see the need to legislate explicitly to stop stupidity like that. TONY (talk) 13:26, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
  • What is the purpose of including this phrase: "-in particular, naming conventions, take a neutrality, contain no original research, be verifiability, citations of reliable sources (taking particular care with living persons), non-free content and what Wikipedia is not-". That's redundent with "meeting the requirements for all Wikipedia content" and can only cause confusion and possibly RfC or ArbCom activity as it looks like an attempt by a handful of contributors to select,classify and prioritize the importance of some content requirements/policies over others. Also the grammar within the phrase is way off ("be verifiability"/"take a neutrality") but I get the feeling I am not allowed to edit/fix what's inside the box? I think it is crucial that more editors with more experience be involved in this discussion or else it should be shut down before we end up with a new FLC which is more dysfunctional than the existing one. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 14:01, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
    • All the content policies are listed apart from Attack pages, which is more a problem at the AfD end of the spectrum than FLC. So, I'm happy we haven't been selective with policy (all or nothing). The few guidelines chosen for mention (citations, reliable sources and non-free content) are the ones that cause most problems for nominators. There's no agenda here. Colin°Talk 18:30, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Tony has revised version 4 since Tom and I commented, plus the grammar has been fixed since Grant's comment.

  • I'm pretty happy with the latest revision. One point: all the bold words are aspects of a list that we review (the non-bold words explain the attributes of a featured list we are looking for). The exception is Styleguides. Could this just be Style? BTW: My watchlist radar detects that The Rambling Man plans to look in. Colin°Talk 18:30, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Changed to "Style". TONY (talk) 00:43, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment I think this is a pretty good stab. I'll review it again later today, but it looks like a version I'd support. NB - are we saying in 6, that we could support the promotion of a list with no images at all? --Dweller (talk) 10:43, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Dweller, 6 doesn't change the current wording, which to me allows the promotion of a nomination that has no images. Has there ever been such a nomination? It would be rare, I suppose. I can imagine that a list could be valuable, nicely written and constructed, etc, and be hard to illustrate, especially if there are problems in justifying the use of non-free images ... But a rare case. TONY (talk) 11:10, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Let's make it a requirement. Over at FAC, even 0.999... managed four images, which I think was heroic. I cannot conceive of a topic that could not be illustrated in some manner, and if it did happen, then the Directors can IAR or change the criteria. I'd rather not give wriggle-room for those unwilling to be creative in finding or making appropriate images like Image:999 Perspective.png. --Dweller (talk) 11:29, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
A quick search turns up List of wealthiest foundations (if one ignores the country flag symbols), Periodic table (large version), List of The Simpsons episodes and List of Lost episodes. That's too many for me to be happy with IAR if you think those lists should remain unadorned. I don't think many of the TV series season episode lists are significantly improved by a (fair use) image of the DVD box set. Colin°Talk 13:47, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
OK, I can recognise a persuasive argument when I see one. --Dweller (talk) 14:21, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree that there shouldn't be a requirement for images, it would instantly kill a lot of the episode list FLs. -- Scorpion0422 14:45, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Looks good to me, I think I can support it. However, can we also include a basic definition of a list somewhere in the criteria? I've seen several FLCs where such a definition has come in useful. Something along the lines of "A list brings together a group of existing articles related by well-defined entry criteria; is a timeline of important events on a notable topic, the inclusion of which can be objectively sourced; or contains a finite, complete and well-defined set of items" -- Scorpion0422 14:45, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

  • It's been 2 days and only 5 editors involved in evaluation of Proposal #4 with 95% of the discussion being between Colin and Tony. I suggest the facvt is that there is no community interest in dealing with this issue right now and that it would be counterproductive to implement such an important procedural change based upon such a lack of interest. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 15:52, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Cr 6, "...formatting, tables, and colour, has images if they..." - it's a personal thing but I'd split this sentence after "colour". While it makes the criterion two sentences, I think it just makes for easier reading and, after all, we need to appeal and attract folks who haven't been to FLC before. I'll add more... The Rambling Man (talk) 19:30, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Done—two semicolons inserted, so now it's the mechanics of visual presentation; images; and the minimising of red links. Does it work? TONY (talk) 08:46, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
It does for me. The Rambling Man (talk) 11:55, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Cr 7 "...its content does not change significantly from day to day, except for vandalism reverts..." - do we need to include vandalism as an acceptable cause of article instability? I think that's inherently obvious. WP:FAC doesn't worry about this (as far as I can see) so not sure why FLC should, especially considering (at the moment) FLs don't make mainpage. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:34, 12 May 2008 (UTC)


Cr 4 ".. annotations..." - is this clear? I'm not sure what it means... The Rambling Man (talk) 19:35, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Cr 5 "...complies with Wikipedia's styleguides..." a lot of recent discussion with Project style guides versus MOS. I think this needs tightening up. What other styleguides are being referred to here Tony? The Rambling Man (talk) 19:37, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

  • I've no problem with your 6/7 points. "Annotations" were part of revision 3's #6 where it was the additional material on top of a bare list. Annotations are the dates, nationalities and other little extras that make each entry a bit more informative. Perhaps it doesn't fit so well with #4 Structure. There was talk of making #3 Comprehensiveness cover more than just the completeness of the set. As for #5. Perhaps "It complies with Wikipedia's styleguide, the Manual of Style, and its subpages." works better? Can you clarify what the "project style guides" discussion was about? Colin°Talk 20:23, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Annotations: see what you think now. TONY (talk) 08:46, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
The explanation is better, but do you think that clause fits better on the end of 3 (comprehensiveness) than 4 (structure)? Colin°Talk 08:59, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Okay, I understand "annotations" but I'm not sure it's clear enough to someone without having this discussion so perhaps expanding that point a little would be of use. I prefer your rephrasing of #5. As for "project style guide" discussions, during my reviews I've bumped into three or four different issues lately:
    • Firstly the WP:DISCOG wikiproject seem to encourage the use of bold titles which are wikilinked in the lead, against WP:MOS.
    • Then I bumped into WP:TROP who have their own templates for thumbnails and a different {{main}} (namely {{hurricane main}}) which have a different style from all the rest of Wikipedia.
    • Thirdly the WP:NFL chaps have a "template" for creating FLs out of lists of seasons, it can be found at Wikipedia:WikiProject National Football League/Team seasons list format. It has improved, mainly through persistent nagging at FLC, but still breaches WP:MOS. It is considered as the de facto standard for featured season lists by the project.
    • There are other examples I can't recall from the top of my head at the moment, but hopefully this gives you a flavour of what I meant. The Rambling Man (talk) 06:56, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Sandy suggested last week that, like FAC, FLC criteria dispense with explicit mention of WikiProject guidelines. I'm unsure exactly why, but I suspect that it was causing confusion for nominators and reviewers. It may be that participants in the FLC process need to be given greater lattitude WRT WikiProject guidelines—and their inconsistency with MOS, where that is the case. Hmmm ... unsure what to do: I've tried to be less prescriptive by mentioning "styleguides" first, then MoS and its sub-pages in particular. Your thoughts? TONY (talk) 08:46, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I think that the strength of "complies with" means we should only mention styleguides that have wide consensus approval. AFAIK, those are the ones in the Mos & subpages. Project guidelines that have not gone through that process should not be regarded as a formal guide to which compliance is expected. That doesn't stop reviewers having an opinion on whether it would be better (or not) to conform. I've tweaked the criterion to remove "in particular". Colin°Talk 08:56, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Thanks to TRM and Colin for this feedback, which I've at least partially addressed in the wording, I think. Please see above for my comments. TONY (talk) 08:46, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi. This is shaping up really well. --Dweller (talk) 10:34, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Colin, concerned at 5: "It complies with Wikipedia's styleguides: the Manual of Style and its sub-pages." There are lots of styleguides that aren't part of the MoS. Frankly, WP's styleguides are structurally in a huge unwieldy mess. FAC specifies just MoS, by which it means MoS main page and its "sub-pages". ("Sub-pages" is a term that many people who tend to them object to, although I have no qualms). I suggest either "It complies with the Manual of Style and its sub-pages, or something quite different.TONY (talk) 10:48, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Just out of interest, what's the feeling for Wikiproject styleguides which are in direct contravention of the WP:MOS? Mandating the MOS only seems to be the clearest and most objective approach to me. I would prefer the MOS to be lord and master as it removes the problems introduced by project-endorsed variations. The Rambling Man (talk) 11:09, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I'm uncomfortable with WikiProject guidelines contradicting MOS and wouldn't want their unilateral secession to be reflected in an example of our best work. Does anyone have an example or two of these differences? --Dweller (talk) 11:24, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Dude, for starters see the three examples I gave above... The Rambling Man (talk) 11:54, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Wait, surely you don't expect me to actually read anything you've written? --Dweller (talk) 11:58, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Ooh, those rascals. Anyway... I refer the honourable gentleman to the answer I gave some moments ago. --Dweller (talk) 12:03, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Style now much better, I think. TONY (talk) 13:31, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
    • Supplementary pages is a more acceptable term for the components of the Manual of Style other than its main page. I have taken the liberty to change it. Waltham, The Duke of 15:20, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Item 3 - isn't the "of" of "all of" redundant? (too many "ofs" in this posting as well) Jimfbleak (talk) 16:17, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Maybe, maybe not. I somehow sense that the "of" is a little more formal. TONY (talk) 09:36, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Can we get a sense of when it might be OK to implement the revision (4)? Does anyone object to Sunday? TONY (talk) 09:36, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
    • I don't object to Sunday. The Rambling Man (talk) 14:23, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
      • The sooner the better.--Crzycheetah 21:30, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
        • I've only been a minor contributor to this, but I like the final (?) revision, bring it on. Jimfbleak (talk) 05:46, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Coloured beans

Unfortunately I was away from Wikipedia during the discussions for the new criteria, and I'm not at all opposed to the new ones, except for including the word "colour". I've seen plenty of lists which over-use colours just to make them look pretty, and it seems a bit BEANSY to mention it in the criteria. -- Matthewedwards (talk · contribs · count · email) 22:15, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Lists of basic topics

I notice there do not seem to be any Category:Basic topic lists currently featured. Is there a reason for this or is it simply that no particular suitable candidates have been put forward? I am wondering whether or not the basic topic lists are by their (taxonomic) nature ineligible for FL. Any insight appreciated. ɥʞoɹoɯoʞS 14:49, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Referencing requirements

Why is there no criterion for verifiability of content? Skomorokh 11:26, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Manual of style compliance

Does a FL need to comply with recommendations made in MoS? If something is recommended in MOS but not obligatory, should a list be failed if one does not meet the recommendations? =Nichalp «Talk»= 14:54, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Compliance to general list-related guidelines

Don't understand why the criteria don't mention compliance to Wikipedia:lists, Wikipedia:stand-alone lists and other (for instance: WP:CLN). --Francis Schonken (talk) 15:38, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Actually, a discussion about this began today at Wikipedia talk:FLC#completely contradicting guidelines for lists. Let's begin with the Lead section. Feel free to join in. Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 23:29, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
For future reference, discussion is now archived in Wikipedia talk:Featured list candidates/Archive 7#completely contradicting guidelines for lists. Let's begin with the Lead section —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) (logged on as Pek) 09:06, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Dates in lists don't need citations?

It seems that practically all featured lists concerning TV shows don't cite their stated air or release (or in some cases filming) dates. It seems a little strange to me that a list can become "featured" despite having one or more loooong columns of info that could be made up/mistaken/whatever. Some lists, for example List of 24 episodes, provide citations for every date mentioned, but this unfortunately seems an exception rather than the rule. So what are the official requirements? Miremare 01:02, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

If they have no citations for the dates, i would expect there to be a overall general source that gives these dates. For those lists with neither should not be featured imo, as using editors recollections of dates would be too error-prone.Yobmod (talk) 15:38, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


The criteria currently says for non-comprehensive lists: "...or otherwise at least all of the major items". Can people give their views as to what is needed to confirm that no major items are missing? There are a few non-comprehensive lists of this sort that get featured, but it is a little unclear on how this was judged..

I'm thinking of things like genre lists. A couple of editors have been working hard on sourcing List of cyberpunk works for example, and i can fix the formatting to be featured list quality (with more data for each entry), but don't know if this is worth doing. How will we know when it is comprehensive enough? Is there a number target we can work towards (no matter how high?).

Slightly different would be article like List of lesbian SF. There is a almanac on this topic from 1993 that claims to be "comprehensive" (and has independant reviews saying the same), and since the 90's a number of awards have existed that cover this. Would all the books in the almanac and all the award nominees be enough to be considered to have included "all of the major items." (It would be several hundred works and i think all the notable examples of a niche intersection)?

Bringing the latter list up to FA is required for a FT, or deleting it, which is likely to be impossible. Specific and general comments would be of great help!Yobmod (talk) 15:35, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

At the very least I'd say all items that have an article on Wikipedia. That would be a good starting point, I think. Drewcifer (talk) 04:42, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Criteria 6 - Red Links

I recently posted an FLC FLC Spam, where I was informed that my article did not meet one of the seven criteria of a FL: "Visual appeal. It makes suitable use of text layout, formatting, tables, and colour; it has images if they are appropriate to the subject, with succinct captions or "alt" text; and it has a minimal proportion of red links." I believe that this contradicts the spirit of Wikipedia:Red Link, and that encouraging writers to remove Red Links in the name of aesthetics is a bad idea. Red Link is definitely one of the things that made Wikipedia grow. What if a new user pops by and decides to write an article about Ken Sanzel or Julie Hébert, isn't that much better than someone being slightly put off because they can't stand the sight of an awful red linked word? NuclearWarfare (Talk) 15:32, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I think it may mean "minimal proportion of red links" more as "try to have as many redlinked pages turned into articles as possible" rather than "red links are bad!" Admittedly, I try to avoid having redlinks in articles I work on, but I do agree with you that it might not hurt to remove it from the criteria. -- Scorpion0422 20:09, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Redlinks help give people "here is a place you can expand!" hints, yes, which is all well and good in normal editing. Featured items are meant to highlight our best work, and redlinks give the impression that the surrounding "area" (related articles and whatnot) is completely void of information; I wouldn't say that is our best work. Ironholds (talk) 01:04, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I usually avoid this problem all together by creating stubs for the redlinks myself.—Chris! ct 01:34, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
The thing is that there are some lists that may have all red links listed and that is really unappealing. Example, List of tallest buildings in Baltimore over 80% of the entries are stubs created to avoid red links, which is why part of the criteria states it.--TRUCO 02:43, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Five item list?

What's the minimum? I've got four of the list items at S–series Dungeons & Dragons modules up to GA, and I'm thinking of trying to make a Good Topic. Should it be a list or should I make a GA out of it? - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 03:23, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

There is no hard-and-fast rule, but the unwritten minimum is ten. Exceptions are made, but I doubt this one would fly. Also, why is the title an en dash but in the article it is introduced as a hyphen? Dabomb87 (talk) 03:26, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
For that type of list, the 10-item limit guideline is enforced, so it can't become a FL. I would try GA if enough content can be found for it.--TRUCO 03:25, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Okay; thanks! I'll work on GA with it. (as for the en-dash vs. hyphen; that was an error) -Drilnoth (talk) 14:51, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Why is it an en dash though? Dabomb87 (talk) 22:55, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
What brings the 10 element rule into effect in general? - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 02:14, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
It depends on the content of the list, if its about a list of winners of a certain award, the 10 limit rule might apply, but if its about a topic which has multiple columns which also lists a reasonable amount of prose, then it can be an exception.--TRUCO 02:27, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Alt text

discussion moved from WT:FLC

Per this discussion at FAC, I think we should encourage/require nominators to integrate alt text when possible. Dabomb87 (talk) 00:57, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

As you are now opposing based on this, I guess you are suggesting we change the criteria to mandate the use of alt text, rather than leave it to individuals to decide when is appropriate. Could you confirm you wish to change the criteria? The Rambling Man (talk) 07:30, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I wanted to let you know that I added some comments to the above discussion like should we give a grace period before delisted articles/lists based on this new requirment. --Kumioko (talk) 14:00, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
That requirement seems to have already been added to the FA criteria. Jafeluv (talk) 21:38, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Yep it was added today--Kumioko (talk) 22:40, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Hold your horses, who said anything about grace periods and delistings? We don't have to mass-remove FL stars just because of lack of alt text. Just like there are still FAs without or seriously lacking inline citations, and FLs whose leads still start with "This is a list of" or some other varying form of non-engaging prose, we should address these issues as we see them and not cause a huge ruckus over this. Dabomb87 (talk) 22:57, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I think that the moment you started to oppose based on missing alt text, you set the scene for delisting FLs because they don't have alt text. In other words, you would have voted oppose on a huge number of lists that didn't have alt text where you considered it required per 5b. I don't believe listing lists for FLRC which start "This is a list" or without alt text is causing a ruckus. It should be used to improve existing lists up to current standards. The Rambling Man (talk) 11:07, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't WP:FL? already call for Alt text? Matthewedwards :  Chat  17:25, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
So it seems. Apparently, since November 2006. Jafeluv (talk) 17:49, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I think it says, rather nebulously, "where required" or similar. We need to get a handle on "where required" means. Dabomb87 showed me some really informative images of my lists when images were disabled, which helps us folks who take images without captions (for instance) for granted. I reckon it's worth a discussion. And even if WP:FL? said we needed it, how many times has it been brought up in the past few years Matthew?! I think we've been missing a trick. Hence the requirement to go back and look at FLs that don't meet 5b. The Rambling Man (talk) 17:53, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
According to WP:ALT, "[e]very visible image should have alt text, unless the image is used only for visual formatting or decoration." Dabomb87 (talk) 17:55, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
So 5b perhaps ought to explicitly state that the "where required" is "per MOS" or similar? The Rambling Man (talk) 17:58, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
And perhaps we could get a definition of what "for ... decoration" means. After all, I thought images were supposed to be pertinent and informative, not just decorative...! The Rambling Man (talk) 18:01, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I've asked Tony1 (talk · contribs) to take a look. Dabomb87 (talk) 18:02, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Good start. So our 5b says "It has images and other media, if appropriate to the topic, that follow Wikipedia's usage policies, with succinct captions and "alt" text if necessary" - we need to be much tighter on "if necessary" if our regulars are going to oppose list promotion based on "missing alt text". Don't get me wrong, it's a fair viewpoint, but it's a sudden and dramatic change (which we've probably all been overlooking) and perhaps we should point directly to the MOS instead of interpreting it ourselves for the criteria. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:05, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I boldly changed the criteria on the 24th June to make Alt text mandatory rather than the previous text which implied it was an alternative to including a caption. This was then weakened on the grounds that the WP:ALT guideline had exceptions. Since then, those exceptions have largely been removed from the guideline. Colin°Talk 19:21, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Comment Is there anything that we want to be changed in the criteria? I'm not sure of what's to be done here. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:07, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I think (unless I missed it) it would be instructive if editors are to be bold and change the criteria, that we at least get clear and discussed visibility of it. I think we're now back to where we were after Scorpion's overhaul, with "where appropriate" or similar. I think we don't really need to "change" the criteria, just understand better how to implement this part of 5b. We need to be "helpful" to our editors when opposing/commenting on "needs alt text". The Rambling Man (talk) 14:15, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Until dictated otherwise, I think we should go with the guideline: alt text should be used at all times except if the image is decorative. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:33, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, seems reasonable (although I don't know what a "decorative image" would be doing in an encyclopedic article...!) The Rambling Man (talk) 14:42, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't mind the requirement being added but it should not be used to delist pre-existing FLs. RlevseTalk 10:11, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not so sure about that. If it's a requirement, then it's a requirement. Lists that no longer meet current requirements will end up at WP:FLRC. It'd be better if people could go back to "their" FLs and add alt text to pre-empt any suggestions of delisting. The Rambling Man (talk) 10:41, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, FLs must be held to existing criteria, but adding alt text to images in an existing FL strikes me as a {{sofixit}} task that any editor could do (since it's simply a case of "say what you see") rather than justifying on its own a leap to the nuclear option of FLRC. BencherliteTalk 11:00, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

<- You're right, it is definitley a {{sofixit}} job, but FLRC isn't by any means a nuclear option, it can be quite a useful exercise in ensuring that lists promoted before our current set of criteria still meet the criteria. The last thing we want is to be, once again, considered an easy touch. The Rambling Man (talk) 11:44, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps we should consider renaming WP:Featured list removal candidates to WP:Featured list review candidates or something. I think the current feeling of FLRC is that because of the word "removal", if it's nominated, people can only vote whether to keep it or delist it, instead of actually discussing it. I know there are some lists I would like to bring up for discussion but not necessarily be delisted, but I haven't because I know that they'll get delist !votes instead of discussion about their good and bad qualities. Matthewedwards :  Chat  22:45, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
FAR follows the binary system, but I don't know if FLRC gets enough traffic for that. Dabomb87 (talk) 22:48, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's the only negative thing I could think about it, except that a FLR doesn't necessarily have to mean only reviewing, it could incorporate both. I'm not really sure. Matthewedwards :  Chat  22:53, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Red links

I'm starting this discussion because there have been several times when opposes have been made due to red links. On February 18, 2009, the statement "and it [a featured list] has a minimal proportion of red links" was removed. Either nobody noticed, or nobody minded, because this statement was not reinstated, not even during the revised criteria discussion of a few months ago, until it was added back earlier today. Now, opinions of what constitutes a featured list have changed a lot even between February and now. Much like the alt text requirement (until recently), the red link bit seems to be something that reviewers, for the most part, have ignored. In my ten months at FLC, I have yet to see a candidate fail solely because it had "too many redlinks". Now, as for my own opinion, I don't see why redlinks should directly affect another list. I have more to say, but I'm interested in what others think. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:25, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Although I don't think that red links themselves should be a criteria for an article to fail criteria I do think that there shouldn't be a lot of them as in the article I submitted for Marine Corps Brevet Medal. In all honesty I also believe that there are too many red links on this article but since having red links asn't a show stopper I submitted it anyway and I will gladly create articles for them. Here's the rub, since the Marine Corps Brevet Medal was in line to the Medal of Honor, and the Medal of Honor recipients have been repeatedly deemed as notible on being a recipient, some could argue for and against the notibility of these recipients, especially since there is very limited documentation (at least without crossing the original research criteria) on them and although I will gladly create articles for them I already know that they will be basically stubs with infoboxes and there is a reasonably good chance someone will mark one or more of them as non notible. So I think that if the article meets the notibility and other requirements then there should be an article, even if only a stub (and I know there are mixed feelings in the community on stubs) but if there is no reference or it doesn't meet notibility requirements then maybe the red link should be eliminated. --Kumioko (talk) 15:50, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Could you please show me a featured list with majority of the items it lists as red links? Starting the very beginning of the FL process, that is since June 2005, lists failed the criteria because of too many red links; you can always browse the failed log archive. Per WP:RED, it is encouraged to have red links for an article in Wikipedia and it lists good reasons why the red links benefit Wikipedia. As for the featured lists, we discuss the lists that are already complete and represent Wikipedia's best work. How can a list with red links be complete when you just click on the links and they take you nowhere?--Crzycheetah 20:08, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
I would personally say that there should be some sort of limit on how many redlinks there is specifically when it pertains to the subject of the list, I'm not sure how many redlinks would be alright but I start to question the list if it's approaching 50% redlinks in a list. If you believe enough in the list (and thus the subject) to work on getting it to Feature List level then you should ensure that there is over 50% Blue Links on the subject matter. MPJ-DK (talk) 21:15, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

See Wikipedia talk:Featured list criteria/Archive 2#Red links. A lost criterion. Red links have been discouraged on FLs since the beginning and I see no good reason to change that. Colin°Talk 21:26, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Here are my concerns about a red link criterion (yes, AGF and all that, but things to think about):

  • Editors who want their list to pass FLC might remove the red links altogether. Wikipedia grows from red links (see WP:RED), and removing them reduces the chance that a valid article might be created.
  • Other editors, in their rush to fill in red links, mass-stubify the red links without attention to quality. Recently, there was an uproar over a mass-creation of unreferenced BLPs. I'd rather the articles nonexistent than be one or two sentences of, well, junk.
  • Perhaps the most prominent concern: what constitutes "a minimal proportion"? We've already seen (with the 3b criterion) the uncertainties that arise from these criteria. Dabomb87 (talk) 21:47, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree that if it's made a rule again it should be part of the rule that unlinking something that is potentially notable enough for Wikipedia is the same as a red link. At times something may obviously not warrant it's own article and it'd be okay to leave it unlinked, but the argument "it's red" is not enough to not link it. MPJ-DK (talk) 22:11, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Until the part about red links was blatantly removed from the criteria, the "minimal proportion" was 1/3 of the items listed. I don't see a problem with the first two points mentioned by Dabomb. When editors remove the red links by delinking a notable subject, a reviewer at WP:FLC should notice it and inform the editor about it. As for the second point, a stub is better than a red link. There's a greater chance that newbies start editting stubs than creating non-existent pages.--Crzycheetah 23:26, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
      • Another thing about stubs, IP users can edit those, they cannot create articles so it opens up the subject to a larger number of editors.  MPJ Denmark  (No Drama Wrestling) Talk  10:33, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
        • I am putting that statement beck into the crriteria per this discussion.--Crzycheetah 00:24, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
          • Alright, although I expect there will be a lot of feeling out on this one. Dabomb87 (talk) 00:39, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I realize that this conversation goes well beyond the Brevet Medal list I submitted but I have enough info to make a start class articles, 1 or 2 paragraphs at least and in several cases more. --Kumioko (talk) 00:49, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

While I agree that redlinks are unsightly, as I've said before, I'm vehemently opposed to creating lots of stubs, which is what redlinks may encourage. If you think the person/whatever is notable, then please take the time to start a nice little article, but never create lots of short, useless stubs just for the sake of having an article or making a bluelink. Reywas92Talk 17:22, 2 August 2009 (UTC)