Wikipedia talk:Good articles/Archive 2

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A: Articles missing from Wikipedia:Good articles

IPod -- ITunes -- John Marshall -- Lostprophets --

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Lostprophets -- it apparently has to be listed with a lower case to be proper, technical restrictions and whatnot made it show up here


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Excellent project idea

This project is really needed and a good idea because FA has (perhaps rightly) become a very high standard to reach. Many admittedly good articles are being sidelined as the editors on those pages don't want to bother meeting what they consider to be arbitrary criteria. This is a good first run at trying to get some publicity for article improvement possibilities. --ScienceApologist 15:10, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

As a relative newcomer to Wikipedia, I would just like to say I wholeheartedly support this initiative. I was delighted when a page of my own was listed for good article status, and I believe that the 'good article' designation will encourage many other people who are working on high quality articles. To reward people for their efforts, while offering them an incentive for going even further, seems to me a brilliant idea, and one which will nurture the spirit of creativity within the Wikipedia community. Bigdaddy1204 23:01, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Just curious -- what criteria are often considered arbitrary? As an FAC regular who has written a number of FAs, I don't consider them arbitrary at all. Maybe the objectors can be arbitrary, but not the criteria. I think GA is necessary because FA has, as you said, rightly become a very high standard. I don't think getting on GA should be a signal to rest on one's laurels, though. It should be part of the path to becoming featured. Johnleemk | Talk 15:24, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
One arbitrary standard I've noticed is the requirement for footnotes. WP:CITE isn't a policy, after all, it's a guideline. Not every good article needs footnotes. Nevertheless, I understand why people would want a featured article to have them --ScienceApologist 12:31, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Technically, you're right, mandatory footnotes are a bit arbitrary. I find that on more lengthy pages it can really improve layout, and are much preferred over inline external links. Each external link can be a reference, and each can be accompanied by a brief quote from the quoted text. In my view, all featured articles should have proper footnotes.
As an aside, ScienceApologist, I would like to change the format of the Cosmic microwave background radiation footnotes, as per timeline of evolution. I notice you have edited that article, and it seems to be in your area of expertise. Would you object? -- Ec5618 14:26, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Stable versions#Certification gang

I cordially invite you all to have a look at Wikipedia talk:Stable versions#Certification gang. Maybe Good Articles almost already resembles a certification gang to build stable versions for Wikipedia 1.0. Feel free to point out any good points or criticisms. -- Zondor 01:59, 5 January 2006 (UTC)


Adding timestamp of listing

I think there should be a timestamp for when an article is added to this list, because the very articles listed here could come under subtle derogatory attacks, so it would be nice if the listed articles pointed back to the old version of the article current at the time of listing. Of course one is always free to check the current version. Even if it links to the current version, having a milestone date, looking at changes since some kind of accepted milestone could make quality easier to track. One of the difficulties in trying to fix an article that has obviously gone downhill is trying to determine its highpoint, or how far one has to go back to bring back all the good stuff that has been eliminated. At least the listing times could be such points, which does not mean one only has to compare the milestone vs. current, something valuable could have been added since the milestone, and then erased, that should be retained. It means a start point from which to scan through each change-by-change through the list of changes. Not that this scheme is a safe and secure way, this too can be subverted, but just like any security measure - such as adding a fence that can be jumped, adding a lock that can be picked, adding a fort that can be assaulted and taken, there is no 100% security, just layers that take extra effort to be overtaken, and serve as signs and deterrents to please don't mess with it, or don't waste your effort that much because we hope we made it not worth it, or less worth it, since you have to invest extra effort in jumping the fence, or walking around the obstacle, and it's not too much effort for those who go with the system, who list articles with the timestamp automatically added by the wikipedia software in the background. At least the software in the background could be made full of good intentions, into a filtering device, even if the 'everyone' operator contributing to wikipedia comes in all kinds of shapes, with all kinds of intentions. Sillybilly 10:15, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Rather than listing the date, it would seem easier to have a one-character link next to each of the article listings pointing to the exact revision, so the listing would look something like this:
Refrigerator car Δ
Using the "Permanent link" function, it's exceptionally easy to generate the link address (it gets put into the browser's location bar). The only question would be what character to use as the link text? I just picked a capital delta for the character in this example because that character is often used to indicate changes; a different character would probably be more appropriate if this idea goes live. Slambo (Speak) 18:04, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
However, WP:FA doesn't do this and I'm sure it's come up there before. Slambo (Speak) 18:07, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

More thoughts on references

Just noticed that articles have been getting kicked off the GA list at a brisk pace. The reason is almost always the same: no references.

Now I don't mind references, but are citations of books always the only or even the most reliable references? When I worked on the Henry James article and the related articles on his works, I really did use a lot of books that I put in the References section. So I pass muster on usual Wikipedia standards.

But when I worked up the article Casualty Actuarial Society into its current form, I didn't use any books at all. I did use some websites, which are listed in the article. Anybody who's interested can easily see if my statements in the article agree with, say, the CAS's official web site.

But if the Casualty Actuarial Society article got put on the GA list, it would last only as long as, well, a certain editor didn't see it. Once he took a look, he'd see no book references and ax the article immediately.

Now I'm not saying that the Casualty Actuarial Society entry is a great or even very good article. But I do think it's a pretty well-referenced article even if it lacks a traditional References section.

Are we being more Catholic than the Pope? Has the Siegenthaler incident made us too gun-shy, given us too much of an inferiority complex compared to the Britannica and other print encyclopedias? The overwhelming majority of the print Britannica's articles have no references at all - books, media articles, web sites, or anything else. Check the Micropedia if you don't believe me.

Do we want to exclude good articles just because they don't have a bunch of books in a References section? Especially if an article links to web sites that can be checked, I don't think a lack of print references should be an automatic disqualifier from the good articles list. Casey Abell 23:17, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

As one of the people who has been delisting articles, I do a delisting for no references when I take a look at the article and see no references at all. This means no references section, no footnotes, no obvious in-lined links to external URLs, or any other indication that the article conforms to Wikipedia:Citing sources. To date there has been no question as to the quality or nature of a reference, just the existence or something claiming to be a source for the information in the article. The media used by the source has not been a consideration, and I doubt anyone would have a problem with any of the media formats that has a citation template listed at Wikipedia:Template messages/Sources of articles (see {{Web reference}} for your websites).
As for Encyclopædia Britannica not publishing its list of references for each article, that does not mean that they do not have a list of references just that they have not included them in the published works. Because of the differences in development process, Britanica is able to establish credibility through the credentials of their research staff. At Wikipedia our credibility is built through the quality of our work, and the only method available to demonstrate the quality of the information presented is by citing the sources used for each article. Yes it is more work to provide references to back up an article's information, but any article with information that is not verifiable can hardly be called good. --Allen3 talk 00:14, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. And the article on the Casualty Actuarial Society would get delisted from the GA list for not having footnotes or a References section or inline links, even though everything in the article can be easily and immediately checked against the sites linked at the conclusion.
Sorry, but I think such a reason for delisting is absurd. We're getting too hung up on the form of references instead of their quality. The very best check on the CAS article is obviously the official CAS site and other actuarial sites, which are made readily available for anybody who wants to verify any assertion in the article. Compare that to the "trust me" approach of the print Britannica, which almost never furnishes any checkable source for its assertions.
And I can't accept your faith in the Britannica's accuracy. The Nature study showed the Britannica to be, let's say, fallible...about as fallible as we are. I can't agree that the Britannica has "established credibility" just because it can wave some credentials at readers. I like to have checkable sources, and that's something the Britannica very rarely provides. Casualty Actuarial Society provides checkable sources - the best sources possible, in fact - in an immediately accessible form, yet it wouldn't qualify as a good article by your standards. This seems like a very unconvincing double standard. Casey Abell 01:24, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
The problem with Casualty Actuarial Society is that all the references appear to have been placed into the ==External links== section. As per Wikipedia:Citing sources#External links/Further reading this section is for items that have not been used as sources for the article, and is thus not a location that most people will be looking for the references used in the article. If references are provided in a location that no one is looking for them and in a format that is not expected for references it is not unreasonable for people not to spot them. A reference that no one can find is as useful as a reference that does not exist.
As for Britannica's ability to use the experts to establish credibility, please do not confuse my assessment that they have an effect marketing technique available to them with an assertion that the marketing claims match reality. Britannica also does not claim that verifiability is one of their core principles, so the lack of references in their published works is less of an issue for them than for Wikipedia. --Allen3 talk 23:06, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
It would have been helpful to the rest of us if you had warned us that you were doing this; (I was surprised to find just now that a number of GA templates had been removed, & wondered why they had been removed.) For many of the articles I have included in this group, I was a bit generous in defining what a proper reference was, & would have been happy to explain my decisions for inclusion. And part of the process of removing an article from this category is to explain why this article should not be included. -- llywrch 20:04, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I would have though the instructions at the top of Wikipedia:Good articles would have been fair warning that articles that fail to meet the stated criteria were subject to delisting. If this were not so, then all a good article would ever be was an article that one person slapped a template on. As for including a reason on the article's talk page, all three of the articles I have removed to date have had a message left on the talk page explaining the reason for the removal. --Allen3 talk 23:15, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I've always felt that if an article met every other criterion for FA, but didn't have its references cited, it should be worth listing here. This would include a lot of ex-featured articles, some of which ( I think - it's been ages since I looked) have been de-listed for just that reason. I think I'm in the minority there, but either way it's time we had a better system for listing and delisting articles than one person deciding to on their own. It can't be long before we have our first edit war where the same people repeatedly list and delist the same article. I don't want to have something as formal as FAC for GA, but how about listing the article on a GAC page for a day or two and just voting on it, possibly with an admin or two overruling sockpuppet votes etc.? We need something better than the current system. 24px CTOAGN (talk) 23:59, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Allen3, you are applying standards of citation that, IMHO are too rigorous even for many Featured Articles. Not every article needs inline cites, footnotes, & extensive discussion of sources. If I am writing a biography, do I need to furnish sources for the dates of birth & death if they are otherwise uncontroversial? Further, many science-related articles do not easily lend themselves to your standard of citations -- unless you expect every one to repeatedly reference the Chemical Rubber Publishing handbook. I suggest you consider WP:POINT before delisting any more articles. -- llywrch 01:54, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Llywrch, please read my criteria above again. I said that when I remove an article for no references it is because I saw nothing claiming to be a reference. It is the existence of references in an article that is the determining factor, not if the references are presented in a particular style. I admit that I do not do an exhaustive investigation to see if there is something hidden in the article that might be a reference, but even one item using any of the formats mentioned by the Manual of Style is enough to qualify an article as being referenced by this standard. --Allen3 talk 02:34, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Personally I feel that referencing is one of the more important criteria for defining a good article. However, it's often the case that the reference section is masquerading as an external links section, so we shouldn't be in too much of a hurry to delist for apparent lack of references if there is an external links section. If it's not clear that the external links could be references then maybe delist, leaving reasons of course, but otherwise, simply formatting the external links as references could be the best course of action.
As for a better system, I do rather like the idea of anyone being able to list and delist, but what I think could be very useful would be a wikiproject to systematically review the list and make sure articles listed do meet the standards. If the 7 or 8 people who have been doing a lot of listing and delisting were part of the project, I'm sure that would be a sufficient number of people to make it work very well. I'd set one up myself but have limited time for WP at the moment - in two weeks I'll be able to devote much more time to this. Alternatively, the self nominations page is working rather well, and requires two people to agree that an article is good. Perhaps all GA candidates should be listed there? A wikiproject might still be very useful to take on the task of approving the large number of suggestions there would probably be. Worldtraveller 00:33, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't want to start the first edit war, but I did restore Capitalism. The article wasn't kicked out for references but rather POV. I read the article and found just about every POV on capitalism was represented pretty well. Sure, it's a contentious subject, but the pros and cons were all given a lot of space.
And no, I'm not claiming Casualty Actuarial Society is a good article - it's way too narrow and probably too brief, plus no illustrations (I'm working on that one). But I do think the article is as well referenced as any article on the subject could be. What better references could a reader want than the society's official web site and related sites? I noticed Rosary got kicked off the list for no references, even though the article listed many high-quality sites including the Catholic Encyclopedia. Again, these seem like pretty good references to me. Casey Abell 17:43, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Using "External links" as references

Based on the comments above, it appears that some people consider items listed in an ==External links== section as references for an article. This appears to contradict the Manual of Style information located at Wikipedia:Citing sources#External links/Further reading that states:

The ==External links== or ==Further reading== section is placed after the references section, and offers books, articles, and links to websites related to the topic that might be of interest to the reader, but which have not been used as sources for the article.

Are we arguing that GA should use a different set of standards for determining were references are located in an article than what the rest of Wikipedia is using? In addition, if external links are to be considered sources for an article, where are items that might be of interest to the reader but which have not been used as sources for the article to be listed? --Allen3 talk 18:11, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I would oppose considering the external links section as references. It fosters bad habits in editors that are soundly rebuked when articles are brought to WP:FAC. If there is no "References" or "Sources" section on an article (and no obvious inline footnotes), I consider it unreferenced even if it does have an "External links" section. Slambo (Speak) 18:15, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
If form is going to be more important than content, we'll just have to live with it. But I'm not convinced by an appeal to authority (the Wikipedia guidelines) on this subject. After all, the great majority of readers aren't going to know - or care - about the finer points of how references should be listed according to a set of guidelines they'll never read.
If an article provides high-quality, immediately checkable web sites for its assertions, most readers won't care if those sites are called "References" or "Further reading" or "External links" or "Cool stuff" or "Eat at Joe's". What's important to them is that the article is providing a very easy way to fact-check. I only wish the print Britannica would do as much. Casey Abell 18:28, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
When dealing with web refs we need to look at the reliability of the source. For example for a reference on naming chemical compounds, the URL of the IUPAC official website on the topic is fine for a reference (IUPAC is the official body whose system Wikipedia follows). However "Prof. Smith's lecture notes on Orgo 1" or "Ask Dr. Science- Where did that name come from?" should go in external links. When I assess I only allow official websites (i.e., from reputable professional bodies or govt offices) to count as refs, I propose we do the same here. Officially (as explained above) the refs should be added in when the article is written in order to count as refs, otherwise they count as external links only. In reality many editors don't know the difference, and we may have to allow some external links as refs where these are clearly key sources that any knowledgable person might use. At least one of the external links in the Casualty Actuarial Society article would count as a ref, under that system. Walkerma 18:42, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
The first two sites would qualify under the most stringent standard because they're official sites of the CAS and the Society of Actuaries. The next two sites are a little iffier, but they look pretty reliable. (BTW, one of them has a wiki!) The last site looks to be busted right now. I'll remove it. Casey Abell 18:50, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Any source used to write an article is, by definition, a reference. A reference doesn't have to have any particular qualities; the whole point is that by identifying references, the reader can judge for himself how much faith he wishes to place in the veracity and objectivity of an article. This is why I think we should have articles on as many reference sources as possible, and link to them -- if a reader doesn't know what the political biases (real or implied) of, say, the New York Times or Fox News or even scholarly journals (I seem to remember certain Economics journals following one school of thought or another, for example), they can just click through and check. External links are really totally distinct -- examples of good external links might be to a copyrighted photo gallery related to a topic or a discussion board. If an external link is essentially just a description of a topic, it should either be linked to as a reference or not at all. - Bantman 20:02, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
External links, usually even inline ones, cannot be accepted as references. For one, once the link breaks or the content changes, good luck to any fact-checkers! For another thing, external links usually link to the main page of a site, while references dig up pages from the site to cite, because that's where the bulk of the information is. (Media Prima Berhad is an example of this; merely citing the main page of the company's website would be ludicrous!) The external links also do not identify which portion(s) of the article they substantiate. At least inline ones do, so they can be borderline candidates for acceptance, but a mere inclusion in the external links section should never be accepted as a reference. People citing websites need to do so in a way that would provide meaningful information to fact-checkers — see Wikipedia:Cite sources/example style for what I mean. Johnleemk | Talk 05:28, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia: Cite Sources would seem to disagree with you, since they provide a form for citing websites as a source.--Samuel J. Howard 06:19, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
You're misunderstanding my point. My point is that external links do not qualify as a source, but webpages cited properly do. Johnleemk | Talk 07:12, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
This whole discussion is getting a little metaphysical for me. I still don't understand why reputable, authoritative web sites can't be accepted as references, whether they're called "External links" or "References" or "Kukla, Fran and Ollie." (Wow, I'm dating myself.)
One good point is that maybe the web links should direct readers to the particular page on the site that might be most relevant. I can see that as a convenience, but we might be over-directing readers. The top page of the site might still be the best bet for readers who want to explore the entire topic. And after all, Rosary got delisted, and it directed readers to the exact page of the Catholic Encyclopedia that discussed, you guessed it, the rosary.
On the other subject I mentioned in the thread, I got a message on my user talk page that Capitalism gave too much space to extremist viewpoints and thus was too POV. Apart from deciding which viewpoints are extremist and which are mainstream - which is itself a POV-driven process - I thought the article was couched in mostly neutral, careful, middle-of-the-road language that tried to give opposing viewpoints their due. (You might call this my POV.) At any rate, I didn't notice such blatant POV-pushing that would disqualify the article from the GA list. But I sure don't want to get involved in an edit war. Maybe Worldtraveller and a few other editors could take a look at the article and make a decision.
By the way, on the other topic on my user talk page, I did remove "charming" from A Small Boy and Others. But just between you and me, it is a charming memoir (wink). And Henry James did suffer from an inferiority complex as a kid, especially compared to his older brother. James talked about it a lot in his autobiographical books. Casey Abell 15:47, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Over-directing? Not when we cite sources. If you want to link to the main page, that's what an external link is for. Not a reference. And I think the argument pertaining to Rosary is specious unless it was delisted because it "over-directed" (something I find highly unlikely - why would an article on the rosary link to a general page on Catholicism?). Johnleemk | Talk 06:37, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
The issue is not whether we should cite sources, but exactly which page in a web site the reader should be directed to. I used the example of Rosary, which directed the reader to the exact page of the Catholic Encyclopedia about the rosary, but which got delisted anyway. Don't know what's specious about that. It's just a statement of fact about the suggestion that web cites (bad pun) should direct the reader to a specific page inside the site rather than the top page.
As to whether web citations should be called "External links" or "References" or "Whatchamacallits," once again, I don't care much and I doubt that many readers care much. The label means little or nothing to me compared to the quality of cited web sources and their immediate availability to the reader. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this inside-wikibaseball issue.
To use the example of Casualty Actuarial Society again, the web citations direct the reader to the top page of each site. I don't know, maybe more specific citations to inside pages could be used. My guess is that most Wikipedia readers can find their way around a web site without much direction, and they might want to start at the top in their own exploration of a site. I agree that it can be a toss-up on exactly which page of a site to list. But most importantly for the CAS article, the quality of at least the top two web sources is the best possible on the subject. Casey Abell 15:13, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I thought you were citing rosary as a reason why we shouldn't make deep links into websites. And as I said before, it's not about the section title, but also the information that makes the source worthwhile. Have you read Wikipedia:Cite sources/example style yet? The whole point of deep linking (along with listing the date the webpage was accessed) is to make it clear to the reader which webpage was cited, and at what time (since webpages tend to be dynamic). Johnleemk | Talk 15:30, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry to barge in with a slightly different topic, but what about inline citations? Certainly a good article should also be properly cited, right? AndyZ 22:23, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Stable

An interesting question has come up: how stable is "stable"? Jew was delisted (see also Talk:Jew#Delisted) as a good article because "it is one of the most unstable articles in all Wikipedia" on the basis that it is frequently vandalized. I pointed out in response that, other than vandalism, it is a very stable article and that this "rationale seems, in effect, to give any persistent vandal veto power over inclusion in 'good articles'." I'd be interested in hearing what others think on this. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:43, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Evolution is a featured article and it gets vandalised. Joe D (t) 00:45, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
My guess is that "stable" means: "not under a revert war", or at least "having a content that is mostly undisputed by (non-vandal) editors". Otherwise, there are very good articles that will never be WP:GOOD. - Liberatore(T) 14:14, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree that vandalism should not be counted against an article when determining stability as long as the vandalism is reverted in a timely manner. --Allen3 talk 14:31, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I think the solution is make sure that when (if!) Wikipedia:Stable versions is adopted as policy, we make sure that good articles are included. The stable version can be the official GA. Walkerma 17:58, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I've always understood that 'stable' meant not subject to ongoing edit wars, rather than not subject to lots of vandalism, so I don't think that being particularly subject to vandalism should disqualify any article from being either good or featured. Worldtraveller 18:31, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree; I think stable should define edit wars between users over different opinions/perspectives/ideas over a subject, not vandalism. AndyZ 22:18, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Seconded, popular articles are going to get the lion's share of edits (tending to make them better articles), but equally they are the most frequently targetted by vandal's. As mentioned above having vandalism as a criterion for a good article actually empowers the vandal's which is the last thing we need to be doing. Sfnhltb 13:24, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Major problem

The list as it is now is practically unmaintainable, as there are articles that have been delisted still on it. Can we have an category? In which articles listed as good are automatically added and delisted ones automatically removed? --Tothebarricades 03:06, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

What you are asking for depends on obtaining a reliable list of articles that are both in the category lists and have a {{GA}} on their talk pages. You can't depend on a list created by the servers, because they fail to include somewhere between 60-80 of the articles with the template in their collection of links. This makes it very frustrating in to determining which articles have been incompletely delisted -- or listed. (This is a fact I discovered shortly after publishing my response above to Allen3.) -- llywrch 03:36, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

More fun and games on Capitalism

Just got a note on my user page by an editor who kicked Capitalism off the GA list for a second time. I looked at the history of the article and this editor is apparently involved in a minor edit battle with another contributor (who he characterizes as a "disruptive, probably extreme right-wing, Agent provocateur"). I don't think much damage has been done yet. The article still looks pretty balanced to me. But I'm not going to restore it to the GA list again because I don't want any edit battles, minor or otherwise (rueful smile). Casey Abell 06:09, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Future disputes on whether articles are good would be unsurprising. I propose a slight change on the process of making article "good":
  1. an editor can make an article "good" without asking (as now)
  2. every editor can remove any article from the "good" page without asking (as now)
  3. only if there is a dispute on whether an article is good or not (i.e., the article is added and removed two times in a week), a discussion (with votes, similar to AfD, for example) takes place in a subpage such as /disputed
This idea has the advantage that discussion only takes place for a minority of the articles. - Liberatore(T) 15:42, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Sounds like a good (article) idea to me! I just reread Capitalism and I still think it's almost surprisingly NPOV for such a contentious subject. Pros and cons on a wide range of issues are given in a balanced way...as far as I can see, which may or may not be far enough. But I'd be willing to abide by an AfD-like vote. If no consensus developes, I'd be willing to abide by Worldtraveller's decision. Casey Abell 19:06, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I think a subpage for disputed articles is an elegant solution to what is likely to be an occasional problem. If no consensus emerges from the discussion my feeling would be that the status quo should be maintained, that is, the article should not be added to the list. Worldtraveller 03:02, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Article barnstar

Now, really, why do we need an alternative FA for those who didn't make it through FAC-purgatory? Can't we just add some well-placed and well-formulated praise to the relevant talkpages instead? Or, hell, why not even improve the article so that it can become an FA for real? This is like having a barnstar for articles.

Peter Isotalo 23:27, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

There is actually another level of quality that efforts such as this, Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team, and Wikipedia:Stable versions are looking for besides just the very best. For want of a better term I will call this level encyclopedic quality and it is roughly the level of detail, reliability, and usability you would expect to find in a published encyclopedia. Finding articles at or above this level of quality is useful if Wikipedia is to ever produce a version on CD, paper, or some other media that has limited capacity. The social engineering factors behind "Good Articles" might also get people to start citing their references on a consistent basis. --Allen3 talk 21:30, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
GA is not an alternative to FA - it's a list of articles that meet certain criteria, lower than those for FAs. FAs are the very best that we can produce, but of course not every article can be the very best. Many articles listed here are excellent short articles, for example, and I doubt anyone would want to see a 5kb article featured. Merely leaving positive comments on talk pages, while a nice thing to do, would not give us a list of articles which meet certain standards, and as Allen3 says, identifying good quality articles is very useful. It would also not provide the same incentive that this provides to ensure articles are referenced, structured and illustrated. Worldtraveller 03:02, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Question

Hi. Do any of you think that Papua New Guinea qualifies as a good article? Just wondering. --Khoikhoi 07:22, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

It needs references. --ScienceApologist 15:10, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Neither does the Tibet article but it's on the list. --Khoikhoi 20:16, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Then Tibet should be removed from the list! References are very important. Worldtraveller 03:02, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

GTA: San Andreas

Just moved Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas from Computing to Sport and Games, which is where Final Fantasy VI is too.

It just seems mad to me to put things as "trivial" as games in the same category as Functional programming... Hairy Dude 03:15, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

An appeal

The article on the Russian famine of 1921 was rejected on grounds which are not those given on the project page; I would like to have it a GA,of course, but it is more important that the standards be stated and consistently applied. Please review Talk:Russian famine of 1921.Septentrionalis 04:41, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Lack of inline references shouldn't prevent an article being a GA, particularly if it is not a very long article. Images are nice, but if there are none available then the lack of them should't stop an article being Good. So, I think the article should be restored to the list. I'll see if I can clarify the criteria a bit. Worldtraveller 10:41, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Guideline template

This page has had Template:Proposed subst'd at its top for quite awhile. A few days ago, Kim Bruning changed that box to one saying, "This page contains a list of good articles. Take it or leave it, they're good." Someone reverted, but a moment ago, Kim Bruning reverted back. I've just reverted back to the standard template again.

There are plenty of guidelines with this template, and it's a fairly standard one. Please give some reasons why this project page should be exempt from the ordinary markings as to current policy status? --TreyHarris 16:10, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the standard template works better. His template does not seem to have any value except making the page look silly. joturner 16:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
The proposed template is silly. These articles are good, we're not proposing that they be good-ized, or whatever it is you're thinking. So I just put something up there to keep the template-crazed silly people away. Just remove the template entirely. This page is live! Duh :-) Kim Bruning 02:29, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I think this has gone beyond proposed- the GA templates aren't being removed from the GAs, nor is there violent opposition, or much opposition at all. --maru (talk) Contribs 02:49, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I've read Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines and Wikipedia:How to create policy, and it looks like the next step if it has "gone beyond proposed" is not to just remove the template, but to list it on Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) and get consensus for making it official. Do I read this correctly? --TreyHarris 06:03, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
  • If you want the technicalities, the list of Good Articles is neither a policy nor a guideline, but a list (articles themselves aren't guidelines, by definition). The process that is used here by which articles are marked as "good" is either a guideline or a proposal for one (and seems to be the former per lack of dissent). I think it may be worthwhile to split the page into the "process" part and the "list" part at some point, because it would get lengthy. Radiant_>|< 11:37, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
    But if I understand correctly, that's the essential difference between GA and FA—for FA, there's a process and then a list. For GA, the process and the list are one and the same; you add, you delete, if there's a dispute, it goes over on the article's talk page. Maybe you're saying that the front matter about what constitutes a GA should go onto a different page, and that should be put up for comments as an official guideline? I'm cool with that. --TreyHarris 19:02, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
  • That's the general idea, yes. However since we're not overly bureaucratic here it's ok to leave it on one page as long as the page length is not inconvenient. As long as the distinction between the list and the process is understood by the inevitable nitpickers (the point mainly is that articles can be and should be removed from the list if for whatever reason they're no longer good). Radiant_>|< 22:00, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I have added an item on WP:VPP asking if we should change this to a guideline. --TreyHarris 07:33, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm, the how to create policy page is basically male bovine droppings. I don't think anyone has ever done anything to policy using that page. (Well, maybe one or two., but no more than that.)
Dude, This is a working process. Done! It's not a guideline for goodifying articles, it's a list of good articles. *sigh* Kim Bruning 18:47, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
It's just a list, like the ones in the article space? So if I were to delete every 17th article, and add every article in the Wikipedia with all the vowels of the English language in order in the title, just because I felt like numerologically every 17th article isn't "good", and every in-order-vowel-article is "good", you'd have no objections with my doing that, you'd just revert and start an edit war with me over the goodness of 17 and vowel-orders? And we can have a discussion, later, on whether or not articles with cute-puppy pictures are automatically "good" or not?
Clearly not; because it's not just a list below the TOC, it's a process above the TOC about modifying the list below the TOC But if you disagree that the stuff above the TOC has any validity, and that it's just a list, why don't you go ahead and delete the stuff above the TOC, and let it just be a list? --TreyHarris 19:42, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
  • A big "huh" to Kim? The "how to create policy" page basically says to 1) write a draft, 2) request feedback, and 3) work towards consensus. How is that bullshit? At any rate, Trey is correct that for a list of "Good Articles" to be meaningful as opposed to some random editor's POV (e.g. User:Newbie/Articles That I Like), there have to be reasonably accepted criteria. Hence the word "guideline". Radiant_>|< 21:58, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
The correct procedure is to find out what people are actually doing "in the field", and write that down so others can learn from it. Descriptive, not prescriptive. Hence "how to create policy" is mostly false. It was worse before I made some edits, but really it should be deleted. Kim Bruning 18:28, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

How to remove a poor article from the list against motivated authors?

How to remove a bised article from the list? The authors have motivation to be biased and there are several of them to win any revert war. According to Gresham's law ignorants will every always win against competent people, because the number of ignorants is higher than the number of competent people. Xx236 14:16, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Be clear in the comments you make on the article's talk page about why you're removing the article from the list. List actionable objections based on the list criteria. I had removed a few articles from the list a while ago and described why on the article talk pages; several of them had the objections addressed and the articles are now relisted. Slambo (Speak) 14:26, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Your subtext seems to be that there are some articles that, no matter how they were improved, are intrinsically biased and can never become a good article. (If I'm misreading that, please, correct me.) Such articles should be listed in WP:VFD. If there is not a consensus to delete them, then they can become good articles with sufficient cleanup, and you should help that process by explaining your objections as Slambo describes. --TreyHarris 22:21, 28 January 2006 (UTC)


Cannot edit History section

I keep scrolling down the page but even though it's clearly visible when not being edited, I can't actually find it when I use edit page. I keep looking for it right after Geology, but it nor any of it's subsections come up, and I wanted to put Charlemagne in there, it seems like a good article, but I can't find the section at all, the only nearby edit button goes to a compleatly unrelated train project. Homestarmy 02:06, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Section editing had been disabled for some reason - I've just re-enabled it and you should be able to edit the history section easily now. The reason it doesn't appear in the edit page is that it's a transcluded subpage. Worldtraveller 10:35, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! do I need to do something special to access transcluded subpages? Homestarmy 15:24, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
No, they're just like any other page, just that when you edit the page that transcludes them you'll see something like {{project page:transcluded subpage}} instead of the text that appears on screen, and you need to edit project page:transcluded subpage rather than project page itself. Hope that helps! Worldtraveller 15:26, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Does this page still a proposal?

This project isn't implemented yet? So why keeping the "proposed" template? CG 21:14, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

My hypothesis is that it's some kind of cargo cult talisman. As long as the talisman is there, the page shall not be swallowed by the great wired.
I tried removing it, but the denizens laughed and wanted to sacrifice me to the volcano. In the end I ran away, and didn't give it another go. Kim Bruning 21:37, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
As I started the page I'll leave it for someone else to judge whether to remove the proposed tag, but I think the page has enough participation and enough general agreement that it's useful that we can remove the tag now. I think the problem when you removed it, Kim, was not the removal but what you replaced it with - no need for any notice if the proposed tag is removed, I'd say. Worldtraveller 22:46, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
So does this mean that this is now "official policy"? i.e. the proposed template will be replaced by the "it really is" template? Isn't there supposed to be some last and final "lets put this to a vote" type vote? linas 23:28, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
If you're actually doing something productive, there's no need to vote on it. Just do your thing. WP:GA isn't about policy, it's about a group of people working to add metadata to the encyclopedia, which rocks. +sj + 16:48, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Ok, why not? CG 14:47, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Just, no template. The objective of wikipedia is to make an encyclopedia, not to worship templates. Of course, I apologise if I have offended your religeon. However, I will ask that you practice it outside of wikipedia.
(If the reader wonders why I'm writing funny, just remember that I'm puzzeled about the hangup some people seem to have with tacky transcluded css rectangles. It's the content that matters, not the rectangle! :-) ) Kim Bruning 15:58, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I think it should be a policy, the good article thing seems like a good idea. Homestarmy 16:09, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
It's not a policy, it's more like a project. CG 18:42, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what it is - did we ever get a good response to the )now-archived) concerns about standards and process? I still have real concerns about the viability of this list, but I understand that I may be the only one... -- nae'blis (talk) 00:20, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Naeblis: viability in what sense? I find it useful, and don't see how it could be harmful. There are enough people maintaining the list and pages now to make it useful; we'll find out how far it scales, and what we need to do to allow it to grow to cover thousands of entries. +sj + 16:48, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

While this page uses its present procedures, I will strongly oppose any effort to make this more than an informal page. Any user can make a nomination here if he is momentarily impressed by an article in a field unknown to him (and so where he will not see the flaws).

I just looked at four listed articles, and delisted three of them (one of those no longer had the {{GA}} template, but I would have removed it anyway). The one I did not remove is the one with whose subject matter I am least familiar. I would remove another, but I am lightly involved in editing it, and the main editing is in the hands of a competent newbie whom I don't want to discourage; it may become good. None of the others was so bad as to deserve a hostile tag, although one was close - but in a WP of a million articles there ought to be hundreds of thousands that meet that standard. Septentrionalis 21:18, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

New template: {{Good article}}

I created this to be used the same way as {{featured article}}. It uses the same code (more or less). I want opinions before someone (not me) begins the task of tagging all these articles.--HereToHelp (talkcontribs) 23:24, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

We had best deal with the issue raised in the above discussion first. About the design itself, I like it, although I hope you know that the use of such icons on Featured articles was rather a bold move, to which oppositition had been expected. I would advise against moving fast.
If the concept of good articles is accepted as policy/guideline/a bit of harmless fun, we can certainly use the exposure, and those articles certainly deserve some recognition. -- Ec5618 23:36, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Fine design. (Though I don't really like that icon, it is in common use :) We should have a few process reviews and standards discussions before making this bit of metadata so public. Right now, the GA process is firm enough to be self-sustaining, but not enough for me to want to positively vouch for the excellence of every GA-tagged article. +sj + 17:15, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
It may have been bold on FAs, but it had been in use on other language wikis (de comes to mind right away) for a while before it was implemented here. I think that with the still wide variety of article quality even in GAs, it might be better to stick with the talk page notice until we have a wider acceptance of both the FA icon and our own process here. Slambo (Speak) 19:16, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Sj and Slambo - I think the GA process should be seen to be a robust and permanent process before we could think about using this template. Also, it may be an unfeasibly large amount of work to add the template to the large number of articles this page should eventually list. Worldtraveller 01:17, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Rename

What would people think of renaming this "Potential featured articles?" Marskell 13:37, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Oppose: I think "good articles" is established and simple. Walkerma 15:10, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Agreed with walkerma. It also fits in with a larger schema that supports a related 'poor articles' campaign (more comprehensive and less transient than 'cleanup' tags; encompassing at once poor stubs, cleanup and highly pov articles, and others that do not [yet/currently] represent the standards of the project). +sj + 16:52, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
My concern has always been "simple to the point of meaninglessness". As for larger schemas, we have a great one in place on the Wiki: the FA process. Marskell 18:02, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I suppose that all articles on Wikipedia could be considered "potential featured articles". Extraordinary Machine 18:22, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, no, (to take a somewhat sarcastic point literally). Stub-bios that have no reason for expansion wouldn't be "potential featured articles." B-movies that have a page because an A-list actor appeared in them wouldn't be. Specialized pages on flora or microprocessing wouldn't be considered as such...
But none of these articles are listed as "Good" anyway. The page is already a de facto "potential featured article" page--so let's link it up to a process that is a process rather than a tag-slapping affair. Marskell 21:46, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I disagree that this is any kind of potential featured article page as it is, and I wouldn't like to see it become one. There are plenty of topics out there which simply couldn't have a featurable article written about them, such as Boltysh crater, and I created this page as a kind of incentive for people to make articles like that meet certain quality standards rather than leave as a stub and move on. Articles becoming good on the way to becoming featured has also happened a lot and that's great, but being listed here can just as well be a final stage for short articles as a stepping stone for longer ones. My personal view is that all articles worthy of including in a printed encyclopaedia should be 'good' as defined here, and the very best, the creme de la creme of our work should be featured, and hence this page fulfils a very distinct role from the FA process and it should not be integrated with it. Worldtraveller 22:18, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

"Good 'as defined here'"... How, in the sense of real peer-identification and debate, are these articles defined as good? It's a tag, a Wiki page that is not a guideline, and this talk page. There is no real process. Not that these aren't, by and large, better than your average page, but no forum exists where they are judged disinterestedly "Good" (which is, all else aside, very generic) by the community.
There is a process - a very simple one, designed to expedite the creation of this list - and it does involve review by the community, just without five days of discussion. Further processes have evolved, such as the self-nominations page. The simplicity is important as if we relied on FA alone to identify content which reaches our required standards, we'd be waiting decades for a complete encyclopaedia to emerge.
To grant the very important point you make (that there are a lot of pages in-between stub and potential feature like your start-up), why not "Featured shorts"? Why not a review for it (shorter than your average FAC)? In general, why not a real process before slapping the tag?
If by start-up you mean the Boltysh crater article I linked to, I think you miss the point - very little is known about the crater and that's about as large an article as can be written on it. There are huge numbers of subjects which deserve an article, and all our articles should be referenced, well written, with images if possible, but before GA there was no incentive for these criteria to be met by short articles. Like I say, there is a real process and it does involve review, but particularly for short articles I think it doesn't really require any extensive reviewing for them to be designated as meeting the criteria - to have some kind of FA-light nomination procedure would slow things down enormously.
Partly I'll admit (and I don't think this is bad) I dislike "Good" articles because I like "Featured" articles a lot. You go to Peer Review, you get your neck wrung on FAC (and often don't make it). Featured articles can be made (about one a day), but it's difficult. Importantly to my mind, the process hasn't been compromised. There's never been a point where it was decided "well, the Wiki is growing, so Featured should be easier to achieve". Well maybe there is a point: the "Good article" tag. No need to go through any peer review at all--just add the tag. Marskell 22:42, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
I like FAs as well - I've written more of them than almost anyone else (apologies for the egotism)! The FA process identifies our very best content. But clearly not every single article can be considered as among the very best, and as I've said, it would take decades before the FA process generated enough articles to cover the range of topics an encyclopaedia needs to. The FA process generates detailed, long articles on narrow topics - excellent articles, but not the only things you need to produce an encyclopaedia.
And again, there is a process here - you can't just add any article to the list, the many editors who review new entries would remove something that didn't come up to scratch. Worldtraveller 01:17, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

moving on from proposal to project

Once there are twice as many GAs as there are FAs (with no overlap), and someone has laid out a simple process for

  1. Notifying people watching this page/process when new GAs are added/removed
  2. Minimizing overlap between FAs, GAs, and cleanup/PNA/NPOV
  3. Avoiding wheel wars

I would feel good about removing the 'proposed' template. My suggestions for dealing with the above points:

  1. Set up an Wikipedia:Good articles updates page, with two main sections, one for additions and one for removals.
    • Add one bullet point per addition/removal, with a brief < 1 sentence explanation or link.
    • Describe how that page is archived.
    1. Set up a Wikipedia:Good articles archive page, with subpages /1, /2, &c. Archive the updates page to the archive page every few weeks; leaving the last week of entries.
  2. Set up a process for removing GAs.
    • If they get any of the following tags... <list: FA, cleanup, &c>
    • If you don't think it should be a GA; note where you should leave an explanation.
  3. Describe how to mediate disputes. For now, it can be simple : if there's no consensus that something is Good, it's not. You should be willing to defend your opposition to an entry.

+sj + 19:52, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I still don't see what purpose "good" article serve. Hell, George W. Bush, which by most measures is a pretty lousy article, and yet it is listed as a "good" article, complete with talk page template. By the same token, I do not see any purpose is setting up a formal "good artice" vetting process - we have the FAC, and we have peer review; what you are proposing is redundant with both (and most people say peer review already doesn't get enough comments). Raul654 06:10, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
It's about identifying quality content that is inherently unfeaturable (eg short articles that fully cover minor subjects, such as Boltysh crater); providing a stepping stone for featurable articles on their route to FA (perhaps one day someone will expand post-glacial rebound but at the moment it's just a solid, broad overview, and still better than what would appear in most printed encyclopaediae - if all our articles were of this standard we would be doing very well); encouraging people to add references to more articles; speeding up the creation of quality content (if FA is the only benchmark of good quality, it will take us 134 years to build up 50,0000 quality articles); and providing an easily accessible list of articles that are worthy of including a version 1.0.
And a minor point - if you think any article does not meet the criteria, remove it from the list and leave a note on its talk page. I'd probably agree that George W. Bush shouldn't be listed here. Worldtraveller 01:17, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

I think that this is a good idea. As for the above I think we should start a new wikiproject to maintain this by using the above suggested tools. A wikiprojet could also have a "Good Article Collaboration" in which we bring one good article at a time to featured article status. On the topic of George W. Bush article, you can remove just remove it ,just state why you removed it on the articles talk page.Tarret 21:50, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Proposed: Top level categories for this page

This is a great project. A page organization issue: There are currently 28 main categories of GA so far. That is too many to sort through easily.

I propose creating 7 to 9 top level categories, and fitting the 28 existing categories into those. The new top level can be based on the existing very common set of top level Wikipedia categories (which have minor variations by page) on these main Wikipedia pages: Portal, List of glossaries, List of articles, List of reference tables, Overviews and Categories.

The Categories page main categories are: Art and Culture · History · Mathematics · Natural sciences · Philosophy and Religion · Social sciences · Society and People · Technology · Geography

I'd be happy to do the sorting to create this new category level, though anyone could. Which 7 to 9 categories to use would come out of the sorting. Comments?

  • Is there Support to create this new main category level? Vir 05:51, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
I see no good reason not to follow this suggestion. I believe the current categorization was chosen because it mirrors the WP:FA list, but I would support such a change. There are a couple of transcluded sublists, but it appears that they would already fit into such a category change (the History section is obvious, and the Rail transport section would go under Technology, just like the portal sorting). Slambo (Speak) 11:56, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for support. The WP:FA list is also too long with dozens of top categories. I'm testing this idea here first and then will suggest at FA page. The good reason is it would make it a good deal easier for some folks new to the GA page to find articles. There is precedent: The German and French Wikipedia featured article pages have 7 to 10 top general categories. See: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Exzellente_Artikel ; http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Articles_de_qualit%C3%A9 Vir 13:48, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Personally I don't find the 28 categories unwieldy - I'd have thought fewer categories with lots more articles in them would be more difficult to navigate - but I don't feel terribly strongly about it. What I do think is that FA and GA should use the same category headers, and if any revised heading system doesn't find favour on the FA page I'd prefer to stick with the old system here. Worldtraveller 01:17, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
The use of sub-categories (within the existing 28 cats) here does not find favor on the FA page, but they are still used here. Why? Because they are useful. It is highly likely that eventually the FA page will use main/super- and sub-categories. Also, it is likely for the FA page to move to top main categories because all other main Wikipedia pages have such and because such are helpful to newcomers. Some, maybe most, regular users of this page would not be bothered by the 28 categories. Fine. They are not for us. The categories are for the possibly very many occassional users (if this goes public) to find articles under the main heads (that are consistent with most main Wikipedia pages). (And, gosh, maybe I'm in the minority (though I doubt it), but I find few main categories helpful.) The articles would not be all lumped together but retain the existing 28 categories under the main ones. See next link for a draft example of this usage. Vir 01:43, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Here is a rough draft of the top category proposal: User:Vir/sandbox. This is based on FA articles. (Umm, looking at that layout just now -- it seems easier to work with and easier on the eye than 28 main cats.) (Please ignore the 3rd-level subcategories--there are different ones used here--that is some format experimenting and not a proposal.) Vir 01:43, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

I started some of the multiple categories due to the fact that if you try to keep the articles in alphabetical order, having biographies interspersed with subject titles always leads to reversion fights -- no matter the intentions. (I've forgotten how many times I have had to organize people by their last names -- only to have someone resort by their first names.) Sorry, but if I look for Neil Young, I'm going to look under Y. Perhaps all of the articles on people ought to be put into their own category, but to avoid this porblem. -- llywrch 05:53, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
What you mention is one good reason that sub-categories are needed. I find it to be unnecessary work to read through a category with say 30 or more items, when half of them are names of people. Separate sub-categories for people are helpful; this saves time. I agree that alphabetizing by last name is the best policy. Does Wikipedia have any policy on that? Deciding one way or other is a simple matter and would save time. I think it would be nice to have an index just of people -- we need a database that can generate various kinds of indexes -- but I think, for the main index, that articles on people should be in the subject category with which their work and life are most associated.

Good Articles now featured

Seeing as we've had our first Good Article become featured, it makes sense to Bold them on the list. See the new {{GAF}} for a template I've used on F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (talk page) to show that the article has now become featured, the GA template conflicted with the FA template. --PopUpPirate 22:35, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Deckiller 22:36, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually I don't think it's the first - previous articles that have gone on to become featured have just been removed from the list. There shouldn't be overlap between the two lists as they identify different kinds of articles. Worldtraveller 23:50, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I had heard some featured articles are occasionally demoted. If that happens, and it was a "good article" would it still be, or what? Just curious. Vaoverland 00:05, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
One would think it would still be considered a good article unless it goes so downhill it can't even qualify for that, people would need to know to put back the original good article template. Homestarmy 00:23, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, there have been a few good articles that have become featured. I don't see much of a point to the {{GAF}} template, why can't we just replace {{GA}} with {{featured}} and be done? --Pagrashtak 04:45, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
As mentioned, if an article gets demoted from FA then the {{GAF}} template comes into its own, and looks less clumsy than the {{GA}} template when shown next to Featured. --PopUpPirate 08:45, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Demotions are infrequent enough that adding {{GA}} back to the article is not a problem. Also, if an article is demoted, it would probably be a good idea to reassess if the article is good anyways. I'm strongly in favor of deleting {{GAF}}. Anyone else agree? --Pagrashtak 01:44, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
At any rate, GAF shouldn't put the articles it's in into the "good articles" category. This is really silly; if we are going to include a featured, formerly good, article, why not go through and include all featured articles as good? I don't think GAF is a necessary template; if you are worried about demoted FAs then it's better to keep an eye out on the demotions page rather than keep scanning through what will hopefully be hundreds of articles including GAF ;) TheGrappler 03:42, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
I've nominated the template for deletion as stated below. Pagrashtak 05:48, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Not so "good articles"

I feel very tempted to remove Reduction (philosophy) and Ketuanan Melayu from the list. They are far-from-good articles with much, much room for improvement, and are not nearly good as other unlisted and more specific articles such as Eliminative materialism (kind of a self-nomination here) or Semantic holism. Also, I belive that listing Technological singularity under "philosophy" is misleading. --Kripkenstein 00:47, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Go for it! Just leave a note on their talk pages noting that you've delisted them and explain your reasoning. Worldtraveller 00:59, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
I just read the two philosophy articles and found them both interesting and certainly well worth listing - three suggestions though, the intro to eliminative materialism is a bit impenetrable to me, and I would suggest rewriting with an intelligent but completely ignorant reader in mind; you have a 'further reading' section there but no explicit statement of what you used as references; and semantic holism could probably do with just a bit more of a summary of the article in the lead. Worldtraveller 01:18, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Your suggestions are very much appreciated, Worldtraveller! I will get to it ASAP. --Kripkenstein 04:05, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with World Traveler about the lack ogff distinction between references and futher reading in Eliminative Materailism (FWIW, since I helped i writing and developing it). This is the reason I thought it was bit early to list it as a good article. I was plannning to take care of that today.

As to semantic holism (my own work) I appreciate and agree with the comments about summarizing in the lead and improving readability with a more general level of readership in mind. Coming from an backfropund of constantly writing acamadeic papers, this is probably my greatest weakness. But I shall try to remedy this defect with help from others such as yourself.

On the other three artciles mentioned, I agree that techno singualrity is not a philosophy article and that the other two should be delisted. So I can back up Kripkenstien's position. Just go ahead abd do it. If someone wants the back, then can just go through the process again. No big deal.--Lacatosias 08:46, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Relation to Wikiprojects

I recently nominated three articles on physics topics as "good articles". They were immediately accepted. However, as far as I can tell, no one (other than me) from Wikipedia:WikiProject Physics actually participated in this decision. I find this slightly disconcerting: the "Good Article" process is not making use of the domain experts that we have available on WP. Worse, it is even side-stepping the domain experts, who may quickly find major flaws that would otherwise be undetected. I see this as a problem. What's the remedy? How can we do better? linas 23:19, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Over at Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemicals, the project has an ongoing assessment scheme for the project worklist - you could consider setting up a similar scheme in Physics. I know several WikiProjects such as Medicine, Anti-War Protests, Military History, Business & Economics have similar schemes. When GA was created, I was able simply to list all 28 or so of our "A-Class" articles as GAs, knowing that all 28 had undergone expert peer review here. The system seems to work well - why not try it in Physics too? Walkerma 03:03, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps I expressed myself poorly. I'm concerned about the converse problem: that articles were promoted to "good" status without the review of the affiliated Wikiproject. Of course, any wikiproject can do as you suggest, but that is not the problem. The problem is that we could have, for example, a long and very impressive looking articles about quantum mechanics (or wave-particle duality) that are filled with subtle errors. And indeed, after a year of patrolling these, I can attest to this: most articles on (basic/introductory) QM topics are filled with subtle errors: as fast as you fix one error, some know-it-all high-school or college kid introduces another. I'm concerned that these articles can be nominated, and accepted, for "good article" status, without actually undergoing the review of the Wikiproject that would be knowledgable on the topic. linas 20:04, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
Linas has an excellent point, at the moment we have a real problem with this. Would somebody like to comment on my suggestions below? TheGrappler 22:26, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Dispute procedure and maintenance

Before becoming a guideline or policy, I think a dispute procedure ought to be included on WP:GOOD. At the moment, there are several things going on, with some people bringing debate to this talk page, others using article talk pages, and others suggesting we use a /Disputed subpage of this page (a move I'd be in favour of).

There also may need to be a verification/maintenance procedure, probably best handled by a WikiProject. This isn't just a problem with GA, it affects FAs as well (although there is now a procedure for delisting FAs, there is no systematic programme of regular review).

Tasks which definitely require a regular maintenance system (it is vital that this is put in place, even if only on an informal basis):

This could be done approximately weekly/fortnightly. It ought to be possible to automatically generate a comparison between the contents of the list and the category (might need someone to write a couple of macros or something, but it's certainly not technically too difficult) and then to individually follow up the discrepancies. I can produce an alphabetical use of good articles from the list, using MS Office (see User:TheGrappler/Single list of GAs); I am sure somebody knows a way to take a dump from a category and produce an alphabetical list from there. Comparing the two would be relatively easy.

Tasks where a maintenance system would be be useful for quality control:

  • A very occasional systematic sweep through listed articles, perhaps broken down into chunks that can be volunteered for by editors (see Wikipedia:WikiProject Punctuation#Dump files to process for an example of how work can be allocated this way), to check that criteria are (still) being met by those articles. With the numbers of articles listed, if enough editors could be found to check through 100-200 per week, the quality control would be fairly tight, with articles unlikely to go more than 6 months without a "check-up". WP:FA really ought to do this but doesn't; we have less excuse given our more limited verification and validation processes on entry.
  • Asking relevant Wikiprojects whether there are volunteers to check the quality (especially for broadness, accuracy and NPOV) of listed good articles in their specialist subject sphere.

Of all the BRAWWSTIN criteria (Broad, Referenced, Accurate, Well-Written, Stable, Tagged Images, NPOV; "broad" is not necessarily comprehensive, but no major omissions) experts are necessary for "A", and to some extent for "B" and "N" as well (though usually a casual reader will have a good idea of this, e.g. if the geograpical scope or political viewpoints considered are limited). They would, obviously, be able to provide helpful comments on other matters (they may be able to propose better references, for instance) but for the other areas, non-experts are in just as good a position to judge whether the article reaches the criteria. Remember that in WP:FAC, it is not necessary to be an expert to judge an article!

Are there any suggestions for how or to what extent (1) the proposal page at WP:GA should cover to dispute procedure and/or maintenance; (2) the necessity or technical feasibility of the maintenance programme I suggested; (3) whether there would be support for a WikiProject for the maintenance/verification tasks? None of this detracts from the fact I consider this to be great proposal! TheGrappler 18:23, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Relating to (3) and the "occasional sweep": It seems to me there are two related but separate issues involved. Unfortunately these are often blurred in discussions on Wikipedia, particularly as the term validation is often used to mean assessment. I would like to define the two terms as follows:
  • Validation: Is an article free from errors (factually accurate)?
  • Assessment: Is an article comprehensive, well-written, with nice pictures etc.?
Note that one can have an accurate article that is poor quality. It seems to me that the GA criteria are mainly associated with assessment. If anyone can nominate an article for GA, and the main check is for the presence or absence of refs and similar assessment checks, then anything on GA cannot realistically be regarded as validated. In your terms above it may mean everything except the "A" for accurate. For example, is it reasonable to expect someone from this group to check that the dipole moment for caesium fluoride is 7.9 D? I think what you want is extremely important, but it lies outside the scope of the GA procedure. As I pointed out above, the WikiProjects are (IMHO) the places for validation at present, if it is not done there then currently the article is simply not validated. Walkerma 04:11, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
There are a range of validation proposals on Meta, some of which (e.g., those involving voting) blur the differences between validation and assessment. However my particular favourite is the TidyCat validation proposal, which is a beautifully written piece that covers a lot of the same ground as the above. This states "The primary purpose of validation should be to prevent the dissemination of misinformation." It proposes a peer review system similar to the WikiProject you suggest, which would use expert peer review from a panel of approved reviewers. These would check refs, data and other facts, then produce a validated version (let's call it a VA) that would be locked (until the next validation review). Any Wikipedia user could then choose to look at either the validated version or the latest unvalidated version, as they chose. It would seem likely that the panel would start by reviewing FAs, then move to GAs. But it would be likely that there would be GAs that were not VAs, and VAs that were not FAs or GAs. Walkerma 04:11, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
For the record, we do have the following at present:
Personally I think all of these activities need to be brought together under one umbrella of producing locked, validated forms of articles. However I think it lies outside the scope of the GA project to get too involved with factual accuracy. At present WP:GA does a great job of identifying quality articles (i.e., assessment) that (hopefully) in the future provides candidates for validation. Walkerma 04:11, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
These are very helpful thoughts. I agree with your distinction between assessment and validation, and that the good article criteria are weighted more towards assessment. I'd certainly like to find a way of enhancing the validation aspects, and maybe this is where much stronger links with various Wikiprojects could help a lot, or at least the involvement of subject area experts in reviewing good articles. For my own part I can validate articles on astronomical topics and probably some geological topics as well.
As for disputed articles, I think a /Disputed subpage is an elegant solution - I will edit the project page to encourage its use and we can see how it performs, although hardly any disputes have arisen so I don't see it being very commonly used.
There certainly seems to be support for the idea of a Wikiproject to help with the maintenance and expansion of this page, so I've started one up. See below for more details. Worldtraveller 14:44, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Bot updater

Per the request of TheGrappler, I put above, on the top of this talk page, a link to a bot which will list articles whose talk pages are in Category:Wikipedia good articles, but which are missing from Wikipedia:Good articles. Clicking on that link will refresh the list.

It would be nice if my bot would also list articles in Wikipedia:Good articles which are not in Category:Wikipedia good articles, but that does not work yet, hopefully soon.

I hope this tool turns out to be useful. For future reference, if you don't need the tool anymore, all needed is to remove its section on top, and it will not modify the talk page any longer. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:10, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

The Bot is nice, unfortunately it doesn't seem to be working terribly well at the moment! It seems to want to list almost all the articles in the category, not just ones missing from the list. I have left a message on Oleg's talk page. TheGrappler 02:48, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
The problem was that Wikipedia:Good_articles had a bunch of articles in a subpage, Wikipedia:Good_articles/History_articles, which was transcluded. I taught my bot to look for subpages too, of the form "Wikipedia:Good articles/blah blah". So I think it works now. Other bug reports welcome. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:07, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! It's still not picking up the railway transport articles though :-/ TheGrappler 03:38, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Also, as a feature request, would it be possible to for the bot (or another bot) to state the total number of articles in the category, so we can keep an accurate running count? That would also be really helpful! --TheGrappler 03:43, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Done with the railway transport, thanks to you. :) The counter for the articles in the categories will require more work. I will do it one of these days. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:13, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

This is a really useful tool - thanks very much for creating it!

Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles

Following discussions above on tasks relating to this page that a Wikiproject could help greatly with, I have started a page for one. I invite everyone with an interest to go over and take a look at Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles. I've just started the page off with a rough draft so input on what the project should be doing and how it should be organised is particularly welcome. Worldtraveller 14:44, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:GAF

Template:GAF has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at Wikipedia:Templates for deletion#Template:GAF. Thank you. Pagrashtak 05:47, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Maths articles and citations

I recently listed a few maths articles that I felt fulfilled the criteria for a Good Article, but which were subsequently de-listed by someone who (corectly) pointed out these articles contained no citations or source. While I do not disagree with their decision to delist the articles in question, it did raise a wider point in my mind. The problem is that a great many articles are written purely from contributor's own knowledge. In the case of maths articles, the source was classes while at school or university. A similar case is articles about a town, where an author uses their own knowledge of their locality - if they write that a town has a river with a certain name flowing through it from north to south, where is the source for that?

I'd like to stress that I feel citations and sources should be used wherever possible. However, how do we deal with articles like these where this isn't possible? When do we relax the rule on Good Articles needing citations / sources? Tompw 23:24, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

There can be problems finding suitable references. I am not sure myself what would be a good reference for an article I started, distance modulus. However, I don't think there's a case for dropping the requirement for references - I can't really imagine a case where providing a reference is genuinely not possible, and verifiability is crucial to our credibility. For maths articles, a textbook is probably a good reference to list. Articles about towns should not include unverifiable local knowledge, really, as that would count as original research. Worldtraveller 23:44, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Verifiability is far too important; having references should be an important criterion for becoming good. If it isn't possible to add references to an article, there's a good chance that either the article isn't expanisive enough or the subject is not noteworthy. Pagrashtak 03:28, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but what Worldtraveller seems to be saying is that references should be added to an article which doesn't contain them, even if those references were not used to create the article. For example I could easily add several books that would count as refences for the Abstract algebra, but they wouldn't have been used to create the article. Wouldn't this would give a misleading impression that those books had been used as sources? (One could list such books under "Further reading" or similar... but this would count towards a Good Article's requirements for references? ) Further, in the case of local towns, I'm not talking about unverifiable local knowledge, I'm taling about very basic facts, such as the name of a river flowing through the town? How does one give a source for that? Tompw 13:03, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
References exist to corroborate an article's content, nothing more. If the reference cited corroborates the article's information, then there's no problem. Johnleemk | Talk 13:26, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

WP:AA

Wikipedia:Article Assessment is another potential source of good articles. TheGrappler 20:42, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Two questions

1. Is there an agreed procedure for what to do when a GA becomes an FA, as with Chew Valley Lake recently?

2. What happened to the "silver star" idea? I quite liked it.

SP-KP 09:36, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

There is Template:GAF for promoted articles. The silver star idea is only a serious proposal if WP:GA reaches policy status. TheGrappler 20:13, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
And when we add that template, should we remove the article from the GA list? SP-KP 20:23, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Note that the {{GAF}} template is not consensus, so feel free to use it or not as you wish. Many users like myself and Raul654 maintain that it does not add any value to the talk page. And yes, featured articles should be removed from the Good Articles list. Pagrashtak 01:58, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Thoughts

A few ideas I'd like to throw around. First of all I've been thinking about how to reduce the potential overlap between GA and FA. When I created the page my idea was to encourage FA-like standards primarily on short articles, say less than about 10-15K, which are not likely to become FAs. Such articles can of course be ideal for expanding and bringing up to FA length, but I tend to think that for an article that is already lengthy, the GA tag does not add much value; to determine whether it satisfies the GA criteria requires pretty much as much effort as reading it for the purposes of a peer review or FAC nomination would. So, my feeling is that the GA tag should primarily be for excellent short articles, and not so much for pretty good long articles. What does anyone else think? I would quite like to adjust the criteria to emphasise this.

Second, the self nomination page works really rather well I think, and articles listed there can't make it to the GA list without two people independently agreeing that they meet the criteria. Maybe we should make listing there mandatory for all articles rather than just for self nominations? It would not slow the process down very much at all, I wouldn't think, and would mean that every article listed had been looked over by someone other than the lister.

Thoughts anyone? Worldtraveller 01:02, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't like that first idea. It provides an incentive to not develop an article that has been tagged Good, as making the article longer would then jeopordize its Good status. As for having all articles go through the two-user process, I've actually had that idea myself and would support it. Pagrashtak 02:01, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Support the second idea, for sure. CanadianCaesar The Republic Restored 04:21, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with both ideas, although the second one not so strongly. I think the good articles system should be viewed as a faster editorial review process and welcome both short and long articles. I don't think there's a problem with good articles preceeding featured articles. I don't think the two-user approval process would be terrible provided we have commitments from a group of core people to regularly review nominations. That said, I am quite content with the way the system works at the moment. Cedars 15:34, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
On the first point, the time involved is my concern, really - when reviewing an article 30kb or so long, I feel like it would be a much more worthwhile use of everyone's time, writers and reviewers alike, to be working on something for FA status rather than GA status. There would be no reason why expanding an article should jeopardise its good status, I wouldn't think.
As for the second idea, I think the Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles should provide a core group of reviewers. I too am quite content with the way the system works at the moment but concerns do keep arising about the process being too simple and easily subverted, and I think a compulsory nomination page would be a nice way of addressing this concern while keeping things unbureaucratic and speedy. Worldtraveller 00:36, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the first point strongly, and weakly (mainly due to apathy) agree with the second point. A lot of times my self-nominations have either been rejected or when they succeeded, were deGAed, so I gave up entirely on the process. If articles which don't stand a good shot at FA don't stand a good shot at GA, and articles which stand a good shot at GA could be FAs with a little more work, there's no point at all in using GA. Johnleemk | Talk 06:57, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
To answer your question: There's no point at all in using GA. :)
If you enjoy it, either because you like praising other users for their work using big colored boxes that appear at the top of the page, or because you enjoy receiving such boxes and find them to be a useful incentive for getting pages improved to "good quality", then use it just as you'd use barnstars (albeit for articles rather than users and in a more organized, communal process). If you don't enjoy it, then just go back to editing articles normally. GA is just one of the hundreds of methods and schemes used by Wikipedians to try to motivate users to work on articles more; for users who find it to be, in their experience, both effective and pleasant, spending some time on it (as long as you don't forget about working on articles too amidst all the meta-ing around!) is fine. For users who find it abrasive, redundant, arbitrary, or just plain stupid, simply don't participate in it; there are plenty of other meta-activites, from WikiProjects to the Article Improvement Drive to Featured Article Nominations, to busy oneself with, not to mention a little something called the encyclopedia itself.
GA is just one of the many carrots users like to dangle in front of fellow users' (and their own) heads on a string to tempt people into improving articles. It doesn't really and actually mean anything whatsoever, it's just a game intended to gradually improve various articles. If you have a better idea than "good articles" to improve the encyclopedia through a rating system, start another project like Good Articles and see if it can garner support. You'll have a much easier time with that than with trying to reform WP:GA from the inside, I'm sure. -Silence 08:49, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Methinks you miss the point. If GA is now just a step on the road to becoming an FA, and can't be a terminus for articles which might never be good enough for FA due to whatever reasons, I don't see the point in GA anymore. (To be frank, a lot of the GAs I've seen look like with a bit of work they could pass FAC.) I'm well aware that GA is supposed to be a carrot. What I'm arguing is that it's now become a carrot for only certain types of articles, which is not what it was supposed to be about when it was started, as Worldtraveller argues. And I don't think it's a good idea to fork off, because we have enough article-rating systems around already. My idea of a new rating system would just end up supplanting GA. Johnleemk | Talk 09:06, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
And I'm saying that I get the point, and I agree: WP:GA doesn't have a point. I thought I made that clear in the first sentence of my response. It's just something people like doing; it's arbitrary and redundant and poorly-designed and disorganized and comes very close to talkpage-spam, but if certain people find it effective in improving certain articles, I see no pressing reason to prevent them doing so. I also agreed that your new rating system, if it was good enough, "would just end up supplanting GA", and that was in fact what. GA's article-selection "process" is biased, time-wasting (what with the constant "add GA", "remove GA", "re-add GA", "re-remove GA", etc. for borderline articles), overly self-congratulatory (fixating on how good articles already are rather than on how those articles can be further improved, unlike the FA and peer-review process), and in many cases simply meaningless. If a fantastic idea for article-rating or a "sub-FA" standard were to be established in future, it would probably be infinitely easier to just start from scratch rather than have to sort through the mess of GA and get bogged down by having to review and re-review so many pages, when simply working on the articles would be so very much more valuable. So: fork away. It could hardly make the article-rating process any sillier than it already is, and it might net some great improvements without first having to deal with the baggage of the GA mess. -Silence 10:43, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
OK, so you hate GAs. But all that you've said has very little to do with the discussion that was underway, and maybe you'd be better off outlining why you hate it on miscellaneous for deletion? Worldtraveller 01:20, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Silence, and count myself amongst the group that doesn't employ the tag because I find it redundant and arbitrary. I think in a certain way it cheapens the Featured process by allowing a quick pat on the back without having to go through the process of real peer analysis.
But I also agree in a round-about way with Worldtraveller's point about short articles. I would suggest Featured shorts as part of the main FA process. GA would then be scrapped. In fact, I think I'll poke in on Raul right now and see if he thinks that might work. Marskell 11:53, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
But the main FA process has a throughput of 1 article a day, more or less. If you want 50,000 articles assessed via that process you'll be waiting more than a century for your encyclopaedia. Worldtraveller 01:20, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
The value of good articles is in assisting information management. Good articles complement the featured articles to give Wikipedia readers a greater selection of good quality articles to read in a particular subject area. If Wikipedia is going to be culled to a selection of articles suitable for publication good articles will also help with that. Good articles may also be useful in ways we haven't yet imagined. The problem with the featured article process is that it is long-winded and many people who have a good article give-up on it because it requires too much effort. The good article process helps identify good articles quickly. I don't see how those who oppose this process intend to help users identify good quality articles. The validation feature has been promised for over a year - who knows when it will finally show up? Alternatively, the good article process is here and working now. In the end not all Wikipedia articles are equal, some are rubbish and some are good - if we want to become a better encyclopedia we should help direct people to the better articles. That said, I would oppose having featured shorts, featured articles should be as comprehensive as needed to cover a subject - short articles can be featured right now so featured shorts strike me as redundant. Cedars 13:05, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
We already have Featured lists and Featured images; Featured shorts strikes me as a similarly appropriate accompaniment to the main FAs. While some short articles are FAs now, being too short is also an objection that shows up regularly on FAC and disallows certain articles becoming Featured. Indeed, this very problem is one main reason people have put forward here for keeping GA.
Re "the problem with the featured article process is that it is long-winded and many people who have a good article give-up on it because it requires too much effort." This is a problem with contributors, not the process. When people give up, it's generally because they don't have an article at FA standard, which is as it should be. GA's don't complement this process--they short-circuit it by allowing a stamp of approval without the effort requisite for an FA. Marskell 13:38, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
If the problem is that many people feel GA doesn't actually help improve the article, what if we made some sort of standard where people who make articles have GA status leave a note explaining how the article meets the criteria and how certain criteria can be improved upon? That way people can understand more as to how other people see the article in terms of meeting criteria that's necessary for FA status. I mean, maybe just copy the criteria and write how the article meets it under each category, so everyone in that article has a good idea of what it might need to be better. Homestarmy 14:13, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
This could work, but I would suggest a rename that implies "work in progress" rather than "reached a plateau." Potential featured article or something like that. It could even be roped into Peer Review or the AID. Marskell 03:55, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly with Cedars here, and would make the following points:
  • GA is going to be an immense help to us at WP:1.0 in choosing what to publish.
  • As with FAs, users can see that at least a basic assessment has been done and the article is decent.
  • GA is not just "potential FA", as Worldtraveller has made clear in his/her opening paragraph.
  • The FACs I have been involved with have typically tied up about 6 people for 6 weeks getting every detail "just so", and quite frankly it's a huge investment of time. The GA tag provides a more attainable goal in the short to medium term, and as such it provides an incentive to improve articles. I don't have the time to write an FA on my own, but I can get an article to GA in a reasonable length of time.
  • Regarding Worldtraveller's first thought about article length, I think both long and short articles are fine as GAs, and I see no problem in the fact that some then go on to FA. As I said above, a more easily attainable level of basic quality is useful. Let's keep it as it is.
  • Regarding Wt's second point about all articles being independently reviewed before listing is a good one. It would reduce the number that get delisted because of lack of refs and other obvious problems, and perhaps provide a reality check for the lister. It also helps get away from the criticism of GA just being a "barnstar for articles." So let's make all new articles get a quick review. Walkerma 04:46, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
OK, I have adjusted the page so that now all articles should be listed on the nominations page. Let's see how it works. I have also aimed for what I hope is a reasonable suggestion on length, in the page I've just created more fully elucidating what GAs should be. The page is only what I personally think they should be at the moment so of course it will need other people's input. I definitely don't have a problem with GAs going on to become FAs, I just think that while all the excellent 5-10kb articles should be listed here, excellent 30kb articles probably deserve to be put through FAC than listed here. Worldtraveller 01:20, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
For a thread on its last legs, I would argue the following on some of Walk's points...
  • I doubt GA will be used for 1.0 and don't think it should be. It has the same problem as FA in arbitrariness of subject coverage but lacks FA's rigour.
The whole encyclopaedia suffers from arbitrariness of coverage! I should think GA will be used for 1.0, seeing as Walkerma is involved in 1.0 and reckons it will be useful :) I hope it will be useful - if they have to just use FAs it will be a long while before they've got enough to make a useable encyclopaedia... Worldtraveller 01:20, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
  • "GA is not just 'potential FA'." But it could be made so, and then would fit neatly into an established process rather than being a dubious plateau in itself.
Identifying articles as 'potentially good enough to become FAs' would probably take as much time as making them FAs. GA does have quite a distinct aim. Worldtraveller 01:20, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
  • "Users can see that at least a basic assessment has been done..." I don't really see that at present. If a review systems is set-up then what are we doing ultimately but making a redundant, parallel FA process? As for "...6 people for 6 weeks getting every detail 'just so'...", well, not quite. And again that's a problem with contributor patience not with process. Marskell 15:40, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

"Identifying articles as 'potentially good enough to become FAs' would probably take as much time as making them FAs." No, it would take exactly as long as this process takes. That's half the point. But alas, Marskell 07:28, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Introducing GAAuto...

Hi all,

I have made a Perl script called GAAuto to automatically generate the list on the article page. From the script's page:

The script could be made to deal with subpages but it would require some substantial reprogramming. I noticed the History subpage was only really being linked from the article page so I substituted it back. For the Trains subpage this wasn't the case but I still made the substitution. The script is largely run offline and manually so if necessary editors can adapt its output to deal with a few subpages.

The script can automatically generate the current list without error.

Cedars 15:57, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not so sure that this would be the best method to maintain the list going forward. Automated tools are all good and well, but adding Maglev train to the list today highlighted a couple issues for me. The first was that I had to add it to both the list here and the rail transport list's former sole location (which is also transcluded into the Trains project page). Shortly after I added it, the entry was moved, presumably by the script, to another section further up and had to be readjusted to its original location. The main reason for making the rail transport section into a transcluded list was to make it easier to maintain as part of the Trains project; when it's subst'ed back into the main list here, it introduces the potential for error in list synchronizations. Slambo (Speak) 21:36, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't know what happened with the Maglev train article. I think it may have been a synchronization error. Whatever caused it, the article now stays listed with subsequent updates of the list. I could modify the script to print a message when the trains section is altered and then update the subpage by hand. Unfortunately without making the script commit page changes by itself the script will probably never master subpages. Despite its downfalls, the script has helped keep the list clean of delisted articles and made sure the list is kept up-to-date far more frequently. Cedars 09:30, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Cedars, I am probably just being really dense but I don't quite understand what the script does. What is its input? Worldtraveller 01:06, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Several files it downloads from the Internet using cURL and (if some articles are not listed but are in the category) some user input telling the program how to classify such articles. It outputs two files one telling the user of the list's headings and the other being a properly formatted version of the revised list. Cedars 20:16, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Ready for policy status

What thoughts do others have on how we judge when this proposal is ready for policy status? SP-KP 00:28, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

It's a pretty active page now, I think it ought to be a guideline at least, isn't that the step before official policy? Homestarmy 02:49, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
How do we go about promoting it to guideline status? SP-KP 21:25, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I think we just vote or...something. I dunno if there's some sort of process we have to go through. Homestarmy 23:37, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I think Sj's points here need to be addressed, and also Worldtraveller's two points need to be resolved first. Walkerma 00:55, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

This page has value as an informal ego-boost; but any article that is not visibly flawed, and many that are, will eventually find some editor who will name it here, because opinions vary. None of those who saw the same article and didn't nominate it will have their estimates considered. If there is ever an effort to make this policy without a thorough change of the present process, it shall be nominated it for deletion. Septentrionalis 02:09, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes a straw poll should be conducted before this project gets the "Policy" status. CG 09:28, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I think SJ's points need to be given more thought, and I agree with his suggestion that this should remain 'proposed' until we have a much larger number of articles listed. Worldtraveller 01:05, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

WP:FA is neither policy nor guideline. Why should this be any different? —BorgHunter ubx (talk) 23:11, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I has a suggestion

I done been thinking see, and I was wondering if we could change how we upgrade pages to GAs. See what im thinking is that like many people are noting, many articles are being promoted to GA status, except it doesn't do much to lead to article improvement. So im thinking whenever articles get promoted to GA status, rather than just put the tag up, we make a section of the talk page on the article and copy all the criteria into it. Then we can go through each criteria one by one, listing how we thought the article met each category, naming any specifics, and noting any flaws we saw in the article under each category, whether or not it made it unable to have GA status. As an example:

What makes a good article?

A good article shares many characteristics with featured articles, and like featured content it must:
be well written

That's some good writing here

be factually accurate

Im not so sure about that "Christopher Columbus visited cambodia" comment, but the article does note that's probably wrong, so I guess it's ok

use a neutral point of view

Now that "and then the peaceful indians were savagely tortured by having Columbus come ashore, violating their sacred lands, and causing several of them to think depressing thoughts, how dare Columbus do that!" Comment seems a bit over the edge, but all in all, this article seems good.

be stable

I noticed you got into a 3 month edit war over how to spell "Aluminium", but that was weeks ago, it's stable now it seems

be referenced

Do reader rabbit prompts really count as sources for spelling? Might want to check that, but there certainly are references, don't see how it doesn't qualify in this category

wherever possible, contain images to illustrate it. The images should all be appropriately tagged.

I thought that photoshopped picture of a black hole ripping a corridor in the space time continuum was pretty spiffy, nice work

be comprehensible to an intelligent layman. Jargon may be acceptable but only after short description in plain words.

I thought your use of "antidisestablishmentarianism" was a bit over the top, but all in all the article wasn't that hard to read jargon-wise.

Good articles may not be as thorough and detailed as our featured articles, but should not omit any major facets of the topic.

This seems like a pretty good article to me, though if I may make a suggestion, try to go more in depth about how the moon was thought to be made out of cheese and how this affected the culture of Mexico.

Of course, that's just me making up stuff, but what about a format type of thing like this? If everyone who upgrades articles makes suggestions and notes things about the GA criteria on talk pages sort of like this, would that give the GA system more of a point for everyone? I think it would make the system seem more, well, system-y anyway, it certainly gives people more reason to pay attention when they upgrade articles at least. Homestarmy 14:30, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the simple critique used at WP:AA would work as a feedback method for GAs as well? For an example see this review. Walkerma 15:13, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Merge WP:GA and WP:PR

You know, there's constantly complaints that WP:FAC does a far better job of Peer Review than WP:PR. I think part of this is the fact that once you've gone through Peer Review, and followed up on all the suggestions... you merely have a better article. Whereas once you've gone through FAC, and followed all the suggestions and fixed all the complaints, your article gets a barnstar and might show up on the main page! I'm thinking that GA could make a great replacement for PR... do a review of the article, and then once that's done, you get the green plus symbol! I'm also thinking that for an even greater incentive, what if the "Did you know..." part of the main page used Good Articles instead of New Articles... that might very well encourage more people to be part of the review process. I think it'd lighten the load on FAC too. Fieari 20:06, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

i LIKE this idea. FAC gets lots of attention because no-one wants the FA "seal of approval" to be devalued. PR gets no attention from anyone. GA is criticzed for being too lax. solution: give PR a reward: the GA seal of approval, once all comments from PR are addressed. thereby giving GA a true, policy-based function. Zzzzz 20:29, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I think this is a terrible idea, and a perfect example of scope creep. Peer review is informal. Good article tags are (largely) informal. Putting them together would just make miles of red tape out of two processes that are supposed to be constructive and relaxed.
Anyone can put any article in peer review at any time, even if they have no hope of seeing it through to being a featured article, or even a "good" article. By the same token, as the system stands, people can be recognized for creating a good article without the need for committee consensus. If the two are merged, it will ruin both, and turn into just another FA circus.
The whole point of these processes is to provide informal methods of review and recognition. If it means that "devalues" the "GA" stamp, well, that's the nature of the beast. I'd rather have fewer responses to my PR requests, and see a few too many GA labels, than have to endure panels of obnoxious editors like on FAC. It's fine the way it is. Don't ruin it. Kafziel 21:13, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Fancruft

i added a suggestion that "fancruft" type articles should discuss the subject outside of its hermetically-sealed fictional universe, i.e. why the author/creator decided to make it, how they went about developing it, what other things influenced it, why its important to the world outside the fictional universe, etc etc. somebody rv'ed it saying "if its fancruft it shouldnt even be an article" so i added "fancruft is not acceptable" as a policy. somebody *else* rv'ed that without expln.

what is the consensus here? Zzzzz 19:24, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

As the person who reverted the second time, the reason for the revert is that significant changes to a policy page I believe it should be discussed before being made part of the policy. I also have no objection to a requirement that works dealing with fictional subjects be required to include some information on the subject's influence in the real world. The big problem is working out the wording of the addition so that it does the correct job. --Allen3 talk 00:03, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
"For "fancruft" type articles, significance outside of the "fictional universe" must be established and discussed, together with its process of authorship."

I think it may be outside the scope of this page to specify such a requirement for this specific type of article. I'd reckon the criteria requiring compelling prose aimed at the layman should cover this one. More detailed descriptions of what is expected of each type of article are usually defined by wikiprojects for the relevant subject area. Worldtraveller 00:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Here's another suggestion for wording, to get rid of the negative and combatative word "fancruft".
For articles dealing with fictional subjects, characters, objects, or locations, significance outside of the "fictional universe" must be established and discussed, together with its process of authorship.
"Fancruft", as I understand it, is any minutia of fandom that HAS no relevance outside of the fictional universe. What we want is ANY article on a fictional subject to make sure that it is understood that the subject is fictional, and treat it as such. Fieari 20:01, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
i support adding the above to the "comprehensiveness" clause of the GA policy. Zzzzz 22:02, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
if there is no objections by the weekend, i'll add this to the GA policy. Zzzzz 20:31, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Policy change?

Er, what? What exactly has recently changed? —BorgHunter ubx (talk) 23:08, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

It may have been a little late to put the notice up, but I am referring to the decision to have all potential good articles nominated. joturner 23:33, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
How long do you reckon the notice should stay there? Worldtraveller 16:43, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to give it a week. Nifboy 06:18, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
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