Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive 80

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Another inflexibility in the autoformatting system

Discussion on this page appears to have uncovered yet another disadvantage of WikiMedia's date-formatting mechanism: it won't allow the final (parenthetical) comma after North American date formatting without forcing it on other formats (which do not want it). In other words, you can't autoformat "The October 5, 1999, stockmarket correction ...", without forcing the display of "The 5 October 1999, stockmarket correction", which non-Americans will object to.

Here's a list of the dysfunctional aspects of the autoformatting system.

  • It's conflated with the linking function, thus forcing the intrusive blue colour and, depending on settings, underlining, for the display. This has all of the disadvantages of overlinking, such as the tendency to dilute the distinctive appearance of high-value links.
  • It won't allow the North American final comma.
  • It won't allow the economical rendering of date ranges, such as October 5–7, 1999, such as MOSNUM favours for percentage and unit ranges, instead forcing both dates to be spelled out in full hedgehog fashion (October 5, 1999 – October 7, 1999).
  • It won't allow the date-slash, specifically mentioned as an option by MOSNUM (the night of May 30/31).
  • It works only for Wikipedians who have selected a format (a tiny proportion of readers).

It's little wonder that I resisted the partial backflip on the relaxation of the mandatory use of autoformatting in the recent overhaul of MOSNUM. I want to put it to you that we should not be insisting that dates are "normally autoformatted". I, for one, actively encourage WPians not to use it until it's fixed. Tony 13:11, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

  • This, however, seems sensible. Simply not autoformatting date ranges would avoid a lot of this; and unless May 30/31 is followed by a year, it wouldn't be autoformatted anyway. A Bugzilla report should get the autoformatting to deal with the comma, both producing it when necessary and absorbing it when the date is changed from American to British English; although the latter runs the risk that the final comma is marking both the year and the end of phrase. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:42, 16 August 2007 (UTC) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:39, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Saying nothing about the flatly ungrammatical "the attacks of September 11, 2001 are the" is contrary to the purpose of the MOS. The judgment that the automagic system is more important than American grammar is for editors to make; I think it is clear how I would make it, but others may differ. We should at least discuss the issue; silence encourages literate editors to add the comma, without realizing that there is a problem. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:55, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
    • What Chris removed was the statement of fact:
      In American English, the month-day-year style of dating ("The attacks of September 11, 2001, were among the most serious.") treats the year as parenthetical; as in the example, the year is divided off from the rest of the sentence by commas. If the year is immediately followed by other puncutation ("on September 11, 2001; the world..."), the trailing comma is omitted.
    Does he dispute this? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:36, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
    • I don't think any of us dispute it, but the problem remains that you can't autoformat and add the comma, because it will screw up the date in non-US formats. This, I suggest, is why the phenomenon of not inserting the commain the US format, contrary to what now appears to have been standard practice all along, emerged in the first place on wiki (non-US WPians, of course, come along and remove any comma because it looks odd in their display).
This is yet another reason, IMV, that we need to weaken the "normally" in the guideline for "Autoformatting and linking". Let me warn you that moving the developers over at Bugzilla is like trying to shift an ocean liner. We tried for a second time (with 84 signatures, as well written argument, and no objections) and failed WRT the relatively simple task of producing a parallel script (something like <<date>>, but whatever they felt like choosing) that would not link. I'm not a developer—nothing like it—but something tells me that they'll throw up their hands at being asked to solve all of the problems in the list above (well, the first four). I think the non-linking, the US comma, and the date-range issues are the priorities, in that order. The US comma is not easy to fix, because the function will have to distinguish between instances where there's another punctuation sign in place of the comma. Possible, but not straightforward.
I know that SMcCandlish is keen to make another push, and has hinted that this time we need to start higher up the food chain. Tony 23:38, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that non-implementation will bother many American readers, anyway. The comma after the year is more commonly dropped than used. Askari Mark (Talk) 03:04, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Anderson, months-days are explicitly enabled by autoformatting: May 30 responds to the order of the setting. The slashed date renders a broken link. Tony 06:43, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Note that month-days are only autoformatted for some of the date settings: May 30 and 30 May do not generate the same thing with an ISO date setting. --PEJL 08:15, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

So get it fixed. — The Storm Surfer 17:14, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

I support any initiative to move off of the wikilink method of date formatting. Any support to the assertion that a "tiny proportion of readers" don't have user preferences set? (Or are we assuming that more visitors are just readers than editors?) Perhaps a developer would consider making trailing punctuation work the same as [[plural]]s pull in nonpunctuation; or maybe the punctuation mark can sit inside whatever enclosure a date uses. I disagree with the rationale that trailing commas don't "bother American readers". While that may be true, wrong is still wrong.—Twigboy 04:30, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


Tony1 is revertwarring for the following text:

  • The month-day-year style of dating ("The attacks of September 11, 2001, were among the most serious.") treats the year as parenthetical; commas are inserted before the year and, unless it is followed by another form of punctuation, after it.

to replace

The month-day-year style of dating ("The attacks of September 11, 2001, were among the most serious...") treats the year as parenthetical; it should be separated off by commas at both ends, unless already bounded by other punctuation.'

Tell me, what circumstance would give these sentences different meanings?

It may be possible to replace bounded with followed; but the clumsy repetition of it in the top text is no improvement. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:57, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Another unfortunate effort at mindless precision appears to have provoked this edit. The text was
  • Yearless dates (5 March, March 5) are inappropriate unless the year is obvious from the context. If there would be any doubt, include the year.

As phrased, this would prohibit Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated on 5 November; and Kandolin attempted to clarify that this was not intended — as I trust it is not. The proper response is to recast, so it only prohibits ambiguity. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:10, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

In the second example, the antecedent of "it" is "style", which therefore makes the wording wrong. Using "it" a grand total of twice in one sentence is no crime, and is probably preferable to the awkward phrase "separated off". — Aluvus t/c 01:13, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Modern times

Quite often in modern times or is now considered should not be replaced with "as of 2007". When they refer to the present state of scholarship, they can approximate "since 1950", "since 1895", or "since the Renaissance". To state that scholarship holds X as of 2007 implies that we have a source written, or at least published, this year; often we don't. We could require "since [time]", but that would be very difficult to source, and an invitation to original research. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:21, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

in modern times is just too vague. Remove now from the second one and it might be OK in some contexts. Tony 06:25, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
If you wish to include some other discussion of them, do so; but they don't belong where they were. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:36, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Yearless dates

The recent (reverted) changes in the "yearless dates" subsection concerned the referencing of holidays. Under the prevailing wording, the following sentence violates the guideline:

  • January 1 is New Year's Day.

Since annual holidays do not predicate on any particular year, why not make an exception for it? —Kanodin 18:52, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Reworded to Yearless dates (5 March, March 5) can be ambiguous. Either ensure that the context makes obvious what year is meant, or include the year.
I think this removes the implication that the sentence violates MOS; do we need more? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:10, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I think the Jan 1 example still violates the MOS. The revised wording requires an editor to include a definite year, like January 1, 2007, or to ensure that January 1 refers to a definite year by virtue of context. A holiday implies no year and there is no yearly context (except historically). It happens every year; implying a year or writing a year would be inappropriate.
Simple alternative:
* Yearless dates (5 March, March 5) can be ambiguous. Either ensure that the context makes obvious what year is meant (if any), or include the year.
Complex alternative:
* Yearless dates (5 March, March 5) can be ambiguous. If the date refers to a recurring event, then specify how the date recurs. Otherwise, either ensure that the context makes obvious what year is meant, or include the year.
This sounds anal, but you know someone will hold other editors to the letter of the MOS, regardless of ignore all rules. —Kanodin 06:08, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
It says can be ambiguous. The wording is fine, except that "ambiguous" is wrong; ambi- means both, so "unclear" would be better. Tony 06:24, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
We are writing English, not Latin. The OED definition is Admitting more than one interpretation, or explanation; of double meaning, or of several possible meanings; equivocal. This explicitly permits "several possible meanings", and English usage clearly makes no such distinction. Since we use disambiguation freely, and as a quasi-technical term (see any disambiguation page), ambiguous is actually better here.
I suggest, and will include: Note: This caution does not apply to describing recurring events, such as "January 1 is New Year's Day", as there is no ambiguity to be resolved. It would be artful to quote our usage below: "dates other than 1 January were used as the start of the year"; but this is probably too long. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:02, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
No, you won't include it, or I'll revert. It's bloat, the whole thing. Why does can not provide sufficient lattitude for editors to work out for themselves that "January 1 is NYD" doesn't need a year attached? It's just too silly. Tony 15:33, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
I wrote can; but Kanodin wants more. Kanodin's complaint, which he has made several times, is clearly a genuine worry. He may be right to worry; I have seen enough semiliterate uses of the MOS by the half-educated not to include this pre-emptively, since he asks. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:40, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
  • The principle will need to be stated first; then the example; that was one reason I reverted. But I'm unconvinced that your "can" isn't sufficient to solve the problem. Tony 16:20, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
    • When they consistitute a single sentence? Harmless, I suppose, but that is "silly". Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:44, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Surely the "(if any)" revision is small enough? The verbose versions are admittedly more cumbersome, and I would like to keep things simple. The ambiguity sentence does not inform the reader what needs clarity. The sentence following it, in prescribing how to remedy the ambiguity, mandates one of two options: (1) implying a specific year, or (2) writing a particular year. The "(if any)" qualification allows an editor to imply that a yearless date refers to no particular year. —Kanodin 19:09, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
I considered (if any). The problem with only can is, if I understand you correctly, that it doesn't make clear in which cases yearless dates should be left alone, but forces the reader to deduce that we mean holidays and other recurrent events; if we are content to trust that every reader will follow this implication, why add anything? I think (if any) has the same problem. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:08, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I like the current wording:
  • Yearless dates (5 March, March 5) can be ambiguous. Include the year if the meaning is unclear. There is no such ambiguity with recurring events, such as "January 1 is New Year's Day".
Kanodin 07:40, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Anderson, please cooperate and collaborate

There are too many reverts happening, because you act unilaterally, without talking things through here first. It's not a good look for the page. None of us owns MOSNUM; while there's often a bit of push and pull, when I see seven or eight of your edits in a row, some of them changing policy, I draw breath. Can you please cooperate? Tony 23:45, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

There are too many reverts happening because you revert even patently correct statements of English grammar, such as Michael Hardy's, below. Please stop being disruptive. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:46, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
It's a serious problem when you try to deflect such a critical comment. Tony 15:34, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
It's a fact that August has 31 days, that dates higher than 31 are incorrect, make WP look unprofessional, and should not be used, and that August 491 is laughably incorrect. But the manual should not have instructions added except by consensus, so it would be wrong for me to take it upon myself to insert those observations into the manual. And their being correct does not make them immune from reversion. Chris the speller 16:40, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Certain distinctions not mentioned here

There is a difference in meaning between

Every number except one


Every number except 1.

When one writes "There are seven reasons for this", one writes "seven" and not "7", but when one writes "The only two prime numbers that were mentioned in that paragraph were 7 and 43", it would be incorrect, in my view, to write "seven and 43". I've adhered to that convention hundreds or perhaps thousands of articles here. When one is using "7" as a noun to refer to the mathematical object about which one is writing, it's not at all the same as saying "There are seven reasons".

I think this manual should make all this explicit. Michael Hardy 14:33, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Of course it should. If any editor disagrees with the substance here, please say so. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:03, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Mmm, glad to see that you're encouraging measured discussion and feedback here. Tony 15:27, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Reversion of hastily inserted point on the US comma and autoformatting

No, consensus had not been reached. The following text needs to be throught through further and, at the very least, the English improved before being slapped into the Manual.

    • The use of punctation after the year creates problems for the autoformatting system; which will translate the standard American usage "The attacks of September, 2001, were among the most serious...." to the ungrammatical "The attacks of 11 September 2001, were among the most serious...." Editors differ on how to deal with these conflicting demands; one solution is to add the comma and not wikilink.

Tony 16:14, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

So what flaws do you see this time? Or is this another figment, like your treatment of ambiguous and only? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:27, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
The use of the semicolon in the first sentence is pretty obviously incorrect, which is ironic in a note about the grammatical usage of commas. I'm also not sure there is any real consensus about what MOSNUM should say on this matter. — Aluvus t/c 23:48, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Yup, and the first clause is not quite right; punctuation doesn't always create problems, when, for example, a comma would normally occur whatever the format ("After [date], the legislation will be invalid"). That's one reason the software is going to be very hard to fix, and is probably also the reason that this issue has remained hidden for so long. Why is there a four-dot ellipsis at the end of the example? It's wrong unless the quoted material continues after that point. See MOS on this. I'm not entirely happy with the framing of the presence or absence of the comma as "grammatical"—it may or may not be, but let's not fly a flag here on one side of that issue. I don't think it's worth raising the confusion and indecision WRT this technical/stylistic issue to the level of a guideline ("Editors differ on how to deal with these conflicting demands") and the touting of just one solution. It's too arbitrary, and I wonder why editors can't just deal with the problem now, without the guideline. This also needs to be thought through in relation to a larger strategy for dealing with the autoformatting mess as a whole. "Not wikilink", for example, is in partial conflict with the phrase "normally" in the "Autoformatting and linking" section. Two asterisks were used, where one should have appeared.
Now, Anderson, unless you desist from your current strategy of launching in to make significant changes without allowing sufficient time here for discussion, I've a mind to revert everything you do. I'm tired of logging in and having to spend up to an hour cleaning up after you. And you can't even be nice about it: your attitude is pretty abrasive and self-righteous, and I find myself being ruder than I like to be in response. Tony 01:08, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I note this declaration of intent to revert war. Tony should remember, but apparently does not, that he began with incivility in edit summaries; if this is his good behaviour, what is his bad? Horresco referens. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:03, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Again, you deflect the issue. It's always someone else's fault, isn't it. Tony 23:12, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Tony; PMAnderson, pls desist from changing this article without consensus. Some of us need to refer to this article daily, and this kind of editing is destabilizing the MOS. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:52, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

3.4. Percentages and 4.3. Unit symbols and abbreviations

  • 3.4. It is said that "[t]he symbol is unspaced (71%, not 71 %)". There are contradictory views elsewhere on Wikipedia - Percent_sign#Spacing. Does the manual have to be unambiguous in this matter or shouldn't it present rationale for both notations according to the NPOV?
  • 4.3. It is said that "[v]alues and unit symbols are spaced (25 kg, not 25kg). There are two exceptions: angles in degrees are unspaced (45°); and Celsius and Farenheit temperatures may be either spaced or unspaced (15°C or 15 °C)". This is clearly obsolete comparing to newer discoveries of Wikipedians like ISO 31-0 or Celsius#Formatting or smaller discussions on other units pages. There are three exceptions - #°, #′, #″; but not #℃ (correct: # ℃) in short. 01:05, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Your first point: I've inserted into the text of that article a note about the insistence of WP's MOS and other authorities on unspaced percentage signs. This was decided here by consensus. Your second point: you're quite right—it's been changed here, but not at MOS. I'll do this now. Tony 01:16, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Later: Well, it was changed here about a week ago by a non-regular user, and MOS itself has the properly worked through change; but here, the text is still showing the earlier guideline:

Values and unit symbols are spaced (25 kg, not 25kg). There are two exceptions: angles in degrees are unspaced (45°); and Celsius and Farenheit temperatures may be either spaced or unspaced (15°C or 15 °C).


Values and unit symbols are spaced (25 kg, not 25kg), including degrees of temperature (−15 °C). Angles are an exception to this (180°). Angular degrees, minutes and seconds are formatted 45°, 12', 59".

It seems reasonable to go along with the ISO rules about spacing. I propose this wording, for both MOSNUM and MOS:

Values and unit symbols are spaced (25 kg, not 25kg). The exceptions are degrees, minutes and seconds for angles and coordinates (“the coordinate is 5° 24′ 21.12″ N”, “the pathways are at a 180º angle”, but “the average temperature is 18 ºC”).

I guess non-breaking spaces should have been added to the coordinate example. Does anyone object, apart from Anderson? Tony 02:40, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone support "The exception is degrees..."? The actual MOS text is better, although a semicolon after (180°) would be an improvement. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:13, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
All you have to do is to suggest the improvement—not to try to scrore your smarmy points during this process. And before you do that, fix up your own comment (read MOS on ellipsis dots). Tony 23:10, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Non-breaking spaces are commonsense; they prevent line wrap. They should be used wherever a number shouldn't be separated from what precedes or follows it. Highways and roads come to mind (Route 37). {{nowrap}} is an alternative. Coordinates included. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:49, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

WP:DATE as applied to athletics articles

There is a great deal of controversy surrounding how WP:DATE is applied to articles that are discussing athletic related topics. Many years are wikilinked to "season" articles within a given context. For example, many people like to wikilink 2002 to the 2002 in basketball article. The debate does not center around "is that appropriate" so much as - where in the article should that be done. For example, at Steve Nash - there is an infobox but none of the years in the "former teams" section are wikilinked to the relative "article". Similarly, in the same "relative section" on Barry Bonds you will see that the year 1993 is wikilinked to 1993 in baseball. There are some references to this throughout the WP:DATE article, but they seem somewhat unfocused and don't really allow for a clear understanding of the consensus. I would think we need to addressed better because it can also extend itself to things like the Al Pacino article because of 2003 in film. Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  21:00, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Again, the Baseball WikiProject already had this conflict, and it was agreed upon that the links in the infoboxes linking to ___ in [whatever] weren't any helpful in the infoboxes. The links aren't helpful in deepening the reader's understanding of the topic, and WP:DATE says "Link to one of these pages only if it is likely to deepen readers' understanding of a topic," a criterion which I believe this fails to meet. Ksy92003(talk) 21:09, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Ksy92003 - You and I have had intense disputes before and currently, I would appreciate if you would not follow me to every page i comment on and misstate information. Seeing as Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds (amongst thousands of others - Ty Cobb) do wikilink the information, it might help to appropriately present what is going on. Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  21:16, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
You're criticizing me for coming here? If you think that you can begin a discussion about something that I'm related to, then you're mistaken. The reason why most of those articles have yet to be changed is the person who was gonna make those changes was Soxrock (talk · contribs), who was blocked for sockpuppetry shortly after, so nobody was able to do that. And I am not misstating information. I've told you, and Chrisjnelson has told you, that linking the years doesn't aid in the understanding of the article. It doesn't help the reader understand what it is, does it? Ksy92003(talk) 21:26, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not criticizing you from coming here. I'm saying that if you like to point things out to people , please do a better job of reporting the information. it seems unlikely that if there was an agreement there to remove the said content - that two of the most notable current athletes would have had their aritcles brought up to speed. Further more, that project, just as with any project, can certainly establish its' own consensus. However, it is difficult to apply one wikiprojects consensus to all of wikipedia. Then again, I don't have any evidence that the wikiproject did have a consensus on this. Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  21:29, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Since you decided to bring up the discussion here, I assume that you believe that there should be links. Since that is the case, how do you feel that it helps the reader understand the topic? In other words, the example that CJ gave, how do those links on Jay Cutler's infobox help the reader understand the Jay Cutler article? Ksy92003(talk) 21:35, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • You can believe that, but you aren't correct. I probably lean more on the side of inclusion of season wikilinks, ultimately - I believe that there should be a clarification of the points here that will allow others to understand what the current consensus is. Then, if that needs to be addressed as consensus can change, then we tackle that issue. As for you and Chrisjnelson (talk · contribs), you can speak for yourselves. But his latest declaration of "then I will continue" is not going to help the matter. Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  21:58, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I can't say anythign about CJ because I have nothing to do with what he does. We share the same perspective, so I'm not going to tell him not to do what I was doing. And I don't know why you come out and straight-up say "you aren't correct." This isn't a matter of right or wrong. This is a matter of which best improves the encyclopedia. And I don't feel that the links improve it at all. Additionally, I am fairly certain that the only reason you contest this is because I have been the one to make the edits. You have never yet said why there should be links. You've continued to revert without even giving me a reason other than that the reverts were controversial. Now, all of a sudden you bring it here without any reason. This is something you've done to me several times with the ANI and 3RR. Ksy92003(talk) 22:16, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
You said "Since you decided to bring up the discussion here, I assume that you believe that there should be links." My response to that was - you aren't correct. That had nothing to do with the issue at hand. I have addressed your behavior and will continue to do so, through the appropriate avenues. This post is not about you and I but about WP:DATE. Let's not have more than one argument at a time. You insist on removing wiki links to seasons in one section of the article but not in others. What you should be citing is "Do not autoformat dates that are: in date ranges (see below)." That's all you need to say. Now, that aside, and as this is so far off the beaten path, i'll start another subsection here to try and get this dealt with. Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  22:29, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Dates ranges in infoboxes/templates

In an attempt to refocus the previous discussion, i want to simplify this issue for people. There seems to be a wide variety of opinions on the wiki linking of date ranges within infoboxes. WP:DATE has some very controdictory statemetns on how to address this and I think we should dedicate some article space to this. I would suspect that we could title the section "Dates in Templates". Thoughts? Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  22:32, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry to come late to this; the in year links shouldn't be used unless they add specific WP:CONTEXT to the article in question. Excessive links clutter the article unnecessarily, detracting from the worthwhile links. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:41, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Hey Sandy - that's the "crux" of the debate. The fact that the MOS says "no links in date ranges" but that it is okay when it adds context is somewhat counterintuitive. There seems to be a drive amongst people to adopt a new consensus - take a look at Barry Bonds and Michael Jordan. Bonds links the information and Jordan doesn't. To say that the bonds stuff should be removed is logical; however, a large number of people have made a push to make it acceptable. So perhaps we should move forward with a section in the article that addresses how to use Date ranges within templates. Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  23:10, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Similarly, we need to consider here is how do we deal with single years listed in infoboxes. For example: If i list * Team I played for (2007), i believe it should be dealt with in the same way as * Another team I played for (2003-2006). Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  02:56, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • One rule may not suit all of sports very well. For example, if Brett Favre plays for the Packers from 1992 until 2009 (or whatever), wikifying those two numbers doesn't help very much. But in something like college football where most players only start for 1-2 years, wikifying seasons is helpful to navigation. I think definitely single seasons or individually listed seasons (1999, 2002, 2003, 2006) should be wikified, but I don't see any compelling reason to wikify long ranges. --B 03:13, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
This is not unique to sports. One area it "could apply" is with films. As for the NFL v CFB link, is there any difference? A legitimate point of view would be that seeing the links to 1992 and to 2009 would help identify how much (or how little) things changed over an extensive period of time. It is important to reiterate that this is not meant to extend to areas outside of navboxes and such. Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  03:43, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
The only difference really is that you aren't going to have a long range for college years. So it's a difference of degree, not of kind. I'd take it one step further, though. Linking to 2004 in baseball for someone who played for the Yankees from 2004-2006 isn't really meaningful. But linking to a team-specific page (2004 New York Yankees if it existed) is probably helpful. I don't really see any reason at all to link to 2004 in baseball. Awhile back, I created a template called {{cfb link}} that will link to the best available team-specific page (the first blue link of 2004 Richmond Spiders football team, Richmond Spiders football, Richmond Spiders, University of Richmond) - something like that could be done to link to a team-year page if it exists, otherwise leave it as plain text. Is that something that would be useful and mutually agreeable? Only link if there is a team-year page or something otherwise more appropriate than 2004 in baseball, 2004 in sports, 2004 in American football, etc? --B 03:56, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Well I think we're starting to get into a closely related, but different topic - what we link to is not the same as "what do we link". If that template helps to identify what "related" page is useful - then it could be. Pardon my poor choice of words here - but if this convention is to apply outside of "sports" (as it should) - then i think we're better off going with a "specific topic year" instead of a "specific organization year". I would link to 2004 NFL season and not 2004 San Diego Chargers season. For example - dealing with films - i don't know that there is an equivalent link to 2004 San Diego Chargers season. I would identify 2004 NFL season in the same manner as I do 2004 in film. Let me know if that sounds confusing. Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  04:06, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think for a football player, the team-year page is the parent topic for that player. If Michael Vick joined the Falcons in 2001 or led them to the playoffs in 2004, then linking to the team-season page is useful. In other words, I think that Star Wars I : 1999 in film :: Michael Vick : 2001 Atlanta Falcons. --B 04:43, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Hard to say - this "appears" to be one of those where we're going to have to get some outside opinion. If it was Michael Vick (2001-2007), i'd link to the NFL season article. That "appears" to be how it's done on articles like Bonds. I think there are some more issues that are "just under" the surface, but I want to see how this discussion goes before we inundate it with all the "sub issues". Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  05:02, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
For ranges, especially, I fail to see any real reason to link to individual seasons or what have you. For Michael Vick, to me I don't see any purpose to link his years to NFL seasons. So he played for the Falcons first in 2001. Does linking 2001 to 2001 NFL season help the reader in understanding what that is? There isn't anything significant about that other than the fact that he played his first game that season. What one man does doesn't affect the entire league, which is why I don't think that they should be linked to ___ NFL season; those are independent events that don't affect each other. I mean it's just a year. In the infobox, it reads as just a number. An example: if somebody made $1 million, you wouldn't link that to million because you don't need to go to another article to know that a million is a large number. You don't need to link 2001 to anything really because you know what 2001 is. You know that it's a year and links shouldn't be provided unless it is going to help deepen the reader's understanding of the context. Linking to 2001 NFL season isn't gonna help the reader know that it's 2001. Even linking it to 2001 doesn't seem to do that much because you already know that it's a year, and that's all that you need to know when reading the infobox. I don't see how linking it to anything would help the reader understand that 2001 is a year, and especially how 2001 NFL season helps the reader know that it's 2001. Ksy92003(talk) 06:35, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Hmm... I originally thought that linking ranges for the years players played for specific teams would be useless and messy-looking. However, I do agree with the earlier point that we link to the team's season pages. By the way, it does exist: 2004 New York Yankees season. There is currently a project to create these pages for all teams for all seasons in the MLB, but I don't know about other sports. In instances where years are listed because achievements were made (teams list years when they took various championships), or when the year is just mentioned in the prose, it should link to that year in whatever sport it is. -- Silent Wind of Doom 17:38, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
So we have two issues a) should it be allowed at all and b) what is considered appropriate for direction. Remember, this has to extend beyond sports related topics if it's going to be inserted here. Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  02:22, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
The problem with piped year links is that few folk will bother to hit a year link, assuming that it will end in one of those irrelevant, unfocused year articles. Tony 09:54, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Featured Articles apparently do not have to be metric accessible

It has been pointed out to me that two of three articles (at the time of this comment):

got Featured Article status recently. Yet they are not metric accessible. Is this a systematic failure of the MOS to achieve its objectives? Lightmouse 10:38, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I've just read these articles and I must say they're a bit disappointing. Especially for Featured Article status. Many people in the world would fail to understand the dimensions involved. Obviously the MOS is not that important. Jim77742 11:00, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

These articles should not have been promoted. They should be brought to WP:FAR unless the contributors add conversions. Tony 13:32, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Many articles get by the FAC process in spite of deficiencies. You should first raise the issues on the talk page, attempt to work them out, and if progress isn't timely, then bring them to WP:FAR. Bringing an article to FAR for metric accessibility would be pointy; FAR takes a month, and an individual editor can fix that in one sitting. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:46, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Sandy's right. Tony 06:20, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

ISO 8601 dates

This guideline says "ISO 8601 dates (1976-05-12) are uncommon in English prose, and are generally not used in Wikipedia." However, most of our citation templates ({{cite book}}, {{cite news}}, {{cite web}} and so forth) either require or recommend ISO 8601 formatting for dates, especially for the "accessdate" field. Should the guideline acknowledge this, or should the templates and their documentation change? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 05:56, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Our citation templates aren't prose; I'm not sure they generate prose. It's probably worth considering what dateformat they should be generating; if we could have a settable article option, like DEFAULTSORT, but overridable for the handful of users that set date preference, that might be best. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:39, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Please archive

This page is getting so long it is causing both IE and Firefox to crash on my system (with 100% reproducibility; it's not a one-time fluke). 12:51, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Done. Jɪmp 08:57, 19 September 2007 (UTC)