Wikipedia talk:Policies and guidelines/Archive 1

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Archive 1 | Archive 2

First of all, I'm not sure whether it's appropriate to add comments to a talk page at the top or bottom of the page. If someone could let me know, that would be great. Furthermore, and I could have read this whole page and other pages to find the answer to this question (but I am far too lazy), what is the system for giving biliographical information for a wikipedia article? I am interested in adding to the Charlemagne page, but all of the information I have came from the lectures of a certain professor. If I were writing an essay or paper on the subject, I would list him as a reference in my bibliography. Is this necessary on Wikipedia? If it is not, what is the limit as to what is? Almost nobody has knowledge without a source, yet most wiki pages I have read have no bibliography whatsoever. Am I to assume that as long as serious plagiarism isn't occuring, that listing knowledge based on easily acquirable sources is okay without a bibliography? Your input is greatly appreciated. Salami swami 08:57, Mar 6, 2004 (UTC)

When providing a list, think about a meaningful sort criteria. Time (of birth, creation) often has some relevance -- it is interesting to trace the life of a composer through the succession of her works, for example. Famousness is a less useful criteria for sorting, it is much too rough. Whatever be the criteria, make it explicit for readers, and people who later want to insert another bullet into your list, e.g. by putting (YEAR) in there.

Sorting by alphabet should only be used as a last resort, when no relevant criteria exists. This ordering is mainly useful for searching (and that only if one knows the beginning of the sort key), a function much more readily accomplished by your computer (e.g. via a browsers "Find" function). Another aspect how Wikipedia differs from paper. --User:Robbe

I've been supplying articles for a while now, so i thought i'd throw in this and see what people say: A lot of articles are nothing but large listings, see city for example. How about relocating the listings of things to the plurals of the things, so in this case city could contain a definition of what a city is and cities would be a listing of known (and lesser known) cities? The same would work for transfer the listing to rivers should work nicely. So, how about that one? --Anders Törlind

Well, this is what various people have been doing already, it seems (e.g., philosophers). I don't much like this. I personally would prefer the lists to be located on some page that very clearly describes their content. Having both city and cities would be a bit confusing: suppose I want a list of cities and I don't know the Wikipedia convention; then where do I go? So it would be better, as far as I'm concerned, to have city and city listing or listing of cities or something like that. --User:LMS
The "X listing" sounds good to me. It also minimizes accidental linkage to the list page. I think i'll just go ahead :-) --Anders Törlind

I am a bit doubtful whether these listings are good encyclopedia content. My mind is not made up, but for me it seems to hinge both on the size of the list, and the criteria for listing. Examples: a list of philosophers is probably useful, a list of philosophers who smoked probably not (too specialised); a list of cities is probably not that useful (full set too large); a list of cities with more than 1 million inhabitants probably is (managable set, clear criteria).

For the more specialised needs, searching is better (e.g. "philosopher AND (smok* OR tobacco OR cigar*)" [this syntax does not work on Wikipedia]). Working on better means to search is certainly worth the effort, for example searching just the pages linked (to a certain max depth) from a specific page (say, find "cigar" on any page directly linked from "Philosopher listing"). --User:Robbe

This may sound stupid I'm not sure but, it seems like to me all the lists could be put in a 'List:' namespace allowing better format. 05:01, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Whenever you change something on a page because of a request, report, or discussion on the associated /Talk page, be sure to refactor

See also : Wikipedia policy/Talk accordingly.

Q: What is the target audience for the articles? Obviously, one would write an article targeted at 8-year olds on a very different level from one targeted at Ph.D.'s. I have generally tried to aim for the level of college students, who are not necessarily experts in the given field. Is this the appropriate audience? -- User:Matt Stoker

Q: Many of the pages on letters (A, etc.), languages, and related terminology use conventions such as /a:/ and [N] to indicate pronunciation or phonetic variations. It wasn't until I stumbled across the SAMPA article that I could interpret them correctly. Would it be unreasonable to request that when a specialized symbology or terminology is used, a link pointing to an explanation be provided?

I think we could use software support and a community standard here (let's decide on the standard first, then we can work on the software). Whatever method we use to represent pronunciations, it should be possible to derive IPA from it unambiguously so that real IPA can be used sometime in the future without having to re-edit all the pages. SAMPA is certainly one such system, though I gather some dislike it for being overly complex. The system used by the folks on the sci.lang Usenet group is another. I do understand though that such systems are not simple to understand for novices, so maybe a simplified one would be appropriate. I'm not a linguist, so I don't have an informed opinion on what would be best--but I do have definite opinions on how the data ought to be represented in the Wiki database and on the Web.

With software support, we can have our cake and eat it too--that is, it will be possible for the authors to include an IPA-based pronunciation guide, and have the software translate that into any display form, perhaps based on a user preference, and even create sound clips. -- User:Lee Daniel Crocker

Many further comments appear at talk:Language

I searched on World War 2 and found no matches. So on the World War II page, I added World War 2, except in a white font that should be invisible in most people's browsers (because it is on a white background). We could add lists of keywords onto a page in this manner to improve the search engine results. This will work so long as we do not switch to a different method of indexing (which we may have to do).

Actually, for a different method, we could add something like keywords: world war two, Dwight Eisenhower, Winston Churchil, Pearl Harbor, etc., but make that invisible, and teach the search engine to look only at the keywords in that list. This would make it easy for anyone to add keywords without dealing with meta tags, xml, or other things the average user might not understand.

Strongly disagree. To start with, what happens if I have my window colors set up differently, or if I am working with a text-only program, or copy the contents to some such environment?

OK, but why not just add keywords, visible, to the bottom of every page? So the end of article scheme would be (approximately): "See also" then a line, then "Keywords" followed by a list of keywords (unlinked). Would be useful for a variety of purposes. I think it's worth considering. The only trouble I have with it is that it seems like too much trouble. We've already got thousands of articles that would need keywords, if we started adding them! Ambiguously yours, User:LMS

Never use the phrase 'of course' in an article. 'Of course' assumes the reader shares the author's context and perspetive and reaches the same obvious and intuitive conclusions. This is not always the case. Do not assume what the reader knows. Additionally, 'of course' is authoritarian and brooks no dissent, and is used when one wants to tell and assert rather than show and explain. This is not the attitude we should aim for in Wikipedia.

This is just wrong.  ;-) The reason why this phrase is sometimes useful is that, in order to keep a line of reasoning flowing, one must sometimes say something that is totally uncontroversial. (Yes, some things are totally uncontroversial.) The point of saying them is to explain the context, and one doesn't want to lead the reader to think that the context-setting is at all controversial. So you say "of course" to alert the reader that, yes, indeed, the point you're making just now really is as obvious as it appears to be.

Of course, this can be overused.

The Nirvana page included two entries, one for the band Nirvana and one for the Buddhist concept of nirvana. I created two new pages, one for each entry, and on the Nirvana page linked to both with a brief description of the contents of each page. Because there are countless cases where we will have this problem (Alabama is a state and a band, Paul Simon is a singer and a Senator from Illinois, et cetera ad infinitum) some solution will be necessary. WikiPedians can check out my solution and comment.

One fun way to WikiOff is to hit the RandomPage link, then search whatever page comes up for a topic that hasn't been edited yet. Then you add something for that topic.

Let's post links to PublicDomainResources (for both images and text)!

I would guess that the policy is that the contents is licensed by the GNUFreeDocumentationLicense. Since I think that this information is important I will boldly add that to the HomePage. --LinusTolke

You were very right to do so. I am astonished that no one thought to do so before now. -- User:Larry Sanger

Q. For the Math articles there is a crying need to have more symbols, like the Greek alphabet, Integral and Summation symbols, infinity, and more, as well as the capability to show graphs, depict figures, and much more. Are there any tools to do this, other than linking to a another web page? RoseParks

A. I can't answer the question definitively but I can say that you can easily link to images elsewhere. So, perhaps as a temporary solution, you can always upload, elsewhere, an image, then link to it from Wikipedia. The wiki programmers must know more, though...

A2. The next release of the wiki software (usemod 0.92) will allow special characters to be used like ∞ for the infinity symbol, Δ for the Delta symbol (the triangle), etc. See the list of standard characters for more information. Most graphical browsers should implement these common symbols. For now, and for other symbols later, an image link to another site will be required. (I'm not sure if image uploading will make it into the next release, but it is a planned feature.) --CliffordAdams (working on the wiki code today)

I think we should discuss references (bibliography but not only) if this going to be an encyclopedia.

  • Human knowledge is still very much in books.
  • To avoid bias it seems important to gather evidence and to acknowledge the sources we have drawn our knowledge upon.----

One Way to Process a Wiki First

I've noticed that the GNU General Public License is posted. It is under following restriction:

 Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document,
but changing it is not allowed.

Does this restriction actually prevent us from putting the license in a Wikipedia article, since anyone has the power to edit it?

Nope. The GPL does not require us to prevent people from breaking the rules, merely to inform them what they are. If we could post the license as read only, that'd be ideal...

I would have to disagree: policy says that we should license all our articles to the public under GFDL. However, nobody (maybe excluding RMS) has the right to offer the text of the GPL to the public under GFDL. --User:AxelBoldt

Policy on advertizing? See StateStreetCorporation / State Street Corporation -- perhaps they're a corporate sponsor (heh)?

Heh, yeah, right. No, they're not. We have no corporate sponsors other than Bomis, Inc., (i.e., Jimbo Wales and his minions). The article seems unbiased enough though it seems like propaganda as well, somehow. But as long as it's not taking up other namespace, and its not biased, it shouldn't matter. --User:LMS, a minion

About all pages that are homes for a large subject area, and consist mostly of links to sub-topics. (Examples include History, Mathematics, Games.) Each of these pages should include a link near the bottom called lost and found. Yes, it should be a sub-page i think.

In the lost and found page, we should place any pages that are relevant to topic, but are too unimportant in the great scheme of things to be listed individually on the main topic page, but also can not currently be found from the main topic page in any reasonable number of logical hops.

Also, if you want to write a new article, which no-one has linked to yet, and aren't sure how to link it in yourself, put a link in the appropriate lost and found and let someone else figure it out. (This includes articles from the request page. Remember that the request link goes away soon after you write the article!)

The stuff put into lost and found would be a good target for people doing large scale refactoring, trying to make all of the pages here fit together.

Yes, there is the search feature, but even with the enhancements it is going to need as we get bigger, it is sometimes easier to find something from a well designed tree of links than from a search feature.

Ps, feel free to move this discussion somewhere more appropriate, comment, mutilate or delete, i don't feel i own this discussion, the discussion has no long term importance in itself, we just decide then do it or don't. Geronimo Jones

The use of colors
In mathematical texts there is more and more stuff appearing in red. What is this good for? I think red color should be reserved to alert, error / correcting, heavy work-on messages for example. The first color for me to highlight something is blue. But please use not to often because links appear in that color on my browser. Is there a color style guide? I propose to add some Recommendations(??) Pages to wikipedia. Use color sparingly(??).. First draft: layout recommendations --StefanRybo

Is there a possiblity of discarding Wikipedia in favour of Nupedia Chalkboard ?
I fear that Wikipedia is meant just as a fun project that is to be utilized by Nupedia and discarded afterwards.

There is no single entity that can "discard" Wikipedia. Everybody that had a copy ([/tarballs get your own!]) would have to delete/lose it at the same time, an unlikely event. --User:Robbe

Not until recently.--User:Kpjas

In my opinion, Wikipedia is a healthy standalone community. If Nupedia wants to use something here as a base for their work, that's great. But Wikipedia is different, with a different culture and, to some extent, different goals. --User:Jimbo Wales

I agree with Jimbo (of course, because both websites were my ideas :-) ). I do not want to reject entirely the idea of somehow allowing Wikipedia and Nupedia to work together more closely. Right now, there's definitely a problem motivating people to use the Chalkboard. If we were simply to redirect the traffic and contents of Wikipedia to the Chalkboard, I suspect people would leave in droves and/or fork--precisely because the Chalkboard's rules are more restrictive. User:Kpjas, I suggest (once again) that you simply start using the Chalkboard yourself. Again, I think your participation (even if it means simply porting stuff you wrote for Wikipedia to the Chalkboard) might be the little extra push we need to get the Chalkboard going really well. --User:LMS

Q. Should there be a guideline on how the line break should be entered in a page? The reason behind this question is mainly related to the diff function of Wikipedia. When you diff two versions of some page, you most likely will see 20 lines of text in the same paragraph with one word change in it. The readers have to search for the change with great effort. Since the web browser is going to format all sentences into one paragraph, there is no advantage to type the paragraphs in one piece. Instead, if each sentence is entered as one line, (just like this paragraph, use edit to see how I typed it), then the diff function will show only the sentence containing the change not the whole long paragraph. Check the diff of this article to see how changes are shown in this approach. I also purposely changed the previous paragraph to demostrate the different results.

Concerning the "no external images" policy (which I am already guilty of violating), should we make an exception for Nupedia (or even all bomis-hosted servers)? At least, until my script works;) --Magnus Manske

Of course! I wasn't even thinking about that. --User:LMS

Sept 25, 2001: I've written a lengthy proposal on the subject of a WikiProject, which out of courtesy I have not posted here. Interested parties can read the proposal at Wikipedia:WikiProject proposal

I'm curious if it is permissible to include snippets of code that is licensed under the GPL in Wikipedia. I looked around on the FSF's webpages but I don't see any comments on how compatible the GPL and the GFDL are. I've put some of my own code (which I release to the public domain) in places like quicksort and bubble sort, but for more advanced stuff it would be good to know if I could borrow from, say, the Linux source. --User:BlckKnght

Chronological listings: I'm about to start work on the Archbishop of Canterbury and editing the seven articles on Nobel Prizes. I wasn't sure whether Archbishops, prize winners etc should be listed in forward or reverse chronological order - either way makes sense to me, but I was wondering whether there was policy or consensus about this. It looks like there isn't consensus at this point - compare the listings of Prime Minister of Australia and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, for example. Before the inconsistencies multiply, it would be a good idea to think about how chronological listings of holders of unique positions, prize winners, etc should be presented. -- User:Claudine

I would argue that forward chronological order is probably a good idea. If the list is very long, perhaps a few subheadings indicating decades or centuries might be appropriate. --User:Robert Merkel

Does Wikipedia have any conventions on "inclusive"/"fair"/"nondiscriminatory" language?? I'm new here as of 28 September 2001 and I've already seen this issue several times.

Oh, dear. This is one which comes up from time to time. Political Correctness is a prime area for this. But for what it's worth "inclusive"/"fair"/"nondiscriminatory" tends to be very much in the eye of the beholder. If you tell someone, for example, in Manchester, England that he's English you will probably get a non-reaction; try doing that to a someone who is Scots, Welsh or Cornish and see what kind of interesting reaction you get. Some will mildly rebuke you, others less articulate will probably introduce you to the joys of the British National Health system. The sensible approach is to use common sense otherwise we will end up with articles about personhole covers, waste disposal executives, etc, and similar patent nonsense.User:sjc

Is there any convention for where to put links on general pages like tree that point to more specific meanings like tree data structure? I don't want to put it at the top, and distract all the students of dendrology. Nor does tree data structure make too much sense as a "see also" section as it doesn't realy have much to do with the subject of tree other than the name. Should I make a "you may be looking for" section? I'm sure this comes up a lot, and I wonder what the best solution is. --BlckKnght

Is there a Wikipedia policy on duplication of definitions? For example, throughout the math articles there are references to terms that have their own pages, but a (sometimes) short definition is also given on the referencing page. The same sort of thing goes on elsewhere as well.
Now obviously it's sometimes necessary to explain what a term means before using it - for example, if you're contrasting the present term with something else and highlighting specific differences. But do we have any guidelines over how best to do this, to obtain a balance between clarity and brevity?

-- User:Stuart Presnell
PS What's a good antonym for "redundancy"?

"Non-redundancy"!  :-)

No policy or guidelines per se. I personally would argue (and, if I recall, I think I have argued somewhere at length) that, perhaps with a very few exceptions, all Wikipedia articles should be clear to and fairly easily readable by their target audience. "By their target audience" is the catch. On articles on advanced mathematical topics, it's surely important not to define many basic terms; not defining them improves clarity. But when a term, one that is possibly unfamiliar to a reader who would otherwise be expected to be able to follow the article, is particularly important, in a given context, to understanding an argument (explanation, narrative, etc.), I think it's a very good idea to give a definition.

Not specifically as a reply to you but on the same subject: I'd also argue strenuously against the view that a link can always substitute for a definition. I think that's a very bad idea. Articles should be self-contained. The sort of person who needs and can understand the article should not have to go looking at other articles in order to understand a given article. This does imply that we'll have redundancy. Absolutely. Redundancy can be very good. --User:LMS

See also : wikipedia:Wikipedia policy

Revision of policies and guidelines page

I've reworked the policies and guidelines page with the aim of making it easier for newcomers to get an overview of the most important points. Although a lot has been rearranged and reworded, it is intended that the revision has left the actual policies unaltered. Comments for improvements are encouraged. Enchanter 13:40 Aug 13, 2002 (PDT)

Could someone add Wikipedia:Manual of Style to the list of guidelines? Ortolan88 23:26 Aug 23, 2002 (PDT) Done - Enchanter 05:36 Aug 24, 2002 (PDT)

Do we have a policy on Amerocentrism? They have one in the Esperanto Wikipedia. It amounts to, don't assume your readers are going to be American, and includes such things as metric units, Arabic numerals, and other international standards. One thing I like to check for is references to "foreign languages" meaning languages other than English. (For example, in Canada, French is not a foreign language.) Have we anything on this? - user:Montrealais

(We do? I know we have one about Eurocentrisms to be avoided, though this is really more about Western-centrism, so Amerocentrism presumably is included in there. Another eurocentrism, I guess. ;) --Brion

Well, the "main" site is the English language Wikipedia, targeted for an English-speaking audience, so French is a foreign language to most of those (with the small exception of Quebecois), but we do try not to be too American-centered, allowing articles in British English, for example. It would be impossible to expect authors to remove al traces of their culture without some haggling--that's why it's handy to have, say, Americans and Canadians and Brits and Aussies all working on the same article. But whoever participates the most is going to tend to have their culture show through, even if unintentionally, and that's going to be Americans for the most part. --LDC

Um, Canada is thirty-one million people and one of the most wired nations in the world, and those whose mother tongue is French make up a quarter of our population. Small exception, it's not. - user:Montrealais
I think that this discussion needs to distinguish between foreign to the Wikipedia (which in the context of Lee's comment is the English language Wikipedia, so that French is foreign) and foreign to the country that the writer is in (which doesn't include French for any writer in Canada, doesn't include German for AxelBoldt, etc). Since "foreign" by default refers to countries (IME), I'd go along with avoiding the phrase "foreign language" in favour of, say, "language other than English" (or "non-English language" if you don't want your English to sound too much like French ^_^). — Toby 13:12 Aug 24, 2002 (PDT)

How are these policies enforced?

I've spent a considerable amount of time trying to organize the content in the law article hoping to make it a general reference starting point, and I logged on this morning to find that an anonymous contributor had made some revisions to the article which (IMHO) are not reflective of the NPOV. As a libertarian, I am somewhat sympathetic to the views set forth by this person, who appears to be an anarchist. However, I do not believe that the law article should be used as a showcase for any political agenda. Even so, I don't feel comfortable editing this person's contributions until I receive some feedback from other Wikipedians. In a larger sense, I would appreciate some sort of guidance as to how polemic disputes can be resolved without turning a Wikipedia article into an ideological battleground.

(Update: The above-referenced revisions have been removed. Many thanks to user:Maveric149 for intervening.)

--NetEsq 9:05am August 28, 2002 (PDT)

I'm proposing a formatting change to the policies. The "Don't infringe copyrights" statement needs to be moved out of "Generally accepted policies" and given a more absolute standing.

My reasoning is this: All of the other "generally accepted policies" are a product of consensus, and could be changed. We could decide to abandon the NPOV, or we could decide to stop respecting other contributors. But the copyright rule is a legal requirement for the survival of wikipedia, not simply a social convention that we have decided to follow. are wrong...We can NOT abandon NPOV. It is one of the defining characteristics of the proyect. The other is that this is an GFDL encyclopedia --AN

Discussions moved here from Wikipedia talk:Recentchanges - Enchanter

Notice the link to Wikipedia:Policy and not Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. I've said many times that we should have one page that sets out our real policies and terms of use. These policies and terms do exist but they are lost in a buzz of "rules to consider" which need to be excised from Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines and placed on their own page. --mav

How about moving them back to Wikipedia:Rules to consider? --Brion
They should but we need to strip the real polices down to their bare basics and then have (as separate pages) guidelines on how to use those policies.

Our "real rules"

  • NPOV
  • don't violate copyrights
  • Be nice


Well, if we agree what a "policy" is and what a "guideline" is, we can simply structure the page accordingly. Policy sounds stronger to me, so NPOV, copyright and Wikipetiquette (sounds naughty) could be considered policy. --Eloquence 23:30 Feb 15, 2003 (UTC)

There was a bunch of talk on the mailing list about this some time ago. My drift of the consensus (which was never acted on) was to separate policy from conventions from rules to consider and to have a statement similar to the one I presented above on edit pages. We could add that guidelines can be used to describe the specifics of each level (policy, conventions, but less so for rules to consider though since they are more self-contained).

So Wikipedia:Copyrights would be relatively short with much of the "how to follow this policy/convention" stuff on daughter pages (sic guidelines). Wikipedia:Naming conventions (which are, of course, conventions in this structure) are already organized this way and the Wikipedia:Manual of Style (again, conventions) is undergoing some changes in this direction. But the most important stuff should be summarized at the top level pages and therefore be much more useful as a quick reference. Having it relatively short and not too specific also makes it possible to have the proposed text and link on edit pages. --mav

So we have the following structure:

Rules to consider
Rules that have been proposed but not established yet

may become

Rules that have been well established and where a violation requires serious discussions

may become

Rules that are so important that violating them warrants a ban

Thus we need three pages:

Did I get that right? --Eloquence 23:51 Feb 15, 2003 (UTC)

This is essentially what we have now on the page, with slightly different terminology, i.e. we have

  • Generally accepted policies
    • NPOV
    • Copyrights
    • Wikipetting
    • Follow conventions
      • Naming conventions etc.
  • Guidelines to consider
    • "Every dog should be in a separate dog article."

I think we should avoid giving the impression that the guidelines to consider are ever likely to become policy - on past form few if any of them will.

So I think that the suggested structure is already there... at least, that was the intention! Enchanter

I think the distinction between conventions and guidelines to consider needs to be emphasized; we already have opinion calls on most of the guideline talk pages, so it should be relatively easy to determine which rules are controversial, which ones are uncontroversial and which ones have been chosen by Jimbo Wales to be either reasonable conventions or policy. So I suggest moving controversial "rules to a consider" to an eponymous page. Splitting away policies may also make sense to encourage use of the term to only refer to rules which must be followed. (Right now it's used to refer to everything from rules to consider to our most sacred tenets.) --Eloquence 00:48 Feb 16, 2003 (UTC)
I firmly agree that we should use the word "policy" sparingly - mainly just for NPOV, copyrights, neutral point of view. Similarly we should be sparing with the use of the word "rules". I much prefer "guidelines to consider" to "rules to consider", particularly as few if any of them are ever likely to become generally accepted policy. I don't mind much either way whether the guidelines to consider are left here or moved to a separate page. Enchanter
You forgot Wikipetiquette and mentioned NPOV twice. ;) --mav

Hm. My view is that guidelines are the daughter pages of policy/convention pages that explain, in some detail just how we are supposed to follow the policy or convention. These "guidelines" should be fairly open to editing and changing as time goes by so long as they do not violate the intent of the policy or convention (which are only changed with much thought and deliberation -- policies moreso than conventions). "Rules to consider" is perhaps inferior to "Guidelines to consider" but IMO that isn't as important since "consider" is part of both terms. So in sum;

  • Policies are law and need to be followed (very few policies; they would be summaries of NPOV, Wikipedia:Copyrights, and Wikipetiquette)
  • Conventions are a very useful and should be followed (Naming conventions, Manual of Style, Quide to Layout), while
  • "Rules/Guidelines to consider" are just suggestions (and we are pretty lax on what people can suggest - since following the suggestion is not required).

And guidelines are what we use to layout the specifics on how policy and conventions are used. --mav

Please add Japanese link as [[ja:Wikipedia:基本方針とガイドライン]] -- Setup

Done. mav

"...share a common goal" is tautologous: if X and Y have a common goal, it has to be shared; if X and Y share a goal, it has to be common. "Collaborative project" and "reliable resource" aren't much better. Jacquerie27 17:17 May 4, 2003 (UTC)

that's a non-collaborative project = that's not a collaboration; so I'm an unreliable resource = so I'm unreliable. See pleonasm. Jacquerie27 17:46 May 4, 2003 (UTC)

I have two content guidelines, which I've written up in a Bestiary of Style. What's the best way to get them added to this page (not necessarily in animal form)? I'm assuming I shouldn't just stomp on existing guidelines. -- ESP 06:49 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

After re-reading the policy page, specifically In addition to the generally accepted policies listed above, the following guidelines have been suggested by various participants:, I figured I could just throw in my suggestions. If they float, they float. If not, they won't. Trial by Wiki! -- ESP 16:07 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

There are often characters belonging to other character sets in Wikipedia articles. Users should be advised to avoid copying and pasting unless they know they are copying from the right character set. Also, Wikipedia's software could detect this automatically, and there is feature request for it:

Also, there is the common HTML error of missing semicolons on HTML entities, like: &amp. Users should be encouraged to double-check their HTML. Wikipedia could also check and point out invalid HTML.


Policy suggestions

Most of the conflict I have had here (IMO) was due to disputes over quality of information (and citations), or the inclusion or exclusion of POV (Interpretations of said information, and citations). I'd like to propose a few things, which might make my job here (assuming I get to keep it) and yours a bit easier. Don't take this the wrong way, I'm well aware that I am a dubious source of information, and I don't think I'm giving orders (I'm pretty low on the totem pole, clearly) but I would like you to hear my policy suggestions.
  • only replace text that you know to be wrong (inaccurate), and replace it with something that has a citation to back it up. If they have a reasonable difference, based on citation, allow both POV to be presented
  • Multiple POV should be expressed, and differing citations given. wiki is not paper. There is room for everyone to be heard, history shows us many examples of minority opinion later being found correct. There is room for all POV's so long as citations are given.
  • There is always room for respectable citations that differ.
  • The quality expected of the citations should be based on the number of editors, and thus number of citations involved. The more citations provided, the higher the standard (thus in an article with only one editor, a lower standard of citation would be expected than in an article where numerous editors are present and there are plentiful citations).
  • NPOV can be promoted best by providing citations of differing POV's and presenting said POV's in as impartial a manner as possible, thereby providing the highest quality, objective information possible.
  • I think some sort of forum for debate over POV should be made available, as there seems to be no end of desire for it among some.
    • editors who have proof of particular expertise should be considered a citation in and of themselves (on the subjects that they have such proof of expertise in).

p.s. I previously posted this on Wikipedia talk:Arbitrators, and I am also posting it on village pump, and maybe the mailing list. Jack 02:21, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)

A thought : Wikipedia is not a collection of citations. Good night Jack :-) Anthere (moved from village pump by Jack 04:34, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC))
But it should be! Jack 04:05, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)