Wikipedia talk:Tip of the day/Archive 3

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Note concerning blue links on project page

If a tip on the project page has no title, then you can assume it's empty, even if it has a blue link (those pages are merely prepped with the boilerplate links). --The Transhumanist 09:48, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Wow, that's a lot of templates

I decided to take a look at the various versions of the tip of the day template, and was a bit surprised at how much it has proliferated.Several Wikipedians have adapted the thing for use in various formatting situations, and a couple of enhanced versions have been created as well.Here's the whole list, with descriptions:

totd-random - this is the tip of the moment template, which automatically displays a different tip every time you enter a page it is on (to a maximum of one time per minute). If it doesn't update, try clearing your browser cache (Ctrl-F5).
totd - the main userspace version of the tip of the day template, with border, centered in the middle of the page.Complete with inspirational lightbulb.
totd b - a more compact version of the above template.Useful for columns.
totd-tomorrow - this shows tomorrow's tip, and is used by Wikipedia tipsters to make sure that the tips never run out.If they did run out, a red link would show up on Wikipedia's Community Portal and Help Page, which would be very embarrassing.This template shows the redlink one day in advance, as an early-warning system.
Tip of the day - the borderless version, with lightbulb.
Tip of the day - community portal - the underlined-heading version used on the community portal.(No lightbulb).
totd2 - the borderless version used on Wikipedia's Help page (which already has its own borders). (No lightbulb).
totd3 - a purple box version, useful for displaying the tip in columns.
totd CP - like the help-page version, but with a box.Spans the whole field (screen or column) that it is in.

--The Transhumanist 14:01, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Template:MediaWiki links (edit talk links history) on a few help pages. -- Omniplex 15:42, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Random template question

Hi CB,

I was wondering, once July is filled up with tips, how would I go about adding them to the Template:totd-random ?
--The Transhumanist 15:00, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Since I created this template the 'CURRENTTIMESTAMP' magic word was added - making {{CURRENTSECOND}} possible. Based on that I updated and simplified totd-random somewhat. It will now display a new tip every second, essentially every time the page is refreshed. I also put the list in chronological order to make it easier to update. The July tips are in there, but in the future it can be updated just by adding the new rows in numeric / date order and updating the number at the top of the calculation (currently 126) to match the new total number of tips/rows to pick between. --CBD 18:14, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Devs will kill us if they ever see this CURRENTSECOND stuff. -- Omniplex 20:27, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Devs?--The Transhumanist 15:43, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks CB.I have just one more thing to say:Wow.--The Transhumanist 15:43, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

July is stocked, but needs y'all to look it over

I've filled July with a selection of tips from this page, revisions of previously posted tips, some brand new ones, and some combinations.If you would be so kind as to look them over before they hit the mainstream Wikipedia population, I'd really appreciate it.Thank you.Now excuse me while I pass out...--The Transhumanist 17:33, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Great job! I browsed the July entries and made a few minor changes here and there.My biggest question is on Wikipedia:Tip of the day/July 24, 2006.What the heck is a "resource reference"?!

SHysterical.gif Rfrisbietalk 22:06, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

That resource reference thing put me through a loop too. Really, if your citing information, it should only be to verify it. I was under the understanding that we don't use citations as pointers to more information; that's what a see also or external links section is for. --Hetar 01:24, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree.I'll try a revision in a little while, unless someone else beats me to it. Rfrisbietalk 02:21, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I made a few changes to Wikipedia:Tip of the day/July 24, 2006. Rfrisbietalk 02:33, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

A couple more...

RaveDave also pointed out the following on my discussion page:

  1. Wikipedia:Tip_of_the_day/July_16,_2006 Neither external link works
  2. Wikipedia:Tip_of_the_day/July_31,_2006 Toolserver edit counts no longer work.

I've fixed the first tip, and have replaced the second tip.Please look them over.

Thanks you guys, for all the feedback.--The Transhumanist 13:38, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

The edit counter "sort of" works, so I placed a caveat on the tip.Replacing it is fine though. Rfrisbietalk 15:18, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Are you ready to tackle November?

We are now working on November!At this rate, we should have the rest of the year done soon.So put out the word that we're collecting tips!

And when you come across a particularly useful trick or technique, be sure to come here and let the rest of us know about it!

Some good places to find ideas for tips:

  • the help pages
  • Wikipedia:tools
  • the help desks, and their archives
  • the village pump:technical
  • Wikipedia:templates

--The Transhumanist 11:02, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I've fixed all <big><center> (wrong order), moved "prettytable" from "ready" to "unsuited" (deprecated template), and "advanced searching" from "proposed" to "unsuited" (too long, complex structure). There are other proposals which are IMO far too long, the searching tip was the worst. -- Omniplex 20:06, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Just curious, why not just <center><big> instead of <div align="center"><big>? Rfrisbietalk 20:58, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
I guess it's being "phased out" Rfrisbietalk 21:44, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
I assume "The proper way to center text" won't be a tip any time soon. ;-) Rfrisbietalk 14:36, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, since it is being phased out, we should probably let everyone know in a tip: "The proper way to center".:-)--The Transhumanist 16:23, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Still waiting on consensus? ;-) Rfrisbietalk 16:34, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
You can also use "<center>" if you like it better because it's shorter, the align="center" is also phased out, in theory. The reason I changed it was "center inside big" instead of "big inside center". The "big" is an inline element, and "center" (both variants) is a block level element. As long as "tidy" fixes such details, and no browser has difficulties to interpret the wrong order this is only an educational point, a "tip of the day" should be technically correct. -- Omniplex 03:29, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I chopped up the Advanced Searching tip. --The Transhumanist 15:45, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

A procedural question - do you like to wait until a month's worth of tips are ready, or is it okay to keep them moving through the queue until they make it to a subpage? Rfrisbietalk 21:05, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Wait?Nonono, let them floooooooow!No need for them them to pile up.Actually, the project's goal has always been to keep tips scheduled 60 days in advance.As of the end of June, we came within one day of redlinking!Now that's bad.But even though July is now fully stocked, we're still behind our 60-day schedule.So please, feel free to move tips to the subpages.That way, I won't have to!:-)--The Transhumanist 15:55, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

This project's announcements/task list template

I've expanded {{Totd-tomorrow}} to be this project's announcement and task list template.So now you can kill two birds with one stone, by seeing the next day's tip and this project's announcements (and alerts) at the same time.Now we all have an easy way to contact everyone on this project.Please place the template on your user page if you'd like to receive announcements and alerts from the other members of this project.Thank you.--The Transhumanist 15:51, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Here's what it looks like:


Please proofread the daily tip...

It's displayed below one day early.

Some tips are obsolete. So we need new tips too. Please share your best tips and tip ideas at Wikipedia Talk:Tip of the day.

Tomorrow's tip of the day...

How to sign your comments

Signing your posts prevents readers from getting your messages confused with those by other users. On talk pages, it is proper etiquette to sign your messages. To do this, add four tildes (~~~~) to the end of your message. When you save the page, these will be converted to your signature followed by a time stamp. The standard "sig" is your username, but you can customize it under your preferences. To include your signature without a time stamp, use three tildes (~~~) instead.

Prior tip - Next tip

To add this auto-updating template to your user page, use {{totd-tomorrow}}.

Become a Wikipedia tipster

Gaps in the collection

Are beginners covered well enough in the tip collection?That is, have we provided all the essential tips beginners need to know?--The Transhumanist 15:51, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Counterquestion - at what stage do we decide to start rotating some of the more fundamental tips?Do we ever do so? — Estarriol talk 19:04, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
    Sure, just say what you want to see reposted. The only danger is that somebody starts to push a POV by repeating the same tip too often. -- Omniplex 20:13, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Um, we're getting off-topic.I've covered the rescheduling issue in detail under its own heading below.But in addition to reusing the tips we already have, we need to explore every nook and cranny of Wikipedia for the best tips we can find to achieve this project's goals.What are our goals?I have been assuming they are the following:

  1. To supplement the help system in teaching beginners the fundamentals to make use of the Wikipedia program and Wikipedia's content, and how to participate in the Wikipedia community.
  2. Gradually introduce them to more advanced methods, to eventually transform them all into power users!!! --The Transhumanist 14:31, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Suggestion: classify tips according to user skill or experience level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, demigod). That way a new user can begin with tips for beginners, and when those start getting stale, the user can move up to seeing trickier tips. Individual Wikiprojects might also make their own tip collections, if they are building up their own separate areas of know-how. If this has already been done, I did not find out about it, which suggests Wikipedia:Tip of the day/Archive 3 might point it out better. --Teratornis 22:14, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Rescheduling tips

Tips are already being rescheduled.Note the repeats in July.Also, the "signature tip" is already getting reposted in various forms about once a month.The two "dozen best tips" tips also repeat tips in another way.But...

Rather than merely reposting the tips in the same form, we should always strive to improve them.(Of course, there will be some tips that hit home so well that they are hard to improve upon, but most leave plenty of room for improvement.)So, when I reuse tips, I generally try to enhance them in some way, like rewriting them for clarity, or at least paraphrasing them so they don't get stale.It's interesting that after you let them sit awhile (a few weeks) and come back to them, you view things in a new perspective and can instantly see ways of improving them.But when you stare at the same ones day after day, they tend to get fixed in your mind.

Refreshing the tips can take a number of forms:

  • Rewriting the title.
  • Splitting tips up (like taking a one-liner out of a tip and building it into a tip of its own).
  • Combining tips that naturally go well together (like the link tricks).
  • "Best of" list tips - like baseball cards that list other baseball cards.
  • Rewriting (editing) tip content for clarity, reducing wordiness, etc.
  • Rewriting tips from scratch rather than editing them can turn up interesting new points.
  • Expanding tip content to improve usefulness and comprehension.
  • Converting tips that merely describe what is available into actual step-by-step instructions.Like how to install Navigation Popups (rather than just tell users about it).
  • Providing new examples.(For instance, in the Keyboard shortcuts tip, which mentions five or six of them, a different 5 or 6 could be mentioned each time the tip is presented, until all the shortcuts are eventually covered).
  • Adding an extra reference or two under "
  • Updating tips so they remain relevant and accurate.
  • Replacing tips with better ones that obsolete them.
  • Adding internal links between tips - the more robust the collection becomes, the more useful it will become as a reference aid.
  • Applying previous tips in the content of tips that follow, pointing out when you do.For example, when providing "< nowiki >" samples of links, using the pipe trick as well whenever possible should be standard, even though the tip isn't about that trick.
  • Replacing "pseudo tips", that merely point to a broad topic page, with an actual tip from that page that the user can make use of without following another link, and then pointing to the broader topic in the "read more:" reference for expanded coverage.
  • Easter eggs.

But this begs the question of what tips should be rescheduled/recycled in the first place?Well, most of them, of course.All we have to do is figure out the relative frequency at which the various tips should be repeated.

Since Wikipedia welcomes a constant flow of newcomers, there are a few topics that may deserve to be repeated as often as once a month, in order to support these newbies.Like the signature tip, one or more search tips, definitely the main link tip, and a few others.All reworked, of course.This is already happening.Because they are rewrites, you may not have noticed.:-)

At some point, the tip collection may become somewhat complete, and new tip creation in such a case would slow down (to whatever Wikipedia's rate of innovation happened to be at the time).This project could eventually become mostly a maintenance matter, recycling the tip collection in an endless cycle.

So far, I've been taking Omniplex's casual approach: going over the past tips and rewriting the ones that pop out at me.(See the 60-day rule in the instructions at the top of the page).

Speaking of the 60-days, we should always keep the project stocked 60-days in advance - so that the maintainers of the pages we support (help page, community portal, etc.) don't panic.(See the thread on the help page's talk page).

--The Transhumanist 14:31, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Which help page are you talking about? Unrelated, I've moved one google tip from "new" to "ready", its link is an easter egg. -- Omniplex 23:14, 4 July 2006 (UTC)


Who wants to take on a pledge?That is, who wants to make a pledge?Then the rest of us can hold you to it.;-)

What kind of pledge?Like "I'll explore the tools section of Wikipedia and create 5 tips by the end of July."Or, "I'll read the current help desk page and post any cools tips that I find."That sort of thing.Are there any takers?

Here are some potential pledges to choose from, in case you can't think of any:

  • "I'll mine the current Village Pump technical page for tips by the end of the week."
  • "I'll mine the Help Desk this week.
  • "I'll mine Wikipedia:Tools, and will report back on the ones I think would make the best tips."
  • "I'll mine Wikipedia:Tools/Browser tools by next Thursday."
  • "I'll mine a section (name the section) of the help system over the next two weeks."
  • "I'll seek out 5 experts on Wikipedia, over the next week, and will ask them for their best tips. (They tend to hang out in projects, like Esperanza, Picture of the day, etc., and they tend to have the best user pages).
  • "I'll explore 100 user pages (they have all kinds of neat stuff on there), by the end of the month, and will write up the 5 best ideas I find into tips."
  • "I'll post a weekly message on the Village Pump technical asking for tip submissions (pointing them here).
  • "I'll post a message on the Help Desk (or on the Newcomer's page) asking the regulars there what tips they think should definitely be covered in the tip collection."
  • "I'll write one tip per month."
  • "I'll write one tip per week."
  • "I'll write one tip per day!"
  • Etc.

I hereby challenge each of you to make a pledge!

Of course, I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't make a pledge of my own.So here it is:I pledge to get September fully stocked with tips by the time you are done reading this message.:-)--The Transhumanist 14:31, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Exactly what is the process?

I noticed a particular tip from 2004 went directly to Wikipedia:Tip of the day/September 24, 2006, even though I had added a comment that it contradicted the "Read more" link.In fact, it appears to incorrectly describe transclusion. It is not substitution.I thought the note would give us time to rework the tip, but it bypassed the stated process on the talk page.I assume other tips did as well.I don't mind helping out with this project, but I would like to know what process is to be followed.What's written and what's happening don't match. Rfrisbietalk 16:46, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Sorry 'bout the confusion.Here's what happened:we came within a day of redlinking, and so I've been trying to push the project back on schedule, by stocking 60 days worth of tips.(See the exception in the instruction #10 at the top of the page for when the project slips under 60 days.)So on June 30, I stocked July, and I just continued with 60 days' of tips.I skipped August because I didn't want to interfere with your guys' fun, and put the 2nd 30-day batch in September.;-)For Sept. 24, I pulled the definition directly out of Wikipedia:Glossary#Transclusion, which appears to have it backwards.Also, in "What links here" in the toolbox, templates were described as being "included" rather than "transcluded", which contributed to the confusion, but this seems to have been recently fixed.I've fixed the tip.No worries.By the way, I figured that since those tips are scheduled in September, it would give everyone plenty of time to look them over before they hit the mainstream.--The Transhumanist 17:50, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
By the way, I've gone back and fixed the tips for May 8th and May 23rd, which also incorrectly reported transclusion as inclusion.You prevented this from happening a 3rd time.Thanks!--The Transhumanist 18:17, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I believe "transclusion" and "inclusion" are synonymous here. The May tips probably were correct (I haven't checked them yet). For example, "In computer science, transclusion is the inclusion of part of a document into another document by reference." Transclusion & inclusion are the same process. They should be contrasted with substitution. I assumed the tip came from the glossary (so that also needs to be fixed). I still believe the tip needs fixin', so I'll give it a go before it comes up.At least for my own satisfaction, I want to read more about long-term vs. short-term uses for the tip.There doesn't always seem to be consensus on that usage either.By the way, thanks for inviting me to be a part of all this fun!

SHysterical.gif Regards, Rfrisbietalk 18:35, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

+1, I prefer "inclusion", but that's only a matter of taste. On the other hand "substitution" is different, it won't reflect future changes of the sourse page automatically. And it can get pretty complex in conjunction with parser functions. If the template isn't designed for substitution trying to substitute it anyway can result in a lot of gibberish on the target page. Probably it still works, but it won't survive any change by an average editor. -- Omniplex 23:10, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Did the "What links here" page note for templates recently get changed from "(inclusion)" to "(transclusion)"? I think it did.This terminology seems to be one of those things "in flux." Rfrisbietalk 03:48, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Ah, so you noticed it too.:-)--The Transhumanist 16:28, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Soft and hard breaks - Technical gibberish

If this tip is "technical gibberish," what's the "technically acceptable" solution to the formatting design it is intended to support? Rfrisbietalk 04:00, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Heck if I know.But we're volunteers in one of the best research environments on the Net.So if we can't find it via search, we can always ask at WP:VPT:-)--The Transhumanist 16:27, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I was hoping Omniplex might have something more to say on the subject. :-) Rfrisbietalk 16:36, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I try it. MediaWiki uses XHTML, and XHTML has <br /> instead of <br>. A piece of software "tidy" fixes it on the fly for some projects incl. Wikipedia, but "tidy" also introduces obscure bugs, the devs try to get rid of it. Otherwise there are occasions where using BR and especially several adjacent BR is poor style. But alternatives like several empty lines (Wiki markup), several {{-}}, or even <pre> constructs are anything but not better. On the other hand in tables using <br /> sometimes has the desired effect, where the only alternative would be a nested table, complex and potentially causing havoc with old and/or text browsers. Just saying "<br> is evil" misses those points.
And the tip mixed a completely different topic with the BR-issue, line breaks in paragraphs as edited in an edit box. Such line breaks are completely harmless, and very long source lines can cause difficulties with external line editors and old browsers which don't fold long lines automatically. On display it's the same effect, one paragraph is one paragraph no matter how many source lines belong to it, and it's folded as needed. The tip was an IE-centric POV, is that one of the old recycled tips? AFAIK MediaWiki used HTML before, so maybe the tip is just obsolete. -- Omniplex 03:09, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, that was more than enought explanation for me! :-) I believe that was a tip from 2004.Just a few are left in the "Recycle these" bin, and most of them seem a bit dated to me too.Now that the queue is plumping up a bit, perhaps we can spend a little more time on refining the quality of existing and future tips. Rfrisbietalk 03:32, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Slight procedural change

Assuming nobody will object, I've increased the scheduling buffer in the procedures above to 120 days.--The Transhumanist 11:00, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, I have no objections about this. --Siva1979Talk to me 18:13, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Where do I post a suggestion?

Where do I post a suggestion, when I know it needs more work before posting? My suggestion for a tip is this.

Do you sometimes make edits, without realising that you weren't logged in? There is an easy way to avoid this. Go to preferences, and choose a different skin. Or change the quickbar so itis on a different part of the page. That way, it's obvious straight away whether you are logged in E.g. you may wish to use the Cologne Blue skin. If another Wikipedian uses the same computer and likes the same skin, you could place the quickbar on the right hand side so that it's obvious who is logged in.

--Singkong2005 (t - c - WPID) 03:17, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Post your suggestions at the new entries heading on this page. --Think Fast 17:00, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Tip library under construction

Wikipedia:tips - the previous format just wasn't feasible (and entailed copying all the tips to new pages so that they would show up right in the category system - a collosal undertaking, and not worth the effort in copying or maintaining the copies).So I've replaced it with piped links of the tip collection.The library is about half done, but needs the rest of the tips (at the bottom of that page) sorted, and then the entries in each section arranged in the best logical order of presentation. --The Transhumanist 18:01, 30 July 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Tip of the day/August 7, 2006 had some errors when it went to air... it boiled down to the [[google:]] search thing not handling spaces, which I eventually worked out and fixed.

Looks like the error-checking needs to be more vigorous. I'll sign up (not that I'll be checking every day). Having said that... I love the tip of the day. I'm learning more. Thanks. Wipes tear from eye. --Singkong2005 talk 06:49, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Project directory

Hello. The WikiProject Council has recently updated the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory.This new directory includes a variety of categories and subcategories which will, with luck, potentially draw new members to the projects who are interested in those specific subjects. Please review the directory and make any changes to the entries for your project that you see fit. There is also a directory of portals, at User:B2T2/Portal, listing all the existing portals. Feel free to add any of them to the portals or comments section of your entries in the directory. The three columns regarding assessment, peer review, and collaboration are included in the directory for both the use of the projects themselves and for that of others. Having such departments will allow a project to more quickly and easily identify its most important articles and its articles in greatest need of improvement. If you have not already done so, please consider whether your project would benefit from having departments which deal in these matters. It is my hope that all the changes to the directory can be finished by the first of next month. Please feel free to make any changes you see fit to the entries for your project before then. If you should have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. B2T2 14:23, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Problem with today's tip


The long plaintext url in the codesample at Wikipedia:Tip of the day/November 4, 2006 is breaking the layout at Wikipedia:Community Portal#Departments. I'm unsure how to fix this, or reword it. Thanks. --Quiddity 01:31, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I changed the code to nowiki lines. I hope that helped, because I couldn't see a problem in IE6 before I "fixed" it. (?)It looks okay at 800X600 to me. Rfrisbietalk 02:54, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Screenshot of original problem added. It was worse with the PRE tag, but still causes (or would be) a lot of bunching in the left column.--Quiddity 04:45, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
I guess the fix to have it span both columns took care of it. Rfrisbietalk 05:05, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Yearless Tip of the day

I'm working on a "Yearless Tip of the day."The test page is at Wikipedia talk:Tip of the day/Yearless. Rfrisbietalk 04:49, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

I made the switch. Rfrisbietalk 05:50, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
A Barnstar!
Tip of the Day Barnstar

To Rfrisbie for the bright idea SFriendly.gif of the yearless year, and for going above and beyond the call of duty by designing, testing, and converting a whole year's worth of tips to the yearless year, which makes the whole tip of the day project much easier to maintain,here is bright and shiny (tip of the day) lightbulb! --The Transhumanist 14:27, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

(I'm posting the above award to RFrisbie's talk page as well).Thanks Rfrisbie! --The Transhumanist 14:27, 29 November 2006 (UTC)


Perhaps we need to archive the Tips considering some run from at least early 2006?


Anthonycfc (talkemailtools) 22:19, Monday December 25 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebration of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention.Badbilltucker 19:34, 30 December 2006 (UTC)