Wikipedia talk:Categories for discussion/User/Archive 5

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If the proliferation of dubious user categories is such a concern, then we should reverse the rule and require approval for the creation of such categories. Set up a "proposed user categories" page and require would-be category creators to demonstrate the utility of the category to the project. And make unapproved categories speediable. Grandfather in categories created before implementation of the approval requirement, so they must still be deleted by consensus. Thoughts? bd2412 T 02:14, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

see Wikipedia talk:User categories for discussion#A radical proposal (below), which is essentially the same thing you have proposed. It didn't garner sufficient support when I suggested it, and it's likely that it still lacks the requisite support, although I think it's a great idea. Horologium t-c 02:58, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
hear hear! --Paularblaster 02:37, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Concern about the new rash of UCFD nominations

No (voluntarily offered) information concerning users could have any deleterious effect on the quality of information offered in Wikipedia's articles. On the other hand, any (voluntarily offered) information concerning users has a potential of usefulness for the exchange of information while editing, exactly as user language templates have (if some people can't possibly imagine how, this only proves that they're unimaginative). This discussion isn't really about improving Wikipedia, it's about shaping the style of working here to the liking of one or another group of people. Dan Pelleg 09:18, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Would you, then, not agree that Category:Wikipedians who support the extermination of (insert ethnic/national/religious group) should be deleted? Such information, even if voluntarily offered, surely undermines the spirit of collaboration.
Some user categories can be actively harmful, but presence or lack of harm should not be the primary criterion for judging the retention of a page. It's more important to ask: is it useful? What potential of usefulness is intrinsic to a category that groups users who own a pink iPod (yes, that was a real category)?
You express concern over the deletion of voluntarily offered information, but UCFD discussions don't remove that information ... it is still available on userpages via userboxes or typed notices. The issue is not "shaping the style of working" but rather getting rid of categorisation for its own sake, when it has absolutely nothing to do with the encyclopedia.
Before suggesting that anyone is "unimaginative" and painting editors with broad strokes, you should have a look at the type of category that is frequently brought here. If you think that a certain category is potentially useful and that this potential usefulness has been overlooked by various discussants, feel free to contribute your insight. But please don't assume that everyone else is acting on knee-jerk reactions and has failed to try to determine whether a category has any potential value. And please don't assume that just because they happen to disagree with you. – Black Falcon (Talk) 16:55, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Dear Black Falcon, I apologize for having offended anyone – it wasn't my intention. You obviously don't lack imagination and you're right, ethnic extermination categories of that sort would not be nice to have around. In fact, they would constitute incitement, and hence be illegal. However (having agreed that categories that are harmful should not be permitted): true, removing a category doesn't remove the information offered by userboxes that were associated with it, but it makes it harder to access that information. My point is that even the silliest bit of information about users might get people connected and contribute by producing constructive collaboration, on the other hand, any category concerning only users – and no encyclopedic content – doesn't do Wikipedia any harm, since it has no bearing on its encyclopedic quality, just like any silly or useless information on user pages. Dan Pelleg 00:25, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, and I apologise if my comment came across too strongly. In response to your argument, I think that there is certain harm involved in that approach. First, an overproliferation of user categories reduces navigability, thus interfering with the utilisation of the more useful user categories (such as the language and interest categories). Second, a laissez-faire approach undermines the principle that Wikipedia is not a personal webhost, social networking site, or MySpace. Silly or useless information on userpages is fine, as long as the sole purpose of the entire userpage is not silliness or uselessness for its own sake; similarly, there is no point in having a category for its own sake. Not all user categories obviously fail this crtierion but many (such as the 'pink iPod' one) clearly do. Third, user categories divide editors into distinct groups. Sometimes there is a purpose to this division (e.g. as with the language/translation categories) and sometimes no purpose is apparent. It is the latter type of categorisation – that chips away at the main identification of 'editor'/'reader'/'Wikipedian' without giving anything useful in return – that I oppose. – Black Falcon (Talk) 17:25, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I have come to this discussion late, apparently too late to make a difference. It is clear that the primary conflict here is that some wikipedians contribute writing to articles of interest to them, and have used the user categories to have a means of finding old school chums who are also contributing, or to find editors who live near them, or wikipedians who are like them as sexual minorities, or religious affiliation, or belong to the same fraternal organizations, or participate in the same sports. My view has already been stated by others, the editors of wikipedia get paid nothing except a sense of accomplishment and interaction with others. The basic debate is similar to the decision to participate in a university community as opposed to internet study in isolation; the benefits of collaboration do not all come in a direct way, often they result from friendly associations that develop informally over time. Thus, fraternities and clubs and political groups arise on campus, and the members often feel more free dialing up a friend for assistance with homework then dialing up the single best student in that class.

A second concern about the process at work here is that there is no real accountability. Most of the wikipedians who contribute to the project are more interested in a few topics and making a few friends working on those topics or elsewhere on the project. They are not aware of how decisions are made for the entire community by small numbers of wikipedian editors and administrators working on projects like this. They just notice that a category disappears and they assume that it was the consensus of the wikipedian community. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if they come to a page like this to lobby for a particular category, that does nothing to change the process.

I've removed all user categories from my page, except for the text for one which has not yet been created and that I have no desire to create. I just like the way it looks in red. I prefer not to use user boxes, because my preference is to express myself in non-fiction prose. That is how I got here. I will go back to writing articles of interest to me. I have tried to express protest against the changes in the wikipedian community to make it sterile, lifeless, hierarchical, obedient, on task, and well managed. Since I work on this project for fun, and my time is limited, the removal of joy from the project could affect my decisions in the allocation of my scarce resources of time, knowledge, and experience.Michael J Swassing 16:16, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Your point is one I an see the weight of, but the opposite point also works in favour of inclusiveness of user categories: I would never dream of using user categories to find people like me "as sexual minorities, or religious affiliation, or belong to the same fraternal organizations, or participate in the same sports"; that's what the real world (and forums, chatrooms, facebook, etc.) are for. But I would use user categories to find those unlike me. If I were to say something about, say, Christadelphians, or Corsicans, I'd like to run it by someone with an inside view to check that I wasn't inadvertently offending or misrepresenting them. --Paularblaster 02:51, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Your point is well stated, we seem to be in agreement on a number of points. Your suggestion that human interaction would best occur in the real world is noted. I would be happy to agree that wikipedians seeking human interaction should back away from the computer and maybe join a bowling league. While I do enjoy the real world, it tends to be lacking in discussions of ideas; which is precisely where I find the greatest social satisfaction. My point about the user categories where we seem to disagree is that I find them a means of creating connections between people by whatever parameters they choose for themselves, or seek to find. While I would seek reasonable limits, I also think that if this is what the people want, and they are willing to contribute many hours of unpaid research and composition to the project, then give the people what they want.
I volunteer for a variety of organizations. In the process of restoring wetlands for the Nature Conservancy, I have scheduled dinner dates. At the church steps, I'm pretty sure, some business networking occurs. Any vicar who seeks to purge all pleasures of the flesh from church functions to winnow the congregation down to the true believers would end up alone and bitter. In short, when you depend on volunteers as the labor force, you should indulge them, within reason.
As I review the deletions, not just user cats but articles as well, I have changed my opinion over the last few days. There really is an astonishing amount of rubbish that has to be disposed of on a daily basis throughout the entire project. But I am still concerned that the baby is being thrown out with the bath-water. And in the area of user categories, the creation and content is not the act of random vandals. The user cat for wikipedian vegetarians had 122 pages when I checked, yet a discussion among the handful of volunteers to the deletion project can abolish it.
I do owe an apology, as I have not known the correct process for bringing this to the attention of a wider range of wikipedians, and altering the policies and processes. Out of frustration, at least one of my nominations was disruptive editing. I'm sorry about that. I'm convinced of the good faith of those who are working to tidy up. And I see that a huge amount of deletion is necessary on a daily basis. But in the area of user categories, I think that there ought to be a greater recognition of the measurable demand among the rank and file wikipedians. Don't force us to start a union. - Michael J Swassing 05:59, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


Alemannic or Albanian?

I have moved the following here from my talk page, in the interest of trying to generate discussion among additional persons who may be able to help with this issue. --After Midnight 0001 01:38, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

As a result of Wikipedia:User_categories_for_discussion/Archive/August_2007#Category:User_als_and_subcats and [1], many users of {{user als}} are now lost without any category, neither Category:User als-N, Category:User als, Category:User swg nor Category:User gsw.-- Matthead discuß!     O       01:04, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Hello. I think that the problem may be that the users of {{user als}} is being used for Alemannic German, which has 4 ISO 639-3 codes, which are 1. gct — Alemán Coloniero, 2. gsw — Swiss German, 3. swg — Swabian German and 4. wae — Walser German. So the question is which of these is proper for each user. It is possible that a gsw speaker may not want to be classified as wae or other similar issues. Maybe the box should have 4 options to let each user choose the one they want. Do you have any suggestions? --After Midnight 0001 02:14, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, there is "D’alemannisch Wikipedia" at "", and "" is for Albanians, I presume. Does the CfD affect them, too, does anyone want to change the subdomains? I think "als" is really needed for many users, the deletion is wrong IMHO. gct and wae will hardly be picked by anyone, while the remaining swg only suits people in Württemberg, and gsw only those in Switzerland. This leaves millions living along the Rhine, Liechtensteiners, Austrians in Vorarlberg, the many Germans in Baden and the speakers of Alsatian language in France without an appropriate code. Why not "ISO 639-2: alb (B) sqi (T)" for Albanian, there is Category:User sq already, and the interwiki of course. For subdivisions, "variously: sqi — Albanian (generic) aln — Gheg aae — Arbëreshë aat — Arvanitika" are free if needed. I think ISO got it wrong here, with wasting "als — Tosk" for a subdialect instead for the general Alemannic and the current interwiki. I'm confident that the less than 3 million Tosk speakers are outnumbered - surely in terms of Wikipedia users. de-Wiki has 647.711 Artikel, als-Wiki has 3.132 Artikel, that is only 0.5%, yet still roughly the size of the whole sq-Wiki which has 17.446 artikuj, covering also an independent country. One would expect a Tosk Albanian interwiki with 80 artikuj or so then. Has anyone ever asked Albanian editors if they are interest in it at all? -- Matthead discuß!     O       03:55, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, you have quickly exceeded my ability to be able to help here, I think. I closed the discussion based on the arguments; I have no personal knowledge of these languages. May I suggest that we move this conversation to WT:UCFD? If we put it there, I think that we are much more likely to get people who understand this better than I do to help you work out a solution. If you would like me to, I would be more than happy to move this entire conversation there on your behalf. --After Midnight 0001 04:04, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
As I noted in the nom, the current policy at Wikimedia is for all new WikiProjects to follow ISO 639. I have a question to User:Pathoschild concerning more info. In the end, we're the en: Wikipedia. Do we follow the current standard here and at Wikimedia in naming this user cat, or do we cite WP:IAR in this case, since the WikiProject apparently predated the "offical" listing of 639-3?
(Incidentally (though I am just guessing), I wonder if the gsw abbreviation came from the fact that it could refer to 3 of the 4 examples you listed above - swg, swg, and wg.)
Anyway, the easiest answer may be one of reducing confusion. The WikiProject people are obviously well-aware of the problem. The person I feel for is the albanian who adds the als cat to their userpage in good faith after reading the article, which lists als as an albanian abbreviation. - jc37 02:58, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Have any Albanian editors voiced their opinion yet? -- Matthead discuß!     O       22:05, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Hardly anybody seems to care. -- Matthead discuß!     O       19:17, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Category:User als

Moved from WP:UCFD, since it doesn't directly involve rename/merge/deletion/etc. This also removes the "impending" time limit, so that consensus may be more clearly determined. (I don't think anyone would rather see this discussion closed as merely "no consensus".) So please feel free to continue the discussion, and hopefully work towards resolution. - jc37 19:36, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Re-repurpose (but do not delete) Category:User als and subcategories to speakers of Alemannic German in order to match the Alemannic wikipedia domain That category has been repurposed to speakers of Tosk Albanian without considering that waitals is being used for the Alemannic wikipedia domain (see Wikipedia:User categories for discussion/Archive/August 2007#Category:User als and subcats). The argument for that repurposing was that als is not the ISO 639-3 Code for Alemannic, but for Tosk Albanian. While that is true, there is no obligation for user language categories to match ISO 639-3. The Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories) do not specify the kind of code to be used, but Wikipedia:Babel says: "For the most part, the two and three letter codes are taken from ISO 639, but see this list for a comprehensive guide." So I understand that the codes should match the wikipedia domains in the first place, and they only match ISO 639 to the extent that the wikipedia domains match them. -- j. 'mach' wust 10:32, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Re-repurpose – as nominator. -- j. 'mach' wust 10:32, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Although there is no absolute requirement to follow ISO 639, there is a strong consensus that language category names should match ISO 639 codes, supported by several dozen CFD discussions and the fact that all or nearly all language categories follow the ISO convention. To avoid confusion with als.wikipedia, we can place a {{for}} or {{otheruses}} notice on the category page. – Black Falcon (Talk) 18:28, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Is there any precedence where a language category code does not match the corresponding wikipedia domain? -- j. 'mach' wust 21:01, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I think that perhaps this should be thought about in reverse. The whole point of using Iso codes is that they are an international standard. And I presume that what the ISO codes are have been argued out by others more "in the know" then us. Perhaps the better way to handle this would be for the language Wikipedias to follow this standard as well. - jc37 21:08, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Well this is interesting: Meta:Language proposal policy. According to this, all new language Wikipedias names should follow ISO 639. (I'm continuing research to find out more information.) - jc37 21:29, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
The thing is that when the Alemannic Wikipedia was started in 2003 I believe, the language had no ISO code (and in my opinion it still doesn't because the code gsw defies linguistic convention by using "Swiss German" as a cover term for Alemannic, when it usually is the other way around; Alemannic is the cover term while Swiss German refers to a socio-geographic variant of Alemannic). Moving the domain now while the code is still not established would be more trouble than it is worth; and in my opinion the bable template should follow the domain. --Chlämens 23:37, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
A user language category on en.wikipedia needn't necessarily conform to the (apparently ambiguous) domain name of another language Wikipedia. – Black Falcon (Talk) 00:00, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
But the existance of a wikipedia in that language is a compelling reason to have the category conform to the domain since pretty much anyone active at als.wikipedia will expect to find their language template under als. --Chlämens 01:29, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Let me get this straight: "We know we're using a non-standard abbreviation" and "We feel that the en-Wikipedia should default to out non-standard abbreviation instead of the ISO standard". Well, I feel that anyone using a non-standard anything should be prepared to have to deal with the standard, not the other way round. Sorry, but that arguement doesn't work. - jc37 01:34, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I think it comes down to the question, what is more important on wikipedia, interwiki or ISO 639-3? There are no compelling reasons either way. To my knowledge, there is no precedence. The was there before ISO 639-3. -- j. 'mach' wust 08:05, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This category isn't about members of the sister-project. It's Wikipedians who speak a certain language. I don't see a reason to dispense with convention in this case. - jc37 11:14, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
It's not that easy. There are two conventions that contradict in this case: The convention to use ISO 639-3 and the convention to use wikipedia domain (see Wikipedia:Babel). They normally overlap. They do not in this particular case. -- j. 'mach' wust 18:13, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per jc37 and Black Falcon. I was the one who originally proposed the switch to Albanian, since "als" is Tosk Albanian. I was not aware of the Alemannic Wikipedia when I made the nomination, but that does not change the fact that it is improperly named (as per the current meta requirements for new wikipedia projects. What happens if someone wants to start a Tosk Wikipedia? In any case, the error at als.wikipedia does not need to spill over to en.wikipedia as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Horologium (talkcontribs) 23:53, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
There already is a Tosk Wikipedia, the Standard Albanian one, Standard Albanian is a Tosk dialect. The current meta requirement did not exist when the Alemannic Wikipedia was started over 5 years ago, and for the time being there is no alternative to als; even though we at the Alemannic Wikipedia are working on a request to Ethnologue for a correct (see my first post) code. When Alemannic is given a correct code we will happily move our domain, but until then we still need a category across the different wikipedias. The error of Ethnologue and ISO 639-3 need not to spill over to Wikipedia in general. So Strong Support. PS:I happen to speak both Alemannic and Tosk Albanian --Chlämens 01:41, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Support as per nom, and myself elsewhere, I've lost track. As conceded above, some were ignorant of the existence of als-Wikipedia when the decision, that involved only 5 editors or so, was made. This was as premature and uncoordinated as it can get. Albanian (sqip) users have sq to identify with (sq-Wiki and user-sq), and there is no excuse for sacrificing the well-established use of als for Alemannic purposes only to introduce an Albanian subcategory for Tosk which nobody called for yet, and which should be named tsk or similiar anyway. "als" relates to "Alemannische Sprache", and "Alsace", too.-- Matthead discuß!     O       01:26, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
To get this straight: we at the Alemannic Wikipedia aren't great fans of the als code either, but when it was started in 2003 there was no ISO 639-3 so the people at meta came up with als. Not our fault, not ideal, but that's the way it is until we get a real ISO 639-3 code (should be with the next edition of Ethnologue). --Chlämens 01:58, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
As for me, the codes "ala", "ald", "ale", "alg", "all", "alm" and "als" would be good choices for Alemannic, but these are already given to others for whatever reason. Maybe we came too late into World history, only 2000 years ago Roman historians learned about Germanic peoples and then the Alamanni, and the couple of million speakers of Alemannic do barely outnumber e.g. the 18,000 Unangax which own "ale" (surely they are all happy about that). There are some ISO 639-2 codes like "gem Germanic (Other)" or "gsw" for "Alemannic Swiss German", but this is not good, we have at least three more countries to cover. How about "dea", seems free, fits nicely under Alpha-2 "de" for German? Same for "deb", for Baden.-- Matthead discuß!     O       05:22, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
The abbreviation gsw stands for German Switzerland, that is, for Swiss German. However, only the Alemannic speakers of Switzerland identify themselves as speakers of Swiss German (and maybe the ones from Liechtenstein too). So it's unlikely that German, Austrian and French speakers of Alemannic would use a Swiss German userbox to identify their own speech. Now these are probably the majority of Alemannic speakers, even if we don't consider Swabian. The only reason why the ethnologue gives a larger number for speakers in Switzerland is that it fails to count speakers from Germany but counts only those from France and Austria.[2] (On the other hand, I think more likely that speakers of Walser dialects would identify themselves as Swiss German speakers.) Now you could ask, how come an ISO standard has so many flaws? The reason is, I think, that it's directly based on the ethnologue, and the ethnologue itself admits with respect to varieties of German: "Our present treatment in this edition is incomplete."[3]
By the way, there are numerous precedents of Wikipedia:Userboxes/Non-ISO Languages. -- j. 'mach' wust 08:13, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
So you're saying that you want it to be called Category:User gsw-als? (Since most of those on that page are hyphenated.) - jc37 15:22, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Still, there is no appropriate code reserved for the several millions non-Swiss, non Swabian speakers of Alemannic, namely Low Alemannic German. I thus propose Category:User Alemannic as a replacement for Category:User als until Ethnologue and ISO get their acts together, reserving acceptable definitions and codes both for Alemannic in general, and all relevant subdivisions. Currently, there are too few available, only Category:User swg for Swabian language and Category:User gsw for Swiss German or High Alemannic German.-- Matthead discuß!     O       19:21, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

And? Is anything going to get resolved now? In light of the fact that:

  • There is a wikimedia project under the code als.
  • No one arguing for repurposing has proposed any alternative for the Alemannic category.
  • There was no awareness that an Alemannic Wikipedia existed when this proposal was made.
  • The Alemannic Wikipedia existed before the ISO 639-3 standard did.
  • ISO 639-3 is not complete for this language family as noted by its own creators.
  • All users wanting to add a bable template for Alemannic will search for als.
  • That there is no other case as far as I know of a wikimedia project under a non-standard code, and thus no precedent would be set.

And most of all:

  • That Tosk Albanian is already covered by the Standard Albanian Wikipedia and template (Standard Albanian = Standard Tosk, as opposed to Gheg Albanian, whose standard language was abandoned in the late 70's).

I argue that the existence of the Alemannic Wikipedia is more important than the code for Tosk Albanian which is already covered by sq, and that this justifies an exception to the rule. --Chlämens 16:53, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I concur, so its currently tied an 3 each. Let's override the depopulate for repurposing discussion from August, return Category:User als to the about 80 User pages that link to Template:User als, and add a remark that ISO currently attributes als to Tosk. Things might change in the future - in this case, Ethnologue and ISO have to catch up to Wiki projects, not vice versa.-- Matthead discuß!     O       21:03, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Admin comment: just in case someone is waiting for me.... I want to let users know that I will not be closing this discussion. I feel that the decision requires not just an assessment of consensus but also a stronger language background or knowledge than I possess. As such, I will leave the close of this discussion to any other admin who feels qualified (by their standards, not mine) to do so. --After Midnight 0001 19:40, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
    I understand. I was thinking about dropping a request on the talk pages of admins who post at least semi-regularly to this page. But before I do that, if you wouldn't mind, would you just pick one randomly and ask them to close (or suggest that if they know someone more appropriate to perhaps ask them)? - jc37 02:13, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

it was unfortunate to choose "als" for "Alsatian". Sure, there was no ISO code, but seeing that, something should have been chosen that doesn't collide with ISO 639 (the Alemannic Wikipedia is a strange animal anyway. I tried to contribute, but I gave up, because the babel of different dialects makes the normal editing process almost impossible). Since we find ourselves in this mess, the question is, will it be possible to move als-wiki? The best move target would probably be gsw:, since SIL gives "Alternate names: Alemannisch" for this code. If the Swabians refuse to edit under "gsw", the only half ISO compatible solution would be something along the lines of "gem-ala" or "gem-als" (but seeing that gsw and swg speakers today edit under a made-up code for Alsatian, I see nothing that would speak against a move to gsw). Discussion of this would really belong on meta. Concerning the user categories, I wouldn't touch them until the subdomain question is resolved, because doing so might mean that you'll just have to move them around twice. --dab (𒁳) 08:19, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I fully concur. I understand that "wouldn't touch" in this case seems to mean 'return to status quo ante', since the user categories already have been touched. I don't think that gsw would enjoy equal acceptance as als. The reason why als was easily accepted for all Alemannic varieties, not only Alsatian, is that it could easily be reinterpreted as alemannische Sprache, whereas gsw clearly connotes 'Switzerland'. -- j. 'mach' wust 09:41, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
als is completely made up. It may be taken to mean "Alsatian" (by intention) or "Alemannische Sprache" (after the fact) if people so desire, but officially, it means "Tosk Albanian". gsw officially means "German, Swiss", and swg officially means "Swabian German". This is completely arbitrary, and could just as well be the other way round ("Swiss German", "German, Swabian"). gsw is preferable because it is linguistically wider, including Low, High and Highest Alemannic dialects alike, while swg is only for Low Alemannic. If als-wiki decides it wants to continue mixing Low and High Alemannic, a move to gsw would be best. If they decide to restrict their scope to Low Alemannic (Alsatian, Swabian, Basel German), swg would be best. I really think that meta should put it to the als-wiki community to make up their minds whether they want to be gsw or swg, and then move the project. --dab (𒁳) 13:18, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
on second thoughts, I do not think we should keep Category:User als around in the meaning "Alemannic". This will only serve to perpetuate the misnomer. It should rather be split into Category:User gsw and Category:User swg, and users will be free to pick if they want to be "gsw" or "swg". Case in point, there is als:Kategorie:User gsw, but no als:Kategorie:User als (and no als:Kategorie:User swg). --dab (𒁳) 13:55, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
judging from precedents like roa-tara:, bat-smg:, zh-min-nan:, zh-classical:, The Alemannic wiki could also be at "de-als", "de-ale" or similar, but at least the first part of the subdomain should be standard (simple: also violates this, and should properly be "en-simple", but that probably wasn't quite simple enough...) --dab (𒁳) 14:07, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
I think a split is not a good solution. There is a wikipedia community that identifies themselves as Alemannic. Should they be forced to abandon their self-identification on the basis of an arbitrary standard that is based on the admittetly incomplete treatment of the ethnologue?[4] And why should for instance someone from the Alsace or Baden or Freiburg i.B. etc. who is not Swiss and does not speak Swabian have to choose between Swiss and Swabian? I agree that some kind of dash-name would be best, though I'd rather go for a full name like "de-alemannisch" or "gem-alemannisch" in accordance to the recommendation of Meta:Language proposal policy that natural names should be used if there is no code. -- j. 'mach' wust 14:59, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
nobody prevents you from identifying as "Alemannic", and creating, for example, a Category:Alemannic Wikipedians. But I put it to you that this is a matter of ethnic identity, and not necessarily a case for "User language" templates. It is true that Alemannic is a valid linguistic classification, and just so happens to lack an ISO code. But I would consider it a problematic precedent to create an User language category based on ethnic sentiment (you don't want to know what is in the woodworks in this respect...) If we absolutely need a "this user speaks Alemannic" category, let it be called Category:User de-ale or similar. In my understanding, "gsw" was originally intended as the "Swiss German" code, but was subsequently extended as the umbrella code for "Alemannic" (hence the 'alternate names: Alemannic"). If people can accept that gsw can now be used for "Alemannic in general", even though it was intended for "Swiss German" at some point, the solution is using Category:User gsw for "Alemannic Wikipedians". "Swiss German" is not a linguistic classification and simply refers to Alemannic speakers from Switzerland. We do not express nationality in User language categories, and Swiss Wikipedians can still use Category:User gsw and Category:Swiss Wikipedians in conjunction. They can also plaster their user page with flags and what have you, not getting your own language category does not amount to censorship of expression of ethnic identity. --dab (𒁳) 15:17, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

In the light of BCP 47 specifications, I propose that "gsw" should be considered the code for "Alemannic German", and "gsw-CH" should be considered the code for "Swiss German" in particular (while de-CH is for Swiss Standard German). --dab (𒁳) 15:38, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

The category for Alemannic is not an ethnic category, what on earth are you talking about? The Alemannic Wikipedia identifies as "Alemannic-speaking", not as ethnically Alemannic, whatever that is. Many people in Southern Baden might identify as ethnic Alemannic, some Alsatians and Swiss do, but Alemannic is primarily a linguistic cover term, despite what Alemannic speakers from Baden like me try to tell ourselves. I don't see the logic in make hasty decisions based on the Ethnologue, which is known to be unreliable, and even admits to being incomplete on this particular subject. Alemannic is probably one of the best researched idioms in that area, and I have never seen a linguistic study, dialect atlas etc that uses "Swiss German" as a cover term the way the Ethnologue does. To use WP terminology: Ethnologue is doing original research on Alemannic. The gsw code has only been around for about a year, the Alemannic Wikipedia has existed for 5 years, Alemannic has been studied for the past century, so the best path of action is to sit back, file a request with Ethnologue, and wait for their next edition. Until then, it would be pretty premature to start moving stuff around, be it domains or categories. You'll just be right back where you started from next year and have to move everything again when the people at Ethnologue actually consult the relevant sources. --Chlämens 23:52, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. People like Cem Özdemir are surely not "ethnic Alemannic", yet they are native speakers of Alemannic anyway. It's Ethnologue and ISO who have homework to do - the only thing Wikipedia has to do is return the als-Category to the dozens of Alemannic speakers which have started it, adding an info link for those who may look for Tosk (which is, apart from us few, probably nobody anyway). -- Matthead discuß!     O       05:17, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
look, my main point is that "gsw" should be considered the code for "Alemannic", while "swg" should be considered the code for "Swabian Alemannic" as "wae" should be considered the code for "Walser Alemannic". There is no code for Alsatian, Bernese or Zurich Alemannic, ISO doesn't have a code for every dialect. There are possibilities for code expansions for that, including the "-x-" "private agreement" marker. "swg-CH" is "Swiss German", and "gsw-x-als" can be "Alsatian" by private agreement. These codes aren't SIL's, they are ISO's, and endorsed worldwide by W3C etc. Wikipedia should go along with them. The sensible thing would be to change Category:User gsw from "Schweizerdeutsch" to "Alemannic". If you really really cannot live with "gsw" meaning "Alemannic", we could at best create idiosyncratic Category:User de-x-als as a homegrown code for "Alemannic German". We should not keep around User lang categories that violate ISO. The gsw code has in fact been around since 1998 (but it is true that the "als" code had been unassigned until 2007). I agree it is somewhat unfortunate. So what? It's hardly the only flaw in international standards. There is nothing for it but look for the best workaround until the standards organisations improve on it. The alternative is a babel of idiosyncracy. --dab (𒁳) 08:40, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
He he he, so we'd have gsw-DE 'German Swiss German' and gsw-CH Swiss Swiss German (or is it 'double-Swiss German'?)! :-) Right, the x, so I'd go for "gem-x-alemannisch". Or is there a length constraint? I'm not sure I read the specifications correctly. -- j. 'mach' wust 10:56, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
But what happened to the point about keeping "als" till the issue is settled on meta so we don't have to move again? -- j. 'mach' wust 11:01, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

did you miss, or do you choose to ignore, my point that "gsw" should be taken to mean "Alemannic", not just "Swiss German"? Instead of "gem-x-alemannisch", go for "de-x-alemannisch": it is undisputed that Alemannic German is a subset of German. I would prefer to settle the issue now, so this discussion doesn't have to be repeated needlessly. Let us not reinvent the wheel. SIL takes gsw to apply to both "Swiss German" and "Alemannic". Alternatively, this interpretation suggests usage of "wae"= Highest, "gsw"=High, and "swg"=Low (incl. Swabian) Alemannic. This is a sensible solution, but proposes "gem-CH" for "Swiss German" (because "gsw-CH" would be restricted to High Alemannic Swiss dialects). I would prefer doing without "-x-" if at all possible. There are two perfectly reasonable scenarios:

  • interpret wae, gsw, swg as Highest, High and Low Alemannic. This is linguistically the sensible approach.
  • interpret gsw as "Alemannic", with wae and swg as specially marked subsets.

Both solutions allow you to identify as Alemannic speaker, and neither necessitates the invention of "private agreements". als: is a strange combination swg and gsw (and even some wae). This isn't really workable, it's like trying to write a Wikipedia in English and Frisian simultaneously. Because of the eccentric scope of the project, the subdomain may also be eccentric, I suppose, perhaps "gem-swg-gsw-wae"? dab (𒁳) 11:28, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

in contrast to what I say above, SIL is in fact the official authority for ISO 639[5]. This means that "Alemannic" as a valid reading of "gsw" should be taken at face value. In the light of this, I clearly prefer "gsw" to be used as the code for "Alemannic" on Wikipedia, with "gsw-CH" meaning "Swiss German" in particular ("gsw" alone can also mean Swiss German, a fortiori, just like it can also be used to mean "Bernese German" or whatever). dab (𒁳) 11:40, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I do not ignore that gsw does not only mean 'Swiss German' but also 'Alemannic', but 'Swiss German' is whence the code comes, and it does not mean 'Alemannic' in the sense that comprises all of gsw, swg, wae, gct, which is a different concept of 'Alemannic' used by the very same ethnologue that made up the incomplete treatment of those varieties the ISO is based on.[6]
You blame the Alemannic community for not agreeing with the arbitrary ISO standard. I blame the other way round: I blame the arbitrary ISO standard for not agreeing with the Alemannic community, linguistics etc. because it's only based on the incomplete treatment of the ethnologue. It's not reality that should mirror standards, but standards that should mirror reality.
Neither the solution to reinterpret wae, gsw, swg as Highest Alemannic, High Alemannic, Low Alemannic is workable nor the solution to consider wae, swg subsets of gsw, because neither conform with ISO.
I fully concur with the message you've cited that Swiss German in the usual sense of 'German dialects spoken in Switzerland' can only be represented by "gem-CH", because of the eccentric ethnologue decision to exclude wae (but not Walliser German nor other Highest Alemannic varieties!) from gsw, and because "de-CH" means Swiss standard German.
Just as ISO does not provide a special code for Swiss German in the common sense, there is also no code for Alemannic. We might use "de-x-alemannisch" or "gem-x-alemannisch" or just as well agree on using "qal", that is, a 'local use' code.
Whatever decision we take, it is not unlikely to be overridden by future decisions on meta or by future ISO editions. We can't "settle the issue now", no matter how hard we try. This is no appropiate place. That's why I suggested in the first place to keep the interwiki consistency between and "category:User als" until the issue has been settled in the appropiate place. -- j. 'mach' wust 12:28, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
SIL is not doing dialectology, they classify the world's languages. It is unavoidable that some ambiguities will arise; in my understanding, wae is intended for "Highest Alemannic", swg is intended for "Swabian", and gsw is intended for either "High+Low Alemannic (including Alsatian)", or for "Alemannic" generically, let's take our pick. It is pointless to "blame SIL". You can file a change request, but for the time being, we have to work with the standard as defined. I maintain that it is unacceptable to keep "als", because that means "Tosk Albanian". To my mind, "de-x-als", "de-x-alemannisch", "swg-gsw-wae" and "gsw" are all acceptable alternatives, and there is room for disagreement and debate as to which is preferable ("qal" is not a good idea, since Indeterminately reserved code elements are really not part of ISO 639 at all, but are reserved to avoid collisions with systems that are meant to be upward-compatible extensions of ISO 639. They are not supposed to be used except in those particular systems). The Alemannic community should discuss this, and post their favourite solution to meta. dab (𒁳) 13:04, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Just in case I haven't pointed this out often enough yet: that als is the ISO code for Tosk Albanian does not make moving the Alemannic domain a pressing issue, the reason being that the Albanian Wikipedia is already being written in (Standard) Tosk. Imagine if there was an accepted Standard Alemannic language, and someone opened another one for the dialects, that's what opening one for Tosk Albanian would be like (and I speak Tosk for your information). Thus, since the als domain will probably never be needed, it is much more feasible to file a request with Ethnologue (which we're planning to do anyway) and wait for them to sort it out rather than moving the domain around several times. --Chlämens 17:12, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

See here: meta:Meta_talk:Language_proposal_policy#Alemannic. dab (𒁳) 13:06, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for taking that to meta! I'm always too reluctant to step into new wikimedia branches... I don't see anything that hints to wae standing for Highest Alemannic (besides Walliser-Walser dialects, they comprise at least also Bernese Oberland and Sense dialects, but there is no unanimity about what features define Highest Alemannic). I wasn't informed good enough on qal. I repeat I don't like gsw because that excludes Walser dialects and Swabian, but the other proposals are fine to me. Ceterum censeo: I still think we should not touch als while there has been no decision on meta, that is, revert the touching that already has been done. -- j. 'mach' wust 20:31, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Please see m:User talk:Pathoschild#ISO 639 - jc37 20:52, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Filing a change request with Ethnologue/ISO

As Chlämens pointed out above, a change request should be filed to straighten this out. A simple first step could change the Albanian language ISO 3 codes, to ones beginning with "sq", the ISO 639 alpha-2 code for Shqip. This would free not only "als", but also "aln", leaving some space for future Alemannic codes.

code now better
alb Albanian ISO 639-2 Albanian
aln Gheg Low Alemannic German (Niederalemannische Sprache)
als Tosk Alemannic German (Alemannische Sprache) or Alsatian
sqg - Gheg
sqi Shqip Albanian Shqip Albanian
sqr - Soqotri
sqt Soqotri Tosk

Does this make any sense? -- Matthead discuß!     O       05:31, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Hmm. Why didn't you use soq (Kanasi) to be the new Soqotri code? (Kanasi doesn't have a page on Wikipedia. See Trans-New Guinea languages.) - jc37 05:44, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, KISS, "sqr" was nearby and free, so I did not look any further, its as good or bad as "sqt" for Soqotri. Don't want to cause more commotion than necessary. Is there any system behind the allocation of codes, other than "random & arbitrarily"?-- Matthead discuß!     O       06:03, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Step two would then be the assignment of meaningful codes to the Alemannic dialects. While some interesting codes are already taken, like those suitable for Schwäbisch and Schwyzterdütsch,

some others are still unused, namely all rh* (except rhp), which could be used for languages associated with the Rhine

  • els Elsässerisch
  • rha
  • rhb Bodenseealemannisch, or Badisch
  • rhh hochalemannisch
  • rhi High Alemannic
  • rho Oberrheinalemannisch: vor allem Elsass, Baden und in Basel
  • rhn (or aln) Niederalemannisch:
  • rhy als:Rhy

-- Matthead discuß!     O       09:59, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Note: From what I've been reading at Wikimedia, several of the Alemannic sister projects are up for closure. - jc37 10:46, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't think they can implement these changes, as they are bound to backwards compatibility. They can assign a previously unassigned code for "Alemannic", but they cannot re-assign a code that has already been assigned to another language. If you're filing a request, pick a code that is as yet unassigned for your proposal. dab (𒁳) 19:07, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I've noticed that they consider themselves infallible. No wonder, considering the Christian background of SIL/Ethnologue. It's appalling that ISO relies on them. -- Matthead discuß!     O       00:44, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Standards, include ISO ones, value stability very highly. Once they declared als to be a dialect of Albanian, changing it would have caused a huge amount of complaint from organizations depending on the stability of the standard. Wikimedia should never have used als to mean Alemannic, since that was inconsistent with the standard; als was a reserved code, not a private use one. This is not SIL's fault.--Prosfilaes 01:40, 6 November 2007 (UTC)


This issue was initially raised by User:Equazcion on the main page. Since it is an issue regarding the process of category discussions, I think it ought to be continued here and not on the main page. For context, please see Wikipedia:User categories for discussion#section break.

The argument of precedent is not something unique to UCFD that "survives" due to inattention. It is a principle that is solidly-established at WP:CFD and just carries over here as well. What exactly is the perceived problem with deletion on the basis of "precedent"? It basically means deletion on the basis of arguments made in a prior discussion; if an editor feel that the arguments are/were inadequate or do not apply to a particular situation, s/he is of course free to mention that fact. – Black Falcon (Talk) 00:13, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Precedent exists at CfD because these are groupings. And there is a preference to have groupings have a "current convention", without having the bureaucratic overhead of listing the convention of every single category. See also Wikipedia:Overcategorisation for another example of CfD precedence. So, for example, if certain kinds of categories are repeatedly deleted or renamed to a certain convention, then often a commenter will state: per precedent of X (typically linking "X" to the previous discussion). - jc37 00:29, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Precedent can certainly be helpful, but it ceases to be useful when it diverges with the present consensus opinion. I think that line has been crossed already, if not some time ago. (I realize that the above comments were posted a while ago, while the objections raised against UCFD precedents were less strong.) — xDanielx T/C\R 04:10, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
    Re: "That line has been crossed already ...". It depends on what type of precedent we're discussing. There have been less than 10 discussions for professional organisation categories, and one should be wary of generalising any principles from those few discussions to all user categories, or to UCFDs in general. For instance, the precedent and consensus against "support/oppose" user categories is still just as strong, at least judging from recent discussions, as it was several months ago. – Black Falcon (Talk) 05:43, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
  • It's reasonable to mention precedent, but when precedent is the only reason given, that is insufficient. A brief summary of the precedent reasons (with focus on the current user category for discussion) should be included as well. Recently, it's hard to argue against a deletion rationale when the only one given is "precedent". Conversely, when that is the only reason given, I think it's natural that it will be the reason argued against. Part of the problem with giving precedent as the only reason is that it obfuscates the fact that prior precedent doesn't actually apply in the cases to which they're being applied. For example, if I argued that an article about "Fred from Florida" should be deleted because he wasn't notable, and it gets deleted, someone else citing this deletion as precedent for someone else from Florida, that's not helpful. Hence, an additional comment needs to be included to explain why the precedent applies to the current case, other than "other user categories of type 'x' have been deleted". Why were they deleted and why is that relevant here? (I'm not actually asking this question, just saying that it needs to be answered on cases where precedent is being cited.) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 15:35, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
    A deletion rationale citing precedent is a shorthand for "per the same reasons provided in prior discussions". While I agree that a restatement of those reasons may be useful, it's often simply a matter of navigating to and skimming through the discussions that establish the precedent. As for your other point, the applicability of a precedent to a particular category is something that can and should be discussed in individual nominations. However, while it's possible for a precedent to be mis-applied, such mis-application is not inherent to the concept of precedent itself. The "from Florida" example you give would apply as precedent only if the article "Fred from Florida" was deleted due to the fact that the subject is from Florida, which is unlikely. If the deletion was motivated by other reasons (such as the fact that the subject's notability wasn't proven), then it's an entirely different precedent we're talking about. – Black Falcon (Talk) 19:11, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
    Although I'll readily admit that "from Florida" example is a bit contrived (OK, very contrived), the parallel is easy to make. The original reasons for deleting organizational categories was not simply because they were organizations (cf. "from Florida"). However, citing precedence solely on the fact that other organizational user categories were deleted seems to imply that is a sufficient reason. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 19:39, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
    With the professional association categories, I am inclined to agree with you (as I noted in more detail in the deletion review). My concern is that the circumstances of this particular case – or, rather, this set of 6 related cases – not be generalised into a total rejection of precedent. – Black Falcon (Talk) 20:51, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
    I'm definitely not suggesting the rejection of precedent. I'm just saying precedent needs to be backed up with reasons for why the precedent is relevant. This question of why has been omitted recently in many user categories for discussion. (Sometimes this is later addressed in discussion, but not always. It should be mentioned in the nomination rationale.) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 20:57, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
    Typically there is a link to at least one of the previous discussions or policy/guidelines/whatever. (Though I'll freely admit at times to neglecting this due to the example being recent, or presuming that those commenting are already aware of the discussion/precedent.) - jc37 21:59, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

If we are going to talk about precedent, we need to make sure that we are also talking about prior discussions of a subject. Specifically when a category has been the subject of previous discussion debates (for example: Wikipedians who keep kosher) it would at the least be common courtesy to link to those previous debates when bringing the subject up again. Also the proposals, ideas, and arguments from previous debates almost certainly apply to a current debate. Previous deletion discussions are routinely linked to in other deletion fora, and I propose that such be done here too.—Elipongo (Talk contribs) 17:57, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedians by contact information

Noting discussion at WT:CFD#Wikipedians by contact information and related deletion review at Wikipedia:Deletion review#:Category:Wikipedians by contact information. These are for user categories by external contact methods, mainly IM services. -- Ned Scott 20:05, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Category:Wikipedians by alma mater: United Kingdom

Does the subdivision of Category:Wikipedians by alma mater: United Kingdom by constituent country aid navigation. If upmerged, the main "United Kingdom" category would contain 49 subcats, so it's not clear that subcategorisation is needed at this point. I'm initiating a discussion here rather a nomination on the WP:UCFD page as I don't feel strongly either way. – Black Falcon (Talk) 21:21, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Looking at the child cats, Category:Wikipedians by alma mater: England has 24 subcats, Category:Wikipedians by alma mater: Scotland has six, and Category:Wikipedians by alma mater: Wales has four. (Refreshingly, none of them has users who have stubbornly included themselves inappropriately into organizational cats.) There doesn't appear to be a category for Northern Ireland, which would include two universities. 13 of the fifteen universities that are categorized in Category:Wikipedians by alma mater: United Kingdom could be categorized in the England subcat (the remaining two are the Northern Ireland ones mentioned earlier). I think that we should either create a Northern Ireland cat, move the two relevant universities into it and move all 13 of the others into England (making the parent cat a organizational-only cat), or upmerge the constituent country cats into the parent. I don't really have a preference one way or the other on that, but let's be consistent. Horologium (talk) 23:10, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
That's essentially why I asked. I've been going through the Wikipedians by alma mater category tree, and I wanted to know whether I should start a nomination to request upmerging or simply follow the existing subcategorisation scheme. If you have no preference, and if no one else expresses a preference within a day or two, I'll just go ahead and follow the existing scheme (including creating a category for Northern Ireland); a nomination for upmerging - should anyone care to write it - could always be done later on. – Black Falcon (Talk) 23:21, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
 Done. I think that it will be easier to evaluate the need for subcategorisation once the current series of nominations (made through Dec. 7) are closed and a more accurate figure of the actual number of category members emerges. – Black Falcon (Talk) 21:02, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


This seems like a very busy page - I'm wondering why the nominations aren't on subpages like AFDs and MFDs? Thanks. Redrocketboy 17:04, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

A system of daily logs, like at WP:CFD, rather than individual discussion pages would be more suited to this page because most nominations receive an average of 2 comments. So why aren't daily logs used? I think one reason is that there's never really been a pressing need to use subpages, since this page is generally less than 100-150 KB in size. Another reason is that the rate of nominations is highly variable. Sometimes days pass without a single nomination. Other times, there are no more than 1 or 2 nominations per day for a period of several days. Other times, such as now, dozens of nominations are made in a short time span. Unlike at CFD, which gets a fairly regular stream of nominations from multiple users, nominations here tend to happen in spurts. – Black Falcon (Talk) 17:44, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the answer Black Falcon - have a nice day! Redrocketboy 18:03, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
No problem. :) Cheers, Black Falcon (Talk) 18:25, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
On the other hand, subpages would prevent links to discussion to don't "expire" when the discussion is archived, which can be helpful. I would support month-based subpages. Snowolf How can I help? 02:25, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I just link to the archive, even if a discussion hasn't been archived yet, since the most recent archive page always has a "if it's not here, check the main page" notice. Month-based subpages would make sense as they could also automatically serve as archives, but I'm concerned about length (the size of the monthly archives ranges from 250 to 700 KB). – Black Falcon (Talk) 02:36, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

User:Bedford possible disruption

As per his comments here, User:Bedford has declared "No one who votes to delete this will ever get my cooperation for anything". He then proceeded to !vote keep on just about every category I nominated, as well as several of Black Falcon's, with weak to no rationale. While there is no way of knowing for sure if this is just for "retaliation", I think the edit above shows enough reason to discount every one of his !votes on all categories other than the Mayflower one. VegaDark (talk) 17:29, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

  • I did not choose everything, just those that had some merit. I think too many people who just like to delete things are running rampant on the category discussion page, and someone needs to stop them. If no one else will, I will.--Bedford (talk) 18:44, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
    • I guess we will have to let the closing admin decide. VegaDark (talk) 19:30, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
      • I think that if we're to assume good faith, it seems possible that he merely realized that there were other UCFD nominations that he could comment on that perhaps he wasn't as knowledgeable on. After all, it seems that the nominators themselves are not always knowledgeable on the topics they're nominating (not that they should have to be). Besides, you can hardly dismiss the solid argument he makes when he says "per Ben Hocking", now, can you? ;) Other than his comment that "no one who votes to delete this will ever get my cooperation for anything", I see nothing unusual in his behavior. In fact, you'll note that I follow a similar pattern at times—commenting on most UCs currently under discussion and usually !voting for keep. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 19:52, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
        • IMO the edit linked to above throws out a presumption of good faith. I find it highly coincidental that his !votes occured right after that, when he had clearly been aware of other nominations prior to that when he made his initial comments to the Mayflower discussion. As an admin, I personally would discount them. I, however, won't be closing any he replied in to avoid a COI, so we will have to see what the closing admin decides. Most of the ones he replied to are leaning towards deletion regardless of his input, so it will likely change nothing, but there are a few where it could. I think the links on the main page to this should stay, and let the closing admin decide for themselves. VegaDark (talk) 20:02, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
          • It is a little difficult to AGF after this – specifically, the use of phrases such as "has no life other than deleting things" and "the forces of stupidity" – especially since the comment was not retracted. – Black Falcon (Talk) 19:15, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
            • I'm not concerned about it. We've encountered such before. The user should know that in past cases of similar comments, the closers merely didn't give any weight to the commenter's further comments. It's within the closer's discretion/discernment to do so. This includes the 5 or so (3 in particular) who regularly do the closes on this board. So no need for this to be any more of a disruption. Shrugs. - jc37 10:02, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

(<-) There are only 3-5 regular closers here? That's very concerning. It suggests insularity is a very real possibility. ++Lar: t/c 19:11, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

The only way to fix this is if more admins take interest in the process. You seem to have motivation to increase the number to 4-6. –Pomte 22:23, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
It may be more productive for me to try to recruit others than to commit to it myself... as someone pointed out, I have 16 flags ... I could do a few to see how it went maybe. ++Lar: t/c 22:40, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Noting that to my knowledge there are roughly 5 resular closers on WP:CFD, as well, 2-3 of which also close WP:UCFD... - jc37 02:40, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I closed one to try my hand, and when I went to close the others today, a bit more controversial, they all had been closed by one of the regulars. (that regular in fact double closed mine without checking to see that I had closed it already [7]) Not very inclusionary. I'm more concerned than ever by insularity. See also this argument. When I questioned AM about his closes of the others, User_talk:After_Midnight#Wikipedia:User_categories_for_discussion.23Wikimedia_and_advertising pointing out that I think he called them wrong, he didn't really address my points, he instead just reiterated that he was right. Not a good approach. ++Lar: t/c 13:28, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you could assume good faith that I had an issue refreshing my cache rather than implying something else untoward. As for your dissatisfaction with my responses, you asked for me to elaborate and I did so. That you still don't find my answers to be satisfactory does not mean that I did not try to answer them in good faith. I'm not finding your combative style to be a good approach towards me. Your repeated pattern seems very passive aggressive to my perspective. If you want to go to DRV, that is fine, I've been there before and I'm sure that I will be there again. One thing that I have found is that you can't make everyone happy all the time and that the unhappy people often take things there, hell, I've even taken myself there once. It seems however that I will never make you happy. I find it interesting that based on the arguments that you are making about the 2 debates that you seem destined to DRV, you are saying nothing about the one which I closed in your favor, despite the fact that I used the same principles to close all three. If you take 2 to DRV, why not take all 3 and see how things turn out? --After Midnight 0001 03:39, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I think taking them all to DRV is a good approach, and I will, later today. Clearly trying to talk to you informally isn't quite working out the way I had hoped. It seems we both are making some bad assumptions about the other person, or at least it appears that way. ++Lar: t/c 14:44, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Subcategories of Category:Wikipedians interested in a region

32 of the 70 subcategories of Category:Wikipedians interested in a region simultaneously became empty a few days ago, all appearing on special:Unusedcategories. I've been hesitant to delete them because I'm thinking this is more likely due to vandalism than from legitimate edits. Anyone know what userboxes/templates were associated with these categories to check? VegaDark (talk) 20:24, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Judging by the history of a few of them, it appears that Ebyabe created them because they showed up in Special:Wantedcategories. This, in turn, might have been a result of them being on User:Pomte/List of populated user categories. I see no harm in deleting them. However, Pomte might have some additional insight… Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 20:35, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether Special:Wantedcategories shows only categories that are unpopulated, not unlinked, but considering it says "members" in brackets I'd figure yes. The proportion of red links on my user subpage is an indication of UCFD's progress over the last half year. –Pomte 21:53, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
These were created back in July, however, and I watch special:unusedcategories all the time. These categories have never been in there, meaning someone was in those 32 categories since July, and only recently were they removed. VegaDark (talk) 20:38, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

The categories were populated by User:HokieRNB/userboxes/visit. Black Falcon recently removed the category from this userbox. --- RockMFR 20:40, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Yup. The userbox simply expresses the fact that a user has visited a particular country; I felt that using this to populate categories for interest in a country was miscategorisation (see diff). I didn't know the change would have emptied over 30 categories, else I would have left a note here. – Black Falcon (Talk) 19:19, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I recall thinking about this issue before, but can't find any discussion of it. It's a valid decision anyway, and I agree with it. As the particular categories have been empty for 4 days, they can be speedily deleted unless there are objections. –Pomte 19:43, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I speedied them all yesterday :). VegaDark (talk) 22:23, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Ways to navigate user categories

  1. Special:Categories, a dynamic list that can show up to 5000 categories per page (we have only around 3700 user categories).
  2. User:Pomte/List of populated user categories, taken from the above. See also related changes.
  3. Special:Unusedcategories, for potentially new categories.
  4. Special:Uncategorizedcategories, for potentially new categories.
  5. Special:Prefixindex, similar to 1, but lists only existent categories.
  6. Special:CategoryTree, a dynamic tree that loads on click of all subcategories of Category:Wikipedians.
  7. m:Extension:CategoryTree, same as above that you can put anywhere. Example:

Pomte 18:32, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

User category discussion at CFD

Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 December 19#Category:Jesuit alumni - Should it be moved here this late in the game? –Pomte 03:01, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Given that you have just suggested a different rename and one that would have been proposed here earlier, plus the fact that it covers sub-cats suggests to me that it should be moved and left open longer. --Bduke (talk) 04:38, 24 December 2007 (UTC)