Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not/Archive 7

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8

Is Wikipedia a resume book?

I have seen some biographical articles that are clearly resumes, i.e., they are bullet lists of schools and universities, previous jobs, and awards. Although the subjects of these articles clearly merit Wikipedia articles, does this resume-style format belong in Wikipedia? Patiwat 01:31, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Problem with NOT A LIST policy & proposed remedial change

It is possible that a list contributes to, not detracts from, the quality of an article. In particular to the goal of increased understanding of an article's topic in the mind of the Average Reader. This is so for at least one fundamental reason, human psychology. Some Readers are best able to make sense of a topic by induction from several examples, after which the brilliant expository prose we all (hmmm?) write in the rest of the article will perhaps be of even more help in further understanding. The other reason is more craftsmanlike. Some material is best conveyed, as a matter of writing/editing craft, in a list than in a paragraph, or several, of prose.

So, I suggest that this aspect of WP:NOT be changed to include the following:

<Lists are to be avoided, for many reasons, except> in situations in which the list contributes to the article's quality as an encyclopedic article. That is, allows readers to more readily understand the presentation, or includes relevant material which is not otherwise easily included in a standard prose manner. In short, eschew lists which are merely lists. Lists which contribute to the article, to the reader's understanding, or which contain information which will be help that understanding, are acceptable.

A recent example illustrating this problem may be found at Digital rights management, and is discussed in the talk:DRM under heading 'removal of list...'. ww 14:23, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

More examples related to "Travel guide" information

I think that the section on "travel-guide" needs to be more explicit. Frequently articles about tourist destinations include adimssion fees. Space Needle has an entire section on how much it costs to get in, as does the Eiffel Tower. More deveolped articles such as Disneyland, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building don't mention the admission fee. Unless there is some story about why the admission fees are the way they are, or notable history of the admission fees, I don't think it should be included.

Other articles (like Katz's Deli) contain directions on how to get there. I don't think that it is really appropriate to include such information. Am I crazy? Cacophony 07:42, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

For the record, I don't think you are crazy. I do think you have to make you own decisions about which issues are worth pursuing in the face of opposition. -- Donald Albury 15:25, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

...not a jokebook?

Please take a look into Lightbulb joke. Does each section really need more than 1-2 examples? Clearly every joke is unique. But does the article has to have them all? The same about Knock-knock joke, and a really devoted person may do the same to all other joke articles. Is there a way to prevent this from happening? `'mikka (t) 06:40, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Jokes are so POV in terms of being funny or not; I believe even if said articles were renamed to "list of <FOO> jokes", they would become huge and unmanageable within a short time (as well as being unverifiable). Perhaps they need to be boldly edited. Although this may be covered by "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate..." --SigPig 10:43, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
For a long time, the consensus decision was to move them over to Wikibooks:Jokebook and to provide an cross-wiki link for those interested in reading or documenting more such jokes. I don't know if that's still the preferred solution but having more than one or two illustrative examples is inappropriate for an encyclopedia. Rossami (talk) 12:59, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps we could deal with this in the external links section of the joke entries. What provides a "good" example of a joke is highly subjective. There are many sites that catalog jokes of certain "types" like the lightbulb joke. If there need to be examples, perhaps they would best be handled off site? 03:12, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Link to Wikipedia:Notability

I propose that we remove the link to Wikipedia:Notability that appears under Wikipedia is not a soapbox point 2. It is a stub proposal, with as of yet no support. The link was previously to the well-known essay on notability, and if people don't think we should remove the link, it is obvious that we should preserve the original intent of the link (which is to link to the essay).

I think we should remove the reference entirely as neither the proposal, nor the essay, are policies or guidelines, and simply don't fit in with the other two which are: Wikipedia:Autobiography and Wikipedia:Vanity. Fresheneesz 07:10, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I disagree. We should point to the guideline on notability, which we are presently writing. The essay is more than a little incoherent. >Radiant< 09:16, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Why does a stub proposal deserve to be on this page? Why not the proposal WP:NNOT (which I am also *not* suggesting we put on this page)? Both are proposal, but one is distinctly more drawn out, and has more recent discussion. Fresheneesz 21:13, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
I'd say it deserves to be on the page because notability has become a well used term on Wikipedia and it makes sense that we attempt to write a short guideline on what it is. Let us not forget the intent of the link is to describe a reason why one should not engage in self-promotion, not to link to the essay, which it should be noted, has changed over time itself. Hiding Talk 21:27, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of term usability, this link has nothing to do on a policy page, as it is an essay. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 21:30, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't follow you, are you asserting that policy pages should only link to other policy pages? Hiding Talk 21:38, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Not only, guidelines as well, but essays only when closely relevant and having no better substitute. Notability is about slightly different things - that section is about "not a soapbox", meaning "not a cheap propaganda media". WP:VANITY and WP:AUTO cover that topic quite well, and in fact far better. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 01:42, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
The prevelance of the term "notability" doesn't give reason to put up a link to that proposal - which isn't about the term, but is about enforcing notability criteria. Policy should only link to things that have sufficient consensus, be they other policy, guidelines, essays, or articles. However, I don't think that WP:NN has that consensus yet. Fresheneesz 04:21, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Without further objection, I'm going to remove the link. Notability doesn't pertain to "soapboxing" and its not even a guideline - much less policy. Fresheneesz 02:38, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

not a fan page...

Continuing this discussion, I think it might be good to add a bullet point to "Wikipedia is not a free host, blog, webspace provider or social networking site":

2. Wikipedia is not a fan site. Articles about famous people, places and things should be be encyclopedic in tone. The articles should not be a place for fans to gather and discuss, reminisce, and post links to any imaginable site that has any reference to the person, place or thing in question. See also: WP:NPOV, Wikipedia:External links and "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information."

The wording could probably use some work (a lot of work?), but I think the basic notion is sound, and potentially quite useful. Comments? -- Xtifr 00:19, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Strong agreement on addition of "Wikipedia is not a fan site." In the Comics Project, certainly, there is a tendency among some editors to treat their favorite characters' articles as their own personal fan sites, with overly detailed, issue-by-issue plot synopses, rumors, breaking news that may or may not be encyclopedic ("So-and-so appears on the cover of the next issue!" Seriously, that's a real one.), and lots of original research speculation/analysis/conclusion. While various of these can be deleted on things like WP:POV, etc., an overall "this is not a fan site" dictum would streamline and simplify matters, and save time and effort. -- Tenebrae 15:23, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Support: I added Wikipedia:External links to the proposed language, since it seems relevant to what Xtifr is addressing, but wouldn't object if someone wants to take it out. TheronJ 17:25, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Add quickly: Some vandals tried to make an article about a fan character, which left much of Wikipedia in an uproar. Adding a policy like this would nip such things in the bud later on. Oh, yes, and various Sonic-related articles have been ruthlessly vandalized by various users; we need to make it stop somehow!!! --Luigifan 20:31, 27 October 2006 (UTC)


The "This Policy in a Nutshell" for What Wikipedia Is Not doesn't seem to very well sum up the page. Anyone want to work on a new version? -- Renesis (talk) 03:45, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

How bout this:
"Wikipedia is first and foremost an online encyclopedia and a community of people interested in building it into a high-quality resource. Wikipedia is not a compilation of any and all information, so please avoid the temptation to use Wikipedia for other purposes, or to treat it as something it is not."
Fresheneesz 04:24, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I'd rather just take it off. The "policy in a nutshell" idea seemed like a good idea at the time but now that we've got more experience with it, I think it just clutters up the page for little purpose. The best "policy in a nutshell" is the policy title. No original research is a good example. The next level of detail should be in the opening paragraph. This infobox tries to fill a middle ground between the two. Because of that, it's inevitably vague and general. I don't think it adds anything to the reader's understanding of the page. Frankly, I doubt that most people even read them. They just blur into the generic "this is official policy" infoboxes. Rossami (talk) 05:26, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Concur with Rossami. >Radiant< 14:54, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree. This just seems like template-cruft; the overview of any policy belongs in the first paragraph of the introduction. For this particular page, however, an introduction may be less appropriate than on other pages. —Centrxtalk • 15:05, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
This page doesn't have an intro. So... Are you suggesting we just kick the info out of the box and leave it as a plain intro? Fresheneesz 00:47, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Also, while some policies have easy-to-understand titles, many don't - and a nutshell can help guide readers. I know the nutshell is the first thing i read if its there. Fresheneesz 00:48, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
This page used to have a very good intro. I'm not sure when it got lost. Let's pull it back in. Or if you don't like any of the versions from history, rewrite it. I'll support you in getting a version of an introduction back onto this page.
For those policies without easy-to-understand titles, let's change the titles. Did you have any specifically bad ones where you think we should focus first? Thanks. Rossami (talk) 13:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I know exactly where it went. Initially, Nutshell was thought of as a good concept, and a bunch of pages had them added. Then, I and a number of others noticed that they weren't summarizing the pages very well (generally being either redundant or misrepresentative) so we removed most of them. At some point after that, while the anti-nuts were not really around, a second wave was made by putting nutshells on each policy and guideline. This page was one of the hardest, so in the end somebody took the intro and stuffed it entirely into the nutshell. Then some other people cropped it because it was too big. It's a textbook example of overstandardization. >Radiant< 16:16, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
That has nothing to do with standardization. Thats a good example of bad editing. The whole intro shouldn't have been put in the nutshell in the firstplace. But, since this page doesn't have (or recently didn't have) an intro, lets just put an intro on this one. Nutshells are not intrinsically bad, but since they are in the inro, they provide focus to the one or two sentences that are in them. But this page, having no intro, doesn't need extra focus in a nutshell.
Personally, I think it would be a good idea to keep the nutshell. If people are used to having the nutshell on these sorts of pages, then they'll benefit from finding it here as well. Thats the beauty of standardization. Just remember that the nutshell tag is highly customizable - meaning you can put what info you want in it, and the rest somewhere else. Overstandardization does not stem from use of the tag - but from the users of the tag. Fresheneesz 20:42, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Why should people be used to have the nutshell? Why shouldn't the overview be the first paragraph of the introduction, or the entire introduction? —Centrxtalk • 21:38, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree with Centrx. We got along fine without nutshells for several years. If anything, the average novice's understanding of "wikirules" has gone down since the advent of nutshells. That is not to say the two are related, but several nutshells oversimplify or misrepresent the related page. >Radiant< 23:26, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
So fix it radiant. I'm not saying people *should* be used to nutshells - but I definately don't see why its a problem if they are. Nutshells are good supplements to intros, and they work as an intro by themselves. Your issue doesn't seem to be with the template as much as it is the writing inside the template. You guys are just saying that the intros suck. Thats not the template's fault. Fresheneesz 02:35, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Sure, I'll see what I can do about removing excess nuts. >Radiant< 15:05, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Nutshells are very useful. In particular to newbies. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:16, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Is there a reason why newbies can't read the introduction that is in the same place? Do we really need boxes and flashy graphics for everything? —Centrxtalk • 02:10, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I have recently noticed that many novice users don't really understand how Wikipedia works. As such, I believe that, while novice users do find nutshells useful, nutshells do give them the wrong impression, or lead them to incorrect assumptions. And that means they're a bad idea. Perception of usefulness does not equate to real usefulness. >Radiant< 22:22, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
To Centrx, yes there is a reason. Many newbs aren't patient or interested enough to read full policy pages. They'll see the page, and try to skim it. Flashy graphics help focus people so that they don't do useless skimming.
To radiant, This does not only go for newbs - many users simply wouldn't be interested enough to learn about the whole policy. Thats how any learning goes - you can't expect people to learn it all in one go. Fresheneesz 00:41, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
You can expect skimming because it's human nature - but that doesn't mean you should encourage skimming. >Radiant< 10:23, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
And how would a nutshell do that? Fresheneesz 20:38, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
  • By highlighting a misinterpretation and oversimplification and presenting it as an accurate summary. I'm not saying that's true in all cases, but it's definitely true in some cases. >Radiant< 21:48, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

What Wikipedia is not: News Portal

I'd like to see a stronger formulation of excluding news vs. knowledge. I fear it is not realistic to hope for this, as a large number of contributors really love news in articles, but we now have the ironic situation, that some news story are covered on Wikipedia but not on WikiNews.

The current formulations only outrules news not published anywhere, a very limited and toothless policy.

Pjacobi 10:12, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Good point Peter. Any proposals on how to address thisin the policy? ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:15, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Do you guys really think that having news on wikipedia is a problem? I very much disagree if you think so. I'm not a news junky, but I think that for those that are, we shouldn't arbitrariliy take away their pride. WikiNews is not as prominant as wikipedia, and its the shortcomings of that site that are at fault, not wikipedia's. Fresheneesz 20:40, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Several points made me raise the issue:
  • I'm still in favour of our original mission of writing an encyclopedia, which collects knowledge. Random facts or or news doesn't constitue knowledge.
  • The desire for news in Wikipedia articles result in using more and more newspapers and worse as a source for articles. Giving the inherent limitations of newspapers, nearly everything can be sourced from them.
  • Aiming for news instead of knowledge results in articles being accepted just because something achieved some new coverage. Whether or not it constitues knowledge in itself, tends to be disregarded in AfD, being covered in mass media used as a relevance criterion instead (this hurts espescially in the junk science department, e.g. Steorn, EmDrive)
Pjacobi 20:51, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I also think that having news on Wikipedia is a problem for the encyclopedia. News is by definition a current event. That makes it very difficult to verify in a timely or reliable manner. Professional news organizations with large staffs of paid fact-checkers are often unable to verify key points in a story. As an all-volunteer force of pseudonymous editors, we have exponentially greater challenges. When we stick to true encyclopedia articles, we have far fewer challenges because we have a greater range of Wikipedia:reliable sources which can be verified.
Encyclopedia articles are supposed to provide depth, context and perspective to discussions of historical events. Those qualities are not possible in an article while the event is still current. (Or, in the rare cases where they are possible, are only so as a result of extraordinary effort, diligence and a great deal of luck.) We need to allow the events to resolve before we begin to write the relevant encyclopedia article. Otherwise, whenever we try to cover a current event on an even slightly controversial topic, we have become embroiled in the controversy.
We are an encyclopedia. We are a tertiary source. We synopsize the writings of others. We have no need or desire to "scoop" anyone. Let WikiNews focus on news. Wikipedia should stick to encyclopedia articles.
Fresheneesz is correct that WikiNews is not yet as prominent as Wikipedia but part of the reason is that we are continuing to undercut their mission. By allowing (or worse, encouraging) news here, we disincent good reporters from joining their project, we create confusion in the minds of our readers and we create even higher barriers to their ability to gain the critical mass and prominence they deserve. Rossami (talk) 02:19, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I think i agree with lots of that. However, current events shouldn't be discriminated against. They should use multiple reliable sources, and be just as credible as any other page on wikipedia. Junky tabloid news, or other random stuff won't be verifiable. So I suggest that if you write something about how wikipedia isn't news, qualify it so highly verifiable news isn't opposed. Fresheneesz 06:13, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree. Being out of scope cannot be healed by sourcing. --Pjacobi 08:17, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

As an example of the things I want to eliminate, I've nominated Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Pope Benedict XVI Islam controversy for deletion. --Pjacobi 08:17, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

The result (speedy keep after 1h 12m with only 7 contributions) shows, that nothing short of fork would be able to re-focus on writing an encyclopedia. --Pjacobi 09:57, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
There is a policy against marking articles for deletion when they are on the front page. See Wikipedia:Speedy keep. The reason that we have a "current events" section is because these articles will be significant in the future, but they just happen to be unravelling in the present. Do you think there is a difference between articles like Swedish general election, 2006 and United States presidential election, 1948, or Pope Benedict XVI Islam controversy and Investiture Controversy? The events in "Recent events" aren't aribitrarily selected- they are significant events in history, but they just happen to be happening now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wafulz (talkcontribs)
I'm sorry but your interpretation of the "current events" section of the Main Page is incorrect. That section was designed as a way to advertise the breadth of articles which the encyclopedia already had prior to the current event. It was designed to provide links to interesting background articles which are related to some topic in the news of the day. The current events section was never intended to become a news section.
The "recent events" are not arbitrarily selected but it is impossible to say if they will really be "significant events in history". Any attempt to make that prediction is sheer speculation.
And yes, I do believe that there is a difference between United States presidential election, 1948 and Swedish general election, 2006. In the former, history has granted us all the perspective needed to write a high-quality, neutral and verifiable article complete with background, context, long-term impact, etc. We do not have those sources (and I would argue, can not get those sources) for events which are still unfolding. As I've said above, I believe that the project would be much better off if we waited before attempting to draft the article. The news versions belong over at WikiNews.
By the way, Speedy keep is a recently-created guideline, not policy. Rossami (talk) 14:24, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, to address those concerns: Each heading under recent events holds at least a few Wikilinks to related topics (I count at least four in most headings, not including the event itself). Topics about military coups, federal elections, and international meetings are pretty significant by default- some may only affect one nationality or group, but things like changes in scientific defitinitions or a shift in power are easily notable now and will certainly have an impact later on. We may not be able to make statements about long term effects or look at a ten-year perspective (unless it has published sources, of course), but I don't think that merits exclusion. Also, on Speedy Keep: there's no need to nitpick about what it is- the point is that if someone visits Wikipedia and goes to an article featured on our front page (not necessarily a featured article) and sees it marked for deletion, that really gives a negative signal about the website.
What exactly would you prefer Recent Events to cover? Are you suggesting we get rid of it entirely? How do you suggest we draw the line between something that is resolved and something that is unresolved? Sorry for all the questions, but I'd like to know how you suggest we separate "news" from a "recently resolved event." --Wafulz 20:36, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
That's the problem with this argument, in practise we can't. If you accept the philosophy of Wikipedia, that is a wiki-based encyclopedia, then you have to accept that articles will always be a work in progress, and on the whole they wont ever be perfect or complete. At the same time though, the positive we get from all this, is that articles can quickly develop to a fairly good standard, a point illustrated no better than in Wikipedia:Current events. If you watch how these articles develop in real-time with the events, along with references, you might be suprised at how well it can be done. The 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and the 7 July 2005 London bombings were two excellent examples of this, Brendanfox 23:30, 19 September 2006 (UTC).

I like Current events. It has always been a part of Wikipedia and often serves as the portal for creation of topical articles. Fred Bauder 13:02, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Fred Bauder. However, wikipedia must be careful not to attempt to report the news but rather give insight(through its articles) to what is currently being reported by other news outlets. As long as we aren't breaking stories, but rather taking note of what is established as noteworthy by other outlets, I think we're fine. 03:08, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a place of assignation

Wikipedia is not an appropriate place to advertise your desire for kinky sex (or straight sex). User pages which move beyond broad expressions of sexual preference are unacceptable. This is particularly true for sexual practices which are illegal or repulsive to the general public such as pedophilia.

I think this is true. Fred Bauder 13:02, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree that it's true but I think it is unnecessary on this page. It is already covered under #Wikipedia is not a blog, webspace provider, or social networking site. This page is already longer than ideal. Your paragraph does not, in my opinion, add enough to the policy to justify the instruction creep. Tweak the existing section if you think it really needs it but I've removed the separate section. Rossami (talk) 13:37, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Ok, this needs to be explicit. Fred Bauder 14:28, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
"sexual practices which are illegal or repulsive to the general public such as pedophilia"
Besides the fact that "repulsive" is POV (but we are not in article space, so I don't know if the NPOV rule applies), can you say which law makes it illegal to, according pedophilia, "[be] sexually attracted primarily or exclusively to prepubescent or peripubescent children"? Btw, I don't think an attraction (in this context) is a practice. Apokrif 17:51, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Common usage, not medical. Powers T 15:37, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
This is not my field. It is sexual assault on a child that is the crime. A pedophile's fantasy life is still legal. We don't need the details here, though. Fred Bauder 17:39, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
It's good common-sense policy, but doesn't really need to be written down. We had someone on wikibooks that asked a professor for the email/phone numbers of the "single girls" who were part of the class that wrote a book: the user was blocked forever, the sock puppets that appeared the next day were also blocked forever, and the IP adress was blocked from account creation for a couple months. I think we can trust the judgement of the wikipedia admins on this without needing an explicit clause about it. ----SB_Johnny|talk|books 19:04, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Not a how-to manual

There have been a lot of video game guides and other instructional articles created (and deleted) recently. Can we get a consesus that Wikipedia is not a how-to manual? How-to guides (FAQs, lessons, etc) are not encyclopedic and should be relegated to other sites. (i.e., Wikihow, GameFAQs, DIY) Adamkik 19:32, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

  • It's already there :) In the section "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information", point four mentions how-tos. >Radiant< 20:33, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
    • Ah, pardon. I stand corrected. Adamkik 20:53, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Plot summaries as part of article series

I'm going to add some apparently inadvertently lost language back into the policy, and wanted to get some thoughts:

  1. The plot summary section was introduced July 9, 2006,[1], as the result of a talk page discussion and consensus.
  2. Prior to September 3rd, the Wikipedia policy on plot summaries included the statement that plot summaries might be appropriate " as part of a series of articles per Wikipedia:Article series. (See, e.g., [2])
  3. It looks like the language was then dropped inadvertently - it was first replaced by broader proposed language, [3], which was then modified slightly.[4]. In the course of those mods, the "article series" language was lost, but I don't think that (1) either of the editors specifically intended to remove the language, or (2) it was discussed on talk.

Accordingly, I am going to add it back in for now, pending discussion. Thoughts? TheronJ 14:25, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

  • (I added point 1, above, to clarify the history - TheronJ 15:22, 28 September 2006 (UTC))
  • You seem to imply that it would be appropriate to have an article that is only a plot summary, as long as there are related articles that are not. I'm not too happy with that idea. >Radiant< 14:40, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I guess I do imply that. I would argue (1) that had been the policy for months before it was inadvertently deleted, and (2) if an appropriately abbreviated plot summary is nevertheless too long to fit in the main article, then yes, it should be spun out. If not, does it make sense to discuss what extra information should be included in an existing "plot summary" article to bring it within Wiki standards? TheronJ 14:45, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
    • (1) is not really an argument, because it had not been in the policy for years before it was inadvertently added. I'd say that if a plot summary is too long for the main article, it is too long period. An encyclopedia should analyze information from books, not restate it. >Radiant< 14:48, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

It may just be an organizational problem. My take would be:

  1. Some articles get a lot of plot summary into the encyclopedia by including a plot summary of every single episode, issue, or book of the thing being summarized. (See, e.g., Category:Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes). Those fit the existing policy either way, because no single page has plot summary on a page by itself, although DS9 must have several hundred K of plot summary as a whole.
  2. Other articles write up plot summary for dozens or hundreds of episodes as a single article, like Plot_of_Naruto. I don't think it's inconsistent with Wikipedia:Article series to do that, although I guess we could write a policy that says an article like Plot of Naruto needs significant non-plot-summary material to stay, and therefore needs to be something more like the DS9 pages.

Thanks, TheronJ 15:00, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Regardless of what happens, this needs to be better publicised. It has the possibility of affecting a large range of articles, and the last thing that's necessary is that this change goes into effect and people say "I had no way of knowing!" --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:37, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • That's a good point, Theron. I think the information in that plot article is good, only the way it is written isn't. See, at the moment it's mostly an enumeration of "this happened, then that happened, and then that happened too". That style is not really appropriate to an encyclopedia, and it's kind of long. I suppose we'd want to discourage people from writing in that style, but not from adding that kind of information. Organization of information is pretty important. >Radiant< 15:50, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I share Radiant's concern that this clause encouraged articles that are only plot summaries just because there are related articles. My concern is about fair use and copyright. Plot summaries are allowable as fair use only when they are appropriate in proportion to the rest of the work. An article which is nothing but a plot summary puts us dangerously close to copyright violations. You could try to argue that the "work" should be defined more broadly than the single article but that would not be the traditional interpretation. Frankly, it's not something I would ever want to test in court. Articles must stand alone. A page which is nothing more than a plot summary must quickly be either expanded, rebalanced or merged. Being part of a "series" is a very weak protection. Rossami (talk) 22:43, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree that we need to be right on the copyright and fair use issues. Given the various "plot summary" debates cooking on Wikipedia, does it make sense to start working on a proposed "plot summary" guideline, working off Wikipedia:Writing about fiction and Wikipedia:Fair use? Would we have any chance of reaching consensus? TheronJ 13:26, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I think Wikipedia:Writing about fiction already does it. I don't think any article which follows that guidance would meet any of the concerns Radiant or Rossami raise. Hiding Talk 13:46, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Pinouts on connector articles (D4 video connector) ?

A number of connector articles (SCART, XLR connector, DIN connector, Digital Visual Interface) include pin outs for the connectors - I'm currently involved in a good natured dispute with another editor over the issue of including these. I'm in favour of including them - as I feel they make the article comprehensive, and the kind of thing you would look to find in an encyclopedia article. The other editor feels they are too much of a "how to" information. Here is the example article we are discussing:

  • D4 connector with pinout [5]
  • D4 connector without pinout [6]

What do people think ? Megapixie 07:58, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Since Megapixie described the discussion pretty well, I'll suffice with a link to the current discussion for some more details about both our viewpoints :^) -- De Zeurkous (, Friday September 29 14:34 UTC 2006
IMHO, the pinouts are an important part (maybe the most important) of the description of the connector. Maybe there's a better looking way to do it, though. TheronJ 13:24, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I think that descriptions of which pins do what on a connector is very encyclopdic. You are not explaining how-to build an interface, you are listing the parts and their functions. HighInBC 16:51, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
I think the pinouts most definitely belong. An article without the pinout is deficient. I am keen on the CD edition, and offline wikipedia copies - pinouts definitely belong there. Wizzy 09:54, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to re-instate the pinout. I think the comments here indicate that it is encyclopedic. Megapixie 04:54, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

NOT a democracy

However, how about this... Wikipedia:Cluocracy? >Radiant< 23:28, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Bah. Why invent new terms where a perfectly good one exist? -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  01:45, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
That's a word now? :) >Radiant< 09:42, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
But clever, nevertheless. --Rednblu 09:17, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Anarchy, Democracy, Bureaucracy need to go!

As has been discussed previously, those names are not totally inclusive, and (especially bureaucracy) misused in this context. I'd like to suggest we merge those three sections into one under heading 'Wikipedia is not an experiment in any social or political system'.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  01:53, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Except that Wikipedia is an experiment in its particular own social system, since (to my knowledge) a community of this type and magnitude is unprecedented. >Radiant< 09:11, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
I have come to the conclusion that while we are not a democracy or an anarchy, it is nevertheless important to use consensus because we rely on voluntary adherence to the decisions we make. Fred Bauder 12:13, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you both, but it is not my intention (primary) to start discussion about that; I just want to point out that those titles are misleading (in case of bureaucracy) and somewhat POVed in case of D and A (why don't we have a section that wiki is not a monarchy, a communism, a dicatorship, a federation and such?).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  01:40, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Because people frequently think that Wikipedia is anarchy, democracy or bureaucracy, and thus we wrote this to tell them why that is not the case. I have not seen anyone claim that Wikipedia is a federation. >Radiant< 08:52, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a federation! The one I've always wanted to add, well the two I've wanted to add, are "Wikipedia is not a personal playground", which would cover vandalism and vanity and some user page abuse, and "Wikipedia is not a lightbulb". Hiding Talk 15:39, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

User pages

Quote: "More importantly, your user page is not yours." What an utterly stupid remark. Of course it's not yours in the context of true ownership. Everyone realises that. It doesn't need spelling out in such a pompous manner. I would suggest it is yours in terms of managing its content. We wouldn't want everyone having free reign on our user page. That's what the User Talk page is for. Arcturus 17:50, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Except that lots and lots of users don't realize that. Many new users get quite upset when their page is nominated for deletion even though their page was a blatent violation of WP:USER. Rossami (talk) 14:12, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree, people don't realize that they don't own their talk page. Many new users who do not understand the wiki will remove warnings, add stuff that does not belong, and sometimes don't think they have to be civil since we are at their talk page. HighInBC 16:57, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

A collection of caresheets

Wikipedia could easily contain a collection of caresheets. How to keep pet tarantulas, lizards, snakes, cats, gerbils you name it. Most caresheets are species specific, there might be a lot of them if there is no rule. Especially since [WikiProject Spiders] might attract quite a few spider-lovers. Maybe just an addon to: 'Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information: #4 Instruction manuals'? Fjejsing 16:10, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Well, if you want to describe what spiders eat, go to any spider article. If you want an instruction manual on caring for pets, the best location would be Wikibooks. >Radiant< 16:30, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Ah, I am not asking for advice on how to find information on spiders diets or how to care for my cat, I am wondering if caresheets should be allowed to be posted on wikipedia. In my opinion, they should not. A caresheet is basicly an instruction manual on animal care and should therefore not be allowed on wikipedia, though I see no rule forbidding it. Should there be one? Fjejsing 17:10, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
      • I agree, they don't really belong here. But I think it's mostly covered under 'howto guides'; we don't have to enumerate every single thing that doesn't belong here. I hadn't even heard the word 'caresheet' until you mentioned it. >Radiant< 18:18, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

why all these rules

Perhpas I missed it, but there did not seem to be a clear rationale for many of the WWIN (what wiki is not) rules, like no memorials, no dicdefs, etc. Why ? Indeed the entire deletion process seems anti wiki: it would be more wiki-ish to allow indiviual users to hide pages or classes of pages then to allow arbitrary deletions, which seem to reflect a "consensus" of a very small number of users. {{subst:Unsigned|

  • Yes, but we're only a wiki second - we're an encyclopedia first. There have been a number of discussions about what is and is not appropriate material for an encyclopedia (and yet more discussions are still ongoing). One of the conclusions is that for a variety of reasons, "the average person" does not get an encyclopedia entry. And for dictionary-related material, we have our friendly neighborhood wiktionary. >Radiant< 15:50, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is a directory

"Wikipedia is not a directory

Wikipedia is not a directory of everything that exists or has existed."

Any user quickly realizes wikipedia is a directory, it's just not a directory of everything. I tend to go to wikipedia first (through and google second, when looking for a company. Wikipedia clearly functions well as a directory. It is also an encyclopedia, but an encylopedia is a form of directory. Mathiastck 17:23, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

  • You make a good point but you're arguing in support of the point. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, which is akin to a directory, but is not a directory, since a directoty may not be an encyclopedia. Hiding Talk 20:56, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Um, I'm saying an encyclopedia is a type of directory. Mathiastck 16:36, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Right. But look at what the policy says. Your point in no way nullifies the point being made in the section Wikipedia is not a directory. Your point is redundant, since the section contextualises what it means, by describing in what senses Wikipedia is not a directory. Hiding Talk 17:02, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
  • It also means that if an article cannot become more than a directory entry ("X is a store located on street Y of town Z"), it's not encyclopedic. >Radiant< 13:02, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information

How do people feel about adding:

  • Word lists - While is list of words may add to an article, an article should not be primarily a list of words.

Or something of similiar wording. I have seen alot of articles that are nothing but a huge list of words, it does not seem enclycodpedic. See Canadian English words for an example of what I am talking about. HighInBC 14:52, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

I would support it since I think that those lists almost always belong in a Wiktionary Appendix or Concordance instead. Rossami (talk) 15:50, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Just rv'd an edit that weakened the "not an instruction manual" clause. Here's the diff. --SquidSK (1MClog) 16:14, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

"indiscriminate collection"

I did this edit [7] because how things are done is not an indiscriminate collection. There are plenty of articles that describe what happens, and should describe what happens. Otherwise, how are people who don't know supposed to find out? --Chuck Marean 16:13, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

No, there is nothing wrong with honest how-to articles. The page says not to give how-to. It is wrong. The part that says no how-to articles is totally wrong and will not be tollerated by me.--Chuck Marean 16:18, 11 October 2006 (UTC) (This post was copied from my talk page --SquidSK (1MClog) 16:27, 11 October 2006 (UTC))

I'm sorry that you feel that how-to guides belong in Wikipedia, but , decisions like this have to be made by consensus. I encourage you to make a reasonable statement of your case at the What Wikipedia is Not talk page, but this matter has been settled long before you or I began editing Wikipedia. --SquidSK (1MC•log) 16:22, 11 October 2006 (UTC) (This post was copied from talk page Chuck Marean's talk page --SquidSK (1MClog) 16:27, 11 October 2006 (UTC))

My edit was ". . .Wikipedia articles should not include instruction - advice (legal, medical, or otherwise), suggestions, or contain "how-to"s. This includes tutorials, walk-throughs, instruction manuals, video game guides, and recipes.descriptions of how things are done in this world, being things, should still be from a neutral point of view. . ." As you can see, the statement I struck out is way too strong. It would lead to disputes over discriptions of things that happen. Furthermore, I've found articles that sound like how-to articles in Wikipedia and I've looked for them as well. I think the concern is about such articles giving bad advice such as bad advice some kid on Greys Anatomy got, which proves the statement might be only a few weeks old --Chuck Marean 17:09, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Once upon a time, Wikipedia not only contained how-tos, it contained guidelines encouraging their creation and giving advice on how to write them. See Wikipedia:How-to. I happened to like this (and felt it was in the true spirit of early encyclopedias). When Wikibooks got started, for whatever reason a consensus developed that such articles belong in WIkibooks and not in Wikipedia. I personally happen to disagree with this, but I can also say that it is quite clear to me that there really is such a consensus, so I suggest shrugging your shoulders and tolerating it.
The concern is not about inaccurate how-tos, it's about the consensus of the community on what belongs in an encyclopedia. The consensus against how-tos, accurate or not, has been firm for at least two years.
If you don't believe me, try creating an article consisting of nothing but a cooking recipe and see how long it survives.
SquidSK is reporting accurate information about current Wikipedia policy and I think efforts to change it would be wasted. Dpbsmith (talk) 18:47, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Instruction manuals

In Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, in the subheading of Instruction manuals is wrongly states "Wikipedia articles should not include instruction - advice (legal, medical, or otherwise), suggestions, or contain "how-to"s." It continues, "This includes tutorials, walk-throughs, instruction manuals, video game guides, and recipes." Before that is says "While Wikipedia has descriptions of people, places, and things..." Well, descriptions of things often need to include how things are done. One of the main reasons people read an encyclopedia is to find out what is done. Without how-to, how the US congress works and what an car is would have to be deleted. There are plenty of editors to prevent articles about how to commit a crime. A different site likeWikihow ignores the fact that Wikipedia is what shows up on Google and that an encyclopedia is supposed to provide information, and it also ignores the fact that it is next to impossible to write about anything without including how things are done and what goes on. It seems to me whoever wrote "should not include instruction. . ." was wrong. There's no way to write about any subject without describing some of what goes on. Furthermore, if someone wants to look up in an encyclopedia the basics of how something is done, it ought to be there. This can be done without addressing the reader directly. Therefore, "Instruction manuals" statement needs to stress more the part that says,"Wikipedia has descriptions of people, places, and things..." -- Chuck Marean 23:37, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Have you read any of the archived discussion about why the community chose to exclude instructional material from the encyclopedia? If not, I strongly encourage you to do so. Until you can make a proposal which addresses the concerns which were raised back then, your comments are largely going to fall on deaf ears. Rossami (talk) 00:23, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

I have personally embraced the doctrine of no how-tos, and I have been checking on various articles for their how-to content for some time now. I recognize quite a few different grades, including:

So I see that there are many ways in which an article can fail the WP:NOT criteria - some due to content bias, so due to assuming the person to want to do something, others urging the reader to take action on something he/she might not have wanted to, and others.

Some of these types are bit tricky. For example, some calculations have been historically described in procedural forms, whereas it would be exceedingly difficult to define the outcome as a closed-form expression. How should we handle these? Other types of how-to's also present their own problems. Santtus 01:57, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Plot summaries part 3

Noting the discussion from:

The current wording of WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information point 7:

  • "Plot summaries. Wikipedia articles on works of fiction should contain real-world context and sourced analysis, offering detail on a work's achievements, impact or historical significance, not solely a summary of that work's plot. A plot summary may be appropriate as an aspect of a larger article, or as part of a series of articles per Wikipedia:Article series."

Without getting into the debate of whether or not we should have plot-based articles or not, I think the current policy might be too suggestive in it's wording. I propose we change the wording to:

  • "Plot summaries. Wikipedia articles on works of fiction should contain real-world context and sourced analysis, offering detail on a work's achievements, impact or historical significance, not solely a summary of that work's plot. A plot summary may be appropriate as an aspect of a larger topic."

Simple, less instructions creep, discourages cruft, and gives room for reasonable interpretation without losing too much meaning. Thoughts? -- Ned Scott 04:23, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

I like the Wikipedia:Article series sentence. It allows for individual episode pages when the List of episodes page entry gets too long, without requiring you to find other things to say about the episode. If we're talking cruft, I think the best way to get rid of it is a hard cap. For instance, no more than 500 words of plot detail per half hour of television (200?, 700?). Yes, a lot of pages will balloon up to the number (as they're doing now), but then those 500 words will be improved instead of expanded. - Peregrinefisher 08:52, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
The Wikipedia:Article series sentence is what bothers me. It's too suggestive that this is an acceptable alternative, when that conclusion has yet to be reached by a consensus (for fictional articles dealing with summary-only-articles). It also suggests a loop hole out of this policy altogether.
The point is that the alternative wording does not restrict this in either way. It doesn't say you can't, but it also doesn't say you should. Not only that, but what is or isn't its "own" article is sometimes just a minor technicality, so wording it "by topic" is more accurate and doesn't lose the original meaning of the policy addition. -- Ned Scott 09:14, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
I like the current version (i.e. - with the article series language). It's an accurate statement of the article series guideline. AFAICT, your suggested language has the same bottom line, but I think the current language is clearer. Thanks, TheronJ 11:34, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
There is no consensus that being apart of an article series is adequate to be exempt from the policy. And it poses a big problem as a potential loop hole that could allow anything, as long as it was apart of an article series, to be exempt from the plot summary policy. The wording for the article series note is just too suggestive in that sense. -- Ned Scott 11:45, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
With regard to consensus, I'd put it the other way, that without the "article series" compromise, there wasn't concensus that WP:NOT should exclude plot summaries at all. I don't think the problem is the article series language -- Wikipedia:Article series is a fine guideline, and I don't see the problem with applying it evenly. Do we need more guidance on how the summaries need to be interlinked with other information? TheronJ 13:13, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
I think the problem is that while many articles do not exist solely as plot summary repositories, the plot summary overwhelms the article. I see this a lot with WP:COMIC, wherein articles about major characters, such as Wolverine or Magneto, half or more of the article is plot summary. The length of the plot summary in an article that contains more than just plot summary is unchecked by this policy. --NewtΨΦ 14:28, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
I like the change. I do not like plot summary articles at all. TV episode articles I do not have a problem with because there is more to discuss than just plot, but even then, summaries should be tiny. --Chris Griswold () 14:04, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

I understand Chris and Newt's concern, but I'd much rather we try to develop a guideline or policy about the scope of plot summaries, either as a new guideline or for inclusion here and/or in WP:WAF, as I suggested above. I don't think this proposed change gets at the core issues, and I think it needlessly contradicts Wikipedia:Article series. TheronJ 15:00, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

  • My point is that if people are unsatisfied with the current guidance on plot summaries or think it's unclear, we should clarify it. If people think that WP:WAF is currently clear guidance on the scope of plot summaries, then we can stick with that. However, IMHO, there's no reason to say that out of all the different pieces of an article that can be spun out as part of an article series, plot is the only one that can't. TheronJ 17:22, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • The other sections would all contain sourced analysis, making them viable articles on their own, whereas a plot summary has no sourced analysis, and draws entirely from primary sources, which is to be avoided (though not explicitly barred). --NewtΨΦ 17:36, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I like the new wording. It closes the loophole in a manner in keeping with WP:BEANS, whilst leaving the door open to case by case consensus. I think the guidance on writing about fiction and this rewording would allow an article solely summarising plot, as long as it contained publication details and sourced analysis of the authorial voice. I think the consensus is clear that plot summaries which basically regurgitate the plot aren't part of our remit. Hiding Talk 18:38, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • If it will help to reduce the number of Ultimate Fantastic Four (story arcs) and similar articles out there, I'm for it. --NewtΨΦ 19:51, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Not sure there's really all that much of a problem with the current wording. --badlydrawnjeff talk 19:59, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
    • The current wording is self-contradictory, at first saying that plot summary articles are not allowed, and then saying they are. --NewtΨΦ 20:13, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Question: I'm not clear on whether this change leaves the issue of plot summary subarticles undecided or sets Wikipedia policy forbidding plot summary subarticles. If I understand the comments above, Hiding and Ned Scott understand the change to leave the issue open to a case by case consensus, and Newt and Chris Griswold understand the change to be an important step in ridding Wikipedia of plot summary subarticles, particularly with regard to comics. Is that fair? TheronJ 20:01, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
    • I think that's fair, at least from my standpoint. It's important to note that Hiding still says that a summary sub-article would need "sourced analysis of the authorial voice", which from my interpretation means it would still need to be more than just a summary. --NewtΨΦ 20:13, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I think that this is a question of scale. Plot summaries are entirely alright, they are even probably a necessary part of a good article about a work of fiction. The problem is that what we have in many articles are not summaries but rather abridged versions of the book/play/screenplay. The appropriate length of a summary obviously depends on many factors, including the length of the work, but maybe we could say something like "for most works, summaries should be 1-3 paragraphs long"? Zocky | picture popups 20:45, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
    • In most cases, this isn't an issue, because the plot summaries don't need to be too long. (For example, the plot summary of Hamlet, while long, is not so long as to require its own article. Similarly, even though Wikipedia probably has megawords of summaries of plots of the several hundred Star Trek episodes, those don't need subarticles because Wikipedia has one article for each episode of each of the shows. (See, e.g., Category:Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes). This is really an issue in anime, manga, and comic books, where a given title may have hundreds of issues or episodes, and the debate centers over whether to summarize the plot of the entire run or not. (See, e.g. Plot of Naruto, which I believe covers about 70 issues of the comic and episodes of the cartoon, or List of The Amazing Spider-Man comics). TheronJ 20:59, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

I dislike the implication that it's okay to add story detail you want as long as it's part of an article series. This thinking has given us no less than seventeen articles on a single game, in one case. If this is the current endorsed practice, I think we need to rethink the current practice. If this is merely a loophole, then let's close the loophole. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 20:54, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree that 17 articles is too many for a game, but think that a plot summary subarticle for the first 70 episodes of Naruto is an appropriate part of the Naruto series of articles. That's why I would prefer to have a Plot Summary guideline or policy rather than trying to approach it this way. TheronJ 21:02, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
    • We already have it. It's at WP:WAF. I endorse A Man In Black. A plot summary sub-article should not be a loophole, it should be an exceptional circumstance. If Hamlet does not need it, I'd say we don't need it full-stop. Plot of Naruto I clearly needs editing to bring it into line with WP:WAF, it's all in-universe. There's no clear reason why it needs to exist separate of the main article. Hiding Talk 11:25, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

The current wording is clear and exists for a reason: To keep detailed plot summaries out of the overview article. The policies on how much is too much when it comes to plot summaries and when plot summaries are relevant at all need clarified, but making this page more ambiguous won't help. --tjstrf 20:58, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

  • You have a misapprehension: the current wording was not formulated to keep detailed plot summaries out of the overview article. It was formulated because the consensus is that Wikipedia is not a repository for plot summaries. Hiding Talk 15:28, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Should we include a reminder about avoiding original research? Most plot summaries I've seen are unsourced and appear to be the based on the editors' impressions of the works. -Will Beback 21:37, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
In practice, that's more or less deemed okay, as long as the plot summaries don't attempt to do any interpretation of ambiguous details and stick to straightforward description of what happens. I think this might be covered under the "descriptive claims the accuracy of which is easily verifiable by any reasonable adult without specialist knowledge" clause of WP:NOR. A lot of recent popular culture FAs have been promoted using the work itself as a source for the plot. — TKD::Talk 01:06, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I also like the new wording. My reasoning closely follows what Hiding said above. Rossami (talk) 14:32, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I also like the new wording. No reason not to have the official rules match the practice. --Masamage 00:08, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I have a question about what exactly constitutes a "plot summary" article in the first place. Are character/plot aspect/location in fictional works articles lumped into this category as well, and should always be discouraged or outright deleted? If this is the case then there are probably thousands of articles on Wikipedia which fall into that grouping, including such pages as Luke Skywalker, The Force, Azeroth, Master Chief, Batman, Cid etc. Nearly all of these are "plot summary" in most respects, as they do not (in most cases) have much of a real-world impact, or sourced commentary.

I'm sorry if this is not exactly on topic, but it seems to me to be related to the discussion of this issue. -- Grandpafootsoldier 05:01, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Lots of articles have plot info in them, entirely appropriately. The only problem is when that's all you have in there. --Masamage 05:23, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Plot summaries - was there consensus?

  • I've amended the wording to the suggested change, reading the debate I think the consensus supports the change. Hiding Talk 14:11, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I won't revert, but I strongly disagree that a consensus exists. In the future, I would encourage some kind of poll to test the existence consensus, or dispute resolution in an attempt to reach one. In this case, I think the split came down as follows:

  1. Support proposed change - 7 editors, as follows
    1. Support because the change will allow, but not encourage, plot summary sub-articles - 4 editors: Ned Scott, Hiding, Rossomi, Masamage
    2. Support because the change will forbid plot summary subarticles - 3 editors: Newt, A Man In Black, ChrisGriswold
  2. Oppose proposed change - 4 editors:Peregrinefisher, TheronJ, User:Tjstrf, Badlydrawnjeff
  3. Comments that can't be defined as supporting or opposing - 4 editors: Zocky, Will Beback, TKD, Grandpafootsoldier

I've taken some guesses on who falls into which camp, but in part that would have been ameliorated by a poll, which would have confirmed who held which opinion and therefore tested for consensus. Looking at the numbers, I don't think that a 7 to 4 (64%/36%) split, although a respectable majority, constitutes a consensus in favor of the 7. I strongly would have preferred dispute resolution in an attempt to reach an actual consensus. Thanks, TheronJ 14:43, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

P.s.: Hiding - I've included your comment in the new heading as relevant to this "consensus" wrap-up - please feel free to move your comment above the heading if you disagree. TheronJ 14:43, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
  • The swing of the discussion was that the change was acceptable to most. I'm not sure I understand what you hope to achieve through dispute resolution. Where on earth would you place this discussion next, mediation? I'm not sure there's anything to mediate, which means we end up at arb-com, who I wouldn't think are going to take this on. I don't see a poll as necessary because I don't see the consensus as hard to call. Even if we take the numbers you post, a 64-36 split is a pretty good consensus on a change like this. Tying up all discussions in polling just seems impractical to me. Still, one thing about declaring a consensus is that it allows that consensus to be tested. Hiding Talk 17:10, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the comment. Some thoughts: (1) As I read Wikipedia:Consensus, a consensus is normally achieved by trying to negotiate a result that's acceptable to everyone or nearly everyone. In this case, "consensus-building" could have been moved forward by requesting a mediation, or by trying to bring in additional viewpoints by requesting input at the village pump or at a policy RFC. In particular, if there was a possibility of finding some compromise that satisfied more of the editors, I'd hate to think that it got squashed by vote-counting. (2) Although 66% of the editors does constitute a supermajority under most reasonable definitions, this is specifically addressed by Wikipedia:Consensus#Consensus vs. supermajority. Ultimately, I guess what I'm saying is that this is a policy, not a guideline, and I'd like to see something more than "66% of us say x, and 36% say not x, so there's a consensus for x." (3) Lastly, you're a great editor who I respect a lot, but I hate to see one of the involved parties declare that there's a consensus and make the change. Like I said, I won't revert, but I'm offering my advice for the future, which you can take for what it's worth. Thanks, TheronJ 17:21, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
    • I don't think we should be voting on this, and in my opinion the change is quite reasonable. An encyclopedia should have analysis of literary content, not lengthy summaries. >Radiant< 17:33, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
    • One of the reasons for the proposed re-wording is that it is fairly neutral, so while I respect the objections I fail to see them as major objections. That being said, I would not object to further discussion. I believe it would strengthen support for the re-wording and help us avoid disputes later on, so I see no harm in it. -- Ned Scott 18:26, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Tone of what user pages are not changed

I softened the tone of the text about user pages; we're not actively trying to keep people from sharing information about themselves, their favorite WP topics, their editing habits, or their beliefs that will be useful to others. More specifically, user pages were invented in order to promote useful social networking along Wikipedia lines; this should not be obscured. This page shouldn't denounce social networks per se; only the use of WP for unrelated social networking. Newbies shouldn't be scared of writing about themselves. +sj + 23:25, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

We have a massive problem with spam and other abuses of the userspace. This does not seem to be the right time to be liberalizing the wording on that particular clause. Rossami (talk) 02:29, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

There are more than 2 directions a policy can take. One can crack down on spam and liberalize appropriate talk at the same time. HighInBC 03:50, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Now the Discussion on Voting

What is wrong with this revision?:

Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy or any other political system. Its primary method of determining consensus is discussion. Sometimes, polls or votes also help determine and validate consensus, but editors should exercise caution and not allow a polls to curtail discussion.

If this is a contentious part of the policy (as I am told), is this really a policy that has consensus then? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Blue Tie (talkcontribs) October 15, 2006

The question is, why does it need to be changed? It clearly states that voting is not to be treated as binding. HighInBC 03:16, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Then we should probably not allow any of the request for deletes to be binding based upon a vote of say 95%. I have never actually seen a discussion on that, just a vote which is then declared to fall some direction and then closed. We should also not permit any more admins to be annointed based upon a vote because, after all, that would be binding.
Please note that my edit avoids the problem of votes either being binding or non-binding.
Finally, any policy that discourages polls should be modified to reflect that polls are a tool to help build concensus -- because, in fact, they are.
Thanks for adding my name last time. I was rushing and missed it. --Blue Tie 03:28, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

It is all about consensus. The XfD's that have gone through are in spirit with the consensus policy, same goes with the RfA. I also do not see how it discourages polls.

Regardless of my opinion my main concern is that time for discussion take place, leave it a day or two and see what people have to say about your edit. HighInBC 03:48, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I think if the XfD's that have gone through are in the spirit with consensus policy and so is RfA, then so is my edit. Nothing about it contradicts WP:CON. However, the current version discourages polls by a reference to "Voting is Evil" and also by too much caution without specifics and a statement that they are not to be binding. I believe this actually injures policy. Taken together, and in practice, this statement and others is used frequently to discourage or squelch polls -- which is a form of squelching discussion and avoiding consensus. It has happened to me several times and I accepted it until I understood that it was actually NOT policy that voting is evil. But I agree... I would like to see the discussion. --Blue Tie 04:00, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
When editing official policy it is always best to talk before editing, wait a while and see how people feel about the change. I will go with the consensus. No hurry. HighInBC 04:13, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
I was going with WP:BRD. If that is bad, then perhaps that should be tagged as doubtful advice. But I have a second question: How will you validate consensus? --Blue Tie 04:17, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I think this is a Zen. If we had a formal method of validating consensus, it wouldn't be consensus any more, but procedure. >Radiant< 09:45, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
You seem to be arguing that consensus and procedure are different things. Is there a source you can cite for that view? --Blue Tie 03:00, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
If it's his view then his own experience would be his citation.. -- Ned Scott 18:27, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
There is a greater need to discuss official policy than regular pages, as for WP:BRD, this is an essay that was wrote and is not policy related. The template at the top of the article mentions this. HighInBC 12:43, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
BRD is bad advice because it lacks context. I see what it's trying to do in spirit, but it will lead to situations like this. With highly used policies and guidelines it is almost always preferred to have discussion first. Even simple rewording, with good intentions, can be the source of problems. But, as said above, it's an essay and essays are just supposed to get you to think about things, rather than being advice to trust right off the bat. -- Ned Scott 19:58, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
My bad and I apologize. However, what is wrong with the edit that I suggested? --Blue Tie 03:00, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
  • The problem with the edit is that it weakens a sentence that is meant to discourage polls; the result is to encourage polls. >Radiant< 16:23, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Actually the opposite problem is true for the section as it exists: It discourages polls and this is a bad/evil thing when the goal of wikipedia is consensus. Polling helps develop and validate consensus. --Blue Tie 14:00, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Agree with Radiant. Sometimes does not equal in difficult cases. Hiding Talk 18:20, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I like the change, mostly because I don't have a problem with polls, as long as people don't think they're binding. I also think that straw polls are less helpful in "difficult cases" than otherwise, so I'm not crazy about the current wording. Is there any particular policy or guideline that discusses polls, or are there just some "voting is evil" editors and some "voting isn't evil, but voters might be" editors? TheronJ 19:02, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I think the change would do more harm than good. Most new users coming to the Wikipedia editing process and decision-making style quickly get to the misconception that "majority rules" and that they can get their way if they just recruit enough other people to say the same thing. That's not particularly surprising given the democratic ideals held by the cultures that most of our editors come from. New users as a rule try to put things up for a vote and that's nearly always a mistake. Some issues flat can not be decided by vote. We are writing an encyclopedia. Majority rule can not overturn fact (though some have tried). More often, the real problem is that a premature poll or vote tends to polarize the subsequent discussion, causing participants to harden into static positions as they seek to justify their vote. Premature polls shut down the consensus-seeking and dialog that we all desire. That's the real point of m:Voting is evil. While your statement is technically true, the softer wording would lead to an increase in the number of premature polls and a general decrease in the quality of discussion. Experience has taught us that we really do need to discourage polls pretty strongly in order to keep actual behavior about where we want it. Rossami (talk) 04:22, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Very well said. -- Ned Scott 07:49, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
So, if I understand it, the issue is that we are afraid that people will not discuss but only vote, is that right?--Blue Tie 13:17, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
No. The core issue is that a premature call for a vote changes the subsequent discussion and generally does so in bad ways - ways that tend to discourage collaboration and compromise. Rossami (talk) 16:01, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I would argue that it is not the "premature" call for a vote but the "improper application" of a vote that is the problem. Properly applied, a vote will encourage and enhance discussion and help develop and validate consensus. Improperly done, it can be used as a bludgeon to silence people. So I think I agree with the purpose of your reasoning but not with your specific sense of how to apply it. Polling is a good thing and would greatly help some discussions. --Blue Tie 14:00, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
It's been my personal experience that polling discourages discussion as people tend to vote and consider their job complete. Their votes are counted in "consensus" building often without any reasonable ground to them, even if their vote or reasoning is called into question and they do not respond. --NewtΨΦ 14:07, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Proposed addition:Wikipedia is not perfect

Wikipedia is not perfect.

We strive to be a reliable provider of encyclopedic content, and by and large we suceed. Our policies and proceedures are designed to keep false and unverifiable things out of our pages. However, no one is perfect and Wikipedia is no exception. Sometimes things slip by the Wikipedia community. Caution and common sense should be used when relying on Wikipedia as an information source.

I'd like to add that or something along those lines to What Wikipedia is not. Comments? ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 13:47, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes and no. The General disclaimer is not as visible as WP:NOT, and to some people it reads as legal jargon that WP is blathering to avoid being sued and is therefore to be ignored just like those little "release of liability" forms that you have to sign before being allowed to participate in just about anything. I was looking for a simple, visible way to say, in terms that anyone could understand, "We're not perfect. We make mistakes. We're human. We acknowledge that." ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 14:05, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Hmm how about:

Wikipedia is not perfect. For more information about this see: Wikipedia:General disclaimer

Simple and too the point. And it does not introduce any new rules, while education the users. HighInBC 14:06, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

WP:NOT is a policy, not a disclaimer. This would be an inappropriate addition. -- Ned Scott 14:13, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree with Ned. >Radiant< 14:38, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Valid point. HighInBC 14:57, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
What Wikipedia is not is not an indiscriminate collection of true statements beginning with the words "Wikipedia is not..."
Some other true but inappropriate additions: Wikipedia is not an acronym. Wikipedia is not a fast-food chain. Wikipedia is not a surname... Dpbsmith (talk) 15:11, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't view it as strictly necessary, but neither would it be harmful. However, it might not fit the theme of the other items. Perhaps a more appropriate addition might be "Wikipedia is not Utopia" under the community section. --tjstrf Now on editor review! 08:23, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Comment on proposal -- Policy also keeps out trivial things too. Lots and lots of verifiable and potentally true things are deleted every day because they are too trivial to be here. Just look at all the "nn" deletions. I'd suggest the proposal should say "We strive to be a reliable provider of encyclopedic content, and by and large we suceed. Our policies and proceedures are designed to keep false, unverifiable, and trivial, unencyclopedic things out of our pages. However, no one is perfect and Wikipedia is no exception. Sometimes things slip by the Wikipedia community. Caution and common sense should be used when relying on Wikipedia as an information source. " What do you think? 21:55, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Not a Trivia Book

There is a lot of debate about the inclusion of trivia sections within Wikipedia, with a lot of editors suggesting that the trivia sections are unencyclopedic and not relevant to Wikipedia (way beyond the guidelines of WP:AVTRIV). The template used for trivia sections {{toomuchtrivia}} suggests that these sections are unencyclopedic regardless of size. There is also a debate on whether the trivia sections should be moved altogether to another project like Wikitrivia. Would it be fair to say that trivia in sections is not encyclopedic and should either be integrated into the article or removed?

Something like under Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information:

  • Trivia. Wikipedia should not include isolated or unimportant facts about a subject. Facts should either be integrated into the article or not included. Wikipedia is not a dumping ground for speculation, rumor, hearsay, invented "facts", or libel.

--tgheretford (talk) 09:50, 20 October 2006 (UTC)


Since March 2004, the sentence: "Wikipedia also includes glossary pages for various specialized fields." has been part of "Lists of such definitions" On October 10, Dmcdevit unilaterally removed statement (see: [8] for the diff) claiming "This is not agreed upon policy and shouldn't have been added here. It's not in WP:WINAD." This was probably done following a discussion at Talk:Woodworking glossary. Now glossaries go way back in wikipedia, for example the history of the List of glossaries page goes back to November 2002. Removing glossaries from wikipedia is a major policy change and should at least have been discussed here. Luigizanasi 04:35, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

I oppose removing glossaries from Wikipedia. Glossaries are not a random list of dictionary definitions; they are a list of terms relevant to the subject or field being discussed. I believe that the value they have goes beyond the actual definition of words in that they comprise a collection of terminology used in the subject - they define the language of that subject. Glossaries allow the reader to learn the terminology in the context of the subject. If we decompose all of the glossaries in Wikipedia and move the definitions to wiktionary, we will lose the binding between these terms and the subjects to which they relate. SilentC 06:04, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I endorsed the change when Dmcdevit updated the page and still think that it is the right thing to do. Those glossaries which remain in Wikipedia should be moved over to Wiktionary. Wiktionary now has an entire appendices section which is much better organized for acceptance and handling of glossaries. With the addition of the appendices approach, the glossaries no longer have to be "decomposed" in order to be moved to Wiktionary. As to usability, we can provide cross-wiki links in every relevant Wikipedia article to make the Wiktionary glossary just as easy to find and use as the Wikipedia version was. Rossami (talk) 06:17, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
If there is a better way, I'm all for it. As long as we don't lose the relationship between the collection of terms and the subject, I'm happy. SilentC 06:31, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
The possibility of including glossaries in Wikitionary is great. Go ahead and copy them to your project, it's a free country license. :-) But who will maintain/update/expand them? I was about to make major additions to the Woodworking glossary as soon as I had time, but I am not about to join and contribute to another wikiproject. I already spend far too much time on Wikipedia and there is lots of work that needs to be done here. There are numerous wikiprojects that maintain glossaries; are you going to get the participants to contribute there? But what pissed me off was the unilateral removal of a long-standing policy from this page without any discussion, after that policy was pointed out to Dmcdevit. This is more than little arrogant. Luigizanasi 06:40, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Huh? I edited this policy after it was pointed out to me? Arrogance? You need to clarify this point because it sounds to me like a rather unfounded accusation and an assumption of bad faith. Dmcdevit·t 00:47, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Dmcdevit was bold WP:BOLD, but I think it is arguable as to whether there is consensus for the edit. Note that some people believe edits to policy should be discussed and consensus reached on the policy talk page before editing the policy itself. Personally, I am convinced of the logic of including glossaries in Wiktionary, BUT (<--note a big but), pending the working implementation of cross-Wiki accounts (so you don't have to reregister), I don't think the the migration should be done. Also, glossaries should not just vanish, but stubs should be left pointing to Wiktionary. I do not think the pre-existing policy should be changed unless and until cross-Wiki accounts work properly. WLD 10:02, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Stubs pointing to the new Wiktionary page are very helpful. They also serve to preserve the contribution history - a requirement of GFDL. Rossami (talk)

I Strongly Oppose removing glossaries from Wikipedia. I've summarised some arguments, and a list of pages Dmcdevit is wanting to transwiki/delete at Talk:List of glossaries, but I'll repeat 2 major points here:

  • The main value in keeping them here, is allowing people to browse more easily, from article to glossary to article to glossary etc. Much like how the lists of basic topics subset of articles work, or how navboxes like {{sem}} work, giving an overview of a topic in various condensed ways.
  • The main argument against moving them across, is browsing between projects is hard: 1) It's currently quite a jarring, unbalanced, and complicated experience to browse back and forth between wikipedia and wiktionary. 2) Different links will be unavailable or up-to-date at each site (eg some of the redlinks at wikt:Transwiki:Textile manufacturing terminology are never going to have dictionary entries). 3) Moving these glossaries to wiktionary will isolate them from the groups of articles they form a useful part of.

I'd like to see a longer discussion on the topic of glossaries as a whole, before they get moved piecemeal across. Plus, if there is consensus to move, then a mass-move discussion would be easier anyway. --Quiddity 19:10, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Please explain to us how browsing to this link or this link is any harder or more jarring than browsing to this link? A hyperlink is a hyperlink. Unless you look at the logo in the corner, most people don't even notice which project they're in. You don't have to do anything different and you can edit in either project. You do have to make one extra conscious decision when making a hyperlink on the page but that's about it.
Could all of those existing glossaries be improved? Of course they could. That's true of any wiki-page. And some of the Wiktionary glossary entries do link back to Wikipedia articles (and others probably should but just haven't been cleaned up yet). I can't find any evidence to support the opinion that moving these pages to a different project will isolate them or result in lower quality. On the contrary, I've seen them improve over time. Rossami (talk) 21:09, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
By the way, wikt:Transwiki:Textile manufacturing terminology is an unfair example because it's still in the middle of the transwiki process. No one has yet made the conscious decisions necessary to fix all the links on that page. Rossami (talk)
It's harder because different words will no longer link back to Wikipedia articles, but instead will link to Wiktionary entries (if they exist) where you'll have to find the sisterlink box to go back to Wikipedia.
Or, if you're planning on leaving the links pointing to Wikipedia, why are you moving them at all?
The other question we're trying to get answered, is how much of Category:Glossaries are you planning on removing from Wikipedia? Make a list and we can discuss them all at once. --Quiddity 00:08, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Some of those words should link to Wiktionary definitions, others should link directly back to the Wikipedia article. Unfortunately, most of the examples given so far (including mine) are glossaries which are still in need of clean-up. But to be completely honest, the vast majority of glossaries which are still here in Wikipedia are also in need of serious clean-up. The question to me is not "which project will be have the cleanest set of links on the day that we transfer it" but "which project will result in the best long-term result from the reader's perspective". I continue to think that they will get better clean-up in Wiktionary than they do here.
As to how many should be moved, I don't think we ought to try to answer that question yet. We need to start from a statement of general principle and then discuss the exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Trying to make a definitive list ahead of time will cause us to get distracted by the exceptions and judgment calls. Rossami (talk) 00:53, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Strongly oppose removing glossaries from Wikipedia. I also restored the statement of fact that glossaries exist in Wikipedia! [9] They have been here for a very long time, demonstrating a descriptive policy of consensus for their inclusion. When constructed properly, glossaries in Wikipedia are effective and interesting tools to browse encyclopedia articles. The same cannot be said for browsing dictionary definitions alone. Banning glossaries from Wikipedia severely degrades it quality. What is the point in that? Rfrisbietalk 20:31, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I've had a look at Appendices in Wiktionary. Whilst they seem to support the goals of the glossaries in Wikipedia, there are obvious issues for Wikipedia editors, who would have to become members of Wiktionary as well. The linking between the two is a bit more complex than standard wikilinks and would all need to be piped: wikt:Appendix:Australian rhyming slang vs Australian rhyming slang. Linking between the two really needs to be seamless, or it just becomes confusing for the user. There is also the issue of search: how do I get search hits on glossary terms when searching from within Wikipedia? The answer is that I don't, so a potential method of locating information is lost.
The other important question that remains unanswered in my mind is why the information we are discussing necessarily belongs in Wiktionary and not in Wikipedia. If you take the Australian rhyming slang appendix for example, many of the wikilinks actually link to articles in Wikipedia. Some of the Wiktionary links are appropriate, but many are not. For example Sydney is linked to the Wiktionary definition, which includes the male/female given name amongst others and there is no path from there to the Wikipedia article. Why wouldn't you link directly to the Sydney article in Wikipedia? That makes a lot more sense to me. I wouldn't look up a place name in a dictionary. It appears to me that the Wiktionary link takes precedence because the appendix is in Wiktionary. Does this serve the interests of the project as a whole? Not in this case. SilentC 01:33, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
An important problem which seems to be endemic with glossaries is a lack of sourcing. A somewhat different problem with glossaries are the past actitivies of User:Primetime, a notorious banned user. He was a champion of lists of slurs. He fought to maintain them, to prevent unsourced material from being removed, and sought to have articles such as "list of ___slurs" moved to "glossay or ___ slurs" in order to shield them from deletion. He also fought against moving terms to Wiktionary because he suspected they would be more stringent on sourcing then we are here. None of these issues directly affects whether or not we have any glossaries, but if we do we should be prepared to either source them or delete them. -Will Beback 03:45, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
The actions of a bad apple are irrelevant here. If you are going to source glossaries, are you going to source Lists? An ultimatum of sourcing or deleting for a list with accompanying definitions seems excessive. When Wikipedia glossaries are based on Wikipedia articles, the sourcing is present in the source article. Repeating the source in the glossary is redundant and unnecessary. A much more reasonable expectation would be that any Wikipedia glossary entry must have an accompanying source article. That way, entries automatically are sourced by reference and they offer another option for browsing encyclopedic topics. In this way, glossaries add value to Wikipedia. Rfrisbietalk 04:13, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Are the contents of Appendices in Wiktionary sourced? If not, and I believe that to be the case, then our problem is not solved by moving glossaries from Wikipedia to appendices in Wiktionary.
"A much more reasonable expectation would be that any Wikipedia glossary entry must have an accompanying source article." This is problematic. What you may end up with is a whole bunch of stub articles to support terms in the glossary, followed by a withering burst of "Wikipedia is not a dictionary" outrage. I think glossaries should stand on their own merit. They are subject to the same consensus as any other article. There are thousands and thousands of words in Wikipedia that are not directly sourced. I have written many of them myself. If you asked me "how do you know that?", the answer is "because I do". If you forced me to prove it, I could find references, but I certainly don't read a textbook every time I edit something here. Am I a bad Wikipedian? SilentC 04:21, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
If a term isn't "encyclopedic," maybe it should just be in Wictionary as an independent entry. If it is encyclopedic, but is missing or just a stub, then I'm fine with that. A red link or stub in a glossary probably is much more likely to make a project's to do list for further expansion. To me that seems like a perfectly valid way to improve the encyclopedia. That also sounds like another argument for keeping encyclopedic glossaries in Wikipedia! ;-) Rfrisbietalk 14:43, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
What's the difference between a glossary and a list of words? Between, for example, List of ethnic slurs and Glossary of sexual slurs? Separately, why would we keep any material that isn't sourced or sourceable? -Will Beback 18:13, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
A glossary is a list of topical/field related words, eg Textile manufacturing terminology. The list of words and glossary you've used as examples are only linguistically related, and should both be called "list of __ slurs"; the same as a list of place names.
As for sourcing, at least 90% of Wikipedia is currently unsourced. Do you want to delete all of that? My question is as rhetorical as yours. Everything can and should be sourced, obviously. But there's less need for sourcing "Acetate is a synthetic fiber." in the glossary article, if it's already sourced in the target (acetate) article, which is what Rfrisbie was pointing out. --Quiddity 19:41, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
There is a difference between 'sourced' and 'sourceable'. For example, the Woodworking glossary contains the following term: "Dutchman a diamond-shaped patch of wood used to repair surface blemishes and knotholes." There is no Wikipedia article for this, neither should there be. Someone has written that term into the glossary and there is absolutely no identifiable source for it in Wikipedia. However, I could pull out a woodworking textbook and it would be there. I know it's called a dutchman, I don't need to look it up, so evidently did the person who added it to the glossary. It is sourceable, but not sourced.
No doubt, there should be an entry in Wiktionary for dutchman that mentions this use and goes into the etymology, but as Luigi has pointed out, we don't all have time to participate in two projects. Maybe it should be a red link to Wiktionary. It's never going to be a Wikipedia article. Or maybe there could be Wikipedia article on fixing flaws and damage, but then that's starting to sound a bit like a how to, which will likely bring on more outrage. Maybe it could link to a Wiki book. The only thing I'm sure of is that it should exist somewhere and it should be in a form that links it to woodworking as a topic. Wiktionary is not subject based, Wikipedia is. It seems the logical place for it to me. SilentC 22:16, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Some material is virtually unsourceable. For example, List of online-gaming slang or List of Chicano Caló words and expressions. We should discourage the creation of articles that will never be sourceable using our standards. -Will Beback 22:53, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
That's fine, like I answered above; these are lists of words, not glossaries. -Quiddity 02:38, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
"Dutchman" is a terrific example of why these glossaries should be in Wiktionary where they do generally have the tools, resources and skills to verify and source the definition. (By the way, I was able to immediately confirm the usage via google which turned up this page where I learned that the term refers to any shaped patch, not merely diamond-shaped.) Likewise for the slang entries, Wiktionarians have established processes for determining when a word is established, when it is still a neologism, when it is a mere protologism, etc. Creating links across the two projects is not nearly as hard as some of the participants of this discussion seem to think.
SilentC's concern about the search engine is a valid concern. But if all we have is a mere definition, we probably shouldn't be presenting that in the Wikipedia search engine anyway. <long delay> No. As I think about this more, we should be presenting the definition in the search engine results but I don't think that answer should be limited to only those words which happen to be listed in a glossary. I'd like to ask for a feature improvement to add Wiktionary to the allowable list of searchable spaces in our preferences page. Rossami (talk) 00:53, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
It essentially is. This is the reason that a Wiktionary link was added to the "Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name." page. Put a term like "grandiloquent" in the search box and hit go. It doesn't exist, because it's only definition-worthy. Notice the link: "Look for "Grandiloquent" in Wiktionary". Pages with articles already are a little trickier, but likely if there's an article it'll definte the word, or if not, {{wiktionary}} should be added, and its absence is a failing on our part. Dmcdevit·t 01:13, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

arbitrary section break inserted to aid editing

Having been away from Wikipedia, and the internet, unexpectedly for the last few days, let me see if I can explain some things. First no one has proposed a "major policy change" of "Removing glossaries from wikipedia". My only edit was to indicate that there has never been consensus either way for glossaries. Historically, some have been kept at AfD and some have been deleted, and the important message here is that AfD is inconsistent, especially where no policy exists. That phrase about glossaries didn't belong here, especially since this page is about What Wikipedia is not in any case. No one has proposed deleting glossaries en masse, and no one has even proposed any addition to policy regarding glossaries. Personally, I think a gradual move to Wiktionary is for the best. Almost all of this opposition is due to a lack of understanding about Wiktionary (I fear I may be the only one here who actually edits it) and a failure to actually make arguments as to precisely why glossaries are encyclopedic. Dmcdevit·t 00:47, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Main actual arguments I encounter are:
    • "Browsing Wiktionary is harder." No it isn't. Linking to Wikipedia for concepts, as in [[w:concept]] where a dictionary definition would be inappropriate is common Wiktionary procedure, and is done on all articles, by regular Wiktionarians, not just for transwikied glossaries. It's not hard or jarring at all. There's even a nice little box to go back to the Wikipedia article, like the one at the top of cat. When I transwikied (not a glossary, but good example) Appendix:Basic English word list, and put the {{wiktionary}} (and the corresponding tag back to Wikipedia from Wiktionary) tag at the top of Basic English, it ended up being more prominently linked than previously, and less isolated. Finally, this argument doesn't actually assert any reason for why glossaries are encyclopedic. (I don't like the way I have to browse phonebook-type data on other websites either, should we move it here?)
    • "Newly transwikied glossaries will have more redlinks." This is either because someone has left the links in place, and hasn't changed concept links to point to Wiktionary, or there are actually holes in Wiktionary. The first is most likely, and the answer is: it's a wiki, fix it. The second is less likely, but possible for technical terms. Wiktionary is a work in progress, like Wikipedia. It makes no sense for Wikipedians to argue it should be complete already. More importantly, links in Wiktionary (to Wiktionary) are only for dictionary definitions. Any such blue link back to Wikipedia would be inappropriate: Wikipedia won't have the needed definition anyway. Again, this isn't a reason that glossaries are encyclopedic.
    • "Glossaries exist. Policy is descriptive." This is a fallacy, and a misreading of the intended descriptiveness of Wikipedia policy. At any moment, there are advertising, vandalism, attack pages, vanity pages, etc. in Wikipedia. This does not mean they are acceptable. Policy is descriptive of accepted practices and consensus, not what exists. There is a historic lack of consensus on glossaries. It is not a statement of fact that they are included as a category: rather they have neither been totally deleted or totally kept. And this page is not even about inclusion, but exclusion.
  • Are there any other reasons that glossaries are indeed encyclopedic? Note that this is a very different question from whether that sentence belongs on this page. Because it doesn't. Note that in my removing it, I am only expressing the fact that no consensus exists for that change, and that it was inserted without consensus. There is no proposal to "ban" glossaries, (and I hardly see any cause for hostility over the nomination of one or two). Dmcdevit·t 00:47, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
My argument was, and remains to be, that glossaries (or at least the one I have been involved in) are an important part of a topic because they encapsulate the terminology used within that subject. There are cases where a common word is used in a specific context within that topic which would make it confusing to a reader if it was not brought brought to their attention some how. If a glossary is present, the reader can obtain knowledge of the specific use of these terms if they wish. Having them listed in a glossary of wordworking terms gives us an opportunity to draw the alternate, woodworking-related meaning to the attention of readers. I stress that it's not the definition of these terms in isolation that is encyclopedic, it is the collection of them into a group that says "this is the language of this subject" that is encyclopedic, or more exactly, forms an important addition to the encyclopedic subject. The reason that the woodworking glossary was created in the first place was because we had a growing list of terms in the woodworking article and it seemed to make sense to split them off into a separate article for readability. There was/is a precedent for it, so it was done. If we are faced with the choice of removing glossaries, then the woodworking glossary will be restored to the woodworking article and readability will suffer as a result. I also believe that glossaries are a good launching pad into a collection of articles on a subject. All this aside, seeing as many glossaries exist, perhaps more important than "why should the stay" is "why should they go"? SilentC 01:54, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
No one is even contemplating deleting glossaries. All that may happen to them is that they are moved to Wiktionary and linked from the main articles, because, they don't seem encyclopedic. The fact that they are useful is immaterial; I agree that they are useful, and this is why I have spent some time fixing them up myself. Usefulness is no more a reason for keeping them in Wikipedia as on any other project. (If someone on Wiktionary asked me to defend my addition of glossaries to Wiktionary, it would be simple. They are lists of words and definitions: that's what a dictionary is about.) Dmcdevit·t 05:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Nobody ever stated that "Browsing Wiktionary is harder". Browsing back and forth between projects is harder. You should go back and re-read the discussion. Your phonebook argument is a straw man, and nobody opposed the AfD of List of Basic English core words so that's another bad example.
You said "Personally, I think a gradual move to Wiktionary is for the best". This appears to be a non-consensual stance, which is why we're here discussing it. It's also why some editors are upset that you removed the line from this policy page without discussing it first.
If the deletionists/wiktionarians won't bring up specific examples, then I will: Do you intend on copying across to Wiktionary, and then starting AfD proceedings for Architectural glossary, Glossary of dance moves, Glossary of ballet, Musical terminology, and Glossary of poetry terms too? If so, we have a problem.
But if you restrict your aim to lists of words, and dubious ones at that, like Glossary of sexual slurs and List of online-gaming slang and List of Chicano Caló words and expressions and Australian rhyming slang; then go right ahead.
Like I keep saying, this is what we're trying to get clear. --Quiddity 02:38, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Saying "Browsing Wiktionary is harder" was only intended as a shorthand. If you read my comments over again, you'll see that I was addressing the concern that browsing back and forth is harder. I don't think it's true: the too can be very well integrated with internal links and templates. In effect, with proper links, there's no real discernable difference between browsing between the two and browsing within Wikipedia. The Basic English example was only meant to be an example of how browsing between the two is just as easy; I don't see how it's bad at that. (Also, I fail to see what is strawman logic in the phonebook example as I'm only trying to express that there does exist useful information that is not appropriate in an encyclopedia, so usefulness is not really a valid criterion.)
I think we need to recognize that two things here are being discussed: the actual text of this policy page inclusing a sentence about glossaries, and the fate of glossaries. You say that moving glossaries to Wiktionary is not a consensus position, and I agree. That's precisely what I said upon removing the sentence: there has never been any consensus either way on glossaries. I'm trying to make something clear, but apparently I'm not. I'm not proposing any policy on glossaries. I haven't and don't have any plans to propose the deletion of those that you list. I think Textile manufacturing terminology is the only nomination of a true glossary that I have made. I will say that I agree with you about the word lists, and largely because we already have a fairly distinct policy on them already, I have put them on my to-do list (that's a big enough task already). I think all I have proposed regarding glossaries is that we discuss them. We may not come to a consensus. That just means that they will be continue to be decided on a case-by-case basis, as with all other areas that an inclusion criterion hasn't been drawn up. I still think the discussion is worthwhile. Dmcdevit·t 05:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
The phonebook is a strawman because you wouldn't use it to explore a topic, as you would a glossary; but I think that's part of the confusion you mention over 3 simultaneous/crossed discussions (because the phonebook is a semi-valid comparison to a list of slurs).
Well, I think we're in agreement about the actual glossaries. Can we add the sentence back to this policy page, which supports, as apparently we all do, real glossaries within wikipedia (now that we know how to distinguish them from mere lists of related words)?
It was added in March 2004 by Docu. Archive-diving, it seems to have completely survived two initial discussions (1 and 2), and even this large discussion which is what led to Wikipedia:Deletion policy/Lists of words. --Quiddity 06:50, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
(Just in case we're not all in agreement: Browsing back and forth (from glossary to wiktionary entry to wikipedia article) is harder because it involves at least one extra click per navigation, depending on where the links are aimed (wiktionary or wikipedia), and it assumes the reader is familiar/comfortable with our sisterproject templates) :) --Quiddity 06:33, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, there isn't an extra click (unless I'm totally misunderstanding you). This is why I mentioned Basic English and wikt:Appendix:Basic English word list. Try navigating between them. And the sister project boxes, to me, seem more prominent than internal links, not more confusing. But I still think that none of this has any bearing on whether it's encyclopedic, anyway. I definitely agree with the distinction between word lists and glossaries, but I still don't think there is or has been any consensus either way on "real" glossaries. And I still do think that "real" glossaries should evenually be migrated to Wiktionary and well-linked, I just don't have a proposal on the table to do that other than with case-by-case consensus. Dmcdevit·t 06:50, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
But all the links in wikt:Appendix:Basic English word list lead to Wiktionary, which is why it's a bad example.
If Textile manufacturing terminology had been deleted from Wikipedia, who would decide whether the words (in its new location at wiktionary) linked to acrylic or acrylic? If the latter, then browsing back and forth to wikipedia becomes harder. --Quiddity 07:00, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Wiktionary has a common pratice on that: generally when the reference is to the concept and not a definition, it should be a Wikipedia link. But note that wikt:acrylic has a sister project box linking to acrylic. I'm sure not all pages will be such a good example since Wiktionary is a work in progress and, like Wikipedia, still has pages that need wikification. But the idea is that every Wiktionary entry that is also for something that is a concept with a Wikipedia article should be linked to it. Even in the latter case, cross-browsing shouldn't be harder. Dmcdevit·t 07:14, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
It does involve another step though, and familiarity with sistertemplate links.
As for the text on this policy page, I think at this point (2.5 years later) you need to show consensus for its removal. I'll add it back tomorrow, if there is no significant disagreement. --Quiddity 07:31, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

delay for a test

Well, I oppose it's return to the page. Dmcdevit says it well. There is no consensus either way. That means leave it off and we can continue to discuss the matter.
In the meantime, I'd like a delay to run a test. Most of the serious objections seem centered around the argument that it's somehow harder to browse between the two projects. I disagree but unfortunately don't have a clean example of a fully wikified glossary that gets it right. I think that it is incumbent on those of us who believe these should be moved to create a good example and prove the point one way or another. That will take some time. Can we table the discussion for a couple of weeks while we run that test? The glossary can be merely copied over to Wiktionary during the test so no content will be lost. By the way, does anyone have a suggestion for the one or two glossaries that would really test the proposal? Rossami (talk) 14:40, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Sure. Try the complete Glossary of education-related terms and/or Glossary of spirituality-related terms. Rfrisbietalk 15:50, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Try the architectural glossary. --Quiddity 18:32, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Here's another "List of such definitions" I assume you consider to be better off in Wictionary: Wikipedia:Glossary. Rfrisbietalk 00:37, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Glossary of education-related terms and Glossary of spirituality-related terms are far too large for any reasonable proof-of-concept. Architectural glossary looks more reasonable for a pilot of the concept. I would also undertake to convert Military slang if others will pitch in and help with the test. Will those be adequate? Rossami (talk) 20:30, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
By the way, I think this test needs the active participation of both those in support and opposed to the idea. That's the only way to ensure that things you dislike about the result are truly a result of the decision to transwiki, not merely a dispute with my personal editing style or choices. Rossami (talk)
I agree with the proposition that those who wish its removal from policy should be required to show consensus for its removal. In my opinion, such consensus has not been demonstrated. It is a very good idea to have a good, clean example of how the people who propose the use of Wiktionary for glossaries expect things to work in that case. Pending the generation of a good example, and subsequent discussion leading to consensus, the policy allowing Glossaries should be reinstated. WLD 15:58, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
That isn't how policy works, though. It is based upon current practice and consensus. If there is no consensus either way for a policy, it shouldn't be there. How could I even demonstrate "consensus for removal"? And again, this page is not for inclusion criteria, anyway. It's for what Wikipedia is not. Dmcdevit·t 16:50, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
But removing something that more editors seem to agree with needs consensus more than leaving it in place does. I'm replacing it until more than 3 editors agree that it should be removed. "Current practice" indicates that glossaries exist here, and "consensus" over 2.5 years of discussion has not seen fit to remove it. --Quiddity 18:32, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
How to demonstrate consensus for removal:
  1. Be bold, and remove. If no-one reinstates, you have a self-evident consensus for removal.
  2. If re-instated (or if you dont take step 1), discuss/debate it's inclusion or not on the relevant talk page. If you can cite policy supporting your actions, all the better, but be aware that Wikipedia policy is not necessarily self-consistent, or complete. The aim of the discourse is to generate an agreed consensus among the participants before taking action.
  3. If the debate participants cannot achieve consensus, try some of the mediation approaches. If that fails, you definitely have no consensus.
That's one possible approach, and no doubt misses out some niceties. If, as you say, policy is based on current practice and consensus, current practice seems to be for the inclusion of Glossaries, and you are questioning a reasonably long standing consense for their inclusion. There's nothing wrong with that, and I broadly support your aim, but I don't entirely support your methods. If you are right in what you are attempting to do, then reasoned argument, with good examples, will generally bring people round to your position.WLD 20:40, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

arbitrary section break inserted to aid editing

Since I'm apparently too ignorant to make credible comments about Wiktionary or policy development, I won't bother. I'll just move on to the next topic. I'm confident any weaknesses in that arena will be pointed out as well.

Why glossaries are encyclopedic. By "encyclopedic," I mean pages in the main article space or project space that contribute to Wikipedia. The short answer – glossaries are lists. They simply have a specialized structure. Glossaries are lists of terms annotated with their meanings. They serve the purpose of lists very well: information (the inclusion and meaning of related terms); navigation (e.g., the members of List of glossaries, a key page for Wikipedia:Contents); and development (the status of written and needed articles suggested by the terms). As a reader, I consider the most powerful encyclopedic contribution of glossaries to be the combination of their information and navigation purposes. By reading a glossary on a topic, I can survey a large number of terms in a relatively short amount of time, following the links to their main articles and back when I am interested in more in-depth information. Glossaries even have established styles for definition lists. Some of the best lists Wikipedia has to offer also include sections that effectively constitute glossaries, such as List of calypso-like genres and List of English words containing Q not followed by U. If these aren't reasons why glossaries are encyclopedic, then I agree, I don't get Wikipedia. And frankly, I wonder why I would want to. Rfrisbietalk 02:39, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I find it curious no one has attempted to refute these substantive reasons why glossaries are encyclopedic, but continue to focus on refuting "navigation" issues, especially when such a big deal was made about the lack of such reasons. Rfrisbietalk 00:37, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Oppose removal of glossaries - I've followed this link from WP:ARCH. There's a paucity of architecture editors as it is on wikipedia without moving the architectural glossary to a (seemingly) unfamiliar and distant wikiproject. Specialist subjects such as architecture, need glossaries, they serve as a great resource for the general reader but also have a good wikipedia function in that they can serve as a holding page for what would otherwise be short stubby articles, prior to expansion. Take out the glossaries and see the stubs on AfD soar. --Mcginnly | Natter 08:30, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
No one has proposed removal of architectural glossary, or any policy about removal of glossaries. Dmcdevit·t 16:50, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Not yet, but you've essentially stated that it should be: "And I still do think that "real" glossaries should evenually be migrated to Wiktionary and well-linked". --Quiddity 18:32, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
There's obviously no bad faith intentions here, but I do suspect your affiliation with Wiktionary, and desire to help it achieve growth, is biasing you both in your intentions to move content from here to there.
However as someone noted, once single-login is implemented your stance will be more supportable, and once you have created a good example of easy back-and-forth browsing we'll be more believing of its possibility. I agree that we should postpone this discussion until then, and perhaps at a more suitable location. If anyone wanting to re-raise this topic could mention it at talk:List of glossaries and at Category talk:Glossaries, that would be great :) --Quiddity 18:54, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't think I'm biased, because I've been trying repeat that suitability (or unsuitability) for Wiktionary doesn't really have any bearing on how encyclopedic something is anyway. I don't have any problem in dropping the issue though, because, again, I really wasn't intending to create a policy on this right now. I do think that glossaries should eventually be moved, that's true, but I'm not, can't really, doing that right now. There are many things I believe that aren't necessarily in line with common practice, and I haven't ridden roughshod over the 'pedia yet.
My only real concern is that the erroneous sentence, now readded, be removed. Policy doesn't work by having a consensus for things to not be included, it is only what consensus supports. Neither consensus nor common practice support the sentence. I'm mystified as to why it has been readded when there is no reason to think it has the consensus needed for policy ([10] is not very impressive). The main policy page on the matter, Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary, has never had this aberration. And again, this page isn't even about inclusion criteria. WP:WINAD is where it should go if it did have consensus. Dmcdevit·t 22:54, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
"Most of the serious objections seem centered around the argument that it's somehow harder to browse between the two projects". I take great offence to that remark. Most of the serious objections? Have you read anything I've written? I assure you my objections are serious, even if they seem frivilous to you! Dmcdevit makes the point above somewhere that glossaries belong in dictionaries because they are lists of words. I disagree. In the print world, where do you find glossaries? In dictionaries? No. You find them in text books in context with the subject they belong to. A dictionary is an alphabetical list of words allowing the user, who already knows the word, to look it up and discover it's meaning. A glossary is also an alphabetised list of words but it is designed to allow the user to see all of the important terms associated with the subject. The glossary belongs to the subject. The subject is defined in Wikipedia, not in Wiktionary. SilentC 22:26, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Wiktionary is not a common dictionary; you should acquaint yourself with its appendices, at least. But that is beside the point. There is not consensus about glossaries. I hold a different opinion from you, but I'm not pushing it in policy. I've only excised all mention of glossaries, favorable or unfavorable, from this page until such time as it has been agreed upon. Dmcdevit·t 22:54, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I have checked out appendices, as I have mentioned above. Wiktionary is not a common dictionary and Wikipedia is not a common encyclopedia, yet we are constantly reminded of what does and does not belong here. If we don't intend to apply the concepts of 'dictionary' and 'encyclopedia' to these wikis, then why do we use the terms at all? Why not combine the two and have definitions where that is all that is required and encyclopedic articles, or even "how to" articles where they are appropriate. Why have the division at all? And so, given that the division exists, why not use the commonly understood definitions of the terms 'dictionary' and 'encyclopedia' to define what belongs in each?
The reason that the "Wikipedia also includes glossary pages for various specialized fields" sentence has been added is so that eager editors do not come along and use the 'Lists of such definitions' guideline as a reason to delete glossaries. That is obvious to me. I relied upon that statement when I removed the Move to Wiktionary template from the Woodworking glossary article. I disagree that glossaries should ultimately go to Wiktionary, even when you do come up with what may be to you a satisfactory method of handling it.
You are right, our opinions differ. I cannot see the logic in taking an important part of the discussion of a topic away and locating it in an appendix in the virtual backmatter of a dictionary. It just doesn't make any sense to me. SilentC 23:21, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Hmm...its true that many people here are acting glossaries will be delted en masse when that wasn't the proposal. Since I don't see consensus supporting that wording, I don't feel that changing it is wrong since it doesn't *actually* change current practice. As for the glossary issue, I support migrating them to wiktionary, with of course a link here pointing them out. The argument that it is inconvient to follow a link to another project is silly, people do it all the time with commons and no one complains about pictures being over there. As for wiktionary being "another wikiproject" editing there works exactly the same way as it does here, and its no more difficult to work on a glossary there than here. Eventually, when we get universal login, aspects of these projects will merge anyway so why not start now. Lots of people are active in transwiking things already, it isn't an onerous task or anything that requires more time than Wikipedia. In summary I think the wording change was proper and pervasive idea that things will get hidden away on wikitionary ridiculous. This is what links were invented for. pschemp | talk 03:48, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

No one has yet explained satisfactorily why they believe that glossaries belong in Wiktionary and not in Wikipedia. All I have heard so far is "I believe ..." but not why. No-one has countered my argument that glossaries belong with the subject they help to define, not tucked away in an appendix to a dictionary. No-one has countered the claim made above that glossaries are encyclopedic. The only arguments that any of the pro-wiktionary crowd have so far addressed are the ones relating to perceived difficulty in linking to and from and editing. Why is that? SilentC 04:01, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Please show me an instance where anyone has tried to change policy to reflect that glossaries are unencyclopedic or should be deleted, and then your contentions will be relevant. Rather your reverting in a contention that glossaries are accetable, when there is no such consensus. Removing the sentence doesn't mean policy asserts they are unencyclopdic. It asserts there is no consensus on them. Dmcdevit·t 04:53, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Just on the subject of removing the line "Wikipedia also includes glossary pages for various specialized fields" from this page:

1. It has been there for a long time, why the urgency to remove it. It was there, someone has removed it, surely it should remain until concensus is reached for it to go, not the other way around?

2. It prevents people from relying on Wikipedia is not a dictionary to delete glossary pages or move them to Wiktionary, at least until we have reached a concensus that this is what should happen.

3. It is a statement of fact at present. Wikipedia does contain glossaries.

I wont revert it again, but please consider these points and perhaps let's have a discussion about it before unilaterally deleting it. SilentC 04:41, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Obviously that fell on deaf ears. Oh well, I'm over this now. I've got other brick walls to beat my head against... SilentC 05:05, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Without getting too deep into the discussion, isn't this a list of things that Wikipedia is not, as opposed to what Wikipedia is? -- Ned Scott 05:07, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Omission compromise

I think omitting mention of glossaries entirely is the best compromise. There's no clear consensus on glossaries, so it's inappropriate for a policy page to endorse keeping or deleting them. Instead, I think this page should simply state that dictionary definitions aren't appropriate, and leave the debate about the encyclopedic value of any given list to individual discussions on the articles' merits in merge/AFD discussions. Does anyone think that this isn't fair? - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 05:31, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

This seems acceptable to me and reminds me of the plot summaries discussion above. -- Ned Scott 05:54, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Why we need "Wikipedia also includes glossary pages for various specialized fields

I really am a glutton for punishment.

I'm having trouble understanding why people are adamant that we remove this statement, which apparently has happily been sitting there for quite a long time. Nevertheless, I will once more attempt to explain why I think it should remain AT LEAST until we decide that glossaries have no place in Wikipedia.

Sometimes, to define what something IS you need to define what it IS NOT. The converse is also true. Under 'Wikipedia is not a dictionary', we have the sub clause 'Wikipedia is not a list of such definitions'. On the face of it, this gives any editor license to delete disambiguation pages and glossary pages because all they are is lists of definitions. At some point, en editor has felt it necessary to add the two exceptions. Why this particular one has been picked on and the one relating to disambiguation pages is left alone eludes me at present.

"There are, however, disambiguation pages consisting of pointers to other pages; these are used to clarify differing meanings of a word." This is also a statement of what Wikipedia IS, yet no-one has deleted it. What is the difference? If we are not debating whether or not it is policy, but simply saying that it must go because this page lists what Wikipedia IS NOT, then this statement should go too by the same argument.

For example, the other day, not 10 minutes after I created the Woodworking glossary page, someone came along and plonked a Move to Wiktionary tag on it. I referred to this page and found that glossaries were exempt from the "no lists allowed" rule and so used that as a justification for removing the tag. If the statement was not there, then I would not have been able to do this.

Whether or not you agree that glossaries belong here, you cannot dispute that they DO exist, that there is at least SOME concensus that they remain, and that while this is the case, without the exceptions as listed on this page, their existence is an anomaly.

Does this make any sense at all? SilentC 05:38, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

I've also just noticed that What Wikipedia is not has disappeared from my watch list and that I can no longer edit it (not that I planned to). How does that happen? Is that the way it works. When someone disagrees with you, you make your change and then use your admin powers to block them from editing the page? SilentC 05:46, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

The point is that glossaries aren't exempt; there's no clear consensus on what to do with glossaries, and policy pages should reflect this. The transwiki tags aren't binding, in any case; a page needs to go through AFD or whatever before it's deleted from Wikipedia. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 06:13, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

"Glossaries aren't exempt" Why are they here then?
"There's no clear consensus on what to do with glossaries" Well why in the name of FSM don't we have one? How hard is it? What do we need to do to get one? A vote? Toss a coin? Argue until the last person is standing? This is far more frustrating than any bureaucracy I've ever worked for. SilentC 06:22, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
We can set up an RFC if you wish. -- Ned Scott 06:37, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps that's because it isn't a bureaucracy. There's no policy because there's no consensus. You're certainly not going to conjure consensus by vote. I think it will just have to be decided on a case-by-case basis, as it always has been, and as many subjects for which there are no clear and inalienable inclusion guidelines are decided (o we wouldn't have AfD). But note that a "Copy to Wiktionary" tag has nothing to do with deletion, any such article still requires a consensus to delete at AfD like the rest. Dmcdevit·t 06:49, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
So how does ANYTHING get into 'policy'? Is that what an RFC is for? Does that bring out all the big knobs in wiki land for a tribal council or something? Are we doomed to have this debate over and over? I really can't be bothered with it. Next time someone comes along and says "this is just a list of words, there's nothing in 'policy' about glossaries, so I'll just put a delete tag on this", we have to have this argument all over again. Is this really the way things are done? I think I might go and check out wikibooks. At least I know nobody is going to object to a glossary in a book. I hope. SilentC 22:25, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:How to create policy. It would be very difficult/arduous with this many admins against us.
Hopefully, as I asked previously, if someone does attempt to create an anti-glossary proposal, they'll notify myself and others via talk:List of glossaries and Category talk:Glossaries. I'd also appreciate it if the same were done in the event that any of the contents (glossaries, not lists of words) of those pages is taken to AfD, as I don't have time to watchlist them all... Thanks.--Quiddity 23:44, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
That's another thing that gets up my nose. An administrator is supposed to be responsible for administration tasks, but some admins seem to use their powers to influence the direction things take. For example, yesterday I reverted the change to reinstate that sentence. Someone took it out again, so I reverted it once more and requested on the talk page above that we at least discuss it before it is unilaterally deleted again. An admin promptly reverted it, with the comment "Yes, let's discuss", and blocked me from editing the page. No discussion, nothing. I just find that rude. Why should an admin's arguments have any more weight than any other editor? We can't all be admins, wouldn't want to be, but just because you have been given admin powers, it doesn't make you any more 'right' than me. SilentC 00:03, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Hear hear. I think you have been treated unfairly. Unfortunately, I've found the answer, sometimes, is just to shrug your shoulders and wander off somewhere else. Taking the long view, no-one is going to care in a 100 years about this little spat debate. As it happens, while I'm ,broadly in favour of migrating glossaries to Wiktionary, I see no point in removing that particular sentence from the policy now, as no-one has demonstrated a nice example of how glossaries should (in their opinion) work with Wiktionary. Also, cross-wiki logins are not yet implemented, making the process of flipping between -ipedia and -tionary for editing purposes more painful than necessary. WLD 00:21, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I do get quite possessive of the stuff I work on and I'm outraged that someone wanted to delete one of my pages, but as you say in 100 years no-one will care. Thanks for the perspective ;) SilentC 00:39, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Page protection

I'd love to see a rationale for this page protection, [11] particularly since it reflects the change to the long-standing version supported by a group of admins. Such an action certainly does not promote even the appearance of impartiality. Rfrisbietalk 01:01, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Page protection is not an endorsement of the current version. -- Ned Scott 01:10, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Why wasn't it protected with the original sentence intact then? SilentC 01:13, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
The page protection is ok, it was handled by an uninvolved admin, and protecting on the wrong version even has a manual page: m:The Wrong Version. However the 3 admins reverting us to "the wrong version" is frustrating, when no good rationale has been given for overturning 2.5 years of precedented existence. (we've been told "this page only describes what Wikipedia is not", however it partly does that through many positive examples of what Wikipedia is.) I feel steamrollered, and fear someone is going to use this as leverage to move actual glossaries across to Wiktionary prematurely. (It's also why I'm not sure I wish to be an admin. Opinions + power = danger! (a common enough lament, in all walks of life. I prefer cats)). --Quiddity 02:11, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
The other users being admins doesn't mean anything in this debate. They haven't used their admin abilities, so their involvement is only that of a user. Users reverted the change.
I guess you are getting steamrolled, but to say there is no good rational is wrong. There is perfectly good rational, and in all reality this shouldn't be controversial. This should be a natural conclusion, because it makes sense. It's extremely frustrating to have to fight over this. There is no harm, whatsoever, in moving something to Wiktionary. Wikipedia and Wiktionary are sister projects, and it's supposed to work like this. That is why we are pushing this, that is why this is a natural decision. The two projects are literally set up for these kinds of situations. We don't need a discussion to figure this out. We can have one, if you really want, but it will be a waste of all our times. This is not out of disrespect, or misuse of power (I am not an admin, admins are not the only ones who see this), or because we want it "our way", but because this is how it's supposed to be, because it will make things better and easier for everyone. -- Ned Scott 03:27, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
So let's see the proof of concept Rossami proposed to be ready in a couple of weeks so we can decide how theory actually plays out in practice. Rfrisbietalk 03:35, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I am not familiar with that part of the discussion. A Wiktionary link is all that would be needed, and would be used in-place of a link to what would basically be the same page on Wikipedia. It's a very simple concept. Example: Australian rhyming slang. -- Ned Scott 03:56, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
It might be simplest to search for "I'd like a delay to run a test." to find the comment. My main interest is to be able to follow links in glossaries to articles, not definitions. I want to see how that is going to be addressed in Wictionary. Rfrisbietalk 04:05, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Wiktionary can link back directly to articles and have them appear as normal links just as I did with the link to Wiktionary. -- Ned Scott 04:14, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I know that's possible. The question remains what, if anything, will be lost in the transwikification if something like Glossary of education-related terms gets moved to Wictionary. I hope this upcoming test will answer that question. Rfrisbietalk 04:30, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't believe any data is lost. You are also using a straw man argument, of sorts, as Wiktionary and Wikipedia are both "works in progress". Just because the work has yet to be done proves nothing. -- Ned Scott 04:37, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
You're not going to be happy with anything I say, and I really don't have any reason to sit here and try to convince you otherwise. Like I said before, we could get in a big huge debate about this, but the end result will be the same, and I rather not waste my time proving common sense rationales. You are welcome to keep the debate going, if you wish. -- Ned Scott 04:42, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
You're ignoring the last 24 hours of discussion, therefore debating with you is pointless. --Quiddity 07:39, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm perfectly happy to wait for the test examples volunteered by Rossami to see how well they work. There's nothing straw about that. Rfrisbietalk 12:15, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Rossami doesn't speak for everyone, so his example is not some kind of "tie breaker" here. Rather, he politely volunteered to demonstrate to you exactly why are you wrong, and nothing more. Nothing "official" will come from such an example that he provides. -- Ned Scott 22:11, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Obviously, you've left your biases at the door. Thanks for pointing out the error of my ways. However, I reserve the right to base my judgments on what's demonstrated, not simply what's advocated. Rfrisbietalk 23:16, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
You know, I could really use some help with the test from both of you. Our best pages are based on collective editing. If the test succeeds or fails, I'd rather it did so based on the best we can offer, not just on my opinion of a way to convert the page. Thanks. Rossami (talk) 00:31, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't have any editing experience with Wictionary, but if you get the ball rolling, I'll give it a shot. Rfrisbietalk 02:12, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I too Strongly Oppose the removal of glossaries. Dread Lord CyberSkull ✎☠ 23:15, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Big picture?

Encyclopedias and dictionaries have a long evolution in their paper forms. Because there were physical and economic limitations to the size and of the projects, decisions were made that limited the content of these forms. Essentially, they are both part of the same thing -- a compendium of human knowledge. I don't see why this has to be an either/or discussion. Wikimedia does not have the same limitations as paper media. If we are to have two projects, a dictionary that focuses on words and an encyclopedia that focuses on topics, there will certainly be overlap. I can see a value to having glossaries in both projects. The same glossary may take on a different form in each location. In the encyclopedia it can be organized to help the reader understand the topic and in the dictionary it can be organized to understand the words. Why do we need to fight about this? What is harmed by having them in both locations? Why is duplication bad? It seems impractical to define a clear boundary between the two projects. Both projects have evolved with the inclusion of glossaries. Discussions about removing or limiting them in either project are a waste of time. -- Samuel Wantman 06:57, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Duplication is bad because we can easily inter-link with each other. It's painfully easy. Duplication makes maintenance harder, and can cause undesired article forking. -- Ned Scott 08:16, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

My major argument in favor of glossaries in wikipedia is that unfortunately wiktionary will not have the same amount of fact checking and eyeballing as wikipedia. (And it is understandable: writing dictionary is not fun.) And I dont believe this will change ever. Threfore for verifiablility alone I amd strongly in favor to keep glossaries here.

The second argument, there is a subtle difference hidden by superficial similarity: a specialized glossary is not about word usage, it is about things described by these words, i.e., every element of a glossary is an encyclopedia article (and potentialy expandable, too). `'mikkanarxi 22:29, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

If you accept that writing a dictionary is not fun, placing it in Wikipedia will only make things worse; the dictionary part of Wikipedia would be just as badly checked as Wiktionary, and there will be two places for the data which is bad for maintenance. ColourBurst 06:51, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

What makes a game guide

Recently, a lot of articles have been showing up on AfD with the reason being that they are a game guide. Unfortunately, there is no definition of what exactly is a game guide in this article, so I was wondering if anybody had thoughts about adding that? It's obvious to me that there is a difference between information about a game and a game guide, but there's often quite a bit of argument on it. Mister.Manticore 05:01, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Read Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Pokémon_game_mechanics to see something that would not be a game guide (after cleaning up). User:HighwayCello made this comment while cleaning up: I didn't say it wouldn't be of any interest to non fans, I said quite the opposite really, the article discusses concepts like Gym Leaders, Natures and Starter Pokémom (sic), things that are often mentioned in creature article, but are quite hard to explain in those article. This article allows them to described in the required detail for non-fans to understand them, and to keep the article on topic. It also has reliable sources. Note specifically that things like Power Points were taken out of the article for being of a detail that's useless to a person not playing the game. Meanwhile in an overview context explaining what a Gym Leader is is quite useful. ColourBurst 05:24, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, that is a good example of an article to use. Thanks. Mister.Manticore 04:25, 2 November 2006 (UTC)