Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not/Archive 6

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Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7


Wikipedia is not a link repository

I'd like to raise again the point I raised here: Wikipedia is not a link repository. Right now the guidelines say "Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files" but they disclaim this with "there is nothing wrong with adding a list of content-relevant links to an article." I've seen people use this to justify putting a bunch of links to fan discussion boards into an article. The guidelines need to take a firmer stand against this, so that articles don't end up with wars over which fan sites are "good enough" or "large enough" to be linked from an article. - Brian Kendig 17:13, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Aha, thanks - I'll add a link from the article to that. - Brian Kendig 22:17, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Sometimes I find WP:NOT and WP:EL somewhat contradict; For instance, "Wikipedia is not a soapbox", #3. advertising where it says:
"External links to commercial organizations are acceptable if they can serve to identify major corporations associated with a topic (see finishing school for an example)."
This compared with Wikipedia:External links#What should not be linked to, #3. "Sites that primarily exist to sell products or services."
The wording cited above in WP:NOT was added in Sept. 2002 by DW and refers to Finishing school, Aug. 2002 version.
I don't think this wording in "WP is not a soapbox" is so useful anymore. People could use it to justify all sorts of commercial links and advertising for products and services. I suggest revising or eliminating this sentence from WP:NOT and ensuring WP:EL and WP:NOT better support eachother, as one way of having the guidelines take a firmer stance. -Aude (talk | contribs) 23:04, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
This has been slightly updated in the light of WP:en passing the million article mark. At one time an external link served the useful purpose of covering something we hadn't reached yet. Now, if an external link offers something that is still not covered within our sites (and I'm included Wikisource, Wiktionary, etc here) then if it offers something clearly beneficial to the reader to have a link to then by all means include it, but be sparing of such things and, where possible, use it as a spur to writing a free-to-all article instead!. --Vamp:Willow 01:36, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
This ignores the fact, that the *vast* majority of external links are to sites that do things that no Wiki Media project does, or allows. The size of Wikipedia is irrelevant. Very few external links are to other encyclopedias, so there's no comparison. --Rob 01:52, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a how-to guide

Many articles are written in style where the reader is addressed directly, as if the material in question was copied from a how-to guide, instruction manual or something of that sort. This is quite usual style in many articles, and we understand that instructions can be encyclopedic just as any other material. It's the style We're concerned about. Do we really need large parts of articles written like the (invented) examples below?

-If the patient doesn't breath, do this or that.
-After welding the parts together, let them cool before... blah blah blah...
-You can find the connector by opening the...
-First run a disk manager; if the...

etc, etc.

I haven't find a good way to address this situation. Maybe a new template that could be used to mark articles that need a style change? There are lots of articles written in this style, and if it is deemed inappropriate, something should be done. Well, is this kind of style desired or undesired? Santtus 18:21, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Oops. I actually stumbled upon a line where it actually reads: Wikipedia is not an instruction manual. Ok, fine, policy is known. Should we set up a project to correct those pages where this kind of style is used? Santtus 18:32, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

If the articles are in fact how-to guides, and cannot be rewritten to not be how-to guides, they should be nominated for deletion. And I would say the sample lines you quoted above are from how-to guides. -- Dalbury(Talk) 20:05, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Some of these could be rewritten to not be how-to guides. For example:
-Typically, if a patient is not breathing, the proper course of action a person would take would be to ...

Whether or not a how-to article can be rewritten should be taken into account before nominating it for deletion. --¿ WhyBeNormal ? 00:21, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought most how-to guides were m:transwiki'd to Wikibooks. Transwiki is an action which can be taken by any editor and does not generally require deletion. Rossami (talk) 01:36, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Every time I've seen discussion regarding an article being too "how toish," - comments to the author(s) of the article generally direct them to move that content to a Wikibook /shrug --Naha|(talk) 05:51, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Deleting the content seems bad when there is no place to move it to. Perhaps we need to clearly establish that wikibooks can be short, and that this is where such material belongs. No reason to delete helpful stuff!Brokenfrog 07:55, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm a bit confused where to draw the line on this sometimes. I mostly work on articles in the horticulture, gardening, and agriculture categories, and there is a bit of "how-tooishness" to a lot of articles there. Part of this might be because gardening encyclopedias (the kind printed on paper) have a lot of how-tooish content. Perhaps part of the problem is that these fields are applied, as opposed to theoretical, and so many articles there are describing methods and techniques. I get a bit worried that someone will get into deletion mode in those categories, thereby scaring off a lot of people with a lot of knowledge, who would otherwise be able to provide valuable content. Perhaps there needs to be a bit more leeway when it comes to applied sciences? SB Johnny 14:46, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

HOWTOs are great. Linearized articles dealing with procedures in the way they would typically be executed are excellent resources to refer to. Jimbo says were doing this for That Girl in Africa. We should give her all the tools She needs, by covering applications and techniques. If howto format is unacceptable, an example of procedures and expectations may suffice. (Deletion is not the default solution) Ieopo 15:53, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

There are a couple of places online where one can place how-to Articles I would suggest my site which is uses MediaWiki or which is inspired by MediaWiki OpenTutorial is still in it's very early infancy but has potential to be a great resource with some help of course. --Hapa 03:54, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

The Wikimedia project Wikibooks takes how-to guides (wikibooks:Wikibooks:How-tos bookshelf), and they can be transwikied to there from here. Thryduulf 10:13, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Added category: Category:Articles_containing_how-to_sections. Self-explanatory. Santtus 12:39, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

The how-to style is clearly undesirable; however, one shouldn't be overzealous in removing corresponding information. If it 1) takes not a major part of article and 2) is highly relevant, it should be just corrected in tone a bit. Don't forget that people turn to Wikipedia for information, and, if subject requires some guidance, it would better be left there. For instance, facts that BitTorrents require a special client, that MHDD is designed for professionals and can damage the HDD if used carelessly, that BMW X5 shouldn't be considered as an off-road vehicle, that UAZ requires strength and attention to drive it, that for increasing wheel size and clearance one needs to replace the suspension and lift the body, and so on - all of them don't turn articles into how-to guides. If an article really contains too much how-to information, it should be transwikified, of course, with a link from the main article, but not deleted. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 23:27, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is censored, whether we like it or not

I believe the elimination of the words "for the benefit of minors" has created a lot of the confusion now at Wikipedia talk:Censorship.

The fact is, Wikipedia is censored, and it has to be. As I pointed out on Wikipedia talk:Censorship, we have no images, thankfully, at vomit. We also don't show the picture in question at

I think we need to be more specific about what is not censored. I believe the wording should be something along the lines of: Indecency and blasphemy are not censored on Wikipedia. I believe indecency was what was meant in the original wording of the policy. -- Mwalcoff 05:22, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Mwalcoff, Wikipedia is censored and should be in some cases. This is a clear case of "use common sense" - Wikipedia shouldn't contain pictures of, say, hardcore porn. Similarly, we should (and thankfully often do) have some taste and not include some material even if we could. Just because we have the legal right to say gratuitously offensive things or include silly pics doesn't mean we have the obligation to (as the more shrill members of the "OMG, WP:NOT censored!" crowd seem to suggest.) Mikker ... 10:40, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Just so I can follow you correctly. Why "Wikipedia shouldn't contain pictures of, say, hardcore porn."? If the article was discussing hardcore porn or the specifics of that scene (ie. if it were from a movie and the article was about that movie), why should it not be included? Why is it common sense to not include it? Just because some people are offended by images of sex does not mean it should not be included. That is the point, IMO, of WP:NOT. It prevents people from being able to use their own world of 'that is offensive, that is not offensive' in working on articles. I would not find the mentioned subject offensive and would not disapprove of it being included - but I may, as a vegan, find a picture of animal cruelty offensive. I should not be able to make that judgement claiming 'common sense'. -Localzuk (talk) 10:47, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, judging from the content of the porn/sex articles the consensus there seems to be that there is no need for such pictures. It seems to me that it is "common sense" that WP is an encyclopaedia and only material likely to educate should be included. For example, I have no problem with the pics at penis or vagina - they serve an educative function. However, do we need a pic at, I dunno, child pornography? At interracial sex? At bestiality? I don't think we do; including such pics is simply gratuitous. I.e. WP is (and should be) pragmatically censored. Mikker ... 11:01, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Some editors seem to feel they need to include the most offensive image they can find to illustrate an article. Wikipedia is not in the business of deliberately offending readers or of testing the limits of what the law will allow. As an example of what I consider taking things too far, look at Pubic hair. Images have been placed there in a way that I think was intended to shock readers. They certainly go beyond what is necessary to illustrate the subject. I think it is in particularly bad taste to use an image of a semi-erect penis to illustrate male public hair. I've raised that question on the talk page, with no response. I would replace the image, but I don't happen to have any PD photos of male genitalia lying around. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 12:37, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
You are missing my point. Mentioning 'Child Pornography' and 'bestiality' show that you do not understand my point (IIRC they are both illegal in Florida so would not be allowed on the site anyway). My point is that 'Wikipedia is not censored' should not come down to a 'common sense' decision - as your view of common sense may be skewed depending on what you find offensive. The fact that you find an image of a semi-erect penis offensive proves this and is not the fault of the author of the page but is your fault for finding it offensive (as it is mine for finding other things offensive). Including that picture is not perfect (it is a poor example of pubic hair (not much contrast)), I agree, as it is though we have no better pictures so complaining about it being offensive is POV. It is a picture of hair and genitals... The word offensive is subjective and so is one's 'common sense'... -Localzuk (talk) 13:12, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
And you are missing mine. I did not say I was offended. I said I thought some editors were choosing images because they wanted to shock and offend, and I think that approach is bad for Wikipedia. We need to select images that illustrate a subject while giving the least offense possible. The subject in this case is pubic hair, not erections, and including a photo of an erection to illustrate pubic hair is, in my opinion, deliberatel;y offensive and trying to see how far something can be pushed. And, again, I strongly feel that is bad for Wikipedia. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 00:43, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
You are seemingly not assuming good faith on that issue. Have you checked through the images on wikipedia to see if there is a better image to show there? As I stated, the showing of the image is more than likely due to a lack of others that are PD. Offense is still a subjective word. -Localzuk (talk) 11:05, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Another example, Image:Pubic hair.jpg was (and still is) in Pubic hair, illustrating female pubic hair. An editor then added Image:L'Origine du monde.jpeg at the top of the article. As there was already a perfectly adequate illustration of female pubic hair in the body of the article (in case any readers didn't know what it looked like), the only reason I can think of for adding Image:L'Origine du monde.jpeg at the top of the article was for shock value. Images of potentially offensive items should be 'clinical' in nature, as befits an encyclopedia, and not intended to appeal to prurient interests or to try for maximum shock value. -- Donald Albury (Dalbury)(Talk) 11:56, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
What I am trying to say is that it should not by policy to censor things but instead should be taken on a case by case basis (as the current policy states that things placed for shock value may be removed). The title of this policy should reflect the content - ie. 'Wikipedia is not censored to prevent offense' reflects the content, whereas 'Wikipedia is not censored' or 'Wikipedia is not censored for the protection of minors' are too wide and too narrow meanings respectively. If you have issues with specific articles, it should be taken up on that page and a policy to back you up does not need to be in place. -Localzuk (talk) 14:07, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure that anyone would need photos of something they almost surely have. Tycon.jpgCoyoty 20:33, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
So we shouldn't have pictures of anything that people 'almost surely have'. What about stuff that people almost all will know about? Just because people have something themselves does not mean it should not be included in Wikipedia... -Localzuk (talk) 21:46, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
So the experiment in changing the section title has been in place for about a month. As some predicted, it is causing new (or at least different) confusion and ambiguity. Do we have enough experience to recommend changing it back yet? It sounds to me like the answer is "yes". Rossami (talk) 15:11, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I think it should not be changed back but clarified more - something like Wikipedia is not censored to prevent offense or similar. Stating for minors is just one aspect as there are many adults who may think it should be censored for their beliefs also. -Localzuk (talk) 15:49, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I think there's a difference between the political or religious offense potentially created by the Muhammad cartoons and the innate revulsion people may feel at seeing, say, graphic depictions of gay sex (if they're heterosexual) or certain bodily functions. If we say Wikipedia is not censored for offensiveness, I'm afraid it will leave some people with the perception that this type of repulsive images may not be removed. -- Mwalcoff 23:42, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand what you are saying. Are you saying images such as those described should be removed? I think that if the image has a purpose then even if it is 'repulsive' (which is majorly POV anyway) it should stay. As the content of the section reads now it follows either 'Wikipedia is not censored' or 'Wikipedia is not censored to prevent offense'. It states that it isn't censored for social norms (which those things you mention are social norms for those parts of society) so I cannot see what you are saying? -Localzuk (talk) 10:29, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I am saying that the policy as currently written is too broad. I think that a policy that prevents editors from removing graphic pictures of excretion, abortion, bizarre sexual practices, etc. should be changed. If I click on a link to an article about a train wreck, I don't want to wind up staring at a picture of a victim with his eyeball hanging out. -- Mwalcoff 00:24, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
But is that not your POV? Just because you think something is offensive does not mean everyone else does. I think the idea of being able to say 'this picture will offend people so we shouldn't include it even if it does serve a purpose' is wrong to the largest level. A picture of a rail crash victim would only be appropriate if the article was discussing that - else it is already covered as it would be an innappropriate image. -Localzuk (talk) 08:56, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
And this is where I think you're wrong. I don't like this ultra-relativistic idea that because "offensiveness" or "repulsiveness" is in the eye of the beholder, no discretion for good taste should be allowed, not even to spare us from the gruesome or disgusting types of images I've mentioned. I don't know how the section should be worded, but it ought to draw the line somewhere between banning pictures of breasts at breast and saying that anything goes as long as it isn't illegal. -- Mwalcoff 23:06, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

If WP is not censored at all what does the phrase "obviously inappropriate content" refer to? Localzuk, do you think anything flies? I.e. that we should have simulated child porn pics @ child pornography? (these are not illegal, look quite real and are widely available). Mikker ... 14:31, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

No, but I do not think a policy stating that stuff should be removed should be the case. I think it depends on each article and the consensus reach at that article. The innappropriate content refers to stuff such as the examples given. But this is based upon the decisions of editors at the specific article and not by referring to a policy stating 'offensive, or innappropriate material should be removed'. Simulated child porn is still illegal... -Localzuk (talk) 14:35, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Ok, but what policy states that offensive material can be removed? Currently, policy seems to favour those who want material included rather than those who want it removed. From my experience, if several editors want content removed, it takes only one person to come round yelling "WP:NOT censored!!!!!" to put it to a stop. Mikker ... 14:42, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I forgot to say: If a person is interested in learning about 'Pubic Hair', why would they be offended by an image of the topic? Surely if a person goes to read an article about that subject they expect to see images of the genital area as examples?
To answer the question regarding policy that says material can be removed - well, that depends on the definition of 'offensive' and the material at hand. If for example it were an insult against a person which was unreferenced then it would be removed as unreferenced. If it were referenced then it would still be offensive and could stay. If it were an image of, say, an abortion on the abortion page - it would likely cause offense to those opposing abortion (or those suffering from post abortion stress syndrome), but I would argue that it should stay. It could be removed if it was an inappropriate image - this being defined as one that does not belong there.
If the person 'yelling "WP:NOT censored!!!!!"' is misinterpretting the policy then that helps your argument - if they are correct and you are all arguing to remove an item based on personal beliefs, standards or morals then you are incorrect IMO. My point is and always has been that 'offensive' is completely POV and as such should not be anywhere near a policy. -Localzuk (talk) 14:55, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
To answer the question about 'pubic hair', you assume that the reader baiscally knows what the term is, so that they are prepared to see a picture. What if it is their first time to encounter the word Gokkun, and they don't know what to expect? Perhaps we do them a diservice to present the image, at least without a warning first. What if it is a 12 year old boy that wants to find full-color video of adults having sex at sexual intercourse? That still doesn't mean we can or should present those images. We shouldn't default to a position of every article having the most shocking/revealing/pornographic image possible. Johntex\talk 22:33, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks to "Wikipedia is not censored for minor" translation, lot of censorship happens in Japanese wikipedia. No inclusion of name or photos of vicitims of crimes for example. Can you change it to "Wikipedia is not censored to cater to political, social, religious, or any other kind of cultural sensitivities." FWBOarticle

True. Wikipedia is censored up to a certain point. The above-mentioned title by FWBOarticle gives a more accurate representation of Wikipedia. --Siva1979Talk to me 06:02, 9 May 2006 (UTC)


Hi, I'm fairly new to Wikipedia and have just observed a user copying large bulks of writing from within an external source and putting it in wikipedia. Is this allowed or does it need to be reworded before it can be added? I just want to clarify before raising the point with the user himself. Nobleeagle (Talk) 06:26, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

If the original is copyrighted and not released under a license compatible with the GFDL it is against Wikipedia policy and should be treated a copyvio. If the external source for some reason is in the public domain, it may be OK (provided the material is suitable for WP to begin with), but the source needs to be acknowledged. Please give a link to the relevant diff. up+l+and 06:44, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Nobleeagle, for all that Wikipedia opposes plagiarism in principle, too many of its active editors applaud it in practice. On two occasions, I found and pointed out extensive, unmistakable plagiarism in featured article candidates. Was the plagiarism removed? For the most part, no. The "editors" who wrote the articles claimed what they did was OK, because they changed a handful of words in each paragraph, often doing no more than changing tenses. The editors' friends raise hell, enlisting sympathetic administrators to threaten me with blocks and bans. The articles, both quite poor, were "promoted" to feature articles and labelled as being examples of Wikipedia's best work. So save yourself a lot of trouble. You're a new user, the plagiarist isn't. Unpleasant as it may seem (and unpleasant as it is), disputes like the one you describe are almost always resolved in favor of the editor with the most experience and the most extensive network of friendly editors. Spare yourself the annoyance and unpleasantness, and lie low. Monicasdude 00:02, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Do you remember which articles they were? RJFJR 21:55, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Celine Dion and History of Arizona. Monicasdude 22:06, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
For the record, in almost all cases plagiarism is not an acceptable course of action for an editor to take. Even if the source is "free" it is likely to be seen as a copyvio if there isn't a clear GFDL licence and the dates applicable can be proven. Most plagiarism, however, happens from commercial sites ... --Vamp:Willow 02:04, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
IANAL, but plagiarism is appropriating credit for ideas and information, including sometimes the actual language used to express these ideas and information. Copyright violation is about unauthorized copying of the verbatim manifestation of a copyrighted work or a "derivative work" thereof; copyright does not cover ideas, per se, though the monopoly protections afforded derivatives often makes it seem rather as if it does. Not all copyright violations are acts of plagiarism, and not all acts of plagiarism are copyright violations.
So the question is whether WP opposes plagiarism which is not copyright violation. I feel the omission of credit is often more likely to disserve the audience more than it is the author who isn't being credited. Another important factor, I feel, is how contemporaneous the source is: for old material, the convenience of editors trumps the feelings of long dead authors or their estates. For instance, if an editor were to go through an old edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica in the public domain and canibalize it for a WP article, I don't see the harm (except perhaps the nuissance of bad publicity for the WP).

Wikipedia is not a Recipe Book

After finding one article that was completely on the making of a food product, I searched for others and found several very recipe-oriented articles. To say that a certain sauce is usually made with the following ingredients, or a vegetable can be cooked or eaten in some of these ways is acceptable, but listing the actually preparation and/or measurement of ingredients does not seem conducive to an encyclopedia.

  • That's generally considered to be covered by the 'how-to' section (consensus is to move to wikibooks). --InShaneee 20:12, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Why not? A recipe is a factual description of how to make the food in the article. It seems to me the basic recipe for any food (and there are numerous foods in this encyclopedia) is a fundemantal part of what that food is. Variant recipes I would agree have no room - but I would strongly argue that the default basic recipe for any food is a part and parcel of what that food is. Of course, if the food is chicken then no recipe could accompany that - but if it is bread, you should have the basic recipe in the article - surely it is a failing just to list the ingredients and not to list how to put them together. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
  • Because people don't go to encyclopedias for recipes. That's not what an encyclopedia is for. That's what a recipe book is for. Tycon.jpgCoyoty 05:00, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree. If I want a recipe for chile con carne I will Google etc until I find one I like. But... If I am looking up about bread making, I would be further educated by having a sample recipe for basic bread. I can then Google to find all sorts of cheesy breads or raisin breads or wheat breads and so on - but I'll go to Google pre-armed with the basic knowledge of how bread is made. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Webchat (talkcontribs)
  • We decided long ago that recipes belong in Wikibooks, specifically in Wikibooks:Cookbook. The problem is that there is no real "default basic recipe" for any food. There are 6 different "basic" bread recipes that jump immediately to mind, each favored by a particular culture. How would you pick between them? Rather than argue in the encyclopedia article, we've found that it generally makes more sense to create a cross-wiki link from the Wikipedia bread article to an appropriate page in Wikibooks. Rossami (talk) 06:52, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a free speech platform

A grouchy rant for the day.

Perhaps this should be integrated with "Wikipedia is not a blog" or "Wikipedia is not a soapbox", but:

Several critics of Wikipedia (including the noisy crowd at such places as wikitruth, wikipedia review, and a few other forums) seem to think that because Wikipedia is a forum that anybody can edit--it is (or should be) a free speech platform which must suffer the rants, opinions, and beliefs of anyone who wishes to write here (regardless of how encyclopedic)--and that many Wikipedia policies, both those (like WP:NPOV and WP:V) which apply only to articles, and those (especially WP:NPA), which apply project-wide, somehow constitute an infringement of their "rights". (And that users who are disciplined and/or banned for violating Wikipedia policy are being "censored" or "oppressed" or such).

We probably should emphasize loudly and clearly: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Everything we do is intended to build a better encyclopedia; there is no reason whatsoever the project should tolerate behavior or content which is counter-productive to that end. Users who wish to rant on their favorite topic (say, Israel--a popular topic, it seems, among the WR crowd), should get a blog and do so. Of course, it happens that Wikipedia is a popular and well-read website, whereas most blogs are routinely ignored--and many with axes to grind think that their opinions will get a better airing if presented here, and especially so if presented as encyclopedic fact (or as a notable point of view) in the article space. The fact that nobody cares about someone's blog doesn't entitle users to exploit Wikipedia's good reputation in order to more widely disseminate (before a larger audience) editorials that the world at large would, in most cases, otherwise ignore.

Wikipedia is not a free-speech platform, and is under no obligation to endure the rants of every drive-by malcontent.

Rant off. --EngineerScotty 00:15, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree completely. Wikipedia is not a place for free speech; it is already established that Wikipedia is not a free hosting service, or a soapbox, but like you, I know that some people still feel like Wikipedia is a place for free speech. Andrea Parton 01:14, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

It would perhaps be more acceptable to all concerned to say something like "Free Speech comes second to making a good encyclopedia." - after all, we value free speech - just not when it screws up the articles. SteveBaker 03:20, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

This discussion makes me think about the recent debate on userboxes that I have seen on Wikipedia. I agree with the NPOV and no personal attacks policies, but I feel like the former should apply only to the encyclopedic namespaces, not to user pages, talk pages, or project pages. I feel like userboxes of a political nature should be allowed, as long as they are not potentially offensive, but some, including Jimbo, disagree with me. Every day, userboxes pertaining to political, religious, and polemical beliefs are deleted, and Jimbo has discouraged their use, as he says they "attract the wrong kinds of people and give the wrong impression of what it means to be a Wikipedian." Many others feel that such userboxes are helpful to the project by allowing Wikipedians to state their inherent biases on their user pages. Even though it's been established that user pages are not meant for lengthy biographies or to host personal websites, userboxes are still highly controversial.

Well, with that controversy aside, free speech is valued on almost all talk pages, as long as it is not [[WP:CIVIL|incivil], profane, libelous, it does not violate copyright, and it is not patent nonsense. Generally, topics on talk pages are expected to be related to the subject of the article. Differing points of view are encouraged in articles, as long as they are all represented fairly and are all verifiable. After all, this is a free-content encyclopedia, but the really important word there is encyclopedia. Wikipedia is not a place for political propaganda, advertising, vanity content, and a number of other things. Information in articles must be verifiable and neutral. I don't know that saying that Wikipedia is not a free speech platform really says anything that is not already stated in Wikipedia policy. I think saying that "Free speech comes second to making a good encyclopedia" leaves out a great deal in terms of what is acceptable on Wikipedia and what is not.

Andrea Parton 00:12, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Soapbox contradiction, part II

Recently, the following text was removed from Wikipedia:Autobiography:

"Of course, you should feel free to correct mistaken or out-of-date facts about yourself, such as marital status, sexual orientation, criminal involvement or lack thereof, current employer, place of birth, work done in foreign countries, etc. However, be prepared that if the fact has different interpretations, others will edit it."

with the summary "letting people correct factual errors about themselves is inconsistent with official policy" and refering to #Soapbox contradiction.

That section quotes the ArbCom ruling "Editors should avoid contributing to articles about themselves or subjects in which they are personally involved, as it is difficult to maintain NPOV while doing so" from Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Carl Hewitt#Writing about yourself. Ken Arrombee claims that this implies that people may not correct errors in articles about themselves. However, I think that the discussion at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Carl Hewitt/Proposed decision#Writing about yourself and Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Carl Hewitt/Workshop#Writing about yourself clearly shows that the Arbitration Committee did not want to put an absolute ban autobiographical editing.

I think that "you should feel free to correct mistaken or out-of-date facts about yourself" reflects Wikipedia practice. It was added to Wikipedia:Autobiography during the above-mentioned ArbCom case for that reason and I think there was little discussion because it reflects the consensus. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 11:27, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

"Editors should avoid contributing to articles about themselves or subjects in which they are personally involved" is pretty hard to misinterpret. It doesn't, after all, say 'editors should usually avoid...' or qualify the ban in any way. If Wikipedia practice doesn't match the policy, and Wikipedia practice and not the policy should be considered correct, then the policy should be changed.
If you don't or can't change the policy, then the policy stands. Ken Arromdee 19:41, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

The policy only mentions the ArbCom ruling, which as I said is not meant to ban autobiographical editing in all circumstances. Furthermore, the "see Wikipedia:Autobiography" suggests that that point of the policy is meant to summarize Wikipedia:Autobiography. So, I don't think there is a policy supporting an unqualified ban.

However, apparently you think there is. How about clarifying the policy in the following way:

Self-promotion. The arbitration committee ruled on February 17, 2006 that: "Editors should avoid contributing to articles about themselves, their direct family or subjects in which they are personally involved, as it is difficult to maintain NPOV while doing so." [1] This does not constitute an unqualified ban on autobiographical editing, but it does warn editors to be very careful when working on articles related to themselves. See Wikipedia:Autobiography for further guidance.

For reference, the current wording is:

Self-promotion. The arbitration committee ruled on February 17, 2006 that: "Editors should avoid contributing to articles about themselves, their direct family or subjects in which they are personally involved, as it is difficult to maintain NPOV while doing so." [2] Creating overly abundant links and references to autobiographical articles, or to articles in which you have a personal stake, is similarly unacceptable. See Wikipedia:Autobiography and Wikipedia:Notability.

-- Jitse Niesen (talk) 10:37, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Or perhaps it's easier to change the ArbCom decision being quoted. The principles

are on the same subject, and they clearly do not ban autobiographical editing. By the way, I haven't found any discussion here about adding the ArbCom ruling. Is there none? -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 10:53, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Quoting a second ArbCom decision that allows autobiographical editing doesn't really fix the problem, because the fact that such a decision even exists means that you have two ArbCom decisions which, when read literally, contradict each other. Is there someone with the authority to say that the words of the first ArbCom decision don't accurately express what was intended?
(Also, upon reading those decisions myself, I don't find that they clearly allow autobiographical editing at all. They condemn autobiographical editing in terms as strong as possible without actually banning it. It's clear to us that this strong condemnation isn't a ban--but it won't be clear to people like Siegenthaler, who are newbies. If you want Siegenthaler to be able to edit his own article, you can't bury this among verbiage like "discouraged" and "guideline". You need to say it clearly and distinctly.) Ken Arromdee 16:19, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure i like the original text either. I'm not sure sexual orientation (which is one of the examples given) has a place in most wikipedia articles at all (unless there is a very good reason to give it) its hard to verify and in most cases not very relavent (similar to the shoe size example on the main page). I propose something like.
Feel free to remove accusations without a good sources. Personal information that is not already widely availible and Unsourced changes of figures that you know are incorrect and to make corrections to such unsourced information but do not change or remove information attributed to a reputable source even if you know it to be untrue or outdated (you may of course point out the date of the source though).
Plugwash 01:24, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Ken, I was proposing to replace the ArbCom ruling by another one. I think it would be helpful if you proposed some text yourself. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 03:17, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

How does replacing the ruling do anything? Just because you stop mentioning the first ruling doesn't mean it isn't policy; there are still two contradictory rulings, one on the page and one not on the page.
My only proposal is for someone with authority to decide that the first ArbCom ruling need not be followed in the way it is worded. I don't know who has the authority to override ArbCom rulings, but I'm pretty certain it isn't me. Once this has been done, thus negating one of the contradictory rulings, replacing the text is easy. Ken Arromdee 05:16, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
The only ones with the authority to recant ArbCom rulings is the ArbCom itself and Jimbo Wales. However, ArbCom rulings are always in relation to a particular case. The Arbitration Committee itself does not make policies, but they reflect the policies. Policies arise primarily out of consensus of the editors (see Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines#How are policies started?). -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 06:39, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
The ArbCom ruling certainly wasn't phrased as if it referred to a particular case. "Editors should avoid..." doesn't seem to say that only one particular editor should avoid it, but rather that this applies to all editors.
And the fact that we are including ArbCom rulings in this page at all means we think they apply to future actions by other editors. If ArbCom rulings are as specific as you suggest, we shouldn't mention them. Ken Arromdee 14:35, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Plugwash, the text "Of course, you should feel free to correct mistaken or out-of-date facts about yourself …" was at Wikipedia:Autobiography, not here; but your make a good point that sexual orientation should be excluded.

I had a look at the history of this page and found the version before it was changed to include the ArbCom ruling:

"Self-promotion. While you are free to write about yourself or projects you have a strong personal involvement in, remember that the standards for encyclopedic articles apply to such pages just like any other. A very few somewhat famous Wikipedians have significantly contributed to encyclopedia articles about themselves and their accomplishments, and this has mostly been accepted after some debate. Creating overly abundant links and references to autobiographical articles is unacceptable. See Wikipedia:Autobiography and Wikipedia:Notability." [3]

Actually, I like this version better than my previous proposal. However, I'm not so keen on the sentence "A very few … after some debate." and I propose that it is replaced by some kind of warning, for instance,

"Self-promotion. You are free to write about yourself or projects you have a strong personal involvement in. However, do remember that the standards for encyclopedic articles apply to such pages just like any other, including the requirement to maintain a neutral point of view, which is difficult when writing about yourself. Creating overly abundant links and references to autobiographical articles is unacceptable. See Wikipedia:Autobiography and Wikipedia:Notability."

-- Jitse Niesen (talk) 03:17, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I like this version. Stephen B Streater 08:55, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
How about adding a section mentioning the ArbCom decision and stating that it doesn't apply?
Although the arbitration committee ruled on February 17, 2006 that "Editors should avoid contributing to articles about themselves, their direct family or subjects in which they are personally involved," the arbitration committee only rules on particular cases. Editors other than the one in that case need not avoid contributing to articles about themselves as long as the above rules are followed.
As it is, the decision still contradicts both this page and other ArbCom decisions. Ken Arromdee 13:27, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I think that would be going into too much detail. This is primarily about the nature of ArbCom decisions, and it would only be useful for those who know Wikipedia well enough to have read that decision but do not know their nature. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:23, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
"Those who know Wikipedia well enough to have read that decision" in this case means "those who read the previous version of the page and wonder why that changed." Though I suppose this section is enough for that. Ken Arromdee 13:51, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me that the ArbCom, in order to handle one bad case, made a ruling far broader than they should have, and people are scurrying to ignore the ruling in ways vague enough to not cast aspersions on ArbCom rulings in general. I don't think that's going to work. If you don't make it clear that this ruling applies to one editor and not "editors", it's going to come up again and again. My proposal, such as it is, is that if that ruling isn't valid, we should outright say "please ignore it." How to do this without going into too much detail, I don't really know, but having a ruling which contradicts both policy and other rulings *is* a problem, and needs to be solved somehow. Ken Arromdee 13:51, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I say we just ignore mentioning arbcom cases, and use Jitse Niesen's 9th May text. Hiding Talk 15:09, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a guide to the internet

Is it? Should we have an article on every website on the net, using that article as source, or not? Should we document every occurrence on the web, given the web acts as a reference guide to what occurs on it? I say no, we need third party sources to build articles, but I'm interested in opinions. Hiding Talk 21:01, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

We don't need to document the internet as it happens, the net itself does this. And yeah, by simple WP:V, no third party sources means no article. Friday (talk) 21:39, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia does not need an article on every website out there. I think that falls under the policy that Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. That said, articles on websites should be written according to the notability guidelines. Andrea Parton 23:49, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

WP:N is a touchy subject, hence the classification as an essay, and not a guideline as you imply. Ansell 06:32, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
So can we add this text to the page under Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information?
9. Internet guides. Wikipedia articles should not exist only to describe the nature, appearance or services a website offers, but should describe the site in an encyclopedic manner, offering detail on a website's achievements, impact or historical significance, which can be significantly more up-to-date than most reference sources since we can incorporate new developments and facts as they are made known. See current events for examples.
Would that sum the position? Hiding Talk 18:06, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I like the wording of the above statement, it puts emphasis on the practical meaning of encyclopedic in the context of websites. Ansell 03:24, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a mirror

How do other people read the mirror part of "Wikipedia is neither a mirror nor a repository of links, images, or media files"? I take that to mean that WP should not duplicate the content of another page (unless it substantially changes it, in which case it is no longer a mirror). I've read another interpretation that this applies to mirroring repositories of links and that WP may mirror encyclopedic content. I think the neither/nor excludes that reading. Шизомби 00:50, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

You have a point there, even though I was the one who brought this issue up here in a bold statement of my view. Possibly too bold now that I think about it from another perspective. However, I still think that the fact that the content is actually encyclopedic (IMO) overrides the fact that it was from a mirror. Ansell 06:30, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I too share the same opinion about this with user Ansell. If the content is encyclopedic, it has to overide the fact that it was from a mirror. --Siva1979Talk to me 17:21, 7 May 2006 (UTC) ...

Attack Lists and other trivial stuff for Anime, video game, manga, etc. Characters

I understand completely how everyone feels "indiscriminate collections of information," and I fully agree that random information bits have no place here, however when it comes to anime characters with special "attacks" that they use I feel differently as they can be an important part of these characters and the story that they tell.

As for Wikipedia policy, I quote "Of course, there is nothing wrong with having lists if their entries are famous because they are associated with or significantly contributed to the list topic" which the character attacks do very much.

Not only do the attacks give the Wikipedia readers a feel for each character's unique fighting style, but they give insight into their personalities and help reinforce their attitudes. Take Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece for example, all his attacks are based on real objects and weapons (Pistol, Rifle, Windmill) thus reinforing the idea that even though he's a pirate on an unimaginable journey, he is in essence a normal person. In contrast take someone like Eneru, also from One Piece whose attack's are mostly based on various Thunder deites, thus reinforcing the fact that he sees himself as a god and nothing less. In closing I feel very strongly that they are essential to the character's Wikipedia profiles and as a loyal fan to Manga, Anime and the hard working people who create them and will do everything I can to keep them in their rightful place, because if they were not significant then why would writers and animators bother to make them in the first place? (KingKogs 7 May 1:46 GMT)

Readers might also note I've been transwiking said information to wikibooks for more consise organization. See Talk:Roronoa Zoro#Incriminate information for an ongoing discussion, as well as the most recent posts on my talkpage. A demonstration of my actions can be seen in the previous version and the transwikied version. There is no removal of data here, its simply classified as indiscriminate and for that reason I moved it to wikibooks (per policy) and made the appropriate link from there. Everyone wins. -ZeroTalk 06:02, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
  • As of this update, KingKogs and I have more or less resolved this issue. However, this is a relelvant case that I think would assist for future reference, so I'd still prefer to hear discussion on this matter. -ZeroTalk 08:05, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

NPOV query

The arbitration committee ruled on February 17, 2006 that: "Editors should avoid contributing to articles about themselves, their direct family or subjects in which they are personally involved, as it is difficult to maintain NPOV while doing so." [1] Creating overly abundant links and references to autobiographical articles, or to articles in which you have a personal stake, is similarly unacceptable.

Does this mean that I cannot contribute to an article about the school I am studying in? Does the 'personally involved' phrase prevent me to contribute? blooz 21:45, 7 May 2006 (UTC)blooz

That ArbCom ruling concerned the case of a notable computer science professor, Carl Hewitt (that's his biographical article, not his userpage; he's no longer on Wikipedia). He created numerous interlinking articles about his main contribution to the discipline (the Actor model)--including numerous claims that his research is of significant important to physics (he never published in any physics journal, and the link is tenuous at best). Many other computer science and physics editors implored him to stop, and he continued on; eventually an arbitration case was started. The ArbCom told him to cease and desist (or be blocked otherwise), at which point Hewitt left Wikipedia. Rest assured, that this case involved a significant conflict of interest, and significant inappropriate behavior. Creating a link about your school is not going to get you in trouble.
Also, should ArbCom rulings be cited as policy? Wikipedia has in the past tolerated edits about yourself, as long as you respect NPOV--has there been an official change to discourage edits where a potential conflict of interest exists? --EngineerScotty 22:35, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
See the related discussion above specifically about autobiographical edits. While the ArbCom ruling is not exactly policy, it does seem to me that the consensus is shifting on this topic and that autobiographical edits are being viewed with increasing skepticism.
To the original question, contributions about your school are still acceptable but it is important to maintain a degree of distance and perspective. If you find yourself in edit wars or getting emotionally attached to certain versions of the article, you should ask whether you are too close to the topic to edit neutrally. If you find yourself unable to do so, it's best to let others build the article. Rossami (talk) 21:02, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure you are reading the tea leaves correctly as on which way the consensus is shifting. I recently came across Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons which suggested that the consensus is moving in the other way. However, when I reread that page just now, I noticed that it is also in a state of flux. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:23, 26 May 2006 (UTC)


So far I have not been able to find an official definition of the word "Abbitis"

Here are my search results so far:

"... the abbitis that was round the fort."

Page 242, 1776 by David McCullogh

Col. Sumter having no cannon to destroy the abbatis or the buildings selected some of his bravest followers to remove the abbitis and to endeavor to set fire to the buildings, while his troops, under cover of the trees and rocks, on the declivity of the mountain, maintained a heavy fire upon the Rocky Mount garrison. After three attacks, in the last of which some of the forlorn hope penetrated within the abbatis, the Americans retreated with loss and precipitation."

The Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution, Vol. 1, No. 1 September 2004, Charles B. Baxley, editor

Here are the results when you type 'English definition of abbitis' in Google:

Did you mean: English definition of rabbits
Our line was quickly formed, as I looked across the intervening space to the bristling forts, and viewed the rugged mountain side, with the interminable abbitis that lay between, and then cast my eye along our slender line, I thought to myself, there will be hot work here if the regiments are made of resolute men.


-- 14:51, 9 May 2006 (UTC)JorgeG

If all you want is a definition, I recommend that you try Wiktionary, the open-source dictionary. The word you are looking for, though, is properly spelled "abatis". It is a barrier made by cutting down trees and interlocking the branches. In Civil War times, the branches were often sharpened to make the barrier even more impenatrable. The name shares a derivation with "abattoir" which should give you a sense of how effective they are against infantry attacks. Rossami (talk) 15:50, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
The reference desk is also a good place to ask questions. bibliomaniac15 00:34, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not Wiki

I have seen many new users refer to Wikipedia as simply "Wiki", which is incorrect because a wiki does not necessarily mean Wikipedia. SCHZMO 19:24, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

"Wiki" is shorthand for Wikipedia and valid in the context of local usage. Everyone knows what it means and no one needs to type the whole thing out all the time. Tycon.jpgCoyoty 04:09, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Of course, there are those that claim that WikiWikiWeb is the only wiki which gets to call itself Wiki.  :) Fortunately, Ward Cunningham is not the territorial sort. --EngineerScotty 05:38, 11 May 2006 (UTC) (who frequents both of the wikis that call themselves Wiki).

There is a difference between uppercap Wiki and lowercap wiki.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:25, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

It seems sensible for me to use WP as the shorthand for Wikipedia. "Wiki" is increasingly confusing given the increasing number of other well-known wikis. --Apantomimehorse 06:53, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

allthough WP or wp or Wp are simpler, and wiki is a word in and of itself wiki/Wiki as shortenting of Wikipedia is obviously in referance to Wikiepedia when used on wikipedia, I doubt anyone could be stupid enough to think that the sentance, how can i add images on wiki? to mean anything else than How Can I add images to Wikipedia? Furthermore even though there are a plethora of entitties that use the wiki prefex or the term wiki in their names Wikipedia is by far the most widely known even if not the first.

Oh and Piotrus, what is the differance between upper and lower case wiki(Wiki), you say there is but fail to mention it, i find that would be of note, and i am also curious. Qrc2006 22:37, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

As followup to the Wiki vs. wiki... in wikipedia, there isn't a difference... try it: Wiki and wiki. So I would say that Piotrus is just plain wrong in this context. Have a nice day. --Fandyllic 5:54 AM PDT 12 Aug 2006
I think I would disagree with Fandyllic here. ucW suggests a proper name and I would therefore take it as a definite wiki (eg, this one), while lcW in contrast suggests wikis in general, not any particular one. Which wiki in the case of ucW is less clear of course, but the language has long been willing to tolerate ambiguity in these matters, so this would seem not to be a barrier. But this connotation may be a carry over from programming practice, and ot widely felt amongst those fluent in English. This would, of course, be rather different in German in which conventions are rather different. For what it's worth, I usually use 'WP' to refer to Wikipedia. But, comment? ww 14:38, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Time to rethink the philosphy of the page "What Wikipedia is not"

Discussion transferred here from a deletion page on a List (with minor revision to remove topic specific comments)... I think the comment transcends that specific area...

Our basis for deciding what should be allowed in Wikipedia is bizarre. We apparently do it by telling the reader what (Wikipedia is not). Decision processes based on negativity are always weak and open to debate.
It is time for a logical and systematic statement of what warrants being placed on a list. Here are my quick thoughts on a systematic set to rules for a list based on the characteristics of an encyclopedia:
  • … “comprehensive written compendium that contains information on all branches of knowledge” …“an encyclopedia treats each subject in more depth and convey the most relevant accumulated knowledge on that subject”… Since the use of the encyclopedia is research, the primary purpose of a list is to facilitate research.
    • THEREFORE A LIST may cover any branch of knowledge, but must be arguably relevant (i.e., useful for some form of research):
  • “General encyclopedias often contain … as well as embedded dictionaries and gazetteers”… a gazetteer is a “geographical dictionary, an important reference for information about places and place-names”…
    • THEREFORE A LIST may cover gazetteer information if it provides important reference information about places and place-names. (Note: this does raise a question whether we shouldn’t create a sister Wiki project… a Wikigazetter.)
  • “Works of encyclopedic scope aim to convey the important accumulated knowledge for their subject domain.”
    • THEREFORE A LIST should convey important accumulated knowledge for an identifiable subject domain.
  • … “systematic method of organization is essential to making an encyclopedia usable as a work of reference.”
    • THEREFORE A LIST should logically enter into the Wiki list structure as a head set or subset… the proposor of a new list has the responsibility for proposing a logical structure under which a list falls in the current scheme of lists.
  • “As modern multimedia and the information age have evolved, they have had an ever-increasing effect on the collection, verification, summation, and presentation of information of all kinds.”…
    • THEREFORE A LIST may be proposed if it is a logical collection or summation of information… the logic must be clear to the casual reader.
  • “lists for the sake of lists may become an unmaintainable list of lists."
    • THEREFORE A LIST may be proposed if it is useful to categorize or disambiguate”

We need to get beyond… well I think so… well I don’t think so… well, I still think so… well I still don’t think so…

Anyone else think it is time to move beyond the philosphy "What Wikipedia is not" and develop criteria against which article can be judged when they are proposed?

UmptanumRedux 16:45, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Idea by User:Peripitus inserted into list above. Williamborg 02:22, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Ideally, the clearest description of something is both what it is and is not if defined to the fullest extensions imaginable. However pessimistic "is not" statements may seem, they are reasonably effective in most situations in preventing something from being interpreted as what it most definitely is not. And for those concerned with the flaws of such logic, I infer with humour from this article that Wikipedia is an experiment in communism, as some so often accuse it of being. --Comrade Tiki 05:09, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Unless I misunderstand communism, wikipedia certainly isn't since it is clearly not classless (admins vs. users) in ways that defy communism's ideals. Unless, of course, you are thinking of how communism seems to get implemented in the real world (party elites vs. everyone else). --Fandyllic 5:50 AM PDT 12 Aug 2006

List vs. Game Manual

Instruction manuals - while Wikipedia has descriptions of people, places, and things, 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.

Recently this guideline has been used in a AFD debate regarding a page entitled Structures of the GLA. It has been settled that the page can not be maintained here in its current form, a discion which I accept; however, this AFD has been riddled with claims that the page voilates the game manual clause of WP:NOT.

By their very nature both real-time strategy and turn-based strategy games rely almost exclusively on a collection of units and structures that are operated by a player or by the player’s opponent. I feel that there must be a way for this encyclopedic information to be listed and maintained here on Wikipedia without violating the game manual provision. To that end, I feel that a better definition of a game manual as it pertains to RTS and TBS games is needed here. I submit that a list of units and/or structures that appear in RTS or TBS games, the general roles of those units and/or structures (ie vehical manufacturing, resource gathering, etc), and any upgrades for units/structures appearing in these games is encyclopedic and therefore should not be in violation of the game manual clause. By omitting the cost, tech level, and prerequists we aviod produce a game manual by requiring a person to either research such information or purchase the game. TomStar81 01:43, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

I took part in this AfD and there certainly seems to be a need for specialist input into definitions, rather than a reaction of "it looks like stuff in a game manual, so it's not valid". Tyrenius 01:54, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I'd think that such a list would violate the current WIKI NOT guidelines. If these guidelines need to be changed is a matter for the consensus and community. I would like to suggest instead that it be considered if a page that merely sums up the major points of each side and the major structures/units of each side existed, would it be against WIKI NOT? --Lakhim 02:08, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
How about this? General information should be the limit of such articles, such as what so and so does and makes available to the player. The moment it starts mentioning technical details in excess such as what is mentioned above, or even more in-depth data such as game formulae, consider it unnecessary and open to culling. CABAL 11:36, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I could a gree with that, but I would take it one step further and say that all RTS games and TBS games should adhere to that, not just generals. In this way other games like StarCraft and Dune can follow in C&C's footprints and expand there pages accordingly. TomStar81 01:57, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
There are plenty of game guides and lists of game items online. Just link to them from the wikipedia article. No need to saddle wikipedia with this kind of information - its unencyclopedic Bwithh 23:19, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Consider a seperate argument then: Why do we have game articles on dedicated charcters from Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts and Pokemon and so forth? It seems somewhat unfair that those pages are not being nominated for deletion, but a page with RTS structures is. All I am asking is for some wiggle room with these two types of games as it pertains to Wikipedia. Outsorcing information to other websites when it could be covered here in a legitimate and community agreed upon way seems bias. TomStar81 23:43, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Those who have commented here may want to look at and/or participate in the discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/StarCraft units and structures, which is retreading these arguments. Specifically, in that AfD, I make a comparison to chess and go, including that chess has a mountain of separate WP articles covering specific mechanics and strategies, such as 137 articles in Category:Chess openings alone. Yet, I would not doubt that these articles on specific mechanics and strategies of chess, as well as of StarCraft, are indeed encyclopedic; and that a good set of criteria for defining their encyclopedic nature is that they are both notable and referenced, and their notability can be referenced. (I make arguments in the AfD for StarCraft being of similar notability to chess.) I don't think evaluating whether something is "a game guide" is a useful criterion so much as evaluating whether it is notable, and referenceable (outside of the game's own manual). Or put another way, there is a big difference between WP providing advice on strategy for a game (not encyclopedic) versus WP providing objective information on details of a notable, globally popular recreational pursuit (encyclopedic), including details such as well-known, referenceable strategies and mechanics. - Reaverdrop (talk/nl/w:s) 21:45, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
The critical point that I (and, I suspect, many others) would disagee with is your premise that StarCraft is of similar notability to chess. Chess traces its history back to the 6th century. It is played around the world, has been written about in literally thousands of books, has a formal and long-standing structure for international tournaments, has been widely researched and discussed in academic journals in a number of different disciplines, etc. StarCraft is a computer game created in 1998. To attempt to equate the two games stretches credibility past the breaking point. Rossami (talk) 05:24, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Nicely said. I was going to a comment about why some editors want to elevate ephermeral pop-culture, but decided it might look like trolling. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 10:50, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
I replied to this concern at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/StarCraft units and structures with some facts on the rising, global popularity of StarCraft - but notice that this argument has completely abandoned the concept at hand of whether something is a "game guide" in favor of argument over notability. Which I agree with readily: if content provides objective information on game mechanics and rules rather than recommending strategy, it should be evaluated for notability etc. like any other content. - Reaverdrop (talk/nl/w:s) 19:56, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

List of definitions vs glossary

I recently supported the deletion of List of fighting game terms, as it was a list of definitions. However, I wonder if I have erred, and should have instead supported its transmogrification into a Glossary of fighting game terms. What would be the key differences? Here are some rough ideas - please contribute, with a view to formalising the distinction somewhere: A glossary should have:

  • Only widely-accepted, standard terms within the field, no slang or obscure terms
  • Only a brief definition as required to understand the term. No long definitions with examples, or fine nuances explained.
  • Only terms actually used within Wikipedia (within reason).

In this case, that list came pretty close to fulfilling these requirements, and with a bit of trimming, would have gotten there. Perhaps an admin could undelete it for review? Stevage 09:40, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

I think the distinction between a "list of xxx terms" and a "glossary of xxx" is one merely of semantics and that neither are appropriate for the encyclopedia. They just don't fit well. They are, however, very appropriate pages as an appendix in Wiktionary. See Wiktionary:Category:Appendices for a number of examples of such glossaries. Some of them are very good, some still in development - like all our wikipages.
The sentence on this page that "Wikipedia also includes glossary pages for various specialized fields" predates the general acceptance of Wiktionary Appendices and is, I believe, obsolete. We can easily provide a handy cross-wiki link directly from Wikipedia to the specific Wiktionary appendix page for anyone interested in the glossary. Rossami (talk) 17:54, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Database dumps

I'd like to add the following to Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information:

  • Database extracts, especially from readily available authoritative sources.

We have deleted a number of articles including Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of SWIFT codes (Second nomination) where the content of the article is simply an extract of an offsite database. Others we have kept, like List of ...For Dummies books, despite the fact that the entire content is a (non-authoritative) copy-paste of the lists on the publisher's website which appears to include around 1,400 entries, among which as far as I can tell there is not one single bluelink despite the fact that we have recently doubled the number of For Dummies books on which we have articles. There are now two of them.

Database copy & pastes are not technically a copyvio as long as the data is presented in an obvious order (or so I'm told), but there is surely nothing encyclopaedic about copying and pasting lists of text - especially if a fully authoritative source is freely available online. It was noted in a discussion some time back that if you find yourself copying and pasting the bulk of an article from another source it's a sure sign that what you are doing is wrong. Whether that's entirely true I don't know, but I do know that, for example, maintaining a mirror of the UK's list of statutory instruments for 1996, all 3,278 of them, of which only a handful are bluelinked, is probably less useful than having a category for the articles and adding a link to the OPSI website which lists the rest. Yes, we're not paper, but neither are we the Yellow Pages.

This would not prevent a Wikiproject from making an article in Project space with a number of redlinks for filling by interested parties, but it would reduce the problem of lists which are mirrors at sme fixed point in time of an easily available authoritative source which is, if the reader wants current information, the place to go. It seems to be what was meant by WP:NOT a mirror or collectionof external links, but I find some reluctance to interpret that guideline as covering copy and paste from database extract or online databases. Just zis Guy you know? 13:45, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

You can't have such a blanket rule. What if the entries are for encyclopedic topics? What if its just a limited portion of a larger article? Such a rule could be used to delete the track listings from albums, imdb credits from bios, neighborhood listings from municipalities, and various other things. Let's keep the section to things everybody agrees on. For instance, there's wide agree any directory listing company phone numbers is bad. BTW, I agree List of ...For Dummies books is bad, but List of ...For Dummies books to win award X might be ok, even if gathered in the same way. Oddly, your proposal would actually discriminate against well sourced lists, done with no originality. Yet lists based on originality would be unnaffected. --Rob 15:08, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Example: List of unaccredited institutions of higher learning would be exempt from your rule. As the unaccredited ones, aren't (AFAIK) in the source database, and hence aren't from an extract. It is made from original research by Wikipedians, combining many sources, often adding names individually, based on investigation. However if List of accredited institutions of higher learning were copied straight from International Association of Universities (or whatever is the appropriate reliable source), with no additions/removals of individual entries, it would violate your proposed rule, even though it would list encyclopedic topics, and be properly sourced. Personally, I would rather have a verifiable list of accredited institutions, than an original list of unaccredited ones. --Rob 15:18, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a travel brochure

I've noticed that many location articles, especially the ones about towns and villages that are popular tourist destinations, read like a travel brochure. Words like "stunning", "splendid views", "offers four star accomodation" and other suggestions about what to do and where to visit blah blah blah. It never fails to piss me off that no matter how obvious it is that this is an ENCYCLOPEDIA people still write up articles that seem to've been copied straight out of the Going Places guide. Perhaps we need some legislation on this? --Badharlick 12:13, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Suggested wording change to "Wikipedia is not a dictionary" section of policy

Following a Village Pump discussion here, I would like a propose a change to the wording of section 2 of the "Wikipedia is not a dictionary" section of this policy:

  • Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_dictionary: "Wikipedia articles are not: [...] Lists of such definitions. There are, however, disambiguation pages consisting of pointers to other pages; these are used to clarify differing meanings of a word. Wikipedia also includes glossary pages for various specialized fields."

I propose changing this to clarify that disambiguation pages are not lists of dictionary definitions:

  • Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_dictionary: "Wikipedia articles are not: [...] lists of such definitions. There are, however, disambiguation pages consisting of pointers to other pages; these disambiguation pages are not intended to be lists of definitions, but are used to distinguish between articles where the words used in a title can refer to several different meanings. Wikipedia also includes glossary pages for various specialized fields."

Please also see the related proposals here and here. Thanks. Carcharoth 13:15, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

"Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy" section needs redesign

Currently, the section states:

In particular, Wikipedia is not a system of law. Disagreements should be resolved through consensual discussion, rather than through tightly sticking to rules and procedures. Instruction creep should be avoided. A perceived procedural error made in posting anything, such as an idea or nomination, is not grounds for invalidating that post. Follow the spirit, not the letter, of any rules, policies and guidelines (see Wikipedia:Wikilawyering). Our dispute resolution process exists to mediate and arbitrate disputes between users, not to enforce judicial remedies.

I am afraid this section is needs to be rewritten and retitled. Currently it is a collections of claims, some of them true, some of them disputable, but all apparently lumped together in this one section without much thought to their connection and even less to the section title (bureaucracy). Let me divide the claims into several groups:

  1. Wikipedia is not bureaucracy. In particular, Wikipedia is not a system of law. This is the part that I find dubious. Consider Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. While that very policy states that we should respect spirit of the law (Wikipedia:Ignore all rules comes to mind), the very existance of those policies and guidelines, and in fact the very existence of the 'Wikipedia' namespace seem to indicate that Wikipedia has a legal system of sorts. It is not important here whether our system is based on codexes, precedents, traditions, norms, their mix or something else, the fact is that it *exists*. This becomes even more clear when we consider the existance of WP:RFM and the organisations that it has spawned (Arbitrators, Mediators, Advocates...). As for bureaucracy, looking at our definition it reads that this concept refers to administrative execution and enforcement of legal rules is socially organized. This office organization is characterized by standardized procedure, formal division of responsibility, hierarchy, and impersonal relationships. With standarized procedure reading 'Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines', formal division of responsibility reading 'we have administrators, bureaucrats, developers, etc.' and impersonal relationships reading 'there are too many Wikipedians for any single of them to know all others, therefore in many cases a Wikipedian will look for example for 'an administrator' to solve his problem, not for a particular individual', I think it becomes quite clear that Wikipedia is in fact a bureaucracy. For those sociologically-minded, this article explains why any complex organization such as Wikipedia has to become a bureaucracy, no matter how idealistic its goal is (and on a sidenote, becoming a bureaucracy is nothing bad).
  2. Instruction creep should be avoided. A perceived procedural error made in posting anything, such as an idea or nomination, is not grounds for invalidating that post. Follow the spirit, not the letter, of any rules, policies and guidelines (see Wikipedia:Wikilawyering). Those statements continue debating the organization and spirit of Wikipedia, however unlike their two predecessors which state dubious 'facts', those three sentences are a praiseworthy guideline and should be kept. Whether they belong in 'What Wikipedia is not' article or some other, and under what heading, is howerver a matter for debate.
  3. Our dispute resolution process exists to mediate and arbitrate disputes between users, not to enforce judicial remedies Finally the third part of the discussed paragraph concerns the dispute resolution process. The same concern as in my point 2 above apply: while this is a good piece of information, does it belong here and does it belong in this paragraph?

I am awaiting your comments.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:23, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree with what you are saying. Would you be able to do a draft rewrite somewhere to incorporate these suggested changes? Oh, and thanks for the link to stuff on oligarchies. Isn't the way to avoid that through change and renewal? With different people coming in as others leave or become less active? Carcharoth 10:55, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I'd recommend merging the 3rd part of the above para with 'Wikipedia is not a battleground'. The 2nd part could be retitled 'Wikipedia is not an experiment in rule making'.
I am glad you liked the article; I am not sure that the rule can be ever completly disregarded, but I do think Internet makes it more easy to 'bend it'. Wikipedia, although it is becoming more and more oligarchic, is unlikely to ever become an oligarchy like a modern political party. For example, we are much more informal and the division between 'mass and rank' and 'leaders' is less clear cut, the power distance is also much smaller (for example we can freely debate the (minor, sure) change to *this* policy, and likely implement it in a few days, even if not a single person from the Board becomes involved in the process). The membership rotation I am afraid doesn't work here, as it actually reinforces the iron law: is not about the members that leave: it is about members who stay and in time become more aware of our internal workings, possibly joining various Wikipedia organizations, achieving some recongnition (positions, barnstars, becoming known as 'experts' in given field, etc.) and thus their opinions will count more in a discussion just because they are who they are, especially compared to the other end of a spectrum (unregistered editors).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:29, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
  • In reality, very few communities or societies have truly implemented a single political system. Wikipedia, like most communities, is a combination of bureaucracy, oligarchy, autocracy, anarchy, democracy, meritocracy, and other things. I agree with the others that Wikipedia's original goal was to have as little hierarchy as possible, but that some hierarchy has been necessary to maintain order and efficiency on Wikipedia. If Wikipedia were to be considered an experiment in anarchy, it has definitely shown that pure anarchy would not be very practical. Of course, as Jimbo has said, Wikipedia is not meant as a social experiment, though it is one by necessity. In addition to having a problem with the section "Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy", I also am not happy with the current revision of "Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy". I think the best thing to say would be "Wikipedia is not a majoritarian democracy", as that is what the paragraph in this section is basically saying. Perhaps another section could be titled "Wikipedia is not a social experiment". That would cover many things that the existing sections stating that Wikipedia is not an experiment in anarchy or democracy, and that Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. As was recently mentioned on this talk page, I am increasingly believing that this page is problematic because it lists things that some people may see Wikipedia as that it is not meant to be, often without clearly stating what Wikipedia is with regard to the issue. As someone once asked on this page, if Wikipedia is not an anarchy, a democracy, or an oligarchy, what is it? The real answer is that it is all three of these, and some other things as well. Andrea Parton 02:11, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
    I feel kind of sentimental about "Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy" but I agree with your reasons above. The largest reason I am not happy with it is because it's not comprehensive (as you note we are not *many things*), then, of course, a complete list of things Wikipedia is not is a rather silly idea. Having said that, I'd support statements like: "Wikipedia is not an experiment in any social or political system" (with a note that we have the qualites of many).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:59, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

A Joke

Wikipedia is not a democracy? Well, I think it should be! Let's have a vote. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection

Would anybody have any objection if I expanded point 1 from WP is not "Lists or repositories of loosely associated topics such as quotations, aphorisms, or persons." to "Lists or repositories of loosely associated topics such as quotations, aphorisms, or persons (real or fictional)"? Vizjim 15:07, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Actually, I'll be bold and do it. if anyone has any objections, please just revert it and discuss your reason here. Vizjim 08:49, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I would suggest adding that WP is not a repository of pointless trivia. Some articles have grown a section on "<X> in popular culture", which is typically a mind-numbing enumeration of appearances in films, video games, etc. Leibniz 16:49, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a database of all people

Nimur was bold and added a new section to this page without discussion here. I'm not going to revert it because I think it's a good addition but we should probably discuss the addition some. I particularly like the wording on the caution against autobiographical entries. We do not have an absolute prohibition but it's never a good idea to try to write about yourself. The link to Wikipedia:Notability is also explicitly described as a guideline, not a policy-level rule. I think the wording strikes a very good balance. Rossami (talk) 03:01, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I reverted it. Wikipedia:Notability is itself an essay, not even a guideline, let alone policy. If a guideline were to be linked to it would be Wikipedia:Notability (people), but even that's not good, as this is core policy, and that is a mere guideline. Also, the whole autobiography thing, is very much lacking consensus. This page is supposed to be reserved for things where there's an unimabigious consensus to not have it. --Rob 03:22, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
I apologize for my failure to discuss this section. I believe it is appropriate, however. I have recently been working on some projects regarding public education; and it seems that a lot of articles about schools have an Alumni section filled with random and un-encyclopedic content (e.g., lists of all persons who graduated in 1984, etc). This is a particular case of a larger issue across the wikipedia. We want to make sure that the content stays relevant to the larger percentage of Wikipedians.
As far as the my addition: I have seen references to this concept scattered in other guidelines and official policies. During a recent wave of article-edits, I made several deletions, and was looking for a central citation for reasons on a AfDs. I could not find a central location. Can we find a way to reach consensus so as to re-include this section? I believe it is important. Nimur 11:42, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
  • It could however mention WP:BIO which is generally accepted as a guideline (although there's a disputed tag on there now, there usually isn't, and the dispute is I think over a relatively fine point). As far as I can tell WP:NOT doesn't mention that right now. But WP:NOT is already pretty long and it's hard to imagine uninformed people reading it in its entirety before creating a new article... does it really need to define every single inclusion guideline we have? --W.marsh 14:27, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a TV/Radio Guide

I've seen a number of articles, especially radio articles start to contain full schedules of television and radio programmes. Because schedules change often and don't usually contain information about the TV/radio station of the article, could it be classed that schedules in articles can not be seen as encyclopedic, and would be better suited to a dedicated TV/Radio guide? Sonic 18:22, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

This is somewhat covered under 1.7.7, "a radio station generally shouldn't list upcoming events, current promotions, phone numbers, etc. (although mention of major events or promotions may be acceptable)". I think you might consider tweaking that a bit rather than creating a new section. --W.marsh 19:49, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
OK, I'll make a little tweak to that point now. Thanks. Sonic 20:25, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
I actually disagree with this point, as we have schedules of all the major networks (and nice tables too) at the respective articles for American Broadcasting Company, NBC, and CBS respectively. Network originated programming for network articles and local station originated programming for local station articles should be acceptable. Calwatch 04:57, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Not an "instruction manual"

I was wondering what "instruction manual" actually means. Someone proposed deletion for a page I created, because of this "instruction manual" policy. However it was a list, and not a how-to in any way. I think that some clarification needs to be made as to what an "instruction manual" is. Fresheneesz 19:35, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Also, given the discussion above concerning how-to's and instruction manuals, I have a mind to question the "not an instruction manual" policy. I think it really needs to be clarified when an article can be a how to, when it can't, and what an instruction manual is. Fresheneesz 19:48, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Main space articles should not give any form of instruction. Period. Raul654 19:51, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

To make this operational: Wikipedia articles should not contain anything unquoted in the second person, the imperative, or the exhortative:

  • Second person, speaking about the reader: "You are reading an English Wikipedia article, so you can read English." Wikipedia does not know the reader; and indeed does not even know if it has been translated into a different language.
  • Imperative, instructing the reader to do something: "If you want to block spam from your Eudora mail client, follow these steps ...." Wikipedia does not give explicit instructions, requests, or commands to the reader.
  • Exhortative, suggesting a course of action: "Anyone who wants to buy a cow should go to their local cow dealer." Wikipedia does not advise the reader or recommend actions.

(The caveat "unquoted" is because we may want to quote from sources which are in these forms.) --FOo 20:47, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Concentrating on writing style versus the substance of the information contained in an article is evading the question. An article written in a "how-to" style that contains encyclopedic information should be marked for improvement, not deletion or transwikification. Similarly, an article written in a discriptive style, but which contains information one would expect to find in a non-notable instruction manual, should be nominated for deletion or movement to a more suitable site.
For example, an article containing the phrase "to find the most appropriate battery technology for your application, gather the following information" is probably a candidate for improvement, while an article that contains the phrase "the purpose of the timer button on the remote control is to turn the television off after the viewer has fallen asleep..." is probably a candidate for deletion.
Since the discusions on this talk page have concentrated largely on style rather than substance, I feel little guidance has been given on what is or is not suitable for Wikipedia, other than to rule out paraphrases of the instruction manuals that manufacturers provide with products. Gerry Ashton 22:13, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

On citing your *own* "original research" elsewhere

Eric Zorn, a journalist and blogger, coined a law in his blog, and then created the article Zorn's Law to legitimise it. This seems to exploit a hole in the WP:NOT rules, specifically the line "citing book, print, or reliable web resources demonstrates that the material is verifiable and is not merely the editor's opinion", which doesn't work when the editor is himself a print-medium author. Further discussion on Talk:Zorn's Law.... /blahedo (t) 15:45, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Everything in wikipedia also has to be notable. If Zorn's law is only mentioned in Mr. Zorn's blog/website/article, then it's not really notable. If it catches on then we can have an article on it that cites Zorn's work, but if it hasn't caught on or been used elsehwere then it's really NN. --Bachrach44 15:57, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Citing your own research is acceptable on Wikipedia; this is obviously true, because to tell a Nobel Prize-winning physicist he couldn't write on the subject of his published research would be lunacy. However, everything on Wikipedia must be from a reliable source, and I very much doubt this guy's blog counts. -- SCZenz 16:08, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I'd say his blog is borderline. If you think the phrase is non-notable, merge it, or put it on AfD. This isn't a whole in the rules, though, just a grey area. -- SCZenz 16:14, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

WP is not the [white|yellow] pages

A bit of advice I've included in some speedy nominations, as part of RC patrol: Wikipedia is neither the white pages nor the yellow pages; we're not a directory of people, business, or other organizations. The fact that some people or businesses are given articles doesn't mean that anybody gets one. --EngineerScotty 23:58, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

We already say wikipedia is not a directory - is that good enough? (It's number 7 under "inidscriminate collector of info). --Bachrach44 01:24, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
We could add the white/yellow pages as an alternate expression; to drive the point home.  :) --EngineerScotty 04:51, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Was I right to do this?

I removed a link to a Nazi propaganda, anti-Semitic film called "The Enternal Jew". It was being linked to from a neo-Nazi website through Wikipedia. The film is banned everywhere in the world and only available for viewing with special permission or explicit educational licenses.

Was I right to remove it? --— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Depends; what page was it removed from? If it was an article on anti-Semitism or a similar topic, the link may have been relevant. If it was on an article on Judaism itself, I would remove it--the screeds of neo-Nazis are seldom a reliable source on the topic of Jews. The fact that it is illegal in some countries doesn't matter. It's legal in the United States, where Wikipedia is hosted (our First Amendment generally prohibits the outlawing of political texts, no matte how offensive); and Wikipedia links to much content which is illegal in many parts of the world (including other Neo-nazi sites). In some cases, this is clearly appropriate; Wikipedia links to works on the Falun Gong, for example, which are illegal in the People's Republic of China. --EngineerScotty 16:47, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

It was linked to from "The Eternal Jew" page.

In that case, I actually would have left the link. The Eternal Jew clearly labels the film as a piece of Nazi propaganda, and linking to the film in question seems to be a logical step. (For the record, The page on Mein Kampf links to an English version of that book). I would put it back, but we can wait for a few other people to chime in before doing anything if you want. --Bachrach44 17:16, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
This seems a perfectly logical link: this is an article about x; here's a link to x. A concern here, though, seems to be that the hosts of this film themselves are unsavory. I'm not sure I like where such thinking leads because it seems to violate the principle that material should be judged as itself, not as a proxy for the contributor. For the sake of community cohesion, it seems important to me that this principle hold for external material as well as internal. --Apantomimehorse 07:12, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Proposal: Wikipedia is not a shock site

Last week, there was a case in which a user had put a male pornographic picture on his user talk page. He was convinced to take it down, but it appears there was no Wikipedia policy specifically addressing the issue.

The problem was not that the picture exists on Wikipedia but rather that it was placed where people would not expect to see it. If someone wants to see porno, that's that person's perrogative, but no one should be "subjected" to it if he or she wasn't looking for it.

I'd like to propose an addition to this project to address this situation:

Wikipedia is not a shock site

While shocking or disturbing content, such as sexually explicit or violent images, is not prohibited on Wikipedia, it, like all content, should only be placed where it is appropriate. No one should be subjected to shocking or disturbing content he or she was not looking for. This is not simply an issue of people seeing something they don't like. Users can get into serious trouble at school or work for viewing what their teacher or boss considers "inappropriate."

A topless photo might be appropriate on an article about a porn star, but should not be placed in an article about the porn star's home town, even if she is the only famous person to come out of the town.

Editors be sure that any links to potentially shocking or disturbing content clearly indicate what is on the other end of the link. For example, do not simply write, "John Atherton was executed for buggery." Because "buggery" is not a commonly used word in much of the English-speaking world, some users would be likely to click on that link, not realizing it leads to an article on anal sex.

Mwalcoff 20:31, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I've actually been doing some thinking about this lately in regards to a case I've been dealing with and the whole discussion about images on the ejaculation page. I think this should actually go under the "wikipedia is not censored" section. Many peopl eassume that not censored = anything and everything goes. This is not true. The fact that it's not censored means we'll have open and adult discussions (as well as informative pictures) relating to genetalia, reproduction, and human sexuality. I think you've hit the issue right on the head though - when considering a given image, is the purpose of the image to inform, or is the purpose to tittilate or shock? If the later, then it doesn't belong. --Bachrach44 20:37, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
  • This concern is actually already discussed under the guideline Wikipedia:Profanity and the precedents described at Wikipedia:Pornography. It seems to me that WP:NOT should clarify site-wide content issues, rather than specific concerns. We could just as well create any number of similar NOT additions.--LeflymanTalk 20:56, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Agreed. A link to the drill-down discussion might be appropriate in the "not censored" section. But we must be very cautious about adding more full paragraphs to this page. This page is too long already. Rossami (talk) 20:44, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
  • The problem with a policy such as this would be that people who disapprove of any particular kind of content can always claim to be "shocked" by its "explicit" depiction or discussion. They can then set up an argument, grounded in this policy, demanding that material of which they disapprove be excised from the encyclopedia, or replaced with material of such vagueness as to be uninformative. Any number of topics, such as social or cultural practices, religious works, human and animal anatomy, or controversial artworks could be targeted this way. If we're going to make a "shock site" distinction at all, it needs to be on the basis of preventing Wikipedia from being used trollishly rather than on the basis of content. For instance, goatse is a shock site, but medical images of the human rectum aren't. --FOo 04:00, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Unless, of course, the medical image of the human rectum is at dinosaur or something. -- Mwalcoff 23:57, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose: This is adequately covered by other ares of WP:NOT.... such as: Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files, Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, and Wikipedia is not a forum for unregulated free speech. ---J.S (t|c) 16:06, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
  • wikipedia is NOT CENSORED' PERIOD! well EXCLAMATION POINT. Too fucking bad if someone gets in trouble at work its their problem. And i whoreheartedly disagree is Smalltown, States only famous resident is is Sizy The Sexy Super Slut whose only famous for running around town nakend and starring in pornos well its very relevant to include a pic about her even if shes naked or sucking a big fat cock in the process if its considered relevant to write a section on her in her town's article then its relevant to put in a pic to illustrate her. Qrc2006 23:03, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, that highly reasoned argument almost convinced me of the need to censor WP. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 23:41, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I suggest you tone it down and find less offensive words to say. Your words don't really help the argument. bibliomaniac15 00:37, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a translation guide

Lately there have been some deletion debates about articles that are, essentially, lists of how to translate proper nouns into other languages. For instance, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of titles of Harry Potter books in other languages or Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Names of European cities in different languages. Sometimes, translations can make good subject matter for an article, if people have written interesting things about translation (see, for instance Harry Potter in translation). I'm of the opinion that we shouldn't have articles where the only purpose is to provide the translation of X between languages. So far, the only counterarguments I've seen are that the translations might be useful... but to me, that's too much along the lines of "all useful information should be in Wikipedia" which policy rejects (WP:NOT). The only kind of translation I've found interesting as a translation on its own are unusual non-literal translations; for instance, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" is translated into German as "... Chamber of Fear," which is pretty different. There's GOT to be a point where we don't accept translation. I'd like to add "Wikipedia is not a translation guide" or "Wikipedia is not an intra-language dictionary" or something similar to the list. Any thoughts? Mangojuicetalk 17:21, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a...

Cookbook and depository for every minor comic book character ever conceived. Can we add those two as well? BJK 23:29, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Cookbook falls under the how-to rule. Comic book minutia may or may not fall under the notability rules.
I personally find the Wikipedia greatly useful because it covers minutia. It's true that web searches often bring up the same information, but on Wikipedia, it isn't piecemeal and it's generally better written. That Wikipedia includes subjects not traditionally encyclopedic is part of its greatest potential. If I want to find how-to/social/entertainment content, I use the general web; to find information, I always check WP first, and in the last year, I've very rarely been disappointed. --Apantomimehorse 07:20, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Its common practice in the case of minor fictional characters to create a list of minor characters in/of X, where X is the name of of the work in question. This allows all the minor characters to be covered in one broad page. For a really good example of this, you can check out the character lists for the anime series Fullmetal Alchemist. Note that this is a tv show, and you are talking about a comic book, but I think that they are close enough that it should not be a problem. TomStar81 07:11, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

WP is Not a Mere collections of internal links...

Item 2 under "Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files" says

Wikipedia articles are not: Mere collections of internal links, except for disambiguation pages when an article title is ambiguous, and for structured lists to assist with the organisation of articles.

I think this is outdated as far a lists are concerned. First of all the term structured list isn't defined anywhere and it isn't clear to me what it means. The part about "assist with the organisation of articles" makes it sound like the only lists that are allowed are the topic lists that predated the Category implementation. Yet lists are allowed. There are guidelines that instruct the best way to format and present lists and not just those that assist with the organisation of articles. My suggestion would be to remove this item as it hasn't been enforced for a long time. --JeffW 16:17, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I tend to disagree. The lists that I know of which are clearly supported are those which meet the listed criteria. Yes, we have many other lists. I would argue are merely tolerated or just have not yet been cleaned up or deleted. Rossami (talk) 22:56, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Jeff and I have been having a discussion about this after meeting at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies. I've been drafting an essay at WP:BO after being involved in several AfDs and discussions about these kind of lists. Deizio talk 01:45, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm with Rossami on this. A list which has no encyclopaedic content might as well be a category (which is at least self-maintaining). The best lists are ones which contextualise and order articles by some significant and encyclopaedic criteria. Just zis Guy you know? 17:37, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm also with Rossami here. JzG put it better than I could. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:42, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
But what if the listed content should be ordered? What if the items don't/shouldn't have their own pages? Also, the current views of the category pages are not terribly elegant and lack the good sense most human-edited pages use in formatting. --Apantomimehorse 07:24, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Pornography

I was reading the Wikipedia policy regarding who Wikipedia "is not censored." It says that the content cannot violate the laws of Florida. I was thinking, since this material is accessible to anybody without any kind of obvious warning about objectionable content, is there some concern about children accessing the material and how that could be a violation of the law? I understand that Wikipedia is provided primarily as an educational resource, but there's no doubt that some images (such as the one for the Prince Albert piercing) wouldn't be too hard to be considered pornographic or unnecessarily lacking in educational value. As an avid supporter of Wikipedia, I just want to know what the policy is on this, and, if I don't understand the law sufficiently, what prevents the Wikimedia Foundation from being required to institute some sort of click-through notice of potentially offensive content. If this was addressed previously, forgive my ignorance; Wikipedia can be so dense with content that I sometimes find adequate research a daunting task. Please be gentle when answering my question; I'm relatively well-schooled in law, but I have delicate personal sensibilities. Thanks. Lemonsawdust 10:43, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't think Wikipedia is doing anything illegal. Wikipedia does have disclaimers, linked to at the bottom of every page. But since most sites have a "you must be 18" screen before showing any adult content, many assume that Wikipedia could get in trouble for not having one... I don't think there's really a legal case for that, despite what many people assume. Such laws have been proposed, like Child Online Protection Act, which was struck down as unconstitutional. I'm not sure what the situation with the Florida law specifically is though. --W.marsh 14:47, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Plot summaries

Given guidance on writing about fiction, any objections to adding the following to Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information?

10. Plot summaries - Wikipedia articles should not act as repositories for plot summaries, annotated or not, but should offer plot points where germane to sourced, critical discussions of the work, offering detail on a work's achievements, impact or historical significance.

I think that's common consensus? Hiding Talk 17:07, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Strong support. It's almost impossible to do a plot summary without either original research or copyvio (if it's a reliable source's summary) so I think it's entirely reasonable. Just zis Guy you know? 17:21, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I think this would be an extremely contentious issue, as the vast slew of articles dealing with television shows, film, books and comics go beyond merely "plot points" into full summaries. I would not be surprised if that's a major chunk of the many articles on fictional topics. For example, the Wikipedia:WikiProject Television episodes is specifically set up to create episode summaries. See, Category:Lists of television series episodes. And don't forget the huge Wikipedia: WikiProject Star Wars. This addition is too late to have an effect on such developments. While I'm concerned about the spewing of original research in popular culture articles, I think the way to "improve" the situation is to promote better written, less fancrufty content. I will eventually put a proposal up that Wikipedia is not a fansite). (Or would someone else like to take up the cause?) Perhaps now that there is Wikia, it might be suggested that such fictional material be moved over there (as much of it is getting re-created anyway).--LeflymanTalk 18:01, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree with the intent of this proposal, but I'm afraid that Leflyman is correct in that there are huge numbers of plot summaries on Wikipedia (most dutifully marked with "spoiler alerts"). It will take more than a change to WP:NOT to make them go away. But I support the effort. -Will Beback 18:45, 29 June 2006 (UTC) (PS: I tried to do a count of uses of the {spoiler} template, but I stopped counting at 20,000. 20:46, 3 July 2006 (UTC))
  • I'll support it as well even if it will be difficult to apply. I would, however, stop the sentence after "historical significance. The "which can be" clause adds a lot of words to the text but does not add to the meaning - at least not in any way that I can see. Rossami (talk) 21:32, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Saying it would be "difficult to apply" is a bit of an understatement. I suspect that if this were to be seriously promoted, a veritable rebellion would be fomented on Wikipedia. One need only see the antagonism generated by removal of DVD cover images on a single "List of" episodes page: Talk:List_of_Lost_episodes#DVD_Covers. Now imagine raising that to the Nth fandom power. Editorial improvements can be shaped with good policy and guidelines, but attempting to ban plot summaries outright just isn't going to meet with success. (Hint: Nearly everything on Wikipedia is, in effect, a "summary" so why stop at "plots"?) --LeflymanTalk 00:22, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't mind it in theory, to be honest. But here's the bigger question - is it worth the drama, and does it really improve anything? I'm certainly aware of the OR issues here, but are we really improving the encyclopedia if we remove plot summaries? --badlydrawnjeff talk 00:28, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Okay, I'm aware of the issues, and I'm not advocating removing plot summaries full stop, but we should not be having articles which exist solely as plot summary. In doing so we start treading on copyright issues, original reseacrh issues and neutral point of view issues, because after all, how can we ascertain one reading of a work is more valid than another. A plot summary in an article which discusses a work is fine. A plot summary as the be all and end all of an article does not fit with Wikipedia policies, it breaks all three. The clause does not seek to remove plot summaries, but only to note that Wikipedia articles should not be solely devoted to plot summary. Do we not all agree on that point? Jeff asks what it improves. It improves Wikipedia. The three key policies are all breached in articles consisting only of plot summary, therefore, I should think we adhere to the three key policies. Either Wikipedia is defined by the three key policies, or it is time to start a major discussion on the nature of Wikipedia. Hiding Talk 07:06, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't really see that plot summaries break any of the above policies. The article on IBM is a summary of all the information that could be written about IBM. Is it therefore necessarily original research or POV? As for copyright issues, IANAL but I would think plot summaries would fall under fair use. --JeffW 23:26, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
    • They fall under fair use if they are in support of a larger artistic, eductional or other allowed endeavor. My understanding is that a page consisting of nothing but a plot summary would not qualify under fair use. A page that is mostly or almost all plot summary - well, I'd rather not test the borderline cases. Rossami (talk) 15:09, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Conditional support. I would suggest it be writen as "extended plot summaries", to try and clarify that it's the overuse thereof that's bad. I see nothing wrong with plot summaries that are on the level of what you'd read in a TV guide or dvd cover, but the problem occurs when the go into a level of detail that will fill in the gap if you miss an episode (which many current articles do) I might go as far as to say that articles about fiction written from out-of-universe, should rarely, if ever, need a {{spoiler}} tag as they should not be focusing on the specific plot details of an episode, and in any case, an encyclopedia that says "here's the information you asked for, but this is some you might not want to know yet" seems a little strange to me. Regards, MartinRe 11:37, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
  • My views are along the lines of Hiding's. I don't think an article should be nothing but a plot summary. But if we're going to have a complete article on a work, I think a plot summary is an important thing to include. -- Mwalcoff 13:29, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Disagree. This sort of fits with WP:FICT number four. Articles should not be all in-universe plot summary, like most of the minor Star Wars battles. Something like the Battle of Endor, though, is a reference from multiple sources and stories and is therefore covered from different angles, and I'm sure there is plenty of out of universe material (such as significance, criticism, and popularity) to cover something like that. WP:NOT's major weakness is that its policies leave AfD voters with a black and white view, when that clearly cannot be the case with so many branches of knowledge and styles of articles. Things need to be a case-by-case basis, and this policy's wording needs to be completely changed to reflect that. If it read like, say, "Detailed plot summaries - Wikipedia is meant to cover the basic points of all aspects of a fictional work or a fictional event that features multiple angles. Plot summaries must be balanced off by out-of-universe aspects, such as development and significance." — Deckiller 20:19, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Note: I created the Star Wars WikiProject to slowly set the encyclopedic wheels in motion. Unfortunately, before things like that can occur, there needs to be a step-by-step process involving the introduction of gradual changes, such as merges and removal of game information and minor details. It is a delicate process that requires patience from all other editors; we cannot have a clash of immediatism and eventualism, for the process involves both philosophies in one way or another. Moreover, my plans were set back by nearly two months with some unexpected real-life issues. Again, I repeat: the ultimate goal of the Star Wars WikiProject is to REMOVE cruft and summary-only articles. — Deckiller 20:26, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose — They are wonderfully useful for those who are trying to translate; they often provide the clues missing when you get mired in the original text. Instead of rooting plot summaries out, encourage them to grow into respectable analyses. Williamborg 00:12, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Put very nicely. — Deckiller 02:15, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
      • But misses the point exactly. That's what the point of the statement is: to outline that plot summaries by themselves are not the point of a wikipedia article, but that they should be respectable analyses. Perhaps it can be amended thus?
      • Plot summaries - Wikipedia articles should not act solely as a summary of the plot of a work of fiction, but should offer summarised plots in conjunction with sourced analysis, offering detail on a work's achievements, impact or historical significance within the article, or as part of a series of articles per Wikipedia:Article series.
      • Would that address concerns with the original wording? Hiding Talk 14:02, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
        • Yeah, I like that wording a lot. — Deckiller 16:39, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose — I agree with Mwalcoff and Leflyman on this one. Plot summaries always play a part in character role and development. Striking them down puts a tremendous strain on those of us who try hard to write on fictional characters, which is hard enough as is. I would however support an effort to scale back the amount of detail presented in a plot summary; my opinion on the matter is that summeries should be in a simalar vein as plot synopsi on the back of books and movies: enough to explain, but not a second by second account of the story. TomStar81 07:24, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Cruft Lists

Recently, a bunch of AfDs were made on lists of minor things in Star Wars. While I agree that this information in the current state should NOT be on this site, we also have to look at it this way: if we delete fictional cruft lists, we risk the chance of each minor topic exploding out. Having one beats having 150; and lists always have the potential to become well-respected articles (per Spira (Final Fantasy X)). I think this whole idea to be clarified. — Deckiller 19:21, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

There also seems to be a tendency for some users to attack almost any list as "cruft", regardless of the subject matter. Some people just don't like lists. --SigPig 20:28, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Amendment regarding Wikibooks

I am a regular Wikibookian, and my attention has been drawn to inaccuracies in this page. I have therefore made this amendment. The previous version of this Wikipedia policy was stating that Wikibooks should be used for FAQs and Instruction Manuals. However, this is not true. Wikibooks is for textbooks and annotated texts - nothing else.

Those of you who wish to contribute to our ever-expanding collection of textbooks and annotated texts are most welcome to come over to Wikibooks to help, 20:41, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

I wasn't aware that Wikibooks had so drastically reduced the scope of their project. It used to include a much wider variety of books. I must say that I'm disappointed to hear about the change. Rossami (talk) 02:09, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm a little shocked and surprised myself. And I've been fighting these changes tooth and nail the whole way. I'm still not completely convinced that the full extent of these changes needed to be made, but it does reflect the new world order as defined by User:Jimbo, who really is the one who has made these changes. All that has happened with changing this policy is more a 3rd party attempt to divine the thoughts of the great one. If you feel that restricting so much content from Wikibooks is a bad idea, make sure that you let Jimbo know, and leave a note defending a broader view of Wikibooks at the Staff Lounge.
BTW, How-to books are still reasonable to have on Wikibooks, as are many of the other books mentioned. The only content specifically excluded is now (apparently) video game walk throughs. I'm still holding a torch that some accomodation can be made somewhere for that content. --Robert Horning 17:17, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Discussion deleted?

If so, why? If not, where did it go? Santtus 15:46, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

WP:WOW damgae, undone now. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 15:49, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not an authority

Though very useful for reasearch, the Wikipedia does not directly contain information or opinion that should be cited as an authority. This admonition applies to editors as much as readers, for Wikipedia articles should not be cited as an authority by other Wikipedia articles.

Although Wikipedeans endeavor to develop and maintain articles with high stardards of verifiability and NPOV (neutral-point-of-view), this effort is never complete. Moreover, while the vast majority of articles become more accurate and NPOV over time, articles take backsteps daily as vandals, spammers, crackpots, and polemicists pollute the site; these changes are almost always noticed and reverted shortly after by Wikipedians, many of whom pay special attention to the recent changes page.

There are four primary reasons for incorrectness in the Wikipedia:

  1. Bad-faith editors knowingly add inaccurate content or violate the NPOV standard.
  2. Some editors, though not intending to deceive, don't understand the NPOV or verifiability standards, take issue with these standards, or fail to apply these standards well.
  3. Some Wikipedians see worth in tolerating the addition of uncited material to articles (in accordance with the principle of being bold in editing) as long as it is done with the good-faith intention that verifiability can be demonstratrated later. Other Wikipedians believe content should not be added without verification up front, but the laxer standard seems to be the more common pattern of actual article development.
  4. Even when content properly cites a source, the validity of the source itself cannot be guaranteed.

The first kind usually produces the most eggregious errors, but they are often therefore easy to spot by those watching the recent changes page; when this is the case, the errors are not tolerated and quickly removed. The second and third kinds are not always obvious, and many editors grant leeway to these edits with the idea that they will be improved upon later, especially if the edits are additions of information rather than changes to existing information. The fourth kind can be pernicious: editors are sometimes lulled by the mere presence of a citation and so don't investigate further; even when editors do investigate, it's often hard to determine the quality of a source, and too detailed examinations and critiques of sources are viewed by some editors as constituting original reasearch, something not allowed by policy. --Apantomimehorse

I would add a fourth reason; many editors add citations for sources that have garbled versions of the facts. I notice this particularly in history articles, but it can happen in any field. Some errors have been repeated so often that most people assume they are true, but careful research can find good sources that explain that they are errors. While we should include such well-known, if erroneous, 'facts', we should also include reliable sources correcting the errors. I am not advocating OR here, but simply that we search for reliable sources that give the full story. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 14:02, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Tried to incorporate that. Go ahead and edit the post directly if you like. --Apantomimehorse 00:34, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Looks fine to me. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 01:10, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Well I'll put this on the article page. Perhaps someone can come up with a more self-explanatory heading than "not an authority" (though I do like the sound of it). --Apantomimehorse 22:29, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't really think it's within the spirit of WP:NOT, which has always described the general types of content we don't include. This rule, while describing something Wikipedia is not, takes a sharp departure in that it's purely about the quality of articles. --W.marsh 22:58, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Granted, but the core point is 'don't cite other Wikipedia articles or take their citations as authority.' That's a concrete policy for editors. I suppose I was a bit long winded, though. Can you think of a more appropriate place for this (if any)? --Apantomimehorse 07:40, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
It's covered in Wikipedia:Reliable sources. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 11:49, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
If I have an outcome from a formula, can I cite the formula if it's on another wikipedia page? What if I just added that formula to that page myself? What if the answer is obviously correct to any practitioner of the field? Kim Bruning 11:58, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
As I understand it, you shouldn't take the formula from another Wikipedia page unless that formula is sourced on the other page, in which case you should cite the same source that the other page cites, after checking that it is valid. Of course, if you add anything that isn't controversial or odd looking, then it is unlikely anyone will challenge it. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 13:47, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
But then I apply the formula. That, and what if the source used on the other page changes (and thus we get a ripple effect?). Or even sillier, what happens if we (re-)derive the formula from scratch? This actually happened once. We could have an argument about original research in that case, but original research is a derivation of verifiability. The formula in this case was both verifiable and can probably be considered verified for all practical purposes. (I'm talking about the formulas presented for RGB -> CMYK conversion and RGB -> HSV conversion, which were used to write a program to generate the colorspace coordinates for many color articles. They actually worked by generating known correct results :-P ) Kim Bruning 14:51, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I am not familiar with those formulas, and would not know if they were given or used correctly. What is the problem with providing a external source? -- Donald Albury(Talk) 15:17, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I didn't have an external source and was too lazy (for some definition of too lazy involving 100s of edits already!) Nevertheless, when the numbers were plugged into a graphics package, the predicted color came out correct. I did showed my derivation, with a little help. Later other people started providing sources. Were my edits wrong before someone provided a source? Kim Bruning 16:21, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
When you plugged the numbers into a graphics package and observed the results, you were performing original reasearch instead of relying on sources. WP:V says that we are not to use OR to prove a source wrong. I would say that also should apply to confirming a source. If your experience or observation suggests a statement that is not supported by a source in an article, then you should look for a reliable source that does. I know the temptation is to add a fact you think is not controversial and move on without spending time looking for a source. But if the item is later challenged, the options are to either remove it or spend time looking for a reliable source. In the end, skipping providing a source does not save time and effort for the community as a whole. Admittedly I can sometimes be a bit picky about this, but somebody has to be at the extremes, or the world would be a very bland place. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 17:15, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that millions of people have each plugged those self same numbers into graphics packages hundreds of times each, and millions have mixed paints and inks in the proportions I (re-)calculated before I ever knew about color models. At some point I really don't think you can call that original research. (Else I'd have to provide sources for yellow is yellow, or that stuff falls on the ground when you drop it.) OH! Wait. Is that actually what you're telling me? Let's see. (Undent→)


If I say
CMYK 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0 (normalised 0.0—1.0) is yellow
that can be expanded to
0% cyan ink, 0% magenta ink, 100% yellow ink, 0% black ink, mix in those proportions to get yellow.
in English
I have yellow ink, a whole pot of yellow ink, and nothing but yellow ink. When I look at it, it is ... yellow.

Hmmm. I realise it's important to provide sources for 'most everything you write. Right now I'm just wondering if it's possible to go too far. *scratches head*. Perhaps there's some sort of real life limit, where we face some sort of diminishing returns? Kim Bruning 08:37, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

In practice, any editor can insert anything they want to without a reference, but any other editor can challenge the unreferenced item, and even remove it. So, if you are confident that no one will challenge an item, you may feel comfortable in not providing a reference. But if someone else challenges the item later, it is usually harder to come up with a reference then rather than having provided it from the start. IMHO, nothing is exempt from the verifiability requirement, but in practice some unreferenced items are more likely than others to be challenged. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 12:02, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I think verifiability is especially important for featured articles. In other areas it's not very encouraging wiki-wise when people always need to provide sources or risk getting deleted, especially in areas which still have few articles. The entire runaway xFD processes really don't need further feeding. :-P Kim Bruning 12:46, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't bother to nominate articles for AfD anymore; my judgment on what should go seems to be out of tune with too many other editors. I will {{prod}} an article, and that usually inspires improvements and/or good arguments for retaining the article, without the rancor of an AfD. I will revert edits, move questionable items to the talk page, and tag unsourced items that don't need to be removed right away. I will also find references myself, if the subject strikes my fancy. I try not to bite newbies (I've been active for only nine months, myself), but I think new editors need to be introduced to our policies and guidelines as quickly as possible, before they develop bad habits. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 14:10, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Out of sync

The Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary policy page is actually narrower than Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a dictionary. Policymakers, please put them in sync, otherwise a broken telephone game sometimes happens. `'mikka (t) 00:52, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Wording change?

I recommend changing the wording of:

Lists or repositories of loosely associated topics such as quotations, aphorisms, or persons (real or fictional). If you want to enter lists of quotations, put them into our sister project Wikiquote. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having lists if their entries are famous because they are associated with or significantly contributed to the list topic, for example Nixon's Enemies List. Wikipedia also includes reference tables and tabular information for quick reference.


Lists or repositories of loosely associated topics such as quotations, aphorisms, or persons (real or fictional). If you want to enter lists of quotations, put them into our sister project Wikiquote. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having lists if their entries are famous because they are associated with or significantly contributed to the list topic, for example Nixon's Enemies List. Wikipedia also includes reference tables and tabular information for quick reference. Merged groups of small articles based on a core topic are certainly permitted; see List of locations in Spira for an example.

What do you think? This should clarify a lot of the misinterpretations shown on AfD. — Deckiller 06:47, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I wouldn't call that a list. I think you should just rename the article to Locations in Spira. --JeffW 13:52, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
True; and it will solve the problem of people citing WP:NOT for those kinda of "list" articles. — Deckiller 06:00, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Indisciminate collection of information issues

I recently removed the alma mater and fight song lyrics from two high school articles (St. Edward High School (Lakewood, Ohio) and Saint Ignatius High School (Cleveland, Ohio)) citing the sub-section of WP:NOT that excludes Wikipedia as a place for an indiscriminate collection of information. Another editor brought up the issue in this discussion on my user talk page. I'd like some input into this issue. Do high school fight song and alma mater lyrics qualify as an indiscriminate collection of information? -- backburner001 13:50, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

The questions for me are whether someone looking up these places would benefit from seeing the words of these songs (perhaps they give a flavour of the place), and whether the schools themselves see these songs as important. Are the some dusty remnant from pre-history or regularly sung at events to give tribal solidarity? My school never had a song, so I don't know how important these songs are in these cases. Perhaps the strength of the cite would indicate the importance. Stephen B Streater 19:06, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Another issue is copyright status. A lot of school songs are under copyright. We should avoid any school songs unless and until we can establish they are PD or equivalent. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 23:56, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Can we add communism to the list?

We have "Wikipedia is not an experiment in anarchy" "Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy". I thought it used to be just "wikipedia is not anarchy" and "wikipedia is not a democracy." Oh well.

Can we add "Wikipedia is not communism." Or "wikipedia is not an experiment in communism." Though, " an experiment in " sounds kinda weak and should just be removed from this page entirely--it just takes the certainly out of a phrase to say "an experiment in"

My request is because I've seen a lot "wikipedia is communism" vandalism recently and if wikipedia just says it's not communism, this would be a good thing. Anomo 23:17, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Adding Wikipedia is not communism will not deter the Wikipedia is communism vandals. In fact, adding it to the list will probably encourage them. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 23:58, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, I've not seen a "wikipedia is a democracy" vandal. Although, despite "Wikipedia is not a free host, blog, webspace provider or social networking site," I've seen far too much stuff on user pages in today alone talking about peoples' sex lives all in the form of userboxes. Anomo 02:47, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a fan page (?)

I'd like this page to include a section on how Wikipedia is not a fan page. Many of the articles I read and edit are entertainment-related, and far too many of them have very serious tone and NPOV issues. Articles on comedians and shows read as a loose colection of various editors' retellings of their favorite jokes from that source. Many include far more content about a single editor's pet interest or concern, usually with lots of original research, than that issue comes close to deserving. While all of this is clearly against Wikipedia policy, I think that spelling out that the encyclopedia should not read as a fan page would be helpful. Croctotheface 09:56, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

I also think this would be a great addition. Articles on musicians, bands, actors and atheletes are rife with the same sort of problem. Spelling it out would be very helpful, IMO. Frankly, some of the articles make me embarrassed to be a fan of the article's subject!  :) -- Xtifr 11:34, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a Gossip Rag

I would like to add a section that Wikipedia is not a Gossip Rag. That is, it is not a repository for disparaging non-notable (not nationally or internationally known) persons. I have seen entirely too much of this, particularly when it comes to lawyers. I have battled one article that clearly fit within 'speedy delete' attack page, and was finally deleted, and I was astonished that a few people defended it so intensely. It was initially unsourced, and after lengthy explanation of why it fit within 'speedy delete', the author added a couple of references -- a local newspaper and "Overlawyered", which is notorious as a political group with dubious validity. I do not see anywhere in this "What Wikipedia is Not" that addresses this.jawesq 20:37, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Lists of Words

It would appear that lists of words violate the provision that Wikipedia should not have articles which define individual words, nor should it include Lists of such definitions. However, we have Category:Lists of words, Category:Lists_of_slang and Category:Lists of phrases, among others. Policy is descriptive, not prescriptive. Is this policy still being applied (in which case, all of these articles must be deleted), or not (in which case the wording of the policy needs to be changed). Guettarda 21:48, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

  • It would seem like there's a bit of contradiction going on. Lists of words bad, categories of lists of words good. Ugh. &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149; 22:37, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Guettarda raises an interesting point. Spent 15 30 minutes browsing and there is a raft of material in these categories. And many of the articles appear to be interesting and useful. Just as examples, the Latin-based abbreviation, medical and legal term lists look both useful to have and unlikely to appear in Wiktionary.

      Wonder what it means when we have whole categories chock full of articles that violate the "Wikipedia is not a dictionary or a usage or jargon guide. Wikipedia articles are not: 1. Dictionary definitions, 2. Lists of such definitions, 3. A usage guide or slang and idiom guide." guidance. Perhaps it means that there are "lists of words" that we as the Wikicommunity find acceptable and it is time to rethink our view. Perhaps we add the qualification, that Wikipedia does have a place for terms that 1) do have a common denominator, 2) the information is useful, 3) the subject is studied in an academic context, and 4) the page is NOT better suited to a different wikiproject.

      In reviewing and thinking about this topic I became aware that Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of gay slang words and phrases is currently discussing this and read Wantman's comments (some of which are plagarized above). But I do think he's on to a valid perspective and that Wikipolicy, yet once again, may need to adjust.

      Thanks for flagging this topic! Williamborg (Bill) 22:43, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

      • On the contrary, Wiktionary has many categories of words for specialized topics, and no restrictions on editors adding other categories. Please actually look at Wiktionary. Uncle G 10:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
        • Please provide a link to an example, or preferably links to several examples. Thanks! WLD 11:05, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
          • There are a "by topic" link and a "by category" link right there on wikt:Main Page. Please follow them. Uncle G 13:04, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
      • I agree and have argued for such at the relevant AfDs. I think the original guidelines refer to a single word. So if that is so, WP:NOT would be referring to a dictionary definition of a single word, a list of definitions of a single word (except if it is a disambiguation page), and a usage guide or slang and idiom guide for a single word. If it is a list, the four criteria proposed by Williamborg should be used. I would extend #1 to read: 1) have a common denominator that is discussed in another wikipedia article. For example if there is List of internet slang there should also be Internet slang. If an article does not cover the topic, neither should a list. However, I can imagine that it is possible that an article might cover the topic of several lists. -- Samuel Wantman 23:10, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
        • I posted in the Village Pump, but I will include my response here, too: "If the slang is listed with a header to the page with a brief description, I believe that is allowed, as it is descriptive in the sense that it is a list of that which is enumerated and described at the top of the article. The list is a series of examples of what could be defined as slang, so I don't think it would be prohibited." Michael 02:34, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
          • An encyclopaedia article about slang should be a work about the slang, detailing its history, geographical extent, and so forth, not a dictionary of the slang words. Uncle G 10:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
        • So what you're saying is that article consisting of one single dictionary definition is inpermissible, but a big list of dictionary definitions would be okay? Proto::type 09:23, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
        • It probably depends on the intent of the articule. If simply to get round the injunction that WP is not a dictionary, then no; but if the list of words+definitions is for a purpose other than being a simple dictionary, then yes. Most of these lists are defining a subset of a whole in some useful way. As WP is not paper, I wouldn't be too worried about the inclusion of such lists, so long as they serve a useful purpose, which I think they do. A 'List of English words beginning with A together with their definitions' wouldn't be useful in any substantive sense (as far as I can see), so would be disallowable, but a 'List of words used uniquely in the English spoken in Australia together with their definitions' would be useful to non-Australian English speakers. In principle, one can simply look up words one doesn't know in a dictionary, but wordlists are more convenient, and often more up-to-date. Non-australian dictionaries may not include them anyway. WLD 13:02, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
        • The wording of WP:NOT doesn't support that interpretation. Of course a list without definitions would probably be acceptable. Guettarda 15:39, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
          • A raw list of words without definitions would be pointless as a standalone list. A list of words in Wikipedia should be a category of words in Wiktionary. See numerical prefixes and sexual slang for how to use Wikipedia and Wiktionary in tandem. The former only incorporates the list of words as a subordinate part of the whole article, and the latter makes use of Wiktionary for what it does best. Uncle G 10:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
        • No. The guidelines are intended to ensure that Wikipedia does not duplicate the work that is being done in Wiktionary. Uncle G 10:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Note that there are exceptions to the NOT 'lists of words' section... most notably that 'glossaries' of specialized usage terms are permitted. This certainly includes things such as List of legal terms and common latin abbreviations. Note that the glossaries page linked above includes a section (currently empty) for geographically specialized words... such as the list which touched off this deletion debate. My understanding has always been that the 'list of words' restriction was meant to prevent people from trying to get around 'no dictionary definitions' by combining common definitions into lists... not to ban all lists of word meanings for specialized usages. --CBD 13:06, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
    • It has been interpreted as such - the reason I raised this is that Mikka AFD'd one such list, and it was later deleted on the grounds that it was a policy violation (despite a ~50-50 support-oppose). Either such lists are policy violations (with certain exceptions) or they aren't (because usage has diverged from policy).
      • As a matter of process, wouldn't the 50/50 split in opinions have produced a no-consensus result, and should theefore have favoured keeping the article in question? Ot have I misunderstood? Clear policy violation is usually obvious and clear-cut, so if policy interpretation generates dispute, that indicates a problem with policy doesn't it? WLD 12:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I've been seeing this on AfDs too, such as Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of British words not widely used in the United States. This article, the slang article, and others are about different variants of English (if you want to call legal language English). Of course there are main articles about most of these things, but if the lists were included on those articles, they would quickly get well above the recommended size limit for articles in general (though a list "article" being longer might not be so bad, since it's just a list). Part of what defines communities are differences in their language use, and these lists provide insights into the differences.

    Since Wiktionary isn't really set up for thematic lists, these articles can't really be transwikied to there. In some cases they might be appropriate for wikibooks, but only if there is a text there that can incorporate these lists (best to ask around at the Staff lounge before "dumping" them there). In any case it seems to me that they do no harm here, and do serve to clarify language differences. -- SB_Johnny | talk 14:44, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

    • Since Wiktionary isn't really set up for thematic lists — Rubbish. Please actually look at Wiktionary. It has plenty of thematic lists, several of which are two clicks away from the main page. (See all of the Wiktionary appendices, for examples.) It also has concordances. Uncle G 10:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia does not to be, and should not be, exhaustive on a subject. An article about vocabulary differences between different communities speaking a common language can make its point with a selected sample of differences, and does need an exhaustive list in either the article or in a separate list article. If an exhaustive list exists somewhere, the article can point to it as a reference or external link. If such a list does exist, creating one in Wikipedia looks like OR. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 22:23, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
      • "Wikipedia does not to be, and should not be, exhaustive on a subject" - er, no, that's about as wrong about Wikipedia as it is possible to be. Much as I dislike slogans ... "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing". Donald, if you think that we shouldn't be exhaustive, that's fine, you're entitled to that opinion, but you need to be aware that that's a seriously against-the-flow thing to think. SP-KP 21:35, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
        • You completely missed the point about original research. Uncle G 10:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
          • In that I deliberately chose not to post a comment about that issue, but instead dealt with another issue, yes. I'm totally on-message on OR, don't worry. If we have lists that contain some OR, they shouldn't. That doesn't mean the list has no place here. SP-KP 17:37, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
        • First of all, while Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia, there are still limits on how much should be put into an article; see Wikipedia:Article size. Moreover, we are supposed to be summarizing the knowledge of the world, not replicating it. I'm in the middle of reading Together We Stand by James Holland. This covers one year of the fighting in North Africa during World War Two, from May of 1942 to May of 1943. It is in no way comprehensive, being a popularization of history, but it is 605 pages of text, not counting maps, photos, index, notes, bibliography et cet. An exhaustive treatment of just this one year in one theater of one war would need to be many times as long. Are you suggesting that we need articles of that size in Wikipedia? -- Donald Albury(Talk) 02:02, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
          • Hang on, article size is a different issue. Yes, of course we shouldn't have articles that are too long to be readable, but we have ways of dealing with articles that get like that. The principle test is whether the information has encyclopaedic merit. If the content of all 605 pages of the Holland book is encylcopaedic, then there's nothing to stop you including it (as long as you can do it in a non-copyright-violating way). But I agree, not in a single article. This policy does mean we end up with 5 zillion articles on Pokemon characters, but that's the small price we pay (we don't have to read them!). SP-KP 17:37, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm of the same opinion as SB_Johnny. Wikipedia is not paper, and as SB_Johnny points out, such lists are (a) useful and (b) do little, if any harm. In my opinion, I would rate their utility as far higher than 'fancruft' or plot synopses of individual television programmes. If Wikitionary definitively allowed such lists, then there would be a good case for transwikiing, but my point of view is that the best place currently is in Wikipedia. If such lists are verboten, then perhaps List of ISO standards should also be removed. The utility of the word-lists is the mere fact of their collection and existence: the utility of a dictionary is in the definitions, not in the mere fact that it is a list. Policy here needs amedment/fine tuning. WLD 12:50, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
    • Wikitionary definitively allowed such lists, then there would be a good case for transwikiing — Instead of hypothesising, why not go to Wiktionary and look. You'll find plenty of appendices, categories, concordances, thesauruses, and so forth. Please don't base your argument on not actually looking at Wiktionary to see what it comprises. the utility of a dictionary is in the definitions — There is far more to a dictionary than that, as is explained right at the top of Wiktionary's main page. Uncle G 10:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
      • It would have been helpful to provide links - appendices, categories, concordances, thesauri(apparently there aren't any, but perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place), and I can't find anything that categorises lists. AM I missing something here? WLD 11:28, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
        • The links are all right there on wikt:Main Page. The one there that is labelled "Thesaurus" is the one that will take you to WikiSaurus, the thesaurus. Uncle G 13:04, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Just to add - some of these articles have had a great deal of work put into them by many editors/contributors, and it tends to put such people off when they see their efforts being brought to naught by a short AfD process, which can take place months (if not years) after the article's creation. (Some may even pre-date the policy being applied to them). If the articles truly do not belong in WP (and I believe strongly that they do belong), then rather than deletion, they should be transwikied to a more appropriate place. At present, such a place is not identified, and until it is, I suggest such articles be kept (much like radioactive waste) until we know what to do with them. WLD 13:11, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
    • At present, such a place is not identified — Of course it is. You identified it yourself. Uncle G 10:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
      • I think our understandings of what is appropriate content for Wiktionary differ. Could you provide a concrete example of how you think the List of British words not widely used in the United States could/should be transwikied to Wiktionary? I'm not saying it shouldn't, but I simply don't see the structure into which it would fit. A clear, simple, step-by-step example would be very helpful. Thanks. WLD 11:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • See -phyte and phyto-. Clearly useful content, even if the former is still a work in progress. Just thinking outside of the narrow literal confines of policy and thinking about why we're here, are we really saying these two articles should be deleted? I think not. Let's change the policy wording. SP-KP 21:23, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
    • Technical terms and jargon are at least verifiable. Definitions of slang words are not. Such lists do indeed harm Wikipedia, as they attract extremely dubious additions which requires constant monitoring by other editors. Wiktionary editors refuse to take this unsourced material, and we shouldn't accept it either. -Will Beback 22:28, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Just a quick comment, I am generally against deletion of any such articles out of respect of the time that has been spent on them. Guidelines should change. Thanks. PizzaMargherita 05:32, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
    • I too am against deletion. The List of words having different meanings in British and American English has collected information that is not available in one place elsewhere on the web. -- Chris Q 06:28, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
      • Agreed, Wikipedia is as wikipedia does, and in this case the lists do not form part of a conventional dictionary, so a free-form like Wikipedia would seem to accommodate them well. Pyrope 07:31, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
        • Wiktionary is not paper, either. Arguments that Wikipedia should hold something because it is a free-form project are based upon the erroneous foundation that it is the only such project that exists. Uncle G 10:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
          • A slight misunderstanding there I think. I intended to argue that Wilkipedia is, as a user-edited and driven project, to a large extent defined by what the users would like to see included. The free-to-edit format must always throw up differences of opinion by its very nature, and allowing for a significant positive response (such as I believe this article has) it should be allowed to stand, unless there is an obvious and better alternative place for the information to be lodged. Pyrope 14:04, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Wiktionary lists of words

After a bit of research I found that the Wiktionary system for making such lists is to put them in the Appendix namespace. A good example can be seen at Wikt:Appendix:Australian rhyming slang. Compare to Wikipedia's Australian rhyming slang. The two are very similar though there are items on each list not appearing on the other. This 'Appendix' namespace was apparently only added to Wiktionary in March of this year, though similar pages had been hosted under the 'Wiktionary' namespace prior to that. With inter-wiki links I think these Appendix pages make a pretty good substitute for the Wikipedia equivalents. Having articles on Wikipedia about the process/types of loan words, slang, jargon, or whatever and lists of such on Wiktionary, each cross-linked to the other, seems to make sense. Possibly we could change some of the Wikipedia articles to just be links to the Wiktionary equivalents... not as good as an 'interwiki redirect' (which would be ideal), but close enough. What do people think? --CBD 12:05, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Thank-you for providing such a clear and good example. It raises a few questions in my mind:
  1. The Wikipedia article on Australian rhyming slang links extensively to other Wikipedia articles - is this an advisable thing to do from Wiktionary?
    • The list (category) of words and phrases in Wiktionary will link to individual articles on those words and phrases, and those individual articles will cross-link to Wikipedia articles if appropriate. The Wiktionary list will include wikt:Bugs Bunny, which you will notice already cross-links to Wikipedia. There's an existing mechanism for doing this stuff. It's simply necessary to do more of the same. Uncle G 13:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
      • I see your point. The mechanism you propose seems to me to be less user-friendly and useful than the current format. WLD 14:01, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  2. Given the above, would it perhaps be a better idea simply to create an Appendix namespace in Wikipedia? This would minimise cross-wiki references.
  3. I'm not sure what you mean by 'interwiki redirect' - do you mean a redirect that, rather than redirecting to another article in Wikipedia, instead resirects to an article in Wiktionary?
  4. What is the problem with amending policy to allow these types of articles in Wikipedia?
    • It's a pointless duplication of the work of another project, for starters. It's also a basic misunderstanding of the differences between a dictionary and an encyclopaedia. Uncle G 13:09, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
      • It's not a duplication if the work is not being done in the other project. Is this debate actually attempting to clarify where most people think such lists should reside? If you think it is clear cut, then I think you may be under a misapprehension. WLD 14:01, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  5. There is no hierarchy in the Appendix namespace in Wiktionary (I think), which makes searching for a particular Appendix (especially from a very long list of Appendix names) difficult. As articles will remain in Wikipedia talking about, for example, Australian rhyming slang, or differences in American and non-America English usage, doesn't it make sense to keep the article and the list in the same Wiki?
    • Then go to Wiktionary and make one. It's a wiki. Anyone can edit, including you. Uncle G 13:09, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
      • Make one what? Hierarchy? Or article - which surely shouldn't be in Wiktionary. Designing hierarchies for data retrieval is not my specialisation. I do know several qualified librarians, and I do know any structure imposed on data is (a) not fit for all purposes and (b) controversial. I'm actually happier with (semi) free format and a decent search engine. WLD 14:01, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
        • I think that he was suggesting that you make a hierarchy in Wiktionary if you think one is necessary. You can do that simply be creating additional categories which you think are useful and tagging the relevant pages. Remember that because of the flexible way our MediaWiki categories work, we are not locked into a single-dimensional hierarchy. Alternatively, you can use the Wiktionary search engine. Thinking about that more, maybe we should put in a request to have the search engine extendable to Wiktionary just like it currently is to the MediaWiki space. Rossami (talk) 05:59, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
          • "maybe we should put in a request to have the search engine extendable to Wiktionary just like it currently is to the MediaWiki space" - I think that would be a Very Good Idea. WLD 10:26, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Potentially, we have a process for such articles that are not acceptable to current Wikipedia policy, and certainly better (to my mind) than simply deleting them via an AfD process. At the very least, I would expect admins to suggest transwikiing them to a Wiktionary Appendix, and for policy to be updated to reference this possibility for such articles. Just my ha'porth. WLD 12:46, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
It would be better if 'inter-project' links worked more like 'intra-project' links... so that 'what links here' would show links from Wiktionary to a Wikipedia article and vice versa, Australian rhyming slang on Wikipedia could automatically redirect to the appendix on Wiktionary, et cetera... but the Wikimedia projects aren't set up that way. I don't think continuing to have some of these on Wikipedia, some on Wiktionary as Appendixes, and some on Wiktionary as categories makes sense though... the duplication of effort is one thing, but it also just makes it more difficult to find info when it could be in three different places. You don't usually find such lists in a paper 'dictionary' and it seems like more work has been done on them at Wikipedia to date... arguing for having them as Wikipedia articles. However, they are similar to dictionary information about word evolution and usage and thus might logically fit with Wiktionary's scope better. I'd be happy with either of those solutions. --CBD 15:35, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I would have a strong preference for (2) above, followed by (3), on the basis that virtually anything would be better than (1).WLD 15:40, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Aid for debate

As a resource that may be helpful, I've knocked together an initial list of articles that may be candidates for migration to Wiktionary - each article given its own Wiktionary Appendix, for example. It's a sub-page of this debate, here /Candidate lists to be migrated to Wiktionary. It is by no means perfect - I can't get the links to the categories of Lists of Words and Lists of English Words to work correctly, but perhaps it'll help us to hone policy, and provide a set of thought-experiment test cases. I would hope we would contact recent editors of these articles/lists to garner their opinions before migrating them. WLD 17:04, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm late to the discussion but this is an excellent suggestion. This is exactly what the Wiktionary Appendices were designed for. Move them over and provide whatever cross-wiki links are appropriate. It will be a cleaner solution for both projects. Rossami (talk) 14:26, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Welcome to the debate. Have you a pointer to text in Wiktionary describing what the Appendicies are for? I'd like to find out before wholesale moves take place. If/when moves take place, what should be done about the edit histories, and the very extensive talk pages on some of the articles? Should a stub article be left on Wikipedia to preserve them, with a cross namespace link to the Wiktionary Appendix? This has the advantage of also allowing the 'What Links Here' link to work, as currently, I don't beleive that takes account of links to/from other Wikis. Or should the talk pages be copied across? Are there any tools for converting internal Wikipedia links into Wiktionary cross-namespace links automatically - otherwise they'll be a pain to edit manually. If moves (transwikis?) are to take place, I think they should be carefully planned. WLD 15:38, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikt:Category:Appendices, specifically the description at the top of the page (which is currently a transclusion from wikt:Appendix:Contents). Wiktionary appendices are "most often used for glossaries of words with a common topic, but can also be used for grammatical or other lexicographical information." In virtually every example cited so far, this would be an appropriate solution. In some cases, we might want to move a list to wikt:Category:Concordances instead. Wiktionary concordances are "vocabulary lists based upon specific works of literature and are a sub-category of the Appendices."
I recommend leaving the edit histories intact but replacing the current contents in Wikipedia with a redirect to the appropriate Wiktionary page. Cross-project redirects should be made with some caution but I think it is justified here.
I probably would move the Talk pages over just so users can more easily participate in the discussion but that decision should probably be made on a case-by-case basis depending on the content and quality of the discussion on the Wikipedia talk page.
If we use a simple redirect, most of the internal Wikipedia links won't need to be updated. But if you really want to anyway, there are several people who are quite experienced at writing bots. I'm sure one of them could help us convert the links. Rossami (talk) 05:40, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the very helpful reply. In terms of links, I was thinking of links in the Wiktionary Appendix text that should point back to Wikipedia, rather than links in Wikipedia to the article being moved. Thinking about it, a simple search & replace in an external text editor on all the [[ replacing with [[w: should work, shouldn't it? WLD 10:20, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Ah. I misunderstood. I thought you were worried about the inbound links. If you worry was only the outbound links, you are correct - with a qualifier. If you want every link on the page to point back to Wikipedia, your search and replace does work (and I've used it when transwiking some pages) but it really does require an individual review of each link. In my experience with such moves, some links should point to Wikipedia and others are better staying in Wiktionary (and some should just be unlinked). That will vary with each individual page. Rossami (talk) 13:27, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Proposal withdrawn

Since User:JzG has removed most of my announcements from the various slang glossary talk pages and from the Village Pump, I humbly withdraw my proposal. --List Expert 12:15, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

NOTICE: I'VE POSTED A NEW PROSAL FROM SCRATCH at Slang glossaries, BELOW. --List Expert 22:47, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


How do you propose that we verfiy the entries in these lists? -Will Beback 17:51, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't. This discussion isn't about that. The basis of the Article for Deletion nominations is that this policy WP:NOT specifically states that Wikipedia is not a dictionary and therefore doesn't allow articles which are dictionary definitions, nor does it allow lists of such definitions. There is clearly a conflict between those who believe that the policy should be strictly enforced and those who believe that slang glossaries serve one or more valuable purposes on Wikipedia. Since the glossaries are officially supposed to be deleted as per Wikipedia policy, the verifiability of the individual entries within each glossary is moot. How do you propose to solve the problem of slang glossaries existing against policy, and all the effort expended in the conflict in AfDs over whether or not to keep them? --List Expert 22:47, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
By clicking the Delete link I have right here in my browser. Now please answer the question: how do you propose we verify the contents of the lists? WP:USEFUL and WP:ILIKEIT have never trumped WP:V or WP:RS Just zis Guy you know? 10:59, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
For whatever reason they use, the supporters of the glossaries are winning many of the AfD battles. The List of sexual slurs for instance is in its 3rd AfD discussion, and it appears that it will not be deleted this round either. So whether or not the other policies you have referenced are being trumped seems to be irrelevant to the AfD discussions at issue. WP:VER applies specifically to each and every individual fact present in Wikipedia articles. Meanwhile, this discussion is about the conflict in AfDs concerning the acceptability of slang glossary articles. The proper place for discussion of individual entries within an article is on that article's talk page. The proper place for discussing a possible change in policy is on that policy's talk page. And here we are on WP:NOT's talk page, not a glossary article talk page. Should slang glossaries exist on Wikipedia? --List Expert 22:47, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Will made a good point for verification and things unverifiable in the list should be removed. Also, wikipedia is not a dictionary so it shouldn't have dictionary stuff. Anomo 05:02, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you on the verification point and respectfully add that all facts in all articles, portals, and templates should be removed unless they are verified. That's what Wikipedia:Verification is all about. As to your second point, that's what we are here to discuss, after all we are on the talk page of the policy you just cited. Glossaries are "dictionary stuff", yet there are lots of glossaries on Wikipedia. The exception has already been made. The slang articles listed above are either glossaries or have glossaries in them. Most of them have been on Wikipedia for a long time, and most of those that have gone to AfD have survived. They are already unofficially here, apparently in defiance of Wikipedia policy. The consensus of those who participate in the AfD discussions has been to keep these. So the question is, should the policy be revised to allow these (or any definable subset of these) to officially stay on Wikipedia or not? --List Expert 08:35, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Well you've identified the crux of the matter. If one reads Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not an experiment in rule making one sees "Follow the spirit, not the letter, of any rules, policies and guidelines. Disagreements should be resolved through consensual discussion, rather than through tightly sticking to rules and procedures.", and my impression is that at least some AfDs are being generated by people zealously applying rules. My strong view is that policy should be amended to allow inclusion of such lists/glossaries. Failing that, trans-wikiing to Wiktionary as a Wiktionary Appendix, and definitely not delete (for the most part - things like "List of English words beginning with the letter 'A'" most probably should be deleted). WLD 08:59, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
WP:V is a rule to be zealously applied. Without WP:V we also violate WP:OR. We can't ensure WP:NPOV. If there are no WP:RS we cannot WP:V. There is a reason that people enforce the policies and guidelines, and the reason is that Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, a tertiary source of information. If you want to make lists of things you find interesting or amusing please feel free to do so on your own website but don't come here complaining that content which clearly fails policy is nominated for deletion; the fact that some people vote to keep it anyway is largely irrelevant, WP:DRV has repeatedly endorsed deletion of articles deleted against a numerical majorioty on an AfD because the article fails some policy and no Keep voter gave any credible reason to counter that. You are free to propose a change so that Wikipedia is an indiscriminate colleciton of information which need not be backed by reliable secondary sources, but I for one will vote against it. Just zis Guy you know? 11:06, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't think I have ever said, anywhere on a Wiki, that I disagree with verifiability, so you are preaching to the choir as far as that is concerned with me. However, inclusion of a putative fact and its subsequent verification can be separated in time by a long period - look at the editing history of Pocahontas for example. Other people have said that verification is a goal, rather than a pre-requisite. Ideally, a list of slang terms (or other words) would be comletely backed by sources. If it were, would you be for or against its inclusion? I think that is the issue under debate at present, rather than the interesting diversion into verifiabillity. WLD 11:34, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
"Other people have said that verification is a goal, rather than a pre-requisite." People may have said so, but the edit box I'm looking at right now says "content must be verifiable," not "content must be potentially verifiable in the future," and the policy itself says "Editors adding new material to an article should cite a reputable source." Why don't you try editing that policy page to read "Verification is not a prerequisite, but editors adding new material to an article should have as a goal that someday they will cite a reputable source?" Dpbsmith (talk) 12:56, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Note that it says "should cite a reputable source", not 'must'. That is a big difference. Many contributors add information from their personal knowledge and/or experience, and an absolute mandate that all information added must, under all circumstances be backed up by a 'reputable' (whatever that means) source (probably Wikipedia:Reliable sources) will drastically and dramatically reduce the volume of contributions. Now that may be a good thing, but that means Wikipedia will end up as a repository of things that are easily verifiable, rather than the sum of all human knowledge. {{fact}} tags are used liberally (See Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Unattributed material), and if your interpretation is the way to go, they shouldn't be necessary. In case you don't want to read the section I've linked to, the relevant text is:

"some editors may object if you remove material without giving people a chance to find a source, particularly when the material is not obviously wrong, absurd, or harmful. Instead of removing such material immediately, editors are encouraged to move it to the talk page, or to place the {{fact}} template after the disputed word or sentence, or to tag the article by adding {{not verified}} or {{unsourced}} at the top of the page"

. Hope that helps. WLD 10:49, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Read the 'policy in a nuthell' for Wikipedia:Verifiability,

Information on Wikipedia must be reliable and verifiable. Facts, viewpoints, theories, and arguments may only be included in articles if they have already been published by reliable and reputable sources. Articles should cite these sources whenever possible. Any unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

I think that the nutshell is stated simply and in a straight forward manner. Allowing editors to rely on their personal experience and knowledge will result in a lot of unverifiable material entering Wikipedia. And if something can't be verified, how can you know that it is important, or true, or whatever else you think is a criterion for inclusion. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 12:19, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I think policy in a nut hell sums it up very appropriately! You may have noticed I quoted from guideline (which I admit is not policy). My opinion is that some editors (and possibly some admins) are far too uptight about this. User:Rossami's style is far more persuasive than beating people over the head with the hammer of policy. The policy states 'may be deleted', not 'will be deleted', and 'may' gives an option of not deleting. Guiding people down the path of verifiability is a far better approach than blanket deletion of often well intentioned additions. Please note that I am not attempting to argue for inclusion of unverifiable nonsense, I simply think there are better approaches for encouraging people to make useful additions to Wikipedia. Of course, people's approaches differ, so some editors are more abrupt and see things more as black and white rather than shades of grey. My personal view is that that is not always the best approach. WLD 14:37, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
If you have the time to spare and are so inclined, you can see that I use all of those approaches, depending on the circumstances. It is frustrating, however, to see how often other editors ignore all requests and warnings, or even repeatedly remove {{fact}} tags without any attempt to address the issue. I want all editors to understand that there is nothing in policy protecting unsourced material, and that the option of deleting unsourced material is always available. In fact, policy requires the immediate removal of unsourced negative material about living persons. I've encountered too many arguments that common knowledge doesn't need to be sourced and too many references detract from an article to be willing to relent in any way to attempts to soften the policy or its implementation. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 15:58, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I sympathize with your frustration. I have been there too, having well sourced information summarily deleted by another editor who proclaimed themselves to be a subject matter expert in the relevant field, yet refused to provide sources for what he/she deemed to be common knowledge. I tend not to get involved in such disputes these days - I have better things to do than argue the toss. I would say I am an eventualist and inclusionist by nature. I used to be a stickler for rules, but my life experience has made me adjust my viewpoint. Of course, progress being made by unreasonable men (The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. (Revolutionist's handbook) GB Shaw [4]) means that I'm not going to help that much, but frankly, I let people more energetic than me make the pace. If I agree with what they are doing, I contribute, if I don't agree, I don't contribute. WLD 17:02, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I understand. I've walked away from battles over sourcing because I didn't like what was happening to me. If I can't stay civil, I need to withdraw. In a way, that is letting the editors who refuse to source their edits win, but I know my limits. --
The argument that other crap justifies all crap has never been persuasive. I believe Wikinfo allow jargon guides. As for these lists, some of them may be good, others not. The point for me is that enforcing policy is never bad. And changing policy to prevent deletion of content which large numbers of editors clearly consider problematic is rarely good. What is needed is civil debate regarding the individual articles, which is what has largely happened in the past. Your asseriton that "a majority" of editors support this kind of article is problematic: it's not even a majority at AfD in some cases, and the one thing you can say with absolute certaintyy about AfD is that it is more likely to attract people who are fans of the article than it is to attract the wider community of editors, most of whom simply never go there. I'd say the majority either calmly accept this provision or have no opinion one way or the other. So, I think we can probably fix this with a small tweak to the wording to say perhaps something along the lines of "well-referenced lists which support a topic of encyclopaedic merit may be acceptable." Just zis Guy you know? 11:57, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Sorry, where did I assert <<"a majority" of editors support this kind of article>>? Apologies if I am experiencing a 'senior moment' and not remembering where I said that. As for the wording you suggest, I would support that. Note that many, many articles have {{fact}}> hanging around for ages before proper references are supplied.WLD 12:38, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Well, since you (JzG) have removed most of the announcements on the relevant talk pages and from the village pump, most of the editors affected by this discussion and editors at large won't even know it exists. Therefore, I withdraw my proposal. Good night. I've got to get some sleep. --List Expert 12:26, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
That seems unhelpful. WLD 12:38, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
It took me hours to post them, and he undid them all in minutes. This is too time consuming. I'm done. It's back to editing for me. --List Expert 12:58, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I made an ambiguous statement - what I should have said was that JzG's actions seemed unhelpful. If it's any help, when I find myself getting too impassioned over Wikipedia, I ask myself, will this matter in a year's time, or 70 year's time? I usually answer myself with "probably not", and go off and do something else, which is exactly what you are doing. Regards, WLD 13:25, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

The problem with lists of modern slang is that it they are inherently unverifiable. Except for a few outdated slang dictionaries there are no secondary sources. Primary sources, such as song lyrics, do not give clear definitions. Foreign slang words are doubly unverifiable. There is not good reason why these words, if verifiable, shouldn't be included in Wictionary rather than Wikipedia. -Will Beback 16:56, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I've posted a new proposal below concerning Slang glossaries. --List Expert 00:22, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Widespread abuse of "indiscriminate collection of information"

The "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information" maxim is being widely abused at AFD as a synonym for "I don't like the subject of this article.". In part this is because editors are applying excessively wide definitions of what is an "indiscriminate collection", and not actually looking at the bullet points in the list at all. I've therefore moved "news reports" to "Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought" (which is what primary source news reports are) and moved several "indiscriminate collection" items to the old "Wikipedia is not a directory" maxim that we used to have. The other "indiscriminate collection" items require attention. Uncle G 10:31, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I've seen this section abused in AfD in order to remove certain anime-related articles, chiefly lists of characters that have outgrown their main article. I would suggest that the entire section be removed and move the bullet points, which few have been paying any attention, to other sections or placed into their own section. --TheFarix (Talk) 20:01, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree that "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information" has been misused. However, I wouldn't support eliminating the section because, well, Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. Even the most hardcore inclusionist would agree at least a few things don't belong here. As it stands, I think the examples cited are appropriate. There's no way a page meeting the listed criteria would survive an AFD. szyslak (t, c, e) 10:05, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
The thing is that other editor are not reading the content of the section, instead they see the section's title and then make an interpretation on what the section means. If they had read the content of the section, then it wouldn't be a problem. But if you are going to keep the section instead of moving the contents around into other section, then it clearly needs to be retitled to something less broad and open to interpretation. --TheFarix (Talk) 13:28, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't know how any improvement in the wording or organization of a policy can address the problem of people not reading the policy. (Or not reading it carefully, or not representing it honestly, or echoing what some other discussant has said about the policy rather than reading it for themself...) Dpbsmith (talk) 13:42, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Slang glossaries

Okay, I'm going to try this again. Keep in mind that there are those who seem to be trying to thwart the proposal process itself. I am in the process of placing notices of this discussion on the talk pages of all of the slang glossaries listed below and on the Village Pump. If those notices get reverted or blanked, please help the process by restoring them. Thank you. Also, this is a discussion specifically about whether or not WP:NOT should be changed, and if so what it should say concerning slang glossaries. This is not a discussion of WP:VER, which of course applies to articles of all types. The point is, that many AfDs are being nominated on the grounds that WP:NOT disallows slang glossaries, but many such glossaries have survived the process, and the number of slang glossaries is growing. Some of these articles have been on Wikipedia for years, and some of them have survived multiple AfD attempts. The situation is that there is an ongoing battle between those who are trying to enforce Wikipedia policy by removing slang glossaries from it, and those who defend the glossaries in the AfD discussions because they believe they add value to Wikipedia. Because a great deal of time and effort is being expended in frequent conflicts over the acceptability of slang glossaries and by extension the underlying policy, perhaps it would be beneficial to reevaluate the policy and change it to provide a solution to this dilemma. If some glossaries are acceptable, while others are not, the distinctions need to be spelled out.

Here's a partial list of slang glossaries on Wikipedia:

Some jargon glossaries on Wikipedia:

So the question remains: how do we solve the problem of the conflict between their existance and policy? Should the following policy be modified? Here's the relevant prose:

Wikipedia is not a dictionary

Wikipedia is not a dictionary or a usage or jargon guide. Wikipedia articles are not:

  1. Dictionary definitions. Because Wikipedia is not a dictionary, please do not create an entry merely to define a term. An article should usually begin with a good definition; if you come across an article that is nothing more than a definition, see if there is information you can add that would be appropriate for an encyclopedia. An exception to this rule is for articles about the cultural meanings of individual numbers.
  2. Lists of such definitions. There are, however, disambiguation pages consisting of pointers to other pages; these are used to clarify differing meanings of a word. Wikipedia also includes glossary pages for various specialized fields.
  3. A usage guide or slang and idiom guide. Wikipedia is not in the business of saying how words, idioms, etc. should be used. We aren't teaching people how to talk like a Cockney chimney-sweep. However, it may be important in the context of an encyclopedia article to describe just how a word is used to distinguish among similar, easily confused ideas, as in nation or freedom. In some special cases an article about an essential piece of slang may be appropriate.

Two possible solutions are:

  1. Allow slang dictionaries.
  2. Allow for the speedy deletion of slang dictionaries.

Either of the above changes would prevent a lot of AfDs. --List Expert 22:55, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I have a really bold solution: Merge Wiktionary into Wikipedia. I think if we did this we would 1) have a much more comprehensive work (benefits of one merging into the benefits of the other); 2) grouping slang and other terms could just happen without incident (as long as it's sourceable, of course). Heck, I'm noticing increasing degrees of almanac-type info creep in here, so why not throw in dictionary-type info as well? I don't think the Wikipedia will ever feel complete as a singular reference until we combine all three ideas. Nobody ever said that we as a community couldn't create a new kind of reference work. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 01:20, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I think you are going about this haphazardly. For instance, Grunge speak is not about slang, but about a hoax that was about non-existent slang. You are including articles indiscriminately and without even reading them first. I suggest you actually go through them before nominating any of them for deletion, because there might be more to them than just their titles (and at least the one I mentioned is definitely that case). -- LGagnon 01:47, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
But I did read them. I've included them all for easy refrence, because they all pertain in some way to this discussion. The article you cited, for instance, contains a glossary, albeit one of imaginary slang. Let me point out that such content is even further out there than real slang. It would be ironic if imaginary slang were allowed in Wikipedia while real slang were not! --List Expert 00:51, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
You miss the point. The article is not about slang; it's about a hoax. All of the slang used in the hoax was printed in the NYT article, and thus we have all of them cited. This is not some massive list, just a short one which will not increase over time. And it can not violate any rule against slang lists because it is not a slang list, but a list used in a hoax. And there's no need to point out any irony; such a claim does not logically prove that the article should be listed for deletion. -- LGagnon 17:40, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
A third option and I believe the best one is to transwiki the lists to a Wiktionary Appendix. This suggestion is discussed in greater detail above. Rossami (talk) 05:48, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
This just seems like a patch fix to me. LDC seems to have a good handle on the overall slang and jargon glossaries issue, and I agree with his post below. --List Expert 00:51, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
"Okay, I'm going to try this again." What does this mean? Was there a previous consensus, and if so, why are you arguing this again? --Burzum 16:23, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the policy is clearly broken and needs to be fixed. The very essence of Wikipedia is that it can have a much broader depth and breadth of coverage than a paper encyclopedia because it is not limited by physical size. To cover non-academic subjects (like pop culture) and even many academic ones absolutely requires that the jargon of the subject be glossed. In a paper encyclopedia, these are usually brief glosses in the text as needed--but that's because of space limitations, and we can do better. Comprehensive glossaries by field are better. These things clearly don't belong as individual articles in Wiktionary, because most jargon is very context-specific and not relevant to the usage of the word itself (although certainly jargon words that have leaked into mainstream use rate an entry there.)

Secondly, let's make it clear that "jargon" and "slang" are two very different things, and need to be treated differently--the former is the context-specific language in which students of a particular field exchange ideas in ways that would be awkward or impossible using "normal" language. Such terms are part and parcel of the field of study itself and not covering them is tantamount to not covering the subject: things like Mathematical jargon, BDSM jargon, and Poker jargon are among these, and it would be downright silly and counterproductive to remove them--also, they don't violate the standard because the standard explicitly says that specialized glossaries are included and welcome. Trying to write articles on poker without definitions of jargon terms like "flop" or "draw" would be nearly impossible. The latter--"slang"--is something different; slang terms are generally one-for-one substitutes for ordinary language used by groups of people for social putposes such as group identification or exclusion. As far as I'm concerned, an entry on such a group and its slang is simply good, deep, coverage of that group, and absolutely belongs here as well.

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, but it's not Britannica, nor should it be. We should not be bound by the standards of a medium that already does a fine job at what it does--we should follow guidelines that allow us to do what we do best, and that may be something very different. Yes, we want to uphold standards of quality in Wikipedia, but not at the expense of doing what we do best--having game players write about games, music fans write about music, and in general having non-academic people write about non-academic subjects that a paper encyclopedia doesn't have room to cover but that are interesting and informative to readers, and one thing we will always be better at than the Britannicas of the world.

Finally, I think it's important to relax a few of the other standards in jargon/slang articles for non-academic fields as well. For example, there simply aren't going to be any published secondary sources on some fields, and it would therefore be impossible to cite them. In such cases, clearly using primary sources is necessary despite the "no original research" guideline, and talk pages should be used to hash out the best coverage.

--LDC 19:47, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

  • I concur - LDC put it very well, and I strongly agree on all points. --List Expert 00:51, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
I also concur - LDC wrote so well I have nothing to add. --Foxhead 14:12, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
I concur³ - Couldn't express it better myself. Thank you LDC --Dubhdara 21:13, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
While I sympathize with LDC's analysis, I disagree with his core conclusion. In fact, it is his last paragraph which convinces me most strongly that Wikipedia can not and should not include these pages. The rule against original research is an absolute rule for the project. Without it, we will be unable to properly verify the contents of the encyclopedia. LDC is correct, however, in noting that words and their usage have different rules for verification. Wiktionary has established policies and practices which are quite well tuned to the evaluation and verification of words, phrases and their usages. Wikipedia does not. LDC notes that we should let our volunteers do what they do best. I agree. Let Wikipedians write and edit encyclopedia articles and let Wiktionarians write and edit all content that is more lexical than encyclopedic. (I say that in confidence that many members will participate in both projects.)

I agree that comprehensive glossaries are good for readers and serve a purpose but the conclusion that they must be included in Wikipedia does not follow. They can easily be cross-linked from Wiktionary.

LDC goes on to note that much jargon is context-specific and argues that therefore it should remain in the context of Wikipedia. If you are talking about a short definition included within a relevant encyclopedia article, I can agree that context helps. On the other hand, it is frequently useful to be able to look up a new word and see all its uses so that you, the reader, can determine from the context which definition is meant. That argues strongly for a merger of the jargon page to the dictionary definition. As to user experience, once the user has to click out of a page to find the definition, it no longer matters to the user whether the click goes to a Wikipedia page or to a Wiktionary page. The context-specific definition page is found in one click either way.

By the way, the definitions do not have to be listed as individual Wiktionary pages - this is exactly what Wiktionary Appendices are for. The glossaries can be moved to Wiktionary without losing any of the context in the current pages. The guideline "allowing" glossaries in Wikipedia pre-dates the formation of the Wiktionary Appendices. Now that we have a better tool, I believe that those glossaries can and should be moved over to Wiktionary. Rossami (talk) 04:03, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I concur with Rossami's argument. It makes very good sense to let Wikipedia be the encyclopedia and Wiktionary be the dictionary of this reference set. Now, we need a process for moving definitions, lists of definitions and glossaries to Wiktionary without invoking AfD, which tends to raise hackles and consume a lot of electrons in fruitless arguments. Although it would be instruction creep, perhaps we should explore a process of 'Articles for Transfer to sister projects'. This would emphasize that the material in the article would not be deleted, but moved to a more appropriate project. Of course, the contributors to the target project would have to concur with the transfer, and some articles will not fit anywhere, but those go to AfD now anyway. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 10:40, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
How about using Transwiki and using a simple template, such as:

This page is a candidate to be moved to the Wiktionary Appendices.

If the page can be re-written into an encyclopedic article, please do so and remove this message. Candidates for the Wiktionary Appendices are nominated because they contain glossaries of words with a common topic, or grammatical or other lexicographical information.
It seems that this is the purpose for which Transwiki was designed. If you like this idea, I can create the template and the relevant Category.--Burzum 05:49, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

The root problem here is that the policy says 'lists of definitions' are not allowed, but 'glossaries' are. Look up 'glossary' in your dictionary and it will tell you that it is a list of definitions. :]

Obviously, the intent was to include some subset of definition lists as allowed, but there is great disagreement as to the extent of that subset... and some would remove it entirely. To further complicate things that dichotomy has been in the policy a long time... dating to well before Wiktionary having any capacity to handle such lists. Now that Wiktionary has the 'Appendix' namespace, added six months ago specifically for purposes of hosting such information, a case can be made that the reasons 'glossaries' (of whatever subjects) were previously allowed in Wikipedia are now debatable.

I think it is generally agreed that lists of general words (e.g. 'List of English words beginning with Ar-') do not belong in Wikipedia. That being the case, and some people feeling that slang, jargon, and/or all word-lists should be removed from Wikipedia, I'd prefer to host these lists in Wiktionary so that they could all be together for easier searching. Wiktionary has an entire namespace specifically set up for this kind of information. While it is a big change to migrate everything I think that is preferale to the ongoing bickering. Looking back you can find instances of this 'definitions lists' war from two years ago, if not earlier. It will doubtless continue to recur so long as they are found in Wikipedia - as some users will always feel they are inapropriate here. --CBD 00:43, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Wiktionary is not the answer - CBD, there are three main problems that I can see with the Wiktionary appendix approach that you described above:
  1. is that the entries in those appendices are linked to Wiktionary definition pages, and not to Wikipedia articles. The entries in Wikipedia glossaries are linked to Wikipedia articles, and that's one of the main things that make them so useful. They are in this way an extension of the list concept: lists of linked article names with convenient annotations to help you choose which article you would like to read next. To remove all glossaries would eliminate the annotated lists that give brief descriptions of each item in the list. These provide a clear benefit to users by helping them to browse Wikipedia topics.
  2. is that the difference between an article and a glossary gets pretty subjective. There are many articles with glossaries in them, and there are many articles that are mostly glossary entries. Where do we draw the line? If all glossaries (lists of definitions) were to be removed, then editors would go after even small definition-annotated lists included in articles. Here are some examples of articles with varying proportions of definition entries in them:
    1. Cognitive bias
    2. Cognitive distortion
    3. List of cognitive biases
    4. List of philosophical isms
  3. is that the difference between a glossary and an otherwise annotated list can get blurry. Where would we draw the line here? Some examples:
    1. List of polymaths
    2. Nootropics

To sum up, glossaries (definition lists) with Wikipedia internal links are an essential part of Wikipedia. You cannot remove them without doing serious damage to the encyclopedia. There are thousands of them, from lists of 3 definitions imbedded in an article to large lists supporting prominent fields. There are even sets of glossaries. Wikipedia's mathematical glossaries are among the best on the Internet, and they'd be ruined by being moved to Wiktionary -- these glossaries are very well integrated into the subject and into Wikipedia. They have encyclopedic function. Removing them will reduce Wikipedia's usefulness. Transwiki'ing glossaries to Wiktionary is not the answer. --List Expert 01:25, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Item one seems fairly minor... add "w:" to the front of the encyclopedia links. Problem solved. If anything, I suspect that there will be more links to Wiktionary than Wikipedia in such lists as fuller definitions and related words are the things most likely to be referenced. On the second item, I'd think we would follow standard 'page splitting' practices... if the list is a small portion of a reasonably sized article then it can remain there, but if the list is a sizable portion of the article or the page is just too long in general then it could be moved to Wiktionary and a link there included in the Wikipedia article. The third (added after the fact) issue is another thing which could fall under standard procedures... only lists which are purely words and definitions would logically go to Wiktionary. I don't see these issues as significant obstacles. It would be nice if Wikipedia and Wiktionary were more closely integrated, but I think the connections are strong enough that this could be largely transparent. --CBD 01:58, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
The second and third items seem fairly frivilous to me, too. Certainly it can be hard to figure out where exactly to draw the line when dealing with dicdifs; but this is true for virtually all of the content-related aspects of WP:NOT. Arguing that the line between Wikipedia and Wiktionary is occasionally blurry strikes me as an exceedingly poor argument for eliminating it entirely... I find it difficult to believe that many Wikipedians would, if the choice were presented to them honestly, choose to keep an article consisting entirely of dicdifs here on Wikipedia after it has been properly transwikied to Wiktionary. If people are arguing to keep in the belief that the only options are wikipedia-or-destroy, then they just need to be informed that transwiking to Wiktionary is the proper procedure... Once enough of the items in the above list have been properly moved over, people will start to get the idea, and further people interested in grouping and defining words will migrate there. The sooner we begin the transfer the better, so I'd suggest renominating some of the above immediately... I suspect that the simple fact of discussion here will have forced enough people to confront the line between Wikipedia and Wiktionary so as to make transwiki-and-deletion possible. --Aquillion 09:33, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
No, nominating (or renominating) more pages for deletion is precisely the wrong thing to do in the absence of a consensus. Transwiki'ing some articles as examples / proof of concept is a good idea, but endless nominations based on a disputed viewpoint just annoys people. --CBD 13:18, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

As an example of how these pages can be moved to Wiktionary see Wikt:Appendix:Sexual slurs. I basically copied List of sexual slurs, added 'w:' to the existing links, and then made all the highlighted words in the glossary list into Wiktionary links... a good portion of which turned out to be already defined there. A fairly easy process to create a page which provides all the information the Wikipedia article did plus links to full dictionary definitions of the listed words. --CBD 23:26, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a rumor mill

I can seem to find a section that matches this topic. But I've seen far to many rumors put into articles or whole articles that are rumors. So we need a section that references WP:OR in a way thats more direct about rumors. --TheFarix (Talk) 18:37, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I think Wikipedia:Verifiability is also a relevant policy. WP:V and WP:NOR support each other very well for this sort of thing. No need to cite What Wikipedia is not. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 22:05, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not reliable

Despite assurances of quality and good faith by most editors... the freedom given by wikipedia makes it unreliable. As per "Wikipedia is not an authority" above (which I think should be part of the main "What Wikipedia is not" article, but don't care enough to add it) and since citing sources is guideline and not policy, you can only rely on so much in wikipedia and really should always verify info from wikipedia against a second source (but not places like which tends to steal from wikipedia without citing and ends up just being cut-and-paste).

I'm sure most editors will consider this comment a trolling attempt, but they lack NPOV in this case. If you're a fan of wikipedia, you can't be neutral about it's major flaws. Even the wikipedia founder was nervous about article quality in a recent conference.

It seems that wikipedia's reliability is based on the premise of quantity of editors winning over sub-conscious bias and ever-present intellectual agendas present in all editors. How can wikipedia be not just regurgitation of other sources (straight copying or plagiarism) and avoid the inherent introduction of bias by "writing it in your own words"?

Event the more scientific articles rarely have citations except to inter-link to many other uncited articles. A good example is parallax which is most likely 99% accurate, but cites no sources and therefore fools you into thinking it's reliable just because it is well-formatted. This is representative of a majority of wikipedia content.

Wikipedia is better as information for an initial inquiry to get a direction, but not necessarily reliable.

Don't get me wrong, I like wikipedia. It just seems to be evolving into an ideology and self-verifying bureaucracy. --Fandyllic 6:14 AM PDT 12 Aug 2006

This page is a list of things people should NOT be trying to make Wikipedia into. We should not be trying to make Wikipedia a soapbox. We should be trying to make Wikipedia reliable. Ergo, the above surely is not relevant to this page regardless of how reliable Wikipedia currently is or is not. --CBD 19:28, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
What you mean, I think, is "This page is a list of things people should not be TRYING to make Wikipedia into." Perhaps the page should be at, in that case Wikipedia:What Wikipedia should not be. john k 03:50, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Don't be defeatist. If "what Wikipedia is not" is not entirely accurate that means we should be more diligent about enforcing our policies, not just give into the decay. --Cyde Weys 03:52, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, that's backwards from what I was intending. Wikipedia is not a soapbox, a dictionary, etc. But it also should not be those things. There are other things that wikipedia is not, like "a reliable reference source," but which it should be. Perhaps Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not and should not be. john k 12:57, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I think that Wikipedia is a reliable reference source. No source provides all details with complete accuracy, but Wikipedia does better than most. A particular page might be vandalized at any given time, but that's why we have page histories. However, it is surely our goal to make it more reliable over time. This page is a list of things which are not in our mission statement, 'Wikipedia is not reliable' is an opinion... while 'make Wikipedia reliable' is part of our mission and thus it clearly doesn't belong here. No renaming required IMO. --CBD 14:36, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
No, I didn't really think a renaming is required, either. Beyond that, though, the reliability of wikipedia is open to question. I find it to be an incredibly useful reference tool. At the same time, though, because I've been involved in the sausage-making, I know how problematic it can be, and feel like I have a fairly good sense for when an article is useful, and when it's not. A lot of the people who use wikipedia are not the same, and I can say from personal experience that there's a ton of undergraduates out there who try to cite wikipedia as a source in papers. In general, the response to this is "your student cited wikipedia in their paper? Jeez, don't they know that anybody can edit that?" This is perhaps unfair, but at the same time, students really shouldn't cite wikipedia, and we should do our best to discourage them from doing so. john k 17:40, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

No source is perfectly reliable, remember Nature article - Britannica also has 3 erros per article. Many academic papers once thought good are later proven to be wrong. Our content varies, with FAs being more reliable then stubs, but I think we are more reliable then most of the sources 'out there'. If we go with 'Wiki is not reliable', we may as well throw in other general statements like 'Wiki is not comprehensive, wiki is not academic, wiki is not WYSIWIG (yet) -> thus wiki is not that user friendly, wiki is not very accessible (disabled-friendly), wiki is not understood well...-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:53, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

I think you are basically correct (although I would say that the way in which Wikipedia is occasionally unreliable is radically different from the way traditional sources are). However, this article, as presently constituted, does not explain that it is intended to be a list of things that Wikipedia is not intended to be, which is different from a list of things that wikipedia is not. I think an introduction to explain the purpose of the page might be of great use. Or perhaps a page Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not is not. john k 22:08, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Glad to see my comment wasn't immediately dismissed. I admit, I was mostly baiting and mostly succeeded. I also see that a few folks proved my comment was definitely relevant, if not totally accurate.
However, the argument that looking at the history negates the problematic issue of vandalism is foolish on its face. People do not look at the history and and analyze differences to determine the veracity or reliability of an article. The virtue of wikipedia is that people rely on the quantity of conscientious editors to overwhelm the vandals and spammers. Also fortunately, malcontents (who I resemble at moments) don't seem to find vandalizing wikipedia that enticing, but if a concerted effort by a large group were ever to materialize, I suspect the mass of good editors may get overwhelmed to maintain most articles.
I hope more people would use the cool <ref> tag, so sources get nicely listed when <references /> is used. That way sources can be easily seen and checked. --Fandyllic 5:32 PM PDT 15 Aug 2006

We have whole pages on Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia and Wikipedia:Academic use. There's no real need to cram them in here, or to have this discussion here. This article describes what Wikipedia is not, which is distinct from how to make use of Wikipedia. Uncle G 16:29, 30 August 2006 (UTC)


...And, maybe, Wikipedia is not a MMORPG. (alternate: not a contest)

Just a suggestion of what is omitted, but what people often try to turn Wikipedia into. -- CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 14:56, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

eh?not sure what you mean ST47 12:53, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Addresses frequent suggestions on introducing an elaborate levelling system, like formalizing EXP Points (editcountitis), registered time, complex Service Awards, skill levels like Skill Badges, and so on. And, in general, addresses all that editors comparisons. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 13:07, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Soapbox image

The image showing a soap is confusing. See soapbox. ←Humus sapiens ну? 08:31, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Indiscriminate infromation bullets: Exhaustive?

The wording of the "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information" guideline currently undermines itself. I'm under the impression that it's a general rule and the bulleted list are just examples of things ruled out completely. The current wording implies the list is of the only areas where this guideline applies. Which is correct? Can something be deleted on the grounds of being "indiscriminate information" if it doesn't fit one of the categories mentioned? --Dtcdthingy 20:17, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

I do not read that implication into the current wording. I believe that your first interpretation is correct - this is a general rule and the sub-bullets are examples of things that are almost always ruled out. This page was never intended to be an exhaustive list. Things which you consider to be "indiscriminate information" but which do not fit one of these categories can certainly be nominated for discussion and possible deletion. Rossami (talk) 21:32, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
It still might be a good idea to explicitely state that the bulleted points are not the only examples of indiscriminate collections, to remove any doubt in the matter. --Mako 00:05, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Clumsy section

The following is not good: 'Note: Don't misinterpret that a disambiguation page is against the policy of what Wikipedia is not regarding "Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files". A disambiguation page is here to resolve conflicts of articles carrying essentially the same title. It is not just for a reference of links or anything similar to that'.

Someone really oughta rewrite that. (Someone who is not me, my writing is also not good) --Xyzzyplugh 04:28, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Newscast schedules, redux

The discussion at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Television_Stations#Newscast_schedules has seems to reached a moderate consensus that newscasts and other local programming of a station are notable and should be included in articles (or at least, enough people aren't objecting to it). Before I revise the section about radio "schedules" by permitting the addition of locally originated programming times in station articles (much like we have the times of network originated programming in articles such as 2005-06 United States network television schedule and the CBS#Fall_2006_schedule articles), I'd like to see some discussion. Certainly, it is a clear double standard to permit network schedules to be displayed but locally originated programs not to get the same treatment. Calwatch 05:20, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

On the one hand we list bus schedules, at least in some form. On the other hand we don't predict future events. The trouble with any of these schedules is keeping them up to date, especially for smaller networks and stations. Listing the exact times of a show is more demanding than simply saying that they air a show and then giving a link to the latest schedule. -Will Beback 05:29, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
However, as noted in the project discussion, television news generally doesn't change, unlike syndicated programming. News times stayed fixed for long periods of time, and are not like the example given in WP:NOT, implying that Wikipedia would provide a list of songs played on a radio station on a given day, which would be absurd. Calwatch 06:01, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
There's certainly a difference between posting the times of regularly-scheduled programs versus announcing future guests, special programs, and other irregular future events. -Will Beback 06:09, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Newscast schedules are important, it's not like we are adding full fledged schedules, and if someone does I remove it. I think Amgine (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log) should have gone through WP:TVS before he/she/it decided to singlehandedly remove all newscast schedules, apparently he/she/it forgot how to discuss things before making major removals. I am reverting all of he/she/its edits related to that until we can come to a decision. --CFIF 13:15, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I think using the {{vandal}} template here was not a good choice. This is a content dispute, User:Amgine has no history of being blocked and very few page moves, so what was the point of using the vandal template, other than implying (quite wrongly, IMHO) that Amgine is a vandal? -- Donald Albury(Talk) 15:00, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Ugh, sorry, I forgot that there were other templates for that use, I just didn't care to look for them. Anyway, let's not change the subject. Amgine shouldn't be deleting others' work so sweepingly without discussing it here for others' to decide. --CFIF 15:18, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm probably in the minority in saying that there is no need in mentioning a full-scale schedule of each station's newscasts, where a person access the same schedules from that station's website. I never really understood the logic behind that. Maybe a subtle mention here and there, but it's just a waste of space mentioning the schedules of a station's newscasts. ShawnHill 20:21, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Crystal balls and relevance

Hello. I would like to ask your opinion on the interpretation about the rule "Wikipedia is not a crystal ball", with reference to relevant future events.

According to you, an article about the future season of a football club, whose only content is the fact that the club has signed an agreement to play in that season with its football federation, is relevant enough to supersed the "not a crystall ball" rule?

I am referring to articles like Adelaide United FC Season 2007-08, Adelaide United FC Season 2008-09, Adelaide United FC Season 2009-10.

(Note: I requested to remove these articles on the basis of non-notability and WP:NOT breaking on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject A-League. There, only the original author of the article, User:Daniel.Bryant, and another user, admin User:Wiki_alf, showed, rejecting my request — Daniel.Bryant also showing a rather arrogant attitude, if I am allowed to say. Since I was not convinced by their explanations, I brought the matter here.)

-- 11:18, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

This dispute has been settled with the intervention of an administrator, who has given their expressed permission for this article to to stand. This user is verging on WP:POINT by trying to change templates that exist for a Wikiproject which promotes their use in their original state. This season page, which is fully sourced and was ruled by an administrator to be perfectly fine, when they said: "I would certainly have no objections to an editor preparing the next few season's pages", was created at the pushing of the IP address. Daniel.Bryant 11:25, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
The dispute was not settled. You showed no intention of reaching a compromise of any sort, so I am asking also to other editors their opinions. If the majority agrees with you, I shall drop my requests, but I think that only two opinions are not enough.-- 12:52, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I see no problem with the page you quote, to me it does seem to improve the encyclopedia, which is what we're here for. Is the real problem that another similar page you have in mind is finding some sort of resistance? --Alf melmac 11:29, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
No. The problem is that those pages and those templates are not notable enough (yet) to exist, and should be removed. I have no interest in future seasons of PL, BL, or Seria A, if this is what you mean.-- 12:52, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe that the examples cited would fall afoul of the "not a crystal ball" criterion and should probably be deleted. That is, however, a judgment call and my personal views on crystal-ballism are stronger than average. The best way to determine the consensus on this judgment call is to make a formal nomination at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion and see what the community has to say. This page is really not the place to argue the merits of a particular case. Rossami (talk) 13:21, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
They were speedy-deleted. However, this matter is important to me, since I would know the "correct" interpretation of the "not a crystal ball" rule.-- 13:45, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I would ask you to check WP:V. I have cited sources, which is better than 50% of most Wikipedia articles. Also, that won't resolve the problem of the template, because I will still leave the red-links in there. Having red-links to future created pages isn't against policy, as much as the IP seems to think it is. Daniel.Bryant 13:25, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
This is not a matter of verifiability, it is a matter of notability.-- 13:45, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I had them speedied. Great. Issue solved. However, having red-links of articles which will eventually be filled is not against Wikipolicy, and hence the links will stay. Surely having red-links will only benefit Wikipedia by having a route to create the article when it's required. Agreed? Daniel.Bryant 13:28, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
This is a matter we will discuss in the relevant place, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject A-League. I hope this time you will not close the discussion only because you are the most active contributor to that project.-- 13:45, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I think it's a shame that you asked me to speedy them, as I see that as creating the same work for someone else in the future. I think that they would have survived the deletion process which I feel would have been a better avenue for the anon to engage in, too late now. --Alf melmac 13:39, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia an atlas?

I have a simple question: Is Wikipedia an atlas? --Dijxtra 14:33, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

No, it is not an atlas, but it does incorporate aspects of a gazzetteer. -- Donald Albury 14:49, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Are you sure? Check this out: Maps of Europe. --Dijxtra 15:07, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Interesting. Looks like the start of a nice wikibook. --SB_Johnny | talk 15:32, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
(After an edit conflict.) Hmmm! That looks like a violation of Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files to me. I would also say that it does not look like an atlas, but rather is simply a indiscriminate collection of images. I'll wait to see what others say, but I think it should be suggested to this atlas project that they look at starting another sister project ala Wiktionary, although I also questions how much work it would take to assemble/create good-quality free-use maps suitable for a real atlas. -- Donald Albury 15:38, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
(A note before notifying initiator of the atlas project about this discussion) I'd like to state that I like the project, I'm not writing this because I think the atlas thing is wrong but because of this. The page got deleted because it was collection of images. This seems like a valuable project, and I wouldn't like to see it deleted. So, I feel it is time we either change Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not page or do something with the atlas project to save it from AfD or something like that. --Dijxtra 08:52, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Suggest to the map project that they propose a WikiAtlas. -- Donald Albury 12:08, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I started the Maps of xx series as an attempt to create a good collections of maps of Wikipedia. Many encyclopedia have an atlas as part of the encyclopedia. What I will do is continuing the project, and I would like to see it becoming a WikiAtlas. Ideal would be if the entries wouldn't be named maps of XX but Atlas:xx under the domain, so for example Atlas:Belgium ([5]) would be the new name of Maps of Belgium. Electionworld Talk? 14:40, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Is Exception to " Not a Dictionary" true?

I'm surprised that "An exception to this rule ("Wikipedia is not a dictionary") is for articles about the cultural meanings of individual numbers." Is this true? --Grand Slam 7

  • Wiktionary is "the lexical companion to Wikipedia", and it is often good to consider the two working in tandem. In this case one can have complementary articles. For example: Whilst wikt:forty-two tells readers the translations of forty-two into different languages, 42 (number) tells readers about the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Neither content is appropriate in the other project's article. Uncle G 16:24, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

What your user page is not

there is a contradiction on this section as it mentions wikipedia is not for self promotion, which is not under the actual rules of what is not allowed on user pages and to which most admins use theirs as blatant self promotion of their wiki exploits

Please read Wikipedia:User page. -- Donald Albury 14:04, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

since it has been disregarded and tossed out again, once more i point out inconsistancy between statement of this page about user pages are not for self promotion, the user page's guidelines on what user pages are not, and many admins disregard for either correcting this page to more accurately reflect on actual policy or the policy of user pages not allowing self promotion in the first place.. now im gonna wait and get banned for speaking out and pointing out some flaws. 23:23, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

while im waiting and thought upon it I well admit the previous post would be something of harassment68.161.183.243 00:07, 1 September 2006 (UTC)