Open main menu
Archive 135 Archive 140 Archive 141 Archive 142 Archive 143 Archive 144 Archive 145


Was it really necessary to put this front and center before thousands of child readers? (2)

I'm no prude but can't someone at Wikipedia think more carefully about the articles on the main page? Now I have to explain to my children the thoughts of John Calvin, and all about the religious tensions that provoked a violent uprising against Protestants in France in 1536. Does nobody think of the children any more? Darrenhusted (talk) 22:54, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, a shocking lack of judgment. I try to shield my children from this stuff, which seems to be all over the internet, and everywhere else too. Just last month, one of our local clergymen, apparently a decent man, was accused of having Calvinist tendencies. Then Wikipedia just splashes it all over the the Main Page. Shocking. Is nothing sacred any more? Michael of Lucan (talk) 23:18, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Now there's a ghastly section about...s-e-x! Canadian s-e-x! I'm typing this with one hand to leave my other hand free to cover the eyes of any child that happens by. (I don't have one, but you can never be too careful.)
Whoever decided to put up this filth should go back to Canadia and leave Wikipedia alone for responsible, G–d-fearing Americans to enjoy. Until then, I'm sticking with trustworthy encyclopedias like Conservapedia and Christopedia. May the Lord save your souls. —David Levy 02:35, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

We wouldn't want an encyclopedia to display a well-written article on an important and influential historical figure, would we? If your children are old enough to actually ask you about an in-depth summary of such events, it is probably about time they started learning about history. Cheers! Scapler (talk) 03:20, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Just for the record, are you talking about Brownlee or Calvin? Algebraist 03:29, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
[1]Juliancolton | Talk 03:25, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
See, now this was truly educational. I had no idea Canadians had sex. I thought they just rubbed their noses together. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 03:39, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Sex is back above the fold! Well, the Brownlee story is certainly an interesting one, even though it's told without recourse to the F-word (or the C-word). As to Canadians not having sex, what do you think they do all winter in Edmonton, Alberta, where the average January temperature is 45 below Fahrenheit? Play gin rummy?
Sca (talk) 19:11, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Drink Molson's? Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 20:00, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

What about all the violence on the "On This Day" section. Bloody revolution, war and mass ethnic cleansing? My fictitious children do not want to be reading this. Can we not have something more peaceful? Such as the making of the first teddy bear.Willski72 (talk) 11:48, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi everyone! I--

"This page is for discussing improvements to the entire Main Page only."

Oh, sorry, I must have hit the wrong button. Excuse me for interrupting your "trivializing delicate and complicated subject discussion with jokes" thing. I'm sure it's improving the Main Page a lot. Carry on... (talk) 14:37, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Nothing improves the main page than smarmy holier-than-thou sarcasm. APL (talk) 23:11, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Even worse is how terribly unclever people have beaten the "argh think of the children" joke into the ground. Mercilessly. Not only is it no longer funny, it reflects badly on all who propogate it, now, simply because they've killed it. Danthemankhan 16:17, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Overall this entire section just smacks of WP:POINT. Now for the obligatory "go-and-do-something-useful-like-edit-the-encyclopedia" comment.--WaltCip (talk) 16:25, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

With respect, this smacks of a lack of understanding of satire. Each of us is pointing, very gently, to the absurdity of the objections made to the Gropecunt Lane article. Anyone who objected to it does not understand the nature of an encyclopedia. By definition, a complete encyclopedia will contain material that you or I do not like. Michael of Lucan (talk) 17:16, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
This comment I am making now is not sarcastic. Chillum 17:21, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes.....Willski72 (talk) 18:11, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like you are a prude Darren, in spite of your denial. After all a non-prude would have no difficulty explaining the article to a child. --WebHamster 20:11, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I think my college must have a filter that blocks out any page with the word sex on it because I keep having problems accessing the Wikipedia main page. Oh wait a tick, I think it's just the servers going down again. Nevermind. Rreagan007 (talk) 20:41, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Surely your servers can't be going down on "cunt"? --WebHamster 20:43, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps as well as all the "assorted language Wikipedias" there could be a "Vanilla WP" - which contains nothing that could possibly alarm the "theoretical child who would be distressed by the topics complained about" - who seems to be the sprog of Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells. (g) (talk) 21:07, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't know about that. The term "Vanilla Wikipedia" sounds racist to me. Rreagan007 (talk) 21:17, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Christopedia's the way to go on both counts; it has the delightful censorship and bias of Conservapedia (the real one, not the far superior parody) with a dollop of racism (see, e.g., today's featured article, Barack Obama, which includes the line—and you can't make this stuff up—"Ann Dunham would continue her miscegenationist lifestyle by marrying an Asian"). (talk) 03:04, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

In this context a contraction "vanilla version" as used elsewhere on the web for plain without adornment - see various WP entries under that term.

A regular Wikipedia tradition - main page articles that cause offence to DoTW's sproglets. Jackiespeel (talk) 22:00, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Another addition to the List of Wikipedia Front Pages which generate much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The problem is - Wikipedia is not censored internally, but (a) some people find issue with "certain categories of topics" (eg "adult", "violence", "medical images" and a few other groups) no matter how well written the article, and (b) some computer blocking set-ups have similar problems - usually with reasonably innocent topics (everybody can think of examples).

This discussion will be continued indefinitely - and might well be the last Talk:Main Page thread on WP. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:35, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I love this word, and use it often in a variety of circumstances, but am always careful to modulate my usage by those circumstance. THAT SAID, if your kids don't know the word, they won't know that it is offensive, and if they do know it then THEY ALREADY KNOW IT. Making a fuss and bother is ridiculous, because the simple fact is noone who doesn't already know the word will find it offensive. If your kids constantly repeat the names of random articles of the day as pejoratives, they have bigger problems than wikipedia. WookMuff (talk) 10:40, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Requested adjustments to Main Page HTML

Hi. I'm a developer, and I recently committed an experimental change to the software to output HTML 5 by default. Currently there are a bunch of validation errors on the main page, and while some are in the software (fixed on trunk), some are due to the markup used here. It would be nice if, should we end up deploying HTML 5 after all, we had a main page that validated. I've worked out the changes that are necessary to get this to work. I've tested in a few different browsers, and as far as I can tell, it should render pixel-for-pixel identically. (I wasn't able to test on IE as extensively as I'd like, but I'm pretty sure it will render identically there too; or at most a pixel or two off.)

The changes are as follows:

  1. Change Main Page like this
  2. Change Template:WikipediaSister like this
  3. In Template:TFAfooter, replace align="right" with: style="float:right"
  4. In Template:-, replace clear="all" with: style="clear:both"

    If this is a little too scary, then instead, you could replace {{-}} on Template:Did you know with: <br style="clear:both">

  5. Change Template:POTD row like this

That's all. As I say, I did try to test these, but I can't test them myself on Wikipedia since I'm not a sysop here. They don't change anything other than whitespace, so at worst I might have messed up and caused several pixels of whitespace changed somewhere, which could make things look a bit ugly. Ideally this whole layout would be redone using CSS instead of tables, but I'd appreciate it if at least the main page would validate as HTML 5, since we're probably going to be testing that out soon. Thanks. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 20:55, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, this actually isn't a good idea. I forgot, the new CSS won't show up reliably for a month. So it won't look right at all. Bleh, I'll have to revise it to not require MediaWiki:Common.css changes. I'll do that later. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 21:10, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Couple of notes- firstly, you can copy the main page code to your userspace for fiddling, even if you aren't an admin. Secondly, main page changes need to be fairly heavily tested- various browsers, various resolutions or even various devices (palmtops, mobiles, etc) could potentially be negatively affected by a change. J Milburn (talk) 21:25, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Even if HTML 5 becomes stable in a month or two, don't expect all Wikipedians to download compatible browsers overnight. The code on the Main Page should still remain backwards compatible for at least several months or perhaps a year. Zzyzx11 (talk) 21:31, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I think every page in Wikimedia validates now as XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Wow what a website. Thanks a lot! I agree HTML 5 validation would be good. -SusanLesch (talk) 21:36, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
iirc, HTML 5 in its current version is not 100 percent fully backward compatible with XHTML 1.0 Transitional. That is the problem. Zzyzx11 (talk) 21:42, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
We will obviously not be deploying any features of HTML 5 that break current or older browsers. There are many that do not. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 21:45, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I apologize. I did not examine your proposed changes closely. It appears that you mostly want to replace all the deprecated HTML attribute tags like "cellpadding" and "cellspacing" with the equivalent CSS elements. Theoretically, it should render it identically even XHTML 1.0 Transitional browser too, right? Zzyzx11 (talk) 22:19, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's the idea. It should render identically in every browser, and have no effect whatsoever on viewers. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:09, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Currently we validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional in almost all cases (modulo some bugs; try this page). The changes I propose are valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional as well, they simply avoid deprecated attributes. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 21:45, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
All the code I've provided is valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional as well, and will work in existing browsers. HTML 5 is in some ways more restrictive than XHTML 1.0 Transitional, more like XHTML 1.0 Strict. The changes do nothing but replace attributes (cellpadding, cellspacing, border, align) that are deprecated in XHTML 1.0 Transitional, and removed in HTML 5, with ones that are not. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 21:45, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I've revised the suggested changes. All of the changes can be deployed and tested separately now. Is there any specific procedure for testing Main Page changes before deployment? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 21:45, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Minor point: in the non-scary option for (4), it should be <br style="clear:both" />. Algebraist 21:53, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
MediaWiki will add the extra / anyway, so it makes no real difference. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:09, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Specifically, no. In general, I would suggest copying the entire contents of the modified main page to a test page (i.e. Main Page/test or something) and asking people to look at it to make sure it looks sensible in whatever browsers they are using. If there are no complaints after a reasonable time, it can be loaded on the live site. Dragons flight (talk) 21:57, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I've done this. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:09, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
For the benefit of those of us who know little on the subject, can someone please explain the real-world advantage(s) to the proposed changes? I understand that the code would comply with HTML 5, but what would that do for us from a practical standpoint? Thanks! —David Levy 02:06, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Basically in-browser support for videos/sound replacing slow Java applets, required form fields and it uses less bandwidth. See wikitech-l for more. MER-C 03:24, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Are these benefits directly applicable to the main page? —David Levy 03:32, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
The "real" answer is that this would be public relations move to support a developing web standard that is friendly to the open source community. If done correctly no one will see any immediate change to the main page, and it will probably be quite a while before any of HTML 5's extensions actually because common here or anywhere else, though eventually we will benefit from them. However, in the mean time WMF can issue a press release touting the virtues of HTML 5 and becoming the first major website to say they embrace the new standard. Dragons flight (talk) 04:10, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I doubt even slashdot would get excited by such a press release, certainly not any mainstream media. Laudable as standards compliance is, the standard does not yet exist in a finalised form. I share David Levy's concern that this does not seem to benefit the Main Page in any way. Perhaps we should wait until the standard is finalised before embracing it? After all a standard is, by definition, not 'standard' until it is finalised. Modest Genius talk 16:48, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Please see the (rather lengthy) discussion on wikitech-l, which addresses this line of reasoning multiple times. As for Slashdot, it's run multiple stories on HTML 5 lately, so I'd be surprised if this didn't make it to the front page if we end up deploying it; but that's neither here nor there. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:09, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, there are a few immediate (minor) benefits to switching to an HTML 5 doctype. See the wikitech-l thread, and mw:HTML 5. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:09, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Changing the Main Page will have no direct effect on users, positive or negative. It will just cause the page to validate if we switch to HTML 5, and will be harmless otherwise. At most, some whitespace will be slightly different in some browsers for a little while. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:09, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Eventual compliance would be nice. It's disappointing to see something that would mean very little (if any) change for users is resisted. (talk) 17:36, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Was it really necessary to put this front and center before thousands of child readers? (3)

Okay, joke is old, move on. weburiedourdramainthegarden 16:28, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

An article about murder, suicide, execution, and illegitimacy! The Beauchamp–Sharp Tragedy makes Gropecunt Lane look like a Sunday school picnic. The Wikipedia main paige has become a gutter. Rreagan007 (talk) 01:11, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

OK, this joke is getting old Modest Genius talk 01:17, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
making jokes is useless. as soon as some other sexually related article shows up there will still be "think of the children" posts. violence is considered OK for kids in "unnamed" country its only sexual content that kids should not see. Ashishg55 (talk) 02:06, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

The teachers at Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' children's school are complaining about the adverse effect on teaching.

Still, we could be having a discussion about "a certain prisoner" among the seven released in the storming of the Bastille on this day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:17, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

The comte de Solages? Cheers, TFOWRThis flag once was red 14:49, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I belive he probably means the Marquis_de_sade Dark verdant (talk) 15:03, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
oops just noticed they are one in the same, silly me. Dark verdant (talk) 15:06, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh my god shoot me now, I wish I would actually read things properly, obvioulsy they are not the same person and just noticed sade was released 10 days before, oh well. Dark verdant (talk) 15:08, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
"Shoot"? Far too revolutionary! The good Maquis would much prefer more imaginative punishments ;-) Cheers, TFOWRThis flag once was red 15:11, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I propose having a permanent "Think of the Children" section for people to place their gripes in. I for one love the material crossing the front page and hope stellar articles like today's continue to be featured. Not sure if it's possible, but perhaps when a person clicks on edit for the proposed TotC section, we can have it just turn their computer off and do us all a favor, I think that would be best. 04redsox07 (talk) 14:40, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Main Page layout?

Why is the featured article in a column, next to In the News? Why is such prominent placement given to a wp sister project, and not to something on wp itself? (Avoiding any self reference, so I'm not suggesting that it's replaced by "wikiproject X wants volunteers"). (talk) 17:43, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

The "In the news" section is not a sister project, Wikinews is. Please don't confuse the two. --BorgQueen (talk) 17:54, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the "In the news" section is designed to showcase articles on events currently in the news. It is not a direct feed from Wikinews. I can see however how you may be confused. weburiedourdramainthegarden 19:00, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
This sort of confusion arises far too often. I've even seen people refer to the section itself as "Wikinews."
I wish that we could come up with a decent alternative name lacking the word "news." —David Levy 06:26, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Wasn't there a proposal a couple of years ago to revise the Main Page? I seem to remember various options being available to comment on. Was that only formatting and what happend to it? leaky_caldron (talk) 08:12, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
The most recent main page redesign proposal was made last year. It was poorly conceived and eventually fell apart. —David Levy 08:58, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Ah, thanks all for clarifying my confusion. Still, it raises another point: Some people (I am one of them) think that 'recentism' is a problem for Wikipedia. Having links to articles to controversial real world stuff right up front is, perhaps, leading new editors to contribute to areas that are best left alone for a couple of weeks.
Also, about page redesign: It'd be lovely if there was some user-selectable choice. I'd get rid of columns. I understand how many people would hate hate hate my design. (talk) 17:33, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

You might like one of the options at Wikipedia:Main Page alternatives. Or you could create your own. Algebraist 17:41, 15 July 2009 (UTC)


A French "Featured Picture", a French "Did You Know", a French "On This Day" AND a French "Featured Article" (well, maybe not, but the guy has a French sounding name!) ... how come we don't have anything French "In The News" to complete a full house?! Are the French storming the Wikipedia Bastille?! Oui oui! --LookingYourBest (talk) 20:49, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Lets analyze this shall we. featured picture is there because today is Bastille Day. The OTD is recurring (similar to US independence day it is still displayed). Featured Article is actually about americans. There is an american DYK and a non recurring OTD item too. So if there was a US item in ITN right now would that be a full house? will u complain then? Ashishg55 (talk) 21:53, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, if you remind me when it's coming up, I'll prepare something better for that event! --LookingYourBest (talk) 22:03, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
There is no French ITN because Marat's been dead for over two centuries.--WaltCip (talk) 22:35, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Breaking News: Jean-Paul Marat is still dead. (talk) 02:16, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

The Wikipedia Bastille will never fall to a bunch of treacherous, petty and filthy revolutionaries!!!! If they have cyber cannon we have even better cyber cannon!!! Vive la Wikipedia!!!! Death to the traitors of Wikipedia!!!!Willski72 (talk) 22:32, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, France is somewhat in the ITN section, it is a part of the European Parliament and that is mentioned in there Blah42b10 (talk) 23:29, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Which means there are currently... 27 different European nations currently mentioned in a single ITN story! Talk about Eurocentrism! Dreaded Walrus t c 02:05, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I know, isn't it HORRIBLE‽‽‽ Blah42b10 (talk) 13:19, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

The Wikipedia logo doesn't appear anymore on my computer (no picture in top left corner). (talk) 16:35, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

There has been a problem with the servers, and apparently the image server is still having trouble. J.delanoygabsadds 17:00, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
it's back up now (talk) 13:31, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
It seems to be down again, at least for me this morning. Master z0b (talk) 23:38, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
It has been on and off for me, it vanished for a long time on the 15th July. WVRMADTalk Guestbook 13:44, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

little flag of spain

i have noticed that the flag next to rafael alberti at the end of the page, it is not the current one, but the franco regime one. I don't know who to correct it, but i would like someone to do it!

If you're talking about {{svplaureats}}, then firstly the flag there is correct. Secondly, this has nothing to do with the main page. Any discussion should take place at Template talk:Svplaureats. Algebraist 15:52, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Special:Statistics is buggy. The left hand 'wikipedia tool bar' is way down. (talk) 19:22, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

You're right. It is. --candlewicke 19:27, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Fixed. Algebraist 21:00, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

K-Bob's pic

I'm afraid it isn't a free image since it is entirely given over to reproducing a copyrighted corporate logo (as opposed to de minimis use of copyrighted material), and as it's in the US freedom of panorama doesn't apply. Can we find another image for this flight of DYKs? Daniel Case (talk) 20:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Mandela Day

Why's there no mention of this? It's a notable event today.--Part Time Security 14:31, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

The article was created from a redirect only about two days ago,[2] and nobody maintaining WP:OTD was notified. It still would not qualify on the Main Page anyway since it still currently tagged with {{Underconstruction}}. And at a glance, it appears to consist of various copy-and-pasted passages from a variety of sources, so I just tagged it with {{cv-unsure}}. Cheers. Zzyzx11 (talk) 15:59, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Coat of arms

Wording doesn't make clear whether this is the coat of arms of

  1. Gabon
  2. the office of Prime Minister
  3. this particular PM personally

Peter jackson (talk) 10:12, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. --BorgQueen (talk) 10:19, 20 July 2009 (UTC)


How much longer is that Rampart Dam article going to be the FA? I won't join what I imagine are calls for a moon/NASA-related FA, but I feel like that things been up there for like 2 days now. I must have read the article 3 or 4 times through by now. NeutronTaste (talk) 21:21, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

It's up for a day, just like every other TFA. Algebraist 21:27, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Jeez. Must be on the computer too much...and there is no humor in that. NeutronTaste (talk) 21:34, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't know whether this is partly the cause of the confusion but just for clarity. The main page follows UTC therefore anything on the main page that follows a daily schedule (like TFA, TFP, OTD/SA) changes at 0:00 UTC. If you live in some other time zone, content will appear on 2 different days but still only for 24 hours. And as Algebraist has stated, we never have a TFA for 2 days, while technically there is WP:IAR I can't imagine any reason why we'd ever have one for 2 days and expect if you ask User:Raul654 the TFA director he'd say the same. Nil Einne (talk) 07:34, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

File:Solar eclipse animate (2009-Jul-22).gif

Can any commons admin protect this animated image please? I tried to upload a c-uploaded copy here but when I saved the image, it did not animate anymore. The image is going to be used at ITN. --BorgQueen (talk) 15:47, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

  Done. I have it set to expire in 3 days. howcheng {chat} 15:57, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. --BorgQueen (talk) 16:00, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

File:Solar Eclipse July 22 2009 Varanasi.jpg

The uploader, User:Rajithmohan, claims that he has created the image himself, although the image looks highly professional. Will it be okay if I assume good faith and use it on ITN? --BorgQueen (talk) 05:29, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Probably not. See your talk page. Black Kite 11:35, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009

It would appear as if this article is now blocked within Mainland China. Please fix the gallery errors if they are still present. Thanks. ~AH1(TCU) 07:53, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Currently unblocked. ~AH1(TCU) 08:26, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

On this Day

The entry about the Polish Committee of National Liberation should be qualified by the phrase, "Soviet-backed and -controlled." It was Stalin who decided that Poland should annex prewar German territory up to the Oder-Neisse Line — in "compensation" for Soviet annexation of eastern Poland in 1939, under terms of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

Sca (talk) 14:31, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it should, please.Willski72 (talk) 11:55, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Re Charles de Gaulle's comment, perhaps his original French phrase ("Vive le Quebec libre") should be used with an English translation given in brackets. (The French phrase was headline news in every major newspaper in Canada.)Guinness323 (talk) 15:13, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

eu:wp on interwikies?

21:43, 22 July 2009 (UTC)


"Did you know ... that with a total weight of over 100 tons ..."

It's amazing that this should appear on the main page. What tons, long, short, metric? JIMp talk·cont 18:33, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Metric tons are spelt Tonnes so its definately imperial.Willski72 (talk) 19:11, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Not according to the US Department of Commerce. In USA, "With regard to the metric ton, this is the name to be used in the United States for the unit with symbol t and defined according to 1 t = 103 kg.".[3]
If you look at the actual article (Campo del Cielo), you'll find it's spelled tonnes there, with other units being in metric, so it's probably in metric ton(ne)s. I've made a note at the "Errors in Did you know?" section above. -- (talk) 21:46, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the OP, ton should be linked to the relevant unit. Modest Genius talk 23:02, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

In Britain an imperial ton is spelt ton and a metric one is spelt tonne, but in America they're both ton. But America still uses imperial whereas Britain uses metric, who is right?????Willski72 (talk) 08:38, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Everyone! APL (talk) 13:19, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Nota bene: the US does not use imperial units in general, and it doesn't use the imperial ton. It uses its own units including a curiously small ton. Algebraist 14:48, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Yey!!!Willski72 (talk) 14:28, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

wiki addons

are any of these anygood ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Timeturn (talkcontribs) 21:35, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

You should ask this at the Village pump. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 02:06, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Links on the main page

The link Sea_dragon is a link to a disambiguation page. I don't think this is intended. Because of former encountered restrictions to unregistered users like me I won't even have a try on the main page to correct it just to discover I am not allowed to. (talk) 20:23, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Where is said link? Also, you are correct to assume IPs cannot edit the main page.  GARDEN  says no to drama 20:31, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
I've found it and corrected. Thanks,  GARDEN  says no to drama 20:33, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the info, but as it says at the top of this page, reports of errors on the main page should go to the 'Main Page Error Reports' section, editable by registered and unregistered users alike. Algebraist 20:34, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Once Wikipedia was free. Now you're suffocating with all those isnots and shouldnots and formal rules. Don't want to have to read the complete manual before making a small and obvious change. Wish I could have back the old times. (talk) 21:03, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, unfortunately those times are past, and due to people doing things they perhaps shouldn't the rules you are degrading have been implemented. If you don't like them, feel free to ignore the site completely.  GARDEN  says no to drama 21:40, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry if I sound offensive (I probably am), you are taking possession of things anonymous people like me have contributed to. But if the owners of wikipedia decide that I shall go away. So, all, tell me what to do. (talk) 21:53, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok then, if you insist : Continue to contribute to the encyclopedia and don't worry about your inability to directly edit the mainpage. APL (talk) 22:26, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
@ 95.112... we are not deciding for you to go away. If you do not wish to adhere to the rules and guidelines set out here you are not obliged to edit here. It's not our decision to simply tell you to stop (unless of course you do something blockable).  GARDEN  says no to drama 22:36, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Hello IP editor, thank you for pointing out the incorrect link. Someone has seen your friendly helpful post, and has corrected the information for you. It's a shame some editors here seem hostile, especially to someone who has taken the time to report something that man other editors missed. They're right that there is a notice board where these things can be reported, but I have some sympathy for your point - IPs (and new accounts) used to be able to make small corrections like this but now cannot, and the rules and regulations and patrolling and guidelines have grown to incredible size. People did put a helpful link at the top of the page, but the www is accessed using very many different devices nowadays, and those clear directions aren't always seen. (And, on some pages, they aren't very clear at all.) Kind regards, and again, thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by NotAnIP83:149:66:11 (talkcontribs) 00:00, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

As a point of curiosity, when was the Main Page open to anonymous editing? APL (talk) 01:17, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
There were some in 2002-2003; the last ones I can find are at Special:Contributions/ Unfortunately, diff viewing appears to be buggered for revisions that old, so it's not easy to see what the exact change was. Also, the last incident of IP vandalism is here. Unfortunately (again), old protection logs for the Main Page seem to be missing, so it's not clear exactly when after that it was protected. Gavia immer (talk) 02:36, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
The Main Page wasn't completely protected until February 2005 - see this Signpost article. Before that, the actual Main Page was protected but the templates transcluded on it were editable by everyone. According to the Signpost article, the use of templates in the Main Page in February 2004 made it more open for non-admins to edit.
The old protection logs before December 2004 are at Wikipedia:Protection log. Archive 1 of that log shows that the Main Page was briefly unprotected then re-protected in March 2004. This might have been a mistake; in those days, the protection tab didn't have a confirmation screen, so admins would often accidentally protect or unprotect a page. The protection logs only go back to November 2003; the only way to check if a page was protected before that date is to go through the history of Wikipedia:Lists of protected pages (previously known as Wikipedia:Protected page), which was edited manually. Graham87 04:48, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Drini briefly unprotected the Main Page for April Fool's Day 2006, resulting in changing a column by one pixel. Drini explained that he did it attract editors to featured article writing, so one can make of the legitimacy of the unprotection what they will. - BanyanTree 05:09, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Cool. I did try to find IP edits, but I couldn't find any. (Main page transclusions confuse me.) I'm somewhat amazed that the main page content was unprotected as recently as Dec,04. Thanks. APL (talk) 16:53, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
I would point out that if you are unable to find the error report section because the guidelines are too complicated or whatever, it is highly unlikely you would have been able to correct this error yourself even if the main page and templates were not protected since finding the precise template is not easy if you don't understand the syntax used and can't be bothered doing a bit of reading. So while your report is welcome, please understand that in reality even without protection you would still need to spend a bit of time to be able to correct an error like that, likely significantly more time then it would take to find the error report section. Nil Einne (talk) 17:26, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Like he said, your report is welcome. It's true that for next time, the top of this page would have been the more ideal place to report it, but we fixed it, and thank you. Art LaPella (talk) 22:33, 26 July 2009 (UTC)


... that airline pilots in the 1930s and 1940s flew with their ears when visibility was poor?

— Like Dumbo? Sca (talk) 14:47, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

1941? So that's where the inspiration came from... --candlewicke 15:29, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Don't be ridiculous. Clearly they were simply piloting an airliner by operating the controls with their ears. APL (talk) 20:02, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

That would make for an interesting news item, in order to cut costs Ryanair has decided to use flying elephants rather than planes!Willski72 (talk) 21:18, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like something that belongs in a Discworld novel... --candlewicke 21:36, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

So the elephants are flying on the back of a giant turtle and holding up the earth!Willski72 (talk) 08:28, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

OK, today on a serious note: ...that Nazi German regulation of Polish forced laborers intentionally created and supported discrimination on the basis of ethnicity?
— I should have thought this would be obvious, and indeed an understatement. The Nazi Reich was all about racial/ethnic hatred. "Discrimination" is too mild a term for the savagery visited upon Poles and, of course, Jews and others.
Sca (talk) 14:01, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
To be fair, anything greater would be POV, regardless of how horrible the Nazis were.  GARDEN  14:05, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I should have thought this would be obvious depressingly not. Try www searching for surveys showing X% of under Y year olds don't know what "The Holocaust" was. (See how many think that Auschwitz is a beer.) (talk) 20:46, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Here's a link with details of a survey, carried out by movie company before they launched their new film. And that's in a country where teaching about the holocaust is a compulsory part of the curriculum. (talk) 20:52, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
In England it might be but it sure as hell isn't in this part of the UK at least. Anyway, this is getting offtopic.  GARDEN  09:17, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I am incredulous. Sca (talk) 19:43, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
That's a fundamentally flawed survey. They surveyed 11-16 year olds, despite the fact that WW2 is taught at age 14. Take a look at Ben Goldacre's article discussing it (about halfway down). And yes, this is getting way off topic... Modest Genius talk 22:00, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

HTML5 Adjustments

As previously suggested here, several changes have been made to various pages to help get closer to HTML5 compliance. The changes are listed below:

  • Change Main Page like this (remove cellspacing/cellpadding, use margin/padding instead)
  • Change Template:WikipediaSister like this (same)
  • In Template:TFAfooter, replace align="right" with: style="float:right"
  • In Template:-, replace clear="all" with: style="clear:both"

Please keep all discussion centralized here for easier watching. Thanks. ^demon[omg plz] 00:31, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Forgive me if this sounds ignorant in anyway, but I, unfortunately, posses only a very basic understanding of any kind of coding. These changes are strictly code optimization and compliance, and invisible to the end user, correct?--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 17:23, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Pretty much. It's not so much optimization but using appropriate attributes. Some things like cellpadding and cellspacing have been considered deprecated for years, and are completely banned in HTML5. Instead, we're using appropriate style declarations that render the same. To the end user, there should be no visible change at all. ^demon[omg plz] 17:56, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm assuming it's been widely tested? It's not going to really shake things up for some obscure browser, is it? J Milburn (talk) 22:10, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I personally tested it in IE8, FF3 and Chrome 2, as well as Safari on OSX. Simetrical (who originally brought this up) also said he's tested in IE6, and it's fine. FWIW, the worst that this could break would be a few pixels different here or there. Edge cases will get reported and can be dealt with at that point. ^demon[omg plz] 22:44, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah. I wrote the changes by testing in several browsers, including IE6. I don't think it will change any browser's display by more than one or two pixels. Since it only changes padding/spacing, the worst that could happen is that there might be too much or too little whitespace around some boxes, so the page would look a bit ugly. There's no possible way I can see that it could even significantly impair readability. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:45, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
As I am also a little technically challenged, I'm in no position to support this, but, based on your assertions about the worst case scenario, I do not oppose :) J Milburn (talk) 22:57, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I never voiced my opinion before but I support the changes and any similar ones on the condition they don't break anything bad. And I do consider it intrinsic on editors proposing changes, particularly ones which we have established are largely theoretical to ensure their changes don't break anything and this would include in various browsers (probably at a minimum IE6, IE7, IE8, Firefox 1.5, Firefox 2.0, Firefox3, Firefox 3.5, Chrome, various versions of Opera, various versions of Safari) and various screen resolutions and based on actual testing, rather then theoretical ideas (since it's not uncommon for browsers to be broken, and we should ensure wikipedia is widely accessible rather then then tell users they can blame their browsers when we are making changes that don't really improve anything beyond making us standard compliant) Nil Einne (talk) 01:36, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to second what Nil Einne just said, and ask if the proper browser testing was done (eg. in user space) before the changes were made? If so, all well and good. If not, why not? Standards compliance is a good thing (though as I noted previously, HTML 5 has not yet been finalised so isn't actually a standard yet), but only if it doesn't adversely affect appearance and usability. Modest Genius talk 02:53, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
To be honest, these changes should have been made a while ago. The align attribute has been deprecated since HTML 4.01[1] and clear has been in CSS since, well, at least 2005.[2] As for above, if any browsers don't support these, they shouldn't be being used. They're not cutting edge changes (like HTML 5 is), just the tactful removal of things which don't follow good syntax and don't make sense in the markup. If a reader is using a browser that doesn't support these changes, nothing on Wikipedia (or the rest of the Internet for that matter) will be displayed properly. Greg Tyler (tc) 16:37, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I tested the changes in multiple browsers before I ever proposed them. And HTML 5 is a standard, just not all parts have been set in stone yet. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 19:58, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Did Wikipedia just crash?

i was trying to browse an article, and this message appeared

This wiki has a problem

Sorry! This site is experiencing technical difficulties. Try waiting a few minutes and reloading.

(Cannot contact the database server: Unknown error (

And well, im just letting you know--Josecarlos1991 (talk) 23:38, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes (so it's not just me). It appears to be on the blink again... I really wish they would sort this out... editing is a pain when this happens. --candlewicke 00:04, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, there are problems. Brion (a developer) recently added "DON'T REPORT DB FAILURE IT'S IN THE CHANNEL TOPIC Lots of sleeping DB connections on master, something needs to be killed" to the topic of the #wikimedia-tech IRC channel. Meaningless to me, but at least it shows it's being worked on. J Milburn (talk) 00:12, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
See sleep (Unix) and kill (Unix). DB is database and master presumably refers to the master database/server. Modest Genius talk 02:58, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

"Our servers are currently experiencing a technical problem. This is probably temporary and should be fixed soon. Please try again in a few minutes." and so on... experienced error messages all day today every time I tried to access Wikipedia just to note. And yes, I did try again in a few minutes. Several times. Over several hours. I've only accessed this page now (this is getting a bit ridiculous at this stage). I take it everyone else experienced similar. Sorry if it sounds like I'm being confrontational or negative in any way... I had a free day and am a bit frustrated that so much editing time went to waste. Hopefully this stops soon. --candlewicke 16:04, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, all is explained in the tech freenode channel on IRC. Nevertheless, this is a temporary problem and not related at all to the main page, so there's not really any point in needlessly discussing it. Maybe take it to a village pump if you're really concerned.  GARDEN  16:29, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, that was my immediate reaction and I found this section easier to access then. Everything's fine now. Apologies for any inconvenience! :) --candlewicke 17:16, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

I was terribly perturbed. I thought something might have happended to you all....Willski72 (talk) 18:09, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

{{editsemiprotected}} Centennial, California - Wikipedia, please and only give me acesss to edit this page Quentin

I don't understand your request, but only administrators can edit the main page. Hersfold (t/a/c) 03:32, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Might it be typos hidden on the Main Page by any chance? Tut tut... I would say WP:ERRORS but it seems to have been abandoned so I don't blame him/her...   --candlewicke 03:44, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually I'm pretty sure this has nothing to do with the main page, the OP has issues with what others are doing to Centennial, California which he/she mostly created and appears to want to be the only one to be able to edit it (see also his/her comments at User talk:Quentinwllcs#Centennial, California 3). Regardless, while WP:Errors has its problems (response can be slow particular around the late morning to early afternoon UTC, basically when the Americans are sleeping and the Europeans are busy with work/school/etc), it appears to be fine now. All the issues there appear to have been addressed. Bear in mind, as mentioned in numerous places, it's only really intended for simple errors that are easy to fix. If there's some sort of language issue which is not obvious, there may be some discussion but generally speaking that should be avoided, and for that reason, it's wise to provide clear references if the issue isn't clear and also ensure you consider WP:Engvar issues. If the admins aren't clear if you change is warranted, they're unlikely to act. And admins are oftern the only ones who watch it, because that's really it's purpose. If a discussion has been going on for a long time, there's a good chance no one is going to notice if you've achieved some sort of clear consensus so in that case, it may be wise to make it clear you have. In particular, using Errors to complain about sloppy admins, is not going to achieve anything fruitful, take that to the admin's user page or a more appropriate subpage. If you wish to request something be removed from ITN or whatever, that's fine provided it's clear to the admin this is warranted and it's clear to the admin it's what your requesting, however complaining about most unrelated issues is only likely to result in you being ignored. One thing I would emphasise, as with much of wikipedia, for better or worse admins are reluctant to get involved in wheel/edit wars and therefore to remove existing content, in other words, if you wish something to be removed from ITN, or DYK or whatever once it's been added it can actually be quite difficult and you may need some clear evidence for if not consensus, at least strong support for removal even if the thing should never have been there in the first place. This has little to do with problems in the way WP:Errors works but all to do with the way wikipedia works and while it may benefit admins and users who are willing to completely ignore consensus or ordinary rules, there's a reason why wikipedia works that way. From personal experience for perhaps 3 years now, I can say this is particularly the case for ITN, once something is on ITN, it can often be quite difficult to get it off it's one of the reasons I think why we tend to be quite strict in what we put up on ITN. Also, the problem of admins with little experience with ITN, completely ignoring normal procedure when something big comes up has been going on for a long time, even before we had templates thanking editors etc. Indeed it's not unheard of you can come to some sort of super consensus about something, e.g. the wording or when it should go up (for an expected event) except of course when it actually does come up some admin will come along, completely unaware of the discussion and do something else. It's frustrating, but something you learn to live with Nil Einne (talk) 06:45, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Well if that doesnt answer your question i dont know what will!Willski72 (talk) 09:00, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Wow, that was a long and great reply. Yeah I know, it happens all the time. I just noticed it quite a lot today. Complain? I wouldn't have thought of requesting changes or asking questions in that way. But what can be done, just get on with it I guess.   --candlewicke 22:13, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

LaGuardia shutdown

Newsworthy? They're not allowing flights in or out, and the terminal's been shutdown. Maybe wait until the suspicions are reported? (talk) 12:30, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Please go to WP:ITN/C. I warn that the people there are... "allergic" to U.S.-specific stories. –Howard the Duck 12:31, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Alright, thanks. I'd assumed this was the place to post such things. Alas, as I write this, the story begins to appear more and more un-newsworthy. (talk) 14:04, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

The 1980 "Terrorist Bombings" in Bologna, Italy

  Moving to WP:ERRORS. --candlewicke 17:45, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Cory Aquino

  Moving to WP:ERRORS. --candlewicke 17:46, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Replace/remove picture of Gregor Baci in "Did you Know" section

  Moving to WP:ERRORS. --candlewicke 22:45, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Is anyone looking at In the News?

I would imagine that something happened in the world since Corazon Aquino passed away on 8/1/09. --dashiellx (talk) 14:41, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Please see WP:ITN/C. --BorgQueen (talk) 14:51, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
All the more reason to allow non-admin long-time users to edit protected pages such as ITN. –Howard the Duck 16:26, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
No, I am an admin and I am here and ready. It is just that we need more contributors who would update articles on time. --BorgQueen (talk) 16:33, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
The gay center shooting spree was rotting there, even after the AFD was closed. The Chinese one is more recent I dunno how long it stayed there. –Howard the Duck 16:39, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
As I said, please read WP:ITN/C. I and Candlewicke were waiting for support from other users. You could have helped a lot more by giving supports there than complaining here. --BorgQueen (talk) 16:43, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh well. Lack of support for borderline nominations was the problem, not updates. Sorted for now.   --candlewicke 18:08, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually the Pneumonic plague article wasn't properly updated and I had to work on it a bit myself before posting. The HIV article needs voluteers now... --BorgQueen (talk) 18:14, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
That's because I wasn't certain of its international significance and wanted further opinions. It is still only one town. I have updated HIV now too. --candlewicke 19:23, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
No. The nominations were too borderline for me to give an opinion. It's like (pardon my language now) a nominator throwing used underwear and seeing which one sticks. I'd only oppose if there is a stream of support and I think it is not suitable for ITN. For items that are borderline or are good enough I usually don't support. –Howard the Duck 06:41, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand your position. You regarded the proposed items as too borderline to even support, but you fault administrators for failing to place them on the main page anyway? —David Levy 06:55, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
No, if the items are suitable, I don't usually support since they will be well-supported. Several potential blurbs had supports already, dunno though if they were up to standard.
The not suitable items won't be posted anyway, and if borderline items have supports but I don't think it's suitable, that's the time I'd oppose. –Howard the Duck 07:00, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
1. I'm confused, as you stated above that "the nominations were too borderline for [you] to give an opinion."
2. If everyone had the attitude "there's no point in bothering, as plenty of others will do it," nothing would get done. (It's this sort of assumption that can leave a neighborhood in darkness when everyone takes for granted that someone else reported the power outage.)
If you don't wish to participate in that manner, that's perfectly fine, but I agree with BorgQueen that it's unhelpful to then complain about the lack of progress. —David Levy 07:09, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
There some potential blurbs that had no opposes but they rotted there. They don't need my supports already since there were sufficient supports already, but again, I dunno if they were adequately updated. The Pakistani blurb has had 2 supports but it was added at least 28 hours after the 2nd support. Even BorgQueen herself already supported the HIV item, and there was overwhelming support by August 3 but it was only added on August 5. –Howard the Duck 08:51, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Do you seriously think "there was overwhelming support by August 3" for the HIV item? I checked again, and I see only one support, from Cargoking. My support doesn't count since I was the nominator. Candlewicke did not support, although he did not oppose either. Just one support besides the nominator—Does it look like "overwhelming support" to you? --BorgQueen (talk) 11:24, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Two supports (including yours), a neutral comment and no opposition looks like a 100% winning percentage in ITN standards. –Howard the Duck 14:43, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I thought HIV item was awaiting updates the whole time. cant post it without proper update Ashish-g55 14:51, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
The term "insufficient data" comes to mind.
Please either express support for items that you want to see on the main page or refrain from complaining when they don't appear there. —David Levy 14:52, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
As I've said before, I don't really express any comment unless when I the blurb is on its way to be added but I feel it doesn't make the cut. If that is an invalid excuse for complaining then so be it. –Howard the Duck 15:10, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Why Clinton?

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Why is the In The News picture of Bill Clinton, instead of the journalists who were released? Doesn't seem like the focus should really be on him, you know? (talk) 07:53, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately, we don't appear to possess any free photographs of the journalists yet. (We don't use non-free images on the main page.) I switched to the Clinton photograph because that seems preferable to sticking with the bacteria image. —David Levy 08:05, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Even though Clinton always looks bloated to me, I appreicate the change in image. Bacteria images all look like the same black, white, and grey blobs to me. Thanks for the change. Dismas|(talk) 08:20, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Clinton is know icon.yousaf465'
Whatever a "know icon" is, and however much of a "know icon" he may be (alright, pointing out the typo twice is just rude...), his involvement is only peripheral to the actual story, and he shouldn't be the image. That's all I meant. (talk) 14:01, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
It's quite common that images on ITN are only peripheral. Do you actually have a solution? Bear in mind that unlike WP:TFA, there's never been a time, as far as I'm aware where we've accepted non free images on the main page, because it's always been possible to have an image for one of the items, so theres limited dispute about this area of policy Nil Einne (talk) 14:13, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
We occasionally used non-free images for the TFA section until Jimbo performed this edit in April 2007.
As you said, there's never been justification for using non-free images in any of the other sections. —David Levy 14:52, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
but u should also take into account that its his involvement that got the story up on main page. If the journalists were freed without him i doubt there was any chance of it making it on ITN. Ashish-g55 14:43, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure about that, but Clinton's involvement certainly added to the noteworthiness. —David Levy 14:52, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
While the full series of events certainly centers on the journalists, the current news reports do seem to be focusing on Clinton's visit to North Korea (widely regarded as a major occurrence with significant political ramifications, both in North Korea and elsewhere) and his intervention that led to the journalists' release.
Nonetheless, I'd gladly switch to a free image of the journalists if one were available. —David Levy 14:52, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
And now we've moved on to a photograph of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (accompanying the newest item), so the above is moot. —David Levy 14:57, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Main page not displaying

As of this post, the main page is not displaying (I hit refresh just before posting). All that appears is the following message: "Override this function." It doesn't appear to be vandalism because the MediaWiki interface isn't displaying either, but it does on other pages (including this talk page). (talk) 22:18, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

According to brion, this was a temporary error during software update. Should be fine now. Algebraist 22:21, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I got that on Special:Watchlist a couple of times, then it went back to normal for me.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 22:23, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Ah, good to hear it's a known problem. Thanks. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 22:23, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Umm... still happening intermittently - happening for the last 30 minutes with the article on Phagocyte as linked from the main page as featured article, only to just start working (talk) 02:49, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Still happening. Why is it only the English Wikipedia? German Wiki is fine. WVRMADTalk Guestbook 08:42, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Sidebar navbox

Just a minor thing but could the sidebar navbox titles (navigation, search, interaction etc.) start with an upper case letter to match the contents of the boxes? Just looks 'wrong' to me! Cheers. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 13:17, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

In the Beta version of the new UI to Wikipedia, the navbox first letters of the titles are indeed capitalized: e.g. "navigation" --> "Navigation". --Ancheta Wis (talk) 01:36, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Opera featured article

How much did wikipedia get paid for this advertisement? (talk) 11:09, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

One hundred billion dollars. Nothing: Opera is free, Wikipedia is free. Neither of them pay anything to anyone. You may want to look up featured articles. Darrenhusted (talk) 11:24, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
See WP:FA; featured articles are displayed because of the quality of the article, and not for any other reason. It is not an advertisement, but rather a celebration of how good of an article Opera happens to be. Cheers! Scapler (talk) 12:02, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

*GASP* More Featured Article inappropriateness

My kids just got on the Wikipedia main page and now they are running around the house yelling "Fag - o - site". Someone please censor Wikipedia so I don't have to do my job as a parent! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:43, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

I seriously laughed out loud at this one! I can't believe I never made that connection before... J.delanoygabsadds 03:50, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
O: How did they know how to pronounce it? It's lucky they put the "phagocytes" at the start or you'd never get them to sleep after they made it to the true obsenities detailed at the bottom, the ones which describe in hideous detail the invasions of harmful and abnormal objects and the nightmares of elderly "dead and dying cells that have reached the end of their life-span" choking, wheezing and gasping on their last breath as their eyes pop out. I think I'm going to have to sleep with the light on after reading that. --candlewicke 04:15, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

I dont know for whatever reason todays article reminds me of Leonidas going This is SPARTA! Ashish-g55 12:51, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

So when is 'Not work/kid/proverbial granny/disgusted of Tunbridge Wells/other proverbial unsafe Front Page version Wikipedia' going to be set up? (Could include 'list of places and persons etc in which computer search and block programs find rude words.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:23, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

  • Homophone error. Perhaps, so parents like this don’t suffer from shock and awe over potty-mouth from their children, we best not have a featured-article on Homophone; you never know where kids might go with that one. I do hope we don’t censor that article from Wikipedia. Greg L (talk) 20:53, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Honestly i turn my back for a week max and look what vile and disgusting featured article we have about peoples insides and rude comments. And now theyre thinking of doing one on homophobic phones! What do they do for crying out loud! Have a more insulting answerphone message if your homosexual? I think this whole front page needs closing down.....Willski72 (talk) 21:46, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes, biology is a very unencyclopedic topic. :) –Juliancolton | Talk 21:48, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Ha! I sometimes have my doubts when i read the paper and it says that "scientists have discovered that eating dark chocolate can make you live 10 years longer" and "pomegranates that can prevent heart attacks" etc.Willski72 (talk) 22:00, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm actually quite surprised this many people have posted in this section so far, and no one has mentioned WP:NOTCENSORED. ;)   JJ (talk) 23:16, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Nor has anyone mentioned WP:Advice for parents, another obviously relevant page. 95j (talk) 16:46, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Thats mainly because almost, if not everyone, here is just having a laugh:)--Willski72 (talk) 08:26, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Someone should set up a 'Digusted at WP Main Page Featured Topic' disccussion group. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:40, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Main page offensiveness is getting entertaining. YOWUZA Talk 2 me! 09:21, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Today's one involves a murdered duke... (complain, moan, royalty dying out, grumble, children with knives, scissors and funny ideas, etc.) --candlewicke 04:38, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Should the section on Sotomayor be changed to 'sworn in' from 'confirmed'?

She's been sworn in now, perhaps it should be rewritten? (talk) 06:26, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Done. --BorgQueen (talk) 07:34, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I hate it when errors on the main page got reported in the wrong place and they got fixed pretty quickly, then my properly placed error reports on WP:ERRORS get ignored. -- (talk) 14:56, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I think an obvious issue is it depends who sees your message. BorgQueen is heavily involved in ITN and is likely to correct any errors with ITN. I suspect she? may not normally correct errors in DYK, FA etc. Obviously the error report section is not perfect and there's likely to be sometimes someone sees something here but not there. Remember however that errors are commonly removed as soon as they are fixed, so a lot of errors that are fixed there editors just don't see. Nil Einne (talk) 15:30, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

News not of international interest

"Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, making her the first Hispanic American named to the position."

This may be important to people in the USA, but it is really immaterial to the rest of us. It's not even that ground breaking, not in the days of Obama. The first Samoan American to become US surgeon general etc is not of that major importance to the world.--MacRusgail (talk) 01:15, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Complaints about what should and should not be included on ITN should be directed to Template talk:In the news or to appropriate section on WP:ITN/C. Specifically, this event was discussed at length on WP:ITN/C#ITN candidates for August 6. Cheers. Zzyzx11 (talk) 01:20, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
some of us tried... trust me. with so many US users making sure every item from US makes it to main page its just hard to avoid these kinds of items. See WP:ITN/C for discussion on this particular item. some admin just came in and posted it without proper consensus. happens all the time. -- Ashish-g55 01:28, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Only one third of the items are USA related. (And half of those is international in nature.) APL (talk) 07:49, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Isn't Sotomayor Puerto Rican? So that makes it two countries already so... –Howard the Duck 09:08, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Wait... huh? When did Puerto Rico become a country? Kachyna(talk) 02:35, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I sometimes make that mistake too, although that's probably due to them having their own national football team. No idea what Howard's excuse is. ;) Dreaded Walrus t c 03:33, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Could be sarcasm, that's what I took it as. Deserted Cities (talk) 04:38, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I was going to point out their national basketball team (I'd reckon they'd be BAD in football), plus the fact they are a signatory to some treaties, like any other country. –Howard the Duck 04:42, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm not American and I have no problem with Sotomayor being ITN. This odd anti-Americanism does no one any good. No doubt the Australians will win the Ashes soon and that will be ITN. Darrenhusted (talk) 15:28, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

How is that "news"? ;-) Bradley0110 (talk) 18:18, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
This is not anti-American, but I do think that there is a tendency for items which are newsworthy within the USA, and to a lesser extent, Canada, the UK and Australia, but not to the rest of the world, to be overemphasised. (I have no interest in cricket, but I suppose it is a worthy comparison since it receives an inordinate amount of coverage in Scotland. I would like to see how people England would react to wall-to-wall shinty coverage!) I'm not sure this is that earth shattering, but the first "Hispanic" (whatever the precise definition of that term is...) American president will be major world news. --MacRusgail (talk) 22:01, 10 August 2009 (UTC)


Casualty caused by Morakot in Taiwan is far more greater than the main page news section indicates. Around 600 have been confirmed to be buried under mudslide in Shiao Lin village, Kaohsiung County 1, and thousands are either left homeless or missing 2. Please update the main page accordingly. -- (talk) 11:09, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Also please change "China" into "Mainland China" to avoid political troubles.Alonso McLaren (talk) 09:06, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Slovakia Mine Disaster

I don't think this incident is worth putting on the Main Page. Mine disasters resulting in more than 20 deaths happen almost every two weeks in China. Alonso McLaren (talk) 09:06, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

You probably should take that discussion to WP:ITN/C, but anyway: If they are that common in China, they are not notable. But if they are unusual in Europe, they may be. Just like the first open and fair elections in Saudi Arabia would be a lot more notable than the umpteenth in e.g. Denmark. /Coffeeshivers (talk) 09:58, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
This one led to an emergency session of government and a national day of mourning today. It is the deadliest mining disaster in Slovakia's history and has led to more deaths than Slovakia has experienced in this way in over 12 years. --candlewicke 14:03, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Were all the miners who died from Slovakia itself? If not this could have international connotations too.--Willski72 (talk) 17:50, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

either way i believe it qualifies for international interest. -- Ashish-g55 20:42, 12 August 2009 (UTC)


Some minor improvements. When or how did this come about? Simply south (talk) 07:55, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia Usability Initiative - BanyanTree 11:52, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Some of the text adverts (Help us provide free content to the world by donating today!) overlap, and thus block, the beta link. 800 pixels wide is narrow, but not freakishly so in a world of netbooks and mobile devices. Who wants to know? Main page people (hence my comment here) or the usability broject? (talk) 17:10, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
You may want to try which is specifically designed for easy viewing on mobile devices. It does omit some of the images and tables in the articles though. Thingg 23:19, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I would have to disagree we should be advocating the mobile site for a 800 pixels wide window, which as the anon has stated is hardly small. I don't think it's a main page issue however since it can occur on any page Nil Einne (talk) 12:26, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly. 800px is a reasonably wide window on most screens. I've noticed that people who habitually browse the web fullscreen have difficulty understanding that a large percentage of people don't, and don't want to. (I've even spoken to web designers who regard it as a bug that web browsers can be used in non-fullscreen mode!) However, Wikipedia is primarily a reference tool and will OFTEN be used in conjunction with other active windows, so these sorts of small windows have to be accommodated.
In addition most browsers now have a zoom feature. Even if you're browsing fullscreen, you may have the zoom feature on to give a much lower effective resolution. (Perhaps you have poor eyesight.) APL (talk) 19:07, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

(outdent)Why does the usability initiative insist on a smaller font size? Sorry but you lost me. -SusanLesch (talk) 19:12, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

They’ve changed the font size a couple of times in the middle of my browsing, so I’m sure they’re just trying to work out the kinks. -BRPXQZME (talk) 01:15, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Hey BRPXQZME, you're right. Thanks to whoever changed it. Now I can look at your work. -SusanLesch (talk) 20:56, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

FA free image

would this do? (talk) 12:12, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

You'll probably be told that it's a derivative work. Really, "no fair use on the main page" is a punitive policy for editors of copyrighted topic articles, and it wasn't even created by consensus; WP:JIMBO just decided fair use images aren't going on the main page one day. It's frustrating. ZeaLitY [ DREAM - REFLECT ] 15:49, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
The lack of an image on TFA doesn't penalise editors. AFAIK Raul does not give lower priority to FAs without free images. If editors feel their contributions are somehow worth less because there's no image, that's a very sorry situation and if anything, the policy should hopefully discourage such silly thinking. In any case, it's not our responsibility to fix editors personal problems. This is of course completely unrelated to whether the policy has consensus and the background to how it was formed and whether the main page is better or worse for the policy, those are different issues and IMHO not worth discussing here. Nil Einne (talk) 16:02, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Right, I don't want to get into the policy debate (since I doubt this will ever change), but! A blurb without an image is a wall of text. More people might read my FAs on the main page with an image, so there is some form of penalty. ZeaLitY [ DREAM - REFLECT ] 16:07, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I dont think its about the editors. people just dont get the whole no fair use image on main page policy. to be honest neither do i as there is pretty much no strong point against it except that jimbo once asked to only use free images (i believe it was some scooby doo article). The only argument is that main page is not an article... but its neither a gallery. image is only being used to refer to article being featured and i see no reason why it can be used inside article but not be used to refer to it. i suppose people just dont want to go against jimbo but it is one of the weird policies that we seem to follow here. (which as u said most likely will never change) -- Ashish-g55 16:11, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Regardless of your views on the matter there are two obvious things to consider. By definition, a non free image is not our best work since it's not out work. Also, as we are a free encyclopedia and both of these are equally important, the goals are always going to come into conflict when we use non free content and it's always (not just here) a delicate balancing point. Some people argue that by excluding images we aren't doing justice to our goal as an encylopaedia yet there's an equally valid argument by including free images, on the main page, which is intended to highlight our content we aren't doing justice to our goal to be free. Ultimately, both sides have valid points and after this has been debated so many times the fact that people still don't accept this is IMHO part of the problem. I definitely accept that those who want non free images have valid points (even if I don't agree that there points are strong enough to include non free images). Although just to be clear, I'm not saying either side is more guilty of refusing to accept there are valid points each way simply pointing out that once you deny that the other side has valid policy based viewpoint, wherever you stand on the matter, any reasoned debate becomes difficult. P.S. It's worth remembering that there are definitely going to be some cases where we exclude images whatever the policy for the main page. For example Wikipedia:Today's featured article/October 2008#October 4 which is Tyrone Wheatley. As per policy, images simply to show what a living person looks like are not allowed and no image is in the infobox. You'd need a substanial change in policy, beyond simply the main page, to allow a non free image for him. This doesn't mean the stronger policy is right but it's also clearly not a cut and dry issue Nil Einne (talk) 16:28, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
[citation needed]. If anything, the fact that TFAs without images is more unusual is IMHO more likely to get readers to notice. Nil Einne (talk) 16:28, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Has anyone ever compared click-through rates on articles with and without an image? APL (talk) 19:00, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
The problem with the 'free use only' rule is that there are wildly divergent opinions about 'derivative works'. You can still find tons of them on Commons, though everything there is supposed to be free use. Even the Scooby-doo article that Jimbo made the change on; he changed the image to a van painted up like the Mystery Machine from the show, apparently unaware that this was every bit as much a derivative work as the image he replaced. -- (talk) 13:58, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Return to "Main Page/Archive 142" page.