Doug Bell is a software architect and computer game developer currently specializing in Java. He lives in San Diego, California and enjoys playing golf with his two sons.

That's about the extent of my biographical and personalization information on this page. The rest of the page is mostly dedicated to chronicling the work I've done here at Wikipedia, with an allowance made for a few selectively chosen userboxes at the end.

Useful links
Leave me a comment
My admin standards
Wiki conditional expressions
Wikipedia:Citation templates
Current Requests for Adminship status
Current time is 13:07:40, 8 August 2020 (UTC)
RfA candidate S O N S% Ending (UTC) Time left Dups? Report
RfB candidate S O N S% Ending (UTC) Time left Dups? Report

No RfXs since 16:05, 30 July 2020 (UTC).—cyberbot ITalk to my owner:Online


Admin links
RfC RfM RfAr RfAR/Old
VP: props policy tech
maint admin warn* del
csd editpro moves backlog
AfD: all few contested new
Report summary


I have made no edits to Wikipedia from any account other than this, and other than an occasional edit accidently made when I thought I was logged in but wasn't, have made no anonymous IP edits. I have the following unused doppelgänger accounts to guard against impersonation: DougBell, Doug.Bell, Doug bell, Dougbell, Doug.bell, Doug BeII, Doug BelI, Doug BeIl, Doug Be11, Doug Be1l, Doug Bel1, DougBeII, DougBeIl, DougBelI, Doug Be1I and Doug BeI1.

I am also Doug Bell on Commons.


I made my first edit on January 4th, 2006 to SunDog: Frozen Legacy when, while researching Sudoku, I happened to discover that I was mentioned in the content of Wikipedia. (As it turns out, that makes me a Notable Wikipedian.) I've been busy since then:

Edit counts
Edit # Date Days Edits/day
1 4-Jan-2006
1000 25-Jan-2006 21 47.6
2000 21-Feb-2006 27 37.0
3000 12-Mar-2006 19 52.6
4000 21-Mar-2006 9 111
5000 18-Apr-2006 28 35.7
6000 10-Nov-2006 206 4.9
7000 2-Dec-2006 22 45.5
8000 13-Dec-2006 11 90.9
9000 12-Feb-2007 61 16.4
10000 27-Feb-2007 15 66.7
11000 23-Mar-2007 24 41.7
  • Milestones don't include edits to deleted articles.
Page moves
Move # Date
1 9-Jan-2006
100 17-Mar-2006
200 15-Dec-2006

By substance, my edits are roughly 50% creational, maybe 15–20% discussion/policy, 30% administrative, with less than 5% from reverting vandalism. By the edit count numbers they are closer to 40% in article/talk space, 25% discussion/policy/project space, 10% user/user talk, with the remaining 25% split across portal, template and category spaces. Less than 1% of my edits resulted from page moves, mostly to rename pages in accordance with Wikipedia:Naming conventions.

I make a reasonable number of significant edits to articles, but as is probably the case for almost everyone with more than a thousand edits, the edit counts are dominated by small edits. The things I do that tend to create lots of edits are categorizing and recategorizing articles, templates and portals; commenting and nominating on RfA, AfD, TfD, MfD, and CfD; and general WikiGnome and WikiFairy edits. To a lesser extent are the small edits resulting from reverting vandalism and leaving warnings on the vandal's talk page and edits from discussions on talk pages. Oh, and then there are the edits to this page to keep it up to date with my activities here.


I've been an admin since November 24th, 2006. Counting previous admins (45 as of when I became an admin) and current (1065 as of when I became an admin) I am the 1111th person made an admin. My administrative actions are available for scrutiny here:

Page (un)deletions
Deletion # Date
1 24-Nov-2006
25 29-Nov-2006
50 3-Dec-2006
100 4-Dec-2006
200 6-Dec-2006
300 13-Dec-2006
400 30-Jan-2007
500 12-Feb-2007
1000 28-Feb-2007
1500 19-Mar-2007
2000 29-Mar-2007
Page (un)protections
Protection # Date
1 29-Nov-2006
25 23-Feb-2007
User (un)blocks
Block # Date
1 30-Nov-2006
25 26-Mar-2007


While I rarely spend dedicated time whacking vandals (and certainly appreciate the efforts of those that do) I do have over 1,000 pages on my watch list and monitor changes to most of them pretty closely. I have reverted a reasonable amount of vandalism that managed to get past the diligent vandal fighters, but I think more importantly, I've reverted many attempts at sneaky vandalism—things that on occasion take some effort in order to know that they are bogus, or simply take enough knowledge of the subject to spot as bogus. This type of vandalism seems much more insidious because it is done with the intent of introducing errors that won't be caught, at least not for a long time.


I'm a member of WikiProject Computing, WikiProject Poker, Wikiproject Golf and WikiProject Portals.

One of my areas of interest in improving Wikipedia is identifying articles that could use diagrams. Of course I intend to create some of the diagrams, but by identifying them I hope to spur the creation of many more than I could create by myself. To this end, I created a template to identify where diagrams are needed and what they are needed for. (I was pleased to discover that there is support for conditionals in templates.)

I have spent quite a bit of time cleaning up the organization of the Wikipedia maintenance templates. I've gotten several duplicate or unnecessary templates deleted. At this point I think I've found and tagged most of the maintenance templates that weren't tagged and all the maintenance templates now have sort keys. I created the following template categories and recategorized non-maintenance templates previously in Wikipedia maintenance templates into these and other existing categories:


I firmly oppose edit wars. The policy I follow in regards to reverting is a one-revert rule. This means that given either of the scenarios below:

  1. An edit of mine is reverted that I think should not have been reverted. I revert the change and either explain why in the edit summary or on the talk page.
  2. I revert an edit of someone else's that is not simple vandalism and either explain why in the edit summary or on the talk page. They revert my revert.

After either of these scenarios I will discuss on the talk page until a consensus is reached—I will not revert a second time until other editors involved have been given an opportunity to discuss the issue. If I do eventually revert again, it will be after discussion (or at least stating my reasoning in the case where I get no response) and after at least a day has elapsed. So far, despite involvement on contentious pages, I've managed to never violate this rule.


These are some of the templates I've created.


  • {{Page}} – for creating a link from a talk page to the related page. It works in all namespaces, including from Category talk pages to the Category page.
  • {{Drmmt}} – a user warning template to remind users not to remove maintenance templates from articles without first addressing the maintenance issue or discussing the removal on the talk page.
  • {{Diagram needed}} – for marking applications that need a diagram added.
  • {{ref harv}} – template for the Harvard-style references supported by {{ref harvard}}, except that the references in the text use superscripted text to make them easier to read past.
  • {{pagelist}} – a template for creating a variable-length list of page links. It accepts from 1–20 pages as parameters and formats a comma-separated list (with "and" instead of a comma before the final item). It was created to support {{mergefrom-multiple}}, which I also created.
  • {{mergefrom-multiple}} – a version of {{mergefrom}} that accepts a list of up to 20 articles to be merged.
  • {{sportscentcat}} and {{philcentcat}} – templates for linking the categories in Category:Sports by century and Category:Philosophers by century, respectively. Also added centuries to {{sportsdeccat}}.
  • {{userbits}} – a template for creating a link to a list of a user's privileges: {{userbits|Doug Bell}}User privileges for Doug Bell


I've created the following templates for referencing external Java documentation:

I've been trying to tag all the first references to classes, methods, fields, and API Javadoc content with the appropriate Javadoc:SE or Javadoc:EE template from above. I think the majority are done now, but it's hard to know when you've found them all.


I created a set of templates for creating golf scorecards to add to the golf articles—see Torrey Pines Golf Course for an example. The main template is {{Golf18}}.


I used to work for Encyclopædia Britannica, and one of the things that sets them far ahead of Wikipedia is the meticulously created semantic web linking and categorizing the encyclopedic database. The Wiki approach can never hope to match that because the indexes and links are maintained by extremely talented and dedicated people, and as such, achieve a degree of completeness and consistency that is unattainable in an anyone-can-edit environment. However, I have no doubt that Wikipedia can do much better categorizing articles and categories than it currently does.


I've been trying to get all the Java-related articles tagged with the correct categories. I created several additional subcategories (Category:Java device platform, Category:Java enterprise platform, Category:Java specification requests, Category:Java platform software and Category:Java tools) and have been moving items out of Category:Java platform and into the correct subcategories. The bigger task is locating all of the Java-related articles that weren't in any of the Java categories.

  • I made a pass through all of the articles that referenced Java (programming language) or Java platform adding the appropriate Java categories, so most Java articles have been categorized as of January 26, 2006.
  • I have gone through all of the JSRs as of February 23, 2006, and added any JSRs discussed on Wikipedia to the Java Community Process article. I also added all the version and acronym information as well as links in the individual articles to the relevant JSRs. The articles on JSR topics have been added to the Category:Java specification requests. (Not being as familiar with the Java ME and JAIN APIs, it's possible (likely?) that some JSRs are missing from the JCP article.)
  • As of March 12, 2006, I have gone through all the articles in the Java categories (again) adding sort keys and refining the categories a bit. I also renamed most of the articles named for an acronym to use the name instead of the acronym.


In addition to the previously discussed cleanup of Category:Wikipedia maintenance templates, I've also worked on the following:


These are a few of the articles I've had significant involvement in editing. Being somewhat of a WikiGnome and an occasional WikiFairy, the total number of articles I've edited is quite large in relation to the number of articles where I've made significant contributions to the content. Below lists are not intended to be comprehensive—the lists include only articles where I've been reasonably active or made substantial contributions. Articles are listed in the first listed category that applies; articles that I have made significant contributions to are bolded.

The only major article that I started is Poker probability (Omaha). The only major articles that primarily consists of my contributions are Poker probability (Omaha) and Poker probability (Texas hold 'em). The only article I had a significant role in getting to Featured Article   is Retreat of glaciers since 1850. After Poker probability (Omaha) became the longest article on the list of longpages (because of the tables and Tex math formulas for the derivation formulas) I moved the derivations into subarticles (later moved to independent articles) Probability derivations for making low hands in Omaha hold 'em and Probability derivations for making rank-based hands in Omaha hold 'em—"Probability derivations for making low hands in Omaha hold 'em" was still in the top 10 on the long articles list and as of October 2007, is the longest article in Wikipedia.


Articles (not disambiguation pages or redirects) that I've started.

Article Status Major edits [ start version | finish version | diff ]
Doug Bell Stub [ new | [1] | N/A ]
Poker probability (Omaha) In progress [ new | [2] | N/A ]
Probability derivations for making low hands in Omaha hold 'em Complete [ new | [3] | N/A ]
Probability derivations for making rank-based hands in Omaha hold 'em Complete [ new | [4] | N/A ]
Probability of making the nut low hand in Omaha hold 'em Complete [ new | [5] | N/A ]
Primitive wrapper class Complete [ new | [6] | N/A ] [ [7] | [8] | diff ]
Session Initiation Protocol (Java) Stub [ new | [9] | N/A ]
Unreachable memory Stable [ new | [10] | N/A ]


These are articles that I did not start, but that I have significantly worked to expand.

Article Status Major edits [ start version | finish version | diff ]
Associative array Stable [ [11] | [12] | diff ]
Clone (function) Stable [ [13] | [14] | diff ]
Dungeon Master (computer game) 20% [ [15] | [16] | diff ]
IEEE floating-point standard Stable [ [17] | [18] | diff ]
Java Community Process Stable [ [19] | [20] | diff ]
Java Platform, Standard Edition 60% [ [21] | [22] | diff ]
Java (programming language) Stable [ [23] | [24] | diff ] [ [25] | [26] | diff ] [ [27] | [28] | diff ] [ [29] | [30] | diff ] [ [31] | [32] | diff ] [ [33] | [34] | diff ] [ [35] | [36] | diff ]
Java syntax 90% [ [37] | [38] | diff ] [ [39] | [40] | diff ]
Poker probability Stable [ [41] | [42] | diff ] [ [43] | [44] | diff ]
Poker probability (Texas hold 'em) 70% [ [45] | [46] | diff ]
Singleton pattern Stable [ [47] | [48] | diff ]
Thread-local storage Stable [ [49] | [50] | diff ]
Torrey Pines Golf Course Started [ [51] | [52] | diff ]


These are articles where I made significant contributions to an established article.


These are articles where I was involved in either a Feature Article Candidate review or a peer review. In some cases I also participated as a copy editor of the article, but not as a primary contributor to the article.

Article Status Major comments [ diff ] Major edits [ diff ]
Bulbasaur FAC: promoted to FA
(controversial promotion)
[ diff ]
Retreat of glaciers since 1850
originally titled Glacier retreat
First FAC: archived
Second FAC: promoted to FA
Featured on the Main page
[ diff ] [ diff ] [ diff ] [ diff ] [ diff ] [ diff ] [ diff ] [ diff ]


These are articles where I primarily improved the format or layout of the article or its math equations. In some cases these are articles that I've refactored.


These are articles where my main contribution is on the talk page where I negotiated improvements to the article more than any serious editing.


These are articles I contributed significantly to, or that were entirely created by me, that were later deleted. They have been copied to my user space for posterity.

Additionally, a great deal of content I added to the article Poker probability has been removed, so here's a link to the last version of the article I contributed to.


I noticed that many (most) portals had some minor formatting problems with the edit controls in the intro box, and occasionally with the display of the intro box itself. This included most of the Top 10 portals linked directly to the Main Page. I discovered that the problem (two problems, actually) was with the Template:Box portal skeleton used to create the portals. I fixed the template, and then worked my way through fixing the 250 some odd portals that inherited the bad formatting when they subst'ed the template. While working my way through the portals, I cleaned up a number of other formatting issues I noticed.

At the end of recategorizing the portals (see Other categories above) and fixing the formatting issues, more than 1 in 3 portals had some type of format problem. The vast majority of these were caused by errors in the {{box portal skeleton}} template, although there were a number of other creative problems encountered. In the end I fixed over 100 portal pages as well as recategorizing many of them.

The whole rather involved project started with just fixing a problem on one portal, then noticing the same problem on another page, and it just sort of snowballed from there. There's a lesson to be learned somewhere in there I'm sure.


Most of the time, wielding the admin mop is uninteresting. Sometimes, however, the decision of what to do is less obvious. The following is a collection of some of the decisions I've made as an admin that were either controversial, less than clear cut or might be considered going against consensus.



To doEdit

  1. Finish expanding on packages listed on the Java Platform, Standard Edition page.
  2. Clean up Java package page.
  3. Finish the Poker probability (Texas hold 'em) page.
    • ADD REFERENCES (should really do this right away before someone labels the article as a violation of WP:NOR)
    • Expand the section "Hands with one ace" to discuss and show the probabilities against multiple opponents.
    • Add the following sections to "Dominated hands"
      • Hands without an ace
    • Add the following sections to "Starting hands"
      • Bigger flush draws
      • Bigger straight draws
    • Extensively expand the section "The flop" to discuss the probability of different hands either improving on the flop, not improving, or flops that undermine the strength of a hand
    • Expand the section "After the flop" to discuss in more depth (not really sure what I want to put in here yet)
      • Added section on "Runner-runner outs" (DONE)
  4. Finish the Poker probability (Omaha) page.
    • ADD REFERENCES (should really do this right away before someone labels the article as a violation of WP:NOR)
    • probabilities for boards (flop, turn and river) where the nuts is three of a kind, a straight, a flush, full house/four of a kind or a straight flush; (DONE)
    • probabilities for making low hands; (DONE)
    • probabilities for different starting hand aspects (e.g. pairs, suited cards, connectors, low cards, high card) contributing to making a hand, and perhaps a discussion on how to rank starting hands based on these probabilities;
    • possibly include a ranking of hands based on their odds of making the nuts (including nut low hands);
    • probabilities for losing the nuts on the turn and river;
  5. Create Poker probability (Seven-card stud)
  6. Create Poker probability (Five-card draw)
  7. Add scorecards to notable golf courses.
  8. Expand the Torrey Pines Golf Course article, including uploading images.
  9. Reorganize Category:Portal:Geography as I detailed here.
  10. Expand St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to discuss notable advancements the hospital has produced.
  11. Create article on Target House.
  12. Create article on Los Peñasquitos Canyon.


It was pretty cool when I got my first barnstar.

  The E=MC² Barnstar
I, Sirex98, hereby award the EMC² Barnstar to Doug Bell for work in mathematical probabilities in poker related articles, Specifically, Omaha and Texas hold 'em. Very impressive work!

Now another one to keep it company. Maybe they'll get together and have little Leonardo Einstein barnstars...

  The da Vinci Barnstar
For your contributions to templates and Java documentation, and your other repairs and activities to the Wikipedia, I award thee this da Vinci Barnstar in the hope you will do more! Elaragirl ||||||Talk|Count 14:12, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

For spending 5½ hours closing a 156K AfD with a split decision (14 no consensus; 45 delete), I was awarded this barnstar from one of the keep all supporters:

  The Barnstar of Diligence
To be frank, I respect you for that; to me this shows that you actually took the time to listen to the people that left comments. Its people like you that the rest of us can turn to when things get tough, and it is this enduring spirit that I see in you. Congrats, you have earned this. TomStar81 (Talk) 15:25, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

For sticking up for justice, despite the futility:

  The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
Thanks for the support! MONGO 09:36, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

For giving condolences to someone I didn't know who's going through some really bad stuff:

  The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
This is for your words of support on his talk page regarding what happened to him - the definition of what this barnstar means, "being nice without being asked". Thanks. Will (Speak to Me/Breathe)(Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash) 15:43, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Because "I've found your comments insightful and actions well-reasoned, especially your discussion closures:"

  The Original Barnstar
I award this Barnstar to Doug Bell for being a wise Wikipedian. —Quarl 2007-03-02

For my many comments and statements in on various pages in the Essjay matter I was awarded this:

  The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
For realizing what honor and integrity mean to Wikipedia. Duke53 | Talk 19:47, 3 March 2007 (UTC)


Association of Exclusionist Wikipedians

I'm not sure where I stand on the use of userboxes, but until I decide I'll leave these here.

"Userboxes of a political or, more broadly, polemical, nature are bad for the project."
-Jimbo Wales, 21 Jan 2006
exclu This user is a Wikipedia exclusionist.
11,000 This user has over 11,000 edits on the English Wikipedia.
  This user is annoyed by admins ignoring process.
  This user has been on Wikipedia for 14 years, 7 months, and 4 days.
en This user is a native speaker of English.
es-0 Este usuario no entiende español (o lo entiende con mucha dificultad).
java This user thinks in Java bytecode.
c-4 This user is an expert C programmer.
asm-4 This user is an expert assembly language programmer.
coder-3 This user has varying degrees of expertise programming in too many languages to list.
' This user plays golf, and is secretly Tiger Woods in disguise.
  This user enjoys playing poker and would like to win your money.
SD This user was a San Diego Chargers fan.

  This user lives in California.