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Tracking CategoryEdit

Hey BHG,

I just made Category:Automated portals with article list built solely from an outline, but I my current method of inclusion is using hotcat. That isn't ideal obviously. Would you mind updating Module:Excerpt slideshow for me to include it as well? I don't want to break the code by trying to do so myself. –MJLTalk 06:20, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

@MJL, not a good idea.
  1. it's part of a series of automated tracking categs. Manually populated cats should not be lumped in with a series of automated ones
  2. If the portals you have placed in it are genuinely built off a single Outline, then MFD them as a group. It's pointless to hack software to track a problem which is about to be resolved.
  3. From a quick glance, I'm not sure that the LUA module can effectively identify them.
Please just delete Category:Automated portals with article list built solely from an outline by tagging it with WP:G7. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 06:31, 25 April 2019 (UTC)
  Done I also self-reverted all my additions of the template category to the portals as well. I'll just keep a note in my sandbox for now before I nominate. Thank you! :D –MJLTalk 06:39, 25 April 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, @MJL. That's better.
Good luck with the nomination. Take your time, and write a good clear rationale which explains the problem in simple terms. That's the key to make batched nominations work; make it readily understood by some one who hasn't been studying it as intensively as you.
Also, check their histories very carefully. I omitted them from my group nom because their histories did not fit a few simple groups, so if there is a significant pre-automation history which needs explanation, you may do better to nominate them separately, explaining why you think they are not worth reverting to manual.
When you're done, leave it a while (at least an hour or two), and review it. Check the wording, re-check the facts.
Hope this helps. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 06:50, 25 April 2019 (UTC)
It helps a lot!!! According to my sandbox, I will be looking at possibly three bundled nominations and one separate individual one tomorrow. I found 13 portals on cities that were solely built off outlines, and I split them up by (1) those made by Cote d'Azur, (2) those created by TTH, and (3) those converted from a heritage portal. Cote d'Azur isn't known as a portal spammer, so I suspect most arguments for keeping the first set of portals will be revolving around that. Not sure though. I will probably rethink it all in the morning. Thank you so much BHG. Like, I really say enough how much that means to me :') –MJLTalk 07:33, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

Hi again @MJL

I have just enabled[1] a sort of tracking for portals based on outlines: Category:Automated portals with article list built using one or more outline pages.

It doesn't attempt to distinguish those which use only an outline, but I hope it helps your good work. Note that it may take 24 hours or more for the portals pages to all purge, so don't regard it as a definitive list for a few days, unless I manage to run a null-edit-job over the set. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:35, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

PS Through the magic of AWB, I have purged the portals which looked like they might be caught by the Lua module. So Category:Automated portals with article list built using one or more outline pages now contains 17 pages. It will be interesting to see whether this number changes (live population count=0).
BTW, may I put in a good word for Petscan? It's handy tool in building worklists, e.g.
  1. — portals using outlines, not currently tagged for MFD
  2. — Automated portals with article list built solely from one template, currently tagged for MFD
  3. — all portals currently tagged for MFD
  4. — all existing portals currently which are NOT tagged for MFD
(@Robert McClenon, you may also find some of this useful, if you're not already using Petscan).
Hope this helps. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:19, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
Yuck. I had a PET scan on Wednesday. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:31, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
Not fun. Hope the results are good news. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:34, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. The most likely result is that I have nothing to worry about for another ten years, and then it will be old age that will catch up with me. The worst that can happen is that I might be told that in a year or so I will meet departed family members in Purgatory. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:38, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
I very much hope that it turns out to be much much better than either option. But if the news is less good and limbo is a bit limiting, you can always come join me and my pals in the warm place downstairs. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:35, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
Thank you a ton BHG! This really means a ton to me. This tracking category and that cool tool will make things super easy for me as well! :D –MJLTalk 03:56, 27 April 2019 (UTC) ce 03:57, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
+ 1 and thanks for the AWB script! I'm trying to draw out statistical commonalities between the head articles, will report back if it's of any use for bundling. SITH (talk) 22:33, 27 April 2019 (UTC)


  There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:37, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, @Robert. I have responded there.[2] --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:19, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

A kitten for you!Edit

Hmm maybe you're allergic to cats. If that's the case, you can maybe trade it in for a ferret, or a hedgehog maybe? A former student of mine posted a picture on Facebook of a hedgehog taking a bath: ADORBS. All the best, BrownHairedGirl, and my apologies for the sexist slur that was thrown at you.

Drmies (talk) 02:00, 27 April 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, @Drmies! That's v kind of you.
I do love kittens. Every cat I have had the privilege with as been wonderful and adored, even though they are utter tyrants.
Ferrets and hedgehogs do nothing for me, I'm afraid. Bites and spikes and all that.
The crap wasn't fun. But it's great to see how supportive the community has been about it. That makes me feel good about this wonderful collaboration we are all engaged in.
Best wishes, --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 02:12, 27 April 2019 (UTC)

May you join this month's editathons from WiR!Edit

May 2019, Volume 5, Issue 5, Numbers 107, 108, 118, 119, 120, 121

Hello and welcome to the May events of Women in Red!

Please join us for these virtual events:

Other ways you can participate:

Subscription options: Opt-in/Opt-out

--Megalibrarygirl (talk) 16:16, 27 April 2019 (UTC) via MassMessaging


I don't know why you didn't just politely ask me to delete it, it wasn't really necessary to leave such a negative and rather garrulous deletion rationale. It was over 10 years ago that I said that.. I otherwise hope you're well.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:06, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

Hi Dr. Blofeld
There was no speedy deletion criterion which you could have invoked on Portal:Angola, so it had to go to a full discussion at WP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Angola (2nd nomination)
It wasn't a page you had created or indeed edited even once. It was junk, and you had in good faith expressed a view that it could it be improved ... which with the benefit of 10 years hindsight turned out to be mistaken.
Sorry if I offended you. That wasn't my intent at all.
Anyway, it's lovely to hear from you again. I hope that you are well. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 14:49, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

OK, thanks, no worries. I rarely used portals, but I think at the time I was doing something with wikiprojects and hoping to even things up. In an ideal world we'd have 200 Angolan wikipedians on English wiki but we sadly still don't have the presence needed to make it worthwhile.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:09, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

A barnstar for you! (JFG)Edit

  The Brilliant Idea Barnstar
For spearheading the deletion of 1000+ useless portals, I bow in eternal gratefulness. — JFG talk 12:00, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
Enjoy the duplicate barnstar: I just noticed the previous one after posting this, and you probably deserve 1000+ barnstars anyway. — JFG talk 12:02, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
Many thanks, JFG. I am delighted that my idea found an objective measure which allowed a really wide and deep consensus to be built.
The tally at mass nominations one, and two was 2,555 pseudo-portals deleted, and a bunch of other group nominations cleared out a few hundred more.
There has still been lot of smaller nominations, but luckily the community's ability to rally around a core principle made it fixable with much less drama than would otherwise have been the case.
Now we're in the mopping-up phase. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:20, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

Portal MfDsEdit

It feels a bit like badgering you responding to everyone's comments, even in MfDs where you aren't the nominator, unless they vote hard delete. Just for your information. Espresso Addict (talk) 12:01, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

I am used to XFD being an actual discussion per WP:DPAFD, rather than a vote, so when issues of fact or interpretation arise which I think need more examination, I often comment on them. WP:CONSENSUS --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:07, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

The Signpost: 30 April 2019Edit


The information technology engineer who will review Occupational Health and Safety, after having tested occupational health and safety software, is of course myself. Between 2006 and 2008, I tested software that was used to keep track of occupational health and safety issues for the brave men and women of the United States armed forces. (BTW, since you aren't in the United States, Americans almost always refer to them, as a standard phrase, as the brave men and women of the US armed forces.)

Also, that is a little-known fact about armadillos. They really sometimes carry Hansen's disease, and you can get it by picking up dead ones. It really is even worse than it sounds when you look up what that disease is. However, the mentions in the Bible of leprosy may or may not have been Hansen's disease, and may have been any of various disfiguring skin conditions. If your house has tzaraath, sometimes rendered as leprosy, it has to be torn down, and the bricks all carted outside city limits and dumped into a pile on unclean ground. This may be the first reference to sick building syndrome. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:53, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Portal:Ireland follow upEdit

I got shut out of the AfD before I had waded through all the posts and spent quite some time seeing if it is possible to develop an Irish Portal that would require minimum maintenance but cover a wide range of topics of interest. So I'm not going to rehash the discussion but when the whole portal issue was extensively discussed last year I recognised that portals tend to get rather few visitors and to that end there are two big problems: they are not well linked and not promoted so readers tend not to find them easily or at all. That's where the question must be asked if portals of any kind should continue but I don't think that is not for us to discuss here. For the moment they do exist so we should probably make the best of them.

Taking into account some of your comments, I decided to see if it is possible to build a new portal using some of the new transclusion features and you can see it here User:Ww2censor/sandbox. Of course you now know that the existing portal is not just one page with a few items but has several subpages that appear when the page is purged. BTW, it is one of rather few Featured portals, 1 of 57 geographic portals assessed per-2017. I have several issues with this that can probably be resolved. The individual selections seem to only work well if trancluding from a simple lists and not from an extensive page such as List of Ireland-related topics and apparently not from categories either. Though many Irish lists and lists of lists, so that does not work at all. I would like to be able to transclude the infoboxes of the main cities into a section but cannot see a way to do that without manual input. Personally I'm not in favour of a linkfarm style such Portal:Contents/History and events as you mentioned but perhaps a blend is possible with some initial work of creating simple list pages that transclude and that are themselves using the main articles thus needing little maintenance because subpages could be avoided. However, I suspect that too many transclusions will cause other page problems that I would need to investiagte. If we make a list of the most important topics, with a little work it might stand a real test of time but as you and others have said, portal maintainers tend to move on, as I have done. Thoughts or comments? ww2censor (talk) 10:54, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

Sorry, I missed this post, @ww2censor. I wasn't even aware of it until you mentioned it below.
You have obviously put a lot of work and a lot of thought into this. Your draft certainly avoids all the maintenance issues with the current portal, and it avoids the crude one-set-of everything boxes which characterised TTH's portalspam.
However, I am still unpersuaded that it adds much value for the reader. Most of the boxes are slideshows of articles culled from navboxes or lists, and newish technology has made such boxes redundant, for reasons I set out at length in the context of a spammy portal at WP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Arabic.
So if we strip that out, what's left? I just did a test of that, and AFAICS all we have is DYK, news, recognised content, and the WP:IE assessment table.
Does that actually add value for readers? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:16, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

I am sorryEdit

I am sorry for the shit you have go through here. I am amazed at the patience you have and how you get through, given the abuse. Any help I can give, please just ask. Love, Lourdes 03:37, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

A barnstar for you! (BoD)Edit

  The Barnstar of Diligence
Though the Brilliant Idea Barnstars were well-deserved, it's not just the idea that you deserve credit for, but also the execution. Two thousand five hundred fifty-five portals is a lot to type out, never mind gather, screen, post, tag–and explain, and defend. However long that took you, you saved the community more than two thousand five hundred fifty-five editing hours–and it hasn't gone unnoticed that you've continued your efforts with smaller bundles and individual nominations, despite a series of unfortunate distractions. It was a toss-up between this and the Tireless Contributor Barnstar, but for your combination of extraordinary scrutiny, precision and community service, I award you this Barnstar of Diligence. (PS: I noticed I am not the first editor to award you their first barnstar; Sarah777 may have set that record twelve years ago!) Levivich 04:03, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Pleased to have done so! Sarah777 (talk) 00:54, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Heyy, Sarah777!!!!!
Thanks for the kind words. And long long time no see. I miss the good old days when WP:IE was buzzing place, and you were at the centre of it all.
I hope you are well, and that life is treating you well. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:28, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Deletion review for Portal:YemenEdit

SharabSalam has asked for a deletion review of Portal:Yemen. Because you closed the deletion discussion for this page, speedily deleted it, or otherwise were interested in the page, you might want to participate in the deletion review. — JJMC89(T·C) 07:14, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, JJMC89. I have left my comments[3] at DRV. Someone has decided that we need to waste more community time discussing this pointless spam. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 08:37, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Portal redirectEdit

Hi BHG, I'm not fully on top of everything portal that is currently going on, but would appreciate knowing what the use of portal redirects like Portal:Swaziland is. I see you created it and that it was mentioned when a bunch of portals got deleted including Portal:Eswatini, but it was not deleted along with them. Thanks, CMD (talk) 07:51, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Good question. You evidently looked at the history of that page, and saw that I originally created the redirect back in January 2017. This was part of my work to automate linking from by-year-and-country categories to the relevant portals, which was initially done in the category header templates, but later split out to Template:YearInCountryPortalBox, to allow wider use.
I had started this work on the assumption that there was a portal for every country, but as the redlinks piled up, it became clear that was not the case. My first level response was to redirect to the continent portal for countries, but that became more complex for former colonies, so I created a big look-up table at Template:YearInCountryPortalBox/parse (you'll need to open the edit tab to see it).
I later realised that some of the initial problem could have been avoided if {{Portal}} didn't blindly link to non-existent portals, so at Template talk:Portal/Archive_7#Optionally_link_only_to_portals_which_actually_exists I proposed an optional parameter to check whether the portal actually exists. After some discussion, that was implemented as the default behaviour ... so my initial redirect to the continent was un-needed.
Now that isn't needed to overcome the limitations of dumb templates, I am not so sure that the redirect serves a useful purpose. It really depends on whether portals are seen as plausible search terms; and while various views have been expressed on that, there is no established consensus.
As you know, there are a lot of unresolved issues wrt portals. Simplifying a little, AFAICS:
  • there is consensus to delete
  1. automated portals which simply fork another page (see the two mass deletions one, and two, where there was overwhelming consensus of a very high turnout to delete a total of 2,555 such portals; and also many smaller groups).
  2. portals of arrow scope, such as small towns and cities, or a single person or most TV series
  3. manual portals which are abandoned and amount to little more than a static single-issue magazine, or maybe a few more issues
  4. manual portals which are abandoned and broken
The removal of bad automated portals is mostly complete, though there may be few dozen ore to be discussed. The cleanup of broken and abandoned portals is underway, and I don't yet have a clear handle on their scope; there may be anywhere from 40 to 300 in that set.
Beyond that, there was a clear consensus at WP:ENDPORTALS not to delete all portals ... but no broad consensus on what portals are for, how they should work, which topics are suitable, or how many there should be. So now that the cleanup is getting into the long tail phase, there will need to be some RFCs on those broad issues.
Hope that helps. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:13, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, that is a helpful history and summary. On the specific case, I feel that even if portals are considered useful, a redirect from a country to a continent is WP:EGGy. Portal:Swaziland also lacks any categories which could be used to track such redirects, which might be helpful in future. CMD (talk) 01:38, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

An apologyEdit

In a heated moment I acted rashly and made poor statement choices linking your behavior to that of LegacyPac, actually suggesting coordination between you. I was wrong both in fact and in inference. I'm very sorry for saying what I did. As I have watched your actions in the last few weeks I've grown to realize how badly I misjudged your work and the earnest attempts you are making in order to clean up this portal mess. I still think you and I fundamentally disagree in some ways, but I am growing to trust your actions as a wikipedian. I make no excuse. I ask you to forgive me for my actions and statement. BusterD (talk) 13:41, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi BusterD
Many many thanks for that. It's easy to misjudge a complex situation, but hard to apologise as directly as you have just done. Thank you very much for taking the time and courage to say that. I really value it, so of course, let's just leave the heat of that moment is left in that moment, and put it all behind us.
And yes, I think that we probably do have some fundamental disagreements. But that's fine: Wikipedia rarely works well as a fan club of any approach, and I think it's at its best when editors of differing points of view collaborate to build consensus, even if some issues remain unresolved.
As to Legacypac, yes I did try working him, despite our previous deep disagreements, as I do with many editors. Wikipedia only works if we try to overcome difficulties. Unfortunately, Legacypac's standards of procedure and evidence repeatedly fell way below what I think acceptable, and my attempts to raise those issues went ... umm, not well. Pity.
I look fwd to working with you in the future. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 14:07, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
May I trouble you to answer (as you see it) some questions about the state of discussion regarding portals? Have all the automated template-created portals been deleted now? Is there a broad-based centralized discussion about the (current) purpose of portals? I tend to agree with you that this needs to be at VP, and not hidden in a projects talk page. Is there a developing consensus about what the thresholds might be for keeping? Where would that discussion be? Doesn't it seem like bundling remaining legacy portals for deletion appears less and less a good idea? The reasons given for deletion these days tend to be 1) I don't like portals, 2) I don't like this portal, 3) nobody is viewing it anyway, 4) there is nothing here to keep/inadequate development, 5) nobody is maintaining this portal, and 6) there doesn't seem to be enough content to support a portal on this subject. Except for this last, these are all reasons right out of "arguments to avoid". We wouldn't normally argue stub deletion using those arguments. Given WP:ENDPORTALS I believe the community owes itself a fuller discussion about what constitutes portal notability. Further, if we're choosing not to eliminate them as a class of content, the community needs to decide how better to promote visibility or re-examine how portals are used. How do we discuss this in a positive goal-based way? BusterD (talk) 16:59, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
I'd also like to hear your opinion on where we presently stand with this issue. We were promised an RFC on portal inclusion criteria. You included this goal in your close on the hiatus discussion. There has, however, been no new messages to the relevant proposals at Wikipedia talk:Portal/Guidelines since March. Instead, some pretty WP:BATTLEGROUNDish behavior is observed at MfD where people are trying to force their views through and then call it consensus – bypassing the RFC that we're obligated to hold. I think we need a resolution to this issue soon. If that RFC cannot be hold because the Portals Project hasn't come up with any proposals with support, then I think we need to hold a new WP:ENDPORTALS. I think the community is fed up with how this second chance on portals has been used. We've gone from extreme inclusionism to battleground deletionism in a matter of months with no end in sight and no one talking policy. It has lead many former portal believers (like me) into thinking that if portals weren't a net negative before, they sure are now. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 10:31, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Sorry. I started a long reply yesterday to BusterD, but got sidetracked into a few other things. I will try to reply later today. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 10:42, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi BusterD and Finnusertop

Sorry again for not replying sooner. I kept on getting sidetracked. But, here, disgracefully belatedly, is my substantive reply on how I see things right now. I will try to pick up on each of the points you both raised, and number them for convenience.

  1. Have all the automated template-created portals been deleted now?
    No. Category:Automated portals with article list built solely from one template still contains 198 pages, for technical reasons set out on that category page, the auto-generated category includes some false positives, and that can be only determined by manually check the wikicode. 33 of those pages are current being discussed at MFD, and I hope to take a closer look at what remains after those MFDs close.
    Note that most of portals create as automated portals have already been deleted. The remaining set is overwhelmingly composed of portals which were previously manual portals with sub-pages, and those need evaluation of the manual version. This is slow work.
  2. Is there a broad-based centralized discussion about the (current) purpose of portals? I tend to agree with you that this needs to be at VP, and not hidden in a projects talk page.
    No, there is no such discussion. The closest we came to it was at WP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Ireland, which I opened to try to trigger a broader discussion rather than to seek deletion. It led me to pose what I think are 4 key questions:WP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Ireland#4bigquestions.
    I agree that we need an RFC, but I think that it is most likely to be productive if it asks those broad questions in a way which everyone agrees is neutral. Unfortunately, there are still several vocal editors denouncing a "war on portals" etc, so while there are some v thoughtful editors on both sides who could collaborate to draft an RFC, the climate might not be right.
  3. Is there a developing consensus about what the thresholds might be for keeping? Where would that discussion be?
    I think that recent MFDs show a rough consensus to delete portals on narrow topics, with some disagreements about how to define that; and a rough consensus to delete portals which have been abandoned with a very limited set of sub-topics. Beyond that, little current consensus.
    As you may know, I started in March a User:BrownHairedGirl/Draft RFC on Portal criteria to see if we could design an all-options-on-the-table thresholds RFC, but that process was derailed by events. In hindsight, I think I was putting the cart before the horse: we should start by defining what portals are for, and only then move on to thresholds.
  4. Doesn't it seem like bundling remaining legacy portals for deletion appears less and less a good idea?
    Not to me. Some bundles have been badly constructed, but if done well, bundling is a good way to centralise discussion per WP:MULTI, and I could point you to many bundles which successfully allowed focused discussion on shared attributes. (e.g. 83 more navbox-based portals, 36 more, Armadillos)
  5. The reasons given for deletion these days tend to be 1) I don't like portals, 2) I don't like this portal, 3) nobody is viewing it anyway, 4) there is nothing here to keep/inadequate development, 5) nobody is maintaining this portal, and 6) there doesn't seem to be enough content to support a portal on this subject. Except for this last, these are all reasons right out of "arguments to avoid". We wouldn't normally argue stub deletion using those arguments
    If we were discussing articles, I would agree. But portals are not articles, and they are not encyclopedic content; they are more akin to categories, a navigational device, but with an added showcasing function. Per WP:PORTAL, "Portals serve as enhanced 'Main Pages' for specific broad subjects" ... and if they don't serve that purpose, we should not waste readers's time with them. Abandoned drafts like the 3 at WP:Miscellany for deletion/3 abandoned draft portals by Chnou are simply a failed navigational device which does a disservice to readers. By contrast a stub article is a unique set of actual encyclopedic content which will hopefully be expanded. Deleting the stub removes content, but deleting the useless portal simply removes a hazard to navigation and helps concentrate energy on portals which are worth developing.
    Furthermore, the detailed examination of hundreds of portals has given many of us (including me) a much better overview of the various types of portals, and of the ranges of state they are in.
  6. if we're choosing not to eliminate them as a class of content, the community needs to decide how better to promote visibility or re-examine how portals are used. How do we discuss this in a positive goal-based way?
    I think we need a few calm heads to frame an RFC on at least the top-level questions. I have made various offers to do that, but haven't followed through, and it has taken me a while to accept that I have been doing a subconscious avoidance partly because of all the abuse that was hurled my way before.
  7. (moving on to Finnusertop's points)I am wary of a new ENDPORTALS, because I fear that it will simply be another exercise in a lot of people talking past each other, like last time. I think it is much better to ask what — if anything — portals are actually for.
    I personally think that technical developments make the two core functions of most portals redundant:
    * ::I personally suspect that is unlikely, because as even TTH noted last week, two newish features of Wikipedia render most portals redundant:
    * mouseover: for ordinary readers who are not logged in, mouseover on any of the linked list items shows you the picture and the start of the lead. So the preview-selected page-function of portals is redundant: something almost as good is available automatically on any navbox or other set of links
    * automatic imagery galleries: for ordinary readers who are not logged in, clinking on an image brings up an image gallery of all the images on that page. It's full-screen, so it's actually better than even a click-for-next image gallery on a portal.
    (If you are logged in, you want see those, but try right-clicking on a content-rich page such as List of women cabinet ministers of the Republic of Ireland, and select "open in new private window" or "open in incognito window". Then test it for yourself)
    So I think instead of a "keep portals"/"abolish portals" binary divide which will inevitably become shouting match, it would be much better to have a more nuanced discussion which asks something like the sort of questions I asked at WP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Ireland#4bigquestions.

Sorry, that's long as well as late. But I hope it helps a bit.

I look forward to hearing what both of you think of that. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:48, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

PS see also my comments earlier today at WT:WikiProject Portals#Now_less_than_1,350_portals. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:58, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

Can you please do me a favorEdit

I started a DRV[4] for the New York City categories close. Can you fix the template for me? Thanks....William, is the complaint department really on the roof? 15:21, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

A few things

1 I have rarely taken part in DRVs. Yes I started one or two, but those were 3 years or more ago. So I am very inexperienced in setting them properly.

2 I am going to renominate the Portland Oregon establishment categories sometime in the very near future. Keep a look out for that.

3 The close of the CFD was bad, but this AFD close[5] which resulted in a ANI thread[6], is just as bad or worse. A snow delete by a involved admin after only 4 days of discussion and where the delete to keeps was 5 to 2.

4 I have no opinion about any grievance you have with Thryduulf but he isn't going to fess up. So I think it is just time to drop the matter. Save your ammo for whenever they run for ARBcom again.

Cheers!...William, is the complaint department really on the roof? 20:55, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, WilliamJE.
I have made my point about Thryduulf's antics. There it can stay, for others to make of it what they will. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:05, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes. I made my point about Thryduulf also, in the DRV. If it isn't about portals, then it is about something that made him sour before portals. Robert McClenon (talk) 01:19, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

ArbCom 2019 special circularEdit

Administrators must secure their accounts

The Arbitration Committee may require a new RfA if your account is compromised.

View additional information

This message was sent to all administrators following a recent motion. Thank you for your attention. For the Arbitration Committee, Cameron11598 02:33, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Category:Order pro merito Melitensi [sic] -

Enough already. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:33, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
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.

Hello BrownHairedGirl - have had sight of the discussions about deleting Category:Recipients of the Order pro merito Melitensi which apart from being meandering resulted, unless I'm very much mistaken, in keep? So is Cydebot correct to do the following?: "curprev 09:32, 27 April 2019‎ Cydebot talk contribs‎ m 22,631 bytes -58‎ Robot - Removing category Recipients of the Order pro merito Melitensi per CFD at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2019 March 20. undo".

It should also be noted that whatever Category title is decided upon needs correcting too, with a capital "M" for Merito (qv. so as to read Category:Recipients of the Order pro Merito Melitensi or Category:Order pro Merito Melitensi as you see fit.

Thanks, (talk) 15:23, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2019 March 20#Order_pro_merito_Melitensi, which say at the top: The result of the discussion was "delete". --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:56, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Ah yes, thanks: The result of the discussion was: delete. MER-C 09:22, 27 April 2019 (UTC) - just trying to get to grips with Wiki's system... So how to know upon whom has been conferred pro Merito Melitensi via Wikipedia? Thanks again, (talk) 16:50, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
PS. and what was the principal reason for this Category's deletion? That it was too long, right? (talk) 17:28, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, but that's is a spectacularly silly question. If you want to know the answer, just read the discussion ... and please stop bugging me. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:33, 4 May 2019 (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.

Administrator account security (Correction to Arbcom 2019 special circular)Edit

ArbCom would like to apologise and correct our previous mass message in light of the response from the community.

Since November 2018, six administrator accounts have been compromised and temporarily desysopped. In an effort to help improve account security, our intention was to remind administrators of existing policies on account security — that they are required to "have strong passwords and follow appropriate personal security practices." We have updated our procedures to ensure that we enforce these policies more strictly in the future. The policies themselves have not changed. In particular, two-factor authentication remains an optional means of adding extra security to your account. The choice not to enable 2FA will not be considered when deciding to restore sysop privileges to administrator accounts that were compromised.

We are sorry for the wording of our previous message, which did not accurately convey this, and deeply regret the tone in which it was delivered.

For the Arbitration Committee, -Cameron11598 21:03, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Administrators' newsletter – May 2019Edit

News and updates for administrators from the past month (April 2019).

  Guideline and policy news

  Technical news

  • XTools Admin Stats, a tool to list admins by administrative actions, has been revamped to support more types of log entries such as AbuseFilter changes. Two additional tools have been integrated into it as well: Steward Stats and Patroller Stats.


  • In response to the continuing compromise of administrator accounts, the Arbitration Committee passed a motion amending the procedures for return of permissions (diff). In such cases, the committee will review all available information to determine whether the administrator followed "appropriate personal security practices" before restoring permissions; administrators found failing to have adequately done so will not be resysopped automatically. All current administrators have been notified of this change.
  • Following a formal ratification process, the arbitration policy has been amended (diff). Specifically, the two-thirds majority required to remove or suspend an arbitrator now excludes (1) the arbitrator facing suspension or removal, and (2) any inactive arbitrator who does not respond within 30 days to attempts to solicit their feedback on the resolution through all known methods of communication.


Sent by MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 00:37, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Failure to impressEdit

13:28, 4 May 2019. Why were you unimpressed by the nomination? I recall that you have been bitterly unimpressed by my nominating before. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:34, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi @SmokeyJoe
Nothing bitter, just that your nomination seemed to make an assessment without supporting evidence. I could see the potential for POV-pushing via all the content-forking involved, but no evidence for actual POV-pushing having happened already.
Your response[7] at 02:14 to Robert McClenon adds some explanation of why you made that assessment, noting that the list of recognized content (i.e. GA/FA articles) is skewed towards topics about opposition to Trump.
But even there, I think you overstate your case. The recognized content list is formed on objective criteria, i.e. articles which have have passed an assessment process. Similar lists are included in many other portals without controversy. However, in this particular case the list is skewed in one direction, because editors seem to have done more work on improving one set of topics than the other.
But that is not actual POV-pushing. It's an example of objective criteria producing a partisan result because of systemic bias higher up the chain. The list at Portal:Donald Trump/Featured content/Content was not drawn up for the purpose of this portal; it's a simple transfusion of Wikipedia:WikiProject Donald Trump/Recognized content, which is populated by User:JL-Bot.
So I agree that there is a problem here, but it seems to me to be an unintended consequence rather than an intent to push a POV. You make a very good point that this listing is out of context and that esp since it reflects what Wikipedians think worthy to work on to elevate to Good Article status, it is Wikipedian biased.
If that had issue of decontextualisation of an internal list been the explicit basis of your nomination, I might have supported it from the outset. This sort of thing is why I tend to make quite verbose XfD nominations, explaining my assessment rather than just stating my conclusions. (See e.g. my latest portals noms at MFD: Haskell, Graffiti, Evanescence‎, Dravidian civilizations, European Space Agency).
But I think this issue goes wider than Trump. Those editors such as the v conscientious @Bermicourt who add recognized content lists to portals have the explicit support of WP:Portal#Recognized content, as well as the support in principle of WP:Portal#Purposes_of_portals #3: "providing bridges between reading and editing, and between the encyclopedia proper and the Wikipedia community, via links to pages in project space (and the other namespaces) that are relevant to the portal's subject". It seems to me that the problem you have identified is a good reason not just to deprecate no just this particular practice, but also to review the viability of the wider bridge between reading and editing. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 14:18, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
I allege no POV pushing. I don’t even imagine it. I guess I could have helpfully said this, but the NPOV problems are all due to unconscious bias. Anyway, at the very least, I think this is a useful exercise. Personally, I am still wavering between (1) Portals are next to worthless, but they do little harm, given that Portal volunteers are completely free to choose how to spend their time, and (2) Portals are a net negative and do a disservice to the rare reader who encounters them.
I think you are doing pretty good, I hope I am not derailing any of your efforts. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 14:38, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, @SmokeyJoe. I agree that this is a useful exercise, as are many of the MFD discussions, because they have taken the portals debates away from the abstract and made editors focus on particular portals: what they try to do, and how well they achieve it, whether they duplicate other pages, and unintended consequences like those you outlined here. (As above, I think you would have done much better to explicitly stress in the nom that any NPOV issues were unintended structural flaws, but that's done now).
I have learnt a lot from my research for these MFDs, and I have watched several others on various sides having also learnt, and develop a more nuanced view. Even the less well-thought nomination by some other editors have served that purpose. Which is all good.
So whatever the outcome of the MFD:Portal:Donald Trump, you done everyone a service by forcing a discussion on it. Thanks again. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:33, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Category:2009–09 in Romanian football has been nominated for discussionEdit


Category:2009–09 in Romanian football, which you created, has been nominated for possible deletion, merging, or renaming. A discussion is taking place to decide whether this proposal complies with the categorization guidelines. If you would like to participate in the discussion, you are invited to add your comments at the category's entry on the categories for discussion page. Thank you. Naraht (talk) 02:54, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Duplicate nav templatesEdit

Hi BHG, when you were replacing {{CatPair}} with {{Navseasoncats}} last month, you added the latter in addition to {{DecadeCategoryNav}} in some cases, e.g. Category:1770s in the Austrian Netherlands. Also, this edit took out a link to a non-matching successor.

I don't have any suggestions for how you might test/list such cases now!  Fayenatic London 10:52, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, Fayenatic. I ran a lot of AWB screenings to try to track duplication to eliminate without zapping non-matching successor successors or predecessors. Looks like I didn't get it all right.
I abandoned the job part way through, because it was making my head spin and I didn't trust my accuracy rate. Looks like I should have stopped sooner   --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 11:40, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I was recently replacing {{CatPair}}s with {{Navseasoncats}} too, and yes, some sophistication and many exceptions were required to make sure no useful {{CatPair}}s were removed. There're ~600 {{CatPair}} transclusions left which I think would benefit from having both {{CatPair}} & {{Navseasoncats}}, due to a large gap in succession - {{Navseasoncats}} helping provide confirmation of the gap, and providing continuity with the navs on preceding cats. If this overlap is of interest now or in the future, they can be catscanned too. Still on my to-do list, though.
On the topic of duplicate navs, I'm wondering what y'all would think of using 2 {{Navseasoncats}} on {{Navseasoncats with decades below year}} - simply port the current cat's decade into {{Navseasoncats}}'s |testcase= parameter for the lower nav. If useful here, or elsewhere, I'll make an alias to |testcase=, probably |cat=, and an associated tracking cat.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  15:13, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, Tom.Reding, but I don't follow what you are proposing in your second para. Please can you clarify? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:18, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, on Category:1857 in New York (state), {{Navseasoncats with decades below year}} currently would produce
but I think it would be a bit nicer & more useful to use
What do you think?   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  15:30, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, @Tom.Reding. My slow-today brain gets your idea now  
In principle, I like the idea of avoiding the crude coding of {{Navseasoncats with decades below year}}, and esp the weird-and-irritating alignment issue which it produces.
However, the downside is that it doesn't visually distinguish two lines. Is there is any way of unboxing the decades? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:39, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I can make it unbox the nav when |cat= is used, but that might preclude |cat='s use elsewhere (though I'm failing to come up with any secondary use-cases right now, editors' ingenuity has not failed to surprise me in the past).
Also, the decade nav is larger due to including the extra "s" for each decade, which (to me) provides enough distinguishing.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  15:58, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, Tom.Reding, but that's not enough distinction for me. It shouldn't be necessary to view the contents of both to figure out that they are different types of set. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:15, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Like this?
I kinda like it...   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  16:56, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Me too! Good work, @Tom.Reding. Go for it! --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:16, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  Done   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  01:45, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────If you want, I could port {{Navseasoncats with decades below year}} to Lua to get rid of the barbaric need for parameters. Old parameters would still be available to override the current pagename, of course.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  02:09, 7 May 2019 (UTC)


The RFC at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#RFC:_spelling_of_"organisation"/"organization"_in_descriptive_category_names has stalled as Australians became involved. There was canvassing on 17 April (UK, NZ, Aus) and several more (India, Pakistan, RSA etc) on 18th (around 20:19).

As things stand Od Mishehu has blocked all cfd discussions on the topic, you are opposing 'z' to 's' and Gnangarra is opposing 's' to 'z' at speedy (the latter has swept up one of your speedies). Ho hum. Oculi (talk) 14:24, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, Oculi. The blatant votestacking by User:Number 57 is outrageous. I have left a note about it[8] at the RFC.
But I am shocked. Number 57 has been an admin for nearly 12 years, since their RFA in September 2007, and shoukd know way better than to even contemplate a stunt like that.
Number 57, do you want to try to persuade me that this shouldn't be an ANI matter? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 14:58, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I notified the projects of countries/regions that would be affected by an enforced spelling change, and remain of the view that it was a perfectly legitimate and appropriate thing to do. If you think it's an issue, you're more than welcome to take it to ANI. Number 57 15:03, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
@Number 57: thanks for confirming that you notified only those who you believed would take a particular point of view.
Since you don't acknowledge that this is blatant vote-stacking, I will indeed take it to ANI ... with much regret, because I really hoped that an experienced admin like yourself would at least acknowledge that it was in hindsight a misjudgement which you would want to remedy ASAP. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:08, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Portal userficationEdit

FYI, User:Abyssal agreed to have me userfy a bunch of the portals they created and that are not yet at MfD, so they can continue incubating them in their userspace, and I have started to do so (including all subpages). We had done this previously for User:Abyssal/Prehistory of Asia and similar portals. Not sure if that is a solution to consider for the User:Abyssal portals you have brought to MfD already. UnitedStatesian (talk) 16:43, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi UnitedStatesian, I just moved my test portal to User:BrownHairedGirl/Incubator — Ballyporeen, and it has worked fine on each of its two moves. So that's definitely an option if Abyssal wants it. If they do want it, I'll happily support it, but I wouldn't do it they didn't want it. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:15, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Category:Amusement rides introduced in 2020 has been nominated for discussionEdit


Category:Amusement rides introduced in 2020, which you created, has been nominated for possible deletion, merging, or renaming. A discussion is taking place to decide whether this proposal complies with the categorization guidelines. If you would like to participate in the discussion, you are invited to add your comments at the category's entry on the categories for discussion page. Thank you. Doug Weller talk 18:36, 6 May 2019 (UTC)


In some of your recent nominations, you have said "Just Delete It". (That does have an undertone of "Lace up your athletic shoes or work boots and do the heavy lifting and cleanup", which is on the mark.) Does that mean that you are implying "With prejudice to another portal"? That is what I am assuming. Of course, whether that is the result will depend on whether any of the other Deleters advocated that it be without prejudice and what the closer says. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:54, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Yes, Robert, I do mean "with prejudice", rather than WP:TBT with option to re-create.
I hadn't considered that it may have unpleasant undertones, but I think you are on the mark there. I reckon I need a new phrasing. How does "delete, with prejudice to re-creation" sound? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:59, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't consider the undertone to be unpleasant. You and I and some others already are doing the heavy lifting. On your user page, the warrior lady has her boots on and her battle sword in hand. However, there is a risk of misinterpretation as worded, and I agree that the revised statement is an improvement. Robert McClenon (talk) 22:07, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, @Robert. Best not to risk causing unintended offence. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:11, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Off the WallEdit

Maybe a decade or so ago, I had a dream in which I was in a crowd of people who might have been time travelers. Then they all started chanting, "Nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing". That is about all that I remember at this time. (I may have a longer account of it written, but that doesn't matter.) In any case, your "Nothing" statements about the modern history portal, and the study of history is the closest thing to time travel that we have in the early twenty-first century (or that we had in the sixteenth century at the beginning of the so-called modern period), made me think of that. I don't think that the dream was a prophecy of the portal, but much of dream analysis consists of making connections that are not really there, and the portal doesn't make connections anyway. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:39, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

Time is an odd thing. At the star of the early modern era, it barely existed as we know it today. Clocks were hugely expensive and rare, confined to the finest churches; for everyone else, it was church bells or sundials. Our digital age of omnipresent accurate time is a different world.
But I suspect that it didn't quite matter. When I spend my days working outside, I can tell the time to within ten minutes by the position of the sun. If I didn't have a clock back in the house to verify it against, I'd not put numbers on it, but I'd still know when to start work and when to stop and when to take a break. So it would be a very different sort of time. I am not sure how time travel would work in that context.
Dreams do make connections, and sometimes I think they are more real than I can understand. There's a lot more to time than I'll ever understand, and certainly a lot more than numbers ... just as there is a lot more to history than a bare list of centuries plus a few wars.
But hey who care's when you're just counting page creations? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:09, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
It is true that good European clocks were invented so that Christian worship could begin on time and so that the monastic prayers of the hours could be said at the appointed hours. For that reason, I consider it to be an insult to good clocks when church services do not begin on time (when good clocks are cheap and everyone has one). Robert McClenon (talk) 18:20, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
I live in the west of Ireland, where punctual means "on the appointed day". --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 18:32, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Category:People by nationality and status has been nominated for discussionEdit


Category:People by nationality and status, which you created, has been nominated for possible deletion, merging, or renaming. A discussion is taking place to decide whether this proposal complies with the categorization guidelines. If you would like to participate in the discussion, you are invited to add your comments at the category's entry on the categories for discussion page. Thank you. Liz Read! Talk! 02:46, 9 May 2019 (UTC)


Hi BHG, I like your portal MFD nominations, but you've commented that "for ordinary readers ..., mouseover on any of the linked list items shows you the picture and the start of the lead." which I think is only true for those readers using a device with a mouse (i.e. probably a minority of readers). It might be worth clarifying this in future. DexDor (talk) 19:19, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

Fair point, @DexDor. I don't use tablets or smartphones, so I don't think of them much, and I dunno whether similar functioanlity is available to mobile users. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:37, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
The "page preview" feature has been active on mobile since 2015. ‑ Iridescent 20:47, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Many thanks, Iridescent. That's good to know, and it looks like they did a decent job of it.
@DexDor, take a look. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:44, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

CfD non-admin rename closuresEdit

Apparently the move button has recently been disabled in category pages for non-admins, which makes a non-admin closure to rename a category impossible. I'm not complaining :-) just flagging. Do you have the faintest idea where a discussion about this can be found? Marcocapelle (talk) 07:20, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi @Marcocapelle
There was some discussion recently at, I think WT:CFD. IF not there, then probably at WT:CAT.
Sorry that it has stopped your fine NACs. Another pressing reason to this redlink blue. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:27, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
@Marcocapelle: it still shows up for me, though idk what's causing yours to not would support   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  13:27, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
@Tom.Reding, I see that you have "extendedmover" rights, whereas @Marcocapelle doesn't.
I think that if Marco got those rights, his button woukd reappear ... but please don't tell him, because it might reduce his incentive to turn that redlink blue. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:34, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
PS please don't tell @Marcocapelle about WP:Requests for permissions/Page mover. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:39, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

How to Assess PortalsEdit

Is there an FAQ or handy guide that I can use that gives me information on how to assess heritage portals to see if they are being adequately maintained, and what the pageview rate is for the portal as opposed to the article, and other stuff that I should know in order to know whether to nominate portals for deletion?

As I mentioned, several Indian states have been nominated for deletion, and now Maine is the only US state to have had its portal nominated for deletion, which suggests that there is an unintentional systemic bias in portal nomination, or in the quality of portals. (My guess is that it is the latter, that the portals on US states are actually better, having been developed by Americans, and the portals on Indian states have largely been developed by the portal platoon.) Anyway, I think that Portal:Maryland is worth keeping, and Portal:Delaware is probably worth deleting, but would like information on how to do the assessment. Thank you. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:11, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi Robert McClenon
No guide. I've had to learn it all from scratch. It's complex, and took a lot of time to learn; I still bargain on an hour or two per portal fro starting assessmnet to posting a nomination. My nominations give some clue what to look for, but a good assessment requires understanding what all the code and template actually do.
There is of course a systenmic bias in portals as in everything on wikipedia. Editors work on the topics that interest them, and that creates bias towards the anglosphere. Portals are part of that.
Of course. And India sort of is and sort of is not part of the Anglosphere, a country where English is no one's first language and the second language of a billion people. Now that the English have gone home, their language is useful. Robert McClenon (talk) 22:27, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
In the last few days I have been systematically working through south Asian portals. A few strays into other topics along the way, but I am nearing the end of that batch. Then I will start onto other topics in the same quality groups. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:28, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
How do I query page views? Robert McClenon (talk) 19:43, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
You'll find a link at the top of the history page. But be sure to choose a period before the current wave of scrutiny started. I consistently use 01/01/2019 - 28/02/2019,
See also massview. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs)

Next QuestionEdit

Do you have a suggestion for a frequently viewed portal that is in good condition? Yes, I have an ulterior motive, which is to see whether a good-condition portal that really is an enhanced main page attracts traffic. My thinking is that portals are useful as an instructional tool if they are well-publicized, and that is about it. If you don't have a suggestion, is there a talk page or project page, such as the portal talk page, that I should ask for examples of great portals? Robert McClenon (talk) 21:53, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

@Robert McClenon, I have most been working at the other end of the scale, i.e. tackling the sediment at the bottom of the scale.
So I haven't really tried to look for the best. If I was doing so, I'd start with the list of pageviews, take only the portals with over 100 views/day, eliminate the portals linked from the front page ... and then see if there is anything there whose hit level is disproportionate to the topic's prominence. I would ensure "disproportionate" as ratio of portalviews to article views. Most portals get views between 1% and 0.005% of the head article. If that ratio exceeds 5%, then something good is probably happening; if it exceeds 10%, then either it is massively advertised, or it really is good.
Note that @Espresso Addict says that when the portal they maintain was a featured portal it got good hits, which plummeted massively when the FP process was ended and the portal lost its star. EA may be able to explain more.
Anyway, when you find that high%, then examine that for quality. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:19, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
@Robert McClenon: Look at [9]; the hits fall off a cliff when the featured process was fully wound up, without any change to the portal. Espresso Addict (talk) 22:52, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Many thanks, @EA.
The conclusion I draw from that is that since the vast majority of portals have historically been on a spectrum between mediocrity and abandoned junk, most readers will not visit unless they have an assurance of quality. What do you make of that, EA? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:59, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
The hits in that example were certainly mainly coming from some page in the featured process, rather than the many links on project articles. Readers appear to be looking for a good-quality portal to browse, without caring so much about the topic. The conclusion I draw is that resurrecting the featured process might have value, because there's really no carrot for portal improvement at present. Espresso Addict (talk) 23:15, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
I dunno how big a factor the carrot is for editors. But I am mostly thinking of readers, who seem undestandably keen to avoid portals which lack a quality stamp. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:20, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Useful portals?Edit

Enough already. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:53, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
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.

I know that you dislike Wikipedia portals in general, but I would like your suggestions on how we might make a portal useful. Please give me your suggestions how Portal:Colorado could be improved, or if you think it is beyond salvage, let me know that.

Dylan Thomas wrote the unnamed poem know as Do not go gentle into that good night for his dying father in 1947. His father, David Thomas, recovered and lived another six years. I hope to get another six years out of my favorite poem. Yours aye,  Buaidh  talk contribs 23:31, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Buaidh, after your outbursts earlier, you have some repair work to do before you get the benefit of my time. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs)
I'm sorry I expressed my honest feelings. I doubt that anyone other than you considered them outbursts. You must be very sensitive. My sincere apologies if warranted. Yours aye,  Buaidh  talk contribs 01:42, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

I will therefore express my honest feeling that you appear to be a very rude man with deep anger management issues who appears to feel entitled to throw a rage at something he disagrees with rather than having a civilised discussion, and that you also shamefully exploit your fatal illness as a shield behind which to hide when asked to desist from a rampage.

In the same spirit as your non-apology apology, I offer sincere apologies if warranted.

There you are. Your way, served back at you.

Discussion closed. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:52, 14 May 2019 (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.

Please Reverse Your Deletion of Portal:AutismEdit

Please see the conversation here as to why, WikiProject Autism uses this portal, - Nolan PerryYell at me! 16:31, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

@Nolan Perry,read the entry in the deletion log.
The portal was deleted at WP:Miscellany for deletion/Mass-created portals based on a single navbox, explicitly "without prejudice to recreating a curated portal not based on a single navbox".
The re-created version was based on a single navbox.
So no, I won't reverse my decision. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:41, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
User:Nolan Perry - If you think that the decision to delete the portal was wrong, you may request Deletion Review. However, that will involve showing that there was some error in the deletion decision. Alternatively, since the deletion was without prejudice, you may create a better portal, but creating good portals isn't easy. (That is why there have been so many inferior portals created, because creating inferior portals is easy and fun, but not useful.) Robert McClenon (talk) 21:49, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

My apologyEdit

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.

My very sincere apologies, without reservation, for anything and everything that I have done that offends you. I have no desire to personally offend any fellow Wikipedian, especially you who have done so much to improve Wikipedia. I frequently disagree with your notions of what Wikipedia should be, but I don’t wish to offend you personally. You may now have the last word.  Buaidh  talk contribs 17:17, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, but that's still a bit of a non-apology apology.
My rule in dealing with people is that a non-apology apology is very severe breach of trust, and the path back from a non-apology apology is a very long one. The vagueness above just makes the path longer.
Best wishes, but go look elsewhere for people to collaborate with. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:23, 14 May 2019 (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.

Portal CommentsEdit

My recollection is that Portal:Germany is considered one of the best. It has 104 daily pageviews, as opposed to the head article with 15,549. So even the best portals will never get that many views, which confirms what I would have thought, that readers who want general knowledge, as opposed to specific knowledge, go to a head article and may follow the links rather than using a portal. Some readers come to Wikipedia from Google or other search engines, which is both a blessing and a curse for Wikipedia because it encourages paid editors to try to put promotional articles into Wikipedia, but that means that they will go to an article by name. To the best of my knowledge, search engines don't take users to Wikipedia portals.

The portal guidelines say that portals should be on broad topic areas that will attract readers and portal maintainers. I am not sure that there is such a thing as a broad topic area that attracts portal maintainers. We have seen that there are narrow subject areas that attract portal maintainers.

I was noticing today some of the portals that don't exist. After looking at Portal:Australian literature, I looked for Portal:New Zealand literature, then for Portal:Canadian literature. The latter would have the feature that the literature is in two languages. So then I looked for Portal:Irish literature (same expectation), and I looked for Portal:Indian literature (maybe 50 languages out of the 150 or so might have well-defined bodies of literature). Then I realized that I should try the obvious, and looked for Portal:English literature (a language, not a country) and Portal:British literature (a country, although we won't argue over what its boundaries should be) and Portal:American literature. Well, the portal platoon hasn't arrived, and literature doesn't attract portal maintainers. So then I looked for Portal:Wheat and Portal:Maize. You are right. Individual grains don't attract real portal maintainers, even if they feed whole continents.

More later. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:39, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

We think alike, @Robert. AFAICS, broad has to mean very broad. Even the set of country portals is in very poor shape, and that's before we start slicing up countries either geographically or topically.
You mention Portal:Irish literature. Very rich field: Heaney, Yeats, Wilde, Synge, O'Brien, McGahern, scores of greats ... but no chance of sustaining a portal. Even Portal:Ireland is rotting, and the discussion at WP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Ireland was most notable for one thing: all the enthusiasm came from people who will never in a month of Sundays build or curate that portal, while the Irish editors said "bleh".
Wikipedia has enough editorial commitment to portals to sustain only hundreds of portals. If they continue to be sprawling sub-page farms, it will be low hundreds; if lower maintenance models are adopted, it will be high hundreds. But if we try keeping every country plus every capital city plus every first-level national subdivision, then that's thousands already just on geography. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:16, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I am not persuaded that we can sustain hundreds of portals, but I am preaching to the choir. About fifty years ago, I had to choose between American literature, British literature, and European literature in translation in the English language. There was enough content there for six one-semester first-year university courses. (I chose the European literature because I had already read a lot of British literature and American literature in high school.) I am sure that the only reason that there wasn't a course on Australian literature was that there wasn't a professor who had selected the works and would teach it. Because I didn't take the British literature courses, I don't know if they covered any Irish authors, which might have offended the spirits of the authors (who knew that they were not British). The body of literature is larger than it was, because books are being written and (fortunately) are not being lost. But most rich subjects in Wikipedia are better suited for deeply branched category trees than for portals. I am beginning to think that portals should be based entirely on the interest of a portal maintainer and not on the breadth of the subject area. (We didn't have a course in Australian literature because we didn't have a professor who had had part of his education in Australia. And just creating a portal randomly is like just creating a university course randomly.) Robert McClenon (talk) 01:58, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Both of you have rather similar views on portals to mine but BHG, you said that the Portal:Ireland was rotten, which is why I responded 2 weeks ago with some suggestions and a significantly revised proposal that would essentially be self sustaining. I think that is the key to maintenance. However, my post went unanswered, which is unusual for you, but perhaps you have been snowed under with other numerous portal related posts. Unless Google searches were to place portals higher in their results, they will never get a significant increase in views. A few hundred portals, I think mainly for countries, which can have sections related to other narrower topics, is all we are ever likely be able to maintain. Even that may be optimistic. ww2censor (talk) 14:51, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Hi ww2censor. Good to hear from you.
I am very sorry that I overlooked your earlier message. You are on the v thoughtful editors whose insights I really value, so I would have responded if I had seen it, but I entirely missed it. There was indeed a lot happening at that point, both with a lot of messages here and with an episode on the drama boards regarding an editor whose behaviour towards me got way out of control. I will go respond now.
The fundamental problem with portals has always been that the focus has been on "let's have portals" rather than on how they can actually add value for for readers, and thereby meet the WP:PORTAL principle that "Portals serve as enhanced 'Main Pages' for specific broad subjects". Most of them are not enhanced at all, and most of them are rotting. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:34, 16 May 2019 (UTC)


I want to resolve one detail about portal cleanup. I think that we are not in a grand rush to clean up the portal mess. It has to be cleaned up, but two giant steps were already taken. I don't object to relisting of any open portal discussions for one or two more weeks. I would rather have the defenders of portals realize that they had their chance to persuade the community. I don't even object to having one or two heritage portal deletion discussions that were closed as Delete Relisted just to give the portal advocates a second chance, as I said about Anthropology. I don't want anyone to have an almost reasonable basis for saying that there is a cabal. (You have seen and agreed with my comments about cabals on the Internet in general, and about the portal platoon as a cabal in particular. They weren't doing anything secretly in the strict sense, but they were working quietly to create portals, and the deletion of portals is a noisy process.) Do you agree that we should be willing to accept Relists even when they aren't necessary, just to reduce but not eliminate the hurt feelings that we can't eliminate? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:35, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, Robert McClenon. I want to think a little about that. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:29, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

User:FireBlade708/articles/2021 Bangladesh CycloneEdit

Could you please close this? I don't think we need to drag this out for the full seven days since the creator just said he would rather have it deleted. NoahTalk 23:33, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, @Noah. I have just speedy-deleted it per WP:G7.
If the creator agrees to deletion, the I agree: there is no need to prolong anything. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:46, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Special Barnstar
Thank you for your work on portals, BHG. You recently nominated few Pakistani portals, so I thought I should remind that there are many inactive portals. Check this category Category:Pakistan portals. Your work in this regard would be appreciated. Thank you again. Störm (talk) 12:14, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Many thanks for the barnstar, Störm. That is very kind.  
I just checked Category:Pakistan portals. It contains 16 portals, of which 8 are currently being discussed at MFD
  1. Portal:Transport in PakistanWP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Transport in Pakistan
  2. Portal:Balochistan, PakistanWP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Balochistan, Pakistan
  3. Portal:Bangladesh Liberation WarWP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Bangladesh Liberation War
  4. Portal:Education in PakistanWP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Education in Pakistan
  5. Portal:Gilgit-BaltistanWP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Gilgit-Baltistan
  6. Portal:Military of PakistanWP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Military of Pakistan
  7. Portal:SindhWP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Sindh
  8. Portal:UrduWP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Urdu
The first step is to see where consensus lies on those. I haven't seen your comments on any of them. Pls forgive me if I have missed any, but it would be helpful if you could participate in the existing discussions before we consider any more. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:18, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Sure, we should see where consensus stands. I was busy recently, so I'd do it soon. Störm (talk) 16:45, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, @Störm. I look fwd to your comments at the MFDs.
What I have been doing so far is a cleanup process, removing the very worst portals: a) narrow topic portals which should never have been created; b) automated spam which should never have been created; c) the abandoned (often still-born) junk which should have been removed years ago.
That process is nearing completion. There are maybe another 100, max 200 such portals awaiting their turn at MFD.
Once that is completed, the next tier is a wider set, of maybe 500 portals which are a little better than that: they display maybe up to ten articles, which gives a very poor overview of their topics, and they are based on a collection of outdated and redundant content-forked sub-pages. My preferred solution for that lot would be to take them offline unless and until they are improved, either by moving them to a draft space, or simply by marking them as drafts and unlinking them all from articles, categories and navboxes.
Sadly, in discussions at WP:WPPORT, there is very little interest in the two critical next steps: 1) defining purpose and quality threshold for portals which gains broad community support at RFC; 2) actively applying that threshold by taking offline portals which don't meet the agreed criteria.
So I am beginning to think that there would be a lot of merit in adapting an idea of SmokeyJoe's, and simply taking nearly all portals offline unless and until the portals project gets its act in gear to actively apply quality thresholds which have community support. See the discussion at WT:WikiProject Portals#1000_views_per_day_as_the_basic_threshold. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:26, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
@Störm: This was a great idea to check out Category:Pakistan portals. It led me to make this nomination (which I see that you have just reviewed). Pretty awesome suggestion! (talk page watcher)MJLTalk 15:42, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

@Störm, see also:

  1. Portal:FaisalabadWP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Faisalabad
  2. Portal:Railways in PakistanWP:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Railways in Pakistan
  3. Portal:JhelumWP:Miscellany for deletion/Smaller city portals

Your comments on those MFDs would be welcome. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:27, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

BrownHairedGirl Thanks for bringing back my attention. I, recently, was busy in my college exams so thats why I got late. So, now I am free, therefore, soon would give my comments. Störm (talk) 21:31, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

WikiProject Kerala/Malayalam cinema recognised contentEdit

Greetings, this page WikiProject Kerala/Malayalam cinema recognised content should be under Wikipedia: project namespace perhaps? Regards. --Titodutta (talk) 20:36, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi Titodutta
Yes, of course. That is where I intended to make it, but I looks like I didn't. Thanks for pointing out my error.
So I have now moved it to Wikipedia:WikiProject Kerala/Malayalam cinema recognised content. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:40, 19 May 2019 (UTC)


As we can see, it was closed as No Consensus. How long do we wait before nominating it again? Robert McClenon (talk) 00:15, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

@ Robert, a month is usually considered appropriate after a "no consensus" close. The more substantive the reason for re-nomination, the shorter the needed gap, and vice-versa. So if it's exactly the same nomination, it would best to leave it for three months or more. OTOH, if there is some major new point of fact or policy/guidelines/etc, then shorter might be OK. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:27, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
We will see whether Godot shows up on a Bactrian camel to maintain it. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:59, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Two MFDsEdit

I think that UnitedStatesian has complicated things with a bundle of city portals that don't have a clear bundle criterion, but that is because there are portal defenders who will repeat "broad subject area" like a mantra as though that is all that needs to be said.

As to the UK Railways, the real problem is Northern Ireland itself, which isn't an anything except two-thirds of a province, or a constituent country that doesn't always exist and is a mistake, or the northern side of a ribbon whose meaning is argued about, or the home of the Damned Ulster Party. But we don't want to argue about that in Wikipedia because there are ArbCom discretionary sanctions for areas that have battleground editing because they have had real battles in history. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:55, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

We'll see on the cities. Sometimes those bundles work, sometimes not. If they fail, they clarify issues, and if they succeed, then job done.
Railways are one of many Irish topics which don't reflect political borders. Sport is another biggie, and the biggest of all is religion. Both have 32-county structures. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:01, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
The political border shouldn't be reflected or respected or whatever. There are two islands to the west of Europe. Maritime borders are real. There are also multiple ethnicities on the two islands, and the Celts came first. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:06, 21 May 2019 (UTC)


Baltimore has been pulled from the mixed bag. I am not sure that that should have been done after some editors had already !voted to delete it. Should it be nominated again? Robert McClenon (talk) 18:11, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

@Robert, I think that in group noms it can often help to withdraw items which some editors consider an exception. That allows discussion to continue on a set with shared attributes.
Probably best to leave any re-nomination until the group nom closes. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 18:43, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes. At least, in this case, the deletion means that the other 13 city portals may get deleted. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:18, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
By the way, the argument that Baltimore didn't belong with the rest because it is a big city and the rest are not big is nonsense. Baltimore is a big city, as are New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Miami. The significance of Baltimore is that it had a really really bad portal a year ago. Duh. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:18, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
When the group nom is closed, maybe one of us should nominate Baltimore. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:18, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

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