User talk:CBM/Archive 16

Latest comment: 13 years ago by Kumioko in topic My ANI

That edit

Applied a tag and then dated it. Rich Farmbrough, 11:24, 18 October 2010 (UTC).

The edit summary said it is dating maintenance tags, it did not. You need to use descriptive edit summaries. Moreover, it is not clear that the "Theorem" article has any particular reason to use the dmy date format. I'll leave a note at the BRFA. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:27, 18 October 2010 (UTC)


How so? Incidentally you will find the explanation - no I'll paste it for you here.

First, thanks for all of the good work SmackBot does. I think I have encountered a bug, though, related to Template:Dead link. See this edit. It looks like the bot is having trouble substituting the date. Cheers! Novaseminary (talk) 21:45, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Thank you fro those kind words. Yes you are quite right. This is a known bug due to a change (reduction) in what SmackBot does and I am waiting for a BRFA to be approved which will allow me to fix this. Rich Farmbrough, 21:52, 12 October 2010 (UTC).

Unfortunately I have had other wikidrama than yours to contend with. Rich Farmbrough, 12:01, 18 October 2010 (UTC).

If you were aware of the problem, why wasn't it already fixed?! — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:08, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
CBM, you should not use rollback to edit war over this, or even revert the bot's edits in the first place. It's a misuse of the tool. Instead provide an informative edit summary - Kingpin13 (talk) 12:34, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate the issue and I do make an effort not to use rollback excessively. I left a detailed message on the bot's page when I rolled back the one edit that I used rollback on, and using rollback to reverse bot edits is well established as a way of cleaning up after broken bots. You can't "insult" a bot, which is the usual reason to avoid using rollback on other editors.
On the other hand, I had already started using a more detailed edit summary for the other edits I reversed, so that other people watching the pages could see what the problem was, long before you left this note.
If I did need to quickly reverse, say, 50 edits by the bot, I probably would simply use rollback, as that is one of the things it is used for according to WP:ROLLBACK (see "When to use rollback"). However, there is a way to make the rollback summary more descriptive, which I try to use whenever I need to do that sort of thing.
— Carl (CBM · talk) 12:45, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
You might not be able to insult the bot directly, but I doubt Rich appreciates his bot's edits being tagged with what is commonly seen as "vandalism". This seems apparent from his response, which was to rollback your edit - thus your original rollback served only to inflame the situation, whereas a polite comment, (even just pointing to the message on the bot's talk page) would have likely avoided that. Yeah, when doing a mass rollback of another person's bot's edits it's generally better to use the rollback summary tool. - Kingpin13 (talk) 12:59, 18 October 2010 (UTC)


No I didn't know what od was, although I guessed it was a unix utility. I frequently add links to posts on my talk page, albeit generally to article names they are referring to. I am surprised you took exception to that. My apologies for offending your sense of authorship. Rich Farmbrough, 17:03, 20 October 2010 (UTC).

Hello, CBM. You have new messages at DiverDave's talk page.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Very odd

Have reverted will investigate, thanks.

Rich Farmbrough, 00:53, 24 October 2010 (UTC).
Thanks. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:55, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Question about one of your bots

In regards to WP 1.0 bot. I have recently been working on cleaning up and resurrecting Wikipedia:WikiProject United States and have found that the bot has built article tables for several Wikiprojects that dont exist and didn't build them for some that do. Not trying to be a complainer I was just wondering if it builds them based on the Talk page banner, categories or on the project page? --Kumioko (talk) 01:01, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

The project needs its quality category to be listed at Category:Wikipedia_1.0_assessments. Assuming that is true, the bot uses category membership records (in the toolserver database) to collect information on the assessments made by the project. The talk page template is useful for the bot only to the extent that it populates the assessment categories. If a project no longer exists, they should be removed from that top-level category to stop the bot from updating them. If a project wants the bot to make a table for them, they need to add their main "by quality" category (e.g. Category:Mathematics articles by quality) to that top-level category. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:05, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Great thanks for the Quick reply. How does the category membership record get to the toolserver?--Kumioko (talk) 01:56, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
The toolserver has read-only copies of the internal MediaWiki databases, and so the bot is able to read the category records directly from these copies. So it is (apart from a small amount of lag) looking directly at the current data from the live site. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:58, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Great thanks. --Kumioko (talk) 03:01, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Heres one that doesn't seem to be building.Wikipedia:WikiProject North America has the quality category but it doesnt seem to be building the table. This is just one example I found so far. I thought it might be cause it only links to 51 pages but I wasn't sure since there are some others with less than 100 articles that are building. --Kumioko (talk) 00:15, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
That category was created just today. The bot did notice it and created the table, but the daily upload run has not happened yet, so it has not been uploaded to the wiki. You can see the table at the web tool [1]. In general the bot runs only one time per day. But as far as I can see it is working correctly with that project. The bot does not worry about a minimum number of articles or anything like that. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:51, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh sorry I didnt realize it had just been created. --Kumioko (talk) 01:03, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Question about templates

I was wondering if you know if there is a way to see what templates relate to something (in this case United States related) and if there was a way to see how many articles they link too. The only way I know of is to look at each one individually? I was hoping you knew of a way to see if one links to less than 10 or had zero transclusions. --Kumioko (talk) 00:17, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't know how to tell whether a template is related to the United States. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:53, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Ok thanks for takin the time to respond though. --Kumioko (talk) 01:03, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Bot didn't run?

FYI - User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Project/Radio station & Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Radio station articles by quality log didn't get updated on 10/22. JPG-GR (talk) 05:47, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

I am away from home at the moment; I will look into this tonight. I ran a manual update using the web tool at , which worked and updated the asessment table. The assessment log should be updated on the next regular bot run. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:11, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
The radio station pages got skipped again. JPG-GR (talk) 05:17, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I am looking at the logs from Oct. 24 and everything looks correct. If the table is the same as the time before, the edit does not appear in the page's edit history. But the logs show that the bot did include the Radio stations project in its run. You may not see an edit every day, that's normal. However, I will watch it again today and see what happens with the automatic run. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:09, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Ah, did not know that no change = no edit - makes sense though. That's likely the cause. Thanks! JPG-GR (talk) 15:48, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

WP:Ships listing

Hi CBM, I was looking at this list, and I see that there are a few articles with scores over 1200 that are not included in V0.8. I wanted to check - is this because the list is current, and these articles have been reassessed (or got a big increase in external interest points)? Or does it indicate that we missed something? I just want to make sure. Thanks, Walkerma (talk) 03:31, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Another thing - how should I go about REMOVING articles? The Wagner project found some mass plagiarism in a couple of articles and they want them removed completely. Walkerma (talk) 04:22, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
It will be because the quality or external interest score changed. For example Flag of convenience was promoted to GA in August, which was probably after I did the selecton. I did also update the external interest data once in the meantime. The cutoff I used was 1240, if I remember correctly.
To remove an article, use the manual selection tool and mark the article as "norelease". That should make the diamond symbol disappear from beside the article. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:36, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Great - thanks! Walkerma (talk) 19:03, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
On a related note, it looks as if Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Children's literature never got our message, yet I see there is this list indicating that they have plenty of articles selected. I notice that the name in our index listing is different from the project name, though the project is correctly linked. Any idea why they got missed? Do we need to post a message? Thanks, Walkerma (talk) 21:49, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
I think the problem is that the announcing script didn't find their homepage. I will look into that this weekend; I am also planning to work on the index this weekend. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:28, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

New Santa Barbara County Participant

Hi, Carl.

I saw the request for photos of several places in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. So, I went on a photo safari and have uploaded some new photos.

I didn't know whether to post them on their respective pages or tell someone they're available...? I found your contact info, so hope you can help me.

Maybe I can help with some of the Santa Barbara County pages, depending on what's involved. Would you please reply to my talk page? I'm not sure how to find your page again...

Thanks, DillyLynn (talk) 03:09, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Math article rating

Hi, the lists of the Mathematics Assessment don't seem to work anymore, such as Wikipedia:WikiProject_Mathematics/Wikipedia_1.0/Frequently_viewed, for example. Do you know how to fix this issue? Jakob.scholbach (talk) 12:30, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

This time it was just vandalism [2]. Sometimes the lists get too long, which can also cause that problem. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:08, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Peer review problem

Sorry to bother you, but it appears someone has transcluded the PR page in one or two reviews. Please see Wikipedia_talk:Peer_review#Something_weird. I have looked but can't see how to fix it. Will also ask G guy. Thanks in advance for any help, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 21:54, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Geometry guy has fixed the problem - thanks. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 00:06, 31 October 2010 (UTC)


Just so you know, the bot message still says "we aim to have the collection ready for distribution by the end of October, 2010." —Gendralman (talk) 16:35, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks - I updated one of the dates, and apparently I missed the other one. The actual goal, at the moment, is to have a release in time for the holiday season. The second round of announcements was because we missed several projects the first time. I'll update the messages - I do appreciate the prompt feedback. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:45, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Edit filter no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Edit filter (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:01, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (British Isles) no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (British Isles) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:01, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (UK counties) no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (UK counties) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:01, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Question about wiki-policy

To the Post-Turing machine article a Russian editor added a couple external links. I went to his links and found it appears to his own website that has a "Post machine" simulator with an "interpreter" etc. It's not such a bad site (never mind it's redundant -- simulating a "Post machine" on Excel is a great student-exercise in both programming Excel and in programming "Post machines"). Another editor reverted these edits saying "there's nothing there of consequence" which I don't quite agree with. But I'm wondering if/what you know about wiki-policy concerning self-publishing on the internet and then linking to the site(s)? (No peer review there....) Thanks, BillWvbailey (talk) 13:40, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

The main documentation is here. As is often the case here, it takes discretion to apply them. The main concerns seem to be spam and having too many links on a single page. In this case, I don't see anything wrong with the P-T machine link. It provides an extra resource, which is plausibly of interest to readers, which cannot be included in the article directly. I'd say you should feel free to restore the link, although a clearer description might make it more compelling. My guess is that it was reverted by the spam patrol, since a new user adding links is easy to mistake for spam. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:50, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Longevity COI

A discussion about longevity WP:COI has been initiated at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject World's Oldest People#End COI. As a recent contributor to this page, your comments are solicited. JJB 20:20, 11 November 2010 (UTC) (Redirected from User talk:WP 1.0 bot) JJB 20:20, 11 November 2010 (UTC)


Spell fixing is usually considered a prime example of a task that bots are not supposed to do. Would you please point me to the BRFA that approved your bot to perform that spelling changes? — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:53, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Also, I noticed above that the bot account has been used to respond to questions on this page. WP:BOTPOL explicitly says, "is it not appropriate to use the bot account to respond on talk pages." — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:56, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Hi Carl. Thanks for your feedback. My 'bot' isn't really a bot as such, but more an assisted editing tool similar to AutoWikiBrowser. Every edit it makes is eyeballed and OKed by me. As you've quite correctly pointed out, bots aren't allowed to make unassisted spelling changes. This makes perfect sense, however as I've said, I manually review each change before I submit it, and the bot policy does allow this use case.
I haven't got explicit approval for the 'alternate cover'->'alternative cover' change, however I had been using the bot and this account to make miscellaneous spelling changes for years and have gotten the bot reviewed and approved. I don't have a link immediately to hand, but if you like I can look it up for you.
As for the 'bot responding on talk page' thing, I think that's covered by the fact that it's an assisted editing tool 'backed' by a human. It's much more convenient for me to get feedback on the bot's discussion page, as I see it straight away when I'm editing, and don't have to log in using my ordinary user account to reply, then log back in using the bot account to continue editing. There are explicit links to my 'real' account as well from the bot page, in case there's ever any question about who's driving the bot.
I hope this answers your questions. Cheers, CmdrObot (talk) 19:37, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Maths rating

Concerning this edit of yours I wonder if you adjust your script to write under the WPBiography to ensure {{BLP}} gets a top billing. Check WP:TPL for more. Hint: Latest WP:AWB snapshot moves WPBiography on the top if the pge is bout a living person.

Btw, what do you think of the banner gets renames to WikiProject Mathematics to help WP:STANDARDIZE? -- Magioladitis (talk) 01:36, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't think that the order matters very much, and I don't think think that the banner should be renamed. Assessments are on a per-wikiproject basis, they are not standardized. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:37, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Order matters only if the person is alive so blp disclaimer must be visible nd on the top not mixes with wikiprojects. I am only discussing this case. -- Magioladitis (talk) 01:40, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
So, please, if possible follow this layout. I am member of Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. -- Magioladitis (talk) 01:48, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
What the Biography people put in their wikiproject template is their business. But the standard convention is that editors are free to add wikiproject banners at the top of the talk page; it does not have any implications for priority of wikiprojects because no wikiproject is more important than any other wikiproject. Of course I won't complain if someone else rearranges the templates, but I don't see that it's worth worrying about very much. If it was really an issue there would be a bot to take care of it (and I still wouldn't need to worry about it). — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:50, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
But the blp disclaimer is attached to the WPbiography. It's not about the main banner. -- Magioladitis (talk) 01:51, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Yobot will be doing this anyway but it's better to have less job for it. -- Magioladitis (talk)
Check this one for instance. My follow-up edit added a blp disclaimer on the top, important to reduce vandalisms. -- Magioladitis (talk) 02:01, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that vandals read talk pages, and people who do aren't deterred by wikiproject boxes. But I have no objection to the Biography people adding whatever they want to their assessment template.
The problem I have to deal with on these pages is when people add the maths rating template but don't actually add the rating data. If they were filled in when the template was added, I wouldn't need to edit the pages at all. But people ignore that part, for example when I did about 25 pages the other day I noticed a lot of Russian mathematician stubs that had been improperly tagged. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:28, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Independent of that, I don't think that Poincaré conjecture is really in the scope of the biography project. Just appeared on my watchlist. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:28, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Someone added a blp disclaimer. It's good that you removed everything. People add wrong wikiprojects all the time. There is much confusion between {{blp}} and {{blpo}} too. Thanks for informing. -- Magioladitis (talk) 02:31, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Church-Turing thesis and analog computation

I didn't want to put this on the talk page and create more of a ruckus. I read your example to the Hewitt supporter and found it very interesting and useful. Correct me if I'm wrong: If the post-man's or post-office's so-called-random time intervals of delivery were ultimately discrete (i.e. synchronizable to a fast-running clock), then a discrete-computation model of many Turing machines would suffice to model the whole (pseudo-)non-deterministic "system" -- and this could be reduced to a single TM, etc etc. However, if the time-intervals are truly random (e.g. quantum-mechanical) then the matter falls into the realm of the (time-) analog. Our discrete-time system cannot convert the random time intervals into anything useful (like numbers) because no matter how finely we divide the time (i.e. no matter how fast the clock ticks) now we're confronted with the same problem that we have with the continuum -- there are numbers between 0 and 1 that we cannot compute; there are time-intervals that will be fractional, lying between ticks of the clock no matter how fast the clock ticks. It would seem that there's not much new re Church-Turing Thesis theory to be discovered, at least when considering discrete vs analog computation. Bill Wvbailey (talk) 15:31, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

In Hewitt's model, the postman doesn't have to deliver letters in the order they are sent, and different delivery orders can lead to different outcomes of the "computation". The randomness I was talking about was the random order of letter delivery. It's a very reasonable model if you have a collection of computers connected to a network; packets on the internet really can be delivered out of order, and the network protocols have to take that into account. But if a process in Hewitt's sense has different possible outcomes, then it's not an algorithm for computing a function in the sense of the Church-Turing thesis. Part of being a function is that every input has exactly one corresponding output. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:25, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Re: Maths rating

Hello. I must say that I'm aware of this guideline that is peculiar to WP Mathematics, but I chose to (partially) ignore it because I don't think it's constructive.

I routinely add various project banners, but on principle I very rarely assess importance for projects of which I am not a member, and I'd say that's perfectly legitimate, for obvious reasons. It's true, I could have at least rated the class of this particular article (and I often do, even for projects of which I am not a member because the ratings are - generally speaking - common to all projects).

Of course, List of mathematics articles is nice, but the true list in terms of the project is in fact Category:WikiProject Mathematics articles. That's what bots work on and that how you know how many articles you have. That's how it works for all projects. And banners with missing class and/or importance also work for all projects: at the very least, adding them does not hurt Wikipedia, and everyone is free to either fill in the blanks or to ignore them.

My apologies if this sounded a bit argumentative - I'm only trying to explain my point of view here... Cheers, GregorB (talk) 23:16, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Well, if adding the banner does not help at all, one might as well save the energy for the edits that do. You have a point there, so I'm taking note. GregorB (talk) 08:01, 23 November 2010 (UTC)


Hi. Thank you for your User:VeblenBot/PERtable, an invaluable tool for managing semi-protected edit requests. However, would you please have your VeblenBot use regular wikilinks for the requests, as requests should not be coming from redirected talk pages? That would allow the use of read vs. unread for tracking purposes. Also, would you consider running it more frequently than every half hour? Thanks!   — Jeff G.  ツ 04:58, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

It's been a while, but I seem to remember that the reason I used the "redirect=no" links was that some people did put the requests on redirected talk pages. But I can change the output of the table, it's not difficult. I'll see if anyone complains about the change... I don't think I can increase the frequency very much; I'm concerned that if I turn it up too much one of the server admins may complain at me about it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:47, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks re the regular wikilinks, actually your bot could look for "#REDIRECT" and lowercase equivalents on the first line of the pages and talk pages it posts about. Re frequency, the bots that patrol AIV have been known to edit more than once per minute[3], so I don't think that would be a performance problem, but you could certainly ask at WT:BRFA.   — Jeff G.  ツ 12:46, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Toolserver problems


I'm having some problems accessing anything using the script. The error appearing is, been doing this for a while now:

There was an error connecting to the database. This is most likely a temporary condition. Please try again in a few minutes. If the problem persists, please contact User:CBM on enwiki.

The error message is: User 'enwp10' has exceeded the 'max_user_connections' resource (current value: 15)

WP 1.0 bot revision 298, updated Sun, 25 Apr 2010 by cbm


Aeonx (talk) 04:58, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for reporting this. I'm not sure what's causing it, but I'll add some debugging code to try to diagnose the problem. — Carl (CBM · talk) 23:50, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Spanish wiki bot

Hi CBM, I'd like to propose the User:WP 1.0 bot or its Second generation in the Spanish wiki, but my knowledge of a bot's maintenance is very limited. Is it possible for you to help me with the process? There are some wikiprojects in the Spanish wiki that have already setup the framework for the bot; such as categories and tables, but it has not been proposed. These include the Spanish version of Wikiproject United States. Where can I (or we) start? Cheers.--Amnesico29 (talk) 03:52, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Bot problem

Not sure if you're already aware of this bug, but if two projects have given the same page different ratings, the 1.0 bot will log that page as having been reassessed every time it runs (see the non-article pages in Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Human spaceflight articles by quality log for an example). We have some instances where one of the projects is using the standard assessment scale and another is using the extended one, meaning that the assessments cannot be changed so they are the same (for example some projects assess templates as N/A class whilst others assess them as Template class). This isn't a major issue, but it is cluttering up the assessment log, so if you get a chance to look into it then it would be appreciated. Thanks. --GW 11:45, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

The bot works well when different projects give a page different ratings. The problem you ran into is that the same project has given the page two different ratings. For example, Talk:Apollo 11 missing tapes is in Category:Low-importance Moon articles and Category:Top-importance Moon articles, which are conflicting importance ratings for the same WikiProject.
In general, each talk page should have at most one quality (class) category, and at most one importance category, for each WikiProject. If an article gets into two different categories, the result will be the continual "reassessed" messages in the logs. All that you have to do to fix the problem is to edit the talk page to remove the extra ratings, so that the talk page has exactly one rating for each WikiProject. You can use the list of categories at the bottom of the page to tell which ratings have been duplicated. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:34, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
I am aware that was the issue with the pages in the article namespace, it was the pages outside the article namespace that I wanted you to look at. Some of them seem to be double-tagged as well, but they're importing assessments from other projects. I'll try setting them all correctly and get back to you if there are still issues next time the bot runs. --GW 12:48, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Looking at Template talk:All U.S. Space Shuttle Missions, it is in the following "contradictory" categories, which will cause the problem you're seeing.
  • NA-Class Human spaceflight articles
  • Template-Class Human spaceflight articles
From the bot's perspective, the talk page tags are important only to the extent that the put the page in the right categories. The only information the bot sees is the category membership information.
The problem seems to be that the WPSpace banner is adding the NA-Class category to the template talk pages, when it should be adding the Template-Class category. I don't know how to fix that; I'd suggest asking User:MSGJ who is much more familiar with the talk page template system. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:01, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
That's by design. The standard assessment scale uses "NA" for templates, but the extended scale uses "Template" for templates. The bot should be corrected to accomodate both. See the QUALITY_SCALE parameter at Template:WPBannerMeta#Assessment. --Bsherr (talk) 18:58, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
The bot does not support the same WikiProject giving two different quality ratings, or two different importance ratings, to the same article – at most one of each can be assigned. This is part of the design of the 1.0 assessment system, and part of the design of the bot. The bot is perfectly fine if different projects use different ratings, since that is also part of the design of the bot. The new bot was designed to accommodate many variations in practice from one project to another, but if a project gets too far from the established system they will not be able to use the bot sensibly. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:17, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
I've traced the issue to a bug in {{WikiProject Space}} caused by different subprojects using different assessment scales, and I have begun discussion there regarding moving the two projects using the standard scale to the extended one. Sorry to have bothered you with this, I didn't realise that the template was misbehaving. --GW 22:43, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
It's not a problem; I don't mind answering the questions at all. I also thought the issue was that the subproject used a different scale on their template than in the WPSpace one, but I don't know how to fix the WPSpace template myself. If there is a way to enable the extended scale for task forces there, I think that will solve the problem. — Carl (CBM · talk) 22:47, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

AN/I notice

Hello. This message is being sent to inform you that there currently is a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. The thread is User:CBM, a case of WP:WIKIHOUNDING. Thank you. — Favonian (talk) 18:27, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. — Carl (CBM · talk) 18:51, 29 November 2010 (UTC)


Regarding this comment (and coming to your page as a more appropriate forum, hope that is kosher). Actually this is a misconception about the purpose of references; beyond a need to establish notability there is no actual requirement for references to appear on any article. In fact it is vaguely discouraged by policy. This is why we have external links - which are there to take readers "further down the rabbit hole". References are purely a convenience for times when we need to comply with WP:V and are primarily for editors. (I had the same misconception some time ago before it was pointed out to me :)) --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 19:09, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry to say that I don't agree with that. It may help you to know that I work here almost exclusively with technical articles related to mathematics.
I view including good references to the literature as a fundamental part of our mission, independent of WP:V. A good encyclopedia article is a tertiary source that reviews the literature and gives the readers an overview along with a selection of the best references. Our ideal articles are comparable to scholarly review articles and articles in other encyclopedias like the Stanford Encyclopedia ([4]). Our mission here is to be just as good as those types of sources, which means in particular that our referencing needs to be just as good. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:09, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Implementing citation templates, completing refs

Just so we don't end up in another lengthy discussion or worse: if I do something like this or this, do you consider it a forbidding change of citation style or not? If so, I'll stop doing that as well. –bender235 (talk) 00:42, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

The issue of adding or removing templates is somewhat touchy; there's even bold in that section of Wikipedia:CITE#Citation_templates_and_tools. But for those two articles, since they already had several citation templates before you changed just one, I would say the citation templates look like the majority style of the article. If a longer article had been extensively developed without using citation templates, WP:CITE strongly discourages converting the over based on personal preference (and also discourages removing them based on personal preference). — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:09, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Essentially what I did there (and on numerous other articles) was completing a previously unclear reference. This inevitably changes the citation style, but on the other hand obviously improves Wikipedia. So this is not about personal preferences of citation styles, because I don't care what citation style a particular article or Wikipedia as a whole uses, but I do care about having complete, machine-readable citations on Wikipedia (which each of the citation templates does, by adding a Z3988 context object in the source code). —bender235 (talk) 01:22, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Another reference styling & organization issue

See Talk:Julian Assange#References section is weird. Since you're one of the experts on this, perhaps you could comment. Tijfo098 (talk) 10:12, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Project to delete from list

Can "Elections and Referenda" be deleted from the list the bot runs on? The Wikiproject is now entitled "Elections and Referendums" and all the appartus has been either moved or created under those names now; however Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Elections and Referenda articles by quality log and User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Project/Elections and Referenda keep getting recreated by the bot. Timrollpickering (talk) 03:28, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

The system doesn't detect when a project is renamed - it would normally just leave the table with zeros in it. I deleted that project's entry from the WP 1.0 database manually, so the table shouldn't be recreated again. — Carl (CBM · talk) 23:01, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the log, the bot will keep trying to recreate that if you delete it. This is meant to be a safety feature: if the log doesn't get uploaded one day, it will get uploaded the next time the bot is run, so that nobody fails to see their log entries. When you delete the log, it confuses the bot into thinking the log was never uploaded. I don't think that leaving the log page as a historical record is a much of a problem. — Carl (CBM · talk) 23:05, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Canada Roads project table

There's no rush at the moment, but WP:CRWP is being rejuvenated. The banner has been undeleted and it's being set up for province-/territory-level assessments like USRD. So that project will be getting ready to have a leaderboard soon. Ditto the banner for WP:HWY with its regional task forces, but that will take longer to do at the moment. Imzadi 1979  01:40, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Usually the system starts generating the tables as soon as the categories are set up. Is there something I need to do specifically for these projects? — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:10, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

We're going to want a version of User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Custom/Roads-1 for Canada. Imzadi 1979  03:14, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
That makes sense. What I will need to set that up is a list of the task forces or subprojects that should be listed in the table. — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:19, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Ok, we're trying to debug setting up the new banner template. That metatemplate reads like Greek, yet I figure out most of it. Now, to make it work. Category:Canada Roads articles by quality has the overall project categories. Category:Ontario road articles by quality has the Ontario categories. There will be a similar set created for Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Prince Edward Island, Quebec Saskatchewan and Yukon. (Nunavut maybe end up like the American Samoa in the US though without articles.) The last set of categories will be for the Trans-Canada Highway named in the format Category:B-Class Trans-Canada Highway articles. So far that's the easy part. The hard part is going to get this template done. Imzadi 1979  05:11, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

OK, the banner is live and being deployed shortly. (We just need a bot to pass through the current articles and add the new banner, remove the |roads=yes tag from the WP:CANADA banner and inherit the class and importance from that banner.) The articles will be in the following categories:

Provinces: Category:XXX-Class YYY road transport articles where XXX is the class and YYY is the province's full name
TCH: Category:XXX-Class Trans-Canada Highway articles
CRWP overall: Category:XXX-Class Canada road transport articles.

The table should only need 15 rows (10 provinces, 3 territories, the TCH and the overall project) but should otherwise look and act like the table for USRD that the bot creates at User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Custom/Roads-1. Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions. Imzadi 1979  00:36, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

OK. I should be able to set it up on Sunday. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:52, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Just curious for a status update. There's no need to rush. Imzadi 1979  03:23, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I finished it up today. It's at User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Custom/Canada-Roads-1. I didn't see the Nunavut project so I left them out for now. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:54, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
It looks great. One small suggestion/request though, and don't run the bot specially to implement it. The project's shortcut/abbreviation is "CRWP"; "CR" usually means "county road/route". You might not have found Nanavut, because it's spelled Nunavut. Last thing, but the TCH is missing. There's a whole set of categories created for that. Otherwise, I thank you very much. Imzadi 1979  02:14, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I think my confusion with Nunavut was that it doesn't have any articles. I changed the table to fix the issues you mentioned. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:28, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, the project still has a few thousand articles left to retag. more minor quick fixes? Can we change the header to "Province" not "State" and maybe put the silver shading behind the three territories, TCH and CRWP like the US list? Thanks. Imzadi 1979  05:38, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I made those changes. The "State" thing was from when I copied the code from the US roads project - I didn't even read that part of the table. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:09, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation/Accident article notability has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation/Accident article notability (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Deceased Wikipedians/Guidelines has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Deceased Wikipedians/Guidelines (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

AN/I Notification

Hello. This message is being sent to inform you that there currently is a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you.--KorruskiTalk 12:06, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Need clarification

Please help me draw the line between "normal changes" and "mass changes", since that is obviously the critical issue. I just checked my contributitons log: within the past 4 days, I made about 500 edits, of which a total of 8 were similar to this. Obviously that qualified as "mass conversion". So how much is just right? —bender235 (talk) 00:24, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

As far as I can tell the close of the ANI thread from today just asks you to stop entirely, so I don't think that distinction is very important going forward. When I describe your edits as making wide-spread changes, I just mean that you have been doing this for months and over hundreds of articles. Really the best practice is to avoid unilaterally changing between optional styles at all, except during the course of extensive editing when there is clear agreement that a change is so useful that the benefits outweigh our general principle to not change the style. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:36, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
So at what point do you see the benefits of "colwidth" (which certainly exist) outweigh our general principle to not change the style? And why should, at that point, only the "main contributors" be allowed to make the beneficial style change?
And by the way: Yes, I made that change to "colwidth" about 100+ times over the past couple of months. That is 100+ changes to "reflist", among about 50,000 other edits (mostly typo fixing). Certainly no more than 1% of my edits have changed the reference list style, and I always tried to make sure it was appropriate. So your assumption that all I do was spreading "colwidth" where ever I can is just false. —bender235 (talk) 06:53, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that the count of other edits is especially relevant, especially since you do a lot of typo fixing that increases your edit count.
I think the difficulty I have in explaining my perspective to you is that you are approaching the issue as "colwidth is better, when can I change it?". But everyone thinks that the method they prefer is better; if we all went around changing articles to match our personal stylistic preferences, it would be chaos. So "I think it's better" isn't a reason to do this sort of thing. Since, as you say, reference changes are only a small percentage of your edits anyway, if you just do the other edits you'll still have plenty to do. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:22, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Project/Björk

This edit was weird. Just letting you know. AnemoneProjectors 01:42, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for letting me know - I wouldn't have noticed. I didn't make any recent code changes that should have caused this, but I have no idea what did. I will put the table on my watchlist and see if I have managed to fix it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:09, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability (geography) has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:Notability (geography) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Bug report

Hi Carl. You seem to have been doing some code tweaking to PERtable. (I notice that cascade protection is now recognised by the bot.) But this is a bug. Maybe the categories will need an initial colon as well. Cheers — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 17:09, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

This was due to the name switch from Image: to File:, which happened after the code was written. It should be fixed now, on both the regular and semi-protected requests tables. — Carl (CBM · talk) 22:41, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Season's Greetings!

  <font=3> Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and all the best in 2011! Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:35, 26 December 2010 (UTC)  
Thanks and have a great new year too! Ruhrfisch ><>°° 01:12, 1 January 2011 (UTC)


Hi CBM, I'm putting together an update end of year item re RFA for the signpost, and I was wondering if you'd be so kind as to contribute an update of your wiki generation stats for our active admins. If you have an automated way of doing it wikigeneration stats for all admins would also be really helpful, I can do that manually but it takes hours. ϢereSpielChequers 01:57, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I can run a script to make the table. Here is the data.
2001: 9
2002: 30
2003: 60
2004: 145
2005: 221
2006: 183
2007: 69
2008: 35
2009: 12
2010: 0
This makes 764 active admins, not counting 4 admin bots. There are 5 admins who don't have a registration time in the database (who knows why) so I use their first edit. For the remaining admins I use the date the account is created. I think that last time those five admins showed up in the "2001" category by mistake; I didn't keep data to tell for sure. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:46, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, much appreciated ϢereSpielChequers 13:58, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
New accounts' registration times weren't logged until sometime around 2005. For the editors whose registration date appears to be earlier than that, it's the MediaWikui software doing the same thing as you: choosing the date of their first edit. There was a secondary gap in which registration dates also weren't logged, which is probably what you're seeing. I don't remember what the explanation for that was. Soap 14:35, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
It's somewhat odd. At the moment I am looking at the databases directly on toolserver, which means I am not going through mediawiki. There are only 8 admins who do not have a user_registration set in the database:
user first edit
Caknuck 20060805044416
Jclemens 20060824142205
Lifebaka 20070121180139
NrDg 20070318183050
Paul Erik 20070114192613
Pb30 20060807043835
UpstateNYer 20060815032135
Versageek 20060708050441
There are plenty of other admins who have registration dates set within the window of 2006–2007, so it isn't an issue of either very old editors or a long period of time when dates were not recorded. It is possible that some maintenance script filled in the dates for most editors but missed these 8, but that also seems like a strange outcome. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:59, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
I found an explanation here. It seems that anyone who doesn't have a registration date is likely someone who registered before Sept 2005 but made no edits until sometime after that. But the same thread also indicates that occasional glitches have occurred in the years since then. Soap 15:49, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Bot screwing up

I'm not sure why, but the bot screw up the unicoding in this edit[5] altering several comments made by editors in the process. You may want to check the code so that the bot can handle the UTF-8 character set safely. —Farix (t | c) 11:54, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the note, I need people to let me know when these things happen. The toolserver is switching from linux to solaris, and the versions of perl are not completely compatible (they aren't the same version, so it's not just the system change). This has been causing some trouble while I get the bot working with the new version. I'll run the code by hand tomorrow and try to make sure it's fixed. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:12, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation/Aircraft accidents and incidents has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation/Aircraft accidents and incidents (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation/Accident article notability no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation/Accident article notability (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

CRWP table

I just took a look at User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Custom/Canada-Roads-1, and we have two small issues. One, the header is linking to the USRD categories. The second is that the CRWP link is using the old categories that have been deleted. (Everything should be at Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Canada road transport articles by quality statistics. Thanks! Imzadi 1979  03:11, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Invitation to join WikiProject United States


Hello, CBM/Archive 16! WikiProject United States, an outreach effort supporting development of United States related articles in Wikipedia, has recently been restarted after a long period of inactivity. As a user who has shown an interest in United States related topics we wanted to invite you to join us in developing content relating to the United States. If you are interested please add your Username and area of interest to the members page here. Thank you!!!

--Kumioko (talk) 03:14, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Error message

When trying to pull up, I get the error: "User 'enwp10' has exceeded the 'max_user_connections' resource (current value: 15)". Just wanted to pass it along in case it was important. Kaldari (talk) 05:34, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks! This is a transient problem, and I have had trouble figuring out what was causing it, but I was able to see it in action because I was online when you posted this. The system has recovered now, within a minute of when you posted here. It's been very hard for me to fix for that reason, but now I think I know what has been causing it. I really appreciate the bug report. — Carl (CBM · talk) 05:41, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Television episode assessment table

Hi, I'm Hunter. MSGJ (talk · contribs) suggested perhaps you could help me with this. He helped me out by placing the Wikipedia:WikiProject Television/Episode coverage in the WikiProject Television box template so that we can assess the importance of articles in the task force. However, WP 1.0 bot (talk · contribs) recently made this and this, but in both cases they only include the quality, not the importance. I created the importance categories (see here) and the class/quality categories (see here), but perhaps I did something wrong? Can you help straighten me out? Thanks in advance! — Hunter Kahn 00:13, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

The importance categories need to be in Category:Television episode articles by importance. I added that and regenerated the table, and now you can see some of the ratings. You should double-check to make sure I didn't miss any categories. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:30, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Excellent. Thanks much! — Hunter Kahn 01:03, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation/Aircraft accidents and incidents no longer marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation/Aircraft accidents and incidents (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Question about the Xenobot

Hey CBM. You helped me out with the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Television/Episode coverage assessment question I had. I have one other question. I am about to set up fill out a Xenobot request so it will tag all the articles within the task force. I've taken the first step in creating a Categories page. However, in that request form, it asks for "Preferred template name", and I'm not sure what to put in. In this case, it's not just a matter of putting in Template:Television because what I'm trying to tag the articles not with a template, but with a task force within that template. (In other words, if I could tag this the way I want to, it would add "episode-coverage=yes|episode-coverage-importance=low" to the Television template.) What do you think I should put in here? — Hunter Kahn 06:52, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure. Xeno is pretty friendly, you could approach him directly. — Carl (CBM · talk) 10:15, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
You can leave "Preferred template name" blank. Just specify the WikiProject and which task force(s) you want to be added. -- Magioladitis (talk) 10:23, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Procedural question: Mispelling in a title

Jean van Heijenoort's name is spelled with a capital v (i.e. Van) in the title of the article about him; This isn't correct. The body of the article uses lower-case v except when when "van" begins a sentence. I don't think that's so good, but don't know of any rules one way or the other. Do you know of any clever way of fixing the title? Thoughts? Thanks, BillWvbailey (talk) 14:49, 6 January 2011 (UTC)


Although it is not immediately apparent your twinklespeedy.js page is categorised in Category:Wikipedia pages needing cleanup, can you please remove it form the category. If you need help to do this, just ask. Rich Farmbrough, 20:37, 8 January 2011 (UTC).

Requesting advise on my user page

At User talk:JRSpriggs#User page, Ucbear (talk · contribs) said that he believed that my user page, User:JRSpriggs, goes outside the guidelines, WP:UPNOT, by including material on my opinions which are not related to Wikipedia. Could you, as an impartial third party, please look at my user page and indicate which sections, if any, I should remove or shorten. I think my lead is clearly OK, but I do not know how far the tolerance of the community might extend to the rest of it. JRSpriggs (talk) 01:06, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your advise. JRSpriggs (talk) 15:55, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Religious mathematics...

Hi, given the section you just added to the mathematics journals list, you might want to have a look here and here, too. --Crusio (talk) 15:22, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I see. This is not quite the same. On the one hand, it isn't a standalone list, so I don't have to worry about the page itself being notable or not - List of mathematics journals is certainly a valid article topic, I don't have to worry about it going to AFD.
That leaves the question of whether the excerpt is "too long". I intentionally only included a small excerpt - the highest rated journals. By comparison, we have an except at The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The excerpt I added is 83 out of 1240 journal titles. I think that is a reasonable length for an excerpt, although of course other people may disagree. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:32, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Actually, I mainly intend to bring to your attention the arguments that this info, being available easily on the ARC site, is not encyclopedic. It's different for the IF list, as that takes only the top 10 as opposed to this long ARC list. If this were a universally accepted ranking, this might be justified, but I doubt many people outside of Australia have ever heard of this ranking effort. --Crusio (talk) 15:52, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

I believe the material is encyclopedic, which is why I added it.

  • The reference is not to the ARC, it's to the Australian Mathematical Society. The Australian Mathematical Society is a perfectly reliable scholarly source for mathematics: they're the national mathematical society of a large country.
  • The information is of interest to readers of a list of mathematics articles, who are likely to ask what the best journals are. The article is clear that these are the ratings of the Australian math society, so the reader knows what she's getting. So the information adds value to the article.
  • The fact that the material appears in a source only confirms that the material is verifiable. If the material was not in a source, it would fail WP:V, so if we also forbade material that is in a source we would forbid everything!

— Carl (CBM · talk) 16:00, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

I started a section on the article talk page. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:08, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Any idea why this page isn't updating?

Hi CBM. Do you have any ideas why User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Project/British Library-related isn't being updated by User:WP 1.0 bot? It's currently missing a whole load of rated articles in Category:British Library-related articles by quality. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:46, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

This was the reason [6]. Should be better now. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:59, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Fantastic. :-) Thanks! Mike Peel (talk) 21:46, 12 January 2011 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Peer review/Galápagos tortoise/archive1 and Talk:Galápagos tortoise derived from [7]. Somehow á was converted to á in the page name. Gimmetoo (talk) 22:09, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing it out. The toolserver switched the server I use from linux to solaris, and the versions of PERL are not completely compatible in the way they handle UTF8 data (some library in the middle has changed). I think this is fixed now, at least the bot was able to correctly archive the page when I had it try again. — Carl (CBM · talk) 22:26, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Abstract logic & Löwenheim number

Hi, I am glad you started fixing Löwenheim number. I have been planning to do it for months and never got to it - a few Afds came along and totally distracted me. I also made a stub page for Abstract logic, which you may not have seen since you did not link to it, so the two should probably coordinate. But I should probably leave it in your hands. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 02:31, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm just getting done editing that for the night. I did see the link to abstract logic, but I don't have that book in front of me. The Löwenheim number part actually requires almost nothing about the logic, I always find it amazing. If you see anything I missed or got wrong, please feel free to edit the article. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:38, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I will probably find no errors in your edits. I am an ex-logician, so you probably know more. I do these things because those logic days were so much fun. And the nice thing about these articles is that most people can not even read them, let alone edit them, so they are nice and calming. By the way, Strength (mathematical logic) may also need polish at some point. I will do some more later on other logic topics, I hope. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 02:42, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Algorithm article

A relative newbie wants to edit the article. I've reverted 2x, mainly to slow things down so others can reflect and make suggestions. The article probably could use a good hosing (as in a sharp eye, and some opinion, and editing). I've been a primary editor on this article and will have to give up a lot of my precious 24k gold-plated text in a major overhaul, but for the good of the article some tarnish may have to be rubbed off. I don't think I've got the stomach for a reversion war. Whatever assistance you can suggest/give would be welcome. thanks, BillWvbailey (talk) 03:42, 15 January 2011 (UTC)


Thanks for the tip; I'm aware of 3RR. The consensus appears to have shifted to keep, so feel free to restore. I wouldn't delete now even if I could. The article is quickly headed for deletion anyway, so it's becoming a moot point. Thanks. Cresix (talk) 04:32, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

we have to find a way to work with these sources: Oh, we're working with them. We're working the article right into history. I still find it more than a little ironic that everyone is pushing their favorite misconception into the article, with the end result that the article will not exist. It reminds me of the experiment in which people could choose to cooperate and increase their chances of winning, or compete and reduce their chances of winning. They always chose to compete, even when the odds were fully explained to them. This article has become the victim of human nature. C'est la vie. Cresix (talk) 04:48, 16 January 2011 (UTC)


about Hatnotes this. You were right in the reverts in Trapezoid, as I explained on my Talk afterwards. Main thing there is that I acknowledged that I brutally & unknowingly 2reverted. Now from there, this. I have proposed {{other uses6}} as TfD. You might want to contribute to the D-part of TfD. More broadly, all those hatnotes I collected are here, by now even a dozen are in TfD. -DePiep (talk) 00:01, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

OK, thanks for the note. No hard feelings about the revert, please forget about it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:53, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Nice to read this. -DePiep (talk) 01:09, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Mhiji AN/I

Hi Carl. Thanks very much for clarifying things at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Mhiji blocked - suggestions invited for unblock conditions. I must admit I don't have any experience at WP:AN/I and I still have a lot to learn. So I appreciate your help. I've been re-reading through everything I can find and am confused by the situation with Mhiji's high speed editing. Can we not just say that Mhiji's high speed editing falls under WP:BOTPOL and must be approved by WP:BAG before it's allowed to continue? I'm guessing the situation falls under "real world experience vs. Wikipedia policy" and that I'm missing the "real world experience" part. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks very much. -      Hydroxonium (talk) 04:39, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

High-speed editing does fall under the bot policy, but the bot policy itself doesn't have any real penalties attached, so it's enforced mostly by persuasion. So telling someone "follow the bot policy" is a very gentle response, it's about the same as just saying "you shouldn't have done that" an
A slightly stronger response is to put the user under an individualized edit restriction. Then, if they continue to violate that edit restrictions, we have a framework for stronger sanctions. The edit restriction I proposed allows Mhiji to do any sort of manual editing, but limits large-scale bot-like editing from his main account. He could still follow the bot policy to get a bot approved under its own account.
This isn't the first time this sort of situation has come up, but it's not an extremely common situation because few people go out of their way to run high-speed bots, and most people who do run bots only do constructive things with them. I mostly copied the proposed restrictions from a similar case of a bot operator who ran unapproved tasks and didn't care much for community feedback. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:47, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
OK, now I understand. I had a feeling it was my lack of experience that kept me from understanding the restriction. This makes much more sense now. Thanks very much for the help. -      Hydroxonium (talk) 16:44, 17 January 2011 (UTC)


Thank you for your explanation, however I see it somewhat misplaced, although agreeable in its essence. I edited in several steps, with separate explanation for each edit. I highly doubt that the person who reverted me bother to read edit summaries, just gasped in horror to see his favorite essay removed, and pulled the trigger. I don't think this is a proper behavior. Loggerjack (talk) 17:00, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:Vgrabbrv2

 Template:Vgrabbrv2 has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. — This, that, and the other (talk) 01:13, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Quick message

Please also delete Template:Vgrsort2r. — This, that, and the other (talk) 01:18, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

OK. If there are any more, please just delete them and their doc pages, thanks. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:20, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Godel talk page

CBM, my queries about points that are not clear about first incompleteness theorem are intended to improve to article. Please move them back to the talk page. -- cheers, Michael C. Price talk 15:20, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I will be glad to move them back. Could you please add to the end a summary of exactly what proposal you are making? The move was not intended as a personal slight, but I couldn't see that there was any remaining concrete suggestion about the content of the article. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:28, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I have no exact proposal yet because I don't understand the issues, because the article is opaque. That's what I'm seeking to understand, so that we can clarify the article. -- cheers, Michael C. Price talk 18:26, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Please forgive me if I come off as too brusque; we share the same interest in improving the article. — Carl (CBM · talk) 18:48, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I left a note at User talk:Michael C Price addressing Michael C Price's question. Basically it says since (CON(PA)+PA) ⊢ GPA, we know GPA is true if we believe PA and CON(PA) are true. Assuming I have that right, maybe it could be useful to mention in the article. (talk) 18:37, 23 January 2011 (UTC)


Do you know about this? It's surprising on the grounds that 1) it looks obviously wrong (since it implies(?) that the twin prime conjecture is decidable); and 2) if it's not wrong, it should have been discovered in the 1940's, since the proof sketch given would have been obvious to someone like Tarski. Any thoughts? Is it worth mentioning in the incompleteness theorem article? (talk) 18:43, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

The result by Marker and Slaman is perfectly legitimate; like you said, it's really just an exercise once you are familiar with quantifier elimination for the reals. But it doesn't help with the twin prime conjecture. In   you get the   and   quantifiers, but you give up the normal   and   quantifiers. So the expressiveness does not necessarily increase, and the theorem is that it actually decreases. For example every set of natural numbers definable by a formula in   is a finite union of points and intervals of natural numbers. So the set of prime numbers is not definable by a formula in  , and the twin primes conjecture can't be stated in that language. I don't think this is too relevant to the incompleteness article; at best it is relevant to the article on o-minimality. But the change to the language   also makes it a little out of place there. I would add it to the "curiosities" file. — Carl (CBM · talk) 18:57, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I think I see. We usually think of bounded quantifiers as not "counting", but   is really shorthand for  , so we can't say things like "p is prime" in quasi-arithmetic. Is that it? (talk) 00:23, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:26, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. (talk) 07:02, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

A number of... are / the number of... is

Regarding "A number of... are / the number of... is" in Revision history of Peano axioms I am not going to revert to correct form back again, but I will repeat that it is:

"A number of people are involved..." because we talk about the people and "a number of" is just to say "some number" of them "The number of people is increasing..." because we talk about the number itself, it is the number that is increasing

It is very basic editing and I do not know why you did not simply check somewhere before you have undo "a number". Any grammar would tell you the correct form.

If you say The small number of mathematicians who advocate ultrafinitism reject Peano's axioms it is The small number of mathematicians reject Peano's axioms or simply The number of mathematicians reject and that is not correct for many reasons

Do as you wish but just to remind you that the part of the sentence

"a small number of people are" has about 2.000.000 hits on Google

"the small number of people are" less than 20

Aperisic (talk) 19:54, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

The sentence in question is
The small number of mathematicians who advocate ultrafinitism reject Peano's axioms.
That sentence is a more complicated version of this sentence:
Mathematicians who advocate ultrafinitism reject Peano's axioms
The problem when you changed it to say
A small number of mathematicians who advocate ultrafinitism reject Peano's axioms
is that changes the meaning. Your sentence means
Of the mathematicians who advocate ultrafinitism, some small number of them reject Peano's axioms.
The correct meaning is
All the mathematicians who advocate ultrafinitism (who make up only a small number of mathematicians) reject Peano's axioms.
That's quite a difference. This use of "the" to mean "all" is completely standard to my ear as an educated native speaker. Compare "The small number of people who eat fish every week have a lower cancer rate". I don't know the linguistic term for this construction, so I asked on the reference desk. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:18, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

linguistic analysis of math text

FYI, this might be of interest based on the above discussion. Informal summary. (talk) 08:50, 29 January 2011 (UTC) (new address)

Thank you. The summary is very interesting and I'm looking forward to reading the thesis proper. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:17, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I'd be interested to know what you think. I haven't read much of it myself but while it looks interesting, some aspects of it seem mathematically naive. (talk) 00:28, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I was intrigued by the idea of analyzing natural language mathematics, and I thought that part of the thesis was interesting. Some of the philosophical and mathematical analysis do seem a little naive. But I learned some things from it, so thanks again for pointing it out. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:15, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

WP 1.0 bot on arbitrary list of pages


I'd be interested in running the WP 1.0 bot to extract article rating stats for articles that form part of the Article Assessment Pilot. Is it possible to use it on lists of articles other than WikiProjects? All articles in the pilot are easily identified as belonging to either of these two hidden categories: Category:Article_Feedback_Additional_Articles and Category:Article_Feedback_Pilot. If you are available for a chat, hit me up on freenode (I am connected with my WP username, GMT timezone). --DarTar (talk) 11:04, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't have time to chat today, unfortunately. Are you saying that you just want a one-time extraction of data, or you want the bot to update the data each day? In the first case, I can extract the data for you by hand. In the second case, it would be better to make a bot request to put a project tag on the appropriate talk pages, so that the tables can be generated under the normal system that the WP 1.0 bot uses.
Right now, queries by category are a little slow, so I have to do them by hand. This is because of the way the databases are set up. I have some plans to try to make these queries more efficient, but it requires some downtime that I wanted to postpone until after the Wikipedia 0.8 release was done. That is just finishing, so if things go well I will be able to do the maintenance this month. If it works, you'd be able to use the web interface to list all the ratings for articles in category. In the meantime, I'd be glad to do it by hand and send you the data. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:04, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for the prompt reply, ideally we would like to have daily data. I am checking right now with others at WMF to see if we can simply set up a project for this, so we can generate the tables automatically. I'll let you know as soon as I hear from them. I presume the bot would not be able to extract historical figures (say, going back in time to September 2010), would it? --DarTar (talk) 14:29, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
No, the bot can't do that. The trouble is that the Mediawiki software does not keep a history of category membership, so there is no direct way to get a list of "all articles in category X at timestamp T". What you can do is use an old database dump (Wikipedia:Database download) to get a list of the articles in the category at the time of the dump. You could get a few historical snapshots that way, but the WP 1.0 bot can't do it.
For daily data, the best thing is to just set up your project the same way that a Wikiproject would be set up. The bot is pretty flexible, and I can help if you need any non-standard reports. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:37, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Doing that from a db dump is harder than it sounds, because a lot of categories are inserted into articles by template transclusions, so you have to take that into account; and templates sometimes get deleted, which means they don't show up in the dumps. So if an article has ever included a template that later got deleted, you can't reliably tell what categories the article has been in. Maybe this case is rare enough that an admin bot with access to deleted templates could handle it when it's encountered. (talk) 11:51, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
The dump includes the catgorylinks table that shows all the category membership records at the time of the dump. I have used that before to get a list of all articles that were once in some category. I'm talking about actualy using a very old dump to get the old data. You can't get versioned category membership records, just a single snapshot of how things were when the dump was created. But if the goal is just to have a few points of historical data, that might be sufficient. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:57, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, that is a reasonable point. I notice there are not many older dumps on the dump site, and I know that the WMF lost a lot of them outright a while back (they managed to get users to donate copies they had previously saved). I have a number of them stashed away but I mostly concentrated on getting the actual page dumps rather than the SQL tables, since I figured the tables could be reconstructed from the pages. But the issue of template deletion throws a wrench into that. (talk) 11:27, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

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The Signpost interview

Listings not available is yielding:

The error message is: Unknown database 'p_enwp10'
WP 1.0 bot revision 317, updated Sun, 19 Dec 2010 by cbm

--Robert EA Harvey (talk) 15:08, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. I confirmed the problem and I will contact the toolserver admins to have them resolve it. Unfortunately there is nothing I can myself except contact them. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:46, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Error all morning

There was an error connecting to the database. This is most likely a temporary condition. Please try again in a few minutes. If the problem persists, please contact User:CBM on enwiki.

The error message is: Unknown database 'p_enwp10'

WP 1.0 bot revision 317, updated Sun, 19 Dec 2010 by cbm--DThomsen8 (talk) 16:28, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. I confirmed the problem and I will contact the toolserver admins to have them resolve it. Unfortunately there is nothing I can myself except contact them. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:47, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
At least the word is being passed that their is a problem. Thanks.--DThomsen8 (talk) 18:59, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and I appreciate the note here, because otherwise it would take me longer to find out there was any problem. The bug report I filed about this is at [8]; the toolserver admins will comment there when they get to it. They had to do some unexpected maintenance today, which would have to be finished before they can even look into this problem. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:01, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

The Björk thing happened again

[9] Not sure if you still have the page on your watchlist, so thought I better let you know. It's been fine since the last time I pointed this out. –AnemoneProjectors– 00:43, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I am trying to figure out what could have caused this - the code has not changed. I will keep an eye on the page to see what happens. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:39, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Strangely, User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Project/Åland was correct. I really don't know what caused it, but if it happens again maybe I can figure it out. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:00, 9 February 2011 (UTC)


Hi Carl - I updated WP MATH 1.0 pages to use WP 1.0 bot rather than VeblenBot: the pages were displaying data from June last year. Did I miss anything? Geometry guy 19:10, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Looks great. I don't know if you saw Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Wikipedia 1.0/Table/Sandbox but you duplicated it perfectly. Thanks for doing it, I had forgotten to make the change go live. — Carl (CBM · talk)
I didn't see that! I just looked for subpages of WP 1.0 bot. I take it "Theorems and Conjectures" is gone (no big loss). Geometry guy 22:25, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to add it back, but I need to fix some performance problems with the new WP 1.0 bot first. So it's gone for now at least; I agree it's not a huge loss. — Carl (CBM · talk) 23:34, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Given that I only fixed the front page this evening, I think neither of us should assume the other has been thorough! But no matter, we'll get there in the end! Geometry guy 00:05, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

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How do you get that little dash before your signature?&mdash;&nbsp;Philogos (talk) 02:14, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Use the "treat as wiki markup" checkbox. Mine is:
&mdash;&nbsp;Carl <small>([[User:CBM|CBM]] · [[User talk:CBM|talk]])</small>
This should do it for you:
&mdash;&nbsp;[[User:Philogo|Philogo]] ([[User talk:Philogo|talk]])
— Carl (CBM · talk) 02:17, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Bless! — Philogos (talk) 03:04, 13 February 2011 (UTC)


On which Toolserver SQL server is the WP:1.0 database located? I looked for it in sql and sql-s1 but couldn't find it… Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 02:22, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

'sql-s1-user' should always work. I just checked while writing this, and I can see it on sql-s1 as well, at least right now. The database name is 'p_enwp10'. You still have access to the enwp10 multi-maintainer project, right? I think you'll have to 'become enwp10' to have any access to the database. Strangley, I can't even see it in 'show databases;' unless I am the enwp10 user. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:26, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
That is because it would have to be p_enwp10_p to be public (the _p is the public bit). I wanted to get a bit of data to see if I can make File:WPTC assessment summary.png in any other way than doing it by hand, and if it works, to see if I can provide those graphs to other projects as well. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 03:12, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Chaitin incompleteness theorem

Is this reasonable? Chaitin proved for any effective theory T, there is a constant number c(T) such that for any string x, T can never prove K(x)>c. The conventional interpretation is that c(T) has something to do with the complexity of T's axiomitization ("ten pounds of axioms can't prove a twenty-pound theorem"). The linked article disputes that interpretation and says c is an artifact of T's coding, and in particular that ZF and PA might have the same constant. I'm thinking of rewriting the Chaitin incompleteness theorem section of Kolmogorov complexity and mentioning Raatikainen's article. Thanks for any advice. (talk) 03:31, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

The constant depends on the "effective theory", that is, it depends on the exact program that is used to enumerate the axioms of the theory. So the set of axioms for Peano Arithmetic doesn't directly correspond to a constant; you have to fix an effective enumeration first, and then you get a constant. If you change the enumeration, then (naively) you can get a different constant. What Raatikainen shows is that this naive impression is correct: the constant does depend on the effective enumeration, not just on the set of axioms being enumerated.
However, we're used to this sort of limitation in logic, since the incompleteness theorem has the same limitation: if you change to a different enumeration of the axioms, you get a different Goedel sentence for the theory. For "normal" enumerations of PA, ZFC is able to prove the Goedel sentence of PA, but there are "abnormal" effective enumerations of PA such that ZFC cannot prove the Goedel sentence corresponding to these.
The criticism doesn't show that Chaitin's theorem itself is wrong, it just means the theorem has to be stated more carefully: for any true, effectively enumerated theory T, with a fixed enumeration, there is a C such that T does not prove any true statements of the form  .
This does actually give some enumeration-independent information about T. Let φ be a true statement of the form   that is not provable in T, which we obtain by taking some effective enumeration of T and applying the theorem. Then φ really is unprovable in T, so we really have shown that T is incomplete. That is: we prove incompleteness using a fixed enumeration, but the fact that the theory is incomplete does not change when we change enumerations. So the theorem does give an incompleteness result, and it's interesting for that reason. Raatikainen is pointing out that the stronger claims made about the theorem (that it not only proves an enumeration-free incompleteness result, but gives an enumeration-free measure of complexity) aren't right. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:09, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, that is helpful. I'm in the middle of some other things right now but will try to follow up in the next few days. (talk) 21:14, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Stop playing sinebot

Sinebot exists to identify posts with the IP address of people who accidentally do not sign them with ~~~~. If a person chooses to deliberately not do that, they identify this by using !nosine!.

I contribute to Wikipedia from multiple IP addresses, all of which are shared addresses. Consequently the IP address I use for a particular contribution does not identify me and might be mistaken as identifying someone else. Consequently it is appropriate for me to use !nosine! and it is inappropriate for you to disrespect it.

I use a more or less consistent form of manual signature in order to allow my postings to be connected by the reader. I am not going to register with Wikipedia and this is all the signature you are going to get.

Now stop playing sinebot. --Anonymous, currently (talk) 01:58, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

I read your message.
I will not revert again at this time, but I am in the right here, even if my practices are unusual. I am trying to provide the information that is useful to users. As I just wrote to Algebraist's talk page, I have had this conversation several times over the years I have been contributing to the RD. It always ends with me continuing to do what I have been doing.
Oh, and I don't do it on the Village Pump. Only the Reference Desks. -- (talk) 02:10, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Since you were threatening blocking, I decided to look through the Reference Desk talk page archive for relevant discussions. I would like to cite two bits:
I recently ran across a case where an anonymous editor was using the !nosine! keyword trick to prevent SineBot from adding a signature to his edits on the Ref Desk. He was signing his comments as plain-text 'Anonymous'. Normally that's harmless, if a bit quirky.
One case where it's not a good idea is where the editor is removing a request for medical advice. Other editors (including the original poster) may have questions or concerns about the removal or want to follow up with the editor who pulled the question.
In this particular situation, I added a link back to the IP's user page and have left a request to the anonymous editor to sign these sorts of actions from here on in. I consider the matter resolved, but I thought it worthwhile to mention it here.
"Harmless, if a bit quirky."
For what it's worth, I am baffled by anyone becoming (apparently) enraged over a failure to sign Refdesk posts. It's not even annoying unless they're attempting sockpuppetry. Comet Tuttle (talk) 19:44, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
If you see it as just a user failing to sign, then you are missing the point and understandably should be baffled. If you are seeing it as a user who refuses to sign while ridiculing others for not doing things that are not required, then you should see why the user is being a bit of a pain. -- kainaw(TM) 20:00, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
That's just one excerpt from a long exchange. If I was engaging in actual disruptive behavior, it would apply, but I'm not. I am trying to make useful contributions in the RD, without being a registered user and while providing sufficient information to actually be useful in connecting my posts.
And with this, I rest my case. -- (talk) 03:02, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Okay, now that we are no longer distracted by the mistake about a supposed open proxy server, let's talk about this signature thing. (By the way, I would prefer to keep the conversation in one place: would you mind replying here?)

My take is that the type of signature you are asking for is only recommended, not compulsory. If it was compulsory, then Sinebot would not provide !nosine! as a means of avoiding it. Further, that by "playing Sinebot" and adding a signature after I used !nosine!, you are in effect removing a choice that is supposed to be available to me, which is tantamount to editing someone else's content -- an impropriety that it was appropriate for me to revert.

If you look at the actual content of my contributions to the Reference Desks over the years, which you can identify by the signature "--Anonymous" or "--Anon" together with a hand-typed date and time, you will see that I do follow, or try to follow, RD guidelines in all other respects.

Now, if you still think this is a blocking offense, please indicate under what specific policy or provision this is true. And if I still disagree after reading that, is there a place I can appeal? -- (talk) 19:53, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

I concede the issue

Thank you for the specific cite at WP:SIGN#Internal links. I remain surprised by this in view attitudes cited above and the fact that I've been doing this for years without anyone pointing out that passage before, but I concede the issue and will comply henceforth, possibly by dropping off the RDs altogether.

Do you accept that this was a good faith misunderstanding and not an attempt to be disruptive? -- (talk) 20:24, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, your comments have made that very clear. Also, I apologize again for my mistake about the open proxy, which I should have noticed immediately. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:45, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Accepted, thanks. -- (talk) 04:33, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

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Just checking in

I realize this is going to sound a bit sarcastic but I don't want to get my whole account locked so I wanted to ask you if its ok if I do some editing later. Feel free to let me know if you don't approve and I will stop immediately to ensure that I am not violating any rules in your view. I am going to work on next months newsletter for WPUS and probably do some tagging too. I may also work on the 19th Amendment article a bit as well. There is still quite a bit of work to done there too. --Kumioko (talk) 21:26, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, you're not blocked, and I would not block your account while the ANI thread is open. Since you're not blocked, you can make whatever edits you want. If you kept making the same sorts of edits, I would just point it out at the ANI thread. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:33, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

WP:WPM interview

Update: Thanks for participating in the interview. Just a heads up that section editor Mabeenot, has move the publication date to this coming Monday, 21 February. The final draft has now been posted. Please go through it to check for any inaccuracies, etc. Thanks again. – SMasters (talk) 23:49, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Make technical articles understandable has been marked as a guideline

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WP 1.0 bot volunteers

Hi CBM, are you still looking for volunteers for the 1.0 bot? I can't do much in the way of maintenance "heavy lifting", and I'm better at Python than Perl. But I do have a strong interest in finding ways to make better use of the collected data, and ways of displaying clear summary information to editors. This is not a million miles away from some of things Titoxd is currently exploring, judging from his posts on your talk page! TheGrappler (talk) 21:56, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

If you're interested in working with the bot or its database, I'd be happy to give you access to the bot's project and database on the toolserver. You'd need to have a toolserver account, or apply for one; after that I just have to file the request to give you access. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:46, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I don't currently have a toolserver account so will come back to you once I do! TheGrappler (talk) 00:48, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
W00t python! Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 00:51, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Wikiquette alert

I wanted to let you know that I just opened a Wikiquette alert based on your actions against me and what I feel was an innapropriate action in removing my AWB access. --Kumioko (talk) 01:47, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:52, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Your welcome it seemed only right that I let you know. In truth as I stated there I don't expect it to amount to much since your an admin but I wanted it to be on record that I disagreed with your actions and felt them to be Inappropriate. I also have a problem with you dragging my name through the mudd at ANI after I spent the last couple years being a productive editor. --Kumioko (talk) 02:25, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Mathematics article I found difficult

This is a bit of a strange request, but I've been following the various discussions about accessibility of the mathematics and chemistry articles (the discussion that started at FAC and moved to WT:MTAA), and I can't remember the name of a mathematics article that I found difficult to understand. I'm hoping if I describe it, you or someone will be able to identify it, and I can then mention it without sounding silly! It was on topology, and was some conjecture about 2-sphere and 3-spheres and is named after some famous mathematician (whose name I've obviously also forgotten), and has a diagram of a circle on a sphere contracting to a point, and it seemed to be saying that if this property of a sphere can be shown to apply to the surface of a hypersphere, then this says something important about the general properties of 3-spheres (which I think are hyperspheres). I will probably remember the name of the article immediately after I press save... Carcharoth (talk) 01:05, 17 February 2011 (UTC) PS. The idea, obviously, is to see whether the article was pitched too high, or whether it was badly written, or whether it is one of these technical articles that shouldn't need to be explained to the layperson.

The article is Poincaré conjecture. Let me know what you think about the lede of that. I didn't edit it, so you can't insult me, and I would be interested to know what parts are most difficult. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:08, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
That's the one! I think I made the mistake (when I first read that article) of following the link to the Generalized Poincaré conjecture article and getting totally confused. The bit about the history and the solution, I found OK, but I read the article several times and found myself struggling to understand what the conjecture itself actually is. It seemed to me that it is saying that if something has the topological properties of a sphere, it is a sphere (I then thought to myself, that sounds a bit silly). I remember also thinking that the lede text and the diagram caption seem to be contradictory. Part of the lede says "the theorem concerns a space that locally looks like ordinary three-dimensional space [...] it is necessarily a three-dimensional sphere". I found myself thinking that the end of that sentence should say "four-dimensional sphere". I thought this because the diagram caption says: "...a 2-sphere (usually just called a sphere). The Poincaré conjecture asserts that the same is true for 3-dimensional surfaces." I then equated '3-dimensional surfaces' with 3-sphere and thought to myself that a 3-sphere sounds like a 4D sphere (hypersphere), and so the best handle I could get on it was that the conjecture is extending the property of the 2D surface of a 3D sphere to the 3D surface of a 4D sphere (but putting it in generalised topological terms). I also tried to follow various links to try and understand what 'simply connected', 'closed', 'manifold', 'homeomorphic' all meant, but found myself none the wiser. So is this conjecture something that is only really accessible if you have studied maths to a certain level? Carcharoth (talk) 01:29, 17 February 2011 (UTC) Hang on! Is a 3-sphere the surface of a hypersphere in the same way that a 2-sphere is a 'surface' of a sphere? Why doesn't the article just say that?
A 3-sphere is indeed the 3-dimensional surface of the unit ball in 4-dimensional space, just like a 2-sphere is the 2-dimensional surface of the unit ball in 3-dimensional space. I edited the intro of the article to point that out - let me know if it helps. I would recommend not reading the article on the generalized conjecture at first. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:40, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Someone reverted that edit saying that the link takes care of it. <facepalm> (talk) 08:08, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:34, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Mixing in a little here — I think that an intelligent layperson can understand this; it's one of the more accessible topics from advanced math. He just has to work a little harder than maybe he was expecting. How long have you actually spent on it? If an article on the Poincaré conjecture is written in such a way that the intelligent layman can get the idea of what the conjecture says after working on it for only a few hours, I think that might be the best that can be expected. (I think this may be part of the disconnect between WP mathematicians and their critics — mathematicians are used to the idea that it may take an hour to understand a paragraph, whereas laymen tend not to be.) --Trovatore (talk) 01:43, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
I do think that is a common point of confusion. In this case there was also the issue that the first paragraph would be much more more clear if you realized that "sphere" means "surface" and "ball" means "interior", which a non-mathematician would probably not know. That's something that should be easy to explain. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:46, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
My advice would be to try and get a layperson to read something and comment on it, rather than assuming that something has been written that a layperson will understand. Though, again, it depends whether the articles are written for laypeople or not. Some of more abtruse mathematics ones clearly are not. It is a difficult issue to address. Carcharoth (talk) 02:19, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
The topic is particularly difficult to write broadly because it's a standard graduate-level topic, but also in the general news. It's hard to even describe in normal terms - it's about whether any generalized 3-dimensional space that has certain properties of the surface of the 4-dimensional sphere must actually be the same space as that surface. Normally we wouldn't try to make such a thing accessible to a "lay person", but this is in the news. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:26, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
I had a deadline to meet for writing a short summary (1-2 paragraphs) explaining the Poincare conjecture (imagine writing a column for a newspaper with short paragraph summaries of each of the Millennium Problems - that isn't what I was doing, but it's close enough). I normally spend about 30 minutes on these, but probably spent an hour on this one. I suspect what I wrote wasn't brilliant, but it had to avoid overly technical language, which was... difficult! As I said earlier, I looked for other explanations elsewhere on the internet to see if they would provide inspiration. I think I looked at the Wolfram entry, and maybe a few others as well. The edit CBM made has helped, but it is still a case of which audience are you writing for? I wonder if it is acceptable to say "A generalised conjecture exists (but don't read about that until much later!)." Carcharoth (talk) 02:13, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
There's no way to color-code links by difficulty, and I don't know that I would feel happy about not including what I think of as relevant links in the lede just because the linked articles are more difficult. It's not an easy problem. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:26, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
It's not easy, but thanks for discussing this article with me. It did help, even if only a little bit! :-) Carcharoth (talk) 02:35, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
The Poincare conjecture (as one of the Millenium problems) probably gets more public attention than other technical math articles. We really should give all seven of those articles readable introductions even if the later parts of the article become less accessible. I and other editors spent some time trying to do that at P versus NP problem which I think helped it, but the other articles should have something similar done. I think the wording around any particular link can be crafted to guide the reader's expectations without being too verbose. (talk) 08:00, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
In this case, the trouble isn't that there is some unknown jargon; I can see asking people to follow links for that. The problem is that the way that we use the term "sphere" is not the same as the way that people learn it in grade school. It's a perennial source of confusion in students, who have to be re-educated near the end of their undergraduate studies that what they used to call a "sphere" is now either an open or closed ball, and the surface bounding that ball is now called a sphere. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:36, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Uninvolved, not a mathematician either, but this seems like a worthwhile subject. As an encyclopedia, we should do our best to avoid jargon, to explain differences between specialist usage and common usage, and to bring lay readers as far into the article as is appropriate to their background. Keeping them out of the first paragraph because of a semantic difference is just cruel; taking pains to walk them through the symbol-laden parts of complex topics, however, is also not the right move. I think linking people to an external page to understand something of key relevance to that article seems to be missing what encyclopedias do, namely summarize information in an accessible way in the place you are looking when you need it. There's a big difference between babying readers or accommodating everyone and explaining a distinction which is only understood by a class of specialists. Ocaasi (talk) 12:54, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with that. The problem of making these topics broadly accessible without also losing all the content (as would be done in a newspaper article) is very hard to solve. We're working on it, but it's a slow process. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:59, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Your sphere example, is a good one, one I was unaware of (not being a mathematician). Perhaps it is what an engineer would call a spherical shell with an infinitely-thin (arbitrarily-thin ?) skin or boundary. My point is, here are what I think are two guidelines that I think we've come to expect from good technical writing in any field; I can point to good examples (anything written by Goedel) and an occassional bad ones -- the professional editors/reviewers usually force these on the authors during the vetting process because they too want to be sure they know how the words/symbols are being used:
  • Every "technical" word that is used in an uncommon (meaning non-colloquial) way is defined as soon as it occurs in the article; it's not okay to define technical words through links! -- don't make the reader hunt about; footnotes are allowed; the addition of synonymns commonly used help too (e.g. "assignment", "substitution", "replacement", "composition" -- some will argue these are not the same so sourcing/footnotes may be necessary to convince the doubters and/or discuss nuances); another example: "apparent variable", "free variable", "bound variable".
  • Every "technical" symbol (here are just a few of my favorite obfuscators from logic, number theory and set theory ←, ⊧, ⊃, →, ⊦, ∀, ∃, ¬, ∈, ∋, ∧, ∨, ∩, ∪, ', ∾, ∸, ⊤, ⊥, ⊕, ⊂, ⊃, ⊆, ⊇ ) should be defined in the article as they are used. Don't make the poor reader wander about through link after link trying to figure these out; alternately, a glossary in the article (NOT via a link!) is allowed;
  • Analogies are useful (such as my rewriting of the (possible) definition of a "sphere");
  • Diagrams can be useful but animations are not unless the reader can step through them, go back and forth between frames, pause and study, etc (I've never seen such a thing)
  • Pidgeon-code (pseudo-code) should be hunted down and shot on sight (don't ask me how I really feel).
BillWvbailey (talk) 14:46, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, i like these suggestions very much. I especially like the idea about analogies. One of Wikipedia's more charming qualities, I find, is the occasionally pedantic quality in mathematical articles. Though not appreciated in many contexts, and often bordering on OR, in mathematics walking the reader through concepts is so inherent to the field's style of writing that I think it makes a great addition. Any encyclopedia article should leave the reader with general understanding, and if it takes some creative or 'personalized' presentation to do that, then, within reason, I think it's a plus. Ocaasi (talk) 15:53, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
It's certainly not necessary to define every term in the article or make the whole article readable to non-mathematicians. The main thing is to have the first few paragraphs as readable as possible, to give a non-technical sense of what the problem is, who worked on it, its current status, why it is important, etc. I think P versus NP problem does a reasonable job of this, as does Gödel's incompleteness theorems (which Wvbailey, CBM, and I have all worked on). But several of the Millenium prize articles look completely incomprehensible to anyone not at research level in math. (talk) 16:14, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Agree completely there, only the first few paragraphs. But also, there are social and historical aspects surrounding the concepts that should be in plain English. When the problem was first discovered, whose initial proofs failed or succeeded, relation with ongoing Mathematics prizes, etc. Those are not even math, and help flesh out the 'importance' of concepts so lay readers (as well as mathematicians) can appreciate the significance. Ocaasi (talk) 16:27, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
RE defining your symbols: I picked this horrible set of symbols purposefully: ←, ⊧, ⊃, →, ⊦, ∀, ∃, ¬, ∈, ∋, ∧, ∨, ∩, ∪, ', ∾, ∸, ⊤, ⊥, ⊕, ⊂, ⊃, ⊆, ⊇. Honest to god I've seen ⊂ and ⊆ used in contrary ways by at least one author (it might have been Suppes or Halmos, I can't remember who exactly, but it resulted in massive confusion on my part). It turns out that for "implies" some authors use ⊃, some use →; where some use ¬, some use ~; where some use ∧, some use &; honest to god someone (M. Kleene's name shall go unmentioned to protect his reputation) uses ∾ for ⊕ (BTW can you guess what this signifies?) and another author used ∧ for the same purpose. I haven't seen ∋ in years but I like it; some use S() for ' or "+1". What's this symbol " . "? (Concatenation, obviously! Wrong, it's logical AND; see Hardy and Wright or PM); I've seen A used for ∀, E used for ∃. What's this symbol " | "? (Wrong! It's not a Sheffer stroke, it means "divides" e.g. " b | a " means b divides a with no remainder cf Hardy and Wright, again). Or this one " ≡ ". (Wrong, it's not "congruent to" (cf Hardy and Wright) it's "identical to" just as your mother taught you!). And this symbol ⊤ for us engineers is synonymous with " 1 " or " T " i.e. " True " (but I don't think you'll see ⊥ for " 0 "; you'll see " F " for " False ". The first time I saw this Carl used it in an article). There are some arithmetic symbols, maybe " + ", " / ", and " - ", but that's about the only ones that are taught commonly (what is this one? " ∙ " (dot-product obviously, not arithmetic multiplication). What is " ∗ "? Is it the same as " x " (no, x means a cross-product, silly). As an engineer who had to endure vector theory I came to use * to indicate arithmetic multiplication). Etc, etc, etc. Bill Wvbailey (talk) 16:58, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Bill, math notation has changed over the decades and centuries, so yes, if you read old books then you'll see different notation than today. Wikipedia should generally use modern notation, but explain old notation in appropriate places. ⊤ and ⊥ ("top" and "bottom") are from lattice theory. ∗ depending on context might be convolution. See also: List of mathematical symbols. (talk) 23:00, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Just a brief addendum. I've been discussing this on the wikien-l mailing list as well, and one of the things I pointed out there (by way of comparison) was this article (from a 2006 issue of SEED magazine). I found it interesting and thought it was OK, but was told it missed the point entirely. Anyway, just wanted to point it out here. Possible some of this and the above should be copied to the article talk page. Carcharoth (talk) 22:05, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

I didn't think the SEED article was very good, but also, writing in that style on Wikipedia would get deleted as OR and/or cause a lot of bikeshedding and disputes. And it's just not that instructive. This article regarding an infamous newbie roadblock called "monads" in the Haskell programming language explains the issue (I must include this classic response). There is even a historical overview of attempts to explain monads, often with strained analogies, of which Wikibooks had a famous example[10] (now rewritten). Anyway, there's some really excellent mathematical exposition in Wikipedia, but it's done best by explaining stuff in a well-grounded way, introducing enough of the subject's native terminology to explain the concepts directly, rather than using silly analogies. Maybe it's worth making a list of good expository wiki-articles. I particularly like Banach-Tarski paradox, First-order logic (written mostly by CBM), the wikibooks b:Haskell/Category theory and b:Haskell/Denotational semantics, and some others I can probably think of.

There is a downside: once an article is nontechnical enough, people who don't know what they are doing start editing it and getting into edit wars, and the article can disintegrate. The CS article type system has bad problems that are unnecessarily difficult to repair, because of the amount of opposition anyone trying to fix it will face (I say this from experience). It also has happened a lot in physics. Mathematics is one of the best areas of Wikipedia, in terms of both its content quality (gauged for example by external reputation) and its collegial editing atmosphere. It runs completely on IAR and is almost free of battles and bonehead editors. I'm frankly terrified of any changes that might make it more like the rest of Wikipedia. (talk) 00:39, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I sympathise with the fear that certain communities within Wikipedia are vulnerable to certain pressures, but in the long run the complexity of the subject matter may ensure mathematics avoids what happened (as an example) to some of the fan communities that ended up (mostly) on Wikia. I loved the bit from the article you linked that ended by pointing out "the critical role that struggling through fundamental details plays in the building of intuition". There is no substitute for serious thinking about things if you want to understand them. On the other hand, I followed the link to Banach–Tarski paradox and before I read anything else, I read the lead image caption: "A ball can be decomposed into a finite number of point sets and reassembled into two balls identical to the original." I then stopped and thought to myself: that's probably all I really need to know and quietly closed the tab to save my sanity. Carcharoth (talk) 01:25, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
OK, I was joking in that last sentence. I have now read the article. Well, actually, I read the lead section, and the comprehensible bits of the main article, skipping the bits I would have found impossible to understand, and then read the second of the external links (the 'irregular web comic' one), and felt I had ended up learning something tonight. Carcharoth (talk) 01:40, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, to be specific, I don't want mathematics on wikipedia to get the way physics has been for years (think of the Brews/Likebox/Tombe/etc. saga, the slow and anguished departure of Chris Hillman, etc). Physics editing has much worse problems than math editing, even though physics is just as complex a subject. FWIW, I recently met a German mathematician who edits dewiki and I mentioned I thought that the math environment on enwiki is much better than the physics environment and that the articles are better too, and he said it is the same way on dewiki. Maybe this is not a coincidence, but I have only vague speculative thoughts about what the reasons might be.

Re Banach-Tarski: OK,I just revisited the article and it's more technical than I remembered. I remember liking it because I was able to understand it (I have a reasonable math background but am nowhere near research level) and I had previously thought of the BT result as something using complex machinery like forcing, which is notoriously difficult. But after reading the BT article I felt I could explain the paradox to a non-mathematician using a blackboard. I guess I'm not sure how to make the article more accessible, and the extlink to the web comic may be the best we can easily do. An old joke found on the talk page: an anagram of "BANACH TARSKI" is "BANACH TARSKI BANACH TARSKI". (talk) 02:28, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

That article does, unfortunately, miss the point. The conjecture is not really about 3-spheres. What it says that if some other 3-dimensional object in 4D space resembles the 3-sphere in a certain way, then that object must also resemble the 3-sphere in another way, where the second way is much stronger than the first. Essentially the conjecture says that any 3-dimensional object in 4D space that resembles the 3-sphere in a certain way is actually just a deformed copy of the 3-sphere itself. That's not rally too hard to say, I think; it's just that to state the conjecture more precisely you have to say what "certain way" means, and that's where the trouble starts. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:13, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually, maybe not surprisingly, I found the Mathworld article to be have many of the pieces I think we're missing at the original topic in question. Namely, a 'lay' translation ("More colloquially, the conjecture says that the three-sphere is the only type of bounded three-dimensional space possible that contains no holes.") as well as some nice background on the history and difficulty of the problem. That Wolfram guy, what can't he do? No sure how Wikipedians use or feel about MathWorld... Ocaasi (talk) 02:42, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
"More colloquially, the conjecture says that the three-sphere is the only type of bounded three-dimensional space possible that contains no holes." - isn't the unit cube in Euclidean space a counterexample to that? If we were to put that in our article, either it would removed for being too incorrect, or removed as original research (or both). The phrase I added earlier wasn't perfect (people usually say boundary instead of surface) but it was still essentially correct. This sort of thing is a common problem in popularizations: they give the appearance of clarity but do it by losing accuracy. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:52, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Ok, this was over my head technically when it started, but I definitely can't comment on the last point. I (foolishly?) figured Mathworld would be about as good a resource as exists. Maybe not. Wikipedia strikes again. Also, I'm not sure what link on Wikipedia I was looking at this morning related to Poincare, but the proper page right now looks much more comprehensive than whatever related pageI must have been looking at. The full article does a great job covering context and history. I still have little idea what it means, but it's much better than whatever stub I mistakenly found. Anyway, thanks for your work on it... Ocaasi (talk) 03:30, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
p.s. Oh, I figured it out: Generalize Poincare Conjecture is much less thorough than Poincare Conjecture. Ocaasi (talk) 03:31, 18 February 2011 (UTC) Add: maybe there should be a hatnote explaining the difference between the articles? Ocaasi (talk) 03:33, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The sentence is accurate(?) if we think of "type" as an equivalence class under continuous deformation (homeomorphism). We can explain it that way without lapsing into OR. The doughnut-coffee cup animation at homeomorphism illustrates the concept nicely. (talk) 03:34, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm more worried about "bounded 3D space" - the open unit cube seems like one of those. — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:45, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
And I've never liked "no holes" as a rephrasing of simply-connected. Why should we say that the circle has a hole but the sphere doesn't? In the latter case the hole is in some sense one dimension higher, but it's still a hole. Algebraist 04:06, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
It's true; I think that falls between using "bounded" for "compact without boundary" and using "surface" to mean "boundary". It's interesting to imagine a hollow cylinder, of bounded height, which clearly has a hole in the middle. When you pinch off the two ends of the cylinder to make a sphere, and the middle is still hollow, did the hole vanish? But there's not some other common meaning of "no holes", unlike "bounded".
When I needed to summarize the conjecture above, I wrote something like "Any 3-dimensional object in higher-dimensional space that resembles the 3-sphere in a certain way is actually just a deformed copy of the 3-sphere itself." I think that's better because it's more direct about the information that is being intentionally omitted. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:37, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Holy cow Olive, this is embaraskin'.[11] FWIW, the popular description of simple connectedness that I'm used to is that there is no way to cut completely through the shape without splitting it into two pieces. There is a usual diagram showing a ball and a doughnut, where cutting once (radially) through the doughnut leaves it in one piece. (talk) 06:51, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

The plane with the origin removed is not simply connected; how does that fit with the "cut through" analogy? I don't know much of a simpler way, unfortunately, than just saying that every loop can be shrunk to a single point. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:48, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Setting up bot

Hi, i would like to set up a bot for a new project, how do i go about this?. I have already the table but at the moment, i have to update manualy and its eating into my constructive time. Otelemuyen 13:31, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

You mean a bot to make a table of article ratings for a WikiProject? What template are you using on the talk pages - things may already be mostly set up. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:07, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes! but i havent set up a bot yet. It's meant for WikiProject Yoruba and the template currently in use is "Yoruba articles statistics" but presently this has to be updated manually and its a bit taxing. Otelemuyen (talk) 18:27, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

You can keep the AWB access I'm done

I want you to know that Im done. You can keep the AWB access because I probably won't edit much anymore thanks to you. Its unfortunate really because I feel like I did a lot of good editing including cleaning up the garbage edits that you think for some reason are minor. Well now you can do them by bot, do them by yourself or not do them at all. I really don't care. I am trully appalled that knowone had the courage to tell disregard that whole sham. Especially since the rules don't state ANYWHERE what you say. Happy editing and next time think before you drive off another experienced editor. --Kumioko (talk) 01:57, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

I just want to clarify I will be done once my ANI is done. I see no reason to roll over on this issue and intend to fight it till the end. I can clearly see that you have no intention of doing the right thing and opening up a discussion on the issue of clarifying the AWB rules so I will do it so you can't continue to bully other editors into submitting to what you want based on your interpretation of the rules rather than what they actually say. --Kumioko (talk) 13:24, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Just an additional note. Now that I am retired WikiProject US is going to have a pretty big void so they'll need help with assessments, the newsletter that just started and the US collaboration. Since you are the one largely responsible for that I would encourage you to step up and help out. Since you didn't like the way I was doing things that will ensure that they are done the way you think they should be. Cheers. --Kumioko (talk) 02:05, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Kumioko, this is a bit disturbing. Carl sent the subject to ANI. Please don't do that. -- Magioladitis (talk) 02:11, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Your right it is disturbing but I am only suggesting that since I will not be around to do all things I did then he may want to help out a bit. Since I am leaving I believe in all likelihood WPUS is going to fizzle back out again along with the US collaboration and I doubt anyone else will work on the newsletter. I thought he might want to help out with that. But given that Carl doesn't really do much editing outside discussions I know he's not going to do it and likely won't respond to my comments either so in the end its just wasting my time even commenting. --Kumioko (talk) 02:17, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
My last comment for some hours. Nobody wants out of the project. The project consists not only of edits but of communication too. When there is an active discussion on a matter, right or wrong, it is expected that you don't just skip it because you disagree. This with combination of others was the reason of Carl's actions. I don't know if I would have done the same but since it was done we have to find a way to solve any problems and if the action was wrong Carl will have no problem to admit it. He can tell better I presume. Please read WP:POINT and WP:CALM. -- Magioladitis (talk) 02:27, 22 February 2011 (UTC)


I am aware of the whitespace problems. Check rev 7609. I recently found, reported and Rjw fixed a common issue on that area. I found it exactly because Yobot touched the same page twice and I keep a log of these cases until they are fixed. I did a big work in reducing double runs with awb. -- Magioladitis (talk) 14:53, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

rev 7505 fixed the redirect bug in the project change case. rev 7597 improved logic for a checkwiki error. Before this version probably only whitespace was fixed but the problem is so minor (database scan gave me < 10 results!) that adding a skip condition for that would just slow me down for nothing and I would never go and fix the actual problem. -- Magioladitis (talk) 15:02, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Not being familiar with the source code, I'm not sure what those diffs achieve. The bug that I was pointing out is that the bot was saving edits that it shouldn't. It seems like the way to avoid that is to add some logic that checks whether the edit is trivial, and doesn't save the edit if it is.
I don't know what "adding a skip condition for that would just slow me down" means. Bots need to be run correctly, not quickly, and they need to be predictable. As I was saying, I can only see the diffs and the edit summaries. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:09, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
The 7609 ensures that wikilinks with more than 1 whitespace are fixed in one run. Before only 1 of the whitespaces was fixed per run. The 7505 ensures that the list of template redirects corresponds to the correct project (I run not only in 7597 fixes bad italic tags. You have to expect that a small portion of edits doesn't fix what it should. That's why I do daily checks and improve the code i.e. the portion becomes smaller. The reasons of the gap is that they are tenths of checkwiki errors i.e. I would need 1 skip condition for each but many articles have more than 1 error and then I would have to save each error fix separately. Moreover, the lists are fairly small. -- Magioladitis (talk) 15:27, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
I still don't understand. Remember I don't run AWB. I realize that sometimes the modules will not correct the error they want. One standard coding method would be to have a flag and have each module set the flag to 1 if it actually makes any significant change. Then have one single test right before saving: if the flag is not set, abort the edit. There are other ways to achieve the same thing, but the point is that the bot needs to detect if it is about to make a trivial edit, and it needs to skip the edit in that case. Just because there are fewer errors doesn't mean the bot gets a free pass.
It seems like I keep pointing out errors that the bot has made, but you don't go back and revert them to the pre-bot state. So I'm not sure what you mean by "checking daily". Are you saying you actually look at all the bot's edits to check them? — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:45, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree that there is some logic to the first part of your statement but there is no reason to revert a change to a prebot state if it was a minor edit that you contend shouldn't be done in the first place. Aside from our disagreements over what constitutes a minor edit thats making a minor edit twice and we shouldn't be doing that. --Kumioko (talk) 16:45, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Carl, you point out minor edits not errors that need to be reverted. I revert when is needed. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:03, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
It would, however, be a gesture of good faith that you are taking the bot's mistakes seriously. Especially given that other editors, such as Kumioko, have apparently been doing these things intentionally. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:00, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
I can say with absolute certainty that he is taking the bots actions seriously and the wording of mistake is rather POV since making a minor edit is a matter of Wikipolicy and not a "mistake" and to insinuate otherwise is just absurd (about him not taking the bot seriously that is). There is no reason in the world to revert a minor edit made in error. Good faith or not if its as wrong as you argue to do it in the first place its even doubly so to revert it back. Not to mention a total waste of time knowing that in all likelihood it will be done by someone else or show up again on his list of changes making more work for him later. I recognize that you are an awesome programmer and your bot skills in writing the three bots I know of that you maintain are impressive particularly the one that calculates the articles and their quality. But you seem to have a lot to learn about actually editing articles. I also still argue that the edits I am making are different than the ones you point out (with the exceptional accident of course I'm not perfect). Had my access not been revoked I would have been done days ago with thousands more edits being done for more significant problems (like fixing the list of 8000ish bad parameters I have (like accesssdate vice accessdate), adding format equals PDF when applicable to citations, reordering sections or talk page templates to the proper order, adding the appropriate workgroup to the priority when missing for WPBiography, adding the task force for US when equals ACW or ARW in MILHIST and literally thousands more. But no, hours upon hours of my time and others have been wasted in ongoing debates in multiple venues about what is a minor edit, AWB rules of use, WikiProject banner standardization, etc. Again I say that policy is becoming more important than content and even more important than the quality of that content. --Kumioko (talk) 19:21, 22 February 2011 (UTC)


If you want a page to be inside WPBS but without collapse then you can you |banner collapsed=no in WPBS. Nested=no has no effect. -- Magioladitis (talk) 00:19, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Please let it go

Carl you have proven your point that you have the power and there is little we can do either individually or as a group to stop you. At first I was angry that you revoked my access but now I can see that you are like the WikiYoda. I am taking a knee and kissing the ring as it were. Now please go back to running your bots and editing math articles and let us get back to working on the articles and actual work and lets end these discussions. I have already stated I am going to retire after this is all over and that should be enough of a win for you. But don't be so stubborn that you would block an editor for even attempting to make these edits that you don't agree with. Its just petty and unprofessional. --Kumioko (talk) 00:29, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't have any "power" apart from persuasion, really. Anything I say could say could be contradicted or overridden by any group of even three or four who disagreed with me. And on many matters there are lots of people who disagree with me on various things.
There are certainly issues that I care about and discussion I think it's important for me to contribute to. I have my own list of things I'd like to do, which does not include worrying about AWB. But I feel somewhat strongly about the issue at the moment, and I'm willing to say something about it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:18, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Well there seems to be a bit of a stalemate then. Its seems that there are 3 or 4 that are generally ok with the removal of these garbage fields and about the same in opposition to the general concept of minor edits with AWB but of those you are the most adamantly opposed to using AWB to remove these fields. I think we need to find some middle ground for the editors who remain after I stop and continue to the effort. There is no reason that the rules need to be black and white and this seems to be a gray area. There is no reason to force users to do these edits manually and AWB is the perfect tool for the job. The minor edit rules are in place for a reason and I do not believe that taking a hard line stance on this issue is in the spirit of that. --Kumioko (talk) 01:27, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Nobody is forced to do the edits manually. Removing "nested=yes" from an assessment has no effect at all, and nobody is forced to do it. There is no consequence if it isn't done. What people are forced not to do is use AWB in violation of the AWB rules, for example by performing trivial edits en masse. Like bot jobs, AWB tasks need to have positive consensus beyond them first. If people can't agree that a job is useful, the argument that it needs to be done because it's useful holds less water. The AWB rules are meant to prevent editors from going ahead before consensus is reached on a task. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:35, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
For that point knowone is forced to do anything here we do it of our own choosing and many edits have little effect. If I change something someone else will come along and nullify that eventually and there is no consequence if another edit ever gets done here again. If they turn off the servers, essentially there is no consequence. I believe you are choosing or one reason or another to enforce a rule that shouldn't be a right or wrong response but a could be response. This is one of those could be scenarios. The consensus argument has merit, but only so much. Common sense says that typos should be fixed but is there consensus for that? Is there consensus if I submit an article for GA review or FLC review? Frankly the more I talk about this issue the more I lose interest in participating in WP anymore. --Kumioko (talk) 01:49, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

A rather strange sight

I also don't agree with moving the math project banner above WPBio like you did here. It has been my experience that some projects get take offense to this and additionally there is more of a consensus to make sure that WPBiography gets top billing. I admit in this case that living is equal to no, but in general I don't think there is a consensus for this.

I also think its a bit unfriendly to tell users that their help isn't really needed as you did here and here--Kumioko (talk) 03:36, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

(1) Adding "{{maths rating}}" without assessment data isn't really a help, as the talk page notes point out. If people would like to add maths rating tags, they're welcome to do it, but they should realize that unlike other projects we don't need them to track articles, the banner is only used for assessments. Sometimes users think they might be helping by just adding {{maths rating}} but really that on its own is not useful. If they'd prefer not to add the banner, that's OK. The point of the note is to make sure they realize that the maths project is slightly different in that respect.
(2) No WikiProject is more important than any other, and the order of banners makes no difference at all. Every WikiProject has their own banner. The main point of the banners is for categorization in any case, so that the WP 1.0 bot will be able to read the info. Even if the Bio project has "living=yes", there is no reason the Bio banner needs to be at the top, they are just another Wikiproject. — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:43, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Well I don't agree with the second comment but I wanted to let you know what I have been informed from other users in the past when I did the same sorts of things. I used to put WPUS above the other US related wikiprojects and found that it really irritated some. Some even get irritated when I add it to the top of the talk page with AWB's prepend function. I also don't agree that is the main point of the banners. That was true when they were created but I don't think its true anymore. I also do not agree with your comment about WPbiography and that is also something that has been pointed out to me before. With the BLP issues especially WPBio should come first if living equals yes. Its up to you but like I said these are things that have been addressed to me in the past. --Kumioko (talk) 03:49, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for letting me know. — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:59, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Sorry also in response to your comment above I don't think the bot recognizes all the projects cause I have about 1500 on my list and I know I am missing a few. --Kumioko (talk) 04:10, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
The bot only cares about projects that list themselves in Category:Wikipedia 1.0 assessments. Each project can decide whether to do that, the bot does not try to go out and find them. According to [12] there are 1796 projects in that category, but some of them are no longer active. However I believe the vast majority of projects do list themselves there. — Carl (CBM · talk) 04:14, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Interesting thanks. For what its worth I have about 400 that are inactive or defunct but there are a lot more than that that don't currently have the tag. Probably at least double it. --Kumioko (talk) 04:16, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Is there anything else I need to know about the Wikipedia 1.0 system? — Carl (CBM · talk) 04:18, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
I just thought you might be interested. I guess not. --Kumioko (talk) 04:21, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

WP 1.0 bot

hi Carl,

I saw your note on the Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) regarding your search for a co-maintainer for WP 1.0 bot. I just wanted to throw my hat into the proverbial ring, for consideration. I'm a life-long computer programmer (I'm 40 years old), who is well enough acquainted with Perl to be able to be productive. Let me know if you'd like my help in maintaining the project. :)
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 04:56, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Sounds great! If you don't have a toolserver account, the first thing to do is to apply for one. Once you have one, I can add you to the "multi maintainer project" for the bot. The toolsever is actually a collection of several servers, all running solaris at the moment; you can access the bot code from any of the login servers.
I don't have any fixed collection of things that "need" to be done, but I do have a list of things that could be done. My idea is that you could decide how much or little you want to do - any help is appreciated.
The thing I think is most important is to have other maintainers who could step in to fix a problem if something came up in an emergency. The code itself is stable, but the Mediawiki software occasionally has random changes, and software upgrades on the toolserver occasionally cause glitches that have to be resolved. Given the public nature of the bot, I feel bad about having only one person in charge of that.
Past that, there are several ways the code could be improved. There are a couple performance things that I think can be fixed, and there is a database schema change I need to make that you might be able to advise me on. I work on the code from time to time, but a lot of my time on the WP 1.0 front is spent helping with the release versions. They're just finishing Wikipedia 0.8 right now. You'd be welcome to help with that, or not.
I've been documenting the entire system, and I'll keep working on that, so that once you get access to it hopefully you'll find it's not too hard to figure out how things work. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:05, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm working on getting a toolserver account already, actually. See: my application.
I look forward to working with you!
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 17:20, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Wikiproject economics and veblenbot

Hi CBM: the automatic assesment table of Wikiproject economics seems to have stopped working. The bot stopped the updates on Dec 28 2010. Is there anything you can do about it to restore it? --Forich (talk) 19:38, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Could you give me a link to the table? I can see about getting VeblenBot restarted, but it might be easier if I try to get the main WP 1.0 bot to make it now. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:08, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
In particular, I think that User:VeblenBot/Economics/table:ECONOMICS could just be replaced by User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Project/Economics, and the online tool on the toolserver here should replace the article lists that VeblenBot used to upload. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:11, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
I think either bot will be of great help! the link to the table is this one: (talk) 03:53, 25 February 2011 (UTC)


It seems right that I tell you I closed the ANI you opened against me. I know this isn't the norm and is typically discouraged (partly why I am telling you I did it). My AWB rights are revoked, I am retiring and no longer editing and I think at this point everyone has said what they needed to say. There is no reason to take up all that real estate on the ANI page for what amounts to beating a dead horse. If you disagree feel free to revert my changes. --Kumioko (talk) 16:02, 25 February 2011 (UTC)