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Growth team updates #1Edit

Welcome to the first newsletter for the new Growth team!  

The Growth Team's objective is to work on software changes that help retain new contributors in mid-size Wikimedia projects. We will be starting with Wikipedias, but we hope these changes will benefit every community.

8 ideas we consider: tell us what you think about them!

We are considering new features to build, that could retain new editors in mid-size Wikipedias. We will be testing new ideas in Czech and Korean Wikipedias, and then we'll talk to more communities (yours!) about adopting the ideas that work well.

We have posted the 8 ideas we are considering. We would really appreciate your thoughts and the thoughts from your community. Please share the ideas, and tell us what do you and your community think of those ideas before September 9.

Share your experiences with newcomers

We want to hear about what is working and what is not working for new contributors in your wiki. We also want to hear any reactions, questions, or opinions on our work. Please post on the team’s talk page, in any language!

Learn more about us

You can visit our team page to find out why our team was formed and how we are thinking about new editors, and our project page for detailed updates on the first project we'll work on.

Growth team's newsletter prepared by the Growth team and posted by botGive feedbackSubscribe or unsubscribe.

Rockville Centre train crashEdit

link   Bumping thread for 120 days. epicgenius (talk) 19:18, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

Sept 25: WikiWednesday Salon NYCEdit

September 25, 7pm: WikiWednesday Salon NYC

You are invited to join the Wikimedia NYC community for our monthly "WikiWednesday" evening salon (7-9pm) and knowledge-sharing workshop at Metropolitan New York Library Council in Midtown Manhattan. Is there a project you'd like to share? A question you'd like answered? A Wiki* skill you'd like to learn? Let us know by adding it to the agenda.

7:00pm - 9:00 pm at Metropolitan New York Library Council (8th floor) at 599 11th Avenue, Manhattan
(note this month we will be meeting in Midtown Manhattan, not at Babycastles)

We especially encourage folks to add your 5-minute lightning talks to our roster, and otherwise join in the "open space" experience! Newcomers are very welcome! Bring your friends and colleagues! --Wikimedia New York City Team ~~~~~

(You can subscribe/unsubscribe from future notifications for NYC-area events by adding or removing your name from this list.)

Please reconsider...Edit

In this edit you changed a list-defined reference to an in-line reference.

Isn't doing so a lapse from the long-standing principle of "if it is not broke, don't fix it..." I've encountered individuals who make this kind of change due to a good-faith misunderstanding of some of our wikidocuments, which warn against "changing citation styles without consensus".

Inline references that wrap a <ref></ref> pair around a {{cite}} template, and list-defined references that that wrap a <ref></ref> pair around a {{cite}} template, are both instance of our single most popular citation style.

For its first few years the WMF software we use did not support references, and no articles used them. I was a contributor in during the 2005-2006 period when support for references began. References were obviously far superior to the bare-urls all articles had used up to that point.

Several mutually incompatible citation styles were introduced. I first discovered a different, inferior style, and used it for months.

I know, from personal experience, how problematic the incompatibilities between these styles were. I know, from personal experience, why wikidocuments warn about recklessly mixing styles, or recklessly converting styles. I personally rewrote the references in dozens of articles that had used the older style, when I had been the primary author of those articles. I did so because the older style was a maintenance nightmare, when the <ref></ref> pair citation style had become so overwhelmingly popular that most contributors didn't know they were screwing up older articles that used earlier styles.

When I find it necessary to add fields to, or otherwise amend, inline references, or references that stuff all the fields on a single line, I leave those references as-is, as much as necessary, so it comply with the long-standing principle of "if it is not broke, don't fix it..."

While it might be more esthetically pleasing, and more convenient, for me, if I rewrote those references, I know doing so strongly erodes the value of diffs.

When I get a google news alert emailed to me, on a topic I have worked on, in the past, that looks like it will require updating an article I have worked on months or years earlier. I try to do a diff between the last version I made and the current version, hoping it will show me whether someone else has already updated the content.

Sadly, what I usually find is that the diff shows so many changes it can't tell me whether the article's actual content has been amended.

To figure out whether the content has been updated I am forced to step through every single revision, one at a time. And, sadly, what I usually find is that all the intermediate edits were either trivial changes to spelling, or punctuation, or were changes to the articles metadata.

Unnecessarily moving references around, for purely esthetic reasons, is short-sighted, as it makes the maintenance of the article's actual content, what it tells our readers, much more difficult. Geo Swan (talk) 03:58, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

@Geo Swan: Thanks for your message. However, see WP:CITEVAR#To be avoided for why I moved the reference to the body. Specifically, the portion that says When an article is already consistent, avoid [...] changing where the references are defined. All of the references are already in the prose section of the article, so there's no reason to have that one list-defined reference.
I concede it may have seemed like a violation of CITEVAR by moving that one reference to the body (I don't think it's a true contravention of the guideline, since i was placing the references in a consistent location). But by that reason, you definitely also violated that guideline by unnecessarily moving it back without any change in the prose, with the edit summary please don't unnecessarily rewrite references for purely esthetic reason. In any case, this is a guideline, not a set-in-stone policy, so I don't really care for where the references are defined, as long as they're all in the same place.
Your message is appreciated, but you could've done without the long essay about why diffs cannot be examined properly when the references are all in the text. That's probably one of the lower priority things that even content creators worry about. Moreover, there are many tools to format/organize/fill out references, and it would be an uphill battle to ask every single editor to conform with a specific style. TL;DR there are bigger problems to worry about than where the reference is defined. epicgenius (talk) 04:14, 14 November 2019 (UTC)
  • (Sigh) I think you are misinterpreting CITEVAR.
WP:CITEVAR#To be avoided says:
citevar notes
When an article is already consistent, avoid:
  • switching between major citation styles, e.g. parenthetical and <ref> tags, or replacing the preferred style of one academic discipline with another's;
  • what is a citation style? CITEVAR offers two examples. WP:PAREN and Help:Footnotes. Why shouldn't they be mixed, or recklessly switched? Because different styles, like WP:PAREN and Help:Footnotes, are incompatible.
  • What are commonly called inline references and list-defined references are both instances of what CITEVAR refers to as the Help:Footnotes style. So, placing a brand new list-defined reference, in the reference section is NOT a switching of style. I didn't monkey with existing, working references. I introduced a brand new reference, of the same style as the other references in the article. That is completely compliant with CITEVAR, and every other wikidocument.
  • adding citation templates to an article that already uses a consistent system without templates, or removing citation templates from an article that uses them consistently;

Not applicable, as the article uses what CITEVAR refers to as the Help:Footnotes style, and I merely introduced one more refence of that style.

  • I introduced a brand new reference. I did not move an existing inline reference to the reference section.
  • You, however, DID move a "reference definitions in the reflist to the prose". So, you did exactly what CITEVAR warns us not to do.
  • Did I "...definitely also violate[d] that guideline by unnecessarily moving it back without any change in the prose..." No, I restored it to its original location to restore the utility of our diff mechanism.
  • You introduced brand new references in this edit and this edit. You added them, you get what they look like. You get to choose whether they should be inline or list-defined. You get to choose whether they should combine all fields on a single line, or devote an entire line to each field. Wikidocuments let contributors choose these things. So this edit is, well, wasted effort, and a lapse from the long-standing principle of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"
  • Everytime one of us lapses from the long-standing principle of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" there is the possibility we will accidentally introduce new errors into something that didn't have any.
  • I wrote above "When I find it necessary to add fields to, or otherwise amend, inline references, or references that stuff all the fields on a single line, I leave those references as-is, as much as necessary, so it comply with the long-standing principle of 'if it is not broke, don't fix it...'"
  • Some contributors both change the location of where a reference is defined, or whether the fields are all on a single line, or each gets a line of its own, and add new fields, or make what they regard as corrections to those fields. Yeah, it is a serious problem. Both moving where content or metadata, and changing it, means the diff engine's ability to show those corrections has been defeated.

    We are both working on Firehouse,_Engine_Company_261_and_Ladder_Company_116. And, if I thought one of your references needed an addition, or correction, I'd make it with a minimum of disruption to how you originally wrote it, in order to preserve the utility of the diff mechanism.

  • Oh, I shouldn't forget to say you added good content to that article. Good on you for that. Geo Swan (talk) 06:58, 14 November 2019 (UTC)
WRT to MOS:DATEFORMAT

WRT to MOS:DATEFORMAT, which you cited in two edit summaries, [1] [2]... Well Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Dates_and_numbers#Formats has two tables.

The table entitled "Acceptable date formats" has six entries. The fifth entry is the yyyy-mm-dd format. This table warns this is an acceptable format "Only where brevity is helpful (refs,[b] tables, infoboxes, etc.)"

The table entitled "Unacceptable date formats (except in external titles and quotes)" has 12 rows. The third row explicitly lists yyyy-mm-dd as an acceptable format.

So, did MOS:DATEFORMAT authorize you to change yyyy-mm-dd format dates, in references to other acceptable date formats that explicitly spell out the month names?

Confession. I don't remember reading MOS:DATEFORMAT closely before. It seems to be saying when I am the one introducing additional references to an article where the references aren't already using yyyy-mm-dd, I should follow the example of the earlier references. Yeah. I've never done that. But I will do so, from here on in. Geo Swan (talk) 07:13, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

@Geo Swan: Unfortunately, I don't have time to read all this (literally - I have class and then work), and I won't be able to spend the time to reply to every single one of your comments. I really don't think this is a big issue, especially not one warranting a 6,000-byte reply with a wikitable and all that. Please provide a summary of what your main point is.
The only other thing I'll say at this time is that I moved all of the references in the Firehouse, Engine Co. 261 and Roosevelt Island articles to the same location. This actually does comply with CITEVAR, but judging by what you wrote above, it would be a violation to ever move a reference from list-defined to prose, or vice versa.
Also, thanks for your work on the Firehouse, Engine Co. 261 article, it's really appreciated. I think the energy spent on this discussion would be better allocated to improving that article instead. epicgenius (talk) 13:56, 14 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I wrote an essay Every question, every disagreement, is a teachable moment. Our policies are baroque, and in a constant state of flux. Our policies can be ambiguous, and, in many cases, contradict one another. And, as DGG has pointed out, our de facto policies are our written policies, as interpreted through our long-standing conventions, which are also constantly evolving. DGG pointed out that subsections of WP:Arguments to avoid, for instance, are so widely cited, it might as well be a policy, when it is not even a guideline, is only an essay. While engaging in long discussions may seem like a waste of time, when we have important work to conduct, I think it is nevertheless necessary, because our policies are literally impossible to fully master, and even a very experienced well informed contributor could be making the same mistake, over and over again. My failure to make sure I adapted the date formats I used in references would be an instance of my making the same mistake, for over a decade, in literally 10s of thousands of edits.
  • My main point? CITEVAR is routinely misinterpreted, and mis-cited, and used to justify wasted efforts that erode the value of our diff mechanism.
  • Do I consider it a policy violation to ever move references from inline to list-defined, or vice versa?

    Yeah, I try to be careful about stating someone else is violating policy. I prefer to say "lapse" from policy, when I think the other party is acting in good faith, and the two of us have different good faith interpretations of policy.

    There may be the occasional good reason to move references. I don't think the pretty common misinterpretations of CITEVAR is one of them.

  • Under my interpretation of policy there was nothing wrong with you introducing new references that were inline references, in Firehouse,_Engine_Company_261_and_Ladder_Company_116, when all the earlier references were list-defined. [3] [4] Policy is silent on where new references are placed, or whether fields were or weren't all stuffed onto a single line.
  • Cheers Geo Swan (talk) 16:26, 14 November 2019 (UTC)
OK, that's much more readable. However, I do have some points. (1) If the reference has already been moved, I think it would be quite unproductive to revert that, unless there's a good reason to not make them standardized. (2) MOS:DATEFORMAT is not really that big of a deal either. I use a script to change them all automatically, thus ensuring that all the dates are unified. (3) Not all editors are going to see your reasoning regarding references, or understand why one reference is in a different location from all the others, so this is really an uphill battle, and not worth worrying too much about. epicgenius (talk) 16:56, 14 November 2019 (UTC)
  1. So far as I know there is no tool which will compare two versions of an article, analyze the references they use, and report which shared references, used in each version, are no longer functionally equivalent. Restoring a reference to its original location allows using the diff mechanism to check to see if fields have been updated. Geo Swan (talk) 13:35, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

Saturday Nov 16: Wikipedia Asian Month Edit-a-thon @ Metropolitan Museum of ArtEdit

Saturday November 16, 12:30 pm - 4:30pm: Metropolitan Museum of Art Edit-a-thon

The Wikipedia Asian Month Edit-a-thon @ The Met will be hosted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday November 16, 2019 in the Bonnie Sacerdote Classroom, Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education (81st Street entrance) at The Met Fifth Avenue in New York City.

The museum is excited to work with Wikipedia Asian Month for the potential to seed new articles about Asian artworks, artwork types, and art traditions, from any part of Asia. These can be illustrated with thousands of its recently-released images of public domain artworks available for Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons from the museum’s collection spanning 5,000 years of art. The event is an opportunity for Wikimedia communities to engage The Met's diverse Asian collections onsite and remotely. Asia Art Archive will host a sister event in Hong Kong next week.

12:30 pm - 4:30 pm in Bonnie Sacerdote Classroom, Uris Center for Education
81st Street entrance, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue


And there will be sandwiches and Wiki-Cake!

Thanks, and hope to see you there! --Wikimedia New York City Team 16:45, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

(You can subscribe/unsubscribe from future notifications for NYC-area events by adding or removing your name from this list.)

DYK for Staten Island Quarantine WarEdit

valereee (talk) 00:01, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

Please see Feeling feverish. Shenme (talk) 06:05, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

barnstar for youEdit

  The Original Barnstar
You've created/expanded so many articles about New York City! I constantly see them nommed for DYK / GA. Keep up the good work :) MrLinkinPark333 (talk) 02:49, 15 November 2019 (UTC)


Please comment on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject IslandsEdit

The feedback request service is asking for participation in this request for comment on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Islands. Legobot (talk) 04:30, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

A heads-upEdit

I started working on User:Geo_Swan/Simon_Baron_Development, and I thought I would let you know, because it is related to Anable Basin, an article we both worked on. I am of two minds whehter more work, to bring it to article space, would be worthwhile. Quality control volunteers are tougher on articles on corporations than they are for articles on many other topics.

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 13:24, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

@Geo Swan: Thanks for the heads up. epicgenius (talk) 13:30, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

DYK for Calvert Vaux ParkEdit

 On 18 November 2019, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Calvert Vaux Park, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that Calvert Vaux Park, named after the landscape architect found dead in a nearby bay, is largely made of landfill from the construction of the Verrazzano Bridge? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Calvert Vaux Park. You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, Calvert Vaux Park), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 00:01, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Growth team updates #11Edit

15:02, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

DYK for William Ulmer BreweryEdit

 On 19 November 2019, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article William Ulmer Brewery, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that the William Ulmer Brewery, the first brewery to be designated a New York City landmark, produced up to 3,200,000 U.S. gal (12,000,000 L) of beer per year? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/William Ulmer Brewery. You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, William Ulmer Brewery), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

valereee (talk) 00:02, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

ArbCom 2019 election voter messageEdit

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Disambiguation link notification for November 19Edit

An automated process has detected that when you recently edited Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, you added a link pointing to the disambiguation page Fort Wood (check to confirm | fix with Dab solver).

(Opt-out instructions.) --DPL bot (talk) 07:39, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Nov 20: WikiWednesday Salon NYCEdit

November 20, 7pm: WikiWednesday Salon NYC

You are invited to join the Wikimedia NYC community for our monthly "WikiWednesday" evening salon (7-9pm) and knowledge-sharing workshop at Metropolitan New York Library Council in Midtown Manhattan. Is there a project you'd like to share? A question you'd like answered? A Wiki* skill you'd like to learn? Let us know by adding it to the agenda.

7:00pm - 9:00 pm at Metropolitan New York Library Council (8th floor) at 599 11th Avenue, Manhattan

We especially encourage folks to add your 5-minute lightning talks to our roster, and otherwise join in the "open space" experience! Newcomers are very welcome! Bring your friends and colleagues! --Wikimedia New York City Team 16:16, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

(You can subscribe/unsubscribe from future notifications for NYC-area events by adding or removing your name from this list.)

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