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I lose track of those pingie-thingies; because I don't get along with them, I have converted all notifications to email only. And I never remember to check my email. A post here on my talk page is the best way to get my attention. Besides that, we used to actually talk to each other in here, and get to know each other. REJECT the pingie-thingie!
iPad typing: I am unable to sit at a real computer with a keyboard for extended periods of time because of a back injury after a big tree fell on me and tried to kill me.[1] When I am typing from my iPad, my posts are brief and full of typos. Please be patient; I will come back later to correct the typos :) I'm all thumbs, and sometimes the blooming iPad just won't let me backspace to correct a typo.

Apparently someone's been dicking around with the citation templates againEdit

See [2]. Took me forever to figure out what "generic name" is. At least for some, it's because editor, (ed), or ed. is put somewhere into the author's name parameter of the template. But I've also seen one where the author literally had the first name Ed and it flagged it as an "error". I personally sometimes think that the people who do this to us content editors should be required to write 2 FAs for every mostly useless change they make. Hog Farm Talk 21:59, 25 January 2022 (UTC)

<groan> ... I will have to look at this another day, as I'm already trying to get out of a foul mood. Maybe we can get Nikkimaria after it; she loves that sort of thing just as much as I do. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:03, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
I've raised a concern at VPT, maybe someone there can fix this. For some reason, it doesn't always make the red error flag (O. G. S. Crawford is one, I think it's flagging that (revised) is in the author parameter instead of an edition parameter). Hog Farm Talk 22:10, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
Yep. After this "RfC" [3] the CS1 templates were updated to detect a whole swath of "generic" names in author parameters. There's an incomplete list at Category:CS1 errors: generic name of what is considered "generic", and a proposed "fix". Nikkimaria (talk) 22:21, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
I'm also drafting in my mind a proposal to suggest creation of some sort of noticeboard where major citation template changes can be posted ahead of time, rather than be discussed on an obscure talk page somewhere and then suddenly unleashed on everyone like a Kraken. Hog Farm Talk 22:12, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
Been down that road before ... I seem to recall having left Wikipedia in a huff over this sort of thing more than once ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:18, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
With that in mind, you might want to take a look at the VP thread I linked in combination with this response. Nikkimaria (talk) 22:21, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
How is there enough consensus on that "RFC" for changes (like this, which happen often) with such wide-ranging impact. Will it never end. Rhetorical; it won't. A couple of editors own us. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:25, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
I just ran into this at Chagas disease. Apparently it is meant to catch newbies doing things like adding "Facebook" as the author of an article, but it seems to flag any organization name, even when it's entirely appropriate to list an organization as an author... Spicy (talk) 22:23, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
Oh, looking at the page Nikkimaria linked I suppose it's the 'collaborator' in 'Global Burden of Disease Collaborators'. Not sure why this is worth adding a big red error message to 30,000 pages, even when there actually is an error... Spicy (talk) 22:27, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
Worse bug testing that even Microsoft. Hog Farm Talk 22:30, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
I have lost track already of what threads to follow where. If I do this today, I will likely walk away again, so am going to ignore until in a better frame of mind. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:32, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I think I need to step off, too. I left a few "extracurricular" sentences on one of the comments that probably fall under the "think but don't say" category. Hog Farm Talk 22:36, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
Extracurricular, huh; so that's what you call it ? Just don't say the word darn, or you could end up ANI :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:37, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
After reading over that bug report area, it apparently flagged "Hauser" because it contained the string "user" ... Hog Farm Talk 22:50, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
I went through and fixed mine. (grumps) I think I got all of them? Ealdgyth (talk) 22:53, 25 January 2022 (UTC)

{{Cite book}} also now treats the volume param differently, which seems like unnecessary churn to me although less disruptive than the above. AleatoryPonderings (???) (!!!) 22:34, 25 January 2022 (UTC)

Lay-source and lay-url are now deprecated, so I have to go fixing, all over creation, for one of the most useful parameters cite journal provide. Why do we put up with this? RexxS stood up to them. I don’t know why we don’t, except that one never knows where. Where did they get consensus to remove lay-url ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:43, 25 January 2022 (UTC)

Well, the discussion linked from the update notes is this one... Nikkimaria (talk) 04:15, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
So, two or three editors, discussing in a backroom, get to remove something that affects … how many articles and other editors? I Do Not Know Why Wikipedia Continues To Let This Happen. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:19, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
Might be time to start a larger community discussion -- Guerillero Parlez Moi 16:45, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
Because "two or three editors discussing on a talk page" is the normal, everyday practice for Wikipedia?
@Hog Farm, the designated noticeboard is Help talk:Citation Style 1. There are 130 active editors watching that page, which is only slightly fewer than the number of people watching Wikipedia:No original research/Noticeboard. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:49, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
When WAID thinks this is "normal", something's gotta give. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:36, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
The problem, WAID, is that there is definitely such a thing as noticeboard overload. At this point I've got so many user talk pages, noticeboards, etc watchlisted that it drowns out the actual content edits and makes it difficult to see changes to the content - you know, that stuff we're here to build/currate/etc. I shouldn't have to watch yet MORE obscure pages off in the middle of nowhere so I can keep up with changes that affect such a basic widely used template - and as an aside - are we sure those are 130 ACTIVE editors that have it watchlisted? I've never been sure that the count of "watchlisting editors" is confined to active editors and doesn't include any editors who have ever watchlisted the article. (I mean, gods, surely 268 ACTIVE editors aren't watchlisting my talk page, surely?) Ealdgyth (talk) 17:50, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
I have 685 watchers; that 130 number is meaningless. The fact is, all of these issues, going back about ten years, all relate to ownership of templates that affect tens of thousands of articles (hundreds of thousands? who knows? At least 300 Featured articles is all we know). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:25, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
And probably at least 2/3's of the 767 new GAs on the issues report for that project. Hog Farm Talk 18:32, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
And WP:MEDRS has 389 page watchers, is a widely respected and used guideline, and has included the text about the lay source parameter, with text completely untouched since at least the end of 2008 (that's a lot of years on a highly used guideline for a couple of editors to be undoing). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:40, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
There are 81 (eighty-one) active editors watching this page. There are now two counts for watchlists. One counts how many watchlists it's on, including people who haven't logged in for years. The other counts only the editors who have gone to Special:Watchlist during the last 30 days. I find that smaller number a much more functional metric.
Ealdgyth, I agree that it is impossible to know everything. It helps to have a network of folks, so that you can tell me about what you see, and I can tell you about what I see. In this case, though, it feels like the Wikipedia:You don't own Wikipedia story: I don't like the change, so we should have had an RFC! A big one! At a village pump! That RFC already happened, and not one editor there objected to the proposed changes to |lay-url= and its companions. The primary source of opposition was editors unhappy that |chapterurl= was going to be spelled |chapter-url= (with a human-readable hyphen between the two words) from here out. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:55, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
WAID, are you seriously, with your best straight face on, seeing some consensus in that “RFC”? I hope so, since you appear to be here mocking those of us who don’t. Who closed it? Who judged this consensus? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:00, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
It says right there at the top that ProcrastinatingReader provided the closing summary. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:41, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
There was opposition on that point, but the primary source of opposition was that that was not a valid approach to an RfC. And as one commenter put it: it will (and now has) "falsely establish consensus for controversial changes by making them a rider to clearly-supported changes when they failed on their own merits". Nikkimaria (talk) 04:04, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
Ealdgyth here’s a keeper just for you. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:14, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
WAID, you also have to think about it this way: the sort of average Wikipedia process that involves two or three editors generally doesn't effect thousands or tens of thousands of pages like these do. Hog Farm Talk 18:03, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
I could name some counterexamples, but you're right: CS1 changes have far-reaching consequences. They even affect non-English Wikipedias, since we don't have a decent global templates system, so every change we make here increases the trouble for article translators and template copiers.
I think we can find a way to work with this. It won't be the same, but it needn't be worse. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:02, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
You’re missing the bigger point, in mocking the need for a broad RFC, which is They Just Keep Doing This, and we keep getting stuck with the fait accompli. It’s not just this instance; it’s the need to address the root problem, of editors running technical aspects who are not responsive to the community, and that Those Who Do This are insulated from the needs of content writers while holding the power to broadly affect all of us with their personal preferences. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:08, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
You imply here that these "editors running technical aspects" are not part of The Community™, that none of them are content writers themselves, and that these changes are driven by their personal preferences. I don't think that any of these claims hold up to scrutiny. They're not "others"; they're us, and "they" are doing this, to the best of their human ability, because "we" have asked them to solve some problems.
Remember when WT:FAC broke a little while ago? It's because some templates, especially citation templates, are "expensive". They are trying to make the templates a little bit less "expensive", but now we're yelling that it's all happening just because of their invalid personal preferences. This type of change could make a big difference; it could make it possible to re-transclude FAR at the FAC pages.
I like consistency. Either we yell at them because heavy templates break things, and suck it up when we have to slowly change a few hundred articles to make that breakage less likely, or we suck it up when the heavy templates break high-traffic and high-importance pages like WT:FAC and the large COVID pages (at least one had more than 1,000 refs at one point). We can't have it both ways. The option of "keep everything the same but have it not break large pages" is not on the table. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:58, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
The citation templates are not used or barely used at FAC or FAR, so they are not causing the problems there. The proposed workarounds for the lay= parameters take up even more characters so I do not see how they are "cheaper". (t · c) buidhe 20:15, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
It's about what happens on the server when it's sorting out what needs to be displayed on a page, not about how many letters it takes you to type in the wikitext. Every parameter and every alias costs. A parameter for me here, an alias for you there, and pretty soon we're talking about real money. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:33, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
I don’t accept your characterization of my post; sorry you to choose to read it as you do.
The FAC issue is unrelated to this one, and had/has its own set of easy solutions, which have been ignored, just as the COVID issue with thousands of citations had/has its own solution, which is also ignored. The solution to neither of these problems is to remove a parameter that has not been demonstrated to be a problem, and was just what the Dr ordered in terms of not citing the lay press in medical content while occasionally providing only an adjunct for reading highly technical journal sources. Will Eubulides’ helpful vauthors parameters be next, so we have to edit around ten-line-long strings of first1 last1 … first32 last32 in the quest to prioritize building databanks of citation parameters over ease of building content? The reason sorta/kinda/halfway presented for removing the lay parameter is that it was only used a few thousand times (which is a testament to MEDRS more than anything else— we don’t take lightly citing the lay press). How much was it costing? More than the now convoluted ten-line-long strings of parameters encouraged by how the citation templates have evolved over the last decade?
Explaining for others what they won’t for themselves, or can’t without personal attacks, is enabling the kind of conduct that at least RexxS had the guts to stand up to by being willing to block those who operated scripts, bots and the such without responding to the concerns of the broader community. Is there no one with any gumption left? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:54, 27 January 2022 (UTC)

CS1 (whatever that even means) has always been the domain of pretty much one editor, who gets to change things that broadly affect all of us without so much as a prior notice anywhere. Nikkimaria this has been going on forever, but I don't know where to find all the pieces. Are you able to come up with a list of past examples? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:38, 26 January 2022 (UTC)

I'd say the whole Monkbot 18 (|access-date vs |accessdate mainly) would count as one, but I don't know where to find it. Hog Farm Talk 18:32, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 179#RFC: Citation Style 1 parameter naming convention (and multiple related discussions, eg
Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive1065#User:Citation bot "fixing" non-deprecated parameters).
A couple more examples:
Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive313#Is there a semi-automated tool_ hat could fix these annoying "Cite_Web" errors?,
Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive884#Trappist the monk and Monkbot. Nikkimaria (talk) 22:05, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
Thanks, Nikkimaria; OK, all, where do we go next? Are we going to huff and puff but continue to let this happen? Do we need a community-wide RFC? (I'm an abject failure at those.) Do we go to AN and ask for some restrictions to be put on any change to CS1 sans community notifications, eg via WP:CENTRAL? This long-standing ownership has been one of three reasons that I won't ever write a "real" medical article again (this, plus the way ERRORS treated TFAs, plus the blatant plagiarizing of all of my work at DLB, for profit, with nothing to be done about it). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:30, 26 January 2022 (UTC)

Effect on medical contentEdit

The effect on medical content citation vis-a-vis WP:MEDRS is probably more serious than perhaps other areas: see discussion at this awkwardly named section of WT:MEDRS: Wikipedia talk:Identifying reliable_sources (medicine)#lay-url= etc. (I am fairly certain the lay parameters were designed by Eubulides for the specific reasons I mentioned, to comply with MEDRS, and for them to be removed, a note to WT:MED would have been wise.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:13, 26 January 2022 (UTC)

Ignored again. I think there’s some fear driving these discussions (the fear that no one will do the programming work if we don’t heel to what the few demand and force through). Just another stripe for the tiger as to how content contributors are viewed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:23, 27 January 2022 (UTC)

What’s really amazing is that all of us are beholding to a few who write pages of gobbledeegook like this. How’s that for clear and simple and user-friendly? Precisely why, for years, I wrote all of my citations manually— a change I now regret. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:13, 27 January 2022 (UTC)

I remember that the CS1/2 formatting causes disputes from time to time. I think the underlying issue is that many many editors depend on these templates but don't work directly with them, while only a few editors maintain them but work with them a lot. So you have this situation described by Ealdgyth that the first group cannot follow everything the second group is doing, while the second group does things without much consideration of the first group's preferences. I don't know how one would go around to fix this. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 10:34, 27 January 2022 (UTC)

Lets lower the temperature a bit. The template folks think they are doing what is best for the encyclopedia as well. But, they are more focused on metadata and microformats. I am going to ping Izno about this. I have found that he has been easy to work with over the past month on arb-related things. There is a good chance that a workable compromise can be found through informal discussions. If not, at least putting our feelings on his radar should be helpful for future changes since I know he works on this class of templates. If something informal can't break the log jam, an RfC in a more public place advertised on CENT would be the next step. --Guerillero Parlez Moi 10:39, 27 January 2022 (UTC)

Guerillero, part of this issue is that I ask a nicely-worded reasonable question and can't even get a response. Hog Farm Talk 14:32, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
@Hog Farm, let me answer it for him, then. Your question was "Could you please point me to the discussion where consensus to deprecate this was reached?"
I will point you to the locations of the two most relevant discussions. The first was an RFC was at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals). It began on 28 November 2021. The RFC contained a list of proposed changes. The proposed changes said one result would be that they "deprecated |lay-date=, |lay-format=, |lay-source=, |lay-url=;"
The RFC pointed to a previous small discussion of this. That is the second relevant discussion. That previous small discussion involved six editors, including one who is active specifically in medicine-related sourcing problems.
Now the question is whether consensus was reached. The closing statement of the RFC at the Village pump indicates that consensus was in favor of this change. The closing statement said that a different change, about removing other parameter names completely, did not apparently have consensus. About the rest of the proposal, including the part of the proposal to add a red warning message about these specific parameters, the RFC's closing statement says "There is support for most changes proposed, and they may be rolled out" (emphasis added).
Now, any good editor knows that consensus is only a true consensus if I personally agree with the result, but perhaps it is not unreasonable of me to hope that this fully answers your question about where the discussion happened and why some editors might believe that an RFC happened and that the result of that RFC was a consensus to deprecate (but not remove) these particular parameters. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:11, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
WAID, thank you for pointing this out, since apparently Trappist doesn't care enough to do so. I'm strongly unconvinced by the claim in the RFC header This is an all or nothing rfc. In the event of a draw, cs1/2 shall be updated as "no consensus" on Wikipediadoes not mean "change the status quo even if we couldn't get consensus to do so". My suggestion for this would be to go less the "all or nothing rfc". There's no reason why this has to all be bundled into Monk Trappist's Patented Citation Slurry. Why can't the uncontroversial stuff like "added 'Usurped title' to generic titles" be split out from and leave the |lay-url or making the template scream at us everytime we cite someone named Ed which Trappist isn't responding to me either, despite being active on that same page since for a separate one? An AFD with that degree of variance in effects would be closed quickly per WP:TRAINWRECK. Why can't there be separate discussions for the ones that have major effects and the standard dust removal? Hog Farm Talk 20:32, 27 January 2022 (UTC)

I guess this is an example of what we'll need to do from here on out. It's quite a bit more complicated, but I guess follows the letter of the parameter laws better. The one thing I would really call for is that those who maintain the citation templates keep in mind is that the primary purposes of these templates are for 1) ease of adding citations and 2) standardization of output and 3) allowing readers to see easily where content is sourced to. The recent changes run against 1), have no real effect on 3), and produce only slight difference on 2). Hog Farm Talk 15:05, 27 January 2022 (UTC)

It won’t end by appeasement; it never has. It’s just a matter of what’s the next target to make it harder to build content and give us more gobbledeegook to edit around. I’ve a pretty good idea of what’s next, but it seems that my talk page is hosting a discussion where we are now fighting town hall, and we all know how that ends. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:42, 27 January 2022 (UTC)

About the “RFC”Edit

I don't think the citation template maintainers are as bad as they're made out to be above. I also don't think trying to distill the editorbase into groups and then marginalising some of them is helpful (it's possibly even dangerous, because this project requires various groups of editors to function effectively). It's also not an accurate classification: in that RfC, there were highly active content editors supporting the changes (eg Support been waiting for some of these for quite a while. Hawkeye7), and there were technical editors opposing the change (eg Pppery). Thing is, a lot of changes to citation templates are quite niche and (at least IMO) not really of extreme interest to the wider editor-base, which I imagine can make it difficult to receive broader feedback. In the RfC I closed re. CS1/2 updates, conducted at WP:VPR, most of the changes weren't commented on or objected to. I doubt a lot of editors in the broader community really care either way. Obviously it's not possible to read peoples' minds, and if input isn't given then folks don't really know what the concerns of some editors are. I don't really have solutions here but I would echo Guerillo's call to lower the pressure. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 22:20, 27 January 2022 (UTC)

Okay... then why can't the people initiating these changes clean up the crazy messes that hundreds or articles are left with? I will admit that I have only skimmed the above, but what I'm inclined to see is a group of editors that usually makes behind the scenes changes making some larger ones that leave thousands of maintenance tags all over the place, leaving editors like myself (who weren't even aware of the change) to clean it all up. And by-far worst of all, forcing our readers (our articles are meant to be read!) to see maintenance tags that have absolutely nothing to do with their reading experience. Aza24 (talk) 23:15, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
Now now, Aza, we mustn't be troubled by feeling like work we take pride in has been devalued, along with the expectation that we'll now do extra work to fix errors that ... weren't.
Generally, like Aza24, we now have hundreds of GA and FA editors (and I know not how many others, as I've only seen data on the GA and FA errors), who do care about seeing their work devalued, who are waking up to find errors in articles they have built, tended and curated, and probably not even knowing where to go to discuss it. Those editors deserve a centralized forum that is not my talk page, but it doesn't appear we'll be respected at the CS page.
PR, thanks for stopping by; I always appreciate your feedback. The RFC is a good example of the thing that speaks for itself; many wise comments in there. Regarding the discussions above your post, in my experience, mocking and demeaning and downplaying the concerns of others rarely serves to calm the waters, and often pours fuel on the flames. That's been my experience of this issue so far. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:43, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
@Aza24, what makes you think that they don't? Just to name the most obvious example, Trappist the monk has not racked up 327,000 edits to articles, or run a bot that's made three million edits, by doing nothing about citation problems. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:51, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
And yet, hasn't bothered to put a list at WT:MED of all the articles that need fixing. Much less all the thousands of articles elsewhere, although such lists are within TtM's capability. I hope that answers the question as to what those who broke this might be doing to help fix it ? Or maybe we don't want to shine a light on the issues beyond my talk page ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:58, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
Who says that WP:MED needs to do anything about this at all? It seems likely to me that the usual CS1 clean up crew will do it all for us, if we just sit tight. It might be useful to decide how we'd prefer to see it fixed (the IP's suggestion of a wrapper template has some serious potential, and a bot could make that conversion – invisible to the reader, and still getting rid of the wasteful "is this parameter being used?" check on the 99.99% of citations that don't), but I don't think that we have to do anything about this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:02, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
That's nice to know. How are all the editors who don't have WAID posting on their talk pages being made aware of this wisdom as it unfolds in bits and pieces? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:12, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
I think it's likely that at least 99% of editors will never notice the problem, and the rest of us should know you, so I think we're set.  ;-) WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:16, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
Such responses are not warming my heart. Remind me once more how nobody reads my articles or checks my sources and nobody cares about the hard work I put into them, and maybe that will make me feel better. Because someone was troubled to plagiarize the hell out of it and publish it for profit. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:19, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
PS, besides, speaking for myself (and I suspect most editors who frequent this talk page), I don't tend to leave big red errors in articles I tend and that have high pageviews while I wait and hope someone else will fix them. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:14, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
TtM, in my experience, alters many citations en masse to their personal preference, ignoring established styles and erasing consistency in an article. Things like this; they think they are being helpful by adding the other authors... yet I was citing the work of only one author's contribution. When the GAN came, suddenly there were all these issues with citation formatting I don't know existed, because TtM introduced them under the guise of "cite repair;". But regardless, why can't these be fixed before hand if they know there's going to be problem? How is it logical to introduce a bunch cite error notices and then fix them? Clearly they can be tracked... readers have enough trouble trusting WP as it is, what will they think that now they have to witness a new fresh batch of red notices, the meaning of which they will not understand? (and if anything, they'll assume them to be a bigger deal than they are). Aza24 (talk) 00:00, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
You mean things like Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Monkbot 18? Advance fixes already happen, within the limits of what editors will let him do. It seems that a few editors believe that objecting to fixing templates in advance is a way to prevent the template from being changed in the future.
As for readers... Readers only click on a ref (that's one ref) in about one out 300 page views. I don't think readers are going to be materially affected by this.
(For the encyclopedia ref, were the others editors, rather than authors? That's not clear from the linked page.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:12, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
Let me say this plainly. I do wish you would stop diminishing our concerns with things like "nobody cares" ... nobody reads ... one in 300. It's demoralizing. We care. And my concerns are similar to Aza's having seen personal preferences foisted on articles. I don't want to wake up tomorrow and find vauthors deprecated, along with et al, and I have to edit around a string of 30 author names because someone somewhere is gathering data on author fields. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:17, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
I've never said that nobody cares. I'm saying that what matters to someone like you, who is in the top 99.9995% most active editors of all English Wikipedia editors, ever, has a relationship with articles that is, at minimum, wildly atypical. There are maybe a few thousand people out of the nearly 8 billion humans in the world who think like we do. We should never mistake our experience here for being a typical one. So I encourage you to take heart: the thing that looks outrageous to you in any favorite article is probably not even going to be noticed by any reader today.
WPMED's most popular article right now is about the omicron variant. Statistically speaking, if we assume that it's an average article, we can expect something on the order of 100 refs in it to be clicked on it each day. If we assume perfect randomness, which is unreasonable but greatly simplifies the math, then it will take readers an average of four days before all the citations have been seen, and an average of two days before any individual citation is seen – by one reader. If it is a well-written article, readers will click on the refs even less often (and non-randomly), so it may take even longer. The real-world risks are less than it seems to people like us.
If you find it demoralizing to hear that readers don't click on the refs – well, I find that it's all the more motivation to make sure that the article is right. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:50, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
I think you’re misunderstanding what I’m finding demoralizing, which is not whether readers click on my citations, but hearing your take on how valued the work of the kinds of editors who frequent my talk is or is not, and your readiness to defend technical actions that devalue our work and place that over the factors that motivate us. By “us” I mean, the kind of editor who frequents my talk page, and that tends to be people who work at the FA level, which seems to be leading back to where some of this discussion started, which is that yes, there do appear to be different sets of editors and “their” concerns aren’t “our” concerns. It seems to me that your arguments are basically indicating, to me at least, that there really are two different sets of concerns, and “ours” are less significant. And it’s clear from this discussion that “our” concerns are the lesser valued. Is that the message you want me to be receiving ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:58, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
Before we get into fixing things in advance, letting CS1 editors fix things, having bots make millions of changes, having big red error messages, etc, we need to first get to a place where we agree on what should break. Take a look at the discussion that was linked from the template update as supporting the removal of the lay- parameters: Help talk:Citation Style 1/Archive 80#Changes to Cite news/doc. One person in that discussion thinks those parameters should be removed. In the additional discussions linked from the thread on this at CS1, there's maybe two more who supported removal prior to implementation. A lot of the "discussions" are like that, or like this one where there is significant opposition to the change being proposed, or like the string of deprecations of unhyphenated aliases where the motivating RfC explicitly did not support that move (and where the VP RfC that eventually happened found consensus against deprecation for a subset). So there's definitely the appearance of a clique of editors making decisions that affect millions of articles without fulsome community input, or in some cases in opposition to input from community members who are not part of that clique, as Sandy is talking about. Nikkimaria (talk) 14:12, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
Yes. With the demoralizing factor that WAID (whether here as “herself” or in her capacity as a WMF person) is apparently more supportive of that small group than of the rest of us. That’s the demoralization (that someone who works for WMF is not seeing the extent of the problem, even if here not speaking in her official capacity).
Nikki, we need a way to get together on this; it’s been happening for ten years. Can we form an informal group to monitor those pages? Is there a reason ala canvassing that you can’t inform the rest of us when something like this is happening? I followed those pages for a long time after the last debacle, but it’s not English. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:48, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
Monitoring is fine; the issue is whether objections are seen as valid when they're something other than technical in nature. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:50, 29 January 2022 (UTC)

Redefinition of MEDRS, a long-standing and widely-accepted guideline, on a help:citation pageEdit

Having removed the MEDRS-compliant lay-url (which was not used to source medical content), over at the help citation template discussion, the best I can decipher (because it’s mostly code speak), MEDRS is being completely reinterpreted with statements like:

  • “lay sources that pass RS should be preferable”
  • “Lay sources are not invalidated or considered ‘inferior’.”
  • “ If a lay source is good enough to be used in |lay-source= then it should be good enough to stand on its own”
  • “if a lay source is judged reliable after scrutiny (i.e. represents salient facts correctly and without bias) it is as eminently citable as any other so-judged reliable source”

as part of a proposal to simply bundle lay sources as a regular citation.

This is a re-interpretation of MEDRS, happening without so much as the courtesy of conducting the discussion at WT:MEDRS, rather among two or three editors on a citation template page, who have taken the stance that lay sources can stand alone to source medical content. This is something I have never seen accepted or done, period, in medical sourcing. Ever.

For those not completely aware of how the lay-source parameter was used, here is a very good example, from the most recent medical FA, Menstrual cycle:

  • Emera D, Romero R, Wagner G (January 2012). "The evolution of menstruation: a new model for genetic assimilation: explaining molecular origins of maternal responses to fetal invasiveness". BioEssays (Journal article). 34 (1): 26–35. doi:10.1002/bies.201100099. PMC 3528014. PMID 22057551. See BBC Earth lay summary, 20 April 2015.

It is a recent journal article that complies with WP:MEDRS, and is what the text is sourced to. It is dense and technical. The lay article from the BBC offers an overview in simpler language; an adjunct for the reader, but not something one would ever cite medical content to; even well written lay sources often have medical errors, and this one has a lot of opinion. But it serves to help the reader understand the terminology so they can then better digest the actual source. We provide it in a case like this for a simpler overview, but we don’t source content to it.

WhatamIdoing I have moved from being astounded at the nonchalance over the reaction of those who care about these errors, to now in a state of awestruck wonder at the ongoing marvels of Wikipedia, whereby those who write code can re-interpret medical sourcing guideline.

Guerillero what say you next? We’ve already had Izno’s feedback. Nikkimaria what can we do next? A noticeboard will be as useless as trying to follow that page was, and past experience shows you can’t get answers in English.

Colin where are you on this: a decade and a half of integrity in medical content: poof. Have you stopped watching MEDRS? I know Graham has taken a break because “this place can be harmful to your mental health”. That it can. @Ajpolino, Spicy, Lukelahood, and Casliber: anybody watching MEDRS? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:18, 28 January 2022 (UTC)

Oh, and apparently the correct Wikispeak for this isn’t something I’m up on, because the parameter is still there, just disabled or some such thing, so that articles have jolly big red errors. I guess we’re supposed to be impressing our readers with that. Oh, wait, our readers don’t read our articles or our sources anyway, so why do we care. I gotta get with the program! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:59, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
The above misunderstandings of the lay parameter seem to be coming from an IP. Can you ignore them? I've only been skimming the discussion since I don't have much to add that hasn't been expressed already. Interesting that all this effort is being made to find out what is using the parameters after the change. I am concerned that those who made the change think now and on an obscure talk page is the place to justify their change. I am worried that the big red warning will cause some "helpful" wikignome to go around deleting all the lay summary citations and then there won't be any way to fix the issue. They should have come up with an agreed alternative and then offered to run some script to fix the thousands of usages e.g. bundling the citations appropriately. -- Colin°Talk 08:49, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
I don’t think ignoring IPs is recommended, as “they count, too”, and there are now two IPs using this same logic in those discussions. The standard operating methods around citation templates deviate, and always have, from what all of the rest of us do everywhere else; this is the long-standing problem that makes this problem so difficult. Template:Cite journal (which is protected) now recommends a disputed change to correct these errors by adding a full citation template to a lay source. Can some kind admin please add a disputed tag to that template, before exactly what Colin mentions starts happening ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:43, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
And as you can see, now we have Guerillero supporting this as well, so it’s folly to ignore IPs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:52, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
  • While is it a pain to switch over the ~3k citations, TtM's cite lay source template seems like a decent path forward and makes these important links available in a robust way that won't go away on a whim. --Guerillero Parlez Moi 11:42, 28 January 2022 (UTC)
    We don’t cite the lay press for medical content; Ttm’s method is disputed, and discussions about MEDRS should happen at MEDRS, not on an obscure page no one follows. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:45, 28 January 2022 (UTC)

There was a time when they did read our articles AND the sourcesEdit

  • Miliard, Mike (December 12, 2007). "Wikipedia rules". The Phoenix. It might even get the rarer ‘Feature’ designation — ‘Definitive. Outstanding . . . a great source for encyclopedic information’ — of which there are just 1752. (See the piece on Tourette’s Syndrome, a crisp and information-packed 5200 words, with eight book-length sources and 84 online references.)

Hundreds of medical articles being edited against consensusEdit

The pattern continues. With no resolution of the disputed change, a personal preference is being installed broadly across hundreds of medical articles.

See discussion here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:41, 12 February 2022 (UTC)

Nikkimaria 1) Should a Minor edit tag be used on these controversial edits? 2) How can I tell if they are being performed manually or via bot? 3) Is the next stop ANI or is AN better for this purpose? 4) Or should we move direct to an RFC to attempt to stem these repeated issues?
In either case, we need a refined and comprehensive list of every previous similarity. I will start through the list above, but I'm sure there are more. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:46, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
1) No. 2) They're probably being performed manually given the speed, or possibly script-assisted. 3-4) Depends on whether you are looking to address this single spate of edits (in which case AN/ANI may be appropriate if they persist or if mass rollback is needed), or the broader pattern (which is unlikely to be well-handled at ANI - although tbh I am not sure what venue would best address it). Nikkimaria (talk) 15:50, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
I am more interested in stemming the broader problem, which has gone on for years. @Hog Farm, Spicy, Ealdgyth, AleatoryPonderings, Guerillero, WhatamIdoing, Buidhe, Ajpolino, Jo-Jo Eumerus, ProcrastinatingReader, Aza24, and Colin: (I believe that is everyone who weighed in here.) So, AN is next unless this stops? Is this blockable behavior, considering the long-standing pattern? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:54, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
I suspect that if the current spate continues, the best place to take it will be AN. And I'm worried that given the sham RFC that has occurred, it might take a new one advertised at T:CENT to get this resolved, much like with the "deprecation" of |accessdate. As to blockable, if most editors (including myself) were to make mass changes like this with weak/no consensus repeatedly, we would get blocked, but I think ttm is firmly in the "unblockable" portion of the power structure. I'm cynical that anything will actually stop the long-term pattern, so we'll probably have to pick which short-term battles are worth fighting. I would say backdoor erosion of MEDRS is definitely a hill to fight on. Hog Farm Talk 19:56, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
I think it is about 120 so far, starting with the As. (I didn't notice it until it hit my watchlist, and the brazenness is a concern.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:00, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
Sorry, I've attempted to stay out of this debate because I have somewhat conflicting feelings on how the CS1/CS2 templates should be handled. I'd probably ask on Trappist's talk page first. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 18:57, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
@Jo-Jo Eumerus: - Asking nicely on their talk page likely won't work, given that I asked lay-url|a reasonable question about this last month and never got a reply. Hog Farm Talk 19:02, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
I suspect the only way to get an answer is by asking where I did (on the CS1 help page), but then the issues seem to be swept under the rug. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:14, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
Citation style pages and the bots that are powered up supposedly randomly, and often in spite of FAOWN, are well known walled gardens; one of the few times they are subject to scrutiny and actually accept any problematic behavior is when it's ended up in the SWAMP. Not saying that's where we're at; just saying we have been. SN54129 20:08, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
I would suggest opening an RFC asking which format should be used. It shouldn't be this way - the onus should be on those wishing to change the template to demonstrate that they have more than a local consensus - but I can't see any other way to handle this. BilledMammal (talk) 20:01, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
If I do an RFC, it's going to be to address the question of how to stop the overall behavior, not just this instance. This is a lather-rinse-repeat that has been going on for a long time. The problem is, once the CS1 changes are done, we (the rest of us) can't get them undone, because we can't just revert something that is done without consensus. Any RFC needs to deal with the problem in the power structure. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:04, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
That would be better, but a proposal that won't result in WP:NOTBURO objections is needed if we want it to pass, and I couldn't think of one. BilledMammal (talk) 20:11, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
Well, it goes back to what is being discussed at Iridescent's talk page: WMF vs. Wikipedia. Do enough editors care to try to get this to stop? An RFC is needed to force WP:CENT approval, well-formed RFCs closed by a panel, before these kinds of changes can be forced through backdoors. Because they hold the technical reins, once non-consensual changes are made, the rest of us can't get them reversed even when consensus is demonstrated. In the WMF v. Wikipedia world, WMF is consensus, apparently. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:26, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
Unless I missed something I don't believe WMF is involved in this; it appears to only involve enwiki editors? BilledMammal (talk) 22:03, 12 February 2022 (UTC)
Aye, this is an on-wiki issue about the CS1/2 templates and the editors who maintain them; it doesn't seem like the WMF is in any way involved. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 10:17, 13 February 2022 (UTC)

Humpback whaleEdit

Can you recheck it, thanks. 2001:4455:620:F00:D0E2:E123:E7C8:F2FD (talk) 12:35, 23 April 2022 (UTC)

I won't be able to get back there for quite some time now; how do you feel it is progressing? It's possible that others can look in if you spell out any concerns, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:48, 25 April 2022 (UTC)

Hi Sandy! Joan of ArcEdit

Hi Sandy, if you are on the road and may not be able to respond to my concerns, I understand. And I really understand that there are real-life issues that have change how you see things (e.g., the tree). That said, you still seem to like a challange and take on tough issues, the Joan of Arc article may be trivial. But I will share my personal concerns. But I've done my best to create a fair, but admittedly positive model of Joan of Arc. But it seems that the FAR review is just stuck. I will admit that my style may be too wordy, redundant, or not what what is expected. What I have struggled for is to ensure that citations are clean, available and present. Some Wikipedians may question a few of my sources (MA dissertations, minor authors from minor presses), but I try to ensure that these are not vital points: thus, I could remove sock puppet issues with a few key presses. My issue is that I don't feel comfortable moving to another article until I took care of the major concerns, which is reliability. One of my own issues is that I want to be fair, so as you saw, I'll even accomodate a sock puppet if the sock puppet has a point that can be supported by reliable source. I'd love to move to George Fox, or some other biography, but won't move until FAR is over. I very much disliked FA review because it seemed arbitrary, and FAR review seemed more fun and interesting because I just fixed the criticisms, and could move on to the next. But FAR seems to be different. Though issues are raised, and I address them, it seems it is not sufficient. Please let me know what the expectations are, so I can figure where I can be most effective with Wikipedia. Thanks! (p.s. If you choose to respond, please ping me, as I try to keep my Watch list minimal) Wtfiv (talk) 05:28, 29 April 2022 (UTC)

Wtfiv I think you are doing amazing work on Joan of Arc; I've watched as you trimmed away at the wordiness and am quite impressed at how you kept your cool with a sockmaster. My travel, now the final wedding preparations, and issues that keep popping up re the JKR TFA blurb, have prevented me from finishing up a complete read-through. I just won't have the undivided attention for a full read-through until Monday or Tuesday. I'm able to pick away at JKR and topics I know better with piecemeal iPad editing while I'm on the road, but Joan of Arc requires more undivided attention for me to read through, as I don't know the topic at all. I hope I am not the hold up there, as the Coords know I'm busy ... your work at FAR has been much better than sufficient, amazingly effective, and as far as I know, everyone is quite impressed, as I am !! I apologize for not having been able to fully re-visit yet ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:05, 29 April 2022 (UTC)
(Apologies for the notification, Sandy) @Wtfiv: If you move on to George Fox can you ping me. I am a practicing Quaker -- Guerillero Parlez Moi 08:37, 29 April 2022 (UTC)
Thank you, Sandy! In my opinion, weddings are so fun! My March was tied up with one of those other life phases, loved one's having children. For me, those are some of the joys of life. Wtfiv (talk) 17:00, 29 April 2022 (UTC)
Thank you Wtfiv! Would be nice to be in my own home with my own things, and the travel has added a layer of complication, but things are looking good! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:18, 29 April 2022 (UTC)

Featured article leadsEdit

I've been perusing through some of the high-visibility FAs recently. It's surprising how bloated and/or poorly organized their leads in particular can get, which is unfortunate because many readers will read the lead and nothing else. Has there ever been an idea of, say, requiring substantive changes to FA leads to get consensus? Anyway, I don't know how to feel about making relatively drastic changes like this, because maybe there's some sort of implicit consensus in the lead of an article with millions of views per year. Ovinus (talk) 02:55, 30 April 2022 (UTC)

Ovinus I lean towards WikiDragon in my approach, so I'd suggest being bold! Just because an article is widely viewed or rated featured does not mean there's no room for improvement. Besides, if it passed a long time ago the lead may have looked very different. (t · c) buidhe 04:09, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
Ovinus, that is a big concern, but I don't have time to respond with care until after the wedding ... pls ping me next week if I forget ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:50, 30 April 2022 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/TRAPPIST-1/archive1Edit

Greetings, noting here that I went ahead with the Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/TRAPPIST-1/archive1 FAC nomination since we discussed this article a few months ago. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 09:30, 30 April 2022 (UTC)


You've probably seen my talk page message that I'll be more lurking than actively editing for a few days to a week for the sake of my sanity, but I noticed that Template:Older med refs has been nominated for deletion and it doesn't look like WT:MED has bee notified. Is this something that can go, or does it have use for the medical project? After the lay-url incident, I try to keep an eye out for potentially breaking changes that would affect WT:MED or MEDRS. Hog Farm Talk 13:34, 12 May 2022 (UTC)

Hi, HF ... no, I hadn't seen your talk yet ... having a hard time catching up as I have suddenly so much to do in the garden and have to make hay when the weather allows.
I appreciate you keeping an eye on WP:MED issues! I had never before encountered that template, so it's probably not very useful, but will ping WT:MED.
Before you go for a few days, do you have a sense of where my input is most needed at FAR as I slowly catch up? I know it's needed everywhere, but a priority list would help me chip away at a few sooner. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:40, 12 May 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I'll take a look at this. Hog Farm Talk 13:45, 12 May 2022 (UTC)
I think Barney is nearing the line. XOReaster retired so it looks like we'll have to triage to 5 astronomy FARS and figured out what can be kept and what needs to move on the FARC, I guess. Woolpit is making progress. I don't know where enzyme inhibitor is, but it looks savable. Someone needs to check in with Ceoil about where they are with HD. All the ones in FARC are looking like they're head for delist except for Clinkscales which Z1720 was recently unleashed on, Joan which had SN54129 leave some comments earlier, and Selwood which has been in deep deep hibernation since February. Hog Farm Talk 13:53, 12 May 2022 (UTC)
WHAT ??? Yikes on XOR !! What a loss :( :( Firefangledfeathers is still chipping away at Natalie. Will do what I can later, but very busy day, catching up with household stuff still ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:57, 12 May 2022 (UTC)
:( Hog Farm Talk 14:04, 12 May 2022 (UTC)
I understand the sentiment ... I forcefully restrict my activity now to only that which I enjoy, and aggressively unwatch everything else, which means I am no longer active on the two pages where I spent most of my Wikipedia career (FAC and WP:MED), as neither of them are enjoyable now. Let's hope XOR finds their way back eventually ... but I won't go say anything on their talk, only because I so understand the need. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:14, 12 May 2022 (UTC)

Hurricane Ophelia (2005) CCI reminderEdit

Just a friendly reminder about the CCI for Hurricane Ophelia at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Hurricane Ophelia (2005)/archive1 as you requested :) ~ Cyclonebiskit (chat) 18:08, 16 May 2022 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) Just a note that I've seen this. I'll try and help out with a check after I wake up later today. Moneytrees🏝️(Talk) 04:43, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

@Cyclonebiskit, Gog the Mild, and Moneytrees: apologies for the delay; real life does not cooperate. I will start in today; depending on how many sub-articles there are, the work could take me between six and ten hours ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:26, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

Rowling TFAEdit

Where have we left the question of the blurb? Also, I see she's in the news again.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:16, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

Wehwalt As far as I know, everyone is now satisfied with the blurb ... nothing new has come up for quite some time now. There is one remaining (new) issue about the lead, raised on talk at least a week ago and mostly resolved, but it seems no one will respond to the remaining niggles unless I ping them, which I have grown tired of doing ... some concern that the lead spends too much time on Harry rather than Joanne, which I have always been concerned about, but no one is weighing in, so whatevs. Yikes, I have been so busy, I haven't news.google'd her for a few days ... will go check now ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:25, 17 May 2022 (UTC)
Checked the new news, should not affect the main article, although someone will likely add the kerfuffle to the sub-article ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:32, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

Thank youEdit

May songs

... for your work checking the quality of old FAs, and helping to rescue, such as for Geology of the Lassen volcanic area! --Gerda Arendt (talk) 04:50, 22 May 2022 (UTC)

I want to second Gerda's thanks re Geology of the Lassen volcanic area. Your edits back in January made this a very nice article. — hike395 (talk) 16:22, 22 May 2022 (UTC)

Sock Puppet Process?Edit

Hi Sandy, A user, Chantepleure, has started posting on Joan of Arc. Because the user's style seemed similar to GBRV, I took a look at the account details. It was created in 2007, posted on two days back then and went dormant until today. It may be too early to report anything. It may just be accidental, but if you could point me toward the appropriate process or guidelines for monitoring and reporting a potential sock puppet issue, I'd be grateful. Wtfiv (talk) 03:30, 27 May 2022 (UTC)

Wtfiv If there is evidence of sockpuppetry the place to report is WP:SPI (t · c) buidhe 03:35, 27 May 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for the help, Buidhe. Wtfiv my apologies again for being so absent ... I should be able to start catching up by Saturday.
Filing an SPI is no easy feat ... you will need these pages:
I will try to pitch in after I get through some personal stuff Friday; I hope others will also help. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:44, 27 May 2022 (UTC)
I looked at the edits; they are not an improvement, and this is problematic as you note. We are going to need a better long-term solution to the Joan of Arc situation. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:51, 27 May 2022 (UTC)
Wtfiv if you can find the diff you mention at Talk:Joan of Arc of when GBRV made the similar edit,[4] the block can likely be made on behavioral evidence alone, without the need for yet another SPI ... evidence is key in an SPI or for a sock block without an SPI ... the diff should do the job, if you can find it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:55, 27 May 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for the lead on SPIs, Sandy and buidhe. And Sandy, it's good you took a look. Here's version where GBRV made the change, (which was kept until after GBRV's SPI): 12:11 24 December 2021.

Wtfiv if no one has helped by Sat morning when I am free, I will tune in ... you will need the two diffs above and the past cases ... it would probably be good, unfortunately, for you to learn how to file SPIs, but hopefully someone can start this one for you. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:49, 27 May 2022 (UTC)