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What's broken?

What's broken?Edit

Hi SilkTork, noticed you had to do this - can you elaborate on what is broken, as it must be broken for everyone else then? — xaosflux Talk 16:03, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

I can't see the editnotice (Group notice / Page notice) on article space anymore. I wondered if it was me. I found it useful to put in language notices in the page notice, such as at Beer: [1], but now if I go to articles I can't edit page notice anymore - the link is no longer there (unless there is already a page notice, as there is with Beer). See [2], etc. SilkTork (talk) 16:12, 6 August 2019 (UTC)


Hi. My last post at Talk:Manor of Tottenham, Wiltshire#Tottenham House section (or wherever the page is now...) refers. I'm not going to say much - User:Lobsterthermidor's (Lt) continual complaints that I'm harassing him make me unwilling to go into too much detail here. I hope I won't have to defend myself against his unwarranted accusations (I'm very aware of WP:HA etc). For transparency you'll want to see this, which was posted in response to this (which, incidentally, ended up at WT:MOS with a clear consensus against Lt).

The main area of concern I see in Lt's edits is the persistent addition of original research. It's a difficult area to make much of since each individual infraction seems so unimportant, yet to my mind they are highly significant because of WP's vast influence. Yesterday I discovered one in his recent edit to Kings Langley; explained on his talk page here, just above your post. It's hard to see how this change can have been anything other than intentional: I really cannot understand his motivation for doing it. Original research like this is common in his work and I often discover it when I browse through his edits, as I admit I do on occasion. However with thousands of edits and over 630 articles created, mostly on subjects that get little attention, there must be a large quantity of OR still lying undetected. User:Agricolae first alerted him to the problem ten years ago, here. He has been advised/told/warned many times since - a recent one from Ealdgyth is at Talk:Charles II of England#No original research.

There are other problems too, but in fairness, I must mention that he has also contributed much of value, especially the thousands of photos and images on Commons It really is a difficult case, but something needs to be done.  —SMALLJIM  00:08, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

I have found many of Lt's pages on manors to include family history built on a combination of WP:SYNTH and some seriously dubious sources, or by cobbling together various passing mentions, and frankly, it is always too much family history. There have been instances where a family that acquired a manor in the 1500s is traced all the way back to Domesday, highlighting remote family connections that had nothing to do with the manor in question. That and a tendency to include heraldry used by other members of the families that never held the property in question. Basically doing exactly what was done on the Tottenham manor page, using it as a pretext to present detailed family histories well beyond what is relevant to the actual topic. And they produce way too much of the material of this type to keep up and clean up. Agricolae (talk) 02:30, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks to both of you for the information. I'd like to hear from Lt before deciding what action to take, though I have to admit I am a little concerned. Not that I think Lt is a trouble-maker - far from it; but that Lt is, in good faith, inserting insecure material into articles which diverts those articles and makes them rather problematic, and that despite explanations, Lt does not understand how problematic this is, and rather than clean up articles, has continued to insert problematic material onto other articles. I was somewhat disturbed when I came upon what Lt had done to Tottenham House, but these things happen sometimes. To find that Lt has recreated the same situation at Manor of Tottenham, Wiltshire causes me concern. And reading the history of Lt's editing - that concerns have been raised several times, yet Lt continues to make the some problematic edits, makes me feel that some sanctions may be needed. However, I am hopeful that with some discussion, that Lt will understand the issues, and will voluntarily refrain from inserting lengthy and dense Decent of the manor material into articles. I note in a 2013 discussion it was agreed that Lt could create Descent of the manor sub articles. I'm not entirely convinced this is the right solution as I'm not sure that Descent of the manor material is notable enough for a standalone article. If such material is, as you suggest, original research, then such material is certainly not going to meet our inclusion criteria. I feel that more in keeping with our editing guidelines would be a short summary of the important details of the Descent of the manor, which mentions only the notable people (generally those who have a Wikipedia article). SilkTork (talk) 16:07, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
Further to that 2013 discussion, I raised the issue of manorial descents again at WP:NOR/N this May. Opinion tended towards not including them unless they were already published in some form. I didn't follow up on this discussion though.  —SMALLJIM  16:34, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. My thinking at the moment is that we (or I, if Lt is not comfortable discussing matters with you) discuss the situation with Lt. Absent an adequate explanation, I would suggest that Lt desist from adding dense Descent material onto Wikipedia in any form (standalone or inset), though may add brief Descent details of prominent members of the manor. In addition, that Lt cleans up the existing Descent material they have introduced onto Wikipedia. If Lt is unwilling to do the clean up, that we do it instead. If any significant problems occur during this process, that I take the matter to AN/I to seek consensus for imposing appropriate sanctions on Lt. SilkTork (talk) 16:44, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
He certainly won't engage with me in any discussions: I've tried various ways of re-engaging with him, e.g. here, here. If it might help I could commit to not commenting during any discussions about his behaviour, unless asked. Clean-up would be a huge job if the offending articles were not to be just deleted and there's plenty of evidence that suggests that he wouldn't help.  —SMALLJIM  19:41, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
User:Smalljim has been MUTED from posting to my talk page. Due to long-standing and ongoing (entirely) uni-lateral harassment, chronic (entirely) uni-lateral edit-warring (10 years duration), giving of master-classes, didactic tweaks, notifying me of trivial errors (full-stop in wrong place). I interpret his behaviour as severe stalking designed to make me wish to stop editing on wikipedia. Examine his obsession with posting to my page - and look at his own contributions log, much of which shows his obsession with editing articles created by me or with major input by me. I have not communicated with this user since 2013 (Wikipedia:Don't feed the troll) and that's how it's going to remain. As advised by a very wise admin (User:Kim Dent-Brown) in 2013, see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive818, section 41(31 October 2013 - 9 November 2013): The consensus appears to be that you should both go away, act your age, leave one another alone and get on with editing. I have followed that advice to the letter. He's crafty, tries to draw me into new rows incessantly, as here. Doesn't matter what the issue, he wants to argue and make my time on wikipedia very unpleasant in the hope I'll go away. I took a mini break earlier in the year, and just like the classic creepy stalker, he "welcomed me back" on my talk page. He watches every edit I make, and notifies my talk page with every single error, debateable point, incorrect grammar, typos. It's tiresome beyond belief. And he uses and manipulates other people as surrogates in his long-term war. Just a heads up and background info as to why I don't respond to the big rows he brews up.Lobsterthermidor (talk) 10:53, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

In the circumstances it would be best if Lobsterthermidor and Smalljim refrain from talking "about" each other, insinuating motives etc, and simply commented neutrally on article edits and solutions moving forward - as in Wikipedia:Comment on content, not on the contributor. I have noted that engagement between you two can swiftly descend into a slagging match which helps neither of you achieve your ends, and puts off other people from helping out. As Smalljim has knowledge of this situation going back some years, it will be useful to me for Smalljim to remain involved, though you two need not talk directly to each other, and certainly should restrict your comments to the edits rather than anything personal. If I notice personal attacks from either of you after this, I will issue a final warning, and if it continues after that, I will give escalating blocks. I really hope that will not be necessary. SilkTork (talk) 11:13, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

Yes, I agree readily and I greatly appreciate your efforts to resolve this.  —SMALLJIM  13:26, 26 September 2020 (UTC)
Can this progress if Lobsterthermidor doesn't respond?  —SMALLJIM  09:58, 28 September 2020 (UTC)
Yes, of course, but adequate time must be given, especially when progress is being made. There would be no support for sanctions while discussions were in place and making progress. If Lobsterthermidor were to edit Wikipedia for, say, one or two weeks with no attempt to continue discussing the issues and/or were to introduce lengthy Descent of the manor material inappropriately into articles, then I would alert Lobsterthermidor that the matter would be taken to AN/I unless they re-engaged positively with the discussion and/or refrained from insert Descent material until the discussions were complete.
I note that Lobsterthermidor has not re-engaged since you made a comment on his talkpage. I also see that he has made a comment on his user page that he has "Muted" you from his user page. I think Lt has misunderstood the purpose of WP:MUTE, which is to silence notifications (apart from talkpage notifications); though I think it is clear that Lt wishes you not to edit their talkpage. Per WP:NOBAN, you may leave important notices on their talkpage, however it is expected that you would refrain from leaving notices there that could be easily left elsewhere, and that continuing to needlessly edit someone's talkpage after they have requested you not to could be seen as harassment. In the circumstances it would be more appropriate and helpful if you left comments regarding this matter on my talkpage, and if you wish to ask Lt a question, that you go via me. I think this would more likely ensure we achieve the most appropriate result. Does that sound reasonable? SilkTork (talk) 10:24, 28 September 2020 (UTC)
Yup. Thanks for the clarification. There are a few items that I want to tidy up, e.g. Fowelscombe, and I'm seeking evidence for the Kings Langley query. Otherwise I'll stay away from WP for the time being. Ping or email me if I'm needed!  —SMALLJIM  11:45, 28 September 2020 (UTC)
I'll let Lobsterthermidor know that you have agreed to refrain from posting on their talkpage. I hope the discussion can then resume. SilkTork (talk) 17:26, 28 September 2020 (UTC)
@SilkTork: This is the closure report to an Administrators' noticeboard incident (Kim Dent-Brown 09:26, 9 November 2013[3]):
The consensus appears to be that you should both go away, act your age, leave one another alone and get on with editing. If I can add a personal opinion - you both Smalljim and Lobsterthermidor behaved poorly, each mirroring the other in haughty disdain of the other. You are each to blame for the other's attitude to you, which you have stoked by your own actions. The solution is in your own hands. I predict that in fact you are each so convinced of the other's wrongness that you will each wait for the other to change, nothing will happen and we'll end up here gain some time sooner or later. Please prove me wrong. Kim Dent-Brown.
I'm sticking to that advice, as I have done scrupulously since 2013.Lobsterthermidor (talk) 14:16, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Hi SilkTork. Thought it was time to update myself on this. In case you haven't gone back that far, some of the points that Lt has raised in his recent posts were discussed in our very first interactions back in 2012, at User talk:Lobsterthermidor/Archive 2#Tristram Risdon.  —SMALLJIM  18:45, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

Thanks. I am hopeful that discussions with Lt will prove fruitful, and a way will be found that ensures that Lt's edits will be less contentious moving forward. However, if that hope does not become a reality, then having a set of diffs going back eight years which show not only that Lt's edits have been problematic, but that reasonable, polite, and expansive attempts have been made to advise Lt that their editing is problematic, will be useful - particularly if several people have attempted to advise Lt to edit closer to guidelines and to follow consensus, but that the problematic editing has continued. My aim here is to guide what appears to me to be a very enthusiastic and productive editor who seems capable of doing valuable work into editing within existing guidelines so Wikipedia can benefit. If problematic editing resumes after our discussion, then we make the next step and take the matter to AN/I, but at least I can feel that we have done the right thing. SilkTork (talk) 02:03, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

Manor of KnightshayesEdit

Hi. Hope you're keeping well. If/when you deem it appropriate could you direct Lt's attention toward Talk:Manor of Knightshayes where I've added some relevant comments. His remarks of 18 October on his own talk page (his second post here) are relevant too. Cheers,  —SMALLJIM  14:29, 21 October 2020 (UTC)

Hi User:Smalljim. Yes, I'm well. Just been a little busy. I'll take a look at those links shortly. SilkTork (talk) 15:08, 23 October 2020 (UTC)

I have looked at Manor of Knightshayes and see no reason for the existence of that article. It should be taken to AfD. Redirecting it to Knightshayes Court would not be appropriate as the term "Manor of Knightshayes" only exists here on Wikipedia, and then there would need to be a redirects discussion in order to delete it, and deleting a redirect is more problematic than deleting an article. I have suspended my discussions with Lobsterthermidor for the moment, as I'm not sure I'm getting anywhere. I need their commitment and understanding in order to continue. So, on the one hand I want to suggest holding off taking Manor of Knightshayes to AfD until Lobsterthermidor has decided if they wish to continue the discussions in a more positive vein, but on the other we have an article already being copied and mirrored onto the internet which gives the misleading impression that there is a "Manor of Knightshayes", and the sooner the article is removed the better. However, on balance, I would prefer to wait to see what decision Lobsterthermidor makes. SilkTork (talk) 16:59, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Waiting should be OK, I think. I could add the {{Original research}} template (or another? - I don't know what else would fit) to the article to alert any readers.  —SMALLJIM  09:43, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
Adding an {{Original research}} template would be appropriate. SilkTork (talk) 10:52, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
@SilkTork: Your issue here seems to be primarily that no "manor" exists, so why not rename the article "Estate of Knightshayes" (or anything else you suggest), that does certainly exist, and is a notable estate. As I pointed out before, the format "Manor of XYX" was something reached by community agreement many years ago. It's not ideal, but it seemed to have achieved consensus until very recently. I would be happy to see it taken to AfD with that new name. Please be assured I am fully engaged and committed in our previous discussion elsewhere (on my talkpage) and am being as positive as I can be - that surely does not mean I have to agree with all of your comments and suggestions? That's not being negative, it's just expression of a disagreement. I thought the discussion was proceeding in a very constructive direction. Please let's continue. The sooner we can resolve this issue of naming articles on the histories of notable estates the better.Lobsterthermidor (talk) 11:58, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
@SilkTork: Hi SilkTork, in relation to your comment "I see no reason for the existence of that article", it is a WP:SPLIT article created by me at the direct request of User:KJP1 on 9 August 2020 on Talk:Knightshayes Court (under heading "Dickinson family"), which I duly complied with. He is a "William Burges enthusiast" (per his userpage) and did not want the history of the previous house on the site to detract from his principal area of interest, namely the present house on the site built by William Burges. The name "Manor of XYX" is exactly the format I agreed many years ago with User:Smalljim. Now it appears from the latest comments by that user on Talk:Manor of Knightshayes that "I think all could be comfortably accommodated within a "History" section of the main article Knightshayes Court", that the WP:SPLIT should be reversed. He continues "or if enough relevant history could be found that it would unbalance that article (seems unlikely), split out into History of Knightshayes". So we are either back to square one - or back to the (very simple) problem of what to title these split-off articles. That is surely the question we need to solve.Lobsterthermidor (talk) 12:03, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

I will look into it shortly. I can see above that you've pinged me. No need to ping folks on their own talkpages as they will be notified anyway by the software. There's no harm in it, it's just that you don't need to bother. SilkTork (talk) 12:22, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

Some useful examples for how to summarise manorial historiesEdit

Hi, I have this page watchlisted because you once carried out a GA review for me (or something like that). I noticed this discussion and, as someone involved in some of these instances (including the discussion about The Grange), I thought I'd offer some constructive examples of how a manorial descent might best be incorporated into Wikipedia from a stylistic perspective.

Firstly, This is how Lt imagined The Grange article should have looked. This was my suggestion put forward on the talk page during the discussion(s) you have mentioned below. Unfortunately, it was never implemented; I think that discussion was fairly heated and a number of participants withdrew, although I think my suggestion garnered support. At the time, I retained some detail to help come to a compromise with Lt (which was not forthcoming in the event); that level of detail is probably the most one could reasonably include in an article specifically on a manor/estate/property. I would probably prefer this condensed version which I've put together today. Note how no key detail is missing -- every know owner is there, but the use of the note moves the convoluted Drewe descent from the main prose body; it's there for specialists in the footnote, but summarised for everyone else. In an otherwise balanced article, this is probably the most amount of prose I'd expect to see about a manorial descent in an article on a settlement, for instance; [User:Noswall59/The Grange, Broadhembury|the longer draft]] could work for an article specifically about a manor in my opinion.

The second example is at Holnicote Estate. Lt expanded it so that it looked like this. I worked with other editors (it was primarily me, but others were involved I think) to put together the current section on it's history; the article is now a GA. I notice now that Lt has forked the old content to Descent of Holnicote which is, I believe, redundant to Holnicote Estate.

I believe that both of these examples illustrate how a summary of a manorial descent ought to look on WP, from a prose and stylistic perspective; they also demonstrate how to keep a manorial history focused on the topic at hand, rather than becoming bogged down in out-of-scope, coat-rack-y detail. And they indicate what to do when dealing with occasionally conflicting sources. In both cases Lt has been hostile to the changes, but perhaps it is worth re-engaging with them? Of course, this does not resolve the issues about notability, naming, unreliable/outdated sources, OR, poor citations (or lack of citations). Nevertheless, I hope this is helpful. Cheers, --Noswall59 (talk) 09:07, 30 September 2020 (UTC).

Thanks Noswall59. Any and all advice and background is useful in resolving this situation. I'll take a closer look at your links and get back to you. Regarding the GA, I just looked back, and it was Westholme House, one of the easiest GA reviews I've done as you had presented a clean and appropriate article for review. It's rare for me not to have quibbles! SilkTork (talk) 09:32, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
Having looked at the links, I'm unsure if any of them are appropriate. There's a lot of information of debatable relevance and interest to the general reader. We can discuss it in more detail if you like. SilkTork (talk) 10:34, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
As in, the current Holnicote Estate article and my draft for The Grange's history section? —Noswall59 (talk) 10:46, 30 September 2020 (UTC).
I have trimmed the condensed version further. As I said before, it was a quick adaption based on an earlier attempt to strike a compromise. I can't see how it now is significantly different from your excellent work at Covent Garden. Similarly, the early history sections of the Holnicote Estate article strike me as focused and appropriate for an article about what is essentially a large landed property. Obviously, these things are subjective, but I won't get precious about anything if you think it needs to be trimmed... Oh, and thanks for jogging my memory re Westholme House -- over five years ago! I still think of myself as a newbie here, but that's a sharp reminder that I should revise that self-impression. Best wishes, —Noswall59 (talk) 11:52, 30 September 2020 (UTC).

The Grange, BroadhemburyEdit

Just thought, after the event, I should disclose (to show good faith) a minor edit kind of on this topic I made to The Grange, Broadhembury today. I hope it will not be interpreted in a negative or disruptive way. Just needed some context and linking re Northmoor. Resulted from a somewhat careless former "trimming" in a splitting process. I was just consulting that talk section to refresh my memory because there was a big row there which somewhat resolved the issue we are discussing.Lobsterthermidor (talk) 17:37, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know Lobsterthermidor. I assume this is the edit you mean. That's not a minor edit. The history of that article shows you reverting five different users to reinsert dubious material into the article: [4], [5], [6], [7], [8]; and the talkpage, Talk:The Grange, Broadhembury, has three threads started by three different users showing concern for for your edits. And then there is a lengthy RfC where eight additional users (those who have not previously commented or been involved in the edit war) appear to support the view that lengthy descent of manor material is inappropriate (I've not read it closely). Given the history of that article, and given that we are talking about the concerns that people have with you inserting inappropriate (off-topic or out of scope) material into articles, do you think it was wise to make that edit? SilkTork (talk) 01:13, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

Saint Sophia Cathedral in KievEdit

Hello SilkTork

Cast your mind back... On 16 July 2010, you closed a move discussion on the Talk page for Saint Sophia's Cathedral, Kiev and moved the article to Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev.

Without further discussion or consensus, the article has moved about a bit since. Kiev has become Kyiv, which is consistent with the article on the city and with current usage (so that's okay), and the comma has reappeared, which is inconsistent with your decision. Unfortunately the 's has reappeared too, making Sophia's again. Sophia isn't a person in this context. Sophia is wisdom, as in Hagia Sophia, Holy Wisdom. Sophia's is just wrong.

I don't suppose I'd be able to move the page myself because the way will be blocked by redirects, and anyway I don't know if further consensus is needed. I believe it should go to Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv. Will you move it, or could you advise, please? Thanks. --Frans Fowler (talk) 00:09, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

This would benefit from another discussion to gain consensus. I note that the Kyiv - Kiev naming is contentious, and there are several pages of discussion going back 17 years: Talk:Kyiv/naming/Archive 1. My advice is to open a move request - Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv (or Kiev) seems appropriate, though a quick glance at other articles in Category:Cathedrals in Ukraine shows that Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv (or Kiev) would be more in line with current naming. I suspect that the consensus would settle on Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv. Good luck! SilkTork (talk) 10:15, 2 October 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for your wisdom. I have put a move request on the Talk page. --- Frans Fowler (talk) 06:57, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
I have supported your proposal. SilkTork (talk) 12:18, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

October harvestEdit


Today's DYK is a song, Singt dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Kempf), a call to see and praise wonders daily and let nobody deny that, written in World War II, - a good recipe for peace, it seems. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 20:44, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

Thanks Gerda, I find your monthly updates very refreshing. SilkTork (talk) 19:08, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
That's the idea ;) - Did you notice that the controversy about infobox opera vs. sidebar seems at peace? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 19:43, 27 October 2020 (UTC)