User talk:WhatamIdoing/Archive 10

Active discussions


Reward Board

Hi WhatamIdoing, thanks for your work =]
The issue i'm having is that i can't categorise files on the Commons. And the Category:Birmingham Gay Village is different here from the one at The Commons...I'm not sure how that happened...
Category:Birmingham Gay Pride is up though.

The Birmingham Gay Village is basically the equivalent of a Chinese district for gays. Birmingham Gay Pride is a gay pride event, which i assume i don't have to explain to you about. Thanks again Jenova20 (email) 09:26, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

commons:Category:Birmingham_Gay_Pride does not exist (despite having nine files in it).
What do you mean, you "can't categorise files on the Commons"? What happens? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:13, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I only just figured out how to categorise things over here with Hotcat and the File Mover Permission. I don't know how it works at the Commons, or even if i can do it there. Thanks Jenova20 (email) 17:19, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
You can. HotCat is actually much better over at Commons. Go to commons:Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets and scroll most of the way down to "Tools for categories". HotCat is the second in the list.
The cat needs to be created, which IMO is best done by opening the new cat page and adding a sentence of description, saving the page, and then using HotCat to put the newly created cat into some other cats (Category:Events in Birmingham, for example, and presumably there's a Gay Pride cat somewhere). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:31, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I may get round to it at some point then. Thanks
What about the Birmingham Gay Village category which is different here than at the Commons? Thanks again Jenova20 (email) 09:41, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

90 percent

hello, may i respectfully disagree with you? Can you please provide a quote from a wiki policy which supports your example of the ninety recent rule? I would appreciate to be enlighted.Ryanspir (talk) 16:17, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

The rule is at WP:DUE: "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources."
"90%" and "10%" are examples of proportions. If 90% of sources say one thing, and 10% say another—or whatever amounts the sources actually divide into—then the article's content should reflect those proportions.
Also, you might want to consider WP:FRINGE, the min policy on presenting mainstream views as being mainstream and presenting alternative views as being alternative ones. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:06, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Pubmed id

hello, could you please tell me why have you selectively asked me to provide pubmed id? Does it mean that all references without pubmed id shall be removed from this article? I hope you didn't ask it because you feel angry that there are peer reviewed studies supporting what you seemingly consider to be a snake oil? I'm calling you to assume good faith, be emotionally detached and be neutral.Ryanspir (talk) 16:35, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

I have not asked for any such thing. It is, however, normal to add such id numbers. You just type "PMID" followed by the number, and it automagically becomes a link, like this: PMID 16766878. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:10, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

90 percent part 2

Kindly clarify the difference? Wp:undue is refering to published studies by reliable sources. And you were refering to opinions of mainstream healthcare professionals. Ryanspir (talk) 18:34, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Mainstream healthcare professionals tend to follow the conclusions of published reliable sources. If 90% of mainstream healthcare professionals believe something (about medicine), then there are very good odds that the published reliable sources support it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:35, 9 January 2013 (UTC)


Hello whatamidoing. I just wanted to let you know that my latest contribution to synth has absolutely nothing to do with the bca page. I don't plan on using a new addition to "win" an argument against you (I don't plan on arguing with you at all, ever again). That would be gaming the system. In my mind, the "feud" is over. I don't really care as much about the bca page as I used to. It is no longer my main concern here at wikipedia. I hope you wholeheartedly assume good faith about my contributions to synth and that you stop thinking that I'm going to ruin the wikipedia as you know it. My IQ may not be annoyingly high, but I think you'd be surprised. Charles35 (talk) 01:31, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Actually, I have some sympathy with what you're trying to clarify in the NOR policy. It's just that, even though it might be both possible and desirable (separate concepts: someday I'll write the essay about why policy writing is about a hundred times harder than most people think it is until they spend a while trying to do so) to bring that concept out more clearly, that particular problem just isn't called SYNTH on the English Wikipedia. What you're talking about is plain old normal OR, not the specific subtype that's called SYNTH.
I haven't got a lot of time right now, for BCA or anything else. But I am generally considered to be good with policy writing, and I'll think about this problem when I can. Feel free to ping me again to remind me about the problem. We ought to be able to do something to improve that page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:27, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

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Feel better

I hope you feel better soon! Biosthmors (talk) 06:52, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. I think I'm over it, but now I have weeks' worth of things to do to catch up on. It may be a while before I'm really caught up to the point that I can do much here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:18, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

ninety percent iii

I respectfully disagree with you. I think you are speculating and making assumptions. Generally what you are saying its an original research. But the most important part, that according to published research the situation is opposite. There is only one study made in botswana, which says that cs is not effective in vitro. However, all the rest of the studies are found cs to be effective, and that includes expert bodies such as epa and fda. In the letters in which fda advices against oral consumption by mouth, they do not say that cs was proven to be not effective. What they say in fact is that currently there is no sufficient prove that its effective. And, they refer only to internal ingestion by mouth, because the external application was found to be effective and was cleared by them. The editors who edit this page aren't doctors. It seems that drew their opinions from sensational publication featuring a blue man and misread letters of fda. Ryanspir (talk) 15:36, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

I think we can continue this discussion when you have far more experience with Wikipedia. Until then, you would be safe assuming that, when it comes to the English Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, several of which I'm the primary author of, I know what I'm talking about. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:18, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Cite pmid

Hi there,

I'm curious about this revert; the {{cite pmid}} links to a PMC article, which is also a free, full-text version, and the template itself could also be edited to add the url link to the pdf if desired. Also, I was under the impression the cite pmid template somehow automagically used fewer server resources or some such, allowing for a faster page load. Plus it's super easy. Is there a disadvantage you are aware of or a utility to the usual {{cite journal}}? Thanks, WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 11:23, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

I didn't realize that the article was free at PubMed Central now.
I don't know how the templates compare in terms of server resources. I'm not even sure where to ask. What I've heard is the more parameters (whether used or not), the more load. I don't happen to like cite pmid, because I like being able to see the title or other identifying information in the editing window, but that's not a big deal, only an explanation for why I don't know much about its internal workings. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:23, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Meh, someone made a throwaway comment years ago and I've been treating it as gospel ever since. I just love 'em 'cause they're so easy to auto-fill. I'll add the PMC to the template. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 19:29, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Discussion on the AFT5 Request for Comment

Hey WhatamIdoing - this is to notify you that there is a discussion starting on the Article Feedback RfC talkpage that has ramifications for the RfC itself. Your input is much appreciated :). Thanks! and apologies if I've missed anyone Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 16:51, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Conversation stoppers

Hi WaID. Thanks for tidying my last edit to WT:N. Was my input welcome? It reminds me of an awkward silence at a party. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:02, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Well, I thought it was welcome and a good explanation. But I think it takes people a long time to grasp the idea that "what my teacher told me" (for a specific academic field and a specific purpose) isn't the sole valid definition of primary source. (At least most of them in that discussion have figured out that WP:Secondary does not mean independent, which is an improvement over where the community was two years ago.)
By the way, in the long term, I'd really like to be able to find a published reliable source that directly compares and contrasts the definitions in different fields. Right now, we can find sources that say "X is primary" and "X is not primary", and anyone can therefore determine that there are differences, but I'd like to actually have a book directly discussing the variations. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:22, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Lies and the lying liars who tell them

Greetings. I saw your amusing edit summary. For someone who's so attached to good grammar as you are, is "...the lying liars that..." completely standard? Shouldn't it be (as it is) "...the lying liars who..."? Other than that, were you trying to make some point about the futility of edit summaries? :-) Cheers. Signed: Basemetal (write to me here) 17:32, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

'The answer to the second question is yes. The answer to the first is more complicated. See User:WhatamIdoing#That, which, and who for the general grammar question, but the particular phrase is also a book title, so it probably ought to have been Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, using who, title case, and italics. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:18, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Poor closing of an RFC

Please be a little more careful when closing RFC's, like when you did here for the one for User: Niemti.

  1. You really ought to leave a summary/conclusion/explanation/edit summary, otherwise you just end up upsetting the participants. (It's talk page and my talk page is enough evidence that you rubbed a number of editors the wrong way with this.)
  2. Your comment on the talk page, The summary would only say "Dispute moved to ANI" (with a link), which isn't exactly important makes it seem as if you don't really understand the situation either. That topic ban at ANI was just a minor part of the overall RFC, and an issue that didn't even exist yet at the time of creating the RFC. A topic ban regarding one particular article hardly resolves countless editor's concerns regarding long-term incivility and personal attacks.

I thank you for trying to help, but please try to be a little more thorough next time. Thanks. Sergecross73 msg me 14:06, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

RFC/U pages are not supposed to remain open for nearly three months. There is no magic deadline, but a bit over one month from the opening date is usually considered the outside limit. Moving to another forum for dispute resolution—even if that doesn't fully resolve the dispute—is also grounds for closing the RFC/U. The mere fact that someone took any part of the dispute elsewhere, rather than continuing to try to resolve it at RFC/U, signals the end of this RFC/U. It should have been tagged as closed when the ANI thread was opened, not after it closed.
If you'd like to get a second opinion on whether RFC/U discussions are permitted to continue indefinitely, perhaps you'll ask someone who is more familiar with RFCs than you, like Wizardman (talk · contribs) or Rd232 (talk · contribs). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:17, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
My problem isn't the fact that it was closed, I agree it's been going on too long; my problem it was how you did it. You didn't give any sort of summary to give any sense of closure, or make enough effort to understand the issue at hand. (The issue didn't "escalate to ANI", but rather, a user separate from the RFC took him to ANI on issues on a particular article and pushed for a very narrow topic ban. The RFC spanned so much more than that, a narrow topic ban hardly concludes what was being discussed here.) I'm not sure what in my message above led you to think I want it to go indefinitely. I'm just saying, when you leave so many editor's concerns unaddressed by closing without explanation like you did, closing it does more harm than good. Sergecross73 msg me 17:41, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Summaries aren't required for RFC/Us that close due to inactivity or due to being open for significantly longer than one month. In fact, some people strongly object to them, e.g., in this discussion. The current closing instructions do not recommend summaries for time-based closures, and recommend only the inclusion of a link to the other DR location in case of proceeding to another form of DR (its exact recommendation is "proceeded to [ arbitration]/[ mediation]"). The only difference between what I did and what it recommends as normal is that I didn't copy and paste the link onto the front, since the experienced editors involved are all perfectly capable of reading the talk page and closure due to time, which gets nothing at all except the archive templates, is amply justified.
In other words, the summary that you want isn't actually recommended in this instance. If you don't believe me (here is one reason why you should), then please do ask someone who knows more than you about RFC/Us for another opinion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:18, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I was under the impression that it was like AFD, where a summary is recommended if it was likely to be contentious. I suppose that part of my argument isn't so much your fault...but I still think you should have at least included some sort of explanation that time was your reason for closing the discussion. You didn't say that on your edit summary or the talk page when people questioned your decision. Your edit summary said essentially nothing, and your comments on the talk page seemed to suggest that you thought the topic ban somehow resolved by the RFC, which isn't exactly accurate... Sergecross73 msg me 18:37, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I can understand how confusing that could be. Summaries are kind of backwards in RFC/Us: they happen when everyone agrees, and not so much when they don't.
I think that the next step for the people involved is to decide whether to proceed to ArbCom with the remaining issues or to give up. IMO it's largely a question of whether the problem is important enough to spend two or three more months of your wikilife on it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:07, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Your opinion is requested.

Your rewrote the WP:MEDRS to include the line: If the findings involve phase I or phase II clinical trials, small studies, studies that did not directly measure clinically important results, laboratory work with animal models, or isolated cells or tissue, then these findings are probably only indirectly relevant to understanding human health; in these cases, they should be entirely omitted. in this bold edit. The emphasized sentence is being used to oppose inclusion of a possible mouse study about blood glucose levels from aspartame consumption cited here. I am still hunting down a medical journal with this published paper. If I'm unsuccessful then it's a mute point but if I am, what is your opinion of this mouse study in relation to your wording of the MEDRS? Thanks. Alatari (talk) 21:10, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

You can read the discussion that led to the change at Wikipedia talk:Identifying reliable sources (medicine)/Archive 5#Should_we_remove_this_line.
Rodent studies should not be mentioned at all in an article like Aspartame controversy. That's a big, well-studied area, not a rare disease with nothing else available. You should stick to major secondary sources for an article like that.
On a related point, just because you seem interested in knowing more things rather than as something useful in that article, you might like to read this series of articles about the limitations of mouse studies. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:01, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Sexology arbitration case opened

The arbitration case Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Sexology has been opened. You have been mentioned as a potential party by one or more of the current parties to the case. If you would like to become a party to the case, please add yourself to the main case page linked in the same format as the other parties. For the Arbitration Committee, Ks0stm (TCGE) 03:39, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

help find sources project

Hello, last time we discussed on the Template_talk:Primary_sources. This time I seek for your comments on my drafted IEG grant proposal here m:Grants:IEG/find_sources_2.0. The basic idea is to enhance source-finding and thus citing practices for contributors old and new by providing lists of online and offline resources and some basic general description on the nature of the sources in these resources (per general research/librarian perspective and per WP policies WP:PSTS WP:V WP:RS.

I hope that you will can provide comments to improve the grant proposal. Thanks. --(comparingChinese Wikipedia vs Baidu Baike by hanteng) 00:31, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

I mentioned you

Here and you'd most likely see it but can't help being the notification system Wikipedia should ideally do already! Best. Biosthmors (talk) 20:05, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

WT:MED is the one page that I try to keep up with, even when I can't do anything else, so I'd have seen this anyway. But I'm always happy to hear from you anyway. I hope that your editing is going well these days. I've been a bit busy in real life plus tied up with some cat work over at Commons, so I'm not getting much done here at the moment. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:29, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Things are going well. Maybe I've been a bit too devoted to trying to improve processes (and getting into dicey deletion discussions) instead of focusing on content lately, but all is well, thanks! Biosthmors (talk) 21:42, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, if you were born to be a Metapedian, then I don't think you have much hope of resisting your process-oriented fate. At least, I haven't figured out how to avoid it. But I think it's a lot more fun to write articles, especially articles that don't have a half-dozen people working on them, or to go wikignoming on obscure articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:48, 12 February 2013 (UTC)


Even as we chew on whether/how "general references" should be defined, I appreciate your work in clarifying some of those places at Citing sources where it has been used ambiguously. Thanks. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:55, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the kind note. Like you, I do want to resolve as much of the confusion over this concept as possible. I'm glad that you think my bold change was an improvement. I'll stop by the talk page later; right now, I'm only doing mindless and easily interruptible things in between real-life work. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:59, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

response, perhaps a bit of a "gotcha"

I have replied to you at WT:Tendentious editing, and feel it is important/amusing enough to message you directly, especially given that you seem to disagree with the inclusion of a bright-line rule. -- UseTheCommandLine (talk) 23:48, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Talkback: you've got messages!

Hello, WhatamIdoing. You have new messages at Wikipedia_talk:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team/Index.
Message added by Theopolisme at 11:55, 22 February 2013 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

thanks for your inquiry and the diplomacy

) Jytdog (talk) 01:23, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

thanks for the help and info

will con't with the sandbox page, watching the COI criteria carefully. Signed up for WP:MED and WP:DENT - didn't know they existed. thx.Ian Furst (talk) 02:00, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Welcome, and good luck! WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:26, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Continuation of conversation at Wikipedia_talk:Signatures#Different_signatures.2C_depending_on.C2.A0the_namespace

Hello WhatamIdoing,

I thought I'd better put this here, as I have some misgivings (expressed earlier) as to whether this sort of discussion is permissible at Wikipedia_talk:Signatures.

Please accept my apologies for misleading/giving you false hope in this discussion. For good or bad reasons I had done my testing on an external (slightly obsolete) wiki. So I know at a software level MediaWiki has the capability of doing what you want.

Here is the big "gotcha". Unfortunately I completely forgot about this policy on WikiPedia, which basically bans all the neatest solutions; and puts a severe crimp on the "next-best" ways to approach this.

Not to completely give up; would you please be so kind as to give an example of the sort of effect you want to achieve? Even if the general case is practically ruled out, it might be still possible to do what you want.

(When I say "general case" above, I am thinking about something like a signature inside a template which gives different results when transcluded into different name-spaces, and do so for every single user login. As I suggested: technically feasible; but within the policy very probably impossible!)

Finally, I completely lack artistic ability, so my own signature is best as: MODCHK (talk) 22:39, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

What I want is to find a quick and easy way to reduce complaints like this and this. So far, I haven't been able to think of one. If we could get the text to appear only when he's signing something on a user talk: page, then I think that would reduce the likelihood. Ideally, I'd be able to say, "Here's the code. Go paste this in your sig." But I don't know how to do it, or even if it's possible without violating that policy on transcluding templates into sigs or having to subst a huge amount of text on to each page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:44, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I think I see the problem. And unfortunately problems with any technical solution, viz:
  • You have already raised the use of {{talkback}} (and by implication use of a watchlist) and it appears to me this particular user is fairly resistant to the idea. (Please correct me if I am wrong.) If this really is the case then giving them a "potted signature", especially bearing in mind they clearly have modified their own already may not go down well. And will be re-modified subsequently, which may be even worse.
  • I really suspect education and peer pressure might be the way to go rather than anything technical. You have clearly already attempted this. I guess the next step is the painful wait for the other party to finally have the wonderful idea on their own (and rationalise themselves as the origin of said inspiration, which of course in reality you had planted...)
  • Sometimes I am so cynical I mistrust myself. Doctors; can't live with them (fill in suitable next verse...)
I fear I have been no real use to you whatsoever. However, you truly have my sympathy! MODCHK (talk) 04:09, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I think he's pretty cooperative, just even less technically minded than I am. (After all, it took me several months to wonder whether a technical solution would be feasible.) It was fun to talk through the possibilities with you, even if we didn't come up with a neatly packaged solution. Thanks. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:22, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Another minimal-technical approach to the issue occurs to me: why not do exactly what you and I effectively did with this discussion (i.e. reverse the {{talkback}} model.) Immediately after his first contribution to a thread:
  • insert a link of the form [[discussion continued at User_talk:...]]
  • and then place your "real" response on his talk page.
This way he is happy (because he got his own way), the community can still find the message thread, and (sneaky I know) after a time his talk page gets so full he might come around to a more communal-friendly method.
(Substitute "his"/"he" as appropriate.) End of naughty-psycho-judo idea. MODCHK (talk) 22:21, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
It won't work, because every user would have to do this, including newbies.
His goal seems to be keeping user pages out of his watchlist. His solution is to sign every post with a note asking people to ping him instead of expecting him to be watching the user talk page. This isn't entirely unreasonable (I can't keep up with my watchlist, so I can't really expect anyone else to), and he is an extremely active editor (over 70,000 edits so far), so he communicates with a lot of people, which means a lot of user pages.
But when these signed messages, which provide practical, good-faith information about how to actually communicate with him, appear on article talk pages and Wikipedia noticeboards, it sometimes produces complaints for him, because the information is irrelevant to that discussion. So the goal, I think, would be a way to get that information into the signature when he edits a user talk page, but not into the signature at any other time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:39, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
All right (I don't know why I am buying into this business; I really don't!), going back to your original idea, and trying to avoid the policy pitfalls, here is my attempt at reverse engineering this persons signature, and the associated changes to (I hope) get some of the effect desired.
First here is the wikitext (I had to manually wrap it for this display to work, and there are other problems I'll try to address below):
[[User:Jmh649|<span style="color:#0000f1">'''Doc James'''</span>]]
 ([[User talk:Jmh649|talk]] · [[Special:Contributions/Jmh649|contribs]] · [[Special:EmailUser/Jmh649|email]])
{{#ifeq:{{NAMESPACE}}|{{TALKSPACE}}| (if I write on your talk page please reply on mine)}}
Exactly the same code pasted here (a talk page, obviously) looks like this: Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your talk page please reply on mine)
And the same code pasted into a non-talk sandbox yields: Doc James (talk · contribs · email)
(Note one above: my cut-and-paste destroyed the colouration; please see here (user) and here (talk) for actual working examples.)
Now having established the principle, this actually fails the acid test. Preferences only accepts 255 characters or less in signatures. What it doesn't tell you is that it adds text before (a SUBST: after every single double-open-brace) saving, so you don't really even get that!
This is the compromise I came up with, which both fits and works, but I am afraid is pretty curt. It saves as 254 characters, so only one more free! I deliberately did not wrap this one so you can cut-and-paste it a bit more easily. Note that "Treat the above as wiki markup" needs to be checked in Preferences for this to work.
[[User:Jmh649|<span style="color:#0000f1">'''Doc James'''</span>]] ([[User talk:Jmh649|talk]] · [[Special:Contributions/Jmh649|contribs]] · [[Special:EmailUser/Jmh649|email]]){{#ifeq:{{NAMESPACE}}|{{TALKSPACE}}| Reply on talk}}
On normal pages this looks like (obviously I have completely modified the wikitext, these lines are simply for display):
Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 2:05 pm, Today (UTC+11)
And on talk pages:
Doc James (talk · contribs · email) Reply on talk 2:05 pm, Today (UTC+11)
Do you think the user might still perhaps be persuaded? MODCHK (talk) 03:15, 5 March 2013 (UTC)


"Rincon Valley Union Elementary School District has an AFD tag pointing at a separate discussion. I have mixed feelings about the expansion efforts. On the one hand, a properly written and sourced article is undeniably a good thing. On the other hand, people who clean up these articles in response to a sloppy, pointy, or wikilawyering nomination are rewarding and encouraging that type of nomination by making an AFD be an effective method of finding someone else who will stop what they're doing (which might be more important) and clean up the nominated articles ASAP. I don't think that we want to reward this kind of nomination. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:09, 5 March 2013 (UTC) "

I didn't ask anybody to expand any of them. I suggested deleting them all, recreating using a regulated bot and then people can expand at their own will in their own time and not feel pressured to have to clean up a big mess ASAP. You've completely misunderstood the purpose of the deletion. And it's ironic too that I've had to put up with exactly the sort of nomination you describe for years on here. I was simply trying to sort out a mess by nuking it and trying to encourage something greater in its place. If you can't see that then that's your problem.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 16:30, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree: you weren't "asking". You were saying things like "I'm not questioning that sources exist, just who you think is going to cleanup up 500+ articles and expand them" and "Well, good luck with expanding all 500 odd!" Technically, those are not questions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:39, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Most of the articles were unsourced, with basic grammar errors and some had faulty website links. That cleanup is needed first before even trying to make the sub stubs half decent. It's quite a task, that's why I said that because the "keep!!" voters nobody seemed to care about the problem that had been created with the errors or think of a way to tackle it in the aftermath of them being kept. I have a lot of experience on here and trust me, the most productive way long term would have been to delete and restart using a bot feeding off the same data format and to actually not only recreate the 500 odd but create all 12,000 in the same way to they are useful starter stubs without errors, nice and clean, to be expanded by anybody in their own time..♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 16:43, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Last I checked, bots were capable of replacing text on existing pages, not just creating new pages.
I do understand the problems. Many of those require complete re-writes. But WP:deletion is not cleanup, no matter how much cleanup is needed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:40, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Hope you dont mind...but

I hope your ok with this - I realized after I posted it I should have asked first (sorry). I mentioned you here as I was astonished to discover you were not an admin.Moxy (talk) 20:40, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the compliment. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:30, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Sourcing help please

Hi there, you have helped me with sourcing in the past and I am again looking for help. Most of the articles I work on are related to children--for that reason I have worked on the Bisphenol A article for several years because I believe that BPA (and other chemicals) may be harming our children while our government drags its feet. Yesterday a new editor came on the scene and within a few minutes had deleted numerous primary studies with plans to delete every primary study from the article. This will pretty much gut the article. Of course I'm aware of WP:RS but I do know that dozens of med-related articles, or in my case chemical since I do a lot of work with the pesticide articles, have many primary studies in the articles. If all the work that I have done over the years can be deleted in a few hours I will be devastated. Perhaps one thing I could do is find a book as you did for the pink article... Anyway, please advise. Thanks, Gandy Gandydancer (talk) 01:25, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Well, to see where he's coming from, you might want to read his comments in the recent discussions about WT:MEDRS. I'll look over your discussions on the talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:08, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
That was...
Okay, yes, he's right, it would be lovely to support as much of the article as possible to high-quality secondary sources (and you're moving in that direction, aren't you?), but his definitions of "primary" are incorrect and his ham-fisted solve-by-blanking approach is uncollegial and destructive. I've left comments on the talk page. I don't know if it will be very useful in the end, but some errors needed to be corrected. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:33, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
BTW, I'm going to be mostly offline tomorrow, with a string of offsite meetings. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:05, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. Yes, hopefully the sourcing can be improved. Would this be considered a good secondary source? [1] What about news reports such as this? [2] Gandydancer (talk) 16:30, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, those are (mostly) secondary sources (it's complicated). But the first isn't really a high-quality source for scientific information; it's more like a normal magazine article. Have you looked into finding a good university-level textbook or reference work that describes the science behind BPA? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:05, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I did google looking for a book but nothing seemed to turn up. I live way out in the sticks so going to a library is not really an option for me. Waid, I am so appreciative of your help. Wikipedia has lost some good editors lately and for awhile I was thinking that it might just lose me too if that editor turned out to be right. While I fully understand the reasons that WP is so fussy about sources, I can only "work" here if my devotion, respect, etc., for WP remains. I have the same expectations of WP that I had of my workplace when I worked for pay. I have read that med students use WP as a pocket handbook and according to Doc James (BBC interview) WP is by far the most important source of medical knowledge in the world (!). That's all fine and dandy, but I'd like to see my needs met as well. Yes, I get the fun of seeing "my" articles such as Gandy dancer and Pullman porter but the real payback for me is a chance to help provide up-to-date information on women's and children's issues. As an example, I am very much aware of how important your "pink" work is--without it one would have no idea of the politics behind all those pink ribbons. For now, gandy Gandydancer (talk) 21:01, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
You're welcome. I've been trying to pay more attention to women and children's issues on Wikipedia, because the WMF has said that it's underdeveloped, and indeed, if you want to massively improve an article with little or no opposition, just pick something about children or education. But it's not exactly my main interest area. My "free time" reading today is a reference work for pastry chefs.  
I've got to get going, or I'm going to be late. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:11, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
These frog cakes are frosted with gum paste, decorated with edible chalks and painted with vodka-blended paints.

I have many of these all around the 'pedia. See Birthday cake and Cake decorating as well. But they are not mine, they are my daughter Judy's cakes. I've been trying to get her to work on the cake decorating article. Gandydancer (talk) 21:46, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

folks I am a talk page stalker. I think we are maybe all coming from the same place, and maybe just the way I did what I did, was offensive? Do we agree that the best sources would be reviews by toxicologists? I am happy to go find them. I just really want to kill the laundry list approach where the content is clearly driven by primary sources, and present real, consensus, health information. If you would be OK if I replace the current content, driven by primary sources, with content driven by tox reviews, we are all good. I will create it and propose it on the talk page! (leaving same note on gandydancer's page)Jytdog (talk) 22:28, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Alt med move

I've initiated the above talk page move. Doc James suggested previously that you might have some useful input to make on this proposal. Relevant talk page discussion found here. Thanks. FiachraByrne (talk) 02:48, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

bisphenol A

I am completely confused by your comments on the talk page. I wish you would say more so I can make sense of it. Jytdog (talk) 21:10, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm out of time. I suggest reading them again, and then pick one for us to discuss later. It's likely to make more sense if we focus on one thing at a time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:12, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Understood. It is more the big picture, where you are coming from. We should be presenting the toxicological consensus in the "health effects" section of bisphenol A. The content should not be driven by an editors' grabbing of a random primary study and writing a blurb about it, again and again. That laundry list content, is what I was tearing down. I am baffled that you are wrestling me to the mat on each one of these things. Maybe you don't like what i did, how i did it, how i justified it. I don't know. But I don't get where you are coming from.Jytdog (talk) 22:20, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I just read above. your discussion with gandydancer. What is wrong with my definition of primary source? It is an article where research is first published! (however the intro of many primary articles can function as a useful secondary source). right? Jytdog (talk) 22:36, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
The basic problem with your approach is that you're "tearing down", and the goal is to build up, not to destroy. Yes: let's have better content. Yes: let's have better sources. No: let's not tear down someone else's work, and leave nothing better behind, just because it's not already perfect.
Your definition, or more precisely, your application was incorrect, in part because you just made a couple of errors, but in part because you decided to call the book (a secondary source) a primary one on the grounds that it was based on primary sources—even though that (being based on primary sources) is what all good secondary sources do. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:42, 7 March 2013 (UTC)


Hello. There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. T13   ( C • M • Click to learn how to view this signature as intended )

The moment you've been waiting for...

Research status on manual and manipulative therapy! I respect your editing and could use a critical eye here [3] Regards, DVMt (talk) 03:52, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Sixty-nine citations and multiple sections of text is too much for me to process right now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:35, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I broke it up into 2 main sections. The first is more descriptive, the 2nd is the heavy research status. I described it in more detail at the comments part of the talk page. If you have the time for section 1, any comments would be appreciated. DVMt (talk) 19:38, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
The first half sounds okay overall. I think that the lists and definitions might be useful to people trying to figure out "what this is" rather than "whether this is safe". WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:52, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree. It simply meant to be informative, hopefully it's non controversial, but who knows with that article. The majority citations are in the 2nd half, i.e. effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and safety. I was surprised when this ended being a lit review and the were a lot of systematic reviews on the subject. Anyways, thanks again. Maybe you can nibble on this [4] in the meantime ;) Regards, DVMt (talk) 23:43, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

COI questions

Hey WAID, I'm wondering if you think this draft request for comment would prove fair and useful? User:Ocaasi/coiquestions. Cheers, Ocaasi t | c 18:31, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Quick reply: You might like reading User:Beeblebrox/The perfect policy proposal. You will get complaints over the multiple-choice format. (I'm not saying that you deserve such complaints, only that they will happen.)
What's your immediate goal? Are you more interested in finding out what editors believe, or are you more interested in improving the guideline? If it's the former, then you might consider running an actual survey, e.g., on SurveyMonkey, and then writing up an informational page about the results. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:43, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. This was in some ways intended as a survey of what people believe current policy is and also what it should be. Perhaps that complicates the matter. I didn't think a formal survey would be appropriate as it's not transparent and doesn't allow for discussion. It also would get spammy with links and have other sampling issues. I'm going to think about it. Some other editors have chimed in with edits and suggestions about about phrasing, so hopefully we can tighten up the whole thing. Cheers, Ocaasi t | c 19:50, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
You might consider adding the "futility of rules" camp to your options. COI enforcement is very difficult. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:14, 8 March 2013 (UTC)


the point I was trying to make was that DALY's measure lack of ability to do things e.g. work, and do not capture aspects of illnesses such as pain and suffering. Many would think humans have now reached a civilisation level where we regard pain and suffering as importat in themselves, and try to prevent them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JCJC777 (talkcontribs) 03:45, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Here's what the source says:
Use of YPLL implies that extra value is placed on premature deaths. Measures that do not capture broader aspects of burden (e.g., pain and suffering, deterioration in quality of life, and emotional and physical impacts on families) imply that these values are not as important as traditional measures.
YPLL is not DALY. Unlike YPLL, DALY captures at least some of the effects of pain, since that's a type of physical morbidity, and some effects from suffering, especially to the extent that it leads to depression.
We can't really use the sources complaint about YPLL and similarly limited measures to support a statement about the much broader DALY. The source doesn't say that DALY fails to capture the physical and emotional effects on the disabled person; it says that some measures fail to do this. As it happens, DALY is not really an example of a measure that completely fails in this area.
Also, while illness overall is an unpleasant thing, it does not seem to be a uniformly destructive force. There is a book called Why I'm Glad I Had Breast Cancer, and survivor stories like this one are fairly common. So if you want to count emotional and spiritual struggles against the illnesses, you should also count the emotional and spiritual growth in its favor. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:00, 9 March 2013 (UTC)


I've archived the debate [5]. Nothing more productive was going to come, and the majority approved the motion that info boxes are not always necessary. Seems a good compromise.  Giano  19:16, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

I fully agree that infoboxes are "not always necessary", and I don't normally add them to pages I've created. I disagree that collapsing them is a valid compromise if there is a dispute over the desirbility of an infobox on a given page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:48, 12 March 2013 (UTC)


I think it might be a good idea to make a proposal to reword Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Accessibility and the Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Scrolling lists and collapsible content pages in the future. After that long talk and edits like this, I am very concerned people are more focused on an apparent loop hole of wording over the spirit of the guides itself. Seeing people site ignore all the rules to use a preferred version that is deliberately dismissing a guide that is part of our founding principles - to bring knowledge to all - is very upsetting to me. I was looking for an essay on accessibility and could not find one - this might be a starting point. Moxy (talk) 21:10, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

I think that we might want to let things calm down for a week or so, and then go to either WT:MOS or WT:ACCESS (with a note to the whichever page we don't start on) and talk about the problem of collapsed and scrolling content.
I think one of the problems is that we provide rules, but we're a little short on the "why" and the "how". It would be helpful to have a good {{supplement}} that shows good examples of collapsing content (do you think that stats for some athlete would be a good example of a table that could/should be collapsed?), scrolling content (I just added {{wide image}} to Fetus today; maybe that would be a good example), and a list of the variety of accessibility issues. Collapsed content affects not just people with visual disabilities, but also people with neurological issues and people with limited computing resources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:20, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Not a fan of any collapsed info. But that said if a collapsed section only contains one type of info and that info is described in the header well - it is somewhat ok. As we would know what it contains and know if its worth the effort to view it - like below. Note how the "Show" tab is bigger then normal in this type of template :-) .. Moxy (talk) 21:28, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
It would be better with a caption that said something like "Lists Humidex, Record high, Average high, Daily mean, Average low, Record low, Wind chill, Precipitation, Rainfall, Snowfall, Avg. precipitation days, Avg. rainy days, Avg. snowy days, % humidity, Mean monthly sunshine hours for each month." WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:42, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good to me - not sure if others would like it. This whole thing has been disheartening to me - the lack of respect and consideration is baffling. This may be an odd question - not sure if you know - I am wondering do they still teach debating skills in schools?Moxy (talk) 05:57, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I believe that many schools teach debate as an optional class, or as part of an optional class on public speaking. I believe that there is also commonly (in the USA) at least a brief section on fallacies that would have classically been covered by debate, but now presented in the context of consumer education (e.g., the use of glittering generalities to promote toothpaste).
There are several possible explanations for the behavior we're seeing. The two that seem most plausible to me are that he uses ad hominem attacks either because he knows that he lost and so is grasping at any possible method of preventing consensus from being implemented, or because his social skills are very poor in general. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:35, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Your proposed alternative heading for Moxy's table is ridiculous. And who is this mysterious "he" you're referring to above? BTW, "attacks" aren't "ad hominem", that's a form of logical fallacy. Do they still teach logic in schools? George Ponderevo (talk) 21:04, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I did not propose an "alternative heading" for Moxy's table. I proposed a caption in addition to the existing heading. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:10, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I stand corrected; what I ought to have said is that your proposed caption is ridiculous. George Ponderevo (talk) 21:15, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
At minimum it is poorly written, since it was a quick copy-and-paste of the first column rather than a polished final product. If we were going to add something like this, then all the abbreviations would need to be removed, and it might be appropriate to shorten it by summarizing some of the information, e.g., "This table lists average and record temperatures" rather than "This table lists record highs, average highs, daily means, average lows, and record lows."
Whether it is desirable to provide a description is something that would have to be determined after considering the specific context at the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:26, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

COI template

I have initiated a discussion at Village Pump Proposals regarding applying Template:COI editnotice more broadly, in order to provide advice from WP:COI directly onto the article Talk page. Your comment, support or opposition is invited. Cheers. CorporateM (Talk) 21:50, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Article Feedback deployment

Hey WhatamIdoing; I'm dropping you this note because you've used the article feedback tool in the last month or so. On Thursday and Friday the tool will be down for a major deployment; it should be up by Saturday, failing anything going wrong, and by Monday if something does :). Thanks, Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 21:18, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Page watchers on ELs

How interesting -- I had no idea there was a toolserver to parse active & non-active page watchers. Thanks. As for my 750, I just relied on my mistaken memory. In any event, I was surprised when no comments were posted for almost 5 days. – S. Rich (talk) 00:10, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

I think you can take the lack of immediate opposition as a good sign. If there were real problems, it would have been reverted quickly. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:07, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Which is whatiamdoing. – S. Rich (talk) 01:29, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
And whatamIdoing is failing to deal with dinner and other mundane facts of life, so I'm going to get offline for a while. See you tomorrow, WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:56, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

red links in articles

Hi, you just reverted my deletion of dead wikilinks in an article. first conversation I've had about this on wikipedia. IMO red links are a sign of draft-ness - unprofessional (for lack of a better term at the moment) for an actual, published encyclopedia, and they should be deleted whenever they appear. I have had a sense that others use them as per your edit note -- as reminders of content that need to be created. I get that. My sense is that there are different styles at play here. Is there some kind of policy or guideline on this? Thx. Jytdog (talk) 14:03, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

At WP:REDLINK, which I linked in the edit summary. In general, red links should not be removed unless the subject is not WP:Notable and thus no article should ever be created on that subject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:52, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! Jytdog (talk) 18:03, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Cancer syndrome

I had already revived Eleassar's work on inheritance. Now it's there twice? DMacks (talk) 17:25, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Argh. Thanks. I've fixed it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:27, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
No worries, thanks for all your work on medical articles! DMacks (talk) 18:06, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you

Thank you for helping us with this link Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Popular pages. With it I have found heart rate which needs serious review. It is written only in a sport point of view and can make people afraid. Many references seem to me questionable. I'll try to make this article better. Doc Elisa 07:08, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Notice of Dispute resolution discussion

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Please take a moment to review the simple guide and join the discussion. Thank you! EarwigBot operator / talk 09:33, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Josef van Wissem

Please note that I filed a DR request: Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard#Jozef van Wissem. Please comment there. Thanks.--Ymblanter (talk) 09:34, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Need a program

I need a java script that would hide on my watchlist any edits related to infoboxs or those involved with them - Is this possible - dont want to end up going crazy like this ..... I am losing it at Talk:Robert Stoepel#Infobox proposal - LOL - ROLF.Moxy (talk) 09:45, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry you're dealing with such a mess. I'm not aware of any such script. You might find it best to just walk away. I suggest taking the main problems off your watchlist and finding something that's actually fun to do. The overall problem can always be resolved some other month. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:41, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Motion to close RFC/U

You have previously commented on Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Niemti.

As an outside editor, I have moved that this RFC/U be closed. If you wish to comment on the Motion to close, please do so here. Fladrif (talk) 14:40, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

A question about some content you added/edited

See Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedians#Maths.3F. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:49, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

I didn't add that information. Why are you asking me about some other user's addition? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:57, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Help please

Say, could you take a look at the 2012 Delhi gang rape case. India does not allow the name of rape victims to be published however in this case both the victim and her parents said that they did not object. We have a reference for that. Her name is now being used in the UK, US, and elsewhere, except for India. See the talk page, second section re Jyoti's name and to save time scroll down to the April postings.

Not using the name makes the article sound awkward and perhaps even lacking in respect for the victim. Since a decision for the use of her name seemed to be stalled, and thinking that at least some Indian news sources were now using her name, yesterday I did a trial and used her name in the lead. Editor Paris instantly responded and I reverted. S/he seems to be knowledgeable but the other editor, 007, seems to be as well. Would you have any advice here? Gandydancer (talk) 10:59, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

I don't feel strongly about naming the murdered woman either way. You might want to have an RFC. I suggest this format:
Should the victims' names be included in the article?
Yes, we should name them No, we shouldn't name them
  • She's dead, so BLP doesn't really apply.
  • There are dozens of newspaper articles that name her.
  • He's giving press conferences.
  • Her family said it's okay with them.
  • The Indian press isn't naming her.
  • We don't name living victims, so we shouldn't name someone who died three months ago.
You just need to fill in whatever the various points are for the two sides. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:38, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I've been involved in two RFCs and they were both a waste of my time. I just don't have enough energy for it right now. I'll just let the other editors hash it out.Gandydancer (talk) 18:15, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Move discussion

At Wikipedia talk:The answer to life, the universe, and everything/Archives/2014/February#Requested_move. --Lexein (talk) 06:02, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Hello, WhatamIdoing. You have new messages at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard.
Message added 20:32, 7 April 2013 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

howto in relation to practical information - amazon topic

Could you please clarify? Howto is explaining or directing of how to do something. And i'm mentioning about including practical information, in which no explaining or directing how to do something is included. Example: very high number of people who has posted feedbacks on amazon has indicated that d-mannose resulted in miracleous cures for bladder infection. In such a case we don't say that it actually provides cure, but we rather state the facts on the ground. Ryanspir (talk) 17:12, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

"Practical information" also includes things like "take this on an empty stomach" or "store this in the refrigerator", which is why I was asking you for more information.
I don't think that "A bunch of users on Amazon, some or all of whom might be sockpuppets for the manufacturer, claim that this works" is necessarily "the facts on the ground", and I am convinced that it is not encyclopedic. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:54, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Please be advised that i have replied only to your position regarding the issue of howto being identified with practical information. I have no intention to get a broader discussion on this venue regarding amazon reviews. I would like to point your attention, that even if a certain review contains recommendation, such as take it on the empty stomach, it wouldn't make the context that is sourced to that howto, as long as the context itself is not howto. Your other concerns are certainly valid, thats why i have initiated the discussion. Please be advised that amazon is also not the point, it is only an example. Ryanspir (talk) 20:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Apparently talk pages are far more complicated than articles, and the developers are having trouble coping with them.
I still think you need to give an example. Instead of saying "use Amazon reviews", I think you need to say something like "I want to use <these particular Amazon reviews> to add <this exact sentence> to <this named article>." Then people will know what you're talking about instead of guessing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:48, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm discussing it in general. But consider this, how about adding "Very high number of people who has posted feedbacks on amazon has indicated that d-mannose resulted in miracleous cures for bladder infection." Ryanspir (talk) 14:16, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
I think that would be an unencyclopedic statement, and I can't imagine any experienced editor agreeing that it was either appropriate or WP:DUE. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:13, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

RS/N Discussion

Hello WhatamIdoing! I started a discussion on Venezuela's most-circulated newspaper and I noticed that you are one of the most active users on RS/N discussion board. I was hoping that you would be able to help out and contribute some of your expertise? :) Thanks for any assistance you can provide! Justiciero1811 (talk) 22:38, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Breast Cancer content dispute

Jmh649 and I do not agree. He states that I can not use this Cochrane Collaboration (CC) web page [[6]], last updated Oct 20122, as a reference to support the quote "Screening produces patients with breast cancer from among healthy women who would never have developed symptoms of breast cancer. Treatment of these healthy women increases their risk of dying, e.g. from heart disease and cancer. It therefore no longer seems reasonable to attend for breast cancer screening. In fact, by avoiding going to screening, a woman will lower her risk of getting a breast cancer diagnosis. However, despite this, some women might still wish to go to screening." Zad says the pamphlet referred to on that web page (linked) says Draft, but it's not ("Draft") when you print it out. We don't need the pamphlet anyway, given the CC statement on their web page. The difference is huge (look at the current text). Mammography is no not recommended at any age. Heck, that was on the national news several months age, which is why I long ago looked into the supporting facts (CC) and tried to update Wikipedia. I worked with Jmh and made corrections / additions. Quickly deleted by another editor, see history. I feel Jmh649 does great harm to Wikipedia, smacking of conflict of interest.32cllou (talk) 20:45, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Mammography is recommended. It is also not recommended, and it is further actively disrecommended. It depends on who is making the recommendations. The American Cancer Society, for example, says "Women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health." That's their recommendation, which is pretty different from the Cochrane Collaboration's latest reports. So if you want to say "it's not recommended", you're simply wrong. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:57, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Would be good to provide links to exactly what I said. I did not say "He states that I can not use this Cochrane Collaboration (CC) web page". What I did say was you cannot call this webpage an update of a 2011 Cochrane review because it isn't. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 15:42, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
It is the latest from CC, which is generally considered better that the Am Cancer Society.32cllou (talk) 22:43, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
We normally prefer the latest peer-reviewed publications, not the latest word from the publicity department. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:28, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Breastfeeding article

Hi there, would you please have a look at the Breast feeding article's HIV section? It seems to be much too involved for the article and I wonder if it should either have its own article or be moved to the Breastfeeding difficulties article. (I wrote a little on the talk page.) What do you think? I asked Doc James and he agreed split or something. Gandydancer (talk) 16:39, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

It's long enough for its own article, and it's not exactly a difficulty with breastfeeding. I'd have expected that article to contain one short paragraph on the subject: might infect the baby, but in developing countries, the alternative might cause the baby to die from diarrhea. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:12, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Quick note re: RfC template

Sorry, late reply. WykiP (talk) 11:16, 18 April 2013 (UTC)


I would very much appreciate your help (and talk page lurkers too) in drafting a new policy to deal with assignments, particularly student. See Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Assignments (student editing) and the draft at Wikipedia:Assignments. Thanks. Colin°Talk 10:53, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi Colin, I have finally finished reading your essay. I realize that it's a draft proposal, and so it will improve over time, but, to be candid, I don't believe it has any realistic chance of being adopted as an official policy or guideline. (Even if it were adopted, I don't believe it would have much practical effect, because WP:Nobody reads the directions, not even professors.)
It seems to me that it has many similarities with the paid editing controversies, and the diversity of viewpoints that makes it impossible to adopt one of those proposals is likely to doom this one, too. However, I'll think it over for a while, and let you know if I have any ideas about how to improve its chances. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:13, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for looking and thinking about it. There's a problem that the WEP folk don't want to work on it as policy needs to be community-led and the WMF don't want to touch it as they've washed their hands of the education assignment problem they created, and the community aren't really interested until some student shows up on their watchlist. The education programme folk are working to create guidelines and procedures for classes they control (to some degree) but most of the recent disasters have been classes outwith the programme who just haven't understood the issues or taken any responsibility for the consequences. WP has no policy to deal with or advise assignments or teachers -- only at the individual editor level which is ineffective. I wouldn't care if the page got totally rewritten, but am rather down that nobody is interested in tackling these issues. Colin°Talk 06:44, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
That's the fundamental problem: the only thing that we know to do with a group is to call them WP:MEATPUPPETs. We just don't have a process that can support this situation.
Would you be happier if all assignments were handled though the formal program? Because one simple thing that could be done is to declare that unregistered classes were meatpuppets that should be blocked on sight. (Simple ≠ best, but it's within our capacity.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:47, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
Colin, I think we're in this together. I've invested a lot of time into improving the situation, and seeing the results of poor-quality assignments sparked my participation. I just wonder if a policy is the best way to approach things. I attended that, which should have been advertised at WP:ENB, now that I think about it. I got to meet people from WMF and WEF, so if you'd like to talk, let me know. You might be surprised to learn that the education model is being actively supported by WMF in Arabic-speaking countries and in Brazil. (And WAID thank you for all your input over at meta about the existing and developing medicine organization, by the way.) I'd like to see the education model improve and expanded to medical/nursing/pharmacy schools etc. so that we can institutionalize quality content contributions. Biosthmors (talk) 17:04, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
I think that pharma and med students are far more likely to provide useful contributions than first-year students in enormous classes. If I wanted specifically to improve medicine-related content, I'd definitely favor graduate level students (including nurse practitioners and physicians assistants, who often have a good sense of what interests normal people). But we can't really say, "This is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, but only graduate students are allowed". WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:08, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
See what I wrote about "anyone can edit" here. You are conflating the person with their occupation. Sure John Smith the 1st year undergraduate doing a psychology module is welcome to edit Wikipedia as John Smith. He'd probably write about his hobbies, his local area, compile a list of Simpsons episodes and all the other things newbies do to cut their teeth. If he's really nerdy, he might write about one of the subjects he's studying at university. But mainly he'll stay in his comfort zone writing about things he feels confident to tackle (whether he actually is competent is another matter). But the "anyone can edit" says nothing about the person taking their occupation onto Wikipedia. Should a student do homework on Wikipedia? Should a public relations consultant do PR on Wikipedia? Should a doctor give medical advice on Wikipedia? Should a teacher set assignments on Wikipedia? All these things are potentially troublesome, are not directly aligned with writing an encyclopaedia, and we have to find our way to accommodate conflicts or say no. I keep seeing this "anyone can edit" mantra used to justify allowing behaviour and actions that aren't appropriate. Or here it is used to say "this is too hard to achieve 100% so why bother". Well anyone can write text without citations so why bother with WP:V and anyone can write POV so why bother with WP:NPOV and so on.
I fully agree with you that we should target older students. We have to get those in education thinking "will my assign be likely to improve the WP articles and the student edits remain within the capacity I have to review them and resolve issues" rather than "how can I get Wikipedia do the marking of my student assignments for me" or "Wikipedia is cool. An assignment on Wikipedia should be cool too". Educators currently take no responsibility for student essays -- they just end up in a drawer. But on WP these assignments get published and have consequences. If we can encourage a sense of responsibility, then I think the "do I use a graduate class or a 1st year undergraduate class" decisions will have a more obvious answer. Colin°Talk 07:40, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
To change the teachers' thinking, we need an incentive that promotes what we want and discourages what we don't want. So far, basically the only tool in our toolbox is the block button, and I just don't think that the community is going to block students for editing articles as part of a class.
Put another way: we know how we benefit from teachers doing what we want, but how do the teachers benefit from it? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:15, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
Carrots and sticks aren't the only way people work. I believe providing information, guidance and support is key. Teachers and profs are intelligent folk. If presented with good advice and the necessary support, they can decide for themselves what the pros and cons might be of doing certain assignments on wp. Those who have run successful classes can give testimony as to what they got out of it, and what they wouldn't do again. At present, we're dealing with the legacy of dreadful advice from the WMF (who have now walked away from the whole thing) and over-promotion of this as a solution to our declining editor base. There's a fundamental lack of resources to ensure these classes are successful and way too much feeling that this is easy and without consequences. Joordens megaclass car crash of an assignment was repeated multiple times partly because they guy just didn't listen but also because he was encouraged by the WMF to go ahead with something the community could clearly see was ill-thought-out, and he wasn't educated enough about Wikipedia to appreciate there are only a handful of Psychology wikipedians to review the work of his 1900 students. The APS keep publishing papers using the "reverts correlates with quality" metric that promote how "successful" they have been. Optimism over practicalities. I wouldn't be surprised if Michael Gove decided to incorporate Wikipedia article writing into A-levels and the WMF got excited at the thought of a third-of-a-million new editors each year. Colin°Talk 07:17, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
Having information about the harms does not seem to have disuaded Joordens: Didn't we tell him, in detail and at length? And didn't he say that it was his right to set whatever assignments he wanted, without regard for our opinions? We can't magic up the kind of support needed to make that kind of project really work. While good advice would reduce the problem, I don't think that it can actually solve the problem, because there are people who do not want to take the advice. Furthermore, if the Joordens of the world are getting encouragement, then it's not true that "we" are opposed to that kind of project: it is only true that "some of us" are opposed to it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:58, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Oh hey there

This was an interesting conversation, and it had the potential to become a lot more productive, since it appeared that a few of the right people were participating. I know professors often assign students to participate in online communities of various types, and WP is the biggest and most information-rich environment online. I'm sure that even for professors who don't assign such things, the temptation is enormous. Suggestion: WMF, WEF and the community work together to get on top of the situation, and steer it in a manner that is beneficial to Wikipedia in the form of a Wikiproject. Put someone in charge of it, give that person an attractive title and some other perks. Gather volunteers, and assign them to run a "help desk" for college students who are editing articles as part of a class assignment.Once that's all set up, reach out to certain universities that have a good reputation and a strong online presence, and offer to host their students for a few assignments. Rather than letting professors turn their classes loose on us, we control the situation and steer them in the right, constructive directions. We also create a policy requiring such classes to work through the Wikiproject rather than on their own, at the risk of being blocked. Wikipedia improves, we probably get some new editors in the long term (after their assignments are finished), professors start to respect us a little more (maybe), and the entire process works in a manner that is constructive. Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 17:08, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Do you really believe that the community would be willing to block students who have innocently attempted to improve an article (and possibly even succeeded) solely because the students were told to do this by their teacher? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:36, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
A thorny question. You suggested above that this particular hammer is really the only effective tool in our toolkit. Clearly, our community's responses to such students would need to be individually tailored based on behavior. "The risk of being blocked" refers to students who go off the reservation, so to speak, and in their efforts to "improve" articles, end up damaging them (i.e. plagiarism, or poorly sourced or unsourced negative information about living people). Persistent efforts along those lines could very well result in a block, and with very good reason. Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 13:28, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
What other sticks do we really have?
Note that Colin is concerned about students adding random factoids, even if well-sourced, and that other editors in this area are worried about them adding information that is "only" sourced to a peer-reviewed medical journal article about a randomized controlled trial, rather than to a review article. This is not just about egregious content violations. Do you think that the community will really want to treat students adding sourced factoids to an article differently from how it treats non-students who do exactly the same thing?
(The problem is the volume: a thousand students means a thousand factoids in a hundred related articles, and often during the same week. It's actually harder to process sourced or borderline information than to process vandalism.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:20, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I could NOT agree more. But I get the sense that as a community, we really need to get a handle on this. And we need to develop the tools, and the people to be able to hold on to that handle with a firm but comfortable, gentle grip, if you know what I mean. This is the website that pops up at the top, or near the top, of most search engines in the English speaking world. I am a voracious reader. I'm either reading or writing, for work or recreation, at least 6-8 hours a day and I read all sorts of stuff in sources I believe to be reliable (I carefully avoid crap), mostly legal, technical or political. And recently I read an estimate that there are at least 3 billion people in the world who can read the English language on a functional level, at least 2/3 of them have Internet access, and at least half of them have Internet access in their homes. And the most common foreign language taught in the schools in non-English-speaking countries is English, by a wide margin. In fact, most non-English-speaking countries' school systems in Europe, eastern Asia, and Latin America require 2-4 years of English to graduate from high school. That particular combination of numbers is worrying me a little bit. Yes, yes, the problem is the volume. Am I worrying about nothing? Am I babbling incoherently? regards ... Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 17:32, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Talk:Amber Hagerman#Merge to AMBER Alert?

You can vote there. --George Ho (talk) 23:39, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Thank you

Thank you for looking into my problem on the village pump about my edits on Books LLC. I really couldn't understand why Rklawton was accusing me of being in an edit war and threatening me with banning.

Well, actually I still don't, since I wasn't and haven't ever.

But it was such a relief to hear someone else confirm what I thought had to be so, that this was a damned peculiar definition of edit war and that my edit, which Rklawton reverted, was neither unfactual nor unjustified.

I was particularly impressed at how you found out that Rklawton was in fact a Wikipedia Admin (which does nothing to ease my worry, but is useful to know).

I have no idea if there is anything I can do about this. But at least I am over my initial feeling of helpless horror and shock, thanks in large part to your matter-of-fact post.

Thank you.

Artemis-Arethusa (talk) 09:02, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

You're welcome. I've taken it up on the article's talk page, and we will see whether Rklawton (talk · contribs) persists in thinking that controversial is an unfair description of an outfit normally described with words like rip-off, stolen, scam, and the like. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:25, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

History of syphilis

Hello WhatamIdoing,

I had to remove the statement about "faultless victims" etc in the article since the source you gave did not contain anything about it. -- (talk) 12:27, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

You're correct in a trivial way: The text does not break Wikipedia's policies by violating the author's copyright or plagiarizing her words. But you're wrong in the overall meaning. Think about what this means:

The origin of syphilis has always held an implied accusation: if Europeans brought it to the New World, the disease is one more symbol of Western imperialism run amok, one more grudge to hold against colonialism.

The rest of the New York Times piece is about the now-accepted fact that—just like smallpox came from Europe and devastated the Americans—syphilis came from the Americas and devastated Europe. Why this matters as anything other than an obscure technical fact is because some activists have put forward the (now proven to be erroneous) story that Europeans spread fatal diseases to the Americas, but that the indigenous population of the Americas never gave diseases to the Europeans. That is, some activists have claimed that the scientifically accepted Columbian Exchange was nothing more than a one-way European attack. The science says they're wrong, and we should say so. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:13, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to add that the "you owe me reparations because your ancestors gave my ancestors a dreadful disease" has gone both ways for centuries, as you can see from ISBN 9780300080872: "In 1777…the highly respected Scottish historian and British patriot, William Robertson, asserted that by contaminating Europe with syphilis, America had forfeited all benefits which might have resulted from its "discovery" by Europeans."
This book (start with last paragraph on p 288) is a thoughtful exposition of the modern problems for descendants of indigenous peoples with scientific archaeology: First, if someone announces a scientific fact, like syphilis actually did originate as a sexually transmitted disease in the Americas, then they have to deal with ignorant comments from ignorant people. Second, it hurts their sense of self-identity by indicating that scientifically provable facts are more important than the stories told by themselves and to themselves. It is a difference highlighted by the saying, "All stories are true, and some of them even happened": It is true that Native Americans were the victims of Europeans; however, the story that syphilis is one of those instances of victimizing, rather than an instance of revenge against the Europeans, is not a story that actually happened. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:31, 29 April 2013 (UTC)


Hello, WhatamIdoing. You have new messages at TheOriginalSoni's talk page.
Message added 21:36, 29 April 2013 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

TheOriginalSoni (talk) 21:36, 29 April 2013 (UTC)


There is no way in hell I am going to rewrite the tox section of the article. Gandydancer is very invested in the work she did there and she already thinks I am creepy or something as per discussion between her and others on her Talk page concerning work we were doing on the BP article, from which I have withdrawn (see here and surrounding edits. So I am going to take it very slow on the bisphenol page and deal with content that exists piece by piece. She and I work on overlapping articles so I have no desire to further antagonize her, as I don't like people to be upset because of things I do and because bad relationships make it harder to do work on wikipedia. But the article as it stands is a train wreck (as per comments by other editors on the MEDRS talk page) and I want to fix it. Jytdog (talk) 11:59, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

I did not recommend that you re-write it. I recommended that you read some good sources before doing anything. That is, "Step 1: Go find and read a couple of good sources", not "Step 1: Start with the first fact sourced to a primary source, and see whether your search engine skills happen to show you a better source that says the same thing". See the difference? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:00, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
of course that is how one works. First text I examined in light of the sources came up with nothing. Had to show the negative somehow, right? Jytdog (talk) 18:19, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Visual editor

Is this similar to the thing that is deployed at Wikia? And does it function better than the thing at Wikia? -- (talk) 01:34, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

All I know about "the thing" at Wikia is that this one was (supposedly) designed to not be as bad. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:15, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
God, I hope so, the thing on Wikia is absolutely horrid. -- (talk) 04:39, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
This isn't showing up as an option for me with the modern skin setting. Is it only available for the default vector skin? If that's the case, you should probably mention in your notification. —Torchiest talkedits 02:04, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
According to WP:VE, it's supposed to work with Monobook and Vector. How many editors do you suppose are actually using another skin? (Do we have stats somewhere?) WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:15, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't know. I've been using Modern for probably three years now. I would guess long term users would be more likely to change the appearance, but I don't know of anywhere that has stats on it. It might be possible to do an informal survey at the village pump to get a very ballpark estimate on percentages of regulars using alternate skins. —Torchiest talkedits 02:24, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
The (global) stats from before the switch off say that there were 535 active proper editors with their account switched to Modern; don't have stats from more recently, sorry.
BTW, thank you so much, WhatamIdoing, for your work on alerting people to what's happening around VisualEditor; it's hugely appreciated, at least by me! Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 03:22, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
That's interesting: Different skins are chosen by about 2% of global users, but by up to 7% of power users (before the list was shortened significantly), and it's the power users who are most likely to pitch a fit if something changes on them. Modern itself is 1 out of about 260 users, but the new edit window may not work for Cologne Blue, either, which has slightly more users. Still, it's less than 1%, so I'm not sure that a general note is necessary for that.
(I'm doing this largely out of self-interest: I want to minimize the amount of "but nobody consulted me about this!" whining that we will have to listen to when the default switches.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:19, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

VisualEditor and Flow

You wrote:

the old edit window will be the only option for talk pages (I believe that WP:Notifications (aka Echo) is ultimately supposed to deal with talk pages)

Actually, the entire talkpage system will be replaced with a system called Flow. The documentation page is here. Flow will be released before VE according to this, which means in a month or two. Incidentally, you might want to advertise Flow, since NO ONE seems to have heard of it, even though it's an enormous change. -- Ypnypn (talk) 03:42, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Wouldn't that interfere with current talk page usage as a place to document article history (old AFDs, copy/split templates, etc) and attach wikiprojects? -- (talk) 03:52, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Why don't you ask that at mw:talk:flow? -- Ypnypn (talk) 13:00, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Message posted -- (talk) 05:55, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
You're right: I have screwed that up. Well, I can go fix it. ;-)
Thanks for the note. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:23, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Is there any way at all to stop them from making all these huge changes? I'm afraid my reaction is to step back from communicating with other editors unless they seek me out - I can't deal with the weird form of threading MediaWiki prefers and learning things like getting interwikis onto WikiData is taking all the time I could devote to schmoozing. With a new system replacing talkpages I'm afraid I don't think I'll be able to welcome people or help them out nearly as much because of the learning demanded. Also, it is demonstrating again and again that the developers just don't care about editors, only about new, new, new. It's too much, they respond arrogantly when we explain on the Village Pump that we were not told about the latest change or that it is having an unfortunate side effect (latest instance - failing to realize IPs need the orange bar or some other highly noticeable sign so they can be made aware of warnings before someone blocks them), and I'm not persuaded of the usefulness of 90% of it. Sorry to unload, but your post at WikiProject Trains was the first I'd heard of "Oh by the way talk pages are going away". Rah, rah. New! Exciting! I don't think I'll bother complaining anywhere else - but if there is any way to get them to STOP, please! Get them to STOP!!!!! It's hurting the encyclopedia. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:27, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm truly sympathetic, since any change to workflow affects affects me, too, and anyone with even a tiny bit of experience knows that the first several versions of major changes like this will suffer from growing pains. You and I will have to re-program both our eyes and our fingers, and in far more serious ways than the minor changes that people have pitched fits over, like using the Mediawiki defaults for watchlist formatting (Remember all the admins edit-warring over the CSS pages to stop the appearance of bold-faced text on a watchlist?) or cluttering up the top line of the screen by adding "sandbox". No matter how amazing the final outcome, we are going to have some seriously disruptive change in our immediate future.
Ultimately, I have little respect for the "you didn't tell me" argument, especially in its more honest form, which sounds a lot more like "you didn't get my personal permission to change the software". They aren't spending a lot of time posting warnings where non-tech editors might notice*, but the devs are trying their best to do what their research shows they should be working on. Much of that research is based on demands from us for major improvements. We have been asking for a WYSWIG editor almost since the first day that the English Wikipedia began. We have been asking for a more integrated communication system (which Flow is supposed to provide) for years. Notice that in the "us versus them" concept, it's the "us" that has been making these requests. They talk about retaining new editors, but we are the ones who originally made the requests. As far as I can see, "new editors" is just their official budget excuse for finally doing what we have repeatedly asked for.
(* Given that most responses to communication, when they do post messages, are complaints that they didn't tell people, which is as silly as the joke about the elderly mother who spends all the longed-for visits complaining that her child never visits, or orders to stop on the grounds that the editor doesn't understand WP:CONEXCEPT and believes that he's in charge of the developer community, I can see why they might not believe this to be a very good use of their time. I also hear that the WMF is trying to get someone in whose job is to do exactly this.)
But—but the reality is that change is painful to people whose fingers already do everything automatically. As Facebook's redesigns have proven, it takes weeks for people to get used to much smaller changes. Honestly, if most editors like you see those notes and put a note on their calendars that says "01 July: go directly to Special:Preferences, turn off that new whizbang thing, and let someone else deal with the ensuing mess for the next year", then I think that will be a positive outcome. The take-away message for our power users about the VisualEditor is that the old version isn't going away.
I don't have any pull with the WMF, of course. If I did, then the VisualEditor would be deployed somewhere else first (why the heck would any engineer want to deploy VE first on the biggest, busiest, and most complicated project?! Why not simple.wikipedia first, or meta or something?), and we wouldn't be changing the editor, the notifications and the talk pages all within the space of a couple of months. I guess I'm more of a "peel the bandage off slowly" person, and the devs seem to be in a "rip it off quickly and get the pain over with all at once" mode. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:53, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
I have considerable doubt about the validity of their research as to what we want, based partly on how out of touch they are with what we - the editors - do. Two examples: the recent huge drop of the ball on taking away the orange bar for IPs with no replacement, so that there was no way for an IP to see they were being warned; and the massive example of flat-out arrogant rudeness at Village Pump/Technical last year when a huge change was made with no warning and the dev said we would have known about it in advance if you hadn't turned off general notices .... and then after I (!) pointed out I had seen such notices on other language Wikipedias but not on en. ... realized they had personally disabled general notices on en.wikipedia so no, we had had no warning here. I am also glad to see you distinguishing between wysiwyg/visual editing - which is indeed something that will help a lot, if it can ever be harmonized with the use of templates, which is simultaneously being pushed - and whatever flow is (if it's that truly awful form of threading used for Wikimedia discussions, it involves a lot more than forming new muscle habits - it involves abandoning all hope of conducting conversations) and recognizing that a rapid succession of massive changes is going to leave us all reeling - and that the dissemination of information has been somewhat lacking. Thank you for providing the single sole mention of the talkpage aspect that I have seen. However. I should not have to hang out on technical noticeboards to know about this kind of massive change. I should not have to attempt to understand technical jargon to understand what is happening. And most importantly, if I have to choose between editing articles and helping new editors, I may just take my time and expertise elsewhere, admin or not. Mediawiki seems to have lost sight of the objective, and it's getting close to too upsetting to try to both work on it and to help others with them making now one, now the other harder. Plus the attitudinal thing. I have neglected other worthy tasks to work on Wikipedia and I'm very close to packing it in at this point. So - if you can get them to even think twice, maybe just put effort into making it a real and functional visual editor - it's very clear from some of the things you say that there is next to no chance they will actually listen, or care in any way, but "oh by the way no more talkpages! not right now but soon!" - I have other things I should be doing that are also important. Yngvadottir (talk) 17:43, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, it's a painful place to be in, isn't it? I'm finding that I'm having more fun with simple tasks that don't require interaction with anyone else these days. I'm slowly diffusing some medicine-related cats over at Commons, and some days it's a huge relief to get to do something plainly useful all by myself.
I agree with you that it's important for plain old editors to get some warning about these things, and without having to hang out at VPT, which is why I spammed those notes to the three dozen most-watch WikiProjects last night. Word is slowly getting out; there's even a partial catalog of places that have been notified at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/FAQ. My next target is to get people worked up into a near-panic about the editing documentation. Help:Editing is going to be about as unhelpful as possible in less than two months, and simply saying "Hey, we need to fix this" doesn't seem to get anybody motivated enough to actually fix it, or even to start thinking about it.
Part of the larger problem is that we (especially here at the English Wikipedia) tend to think that we're the reason for Mediawiki to exist. There are thousands and thousands of Mediawiki installations. I believe that 90% of the Mediawiki devs don't work for the WMF. So the interests of the dev community and the en.wp community are naturally not the same; we aren't the sole objective, and for many of the devs, we're not the objective at all. A dev who is mostly interested in his employer's internal wiki is just not going to care what works for us. In many respects, the English Wikipedia is actually the problem child for Mediawiki, not the goal. We're too big and too complex and too busy, and that puts a huge number of constraints on the devs. At some level, we have to take what we can get. We don't control how they spend their time, just like they don't control how we spend our time.
In the category of reassuring facts, Flow isn't LiquidThreads. But I think that's the only categorically reassuring fact that I can add to what you know already. I'm hoping to find a little more information about Flow. Jorm seems to be working on it, and he's cool, but even a totally, objectively, perfectly designed and bug-free implementation will still be different, and that alone is enough to freak people out. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:25, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
(Very useful discussion here. Thanks to both of you, from us lurkers.)
Quick clarification: the current page mw:Talk:Flow is Not using Flow, it is using Liquidthreads v.2.0 (from c.2010 I think?).
Also, the two screenshots at the mw:Flow page are just mockups.
When it does arrive (which I'm looking forward to), it will be customizable into a personalized mix (both content-wise and aesthetic/design-wise), for powerusers and newcomers alike (of all demographics, from code-savvy-teenagers to retired-professors to busy-professionals). I'm going to enjoy assisting new-editors, without having to go on long tangents about the expected wikiquette of talkpage-comments: where to reply, how to indent/outdent, how to sign, etc. Overall, I suspect it's going to be 99% good - Hectic for a few weeks when it arrives, certainly, but rapidly appreciated by almost all. –Quiddity (talk) 21:37, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that note. I've created WP:Flow, by the way. Keep in mind that WP:FLOW goes elsewhere. I didn't want to mess with the redirect without knowing more about its previous use. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:42, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
That page is a verygoodidea; watchlisted, and I will try to help/poke at it soon. The allcaps shortcut should be fine to usurp, as WP:Flower garden was unceremoniously redirected (not merged) into WP:Walled garden 5 years ago. (Plus the dearly-missed Radiant! is a smart&friendly&empathetic editor, and would surely agree) –Quiddity (talk) 04:51, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Quick query. The undo at WP:VisualEditor/FAQ is of course totally fine, but I'm not sure what you meant by formatting needs to follow FAQ system for compatibility with FAQ template? The only systems I could guess at are WP:Notifications/FAQ, WP:Flow/FAQ, WP:FAQ, and WP:Neutral point of view/FAQ, which all seem to use subheaders (however WP:WikiProject Council/Assessment FAQ uses the ;definition-list-bold formatting mixed in with standard-subheaders). Pointers appreciated, and coffee-still-absorbing if I missed something obvious :) –Quiddity (talk) 20:02, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
I'd like it to be compatible with {{FAQ}}. See the top of WT:RS or WT:CITE for examples. If it had proper section headings, then (AFAICT) it would turn up in the table of contents for anything it's eventually transcluded into. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:40, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Could you answer a basic and dumb question? We'll still have the option of editing the way we're used to, right? This is mainly to advance the laudable goal of attracting new users? Mind you, I'm one of those technically limited people who for instance hate citation templates (they produce visual clutter and aren't flexible enough) and use the basic <ref></ref> format, but my first attempt at VE has produced an intense, visceral revulsion. I didn't experience it at all as "like writing a document in a word processor", as claimed. Will I just be able to go about my habit-bound business by setting my preferences? Cynwolfe (talk) 17:47, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Hi Cynwolfe,
Yes, definitely: The public beta isn't going to be able to do everything, so it will be necessary to use the old editor for some things. Plan to set your preferences whenever it turns up (July 1st, supposedly), and you're done with the new thing for a while. If you leave it on, then aim for "edit source" rather than "edit". I really believe that most of our "habit-bound" editors who rarely encounter newbies will be happiest doing this at least for the next few months.
Ten years for now, who knows what will happen (will Wikipedia even exist?), but at this point in time, there are no plans at all to turn off the old system. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:14, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! (You may wonder why I brought this question to you: I saw that you had participated in the discussion in the VE forum, and that there was an existing thread here, and, well, you always explain things in a way that's humanly accessible. Sometimes I'll wade through policies and guidelines for 15 minutes, which is an aeon for someone who reads as fast as I do, and still not find the answer to what I consider a fairly straightforward question. Thanks again!). Cynwolfe (talk) 22:08, 7 June 2013 (UTC)


Thank you for your words and participation, the project has attracted some interest despite not being really announced. With the grudge that they have against me, the best thing I can do is ignore their editing areas for now. The effort to disrupt and drive off supporters is a part of the goal and I will not feed that fire further. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 04:19, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Good luck. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:30, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Just to be sure

WhatamIdoing, just to make sure I haven't left any wrong impressions, our friendly discussion at wp:rs was a reminder that I wanted to bring up FAQ's at the talk page guidelines, but was NOT the reason for it. Also, the title of the thread at wp:talk page guidelines is NOT applicable to this situation. Both the original text and your revised text that I was advocating dropping were and are purely good faith efforts to provide useful advice. Also, I left that thread at wp:rs about two weeks ago, considering the end result to be OK if not ideal. I should have been clearer on that. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:26, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Good luck with the discussion at TPG. I don't think that Guy's current proposal is at all functional, but it might be valuable to add something about not using FAQs and other headers to in an WP:OWNer-like way. On the other hand, it might just be more WP:Instruction creep that drags us away from using our best judgment in favor of mindlessly following "rules". WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:19, 9 May 2013 (UTC)


Hello, WhatamIdoing. You have new messages at Wikipedia talk:Template messages/User talk namespace.
Message added 00:08, 10 May 2013 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Unforgettableid (talk) 00:08, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

  The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
For your work socialising the VisualEditor :). Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 20:08, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

You beat me to the punch

Hah! I was going to start building out a version of mw:Flow Portal on enwiki tomorrow (which is my WFH day). But you beat me to the punch. I'm going to go ahead and start moving content in. Thanks!--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 22:41, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

As my husband says, "Great minds think alike—and so do ours". I'm very happy with what I've seen of the plans for Flow so far. It looks like a great design. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:45, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
done--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 20:23, 15 May 2013 (UTC)


That comparisons table is just magnificent. Thank you!--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 20:33, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm glad you like it. It's a first draft; perhaps it will improve over time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:34, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the correction. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:16, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

My bad.

Madam, I can explain, but I cannot deny. Please accept my apology. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 21:19, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

You're forgiven. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:16, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Help with another matter

I wondered if you could help me with another matter. I ask you the following reluctantly. If I have a complaint about another Wikipedia contributor, where do I turn? There is another Wikipedian who makes minor changes and occasionally major changes because of something like an idée fixe that animates him (I think it is a him) to concentrate his editorial fire on occupational health psychology as it appears in the entry and as it appears in the applied psychology entry. I have asked him on his talk page a number of times to discuss edits but he doesn't respond. I think it was he who had a similar bent back in January under a different name. What can I do? Thanks.Iss246 (talk) 18:28, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

That's not, unfortunately, an unusual situation. What you need is help from multiple people, so that it's not just two individuals who disagree. If he would respond to your messages, then you could request a WP:Third opinion. Don't overlook posting a note on the article's talk page, so that other people can see what your reasoning is. His own user talk page is less likely to be watched by other people.
Assuming that he continues his pattern of non-responsiveness (which might be simply because he can't figure out how to reply; it's not as easy or as obvious as it should be), then I suggest that you post notes at WT:PSY and/or WT:MED to request that other people keep an eye on the articles he is targeting. That might get you enough eyes and hands to keep it in check. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:14, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. Earlier I included a link to his talk page after I fixed one of his many changes to an entry. The link is in my comment on reversing a change.Iss246 (talk) 01:00, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

You must be talking about Mrm7171 (talk · contribs), who seems to be quite inexperienced. I'll leave a note explaining how to edit a talk page. Perhaps it will help. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:17, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

edit summaries

Please be more cautious in using edit summaries [7] -- I'm pretty sure that particular discussion is well beyond lame. NE Ent 11:36, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

It is normal and acceptable to refer to Wikipedia pages by their shortcuts, including WP:LAME. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:14, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, wasn't clear -- I'm saying that that particular discussing isn't "approaching" lame -- it's way past lame. NE Ent 15:16, 23 May 2013 (UTC)


Hello, WhatamIdoing. You have new messages at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy).
Message added 16:07, 24 May 2013 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Northamerica1000(talk) 16:07, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Re: RfC/U

Judging from the RfC/U Talk page, you're the "go to" person for questions like this one.

I'm trying to start an RfC/U regarding User:Xenophrenic. The main allegations are that he's tendentious and a POV-pusher. There's already substantial support from at least four different editors. The two certifiers are myself and User:Malke 2010, and we've posted diffs of our efforts to resolve the matter with Xeno on the Talk page of Tea Party movement (where this long simmering dispute came to a boil). Actually I've been encountering Xeno and his editing habits on several articles related to U.S. poli tics for years, starting out with Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now in 2009.

This has reached the point of Xeno edit-warring over whether the RfC/U meets the minimum requirements, repeatedly moving the RfC/U up to "Candidate pages" from "Certified pages" on the UsersList: [8] Please review the RfC/U and the diffs provided. If he's correct, and it doesn't meet the minimum requirements, please let me know what the problem is — with a note on my User Talk page. If I'm correct, and it does meet the minimum requirements, please let Xeno know on his User Talk page. Thanks ... Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 19:00, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

...or you can respond here, whatever is most convenient. I've watchlisted this Talk page. P&W's description about the situation is mostly accurate. I contend that the two certifiers have not identified a specific dispute with specific evidence diffs, and with specific diffs to attempted resolution of that same dispute by both editors. This not only fails to meet the RFC Minimum requirements, but also makes it nearly impossible for me to productively respond, as all I see is unsubstantiated accusations and name-calling. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 20:10, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
User:Phoenix and Winslow, Generally speaking, if two people say that they've certified a dispute, and their assertions are at all plausible, then we accept that. It's simplest if both certifiers can point to a single talk-page section in which all three participated, but it's not strictly necessary, as long as the subject was the same. As the subject of the complaint is relatively general, then these conversations, all related to the same general dispute, will suffice.
Edit-warring over the UserList page is always a bad idea. I would accept this RFC/U as being certified.
User:Xenophrenic, I think your best course of action would be to have it listed as an certified dispute and to request politely on its talk page that they try to explain their concerns to you again. Then you will need to make a truly diligent effort to figure out what is upsetting them. I can tell you that you are not accused of a one-time action that would be easily identified in a diff. Instead, you are accused of persistent POV pushing, uncollegial behavior, edit warring, and tendentious editing to promote your political views and to denigrate other people's political views. These are all problems that manifest as the cumulative effect of many small actions. If you don't understand what you are doing that upsets them—if you honestly can't understand why it's a problem to repeatedly restore contentious or negative trivia over the objections of multiple editors—then you are very likely to find the entire discussion extremely frustrating, and it's likely that the end result will be a discussion next month at WP:AN or ARBCOM about a long topic ban. So please do make an effort to figure out why your behavior has produced this complaint, and how you could change your behavior to reduce the grounds for the complaint.
Speaking of ARBCOM, if this ought to be part of the Tea Party case, then the RFC/U should be closed and the matter handled there. RFC/U's are always superseded by accepted ArbCom cases. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:24, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the considerate reply. I spend a considerable amount of my Wikipedia editing time (going into my 7th year) in controversial areas where there are often editors with strong opinions and convictions, so I am no stranger to the occasional unfortunate clash. I am fully aware of that of which I am being accused. I am very familiar with this particular group of accusers. The issue here is not that I do not understand what is upsetting these editors, as we are well acquainted with each other after having previous disagreements during other dispute resolution processes. I've attempted to have the filers and certifiers of this RFC comply with the minimum requirements of RFC filing as a way of helping them to realize the flaws in their assertions. I figure some these folks truly believe the accusations they make, and when they are repeated often enough their conviction just grows stronger. That repetition also has the effect of influencing others who may then take what they say for granted. Take for instance your words here:
"if you honestly can't understand why it's a problem to repeatedly restore contentious or negative trivia over the objections of multiple editors"
That tells me you are taking for granted as a fact that I've "restored contenteous or negative trivia over the objections of multiple editors", and that I don't see such an act as a problem, when I have never done such a thing. I am curious, did you see substantiation for that accusation somewhere? (I already know the answer - you did not.) There has long been disagreement among editors - many editors on all sides for years - as to what constitutes "trivia", and what should and should not be conveyed by our articles. You requested that I please "do make an effort to figure out why your behavior has produced this complaint", but I already have, as this is not the first time this complaint has been aired. I've edited toward a neutral point of view, against the POV of one or more of the complaining editors, and this has upset them. I am having this same discussion here, if you'd like more insight into the matter. Please let me know if you see things differently. Just so you know, I'm all for self-improvement, but I'm sure I don't have to explain to you that it is impossible for me to change a behavior that I don't have.
By the way, this exact matter has already been raised at ANI here and also ARBCOM here, which makes this redundant RFC/U appear to be a step backward in the process. Xenophrenic (talk) 00:18, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
If you are "fully aware of that of which I am being accused", then you will not find it "nearly impossible for me to productively respond". You'll have to pick one position or the other here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:42, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I apologize if I wasn't clear. I'm being accused of behaving in a way in which I have not behaved. If examples of this alleged behavior were provided by the accusers, then I could review those examples and try to better understand what has left these editors with this misperception. But the editors refuse to give examples, claiming that specific examples do not exist, and instead they say it's a cumulative effect of many small actions, to use your words. Do you see the dilemma this poses for me? How does one respond to a request to change behavior that doesn't exist? What change are they asking for? Xenophrenic (talk) 01:15, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
It is very easy to respond to false allegations. When you are accused of edit warring, you say something like, "I have never edit warred". Then your accusers will say something like, "Wonder how you managed to get blocked for edit warring so many times, if you never edit warred." And so forth. I'm sure that you can manage to have this discussion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:21, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it is easy to respond to false allegations. I've already responded to the ones on the RFC/U when they were originally made, before they were cut&pasted to this RFC/U from other venues. I've had that discussion before. That is not the dilemma I described above, which was that without examples of the behavior they were complaining about, there was no way for me to understand what lead to their misperceptions. Of course I can make responses like, "Blocked for edit warring 'so many times'? Once in more than 6 years is not that many, and I would likely conduct myself the same way in that instance if I were given the chance." (Yes, just once - plus an EW clerical notation, an acknowledged EW technology glitch, and an actual disruptive editing block labeled as EW.) Xenophrenic (talk) 06:41, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: I appreciate your patience in this matter. Although there is a pending ArbCom proceeding, Xeno is definitely not — I repeat, NOT — a named party to ArbCom, and therefore it is my understanding that a community-based remedy is appropriate. This is that remedy.
@Xenophrenic: Specific examples exist. In fact, your behavior in response to this RfC/U — trying to editwar it from "Certified" back to "Candidate," and generally trying to Wikilawyer your way out of it — is an excellent specific example. I again encourage you to participate in the RfC/U and address it on the merits. regards ... Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 01:28, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
One fairly typical way to present evidence for a widespread behavior is to pick one dispute as an example and describe it in detail, perhaps something like "First, he removed the disputed sentence[9], and three people complained on the talk page, as seen at Talk:Example/Archive 1#Specific dispute. Somebody restored it[10], and he blanked it again[11] and told everyone on the talk page that they were wrongtalk page diff. During the next three days, he removed the sentence four times[12][13][14][15] before getting blocked for edit warring (diff of block notice)." Good luck, WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:17, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I think that will be very helpful. Thank you. Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 04:51, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
As well as required. Looking forward to seeing it. Xenophrenic (talk) 06:41, 26 May 2013 (UTC)


I appreciate your encouraging words to Mrm7171 today.Iss246 (talk) 02:04, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

We need more knowledgeable psych editors. If we can turn him (or her) into a good one, then we all win. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:39, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Re: Lists

Hello, JAWS reads the lists separately, like so: "Definition list of 1 items, Rose colors, list end; list of 2 items, bullet white rose, bullet red rose, list end". NVDA also reads them separately, but doesn't distinguish between the two types of list. Graham87 00:54, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Seneca Valley virus

Hi, I undid a change you made on the Seneca Valley virus-001 page, I started a discussion on the talk page if you'd like to discuss it further. Viraltonic (talk) 13:10, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. I'll reply there. Perhaps someone else will have an opinion on whether we should list all of the ongoing clinical trials in that page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:53, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Return to the user page of "WhatamIdoing/Archive 10".