Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive Q

vandalism: helps to fight it

check box

One problem with IP edits is that we have no way of knowing if someone has already looked it over for vandalism. So one edit might be reviewed by twenty users and found OK, while another article's edit might be reviewed by no-one because everyone presumed someone else was doing it. It would be a great help if there was a tick box that admins or general signed in users could tick just to say "User 'x' read this article". That way we could spread our limited checking resources more efficiently.

m:Help:Patrolled edit may interest you. Flcelloguy (A note?) 21:59, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Can we implement that here? Melchoir 23:24, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it was implemented and people didn't think it was very useful. I think it would be useful for newpages, but not for recent changes (also as I recall marking an edit as patrolled was slowish). It was never clear when you should mark it as patrolled. If its not overt vandalism. If you know the changes to be accurate. Etc. BrokenSegue 14:54, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
One way it would work is that it would enable us to see if a page had been read by a credible Wikipedian. One area I have been involved in is in the co-ordination of style usage in articles on royalty. There are a large number of people who do the same work. If I see that since an edit was done by IP xxxxx User:Deb, for example, has read the page, it is likely that the IP edit contained no vandalism, because Deb is widely regarded as a trustworthy Wikipedian who would spot and remove it. While in theory she might have missed it, in practice she usually doesn't. So I wouldn't feel the need to check the edit and could move on somewhere else. Ditto with certain people who work on pages on Ireland, on pages on politics, on pages on religion, etc. Each "specialised subject" has a group of people who are pretty thorough at spotting vandalism and reverting it. Trust in one colleagues is central on Wikipedia. It would help to be able to see that someone one regards as trustworthy has already been in the page and make it easier to spot those pages where no-one has been since an edit and where, buried in the edit, is a serious piece of vandalism. FearÉIREANN \(caint) 18:54, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
So it sounds like the old system wasn't sophisticated enough. I like the idea in this new proposal to associate a username with patrolling. To differentiate between "not vandalism" and "not inaccurate", there could be multiple levels of confidence. And the speed issue might be solvable. Melchoir 23:15, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Edit summary with rollback

For admins fighting vandalism, rollback is a vital tool. But it allows no explanation to be given. To leave an explanation, one has to do the slower process of opening up an older version and saving it with an edit summary. An option to type a rollback explanation would be great help, combining rollback speed with the ability to explain. FearÉIREANN \(caint) 21:40, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that being able to explain a rollback without having to do the whole process by hand would be a valuable capability. -Will Beback 21:51, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
And as a non-admin, I also agree-- it would be helpful looking over an edit history to know why an admin had rolled back a particular edit, especially for articles with dozens of edits per day. -- Mwanner | Talk 22:05, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Rollback needs to be an explicit kind of action, not a save of an old version, so that the history will make more sense. --John Nagle 23:11, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm having trouble thinking of cases where an explanation might be needed for a rollback, which I think is generally used only in cases of obvious vandalism. IMO, the rollback summary basically means "in the opinion of the admin doing this rollback, the previous change was so obviously inappropriate no summary is needed". -- Rick Block (talk) 00:14, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Rick, and might even go further: if the rollback requires an explanation, then it is an abuse of rollback privileges. Ingoolemo talk 00:53, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I added a "revert as vandalism" and a "revert (POV)" link using javascript GML. I changed the GML a bit so that they go much faster than normal.Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 00:55, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
On a related issue, let's not forget that we now have many non-admins using tools with rollback features. I complained to one editor that one edit he had rolled back didn't look like vandalism. He seemed surprised that I assumed he thought it was vandalism, apparently unaware that rollbacks should only be used on vandalism. -Will Beback 01:40, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
If a rollback requires explanation, then it's an abuse of rollback. Johnleemk | Talk 14:15, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
That's missing the point. A rollback is fundamentally just a fast revert. Rollbacks right now are only for vandalism because you can't leave an edit summary. If you could leave an edit summary, why would it not be reasonable to use rollback for all reverts (leaving exactly the same edit summary, with exactly the same effect, as one would in reverting the slow way)? Reverting the slow way is indistinguishable from rolling back with an edit summary, except that the admin has spent 15 more seconds or so to do it. What's the advantage in that? rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 18:23, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that why I added the vandal and unencyclopedic revert. Both are fast, but give summaries, one for CLEARLY bad faith edits (vandal rollback), good faith but bad edits (unencyclopedic) or stuff in the middle (regular admin rollback). I just with Lupin's filter had those too (though I could add title/timing trigged href addition javascript....when I get around to it. Now, I am working on a "check all revision" java for deselecting certain deleted page additions, so I am a bit busy.Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 21:33, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Done...that was fast...Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 21:44, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Block list logic

I am in the unfortunate position that I can edit Wikipedia from home, but not while I am at work. My employer has a proxy server and several hundred thousand people within the organisation all appear to post from one ip address. I am sure this is not the only situation like this around the world. It severely restricts participation from a huge number of excellent potential editors. I suggest the logic of the block list be amended so that the status of a user is tested first, then the ip address they are posting from. If the user is a long term editor with a good record then editing should be allowed regardless of the ip address. Anonymous edits from blocked ip ranges should be blocked as usual. New accounts from people within blocked ip ranges could be set up through administrators, who could require proper identification through an exchange of e-mail.

You may be interesting in MediaZilla bug #550 : [1]Ilyanep (Talk) 01:58, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Looks like its all under control. I voted for the bug fix. Thanks for telling me about it. --Dave 10:38, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Force preview for IP editors

The vast majority of vandalism is just casual joking about and sandboxing by IP users, I suggest therefore that only allowing a change to be saved once it has been previewed will drastically reduce this type of vandalism. Martin 10:52, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

People will oppose this as annoying/restricting casual anon editors. I'm neutral ish. BrokenSegue 15:03, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Support. Good idea. --Ligulem 16:16, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Oppose. This idea is ineffective, since unless the anon does not realize that their edit is incomplete, it requires minimal effort to complete the extra step. It also may frustrate otherwise helpful users who wish to remain anonymous. Nihiltres 04:04, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Oppose This won't do anything to stop vandalism. They can just click save again. It just makes it take an extra 2 seconds. Vandals wont care. Also, there are tons of helpful IPs who just want to be annonomous. All this will be is annoying for everyone. Tobyk777 05:44, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Time based protection

A few of the articles are attacked based around times in schools or geographically. Example - I see a lot of schools IP vandalizing certain articles each morning just prior to school or college starting (?). Sometimes there may be attacks on some controversial articles based on geography. These times are pretty much predictable and repeatable. It would be nice to prevent attack with sprotection and other protection schemes based on time. This would allow anons or even regular users (for full protected articles) to contribute while stopping the majority of attack. --Supercoop 15:29, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

  • I'd imagine that the times when articles are attacked are the same times we'd expect to see good edits -- pretty much when the knowledgable people are awake. So this is probably a harmful idea. Christopher Parham (talk) 00:17, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
You would rather have no edits for full protection or no edits for anons for semi protect for the entire protection period? No it can't be harmefull, it would be another option. --Supercoop 19:15, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

I discussed it on the mailing list and I think I'd share some ideas with advertising on wikipedia. As some of you may have noticed, some websites copy the content of wikipedia and have some advertisement on the right-hand side of the page. This is a google-like adword style (nothing flashy) that is related to the text of the article. I know advertising is controvertial but here's a suggestion (it's not only my ideas, others helped).

Advertising on the side of each page with page with google adwords but only to a few users. IP users would not see the advertisement. Registered users would only see advertisement if they turn it on. The default behavior is no ads.

There are several caveats (apparently) with this technique. At least 1/3 of the income must come from donations, so a way to control for it must be found. On the other side, would could advertise that there's a donation matching, like "for every dollar you give, wikipedia receives three". There are also other legal/accounting issues that are over my head. Also, another caveat is the "sell-out" factor. There a concern, legitimate I think, that advertising might go against POV.

Tony Bruguier 15:07, 28 April 2006 (UTC) (please delete this post if it's inapropriate location for such discussion)
If Wikipedia starts accepting advertising, I'd encourage all editors of serious articles to quit contributing. If somebody else is making money off it, we're not going to work for free. Wikipedia will have to start paying people. --John Nagle 17:03, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
You realize that people (e.g. the $100 million market-cap Answers Corporation) are already making substantial amounts of money off it, right? Christopher Parham (talk) 18:56, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Oppose per John Nagle. --Knucmo2 23:49, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Completely ignoring Christopher Parham, I notice. If you don't want people making money off your work, for crying out loud, don't release it under the GFDL. And Wikimedia would only use the profit from the ads to improve the project. It's not like Jimbo is going to be pocketing the money, good grief. (He currently gets paid nothing by the Foundation except business expenses, IIRC, such as travel expenses. The only three paid employees are User:Danny, User:Tim Starling, and User:Brion VIBBER.) —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:04, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Advertising is a bad idea. The internet already abounds with ad ridden information sources. Lack of ads and independence from advertisers is one of the things that differentiates Wikipedia. Here in Australia advertising is a perennial topic with regard to our national public broadcaster, the ABC. The argument always follows the same lines:
  • Advertising will raise money and allow the ABC to increase content quality
  • Advertising will make ABC beholden to advertisers and influence content.
The same arguments hold true for Wikipedia. The ABC has so far resisted the temptation to run advertising, Wikipedia should do the same. --Dave 00:16, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
If IP users would not see ads and registered users would have to opt-in, who would see the ads? The potential for damage to the credibility of Wikipedia doesn't seem to warrant the trickle of revenue that would come from the vanishingly-small fraction of registered users masochistic enough to actually turn the ads on and who would also actually click the links. — Saxifrage 01:03, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Very strong oppose Some people seem to want to push advertising for the sake of it. The financial position appears to be sound - sound enough at least for the fundraiser to be late again - and the server reliablility is much better than it was a year ago. There is no current financial problem to address. Wikipedia is pure, so let's keep it that way. One thing you can be sure of is that having ads won't encourage more good editors to join. Sumahoy 02:25, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Financial soundness is not a Boolean attribute. Yes, Wikipedia isn't going to collapse due to lack of money, but it will be slower and less reliable than it would be if it had more servers (which cost money), and the software will improve more slowly than it would if there were more paid developers.

I think it's more accurate to say that some people want to oppose advertising just for the sake of it. As though something is impure about text ads. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:04, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Several people have been working on a proposal document discussing this exact topic. Please Help us at User:NeilTarrant/PageAds Danny Beardsley 08:43, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't see a need for them, but opt-in ads for registered users would be harmless. The usual knees are jerking, of course. — Matt Crypto 09:02, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

The point of opt-in advertisements is that people who want to contribute money to Wikipedia without donating can do so by turning on the advertisements. This will keep Wikipedia financially stable. I see another advantage to Google AdSense advertising on Wikipedia. If I were to go to the Free web hosting service article, for example, the ads would point me to some good free web hosts I might like to check out.
I've been running a site Plants for a Future which fills a similar role as wikipedia, but with a more specialised scope, specifically about useful plants. We debated long and hard about advertising on site and in the end of the day went for google adds. Whilst our users are more than happy to find problems with the content the one thing they have not complaied about is the adds, a total of zero comments! I'd actually say for that site the ads do actually add value to the site in that it allows people to find supliers of the plants we list. I've not noticed any positive of negative effect on the rate of contributions. That said I don't think Adds are appropriate for wikipedia. Financially Wikipeida could do with a lot more income, more servers are needed to cope with increasing demand and to overcome repeated outages, a few more staff could also come in handy. In idea I've liked is to spin off related projects such as an add supported wiki for all those non-notable bands which are always on AfD. Wikia does this to some respect but I don't know whether the income from this goes to help the foundation in any way. --Salix alba (talk) 11:16, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

This is a bad idea. Introducing any ads is likely to reduce donations. Introducing ads in a way that will only produce a small amount of revenue might reduce donations by more than the amount of new income generated. Bhoeble 23:10, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Would opt-in advertising for registered users reduce the number of donations? People who opt obviously can't/won't donate so they're doing their part by seeing ads. No? I'd support opt in, although I admit it would give ammunition to the anti-wiki trolls (i.e. it would look bad). BrokenSegue 14:57, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Strong oppose. Wikipedia is nonprofit. This goes against the very nature of Wikipedia and will ruin it. The very thing that makes Wikipedia so unique and such a powerful force is its freedom. But that did give me an idea: how about another totally unaffiliated website that skins over Wikipedia that has ads on it, and all proceeds are donated directly to Wikipedia? Sort of like what does, only trying to help Wikipedia, not freeloading it. And it will be made very clear that this is not original content, but rather just an optional way for persons who don't mind AdWords to donate financially. It is very obvious that Wikipedia needs more funding. They key point would be that somebody else administers it, and that it is made very clear that it is not affiliated in any way with Wikipedia. It's just a thought anyway. Comments, please. michaelb 19:24, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Um, do you know what a nonprofit organization is? No money goes to the owners of the corporation (who are, I believe, us). It only goes to pay the organization's expenses, such as operating servers and hiring developers. Nobody's proposing to change that. And Wikimedia already makes something in the vicinity of a million dollars a year, in case you didn't know. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:04, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Extreme oppose—Not only my personal dislike of internet advertising, but especially to avoid even the mere appearance or rumor of conflicts of interest. Ardric47 07:30, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Spell checking

Apparently there were proposals for a spell-checker, but they were thrown out because of fears of the software "correcting" things that didn't need correcting. Currently a lot of spelling fixes are done as separate edits, with AWB, Wikipedia:Typo, Wikipedia:Lists of common misspellings, Spellbound, etc. Maybe a better method would be to have the Mediawiki software look for words and display them on preview? Like you press preview and it underlines the words a special way or something. "Underlined words may be misspelled." That would help to reduce errors in a human-controlled way while not interrupting work or making tons of extra edits just for spell fixes. — Omegatron 16:20, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree. This would greatly simplify not only the work of others needing to copyedit articles but also the work of the ones writing the article. It would not increase server load as it would probably be written in JavaScript, meaning it's client-side. Sounds like a decent idea to me. > Iridescence < talk )contrib ) 03:39, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Would it use British or American spelling, or would there be an option in Preferences? A recipe for endless confusion as spelling switches from one to the other and back! - Runcorn 22:15, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I find that wikipedia's lack of spell check in it's search engine is a more pressing concern. Google's method of suggesting alternatives for probable misspelled words in search queries works very well. Bige1977 05:48, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Apparently the reason for this is that all the good features of the search engine have been turned off to save server load. You can use google to search wp. For great justice. 21:38, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
This has always been the thing that seems glaringly missing from WP - the search functionality. If they've artificially turned off the functions such as spelling suggestions to save capacity then I understand (though I don't agree), but if this function doesn't exist yet then *get it soon* please! Witty lama 14:16, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Definitely better to use Google than the internal search facility; the only problem is the time lag before Google picks up changes. But that's off-topic. - Runcorn 16:35, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Google Toolbar has a built in spell checker for textboxes and forms on web pages. It functions much in the same way as the spell checker in microsoft word does. Danny Beardsley 08:01, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

The idea of a Spell Checker seems like a good one to me. It should just point out the words, not change them automatically. On the other hand, just copying and pasting the writing into Word or a similar program could also do the trick. --Matterbug 22:55, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the idea, I don't want to copy everything into Word everytime I want to make an edit. But I think we need a spellcheck for the seach engine first. Pseudoanonymous 23:45, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Interlanguage link order (again)

I have made a proposal at Wikipedia_talk:Interlanguage_links#Interlanguage_link_order_(again). Please review it, so hopefully we can finally settle on a standard order for the inter wiki links. Martin 21:33, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikiethics discussion

A new and improved version of Wikipedia:Wikiethics is posted for all Wikipedians to discuss and make suggestions for an improvement... Assert your role in the global Wikipedia community and give your opinion matters! Netpari 20:28, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

new template for review

I have created a new vandal template, template:IPvandal, the main difference from template:vandal being that it removes the pagemove lookup, as such a feature is unessesary for IP users, and replaces it with a WHOIS lookup keyed to the user in question--{anon iso − 8859 − 1janitor} 18:17, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

  • thoughts, opinions, comments, if you wish you can delete it--{anon iso − 8859 − 1janitor} 18:18, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

"Special:Watchlist/edit" text change

It says,

If there are any red links, then the page has been deleted but changes can still be monitored.

but this isn't technically correct as you can "watch" red-linked articles by going to the "create this article" screen. The page hasn't been deleted as it has not been created in the first place. Perhaps have something like,

If there are any red links, then the page does not exist or has been deleted, but changes can still be monitored.

Skinnyweed 15:51, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Church of England Cathedral series

I would like to see a series on Church of England Cathedrals, with one of those grey boxes with hyperlinks to articles on CofE cathedrals in the bottom of the article.

Lofty 10:45, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

How do you define the top x categories on Wikipedia?

There's a renaming request at Wikipedia:Categories for deletion/Log/2006 May 4#Category:Top 10 to Category:Top 8 which seems in violation of the neutral point of view policies, given that we are ultimately arguing over what are the top however many categories on Wikipedia. Steve block Talk 20:50, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

What possible basis do you have for that allegation? You don't agree with the proposal and you have said so at length, but I regard the accusation that is it in breach of neutral point of view as a spurious and irrelevant slur against my intentions, which were simply to tidy things up and make the category more consistent with the main page. CalJW 03:42, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Categorize message on New Articles

Could there be a bolded message to categorize new articles when a user is creating a new article. - RoyBoy 800 22:54, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Both special:Recent changes and an editor's contributions list include an "N" denoting a new article. Is there some other context you're thinking about where this would be useful? -- 00:59, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
i think royboy means when the new user is editing the new article. perhaps some text saying "remember to add a category" could go next to the save button when an article is being edited for the first time? BL Lacertae - kiss the lizard 04:26, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, something like that. New articles get created by new users/anons, editors doing new article patrol tend to put "uncat" and it stays like that for a while. Creating a backlog which I (among others) are trying to whittle down. - RoyBoy 800 14:30, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

WikiPedia Regional Directory

There is a huge amount of stuff going on on WP - task forces, stubcatting, regional notice boards, wikiprojects, collaborations of the week/fortnight/whenever... I've been thinking that it would be a good idea to have an at least partially definitive "Wikipedia Directory", at least to record what is going on at a national and regional level. Since many new editors like to make contributions about the area where they live, it would be nice to be able to send them to a page where they can find out what we currently have on their local area, what we still need doing there (stub expansions, photo requests, maybe translation requests as well), who is there who could help (there are categories of Wikipedians by region, it would be good to get some mileage out of them!) and where they can go to co-ordinate effort with other editors (regional notice boards, projects, task forces etc). As a taster, would someone like to have a look at User:TheGrappler/North America directory, which is a very rough mock-up of a North America directory of Wikipedia activities. It has a bunch of countries (ranging from the USA, with all of its attached activities, to minor island countries that seriously lack article depth and contributor numbers) presented to a range of detail (I didn't finish sorting out the individual U.S. states and Canadian provinces, but the ones that are complete give a taste of how it could look, with effort). A useful extension would be to include "useful resources" in the table for each country e.g. if there is a handy reference site, or somewhere that provides copyleft images suitable for uploading to Commons. Do people think that what I have produced so far, if extended, would be useful for either themselves or for new users trying to get to grips with the Wiki-myriad? What could be done to make it more useful? TheGrappler 11:55, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Wow, very nice. --Jonathan Kovaciny 14:37, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Nice work. Suggestion: Only include photo requests for articles that aren't marked stubs. Stubs often have plenty of photos available and the issue is really one of completing the stub rather than going out and shooting a photo. --Mmounties (Talk)   21:20, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I do see the point, though I'd contend that there isn't one issue, there are two quite specific issues. Stub or not, an article that would gain from having a picture is an article that would gain from having a picture. One is higher priority than the other, but obtaining a photograph is often a matter of luck, so I don't see that there's any reason to wait until the stub has been expanded to list it as requiring a photo. It may well be inappropriate to add a gallery of pictures to a stub article without expanding it, but I still think it's a good idea to make a request as early as possible. A lot of photos come in as the result of chance such as Wikipedians going on holiday or a business trip, for instance... stub articles can take years to be improved, and it would be a shame if a window of opportunity got missed. There's not competition between the two tasks (i.e. listing something as a photo request is unlikely to shift attention away from stub expansion), in fact the opposite may be true - by attracting attention to an article from two sources (Wikipedian photographers with an opportunity in the locality, and Wikipedians with an interest in expanding that particular stub type) interest in the article may be increased. I suspect that editors who add photos will actually add more content to the article too, even if they weren't originally interested in the article: that has, at least, been my personal experience. Is there a specific rationale for not requesting a photo for a stub article that needs it? There is the possibility of "swamping" the requested photo categories, but the category system is really meant only for "low priority" requests, higher priority ones can be listed on forums like Wikipedia:Requested pictures. TheGrappler 06:33, 7 May 2006 (UTC)


Might i suggest an intresting idea that you could perfomr with your resources, but first af all let me tell you that there are some few things in this world which bring me such much joy and hope in the human race just as wikipedia does, this is such an excitating emotion that only those who have been part of such inovetive project as the French Enciclopaedia, the French Revolution, The Industrial Revolution, Printing Press cloud have felt, i can mearley imagine where this projec might lead us all.

I have an intresting propossal that you might be able to execute, why don´t you do a section of wiki where entire cities are historically portraied so that the people arround the world take good pictures of the important building in their city and us the people produce an acount if each of the cities historical buildings, and the interface of this section could bethat of a touristic guided tour, another idea is to let mayor universities around the world to be entrusted wuth the further progress of a wiki section, for example physich could be entrusted to cambridge and law could be entrusted to harvard.

Thank you so much for the gift that you are creating for humanity evolution all arround the globe.

Alejandro Lyman Chandler



> > I have a suggestion, can it be possible to arrange all your data in a sort > of interactive, expandable, timeline? One that expands to all areas within > a colapsable timeline and has links to related topics. > Of course it would follow in the spirit of user-made enciclopaedia. > I think it would help the Understanding of Knowledge a great deal to see > time-scaled correlations of knowledge grafically. > I think it would thrive. > > Any way there's my two cents' worth. > > Yours Sincerly, > > Andrés Cañas. > >

Vandalism is getting too much

When I joined Wikipedia over a year ago vandalism (and general bad editing, such as spamming) was a problem, but it was small enough such that it could be dealt with. Today is seems to me that vandalism is becoming uncontrollable, we seem to have forgotten what we are here to do (make a damn good encyclopedia!), and we seem more focused on "vandal fighting" or whatever, as if that was the original point of this project.

Vandalism is getting so bad now that much is just simply not reverted within a satisfactory period of time, and all too often that which is reverted is not reverted properly, and previous vandalisms are edited into the article.

Monitoring and reverting vandalism also wastes much time, particularly of our best editors, who would otherwise actually be making articles better.

Vandalism heavily damages our credibility, putting off potential good editors, and specifically academics and the like, who ultimately are the key people we need to build a respected resource.

It seems to me that the present philosophy of "wiki" is one suitable to a small project, as Wikipedia was a few years ago, whereas now it is one of the most popular websites on the planet, now we don't need to worry about finding new editors, we need to worry about finding the right editors (i.e. not vandals and spammers etc.).

I think we are approaching a decision, where we either have to decide whether this project is some kind of social experiment, in which case nothing need change, or if this project is to build an encyclopedia, in which case we are going to have to adapt our concept of "wiki".

Two possible ideas are to either only allow editing of mainspace articles for users with registered email addresses, or have some form of stable article, that can't be directly edited by anyone. Either way, something needs to change. Martin 15:04, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

I came across Brucella yesterday. I can't remember what it was, but some student had written a silly sentence in the intro. As far as I remember, it was the first time I'd come across a vandalised page accidentally (i.e. without looking at changes on my watchlist or recent changes). So I don't think the problem is massive.
We have to be wary of reading too much into dialogues like "We need to ban new accounts from creating pages!" "Why?" "The number of crap new articles is overwhelming!" "How do you know?" "I was on Special:Newpages looking for them, and I found lots!" which seem to appear quite often. --Sam Blanning(talk) 15:23, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I understand, but thats not what I meant, I was speaking from my general experience. That said, it is very easy to give examples of vandalism, for example, I just fixed this edit, on an article that is clearly high visibility, 25 hours after it happened. But that is only half the story, as the article was then vandalised again, and reverted improperly, then a bot added some inerlinks that had been removed, then it was vandalised again. So I am not surprised you havent noticed much vandalism, evidently most people don't when reading an article. That is just one example, I could proved hundreds, the really bad stuff is the subtle changing of numbers and facts, which if missed is almost never fixed. Martin 15:40, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Advances in Wikipedia:Wikitechnology are allowing us to cope with the increased load of vandalism. Or so it seems to me. r3m0t talk 16:23, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree that it's getting bad, but also that vandal/spam fighting tools are improving. One thing that I think would help a lot would be to open up semi-protection to all editors, by allowing the {{sprotected}} template to protect an article without any other mechanism (see link). I do not think, though, that more draconian measures are called for. -- Mwanner | Talk 20:33, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I think that there are two types of vandals: those who are vandalizing because they like to wreck the work of others or harm Wikipedia, and those who are vandalizing because they just realized that they had the power to do so. The first group will always be a problem, but they'll all eventually be banned. The second group is just people who are new to the concept of wikis, and this group will grow for a while but then level off as Wikipedia's growth rate subsides. Vandalism will probably peak (or perhaps has already) and then drift slowly down. --Jonathan Kovaciny 21:02, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. The first group is not that easy to block - there are transparent proxies where every edit arrives from another IP address. The only option is to block the whole range (as happens regularly with the London Grid for Learning, a network of secondary schools) or to allow the vandalism to continue (as happens with AOL). In the worst case there are botnets and other international disasters. As for the second group, it's a big world out there, including kids and luddites. Many of them will turn into the first group, so we will never be able to block all of them. Finally, it's rare to permanently/indefinately block somebody (especially IPs) so people can just keep coming back. It's a problem. r3m0t talk 11:36, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Martin. I'm not a vandal fighter, but I recently tested a bit how this could feel like. Ok, you may say, I'm not experienced in doing that. But I felt very bad when doing that. Most annoying thing are those IP's shared by schools. I also feel all these warning messages on talk pages of anons are futile. Why should we care about storing all these streams of vandal edits and reversions? I wonder what a tremendous stream of crap data this produces. All in vain. And all the wasted wikipedian time. Ok, I'm not as long a wikipedian as Martin, so I see only the current sitution. But I feel it is a waste of time and resources. An idea I had is, that every edit should be publicly markable by a second editor as "looked at and checked as not-vandalism". This would help avoid looking at things twice or overlooking edits. That second opinion need not be an admin, but maybe it shold be a non anon, possibly a semi-protected-pages-allowed-to-edit-editor (←is there an offical name for that?). --Ligulem 21:10, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree vandalism is becoming more and more prevalent. In the last few weeks most of my time has been spent on vandalism watch. Yesterday when I signed on to my watchlist 45% of it consisted of vandalism reversions by users. Some articles seem to experience nothing but vandalism, reversion, vandalism, reversion etc etc.

I checked my watchlist too, expecting to find the same as the about. However when I counted there were more typo fixes by anons than vandalism/reversions. So anons are just about a good thing, and remember were were all anons once.
On a related point it would be great if a watchlist could behave like Related Changes, especially with the javascript addon which would allow a quick view of the changes to an article, not just the most recent. --Salix alba (talk) 11:48, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm certainly getting a bit bored of spending more time removing vandalism, out-and-out vanity and downright frauds than actually adding information. Average Earthman 22:04, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

I wonder whether anonymous edits should not be banned - so that no one could edit without logging in. This will not prevent people setting up multiple IDs, but it ought to hinder those who work from multiple IP addreses that any anyway merely a series of number that mean little to most of us. There may need to be a slight change to the software, so that one cannot lose an edit in progress, because one's connection or log in fails, for example by ensuring that a page that cnnot be saved automatically comes up as a preview. Peterkingiron 00:07, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

I completely agree. I understand the idealistic, inclusive notions behind allowing anonymous edits; unfortunately it reflects an unduly optimistic view of the world in general and cyberspace in particular. What I've seen of anonymous editors suggests that for every one doing something useful, there are 4 or 5 others who think that acting like the online equivalent of Beavis & Butthead with a spraycan full of paint is, like, kewl man. Expecting them to take on the Wikipedia ethos and act nice is misplaced optimism; they need to be stopped. If someone wants to make a serious contribution here, they are not going to be deterred by the formality of setting up a user id, which should be a process which cannot be done by a bot. If someone can't be bothered or is unwilling to do that, it does in my opinion raise some basic questions about their motivation. --Stephen Burnett 08:22, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Ways of highlighting backlinks

Somewhere here an editor was complaining that another editor persisted in trying to introduce material about Asperger syndrome into the Albert Einstein article. A major article that has to cover a lot of ground cannot often include links to all auxilliary or tangential subjects. without breaking the flow.

It might therefore be useful to have a convention for linking to the What links here page for the article. Something like:

Space does not permit all aspects of this subject to be referred to here. For other articles that may contain further information relating to "Article name", please see What links here or press [alt-j].

This could of course be done as a Template ({{backlinks}}). It would benefit from certain improvements to the MediaWiki software, in particular ability to restrict to the main namespace [2] and to sort according to some kind of relevance or popularity. It would also need consensus to adopt this convention and document it on relevant Wikipedia pages. --Cedderstk 15:40, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

If there is justification for the link, why not fork off a separate article, such as Albert Einstein and Asperger's syndrome (properly linked from the main Einstein page, of course), and put the link there? If there is no justification for the link, then it shouldn't be there at all. User:Zoe|(talk) 16:39, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

To clarify, in this particular case (which I can't find now and I wasn't involved in, but it raised some other issues) it was not thought appropriate to have any link or mention in the Einstein article to Asperger, and it's not hard to see why. If every topic that mentioned Einstein was linked to from the main article, there would me scores of unrelated or diversionary sentences at the end of the article. Maybe you could get around this with forks on Einstein's personality, say. Backlinks are available already. To accommodate possible complaints that a particular connection isn't made in cases like this, why not point to them in the text? --Cedderstk 17:50, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
If there's no mention of it in the text, then clearly, there shouldn't be a link to an external site. User:Zoe|(talk) 18:05, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
There are no external links involved. These are all within Wikipedia. Imagine a page with a limited number of outgoing links, but a far larger number of incoming links. You can find the incoming links from possible related articles using What links here already. I'm just suggesting highlighting this in some way to tell the reader that there are likely to be several backlinks that cover obscure aspects of the topic (that is, not making direct links to any page that is not referenced, only highlighting a feature that is already partially present). --Cedderstk 18:47, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
OK, now I'm very confused. If you're talking about Wikipedia links, why is there a link from Asperger's syndrome to Albert Einstein if there is no mention in the Einstein article about Asperger's? They have to verify each other, or there's something wrong. User:Zoe|(talk) 22:31, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I am talking about Wikipedia links. There is a link from Asperger to Einstein; there is no link in the opposite direction. What exactly is wrong with that? --Cedderstk 12:53, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that Whatlinkshere has boatloads of totally tangential stuff for pretty much any topic, even if you only count the article space. Pages that are of only the most tangential relationship to the topic at hand are probably of interest to very few readers; if they weren't, they would after all be in the article itself. And there are often pages outside the article space linking to articles, as well as many pages duplicating info already in the linked-to article. So really, I don't think that this is a useful thing to give our readers. It would probably confuse more people than it would help, particularly since you'd have to teach a lot of people how to use "Find" on their browsers to get to the one sentence that mentions Einstein (or whatever). —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 04:07, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm afraid you are correct. Maybe this proposal is premature and should wait until such time as Whatlinkshere is more useful to readers, allowing parametric restriction to main namespace and sorting by, e.g. page views divided by article size. I have however created template:backlinks in case it should be useful. I do think that sometimes people will be scouring for any information on a particular subject or wondering why the article doesn't mention something that the editors didn't deem sufficiently relevant to include.
On your final point, I guess Whatlinkshere could be improved so the links table included an anchor within the target page, but I expect it would be a lot of programming. Thanks for comments. --Cedderstk 14:31, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Cedders, I think you may be on to something really worthwhile here. I'd like to spin an idea out of this concept of inter-article relevance for a second. Obviously one of the great innovations of Wikipedia is the ability to quickly follow 'trees' of knowledge both vertically and horizontally, allowing for users to develop a sense of both the breadth and depth of a subject by examining its context and history. As the project grows, it should be possible to become, literally, an expert on a given area of study simply by following enough of the appropriate links. But which links to follow, and in what order, is not always obvious, especially if you want to study efficiently.

In that sense, it could be very useful to have a tool that showed users, for a given article, which articles other users arrived from, and which they departed to. Zooming out, this would allow for a kind of conceptual roadmap -- a set of beaten paths, if you will -- that would not only help users usefully navigate families of concepts, but also provide a set of invaluable data about inter-article usage patterns, and maybe, eventually, the nature of the conceptual relationships themselves. It's the Wikipedia equivalent of "Users who Bought this Book Also Bought" -- except that instead of being a marketing tool, it would be one that streamlined learning.

It takes your garden-variety linking to the next level. The way it is now, all links are created equal, a state that results in lots of irrelevant connections, and does little to reveal the nuanced webs of relevance that bind all concepts. Knowing the best routes between ideas could solve the irrelevant links problem by just showing users what other users have done. Better even than the 'tree' or 'beaten path' or analogy is this: imagine a library where books were connected by glowing threads. The stronger the connection between two books, the brighter the thread would be. Everything is connected, of course, but you'd be able to make out patterns within the web that would indicate which shelf you ought to go to next. Who decides what's relevant to what? Well, everyone, of course. -- HarpooneerX 08:03, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely! Please don't let this idea drown a quiet death in the village pump - this sounds like a groundbreaking idea that would make Wikipedia even more powerful a tool than it currently is. Where can this idea be taken forward? TheGrappler 21:36, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Kids?

You know, I've seen kids use Wikipedia (Simple English if they know about it) a lot lately and sometimes they can get confused with the whole interface and stuff. Like some kids who wander into the talk pages and kind of "vandalise" it. Also, since this is an encyclopedia, it has articles on many items, some of which are not appropriate for young users. So, maybe, we could design a kid-friendly UI, non editable, and features. I could explain everything right now, but so far, what do you think? Crad0010 00:27, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Sort of like Anyone could do that, as long as the GFDL is followed. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 01:19, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Not being able to edit it takes the "wiki" out of Wikipedia. Thanks for sharing your idea, though. (^'-')^ Covington 04:46, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
And where would the content come from if the encyclopedia is not editable? — Knowledge Seeker 04:52, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
As an upcoming father I have to say there should be some places safe from kids, not safe for them. I like that Wiki has curse words (when scholarly appropriate) and adult subject. It's fucking great.--Mark 2000 08:24, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. In addition to wikipedia being simply a plain old encyclopedia without its vast open-source capabilities, I have a positive attitude towards kids getting to see all of the information on wikipedia. The only inappropriate content to be viewed by anyone, in my opinion, is biased content. Wikipedia is not biased. Regardless of the subject matter, I view wikipedia as a great resource to be used by kids. Besides, they'll be exposed to the more "mature" subject matter later on in their lives anyways. Having wikipedia provide a preliminary understanding of these subjects for children as opposed to their peers doing it in an immature and uninformative way has to be a good thing. --Matt0401 22:16, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, but protecting kids from Wikipedia is a bad idea. Smoke comes out of my ears and nose whenever I hear someone bring this topic up. --Osbus 01:06, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Of course, the OP wasn't really suggesting this as the main point. Rather, that Wikipedia should be protected from kids. I'd oppose that too, though, on the grounds that blanket-underestimating kids is a bad idea. — Saxifrage 07:49, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I have never opposed an idea more in my time at wikipedia. Perhaps you don't realize how many good edits actually come from kids in middle schools and high schools? --Mets501talk 14:37, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for mentioning that too. I myself just recently turned 16. I made most of my wikipedia articles and edits when I was 15. --Matt0401 15:27, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm 15 now, with almost 1000 edits. --Mets501talk 15:45, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
It's true. I know 8-12 year olds who make good edits, even if the edits are only to The Legend of Zelda and Harry Potter.--Osbus 13:54, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Those edits help too. The entire idea of Wikipedia is for people who know a lot about a certain subject to contribute to Wikipedia about it. 8-12 year olds are actually the people with the most expertise in certain areas such as childrens' literature and things like that. Basically, things targeted towards them. Therefore I disagree with both protecting kids from wikipedia, and wikipedia from kids. Those not mature enough to properly contribute won't be able to figure out how anyways. :P --Matt0401 15:15, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Here's another view. Many schools forbid outside communication, by editing the Wikipedia it could be classed as communicating. If the school finds editing fine, they can unblock the Wikipedia (many schools use a whitelist system). Computerjoe's talk 15:33, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, and here's a problem. No way in hell would schools that block communication agree that editing Wikipedia is fine. --Osbus 19:38, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

I am employed by the education department of an Australian state government. I work in schools every day. Unfortunately I am unable to recommend Wikipedia as an educational resource in schools because some of the content is inappropriate. The word inappropriate may not be strong enough. It is actually illegal to expose some Wikipedia content to minors in many jurisdictions.

The only realistic solution to this problem would be to create a seperate project Wikipedia Junior that mirrors copies of Wikipedia articles verified not to contain inappropriate content. Such a project would be massive, but could attract funding from the education departments of countries around the world.

What constitutes inappropriate content is a contentious issue however, and the definition may vary according to culture. Since the content would be protected, a standardised article tagging system could be used to filter content according to each nation's cultural or legal requirements.

--Dave 02:03, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Will kids be allowed to edit "Wikipedia Junior"? --Osbus 14:47, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I suggest not. Uncontrolled editing is a loss of content control. Kids should perhaps be able to submit edit suggestions to a moderator, but direct editing should not be possible. --Dave 15:11, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Earlier discussion of a closely related question can be found here - you may find it interesting/helpful. FreplySpang (talk) 02:21, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I strongly support the idea of a "Wikipedia Kids Edition" or "Wikipedia Junior" for schools. I would suggest preventing any editing of such an edition (which would have a narrower selection of articles too) to preserve quality. For those who object about censorship of Wikipedia - most kids will be able to log on to the regular Wikipedia outside of school anyway, and look up all the taboo subjects they want in their free time. The key thing here is getting a Wikipedia edition out which is usable by schools Bwithh 14:56, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
What this is doing is destroying a great resource for kids who actually do research in their school; not allowing them to access certain pages on Wikipedia. Perhaps if editing is the concern a block on IP addresses registered to schools would be a better idea, although still not ideal. --Mets501talk • contribs 15:27, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

A Wikipedia edition for kids is not only a bad idea, but a costly one too. Where will we get the money? And to whoever said that edu. departments over the world could help, why would they do this when they already have what they think is a perfectly good resource, other encyclopedias (i.e. Britanica.)? --Osbus 18:17, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

A while back, the Wikimedia Foundation received a grant to get started on a project for making books for children: see m:Wikijunior. —THIS IS MESSED OCKER (TALK) 00:51, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I totally disagree, I am 12 and use wikipedia a lot and although I sometimes have to close a page because it contains cursing (my mum is coming past) - so what? Lcarsdata Talk | @ | Contribs 12:34, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

The idea is interesting, but I don't think it is fair. I myself am 15 and use Wikipedia for research and browsing. Wikipedia should be about covering all topics, and kids often have more knowledge about certain subjects than adults do (and vice versa). I believe they are an important part of the process. --Matterbug 22:53, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Sometimes the law of a country does not seem fair, particularly for those close to the legal age of majority in that country. Here in Australia the legal age of consent is 16. It is illegal to present sexually explicit material to anyone before their 16th birthday, but quite OK a day later. Fair on a well developed 15 year old? Perhaps not. But the line has to be drawn somewhere. Wikipedia kids would allow schools to present material from Wikipedia and stay within the law in their country. Currently they can't do this and many schools simply block the site. Its interesting to note Wikipedia itself has blocked editing by people in all schools in my State, including adults, because of vandalism. Mutual blocking is not a very good solution, but Wikipedia Kids Edition would work well.
I see where you are coming from but from my reading of the proposal, the idea for the Kids Edition was because kids are more likely to vandalise a page. This idea to me seemed quite sterotypical. I wasn't basing my opinion on legal ages and such, more on what was initially proposed. --Matterbug 23:19, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I think that an edition to be created for schools to allow the Wikipedia content would be a great idea. As was said before, nothing is going to stop kids from viewing the main WP at home, and as it is, they can't see it at their school, so they would only be getting something, and not losing anything. I'm quite certain that funding would be available, as the idea of a Wikipedia Junior would be much better and easier to access than Britannica. To the person that said that "I have a positive attitude towards kids getting to see all of the information on wikipedia. The only inappropriate content to be viewed by anyone"...that's is pretty gross. Are you aware that there is a picture of someone sucking his own penis on's called Autofellatio and you can see the picture here if you'd like. If you have kids you can show it to them too. That's all for my sopabox. Chuck 15:02, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Holy Cow...I just found the Simple English Wikipedia. If we can have this, then surely it wouldn't be terribly hard to create a kids Wikipedia. Chuck(척뉴넘) 06:56, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with the idea of having a wikipedia for kids, we don't know whether everything on wikipedia is accurate. Even if we have a formal peer review system and checked the accuracy of everything, we still need experts to check everything over. Until we created a stable wikipedia v1.00 I don't think we should make a wikipedia for kids. We know how to use wikipedia, kids don't they will think whatever they read is accurate; and that is fatal on something like wikipedia. I don't want some kid to think that John Seigenthaler, Sr. attempted to kill JFK. Pseudoanonymous 23:41, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Woman have breast's men have penis's and people do drugs. thats just a fact of life, nothing to hide any one from. user:Zerath13'_Wikipedia may be of interest. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 01:36, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I rather like Dave's suggestion above -- a static copy with content tagged with custom categories, perhaps using Internet Content Rating Association or something else that individual countries/education departments/end users can use to filter the information as they choose. I think many people above are right -- there are many potential teachers and users who would be delighted to have a "safe" alternative to the Wild Wikipedia. I just don't think we should be doing the work of creating that alternative. Any separate group -- a non-profit, a charitable foundation, a coalition of educational organizations, a university, or anyone else -- is free to do this at any time, and I'm sure we'd be happy to help them set it up in a way that's GFDL compliant, and capable of being periodically updated to keep step with the improvements here on the edge. But it's really not within our mission to create a sanitized version ourselves. — Catherine\talk 01:45, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Dave and Catherine completely. The greatest thing about Wikipedia - the "wiki" - is also what makes it at times completely inappropriate for kids. Having a "safe" version of Wikipedia for school use would be great, but it's too much to undertake right now, both considering finances and the tremendous workforce it would take to get something like that running. --Florestan

Search engine indexing of user space

Have we thought about making pages in user space not indexed by search engines, so that our internal chatter does not come up on Google, etc? I assume we already do so for article talk pages, since I don't generally see them come up in a Google search.

I think not indexing should be explored for user space for the following reasons

  • Our hits are increasingly highly ranked on search engines, and user talk pages with POV bickering can show up quite highly on a Google search - not the face we want to put forward, nor is it responsible information dissemination on our part
  • User pages showing up on Google searches may well contribute to people treating wikipedia as a webhost
  • Vandalism and other warnings - which we keep in user talk space even when a user has left the project - needlessly impact an identifiable user's reputation in cyberspace. We may or may not want to tar and feather such a user in the Wikipedia community, but we should be mindful of our increasing visibility outside our community and not implicitly broadcast this outwards

In a nutshell, I can think of only one reason to keep these pages indexed in search engines - backup when our search dies - but many why to delete.

Comments? I looked around in perennial proposals and did not find this discussed; if it is, please let me know. -- Martinp 22:08, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

First, I beleive talk pages are archived by Google. Also, could you clarify if you're only asking about archiving, or also about indexing. I think preventing user space and talk pages from being archived (e.g. a Google Cache is available) would be a good idea, but allowing them to still be indexed (only a snippet appears in search results, but not the full cache) may be necessary, since our internal search engine is pathetic. --Rob 22:21, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I clarified my wording above; I meant not indexed, i.e. so they do not appear in a Google search. Martinp 23:45, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree with this. We shouldn't be clogging the internet with our user/talk pages (Although I think the Wikipedia space is fine). BrokenSegue 02:54, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

The only pages set not to be indexed are currently Search pages and the various deletion debate pages. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:56, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
While I agree that internal chatter may be an irritating result from a Google search, I support its inclusion on Google. Search pages and deletion debates are both fine to block, since their disclusion may be warranted through bandwidth and vandalism, but Wikipedia is meant to be an open encyclopedia. If our internal debates are hidden from the general public as they search for information, then that may mean that we have closed ourselves to the public in a sense, which is unacceptable given general Wikipedia ethos. Nihiltres 03:14, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Edit SVG images wikistyle

I was wondering if we could have a feature to edit SVG images sort of wikistyle like we do for articles. It would help graphic artists immensely instead of repeatedly uploading large files for minor ammendments. Regards, =Nichalp «Talk»= 15:30, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

A great idea! --Hooperbloob 16:09, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, this would be very useful. You should file a request at Bugzilla. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:52, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks I've added it. "Bug 5899" =Nichalp «Talk»= 16:28, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Fact Template

I think it would be easier to fill in needed facts if the [citation needed] template directed a person to an edit screen where they could fill in the reference info and submit it. Chuck(척뉴넘) 06:12, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Good idea! Does MediaWiki have software to do that that would work for all browsers? Ardric47 07:49, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
no BrokenSegue 11:45, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't know very much about computer software, but wouldn't be a lot like the "add a new section" button on talk pages. However, instead of starting with a section header text box, start with the main box with some text already filled in. Chuck(척뉴넘) 11:47, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, one way to make it easier would be to change the link from Wikipedia:Citing sources to a succinct summary page with all the example code you need in the first scroll window. Wikipedia:How to cite sources quickly or something like that... Melchoir 16:35, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
This should be, comparatively speaking, not very difficult to implement, but certainly nontrivial. Ideally you'd have a page that would give you a set of radio buttons to select the medium (book, journal, web . . .), then a bunch of forms (first name, last name, article title, work title . . .) to fill out. Unfortunately, this would likely be a low-priority enhancement, but you should feel free to submit it at our Bugzilla anyway. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:48, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

searh engine block

I have noticed an inconvenience with the use of Wikipedia. Whenever I do a Google search, specifically for example an image, and the result is on Wikipedia, the moment I click on the link, I can never go back to the search page. I have to log back onto Google and start my search again. It would be really nice if the 'back' button got me back to the site on which I was previously, instead of trapping me on Wikipedia. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

That's a result of Wikipedia's code to break out of frames. Your browser should have a way to go back more than one page, either by clicking and holding the back arrow, accessing a dropdown menu adjacent to the back button, or some similar feature. Use it to go back two entries, back to the search results page. — Knowledge Seeker 04:48, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia on your telephone/cellphone

I ever accessed WP using an Innostream A10 telephone and to my surprise, it loaded quite nicely, albeit a different layout and design. I can still view (some, due to the (occasional) "page cannot be displayed" error) articles and pictures quite nicely. In some pages, the navigation toolbar and the tabs at the top can be found by scrolling all the way to the bottom. This makes me interested to see if any guide is available on how to view and edit pages on WP (including logging in) using a telephone capable of using GPRS,WAP or even 3G. It can be a guide that is named: "Guide to using WP on a telephone" or equivalent. Any comments? --Bruin_rrss23 (talk) 02:40, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Far from complete, but please see Wikipedia:Browser_notes#PDA & cell phone browsers. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:45, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Interwiki on main page

I've noticed interwiki links on the main pages of many other wikipedias. See for instance nl:Hoofdpagina, ca:Portada, it:Pagina principale, hu:Kezdőlap, fi:Etusivu, etcetera. The English wikipedia seems to be one of the few wikipedias without interwiki links on the main page. Why is this, and how would you feel about those links being added to the main page? Aecis Appleknocker Flophouse 16:49, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

the links to other wikis are at the bottom of the page, so they aren't needed on the side. BrokenSegue 19:49, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Those are only the links to the 90 largest wikipedias, not to all 229. Furthermore, other wikipedias also have both. See for instance vls:Oofdpahina, ay:Portada and af:Tuisblad. And don't worry, I won't burden anyone else with it. If it's ok, I'll be more than willing to do it myself. Aecis Appleknocker Flophouse 18:56, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
This idea was proposed and rejected during the recent redesign project. Even duplicating the editions already listed caused the links to overshoot the rest of the page, so including all 229 is unfeasible. Of course, we already link to the complete list of Wikipedias. —David Levy 20:55, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
The English Wikipedia has links to far more other languages than most do. Also any with less than 1000 articles aren't yet much use for research. --Cherry blossom tree 10:11, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia browser toolbar

when is wikipedia going to get a browser toolbar, a la google? i keep waiting for them to put one out but they havent done it yet. that would be handy as hell. has this even been discussed? if not you should drop the idea. it would be great. now when i want to wiki something i just type in the thing in google and add "wiki" to my search. would be much easier with a separate toolbar.

The above email was sent from a friend of mine. He has a good point, and I haven't found any related discussion here at wp:vp. I'm not sure a wiki toolbar would ever rival google, yahoo, msn, etc, but it would enhance access to the site. - Draeco 04:58, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but if it is just an easier way to search Wikipedia you want, and you happen to use Firefox, you can just add it to the list of engines for the search box at the top right by clicking Add Engine. -- Wijnand 09:06, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
This is a good toolbar for Firefox here. It's pretty good, I use it. It has a search box plus helps with wiki formatting when editing a text box, such as helping create tables, insert pics, etc. —Mets501talk 11:26, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
If you're not using Firefox, you can download the Google toolbar, and then put "" into the search box every time you search. User:Zoe|(talk) 17:11, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
You can also right-click the Google toolbar, Customize, and add a "search current site only" button to your toolbar. Enter your search terms, use the new button instead of the regular one, and it will automatically add the "site:" info from whatever site you're on at the moment -- especially helpful on Wikipedia. — Catherine\talk 16:59, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
If you download the beta of Internet Explorer 7 for WinXP, you can choose Wikipedia as your default search engine. --Heron 18:48, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Mfd voting

I propose a new rule saying that in voting:

  • Every registered Wikipedian's vote counts as one vote.
  • Every unregistered Wikipedian's vote counts as half a vote.

Any objections?? Georgia guy 19:40, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes. HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 19:44, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
What does that phrase mean?? Georgia guy 19:46, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
"Hope that helps. Have a nice day."
I also object. -- 19:47, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Why do you see a need for a rule like this? FreplySpang (talk) 19:48, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I think there have been two unregistered votes for keeping Wikipedia:Quadrillion pool and I think we need a rule that registered Wikipedians' votes should count more and this appears to make sense to me. Georgia guy 19:50, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
MfD is not a vote. If two unregistered users show up and make a strong argument, that's worth more than a dozen registered users saying "delete" and nothing more. 19:52, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Sadly, that's not actually true by a long shot. It may not be strictly a vote, but it's still mostly a vote.--ragesoss 20:24, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Votes from anon IPs that are unsupported by arguments are already discounted. We don't need *fd to be a mechanistic process of counting points and half points. FreplySpang (talk) 20:13, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
First of all, there is no need for this proposal: closing admins have the problem of sockpuppetry and so on on *fDs well in hand, and there is no suggestion that matters would improve by implementing your nice little bit of m:Instruction creep. Secondly, MfD is not a vote, and that is a Good Thing: your proposal would remove the only positive thing about our *fD procedure, for no good reason. 19:52, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
But, I'm sure that registered users' votes are usually stronger arguments. Georgia guy 19:56, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
How nice for you. If we're only looking to the strength of arguments here, then it doesn't matter if those arguments usually come from registered users. Wikipedia still allows edits from people who haven't logged in, and as long as it does I shall enjoy my ability to do so. 20:00, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Any registered Wikipedian have any opinions on what is writing here?? Georgia guy 20:02, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes. HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 20:04, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
That doesn't help. Some registered Wikipedian please give me some info that helps. Georgia guy 20:06, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Why are my arguments less important because I don't have a name backing them up? A good admin, and I should hope a project like Wikipedia has good admins, should judge what I have to say on the strength of my arguments, not on the type of account I'm using. 20:10, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
All I've been trying to do is find what to do with the premature pools beyond the 10M pool. I planned on wanting to extend the pools to include a 20M pool when the articles reach 2.5M, a 50M pool when the articles reach 5M, and a 100M pool when the articles reach 10M. Georgia guy 20:14, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Phil, you're not being very helpful... (This is meant in the nicest possible way). Anyway, I'm completely against this proposal as I feel that anonymous editors' views are just as valuable as registered editors. Disenfranchising anonymous editors will make it far harder to attract/retain new editors and thus significantly harm the project. RicDod 20:15, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, what do you think the reason Wikipedians log in is?? Georgia guy 20:16, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Peer pressure, the desire to hide one's IP address from creepy Internet stalkers, and the knowledge that when Wikipedia reaches 2 million user accounts a lucky random winner gets Jimbo's Ferrari? 20:19, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Once you've been around a bit you see that there are some benefits. However, these aren't immediately apparent when you're new. And the car (after edit conflict)RicDod 20:28, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Not sure, but whatever it is, it isn't to get better voting rights. -- 20:32, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Someone please study some old Mfd's and show me some with very good votes to keep from un-registered voters. Georgia guy 20:33, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
MfD is not a vote, remember. How about you show us the evidence that registered users never do silly things on MfD, too? Cuts both ways, y'know. 20:35, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
What's that got to do with anything, a good argument is a good argument, be it to keep or to delete and be it from an unregistered or registered user. It never was a straight vote. -- 20:37, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I do it for the watchlist mostly. On topic though, NOT a democracy, it isn't a vote, admins already can ignore anons, and I have seen great arguments by anons, new users, whatever on ?FD. Kotepho 20:38, 6 May 2006 (UTC) (ec)
Oppose. Really not necessary. --Mmounties (Talk)   21:31, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Oppose: please consider my comments based on their merits. Incidentally, there is also a question about this on Wikipedia talk:Why create an account?. -Dan 08:21, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Oppose. Since it's not a vote, there's no such thing as voting rights or value of votes. So this was a non-starter. JackyR 12:42, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Oppose. Non-users can't vote without any backup to their arguments, and keep in mind that high-debate topics are often closed to editing from users without an account. --Florestan

Georgia guy, have you met User:Iasson? User:Zoe|(talk) 22:05, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Sandbox/Discussion pages

At the moment, we place Template:Sandbox ({{Sandox}} <!--Please do not edit the above section-->) on the page Wiktionary:Sandbox. This is confusing to some newcomers, it doesn't look professional, and it often gets deleted, which then has to be replaced by an experienced user. On the other hand we have MediaWiki:Newarticletext, MediaWiki:Anoneditwarning and several other messages under the MediaWiki namespace. I propose a similar feature (MediaWiki:Sandbox) be set up, then a function could be placed in MediaWiki:Monobook.js, something like var pagetitle = document.getElementById('content').getElementsByTagName('h1').item(0).firstChild.nodeValue; if (^Wiktionary:Sandbox$/) != -1)... In this way, a message would be shown at the top of the Sandbox instead of being in the Sandbox. Avoiding the need to periodically replace the Sandbox message. This could also be used for other discussion pages such as this Village pump. The main thing is that something has to be changed by the developpers to add a new MediaWiki page allowing the contents to show at the top of a specified page in MediaWiki:Monobook.js. Perhaps we could file a bug report allowing for just such a change? What do you think? --Shibo77 14:42, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

A significantly more convenient system, no doubt about that. Ingoolemo talk 17:15, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Honorary Memberships

Hello all, i'm back after a somewhat long respite, with a somewhat strange idea. After listening intuitively to radio shows of Ricky Gervais, i thought of the idea of giving "Honorary Editorship" to people like ricky - celebrities who have expressed an interest in charity and freedom. By "Honorary" i don't mean giving them any special priviledges, just providing them with the idea that we would enjoy them to be a member of the wikipedia -- having seasoned editors and admins just show him the ropes quickly..

I know he's a busy man, but i think it'd be mutually beneficial for both parties because, as you may or may not know, he has recently created an advert for a Prostate cancer charity, and i can't get the idea out of my head that, because he's a very scholarly guy, who has himself admitted to being enflamed by the quest and thirst for knowledge, that he would be very up on the idea. I can't say for definate he will like it, but i have a hunch that he just might.. who knows; if he likes it as much as we do, he may even drop it in some interviews here and there, and get the wikipedia more widespread appeal and attention.

Any feedback on the matter is very much appreciated! The magical Spum-dandy 15:11, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

If you provide his e-mail address, I will write to him. Semi-famous people (such as Jimbo Wales, Chris Crawford (game designer) and Angela Beesley) generally respond to my e-mails when I have a real, meaningful question or proposal. Seahen 21:47, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Eh? SInce being an editor on Wikipedia doesn't give you any special rights or privileges, why would we do this? It seems, well, silly.--Sean Black (talk) 21:57, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I expect this would only work in situations where membership is hard to get. In the case where you're a Wikipedian as soon as you visit Special:Userlogin and make up a username, it's not very special to be given honorary membership is it? Angela. 13:27, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
The reason i proposed it was so that we seemed to give him the impression we'd enjoy it if he looked around or even edited here. He's a busy guy, and i'm quite sure he won't know what the wikipedia is, but if given a little encouragement, he'd love it. The magical Spum-dandy 08:15, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
"Guess they don't want me to edit here, since I'm not an 'Honorary member'" would likely be an outcome of this, Chuck(척뉴넘) 08:23, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Chances are if he has a radio show, that means he does "show prep" which most likely means he is more often than not on the internet, which more than likely means he is familiar with Wikipedia. Deathawk 01:26, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Arbitrators who aren't syspos

I think it would be a good idea to start having arbitrators who aren't sysops. There really is no need for it to be admins who work there, just editors with certain qualifications (i.e. edit count, block record). Maybe there could be Arb's and Admins and we could make a RFArb. It seems like the admins now are the judge and jury, and that's not a good system. In real life, everyday people (I know Wikipedia is different and is not a democracy) are selected to be on a jury. Just my two cents, Chuck(척뉴넘) 05:56, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

There is no hard and fast rule that Arbitrators have to be sysops. Every year an election is held to appoint new members to the ArbCom, those candidates who gather over a certain percentage of support votes enter a pool of prospective Arbitrators. The reason why Arbitrators tend to be Sysops is that the criteria people use to gauge whether an editor is ready to be an Arbitrator is more stringent than the criteria they use to gauge whether someone would make a good admin; therefore almost all prospective Arbitrators are probably admins. For details of the process, and the last election, go to Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections January 2006. Rje 16:23, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

articles featuring "historic" material

It occured to me that it would be a potentially good idea to make, for varying subjects, pages that list renowned items in a catagory. For instance, much like the "wonders of the world", there are images that are well known and of historic importance. A article listing historic photographs, such as "The Unknown Rebel" or the picture of Kim Phuc Phan Thi, might be a useful addition. Though there are some obvious problems, like which photos are important enough to warrant inclusion or wether or not a photo has meaning (or the same meaning) in all cultures, it might be a good idea, much like we have featured articles or images, to have an article dealing with historic photos. I would appreciate seeing feedback on this.

Also, please note that though I used the concept of important photos in this example, this could apply to anything, like important movies (AFI 100 years, 100 movies) or drugs (pennicillin) or books.


Brainstorming procedure?

I made a template for brainstorming pages in the project namespace. This could be a semi-formal procedure, but with no need for a special policy or guideline. At least, I think it could be an interesting internal mechanism, how'bout you?

(And yes, I know, brainstormings have already been done without this. This is just about facilitating/formalizing the task) Flammifer 08:27, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I thought we were encouraged to edit any article they we knew something about or were able to fix. Which articles would you suppose this be put on. Regards, Chuck(척뉴넘) 08:39, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
It's intended for pages in the project (i.e., Wikipedia:) namespace only. On articles it would be entirely inappropriate. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 00:55, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, and in the project namespace, there are many pages we shouldn't tinker with *too much* (guidelines and policy), and also many pages where ther's no need to dump a bunch of random ideas. flammifertalk 06:46, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

New color scheme

As wikipedia becomes more all-encompassing, everyone will start to use it alot more as both a reference and for leisure reading. This is a positve development. However, the color scheme of wikipedia is not as easy on the eyes as it could be. Research has been done as to the adverse effects of reading black text from white backgrounds (even in printed text), as well as the problems associated with reading from an electronic display of some sort. As it is, black text on a white background means that readers are essentially starting at a lightbulb while they read, inducing headaches and limiting reading sessions. If the background were to be darker than the text, it would be much more enjoyable. Perhaps black or brown or gray with a yellowish or bluish text? I don't know anything about design prinicples, only that webpages with this sort of presentation are much easier to read for extended periods of time. Is there any way this might happen? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Johngalt513 (talkcontribs)

I can understand what you mean and it is a very plausable proposal however, this would seem very bold with a dark background and light texts. It would certainly make it stand out from other wikis. This would be a very radical change to Wikipedia. To be honest, I have mixed opinions on this and am not willing to agree or disagree. -- Erebus555talk
A new skin can always be done, though. Titoxd(?!? - help us) 21:49, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
The problem with the skins is that they don't use any variation in text or background color. Howe'er, were these components changeable, the idea of multiple skins would eliminate the concern easily. Perhaps instead of considering a redesign of the color scheme, wikipedia users could modify their text and background color in the skins page? 14:54, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I think that the individual ability to modify skins would be preferable to a color makeover, but it definitely does seem a good idea. It gets a little tiresome on the eyes to look so long at a white screen. Eccomi 00:34, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I think it would be nice to make a template option like this. I actually have my screen brightness turned way down to counteract the "lightbulb" effect, but a skin would be a nice option. --Florestan

I have also been turning the brightness of my monitor down in order to read more easily. This modification would undoubtedly ease many user's and Wiki writer's/editor's eyes. Is there any chance that this proposal will go through? How can I work for that? Does anyone have any information on the longterm effects of text-reading from an a illuminated display? I imagine research has been done extensively on television, which has a comparable lit screen, but I feel like focusing much more closely, and in greater proximity to, on screen would possibly be worse than extended televesion-watching. johngalt513 17:33, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

New Wikipedia Slogan I am a HUGE fan of your website. I think it is the most amazing site in recent years! I have a suggestion for your site's slogan...

"Wikipedia: Where your thirst for knowledge can be quenched!"

Enjoy, Daniel Pesis

Sounds a little amateurish. This isn't a mere personal homepage. Thanks, nonetheless! Computerjoe's talk 15:24, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
That's awful. Skinnyweed 18:43, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
While we appreciate your suggestion, I don't think you'd be able to gather much support to change it. It's rather less descriptive and a lot longer than our current slogan, "The Free Encyclopedia". (And Skinnyweed, go read WP:BITE, please.) —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:02, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
A bit too long for a slogan, in my opinion, but a good try nonetheless. "The Free Encyclopedia", the current slogan, is short, snappy and descriptive, and any future slogans will need to be the same. Andrew 22:36, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the phrase is a bit clichè and doesn't reflect what Wikipedia really is. Thanks for the input though, and don't listen to Skinnyweed. --Osbus 22:40, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Featured Projects on Main Page

Wikipedia has many many projects aimed at improving the content in various ways, however, this is all rather opaque to a new wikipedia editor such as me, and I guess even more so for a new wikipedia user. What about featuring projects on a regular basis on the main page, so as to drive potential editors who may not otherwise know how they can be useful ?

Currently, the main page holds a link at the bottom to Wikipedia:Community Portal, which is in that spirit, however, it's a little overwhelming, and not very obvious from the main page.

This is because the main page is wikipedia's face to the non-editor world. Only things of intrest to people visiting wikipedia for the first time are on the main page. --Banana04131 01:29, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Search Bar

I have a proposal for a search bar for Wikipedia that is part of the Browser that people use to access the internet. It would work like the Google Search bar. You would type in what you are searching for in the bar and the result would open up in a new page or the same page in Wikipedia. I will great increase the ease to access Wikipedia when surfing. I propose the bar be called 'Wikibar' Thank you for taking the time to consider my proposal From Perry S. John

Add this:

javascript:(function(){q=document.getSelection(); if(!q){void(q=prompt('Wikipedia keywords:',''))}; if(q)location.href=''+escape(q);else location.href='';})()

as a bookmark in your toolbar. See also Bookmarklet71.199.123.24 04:54, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Mozilla Firefox has a Wikipedia search built-in. If you want to, you can download Firefox from Andrew 22:44, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Ostracism - A Wikimedia Philosophy by Default

The practice of Ostracism in all of the Wikimedia projects, especially in the Wiktionary and Wikipedia projects, has an extremely negative impact on both intellectual and financial contributors and I would imagine on their contributions as well. The practice of Ostracism is as simple as referring to anyone as a troll or making a comment like Don't feed the trolls. Rudeness and arrogance are not what the Wiktionary or the Wikipedia are all about yet the practice of Ostracism is in full swing.

I therefore propose that it be uplifted from the deep, dark and dank quarters of the dungeon guards and be acknowledged as an official Wikimedia philosophy so that its users can be recognized for what they believe and accepted or rejected by those of a like or differing mind. I make this proposal because Ostracism is being practiced to such a full extent that its existence can be neither hidden or denied. -- PCE 20:53, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Could you be a little more specific about the type and context of interactions you wish to address? It seems to me that your concerns are already dealt with at Wikipedia:What is a troll, Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, and especially Wikipedia:No personal attacks. Melchoir 22:23, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I propose that Ostracism be recognized and adopted as an official Wikimedia philosophy because it is supported and practiced extensively by some system administrators and users while avoided by others. Since Wikimedia, Wikipedia and Wiktionary system administrators and users are often unfairly accused of being Ostracists when they may in fact reject Ostracism such adoption will provide a communal means to indicate the preference to which they subscribe. -- PCE 19:08, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Don't feed the trolls. Superm401 - Talk 19:26, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Capitals in the search engine

Not sure if this is the appropriate place for this posting, if not i'd be obliged if it was moved to a more suitable place by a more experienced user than myself. It has struck me in my limited time as a user of Wikipedia that the "search" engine is a bit of an oxymoron. It appears to be more of a database index. It seems incapable of discerning that two identical searches, one with capitals the other without, are looking for the same article. Is there a possibility that the search engine could be changed/developed to ignore whether capitals so that less redirected articles are required? I am completely unawares as to the technical difficulty of this so you will have to excuse me if I am asking something that is alot more difficult than it appears. Regards. Grahams Child 16 May 06

I don't think it would be too difficult to program. However, if this is to be done, someone with a bit more technical know-how than me would have to do the dirty work :-). Andrew 23:02, 18 May 2006 (UTC)


Just seeking some input, what would people think of {{summarizeto}} and {{summarizefrom}} variants of the merge templates for articles where summarization is not done properly? See german language for an example. The template would probably feed into the same category. Circeus 13:56, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to limit who can edit policies

Following banned user Zephram Stark's attempt to rewrite WP:SOCK using two sockpuppet accounts, there is a proposal to limit the editing of policy pages either to admins, or to editors with six months editing experience and 1,000 edits to articles. Please vote and comment at Wikipedia:Editing policy pages. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:10, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

<this space intentionally left blank> I've responded on Slimvirgins' talk page first. Kim Bruning 09:51, 19 May 2006 (UTC)


Often when reporting a current vandal to WP:AIV no administrator shows up to block the vandal for almost 5 minutes. In that time, I (or whoever reported the vandal) has to go chasing the vandal around Wikipedia reverting his/her disruptive edits until he/she is blocked. I think it would be nice to have a box pop up (like the "you have new messages" box) on the pages of admins when a report is made to WP:AIV. What do you think? —Mets501talk 22:36, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Believe it or not, the MediaWiki software which is used to run Wikipedia has essentially no custom features just for this site. I agree this might be useful, but it's extremely unlikely to be implemented. -- Rick Block (talk) 22:42, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Oh well, it was worth a try. —Mets501talk 22:46, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
It would be rather disruptive for admins who are busy doing other things on the site as well. Admins are editors too! ~MDD4696 23:26, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Gah, no. This would be horrendously irritating. If one wishes to follow WP:AIV, they can add it their watchlist.--Sean Black 07:29, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Maybe somebody can write some Javascript to parse pages such as this, which quickly send you the timestamp and revid of the last revision. A cookie could store the last revision viewed, and when the values differ, an alert could appear. Just an idea. ;) r3m0t talk 13:14, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

new window...

hello every one!

i have notice a small functional problem. The links are opening in the same window and not in a new one. I think that is might be confusing especially for the external URLs because if one click to visit a link that lead to an external site then he have to click the back button of his browser several times in order to return to the page of Wikipedia, but if the window of the external URL was opened in a new window he could simply close this window.

keep up the good work...

Opening links in the same window is a deliberate software design choice. If you want to open a link in a new window, there's a way in your browser to do so (with IE, right click the link, and choose "Open in New Window"). -- Rick Block (talk) 14:04, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Opening external links in the same window helps to reduce desktop clutter. I think that the external link indicator ( ) is significant enough to show that the link points to a page outside of Wikipedia. If you don't want to keep clicking the back button, click the arrow next to the button (in Internet Explorer) or right-click it (in Mozilla Firefox), and a clickable list of the last ten or so pages visited should appear. Hopefully, you'll find Wikipedia in this list. Andrew 09:37, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Name Change

Copied from Village pump (News)

There is ongoing debate about a name change at Wikipedia:Community Justice. There is a need for outside views, and input would be appreciated! Info can be found on the project's talk page. --Osbus 14:52, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

This section needs to be moved to a different part of Village Pump (proposals?). Ardric47 22:32, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Metadata templates

Two metadata templates, including the featured star template {{featured article}} that alerts readers to featured articles and the spoken word icon {{Spoken Wikipedia}} that links to the spoken version of articles, have been nominated for deletion. These are templates that place the   and   icons in the right-hand corner of articles. If you wish to have input on the proposed deletion, you can discuss the proposal here.

Cedars 04:35, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

A Patent Section

Wiki should have a section where experts explain how technology works, using both historical and recent public domain patents, their utility should be explained for us which cannot decifer techno-jiddish

I try to explain the technology in any article. Did you have a particular patent/invention/technology in mind? Samw 01:18, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Article hit counters

It would be very helpful to have hit counters for each article; this would give us a more precise way (than volume of vandalism or news articles) to focus attention on the articles that are getting viewed the most. From what I understand, the MediaWiki software has the capability; is it computational load that is the problem, or is there some other reason why Wikipedia doesn't do this already?--ragesoss 20:01, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Technical FAQ#Can I add a page hit counter to a Wikipedia page?. -- Rick Block (talk) 20:36, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
From that page:
  • "Page hit counting is a feature of the MediaWiki software, but this feature is disabled at the Wikipedia site because it would preclude use of the caching front ends which improve Wikipedia's responsiveness. The developers occasionally analyze the logs and post lists of the most often accessed articles. The most recent such list is at User:Dcoetzee/List of Wikipedia articles with at least 1000 hits."
That's silly! I'd like to know how hot the page was when it was cached. -Pgan002

Thanks. It sure would be nice to have a more recent, fuller version of this (including portals and other spaces).--ragesoss 03:11, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Page counters are so 1990s ;) --Monotonehell 12:02, 20 May 2006 (UTC

Easier logins

Logging in can be made easier for users and for the servers by replacing the "Log in" link, with two small text boxes, for the user name and password respectively, and a button labeled "Log in". The boxes could be filled by default with the text "name" and "password", or have a text label next to each box. After loggin in, the user is automatically taken to the page s/he was viewing before. If the authentication fails, the user may instead be taken to a small "try again" page as currently, until authentication succeeds. This would simplify the log-in process a lot and encourage users to log in. It would also reduce the amount of data sent to and from the servers. -Pgan002 04:47, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't think using those 2 text boxes would reduce server load in any significant way. Also, where exactly would the two boxes go? —Mets501talk 16:31, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
Use javascript so name and password automaticlaly disappear when clicked; this will save space by avoiding a separate label.

How will Wikipedia survive a global catastrophe?

What will happen to Wikipedia in a disaster of global proportions such as the end of civilization? As humanity's greatest compilation of knowledge, Wikipedia must survive so that our race does not descend into a long dark age. What if nuclear weapons cause an electromagnetic pulse which destroys all electronic equipment? The CD project is a good start, which will guarantee survival assuming that people burn enough copies and that CD drives are still available after the crisis, but that alone is not enough. There should be human-readable copies as well, for example on paper, but paper is too easily destroyed by water and fire. We must learn from the mistakes of the Library of Alexandria and use modern technology to overcome them. Ideally Wikipedia should be engraved on metal plates like the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, and if possible it should be sent into outer space as well, in case the Earth is totally destroyed and it must become our legacy to any other intelligent life in the universe. What if books and other intellectual pursuits become outlawed as in Fahrenheit 451? Wikipedia articles should be memorized, which is well within the range of practicality since we have more users than articles... —Keenan Pepper 06:53, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

There was an effort in the 1950s, for which I do not have a reference, to put enough knowledge on microfiche to reconstruct American industrial civilization. Copies of the microfiche set were provided to major fallout shelters by Federal Civil Defense. If anyone can find a reference or a copy of those materials, I'd appreciate knowing about it. --John Nagle 06:59, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

I cannot remember where I saw it (there's a website somewhere) but a group out in Los Alamos was asked to devise a method for sending a message 100,000 years into the future. Now, such a question has two major problems - finding a medium that will survive 100,000 years, and encoding the message in such a way that it will be readable despite 100 millenia of language drift. The answer the devised was ingenius. The would take a baseball-sized steel sphere, and use a laser to microprint information onto it (something like 300,000 pages worth). The informaition would be in plain text, not requiring anything more sophisticated than a microscope to read it. And they would print 25,000 of them and spread them across the world - chances are, at least one will survive that far into the future. As far as langauge drift, they would print it in 10 langauges, including english, latin, chinese, hebrew, and spanish - in order that it become a rosetta stone. Raul654 07:06, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Aha - - some of my numbers are off, but I was right in principle Raul654 07:11, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Wow, what a brilliant idea to make it start large and then taper away to nanoscale. That way you can easily tell it's writing, and it's obvious what to do in order to read it. —Keenan Pepper 08:41, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Also see Rosetta Project. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:30, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Indeed it is a good idea, but how do we know we'll have microscopes, or any other equipment that will allow us to read the microscopic text, after armageddon? In addition, how'd we protect the metal spheres from being destroyed themselves? Could we bury them somewhere? Andrew 16:50, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure that that's one thing Wikipedia has plenty of. Disaster Recovery. Wallie 21:38, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
I think the scenarios described are far-fetched and it is enough to print WP on paper. But I will entertain the problem. One problem with Alexandria was that there was no redundancy. So it may be enough to plant many paper copies in vaults around Earth. To pre-empt the destruction of Earth, we can send WP to space. An important consideration wold be the cost; electronic waves would probably be the cheapest, but we may be able to lobby someone to send a CD in a capsule to space. As someone said above, people have thought before how to communicate information millenia into the future. Interestingly, the media become less durable with newer technologies. As I recall, the most durable medium so far is the clay tablet (perhaps metal tablets are better); CDs last only about a decade. Inscribing clay tablets with WP may be cheaper than sending a paper copy to space. But the money could also be used to feed and educate starving and desparate people who are in definite need now. -Pgan002 04:32, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I bet they thought the Decline of the Roman Empire and the Black Death were "far-fetched" too. —Keenan Pepper 05:02, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
Cockroaches are pretty durable too! FreplySpang 16:07, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
I've thought about this, but I think it would be better if we do not use words but instead we use direct experience. Evolution outlasts language by far, our anatomy will stay much the same perhaps even 100 thousand years from now. It should be able to disable the person, restrain the person, induce the person to sleep, and then attach something directly to the brain, and we can start from there. Experience is much more direct, as they say, an experience is worth a million words... --Shibo77 22:05, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

study guides

It would be helpful and mutually advantageous to gather articles together to form study guides. In other words, have what is essentially an overview of, say, linguistics, by including in deliberate order all the articles that pertain to the subject. This way a student could form a skeletal understanding of the whole of a given subject matter, and have a table of contents to refer back to.

There should be different study guides for different levels of study, too. An introductory, advanced, and so on.

I am not well versed in wikipedia vernacular or computer code, but I hope this is of some help.


I think Wikibooks, a sister project of Wikipedia, focuses mostly on Wiki textbooks. Ardric47 20:39, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
How would a study guide on linguistics be different than the article on linguistics? (By the way, I was always skeptical of the value of a separate WikiBooks project.) -Pgan002 03:56, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
A very good idea, alex. This is a very very big project, though. You could start things going on a small subject area. Once you have come up with a sample, others will copy the idea. This is usually the best approach. Wallie 08:41, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Virtual Equity Market

I've recently become fascinated with the idea of idea markets (for instance You can bet on idea markets). Essentially, ideas become a financial vehicle. Some idea markets use virtual money, others use real money. I think that most wikipedians would be against a real money system, and SEC regulations might get tricky. With virtual money, these objections might be minimized (not totally eliminated, as for instance SEC v. SG, Ltd.).

Apropos SEC v. SG - (Er, yes. We just got rid of an article promoting a Ponzi scheme like that, involving something called "DXInOne", a virtual market in virtual E-currencies living behind a virtual company incorporated in Vanatu to which people sent real money.)
I did one time unwittingly come up with Pyramid_scheme, but thankfully, lacked the initiative to go through with it. I'm not sure how I'd classify this idea, though. It seems like it would be possible to set up a functioning market (sans earnings?), though most likely, it wouldn't garner much interest. But definitely yes, it should be virtual money only. --Mlandau 05:21, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

How it would work

  • A virtual money system is introduced.
  • Some kind of brokerage system is set up.
  • Each article is divided into shares. Subarticles might be divided into sub-shares, or might exist as entities unto themselves, or some combination thereof.
  • The public (readers and editors, at least) invest in the articles they deem valuable. Editors may be given stock options.
  • Trading ensues.

In theory, this solves several problems. If, say, an article a person owns shares in is vandalized, then they might 1. sell some shares, or 2. have a interest in maintaining that article's value and therefore remove the vandalism. Secondly, it would provide an interesting perspective on the structure and dynamics of wikipedia. For instance, I, for one, would be interested in many articles, if only there were some metric for determining their value besides using my own brain. Sometimes thinking is hard. A lesson from competitive free markets is that the market does much of the thinking for you. Thirdly, it might encourage people to be more involved with wikipedia.

A fair objection is that people wouldn't be interested in accumulating virtual money. However, the Hollywood Stock Exchange has had some success with this model. A more important objection is that the value of a stock wouldn't be based on anything other than other people's opinions. I'm not an economist, so I don't know about that.

That idea has already been tried, but has been discontinued. See Wikipedia:WikiMoney. BigE1977 16:47, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
I wonder why it didn't work. Too gimmicky, perhaps? --Mlandau 04:40, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
There's no point in trying to increase incentive in something that already has an intrinsic incentive. I think something like that would just be superfluous and needlessly complicate something that already consumes a lot of our (vollenteered) time. --Monotonehell 12:00, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
You make a good point, when people are given a reward for something that is already intrinsically rewarding, it begins to seem like work. I think that's a result from social psychology. However, you might be interested in Wikipedia:Recruiting Editors Brainstorming. --Matthew Benjamin Landau 12:50, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
As someone who just finished an intro psych course, you're referring to the overjustification effect. :) —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 04:53, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposal discussions @ Wikimania

Have a great proposal or discussion to bring up with the community? Want to lead an informal discussion about it at Wikimania? See below, re: ideas for conference events:


+sj + 23:28, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Talk pages: "editing" instead of "refactoring"

Please see my post; I'd love to hear community opinions! (Please be gentle, this is my first foray into the community.) --DanDanRevolution 05:00, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Tagging watermarked images for maintenance

I'm planning to expand Cat:Images for cleanup by adding a new category for images with digital watermarking, and a cleanup template to sort images into the category. (Presumably we would want to replace all watermarked images with non-watermarked alternatives in the long run.) In people's experiences, would this be useful? And if so, what steps should I take to integrate this into Wikipedia's structure properly (so that editors will be able to find it)? –Unint 00:11, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

This would be useful. It would be especially useful to have them split between unfree and free licenses. Jkelly 03:34, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
I seem to recall seeing somewhere that watermarking images was against policy. Ardric47 20:29, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
I've created both: see {{imagewatermark}} and Cat:Images with watermarks. Any edits to improve the wording would be welcome. –Unint 21:11, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

pcu123456789's proposals

I have a list of several random proposals on my user page. Pcu123456789 21:47, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Serbia and Montenegro

I posted a few months ago stating that Wikipedians should anticipate the split of Serbia and Montenegro and create/expand the seperate articles for each so as not to be caught out. However, I got shot down by several Serb users, but I thought now that the matter has been settled perhaps we can launch some drive to create/expand these articles, which are very poor in both quantity and quality. I have placed a small list here, but there will be many more areas to cover. Grunners 17:50, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Permalink archiving is underrated

Please see Wikipedia_talk:How_to_archive_a_talk_page#Permalink_archiving_is_underrated. Thanks. --DanDanRevolution 07:29, 23 May 2006 (UTC) Update: This issue is, generally, resolved. --DanDanRevolution 14:17, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

A new feature on Wikipedia?

Hi, I was told to post here, after posting at the Beauro's noticboard.

I was wondering if a group could be made (hopefully with me in it), and a very low, restricted block privlidge's be given. Perhaps no more than say an hour, so it at least immobilises the Vandal, and gives Admin enough time to look into the case, and give a longer block if necessary. I understand that it's a big priv, and should be used very carefully, and perhaps have a system like WP:RFR did, where you could report abuses of power etc.

Thanks In Advance. --Deon555 03:11, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Blocking even for short periods of time is a reasonably serious thing to impose. I suspect most people would not want to hand it out to inexperienced users. In addition, the change you suggest would require modification of the software, I believe. If you are having problems with vandals I suggest that you post a notice at WP:AIV. I think people deal with reports there pretty quickly. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 03:26, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. Blocking is probably the most delicate admin tool (certainly it is the source of the most devastating conflicts) and would be the last thing to offer any sort of semi-admins. Christopher Parham (talk) 07:28, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
How about just a 5-minute-block thing? To deal with urgent issues while waiting for a response from WP:AIV. —Mets501talk 23:48, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
Again, such changes would require MediaWiki modifications, and I am, and I'm sure much of the community, would be hesitant to hand out even the rights for 5-minute blocks. (Side note: even a 5-minute block can trigger the 24 hour autoblock.) Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 23:51, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Non-admins should blank pages with attacks

I have suggested at Template talk:Db-attack, that {{db-attack}} should have a message telling people that they should blank the contents of the attack page. This would help keep attacks out of Google cache and wiki mirrors, while the page waits for admin action. --Rob 20:12, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I assume you mean inline with WP:RPA. I disagree with that idea since the entire idea of removing personal attacks is fairly controversial except for the most blatant cases, especially attacks that aren't on your user talk page where you have slightly more leeway. Pegasus1138Talk | Contribs | Email ---- 02:58, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Naming convention (capitalization) for specific events

I was wondering if there is a naming convention that deals with capitalization of specific events, like earthquakes, floods and fires, or if one could be created. I could not find anything specific at Wikipedia:Naming conventions. Right now, it seems to be left up to the creator or decided on a case by case basis. For example, there is Johnstown Flood and Burchardi flood, Great Chilean Earthquake and Whittier Narrows earthquake, Reichstag fire and Great Chicago Fire. I'm not sure which version is most favored. I got a lot of results capitalized and uncapitalized when I searched Google. It appeared that the uncapitalized versions may be favored in academic writing, with journalists and other sources favoring capitalization. However, it also varied individually and it's too small of a sample size to make any accurate judgment. I prefer the capitalized versions because they are specific events and "flood", "fire" and "earthquake" are part of their names. However, lowercase would be okay if it would make the names consistent. -- Kjkolb 01:31, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I would say we should capitalize when it's clearly a specific name rather than just a descriptive one. A good indication of this would certainly be anything with "Great" in the title.--Pharos 01:51, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Leaving Messages on User Talk Pages

I have noticed that many users have placed a link of the form:

on their user talk pages. I think this is a very good idea for several reasons:

  • New users may not know how to leave a message by just editing the page.
  • It ensures comments are categorized by headings.
  • It provides some sort of edit summary automatically (the subject given).

For all three of these reasons, but mostly because of the ease of use for new users, I would like to propose that a leave message link be added automatically to the top of every user talk page. I can see no real downsides, so long as we leave some formatting freedom to allow users control over their own talk pages. Any comments/suggestions are welcome. Thanks. Cool3 21:46, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Not everyone may want a large bright blue box at the top of their user talk page, but feel free to use this as a template (say, at Template:User_Message_Link). Andrew 12:56, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
A version with an orange box is already a template, at Template:User new message. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:13, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree that not everyone, quite possibly not the majority of people would want a large blue box, but I'm not necessarily suggesting a large blue box (blue is merely my personal choice), I'm just suggesting an automatically present leave me a message link. The template is a good step, but I think that having some kind of automatically appearing "Leave me a message" would be better, maybe even at the top of the page next to the "edit this page" button. Cool3 23:40, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
You mean, kind of like the tabbed "+" that's already there? But with the "+" replaced with the text "Leave me a message"? -- Rick Block (talk) 00:15, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes that sounds good. I hadn't quite thought down those lines, but that's, in my opinion, a perfect idea and probably an easy change to enact. Cool3 01:07, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
The issue is this text ("+") is used for all talk namespaces (specifically user talk and talk pages for articles). It could be changed to "Add a comment" or something somewhat less specific. The official place to bring up a suggested change for this text is MediaWiki talk:Addsection, although if you do so please add a pointer in a new section of this page. -- Rick Block (talk) 01:57, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Non breaking space in links

Especially in template blocks with lots of names I would like to be able to make all the names non breaking, i.e. [[First&nbsp;Last]]. However if I do that it tries to link to page with a space in the name.

My proposal: just like spaces in links are automatically converted to underscores also convert &nbsp; to an underscore.

Or perhaps some other symbol to use that will mean non breaking space. A __ maybe? (Since it has special treatment right now.) i.e. [[First__Last]] will become First&nbsp;Last with a link to First_Last.

A symbol might be a good idea since I can imagine this being used a lot (see the uses section of nbsp). 04:46, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

For now, use [[First Last|First&nbsp;Last]]. It works. r3m0t talk 08:27, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Good idea--support. Pcu123456789 21:53, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

AfD reform

Please take the time to review my (revised) proposal for AfD reform. Thank you for your consideration. El_C 12:47, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposal: striped table CSS class + JS

I think that sometimes, wikitables are hard to read and would benefit from having so-called "striped" rows. It's possible to do this pretty easily with some JS and CSS. I've tested this in my own CSS space and found that it works quite well.

Here's an example of how a table should look like with some small JS and CSS additions:

Example of striped table rows
You type... You see...
{| class="wikitable-striped"
|+ Table tags
! Tag
! Description
| <table>
| Defines a table
| <th>
| Defines a header
| <tr>
| Defines a row
| <td>
| Defines a cell
| <caption>
| Defines a caption
Table tags
Tag Description
<table> Defines a table
<th> Defines a header
<tr> Defines a row
<td> Defines a cell
<caption> Defines a caption

I think that this would make new tables that use this CSS class much more readable. Since it uses a new CSS class rather than the old one, it also won't break any old tables or cause discontent for those who don't like the stripes.

To get this to work, you'll need the JavaScript:

var stripe = function()
  // This function will add stripes to all tables that have the "wikitable-striped" class attribute.
  var tables = document.getElementsByTagName("table");
  for (var a = 0; a != tables.length; a++) {
    var table = tables[a];
    if (!table) { return; } // If there are no tables, abort.
    if (table.getAttribute("class") == "wikitable-striped") {
      var tbodies = table.getElementsByTagName("tbody");
      for (var b = 0; b < tbodies.length; b++) {
        var even = true; // We start with an even stripe.
        var trs = tbodies[b].getElementsByTagName("tr");
        for (var c = 0; c < trs.length; c++) {
          if (even) {
            trs[c].className += "even";
          } else {
            trs[c].className += "odd";
          even = !even;

// Perform the striping.
window.onload = stripe;

... and the modified CSS:

table.wikitable-striped {
  margin: 1em 1em 1em 0;
  background: #f9f9f9;
  border: 1px #aaaaaa solid;
  border-collapse: collapse;

table.wikitable th, table.wikitable td,
table.prettytable th, table.prettytable td,
table.wikitable-striped th, table.wikitable-striped td {
  border: 1px #aaaaaa solid;
  padding: 0.2em;

table.wikitable th,
table.prettytable th,
table.wikitable-striped th {
  background: #e8e8e8;
  text-align: center;

table.wikitable caption,
table.prettytable caption,
table.wikitable-striped caption {
  margin-left: inherit;
  margin-right: inherit;

tbody tr.even td {
  background: #eee;
tbody tr.odd td {
  background: #f9f9f9;

Note: the CSS was also changed slightly to make colors with the striped tables more visible. Normal wikitable headers would also get a background of #e8e8e8; with this change, although we can of course always change that if this is not desired. Anyway, if there is support for this, please let me know. I, for one, think this is nice. It would be best to do it in PHP, of course, but this will do for now. —Michiel Sikma, 05:18, 22 May 2006 (UTC) PS: this discussion was originally initiated at Village pump (technical) but then moved over here.

I second this proposal as far as its goal is concerned. Actually CSS3's pseudo-selectors would provide an elegant solution to the problem but... until then, I don't see any other approach than using JavaScript (at least if we want to avoid the user to manually apply classes, of course). I haven't checked the script code, I just noticed that it uses two distinct classes for "even" and "odd" rows; of course one class is enough, as you can assume rows without a class attribute are "of the other kind" :) I also think the script should treat as a special case rows to which a class attribute is already attached. Anyway, I'll repeat, I like the proposal. There are many uses where striped tables highly increase readability and accessibility. —Gennaro Prota•Talk 13:01, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, it's true that you can just use one class, but I figure that it might be most useful to keep editability to a max (in case someone wants to set that color differently in his own monobook.css, for example when he wants three colors). I've heard of CSS3 being capable of doing this, which might indeed be a neat solution. I don't know anything about CSS3, though, and I guess that not a single browser probably supports it now. It's too bad we can't make PHP enhancements to MediaWiki. I'll code in a little check to see if there is a special style in an element to have it ignore that element. —Michiel Sikma, 13:27, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't know what the current level of browser support is. I had heard Gecko 1.8 has some, but I don't follow this news very closely. In fact I don't "follow" them at all, as 99% of all the HTML I write is documentation for C++ libraries, which usually doesn't need amazing special effects :). Also, in that case I can live with a preprocessing phase which is part of the build process. Anyway, I guess the percentage will vary a bit now that I'm here on Wikipedia :) As to PHP and MediaWiki I suppose you could write an extension. From what I've seen in Cite.php it's all quite straightforward and self-explanatory even if, like me, you start with no knowledge of PHP. What I wonder is how many chances exist to get the extension accepted by the MediaWiki developers. —Gennaro Prota•Talk 14:52, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Er, why would you need an extension? Any admin can add this Javascript at MediaWiki:Monobook.js et al. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:35, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Can this be made modular, having the striping be independent of other Wikitable formatting? One should be able to use <table class="striped"> to apply the stripes only, and both classes <table class="wikitable striped"> to also have all the other wikitable formatting. With background tone defining every row, there is absolutely no reason to also add table borders.

How about striping rows in groups of three? This has been used to good effect in a number of articles, for example Romanization of Ukrainian#Table of romanization systems.

This may be a bit much to ask, but can this be smart about table headers, implementing a third background colour for them (e.g., the link above)? I suppose wikitext would have to allow <thead> and <tbody> for this to be implemented.

And why not maximize the contrast, using #fff for the white rows instead of #f9f9f9? Michael Z. 2006-05-22 15:00 Z

Well, I am one big fan of consistency in articles. That's why I used the wikitable CSS class to build this. I don't intend to make it easily support anything else since there will always be many exceptions. I do think that there is a reason to add table borders, since that's simply part of a good table design. I'm also not sure about multiple rows; how would you pipe that data to the script? class="wikitable-striped-3"? Again, possible. —Michiel Sikma, 18:16, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
As someone pointed out, there's no reason not to have separate classes for wikitable and striped, since browsers support having two classes on a table, and wikitable is not used everywhere. --Interiot 18:44, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
I thought that entities with two classes don't validate? I guess I'm wrong about that, then. I'll modify the code later. —Michiel Sikma, 06:52, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
Space-delimited lists of classes are a standard, under-utilized feature of the CSS cascade. I suggest these class names have a standardized prefix, like t- for 'table', because I could see other modular classes being applied to do common things like left-align headings, right-align body text for tables of fixed-decimal numbers, etc.
HTML 4.01 Specification: "This attribute assigns a class name or set of class names to an element. Any number of elements may be assigned the same class name or names. Multiple class names must be separated by white space characters" [3]. Michael Z. 2006-05-23 15:10 Z
It seems that Internet Explorer doesn't like multiple CSS classes. I still don't really know how I would do this. Maybe someone can give me another tip as to how to make the rendering occur with any style? —Michiel Sikma, 21:39, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Change Requests

Could we formalize this whole process, and allow Administrators or Users to come up with Change Requests. This form would detail exactly what is required. The requests could be logged into a tracking system, like Test Director as an example. The Change Requests could go before the Administrators on say a Monthly basis. At that stage they could be prioritized for implementation or dropped. Wallie 08:38, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Ack! What a nightmare! Why don't you just make the edits yourself, that's what Wikipedia is designed for. User:Zoe|(talk) 19:33, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Not for edits! For new proposals. For example, next month's suggestion, buy Zoe a new Porsche. Wallie 22:11, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Software changes can be put on Mediazilla. You could always suggest that another branch of that be opened for Wikipedia-specific policy suggestions, but I doubt you'll get much support. (As for going before the admins, you may want to read up on how to create policy. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:29, 24 May 2006 (UTC)


Where Wikipedians can book a meeting with their favorite admin. Wallie 21:42, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

They could just use their favourite admin's talk page. Andrew 23:02, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
But at Wikicafe, users buy coffee for admins for their time.  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  05:31, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Zeitgeist?

I may have been looking in the wrong place but I couldn't find anything which lists which are the most searched articles. I'm thinking along the lines of Google Zeitgeist or eBay Pulse. Yorkshiresky 17:29 20 May 2006 (UTC)

To the best of my knowledge, no such list exists. You could try asking the devs at WP:VPT. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:26, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to propose that the Japanese tile in the Wikipedia logo be slightly altered to better represent the pronunciation of "Wikipedia" in Japanese. The Japanese tile is the one directly above the "W".

If you view the logo in the upper left corner of you will notice that while the graphic part of the logo is the same, the text for Wikipedia does not match the symbols in the tile.

It is written "ウィキペディア". The first character, ウ, represents 'u', but when ィ is attached it shifts the pronunciation to something closely resembling 'wi'.

The artist who made the Wikipedia logo almost had it right. He used ワ as the first character (wa), and attached ィ to shift the pronunciation to what only could be considered to be 'wi'.

The problem is that this combination is very rare in Japanese, and the pronunciation is ambiguous. When asked how to pronounce the ワィ in the Wikipedia logo, Japanese people often respond with a confused, "...wai? wi?... wai?". On the other hand, when confronted with ウィ, as I propose (and which is used in all Japanese writings of the word Wikipedia), all Japanese people will respond with an appropriate 'wi'.

The truth is, the Japanese language lost the 'wi' sound centuries ago, but everyone seems to agree that the closest thing to it is the combination ウィ.

How hard would it be to change that ワ to a ウ? (ワィ  ウィ)

Wesarnquist 07:51, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

The logo was created by user:Nohat. You might want to ask him directly, or post this to the talk page for m:Logo. -- Rick Block (talk) 18:34, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Are the characters supposed to represent a W sound? If so, then the Hebrew and Greek letters need changing, too (ר is an R sound, and Ω is an O sound—the Wikipedias in question use ו and Β instead). —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 05:06, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
Oh my - on closer examination and after briefly talking to the creator of the logo, it looks like the symbols are not intended to match the first sound of Wikipedia in the various languages, but simply to show internationalism. The only scripts I can read reliably are Japanese and English (Roman script, I suppose), and have forgotten how to read some of Greek, Hebrew, and Korean over the last few years. The ר didn't strike me as strange because it looks a bit similar to ו, and I just assumed the Ω was correct (I thought perhaps Greek forms the W sound in this case as a combination of vowels, similar to Japanese).
I still don't like the way it's set up, however - especially the ワィ on the Japanese tile. It's simply odd - like an input error. Perhaps it would be better to change the name of this proposal to something related to changing all tiles that don't match the pronunciation of Wikipedia in the respective language. Apparently another user brought this up before and said the only way it will change is if we can build popular support. Does anyone else feel it should be amended? Wesarnquist 08:16, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I support the modification of the Japanese on the logo, and propose similar modifications for the other lanuages represented. -Pgan002 04:04, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
I have already talked to Nohat a couple months ago, as well as some administrators on the Japanese wiki. Nohat has no interest in changing it, for 2 reasons. Creating logos for other wikis is already a hectic job for him, and restyling logos for all those wikis would be a huge pain for him. This isn't an issue of only changing the English Wikipedia, users of smaller wikis that don't know how to edit images themselves would want Nohat to do it for them. Secondly, he pointed out that it is not meant to represent the Japanese name of Wikipedia, which is obviously a convenient defense, but there's no point in arguing that. I don't like the weird inconsistancies any more than you do (it's hardly an "international logo" if it's covered in strange international alphabet inconsistancies) and to tell you the truth, I don't like the logo at all, but this route isn't going to get you anywhere. I'd much prefer a newly designed logo, but the way media wiki is designed almost dooms that idea to fail, so I don't see any other apparent solutions.  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  05:22, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

A new structure for Wikipedia

When I first started using wikipedia, it was fairly easy to find the articles I was looking for, but the pages are often messy and confusing. I have a few ideas:

1 - Add a "new users" function to wikipedia, whether it is a link on the navigation bar or something that appears in the user's functions. This could include an article link to a 'new user' article that would tell the user how Wikipedia works, what portals, articles, stubs, etc. are, how to start and edit articles, etc.

2 - Add a "create new article" and "sandbox" link in the navigation bar - they are really hard to find.

3 - A nicer looking User Interface might be good too, if possible. It might just be a change in the arrangement of everything, to make it easier to understand and use.

As far as the "new users" function, I'm not quite sure what you're talking about, but the Welcomming Committee usually puts welcome messages with links to those pages on the talk pages of new users. As for the "create new article" link, just type in the name of the article you want to create in the search box, and then click "Create this article!" link. For the sandbox, just type in Wikipedia:Sandbox. For the user interface, I have no problems with that, but I'll leave it up to others to decide about that. Also, don't forget to sign your posts using ~~~~. —Mets501talk 01:31, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

HTML tag extension

Someone should write an extension and enable on Wikipedia a <html> tag. The nowiki tag not only disables wikitext, but also disables html tags. The html tag should allow users to directly code html for whihc wikitext and templsates are insufficient. E.g. they could create a custom form by simply adding this text to a wikipedia page.

<!-- This displays a random wikipedia image in place of google logo on google wikipedia search -->
<div style="width:130px;float:left;text-align:center;position:relative;top:-8px">
<a href="" style="padding:0;background-image:none">
<img src="" alt="Google" style="border:none" /></a></div>

<form method="get" action="" style="margin-left:135px">
    <input type="hidden" name="domains" value="" />
    <input type="hidden" name="num" value="50" />
    <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="utf-8" />
    <input type="hidden" name="oe" value="utf-8" />
    <input type="text" name="q" size="31" maxlength="255" value="gsgs" />
    <input type="submit" name="btnG" value="Google Search" />

  <div style="font-size:90%">
    <input type="radio" name="sitesearch" id="gwiki" value="" checked="checked" /><label for="gwiki">Wikipedia</label>
    <input type="radio" name="sitesearch" id="gWWW" value="" /><label for="gWWW">WWW</label>
This will never become a reality, period. HTML is too dangerous. That would allow Flash/Javascript/ActiveX and goodness knows what else, all of which can be easily used for malicious purposes. Disabling specific tags out of the HTML stable would be another way, but it would require about as much work as adding wiki equivalents of specific HTML features when and if needed, which is what we do at the moment. Sure it's slower, but it's safer in the long run. GarrettTalk 11:55, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
The Mediawiki software already supports raw html inside a <html> tag, but it's disabled on the Wikimedia projects, for the very good reasons outlined by Garrett. Worldtraveller 13:06, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

New Proposal

A new proposal regarding Trivia sections in articles has been created. Input is appreciated! --Osbus 00:59, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

A solution to some major problems

Some discussions which recently took place on Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates found some support for the idea of a static version of wikipedia, and the notion that the tools that work so well for developing articles become our enemy when considering articles which can be considered finished. WP:STABLE proposed the marking of revisions in the article history; a new idea is under development which goes a step further and seeks to separate the finished articles from those in development by creating static versions of finished articles which would be the default view for visitors, and which would only be editable by a subset of users. A 'live' version would still exist and improvements could be incorporated into the static version.

The incentive to vandalise that comes from seeing the results instantly would be removed, for articles with static versions. The authoritativeness of static versions would be greater than live versions because the reader could be sure that no vital facts had recently been changed maliciously.

Details of the idea and full discussion of the numerous advantages it could bring are at Wikipedia:Static version. Your comments are invited. Worldtraveller 00:20, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Not all stable version proposals are based on marking revisions in the history. I largely agree with this proposal, but disagree strongly with the idea that an article can be "finished" or at a point where it only gets worse, not better. I like to compare a stable version to a release version of a piece of software. Although it's mostly static, even released software gets hot fixes, patches, and service packs for critical issues - articles should too, just as you propose incorporating changes from the editable article. However, software also gets new releases that incorporate large changes, corresponding here to large addition of content or article refactoring that has had time to stabilize. I also don't take a side on which version should be the default view - the argument that hiding the editable view discourages editing is compelling. Deco 10:19, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Well I usually put finished in inverted commas when discussing this idea, because I do agree that perfection is rarely attained. I think articles do reach points where changes are more likely to be harmful than positive though - what's really making me keen for a static version is my experience with helping to bring Sun and Mercury (planet) up to featured status - the former has attracted masses of poor quality revisions since featuring, the latter less so but it is so frequently vandalised that its edit history is dominated by vandalism and reverts.
It would seem very odd to me to have a static version and then not have it as a default view. The static version would be guaranteed vandalism-free, and would have been in some sense validated and approved. User preferences could easily include an option to change the default view to the live version, and a clear link to the live version from the static version, something like 'work on next update', would still encourage editing, I think, while taking away one of the major incentives to vandalise. Worldtraveller 10:53, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
It's an interesting idea and I would not dismiss it out of hand. I would favor it more for preserving the quality of articles than for stopping vandalism because it would initially be used on only a small percentage of articles, as few are complete and some of those that are about contemporary topics and are subject to more rapid aging. It would help to preserve article quality by stopping bad, but good faith, edits that decrease article quality and it would reduce the small percentage of vandalism never caught or not caught for a very long time on that article. It would also increase confidence in Wikipedia's accuracy. Having a link to the stable version rather than prohibiting changes to the article might be a good compromise. I think that Wikipedia is eventually going to have something like this as it matures. -- Kjkolb 11:46, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it would definitely be aimed at preserving quality - a reduction of vandalism would just be a very positive side-effect. There would always be an editable version of any article, but changes to the live version would not be visible immediately. Worldtraveller 13:09, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Whose in charge of deciding to implement proposals?

There are plenty of great ideas on here, but who is in charge of deciding to okay it? (for example, my syntax highlighting idea above)--Max Talk (add) 22:46, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

It varies based on what the proposal affects, but nearly always involves some Wikipedia:Consensus process somewhere. Your syntax highlighting proposal should be taken to MediaWiki talk:Common.css. Requests for software changes end up as entries in Wikipedia:Bugzilla. Policy changes end up on the talk page of the affected policy (see Wikipedia:How to create policy). -- Rick Block (talk) 23:55, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I read that Jimbo Wales and someone else have over-ruled concensus before, and went ahead and did what they wanted. --Username132 (talk) 18:54, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Jimbo is the founder and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, which is the non-profit foundation that owns and operates Wikipedia. I don't think he overrules consensus lightly, and when he does so it is in his capacity as the Chair of the Board of Trustees. User:Danny is Jimbo's assistant and occasionally executes decisions on behalf of Jimbo. -- Rick Block (talk) 19:49, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Good Citizen

I was going over the perennial proposals, and I saw the conflict over semi-protecting the entire project. After much thought, I wanted to add to the discussion. I found that, since I was using a school computer, I was blocked.

Blocked. Yes, some immature idiots, probably at a middle school (my school's IP adress conducts an entire school district), have gone and vandalized Jesus, and we—all ten thousand of us!—have been blocked. This naturally frustrates the living daylights out of me.

This got me to thinking—Why? I understand the need to prevent vandalism, but surely there's another way. I think there is.

If the software allows it, I propose that we have a new category of Wikipedians, called, for the moment, "Good Citizens". These are REGISTERED WIKIPEDIANS, who have never (or almost never) been cited for vandalism or maliciousness, who have at least, say, 100 edits to their names. Nomination could be by anybody, including oneself, and then reviewed by a sysop to certify that the applicant meets the standards.

Now what would a "Good Citizen" do? Essentially, the only thing that would distinguish a "Good Citizen" from any other Wikipedian is that, since this "Good Citizen" is exactly that, he/she would be given the right to edit from computers with blocked IPs when logged in.

I know what some of you might think—this creates an "aristocracy" in which most Wikipedians will be discriminated against. On the contrary, I think that most Wikipedians meet this standard. It would prevent the unfair blockage of good editors—for example, there have to be a few good editors out of ten thousand people in one of the best school districts in the state of Michigan—so long as they register and qualify. Perhaps a better term would be "Certified Non-Vandal", but "Good Citizen" is just as good in my opinion, and has a better ring to it.

And for those of you concerned about vandals getting "Good Citizen" status, any "Good Citizen" is on a policy of strict nonvandalism. Any "Good Citizen" who is cited for vandalism can, should, and will have his or her "Good Citizen" status revoked summarily. Perhaps, after a time, the status may be returned, but it would take a long time, a deep investigation, and a good explanation.

With that, I present my proposal to the WikiPublic. Lockesdonkey 20:38, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Blocking_policy_proposal, think someone is working on it but when it will be implemented I do not know. Stefan 08:27, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Question = When an IP gets blocked, does someone who is logged in but connects via that IP also get blocked? 'Cause if so that's lame. --Username132 (talk)

Yep. Lockesdonkey 19:37, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

This happened at my work too, a company of over 60,000 employees, a large percentage of which have high potential for being good contributors. I could've just waited for the block to run out (most blocks are short), but since I'm an admin I tracked down the party responsible and discussed the situation with them. It was just a misunderstanding and I unblocked them. I marked all the IP pages in our web proxy block with warnings that they're shared between many people, but these kind of things really only go so far. Deco 21:19, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
See Mediazilla:550. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 21:52, 26 May 2006 (UTC)


Can we include some of this on Wikipedia? WikiTeX It would really be awesome, especially for music and chemistry-related articles. —Mets501talk 22:20, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't know what the problem is, but I think people have been asking for this for years. I could be wrong, though. Ardric47 02:14, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
It would really be useful. I wonder what the problem implementing it is. —Mets501talk 02:53, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Wow, I remember that. Devs, any comments? I totally want this feature. Comments can be made at Ingoolemo talk 03:02, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Holy carp! Just looking at that example page makes my mouth water! It's awesome! Especially the music: I didn't know it was that easy to typeset music readably. Brilliant!--Slashme 10:24, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

But it's not that easy [on Wikipedia], because it's not available! Ardric47 00:37, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Great feature, should be added Pcu123456789 02:52, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Wiki Currency

Similar to the barnstar and user templates, this is a counter that keeps track of Wikipedia "currency." Currency is earned automatically for different actions (such as page edits by byte count), but is meant more as a reward or gift. One can give others currency for helping with an article, finding information, or some other action, which can be put up as a request and accepted by others- once the task is completed, the originator can "accept" to pay the user for the task, adding currency to their counter. Creating a "task" template allows the payer to specify an action and close the task when the payer sees the task is finished.

Currency would also be given for acts of notoriety, resolving disputes, and other honorable actions. Since the currency is kept track of server side on a different server, users cannot edit their total, but can add or subtract by giving or paying to a specific user by typing the username and amount and hitting submit. Hopefully this will bring a sense of unimaginable chaos. Ihavenolife 01:55, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Definitely see the article on Wikipedia:WikiMoney. Now, I agree that having a currency system would be potentially beneficial; however, we need to figure out why wikimoney didn't work the first time around. I think that keeping the currency data protected and having a standard method of distribution would be an improvement over the previous attempt. --Mlandau 02:45, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
  • What could the WikiMoney be spent on, however? Andrew 22:51, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
    • The original wiki money seems to have been spent on article requests, which ain't a bad idea. I'm not sure what else it could be spent on, though of course, I'm partial to owning shares of articles. But what good would that do? Bragging rights? Voting power? I think it could serve a useful function, but I don't know what that is, though bringing order to chaos seems useful enough. --Mlandau 03:07, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
    • For prestige in the WP community, similar to the list of contributions of each editor. -Pgan002
  • A good idea, but we should put this discussion somewhere where it might get some more views. Felixboy 18:36, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
    • Agreed, and I just thought of one possibly useful function of wiki money: dispute resolution (oops, should have read above, Ihavenolife beat me to the punch, but here's one way it could work). If it's worth 100 wikis for me and my compadres to maintain position X, and worth only 90 wikis for those against X, then me and my compadres would win because we value X more, but would have to give the opposing side 90 or so wikis because that's what they valued their opposition at. --Matthew Benjamin Landau 04:12, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
      • We shouldn't have to pay for justice... --Username132 (talk) 17:36, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for quasi-protection

Hello, all: I've written up Wikipedia:Quasi-protection policy, a proposal similar to semi-protection that would effectively limit sleeper accounts used to vandalize articles linked from the Main Page. I know that I've written a lot, and at first glance, the proposal may seem daunting. However, I truly believe that this would immensely improve Wikipedia and implore you to read it through and offer your thoughts on the talk page. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 22:49, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Landforms by country

Comments regarding a proposal at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (categories) that would make "in country" the naming convention for Landform by country categories would be very appreciated prior to a cfru. Kurieeto 22:24, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Whitespace handling

One thing that bothers me about how this wiki handles whitespace it handles newlines. One single newline is ignored and two newlines means a new paragraph, but once it becomes more newlines then it starts to behave odd. It starts to add <br/>s and paragraphs containing <br/>s. I think that the behvior is on purpose but I still think that it is odd. It's probably there to make one newline in the source to mean one newline in the html, but is that a behaviour the editors want to have?

What this behaviour means is that additonal empty lines between papragraphs in the source will show up when the html page is generated, which I don't think that most editors desire. It's not often one wants to force newlines (other than to separate paragraphs) and in those few cases I think that <br/> would do.

What I propose is that addtional line breaks other than the first two will be ignore. 100 empty lines will be the same as one empty line. But one single line break should be handled as now. I think that this is the way LaTeX does it and also what I think is easiest for the editor since he doesn't have to care exatly how many empty line he has between paragraphs. And this changes wouldn't affect the readers other than making the layout more consistent. Another plus would be that my suggest behaviour makes more sense than the current with skins that separate paragraphs in other ways than newlines.

I have been around Wikipedia for some time now and I haven't seen this discussed anywhere. I personally think it is a quite major issue since it is easy to add too many newlines between paragraphs. Is this a no issue? What do you think about my suggestion? Jeltz talk 15:27, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I would agree strongly with this. Especially in the presence of templates, I often come across unsightly paragraph spacings that are larger than intended. They're rarely useful, and in those instances advanced users can bring in HTML tags. Deco 21:11, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that this is likely a good idea. More than two linebreaks can be added manually if desired. I do have to question why the software makes the assumption that a presentational double-<br /> is equivalent to a semantic <p>, though (try setting something like p { text-indent: 4em; padding: 0px; } in your personal stylesheet and see how many things look bizarre). —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:17, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Haven't tried it myself and never thoguht of that way of styling (it's rare in html documents) Wikipedia until I started writing this proposal. Indented prargraphs should really look weird when users have extra linebreaks. It would also somewhat break the styles for users who have other margins between paragraphs than the default in their skins. Jeltz talk 22:53, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I like this idea. I would add that HTML comments (the <!-- --> kind) should be ignored by any code that implements this to avoid strangeness. (It would also allow comments to be nicely formatted, instead of requiring careful placement of the opening and closing tags to avoid introducing unsightly whitespace as they do now.)
I would suggest that this section be linked to at or moved entirely to Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) to get the developers' attention. — Saxifrage 01:16, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Syntax Coloring

Currently, source code in Wikipedia looks rather dull:

 * This is fake Java code to demonstrate syntax coloring.
 * */
public static void main(String[] args)
  String s = new String("This is a test");
  char ch = 'c' + 123;

Would it be better if syntax coloring could be applied to the code? Here is an example:

 * This is fake Java code to demonstrate syntax coloring.
 * */
public static void main(String[] args)
  String s = new String("This is a test");
  char ch = 'c' + 123;

To implement this, I had to use several <span> tags to achieve this, which makes the code almost incomprehensible. What I am suggesting is a modification to MediaWiki:Common.css or MediaWiki:Monobook.css. We would define styles for various types of words in a syntax block:

/* CSS code */
syntax key {
syntax string {color: maroon;}
syntax char {color: orange;}
syntax number {color: teal;}
syntax comment {color: green;}

In the source code, we could simply write out:

this is a comment</comment>
<string>"Hey there!"</string>

This makes future editing much simpler. If a certain user wished to customize the colors and styles, or turn them off, all he would need to do is modify his own CSS file. This would also pave the way for a possible syntax highlighting tool, much like the <math> tool. The parser would already have the styles in place.

Please, relay your thoughts to me. --Max Talk (add) 04:04, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

In general, there shouldn't be much source code in Wikipedia. Nor should there be much HTML markup. --John Nagle 05:22, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
What are you talking about? What a poor excuse to not include a potentially very useful thing in the Wikipedia code. So you're against including it because "there shouldn't be much code"? Says who? What's the problem with a lot of code? This actually reduces the amount of code in articles themselves because people no longer have to make style tags in case they want syntax highlighting. People who copy Wikipedia content simply won't have those highlights, but they'll still have the code. It's perfectly transparent and usable this way. —Michiel Sikma, 10:34, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
There shouldn't be much code because code obfuscates the source, making it difficult for people who don't understand the code to edit. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:01, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I find the idea great. I'm totally for implementing something like this if it's possible to do so (are there free resources available on how to do syntax highlighting in PHP?) It would certainly greatly increase the quality of articles about programming. —Michiel Sikma, 10:34, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Instead of modifying the Common.css and Monobook.css, wouldnt it be practicable to use an extension such as this. You can find samples here --Oblivious 11:12, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

My thoughts are that both would be used. We would modify common.css like I suggested above, which would allow us to color code without the PHP extension. The PHP extension would use the CSS styles to format the text, which would still allow users to customize it to their own tastes, or turn it off. If the extension did not support the language, we could still use the styles to manually format it.
As for Nagle's comment, there already is a ton of source code in Wikipedia, in articles like Java programming language, C++, Java syntax.--Max Talk (add) 15:27, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I've written an extension ("codeblock") for Wikimedia at my own wiki that performs syntax highlighting in many languages. The regular expressions are editable right on the wiki. This is a lot more flexible than your solution, but requires software changes. Visit any article at to check it out. You can also view the regular expressions. You can view the source of my extension, which is released under the same license as Mediawiki. Deco 21:23, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
It might turn out that it doesn't matter. The folks on MediaWiki talk:Common.css#Syntax highlighting proposal don't seem as eager for the idea.--Max Talk (add) 00:09, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Categorization of location

I have just created Wikipedia:Categorization of location, proposing a hierarchy of location-based categories. Once widely employed, these will allow the reader to quickly find articles about locations that are near that described by the article they're currently reading. All feedback welcome, as always. AxelBoldt 03:02, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

This is a fantastic idea! But create categories only as necessary: most of the planet is just water (and ice). I'm in full
support! -- Michael Janich 03:33, 28 May 2006 (UTC)


duplicate post, answered at Portal talk:Browse, -Quiddity 09:26, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

What about removing permanently the "redirect button" from the editing tools?

I'm asking for this action since I have the feeling Wiki users fail to see hidden information because of automatic redirection. A simple link to the page where the first page is redirected to would do better in my point of view, since you would always first stop at that word which you really entered. Different opinions? Suggestions? Have a nice day! --Tom David 16:18, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

You mean users should be forced to click an extra link on every alternate spelling or shortcut, rather than being automatically redirected? I don't follow. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:17, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that's not working for me either. I think the fact that it says at the top of the page where you were redirected from is enough. —Mets501talk 11:09, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Why this should be such a big problem to make one single click more? Yes I mean that the user should be forced to click an extra link. The information that one has been "redirected" is so small and almost invisible that every second user doesn't remark it. Well, think what you want. I don't like the automatic redirection. If you correct somebody always automaticaly, I'm not sure whether he will be able to correct himself one day on his own. --Tom David 07:44, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

In any case, you can always return to the redirect page by clicking the "redirected from" link just below the title. I think it makes more sense to keep articles easy to find by putting automatic redirections on pages with alternate spellings/names, and giving those users who wish to access the redirect pages a way to do so by using the "redirected from" link. The reason why its small is because people wouldn't normally need to access the redirect pages. I think we'll have to agree to disagree here :-) Andrew 22:55, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

I have the feeling that some articles you can't find because of the automatic redirection, especially if you are a fast user (then you don't see everything), but it looks like everybody has to make his own experience concerning "being automated" :) --Tom David 09:37, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

I have two points to make:
  1. Disabling automatic redirection would break several templates, whose transclusion links point to the redirect page.
  2. I find it incredibly annoying when I click on a page and get a double-redirect. I know that I could easily click the link, but it is unexpected and confusing for some.
--Max Talk (add) 03:27, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
People get redirected by web servers all the time, perhaps without noticing it. For instance, if you type to your browser, the server redirects you to I suspect we'd all get real tired real fast if we had to click through something in that case, and I don't see how wiki redirect pages are any different. —johndburger 02:09, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, if web servers are regarded as encyclopedias, ok. Nevertheless, clicking on a link is not the same as entering a word in a search mask. It's clear that links should always point to the correct address. Anyway, perhaps it's better if one doesn't need to click too many times. Just let's make sure not to bury something useful behind a redirection... --Tom David 17:34, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Computing Reference Desk

I feel that Wikipedia is in dire need (ok, not quite) of a computing reference desk, simply called, the computing desk, (not Computer Science or whatever) because of the immense number of programming language questions and people requesting advice on purchases, using the Science and Mathematics Reference desks out of lack of alternatives. It is not easy to find a suitable place to ask a computing question to a first time wikipedian, and as such, they tend to be distributed across all the desks... Simply make a computing desk. --Eh-Steve 05:01, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that this would be useful, but would it be specifically about programming or would we be spammed with "I need to use powerpoint for a presentation HELP!!!!"? Well, the spamming would probably happen either way, so rather, would we allow those questions? I'm not sure that we're prepared for an onslaught of PEBKAC questions, but I'm all for it anyways. :] --Keitei (talk) 13:56, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Whoops, apparently PEBKAC is an insult. I just mean questions which are such that it is difficult to answer through wiki or online even, due to it being a problem of perception or assumption, and not with the computer. --Keitei (talk) 15:31, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

I suppose it would be for all computing questions, including the mundane powerpoint advice questions. But I think it should be turned into a project ASAP --Eh-Steve 18:35, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

replace "recent changes" link with "new pages"

I thought it might be more useful to have "New Pages" easier to click on at the top left. Recent changes is useful to have in a smaller wiki where theres only a hundred or so changes a day, but whats the point in having it there to see hundreds of changes every minute? --Astrokey44 03:29, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

If you're interested, you can change that in your personal .js. It'd take a lot of deliberating to have it changed for everyone, but you can try it out now! :] Add the following lines to your personal .js (User:Username/skinname.js), such as User:Astrokey44/monobook.js, and then do a hard reload.
window.onload = Main;
function Main() {

function changenavbox() {
    document.getElementById('n-recentchanges').firstChild.innerHTML = 'New pages';
    document.getElementById('n-recentchanges').childNodes[0].href = ';
It's actually easier to change for the whole site, but there'd need to be a lot of consensus. :] --Keitei (talk) 13:44, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
thats cool I didnt expect a solution so quickly. though I changed it but it doesnt seem to be working. did I get it right? I held down shift while refreshing in firefox and it still says recent changes --Astrokey44 15:56, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Try Ctrl-F5 instead (shift may also work but I always use the Ctrl method). At the least you'll need to hard-refresh your user JS, but you may also need to hard-refresh a page you want to see the change appear on. Also be sure you used "monobook" rather than "Monobook". GarrettTalk 22:43, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Prioritizing Wikipedia cleanup

I'm fairly active in trying to copyedit the massive amounts of articles at Category:Wikipedia articles needing copy edit and I've found that there is no good way to prioritize them; no way to know which ones have been unchanged the longest. So I looked around the whole Cleanup section and the closest we have to that is {{cleanup-date}} which is still limited to the month. So I was wondering if Wikipedia had DynamicPageList, and it doesn't. There is a modified version of the DPL called DPLforum that was originally made to be a forum. However, at Uncyclopedia, we also use it for the categorization of maintenance articles. They can be sorted by last edit, and provide a link to the page, the history, and display the last author. I think that this would help with prioritizing cleanup, but I recognize it is not the most efficient way of doing this. I'd like to propose that Wikipedia install an extension like this one for automating cleanup and such. I can easily contact the author of the extension if modifications are proposed, and if someone wants to write an extension similar but more effective (and less intensive on the database), that'd also be appreciated. Thoughts? --Keitei (talk) 08:47, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

You could probably download a database dump and come up with a suitable SQL query. There's also Special:Ancientpages. Deco 10:20, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, but that's not what I was asking. I want to know what people think about using DPLforum on Wikipedia. </clarify> --Keitei (talk) 09:44, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Opt-in ads on pages

I suggest giving people the ability to have ads, such as google adwords. This would be good for 2 reasons, it would generate some more money to help run wikipedia, and often the ads are relevant and useful. I recomend that it be optional, and off by default, with something simple like a checkbox in preferences. I personally would turn them on as they are often useful, and people that dislike ads could choose not to turn them on (and unless they check their preferences every day, may not even know they can have them). A vertical ad block would fit quite nicely under the toolbox.

Absolutely not. Wikipedia has done fine with donations so far. Voluntary ads would only raise a small amount of money, but they could have a catastrophic effect on people's willingness to donate. I suspect that most donations come from the small minority of users who are registered (less than one percent based on comScore data), so these are the most essential financial supporters of the project. Bhoeble 13:45, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Why can't it be tried? I don't think wikipedia is fine at all. The pages fequently take a long time to load if at all so I think it's worth a short. I personally would have ads turned off. I don't see how anything useful could come out of being advertised to whilst I read about intermediate filaments or whatever, but it doesn't harm me if someone else is using them. --Username132 (talk) 18:53, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
If ads are going to be turned on, I would tend to agree that they would have to be mandatory, at least for anons. If those were implemented, Wikimedia's budget would increase by at least several times even if everyone stopped donating. User:Robchurch estimated a billion hits a day for Wikimedia projects, and even at the pathetically low rate of one cent per thousand page views, that works out to about $3.8 million dollars a year, something over four times the current Wikimedia budget. I think server lag would become a nonissue at that point.

But a ton of people are virulently anti-ad, for some reason that's always baffled me, so the basically trivial income that voluntary ads would produce would in fact probably be outweighed by the backlash. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:11, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Advertising corrupts. It is extremely difficult to maintain neutrality in any medium supported by advertising.Dpbsmith (talk) 00:43, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. It's hard enough keeping spammers out of our articles now-- imagine them saying "Whadaya mean I can't add my external link to this page-- I'm paying for this site!" There's no such thing as free money. -- Mwanner | Talk 01:03, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
But wikipedia wouldn't need to advertise spammer's services? I don't see why wikipedia would need to bend over backwards to maintain sponsorship - they pay, they get a space on the website and nothing more. They mess around/try to influence the things that go on, they're gone and let someone else who wants the space have it. Plus it'd be further incentive for anonymous users to register. --Username132 (talk) 11:09, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Using Google AdSense to deliver relevant ads would be good for Wikipedia. These ads would be useful for users. For example, if I went to the Free web hosting service article, the ads could suggest me some free web hosting services. Some people would go to the webmail article, for example, to find a webmail provider. In addition, Wikipedia could form a partnership with Google. What about Google Wikipedia Search? --J.L.W.S. The Special One 15:58, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
You're kidding, right? Like it's really difficult to find Free web hosting services or webmail providers? Wikipedia does not need to be a replacement for Google and other search services-- they're good at what they do, we're good at what we do. -- Mwanner | Talk 16:15, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think wikipedia is quite good at what it does. For example on this university internet connection where I've seen download speeds in excess of 800 kbit/s, it took 10 seconds for this edit page to load. If wikipedia has got the money, spend it; if not, get it (and then spend it). --Username132 (talk) 14:39, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't see any way that advertising could possibly corrupt Wikipedia. You do understand how AdSense works, right? We get advertisements, no question (Google will never threaten to withdraw ads based on our content; they just ensure we don't cheat). Advertisers could, in theory, withdraw their ads from being displayed on Wikipedia, but a) there are so many AdWords customers that it would probably make a negligible difference, and b) we, the editors, are not receiving money under any circumstances, so it wouldn't significantly affect our judgment. Similar schemes exist in all reputable ad-using services: the authors are completely separate from the advertisers, and neither know nor care what ads will end up in their product. Admins who ban people for posting spam will have no interest in whether the advertiser withdraws money, providing policy says to ignore such threats (possibly add it to WP:NLT, in fact). —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 05:21, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Thingy with Warhammer 40,000 Imperial Guard section

If saberwyn reads this I just hope he accepts my sincerest apologies. I should have been more careful about reading the policies and it was stupid of me to add this article without consulting those policies. In my defense, this was my first article and I was rather enthusiastic. I'm really sorry for the mess. Sqrlaway 01:07, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

No need to apologize...mistakes happen to the best of us. Alas, it has even happened to me! Btw, if you want just Saberwyn to read this, its a good to drop a message on Saberwyn's talk page. --Osbus 01:55, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Ok, thank you.