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Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2018-06-29/Discussion report

Deletion, page moves, and an update to the main page: Community discussions include style updates to project-wide icons and the main page, procedural questions on royal names and jettisoning unsuitable drafts, and deeper questions of compliance with European privacy laws and the perennial issue of shrinking admin corps.
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The logo of the new Event Coordinator group

Closing Simple English Wikipedia?

A discussion is taking place on Meta on the possible closure of one of the Foundation projects. Tagged with a WMF caveat to '...keep in mind that all project closure discussions are advisory. The Language Committee and WMF Board make all final decisions on project closures', a proposal has been put forward by Piotrus this month for the closure of Simple English Wikipedia.

Simple English which has around 135,000 articles is an English-language edition of Wikipedia, primarily written in basic English and special English. Launched in 2003, its stated aim is to provide an encyclopedia for "people with different needs, such as students, children, adults with learning difficulties, and people who are trying to learn English".

Among the 118 editors who have chimed in so far, are several well known Wikipedians who are on opposite sides of the fence - speakers in defence of SE include Beeblebrox, Andrew Davidson, and Cyberpower, while those supporting the motion to close it down include TonyBallioni, Blue Rasberry, and  SMcCandlish. When asked why his name is not among the commenters, Kudpung, who usually takes part in major debates, told The Signpost: "My home turf is the English Wikipedia and that's where I work. Simple English probably doesn't cost any money to run, but its contributors' time might possibly be better spent on en.Wiki. I don't really know; from what I have seen its language level could probably be more accurately targeted and measured, but I'm not overly concerned with an outcome either way." Kudpung is a retired TEFL linguist whose career included training ESL teachers around the world and writing text books and graded readers.

At 64 (against) vs 54 (for), the discussion is still fairly evenly balanced. Comments are thought provoking.

Jimbo gets reverted in move discussion

At the time of the Royal Wedding, Jimbo Wales moved Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's pages to match their new royal titles as Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Discussions took place on Talk:Prince Harry and Talk:Meghan Markle about whether the articles should be at their current names or at Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex respectively. There was a strong consensus in favor of using the current names, per WP:UCN. This therefore managed to wreak havoc on the Top 25 Report twice.

Promising drafts

On WT:CSD, a discussion is going on as to whether pages tagged with {{promising draft}} should be exempted from CSD G13 (for abandoned drafts). At this time, there are more opposes than supports by a thin margin.

Deleting InternetArchiveBot's posts

InternetArchiveBot is a bot which replaces dead links with working ones from the Wayback Machine (a site owned by the Internet Archive). Originally, after editing a link, it would post a message on the relevant article's talk page (see here for an example). However, in February, this functionality was disabled as the result of an RfC due to the bot being more accurate and the false positive reporting system being simplified. This RfC asks whether these deprecated posts should be deleted from talk pages, either manually or with a bot. Consensus seems to be against this proposal.

Main page design refresh

Nixinova created a new version of the Main Page in userspace which replaces the 2nd-level headings with <div> HTML elements. A page containing only these proposed changes can be found here. Implementation of this change was debated on the Main Page's talk page and closed early in favor per WP:SNOW, and the changes can be seen on the Main Page now.

Proposed icon refresh

Wikipedia's icons have not changed in a long time, and some users consider them outdated, leading to one user proposing on the village pump that icons be adopted from icon sets such as OOjs, Emoji One, and Google Material Design. Users are divided as to the suggested icons' quality.

Mailing list

  • French law prohibits listing people based on their religion, such as with Category:French Jews, and there is no such category on the French Wikipedia. This led one user to raise a concern on Wikimedia-l as to what should be done in response to English Wikipedia's apparent violation of French law. The consensus was that compliance was not needed due to EnWP servers not being based in France.
  • Another mailing list topic, entitled "Are we losing out to bad editing?" seeks solutions to Wikipedia's ongoing admin decline (It's really bad) and what that means for the fight against vandals, PoV pushers, and paid advocacy editors.


  • The Event Coordinator (EVC) group written about in the last issue has been implemented. Users interested in running events can apply for the permission at WP:RFP/EVC.
  • The proposed changes to WP:Drafts#Miscellany for deletion were approved and added. The following text was added to the section: "A draft that has been repeatedly resubmitted and declined at AfC without any substantial improvement may be deleted at MfD if consensus determines that it is unlikely to ever meet the requirements for mainspace and it otherwise meets one of the reasons for deletion outlined in the deletion policy."

To suggest a discussion for inclusion in the next installment of the Discussion Report, leave a comment below or on the Signpost Newsroom's talk page.