Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive51

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Attn needed

Would a neutral, uninvolved admin please review the contribs at FAC, and elsewhere, of rm2dance (talk · contribs) and decide if any action is needed, and what that action might be? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:30, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Hello ? :) Is anyone willing to take this on? I see replies on all of the FACs to this reviewers' unactionable commentary, but I see no discussion on the editor's talk. I can't tell if we're dealing with a disruptive editor, or someone who just needs some mentoring. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:26, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks to Nikkimaria! It might be helpful for other reviewers to address any further unactionable commentary on FACs, so that nominators won't be led astray or become frustrated. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:44, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

New FAC trend

There's a new trend at FAC that is making FACs indigestible. I sometimes have to scroll for eons trying to determine who is saying what, and often have to go back to diffs to determine that. A reviewer will enter a long string of commentary, line by line, followed by a sig, then nominator comes along and intersperses replies (which they really shouldn't do anyway-- don't break up review comments), and often not sign those comments so I can't tell who is saying what. Please don't break up commentary. If you do, add the {{interrupted}} template to the reviewer's first statement so I can see who opposed or supported, and please sign your entries. Other reviewers might add interrupted templates where they see this occurring. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:48, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Ok, but then you should also encourage reviewers to number their points. A long list of un-numbered points followed by a long list of un-numbered responses is at least as hard to work with. Johnbod (talk) 20:55, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Our instructions say:

Per talk page guidelines, nominators should not cap, alter, strike, break up, or add graphics to comments from other editors; replies are added below the signature on the reviewer's commentary.

Some who break up commentary keep it readable-- most don't. The problem with encouraging numbered responses is that boatloads of folks don't know how to number and respond to numbers, so the bullet points are lost and I end up fixing them. The long and short of the story is, please keep your FACs readable ... consider it from another's point of view. If you know how to intersperse comments correctly, I won't object-- it's the ones where I can't tell who said what that are a chore. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:58, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Sandy, it might be helpful if you linked or posted an example where it is properly done.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:01, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
That would be hard, because different editors do it different ways. Anything that keeps the FAC readable when long commentary includes interspersed replies. Add your sig or name before your long list. Add your sig when you switch to support. Add interrupted when necessary. Add unsigned when reviewers or nominators don't. Anything that would make my job much easier. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:24, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Could we introduce section headers with the name of the reviewer? Everyone to make their comments and suggestions in their own section—even if their comment is very brief—then when finished offer an oppose or support. It would make it easier for other reviewers to edit the page, and easier for the delegates to see who was saying what. I added them here at Covent Garden, for example—though I see someone has since added a "remarks" header. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 21:55, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Generally, that's not needed for experienced nominators and reviewers, and sometimes it lengthens the page unnecessarily but it can be helpful on long or convoluted noms (I spent an hour and a half sorting the Logarithm FAC and adding sub-headers as I was trying to sort who said what). Many reviewers know how to keep their commentary intelligible; some don't. In those cases, nominators might clean up their FACs so I don't have to do so much bookeeping just to figure out who said what when. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:59, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
I have to say (oh no, disagreeing with a delegate on WT:FAC, not a good move ;) ) that I much prefer it if nominators make their replies inline with my comment (and I prefer replying that way as well), because it means I (and hopefully you) can see which of my comments have been addressed, which have been queried (which is important for the reviewer) and which are outstanding (importnat to a delegate looking to close the FAC). I generally make my comments in a bulleted list, and I like the nominator to reply under each bullet, indenting their comment by one more bullet (using ** if I used *) and then sign at the end of their bullets. The indentation should make it obvious which is the comment and which the reply. It seems to be a pretty common practice because most nominators do it with my reviews without me mentioning it. Tidying it up afterwards is a good solution, or FAC could do what FLC does, and have reviewers collapse their comments once they're addressed. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:32, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't object to interspersed comments per se, since some editors do it right. But we put that in the instructions because many don't. If you're adding a long list, it can be helpful to make sure your name is at the head, and then the nominator should sign their entries as well (they don't always, so we end up with threaded discussions with no sigs). And if you switch to support after a long discussion, please sign the declaration. I find interspersed comments and strikes make it harder for me to see what is resolved, compared to a list, for example, where everything is struck and resolved, with all of the commentary below it; I don't care if others do it differently as long as the FAC is intelligible. When I was a reviewer, I specifically stated that I did not want nominators to intersperse responses, because that made it harder for me to strike-- YMMV :) Whatever works, but I waste a good deal of time on bookkeeping. No, we don't want collapsed comments-- we've been over that many times-- templates cause problems in the archives. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:35, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
I'll try to bear that in mind for future reviews. I've done some of that in the past, but not all. I guess it's easy to identify your own comments, but not so easy to identify someone else's. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:52, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
I pref HJ's version too. I will never strike a reviewer's comments, and few reviewers strike their comments. If a reviewer objects to interspersed comments though, I remove all the comments. Hawkeye7 (talk) 00:26, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Belatedly, here's an example of a nominator who responds after reviewer comments, rather than interspersing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:02, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Here's a current one, as requested: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Rhabdomyolysis/archive1. The nominator generally responds under the review. Other editors interspersed-- I find the nominator's method much easier to follow. YMMV. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:11, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, Sandy, but both as a reviewer and a nominator I find it much easier to intersperse comments -- it's quite troublesome to deal with responses that aren't adjacent to the point they respond to. I'd be happy to do some post-support clean-up on each reviewer's comments if that would assist in book-keeping. Is there something that you'd like to see done, or specific sins that cause you trouble that nominators could look out for and clean up? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 15:40, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Again, it doesn't trouble me that different editors have different preferences-- I just gave examples because Wehwalt requested them. Here is a list of things everyone/anyone can do to help make FACs more intelligible to me:
  1. Sometimes supports are buried deep into the reviewer comment. Debold the buried one, and add a bolded Support at the front of the comment. On my first pass, I only scan to see where a FAC stands generally-- I later go back to read thoroughly. If they're buried, I may miss them.
  2. Watch for unsigneds-- they occur all too often. Check the history and add {{unsigned}}.
  3. Add {{interrupted}} whenever commentary gets very long and you have to scroll a bit to see whose comments you're reading.
  4. Some editors switch to support by striking previous comment without signing. Fix those with an unsigned.
  5. If an editor starts a section, and then comes back days later and starts a whole new section, consolidate them.
  6. Check for WikiCup noms and reviewers.
  7. WAY TOO OFTEN, we see supports even when sourcing issues are present or unresolved-- note and ping the reviewer if you have time.
  8. Remove blooming "Done" and "not done" templates and notify the offender.
  9. Watch for nominators who indicate items done on the same line as the reviewer comment, without signing and indicating "done" according to whom.
  10. Watch for co-noms added incorrectly-- the bot needs them on the nom line.
  11. Some editors bold Support at the top of their review, and then again at the end. Remove the second bolded support-- someday I may become even more feeble than I already am and forget how to count :)
  12. Watch for WP:FFA (you'll see a link to a Featured article review) and add a red note at the top to remind me if they've already appeared on the main page or not, so I will know to indicate that if they are promoted.
  13. If a nom is withdrawn by nominator without opposes, anyone can remove it, remove the template from talk, and an admin can db-g6 delete it (but don't delete it if there is significant commentary that would aid future reviewers-- it doesn't matter if we have FACs hanging around that aren't in articlehistory). If an article is withdrawn by nominator with opposes, anyone can move it to the monthly archive. BUT ... in either of these cases, if you have any doubt, defer to me-- we've seen many instances of nominators unnecessarily requesting a withdraw because they got freaked out early on by invalid commentary.
  14. Some editors use numbered bullet points, and then a subsequent editor comes along and messes 'em up, because they don't know how to reply to numbered points-- we end up with a series of No. 1. Most surprisingly, the editor who most often messes them up is an RFA regular, and since numbered bullet points are used at RFA, I don't know why he won't get it. Please restore the bullet points and notify the wonky one :)
  15. Periodically (once a week?) review Wikipedia:Featured articles/Candidate list to pick up untranscluded FACs. Often, they shouldn't be transcluded anyway (per significant contributor, in tht case, remove the FAC template from article talk and notify the nom), but if they should be transcluded, bold the late transclusion date so I won't be confused about how long it's been at FAC.

I'll probably think of more as I go :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:21, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

  • This will get archived. You should copy/paste to a page in your user space, and link from the FAC page, titled "Quick notes" or "Quick tips" or... whatever.  – Ling.Nut 00:24, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    • I did that once-- back when lots of folks used to follow me around and help me :) User:SandyGeorgia/FA work. It's a bit outdated, considering the new archival system, but if anyone wants to update it, it's a good start. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:34, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
      • Perhaps what you're hinting at is that nominators could do more to keep their FACs tidy? Malleus Fatuorum 00:38, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
        • Anyone who follows my edit summaries already knows what I have to say on that :) :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:50, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Excellent idea; most helpful! Thanks, Ucucha. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:41, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

New FA delegate

See this. Raul654 (talk) 05:33, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Is he just doing TFA or FAC also (needed here too, if he will serve, Sandy sounds more and more frazzled). Also...header spelling wuz bugging me. ;) TCO (talk) 16:30, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
AFAIK, I'm just working at TFA. Dabomb87 (talk) 16:46, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
That's not what I heard. Head down, butt up. Get to work. TCO (talk) 00:37, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Split up the articles by delegate... puhleeze

I know y'all have NEVER done it that way. But the entire REST of the civilized world, like science journals and all, splits up articles to different editors. No more having Sandy read the entire page (actually let's get away from that whole having everything together system anyway...benefits neither submitters nor reviewers). And this is what Rhodocene submitter was talking about with the lack of editor (read delegate) interaction into the process. And stop. Before you consider me a foreign microbe that must be permabanned. Seriously...this is how the rest of the content world works. Consider looking at it. TCO (talk) 00:45, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

P.s. Now you have Dabomb added to the crew. That should help. (I already volunteered him here and Raul implicitly agrees, based on his writing.) TCO (talk) 00:45, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
I can't tell what you're talking about, but splitting up by delegate is not a good idea for any number of reasons. Frazzled? A driveby nomination at TFA/R just when I'm moving is no fun, but I don't think so. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:32, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

A note on indentation

I've noticed a few nominators and reviewers don't seem to be clear on how indentation works -- at least, they indent in a way that results in something I doubt if they want, like double bullets on a single line. Geometry guy explained the rule to me a while ago, and I thought it might be helpful to post a note here. The rule is: repeat exactly what the previous poster indented with, and then add either a "*" for a bullet, or a ":" for an indentation with no bullet. I see quite a few people indenting by adding a "*" or ":" at the start of the sequence, which won't work.

For example, if you are following a comment indented with


your comment should start either




I hope that's helpful. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:55, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

  • It would be nice for Wikipedia to get a new method of threading. This one kinda blows. :-)  – Ling.Nut 01:15, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Be careful what you wish for. This abomination is what the good folks at the WMF currently have lined up to replace the current threading system. – iridescent 15:56, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Every other damned forum (and Wiki is very forum-like, let's be honest chillunz) doesn't require me to hit tildas to sign, doesn't allow others to edit my posts, etc. etc. Doesn't require this jackassed intendation (which causes a bunch of complications when we want to have more than one paragraph, looks like crap in edit mode, etc. etc.) Plus it would take care of Sandy's issues with the pages being hard to read. I am valiantly standing behind the pathetically under-editing leader of us in her drive to take us to something more user friendly than 1980 circa Dosprompts. I don't agree with the whole "be nice to the girls" meme. But if we get better ergonimics via political correctness than I am all for it! Line me up for bra-burnig as well. TCO (talk) 17:52, 6 June 2011 (UTC) (tilda tilda tilda tilda!)

Segueing further (other forums let me get away with threadjacking), WMF actually has a pretty decent point on the male female stuff too. I mean...I don't want to turn this place into Face book. That said...there are a lot of smart ladies and their interests differ from men. Like why the heck are 3rd string semiprofessional Albanian house league soccer players noteworthy, but the winner of the Nastia Cup (prominent on national NBC TV covered meet) gets suspicion?
Sequeing even further...there has to be more we can attract to Wiki. Like retired school teachers, housewives, etc. etc. Not ONLY teen-aged boys. (Bringing these people in could contribute a lot...and heck they might have some fun as well!) TCO (talk) 17:58, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Wait. What? TCO, what are you on about? Can we at least keep the thread-jacking somehow related to FAC? If you want to attract smart housewives (uh, okay; only slightly patronizing) to edit Wikipedia, I don't think ranting on the FAC talk page about bra-burning and Mars vs. Venus subject interests will help your cause. :p Also check your tone: "pathetically under-editing leader of us" -- what? María (habla conmigo) 18:50, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
TCO - for the poor people who have no idea what you're going on about, maybe you should link to the relevant conversations. I think somehow you went from the fancy new threading proposal to the linking wiki to facebook proposal being discussed on Jimbo's page where it's been suggested we need to bring women from facebook or something like that. And thanks to Mike for the clarification. It took me ages to figure that out, and will be helpful to people who don't already know. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 18:56, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Consensus on dashes

Hi, this is to let everyone who has expressed an interest in the topic that the discussion to arrive at a consensus has been opened at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/dash drafting, with discussion taking place at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style/dash_drafting/discussion. Apologies if you have already commented there, or have seen the discussion and chosen not to comment. Let's try and do this one last time...notifying here as MOS used alot in discussions here.... Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:02, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

how much blue and huge should there be in the references?

1. Just saw one new to me, which was wikilinking journal names and even books and publishers. Do we want that?

2. I have been guilty in the past of wikilinking authors.

3. There is the new PMID/DOI thing (which I need to read up on, not used to, did not do in "real papers"). And not only do we have them...but they are linked. So more blue. And they only seem to take you to an abstract, so not sure what the point. Especially if they have to be extra blue (or can they just be the number sans blue?)

3.5. And ISBN blueing?

4. Then the language templates and subscription needed are kinda bulky too. Look funky compared to print sources. (and extra templates for delay time.) And given we have all kinds of people who go over refs like crazy, not sure we should drive it off of conveneice of the closing director (at least go with a what is best for the reader argument).

Net/net: kinda wondering what we are devoloping in terms of the refs looking like blue next to blue (bad) or just going template crazy.

TCO (talk) 04:01, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

At least when it comes to the ISBN/ISSN/OCLC links, using them I can search for the source using and attempt to find it in a library near me. PMID/DOI links help with locating copies of articles as well. I tend to wikilink newspaper or publisher names on first occurrence as a courtesy to online readers. That way they can get more information on the source. None of this is discouraged nor encouraged by the FA criteria so long as the article is internally consistent. Imzadi 1979  04:24, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
ISBN/ISSNs can be very useful. I think linking authors and books is a good idea, iff they are not linked in the article's body text. I see no reason to link journals, but wouldn't complain if I saw it, simply 'cause there are no grounds for complaining. I don't think WP:OVERLINK is applicable, but YMMV.  – Ling.Nut 04:50, 10 June 2011 (UTC) can search worldcat fine, by cutting and pasting the number into the worldcat search. This is all about having quick links. But we are ending with several links in each ref and getting blue spread. It kinda distracts from the link to the article itself.TCO (talk) 04:54, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Similarly, I dislike links to amazon and google books. I have complained about them before. But the end of the story is, there is no verbiage in WIAFA or in other policies or guidelines which disallows them. So. They can stay.  – Ling.Nut 05:10, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

When I look at the doi linking in Fluorine, we have the term doi wikilinked, then we have the external link for the actual doi. Do we really need to wikilink the term "doi"? It creates blue next to blue and is pretty much a junk link.TCO (talk) 19:38, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

I haven't checked, but I suspect that link would be a function of the citation template used. You could raise the issue at the template talk page (where my crystal ball suggests the likely response would be "but no one actually knows what doi means without the link!"). Nikkimaria (talk) 19:54, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Sigh. That is a crappy reason. There are other aspects of a reference citation which are not intuitively obvious (like volume numbers), but we expect users to decode. Having that thing wikilinked a gazillion times is a waste of blue ink and very distracting to have right next to the external link for the doi itself. Just more cruft...TCO (talk) 05:47, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
I disagree - I'd say volume numbers and the like are instantly recognisable for what they are, whereas specialist reference numbers like those mentioned do require some explanation. GRAPPLE X 05:56, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
By repeating it 5 million times? If it's such a great thing to have, then why will it confuse people? Or they can look it up once and then know. but wikilink time after time after time? And blue next to blue? What a waste, hard to click on the right part when you want to follow the doi itself (not the definition of a doi!) It's wiki-cruft. It's bad writing.TCO (talk) 06:21, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, it seems the only way to avoid the repeated linking is to go all or nothing, and I would avoid the nothing option. Unless, however, some syntax in the code for reference lists and citation templates would stop the template linking the term if it's already linked by a previous instance of the same template, but that sounds impossible. GRAPPLE X 06:47, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Page not refreshing

Hey. My WP:FAC page doesn't seem to be refreshing correctly. I have purged cache several times, but an old version (maybe 4 or 5 days old) keeps appearing. (talk) 17:55, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Have you cleared your browser cache?--Tærkast (Discuss) 20:52, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

image reviews are not only about permissions

Yeah permissions is the most important, but we should also look at "do we have things that need to be shown in pictures, pictures", "are the pictures well done". This is a part of the reader experience and is in our FA criteria as well.TCO (talk) 09:19, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

article vs. talk space

What is the meaning of Category:Wikipedia featured articles in talk space and Category:Featured articles in article space? Where does the official FA count come from?--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 23:30, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

The former is more of a catch-all category with lots of sub-categories such as Category:Featured articles that have appeared on the main page, etc. The latter is where I assume the tally comes from. GRAPPLE X 23:37, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
The "official" FA count is the number of articles on WP:FA, and it's on WP:FA. I've given a more detailed response to TTT's question at WT:GAN#article_vs._talk_space. Gimmetoo (talk) 00:18, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Gimmetoo is correct - the canonical list of featured articles is WP:FA. Raul654 (talk) 04:18, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Question about nominating overlapping articles

A long time ago I posted a question about whether it was appropriate to reuse text written for one featured article in another article. I believe the example was a paragraph written to explain the state of the sources for Anglo-Saxon history (short version: there aren't many). The paragraph has obvious utility in multiple articles about kings of the period, and I felt some qualms about pasting it in to a second or third article that I later took to FAC, but the consensus was that it was fine to do that.

I now have a more extreme case that I'd like to get feedback on. There are two examples. The first is Astonishing Stories, which I'd like to nominate at FAC when I've finished with it. It published 16 issues in the 1940s. It had a companion magazine, Super Science Stories, which published 31 issues in two runs; during the first run it was a companion to Astonishing. There is very little that could be said about Astonishing that could not also be said about Super Science Stories; they had the same publisher, the same editor, the same pay rates, similar editorial policies, and were published in alternate months for a year or two. There are anecdotes to be told about the hiring of the editor that apply to both magazines. The only real difference is the specific stories that appeared in each magazine and the specific publication schedule; that's probably close to half the content of the article, but no more than that. I could easily write the Super Science Stories article to use at least half of the text of the Astonishing Stories article with only minimal changes. (If you look at the Astonishing Stories article you'll see that the entire "Publication history" section, which is not yet complete, applies to both magazines. This feels quite wrong.

I could also merge the two into a single article, which feels much more sensible, and wouldn't make me feel like I was getting two FA stars for the price of one. However, no other reference works do this. Tymn & Ashley, one of the main references, has a separate article on each magazine but much of the length is a detailed consideration of the fiction and whether it was any good, which I think goes beyond what could or should be done in Wikipedia -- I typically summarize or compress those views in the articles I write. All the other references either treat them together in running prose (e.g. no magazine title headings, because the book is a history, not an encyclopedia), or they list them separately but devote little text to either one. So merging feels wrong because it doesn't correspond to a reader's expectations. I would probably call the article "Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories" if I did make them into one article.

Another example is Famous Fantastic Mysteries and Fantastic Novels which have a very similar overlap; there are probably some other cases that will come up as I go through the minor sf magazines. I won't bore you with the details; the point is just that this is not an isolated case. Any comments or advice would be appreciated. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 21:16, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Mike, I don't have a strong opinion on this. The closest existing example I can think of are the Victoria Cross series of articles (a Featured Topic). I believe that the ones for the Victoria Cross in other countries have a great deal of overlapping text, but I can't remember what percentage of the article that was. Karanacs (talk) 21:25, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I think it is OK. If someone starts abusing it, we can reassess. I sometimes pluck a paragraph from one article and put it in the development of another. As time goes by, the text will diverge due to random edits anyway. It's not a big deal.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:57, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
A lot of the Brill Tramway series have large sections reused (since every part of it was closed at the same time, and for the same reason, by definition every "closure" section will be similar). I don't recall any problems there. – iridescent 22:47, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

I don't feel bad about you getting more stars. That's totally fine. I do wonder if editorially (for the reader) it would be better to combine those two articles though. Don't really care if the other sources don't do it that way, just wonder if you can really say more intresting things by having them together in one roof. Your call, though. Would think you would want to make that call regardless of if the things were at FA or not.TCO (talk) 04:40, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Ideally, the reader who has read one of these articles could be directed (somehow) towards a summary or comparison with the other one, rather than re-reading all of the same text. But both articles are likely to be needed as some people will arrive at one article and not the other one. I would still try and avoid a complete regurgitation of the same text and layout, as that feeling of 'sameness' is already somewhat of a problem when the same editor produces a series of articles within a topic, in the sense that you get the same style of writing and layout, rather than the slight changes you would get if different people did articles within a topic (I can hear several people who produce such series of articles fainting in horror). My suggestion would be that if you are doing an article within a topic, and you are utilising much the same sources, to try as much as possible (within the constraints of Wikipedia policy and guidelines) to produce good writing, prose that grabs the reader and is readable, rather than a repetition of what has been said in another article in that topic (i.e. challenge yourself to try and write differently to keep things fresh). If you find that difficult, ask another editor to write something using the same sources, and see whether the wording they come up with is good enough, but different enough, to avoid repetition. It would be interesting to see the results of such switch-overs (probably edit warring, ultimately, over which version is 'better', though I shouldn't be so cynical). On a more practical level, have you tried asking other editors of science fiction/magazine articles, as they might have more ideas than the people here? Carcharoth (talk) 23:12, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
    Haven't looked at the articles, so don't know the specifics. But, for instance, with Painted turtle, I think our article was a LOT better by having all the subspecies under a species article and discussing in that manner. Use of some formatting still allows scanning for subspecies info. a lot of the info is at the species level, and then you can compare and contrast better. Wait...will go look at those two make this less theoretical.TCO (talk) 23:44, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
    OK, I looked at them. I think it will be more enjoyable for the reader to have those two magazines in one article. The two articles are pretty short anyway.TCO (talk) 23:48, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

I think I will go ahead and keep the articles separate; I'll make sure to note the overlap when I nominate the second one at FAC so that reviewers can comment again if they wish to. Carcharoth, I'd love to get the opinion of other sf magazine editors, but there doesn't seem to be anyone else working on them. I might see if I can find active magazine editors in other genres and get an opinion, but the comments above have convinced me the articles need to be separated. TCO, in their current state you are right that the articles would be better combined but there is substantial material still to be added, particularly to Super Science Stories. Thanks to everyone for the replies here. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:03, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

1. Not just on this issue, but there is some fellow (PresN?) who does FLs on Hugo Award winners. Just based on subject matter stuff, you should ask him for a review.

2. My old man had all those magazines. Those ones you mention, plus a bunch of weird ones in the 40s (English stuff), and New Wave stuff from the 70s and 30s Astounding. Pretty much every single magazine really. Guy passed away decades ago though...and my mom is still living and asked me to clean them out a couple year ago. Was literally 10+ boxes, all organized and all.TCO (talk) 17:10, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the note about PresN; perhaps I should post at the sf wikiproject and see if he or any one else responds. As for the magazines -- let me know if you still have any! I collect them as well as write about them. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:12, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I'll keep an eye out, but really all the good stuff is gone. 15 boxes of paperback books (mostly SF) gone as well. Gave them to a used book store. Have hardcovers, but no urge to part with those until Mom passes (not near). Yeah, definitely get a subject matter expert for review. When I canv...recruit my reviewers, I always think of hitting a few different areas. Don't want to get blindsided by missing some basic understandings. When I do "Turtles of Texas", will want to make sure at least one "state expert" (oooh...Karen!) looks at it, not just herpies and MOSers.TCO (talk) 17:34, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Hey, was checking out this talk page and saw my name! My Hugo Award lists aren't really the same thing; while 95% of the text is identical between articles, they just set up the (massive) tables (which are of course different) and aren't really the focus of the article, despite being at the top. That said, FLC has never once had a problem with the overlap of text, and I've done 15 of them. While FAC is of course different, I'd say that if the reference materials treat them separately, they should stay as separate articles, despite any overlap in text. --PresN 20:54, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
The big thing is that any language borrowed from another article should be properly credited in the edit summary; i.e., "some of this language was taken from the Wikipedia article Stultifying Stories as of revision date 12-19-2010 07:15 GST" in order to preserve the copyright chain of evidence. --Orange Mike | Talk 21:17, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Someone please slap me. Hard. I thought I just read someone saying that Wikipedia should cite Wikipedia as a source. Insert various involuntary bodily actions associate with rejecting a foreign substance here. Why oh why would Wikipedia cite (or even recycle text from) something that is not WP:RS?  – Ling.Nut 13:56, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
No, that's not what Orangemike said -- he said that if you take text from one Wikipedia article and put it in another you should say so in the edit summary to preserve the authorship chain. It's nothing to do with citations or reliable sources. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:05, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
I find that bizarre all the same, particularly if it had been me who wrote the original text, for instance, and reused it or a near copy in another similar article. Malleus Fatuorum 14:09, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
I would imagine you're right if the text is entirely authored by the person who is copying it. I assume it's more relevant to cases where you're copying material that was at least partly written by others. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:28, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
It is best to always attribute the origins of the text, even if it is yourself you are copying. For example, if you copy something you wrote on Wikipedia 10 years ago, you might want to make that clear, rather than implying (by no attribution) that you 'wrote' the text in question the same day you made the new edit. And if anyone has modified text that you wrote (no matter how minor the modification) and you copy the modified text across, you technically have to attribute the origin of the copied text (one method is to give a diff in the edit summary). Of course, it is very easy to forget to do this when moving around text you know you have written entirely yourself, and no-one will really care. The point is to check that it is entirely your own work and hasn't been modified. Carcharoth (talk) 14:34, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
It's in one of the policies, Moonriddengirl would know. If you copy text from one page to another the edit summary should reflect that. I do it routinely because I've been working on overlapping articles. When I lift out text from one page and paste into another I simply put in the edit summary where the text came from. I'll try to find the policy. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 14:36, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
It's explained in Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 14:40, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
See also Where attribution is not needed. The issue of whether time comes into it at all hasn't been raised there. The implication is that people copying what they themselves wrote are copying what they wrote recently. I would still (to avoid confusion) state explicitly in the edit summary that the text you are adding is your own wording from elsewhere. For example, if you copy a chunk of text from a Wikipedia article you wrote some years ago, some bots or people may correlate it with unattributed Wikipedia mirrors and start querying it. It is also good practice anyway, as if someone asks you (or you ask yourself) in another 5 years where the text came from, you can point to the edit summary and say "I got it from this article I wrote a few weeks/months/years previously". The thing that prompted me to source everything I add was looking at edits I had made 5 years ago and not remembering where I had got the information from... My rule of thumb now is to ask myself whether would I be able to look at an edit I make now and explain it to myself or others in five years time? Carcharoth (talk) 15:51, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Everything is connected!!!!

Was really intrigued that the same photo that I slimed out of gaseous diffusion, for use in fluorine, cause of Uf6, was ALSO being used in Manhattan project that is rolling through. Then in Californium, it mentions a metallocene...which of course made me thing of the dustup we have over rhodocene. Really, very interesting, the fast connections. I am trying to incite someone to work up an FA on the poison leaf plant, one of the few natural producers of a fluorine compound. Fascinating...and this is with minimal effort.TCO (talk) 01:31, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

TCO, could you please stop filling this page with off-topic nonsense? User talk pages would be more appropriate for many of your posts, and some of us are busy and don't appreciate the distraction. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:38, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Will do.TCO (talk) 01:43, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

RfC on minimum prep-time for main-page blurbs

Dear colleagues, I've started an RfC here to measure support for a proposal that blurbs for the three featured-content sections on the main page be posted for community input at least 24 hours ahead of the deadline for cascade-protection. Your input is welcome. Tony (talk) 11:16, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

image layout decisions

Responding to Sandy (comment made in edit summary at A330)

1. The MOS does not require image alternation. And it certainly doesn't help reduce crowding. The opposite, it can squeeze text or mess with section headers.

2. The MOS does not require thumb size default width. Thumb width images are usually too tiny and the rationale, that a couple hundred Wiki users have set the preferences makes no sense, since the vast majority of users and ALL of the general readers have not. And normal page design would have a bigger image shown.

TCO (talk) 14:56, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm assuming you mean Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Airbus A330/archive3, but I can't find any comment by Sandy regarding images. Also, unless you mean this to be a general conversation on images in FACs, it may be better to post this either on the Airbus FAC page or on Sandy's talk page. Dana boomer (talk) 20:39, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Her comment was within the edit summary. I do mean it to be a general discussion of the requirement for articles in general. Or even better, what is the best way to display information for readers. I don't think Sandy's talk is appropriate as this is not an issue of some general editorial preference of an editor on an article not in FAC. I'm not concerned about the one article especially. But want to have a general discussion, especially on the alternating.TCO (talk) 20:46, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I have to admit I rarely read the guides and tend rather to look at what appears to be convention in other FACs. Two conventions regarding image placement stand out: one to alternate images, the other that in portraits of people the subject should "face inwards", towards the centre of the article; you can extend this to the "sharp end" of hardware like planes and ships "facing inwards" as well. However these two conventions are frequently at odds with each other, and you'll rarely get it perfect. Also the wider PC screens we have now make it more practical to have the first few images on the left otherwise they can get bunched below the infobox on the right. I recently went through a number of FACs I nominated pre-widescreen to alter the placement of some images to allow for this but, again, it's not an exact science because there are many variations in screens/resolutions. So I tend to treat each set of images on a case-by-case basis when reviewing, and not go in with hard-and-fast rules on placement. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 21:48, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I too have changed my practice since wide screens became so popular (well to be honest, since I got one myself) & now tend to alternate less, though I usually just stack them on the right, not normally using infoboxen. Johnbod (talk) 23:50, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Here are a couple MOS discussions, both on that the "rule" is not a firm one, and also on general considerations of efficacy and how all these rules interact (eyes in, alternating, not below section header, within section, don't reverse a face, numbers and bullets, etc.) [1], [2]. TCO (talk) 02:30, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • My screen is not as large as yours, friends! ... I've seen the "eyes in" bit on some guideline or other (probably linked above). I vastly prefer alternating L-R placement, and it only squeezes text if the images are too big and too close together. Many FACs love their images so much that they make them HUGE, and that is another thing I am not keen on. I find it hard to believe that any Internet users would not know that clicking the image would do something (they can click the img to see it larger if they like). Lastly, literally four years ago I saw a guideline that said that images should be at the TOP of a section rather than the bottom. I hate hate hate it when people think it is appealing to place an image at the bottom of a section so that it will appear in the top of the one below it, but I have never been able to find that guideline again, so I guess I have no ammunition on that score. I think following FAC practice is legitimate. If someone wants to put their foot down and insist that all imgs be on the right, they can.  – Ling.Nut 04:54, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Maybe...but I did not realize you could click Wiki pages and get the bigger picture until I started editing here. Would not underestimate the difference in our typical reader, versus the people here who edit and are more computer savvy. Also, look how other sites do images. My main beef (among several) with the alternation is the clash with section headers if you left justify an image. I don't care about shoving the edit box to the side, on the right. But on the left, you are really screwing up the readability if you break section headers with the pictures. And then, it really IS good form on more technical topics to use frequent section headers. One can read books on technical writing (or the USG [excellent] guidance on plain writing) for why this helps, but would think it would make sense that a more "difficult" and non-narrative text benefits from clear, overt, structure. But...I'm a don't bite me. ;-) TCO (talk) 05:55, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure I know what you mean by "...on the left, you are really screwing up the readability if you break section headers with the pictures". Could you show me an example? A diff to a previous version of some article, perhaps? As for section headers, yes I tend to appreciate them..  – Ling.Nut 07:35, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
[3] TCO (talk) 07:49, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I think the time has come for the MoS and WP:IUP to provide more explicit advice about image size and location. Left-side images, unless well away from other images (and bullets, infoboxes and other visual features) can cause significant problems with text sandwiching and the relationship with other images. Second, it's often better to place all image syntaxes at the top of each section, for similar reasons. The default thumbnail size, largely through my efforts, was raised 49% last year throughout WMF projects, from 180 to 220px. There was considerable support for 240px, but we presented a cautious line to the Foundation developers. Very often, 240px for right-side pics is better, based on how detailed they are, there resolution, and their importance. Around the same time, with much support from Slim Virgin and other editors, the rules that appeared to frown on the upsizing of images according to editorial judgement were changed to a neutral stance. Personally, I try to keep the left-side of pics in a neat vertical line, although this is not always possible. Finally, I believe there's not enough use of centered, big (500px plus) pics, particularly for detail-rich maps. No one's saying to lash out and do this indiscriminately, but it's an option. Tony (talk) 17:44, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

"External links" should come after "See also" (link)

I've started a discussion to elevate "External links" higher in article. After footnotes, seems extremely buried for valuable content. Feels like treating it like categories or somethink low content like that.

TCO (talk) 17:30, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

That's the first time I've seen External links called "valuable content". They're usually just a dumping ground for semi-random urls in my experience. Malleus Fatuorum 17:57, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Forgive me, both of you, but I think this is the sort of thing Tony satirized last year with his excellent "Downfall" subtitles about Hitler submitting a featured article.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:20, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I tend to look at things, not just with a this is how we do it in Wiki, way. But with a "this is how real people in the rest of the world" attitude.
For Fluorine, I would much prefer being able to show the video (which is not a source, nor do we own it) much higher in article than down in category purgatory. (I have NO problems with cruft monsters screwing up any of my articles, btw.) Even more so, the Carter Library is a pretty damned high value resource to show to readers of a Jimmy Carter article.
I just honestly think this is a more efficient presentation of content. I would not bury it behind the refs in a written report, or if I were making a website off-wiki. The content is too valuable. Scrolling past screens of endnots makes little sense. And it really is similar in nature to See also, so it puts like with like. Could even call it See also (wiki), see also (external). I mean this is not that radical...not like I'm talking about hyperlinking (responsibly) in articles or the like. It's IN our article regardless. We are just putting the info in an inconvenient spot...and trying to keep traffic in our walls. I love my audience more than I love teh wiki. I love logical organization in a heirarchical, prioritized arrangement more than I love what some coder wiki person came up with.TCO (talk) 18:26, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
P.s. A lot of the wiki articles, daughters, etc. that we send people to are not up to scratch either. A lot of them just read like random people had added some factoids of info. Don't even read like a person had sat down and written a basic first draft. And content can be extremely spotty (huge gaps of key aspects).TCO (talk) 18:34, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

There is a template box {{External media}} for linking to videos like that that we can't upload and add directly to the article, and I've seen such a box used in the body of an article just like a photo, video or pull quote box. As for other links, sorry, I disagree. As I commented at the VP link, content external to our website should be at the end of the article, allowing the reference section(s) to act as the dividing line between "our" content and "theirs". Imzadi 1979  18:39, 20 June 2011 (UTC) P.S. As for articles that aren't "up to scratch": fix them. What's the whole point of an "encyclopedia anyone can edit". Imzadi 1979  18:41, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

No no no. I spend a lot of time cleaning out linkfarms on pages - external links are spam magnets and should stay where they are. I'd be happy to get rid of them altogether, put that's the purist in me. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 18:43, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It's certainly true that rather little of wikipedia's content is worth spit, but rather few external links are much better, although the video you link to may be an honourable exception. (Who owns the copyright on that BTW? I didn't see any licensing info, and I believe that linking to copyright violations is a no-no.) My view is rather different from yours, in that I'm rather suspicious of See also sections, and always wonder why, if the links are so notable, they haven't been included in the text. So I'd be arguing for the removal of See also, in which case it makes perfect sense to have the external links after the information on the article's sourcing. Malleus Fatuorum 18:47, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
My feelings on Extermal Links and Seealso sections align with Malleus' in that I find 90% or more unnecessary (especially any seealso item which can't be incorporated into the body of the text). The videos are a notable exception. It is unfortunate we can't adjust the video upwards but I don't see how it is possible. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:42, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Casliber, the documentation for {{external media}} states: "this template is normally placed in the main body of the article, in the same place that you would normally have placed the image, audio, or video clip if it had been available on Wikimedia Commons." My advice then to TCO is that if the video isn't a copyright violation by the server hosting it, use that template in the body of the article. At a later date, if the video, or a replacement for it, becomes available to us, the template can be replaced with a direct copy of that video. That way TCO's video link doesn't have to be buried down at the bottom of the article. Imzadi 1979  20:53, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Gah! Feeling too fuzzy-headed. Still haven't had my first morning coffee :P (never seen that template before...) Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:33, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
du...ude. I'm a nubile, don't bite me newbie, and I've seen that before. You are mighty lion man. ;) DRINK MORE COFFEEE! ;) TCO (talk) 21:37, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Yeah...I've actually used that template before. And then gotten donation for the video and hosted it with us (which ironically makes it less available as 50% of users can not run our videos...they don't work well on IE). really, that video, though covers the element overall, so not sure where to put it. Not like the Oregon video in Painted turtle which specifically illustrated the conservation section. Also, we really do have the possiblity of things like a presidential library...that covers our whole topic...not a section.TCO (talk) 20:57, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Casliber and Malleus. Whenever I rework an article with FA in mind, I try to incorporate the see also into the text or delete it. Some external links usually remain, but more than half are typically tangential or even outright spam. --Coemgenus (talk) 21:30, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Malleus and Casliber, in that most 'see also' links should be incorporated into the article by the time it reaches FA, and similarly external links should be pruned to the most relevant and informative. Though both the 'see also' and 'external links' section are useful dumping grounds for pointers towards content that editors may not have time to incorporate directly, similar to the way "further reading" sections can be used for sources that an editor may not have access to (offline or behind a paywall), but which they know will be a useful resource for a reader or a future editor of the article. I agree with TCO to the extent that external links, when done properly (and sorted into subsections) can be a very, very useful resource for the reader (I am surprised that featured article reviews don't really seem to pay much attention to external links). For particularly broad topics (i.e. not niche, obscure topics), a good external links and further reading section underlines the crucial point that a Wikipedia article is only a summary and starting point, and while many readers will go no further, we do need to think of the reader that wants to read more about the topic elsewhere. The mindset that a Wikipedia featured article is the be-all-and-end-all for the reader is sometimes seen when people make the claim that articles they have written are the best thing available on a topic (this may be true for narrow topics, but can never be true for broad topics). Really, Wikipedia articles are just a starting point, and the next step for most readers is to read the sources used in writing the article, and to follow the external links and any suggestions in 'further reading'. Carcharoth (talk) 21:40, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Obviously I agree with the general thrust of your comments, but I have never seen any editor claim that any wikipedia article is the best account of anything. What I have sometimes seen is a claim that it's the best online account, which is a fish of an entirely different colour. Malleus Fatuorum 21:45, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Malleus, I think a case could be made that quite a few wiki articles put all the pieces together on topics which have never been all put together in print. Accounts of political sidekicks, who perhaps have never had a bio themselves but who are mentioned now and again in their boss's bios.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:53, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Much more broad than that. I'd bet that you won't find a better online account of the Samlesbury witches, for instance, or I'd wager to say a better account anywhere. Or the Manchester Mummy for that matter. None of them are political sidekicks. Malleus Fatuorum 22:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I would not quarrel with that, nor for many horses and bishops. Or even (gasp) hurricanes.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:26, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Synagogues? Bus stops? Sock drawers? That said on chemical elements G&E, C&W, CRC, and Ullmans, bend us over the transom.TCO (talk) 22:31, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm rather disappointed we don't seem to have an article on all the endless documentaries about the Kennedy family. I just watched one on BBC2, narrated from the point-of-view of the nannies, about the Kennedy children. It was called Kennedys' Home Movies (broadcast in the US on TLC). It wasn't bad, actually, as a story, regardless of how much dramatic license it took with its editorialising. I was hoping to find something here or elsewhere on the internet about how accurate it was, or what reactions there were to it, but nothing so far apart from TV reviews. Carcharoth (talk) 01:05, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I am just a little pus...person...compared to you great ones that we read of in the Wikipedia Review. That said, in my limited newbie career, have had a lartical, state reptile that was superior to treatment of the topic online OR offline. And I'm not even saying it's all that great. Just I know what are the alternativez! TCO (talk) 21:57, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Web page layout 101: Never put links to other websites in a prominent place. Never beg people to leave your site. External links should be lastest of the laststest last. If there is a !vote on this topic somewhere, please ping me. "See Also" should be immediately below the Notes.  – Ling.Nut 00:38, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
TCO started a thread at the Village Pump, which has been so far resoundingly defeated, and should have been more appropriately placed at the talk page of WP:LAYOUT, where it would have been equally defeated but without wasting so many editors' time. TCO, yes, my patience for this sort of thing, and you taking up talk pages with unnecessary chatter, is stretched. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:43, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

A. Well at least they would be together then.

B. Blogs link out all the time. Get over ya walled garden AOL 1994 mindset.

C. I read your RFA and you needed to tighten up. :)

TCO (talk) 00:43, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Blogs can go toss themselves. "Tighten up" what the hell does that mean? Wake me up when you have two MAs, a PhD, and five FAs. I am off-wiki for personal reasons; hope to return in several months. As for walled garden 1994, I dunno, it's difficult to reply to... such an ... interesting... comment.  – Ling.Nut 00:54, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Interesting seeing some of the experimentation with "subject bar" and the like ([4]). I think this shows that we haven't quite figured out how to best organize all these types of link content (categories, internal see also articles, external see also articles, portals, commons link).TCO (talk) 15:50, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Citations for every sentence?

I apologize in advance if this topic has been addressed elsewhere/before. It has been suggested to me that using a citation at the end of every paragraph is not sufficient for articles seeking FA status, and that every sentence should be cited, even if all the information in a paragraph comes from the same source(s). Does this match the consensus view of other FAC reviewers?

If a citation for every single sentence is now (or will soon become) the standard for FA-quality articles, then there is a very good chance that I will retire from Wikipedia.

Thanks in advance for your comments. Scartol • Tok 22:07, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

It does not match my view. A citation can be assumed to cover all the sentences between it and the prior citation. I know some editors like to cite every sentence, and I don't object to them doing that, but there is no requirement to do so as far as I know. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 22:09, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
No way. That is exactly how I do referencing, by having one at the end of block of text I got the information from. --♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 22:12, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
The idea that every sentence needs to be cited is about as silly an idea as silly ideas get. It won't happen Scartol, and FA definitely doesn't require it. Malleus Fatuorum 22:14, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Piotr has been tying to push that notion for several months now, there is no consensus for it, and he should be discouraged from continuing the disruption, via block if necessary. You should not have to ask the question because one editor is pushing an agenda for which he has not gained consensus anywhere. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:02, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I know this is hard...since Wikipediots want RULES, but I would use your brain and try to consider outside experience. If you have 3 sources for a para, leave them at the end. It satisfies verifiability, helps someone looking for info, and they can just disaggregate what covers what. If you have 12 sources for a para (and I have, see painted turtle, then you are better off showing what coveres what (otherwise, you expect the reader to pull 12 sources, not 3, to find the verficiation or extra info covering what he cares about). TCO (talk) 22:15, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict) "Wikipediots" is a Wikipedia Review term of abuse, probably best confined to WR. Malleus Fatuorum 22:20, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
But I do think you should leave. With a big dramatic black template. And some wailing. Maybe nominate yourself for RFA first. Yum, yum...teh dramaz. I would take about 15 NYBs and trade them in for one Sandy. And I don't even agree with her. The whole infrastructure of talkie talkie moderator crap is just bizarre here. Imagine if that whole arbcom set was spending thier time on why the articles are crap instead of hall monitor games.TCO (talk) 22:19, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Do you really think that was helpful Mattisse? Malleus Fatuorum 22:21, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm a real boy! :-) TCO (talk) 22:24, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
But still made of wood. Malleus Fatuorum 22:31, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

As I said at the review in question, citation density is not part of the FA criteria and any oppose based only on that is likely to be disregarded. Nikkimaria (talk) 23:19, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

One of the problems with the current citation system is the not uncommon situation where you add a source for a multiple-sentence paragraph at the end of the paragraph, but someone later comes along and adds a new sentence and citation in the middle of that paragraph. It can confuse things dreadfully. The only real way to combat that is to add (invisible) HTML comments to say that the citation for a particular sentence is given later, or to explicitly state in the citation which bits of text it is supporting. Neither are particularly satisfactory. I do know I try and be very careful when adding further text to sourced text, as it can end up messing up the citation location and logic, but sometimes you have to make changes (e.g. updates for recent events or recent publications), and sometimes you don't have access to the sources to check how best to make the change, or the original editor is not around to help make the changes. It can be a conundrum. In my view, the vital thing to look for when reviewing (or writing) articles is whether the citations have been logically placed so that a reader can understand where the information has come from and what sources to consult if they want to verify things. Carcharoth (talk) 23:54, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

I think for the sort of article that I want to write (element, major animal, "core" topics) that just doing the every sentence thing is much easier. I say this not meaning any harshness towards those who have topics that don't need it. Nor do I want to be seen as a wimp. Just I've come around to it. Just like I've evolved to the view that it is better to draft most of a new article in sandbox vice fighting with the "bully-set" admins over the let us build the house debate.TCO (talk) 00:03, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
You make a very good point Carcharoth, the answer to which is that those who don't know what they're doing ought not to be editing Wikipedia articles. But of course that's politically unacceptable, as anyone can edit. Malleus Fatuorum 00:26, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Everyone started at zero. People need to learn how to do things. There's a whole mindset behind WP:V which is excruciatingly non-obvious to the casual editor, or the newcomer. Shameless plug: User:Ling.Nut/V-challenged.  – Ling.Nut 01:14, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
You're absolutely right, but there's surely an emerging problem here that needs to be addressed. Not everyone can write, although anyone can edit. Malleus Fatuorum 01:23, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
If we got rid of the "anyone can edit" bit, we wouldn't be Wikipedia any more; we'd be Sanger-pedia. That will never happen... I know I haven't done squat to help anyone or anything in months (well, I did fix one list), and I apologize for that. But the point is, bitching about the low quality of our editors (I agree many are low quality, of course) accomplishes absolutely nothing other than to make yourself more and more unhappy. Find a Clueless One who is, by some miracle, at the same time both responsible and teachable. Then teach. Then take satisfaction in the idea that you have turned some dross into gold (but again, I concede all accusations that I am not eating my own dog food... in fact, I am so burned out on the idiots that my plan is to do nothing but write, if/when I get the ability to be genuinely active again – no content review, nothing else).  – Ling.Nut 01:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
A noble but ultimately unworkable idea. But here's a more radical one: why not grade editors as to the articles they're allowed to edit? Beginners can edit stubs, more experienced editors can edit start articles, those with a few GAs can edit GAs and so on. OK, I know it'll never happen, but it exactly mirrors what happens in the real world. You can't teach what you haven't eaten. Malleus Fatuorum 01:46, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
It is a bitching idea. But the way to get there is step by step. First the camel gets his nose in the tent. Eventually you are bedding down with him. :-) Start with something simple like no new articles for IPs. Then NNA for non-confirmed. Then automatically semiprotect all FAs. You get the is a process. You might be surprised (with time) how that changes the culture from a constant turnover of 17 year olds, plus the arb/admin waste of time. There is a huge mass of people out there with brains who could contribute to Wiki, but don't. If the project started to grow up...stand the fuck back!TCO (talk) 02:01, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Counterproductive. Imagine Professor Li, an Ivy League expert in Ancient Chinese literature, reading a substandard article on the same and being so profoundly moved by a generous desire to dispel the misconceptions about her field that she actually gets a user name and edits. But she can't. Counterproductive. – Ling.Nut 01:51, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Instead we get him sticking something in as an IP, without a real source, and getting reverted by some shithead on his way to RFA. What you have described is a self defeating proposition like in Tunnel in the Sky. You need to climb up the ttree and put your shirt on it, and also throw wet branches on a fire.TCO (talk) 02:00, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • TCO: One of the reasons my RfA failed is because folks accused me of being opaque. Your post is far more opaque than any of mine.  – Ling.Nut 02:08, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
All change here is considered counterproductive, that's why the project is dying. Malleus Fatuorum 01:57, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Malleus: Ummm, yeah, change is slow. You need to 1) Come up with a solution that has some actual chance of passing 2) Lobby extensively via back-channel emails etc. to get a core of people to agree with your proposal 3) Spring it on the community full-blown and with a core of... you know.  – Ling.Nut 02:08, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
    • The splattering of ref tags (often repeated) at the end of every or most sentences is a big problem. I've heard that it's encouraged at GA, so someone, probably me, will have to go there and point out that this is really unacceptable, unless there's contentious or highly technical information that needs dense tagging. I've been reviewing DYKs recently, and the practice of ref-tag splattering is rife. Fortunately, they have a rule that says typically one ref tag per paragraph is enough. There's little understanding of the retroactive nature of ref tags. Tony (talk) 17:50, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
      • I can vouch for the fact that it's not all encouraged at GA. Malleus Fatuorum 19:40, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
        Such a bean-counting approach to citations has been strongly discouraged at GA since 2007: the GA criteria reflect this, as do all my contributions to the GA process since I encountered it in 2007. Geometry guy 21:40, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Not needed or wanted at GAN or FAC. Jezhotwells (talk) 22:17, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm pleased to hear this. So it's only at DYK that there needs to be pressure on nominators. DYK is the breeding ground for bad habits, and the seeding ground for future FA nominators. Tony (talk) 03:48, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
I think that DYK has much to answer for, yes. Malleus Fatuorum 18:22, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Much maybe, but not everything. The DYK rules say 1 ref per para is the minimum (not necessarily at the end), which matches FAR requirements - ie people will cite "unreferenced paragraphs" as a reason to de-feature. Johnbod (talk) 19:08, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
That doesn't match the FA criteria at all. That some reviewers may choose to try and insist on at least one citation per paragraph is neither here nor there, as they're in general wrong; it depends entirely on what's in the paragraphs. Malleus Fatuorum 19:11, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
It is about the most common issue cited at FAR, & I don't recall anyone successfully challenging the basis of the complaints - see all those ex-FAs by Geogre etc. Have a go if you like. Johnbod (talk) 19:15, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
That may well be so, but the issue isn't that paragraphs are uncited it's that facts are uncited. Not every paragraph needs to be cited, but all facts that could be considered other than general knowledge do, wherever they appear. Malleus Fatuorum 19:22, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

I see and have written an article where the issue was not so much refs at every sentence but refs at every clause. Moving the refs to sentence end, I think, makes a big improvement in readability. Usually, there is some logical relation of the clauses (comparison, or causation or whatever) and the mid-sentence refs divert from that. I find after the period, it is not such a disruptor.TCO (talk) 04:24, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

The issue of overcitation has been brought up before, usually in the FAC nominations themselves. Wikipedia:Peer review/Missy Higgins/archive1, Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/45th Infantry Division (United States)/archive 1, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Parks and Recreation (season 1)/archive2, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Rio de Janeiro bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics/archive1, Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Peer review/Harriet Tubman, Wikipedia_talk:Good_article_nominations/Archive_14#Too_many_references.2Fcitations, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Excel Saga/archive1, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/History of British Airways/archive1, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Bog turtle/archive1 among others. Perhaps it's time to add a FAC criterion that the number of references in a FAC should not exceed the number of sentences (or items) in said FAC. Firsfron of Ronchester 07:22, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

No, any kind of citation counting is not a good thing, and many medical/science articles have more than one citation per sentence. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:24, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I completely agree. The answer to bean counting is not more bean counting! Geometry guy 22:20, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Objectivity, please

FAC instructions to reviewers say that opposition to an article's promotion should be registered by "Oppose" or "Object". I think reviewers should stick to those formulations; further elaboration, e.g. "Strong oppose", implies a degree of emotional subjectivity in the review. This emphasis could subconciously affect other reviewers, who might think "Blimey, this must be bad!" before they've read the article. FAC criticism should always be geared to improving articles, not to the venting of feelings. (The same applies with "Strong support", by the way). Brianboulton (talk) 14:47, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

You've got a fair point that we should avoid bringing emotions into it, but at the same time, I think it's reasonable that reviewers give an indication of the severity of the problem. That is, it is helpful if a reviewer says "X is a serious problem. Y and Z are minor problems." That way, the article authors known which problems to prioritize, and myself/Sandy/Karanacs know which objections to pay the most attention to when reviewing the nominations. Raul654 (talk) 15:06, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
  • So, what do you do if you Oppose strongly? I haven't read even one word of Tony's Oppose nor the relevant FAC page, and I don't have time to do so. Please do not interpret my remarks as being directly relvant to that case in any way... But... FAC is like this: Opposes should have the right to stand, but they don't. I should have the right to say, I Oppose, and this is so far from the relvant standards that in no way is there anything you can do to make me change my mind this time around. Concrete example: An article with many many refs. Many cites. Let's say it has 250 cites that come from... mmm... 40 references or so. Upon review, I find two clear-cut cases of copyvio. At that point, the entire nom is useless in my eyes, because the nominators themselves have lost all credibility. They are either clueless, or worse. They need to show me that they have reviewed every single one of the refs/cites, from 1 to 250, before I will eyeball the article again. Now, what will happen if I try to say that? The niceness patrol will tell me I am wrong. The nominator will begin borderline badgering, with notes on my talk page, and whiny comments on WT:FAC. Etc. The playing field is not level. I have heard folks complain that the reviewers have too much power etc, but the truth is kinda the opposite. The format + the influence of the niceness patrol places pressure on people to work to "improve it til it passess". Just my thoughts! I have only intermittent access at present so...  – Ling.Nut 15:49, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I generally dislike the intensification of "support" and "oppose". I use "Strong oppose", reluctantly, only when a nominator appears to be ignoring my review points, which is the case on one live nomination. However, I see value in "Leaning towards ..." and "Weak ...". These options make it a bit more than just a binary choice, and are useful for Karanacs or Laser Brain when they're weighing up the balance. Tony (talk) 17:34, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Per Raul, above, writing "strong oppose" reveals the reviewer's depth of feeling but it does not necessarily indicate the severity of problems requiring attention and does nothing to promote rational discourse. I don't imagine for a moment that delegates are influenced, but as I say, passing reviewers might be, subconsciously. I don't accept Ling's version of how FAC works, and if there is a "niceness patrol" would he please introduce me to it? Brianboulton (talk) 22:27, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree with you Brian; it adds nothing in my eyes to Support in the strongest possible terms, as the acknowledged Master of the Known Universe other than to reveal the reviewer's mindset. I very much doubt if I have ever voted in such a way, as my assumption has always been that my oppose (or support) will be evaluated the same no matter how much rhetoric precedes or follows it. Malleus Fatuorum 22:35, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I believe someone should only truly "oppose" an article when it is clearly irredeemable and must be completely overhauled. For everything else the reviewer should first make comments and ask for improvements or corrections. Simply writing "oppose" before even giving a chance to the nominator to correct any issue is unfair. This move might even influence other possible reviewers of either ignoring the article because they might believe that it would be a loss of time to review it or merely oppose it too just for the sake of doing it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lecen (talkcontribs) 18:03, 1 July 2011
That's completely impractical. Nothing is ever "irredeemable" given infinite time and effort. Articles presented at FAC (or GAN) are expected to be at or close to meeting the relevant criteria. The review processes aren't first aid centres for crock articles. Malleus Fatuorum 23:23, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

I just went and changed my two strong supports to be mild-mannered ones after hearing what Brian said. Personally, I think "strong oppose" is over the top. The oppose is enough of a blow.

I find people here sometimes needlessly harsh and without an aspect of sympathy to the writer (note, I'm not saying A BIT to lower standards). In adademia, even with anonymity, I'm not used to some of the harsh tone. Sure...say it should not be published. Give the reasons. But even then, I sense a collegiatlity and a desire for good science to advance and works to be redeemed and improved (when a reviewere recommends not publishing).

It is not only a "sortfall of reviewers", but that this place will dry up if authors are not bringing stuff forward, are not learning to do what is required. Even if you have to shitcan some newbie's submission rather quickly, I would still realize that that can be a useful addition to the stable. The mushrooms and lemurs are very compliant. But we need to be getting more than that. It is both about proper filtration of the water AND about pumping.TCO (talk) 23:48, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Malleus Fatuorum, that's what I meant: someone should only oppose in exceptional and rare circumstances. The reviewer should (in fact, must!) attempt first to discuss with the nominator and help him improve the article. --Lecen (talk) 23:55, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree. I often see articles that would would be better taken out of the FAC spotlight and worked on elsewhere, and brought back when they're ready. In those cases I will oppose immediately. Malleus Fatuorum 23:59, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
But this is what I meant! In the rare and exceptional cases when, for example, an article is clearly below FA standards and should be completely reworked, the reviewer should oppose it. The real problem is that I saw reviewers oppose very good articles without even bothering to explain exactly what was wrong. And once you ask them what is wrong, the issues raised can be clearly fixed. Why oppose then, when he should have suggested improvements first? --Lecen (talk) 00:04, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
I've never seen a reviewer oppose without explaining why. Do you have any examples? Malleus Fatuorum 01:01, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
This one [5] is an example. I had no idea of what he was talking about. The he corrected himself. [6] He did not even bother to tell the nominator (in this case, I) what was wrong before he gave his vote. This is something that should be avoided. The reviewer should attempt to discuss and help the nominator. --Lecen (talk) 01:16, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

If I may disagree with Brian, I find a strong oppose useful for when an article is clearly not ready for FAC. I use this as a way of telling the delegates that something should be quickly closed. I've also used "weak" occasionally for when my feelings one way or the other aren't strong. Again, the intent is to help the delegates weigh my opinions. Giants2008 (27 and counting) 17:50, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

The delegates should be (and I'm sure are) weighing your opinions by whatever rationale you produce in their support, not the number of adjectives that precede your vote. Malleus Fatuorum 18:15, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
As with any other issue, different reviewers do different things, and although I can't think of a specific instance right now, there are likely to be some reviewers who use adjectives preceding their declaration in sensible ways such that may actually matter. Others use them emotionally, and naturally, that doesn't have any effect. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:26, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
You would make a good FAC director.TCO (talk) 04:28, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Technically you mean delegate, not director. As for emphases in support and oppose, I agree that they are not useful and that the emphasis should be given with the reasons. I also agree that some errors caught at a FAC are enough to warrant an immediate oppose or at the least a restarting of the review, especially where previous reviewers should be asked to reconsider their views or where their views may be nonsensical in light of later revelations. Of course, it is helpful to make clear when a support is only from a review of part of the article, or one aspect of the article, but those aren't technically supports and are more comments that inform other reviewers. Carcharoth (talk) 12:18, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, "support" should mean "I support this article's promotion to FA", not "the part of the article I looked at was OK". When I do just sources reviews, I don't indicate support or oppose; if the sources are up to the mark I write "sources are OK", and if they're not I point out the problems. Brianboulton (talk) 14:09, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
This is a good point. Some reviewers support, for example, on prose only, which I believe can be misleading to inexperienced nominators or other reviewers. How is it possible to lodge a Support without having reviewed sources and considered accurate representation of sources, close paraphrasing, copyvio, comprehensiveness, etc based on those sources? I do not understand Supports entered when there is every indication on the review that no one has looked at sources, and they may mislead nominators into believing that the article is close to promotion (which they should never be until someone has looked at sources). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:06, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
The problem here is that not everyone will have access to the sources to verify information, particularly for scientific content. Admittedly, this is not always the case, but it can be a big problem, especially since people are already complaining about not getting enough reviews. Maybe we should require that a source review must be conducted before anyone can review of the prose? Just a thought... – VisionHolder « talk » 15:24, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
You can do a prose review, just like I can do a source review - I think Sandy is suggesting you shouldn't support only on the strength of a prose review (but I thought that was encouraged? Maybe I'm misremembering...). Like Brian, I don't support on sources (or images) only. In any event, the issue here is spotchecking, which can be very time-consuming to do, which is why my initial review often doesn't include it. If you can figure out a way to get spotchecks done early on, more power to you. In fact, we need to recruit more spotcheckers, on top of more reviewers in general. Viable suggestions on how to do that are welcome. Nikkimaria (talk) 15:33, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
(EC) I don't think we need to change anything in terms of what we require-- and typically someone does review sources at some point, but it's just curious to me when someone supports a FAC with no knowledge of whether there is copyvio, close paraphrasing, misrepresentation of sources, when no other reviewer has yet checked sources. WP:V is policy-- we aspire to excellent prose, but upholding policy in FAs is a must, not an extra, and I've long been frustrated that the VERY hard work is carried by very few reviewers (e.g.; Nikkimaria). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:35, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I think we have to be pragmatic. It's highly unlikely that on any given FAC anyone has all the sources necessary to perform all the checks required in the perfect world, and inevitably spot checks will usually only be done on those sources that are available online, hardly a representative sample for an effective strategy. I think we have to work cleverer, not harder; on many of the ship FACs in the past, for instance, plagiarism was apparent because of sudden switches in writing style, or archaic language. I check when I'm suspicious, not as a matter of course. Similarly if I'm dubious about some claimed fact I'll check, but usually not otherwise. I start off by trusting until I find a reason not to, then I check. Malleus Fatuorum 17:18, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I entirely agree with Malleus. Consensus at FACs should be reached by teamwork. It is too much to ask reviewers to check everything, sources, images, comprehensiveness, prose, accuracy and so on. We will lose reviewers if we demand this. What's wrong with "support wrt Criterion 1a"? The delegates aren't daft. Or should we do away with supports entirely and just say that the prose, or whatever, is of the required standard? If my FAC reviews have been found wanting because I have only focussed on one or two aspects of the Criteria, then I apologise for thinking I was working with a team. Graham Colm (talk) 18:02, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Your reviews are good. I would just leave them and not worry about exact following of instructions. Sometimes it is better not to argue a point, but just do what you want (if you are a bad enough offender, than you'll get a direct talking to...but if it hasn't happened...;)) The directors seem to be able to read a review and see if it was prose only, prose and content, etc. I would maybe call out some special caveat or describe what features looked at, if there were a special reason to do so, rather than feeling a need to follow a script. Think the directors can and do evaluate the details of a review, who made it, along with looking at the submissions themselves.
Really wish we had sections or subpages or something. It is really painful in edit view to go in and out of the reviews to make a followup comment or the like. This setup might have been OK for Featured Pictures, but it is not keeping up with the current level of even short reviews. (Or do we want pure voting? Really?) Here is an example of open source review, that I find much more navigable. [7] TCO (talk) 18:17, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Just to follow up on Graham's point, I would be very much against even more of a move towards "support wrt criterion 1a/1b/1c/1d/1e/2a/2b ...". Reviewers need to take a holistic approach and look at the whole package, not each little nut and bolt. Malleus Fatuorum 18:28, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you again Malleus. I used to take a more holistic approach during my early days at FAC. As the years have passed, I have gained the impression that the delegates prefer the nuts and bolts to be scrutinised. And Sandy still gives me this impression. But having read all the above, I'm going to reflect on the way I review articles. Graham Colm (talk) 18:44, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Nothing anyone says will change the way I review articles, and I hope it won't change the way you review articles either. Malleus Fatuorum 18:48, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Y'all don't need to change anything :) You've been around FAC long enough to know who reviews what, who writes what, etc, but we sometimes see first-time nominators who compliance with WP:V has never been checked receiving support. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:54, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Responding here to a couple of the points above. Some articles I look at on the WP:FAC listing are ones that I just think to myself "too long", which is a pity as I would be quite happy to review a logically chosen section of some articles and leave a holistic approach to others (while adopting a holistic approach myself for some reviews). Also, for some articles, I spot something I have some knowledge of within the article, and may decide to focus on that. Also, a complete review can take a long time to both write and respond to, taking up large amounts of room on the page.

I agree absolutely that some parts of the review process are far more important than others (mainly those based on an examination and spot checks of the sources, as Sandy said above: "sources and considered accurate representation of sources, close paraphrasing, copyvio, comprehensiveness"). Only after that should other parts be considered. But this runs up against the problem of who has access to the sources. What I tend to do, in lieu of this, is ask the nominator directly about the sources, asking them to talk about reliability and comprehensiveness, and then judge from their responses whether they have adequately considered these issues. This needs to be supplemented with spot checks, of course.

Maybe every nominator at FAC, instead of writing a blurb to attract reviewers, should instead be summarizing the sources they have used, detailing their thoughts on reliability and comprehensiveness of those sources, and explicitly stating that they either wrote the entire article themselves, or have checked the entire article for things like source representation, copyvio and plagiarism when they first started work on the article. Carcharoth (talk) 19:17, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

That's a difficult one to get my head around. Surely every nominator has already summarised the sources they've used in the article itself? Malleus Fatuorum
I meant summarizing the degree to which different sources are used, not summarizing the content of the sources. i.e. the nominating blurb should cover how the sources were used and why, and why other sources were not used (e.g. source X was not used because the material was already mostly covered in source Z). If someone struggles to explain the process of source selection and summarizing that they went through, this tends to bring out concerns about source usage (why did you mostly use source A from 1897 and not use source B from 2006) and comprehensiveness (why did you fail to use source C published last year). Trouble is, to be aware of missing sources not used, you sometimes need to know the subject area very well. Carcharoth (talk) 19:45, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
You'll have to forgive me. I've seen some pretty crap ideas today, but that one is right at the top of the list. Malleus Fatuorum 19:50, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Do you mean not workable, or just missing the boat entirely? Another way of putting this, I suppose, is asking whether FAC is good at distinguishing between articles written by editors who take an interest in a subject and work up (mostly by themselves) an OK-looking encyclopedia article on the topic (i.e. those who are well-read on a topic and willing to do a bit more reading), and editors who have in-depth knowledge of a subject and related sources and can really critique the sources used rather than offer superficial comments on the sources based on general principles. My point is that a source review can either be general ("these look like scholarly and reliable sources") or can be specific ("I know from my reading in this field that author Y or publisher X, although appearing reliable, should in fact not be used for the following reasons"). This is why you get comments from reviewers asking the nominators to explain why source Z is reliable. All I'm doing is suggesting that this general "can you answer questions about your sources if asked?" approach is adopted at every FAC. Carcharoth (talk) 20:46, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I mean both. But I think it's a great way to reduce the number of FACs to zero, thereby solving the lack of reviewers problem. Malleus Fatuorum 21:12, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah, hadn't thought of that. It might be a bit off-putting yes. But still, something worth asking nominators at times, I think. And all nominators should be able to answer such questions in principle. Carcharoth (talk) 21:28, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I think it could be helpful. Like getting an overview of the nature of the research done and the types of sources in the field. Don't think it is an unreasonable imposition for the author to write a couple paras on this (compared to the huge work in doing the article itself). And it's pretty easy for me to skim and then get some perspective from. Obviously I can at least read the titles of the sources and the like as well. But it can help. Think it might also concentrate the author's mind.TCO (talk) 20:50, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Or failing that, at least some indication of the work done on the article, and what time period the work covers. This could range from "did this offline over several weeks and dumped it on the wiki and am nominating it now" to "found an unloved stub a year ago and worked it up over time, consulting a wide variety of sources" to "I have every book under the Sun on this topic and consulted them all" to "worked as a team with people from this WikiProject" to "took over from Editor Y after the previous FAC failed and consulted a few more sources and polished it up" to "took this article through good article and peer review and am now bringing it here" (the most common form of nomination) to, well you get the idea. The permutations are endless, but rather than all the different reviewers each looking up the history of an article, it could be incumbent on the nominator to summarize this (and to be fair, some do). I much prefer that to the blurbs that read "this article is interesting because of XYZ (i.e. please review it)". To be fair, scanning the list of current nominations at FAC, many nominations do give some of the background to how that article came to FAC and what work was done on it, but some ('Astonishing Stories', 'London Necropolis Company', 'Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies', 'Kenneth Walker', to name four examples) are just descriptions of the article, rather than the work done on the article and (for example) how much time was spent on the article, and what the previous review stages were (though those are available on the talk page in the ArticleHistory template). Anyway, enough of this. I'm going to add some of these thoughts to the subpage in my userspace, and then review an article, which would be a much better use of my time. Carcharoth (talk) 21:28, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
In fairness to London Necropolis Company at any rate, I intentionally gave that one a much shorter nomination than usual, because last time round I was criticized for making the nom statement too long by including background about how the article came to be written, what made the topic significant, and how it meshed with related articles. Impossible to please everyone... – iridescent 2 17:57, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
To get practical, my concern is on topics that have 100s of sources, need to be put together by teams, or had a lot of previous existing (even if mostly decent) Wiki-content. I think FA can be a process to make sure that for once all that content is really checked (not by us as reviewers but at least by the nominator), but I would not assume that this is always the case. Especially with someone taking the "polish it up" approach.TCO (talk) 21:52, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't feel an obligation to read the other reviews. Sometimes I will go ahead and do so since I'm a nosy person. But that's a choice. Definitely don't feel any obligation to read reviews done after me, especially if I'm done engaging. Why should I need to mechanically change my vote? If it comes up that the article is plagiarized then of course, my support does not apply. I trust the head editor (director/delegate) to just take care of that process. What, is she going to pass it, when it shouldn't be passed since I didn't go back and revote? I don't think so. So what's the need? This is not some RFA vote anyway. It's more like submitting to a journal. Also Malleus is dead-on that we can't do everything, to include subject matter expertise and re-researching. The director should just use the reviews for what they're worth. Feel same on an oppose. If I oppose and don't come back, but concerns are dealt with (or author disagrees and editor backs him up) than situation is taken care of.TCO (talk) 21:10, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Carcharoth's idea is attractive: why not a statement that "the checklist" is all ticked off. We need a checklist. And DYK could sure use one at a lower level. Tony (talk) 09:48, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Why not add to the instructions something like: "Reviewers who "Support" are encouraged to specify which area or areas their support applies to, unless they are confident of declaring overarching support." Tony (talk) 15:14, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Two (prosaic) things

  1. John McCauley (RAAF officer) has been renamed John McCauley and I notice the associated FAC link has gone dead on WP:FACL, though it still seems all right elsewhere -- what the process to take care of it on WP:FACL?
    I've fixed it. The process is, unless you know how to do it correctly, please don't move a FAC without calling the attention of a delegate so all the pieces can be corrected, and as with any move, you should check "what links here" so all the bookeeping can be cleaned up. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:50, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
    Well I didn't move it myself, though I did support the suggestion -- I was surprised it happened that quickly. Thanks for fixing. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 03:58, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
  2. Is the clause An editor is allowed to be the sole nominator of only one article at a time hard and fast? I notice at least one sole nominator has two FACs running now, and if we are permitted more than one solo nom simultaneously, I have another all ready to go in addition to my one that's open already. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 02:20, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
    As far as I know (and I'm just now catching up after several days), only Hawkeye has more than one up, he was granted permission when his first had multiple supports and appeared ready for promotion but no independent review had been done ... then close paraphrasing was found in his first nom, so it's still open (and his second nom will need to be checked for that). The permission to put up a second was granted because it appeared his first article was ready for promotion: in fact, it was not, and no, this exception isn't routinely granted. John McCauley still has image issues to be sorted-- you might ping User:Jappalang. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:53, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
    Perhaps that's better addressed in the FAC but I've actioned the image questions and modified the files. One editor has suggested a brand new template that appears redundant and which no-one else has considered necessary in similar images. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 03:58, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
In response to the second question: without checking the specifics of the case you mention, you can ask an FAC delegate for exemption from the one-at-a-time rule. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:22, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Okay tks -- just checking. I'm in no special hurry... ;-) Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 03:58, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
I never miss a chance to point out that the FAC queue is longer than it appears because of the "one nom" rule. I'm sure you have plenty of articles on Wing Commanders waiting in the wings. (What is the collective noun - a flush of WCs?) Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:38, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Could be -- according to my Biggles collection, the nickname for air commodores is air commode...;-) Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 09:59, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

It might be an idea when permission is granted like this for the nominator or delegate to note this in the second nomination, as that will save time when people spot things like this and wonder if they should ask about it. I'm presuming from the above that this wasn't noted in the nomination, and I must confess that I'd noticed this myself and assumed that one of them was a co-nomination, but it seems not. Carcharoth (talk) 12:22, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

I typically remind the nominator to include the diff where s/he was given permission in their blurb-- in this case, I don't believe I was the one who granted the permission, but adding the diff is what should always be done. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:23, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
You were not the delegate who gave permission, but hardly out of the loop; it was on your talk page. I have added it to the blurb. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:10, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Correct, as I said, I typically remind the nominator to include the diff in the blurb, but I wasn't the one responding in this case (perhaps I should have noticed and gone back and reminded you to add it in, or perhaps I can't do all things in all places at all times :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:45, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I'll try to remember to remind on that in the future. Karanacs (talk) 15:41, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Not exactly tit for tat, but an idea that takes from it

(Wait two seconds before saying you hate this.) Hawkeye had an interesting insight that the queue is actually larger than one would think since some people have FACs waiting to be allowed in.

What if we allowed nominators to have "more than one at a time" provided they were doing at least 3 reviews, per submission? This would NOT require anyone to do tit for tat and would not inhibit anyone who wants to submit one at a time and never review. It would just open an optional door.

I think in terms of mechanics, just have the nominator make a simple statement with his nom. Allow the director broad (arbitrary) discretion to take the privilege away from anyone who abuses it. No complicated tracking system or any of that Wiki-cruft. Just honor-based, with the axe falling if someone abuses (by not really doing the numbers, gaffing off the reviews, not re-engaging as needed, TTTing in 20 articles, etc.) Probably wouldn't even need to do much director monitoring of the practice, just encourage Community to complain if there is an abuser.

TCO (talk) 16:30, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Obviously there is a danger of 3 people forming a troika and just reviewing each other. But this could get called out easily as abuse by the community. And really there is some danger of this already, given size of ta regularz communityTCO (talk) 16:35, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
What do Raul and Dabomb think of having a longer list and allowing multiples? Tony (talk) 16:53, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Ignoring Tony's barb, anytime a nominator asks permission to put up a second FAC, I take multiple factors into consideration, a new "rule" is not needed, common sense applies. If a prolific reviewer, for example, had a FAC stalled only because of a minor issue pending resolution or one of the delegates hadn't been able to run through yet, they would most certainly be allowed to put up a second nom. No worthy nom is held up as long as the previous nomination is succeeding. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:36, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
COOL. Now I just have to do the work to write articles. *sad* TCO (talk) 17:39, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Good answer, Sandy. Tony (talk) 15:15, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I actually think having it in writing would be good, not for any crufty "rule" reason. I LIKE the idea of someone being in charge and having discretion. Just think it would be a little bit of a visible "soft" promotion of "give back". (this is a subtle point, though).TCO (talk) 15:23, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't want to get into the business of tracking reviews that closely, TCO - and some writers aren't good reviewers. I'd rather not force them into doing that. I also don't want to see 4 nominations by one writer, all 4 with big issues listed, just because the writer reviewed 12 other FACs. Have there been any complaints on how the current system is working? Karanacs (talk) 15:40, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Karen, (1) I already said no tracking. (2) Really, how is this any different from what you do, other than to encourage people to do the right thing? Besides Sandy said she would consider someone's prolific reviewing if they want to submit more. (3) I find it incomprehensible that someone who is capable of producing FAs in quantity can not write or learn to write a review. The tasks are not that different and in the academic world, people do both quite readily. (4) Agreed there, would be a max (actually I thought I covered that as well, if reread what I said about abuse). (5) It's honest, no big deal, and the last thing I want is more crufty RULEZ. But it was a point in reaction to Hawkeye's comment about how the queue was greater than we know. (which was a great insight really...but then it made me consider if someone IS putting in two at a time, he should be "giving back".TCO (talk) 15:51, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Where is Laser Brain? (nt)

No text.TCO (talk) 20:46, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Dunno, could email him I guess...Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:18, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Sandy and I recently traded emails on that subject. We've had no contact with him either. Raul654 (talk) 00:23, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I emailed him about two unrelated things about two months ago and two weeks ago. And I facebooked him a while ago. No responses. I'm concerned. Tony (talk) 06:39, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Tony, does the facebook page show any recent updating by LB? I'm concerned as well.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:24, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Not for many months. :-( Tony (talk) 11:21, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Gaining reviewers for specific articles

Hi all! I am relatively new to the FA process (one of my articles is currently a candidate). I've noticed that many FACs are failed because they lack enough supporters, so my question is how would one find enough people to support/oppose an article before it is eventually archived? I apologize if this may seem obvious to some, but am I allowed to contact people and ask them to weigh in on the article? Or should I simply stay out of it and watch other unsolicited users volunteer to look an article over? I completely understand that FA reviewers are very busy people; my question would pertain to other experienced editors that don't/won't necessarily visit the FAC page to look articles over. My current FAC was failed the first time for lacking enough supports (despite having no opposes), and I'm worried that it will fall through the cracks again (it currently has two supports and no opposes). Thanks! :) Ruby2010 comment! 21:59, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Review other articles at FAC and hope they review yours. Ask wikiprojects. Ask people who have expressed an interest in the article, the GA reviewer if any, anyone who touched it at PR. There is a fine line before you get to canvassing, so be careful.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:01, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick reply. Canvassing was exactly what I was worried about, so I'll be careful. I just asked the GA reviewer, and will probably ask one or two more. I'll try to review an FA article or two also. Thanks, Ruby2010 comment! 22:13, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
The idea is to make it clear that you aren't just looking for friendly editors who will give support. If I get time, I'll take a look at it as well, though it is not my field. I have not reviewed as many FACs as I should, recently (I hear nodding from the delegates).--Wehwalt (talk) 22:27, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I think you should reach out to reviewers and bring them in. Obviously, don't bother with lightweights or try to get buddy-buddy reviews (won't help ya anyway: Sandy will either discount it or even suspect collusion). Instead, I would just imagine YOU are the journal editor and then go gather the reviewers. You are not only helping yourself, but getting people engaged in this process, which benefits them as well as this whole crowd. They just can't rely on "wander by" reviews. And the directors are too busy to go and farm out reviews the way a real journal does it.

  • Try to think of a couple aspects of content to check (for example with U.S. state reptiles, I got both a reptile guy and someone into Americana), as well as a lay person not steeped in the topic.
  • A lot of the stuff here is heavy in prose reviewing, so getting the heavies (like Malleus n Wehwalt) to engage is helpful, but difficult as everyone wants them, but do what you can do. Like I pulled Diannaa into a review even though she was hesitant about opining on Featured Content. But the thang gonna get hamma fer gramma anyway...most people do a text review.
  • For image reviews, the people you've used for image brushups at the Graphics Help Desk do great file reviews (you should be using them anyway, rocking resource, hope I am not giving away a secret fishing hole). I think we are kinda OK here as Sven and FS and Nikki are doing some. But it's really not that hard to get image people in if you just muck around in image space and meet some of them (like MissMJ or Material Scientist would do great image reviews if we wanted).
  • Sandy will want a close paraphrasing check too. The only two that I know of that really run tools and all are Moonridden and Januarygirl. No reason why January could not be sweet-talked into a look-see. You could also just get a normal person to look it over, but then since they may not be as good with tools and such, might want to go to a subject matter expert who is likely to have access to some of the sources. (In that case, may as well also get him to opine on the content appropriateness of the article as well. For instance do the areas of emphasis and amount of coverage in the article make sense.)
  • For super extra credit, might ask an outside academic to review it. I had that lined up for the two that I've done, but in both cases they closed before my outsider reviewed.

Project talk pages are not bad for a broadcast reachout, but the "orange bar" produces more results (for most things on Wiki). You can even use the telephone game of asking someone to name someone (like I needed a "table guy" once and Malleus sent me to RexxS. While not bringing in lightweights or people who will no review fairly, I would not feel any obligation to hunt up people that make unreasonable opposes (that may happen anyway).

TCO (reviews needed) 23:01, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I stumbled across this here Ruby2010, and as a result I've looked through the article and left a few comments. Don't worry, nobody would accuse me of being a "friendly editor". ;-) Basically I think there's still a bit of tidying up to, but I also think you might make it this time. And TCO, no more comments about my weight please. I get enough of that kind of nagging from my stick-thin wife! Malleus Fatuorum 23:57, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks to all for your comments. It has already received a great image review, and Diannaa was one of its copy editors (on that note, could she serve as a reviewer?) Malleus was nice enough to look the article over as well. I'll try to get another reviewer or two (don't worry, they won't be a "buddy"). :) Thanks, Ruby2010 comment! 00:42, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Of course she could, the more the merrier. Malleus Fatuorum

Supporting structure in articles

One of the things I tend to look at (among others of course) when reviewing articles is the supporting structure, by which I mean things such as navigation templates, footer templates, categories, portal links, sister project links, external links section, further reading (and maybe a few others I've forgotten). I've been surprised at how varied the approach is in some areas to these elements of supporting structure, and I've also been surprised at how easy it is for errors to creep into such areas. The questions I wanted to ask are:

  • (1) Is it useful to review such elements of the article at FAC?
  • (2) Is this covered at all in WP:WIAFA? The closest I could get is 2b ("appropriate structure").
  • (3) What do you do when something like WP:EL is a poorly written mess? Ditto for some of the other elements. Does the Manual of Style have guidance on layout and formatting for templates, or is this something where standards are still evolving (note the recent debate over a new way to present portal links)?

I realise that compared to the main body of the text, this part of things isn't often very important in articles, but is there a recognisable standard for these elements at FAC, or are they mostly skimmed over and not checked? I suspect WP:LAYOUT is the best guidance - is that the standard FAC expects for 2b? Carcharoth (talk) 23:24, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I try to go from top to bottom and have given advice even in categories for instance (to add a couple). I think it's worthwhile to go over this stuff towards the bottom, especially for content. I would not like to see us become overly rigid on format as it's unclear what exactly the best layout is and it will likely stop experiments being done on better organizing this stuff. For instance, I think the new subject bars look kinda clunky, but am glad people are trying them out (even voting in deletions to keep them). And then for portals, I hate the right side floating and usually convert it to an inline on the left (bulleted) or even move it to talk perhaps. But I think we should not be rigid on this. More important is to say major areas that are missing or conversely low value links to get rid of, stuff that was covered in text, etc.TCO (reviews needed) 23:30, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Exactly how an article id formatted is something on which we give considerable leeway to authors, I believe. More important, imo, is that articles on very similar subjects (say, British Army officers) should all follow the same pattern. Certainly comparing and contrasting an FAC to existing FAs on similar subjects (if there are any) to check for consistency is useful. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:45, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I think even there I wonder. I don't like template-driven articles too much. Or Project dictates. I guess in theory, if we really had it all nailed down great. But I find problems with org on existing articles and see people do things new all the time and it's useful innovation. Crazy that we have not figured it all out yet, but I think we have not.TCO (reviews needed) 23:50, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with TCO. The past should not be a straitjacket, and I would hate, when entering a new area, to be bound by what was done in an article that passed FAC in 2004 and somehow survived a FAR where all the rational people were on vacation. A good time to tidy up that sort of thing is if a featured topic is being sought.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:13, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Of course it's appropriate to review, as it is covered in 2) of WIAFA (MOS); since those elements of the style guidelines are rarely reviewed here at FAC, I usually end up fixing them myself. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:24, 13 July 2011 (UTC)


I proposed Space debris on FAC two days ago. I'm a weekend dad so I only returned to it this morning and it was already closed!

The comments were mostly formatting and style, many of which I was able to fix in less than 5 minutes. A few more needed clarification so I could fix them too.

So is this rapid closure typical? And what is the criterion for doing so?

Maury Markowitz (talk) 12:37, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Hi Maury. The nomination was closed by a delegate because it had two opposes, including a comment that "This article appears unable to satisfy the FA criteria". There's no hard-and-fast rule as to what commentary is needed for a rapid closure, but the rationale for doing so is that articles that need substantial work shouldn't be adding to the backlog at FAC. Nikkimaria (talk) 13:10, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Maury, don't be disheartened: this is common procedure. You might consider forging links with other editors in your topic area to prepare a renomination of this one and/or other articles. Tony (talk) 13:56, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

But what is the proper process for this? I already went through a PR and implemented all of those suggestions. Nothing in the PR process was anything like the comments here. So if I want to bring an article to FAC, and PR isn't the way to do it, what is? Maury Markowitz (talk) 14:56, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

PR is typically an important step on the way to FA, but according to the article's talk page the past review happened nearly two years ago -- and even then the sole reviewer noted it needed quite a bit of work to stand a chance at FAC. Since so much time has passed, another PR (you can have more than one), or maybe even GAC; anything to get more eyes on the article before trying for FAC again. As you have seen, opinions may vary regarding an article's fulfillment of the FA-criteria, so the more feedback you have the better. Is there are a relevant WikiProject you can elicit help from? Experienced FAC-regulars who specialize in space-related topics? María (habla conmigo) 15:11, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't know about that last part, I generally steer away from the projects. I really worry about the process though... you do this and get xxx set of suggestions, then you do yyy and get another set, and so on, but never converging to zero. The fact that the overlap between these processes appears minimal suggests that the set of changes might be some constant times the number of eyeballs? Maury Markowitz (talk) 20:16, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think the suggestion list ever converges to zero - there's too many people on wikipedia, and too many personal opinions on what makes a great article. What we're looking for at FAC is consensus (not a unanimous vote) that the article meets the featured article criteria. I generally don't archive an article after only a day or two, but I will if there are multiple opposes. That usually means the article needs a little more TLC. Karanacs (talk) 20:31, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
So is it unusual to get multiple opposes? Or is that common?! Maury Markowitz (talk) 20:45, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Generally, if we get into multiple opposes the nom is archived (unless there are a lot of supports counterbalancing, or the opposes are not actionable). When they come in this early, it generally indicates the article needs a little more polishing. Now you've got the chance to do that without any time pressures. Karanacs (talk) 20:53, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Maury, the process lacks, I agree. (Real journals separate the papers out to subeditors, have reviews on different pages, have the editor actually read the article [inluding post revision] and give some comments when rejecting a submission.) That said, the peeps here work hard, for free; it's what they are used to; and just don't get yaself amped up about the process, just figure out a way to do what you want. I agree about the projects, usually. Better to network around and find people to do good feedback. (Although if you can sweet-talk the Mil Hist people into doing A level, might getsome eyeballs. If you are the main editor, you can pretty much just dismiss things you don't want to do...but I bet the find some things you agree are faults.) It's an important article. A much more prominent subject than most FAs. You will keep after it.TCO (reviews needed) 23:47, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Oh I'm not blaming anyone, I realize there's a huge amount of work here and no one's getting paid. I hope I didn't come off as if I was complaining (it seems I always sound whiny in text). Maury Markowitz (talk) 12:33, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
In other news, does anyone know why this happens? Did I do something wrong? Maury Markowitz (talk) 12:35, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Ahhh, it seems that if the FAC is open then the PR auto-closes. Does anyone know why the FAC hasn't auto-closed? Maury Markowitz (talk) 13:33, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
GimmeBot is manually triggered ... see the note at the bottom of your FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:50, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Wrong understanding leading to oppose

I would like to point out everybody's attention to Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Halo (Beyoncé Knowles song)/archive3, an example of opposing an article based on wrong understanding of content. User:SunCreator is opposing the above article by claiming that the release date is wrong, since the song charted in UK, prior to its official release because of digital downloads. It was explained to him that his assessment is wrong, since UK charts have made it possible for any song to chart as soon as they are available for downloads. Once an album is released all the songs are available for download, so by that definition every song can be considered a single. This is a completely wrong assessment and, well, turning blind to counter-theories is not something that nominators can really address right? So I request anybody reviewing this, or any other song articles which comes to FAC to keep it in mind, not to cloud your judgement and see the other side of the story as well. Karen, Sandy and Andy (if you are online) please see to this matter too. — Legolas (talk2me) 05:26, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps an experienced music editor can be asked to look at it, because I know there are endless arguments about what is/is not a single.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:52, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Wehwalt's advice is good. But bear in mind, no Oppose is a fatal one. If no experts can be found, politely explain in the briefest terms your counterargument, and direct the delegate's attention to that post.  – Ling.Nut 13:57, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your responses Wehwalt and Ling. That's exactly what I have asked nominator Tbhotch to do. — Legolas (talk2me) 14:21, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
I would recommend my colleague, both as administrator and conom, User:Kww.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:09, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

This is the third time I create a FAC, and as the other two, no one in seven days has interesed to review this article. I'm not going to waste my time with this again, really. People search perfection, even when it is not needed. Any delegate feel free to close it; any way, you'll be closing it in the week, don't you? Tbhotch. Grammatically incorrect? Correct it! See terms and conditions. 02:04, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

What article? IF the FAC is still open I'll at least look at it.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:24, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
The one that Legolas linked above, Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Halo (Beyoncé Knowles song)/archive3. As far as I can see, the review is still open. Dana boomer (talk) 02:21, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Alright, I'll look at it by the weekend. I have a PR promised and ongoing writing work so I can't say exactly, but I'd appreciate it if the delegates will not lower the boom. Not my sort of music, despite my reputation for odd musical tastes.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:05, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

closing FAC nom

What is the impetus for closing a FA nomination? Because there nominations on this page two weeks older than one of mine which was recently closed. And mine wasn't stagnant or anything. Shannon+º! 03:47, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Link: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Missouri River/archive3. Dabomb87 (talk) 02:51, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the link, Dabomb. Shannon1, that FAC had 3 opposes already. At that point, generally better to take some time off and polish it up before bringing it back. Karanacs (talk) 14:51, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Nominators for the TFA queue need to take more responsibility

Both in rewriting the blurb, where necessary, and prepping the article. Talk:Main_Page#TFA_is_a_bit_weird_... Tony (talk) 05:05, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

This theme seems to be cropping up on every page except the one where it belongs: WT:TFA/R. I agree that TFA/R should be looking more carefully at articles presented for TFA, and since blurbs are derived from the lead, FAs that got through FAC with scanty review should be scrutinized and addressed. Of course, more and better reviews at FAC are the ultimate solution, since faulty leads get through on shoddy supports. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:12, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps the problem is that people don't realize that the blurb is a problem. A few words against a couple entries at TFA/R (please feel free to use Landis, it will not reignite our dispute if you do) might get people to notice.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:26, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't know why they don't ... I noticed long ago that I was the only TFA/R reviewer checking and adjusting blurbs, and am unsure why more don't review them. When the blurb is a problem, that usually indicates that the article is a problem, since the blurb derives from the article. This focus on blurbs is misplaced IMO; the focus should be on better reviews at FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:31, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Aqreed this should be at TFAR. And further would not be so much on the noms and voters. That is NOT a review process, but on the people running that page. I think now that Raul has a helper, maybe it will get better. Dabomb is a straight up guy. From a practical standpoint, I think they should heavily slant their picks to stuff that is more recently promoted (it does away with a lot of the issue of untended or lower quality old articles: "Peregrine falcon" was a recent example. If someone wants an old article run fine, let them jump a little and push it and prove it up to snuff. But just reaching through the old stuff...bad practice. P.s. Yeah...I realize this should be at TFAR, but you lot tend to wander.TCO (reviews needed) 18:12, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
What's wrong with the article lead in today's TFA? The main page blurb is obviously crap, but that's because nobody but the annointed are allowed to fix it. Malleus Fatuorum 18:37, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
I (what?) agree with Malleus. The blurb was inexcusably weak. TFA should have a few days of access for normal editing on each blurb before it goes to the main page. I never thought Somerset would be so boring... The Rambling Man (talk) 18:42, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreeing with me is a very unpopular position to adopt. I'd go further and agree with Tony, another rather unpopular opinion to adopt, in that the blurb needs to be written from an entirely different perspective from the article lead, as it serves an entirely different purpose. Malleus Fatuorum 18:47, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Can I be in the unpopular crowd too and say that Sandy really runs FA, not Raul? TCO (reviews needed) 18:53, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
SandyG is more the analogue of a papal legate so far as FAC is concerned. Malleus Fatuorum 19:00, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
That article needs more content. Let's burn some Albigensians (or whatever they were called).TCO (reviews needed) 19:02, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Like the overwhelming majority of Wikipedia's content it needs to be completely rewritten. But Wikipedia has an abhorrence of those who prefer to improve content rather than engage in mundane administrative tasks, or at best a complete indifference to them. Hence it will continue to languish, as will the 3 million others like it. Malleus Fatuorum 19:09, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
More to the point, if we're claiming our best work should be featured on the main page, let's give genuine article writers a chance to make sure it stands up to scrutiny. Right now, as proven by Somerset, we're not doing that and we're devaluing whatever decent content we have. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:16, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
One obvious thing is to favor recent passes. I think for old articles, that they need a champion and should be looked at a little more skeptically (both because standards went up over the years, and also articles degrade from "anyone can edit"). I guess if the point system is giving negative points for old articles, all is good (although I blew off "points game" with 90 and 104-year anniverseries (ha!) on mine...;-))TCO (reviews needed) 13:11, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
If there is a recent rhodocene or Carabane, we can just blame that on the directoress. ;-) TCO (reviews needed) 13:13, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I do think we should not only worry about "failure to oppose" though and be concerned about total production (for example of articles that get high views or have key educational purpose).TCO (reviews needed) 13:40, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Main page features

A RFC is underway to discuss what features the community desires to see on the main page. Please participate! Thanks. AD 19:42, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Impetuous and premature-- launching an RFC before discussion of what should even be in the RFC is never a good idea and usually leads to faulty conclusions. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:24, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
If you think so, clearly others don't agree with your opinion. AD 21:26, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
My qyick reaction was same as Sandy's. Wanted a bunch of EotR-style pre-work and then a specific proposal to weigh in on. But I went over there...and the fellow has done a great job, just LISTING all the parts of the page. And the exercise (I am doing it) of actually looking at the page, including features I never noticed) and voting on them is a very good exercise. So I think fellow did a good job. Also, people are weighing in very constructively. For that matter, we really need to go through some of this process before we can start to converge. Kudos to the fellow for devising it!TCO (reviews needed) 09:48, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Thank you TCO, it is refreshing to hear positive feedback! This RFC was never meant to be one that is binding or exhaustive. It's simply to get some feedback before we go any further. I noticed there has been dissatisfaction lately with the main page, and so thought it best to see just what people thought of it. One thing I would have done differently, which has been done now, would have been to add a simple "do you agree with the main page as it currently is" section. But otherwise I think it's doing a good job so far at seeing what the community wishes to see. When we eventually come to redesign it to bring it up to date, we can look at this RFC for clues as to what people want and think about things. As I said, it's just for feedback, rather than diving in straight at the deep end, or having months and months of discussion (which is what seemed to happen with the last proposal). AD 10:21, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Seems a worthwhile topic to discuss, but I would expect great publicity before any final, decision making RFC The main page affects everyone.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:06, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Discussion at AN/I regarding User:Tony1

I have begun a discussion at AN/I regarding certain conduct of Tony1 which I consider objectionable. Link here. Comments welcome.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:03, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Just a note to say that I regard Wehwalt's conduct as objectionable. I also want to flag that SandyGeorgia has put the whole process in a difficult position in her personal attack and smearing on my talk page. This essentially means that she must recuse from any nom I review. Tony (talk) 06:17, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Tony, remember that editors typically put in a ton of hours getting an article ready for FAC, so a strong oppose from a regular like yourself may, understandably generate an equally strong reaction. It puts the moderator in an awkward position, because if she/he were to step in immediately and comment on the oppose, it may seem like intereference in the FAC process, which should be allowed to flow on its own for the most part. What is really needed is for a third, uninvolved party to immediately step in, give an opinion on the basis for the oppose, and start mediating a way forward, even if there is possibly some personal animosity involved (which I'm reserving judgement on in this case). It's my fault as much as anyone elses, because I should participate more in the FAC forum and have seen this coming and tried to help head it off before it blew up.
Both of you (Wehwalt and Tony) put a lot of time and effort into improving this project where it really counts, in article quality. I know you both suffer for your work (your Wikipedia work, that is), because I have suffered for mine. The big picture, of course, is the proverbial "cooperate and graduate", i.e. (for those of you unfamiliar with this phrase), let's work together to accomplish what we're here for, to produce the best articles on certain topics that exist anywhere on the Internet. Cla68 (talk) 07:20, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Good points, and this should be sortable with kindness by all parties. Wehwalt, for what it's worth, I apologise for the personal component of my original post at the nom page. An apology from you would be welcome concerning your total revert of my good-faith work at the TFA blurb (bound to put any editor offside, even before you spat the dummy and went to ANI).

But Sandy has really damaged FAC, herself, and me, by walking into my talk page and posting a huge statement that impugns my honesty, and implies that she will in future regard my reviews with prejudice (please read her words). It's unconscionable that a delegate should publicly humiliate a reviewer with such innuendo and unfounded, illogical inference. It leaves me still confused. She should withdraw her post or accept that she will need to recuse in a good number of FAC noms. Tony (talk) 07:42, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

As somebody who has no particular dog in this fight, I did what you requested: I read SandyGeorgia's words on your talk page. If there is anything that can be said about them, it is that her message on your talk page is an obvious intervention. The fact that your reviews give even the appearance of impropriety (and sadly, your actions on Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Indian Head eagle/archive1 do give that impression) should be of grave concern to you, and the simple action of Sandy presenting her concerns about it does not in any way warrant her recusing from FACs in which you participate. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 09:14, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't support reviewers making directors recuse. (I do think that is reasonable for an author if he has clashed with a director.) I would just make your reviews and then move on, Tony. When you make good reviews it has an effect over time even if an individual editor does not always implement a recc or if a director accepts/rejects differently than you would have. It's impossible for a writer to satisfy all reviewers (they can easily conflict amongst selves, or the author's best judgment for the article). It's impossible for directors to get unanimous accept or unanimous reject opinions from the reviewers. Gotta look at the war, not the battle. It's a process...TCO (talk) 12:34, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Titoxd, "and the simple action of Sandy presenting her concerns about it"—oh please. I can't believe you're that naive. Read her comments properly and you'll see that it's the continuation of a self-serving hate-campaign she has been conducting against me ever since I started writing Featured Content at The Signpost. Her accusations are just not based on evidence. She is playing nasty, dirty politics, and it needs to stop, now. I do not agree with a thing you wrote. TCO, it is nothing less than overt corruption if SandyGeorgia does not recuse from nominations I review, after her scandalous statements on my page.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Tony1 (talkcontribs) 13:04, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

I have a dog, in a sense; Sandy and Tony are probably my biggest influences in reviewing. Much of what I comment on comes from what I saw them say at FACs when I was a newcomer. It's a great shame to me that this is happening. I don't comment on here much, but in this case there are several things I feel the need to say.

  • Tony, you are the finest prose reviewer on this website and your recent absence has been a blow to FAC. As I said, you've been a major influence for me. At the same time (going back to the original comment), if a reviewer says a review is "pointy" for one reason or another, the director/delegate is going to keep that in mind. It just doesn't look good. I don't know how the statement was meant, but it didn't come off well.
  • I honestly don't think Sandy meant to say that all of your reviews are now automatically suspect, although that's how it sounded. I do think she meant that if one reviews FACs from editors they are outwardly friendly with (or have disagreements with), she would factor that into her decision-making. It's harsh-sounding, but the reality is that there are plenty of situations where she takes different factors into account. If there's an article that gets four or five two-line supports from a group of editors, but a respected reviewer like you finds many issues, she's going to discount those supports. What if you give a negative review to one of Wehwalt's articles after everything that's gone on recently? It's a difficult situation for any delegate.
  • Speaking of that, Karanacs and Laser brain are now in a tough position. They surely know about the comments, and they know how good a reviewer you are. It's not going to be easy for them to make a decision. When you become a director or delegate at a process like this, it gives you a different perspective than as a reviewer, where you really are solely focused on the content in question. As a director/delegate, there's a greater awareness of everything involved with the reviewing that occurs. It's holistic, in a way.
  • Let's say Sandy does recuse from the articles you review. What will this do to FAC, considering that Sandy is by far the most active closer? Will we need another delegate? Will Karanacs and Laser be active enough that a fourth delegate isn't needed? The whole situation is a can of worms. Giants2008 (27 and counting) 17:42, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Picking up on what Cla68 said above, I did try and step in on Tony's talk page and make him see that he needed to withdraw his comments, and he did strike them, and eventually remove them, and has now apologised. The dispute seems to have moved on now to being one between Tony and Sandy (which has been going on for a while). I do think Tony has a point about the Signpost work he does and Sandy's reaction to that. I've been following that dispute for some time, and if there are problems there, those need to be resolved and not left to fester. Oh, and one more point. Can we have a bit less of "you are the finest prose reviewer on this website"? I agree Tony is a fine prose reviewer, but it never helps to elevate anyone to a pinnacle like that, as it puts an unfair amount of pressure on them, and there are many other fine prose reviewers - no-one should ever feel they have to review prose and that they are the best person to do something. There should always be someone else able to do the same job to about the same level. Carcharoth (talk) 12:09, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

FAC and TFA are violating a WP:PILLAR by fomenting article OWNERSHIP

It can be very irritating, just when one is bracing oneself for TFA vandalism, to have the blurb or article rewritten on a whim. This recently happened to me with Holy Thorn Reliquary a few hours before it hit the main page, and I did not see it until it was up, nor, as a non-admin, could I get a (partial) reversion until halfway through the day. The text had been through FAC and the blurb had sat on TFA requests for about 3 weeks with several comments not raising the point, which was not one of style - it was felt the reference to a British Museum exhibition was "unduly promotional" - bollocks imo. People who hang around WP:ERRORS would get a better reception if they proposed or made their changes at an earlier point in the process - easily done for TFA and DYK. You do not say why you feel your changes should be privileged over the main writer's. Raul's practice is in line with the general preference given to "local editors" in many areas where there is a balance of opposing views. Johnbod (talk) 16:21, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
{{ec} WP:OAS. I didn't read Wehwalt's comment as implying you need "Canadian permission", but as a suggestion that Canadians are more knowledgeable on the topic and/or would be interested in changes made to the article (disclaimer: I'm Canadian). The interpersonal disputes at play here do need to be resolved, but this probably isn't the best forum for that. Your initial post to Wehwalt's FAC was unfortunate; Sandy's response was I think an attempt to resolve the situation, although it seems to have only inflamed the issue more. The ResMar issue, while also unfortunate, has little or nothing to do with FAC and is best raised elsewhere (no offence intended to ResMar). The "primary author" issue is a non-starter, frankly - the primary author is usually the person best placed to nominate the article, to deal with the topic and the sources, and deferring to them makes sense in most cases. IMO the whole blow-up between you and Wehwalt is a clash of egos and could have been avoided, but that's neither here nor there; I would argue also for Sandy withdrawing her post from your page, not because it's necessarily "threatening", but because it's clearly not helping anything, and I would argue for you withdrawing from Wehwalt's FAC and striking your request for Sandy's recusal on every FAC you comment on for the same reason. Nikkimaria (talk) 16:25, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Um, not a chance of my withdrawing the technical issues I've raised at the FAC. Not a hope in hell. They need to be addressed as normal, unless you favour passing FA nominations that are faulty. Sandy cannot possibly be involved in any FAC I review, given the things she has said on my talk page. As I said, I'm on the verge of regarding FAC as an illegitimate forum, for the corruption that is evident and the promotion of behaviour that breaches a Pillar. I certainly question SandyGeorgia's legitimacy as a delegate. Tony (talk) 16:39, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Addressing only the technical issues you raised at the FAC I believe that they've all now been addressed. If there are further issues to be addressed then I'll undertake to deal with them to avoid any further need for you and Wehwalt to come to blows. Malleus Fatuorum 18:19, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

... aided and abetted by FAC delegate User:SandyGeorgia, from whom he has received succour via back-channelling. Tony, I tend to ignore these tantrums of yours, but if you state one more mistruth about me in particular and FAC in general, it will not go ignored. There has been no, ZERO, ZILCH backchannel communication on any aspect of this matter that has come to my attention. That is one aspect where you are as dramatically wrong as you are on the rest, but one mistruth that I will not tolerate as it compromises FAC. Knock off the childish tantrums that occur whenever you encounter disagreement, and knock off the story that I'm upset that you write about featured content for The Signpost, which is also a gross misrepresentation of your behaviors that led to this problem. Anyone who disrupts FAC is treated equally, and asking a delegate to recuse when they have had to call you out for blatant disruption is ridiculous (I was relieved to see that you apologized to Wehwalt, but your subsequent posts nullify the sincerity of that apology). I look forward to your return to your objective prose reviews, without personalization of issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:00, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Self-serving rubbish, which demonstrates the corrupt system this has become. People who want to conspire by back-channelling should simply not talk about it to anyone if they don't want complaints. You and your groupies are the disrupters. Tony (talk) 01:24, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Tony, Sandy has already stated that she has no knowledge of backchannel communications; even if you don't believe her, what good does it do insist that she "conspired" without any supporting evidence? You're both going overboard with this dispute. The idea here is the improvement of articles, which I think has been lost in this fracas.
Getting back to your original point about TFA and FAC fermenting article ownership, I think it's pretty undeniable that's correct. I certainly don't work on FACs just to see them wither away due to careless editing from drive-by editors who don't know anything about the subject. Do you have an alternate solution? Firsfron of Ronchester 04:45, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Ownership is needed and important in the getting it ready for FAC stage, also. For a high profile article like Nixon or Tiger or Carbon, there are likely to be years of questionable edits. Not just cruft or bad links, but bad information, refs that don't really support the content, sentence-length copyvios, etc. The article needs and benefits from an "owner" and the process needs the nominator to take responsibility or "ownership" (meant in a GOOD WAY) for the whole shebang.TCO (talk) 05:14, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
"Caretaker" for lack of a better word. Doesn't imply ownership, but does imply a familiarity and resposibility to keep the article to snuff before and after FAC. The whole GA/FA process set is designed around this concept. --MASEM (t) 05:22, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I actually like the term "caretaker" because it implies that someone is looking after an article rather than owning it. WP:OAS covers this nicely, I think. However, Tony states below that Wehwalt is now claiming a "power to veto" content in a FAC and/or TFA blurb; I don't believe the stewardship model discussed at WP:OAS gives users the exclusive power to veto content. Firsfron of Ronchester 06:22, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Familiarity and responsibility to keep the article "to snuff" do not involve this "power of veto" that Wehwalt is now claiming, nor the right to say who will or will not edit a blurb or a lead, and nor the right to lord it over everyone else about matters of style (about which his latest FAC nom shows a lot to be desired). Nor to demand a topic-ban for a reviewer who opposes his FAC, nor to refuse to implement the technical and stylistic issues in a review (for personal reasons). All of these Wehwalt has done over the past few days, and it is manifestly a breach of the ownership pillar. While SandyGeorgia, and I think without malice Raul and Dabomb87, support this kind of behaviour, I cannot regard FAC as legitimate. Tony (talk) 05:49, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Tony, can you provide some diffs showing Wehwalt is claiming "power to veto" content? Firsfron of Ronchester 06:22, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Nevermind; I see it here. I guess my question then becomes, why do you care if Wehwalt pulled his FA from TFA because he didn't like the blurb? It was one he worked on extensively, right? And traditionally, FAs/GAs/TFAs are nominated by the principal editors of the article. So what does it matter in the big scheme of things if your blurb for a TFA wasn't used? Firsfron of Ronchester 06:31, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
(e.c.) Sure, here are two from the section I linked to above: "Until issues between myself and Tony are resolved, I'm using my veto as principal editor on all my FAs."; and after another editor has challenged him on this assumption of veto power: "By our customs at TFA, the principal authors get that veto.". SandyGeorgia then weighs in to support the jettisoning of the anniversary Macdonald TFA (according to Wehwalt's Power of Veto); then User:Skeezix1000's plea to reinstate it is ignored. Tony (talk) 06:33, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Tony, for the final time, I am requesting that you refrain from telling stories about me on this page (others might call it lying, which you did above when stating that there had been backchannel communication on this issue). You seem to be operating on the principle that if you proclaim something vociferously enough and often enough it will become true (and in the case of Carcharoth-- who incidentally has a history on this very page of weighing in on issues of which he knows little-- does seem to have become true, because he is mimicing and supporting the factually inaccurate portions of your posts here). SandyGeorgia then weighs in to support the jettisoning of the anniversary Macdonald TFA (according to Wehwalt's Power of Veto and While SandyGeorgia, and I think without malice Raul and Dabomb87, support this kind of behaviour ...: stop making false statements on this page. If you insist on putting words into other editors' mouths, please use diffs so that others can see the distortion. Using your significant command of prose to berate, belittle, distort and conflate falsehoods to truths isn't becoming. Every time I try to discuss this with you on your talk page, the issues escalate to another tantrum, now riddled with factual inaccuracies. Please stop it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:19, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I'll take part of the above (the bit where Sandy names me) to Sandy's talk page, so as not to distract from this thread. Carcharoth (talk) 17:56, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

I won't comment on the other issues here, but I wouldn't say that Wehwalt "intimidated" me into changing the TFA for July 1. As most of you know, I was made a TFA delegate about a month ago, and am still learning on the job from Raul654. Raul has always made it clear that the "primary author"'s wishes should be given strong consideration when it comes to TFA requests. In the interests of minimizing conflict and promoting stability on the Main Page, I switched to another article after Wehwalt's request. If there is something I could have done differently, please let me know; I'm still a newbie. Dabomb87 (talk) 13:29, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

You're doing fine-- it was a difficult issue, and seesawing the TFA back-and-forth based on Tony's tantrum would not have been a good idea. On the misrepresentation here of the "Ownership" issue, Tony is again conflating issues based on misunderstanding or emotional involvement which seems to prevent him from developing a full picture of what has occured. It doesn't appear that Tony has read the very page he is claiming is breached by his editing a TFA blurb: WP:OWN, specifically Wikipedia:Ownership#Featured articles. That paragraph was based on long discussions where consensus was developed, and it specifically asks editors "to take particular care when editing a Featured article; it is considerate to discuss significant changes of text or images on the talk page first", which is equivalent to what Tony did not do or what he demands he should be able to do by altering a blurb at the last minute before it appears on the main page (I note he demands this right although I can't recall him every editing or correcting a blurb at WP:TFA/R, which is something I've had to do frequently). Wehwalt's actions in this incident may not have been 100% correct (e.g., I don't think this needed to go to AN/I), but Tony's unfortunate escalation has taken this issue well beyond anything breaching OWNERSHIP as described in the very policy page he cites. I think we could benefit from a lowering of the hysteria here and a factual, unemotional analysis of the way forward. Wehwalt might have helped avoid escalation by not going to AN/I; Tony might help avoid escalation by becoming more conversant with the applicable pages and facts, and engaging collegially, rather than emotionally, with other editors when they disagree with a stance he has taken on any Wikipedia page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:43, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
He's "doing fine"? Excused only because he's new at the job; there was absolutely nothing in that blurb that couldn't have been sorted out quickly if Wehwalt hadn't behaved so aggressively from the outset. In that respect, Dabomb failed to insist and made a bad call, aided and abetted by SandyGeorgia. This "respect for primary author" is a fundamental breach of the pillars unless kept under very tight control. Here, it got out of control, and Wehwalt has exposed himself as being way out of order. SG's gutter behaviour on my talk page will not be forgotten soon. There is no need for her to worsen it with high-handed accusations—drop the multiple "Tony's tantrums", please. As someone told her at DYK talk last week, "you need to brush up on WP:CIVIL". Now Carcharoth gets a lashing, yet he's the only person who acted in a remotely functional way to calm the situation, unlike SG. Thanks for the thumbs up on editing, Giants, but Carcharoth's right. And I defer to User:Noetica as the pre-eminent writer on WP.

SG has to realise that she has created an extremely difficult situation at FAC, where I'm frightened to "Support" or "Oppose" or even declare a conflict of interest (see how I was torched for doing so last year, with some trumped-up claim that I was favouring a friend?). I will explicitly demand her recusal where I perceive that there's any danger of being publicly humiliated by her again. I don't react well to expressions of lack of trust and claims that I'm dishonest: thus, my house of cards collapses. You'll just have to trust my independent judgement or I'll refuse to recognise the legitimacy of FAC. I've come very close to dumping The Signpost's coverage of newly promoted FAs in the past few days, given that SG's continual nastiness about "Featured content" and "the culture of reward" gives me an out. Tony (talk) 16:54, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

I will simply say that I think you and Wehwalt were both at fault initially, but that your continuance of this childish vendetta is getting the beyond the pale and I wish you'd stop. So SandyG has hurt your feelings, Jeez man, get over it! Malleus Fatuorum 17:08, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
She has to learn that if she sprays venom, some of it could be flung back in her face. Tony (talk) 16:56, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
(trolling off)She's not perfect, but what she does here is huge, both in terms of work and leadership(/trolling on). Besides, this is getting passe. How about we re-ignite the Arbcom leak kerfuffle. I looked over at Iri's page and s/he never directly directly denies doing the leak. Seemed a little Lance Armstrong to me...TCO (talk)

Here we go again

Can I ask where we stand with this? My understanding was that Raul had ruled that stylistic changes to blurb are not an issue, but that substantive changes need to be paralleled on the article lede and that there needs to be consultation with the principal editors. However, Tony here states that Raul needs consensus if he says that. Obviously I am surprised by this as it was my understanding that this was within Raul's brief as FAD. Thoughts?--Wehwalt (talk) 13:04, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

"has ruled" ... better not stretch the fascist dictatorship thing too obviously. Raul ultimately needs consensus, and I'm sure he wouldn't disagree with that. You are carrying on like this because it suits your aggressive ownership designs. If this is what FAC means, then I say CLOSE IT DOWN. It's a threat to the pillars of Wikipedia. Tony (talk) 13:07, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Let's lose the invective, Tony. Also, I should note that although I reviewed it, I had nothing to do with writing the Section 116 article; you mistakenly said I did above.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:12, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
My apologies ... ah, it was the 1975 consitutional crisis. Rather brave, and rather well done I thought. Now, it's "here we go again" because you continue to cross the line between being an open and collaborative editor WRT FAs you happened to work up for nomination, and an aggressive and territorial owner. Surely we can tone things down so that there's a comfortable medium? Tony (talk) 15:10, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I had bought a lot of books on Whitlam and hated to shelve them after one FA. I'm surprised at how welcoming Australian editors were on my poaching on their turf! Certainly I'd like to do business with you. I suggested on my talk that you consider running through the TFA blurb for Landis now at TFA/R and put your modified version in a sandbox. Possibly we will be close to agreeing. After this, I have no plans to nom again until October 28, so perhaps there will be some peace.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:37, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Back on topic

So, if we can focus on the content and policy issues and avoid personalization and dramatics, here is a summary of the issues for discussion:

  1. FAs should be edited with care, consulting significant contributors as they have access to sources and can detect subtle inaccuracies (See WP:OWN#Featured articles). Does this courtesy extend to TFA?
  2. The TFA blurb matches the article lead, which is carefully constructed to comply with WP:LEAD: is there any reason to edit the TFA blurb separately from the article?
  3. Followup to 1 and 2, should anyone be able to edit the TFA blurb shortly before it goes on the mainpage, when there is little time to consult with significant contributors, or will that risk the introduction of subtle inaccuracies?
  4. How can we encourage editors who wish to alter blurbs to get involved at WP:TFA/R?

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:57, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

(1) No. All articles should be edited with care. Contributors watchlist the articles to which they significantly contribute, and insisting on treating them like tin gods violates the WP:PILLAR about ownership. The pillars are constitutional in nature, above statutory rules, and are being treated with a surprising casualness in the development of these attitudes at TFA. There are perfectly adequate procedures where articles are edited in ways that damage them or draw disagreement from the significant contributors.

(2) This is a dreadful idea that might suit territorial owners and rushed TFA personnel, but works against the interests of the main page. Article leads are written in different linguistic register from blurbs. Leads are the expansive openings to a large text; blurbs are hooks of which a significant purpose is to encourage readers to click to the article itself (I presume the reason for wanting similarity to avoid reader disorientation when they arrive, but there must be differences). Leads bold the topic-item and synonyms; blurbs do not. Leads should tend to wikilink more (one view is that TFA blurbs should link only to the article, which contains all of the links in proper context, where they won't divert readers away from visiting the FA; but in any case, blurbs should link very carefully—The Signpost doesn't normally link at all in blurbs; we want readers to go to the newly featured content for that). Leads are paragraphed; blurbs are not. Leads are often (usually) longer than is desirable on the main page: some would say "leave them wanting more and they'll click to the FA"; blurbs, in my view, are often crisper when trimmed back a sentence or two more than I find. The blurb for "Milennium Park" contained stuff about previous junk railyards and a parking lot that would bore the pants off a reader. Blurbs have different rules about dates of birth and death, and honorifics. Above all, they usually need polishing, even where there's not enough time to go polish the lead. It's a much-neglected issue that often no one bothers to polish and rub the article itself; image audits are often required, for example, not to mention prose and other policy checks. Good reason for a time-buffer.

(3) I don't have much respect for this notion that you should bugger off unless you have familiarity with the topic. My RL job is to show people how to write in their own field. This is nonsense. If you arrange the queue in time, you should be getting input from the significant contributors. If not, it's just too bad, I say.

(4) I don't have time to edit huge tracts of blurbs that may or may not be chosen. Tony (talk) 17:20, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

I generally agree with your view on TFA blurbs, and that they serve a different purpose from a lead and therefore need to be written somewhat differently. I also agree that I'm disinclined to work on a TFA blurb that may not be chosen, just seems like a waste of time. Malleus Fatuorum 17:37, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
On 4), it is normally very clear early on which TFA candidates will succeed. Few people watch WP:ERRORS or the queues immediately before things go on the main page, which can unfortunately lead to a few editors having things their way without being exposed to real consensus. Johnbod (talk) 19:37, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Candidates don't "succeed", they're either chosen by one of the two delegates or they're not. Unlike you, I'm not a mind-reader. Malleus Fatuorum 19:41, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Is the Arguing Department? Requests do succeed, and as Wehwalt says below, in the absence of opposition from several editors, or being bounced off, they just do succeed. Johnbod (talk) 01:47, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

1. This depends how define the "box". We can be very philosophical about things and consider "pillars" (blech) of Wikipedia, non-ownership, open-source, all that. Heck...we could get even more philosophical and consider why write unattributed, in-sand content for free. Or even whether it's better to get more time on the roadbike and lifting weights than playing on the computer. I don't think that is useful, though. Think we are better off thinking about someone's interests (reader pull, contributor motivation, WMF credibility, copyeditor joy, etc.) in a tangible sense rather than the higher level "if the World were perfect" theory considerations (drives me crazy when David Levy does this). Also, probably makes more sense to consider changes one at a time and in relative isolation. Everything breaks down if we have to talk about changing our governance, changing the Main Page purpose and layout, on top of discussing "how to get the best blurb up". In addition to all those meta-caveats, I haven't completely thought it through at the practical level. That said, my thoughts are to favor the author on the blurb, if there is a disagreement.

  • His day in the sun and he worked hard on the article...we need him working hard and writing articles.
  • We need him engaged since this website has a bizarre feature allowing random people to come and edit our webpages at will (IOW author needs to "defend"),
  • Copyedit assistance (and even blurb disagreement) is rare
  • There are better things to be doing than messing with someone else's pretty well-functioning piece especially if there is disagreement. Lots of articles crying out for help. Even very "core" topics at a GA level, but would benefit from the work to go to FA (as they are educationally important and "high Google".)

2. The lead is an article executive summary. The blurb has some different functions in being more of a hook. We should consider word difficulty, topic covereage, less wikilinks, less text/more picture, etc. It's implicit in how we write them for instance that they are not just shorter summaries, but deliberately incomplete. That said from a practical standpoint in terms of workload, starting with the lead makes sense. Or maybe we could even just say, take the first three sentences of the lead (donno...babbling out loud here). TBH, I never read main page blurbs. I could read a lead, could read an article, but I just don't really read blurbs on the Main Page. I might look at the picture and a sentence or two. They are usually dull as dirt and turn me off the topic (could be some of our non-core topics, too).

3. Think we are better off NOT having "everybody" (hoi polloi) edit the blurb. I would be fine with Tony becoming a TFA director or the like though. He would add a lot...and that is very high profile work. He has a direct style of writing that is enjoyable. Find the Signpost a lot of fun. And the Front Page is a bit more newspaper-like really. (and should be.)

4. I don't know that we should. Think there are better things for them to be doing, like writing articles. Even for TFAR, just more general participation (voting, submitting own articles) would be better, to start. In terms of practical things:

  • Raul should get rid of the clunky, too intricate points system and just have an essay on major topics of importance for the selection. People should just leave prose comments for why one article should or should not be run and an oppose or support. more like how people comment at Featured Pictures.
  • Also, schedule and show the queue about a MONTH OUT. Put a note that says which articles are anniversary-slotted and which are just in queue (this allows some last minute anniversary stuff).
  • Get RID of the over-emphasis on anniversaries, itself, (only rare things like biggest holidays or something momentous); spend the skullsweat instead on what topics to cover at what frequency.
  • And I'm baffled why there is a "one at a time" restriction for the non-anniversary noms. (I would blow it off and nom anyway, but most people here follow rules.)

TCO (talk) 17:46, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm pretty much with Malleus on this one. I'd add that my view is that once the decision is made to run the TFA, the page belongs to the front page, blurb and all, and whatever needs to be done should be done. I think the blurb is different than the lead. Some readers will never read beyond the blurb. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 18:05, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
I also agree, to some extent, with Malleus, and Truthkeeper. However, I think we should have the blurb generally reflect the lede, and yes, I think it would confuse the reader to have something very different than what he just read appear before his eyes. TCO, report to Ms. Sandy's history class for lessons in what TFA/R was like before the points system! The reason we have a limit on the number of articles by any author at one time is because sometimes we are full up and it would not look good for one person to have two noms while another is shut out entirely. As for the month in advance scheduling, I think the downside of that would be people who are not TFA/R regulars and who come in to nom about three weeks, perhaps, in advance, and we should not shut them out. I am not a personal big fan of the hurricane or cricket articles, but I would hate to send them to the back of the queue with little chance of getting on the main page, as to write in that area to FA standards is to know that getting it on the main page is going to be difficult in any reasonable time as many are in the category, and we can have perhaps once a month. Regarding the TFA blurb, the best time to edit it is while in the TFA/R. I cannot remember the last time Raul or Dabomb failed to select an article that there were no "opposes" to (might have to go all the way back to 2008 for that).--Wehwalt (talk) 01:35, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
One more thing. Raul has stated that post-approval substantive changes to the blurb must have a parallel change to the article lede. I think that is wise because even it makes it more noticeable to the article writers that there have been changes to it, and forces a discussion of anything deemed objectionable. That, I think is wise. Discussion is the key, and it should be early as possible so we don't wind up with frantic posts at WP:ERRORS. --Wehwalt (talk) 01:54, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Sometimes it's good not to know my wiki-history.
Maybe if you had a longer queue and no points, you would have more people though. That thing is dead. Tradeoffs, big guy.
OK, I misunderstood the one at a time (thought it applied to the non-specific date requests, that there could only be one total in the whole section, for voting, seems like you are saying it is per nom).
Don't think you quite got me on the queue...have the month scheduled out, but maybe have some in "soft queue", easily bumpable. Still blurbe written and ready to go. Check out TFLTCO (talk) 02:14, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Per Wehwalt, yep, you don't want to know what a nightmare the TFA page was before this system, and how really smooth this page functions now (kudos to Wehwalt). And, considering the shortage of reviewers and editors across the board, I find the notion that people uninvolved in the article or its sources could write a completely new blurb for mainpage entertaining. We don't have the editors to do that, and if we did, they should be looking at the leads in the articles at FAC, to make sure they are doing the job they should be doing, and will serve well to be adapted to the mainpage. We simply don't have enough editors to do a similar job twice, and editors who aren't familiar with the sources shouldn't be rewriting leads for the mainpage, lest subtle inaccuracies are introduced. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:41, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Segue to "core versus cruft" meta-debate

I (barely) buy it when Sandy says people can write about whatever cruft they want for a gold star here. I definitely don't buy it for the main page. Sorry. Primate>>random mushroom. I will continue to cast my vote in the interest of the readers...just like Ben Bradlee putting Marion Barry election on the FP and keeping some random Fairfax County Supervisor election off the FP. It's a limited resource. I prioritize.TCO (talk) 01:52, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm quite certain I've never said those words, and since I'm rather severely misquoted and misrepresented on this page right now multiple times, I do wish it would cease. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:42, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I didn't say anything at the time since you were taking incomings, but given I didn't use quote marks, it was obviously not the words you used. And "cruft" versus "obscure" is pretty much connotation, except the c word has better alliteration with core. Plus...its more fun to play with a little English on the ball.TCO (reviews needed) 14:20, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
In my view, if someone can find enough information on an obscure topic to be deemed comprehensive, I'm not inclined to punish him by excluding him from FA or TFA.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:08, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think of it as punishment. More like that techno-libral phrase "align incentives". :) TCO (talk) 02:14, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
So you are hoping to goad them into writing about truly important things like chelonians?--Wehwalt (talk) 02:20, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Embarrassed to admit, I had to look it up. I think google ranking (or that hit counter tool server thingie) is a good enough indicator. Fer sure Lion or Alligator trump Painted turtle.TCO (talk) 02:34, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not into "goading" or nagging. That's talkee talkeee. Rather just set up the game and let people play. Not a doubt in my mind that Sasata would do different articles under different rules (he said so in the discussion a year or two ago...wuz learning my wiki-history). For instance, look at the Cup. This is the first year they are rewarding core topic coverage.TCO (talk) 02:28, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
The question is, is it a good idea to "incentivize" people in that manner. Personally, I think Wikipedia's glory is in the great resource it is on subjects such as mushroom, birds, and hurricanes-and coins for that matter-which it might be difficult to readily find a comprehensive resource on.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:35, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
That's of course a factor to consider and an argument to make. I guess we have to weight the cost/benefit somehow. Not that I'm in the least implying you feel this way, but I've even seen people in the regular net say why is Wiki so stuffy about verifiability...I want to know some South Park trivia, let me see it.TCO (talk) 02:39, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Don't really have it all figured out. But there's something not quite clicking. We say, let people work on whatever they want to (even if low hit count) since it is volunteer blabla. but then we reward them with high exposure via the Front Page? So hit count does matter? Isn't there an inconsistency? Think about science publishing. Sure there is all kinds of work going on, all kinds of experiments. But for Science and Nature there is a threshold not only of quality but of notability.TCO (talk) 02:53, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Hit count is not everything. I've had articles run on minor figures like Murray Chotiner and Jerry Voorhis as part of the Nixon improvement drive, or perhaps "Bring Us Together". They probably don't get a hundred hits a day among them. Yet I think they are the best researched articles on their subjects available online, and possibly available at all (Bullock's bio of Voorhis is a bit suck up for my taste, and it's outdated 30 years now).--Wehwalt (talk) 03:03, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
(I hate these colons, first forum I know that has all the talk like this.) First, I want to give you huge credit for not savaging me for not appreciating others topics. In some sense, I do care more about one topic than another, of course. But I'm pretty liberal that we should have a lot of different things and that one man's bread is another man's butter (or some metaphor). And I totally don't want to hurt someone's feelings who actually likes synagogues, storms, bus stops, etc. I HEART their LOVE of their topic. But even within that, we have to be rational that the general public has shown more interest in some parts of a field than others. Carousel trumps Pipe Dream. And so does Rodgers and Hammerstein. If you only had one shot, would you not use it for what the public has already said interests them? And then generalize it, if we have all the Wehwalts picking the obscure over the interesting. What is the effect on the audience? As far as your articles...I have NO DOUBT that many of them are great articles, even at a print standard (and add onto that freeness, linkability, etc.), and basically acts of scholarship.TCO (talk) 03:45, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
In what sense is exposure on the main page a reward? Given that you're not a sadomasochist that is. Malleus Fatuorum 03:07, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
(A) Well...we are talking about people who hang at Wiki. ;-) (B) Hear the same argument that being an admin is just janitorial duty, but try taking it away from one of the Mike Foxtrots. Lot of sturm and drang. Gotta judge the reactions, not the rationales. (even at TFAR, say.) TCO (talk) 03:18, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

If it is not a reward, given the number of people who desire it for their articles, I'd like the concession on whips and chains, then.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:24, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

TCO, who are we to assume what folks value as important? One might be surprised. I am all for using carrots to get folks to work on core material but baulk at using sticks. It is a volunteer project after all. The other thing to consider is there are often other places easily accessible where one can look up core material, but this can be much trickier with some esoteric material. So if our aim is to push the limits of readers' thirst for knowledge (or trivia), then I think the esoteric articles have a key place in that. Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:35, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
(1)We can use the Toolserver for page hits. It's not perfect, but when one thing is at 10 per day and another at 10,000, it's revealing. (2) I'm not sure how prioritization of a limited resource is a "stick". It's a carrot. (3) One of the problems with featuring the obscure material is that we don't cover ALL obscurity at that level. The obscure tends to branch. So...yes, there is some "fat tail" of interest in the SET of obscure things. But not in the specific one we feature. (4) I still HEART you for saving the Lion! :) TCO (talk) 03:49, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Well I tried brainstorming with the wikicup, and I think some inroads were made. It'll be interesting to see at the end whether we think there were any more broader-topic articles when are you going to buff turtle to FAC then? Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:20, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't have the balls for that yet. On picta, I started out as a GOCE helper and a lot of the base bio stuff was already there. Would want to buy Ernst's book and at least do one other species first. I would not do an obscure one though. Something like Alligator snapping turtle or Gopher tortoise is about the right balance for me. Doing an element or two would be intereting as well. Little harder in total content in article, but I know more of it.TCO (talk) 04:31, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Just behave yourself. Internet is serious business. Obey WP:CIVIL (and stay on topic).TCO (talk) 03:34, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Is this on the right page? I'd assume WT:TFA would be a better place. But since the discussion is here already, I'll state that I disagree with the notion that a Featured Article on one topic is "better" than one on another. I don't understand the prejudice that primates are somehow better than mushrooms, even if primates get more page hits (is that even true?). And since when is the number of page hits an article has received important? There is certainly room for articles on popular topics, but there should also be room for articles on unpopular subjects as well. I am the primary author of a Featured Article on a subject which wasn't mentioned anywhere in print by name for over 30 years; that doesn't mean the subject isn't TFA-worthy; indeed, I'd argue the opposite: more obscure subjects probably deserve more attention at TFA. Firsfron of Ronchester 06:58, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

It depends on how you answer the $64,000 question: "What is a featured article?" If you see it as a limited club of Wikipedia's best articles, then you will consider obtaining the bronze star to be a zero-sum game, and TCO's comment makes sense. However, if you see FA status more as a quality certification, a standard that all articles should strive towards, then this sort of complaint makes no sense. I find myself in the latter camp: if you can write a comprehensive piece of brilliant prose on something obscure, then knock yourself out.
More importantly, making it harder to write about obscure topics doesn't make me more likely to spend my time in more complex, more important core topics. It just makes me less likely to write altogether. And as my third law of Wikipedia says, telling others how to stop wasting their time is a good way to waste yours. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 07:16, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Not here, please. Undoubtedly there is discussion going on at several pages, and if that fails, undoubtedly this has provoked interest at Wikipedia Review. But not here.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:29, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Putting on my delegate hat: I read the ANI discussion. I did not read the comments on Tony1's talk page and don't intend to get involved in that. As usual, I'll read through the FAC myself and weigh the reviewer comments. This is what delegates do. If Sandy feels it necessary to recuse herself, that is fine, but I don't consider her recused from Tony1-reviewed FACs at this time. (If we had to recuse from FACs based on reviewer or nominator request we probably wouldn't be able to close anything.) If actions by any of us in closing an FAC appear suspect, I expect one of the regulars to call us on it. That said, I'll be doing most of the closings for the next few weeks anyway due to off-WP commitments. Karanacs (talk) 15:34, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Good example of why a TFA blurb should often be crisper than the lead

This is tomorrow's TFA. Still querying with significant contributors whether the final sentence might be dropped as a little misleading (latex vs natural rubber), but I might be quite wrong there. I think the blurb is a lovely length that invites curiosity and minimises technicalities and details that would probably be considered clutter in the main page context. Added later: both examples are as I found them, aside from minor tweaks I did. Tony (talk) 15:25, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

BLURB (894 ch):

Lactarius volemus is a species of fungus in the genus Lactarius. It is distributed in warm temperate regions and northern areas of the Northern Hemisphere, and has been collected in Europe, North America, Central America, and Asia. A mycorrhizal fungus, its fruit bodies grow either individually or in groups at the base of various species of trees from summer to autumn. It is valued as an edible mushroom, and is sold in markets in Asia. The colour varies from apricot to tawny, and the cap may be up to 11 cm (4.3 in) wide. The pale golden yellow gills on the underside of the cap are closely spaced and sometimes forked. One of the mushroom's most distinctive features is the large amount of latex ("milk") it exudes when the gills are damaged. It has a distinctive fishy smell, which does not affect the taste. The mushroom contains a natural rubber that has been chemically characterized. (more...)

LEAD (1634 ch.):

Lactarius volemus is a species of fungus in the family Russulaceae. It is distributed in warm temperate regions and northern areas of the Northern Hemisphere, and has been collected in Europe, North America, Central America, and Asia. A mycorrhizal fungus, its fruit bodies grow on the ground at the base of various species of trees from summer to autumn, either individually or in groups. It is valued as an edible mushroom, and is sold in markets in Asia. Several other Lactarius mushrooms resemble L. volemus, such as the closely related edible species L. corrugis, but these can be distinguished by differences in distribution, visible morphology, and microscopic characteristics. L. volemus produces a white spore print and has roughly spherical spores about 7–8 micrometres in diameter.

The colour of the L. volemus mushroom varies from apricot to tawny, and the cap may be up to 11 cm (4.3 in) wide. The pale golden yellow gills on the underside of the cap are closely spaced and sometimes forked. One of the mushroom's most distinctive features is the large amount of latex ("milk") that it exudes when the gills are damaged, leading to the common names weeping milk cap and voluminous-latex milky. It also has a distinctive fishy smell, which does not affect the taste. The fruit bodies have been chemically analysed and found to contain several sterols related to ergosterol, some of which are unique to this species. The mushroom also contains a natural rubber that has been chemically characterized. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that Lactarius volemus represents several species or subspecies, rather than a single taxon. Tony (talk) 07:57, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't wish to become involved in the wider discussion, but I would just say that I prefer "in the family Russulaceae" because "Lactarius" is a repetition, and it is obviously in that genus if it is called Lactarius volemus. DrKiernan (talk) 08:11, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Blurb reads a lot more friendly than the lead. Wonder if the lead itself could be made more general reader friendly. "differences in distribution, visible morphology, and microscopic characteristics" feels a little listy loquacious. Wikilinked "micrometer" feels not that good either. Not trying to rip the thing, just wondering...TCO (talk) 12:26, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Generally speaking, I'm a fan of concise, slightly simplified TFA blurbs, because most of the people who read the blurb won't have any particular knowledge of the subject. Thus, I think Tony's blurb is better for TFA than the article lead (which could, perhaps, be made more non-biologist friendly, per TCO). HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 12:34, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
More friendly to non-biologists? Like ... "Lactarius volemus is a species of fungus that occurs in warm temperate regions and ..."?

I'm going to bed soon. Tony (talk) 15:35, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Blurb looks fine to me, except I'd consider putting in the common names right after the scientific one: "Lactarius volemus, commonly known as the weeping milk cap or the voluminous-latex milky, is a species of fungus in the family Russulaceae." About changing the article lead, I'm open to suggestions on the article talk page. Sasata (talk) 22:07, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Lack of paragraphing in blurbs?

I seem to remember hearing something to the effect of lack of paragraphing in blurbs. I'm not really familiar with main page prose, but we would not just jam a couple paras of lead together, would we? Tony has rewritten the content to be a single para (good), but we would not just jam separate paras together, to make a long monstrosity (in columned text!) that is not a unified thought, right? (Sorry if this is a dumb newbie question and I am suspicious for no good reason.) It seems to me, that either you need to rewrite the whole lead as Tony did...or just lift the first para from the lead. (Maybe not as nice as what Tony did, but at least a para with good structure.)TCO (talk) 12:53, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

The TFA blurb is usually a concise version of the article's lead (without titles/translation/post-noms/date of birth or death) and it shouldn't be longer than 1200 characters (because making TFA, ITN, OTD and DYK symmetrical is an art form and is complicated by very long or very short TFAs). HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 13:35, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Both blurb and lead above were as I found them (aside from a few twiddles I did to each). It's Raul's idea to use the single-paragraph format, and I like it. I believe the informal limit is 1220 characters, but in my view, shorter is usually better. I see main-page blurbs as big hooks. There's too much text on the main page at the expense of image size and designer white space. Tony (talk) 15:23, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I think single para is great format--it is a big hook, agreed! I just worry that 1200 charactes should be what 200 words? That's a pretty long para even for normal text, let alone columned text. Maybe this was an irrational worry (I really haven't read many old blurbs), but I see Wikianz having a general tendancy to just sort of arbitrarily slap sentences together, vice structuring paragraphs. Was worried that might have been happening in Raul's blurbs. (Donno, and am just shooting blindly from the hip, but...explaining my question at least!)TCO (talk) 15:37, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, there's a head of steam building for a total re-think of the main page. I would personally favour an interactive interface based on images that bring up text by hovering the mouse over them. TFA could easily be reshaped to suit this. Tony (talk) 13:58, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I put a para break in my blurb. No reason why 9 sentences should not get a break, just even in normal writing, let alone a column. There is no layout reason not to have one. Works fine with the pic for instance.TCO (reviews needed) 15:47, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

A Question

Are there any topics not eligible for featured article status? Can a well researched trival or fringe article be nominated? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:29, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

No to the first queation, yes to the second. Brianboulton (talk) 09:00, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
We seem to do more obscure stuff than non-obscure.TCO (reviews needed) 13:17, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Yea, the obscure topics are generally more low-hanging fruit. They are easier to finish. ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 13:23, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Yep. It's much easier to satisfy the comprehensiveness requirement on a topic on which little has been written. That being said, that can sometimes present a limitation - if a topic is so trivial or obscure that not enough has been written on it to produce a well-researched article, then it really can't be a featured article. Nikkimaria (talk) 13:26, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
What Nikkimaria said - she beat me to it. Core topics require an enormous amount of research, reading and time. Very hard to do, and sometimes hard to get through FAC to be honest. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 13:43, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
As a practical matter, although not policy, articles that are very short are unlikely to be approved. Currently the shortest featured article is Tropical Depression Ten (2005) -- that should give you a reference point. Looie496 (talk) 17:40, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
And speaking as a member of the hurricane project, we aren't exactly that proud that we have some of the shortest featured articles on Wikipedia. I, for one, am much more proud when I put out an article on a storm that people will find interesting. ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 17:47, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
  • The articles about individual storms, hurricanes etc. aren't Shakespeare by any stretch, but they are usually at or near the quality that would be printed in a popular science magazine, which is clearly good enough. At least IMO, YMMV. Now, if we could just do something about those big, fat articles... – Ling.Nut 11:30, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I dunno, I'm proud of TD 10 having joined the ranks of Hurricane Carmen and 2007 Atlantic hurricane season as some of the articles I've worked on. Especially since its translations have been featured and GA'd in two other languages. It establishes precedence for articles of all sorts – long, short, exciting, dull – being recognized as our best work. Juliancolton (talk) 19:13, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
My position has evolved to a new state. I no longer have any beef at all with short FAs, if they meet two criteria: they cover the topic fully, and they are not logically better off being subsumed into some larger article. [And they meet the other requirements of WIAFA, of course]. I confess fully and publicly (though I think it was clear from my comments at the time): the underlying truth of my erstwhile beef with short FAs in the dim past was that I spent weeks researching, gathering sources, working my mildly oversized butt off on a few rather longish FAs, and then I was pissed off that people can rack up bronze stars with a nice weekend of work weaving together info from one or two public domain sources. I have indeed sinned... However, I still do have a beef with some of the longer ones, for reasons Readily available on the faux intellectual essay on either of my user pages.. erm...  – Ling.Nut 01:18, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
You can spend a long time researching articles, and I have, only to find that there really isn't much to find. Length tells you nothing, but it reminds me of Blaise Pascal's apology for a letter he once wrote: "Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte." ("I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.") Malleus Fatuorum 03:09, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, my point exactly. I do have beefs with some articles, but no longer over length per se, and no longer with most of the shorter articles.  – Ling.Nut 03:13, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Give me four or five books and I'll write a FA of modest length and not too complex in a weekend (hopefully a holiday one). Give me one or two public domain sources and it will take me much longer, actually! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wehwalt (talkcontribs) 03:15, July 19, 2011 UTC
If you can only find one or two PD sources it will take you forever. Malleus Fatuorum 03:31, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Purely for the sake of accuracy, my "two sources" bit was a mild excursion into oversimplification. Tropical Depression Ten (2005) has 9 sources, and most of those are from one website: [8]. My personal point of reference is Taiwanese aborigines. But I am no longer arguing this point (and though one of my other FAs has but 12 sources... they were hard to find, dammit :-) ). But mercy.  – Ling.Nut 04:00, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

I like long articles. After all a journal article is long. A book is long. We've got an executive summary. And then with section headers it is so easy to skip around. Plus, I find that spinouts usually aren't as good and have issues. Plus it's easier to do some compare and contrast, etc. by having more content there. I can always skim if I want to, also.TCO (reviews needed) 04:36, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

I like articles of an appropriate length. Long or short isn't the issue. Malleus Fatuorum 04:45, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
I had a teacher once who said, that you should be able to explain your thesis in two minutes or talk for a day on a paper. I think it really is easy to do so. Some subjects are accordian-like in that they could (and have) been discussed at book length. For that matter, we have the example of leads to show how a summary can be written, even of an expansive topic. How does one apply the "exactly how long it should be" criterion? (I'm not just trolling you, but seriously what are the key buttons or levers to look for or some illustrative examples.) Obviously, I don't want stuff to be "padded", but when I want a "review paper" on Flat Panel Displays, I would much prefer it to have some length to it. I can easily use sections and the like or skimming. I'm not reading it as narrative. And I just personally see a lot of waste with spinouts, where the other articles are crap, diverge, or it is just a hassle to go to them rather than having things together to easily scan and compare. That said, there are times when spinouts are well done, or needed. Maybe to communicate what I was reacting to a bit: have seen very poor and short articles on a higher level topic, that have a bunch of stubs underneath. total waste, since one loses compare/contrats, since the parent article was not stuffed and since it could have given the parent some meat.TCO (reviews needed) 05:17, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
It depends entirely on the topic and the sources. Pages shouldn't be padded or skimped, in my view. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 04:49, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Tools for reformatting cites

Having implemented all of the other suggestions, I'm left with only "the big job" of reformatting cites. Are there any tools I should know about that help with this? Maury Markowitz (talk) 11:40, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't think there are any, but the ProveIt gadget might be helpful. (I've never used it.) Reaper Eternal (talk) 13:46, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
What about Reflinks? [9] I've found this to be pretty useful, although you need to manually check everything's correct.--Tærkast (Discuss) 16:21, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Reflinks is interesting, notably the way it's built on Bookmarklets (never knew of these, very cool). However the problem in this case is that the refs are fine, they're just in different formats.
How about this: does anyone have a regex for pulling all the ref tags out of a document? I could copy-paste them into my text editor and fix them up there. Maury Markowitz (talk) 17:47, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, in that case, I usually go through it all manually. It is tiresome, but it gets the job done. Just out of curiosity, what article is it? --Tærkast (Discuss) 17:57, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
You can use User:Dr pda/editrefs.js (but note that it is not compatible with wikEd; turn off wikEd text highlighting before using editrefs). Ucucha 17:58, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
See Dr pda's edit refs in my monoook. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:59, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Dr.J's was the solution I was looking for, but in the end it's just manual work one way or the other. C'est lav vie, it only took me 1/2 hour. Now there's just one missing ref to fix (I've written to Don) and then we should be good to go. TaerkastUA, it's space debris. Maury Markowitz (talk) 17:16, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Death of Selena

Before nominating the article for FAC, I would like some pre-FAC comments. Does the article Death of Selena stands a chance on here? What will be brought up in the FAC? Thanks, AJona1992 (talk) 22:05, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

No, there are too many issues with the quality of prose. I would recommend a Peer Review followed by a Good Article review -- getting through those steps should clear up enough of the problems to make an FA nom reasonable. Looie496 (talk) 22:41, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Alright, it already gone through a peer review which takes within a month and GA review takes 2-3 months. So I'll ask for another review to see if that helps. Thanks though, AJona1992 (talk) 22:44, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Get someone who has experience in FA to do some copyediting. It's not my sort of music and I am already triple booked, or I would help out.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:53, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Aww well its ok. I asked an editor from WP:GOCE (which I had bad experiences from) to c/e the article. Still waiting for a response but if this doesn't work, then I'll just wait for the second review on WP:PR. Thanks, AJona1992 (talk) 23:03, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Calling all reviewers

I ran through FAC today and was able to close out a lot of nominations again! We are currently not backlogged - yea! - so I've left up a lot of nominations that would otherwise have been closed for having no declarations after three weeks. Please take some time to look at the bottom of the list. There are a lot of articles that have had little feedback, and I'm sure their nominators would appreciate your input. And I would appreciate not having to close them next week because they still haven't gotten feedback :( Karanacs (talk) 16:52, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

I've got a peer review promised, I'll review some FAC in need of reviews this weekend.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:13, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I'll try - I just had a rather large project dumped on my lap... but on the positive side, there is absolutely no way I'm going outside in this heat... Ealdgyth - Talk 17:23, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I've just finished the article Wehwalt is going to peer review, so I'll try to review one here today. --Coemgenus (talk) 17:42, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Checked online sources for Manhattan Project, as that seemed to be one of the few remaining hurdles. But please feel free to correct or double-check, if something went wrong (was my first deeper check). GermanJoe (talk) 20:20, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

RfC: DYK quality assurance and archiving

An RfC has been launched to measure community support for requiring the explicit checking and passing of DYK nominations for compliance with basic WP policies, and to improve the management of the nominations page through the introduction of a time-limit after which a nomination that does not meet requirements is archived. Tony (talk) 03:46, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Update: there's now a fresh proposal by User:Dr. Blofeld that may or may not involve FAs as DYKs. Also supported by Jimbo, interestingly, who's keen to see the system shift towards high quality. Tony (talk) 12:31, 23 July 2011 (UTC)


I've created a how-to guide for spotchecking that reviewers here will hopefully find useful. Feedback and suggestions are welcome. Reviewers doing spotchecks on current reviews (and possibly sharing their experiences and methods) are even more welcome! Nikkimaria (talk) 14:35, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Prior article history

I have a couple of questions about prior article history that I hope those that regularly nominate articles at FAC will be able to answer. It partly relates to what Nikkimaria posted above, and also to some thoughts I've had about how some articles go from being created to being featured. The basic questions are:

  • (1) Do you tend to nominate articles that you started or that you largely followed throughout the entire writing process, or do you also work on and nominate articles that previously existed prior to you starting work on the article, and which may have a long and complicated editing history?
  • (2) Where an article has a prior editing history, how much of that do you check before starting work on it? What would you take into consideration in your approach? Would you throw out material from any source that you can't personally check? Would you rewrite the article entirely based on the sources you had access to? Or would you work with the existing material? If you work with existing material, would you check it all thoroughly (including whether prior editors had done a good enough job) before starting work on the article yourself, and what do you do if there is material referenced to sources you don't have access to?
  • (3) Does your answer to question 2 vary if there have been prior review processes, or do you tend to ignore those?
  • (4) If an article has a particularly long and complicated editing history, would you trust the prior editors and only carry out spotchecks (like those done at FAC), or do you feel the need to examine everything thoroughly yourself before nominating, or would it help to have a place to submit articles to (maybe peer review) to get others to check for such things?

I'm aware that some regulars at FAC take the approach of working up articles themselves from scratch, but I'm not sure how many take on existing articles, and I'd be interested to see what approaches are taken in those cases (I would guess a gradual complete rewrite over several weeks or months). Is there a middle way between no checking of prior editing history and checking everything, and should such checking be done before starting work on an article, or can it be done "along the way" (I'm thinking especially here of pre-existing but undetected copyvio and plagiarism)? The other part of this is collaboration, whether those with experience of FAC tend to work with existing text and editors, or arrive with an array of sources and do a complete rewrite (that would, of course, depend on the state of the article and how active the prior contributors are). Carcharoth (talk) 17:27, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

I often do work on articles started by others, but they usually look like this before I start work, so there's not much to check. Even when there is some substantial prior content, like here, I tend to write the article from scratch, although I would keep in any facts in the original that I can verify and that are relevant. I wouldn't keep in anything that I haven't verified myself. Ucucha 17:57, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  1. Of the thirty or so articles I've nominated at FAC, I only wrote three from scratch.
  2. None of it; I check it as I'm rewriting, to fit the sources I can find.
  3. I'll look at any previous reviews to see what points were raised and make sure that they've been addressed.
  4. Depends on who the editors are. If I don't know the quality of the editor's work and can't find any source saying the same thing then I'll delete the information. Malleus Fatuorum 18:37, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
(ec, Malleus probably fixing typos.) Eccho Uca. I think that it is important to realize that there is a huge danger of speckles of poor sourcing (wrong facts, unsupported facts, refs moved, sentence length copyvios, etc.) in a popular topic like a chemical element or a major animal which has had a lot of activity over the years. FA gives us the one chance to really check the whole thing from front to back (or a team, but still pretty tightly coordinated in time and number). Those who tend to do more "from scratch" need to realize this danger from the "brushup" FAs. And I do not put that onus on the reviewers, but on the nominator(s). It's just if you as reviewers start to sense the nom is not doing this, you need to call him on it. These topics are also some of our much more trafficed articles, so all the more reason to make sure they are squared away.TCO (reviews needed) 18:41, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
No, I was going to add that in my experience there's not really much middle ground. It tends to be a complete rewrite over a period of time, but trying to leave as much as possible of the voice of the previous editors Malleus Fatuorum 18:37, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I meant the edit conflict (times 2) came from the Malleusing (fixing your talk page comment typo). I know you have a huge head on your shoulders and do things that span the gamut from the tiniest formatting to completely stepping back and thinking about how we are covering a topic in terms of section length and the like. You are my hero.TCO (reviews needed) 18:51, 24 July 2011 (UTC) Although, why should we have edit conflicts on talk pages? Article, I can understand. but talk page is more like a forum space. Why not just have the posts go through in individual sections like every BBS over the last 20 years?TCO (reviews needed) 18:53, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
(1) I have so far lacked the right combination of talent and a subject about which (or rather whom, as I usually write biographies) there's enough written to write an FA from scratch. (2) I will look at the history briefly and the various statistics on the Toolserver before I get into any serious work—I want to make sure the article is stable, not ridden with socks or POV pushing, and I want to know if there's a previous editor on who has put a lot of work into the article so I don't end up starting edit wars or stepping on toes; the articles I've worked with so far are generally lacking TLC and have needed almost totally rewriting. I make use of any detailed, reliable sources (that I can access, and I'm not averse to buying relevant books) already in the article, but I wouldn't dream of nominating an article with material cited to a source I hadn't or couldn't check. (3) I would take account of prior reviews (though the articles I've nominated/intend to nominate in the near future) hadn't advanced far enough for a PR or GAN to be worth it before they were expanded. (4) I wouldn't dream of nominating it until I'd checked every fact I didn't add against its source. The only thing I tend to be interested in from the history is whether I'm biting off more than I can chew. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:50, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I've done both. I've written two biographies from scratch (well one was a stub when I began) and the rest are rewrites. The rewrites are total rewrites. In my view it's easier to write from scratch than to do a rewrite. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 20:03, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I think that doing it either way is hard work, just the hard work is different. Writing from scratch you're unconstrained by a pre-existing structure but you have to do everything. Expanding an existing article you have a structure, which may or may not be optimal, but you always have to match the content to what can be sourced, not always easy. And if you can't, then you have to dump it. Having done both I'd say it depends on the scale of the subject: you can't really compare this with Richard Nixon, for instance. But to return to the trust issue, one of my early FAs was Peterloo Massacre. I worked on that with a number of editors I trusted implicitly, and none of us had access to all of the sources. Same with the Donner Party. Moni3 parcelled out the work, and she Karanacs and I addressed our individual bits. At no point did I ever think that I ought to go and check what the girls had added, and I hope they felt the same about my contributions. Malleus Fatuorum 20:40, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

If you are working together as a team, at same time, that is fine. Especially if you have some discussion about sourcing. I would not rely on old work though (yeah, I guess this goes against the whole philosophy of pedia though). I wouldn't turn a report over the a client with my byline if it was built on an old edifice I had not checked. Probably even if it were someone trustworthy. Especially here where any sort of thing can slip in. A team project, at same time, with conscious work to get to FA, is different.

I definitely would not feel constrained by an old article strucure. I think strucure is a very powerful tool and am used to people really chewing on that in the work world. I think sometimes here we obsess too much about commas and not enough about paragraphs or even sectioning. Structure is not as easy as used a dash versus a hyphen, so worth trying a few things and having real discussion about it. I think in the end it really serves the reader.TCO (reviews needed) 21:07, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

(1) I've done both; generally, starting from scratch is difficult.
(2) It's useful to check the editing history to see how information has changed; if I see pertinent info from someone I trust I wouldn't remove it, otherwise I might. Mostly, though, it's best to work with information you have access to so that you can work with it and re-visit it to make sure it's as accurate as it can be.
(3) It depends on the thoroughness of the review, really.
(4) Unless it was a really large article, I would probably check everything myself. ceranthor 21:11, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Regarding article structure, I suspect we just assume that the editor had a good reason from it. The few times I've questioned that, I've had my head handed to me with the news it was so decreed by the local Wikiproject to assure consistency in articles.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:34, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

"Wikiproject are over-rated. Do your own thing." :) TCO (reviews needed) 21:37, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I have a terrible and persistent blind spot in that I give too much respect to existing text. To be honest, a really high quality editor would know when existing text needs to be blown up and rebuilt, nearly from scratch. But that causes problems!!!! We are not professional editors who can tell the world to stuff it. We are mired in a social network, and acknowledging/admitting that is a necessary step. It's a constant two-way battle between working with the quality of the text and dealing with the quality (or lack thereof) of other valued contributors.... So.. those who say it's too much trouble to work on existing text have my sympathy. I have always worked in collaboration with at least one other editor; sometimes several, on my five FAs. One I stumbled on via an editing argument; one I was interested in before I even began editing; one I stumbled on via GAN; one I started from a mere redirect; etc.  – Ling.Nut 02:26, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
    For a moment there, I thought you were talking about being "interested in" and "stumbling on" other editors, then I realised you were talking about articles, as starting an editor from a mere redirect sounds difficult! This is all (your comments and the other comments as well) fascinating stuff, as it confirms what I was thinking, while also making me realise that I hadn't properly comprehended how difficult it can be to rework existing text. One interesting experiment is to go back to something you yourself edited years ago and pretend someone else wrote it, and see how easy it is to 'build' on or 'check' what you wrote back then. If the work you did back then was sub-standard, it can be surprisingly difficult to get a proper handle on it months or years later, though it should still be easier than looking at a source and trying to work out what someone else was thinking of when they wrote something. Carcharoth (talk) 02:59, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
    Yes I can relate exactly, Carcharoth. John McCauley and Valston Hancock, for example, were two articles I created and took to Milhist B-Class a few years ago, using all the info I had on them at the time. Recently I realised that there was enough additional data in sources I'd discovered since then to take them to GA and even FA. While the task of expanding and bringing them to FA standard was simplified by the basic structure and info already being in place, I felt I had to recheck every statement against every source, which negated that advantage somewhat timewise. Plus as you add detail to an existing article, you often have to rephrase the text and split or otherwise tweak the citations for what's already there, meaning that ultimately the effort expended may not be a helluva lot different to starting from scratch, though it seems a bit easier... ;-) As to enhancing existing articles I didn't create myself, I think I can count the number of times I've done that for a B-Class article on the fingers of one thumb; all the rest have been Stubs or Start-Class. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 03:19, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
  • (1) I arrived on the scene far too late to create many articles, so only three of the 13 articles I got through FAC were created by me. It is increasingly difficult to find topics that have not had articles created already. I do have some though.
  • (2) I have been known to discard everything. In one case, the original article is now the lead. People who create articles without references annoy me. I will definitely throw out anything I cannot source, even if I believe that it is probably true. In the J. Robert Oppenheimer article, I discarded some stuff about his school classroom being preserved. I will throw out material I cannot personally check. I will go to great lengths to track down obscure sources, but it sometimes happens with web sites that they can no longer be found. I will start by removing any such references; if I am working with other editors I replace them with "citation required" tags. Usually, I need to supply references. Too often it takes just as long to track down each fact as to write the article from scratch.
  • (3) If there have been prior review processes, I will take the comments into account. The Oppenheimer article was a former featured article, so there was the original FAC and the FAR. Usually, I am starting from a start-class article though.
  • (4) I used to trust the prior editors. I was mainly concerned with factual accuracy, so I rechecked all the references. In particular, there is the matter of close paraphrasing; if I did't know where the text came from, then I used to just supply an appropriate factual reference; but now I will discard and rewrite. Some of the image editors have also proven to be cowboys. Usually, I am starting from a start-class article, so it will be checked at the B level, possibly at the GA level, and certainly for a FAC, at the A-class level. This falls down if the article is not a MilHist article, as there is no ACR, and the real review process, unfortunately, is FAC.

Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:30, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Unless there it gets involved somehow in current events, any new article is likely to get few views. Yes, when I work over an article, nothing is sacred. I will try to keep some of the text, since I believe WP is not a solo enterprise. But usually there is "demo" work to be done on an article before you do it right. I've got a few birth to FAs, but they are mostly on aspects of my politicians' careers and coin articles, which for some reason was neglected around here until RHM22 and myself took an interest. All seven probably do not get 200 hits in a day.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:30, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
  • 1 - Previously existed, I just tend not to find articles that don't exist that I can get further than GA.
  • 2 - I generally just check that no one else is actively working on the article. Usually I tend to rewrite most of it anyway, though the higher quality the article the less I rewrite completely. This bit me on the ass in my last (failed) FAC, so next time I'm just going to burn it to the ground and rebuild, I'm too trusting of existing work. I definitely throw out things I can't source, but I go to great lengths to track down a source first.
  • 3 - Not much, as non-FAC review processes are much weaker than here; I could pick up a golden GA and chuck it here and still get three pages of prose comments alone.
  • 4 - Most articles I work on don't have too much complexity in the history, but as above I prefer to rewrite it all so as to really know all of the article. Spotchecks aren't enough, as FAC is going to spotcheck something different and then question you on it- bringing it here makes if "your" article, and protesting that a prior editor wrote something wrong isn't going to help anything.
  • --PresN 23:12, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Most of the articles I've worked on already existed in some form (usually a really bad one). If I intend to get it to FA, I rewrite it from scratch - either from my own sources or in current collaboration with other editors (Donner Party and Ima Hogg were really rewarding collaborations; Truthkeeper and I started collaborating on Catholic Church but that was a nightmare for other reasons). If I don't want to get to FA, I may reuse some of the text or just find sources for what is listed. For me, if I'm taking an article to a review process, I need to be able to vouch for the text and content, and if I can't, then the text/content goes. That's why, if I do a collaboration, it has to be with people whose work I trust. Karanacs (talk) 14:42, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Nominator going on holiday

Are there any procedures for a nominator going on holiday? When I nominated Kennet and Avon Canal at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Kennet and Avon Canal/archive2 on 1 July I had no idea it would still be under review at the end of the month. My holiday plans have also been brought forward so from 29 July I will be away with no internet access for at least a week. I can ask others to keep an eye on it and respond to any further reviewers comments, however is there anything else I need to do?— Rod talk 07:58, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

That is what some people have done in the past. If it is going to pass, find babysitters, hopefully with source access. If it is going to fail (I have not looked), pull it and sit out your two week penalty on the Costa del Sol or whereever.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:23, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
It has three (solid) supports, so it's not in danger of being closed --- put a note on the FAC as to when you'll return. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:28, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, it didn't work out so well for me in my experience, and 1 oppose after a restart ended in a fail. Having said that, try and get some people to watch the FAC process and the article in question. --Tærkast (Discuss) 19:27, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I went away for a week with no decent internet access in the middle of my last FAC... thankfully, the dearth of reviewers meant that nobody commented on it until days after I returned. Juliancolton (talk) 19:52, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Featured article candidates/archive51".