Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive58

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Article "ICarly" Featured Article (FA) nomination

I think that the article named "ICarly" must be a FA (Featured Article) because it has:

You should read the WP:Featured article criteria which are rather broader than you seem to think. The article is decent enough, currently classed "C", but not near featured quality at present. Needs work, peer review and maybe GA review before any plausible nomination here. Brianboulton (talk) 20:17, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Come talk to me when you are ready for a peer review. I can't say the program is to my taste, but I have watched a few episodes when despite hundreds of channels, there was nothing on...--Wehwalt (talk) 13:43, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

RFC - Proposal to relax the "one article at a time" rule

Currently, an editor is allowed to be the sole nominator of only one article at a time. The rate of Featured Article Candidates being promoted has been falling for some time, and is now about half what it was back in 2008. In 2012, between 20 and 40 articles were promoted per month. There are various reasons for this; I am not suggesting that the one-at-a-time rule is the sole or even one of the more important ones. As a result, though, the queue is shorter, and currently, the oldest article is just over a month old, nominated on 3 October. So it takes about a month for an article to move through FAC. However, the number of articles waiting for review is very much larger, because articles are being held back under one-article-at-a-time. Given that FAC has spare capacity, I am proposing that an editor be allowed to nominate two articles at a time. This would not flood FAC with articles, but would reduce the backlog, reduce the time for an article to be brought to FAC, and improve overall article quality. Hawkeye7 (talk) 19:33, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Support we can make a test drive. My motto is: more nominations = more reviewers. Regards.--Tomcat (7) 19:42, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I have a couple questions about this. How would it mesh with the two weeks between nominations rule, and would simply removing that rule be a good alternative to this idea? —Torchiest talkedits 19:44, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
    • I was not proposing to change that rule, so the effect would be that an editor could not submit another nomination for two weeks. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:10, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't know where this backlog is, and I don't see how this change could improve article quality. WRT the two-week rule, this is for archived FACs and is needed to prevent nominators immediately re-nominating articles that require more preparation. Also, I am not sure we have any spare capacity; the number of established reviewers has declined and more often than not, I end up having to do the spotchecks. Nominators can already ask the delegates for the one at at time rule to be relaxed. Graham Colm (talk) 19:52, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

    1. The backlog consists of articles that are ready for nomination, but unable to be nominated. I currently have 18 of these.
    2. The idea is that FAC review itself improves the quality of articles; many projects measure the quality of their articles by numbers of featured articles.
    3. Nominators can already ask the delegates to ignore one-at-a-time (and the two-week-wait), but grounds for granting exemptions are uncertain. After we started for asking for too many exemptions, the Military History Project editors agreed not to seek exemptions. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:10, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Still thinking this one over, but I think the co-nominator exemption would have to be killed. --Rschen7754 20:06, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

  • The co-nominator exception is an anomaly. My understanding is that it was to promote collaborative editing. It is true that you can get a minion to co-nom in order to do an end-run around the one-at-a-time rule. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:10, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comments: Just a couple of observations: "is now about half what it was back in 2008". I think most people agree that standards are now rather higher than they were in 2008 (in a good way) which might explain this; is a lesser rate necessarily a bad thing? As GrahamColm says, I cannot see "a number of articles waiting for review", unless this means at PR. But not all those articles are aimed at FAC. Also, I tend to agree that more reviewers, rather than more nominations, is probably the answer to any question which arises. And finally, why was this one article per person limit created in the first place? If we knew the reasons for the limit, it may clear up whether it was still required. A quick trawl of the archives of this page threw up various issues on this page, this section and this section. However, these are fairly random and there are probably more relevant examples. Sarastro1 (talk) 20:34, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
    I did some digging on this. That rule has been in place almost from the very beginning. The instructions were moved to a template in July 2004. A few weeks later, there was a major rewrite of the rules. These were based on some discussion here and detailed here. It looks like originally there were just too many nominations coming in. —Torchiest talkedits 20:55, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
(EC) I can't speak for Ian, but let me make it clear that I will not object to requests from nominators, who have an established record of engaging in our FAC process and who respond to reviewers' comments quickly, to relax this rule. I haven't the time to look back over the years to find the discussion that gave rise to this rule, but I recall it was last discussed around the 2007-8, when there were around 100 nominations and the delegate found it difficult to cope. Given the shortage of established reviewers, I try to keep the list a manageable length, which helps to focus the resources we have. (I don't like to see it go over 50 noms). Graham Colm (talk) 21:09, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Hawkeye's current FAC is 25 days old and has received two favourable reviews, but no further comments in the past 19 days, so I can understand the frustration. The problem is clearly a lack of reviewers, not the rule, which can be relaxed. It would ease the problem if nominators reviewed other FACs (I know some of you already do this). Graham Colm (talk) 21:33, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Agreed - that is why there is no "spare capacity". In terms of reviewers we are surely worse off than in 2008. Johnbod (talk) 22:23, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Update: User: Crisco 1492 gave it another review yesterday. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:57, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Comment: when I first read the one nomination rule, I understood that the idea was to guarantee that the nominator may commit himself to the nomination and any possible request that may happen in it; if someone opened 25 FACs at a time the most probable thing is that they may be drive-by nominations, that the nominator may be unlikely to follow. This scenario would give too many problems, and may be better to be prevented. On the other hand, an article that fits the featured criteria but does not have the golden star is not really a "problem", as it will have it in its due time. I would propose to use a similar system than with the immediate renominations of FACS with no activity: let a delegate decide it. If there are legitimate cases of several articles awaiting nomination, then the best way to manage them and prevent the possible misuse of multiple nominations at the same time is to let someone in which we can trust to set the cases apart. Cambalachero (talk) 19:50, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

  • We have to face the fact that they won't be done in their due time. The 18 articles that I have waiting for FAC would take over two years to process, so one written tomorrow will not come before FAC until 2015. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:47, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
    • Where are the reviewers for these extra articles supposed to come from? There are currently 35 nominations on the list. One is 20 days old and has had only an image review. Another is 16 days old and has had only source spotchecks. Of the 12 articles over 15 days old, only two have more than one support. If we can't find the people to review the 35 articles currently in the queue, where are we going to find the people to review another even 15 that get nominated? The solution is to move articles through the process more quickly (by getting more reviewers active), not to increase the queue size, which would simply slow the process down. Hawkeye, perhaps I'm reading your words incorrectly, but you seem completely focused only on getting the gold star on more of your articles, and don't seem to be thinking at all about the added strain placed on an already overworked volunteer force. Dana boomer (talk) 21:07, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
      • I appreciate your concern. But what I am seeing is not a single group of editors reviewing article after article, but editors picking and choosing articles and reviewing them. It also seems that a newly-listed article is as likely to get a review as one that has been there for weeks. So what I am in effect suggesting is placing more articles in the shop window. 03:56, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Comment: I understand where Hawkeye is coming from, I've been in the same position myself -- to a lesser extent -- of having a number of FAC-ready noms queued up. Part of it stems from being MilHist editors, where we have a well-established A-Class Review system, and articles that pass A-Class are generally assumed to be FAC-ready. At MilHist we put no limit on the number of ACRs one can initiate (though I don't think I've seen more than 5 from any one nominator at a time) so it's no surprise Haswkeye has many lined up for FAC. I once put 3 RAAF chiefs of staff up for ACR simultaneously, which I justified because they all had a similar military college background, and served in the top air force job almost one after the other. More importantly, my sources were almost identical in each case and I'd improved the articles more-or-less simultaneously, so it seemed to make sense to nominate them simultaneously. When it came to FAC, however, I nominated one at a time as usual. It's true that articles that have passed a project ACR may be (legitimately) rubber-stamped at FAC by their A-Class reviewers, but this isn't always the case, and as a FAC delegate I like to see some content reviewing from outside the nominator's Wikiproject before I promote, as well as dedicated image and source reviews. So even in a best-case scenario, I'd expect a blanket easing of the one-nom rule to put a greater strain on the pool of regular FAC reviewers. That said, I don't think I've refused a reasonable request for an additional nom, e.g. where there's co-noms involved, or when the nominator's current 'solo' FAC seems to be nearing consensus. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:55, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

It's pretty obvious that the throughput at ACR is faster than at FAC. Hawkeye7 (talk) 03:56, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • WP:USRD is definitely in the same boat as well. --Rschen7754 23:01, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. - If a nominator has enough time and energy to deal with multiple FAC noms at once, then why would we arbitrarily slow them down? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:04, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Two at a time is not going to swamp the process. Let's do it! Binksternet (talk) 04:26, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment After reading Ian and Graham's thoughtful posts, I'd suggest that the best approach would be to formalise the (as far as I'm aware) unwritten convention that editors with a good track record at FAC can have two noms open at the same time as long as the first nomination is progressing satisfactorily. Nick-D (talk) 09:32, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: In general I concur with the previous comment. In Good Queen Sandy's golden days this practice was followed, and worked well enough. I don't follow the statement made earlier in the thread, that "more nominations = more reviewers"; why should it? And I am a little surprised, not to mention overawed, that an editor, even one as industrious as Hawkeye, can have a private backlog of eighteen articles all ready and waiting for FAC. That's at least two years' work for me. Brianboulton (talk) 00:00, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
      • No, no, no ... you meant Good Witch, oh Brainiac. GrahamColm and IanRose have it right-- the problem is and has always been avoiding a flood of ill-prepared articles from nominators who repeatedly put up ill-prepared articles and rarely "give back" in terms of reviews-- we don't need to formalize the policy of letting experienced nominators who give back and participate put up more than one at a time, because we already have the means for that to happen, and delegates who are amenable. Delegates can and do know who contributes to and helps with the backlog-- and they can and do give permission for more than one nom at times when the backlog is manageable and reviewers are able to pitch in. I do recognize there is often a MilHist backlog, but that occurs because some of the MilHist editors don't pitch in and help eliminate the backlog by reviewing other types of articles. The best thing the MilHist editors can do to solve their problem is to review more articles put up by others-- the less backlog, the better opportunity for delegates to allow more multiple noms. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:50, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Right, but if we were to formalize it, as Nick suggests, then we would have to formalize what a "good track record" is, and what "progressing satisfactorily" is. I don't see the problem with leaving the situation as is - continuing it as an unwritten rule, allowing the delegates to make the call, and encouraging editors to use this option if they are in a position to do so. The current wording actually technically allows for an editor to have three nominations open at any one time (one normal one, one by special dispensation and one with a collaborator), although I can't remember a situation in which anyone took advantage of this. Dana boomer (talk) 20:56, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • That's a very good point, but I'm not sure that a strict definition is needed - we could note that this is at the discretion of the delegates. My basic idea is to write up the procedure which is currently in place in order to advertise it and establish it more securely (at present Ian and Graham are at risk of not having a procedure to reference if/when editors complain about their requests for multiple nominations being knocked back while other editors get their requests approved). That said, I certainly don't want to complicate or change the current system for lodging multiple nominations as it's working rather well. Nick-D (talk) 09:16, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Anyone who nominates two at once will almost certainly be someone that has ample time to manage both articles. In the rare situation that a nominator gets in over their head, they can retract one of the nominations. Limiting it to two (rather than unlimited) is a good middle ground. --Noleander (talk) 21:12, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per delegates. --Rschen7754 21:14, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I expect people would have common sense and it is hard enough getting reviewers to there's a practical limit. I am very impressed at Hawkeye's backlog, even in my more industrious days I never had more than four.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:45, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per my comments above. Something about those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it ... there were very good reasons for the one nom at a time rule (nominators who taxed reviewerss to their wits end by running through ill-prepared noms back-to-back), and delegates have the discretion to relax the rule for those editors who have a history of putting up prepared nominations and helping to reduce the backlog by reviewing others' work. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:54, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Two is fine, eases the pinch on the prolifics without incurring flood. Samsara (FA  FP) 04:57, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose unless both delegates support. This would increase the demand for reviewers (which is the resource in shortest supply) without increasing the number of reviewers. If both delegates think this is OK I will withdraw my oppose. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:08, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose It's all well and nice Hawkeye wants to promote more of his articles, but that doesn't address or ameliorate the FAC's historic and present issues with reviewers and scale. As Sandy points out, there have been occasional exemptions granted for the rule, but that's a privilege earned, as it should be. If the delegates think it's a bad idea--and make no mistake that delegates do as much work as we writers in terms of sorting, keeping track and vetting the system--then I definitely don't see a reason to foist more work on their shoulders. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 22:28, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I Oppose a change to the statu quo. Putting my cards on the table, I would prefer to keep the rule and let the delegates decide when to grant an exemption. I would, in part, base my decision on the nominators' track record in fully engaging in our FAC process. Graham Colm (talk) 23:00, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose There aren't enough reviewers at present, this will only make things worse Jimfbleak - talk to me? 20:47, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The rule was put in place, as said above, because some reviewers would post multiple articles that all had the same problems. This was not a good use of reviewer time - much better to learn from the mistakes in the first one and clean up the second before the reviewers saw it. If the problem is simply that there aren't enough reviewers interested in looking at articles in a certain content category, putting up more articles in that category is not going to improve the promotion rate. Karanacs (talk) 16:34, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This rule was put in place for a reason: to prevent overburdening reviewers, of which we seem to have fewer and fewer. There are already a couple of workarounds (special dispensation from delegates, co-noms). The solution to the problem of slow-moving nominations is to get more reviewers so that nominations move faster, not add more articles to the queue so that we spread an already scarce resource out over an even larger number of articles. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dana boomer (talkcontribs) 16:05, November 21, 2012

FA Director?

Surprisingly, the Wikipediocracy people have raised a good point. Raul hasn't edited Wikipedia since August 25th. Isn't it about time to consider the position of FA Director to have been left derelict and a new one should be appointed? One of the delegates will likely be the top candidate, but I think the position needs to be filled if Raul is going to continue to be absent. I mean, we can't just have an absent Director. What if a situation arises that is bigger than the delegates can handle?

So, should there be a wiki-wide RfC vote for a new Director, with people putting themselves forward as candidates or what? SilverserenC 20:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't have a position on this, I just want to point out that Raul wasn't involved with FLC, and FLC gets along just fine; Giants2008 and The Rambling Man are defined to be directors (as is Dabomb, but checking quickly, he seems to be devoting himself to TFA). - Dank (push to talk) 20:25, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Though they also have a delegate, NapHit. --Rschen7754 20:28, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
True. Well, I'll support whatever Ian and Graham want. - Dank (push to talk) 20:32, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
It's not so much Raul himself as it is having someone officially being in charge so they can make the necessary decisions. FLC does have directors who are in charge, so it works. SilverserenC 20:33, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Has anyone actually asked Raul (through the talk page and e-mail functions) if he is still available to make any tough calls needed? Even when inactive in the past, he has always (as far as I know) responded to e-mails from delegates asking him to look in on various situations. There was a large RfC earlier this year that ended with significant support for Raul maintaining his current position, despite previous periods of inactivity. And, honestly, I don't think it would be beneficial for the FA community to go through (for a second time) the bickering, infighting and political intrigues that accompanied that RfC, especially if Raul is just busy in RL and is still available to make any necessary tough decisions. Dana boomer (talk) 21:02, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I have emailed him with no response, and I know Casliber has too. --Rschen7754 21:10, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Here's my quick take. Step 1: confirm that Raul's been asked about his activity and intentions. Step 2: if he's unwilling or unable to continue, we'd have to have a RfC to determine how to elect/select the replacement. (My suggestion would be to open nominations for a week, and then run voting on the candidates for another week.) Step 3: follow the process selected in Step 2. We're at Step 1 folks, not Step 2. Imzadi 1979  21:14, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
My only worry with going through this again is that we need to seriously consider keep this discussion much calmer than the last one. The last thing we want to do is to have to shut down this page for 24 hours, again. Mitch32(Victim of public education, 17 years and counting) 21:16, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Certainly I'd like to hear from Raul, but Wikipedia is a dedication-ocracy, so with regard to FAC, I'm more interested in hearing from the people doing the work, starting with Ian and Graham; their opinions count more, in my view. - Dank (push to talk) 21:36, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
It's all very nice and nostalgic to allow Raul to continue be the primary vessel for selection of the primary article featured on one of the most heavily visited webpages in the world every day, but clearly he's not actually fulfilling this (or any other Wikipedia) duty any more (last useful TFA edit was three months ago). Moreover, poor old Dabomb87 has held the fort but himself finds it difficult to dedicate the required time to ensuring the articles selected are done so in time, and are up to scratch. Things need to change here, both "officially" and practically. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:41, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm in favor of giving him the chance to respond before we move to another stage of the discussion. If we don't hear back after a reasonable time period, then we can move on to the next step. I think a week is generous to give him a chance to reply to this discussion. Given the acrimony of the RfC less than a year ago, I don't want it to look like we're rushing to remove him after the community gave him so much support last time. Imzadi 1979  22:33, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
As for Featured Article Director, the "appointment" has been contentious from its very beginnings - see Wikipedia_talk:Featured_article_candidates/archive5#24_hours_without_support, where a reference is made to a template talk page that has since been moved, and in whose history I was not able to find the discussion alluded to. As usual, the request for due process was handwaved away, and that's how controversy has followed Raul in what, to the best of my ability to research this, is essentially a self-appointment. Samsara (FA  FP) 23:38, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

WP:TFL is currently just dandy (as is WP:FLC), allocating weekly main page lists two or three weeks in advance because we have active directors (Giants2008, me, Dabomb87 when he's available) and a very capable and incredibly dedicated delegate (NapHit). I've wondered how TFA can carry on down the current path with TFAs sometimes chosen a day ahead. TFA and Dabomb could definitely use some more help from trusted editors. The worst outcome is that articles are rushed onto the main page without any quality control. Many articles were promoted a long time ago, and many have serious issues that should be resolved before they're featured on the main page. That's why they should be listed for review a few weeks in advance of main page exposure. Having said that, Today's Featured Picture is becoming a bit of joke, while today's pic was nice, the bold-linked article in the blurb lead to an unreferenced stub article, the only bold-linked article on the main page which had absolutely no quality control whatsoever. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:17, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

This issue is actually being heard in several places now (main page talk and TFP talk), that the articles an FP is included in should have been brought up to a reasonable standard before the picture can be considered eligible. I think similar principles could be applied to a lesser extent to outgoing articles from FA ledes and FP blurbs. As for the rest of an FA, I'm a bit of a red link fan. I think they trump minimal stubs as there's a chance the red links will get the attention of someone willing to develop them properly. Samsara (FA  FP) 22:01, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, our main focus for main page article links should be those in bold (which all sections agree to apart from featured pictures) but then I think you're right, if we have the luxury of time and input, a check of all other links on a main page linked article would be optimal. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, i've never understood the idea of trying to remove all red links from FA articles and stuff. It's like implying that our best content won't have red links, when red links aren't bad and have nothing to do with the quality of the article they're in anyways. Red links are a good thing, we need to publicize those that exist more, not less. SilverserenC 22:09, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

There are two separate substantive issues here, and there is a process question. On the substantive issues: I think there should be a Director and delegates - it is a useful decision making structure, and i have seen it work well. It appears Raul isn't active, and someone else should be made Director. Second substantive issue appears to be ensuring sufficient quality control in various Featured Content processes (of which promotion orf FAs is obviously just one). That can't be solved by replacing Raul as Director, but having a Director and then looking at, for example, having one or more new delegates, would be a good step. On process. Yes. Someone send an email to Raul saying he has done a fabulous job over the years, it is proposed to designate someone new as FA Director to help ensure there's enough bodies and a good decision structure, and the community will go ahead with a process in a week's time, unless he indicates he wishes to remain hands-on in the role. Per a comment above, though, I'd like to hear Casliber's take on whether any recent email he has sent to Raul has already effectively addressed that step. If it has, then we send a thank you email and get on with it. I think there are enough excellent people around to ensure it won't be hard to do... hamiltonstone (talk) 00:03, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

I basically agree with this except the monolithic/palaeolithic structure. I think the term "delegate" should be changed into something less submissive, and the position of "director", if it is still found to be required and going to be called that, should be made rotatory among those [placeholder position name] who haven't explicitly opted out. I agree that we are still a community and should see ourselves that way. Samsara (FA  FP) 00:47, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

I want to make a few quick points based on what I've seen in this thread. First, I'd like to see where "the Wikipediocracy people" have been talking about who the FA director is, and whether it is an on-Wikipedia conversation or not. Second, the reason TFL is running smoothly is that we only run one list per week. With many blurbs ready at WP:TFLS, not much needs to be done other than copying a blurb into an appropriate slot; writing blurbs for TFL is much more work, since there are more to write and not as many are receiving prior preparation. Even as an FL director, I don't think a direct comparison to TFA is fair on the FA director. Third, while I'm disappointed that Raul hasn't been more active since we gave him a vote of confidence, the thought of an election scares me. There's way too much factionalism as evident from the previous RFC, and I'm not convinced that "outsiders" without a large group of pre-existing supporters would have much of a chance of winning. I could picture the whole thing deteriorating rather quickly. Giants2008 (Talk) 02:18, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

I sent an email in early October just suggesting we needed scheduling of Today's Featured Articles more in advance. I didn't get any reply. I voted for keeping the status quo back in January, but lengthy periods of inactivity on Raul's part are not helpful. Frustratingly, it wouldn't need much activity at all to keep things sailing along smoothly, and the process is still running smoothly for the most part, barring some anxiety at TFA. I really don't like the idea of an election I must say. Right at this point in time, I'd be happy if Raul assumed even a low level of activity indicating some form of finger on the pulse, as it were. Before anyone does or suggests anything drastic, however, we do need to hear from a few folks. Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:36, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm really torn. First, I agree with a number of points made by Giants2008: WO shouldn't be the impetus to change here on WP, and the factionalism is still much in evidence and problematic. Also agree with Cas that yeah, definitely some anxiety at TFA and honestly I think we could do with another delegate to help out there, but Bencherlite is doing a nice job helping with blurbs and so on. Dabomb is still scheduling, and so that's not a problem but he's being pressured which I don't like to see. I'm with Cas in that I'd like to see some sort of low level of activity from Raul (in fact I posted something to that effect on his page about a month ago). Also agree with Giants that doing something quickly could potentially cause a huge mess. Not a lot of problems at the moment and I'm still not convinced we need to change anything, but it bears watching is my view. Truthkeeper (talk) 03:03, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Here you go. They're rude and disrespectful, as always, but the point about Raul being absent is a valid one and why I raised it here. SilverserenC 03:37, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd read it. Here's the thing: the factionalism was brought about almost a year ago, beginning with TCO, moving on to Jack Merridew, aka Alarbus, aka Br'er Rabbit, and at that point people took sides. It's still going on, in my view, to some extent by proxy, and can very clearly be seen on various pages across WP. It's not like everyone who is to some degree or another involved with the FAC process isn't aware of all this. My view is what I wrote above: it's probably too soon to raise these issues. It only gives the opportunity for yet another dramafest. That said, as I mentioned above, yeah it would be nice to see Raul pop in to show he hasn't completely left. But really, what does that achieve? My sense is to let things go a bit longer, and ride this out. Truthkeeper (talk) 03:54, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
(It's actually aka Jack Rabbit, Dohardthings, and Informationbuddy1 now, which were caught just the other day.)
My question is though, how long are we going to give it before we officially say Raul isn't coming back? I mean, if he isn't responding to emails sent to him and hasn't edited for almost 3 months now, how long do we give before his absence is official? SilverserenC 04:01, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Dunno the answer to that; let's let others weigh in. But this thread is only a few hours old, so it's a bit soon to know answers. At least that's what I think. Truthkeeper (talk) 04:06, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
If Raul isn't able to edit at this time (for whatever reason), after an appropriate amount of time, the FA Director position should go to SandyGeorgia, who spent years as the FA delegate. I know she's not highly active right now, but she did edit this month, so she is "around". And when/if Raul is able to return, we can cross that bridge at that juncture. Firsfron of Ronchester 06:29, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, if she wants it; she seemed to be burned out though. --Rschen7754 06:32, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I think it would be better to appoint someone who's actually semi-moderately to a fairly good amount active, not someone who's just around. I mean, isn't the point of the Director position to be someone who makes a lot of the decisions about the TFAs and stuff? I know Raul did back il the day. You need to be pretty active to keep up with that. SilverserenC 06:47, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
SS, I agree that the person selected must be active; otherwise, the FA Director might as well be Raul. Firsfron of Ronchester 07:48, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

TFA director? Late to the discussion: what do we need a TFA director for anyway? TFA ran for more than 2 months without an active one, ran well in September, not quite as well in October. I suggest to change the TFA process to a collaborative effort, in Wikipedia spirit, Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:03, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

  • I agree with the suggestion(s) above that we wait several days for the director to speak up & clarify his role. If several days go by with no response, an RfC should be initiated to establish a process for determining a new leadership structure (which may a single individual, or a team, or a loose collaboration). The new leader(s) should be editors who are (1) experienced with FA; and (2) moderately active. --Noleander (talk) 07:07, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
    • The director - he isn't responding to emails sent to him and hasn't edited for almost 3 months now, - .......suggest director isn't needed - suggest having a director was more of a problem than a solution and I don't support a replacement - Youreallycan 08:34, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I third that. Samsara (FA  FP) 10:37, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

I have to admit to being a little surprised that a question raised at Wikipediocracy is generating so much heat here. While I'm sure Raul would be pleased to know that so many people miss him, one of the reasons we have delegates is so the FA director's presence is not required all the time. I can't imagine that the majority of editors want to revisit an RFC conducted barely a year ago, which in any case seemed to squarely favour retaining the overall FA system and its director. Can I therefore clarify just what is lacking in the delegates' efforts that requires Raul to intervene, or else risk being booted out of his role? Reading this thread, I didn't see any criticism being levelled at the FAC process, although there were points raised about TFA scheduling and quality control. If that's the case then I'd expect the discussion to be taking place at WT:TFAR, yet the main thing being talked about there now is point scores. So enlighten me, please. If some part of the FA system is perceived to need assistance, I daresay others among the delegate pool, myself included, could help out. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 10:04, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

To me, it seems the two main problems are a) when we need to appoint more delegates (as we need to at TFAR), Raul's the only one who can do so, and b) what to do if unusual issues pop up. --Rschen7754 10:05, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Community consensus seems to work at other times. Samsara (FA  FP) 10:39, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

<scratches head> I'm not sure what my problem is. 1. that i have been out of circulation for a while until recently or 2. i work in a bureaucracy in RL and so am kinda used to certain things. But someone cannot have a role unless they exercise it. Forget the crisis / what crisis debate, Raul isn't around, as I understand it. Unless we're treating him as some kind of ceremonial head of state (which seems wrong and not what anyone is saying), then that seems to be the end of the matter. He did a great job, pat on the back, but he just isn't "director", as a simple matter of practicality. As long as Graham and Ian don't feel the need to refer 'up the chain' to an arbiter, but are happy to bring unclear cases / issues to the community for guidance (perhaps per Gerda Arent's comment above), then we can just dispense with having an inactive account that is designated Director, and move on without it. Let's designate someone else 'delegate' if we want another. All of that said, I might benefit from some technical clarification. Rschen7754 commented that "when we need to appoint more delegates (as we need to at TFAR), Raul's the only one who can do so". That doesn't sound like WP to me. Delegate(s), can you clarify for me at least: do you or Raul have any authority / technical capabilities not shared by other editors or at least admins? hamiltonstone (talk) 11:27, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Complicated question. They have admin capabilities through which they add the TFAs to the main page. They are also wholly in charge of the FAC area, whether featured article candidates are accepted or not and when they are put on the front page. In a sense, the "authority" is over a niche, namely FA areas in this case, just like Arbcom has authority over dispute resolution rulings and such. However, unlike one voted for the delegates or the director. They just appointed themselves. SilverserenC 19:14, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Just to clarify: SandyGeorgia isn't an admin thought she was a delegate for I don't know how many years, and I believe Ian Rose isn't an admin. Seems though that much of the issues here are focusing on TFAs and I think that Ian's suggestion to move the conversation there isn't a bad one. Truthkeeper (talk) 19:51, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
The only FA position that really requires adminship is anything with TFA, because if you're not an admin, someone has to follow you around move-protecting the pages. --Rschen7754 19:55, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Just to respond to a couple of points above, yes Rschen7754, the FA Director appoints delegates, delegates don't appoint other delegates, and yes TK, I'm not an admin, nor have I any desire to be, despite a number of kind people offering to propose me over the years. BTW, whoever thinks "delegate" is an offensive term, I've never considered it so -- I'd hardly have accepted this position if I did...! Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 02:32, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Hey everyone - I'm still around. I haven't been editing much, but I still pop in to check my watchlist several times a week. I'm at work as I write this. I'll pop back in later tonight and respond to the above in greater detail. Raul654 (talk) 14:00, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

There's a some misinformation floating around this discussion. I'd like to dispel some of it:

Samsara above claimed that "As usual, the request for due process was handwaved away, and that's how controversy has followed Raul in what, to the best of my ability to research this, is essentially a self-appointment." This is patently untrue. I started doing FA-leadership type things in December of 2003, was ratified in that position in August 2004 (see here) and re-ratified in that position earlier this year. I also think there was a reconfirmation in the 2007-2008 timeframe, but I could be mistaken.

SilverSeren claimed that "However, unlike one voted for the delegates or the director. They just appointed themselves." This is wrong on both counts. I was voted by the community, and I choose the delegates (in consultation with the existing ones).

Several people above claimed that the position is unnecessary. We already beat that one to death (and well beyond) earlier this year. The result of that discussion was an extremely lopsided consensus to keep the position, and to keep me in it. I'm not going to re-litigate that one.

Rschen7754 is somewhat correct that TFA requires being an administrator. TFA pages are auto-protected 24 hours before they hit the main page. Any edits after that point can only be done by administrators. Prior to that, however, anyone can edit them.

I'm open to appointing a new TFA delegate. If anyone would like to volunteer or nominate one, please contact me privately. I don't think there's a need for a new FAC or FAR delegate, but I'm open to someone trying to convince me otherwise. Raul654 (talk) 22:30, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

I would trust that Bencherlite, Brianboulton, Malleus Fatuorum and Wehwalt could all be trusted to perform closing of FA nominations and scheduling of TFA. Scheduling is 2 days in advance at present, if that can be called "in advance". --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:47, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
I would not be willing to serve under Raul. Never mind what happened before, walking off your job in a hissy fit and not being seen for getting on for three months is no way to conduct yourself, and I have no confidence in him as FA director.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:54, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, since the lack of a need for the director has been demonstrated, and there are candidates both available and willing that the community would approve, I don't see what's in the way of getting rid of the director role and simply having the project run by a more diverse group of people. Seems to solve all the gripes. Samsara (FA  FP) 23:27, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not looking for any kind of "official" position here at Wikipedia, and not being an administrator I wouldn't be prepared to consider it anyway. Malleus Fatuorum 01:00, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
To clarify, that's move-protecting the actual articles, although if an article needs to be emergency-pulled (plagiarism for example) an admin would need to do it as well. --Rschen7754 22:33, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Was the discussion earlier this year wiki-wide, with a watchlist page notice and everything? Notifications at AN/Village Pump/ all the other areas? SilverserenC 23:29, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
From my recollection, yes, it was. --Rschen7754 23:31, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Huh, weird. Must have missed that one. SilverserenC 23:54, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Nearly 100 participants, dozens of incoming links, 3 signpost articles. Yes, it was very well advertised. Raul654 (talk) 00:06, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Notification (Feb 2012 archive) at Wikipedia:Centralized discussion; a watchlist notice was requested but was opposed and did not happen; mention in the Signpost (1) and (2); Village Pump notification. See also Special:WhatLinksHere/Wikipedia:Featured articles/2012 RfC on FA leadership for the full list of incoming links. BencherliteTalk 00:09, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
I notice that a lot of the people in the RfC said that the reason why things don't need to change is that an "RfC can be made at any time". Meaning, if there's ever any concerns, then an RfC can be immediately raised. SilverserenC 00:29, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
I was the person who formulated the previous RfC. If you feel another one is appropriate, I (and I think many others) would prefer that you try to find out if there is enough support to make it worthwhile before starting one. That RfC took a huge amount of energy out of FAC participants, and it would be better not to start another draining discussion unless there is significant support for change. For myself, I think it's too soon after the last RfC for another; the consensus was very clear. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:53, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Much has happened since then. First of all, the two editors who were Raul's enforcers, SandyGeorgia and Moni3, are gone or nearly gone, and without their intimidation, I daresay the RFC might have had a very different outcome. Second, Raul committed serious misconduct with the bits. The matter went away after his departure, but the arbitration committee may wish to take up the issue of his misuse of tools, since we are not supposed allow people to sneak off to avoid the heat and then come back. Basically, I would say the 2012 RFC is a moot point: much has changed since then, and the community, more to the point, has done very well running the FA processes without Raul and proven he is not necessary. I suggest we simply regard the post as historical, and move on, and at some point see what we want to do over the long term with how these areas function.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:17, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Endorse. Samsara (FA  FP) 23:27, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Did you forget something, Wehwalt? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:08, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Would you be referring to your completely unfounded and refuted allegations of 'Wehwalt for FA director'? Give it a rest, please; it's quite stale. Thanks, Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:33, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I had forgotten about that one; thanks for the reminder, although it is neither here nor there. Would it be possible for some of the regulars in these conversations-- several of whom are admins-- to give WP:BATTLEGROUND a thorough review? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:12, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
The bottom line is that it's going to continue to be a source of controversy, and you continue to choose to do nothing constructive about it. Putting in place another "delegate" (honestly, that always sounded offensive to me) is really completely missing the issue. My prediction is that changes will happen at some point. You can choose to diffuse the tension beforehand, but it doesn't look like you're interested. I really wonder what sort of belief you hold about these repeated attempts to demonstrate consensus for your removal. You must have rationalised it somehow... Samsara (FA  FP) 00:24, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
No, it's not going to continue, because if there was one thing that was extremely obvious from the lopsided RFC earlier this year, the "controversy" was cooked up by Jack Merridrew and his enablers. This current discussion is a result of my absence, which happened entirely because Jack's harassment and wikistalking made Wikipedia extremely unpleasant to edit for me. Good riddance to him. Raul654 (talk) 00:34, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like classical "blaming others" to me... Samsara (FA  FP) 00:37, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
I place the blame where it deserves to be placed. Do you have a point in this somewhere? Raul654 (talk) 00:46, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
I've given you my assessment of the situation. I note that you're not responding to most of the issues that have been raised. Are you afraid that making improvements will be seen as a weakness on your part? Samsara (FA  FP) 00:51, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
You complained about the changes I'm proposing ("Putting in place another "delegate" is really completely missing the issue."), made some nebulous prediction of change, and then complained that I'm afraid of change (which rather contradicts your first complaint, that the changes I've proposed miss the point). I'm open to constructive ideas, but to be honest, I haven't seen many here besides the ones I laid out myself. Raul654 (talk) 01:00, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Just putting my 2c in, I have been quite happy with how things are going, I just was getting a little anxious that TFA had been cut a bit fine on a few occasions, and that another person to lodge TFAs would be prudent...and we hadn't heard from you in a couple of months. FAC delegates are doing a fine job. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:25, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, at FAC things have been going well. I don't do anything at FAR, but not aware of anything bad. In the event of emergency, would it be possible to allow any delegate to be able to schedule FAs or pull a FA? I think it's been suggested before. --Rschen7754 03:00, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
  • On a separate note, Raul came back! My evil plan was successful! *dances* ヽ(゚ー゚*ヽ) ヽ(*゚ー゚*)ノ (ノ*゚ー゚)ノ SilverserenC 06:17, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Surely, this discussion should focus on the necessary things that are not being done as a result of Raul's absences. So far, one thing has been identified; the need for at least one more delegate to assist with the TFA process. Raul has asked for suggestions and/or nominations, so one assumes that an appointment will soon follow. What else needs to be done? I'll give one example: earlier this year Raul was, I believe, involved in negotiations to bring JSTOR access to selected editors. Were these discussions pursued, and with what result? Maybe I am simply underinformed (I have been a bit on-and-off this year) but that initiative strikes me as being exactly the sort of thing a director ought to be doing., and reporting on progress to the community. I bear Raul no personal animus, but I must say I am somewhat unimpressed by his "explanation" for his absence. I would have expected a more robust reaction, whatever the provocation. Brianboulton (talk) 16:28, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Raul was helpful in getting this going at the start, setting up Wikipedia:Requests for JSTOR access, but Steven Walling of WMF took it over about a year ago. This seems appropriate to me, as a legal agreement is involved, & I don't see this as part of the FA director role at all, except maybe to chase the WMF. In fact, after an amazingly long time, things do seem to be moving there at last - see "Status?" section on the talk page there. Johnbod (talk) 16:38, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
I kicked off the JSTOR thing in April (Specifically, I emailed Jay Walsh to asking him to find someone in the WMF who could represent our interests to Jstor. He brought in Steve Walling). I wasn't directly involved in the negotiations - that was exclusvely between JSTOR and WMF legal. There was a breakthrough on that six days ago. The first 100 JSTOR accounts should start opening up soon. See here. Raul654 (talk) 16:44, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for these updates. Good to know it's still a live issue. Brianboulton (talk) 17:05, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks to Raul and everyone involved in the JSTOR process. I have access to JSTOR from my work computer, but lack home access. This could potentially really be a help. Just wanted to say thanks to all involved. Firsfron of Ronchester 00:46, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
JSTOR for more editors would be a godsend. Well done. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:23, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, actually TCO did most of the work, and submitted it to the Foundation in November 2011. Here's a fair use excerpt from an email from Philippe dated December 1, 2011 (if it's improper to post the text, I apologize but if it's deleted I'll just give the substance):
Looping [TCO] back in and adding [Moonriddengirl], our community liaison.
I'm happy to keep you posted. I'd rather we not raise hopes too much outside this small group, in case I can't get it funded, so if we could downplay, that would be good... the realities of getting "off-plan" funding is that it's a challenge, so I'm not sure how much I can do... we're talking about something bigger than I had initially thought so I'm not sure what the realities of this will be. So with that in mind, I'd rather we not make any general announcements until I have a better idea of whether or not I can make it happen.
The next I heard of it was Raul, several months later, claiming that he was going to get JSTOR for the community, on my talk page, in a most snarky way, which he had visited once in six years. Credit ... frankly TCO did most of the work. Why his work was wasted is not for me to say, but I am allowed my suspicions. I note that this proceeded Jimbo's SOPA lockout, in which I took a strong position against the Foundation's desires, and also the FA RFC.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:05, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
(a) it's not wasted given we now have it. (b) many of us have only rarely or nver visited each others' talk pages. (c) I have no idea what SOPA has to do with all this. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:48, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
I watched the incident happen at the time. Within the context of Raul and Wehwalt's antipathy and rivalry for influence over the direction of FA, Raul's dropping by to leave a personal note about JSTOR access seemed ill-judged at best (like calling the PI you've just scooped to offer him or her a reprint of your manuscript). Wehwalt's oblique insinuation above seems to be that, having made himself persona non grata with the WMF through his opinions, the WMF put his and TCO's efforts to get WMF-sponsored JSTOR access on ice, so that their rival could receive credit for it. Unlikelier things have happened, but that would suggest a much more subtle grasp by the WMF of the personalities and politics of the en.wikipedia community than I'm accustomed to. Choess (talk) 03:50, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't seek influence over anything; until two days ago I had not even edited this page since March 3. I simply feel it unconscionable that someone who does no work, and that in an offensive manner, claims unbridled authority over those who work very hard. And then feels that, having checked to see that two of his enemies have left the project, comes strolling back in, especially after having blotted his copybook rather dramatically by abusing the tools. I do not like Raul, but I do not dislike him as a person either. I have said all along that I would support him if he would do the work. I should note that scheduling and an appointment now and then do not qualify as "doing the work". I've been the boss of a small business. If no one is available to sweep out the place, it is your job. Raul does none of this. Leadership does not consist of abdication.
I don't want the job, I don't feel there should be such a job, and if I took it, it would be for the purpose of leading the community to abolish it.--Wehwalt (talk) 05:30, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

If Raul is not interested in editing, or is not able to, why shouldn't we turn the position over to someone who will do the job? Everyking (talk) 00:41, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

I think the discussion right now is more along the lines of abandoning the position altogether, as it does not seem to be needed. Samsara (FA  FP) 04:29, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Second arbitrary break

This really isn't as black and white as it seems—am I the only one to support Raul in theory but not in practice? If Raul is not going to be an active editor, and his only FA actions are to appoint new delegates, why not resign in favor of someone who will move the FA process forward?. If you're going to be active again, Raul, you have my full support, but it's a little ridiculous that you only come back when someone proposes replacing you due to inactivity. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:33, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm back. I don't know how to state this any more clearly. Raul654 (talk) 12:55, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Okay, that's good! I wasn't sure if it was temporary or not. Thanks for clarifying. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 16:08, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Fine. There are a number of proposed changes to various rules at TFA/R, your thoughts on what should be done would be appreciated. You lost two of your FAs to FAR in the past few months, you'll be starting research to bring those back to an acceptable level, so I imagine that will occupy much of your time, but you should probably do some reviews to ease things when you nominate. We're desperately short on reviewers anyway. Additionally, now that JSTOR may be over the horizon, there are other resources FA writers could use. PROQUEST, access to the NY Times archives, I'm sure other pay databases that should be available to FA and other committed writers. If I had easy access to these databases, it would improve my work no end, and I'm sure others would say the same. May we expect you to advocate for us to the Foundation on these issues? I hope your break was satisfying and your return productive.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:47, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Wehwalt, you might want to tone down the passive-agressive harping, because it makes you look like a jerk who shouldn't be listened to, merits of your proposals aside. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 13:54, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Very well, I've stricken it. But the fact remains that I don't see us going back to what was before. And forgive me, I'm under a lot of stress right now and it is plainly showing.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:59, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Not faulting you. Like I said, I think your ideas have some merit, it's a shame personalities and job descriptions have gotten all twisted up. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 14:22, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
(ec) Although I would be delighted to see Raul do all of these things, it's only fair to point out that not all of these are in the job description laid out in the RfC. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:55, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
OK, leaving aside old arguments and residual animosities, can Raul give an indication of what he sees as his priorities, in the office of director, during the next few months? Brianboulton (talk) 20:11, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Move to close discussion

Since Raul has stated he is back, is it not time to close this discussion? Merridew is gone, the clamor for a replacement for Raul has died, the issue has changed completely to one of asking Raul to choose delegates. Binksternet (talk) 23:25, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

I think we should wait until Raul tells us something beyond the bare fact that he's back. Several questions have been posed, for one thing.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:49, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Closure seems in order: Raul was missing and he's now back. Anything else should be taken up through a specific discussion rather than be tacked onto this discussion. Nick-D (talk) 23:52, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm happy with closure, once Raul has delivered a reply to my question, above. Or I'll open a new thread, if necessary. Brianboulton (talk) 10:00, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
It took me a while to find it, but here was what I after the RFC concluded earlier this year. I think the first point - Increasing the quantity and quality of reviews and reviewers (including ways of giving reviewers feedback - would be a good place to start.
I had intended the JSTOR thing to be a one-off thing. Are there other resources out there that could provide substantial benefits? I'd be willing to liaise with the foundation to see about getting access to those, as long as it's clearly understood that this is not part of the regular job description (per the RFC). Raul654 (talk) 12:47, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. A few thoughts:
  • Increasing the quantity and quality of reviews and reviewers needs a strategy, a plan of action for implementing it, and a basis for monitoring its effectiveness. I am not aware at present that such a strategy exists, so presumably the starting point will be the development of one.
  • There are issues around TFA, particularly late scheduling and lack of "polishing" time, that need to be settled once and for all.
  • There have also been issues in the past concerning communication and report-back, which I think could be improved.
  • In my view, the title "director" implies that the holder will do more than merely fulfil the letter of the job description (unlike a clerk who might argue "not my department"), and will do everything possible to promote the effectiveness of the FA system. So I hope very much that you will involve yourself in efforts to secure access to resources of great value to the featured article project. Success in that quarter will be a major achievement.
Brianboulton (talk) 14:10, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Brian that a "director" should be overseeing the effectiveness of the whole system. One particular concern I have is that authors are not being notified by the bot that their work is scheduled for a main page appearance. I notified the bot operator of this problem on October 5, and still no joy. Gerda has been doing this job manually. Do you have any thoughts on whether the scope of the director position would extend to making sure stuff like notifications are done? -- Dianna (talk) 15:17, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Diannaa that the notifications should be brought back. It was nice when the bot, or whomever, notified in advance with the blurb. Truthkeeper (talk) 16:28, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
We need not just the bot, but a minimum period of notice. I would accept one week, others have argued for longer. A clear policy needs to be in place without delay. Brianboulton (talk) 16:58, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
I endorse Brian's statement, and agree with Wehwalt that there are important unanswered questions remaining. The elephant in the room is, "if after a quarter-year's absence of the FA director, all processes are still running fine, what is the basis for us to continue to elevate an individual in this way?" Samsara (FA  FP) 17:17, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Can we put that issue to one side for the moment, and see if a more constructive relationship can be developed between the director and the broad FA community, on a basis of mutual goodwill? (God, I sound like Pollyanna!) Brianboulton (talk) 19:07, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
I keep thinking that this issue of notification has been resolved only to see it raised again. If it hasn't been resolved, can we have a commitment always to have at least one week's notice? I would prefer longer -- a week is no use for an inter-library loan -- but a week would at least give the main writers the chance to say no, so long as that's respected.
My only recent experience of this was last year when I was ill, and I learned that an old FA of mine was scheduled with, as I recall, 48 hours notice. I emailed Raul and Dabomb but got no response at first, so I was panicking, but then Raul sorted it out. But I could have done without having to email several times and keep checking for responses. It would be good to have an agreed notification procedure in place, then have the bot do it, and a clear procedure if the main writers have an objection. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:39, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
It is not resolved, although recently articles have been scheduled well ahead - to 27 November as I write. There is no certainty that this will remain the case. However, it seems that the only notifications that editors receive are unofficial, by courtesy of Gerda Arendt; if she gets too busy, or for whatever reason can't do it, we're in trouble. A system of prior notification has to be formal; it can't rely on one editor's goodwill. Brianboulton (talk) 22:21, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
Part of this is because Ucucha's bot broke down, and he hasn't fixed it. --Rschen7754 22:29, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
I just fixed it. Sorry for the delay; I've been quite busy over the last few months. Ucucha (talk) 00:32, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Ucucha, for all you do in spite of being a volunteer! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:48, 19 November 2012 (UTC)


Catching up, I have too many questions and comments to intersperse them without making a mess of the page, so I'll put them all together.

  1. I'm unsure where the notion came from that part of the FA director's job is to be sure that TFA notifications are done. I could be mis-remembering, and there may have been an RFC or some sort of consensus-- if so, please forgive my memory lapse. It also could be that Raul doesn't mind having that courtesy added to his job description-- it's just that I'm not sure where the idea that it must be, should be, or is a necessary part of the job came from, so perhaps we could discuss that? That folks take it upon themselves to write bots that handle courtesy items is commendable-- that we come to expect, even demand, that the courtesies of volunteers become part of a "job" is a worrying trend, in a volunteer environment. In past discussions, I thought we considered that active editors would watchlist the appropriate pages and know when FAs were scheduled. Like the volunteer work that GimmeBot does to keep article histories in order, notifications are a courtesy, and if we want to demand that they become part of a "job", perhaps wider discussion is in order ? I'm not opposed per se to notifications, but in an environment of declining editorship and subpar reviews, where do we want to allocate our scarce resources?
  2. On the notion that either TFA or FLC are functioning just fine or any differently than any other content review process, I wonder where that idea takes hold? I've kept up with both of them, although I generally don't speak up due to the vitriol on these pages coming from a very small subset of editors, but both of those pages suffer from the very same syndrome that affects all content review processes: declining editorship and a lack of experienced knowledgeable reviewers. If we are to tackle that Wikipedia-wide issue/problem, I suggest we focus on the specific problem and not wave hands at the serious lack of knowledgeable review and pile-on fan support that is affecting FLC just as TFA just as DYK just as FAC. It's a Wikipedia problem, and one that FAC previously avoided but it has now also impacted FAC because of the WP:BATTLEGROUND that these pages have become and the number of qualified reviewers who have left. It would not be helpful for me to highlight the numerous cases where review has been substandard-- fingerpointing won't solve the problem-- but it strikes me that our first and foremost issue (as always) should be to encourage more and better reviews and reviewers. To that end, the BATTLEGROUND that this page has endured now for almost a year will not help advance anything, and if the community doesn't begin to speak up to end it, it's hard to imagine how delegates can do their job optimally. I see now they are still and again having to do extra work because of subpar reviews. Should we find a way to continue this discussion more constructively, I'll provide examples.
  3. Related to the BATTLEGROUND issue, I see complaints above about Raul's failure to post in recent months, and I see multiple statements above that not only fall afoul of BATTLEGROUND, but also AGF. Gaining JSTOR access isn't part of Raul's "job": it was demanded by a handful of folks that he help in that effort-- which he then did-- and because he notified those demanding that he had engaged that issue, we now see astounding charges of bad faith on this very page. So, let's please get clear not only on what the "job" is, but that apparently you can't please some people ... ever ... but it would sure be nice if some uninvolved admins would reign in the BATTLEGROUND and failure to AGF here.
  4. Again related to Raul's recent failure to post; not posting doesn't mean he's not keeping up, I particularly always liked the fact that he didn't micromanage rather he put trusted people in charge and let them do their job, and considering that FAC in general and Raul in particular (partly apparently related to past arb cases, where Raul has gained a number of enemies including those who are active on external sites) was under assault by several sockpuppets and sock supporters, I wonder if disengaging until the sockmasters were detected was not the wisest course of action? I'm not sure what can be gained by tangling with socks, and his silence when even arbs supported sockpuppetry seemed appropriate. Even more so considering nothing went wrong while he wasn't posting.
  5. I'm seeing repeat references to the need for another TFA delegate, but to my knowledge, DaBomb87 has not asked for help ... perhaps he can clarify?

In summary, I believe the FA director's job is to assure that we put Wikipedia's best work forward as FAs, and the thing that is sorely needed for that mission to continue is for the BATTLEGROUND to end and for us to resume processes that will highlight how our best reviewers work. That task will unfortunately involve figuring out a way to end the subpar reviews that are happening in all content review processes due to declining editorship, which I hope we can do without ruffling feathers. We did it in the past by trying to reward our best reviewers, but that proved to be a very time-consuming task. Most of our highest quality reviewers were chased away by the vitriol and battleground that has persisted here at the hands of a few, and on top of that, there will always be disgrunted editors in a process where their work can be "rejected"-- can we alter the environment here so that good reviewers will come back, and some of the current reviewers can improve their prose and sourcing and reviewing skills? Raul cannot be the one to do that-- lest he be charged unfairly as he already has been. Only the Featured content community-- if one still exists-- is in the position to put down their collective feet and demand that the vitriol cease and that we begin to work towards ways to highlight good reviews and reviewers and improve subpar reviews. It would be good if we could find a way to do that again, some of the reviews I have seen at FAC and FLC are beginning to emulate DYK standards, and same is occurring at TFA.

So, how about a discussion of what we would like to see the community do here in order to help Raul help us do a better job, without the BATTLEGROUND? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:48, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Regarding Sandy's first point, notifications are time consuming, and they're not essential. (We managed fine for years without them) As I have been saying for years (literally), if someone else wants to take it upon himself or herself to do it, that's great, but I am not. Raul654 (talk) 00:58, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Yep. Both Ucucha and Gimmetrow have voluntarily written and run bots, I did things as FAC delegate that weren't necessarily essential to the FA process but things I did because I did; by no means should we demand that volunteers do tasks that any editor can and should do. So, before we assume something must be done by volunteer X-- when anyone can do those tasks-- how about wider discussion of the more important issues? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:01, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
My concerns remain related to TFA; the extra delegate would be helpful (and I note Raul's started to move in that regard) but further emergency/contingency plans, and a commitment to give a week's warning would also be helpful. --Rschen7754 01:05, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Raul, there are two separate issues: the scheduling and the notification. Both have been a problem for years. People have had FAs they've written placed on the main page with no advance notification at all, which has led to various problems (inappropriate material in them, or an article they had hoped to nominate for a certain date suddenly appearing on another less appropriate one). You're right that anyone can organize notification, but if you're organizing the scheduling, then you're the one -- or Dabomb or whoever is doing it -- who has to agree not to pick an article without leaving at least seven days for people to be told about it. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:23, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
My point is that notification is accomplished when the maindate parameter is added to article talk, and it should not be necessary to separately notify editors ... it is assumed they have the article watchlisted. I'm not understanding the push to notify editors relative to the maindate notification on article talk. Adding the maindate parameter to article talk has always been a job any volunteer can do (I see Bencherlite is doing it now). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:30, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

*<butting in> Why is WP:BATTLEGROUND so much the subject today when it hasn't been before? MathewTownsend (talk) 20:45, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Blocked sock with a history of disrupting FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:18, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Source/image check requests

Running TFAs twice

See discussion at WP:TFAR about featuring FAs on the mainpage as Today's Featured Article more than once (that is, an article may be repeated as TFA.) Discussion here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:37, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Involved support

On the subject of bots, perhaps some enterprising person can write one to identify involved editors; in spite of the FAC instructions, there is an increasing trend of involved editors entering Support declarations without declaring their involvement with the article or topic (in at least one case, after a delegate questioned the reviews). Anyone can check the edit count link in the FA tools box to make sure involved editors are declaring correctly-- in the absence of a bot, perhaps other reviewers can begin to watch for that, to help avoid articles being promoted on "fan support" without critical review. (This is the sort of thing any editor can do to help increase the productivity and quality of FAC reviews.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:13, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

  • How broadly would you define "involvement with a topic"? For a TV episode, for example, would it be WikiProject TV members? People who often contribute to articles on the series? On the season? Sometimes topic editors (broadly defined) can be the best reviewers of certain topics; Folding@home got a much better review from those with more than a passing knowledge of the subject. I doubt there is any way to get a bot to get that. The article, meanwhile, could be done through automatic counting of edits to a page by editors, flagging reviewers with so many (30?) edits. — [ed[User:Crisco 1492|Crisco 1492]] (talk) 13:24, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
This concept needs to be re-explained every year or so for newcomers ... so at the risk of boring half the audience here, here goes. Yes, topic editors can be good reviewers and are necessary reviewers. But so are non-topic editors. We need both. What we don't want is only "fan", involved or topic-area support-- that is, all support coming from editors who are a) top editors of the article, b) members of a WikiProject involved with the article, or c) Wikifriends of the nominator. We need topic expert review. And we need independent, uninvolved review. We need checks for lingo, jargon, comprehensiveness and comprehensibility from people outside of the topic area, just as we need review from people who know the topic area. It is easier to ascertain if we are also getting uninvolved review if declarers enter their involvement, as discussed in the instructions.

As to how much a bot could do, although there is an Edit Count tab in the FA tools linked from every FAC, and from there it is possible to click on edit count to determine if Supporters are significant article contributors, there are still numerous instances where reviewers indicate Support without indicating involvement. A bot should be able to flag support from, for example, the top 10 contributors (who have more than 30 edits). It would additionally be helpful if volunteers here would flag when support is only coming from WikiProject members or significant article contributors, so that everyone is aware that independent, uninvolved review is pending. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:21, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

  • The issue I have with that explanation is that it doesn't give any objective criteria for judging who is a "fan" reviewer. WikiFriends? I don't know about others, but for me that is a reason to review... but I still try to give a review of the same quality I'd give someone who I don't know. WikiProject members? Any member of WikiProject Indonesia would be interested in seeing Sukarno pass, for example (it's nowhere near that point, but as an example its okay), which could be considered a COI... but they could still give a detailed review, and downright oppose if necessary. Dank opposed the first FAC for 1740 Batavia massacre, for example, which is part of a WikiProject he is very much a part of.
As such, I think the need for flagging for potentially involved editors who have not actually edited the article (or provided insubstantial edits / mostly copyedits) is not membership in a group, but the quality of the review. We should rightly question a review that is simply "Support: Awesome! Example (talk)", but a support following 10k of comments and replies is a bit more reliable. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 22:43, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
I also don't think the WikiFriends idea is all that great. As for WikiProjects, many of them don't keep lists of members, so that's a bit of a dead duck as well. Samsara (FA  FP) 22:58, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Also, there's nothing necessarily wrong with "support, awesome." There have been a few reviews where I had watched the articles in development and at peer review, and they were so good, there was really nothing else to say but "support." I think one of the reasons the number of reviewers dropped off was this sense that we had to produce long comments of insight, when we often just wanted to say "excellent work." And if you're made to feel you have to say more, it leads to comments like "I love this, but I really hate that semi-colon in the third paragraph," just to prove that you read it carefully, which is demoralizing for the writer, who thinks the semi-colon was the only thing you noticed. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:07, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
  • (ec) Agreed. Samsara (FA  FP) 23:18, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Perhaps the issue is that sometimes ABF wins the day at reviews, so many reviewers feel pressed to find every issue. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:15, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Y'all are overreading this (aka making a mountain out of a very simple mole hill) ... I agree that the tendency towards extended commentary on FAC-- to the point of FACs that resemble a lengthy peer review-- is uncalled for (and usually an indication that the article was unprepared). But a FAC that has four or five "Support" declarations that contain no further commentary, and when the article has obvious deficiencies when the delegate reads it, often needs independent review. The simple point here is that, in such instances, any editor can flag the FAC as having "involved" reviewers and needing an independent look. And a bot can identify those involved contributors (who are often in the edit history). It's work the delegates have to do anyway; if no one is able to write a bot, no big deal.

The other point is that involved editors are not indicating their involvement recently (I copyedited, I'm a significant contributor, I participated in the peer review, whatever). This information isn't prejudicial-- it's just info the delegates need to weigh to assure that an article has independent review as well as topic-area review. I've seen recent FACs that have almost no independent review, but the involved reviewers are not declaring their involvement, as FAC instructions request. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:38, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't want to throw too much water onto this idea, but truly determining whether an editor should be considered involved is going to be a tall order. A significant number of reviewers will give an article a copyedit before commenting, and so based on numbers of edits (assuming that some threshold is used, e.g. n>5), may appear to be "involved", when they are neither topic-knowledgeable nor have a particular affinity for the article. So recent edits may have to be programmatically disregarded. Similarly, ancient edits may not be relevant either, and other exclusions may apply (AWB and a gazillion other drive-by tools, for a start). A bot would have a hard time telling copyedits from other kinds - analysing the edit summary and whether or not an edit is marked as minor can help, and may well exceed 50% accuracy. How much accuracy would you want to see for a bot to actually be considered useful, though? The quick, hacky way of doing it would be to spam article blamer with short text portions from the article (short portions are less likely to be broken up by copyediting), and consider as involved anyone that has n>x text portions mapped to them. This will still miss some kinds of contributions, such as images; these links should be traversed separately and at least the creator of an included image, video, or sound flagged. The up side is that a bot could approximately quantify the exact contribution made, and indicate this when adding the flagging comment to the review, so perhaps an editor that contributed the 7th image in an article could be considered less biased than someone who wrote 30% of the text. This would take a human human review reviewer (sic) more time. Samsara (FA  FP) 22:18, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
It's really not that complicated: surprisingly (or not), delegates have brains. If a bot flags a reviewer as-- for example-- one of the top 10 contributors to an article, a delegate knows then to look at that reviewer's contribs. Or the reviewer will know to declare his/her involvement. Tools are not used by folks without brains-- they are only tools that may indicate when a closer look is needed. Again, the problem recently is that very involved reviewers are declaring "Support" (with no reasoning whatsoever) without indicating that they are significant contributors to the article. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:43, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • A top-ten contributor to an article and a significant contributor are two very different things Sandy. On some articles, a top-ten contributor may have made less than 20-30 edits to an article (over 6-8 years) with several thousands of edits made to it by others. I think I know which FAC you are referring to and FTR, it had two "involved" supports and 4 uninvolved supports with zero opposes. At any rate, if your goal is to prevent supports from those interested in the topic, or supports from those editors who are "wikifriends" of the nominator, then I think your goal is really to increase the tedium of FAC. Doesn't Crisco 1492 and Mark Arsten support just about every article the other noms? I don't have an issue with this at all, I AGF. To me, the more important issue is arbitrary obstructive opposes, which drive away FAC nominators and bog down good candidates with nit-picky minutiae. We are unpaid volunteers (no, its worse than unpaid because I buy books to research articles); however, the overall quality of Wikipedia articles directly affects the amount of donations we receive. So one could argue that content editors are the reason Wikipedia survives, so why this effort to "clamp-down" on them? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 01:57, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • After years of reading FACs, I might haver never guessed that the top ten contributors may not be significant contributors (just kidding, clearly). Again, please remember that delegates have brains; I'm inquiring if a bot can flag things so delegates would know when a closer look is in order, since we are now seeing undeclared involved supports. The goal has never been to prevent any support-- the goal has always been to make sure that FACs get uninvolved review before they are promoted, and independent reviewers will spot things that reviewrs close to the subject matter may not see. Yes, Crisco and Mark Arsten do almost always support-- that is data the delegates are surely aware of, and has little to do with this discussion. Delegates are empowered to ignore arbitrary opposes not grounded in WIAFA, so that is also irrelevant to this matter. And as to the nit-picky minutiae (which is not always nitpicky or minutiae btw-- often FACs are too long because there was a lot not done pre-FAC) -- I've always said that belongs at peer review, and when a FAC is too long, the article probably wasn't FA-ready. What effort to "clamp down" are you referring to? We've had instructions at FAC to declare involvement for as long as I can recall-- the question is, why is it not being followed of late? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:09, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
No, the question is, why are you so concerned about it now? Do you have more than one example to show us why we should be as concerned as you are? Seems like a solution searching for a problem ... ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:12, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Gabe, if you'll look at our reviews you'll note that we often leave reviews at each others PRs and whatnot (like I did with Sadler) or at the FAC (like with Clarence 13X; see the talk page too). Such occurrences are not simple "oh, it's you. Support". There is a review, often spanning several pages. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 04:52, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Crisco, I know and I don't have an issue with it myself, I AGF and trust your !votes. I'm glad you are part of a circle of editors who dilligently help each other improve articles to FA, it must be nice to have help. I'm fine with whatever is decided here and I'm pretty sure you don't even care what I think about it anyway, so cheers! ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 05:15, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • That's good for a chuckle, thanks. Yeah, I'm sure if I were too involved someone would have pinged me on my talk page. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:21, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • You're welcome, but don't you think it would be nice if we all encouraged and helped each other out a little more, to balance out the almost constant criticising? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 06:27, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I was chuckling at your honesty, actually, it's quite refreshing... don't see too much of that in discussions on-Wiki. Yeah, encouragement would be good (Barnstars?) but I don't think we'd be able to make such things compulsory. It may be simple-minded, but for me seeing my work on the main page is already plenty... 99% of the stuff I write is stuff that most of our audience doesn't know, but they learn because of us on Wikipedia. Even my only non-Indonesia solo FA was on a very niche topic. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 06:33, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I'm often honest to a fault and I'm glad it amused you, seriously, but I'm not talking about Barnstars, I just mean at a very basic level civility means virtually nothing IMO if editors are constantly showered with criticism and virtually never just simply complimented. I don't need or want a barnstar for every improvement I make to the project, but if you are going to ride me about an issue at least be mature enough to thank me when I correct the issue. But yeah, that's not something you can really enforce, so the civility police drive right by that one even though I would much rather you just called me a nasty name or two and got on with it then passive-aggressively hounded me about a vague deficiency which even if I did correct, you would refuse to acknowledge the progress, not that that happens, like a lot. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 07:16, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I personally think you do really good work, and I'm impressed at the scope of the music articles you take on. Sure, Chrisye was famous in Indonesia, but he didn't have enough of an international presence to lead every armchair scholar to render his/her opinion as fact. "Imagine" or Pink Floyd, on the other hand... — Crisco 1492 (talk) 07:25, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Actually on the sort of topics that most FACs are about, 20-30 edits would be a lot; I bet the top 10 contributors on most FAC candidates take you below 20 edits. Only 5 people have made 6 or more edits to my last FA, despite it being around since 2003. But I don't see nearly as many "arbitrary obstructive opposes" as I used to; they have declined even faster than average reviewing. Johnbod (talk) 02:13, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it depends on the subject of the article, and that's what makes Sandy's proposal all the more unworkable. 20-30 edits at the Beatles would not constitute an involved or significant contributor. Take "Imagine" for example, as I assume that this is what Sandy is so upset about. The 10th most profilic editor there has made a grand total of 16 edits to it, are they too "involved" to support without disclosure? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:21, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Upset ?? Excuse me? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:32, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
You seem upset to me and I assume this is about the "Imagine" FAC, I'm sorry if you aren't really upset, I'm wrong about that, but you certainly seem to be on a bit of a related rampage to me, I quote: "there is an increasing trend of involved editors entering Support declarations without declaring their involvement with the article or topic (in at least one case, after a delegate questioned the reviews)." ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 03:47, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

More conflating of a simple matter. We have always (for as long as I can remember) asked that reviewers declare their involvement in an article's development, yet you are all making assumptions as if delegates had no brains and succumbed to EDITCOUNTITIS. For example, I appear in the top five contributors for scores of articles where I have done nothing except MOS cleanup. If I support or enter a declaration on one of those articles at FAC, I declare to the delegates that I appear as a top contributor because I did MOS cleanup, but I have never added content or reviewed prose. This is but one example of how one can appear to be a top contributor but by clarifying you can let the delegates know exactly what has been looked at-- it's not rocket science. Declare your involvement. If you're a top five (or ten, or whatever) contributor and you support and you haven't declared your involvement, a bot flag would remind you to clarify. There is nothing nefarious in that-- just a tool to help make delegates' work easier (they now have to click on edit count and then go do a lot of extra homework). Delegates need to know what has been reviewed and what the reviewer involvement is. When every Support for an article contains no clarifying information and only "I love it" declarations, that's not very helpful. There is no concern now-- this is long-standing procedure at FAC, and it is not being followed now. If a bot can flag Support declarations from the top five contributors, at least delegates know to check, and it will remind reviewers to declare their involvement. No different than a bot flagging WIKICUP participants, which someone was able to write. Whether or not a bot can accomodate this, I used to flag these things manually when reviewers did not; any reviewer can do that. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:35, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Per your above commment: "you are all making assumptions as if delegates had no brains", who is? I'm not. What are you talking about and why do you feel the need to be relentlessly condescending? I know delegates have brains, it was you who recently casted an aspersion on a delegate's judgement, not me. If the delegates are overworked then add a delegate, now that's a simple matter. Asking for "papers" (imagine a German accent) and bot-checking every !voter (imagine any US airport post-9/11) will do nothing but reduce the already small pool of reviewers while increasing the tedium. Don't make it more difficult for content editors to learn how to review articles, or to just support an article they believe is FA quality. I think you are taking yourself too seriously, just chill-out, this is a free website, not a brain trauma center or a customs border crossing. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:38, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • To me, that's the sad irony here. The only one in this thread questioning the intelligence of our FAC delegates is you Sandy. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:45, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Regardless of whether editors have actually edited an article or not, I do see a risk in relying solely on editors from related projects, etc. Since Gabe has asked for examples above, I'll provide a few: 1, 2, 3. In each case, there was a rush to support from project editors before an experienced reviewer found significant flaws. One of those got promoted thanks largely to the experienced reviewer's input, but I don't believe this is an ideal situation. All it does it tax our leading reviewers, while the nominators aren't being given the opportunity to see where they can improve their work in the future. In the cases I pointed out above, I don't know how much editing the supporters had done beforehand, and it is irrelevant in any case; the nature of the supports (of the one-line "Great article" variety) is what we should be concerned about. Giants2008 (Talk) 02:44, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Yep, there is an abundance of examples, and I felt no need to point fingers since it's happening frequently. As to "Casted an aspersion on a delegate's judgement" and "questioning the intelligence of our FAC delegates", goodness. I guess we are reading two different discussions, and That Has Not Happened.

Anyway, back on point: if reviewers don't follow FAC's very long-standing instructions, either a bot or other reviewers can begin to flag so that delegates can check. That folks don't read instructions is not an indication that we should just add more delegates: we should ask folks to read and follow instructions. I just read through FAC and encountered an older, returning reviewer doing exactly that (declaring his past involvement in the article) exactly as it has always been done. That declaration won't change anything: it will be one less thing to check. What increases the burden on everyone is when reviewers and delegates have to do extra work to accomodate subpar reviews and those reviewers who are prone to support without engaging the standards (another matter, also evidenced in the links given by Giants, and not only an issue at FAC but in other content review processes as well). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:56, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

FTR, I fully support declaring involvement when a !voter feels the need, I don't support strip-searching everyone who !votes and I thought this discussion was about deciding what constitutes "involved". Afterall, we can't start locking people up before the law is even written. This issue, like any issue with a poor quality !vote should be dealt with by the delegates. If you put more Wikipressure on reviewers, you will decrease the pool, plain and simple. If you really care about the quality of all current FAs, then you should start at the oldest "promoted" ones, not the newest ones. Nearly every FAC pre-2009 (that I have looked at) is a straight-up joke, no offense but most are little more than !votes, with little or no review. The Beatles was passed with 3 supports (at least one involved) and 1 oppose !votes, with zero criticism of a band that many, many people dislike with a passion. So why not put some effort into cleaning up old FAs before you bust down on new ones? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 03:04, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Whatever you thought or wanted the discussion to be about, my first post to the thread is still on the page. If any reviewer feels pressured to say (as all experienced reviewers do) something like, "I copyedited", "I did MOS cleanup", "I reviewed this article at PR", or "I've followed and edited this article sporadically for a few years", perhaps they don't know or understand FA standards or processes anyway. WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS: this thread is about current FACs. Older FAs are dealt with at WP:FAR. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:22, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Sandy, you seem to be saying that !voters must declare any involvement and provide a detailed rationale yet you also say if they have not reviewed the article extensively enough, or have made too many substantive edits for your tastes then their !vote should not count for as much if at all. You also seem to be demanding reviewers walk the fine line of making enough token comments without crossing the line into a peer review, at which time you tend to judge the article wholly-unready for FAC and archive the nom as "not promoted". Not quite a Kobiashi Maru, but a short leash to say the least. I say, let this issue fall on the delegates and don't add pressure to the already small pool of FAC reviewers. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 03:29, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Per you above comment: "Whatever you thought or wanted the discussion to be about, my first post to the thread is still on the page." I know, the opening line reads: "On the subject of bots, perhaps some enterprising person can write one to identify involved editors". Have we already decided what constitutes "involved"? It seems to me that the subjective label has some vague implications for numerous, if not most experienced reviewers. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 03:36, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I think this is all getting a little too personal and losing sight of the original issue. I think there are a number of simple ways to get a little more information about contributors. Another basic bot task would be to just post a list of the top ten contributors on the FAC talk page, somewhat analogously to the edit count info for RFA. —Torchiest talkedits 03:48, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • That's a good idea, I think. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 04:55, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

::: Well, none of this sounds too problematic in principle, but I would suggest that only the delegates see the gathered "intelligence" so as to not add pressure to the reviewers. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:00, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Break and further discussion

Comment: Are we there yet? Bot or no bot aside, I hope so. Bit surprised that a relatively simple query and reminder from probably the most experienced former FAC delegate is drawing quite this much comment, some of which appears a little defensive in nature. I don’t propose to respond to each and every statement above, but rather to affirm a few things – there should be nothing too surprising in what follows... Firstly, as a delegate I like to see a balance of reviewers, i.e. those who know the subject well (most likely from the same Wikiproject) and some from a more detached perspective – this helps produce a well-rounded finished product, strong on content and presentation. Secondly I expect that, as common courtesy and in line with long-standing practice, reviewers with prior editing or reviewing involvement (more than fixing the odd typo or style issue) will declare that involvement. Most experienced reviewers don’t need to be told this, you can see it in many FACs, e.g. "I reviewed at GA" or PR or A-Class or a previous FAC, or "I copyedited" – rarely would this ever count against the reviewer’s support or oppose, it simply helps delegates determine how useful such declarations are in terms of reflecting FAC criteria and therefore helping to establish consensus for promotion or otherwise. Thirdly, drive-by or briefly worded supports or opposes count for little or nothing – if they refer to earlier comprehensive reviews, that’s different (but in line with my second point, these should be highlighted). This doesn’t mean that reviews have to be long-winded, simply they should provide some evidence that the reviewer is familiar with FAC criteria and has judged the article against those criteria – and if the reviewer doesn’t feel qualified to judge against all criteria, spell that out too, it doesn’t mean the review is no help. To sum up: AGF? Of course, but in my experience transparency and objectivity tend to go hand in hand. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 05:04, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Reviewer is as reviewer does; "involved" by any definition is not the appropriate metric for evaluating reviewers or their reviews (though i think they should add a disclaimer). The only prob is "Support" votes by involved editors who do not support their support by adding detailed, thoughtful comments. And even that is not a problem, if enough objective reviewers show up to give the article a real review (since Wikipedia & FAC are not run by votes, and delegates do.. or.. um... sorta do... listen to good arguments.. erm.. wait.. no...). So having come full circle, the only actual problem is a shortage of reviewers. Or maybe that plus a bit of prob with delegates ability to make good judgments, but the later is far less prevalent. GlitchCraft (talk) 13:22, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Ian's got it right (that's why he's a delegate). "you seem to be saying that ... if they have not reviewed the article extensively enough, or have made too many substantive edits for your tastes then their !vote should not count for as much if at all." I'm not sure which page you're reading, but I've typed no such thing. Ever. On the other hand, no one should support a FAC if they haven't reviewed it extensively (but that has nothing to do with how long their comments on the FAC are-- just how well they demonstrate that they understand and engage WIAFA). Delegates generally know which reviewers don't engage WP:WIAFA, regardless of the length of their reviews. And for a bot to flag the top <whatever number is decided upon> contributors if they enter a declaration is not some difficult-to-find or confidential or even harmful information ... it's in the article edit history, and is data that says nothing about the quality of the support (there are some editors who always support other editors but who are known for the quality of their reviews). It says nothing about the value of that editor's declaration: just data for the delegates so they don't have to go looking and a reminder to the reviewer to declare their involvement, per long-standing instruction here. It is surprising that such a simple query (for a bot) created such a tangential discussion. This does show how difficult it is to improve the quality of reviews at FAC-- someone always assumes, takes general comments personally, and starts pointing fingers. I mentioned earlier on the page that we would have to avoid that if we are to discuss ways to improve FAC reviews and reviewer skills. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:06, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
    I don't think there is any way to discuss ways to improve FAC reviews and reviewer skills without fingerpointing, due to the ambiguities created by text on a page versus face-to-face etc. The only way through is to have a sufficient number who don't go down that path, to make progress despite the ones who do, and sometimes to talk the latter down... maybe.. with luck. GlitchCraft (talk) 14:18, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
    One thing that has been done in the past and I find helpful is for other experienced content reviewers to approach editors individually on their own talk pages, away from the FA or FL pages, to express concern about subpar reviews and to help guide the reviewer toward better practice. In my personal case, I prefer to wait for a FAC or FLC to close before doing that, out of concern that my status as former delegate will impact the closing of the review. This is completely unrelated to this thread, but I am concerned that I have seen in recent months some FLCs and FACs that are engaging standards on the level of DYK-- this creates extra work for other reviewers, as they often highlight issues after three or four supports are already entered, which makes for a very long haul on a FAC which would be better withdrawn. Anyway, the point of this off-topic comment is to remind other reviewers that it helps the delegates if they engage to help less experienced reviewers learn the ropes and the standards. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:31, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Concerning bots, this discussion leaves me a little confused as I feel that Sandy has argued both in favour of bots and against them. Principally, the flaw of the argument seems to be that if the only time this issue crops up is when a nomination is littered with support votes and no detailed comments (obvious to spot, needs no bot), and human checking of bot reports would be necessary *anyway*, then, well, I wonder why we're having this discussion. Looking at GabeMc's comment, it's starting to sound like what I suspected earlier: a power grab for tools that can gather god knows what sort of information on participants here. And are going to be used by a select group of people. And the excuse seems to be (not sure whether I should or shouldn't be surprised), paranoia on the part of the powers that be around here. Collective non-AGF by the establishment. Bonkers! Samsara (FA  FP) 14:37, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Paranoia, forsooth. Choess (talk) 16:23, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
What a very strange notion; the data is already contained in the contribs history of the article, and already available in the FA tools. Flagging it via bot would be nothing more or less than a reminder to reviewers to follow the instructions, so that they would likely do so before the delegates went through and had to do the reviewer's work for them. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:47, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't think that this necessarily assumes bad faith of reviewers who don't declare COI; it's possible for someone in all good faith to contribute a review when involved and not realize they're doing something wrong because they're not familiar with the norms surrounding FAC (and didn't read the rules).

A bot is a reasonable idea: there's nothing particularly sinister about compiling summaries from article histories. (Which is what's being asked for, not "god knows what". It's clear from Sandy's second comment that she understands that a bot can only measure certain aspects of article involvement, particularly edit count on an article, not the more subjective elements of involvement, which has derailed the discussion.) Posting the ten main contributors for an article is probably a reasonable first step. I'm not sure a more elaborate Wikiblame-type bot is necessary. It's important to remember that whatever statistics this bot generates will be ancillary and not determinative as to whether the article has received uninvolved review. We don't want to tempt delegates into using this as a substitute for their own judgment of involvement.

What's probably more important is re-establishing community norms on declaring involvement. Sandy complains that people don't read the rules, which I'm sure is true enough, but that's hardly specific to FAC. What people do do, in general, is to imitate what they see. If experienced reviewers make a habit of declaring their involvement with the article, even if that is to state that they have not edited the article and are not affiliated with associated WikiProjects, etc., then new reviewers acting in good faith will be likely declare their affiliations. Choess (talk) 16:23, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

I think your last paragraph makes a really excellent point, and it could be that a simple solution would be for reviewers to just make the declaration of non-involvement in addition to involvement. That would probably go a long way towards increasing awareness of that standard for people who don't read all the FAC guidelines or this talk page. —Torchiest talkedits 16:51, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

(ec) I don't understand why this is such a kerfluffle. When I was a delegate, it was useful to know, for example, that all 4 supports were from members of the same WikiProject. I did not dismiss that support, but I wanted to have one review from someone outside the WP to make sure that the content and organization made sense to those not already somewhat familiar with the topic. If no one from the WP reviewed, then it was also possible that we might be missing content issues - so I wanted those slightly more involved reviews too. It was useful to know that, for example, Malleus had copyedited the article previously, because that meant I'd like to see another review besides his (if he gave one) that also addressed the prose. It is not hard for a nominator to say "The following people provided this kind of help with the article:...." and for a reviewer to say "I commented at the peer review. I did the GA review. I copyedited. I'm a member of the same WP, I'm familiar with the topic, the content looks good!" Karanacs (talk) 16:56, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

@Sandy, per my comment: "you seem to be saying that ... if they have not reviewed the article extensively enough, or have made too many substantive edits for your tastes then their !vote should not count for as much if at all", and your response: "I'm not sure which page you're reading, but I've typed no such thing. Ever."

  • I was referring to this comment of yours about extensive reviews: "I agree that the tendency towards extended commentary on FAC-- to the point of FACs that resemble a lengthy peer review-- is uncalled for (and usually an indication that the article was unprepared)" paired with this comment of yours about weak rationales: "the problem recently is that very involved reviewers are declaring "Support" (with no reasoning whatsoever)". So you seem to want a detailed review, just not too detailed so as to blur the line of a peer review (which reflects badly on the article IYO), yet you also expect detailed !vote rationales, which, to my knowledge are not required anywhere else on Wikipedia. (e.g. I've been told more than once that no !vote rationale is required at RfA). Should FAC really have a more stringent standard of !voting than RfA? If so then why? Again, FTR, I support disclosure, just not the witch-hunt to "identify involved editors". Also, as another editor said above, "[your explaination] doesn't give any objective criteria for judging who is a "fan" reviewer." Would Crisco need to disclose involvement for every indonesian related article they support? Or that they have already supported several articles nomed by Mark Arsten? Would I need to disclose my "involvement" should I ever support an article related to any classic rock topic? Where does it all end? This slippery slope would be much easier dealt with if the delegates simply looked at the existing edit count tool at FAC and evaluated whether or not enough "uninvolved" supports/reviews were registered for promotion. Also, what ratio would be established as acceptable? Would 3 "involved" supports and 3 "uninvolved" supports equal each other out, or would the delegate judge the FAC based on the actual reviews? Oh wait, that's what they already do, right? Again, this seems like a solution searching for a problem. If I give an "overly" detailed review of an article at FAC, it should not "count against" the nominator. Nor should it count against them if I have also made numerous edits to the article, indeed, many reviewers will add 20-30 edits to an article as they are reviewing before they !vote. Are they now "involved" according to your vague criteria? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:29, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Also, your above idea: "One thing that has been done in the past and I find helpful is for other experienced content reviewers to approach editors individually on their own talk pages, away from the FA or FL pages, to express concern about subpar reviews and to help guide the reviewer toward better practice." Sounds like a great way to discourage said editors from further involvement at FAC. Really, should we go "bite" all new reviewers/!voters who don't give detailed enough !vote rationales? Seems like this whole thing, should any action be taken, will just add more pressure to FAC reviewers reducing an already small pool and making it harder for content editors to get their work through FAC, regardless of the actual quality of the article. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:29, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Bite all the newcomers you'd like to, but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to understand what page you are reading and how you are coming to these conclusions. You are reading things between the lines that I'm not writing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:57, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Perhaps, but I do not appear to be the only person in this thread misreading you. I think if you encourage users to "approach editors individually on their own talk pages ... to express concern about subpar reviews" you will risk "biting" them and you will drive some of them away, regardless of your intentions. Maybe you don't realise how that can come across to people learning Wikipedia, but I think I do. That's how it works around here, and negative interactions (especially via icy messages on talk pages) is the number 2 reason editors give for reducing their participation at Wikipedia. In fact, a survey of former contributors found 25% left Wikipedia due to unpleasant interactions with others. I think if we routinely "express concern about subpar reviews" at editors talk pages we will more often then not create unpleasant interactions. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:09, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Gabe, I find your reading and reasoning rather odd as well. First you argue that because Sandy has suggested a lower bound ("no reasoning") and an upper bound ("lengthy peer review") for a good review at FAC she requests an impossibility, or nearly so. Logic clearly demands that there be additional levels between these bounds ("peer review" and "short peer review", say?), so it's hardly impossible that a review should fall between them. Then you make a specious comparison to "the rest of Wikipedia", rather than asking the relevant question: does providing detailed rationales help the delegate better judge whether or not an article should be featured. (I pass over the absurdity of using RfA as an exemplar of Wikipedia process in silence.)
  • You go on to argue that because the concept of "being involved" can be drawn out to an indefinitely tenuous degree, reviewers should not feel obliged to disclose it, and their reviews should be judged solely on their quality. But this is just the sorites paradox dressed up; we may not be able to define a strict boundary between "involved" and "not involved", but that doesn't mean that "involvement" is not a useful concept. (And how the delegate is to judge a FAC based on the "actual reviews" when these reviews have been stripped of their "detailed rationales" is a paradox beyond my comprehension.) This only seems to make sense if you're viewing "involvement" as a scarlet letter that will negate the value of a review. It isn't. A detailed review is still sufficient of itself; indeed, involvement, as a proxy for some level of expertise on the part of the reviewer, might even influence a delegate's judgment towards supporting a particular article. What disclosure of involvement provides is context for the delegate to help interpret a review. In cases like the one Sandy invoked where a Support has "no reasoning," there's very little context to be derived from the review itself, and the knowledge of involvement may help resolve an apparent contradiction between the views of different reviewers.
  • And now you're suggesting that offering guidance to inexperienced reviewers who have produced poor reviews will scare them away. But the article review process itself, at FAC or anywhere, is built upon constructive criticism and dialog. The reviewer should be prepared to praise the strengths and criticize the weaknesses of the article dispassionately, upon its merits; the nominator, to accept or reject the reviewer's arguments in the same spirit of detachment. The nominator should respect the reviewer's arguments as the product of impartial considerations, and likewise the reviewer the nominator's responses. Are we to expect that a reviewer who understands this, who has presented criticism and reasoned arguments to a nominator in the hope it will be accepted, will be disgusted and embittered when their own intellectual contributions are exposed to the same process?
  • To put the argument another way, good reviews are to FAC what bread is to humanity: the staff and prop of life. If people come here bearing stones and calling them bread, why should we be afraid to call stones stones? Will we be any more hungry if the people get annoyed and take away their stones? Choess (talk) 04:26, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
  • No offense, but TL;DNR. Per "The reviewer should be prepared to praise the strengths and criticize the weaknesses of the article dispassionately, upon its merits", please link me to a good example of this during a recent difficult and/or controversial FAC in which you were involved. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:34, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
  • None taken, although I'm mildly surprised to have exhausted someone who made his bones debating the capitalization of "The". Demand for shrubberies noted and declined. I was coming back to say, lest I be remiss in my own duties to impartiality, I do think your worries about kicking new reviewers have some merit. If people are going to take it upon themselves to criticize new reviewers, they need to be tactful and judicious, qualities often in short supply even among the well-intentioned; they can't be expected to surmount the learning curve in a day. But no one will climb the learning curve without feedback, and that won't happen if everyone stands around and averts their eyes when someone posts a deficient review. Choess (talk) 04:45, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Exhausted? Don't flatter yourself. I'm just not up for a two, or three-versus-one debate on this issue. My main concern is "if people are going to take it upon themselves to criticize new reviewers, they need to be tactful and judicious, qualities often in short supply even among the well-intentioned". Encouraging the pressuring of new reviewers would do more harm than good. Overly critical editors would tend to do it much more often then kind ones. Why can't a delegate read the article and evaluate for themselves if the consensus for promotion is justified? Too busy? Add a delegate. Problem solved with no added pressure or strict rules that intimidate newbies away from the Wikipedia FAC process. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 05:15, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Retention is often about first impressions, and I can tell you with near absolute certainty that if Sandy had come over to my talk page "to express concern about [my] subpar reviews" when I was a noob, I would likely never have given another; true story. In fact, forget about when I was a noob, I'll bet Sandy would criticise my most recent FAC review as far too extensive and more appropriate for a peer review. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 05:21, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I think we're now touching a section of a much broader problem, which is that Wikipedia tends to react to new editors in one of two ways: either excuse disruptive editing on their part "because they're new!" until a tipping point is reached, or beat them about the head with sticks because they haven't done things exactly right on their first try. We seem in general to lack structure for people who want to improve their skills at particular Wikipedia tasks; mostly this is expected to happen through ad hoc mentoring, criticism (often not very constructive!), and imitation.
  • I take your point about the people best able to sugar the pill being the least likely to deliver it. But I do worry about the fate of a process where feedback is contraindicated to avoid scaring the newbies. Conceptually, I love DYK. I think it has immense potential as a receiving ground for new editors who can write and reference an article intelligently, without people crawling up their nose about dash usage or whatnot. But it also seems to have a chronic competence problem, where editors who have trouble accurately interpreting sources or avoiding close paraphrase—basic skills—send articles through with the same kind of problems, over and over, because the feedback within the process is never strong enough to make them "up their game". (And when someone does come along and crown them with a metaphorical brick, the criticism is usually intemperate and from someone outside the process, which provide convenient excuses to disregard it.) FAC's nowhere near that, of course, but helping people in a process grow is as much a part of keeping it alive as recruiting new people is. Choess (talk) 06:41, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Create a semi-formal, multi-contributor feedback process, or at least one that exists. I suspect that few or no reviewers wants to take on formal, 1-on-1 mentoring; it's too much time, too much trouble, too much responsibility. However,if you could drive by and put an impersonal (key point) "No, not this; try this" in some bucket somewhere for the new reviewer to see... all comments brief, impersonal, and closely tied to a single point. Etc. Don't let the comments get out of hand. GlitchCraft (talk) 11:43, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Per: "helping people in a process grow is as much a part of keeping it alive as recruiting new people is." I agree Choess, and I assume that "helping people in a process grow" would also include some words of encouragement along with the criticisms. I'm not that concerned about truly constructive criticism, my concern is that the criticism will tend strongly toward the negative, and the feedback will too often lack the positive reinforcement and encouragement needed to effectively "help people in a process grow." I've seen this many, many times on Wikipedia, and I could provide specific examples of where these types of "notices of concern related to subpar editing" at talk pages have driven editors away. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 22:48, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm curious about this assumption (expressed above) that subpar reviews always or usually come from "newbies" or "noobs"? In fact, IMO, newbies are easily guided towards becoming better reviewers; they are often open to suggestions for improvement. It's equally interesting to me that anyone thinks constructive feedback must involve "biting". But then I'm also intrigued to know why someone won't even read a well reasoned and clearly written post on this page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:54, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Sandy, now its seems like you aren't reading my posts. These are just more strawmen arguments, IMO. I don't think "that subpar reviews always or usually come from 'newbies' or 'noobs'?" I didn't say that. In fact, I have seen numerous "subpar" reviews from editors more experienced than myself. Let's face reality though. A reviewer's first few attempts at FAC are more likely than not to be "worthy" of criticism, and the newer a user is, the greater the danger of them feeling "bitten" when their review is criticised. I also don't think "constructive feedback must involve "biting", in fact, if the feedback is truly constructive, and balanced with some encouragement, it simply wouldn't. I merely think that if we encourage everyone "to express concern about subpar reviews" at newer editor's talk pages then a good many of such criticisms will be viewed by those criticised as "unpleasant interactions". Remember, a survey of former contributors found that 25% left Wikipedia due to unpleasant interactions with others. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 22:48, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Just think how much of the energy expended pointlessly going in circles above could have been directed to actually reviewing Jimfbleak - talk to me? 17:15, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Audit at WP:FFA needed

This is a task I used to do; it appears that it wasn't done in my absence, so an audit may be needed. Former Featured articles that appear at FAC:

  1. Should have a highlighted line in red added to the top of the FAC so that delegates are aware that they need to be handled differently if promoted and added to WP:FA. Whether they have already appeared TFA should be noted. See sample; one way to pick these out is by examining the former FA links in the nomination.
  2. If the article is re-promoted, and has already run at TFA, delegates need to indicate that when adding it to WP:FA (been on main page parameter is added). That this has not been done recently came to my attention via a Bencherlite edit to WP:FA. [1]
  3. Any re-promoted article needs to be accounted for at WP:FFA. [2]

Anyone can do this work: it doesn't have to be a delegate. This is yet another example of where the community could be helping the delegates. An audit is needed now to determine if any others have been missed in recent months.

On a separate matter, is anyone willing to copyedit Periodic table? There are glaring prose issues in the lead and it received scanty review at FAC; I haven't looked at the rest of the article. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:31, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

I just noticed an edit from GrahamColm right before mine, so perhaps an audit is not needed and Graham had already caught up on those missed ?? At any rate, this is something the community can help with, via the three steps above. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:18, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
A few weeks ago I noticed that at least one article had been repromoted and not properly addressed on the FFA page. I fixed the one I knew about, then went to Graham and asked if he knew of any others. He hadn't realized that an edit to the FFA page was needed when an article was repromoted, and subsequently fixed two others, and I think he mentioned the issue to the other delegates. I'm not sure if we got them all, but there was some effort made in recent weeks to fix the issue, once it was noticed. Dana boomer (talk) 20:04, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
I see Bencherlite found one more that needed the been on main page parameter at WP:FA, [3] and Maralia is helping with the audit. Anyway, if folks see an FFA at FAC, adding the red reminder will ease the load on the delegates. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:40, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps it is more important to find ways of encouraging the rehabilitation of FFA's--many of whom have already run main page, eliminating whatever incentive that is--than to worry overlong about a technical matter like this, which can be addressed with a quiet word in the right place and a reminder from a delegate if he deems it necessary? Many FFA's are in important areas, and I despair of them being brought back.--Wehwalt (talk) 06:08, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
One thing you can do instead of despairing is review an FFA that I have restored. Hawkeye7 (talk) 06:34, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
Sold. Give me a few days, I'm away.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:17, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Periodic table

If I may interject here, one important thing to keep in mind when reviewing scientific articles for FAC is that it is often impossible to convey every term in a layman's sense. For a great example of this, take a look at the article false vacuum. While it may be hard to understand, there is simply no way we could make the article any more accessible, as the phenomenon has no analogy in our current world (not to say the article couldn't be improved; there is plenty of stuff to do there). Another example is the aforementioned periodic table. While we theoretically could go in-depth about what atomic number, etcetera is, doing so would make the article impractically long, and if the reader does not know this information, that's what the wikilinks are for. Sorry if I'm misinterpreting what you are saying, SandyGeorgia, but basically, we can't explain everything, or else the article would probably be over a megabyte in length. Also, in my humble opinion, the most important thing for an FA to have is content. While organization and wording is certainly important, verifiable content is what most readers will be looking for. StringTheory11 (tc) 05:37, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
We have links for a reason. We can't explain every technical term used in an article about a technical subject without going wildly off topic and making the article almost unreadable. Instead we can just link to the articles on the terms so that readers who don't know what they mean can just click on them and find out, and only explain the terms that don't have articles. Double sharp (talk) 07:56, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Curiously, I'm quite familiar with scientific, medical and technical writing. We frequently see excuses (for example, in math, my undergraduate field) that laypersons don't follow the article because they don't understand the math, when more often, the problem is not the math but the prose. The lead of an article should not leave a layperson confused (even more so for a common topic like Periodic table, in contrast with a highly specialized article) and should not leave any reader needing to read the rest of the article to comprehend the lead. Per the instructions at FAR, you have at least six months to fix Periodic table, which is ample time to locate a good technical copyeditor. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:29, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
I very much agree with you Sandy, and in general I think the maths article are among the worst for impenetrable prose. My very simple view is that if you can't explain something clearly to a reasonably intelligent layperson then you don't really understand it yourself. Malleus Fatuorum 18:02, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
On my talk, EdChem (talk · contribs) appears willing to help out on Chemistry articles; he understands the criteria and engages reviews accordingly. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:26, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I am willing to help with chemistry articles. :) EdChem (talk) 06:04, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

On Periodic table, I would suggest contacting User:TCO and see if he will help out. He is fairly inactive right now, but might agree to at least offer pointers if you got in touch with him, and if you are not in a hurry as I know he is busy in RL. He did much to improve Fluorine, and his report on the FA process showed a strong grasp of technical writing, whether you agreed with it or not. On another matter. I note a fair number of comments which make reference to what the delegates should, or should not do, and complaints that procedures are not being observed? Perhaps it would be best, in the first instance, to email the delegates for that FA area privately, rather than lengthen this page unnecessarily? "Tact" is a concept which comes and goes on this page, but I don't think there's any harm to sticking up for it on occasion.--Wehwalt (talk) 06:06, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

You misread: suggestions of ways the community can help delegates by doing tasks any editor can do, as was always done before we lost so many participants recently, are not "complaints" and are not about "what the delegates should, or should not do". I do hope folks won't take seriously the suggestion that "tact" involves saying in private email what can easily be said transparently and publicly for all to see. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:24, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
I suggest avoiding the feeling that a FAC process which is being run well by the incumbent delegates needs much intervention. And there is the usual convention that when you leave an office, you try to avoid interfering with your successors's running of things, which is often stylistically different without being better or worse, and which they are doing well and you need not be so concerned. There is a natural tendency after leaving a post which you have held for a long time to be convinced that without your interventions, things will go to rot. They have not, and so I again urge tact.Wehwalt (talk) 10:44, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
And I suggest that one of the reasons that the current delegates (every one of them) is a delegate is partly because they are capable of speaking for themselves, publicly (not via e-mail), if the need arises. If one of them thinks I'm "intervening" in unhelpful ways, they will say so. And being a FAC delegate is not an "office"; we're all here to advance the same goals, are we not? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:55, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
I was going to change "interfering" to a less strong word, but your response interceded.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:44, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Above, Sandy suggested I have a look at the lead of periodic table, which I'm willing to do. I would appreciate some feedback on what non-chemists see as the biggest issues. As a chemist, I understand it and so am unsure if you see the problem as it being understandable but poorly expressed, or incomprehensible, or wrong, or ...? Thanks, EdChem (talk) 06:04, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

I haven't revisited the article in the last few days (or maybe a week now), and problems were not only in the lead; I will visit Talk:Periodic table later today to enter comments and suggestions. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:02, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
That would be much appreciated, thanks, Sandy. EdChem (talk) 16:01, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

TFA audit as well

I also used to watchlist WP:FA to make sure the TFA was added each day-- sometimes the bot stalls. I see Bencherlite (who is doing an audit) found such an instance. It would be helpful if FA regulars watchlist the page and let the bot operators know if glitches occur. (In those cases, the TFA can be manually noted at WP:FA.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:36, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Advice for new nominators

I would encourage any prospective nominators who are new to FAC to read "How to navigate the FA and A-class review process" from the WP:MILHIST monthly newsletter. It contains some excellent advice for what to expect during a FAC. Maralia (talk) 04:13, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

  • "All articles nominated for FA class should be placed through a GA nomination first, as well as an A-class nomination for articles within the scope of a project which conducts such reviews ... " Ummm, no. Can Nick-D edit and fix that, or is it too late? Even if MilHist asks that, FAC does not.

Otherwise, nice job. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:22, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

It's his own advice to new nominators... not a requirement. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:27, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, if we're recommending here that people read it, it's incorrect (and it should state that it's his opinion even though it's not the case). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:31, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
It's labeled as an op-ed; I'd assume most people would realize it's his opinion. Just how is it incorrect? It's obviously not required, but as advice it seems sound for a first-time FAC nominator. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:41, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
@Sandy: I think you are overreacting. The writer is not using mandatory language such as "shall" or "must". That opinion piece simply states: "After you've developed (and posted) the initial version of your article, you may wish to consider the following: ... Put the article through as many reviews as you can. All articles nominated for FA class should be placed through a GA nomination first, as well as an A-class nomination ...". That is outstanding advice. --Noleander (talk) 05:39, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
(ec) Nick is free to alter if he sees fit but personally I'm not sure why "should" (a strong recommendation) would be confused with "must" (a requirement). I think it's bloody good advice, and I follow it myself even after all my years as a FAC nominator. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 05:41, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the nice comments all. Given that the article is targeted towards first-time or occasional nominators, Sandy's suggestion is sensible; I don't want people to miss-read what I wrote and think that it's a requirement. I've tweaked the wording a bit to avoid this vagueness. Nick-D (talk) 10:21, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Nicely done, Nick-D ... three little words added, easy fix, that will avoid us having to answer time and again future queries when some poor newbie says "But I read somewhere that ... " And, it makes your article something we can pass along without having to add clarifying comments. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:15, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Peer review decline

WP:Peer review has always been an important stage in an article's preparation for FAC, and at present it is in a poor state. Probably no more than half the articles nominated there get a helpful review, many get no comments at all. A few years ago, PR was revitalised by Ruhrfisch, who made it his personal mission to see that articles got meaningful reviews within a couple of weeks. With sterling help from Finetooth, later assisted by myself and a few other regulars, this aim was largely achieved, as the records for the years 2008–10 demonstrate.

However, circumstances change, and for various reasons neither Ruhrfisch, Finetooth nor I are any longer able to devote the time to PR that once enabled us regularly to provide, between us, around 50 or 60 reviews every month. Although from time to time in recent months stalwarts such as The Rambling Man and Yomangani have jumped in to tackle the backlog of review requests, the basic problem is unresolved. Lack of an effective prior review stage inevitably means that more underprepared articles will appear at FAC; A-class reviews are confined to MilHist articles, while GA reviews are based on different criteria and do not, generally, deal with the issue of how a Good Article can become a Featured Article.

I don't think it is in the best interests of the FA project to simply let the peer review process fade away. I agree it's unglamorous and often thankless work, but I speak as one whose own efforts at FAC have been enormously helped by peer reviews. If a group of FA regulars could join me and commit to, say, just five peer reviews a month apiece, I think the process could be rebuilt and become again a pillar of the project. I know that people are busy and that other priorities exist, but is anyone prepared to do this? The issue is, after all, the long-term health of the FAC process. Brianboulton (talk) 11:47, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

I'll try and head over there to help out once I clean up some GAN backlogs that caught my eye. Thanks for the notice, and thanks for your hard work in the area. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 13:50, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
And thanks to Ruhrfisch, Finetooth, brainy Brian, Yoman and TRM, too! Worrisome-- in a PR I engaged this month, I found at least six erroneous requests for changes to the article from a regular reviewer there, so that is another reason for more qualified reviewers to pitch in. Not that we don't have our own issues with sub-standard reviews at FAC right now ... but I digress. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:32, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Extended content
Could someone explain to me why the WMF is opposed to the idea of hiring someone who could competently (decided perhaps by only those who have written FAs) do peer reviews and FAC full-time? Thanks. Biosthmors (talk) 17:24, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Certainly - Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. WMF will do nothing directly affecting content because of this. Johnbod (talk) 17:29, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Why do you think the WMF would know a competent writer if they were hit over the head with one? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:52, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Because most of us don't demonize them? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:56, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Don't demonize who? The competent article writers? Seems to me that Wikipedia has institutionalised the practice of chasing away editors who display competence in anything other than vandal whack-a-mole. Malleus Fatuorum 18:06, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
No, the WMF, but the anarchic structure of WP, which benefits 'politically active' users, hasn't exactly done wonders for article writers. The question that raises, of course, is whether there is a better system. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 18:13, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
MF, I'm not sure it's fair to point out The ed17's failure to clarify pronoun usage in a discussion of competent writing where he attempts another jab at me, since my prose is often lacking. I would say, though, that most competent writers of editorials prefer that fact and opinion align closely-- an opinion not apparently held by The ed17 based on the section above. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:15, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
No jab intended there; just a difference of opinion. As for your other point, I'll happily quote Ian Rose: "I'm not sure why "should" (a strong recommendation) would be confused with "must" (a requirement)". Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 18:17, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Intended or not, you've derailed another valid discussion on this page about an entity (WMF, not an individual) to poke at individuals that you have had differences with (both MF and me). "Give it a rest"; take it outside. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:24, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I've never had a problem with Malleus. If you want to discuss the WMF, then please do (and I responded above); otherwise feel free to continue with "[my] failure to clarify pronoun usage" and editorials. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 18:41, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

For those interested, back on topic at Bio's talk page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:05, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

I've helped at PR quite a bit in the past, but I guess I've slacked off recently. I'll try to help out more in the future. One thing I've noticed: if someone personally asks me to do a PR or GA review, I always do it (and most other WP editors also cheefully say yes when asked). Maybe one solution for PR is a bot similar to WP:FRS: the bot could randomly select reviewers and post a note on their Talk page, naming 2 or 3 articles in the queue that need reviews. FRS is used for RfCs and GAs. Of course, GAN has a big backlog now, so maybe that undermines my point :-) --Noleander (talk) 18:08, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I think a list of "who might be willing to do a PR for you" with instructions on how to write a personal persuasive message to them would be a good system. Then each person could have a little banner at the top of their user talk page saying how they might be more convinced to help out with a PR if... I'm guessing that there's only so much peer review one can do without expecting anything in return. Maybe this type of system will be more rewarding for peer reviewers. Biosthmors (talk) 18:25, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I think a system that could work well for this, better than in other, more formal processes like FAC, GAN, and DYK, is QPQ. There's no immediate detriment to WP for QPQ here, as is the case when poor DYKs show up on the main page, and with a relatively loose system, almost any comments are better than none. We have to expect people submitting PR requests are at least competent enough to find issues with other editors' articles. Of course, the PR page already encourages editors to review other requests, and we have a volunteers page too, though it may be underused and out of date. —Torchiest talkedits 19:07, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
(ec with Torchiest) We had a list like that in olden days, but pehaps a more effective tool would be set up a system of userboxes and categories, so that nominators could just check a given category for editors willing to review a given topic? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:09, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that quid pro quo will provide a solution; if reviews are being done mainly to fulfil an obligation, they won't necessarily have the depth or worth that a thorough review should have. Editors are not equally endowed with reviewing skills or confidence. Sandy's proposal has merits of simplicity, but all is really dependent on enough editors being willing to do a little, regularly each month, without expectation of a direct reward. To highlight the problem, of 46 reviews closed in November, 25 received no comment whatever. A couple of years ago around 100 reviews were closed each month, all with reviews. Brianboulton (talk) 22:14, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh, my, I missed the mention of quid pro quo reviewing, which is bad, Bad, BAD. Doesn't work at DYK, won't work here either, for all the reasons discussed many times and evidenced at DYK. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:37, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I think whether or not quid pro quo is a partial solution depends upon the person offering a potential review. I might have a banner at the top of my page that says "If you will please add references to two of the unsourced articles covered by WikiProject Medicine lacking sources, then please point out those articles, and I will review your article, thanks." Wouldn't that be OK? Biosthmors (talk) 22:39, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
One reason it wouldn't work (there are more) is that very few editors on Wikipedia understand WP:MEDRS, and they are likely to add references that aren't useful, making a bad article look good and potentially being more deceptive to readers. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:43, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting any formal requirement, just a good practice that would help ease the backlog. Similar to the suggestion to review three FACs for each you submit. The content writers should be best equipped to review others' work, and it can improve your own work to do reviews. —Torchiest talkedits 23:07, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

While I used to put all my potential FAs through peer reviews and peer review other editors' articles, I don't bother with this anymore. The general improvement in the quality of GA reviews in the last year or so and the rise of project-specific A-class reviews have to a large degree replaced what peer reviews used to do. While it would be nice if the peer review process got a shot in the arm, a more widespread take-up of A class reviews by wikiprojects or continued efforts to improve the quality of GA reviews would deliver much more bang for the buck, especially as the demand for peer class reviews has also greatly decreased. Nick-D (talk) 23:22, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

I am far from convinced, even if the general quality of GA reviews has improved recently, that this represents a satisfactory preparation for FAC. The GA criteria are different from those for FAC, and are subject to widely varying interpretations by individual reviewers. Where is the gap – often huge – between GA and FA to be investigated and resolved? This is what peer review, not specific to any particular criteria, is set up to do. The suggestion that A-class reviews might do the job is impractical, at least in the short term; most Wikiprojects are inert, in some cases to the extent of advanced rigor mortis. Brianboulton (talk) 11:36, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps A-class reviews could become a more formal, Wikipedia-wide thing, rather than dependent on individual WikiProjects and their varying criteria and rigour of reviews? In the long term, it might fall into decline the same way as PR, but in the medium term it could rejuvenate intermediate reviewing between GA and FA. It would be interesting to see whether a tangible result (ie classification as "A-class") incentivises reviewers. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 11:56, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
I could tell everyone to go and do one decent peer review for every comment made on an arbitration-related page I suppose.....but seriously, I think the best thing is to lead by example, so will try to make some time to scan some. Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:40, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
All that would do is dry up the arb-related pages ... on second thought, do it! - Dank (push to talk) 13:25, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
HJ Mitchell's idea that peer review be replaced by a Wikipedia-wide A-class review system is interesting, but raises many questions. One of the notional strengths of peer review is that it is not award-based; there are no specific criteria against which the article is reviewed. Editors are free to ignore comments they consider unhelpful, or with which they disagree. Should we replace this with another pass/fail mechanism? Discussions on these issues might go on for ever, as per arb stuff, but we have an immediate problem, the simple answer to which is a few more able and willing bodies. Thanks to all the contributors to this thread. I hope that as a result of reading and/or commenting here, enough editors will give a little priority to helping to restore the viability and credibility of the peer review system.; one regular review a week would be fine (I'm off to do one now). Brianboulton (talk) 18:49, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
The main concern about that is the flexibility - Peer Review can be for an editor needing help with a Start-class or GA class article and having a bit of a writers' block. If we narrow it down then we lose something. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:15, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
In the hope that more good comes of this discussion, I made this bold edit:[4] Biosthmors (talk) 20:45, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
@NickD. I'm tempted to think the decline in PR is more attributable to poor customer service rather than a real lack of demand. I think most editors that want to improve an article what to hear other ideas. We just need to improve the services offered over at PR I guess. Biosthmors (talk) 20:53, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
It might be, but I've always had a psychological problem with PR, which is why my involvement has always been limited, and very likely always will be limited unless the salary is improved. Basically, I'll pretty much help anyone trying to get an article through FAC, GAN, or even on occasion DYK, because there's some kind of closure there, a definite endpoint. There's just not the same kind of buzz around PR for me, where reviews just seem to fizzle out like damp squibs. But of course I recognise that others may well feel differently, and it's right that they should; even I wouldn't want to live in a world populated by Malleus clones. Malleus Fatuorum 21:01, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
That's actually a really good point. I was wondering myself why I review FAC, but not PR, and I think Malleus's pyschowotsit has it bang to rights Jimfbleak - talk to me? 21:13, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Different people, different perspectives. For me, the fact that PR is not an end in itself, with no definite endpoint, is its principal advantage. And I see my involvement there as a way of doing exactly what Malleus refers to above: helping people to get an article through FAC, GAN or any other grade. Brianboulton (talk) 22:53, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
So maybe therein lies its strength. Often even scanning an article for a few minutes can give someone a heads up, and posting a few broad comments at a PR is alot better than nothing and a good payoff timewise. After which time it is up to the writer to eitehr do or ignore, or alert the reviewer by asking further questions. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:17, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
You're an old hippie Brian, whereas I'm an old Tory. Let's just be thankful that we're not all the same. :-) Malleus Fatuorum 01:09, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you could help me out getting an article through FAC. I have an article at FAC that could use a review. Since you were involved in its FAR, could you take a look? Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:04, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
I did say "pretty much anyone", which in my mind excludes anyone who's blocked me. Malleus Fatuorum 02:23, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough. I did ask ArbCom to erase your block log, but I'm not as popular with them as you are :( Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:36, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't want my block log to be erased, I want it to stand as an indictment of what's wrong here. Malleus Fatuorum 02:41, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
I still feel bad about it though. :( Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:19, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Try and imagine how I feel. Malleus Fatuorum 05:45, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Well I thank both of you for improving article quality here. User:West.andrew.g/Popular pages might be of interest. It now lists which of the top 5000 most viewed articles are FAs and GAs. Biosthmors (talk) 15:48, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
I check in at No. 4,992 with Manhattan Project. The quest to improve the quality of articles (or even to convince other editors that it is desirable) is has been quixotic. It appears that IT articles are very popular, so I might bring one to featured. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:11, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Slight tangent: I did a search today and only found two functioning A-Class reviews: MilHist's and Highways. Are there more? --Rschen7754 21:02, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
We have the barest bones of an A-class assessment setup at WP:VG/A/R. Unfortunately, it mostly consists of rubber stamps of approval rather than in-depth reviews. —Torchiest talkedits 21:26, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
MilHist's ACR process takes in a reasonably broad range of articles. Any ship or aircraft that has a military connection (this includes quite a few airliners, for instance) may pop up there, and Ships and Aviation accept an A-Class assessment from MilHist. Many biographies of people not primarily known for their military exploits, but who have served at some stage, show up at MilHist ACR as well, e.g. Ian Fleming, and Acdixon's Kentucky governors. We even had a diplomacy article, Lisbon Appointment, through there recently. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 01:04, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

I cleaned up WP:PRV and there are 11 active copy editors listed at the bottom, so when people need a copy edit for FAC maybe ask them to open a peer review ask for a ce from that list? WP:PRV doesn't seem to get as many hits as I think it should (3 or 4 a day on average). It would also be nice to have a bot that comes by and tells people who asked for a review (after a week has gone by with no comments) to prod them into directly asking for (potentially additional) help. And/or maybe a bot that posts talk page warnings at WT:PR if any reviews go without comments for a while? Or posts when a review is close to being closed without comment, which is a bit of a slap in the face to anyone who asks for one, in my opinion. Biosthmors (talk) 07:19, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

The bot at WP:PR automatically closes reviews that have received no comments within 14 days. At present, I think this is too short a time, and would like to see it extended, say to three weeks, to allow more time for reviews to be started. I don't know how to do this myself, but have asked Ruhrfisch if he can arrange for this to be done. Brianboulton (talk) 14:50, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
We have lots of people at WP:PRV who say they're willing to help. What about leveraging that? Biosthmors (talk) 16:37, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
We would have to ask CBM who runs the bot to change the time period. Is there consensus for 3 weeks instead of 2? Ruhrfisch ><>°° 04:49, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Sounds fair to me -- pretty well anything that improves the chances of an article getting eyes on it before it reaches FAC is a plus as far as I'm concerned. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 05:24, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
I think it's a good idea too. A lot of those that drop off after two weeks are just re-added shortly thereafter, so I doubt this would increase the backlog in any significant way, and might help to get requests handled the first time. —Torchiest talkedits 05:44, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. - Dank (push to talk) 11:24, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Three weeks sounds about right, especially since Torchiest's estimation seems about accurate. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 18:18, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
I have made the request to User:CBM Brianboulton (talk) 18:52, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
CBM has changed the limit to 3 weeks. Just since Dec 1 quite a few articles have been archived without a review. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 16:14, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Having been involved with peer review for some time, there are some observations I would like to make. The first is that although many PRs are done as preparation for FAC, many are done to get an article ready for GAN or FLC, and some are just aimed at improving the article without a specific stated goal in mind (so any solution that focuses on just FAC is going to miss some PRs). Second, although the list of reviewers has existed for several years, most PR nominators do not take advantage of it. Third, the range of articles coming to PR is so broad that there are always some that fall into the cracks between areas reviewers have indicated an interest in. Fourth, rather than wait for requests, it would help if reviewers would commit to review an article a month (or every two weeks or every week) by looking at Wikipedia:Peer review/backlog/items to see PRs that still ahve not received a review. I apologize that I am no longer able to do peer reviews as I used to. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 04:47, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Your work at PR has always been amazing, thanks so much. - Dank (push to talk) 12:52, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Dank. I wish I still had the time and interest to do it. I want to thank CBM and Geometry guy for their bot and technical help, and Brianboulton, Finetooth, The Rambling Man, Yomangani, Noleander and all the others who have done multiple peer reviews over the years. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 21:00, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia-wide A class review

Returning to the proposal for a Wikipedia-wide A class review.

  1. Throughput would be greater than FAC, so articles could go to ACR rather than FAC.
  2. Those that do go to FAC could have the benefit a comprehensive review at the A class stage.
  3. Reviewers and nominators would had a clear set of criteria that they are working to.
  1. My biggest concern would be about losing our MilHist ACR, which works very well.
  2. In some cases (eg. good/featured topic), A class is not accepted, so you have to run A class articles through GA.

Hawkeye7 (talk) 19:37, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm a bit skeptical about this - would this just be a duplicate of FAC? Also, I would not be a fan of anything overriding a subject-specific ACR. --Rschen7754 19:47, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
This has been proposed at the village pumps from time to time, and I maintain that A class should be deprecated, not promoted as a process. What you are proposing is nothing more than GA review. Adding yet another review process will only detract from both GAN and FAC, and probably even PR. Resolute 20:01, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
I think there's an advantage in leaving a high-quality assessment in the hands of individual wikiprojects to use or ignore as they see fit. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 20:06, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree with most of the above objections. I think this would dilute the current processes. It would be better to work on increasing activity at PR and trying to encourage more robust GA reviews. —Torchiest talkedits 20:09, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Those above may benefit from spending a little time at Milhist's A-class process; it's been quite successful. I think a WP-wide process would be a faster version of FAC, with less reviews, but more comprehensive than GA because of the additional number of reviewers. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:11, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Both you and Hawkeye7 mention it being faster than FAC. I don't understand why that would be the case. —Torchiest talkedits 20:24, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Since it works at Milhist, it would probably work at a few other wikiprojects, but the times I've offered to copyedit at an A-class process at other wikiprojects, no one took me up on it. - Dank (push to talk) 20:25, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Why would it not? It would require less reviews than FAC. Obviously the speed will depend on the number of reviewers, but I don't see why not. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:27, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
The Milhist A-class review process still requires three supports. I don't see how it would require less reviews. Unless you'd want it to require only two reviewers to support? —Torchiest talkedits 20:31, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not at all sure where you expect to get an "additional number of reviewers" from. It works for Milhist because it is a very large project. That doesn't mean it would scale down to smaller projects, and that doesn't justify a wikipedia-wide promotion of a concept that duplicates three other processes already. Resolute 20:28, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Since Highways is the other successful ACR, apparently... we actually tend to be slower than FAC (the record is 9 months!), just because of a lack of reviewers. ACR serves as the project's "rubber stamp" on the article, making sure that the article meets all project standards and has been reviewed by editors that are experts in the field, who would catch issues that other editors might miss, before the article gets the Wikipedia-wide certification. --Rschen7754 20:29, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
I also agree that Milhist's success is due to its massive size and activity level. There are plenty of other large WikiProjects that are nowhere near as active. Even WP:WPBIO, the biggest Project on the size, shuttered its A-class process years ago. —Torchiest talkedits 20:34, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Speaking from the perspective of medicine articles, I can't imagine that a Wiki-wide A-class review would be positioned to evaluate articles. Outside of medicine, we typically find limited understanding or knowledge of WP:MEDMOS, WP:MEDRS, the medical concepts, or how to write for a lay audience. Speaking from the perspective of FAC, since we are short on reviewers all across the Wikipedia, I'm not sure that adding another Wikipedia-wide process will accomplish anything. It's wonderful that MilHist has one; that the MilHist experience scales Wikipedia-wide is doubtful. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:46, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

I suspect that would be because editors in other topic areas have no use for MEDMOS etc., so any review process would require dedicated reviewers familiar with them. :-) And, of course, I don't believe medicine editors have an encyclopedic knowledge of what should appear in a historical article; just like I don't think the hurricane people will be aware of everything that should be in a biography. Medicine isn't alone in those concerns. With regards to an A-class process, I'm not sure if it would work either, but I do feel that it's worth a short trial. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 22:07, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Are there any wikiprojects that don't have an A-class process now that are interested? I haven't found any. - Dank (push to talk) 22:32, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

I have always been a proponent that the A, B, C ratings of articles are with respect to a Wikiproject's venue, while the GA and FA scale is to wiki-wide standards. That is, an A-rated article by a wikiproject means that it meets all expected content, sourcing requirements, and other details that that project expects of articles within it. (Case for me are video games, where we would expect, for a video game A-class, an article that includes development information and critical reception in addition to the "simple" parts of plot and gameplay. (this is a gross simplification).) I've long been thinking of a system whereby obtaining a B-class (at minimum) would help to show that the article passes a Wikiproject's standards for the quality expected of a GA, and similarly an A-class means the article's fine by the project for an FA. This would not require a FAC to achieve A-class in any project associated with it before it can be considered at FAC, but it would certainly help the process by saying "Here's my Wikiproject A-class review, so some reasonably experts believe it's good", and thus leaving the FAC process to focus on the broad standards and hopefully simplify the process. But there's a larger scheme in the back of my mind that has to be in place to make this even feasible, and requires a HECK of a lot of coordination between FA, GA and wikiprojects; it ain't happening overnight. --MASEM (t) 23:06, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Why don't we implement a site-wide A-Class Review project, and possibly B-Class as well, for articles not supported by a WikiProject like MilHist or Highways? So, for example, an article that falls under MilHist could go through the MilHist process, but an article backed by WikiProjects without such a process, or no WikiProject at all, would be vetted in the site-wide process. Then perhaps we could drop GA, being that it's functionally both a separate, parallel process and a step between B-Class and A-Class. szyslak (t) 23:39, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

GAN is already backlogged; by requiring 2 reviewers for every article, it will get even worse. --Rschen7754 23:44, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
I figure even if site-wide ACR becomes yet another backlogged process like GAN, it'll still be better than two backlogged and/or ignored processes (GAN and peer review). My suggestion is based on the idea that we need fewer processes, not more. szyslak (t) 23:58, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that I don't know if an A-class process could survive the already-existing Milhist/Highways/VG reviewers... Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:03, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
That's just about the daftest suggestion I've seen all week Szyslak. Rather, why don't we scrap the rather arbitrary A-class reviews? GA is no sense "a step between B-Class and A-Class" since it quite properly ignores both of those arbitrarily defined classifications. Malleus Fatuorum 01:10, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

I have not participated very much in A-Class reviews because I just don't see the need. The best reason I can imagine for the existence of A-Class review is that it serves as a WikiProject-specific preparation for FA. I am strongly against bringing the A-Class thing wiki-wide. Binksternet (talk) 01:44, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Speaking from personal experience, I took every article I helped bring to FA to Peer review, and if I was unsure of the article I took it through a GAN before FAC - less than one quarter (6 of the 28) FAs I am listed as a co-nom on were GAs first. I think most editors who have brought several articles to FA are similar - they usually (though not always) take it to PR, then go directly to FAC.
If there were a Wikipedia-wide A class, I would not use it (I think PR, the occasional GAN, and FAC are enough). I see a wiki-wide A class review as more of a drain on resources (every review at A class is time and effort that did not go to PR or GA or FA reviews) than a plus. I do think that the functioning A class reviews (like MILHIST) can be helpful and am not advocating their abolition. I just fail to see how, at a time when most PRs are being closed by a bot without reviews (sorry) and GAN and FAC are short on reviewers, we can advocate adding another layer of review-intensive omphaloskepsis. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 16:29, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Huge style points for using the word "omphaloskepsis" in a sentence. Game, set, match. Next question? GlitchCraft (talk) 11:15, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
  • I think the acceptable translation is "navel-gazing". Impolitely, "bullshit" also works. Brianboulton (talk) 00:32, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes. I learned something from that post. Tks Ruhrfisch (actually, real tks are due for pretty much carrying PR over vast stretches of time; but "omphaloskepsis" is more fun to say when drunk). GlitchCraft (talk) 01:43, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Essentially I agree with the comment by David Fuchs (talk · contribs), above. Cheers, — Cirt (talk) 22:57, 10 December 2012 (UTC)


Hey FA-people - relevent to your interests, there's a conversation happening at the talk page for stephen hawking about if it should have passed FA a few months ago - and it has a banner (and I may be misquoting, and very likely misunderstanding) that has been put in place because the lists in the article are not up to FA standard. There are a bunch of issues raised about if FA's should have 'see also' lists and so on. I though it was relevent to the watches of this board as much as it's relevent to the watcher of the hawking talk page. Cheers, Fayedizard (talk) 10:13, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

More tools in FA guidelines?

Should we expand the toolbox in the FAC guidelines with links to useful scripts? I am thinking of scripts like Uccucha's harv-script, the dupe-link checker or the hyphen/dash-advisor - and maybe 2-3 other popular MOS-related scripts (ideas welcome). There have been a few nominations lately with general MOS-problems and offering a quick link to some basic tools could help, especially new nominators. GermanJoe (talk) 08:53, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, obviously it's up to editors if they want to install scripts, but I find the dup-link detector invaluable in checking my own noms before FAC, and for an instant view of potential overlinking problems when reviewing. It's also worth reminding people of WikiEd, which provided quick fixes of dashes, redirects and find-and-replace of eg double spacing Jimfbleak - talk to me? 09:02, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like an excellent idea. Making contributors aware of possible time-savers and double-checkers is a good thing. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 17:45, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good to me - anything to help prep an article before posting it here. Simon Burchell (talk) 18:05, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, v. good idea. Is anyone prepared to edit the box accordingly? Graham Colm (talk) 18:44, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Am no good with scripts though. Casliber (talk · contribs) 18:48, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
We should probably go for a second list of "useful scripts". The original toolbox appears to be admin protected (just checked the template) and is used on other non-FAC pages. A second list would make sure, we don't meddle with other users of the original box. I'll try to create a first preview version. GermanJoe (talk) 21:36, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Useful scripts

See script documentation for more info

(indent)Something like this below the current, "old" toolbox? ====> GermanJoe (talk) 22:40, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Why two boxes (unnecessary clutter)? Admin protection isn't a reason not to add it to the same box; get an admin to do it. I have installed the FA tools on the talk pages of countless articles (you can use them on any article, doesn't have to be an FA). By adding the new tools to the same box, they will be instantly available wherever the tools are already in use. Having two boxes makes little sense to me. Please ask Gimmetoo (talk · contribs) to deal with it; he will. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:46, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion, but i am not going to file an edit request for every uncontroversial change on a trivial list of tools. Any further changes -no matter, how minor- would need the same unnecessary bureaucracy and waste admins' time. Of course, whoever requested that protection is welcome to make the changes by him/herself. GermanJoe (talk) 11:36, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

No more restarts ?

Do we no longer use restarts? I have been unable to determine what is going on at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Broad-billed Parrot/archive1; one reviewer keeps mentioning (at length) page range issues that I can't find, and that one reviewer has grown the FAC so long that it's hard to see what his/her remaining concerns are. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:55, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

  • This is a solid candidate for finished reviews to be moved to the talk page.... — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:01, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
    • Can you tell what Snowmanradio's concerns are? I can't find any page ranges that are invalid, and I can't understand why that is still going on. I'm also unsure what you mean about finished reviews being moved to talk, because Snowmanradio is all over the entire page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:05, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
      • I only see that, a question about seed sizes at File:Latania loddigesii seeds.jpg, a question about the name "Raven Parrot" (sourcing), and three issues with no replies at the bottom. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:08, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
      • Jim's and CWM's would be good to move to the talk, if they'd do that. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:08, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
        • I'm not seeing why moving short reviews to talk is helpful, but I've never been a believer that short reviews need moving, so whatevs. The problem is the long review that is going nowhere. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:10, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
          • I'm of the belief that every byte counts. And yes, Snowman's review doesn't seem to be going anywhere. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:13, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
            • Which brings us back to my original question: no more restarts? This is a candidate for restart, where the long reviewer going nowhere is asked to resummarize concisely what the issues are. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:16, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
              • Sounds like a good idea, — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:21, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

FAR lacking reviewers

There are several stalled reviews at WP:FAR; more eyes over there would help get things moving, and some of the nominations there won't require a large investment in reviewer time. A little bit will go a long way over there, and just a few more eyes will help re-invigorate the page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:10, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

2013 WikiCup

Hi, this is just a note to say that the 2013 WikiCup will be starting soon, with signups remaining open throughout January. The WikiCup is an annual competition in which competitors are awarded points for contributions to the encyclopedia, focussing on audited content (such as good articles, featured articles, featured pictures and such) and high importance articles. It is open to new and old Wikipedians and WikiCup participants alike. Even if you don't want to take part, you can sign up to receive the monthly newsletters. Rules can be found here. Any questions can be directed to the WikiCup talk page. Thanks! J Milburn (talk) 18:55, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Category:FA-Class_WikiProject_Cities_articles all leave out basic information.

Most maps on Wikipedia are barely more useful than this one. Is this really the best work we can do?

All the FA articles on cities which I checked use {{Location map}} or similar maps as their only method to show where the city is. This means that basic information about cities - which other centres of population are near them - are left out of all of these articles.

This fails criteria 1b: It is 'not comprehensive, it neglects major facts and details, and fails to place the subject in context.

Showing where something is and what's near it is one of the most basic bits of information about something there is. We've failed at this, because we've created a template that is inadequate, but good enough as a temporary measure,then, sadly, allowed it to become the default.

Of course, this is fixable. If I didn't think it was fixable, I wouldn't have brought it up here and linked this from WikiProject Cities.

There's a few simple solutions. One could just use location map with a larger symbol for the desired location, then smaller points for other major population centres. One could put the pinprick on a map which contains location data already. One could prepare maps individually. These are more work. But can we really call articles comprehensive without it? I don't think we can. Adam Cuerden (talk) 16:21, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps we can ensure all the city articles have a geographic compasssuch as this one, which fulfills the intended purpose of listing nearby communities without necessitating a change to every map on WP.--Chimino (talk) 01:05, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I think fixing the maps would be better. The Locator maps are good as a quick start, but this is Featured articles - we can expect better than the quick and easy option. Hell, you could still use Locator map in many cases - just use a secondary colour or a more prominent icon for the main city, and add in other cities using grey text Adam Cuerden (talk) 10:01, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Take the Oakland example. If you are not aware that Oakland is right across the bay bridge from California, you're missing key information about it. Of course the article discusses this - as it should - but it's a fundamental misunderstanding of the entire purpose of maps to use a political map - one that doesn't include terrain features - then leave out the whole point of political maps by not labelling anything outside of one city. Most of the maps don't even bother labelling states or countries.
This is a new type of map Wikipedia has created. It needs to die. Adam Cuerden (talk) 10:10, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I think that turning the localization system over just for this is not the best solution. What is "near" or a "centre of population" is quite subjective, as is the opinion that the "nearby population centres" are more important than, say, nearby rivers. The map shows clearly the position of the city within relevant administrative borders. It would become completely unreadable if we crammed in all the information that various people deemed important, especially at this size. In my opinion, it is enough to descibe relevant nearby geographical features in the text. — Yerpo Eh? 10:11, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

I have never, in my life, seen such things used anywhere else. They're horrible. I can understand letting it pass for a new article, where they at least show something, but not featured articles, or anything that's meant to be a shining example of good work. Adam Cuerden (talk) 10:13, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

More use could be made of screenshots from Open Street Map (which provides good quality maps under a Wikipedia-friendly license). Nick-D (talk) 10:15, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I think locator maps do serve a purpose, but (if I might untangle Adam's argument a little) not the one it might be preferable if they did. I would therefore suggest that some other map be considered normal for an FA article, exceptions applying. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 11:33, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
The discussion about another, more informative type of map should also clarify, what kind and level of information is supposed to be shown (country borders, state borders, major rivers, neighboring cities to which size and notability, ...). Obviously any such map should be viewable in small sizes (to a degree) without overwhelming the reader with too much information. There are probably dozens of aspects which could use thoughts from interested map experts. GermanJoe (talk) 11:41, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
To some extent, that's going to vary a bit by subject, of course. An article about a National Park or a smallish island is going to be different than a city. Adam Cuerden (talk) 20:30, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Ignoring reviewer

Hi. I nominated Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars here quite some time ago, and it's currently one of the oldest here. It seems that it's going to pass, but the problem is that one of the reviewers seems to be ignoring me. He left a few messages almost two months ago, and once responded to some of my statements, but he seems to be ignoring me and won't come back and take a look at my replies. I messaged him two or three times, I got no response. He is very active on the Wiki and regularly comments on other FACs, but for some reason seems to ignore me... Is this a problem? --Khanassassin 13:46, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Why "seems that it's going to pass"? I don't know for sure, but it doesn't seem that way to me; it's got only one support. - Dank (push to talk) 13:56, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
OK, OK, but that's not the point of this topic... It still doesn't seem to be failing either so... :P :) --Khanassassin 15:57, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
If a nominator is not returning to a FAC, just place diffs on the FAC showing that you contacted the nominator, and the delegates will take that into account. But I don't see an unresolved oppose (on a quick skim, perhaps I missed it), so not sure it matters. By the way, please remove the caps ... first, those are templates that slow down the page load time and cause errors in archives, hence should only be used sparingly and when really necessary, second they cause errors in archives, third you shouldn't cap off someone else's comments (as you did mine). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:10, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Ah, cool. --Khanassassin 14:59, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Delegate needs a break

I am taking a very short break from my delegate's duties for a week or two. After checking in every day for nearly a year—and promoting 191 candidates—I need to recharge my batteries. You will still see me around, either editing or reviewing (or reverting!), but I will not be closing or promoting FACs until mid January. Thanks to all of you who have positively engaged in our FAC process in 2012, and I look forward to seeing what 2013 brings. In the meantime, if you need me, you know where I live Graham. Graham Colm (talk) 20:42, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your hard work, Graham. This is a well-deserved break. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:57, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Enjoy some time off, Graham ... you've deserved it and there are plenty of others to carry the load. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:20, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Pish! Being a delegate is a cakewalk. I kid, I kid. Thanks for all your hard work Graham. --Laser brain (talk) 00:46, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, do it with our eyes closed, eh, Andy...?! Enjoy the break, Graham, between Ucucha and me the wheels will keep turning... ;-) Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 04:56, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Accessibility of headings

The box at the top of the WP:FAC page says "Please do not split FAC review pages into subsections using header code (if necessary, embolden headings)." This is contrary to web accessibility guidelines; and our meta pages as well as our articles, should be accessible to our fellow editors and readers. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:33, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Hi Andy, I have no strong opinion on this, but I think the reason headers are frowned upon is because they bloat the TOC and generally look a bit unsightly. Do bolded headers such as:
"Comments ~"
or "Comments" really make life more difficult for screen readers than headings? If so, do you know of a possible middle-ground? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:57, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
My understanding is that bolding with a semicolon actually does cause a problem for readers. There is an explanation here. —Torchiest talkedits 20:02, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
That's unpersuasive. I will ping Graham87 (talk · contribs) to this discussion; perhaps he will let us know if the headings cause problems for his screen reader (I've never seen him mention that) and have alternate suggestions. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:20, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes they do cause problems for screen readers; on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate the importance of these issues about 5. Headings are used by screen readers for navigation; with my screen reader JAWS, for instance, I can use H/shift-H to navigate between headings. If alternative markup is used, a screen reader user can't use it as a navigation aid (though the semicolon markup is a little better in this respect because it is possible to navigate between lists, though it does sound annoying as described in the link above). You can use {{TOC limit}} to limit the depth of the TOC so the extra headings don't affect the table of contents. Graham87 06:54, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, Graham87! So, it looks like we need to adjust the instructions, but I'm not sure what is the best way to do that. TOC limit can be used in archives, on the FAC page, etc and will solve that problem, but not all problems. Another problem is that subheadings weren't always used appropriately in the past; they were sometimes used to ... ummm ... attempt to influence. Would it be useful to say that subheadings should only be used to separate lengthy commentary from one reviewer, not for other purposes? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:40, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Sandy, that post contains an accusation. Who are you accusing of POV editing and have you notified that person on talk that you are alluding to him here?--Wehwalt (talk) 17:21, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Please just stop, Wehwalt. Surely you don't want to go through the entire FAC archives from 2006, 2007 and 2008, and surely you can't think a general statement about historical issues accuses anyone of anything. Please Just Stop. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:34, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Current text:

  • Please do not split FAC review pages into subsections using header code (if necessary, embolden headings).

Potential text:

  • Reviewers entering lengthy commentary may want to create a subsection such as "Review by UserX" using header code; other sub-sections and emboldened headings with semi-colons are discouraged

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:43, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes please. Imho that would be a significant improvement to the usability of FAC pages, which can become difficult to edit when they get large. --Stfg (talk) 11:59, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
OK, if this is a plausible direction to move in, there were other historical problems; folks were constantly entering a two- or three-level heading, when it should be four (which took the comments out of the FAC and onto the overall FAC page), in addition to (made up example follows so I don't have to go through five-year-old archives) things like === This article is horrible === which drew attention to one person's opinion. And, we don't need to bloat the FAC for routine commentary (which is what FAC should be, not Peer Review, but we've moved away from that apparently to where lengthy commentary is the norm).

So, to make this work, although it will expand instructions, I suggest we need to specify a lot of that: it's a fourth level heading, it should used mainly for lengthy commentary but isn't required, and that the sub-heading should be restricted to the most neutral, involving only the editor name. Something like:

Proposed text:

  • Sub-sections of the FAC by reviewer are not required; emboldened sub-headings with semi-colons are discouraged for accessibility. For ease of editing, a reviewer who enters lengthy commentary may want to create a neutral fourth-level sub-section, named either ==== Review by EditorX ==== or ==== Comments by EditorX ====

We'd not want to start a trend of ==== Oppose by EditorX ==== or ==== Support by EditorX ==== because those can change, which would invalidate links to the sub-headings or require striking of sub-heads ... not good. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:35, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

That looks very good. People may work it better if you begin with what people should do and follow that with the don'ts, like this:
  • For ease of editing, a reviewer who enters lengthy commentary may want to create a neutral fourth-level sub-section, named either ==== Review by EditorX ==== or ==== Comments by EditorX ====. Please do not create subsections for short statements of support or opposition. Please do not use emboldened sub-headings with semi-colons, as these create problems of accessibility.
or suchlike. --Stfg (talk) 17:09, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Better, I will move it down so it's more noticeable. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:40, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Just allowing for fourth-level headers doesn't address what I think is the primary issue for us reviewers. If we can't add bolded headings in front of our commentary, how are we supposed to support or oppose an article? Put our opinion in italics and hope the delegates happen to notice it in the wall of text that is FAC? Changes in the preferred method of reviewing need to be thought through carefully, for the sake of all involved. I don't want to see articles staying at FAC longer than they need to because the closers can't find supports/opposes. Giants2008 (Talk) 03:45, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

@ Giants, Big Misunderstanding !! We can bold by the usual method (how does one explain three quote marks in wiki markup) when entering a support or oppose declaration or even a section heading; it's subheadings that we shouldn't embolden with semi-colons. It's the difference between these two (look at them in edit mode):

Comments by Sandy Georgia
(can't do that, bolded with semi-colon)

Comments by Sandy Georgia : Please review ...

(we could do that, bolded with three quote marks, or put it into a fourth-level sub-head if comments are very long)
  • Oppose because ...
(can always do that ... bolded with three quote marks).

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:33, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

New proposed text, per Stfg and SG above:

  • For ease of editing, a reviewer who enters lengthy commentary may want to create a neutral fourth-level sub-section, named either ==== Review by EditorX ==== or ==== Comments by EditorX ====. Please do not create subsections for short statements of support or opposition. Please do not use emboldened sub-headings with semi-colons, as these create problems of accessibility.

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:40, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

The second method HJ questioned above was the standard bolded Comments without semi-colon, which is what most of us have traditionally used. I take it that Graham didn't mean that this is what causes him problems? If not, sorry for the misunderstanding. Giants2008 (Talk) 18:47, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
There is some wording at WP:ACCESS which makes it appear that the problem is only with semi-colons, but perhaps I've lost the plot ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:43, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't think you've lost it, Sandy. Torchiest made the point about the semicolon method; you pinged Graham about that point; Graham replied on that point. Seems clear to me. However, for want of doubt, if you like we could do this:
  • For ease of editing, a reviewer who enters lengthy commentary may want to create a neutral fourth-level sub-section, named either ==== Review by EditorX ==== or ==== Comments by EditorX ====. Please do not create subsections for short statements of support or opposition—for these a simple *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', followed by your statement of opinion, is sufficient. Please do not use emboldened sub-headings with semi-colons, as these create problems of accessibility.
Not sure it's necessary, but it's a possibility. --Stfg (talk) 23:15, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Is anyone (a delegate?) making this change at WIAFA, or should I? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:55, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
I'd change "problems of accessibility" to "accessibility problems", but it otherwise sounds good to me, for what it's worth. Only heading markup should be used to create headings; both bold text and semicolons should not be used. There are no issues whatsoever with Bolded text in relatively short comments like "Oppose because of X, Y, and Z". How about heading titles like "Arbitrary section break", as used elsewhere in Wikipedia? Graham87 16:31, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

I had another thought on this. What if there was a top section called supports and opposes or something similar to allow editors to keep their brief statements separate from other editors' more involved comments? Otherwise, a support could be mixed up with someone else's long section. —Torchiest talkedits 16:33, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

April Fools TFA

Slightly earlier than perhaps is usual, a discussion has started at WP:TFAR about what article to run on 1st April 2013. The thread is on the talk page at this location. Please do not leave comments or suggestions here, otherwise the discussion will be split between multiple venues which is not a good idea. BencherliteTalk 15:37, 14 January 2013 (UTC)


Is anyone more statistically-based than me planning to do anything so we can see how the process performed in 2012, especially in comparison with previous years?--Wehwalt (talk) 12:21, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

I, too, would like to see the stats. Who usually does them? Firsfron of Ronchester 21:55, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
The Signpost published an article on the performance of all featured content processes last year. It says that 375 articles passed FAC, which is 20 more than in 2011. Giants2008 (Talk) 01:18, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Awesome, so people do read those things... Although December saw a pretty drastic drop. January's been pretty slow so far too. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 15:27, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

WT:Requests_for_comment/Article_feedback#PR, FAC and GAN

Just a pointer. - Dank (push to talk) 19:10, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Why 2 weeks?

Why must nominators wait two weeks to renominate a nomination that was not promoted and archived? A nominator who is serious about bringing an article to FA will address and work through comments of opposition and have the article prepared for a renomination in probably less than a week. Why make these editors wait an additional week? Even more so if comments were addressed but commenters did not return to see if the nominator has satisfied their comments. It makes the nominators wait two weeks without knowing what they need to work on. We can try messaging some of the reviewers who failed to return in a decent amount but they may just ignore our request. Instead of making us wait two weeks, how about just one week? --JDC808 09:25, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

This is to cut down on the backlog and ensure that all nominators get a fair chance here. If your review was archived due to inactivity (not due to outstanding opposes) you can sometimes ask the delegates for an exception. --Rschen7754 09:35, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Also, in the past, we'd have the situation where an editor would nominate Article A for review. Reviewers would oppose that article with reasons 1, 2, and 3. The review would be closed, and immediately thereafter, the editor would nominate Article B for review. It would be opposed for reasons, 2, 3 and 4. Once closed, Article C would be nominated immediately thereafter with issues 1, 3, and 4 (maybe reason 2 as well). The cycle had to be broken to encourage editors to fix repeated issues with their nominations before coming back, either with the same, or a different, article. Imzadi 1979  20:12, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
An excellent synopsis of the salient discussion that gave rise to the rule. Graham Colm (talk) 22:46, 21 January 2013 (UTC)


Hello, must an article be a good article before passing here? Regards.--Tomcat (7) 17:00, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

It is not required, but it is suggested to have some sort of peer review from an uninvolved party. ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 17:09, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
This is correct, there's no such requirement, but as an editor and a delegate I'd strongly recommend taking articles through GA and Peer Review (A-Class Review if applicable) first. Not only does this help iron out basic issues, it expands the pool of potential reviewers for your article, all of which can improve your chances at FAC. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 05:53, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure this is referring to my oppose on Tomcat7's FAC. The article in question failed GA 4 times over the last 6 months, and the nominator has a record at WT:GAN of renominating GAs again and again, sometimes with no changes to the article in between. Wikipedia talk:Good article nominations/Archive 18#Rebound nomination and User talk:Tomcat7/2013/January#GA noms provide more details. It's clear that this particular nomination is an attempt to overrule the GA process. --Rschen7754 06:24, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
You still don't understand. I made all the changes that hindered its promotion from the GANs, and from the latest helpful peer review. Now explain why you are still opposing? Regards.--Tomcat (7) 11:40, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Rschen is forcing me to stop nominating the article at all, which is easily wikhounding and pointy.--Tomcat (7) 11:49, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Rschen, if you don't think the article meets FA criteria, just say so and move on. There's no point in speculating about the nominator's motives. --Laser brain (talk) 17:32, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
If the issue has been discussed at WT:GAN, I don't see why it can't be discussed here. --Rschen7754 21:07, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I haven't looked closely yet at the most recent batch of changes, but will try to get to them tonight and will then weigh in on the nom page. Certainly if it failed GA four times, then there's good reason to be concerned, but the best thing is to go ahead and and post a review with actionable items, or a firm oppose based on actionable items. That said, I see that there have been problems with previous nominations, i.e, the two Otis Redding noms: [5], [6]. Truthkeeper (talk) 22:04, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
My feeling is that the rules work ok for most people, and only fall down when the complainant is given to victimisation and self pity. Rschen has a point. Ceoil (talk) 00:17, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
The criteria do not require that an article nominated through FAC be a GA already. However, as a practical matter, if an article can be shown to not meet the less-stringent criteria necessary to be listed as a GA, then that article can not meet the criteria to be a FA. Repeated failed attempts for promotion through GAN without the necessary upgrades to meet the stricter criteria expected of a FA means that an FAC is also doomed to failure. Imzadi 1979  20:16, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Yep, to summarise, an allegation of subverting the GA process is not an actionale objection at FAC; underpreparation, judged on the merits of the article versus the criteria, is. Now, Tomcat, having stepped through the list of open and recently closed reviews after a short break, I see you listed the nomination in question just a few days after another FAC of yours was archived. In this case, FAC instructions are clear that you may not nominate any article for two weeks unless a delegate gives you leave to do so -- did you seek and receive leave from one of the other delegates? Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 02:41, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm finding the comments in this thread quite disturbing. If inappropriate nominator behavior cannot be addressed on the FAC (as you recently brought up at my last passing FAC), then where can it be addressed? Furthermore, nothing has been done to resolve the inappropriate nomination timing - if Tomcat7 can do this, then why can't I should I have a FAC fail? --Rschen7754 08:21, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Poor Folk was closed unfairly. Only a few hours since my last responses, it was unfairly closed by User:GrahamColm. I have the right to nominate another article if I feel it meets the criteria. Regards.--Tomcat (7) 10:55, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

It had been open for a month and hadn't recieved a single 'support' vote/comment, so the closure was entirely fair and routine. I appreciate that it's disappointing when FA nominations aren't successful (especially when they attract few comments), but Graham wasn't at fault here. Nick-D (talk) 11:00, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Nothing was fair. It recently received comments, then was suddenly closed. Brian wanted to revisit it. Nikki perhaps too. One reason why there are so less reviewers here. Regards.--Tomcat (7) 11:04, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
And yes, there is clearly a reason why I am nominating that article so early. --Tomcat (7) 11:06, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Well, yes, if you wait two weeks or ask a delegate for leeway (which you didn't do), and Graham explained to you above why the Poor Folk FAC was closed (it was far from "unfair"; it's common procedure and has happened to a lot of us). We all follow the same rules here. So, while I realize that you are frustrated, is there a serious need to be dick about all this? You are coming across as extremely abrasive, and that's not helpful to you, me, or anyone else here. Just my two cents; take it where you will. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 11:11, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
The real dicks were the people who ruined it by writing unproductive off-topic comments. --Tomcat (7) 11:19, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Annnnd that wasn't anywhere near the reply I was hoping for. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 11:25, 25 January 2013
  • The thread seems to have lost whatever fruitfulness it may have possessed, and devolved instead into bickering. Suggest the thread be ignored; the bickering individuals are of course valued, but this line of discussion is not. The answer to the question is: ignore history, and examine the nom on its current merits. Pass or fail it accordingly. • ServiceableVillain 11:28, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
A very sensible suggestion. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 11:31, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
  • The problem is this: here Tomcat declares that "all issues were resolved". That's not really the case. I can't speak for the reviewers of the four GANs but this is now the third time I've reviewed the page and still I'm making wall of text comments like this, which wouldn't be necessary if all issues were resolved. This page has received a lot of time from the community either in the form of reviewing or copy-editing, reviewers are in short supply, and so at what point does one just walk away and give time elsewhere? The article has improved, but problems still exist. Truthkeeper (talk) 13:55, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Question about length

I noticed that some FAC are allowed to continue for two months while others are archived by one month. What are the factors? LittleJerry (talk) 19:30, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

There is no fixed rule, the delegates decide on the timing. In my experience, one month is long enough for consensus to emerge (or not), although there have been exceptions. I don't like to see nominations going over one month without good reason, such as a late substantive opposing review following a succession of supports. To attract and retain reviewers, it is important that the list is not overlong and does not generate an enormous backlog seen on other projects. Personally, I would like to see articles better prepared than some have been lately; FAC turning into Peer Review has always been a problem that we have had to control and this is one reason for some long-running candidates. Graham Colm (talk) 20:24, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not an FAC delegate, so I couldn't speak for them, but I close quite a few internal A-class reviews within the MilHist project. The test I always use is whether something useful can come of the review if it stays open. If the criticisms aren't fundamental issues and the nominator is making a genuine effort to address them, I'd be inclined to give the nominator a little wiggle room. On the other hand, if the review isn't progressing towards a positive conclusion, I'd close it for everybody's sake, and the nominator can decide what they want to do with the article, and re-nominate it in due course if they've addressed reviewers' concerns. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:08, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Featured article statistics

Hi. People here may be interested in the newly updated User:The ed17/Featured articles by prose size and User:The ed17/Featured articles by wiki text, which I made using User:Dr pda's very helpful script. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:28, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for this. Another quick way of thinking about the prose size list is that (on the rounded figures) of 3794 in total, only 47 are over 70k and 195 under 10k. Johnbod (talk) 13:43, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, interesting. Given discussion elsewhere, another interesting stat might be prose of the lead as a fraction of total prose size and see what sort of bell curve that makes as a percentage. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:39, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Number of pages in journal article before considering noting specific pages

For big journal articles, I've (appropriately) been asked to note specific pages in the source article in the inline reference (which I have done like this). Has there been discussion on the lower limit of article size before doing this? I've generally been asked when I have had a big source of (say) 150 pages or more, but should be doing it for all articles? for all articles many pages? Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:43, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Wooo, don't like this. You've not given a specific page for where the actual points referenced are found, but given a range of 150 pages. Wrong way round, or am I missing something? Is 116 the actual page number? Giving the range of pages should only be needed to help locate the article, especially in some older sources, especially 19th century ones where the "volume & number" etc are rather unclear. I can't see how the length of the piece matters. Especially when it's on JSTOR. But if there is an established style for an article, it should be followed. Johnbod (talk) 21:50, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yes, the 116 in square brackets is the page number within the 150 page article. Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:04, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Unless the article is only a single page, page numbers should be provided for _every_ reference.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 22:03, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Like I've done here? Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:04, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
It's a bit simplistic to say that specific page #'s are required for all refs; many articles I use would be used to cite something like "In 2008, researchers discovered a spiffy chemical in the mushroom For examplus", and the entire multiple-page paper will be about the isolation and characterization of that chemical. I think common sense goes a long way in determining whether a specific page number should be provided (but of course, common sense isn't ubiquitous!). Sasata (talk) 22:15, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Oh, that's an interesting problem. I've never had it because I list all of the journal articles at the end of the article (eg South American dreadnought race#References). If you aren't going to do that (which is fine), your format is probably the way to go, as readers need the page range of the full article, and there aren't many other ways of giving the page range and the specific page without confusing everyone. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 05:04, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm not understanding this thread. Why is the size of the article relevant, in any context? You cite a page when the information is a specific point raised on a specific page (whether or not it's a direct quote). You don't cite that page only if: 1) The entire book or article supports that point (that is, it is the main point of the entire text, or a basic characteristic of the entire text), or 2) when there are no page numbers (as in many web sources). The size of the article... are we making up our own rules here...? • ServiceableVillain 06:38, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Citing a range of pages or an entire article is not appropriate, the citation should be to the exact page or pages (2-4 or so) where the cited material appears or is supported. GregJackP Boomer! 16:54, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Well, in an inline cite, that is correct. In the references section, you would want the page range of an article or book chapter... but I am fairly confident that you and I are on the same page on this matter (no pun intended, although it is a pretty obvious pun)...• ServiceableVillain
As Cas points out above, sometimes the whole article (or even book) will cover the point cited, though usually there is a summary at the start or end that may be referenced. I sometimes use "throughout" or "and throughout" though I half-expect some officious bot to mess with it later. Myself, I only give the article page range for old sources where the article was hard to find (usually online in a big volume). Johnbod (talk) 11:14, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Featured article process

At WT:TFA/R there is a discussion regarding the featured article process and its future. --Rschen7754 10:24, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

I considered providing this notification when I noticed the discussion at WT:TFAR following comments at user talk:Jimbo Wales... I thought it was a little strange that a proposal to remove Raul as FA Director was not still linked from here more than 36 hours after it had been started. EdChem (talk) 13:56, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Image placement: yes, Virginia, there is

  • Hello. Just noticed an article got the bronze star, then almost immediately (well, in the edit immediately following star placement) someone came along and moved an image that had been placed at the END of the section JUST BEFORE the relevant one, rather than at the beginning of the relevant section. Three cheers for that image-moving editor; soft "tut tut" and mildly disapproving facial expression in the general direction of the reviewers who missed the error.
  • Yes, Virginia, there IS a real and relevant guideline, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Accessibility. Specifically, see the Images section, guideline #5.
  • Moreover, it... just... makes... no sense... to put the image in the bottom of the preceding section. I don't know why this style is so common as to be nearly a norm. It is just.. butt-ugly. But ignore my views, if you will, and feel free to read MOS. • ServiceableVillain 06:53, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
I hate it too. FunkMonk (talk) 06:52, 14 February 2013 (UTC)


Gimmebot has not run since 31 January, and Gimmetoo has not been around since that date either. Not too sure of what, if anything, needs doing here. I've left a note on his talk page. I seem to remember a few years ago when Gimmebot was not running everything had to be done manually for a while, so perhaps that is an option if the bot is out of action for any length of time. Sarastro1 (talk) 11:22, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, it's easy to add the star manually to the article, and Rick Bot is working at Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by featured article nominations. The only thing left open is the FAC link on the promoted article's talkpage, which presumably could also be closed manually until the bot returns? Brianboulton (talk) 15:30, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't know the algorithm that the bot uses, but it might need to see those. Graham Colm (talk) 17:13, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
The last time (as far as I know) this happened, the discussion was here. In the thread, SandyGeorgia mentions instructions in her sandbox, but these no longer exist. Snooping around in the history, I think this was the last version before it was removed, but I'm not sure if that is still up-to-date. I think the trickiest part is to update the article history. Sarastro1 (talk) 17:58, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Manual is okay, but you guys and we at FLC really appreciate the automation of the closure of candidates by Gimmebot, if we can't solve this easily, we should look to repeating what Gimmebot does with an active bot. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:01, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree, does anyone have the skills to write a script? Graham Colm (talk) 18:44, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
As an experiment, and after a few false starts, I worked out how manually to close the FAC page for the recently promoted Kenneth Widmerpool, and to update the talkpage with article history, etc. I didn't save any of this, because it's beyond any formal authority I have, so things still look the same. It took me about 45 minutes, because I basically was fumbling in the dark, but I reckon in future I, or anyone else, could do it in about 10–15 minutes. This might be a recourse if we're a long time waiting for a new bot. Brianboulton (talk) 22:44, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
If the bot remains down, perhaps a few of us could work through some of the recently promoted and archived FACs, if the delegates are OK with it. A further question is how long we wait before doing something. It's 11 days since the bot ran, and a new bot, if it came to that, would (presumably) take a long time. A potential "problem" at the moment is that the talk pages of the affected articles, as well as article alert pages for various projects, are showing closed FACs as open. And it looks a little untidy. Sarastro1 (talk) 23:35, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

I used to manually close FACs whenever there was a hiccup with Gimmebot. If we don't hear from Gimme by tonight, I'll take a pass through and close out those needing it. Maralia (talk) 16:08, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm sure we'll all be grateful if you do this. The last one closed by the bot was Journey (2012 video game) on 30 January. Since then there have been nine promotions, up to Kenneth Widmerpool on 10 February. A full list of recent promotions is here. Brianboulton (talk) 17:39, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • This same situation happened at FLC, where we have started doing manually what the bot was entitled to do. Anyone here knows what happened? Has Gimmetrow left? — ΛΧΣ21 02:41, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
I've closed FACs for the articles that have been promoted; will tackle the archived ones tomorrow. Maralia (talk) 04:24, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I have manually closed the archived FACs as well. Will try to keep an eye on things while the bot is inactive. Maralia (talk) 19:48, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Tks for that, Maralia. Before I do so myself, has anyone here tried emailing Gimme? Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:38, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Hopefully Gimmebot comes back eventually, but in the mean time I'm coding User:VoxelBot to do this by request of User:Hahc21. Vacation9 21:37, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Featured article candidates/archive58".