Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive60

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Why I am withdrawing from Featured process

After Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Casimir Pulaski/archive1, I have decided to stop submitting articles for FAC. This short entry makes it clear that the quality of an article is now secondary to bureaucratic rules about not the content, but editors. The FAC process is too bureaucratized, subject to an unfriendly process where the content creators have to jump hoops through permissions, requests, and such, wasting time by "asking for exceptions", and being told that we have to justify why we want to submit articles here, simply for the privilege to have an article listed in the FAC queue. As someone who has been active at FA-pages since 2005, through not much in the past few years, I find the current situation deeply disappointing. It looks to me like this process has evolved way past being friendly to the creators - if it is now friendly towards anyone, it is the delegates, and perhaps (through I am not sure about that), reviewers. As such, from the content creator perspective, being denied the right to submit an article here due to pointless bureaucratic rationale, after putting dozens of hours into it and not being given the tiny courtesy of having anything explained to me on my talk page (or even echoed), I refuse to play the bureaucratic game of bow-to-the-delegate-for-they-have-the-power, and beg them for an exception and permission to do what I feel should be the right of every experienced content creator (i.e. submit an article for a review) - instead I am withdrawing. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:29, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Piotrus, all you had to do was ask - I am sure the delegates would have listened/understood beforehand. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 04:38, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps, but I already explained myself twice (at the linked page and at one of delegates' talk), and I think that should've been enough. The fact that it isn't, and we - the content creators - are required to file more formal requests, because regular conversation isn't enough, and the principle of working together to improve the encyclopedia takes second seat to bureaucratic formality, is what makes me annoyed. Perhaps I am just old school, but my perception of the comments from delegate is that instead of friendly Wikipedian "can do" of the past, I am getting bureaucratized "please file the request to jump through this hoop, in triplicate" response. The sad thing is, that AGF or not, I am sure the delegates are good editors, who in their mind are doing the right things - enforcing the rules of the process. This, IMHO, is inferior to what I'd expect to see them do a few years ago, which would be to simply help me - but today the system takes precedence to doing the right thing, and even good editors succumb to the bureaucratic mentality of "file paperwork/follow the rules". The point where submitting a FAC entry became contingent on rules about who may do so (i.e., the quality of my article is not an issue, but the fact that another of my requests was recently closed, despite the fact that it was going on for 2+ months, is sufficient to disqualify me from submitting another request), and exceptions require filling in formal requests, which still may get rejected because of a bureaucrats mood, is when I feel the process has no room for me. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:36, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
I have been contributing FACs since February 2008 and so am reasonably "old school". I have to say I don't recognise the above depiction of the process as some kind of bureaucratic nightmare. The rules are more or less as they always were; indeed, I remember early on being rebuked by Sandy for a premature nomination while an earlier one was going through the process. If there has been any tightening of the rules, I don't think this is down to the current delegates, who have been in post for 18 months. To accuse them of being in some kind of power game is rather offensive; they do good work on behalf of the project for little thanks and no reward. Perhaps when you are a little less cross you will realise this. Brianboulton (talk) 07:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Sandy's "rebuke" (glad that Brian keeps up the good work!) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:40, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
A large factor is fairness for all nominators; it's not fair to have some nominators to be taking a majority of the reviewer poll while others wait many weeks for their FACs to pass. --Rschen7754 07:23, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
What has that to do with the issue under discussion? Brianboulton (talk) 08:22, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
It is one of the reasons why those with failed nominations must wait 2 weeks before renominating. --Rschen7754 08:31, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
That metrics presumes there was any significant reviewer activity on a given nomination. Otherwise it seems just like a punishment for failing - adding insult to the injury. And why does it apply to failed nominations only? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:06, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
I just want to say that I nominated an article prematurely once, and Sandy not only gave no rebuke, but promptly issued a fiat, and told the first person who queried it that they were out of line. (Miss her.) I can't imagine why that did not happen in this case. Hawkeye7 (talk) 08:47, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Agreed with Brian. - Dank (push to talk) 12:07, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
"Promptly" because I read the entire page several times a day :) (Glad that Hawkeye also keeps up the good work!) Piotr ... sounds like sour grapes ... this process has most decidedly gotten easier, which is why I no longer review. It is disheartening to see the prose that is passing. Not to blame delegates ... that is the reviewer job. And not to blame the reviewers either, because Piotr's FACs have always been difficult, and that is probably why they don't attract reviewers ... the best solution is to bring well-prepared articles to FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:08, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Piotr, you have a history of nominating under-developed articles for FA status, contributing few (if any) reviews and then complaining about why your nominations haven't attracted reviews or passed. The coordinators' actions here seem entirely sensible, and in keeping with the standard arrangements which apply to all editors. From what I've seen, the coordinators are happy to bend the rules or grant exceptions when there's a clear case for doing so and/or when editors seek permission for this, so it's not reasonable to attack them when what's happened here is entirely your own fault. Your insinuations that the coordinators are somehow not "content creators" or supportive of such editors is beneath contempt. Nick-D (talk) 22:48, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

It's disappointing but not entirely surprising to see that my complaint attracted, in addition to some constructive criticism, also the specters of straw man and personal attacks. I am not complaining here about my TK FAC (which I haven't event mentioned here so far) not passing; it is reasonable it failed when it did, and I have no criticism of the delegates action in this case. What I am complaining about is 1) the rule that prevents editors from nominating a new article after a previous nomination was closed, as I am not convinced that the argument about saving reviewers times hold merit 2) the way it is enforced, which I see as unfriendly and bureaucratized. With regard to 1), I could understand a limitation on editors who would spam FAC with numerous poor quality articles; seeing as this I submitted 2 FACs this year, separated by over two months, I don't believe I am overtaxing the FAC community with my requests; thus the rejection of my request cannot be justified on the spirit of the letter grounds, but only on the letter of it. Which leads me to my primary complain 2): I am disappointed that the delegates (or anyone else, for that matter), instead of offering help with the bureaucratic procedures related to my renomination, chose to fail it on technical reasons. Even through I indicated I would like to nominate a new article, saying so on a delegate's talk page, I was not notified of any response to my request, and once I have carried out my second nomination, it was quickfailed, an I was told I haven't properly asked for the permission to do so - i.e. I haven't filled the correct bureaucratic form in the correct bureaucratic language. This suggests to me that the enforcing the rules is more important than collaborating with others to improve the articles, and this is why I am disappointed with the current state of the FAC. My criticism of the process, and the delegates, is not because they failed to follow the rules - they did act according to them. My criticism is that the people involved in the process have lost the sight of the spirit of the rules, focusing on their letter. Repeating that the delegates did nothing wrong because they followed the rules is simply proving my point, and changing the topic by attacking my person is not making anyone's argument look better. Rather than bureaucratic covering of behind with the mantra "we acted according to letter of the rules", I have a hope that some people will reexamine their actions and attitudes and think how they should have acted "according to the spirit of the rules". --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:06, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry I hadn't responded directly to you before now, Piotr, but there's been a bit going on. First off and most important, I'd be very sorry to see you leave FAC. I think, however, that the instructions have long had the general (even if tacit) support of the FAC community, so the delegates are not enforcing them simply for their own benefit. I won't say that I disagree strongly with any of them, either; if I did, I wouldn't have been able to accept this role when it was offered to me. I think you've had a few responses above from disinterested parties pointing out that this is not such a rigid bureaucracy and that exceptions to the rules are granted when they seem justified. I'm also puzzled by the suggestion that you had no assistance regarding the process, given my response to your query on my talk page prior to the problematic nomination that set this off. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 08:09, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Ian Rose, the reason you are puzzled is because in your response you did not WP:ECHO me, nor did you leave a message on my talk page. How am I suppose to know you replied to me in a timely manner if you don't notify me? Yes, I know it is a common failing on Wikipedia (people don't reply on others talk pages), so may I kindly ask you to consider echoing people in the future? Regarding the tacit approval of the community, you are certainly right, but this doesn't invalidate my point: sadly, our community in the recent years is giving tacit approval to self-destructive over-bureaucratization; this has been confirmed by numerous WP:ACST studies. And I am guilty of this as much as most others... I just chose to complain about this here for a change. Cheers, --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 07:32, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Piotr, you're not making a lot of sense here, which is unusual for you, so my guess is you're angry (we don't say things like this often enough ... and we also don't say: that's fine, it happens to everyone). I think you know to watch user talk pages where you've left a question. Ian was the opposite of "bureaucratic" here; he is following the long-standing preference of the FAC community on the two-week question, and he took the time to respond thoughtfully and politely to your complaint. - Dank (push to talk) 12:53, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree that I am a bit too hard on this; a combination of a number of things that I find annoying probably pushed me a bit too far. Anyway, I wanted to draw attention to a few issues here, which I think I succeeded :> --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:35, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, all,

I share Piotrus's frustration with the bureaucratization of the assessment process. There is no BE BOLD in the process; it is strictly "be timid". If a contributor decides to BE BOLD in response to a peculiar situation, s/he is condemning that article to be B Class or lower forever. Any variance from the assessment check list and its encrusted standards guarantees it.

Worst of all, the assessment process never takes notice of the most important aspect of hypertext—its links. So long as there are links that work, everything is fine for assessment. Never mind whether the links lead to consequential material that supplements the article being assessed, or not. And it matters not whether links are few or overabundant. The important things to assess in the present system are strict adherence to an academic mold copied from off-line research papers; there seems to be no adaptation to hypertext.

Georgejdorner (talk) 17:19, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

I have to disagree with your view on the importance of correct linking and its place in the assessment process. Those things are important, and in the past they absolutely were checked before promotion: if reviewers didn't check, it often fell to me to do it myself, and then to come here to talk to remind reviewers that they weren't checking for x, y or z. If linking is no longer being checked, again, not a problem with the process and its instructions per se, but a problem with a lack of reviewers, a backlogged page, leading to articles being promoted without basic checks for important matters. We have not only WP:RED, WP:MOSLINK and WP:OVERLINK (all part of the criteria for an FA); we also have a point in the FA crit. that requires articles to be comprehensive. If anything in an article is not comprehensive (in the sense that the reader is obliged to click on a link to understand the text, and worse, then finds the link deficient), those FACs should not be passing. If you believe that linking is not being checked, Georgejdorner, the best thing you can do is ... start doing those checks (and what you did here, which is to remind other reviewers they are not checking articles for basics). But ... at this juncture, I am more concerned about the extremely deficient prose and sourcing that is passing. While linking is and should be important in a functioning FA process, there are many important matters. By all means, please start reviewing linking, dabs, and all such matters. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:46, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
FTR, I still check for dablinks and duplinks immediately before promoting any FAC, and have thereby introduced several nominators to Ucucha's duplicate link checker (as well as his Harv errors checker). At one stage we discussed putting those into the FAC toolbox that appears in the top right-hand corner of each nom (home of the dablink checker, etc) but it seems to be a black box. If someone can do it, I'd be happy to see it happen. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 21:45, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

(Sigh.) Once again, the standard incomprehension and lack of attention to my point.

Yes, the links are checked for duplication, etc. If they pass those checks, they are just fine, so far as assessors are concerned. The target page(s) may be only tangentially relevant (or even completely irrelevant) to the subject article; the link may be there for trivial purposes; important links may be non-existent; the article may lack links, or be overlinked. Nevertheless, the article passes assessment and is promoted.

Is a Featured Article full of misbegotten, trivial, and nonsensical links the best we can do? Shouldn't we be considering a better way of assesssing links? Or do we want to continue to ignore the major advantage hypertext has over paper, the hypertext link? Is slapping academic paper into hyperspace, as we are doing, any real improvement over a printed encylopedia?

Okay, this is the point at which I will be reproved by all because everything is already hunky-dory and bureaucratized. That's the "be timid" approach, and it has unfortunately come to characterize WP.

I will now bow my head to the incoming brickbats.

Georgejdorner (talk) 23:15, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Not at all George, I know the quality of the links was your main point, I only had time before to respond to the last bit that Sandy mentioned. It's a valid point. Editors should certainly take care when linking that the targets are really relevant and I think that should be covered in WP:Overlink. The main issue I find when reviewing articles is linking big topics that can't really add much to the subject at hand, e.g. countries -- I generally advise people to link obsolete political entities like Empire of Japan or Soviet Union, but not modern ones. Another common one in the MilHist field is World War I or World War II, which are vast topics and well known. I find that questions on the appropriateness of particular links do come up at FAC, so there are other reviewers who take them into consideration. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:59, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
no brickbats ... since you seem qualified to do the task, and you seem to be indicating that it's no longer being done, I say ... go for it! You can do it, so why not? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:54, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, again,

So there are basically three possible situations regarding link checks:

1. A conscientious reviewer like Ian runs down every link and verifies it. This is an excellent outcome, obviously, as the article is promoted with usable and relevant links that will further inform the reader.

2. A reviewer runs a spot check for dablinks and duplinks and says the links are okay; their relevance, etc. never comes into question. Some of the articles being promoted will inevitably have poor linkage.

3. Link checks are forgotten, ignored, or bypassed, and the article is promoted. Again, some promoted articles will be promoted with poor linkage.

So, given that two out of three outcomes are faulty, the solution is to dump all link checks for reviews on George because he has already done a few and noticed problems. (At least, I think that is what Sandy is recommending in the garbled "cheerleading" message above.)

Now I know why you withheld the brickbats. You had a load of compost to dump on me instead, for having the audacity to question the immaculately perfect assessment process. However, I am being treated better than last time I questioned the assessment process. That time, I was assured that if I changed my writing style, the contradictions between WP:MOS and the assessment process would magically disappear.

Why do I even bother?

Georgejdorner (talk) 17:11, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Lack of reviewers

I must concur that it is completely opaque how to get someone to in fact look at the articles, and this is after reading all the linked process pages. Is the standard now so high that almost no-one will actually put in the effort to review articles either? - David Gerard (talk) 07:28, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

The above two comments (Rschen and Gerard) are pertinent, but they about a completely different issue, and ought to be in a different thread. Brianboulton (talk) 08:22, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Mine relates closely to Piotrus' problem: an article lingers for literally months unreviewed - David Gerard (talk) 11:27, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
They should not be lingering ... IMO, that is the problem. It is becoming increasingly common here for nominations to last months, and for nominees to demand promotion on three supports. Three supports do not a promotion make, and if a nomination has issues and hasn't gained consensus after several weeks, it should be closed and the nominees should be educated about how to help the declining reviewer problem. This talk page has stagnated just as the nomination page is stagnant, with nominations allowed to stay on the page for several months with no consensus, and no effort being made to educate reviewers on nominees on how to help improve the process. If Piotr's first nom had been removed sooner, his second nom could have gotten underway sooner ... no consensus FACs are clogging the page and slowing down the process. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:05, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

The more esoteric the article, the slower it will get reviewers. Also, I suspect that some articles that obviously need copyediting will deter would-be reviewers, or ones with large FAC pages. Both of these give strength to the habit of getting articles reviewed and buffed as rigorously as possible, and responding to comments as quickly as possible, to get the best experience at FAC. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 08:53, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Agree with Cas. Also, I should note that those who are more generous with their time in reviewing (tips hat at BB) tend to attract reviewers. That being said, I would have no objection to the coordinators suggesting to FAC participants with knowledge in the area that they review a specific article, as Sandy once did, and subsequently to the article's nominator that they consider reviewing one of the articles by the individual who has bailed them out, so to speak so long as there is no formal quid pro quo, that it is just a suggestion, and that the burden not fall heavily on a few. Despite the old adage about bread cast upon the waters, given that people have limited time and energy, it's nice to have a more immediate return than "after many days". Not that I insist on it. But it is nice.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:30, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
What Sandy once did was actively ping known topic experts with FA experience, asking, inquiring and begging them to come in and review FACs. Or ping quality reviewers who were missing in action. Or ping talk here, mentioning that there were such-and-so issues. We need some active leadership in here (which we don't have because some folks did away with the leader, meaning the folks who did that need to start doing the jobs that were once done if this place is to again become a vibrant and dynamic page where true quality is promoted). Bottom line ... anyone who reads this page every day, and who knows who the quality reviewers are in a certain content area, can ping those reviewers and ask them to please come have a look. If the community didn't want leadership here, the community needs to assume those (and gazillions of other) roles that were once done by the leader. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Concur with the need, obviously we do differ on the history a bit. But that will do to be going on with :) . Although the coordinators are doing a fine job, and have only recently, with the close of the RfC, been freed to consider recommending changes in practices to the community without the question of whether of what their status is.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:20, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
The delegates have always been "free to consider recommending changes in practices" ... I put forward suggestions to the community all the time. Long story short ... this talk page is stagnant. I do not wonder why. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:33, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. I think generally we are in agreement, which may startle the community but also may say more to it.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:44, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
That's a good start! The next step might be to make this talk page a "safer" place for delegates to propose changes as they see fit (without the fiats that we have occasionally seen). It strikes me that the current environment here (meaning, where there is not the historical levels of support that Karanacs, Laserbrain, Ucucha and I enjoyed, and a good deal of hostility instead) is not conducive to promoting leadership, change, proposals, anything that might rock the boat, so stagnation persists. The delegates cannot lead unless the community supports them in doing their job; the FA process has always depended on the support of those for whom the delegates work tirelessly and thanklessly. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:51, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Good show; if you two can agree, anything is possible -- perhaps we've turned a corner...! Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 02:26, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

And then there's the demise of the Dispatches, which was another thing the "leader" did and that sumbuddy needs to start doing again: Fewer reviewers in 2009. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:26, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

oops, bad words against the "leader"... bad post warning.... The Rambling Man (talk) 17:49, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
To be fair, Ed invited Graham and I to contribute a dispatch of sorts to The Signpost some time ago and we didn't get round to it before the last RFC came up. Now that the dust has hopefully settled, we might return to that. Also I think we might manage an 'EOY roundup'.
Back to the point of this thread, as far as delegates/coordinators going round inviting experienced reviewers to check certain noms, I've done this occasionally but I tend to find the experienced (and still-active) reviewers are generally keeping an eye on FAC list anyway, and I've been somewhat loathe to burden them further (as far as the inactive ones go, well I'd love to see you back reviewing, Sandy, just to name one!). More frequently I'm asking for the basic image and source checks, and also the vital (for new nominators or those who haven't had one for a while) spotchecks for accurate use of sources and avoidance of close paraphrasing. Nominators shouldn't feel discouraged from making neutrally worded requests to individual editors for reviews, or leaving such requests at relevant project talk pages. Beyond that, my advice has always been, and I say this as a regular FA editor/reviewer myself, not just as a delegate/coordinator, to get as many reviews -- GA, Peer, A-Class if applicable -- as you can before nominating for FAC (my preference in fact would be that every FAC nom be required to have previously undergone a successful GAN plus one other review, either Peer or A-Class if applicable, but that might become a separate proposal). This should not only help polish the article ahead of time, it should hopefully give you a reservoir of reviewers that you can legitimately request to take a look at the FAC nomination. Finally, the more diligently you review others' articles, the more likely you are to acquire a 'rep' of sorts that can draw more people to your nomination pages. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:39, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree that GA status should be required, but I guess the main argument against is the extra workload. Experienced nominators can write FAs from scratch (not including me), and don't really need the GA review, so in such cases it would be a waste of reviewer resources (the GA process has essentially the same problem as here, too few experienced reviewers, humongous backlog). FunkMonk (talk) 23:24, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
The GAN backlog is months long itself. You're basically asking someone to spend up to half a year waiting for reviews to get to FA. I don't think that is feasible as there are several writers who can write a FA without requiring that step. I would make GA a recommendation though, as it is effectively a peer review. Resolute 23:46, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Granted, but many of those experienced writers (myself for one) use GAN as another way of helping to polish an article. My main beef with it is that it can be a hit-and-miss affair, since you're reliant on the one reviewer being diligent. At PR or ACR you're going to get an ad-hoc panel, which gives you a greater chance of useful comments. I note also that some of our most experienced FA writers put their article up for PR before visiting FAC (I don't use PR myself because I think ACR obviates that, but of course not all articles will belong to projects that have A-Class Review systems). Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:52, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
I was in the habit of putting articles through PR and GAN before taking them to FAC, but the last several articles I've brought to PR were archived without attracting a single comment, so I gave up on taking articles there. At least with GAN, the article sits on the page until someone gets around to it.
Once in a blue moon, I've guilted myself into trying my hand at GA or FA reviewing, but I've been told by more than one fellow editor that I've done a shitty job, so I gave up on that, too. Thanklessness doesn't bother me in the least, but being insulted to my face (or behind my back) sure does.
My motivation to review is extremely low, while my motivation to submit FACs is still high. I don't have any solutions to offer. Curly Turkey (gobble) 01:55, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Just scroll down every so often and see if you find any topics interesting - all is helpful. Lay reviewers are essential to make articles as accessible as possible to readers unfamiliar with the material just as folks familiar with the content to comment on comprehensiveness etc. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 02:25, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
I personally think we should encourage the development of more ACRs, but that's just me. --Rschen7754 04:36, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Curly, I'm sure you'd be a good reviewer, judged on your experience as a nominator. I've also seen reviewers be scared away for good because they were criticised (by other reviewers) for too light reviews, etc. That is ridiculous, since we need reviewers, at least give them some suggestions instead and be gentle. What I've done for the most part so far is to only review articles within fields where I have at least a minimum of knowledge and interest, and that's usually enough to generate novel suggestions that are also usable. And I tend to choose articles where I actually want to know more about the subject, that can be a good motivation as well (and is my main drive when reviewing). FunkMonk (talk) 18:37, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. I've seen enough of your work Curly to trust that you would have be a clueful reviewer too. Resolute 15:35, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Few thoughts from me:

  • why am I not reviewing articles: because articles from my fields of interests (Poland, sociology) almost never make it to FAC (once or twice a year when they do I do leave comments here). This is not a failure of FAC; rather it is a function of the amount of active editors across Wikipedia being to tiny to produce content I would be interested in reviewing at this level;
  • why there are few reviewers, outside the mentioned fact that there are few editors in general: FAC standards are so high and so arcane, few editors have the skill and time to become proficient reviewers. I am supportive of the FAC requirements being high, and aiming even higher, but as the FAC standards keep rising and number of active editors keep dropping, the problems we see here are only going to escalate.

As a partial solution, I would encourage canvassing for FAC reviewers through posting on the talk pages of WikiProjects (many project members may not follow article alerts), and on talk pages of major contributors. Even this is unlikely to significantly improve the situation, which will not change unless we can reverse the trend in decrease in active editors across the entire project. If you want to improve the number of FAC reviewers, recruit more editors - it's as simple, and as difficult, as that. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:18, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Or... you know. Reviewing outside your comfort zone. Do I know top from bottom when it comes to, say, the Polish constitution? No. But I do know when I'm able to follow an article or not, and when something seems strikingly odd to me or not. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:52, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Reviewing outside your fields of interest can be very rewarding. I've learned volumes about Kentucky history from Acdixon's nominations, learned all about coins from Wehwalt's excellent coverage, and gotten into opera from Brian's articles. Those are just three examples but there are many more. I haven't been reviewing much lately, but I've found the most rewarding aspect of Wikipedia to be learning about new topics through reviewing Featured content nominations and helping those articles get through. I believe the best approach to Wikipedia is altruistic. --Laser brain (talk) 12:16, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Precisely. Sarastro's brilliant biographies almost have me speaking cricket... well, as much as a Canadian can. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 12:54, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

I brought here after three weeks unacknowledged on GA. Basically, pretty much nobody cares about GA and there are pretty much no reviewers. If you want to put it in as an extra hoop, this will certainly cut down the number of FACs ... - David Gerard (talk) 12:57, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

User:David Gerard, I strongly disagree with this. GA's may be backlogged, but there is still a good number of people who care about them, and do reviews. I do, in fact, strongly support the requirement that all FACs should be prior GACs. This would drastically weed out any quick-fail nominations, and would allow the removal of the annoying rule limiting successive nominations I complained about. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 07:28, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
My statement refers to GA nominations lingering unreviewed for literally six months or more. That was what led me to think, and to assert above, that nobody cares - or, more specifically, that functionally nobody cares, and that the present situation is indistinguishable from what it would look like if nobody cared.
If you submit something to GA, waiting literally months is the reasonable expectation. And that's functionally indistinguishable from a dead process.
(I admit I'm not helping by not reviewing articles, but I had a look at the oldest and by crikey they bored me. A reviewer checklist might have helped, though.) - David Gerard (talk) 07:46, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
My philosophy that my nominations are a net burden on the various review processes unless I review at least as many as I submit. I generally review stuff in my areas of interest, but I go outside them every once in a while. I reviewed a sports article a few years ago and was soundly abused for a crappy review; I haven't gone back to sports again nor have I reviewed anything by that editor since. Seems kinda self-defeating behavior to me, but some people's expectations are a bit skewed about the whole review process. Nobody's guaranteed a knowledgeable reviewer at GAN, you get whoever's interested enough to take the time and this seems to set some people off. I know very little about chemistry, but I'm currently reviewing History of Fluorine just cause. While I'm definitely ignorant about many, if not most, of the modern uses of fluorine and really couldn't tell if the nominator was doing a good job of covering them or not, but I have had a history of science class and know what to look for in that regard. Plus I can review the prose, point out MOS issues, problems with image licenses, etc. So I do feel that I'm adding value to an article, even if I'm not a subject-matter expert.
One point that I've been trying to emphasize to people in these sorts of discussions is that reviews by people who aren't specialists can be damn useful in identifying holes in logic and coverage that aren't noticed by specialists who think that "everybody knows that" or didn't realize that they didn't actually address the issue well enough to explain it to a layman. Forex, I just reviewed an article that discussed how one particular type of coin proved to be massively unpopular, enough so that it was it was withdrawn from circulation after only a couple of years. The editor explained that the unpopular coin was very often confused with a more common coin of higher value because of a similar design on one side, but forget to mention the more important fact that the two coins were also very similar in size. He knew that he meant to write that, but didn't notice that he actually hadn't done so. I'm not trying to pick on that editor as I've done that very same thing in some of my own articles. Damn embarrassing when it happens, too. Sometimes, when you're really familiar with your text, you don't see what's actually in front of you because you know what you meant to write. That's one reason why many people, myself included, have problems editing our own writing.
So I would encourage people to go out there and review something you're only half-way competent in. I don't review television articles, but I'm reviewing Breaking Bad because I just watched the whole thing. So I knew the show itself pretty well, but I didn't know what stuff GA-level television articles covered. So I went and read through a few GA articles on TV shows and that gave me a bunch of issues that needed to be addressed in what otherwise a pretty decent, albeit incomplete, article. Don't restrict yourselves to the oldest nominations; review whatever you find mildly intriguing or interesting. The oldest nominations are usually there for a reason, otherwise somebody would have reviewed them already.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 09:26, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

The actual number of processed FA-nominations hasn't really dropped that much during the last few years. Assuming the FA-logs are almost complete, the last huge drops have been from 2008 to 2009 (1,328 nominations down to 991 nominations) and from 2010 to 2011 (925 nominations down to 665). Since 2011 the numbers have been somewhat stable around 650 (total promotions and archived noms). The 2013 numbers aren't complete, but point towards a similar sum. So the assertion, that the current handling with some relatively long nominations is slowing down the FAC-process isn't actually reflected in the numbers. But i agree in general, we should always look for possibilities to motivate new nominators and reviewers, i.e. doing more "advertising" (i like the idea of a new Signpost article) and helping inexperienced contributors with constructive advice. GermanJoe (talk) 17:25, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Your analysis misses a number of points.

First, the historic changes in 2009 had specific reasons (big changes in the instructions and archiving processes), so comparing the drop that year with others results in apples and oranges. The drop from 2010 to 2011 was significant for reasons best left to the adage about knowing history and repeating it.

Second, looking at total number of nominations being processed does not tell the story of the process slowing down, and does not address the quality of those nominations. Total nominations may be the same, but the number of nominations passing (and quite often subpar) is considerably higher, while the length of time nominations are staying on the page is also higher, and I would wager that if one were to do the kind of analysis that Dr pda did in the 2009 dispatch, looking at the number of reviewers active on each FAC in 2013 compared to 2009, we would find a serious difference wrt the number of nominations now passing on scanty review.

If you want to update some stats, I suggest looking at WP:FAS and Wikipedia talk:Featured article statistics (one of those jobs that director and delegates used to do but that is no longer being done). (Specifically, Promote and archive stats, which hasn't been updated since 2011.) We have seen an increase in the number of promotions-- many of them based on only three supports and seriously deficient prose and sourcing-- and noms are staying on the page much longer than they did historically. A thorough analysis will bear out those facts. In 2008 and 2009, well prepared FACs routinely passed in five or six days, sometimes a week, after typically solid reviews. Only the rare and contentious FAC endured a month, and the FAC page size was maintained somewhere around 30 FACs at a time. Now we routinely see much longer FACs, and 60 FACs on the page at a time, with many sub-par FACs lingering on the page and eventually passing with a minimum of three supports (and the delegates frequently being badgered on talk to pass FACs with only three supports). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:52, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

As one of our most experienced reviewers you are of course always welcome to review some of those nominations and offer your advice to fix those deficiencies. GermanJoe (talk) 18:22, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Or, a volunteer can take care of these statistics. Now that the leadership question has been settled for the time being, perhaps we have leisure to produce annual statistics, so we are better able to make comparisons. There is nothing that says that this must be done by a director, or now, by coordinators. Since the results in our system are public information, easy enough for anyone to track. Indeed, it may be being done someplace for research purposes.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:49, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
As for the Dispatches a better course might be to resurrect it as a regular column in the Signpost and have participants write in turn. Some amount of administration would be needed, though, and that's an issue.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:52, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
To take your last point first, Sandy, if I felt "badgered" by nominators to promote a FAC after three supports, the community would have heard about it here long before now. Certainly some nominators point out to me occasionally that a FAC has reached three supports and has had image/source reviews and ask if there's anything else it needs, but I don't consider that badgering, and I've never promoted a FAC because of pressure from a nominator. Promoting on three supports is, for me, always a last resort, and if I feel any of those supports is not reasonably comprehensive, or from an experienced reviewer, it won't count. I think we have to acknowledge that, even though it's not written down anywhere that I'm aware of, the community has long considered three comprehensive supports as a threshold, and that threshold was apparent to me from the time I started submitting articles to FAC in 2008 -- it's not something new. Even so, outright supports and opposes are not all that's taken into account; any comment is expected to be at least acknowledged, and resolved as necessary. FACs indeed tend to remain open longer, and the queue is generally longer these days -- lack of reviewers plays a large part in that, including waiting for the requisite image/source reviews, and source spotchecks as applicable. The relative quality of articles being promoted is perhaps harder to assess. If FARs is an indicator, I think the figures there have been pretty steady for the last three years, but of course that could simply be a decline of interest in Featured Content processes over all. It might take more of our experienced editors and prose talents to weigh in and opine on whether there's been a general decline in the writing that's making it through. I don't think that there's any softening of attitude when it comes to sourcing, all new nominators go through spotchecks of sources, as do old hands who haven't had one in a while, and some reviewers now spotcheck as a matter of course, which has been good to see. Ultimately, yes, the delegate judges consensus, he/she is not the jury -- that's the reviewers' job. That doesn't stop me scanning every article before promotion, however, and pointing out any concerns I spot, prose or otherwise -- something I learnt from you when you were a delegate, Sandy... ;-) Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:40, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps write a checklist for reviewers? Basically listing what you would consider a sufficiently comprehensive review for your purposes. This might bring people in ... something they can apply to an article - David Gerard (talk) 23:34, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, in fact that was the gist of what I was alluding to at the top of this comment -- we'll pursue that. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:52, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
@David Gerard: As I mentioned at length in the section below, Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-04-07/Dispatches is old, but the gist is still the same. There are plenty of partial tasks that anyone can do!

Ian, of course I know you do all of those things, and that you don't feel badgered by the now constant assumption that three supports = promotion doesn't mean we shouldn't take the opportunity to point out that it does not, and continue to encourage talk discussion of issues such as those (this page has become stagnant). Other than that, I might be misreading your post, but it comes across as if you're happy with the quality of review and of what is passing of late ? Also, yes, we cannot judge anything by FAR, because it is completely stagnant, suffering under even a worse reviewer shortage than here, with nominations there lasting four to six months routinely, when deficient FAs were historically demoted in one month. My rough estimate (based on the work I saw Dweller and others doing, and the number of deficient FAs I have seen come up at TFAR, and the number of geography FAs that are now completely outdated) is that we now have 25 to 33% of FAs in need of serious review. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:53, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

I can't speak for others, but from my perspective, FAC articles are too obscure, hardly ever any more about encyclopedic topics. They used to be seven years ago when I arrived on Wikipedia. The perennial subjects of encyclopedias, things that I see around me, dog, cat, rabbit, squirrel, chipmunk, turkey (bird), woodchuck, oak, elm, maple, pine, pen, pencil, book, ... all have longish articles, which could be turned in FAs, but people don't want to work on them. If they did I likely would review them, at least every now and then. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 04:07, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

I was around FAC then and that's not how I recall it - but the generic articles have always had a lot less FAC interest than obscure topics. Summarising down to a few thousand words a topic that literally has its own encyclopedias is obviously going to be

much harder, and most people just won't attempt it - David Gerard (talk) 08:10, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Well, in the last year and a half I've brought Middle Ages, William the Conqueror, Battle of Hastings, and Norman conquest of England through FAC - I hardly count those as obscure. Of course, one reason I've gone back to more obscure topics is that all that work got me was more grief than I get from the obscure topics. Ealdgyth - Talk 12:54, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
The table of contents boxes in WP:Featured_article_candidates/Featured_log/October_2003_and_before, WP:Featured article candidates/Featured log/October 2004, WP:Featured article candidates/Featured log/April 2006 are narrow, their contents, on average, more encyclopedic. The usual explanation for the gradual widening of the boxes since those days (and narrowing of scope) is, "But the standards were so much lower then." There, perhaps, lies the answer to the question why there are so few core topics among FAs (and even so few reviewers). For encyclopedic articles, especially ones with broader scope, such as the ones on which Ealdgyth got more grief, the FA criteria should be more relaxed or the reward higher than an FA. After all, we are writing articles in our spare time, crafting works of avocation, not writing academic papers in peer-reviewed journals to earn a living. Encyclopedias, at least from the time of Diderot (which I might note is no longer a featured article), have generally included in their scope their etymological meaning: "circle of arts and sciences considered by the Greeks as essential to a liberal education" (and you may substitute "Planet Earthians" for "Greeks") By necessity, that circle will widen with time. But if it become perimeter-heavy (and center/core-light), it is no longer really an encyclopedia (a peripheropedia maybe). Fowler&fowler«Talk» 17:49, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't think you can judge the early FAs by the same standards as today. FFA is filled with major topics which were passed by the standards of the day, but eventually fell to FAR, possibly with help from the blurring in outline that often comes to unattended articles. The rise in reviewing standards has been steep. I've been submitting FAC candidates for six years, and it is very visible. I recall on one early nomination I was told that you can have one fair use image in an article, no problem, without showing the need. I went back and replaced it around 2009, I think. That is why I do not trouble myself about promotions on "only" three supports, a review today, if done competently, is worth two from back then. We are a lot more careful about a lot more stuff.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:36, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

When was the last time you thanked a reviewer, delegate/coordinator?

Well, here's your chance.

As mentioned in this old Dispatch, in 2009 "nominators only" were up to 250% !! That trend has probably continued, and references the net "takers" in this process, where those who don't give as much as they take end up taxing the system and causing a page backlog.

The notion that those who work here tirelessly, day in and day out-- both reviewers and delegates-- are somehow here for "power" is bogus. It's a lot of hard work, the reviewers often end up pulling deficient articles through, and the delegates read through pages and pages every day, are glorified beancounters, often end up doing the work themselves, and they are rarely thanked. THEY give YOU the bronze star.

That is not only at FAC-- Nikki and Dana at FAR also work to preserve stars, and Bencherlite at TFAR sometimes has to rewrite deficient leads that get through here, while trying to satisfy everyone who wants or doesn't want their article on the mainpage.

It would be wonderful to see in here some thanks and praise for those who attempt to keep the process running. How 'bout telling them everything you appreciate about them just once, with no negative! I'll start with one only ('cuz I can tend towards excess in this department):

  • @Brianboulton: Brian has been reviewing FACs (and more) for six years, in addition to writing numerous FAs. Thank you Brian for all the FAs that have been promoted because of your hard work. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:06, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • @Bencherlite: basically he's my hero. The Rambling Man (talk) 17:23, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • May I hitch a lift on this, please? Bold Sir Brian Boulton, and Bencherlite – and, may I say, Sandy G – are among the very pillars of Wikipedia, and we are exceptionally lucky to have them. I'd also nominate Crisco 1492 for tireless reviewing. And I'd thank Ian Rose if he didn't have me scurrying down to the British Library after breakfast to check FA sources (which in truth I gladly do.) Tim riley (talk) 19:57, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Recently I haven't done as much reviewing or nominating as I used to do, but I always try to remember to thank the reviewers, as I know what a thankless task that is. FAC delegates even more so. And I do recall working my butt off to help some articles through FAC without a word of thanks. No more. But the same applies to GAN, so this problem isn't unique to FAC. Eric Corbett 20:30, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
I try to thank all of my reviewers, but I don't believe I have ever thanked a delegate. So: thank you, to delegates past and present who have overseen this process and taken a lot of shit while doing so. People appreciate you, even if they don't always say it. --Coemgenus (talk) 20:39, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
This is very kind of you, but I think this is a bad idea and should stop now. Inevitably someone is going to be left out and will feel disengaged. Graham Colm (talk) 20:49, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm not certain what you're suggesting is a bad idea. Thanking people? Eric Corbett 21:01, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanking people is a good idea, but it's a bad idea to make a list here — and a numbered one to boot. Graham Colm (talk) 21:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I see. And I agree. Eric Corbett 21:22, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I rather agree (though I thank Tim Riley for the sentiment). I thank all the people that review articles I nominate, though (as with most people here) I don't seem to have thanked a delegate recently (and at that, thank you to all FAC, TFA, and FAR delegates). — Crisco 1492 (talk) 22:25, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I also thank Tim for the thought but agree with Graham about a list here. What I'd encourage all nominators to do is thank their reviewers as a matter of course for comments as they come up in the FAC nomination. There actually is quite a bit of this, and it's particularly pleasing to see some nominators, including first-timers, actually thank reviewers for an oppose! Really, there's no reason not to if the comments are constructive. An oppose can always be struck (many are) after some work, and they often turn into supports as well. As far as thanking delegates go, well I think I've had more bouquets than brickbats anyway, so I'm not complaining... ;-) Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:26, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I've removed the bulleted numbers, which I started ... dork. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:53, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Big hugs all round from me to all who delegate or review articles :) Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 02:23, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Positive reinforcement is good (and I practice what I preach). It may be a good idea for delegates to regularly issue thanks, or small awards, to active reviewers (like milhist does - they should be a model here), and for the said reviewers to thank the delegates in return.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:22, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

I make a habit of thanking my reviewers. But only after the review process is over. That's a problem when it comes to thanking the delegates: there is always an article on the queue. Hawkeye7 (talk) 11:22, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
I thank them when they review. I thanked Karanacs for a promotion some years ago and she gently told me that it wasn't expected. I do thank the reviewers and coordinators for all the hard work they do. The work is endless, and appreciated.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:39, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
  • My thanks go to @BanyanTree:, @Brianboulton:, @Nick-D:, @Lemurbaby:, @Chipmunkdavis:, @Cryptic C62:, @Victor12:, @Casliber:, @SandyGeorgia:, @Importemps:, @Diannaa:, @Ashleyleia:, and probably others I've failed to mention, for detailed critiques, peer reviews and copy edits of the FACs I've put through the wringer over the years. And thanks also to all the delegates, as well as the now absent FA Director for all their hard work.
    I would definitely like to "put more into the system" than I'm taking out of it, and sometimes I get as far as opening up an FAC and starting to review, but then I realise I don't really know what the benchmark is for whatever it is I'm reviewing, unlses it happens to be a country or an African biography. I guess the thing to do is to dig out all other FAs on a similar subject and compare against those, but this obviously makes the process more complicated. I'm not sure what the answer to this is, perhaps just to be more bold and dive in with comments even without proper benchmarking, on the assumption that my views won't be the only ones taken into account? If anyone has any advice on that I'd be grateful. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 13:28, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Hi, Amakuru! If you are unsure of your reviewing skills overall, there are (always) multiple partial jobs that need doing. Stats can be updated (see above on talk-- no one is doing that); you can read through FAC every day to make sure instructions are followed and all the pieces are in place for the delegates and do any pinging/tweaking/responding that might be needed.

    But my two bigger concerns lately are prose and sourcing (which are important!). If you don't feel confident to do a prose spotcheck for accuracy, copyvio, etc, just about anyone can run through the source list to discover the use of non-reliable sources like Youtube. @Ealdgyth: used to check all sources on every FAC, and that is no longer being done, and we do now have FAs passing which use non-reliable sources. If anyone is interested in making that their specialty, I know Ealdgyth still has a subpage somewhere that explains what she used to check. Tony1 (talk · contribs) used to do regular prose spotchecks, and it would be helpful if someone took that on even on a small scale (spotcheck), as we've had recent incidents of prose that wasn't fit for DYK; but received three supports; if someone with skills like Tony's does a minimal spotcheck, again, that is one less thing the delegates have to think about, and it doesn't require topic knowledge.

    For anyone who wants to take on a smaller commitment, it was mentioned above that linking needs to be checked (WP:OVERLINK, WP:MOSLINK, WP:RED). All of the issues in the Featured article toolbox on each FAC can also be checked by anyone. Making any small part of FA review into your specialty is what helps most, since the delegates can gain confidence in your work, and know that is one less thing they need to check. And for the ambitious, the same skills are needed at WP:FAR and can be transferred there (FAR is getting even less reviewer attention than here, and we now have a high percentage of old FAs that are no longer featured quality but are not being addressed) ... any reviewing skills you develop here can be put to use at FAR!

    Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-04-07/Dispatches is old, but still a good read, explaining that anyone can start anywhere. Best regards, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:41, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Of course reviewers deserve our thanks. But the idea that FAC submitters are net "takers" is ridiculous. Getting an article to that standard is one hell of a job. I've never done it (access to printed sources is too difficult from where I live), and I thank the people who regularly do. --Stfg (talk) 13:41, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't think the use of the term "takers" was meant to impugn the work of Featured Content authors. It just refers to the use of resources at FAC only. At the time of the dispatch, the percentage of editors who only nominated content and never reviewed content was rising. I don't know what the stats are now, but I've observed that the nominators who complain most frequently and loudly about not attracting reviewers are those who have never bothered to build up any capital by providing reviews for others. --Laser brain (talk) 14:07, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Ditto to all of that, but also, reviewing can turn you into a better FAC nominator and better FA writer, so honing those skills can actually expedite the difficult work of putting together an FA! I suspect, based on the lack of participation overall in FA processes, the "nominators only" percentage is now higher than it was in 2009, and a FAC with only half a dozen reviewers is becoming the norm. Not good, because our best FA is only as valuable as the worst one still on the books ... old, deteriorated FAs downgrade the value of the bronze star for all of us. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:46, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
  • @ Sandy or Ealdgyth: I think this might be Ealdgyth's subpage about non-reliable sources? I don't have much time to review lately due to work, but I can try to jump in every once in a while to check for unreliable sources (particularly web sources). I love that you've made a list of possible tasks for would-be reviewers; one thing I've always found daunting is what exactly I should be reviewing (everything or parts?) Your list makes this less scary. I can also look for harv errors; they're a pet-peeve of mine anyway, and I have a script that can help spot them. Ruby 2010/2013 04:00, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, all,

I make it a point to personally thank any reviewer who has done more than just check off the criteria for promotion. In practice, that means every reviewer above B Class, and a few of the latter.

I also make it a point to review a greater number of articles than I submit for review.

Now all I have to do is learn to never ever question the immutable perfected assessment process....

Georgejdorner (talk) 17:25, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Input needed on when to run next Core Contest

All input welcomed at Wikipedia_talk:The_Core_Contest#Next_contest.3F.....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 02:21, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Article history not updated

The FAC for John Sherman closed a week ago, but the article history hasn't updated. Some other articles have the same problem. Does anyone know what's going on? I left a note on the bot's talk page, bt get no answer. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:55, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

It has been apparent for a while that the bot has some kind of bug that makes it occasionally stall out on the step where it adds articlehistory. Unfortunately the bot operator has not been responsive in addressing this issue. I took care of articlehistory on John Sherman; if you know of any specific others that are improperly closed, please let me know. (I'm about to fix 21st Waffen which I just discovered half-done as well). Maralia (talk) 14:09, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll let you know if I come across any more. --Coemgenus (talk) 14:33, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

VoxelBot did not close

Voxelbot never updated the talk page at Talk:2012–13 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team. I think it would be wrong for me to perform the talk page portion of the FAC closure since I was the nominator. Can someone handle this.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 07:35, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

It also missed Talk:Michael Tippett, but Maralia said she would get to it.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 07:37, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Why on earth do you think it would be wrong? Articlehistory merely points to the already-extant record of a completed action. It is true that there are more steps to a full close (archiving the nomination page with the promoter's name and the date, and linking to the close; and adding the star) and for that reason only we discourage folks from messing with the talk page before the bot has been through, but in this case the article was promoted, it was listed at WP:FA, the bot has already been through, the article has the star, and I asked you to update the talk page. The bot does not perform some sacred rite; articlehistory is just paperwork. If I'm technically empowered to do it, and EVERYONE is technically empowered to do it, and I'm on record as having asked you to do it, there is no conceivable impropriety in your actually doing it. Maralia (talk) 08:50, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes you asked me to do it and I told you that I felt it was wrong for me to do my own nomination. Whether you agree that I should not want to do it or not, what is your problem with me asking that someone else do it if I am against doing it myself.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 14:48, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, yea, why not expect someone else to work for you? Isn't that what the FA process is all about in your view ? Do you still not understand how, why and when GimmeBot was chased out of here and has not yet been fully replaced ? Is Maralia supposed to do everything now? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:57, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
How on earth would there be something wrong with updating articlehistory on your own article? I can't imagine someone complaining about that. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:13, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
My problem is that you are quick to complain about bot issues (especially as they affect your "FOUR duties"), yet you have never to my knowledge completed a single stalled close you reported even when you were asked to help fix them—and now you claim some vague moral objection to fixing one even on your own article. Given the volume of articles you bring through WP:FAC, WP:GAN, and WP:PR (just to name a few), I am astounded to hear that you won't fix things even if they are related to your own nominations. There are thousands of articles with incomplete or missing articlehistories; if articlehistory (which, remember, is merely a record of a record) is so important to you, you should be prepared to help with 'your' articles at the very least. Maralia (talk) 19:11, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
My problem with updating an article for which I was the FAC nominator is two-fold. First, as stated above there is a long history of asking nominators not to update T:AH so that the bot does not get confused and so that everything is done in a consistent manner. Second, I do about 90% of the legwork at WP:FOUR, which is in large part an evaluation of the documented article history. As a result, I don't think I should be documenting the article history for FAs which come under review at FOUR.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 19:52, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
First, the bot you reference is dead. Second, irrelevant bullroar. Do your share, at least on your own articles. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:54, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
There was a long history of asking people not to update because a bot would handle it. You know as well as anyone else that that bot no longer runs. Old instructions are not relevant. Second, no one gives a fuck about WP:FOUR. Nobody is going to complain if you update an article history template as part of your desire to award a barnstar. In fact, if you want to be dictator or director or owner of a process, grunt work such as this is part of the job. So stop demanding the world revolve around you and step in to help out if it means that much to you. Resolute 20:01, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
It should be crystal clear to you that this, and the previously linked situation where you were asked to help if it was important to you, are both instances where your first point is utterly moot. As to the second point: articlehistory is intended to be accurate but is not in any way an official record. WP:FOUR's choice to rely on articlehistory to determine eligibility for an award inherently carries the risk you are so concerned about, because anyone may employ articlehistory. Maralia (talk) 20:17, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
So, if I understand this right, you don't think you should have to update the articlehistory template because you are the former self-appointed director of an unofficial award that only you seem to seriously care about? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:30, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Your sensibilities are too fine for this world, TTT. Since you didn't make the decision to promote and the bot isn't working right, just step up and fix the issue that you identified. I've done it for one of my own articles, it's not hard, in case that was deterring you as well.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 22:04, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

From the responses, it seems everyone thinks people are now suppose to update T:AH for FAs without waiting for VoxelBot because the instructions not to update T:AH for FAs is only for the old bot, but with the new bot you are no longer suppose to wait. Is that correct or are the instructions to wait still valid. Second, if you want to pick a fight about FOUR, that should be held somewhere else. It is common sense that in any activity a person is not suppose to perform and activity as well as have primary responsibility for the review of that activity. If you don't understand that may you'd be interested in some Enron stock.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 21:03, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Back off Tony; your being petualant and not very respectful to the poeople doing the dull unrewarding (irony!) task of keeping this ticking over. By the way most would choke FOUR. Ceoil (talk) 21:11, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I've an idea! Let's start FIVE. Guess what the fifth arm of the contest would be? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:32, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Hmm.... peer review? Taylor Trescott - my talk + my edits 22:14, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Your being deliberatly sly Taylor I hope! Ceoil (talk) 22:18, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
You know it. Taylor Trescott - my talk + my edits 22:36, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I repeat:

It is true that there are more steps to a full close (archiving the nomination page with the promoter's name and the date, and linking to the close; and adding the star) and for that reason only we discourage folks from messing with the talk page before the bot has been through.

— me (above), emphasis added
The bot has been through in these cases; why do you keep getting caught on that point?
As long as we are talking about common sense: it would be common sense for WP:FOUR to rely on the actual records of completed processes rather than a (likely imperfect) summary thereof. You say "a person is not suppose to perform and activity as well as have primary responsibility for the review of that activity": you can't truly mean that you consider articlehistory the activity, and WP:FOUR a review of articlehistory? Maralia (talk) 21:41, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Quite. Ceoil (talk) 22:17, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
The vast majority of articles are promoted based on T:AH indicating they are FAs that have been GAs and DYKs and have yet to be evaluated for FOUR. That is how Category:Possible Wikipedia four award articles is populated. 80-90% of all FOURs are nominated by that category rather than an individual.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 17:02, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you missed this (one of Wikipedia's finest and most eloquent recent posts):

Second, no one gives a fuck about WP:FOUR. Resolute 20:01, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:11, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
It is unfortunate for the two of you that your voices don't carry weight where it counts on this issue.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 18:19, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
A curious comment given I !voted keep in that discussion. My point, Tony, was that nobody takes WP:FOUR 1/10th as seriously as you do. Nobody is going to be banging down your door or hauling you to ANI if you update an article history template then award the barnstar. Nobody is going to to care if you update the article history template then award yourself a barnstar. Your "aversion" to updating your own noms is pointless. Resolute 19:32, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Much is being made about me "chipping in" or "doing my share" I have done the other neglected article. I remain averse to doing my own.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 17:02, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
    • "Much is being made" about you never doing your share because ... you never have. I don't think I speak for only a few people when I say we are sick of the whining and taking/never giving back. Please take your FOUR stuff elsewhere. I will personally give a FIVE award to anyone who can get you to start carrying your weight and stop dragging down content review processes. By carrying your own weight, I do not mean incorrectly doing what others know how to do; I mean take your FOUR business elsewhere. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:37, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
If you had offered to do so when we discussed this on my talk page five days ago, I would have taken you up on it and done yours in return. Instead we have this exhausting thread, which has finally resulted in your completing one articlehistory entry. Let me make myself clear, because it is important to me that you understand this:
Articlehistory is intended to reduce talk page clutter and is effectively a courtesy template which summarizes actions, pointing to the actual records. It is complicated and time-consuming to employ, and we no longer have any bot that can fully implement it. The new bot is only capable of adding a single articlehistory entry reflecting a FAC close. It cannot find and incorporate previous GANS, PRs, DYKs, etc. Consequently, nearly every new articlehistory you have reviewed for WP:FOUR was created or updated by me when the article was nominated; the new bot simply added the FAC close, because that's all it knows how to do.
You need to get some perspective here: WP:FOUR is a user award (despite your saying things like "the vast amount of articles are promoted based on T:AH"). I don't have anything against it; I am all for giving out barnstars. The problem here is that FOUR's reliance on a category generated by articlehistory ("80-90% of all FOURs are nominated by that category rather than an individual") is misguided and its 'need' for articlehistory does not carry any weight with anyone except WP:FOUR itself. If FOUR is so concerned with the effect that slow or missing articlehistory updates have on FOUR nominations, they are welcome to pitch in; else, you would be wise to find another mechanism so you can stop relying on a courtesy template that is wholly dependent on an unreliable bot and my two hands. Maralia (talk) 19:28, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
And just so I can also be perfectly clear, I have zero tolerance for any whiny editor who couldn't be bothered to speak up when a group of editors aligned around technical issues made a ridiculous fuss because the ArticleHistory template used capital letters, insisted that it be changed even if meant work for Gimmetrow, and chased Gimmetrow/too/bot and Raul654 off. So to everyone who asked for it by not speaking up-- do your own work, or don't expect Maralia to do it all now. Gimmebot has not been fully replaced, and what he did was so complex and thankless, that I have no doubt he will never be replaced. The era of content review processes having accurate records is over. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:37, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
This rewriting of history was brought to you by the Ministry of Truth.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:59, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I have repeatedly attempted to explain the situation and correct misunderstandings. I'm going to call bullshit now: I just went to the article to record the FAC because you found it so unseemly to do so yourself, and found that you created this article's articlehistory. So much for the moral stance against updating any articlehistory, as well as specifically against updating your own: how can you argue it would be wrong to add a FAC entry after you personally recorded the entries for GAN and DYK (two of the other WP:FOUR criteria) on what also happens to be your own article? What a phenomenal waste of time. Maralia (talk) 22:32, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Nice edit summary though! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:37, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm assuming Maralia meant to say "For FACs sake" though. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 22:40, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I do convert a lot of pages to T:AH from other assorted templates, but I try not to do it for FA promotions now.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 23:15, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm calling bullshit along with Maralia. TTT, ArticleHistory is a courtesy that Gimmetrow, Dr pda, Maralia and I undertook at Raul's direction to clean up talk pages (see Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-03-24/Dispatches). It is not and has never been official. The only official designation that an article is an FA is it being listed at WP:FA by a FAC delegate (or conversely, removed by a FAR delegate). The rest is a courtesy, so whether you or anyone else updates ah isn't a COI-- it's not like you trying to add an article to WP:FA. On the other hand, I'm not excited to see you making errors in ArticleHistory, so why don't you leave other people's FAs alone? Maralia and I have trained User:Quadell to help. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:28, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I can't be bothered with your nonsensical tirade. T:AH is a form of tidy record keeping. It is not like holding the door for a lady or something. Anyways. The issue is resolved and I have piles to go before I sleep.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 06:36, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I'd be careful if sleeping on piles. You never know when there's something buried there... — Crisco 1492 (talk) 04:17, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Sigh... Thank you, Maralia, for the note. I will be sure to update article history for Fakih Usman on my own later. But are the other parts of closure (star, classification, etc.) still being done by bot? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 04:17, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
All parts of FAC closure are still being done by the bot; this nonsense stemmed from a bug that occasionally causes the bot to archive the nomination page, add the star, and then stall without having updated the article talk page. If you see the bot add a star but then fail to update talk, then something probably needs to be done, but not otherwise.
What you—and other FAC regulars—could do that would be helpful is to make an effort to incorporate previous PRS, GANS, etc into articlehistory before initiating a FAC. Maralia (talk) 04:47, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks. I'll do that. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:56, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • That would be grand! Crisco, in the days before GimmeBot had gotten pretty much every article talk page out there under control, I routinely checked the talk page of every new FAC, to make sure it was bot ready. We need to go back to doing that. As soon as a new FAC shows up, if folks could check the talk page and make sure previous ArticleHistory items are worked into the AH template, that would greatly simplify everything. Another benefit of doing that is, because articles should not be other content review processes at the same time, you can make sure old PRs are closed, the article isn't also at GA, etc. Best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:45, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • It would indeed be helpful if nominators could do that checking, for all the reasons Sandy's mentioned above. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:01, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
It might be worth mentioning how nominators can check to ensure all material is included and list it in theNomination procedure (though it may fall under '... and that peer reviews are closed and archived.' --Lightlowemon (talk) 00:25, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure that would be appropriate at the page instruction level, because updating ah requires acquired knowledge, and it is likely that a few editors will keep that under control. But FYI, you just have to look on talk and make sure there are no templates from the GA process, DYK, Peer review etc that haven't been incorporated into AH. Here is a very old chart I had in sandbox from before Gimmebot: [1] User:SandyGeorgia/FA work is old, too, but someone might make something useful of it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:39, 21 November 2013 (UTC)


According to WP:ACCESSIBILITY, we're supposed to support screen resolutions down to 1024×768. I'm not at 1024×768 but I'm at the functional equivalent because I can't read small text, and I came across a Featured List which was pretty badly formatted and hard to read at that resolution. Are you guys testing the lists at 1024×768? It'd only take a few seconds. I'd recommend adding a "Passed 1024×768" criteria to the Featured List test, if you don't have it already. Herostratus (talk) 13:11, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Herostratus, we don't have anything to do with Featured Lists here. You'll want to raise your concerns at Wikipedia talk:Featured list candidates. --Laser brain (talk) 13:16, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Oops, OK, sorry. (Although the same would apply to articles -- it's much less likely that an article would break at 1024×768, but articles sometimes contain tables or could break for some other reason. This is arguably OK for for a regular article, but to be featured, probably not, so I think maybe FA candidates should be checked at 1024×768 (if you don't already), which takes a trivial amount of time, and suggest that you consider adding it to the vetting process (if it isn't there already).) Herostratus (talk) 01:46, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Long candidacies

Some weeks ago on the FAC page I commented on, and eventually supported, the Samuel Merrill Woodbridge article. I was surprised to see that the FAC is still open, although there has been no comment on the review since 29 September, which rather suggests there will be nothing more forthcoming. The article has, I think, three supports, no opposes, and I don't think there are outstanding image or sources issues. Now, three supports may or may not be thought an adequate consensus to promote – that is not my concern – but six weeks' inactivity on the review seems rather long. I am unsure of any benefit in keeping an inactive review open this long, though there may of course be reasons I don't know about. There seems to be a general trend towards longer FACs; at present 16 of the 41 are more than four weeks old. There are actually two that are older than Woodbridge, but they have much more recent comment and discussion. Perhaps a delegate would care to comment? Brianboulton (talk) 10:11, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Brian, yes, FACs do tend to stay open longer these days, to try and allow adequate time for more thorough review. This one I agree has remained open longer than it needed to, given the lack of additional comment forthcoming in October. I'd planned to walk through the list during the week but some RL commitments limited that. I daresay Graham or I will get to it on the w/e. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 10:47, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, I went through my past FACs (5 in all): in 2009, 3 wks from nom to promotion; in 2010, 3.5 wks and 4.5 wks; in 2012, 4.5 wks and 7 wks - worth noting on my last FAC was that there was a 3-week period of complete inactivity before more reviewers came on board (I don't remember now but I may have asked around for comments because the FAC had stagnated). Simon Burchell (talk) 11:00, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
I can generally predict which ones of mine will take longer than others - more esoteric material often takes longer to attract reviewers. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 11:17, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. Interest level varies, sometimes due to the subject and sometimes, I think, due to the nominator and their regular 'audience' (or lack thereof). Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 11:34, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm happy to ask other editors (or have them ask me) to review an FAC, but I haven't done so because I was afraid it would look like "stacking the deck" somehow. Is it permitted? --Coemgenus (talk) 14:25, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Leaving requests on project talk pages, with prior reviewers of the article (e.g. from GAN, PR, or earlier attempts at FAC), or with otherwise unconnected editors who you feel might usefully contribute, is all okay. 'Stacking the deck' would come into it if the requests were not worded in a neutral manner (e.g. inviting support rather than simply a review) or perhaps, in the case of reviewers from prior FAC attempts, only those who had supported were asked. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 14:53, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Change the FAC template

When I'm looking for an article to review, I find it irritating when the blurb doesn't tell me what the article is about, but just has a platitude like "it meets the FA criteria". I know I could follow the link, but when there are so many nominations, it's easier to move on.

For inexperienced nominators in particular, it's important to hook a reviewer. I blame the {{subst:FAC}} template which preloads I am nominating this for featured article because... , positively inviting the bland completion mentioned above.

I suggest we change the preformatted text to something like This article is about..., so that we get a couple of sentences telling us what joys are in store for us. I'm not bothered about the exact form of words, I just think this needs a look Jimfbleak - talk to me? 07:02, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

+1. Just updated my recent nom accordingly - David Gerard (talk) 13:53, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Personally, I always try to be a little pithy in my noms (e.g.: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Lanny McDonald/archive1) for the very reason you mention. Engaging a reviewer seems more likely if you give them an idea of what they would be reviewing. Perhaps in addition to changing the sentence as you suggest, add a hidden note explaining what we are looking for? Resolute 14:09, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, I have to admit that I've overwritten those pre-loaded words for years so I have no objection to losing them, or indeed replacing them with something along the lines Jim and Resolute suggest. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 14:20, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
It would make me more likely to contribute reviews, for sure. Another thing that helps is to wikilink the nomination page in the edit summary. The actual WP:FAC page, transcluding all the reviews, takes three lifetimes to render on IE8, so I never bother to. But I use popups, and those links in the edit summary give access to the rationale in the nom through those. --Stfg (talk) 14:39, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
A good content hook is majorly important to me, but FWIW I also want to see a clear indication that major effort has gone into the article. It takes me a long time to do a review, so I'm only interested in working with nominators who are seriously invested in the article. Stating blandly that the article has been through PR or GA is not what I'm talking about here: I want the ones who show me in their nomination statement that they are engrossed by their topic...the ones who I can tell would be thrilled to have collaborators...the ones who show me in their nomination statement that they're still motivated and not just filling in fields in a template. But maybe that's just me. Maralia (talk) 14:45, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I eagerly await your review of mine then ;-) Though poetry about software may be a large request - David Gerard (talk) 15:28, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I try to provide an intriguing blurb to attract reviewers, but inspiration often fails me. While the blurb in my latest nom attracted Maralia's attention, it's been singularly unable to attract any further attention in nearly a month.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 16:50, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I've been busy, let me look that over. When I'm writing, there is no talking to me.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:31, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I really like this idea. I always try to provide a taster of just how interesting the subject of the article is (at least to me!), and it's good practice, especially for articles on relatively little-known subjects or subjects with a confusing name. Nick-D (talk) 02:25, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Not sure any of this will help in the long run. In a few months, the work will become pro forma and you won't be able to tell the difference between a good article and a bad one from the blurb. People are quick to latch on to writing what is expected of them. Besides, there are lots of people who can write very good blurbs, summaries, and abstracts, and there are also lots of people who can write good articles, and they are not necessarily the same people. There is no substitute for actually reading a few sections of the article. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 03:13, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Has this proposed change been made? (I, too, support it.) – Quadell (talk) 14:30, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

The template is rather complex, and I'm unable to make this change. (I'm unable even to determine whether the change has been made, without making a spurious FAC for testing purposes.) Can anyone confirm if this has been done, and if not, who would be the right person to make this change? Quadell (talk) 15:34, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
If you can convince me of what the proposal is, and that there is consensus, I will make it for you. I'm not understanding the proposal, but it seems to be requiring we make nominations catchy, which I am opposed to. This is not DYK. I think our instructions and processes in this realm are adequate. So perhaps I'm misunderstanding the proposal. Instruction creep is rarely helpful. If nominators can't write a basic description of why they are at FAC, they may not be ready for FAC, and we shouldn't overburden our instructions to end up looking like the impenetrable DYK pages. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:43, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I was also going to see if I'm clear on what the proposal is now. The only concrete suggestion I've seen is to substitute the default This article is about... in the nomination page for the current I am nominating this for featured article because... As I said at the top of the thread, I'm not opposed to this, as in my experience the vast majority of nominators (including me) overwrite it anyway. Like Sandy, however, I'm don't think we need to add further instructions, since the nom page includes a link to the FA criteria, and other pointers, at the top when it's created. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 16:08, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I don't think there's consensus to do anything more than change the default. (I haven't seen any objections to that.) Experienced nominators will overwrite the default anyway, and may not even notice, but inexperienced nominators will be nudged away from the not-very-useful "...because I think it's ready and it fulfills all the criteria" boilerplate. Quadell (talk) 16:16, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
OK, if that is what the proposal is, agree with Ian. But someone may want to check history-- I think we are just pretty much reverting back to an earlier version of what was once here, based on a similar discussion of the opposite side of the coin a few years ago :) :) IN other words, in the long run, it really doesn't matter, and the pendulum swings back and forth. Ian, it sounds like you will do it, though, and Quadell doesn't need my help? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:28, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Having awakened from my antipodean slumbers and gone on an exciting journey through a labyrinthian world of FAC templates rarely seen by mortal men, I have now changed the default introductory wording as agreed above. Hedging my bets, I've also retained some words about why the article should be featured in the hidden instructions that appear when the page is initiated, but the visible default should now simply read This article is about.... Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 00:38, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Who are you calling "mortal" "men" !?!?! :) :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:41, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Exactly, Sandy -- you are immortal... ;-) Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 00:48, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Signpost needs some help

... some assembly required.

Hello everyone. With increasing real life pressures taking their toll on the Signpost's "Featured content" writer, I'm looking for a few people to take up writing it. The bare minimum each week looks like this; the majority of your time would be spent writing the informative blurbs. Having multiple editors (drag a friend with you!) makes the process much shorter, and three or more could allow you to go out and interview some of Wikipedia's hard-working and underappreciated content creators. Would you like to take the plunge? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 02:14, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

So this would be the articles at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Featured log/November 2013, starting with Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, and on up to... which one, exactly? I see that last week's signpost went from 2012–13 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team (closed 9 November) to Maurice Leyland (also closed 9 November). So what's the date range for the closures for inclusion for this week's Signpost? (I assume the same date ranges would be used for the lists at Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/Featured log, Wikipedia:Featured portal candidates/Featured log, Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/November-2013, and Wikipedia:Featured topic candidates/Featured log.) Quadell (talk) 13:29, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
@Quadell: I believe the FC writers have been using Wikipedia:Goings-on, so this week will be from the 10th to the 16th. Goings-on makes it much easier than going through all of those pages. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 14:32, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
You beat me to it, Ed -- yes, I always assumed Goings-on was there to make the FC writers' lives easier... ;-) Cheers, ~~!~~

Feel free to use User:Quadell/draft. I'll let someone else do the lists and pictures. Quadell (talk) 16:07, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Well ... this is embarrassing, I didn't check this thread before I did the FAs (but our versions are strikingly similar, don't you think?) I'm available to do the FAs in a pinch (and I'm doing them this week), but it would be great if someone else would step in. It's not that hard, but my time is really tight. - Dank (push to talk) 14:13, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I do think your summaries were better, and I learned a bit by seeing mine and yours contrasted. (If you could point out the weakest aspects of my summaries, I'd appreciate it, as a learning exercise.) Also, for clarity's sake, are you saying you're summarizing the ones here (Melbourne Castle to Lionel Palairet)? Quadell (talk) 17:22, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, I'm done; feel free to make any changes you like. I don't have any complaints about your summaries; the main difference is that I'm assuming our readership has a shorter attention span - Dank (push to talk) 17:47, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

FTC in need of reviewers

If the coordinators for FAC don't mind, at Featured topics candidates, there has been a lack of activity which has put consensus on nominations nonexistent. This includes one nomination that has been on the page since August 30. So if anyone is interested in reviewing, it would be must appreciated. Thank you. GamerPro64 18:02, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Discussion of editnotices on FAs

See AN for a discussion of editnotices on FAs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:50, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

protecting mainpage articles

See Wikipedia_talk:Today's_featured_article#Is_it_time_to_revisit_the_protection_status_of_the_article_featured_on_the_main_page.3F. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 19:39, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Pinging FAC coords

Hi all, as an alternative to pinging or leaving messages for the FAC coords individually, we now have the {{@FAC}} template notification that pings them as a group. The FAC instructions have been updated accordingly. Let me know if any questions/problems. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 03:10, 30 November 2013 (UTC)


Sorry to be blunt, but this is becoming a pain in the arse. The bot hasn't run for ages and when it does there are constant problems wrt the wrong FAC coordinator listed as closing or the page archiving left incomplete. I sadly miss Gimmebot. Is it time to seek a new bot that can be relied on? Graham Colm (talk) 17:51, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

See User talk:Hahc21 - there are efforts in the works. --Rschen7754 19:01, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
And in the meantime...? Graham Colm (talk) 20:32, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I guess we're on manual procedures, as codified in the past by (I think) Maralia and/or Sandy. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 21:16, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Wouldn't it just be easier to use Gimmebot again by changing back the "Article History" that I believe was changed to "Article history"? Please ignore me if I'm entirely wrong - but I thought that was the problem. If it is, it seems like such a small and easy change to make so the bot can run again. Victoria (talk) 21:24, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Well unfortunately some people pushed that through as "consensus", and Gimme has since left the site, so the bot can't be turned back on again. --Rschen7754 21:27, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Victoria, GimmeBot never shared his code, and has been gone since January, so unfortunately we don't have that bot as an option anymore.
I have created a centralized point for discussion at User talk:Maralia/FA bot. Maralia (talk) 06:13, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Renominating Treblinka extermination camp: December 29 or 30?

I've just finished doing an extensive copy edit/peer review for Treblinka extermination camp, a FAC that was recently archived. Ian Rose, the relevant FAC coordinator, left the closing note at 22:00 on 15 December, but the bot didn't archive the nomination until the following day at 10:01. Poeticbent and I will be renominating the article (or at least he will, I believe) by the end of the year or shortly thereafter.

My question is this: for the two week waiting period for the article, do we start from 15 December or 16 December? That is, is the earliest it can be renominated 29 or 30 December? AmericanLemming (talk) 20:05, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Because we've had issues with the latest bot I've tended to treat the date/time the article was archived by a delegate as the closing date (perhaps that's always been the case, even before my time) so 29th is okay; a day isn't a big deal anyway. However per my closing comment, I'd still recommend (as a fellow editor as well as a FAC coordinator) that you at least get those reviewers with outstanding concerns to look it over prior to another FAC nom, either informally or as part of a Peer or MilHist A-Class Review. This is not a requirement of course, but I expect it'd make for a smoother second run at FAC. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 21:33, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
From looking at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Treblinka extermination camp/archive1, the new bot is not working correctly. The timestamp stated as the closing differs from the link provided to a timestamp (after the timestamp on the FAC page) to the actual closing. With Gimmebot, the timestamp recorded on the FAC was the same as the timestamp when the FAC delegate closed the FAC. Perhaps someone can get this sorted with the new bot owner. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:49, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Sandy there are discussions about this here. Graham Colm (talk) 21:57, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, since Poeticbent is the one who will make the decision on if, when, and how to renominate the article at FAC, I will copy this discussion onto the article's talk page so he is at least aware of it. I'll leave out the stuff on bots running haywire since that's less relevant to the article. AmericanLemming (talk) 02:00, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

FA edit notices

Per discussion at WP:AN last month where consensus was that editnotices could be added to FAs, Casliber and I discussed adding text reflecting WP:OWN#Featured articles to medical FAs. In the case of medical articles, some wording about MEDRS and MEDMOS is also added. Sample:

Perhaps something can be done for all FAs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:50, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Simple and to the point. I like it. Imzadi 1979  18:54, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
It is a good notice. I'm guessing it's not needed for most FAs (I'm guilty of writing two that are virtually untouched by anyone other than me) but it is certainly a good idea for any medical FAs or ones like Jesus and Elvis that are subject to the same squabbles over and over. --Laser brain (talk) 19:11, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I am green with envy at editors whose articles never get touched; maintaining just one medical FA is a full-time job, and hopefully this editnotice will help.

By the way, editnotices are templates that not everyone can edit, and Nikkimaria, Dana boomer and Maralia may want to remember to remove them if installed on an FA that is de-featured at WP:FAR. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:18, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

That looks pretty good, in my opinion, although a link to the article's talk page could be added for convenience. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:34, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Jfdwolff, which of your medical FAs use British English? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:27, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I made a few copyedits, but please revert them if you think they are unhelpful. I don't think we need to name the process, linking should be fine—or we could link to the review page. As for the other links, is the UK flag really needed? Even despite the variety of English. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 21:56, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I kept all of your copyedits (except I separated the medical portion, so that the top part can be used for any FA, and to call attn. to MEDMOS and MEDRS, since so few editors are aware of them), and re-synced the other two samples above to your copyedit. On the UK flag, I believe (not sure?) that is a standard ENGVAR editnotice developed by someone else ??? I didn't feel at liberty to change it. I'll install a version on the rest of the medical condition FAs after more discussion and consensus. Maybe some clever person can explain how to do a subst'd version, where the article name is a variable? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:13, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I took out the flags [2]—it's apparently just an "image=" parameter hidden at the bottom :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 06:32, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia Only coeliac disease is in BE, and I believe an edit notice is essential to stop people from trying to change it into "celiac disease", "diarrhea" etc. JFW | T@lk 22:24, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Font and appearance

The wording seems to be nailed down, and I would like to install these on the rest of the medical FAs, but wonder if folks prefer:

  1. This font and appearance, or
  2. this one.

To see them in action, it is helpful to go in to edit mode at Schizophrenia (the idea is for them to be noticeable, but not overly intrusive). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:01, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

I personally prefer the former, although I think either would be acceptable. Quadell (talk) 16:04, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
The second one certainly looks nicer and doesn't feel like I'm being screamed at, but if that's the entire point than I suppose the first one is better (it might bleed a bit more into the page layout due to the white background though.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 14:03, 20 December 2013 (UTC)


I completed editnotices on all the WP:FAs listed at the category "Health and medicine"; see User:SandyGeorgia/sandbox#Medical FA editnotice. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:23, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

WikiCup 2014

Hi there; this is just a quick note to let you all know that the 2014 WikiCup will begin in January. The WikiCup is an annual competition to encourage high-quality contributions to Wikipedia by adding a little friendly competition to editing. At the time of writing, 106 users have signed up to take part in the competition; interested parties, no matter their level of experience or their editing interests, are warmly invited to sign up. Questions are welcome on the WikiCup talk page. Thanks! J Milburn (talk) 20:39, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Looking for FACs to review

Hello. I'm done with classes on Thursday, so I'm looking to review two or three FACs this weekend. I really only do prose reviews (though quite thorough ones, I might add), so I was wondering if there were one or two older FACs that need a copy-edit and/or a prose review. I'm already going to do a prose review for the 1924 Rose Bowl, the oldest outstanding FAC, but I wasn't sure which of the 20-some older FACs are most in need of a good close-read. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! AmericanLemming (talk) 01:17, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

There are two short articles up for consideration, on silent films. How Brown Saw the Baseball Game and The Carpet from Bagdad. Those would probably not take too long. Beerest 2 talk 01:24, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the two suggestions, but I've decided to review the three oldest open FACs. I hope you don't mind, and I hope the FAC coordinators leave the nominations open long enough for me to review all three! I'll probably have all of them done by the end of the weekend. AmericanLemming (talk) 08:54, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I'm going to review the four oldest open FACs this weekend. I need to reread Treblinka extermination camp since I haven't had time to keep up with the changes made to it since I offered my support, and I want to both get the last three off the nominations list (and hopefully promoted) and get some more reviewers for Treblinka. We'll see if I get any more reviewers, but I'm going to review those last three without an explicit commitment from the nominators to review Treblinka since that's the right thing to do (Or at least I think it is.) AmericanLemming (talk) 09:18, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
It's always great to have more quality reviewers. Especially at this time of year, when so many folks have outside things going on, we'll need reviewers who can spend the time on FACs so they (hopefully) don't die on the vine unreviewed. (By the way, are you familiar with this list? Some find it useful.) Quadell (talk) 12:27, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
I am aware of the list, and I think I'll be using it often in the future. I have also removed the request for more reviewers for Treblinka per Laserbrain's advice. I will still review all four articles, though. AmericanLemming (talk) 20:00, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Heheh, does seem like December is a bad time to nominate! FunkMonk (talk) 19:24, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, plus December had a GAN drive, further siphoning away reviewers (like me). Quadell (talk) 20:21, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

There has been a change of plans: I need to study organic chemistry over the next month, not spend hours reviewing FACs on Wikipedia. (Trust me, I would rather be doing the latter.) I sincerely apologize for the disappointment this will cause the nominators of these article as well as the FAC coordinators, but it is what it is. I thought I would be upfront about it (one of my pet peeves on Wikipedia is when people say they're going to do something and then do it a month later or not at all). AmericanLemming (talk) 07:21, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Are all articles eligible to be Featured someday?

That question is being discussed at Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria#Articles on notable subjects that are not eligible for featured status. Please weigh in on the discussion there. Imzadi 1979  18:58, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

With some pointy edit warring by editors changing WP:WIAFA based on three comments; perhaps some admins or delegates will tune in. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:21, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Questions about image/source check requests

Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly it a "source review"? And while you're at it, what's an "image review"? I might get into source reviews and image reviews at some point, but I don't know what they are. AmericanLemming (talk) 19:13, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

A source review is a set of comments related to the sources used in the article that looks two main areas:
  • Are the sources formatted consistently? Are the publication names consistently in italics, are the dates in the same formats, are page numbers or other location references supplied as expected? In short, do the footnotes or bibliography entries have a similar format with all of the expected information present?
  • Are the items used "high-quality reliable sources" as required of the criteria? Do they come from publishers known to exercise an appropriate level of fact-checking and editorial oversight? Are they the sorts of sources we should be using, or are there better ones?
As for an image review, that checks to make sure all of the media (including video or sound files if appropriate) are properly licensed and captioned. Such a review makes sure that if something is under copyright that we're following WP:NFCC properly. For other items, we're scrutinizing a bit to verify licenses or public domain status, and then for everything, we're making sure that captions are appropriate to the article and formatted properly.
Related to the source review is a spotcheck, which is only needed on a first nomination and then periodically after that. In a spotcheck, a reviewer is making sure that the sources do back the information being cited, and that the prose isn't paraphrasing too closely. It's really making sure that the writing here respects the original author's copyrights and avoids plagiarism concerns, whether cited or not. Imzadi 1979  19:23, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick reply! I have copied and pasted it to my user page so I can find it easily even after it's archived here. AmericanLemming (talk) 19:47, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
You might also be interested in User:Nikkimaria/Reviewing_featured_article_candidates#Sources, User:Nikkimaria/Reviewing_featured_article_candidates#Media, and the links in each of those. (And anyone is welcome - even encouraged - to edit that page). Nikkimaria (talk) 00:43, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Happy New Year

We're into the last 12 hours of 2013 down under so if I can't check in again before 2014, Happy New Year all, thanks for your contributions, and look forward to seeing you again very soon... :-) Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 02:23, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Wow - you're way ahead of me! Happy 2014, Ian, and thanks for all the work you do around here. Victoria (talk) 02:29, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Featured article candidates/archive60".