Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council/Archive 7

Active discussions

Placement of banners on all (most, anyway) articles?

I know that this is an idea which has probably been beaten to death repeatedly, but I'm going to raise it anyway. Right now, we have about 1.2 million articles with banners, leaving around 1.0 million without any banners yet. I think it might well be the case that the month of December, particularly late December, might be one of the quietest times for wikipedia. There will doubtless be a lot of complaints if this were to be done, but what would the rest of you think of perhaps asking a bot to place banners on as many articles that haven't yet been tagged as it finds. Also, if we do get many/most of the articles tagged, do the rest of you think that it might be an acceptable idea to try to tag newer articles (created in the last X hours), regularly thereafter? The advantage of the former is that it would make it substantially easier for projects to know which articles they have to deal with, and would with luck result in more assessments, and attention to those articles. The advantage of the latter, if that bot were to not engage in assessments, is that it would allow the relevant projects to know which new articles have been created, by their appearing in the unassessed articles category. I know that this could potentially take a very long time, and that several of the banners might be contested, even sometimes by the project itself. But at this point I think it might be the only way to really get assessment going for a lot of projects. Anyway, I welcome any responses, positive or negative. John Carter (talk) 20:53, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps if there were something equivalent to "top-level" templates that a bot could apply. These would be essentially "holding room" tags that would sort by the root-level categories and could be applied automatically. That would keep all articles tagged and assessed, while giving the projects a regular place to look for new articles potentially within their more specific scope. Any articles they claim would then have they top-level tag removed when claimed. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 20:59, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I may be missing something obvious, but how would the bot know what projects an article was associated with? Kirill 22:25, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Is that for me or John? For me, I would imagine it wouldn't be too hard to do based on the categories already listed on the article page - just find out which roots they go to. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 22:28, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
That was really meant for John, actually. ;-)
In any case, though: category nesting is a pretty thoroughly broken thing. Here, I happen to have quite extensive practical experience: WP:MHA07; by our initial estimates, more than half of articles nested somewhere under WP:MILHIST's top-level categories have nothing to do with anything in our scope. Kirill 22:47, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
A similar problem happens in mathematics with categories. It takes a lot of careful pruning by hand to make an accurate category list. — Carl (CBM · talk) 23:08, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

The consensus in the math project has been to avoid mass tagging articles; we'd rather see the class= and importance= parameters filled in when the tags are placed, since we already have a list of mathematics articles. This requires warm bodies to read the articles before placing the tags. I think this consensus could change, but it would take strong reasons in favor of the tagging. — Carl (CBM · talk) 23:08, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I acknowledge the completely incomprehensible categorizations today. I just recently found every article related to Jerusalem, and I mean every article related to Jerusalem, is included in one or more subcats of Category:Religious texts. And, for what it's worth, I was assuming that the automatically placed banners would just be the banner itself. While I would prefer the banner to have assessment parameters in it, I wouldn't want to see any assessments made. What I was basically thinking initially was something along these lines:
  • (1) the article either is or isn't biographical, and is or isn't included in the living people categories. The {{WP Biography}} banner can be added to articles in these cats, with the blp tag added if appropriate.
  • (2) many articles relate to a specific area, be it a city, state, country, or global region. The banner which relates most specifically to the region specified in a given category could probably be added as well, from Wikipedia:WikiProject Houston to Wikipedia:WikiProject Africa.
  • (3) the "topic" projects are clearly the biggest potential problems. For these projects, though, many of the major academic disciplines already have projects dedicated to them. If nothing else, we might be able to add those banners without assessments to the articles. Then either the project whose banner is added, with or without input from the other related projects, could check to see which project if any the article deals with, and either add or remove the "discipline" banner and other banners accordingly. If the initial tagging of most of the extant articles were to be accomplished, which is maybe a big enough problem in itself, I'm thinking even a project the size of Military history would only have a comparatively small number of added articles per week or month, and it might be possible to get members of various related projects to alternate "assigning" the new articles which were automatically given the "parent project"'s banner to the various related projects. Maybe, anyway. We do have the ten major categories used by WP:1.0 and others, and I think most of those categories have directly related projects. Maybe those banners could be the only ones which the bot would add. The various scion projects could then go through the articles with their "parent"'s banner. I acknowledge it would be an imperfect system, and would definitely have a few flaws, but I also think it would probably help us along a little more with assessments. John Carter (talk) 23:21, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
In all honesty, I think that the only way this would be feasible is if it were an opt-in (or at least an opt-out) system for individual WikiProjets. Otherwise, the projects that have already expended significant efforts to sort through such article lists and determine which ones are in-scope will have to go through the whole set again; and upsetting the most active projects is probably not a good way to get people behind this. ;-) Kirill 23:43, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
That does make sense, yeah. For the first "stage", as it were, of tagging extant articles, I would agree that it probably is the case that only those projects which haven't yet combed through articles would ever be involved. The second "stage", which is even more theoretical at this point, would clearly only work with those projects which would want to be involved. John Carter (talk) 23:52, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

This is why I think that my concept of general top-level "holding pen" tags/assessments is perhaps easier and more feasible. The main purpose is merely to bring all possible articles into the assessment scheme through simple means, and allow the articles to be "claimed" by their respective projects and more appropriately tagged later. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 00:05, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I think at least a few of the main "categories" as per Wikipedia:Release Version already have similar projects and banners, like Geography, History, Mathematics, Science, and Arts. Maybe we could create a separate "unassigned article" banner as well for some of the other categories. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Warlordjohncarter (talkcontribs) 00:21, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I have an idea. Since the category system is not reliable enough for an automatic assignment of articles to WikiProjects, why not tap into another resource, one that is both manual and specialised enough for our purpose? I am referring, of course, to stub sorting.
I know that stub status is far from all-embracing, but, on the other hand, most articles not assigned to WikiProjects are stubs, including practically all new articles (that is, until someone does tag them as stubs). By properly connecting projects to their corresponding stub categories, we can harness the sum of the resources of WikiProject Stub sorting without, however, placing any further burden on the project or its members, by the simple usage of a bot tracking stubs and adding the banners in their talk pages (as long as there are none there already). It can even pre-assess them as stubs.
For this to work, the connection between stub categories and WikiProjects will need to be carefully designed, to be sure, but once done, a large number of articles that are actually in need of attention will be automatically handed over to relatively narrow-scope projects with a (hopefully) low error rate. A great percentage of unassigned Wikipedia articles can then come out of the way (probably the majority of them), and another solution can be utilised for the rest of the articles, not necessarily an automatic one.
I realise that there are difficulties, and if we go through with this we shall need to have each individual project agree to participate, and then define the specific stub categories they want to include. This is difficult, and time consuming. But I am still excited about it. In any case, fear not to criticise my idea as mercilessly as you feel like; I am certain that there is a host of other problems about it that I have not yet spotted. Waltham, The Duke of 13:05, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
The proposal above might work. Another possibility might be to have the individual projects which engage in assessment to "tag" those categories and subcategories which they believe will contain articles that do fall within their scope. Doing so might create the problem of too many categories, potentially, but there has already been discussion about listing the categories of projects on the Project Directory, and it would make tagging a lot easier now and into the future. John Carter (talk) 18:31, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I thought categories were "unreliable". And a way will have to be found to link the categories flagged with the articles within them themselves (probably by bot), as the categories will be selected, but there must be a list of articles somewhere, or we are doing nothing here.
Any further...? I see no new ideas, and the discussion seems to have staaaaaalled... (yawns) Waltham, The Duke of 20:22, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Member lists

I've been running rampant through the infrastructure of the League of Copyeditors and, having made a new set of templates for the listing mechanism, turned my attention to the woefully out-of-date members list. On the talk page, I've outlined a skeleton system I've created and tested to improve the project members list. It adds enhanced functionality to flag up users that haven't "checked in" for more than an arbitrary time period. The relevant code is included at Template:LOCE/T, Template:User LOCE and the members list. The point is that this system could be fairly easily ported to become a standard set of templates that could be used by any WikiProject to enhance their members list. I'd be interested to hear from members of the council whether this system would be useful, and if there are any improvements/additions to suggest to it. Probably the best way to respond is on the LOCE members list talk page. Happymelon 17:07, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Project directory - wha...?

Can anyone tell me why the WP:PROJDIR now has an "active" column? It looks silly, at least to me, and I thought we had already decided that only the active projects would be listed on the directory anyway, so it's redundant as well. Also, I seriously have to question why the Basic topic lists, Topic lists, Glossaries, Portals, and Category projects are listed separately in the directory template. Are those individual projects really so important to each be listed separately? John Carter (talk) 21:22, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council/Directory#Accessibility problem. Kirill 21:32, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, I guess I should have seen that one already. But, if only the active projects are going to be listed, wouldn't it be just as easy to just remove the green coloring and the active column? Also, I'm still curious why the five separate projects listed above each have to be listed on the main project template separately. I know that the revision I am (lol) trying to finish doesn't list them separately. Maybe they could all be listed, maybe with Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team and possibly a few others, in a "core content" page instead? John Carter (talk) 21:38, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, once we convert over to only listing active projects, then the whole active/inactive thing becomes unnecessary.
As for the five projects: no idea. They should probably be moved off somewhere. Kirill 02:11, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
If we are to remove inactive WikiProjects from the directory, would it not be advisable to create a separate list for them, so that they will receive the necessary coverage that will allow for the eventual revival of at least some of them? There is, of course, Category:Inactive WikiProjects but it is quite large (two pages) and, of course, does not offer the information a list can.
As far as the five separately listed WikiProjects are concerned, I am not sure that they should lose their prominent position. I have no idea about whether the projects themselves are especially important or active, but it seems to me that their scopes are amongst Wikipedia's most important and/or high-profile. With the exception, perhaps, of Glossaries. Maybe a review of the listing would be in order, with potential additions considered. But I am not really enthusiastic about it. Waltham, The Duke of 09:56, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
It already exists. However, because updating the directory itself is taking me an ungodly amount of time, it hasn't been separately referenced on any other page yet, pending completion of the new directory. It's at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Inactive projects. Regarding the scope of the projects, personally, I wonder whether the Lists projects are really that important myself. There already is a Wikipedia page of the directory, and I think that they might fit best in the first section of that page, or maybe in a "core content" page like I suggested above.
Indeed it does. I initially wondered about the purpose of the status list; that is, until I spotted a couple of "Merged" projects. Is there anything specific I could help with there? SBS has been rather quiet lately, so I can spare some extra Wikipedia time.
As far as the core topics are concerned, I believe that this situation does raise an issue for the Honourable Counsellors to resolve, as previously stated by Mr Carter: ought we or ought we not to create a separate directory for core topics? From what I recollect, the core WikiProjects are not listed separately anywhere, and such a list containing the aforementioned projects, carefully selected, would be extremely useful. But would the double listing of these projects be an acceptable alternative to the problems created from the omission of said WikiProjects from their proper thematic lists where one would normally expect them to be present? Waltham, The Duke of 16:57, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
The question would be determining what the "core" projects are. Would they be the projects with the broadest scope, like say Wikipedia:WikiProject Arts, or the most active projects, regardless of scope, like say WP:MILHIST or, if I can plug one of my own, WP:SAINTS? How important is a broad project which covers a lot of territory, or has a lot of members, but has never actually done anything? I can see creating a structure for the next directory where, as it were, the broadest projects were listed on a "main page", with links to the other pages of their "child" projects, and might even try to set up such a page, but I think the existing layout of "core" project for each heading, followed by their related projects below, is probably the best possible layout. John Carter 17:03, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
In short: retain the present structure and move the problematic extra projects. That must have taken you a lot of thinking. ;-)
Seriously now. What I understand from your suggestion, somewhat processed and elaborated on by myself, is a hierarchical classification (resembling that of categories), with a small number of main, broad-scope projects chosen for each thematic section (each occupying a subpage of the directory), and all the rest being sorted under these main projects; the main projects will also feature in the master page.
Am I anywhere near the right track here? Waltham, The Duke of 20:18, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Collaboration of the ?

At one point, it was all the vogue. Have your WikiProject have a "Collaboration of the week". Then as inactivity sets in, rename it to Collaboration of the Month, then as further inactivity sets in, the pages just "sit there".

In my experience, collaboration happens in "spurts", and usually is more likely to happen due to a talk page discussion than some "collab of the week/month/year".

(I think a list of those which are actually "active" would be interesting.)

Along with the main page, there are often nomination pages, related categories, and a myriad of templates.

And all this just to note that a single article should be worked on?

Not to be too cliche, but Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy and the related Wikipedia:Avoid instruction creep would seem to apply here?

Most projects have noticeboards, and a note on the noticeboard (either as a result of being bold, or WikiProject talk page consensus) should be enough.

I've noticed that inactive projects have been listed at MfD lately. Perhaps these should be as well? (A project could be active, with an inactive CotW/M.)

I welcome more information about these, as well as others' opinions. - jc37 02:33, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Are we pushed for server space? I can see what you're saying, but there's some value in having at least a template declaring whatever as the current focus of collaboration, even if all the rest of the bureaucracy is stuffed in the loft through the {{historical}} tag. The template can then be transcluded a couple of places other than a noticeboard. I'm not sure if the vogue for noticeboards is passing too. WP:AN#Is_BLPN_dead.3F and WP:AN#Nobody_watching_the_Arbitration_enforcement_subnoticeboard.3F. Hiding T 10:36, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
One, or even two templates are cool and make sense. (In the case of the comics WikiProject: you've integrated it into the Project article talk page banner - which I thought was a great idea; There's also a general notice, and I created a userbox version of the notice.) But I've seen collections of 7 - or more. : )
Well, WikiProject noticeboards seem to be at least semi-popular. WP:AN has an constant, ongoing debate with what should be at WP:AN, or WP:AN/I, or some other sub-board. And I don't foresee WP:AN/I dying anytime soon : )
So again, should we MfD these; make them "historical", case-by-case basis, or what? And in relation to that, should we note about this somewhere in the voluminous text about WikiProjects? - jc37 11:48, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Go on, I don't remember including it there, but ta. I wouldn't even know where to begin regards noting it somewhere. I seem to have lost my map of how to get around this stuff, it has become incredibly, um, detailed? My preference would be to tag as historical. Hiding T 12:04, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
You have to scroll about halfway down when editing Template:Comicsproj. Or search for "past collaboration" and "collaboration candidate". (I don't see where it notes that the article is the "current" collaboration, though : ) - jc37 12:26, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Note: Wikipedia:Collaboration of the week has even been marked historical... - jc37 14:01, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

It was superseded by a bright and shiny, Wikipedia:Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive, which seems to be going strong. Hiding T 11:37, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Also check out Template:COTWs and Template:COTWCurrentPicks. - jc37 14:08, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
What am I looking at? Hiding T 11:37, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

What's the use of a project tag on the talk page?

Why are project tags generally placed on the talk page? Is it so people working on the article can contact the project for help, or is it so the project can keep track of how well it's doing with improving articles? --NE2 05:35, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

I think one of the biggest reasons is so interested people can find the related projects so they can find places where they may help the site. Another reason would be the first you suggested: a way to contact interested people for help. I don't know that tags will help track how well the project is doing. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:51, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, so in general one should err on the side of including rather than excluding, as long as it's somewhat likely that someone at the project will be able to help with at least part of the article (so someone that started out as a baseball player but is now an opera singer belongs under both projects, even if there's only a paragraph or two about the baseball)? --NE2 05:56, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
As others have pointed out here, it depends on the project. Most will have a Scope section (like this) that defines what articles would fall under the project. WikiProject Japan includes all Japan-related articles that don't fall under a child WikiProject (such as Anime and manga). Other projects (such as the various road projects below) have more narrowly-defined scopes which may exclude some articles which one might otherwise think would fall under them. I suggest going by the defined scope on a project's main page, and erring on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion as including a particular article really doesn't hurt anything (other than people obsessed with numbers and statistics). It is ultimately up to the members of the project to define which articles fall under their project, going with consensus when there is a dispute or confusion. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:23, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Depends on the project. Some are sufficiently limited in scope that they will take in anything that's even vaguely related. Others (typically larger ones) have certain explicit criteria (e.g. the person's role vis-à-vis that topic having been somehow notable) for inclusion. It's generally best to ask if you're unsure. Kirill 06:24, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
So, basically, something can be removed if there isn't a good chance that someone at the project will be able to help? Or can some members of a project just decide that they're no longer going to cover any baseball players that retired before 1920 because none of them know about that area and they don't want stubs keeping their statistics down? --NE2 06:31, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
False analogy... --Rschen7754 (T C) 06:35, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how it's false, but let's cut the analogies. Members of a project about state highways want to exclude certain articles about state highways before the 1928-1934 time period (at least I think that's where they want to draw the line). Is there any reason this should be done? Another project has people who want to only deal with highways with route numbers, and turn everything else over to a streets project, with no overlap between the two despite a real-world overlap between the concepts. The stated reason is that they don't want stubs that they don't want to work on bringing down their "wikiwork" stats. --NE2 06:42, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
There are other reasons that you've lost. --Rschen7754 (T C) 06:47, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Project scopes are determined based on the topic in question; the precise interests and abilities of the members at any particular point in time have only a tangential impact, if any, on that.
(What in the world do statistics have to do with this? I'm reasonably sure no real project is going to be fiddling with its scope just to change its stub count.) Kirill 06:45, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
That's what's going on with Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Subprojects and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. Roads. Specifically note "The reason we oppose these falling into our categories is because it's basically noise that gets in the way of what the projects are focused on. It also adds more work on the "stubs to be fixed" pile when the state subprojects have no interest or available manpower to fix them." and "Of course, it probably will be to their disadvantage in terms of rel WW, but it's their choice." --NE2 06:49, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
On the last quote: another logical fallacy: quoting out of context. --Rschen7754 (T C) 06:51, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Kirill can read the context himself if he wishes. --NE2 06:52, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
What is WW, exactly, and why are people concerned about it?
(Based on my own experience, I would consider the difference between a thousand stubs and ten thousand stubs to be entirely academic. The counts that actually matter are the ones at the top of the scale; the long tail isn't something to worry about unless your project is truly tiny.) Kirill 07:13, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Wikiwork, the big omega at Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Newsletter/Issues/Volume01/Issue17#Leaderboard. It's somewhat...weird, shall I say...that the top state has nothing above start-class. --NE2 08:12, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
The WikiWork statistics were originally used to gauge how the Roads project as a whole was doing compared to the rest of Wikipedia (using the statistics put out by the Version 1.0 bot). Once someone created the categories for it to start compiling statistics for each of the states in the Roads project, we started using it as a tool to motivate people to raise the quality of articles in their states. It's been working, too, though much of the progress isn't visible on-wiki. A lot of the talk on the roads IRC channel is about who's "ahead", or how recent developments could affect the numbers, but it's basically a simple, friendly competition between the roads editors in different states.
Of course, none of that has anything to do with the argument here; Rschen7754 merely mentioned it in passing on WT:USRD and NE2 blew it out of proportion and apparently wants to kill it off or something now. This is about the third or fourth time that NE2 has clashed with the rest of this project -- I'm sure someone here remembers a prior incident, as I seem to recall discussions ending up here before. This is really about NE2 finding loopholes in the stated scope of a WikiProject, and when the project says it doesn't want the articles he's pushing to them, he goes ahead and trying to shoehorn them in anyway. If anyone wants to read further, and I would see why you wouldn't want to, the gory details are at (chronologically) WT:USRD/SUB, WT:USRD, WP:VPP. —Scott5114 [EXACT CHANGE ONLY] 08:33, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
A project can easily have articles within their scope but not focus on all of them, if the concern is that there's too much "noise". I can understand why they'd want to, but there's more than one way to organize all of this. -- Ned Scott 07:25, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

The issue here far transcends wikiwork or stubs or any statistic. The issue is that one editor, NE2, is garbling the scopes of established, active WikiProjects. This is explained in full detail elsewhere, including WT:USRD/SUB (where it originated) and WT:USRD where it spread. For the sake of redundancy, I'll make this brief. Now, I'm not a mindreader, but when the state highway WikiProjects were created years ago, I'm damn sure that they had no intention of including any articles on routes not part of the modern state highway system. The issue here is that NE2 is interpreting the scopes to include articles on auto routes and turnpikes that used to exist in the state for the supposed reason that they were state-maintained. But none of the projects were ever designed nor intended to cover these articles. They were designed to cover members of the modern state highway system in that state. Again, I'm no mindreader, but I'm confident that this is accurate. The whole story is at WT:USRD/SUB. --TMF Let's Go Mets - Stats 07:43, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

(ec) Wow, the amount of forum shopping and story twisting here is appalling. For those interested, there are previous discussions at WP:VPP, WT:USRD, and WT:USRD/SUB. --TMF Let's Go Mets - Stats 05:53, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
The amount of following me around is astounding. --NE2 05:56, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
As is your tendency to not tell the entire story. --TMF Let's Go Mets - Stats 05:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
What the hell is that supposed to mean? --NE2 05:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
You know very well what it means. --Rschen7754 (T C) 06:04, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
I actually don't. Please explain. --NE2 06:06, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Read about forum / venue shopping. --Rschen7754 (T C) 06:06, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
I have. Please go on, or actually don't. Your following me around is preventing actual discussion from happening. --NE2 06:09, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Are you forum / venue shopping? --Rschen7754 (T C) 06:11, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
No. Are you stalking? --NE2 06:16, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Wikistalking is following the editor around to unrelated topics. As any thinking person can see, these discussions are related. So no. --Rschen7754 (T C) 06:19, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, then we're done here? --NE2 06:20, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

(Indent reset) If we want to close one of the extraneous forums you've opened, sure. --Rschen7754 (T C) 06:25, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Requesting comments from other talk pages is not automatically "forum shopping". NE2 does not appear to have done anything wrong. -- Ned Scott 07:27, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Eh, he was failing at the WikiProject talk page, then he went to this page and the WP:VPP page to get people to support him. Check out the real story at WT:USRD. --Rschen7754 (T C) 07:30, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
(ec) Yes, but it is a problem when only a portion of the issue is presented. --TMF Let's Go Mets - Stats 07:43, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Hey, this is actually fun. Especially the indented part; nice slope. Anyway, I am amazed by the amount and level of work that has gone into the U.S. Roads WikiProject. Extremely well organised, I must say, I am genuinely impressed. It is a pity, however, that so many subprojects are demoted to task forces—could it be yet another indication that the community is shrinking? I am picking up clues here and there, and the overall picture is not reassuring in the least. Waltham, The Duke of 14:10, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
The reasons for the demotions are at WP:USRD/SUB. There were some subprojects that were so malformed that they needed more attention (especially if you look at the history of the Louisiana one). Of course, the maps and shields task forces were never intended to be projects but support task forces from day one. --Rschen7754 (T C) 18:47, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Help with strange glitch in project banner

Can anyone help fix a strange glitch in Template:WikiProject_Unionism? I have explained it at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 135#Help_needed_with_Template:WikiProject_Unionism. (Maybe I should have posted here first, sorry if I started in the wrong place). --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:35, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for automatic placement of project banners

Yeah, I know, everyone's been over this already, several times. However, we still have a huge number of articles which have yet to be assessed, or even have banners placed on them. That's why I think it might be a reasonable idea to try something like this. We maybe try to get the various extant projects to place their project banner on the talk page of any category where the contents of that specific category, not including any subcategories, would all fall within the scope of that project. Subcategories would be possibly individually tagged as well. Then, as articles are created, we could have some bot go through and place the appropriate banners on the talk page based on the existing categorization, without class or importance ratings in place. It might also be possible to occasionally have a bot run a list of the articles that are FA, FFA, GA, FGA, and DYKs, for the purpose of helping the possibly beleaguered portal maintainers. By placing the banner without class or importance ratings in, it would also make it a bit more obvious that the article might be a newer one, and it would hopefully draw the attention of someone in the project to the "Unassessed" articles, maybe getting them assessed more quickly in some cases. Anyway, just an idea. John Carter (talk) 15:49, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Just to repeat myself: the math project, at least, has consensus against tagging talk pages with its banner in this way. The problem with having ten thousand unassessed articles is that it would require a enormous amount of editor effort to assess them all. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
To repeat myself, the tagging would be done exclusively on the basis of the individual project having already stated that it believes the articles in a given category fall within its jurisdiction. And, remember, that if it is, for instance Category:French mathematicians, the articles would fall within the scope of Biography, Mathematics, and France. With any luck, we can arrange it such that many/most articles get assessed at the same time. And, of course, any project would be willing to "opt out" by simply not tagging the talk pages of any relevant categories, or by simply indicating as much to the bot operator. And, yes, the problem of huge numbers of unassessed articles is one every project faces, not just the mathematics one. However, it might also, as per the above, make it easier for each project to at least keep track of FAs, GAs, DYKs, and the like. John Carter (talk) 16:33, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
There are categories for FA and GA, so talk page tags aren't really needed for those. A concern I have is that some well-meaning individual might tag the category talk pages without asking the appropriate wikiproject (similar things have happened before, where well-meaning individuals asked for bot operators to tag article talk pages without consulting the project talk page first). If the bot operator is careful to always confirm with the project talk page before proceeding, then I don't object to the opt-in system. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:33, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Does this exercise in repeatedness repetition have to do anything with the end of 2007? No? I didn't think so.
In any case, since the sport is obviously popular here, I submitted a proposal here about a month ago. As the discussion was abandoned soon afterwards, there has not been a chance for comments on it. Right now the relevant section is at the top of the page. Waltham, The Duke of 23:46, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Here is an example of something which may go wrong. Wikipedia talk:WikiProject UK Roads#Article tagging gone mad. Simply south (talk) 12:33, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Granted, Betacommandbot has problems. However, allow me to point toward a recent example of why I think it is probably all but necessary to have some sort of bot available to the projects for the purpose of tagging articles, probably one that does so almost automatically. I recently finished tagging all the articles for the new Wikipedia:WikiProject Central America/Costa Rica work group. In the process, I found about 200 or more new articles relating to Costa Rican people or locations which had not been part of the original assessment run through for the parent project, which seems to have covered most or all of the articles extant at the time. I think that it is standard for most projects that this is the case. As it stands, there is no particular readily available bot to update the totals for most projects to let them know how many new articles, except possibly going through the article lists. Also, by calling the attention of existing projects to these articles, it will make it much less likely that duplicate articles, POV pushing-articles, etc., survive long. I think that for BLP articles in particular but no doubt others as well, it is probably all but necessary to have some sort of either list of new articles made available to projects, so they can check to see if they're well categorized, and allow the members there to potentially address any concerns as they appear. Particularly with 2.3 million articles out there, 1 million of which have yet to be tagged at all, there is to my eyes a serious risk of people planting at best dubious information here which isn't discovered for some time to come. One of the few ways this can probably be easily addressed is by alerting people who know something about the subject to these new pieces quickly. Right now, there doesn't seem to be any available mechanism to do that, but I very much think it's probably in all of our interests to create one. John Carter (talk) 14:48, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Articles not tended to by people who are interested in, and possibly know a lot about, their subjects will develop slower, will include more mistakes, and are more prone to straying off topic, including unsourced statements, featuring vandalism, etc. Assigning articles to WikiProjects is the best way to make sure that, not only these articles receive at least a little more care, but also that if something goes wrong with an article, editors will know whom to turn to. In my opinion, the need to assign all articles to WikiProjects is as imperative as the need to categorise articles; while the latter is important for navigation, the former is similarly important for improvement. Waltham, The Duke of 16:59, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


Do people think that the participants section on the Council page should be moved to a new page? Simply south (talk) 22:28, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Or delete it entirely, even. I don't think there's all that much benefit to having it, at this point. Kirill 23:22, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I do not beleve that it ought to be deleted... But it is true, there is little for Counsellors to do, apart from participating in the various discussions. Perhaps a roll call would be in order. And a better description of the what the project's members are supposed to be helping with.
Happy New Year, by the way. Waltham, The Duke of 23:40, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Happy new year to you to. It could be that the list of participants here show who people could turn to if they need help with a prject, and who is generally active where, not just participating in discussions. Simply south (talk) 12:25, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I do think that it would make sense to make a specific list of the various activities of this project, and who is involved in them. Right now, they seem to be the Project Guide, the Proposals pages, and the Directory. Certainly, each of those entities could bear some more attention. John Carter (talk) 15:20, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps the participants section ought to be merged with the Contacts page somehow. Editors active in other WikiProjects can be asked to serve as contacts, right? After all, I doubt these contacts are used too often. Waltham, The Duke of 17:16, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Request help updating directory

At User:Warlordjohncarter/Removal list of projects I have a list of all the projects which I haven't yet added to the new version of the directory whose main page can be found at User:Warlordjohncarter/Directory. Any help in adding the existing projects to the new directory, which uses the basic categories of the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team, which the existing directory doesn't would be greatly appreciated. If anyone can add the projects on the first named page to the draft directory, please remove that name from the removal list. I know it is somewhat outdated, but the projects which have been created since I started work can be added to the directory after these others are taken care of. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 15:40, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

I have been under the impression that the "Active" column was to be removed. Has development on the page for inactive WikiProjects stalled for some reason? Waltham, The Duke of 18:48, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I have started categorising WikiProjects, but I warn you that there might be a couple of mistakes; I am not a specialist in this. Furthermore, there are no specific instructions pertaining to multiple listings, and I do no know whether I am allowed to create any new sections. I mean, there is a section titled "Radio", there is a section titled "Television and radio shows and series", but there is no section titled "Television", so I have had to list WikiProject Television Stations under the section "Media".
Bottom line: please provide some instructions, or else you cannot expect people to give you a hand and not make a mess in there. Waltham, The Duke of 12:58, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I can't believe that you, having evidently looked at the pages, are under the impression that it can be made any more of a mess than it already is. For the most part, I have tried to follow the subcategorization of WP:1.0 as well, which doesn't include the subcats you mentioned. But, for what it's worth, multiple listings are probably unavoidable. What I've been doing is adding them to every relevant section with the hope of making all but the main one links to the main listing in the future, when the new directory is finally "activated". And, regarding the matter of creating new sections, that's been one of my concerns as well. My guess, regarding the media subject you mentioned, is to create the subheadings wherever they might be appropriate and add articles. Remember, it's still just a draft. Please feel free to be bold and adjust it as makes sense to you; it'll probably make more sense the way you do it anyway. And thank you very much for the effort. John Carter (talk) 16:55, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Many of the transport ones are listed in the directory so i'm not sure why they are in your list. And i am sure this applies to many others. (And on a minor point, is it okay in the directory to change the "Highways" sub-section to "roads", as more than just highways are covered). Simply south (talk) 14:56, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

They're all supposed to ultimately be listed, as the draft directory is, with luck, ultimately going to replace the older, now dated, WP:PROJDIR. It will also be using the categories generally used everywhere else in wikipedia, so that it might be a bit easier for interested parties to figure it out. That's why the draft directory was first created. And, regarding the subheadings, those were generally the ones I found in place on the WP:1.0 pages. Personally, though, it can and does make sense to me to add others or change them as appropriate. John Carter (talk) 16:07, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
I'll try and help a bit in the next few days - this is valuable work, JC. FYI, Geometry Guy recently created a useful page at Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Hierarchy which shows the main categories and also the subcategories. The idea was to formalise the latter after fixing the more obvious weaknesses, and to harmonise between GA and 1.0. See the talk page for details of changes to the subcategory organisation. We expect our no. of articles to grow considerably (to 30k or so) in the next couple of months (as the bot comes online) and I have no doubt that we will need subcats of subcats. Thanks for all your work in this area, Walkerma (talk) 22:45, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Banners for separate work groups?

Right now, just about every recognized national entity and/or overseas territory has at least a separate work group page, although creating the banner specifications is still ongoing. Do the rest of you think it would make sense to create separate banners for each national entity, and maybe some of the overseas territories, or not? The disadvantages include possible banner proliferation, but it would draw more attention to the subproject, not just the main project itself. Any ideas? John Carter (talk) 22:05, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Horrible idea, in my view; it'll kill off much of the progress we've made towards consolidating projects. Kirill 22:15, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Good god no. Banner sharing has to be the way forward. The alternative as I see it is talk page clutter getting so bad that the entire concept of WikiProject templates is endangered. --kingboyk (talk) 13:28, 14 January 2008 (UTC)c

Perhaps but shouldn't the national work group of a regional project actually be displayed on the banner underneath the main regional project? ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ Talk? 22:23, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

The last point above is more a function of banner construction, which I can try to work out later. One problem remains which might become serious, particularly under the current setup. The Africa Project banner right now would cover most of the articles related to that continent and 45 subprojects, most of them national. In time, it'll probably get transcluded into more pages than the Biography banner. Any ideas on what to do with that situation, like maybe regional banners (Northern, Western, Southern, Eastern, Central)? John Carter (talk) 22:25, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I really don't see the problem here, though; what's wrong with having a single heavily-used banner? Kirill 22:28, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

For exmaple see Talk:Dolores, El Petén. That regional banner should at least display:
 This article is supported by the Guatemala work group.

Could somebody then add these for each of the country work groups to the regional templates? The thing is the issue needs to be resolved if we must keep the regional banners and not have seperate banners.

♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ Talk? 22:23, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

The one basic banner which always displays them all is the Australia banner. As soon as I determine how it's different from the others, which keep it hidden until it's requested that they be displayed, I'll make the appropriate changes. I'm also going to at least try to see if in some cases I can try to hide the "main" banner entirely, and display only information on the individual country's group, although that might not be as easy as I hope. John Carter (talk) 14:06, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for a new WikiProject

I have just been on Wikipedia: Village Pumpto propose a new WikiProject: Gerontology, and some one said I can make this proposal here. This could be a good interdisciplinary WikiProject; any offers? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:25, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

You can try proposing it at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals to check if there is interest. Greeves (talk contribs) 22:43, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

its funny that he asked about a gerentology project becouse ive been trying to start a biogerentology project, or a end to old age study project, neuroscientifically based. how can i do this?? please just messge my talk page i wont remember this link. Roy Stanley (talk) 20:03, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Next page option

I strongly think we need a "next page" option on our encyclopedia pages -rather like a book where you can browse the encyclopedia from one article into the next in an A-Z. While the multi wiki links in the article connect to related topics one of the things I like when looking at a book encyclopedia is to read through one article into the next on different articles. It is quite a nuisance to have to keep looking up in the index all the time. Is there anyway this option could be made available even if it is only a user preference option and a small icon or arrow (mimicking a page turn over) or something in the top right hand corner?

For example in the top right hand corner of the page two arrows <- -> for page forward and page backwards in the encyclopedia article index.

♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ Talk? 15:41, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

What your saying is you'd like to click this button to go through the whole encycolpedia of 2.15 million articles? That won't be implememted. I'm sure WP:US could come up with a script to cycle through a number of pre-selected pages though, you might ask there :-)--Phoenix-wiki 21:12, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Although it might be useful, if the "see also" pages on the bottom could be linked through in that way, there is a major problem regarding titling involved. For the most part, while going from from William Shatner to William Shatner's musical career might be useful for the masochists among us, neither William Shattuc nor William Shaw are even remotely relevant thereafter. Also, the rather uncertain nature of article titling leaves Economy of Nigeria, for example, coming nowhere near it's main article, Nigeria. If this problem could be conquered, it might be useful, but with the constant generation of new pages I can't imagine that it wouldn't almost immediately be rendered useless, or, worse, used by some to promote their own pet pages. John Carter (talk) 21:28, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I asked on IRC about that script, apparently it'll be very hard, though not impossible.--Phoenix-wiki 22:00, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Well at least have an option on the page to look at that article in the index. ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ Talk? 20:59, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not certain why you're making the request here, though. It's a wiki-wide software request, not a WikiProject task. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 22:27, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Yep; I'm not sure what WikiProjects would have to do with getting (or not getting) something like this implemented. Kirill 01:35, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Unless the function would be to work thematically (which would not really work, for reasons already outlined), this is for the Village Pump, probably the technical section.
Personally, I am against the idea. Although something similar could be useful for bridging the gaps missing articles leave in succession chains. Red links in succession boxes are often deadly. Waltham, The Duke of 11:43, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

some one just needs to get to the code wrighting and make a scroll box out of it.. lazy mongols.. : ) Roy Stanley (talk) 20:06, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

An interesting class

I've noticed an interesting class which i am not sure how this fits with the current classification. It is possible to have a High-class article (i am not meaning high-importance). This may possibly also fit with mid, low, etc

For example

WikiProject London Transport (Rated Project-class)
This page is within the scope of WikiProject London Transport, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of London's transport system on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
  Project  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.

Simply south (talk) 17:52, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Of course, you could have such a rating, but they generally aren't used because I don't thik the statistics provided by WP 1.0 bot (See here) work for stuff other than the current widespread rating system.--Phoenix-wiki 20:02, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Why is it there in the first place? Simply south (talk) 20:13, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
It actually isn't there, but by typing "High" you're telling the template to use Template:High-class. You'll note at the bottom of this page that it's put in the unassesed category, rather than the high one. It's just the way the template's been set up, but that class doesn't exist on this template. Of course, that doesn't mean someone couldn't come along and come up with a different assesment scale and use that.--Phoenix-wiki 20:18, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Practical limitations to Project banner size

Are there any practical limitations for how many bytes a project banner can or should be? John Carter (talk) 20:21, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Not really, no, as it'd only be that size on the talk page if all the parametres were used at once (Ie. the article was every class and every importance and within the scope of all task forces) which is impossible. So the banner can be as big as you like on the template page, as it won't all be included.--Phoenix-wiki 20:47, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
There is a limitation, actually, since the pre-expand include template size is restricted; see Wikipedia:Template limits. Kirill 21:15, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Radical proposal on banners

It may have been made before, but there is a proposal for a radical change to project banners at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject reform#Single Banner?. Any interested parties are more than welcome to express their opinions there. John Carter (talk) 18:11, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Potentially really useful bot

There is a bot available at User:SatyrBot/WikiProject new pages which can periodically tag new articles which appear in a category in which all of the articles should fall within the scope of a given project. Personally, I think this bot would be extremely useful for pretty much every project. If you would like to have the bot work for you, please contact it's creator. As an additional question, does anyone know whether we could maybe have this bot placed on a server and running regularly for all projects which have such "dedicated" categories? That would be even more useful. John Carter (talk) 17:51, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Awesome, so now we can take our bot requests for many tagging projects to a dedicated tagging bot and it will automatically re-run the operation every couple of weeks! It can also update WP:To-do lists with articles in certain cats that have various maintenances tags on them! Great work SatyrTN. Thanks for the info John Carter, do we want to post a permanent link to this bot, say on the Council's project page or in part of the Guide?--Doug.(talk contribs) 19:22, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  • We could, but we'd probably want to know if we can get the bot placed on a server first, because then we could work it to death use it as frequently as we'd all like to. With any luck, someone who knows about placing such programs on the server should be responding soon. John Carter (talk) 19:27, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  • You'd might want to ask the owner, he'd have to set up something for the average layperson to use. I don't know much about the toolserver but as I far as I do know, it's not that hard to get a bot on it. Don't know much apart from that.--Phoenix-wiki 20:02, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Help need to fix taskforce

Hello, I recently tried to set up the taskforce Wikipedia:WikiProject Catholicism/Great Britain task force but for some reason, say for example the taskforce tag is on Talk:Roman Catholicism in Great Britain it doesnt add the category for "x-Class Catholicism in Great Britain articles" at the bottom. Is just lists the importance. Please can somebody help so when a tag is added to a talkpage it shows the taskforces class and importance.

These may be helpful to navigate if something needs to be fixed:

  • Class:
  • Importance:

I haven't set up a tasforce before so I don't know what might be wrong, but User:ProveIt added cats into the importance sections set up. - Yorkshirian (talk) 08:31, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

It probably would be a bad idea to alter the banner before one knows that the task force is one which the parent project wants to see exist. To date, I haven't seen that. I have thus reverted the banner to the prior model. Please establish that the parent project is amenable to having such a task force before making such changes again. You might ask on the talk page of the Project whether they would be agreeable to such a subproject, and if there are any others which they believe might be called for. Once you've gotten approval from them, just contact me and I'll set up the banner accordingly. John Carter (talk) 17:59, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I have already had contact from people who wish to be involved and have already starting a thread on the project page and agree it is an area which needs attention, hence the creation of the tasforce. So whatever you can do to fix it, please do. - Yorkshirian (talk) 10:29, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

A Non-insider's Suggestion

I've searched around, and I hope that this is a proper place for the suggestion. If you feel otherwise, please forward the suggestion to the appropriate place or disregard it, and attribute it to my ignorance that it was not done correctly in the first place.

Could you, the ones most motivated to facilitate consensus, find a way to "lead" article topics and especially their talk pages so as to facilitate communication, in a manner that does not conflict with Wikipedia's egalitarianism and lack of pre-structuring?

If so, Wikipedia would be well-served, and so would its readers. Please don't be too quick to notice the obvious contradictions in this suggestion. Leadership is not always a matter of control, and the best leaders are the ones who take us to where we already want to go.

A major problem, IMHO: any contentious topic (as defined by Wikipedians themselves) has a talk page that bloats into a randomness of unusability that belies its stated purpose for existence, and often results in articles with a POV (claims to the contrary notwithstanding), or a bloated and unuseful article.

In support of this suggestion:

Talk pages are almost always a "forum for general discussion about the article's subject", and naturally so. In genuine good faith, OR remains, NPOV is not followed, and Verifiability itself is often contentious. Add to that the emotional charge of some topics, and Wikipedia can go to a place that is not worth visiting.
Examples that I won't cite, since they're obvious - anything nation-related, wars and the like, peoples with a common history but conflicting histories, etc. These are bait to well-intended Wikipedians who are highly motivated, resulting in edit-wars and POV-pushing (as defined by someone with a different view). Some impartial and disinterested leadership here would be a help for everyone, providing a framework that gives vent to all sides, and leading to the objective of everyone of good faith: a good article. It might also reduce the number of arbitration cases.
An innocuous example - the use of "Slovenian vs. Slovene". The result was Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Slovenian vs Slovene). It's a convention, not a matter of correct or incorrect, and not a matter of great emotion, and Wikipedia needed to pick one for the sake of consistency. Reading the talk pages shows that Wikipedians saw it in that light, and the issue was contentious but not acrimonious. But the talk page for this convention has 5 (count 'em, FIVE) long archives, spanning years (count 'em, YEARS) of discussion, consisting of only 2 comments that are each interspersed infinitely (plus a "don't care" from time to time). The talk pages were not useful even if one cared about the ultimate result, so just toss in your 2 cents worth. Communication (not to mention the best use of Wikipedians' time) would have been improved by some leadership here (and revised if objections arose).
An up-and-coming example - King Arthur. I emphasize: this is an example applicable to all projects, not a particular that should have been aimed to that particular project. It has all the hallmarks of contention without resolution, in both the related articles and in their talk pages, and is guaranteed to result in the very problem that motivated this note. Without regard to the merits of any perspective, some leadership here would be useful. Editors and talk page contributors have some good ideas. Build on those and suggest a framework, and back off if necessary.

As to why anyone would mention these two specific examples in the same note, don't even bother to think about asking.

With admiration for where Wikipedia has gone and is going, Regards, (talk) 01:51, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

WP:WORKINGGROUP, for start... Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 03:57, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, Girolamo. I'm pleased to see that Wikipedia is ahead of me, and plans to extinguish the biggest fires first. (talk) 17:47, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Project banner deletion guidelines

There is currently an apparently stalled discussion about project banners, their necessity, utility, etc. I do personally think that there is just cause for such discussion, however. It seems to me that one of the sticking points might be that the discussion is trying to address too large a subject. Would it be acceptable to create a proposal which would enumerate what specific functions a given project banner should fulfill to ensure that it not be eligible for deletion according to regular deletion discussions? I would consider that the following minimum standards for most content-related WikiProjects should exist:

  • (1) Project Functionality - they would have to do more than just say, in effect, "Whoopee! We've got a WikiProject! Come and join us!" At the very least, assessment parameters for that specific project should exist.
  • (2) Non-redundancy - If there is another existing WikiProject banner which has the same functionality, and also includes other functionality that the extant banner does not, then the less functional banner would be eligible for deletion. Thus, for instance, Wikipedia:WikiProject Minot's banner could be considered for deletion if the Wikipedia:WikiProject North Dakota's banner also provided the same functionality for the more focused project, and additional functionality as well.
  • (3) Conformity to existing standards - Maybe not the best phrasing, but the idea I think makes sense. Clearly, at this point, there would be no good purpose to Wikipedia:WikiProject Swiss military history necessarily having a banner separate from Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history, nor would there be such cause for Wikipedia:WikiProject Darwin not using the Wikipedia:WikiProject Australia banner, in both cases differing from the norm that all other groups in these areas follow. In fact, creation of a such a separate banner could be considered a sign of unwillingness to cooperate with the other WikiProjects and maybe even WP:OWN, given an additional cause for deletion as well.
  • I do acknowledge that the Wikipedia:WikiProject reform proposal deals at least potentially with several other important mattes as well, but this does seem to me to be one of the most essential points of contention regarding that proposal, and it might be easier to treat it as a separate proposed guideline, regarding when WikiProject banners can be considered for deletion, and leave the remainder of the required, if less necessarily contentious, discussion on WikiProject reform on the existing page.
  • Any opinions? John Carter (talk) 14:25, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I shall comment...
...after you clarify point number three for me. How do separate banners indicate a lack of willingness for co-operation? In the smaller articles, where there are rarely more than two or three banners, they are normally separate. And what exactly are these "existing standards"? (Note that these are not scare quotes.) I confess that I am not exactly knowledgeable in banners, but I am trying to learn. Waltham, The Duke of 13:10, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
No problem. By "existing standards", I meant more accurately norms of practice, and I apologize for the misphrasing. As it stands, all or almost all the projects dealing with Australia use the Template: WP Australia, and similarly all or almost all of the military history groups, most of which are now task forces of the main project use the Template:WPMILHIST. The only one I'm not sure of is the Australian military history group. On that basis, if a new project dealing with these topics actively chose to not use the extant banner for that topic, they might be seen as indicating an unwillingness to cooperate with the project which "manages" that template. Of course, if they requested the banner be adjusted for them and were refused, that would be different. However, if by creation of a separate banner when such is not required or necessarily even indicated, a group at least gave the indication of being "different", "independent", or whatever, that would be a reasonable cause for concern that it might have WP:OWN problems. John Carter (talk) 13:55, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I had no idea there were such practices. I though each project just added its template to the page. Tell me, though, is it not possible that an editor might not know this and simply add their template? I mean, is it written anywhere that Australian articles normally use a specific banner? How can the different WikiProjects be expected to know about the different practices?
As I see it, it all boils down (again) to documentation, or the general inadequacy thereof. Unfortunate as it may seem to some, we have several millions of words to write in guidelines and documentation pages, in addition to the already existing ones. Waltham, The Duke of 14:02, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I think this is generally OK as long as the projects agree to it. If it is done without discussing it with the projects first, it would be a problem and is very difficult for the average editor to undo. The "conform to existing standards" or "norms of practice" part though seems like WP:CREEP, "your project needs to do things this way because all the other projects are." If we did things that way, we'd go and move the Poland notice board to Project space because it's a project living in Portal space. We also have to keep in mind that banners are advertisements for projects. There is no other practical way to get people to join an ongoing collaborative effort like a project but to tag every page that falls in its topic area. --Doug.(talk contribs) 19:14, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I think we might want to consider discussing banners at MfD though, since that's where the Projects themselves (and the talk namespace they're transcluded into) get discussed, rather than TfD. There was discussion at TfD that function not namespace should control the venue and with respect to userboxes the change was implemented. The discussion should be a usefulness to the encyclopedia discussion, not a technical discussion.--Doug.(talk contribs) 19:14, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
You're right about possibly "creeping" rules. Maybe it would have been better to say that such separate banners might raise "red flags" in the eyes of some, which might give them cause for concern, if someone who knew the existing practices actively chose to act differently. I'm thinking in particular of the two projects mentioned that it would be really unlikely that either one wouldn't at least get a notice on their main project talk page about the existence of a new project. If that project refused to include a given project in its banner, fine, no problem in creating their own. If a new editor, not really familiar with things, created such a project, again, no problem, that happens. But, if, for instance, someone who's informed the other projects of his new one and insisted on separate templates anyway, despite perhaps being told the existing one could/would be changed for their purposes, then, at least potentially, there could be questions. We have had POV pushing projects before, and actually still some which might be seen as such, Wikipedia:WikiProject Abkhazia, for instance. That one I don't think is particularly POV, but worse examples could come into existence. Also, the possibility of someone creating "their own" project because they, for instance, lost an election for project coordinator of the older project, could happen as well. "Dueling projects" could result, and I think we might benefit if there were some way to indicate that such things could be quashed immediately. John Carter (talk) 20:15, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I think you have a point here, that say city projects should normally use their country project's banner (or in cases like the US and Canada, their state or provincial Project banner); military history projects should . . . well, immediately be turned into joint task forces because they are duplicative with WP:MILHIST - being careful not to WP:BITE. Yeah, I guess it sounds like a good plan. But what do you do if the subproject expands to need numerous switches of its own? What if we had added WP:European history to the WP:HISTORY back when it was doing nothing? We later added a task force, would you have WP:HISTORY out there with a banner with a switch for the WP:WikiProject European history/Polish history task force?--Doug.(talk contribs) 00:00, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I think that both Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history and Wikipedia:WikiProject Former countries both have already a bit of a "multi-level" setup. What might work in that case is if the articles assessed for a smaller subproject were also automatically assessed for the larger suproject. A few banners can already do this. I think I saw above that the templates have a limitation to size, but with the recent changes to the page linked to I'm not entirely sure what it is. I think it's still fairly big, though, certainly more than the extant Template:WP Australia, which weighs in at about 100 kB. John Carter (talk) 00:57, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
There's no reason why task forces can't have sub-task forces (I think that MilHist already does this re Weaponry and Military technology) - essentially they function as discrete task forces, and the hierarchy is merely organizational, not procedural. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 01:06, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Mass creation of WikiProjects without prior discussion

(Discussion moved here from WT:WikiProject by Doug.(talk contribs) 21:08, 4 February 2008 (UTC))

Last fall, User:John Carter has started to create "work group" pages for individual countries, eg. within the WikiProject Central Asia. Most of those pages have never been used by anyone. Very recently, the editors active around Mongolian topics have decided to use the "Mongolia work group" as a place to discuss issues of common interest, which is why I even noticed any of this and the following. Now John has started to convert all those pages to full blown WikiProjects. As he tells me, he has apparently created almost a hundred WikiProjects about individual countries by now. I suppose that most of those are destined to remain useless zombies for the the foreseeable future, because nobody else uses them either. But the main point of criticism is that in all that, he apparently never once consulted with the editors active in those areas. Not with the project participants where he inserted the work group pages, nor with any editors who happened to use the work group pages he converted to projects. Am I alone in thinking that this is NOT how WikiProjects are suppposed to be handled? --Latebird (talk) 22:04, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Several factual errors spring immediately to mind. One, these pages were created in December. Two, so far as I can tell from keeping tabs on them, most of them have been joined by at least a few others, including the only project to date Latebird has ever joined, the Mongolia one. Three, unfortunately, the MfD discussion was started by him, as other members of the Central Asia project have indicated, because Latebird was reacting emotionally. The basis for his emotionalism was that he didn't want to have to keep up templates, which he had been told was not going to be required anyway. As such, as members of the Central Asia project have indicated, almost all of his actions in this matter have been based on his own, rather irrational and certainly unfounded on fact, emotionalism. John Carter (talk) 21:22, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Factual errors?
  • Woo hoo! December happens to start just a little bit after "fall". Of course that invalidates all of my arguments...
  • In the WikiProject Central Asia, the Mongolia work group was the only one with any actual editor activity, incidentally on my initiative. According to John, this activity seems to summarily vindicate all his unilateral actions as entirely consensus based, and invalidate any of my complaints about them.
  • Other than that, one of the work groups had been joined by one editor, who didn't touch it since. (One other editor has joined the same project since then, but not done anything else there either.)
  • Several participants of the WikiProject Central Asia have made strong and clear statements that they didn't approve of Johns way of acting unilaterally without even trying to talk to the people directly affected.
  • Several participants of the WikiProject Central Asia tried to calm me down, but none of them voiced any actual disagreement with my concerns.
  • All the recent actions by John Carter that actually affected the participants of the WikiProject Central Asia have been reverted by editors other than me. Obviously, they all must have been infected by my "emotionalism" (is that even a word?). The unused/empty projects were ignored as before.
  • John constantly insinuates that "not wanting to keep up templates" was my only motivation for disagreeing with his actions. Probably to his big surprise, his changes to the WikiProject Central Asia banner have since been reverted and criticized by other editors (primarily those doing the most assessments) as entirely unnecessary and overly complicated.
  • I started the MfD at a bad time, when other discussions were still unsolved, and also cluttered the rationale with unnecessary information about the background story. As a result, the arguments from both sides were ignored and the close justified on purely emotional grounds. Future MfDs by other people about some of the same and many other unused WikiProjects are unlikely to suffer the same defects.
I hope that I'm not alone in thinking that a useful WikiProject primarily consists of the people willing to cooperate on a subject matter, and that project pages, templates, and categories do not create a purpose on their own. --Latebird (talk) 14:18, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - FYI, I have closed the MfD as speedy keep per WP:POINT/WP:SNOW. The rationale was that there was substantial discussion there that the matters of content, proliferation, and WP:OWN needed to be discussed, possibly via WP:DR, not resolved via XfD.--Doug.(talk contribs) 22:05, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Changing defaults for {{WP1.0/assessments}}

Hi, guys. I was asked in my talk page whether it would be advisable to change the {{WP1.0/assessments}} template to accept non-article classes. Currently, it just ignores them, which may or may not be the best idea (I have no opinion on it, to be honest), but I wonder if making the change would affect any markup that other WikiProjects use. Several WikiProjects use that code directly, so I'm a bit hesitant to make changes without knowing if I break things for anyone else. So, would adding extra classes break anything for any of you? Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 03:37, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Decayed portal

Would anyone object to me working on the neglected Portal:Rapid transit?--MrFishGo Fish 20:29, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

  • I expect I speak for everyone when I say that no one would object to anyone working to improve any portal, especially a neglected one! Remember: You can edit this page! (or that one if you prefer). You may find some help at WP:Portal and WP:WikiProject Portal--Doug.(talk contribs) 03:07, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! I will give it a shot.--MrFishGo Fish 15:41, 12 February 2008 (UTC)


Copied from WT:1.0

I just thought i'd add a small note in that i noticed an anomaly in that there were capitalised and uncapitalised versions of many of the other classes except this one, so i created a redirect. Now it is possible to do




whch produces the same result.

Simply south (talk) 15:11, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

So, they are all case insensitive now? I suppose this simplifies things, although I prefer the capitalised versions myself; I find it contrary to good style to use lower-case letters for acronyms and initialisms. Waltham, The Duke of 16:25, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Sub-categorisation of WikiProject article pages

At {{WikiProject Dance}}, {{WikiProject Ballet}} category:WikiProject Dance articles has category:WikiProject Ballet articles as a subcategory. An editor at the Australian WikiProject has raised questions about this approach creating problems when he noticed that I had started putting category:WikiProject Australian history articles as a subcategories of the relevant Category:WikiProject History articles cats. See the question at Australian Noticeboard. Paul foord (talk) 12:23, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Directory talk page

Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council/Directory keeps receiving messages that are meant for here, and even the relevant to the directory messages are not always answered. I cannot always handle them, so I request that a few people here should watch the page and try to answer any questions or redirect them. I also think that a template ought to be placed at the top, requesting editors to post there only messages pertaining to the directory itself. That should solve a part of the problem. Waltham, The Duke of 17:18, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Stupid as it sounds, I forgot to watch the talk page. I have marked it now. Thanks for the notice, though. John Carter (talk) 17:24, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
John Carter's stupid, John Carter's stupid!
All right, childish outburst over, back to serious business.
...John Carter's stupid!
Couldn't help myself. :-) Waltham, The Duke of 10:30, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
We have a lot of talk pages without a high amount of traffics. Maybe we should just redirect some of them? -- Ned Scott 03:52, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
I think we ought to decide this on a case-to-case basis. Could you furnish a few examples of the pages you are referring to? Waltham, The Duke of 11:12, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject IROC

WikiProject IROC was marked as possibly being inactive, so I approached WikiProject members to discuss the issue. With the IROC sanctioning body apparently closed, we have discussed closing the WikiProject here. We await an official decision by the WikiProject Council. Most of the WikiProject members are still active, so you can discuss things if needed. Its parent WikiProject is WikiProject Motorsport. Royalbroil 01:29, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

  • I think you've got the wrong idea here. We can't make any sort of official decisions here. There are times I'd like it if we were able to, but... You and the other members of that project are the ones who would decide what to do with the project. If you were to decide to propose a merger with the Motorsport project, you'd probably want their approval too. However, if you were to decide on a merger, and if you wanted any help accomplishing it, we could probably help there. But this body really is not in any way empowered to make any sort of "official" statements. John Carter (talk) 01:43, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
It looks to me like consensus says to close the WikiProject. I didn't want to say that specifically so that I wouldn't bias whoever might read our discussion. Please review the discussion that I linked above. What needs to happen to officially close a WikiProject? Does the Council do the actual closing of the project, or is it left up to WikiProject members? Who removes the WikiProject tag from articles? Royalbroil 03:33, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
First of all, I must confess unfamiliarity with the subject, but surely the closing of the body doesn't mean that the articles about past events shouldn't exist? And I'm assuming that most of them aren't at FA-level yet either. In other words, there is still work to be done. However, if the project wishes to devolve nonetheless, I would highly advise merging with the Motorsport project as a task force, so as to formally confer the project's work to Motorsport. As it is, I would recommend that all of those sister projects do so anyway - I can't see a good reason why all of them shouldn't be task forces of the main project. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 04:29, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
With IROC, I get a sense that contributors feel that the articles are good enough considering that the series never was all that important or popular, and that there's more important racing articles and topics to work on. It is up to the WikiProject members to decide what direction to go with the articles. IROC was an all-star series racing series using drivers from all genres of motorsport, so almost every article is already part of another WikiProject, which should continue to improve each article. The number of potential new articles is very small number: only a few early seasons don't currently have articles. With all due respect, it's up to WikiProject members to decide if it should be closed or changed into a taskforce.
About its sister motorsport WikiProjects: they came before WikiProject Motorsport (the parent WikiProject abbreviated WP:MOTOR). WP:MOTOR was designed to coordinate the common themes since drivers were occasionally changing between sanctioning bodies. After WP:MOTOR was formed, it became even more important when drivers from various series like Formula 1 moved to NASCAR. I believe that contributors are much more inspired to help on articles related to their specific favorite racing sanctioning body. Royalbroil 13:14, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
What might be the best way to go would be to contact the various members and ask them what they want to see happen to the IROC group. If they want to see it continue as a separate task force, then you'd want to contact the Motorsport project and ask their permission. If they don't, then I'd suggest you propose the project page for deletion and turn the extant banner into a soft redirect to the Motorsport banner. But the first step would probably be to contact the other editors involved in the IROC project and ask them what they want to do with the IROC project. John Carter (talk) 14:28, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Um, you probably missed the link (labeled here) that I added in my initial post to Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_IROC#Inactive.2C_direction_to_go. This has already been discussed and contributors had over a week to respond. What I thought I initially asked was for someone to close this discussion. I'll close it myself. I assumed that dealing with WikiProject closure was part of the scope of the WikiProject Council, which appears to be a bad assumption on my part. I was part of the recent closure of WikiProject Contemporary Christian music to become a taskforce under WikiProject Christian music. That closure was dealt with by User:Absolon who is a member of the WikiProject Council. Do WikiProjects get listed at WP:MFD? Royalbroil 06:43, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Absolon is also a member of the Christian music project, which is what I think might have been more relevant in that particular case. What I guess I would suggest is to tag all the biography articles for the Biography project sports group, as they all should be tagged for that group anyway (and, yes, I'm active in that project), and then contact the Motorsport project and get their approval for a merger. When you've gotten their approval, just move the main project page to a new name. Or alternately, if you would want as much, contact me directly indicating what new name you and the Motorsport project have agreed to, and I can move the page myself and try to adjust their banner to include separate assessments for your group. John Carter (talk) 14:11, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Filtering Special:Newpages

I've set up an RSS feed to filter only video-game related articles from the new pages feed. Maybe other WikiProject want to do the same. See: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Video games#New articles RSS feed. JACOPLANE • 2007-12-17 22:19

Please help writing article about multi-level internet marketing radio show keep getting deleted need help65.11.48.203 (talk) 23:50, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Essay, maybe proposal, I'm not sure, regarding WikiProjects

Stunned as many of you might be by seeing this, I actually wrote something. It's just a few ideas regarding what I think might be the situation regarding WikiProjects in general, but if nothing else, it might provide a bit of a springboard for future discussion. It can be found at Wikipedia:The Problem with Projects. I know that it has serious problems, consider it was me who wrote it, but would welcome any comments anyway. John Carter (talk) 18:05, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I love your sense of humour, even if I disagree with almost everything you're saying there :D. My first thought on the subject is "remember no one has to be here". The essay I pay most attention to is WP:CREEP, with a few caveats - at no point should we ever be making it harder for Joe Smith to improve Wikipedia. I can see where you're coming from - as a whole, WikiProjects would be more organised, more durable, and probably more effective if they were restricted along the lines you suggest, but that assumes that there still as many John Smiths willing to join them. And if you restrict WikiProject in any way, you've meant that at least one John Smith can't contribute in the way he would have liked - by joining WikiProject Questionably Notable TV Program. I am of the opinion that we should be more willing to blank (not remove, but blank) WikiProject banners from projects that have clearly flopped, to make inactive projects less messy, but as long as inactive projects don't keep sprawling over into other namespaces, I don't think that another collection of like-minded editors is ever a bad thing. If they make just one co-ordinated edit to one article, it's better than nothing. Happymelon 21:38, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Remember, however, that allowances are specifically made for merger into larger projects. And, in a sense, by creating so many projects, with so many categories and templates and so on, we basically might already be making it harder for someone to edit. Certainly, inactive projects can and should be merged, if they've shown any degree of success, like the IROC project above. And, by allowing people to spend more time on the articles, and less on the project pages, we would be making it easier to edit. The one thing I am most interested in though is the potential basis for collaboration in the future. Clearly, at this point, there's virtually no chance of getting to many individuals collaborating on a single article of less than the greatest importance. Everybody's already got enough to do as is. But by maybe making "topical" rather than article collaborations, I think the chances of getting more cooperation on given articles would increase. John Carter (talk) 21:55, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Certainly do anything that gives people more opportunity to work with articles, but in general, pre- or proscribing certain methods of collaboration is not something I would advocate. Happymelon 21:58, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Proposal regarding fictional series WikiProject proposals

If a proposed WikiProject is about a fictional series, they can propose it at WikiProject Fictional series/Task forces. That could help reduce the amount of proposals here. - LA @ 09:10, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

In general, the original intent of the task force proposal process would be that such proposals would go directly to the parent project anyways. Certainly, if there's a project willing to deal with all of these, that'd be great. Kirill 13:06, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Kirill...Since I am so involved with this proposal, it would be best if someone else did the porting. Also, if the Council would like these types of task force proposals to go right to [[Fictional series, a link to WikiProject Fictional series task force proposals could be added to the WikiProject Council's proposal page. That way the proposals don't have to be made twice. I hope that made sense. - LA @ 10:33, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Current proposals that could be ported

These current proposals could be ported to the Fictional series WikiProject. - LA @ 09:26, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

These could become a task force under WikiProject Fictional series or WikiProject Television.

A few more, although actually I think most of the TV projects have spawned at least a few novels:

A few others, like Wikipedia:WikiProject G.I. Joe integrate in their scope fictional series, but are actually even a bit broader than that topic. John Carter (talk) 14:03, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

U.S. road projects again trying to define scope narrowly for leaderboard games

There's a thread somewhere in the archives, and a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. Roads. It's ridiculous what "friendly" competition can do to people when they have the opportunity to remove stubs from projects to boost their project over others on "wikiwork". --NE2 03:06, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Please help even though you have no idea what I'm talking about. --NE2 03:09, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

In all seriousness, can somebody go there and help sort out the scopes of the subprojects, starting from the basics of why we have WikiProjects and how a scope should be defined? Thank you very much. --NE2 03:16, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject U.S. Roads was poorly named, but everyone supports including city streets in its scope to properly reflect its name. The state highway subprojects were properly named and have always had clearly defined scopes which exclude streets that are not state highways. I honestly don't see what the confusion is. -- Kéiryn talk 03:27, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
So why does California state highways have a county route task force? --NE2 10:39, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I believe because the earlier Wikipedia:WikiProject California County Routes became inactive and as turned into a task force. John Carter (talk) 14:14, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Insensitive tagging

Once again, a new wikiproject has got off to an unhelpful start by insensitively plonking its banner at the top of talk-pages even where there are several other nested banners (many of projects that are more directly relevant, and very activwe in maintaining the article) and also FA tags and the like. This time it was Wikipedia:WikiProject Celts, less than a week old. My polite comment to the editor concerned (and that of an admin later) was met with spectacular rudeness. Is there a policy governing this sort of thing? It should not be necessary, but it appears it is. Johnbod (talk) 18:42, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

No, there isn't such a policy, and it would be extremely difficult to write one. It has been discussed repeatedly at any number of pages, and it has been requested that projects try to not place too much emphasis on themselves over other projects, but those discussions can at best only qualify as guidelines. There are guidelines, but that's all, and, as I'm sure you can understand, it would be very difficult to write any sort of policy regarding any such directly wikipedia-related material which can be added to talk pages. Also, unfortunately, any claim of respecting sensitivities of existing editors can be at least potentially seen as being a borderline declaration of ownership, which could be problematic. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you can understand, one of the few ways a new project can really become known is by having its project banner added to articles. I don't know the specifics of the case involved, but if the project also tagged any number of articles which are not yet tagged by other projects, then it could, reasonably, be seen as being just overzealousness in tagging the contested articles. There have been repeated discussions about whether it would be possible to create rules for the creation of WikiProjects, but such official rules have been seen as being unnecessarily and probably counterproductively beaureaucratic. The best thing to do in such cases is probably to raise your concerns, and, if they go unnoticed, either remove the banner if it is clearly irrelevant and/or place it in a banner shell. But that's probably about all that can be done at this point. John Carter (talk) 16:37, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't see any difficulty in a guideline saying that if nesting is in place it should be respected, or that project banners should always go below FA or GA ones! What would that difficulty be? The editor concerned also put the banner at the top of all related Project talkpages, which as someone else pointed out, will mess up grading statistics. Why should other people have to spend their time laboriously reverting these, sometimes bot-generated, clear examples of bad Wikimanners, if nothing else? Johnbod (talk) 18:16, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Feel free to propose one then. Extant proposals include Wikipedia:WikiProject reform and Wikipedia:The Problem with Projects, and probably others as well. Certainly, as indicated elsewhere, the bots are supposed to be able to place the banners inside any extant shells, and the bot operator would probably be interested in knowing of instances where it didn't, to be able to fix the problem. Regarding exactly which tags are supposed to be on top of any others on talk pages, including Article History templates, I'm not myself aware of any guidelines extant regarding that subject whatsoever, and it might not be a bad idea to have such a guideline in place. If no such guidelines exist, then it basically comes down to a judgement call for any editor, and such declarations of personal preference are generally not considered particularly authoritative. If you are aware of specific extant guidelines regarding comparative priority of given templates on talk pages, which I'm not, though, I would be very heppy to see them and indicate their existence to others as well. John Carter (talk) 18:23, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
There is a general problem with the usage of templates in talk pages. The WikiProject banners, of course, are problematic because of much wider issues, but they are also playing their part in creating crowded and messy-looking talk page tops, especially in important or controversial articles. I believe it is a matter relevant enough to warrant its mention in this thread.
Apart from banners, one can also find in a talk page:
  • a general "This is a talk page..." template;
  • an article status and mileposts template;
  • one or more Peer Review templates;
  • one or more deletion discussion templates;
  • warning templates about controversial issues;
  • an archive boxe;
  • an Echo template; and, finally
  • a template to bypass all the above and take the reader straight to the table of contents.
All these off the top of my head, without looking at any lists or categories; there are also independent To-do lists, media source templates (rare), dialect templates (rarer), collaboration templates, Did You Know templates, "Featured in the Main Page" or "in the X portal" templates, "Pictures needed" templates, "X editor is taking care of this article" templates, and a million other things, all the way to the famous "millionth article" template (unique, obviously). Their usage, inclusion criteria, and relative order are unclear and probably entirely unregulated. Am I the first person to wonder whether something ought to be done about this mess? Talk-page-wise, banners are only the tip of the iceberg.
User:ClockworkSoul/Templates is the only page I have found so far being even peripherally related to talk page template order (the section with the banner reminding us of the good old days, before the banner system outgrew the limits of my patience). I know that it is something to be expected, as what is most important about talk pages is, well, the talking going on in them. However, these templates all offer useful information, and the top of any given talk page ought to be helpful to every editor wanting to get a quick overview of the article's history and special qualities. Thus, a style guide on the matter would not be excessive in my books. It wouldn't even have to be a guideline; just a standard followed by editors voluntarily, a compass for those interested. After all, the most problematic pages aren't really that numerous.
PS: "Heppy" was the funniest typo I've seen in several days. Nothing like those boring dash- and comma-related ones on the Main Page. :-D Waltham, The Duke of 23:36, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject banners

Am I correct in believing that every single project banner is plagiarised from some other project, and that there is no central meta-template for project banners? Happymelon 11:33, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Actually there is a central template in which other projects are adapted from. See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Guide and Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Guide/WikiProject especially Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Guide/WikiProject#Initial setup, so in answer to your question, mainly no. Simply south (talk) 15:29, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmn, OK thanks for that. I was trawling Category:WikiProject banners for something to plagiarise for WP:DISCWORLD, and noticed that, while almost all the banners were nearly identical in practice, they were all hardcoded rather than instances of a meta-template. As someone who works a lot in the template namespace, I immediately saw the potential for simplification and encapsulation, but I wanted to check that there wasn't already a poorly-utilised metatemplate floating around. I think I will at some point attempt to create a useful metatemplate for WikiProject banners, as it would greatly simplify the organisation of existing banners (for instance, it would guarrantee that all project banners were nestable inside {{WikiProjectBannerShell}}), as well as making it much easier for new projects to develop their own banners without having to steal someone else's, and realise six months down the line that they forgot to change some wording and they've still got quotes from Template:WikiProject Ballet in some rarely-used corner of their own banner. When I've got something going, Council will be the first to know. Happymelon 16:11, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Take a look at {{WPBannerMeta}} and tell me what you think. If no one can spot any hugely glaring bugs I'll convert a few small projects' banners over and see if anyone notices :D Happymelon 19:47, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Looks good, except you might want to insert a few links in the "sentence" to the main project page and maybe open tasks, although many projects don't have those. I could probably help you find a few banners to convert in a few days, when I get done with what I'm doing now. John Carter (talk) 19:57, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Yep, seems decent enough, at least for the banners that don't do anything too complex internally. Kirill 20:28, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Personally, even with extra features, I prefer brief banners like that, with additional functions hidden with a hide/show button. There's still room to fit in a preview of rating, such as the class, with the show/hide containing detailed information. While it doesn't use any ratings, I quite like the banner I set up for WP:DIGI at Template:WikiProject DIGI. -- Ned Scott 03:50, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
OK, I've converted a handful of banners, including {{AARTalk}}, which uses quality and importance assessment. The latter flagged up a load of bugs, which I've now fixed. Anyone see any others? If not I'll convert a few more. Happymelon 18:17, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
You know, if you wanted to, there are a number of project banners which don't have assessment parameters yet. A lot of them can be found on the various pages of the new directory I'm gradually making, at User:John Carter/Directory and its subpages, regarding the projects that don't yet have assessments. It would involve possibly creation of some of the categories for assessment too, but if you were to ask them whether they wanted assessments, change the banner if they do, and then tell me which you've set up for assessments, I could do so. John Carter (talk) 22:18, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
That's funny: I was thinking of this today. Why don't we create a "meta-banner" template that allows any project to create its own customized banner without having to rip off another project's or muck around with all the various arcane codes? It would make like quite a bit easier: for example, WP:BEER wants to use the meta-template, all it would need to do is create a new template, say {{WP Beer}}. This would contain text along the lines of {{WP-Banner|image=image.jpg|text=This page is within the scope of...}} (and probably a couple of other arguments I'm not considering as well). Not only would it be very straightforward to create, but it would standardize the banners and quality/importance implementation. – ClockworkSoul 16:58, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Um, you mean like {{WPBannerMeta}} User:Happy-melon created above, right ;) ? John Carter (talk) 17:15, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Doh, how embarassing! Well, gee. I guess that'll teach me to skip the body of the conversation in all my giddy glee, thinking I have something original to say! Seriously, for a second I was like a kid at Christmas. Thank for telling me Santa isn't real. ;) – ClockworkSoul 17:19, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Good work, Happy-melon. I'm especially pleased to see that two ideas I started on {{TrainsWikiProject}}, the unref and imageneeded/imagedetails parameters, have found use on other banners as well. Another feature you might consider is to add portal-specific listing parameters to the portal box like I did with {{TrainsWikiProject}}; see Talk:Rail transport in Victoria for an example. Also, how about a subtemplate that could list applicable task forces and subprojects and their associated importance grades (examples at Talk:London Underground and Talk:A (New York City Subway service))? The first idea is probably far simpler of these two... Slambo (Speak) 17:32, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

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