Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 84

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Wikipedia:Village pump/Archive header

"Deletion" of reviewer userright[edit]


Binding content discussions[edit]

Since the discussion is already closed, can someone please remove the notice that appears on our watchlists? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:34, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Anomie 02:35, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

TeamSpeak for every wikipedia language[edit]

Hi I have a new proposal for wikipedia

We can use TeamSpeak for improve the communication between volunteers.

Example:

en.wikipedia.org Teamspeak english channel

it.wikipedia.org Teamspeak italian channel ...

it's a good idea ?

--Tegra3 (talk) 06:50, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

What are the advantages of teamspeak (or any other type of Voice over IP) compared to communication via existing channels (IRC, email and talkpages) with regards to improving the encyclopedia? I can see none, but I can think of several disadvantages. Yoenit (talk) 13:29, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Not a good idea; we already have quite a few people you can barely understand when they type. I don't even wanna guess what they sound like or whether they are able to speak English at all. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 13:33, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Bad idea. Too slow a medium for listeners. Waste of time and effort. Discriminates against deaf people. We do want to discriminate against people who can't type coherent sentences and we don't want to listen to incoherent babbling and ranting. Dmcq (talk) 17:14, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Support, but with modifications. Having one channel per project could easily become too large to be useful - the ideal Teamspeak capacity is about 4-8 people. I think it would be great to have a set of Teamspeak servers for each major project, perhaps organised by task or subject area (much like the existing IRC channels). I'm aware already of contributors who participate in multiparty Skype calls. The benefit of providing Teamspeak (or similar service) compared to IRC is that it provides a different mode of interaction, more asynchronous, more personal, easily done concurrently with editing activities using the keyboard and mouse, etc. etc. As for "discriminates against deaf people," I could argue it would offer new participation opportunities for blind people. Dcoetzee 18:39, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
There is no particular problems that I know of for blind people with the current arrangements. I am also very suspicious of discussions outside of WIkipedia about articles. Some short discussions might be okay but long term discussion outside makes me think of groups ganging up and doing stupid things. That already happens in Wikipedia with some projects to some extent byut at least you can track what's happening easily. Dmcq (talk) 23:32, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - First of all, I think the WMF is wary of relying on outside servers, but that doesn't have to be official. This would require a lot of maintenance and management; the current system works fine, why bother? Besides, WP:SHOUT is only made easier with something like this.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:34, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't really think this bothers anyone, if he is willing to set up a channels on some external servers and manage them, then let him do that if there is a benefit from that. If you don't want, you don't need to use it. I myself thought about possibility of video conferences, which could be very useful for people who wanted to attend some wikimedia conference, but do not have a time or finances to do that. Petrb (talk) 13:24, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
The good thing about discussion on the Internet is that everyone speaks in the same voice. In addition, a public service like this could be WP:OUTING, since I believe people can be identified by their voices. Jasper Deng (talk) 05:47, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Again, support. See my comments on the section below. Yes, it discriminates against deaf people. IRC discriminates against people too stupid to be able to set up IRC. Wikipedia discriminates against people who don't edit WikiText very well. It'd certainly be better if we could find something that's open source and cross-platform, but I think having something like TeamSpeak is actually a really positive development even if it makes Wikipedia a smidgen more like—quelle horreur!-a social network. —Tom Morris (talk) 16:59, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
    OTOH, there is no need for the WMF or the enwiki community to endorse this proprietary "TeamSpeak" thing. If some group of editors wants to use it on their own, they can. Anomie 04:20, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
    No official endorsement is necessary for a particular editor to do that, after all. Wikipedia is about open-source. We don't go with proprietary software. Jasper Deng (talk) 05:44, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support people who are interested setting up their own, but oppose official effort towards that end until such time as a dedicated community exists. After all, what's the point in having a server unless people use it? - Fennec 04:09, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Update. I've now set up a Mumble server on my own EC2 server. See Wikipedia:Mumble for details. It will be announced more widely after some further testing. Dcoetzee 03:45, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia more collaborative[edit]

Hi

I think we need to find a new method for improve the community.

IRC is obsolete and deprecated. Talk is not in realtime.

My proposal is to create a new page with Audio/Video support.

What do you think ?

I think great !

--Tegra3 (talk) 07:51, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, becoming the new Chatroulette would really be an improvement over the current system. Yoenit (talk) 10:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
No, I don't talking about Chatroulette, but like Tinychat with many people can interact each other.--Tegra3 (talk) 10:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Tinychat is the new Chatroulette. Wikipedia, on the other hand, is not a social networking site. SpitfireTally-ho! 12:56, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I think it is a bad idea just the same as the last time you raised something similar. How about actually reading the replies? If you want a chatroom and friends and shared interests and all that go and talk in a chatroom or even out with actual real friends. What you are talking about would I believe harm Wikipedia. They are a nuisance and a drain on productivity in companies and stop people getting in the groove and doing some work if not very carefully controlled so why should they be any use here? Dmcq (talk) 18:07, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Vociferously oppose. While some articles/talks have walls of text and photos that can strain the eyes, I certainly don't wanna hear a Spoken Wiki/Talkpage. — WylieCoyote (talk) 19:59, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Huch? "IRC is obsolete and deprecated. Talk is not in realtime."
  • we have no deadline - so realtime might not be important!
  • IRC is not deprecated! Show me where the IETF replaced IRC with a new RFC.
  • IRC is not obsolete - in what kind? yes, it doesn't have audio/video support - but nobody wanted that. There are (inofficial) extensions for avatars, gender displaying, etc... So what is obsolete? What are you missing for a chat protocol?
Regards, mabdul 10:42, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
This is actually a good idea, and I'm not at all surprised that it is getting the usual "Wikipedia is not a social network" responses. Please, apply the principle of charity. It is great fun to collaborate on articles: actual, proper collaboration where you bounce ideas off one another and make things better rather than shout and scream about whether the Israelis or Palestinians invented hummous. If you hang out on IRC, you don't see much of that. Having something a bit like the old Wikipedia:Spotlight project but with some real-life interaction would be a great way for budding Wikipedians to learn how to collaborate and build cool stuff. Otherwise, if you just plug away at the stuff you are interested in, it can get extremely lonely very quickly. Having audio chat or something like that, so you can speak to an actual human being and they can say "well, I'm working on this thing, how can you help?" and you spend half an hour digging out sources or copyediting or sorting through pictures on Flickr and uploading the best free ones to Commons or copying source material over to Wikisource or whatever... that'd actually be productive, useful and cool. But, of course, it's apparently a "social network". And that's bad, certainly for the Asperger's crowd. So we must say "no, absolutely not, doubleplusbad". —Tom Morris (talk) 16:55, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I think that this proposal is way too vague. "A page" should be created. How should the page work? Discuss. -Fennec 04:14, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I think this is not a bad idea, it's true that IRC is not so easy for newbies, so maybe installing and extensions which create a special page for irc chat, with predefined set of all wikimedia channels, where user would just pick a nickname and connect, would be usefull. Petrb (talk) 13:56, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Those extensions already exist, but the original idea - Gmail/Facebook-style chat and video chat, isn't going to fly.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:45, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
      • Thank god for that Jasper. BTW I strongly oppose this. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:49, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Proposal: Articles about extant corporations[edit]

There's been some discussion recently over paid editing, the creation of a Wikiproject addressing this and the proposal of another, and so forth. Jimbo recently talked to Bell Pottinger (described here). It's a complicated and contentious issue, and if I'm understanding the debate correctly, PR firms are offering the following types of cases where their intervention is needed or useful:

  • There's derogatory and false (or at any rate unsourced) information about their client in their article. Their client doesn't know how to engage Wikipedia effectively (e.g. OTRS, edit within our rules, etc.) and so they need professionals to fix this.
  • There may not exactly be false information, but the article is slanted and looks rather like a hatchet job. Our client simply wants a neutral and fair article (which is what Wikipedians should want also). Again, a professional is best suited to fixing this.
  • And some clients would like to have a Wikipedia article, and we believe that they are sufficiently notable, but there's no article; and they don't want to wait years (or forever) for some random person to create the article. And since they are sufficiently notable (we believe) then an article would enhance the Wikipedia, which should meet the desires both of our client and Wikipedians generally.

It'd be silly to take this entirely at face value (because for one thing "neutral and fair" depends on your point of view, and it's only human for one's point of view may be influenced by who is cutting one's paycheck). BUT, these are valid concerns and, when they do occur, serious problems (the first two anyway). Because they are valid concerns and serious problems, these are good reasons (or excuses if you prefer) for PR firms and paid agents to claim a moral right to edit the Wikipedia and a practical need to do so.

For my part, I'm against paid agents being allowed to edit the Wikipedia. (There is the question of whether as practical matter it's better, tactically, to allow this as opposed to driving it all underground; that's a different issue and outside the scope of this thread.) So, is there another way, rather than allowing or welcoming paid agents, to address these concerns?

Yes, possibly, and I have some concrete suggestions. This is not going to happen right away but it's something worth talking about, maybe. What I'm proposing is:

  • As the main proposal, creation of an "Articles about Extant Corporations" policy similar to Biographies of living persons (BLP).
  • As a secondary proposal, perhaps looser notability requirements for WP:CORP.
  • As a secondary proposal, the deployment of a template which is essentially the converse of {{advert}} .

Details below.

Articles about Extant Corporations WP:AEC[edit]

Articles about Extant Corporations. (This would include non-profit organizations and almost all businesses, even single stores and restaurants, since those are almost always incorporated. But some or many single-person businesses aren't incorporated. It could be "Articles about Extant Organizations" instead, which would be similar but not embracing exactly the same sets.)

Various details to be worked out but the basic thrust would be similar to WP:BLP. Corporations aren't exactly like people so there'd have to be some changes from WP:BLP, but it could be expressed with a similar summary:

With a corresponding tag for article talk pages:

This implies the creation, manning, and efficient operation of a "biographies of extant corporations noticeboard", which seems doable. The Foundation would possibly (maybe) take a hand in promoting and perhaps even monitoring this effort if it gains any traction.

Reform of WP:CORP[edit]

While this remains on the table, it's secondary and peripheral, and is a distraction from the main point, so I'm making it less visible. Discussion remains open though. Herostratus (talk) 15:42, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

{{Hatchetjob}}[edit]

While this remains on the table, it's secondary and peripheral, and is a distraction from the main point, so I'm making it less visible. Discussion remains open though. Herostratus (talk) 15:42, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

General discussion[edit]

For my part, I don't especially like these proposals on the merits. But I'm a social democrat and while I appreciate the cool things that corporations make and do, for-profit corporations are amoral entities and their social impact is mixed and they need plenty of oversight. That's my opinion, and a more pro-business person might feel that these are good proposals on the merits. It comes down to a philosophical opinion on what an article about a corporate entity should be: more of a listing of their vital statistics and description of their products and so forth, or more a description of their role in society, or whatever. We're not Frontline but we're not the Chamber of Commerce either, and threading that needle is difficult and contentious.

However, I'm not not suggesting this on the merits, but as I said for two reasons:

  • To address the concerns (or professed concerns if you prefer) of the PR industry.
  • To remove some of the practical reasons for the PR industry to be involved with the Wikipedia.

If this proposal doesn't gain traction, it doesn't mean that these concerns won't be addressed. It just means that they'll be addressed by agents of the corporations themselves, directly. This is problematic as it threatens our reputation, the morale of the volunteers, and our actual neutrality, in my opinion.

There's no force on earth that will stop paid agents from editing the Wikipedia, of course. The point is to strip it of its raison d'etre and reduce the need for it. Herostratus (talk) 17:46, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I find the proposal repugnant and impractical. This privileges corporation and analogous entities in a very Citizens United way, not for any noble purpose, but merely to keep PR professionals from having to act like responsible Wikipedia editors. Given the tens of millions of corporations in the U.S. alone, the change to WP:CORP by itself could lead to the creation of an entire industry of "put YOUR company into Wikipedia" spamming specialists who would technically be acting within the rules. I see no burning need to whore Wikipedia out to the paid intellectual <insulting five-letter word to be found in the King James version of the Bible removed>s of the PR industry, just because these highly-paid alleged professionals are too damned lazy or stupid to figure out our interface. As an occasional journalist, I also greatly resent the false, even slanderous use of "investigative journalism" as a synonym for "hatchet job"! --Orange Mike | Talk 18:16, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
An absolute disgrace. This is a license to turn Wikipedia ino a censored marketing tool, and is far more damaging than SOPA could ever be.Nigel Ish (talk) 20:31, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
To allow paid editing or advocacy through means that are legitimized, puts Wikipedia at risk. While not all paid editing is with evil intent, it opens the door for abuse. Phearson (talk) 23:14, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Your solution seems analogous to keeping your front door unlocked so burglars won't force the lock when they come to rob your stuff. Yoenit (talk) 23:47, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
OK, but look. It says here, for instance, that a corporation was described as "wanting to kill you" (and the citation was an extremely unreliable source). And this was there for quite a while. And nobody noticed it, or cared. But the corporation noticed it. And they cared. But they couldn't change it (because they don't know how to edit or engage with the Wikipedia properly). So they hired paid agents. I don't like paid agents roaming the database. But if the alternative is that entities will be described as "wanting to kill you" (if it's not justified; it might be in some cases), then bring them on. I think many Wikipedians would agree: bring them on. You want that? People depend on these entities for their livelihoods, you know. It's real important. Why shouldn't they have the same consideration as provided under WP:BLP, or at least some modified version. If we can't solve our problems ourselves, they will perforce be solved by other means -- other means that bring their own problems. Herostratus (talk) 05:19, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Let me get this straight: I'm not familiar with the specific case, but you're saying the corporation "cared" but didn't know either how to edit or how to engage with WP. Well, first off, corporations don't care; despite bizarre court rulings suggesting otherwise, corporations are not human or mammalian or even alive, so they're incapable of caring or indeed of having feelings of any kind. As for the people affiliated with the corporation who cared—well, I'm finding it a little hard to imagine that they were capable of using a web browser to find their corporation's article yet were utterly stymied by the links reading "edit this page", "discussion", and "Contact Wikipedia" that appeared above and alongside that article. I have sometimes described myself as an AGF extremist, but I have to tell you I don't believe that for one second. In any event, put me down as opposing this proposal in the strongest terms. You seem to be suggesting we invite the wolf into the fold because otherwise it'll just sneak in anyway. Good grief. We have policies (NOR, NPOV, V) to deal with bad content; we do not need to give corporations special consideration on top of that. "Unwarranted vilification of entities"? Do you have any idea how dystopian that sounds? Also, the likening of "investigative journalism" to advertising is absurd. Rivertorch (talk) 06:49, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
We have NPOV policy to deal with people slanting an article. The proposer seems to at the same time want corporations to be in Wikipedia when they have no notability, and yet for us to treat them with kid gloves like BLP. They have not read the bit in BLP about the strong need for verifiability as well which goes with the kid gloves bit. We definitely do not need loads of corporations noted when they are not notable. From my reading of that case of Bell Pottinger it seems to me their problem was they assumed bad faith so they tried to do things in an underhand way and so acted in bad faith themselves. If they'd done things in a straightforward manner in the first place there wouldn't have been a problem. It does not sound to me from what that says that they have learnt anything either except to be more careful, their attitudes seem unchanged, lets jut hope they follow the policies in future rather than trying to be more devious in 'how best they can use us'. Dmcq (talk) 11:34, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
You're ignoring something that applies to straight BLPs as well: BLP victims are typically not familiar with Wikipedia. Therefore, they might not know any methods of fixing the problem other than underhanded ones--that's what unfamiliarity means, they don't know. They might not even be familiar enough with Wikipedia to know that something is underhanded.
A persistent problem with BLPs is that the BLP victim violates the rules to fix his BLP, and a lot of attention is given to banning or blocking him while little attention is giving to fixing his BLP or preventing BLP violations. Pointing out "oh, they assumed bad faith" or "they weren't straightforward" or other examples of misbehavior is an example of this--they don't know Wikipedia, how in the world would we expect them to know about AGF? All they know is that someone is telling lies about them--to an outsider, that looks like reason to assume bad faith. So they violate the rules to fix the lies and people like you jump on them because you care more about the rule violation than the fact that we are spreading lies. Ken Arromdee (talk) 16:44, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
We are not talking about BLP here. I fully agree that for BLP we should take extra special precautions. I even do that if they are dead never mind the living bit. But this is about organizations and in particular that complaint was about a PR organization and moreover one where the head man still doesn't see anything wrong with what they did. Dmcq (talk) 05:24, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm a paid editor that's been involved in the linked projects and the general effort to make this dynamic better. I think the three bullets up top are very good as problem statements (I would add the desire to make pre-existing articles more complete), but not sure these are the right solutions. A few comments:
  • Negative POV is often less scrutinized than positive POV, but policy already addresses both equally. It's more of a cultural and motivational problem.
  • I don't think it makes sense to erode WP:CORP simply because it's difficult to enforce. However I will say there are a lot of very large notable companies who simply aren't in the news much.
  • The biggest problem is PR people don't read or even know about the existence of policies, so creating more policy for them won't change anything, since they won't read it.
  • I'm not sure if this was intentional but I do appreciate the language of "hiring a professional." I think PR needs to recognized Wikipedia as an expertise and there needs to be experts that can be a guardian of ethics, protect them from themselves and know policy.
Bell Pottinger basically said they didn't know how to edit Wikipedia ethically. Why do PR people keep accepting work they have no expertise on?
King4057 (talk) 16:49, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The proposal above is yet another reason why Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad is one of the worst US Supreme Court decisions of all time, in that it created "corporate personhood" without a corresponding check on the power of a "person" which was effectively immortal and, often, richer than Croesus. We treat the biographies of living persons differently from other articles for the simple, humanistic reason that real life-and-blood people can be conceivable be harmed by irresponsible editing of those article. Corporations, on the other hand, have vast resources at their beck and call, and can counter any inadvertant inaccurcies with public relations, advertising and as much "spin" as they're willing to pay for. There's no compelling reason for us to institute a corporate equivalent of our BLP policy, and every reason to be on guard for their attempts to warp our neutral articles to their liking with paid editing. This may not be David vs. Goliath, but there's certainly no reason to give the corporations our assistance in skewing our articles in their favor. Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:35, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Most corporations don't have vast resources. Upper Crust Pizzeria doesn't. They've got 20 stores, but they're not Exxon-Mobile. This is typical. Is it right and fair that half their article should consist basically of attacks? Maybe it is. But I'm just asking. (And "real life-and-blood people can be conceivably be harmed" by this sort of thing, yes. Upper Crust Pizzeria is not owned and staffed by robots.)
I hatted the peripheral and distracting sub-proposals, to clarify that the main proposition is:
  1. A notice on the talk pages of these articles, directing people with a problem to a noticeboard where they can seek relief.
  2. And the creation and manning of such a noticeboard.
  3. And a policy supporting the noticeboard, to the general effect of "negative information which is unsourced or improperly sourced should be removed without discussion". It could be hedged all around with various caveats about how this doesn't mean the article has to be a puff piece, or whatever.
What's wrong with these three simple things? Who could be against this? Herostratus (talk) 15:42, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
While I support making it easier for businesses to challenge unsourced or unreliably sourced negative information, I also want to be sure that we're not allowing them to to exclude serious but unproven allegations just because the allegations have yet to be proven conclusively. Also, we'd want to prohibit the selective inclusion or exclusion of reliably sourced information in a way that violates NPOV, such as listing their product in an article as "a product that is specifically designed to clean up spilled water is the Big Mop by Mops Inc" while not specifically mentioning their competitors and alternative solutions if competitors and alternative solutions are available. So I support this proposal in the sense that it can help with NPOV and requiring reliable sources, but I want to be sure that we don't go too far in allowing the exclusion of allegations and/or competitors' products. Pinetalk 23:02, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Question why is this proposal for corporations and not businesses in general? Why not also include forms of business like LLPs which are likely to be used by small businesses? Pinetalk 23:07, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

  • I think Pine has a good point. Businesses can use a number of different legal frameworks and these can vary a little from country to country. (And in British English, "corporation" looks like an americanism although historically a number of local public-sector bodies used to call themselves "corporation"). So, we should take care to use a more inclusive term.
  • We do have a problem with some business articles being hatchet jobs - although we might fret about paid editors making an article too positive, there's no shortage of editors out there who dislike big businesses generally, or have an axe to grind against a specific retailer or former employer, and hence collect criticism from various angles and wrap it up in decidedly non-neutral text... I think a noticeboard and a couple of templates would be very helpful but am wary of making this a bigger thing with substantial policy changes, like BLP. Simply applying NPOV &c to business articles should be sufficient, I feel, and we should concentrate on ways to get extra eyes on potentially-problematic articles to ensure they fall in line with our existing policies. bobrayner (talk) 00:14, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, right, it could be "Organizations" instead of "Corporations" (although I think that LLPs could be shoehorned into "corporation". "Businesses" would be no good since that leaves out not-profits maybe. "Organizations" though would (I suppose) include political parties and possibly bands and so forth so I dunno about that. A minor point of semantics though. Herostratus (talk) 05:57, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I'd support changing this to "organizations." Political parties and bands could have unreliable or unsourced criticism directed at them just as easily as any other type of organization. This doesn't mean that we should remove bad news or credible accusations from articles just because an organization wants us to censor the bad news when the news is backed up by reliable sources, but we also shouldn't be including every unreliable or unsourced negative news and rumor. We need to achieve balance. Pinetalk 06:28, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

No. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:01, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Just.... no? Well, while that's succinct, I gather that you preference is for paid agents to be roaming the database instead? Herostratus (talk) 05:57, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Given the choice between professional PR agents and the naïve corporate affiliated people who try to write their own articles, the PR agents at least do a more consistent and usable job, with greater potential for improvement. But very few of them ever fully internalize the basic concept that while they are automatically thinking in terms of what the subject wishes to communicate to the public, an encyclopedia article must think in terms of what the public might wish to know.
Yet, we are greatly deficient in usable content in this subject area--perhaps more so than any other broad field. I can think of several approaches. The minimum is to consistently watch what they do ,and fix it--but to do this effectively requires legalizing it,and enforcing the standard that they declare their identity. Perhaps we need to modify our policy on anonymity to the extent that anyone editing for pay or part of a job, declare their true identity and affiliation. This would at least provide a better way or tracking the articles, The second, might be to accept articles on corporate entities in the form of infoboxes, which could then be rewritten by people who understand our rules--this would at least provide the basic information and have the side benefit of providing a channel through which we could look at them. The third, which has the advantage that we are already doing it, is to actively work with the various professional agencies on their field to raise their standardsof work here. DGG ( talk ) 10:18, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, I guess I just fundamentally disagree about the "PR agents at least do a more consistent and usable job, with greater potential for improvement". What PR agents know is how to slant things subtly, gladhand, offer treats (like references (but only the references they want you to use)), and so forth. Of course they know all these tricks. They're professionals! Better some hack job that can be detected and reverted. In my opinion welcoming PR agents into the fold is a dagger to the heart of the volunteer ethos. I for my part am not willing to contend with paid professionals as a hobby. But I'm getting the impression that this is distinctly minority view, so... Herostratus (talk) 13:24, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Herostratus that PR agents are untrustworthy. They typically have a conflict of interest, and there have been reports of PR agents bragging about the changes that they've been able to make on WP. I don't oppose them working here, but I would want full disclosure of who's paying them and for what purpose, and I hope that their actions could be flagged for especially rigorous oversight by other editors. Pinetalk 09:54, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh I think there's quite a few general editors around on Wikipedia who are pretty good at slanting things without being professionals! And some seem to put in more time on their hobby horse than any professional would. Disclosure though is what I would hope for from any professional. Dmcq (talk) 01:58, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

sort articles by " NUMBER OF WORDS"[edit]

I would like to give a suggestion to your website. Could we sort the articles by " NUMBER OF WORDS"? For example, by 100 words, 300 words, 1000 words, 1500 words, etc. Most of the time for some user, they just want to know the general information or the subject of an article only. There isn't necessary to read the whole article to get the little information. Sorting by number of words is classified articles into different categories, for lesser words - e.g. 100 words of an article which is talking about Taoism, so readers may know what they need are just some main / key ideas ( without redundant history backgrounds). for more words, it could include more evident or findings for the subject. For even more words, it could include origins, history etc. So , all in all, just sort by different ways of summarization of knowledge.

Thank you!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 42.2.43.151 (talk) 02:26, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

You don't have to read past the lead at the top. Normally people do try and put the more relevant stuff first. Are you thinking perhaps of a facility for phones where you want to restrict the amount downloaded? Anyway going further this idea could be expanded further - have a joystick pushing forward gets you deeper down with lots more detail, back and you zoom up for an overview, perhaps turn left for simpler language and less assumptions whereas turning right assumes the reader knows more of the background and can use more jargon. For editors pressing the fire button will get rid of vandalisms by identifying the edit that last changed the bit pointed at. Zap zap zap, yeah that would be satisfying for dealing with them. Dmcq (talk) 05:11, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
A bit sarky, Dmcq. Essentially is what we do by our choice of articles. For example, English law merely mentions murder; homicide in English law would provide (once complete) a few hundred words; Murder in English law a whole article, but whose lead might be about the summary in the previously named article. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 13:54, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Saying what you want is the best way of getting it. Perhaps in the future computers will be smart enough to do what I said. Already we have chat rooms where messages are automatically translated into the language of the person reading the discussion so people don't even have to speak the same language. Your example doesn't satisfy the business about less words, I think what they really are asking for is a cut off which will still display something without eating into their account, that's something I believe some mobile phone service provide already by processing the pages before sending them down but I'm not into that area. Dmcq (talk) 14:29, 20 January 2012 (UTC)--42.2.43.151 (talk) 01:18, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

The best way of getting it, and also the best information we want as well. for example, when we search Albert Einstein, in the first beginning paragraphs, i don't even can see his major achievement like Theory of relativity, E = mc square. But i know that is difficult to force other's to think what i think which is more important. i just try to give an suggestion to ask users to make their beginning passage as essence as possible. essence is slightly different to general information. when articles are limited by words, i thought it can let users to think what is important to put their information. And like Dmcq said, mobile phone can apply " lesser word scheme " quite well, but the reason is not quite related the download limitation,i think, it's the phone screen's limitation, it's not that user friendly to read and move around such a big picture in a such a small screen (compared to desktop computer)all in all, sorting by words categories seems a bit far from my original purpose - essence your information. i don't know, i need to think more of that.--42.2.43.151 (talk) 01:18, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

The theory of relativity is mentioned in the very first sentence. Have another look. Also you can normally adjust the format of pages for mobiles so the text just goes down the screen instead of needing to pan over a large screen, there will be some option of the browser to do that and Wikipedia behaves quite well in Opera mobile for instance. There's still room for improvement but it's mainly problems in the content because of the editor generated content rather than the site itself, probably there should be a bit of a drive to deal with such things, also some extra work could be done to make tables behave better. Dmcq (talk) 13:07, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Grandiose's example is a complete one to show the result of what this proposal would be archived. it shows different versions of articles would come out. That's another direction from mine, but that's ok. All this inspired me to know that readers can choose what they want more effectively in some cases. --42.2.43.151 (talk) 01:18, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
but this indicated another situation is that not only numbers of words should be sort, it should also include key words searching option next to / under numbers of words searching option.--42.2.43.151 (talk) 04:35, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Dmcq's suggestions about " lesser words policy" on mobile phone is almost like that, i'm not that capable with technology thing. As mobile phone is getting online everywhere, what we absorb is not huge amount of info, like Einstein said, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

An interesting proposal, but I fear it may be reinventing the wheel. We already have a system of sorting articles into stubs, start class and articles beyond start class - would this not give the type of information for which the proposer is seeking? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 09:13, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

But that's only available in articles with stub added. right? But under my proposal, longer articles is also can be sorted as well. Depends on what readers want.--42.2.43.151 (talk) 05:54, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

It is not just available on articles that are stubs - start class articles (the next category up from stubs) are also inidicated this way. Experienced Wikipedians may remind me whether we sort articles into categories beyond that (I do seem to recall we also indicate good articles and featured articles in this way). ACEOREVIVED (talk) 09:11, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Changing the "d" to "t" in templates[edit]

Because of the change of "discussion" to "talk" on Wikipedia articles, we similarly should change this on templates. The "v" is for view (obviously), while "d" is for discussion and "e" is for edit. It makes so much more sense to change the "d" to a "t" (for Talk, as opposed to Discussion) because of the change regarding the tab name (from discussion to talk). Till I Go Home (talk) 07:56, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

There's a practical reason why it is not "t"; it is too narrow, leaving only three pixels to click on, while the "d" is wider. Compare: d vs. t. Edokter (talk) — 12:10, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
That doesn't change the fact that it is inconsistent with the new style of "Article | Talk" meaning it would make much more sense as a "t". Till I Go Home (talk) 13:19, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
What you say makes sense, but I personally find usability the larger concern. I find that t a pretty difficult target! --Moonriddengirl (talk) 16:05, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Or maybe tk (just a thought, as "t" could also stand for "template" in this context). --NSH001 (talk) 16:13, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
"t/d" (talk/discuss) perhaps? I dislike that "talk" was chosen over "discussion", but now that it's been decided, we should at least make everything consistent. --Cybercobra (talk) 17:12, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Why not simply switch to uppercase letters? A T link is sufficiently wide. —David Levy 20:05, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Alternatively, do we really need to link to the talk page of a template from every instance of that template? Leonxlin (talk) 04:21, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
We need the e button for really unexperienced users to change also transcluded templates. mabdul 11:03, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
We also need E for lazy people. Like me. Petrb (talk) 13:34, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support to change to t and all to uppercase letters. mabdul 11:03, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Why not change them all to capitals V T E. If you reach a consensus how to do that, poke me or someone on bots, and I could help to implement this widely on site. Petrb (talk) 13:32, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support V T E Again, better to have everything consistent, and the uppercase solves any logisical issues. Angryapathy (talk) 17:23, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support V T E, per above. Help new and lazy users find the four letter words. --Quintucket (talk) 00:13, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, obviously. They are called talk pages, let's not beat around the bush. —Tom Morris (talk) 16:46, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support And I don't understand the pixel comments above. If it needs to be "t", it needs to be "t". The number of pixels really doesn't matter doktorb wordsdeeds 16:48, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Somewhat oppose - won't some people find it confusing actually, clicking on t, thinking it will also take them to the template page? Simply south...... having large explosions for 5 years 18:27, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
    A slightly ambiguous initial is preferable to one with no obvious meaning (given the fact that it stands for a term no longer in use in the relevant context). —David Levy 19:05, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support change to "V T E", as discussed above. —David Levy 19:05, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support V T E per common sense exhibited above. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 19:24, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: V T E or even Ⓥ Ⓣ Ⓔ.   → Michael J   03:16, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support V T E. I have no issue whatsoever with "v t e", either. DCItalk 20:17, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Sounds like a good idea. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:48, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support v · t · e The all caps looks, well, overly imposing. Also, I strongly oppose Ⓥ Ⓣ Ⓔ, as not every computer properly renders unicode. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:44, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support View Talk Edit see examples Petrb (talk) 13:49, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose for several reasons: 1. Capitals are too big and cause misalignment. This could be countered using smallcaps, but those render inconsistently between several browsers; see Template:Navbar/testcases for examples using smallcaps. 2. When hovering over the 'd', a tooltip appears with the text "Discuss this template"; so where is the perceived confusion? 3. Just because the tabs now use "Talk" doesn't mean the rest have to follow suit; by that logic, we would have to change the "v"/"view" to "t"/"template"... oops, "t" would be taken by Talk. To sumarize: I see no reason to change something that has been working for ten years now. Edokter (talk) — 14:20, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Proposed types[edit]

Let's compare this:

  • Complete text
  • Shortcut

I guess we should decide if it wouldn't be better to use first one, since it's most clear to newbies Petrb (talk) 14:07, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

And "View", "Talk" and "Edit" are all short, four-letter words to it will be fine. Till I Go Home (talk) 05:00, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Note also that VTE and V T E are both possible for small templates. Mark Hurd (talk) 07:10, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

"Check Availability" feature for usernames[edit]

I think Wikipedia should implement a "Check Availability" feature for usernames (as offered by YouTube) for editors who are newly registering at Wikipedia. As of now, if a username is already taken, the user have to retype the password and the annoying CAPTCHA after choosing a new username. Implementation of this proposed feature will save a lot of time. --SupernovaExplosion (talk) 06:04, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Support I think that there's a list of usernames somewhere, but I can't find it at the moment. The fact that I can't find it suggests that finding available and used usernames could be made easier. Pinetalk 22:49, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
You'ee probably thinking of Special:ListUsers. It's decidedly difficult to find if you don't know how to get to it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:18, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Support - can't think of any logical reason not to have this, and good reasons to have it. Can;t think why it's not already there! Pesky (talkstalk!) 08:52, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Support Why hasn't this been implemented it? It's a great idea because it saves time for the person registering, he wouldn't need to get a message saying that the username has already been taken. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 09:09, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Support, although I don't know how Youtube has implemented it - that might save us work at the WP:ACC team. mabdul 11:06, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
This is very easy to implement, anyway Special:ListUsers list only local users so it's absolutely unusable for this. If there is a support for this, we can implement it quickly, however the deployment to cluster may take a while. Petrb (talk) 12:40, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Support this sounds like a very good idea. (i for one remember typing the captcha over again several times) :P benzband (talk) 21:20, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Support Useful, time-saving, easily implementable (per Petrb), and long overdue!--JayJasper (talk) 21:24, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Support This seems to be a good way to improve the account creation process. Helder 15:16, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Oppose. I hate people. They should stay off the Internet and we should make their lives miserable. Okay, seriously, who in their right mind would not support this as nice-to-have? -Fennec 04:19, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Nyup! Per Fennec. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:49, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Potential student project[edit]

I am applying for a summer student to do a Wikipedia Medicine research project through my department. One potentially project I am looking at is having them review all the edits made to Wikiproject Medicine articles.[7] The student will go through each edit and

  1. determine if the edit is okay and revert it/fix it if it is not
  2. determine which edits are made from IP/new users verses long term edits
  3. calculate the percentage of positive/negative edits from each group
  4. they will be going over edits more than one day old and thus we will be able to determine how good Wikipedia is at repairing itself.

I am thinking of collecting a weeks worth of edits. If I am able to get approval and funding from UBC I am hoping to run a second round collecting the same data but with "pending changes" turned on for a week on all medical articles. This students would be handling all pending changes to all medical articles and will be collecting the same data as before. This will allow us to determine if:

  1. pending changes affects the numbers of IPs editing
  2. to what degree pending changes reduces the visibility of poor quality content.

The proposed student will be either between first and second year or second and third year medicine and will be working 40 hours per week for 6-8 weeks during the summer. This is still a rough draft thus appreciate comments? Would also need someone who can create a bot to apply PC to the articles in question if we get to that point. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:44, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Seems to me that this would require turning whole swathes of an Encyclopedia into a semi private test facility. Whatever work is done should be for the benefit of Wikipedia, not an outside research project. Asking that pending changes be applied to (what one can imagine is) a large number of articles for study purposes, is in my view an unacceptable use of page protection tools. fredgandt 14:14, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
People here have asked for data regarding if pending changes works or not. This is a proposal for a trail to determine this. The number of articles in question is about 24,000. Concerns raised regarding PC in the past have been 1)does PC turn people away 2)how much time is required to manage PC 3)how much poor content does it prevent going live. We can determine all of this. We could try it with a one day trial to determine if the effects are large before looking at doing a week. Since this project primarily / only benefits Wikipedia it is going to be a hard sell to my department. But just the effort will raise awareness regarding Wikipedia. I find the comment regarding "outside research project" strange as I am trying to get funding for an inside research project. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:24, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
There was some trial of pending changes a while ago, did it come up with figures and what happened about it all does somebody know?
Well one would certainly need the trial to last for a while to get over any transitory effects, also one would need to monitor some similar pages say on biology or sport as the numbers of vandals and good editors may vary anyway e.g. when other countries have a summer holiday. Dmcq (talk) 14:44, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes i have seen a bit of an overview from before will try to dig it up latter if someone does not beat me too it. This trial would just be on medicine pages as that is where the founding is coming from and my only interest. Would be great to have others run trials on other topics though.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:54, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
(Reply to User:Fred Gandt). This is pretty clearly a project intended to benefit Wikipedia, so please try to conduct discussion on the basis of an assumption of good faith. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:33, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
You are assuming that I was conducting it any other way. Please follow your own advice. fredgandt 02:45, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I was not assuming anything, but basing my comment on the evidence of what you wrote. Claiming that this is not being proposed for the benefit of Wikipedia is an explicit failure to assume good faith. Phil Bridger (talk) 11:06, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Whether or not I misunderstood the intentions of the proposal, I am insulted by your patronizing suggestion that I in any way didn't assume good faith. As I read the proposal it seemed to be a suggestion that some medical students would privatize a subject in order to study it (etc.). I however at no point considered the proposal to be made in anything but good faith (the tone is obviously serious and considered); I just disagreed with the proposal (as I understood it). Your implication that I did not assume good faith was rude (to me) and unwarranted. Even my Mother doesn't know what I am thinking. You didn't assume good faith in my response to the proposal. I didn't assume anything. I respond and wait. It has paid off. The proposal is now clearer to me. fredgandt 17:41, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Have you run this by your IRB already, or is this at concept stage? Will the student be writing a paper, or is this a pure WP project? (We heavily frown on external experiments run on us lab rats)
My first concern is the expertise of your selected student, expecially if they are handling PCs, 2nd-3rd year meds sounds better. The equal ranking concern is how well they can learn that they are not in charge of anything at all. I think you should change your design so that they are also analyzing responses to their own edits.
Setting up PC on 24,000 articles is a tall order, is the function even enabled anymore? Can you select a smaller subset for the trial? Say 2-3,000 articles? Getting an adminbot approved to turn on PC may take the entire summer just to get through BRFA. Franamax (talk) 06:07, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
What the student would do would be collecting data for Wikipedia. I guess I should say they would be dealing with PC when it is on so that this would not generate extra work for the community ( a concern previously raised ). Yes PC is still enables (if you are an admin you can see it under the protect opinion). If by write a paper you mean write an article for the signpost yes. I unfortunately do not think anyone cares about the effect of PC on Wikipedia but us thus seriously doubt we could find an academic journal.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:18, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I see clearer now that what you are proposing is a re-evaluation of the potential usefulness of the pending changes system. I'm actually a big fan of the idea. There are issues that kinda fly in the face of open editing though. One has to wonder if Wikipedia would be what it is today if there hadn't been the opportunity for any passing Tom, Dick, or Harry to add their little bit. But that is the question isn't it? And with this study you intend to find out? If pending changes was ever going to work well, I feel the judgement of those editors proven by track record would be superior to the judgement of outsiders (however well versed in the subject they might be). Certainly though, if a re-evaluation of PC is what you're after, and a way can be found to do it without disrupting the Encyclopedia too much, I might support it. 20000 pages is far too many to play with though. A longer running test on a far smaller subcategory would (in my opinion) be far less disruptive (and possibly thus, far more fruitful). fredgandt 17:41, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
(*grumble*)
Yes, there is data from the previous trial. You can see some of it at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Metrics/Anonymous edit quality. Yes, the data proves that PC works for permitting new and unregistered editors to make improvements (about a third of the edits to these articles) while preventing vandalism and other bad edits from ever seeing the light of day (about two-thirds of the edits). NB that the articles in question were selected primarily from among semi-protected BLPs, i.e., articles known to have had problems in the past. The ratio of good:bad edits is likely to be (much) higher if you're randomly selecting articles.
Doc James, the better way to run this trial is to randomly assign half the articles to PC and half to current status during the same week. This eliminates problems with unexpected media exposure, holidays, etc., and also halves the workload. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:52, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I just had a quick look around and I just don't see any metrics to answer the questions I'd have wanted to answer. In particular there is no comparable sample chosen with pending changes not used and they should count ordinary editors to see the effect on them as well and if possible I'd like to have an idea of the number of watchers for each article. I think I'd have just stuck it on a random sample of other pages too for the trial period to see the effect where there wasn't a preexisting problem. I'd have thought there would be some good statisticians around on Wikipedia who could have helped with setting up the trial and interpreting the results. Dmcq (talk) 09:10, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
By putting pending changes on a group of articles and reviewing all the edit made, than by not having pending changes on a group of articles and reviewing all the edits made one can determine if pending changes affects the number of edits made by IPs / new users. We would also divide the list of articles in half such that (half have pending changes the first week and half do not, than the second week they are switched so that one can hopefully take into account a change in editing volume from week to week even though there is not much of one). We are than comparing articles to themselves (each article will be its own control).--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:02, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I strongly oppose running this trial. First, the subject is inappropriate, as the content of or medical articles is well-watched, and has been repeated evaluated by outside evaluators as having very high quality, If we were to do such a test, there are many areas much more susceptible to problematic edits--PC was introduced at first as a proposal for BLPs, and was used as such; BLPs in certain fields particularly, such as entertainment and politics, have a much higher frequency of problems ,
More generally, I think we've discussed this enough.There is already an excellent trial running: the German Wikipedia. On the one hand, their articles have a higher quality of writing--on he other, they are by our standards very often inadequately documented. Perhaps a more detailed analysis of the differences here might be the more productive approach. It does however, require a degree of fluency in German uncommon in the US.
Even more generally, regardless of what might have been the case two or three years ago, quality is not now our most pressing problem The overall quality of Wikipedia is well accepted--that is, the overall quality as judged by appropriate standards for a quick reference site, not the standards for an academic treatise. and the public now seems to understand that such is the appropriate standard. Our problems are rather the attraction and especially the retention of new editors and the introduction of spam articles for both companies and non-profit organizations. Patrolled Changes is irrelevant to the problem of new spam articles, and almost certainly counter-productive in terms of editor attraction and retention. What we need to solve, are the currently critical problems.
Overall, I well recall the tens of thousands of hours for us all devoted to this problem: for us discussing it, for our testing it and explaining it, for the programmers attempting to meet the constraints of our high editing rate. During the trial, the difficulties were such that I at least simply refrained from editing any article under the trial despite my admin status which meant anything I edited would be automatically approved by the system. (The effect of the deWP system is such that I no longer attempt to do even simple error-fixing there--which I must admit is all I'm generally capable of in that language. --that's part of the basis on which i anticipate a similar discouraging effect here.) I think the best way of distracting us from positive work on the problems of Wikipedia would be to reintroduce the subject. I'm glad the programmers made the final decision--their disgust at working so hard on what was not implemented led them to refuse to work further unless we would commit, and since we would not commit without proof that it worked better, this put an end to it. DGG ( talk ) 10:02, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes this was sort of the response I expected.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:20, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Automatic warning when creating section heading exactly matching an existing section heading[edit]

When creating a section heading, I feel it would be beneficial if the parser would direct us to a "are you sure?" page that we must agree to before continuing the save. Since the table of contents and section links are basically useless when on whatever page there are more than one section with the same heading, this might help to stop some of the doppelgängers ever happening and thus make navigation simpler.

Further to this, it might be even nicerer to have automatic anchoring, for any precisely similar section headings that are created even after the warning/alert (alert is perhaps a better word).

I realise that {{anchor}} s exist to solve parts of this issue, but they must be added by hand and known of by any editor who wishes to take advantage of them. To know where all the anchors are would be a logistical nightmare (what links here?, have fun with that). For ease and common simplicity, surely the parser should take care of all this stuff for us.

So I propose that:

  • On saving a page we are alerted to the fact we are creating a section heading exactly matching an existing section heading.
  • We must either change the section name or agree to go ahead anyway, before the page can be saved.
  • Preferably, if any page has any exactly matching section headings, the parser (whenever it spots them (every page edit)) automatically adds an anchor to the sections in question that should be labelled simply as perhaps Example heading 1, Example heading 2 etc., so that we (editors) know where to find them, that they are certainly there, and what they'll be called.

I expect there are many technical issues and editorial considerations here, but Rome wasn't built in a day (gotta start somewhere). fredgandt 22:10, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

You've fallen into this trap before I think: when you start a new section (using the "+" link) you get a URL with "&section=new". This lets the parser handle just the new section text when you preview. Asking the parser to look at other parts of the page requires parsing the entire page, regardless of how large and funky it is. This fundamentally breaks the whole concept of section-by-section editing, so I don't see how can it be built in as an automatic feature of the software. Franamax (talk) 08:53, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I missed your "on saving" bit. I could see duplicate-header detection being an optional gadget, same as the thing that prompts you for an edit summary, so it probably is doable on a technical basis. Why not code up such a gadget yourself? It's easy enough to set up your own test wiki with the exact same software we run here. Franamax (talk) 08:59, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
  • That would be a good idea; here's a corollary for it, too: Don't give Wikilove messages all the same blinkin' name! Make the sender choose a section header. By the time you've been given a few kittens / cups of tea / wossnames, it's a real PITA! You type a nice reply to the most recent kitten-sender, hit the save button, and your page displays the first kittie-message on reloading, not the one you've just replied to! @Franamax: I'm sure there must be a way of achieving this without the parser having to parse the entire page, it just may not be immediately apparent. Maybe parse a "sub-page" kinda hidden thingie which has only section headers in it? Pesky (talkstalk!) 08:57, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I think a very short and simple php script could check the page for matching section headings while parsing any save made to that page. It would be the sort of script that could be chucked into the mix without (I think) any major confusions. A more complex method (from a development aspect) could be to have a database store the section headings present in all pages, then if a new section heading is created, it is compared with the DB entry for that page. Potentially faster (not that either would be slow) and cleaner (no http requests for a copy of the page in order to check it), but would require almost an entire new extension to be built. One practical upshot of the DB method would be having the DB of section headings for every page (constantly updated (every page edit)) to be used in whatever other way could be imagined. Applied to searching, that extra knowledge could make a huge difference. Just thinking out loud now. fredgandt 23:36, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Definitely agree with this idea. A script would only need to check text between = characters to see whether the exact same string of text could already be found between equals signs on that specific page. Nyttend (talk) 01:22, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
+1 good idea! Would also be useful for article talk-pages that are susceptible to repeated controversies (rename or merge requests, the N+1'th edit-request today, etc.). DMacks (talk) 01:32, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree. This seems to happen a lot of user talk pages too.   Will Beback  talk  01:37, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for WP:Identifiability[edit]

Proposal for WP:Identifiability

An AfD closing admin recently stated, "An WP:OR title alone is not a valid reason for deletion". IMO, there is no part of an article more important for the avoidance of WP:OR than the title.  I propose that WP:Identifiability is a missing policy.  This is a basic concept, "the existence of topic titles must be WP:V verifiable". Below are some related AfD and DRV discussions.

Article kept with zero references for the title (as a matter of WP:OR, the title is believed to be slang usage in Sacramento).  Closing admin statement, "I am not particularly concerned about the rationale given by Unscintillating, since there is no significant contradiction between being called "City Seminary" one place and "City Seminary of Sacramento" another place."
one title-reference was claimed to have been found during the AfD, but IMO the main reason that the article was kept was that it was well-written WP:OR
article deleted
article originally deleted, no references provided for title, relisted
consensus that the title of the article is unsalvageable WP:OR, article kept, 2nd DRV on the horizon

Unscintillating (talk) 01:04, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Would a similar standard be held for redirects? Disambiguation? Josh Parris 01:17, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I am not addressing Josh's question — I think that this proposal has merit for titles which purport to be proper names. There would be exceptions to this which would follow the "it is not necessary to source the fact that the sky is blue" argument, such as surnames for which there are notable persons (e.g. Taylor (surname)). I do not think that the proposal should be applied to descriptive names, such as 2008 cyberattack on United States or List of iOS devices or Economy of Norway, as examples. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:31, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Rumors and urban legends regarding Sesame Street comes to mind as a generic title that was unsourceable.  In this case the article was deleted.  Unscintillating (talk) 02:16, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • (Closing admin of 15 Khordad Intersection) I hope to point out the danger of this proposal with regards to deletion policy. Consider two hypothetical articles, each with a likely OR title, but otherwise each about a subject that's otherwise notable:
    1. The first article is about a subject of local interest in the English world. An editor in the debate proposes an alternative title (say, based on the official name of the subject rather than local slang reference), the article is thus renamed and kept.
    2. The second article is about a foreign subject of local interest, and does not have an established English name. Without an acceptable English article title that doesn't amount to any original translation, "Identifiability" is invoked, and the article is deleted.
    The problem of this proposed policy, is that it is biased against subjects that do not have an established English (or Latin alphabet) name. In other words, from the enactment of this new policy onwards, Wikipedia's inclusion guidelines will present a systematic bias against topics from the non-Latin alphabet world. This is utterly against WP:NPOV, and is directly contradictory to Wikimedia-wide projects such as meta:Research:Oral Citations which serve to conteract the current Anglo-sphere dominance when it comes to articles about things of local interest. Deryck C. 10:18, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I am not very impressed by Deryck's argument, nor in general by the argument that it's a bad thing for an English-language encyclopedia to have more coverage of topics of interest to Anglophones than of topics that are less likely to be of interest to Anglophones. That's not what NPOV is about at all; NPOV is about treating topics neutrally when they're treated at all, not about making sure that all topics are treated whether or not they're of interest to the (English-speaking, almost by definition) readership. However, no, I wouldn't want to actually ban having an article just because there's no Latin-alphabet name, but this should not really be a problem — the policy (or guideline) could easily be written in such a way as to allow transliterations of verifiable names from other alphabets. --Trovatore (talk) 10:32, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
    • I concede that I was deliberately skeptical, because I felt that 15 Khordad Intersection is a prime example of a type of article which this proposal seeks to remove from Wikipedia. Deryck C. 21:57, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
There is a difference between deleting an article with a topic for which no established name exists, and removing the topic.  In this case, the encyclopedic material (assuming other criteria are met) could-have-been/can-be entered in the article for Shiraz, Iran.  In an article, but not in a title, questionable material can be presented without using Wikipedia's voice. For example, the article could say,

Iranian sources have at least two names for this intersection, those two being "چهار راه پارامونت" "چهارراه پانزده خرداد", which translate.google.com translates to English as "Four Way Paramount," "Crossroads khordad".

Unscintillating (talk) 01:59, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I am a bit unclear. Is this proposal saying that an article can be deleted solely because there is a dispute over what to call it? Certainly, there are concepts which are deserving of an article, but which don't have Official Sanctioned Titles (tm). An English-language descriptor of the concept should suffice, n'est ce pas? --Jayron32 22:12, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
No, the proposal says nothing about a dispute, it says the title has no special status that frees it from the requirements of WP:V verifiability.  As per WP:BURDEN, "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds...material. [Another editor] may remove any material lacking a reliable source that directly supports it".  Unscintillating (talk) 01:59, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but we do that anyways. Its called a "move request". People with reliable sources indicating that a better title for an existing article is needed will simply either move the article themselves, or champion a discussion under a move request. No need to delete anything. --Jayron32 06:47, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't agree, assuming that an identifiable title has been found to move the article to, after a move the unidentifiable title still exists as a redirect.  So after a move the need for deletion has changed little.  Unscintillating (talk) 20:18, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't like this one bit. Certainly we could highlight in Wikipedia:Article titles that we should avoid making up our own names for topics if possible, but demanding that the title be verifiable or the article gets deleted seems odd if otherwise editors agree that the topic is worthy of an article. We don't need yet another rule to use to delete articles on technicalities. Fences&Windows 23:10, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I think this is a silly proposal. Articles are about topics, we just need the topic to be clearly identified and notable. Not all topics have a clear title. Wikipedia is not a dictionary. the WP:Article titles policy is fine for the purpose. Article titles are a way of finding a topic, they do not define a topic, they are just search keys. Dmcq (talk) 00:30, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Unfortunately a fair number of articles are about topics invented to some extent by the person who wrote the article. One reasonably reliable proxy for figuring out whether this has happened is whether the topic has a standard name. One really terrible example that sticks with me is nuclear crime, an article that never should have been written. I was able to get it moved to a less neologistic name, list of crimes involving radioactive substances, but I am still deeply uncomfortable with the article and think it should be deleted; it's a libel trap waiting to happen. --Trovatore (talk) 00:46, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
    • And if the topictitle is not clearly identified, we keep it anyway?  Why should titles get a special treatment and become an open door for original thought, when in the body of the article we try to follow the sources?  Unscintillating (talk) 01:59, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
      • A is often associated with B does no mean that if you see B then A is true. It might be a red flag but that's about all. Would people also not try and prove things by showing instances that agree with them but by trying and failing to prove the opposite thanks? There used to be another editor thankfully now banned who used to have endless arguments with everyone about finding the exact wording of titles and trying to delete articles on that basis and I believe the interminable discussions on WT:Article titles where they spent a lot of time have quite clearly demonstrated there is no wish to have anything like this. Dmcq (talk) 14:05, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
  • This proposal is truly bizarre. WP:OR is for articles, this prevents article content that cannot be verified. But suggesting that an article be deleted simply because there is no source stating that the title is the proper is nonsensical. It's even more so if applied to redirects, since redirects are intended to be guides for people who may not know what the proper title is. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 21:20, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
So you are saying that we need to keep "15 Khordad (Paramont) Intersection" as a redirect because people will type that name when they don't know what the "proper" title is?  Really?  Unscintillating (talk) 00:38, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Bad idea. If the title is bad, then WP:MOVE the bloody page. Deletion is not a form of clean up, not even for bad titles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:26, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
"bloody", is that not a British form of crude language?  You have a history at WT:5 of joining in personal attacks of editors you consider to be newbies, so I hope this stops here and now.  Unscintillating (talk) 00:38, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
^^'Bloody' is used in British English frequently and socially accepted widely, it's not derogatory or really considered offensive, or 'crude'. Just thought I'd put into perspective for you. Acather96 (talk) 11:54, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Unscintillating, I do not consider you to be a newbie. I consider you to be an editor with enough experience that he ought to know better already. My belief that you are not a newbie is exactly why I think, for example, that your edit warring last summer [8][9][10] to prevent WikiProject Essays from tagging that page was so inappropriate. If I thought you were a newbie, I wouldn't treat you like a peer when you screw up. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:33, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Here is a quote from that AfD, "I recommend you find a bunch of reliable sources referring to 'Taiwan Island Group', because right now the lack of such sources is what may have the article deleted. Nwlaw63 (talk) 20:49, 27 January 2012 (UTC)Unscintillating (talk) 01:05, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
The AfD discussion concentrating on the name just looks all wrong to me. The real question is whether there are secondary sources dealing with the topic in some depth, do we have geography books that have a chapter about the islands and groups them together for instance? The citations in the lead are the things to look at when deciding on the notability of the topic - not the title. Thoise citations should be compared to what the lead says the article is about and if those citations do cover that in some detail and are good secondary sources the notability hurdle is passed. My current feeling looking at it is that it probably should be merged into the article about the island of Taiwan as the current references aren't enough for a good separate article but this has absolutely nothing to do with the title of the article not being common. Purely descriptive titles are fine if there are no good standard names for the topic. Dmcq (talk) 01:12, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Allow watchlisting of Special:Contributions/[User] pages[edit]

[edit=Quintucket (talk) 00:07, 27 January 2012 (UTC)]
I notice that every objection centers around the idea that it would make it easier to stalk users. So I'd like to point out two counter-points which have been brought up in the comments:

  1. It's easy to wikistalk a single user. What this proposal would do is allow the watchlisting of a lot of users, which isn't a tool wikistalkers need. They already have what they need, which
  2. There's no need to allow watchlisting of registered users. Logged-in vandals are generally dealt with in a timely manner; it's mostly the IP vandals who slip under the radar. [/edit]

I'm surprised this isn't on perennial proposals, but the upside is it means I get to suggest it without (I hope) looking like a total ignorant. I've noticed that the vast majority of anti-vandalism efforts are given either by Cluebot, or with an automated tool like Huggle or Twinkle, which apparently allow first-level warnings. This means that persistent vandals will get a lot of warnings, and often get "final" warnings followed a month later by more first-level automated warnings only. But the users with earlier final warnings in the last year or so I can at least report at AIV. Even more problematic are the users who rack up a large number of first, second, and occasionally third-level warnings, but never get to a final edit. (I generally give users who fit this criteria a third or fourth level warning in line with the total warnings they've accumulated in the past year. I'm not sure this is fully Kosher, but I feel it's completely warranted.)

So I try to check recent changes manually and find these persistent users, and watchlist any pages they've vandalized. This isn't exactly the best way to go about it, and I rarely catch new changes by these vandals, but I don't know if it's because they stop (unlikely in many cases), or because they move on to other pages. But if I could watchlist Special:Contributions pages directly, it would let me follow those persistent vandals without keeping them in a text file (which I've thought about, but I'm lazy, and I've already got quite a large non-vandal to-do list in another file).

While I know this would require software updates, I'm hoping that enough people would appreciate this feature that it can gain the consensus to suggest at Bugzilla. --Quintucket (talk) 10:50, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

WP:STALK. I don't think I can agree that this would be beneficial, however useful. --Izno (talk) 13:20, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: While I acknowledge the advantage of watchlisting vandals but this will have much adverse affects on the constructive contributors who regularly get hounded or stalked. --lTopGunl (talk) 13:29, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict)Yes, with what Izno points out, and the substantial changes needed to software (I think) to "subscribe" to specific versions of what is a virtual "Special" page, I can't see this gaining much traction. There are so many "stalking" concerns it would be bound to open up, and truly, I share some of them. I think you're stuck with another way of doing this if you need to do it legitimately. Begoontalk 13:35, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose (reluctantly) Whilst I've often experienced the very same frustration as Quintucket, and have regularly (daily, even) thought how useful this feature would be, stalking vandals' edits shows a failure to assume good faith. We have to assume that they won't reoffend once warned - even if they almost invariably do. Yunshui 
    • I don't think I follow the reasoning here. By this logic, we also shouldn't watchlist or protect any commonly vandalised articles, AGF they won't be vandalized again. That's really the exact reason why we would want to watchlist recurring vandals, for the very likely case they will again. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 14:16, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
      • We can also remember something that Jimbo pointed out: "our social policies are not a suicide pact." I always try to assume good faith whenever there's any doubt, even with users who add anti-Semitic comments to articles (this is a real example, I tried to reach out to the user). But some vandalism is pretty damn obvious, like adding nonsense or spam. When you see a user who has a long history of vandalism, it's pretty clear that the vandalism will continue until the IP is reassigned or the user grow up.
On the other hand, if a user has a history of non-constructive edits, even if they seems to be in good faith, it runs up against competence is required. I've seen many users who persistently add biased or verifiably inaccurate information despite warnings to stop, and I assume that they genuinely believe they're improving the encyclopedia. When I see these users, I try to add text to whatever template I'm using (this is another reason I refuse to use scripts). These users in particular it makes sense to monitor, because they can become genuine Wikipedians. (I'm a minor case-in-point; my 2004-2005 contribs tended to reflect an anti-Boston bias that I've now outgrown.) Is it better to have Huggle users templating them until a non-script-using user gets fed up and reports them, resulting in a block, or users who can monitor them and attempt to talk to them? --Quintucket (talk) 17:02, 26 January 2012 (UTC)


  • Weak oppose. There are very many vandals from different IPs/usernames and some recurring individuals could use an oversight. But I don't think the ability to follow their edits arbitrarily outweighs the enabled misuse of the feature for WP:STALKing. I might consider this if users/IPs were "watchlist-tagged" by sysops. But this does sounds a little WP:SHEDy. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 14:16, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • We can implement this feature for IP contributions only to indeed avoid stalking. Then it will make sense for static IP with recurring vandalism issues.--Ymblanter (talk) 14:32, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Really? I think you first need to establish that an IP editor is less entitled to protection from "stalking" than a registered (still possibly anonymous) username. Begoontalk 14:38, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
      Well, this is obviously an issue for discussion, but did not the community decide to have higher level of protection from IPs by for instance restricting them to be unable to create new articles? I am not sure the community would support the idea, but I do not think it should be outright rejected as being in contradiction to the five pillars.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:00, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
How about sysops being able to tag only the vandals who can then be watchlisted or monitored through RSS feeds? --lTopGunl (talk) 15:02, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
If they are vandals, why aren't they already blocked? --Jayron32 15:13, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Because we are talking about recurring IPs. They may be blocked for 6 months, then return after two more months and start vandalizing articles until caught and re-blocked. This could facilitate catching them on time.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:35, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Aren't we getting a bit close to being back in HELLKNOWZ's WP:SHED, by now, though? Begoontalk 16:36, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Without regard to the supposed moral hazard this presents, I'm not sure that this is technically feasible using the way that watchlists work. Actual "pages" in Wikipedia consist of text which is only changed when someone changes it; the text itself is stored in the database, which is why it can be watchlisted. "Special" pages do NOT consist of existing text, the "special" pages simply pull info from a database and the page is generated on the fly; there's nothing for one to "watchlist" because the things the watchlist looks for (changes to stored text) don't exist in "special" pages. I don't think this is implementable easily. I suppose it could be kludged by the devs, but it isn't something as easy as flipping a switch. --Jayron32 14:46, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
That's why I observed that it might be difficult. However page-protection already shows up in watchlists, and then there's the watchlist itself. It would seem to be a relatively simple matter of transcluding (not the right word, I know), any new user contributions to the Special:Watchlist page, as they would appear on the Special:Contributions page. --Quintucket (talk) 17:07, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
I support the principle here, and know of times myself it would have been useful, but also am worried about the potential for abuse in the form of stalking and hounding. Maybe it could say only work on newbies with >50/25 edits, or something along those lines. Could also be useful for adopters and mentorers to track their adoptee/mentoree easily. I'm not sure if this could be technically implemented though. Acather96 (talk) 16:44, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • In response to some of the comments I've seen above: I think I agree that if created, this should only apply to IPs. One thing I've noticed is that admins seem to apply a lower standard to blocking usernames than blocking IPs (usually on the pretext of WP:EDITWAR, whether the 3RR is violated or not), presumably on the principle that it could affect more people than just the vandal. And it seems to me that the vast majority of persistent registered vandals are spammers, who can be safely indef-blocked, while most IP vandals seem to have no such external agenda.
The other point I'd like to make is that I've seen a number of cases where problematic IP edits have gone unnoticed for months or even years, and I'm sure there's more we've all missed. All it takes is for a bot or user to revert vandalism by one IP but not the one that preceded it, or for a user to make another edit that hides the edit from most watchlists. (I doubt that the vast majority of recent changes get patrolled by a human user, even one using a script.) Usually these are blatantly POV statements or factual inaccuracies (often inserted in front of an already cited source), which while not technically vandalism, though these users will often have edit histories that contain genuine vandalism. Presumably if users who reverted the obvious vandalism were able these users, these seemingly valid edits would be subject to stricter scrutiny. --Quintucket (talk) 17:22, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: I am more than a little puzzled by the fears expressed here about people misusing the capability proposed. On the one hand, there is nothing to prevent anyone from looking at the contributions of a given Wikipedia user at any time so this will hardly be opening up some kind of Pandora's box. On the other hand, I recall that there is some javascript that can be added to a userpage to do exactly this (a search of common tools would probably find it, although I can't be bothered). (On a slightly different note, "stalking" is a serious form of personal harassment which is often criminal - looking at what someone edits on Wikipedia is not stalking by any reasonable definition and the overuse of the word does a disservice to victims of real-life stalking.) Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:55, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the idea, although its implementation might not be doable inside the current Special:Watchlist functionality. I don't find arguments about the dangers of stalking to be at all compelling. Stalkers already have a single page where they can see all of their target's contributions, so it's merely a matter of convenience. Stalkers are obsessive and they're already stalking without this tool, so this proposal would only change things for actual vandal fighters who don't watch vandals as closely as they might if it were easier to do so. — Bility (talk) 18:01, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I have thought of this too, and here is a perfect example of an IP where this would be needed: User:173.168.93.7. This editor has put in guerilla vandalism across dozens of articles before getting noticed and having the vandalism removed. The editor was blocked 5 times, and as soon as the block is over, the exact same type of vandalism starts again. Now, if we had this tool, I would easily see when this person started editing again, and check to see if they were up the same same shenagins, and perhaps nip the issue in the bud before too many articles were disrupted. Currently, I'd literally have to mark a calender to check the IP once the block is lifted. Angryapathy (talk) 18:41, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I watchlist the user pages of some vandal IPs, and when I see Cluebot, et al., leave additional warnings I'll double check to see if they have committed enough vandalism to warrant a block.   Will Beback  talk  20:11, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I can appreciate where the nominator is coming from, but suspect that this will create problems - particularly an increase in unconstructive wikistalking - more than it will bring benefit.--JayJasper (talk) 20:20, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
As another user noted above, stalking users is already possible through the Special:Contributions page. It's also possible to watch vandals the same way, of course. The difference is that fighting vandals effectively requires the monitoring of many pages, while stalking a user requires the monitoring of only one or two. Also, as noted, there's no reason to allow watchlisting of logged-in users. The actions of logged-in users already tend to be subject to stricter scrutiny, I think in part because they're easier to recognize than an IP number, and in part because blocking a user will only affect that user, whereas blocking a vandal may affect other users. --Quintucket (talk) 23:27, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as a userright - Mentors may find it useful, but its potential for abuse requires it to be a restricted function. Jasper Deng (talk) 06:42, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I actually made a userscript that did this years ago - it would take any user pages on your watchlist, then put those names into the wikipedia api, get out their recent contributions then display the results in a formatted list. Unfortunately the api then changed significantly and I haven't had the chance to rewrite the script accordingly. I understand the concerns that people could get stalked - I don't know how big a problem it is but surely the solution to that would be to either restrict access to contributions pages (which is never going to happen) or to just make people more aware that anything they post on here is public, and hence to avoid posting anything they later regret. Even if people here aren't keen on a feature like this, it's perfectly possible for third party websites to implement this sort of thing. Tra (Talk) 17:54, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I like the idea, but am concerned that it might be abused for WP:HOUNDing. On the other hand, I've done it myself on occasion with nothing more complicated than a simple bookmark. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:28, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
  • That's my workaround as well -- I make bunches of bookmarks of potential problem-user contribs (typically new user names that remind me of banned users, or historically troublesome IPs, things like that) and then periodically open them all in tabs. Easy to do, requires no software update. Antandrus (talk) 04:24, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • User contributions can be pseudo-watchlisted through RSS feeds - eg this. It's slightly clumsy (you have to use an RSS reader) but it does work (and it can scale as a long-term solution for mostly-inactive users). Shimgray | talk | 12:03, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the idea although I don't think it will be implemented any time soon: devs discussed this since 2004 in mediazilla:470. In another project I'm currently using my userscript similar to Tra's above but utilizing browser localStorage. — AlexSm 22:34, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support – Enough with the "stalking" crap. Stalkers don't need extra tools to stalk—they are already stalking just fine. (By the way has anyone actually looked at WP:STALK recently?) This is a feature that I have wished for for a long time, and it would be extremely useful. Currently I have a list of a few users and IPs that I try and check up on every so often, but it's pretty difficult without a feature such as this. It seems more like something that would be on the toolserver at least initially, since the toolserver is where most hacked up tools like this go, but this would be a very useful feature to be integrated into MediaWiki. It also fits with the ideology here of openness and usability. I was just thinking of this recently and how it would be similar to the concept of Linux filesystems, where everything, including devices, act as a file and can be addressed as such (procfs, device files, etc.) The watchlist is not a "page" in and of itself; it's more of a "virtual page", so any action performed with/on it that treats it like a "regular" page will involve some type of abstraction layer. We already have crosswiki contributions tools (here is one) on the toolserver which compile contributions from multiple wikis into a single page. I'm a little surprised that watchlisting of contributions has not already been implemented, as it is simply one of the next logical steps in the ideology of how improvements to the usefulness and usability of Wikipedia/MediaWiki are made, and it also fits very well with the open source software mindset as a whole. The idea of having such a feature be limited to being used by or used on specific users is preposterous. Everyone's contributions are already public; it does not make an ounce of sense to make a feature with takes public information and makes it more useful in a way that anyone could do themselves manually or with a script and then make that feature a restricted or private feature. There is no reason to add extra complication to a feature just because it is new when every other similar feature is publicly available and unrestricted. —danhash (talk) 18:17, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. The benefits of being able to watch for frequent vandals far outweigh any supposed danger of facilitating Wikistalking, and if we really want to prevent users from abusing this feature, why not give it only to autoconfirmed users in good standing? ZZArch talk to me 22:46, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

New Features[edit]

Publicize featured content feeds?[edit]

Hi guys and gals. As you may know, we've launched an extension that creates featured content feeds. Currently, feeds of FAs, selected anniversaries and POTD are available here on en:. The question is how to make them visible to users, as now they're only added to page <head> and are invisible in most browsers. We could add the links to page structure, e.g. to the line Archive – By email – More featured articles..., or sysadmins can enable links on the sidebar (Main Page only) like on our staging wiki. What do you think is appropriate? Max Semenik (talk) 09:37, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Eh, I really don't see the point of the feeds at all, all three things in the feed change once daily, at a designated time, and allow people to view previous editions easily. I'd oppose building a link to the feeds into the sidebar, as you can reach the same content by clicking "Main page", and it would clutter up the sidebar. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:49, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

page full of images[edit]

Would like there to be a page that has lots of images of the same thing on it, eg: for an owl covered in images of owls, or different for different objects Trellis Reserve (talk) 14:03, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Is this a proposal for gallery-pages? That exists on Commons. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:10, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Indefinite semi-protection of Talk:Main Page[edit]

The talk page of the Main Page is receiving wayyy too many test edits, and few comments. If we really are that concerned about errors on the main page, we can create a subpage for that. So, let's semi-protect the talk page indefinitely. Jasper Deng (talk) 05:43, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Oppose There are also lots of good edits from IPs that have appropriate questions and comments. Baby and bathwater issue. This page is watched by enough people who can quickly revert problems. --Jayron32 06:44, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I think the same went for the main page itself, but I wasn't on when that happened. Jasper Deng (talk) 06:45, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Alternate proposal: Edit filter for confirmation edits[edit]

Alternatively, we could make an edit filter for this, that would ask for confirmation of what may be test edits. Jasper Deng (talk) 06:47, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Support, as simple, and getting all the AGF tests out. Proposed code:
!"autoconfirmed" in user_groups
& article_prefixedtext Talk:Main Page

~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 01:25, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Support The talk page is being used differently. However, the filter should also mention and link to the Sandbox, where actual tests should be done. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 07:48, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Please close the filter proposal since it doesn't have any chances to be implemented at Wikipedia:Edit filter/Requested. Plus, the page already has a huge edit notice; would you want Edit Filter just to show the same warning message one more time? — AlexSm 19:26, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
    • How do you know? This edit filter proposal already has a couple of support !votes, so I wouldn't say that this proposal has no chance of succeeding. And besides, the exisitng edit notice does not blatantly say "this page is not for general discussion about just anything" or similar to ward off people from posting off-topic stuff or test edits.
      —{|Retro00064|☎talk|✍contribs|} 23:05, 30 January 2012 (UTC).
  • Support: Something should be done to make it clear to people that Talk:Main Page is only for discussion pertaining to the Main Page and not for general discussion about just anything. An edit filter that shows a message dialog might just be a way of doing so. —{|Retro00064|☎talk|✍contribs|} 23:05, 30 January 2012 (UTC).

Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2012 January 30#Template:Persondata[edit]

Your comments are welcome at Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2012 January 30#Template:Persondata. Fram (talk) 10:18, 30 January 2012 (UTC)