Wikipedia:Simple talk/Archive 85

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

autoconfirmed users

Currently a user only needs to be here 4 days and he gets autoconfirmed. Does consensus support increasing this to 4 days/10 edits (requires a dev to change)? Griffinofwales (talk) 21:02, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, it should be like English's in my opinion. --Bsadowski1(Talk/Changes)' 21:04, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree, should be 4 days/10 edits. -Barras talk 21:08, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree with 4 days and 5 edits. We are a small wiki. But, I will not object to 4/10. Jon@talk:~$ 21:52, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I have no problem with leaving it as is, but I also have no problem upping it. We are just as at risk by a user with 10 edits as with one that has zero. The 4 days part of autoconfirmed is what protects us for the most part. -DJSasso (talk) 21:56, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Sure, increase it. As we stand right now, we're very low compared with English and other widely-used Wikipedias Purplebackpack89 22:06, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I guess it wouldn't hurt to increase it, but the only autoconfirmed vandal that I can remember is Adorno rocks (talk · contribs). πr2 (talk • changes) 22:24, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes please.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 22:56, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Let's do it. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 23:06, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Sounds fine to me. Either 5 or 10 would work. PrincessofLlyr talk 02:41, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I actually disagree some with DJ on the "just as at risk part" We're obviously at risk but we have had quite a few sleeper account issues where people came back to do move vandalism etc. The vast majority of those were 0 edit accounts, it is much less often someone does extra edits to get to that (they obviously do it but I think the change in risk is non neutral). Would prefer at least 10 (wouldn't actually whine about more but wouldn't push hard for it. James (T C) 03:25, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Ten edits isn't really a hard requirement. 4 days and 10 edits seem reasonable. —Clementina talk 05:54, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh I realize the risk isn't truly non-neutral, but I don't think its very far from neutral. Like I said its not a big deal for me either way. -DJSasso (talk) 14:44, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree to bump it too. Bug filed. I-20the highway 06:07, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Bug shouldn't have been filed yet, discussion was only up less than a day. Generally we wait 7 days at least on major decisions since users edit at different times during the week and we want to get a broad consensus. -DJSasso (talk) 14:44, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Yup, agree bug should not have been filed yet. Consensus looking likely, but not long enough to tell. - tholly --Talk-- 14:51, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree with the change. The current lack of a minimum number of changes means that any SUL account (including vandals) can just visit the wiki and come back in 4 days to see himself autoconfirmed. Chenzw  Talk  16:21, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Sure, why not? -Avicennasis @ 16:27, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Changed in Bugzilla to "RESOLVED LATER" and Xed it out for now. I-20the highway 17:27, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
The reason why I filed so early: I was impatient and just a beginner on bugzilla, so don't press me hard. I-20the highway 17:35, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Pesonally, I think that "autoconfirmed" should involve both a timespan (currently:4 days), and a numbner of edits (currently: 10, I think). Simply having one without the other should not get an account "autoconfirmed". As to the number of edits, between 5 and 10,. which don't even have to be mainspace, we are probably splitting hairs here. --Eptalon (talk) 22:18, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Current is zero edits. That is why he proposed this. -DJSasso (talk) 11:42, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
No objection to this change from me. –Juliancolton | Talk 12:44, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Seems like a good idea; I would say go ahead. Pmlineditor  11:53, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I reopened the bug since it has been more than seven days now. I-20the highway


I know many people will strongly oppose this idea, but I've thought about this for a long time and I'm pretty sure it will be an immense help in the long run to Simple.

Currently, at our manual of style, it specifies that as we are an encyclopedia, we cannot address our readers as "you", or ourselves as "we". No doubt this is all very neat and professional, and very proper, and very dignified: but it is not simple. In truth, it's really hard to read. When I first came here and tried reading through our VGAs, I was a little surprised at how complex these Simple Wikipedia articles were. In almost all the children's books I have looked through, they address people as "you". And while I know this encyclopedia isn't just for children, a foreigner or a person who has difficulty with the English language would indeed probably prefer "you" for reading. It makes it simpler, easier, more entertaining and readable.

Please think this through carefully. :) Though certainly, this may make our encyclopedia a little less traditional, I'm sure it would make it simpler and easier—and isn't that the whole goal of this wiki? Kindly, —Clementina talk 07:50, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

One immediate concern that comes to mind is whether, strictly speaking, this is grammatically correct. This matters because one of our target audiences is non-native English speakers. If somebody was reading this who was used to a language where the second person "you" was not normally used outside of its intended context, they could end up being very confused. I do not know if this is necessarily the case with any specific languages, but it's something to consider.
Having said that, I got reverted on the Simple English Wiktionary once when I tried taking a sentence out of the second person, so my opinion may be in the minority.

Kansan (talk) 07:55, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Well, it's not necessary to use "you" when it's grammatically incorrect—only in sentences when it could obviously made easier and better to read. For instance: "Swimming is good for humans. It is an exercise that makes people healthy." to "Swimming is good for you. It is an exercise that can make your body healthy." <--This is a pathetically feeble example, but you get the idea. :) Cordially, —Clementina talk 08:03, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Or, "Swimming is a good exercise. It can make you body healthy." Simple, yet sill using the active voice.--The Three Headed Knight (talk) 14:24, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
To be honest I would think the first example you mentioned is simpler. Speaking to someone as you doesn't seem that simple to me. I can see how it can be considered to be more slang to say it that way, but generally we would want to avoid slang on simple as it can confuse ESL learners. -DJSasso (talk) 14:56, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm against using "you" in our articles. Aside from it not being encyclopedic, is that we don't know who is going to read this. Would it be appropriate to say "George Bush was our 43rd president" or "In the winter, you should wear warm clothes"? We may have to make assumptions about our readers, and I don't think we should. It would be better to state facts and leave "you" out. EhJJTALK 19:29, 11 July 2010 (UTC) Sorry about the terrible examples; I'll post better ones if I think of them. EhJJTALK
By the way, "Swimming can make your body healthy" borders on violating Wikipedia:Medical disclaimer. EhJJTALK 19:30, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Suppose People who do not smoke tobacco cut their risk of getting lung cancer by two thirds (Fictional example); saying By not smoking tobacco, you cut your risk of getting ling cancer by two thirds is probably wrong, because you can also get lung cancer because of many other things. In that case, as in many others it is probably better not to use you, because you makes assumptions about the reader. --Eptalon (talk) 21:53, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
This. Jon@talk:~$ 23:58, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Indeed! I once treated a patient with extremely advanced COPD who had never even tried a single cigarette in his life. Yet he was dying from a condition that most people would claim only affects smokers. I don't have a problem with "you" in certain circumstances but it can create comprehension issues. fr33kman 04:29, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, I support Clementina, where the context is appropriate. Since we are 1. on the web (~informal), and 2. mostly aimed at younger people, we should use straightforward sentence construction. Direct address leads to simpler sentences. Her comment about how children's books (and teachers, parents) address children is to the point.
Really, this is about 'encyclopedic' inhibiting language. No-one suggests 'you' should be used inappropriately, just that the guidelines be adjusted to permit its use where it is clearly better practice. Macdonald-ross (talk) 06:36, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I am fine with the guidelines being altered to allow the use, where it makes sense and does not alter the intended meaning. fr33kman 06:40, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Macdonald-ross, for putting my exact thoughts into words much better than I could have possibly formed. :) I'm not saying we must always use "you", but it would certainly be much better to use them when addressing the reader directly could make the article easier and more entertaining to read. Just because we're using 'you' doesn't mean it can have more assumptions than simply saying 'people' or 'human body'. For instance, saying 'humans use legs for getting around' assumes that the reader has legs when he or she could have broken them and is using a wheelchair (oh, I know, this is a horrible example, I'll try to find a better if I can). :) And EhJJ: I know swimming probably isn't always good for your body, it's just a fictional example. ;) As in all things, 'you' should be used with common sense, and if used with discretion, I can't see any great problems arising from it. Sincerely, —Clementina talk 09:03, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I still have to strongly oppose this idea. We are an encyclopedia. Encyclopedias are written in the third person because they are supposed to give neutral facts. As soon as you start putting in "you", you can start introducing additional bias. Also, we are not a guide or provide instructions. We can't say "we do not give medical advice" or "we are not lawyers", and do the exact opposite on our articles. To be honest, I'm quite afraid of how this would drastically damage our articles and our reputation. I wouldn't even be surprised (if this became common) that we'd have to be shut down. This is, of course, the community's decision, but I am very strongly opposed to us using the second person in articles. EhJJTALK 10:30, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Also, the original claim is that not using "you" means we can not write simple. So far, I have not found that to be true. Can someone provide a real example (on one of our pages) of where using "you" would have made the article more simple? EhJJTALK 10:34, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
 (change conflict) I will agree with EhJJ on this one. Encyclopedias are not written in first or second person, they just state the facts, just like a news report. Although the second person may be easier to engage the reader more, this changes the viewpoint of how we are meant to see an encyclopedia that it becomes more of a dialogue, a recommendation of what to do than a report of something that doesn't aim it directly at the reader. Making it 'you' would make the tone of the article more informal, like a how-to guide instead of a factual text. Some teachers already think Wikipedia is an unreliable source due to it being able to be freely edited; if we made the viewpoint used in the article second person it might lower our reputation more with biased statements. Nifky^ 10:47, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Upon readin EhJJ's comments. I too have to strongly disagree. An encyclopedia is supposed to be neutral, the moment we start saying you, we are taking a position on something. This isn't how an encyclopedia is supposed to act. Even to take your swimming example above, telling people that swimming is good for you might not be correct for everyone. As such we should not be making such comments. -DJSasso (talk) 11:41, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
edit conflict Agreed with EhJJ and Nifky - oppose any change and the use of "you". Indeed, to give some real life examples, I'm friends with a lot of people IRL who have English as their second language, and I speak with them on an almost-daily basis. Speaking with them about this this morning, and going on experience, I don't believe that this change would be useful, and nor do they. Best to keep things as they already are without a doubt. Secondly, I'm also studying "Child language acquisition" as part of my A2 Level English Language, including independent research. From what I've found so far - and please note this is my own personal interpretation of the data - the use of "you" is really only of any help up until the age of 10ish; an age that the large majority of our audience is over. You also need to consider that our primary audience is not children, but rather "people learning English as a first or second language" - or something to that effect - and therefore we need to remain accessible to all of them, and not make changes for one group specifically. For these reasons, strong oppose the proposal above. Goblin 11:42, 12 July 2010 (UTC) I ♥ Chenzw!
The last contribution makes statements which are not known to be true, since we do not have statistics of our readership. Does not the opposition rest on a rather outdated idea of what an encyclopedia is? The whole of public communication (including the BBC and newspapers like the Times) has undergone a revolution in style and language over the last few decades. And they make great use of interviews and opinion columns, which we can not. The current Encyc Brit is completely transformed from its stuffy predecessors. None of this has to do with objectivity. It's a mistake to think that the passive voice is more objective than the active voice. Objectivity is acquired by the production of evidence and reasoning. My argument is, because we are on an informal medium, and addressing people of limited linguistic capability, the friendlier our style the better. Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:47, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Let's get back to the facts: Can you provide an example where using you will provide a sentence structure/comprehension level that is better than using the passive, or using something like "people"? --Eptalon (talk) 19:25, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
"Once you own a cat, you are responsible for its welfare" vs "once a person owns a cat, that person is responsible for its welfare". Macdonald-ross (talk) 19:42, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
This sounds like an argument for when we should not use "you". I don't own a cat nor will I ever own one; telling me that I must take care of the cat that I will own doesn't make any sense. Better wording would be "When someone owns a cat, they are responsible for its welfare" (or even more simple: "When someone owns a cat, they must take care of it.") EhJJTALK 22:13, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree with what EhJJ is trying to say here. I, would, however like to draw attention to this statement by Brett (Professor of English for Academic Purposes and TESL at Humber College in Ontario, Canada). In it he states a case for the use of second person. Obviously, there is a difference between a dictionary and an encyclopedia, but I agree with him that language students do tend to find the third person confusing. As I said ealier, they is probably times when second person makes sense here and times when only third person will do. fr33kman 11:15, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm somewhat uncomfortable with being used as an authority, but that aside, the whole opposition to using you is based on willful ignorance or the fallacious view that words should have a single correct meaning. In this case, the argument is that you means the reader. In fact, you also means anyone; people in general. Look it up in your favourite dictionary. See more arguments here.--Brett (talk) 11:40, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Apologies indeed for your discomfort. It was not with any intention of you being an authority that the link was offered, merely as a pointer to what someone else has said elsewhere. I suppose such is the very nature of projects like these in that our most innocent and offhanded of comments tend to be used elsewhere. However, thank you for your comments. My own view here has always been that "you" would mean the collective rather than the singular. fr33kman 15:07, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Update to the flag template system

I would link to implement a small change to the Flagicon template, and its supporting template, Country flagicon2. The flag template system has the ability to define and call variants of country flags, such as historical or military versions. The current templates do not handle this function correctly. I have made updated versions of the templates that display the correct flag version. I have tested them out on several articles, and have found no problems.

Because this proposed change affect will several hundred articles, I would like some peer review, and to give advance warning if and when the change is implemented.

I have gone through all the calls to flagicon that I can find, and corrected and potential errors. The only think I cannot check is templates that call flagicon with a pass through a parameter.

The one most likely error that will result with this change will be a Flagicon call that used to work, but now produces a red-link. This will happen when a non-standard format of the country name is used, and a redirect template has not been created for the non-standard name. For example, the country Bahamas is often referred to as the Bahamas.

This is an example.

Flag Country data template error
Nonstandard country name Old templates New tamplates
the Czech Republic {{Flagicon|the Czech Republic}} gives Template:Country data the Czech Republic {{Flagicon|the Czech Republic}} gives Template:Country data the Czech Republic
Czech Republic {{Flagicon|Czech Republic}} gives Czech Republic {{Flagicon|Czech Republic}} gives Czech Republic
the Bahamas {{Flagicon|the Bahamas}} gives The Bahamas {{Flagicon|the Bahamas}} gives The Bahamas
Supported because of frequent usage.

There a two choices to correct the error.

  1. The preferred method is to edit the article, and correct the call to the {{Flagicon}} template.
This might not be obvious when other templates call Flagicon with a pass through parameter. Option 2 could be used in this case.
  1. For common alternate names of countries, create a redirect template. Click the red-link, and create a redirect to the main Country data template. In this example, the redirect would be #REDIRECT [[Template:Country data Czech Republic]].
Note: There is only one known article calling the Czech Republic. 
It will be corrected before the Flagicon template update.

In some of cases, special redirects or coding kludges have been used to display historical flag. For example: {{flagicon|the Soviet Union 1955}} creates File:Flag of the Soviet Union 1955.svg by default, because their is no matching template. Commons redirects that request to File:Flag of the Soviet Union (1955-1980).svg, the desired flag.

Test it yourself!
To test an article to see if it might produce an error, open the edit window, and replace all occurrences of Flagicon with :User:The Three Headed Knight/Flagicon. Preview the article, and look for any red-links to Country data ... templates.

The test versions of the templates and test articles are in my user namespace, and the table below will provide easy links to check them out.

Template source
Current Proposed
{{Flagicon}} change User:The Three Headed Knight/Flagicon change
{{Country flagicon2}} change User:The Three Headed Knight/Country flagicon2 change
Template output
Template call with parameters Current output Proposed output
{{Flagicon | Poland}} Poland Poland
{{Flagicon | Poland | naval}} Poland Polish Navy
{{Flagicon | Poland | 1815}} Poland Poland
{{Flagicon | Poland | size=40px}} Poland Poland
{{Flagicon | Poland | 1815 | size=40px}} Poland Poland
Template testing
Simple Wikipedia page edit Test page calling new flag template edit
Members of the United Nations change User:The Three Headed Knight/Flag/Members of the United Nations change
American Revolutionary War change User:The Three Headed Knight/Flag/American Revolutionary War change
The Open Championship change User:The Three Headed Knight/Flag/The Open Championship change
Giro d'Italia change User:The Three Headed Knight/Flag/Giro d'Italia change
1908 Summer Olympics change User:The Three Headed Knight/Flag/1908 Summer Olympics change
List of national rulers change User:The Three Headed Knight/Flag/List of national rulers change
List of the main local rulers change User:The Three Headed Knight/Flag/List of the main local rulers change

(I will be offline for a couple of hours, and I am staying off IRC until my cloak comes through, which will not be until after Wikimania.) --The Three Headed Knight (talk) 15:29, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

OK with me, knowing how the wiki is, allow 5 days from now for the community to chime in, and then implement it. If someone wishes to shorten it because of an agreement, they may. Griffinofwales (talk) 01:40, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Community Portal

Hello, Sorry don't mean my first edit here to be a complaint (I promise it won't be a habit ^_^) but can someone tell me the purpose of the Community Portal? The name suggests its a focal point on how to get involved... like a forum (not in the online sense of the word) or a place to know whats going on... but right now its just like a very underused FAQ section. I propose we develop it with:

  • A mission statement
  • How you can get involved
  • Useful pages such as simple talk, news pages, featured content etc.
  • A display of what simple. does best

And so on... I've not been here long so I'm not wanting to jump in and change without a little discussion. Thoughts? Hoots (talk) 12:29, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry don't think I've explained it very well. I think right now its a sort of "Start here" page which is forgotten about. I think for it to be called the community portal it should be more of a "We're all in here, come join us" sort of thing... Know what I mean? Hoots (talk) 12:34, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing this out to us, Hoots (nice name, by the way). :) I must admit, when I first came to Simple I was rather disappointed with the community forum (it's never been much of a help to me). It really should be improved, as it is highly viewed (but not used) by newcomers... —Clementina talk 12:37, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
 (change conflict)  Firstly, welcome again. :) The community portal was of limited help to me when I was new- as a repository of useful links. I agree that it has the potential to be much more. I think that a bit of a "tour guide" to simple would be an interesting way to structure it.
"And this here is Simple Talk. It's where the community gathers to talk about lots of things, except things that only apply to admins, which will be at AN, coming up next on your right. Oh, and article talk pages of course, but they're much lower traffic. Hey, here's a tip. Put ST on your watchlist. Yes, you have a watchlist- if you've bought the registered user package you will find it in your top-right corner. If you haven't, you can upgrade absolutely free!"
Not quite like that, naturally, but I think that demonstrates the general concept I'm getting at- that of taking a tour around different parts of simple, bringing the "article building" and "community" aspects together into a whole, while introducing features (like watchlists) that will be useful to learn. sonia♫♪ 12:49, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
The reason its called Community Portal is because thats the default name for that page in the media wiki software and its never been changed. The way I understand the purpose of the page is to point out the important locations in the community. And to explain the things you need to know to edit here. It could probably be expanded a bit, but I think it does serve its purpose. In web lingo a portal is a list of links that are important to a subject. Its a gateway into the subject basically. Which is different from a forum, which is what Simple Talk is. -DJSasso (talk) 13:28, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad (so far) we all agree that it doesn't live up to its name, or it should be expanded. I thought I'd have more time recently than I did but I will have a go at adapting it in my personal space, and if we all like it we can implement it or further discussions and changes can be made so that it fits simple's purpose. Regards Hoots (talk) 09:53, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
There are already changes to the page... if you have some ideas, go ahead and edit them in, if someone does not like it they will remove it and discuss. But, I think this is an area where bold (fresh new editing) could have major benefits, and we can make quick work of this! Best, Jon@talk:~$ 12:17, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Proxy Check

Here is a few ip's who are evading a sock block over an And I suspect the person may start editing here. I think I added one by accident. If any passing admin can verify them then.....

wiooiw (talk) 02:09, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

  • I can safely say that User: is not a proxy, as none is detected, and it is a dynamic IP, so blocking it would only hurt others as the IP will change hands often.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 02:36, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
  • All of them are now blocked except the third one. Griffinofwales (talk) 02:47, 16 July 2010 (UTC)


WP:CHILD was written yesterday as a guideline, and today was changed to an essay pending discussion here. I would like to take the initiative to propose it to be a formal guideline. I believe it is important, well written, and has been looked over/tweaked by a number of editors, including several administrators. Kansan (talk) 22:17, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Agree, looks good. Griffinofwales (talk) 22:20, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Aye. Definitely. sonia♫♪ 22:29, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Certainly. —Clementina talk 22:40, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

(<-) I think we need to be more general here; forbidding giving info that can be used to identify or find someone. Children are just one special target group which are esp. vulnerable. --Eptalon (talk) 22:44, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

While that is true, a policy specifically aimed at children is especially important given the existence of specific legal statutes regarding minors' sharing of personal information online in some countries, including the United States. Because we may be obliged to hide information in some cases simply because the person sharing it claims to be a minor, we must have a page that explains why this might happen. Kansan (talk) 22:46, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
As as aside, perhaps it needs to be more clear in the policy what exactly defines a child. Are we in agreement that it is the state of being a minor? sonia♫♪ 22:50, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Anyone below the their local age of majority, certainly. -Avicennasis @ 23:32, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I live in NZ, so if I were 19 I would be a minor. On the other hand, I could be as young as 15 and not be a child by this definition, if I lived in Iran. Is there no better way to define it? sonia♫♪ 03:13, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Age of majority in a person's home country is when they legally become an adult in the laws eyes (AFAIK). I can't think of a better definition, but am open to suggestions. :) -Avicennasis @ 09:48, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
People often misunderstand the US's laws regarding that. Children can share any personal information they want online. It is only illegal for a website to ask for that information. -DJSasso (talk) 22:52, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually COPPA doesn't even apply here. It only concerns commercial websites or not-for-profit websites run for the commercial benefit of its users. fr33kman 03:28, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

(<-) For those not aware, please go and search the archives for "Kimberly Ashton". --Eptalon (talk) 22:55, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

While this is true (I believe that the Wikimedia Foundation is presently in full compliance with COPPA), I bring it up not so much to try to bring us into specific compliance so much as to point out that the gravity of children sharing information is different from adults, and to that end, I feel that we should have such a page to point people to who claim to be minors. A few weeks ago, there was a case where somebody came on sharing lots of personal information. They were asked not to (without being pointed to any policy), but persisted, and one oversighter ended up having to spent a long time oversighting loads of pages. With such a page, such incidents will be less a headache. Kansan (talk) 22:59, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
COPPA doesn't apply to WMF. fr33kman 03:28, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I believe it does, actually, although since WMF doesn't collect personal info anyways the point is moot. :) -Avicennasis @ 09:48, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Read it "The Act applies to websites and online services operated for commercial purposes that are either directed to children under 13 or have actual knowledge that children under 13 are providing information online. Most recognized non-profit organizations are exempt from most of the requirements of COPPA." fr33kman 16:00, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah. I had thought it applied to all websites with a US base - I stand corrected. Learning something new everyday - that's why I love it here. :) -Avicennasis @ 18:39, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
In any event, I don't think we need a specific legal basis to try to do the right thing, and I firmly believe that having this page as a formal guideline is the right thing. Kansan (talk) 23:00, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm... if that's the case, shouldn't we also implement en:WP:PED, just to make sure? :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 01:03, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps, but that would lie outside of the scope of this current discussion. This is strictly about whether to move WP:CHILD from an essay to a guideline. Kansan (talk) 03:09, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
It is outside the scope of this current discussion. fr33kman 03:28, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

So are we in agreement that this is now a guideline? fr33kman 03:30, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

5 hours in? No need to rush :) Griffinofwales (talk) 03:30, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
The principle is good, but two items need thought. First, age. Personally, I would say a child is under 12, at primary school. Age of legal majority is 18 in UK, but no-one thinks of a 17-year old as a child. We have admins under that age! (:
Second, if a young person wishes to tell us they are a child, or even how old they are, that can be helpful to us in understanding their edits. Just as knowing which contribs are not English native speakers is helpful. It's the extra personal info which might lead to trouble. Macdonald-ross (talk) 05:39, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I work with children, and I think 18 is a good definition. People below this age do not make sensible and considered decisions at times. I have no problem with a user saying they are 14 or whatever, but if they include their birth date, then that needs to be removed as soon as possible. The Simple English Wikipedia does not need to help others with identity theft. In fact, personal identifying info has no place at all. --Peterdownunder (talk) 06:00, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely agree with no exact birth date. Macdonald-ross (talk) 06:27, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

No exact birth date is definitely wise. I agree with Macdonald-ross that it would be easier to understand a user's edits if we know him/her is a child (though it can be a rather uncomfortable situation when a user claims to be a child and is not one), but that's the user's own choice. I agree with Peterdownunder's definition of 18 (14 or 15 is too low). —Clementina talk 09:24, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps, it we don't have a local WP:OUTTING, someone could adapt it from en:WP:OUTING? Seems at least a little relevant to the discussion here. :) -Avicennasis @ 09:48, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
A very good idea, and I might attempt it. About birth date- what about that userbox that I've seen around that says exactly how old a user is? As that is essentially the same thing, should it also be disallowed? It is the sixteen and under age bracket that I feel are most prone to rash decisions, but as there is so much deviation in maturity levels, I think it's really a matter of case-by-case evaluation below that barrier of 18. An older teen who is uploading his birth certificate should trigger the same amount of concern as a preteen who gives their email in plaintext, but a teenage regular contributor who is aware of the risks and chooses to use their full name and birthday should not be blocked for it (even though it is not a smart thing to do). sonia♫♪ 10:07, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
If a kid say "My name is Mark Peters, I go to school in Beaverton, Ontario and I'm 12." they have given enough information to find them: probably their address, but certainly their school. If another kid puts "Hi, I'm Sarah and I'm aged 14." and then puts "Today is my birthday!! Yayz!" a few months later, they have given their exact date of birth. A person can work out that they are now 15, and knows the date so birthdate s complete. A few more innocent pieces of information and she's located. There are even adults on here that I have noticed over time have given out enough information to actually find them. I once illustrated this to a user who no longer is an editor here. Within minutes I was able to piece together enough information to tell him his address, phone number and even what school his mum graduated from. He was stunned! Now in his case, some of the information came from other websites he was on, but with the same name as here. His last name, the online phonebook, another Google search and it was all over. That was just me, imagine what a bad person who trawls the Internet for such information all the time could do. Kids should provide very little information! First name, age, country or state/province/county and not a whole lot more would be acceptable. fr33kman 16:45, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. But what do we do if User:Mary creates an article on Lakeside Primary? What if she puts it in an "Articles I created" section on her userpage? And how will this guideline impact existing contributors? sonia♫♪ 17:16, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Nothing! Mary@Lakeside is not enough. Maybe she doesn't even go there. It takes more information. If a person decides that the child in question has given out enough information for a person to use in finding her, then the information should probably be removed and hidden. fr33kman 11:23, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Seems fine to me. Since a large portion of our editors are relatively young, this is a necessary guideline to have around. At the same time, we should discourage everyone from posting personal information about themselves. –Juliancolton | Talk 13:52, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Now a guideline. If any details need to be hashed out, then that can be done. Remember that this is only a guideline, so it doesn't need to be perfect. Griffinofwales (talk) 04:50, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Update to the flag template system, part 2

Sometimes, trying to be thorough, I go overboard and give too much information.

I would link to implement a small change to the Flagicon template. See above for detail. The change will enable the template to call variants of country flags, such as historical or military versions.

Examples of current and new template output
Template call with parameters Current output Proposed output
{{Flagicon | Poland}} Poland Poland
{{Flagicon | Poland | naval}} Poland Polish Navy
{{Flagicon | Poland | 1815 | size=40px}} Poland Poland

Test it yourself!
To test an article to see if it might produce an error, open the edit window, and replace all occurrences of Flagicon with :User:The Three Headed Knight/Flagicon. Preview the article, and look for any red-links to Template:Country data ...

Let me know of any concerns or problems.--The Three Headed Knight (talk) 00:25, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Is this just en's version? If it is, then I'm fine with it. Griffinofwales (talk) 00:27, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Well... yes.--The Three Headed Knight (talk) 00:42, 17 July 2010 (UTC)


It's come to my attention that WP:Disambiguation has yet to be tagged as a guideline or policy. More to the point, it hasn't had any love in years. I propose a thorough study to clean it up, clear it up, and tag it as official. Purplebackpack89 04:57, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

First, let's userfy the enWiki version, and then fix it later. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 05:42, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
That's a terrible approach. You don't userfy a page that already exists. You just expand the existing page. Purplebackpack89 14:32, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Not really - import the enWiki version of WP:DAB into userspace, simplify it there and then move it in place. Suggest you also have a re-read of WP:CIVIL per this thread and the Lincoln one below. Goblin 14:34, 17 July 2010 (UTC) I ♥ Microchip08!
What do you mean "terrible"? I have userfied this page so that it could be incorporated into this page; that's what userfying is for, so you don't make clumsy edits to article space and restrict yourself to your userspace. Make sure you read en:WP:userfy really, really carefully and then use it to your advantage. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 16:06, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Lincoln RM

Changes Proposed

Here are changes proposed to the policy on wp:own. Please show your support199.126.224.156 (talk) 00:11, 21 July 2010 (UTC)


Recently, I changed one of the bare url links in an article to the {{citeweb}} template, and another administrator undid my change, kindly telling me that citeweb templates are only used in references. This made me a little puzzled: I know the English Wikipedia doesn't citeweb their "other websites", but I've also seen many users advocate citeweb templates for the "other websites" section in WP:PVGA and WP:PGA processes. For example, City of Manchester Stadium and Hurricane Vince (2005), both Very Good Articles, citeweb their "other websites" section. Could someone be so good as to tell me if there's a community consensus for this? :) Thank you, —Clementina talk 09:28, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Barras has just told me then he does {{citeweb}}ing for (V)GAs. As for myself I don't really follow this procedure and am happy for any comment. Nifky^ 09:31, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Proposal To Move wp:ownership of articles To wp:page ownership

There is a proposal to move the page. (talk) 07:03, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

What about a redirect? --Eptalon (talk) 11:02, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Could redirect to it, but don't see a point in moving it. Since the page is pretty clearly about articles. -DJSasso (talk) 14:56, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Here's the argument for moving:

"Well it isn't. This is a policy, and people will say that this does not apply to templates, categories, etc. because of its scope. Being a policy, it should state what we practice; and with the limit in-scope, it gives people the argument that templates are not privy to this policy. Policy is about making it clear. And if this page is about ownership, then it is about about ALL pages concerned. Is it true that you can own templates? Well if not, then do we have a policy of when we can own templates? If not, they just make sections on this page that can SPELL out, figuratively speaking, the noright to own". (talk) 21:35, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Seems to me like this is a case of you (in the general sense) having failed to move it on en, so you are trying to push your idea here. We don't really have any problems remotely with this issue to begin with, never mind wiki lawyering over the title. -DJSasso (talk) 10:35, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
What? (talk) 00:07, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Post mortem

Often, it is good to have a review of what led to a situation such as we have had over the Lincoln debacle (or Lincolngate): a remarkably silly thing to get so worked up over. I think that the real tragedy here was that the situation need never have occurred. The wiki basically saw this fiasco happen but with few exceptions little was done to have sessioned editors intervene earlier on and prevent what has occurred. We've got 1 person warned, 2 people blocked and a desysopping that's still ongoing. Steps could have been taken by neutral and respected people (not just admins). A firm set of warnings (not templates), with a zero tolerance attitude to violations of the rules, esp CIVIL and POV. There is a penchant for the odd drama here, and because we all see each others live activities, it tends to take a big project-wide splash than it would on a much larger project: generally. Anyone who has been here a while and is considered in good standing and respected by the community can informally mediate a dispute. Just focus on the facts, the rules (including IAR), and nip violations of NPOV and CIVIL in the bud early. Read this page on enwiki; the spirit of it, is sorely needed here on simplewiki. So, when we see discussion that is going wildly down the wrong path, let's step in sooner from now on please. Thanks for reading, ... fr33kman 10:45, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Intervention occurred in February and now. You also "banned" them from talking to each other earlier on. Exactly what more could have been done? We don't expect admins to go crazy, so this situation is not usually something that one needs to prepare for. Griffinofwales (talk) 12:45, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I think he means comment in the conversation that was ongoing on his talk page while it was happening, as opposed to waiting untill it got to the AN board. -DJSasso (talk) 13:00, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Last comment from me for a while: IIRC, he told the admins to let him handle the situation, and stay out of it. Other admins could have become involved but did not because of this (relying on my memory, I have logs). Not sure what fr33k wanted us to do. Griffinofwales (talk) 13:05, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I dunno. I wasn't around when this went down. That was just my interpretation of this message. -DJSasso (talk) 13:06, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I am not aware of ever telling or asking anyone to "leave them to me". So I feel that's unfair, especially since it's only "IIRC" :/ fr33kman 15:39, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps he means the other admin? :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 18:07, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

<-Checked my logs: At 1702, fr33k said that he "was working on it" At 1713, fr33k told admins to "leave it to me". Goblin was an uninvolved (at the time) administrator, and since we are supposed to trust admins, I left it to him. When the situation began to escalate (about 1700), fr33k took over. Looking over the events, there was no reason for another admin to intercede prior to 1700 and it never happened. As I've said elsewhere, Goblin shouldn't be an admin, and this is the type of thing that happens when you put users like this in situations like this. Both PBP and Goblin had issues, but in the end, the admin should be de-escalating, not escalating. When Goblin didn't do so, appropriate action by fr33k was taken. I see nothing more that could have been done. It is unfortunate that it would turn out this way, but I never expect this to happen again. Griffinofwales (talk) 22:20, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

"Goblin shouldnt be an admin". "users like this". I have no comment on the rest of your comment or this thread but that comment in these circumstances seems to be callous. Especially as he cannot reply here. Hoots (talk) 08:49, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Hoots, for a editor with such a low contribution count, you are very intertwined into project space... do/did you edit under another name? Jon@talk:~$ 11:17, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I enjoy editing behind the scenes more than the actual mainspace. I know how wp works. I do not edit under another name. Could we perhaps take this to my talk page though as this is not the purpose of this thread? Hoots (talk) 11:24, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I won't engage it again, I just was curious if we knew you or not... incidentally, there is nothing really "behind the scenes" about very public and heat driven events such as this one. Jon@talk:~$ 12:27, 21 July 2010 (UTC)



Hello. Is there a page import (from en.) feature on simple? Or do I have to be given it? Hoots (talk) 19:12, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Import is given out by 'crats.<ref>Special:ListGroupRights</ref> πr2 (talk • changes) 19:15, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah thanks. I knew it would be somewhere like that. Instead of creating a new thread could I just make this a request. I know I'm a little short of the criteria though. Hoots (talk) 19:26, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Welcome back. Jon@talk:~$ 19:46, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Pardon me? Hoots (talk) 19:48, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Stub wanted

Can someone import the enWP dance stub, please? It's {{dance-stub}}. Macdonald-ross (talk) 19:27, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

See WP:SSP please and get it approved. -Barras talk 19:31, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Change Username

How can I change my username?  PolymathSJ Talk 20:48, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Try moving your page to a different name and turning your previous name into a redirect. Also, see WP:Username#How to change your name. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 20:50, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and don't forget to tell everyone on your new userpage that you had a previous alt account. That way, it could be considered legit. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 20:51, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

How can I get a bureaucrat to do it with Special:RenameUser?  PolymathSJ Talk 20:56, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Post a request on WP:CHU. πr2 (talk • changes) 20:57, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Probably Djsasso might do it. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 21:00, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks.I found it.  PolymathSJ Talk 21:05, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Requested articles

anyone know how i get there? i want to request some stuff... thank you. --Ninny (talk) 22:07, 20 July 2010 (UTC) i think i found it it was right there in my face sorry. --Ninny (talk) 22:08, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Flagicon template has been changed

The changees to the flag templates Template:Flagicon and Template:Country flagicon2 have been made. You many now specify a flag variant when displaying a flag. For example:

Template call Output displayed
{{Flagicon|Poland}} Poland
{{Flagicon|Poland|naval}} Poland
{{Flagicon|Canada}} Canada
{{Flagicon|Canada|1957}} Canada

To find what variants are available, check out the file Template:Country data name, where name is the country name. The section Flag variants will list all variants available.

Please let me know of any problems or errors. Thanks--The Three Headed Knight (talk) 16:24, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Update: The Navy template is now working. To display the naval ensign with a link to the countries navy (if there is one coded in the country data file, enter {{Navy|Poland}} to display  Polish Navy. Also, there is a help page for the flag templates, located at Wikipedia:Flag help.--The Three Headed Knight (talk) 20:02, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

transwiki request

Would an admin transwiki en:Bread roll? I can help simplify the article. I-20the highway 00:39, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

 Done -- Lauryn Ashby (talk) 01:25, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. I have simplified the article a good bit. I-20the highway 01:48, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
This is probably more appropriate on WP:AN. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 04:05, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Blocked IP Addresses

Hello. I was wondering, are IP addresses ever unblocked? Most sysops set most IP Address blocks at "indefinite". Account creation is also blocked.

  • Sometimes, one IP spans a wide area, and when is blocked, may affects many users.
  • Many people sometimes live in a house, and if the IP address is blocked, the other members of the household may suffer as a result.
  • Sometimes, a block may last generations.
  • Sometimes, an IP is used for simple edits, like fixing grammar or spelling, and if blocked, the error may remain unnoticed.

Can't IP address be banned for a limited time, and be given a second chance? I'm sure many users who were banned would like the opportunity for a change (if it was their fault) or to edit to Wikipedia (if it hasn't been done before). It may invite vandals, but it may also invite IP users to create accounts and/or make useful edits to Wikipedia. Can something be done?  Hazard-SJ Talk 22:16, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Another problem I've noticed is that mops don't sync user blocks and IP blocks properly Purplebackpack89 22:17, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Care to expand on that PBP? fr33kman 23:25, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Users and IPs are different; just because someone on an IP is a user doesn't mean that everyone on that IP is utilizing the same username. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 04:05, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
But if an IP is autoblocked, a user using that IP can't edit, even if the user is unblocked, unless the user has IP block exemptions. A more detailed response on Fr33k's talk page Purplebackpack89 04:30, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Usually IP vandals are only given a block for a few days. The only time we really block IP's for a long period of time is open proxies. They are usually blocked for 1 year or 3 years, and have been indefinitely blocked. IP's can request unblock the same as normal users.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 22:23, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Sometimes normal users aren't allowed to edit their talk page when blocked.  Hazard-SJ Talk 22:28, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
There is still always the option to e-mail the admin mailing list.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 22:37, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
If someone is blocked indef, that means that they are either disruptive or open proxies. But they could have the potential to return if they repented within six months or so, or come clean under a different name. Most of the time, they're not blocked indef though. But if they were, they could make appeals for unblock requests. If they abuse those unblock requests and use them mainly for trolling and attacking other editors, they lose TP (talkpage) access completely, like Bluegoblin7 did. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 04:05, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Basically, most IP addresses that are banned for a long time or indef, are open proxies. A few are long term static IPs of known vandals. Ranges get blocked on the rare occasion for a long time because long-term evidence shows only vandals editing from there. Many of the blocks that happen occur via evidence that is not available to most users here. Rest assured that the reasons are always good. In fact we do, from time-to-time, manually go through old IP blocks and reassess the need for them and clear them if they should be cleared. Some of these were made by admins who left the project years ago. fr33kman 23:25, 22 July 2010 (UTC)


Isn't this a Simple English Wikipedia? If so, why are there so many french-stubs lying around?  Hazard-SJ Talk 22:31, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

What's your point? Griffinofwales (talk) 22:31, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Because Yotbot created them. πr2 (talk • changes) 22:36, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't really have a point, but I am wondering it the french-stubs outnumber the articles related to English. Is Yotbot french?  Hazard-SJ Talk 22:38, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
    Yottie, Yotbot's operator, is French. πr2 (talk • changes) 22:39, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Not French... Living in France, different thing altogether. And to answer the question: because I'm interested in France. People are free to create any articles they want! Yottie =talk= 23:40, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Articles on the Simple English Wikipedia don't need to be about English. We write about all topics, very similar to the English Wikipedia.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 22:40, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Don't see how this relates to anything. There are plenty of stubs on anything, not just France. If you have the time to improve them from stub-status to, say, start-class, go ahead and do it yourself. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 04:05, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

People, can't we simply use this noticeboard for useful things? Such threads only make more problems than they solve. There is nothing that needs to be discussed here. Such threads do not help our Wikipedia to become a better place! Please don't start such useless threads, do something else instead. Thanks, -Barras talk 10:29, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, we don't have a WP:Help desk; unlike the en guys, this is the only way anyone can get information on anything. In this case, that's primarily what Hazard-SJ has been doing; all his threads, if you've noticed, are "pointless" questions about simpleWiki (such as the WP:Changing username thread above us) rather than anything productive to maintain the Wiki. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 13:40, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
We also have 437 articles listed under Category:Cities_in_Kentucky. Most of them are one-line stubs. There are similar lists for other US states. We also do have a few articles about tehsils in Pakistan, see Category:Tehsils of Pakistan. So the few French communes are not really a problem. --Eptalon (talk) 11:12, 25 July 2010 (UTC)