Talk:Main Page

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Include a new photo of Commons (with link for a usage in articles)?[change source]

My proposal: In our sister project Commons we have sometimes very good photos, fresh taken and uploaded to Commons, which can be used in Wikipedia-articles or even on the Main Page. On top of the Main-page in the right, there should be a place for a photo taken in the last days, eventually with links to possible articles.

I have tried to find a solution: Similar to my edit in the Main Page/Sandbox, but with a more protected frame or subpage for a more open change for all people who want to contribute photos, or visit the Commons-Sister and find some new photos for the Simple Wikipedia. --LudwigSebastianMicheler (talk) 00:42, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

That's a cool idea, but that means someone has to go looking for a photo and then update the main page. Daily. That's not going to get maintained. Osiris (talk) 03:02, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

Visibility and Viability of Simple English Wikipedia[change source]

I happen to have stumbled on this Wikipedia a few days ago, after being a longtime user of the regular English Wikipedia for most of its 15 years. From what I've seen, so far, it looks like this was a well-intentioned idea that started in the early days of Wikipedia, but was largely abandoned when the regular Wikipedia was still only at the 100,000 mark. Now it's at the 5 million mark, but Simple has stayed frozen in time.

Part of the problem, IMHO, has to do with this Wikipedia's visibility, or rather, it's lack, thereof. There are currently 291 different language Wikipedias. (List of Wikipedias) Granted, only 58 of them have hit the 100,000 mark, and 13 hit the 1 million mark. Even so, on many, if not, most of its pages, the language link to this Wikipedia from regular English gets lost in a sea of a few dozen links, and it's hidden, quite obtusely, under "Simple", rather than "English". Simple English is not a foreign language, like French or German or Arabic. Rather, it is a subset of regular English. That fact, alone, should be cause for special treatment of Simple English.

The visibility problem is a major issue if Simple English Wikipedia is going to become a viable project. The article disparity between Simple and regular English is overwhelming. I would say the vast majority of English Wikipedia users aren't aware that Simple English Wikipedia even exists. As a newcomer, here, it looks to me like I've walked into a museum of Wikipedia Past. It reminds me much of the early years of Wikipedia, when even the most basic of articles were mere stubs. In one area, that I'm working on in regular English, it looks like the Simple English version was abandoned around 2010 to 2013. I'm not sure when WikiData started taking over the language links, but it may be around that timeframe.

I think there are two basic questions that must be asked if Simple English Wikipedia is ever going to become a successful project:

  • 1. Do we want Simple English Wikipedia to become a successful project?
This existential question may be the hardest. I see that there was a lively discussion about this question in 2008-2009 (Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Simple English Wikipedia (2)), which resulted in Simple remaining active rather than being shut down. But it appears that the activity that was present then has since disappeared. I'm not sure that there's even anybody here, editing, still. If an article gets vandalized in Simple, does it make a sound?? I don't think so. Heck, even the vandals don't know that Simple is even here!!
One of the problems that is apparent is that the concept of Simple was poorly defined, at the onset. It was first thought that Simple could be both a Children's encyclopedia, and an ESL encyclopedia. That's like saying a pedal car can also be a single occupant car, and be driven on an Interstate highway with other cars. Children and adults are not the same. Children have a different level of understanding. By that, I mean understanding anything, not just English. Adults learning ESL, on the other hand, have a fully developed level of understanding, they just don't have the understanding of the complexities of English. That's a very different thing. Some of the articles I've seen here have a very condescending tone. Like you're trying to explain something to a 3 or 4 year old. That may be fine for "Pre-school Wikipedia", but it's not acceptable for "ESL Wikipedia". Also, children's books are not written in a monoscaled "children's" language. The are written to different grade levels, K-12. The books "grow-up" with the children. That is something Simple English Wikipedia, as it sits, cannot do. Simple cannot be both a Pre-school and an ESL resource.
This leads us to the question of "If Simple doesn't work, what do we want to do, instead?" It's an excellent question. Which leads me to my next question ... assuming we still want Simple English Wikipedia to continue to exist in some form or other.
  • 2. How do we make Simple English Wikipedia more visible to regular English Wikipedia users?
To me, this is not a simple question with a single answer. I think the first thing we need to do is to recognize that Simple has stalled because most users on regular English aren't aware of its existence. The radical disparity between regular English and Simple English Wikipedia (50:1) is a large thing to overcome, but not insurmountable.
The bigger question is: "How should these pages relate to the regular English pages?" Simple is not a separate language. There are not grown adults who are native Simple speakers, and Simple does not have to be translated to English. The reason Simple was created in the first place, was that the Wiki software had a capacity for multiple languages, but did not have an inherent capacity for language subsets. So, instead of modifying the software to meet the new demands, they modified English, instead, creating an imaginary "foreign language" called "Simple". According to Simple English Wikipedia, Simple was created in 2003, 13 years ago, when Wikipedia itself was only 2 years old. Much has changed since then. Creating a foreign language as a kludge may have been a reasonable solution at the time. Today, it's a different story.
IMHO, Simple ought not be a "foreign language". Rather, it should be a user preference. By user, I do not mean [[User:]]s. Rather, I mean our real users, the general public, who surf our pages and read our articles. I sortta see it as a drop box that has choices like "Use Simple English when available", which would fall-back to regular English pages if Simple pages are not present. Or "Use Simple English or fall back to x", where X is another drop box that gives foreign language options. Or "Use Simple English only.", which is Simple's present mode of operation. This type of interface would be more flexible and could adapt to a division of Simple into "Children's" and "ESL" editions. For example, in this triple version, the options could be:
  • "Use ESL, when available." (defaults to regular English when not found as ESL)
  • "Use ESL or fall back to Children's"
  • "Use ESL or fall back to x"
  • "Use ESL only."
  • "Use Children's when available."
  • "Use Children's or fall back to ESL"
  • "Use Children's or fall back to x"
  • "Use Children's only."
This model could also deal with dialect issues. For example, British versus American English:
British: lift, lorry, wagon, flat
American: elevator, truck, rail car, apartment
I would expect the number of articles that would benefit from British/American versions would be rather small, but reading an article about railroads, the constant use of "wagon" for "box car" and "baggage waggon" for "luggage car" would be jarring. Yet the difference would be more important for Children's articles, where a young American child would have no clue what a "flat" or a "lift" is. In this case, we see that British/American and Children's/ESL would are separate qualities that operate independently. For example, we could have a British Children's article, or an American ESL article. Through the method of two separate fallback selections (British/American) (Children's/ESL/regular), you could still handle all cases with the same general design.

So, I guess the question is not, "How do we improve the Wikipedia of 2016?", but rather, "What do we want the Wikipedia of 2026 to look like?" In answering this question, we must not restrict ourselves to the limitations of the Wikipedia of 2003, which is exactly what Simple English Wikipedia is.

Once we answer these basic questions, our next question is, "How do we get from here to there?" But before we get to this question, we must first decide what "there" is. This is the question that was never clearly answered in 2003, when Simple was created. Simple's problems have stemmed from the failure to ask this basic question, long ago. That does not mean we must continue on a poorly defined path. We can define a clear path to follow. But we must decide to do so.

Personally, I would like to contribute to this effort. But I honestly don't know where to start, because I don't even know what I'm contributing to. Am I writing children's articles? Or grown-up articles? As I said, they are, inherently, very different things. I cannot make an article do both, at least in the area that I would be contributing in.

I have taken the time to consider these questions and write all of this because I do believe in the general idea of a Simple English Wikipedia, and sincerely want to contribute in a substantial manner ... but the lack of clarity is a definite barrier to my participation. I also believe the issues I'm raising are ones that need to be discussed and decided before we try to embark on an awareness campaign to greatly increase contributions. The way I see it, the smallness of Simple versus regular English is an advantage. It means we have less material to re-work into a new model, before we open the gateways and have a flood of new users making a bad situation worse.

So ... is anybody out there? Does anybody hear me?? If so, what are your thoughts?

Looking forward to a bigger and better Simple English Wikipedia! High-storian (talk) 04:22, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Yes, we are here. Yes, there is activity here (see Special:RecentChanges), although not nearly as much as on English Wikipedia ("enwiki"). Yes, vandals know we are here: after being blocked or banned on enwiki, they often come here. Before I respond at more length, let me ask you something. If you have been "a longtime user of the regular English Wikipedia for most of its 15 years", why does it look like you only started working on Wikimedia projects in late December? --Auntof6 (talk) 05:39, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Ah! Life!! Hello, there. Your question, though, hits a major pet peeve of mine. Not all users are [[User:]]s! There is another group of "users" out there ... a much larger and more important group of users. The users who surf our servers and read our pages. I've also edited, off and on, as an IP, and yes, I've crossed over to the [[User:]]-side before, but the times I did, I was not impressed with the childishness that dominated, at the time. And yes, all that time, I never noticed that there was a thing called "Simple English Wikipedia". Kindda spooky in here, with the dust and cobwebs and all. At least in the corner I explored, so far. So yes, who are you and what are your thoughts? High-storian (talk) 07:10, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Hello High-storian, and welcome. I've placed a welcome template on your user page so that you may more easily find some of our common links. Personally, I think your question would have been better if asked at Wikipedia:Simple talk (or [[WP:ST]] for short) -- more of our active folk would have seen it there and been able to jump in with an opinion or comment. Regarding your comments, I think you'll find that this project is growing -- albeit at a slower rate than EnWiki. Check out Special:NewPages and you will see a steady flow of contributions there. Some of the questions you asked are pretty significant. For example, balancing the needs of an adult ESL reader with those of a 13-year-old can be challenging at times. We do that by trying to meet the common needs: Use of simpler terms, avoiding idioms, and making sure that more complicated terms are either explained or have links. In some cases, those explanations do sound condescending -- at least to adults who are native English speakers -- but those who are still learning the language find them invaluable. (The concept is not much different than a textbook: instead of a glossary, we have links. By the way, the concept of Simple or Basic English predates Wikipedia by quite a bit. Charles Kay Ogden is credited with that. I think his list needs to be modernized, but at least it's a starting point. Happy editing! Etamni | ✉   09:32, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, much! Let me be clear, my concerns are not so much about the concept of Simple English itself, but more in how Wikipedia has implemented it, and integrated (or not) with the regular English Wikipedia. I do understand that there is a good amount of commonality, and you're trying to work with that, but in some areas and topics, the commonality breaks down, and the age difference is a significant factor. If your target age is 13, then yeah, I've seen stuff that would be condescending to a 13 year old. I don't know how well that target age may have been advertised. I'll explore your links further and follow up as needed. I'm glad to hear the project isn't entirely dead ... but it's clear that more life is needed, here. I definitely want to collaborate with folks here to come up with an approach that would better suit the unique relationship between Simple English and regular English, because it's clear, IMHO, that the present arrangement isn't working. A quick kluge 13 years ago should not dictate what we become in the future. Thanks again for the welcome links. High-storian (talk) 10:34, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Did you know[change source]

When will they change the "Did you know" section of the Main Page? —This unsigned comment was added by PokestarFan (talkchanges) 00:50, 5 February 2016‎ (UTC)

Hi. You can get involved in nominating and discussing Did You Know hooks here. --Gordonrox24 | Talk 01:53, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

How "simple" should Simple Wikipedia be?[change source]

EnWiki goes really in depth. At what grade level are we supposed to write in?Winterysteppe (talk) 19:23, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Hello @Winterysteppe:. I've added some links to your talk page. I think a better place to get your question answered will be at Wikipedia:Simple talk (which is our Teahouse, help desk, reference desk, etc.). Etamni | ✉   21:55, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

We should all use xkcd's Simple Writer on all the pages. (talk) 21:33, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

I agree. SilverMagpie (talk) 05:43, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

Just a reminder[change source]

This page is the talk page for discussing improvements to the main page. General questions or comments about Simple Wikipedia should probably be addressed at Wikipedia:Simple talk. More people will see them there and you will get a faster reply. Thank you for visiting and I hope you decide to stay! Etamni | ✉   21:59, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Vandalism?[change source]

Am I the only one seeing this on this page?

Long live feminism

Rolf Harris.jpg Long live feminism

Rolf Harris.jpg Long live feminism

Rolf Harris.jpg (talk) 00:17, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

It's vandalism. It will be cleaned up. I reverted your post, because I thought that you were the vandal logged out. //nepaxt 00:45, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
Thank you Auntof6 for protecting the page. --Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 14:20, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Blocked from editing by two admins for vandalism and I don't even know what I did wrong[change source]

I was messing around with my own talk page and then two admins thought I was vandalizing but I doubt I wasbecause some of my edits were helpful like the ones where I remove words in the Words to Watch list. If only the admins could be reasonable by telling me where I vandalized something so I can learn from it otherwise it would become more like one of those tests where the teachers don't want you to learn from any of your wrong answers. I think there should be a reminders / warnings for vandalism or rule violating and every moderation message should include evidence of rule violation so I can know where I went wrong. Otherwise Wikipedia will never get anything done. -- (talk) 22:55, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, that's a good idea. SilverMagpie (talk) 05:44, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
Anonymous IPs do not get their "own" talk page, users need to register for this facility. Admins have very little tolerance for vandalism, but are always helpful to people who want to learn. Check our guidelines before you start, its like learning a few road rules before you get in a car for the first time.--Peterdownunder (talk) 11:10, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

Persian wiki[change source]

The Persian wiki has more 500,000 articles according to List of Wikipedias, update the main page please. Regards —This unsigned comment was added by Mohsen.Fa (talkchanges) 11:45, 4 September 2016 (UTC) (UTC)

@Mohsen.Fa: The article you cited, on this Wiki, only indicates that the Persian Wikipedia has over 100,000 articles and less than 1,000,000 articles. That said, I've checked the main page of the Persian Wiki and I do see that the site now contains slightly over 500,000 article, so we will make the necessary corrections. Etamni | ✉   12:32, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

 Done The change has been made. Etamni | ✉   13:09, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Really like the Simple English Wikipedia and the News Photos on the main page![change source]

New to Simple Wikipeia! GREAT! Thanks! Eddson storms (talk) 01:34, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

Automatic LIX-numbers as default in the simple-english section ?[change source]

Just wondering if it would be possible to in-cooperate something like LIX (en:LIX) as default in the simple-english section ? I think it could be a great help for editors if they could see the automatic calculated lix-number of the article they are working on ! (talk) 15:04, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

I don't know how an automated number could be added, but here is an easy to use calculator that compares Simple English Wikipedia to the English Wikipedia, Readability of Wikipedia, --Peterdownunder (talk) 01:23, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Not being a programmer I don't know either, but its quite a simple formula so I'm sure it could be implemented, maybe even with warnings to editors when their articles surpass a given LIX-number ? Browsing around in the "Simple wiki" quite a few articles are far beyond Simple-English and this could maybe be a big help for editors and a scare off for spammers ? (talk) 13:17, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Maybe. We have ambivalent feelings about fixed measures for measuring Simple English here. But LIX (or something like it) might be a useful tool to start—for example, implementing a pending-changes-like approach where an admin or other experienced reviewer has to clear a page that preliminarily fails an LIX reading. That said, we are very sensitive here to anything that might discourage legitimate new contributors. StevenJ81 (talk) 17:15, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
@Peterdownunder: Maybe this should move to WP:Simple talk. StevenJ81 (talk) 17:15, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

It was not intended to scare anyone off, except for spammers maybe, but more as an guidance for editors, similar to automated spelling control. Maybe just a number in a corner of the article which could also change colours from green over yellow to red depending on reading difficulty ? (talk) 14:27, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

I didn't say it was intended to scare anyone off. It's a different question as to whether it would in fact discourage anyone. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:53, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

I know those were not your words, and I don't think some coloured numbers in an corner of an article would discourage anyone either, just as automatic spell checking isn’t scary in it self :-) (talk) 18:05, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

So step back for a minute and think of it this way. It's not about "scary". It's about someone coming in, making some edits, feeling good about it, and then someone else deciding to make changes solely for the purpose of getting the number to turn green. Now the truth is: If the English is not "Simple", the article needs changes anyway. No argument. But if people start playing around with edits solely around numbers, it can turn into a picky, frustrating process that can discourage people trying to do their best.
Look, maybe a metric is appropriate. I'm just worried that one size doesn't always fit all. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:08, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

ok, thanks :-) Just thought I'd share the idea (talk) 21:08, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

And we appreciate that, truly. Thanks. Let's see if anyone else has something to say here. StevenJ81 (talk) 21:16, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

And thanks to you people for doing a great job on Wikipedia ! (talk) 14:40, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

"50 square miles long"[change source]

Just noticed that the Did You Know section of the main page currently says "... that the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida is 50 square miles long?" However, square miles is a measure of area, not length, and doesn't really make sense. I'm thinking it should be something more like "... that the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida covers 50 square miles?" 2601:243:702:CB1:4CB3:3C1C:DB42:A13E (talk) 23:23, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Fixed. Thanks for catching it. --Auntof6 (talk) 23:28, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Clarification on introductory text[change source]

On this page it says, "Writing in Simple English means that simple words are used. It does not mean readers want basic information". I think this should say "...does not mean that readers *only* want basic information". Randywombat (talk) 13:07, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

That would be fine, but with the word order reversed: "want only" , with "only" after "want". --Auntof6 (talk) 16:21, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

DYK[change source]

I can't recall seeing the Middle Passage mentioned anywhere without the definite article. Is its omission intentional here? Also, is there a separate page for reporting errors on the Main Page (as en-Wiki has), or is this the correct place? --Joefromrandb 04:37, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

Hi, Joefromrandb. I have fixed that issue -- thanks for reporting it. The best place to report main page errors in general is probably at WP:Simple talk, because more people probably watch that page than this one. --Auntof6 (talk) 05:30, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

German Version[change source]

Hi, is it possible to create a German language version here? I think this idea is good for simple people. Greetings, European Networks (talk) 20:47, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

As far as I know, the policy of the WMF is to not create other simplified versions. I know that Simple French failed, and to my konwledge, there is a small community (really small) waniting simple German. In any case, this should probably be discussed at Meta, and not here. It is diffficult enough as it is to keep Simple English going; if you want support for Simple German, you need to raise an issue at Meta. --Eptalon (talk) 20:52, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for your prompt reply. I will think about it. Best regards, European Networks (talk) 21:04, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

@European Networks: Here's what you'll hear on Meta: Unless there is a standardized simple form of German, this project will not be eligible for its own subdomain. What you can do is to see if German Wikipedia is willing to create a new namespace for content in Simple German, and start something there. StevenJ81 (talk) 12:52, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Last submission on Meta was in 2011: meta:Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Simple_German_4--Eptalon (talk) 14:49, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

The Did You Know Section[change source]

When will someone change the did you know section. Its like that since 15 December 2017. I can't change it but someone has to. If only I could change. Please, someone help to change it. --Zayyam123 (talk) 14:55, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

It doesn't get updated here very often because people don't submit new DYK facts. They have to be submitted and approved, they can't just be added. -DJSasso (talk) 16:59, 20 February 2018 (UTC)