Wikipedia:Simple talk/Archive 108

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Tech News: 2013-40

20:16, 2 October 2013 (UTC)


I just stumbled upon {{timeout}}. Is this an accepted template for use around here? I see only one discussion that mentions it (Wikipedia:Simple_talk/Archive_76#This_Wikipedia_has_some_problems..) at all. I don't believe I've ever seen it used at all. Thoughts on it? Is this something we should keep around and use on microstubs? Or is it something we should discuss at WP:RFD and consider deleting? I would think a template such as this needs discussion before anyone starts using it as a new process. Only (talk) 15:34, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

I think it was just a proposed idea from Microchip08 for dealing with new articles that are single-sentence stubs or slightly over the QD-able margin. It shouldn't be used unless the proposal was accepted, and I have never seen it used either. Osiris (talk) 00:33, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Brian Sims DYK problem on main page

I posted this to Oregonian2012's talk page, but I'll post it here too in case anyone else can help:

The link used as a source for the DYK fact for Brian Sims which is currently on our front page is not loading ( I did find an article with the same name on the same site ( but it does not mention him being the only gay captain in history. Can anyone help find a better/working source? Otherwise, we may have to remove it from DYK. Only (talk) 18:08, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Here's the fact: that Brian Sims was the first openly gay American football team captain in NCAA history? I have commented it out for now until we can resolve the sourcing issue. Only (talk) 18:11, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Found a capture on Wayback so the link should be fine now. Osiris (talk) 00:37, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, thanks. It looks like the same article I had found. The article does not mention the fact that he was the first gay captain nationally. I'm going to have to tag the fact as needing a citation now. Only (talk) 01:00, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Speak up about the trademark registration of the Community logo.

Word Highlighting on IPAD, way to learn to listen to English

As the simple wikipedia is meant to teach people English, I thought I'd relate the Word Highlighting subfeature of the Speech Selection feature of both the IPAD and IPHONE (io6+). It speaks the selected text with a karaoke effect, that is, the word is highlighted as it is being spoken. People who are learning English and not able to listen to English might like this feature as it gets them off the ground as far as listening to English goes.

In order to turn on the feature, Go to


Turn WORD HIGHLIGHTING on. From then on any selected text (in any application) will have a SPEAK tab above it. Selecting the SPEAK tab will speak the selected text with a karaoke effect. The effect is not that great on the IPHONE because the words are very small and the spoken text is rather faint, but it is quite good on the IPAD where the sound is louder and the text is bigger.

I think a person trying to increase their understanding of spoken English (if they are still at a low level) would profit from the effect.

Endo999 (talk) 09:07, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Infoboxes etc.

An important arbitration on English wiki reached these conclusions:

"The use of an infobox in an article is a content decision, not a maintenance decision. They should be added as part of content creation; they should not be added systematically to articles".

The arbitrator noted the difference between "content creation" edits and "maintenance" edits. Maintenance tasks should not change the meaning of the article for the casual reader, he explained. These tasks include categorisation, stub sorting, adding wikilinks, formatting and stylistic changes such as number and position of headers or placement of images, and simple copy-editing such as grammar and spelling fixes. Content creation would include addition and removal of text, images, tables, references and so on—and infoboxes—and should be done by an editor who has some knowledge of the subject... "editors should not go through a group of articles, adding infoboxes to each systematically".

Just thought you'ld be interested... Macdonald-ross (talk) 19:00, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

The signpost article that that is from is a bit misleading. Because that was only one arbiters opinion. In the end people can still go through adding infoboxes to many pages. What they can't do is fight over adding and removing them. Going through articles that typically have infoboxes and adding them is still considered acceptable. The case was about some editors trying to force wiki-projects that don't use them into using them. The actual part of the decision that wasn't about specific editors was just that they recommend the community decide if there should be a policy on when to or when not to add an infobox to an article. "The Arbitration Committee recommends that a well-publicized community discussion be held to address whether to adopt a policy or guideline addressing what factors should weigh in favor of or against including an infobox in a given article." -DJSasso (talk) 19:31, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

Re-organising Category:Alcohol


I have taken Category:Alcohol and introduced two subcategories "Cat:Places where alcohol is served", and "Cat:Alcohol drinking habits". I have a problem though, Christianity and alcohol and Prohibition Era do not really fit there. On the other hand, introducing a category or the historical aspects does not make much sense either, as we currently only have two pages...

Ideas are welcome, as always. --Eptalon (talk) 15:35, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Not everything has to be in a subcategory. -DJSasso (talk) 15:43, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Also note that I recategorized this category and moved most of the things in it under Category:Alcoholic drink. --Auntof6 (talk) 15:56, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Tech News: 2013-42

09:34, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Seas and oceans

English wiki has two different pages for sea [15] and ocean [16], covering a closely similar topic. We have two quite different pages. Our sea is a list; our ocean is a substantive topic. I'm inclined to think our way is better, and we have been trying to avoid double treatments of the same or very similar topics. I plan to add more content to our ocean page, but first wanted to check your opinions. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:35, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

It looks like we have no article about the sea in general. From their lead sections, both Ocean and Sea appear to be about defined geographical areas within the sea, and we have no article on the general topic. The scope on Ocean seems a bit confusing: it starts off describing the five oceans, and then later goes on to talk about "the ocean" in general. It would be really good to have an article to match en:Sea. It's on WP:VITAL, WP:BE850 and the topic is covered on more than 150 versions of Wikipedia, but not this one... Osiris (talk) 10:17, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Sea and ocean are two different things. Seas are part of an ocean. In other words I agree with Osiris. -DJSasso (talk) 15:51, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Good Simple English Wikipedia Article

How are the articles in Category:Good articles and Category:Very good articles good? What criteria do they meet? Frogger48 (talk) 01:04, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

They meet the criteria at Wikipedia:Requirements for good articles and Wikipedia:Requirements for very good articles. Only (talk) 01:09, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Are the same requirements used for the English Wikipedia? Frogger48 (talk) 01:43, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

No. They have requirements, but they are different from the ones here. --Auntof6 (talk) 02:01, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Are the Very Good and Good Articles to be used as an example of how articles should be when improving and writing articles? Are they to be used to make articles better in information, readability, and neutrality? Frogger48 (talk) 02:06, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

That depends on what kind of example you're looking for. Are you looking for an example of what will pass the requirements, or of something that's a good-quality article? All you can really say about the GAs and VGAs is that they meet the listed requirements. I think there is more to being a quality article than those requirements. For example, nothing in our requirements says that the article should be well-written (enwiki's requirements do say that) or that it must be in simple language. I think those should both be requirements here. So I think the answer to the last part of your question is "no". --Auntof6 (talk) 02:37, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Okay. I'm looking for good-quality articles as well. Especially in the simplest English and with NPOV. Thanks. Frogger48 (talk) 02:41, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Are you looking for such articles as a model for writing your own? If so, you might like to ask someone to be your mentor. We used to have a system for requesting feedback, but we don't have enough editors to support it so it was discontinued. --Auntof6 (talk) 02:59, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

How do I do that? Frogger48 (talk) 03:52, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Pick someone you think writes the kind of article you're looking for, and ask them if they would help you. You could write something in your userspace, and the mentor could review what you write and give you their comments. --Auntof6 (talk) 03:55, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

What could I write in my Userspace? Frogger48 (talk) 15:30, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Wikintelligence - your comments on Meta for a grant proposal

Dear colleagues from Simple English Wikipedia, I have made a proposal for an Individual Engagement Grant: Wikintelligence.

It is a proposal to conduct a feasibility study by a scientific research institute, for using Wikidata in the long-term goal as an open Artificial Intelligence for improving quality of Wikipedia articles. Funding should be for the most part by local authorities or by FFG - Austrian Research Promotion Agency. This could be a model for further funding of Wikimedia research projects, especially of Wikidata, but also for Wikipedia.

Could you please have a look, comment, give me tips to improve it? m:Grants:IEG/Wikintelligence Thank you very much! Kind regards


Projekt ANA (talk) 21:15, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Simple English "Punishment" Article

I don't think that the "Punishment" article, is neutral because it only gives us the European idea and negative views of punishment. I really feel that I have to make this article better. It feels one-sided. Maybe include:

Different ideas of punishment

Different opinions toward punishment, (+ and -)

Understandings of punishment across the world.

I really would like some help in doing this.

Frogger48 (talk) 22:12, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

I have replied at Talk:Punishment. Let's keep the discussion there. --Auntof6 (talk) 23:02, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Any math experts here?

Could someone take a look at the new articles Besov space and Function space? I'm not sure if they're sufficient as they are. Thanks. --Auntof6 (talk) 19:57, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Neither of them really mean anything. It's meaningless to say one of these could be used to solve a partial differential equation because that's always a given (it's not a tool).--Jasper Deng (talk) 20:04, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Function space is an important central concept. Besov space we could do without, especially as we are unlikely to be able to explain it. Macdonald-ross (talk) 20:16, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree function spaces are very important, but as written, the current description isn't very useful.--Jasper Deng (talk) 20:17, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Oh god that's really hard >_< I've seen the page Function space in both my language and normal English. And I can't understand either. And both are short. In Chinese that's actually a stub (short article)...


I think that Wikipedia should be mostly facts rather than mostly viewpoints. That way, I think the article will be more realistic. Frogger48 (talk) 16:29, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Some groups of people think of/believe in a particular thing. That is a fact too. Chenzw  Talk  17:00, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

"Bad language pair: {0}"

that was shown on my screen as a dialogue box. Who is good at this and can help me?

my gadgets that are "on":

  • Display pages on your watchlist that have changed since your last visit in bold.
  • GoogleTrans: open a translation popup for the selected text or the word under the cursor when pushing the shift button
  • Navigation popups (API)
  • Live Clock: Add a UTC clock to the screen.

This unsigned post was by User670839245(Talk) (Talk, on the user's ofen-used talk page) on 22 OCT 2013 (Tue) 21:55.

Hi that is probably from the GoogleTrans gadget. Can you tell me which language you are translating too, since it seems to indicate that Google translation services cannot translate from language x to language y.
Endo999 (talk) 06:50, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

To Chinese. It can "basically" trans to Chinese and "normally" with no problem. (Hey the words in " " aren't "really" simple English, [are they?]) (Hey that's another piece of NOT-simple English.) User670839245 (talk) 19:12, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Seems like the input language isn't parsed by Google to english, which is strange. If this is a persistant problem you should probably wipe the cookies for and reset the output language (see help Google page on enwiki) Endo999 (talk) 21:40, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Positive Words

I think that the articles named Paganism, Sect, Cult and Witchcraft have negative connotations to them. Can they be changed to more positive terms? Frogger48 (talk) 02:21, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Just because a word has negative connotations doesn't mean it isn't the right word to use. However, what words would you suggest we use instead? --Auntof6 (talk) 03:25, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
None of these title should be changed. They are simple and well understood. More important, they are used by most reliable sources. Macdonald-ross (talk) 05:09, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
I am almost at the point of thinking we are being trolled. -DJSasso (talk) 11:39, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
I've had that feeling for a bit, Djsasso. At a loss for how to deal with it. Only (talk) 19:41, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
I've been on the verge of asking him to cease and desist, or at least pick one article at a time to work on. --Auntof6 (talk) 21:52, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Never mind then. They are good the way they are. Frogger48 (talk) 16:44, 25 October 2013 (UTC)


Big lakes Weekend Reception123/Receptie123 (talk) 06:25, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Tech News: 2013-43

10:03, 28 October 2013 (UTC)


This bot hasn't done any edits since October 1. Does anyone know what's going on with it? I left a message on the operator's talk page, but haven't gotten a response. --Auntof6 (talk) 09:19, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

It is down right now. People have tried to get a hold of the operator on en to get theirs going again. Someone on en did a one time run to temporarily take care of their backlog but I suggest giving it a bit to see if it does start back up since we don't have all that much that it covers here. Otherwise I can probably get a new bot going to take it over if it doesn't start back up again. -DJSasso (talk) 12:39, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
A bot called Legobot ran on my en talk page and cleaned it up. Maybe its operator can be convinced to run the bot here? StevenJ81 (talk) 15:30, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
This update is a bit late - I have gone ahead to clear up the backlog here. I will let my bot run the task every now and then, until MiszaBot comes back. Chenzw  Talk  02:41, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
Is there absolutely no way the operator can be contacted? Reception123/Receptie123 (talk) 08:20, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
He has been. He just hasn't replied yet. His bot was one of many who had their password hashes compromised and so they were blocked until they changed their passwords. So until he comes back to log back in it won't run. I am manually running my bot daily at the moment to take care of any archiving that needs to be done. Probably this weekend I will set up a cronjob on my homeserver or somewhere to automatically run it every day like Miszrabot did. -DJSasso (talk) 12:05, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

I see that MiszaBot has run again. Thanks to those who did some archiving for us while it was out of service. --Auntof6 (talk) 20:11, 31 October 2013 (UTC)


I think we are going to need a clear policy line to prevent over-categorisation. Both the creation of categories and their application on pages needs restraint. The general policy of not having such detailed categories as En wiki is well agreed between us, but we have allowed it to be breached ad lib, often by users who are not familiar with our ways. Have a look at what user has been doing, for example (I have cut back on her/his use of overlapping categories on some ballet pages). Also, we should ask for deletion of new categories which appear to breach our policy. I would like to see a way to ban unregistered users from creating categories: it is not a matter for random visitors to our wiki, it is a matter for our regular users to decide. Macdonald-ross (talk) 05:52, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Also, such data (such as gender) belongs to Wikidata. We have that for a reason. The categorisation simply makes it difficult to keep up with changes - I don't particularly fancy having to consider 3 distinct criteria (from what I see now, nationality, sexual orientation, gender) when I have to categorise someone, and neither do I want to see thousands of edits made to re-categorise existing articles. As if stub sorting isn't enough already. Chenzw  Talk  06:28, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, I have nominated four categories (American men, American women, English men, and English women) for deletion, giving the reason that it is not our practice to separate categories by gender without good reason. I also wonder if we need the gender-specific categories in the LGBT area.
At this point I am against a restriction specifically for IP editors. I don't see that they are any more problematic than the other editors in this area, and an IP editor can be a regular editor. As far as restrictions in general, I'd have to think about that. --Auntof6 (talk) 06:51, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

This needs to be examined further before it gets out of hand. Do we really need to separate things like Category:LGBT Christians, Category:LGBT dancers, Category:LGBT models and Category:LGBT sportspeople into gender and orientation? We've got Category:Lesbian sportspeople with three entries in it. Why the rush to split them out? In several instances, we seem to have gone a step further than the English Wikipedia in our category tree: Category:Bisexual women and Category:Bisexual men are now being split by nationality, Category:Gay men and Category:Lesbians have been split so for quite some time already. We're now splitting them even further, by race, while even the nationality categories have been deleted from the English Wikipedia. We've got Category:American transwomen, while enwiki lumps it all into Category:Transgender and transsexual people. Maybe we should question why we're going the extra step? Especially since we hardly have the numbers to make it worthwhile, in my opinion. There seems to be an obsession over categorising people by sexuality, sometimes to the extent where biographical stubs are being created with undue weight on sexuality, with almost nothing on their careers or what actually makes them notable. Osiris (talk) 04:14, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Well, it has happened because two or three people have been splitting almost non-stop with no discussion or consensus to do so. In at least one case, the person has made no other contribution to our wiki at all. Anyway, here is a suggestion:
  1. We add a clear policy statement that our category trees should be less divided than English wiki.
  2. We should delegate a couple of admins to place notices on bottom categories, saying clearly "Do not split this category". By "bottom category" I do not mean the bottom as of now. Bottom category preferably be above the En wiki bottom category. With practice we may develop a better way of saying this, but here I'm just trying to get the principle right. At first, it will only be necessary to place these notices where splitting has obviously gone too far.
  3. Any user who wishes to split such a category should ask permission, giving reasons, on a suitable discussion page. Likewise, some of us will no doubt ask for the bar to be placed higher in the hierarchy.
  4. Once the notices are up, admins may delete further splits without discussion, and adjust page categories accordingly. Actually, any editor in good standing could do this.
  5. Simplest way might be to add "excessive category splitting" as a QD criterion. Anyone who disagrees with a deletion could bring it forward for discussion. Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:27, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

This is a good start! I'll throw out some thoughts/comments/questions for now, and probably come up with more later:
  • Is your thinking that every unsplit category should have the notice you suggest? I'm thinking it might be better to have general guidelines about it, and put notices on just the categories that are most likely to be split in ways we don't want, or which have been split in those ways in the past. (Yes, see my #2 last sentence. Macdonald-ross (talk))
  • About your item #4: non-admins could not delete the lower-level categories, although they could nominate them for deletion (quick or otherwise). Any editor (in good standing or not) could do the category adjustments. (QD is fine. Macdonald-ross (talk))
  • If we can codify it, it would be good to have guidelines to help explain what splits are undesirable, as specifically as possible. For example, we could have a guideline that says "don't split any category by gender without discussion and a good reason", and explain why. Just saying it's because we want to keep our structure simple isn't as good as saying something like "There's no benefit to splitting category X by criterion Y".
  • For some categories, instead of saying not to split at all, we might want to say not to split by certain criteria, such as gender, nationality, or whatever.
--Auntof6 (talk) 08:02, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
The only reason we ever had the understanding of the minimum number of articles in a category was that we were getting strings of 1 article categories 10 levels deep. If these categories have a reasonable number of articles in them then I have no problem with them for the most part. Its the ridiculously deep category chains with only 1 article at the end that I personally wish to prevent. But if we are specifically talking about the sexuality categories I would say we should look at them with a proper deletion discussion as they might be overkill. Generally I would disagree with most of what Macdonald-ross has proposed because it would be far to POV in a lot of cases to say you can't split this but you can split this. In most cases once you have 50 articles in a category it probably should be split in some way. Now this doesn't apply to every category (ie Living people). But for the vast majority it does. -DJSasso (talk) 12:06, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
I think the basic problem we have is that editors that are here longer are more likely to see what splits are desirable; aside form any topic-related discussion, if the split likely prodices a child category with less than 10 entries, it is probably not desirable; so in general, I would propose that "new" (less than six months with the project) editors who re-organise categories talk about the intended changes, on a suitable forum. Splitting by sexual orientation almost never makes sense; however, if we are talking about people who serve as role models so that a generation of people can identify with them, it might. What I would like to propose as a "guideline" is a hierarchy:
  • Criteria based on scientific domains (eg. "taxonomy" in biology)
  • Time-period /Era
  • Geography
  • Actual gender
  • Sexual orientation (LGBT)
Is it relevant for the category system that Oscar Wilde might have had homosexual tendencies? - If I wanted to construct a category around that, it would probably be more important to say that he lived in the 19th century, perhaps that he lived in England. With the "19th century English writers" cateogy, I'll likely find 5-10 others I can put in the category. If I go on to say that he was male, and probably gay, I find 1, perhaps 2 others to fit. In other words: A category is well chosen if it contains 10-30 entries, or if I could find them. More than 30 calls for finer granularity, except with maintenance categories ("science-stubs", eg), less than 5-10, over a longer time period pronbably means we drilled down too deep. --Eptalon (talk) 16:59, 30 October 2013 (UTC)


Can someone help me with working on the Simple English esoterism article? Thanks.

Frogger48 (talk) 21:47, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Tech News: 2013-44

10:52, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Articles with POV

I need help to correct articles with POV. A lot of these articles are about Creation vs. Evolution. Frogger48 (talk) 04:02, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

It would help if you give us an example. Tell us the name of an article where you see this problem, say what part of it isn't neutral, and explain what viewpoint isn't represented. --Auntof6 (talk) 04:17, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Articles like Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al., Intelligent design, Watchmaker analogy and Evolution seem to explain the views of people who support evolution more than other views. What can I do about this? Also, I have stated the issues in some of the article's talk pages. Frogger48 (talk) 16:48, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Well its sort of to be expected that evolution will be talked about more in the evolution article than creationism will be. Creationism of course would be talked about in the creationism article. -DJSasso (talk) 17:19, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

By reading, do any of these articles look POV? Frogger48 (talk) 22:36, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Not really, no. -DJSasso (talk) 23:21, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

What do you mean? Frogger48 (talk) 02:19, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

I mean that they don't look POV. None of those articles are one sided except where you would expect them to be. As mentioned above the evolution article should talk mostly if not only about evolution. Just like the creationism article should talk mostly about creationism. I explained the Watchmaker article on its talk page. And the court case talks about what occurred in the court case and doesn't take a side. None of those articles are POV at all. -DJSasso (talk) 11:37, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for helping me.

Frogger48 (talk) 00:35, 5 November 2013 (UTC)


I am doing a lot of work in adding on to and editing this article:

Could someone clean it up and add on more info to it, if you can? Thank you very much.

Frogger48 (talk) 05:14, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Would you please:
  • Use proper internal link syntax: when you link to a Simple English Wikipedia article, use double square brackets instead of giving the URL. FYI, there is a similar way to link to an article in another Wikipedia.
  • Put your signature on the same line as the end of your post, instead of on a separate line.
As far as your request goes, can you give us an idea of exactly what you think needs cleaning up? I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather help you learn to do the cleanup than clean up after you myself. The more people who can leave an article clean, the better.
Thanks. --Auntof6 (talk) 06:00, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

It definitely needs to be simplified, I think. Frogger48 (talk) 00:38, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Useful Link

I found this very useful link on the internet. It is a list of reliable encyclopedias. You can use it if you need it on Wikipedia. It also has lists of other reliable resources in the internet.

Frogger48 (talk) 21:07, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

How do you know those are reliable? Our definition of reliable might be different from theirs. --Auntof6 (talk) 00:20, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

I think that they are reliable. Can you check to be sure? Frogger48 (talk) 00:39, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

No, I'm not going to do that. The fact that you would ask makes me wonder if you understand our definition of "reliable sources". What makes you think those sources are reliable? --Auntof6 (talk) 00:59, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

They are on an official reference website. Frogger48 (talk) 03:53, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

"Official" according to whom? Anyone can set up a website and call it whatever they want. I can't even connect to it. --~~

Listing Wikipedia as reliable source... I don't want to say that Wikipedia is not reliable, but as it is written by volunteers, it actually can't be very reliable. I guess there is no need to verify other links on that list. The sources given there might be reliable for students etc. but those are probably not reliable as source for another encyclopedia. -Barras talk 11:47, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Introducting Beta Features

(Apologies for writing in English. Please translate if necessary)

We would like to let you know about Beta Features, a new program from the Wikimedia Foundation that lets you try out new features before they are released for everyone.

Think of it as a digital laboratory where community members can preview upcoming software and give feedback to help improve them. This special preference page lets designers and engineers experiment with new features on a broad scale, but in a way that's not disruptive.

Beta Features is now ready for testing on It will also be released on Wikimedia Commons and MetaWiki this Thursday, 7 November. Based on test results, the plan is to release it on all wikis worldwide on 21 November, 2013.

Here are the first features you can test this week:

Would you like to try out Beta Features now? After you log in on, a small 'Beta' link will appear next to your 'Preferences'. Click on it to see features you can test, check the ones you want, then click 'Save'. Learn more on the Beta Features page.

After you've tested Beta Features, please let the developers know what you think on this discussion page -- or report any bugs here on Bugzilla. You're also welcome to join this IRC office hours chat on Friday, 8 November at 18:30 UTC.

Beta Features was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation's Design, Multimedia and VisualEditor teams. Along with other developers, they will be adding new features to this experimental program every few weeks. They are very grateful to all the community members who helped create this project — and look forward to many more productive collaborations in the future.

Enjoy, and don't forget to let developers know what you think! Keegan (WMF) (talk) 20:36, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Distributed via Global message delivery (wrong page? Correct it here), 20:36, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

DYK: Not enough users

After Oregonian was banned, there has been very very few users contributing to the DYK nominations hook and plus updating is staring to get pretty slow. What I'm trying to say is that we must encourage users old or new to contributed and help pass or nominate hooks. Thanks. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 06:00, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Cross-posted from Wikipedia talk:Did you know. Osiris (talk) 06:57, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Help with removing stub tag

I came across these pages which are showing up in the stub category but can't figure out what is causing them to do so:

Help please? (talk) 17:27, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Anyone there?

Neutrality and POV flags

Several editors have been putting these up without giving any explanation on the talk pages. If we don't know why you think the page is biased, how can we discuss it? It's really just laziness to stick a flag on a page without taking the trouble to explain why. Macdonald-ross (talk) 18:18, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Tech News: 2013-45

13:25, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Moving "volcanos" to volcanoes in pages

There are several articles in simple wikipedia that use the improper spelling "volcanos", when it should be "volcanoes". Can someone move List of extinct volcanos, List of dormant volcanos, List of active volcanos, and list of volcanos to the correct spellings (which are currently redirects to the other spelling) of List of extinct volcanoes, List of dormant volcanoes, List of active volcanoes, and List of volcanoes? (talk) 19:44, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

No. Both are correct spellings. --Auntof6 (talk) 19:57, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, both are correct. Macdonald-ross (talk) 22:20, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Another term, another group of students

Hello everyone,

I have brought groups of students to SEWP to work as editors and contribute to the project several times. I am planning to start again tomorrow. I will ask them to preface their usernames with the initials TMD for our school. As before, please do let me know if you see anything wrong, but I will try to keep on top of all of their edits. I am mainly worried about copyright violation and correct attribution, but that has not been a significant problem in the past.

I will start them on creating userpages and basic editing tomorrow. I try to stop them from creating new pages immediately, but a few slip away and jump ahead anyhow. That actually shows some enthusiasm, so I hate to delete those pages immediately. I hope anything new can be fixed and cleaned up.

I will tag pages we are editing with a school project template, but don't be hands off. Please do edit those pages. That would be a huge help. Having actual communication online to collaborate on making something can be a great experience for language learners.

Thanks, ELTted (talk) 01:30, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi, so far so good. Sorry for the flood of new account creations on New Changes, but it will settle down soon. Thanks, ELTted (talk) 00:56, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up! Will be looking forward to seeing some new articles - it's always good to have more.
Few of the students come back to edit after the course is done. They have so much coursework that I can't expect them to continue, but I view this as the long game. Expose them to open content creation and hope it sticks. At the start, very few realize that Wikipedia is open to their contributions. It's just something "out there". ELTted (talk) 09:45, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Sidenote: from some userpages - "I am purple"? Chenzw  Talk  01:08, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the "I am purple interested in..." is in the template I gave gave them to set up their userpages. Kind of like the Van Halen M&M contract rider as a check to see who read it and switched in very, quite, or another suitable modifier and who didn't read or follow directions. ELTted (talk) 09:45, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

One of the purple people, User:TMD Hiroto, has actually registered as Alpine skiing (talk · contribs). Osiris (talk) 08:14, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

I hope I can sort him out. I asked them all to use TMD as a prefix. Alpine skiing (talk · contribs) approached me after class to see if he could could change his username to retroactively follow directions. I suggested he try again with a different email account rather than negotiate changing usernames. I think Alpine skiing will be dormant. ELTted (talk) 09:45, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Change to categories that are for the years that TV series began

I have renamed the categories that are for the years that television series began. Instead of, for example, "1960 television series", we now have "1960 television series debuts". These categories were always used for series that started in the year, although the old name didn't specify that. There was at least one series that was in more than one of these categories, where it should have been in just one of them but also in at least one decade category (such as "1960s television series"). The new categories are all under Category:Television series debuts by year. (I don't see the need to group them at this time.) For now, I have left the old categories as redirects to the new ones. Let me know if there are any questions about this. --Auntof6 (talk) 09:24, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

New stub categories for "Mathematics", "Graphical arts", and "economics"?


I just wondered if it would be meaningful to introduce new stub categories:

  • One for economics-related articles
  • One for mathematics-related articles (where the more general science-stub does not fit)
  • One for the arts, e.g. periods of painting / painting styles / movements / music styles ...

These are just ideas, and I know that we have an economics-related stub up for deletion at the moment. Ideas? --Eptalon (talk) 14:01, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

There was a discussion a while ago in which we agreed on an economics stub, but somebody needs to put in the work to change them over. We already have a maths stub. The visual art one sounds like it would be a good idea to me, but again, somebody needs to do the work. Osiris (talk) 02:07, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
The equivalent to performing-arts-stub (which we do have) would be a plastic-arts-stub, the distinction being that the plastic arts leave a physical object as a necessary result of their art, whereas performers do not (recordings are not part of the art act). Plastic arts cover painting, collage, sculpture and a whole range of less obvious things, like photography, film-making and the composition of music. Our page redirects to Visual arts, but the concept does include other senses than the visual. Macdonald-ross (talk) 05:30, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Categorising cities by people

There are a number of categories in Category:Categories named after people that contain articles on towns and cities. In the few that I checked, it looks like it was because those people were born in that city or lived there. Really? Do we really want to do that? I can possibly understand if the person had some major impact on the town, was a founder or something. But just born there? I don't think that's a good idea. Osiris (talk) 07:20, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

I'd say don't include them. I'm not a big fan of this whole category anyway. In a lot of cases, it seems like it was a stretch to find the required minimum number of entries. I suppose we could make guidelines on what belongs in this type of category (like maybe, "Don't create one of these categories just because you can"?), but it would be nice to be able to depend on people's common sense. (I can dream, can't I?) --Auntof6 (talk) 09:28, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Tech News: 2013-46

09:03, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Class project: student editing starts

Hi! We got started with userpages last week with few problems. We'll continue today on userpages and then start with a few edits of existing articles. The initial list can be found here. Most of the students have usernames starting with TMD for easy identification. They may flood New Changes a bit at first, but then the edits will become more spread out of time. Please do leave them Talk messages in very simple English if you like. And, please don't hesitate to correct or edit the articles they contribute to. Thank you very much, ELTted (talk) 23:48, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Year and decade articles

We have a hodge-podge of articles on years and decades. See 1051, 1052 and 1050s for examples. What I would like to do is change a bunch of the decade articles to be like 540s with each year article a redirect to the section in the decade article. Assuming you all think that is a fabulous idea, what would be a good starting year? And what year, if any, would be a good point to stop the decade only articles and do each year separate? The more recent centuries have a ton more information, but that could be cherry-picked to a reasonable amount. Thanks in advance for your ideas and suggestions! --Tbennert (talk) 20:18, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

What I'd rather do is take the year-specific info out of the decade articles. The decade articles could be more like 1980s, talking about general info and trends not limited to individual years. Any decade articles that are just compilations of year info could be deleted or merged into individual year articles. --Auntof6 (talk) 21:26, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with that. Further, I have always doubted the value of year-specific data except for extraordinary years. Earlier than 1800, even a decade might be too short a time to be worth summarising. I'm reminded of the damage done to history teaching by an excessively date-driven curriculum. Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:20, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

What to do when all 3 of us are right? The articles are an inconsistent mess, decade articles should reflect the decade not individual years, and data lists of years are of questionable use. So, what about removing the list structure? Write the (really) significant information in prose style with Template:Year nav as the only box. I'll give it a go this week and link some examples. Given the quantity of articles, I probably will not fiddle with anything more recent than 1600. --Tbennert (talk) 06:10, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Could you clarify what you're planning? Are you planning to change year articles, decade articles, both, or what, and what changes to each do you now have in mind? --Auntof6 (talk) 08:07, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I plan on starting with the year articles. Compare User:Tbennert/1 to 1 to get a basic idea of what I have in mind. The one in my userspace would be the format used for year articles. The "exact date not known" part could probably be better written. And I'm not sure at what year to stop adding this disclaimer.
When I finish with ten year articles, I will see if a decade article exists for that span. If it does I will copy-edit and model the 1980s article as much as possible. If there is not a decade article I do not plan on creating one.
To keep organized and consistent I would start with years 1 through 9 and then do -1 to -9, then 10 to 19 and -10 to -19, etc. --Tbennert (talk) 06:28, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I looked at the two versions of the article for the year 1. At first glance, I don't like it, and I request that you not proceed at this point. For one thing, there have not been enough editirs responding here to have a consensus for the change. For another thing, you removed a lot of detail, such as the lists of births, deaths, and events. Where do you suggest that people find that info? Before you were to proceed, I'd like to see what you would do with a year article that has a lot more info in it, such as 1999. --Auntof6 (talk) 06:53, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
As always, I appreciate your review and comments. I may be overly sensitive so my apologies if I'm off base - it seems as if you fear I am a bull in the china shop. Lumping a bunch of years into decade articles barely counts as "bold", yet I began the discussion. 2 weeks later I made another suggestion. 30 minutes from my post you responded that there were not enough comments and requested that I stop. Clearly I waited 2 weeks for comments before so not sure why the admonishment. It also seems that my vague writing caused you to miss that I have no intention of editing the last several centuries. I don't remember the exact number but something like 80% of articles on en are about topics from year 1900 to present. The issues with articles on the more recent years is an overload of information. I just want to remove the redlink years and make sure each year up to 1600 is up to basic standard. I assure you I will not go on a wild and crazy editing spree. I want the same thing you do - to develop a good encyclopedia in simple English --Tbennert (talk) 05:30, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, I'd cut most of it out, especially the red-links. I don't think there is any merit in saying "Joe Bloggs died on May 21st" if we don't know who he was, and there is no article on him. The page is a copy-paste from English wiki, and includes such gems as "A large piece of the chalk cliff at Beachy Head collapses into the sea". Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:19, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I think you might find it very difficult to rework the timeline format into prose, because you're working with a series of unrelated events. It's going to be difficult for the reader to remain interested. I don't really mind the idea behind 540s, personally. But I also don't mind seeing such articles split out into individual years, if there is content for that year. Like 1052, I would personally merge that to the decade article until someone added to it properly. Osiris (talk) 07:25, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
(Second look) Those years and decade articles quoted by Tbennert (and others I have looked at) are really spectacularly bad. The entry for the 1060s does not properly explain the significance of the change from Saxon/Scandinavian to Norman kings (which is essential for a reader interested in history). 1066 is better, but does not explain clearly that England had four kings in that one year (one of which was elected but killed before his coronation). Even worse, the pages do not use information from the main biographical articles, many items are red-linked, much is left out which is in our wiki articles and there is a lack of overview. History is not just a list of name and dates. Goodness, surely we have learnt that by now. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:19, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
But they aren't supposed to explain the significance. Those are timeline articles. The significance is explained in the articles that are linked. Red links are good, red links are very very important as they encourage article creation. Removing red links is a very bad thing. History isn't just a list of names and dates, but timelines are, these articles are timelines. For the detail on those names and dates you go to the linked articles. -DJSasso (talk) 12:45, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, Djsasso, I was trying to figure out how to say that. The year articles are timeline articles, not prose articles. They would quickly get too big if they tried to explain everything for a given year. The other thing is that it's OK to have things in these timelines for which we don't have articles. If more info is wanted than can fit into the timeline format, then an article can be created. I think Tbennert is trying to make these articles into something they were never intended to be. --Auntof6 (talk) 10:19, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I am not trying to make the articles anything. The prose idea was just something to spark discussion. The only thing I really know is this group of articles is seriously inconsistent. With hundreds of missing years and tons more 1 line articles it would have been nice to get opinions on how others prefer the articles. Can't just go by what we have because it is inconsistent, which is why I started the discussion in the first place. --Tbennert (talk) 01:48, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

I think my original idea got lost - the articles on years and decades are a mess. I would like them to have more consistency and be appropriate for this wiki and am willing to do the work. The more recent centuries have too much information, which is a different problem. Prior to year 1600 or so there is randomness. Hoping that by breaking out some ideas we can find agreement on a few. NOTE:proposals are only for years up to 1600.

  1. Remove Template:Year in other calendars Reason: confusing, redlinks, and takes up a lot of room on short articles. It's mostly only on copypaste articles.
  2. Years with less than 5 points redirected Reason: it would be wonderful to have descriptive information about the decade itself, it's just difficult to find with the 1120s or 1080s BC without using information from the years. Rather than have years with 1 to 4 items readers will have a manageable amount in a combined decade article.
  3. Minimize redlinks Reason: articles with tons of redlinks are usually copy-pastes from en. Adding people to these year lists is a common way used to remove orphan flags. Personally, I like redlinks, so care will be taken on removing items.
  4. Consistent headers Reason: consistency and to shrink TOC box. My suggestion is Events, Births, Deaths. If more than 7 points in Events use location subheaders.
  5. Note to reader Reason: dates are mostly approximate and bullet points only convey a small amount. Reality is we will have these articles, they are difficult to write about properly, so bullet points are the answer for now.

Thanks for taking time to read through and comment. --Tbennert (talk) 05:30, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Would not agree on #1 at all. Those templates are important and redlinks are very important on this wiki to encourage article creation. Not really a fan of the second one but can accept it for now. I would rather just see whomever is doing this work to go get more information to add so they don't have to redirect. #3 is a very very very big no. Have no problem with the headers being cleaned up. -DJSasso (talk) 12:49, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Decade articles could have a written (not listed) introductory section which acted as an overview. This might be quite long if the decade in question merited it. The idea would be to capture some of the social, artistic, scientific, industrial and political trends which are not easily captured by dates. The 1980s intro is not bad, though it missed the discovery of AIDs, one of the few modern diseases which were not known in ancient times. Macdonald-ross (talk) 17:03, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Popups doesn't seem to work

Not sure if it's just this wiki for me, as it seemed to work on some others but possibly not for a few others too... and it did for a single instant work here yesterday for some reason, but usually doesn't... anyone knows why? (Also not sure if this is related to another script I had working at least two months ago which displayed various handy links that aid in crosswiki editing...) -- Mentifisto 14:14, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

They stopped working for me here, too -- several weeks ago, or msybe longer. I thought it must be due to some software change here because I hadn't changed my prefs or anything and nhey still work for me on enwiki. --Auntof6 (talk) 16:44, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I almost asked this here a while ago, but I tried refreshing my cache, and then it worked just fine. If it doesn't work after refreshing the cache, then I don't know what's wrong. TCN7JM 21:31, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Working fine for me. If TC's solution doesn't work, maybe it's something to do with your local settings...? Osiris (talk) 06:27, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Local settings as in preferences? I didn't change any preferences. If you mean something on my PC or related to the browser, that wouldn't explain why it works on enwiki but not here. I've cleared my cache several times with no apparent effect. --Auntof6 (talk) 06:43, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Yeah but I mean they're adding a whole lot of software features (I just noticed a "beta" button now appears next to the watchlist button). It could be that changes have been made to some extensions that you're using via preferences, and they're now conflicting with popups. I know that the Reference Tooltips gadget used to interfere with popups, but it looks like that's resolved now. You could try matching your settings with the settings you use on enwiki. Other than that, I'm out of ideas. Osiris (talk) 07:06, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
This is what I thought was basically happening as well, but if so, and especially in the future as features and gadgets get ever more complex, then it's a bit of a hopeless case as more and more code conflicts with itself... -- Mentifisto 00:13, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Tech News: 2013-47

07:01, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Target audience

Would it be appropriate to have a banner at the start of an article to show the target audience of the article. This will help people to see whether the article is meant for younger readers or for older readers who are learning English. Martinvl (talk) 14:23, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Well technically all our articles are meant for people learning English. The side effect of that is that they may be helpful for children as well. We however mostly aim to write for those who have trouble with English. So a banner wouldn't really be appropriate. -DJSasso (talk) 15:22, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Take normally-inclined children or adolescents, and tell them that they must not do something; in many cases, the children will do it anyway. In that sense, having a banner "unsuitable for young children" will probably have the effect that the children will go looking for such banners. And if they happen to come across something they don't understand, they'll ask their parents, which can then go and improve the respective article... --Eptalon (talk) 15:33, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure how we'd determine which subset of our readers an article is for, but, as Djsasso said, we really have only one target audience. The fact that children neatly fit into that audience sometimes makes people want to cater to them, but that's not what Simple English Wikipedia is. Plus, flagging articles the way you suggest is awfully close to censorship, which we're not allowed to do. --Auntof6 (talk) 16:36, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
My comment was triggered by the two articles Metric system and International System of Units. There is a lot of overlap between the two articles so I made the suggestion that the article "Metric system" should be targeted at 10-12 year olds whose mother tongue is English and "International System of Units" be targeted at adults (or near-adults) for whom English is a second language. The main difference is the level of scientific knowledge necessary to understand the article. Although both articles are still in the early stages of development (I have been working on the article "Metric system"), a quick glance at the material present will show that the target audiences are very different. Martinvl (talk) 21:07, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Thinking about the banner "Unsuitable for young children", I wondered if the reverse would be appropriate - an article would have a banner of the type "Child-friendly article. This article was written for children aged 11 (Year 6) living in England". Such a banner would mean that the article broadly followed the English Year 6 School syllabus. Such banners would help editors to give the article a focus. Martinvl (talk) 07:55, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Focus is something that I think we badly need. However, I doubt that marking articles as suitable for a particular grade would ever develop into common practice. Assessments of the overall difficulty level would be more helpful to all readers. Though several wikis use them liberally to show things like FA/GA-status, I personally find that message-box banners distract considerably from the content. Placing such banners on the talk page instead would be preferable, to my mind, but that might be too obscure. Osiris (talk) 20:17, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

If we were to do this, would that mean that an article labelled as suitable for a particular age group had to stay that way? I would be against that, because I think articles should be able to evolve wherever their subject matter needs to go. Who would determine the target audience of a particular article? If the original author, wouldn't that be a type of ownership? Any editor who wanted to tag the article? That would result in inconsistency. I do not want to see us going down this road. --Auntof6 (talk) 21:03, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

I had in mind a template that generated a banner of the type:
The words between chevrons in the banner are user-supplied parameters. The guiding principle for the age group that the article targets will be a particular school syllabus. When I was 10, our Geography syllabus for the year was the province where I lived - Natal - now KwaZulu-Natal. My children, at the same age, studied Hampshire, the county where they lived. It seems sensible to me therefore to target these articles at 10-year olds, emphasizing items in the school syllabus, playing down things outside the syllabus that might well be "boring" (like members of the provincial council), but including "interesting" things like the main sports teams. It should be noted that readers who have an interest in the provincial council can probably find that information in the main Wikipedia.
On the other hand, articles relating to child care (for example), would not have a banner. Such articles have a place because some young mothers might well have a poor command of English. Martinvl (talk) 09:00, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
You just keep raising more questions about how this would be administered, and without answering the questions already asked.
I cannot express how much I do not want to see us go this route. This is a step toward making this a wiki for children, which is Not What We Are About. All articles should be written for anyone with lower English skills, whatever the topic of the article and whatever age of the reader. Using guidelines from a specific education program in one country would not serve our international readership. No article can be censored, because official policy is that Wikipedia is not censored. We've had this discussion before, such as here and here.
It does occur to me that using the WP:Books feature might do what you want. A book is basically a list of articles. Editors are free to create books based on whatever criteria they like. For example, you could create a book that includes articles that you feel are appropriate for 11-year-olds, 5-year-olds, or whatever. Just note that articles included in a book could change, so you might need to look at them periodically to see if you think they're still appropriate for your book. Would that work for what you want? --Auntof6 (talk) 09:32, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Just to underline Aunt's point: there's no way we are going to move our wiki in the direction suggested by Martinvl. It would not be right, and in any event we were founded by wiki to do what we are trying to do, and not some other variation. Banners are as likely to put off readers as to attract them, and they may well put off potential editors as well. Nothing prevents individual teachers making lists of pages they think might help their pupils. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:54, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I spent some time wandering around this wiki wondering what it was for. Then I saw Wu Chinese had been created with nonsense and decided to take a look at the "regular" article. Oh my goodness! Now I know what some of Wikipedia's critics are talking about when they say it's inaccessible. I'm starting to understand that there can be value to the Simple English wiki beyond dumbing it down for schoolchildren. I would say I agree with those who oppose this proposal for multiple reasons, but when it comes to the fundamental question of target audience, learners of English, regardless of age, is my answer. Sai Weng (talk) 03:55, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Redirects for cities in China

The names of these Chinese cities redirect to the articles on the provinces they're part of. It seems to have been done simply to turn a red link into a blue one. Would anyone like to have a go at making articles out of them? If not, I am thinking we should delete the redirects.

Osiris (talk) 04:47, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

The Amdo article is so short it may as well be pasted over from the other wiki. Some others like Liuzhou could be simplified without too much trouble. Changchun is pretty long though. Do you usually prefer to leave red links as a sort of to-do list or have a blurb for others to expand upon? Sai Weng (talk) 04:36, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the red links can stay. Of course, there's no need for everything to come over, a paragraph or two would do for a start. Osiris (talk) 04:45, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Declaring Articles by Orphan Notice

It seems like Orphan tags are rarely used nowadays even though Simple Wikipedia has a lot of orphaned pages, some of which are movie articles, others of which are musicians, actors, singers and certain other celebrities. There are also orphaned pages relating with other topics, including fish, tropical cyclones and certain foods. It's as if Simple English Wikipedia has changed the rule over the three years I've been working around here. September 1988 05:55, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Well, we did change the guideline almost two years ago to reduce the definition to no incoming links. I think somebody before argued against tagging stubs as orphans because it can generally be assumed that stubs are orphaned. I don't really see the logic behind that, or why anyone would logically assume the size of an article has anything to do with incoming links. But it's not part of the guideline anyway so you can still tag any pages as orphans. I don't personally bother with it since I think it's too minor an issue for the reader to be concerned with, and the tags are quite distracting. Osiris (talk) 06:05, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
On further thought, I'm actually not even sure whether people think the tag is worth having around. We could talk about getting rid of it altogether, even. Osiris (talk) 06:29, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
One of the considerations is that when a link does eventually come in, the flag still stays there. On the other hand, its status as an orphan is not visible on the surface view of a page, so one might argue the flag is a useful device. Many of us de-orphan (i.e. link in) new pages because there's little point putting the work into a new page if a user can only get to it by a direct search. An argument against all such flags, including stubs, is that most users take no notice of them at all. Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:29, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Personally I don't even think the tag is worth having. Very rarely are they removed once placed even if they are no longer orphaned. Readers don't generally care about them, and editors often ignore them. That goes for almost any notice, but especially orphan ones. -DJSasso (talk) 12:34, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

All colors available

I am not new on Wikipedia, but I still do not know all of the available colors for fonts. Anyone know them?Pending(tell me I screwed up and where) 16:28, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi. Basically it depends. You can use #000000 to #FFFFFF and have basically all 16-odd million colours the human eye can see, or you may be referring to this which will no-doubt help you. Regards, Kennedy (talk) 17:13, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
They Are both very useful! Thanks so much, and happy editing.Pending(tell me I screwed up and where) 18:19, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

How do you save an old version of an article

How do I save a link to an old version of an article?

  • All versions of an article are saved in the history section of the article. You can get to a specific version of an article by clicking on the "History" tab at the top of an article, looking for the version you want, and clicking on the "Last" button located at the left of that version. Lugia2453 (talk) 18:48, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
I know that…but I want to be able to provide the link to an old revision. When I do it now, it brings it to the current revision.Pending(tell me I screwed up and where) 20:22, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
SOLVED This Question has been solved. Many Thanks to anyone involved!Pending(tell me I screwed up and where)

Discussion on changing a guideline

Hello all. As the talk page I've posted on hasn't seen any action in years, I'd like to direct people to the proposal I've made to change the criteria for adminship, a guideline on the Simple English Wikipedia. Input would be appreciated. Thank you. TCN7JM 23:45, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Policy Change Discussion

I have created a policy change discussion here regarding Inactive Admins. Enfcer (talk) 04:20, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Call for comments on draft trademark policy

—Preceding undated comment added 12:00, 18 November 2013 (UTC).

Tech News: 2013-49

16:12, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

School projects

Lately we've had a couple of school projects editing articles on here. I'm very considered about the quality of the articles being produced. Many of these articles are either very complex or very poorly written. Because of the nature of these being merely class assignments, students are not learning what a proper Wikipedia is, and they are not staying around to make them into proper articles. Since we are a small project, it is hard for us to then take those articles and make them into something proper. Take this one for example. It sat in this state for almost a year. Or this from May 2013. And what are we going to do with articles like cognitive neuropsychology, sport psychology, or cognitive development when the class members are done with their class in a few weeks?

I think we really need to figure something out in terms of how to work with these projects to mutual benefit for both the students and Simple Wikipedia. Does anyone have any insight/ideas of what we can do? Only (talk) 20:58, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

When teachers have some experience on Wikipedia, and use the class project procedures, there is not usually many problems, and we often get useful content. At the present time I think there are enough editors to deal with new articles, especially if some moved from just reverting vandalism to article simplifying. In the past, when articles need "too much" work, I have moved them into my sandbox to deal with when I have the time and or inclination. Here is a suggestion. At the end of a project, articles needing some work are tagged with a notice such as "This article was written as a class project, but needs more work to meet the standards for the Simple English Wikipedia". These could be then categorized eg "Catgeory:Former school projects needing further editing", so that they could be easily found. Articles needing a lot of work should be moved out of article into a "rescue space" where editors can fix them over time. Perhaps budding administrators should have to fix a couple to show their skills :). I think our effort should be to save as much as possible.--Peterdownunder (talk) 21:20, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Just found we already have a category Stale class assignment articles, so we are on the way to fix things!--Peterdownunder (talk) 21:27, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I wholeheartedly agree. One thought I had was to disallow marking articles as class projects unless the teacher has discussed them with us ahead of time and we feel that he/she understands what is expected here and will monitor properly. That way we can deal with these articles just as we do any other articles. Another idea is to have students edit in userspace until it looks like they're creating proper, non-duplicate encyclopedia articles. I know I redirected some of the psychology-related ones, mostly because they were duplicates, but partly because even the titles were more appropriate for essays or school papers than for articles. --Auntof6 (talk) 21:31, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

I always make sure class project pages (and their talk pages) are tagged, so that they're put on the backlog for later. After three months without edits, a page goes into Category:Stale class assignment articles. I've been slowly working my way through copy-editing them. I've also sent a few to get deleted because their subjects weren't notable or because they were too complex. I guess not a lot of editors are aware that that category exists, so there aren't many who actively go through it. Fylbecatulous is another editor who I've noticed doing quite a few. If more editors knew about the category, they might be willing to help out. The articles from CSH (a Quebecois school) take time, because English is clearly something the students were learning. The same goes for the ones from TMU, although in that case the teacher has fixed up most of the pages. I guess the problem with these psychology pages will be simplifying them. Cutting them down to a few sentences would be the easiest thing to do, I guess.

I personally have no problem with allowing school projects to develop articles at their own pace. As long as the pages aren't breaking policies in any way, then the tag should be enough to let readers know why there might be problems with the page. If they're still crappy after 3 months, then I send them to RfD. It would be nice if they all got an ambassador, but many don't. Osiris (talk) 05:32, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

This whole series of classworks on psychology has concerned me for some time. In particular, the articles violate our main objective on Simple. No, they won't be simplified by the authors, because they have already demonstrated that either they don't have the language skills, or they are not willing to give our aims priority. None of these articles are satisfactory. We made a mistake in allowing the group to put up pages which should have been developed on sandboxes, and heavily supervised. We need to do something to put the brakes on this group, because we just don't have the editors to correct all the problems they are creating. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:01, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi all, as someone who has brought students to SEWP, I'll jump here briefly. First off, many thanks to Osiris especially for his help. But, also to everyone here at Simple for being patient. The students in my class have a range of English proficiency, so some of their work is not as good as others. That said, I think they've mostly added to Simple. I try to keep on top of their work so nothing sits around too long. I was unaware of the stale class projects template, but that is very helpful. That showed me two that I missed.

I have avoided using sandboxes or heavy pre-approval of new articles with these students for two reasons. One, the primary reason to bring them here is an authentic audience. We can do collaborative writing on GDocs or in a sandbox, but nobody outside class will ever read it. Two, it gives them some freedom. Choice is an important aspect of motivation, and SEWP gives learners plenty of freedom. I do ask them to check with me before creating new articles, but sometimes one or two students just go ahead anyway. It gets a little difficult, but frankly I am happy that they are motivated enough to go ahead and try something on their own. I hope we haven't been too disruptive.

Very few of the students continue after the class ends. They are just too busy, and if it isn't assessed for a grade, it generally doesn't get done. That said, they do like the activity, and I hope that exposing them to Wikipedia now may pay off later in new editors (mostly in Japanese) down the road. None of them come in knowing that they can contribute to articles. Doing it gives them a new understanding of the information they read on Wikipedia sites. Finally, I hope that other editors who have not worked with second or foreign language learners will get some perspective on how some of them write.

I'll continue to try to keep their work organized, but if anyone is concerned, this is probably the last semester I will use SEWP with a large class of students. I'm getting different students now with different needs from when I started using SEWP with TMD students. Thanks, ELTted (talk) 22:29, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Feedback system

A while back, I discussed the possibility of a feedback system with Osiris, on my talk page. I was suggesting Maybe a function at the bottom of the page which acts as a poll (such as the review function on other wikis), but have the following: On a scale of 1-10, how simple to read did you find the article? 1-2-3-4... (select one to rate) or maybe How easy to understand was this article: Very simple - simple - quite difficult - difficult - very difficult? (select one to rate). And then have a message saying To tell us more about what you think, click here (link redirects to new section on Talk page). I was wondering, how useful does the community think this would be, and if possible, how easy would it be to implement such a system? Yottie =talk= 13:26, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

I see that the English Wikipedia got rid of its feedback system it appears. Does anyone know when that happened and what their rationale was for removing it? It'd be interesting to know what they experienced with their feedback system before implementing one of our own. Only (talk) 13:41, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
It wasn't removed entirely, but an RfC on the matter back in the beginning months of 2013 showed that most enwiki users either didn't want it at all, or wanted it to be opt-in on certain articles that editors were willing to respond to feedback on. The latter option was implemented and now it's only used on a select few articles, such as English language (feedback). Some main concerns were that the tool was too intrusive and took too much space at the bottom of the article, as well as the fact that a lot of vandalism was submitted, at one time possibly even more so than actual comments. Here is all feedback on the English Wikipedia. If you look at unreviewed posts, you'll see what I'm talking about. TCN7JM 17:22, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Like I said back then, I think any well-designed tool that facilitates user feedback would be beneficial. Focusing purely on reading difficulty, and restricting to a simple multiple-choice score (like Yottie suggests, Very simple - simple - quite difficult - difficult - very difficult) would not generate any problems with vandalism and editors would not feel obliged to respond. Placement might be an issue: since we have mostly small articles, anything taking up space at the bottom would probably be intrusive. The boxes in the English Wikipedia's feedback tool are pretty massive considering what's in them. Something smaller and out of the way would be better for us. Those are my thoughts. Osiris (talk) 22:23, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

It was more or less a complete waste of time on En wiki, and would not help here either. I've commented elsewhere how users almost never use the talk pages to raise issues, and flags are almost totally ignored. We should encourage users to comment on talk pages where a variety of issues can be raised. Those of us who edit content regularly are unable to do more than we do at present, so more flags, comments, check boxes or whatever will have no effect except to clutter up the actual content of a page with non-content messages. Macdonald-ross (talk) 22:51, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
What Macdonald-ross said. -DJSasso (talk) 12:30, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
My rationale behind the proposal is that SEWP's main objective is to be simple to read. That is not the case on ENWP, hence the reason why such a simplicity rating system is rather pointless over there. Having a small, discrete box (which coud easily be disabled if desired) at the bottom of the page wouldn't be too much to ask, and could be a good indicator of which pages need attention. Or if the point you are trying to make is that article talk pages aren't used enough, how about a small and discrete line at the bottom of the article which says How can we improve this article? with a direct link to create a new section on the article's talk page? Do you have any better ideas? :) Yottie =talk= 14:05, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm undecided. I'm not sure how useful it would be, but it has the potential to be useful. If it was implemented then its something I'd be happy to help maintain. At the same time though I'm not disagreeing with the opposers. Kennedy (talk) 12:48, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

My Thoughts are mostly similar to those of Kennedy's. Also, I am almost positive the majority of feedback will be non-constructive from vandals. Pending(tell me I screwed up and where)
  • I actually like the idea. However, I doubt it will bring us any benefits. The feedback we will receive will most likely be vandalism, at least quite a lot will be. Also, I seriously doubt that any of our editors will work on an article because of some feedback or something. It doesn't work with tags (Category:Complex), so why should that work with another feedback system? We've several different tags for different problems in an article. Does anyone seriously work on simplifying tagged articles? Does anyone really add sources to unreferenced pages? Does one of us expand stubs? I think that most don't and another feedback system, of which we already have enough, won't change anything. -Barras talk 15:49, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Wait, this has gotten skewed by relating it to the ArticleFeedback extension. This isn't a proposal to enable that. If we stick to asking for a simple score on reading difficulty, then vandalism shouldn't be an issue. And, in my opinion, encouraging reader feedback on readability levels is something that should be very important to writing basic English. The average reader is not going to know how to tag an article with a maintenance template. We need something simple and readily accessible. I won't try to speak for anyone else, but I personally work pretty regularly on resolving tagged issues and emptying maintenance categories. No, it probably isn't something that most bother with, but that doesn't mean that it's not a beneficial system. Osiris (talk) 06:03, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
There's a huge literature which shows conclusively that readers' opinions are much less reliable in predicting difficulty than the best readability formulae. There's the added difficulty here that the target audience is so varied that what for one person is difficult is easy for another. We lack measures of reading levels, reader experiences and motivation, three requirements for judging whether a text is suitable for a particular reader. We shouldn't approach these issues as if we were the first people in the world to think about them: actually they are central issues in educational psychology. With anonymous readers, about whom nothing is known, all possible mismatches between reader and text are going to happen. Then you expect writers to take notice of the results? Do be realistic. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:26, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
No, I expect the writers to use common sense. The results would have to be evaluated just as one evaluates the results of mathematics-based formulae (which many editors find useful as a guide). It would be most helpful on heavily trafficked articles; the larger the sample size, the more reflective the results would be of the actual difficulty level. If an article gets a huge number of scores saying that people are finding it difficult to understand, but only a few scores showing the opposite, then that's going to be a helpful indication to editors that the content needs some improvement. Right now we have basically nothing to facilitate any kind of response from the people we're supposed to be writing for. We're regularly criticised for lacking focus and quality; encouraging readers to tell us how helpful a page was is a step in the right direction in my opinion. Osiris (talk) 09:00, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Help needed with template {{Infobox Swiss town}}

This template is putting articles into categories for articles containing potentially dated information, and I don't think it needs to. It seems to be related to specifying the year for the population figure. The template uses template {{as of}} for that code, and I don't know that it needs to. Can someone take a look at it? --Auntof6 (talk) 01:46, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

I did that. I've removed it. Osiris (talk) 05:49, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Change to search functions

There's a proposal going around to add a feature to Special:Search. It's at MediaWiki talk:Common.js#Give search results even when page doesn't exist. Osiris (talk) 22:57, 12 December 2013 (UTC)


Working on Special:DisambiguationPageLinks and ran into Slope. Should it be changed to a normal disambiguation page with separate articles for each meaning? Or since there are only a few meanings, is the current article preferred? Thanks!--Tbennert (talk) 04:17, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

It should be a normal dab page. Dab pages should have minimal info -- just enough to let readers understand what the different meanings are. Sometimes just the link is enough. --Auntof6 (talk) 04:42, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Updating biographical articles when a person dies -- need to check the whole article

It's good that we have some editors here who keep track of deaths of notable people and update articles about them. When adding information after someone dies, please be sure to check the whole article and change everything to past tense. Here are some things that were missed in one of these articles recently:

  • "has been nominated" --> "was nominated"
  • "has won" --> "won"
  • "holds a record" --> "held a record"
  • "has received" --> "received"
  • "has children" --> "had children"

Here's a little grammar information that might help. See those examples with the word "has" right before another verb? The term for that is "present perfect tense". It's used for things that have happened in the past, but which might not be finished or complete. (When talking about more than one person, you would see "have" instead of "has".) In these examples, when the person was living he might still be nominated for more things, might still win more things, and might still receive more things. After a person dies, these things wouldn't happen any more, so the verb needs to change. (Yes, things can be won posthumously -- after a person dies -- but you still change the verb for that because the action for which a person wins something was done when he/she was alive.)

I hope that helped and wasn't too complex. Feel free to ask if you have any questions. --Auntof6 (talk) 20:14, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Tech News: 2013-50

08:34, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Category:Incomplete lists: what should be in it?

I have started a discussion at Category talk:Incomplete lists#Proposals about what should be in this category about what should be allowed in this category. Your comments are invited there. --Auntof6 (talk) 08:25, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Tech News: 2013-51

08:30, 23 December 2013 (UTC)