Wikipedia:Simple talk/Archive 7

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Contributor Review proposition

Good evening, Wikipedians. I'd like to set up a "Contributor review" page, similar to WP:ER at wikipedia english. The general idea is simply to see how you are doing, and get general advice from the community on how to improve your activities on simple.wikipedia.

Your opinion on this idea is requested; any more questions can be answered at my talk page.

Anthonycfc [TC] 22:56, 31 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for the input; I would say that the community is about the right size, but what harm is there in waiting a while? Regards,
Anthonycfc (talkconnect)  20:03, 1 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
The project is great, but our community is too small. The life of brian 20:47, 1 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Its is surely something to consider later on. At the moment, I would say there are a maximum of 20-30 regular (named) contributors, not counting admins and vandals. So our focus should be to get more (good-quality) editors. My fear is that at the moment we would scare a bunch away by telling them what we do not like about them. --Eptalon 21:46, 1 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Answer Search

Supposably I want to find an answer to a question like: How did the Civil war start, or something like that. How would I be able to find an answer like that? If WP doesn't have it, then it should get it. In my opinion, I think we should expand the whole wikipedia idea, but that's just me.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Well, I doubt we would be doing that anytime soon. I suggest searching the broad term, like American Civil War, and then obtain the answer from there. Nishkid64 22:10, 3 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Use of "we...." to replace a passive?

Hello, there seems to be agreement that using a second person ("you ..") is a bad thing to do in an article. This is partly so, because it makes assumptions on the part of the person reading it. In the how to write simple English articles, an excample is given that a passive form can/should be replaced by a first person (In the style of "we can see" instead of "it can be seen"). Personally, I think this is problematic, because it again makes an assumption about the reader. This lead to a short discussion between User:Rimshot and myself; the user replaced the passive as directed on the page Information. Both of us have again reached agreement. The question is now, how the community sees this practice? --Eptalon 12:34, 2 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

As Eptalon said, I am for the use of we in this sense. As I see it, the main argument for using we is that it makes the texts easier readable by avoiding passive constructs. The main argument against using it is that it is unencyclopedic. The English WP Manual of Style says that we might be used in the sense of When we open our eyes, we see something. Maybe this should be made clear in the manual for the simple English WP as well. Rimshot 12:47, 2 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Those are both good points raised by Rimshot and Eptalon. The only problem that I have with it is that I think that the first person shouldn't be used in articles at all. The idea that the first person gives me here is that some elite group is going around writing these articles, which is not the case. But that isn't my argument. I believe that it should not be used because the passive voice is taught very early in language. Just for comparison, when I learned Latin so long ago, the passive voice was taught before we moved into sentence structure (e.g. Videt - It sees and Videtur - It is seen/It can be seen). If the person is learning English on their own, the passive voice is something that they need to know for them to be able to understand English conversations. PullToOpenTalk 13:14, 2 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

New method for salting

I've been watching what the English Wikipedia has been doing to salt pages, and they came up with a good idea. Before, salted pages were protected and had a special template added to them. This worked fine, but they could be accessed through Special:Randompage. I transcluded all of the now-salted pages onto another page Wikipedia:Protected deleted pages/List (just a warning - the page makes no sense as of now). When the page is protected using cascading protection, all of the pages that are transcluded are protected as well, regardless of whether they exist or not. Cool, isn't it? PullToOpenTalk 21:58, 2 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Confused the hell out of me when I checked the deleted test page.. then I remembered to not be a sysop when I looked at it, logged out and looked again and got a nice pretty page. -- Creol(talk) 22:02, 2 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
added note: Cleaned up the few missing pages (well actually not missing pages, that was the problem) to make the page make a lot more sense now. all pretty-fied as long as you don't mind big bold red-links. -- Creol(talk) 22:25, 2 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

April 2004

When I look at, I very much get the feeling that the page has been deleted after an act of vandalism even though there are older bona fide versions. Can a sysop please look into that? - Andre Engels 12:04, 3 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

The only thing in that article is that a copy of Shakespeare's Hamlet was being auctioned off. It did not even have a date listed for when, just a dead link to a old new report. -- Creol(talk) 12:43, 3 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]


I refer to the Simple English Wikipedia every time I write an article (not in English). I think that the pronunciation of every article's name is very important, especially for cities or countries, even for known names, just as in the American Heritage Dictionary. -- 14:21, 3 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

14K articles

We hit article 14,000 today. As it happens the article Summer Glau also turned out to be my 9000th edit. Nope, that did not take any careful planning to make them coincide.. nope, no planning at all there. Keep up the great work everyone. -- Creol(talk) 19:54, 5 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Yay Simple! Gratz Creol! Nishkid64 21:39, 5 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Is birefringence a word?

Hi all. I find the word birefringence in the BE_1500 under B Next. Does anyone know why it's there? It does not seem to be simple to me, especially as refraction doesn't appear at all :-) Sue W 21:12, 7 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I must admit that this is the first time I ever hear that word. I looked it up in a dictionary and didn't know the German word either. It is in Ogden's BE 1500, however. I guess it is one of the words that you are expected to know if you are interested in optics. No idea why it is considered Basic English, but as the listing on this site is supposed to be an exact copy of the "official" list, we cannot get rid of it either. A simple English article on birefringence would be nice ... --Rimshot 12:53, 8 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Direct EN copies

I've dealt with a few direct EN copies in my time as an administrator. However, before mass deleting all of the articles here, I think that we should make some kind of decision in our deletion policy about direct from english copies. I am inclined to quickly delete them, but perhaps an RfD might be better. Comments? PullToOpenTalk 00:36, 8 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I think that it is a judgement that is hard to make on a "wholesale" (all direct copying is bad) approach. There are articles in enWP that are simple enough to be copied, or nearly simple enough. Therefore first copying over the article, and then editing it to better fit SEWPs needs might be a valid approach --Eptalon 11:34, 8 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Originally, Pinocchio was to be depicted as a Charlie McCarthy-esque wise guy, equally rambunctious and sarcastic, just like in the original novel. He looked exactly like a real wooden puppet with, among other things, a long pointed nose, a peaked cap, and bare wooden hands. But Walt found that no one could really sympathize with such a character and so the designers had to redesign the puppet as much as possible. Eventually, they revised the puppet to make him look more like a real boy, with, among other things, a button nose, a child's Tyrolean hat, and regular, four-fingered hands with Mickey Mouse-type gloves on them. The only parts of him that still looked more or less like a puppet were his arms and legs. (..)Additionally, it was at this stage that the character of the cricket was expanded. Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards) became central to the story. Originally, he was depicted as an actual (albeit less anthropomorphized) cricket with toothed legs and waving anntenae. But again Walt wanted someone more likable, so Ward Kimball conjured up "a little man with no ears. That was the only thing about him that was like an insect."
(section above from the Pinocchio article).The passages marked in bold clearly make this unsimple. Our audience is not likely to know the meaning of the word rambunctious. Also the whole sentences marked should be made shorter. The question is now how much work it is to rework the articles mentioned, and if we are not better off starting with stubs from scratch. --Eptalon 11:42, 8 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I think that articles copied whole-sale from en.wikipedia generate lots of work. Badly written articles generate work as well, but there's a difference: While someone at least made an effort in the latter case, in the first case the effort of the copier is very little. Therefore, deleting such articles can easier be justified.
I agree with Eptalon that copying over the article, and then editing it to better fit SEWPs needs might be a valid approach. I think, however, that there should be an indication that the person who copied the article does have the intention of editing it to make it fit Simple WP. Therefore, quick deletion seems justified for articles, in particular long articles,
  1. that have been copied from enWP
  2. that are not simple, wikified, categorized ...
  3. that have not significantly changed in, say, a week
  4. where the original contributor does not indicate a will to make these changes
The example articles fulfill all of these requirements. Given the number of copied articles, the cited case borders on vandalism, in my view. Still, we should assume good intentions on the side of the original editor and not immediately delete. One week without significant changes, however, and the articles must go. If anyone wants to do a Pinocchio article based on the enWP content, they can do so. It is not necessary to provide them with a convenience copy. --Rimshot 13:42, 8 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Can't we do something about this user??? He/she is back at it. Tygartl1 19:28, 8 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

If it helps, the IP address belongs to the Georgia Department of Education. If I am not mistaken it's a school in Thomaston. --Rimshot 20:03, 8 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]


Hello, I have subdivided this broad category into Old units of measurement, Imperial units of measurement, and SI units. Using the same mechanism, a division could be made into units to measure length, area/surface, volume, etc. Also, a cat Metric units could be introduced. Like always, a category, with only two or three entries in it looks bad. On the other hand, if categories get full, new classifications can clear up things. Other problems: The Metre is an SI unit, and is in the respective category. The kilometre (defined as 1.000 meters) is still in category:Measurement.

What does the community think about this? --Eptalon 15:35, 11 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Actually I interwiki-linked Category:SI units with the respective enWP category before reading this. It is certainly a useful category. I think SI units should contain all SI units, including derived units like kilometre. This is the way it is handled in the enWP as well. If SI units gets too full, it is possible to make subcategories SI base units and SI derived units. I don't think there are enough unit articles now to make that necessary. As for the other categories (old and imperial), imperial certainly makes sense. I am not so sure about old. --Rimshot 16:41, 11 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Another thought: what does measurement have to do with mathematics? Category:Measurement is now a subcategory of Category:Mathematics - it seems to me it would better fit as a subcategory of Engineering, Physics, or anything but Maths. --Rimshot 18:15, 11 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I think it fits in Mathematics quite well. Archer7 - talk 18:44, 11 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
There are plenty of math topics that have to do with measurement. Just look at trigonometry; it deals almost entirely with finding out missing lengths. PullToOpenTalk 18:53, 11 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
According to the U.S. National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), measurement is one of the standard areas in mathematics. Ref [[1]] Sue W 23:37, 11 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Hm, OK. Maybe I am too far removed from school mathematics. Measurements are an application of mathematics, for example in trigonometry. Units are often given to give a lesson more a practical feel. They are rarely necessary. Trigonometry is different in that it is often thought of as tied to lengths, even if some applications of trigonometry don't actually work with lengths (lengths in metres, that is). Of course you can integrate over Amperes or Pints, but that doesn't make them a mathematical topic. That is just my opinion of course. As there is a consensus over keeping measurement a subcategory of mathematics, it should stay there. --Rimshot 12:23, 12 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]


People think "unsimple English" sounds bad and they want to change it to "complex English" or something similar so it sounds better. I also want to move Template:Unsimple to Template:Complex and change the wording of it and anything else that may have the bad words on it. If nobody says on here that this idea is really really bad, somebody'll probably do it in a few days. J Di 20:54, 13 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I too think that unsimple is not a very nice word. It does have a feel of double-plus-good and relatives. Complex is part of BE 850, which makes it a good candidate for a replacement. There is one thing good about unsimple, however. It clearly shows, by being an invented word, that the opposite of simple, as defined here, is meant. If a page is tagged unsimple, it is clear that it does not use simple English. If a page is tagged complex that could also mean that its content is complex. I would therefore prefer at least a little discussion before going ahead and changing the wording everywhere. --Rimshot 10:50, 14 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I've made new templates. Now it's{{complex}} and Category:complex pages. --Werdan7T @ 21:50, 19 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I've finished switching {{unsimple}}/{{simple}}/{{simplify}} etc to {{complex}} in articles. All those now redirect to {{complex}}.--Werdan7T @ 19:14, 20 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I support your idea. Saying "unsimple" sounds negative, but saying "complex" is clearer.--Jusjih 14:14, 22 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Image upload

I want to upload an image so it can be used on Wikipedia:TASERING, which I think has the potential of being a guideline, but image uploads are not allowed on this wiki. I was wondering how people would react to such an upload and whether this could possibly lead to a change in policy where images that are to be used in policy and guideline pages, as long as they are freely licensed, can be uploaded to Simple. J Di 23:50, 13 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Having seen the image in question, I think it's important to note that it's humorous and not vital to the essay. However, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be uploaded here, as it wouldn't be appropriate on Commons and certainly adds to the essay itself. The no upload rule was to save us from licensing troubles. Archer7 - talk 00:45, 14 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I agree. This image wouldn't last a day on commons, but it has a (somewhat) important use here.--Werdan7T @ 23:52, 16 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Can't wait to see it in action, even if that means that I must stop myself from answering discussions for a bit ;) --Rimshot 12:26, 19 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
It is clear that the community is in dire need of such a picture to stop the TASERING of topics like this. Upload away. PTO 23:21, 19 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]


I made Wikipedia:Schools, the schools gateway a while ago, and it looks like at least a few people have found it beneficial. I'd like to make a few more to target other users, like an ESL gateway and a translator gateway, providing extra facilities and resources for specific uses of the encyclopedia. I was thinking that some pages like ESL and translator could have translations into the most widely used languages to try and further assist people, and maybe even using the babel box system to try and link up ESL users with contributors that speak their language if they need any help. Does this sound OK, or a bit crazy? If it sounds OK, do you have any ideas for content? Archer7 - talk 12:14, 14 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

$1 $2 $3 results from Lupin's popups when reverting.

I have been having a problem with popup reverting for a couple hours now so I did a bit of a check on it. It seems Lupin made some changes recently which can cause issues with certain browsers (IE6 and IE7). A work around was found for the issue until it can get cleaned up. Anyone using the popup who is having the problems just needs to change which version they are using to an older version of the popup (ie. change the link on your .js page to an older revision of the the popup.js page). The version listed on my .js page seems to be still working well. -- Creol(talk) 03:22, 16 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Username Blacklist

I've made a request that the username blacklist extension be installed here. Once it's up I suggest we add Kate McAuliffe to it. What do you think?--Werdan7T @ 03:57, 18 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Part of me is saying "Dear God, yes!", but another is being more realistic about it. While the black list can be very useful, more drastic means are likely to be needed to reduce the problem (Checkuser). -- Creol(talk) 09:49, 18 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I think it'll be great for solving immediate problems, but won't put off the determined ones. Should definitely be installed though. Archer7 - talk 13:00, 19 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

anybody recommend a good medical/scientific article?

Hello, I've started articles on pulmonary hypertension, lung transplants, and heart-lung transplants. I've done work on all of them on (actually, I wrote almost all of the lung transplantation article myself, something I'm very proud of!). What I'm having some difficulty with is how to write medical and scientific articles in simple language. It's a goal that I agree with, but I find that my contributions on don't yet sound "right". I guess what I mean is that I want to write these in easy-to-understand language, but without insulting the intelligence of the reader. I think I did a good job of that on my lung transplant article on, but over here, I feel a bit constrained by's limited vocabulary.

Are my articles here too simple? Is there any article here that would make a good model or guide on how to take a complicated subject and explain it in simple terms? Thanks for any help. --Kyoko 16:07, 21 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

An article is rarely too simple, in my view. If it looks strange to you, that might also be because you looked at it so many times. The PH article looks great to me - simple English and still readable. In Heart-lung transplant, the sentences might be a bit long but it also looks good. Lung transplant is also very nice and simple - it might be a bit too simple. I have replaced
Sometimes the healthy lungs come from a dead person. Sometimes the healthy lungs come from a person who is alive.
The healthy lungs may come from a dead or from a living person.
I think you have a very good grip of writing medical articles in simple English. I don't know about a source for simple medical articles. The best tool I have found to write simple English is WriteIdea and the word lists. --Rimshot 16:53, 21 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the compliment and for the feedback! Another question: are there Featured Articles, or Good Articles, or something that has been chosen as an example of what should be? It would be great to have something for comparison. Thanks. --Kyoko 21:32, 21 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
There's Wikipedia:Peer review to get a review of your article. Apparently there is a category for very good articles, but there are very few articles in it (most good articles never got reviewed, I guess). There are Wikipedia:Examples of simpler English, albeit few.--Rimshot 10:50, 22 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, none of my articles are developed enough for me to even consider putting them up for review... yet. Thanks for the pointers! --Kyoko 11:23, 22 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I think there would be a need for a simple wikibook on First Aid. This could then be linked from variuous pages (dealing with conditions that might require first aid. In the case of a cardiac arrest, there are about 5 minutes in which action is meaningful, if I am informed correctly. --Eptalon 13:33, 24 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]
The 'no medical advice' rule could heavily restrict that one. Archer7 - talk 12:07, 26 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Make a difference between the forms of government an economic system?

Hello, I have created a few articles in category economics, and also made a category for the different market forms. There are philosophical systems of thought, like Communism, Capitalism, Marxism, Liberalism, Neoliberalism... These of course have an influence on the economic systems of the countries that have them. They should therefore be in Cat:Economics. On the other hand, many of them are clearly in cat:Philosophy. We need a new cat for them, they are currently in the same cat as Monarchy, Democracy,... (which are forms of state).

I therefore think we need a category, like Economic systems (better name appreciated), which is multi-rooted in Economy and Philosophy.

Any thoughts? --Eptalon 13:33, 24 February 2007 (UTC) Category:Wikipedia[reply]

Economic Systems, I think should be a member of Economy and Systems. To get philosophy in there, how about a category named Economic philosophies or Economic ideologies? The first seems more neutral, and therefore preferable. Communism for example is an economic as well as a political philosophy. It is also a form of state. It is not, however, a system of economy - that would be Socialism. I think we need the following three categories: Economic systems, Economic philosophies and Political philosophies. The existing Forms of government should probably be multi-rooted in Political philosophies and Systems, maybe Politics as well.--Rimshot 11:00, 27 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]