Wikipedia:Simple talk/Archive 97

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Categories for commons sake?

Looking through Special:UnusedCategories, there are quite a few empty categories whose only content are interwikis to corresponding categories on commons. As I'm new here, do we somehow make exceptions for that or are these all qd-able as empty unused categories? Osiris (talk) 22:06, 17 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

The couple I looked at were category redirects can you show me an example other than the redirects I saw? -DJSasso (talk) 22:10, 17 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Category:Economy of China, Category:Municipalities in Navarre, and (if you see the same list as I do) the last seven in the list (#'s 74–80)... There are probably more. Osiris (talk) 00:19, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I checked and found some. I've nominated them for QD.  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  00:38, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Nice. I've saved one: Category:Wikipedians on Editor review/Backlog as it's an administrative category used by Template:Not yet reviewed. The rest have no incoming links. Thanks for doing that, Osiris (talk) 01:25, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
No problem!  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  01:31, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
It often comes down to common sense....usually an empty cat can and should be deleted. But things such as birth years, if its already created its more of a waste to delete it only to have to recreate it again since it will eventually be needed. Usually the better thing to do when you stumble onto such a category is to create a couple stubs that will fit the category. -DJSasso (talk) 01:44, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the response. That's fair enough reasoning. Osiris (talk) 02:22, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Do we really need a category redirect? Why not just use our naming guidelines and delete the other?  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  00:34, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I saw that today aswell and thought the same. Osiris (talk) 00:36, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Quality over quantity...

Hello all,

I have just had a look: According to our Announcements page, we had 55 Good, and 39 Very Good articles in February 2011. It turns out we currently are at 54 Good, and 37 Very Good articles. I know that strength does not lie in numbers, in this case, but I still think we should do more in this regard. In the same time period, about 9.000 articles were created. Personally, I think we should work more on quality, than on quantity. As far as I know, the only objective measure we have are these numbers. So:

  • Can we come up with other numbers/measurements that show us in a better light?
  • Can we get to a state where in February 2012, we actually have more GAs and VGAs, than a year before?

I am sorry to spoil your chrismas mood, but if something is to be done, we had better start now. --Eptalon (talk) 10:15, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

A worthy goal, two GA and three GA by the end of February, let's get into it.--Peterdownunder (talk) 11:06, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Sure. I've been working to try and get an article to GA for a while. :) -Orashmatash- 11:23, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Of course, one could argue that by sacrificing too much quantity for quality, the outcome is just as bad. Often the time invested in a GA is not proportional the increase in quality in the final product. This is even more the case with a VGA. It can take weeks getting the article just write only to toss it up for consideration then the endless tweaking of this wording and that phasing to get it just perfect. Then it finally gets tossed up for the vote and gets ignored until the last day when someone finally yells at people to go look at and we go through another round of nitpicking and tweaks before its finally done. All that for one article that, while nice and shiny and a wonderful example of great work, is not significantly more useful than say Daniel Carleton Gajdusek which took about an hour, hour and a half tops. Its not shiny. Its got errors. But its functional and gets the information out to the people who want to know about him (who? I got no clue.. someone.. I hope..) Quality is important, but it seems that often that quality is all or nothing. Either an aim for GA/VGA or a one line stub (that the original editor actually tagged as -wikify- ... ) (talk) 12:51, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I am not saying we should go create GAs & VGAs, so that in February, we have more than a year earlier. All I say is: In some way we need to give the impression that we have done something in that year. Of course we can lean back and say, look there are 9.000 articles more, but of what quality ("X is a city in Y"?) - All I say if there is something to be done it needs planning. You may be right that the effort put into a GA or VGA is not worthwile, given that the result is a little icon at the top, saying "This is a (V)GA, it is among the best articles we have." - The only question remaining is then: How can this community show it is actually achieving something (aside from talking on IRC, regularly deleting spam/graffitti, and blocking users that provide this graffitti)? --Eptalon (talk) 13:38, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
The community shows it is achieving something simply by growing articles. VGAs and GAs aren't the only metric people can use to see we are growing. -DJSasso (talk) 15:06, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Eptalon asks "The only question remaining is then: How can this community show it is actually achieving something...?" I agree that quality should become much more of a focus. There will always bee a need to create new articles if only because of all the red links out there, but we have very significant coverage of many important people, places, things, and events. To answer Eptalon's question, V/GA are not the only measures available. How about looking at other areas that show improvement in basic quality such as number of stubs improved to non-stub (and therefore probably more informative) and number of complex pages improved to simple (therefore making the entries more readable)? Thanks, Gotanda (talk) 00:18, 19 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I am still very much of the position that quantity over quality is still more desireable and that has often been the response to these posts by the community when you and others make them. It is much better to have 100 almost GAs than to 1 GA etc. GAs and VGAs take alot of time that could be better spent getting more articles up to a respectable level instead of nitpicking one article up to VGA level. -DJSasso (talk)
Does this imply we should review the criteria, or create a third category (of "almost-GA"), which would then allow to flag such articles? --Eptalon (talk) 14:54, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
No it implies we should either abolish the process completely or not worry about numbers. People will edit what they want to edit and how they want to edit. Remember we are all volunteers everyone has something different to offer. This isn't a job so people are going to do the type of editing they want to. Pushing people to do the highly time wasting VGA/GA process if they are not interested will not help anything. If anything it will lessen the quality of articles on the wiki. It takes a very special bread of person to want to do VGAs and GAs I know I don't even remotely want to touch them and I know a number of others are the same way. Whereas people like Rambling Man seem to love them. -DJSasso (talk) 15:06, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I should note that I don't actually think we should abolish the process. I just think we should let what happens happen. To me the true mark of the wiki growing/acheiving something is that when a reader searches for something we have the info they look for. This is where quantity in a way overcomes quality. Though quality of course is very important. -DJSasso (talk) 16:33, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

(e/c) As big an advocate I am of the (V)GA processes, DJSasso has a point that cannot be denied - (V)GAs are a lot of work, and the question must be asked if this could be better spent. And, for the most part, I believe the answer to be both yes and no. Let me explain:
The people who use the (V)GA processes (from a nominations viewpoint) can largely be grouped into two categories - the 'users' and the 'abusers' - the latter the ones who do not use the processes as I (personally) feel they were intended. It is in this way that the processes appear, to the outsider, to be an awful lot of red tape, bureaucracy and hard work. And it is here where I can understand and completely agree with DJSasso's argument - it takes up a lot of time from a lot of different editors - the nominators; the reviewers; the commentators (Read voters, as that's still what people want to do.) - to get an article to (V)GA status when it is clearly far, far, far from that point. The process is designed to recieve quality, well-written articles (Basically, those mentioned by DJSasso and the IP in their comments) which require very little work to satisfy the requirements and promote them officially to the status, yet in practice it recieves articles that are incomplete, poor and certainly not the 'nearly there' articles that we should have, and this can be clearly seen in the archives from the number of failed nominations. It is nothing about lack of input (or otherwise), as those using the process correctly (I speak from experience here) will ultimately reap the rewards.
When I write an article, I do write it with a view to it becoming a good or very good article at some point (Though, of course, this excepts stubs which are created for the [pointless] purpose of satisfying the redlink criteria, which I do think should be abolished) and, when it gets nominated (and later promoted) it generally meets all the criteria by simply being a quality article. Yes, there's always bits to improve and get pciked up on, but the wiki is never finished so this is perhaps a good thing. It takes just a little more effort on my part to do this before the article then tends to get promoted ahead of when the discussion is scheduled to close. Regulars may also notice that I tend to revisit most of my 'current' (V)GAs to ensure that they remain up-to-date, too. This would be the same even if an article was not a (V)GA, I can assure you. I know of other writers that have (V)GA experiences largely the same as mine.
The issue with (V)GA being counter-productive comes from those that do not do this - they write articles that are, to put it bluntly, crap, and then expect, nay, demand that the reviewers are the ones to fix them. This is where (V)GA becomes labourious - for both parties - and where I feel some ill-feeling (though not from DJSasso or the IP, I hasten to add) comes from.
Anyway, I'm now slightly digressing from the main point of this discussion, so I will curtail this particular point here, I think. To finish, in response to Eptalon's comments, (and DJSasso's, after e/c) there is no reason to change or abolish the process, or add a third 'tier' of articles (Which won't solve any [percieved] problems at all, and to be frank is an absolutely ridiculous suggestion as it would still require formal proceedings, unless we implemented a full 'ratings' scale, which is an equally silly idea). Equally, though, people should not be pushing everyone to write (V)GAs; as DJSasso rightly states, some are not suited to it and it's not a useful thing to do.
Ok - moving on, I've got two more trains of thought to put out there before finishing up! Quality over quantity - there are two ways of interpreting this statement and it really isn't appropriate for what this discussion is about (And that links into my third point, to follow...).
An article DOES NOT have to be a (V)GA to be quality. At all. Ever. And this is where DJSasso and the IP hit the money, yet Eptalon falls extremely short. There are many quality articles out there, and it's perfectly possible to have both quality and quantity without a (V)GA process ever existing. To be totally honest, this is where we should be aiming.
The issue that we have is that a large amount of articles are crap. There is no other way to put that. We've done a lot to reduce this number through mass deletion in recent times, but there are still an awful lot of them out there (and yes, I fully raise my hand to say that I contributed a number of them during my early days here! All will, one day, be expanded and turned into something decent.) and this needs to change. It will, eventually, but it also requires more people to be more vigilant at fixing and removing things as appropriate. Note: I'm not suggesting we QD/RfD anything that's below a standard, as short blue links can be equally helpful to getting new users. It's just a case of expanding articles, even if only slightly, when they are stumbled upon.
Numbers lie - they always will - and aren't a true representation of the wiki. In short, we shouldn't take any notice of them (Ok, maybe a little bit of notice) and most of our readers will completely ignore them - they want the information they came for, and if it's not there then that's why they'll get upset. For reasons mentioned above, the (V)GA count will never truly reflect the amount of quality content on the wiki, whilst the full article counts are also relatively useless as they also don't give a good count of the comprehensiveness of the wiki either. And it's this that's largely spawned my third and final 'key' point...
Eptalon. As much as we all respect your viewpoints and input on the wiki, the same as we do any other user's but perhaps with a little extra due to the fact you've been here largely since the early days, you're not in charge and 'length of service' really counts for nothing. I believe I've brought this up before, so this should come as a shock to no-one. This isn't the first pointless thread that you've started along these lines, and, sadly, I doubt it will be the last. It's something that we cannot worry about and isn't really of any importance to the wiki in the Grand Scale of Things. Don't take this the wrong way please; I mean it in the nicest possible way and you do a sterling job on content for the wiki and are a useful asset to the team. Just think of the drama that this thread will undoubtably cause as it grows (Yes, I've contributed some myself here) and if it's really of any importance before posting. Please? And everyone else: Eptalon's just another user, like me, you or anyone else. Can we please bare this in mind?
Anyway... this is much longer than I intended it to be, so my apologies for that. Likewise apologies if anything's unclear or confusing, I've gone through a few times to try and clear everything up, but just ask if it needs clarification.
Whether my third point is appropriate for this thread or not I don't know, but I felt it needed saying (again). I've been as polite about it as I possibly can (Those of you who are surprised, I can actually do polite and Eptalon is a user who I know has the wiki held in the 'right' regard and one who I do hold in a high regard for his work here.) but as you all know I'm not known for pussy-footing around issues and I haven't this time - the key difference is that, as I mentioned in my brackets, Eptalon wants what's best for the wiki, whereas most who I berate are here only to use it as their own personal playground and seek to piss off as many of us as possible.
Cheers, Goblin 15:47, 18 December 2011 (UTC) I ♥ The Rambling Man![reply]

Footnote: Mega apologies for the length. I've just realised how long this actually is (Nearly 8k bytes) and it's much, much longer than I thought. Oops. Goblin 15:48, 18 December 2011 (UTC) I ♥ Barras! [reply]

The current process is too inefficient. I believe that the En Wikipedia model is better: have one person volunteer to do the GA review (with others welcome to jump in) and then have a larger participation for the VGA review. In this manner, the article author can work one-on-one with the GA reviewer over tweaks and obvious things. Once the article reaches the GA level, when it is nominated for VGA, the obvious things would have already been addressed without taking the time of a dozen different people. We need to focus on both the problem and the solution. The two problems are lack of incentives for improving article quality and a shortage of volunteers. The solution is to have an attainable ladder of article quality ratings and an efficient method for evaluating articles. Redoubling our current efforts without redesigning the process will not lead to better results. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 19:30, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I have long since decided not to put articles up for GA/VGA, and not to review except for articles bang on one of my special interests. Anything else would be too great a diversion. I'm afraid we can't run our system like enWP -- which I agree is a well-run system -- so I come down close to some comments of DJ Sasso and Goblin: we should not keep making these numerical comparisons, and maybe should consider abandoning the system. It consumes far too much work for the little good it does. Our real problem is the huge number of rubbish pages, twerpy stubs, unwikified pages, and pages which can hardly be found at all because they are orphaned, or have no or wrong categories. Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:12, 19 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
All interesting points, and I agree with all of you. GA/VGA do take up so much time, that when I finish with one I swear I will never do another. And some that have come up I could not get interested in at all. BUT...I think the process works, I think it is good to have articles that are models on what all our articles should be like, and like Eptalon said, we need more. So wishing all the energy above had gone into an article, I am going back to work on another...Peterdownunder (talk) 10:49, 19 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Archiving RFR

If any among us are wikignomes... we are desperately in need or archival stuff at. Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/Rollback. Thank you in advance, and best, Jon@talk:~$ 19:51, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

They aren't archiving because no admins have marked the requests with {{done}} or {{notdone}}. I have manually archived the two that appear to be done/notdone. -DJSasso (talk) 20:13, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Bad admins... bad. Jon@talk:~$ 20:21, 18 December 2011 (UTC)  :)[reply]

Dating maintenance tags

I'm new here, but I'm currently engaged in clearing up the unsourced articles backlog. Has the idea of a bot to date maintenance tags (specifically {{unreferenced}} in this case) ever been floated around? It'd help to have all tagged articles categorised by month...

At the moment, articles tagged without a date set are being added to Category:All articles lacking sources, but not to the monthly subcategories workload, which means the problem may never get looked at. Osiris (talk) 03:48, 13 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I have a question about this. I'm wondering why the month is so important. I can see the date information in general being important if we want to know how long an article has been neglected. But if I'm going to try to fix unsourced articles, I'll probably look for ones to work on based on what I know or have sources for, not by the month they were tagged. For example. looking at May 2009 gives this random assortment "Allah, Chinese Orthodox Church, Father Damien, Jackstones, Lamborghini, Nervous system, Red beans and rice, Revolution Studios, and Torchwood"--not exactly a simple area to work on that one person is likely to be good at. Are the dates really needed? We can see in the article history how long something has been left without sources. And, besides, rather than the time, the more important issue would seem to be the content. Are the unsourced statements complex, controversial, just plain wrong, whatever. If there is a good reason for the dates, can someone please let me know so I understand how this works? Thanks, Gotanda (talk) 05:38, 13 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I think the only reason was so that people could work first on the articles that have been tagged the longest. Some people would use that, some not. --Auntof6 (talk) 05:44, 13 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
It helps keep the backlog down by prioritising cleanup efforts. It's a way of seeing at a glance where attention is needed and how far back the problem goes, so volunteers can start to prioritise their efforts. It's especially important with verifiability tags. Guidelines state that an unsourced statement challenged with a tag like {{fact}} should be removed after a reasonable amount of time. If an article has been left unsourced for a long time it indicates that the subject may not be notable and may be a candidate for deletion. A dating system allows us to review these things at a glance. Osiris (talk) 06:18, 13 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
OK. I see what you mean. Thanks. The only thing I would worry about is this "If an article has been left unsourced for a long time it indicates that the subject may not be notable and may be a candidate for deletion." Simple has so few active editors and admins compared to En. The linked guidelines are the En guidelines, but I suspect here if an article has been left unsourced for a long time it indicates that it is so much easier to create a new article of low quality than it is to polish one up. We'll get to them eventually, especially if people bring in new editors who are interested in writing Simple English. Thanks, Gotanda (talk) 04:03, 14 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Creation proposal

Given the current situation, I propose to have a tag maintinence bot created. Shakinglord (talk) 18:14, 13 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Strong Support The bot will help keep backlogs down while no ill effects are suffered. Net gain to the whole of wiki. Shakinglord (talk) 18:12, 13 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Strong Support, and best news of all is that you all won't have to see me "dating maintenance tags" hundreds of times over in recent changes patrol! Osiris (talk) 02:23, 14 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
 Comment: - If PyWikipedia can do it, I can create a new bot (OrashmatashBot II) and use that... I'll see. -Orashmatash- 16:54, 14 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
That'd be excellent! Let me know if I can help in any way... Osiris (talk) 04:33, 15 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Hm. PyWikipedia doesn't seem to be able to do that, unfortunately. -Orashmatash- 12:58, 15 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Bummer. Anyone use any other software that might be able to do it? Osiris (talk) 13:44, 15 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I also see that it used to be a task of SoxBot (talk · contribs), but it doesn't seem to do it anymore... Osiris (talk) 09:37, 15 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I can program one based on the existing MediaWiki bot class for PHP. Of course, this task would require approval. Chenzw  Talk  14:58, 15 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose, strong. Why on earth are we voting so soon? Fuck's sake, thought we'd got past this! Completely unnecessary and waste of our (limited) resources. Goblin 18:04, 17 December 2011 (UTC) I ♥ Barras![reply]
I left you a reply on my talk page which would be better read before this one. / The dating system has already been put in place by the templates themselves. I'm simply proposing that we make use of it, to make it easier for editors to see how long a problem has been around—I feel this is very important for the quality of the project (I've given some examples above). I don't think the task is going to be particularly massive or draining, and I do think that most editors date their tags by themselves (the fact that Category:Orphaned articles—which holds 7% of all articles—has all of its contents in monthly subcategories testifies to that). And please remember, all I'm proposing is the creation of a bot. It's obviously going to require volunteers to run it, and if they're willing to do it, where's the harm? Osiris (talk) 03:31, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I'm quite willing to run Helpful Pixie Bot for simple: it would take a little tweaking - not much. I should think it would be about 10-20 edits per day or less. Rich Farmbrough, 17:24, 21 December 2011 (UTC).[reply]
Thanks, I doubt it would even be that many. Can you put a request in at bot requests? All you'd be doing is dating tags, so I don't see how there can be any strong opposition to that. Osiris (talk) 17:33, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

simple wording question

When editing, there is a box for marking "small" changes. In a watchlist, such edits show up with the "m" marking for minor, same as on ENWP. This seems to me like a pointless inconsistency. Is this a built-in system thing, or would it be at feasible to change the marking to "s" for the "small change" terminology that simple uses? PrincessofLlyr talk 19:26, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know if the code for that exists in the core, or in a special message. I'll check.... Jon@talk:~$ 19:42, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Another consideration, if we do change it, will it cause changes in the IRC RC feed... this will may cause regressions in all the monitoring software. Jon@talk:~$ 19:44, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
So, changing it would be big deal and cause nasty repercussions technology-wise? Because if that's the case, it's probably not worth changing. It just seemed like something that would be nice to do if it was easy. PrincessofLlyr talk 19:51, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
It might be worth attempting, and monitoring for breakage. Jon@talk:~$ 19:52, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
With the acknowledgment that I understand none of the technology/coding, and therefore very few of the possible repercussions, I support attempting it, if you feel like it is not likely to break the wiki and if the community supports it. PrincessofLlyr talk 19:57, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Personally I would leave it to avoid confusion as its used on a lot of other wikis even if their language word is different (thus a different letter would be used). But I have no real issue with it being changed. It is possible that it would also break all sorts of scripts and things like AWB. (not saying it will but it is a risk albeit possibly small) -DJSasso (talk) 20:02, 18 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
This would be confusing.  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  01:28, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Capitalization standards

I think we need to be more consistent in the capitalization of article titles and category titles. For example, Category:Rapid Transport Systems probably should be all lower case. We also have Infobox templates, some with all words capitalized and others with lower case. This can be very confusing to editors. How hard would it be to write a PHP script to make them all lower case and also change all references to them? Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 12:18, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

AWB would be able to go through them all and change to lowercase very easily. In fact doing it manually wouldn't take too long at only 18 pages... Normandie 13:06, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
AWB can not rename categories; nothing can, as far as I am aware. Also, all the times I've used AWB, the "Move" button has been greyed out, so I don't think AWB will bring much joy in regards to this. -- (talk) 13:17, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
This is something (infoboxes) I have been doing on en: gradually over the years. If the simple: community wants a comprehensive overhaul I would be happy to help with template names, categories or both. Rich Farmbrough, 17:13, 21 December 2011 (UTC).[reply]
I think you have to be logged in as an admin or something to do the move function. --Auntof6 (talk) 23:13, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I agree this is a bit of a problem. I can't tell you how many duplicate templates I've redirected in the past few days where the only difference was capitalisation of the titles. Osiris (talk) 17:20, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

How can AWB not do it? We rename the cat then run AWB through the articles in the cat? Normandy 19:12, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I'd support this. I've also redirected quite a few templates like Osiris has. I'd also be willing to help if you need another hand. --Auntof6 (talk) 19:25, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Categories cannot be renamed, unless something has changed since I last had the mop. Create a new one, alter the articles (with AWB) then delete the old. Goblin 23:06, 21 December 2011 (UTC) I ♥ Orashmatash![reply]

Nothing changed there. Even if it did change, it would be useless as when the category got moved, the articles would still be pointing to the wrong place. The workaround listed is almost correct - make new category, edit articles, Delete (or redirect} old category. As for templates, fixing them is really just empty edits bypassing redirects. We would have to keep the redirects anyway as they are certainly going to get used again and again as new articles or sections keep getting imported. The risk of someone importing/copy-paste-simplifying an en:wp article then importing a duplicate template with different caps is severely lessened with the redirects. (talk) 23:15, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Delete the old cat is what I meant, so my fix is correct - though I actually found your response quite patronising so please try and avoid that. The initial error was from editing on my phone and not paying perhaps as much attention as I might had I been at a computer. Altered. Goblin 00:20, 22 December 2011 (UTC) I ♥ Gordonrox24![reply]

Our capitalization standards are the same as en's. If you see something that isn't right then be bold and fix it. -DJSasso (talk) 23:14, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Exactly. I'm not sure why we're having a full blown discussion over it when I proved its very simple to fix... I'd do it right now if I had AWB on this computer... Normandy 10:54, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
If someone is willing to make a list of such problems and it is to be approved, I could manually "move" the category and tag them for QD/redirect and use my bot to do the updates if necessary.  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  00:57, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Category redirects are cool, too. I have some code to take care of keeping these empty. Rich Farmbrough, 15:28, 22 December 2011 (UTC).[reply]
On the general question of upper case, we should try to keep to English usage: upper case ('capitals') for initial words and proper nouns only. All doubtful cases should be decided in favour of lower case letters. Macdonald-ross (talk) 15:43, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

What's the difference between these two? --Auntof6 (talk) 22:57, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Presenters are the hosts of programs. Personalities are people that are just known for being on programs. Personalities is kind of a catch all for people notable for being on TV but not for any reason we can actually define.. Presenter of more of a British title for the job of host. (talk) 23:02, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Open Call for 2012 Wikimedia Fellowship Applicants

I apologize that you are receiving this message in English. Please help translate it.

  • Do you want to help attract new contributors to Wikimedia projects?
  • Do you want to improve retention of our existing editors?
  • Do you want to strengthen our community by diversifying its base and increasing the overall number of excellent participants around the world?

The Wikimedia Foundation is seeking Community Fellows and project ideas for the Community Fellowship Program. A Fellowship is a temporary position at the Wikimedia Foundation in order to work on a specific project or set of projects. Submissions for 2012 are encouraged to focus on the theme of improving editor retention and increasing participation in Wikimedia projects. If interested, please submit a project idea or apply to be a fellow by January 15, 2012. Please visit for more information.


--Siko Bouterse, Head of Community Fellowships, Wikimedia Foundation 03:04, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Distributed via Global message delivery. (Wrong page? Fix here.)

Merge of Immigrant, Emigrant, Immigration

I've noticed Immigrant, Emigrant, Immigration all deal with sensibly the same subject. There is not enough content to justify having multiple pages. They should be merged and the appropriate redirect pages created. Vitomontreal (talk) 18:04, 20 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Sounds like a good idea to me.  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  01:27, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I agree. Immigration should probably be the title of the resulting merged article. Racepacket (talk) 12:19, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Done. The pages have been merged into Immigration; immigrant and emigrant both redirect there. Vitomontreal (talk) 13:18, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
That was fast. Those two terms are easily confused. It was useful to keep them separate. By redirecting immigrant and emigrant to the same place, it just adds to the confusion. They are distinctly different, though related. Gotanda (talk) 21:53, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
They should not have been merged. Despite these terms being similar in nature, they are still distinctly different, and should have their own articles, as per Beefball Talk 10:51, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I made a start at cleaning those up. The two terms are different and need different entries. Also, there were incoming links to them. A better longterm fix might be to use the article Human migration as on En wiki, but that is a bigger project than I have time for right now. Will have to pretty much take a break for a few days or longer. Gotanda (talk) 00:28, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Perhaps we need to acknowledge that the merge discussion process was mishandled?

More than one merge tag invited comment here; and both were red links. In fact, there was only one "discuss" which was not a red link here

I did add a timely comment here; but my opposition was ignored.

We can do better next time. --Horeki (talk) 01:39, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

No need to get too worked up guys. The exact process that is supposed to happen has happened (ie the BRD process). He was Bold. Someone Reverted. Now you all are Discussing. Don't get hung up on how it happened talk about the issue itself instead. -DJSasso (talk) 15:00, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Enwiki attribution

I've noticed editors adding the {{enwp based}} template and pointing to the main article on enwiki. I'd like to remind folks that the URL used with this template should be for the specific version of the article that was the basis for the Simple English article. You can get that URL by going to the history of the article on enwiki and clicking on the date for the version that was used (even if that version was the most recent one). Copy the URL that comes up and use that. Thanks. You may now return to your previously scheduled editing. :) --Auntof6 (talk) 19:39, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

There is also Transwiki Attribution. Jon@talk:~$ 20:02, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Is there a problem with clicking on "Permanent link" in the Toolbox? --Horeki (talk) 20:18, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think there is a problem with any method, so long as it gets done. If that method is not in the policy page, it should be. Jon@talk:~$ 20:28, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
As long as the source is indicated that it came from en then specific version isn't really necessary as the "required" (ie saying it came from attribution is still there. However, using the exact version link is the preferred method but it is not the required method. -DJSasso (talk) 14:55, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

"Admin noticeboard" sidebar link

Personally I don't see the need, and it makes the sidebar look horrible. How is a laymen reader with a limited understanding of English supposed to know what an "admin" (or noticeboard for that matter) is, or why they should need or want one? Even if they did want an admin for an admin task, this wiki is small enough so that almost all administrators check simple talk regularly, so if they posted it here, it's not likely to be missed. At Wikipedia:Simple talk#Sidebar I don't see a strong, community-wide consensus either. Albacore (talk · changes) 03:12, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

+1 Jon@talk:~$ 03:38, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I'll admit it will take a bit of getting used to, but even if it doesn't help a laymen reader with a limited understanding of English, it could help someone with a little better understanding of it. I'm not fussed really over it, so I don't mind whether its there or not. Normandy 09:16, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
If you don't like it, enable the gadget which lets you opt out. --Orashmatash (talk) 13:15, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
The problem isn't for us that don't like it. We don't like that "readers" see it. -DJSasso (talk) 14:53, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Agreed with Albacore and Jon; the discussion and consensus for its addition was botched and pushed through way to quickly - I see that the wiki still has the obsession of doing things way to quickly. Support removal - if anything it should be an opt-in gadget as opposed to opt-out, as it's not simple in the current wording and, furthermore, as we've said many times before AN isn't really the place to be directing new users to, which is ultimately the aim of the sidebar. AN tends to be somewhere where (funnily enough) the admins can keep track of things that need their attention. Goblin 13:45, 23 December 2011 (UTC) I ♥ The Rambling Man![reply]

I still agree with BG, Albacore and Jon. I don't think it should have been added. I believe I mentioned that in the discussion above. It is not a link that is really relevant to "readers" and editors are going to be able to figure out how to get there easy enough. -DJSasso (talk) 14:53, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Fair points. Maybe the opt-in feature would be a better idea. --Orashmatash (talk) 15:07, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
In either case, now that there is significant disagreement and that this is something that affects what readers see, the sidebar will be reverted immediately to the pre-discussion state (the opt-out gadget will also be deleted). Editors still wishing to push for a change to the sidebar contents should establish another community discussion. Chenzw  Talk  10:41, 25 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Vandalism on Thought

Some IPs (most recently have been vandalising the article regularly since March and judging by the content, they seem to be one person. Should it be semi-protected?Animusv3 (talk) 14:26, 27 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Yup, I have gone ahead to protect it for a month. Thanks! Chenzw  Talk  15:34, 27 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
This would be a form of thought crime I guess. Rich Farmbrough, 11:59, 29 December 2011 (UTC).[reply]

What is the Simple English Wikipedia policy on paid editing? There are various rules on En Wikipedia, where the matter has been controversial for a number of years. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 04:08, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

On this (smaller) Wikipedia, the instances of paid editing we discover are mostly advertising and editors with a conflict of interest. I would treat such cases as how we normally handle other vandalism cases. Don't think it is that big of a problem to require a separate policy, yet. Chenzw  Talk  06:20, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Please can someone explain more about paid editing? DJDunsie (talk) 12:21, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Paid editing is where a company will hire someone to create or change a wikipedia article about the company. It usually results in a positively-biased point of view towards the company. Its basically using WP for advertising knowing that the first results on Google and other search engines are often Wikipedia. So if you can control what WP says about your company you can control the potential customers opinion. Basically; paid advertising is a nono. Normandy 12:24, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Our policies are if we don't have a written policy then we use en's policy. I don't believe we have one so we would follow en's. -DJSasso (talk) 14:53, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

If someone pays me, I will write a neutral article. Promise. Paypal good? Jon@talk:~$ 19:51, 29 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

The way to do it is to get your paying client declared to be a "GLAM." (Most people think that a GLAM is an art museum or library, but anyone with an axe to grind on Wikipedia can claim to be a GLAM.) In the past, paid projects were relegated to Wikibooks, or Wikiversity, but clients want the Google ranking of Wikipedia. If you are a GLAM, it is OK to pay people to edit Wikipedia to reflect your interests and view points. Racepacket (talk) 11:31, 30 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I would like to know if this article (which I recently expanded) is ready to be nominated at WP:PGA? If not, can you please provide me with some comments for improvements? Thanks, Jonayo! Selena 4 ever 18:20, 28 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I haven't done much with PGA, but isn't the process to nominate and then discuss, rather than discuss whether an article should be nominated? Aside from that, just looking at the introductory section, I see quite a few words that I suspect aren't simple English. There is also at least one place where grammar needs to be fixed (In The police drives "Los Dinos" away., "drives" should at least be "drive", and the verb should probably be changed altogether unless they actually took them away in a vehicle. Also, I don't think "Los Dinos" should be in quotes.) The article itself looks good, just not as simple as it could be. --Auntof6 (talk) 21:09, 28 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the comments! Well the recent debate is that articles should only be nominated if they are near-good and have a high chance at promoting. The police did take them away in a car and will remove quotes. Best, Jonayo! Selena 4 ever 21:19, 28 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
OK, I see. Would you like me to try simplifying it a bit? If you don't like what I do, you can always revert it. --Auntof6 (talk) 21:56, 28 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
YES PLEASE :-) Jonayo! Selena 4 ever 22:00, 28 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
OK, I did some work on the intro section. I'll do more when I get time. --Auntof6 (talk) 22:17, 28 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks :-) I'll stay online and expand another article I'm working on in the meantime. Best, Jonayo! Selena 4 ever 22:22, 28 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Jesus - AJona, can you actually read comments surrounding PGA before just blindly assuming things? Never have we said that articles should only be nominated if they are near-good and have a high chance at promotion, nor have we said that you should be bringing them to this page to ask if they're good enough for nomination which, as Auntof correctly points out, is not the way it works. If you would like to informally find out if an article is ready you do so on a user's talk page. However, ultimately, it is up to you to determine if an article is up to scratch or not by reading through the PGA criteria and then determining whether each one is met or not. If it does, nominate, if not, fix and nominate - and throughout the three week nomination time frame be prepared to jump on issues. For best results, however, your are recommended to get an informal peer review on someone's talk page prior to nomination for a speedy throughput - currently proposed Ned Kelly is a wonderful example of this. There are several users who are happy to give sentence-by-sentence peer reviews informally if you ask them nicely enough, and actually take on board their comments as opposed to rubbishing them (Not saying that you do, but there are people that expect to nominate an article at P(V)GA and then do no work at all towards making it happen.) - though of course, where appropriate, comments can be discarded as often suggestions are made from a non-expert that may or may not be appropriate. Goblin 16:44, 29 December 2011 (UTC) I ♥ Fr33kman![reply]

I'm not arguing with you because you will keep on burning the fire. Anyways, TRM proposed it and other supported that articles should be of good quality before nominations. I do read, Jonayo! Selena 4 ever 18:44, 29 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not having an argument nor burning any fires. Yes, articles should be of good quality, but no, they do not need to be near perfect. I've already said this several times. Goblin 16:29, 30 December 2011 (UTC) I ♥ Yottie![reply]

Orphan articles

I see that we have over 5,000 articles that are tagged as orphans. Many of these are very short stubs for towns. In En Wikipedia, they get links by including a footer template listing all of the towns in a larger region. Should we be doing that? In many cases, I can't think of any article that would naturally need to link to the town. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 11:59, 19 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

No objection to that idea, it'd be an excellent aid for navigation if editors wanted to create them. However, the tagging of articles as orphans is probably a practice we should revise. Djsasso noted yesterday that because simple has a very low article count, a lot of articles here are going to be orphans. Not only that, with about a third of our articles being stubs, there just aren't that many links going around. I wouldn't want to see the system thrown out altogether, but I recommend that we adjust our orphan-tagging guideline on simple to articles that just have no links to them at all. Osiris (talk) 12:14, 19 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
As long as these thousands of orphans are there, I'd agree that the no links to them at all seems useful, but maybe no article links to them at all and exclude talk, user, or other incoming. Gotanda (talk) 13:16, 19 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
That was what I meant (we don't normally count those when deciding if an article is orphaned). Osiris (talk) 13:24, 19 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Personally I would just junk the template period, however, no links at all is more useful. I would still stress that we probably shouldn't use the template at all except in cases where the notability is questionable which being an orphan sometimes goes towards prooving. -DJSasso (talk) 14:39, 19 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not too sure about this. Please see en:WP:Not everything needs a navbox for the reasoning for my views. I do agree, however, that we should probably try to lower the amount of orphan articles ... -Orashmatash- 16:32, 19 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Sure, reducing orphans is a good target. (That is one good reason to use the orphan template--it may get the attention of someone willing to fix it.) But, a "real" reduction by incoming links from article content is the best way to go. A navbox or footer template tends to just makes a ring of stubs with information dwarfed by navigation. Gotanda (talk) 00:01, 20 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I support the reduction or even termination of the orphan template. I don't know how effective it is, but I don't believe it is very effective. It maybe even turns of people who look and see the tag on a high percentage of our pages (~4975 out of 251,841). Also, I propose the deletion of {{Orphan file}}.  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  02:52, 20 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
No, I don't agree. The template is a useful flag to a content editor. Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:07, 20 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
How is {{orphan}} supposed to change the behavior of content editors? I sat down and tried to reduce the number of orphan article. I could fix some (e.g., link Albany, New York to Albany International Airport), but there are many small town stubs that I could not find an appropriate article to link. It would be better to link naturally and to create articles in response to an existing red link. Other than footer navigation templates, I can't think of a way to systematically make a big dent in the orphan list. In some cases merging two related articles would be appropriate way to get rid of an orphan, but I would not delete an article just because it is an orphan. Racepacket (talk) 11:57, 20 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Footer navigation templates tend to just form a chain of self-linking stubs, adding little. For a recent example see Template:Nations_at_Olympics. How does "orphan" change behavior? Well, we don't actually have good information about what changes editor behavior here, but if editors do not know that there is a task to do, I'd guess there is pretty good chance they won't attempt it. I would really like to keep the orphan template because it adds organizational information to the wiki. If some editors find it distracting, the template could be simpler or less obtrusive. The template is not the issue, the orphans are. Gotanda (talk) 12:53, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Most significant towns should have a link from a famous son or daughter of the town. Often people don't like red-linking, or it may be we don;t have the person article yet. I have always been a little unsure about {{Orphan}}, especially where we have obscure subjects. Rich Farmbrough, 17:17, 21 December 2011 (UTC).[reply]
I would heavily support deleting the orphan tag (and, for that matter, the stub tag). Such tags give the appearance of clutter and make the site look less professional with a marginal benefit. Kansan (talk) 18:02, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Umm... hello? Does anyone remember my proposition re {{Orphan file}}?  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  00:59, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I believe that if an article is going to be in the mainspace it should have at least one link from another article. Otherwise, it's not really connected to the project. Nobody seems to have a problem with reducing the amount of orphan tags, so I'll make an amendment to WP:ORPHAN for now. Osiris (talk) 14:30, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Materials science

We have no article on this Materials science, no category and no mention on the WP:Main Page, under Knowledge Groups -- Applied science. The area has been advancing hugely over the last 50+ years, and is now very important in engineering, building, and science. I suggest it is added as a red link to the Applied science section.

Also, I see Technology is not listed, also under Knowledge Groups -- Applied science, and I think it should be. Unfortunately, though we do have a page, it is not a proper article, so that needs work also.

Could I have your opinions on adding these terms to the main page? Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:19, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:19, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

No point on adding it if we don't even have an article. I would say create a good article then revisit the idea. -DJSasso (talk) 15:59, 22 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I recently added articles on: Materials science, Solid-state chemistry, and Polymer chemistry, so we have some coverage of materials. Racepacket (talk) 04:01, 23 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

If anyone here is a subject matter expert in this field, this article may have promise. Jon@talk:~$ 22:44, 28 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I will extend the article a little, once I have a decent internet connection again, so probably in the next week or so. Thanks for noticing. Today, most monitors are connected using either DVI or HDMI, so having a decent article on both is probly worthwile.--Eptalon (talk) 14:01, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I propose deletion of this category under C1. Although it has {{empty category}}, it is an empty maintenance category "from 2004" (was created recently, though...) and is not likely to be used.  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  03:54, 29 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I would agree, but let's check with the creator first -- he has been doing a lot with the maintenance category, and he might have plans for this one. In general, though, {{empty category}} shouldn't be used on the dated categories. --Auntof6 (talk) 05:26, 29 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Speedy delete, without talking to creator. We should not be backdating maintenance tags ever. If it's empty now it will always remain empty - unless all of a sudden we're all going to go back to 2004, which we're not. Less chat, more do. !admin. Goblin 16:35, 29 December 2011 (UTC) I ♥ Chenzw![reply]
These should be deleted on sight (if they are empty). Note that they will self-nom for speedy once they are set up properly. They may pop up again if something is reverted, but rarely on simple (happens a lot on en:). They can be recreated easily. Rich Farmbrough, 22:06, 29 December 2011 (UTC).[reply]
For future reference, what is the proper setup they lets them self-nominate for deletion when empty? --Auntof6 (talk) 23:21, 29 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I would guess that it would check if the number in the category is 0, it displays the deletion template.  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  06:40, 30 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
When {{MonthlyCleanupCat}} is used, if <PAGESINCAT> hits zero, it fires off a QD-G6 template. As it is done behind the scenes, there is a bit of a time delay. The QD template will be shown on the page immediately but there is a delay until the page is added to the QD category. (A non-changing save of the page is enough to force the system to notice the QD request or just let it sit till the next maintenance batch checks it) (talk) 06:54, 30 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Goblin, you completely misunderstood what this category is. It isn't a maintenance category, it's for use with Template:As of to notify editors that information (such as census data) is from 2004. It shouldn't have been deleted. I've recreated it. Osiris (talk) 14:20, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Hyphen (-) vs. Dash (—)

I have read the MOS at both Simple English and En Wikipedia, but I am still unsure. They say, "When naming an article, do not use a hyphen as a substitute for an en dash that properly belongs in the title, for example in Eye–hand span". I am starting an article called "Free-electron laser" but I am unsure whether to use the hyphen (multi-word adjective) or the dash. En Wikipedia uses a hyphen. What do people think? Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 02:51, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

For your correction, there is the hyphen (-), the ndash (–), and the mdash (—). I'm not the best person to answer your question, however.  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  04:53, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I believe that the quote uses "en dash" for what Hazard-SJ calls "ndash". But I still would like guidance on hyphen vs. ndash in "Free-electron laser". Racepacket (talk) 12:42, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
en dash is for spans for example in a year you would use it between years 2010–2011. But in a word in most cases you would use a hyphen like in your free-electron example. -DJSasso (talk) 14:46, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I've never understood it. I don't have a dash button on my keyboard, I don't know how many do. I've never seen one on a qwerty keyboard as far as I know... I actually mentioned this on irc yesterday to orashmatash. Basically I knew it had to be the en dash thing but I disagree/ignorant of the real reason. Normandy 14:04, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

To do an en-dash you need to type alt-150 is the cleanest way. But some people use the dirty html way of using &ndash with a ; at the end. -DJSasso (talk) 14:48, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
 (change conflict)  (change conflict) According to Template:Mdash, use of the emdash is discouraged. I think a hyphen would be more appropriate for free-electron laser, as DJSasso said. Also, just like Normandy, my keyboard doesn't have an endash or an emdash. Orashmatash (talk) 14:50, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you. I will implement the hyphen consensus now. Racepacket (talk) 15:47, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Eh? What? How on earth is a discussion of less than a day a consensus? For a change this big I'm expecting the discussion to run for at least a week. Yes, it's only a punctuation mark, but it's a big change. Stop. Now. Goblin 15:56, 1 January 2012 (UTC) I ♥ Yottie![reply]
This isn't a discussion to change anything. He asked a question about an article he was creating. Its been clarified so he is going to create it. Relax dude. -DJSasso (talk) 16:14, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Ah, crap - my bad; I misread the discussion completely. Oops! Apologies, Racepacket. Goblin 18:06, 1 January 2012 (UTC) I ♥ Pmlineditor![reply]
Thank you, Bluegolbin7. You are a gentleman and a scholar. Racepacket (talk) 18:36, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

This discussion concerns only one article that I was in the process of creating, Free-electron laser. Both hyphens and dashes are appropriate in different contexts and I wanted guidance as to which was better in this case. I got that guidance, moved the article from user space to article space using a hyphen and changed all seven references to the article to match the final article name. This is a very small change not a "big" change. It is completed. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 16:07, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I will try and clean-up this problem for everybody:
  • hyphen (-) used to link some compound words, e.g. free-electron, used to show when words run together, e.g. man-of-war, and used to split words that will not fit on one line.
  • em dash (—) used to show breaks in sentences, e.g. Put frankly, he was an accomplice—in fact, a conspirator—to the murder of these people. e.g. I saw it—the large blue flag.
  • en dash (–) used to show sequences, e.g. A–Z, 1999–2003
  • minus sign (−) used in maths

Note the lack of spaces for the em and en dashes, and the slightly different dash sizes. I hope this helps. DJDunsie (talk) 19:17, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Ahh ... I understand now. :) --Orashmatash (talk) 19:32, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
It is more complex than that:
  • If the phrase being dashed in more than one word, you must have spaces on both sides of the dash. (north pole – south pole) Otherwise, no space between the dash and the words. (A–Z)
  • If the words being joined are coequal and in opposition (more than just "ends of a range"), you use a dash rather than a hyphen: "gas chromatography – mass spectroscopy".
  • If you have a compound adjective, you hyphenate all of the words in the adjective phrase, but have a space before the noun: "run-of-the-mill Wikipedian". Racepacket (talk) 20:39, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Very good points. I was aware of 1 and 3, but not 2, so thanks for enlightening me. I shall try and address the Manual of Style to make it clearer. Thanks, DJDunsie (talk) 21:03, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Template:Service awards needs attention

Could someone take a look at this template? It's not calculating correctly, at least for some levels. For example, it tells me I'm a Master Editor II, but I don't yet have the required numbers of years here, per Wikipedia:Service awards. Thanks! --Auntof6 (talk) 01:44, 2 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Some short-timer changed all of the impressive award levels to require only 36 months of service. I have changed them to reflect Wikipedia:Service awards, which tops out at 60 months of service. This is to my own disadvantage. Would some vandal please sneak back in and change them to a low number so that we can all advance to the top of the heap? Racepacket (talk) 02:24, 2 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I'm sorry, what was I thinking! I'll miss being a Master Editor II. Sniff. --Auntof6 (talk) 03:58, 2 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Given the list uses a start date before we even existed here and the fact we only have 2 Grandmasters (myself being one) who are both relatively inactive, it's not really a fair representation of standing or value to the community. You don't need a title decided on arbitrary values by en:wp to know you are important to this project. :) (talk) 07:17, 2 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The original idea behind this seems to have become obsolete. It remains unused since 2009. Can it be deleted, or is it better to mark it as historical? Osiris (talk) 07:14, 2 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

It is odd that the prose of the tag seems to describe Category:Article issues (cleanup named but NPOV listed as a for example), but the two links are for what links to {{Cleanup}} and the category that template provides. The page itself can't decide what it wants to say.. (talk) 07:22, 2 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Big Airport Weekend - January 20-23

Several editors have agreed to focus energy over a weekend on a specific topic to encourage collaboration. (See: WP:Big Weekend) In October, we spent a weekend working on biographies. In November, we worked on capital cities. We have picked "aiports" as our next topic. The purpose of this weekend is to improve SEWP's coverage of airports and airport related articles. The 'Weekend Lead' is Racepacket who can answer your questions and will report on the results. A few tasks and guidelines:

  1. Add {{Infobox airport}} to all airport articles
  2. To improve existing articles and stubs in the Category:Airports
  3. To add new articles on airports. (Any airport with regular commercial service or where a historic event happened is notable enough for an article.)
  4. Airports can be civilian, military, and anywhere in the world.
  5. Add BAW (for Big Airport Weekend) to the edit summaries to help keep track of the changes.
  6. Please use the {{inuse}} template to avoid edit conflicts with other BAW participants.

Barnstars will be liberally rewarded for your airport efforts. Please join us to have fun and to improve SEWP. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 04:46, 3 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]


This fully-protected template is generating extra spaces when used by {{cite web}} with the date parameter, but no author parameters. The spaces are placed between the month and year when the date has a <day> <month> <year> format. Could someone please take a look? See Deaths in 2012. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 11:43, 3 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Not a template problem. It seems if using reflist 2 to create two columns when there is only one ref, that it splits it over the two columns. I have reset it to one column, but will change it back when we get some more entries.--Peterdownunder (talk) 11:57, 3 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
It gets even odder when you go with 3 columns.. (talk) 12:01, 3 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Backlog link

Is it possible to get a link to CAT:B added to the maintenance section of WP:RC? Osiris (talk) 16:13, 3 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Shouldn't be a problem...however, I'm not sure that it is necessary though as none of those things are immediate concerns like what is currently in the maintenance section. -DJSasso (talk) 16:24, 3 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
No, but is that a criteria? More visible links means we get more volunteers to help with maintenance. Osiris (talk) 16:36, 3 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Regretfully I agree with DJSasso on this one. I'd much prefer it if Recent Changes only retained links to the highest profile maintenance bits - there's too many distractions on the wiki already, and these backlogs aren't urgent. Goblin 16:38, 3 January 2012 (UTC) I ♥ Orashmatash![reply]
No but the more links you put on a page the more the important ones get lost in a see of blue links. Anything on the recent changes should be fairly urgent matters. This in my opinion is a case of less is more. -DJSasso (talk) 16:42, 3 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Ok, no big deal then. Osiris (talk) 16:49, 3 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Inactive admin policy

I think a proper discussion is needed about the policy as it currently stands.

On 1st January, several administrators (and those with higher permissions) were removed per the inactive admin policy. They were given no warnings on their talk page, and no attempt was made to contact them before their permissions were removed. This is utterly inappropriate. We do have a policy, but it must be used responsibly, especially considering that at least one of those administrators was highly active in another area of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Since there was no prior warning, none of these administrators could appeal the removal before it happened, because there was no discussion anywhere proposing their removal. People have busy lives, and some are only semi-active; but they should at least be given the option to stay admins if they want it.

I therefore propose the immediate restoration of all these administrators. I would also strongly advocate the modification of the current policy, to list individual admins who are currently under the threshold, and to give plenty of notice, both by e-mail and talk page. See for example en:WP:Inactive administrators. The policy was very poorly implemented and it should be rectified. PeterSymonds (talk) 15:00, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I strongly disagree. The users whose rights have been struck should remain struck. If they wish for the rights back (which I don't think any do as far as I see) they can apply again through RfA. This has always been my stance. I do not understand how if someone loses their rights for any reason should just get them back immediately. How long can they be away and can still waltz back into an admin role? Can they be away for a year? 2? 3? longer? Granted they should have been given a token message with a week or so notice, but other than that I agree with whats happened. Don't use them enough in a year, bang, they're gone. Want them back? Run for RfA. Normandy 15:08, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The policy needs to be fair. This policy clearly isn't fair, and the way we go about removing admin rights needs to change. Even if these admins aren't immediately reinstated, the policy needs to require at least two attempts to contact the user well in advance of the removal date. PeterSymonds (talk) 15:15, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Why? The admins know about the policy, if they choose not to be active they have choosen not to be active. Part of the purpose of the policy as I understand it was to stop the practice of people coming and making the minimum 1 edit to avoid the old no edits in a year policy. Giving them notices just means they come and make the minimum 100 edits. We purposefully gave all the admins over 1 year notice of the policy going into effect. It isn't like they didn't know it existed, and if they didn't know it existed that is the exact reason their rights were removed. It isn't like any of these users wouldn't almost immediately get their flags back (through an Rfa) if they became active again. Another purpose of the policy was so that we would not have to have discussions about the removal. So the fact no discussion occurred was actually the objective of the policy. -DJSasso (talk) 15:28, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
(e/c *2) Agree with Normandy/DJsasso. We had far too many admins anyway, and we don't want inactive ones coming back to make the required 100 edits quickly and then go again. I think DJ sums it up pretty well: if they were an admin, they should have known about the policy; if they didn't, then they shouldn't really be admins. Yottie =talk= 15:31, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Now then, some points I would like to present as well:
  1. The removal of rights has already been done.
  2. To remain impartial, either all rights or no rights are reinstated.
  3. What happens (or does not happen) on this wiki remains the business of this wiki.
  4. Similarly, what happens (or does not happen) on other wikis is usually not the business of this wiki's administration.
  5. The policy was implemented by User:Juliancolton, who was a bureaucrat at that time (and still is).
The wiki operates on commmunity consensus for most of its processes, and it is theoretically possible, through community consensus, to reverse a wiki policy. However, keeping in mind that no one attempted to start another decision to challenge the already implemented policy from the date of implementation till 1 January 2012, it is my opinion that attempting to reverse this not only makes us a laughing stock at meta, but also undermines the legitimacy of all of our policies. Chenzw  Talk  15:33, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Nobody likes to admit they were wrong, but sometimes we must. None of these inactive admins even knew they were under scrutiny because no public list was made until after the removal occurred. 100 edits is quite a high benchmark for a busy person; not many people keep track of how many edits they do in a year. If somebody wants to keep their rights, exactly what is wrong with letting them know in advance? It's called good practice. PeterSymonds (talk) 15:37, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

100 edits is hardly a high benchmark, most people on this wiki do that in less than a week, many do it in a single day. Also most of the people whose rights were removed were listed on the inactive admin list. -DJSasso (talk) 15:39, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think the 100 edit mark is what is of concern here - Gordonrox24 saw the consensus at that time as to have 100 as the number and led to Djsasso making the change to the actual page. They key point here seems to be the fact that the admins eligible for removal were not contacted. Chenzw  Talk  15:47, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Agree with everyone above who is in support of retaining the policy as-is. Furthermore, if people didn't know about it then it highlights exactly why the policy has been implemented; people not being up-to-date with current wiki policies. There's nothing wrong with the policy; we're not somewhere that people can come and get admin forevermore. Goblin 16:31, 4 January 2012 (UTC) I ♥ Bsadowski1![reply]

Yes, we've discussed this before, and agreed with the policy. Macdonald-ross (talk) 17:15, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Keep the current policy, we need our admins to be active. As to giving notice or warning, they got that 12 months ago.Peterdownunder (talk) 21:13, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • There's actually really only one thing I'd change or better modify. Reword "edit" to "edits and all logged actions" or something. It would be kinda stupid to remove an admin with only 3 edits but 1000 admin actions. Otherwise I still agree with the policy. -Barras (talk) 21:22, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
As I see it, we did not have that case of someone doing little editing here, and mostly admin work having their rights removed. What we could do though is have fixed times, when the check is done: for example (beginning of) January, May, and September. If we see that say in May, an admin has done, say only half of the required edits/actions, they could be "informed" that they risk losing their status (in September). I also don't see 100 edits/actions as cut in stone; if someone is "close to" the mark, the removal should be talked about with the candidate. I do however see it as problematic to have admins "become active" over only a short period of the year to get their "quota edits", and remain inactive over the rest of the year. --Eptalon (talk) 23:05, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Agree with epatlon, but simpler. Two checks a year. January 1st to remove rights, and June 1st, middle of the year, to inform those with under 100 edits that they are under. I think that is fair. However, I also think it is fair that we don't inform. Admins should know the policy. --Gordonrox24 | Talk 00:02, 5 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I firmly believe that if a user is not active, they should not have admin rights. If you cannot even make 100 edits (lets include admin actions in that) then they clearly cannot understand what is happening on the wiki. How many times have we complained at various admins coming in and blindly making an admin decision then leaving again leaving us all in the lurch. I can think of one or two who are still not active, but are still admins who have done this in the past. If they don't want to help out here then they should not be an admin. The criteria for becoming an admin is that you are active, why should that not follow you through your adminship? Normandy 13:46, 5 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Is anyone here good with regular expressions?

I'm trying to match something with a regular expression. An example of the kind of string I'm trying to match is:

In 2007 its [[population]] was 4802.

The actual population number could be different. I tried this regular expression without luck:

In 2007 its \[\[population\]\] was ([0-9]{1,7})\.

I have the parens around the part for the population number because I want to refer to that piece for a find-and-replace. Does anyone here know enough about this to see why it's not working? Thanks in advance. --Auntof6 (talk) 17:04, 5 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know that anyone is good with them. LOL. But sorry I can't help. I have been trying to figure out an expression similar for awhile. If you figure it out let me know what you ended up having to put... -DJSasso (talk) 19:06, 5 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I am referring to PCRE ("Perl-style") regular expressions here; our edit filters use this engine. With the engine you get character classes, for example \p{Nd} would match a (decimal) number. With \p{Nd}+ we request at least one digit, otherwise use \p{Nd}{1,7} (like you did). Your problem above is probably the dot at the end; you could try (\p{Nd}{1,7}\p{P}). --Eptalon (talk) 21:49, 5 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, everyone. I got it to work. I was using it for AWB find-and-replace, and I had to put it in the advanced settings instead of the normal settings. I'm thinking the parsing for normal settings doesn't do everything that you get in the advanced settings. --Auntof6 (talk) 23:31, 5 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]


In much the same light as PR, Editor review is dead. Its been dead for months, or longer, and a good doctor couldn't get it alive again. I propose we close it and redirect the links to ST or somewhere else if there's a better suggestion. When looking through the archives you see there has been very few review requests, and even fewer responses. Thoughts? Normandy 10:50, 30 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah. We simply don't have the manpower yet to maintain it. Support proposal. Chenzw  Talk  11:10, 30 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Support removal. If people want an Editor Review they would be best directly going to someone's talk page, or coming here. However, due to the low number of non-admins we have it's unlikely that (m)any will need an ER. Hell, I'd even suggest people run for RfA instead of having ERs, they do pretty much the same thing here, only you get a few extra buttons if it goes well. Goblin 16:26, 30 December 2011 (UTC) I ♥ Pmlineditor![reply]
Well thats a good idea in principal, however things don't really pan out that way in reality. RfAs are very poisonous at times, my recent one is an excellent example. If we redirected ER to RfA we'd have to make RfA... easier, for lack of a better word... Normandy 17:03, 30 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, I completely agree - don't get me wrong. Sorry, I perhaps should have made myself clearer, as it was a slightly tongue-in-cheek comment. Good idea in principal but it would never work in practice sadly, and Gordon also raises a fair point below, though again that doesn't tend to be how things work around here in my experience. But yes - ER is redundant and needs to go. Goblin 21:07, 30 December 2011 (UTC) I ♥ The Rambling Man![reply]
  • I'd support removal. Don't even want to consider comparing ER and RFA. ER is to review contributions, RFA is to see if the community trusts people with more tools. Completely different. But, ER is dead, and I don't see it being revived.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 21:03, 30 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Support removal per all above. --Orashmatash (talk) 16:33, 31 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support removal, and please delete Category:Wikipedians on Editor review. Osiris (talk) 14:15, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strong Oppose - There's nowhere else for an editor to be formally reviewed. It does no harm sitting there. The only reason it is not used that much is because this wiki simply does not have many editors. DJDunsie (talk) 20:18, 1 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Editor Review is completely redundant because of the number of editors. Have you actually read any of the arguments given above? As has been said for other processes, there's simply not the manpower to review people, nor are there enough people asking for reviews to make the process worth while. It's a complete waste of time and has never been well used in its time here. If you want to know how you're doing, you're more than welcome to ask here. The wiki needs streamlining, and this is a good way to go. Goblin 03:37, 4 January 2012 (UTC) I ♥ Dendodge![reply]

 Done Its been a week since the discussion started, overwhelming support to close. I have redirected links to Simple Talk, including templates. Left the category for users on review as perhaps we should keep that as we're not actually closing reviews? Normandy 12:32, 6 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Right, didn't think that one through! Category:Wikipedians on Editor review/Backlog may be eligible though (for review requests that haven't been reviewed yet)...? Osiris (talk) 13:19, 6 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Can someone please remove the link from Wikipedia:RecentChanges/Community? Osiris (talk) 10:25, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

A Project Proposal that Might Be of Interest

Dear Everybody,

I am a Swedish Wikipedian and the last five years I have been an administrator on the Swedish language version of Wikipedia. Recently I put forward a project proposal for a Wikimedia Foundation Fellowship regarding how to make Wikipedia and its sister projects more accessible for people that for different reasons have a hard time reading our material – be it because of dyslexia, visual impairment or blindness, because they are illiterate, because they are children or new to the language etc.

One of the main things that I will look into, of course, is to learn from the existing work on Wikipedia and summarize for example the experiences from Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia and the German project Wikipedia:WikiProjekt Gesprochene Wikipedia to create a blueprint for other language versions to follow (if the project proposal is accepted of course). The project is however in no way limited to these specific WikiProjects and what I plan to do is to use a broad holistic approach to find out as many suggestions for further improvements as possible and to outline what is most urgently needed for as many people as possible with the goal of maximizing the project’s impact. This could of course also include what is being done here on Simple English Wikipedia (even though I am aware that other Simple language versions currently is not likely to be created).

I believe that it is very important to make all of you aware of the project proposal and to give you all a chance to give me inputs also before the final proposal is handed in on the 15th of January. If you think that the project proposal makes sense already and you think that it should take place, be sure to endorse it! You can write comments at the bottom of the project proposal page. However, if you think that it still lacks something fundamental, I would be happy to get your inputs so that we can discuss it and I would ask you to give ideas for suggestions on my discussion page on svwp (It is perfectly fine to write your suggestions in English there). You can find the proposal here.

Sincerely, Jopparn (talk) 00:44, 10 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]


This is a notice that was posted by the WMF on's Admin Noticeboard. I think people on this wiki should probably take note as well.

Not strictly an administrator's item, but probably of great interest... In order to allow time for the WMF to technologically support any action taken regarding en:WP:SOPA, we need to be able to begin preparing in advance. For that reason, we are launching a discussion to try to determine what consensus may have developed for community response. Please weigh in on the consultation page, at en:Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Action. Thank you. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 17:46, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. -DJSasso (talk) 17:52, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I really hope this ends up not mattering, but this is good to be aware of. Kansan (talk) 17:54, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

It makes me very sad to see people who are active on Simple Wikipedia leaving comments there supporting a shut-down protest of English Wikipedia over proposed United States legislation. I am pleased that nobody is advocating shutting down Simple English Wikipedia. Both projects serve much more than the United States. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 19:09, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

So does SOPA but I understand your point of view. In fact I don't disagree with it. Normandy 19:15, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I disagree with your characterization of it as a "shut down protest". The site isn't being shut down; content will still be accessible; you just have to click around it. As it says on the proposal page, "Once they’ve clicked through, everything is normal: no content is removed or obscured". Kansan (talk) 22:38, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
It's actually because it affects people outside of the US that it is a big deal. And that is the point of the link to the discussion so you can have a voice to say if it should affect all of WMF or only users in the USA. I am not an American and I am concerned about it highly. -DJSasso (talk) 19:58, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Regarding the idea of "shutting down Simple English Wikipedia", maybe that's something that should be discussed by the regulars—i.e., to take on whatever action the community on that page decides and apply it here also...? Osiris (talk) 20:14, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah if anyone wanted to do it here would could ask Philippe what it would take to also include us, but it would take a good consensus to do so and there is only a few days before the day they plan to do it so it would have to be soon. -DJSasso (talk) 20:19, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I can send around a mailer to user talks. We could take a poll today and close it by tomorrow. I think it'd be worthwhile since a lot in our community obviously feel it's a big issue and might want to see this site involved. Osiris (talk) 20:38, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Manual of Style: Name with only initials

We need a consistent style for naming articles that start with initials. For example, is it A.B. Smith or A. B. Smith? I suppose the same spacing rule should apply to articles like U.S. National Geodetic Survey. So, do we put a space between the initials or put them together without a space? Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 02:16, 14 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I've been frustrated by this inconsistency at times, too. Just for our information, do we know if enwiki has anything to say about this? --Auntof6 (talk) 04:05, 14 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Principles of typography would suggest 'A.B. Smith' with no space between initials. The ground is that text reads better with tight fitting between words, and this idea is extended to sets of initials. Think of names (etc) with more initials: J. L. B. Smith versus J.L.B. Smith. (Better still JLB Smith, but that may be a bridge too far for some). This also applies to initials for institutions.
Much of modern typography favours removing old-fashioned punctuation when dealing with non-prose (non-sentences). Why put '(1954).' or '(ed.).' instead of '1954' or 'ed'? It interferes with legibility, and achieves nothing in terms of function. There's no reason why our typography should look like something from the Victorian age! Historically, punctuation marks were invented because sentences and clauses needed separating in manuscripts. But about half our content is not continuous prose, and most of it does not need punctuation at all. Absolutely USA or U.S.A. but not U. S. A. To me, the typography of wikipedia looks like something from the past: they didn't get professional advice on typography & design at the start, and how that shows now. Macdonald-ross (talk) 06:56, 14 January 2012 (UTC) [a former external examiner for MA courses in Information Design][reply]
En puts a space between them. But I don't have a link handy to the guideline that states that. -DJSasso (talk) 16:21, 14 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
En goes both ways and I could not find a definitive rule there. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 18:32, 14 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Macdonald-ross, I think it would be unfair to say that there is "no reason why our typography should look like something from the Victorian age". That's just your opinion, not fact. I agree with some of modern typography e.g. en dashes instead of em (in most places) and USA not U.S.A. but not "1954" or "ed". By the way, when you had to examine MA work, did you have to take off marks for dated typography? I'm just interested. Thanks, DJDunsie (talk) 20:13, 14 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Announcing Wikipedia 1.19 beta

Wikimedia Foundation is getting ready to push out 1.19 to all the WMF-hosted wikis. As we finish wrapping up our code review, you can test the new version right now on For more information, please read the release notes or the start of the final announcement.

The following are the areas that you will probably be most interested in:

  • Faster loading of javascript files makes dependency tracking more important.
  • New common*.css files usable by skins instead of having to copy piles of generic styles from MonoBook or Vector's css.
  • The default user signature now contains a talk link in addition to the user link.
  • Searching blocked usernames in block log is now clearer.
  • Better timezone recognition in user preferences.
  • Improved diff readability for colorblind people.
  • The interwiki links table can now be accessed also when the interwiki cache is used (used in the API and the Interwiki extension).
  • More gender support (for instance in logs and user lists).
  • Language converter improved, e.g. it now works depending on the page content language.
  • Time and number-formatting magic words also now depend on the page content language.
  • Bidirectional support further improved after 1.18.

Report any problems on the labs beta wiki and we'll work to address them before they software is released to the production wikis.

Note that this cluster does have SUL but it is not integrated with SUL in production, so you'll need to create another account. You should avoid using the same password as you use here. — Global message delivery 16:33, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Encouraging new users

Just looking at these stats shows that Simple English Wikipedia is not really on the up.


  • Wikipedians who edited at least 10 times since they arrived is steadily on the up. 3340 at Nov 2011. However...
  • Increase in wikipedians who edited at least 10 times since they arrived is at the same level as 2007, meaning the numbers of new editors is slowing down.
  • Wikipedians who contributed 5 times or more in this month is 147. Max in 2011 was 164, compared to 212 at our height in Feb 2009.
  • Wikipedians who contributed 100 times or more in this month is where we really see the hit. There was a sizeable drop in mid 2009 however it picked up again with a further slump. Its been stagnant since Q2 2010.


  • Articles that contain at least one internal link is slowing down. In 2009 we had an increase of 98 from Jan - Dec. In 2010 there was an increase of only 85 and in 2011 only 74.
  • New articles per day we were averaging in the 40's in 2008 but now in 2011 its in the 20's.


Basicially, the stats show we are stagnating. We need more editors. Its become something of a cliche that we need more editors, and its something we have never actually done much about. If they came and stayed we worked with them, but there's really no pull, no incentive to come here and help out. Do we need something radical to entice users from enWP? Or are we happy at the pace we're going? I started the process of putting an article into the Signpost at enWP but never really got round to it. Would further 'advertising' help?

Your thoughts and ideas people? Normandy 13:38, 5 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I think we are always likely to be in this situation. Most people who are going to edit here think its a waste of time when the likelihood of their article being read is lower than it is on en. I know I personally only came here out of a need to escape the drama of originally (ironically I found out it can be as bad or worse here). The only people who will come to edit here are those specifically interested in editing in a simple way (which I think is a low number of people) or people who came for the reason I did (but those are likely to leave when they see it is no different here) or people who have been blocked on en. And of course the very few non-english as a first language people who realistically aren't really the people who should be writing simple english since simple english is harder to write than normal english. There isn't anything we can do except keep chugging along and making sure we keep the drama to a minimum to capture those who come here for that reason. -DJSasso (talk) 13:59, 5 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
An example of discouragement is at Wikipedia:Requests for deletion/Requests/2012/International association of aviation personnel schools.

An article was created by With regret, it seems to me that the original author's reasonable responses to questions about the article have been ignored.

Instead, other factors are emphasized in the so-called "discussion" thread. The unstated goal seems to be to drive a way this new contributor -- not to try to work collaboratively. In this context, further research and citation-supported edits were not valued, not even acknowledged.

In a small way, this one example illustrates the kind of talking past each other argument which harms our project. In other words, some of the issues were framed in an unhelpful way.

If we are concerned about the falling numbers of contributors, this kind of needless discouragement is notable. It is one of the ways we can improve how we work together.

As a subject, I'm only slightly interested in aviation safety in Europe, but I did invest time in it because I disliked what I found in this thread. I do not know what to do about this. The only constructive option is perhaps to write about it here. --Horeki (talk) 18:59, 5 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The newly-created article was very bad and I nominated it for QD. I have tried to explain to the IP what was wrong and responded to the IP's questions, including how to move the article. One can be constructive and suggest alternative article topics like "pilot training" or "pilot regulation". Encouraging work on an article subject with doubtful notability only leads to frustration and disappointment. Racepacket (talk) 05:16, 6 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I think it has more to do with you starting out accusing the writer of CoI, repeating that accusation, calling the whole thing a waste of engery and pointing out that it has Such a flawed start. That's about akin to pointing out to you that most of the articles you create are far too complex to even be considered as little more than a glossed over enwiki copy paste job and are in dire need of heavy editing just to get them close the scope of this project. We will always have issues with retention when we deal with people like that. (talk) 05:45, 6 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I appreciated the feedback and it helped me write better articles. Indeed, I stopped after my first article and asked for feedback. But here, the IP never addressed whether he had a connection with the organization. Right now the Simple English deletion discussion is #5 on the Google retrieval under the name of the organization. I still cannot find independent coverage (other than the one reprint of their press release.) My solution to editor retention is to find avenues for collaboration, like our Big Weekend projects. Racepacket (talk) 05:59, 6 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The IP editor has addressed by COI concerns. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 23:55, 6 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Back on topic. Any other comments here? Normandy 11:40, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I think inter-wiki dialogue is probably our only hope. I bet there are a fair number of editors on other wikis who aren't really aware of simple. Or aware that they might like contributing here just as much as on their home wiki. Some WikiProjects on enwiki use advertising banners to encourage editors who might be interested; of course, that'd only be possible in userspace. Another idea might be to invite prolific content editors on enwiki to contribute a simplified version of their featured article for our wiki. That'd take care of awareness and we could provide some sort of incentive. Osiris (talk) 12:07, 13 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Brand new Wikipedian says: I first ran across Simple English Wikipedia a year or two ago as a user. Thought it was cool and admired the skill in writing such articles. Recently I started making edits on EN and found the place overwhelmingly huge and fast-paced. It's easy to feel small there - as if all the useful jobs that don't require a major learning curve have already been done. I was looking for somewhere to stretch out my English language skills and be useful in some non-trivial way, remembered Simple, and here I am and hope to create some articles soon. But if I hadn't known about this translation already, I would still be none the wiser, so I'm sure Osiris is right about awareness. My suggestion is to slip mentions of Simple into some of the EN help files and frequently linked essays, if possible, especially those aimed at users who are trying to help but not finding a foothold on EN. Otherwise, ad banners / userboxes seem like a good plan, as well as directly inviting users with a high standard of English maybe? I would emphasise to them that this is a younger wikipedia that needs more of the fundamental type of contributions than the cosmetic type. My Humble Noob Opinion. ~ Kimelea (talk) 10:01, 14 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Brilliant! This is exactly what I was hoping for. I've been on WP for nearly 4 years and I still feel small at en. Perhaps it's me being used to simple but I can't get my head round en at all. Also you are a newb, not a noob. There's a difference, a noob is an idiot who we find tiresome. A newb is a newbie who we love to help settle in. You're a newb. :) Normandy 10:47, 14 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Well now there's a welcome to make me smile. :) Thank you! Proud to be a newb not a noob. :D One other thing crossed my mind - when I was trying to find Simple, before I remembered / realised that it was a translated wikipedia in its own right, I thought maybe it was a WikiProject and looked there. Maybe other new-ish editors on EN also go to WikiProjects when they're trying to find a way to be useful, and maybe that would be another place to get their attention. Somehow... ~ Kimelea (talk) 22:39, 14 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

How about writing an article "Simple English Wikipedia Opportunities for English Articles" for the Signpost? Racepacket (talk) 14:44, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Potential black-out of Simple English Wikipedia in the US

Due to bug 25591, if a blackout is enacted for the English Wikipedia, Simple English Wikipedia will also be affected by default. Since I have no idea if Simple English Wikipedia actually wants to be blacked out or not, I'm probably going to ask for the black-out banner to have special code added to explicitly not work on the Simple English Wikipedia (so you'll still get the banner, but it won't actually black-out the site). If you guys want to be blacked out, please speak now, or forever hold your piece. For the future, I would strongly suggest that you guys push to get bug 25591 fixed so this won't be an issue. Cheers. Kaldari (talk) 01:36, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Aye, to followup on what Kaldari said you guys should be able to have your own choice in this so we'll find a way to block it if Simple doesn't want to black out. I can also put some javascript in common.js that will block the banners for the day if you don't want anything. The English community is voting at en:WP:SOPA and seems to be leaning towards a global blackout though I don't think it's fully decided yet. I know there was a bit of discussion above a couple days ago but that died off. Jalexander (talk) 01:50, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Oooh, thanks for the heads up. We talked about doing it above, so (and I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here) but I think this means we need to get a poll going. I know that a lot of the contributors here feel strongly about it and voted in the discussion you linked to above. So I guess (if you are able to get the bug fixed) the options are to either throw our lot in with whatever enwiki decides or have a normal day as per usual? Osiris (talk) 04:38, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
From what I read of the bug description, the people who program any "protest" will be able to know the difference between en and simple Wikipedia, but have to test two variables rather than one. Again, I think the "protest" is a very bad idea. It is inconsistent with our NPOV mission. Any banner and/or jump-page discussion of the issue will be too complex for most of our readers. So, I would hope that everyone would keep Simple Wikipedia out of the entire controversy. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 04:57, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
We just QD'd a host of Pakistani language articles under g12 which we could never find the actual source for. Those copyvios sat here for about 2 years without being dealt with. Under the new rules, we could easily have been blocked from every US ISP for not being able to locate them. All it really takes if for one edit to not get noticed long enough for someone to point it out to a judge and we are in violation and a target to cease to exist as far as DNS servers and ISPs are concerned. Meanwhile PirateBay and others just toss up the site on a different space and keep on sharing copyvios with minimal impact. If the WMF chooses to say this is the wrong thing to do, I can't help for fully support that decision for all of the languages it encompasses. I can only hope all the big boys follow through and show them what the likely outcome of their actions will bring. Wikipedia, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, Google.. all sites that deal with actual people providing content are at risk here. All because of pirates and scammers who are the ones this will never deal with in more than the short term. While a nice idea, this whole thing is lead by the clueless putting hype and sound bites before the fact that the internet is not a series of tubes or what special interests are whispering in their ears .. --Creol(talk) 06:24, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]


Kaldari and Jalexander have outlined three possible options for us, and it looks like we need to make up our minds fast.

Update: The English Wikipedia has decided on a global blackout, so mirroring EN would be equivalent to supporting a global blackout on this wiki. Chenzw  Talk  01:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Mirror whatever is decided on the English Wikipedia

See WP:SOPA/Action. Most probably a black out of some kind (see Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Blackout screen designs for what this might look like). Those supporting:

Osiris (talk) 05:02, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  1. A unified front against an idea more based in hype than the problems it opens society up to. Nice idea, bad approach. The only people it won't stop are the people it is meant to stop. --Creol(talk) 06:09, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. I don't completely agree with it, but happy to go with en. Normandy 07:09, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Chenzw  Talk  07:25, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Orashmatash is travelling (talk) 08:29, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Yup said en should do it and I think simple should do it. For the very reason Creol mentions in the discussion above. -DJSasso (talk) 13:01, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Evil triumphs when good men [read: Men and Women] do nothing. Jon@talk:~$ 17:15, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Gotanda (talk) 21:26, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Endorse this action. Let's stand in solidarity.-- Tdxiang 01:31, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Solidarity with whom? Opinion is somewhat divided on En Wikipedia, and the larger Internet community has splintered with Google and social media on one side and content generators on the other. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 03:22, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    88% voted for a global blockout. That is hardly divided. -DJSasso (talk) 18:28, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    We all know each other on this small project, but English Wikipedia is much bigger. On English Wikipedia, they have to use more elaborate procedures to ensure a fair vote. For example, in the election of WMF Board members and Arbitration Committee members they use an electronic ballot and have banners running to alert all users that a binding vote is being taken. There are measures to prevent a single person from voting more than once. It is hard to understand why similar election procedures were not used on this important matter. As to the results, 88% of those voting is a small portion of the total number of editors on English Wikipedia. The entire process does not reflect well on English Wikipedia. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 23:32, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Agreed, Racketpacket. I was referring standing in solidarity to stand against SOPA and PIPA, regardless of what form of action we take.-- Tdxiang 02:24, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. User:WikiLeon - 08:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Banners only, no blackout

Take a look at Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Proposed Messages to see what information will be displayed. Those supporting:

  1. Since there are strong arguments presented on either side, I've decided to go with the banners. At least with these there is no real disruption and we are still doing something to protest SOPA and PIPA. These are two bills which could end our very existence and doing nothing is not the right thing to do regardless of the number of visitors we get to this site. Orashmatash is travelling (talk) 08:26, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Community seems divided, going with compromise option if there's still time. Osiris (talk) 09:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Support for a banner. --Peterdownunder (talk) 11:08, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Would support this option too, especially as there is no consensus this would be an appropriate middle ground IMO Normandy 11:14, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Looking at this, I could also be happy with a banner (won't see it myself anyway), but would still prefer to do nothing. -Barras (talk) 20:24, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. I'm not an active contributor here on Simple, and I don't know if everyone may participate in this survey. But if there'll come many persons from the English Wikipedia and contribute here instead tomorrow, it would be best to have any kind of banner for informing people about the blackout (like there is now). Otherwise, some people who aren't here every day might wonder why there could be quite more traffic here tomorrow. On the other hand, it would show some kind of solidarity, and the Simple Wikipedia would also be affected by the US laws. --Geitost (talk) 23:19, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    PS: I don't find normal banners on en:Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Proposed Messages (except full blackout banners) but I think that the kind of banner which you can see now on dewiki would be appropriate, the link should go elsewhere to an English explanation. --Geitost (talk) 01:36, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Being there is clearly no consensus at the moment on either of the extreme positions this middle ground is probably the way to go. -DJSasso (talk) 00:59, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Against blackout, would support banner. We don't need to cut everyone off from WP, this is their choice, we should not have to follow what they do. We're a separate site, we should be able to decide what we want instead of following the big kids round like sheep. BarkingFish (talk) 00:51, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  9. We need some kind of consensus... sonia 01:06, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Continue normal display: no blackout, no banners

Those supporting:

  1. .. Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:10, 16 January 2012 (UTC). While I don't object to enWP doing whatever it wants to, our number of readers is far too small to make any difference to the campaign. By the same token, if we stay open as usual we will attract some (possibly many) new readers. That is a big opportunity for us.[reply]
  2. Only (talk) 13:27, 16 January 2012 (UTC) Let's be honest...the majority of people who come onto this site are us. Most of us know and understand the implications of this bill and don't need to have a blackout to tell us about it. I think it's a big disruption for a minimal return. Only (talk) 13:27, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Racepacket (talk) 13:36, 16 January 2012 (UTC) Even people who understand the bill and the need to address theft of intellectual property disagree on the best approach to solving the problem. All this proposed action will do is highlight the fragile nature of Wikipedia's decision-making process. It will give Congress a reason to fund a Wikipedia fork with better governance. Racepacket (talk) 13:36, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Horeki (talk) 15:22, 16 January 2012 (UTC) It is timely to add emphasis by repeating Racepacket's focus on the "fragile nature of Wikipedia's decision-making"[reply]
  5. Yottie =talk= 15:49, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Goblin 15:52, 16 January 2012 (UTC) I ♥ Yottie![reply]
  7. As a principle: We are not a mirror of enwiki. -Barras (talk) 17:06, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. As I was opposed to the Italian wiki getting involved in Politics, I am so here. We are to be neutral. Taking a stance in any political matter is against what Wikipedia stands for. Some will say this bill will do harm for Wikipedia. Fine. it might. But it's not our spot to protest. It's our job to write about it, not partake in it.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 17:52, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    When such legislation has a clear, present, and immediate impact to degrade the project and the fundamental ideals the project represents; for the project to remain neutral would be a mistake to it's own detriment. Jon@talk:~$ 18:18, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    I respect Jon, but the "threat" that SOPA poses to Wikipedia does not rise to that level. As the fifth most visited website in the world, the WMF has a responsibility (and it has the resources) to address copyright problems as they arise. This is a subject where informed people can disagree. So, it is wrong to rope everyone into a political protest qua Wikipedia. Everyone is free to march off and protest with whatever camp best reflects one's views. As Wikipedia, we should cover the issue without a POV. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 19:15, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    The threat rises to that level and beyond. A rights holder only has to complain and the site is blocked from access without due process to everyone in the US. This isn't the minor DMC takedown notices like can currently happen where you are given a chance to comply. All it takes is one rights holder to complain and we are effectively barred from all US visitors. This isn't some minor law that is being passed. It has the very potential to end sites like Wikipedia. Being that it is a very direct threat to our very existence, sitting and doing nothing is not the way go in my opinion. Especially since if the US passes it, other countries are likely to follow. -DJSasso (talk) 19:35, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    I understand that completely. However, it's just not our place to get involved in any politics. I have no issue if Users want to post a protest userbox on their pages or something like that, but I don't think it is the place of Wikipedia as a supposedly neutral encyclopedia to take any stance.--Gordonrox2448 (talk) 20:26, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    But that is just it. The encyclopedia isn't neutral. The content is. The mission statement of the encyclopedia itself is to pursue free information gathering and exchange and making it available to everyone. By editing here you are already agreeing to support that cause. We as editors (especially admins) are supposed to protect that goal. -DJSasso (talk) 20:57, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  9. The blackout will have an effect on the English Wikipedia because of its high traffic nature. This wiki is more specialized in nature and any contribution would be minimal and not worth the disruption. Kansan (talk) 07:43, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  10. If enWP is off for 24 hours then those editors can come and participate at Simple for the time being or maybe even more. This is our opportunity to gain traffic and participation. Best, Jonayo! Selena 4 ever 17:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  11. The blackout is bad on the English Wikipedia, and I opposed it there, but blacking out this project is even worse, more shooting outself on the foot, and no one outside the WMF will care at all. Banner if we have to, but no more blackouts, please. Courcelles (talk) 04:43, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Blackout Discussion

So that's how it's going to be from now on, I guess: "Do what we say and no one gets hurt." When's the next blackout and how long are you going to keep it up? Maybe attach demands to be met next time. Congrats; you've just become The Man.

Had to comment after reading Gordon's comment. It is actually a misunderstanding of wikipedias mission to think we are neutral. Wikipedia stands for "Free knowledge for everyone" and "encyclopedia that everyone can edit". This bill potentially seeks to stop both. Wikipedia nowhere in its mission statement says that the Wikipedia itself is to remain neutral, just that its writing should remain so. In fact it goes to lengths explaining the many agendas it will be involved in and advocate for. This bill directly takes aim at all that Wikipedia stands for. I am also a bit saddened that people are opposing it simply because they want to make the statement that we are not en instead of thinking about what is best for Wikipedia in general. -DJSasso (talk) 18:18, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Have to agree, I dislike any opposition for the sole reason that we are not en. In any case, I have no issue with the foundation itself taking a stance on an issue. That is fine. The foundation can take any official stance they want. What I dislike, is the editor base taking a stance on an issue. The foundation is no way a neutral party. We are supposed to be.In my opinion, as editors, while on Wikipedia, we should remain neutral. I don't care if on your personal blog and even on your userpage you show your dismay, but the editors as a whole, while on Wikipedia, should remain neutral. If that makes any sense... It does to me.--Gordonrox2448 (talk) 20:25, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Apparently, SOPA is being pulled back and does not stand any real chance of being signed into law this year. English Wikipedia is in a confused state as to who has the right to decide to proceed or to cancel the "protest". Racepacket (talk) 21:55, 16 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
SOPA may no longer being considered, but PIPA (SOPA's Senate counterpart) still stands a chance in the Senate. Chenzw  Talk  01:14, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Any political strategist will advise clients to assess the situation before committing to action. PIPA is still too inchoate to know if it will create the problems attributed to SOPA. Does anyone have a reason to protest PIPA this week? Racepacket (talk) 03:30, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

At some point, some admin or bureaucrat will have to "close" this poll and announce a decision. We are 25 hours away. If we are equally divided, we should not go forward with this, in my opinion. Thanks, (talk) 05:35, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

On this point, while there is no hierarchy besides simple flags (all admin are equal, all b'crats are equal), I fell it best that our senior flagged editor make the call for us on this one. That would be Eptalon. I fully support his decision on this matter either way. Whether I agree or disagree with actual call (depending on the side it takes), I don't disagree that it is a fair and right decision for the wiki and that is what matters. --Creol(talk) 06:55, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

One side point to put in, and really this has little to do with the black out and more to do with the possible of more attention to us if we are the last wiki standing - this may not be a good thing. Yes, we will get more visibility as the only semi-English wiki but it that really a good thing? Most English speakers will claim to be native in SE. Look at the people who use the template to claim it. NO one is a native speaker. We are a constructed language with no native speakers but so many think since they are native in English that SE is close enough for them. We would likely get a host of new editors for the day that are blocked out of the English wiki making changes here in a language they are grossly incapable of writing in. If we got a flood of editors, half our normal users time would be spent reverting complex adds, translating them or just tagging entire articles as complex so we have to deal with them later. Most of these new editors for a day will not take into account that we are not the English Wikipedia. We have enough issues with non-SE information as it is, adding them for a day is not likely to be helpfull and could take weeks/months to clean up. (and then there are their vandals... ) --Creol(talk) 06:34, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I think Creol makes an excellent point here. This may bring far more attention than we are ready to handle and attention that we do not want. Even positive attention my be poisoned by a feeling of gaining something by remaining open while En is closed--somehow benefiting from the temporary closure of En. In any case, the clean up afterwards is likely to be huge. Gotanda (talk) 07:06, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
And I think it's nonsense. We would get hundreds of new readers, if not thousands, and that is entirely positive and within our goals as a wiki. Secondly, neither side has persuaded the other, and we are almost directly split down the middle. This is a clear case of 'no consensus. Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:26, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I don't feel myself active enough to vote (it would be a support mirroring, for what it's worth), but given the global complete blackout it is quite possible that many of the non-native English speaking advertisers who spam -en will simply move here if we aren't blacked out. Macdonald-ross does have a point though about readership. I don't think our community feels strongly enough about this that we should be taking such strong action. Perhaps the banner, although supported by none, is the ideal compromise? sonia 07:41, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I feel the same, but is there time? Osiris (talk) 07:43, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

There's obviously no consensus here, but would anyone consider the compromise option? Nobody has supported the middle ground here, but if we're equally divided on the matter surely it's something we'd consider as a compromise? Osiris (talk) 07:39, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Given that our featured VGA of the week doesn't even show in the the first 13 pages on google looking for "Red Hot Chili Peppers Wikipedia" (the Simpson wiki kicks our butts there.. ), I don't see how hundreds or thousands of new veiwers are going to appear.. Pretty much only en:wp users that know we are here are likely to poke their heads in as they are bored and looking for something to occupy their time and wikifying and simplifying articles are likely going to be the farthest thing from their minds. Most of our regular editors ignore the problems with simplifying and wikifying articles to the point that those categories are overflowing with little effort to fix them. Adding more editors with less interest in doing so isnt likely to help matters. It is not "within our goals as a wiki" to mirror en and that is what borrowing a host of their editors for the day is only going to result in. (Creol) (talk) 08:07, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, with so little time, I doubt we're going to get the consensus we need anyway, so I agree that we'd better let WM know that we don't want to be blacked out, and quickly. Osiris (talk) 07:42, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I was thinking about another possible issue with people from en coming here during the blackout. Could it be possible that the amount of vandalism could rise drastically once people get word of us being open?

Hi all, I know I retired, but this is important so I thought I'd comment, but I'm not gonna !vote, because I am retired. This bill would hurt, and maybe even kill, the wiki greatly if it were to be signed in to law. I think you would do Wikipedia and freedom in general a great service if you support en's decision to black out for 24 hours tomorrow. I say this as both an American and a Wikipedian. Please blackout tomorrow with en. Being neutral in this case in akin to waving a flag saying "Go SOPA!". Don't do that, take a stand. Thanks. Have a Good day. CRRaysHead90 | We Believe! 11:13, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

It is my opinion here that as there are 8 in favour of a blackout and 9 in opposition to a blackout, this would seem to be no consensus, however we need to make a definitive decision. I don't feel we can have a blackout as there are 9 in opposition, but equally cannot not have a blackout as there is 8 in support. I feel the only just and fair way is to have neither, which is a banner, while allowing the status-quo, being able to access and edit Especially if we include those who feel that a banner without a blackout is the best option means that 12 (including my double vote *cough*) are in support of some action, while only 9 are in opposition. This is not really enough for consensus, but it I feel it is the best way to move forward here considering our time constraints. Normandy 12:15, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I guess it's those 9 that need convincing, but many of them might have logged off. Osiris (talk) 12:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The situation in Congress is changing hour by hour, so any decision here or at English Wikipedia will not be responsive to current conditions. The Administration is opposed to many provisions that prompted the original concerns about SOPA. People are discussing ways to make enforcement of copyrights more practical. One proposal currently being discussed is that the copyright owner files a lawsuit and give the rogue website notice of the lawsuit and then after a judge orders a shut-down of the rogue website, a number of measures can be taken against the website. That may bother websites that help pirate motion pictures, but it should not bother Wikipedia. Since I am not an insider, I am probably only 95% knowledgible about the current dispute. From what I have read at English Wikipedia, people there probably know about 5% of what they should to make an informed decision. Sue and the WMF Board are deferring to the "English Wikipedia Community" instead of keeping up with the SOPA deliberations. So we have what appears to be mob rule there based on stale information. A real mess. Racepacket (talk) 15:49, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
But SOPA isn't the only problem. PIPA is also a problem and it hasn't specifically been opposed to by the Administration. Plus its been pretty clear that if a major shift were to happen that the course would be changed. As of right now SOPA is only shelved not killed and PIPA is very much alive. -DJSasso (talk) 16:08, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I understand what people are saying when they talk about a big opportunity for Simple to get more readers and editors, but this also means that the vandals from EN will show up here as well most likely. EN has the manpower needed to cope with the amount of vandalism they get; we do not. Orashmatash (talk) 17:58, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Yup the negatives far outweigh the positives. From the people using complex english and not the vandals that will also come here. To the people who are upset that en is closed down and want to vent here. I think this wiki will be laid to waste if we don't follow suit. I for one will be voluntarily not editing here tomorrow so I hope the admins who want to keep us up and running are around to fight the flood of vandals and misguided editors using complex english that are sure to come. -DJSasso (talk) 18:30, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
In my opinion, the most important outcome of this blackout discussion thread is that it highlights the "fragile nature of Wikipedia's decision-making". Racepacket has introduced several compelling points, but they have not been addressed directly. I adopt the words as if they were my own:
1 Racepacket's diff: "... the "protest" is a very bad idea. It is inconsistent with our NPOV mission. Any banner and/or jump-page discussion of the issue will be too complex for most of our readers...."
  • QUESTION: What is it that makes this "protest" a good idea?
  • QUESTION: What makes this blackout "consistent" with any Wikipedia mission?
  • QUESTION: What is proposed about making the banner and/or jump page less complex?
2 Racepacket's diff: "... disagree on the best approach to solving the problem. All this proposed action will do is highlight the fragile nature of Wikipedia's decision-making process."
  • QUESTION: What agreement does the blackout demonstrate?
  • QUESTION: What about Wikipedia's decision-making process is highlighted?
3 Racepacket's diff: "the 'threat' that SOPA poses to Wikipedia does not rise to that[an urgent] level ... As Wikipedia, we should cover the issue without a POV."
  • QUESTION: What is the so-called 'threat'?
  • QUESTION: What makes this urgent?
  • QUESTION: Where is this blackout covered without a POV?
4 Racepacket's diff: "...SOPA is being pulled back and does not stand any real chance of being signed into law this year ...."
  • QUESTION: Does SOPA have a real change of being signed into law?
5 Racepacket's diff: "Any political strategist will advise clients to assess the situation before committing to action. PIPA is still too inchoate to know if it will create the problems attributed to SOPA. Does anyone have a reason to protest PIPA this week?"
  • QUESTION: Other than this thread, where are the issues assessed in strategic terms?
6 Racepacket's diff: "Solidarity with whom? Opinion is somewhat divided on En Wikipedia, and the larger Internet community has splintered with Google and social media on one side and content generators on the other ...."
  • QUESTION: "Solidarity with whom? ... redundant repetition for emphasis
7 Racepacket's diff: "... deferring to the "English Wikipedia Community" instead of keeping up with the SOPA deliberations. So we have what appears to be mob rule there based on stale information. A real mess."
  • QUESTION: What are the factors which are necessary for informed decision-making?
My concern about what Racepacket writes is not trivial. My focus is sharpened by further reading -- see Jenna Wortham, "Wikipedia to Go Dark on Wednesday to Protest Bills on Web Piracy," New York Times. January 16, 2012.
It appears that the array of facts and issues are evolving independently -- see Noam Cohen, "Wikipedia Protests SOPA," New York Times. January 17, 2012, citing Andrew Lih, "Wikipedia Blackout to protest SOPA (Jan 18, 2012)"
This has not been simplified -- not yet. Racepacket raises good questions. We do not have good responses -- not yet. --Horeki (talk) 20:29, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Frankly you posted all that too late...with only a few hours left until the blackout happens we clearly have no consensus so nothing will happen because we ran out of time. Most of the answers to your questions are all very well summed up at the link I quoted in the previous section. -DJSasso (talk) 20:58, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
@ Djsasso: No -- you miss the point ... again.

The fact is that Racepacket's diffs were timely. These diffs are relevant:

Our consensus-building process is flawed by the kind of talking past each other which harms our project. Is it not helpful to suggest that some of the issues were framed in an unhelpful way? Is it not reasonable to hope that we can do better?

As a subject, I'm only slightly interested in the American Congress and American politics, but I did invest time thinking about what Racepacket wrote because I disliked what I found in this thread. I do not know what to do about it. The only constructive option is perhaps to put a spotlight on words written by someone else. --Horeki (talk) 21:32, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

My point was that you posted in a discussion about a specific topic, the answers to the questions you raised were all given already. If you want to talk in general about discussions on this wiki that is great and should be done so in another section. But the way in which you worded what you wrote and the area in which you wrote it implied you wanted specific answers to specific quotes/questions. -DJSasso (talk) 21:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
@ Djsasso: Yes, your arrow hits the target, but not the center.

In sum -- paraphrasing your own words:

"the answers to the questions you [Racepacket] raised were all [NOT] given already".
Please try to understand. I don't want to prolong this, but I hope my words are perceived as constructive when I try to be clear.

In my opinion, Racepacket's words were clear.

The underlying issues will still be with us after next week.

In the future, Racepacket's analysis will continue to be clear and relevant. Without more, at least some of the implied questions will still be unanswered as new information becomes available to us.--Horeki (talk) 22:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Well that is where we disagree, all of those points are addressed at en:Wikipedia:SOPA which was linked to in the original discussion. There wasn't any need to answer his questions again that were clearly just trying to stir up the water. As well they are more eloquently explained there than most of us probably would do in paraphrasing that page. -DJSasso (talk) 00:30, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Could an administrator please close this discussion? We only have seven hours left and the vote is currently 8 to 10. I am troubled that the presence of the black "countdown" banner on the top of Simple English Wikipedia pages indicates that unless WMF hears from us, we might be included in the English Wikipedia blackout. I agree with Horeki that the concerns expressed by the opponents of a blackout have not been addressed by the other side, but there is still enough here to justify reporting to WMF that we are not agreeing to a blackout of Simple English Wikipedia. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 23:31, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • note: As I'm both staff and no longer a crat here because of inactivity I won't close the discussion but currently it appears to be leaning towards not having a blackout on simpleWiki. Because of that and to ensure that nothing leaks over here I'm going to be placing code before 0500 UTC (midnight EST) in common.js that will block all central notice code. Obviously after the blackout I will remove the code since it blocks quite a lot of things. I would give warning as a couple people said above that it's very likely that you will see a higher amount of vandalism here then usual because of the blackout and I'll be trying to keep an eye out on Jamesofur to help with that (though can't promise much because of how busy the office will be). I'll also check to see if any further decision was made by the community before that. Jalexander (talk) 23:32, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Silly side note here: As this is in sense a policy discussion, if no consensus is reached, we have no policy on the matter. By our own rules, if we don't have a policy on something, we default to the English Wikipedia policy on it. When in doubt, mirror English.. thats a core policy aand this case is nothing but doubt. This leads the default decision to be "mirror" (our policy) not ignore (change the policy) if no consensus exists. --Creol(talk) 23:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I completely forgot that we have a guideline that if we don't have a policy we mirror en.... So yeah you are right. Since this is no consensus it falls to status quo with status quo being mirror en. I can't believe I forgot that. -DJSasso (talk) 00:26, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I see the !vote as 10 to 8 for not taking any action. We are not talking about a well-vetted "policy" from English Wikipedia, we are talking about a last-minute poll of 100,000 Wikipedia editors where 479 voted for blackout only, global banner; 591 global blackout and banner; 23 blackout and banner in US only; 21 no blackout, global banner; 19 no blackout US banner only; and 76 no blackout, no banner. 763 full blackout. 104 opposed. The discussion was not held on meta where all editors from all WMF projects could participate, and there was no system for preventing multiple votes or accrediting the voters as is the case with Arbcom or WMF Board elections. Racepacket (talk) 03:20, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The best participated RfC in the history of the wiki. Secondly anyone was allowed to participate in it brand new accounts or not so that any WMF project editor could comment. And people did go through it checking for multiple votes. This is precisely the kind of situation our guideline was created for. And while the actual poll was last minute the discussion on the situation had been ongoing for weeks. -DJSasso (talk) 03:47, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I respectuflly disagree. The discussion was expressly limited to English Wikipedia vs. global. There was never any discussion of extending it to Simple English Wikipedia. It is not the type of activity to which "we follow what En does" was intended to apply. I think the way that English Wikipedia handled this cost them a lot of credibilty over this entire affair. If this "protest" is rammed down the throat of the Simple English Wikipedia Community, it will bring great discredit to the WMF and the "protest" as well. Racepacket (talk) 04:01, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with Racepacket. Using that to override a clear lack of consensus is a dangerous precedent that could be used as a blunt force club in the future, especially as this is clearly a one time thing for Wikipedia and not an ongoing policy and thus doubtfully even applicable in this case. Kansan (talk) 04:17, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
As such, We the users of Wikipedia (in the Simple English language) have no formal opinion on what the WMF should do in this matter. We can neither advise them to close us or keep us open. In effect, we can do nothing but accept the choice they make as owners of the site. We make no choice to keep open or close and pushed it to an outside source ( Jalexander in this case) to chose for us how to handle it. As the situation with the software stands, Jalexander chose to take action to negate the actions taken. The result of no consensus thereby led to action being taken without consus shown in place of no action taken where consent was not present to take action. (right or wrong, ballsy move to take.. kind of impressed) (talk) 06:06, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

We need to make a decision

If you are supporting or opposing a blackout, but would be okay with a banner, this needs to be said, and quickly. Who's for compromise? I understand it won't alleviate the "but all the enwiki people will come troll us" concern of some supporters, nor the "this is political" concern of opposers, but it's a middle ground nevertheless. People seem to be arguing over whether "no consensus defaults to 'follow en' or 'do nothing', and it's likely that consensus isn't going to swing toward either. sonia 01:06, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

On de: and it: and other wikis, there are already banners online and on Commons it's been also decided so now. Perhaps the side en:Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Actions by other communities helps with the decision.
FYI: This Simple Wiki has been added on en: as to have a banner already. Which is just the case because en: has also one. ;-) I don't think that anyone there would expect from simple to easily follow en: with the blackout just because here's no consensus. And as I read this guideline here (which is no policy and shall not be one) for the first time, I'm reading sentences like
  • „Because of this, no English Wikipedia policy is a policy on Simple English Wikipedia — they are never more than guidelines.“
  • „In these cases, you should look at the English Wikipedia's list of rules to see what their rule is, and use that as a guideline or suggestion on dealing with the problem.
So, there's no „must“ in following but I read it as an option, a suggestion. But if I take a look at the survey above, then I'm seeing there that it has begun on January, 16th (a little bit close to the 18th). There were votes for the 2 options for and again blackout and no consensus. Then on January, 17th (yesterday), there came many votes for the middle position, the banner instead of the two other options. If that's no consensus, then there won't be a consensus at all. But without consensus, one shouldn't put the 3rd option in forward, just because a guideline tells to do so. There are not so many people for the whole blackout, so it shouldn't be done. So I only see one way out: Find an appropriate banner and put it online. It wouldn't be like following the English WP in everything, but it would instead be following quite a lot of other wikipedias. I think that's what the guideline could also mean. :-) --Geitost (talk) 02:13, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think this is a "compromise" situation. The situation has changed since En Wikipedia made its first decision on the "protest." As a matter of principle, I don't think that Wikipedia should get involved in such political/policy discussions. I hear people saying, "In general, Wikipedia should stay out of such debates, but when the issue threatens Wikipedia's existence we must speak out." If someone was outlawing Wikipedia, then we shouldn't "compromise" with a banner rather than a shutdown. The problem is that none of the current versions of the bills actually threaten the future of Wikipedia. Racepacket (talk) 03:15, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
And that is your opinion which you are welcome to have. However, a great many analysts and even just general people who edit the wikis think that the current versions of the bills do still threaten the future of Wikipedia. -DJSasso (talk) 03:49, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The House bill is being rewritten. The White House has ruled out the types of provisions that provoked most of the objections. This is a very fluid situation. From what I have seen, the Senate bill requires 1) a lawsuit 2) notice to the website and 3) a determination on the merits by a Federal Judge before taking actions against an infringing website. In my opinion, such safeguards are very similar to the laws that apply to Wikipedia today. None of the analysis has suggested how Wikipedia would be threatend by such a bill. I have an open mind, so please correct me if there is a source to the contrary. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 04:22, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The threats aren't only the direct shut down the wiki threats. Simply tying up the foundation in court is enough to possibly take out the wiki by wasting its resources with suit after suit. But even simpler than that, it can cause people to censor the articles they write for fear they could provoke the wraith of a rights holder causing the wiki to lose out on information (don't mean copy vios). I would note also that the White House has said they dislike a lot of the provisions but have not come out saying they would veto. They took great pains in the comments I saw to avoid saying they would go that far. So until the legislation is literally veto'd or killed by vote it remains a threat as until it actually is rewritten we have to go on its current form. Saw some reports late today indicating that it wouldn't be rewritten and was still likely to go as is but that could just be noise. -DJSasso (talk) 04:36, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Without SOPA, a copyright holder could sue Wikipedia today and tie it up in court on an infringement lawsuit. What protects Wikipedia today and will protect it if the Senate bill passes are Federal judges. For example, my local Federal District Court judge was a librarian before she went to law school. (We were classmates.) I am proud of the way that she has decided a number of tough copyright cases and library censorship cases. The internet was able to grow under the 1976 Copyright Act, the DCMA and will continue to grow even if Congress gives copyright holders more tools to use against websites that a judge determined to be infringing. Although things will not change for websites that do not engage in intentional copyright infringement, various proposals will enhance the ability to shut down foreign pirate websites after a fair trial. People who use websites to share pirated music or movies are very upset by these proposals. But artists and writers are very upset that the current law can't effectively shut down the pirate websites. We should make sure that Wikipedia is not caught in the middle of that fight. But so far Wikipedia is doing OK in the legislative process. I am surprized that anyone viewed the "protest" was needed given the changes in the past week. But I do not steer Wikipedia's lobbying strategy. Neither should any other editor. The elected WMF Board and staff should do that without resorting to "blackouts" or "boycotts". If they screw up, we can replace them. Racepacket (talk) 06:03, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Echoing Sonia's plea: I see at least 5 editors whose reasoning wouldn't rule out simple banners at the top of the pages as a compromise. We need a decision, because the technical default here is that we black out (because of the bug). So if we have no consensus for any kind of protest action, we need to inform WMF... Osiris (talk) 03:43, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Many thanks. That was cutting it very close! I will continue to read the new legislative proposals as well as the media response tomorrow. I appreciate the civility and high level of discussion that we had here. Racepacket (talk) 05:42, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Now there's no banner on here, but on the page en:Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Actions by other communities‎ it says so. Can now anyone place a banner or change the text there? It looks quite strange that way. There were more people for doing something, but now nothing is done here. :-( --Geitost (talk) 13:48, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I asked at the Stewards' IRC area, and User:PeterSymonds removed it. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 18:03, 18 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]