Wikipedia talk:Requirements for very good articles/Archive 1

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I disagree with point 5. If I come along afterwards and add a sentence containing a red link, will the article be demoted automatically? One or two red links should be fine. Add-on to point 4: categorisation. ...Aurora... 03:29, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

If you can add a sentence with a redlink, then it is probably little trouble to make a stub-like definition for the subject covered in the redlink; or to point it to Wiktionary... --Eptalon 08:45, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I can do that, can the newbies do that? Will they even know they should do that? ...Aurora... 11:14, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
At the point where you know how to add a sentence, you have found out how to edit articles; Making neophytes aware that a very good article is the result of a lengthy process is another thing. Which brings up the fundamental need to say that revision .... of this article was a very good one. If this solution is not good, then very good articles need to be (semi-)protected, so that only the users that have been around longer can edit them. How do other WPs solve the problem that a "very good article" can lose its status through one edit? - Personally I am not in favor of restricting the ability to change an article. --Eptalon 11:38, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Easy, by not having a very strict and rigid rule, for example, en-wp does not have a redlink criterion: see FA & GA. ...Aurora... 10:47, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

I think once we are through this discussion here, we need to make a page like those you cited on here. This page should point out what makes a very good article. In the very good article template we should mention that article, and that whoever changes it should be aware of the criteria that were applied at first. Getting an article to very good status takes a long time. We should protect against its losing this status easily, by perhaps one inadvertently done edit. I think the no redlinks criterion is a good one, easy to automatically check (the properly labelled images, for example is harder to automatically check), so personally, I think that we should stick to it. As pointed out, semi-protection for featured articles is not an option.--Eptalon 15:53, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

I think I covered Categorisation with gone through a few revisons, or no templates left that point. I think the minimal requirement is one iw link, and (if applicable) one categories (Articles needing a category ;) ) --Eptalon 08:56, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

References/Template messages

I finally figured out why I've been so hesitant to keep the current very good articles as very good--they are missing reference sections. Therefore, I propose that we add the following criteria:

  1. The article should have a reference section or somehow cite its sources.

· Tygartl1·talk· 13:49, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

That is certainly a good criterion, I will add it. --Eptalon 13:58, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

There is one item, I think needs discussion: There should be no templates pointing to the fact that the article needs improvement. These templates include {{complex}}, {{cleanup}}, {{stub}}, and {{wikify}}.

I fully agree there, except for the {{stub}}. An article can always be improved by adding more information, supposing it is well-sources (etc). Also, this statement is ambiguous, it can be read as

  1. The article can not (or no longer) be improved. Therefore there should be no such templates. (This can certainly never be the case)
  2. The article is at a general level, where further improvement is unlikely to come from simply adding more (sourced) information, by unqualified writers. If this is the case (which in my opinion is the case), it needs to be expressed differently.

In other words, the valid tags for such articles are {{mergefrom}},{{expert}}, and {{stub}} As to the citations, where do we draw the line? IMO, info that is (uncited) in other Wikipedias does not need citation in simple. Cited material in other wikipedias can also be too much for the SimpleWP user to understand. The level of complexity of the language fo academic publications tends to be quite high. --Eptalon 17:17, 15 April 2007 (UTC) --Eptalon 17:17, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

What is {{expert}}? I just tried it and it was a faulty template. As to using the {{stub}} criteria: yes, "stub" is a relative term. What one person thinks is a stub, another may not. The point I am trying to get across with the criteria that it not be marked as a stub is that (most) everyone should be able to agree that the article is "long enough"--that is to say, the article provides thorough information and is not lacking something obvious. If an article is marked as "stub", that means that someone thinks it is not long enough or is missing something. Essentially, someone is saying that they don't think the article is very good. I think that if an article is marked as a stub, that it should not be considered a very good article. If that criteria needs to be reworded to better get that point across, that's fine by me. But I believe the essence of the statement should remain. · Tygartl1·talk· 20:15, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
There was this template: "This article or section needs the input from an expert..", used to be {{expert}}.In enWp, it can be found (but is deprecated) as en:Template:Expert. I am unsure now if we have it here. If not, it would probably be a good addition. As of "stub", I think a stub can be a very good article. This is again the argument, that something (which you possibly do not know), could be missing. In other words, the meaning of "stub" should be: This article is fine as it is, but it would be better if more material was added., and not This article needs more material added. Another comment; the two other merge templates ({{mergeto}} and merge) are of course also valid in a very good article; though merging a very good article into another (possibly normal) article, will probably be the exception. Also, remember, I have a robot for propositions for very good articles in the back of my mind. This would be much easier to write, if the grammar for the selection could be context-free, that is, not require knowledge about the subject.--Eptalon 15:39, April 15, 2007

I respectfully disagree. I see your point, and in theory your definition of a stub is correct. However, in practice, people use "stub" to mean: This article needs more material added. If we use (your) theoretical definition, every article could be defined as a "stub". And I think we can both agree that we should not mark every article as a stub. · Tygartl1·talk· 14:23, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, that is true. In my opinion, an article becomes a possible candidate for a very good article once the editing behaviour (and patterns) change. From that point on, the focus no longer is on adding more content, but to improve what is there. Looking at the edit log, this the point can be seen when the edits become smaller. Or to take a current example, compare Fencing with Equinox.Then look at Chopstick. All articles are similar in size. All are nominated for very good pages, yet the quality of chopstick is much better than the other two. Perhaps we should also make a difference between needing more content (i.e. stub), and making existing content better (cleanup, used far too little). --Eptalon 22:07, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree that pages should be free to the complex, clean up, wikify, and stub tags. As far as references go, I don't know. From a scholarly standpoint, yes, the articles should be sourced. However, a vast majority do not have references. English wikipedia is probably the most often used source. I think this opens a debate as to the purpose of this wiki. If the purpose of this is to be a scholarly encyclopedia (albeit simplified) that can be used as a legitimate reference work, than sources are needed. However, I would claim that the education community is never going to accept any wiki as scholarly or trustworthy and adding them becomes burdensome to the community. Sources still could and should be asked for and put in external links section or included in the edit summary if there some fact or statement made that is controversial. Or a big disclaimer could be put on the main page about "for sources see the article on English wikipedia"... I don't know where I'm going with this anymore... -  BrownE34  talk  contribs  18:47, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

As to sources, I think this can be put simpler:
  • If enWP (or frWP, or whateverLanguageWP) has a source (as in <ref>..</ref>..<references />), then this source can also be taken (possibly noting that this may be unsimple)
  • If it does not, then it is assumed that the source of the comment is another language wikipedia, or that this is a result of a translation. --Eptalon 21:24, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

When I suggested referencing/sourcing/citing, I basically was saying the articles should either:

  1. have a general reference section (i.e. I gathered my information from reading these sources but I am not specifically giving credit to any of them for a particular idea) or
  2. have direct quotes that are cited, which as Eptalon mentioned could have English that is too complex for some readers (in most cases, this would not be the best choice) or
  3. have statistics and/or citations that have been re-worded to be simple, but can be directly attributed to a single source

Hopefully, I make sense. I can try to re-explain myself if I'm too confusing. · Tygartl1·talk· 21:39, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

This could perhaps be worded:

The article should have a reference section or cite its sources within the text. The article does not have an {{unreferenced}} tag and does not need one.

· Tygartl1·talk· 18:12, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Added a respectice section (currently item 9 in the list) --Eptalon 11:41, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Redlinks again

It has already been discussed that having redlinks should not be an exclusion criteria for an article from the Very Good Article status. What haven't been discussed is this: Suppose that article A is labeled a Very Good Article on 30 May 2007. The article has a link to article B which is a stub, and many links to other existing articles, so there are no redlinks. Later on, on 1 July 2007, article B is deleted as a result of an RfD, or because it turns out to be a violation of copyright. Now article A has a redlink, even if it has not been edited since it was labeled as a Very Good Article.

I think the criterion is not appropriate. I believe three well established editors will not vote for an article to be labeled a Very Good Article, if the number of redlinks in that article is not small enough; Consequently, item 10 indirectly answers the rationale behind item 6. Even if it doesn't satisfy you to remove item 6 from the set, I think it should be reworded to something like "Only a small proportion of internal links in an article may be redlinks. The majority of internal links must direct to existing pages." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Huji (talkcontribs)

I never said the list of criteria was non-exclusive, or minimal. Finding a minimal, non-excusive list is another (non-trivial, btw) problem. As to the red-links, I think creating stubs for them can be done with relatively minor effort. Please note that the redlink-criterion is not transitive; a transitive redlink criterion (the stubs may not contain redlinks) would probably kill the process. --Eptalon 20:53, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

References revisited

I belive an inline citation of references (i.e. by means of <ref> tags) should be encouraged. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Huji (talkcontribs)

Of course, but given some publications, finding the exact locations might be near impossible, esp. if the idea is summarised or simplified. --Eptalon 20:53, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Simple writing

I think it should be insisted (not as a criterion, but in the introduction section) that the article must be written in simple English to be concidered in votings. This is obvious to some of us, but it still needs to be clearly notified. - Huji reply 20:57, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

I think it is there in item 8, but please add a respective section to the introduction. --Eptalon 21:09, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
I think I would prefer to expand item 8 to such:
There must be no templates pointing to the fact that the article needs improvement. These templates include {{complex}}, {{cleanup}}, {{stub}}, {{unreferenced}} and {{wikify}}. Also, there must be no obvious need to using such tags for the article.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Huji (talkcontribs)
I think the article should have to have a picture, and if one can't be found, another editor must verify this.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Liam.gloucester (talkcontribs)
Finding pictures can be very hard; think about things like Correlation.. --Eptalon 12:20, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I would like to second that. There should be no obligation in using images. - Huji reply 12:35, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Liam on pretty much everything except abstract concepts. Even stuff like correlation has pictures on enwp. Purplebackpack89 (talk) 06:01, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Templates for citations

Hello, I just found out that a <ref> tag that just contains an URL does not look too good. My question is therefore:

  • If references are used, should those citations be made using the various templates? (eg cite web, cite book). Phaedriel has suggested that in fact they should. That would mean changing the requirements, revoting them, and then changing all the very good articles. Therefore my question: what is your opinion on the subject? --Eptalon 17:06, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm getting the wrong idea here, but I say just create the templates. It should be suggested, but not a requirement, that VGA's use them. IMO, URLs as refs are terrible-looking (as in World History, but they can certainly still be used.) My only concern with refs is the question: are the websites/books reliable? If so, that is the only thing that matters. The "cite" templates are basically only used to make it "prettier", for lack of a better term.
As I said, just create the templates. The VGA's already have enough requirements as it is (at least in my opinion). Perhaps I'm wrong about this. Maybe changing the requirements would be helpful in some way. I'm not totally against Eptalon's proposal, I just don't think it's worth all the time, trouble, and effort. IMO, this is a small issue that should not be made into a big deal. --Isis§(talk) 17:23, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
As to the article about World History, you'll have noticed, that I started converting those links. Personally, I am a bit reluctant to touch the criteria now, as changing them now is a lot of effort. Of course I am open to discussion on how to interpret them. --Eptalon 17:39, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Just as I commented at Simple Talk, I'm in favor of the use of these templates (which already exist, and were created a long time ago). After initial thought, however, I'm not sure that adding this as a forceful requirement, by itself, is worth the effort of reforming the guidelines. While I do believe that certain aspects of them could benefit from a little discussion, this is not one of the most important ones. Still, I do think that at the very least, it should be strongly recommended that these templates get used by VG candidates. They exist for a reason that goes beyond the mere good looks: standardization of uses. They were created for a reason: to avoid that everyone provides references the way they feel to, but in a uniform way, which happens to be the one that provides the more information about said references. VGAs are supposed to showcase the very best our project has to offer. From my modest perspective, this means complying with the highest standards. My opinion, of course. Phaedriel - 18:03, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I suggest this: "Content that is from books, journal articles or other publications needs to be referenced correctly". I disagree on insisting on the use of those templates. If a person cites references correctly (for example, in accordance to Harvard style, or another well known style) without using a template, it is perfect and enough. - Huji reply 18:30, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I just wonder: Are you implying by that that an article With a reference I read it in the newspaper last weekend has a chance of even being voted on? --Eptalon 21:06, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, no. First, (as I said above) it should cite the reference correctly (by giving the issue number, date, etc of that newspaper); second, (as others have already said) that newspaper should be known as a reliable source about that subject (e.g. the subject being a recent political event, and the newspaper being a place for political critics to write their professional points of view). Did I answer your question, or did I get it wrong? - Huji reply 19:35, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Ok. Lets say: The Sun, Monday, Aug. 20, 2007, page 11? (Article about british politics?) :) (I know I am teasing) --Eptalon 09:19, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Back to basics

The EN guidelines say some interesting things which are not in our guidelines.

There, under #7. Citation templates and tools, it says "The use of citation templates is neither encouraged nor discouraged". and "Because templates can be contentious, editors should not change an article with a distinctive citation format to another without gaining consensus".

The only things which should concern us in relation to GAs and VGAs is

  1. Are claims made in the text adequately supported by reliable references? and
  2. Is the reference system used consistent within the article?

The latter point deserves some discussion as to what 'consistent' means. I take it to mean "is consistent from the reader's point of view". Anyway, this is enough to show that we do not need to be unnecessarily restrictive; there is no grounds in the guidelines for saying that any one reference system should triumph over any other system. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:21, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

I think the view "templates can be contentious" is nonsense. Where's the evidence to support that statement? The Rambling Man (talk) 09:21, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I was just quoting the EN citing sources page. The index to its talk page shows that these issues were extensively discussed. The question of 'no change in citation format without consensus' has been supported by ArbCom decisions, which does suggest it was contentious. Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:41, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Proposed changes to the way very good articles are made

Hello Community, there is some talk about changing the very good article process. References can be found on my talk page and on Phaedriel's talk page.

  • There is a proposal to limit the amount of time the article stays in the proposed very good stage (aka: pvgood), before being voted on. This this means that from being listed on the Proposed very good articles page to being voted on would be limited. This would avoid old entries there, and might speed up the process. In my opinion, a reasonable limit would be 2 or 3 weeks before voting. Current articles there could be treated like they were added on the day we decide anything
  • Another thing that was noted was that the vgood template is all nice, but a little distracting. I therefore think we could put it at the bottom of the article, instead of the top (That's what German WP does). The template could also be redesigned to be less of an eye-catcher? (Smaller star?)

These two changes could be done without much trouble, as they do not touch the guideline per se, just the way the thing is put into practice. Again, please feel free to express your thoughts. :) --Eptalon 11:12, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

My 2.41 centimes:
Nicely laid out, Eptalon! First of all, I really like the idea of putting the featured article banner at the bottom rather than the top, it gives it a nice conclusion-y feeling in my opinion. Secondly, I think that maybe two weeks in the proposal stage would be ideal, it gives all registered and unresigtered people enough time to polish it off, leaving it at its full potential for the voting stage. There might be little problems like important people on holiday or deciding voters interrupted by school or work, but overall, I think that it would work swimmingly and we might even break the 20 VG articles by the end of October or November!
Gwib-(talk)- 12:14, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you so much for your quick response to my thoughts, dear Eptalon! Here's my input on the proposals you have put together after our talk:
  1. I absolutely agree with this. You know I had suggested a different idea, but this is less of a radical change, and may certainly help to speed up the process. I'd go for no more than 2 weeks. The time limit may also act as as an incentive for those who propose an article to address any objections. No need to say that, an article can be moved to the Voting stage almost immediately if it meets the criteria from the beginning; this would only apply to those that don't.
  2. Strongly agreed on that matter (hey, I brough it up, didn't I? ;) From my modest point of view, I'd go only with a small, discreet star on the upper right corner. Actually, German Wikipedia only puts a small line with a star on bottom, not a large template like ours (and they also put the little star up and right - see here). French Wikipedia puts a little star and a large template on bottom, but that's possible because they format their articles differently than we do (References is their last section - see here). This alternative wouldn't work on many of our articles properly; I've made a test page to illustrate this here. A small, elegant star on top right showcases the article in a discreet manner imho, and is closer to what most Wikipedias like English, Polish and Spanish do. The current {{vgood}} article should go at the talk page. Phaedriel - 13:02, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
As I said, I am completely open on the matter, as to how we handle placing the template. A nice idea from the French: They denote a certain article version as very good. The template then allows to compare the current one to that version. --Eptalon 13:12, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Regarding your test page: I do not see the star at the top; I see that the template needs some work as to really be the last thing on the page; and to not have overlapping boxes (as you do in the test article)... --Eptalon 13:15, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh, the star doesn't display at my test page simply because it isn't there, yet :) I'm still testing the smaller template. And yes, that's exactly my point by creating that test page; our current format doesn't allow a bigger template to be put on bottom of our articles, unless we add a {{-}} as first line of the {{vgood}} template, but that would send it even further below. Still a possibility tho, and not a bad one at all. I agree, the French have come to a very nice idea that we could benefit from. Phaedriel - 13:23, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the first part. For the second one, I'm a little confused. It seems we are not yet sure if Very Good Articles are just the same as Featured Articles of En WP, or not. If they are not exactly the same, then a star on the top right may be misleading (having that many people have visited En WP before Simple En WP, because of its higher Google ranks, etc etc). - Huji reply 19:43, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

There's absolutely no doubt whatsoever to me that our VG articles are, if not the same thing as the EnWP Featured Articles, then an equivalent of the status as the best articles our community has produced. The name we give them matters little (every project calls them differently: Germans call them "Excellent Articles", Polish call them "Articles with a medal", and so on). For this reason, I'm positive that a smaller, more discreet and elegant template than our current immense, eye-catching banner will surely benefit our VGAs - moreso now that we intend to showcase them from our new Main Page.
This is a very rough test, and if we agree on this, something far better looking can be done; but compare this (small star on top, banner at the bottom) with the way Japanese tea ceremony looks now, and let's think what looks better at a first time reader's eye. Phaedriel - 08:37, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Of course, this looks better :) - Huji reply 20:50, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm so happy to see we agree, dear Huji! :) Phaedriel - 12:56, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Placement of the template

Hello, we know have two templates, {{vgood-small}}, and {{vgood}}. I proposed on simple talk to put the small template at the top, the big one at the bottom of the article. It looks like there are other ideas around. Since a change means changing all very good articles, we should reach agreement on that now, rather than later, when there are more very good articles. --Eptalon 06:51, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the idea totally. - Huji reply 08:45, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't like the vgood template on the bottom. I think we should either have it at the top of the article or not at all. And since people seem to be against having it at the top, I'd rather have it on the talk of the talk page than at the bottom of the article. · Tygartl1·talk· 15:48, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
That's exactly what I suggested a week ago, if you check above. If all the practical impossibility lies in the categorization, I can retouch the {{vgood}} in order to add the article's themselves, even when placed at the Talk pages. Just give me a short while, please. Phaedriel - 17:09, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

We could also add categorisation to vgood-small; which would be much simpler.--Eptalon 19:44, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

And which is exactly what I tested, and added a couple of hours ago :) I was just about to post it here, but you beat me to it! :) All that should be done now is, removing the Categorisation from {{vgood}} and move it to the Talk pages - it there's consensus to implement the move, that is. Phaedriel - 19:48, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
When the categorisation is removed form vgood, it does not matter where we place the blurb. :) --Eptalon 20:00, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I know; I mean, for the aesthethical reasons pointed out by Tygart and me, not for categorisation purposes ;) Phaedriel - 20:07, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Would it perhaps be useful, to give one (optional) argument to the template, that allows to specify the sort order in the vgood category? - I don't want all popes categorized as Pope... --Eptalon 20:03, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Changing the small template

Hello, can the vgood-small template be changed, so it gives all verygood articles when clicked?- Would this be a worthwile change? --Eptalon 08:48, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes. And as it was a good idea, I applied it. - Huji reply 16:58, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Placement of the template - take 2

Following all the comments and suggestions, as well as the modifications we introduced in the last days, I've made a few enhancements to {{vgood-small}} as asked by Eptalon. It's now the tool to categorize our VG articles, instead of {{vgood}}. I'm working on adding an optional parameter as well; hopefully it'll be ready tomorrow.
Also, as suggested by Tygart and myself before, and since it only serves an aesthetical purpose now, I suggest that we move the {{vgood}} template to the VG articles' talk pages. I've made a test of this system at Pope John Paul II. Please comment and review before we modify the text of Wikipedia:Very good articles itself. Best regards, Phaedriel - 04:59, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

In such a case, I suggest {{vgood}} to be renamed to vgood-talk or vgood-large, and {{vgood-small}} to be renamed to vgood instead. - Huji reply 10:15, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Good and keen idea, Huji. Well thought! :) Phaedriel - 13:15, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
I have moved {{vgood-small}} to {{vgood}} and {{vgood}} to {{vgood-large}}. I still agree that {{vgood-large}} should be placed on the talk page. · Tygartl1·talk· 15:26, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Excellent; let's be bold and make this change, then. No need to retouch the body of Wikipedia:Very good articles, since the template name has not changed. I'm really happy about these enhancements :) Phaedriel - 16:45, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Point 2: article must be comprehensive

This is a brand-new criteria. Please comment on wording. · Tygrrr... 16:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree with this point 100%. This rule should be enstated because of the fact that a very good article has to be, in short, very good. -Razorflame (contributions) Talk 17:02, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps I am stating the obvious here, but the comprehensiveness can only cover subjects which are generally known; and only cover the check during the time when the article is promoted. In particular:

  • We do not want a requirement to keep certain artcles up to date; If it is done, fine, but we do not want a requirement. In particular, a VGA should not be demoted because of something which is not mentioned, which came ot be known after the article's status change. --Eptalon 19:52, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Well I think the VGA status cannot be taken back by one user. It should be taken back through a process (peer review?) and in that sense, when an article is missing a big fact (either because it was removed on a next revision of the article or because it didn't exist when the VGA status was given to the article), it can be discussed about through that process. So in short, I don't think we should touch this item per Eptalon's comment, but we should prepare for such situations in our "VGAs for review" process. - Huji reply 20:58, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree following Hujis argument. --Cethegus 21:50, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Update: We seem to have consensus on this point; it seems that there is no argument against adding it to the requirements. If someone feels that a VGA is no longer comprehensive, they can post it on the review page (which still needs to be created) and give everyone an opportunity to change the article so that it once again fulfills this requirement. · Tygrrr... 15:26, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Point 3: length of articles

We need to decide whether we need a criteria on minimum length. If you feel we do, please list suggested size in # of screens, kilobytes, characters, or words. · Tygrrr... 16:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Articles need to have a certain length in order to be defined as very good. This is a good rule and needs to be enstated. -Razorflame (contributions) Talk 17:03, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
It currently is a criteria. Some people have stated on the other talk page that they think it may not be needed. What length do you suggest? · Tygrrr... 17:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
7,500 bytes minimum, not including interwikis and categories. -Razorflame (contributions) Talk 17:06, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Just to update you on this: One page A4 is between 20-25 lines, at 60-80 characters, per line. 20 lines at 70 characters is about 1.5k of text (roughly what fits in my window). 7.5k would therefore be about 5 such screens, 5k as of now a bit over 3. --Eptalon 19:56, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I think we should use some word count here. Jimi Hendrix, as an example of a VGA, is approximately 1800 words (main text, excluding tables etc). I suggest 1500 words main text only, that is, excluding all infoboxes, references, external links, lists, tables, etc. - Huji reply 21:02, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
The text version of the article (with everything included) is 2529 words, or about 25 kb in size. --Eptalon 21:09, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but the "everything included" version shouldn't be used to assess an article, because it depends on image captions, external link titles, template texts, etc. - Huji reply 21:12, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Following Creol's argument I plead for a low requirement, say 5 kb. But there must be a minimum, because we could end up with 100 coprehensive VGAs of villages in Spain and none for Córdoba (province). --Cethegus 22:02, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I'd go with minimum 5 kB. ...Aurora... 08:47, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Update: The consensus that seems to be forming here is a 5kb minimum length (approximately 3 screens), not including infoboxes, images, references, other websites, interwiki, and categories. · Tygrrr... 15:29, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Comment: I think that we should raise the requirement to a certain word length instead of bytes because an article can have barely any words, but five pictures and meet the requirement. I feel it is not the most accurate way to judge an article's length. I plead for 1500 1000 words following Huji's argument. --Thamusemeantfan 06:07, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Sub-Commnent:That isn't true. If you read what Tygrrr said, that was excluding ......images,..... Razorflame 20:37, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Sub-Comment: However, I think that the words we count should be the "everything included" version. Words are words, and I think that things like image descriptions can be read as well, and good image descriptions are important. --Thamusemeantfan 06:12, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
There are no clear alternatives to decide on at the moment. Hopefully that will be changed. I personally stick to 5 kB, because the other suggestions are not clear. Common sense says that most of it are words. --Cethegus (talk) 18:00, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
The alternative is to require 1000/1500 words; I and Thamusemeantfan think it is a better idea. - Huji reply 20:09, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
That is no clear alternative either. But as several people prefer words, because 5 kB could be produced by pictures only, I change my vote to 3 kB and at least 1000 words (main text only). That might be a really clear alternative to 5 kB, 7,5 kB and at least 1500 words (everything included) . --Cethegus (talk) 00:06, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Comment:Again, if you read what Tygrrr suggested earlier, he said excluding pictures, iws, infoboxes, external links, and references. Razorflame 20:34, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Just realized I hadn't stated my own opinion yet. I don't really care what the minimum length is, whether in words or kb. I think "not including infoboxes, images, references, other websites, interwiki, and categories" needs to be kept as part of the criteria though. If pressed, I would say we should go longer rather than shorter (in other words, I'd prefer 5kb over 3kb and 1500 words to 1000 words). Does anyone know about how many kb = 1000 and 1500 words? Also, what's easier to figure out: words or kb? · Tygrrr... 21:06, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
You can easily find the number of bytes an article is by checking it's history, but that would include all the parts of the article.. Razorflame 21:08, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I know that. I should have clarified, I guess. What I meant was: which is easier to find when you don't include everything? · Tygrrr... 21:16, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Neither that I know of are easy to find. A way to find how long an article is could be to remove the main text and reinstate it afterwords, but that would be kinda going against policy. Razorflame 21:18, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

(unindenting). Using UTF-8 encoding; it is possible to encode one character (of the more common ones) in 2-3 octets (bytes). This makes about 350 characters per 1000 bytes (kilobyte). I don't know; the average word used here is perhaps 5-6 characters, This means, you can do between 60 and 70 words in those 350 characters (not counting whitespace). Summing that up: 5k: 300 -350 (5-6 letter) words (of course that does not take into account that most of the time you want a whitespace character on both ends of the words, and that these whitespace chars are not counted here). On a side-note: using UTF-16 will give similar results; Please note that ISO/IEC 8859 (which only uses 8 bits (1 byte) per character) is not an alternative, as the whole 15 parts cannot be coded in 8 bits; also I am not sure things such as far Eastern languages are covered. So to make it short: 5kb text boils down to between 300 and 350 (5-6 letter) words in a current encoding. --Eptalon (talk) 22:20, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't know but the perhaps my comment above made it apparent: a "word count" is impractical to use; If only unaccented characters are used those can be encoded in 7 bits per character; which of course makes a whole different to needing 4 bytes (the less used symbols in UTF8 or UTF16). Or put differently: Carefully selecting the words used can change the word count by a factor of 4 (for the same article size). Personally I am against needing to specify the encoding (which we would need to do, if a word count was used). Let's drop that requirement, and let's hope we don't get too many articles that are made of 3-4 thumbnailed images without text.--Eptalon (talk) 22:27, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Just to point out clearly; my comment of December 14 assumed each character could be coded in one octet. --Eptalon (talk) 23:18, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
If kb's are easier to count, I think we should go that route. We don't want to be creating extra work unnecessarily for ourselves. We still need a number though... · Tygrrr... 15:53, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I am not against what I said before, and what seems to be general consensus here; I just say, a worrd count without an encoding is impractical. --Eptalon (talk) 17:50, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm confused here. I think word count is a good measure of context. Now, suppose that 500 words are enough. These will be equal to (say) 2500 bytes if each word consists of an average of 5 letters. Now, if the article uses some unicode characters (usually, and logically articles use unicode characters only sometimes, not in all of their words) it will become (say) 3000 bytes for the same amount of context.

That said, I think the above means word count is a better measure compared to kilobytes. Am I wrong? - Huji reply 21:30, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

I feel like words or kb are equally good ways to measure the length. That is why I would support whatever is easier to determine/count. · Tygrrr... 21:35, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Ok, again a lengthy post (lean back and enjoy). Let's take UTF8 (or UTF16) as an example. These are variable-length codes. This means that different symbols (or characters) use a different length to be encoded. Logically, the characters that occur more often should use a shorter code. So,
  1. The first 127 positions are taken by ASCII code (Roman upper- and lowercase letters without accents, numbers, some common use symbols, like brackets). They can be encoded in one octet
  2. Two octets are needed for Latin letters with diacritics/accents; Greek; Cyrillic; Arabic; Armenian; Syriac, and Thanaa (Maldives) alphabet characters (Most of the rest of what we need)
  3. Three octets are needed for the rest (Chinese,Japanese,...) of the languages in common use
  4. Four octets for languages not in common use
A text has one encoding; and not several (for practical reasons). Therefore the whole text is encoded in that encoding. Or again speaking in images, one special character (ä), and you can no longer use that nice 127-character US-ASCII (but will probably use ISO8859-15, or UTF8). Say we can live without Japanese and Chinese on a day to day basis; based on the texts that we have (no idea, this is a guess) one in 10 characters is a special one, needing two octets. So to encode 10 characters, you need 12 octets on average. For 500 characters this gives 600 bytes (based on the assumptions given). Wikipedia tells me quite easily how many bytes there are in an article; to get a word count, I need to download the text, open in text processor, apply word count. Please note that for example UTF32 is a (very space-inefficient) fixed-length encoding; therefore these considerations do not apply. --Eptalon (talk) 22:08, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay. I summarize all above as "Maybe we should avoid word counting because it is hard to do". I was just thinking of how simple word counting can be (using some JS for example), although it will never be as simple as looking at the page history and reading its size in KBs! Anyways, if the majority of people think word counting is an overkill, I'll obey. If there is no such consensus, I still think word counting is a better measure. - Huji reply 22:30, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, even kb's would be a little more complicated than just looking at the page history because we are not including everything in our count. But if that is what people think will be easier, then that is what I support. I am going to have to do some research into seeing how long current VGAs are to see what I feel about a specific number (i.e. 3kb vs 5 vs something else). I'll be back with a suggestion for a number. · Tygrrr... 17:23, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Checking the size of the article's text realy shouldn't take more than a minute to do. Copy/paste just the text portion to the sandbox, remove the images, save it, look at the size and reset the sandbox. A huge number of images can extend the time a little, but in all reality, this should only be a problem with articles that are right on the edge. With a 5k minumum, estimate an average of 2K for infobox, iw's, light images, etc, and an article over 7.5 shouldnt need checked. If the article is a bit heavier on extra info at 7.5, give it a check. If it's at 10K, there realy is no need. Most of the discussion here seems to be based on that every article will need to be checked. Of our current batch of VGA, 10 are in the 5K or less range (no need to check all but the ones in the hi 5k's - too small), 14 are over 10K (no need to check, more than large enough). That leaves 7 (three of which are around 9K) that could be potentially too small and need to be checked.
Overall: look at the size in history, estimate extra info size: if close, copy paste just the text to the sandbox and check it. -- Creol(talk) 15:24, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I completely agree with what Creol has stated. Razorflame 15:43, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that is what I envisioned--copy-pasting the ones that were questionable. Also, based on the lengths of current VGAs, I agree that 5kb is a good length for the requirement. · Tygrrr... 16:23, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I envisioned as well. Should we remove references too when testing if we adopt this method? --Thamusemeantfan (talk) 00:04, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Anything that isn't the main body of text. I think that this would include references. Razorflame 14:40, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Update: It seems that we are reaching consensus to keep the current wording, "The article must have a certain length. A minimum is 5 kilobytes (about 3 screens), not including infoboxes, images, references, other websites, interwiki, and categories. There is no use in denoting very short articles as very good." Any objections or final tweaks on the wording? · Tygrrr... 16:11, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Have no problems with the wording. Razorflame 18:07, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm fine with this as well. -  BrownE34  talk  contribs  16:01, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree. --Cethegus (talk) 19:28, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Let's agree! - Huji reply 22:12, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I also agree. --Thamusemeantfan (talk) 08:47, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Point 4: revisions by multiple users

Some people don't feel this is a neccesary criteria. What do you think? · Tygrrr... 16:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Not needed. If something is right first time great. A VGA is about content, not the wikiprocess.-- Barliner  talk  18:39, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I fully agree with Barliner in this. It is not needed. -Razorflame (contributions) Talk 18:39, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Then we can change it from "must" to "should" and be less stingy about articles which lack this item. (If this is accepted, I suggest the item to be pushed down and become our 11th criteria). - Huji reply 21:04, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

not needed. --Cethegus 22:03, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

When I originally created this requirement, my thinking behind it was as follows:
  • We do have of course very capable editors; I have no doubt that any of our "regulars" would be capable of writing a VGA.
  • There is however one basic problem. Any people who have written a longer text (like an assignment at university, or similar) will know. It is called Text blindness. In short, after you have occupied yourself with a text in some detail, for some time, you know that text. This means that you are no longer able to see errors it contains.
Requiring a VGA (presumably the very best we can make) to be edited by several editors makes this risk smaller. Also, can you cite any of the current VGAs that does not meet this criterion? - As to the position in the guideline: It does not matter; all items in the guideline are must have items, not should have items. --Eptalon 10:16, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Rereading "must have gone through a few revisions, possibly by different editors." I could agree with it. Although there is a must for revision, ther is only a "possibly by different editors". That covers the case that nobody can find anything that could be improved Creol spoke of. I am sure it will not happen often. --Cethegus 15:39, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
It rules out one thing though:
  • Write article from scratch; see that it meets all the criteria, ie. include pvgood template, and click save once.
  • See how the article goes through peer review (no one finds anything); and is promoted to VGA.
The big question would be: do we consider such a case a very good article?- ie. have an article that has 2 revisions (base revision with pvgood, then tag replacement to vgood), supposing it meets all the other criteria? - Should we? --Eptalon 17:07, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it will happen, but if it does, I am sure the community would change rules. What is not done for Putin we would do for that article. - Do you think Creol is already creating one? ;-)) --Cethegus 17:26, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Update: There is still some disagreement about this point. The main discussion at this time is whether the requirement should read "must have gone through a few revisions, possibly by different editors " or "should have gone through a few revisions, possibly by different editors". People seem to agree that it should be kept as long as the wording does not prevent a promotion to VGA status simply because it has only been revised by one editor. This point is still very much open to discussion because there is no clear consensus yet. · Tygrrr... 16:29, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Comment:I would have to say that so long as this doesn't cause any pages that should be VGA's to not become vgas, then I don't have a problem with this. Razorflame (contributions) Talk 00:31, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment:Why not revisions -> reviews. An articles should be revised or (peer) reviewed by several editors. Some such wording would allow for the perfect editor, as well as text blindness from the rest of us, --Bärliner 12:33, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
That's not a bad idea, but there isn't really a way to make sure that the reviews are happening. Requiring multiple revisions would be one way to ensure that someone else has read the article critically. · Tygrrr... 17:27, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Why don't we say, "The article should have gone through a few reviews or revisions, possibly be different editors"? --Thamusemeantfan 05:59, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed with Thamusemeantfan. Razorflame 20:28, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I think that wording is still a little weak. How about "The article must have gone through a few reviews or revisions, possibly be different editors"? It will be a requirement, after all, so if we only think it "should" be required, then maybe it shouldn't be on the list. (Although I think it should.)· Tygrrr... 21:04, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that works fine with me. Razorflame 21:05, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I think that is too much to say. revisions or reviews; Each revision results from a kind of review, and be it only to fix links, or spacing. --Eptalon (talk) 23:06, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I think it should be required. There are editors who write good articles but with the problems we have had with people voting for articles without taking the time to read through them, I believe we need all the indicators possible to see that this article has been read through and cleaned up, even if it just to fix link and/or spacing. -  BrownE34  talk  contribs  15:22, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I stick to my vote: not needed. But I agree with the wording: "must have gone through a few revisions, possibly by different editors", if that is chosen. --Cethegus (talk) 18:05, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Having re-read all the comments here, I think what Browne34 said a few lines above is what I agree with the most: "we need all the indicators possible to see that this article has been read through and cleaned up". So, there must be more than one editor involved. - Huji reply 20:13, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Agreed with Browne34. Razorflame 20:35, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Update: It appears we have pretty much reached consensus on this point. Ironically, after discussing it fully, it seems that the wording we had originally is fine: "The article must have gone through a few revisions, possibly by different editors." · Tygrrr... 20:44, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid it does not look quite like that to me. As Brown34, Huji and Razorflame want to have indicators "that this article has been read through" they would need some sort of change to prove that. Personnally I think, one would be able to change something without reading the rest and on the other hand to read meticulously everything without finding anything to correct. Therefore I prefer the original wording "The article must have gone through a few revisions, possibly by different editors.". --Cethegus (talk) 22:44, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
You've totally confused me. You just said exactly what I said: the originally wording is fine. Or am I missing something here?? · Tygrrr... 02:23, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I am happy with this wording. - What I said was that I have the impression that Brown34, Huji and Razorflame might not be happy. But as long as they don't protest we should stick to the original wording. --Cethegus (talk) 09:09, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I took it as: "review" = no indicator and "revision" = an indicator. Browne34, Huji, Razorflame: do we have consensus or did I misinterpret what you want? · Tygrrr... 14:39, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes "revision" = indicator. I like the original wording. -  BrownE34  talk  contribs  14:55, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm fine with revision. Razorflame 17:07, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Point 7: important words linked/redlinks

A new addition to this old point is that all important words should be linked. · Tygrrr... 16:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I had originally had points 7 and 8 combined. (Original proposed wording: "All important terms should be linked and there must be no red links left. Red links point to articles that do not exist yet.") I don't see any reason to keep them as 2 separate points since they are so closely related. · Tygrrr... 17:02, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I split them to make it obvious that 7 is new, while (now 8) is old, unchanged, and currently not under discussion.--Eptalon 19:58, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I suggest changing "terms" to "words and phrases", and I think we should merge 7 and 8 back again, when there is agreement on having 7. - Huji reply 21:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with both of your points Huji. I have changed the wording, as suggested. · Tygrrr... 23:01, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Update: After a minor wording change, there seems to be consensus to make this addition to the old point about having no redlinks left. · Tygrrr... 16:08, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

This might just be a clarification, as the following is what is usually done: Only the first time the respective word occurs should it be linked. In an article that talks about foxes, the fox is linked the first time. If perhaps, there is another link to it, which may not be obvious, like in vulpines, is may be linked again. Perhaps the wording should be adapted to reflect that. --Eptalon (talk) 19:51, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Point 10: references

Some people feel we should specify a number of references and external links that are needed. Is this a good idea? Let's hear some suggestions for numbers. · Tygrrr... 16:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Not a good idea in the fact that some articles are unable to have either of these. I think the wording should be changed to, "For articles that have references and external links on other wikipedias, they must include these." -Razorflame (contributions) Talk 17:04, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

A number is not needed, but "full references where possible"-- Barliner  talk  18:41, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Given this is an encyclopedia, one of each should be doable; I would not require more. Depending on the subject at hand, even one of each might be hard, for certain subjects. I would rather have a criterion that says that if there are two references for the same thing, the reference that is easier to understand should be taken, if only one of them is. This of course does not cover the case where there is some twist in the harder-to-understand referenced work, which cannot be found in the easier one.--Eptalon 20:11, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I simply reworded it a little. - Huji reply 21:06, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

"full references where possible" --Cethegus 22:09, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

At least one. ...Aurora... 08:49, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Update: There is no consensus yet. Everyone is in agreement that references are necessary. The current wording of this point is "Content that is from books, journal articles or other publications needs to be referenced. This can either be done with <ref>..</ref><references/> tags, or as a list of publications. The article must not have or need an {{unreferenced}} or similar tag."

The 2 leading ideas are to:

  1. add something about "full references where possible" OR
  2. require at least one reference and/or external link

· Tygrrr... 16:39, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Comment: I think that we should have full references where possible necessary. If there are not full references where possible, a "needs proving" tag would need to be added, which would break rule number one. --Thamusemeantfan 05:56, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with you. I think that there needs to be at least one external link or where there aren't any, then full references to every section that needs it if there are no external links. Razorflame 20:29, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
For those that suggest a word change, what specific wording do you suggest? · Tygrrr... 20:51, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I like the "full references when possible." Sometime they're not possible and then I think a generic source list or external links would serve. -  BrownE34  talk  contribs  15:28, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

For those that like "full references when possible", could someone please suggest a new wording for the criteria. The criteria must say more than "11. Full references when possible." · Tygrrr... 15:40, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I am one of the "full references when possible"-gang. My suggestion for the wording is: Content that is from books, journal articles or other publications needs to be referenced. This can either be done with <ref>..</ref><references/> tags, or as a list of publications. The article must not have or need an {{unreferenced}} or similar tag. For articles that have references or external links on the English wikipedia, there must be at least one in the Simple article as well. --Cethegus (talk) 18:16, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
For the record, I agree with the above comment by Cethegus. - Huji reply 20:15, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Cethegus on this. Razorflame 20:38, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

It may be a little late to bring that point into the discussion, though I still try: Some subjects are covered very well on the World Wide Web. Other subjects are harder to find. For some subjects you will not be able to find anything useful on the web. When we think about articles we should be forward-thinking: There is no reason to not promote a well-written article who only cites "Paper-based" publications as references, if it fulfills the other criteria. In that respect, I think it would be foolish to require an external link.--Eptalon (talk) 20:47, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

We are only requiring an external link where possible. Razorflame 20:48, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I am thinking we could word it like this: All article content should be referenced, where possible. Content that is from books, journal articles or other publications needs to be referenced. This can either be done with <ref>..</ref><references/> tags, or as a list of publications. --Thamusemeantfan (talk) 02:07, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Agreed with Thamusemeantfan. Razorflame 20:31, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Can I ask a question to those that want to say "full references where possible"? When would it not be possible to have references? Basically, I think what we need to ask ourselves is: do we want to require references or not? If so, the "where possible" isn't really necessary since I can't really think of a situation where it's not possible. If we don't want to require references in all articles, then the criteria should be removed (for the record, I do not think we should do this). · Tygrrr... 21:15, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

If we drop the full references where possible part, then i think we should just require references. References are very important, and really not that hard to find. --Thamusemeantfan (talk) 00:33, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I still think my suggestion (Content that is from books, journal articles or other publications needs to be referenced. This can either be done with <ref>..</ref><references/> tags, or as a list of publications. The article must not have or need an {{unreferenced}} or similar tag. For articles that have references or external links on the English wikipedia, there must be at least one in the Simple article as well. makes sense. But it would be useful only for rare exceptions. Therefore I would agree with VGAs must have references as well. --Cethegus (talk) 10:04, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Agreed with Cethegus. Razorflame 21:00, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Same here. - Huji reply 21:32, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
I also don't have a problem with this wording but would still be open to considering an alternate wording if people still have other ideas. · Tygrrr... 17:25, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

(unindenting) Quick question: We already covered the unreferenced tag in item 9, do we need it again here? - in other words, what about Content that is from books, journal articles or other publications needs to be referenced. This can either be done with <ref>..</ref><references/> tags, or as a list of publications. Articles that have references in other Wikipedias should have references in this one as well? --Eptalon (talk) 11:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

It's probably not needed but I don't see any harm in repeating it, especially because it specifically relates to point 10. · Tygrrr... 14:44, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with what Eptalon posted earlier. Razorflame 15:42, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I also agree with Eptalon's latest comments. --Thamusemeantfan (talk) 00:05, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Update: To sum up, at this point the wording that most people are agreeing on is this: "Content that is from books, journal articles or other publications needs to be referenced. This can either be done with <ref>..</ref><references/> tags, or as a list of publications. For articles that have references or external links on the English Wikipedia, there must be at least one in the Simple English article as well." Any objections or final tweaks on the wording? · Tygrrr... 16:06, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Have no problems with the wording. Razorflame 18:08, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Me either, looks good. -  BrownE34  talk  contribs  16:00, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Same here. - Huji reply 22:13, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Also agreed. --Thamusemeantfan (talk) 08:48, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

How to make an article very good

The main changes here are to the amount of support that is required for promotion. Most people feel 5-6 named users need to vote and that there should be 75-80% support. I went with the higher of these numbers in the draft because the problem was that we weren't being strict enough with enforcing the criteria and I would rather have us err on the side of being too strict and have to loosen them than continue to have a problem of quality. This, of course, is just my opinion. What does everyone else think? · Tygrrr... 16:59, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

It should be at least 80% support, and it also needs to have a support vote from at least 1 of the current sysops. I think that is a good idea because that would make it so that there can be admin input into the process. -Razorflame (contributions) Talk 17:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Six votes and 75% (at least five in support and only one against therefore). Admins are people too, so I don't think their opinions are needed but doubtless will be given (admins are some of the busiest editors so at least one is bound to vote :)) — This unsigned comment was added by Barliner (talk • changes).

Actually 5/6 is 83% so it would satisfy both a 75% and an 80% support percentage. The first time we see a difference in the number of voters to satisfy a certain percent is once we have 8 editors voting: 6/8 is 75% and 7/8 is 87.5%. I think that if we have 8 voters and 2 oppose, the article shouldn't be promoted because it probably isn't quite ready yet. · Tygrrr... 19:15, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I know that I am perhaps going a bit far here, but I think ahead. The rules for promoting articles, are generally the same, for VGAs, and (to be done) GAs. What varies is minimal number of votes, and the minimal percentage of support. I would generally say: Minimal 5 votes, with 80% support; if we require more votes, we need to lower the percentage of support (10 votes basically means full agreement of the regulars). And no, I do not want to get into different vote categories. All votes (of named users) are equal. For the good articles, I think we can take the same text, but lower the approval necessary to 70%. --Eptalon 20:04, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Update: No consensus yet (but we're close). We are still between 5 or 6 named voters, 75 or 80% support. Again, if full consensus is not reached, I think we need to err on the side of caution and set the requirements at 6 and 80% because the whole reason we're having this discussion is that some low quality articles were slipping through. Requiring a higher number of people to review and support the articles' promotions is important to ensuring quality. · Tygrrr... 16:50, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Comment:It should definitely be a minimum of 5 votes (registered users only, no sockpuppet voting), with at least 75% support. Razorflame (contributions) Talk 00:32, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
I think that sounds good. --Thamusemeantfan 01:00, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
What is your reasoning for 5 and 75%? I think we need to have it at 6 and 80% because the whole reason we're having this discussion is the quality or articles was too low. We want to prevent that from happening again by requiring more users to read the articles and show approval of them. · Tygrrr... 20:22, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I really didn't have a reason. I think that 75% is high enough for now (unless you want it as high as maybe 80%, which I'm fine with, but I would prefer 75%), and I also agree that it should be at least 6 users instead of just 5. Razorflame 20:31, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I'll be bold: 6 votes and 80% support for VGAs,4 votes and 70% support for good articles. --Eptalon (talk) 23:09, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I think minimum of 6 voters with 5 votes needed to pass. -  BrownE34  talk  contribs  15:30, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Do you like 75% or 80%? · Tygrrr... 15:38, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
6 votes and 80% support for VGAs --Cethegus (talk) 18:24, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I like Epltalon's idea of 6 votes and 80% support for VGAs,4 votes and 70% support for good articles - Huji reply 20:16, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
6 votes 80% it is. Razorflame 20:35, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Update: We seem to have reached consensus that a minimum of 6 named voters are required, and 80% of voters must support the promotion. · Tygrrr... 20:47, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

General comments

For comments not related to a specific section.

Comment: I think that there should be an image requirement, say, an article needs to have at least 2 images in order to be defined as very good. Agreed? -Razorflame (contributions) Talk 17:07, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Free images may not also be available. Should a brilliant biography fail because decent images are in copyright, when an available free image may detract from the subject?-- Barliner  talk  18:45, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Barliner here. We should try our hardest to find a picture, but if we can't, that shouldn't be the only reason to keep it from promotion. · Tygrrr... 19:17, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed with Tygrrr. An image should be put into it, but shouldn't be grounds for them to not get it promoted. -Razorflame (contributions) Talk 19:39, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Comment: I think we should also add the rule that lists cannot become very good articles. -Razorflame (contributions) Talk 18:34, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Hard to see a list being a comprehensive coverage of its subject.-- Barliner  talk  18:45, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
All the same, I see no harm in adding "Lists are not considered as VGAs" to the end of item 1. - Huji reply 21:09, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

No more good

I think we should also define the process for demoting (or voting for demotion of) articles which no longer seem to be Very Good. - Huji reply 21:08, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Why Have "Very Good" articles?

I'm an occasional "guest" editor (not even a registered user) but interested in improving articles in the Simple English category. I ran across this topic today. I want to ask WHY you even want to mark some articles as Very Good. I usually select "Show any page" then add content if I know of any and fix links. There's a big difference between a long detailed article about a famous person, a scientific concept, and a phrase (such as the name of a band or a city and where it is located). In Simple English, I would think the point is to provide enough information in the article so the reader learns the basics about the subject. If they want more informtion, shouldn't they go to the corresponding article in the main wikipedia? The point is not to write articles as complex as in Wikipedia, but enough to satisfy the reader who is learning English. To me, this means that a long detailed article about a famous person should be chopped down to the basics and a reference to wikipedia could be made. A scientific concept may need to be edited primarily to use simpler words. A phrase or a stub that is very short may need to be edited to just give it a little more "meat" or content. There's no way to compare these articles to each other, but all of them can be improved.

Maybe I'm off-base here, but it doesn't seem to me that the Simple English wiki is meant to compete with the regular Wikipedia. Maybe some of the Simple English and regular English Wikipedia articles need to be moved from one encyclopedia to the other. Then work on the articles that are weak. This seems it would be more useful than spending time on articles that are already fully developed or very long, whether they are highly rated or not.---Chris Dec 26, 2007

I think you answer part of your own query here. As you say readers of SEWP may just be learning English so a link to English wiki is a waste of time. What we "sacrifice" here is complex language, not information. A long and detailed article should simply be not be chopped down. If it is in Simple English it deserves to be here. If it is in complex English it should be translated. The type of detail does of course matter. SEWP aims to put across aims to put across the facts in a way that can be understood by many who may not be able to understand regular English, but a mass of peripheral detail could possibly be omitted if the article is simply being translated from a regular English wiki article.
We need VGA and GA here as a way of ensuring we meet our mission. Our mission is not be provide a cut-down English wiki, but a wiki in a separate language, which therefore needs its own criteria for VGA and GA, and maybe in the future even FA. The limitations of our language mean that we cannot simply adopt EN: wiki criteria, which may have been possible for DE: or NL: etc because we cope not merely with a separate language but with different levels of understanding and with different reasons for that difference. In effect Simple English wiki does compete with the regular wiki. Not that we want to take readers from the regular english wiki, but provide an alternative, and maybe even a gateway for those who are learning the english to eventually move on --Bärliner 12:01, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Very good articles that have expired

Please add any omments or suggestions below; I have added something to cover demoting articles. --Eptalon 21:22, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

For point 2 I would suggest a two weeks instead of one. --Cethegus 22:11, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think expired is the most accurate word to describe the situation. I think the section on the page should read "Demoting very good articles". Also, what are you proposing they be demoted to: good status or regular article status?· Tygrrr... 22:58, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I think we should demote them to the highest status they can still meet; That will be good status, in most cases; Good articles would of course be demoted to regular status, no matter what. I suppose here that these rules can also apply to good articles (which we still need to talk about). And yes, I am fine with two weeks...--Eptalon 23:37, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
That makes sense. I am also fine with 2 weeks. We don't want to demote articles unless we really have to and 2 weeks should be plenty of time to fix most issues that would come up. And if it isn't enough time, then the article truly would deserve to be demoted. · Tygrrr... 14:27, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I think the important thing is then to create two templates: a) This article needs to be updated to meet the standards again b) Someone is currently updating; There could then be a special section on the omnipresent page, announcing the news "this article has become a (very) good article again". --Eptalon 14:40, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I think these tags are not necessary. Could you explain your reasons for each of them? - Huji reply 19:26, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
By the way, I'm making some changes to the page now. - Huji reply 19:27, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

For the good articles, I have made several new articles that are based on the VGA process and have to do with good articles. They are:

Feel free to edit these as necessary. Thamusemeantfan 22:04, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

I have posted a reminder to the community on Simple talk. Good work on those pages, Thamusemeantfan! However, so that we don't get too distracted, I would suggest waiting until we decide on the VGA criteria before we get too wrapped up in the GA criteria. Some people feel that the old VGA criteria shouldn't be the new GA criteria, they think that the GA standards should be lower than what you have proposed at Wikipedia:Requirements for good articles. I am not one of them, but you may want to see User:Eptalon/GOOD for an example. At any rate, let's try to focus for now on what the new VGA criteria should be, and then we can move onto deciding on the GA criteria. · Tygrrr... 22:49, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I say 2 weeks is a bit long, but if everyone else is saying 2 weeks, then so be it. If a very good article expires, it should be demoted to next highest status. Razorflame (contributions) Talk 00:34, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Update: There has been no opposition to adding a process for demotion or to the specific steps that should be taken during the demotion process. The only change has been to change the review process from 1 week to 2. There has been no opposition to this change. · Tygrrr... 16:53, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Thamusemeantfan's suggestion to create a page at Wikipedia:Proposed very good article demotions. That would create a central place for possible very good article demotions to go.
  • Comment/Question:If a VGA gets demoted, what would happen to it? Would it go back down to Good status, or would it just go down to no status? Razorflame 18:11, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
    My (note ont every one else's) idea is that it would be looked which of the requirements are still met; that way, it might still be a GA, but it might also lose its status (after the two weeks)--Eptalon (talk) 18:21, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
    • I think that we need to give another look at every single article that already has very good status and maybe decide which ones should stay as VGA's and which ones shouldn't. Razorflame 14:41, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Ideas: I now think we should: 1. Create a central page for both VGA demotions/GA promotions, or 2. just put demotions on the GA nomination page, and promotions on the VGA nom page, to keep things centralized. --Thamusemeantfan (talk) 00:09, 24 January 2008 (UTC)


{{vg}} is much more appropriate than {{vgood}}. The 'very good' articles are always called 'vg', so i dont see why all of a sudden we're using a template which says 'vgood', its completely irrelevant and illogical, and doesn't follow on from the previous pattern. IamR 22:08, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

 Done {{vg}} and {{VG}} now redirect to {{vgood}}. - Huji reply 20:05, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Centralising things

Hello. I think there should be a central place for article promotion (proposals) and demotions. We can perhaps think about different pages to promote Good Articles (to be created); demoting articles can in my opinion be done on the same page. --Eptalon (talk) 23:13, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree with it. - Huji reply 20:06, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree. --Cethegus (talk) 00:11, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I think that's a fine idea. If things start to get confusing or too long, we can always move the demotions to a separate page. · Tygrrr... 14:54, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Razorflame 20:33, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Also agreed. --Thamusemeantfan (talk) 00:34, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

How about this: on the GA proposals page, we could have a section for VGA Demotion, and on the VGA proposals page, a section for GA promotion. --Thamusemeantfan (talk) 04:08, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Point 3 again

Sorry for bringing this into attention again. We had a long talk about whether point 3 should be changed from "kilobytes" to a measure of number of words or not. In the end (as I found it) one of the factors which made us avoid that change was that we thought it is hard to count the words (and exclude templates, etc). I just noticed that a Toolserver project which is used mainly by English Wikipedia, has support for Simple English Wikipedia as well! The link I gave above will show you some stats about Mali which is currently a VGA. I thought that can be helpful if we (some time) decided to change point 3 again.

Regards, - Huji reply 10:07, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

A good idea, I was just reading through this and found myself quite ... unsure what to make of the kilobyte requirement. A requirement of x words would be clearer more to the point. --Philosopher (talk) 11:51, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Good articles

I am bold and start the discussion; in my opinion, good articles should meet items 1,3-5 (Length to be determined) and 10 of the new criteria; as to the community support: 70% approval/5 votes minimum;we should also consider if we we want to pick new vga's only from good articles, or whether it should remain possibly to directly promote an article to VGA status; the demotion process should be the same, for simplicity (fix within 2 weeks). Any comments? --Eptalon (talk) 11:10, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I really think we should focus on trying to find consensus on the 2 remaining criteria for VGAs before we start another conversation. We only have 4 days left to solidify points 3 and 10. (Also, we might want to have this conversation on Wikipedia talk:Requirements for good articles when we do have it.) · Tygrrr... 14:42, 22 January 2008 (UTC)


A few different ideas have already been thrown out as to how we are going to handle promotions and demotions. Currently, separate promotions pages for VGAs and GAs already exist: Wikipedia:Proposed good articles and Wikipedia:Proposed very good articles. One idea is to add a section to each page to discuss demotions. Another idea is to create a new demotions page to discuss demotions of both VGAs and GAs. A third idea would be to create 2 new pages, one for demotion of VGAs and one for demotion of GAs. After we decide the criteria for VGAs and GAs, we will need to re-evaluate each current VGA to determine whether it keeps its VGA status, is demoted to a GA, or is demoted to regular article status. · Tygrrr... 16:26, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

I think that we should make a part of the proposed GA and VGA article pages for Proposed GA and VGA article demotions, to keep things central. Razorflame 18:09, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm inclined to create one separate page for demotions. The Proposal page can become quite long with the discussion section and voting section, without adding a third section. Having a separate page would also allow us plenty of room to describe the demotion process. · Tygrrr... 18:25, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I see the point you are trying to make. I agree, then, with your new suggestion. A separate page for them together. Razorflame 18:26, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
We need three pages then: Proposed VGAs; Proposed GAs; Proposed demotions --Eptalon (talk) 09:14, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay, that sounds good. We have two of those pages, and what should we title the third? Thamusemeantfan (talk) 21:26, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Proposed article status demotion? Wikipedia:Proposed article demotion? · Tygrrr... 15:30, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
The second, it is shorter, and possibly simpler. --Eptalon (talk) 16:10, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

A few points

moved to Simple Talk (hrere) --Eptalon (talk) 09:12, 8 February 2008 (UTC)


Hi there all. Based upon how inactive I have found the Wikipedia:Proposed good articles page to be, I would like to ask the community about my proposal to lower the total amount of voters required from 5 named editors down to 4 or possibly even lower because of how inactive it has been. Looking back at the last couple of votes, there have been several articles that are good article status just by looking at them that failed to be promoted due to the fact that we don't have enough active voters in the GA process to attain the 5 votes required by the requirements. This has hampered our intentions of getting more articles promoted to GA/VGA status.

Another proposed change that I would like to bring up is to leave the number of required voters at 5, but to make the votes last a period of 14 or 21 days instead of the 7 that we have it set at now. By making votes last longer, that gives more possibilities of more editors participating in the votes and a higher probability of articles passing the GA/VGA process.

Both of these proposals are up for debate and I would like to hear from the community about what they think about these two proposals. Thanks, Razorflame 16:51, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

We have 30+ administrators, and no-one has bothered to comment. The inactivity of the GA/VGA system on Simple is a disgrace. I'm afraid R/flame's proposal wouldn't make any real difference. Macdonald-ross (talk) 04:07, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Only one interwiki link?

That doesn't seem right, as the requirement de facto reads "It must have an article on English wikipedia". I say make it one for GA, two for this. If it clearly belongs in Wikipedia, it should be able to garner an article in a language other than English. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 01:13, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

If the article exists only on frwiki or dewiki and here it would be ok. I know from lots of article that are on dewiki and not on enwiki. The criteria doesn't say enwiki must have the article, only one other language must have an article about this if in German, French or Chinese. I don't see a need to change this, sorry. -Barras talk 01:17, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

GA first

I think we need a requirement to prevent VGA proposals by-passing the GA stage. This is partly to protect some of our younger users, whose judgement can be a bit over-optimistic. It's not good for them or us to have unrealistic proposals which get panned (justifiably), when they would have had a better chance to get GA. Macdonald-ross (talk) 05:30, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

I think it should be suggested, but not a requirement. Doing that would probably make it easier for the editors writing the article reach VGA with the reviews from the GA, but it may not always be needed. wiooiw (talk) 03:09, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
I do agree with Wiooiw that, at minimum, it be strongly suggested. I remain undecided as to whether I want it made into a formal rule. I definitely think the rationale behind this suggestion is good. Kansan (talk) 05:00, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

(<-) I think getting GA first is a good idea for most articles. An article that meets most VGA requirements should not have much problems passing GA. For such an article the GA to VGA step should be relatively little work. I do however think that a requirement that all VGAs must pass GA first is wrong. --Eptalon (talk) 10:44, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Echo the above who say it's a good idea to recommend it, but not to mandate it. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:19, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
It should be part of the normal process, GA first, then VGA. It should be an exception to go straight to VGA.--Peterdownunder (talk) 11:12, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Sure, but it shouldn't be a rule to force GA first. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:01, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I think if an article is sucessfully peer reviewed before a VGA nom, it could potentially bypass the GA stage Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 18:04, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
    • No, it shouldn't be a rule to go GA then VGA. Peer reviews, GA then VGA is all a good idea where required, but under no circumstances should it be mandated. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:11, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
      • Um, I said GA OR Peer Review, not GA AND Peer Review. My ideal solution to this would be too difficult to codify and too complex to carry out Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 00:27, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Peer reviews are (for this purpose) weak and unsatisfactory. They are not a substitute for going through GA. Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:02, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Only if they're not done right. I agree with TRM that there should be an alternate path to VGA other than GA Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 16:23, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
To be honest, I think this is all a bit silly and over-reactionary to our current lack of VGAs. All of the VGAs that I have written have completely bypassed the GA process, and most were even snow closed early as promotes due to their good shape. The simple answer is just for the nominators to actually ensure that the articles meet every criteria before they post their articles, even if it is via informal peer reviews which is how mine were done. There should absolutely not be any arbitrary requirement for articles to have to go through any process first, but we should become more picky about articles being nominated that are clearly not up to shape, as it is really only these articles that this might solve - indeed, it's already a requirement to meet the requirements (Though, as with most of the process, this is inconsistently applied - it's on my to-do list to standardise everything.). Goblin 16:54, 30 May 2011 (UTC) I ♥ GoblinBots!
Just to clarify: this isn't a "me me me" thing as others have also had VGAs skip through the process quickly, I just haven't got time to get examples so it is easier to only refer to my own. Cheers, Goblin 16:58, 30 May 2011 (UTC) I ♥ Gordonrox24!

Word list, corrector

Is there something like an automatic corrector for simple English. I mean there should be something like this:

But then for a simple English word list. So you not only get the red curved lines if you misspell a word, but also when you use a word that is not in the simple English word list, and which is too difficult. Is there something like that anywhere? I am googling on simple English corrector, but I get pointed at English corrector who are simple to use, according to the makers of those.

Ah... Nevermind, I found it!
Anyway, I still let it be here on the page, I recommend it to everyone! :-)

A common misunderstanding is to think that by translating individual words one ends up with simpler English. Actually, one usually ends up with nonsense. The right objective is to convey the same sense in simpler language. This does mean changing some words, and also the structure of sentences, use of verbs and so on. One needs to check again and again that the 'translation' still makes the same points that the original did, or as close as makes no difference in practice. Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:58, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

What? Yes of course you will have to change the whole sentence if you are using a word that is not in the 'simple list'. But you identify words that are not that common, and that is what I want to do. I am not thát stupid that I will just replace the single word, nor will I make difficult constructions. I don't agree with you that 'this is a common misunderstanding'. But talking further about this, apart from identifying individual words as too difficult, there also could be a tool to identify difficult grammar. Like some correctors identify bad style. — Preceding unsigned comment added by AntonHogervorst (talkcontribs)
It is realtively easy to write a program that looks at whether a word is in a list, and flags it if it isn't. Writing a program that detects difficult grammar is more difficult. Note that many learners have problems understanding so called phrasal verbs, because they mean something different as a compound, than their parts. In that context: please look at what these helpers are: tools. Don't fall into the bean-counting is great attitude. --Eptalon (talk) 08:32, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but again, what makes you think I dó fall into that attitude? AntonHogervorst


For articles that have references or external links on the English Wikipedia, there must be at least one in the Simple English article as well.

This is from our requirement #10, but I'm afraid I don't know what it is getting at. I'm going to guess that it means that if the article cited is available online (as shown by a link in en.wikipedia), it should have a link to it in the article here. But I'm not sure that that's what it means - if it is, the requirement should be made more explicit. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 06:58, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

I don't remember ever discussing this point; I think we should delete the sentence. The idea behind item 10 was to say that articles that rely on other publications should reference these; either as a list of publications at the end, or as inline references (with "ref" tags). Our VGAs should be independent of the status/availability of the article at other wikipedias.--Eptalon (talk) 10:15, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I found the original discussion here. It seems to have been a proposal for being able to use External links or See also sections as an alternative to inline references. Given that, I'd propose the following, as similar to the first half of #10 on printed publications: "Content that is from online sources also needs to be referenced. This can either be done with <ref>..</ref><references/> tags, or as a list of external links other websites." --Philosopher Let us reason together. 10:36, 4 December 2011 (UTC)