Talk:Main Page/Archive 16

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Main Page/Classic

I created Main Page/Classic so that it can be maintained and updated. The new Main Page system is a 30-day trial. It has not yet been approved. And we need to maintain the Classic version through this time period. Kingturtle 01:20, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Huh? Where did you get the idea that the new Main Page is on a 30-day trial?—Eloquence 01:26, Feb 26, 2004 (UTC)
That is how it was presented to me. Let me try to dig up where I read it. Kingturtle 01:28, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I sure hope not. 30 days is way too long to keep this crap. Anthony DiPierro 01:31, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The text-only link I can see the usefulness of. The table-free version link I can barely tolerate. But a link to a version which is clearly inferior yet uses the same layout elements (i.e. there's no technical reason to keep it alive) is simply not acceptable. Wikipedia operates on a consensus model. There have been some objections, and we have tried to work together to overcome these concerns. But the vast majority of comments have been highly positive. This is a continuing development process. If you are so unhappy with this page that you think it cannot be improved for you to accept it, then you can of course campaign for a vote. I suggest that we work together to find ways to make this page more acceptable to everyone instead.—Eloquence 01:34, Feb 26, 2004 (UTC)

Hmmm. I cannot find where I got the 30-day notion. Am I the only one who remembers that? It is unlikely me to mis-remember something like that.
As for my rationale behind creating the Classic page and linking it to the Main was not because I am unhappy with the Main Page. It was because I thought it was a trial period. And I didn't want the other version to get out of date. Kingturtle 02:00, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC) P.S. I have removed the Classic page link from the Main Page because I cannot find anything written to support what I perceived.
Thank you for removing the link. I don't think a trial period makes sense here, but as I said, anyone who has strong negative feelings about this page can call for a vote. I predict there would be overwhelming support for the current page, though.—Eloquence 02:01, Feb 26, 2004 (UTC)
There already is a vote. The old version is winning. At the very least you should take out the font resizing. It looks like crap on my computer with the font resizing, and 90% is almost the same as 100% anyway. Anthony DiPierro 05:55, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Yes, lets have a vote to find out whether there is consensus to replace the old page with the proposed one. Jamesday 08:51, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
One week after starting the poll, the old one is still the most popular choice. Jamesday 21:54, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I for one continue to see the new changes as a tremendous improvement. I'm actually reading much of the posted material (something I've not done for awhile), which raises, for me, a question for the naysayers. Clearly the presentation is a vast improvement—more attractive, more professional looking, anyway you look at it. However, it may well contain many inconveniences for some (links too far down, pictures slow to load, navigation not what you are used to)—but get real. If you are a regular here, you go right away to your login, then off to your tasks. The main page is not for you; never has been, never will be. It is for people coming here to get an encyclopedia. It has to be attractive to them—100%. The rest of us can use it, but do not need it. I see no vote of the mass of editors as having much relevence. It is the anonymous users that need to decide these questions of acceptability. Keep tweaking it; but always in the direction of simplicity and wow! for the public, not the editors - Marshman 05:19, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
This is probably obvious, but I think it's worth mentioning now that there is hardly any content in the source of the Main Page (it's all in the MediaWiki namespace), editors can create alternate "main pages" customized for their tastes; people can create summary pages with Anniversaries, In the News, etc. all on one page, and just plug the msg: thingies into whatever formatting they want. This is pretty cool, and I think some people have already done this. -- Merphant 05:34, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The old page is not winning the straw poll. It was supposed to consider variations in the design of the new page as we tried to compact things down. If you combine all the votes for the different new versions, they outnumber the votes for the old version. The simple old vs. new question should be handled separately. --Michael Snow 00:14, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The old page has the most votes. And people can vote for multiple pages. Ergo, the old page is winning. Anthony DiPierro 03:15, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Hardly. Right now it's 11 to 8 in favor of the new version in some form, counting only unique users (and counting you as a voter for the old page, even though you've also voted for new versions). Not to mention two voters down below who apparently also favor the new version. --Michael Snow 19:21, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
What's the count after excluding those who developed the new one? With either count, do you come up with a consensus or something close to a consensus that the new one is an improvement and should be used? It's clear that it's going to take changes, based on the feedback which has been given, before that consensus arrives. Jamesday 21:59, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Main page/image confusion

Is it too much to ask to only bold items on the main page which are depicted in images? Often it's difficult to tell what the image refers to, and all of the bold text amidst all of the short lines and links makes the text difficult to read. - Seth Ilys 05:54, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I agree, there is too much arbitrary bolding of words. I'm not sure why van bomb exploded is bold and not World Trade Center, or Luftwaffe and not Hitler. Also, as Seth Ilys points out, there are no picture captions, so it's not clear what's referring to what. I happened to recognize the picture of Ferdinand Marcos, but I'm sure there were plenty of folks who were wondering "Who's dat?" See my comments also at: MediaWiki talk:Dih Fuzheado 06:17, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
The bold always means: Where can I read more about this specific item, rather than any subtext thereof. I think it's a good idea to bold the links to the main article for each item to make sure we have a main article for each item. I agree a better solution needs to be found for images, e.g. a) image always refers to top item, b) supersmall caption below image, c) some nice vertical spacing etc.—Eloquence 06:30, Feb 26, 2004 (UTC)
I agree, except I tend to prefer captions since the aniv section rotates its images. But there is no easy way to add captions. IMO annotation text should become caption text for all images, not just thumbnails. This in fact was noted as the expected behavior when the new image code hit the streets. --mav 00:44, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
It is always possible to float your mouse cursor over the image to see the ALT title, which should be named after the topic of the image. Ancheta Wis 20:18, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Get a real forum

Why dont you guys get a real forum instead of this?

cuz we don't like to talk to each other Lirath Q. Pynnor

  • Once you get the rhythm and put in the time, you will see that TALK pages have many advantages over forums. Join Wikipedia and start your own watch list. :) Kingturtle 06:39, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)
    • Watchlists start to lose their usefulness after the first few thousand articles have been added to them. : \ Lirath Q. Pynnor
As a matter of fact, we do have a vbulliten (php) forum, and it does have advantages over talk pages. Perl 22:28, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Great job!!!!

Great job w the front page, I think your going to attract ALOT more people w this format than the last one, its awesome! Woo-hoo! Sam Spade 08:57, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Recent deaths

Excuse me for not wading through all the previous discussion, but what happened to recent deaths? Does it belong under the news now? --Jiang 09:25, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Yes - but in both cases only the most well-developed articles are featured. Note the the first item in that section is a recent death (although it is very event-like). --mav

That is NOT! Hermann Göring!!! It's Gerhard Schröder

That's true; Hermann Göring never has been the chancellor of Germany. You'd better changed that.

Fixed. --mav


I suggest that a sysop change the tables so they are both he same size. There used to be more on the left than on the right, but this has now changed with the removal of "obituaries". Perl 21:07, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)~

I strongly disagree - such a layout would be visually boring. We already had this discussion over a year ago when the last Main Page went was developed. --mav

[Idea] Wikilary - A multilingual vocabulary

It would be great make a vocabulary like or, but free. Is it possible? Sounds interesting to you?

Have a look at Wiktionary. -- Merphant 22:35, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Today's front page

The thing about the spacewalk is wrong. The entire Russian crew of Mir would routinely go on spacewalks together. Perhaps "a craft's entire" should be changed to "the craft's entire"

Re this: "that U.S. President LBJ once battered Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson over Canada's Vietnam War policy?"

  • Lyndon Johnson should be refered to by his name, not the acronym LBJ.
  • What does "battered" mean? Did Johnson cover Pearson with batter? Did he pummel him with his fists? Are there other definitions of "batter" I am unaware of? Adam 01:21, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
See Template:dyk page history for explanation of the change. jengod 01:26, Feb 27, 2004 (UTC)
Well that's very interesting but doesn't alter the fact that the usage of "battered" is wrong and should be corrected, and that many people won't know who "LBJ" was. Adam 02:21, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I saw battered and wondered the same thing. Did LBJ beat the Canadian Prime minister? Wouldn't this be illegal? Perl 02:23, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Apparently he grabbed him by the collar and slammed him into a wall. That is a physical assault, but it is not "battery", which means "striking repeatedly with the fists." (And, yes, it probably is illegal).
For the love of god, if you don't like it, just go change it and stop moaning! Please. :) jengod 03:08, Feb 27, 2004 (UTC)
The main page is a protected page. Adam 04:00, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Adam, the main page has been broken up into little MediaWiki chunks that normal users can edit. However, this needs to be documented much better, as it's very hard to figure out. Also, the names like MediaWiki:dih are quite cryptic. Fuzheado 04:02, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
It's called security by obscurity.—Eloquence
Which, as everyone knows, is a really bad security design. :-) Evercat 04:07, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I was the one who made the sections into mediawiki msgs. Yes, it is definately not a perfect system and it is hard to figure out, but its better than not being able to edit it at all. There will be a problem, however, with looking at "snapshots" (old versions) of the main page—you will have to also find the old versions of each mediawiki msg. I don't know if there will be a way to allow only selected users to edit the main page in the future. Thats up to the developers to decide. Perl 14:17, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Title of main page

Could I suggest that Main Page is a rather dull and obvious title for our front window to the world? What about Welcome to Wikipedia or something a bit more zippy? Adam 09:11, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'm not advocating a change, but editing MediaWiki:Mainpage does that. That also changes the Main Page link in the sidebar and on the bottom of every page. 'Welcome to Wikipedia' would be a bit long for those areas. --mav

Yes I have to agree with that. It's a pity the title of the main page is linked to the name of the links on all the other pages, which I agree ought to say Main page. Is there no way they can be delinked? Adam 11:36, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I don't think there is. When I changed Main Page in WikiBooks:MediaWiki:Mainpage to Wikibooks the links in the side and footer bars changed. --mav

The McEncyclopedia

The front page has a distinctly "USA Today" look and feel. "Did you know?" WTF? It reads like a placemat at a Chuck E. Cheese, or something one would expect from World Book, not Britannica. Marteau

Did you look at the Britannica frontpage? It has a similar selection: "Biography of the Day", "This Day in History", "Britannica Highlights", "What's New?", "Monthly Focus". Theirs are ridiculously small and narrow, but the basic idea is the same.—Eloquence 15:43, Feb 27, 2004 (UTC)
Which Chuckie Cheese location has "...that industrialist Nazi Party member John Rabe saved more than 50,000 Chinese nationals from the Rape of Nanking?" or "...that the Palau Congressional Library was founded in 1981, and has a staff of two?" or "...that because of an effort to curb the spread of STDs, prostitution in Germany has been legal since the 1920s?" -- user:zanimum
The comparison with World Book is not one to avoid, IMO. Wikipedia has more popular appeal than academic appeal. If there is a stated goal to evolve Wikipedia towards a Britannica-like format, I must have missed it. (I only recall scope comparisons, say gross numbers of articles, comparisons). - Bevo 16:22, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Opening paragraph overloaded

I think the opening paragraph has a tad too many links in it, which make it too overloaded, and I think people might just skip reading it. How about just:

Welcome to Wikipedia, a multilingual, free-content encyclopedia. We started in January 2001 and are now working on 6,399,407 articles in the English version. To learn how you can edit any article right now, visit the Community Main Page or experiment in the sandbox.

I'm taking the extreme position here, but seriously, how many people do you think will click and read on all those links. Dori | Talk 15:54, Feb 27, 2004 (UTC)

I tend to agree. It's the fit-everything-in syndrome.—Eloquence 15:59, Feb 27, 2004 (UTC)
I agree with both Dori and Eloquence, which is that people tend not to click on links in text while they are in "reading mode" and too many links just makes them glaze over. So in that respect we should cut them down in the paragraph. But that also means it is problematic, in that we provide fewer entry points to have them discover our community and the revolution part of Wikipedia, the editability. The quickbar link might help (see below) but it's still a weakness of the current design. Fuzheado 00:14, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Other Languages

With the new layout, the links to other language versions (and anything below it) is impossible to see (at least for me) Is it possible to fix this? ---Fern 22:34, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Have you tried increasing your browser font size?—Eloquence

We need to have a button on the quickbar for the Community Page.

We need to have a button on the quickbar for the Community Page. Kingturtle 23:15, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Agreed. jengod 23:22, Feb 27, 2004 (UTC)
I'm thinking about various solutions that do not take additional vertical space.—Eloquence
IMHO, there is enough space for one more button on the sidebar. It makes complete sense (to me) to have a Community Page button above the Recent Changes button. If you are looking for other solutions, how about this....make it so clicking on the Wikipedia-icon takes the user to the Community Page. Kingturtle 23:31, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Yes, this is one of the solutions I am considering. The problem is that in "floating" mode, the sidebar is not scrollable, so if it gets too long, the stuff at the bottom gets invisible and unreachable on low screen solutions (possibly including the quite common 800x600).—Eloquence
Also, I'd be willing to have current events removed and community page added. I never ever click on that current events button. Kingturtle 23:44, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
The current events button is very important and I'm pretty sure that it won't be removed. Perl 23:51, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
How about related changes? :) Kingturtle 23:52, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Please see a moderately-lengthy discussion of this very point at Wikipedia_talk:Main_Page#Problems_with_dual_mainpage_system. :) Jwrosenzweig 00:19, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)
By "this very point" I mean a previous discussion of this general idea, not cutting related changes....which is of course a bad idea, in my opinion. :) Jwrosenzweig
The sidebar is overall too-flooded with links. I'd like to throw out a bunch of them. Until then I don't think we should have the CMP link there too, even though I agree that it should be there somewhere in time.
My nominations of links to cut:
  • My contributions
  • Current events
  • Related Changes
  • Special pages
I understand that there is a certain group of users that will defend each of these items, but.. this is my opinion. There is another alternative, and that is to refactor the sidebar and bottom and top links totally. Do we need some of the links in both places? Maybe we should keep MP, RC, Edit, Disc, PH in the top/bottom toolbars only and rethink (a little) our sidebar? — Sverdrup (talk) 00:24, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I read some of those posts JW referenced. I don't want to be forced to see the main page when I don't want to. I'll review the main page when I want to, not because I am forced to. I want to go directly to items which USED TO BE ON the main page, but are no longer there. It should be one-click to get there. How can such a simple request take so long to figure out. Kingturtle 00:27, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Re: Sverdrup's remarks, I completely disagree....except for perhaps Special pages, all of those suggestions need to stay. I use two of them frequently, and a 3rd (current events) has a very loyal group of users who are frequent clickers of it. Re: Kt, I agree that we need a direct link, but I don't think there's any need to become upset (you seem upset, anyway). We've had this new page less than a week. It'll take time to sort these things out. I do feel like we're close to consensus, though -- maybe we can add the link somehow over the weekend? Jwrosenzweig 00:32, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I am a bit upset. I cannot find resources quickly right now. And I don't like having to poke around. With all the bold moves being made to the main page, I am just surprised the quickbar is being treated so sacredly. I'll be ok. :) Kingturtle 00:39, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I want to see numbers about the "loyal group of users" on Current Events. It was never done well before, it is not a core competency of Wikipedia, and I'm surprised it is being treated as a sacred cow over what should be crucial information - how to edit a page, welcome newcomers, FAQ, etc. Fuzheado 00:43, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Fuzheado, I have no idea what the numbers are, but that page has recently been taking a pretty stready stream of 30-50 edits a day....seems like it's important to a lot of people, if you ask me. :) Jwrosenzweig 00:49, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)
It gets edits so that people can update the main page news; since it's linked on the main page, that should be enough. In my opinion, Current Events and/or Special Pages can be replaced with the Community Main Page. --Michael Snow 00:52, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I believe a button for the Community Main Page would be a great improvement over the directories and backlinks User:168... created. I tried to clean those out, but 168... reverted me. If you have an opinion, see Wikipedia talk:Main Page. --Michael Snow 00:55, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'll add a poll to Wikipedia talk:Main Page.—Eloquence 01:13, Feb 28, 2004 (UTC)

A rare plea

I have a form of dyslexia. The Main Page/Wikipedia:Main Page and Talk:Main Page/Wikipedia talk:Main Page is really blowing my mind up. I am getting very confused at which is which. When my brain gets crossed up like this for long periods of time, I get headaches and I get frustrated. I should get used to the difference eventually. But I may just keep getting headaches. Is there any way we can rename "Wikipedia:Main Page" to something else that doesn't so closely resemble "Main Page"...anything, I don't care, as long as it isn't so similar? Kingturtle 00:45, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I don't have dyslexia, and I find it confusing as well. Especially since the naming conventions turns "namespace:foo" into "namespace talk: foo". It could be fixed simply by turning Wikipedia:Main Page into Wikipedia:Community Page or something like that. But I agree it's confusing, and I get confused looking at my watchlist as to which conversation is which. Fuzheado 01:04, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I agree - it is confusing. Wikipedia:Community home page would be better. --mav 05:10, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I heartily endorse this sentiment. -- Infrogmation 18:47, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Re this, allow me to re-float my suggestion from above that Main Page is a very boring name for our front page and should be renamed something more welcoming. That would also end the confusion KT refers to. Adam 02:28, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Something welcoming like "Welcome" would be good. And while we are at it, how about a "Community" link in the left panel, under "Current events" - Gaz 13:21, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'm glad everyone agrees, because so do I. :-) I've moved it to Wikipedia:Community Portal. — Timwi 13:45, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)

  • Thanks! Much easier for me! Kingturtle 18:26, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)


The Main Page is so much cooler than the previous Main Page. Thank you, it makes Wikipedia make really professional. RickK 07:26, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

"Selected anniversaries"

Selected anniversaries strikes me as still a little strange. Why not have it be something nice and general like "In history..."? ekips

I agree. Now that the content switches automatically, "This day in history" would work well.—Eloquence 00:21, Feb 29, 2004 (UTC)
Not even "This day" -- just "In history..." It's highly flexible, you could list events for maybe the past two or three days since there is no date specified, and it doesn't seem quite as awkward as "Selected anniversaries" strikes me. (I don't know why, but it just seems misplaced.) Ekips 00:29, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Holidays also go in that section now, so "In history" and esp "This day in history" do not work. --mav

If holidays go in now, then how does "Selected anniversaries" work? Presidents' Day is not exactly an anniversary. Nor is Valentine's Day, or Labor Day, or Memorial Day, or Thanksgiving for that matter. (Just to cover US holidays) Ekips 05:12, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Consult your dictionary:
    1. The annual return of the day on which any notable event
       took place, or is wont to be celebrated; as, the
       anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
See also List of historical anniversaries. --mav
I never said anything about Independence Day. There are some holidays that are plainly not anniversaries. Independence Day is not one of them, certainly. Ekips 18:19, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Read the definition - the example is just an example. Now what holidays are not anniversaries? If it happens once a year at a predetermined date, then it is an anniversary. --mav

The spacewalk was not the first spacewalk ever involving the crafts entire crew -- the Russians have been doing this for years. It is the first America spacewalk ever involving the crafts entire crew. Lirath Q. Pynnor

If you find a problem with it, fix it. Thats what the wiki is all about! Perl 03:21, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)


The image for the periodic table is an example of what I mentioned fearing before we instituted this version of the Main Page. The graphic, in my opinion, looks silly, and doesn't give any impression of "the periodic table". Perhaps a thumbnail that merely showed the square for Hydrogen (or some element) would be better. My point in general would be, I think no image would be classier than a thumbnail that is no longer remotely recognizable. We need to consider how to do this more tastefully (or agree that, some days, there won't be a picture for the featured article....which would be no disaster, in my opinion). Any thoughts? Jwrosenzweig 04:01, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Ptable-MainPage.png is a direct resize of the actual table in the article. I think it works rather well.—Eloquence

Agreed; anyone who's ever taken a chemistry class (or been introduced to the concept of chemistry in generic "science!" classes) in their entire life will recognize that image. --Brion 05:02, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Well, as someone who has taken said science classes (and who feels a trifle insulted by Brion's comment, though I assume it wasn't intended), it wasn't immediately obvious, and I don't think it adds anything to the main page as it stands. If everybody disagrees with me (not a new situation in my life), that's fine. I just don't care for the image: I think a number of well-educated individuals won't instantly recognize it, and that the image when recognized still looks odd. My larger point, though, still stands: what do we do when no picture or recognizable-when-small picture is available? Are we willing to go pictureless? Jwrosenzweig 05:04, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Clarification--the image Eloquence shows and which is now on the main page is, in fact, more recognizable, and far more satisfactory to me. It is not the image I originally objected to (I looked again, said "hey, that's not so bad", and checked) (the image was Periodic table of elements)
-- I'll drop the issue re: this image, though again I'm concerned on a more general level. Jwrosenzweig 05:06, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I'd prefer not to go pictureless. Pictures are a good way to entice the reader into following the links. But we should not discriminate against articles where pictures are notoriously hard to come by. So we might come up with some more generic drawings and pictures - icons, really - to use for mathematics, chemistry etc. articles. There would only be for the Main Page, of course. Theresa Knott has created some great drawings for Wikibooks, maybe she would be willing to do some for us.—Eloquence
Erik, this sounds good. I was concerned about the kind of articles you mention, and hope we can find a good solution. Perhaps now that the trolls are mostly driven away from Theresa, she can do as you suggest. If not, I hope we can find a similar solution from elsewhere. Jwrosenzweig 05:11, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Okay, Periodic table of elements definitely is less recognizable, since it is not the conventional form of the table that most people would be exposed to. That version was not on the Main Page when I made my above comment. I do stand by my comment in reference to Ptable-MainPage.png; if you really can't recognize it, I'd be rather surprised. If so, could you show me what the periodic table layout you're familiar with looks like? --Brion 05:15, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Not going to fight you on this one, Brion. :-) I responded to your comments quickly (you had my dander up a bit, I admit) and didn't scrutinize the picture to notice that it had been changed. The first one looked like a blob to me...once I read "periodic table" I figured it out, but initially it looked like an error. The current picture is just fine, yes, and looks like what I remember from the days I was awake. ;-) Sorry if I was brusque. At least we agree now. :-) Jwrosenzweig 05:17, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Periodic table of elements may not be conventional, but it is the more accurate form of the table. Ptable-MainPage.png is used more often only due to the fact that the true form of the table is a bit wide, so the f-block is arbitrarily thrown down below the other blocks - that is a distortion of reality. --mav

Bah. We should use images that people recognize, like the conventional form of the table. Mav, none of the tables are reality in any way, they are just two different systematic schemes, none of them "better". (this is a no-matter now, as the article moved away from the main page for a long time) — Sverdrup (talk) 13:00, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)
The wide version is a better representation of the table - See period 6 element and period 7 element. Just because people are ignorant doesn't mean we should perpetuate that ignorance when it makes sense not to. Since both images fit, it was better to have the more correct one. --mav

The centering looks kinda silly

Sorry to whine, but I think we should revert the centering of the first paragraph. screenshot — Sverdrup (talk) 15:13, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The "cache purging" thing

According to the IRC cabal, it's necessary to make some kind of edit to force the MSG's which are most of the main page to update. Maybe one of the Wikipedia:Maintenance tasks should be to make sure an edit is made every 1-2 hours, especially when the UST date changes? Pakaran. 15:18, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It's only the client-side caching that is affected. If you hit shift+reload on the Main Page, you get a fresh copy, and so does any first-time viewer. So it's not really that important to "purge" the MP, but if you make any significant edits, it's probably a good idea. Ideally the page timestamp of all pages using a MediaWiki text should be updated whenever the MediaWiki text is updated.—Eloquence 15:25, Mar 1, 2004 (UTC)
Do you want me to add that last to the SF feature requests page, or will you? Pakaran. 15:28, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Realistically, User talk:Tim Starling is probably a better place ;-). He coded the MediaWiki stuff.—Eloquence

President Aristide did not flea but was kidnaped by US troops from Haiti. I hope someone will change the rhetoric of the blurb on the front page. — ALC 1 Mar, 2004

I havent heard any reports of him being kidnapped. Perl 17:48, 1

Mar 2004 (UTC)

I have, but they're controversial. The President is claiming he was kidnapped, the US is claiming he was helped to flee for his own security. Best to avoid the controversy altogether. Toby W 11:54, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The Story is still changing as of this morning, Aristide is claiming a group of Haitians and Americans forced him out and not US Marines. I do not doubt that there could be CIA involvement, but, Aristide has been known for streching the truth a bit. They may have made him realize that they would leave him to any fate that the Haitian mob would inflict on him if he didn't have to good sense to leave. That has been in the headlines. Perhaps we should leave it to the fact that he is gone, and let his kidnapping story change a few more times before spreading the rumor. Dominick 12:31, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

movie poster art, do we have rights to display it, in general?

The current Main page has a recent movie's poster art displayed. Under what reasoning is it OK to display this image here in the Wikipedia? - Bevo 21:07, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Bevo: Yes, we do, under the fair use provisions of US copyright law. See fair use. -- Seth Ilys 02:17, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
For extensive discussion of this, see meta:Do fair use images violate the GFDL?. Basically, the answer is that the site is hosted in the US and in the US, if a use is fair use, the right to that use was never granted to the initial copyright holder and it remains in the public domain, which is compatible with the GFDL. The images are also not part of the document but are instead associated documents with their own independent history. It's still far from ideal to use fair use images on the main page. Good enough for now but we really do want to be moving away from it. Jamesday 23:54, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

copyrighted images on the Wikipedia Main page

I guess I'm just annoyed that Wikipedia's main page is using a copyrighted image, justly or not. Doesn't seem to fit the openness that is elsewhere so evident here. - Bevo 02:22, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I think Bevo has a good point. I haven't had time to formulate my own opinion on the issue. Perl 02:30, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Copyrights#Fair_use_materials_and_special_requirements is in line with my thinking. - Bevo 02:34, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I agree, this is problematic. Fuzheado 02:52, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The trend is not good! Now two of the three images on the Main page are under copyright (not public domain). I'm glad some others here see the incongruity with the Wikipedia guidelines for contributors to regular articles (that strongly encourage the use of public domain images, with only very infrequent use of copyrighted images under "fair use" privileges) -and- the composition of recent Main pages. - Bevo 22:25, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Is that time magazine image really only fair use? I would think that it is a new creation and should be considered the work of the person who used photoshop. Perl 22:31, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Bevo - everything new we submit here is copyrighted. It is not an evil thing. --mav
Bevo has a good point. I don't know why you felt the need to insult him. Your comment seems arrogant and rude. Perl 23:50, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
All the images I submit to Wikipedia are under copyright, and so is everything both you and I write (under the GFDL). Bevo either thinks that that is a bad thing - that only stuff in the public domain is good - or Bevo is confused about what "copyrighted" means. But I changed my post anyway. --mav
All I've said was not with regards to anything I think about the issue. I just wanted to point out what was stated Wikipedia policy (see yesterday's content at Wikipedia:Copyrights#Fair_use_materials_and_special_requirements ). I see Jamesday has modified it today to not talk of our goals to promote "free content". If that edit stands (I don't plan to edit it), then our Main page practice is now in concert with that Wikipedia guideline. But, it took that edit to get there, and it was not the policy when I first started this thread of discussion. - Bevo 00:28, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The original Time images were used as fair use, so the derivative work itself can only be as free as fair use. It is a straightforward case of fair use and is one example of how extremely useful fair use is, being relied on very heavily in news-oriented reporting like this item. Jamesday 23:59, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I agree - we really should be showcasing free content as much as possible. While fair use is OK, we strongly prefer free content and our main page should reflect that and where we want to end up! Jamesday 23:37, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Font size

What is the reason for the 90% font size of the introductory paragraph? It draws the reader's attention away from the basic of explanation of what Wikipedia is in the first place. Yet that is what makes Wikipedia different from other online encyclopaedias. Without that paragrph, the user might as well just go back to Britannica! The size keeps getting reduced again (sometimes to 90%, sometimes to 80%), but I've never seen anybody explain why this is a good thing. -- Toby Bartels 21:16, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Toby, I completely agree. This is my big issue with the current redesign -- it does not make it obvious and clear why Wikipedia is anything other than yet another encyclopedia. It should trumpet the fact that it is open content, that anyone can edit, and how they can do it, now. If we had this front page at the time I first discovered Wikipedia, I don't think I would be aware of why it's so revolutionary. Fuzheado 02:56, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Locking images on the main page

This hasn't happened yet, but it probably will eventually. Someone will vandalize one of the images on the main page. I recommend that the images be locked for the time they are on the main page to prevent this. I suppose we could wait for it to happen first, but why risk it?

-- Nohat 00:29, 2004 Mar 2 (UTC)

As long as we allow people to edit the MediaWiki for the main page, protecting the images doesn't really do anything, because the vandal could just link to a different image instead of vandalizing the protected image. --Michael Snow 01:00, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It isn't possible to protect images. You can protect the image description page, but that doesn't prevent the image being changed. (It also makes the image appear in the Protection log). Angela. 01:22, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)
If vandalism does become an issue for MediaWiki pages, maybe we could limit edits to all MediaWiki pages to logged-in users - just like uploads. --mav 01:24, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thats a very good idea mav! Perl 01:29, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
As was pointed out above, I very, very much doubt that an anonymous user would go to the trouble of figuring out how to vandalize the mediawiki articles or to upload images. It'd be much easier just to vandalize the featured article. As my security prof said - you're house doesn't have to be Fort Knox, just a little safer than your neighbor's house. →Raul654 00:22, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC)
Well, since it hasn't been a problem yet, I can see that we don't need to do anything about it yet. However, don't be surprised to find me doing the "I told you so" song and dance when it does become a problem. :-) Nohat 03:03, 2004 Mar 3 (UTC) I wanted to add that there was a user, I don't remember who it was now, who was subsequently banned after he moved the Main Page. This security hole was promptly fixed. I would suggest, that even if we don't use it right away, that we create the ability to protect images, so that the number of people who can deal with image vandalism is the entire set of admins, not just the developers. Nohat 03:04, 2004 Mar 3 (UTC)
I remember reading that buddahinside moved the page. Perl 14:58, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Main page and NPOV content

Where should I post my opinions about the rhetoric used on the front page to describe what is happening in the news? I feel that the summary on Haiti and Aristide is very problematic and one-sided. How can this be addressed??

Doesn't seem to be anything about Haiti on the Main Page at the moment... Evercat 00:27, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'm guessing the anon was referring to the blurb from yesterday about Aristide announcing that he was essentially kidnapped by the US military. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 01:40, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I was surprised by the non-NPOV wording, as well. Also, apparently there is no history kept of the Main page revisions, although there is a "Page history" page for it that should contain links to prior revisions. - Bevo 01:48, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The history is here: [1] and the relevant edit is here: [2]. The wording reflected Aristide's claim, which, admittedly, lacked a certain perspective. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 01:51, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I see. You have to consider the templates from which the page is constructed. You do lose the archive of the total composition. In some ways that's regretable. Like not having an archive of covers of magazines, or front pages of newspapers. Oh, well. I guess it's unavoidable. (I suppose that this carries over into regular pages that carry tag expansions as well.) - Bevo 02:01, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Also, check the Reuters article that was the source for the blurb on the main page, it is linked to from the Current Events page, but I'll reprint it here to: [3]. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 01:57, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

DYK & Safari

On Safari right now, the DYK text is slammed all the way to the left border of the left column. Any ideas on why? jengod 05:24, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC)


Just wanted to point out that we reached 200,000 on Feb 2, and 218,000 on Mar 3, which works out to 600 articles per day. Its nice to see en: growing fast again. If the growth curve is linear we will reach 400,000 in 10 more months, if it is exponential we will get there in seven months. -- Arvindn 06:21, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I wonder what the average size of an article is (say, number of words per article, or characters per article), and what the trend has been over the past year of that average. - Bevo 11:01, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Statistics: more stats than you can shake a stick at -- Arvindn 12:35, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I miss the new articles section. Can we have it back? Exploding Boy 14:48, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC)

What content did it have? There is that lists all the new articles. - Bevo 15:44, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wow. All your base are belong to us is our feature article. -- user:zanimum

Expect the end of the world shortly. Not that I mind. -- Itai 15:08, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Hehe. When I decided to feature it, I thought it would be an interesting choice :) →Raul654 16:03, Mar 4, 2004 (UTC)

Main page composition

FWIW, which is little, I think the current Main page is horrible. It looks like a cross between a magazine portal and a current news site. It does not look like an encyclopaedia. The encyclopaedia stuff is scrolled way down the page. Bring back the old version. -- SGBailey 14:51, 2004 Mar 4 (UTC)

I'd like to see the "In the news" portion of the Main page dropped, or at least reduced to a simple link to Current events. See Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, especially #16 ... " [Wikipedia is not] A news report. Wikipedia should not offer news reports on breaking stories..." - Bevo 16:48, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
"But of course creating encyclopedia articles on topics currently in the news is an excellent idea. See current events for some examples. (However, the Wiki process lends itself to collaborative, up-to-the-minute construction of current events of historical significance, as long as these are written as encyclopedia articles.)" The In the news section encourages those updates. This is also the major difference between us and dead tree encyclopedias. --mav
Certainly not the major difference. None of these dead tree encyclopedias were wikis! ^_^ -- Toby Bartels 19:10, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
True - but that is process, I was talking about product. --mav
Two comments. :-) One, I like the new format, and think that the combination of encyclopedic approach and immediacy is what makes Wikipedia most distinct among encyclopedias online (how long will it be before EB updates its Aristide article? Longer than we take, I guarantee it). Two, "In the news" is distinguished by (a) a focus on encyclopedic type news (we don't list "box-office smashes" or things of that nature) and (b) the fact that we aren't linking to some brief current event, but an article that gives as much as we've got of the entire history. Someone jumping to Aristide doesn't just see the last 24 hours...they see a more holistic approach. I think if people used us like a news site, they'd be much better informed. :-) So I don't mind a news-ish look, even though I think the look we have is an excellent hybrid. Jwrosenzweig 19:16, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

London congestion charge ?

London congestion charge is the featured article in today's Main page. An article on a municipality fee is the best showcase article that Wikipedia has today? Are we becoming competition for the Drudge Report? - Bevo 15:33, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Now I see that Current Events is actually using the Drudge Report as a source for the Ashcroft's medical condition! - Bevo 15:43, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for being so unthinkingly offensive. How many of your articles are on featured articles? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 15:51, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I was not feeling so much to giving offence, as to questioning the role of the featured article in this encyclopedia. Obviously, I'm not good at wording these comments to convey my sentiments. I am "thinking". I an thinking about what the world thinks about this encyclopedia, as marketed by the Main page. And, at least you read my mind in thinking that any comparisons with Wikipedia and the Drudge Report should be taken as unflattering to the Wikipedia. - Bevo 16:05, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I don't understand, are you criticising the article as not worthy of being a featured article, or are you criticising displaying a featured article on the front page? And I really don't understand the analogy with the Drudge report... why on earth would the Drudge Report on a congestion charge????? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 16:12, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)
You are correct. I think it is worthy of being a featured article. I just feel that the Main page's "best" featured article should be one that has less "current events", and more long-term appeal. And, the overlap with the Drudge Report goes to the controversial nature (or even the novelty) of that fee. - Bevo 16:25, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The Charge has been in place for over a year, so isn't really novel or a current event. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 17:42, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)