Talk:Main Page/Archive 160

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TFL-Editnotice not showing on Featured list article

I cannot for the life of me find out why {{TFL editnotice}} is not showing on the current featured list (Bodley's Librarian). I have checked {{TFL title}} and {{Editnotices/Namespace/Main}}, and the code is exactly the same as for TFA, yet it is not showing for TFL. Please help! Edokter (talk) — 15:38, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]

I've no idea either, so as a stopgap, I've created Template:Editnotices/Page/Bodley's Librarian as a hack for today. Courcelles 15:50, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Problem found. Edokter (talk) — 16:03, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Three dots

WP:ELLIPSIS says that there should be a space (or an nbsp) before each ellipsis (three dots: ...) It also requires a space after, but not in the cases I'm about to describe. An unspaced ellipsis always occurs at the end of four Main Page sections: "Today's featured article", "In the news", "Today's featured picture", and "Today's featured list". It also occurs in the "more..." link in "Today's featured article" and "Today's featured list". (And "Did you know", but that was fixed years ago.) People would presumably be less likely to edit war over such issues if they saw the Manual of Style respected on the Main Page, where everybody sees it. So would anybody object if I fixed it? Or is this another one of those undocumented exceptions for the Main Page only? Art LaPella (talk) 04:36, 17 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Art, it's a good point—one I'd noticed and experimented with. I see no reason for general exceptions to the site-wide style guides for this page, although one or two page-specific exceptions some are appropriate (bolded links being one, although there's far too much of that, IMO). I'd already experimented with the space before the ellipsis points in "(more ...), and wondered. The whole of the main page suffers from text crowding, so I agree with your proposition. Certainly, we have the required spaces after the ellipsis points in the DYK hooks, which is essential, I think, and the "Did you know ..." and On this day ..." titles would look better with the space before, as required in WP articles. (One exception is the dropping of the space in the titles of popular cultural products, I notice.) Tony (talk) 05:31, 17 June 2011 (UTC)[]
That would be a trivial change and the Main Page should conform to the style guidelines moreso than any other page. —James (TalkContribs)4:58pm 06:58, 17 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Could you point out exactly where in MOS:ELLIPSIS this is stated? I can see a proscription of placing spaces between the full stops, and a discussion of spaces before and after ellipses used to indicate a pause or omitted material in a quotation, but not the end-of-sentence usage that we have on the Main Page. Having a space before a terminal ellipsis looks weird to me ...
This looks much better...
Modest Genius talk 17:47, 17 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Put a space on each side of an ellipsis, from the "Function and implementation" subsection. (For the record, having a space between a word and a terminal ellipsis looks completely wrong to me.)  狐 Déan rolla bairille!  18:24, 17 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Agree with both of you. A space before a terminal ellipsis looks ridiculous. Unfortunately, the lunatics have taken control of the asylum. —WFC— 19:17, 17 June 2011 (UTC)[]
If so, it would be more helpful to discuss changing WP:ELLIPSIS at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style. They aren't nearly as hostile as they used to be. Art LaPella (talk) 20:05, 17 June 2011 (UTC)[]
WFCforLife (WFC): Nothing is gained by introducing gratuitously offensive remarks. If you have special expertise in punctuation and would like the Project to benefit from it, please do as Art LaPella suggests: take it to WT:MOS, where MOS guidelines are discussed collegially – with consideration of major style guides, and of anything else that seems relevant to practice on Wikipedia.
NoeticaTea? 23:23, 17 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Nor is anything gained by rephrasing a point that has already been fairly and eloquently made, in a condescending manner. I concede that I could have held back on my choice of words, but it was nonetheless fair comment. The first potentially "offensive" remark was clearly tongue in cheek. I apologise if the second offended anyone, but that doesn't make me wrong. I have no doubt that there are are a significant number of fantastic individuals lurking around the MoS pages. But a collegiate group of editors wouldn't have necessitated an arbitration motion banning the reverting of hyphens and endashes on a sitewide basis.

As for the suggestion, I don't see the point. Style guidelines should reflect de facto practise, not impose a de jure framework. If my opinion is of zero value because I refuse to go near a page that does not represent our editors, so be it. Policies, guidelines and instructions are only of value where there is a clear benefit for the reader, the editor, or both. WP:ACCESS and WP:V, for instance. For the large part, the MoS achieves neither, and is therefore irrelevant.

Art LaPella's reassurance notwithstanding, I'll be damned if I step back into a policy-related bearpit unless not doing so would have a detrimental impact on my day-to-day activities. Should that happen, it'll take all the self restraint I can muster to prevent myself from posting a truly "gratuitously offensive remark". —WFC— 00:58, 18 June 2011 (UTC)[]

The point is that in your own words, "style guidelines should reflect de facto practise", so if they don't reflect de facto practice then let's fix them. If nothing else, you'll stop my own AWB editing from including this very guideline. More discussion here. However, when I reread more closely, it looks like you object to the guideline only in the special case of the space before the ellipsis depending on what comes after. In that case, guidelines aren't intended to cover every possible special case. Oh, and our bearpit really isn't any worse than this one, and if all the bears could be confined in the same pit, then the rest of you could get on with writing an encyclopedia. Art LaPella (talk) 04:53, 18 June 2011 (UTC)[]
"Ellipsis#In English" says the following.

According to Robert Bringhurst's Elements of Typographic Style, the details of typesetting ellipsis depend on the character and size of the font being set and the typographer's preference. Bringhurst writes that a full space between each dot is "another Victorian eccentricity. In most contexts, the Chicago ellipsis is much too wide"—he recommends using flush dots, or thin-spaced dots (up to one-fifth of an em), or the prefabricated ellipsis character (Unicode U+2026, Latin entity …). Bringhurst suggests that normally, an ellipsis should be spaced fore-and-aft to separate it from the text, but when it combines with other punctuation, the leading space disappears and the other punctuation follows. This is the usual practice in typesetting. He provides the following examples:

i … j k…. l…, l l, … l m…? n…!
Wavelength (talk) 23:49, 17 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Editors can survey the pronouncements of various online style guides here.
Wavelength (talk) 00:13, 18 June 2011 (UTC)[]

What attracts me to Art's idea in the first place is its potential to be a small step towards solving the problem of text-crowding on the main page. Has anyone thought of a thin space for main-page use before and after ellipses? Does our   do the trick? And crucially, does it work for the problem-child Internet Explorer? I can't get that code to render the "Did you know..." and OTD titles, and the "more..." at the end of TFA and TFL, any differently from a normal whole space. Any suggestions?

But I stumbled on an unexpected improvement, I think, in the plain text of the DYK hooks: by closing up the whole space currently used, it looks better in my opinion. Current whole space first, then with the thinsp code:

  • ... that during his tenure as mayor of Minden, Louisiana, Connell Fort worked to rid his city of mosquitoes, laid natural gas lines, and built the municipal sewerage system?
  • ... that during his tenure as mayor of Minden, Louisiana, Connell Fort worked to rid his city of mosquitoes, laid natural gas lines, and built the municipal sewerage system? Tony (talk) 06:09, 18 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Works in IE8, so it definitely should work in 9 and 10. The usage of a thin or thick space makes little difference IMO. —James (TalkContribs)10:56am 00:56, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
And while we're on ellipsis points, why has OTD got them in the title? DYK should have them (it's a must, grammatically). OTD is very different. The title would look better without, I think. Tony (talk) 05:22, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Aren't ellipses (I think that's the plural) used to continue a trail of thought, so its use there makes sense, does it not? —James (TalkContribs)7:44pm 09:44, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Why not put ellipsis points after "In the news", then? The reason they're good after "Did you know ..." is that the title starts each of the bullets: it's grammatically extended. The other three titles are just normal stand-alone titles. Tony (talk) 11:19, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Indeed. From time to time, I've wondered why the ellipsis was added to "On this day". If I recall correctly, the original mockups (during the last major main page redesign, which changed the section's title from "Selected anniversaries") lacked the ellipsis until someone threw it in at the last minute. I agree that it should be removed. —David Levy 05:32, 23 June 2011 (UTC)[]

"On this day" date is wrong yet again

You need to fix the main page. Your on this day is always saying it is a day later than what it actually is. I was checking it out today at 8:30 MST on June 18th and it says it is Sunday June 19th which it isn't for 3.5 hours. You need to stop using the UTC time and use something better, especially since I am in Canada and don't care for what time it is overseas. FIX this ASAP!!!!!!! NORTH AMERICA ALL THE WAY! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:35, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]

There is nothing to fix. Wikipedia uses one time for everyone and that is Coordinated Universal Time. All dates and pages are based on that time. GB fan (talk) 02:39, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I've heard of Coordinated Universal Time, UTC, GMT, and a host of other time zones. Never heard of MST. Does it stand for Minor Smallville Time? Where DO these people come from? HiLo48 (talk) 02:55, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Mountain Time Zone, home of millions of Americans and others. Art LaPella (talk) 03:05, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Thanks for the info. I do appreciate it. And, looking at that article, I guess I must have even been in that time zone when I visited the Grand Canyon. One can always learn. I just hope my crappy attempt at irony and satire helps our OP do so. HiLo48 (talk) 03:17, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Yes, I agree with my Canadian friend, please set wikipedia to Mountain Standard Time. Surely this is the greatest time zone in the world.--William S. Saturn (talk) 05:16, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Mountain Standard Time is the most desirable in the world. I associate it with ... skiing. Tony (talk) 05:21, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Actually the problem is that although Canadians and Americans agree that overseas time zones don't matter they can't agree which North American one does. We once had a vote where it was agreed the candidate with 75% of the vote would win and become our primary time zone. Eventually we whittled down to Pacific Time Zone and North American Eastern Time Zone. Unfortunately neither one managed to get 75% of the vote after 666 votes on the last two candidates only, so we gave up. It didn't help that someone pointed out on the 666th vote only 2 people voted so we needed unanimity for one to win. Of course if there was only one left then what they supported would have won but there had been only 2 voters since the 444th vote it was decided that was unlikely to happen. Also sorry to say Mountain Time Zone fell at the first hurdle, losing to Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone, Alaska Time Zone, Atlantic Standard Time Zone, Newfoundland Standard Time Zone and the two final candidates. Even those proposing a consensus candidate suggested North American Central Time Zone as the main choice. It didn't help that the Mountain Time Zone supporters were murdering each other because they couldn't agree whether or not to observe daylight saving time and most of them didn't even understand what a time zone was or know what the time was anywhere else in North America let alone the world so they didn't show up for the vote. Nil Einne (talk) 08:12, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Daylight saving can be a problem. In Australia's hillbilly, sorry, sunshine state, Queensland, the state premier once declared "One of the issues in a state where we've got the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world – an extra hour of daylight is going to make that worse." HiLo48 (talk) 08:24, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • We also don't care about your time zone. We can not list every time zone and UTC is the de facto time zone, closely affiliated with the Greenwich Mean Time and the Universal Time. And I am wondering why you need the clock if your computer has at least one. I am not sure which OS you are using, but I am sure that all have at least one clock somewhere at the bottom or top.--♫Greatorangepumpkin♫Share–a–Power[citation needed] 12:42, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • I for one can do the math and subtract five hours from GMT or UTC to get my time zone. When compared against the enormous effort it would take to overhaul the system so that each editor's timestamp could be modified to show the time/date in relation to the reader, I see no basis for the complainant's continentalist ideals.--WaltCip (talk) 14:11, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • I live in Europe and don't care what the time is in North America. Why should you be any more special? (talk) 08:44, 22 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • You can set your preferences to show the age of talk page posts in your own time zone. On the Main Page, I think that most people understand that we are an international encyclopaedia, and just get over it. I suppose for OTD they are notified of events a day in advance...? :-) Adabow (talk · contribs) 09:08, 22 June 2011 (UTC)[]

TFA thumb: to the right?

Would it be a good idea? All other sections, including TFL but excluding TFP, have their thumbs to the right. TFP s the exception since the photo is the focus. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 06:20, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]

It wouldn't look right, at all, the current design of the Main Page was agreed on through consensus and discussion. Conformism is fine, but to a certain degree. If ITN had left-aligned images you'd probably scream at the admin who changed it, I know I would! TFA's always had the image to the left, if not the past 4 years. Also, I've always wondered, what on earth does your sig mean, I can't make sense of it. —James (TalkContribs)7:39pm 09:39, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I think those squinty little thumbnails advertise WP's poor use of images through the site. Probably 2/3 of the images look silly or incomprehensible at that size. It's embarrassing. Tony (talk) 10:24, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Tiny pictures are a plague. I would say this is even worse than the "optimized for 12 year olds" font size.TCO (talk) 14:52, 22 June 2011 (UTC)[]

HTD is complaining about the inclusion of a link on ITN thoroughout the 2010 FIFA World Cup which in his opinion lacked prose updates which is a general requirement for items to be on ITN. Considering it's nearly been a year since the 2010 FIFA World Cup finished I would suggest it's time to let it go, but it's up to him I guess. Nil Einne (talk) 13:30, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Just because it has been on the left for four years doesn't mean it cannot ever, ever, evah change... All article have the main images on the right, so why not here? I prefer that the image be moved to the right; it gives the main page a better balanced look. Here's some CSS you can put in your skin file to shift the image to the right:
/* Shift TFA image to the right */
div#mp-tfa div {
  float: right !important;
  margin: 0.5em 0 0.4em 0.9em !important;
Edokter (talk) — 13:36, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Eh, let's defer the idea that the thumbs shouldn't be used for decorative purposes. No one has told me that the TFA's thumb should be the left, nor has anyone told why it shouldn't be on the right. Although I could swear there was a time that the TFA thumb was on the left, but maybe I was imagining things. –HTD (Look ma! Shorter sig!) 14:06, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Although I could swear there was a time that the TFA thumb was on the left, but maybe I was imagining things - The TFA thumbnail has always been on the left. Raul654 (talk) 14:55, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Funnily enough, logic told me it should be on the right, too. I tried it, and didn't much like—somehow having it on the right made all four thumbs resonate off each other in a way that made me uncomfortable, as though it was all too symmetrical. But what we do need is a larger thumb for TFA, with slightly shorter text to pay for it. I've long thought that slightly shorter blurbs for TFA would be more effective. The page as a whole is too dense, too text-cluttered. OTD, ITN, and DYK are bulleted, and the first two have only 45% of the width: I can't see how their thumbs can be larger; but TFA is different. Tiny thumbs are usually ineffective, and sometimes dysfunctional, like the recent astronomic one, where it was utterly impossible to make out what it was. And the thumbs don't look as bad in the queue as they do swallowed by oceans of text on the whole main page. Visitors are used to websites that use images much more effectively than en.WP's main page. Tony (talk) 11:12, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I've thought long about your crusade/jihad to lessen the links on the main page, and I figured, it may work for the FA, but not the for the other 3 bulleted lists. If people want to see the links, they should click "(more...)", and I say we don't link the title, just boldface it. It works on the TFA (and probably TFP and TFL) but probably not on OTD, ITN and DYK as they're short and people may need to know the context immediately.
And maybe the 4 right-aligned thumbs may hypnotize some people. Heh. Also, on most websites I visit, the thumbs aren't this small -- as you've said, there's way too many text which forces them to be small. But they're not encyclopedias. –HTD 12:12, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Howard, I'm not entirely sure which bits we're agreeing about and which we're not. Could you be more explicit? I like some of what you're saying. First, I think we agree that the left-side for the TFA pic is OK. On the size of the thumbnail for the TFA, is there any reason not to make it larger where it's detail-rich, especially if the text is less than the informal maximum of 1200 characters, to pay for it in terms of spatial balance with the other sections? We might be agreeing on linking within TFA (with the possible exception of the occasional link that is buried way down in the article and seems important enough to include on the main page)

But in principle, I don't the difference with ITN, OTD, and DYK linking (ITN and OTD are looking particularly messy and noisy right now). It seems reasonable to link the initial years in OTD hooks as well as the OTD article as the sole link (and not bolded, a benefit of reversing the inflationary trend towards over-highlighting that has caused this problem in the first place).

The pic of the day needs careful thought in relation to linking, since no subject article has been painstakingly prepared for the main page (although we'd do well to audit the obvious one or two related articles to the pic before exposure).

A very small step towards reducing the messy appearance and the blue carpeting on the right side would be to determine that—as mandated by our own styleguide—common country names (the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, India, China, France, Germany, Russia, etc) not be linked unless they're the subject article. Tony (talk) 13:10, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]

First on images, although I still like all images to be aligned on the right, I'd also want to see them bigger at the expense of shortening the text/removing blurbs. I'm OK thought with the status quo but I'd prefer the TFA thumb on the right. Uusually, images are always right-aligned, right? It's quite odd to see an image left-aligned at the beginning of a paragraph; it's more odd to see an image left-aligned in a bulleted list, though.
On links: I'm saying a single link to the word "more" placed at the very end is good in TFA; although the writing for the excerpt should be nothing short of brilliant to keep the reader from reading till the very end. When I need traffic for my blog for example, I spam web forums where I post the entire blog entry, w/o the links; then I leave a link at the end with the explanation that if you want see the links, you better go to my blog.
Now I don't know if that'll work on bulleted lists as the reader may need all of the info he'd need to understand the blurb; this is unlike in TFA where a reader may get what the author is trying to say without going to another page.
For example, our TFA:
The First Roumanian-American congregation is an Orthodox Jewish congregation that for more than 100 years occupied a historic building (pictured) at 89–93 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York.
You don't need to know what Orthodox Judaism is, as it is defined by the word "congregation." Rivington Street is linked, but you can argue that you don't need to know anything else about the street except that it is Manhattan, New York. So now, you know what and where this First Roumanian-American congregation is.
Now for a DYK:
that in 1463 Thomas Bettz left £26 13s 4d in his will—a fortune in those days—to help pay for the repair of the bells of St Martin's Church in Ruislip
You'd need to find out what on earth £26 13s 4d is, where Ruislip is, and how they connect to St Martin's Church, Ruislip. You can't explain all of this in 200 characters or less. –HTD 13:38, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • Last first: the pounds shillings and pence I suggested be simply "more than £26", to solve that problem; I also think DYKs are best when uncluttered. But the nominator knocked me back. Well, it was just a suggestion. Ruislip is prominently linked in the DYK article, which is the basic reason almost all competing "auxiliary" links should, I believe, be dropped from the bullets in DYK, ITN, and OTD (except for the initial years in OTD). The signal-to-noise ratio is so low that readers are likely to shrug their shoulders. Just why "United Kingdom" et al. should be linked and bunched up against blue neighbours day-in day-out at OTD is beyond me. There's good research from the US that too much choice has a contradictory outcome. Part of what we have to offer readers is our selectivity as guidance. It's robbing them of nothing.

    I basically agree with what you say about TFA/your blog, etc., although I think we could afford just one (preferably unbolded) link at the start to the actual TFA subject article too. Yes, TFAs are well-written on the whole, but my recent experience shows they can be trimmed by anything from 5% to 25% (often 15%) at a guess, to make them crisper; leave them wanting more and they'll click, I say.

    To me, rationalising the TFA text a bit is ample justification for boosting image size and not upsetting the other sections. Readers love images, and we manage to spoil ours regularly by making them tiny. Good examples of why DYK should be allowed a little latitude in going up to 120px where te admins think it's suitable is here: T:TDYK#Hedionda Lake (Nor Lipez) and T:TDYK#Pediocactus. OTD and ITN are more problematic for larger pics, since they have only 45% of the page, with bullets. PS Left-side images are allowed in articles, but are often associated with text- and image-sandwiching problems. They can't be used with bullets, either, because of screen-readers. Tony (talk) 15:10, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]

On links: I guess it all boils down on whether the reader really goes to the main article, which depends on how good the hook is, then followed by its position on the list (top blurbs often have the most views). In my DYKs for example, this hook, which was the second-to-the-last blurb:
that the SWAT team was called in to restrain unruly fans during the 2003 UAAP semifinals?
Got 2.4k views. This one, which was the lead hook and requested to appear on a special occasion, "only" got 2.8k views:
that the debates to enact the Rizal Law (José Rizal pictured) in 1956 is compared to the current Reproductive Health Bill debate in the Philippines?
It also helped that the only other link in the first blurb was "SWAT" and I presume everybody who uses the internet knows what that is, so traffic went to the main article (plus, everybody loves fights). The second blurb had three equally important links (you'd have to have background information on José Rizal, Reproductive Health Bill and Rizal Law to know what is being said) so the links were dispersed; heck the main link got the least views on that day! (LOL)
In cases where people don't bother to click on the main article, the other links may be the key in understanding the blurb if you don't really want to read the main article but is distracted by the other links.
On thumbs: Yes sometimes I do see left-aligned thumbs but most of the time, it's right-aligned. Again, it's preference on the writer/editor on how it should be presented; if the image isn't decorative (an image about a battle on an article about the battle) it should probably go either way, if it is (an image of the general on an article about one of his battles), it should go to the right. We're not newspapers where making a layout is an art. –HTD 16:00, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Howard, were the other two articles audited for main-page exposure (José Rizal and Reproductive Health Bill)? Why was there so much effort and fuss about preparing Rizal Law at the gateway process if these other links were inserted to syphon off link traffic? I wonder what the disadvantage is in encouraging visitors to select those links from the DYK article itself, rather than in reverse order out of context. The subject is Rizal Law; that's the tree trunk; the other two are branches leading off it. Right now, we have unchecked branches drooping to the ground, vying with the trunk for readers' attention. To me, this is a simple matter of using wikilinking to reinforce theme rather than weaken it. Tony (talk) 07:44, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
It was José Rizal's 150th birth anniversary last Sunday, so it got ~20k+ views; whether or not it was on the Main Page there'll be massive views for that article on that day. The Reproductive Health bill article normally gets ~1k views daily -- it got an additional ~2k views when it was linked on the Main Page with the Rizal Law blurb, which also got ~2k views, so that probably accounts the extra +2k views for the RH bill article. The Rizal Law article doesn't discuss how it is related to the RH bill until the very end so the reader might got pissed looking for the info on the RH bill. The only reason why it's linked to José Rizal was to include a thumb (ha ha); if there was no thumb, or the RH was not used, a different hook would be used and probably there'd only be one link. I considered creating about a hook saying that the Catholic schools threatening to close f the the then Rizal bill was passed but I figured to connect it to a modern issue, and probably I would've insisted use a thumbnail so José Rizal would've still been linked. –HTD 09:09, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
This already was (and is) a topic of discussion on this very page, Tony. You're simply rehashing your arguments (while ignoring the counterarguments and explanations conveniently tucked away in the other thread). —David Levy 11:05, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I agree with DL here. The discussion started on the alignment of images. Stuff like image size and selection are perhaps marginally on topic enough to be worthy of discussion here. Stuff like over-linking seem too OT to discuss here particularly when there is an existing thread on this very page. Nil Einne (talk) 15:57, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Community now not allowed to copy-edit TFAs

For some reason, three days hence (only just posted) have been protected. Why so late, and why now protected so there can be no input? Tony (talk) 10:00, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Your use of sensationalism frankly astounds me. The TFA is not protected from editing, merely from moving, for reasons that should be obvious.  狐 Déan rolla bairille!  10:07, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
(edit conflict, I thought you were talking about the TFA blurbs, but reading Fox's reply, I see that I may have been wrong). Not sure what the problem is with the second part of your question. The TFA in three days' time, Wikipedia:Today's featured article/June 23, 2011, isn't protected. Similarly, Wikipedia:Today's featured article/June 22, 2011 isn't protected. Wikipedia:Today's featured article/June 21, 2011 is protected because it's transcluded onto Wikipedia:Main Page/Tomorrow, which has had full cascading protection for over 4 years (and which is why WP:ERRORS deals with comments about today's and tomorrow's versions of the main page) - so it's not a recent change, which is what you seem to be suggesting in your section heading. As for how far in advance Raul/Dabomb select the TFA, that's for them to answer. BencherliteTalk 10:12, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I went to June's list of TFAs to find 21–23 June finally posted, and protected from editing. Tony (talk) 10:19, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Perhaps it was a computer glitch: now it's only 21 June that is inaccessible. And Fox, be astounded. Tony (talk) 10:22, 20 June 2011 (UTC) And I'm not going to make suggestions at WP:ERROR. I want to copy-edit the blurb. Tony (talk) 10:24, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
There's a way to gain access to the blurb itself.  狐 Déan rolla bairille!  10:26, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
(e.c.) That is the kind of arrogance that gets admins a very bad name. Tony (talk) 10:29, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
It's a legitimate suggestion.  狐 Déan rolla bairille!  10:38, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
No, it's snide, nasty, and arrogant. You are required by WP:ADMIN to perform your responsibilities without putting down non-admins, and that is a direct put-down. It's offensive, and guaranteed to create bad relations between admins and non-admins. Tony (talk) 10:41, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
No. It's not. And that is all I will say on this matter. Good day.  狐 Déan rolla bairille!  10:47, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
While I regard the protection as appropriate (and don't understand Tony's objection to Bencherlite's suggestion that he post his revised text on another page and request that it be copied over), I agree with Tony that your response was inappropriate. I trust that you didn't intend for it to come across as elitist and dismissive, but it did on my end. —David Levy 18:10, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Well, you can't do so directly, unless you gain consensus to remove cascading protection from Wikipedia:Main Page/Tomorrow. You can, of course, copy and paste the blurb onto Wikipedia talk:Today's featured article/June 21, 2011 and edit it there to your heart's content, then ask (e.g. at WP:ERRORS) for the changes to be copied across. BencherliteTalk 10:28, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
No thanks, I'm not going to ask someone's permission to have my copy-edits integrated. Tony (talk) 10:35, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
In which case, what do you want? Wikipedia:Main Page/Tomorrow to be unprotected? BencherliteTalk 10:41, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Tony's right in this one. It's incredibly frustrating to copyedit Main Page items (in my case, my DYK hooks) once it's on queue (on prep areas they can be edited though). –HTD 11:34, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
The obvious solution as I've suggested before is it would be good if TFA could consistently be scheduled more then one day in advance, giving people time to not only fret over the blurb but hopefully the article too. Anyway I think it's wise if stuff is protected for at least a day before it appears directly on the main page, helps prevent someone sneaking vandalism in without anyone noticing before it is shown on the main page. More generally it seems to me it's a good thing if the TFA blurb is protected anyway. We want to minimise copy editing there since history shows all too commonly people will edit the blurb which will only be relevent for about a day but leave the article. Which given that the blurb is usually a slightly re-writing of the intro is not a good thing. Nil Einne (talk) 11:43, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • No, every blurb I've looked at requires copy-editing. Now you're suggesting lower standards for the main page. Tony (talk) 11:49, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • No I'm suggesting vandalism on the main page is a far worse sight then minor errors so protection a day before items appear is justified to reduce the chance of it happening. I'm also suggesting it would be better if we worry about the standards of the FA which represents wikipedia for ever then the blurb which is really only seen for a day. Since the blurb is generally a minor re-write of the FA intro it follows that if every blurb requires copy-editing most FAs do as well so I guess we have major issues. Either way, it's better if the individual FA problems anyone spots are dealt with rather then getting so worked up with about the blurb (and if problems are spotted with the blurb the FA needs to be checked and corrected if necessary first). And in reality most admins would be fine posting corrections which have been made in the FA whereas I would argue reverting changes made to the blurb which are not reflected in the article is justified. To put it a different way, if someone can't be bothered to fix the FA then it's unsurprising no one cares about their persistent complaints. Nil Einne (talk) 15:38, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
No no no. I didn't create this problem; someone else did. Now, if the community is not going to be given the opportunity to edit the blurbs, I will launch an RfC immediately. Tony (talk) 16:44, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
For those articles nominated at WP:TFAR, the community has the ability to edit the blurbs right up until they are selected. For all blurbs, the community has the ability to edit the blurbs until today+2 (assuming, of course, that an article is selected more than 2 days in advance, and they regularly are). Thereafter, the blurbs are fully protected to avoid vandalism sneaking in, but this is the same for every element appearing or about to appear on the main page. However, the community still has the ability to edit the blurbs by asking Raul/Dabomb (as TFA director and delegate respectively) to make changes, by leaving a note at WP:ERRORS or indeed by approaching any passing admin known to work in this area. OK, it's not as direct a method of editing as DIY, but lots of editing of blurbs goes on this way, and it's a respectable balance between risking vandalism appear on the main page and polishing minor problems. It's been like this for several years, as I noted above, and I really fail to see why it's a big problem for you all of a sudden. BencherliteTalk 17:17, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Tony1, RfC is not a court action. You did not create this state of affairs, but you are most certainly the one defining it as a problem. If the community wishes for the ability to edit the blurbs right up until they are selected I would expect that more people would similarly have complained. Given that they haven't, perhaps the person calling for an immediate RfC on this injustice against the community of blah blah blah in the face of a group of editors uniformly saying "I don't see a problem, it's fairly reasonable" is perhaps not the best person to be lecturing on "arrogance". Come up with a legitimate reason to alter the rules that takes into account the reason they're there in the first place and maybe people might be more inclined to listen to you. So far your response has come off as the actions of a petulant child, screaming that he's not allowed to go get a cookie and stubbornly refusing to consider alternatives to Precisely What He Wants. If you think that suggesting edits to other people is so much of a restriction, come up with a reasonable alternative that takes into account vandalism or let this rest. Ironholds (talk) 17:38, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Ironholds, I'll disregard your insulting accusation ("petulant child, screaming")—is bullying and intimidation all you can come up with? Thanks, Bencherlite, but I don't intend to edit blurbs during their application, which may or may not succeed. I have too much on my plate for that. I won't edit by some proxy arrangement with an admin. I will directly edit blurbs that are definitely chosen for a date. but the cupboard is almost bare for upcoming days. There's only one application for a non-specific date (hardly any discussion), two for specific days this month, and two for specific days next month, under application. The default seems to be that most TFA blurbs are plucked out of the blue perilously close to the time they have to be locked, and two days ago, one was locked as soon as posted. It's unacceptable for the community to be shut out of the ability to edit blurbs once they're selected for a day. 24 hours is reasonable, although longer is preferable. The issue will be framed as the systemic discrimination of non-admins by admins: a closed-shop process. I'll alert Raul now to this thread. Tony (talk) 17:59, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Now, if the community is not going to be given the opportunity to edit the blurbs, I will launch an RfC immediately - that isn't intimidation, Tony?  狐 Déan rolla bairille!  18:09, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
One is seeking justice (in equal access) and the best way of drawing on community skills to optimise the product; the other is personally directed bullying and name-calling. Are you equating these? Tony (talk) 18:13, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
You have been told of ways in which you can copy-edit the blurbs in question and you have been told of the reasons why the protection is in place. While I'm not equating them per se, you surely see that you are both in the wrong to jump directly to this child-like bickering?  狐 Déan rolla bairille!  18:16, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Yes, Tony. The ability to have a sense of Equal Justice for All through the Freedom of Every Editor to Contribute to TFA Blurbs is totally a completely reasonable and realistic prospect and not something that at all comes off as self-entitled grandstanding by an individual who has turned down all possible compromises to make complaints about a system without addressing any of the reasons why the system is in place, and who does so while speaking for The Community, even though most of the people who have cropped up in this thread have opposed him, but it's okay, because they're just admins, and everyone knows admins are the enemy, even though since admins are the only people who can contribute to this area, it's statistically unlikely that the people who turn up won't be admins. In other news, I've got some land in nigeria for sale - would you like it? It comes with its own princess who, did you know, is having real trouble moving money out of the country. Ironholds (talk) 18:19, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
1. You haven't explained your objection to editing by proxy. Is it a matter of principle? Do you honestly perceive this as some sort of slight? Is the same not true of non-sysops' inability to directly edit the main page?
2. More importantly, you blame the "admins," but you haven't advocated any specific change(s) on our part. You obviously believe that the articles should be scheduled a minimum of 72 hours in advance, and I agree. But this is beyond the control of anyone other than Raul654 and Dabomb87, so what do you want the rest of us to do? To be clear, this is a sincere question. —David Levy 18:35, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Reading this discussion, there is unquestionably an impression of admins treating non-admins as second class editors, even if there is no basis in fact to that conclusion. I suggest a change of tone on all sides, and the hypocracy of me saying that is duly noted. —WFC— 18:20, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]

We are not treating non-admins as second class citizens. We are pointing out that a significantly higher proportion of non-admins choose to vandalise the main page when they can get their mits on it, and as such, given the prominence of the content, it's probably best that we don't allow that to happen. If you refer to the tone of the conversation, please do not do what Tony seems to be doing and confuse commentary directed with him for commentary directed at non-admins as a whole. Ironholds (talk) 18:26, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
You are indeed treating non-admins as second-class citizens. Now, let's turn the tables, Ironholds. You run past me on my talk page any further posts you want to place on this page. I'll vet them fairly promptly, but I'm the one who decides whether you get to post. Is that a deal? Tony (talk) 18:41, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Tony, the two situations aren't remotely comparable, and you know it. BencherliteTalk 18:53, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Seriously, Tony, you're taking wild swings [at windmills].
I'll ask again. How do you propose the "admins" address this issue? What do you want us to do differently? —David Levy 19:09, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Tony, if the community concluded that that was the right thing to do, I'd do it. The difference is they haven't, so the two situations can't be compared. Again; what do you want to do about vandalism? What is, in your mind, the correct balance between protection and open editing? Ironholds (talk) 21:57, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]
More specifically, Tony's entire "I'll vet them fairly promptly, but I'm the one who decides whether you get to post" analogy simply isn't valid. Talk page comments, with few exceptions, are not to be substantially altered by editors other than their authors. Conversely, whether a TFA blurb is protected or unprotected, there is no reasonable expectation that any particular user's edits will stick.
If administrators are declining consensus-backed edit requests that contradict their personal preferences, that's a serious abuse. Is there any evidence that this is occurring, Tony?
And before you cite WP:BOLD and point out that consensus isn't required to perform an edit, I'll remind you that the same principle applies to a user who, if the template were unprotected, might revert your edits and request that you seek consensus. Either way, the outcome is the same (and as noted above, a problem only arises if an administrator disregards such consensus). —David Levy 23:00, 21 June 2011 (UTC)[]

This statement is a breach of the WP:CIVIL policy, Ironholds: "self-entitled grandstanding". Stop the bullying. Tony (talk) 07:48, 22 June 2011 (UTC)[]

You will note that my latest statement, which asks precisely what you want and what we should do about vandalism, is perfectly civil. It has also not been answered; you might want to address the issues here if you expect to be taken seriously. Ironholds (talk) 10:06, 22 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Please don't order me to note anything. So your latest statement is perfectly civil, by contrast with your breach of the civility policy before that. Agreed. Now, rather than the knee-jerk group pressure that has emerged, why don't you acknowledge that I've never blamed admins here for this unsatisfactory situation. However, I think this sense of "don't mess with anything", and "this is the way we've always done it, so f off" is regrettable: these arguments are often put up to resist overdue improvements to WP's systems and standards. I've found the accusations, among them yours, rather hard to take, and unfitting of the role you agreed to play at your RfAs. I'll attempt to address the systemic issue with the last-minute blurbs shortly. Thank you. Tony (talk) 10:16, 22 June 2011 (UTC)[]
The fact that you can take offence at the clause "you will note that" adds another entry to the "swinging at windmills" column. You could have summarised the entire post as "I'll reply to your point soon"; a lot simpler. We are not saying "don't improve anything". We are not saying "don't change anything, this is the way we've always done it". We are saying "if you want to change stuff, you have to explain why a change is needed, and how your alterations take into account the reason we're in this situation in the first place". I think that's a perfectly reasonable request, and one that despite a rather long thread, you've yet to actually address. Ironholds (talk) 10:53, 22 June 2011 (UTC)[]

In the news: "Air Asia" link

There is a wikicode error for the "Air Asia" link in the section "In the news".
Wavelength (talk) 14:25, 24 June 2011 (UTC) It has been corrected.—Wavelength (talk) 14:29, 24 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Yes, I spotted that and fixed it. Hut 8.5 14:57, 24 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Proposal to increase blurb limit for ITN

The current 6-blurb limit on ITN, while satisfactory always leaves a chasm below OTD on the right-side of the featured content of the Main Page, even when I'm using a 24" widescreen monitor at full-resolution. Upping the limit to 7 would fill that chasm for most people on a condensed screen-res (the left-side of the featured content is always the longest in such cases). Thoughts? —James (TalkContribs)3:00pm 05:00, 26 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Adding blurbs to ITN or OTD is done on an ad-hoc basis to fill in any such gaps. If you see one, just report it at WP:ERRORS and someone will get to it. I certainly would not want to codify that, because there are days when the TFA blurb is too short and we'd have to cut out some anyway. howcheng {chat} 05:10, 26 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I'll add that we don't strictly enforce a numerical limit.
Also, it should be noted that it's impossible to balance the columns for everyone (due to differences caused by varying display resolutions and other settings). When some users see "a chasm below OTD," others might see the exact opposite (or approximate balance). —David Levy 05:18, 26 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I was going to add the same thing as David: I was not aware we had a limit. We basically try to keep a number of blurbs (and shorten or lengthen the blurbs accordingly) that maintains balance on the Main Page. This is impossible to do for everyone, so we try to keep pages balanced for a XGA display. (I know there is a page with statistics as to which browser resolutions are most used by Wikipedia readers, but I cannot remember where that page is located.) Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 06:22, 26 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Another concern about adding more ITN items on a daily basis is what happens during slow news days. It might increase the perception of systemic bias, or cause more items to stay posted for "Lugo-ish" periods of time. Zzyzx11 (talk) 07:48, 26 June 2011 (UTC)[]
The right and left sides will never balance in vertical reach for all window widths. Try it on your own monitor by gradually narrowing/widening your window. I've formed a view that there's already too much text on the main page, and that it's too visually crowded. However, ITN should be allowed some flexibility in the number of hooks (more flexibility than DYK or OTD, I think), because of the external factors that play into unfolding events. Tony (talk) 09:44, 26 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Featured list structure discussion?

Is there a different location for discussion about the featured list structure on the front page? The double full page width "ladder" at the bottom of the page looks rather awkward. - Tenebris 01:16, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

The featured list is a relatively new thing on the Main page (the first one appeared on 13 June), and only appears on Mondays. The format was previously discussed at length here, among others, and what is shown is the compromise. Because it only appears once a week, it is much easier for the system to automatically hide and show that row if it takes the entire width of the page. Plus, the idea of putting "Today's featured picture" and "Today's featured list" side-by-side like the other sections was rejected; numerous featured pictures (although not the one posted today) are either landscape or unusually shaped images, and thus usually require the entire width of the main page. Cheers. Zzyzx11 (talk) 02:43, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
This does bring up the elephant in the living room: while a double column does work quite well for some portals, it has had its day after five years on the main page. The double column (awkardly set at 55% vs 45%) squashes the right side, gives the impression of text crowding, and makes it virtually impossible to use images properly. As well, the bottom two titles (for DYK and OTD) almost never align horizontally, no matter which narrowness or wideness you try for your window. This gives a disorganised look to the page. Tony (talk) 06:12, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Thank you, appreciated. I did have a rather different suggestion which would have left the featured picture width alone, but I can skip it. I know how long it takes to hammer out compromise in these things! (Re different sized columns -- for what it is worth, that actually works for me, considering the different tone of each size; and it works better because it is not aligned. I have seen it on multiple monitors including the old small ones.) - Tenebris 20:00, 27 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Stub of the day?

At WT:DYK, Malleus Fatuorum said "Then why not highlight those articles most in need of help instead of the newest? I think he has a point there. Whilst DYK promotes newly created material, some of the stub articles from way back have remained stubs. If room could be found on the main page, we could feature a stub each day with the intention of getting editors to expand it. Obviously, the featured stub should be considered capable of expansion, and this would need to be assessed beforehand. I can also forsee that some editors would want to start expansion before the stub hit the main page, but that is an issue which can be discussed later. Mjroots (talk) 05:55, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]

I think Malleus was being ironic. What is more to the point is the blurring of the distinction between (1) newly created or recently expanded articles, and (2) article quality. Sometimes you get the feeling that in the race to put as many newly created or recently expanded articles as possible on the main page, someone forgot about the hard work involved in reviewing for copyright, prose, structure, verifiability, and such other minor concerns. But it is quite possible to have high quality new or recently expanded articles, and that is what the DYK rules, in copious and repeated fashion, indicates should be the norm. The break-neck speed of the production line currently makes this impossible, unless an army of reviewers suddenly appears out of nowhere. Tony (talk) 06:07, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
The sorta new rule requiring frequent submitters to review blurbs isn't helping either. They'd just quickly scan the article and just look for the appropriate tick.
P.S. Tony was right in saying that Malleus was being sarcastic. Malleus is implying that DYK articles are crap. –HTD 07:10, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Tony said no such thing; irony =/= sarcasm. Malleus Fatuorum 00:09, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I think Malleus's comments are thought-provoking and timely, but ultimately could be construed as unconstructive in their extremity. I happen to think all four upper sections are superbly framed for the main page, including DYKs. But a few changes are overdue in all sections of the main page after five years of virtual stasis. I suggested to Malleus a couple of days ago that he collaborate with editors to come up with something more positive. Tony (talk) 08:02, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Leaving aside Malleus's reasons / sarcasm etc, he may have actually had a good idea. Let's keep the DYK-related discussion over there please and debate this idea here, irrespective of the motive for its original posting at DYK. Mjroots (talk) 08:19, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]

How can you describe "articles most in need of help"? How's their status? Red links? Stub? GA? FA? What? –HTD 09:11, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
How about those selected by Wikipedia:Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive? --BorgQueen (talk) 09:32, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Would we want to feature articles such as this in that state? –HTD 09:51, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
No, because that is a start class article. What I had in mind was stub class articles that are able to pass WP:N, and are clearly capable of improvement, a couple of ship examples would be Soren Larsen (star of the TV series The Onedin Line) and HMS Cossack (R57). I'm sure there are many other articles which are in a similar position. Mjroots (talk) 10:35, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Isn't this half of the DYK mission? Expanding stubby articles? On who's standard are we invoking WP:N? (Doesn't all WP articles pass WP:N until they're deleted/merged?) DYK already has a problem of "boring" hooks (how would you define "boring"?) we'd add it with a new criteria ("what article is 'notable'?")
Anyway, this is still a good proposal. The Main Page should have a "Second Page" like's Page 2. If "Page 1" is for readers, "Page 2" is for editors... well probably WP:Community portal already does that. Still a "Page 2" may be feasible with the GAs, FLs, FSounds, rejected ITN stories for being too local (including recent deaths), plus other stuff that can be featured, etc. –HTD 11:33, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Well, DYKs mission is to feature new content, whether a new article or an expanded article (stub/start class are the best candidates here). This is approaching the issue from another angle, saying "OK, here's an article that needs fixing, how about trying to fix it?" Any such stubs featured via this feature would probably have to be disqualified from DYK in a similar way that ITN articles are. Mjroots (talk) 11:59, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]

I think it was a great comment to debate the matter at hand rather than the genesis of it. Getting to that. Oppose the idea. People can easily see that Wiki is full of stubs. We are after all extremely prominent in Google ranking and often read. The articles are obviously in need of work. The really well-done ones are much more the exception than the rule. Trying to funnel people to the worst stuff to "get them to edit" has always been a bad idea. Like plastering the front of articles with textbox turds that ought to be on the Talk page as suggestions for editing. I think it's much more wise to hold up the best of our stuff. This will have a positive motivational impact, much more than just for the article writer and the immediate viewers. It ends up percolating down and affecting other editors, when they see what can be done.

I still owe Tony a careful look at DYKs and having a hard time getting my head wrapped around doing so. But I'm tending to the POV to just let them have their spot. There are a bunch of people working in that area. They are used to it and like it. think how demotivational it would be if we just take their toy away. I think instead of trying to rip each other's programs apart what would be better would be more different things on the front page. FLOTD is going to do some things different than TFA. Great. We can see comparisons. And for that matter it dilutes DYK, by having one more set of content out there.

I think if we added all the GAs, going forward, in a section that could be another experiment and maybe have some comparitive value to DYK. Could imagine some box with DYK-length hooks, up for 24 hours. Maybe break it in half and run new and old until we work through all the inventory. Or something. But more different and new things.

I had my concerns on DYK. And have them as well on ITN and OTD. And still do, really. But the reality is it is hard to take anything away. So let's just not fight the battle. Instead add some.

TCO (talk) 23:21, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Image use on the main page

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R17062, Linienschiff "Baden".jpg

Not quite sure what this is.

Marsh Mill, Thornton - - 1128262.jpg

Works quite well at small size.

Forgive me for not knowing the history of how 100 px evolved as some kind of standard, but I've wondered whether it's time for a rethink about how images are used on the main page. It's more than a year since the WMF developers upped the default size for thumbnail images in articles by almost 50% (from 180 to 220 px) for all ~300 sites. While the bullet points and their allocation of only 45% of the page width constrain ITN and OTD somewhat with respect to image size, TFA, TFL, DYK, and particularly POTD could afford a little flexibility from day to day, I'd have thought. Some pics work pretty well at 100 px, but others must be more of an irritant to readers at that size (at a rough calculation, about a third of our squint-sized images). FAs often don't present much choice in images, a further constraining factor.

It's worth noting that the vertical–horizontal dimensions of main-page thumbnails already produce variations in size, and no one thinks it is a bad idea. This also makes me wonder why the same 100 px formula is applied to ITN and OTD images day-in day-out irrespective of image shape, where the relationship between image and text matters more than it does on the right side.

Thoughts? Tony (talk) 10:15, 26 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Please see Talk:Main Page/Archive 159#Image size for FA, DYK, ITN and OTD.
We've traditionally limited the width to 100px to prevent problematic text wrap at lower resolutions/window sizes. This, of course, relates to the use of side-by-side columns (and bulleted items in three of the four sections).
With average screen resolutions increasing, we seem to have reached the point at which there's neither consensus to retain the 100px limit nor consensus to increase it. As I noted in the aforementioned discussion, I don't think that enough consideration has been given to the browser windows themselves (which don't necessarily span the entire screen). I also believe that the 100px width usually works well (though there have been some poor choices, as you illustrate above).
Note that we do try to take unusual aspect ratios into account, which is fairly easy when an image is tall (because we can substantially increase the height without adversely affecting the adjacent text).
We don't impose such a limit on the featured picture or the image illustrating the featured list. —David Levy 15:25, 26 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Thanks, David. Yes, with the bullets and particularly the right-side 45% horizonatal allocation, you can't make pics too much larger, I suppose (although a bit of give is in order, I think ... 110px wouldn't hurt where the pic is useless at a tiny size). Eraserhead1 said something I entirely agree with at that discussion you've linked to, of which I was quite unaware: "I think the images on the front page are rather small, and there is probably too much text, so expanding the images seems like a good idea."

Any reason the TFA pic can't be varied between 100 px and, say, 140 px, depending on how detail-rich it is, and the relative length of the TFA text? They have an informal maximum of about 1200 characters of text, it seems to me, but are often well under this. Indeed, it's not uncommon to find a sentence or two that can be trimmed in a way that makes the blurb more effective. I can't help feeling that where it's appropriate, a larger image is well within the space allocation of TFA.

Can anyone offer a tech perspective on whether the double-column arrangement makes larger pics a problem for downloading, considering images in most well-visited article-space pages are much larger. The 220 px default (still not large) is nearly five times the area of 100 px squared. Why is this fine for articles? Last week I was talking with a WPian who's a professional developer on the matter of the difficulty of downloading pages with a high pic load: he said it really makes little difference. Interesting. Tony (talk) 16:40, 26 June 2011 (UTC)[]

I agree that we can be less strict with the TFA images. In fact, we already are in the respect that we typically impose no height limitation (as opposed to the other sections, for which we usually limit both the width and the height to a maximum of 100px, increasing the latter only to accommodate tall aspect ratios).
In other words, an image with the 3:4 aspect ratio is displayed at 75x100px in ITN, DYK or OTD, while the same image is displayed at 100x133px (77% larger) in TFA.
Indeed, for TFA images with wide aspect ratios, I think that we can safely increase the width as well (and I believe that we have on some occasions).
I just investigated the possibility of increasing the size of today's TFA image, but even at 150px wide, it remained largely unrecognizable. It simply isn't of particularly high quality, especially as a thumbnail. —David Levy 17:19, 26 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Agreed, and Raul and Dabomb87 sometimes have a hard time finding a decent image at any size, without the addition problem of finding one that works well at squint size. So why can't a TFA pic go deeper as well as wider—in other words, bigger? Tony (talk) 03:01, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I agree, and the blurb could be made shorter to allow for a larger image, which I respectfully suggest is more valuable to the reader than the sacrificed text.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:53, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Has anyone any idea on how big thumbnails on other websites are? For example, on Yahoo! Sports, the thumb has a width of 80px (except for mini-banners), while the Twitter display pictures are larger than 160px, although Y!Sports is more like WP. –HTD 11:27, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Here are some examples:

Lightmouse (talk) 15:52, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Would it be technically feasible to allow some sort of conditional statement? It needn't be possible to do now, but I'm curious as to whether it could be done if the will were there. 100px is an understandable soft maximum when we have multiple columns and are aiming to cater for mobile browsers, but makes little sense at 1280x768 or above. If image size was a % of the total width, defaulting to 100px as a minimum, that should cater for both camps. —WFC— 22:03, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
1. I don't know the answer to your question, but I'll note that the browser window width is of greater relevance than the screen resolution.
2. I'll also note that a mobile browser with its default user agent configuration should load the main page's mobile version, which lacks columns (though a reader has the option of switching to the regular version, which includes more content). —David Levy 22:27, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Bigger picture please! Less text. Agree with Wehwalt. It should be possible to write a blurb that invites the reader to the article. Getting rid of the side by side would help a lot as well. Most blogs are much more fun to read and don't have this newspaper look to them.TCO (talk) 23:37, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Comments on Lightmouse's list of external front pages. This presents an interesting display of what other sites—non-commercial and commercial—believe is optimal for their purposes, technically and in design terms. A few remarks:

  • BBC news: much more white space and less textual density than WP's main page. All pics are wide. They have a big one at the top. (And just to throw in the idea that if ITN were ever able to have a decent-sized pic, it could also rotate every few seconds, where the story and free-pic availability allowed, like the BBC's top pic.)
  • Aljazeera: even less text and the images are a bit cluttered, IMO. Interesting use of light-grey text; hate the yellow text.
  • Reuters: hate the ads, but aside from that, slightly boxy feel about the pics, but at least the pics are of medium size; they have full horizontal sections towards the bottom, like our POTD and TFL.
  • ZDNet: We might think about the value of fewer hooks and more headings for them.
  • Der Speigel: weird ... top pic, as usual, is big (a hint for us?). Right-side pics medium size, left-side are squinty, but not quite as much as ours.
  • And another site—ABC Radio National: the big and clunky approach, which has some benefits. White space, headings, relatively large pics and little text, with emphasis on links to single themed pages which themselves have tons of text; coloured tabs at the top. Quick-find box to the right. Slightly cluttered, to me, and rather wide in dimension. Tony (talk) 17:11, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Arabic Wikipedia

It has now surpassed 150,000 articles. Can someone please move it to the correct category.--Aa2-2004 (talk) 11:55, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Done. —David Levy 13:48, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]


I would just like to say "nice" on featuring the list this morning. If i remember correctly this also occurred on a day when I was away.

Is it going to become a regular feature (otd), weekly (otw) or just be allocated to Mondays (omo)? Simply south...... digging mountains for 5 years 08:35, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]

If I remember the conversations at this page correctly, the FL leadership didn't think that they were ready to do it daily. Right now, FL will appear every Monday indefinitely into the future. If the FL leadership believes they are ready for daily, they'd have to come back and get approval for the change. There are a whole host of other factors at play, so I don't want to speculate as to any changes to this, but I will say that I was impressed by the FL leadership during the campaign to get on the main page, I'm impressed with what they've put up so far, and I can attest to them being prepared weeks in advance for the content of the week. Sven Manguard Wha? 08:44, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
We intend to go daily at some undefined point in the future. On some measures TFL is right on track. If we add together blurbs that have already appeared or been scheduled, those in the prep area, and the submissions, we've written around 55, including 40 since the submissions page opened its doors 22 days ago. It's hard to tell how indicative that rate is going forward, because there is a lot of low-hanging fruit and we are the shiny new main page section. Then again, we only get main page exposure on Mondays. Regardless, the signs so far have been encouraging.

The short-to-medium term "problem" (I see it as an opportunity to improve) is the historical standard of some of our older lists. Many of our most diverse lists were promoted between 2006 and 2008, and quite understandably people have picked these out as examples of topics we want to reach out to. Given that they are diverse, we're far more minded to improve them than remove them, but because in a lot of cases the improvements are not trivial, reviews are currently a slow process. Myself, Dabomb and TRM have struggled to find the time to lead by example with reviews, although I'm certain that the start of July will be a turning point on that front.

I'd pencil in mid-August as the time when we will have a good idea on when we think we can expand, but cannot stress "pencil" strongly enough. —WFC— 18:56, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]

I'd go with that. Ideally we'll make a dual move, (1) more exposure, maybe three days a week? (2) open up the selection process, perhaps a bit like TFA. It's going okay so far, better than I could have hoped, so fingers crossed it continues that way. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:00, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Please keep putting up the BEST stuff. There are a lot of poor lists approved from a while ago. You have plent of inventory. Even if you went daily some time in the future, you still have a lot more lists than spots. Keep the interests of the audience foremost, rather than feeling like this is someone's due to be on the main page. I could really care less that we have some bad lists on wiki with a sticker in the corner. But, here, as you have a limited number of spots, prioritize and run the best. Raul seems to run some not so good stuff, and sometimes they are abandoned FAs. And run without anyone to polish them before display.TCO (talk) 23:04, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I felt the reduction from the three- to the one-day-a-week proposal was a pity. The management of the rarely appearing TFL has gone very smoothly, I must say. Daily would be a lot more work though, and would inevitably take resources away from the promotions and review processes. Interestingly, the notion of allowing the structure of the main page to change at all on a regular basis has not been seen as a problem, and might serve as a foundation for further rethinking the day-to-day flexibility of the page. Tony (talk) 15:18, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]

I could see doing the Sounds as a once a week. They have much less inventory and critical mass. [Never got the reason why the weaker program was going to have double the exposure of the stronger one...FL has played it smart though...underpromise and overdeliver and rack up the victories.] Still once a week exposure for the fledling Soundies might bring more people into that venue. (I realize this is kind of a liberal approach...I must be turning soft in old age.) I also thought it was a stunning combination of content when WTF built that FL out of all the national anthems. High EV (incredible coverage), exactly the format where a list is better than an article (although I'm getting leftist enough to beleive in interbreeding of the two), plus all those sounds! I really do see a bright future if we start, inch by inch, using some basic things (sounds, and eventually videos) that create "multimedea experience" (as hackneyed as that term is). — Preceding unsigned comment added by TCO (talkcontribs) 21:43, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Proposal to reduce TFA blurb to 2 sentences...

(Confession: I have never been a Main Page reader much as an editor, now, or before as a civilian.)

Just been looking at some blurbs for the TFAs and there is a LOT of text. Why do we do that? Why not make a bigger picture (at least 2X) and just have a short (2 sentence) paragraph to draw people in? After all, we have the ARTICLE. And the article has a LEAD. What we have now, is not really working as even a LEAD because it is not complete. But it's too long to just be a blurb. And it takes away from the picture. (And we could maybe fit more nice things on the page if we shortened the blurb.)

Also, since we have this two-column format, like a newspaper, should we NOT also have the shorter paras of a newspapers? (And I would say, just one of them.) It really looks painful to read the dense long paragraph of one of these topics now. I wasn't on my HS newspaper, but I bet some people were and can advise. Wouldn't it be much more reader friendly to have shorter paras for the main page? And NOT one with long listy sentences either!  :-)

TCO (talk) 23:11, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Support shorter TFA blurbs

  1. TCO (talk) 23:58, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  2. Qualified support for slightly shorter, where appropriate: not always, but some of them can easily have a sentence or two trimmed out with no loss of flow or sense of the big picture. TFA has a soft max of 1200 characters; TFL of 1000 characters. I'd be happy with a general aim of ≤ 1000 for both, exceeding where it's thought appropriate. Some TFA blurbs can be micro-trimmed, too ("eighteen" to "18", for example, as recommended by the MoS). The blurb is a tease to get readers to click to the article: it is just not logical to assume that a bigger blurb gets more visitors to the article; actually, leave them wanting more and you'll probably do that. Thinking in terms of the whole of the main page, I believe there's too much text and it's squashy in appearance. Most website main pages use white space better than we do—and more of it. Tony (talk) 03:53, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    If you look at the current TFAR, I got bold and doubled the size of the monkey picture in "Primate". I didn't mess with the text, the author did, but...really I don't care where we cut it...just getting the pic bigger makes the thing sell way better, whatever is done with the text.TCO (talk) 04:00, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Oppose shorter TFA blurbs

  1. One sentence DYK blurbs routinely fail to bring readers to those articles, even when the hooks are interesting. Drastically cutting TFA down like that would destroy the pull those articles draw, IMO. I would rather the blurb remains as is. If anything, to make more space for a larger image, I would actually prefer cutting DYK down by one entry, creating a little more space for TFA. Resolute 23:16, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  2. Oppose for the same reasons as Risker Resolute. Furthermore, I oppose mandating any set length because for some articles, the "right" length (i.e., enough to introduce the subject) is short. Both ITN and OTD are flexible enough to accommodate long or short TFA blurbs. howcheng {chat} 02:20, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]

RfC: minimum prep-time for blurbs

An idea for discussion, regarding permissions

I lurk at WP:ANI, and noticed a thread there regarding an issue that seems to have started here. The roots are apparently in the fact that only administrators can work directly with Main Page content. The idea I had is that trusted editors could ask for a button that would give them an "edit through protection" permission. This would allow such editors to work directly with Main Page content, while maintaining their non-admin status for all other purposes.

From what I can tell from my lurking at the FA pages as well as DYK and In The News, I can think of a few editors right away that would qualify for such an advanced permission. The way I envision it, the granting of this permission would be done in a fashion similar to the granting of the rollback permission. It is a much more "powerful" permission--at least as I see it--so perhaps a list of requirements, as well as a "demonstrated necessity" would be useful before granting such a permission. This idea just came to me as I was reading through the Wehwalt/Tony1 kerfuffle, so it may be of limited (or even no) value. Take it for whatever it's worth. LHM 04:11, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Support. Especially Tony or close equal. The last thing in the world I want is the "community" messing with the front page. They need to write articles. But Tony would be awesome here as it fits his skills and desires and would have huge impact in delivering a more enjoyable experience to the public.TCO (talk) 04:19, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
That's where the whole "demonstrated necessity" would come in. Not just every Tom, Dick, and Harriet would be granted this permission. LHM 04:24, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Good point. I think you nailed it...I just had ta kinda work it out in my head too.TCO (talk) 04:30, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Thank you for saying nice things. But the issue is wider than enabling non-admins to copy-edit blurbs. Main authors and others should be given adequate time to update and polish their article. Who wants to wake up one morning and find their FAC is going live in a day's time, when RL is extremely busy? I know that User:Noetica—who trumps me as a language editor—spent some time editing a TFA article last week without much lead-time before it was frozen (he hadn't been involved in its FAC). Given the amount of trouble authors and reviewers at FAC go to to polish and rub, we should take the time to polish and rub again before exposing featured content in a very public way. A quick check on the link-targets in the blurbs is also necessary: I saw a very stubby one with a bad tag last week in passing and ended up unlinking it from the blurb, since luckily it was a low-value link anyway. Heaven help us if there's a BLP insult lurking in a link-target in the corner of a blurb. POTD links also need a quick visit.

So, the reasons for keeping an adequate buffer in queue management for TFA, POTD, and TFL are to provide enough time for scrutiny by a larger pool of editors, not just admins: that's blurbs and the subject article, plus quick-checks of link targets. Aside from this, it avoids high-stress territory for the whole system. More than a day before cascade protection would be ideal. Tony (talk) 04:50, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]

But wouldn't an advanced permission for editors who have demonstrated the need for them (such as Noetica and yourself) adequately deal with the issue as well? I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your proposed solution, I'm just trying to get my head fully around the problem at hand. LHM 04:56, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Oppose. We've already had a few incidents of "rogue" (or "sleeper") admins who decide to go on a rampage and vandalize the Main Page to no end. The last thing we need is another avenue for the black hats to gain access, one which will inevitably have less scrutiny than adminship (which is already a gauntlet in and of itself). howcheng {chat} 06:56, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Gee thanks, I'll take that as a huge insult. I don't want special access anyway: you seem to have misread the thread. I want the queue to be managed properly. Tony (talk) 09:53, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Sorry, I didn't mean any such insult. I believe we have been taking steps to manage the queues properly, by committing to (or at least attempt to commit to) getting the blurbs written early enough for anyone to edit. What I'm opposed to is this specific proposal to create another rights level. howcheng {chat} 16:49, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Ditto. —David Levy 17:04, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • Oppose (again). As I note whenever I encounter one of these proposals, any user who can be trusted to edit fully protected pages can be trusted with the other sysop tools. —David Levy 14:39, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    No doubt others will see the irony in this... The sheer arrogance of it all, the "if you want to be able to edit the queue, you should go through a RfA." Apparently, "only admins can be trusted to edit the TFA prep area", and then, even admins can't be trusted, as Howcheng notes. Maybe the two of you should create an "inner circle" and take turns to make sure no-one else touches it. Thanks you people – I haven't had such a good laugh in a while! --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 14:56, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    Actually even admins can't really be trusted but we have no other choice Nil Einne (talk) 15:23, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    I referred to the editing of fully protected pages (a technical distinction). I didn't state (and don't believe) that administrators have special editorial authority, and I've vigorously condemned such attitudes for years (both before and after I became a Wikipedia sysop).
    I'm not suggesting that anyone who wishes to improve main page content should request adminship, and I recently criticised such a comment on this page. In both that discussion and the subsequent RfC (in which you participated), I endorsed measures to ensure that main page content is made available in a non-protected state, thereby enabling everyone to edit it.
    So please refrain from putting words in my mouth. —David Levy 16:04, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    To be fair, I read your initial comment in exactly the same way as Ohconfucius did. It didn't anger me as much, but I read it basically the same way. LHM 16:20, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    This is a proposal for the creation of an "edit through protection permission," so that's precisely what I addressed. At no point have I ever stated that protection should be utilized to bar non-administrators' involvement in the editorial process. Ohconfucius participated in a discussion in which I supported efforts to ensure that this doesn't occur (and even volunteered to personally assist Howcheng in expediting the featured pictures' scheduling, thereby enabling non-sysops to edit the accompanying text). —David Levy 16:35, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    Here's the thing, though: I didn't view this as some kind of fully-formed "proposal." I viewed it as simply an idea I had, that I wanted to discuss with you guys. Instead, it's (sadly) turned into a simple "support/oppose" dichotomy, as I pointed out below. It's incredibly hard to have a genuine discussion, when such foxholes are dug at the outset. LHM 16:48, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    I read your earlier comment, and I actually double-checked to confirm that you referred to this as a "proposal" before I used that term above.
    I understand your frustration, but you need to understand that such a change has been proposed/discussed on several occasions. —David Levy 17:04, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    I did use that word there, yes. But what I'm saying is that I didn't view this as something where "support/oppose" would precede nearly every initial comment. And in my original post, I tried to make it clear that I simply wanted to start a discussion using this idea as a jumping off point. But, as I mentioned before, such discussions are difficult when done from the proverbial foxhole. LHM 17:14, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    I understand what you're saying. I'm noting that the community is inclined to jump straight to support/opposition because this idea has been thoroughly explored in the past. In other words, we've already discussed the details of various implementations (and the pros and cons thereof) and you don't appear to be suggesting anything different.
    To be clear, I'm not criticising you; I'm attempting to explain my mindset (and that of others). —David Levy 17:27, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    Your initial comment, though, was simply that my proposal was moot because anyone who could be trusted to edit through full protection could be trusted with all the tools. I don't disagree with that, necessarily, but would you agree that there are some users who don't want all of the tools, but could possibly benefit from being able to edit the TFA? These types aren't interested in trying to pass an RFA, but giving them the ability to edit through the protection could benefit the project, I think. LHM 17:36, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    Please see my comments in this recent discussion. (It specifically pertained to templates, but the same basic principles apply.)
    In short, I believe that the sysop bit should be given to any trustworthy user with a demonstrable need for one or more of the relevant tools (which inherently means that he/she also can be trusted to not misuse the tools for which he/she lacks such a need).
    Your idea "is that trusted editors could ask for a button." This would require some means of determining which users qualified, which brings me back to my initial statement; I believe that anyone who can be trusted to edit fully protected pages can be trusted with the other sysop tools (irrespective of whether he/she needs them). Therefore, a process with the same threshold as RfA would be redundant, while a process with a lower threshold would be too lax. (Of course, I'm referring to the threshold that should be imposed at RfA. I've seen evidence that it's become overly strict, which means that it should be fixed, not bypassed.) —David Levy 18:01, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • Oppose per Howcheng and DL. Also I'm confused why we're even having this proposal here. If we wanted to have some sort of 'edit full protected' flag, I presume we would need to approach the WMF. I doubt they'd agree to commit resources to this solely to use it on the main page. If it's intended for wider deployment this is clearly the wrong place. And on that note, vandalism and other stuff on the main page is about as bad as of a highly visible/used template although the amount of editing expected may be greater. Given that, proposing it for the main page only seems a little extreme. It would be better to allow it on those odd pages which need full protection for persistent vandalism and similar problems (very notable and controversial people as well as ones were there are long term socking issues) and probably even pages protected for edit warring, then it will be to allow it on the main page. So again, why does this proposal mainly concern the main page? Nil Einne (talk) 15:23, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]

I apologize utterly for wasting the time of those who have commented here. Clearly there is very little support for this proposed solution to the problem of admin-only editing of the TFA prep area. I especially apologize for apparently even making a mistake in where I placed this proposal. LHM 15:31, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]

You haven't wasted people's time, Lith. But it's brought out the utter arrogance of some administrators, who are confusing the need for protection (I don't think anyone disputes this) with the need to prep the queue earlier, so that non-admins are not shut out of the system. This has gone on long enough. It's damaging the relationship between admins and non-admins, I can assure you. Tony (talk) 15:47, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
When I wrote this proposal, I honestly didn't envision it playing out as a "support/oppose" dichotomy. As I mentioned in the title of it, I simply wanted to put it out there "for discussion", as a potential solution. I figured that there would be some back and forth discussion, in which the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal would be hashed out, and then, perhaps, some kind of a support/opposed-based discussion. It's disappointing that it has devolved into what it has. LHM 16:02, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
To which administrators are you referring? It's Ohconfucius who appears to have confused the two concepts (leading him/her to mistake my comment about page protection for an "arrogant" endorsement of barring non-administrators' participation in the editorial process). As you might recall, I support the idea of taking steps to ensure that main page content is prepared earlier (thereby enabling everyone to edit it). —David Levy 16:04, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I'm pleased to hear this, David. BTW, one of the admins who contributes to this page has just dumped a highly abusive comment for my colleagues at The Signpost to read. It's on my talk page. Hard to believe. Tony (talk) 16:24, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I certainly did not intend for my comment to read as arrogance—I'm mainly looking at this from a security angle. howcheng {chat} 16:49, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Yeah, I agree fully with you and David and others. Messy, unnecessary, unwise. But Lithistman, you proposed in good faith, and thank you very much. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tony1 (talkcontribs) 17:46, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Indeed, I think that we all agree that this is a good-faith proposal. —David Levy 18:01, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • Should I close this thread somehow? It appears that I've floated an idea that has very little support and was placed in the wrong forum. I probably should have simply kept my nose out of this bit, and let others handle it. I had no idea that my idea had been floated at the Village Pump already. I did want to make one last comment, regarding what David says above about RFAs. How is it that they've become so difficult to pass? I have only recently started dipping my toe into non-article space, and that's one of the places I visited. I had considered applying for adminship, based upon some cleanup work I'd seen that I couldn't do without advanced permissions, but I noticed that hardly anyone passes, and that most that failed had way more edits than I do. Where is the appropriate place to discuss the problems that you mentioned above regarding the over-tightening of restrictions on who gets those advanced permissions? LHM 18:10, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    There is a discussion that has been sporadically occurring at Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship. There are also some editors trying to organize RFA reform, but many have tried before. Not many good candidates run for admin, which is partly the result of ever growing expectations of what experience a candidate needs before running. It would probably be alright to just let the conversation peter out here rather then formally closing it. Monty845 18:18, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    And as I noted in the aforementioned discussion, splitting out individual sysop permissions (apart from those truly requiring a lesser degree of trust, such as rollback) would exacerbate the problem by seemingly legitimizing the logic behind the excessive strictness. ("You can just become a 'protected page editor' and a 'deleter', so you don't need adminship.") It would reinforce the misguided notion that an administrator is something more than a trustworthy editor who sometimes needs to reach into a toolbox. —David Levy 18:34, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    I fall at the first hurdle with your argument; trusted by whom to do what? There are many administrators I don't trust and have never trusted. No names no pack drill, but this antiquated notion that administrators are in some way trusted is just risible. Malleus Fatuorum 19:24, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    Trusted by the community to not use the sysop tools in a harmful manner. "Trusted by Malleus Fatuorum" isn't a criterion, nor does your distrust (or mine, for that matter) imply a lack of consensus.
    Has the community's trust sometimes been misplaced? Absolutely. That's why some users have been de-sysopped. But I'm baffled by your assertion that trust is irrelevant. —David Levy 20:00, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    I didn't say it was irrelevant; what I said was that the notion that administrators are trusted, and by implication nobody else is, is at best a convenient fiction and at worst a deliberate lie. Malleus Fatuorum 21:01, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    I made no such implication. An editor can be trusted without becoming an administrator. But an editor can't become an administrator without being trusted (even if the trust is misplaced, as it has been on multiple occasions), unless a bureaucrat errs (which also has occurred). —David Levy 21:38, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    Trusted to do what? I think that the pending changes "trial" last year was very revealing in that respect, proving that regular editors aren't even trusted to edit without having a bunch of teenagers looking over their shoulders. Malleus Fatuorum 22:13, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    Trusted to do what?
    Asked and answered.
    If you believe that I use one or more sysop tools in a harmful manner, please elaborate. —David Levy 22:36, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    And where is this community of which you speak? If I don't trust them they're not trusted. Take your own case for instance. You passed a rather easy RfA back in 2005, almost six years ago now. Are you still trusted? Who says? Malleus Fatuorum 21:08, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    And where is this community of which you speak?
    The community comprises all editors in good standing, who are welcome to participate in the RfA process.
    If I don't trust them they're not trusted.
    Take your own case for instance. You passed a rather easy RfA back in 2005, almost six years ago now. Are you still trusted? Who says?
    I was trusted at the time, and I don't seem to have generated much controversy in the interim. I'd be more than happy to address any good-faith assertions to the contrary. —David Levy 21:38, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    Your own RfA was back in 2005,[1] so I suspect you're rather out of touch, as Raul654 has shown himself to be with similar comments he's made recently. Malleus Fatuorum 19:28, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    On the contrary, I'm well aware of the fact that a great deal has changed since then. I've criticised the inflated expectations in this very thread (including the message to which you just replied), so I don't know why you would "suspect" otherwise. —David Levy 20:00, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Was worth talking about. I think it was a reasonable idea to float. Who cares if people did not agree. Very worth considering. There is a whole generic argument for some unbundling of tools. Why should "able to ban people as a forum moderator" be tied to "able to edit protected pages". One is keeping the children behaved, the other is more of a content adjutication thing. Also (in my head) why should we have the "community" working on blurbs and stuff when most of them lack the skills and should write articles. Simpler just to have Tony get the nod. I do think the low queue and some last minuteness of decisions has hurt editors, so just having Raul (mostly, but maybe How too) show a longer queue was helpful in not surprising editors.TCO (talk) 18:36, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Wikipedia administrators aren't "forum moderators" and lack the authority to unilaterally ban users. Perhaps you meant "block," and the answer to your question can be boiled down to one word: "trust."
An administrator might focus on main page maintenance, rarely (if ever) initiating blocks. This is not a problem. Likewise, it's perfectly fine if an administrator focuses on countering vandalism (including blocking vandals) and never touches the main page. Both individuals are trusted to not engage in either activity in a harmful manner (e.g. by imposing inappropriate blocks or by placing inappropriate content on the main page). —David Levy 18:51, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Frankly I think this proposal has merit. The amount of damage one can do by editing fully protected pages or moving articles is far lower than the amount of damage that you can do by viewing inappropriate deleted revisions, protecting pages or blocking users inappropriately.
Some of us don't want the responsibility of full admin permissions, and there is also the issue that the trust barrier has to be higher than it needs to be to edit fully protected pages. Additionally quite a lot of the admin policies (such as the blocking policy) aren't designed to be used by a "team" as large as the admin pool is now, let alone a larger one as unlike major editor policies, such as the manual of style, they aren't process/legislatively driven. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:16, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I also think it has merit. I think LHM made the mistake of a general proposal to solve one specific problem (the editability or otherwise of TFA blurbs, which could be solved by asking Raul and Dabomb to schedule TFAs further in advance), which combined with the "we don't need yet more permissions" argument is why the reception has been largely negative. I personally think we should devolve as much of the admin functions that aren't directly concerned with blocking, deleting or protecting as possible into other rights. We need more people with the ability to edit through full protection at ITN, at WP:ERRORS, at TFP (because having no TFP for 3 hours should never happen) and probably at DYK, and if giving that ability to a small group of non-admins with considerable experience around the MP speeds processes up and improves the MP for readers, I'm all in favour. If we're as careful about who we give this out to as we are with edit filter management (which is much more potent), there should be no risk of abuse and any misuse can be stamped out by revocation. I can think of maybe half a dozen editors, if that, I'd give it to, but I know Eraserhead, for example, would put it to good use. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:55, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I disagree with the premise that the ability to edit fully protected pages carries far less potential harm than other sysop permissions and requires a lower degree of trust. —David Levy 20:00, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Are you saying that simply being able to edit fully-protected pages is the equivalent of being able to block other users, delete entire articles, or view deleted revisions? That seems false on the face of it. LHM 20:50, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
What he's saying is that if you want to be able to do all (or indeed any) the things he can do then you need to get yourself a time machine and travel back to 2005, when adminship was an old boy's club. Malleus Fatuorum 21:05, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Rubbish. Adminship is supposed to be "no big deal." Much of the community seems to have lost sight of that, and the proposed change would exacerbate the problem. —David Levy 21:38, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Rubbish indeed, but you're the one who's hawking it around, not me. Back in your day it may well have been "no big deal", but those days have long gone. Malleus Fatuorum 21:58, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I acknowledge the problem and wish to address it. —David Levy 22:36, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I'm saying that the ability to edit fully protected pages enables comparable harm (e.g. vandalising the main page/a widely used template or exploiting preexisting article protection to gain an advantage in a content dispute). —David Levy 21:38, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
And I'm saying that's false on its face. There's no comparison between being even the worst thing possible with the edit through protection power and the ability to block other editors, delete entire articles, and read deleted revisions. The latter set of "powers" (particularly blocking and reading deleted revisions) can cause lasting consequences that even the worst of abuses of the edit-through-protection power would cause. Even a main-page vandal's work would be reverted quickly, the vandal banned, and the powers revoked immediately. Honestly, David, I've really enjoyed reading what you've written here, for the most part, but I think you're way off-base in claiming that a more powerful editing capability is equivalent to blocking, deleting, and viewing deleted reversions. LHM 21:58, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
David reveals an important truth nevertheless, which is that editors don't matter. What matters is protecting the main page from temporary harm. Which is doubly curious to anyone who's had a TFA, as they're routinely vandalised for at least 24 hours. Malleus Fatuorum 22:01, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I don't know where you're getting "editors don't matter" from anything that I've written. —David Levy 22:36, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Flagrantly inappropriate deletions and user blocks are quickly undone too. You're correct in noting that they nonetheless have lasting consequences.
I believe that the damage to Wikipedia's reputation arising from main page vandalism (and I'm thinking of shock images and Nazi diatribes), however brief, is potentially immense. I also believe that the use of an editing permission to gain an advantage in a content dispute is enormously harmful to morale (probably to a similar extent as an inappropriate block) and discourages further editing.
I respect your opinions, but we'll have to agree to disagree. —David Levy 22:36, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
If you really believe that harm caused by bad blocks is easily reversed then indeed there is nothing more to be said, as you have completely proved my point that you are out of touch. Malleus Fatuorum 22:54, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Perhaps you misread my message. Did you overlook the "You're correct in noting that they nonetheless have lasting consequences." part? My point is that the same is true of inappropriate edits to protected pages. —David Levy 22:59, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Your point is one made by someone who has the ability to block and is thus easily ignored as irrelevant. Malleus Fatuorum 23:27, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
1. Are you suggesting that my views are irrelevant because I'm an administrator?
2. How does this relate to your comment regarding a supposed belief on my part "that harm caused by bad blocks is easily reversed"? I neither believe nor claim anything of the sort. —David Levy 23:51, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
"I disagree with the premise that the ability to edit fully protected pages carries far less potential harm than other sysop permissions." Do you suffer from some kind of rare medical condition that renders you unable to read what you write? Fixing main page or template vandalism is easily reversed, no? Reversing the effects of a block not so. Malleus Fatuorum 00:09, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
As plainly stated above, I believe that inappropriate blocks and inappropriate edits to protected pages cause lasting damage. You're entitled to disagree with the latter, but please refrain from distorting my comments to mean that neither has such an impact. —David Levy 00:28, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Could you gentlemen perhaps take this to one of your own talk pages? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 00:33, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Oooh, let's hide the disagreement, great idea. Malleus Fatuorum 00:35, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

(edit conflict) You're just not getting it. Fixing a little bit of main page vandalism is easy, but fixing the relationship with a blocked editor is much more challenging, and there's no sysop tool for that. Malleus Fatuorum 00:35, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

I agree that an inappropriate block, while easily lifted, has the potential to severely harm relations with the blocked editor.
As stated above, I also believe that main page vandalism, while easily reverted, has the potential to severely harm Wikipedia's reputation. And I believe that editing a protected page to gain an advantage in a content dispute has the potential to upset and discourage affected editors in much the same manner as an inappropriate block.
Again, you're entitled to disagree with me. But no, I neither believe nor claim "that harm caused by bad blocks is easily reversed." —David Levy 00:55, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
But Wikipedia's main page is effectively vandalised on a daily basis. Sure, the actual TFA blurb is protected, but the article it links to is almost constantly under attack. So by what logic are the article's authors and defenders less trustworthy than some random passing administrator? And why shouldn't they be allowed to make whatever changes are necessary to the blurb? Is it really likely in your mind that anyone who took the trouble to shepherd an article through FAC is going to vandalise its blurb? Malleus Fatuorum 01:04, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I disagree that vandalising an article linked from the main page is tantamount to vandalising the main page itself.
No, I don't believe that an article's authors and defenders are likely to vandalise its blurb. As noted above, I support efforts to ensure that they be provided ample opportunity to edit it.
I also believe that adminship should be more readily attainable. In all likelihood, many of the individuals in question would make fine administrators, regardless of whether they utilized all of the tools. In my view, some participants in the RfA process have begun applying unreasonable standards, thereby rejecting suitable candidates and discouraging others from even bothering to show up. —David Levy 04:05, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
MF, you are focused so much on the editing side of the equation that you underestimate/appear to be unaware of/don't care about the impact that Main Page vandalism has on the readership. howcheng {chat} 00:50, 4 July 2011 (UTC)[]
  • Sigh I tried to collapse this mess I started. I guess I'll just leave you guys to it then. My apologies for stirring up the hornet's nest in the first place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lithistman (talkcontribs) 01:00, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
The problem with the proposal is that by granting a non-admin permission to edit through protection, they would then be able to edit all pages that require admin privileges in order to edit them. I appreciate that those editors who it is proposed to grant such privileges are in good standing, but the risks outweigh the benefits IMHO.
If it was possible to allow editing through protection on specifically named pages, then this is something that I would support. Mjroots (talk) 06:41, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
What possible damage could occur by allow a few more users to be able to edit all fully protected pages? The only damage I can think of is for high-visibility templates. But otherwise you aren't allowed to edit pages fully protected due to a dispute anyway, and being able to edit Britney Spears isn't a bad thing. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:47, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
None. But it's beside the point I've been making. While the just-in-time model is profitable and efficient for supermarkets and auto-manufacturers, it's not good for the main page. Blurb prep sometimes comes down to perilously tight timing when the guys in charge are rushed in RL (heck, they do it day-in day-out, bless them, but let's be realistic). This is a problem not just for community access to copy-editing, but for getting more of our resources allocated to polishing/auditing the articles ahead of time and quickly checking the other link-targets (for potentially embarrassing glitches ... BLP, etc). A lot of FAs, for example, could do with an image audit, since the policy and guideline was significantly updated more than a year ago. Without more of a time-buffer, it's hard to engage the wider community in these tasks. I'd have thought queuing and blurb-prep admins would be relieved to have greater input. Tony (talk) 07:32, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

In the News Greek Bailout

I think tranche is too jargony and should be replaced by an English word, maybe installment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ksnow (talkcontribs) 17:21, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]

I considered precisely that change, but there appears to be an English variety issue ("installment" vs. "instalment"). —David Levy 17:27, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Tranche is a perfectly common English word, or at least it is among those who've attended school. Malleus Fatuorum 21:15, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I'm guessing that the term is more common in the United Kingdom than in the United States.
You appear to have rudely questioned Ksnow's intelligence, but I assume that this wasn't how you intended your message to come across. —David Levy 21:38, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
On the contrary; but to correct you slightly not his intelligence but his education. Malleus Fatuorum 22:07, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Did it not occur to you that words common in British English aren't necessarily common in other varieties? —David Levy 22:36, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Did it not occur to you that I might be right? Tranche =/= installment/instalment. Is the American attitude that any word heard I haven't heard my teacher use can't be proper English? Why not consult a dictionary? Malleus Fatuorum 23:00, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
1. I suggest that you consult a dictionary.
2. I've neither claimed that "tranche" isn't proper English nor removed it from the main page. I'm responding to your assertion that it's "a perfectly common English word, or at least it is among those who've attended school." —David Levy 23:11, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Then you're wrong. Now let's move on. Malleus Fatuorum 23:18, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Wrong about what? —David Levy 23:19, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
The word derives from the French tranche, a slice, nothing to do with any implication of further slices. Do Americans learn foreign languages at school? Obviously I exclude Spanish, America's de facto language. Now let's move on. Malleus Fatuorum 23:18, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
1. I've made no claims regarding the word's derivation.
2. French is among the foreign languages most commonly taught in American schools. What's the relevance? —David Levy 23:28, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
That you clearly don't know what tranche means. It is not a synonym for instalment, which implies an agreement to pay other tranches in the future. Malleus Fatuorum 23:33, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
No one has claimed that the two words are synonymous. However, their meanings overlap. In this instance, either term is applicable, with both evidently appearing in approximately the same number of relevant news reports. —David Levy 23:51, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Then it's clear that "tranche" is the correct word in this case, no matter whether Randy from Boise has ever heard the word before or not. Malleus Fatuorum 00:12, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Both words are correct in this case. No one (including the thread's original poster) has asserted that "trache" is incorrect, and I've opined that switching to "installment"/"instalment" probably isn't a good idea (because it would force us to select one of the two spellings).
I've only disputed your implication that anyone unfamiliar with the word "tranche" is poorly educated. —David Levy 00:17, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I would have said that either word is correct in this case, as both can't be (i.e., you can't say both tranche and instalment), but then that's just me being pedantic. My belief that anyone unfamiliar with the word tranche is poorly educated remains, but if you look back you'll see that you confused education with intelligence, so you're hardly one to talk. Malleus Fatuorum 00:27, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Do you reject the premise that a word can can be common in one English variety and uncommon in another, or do you assert that this definitely isn't so in the case of "tranche"? —David Levy 00:55, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
This idea of English "varieties" is an American one I think. We on this side of the Atlantic have no problem understanding your rather quaint words like "sidewalk", "gotten", and your completely illogical "I could care less", and we make allowances. What I reject is the premise that any educated English speaker is not familiar with the word "tranche". Or to put it more bluntly, if they aren't then they damn well ought to be. Malleus Fatuorum 01:11, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
No true Scotsman. howcheng {chat} 03:14, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
That your education system has failed you is no concern of mine. Malleus Fatuorum 03:37, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Persistent troll is persistent. howcheng {chat} 06:01, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Just so you know, MF, I have two college degrees, including a Master's. I can vouch for the idea that "tranche" is an incredibly uncommon word on the Yankee side of the big pond. I first encountered it on Jeopardy!, if I remember correctly. That said, I take no position on the underlying dispute, regarding whether it is the best choice in this particular case. LHM 01:18, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Only two degrees? ;-) Malleus Fatuorum 01:22, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
BTW, here's a word that's incredibly uncommon on this side of the pond, "gubernatorial", but it's used all over wikipedia. Malleus Fatuorum 01:24, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Is the word "tranche" used with the same frequency in the UK that "gubernatorial" is in the US? I ask this because I don't know of another word that conveys what "gubernatorial" conveys over here. LHM 01:33, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I wouldn't claim that a British person's unfamiliarity with the word "gubernatorial" is indicative of poor education. Perhaps you would, in which case you hold your countrymen to a standard significantly higher than that to which I hold mine. —David Levy 04:05, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
You appear to be unable to read, or perhaps you have a comprehension problem. I said that the word "gubernatorial" was not commonly used in England, not that it wasn't understood. Malleus Fatuorum 04:32, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I cited a hypothetical scenario (and the contrast between my hypothetical response and your real-life one). As I said, perhaps you believe that any Briton unfamiliar with the word "gubernatorial" is poorly educated. I disagree. —David Levy 04:48, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
As I said, you appear to have a problem either with reading or comprehension. Malleus Fatuorum 04:55, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Again, I'm referring to a hypothetical scenario. I haven't interpreted anything that you've written to mean that Britons generally are unfamiliar with the word "gubernatorial." I'm explaining that if I were to encounter such an individual, I wouldn't hold it against him/her. —David Levy 05:15, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Agreed. I am a college-educated American who has a mortgage payment and has made car payments (in installments) and I was unfamiliar with the word "tranche". At first glance, I would have suspected it to be some sort of garden implement. howcheng {chat} 03:16, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
So you're not a national government? Then perhaps there's no need for you to understand the difference between a tranche and a mortgage payment on your house. And to be honest I sometimes think that the conjunction of "American" and "educated" is somewhat of an oxymoron. Malleus Fatuorum 03:34, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
The discussion, it seems, is not about what a national government understands when reading that word, it's about what normal people who read this encyclopedia understand. And I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish with your jibes about Americans, but it doesn't reflect well on you. (I also love that you spelled it "pxymoron" in your edit summary.) Are you trying to alienate everyone with whom you come into contact? LHM 03:46, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
No, I'm just trying to get you guys to wise up, and realise that America isn't the centre of the Universe. If you don't understand a word then learn it. Malleus Fatuorum 03:51, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
From my perspective, the only discussion participant behaving as though his country is the center of the universe is the one asserting that anyone unfamiliar with a word commonly used there is poorly educated. (Please forgive my spelling of "center.") —David Levy 04:05, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I knew what it meant. Had seen it in all the stories on mortgage securities. Actually probably knew of it from some general (shallow) reading on something or other even before that. Although...I do feel sort of less apple pie for having recognized it. Serious. And then switching off of trolling (if possible): I think there is something to having a FEEL for language and usage. How common a word is, etc. I really don't have it down. Not in the least. But I have this idea that the real verbalists (Malleus, Wehwalt, Tony, who am I leaving out?) do. They have a feel for all the connotations and such. Oh...and that brings me to HATING when we blue-linke a word because it is a "hard word". Either go for the [[testicle|ball]s and don't use the William F Buckley terms. Or do it, boldly, without blue linking! Blue should be for technical terms of a subfield, for minor proper nouns, and for important concepts to the article we are in now. NOT for a "hard word" for the average semi-bright high-schooler.TCO (talk) 04:11, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Likewise, I was familiar with the word "tranche," but mainly from non-American usage. —David Levy 04:22, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
MF, you are either being deliberately obtuse or just missing the point: When we have an ENGVAR problem, the solution is to reword the sentence: "Amid heavy protests, the Greek parliament passes austerity measures to obtain the latest tranche portion of a €110 billion EFSF loan." This means the same thing and the meaning is more obvious. howcheng {chat} 06:20, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
It is you who is missing the point Howcheng. There is no "ENGVAR problem" here, just a problem of education; "tranche" is unequivocally the correct word in any variation of English. Malleus Fatuorum 14:09, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Yes, clearly this is a problem of education: whatever teacher was responsible for educating you in the area of reading comprehension was a massive failure. LHM 15:46, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
That's the Wikispirit Lithistman; whenever you're clearly in the wrong resort to gratuitous abuse hurled from whatever little moral hillock you can find. What's next, the childish "well, you started it"? Malleus Fatuorum 15:57, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Irony is ironic. LHM 16:18, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Firstly, the expression "I could care less" (meaning the exact opposite) is informal and widely criticised by American linguists. It's as improper in American English as it is in British English.
Secondly, I don't doubt that Britons generally are more familiar with American English than Americans are with British English. Presumably, this is because American media are more prevalent in the United Kingdom than British media are in the United States. Additionally, some British works that achieve popularity here — such as the Harry Potter books — are revised to replace British terms with American equivalents.
I'll note that while probably less common, the reverse sometimes occurs. For example, some UK publications include references to the U.S. "Department of Defence" and similar revisions to proper nouns, as well as undisclosed alterations to direct quotations. (I recall a newspaper article in which an American girl's mention of "chips" was changed to "crisps" without the use of square brackets.)
I personally prefer some elements of Commonwealth English, such as the spellings "criticise" and "vandalise" and the term "full stop." A typical American is less open to such deviations (though only "full stop" would cause any degree of confusion).
But we aren't ignorant across the board. Many terms, while not commonly used in American English, are are widely familiar here. Examples include "boot" ("trunk"), "chips" ("French fries"), "flat" ("apartment"), "fringe" ("bangs"), "lift" ("elevator"), "lorry" ("truck") and "petrol" ("gasoline").
However, "waistcoat" would leave most Americans scratching their heads, while "vest" would be taken to mean "waistcoat." (Related confusion — a British character's misinterpretation of "vest" in an American song lyric, taken to mean the article of clothing known to Americans as an "undershirt" — was the subject of an amusing bit of dialogue from As Time Goes By, one of my favorite UK sitcoms.)
Speak to an American about a "pram" ("baby carriage"), and you're likely to receive a blank stare. I don't recall encountering the term until viewing an installment of the UK version of Dragons' Den. In your view, does that mean that I'm poorly educated? —David Levy 04:05, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Yes. Malleus Fatuorum 04:55, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Okay then. Thanks for clarifying your position. —David Levy 05:15, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

There is this thing called "convergence". What it means is globalization. That we all become the same. And that sameness is America. Actually, is...Santa Monica. I should see if we have a decent article on this (will put those square brackets around the word and then go click on it after hitting save). I can see it when I go to Europe. They say I've changed, but...really they have. They're not even what they used to be. At least before there was an alternative.TCO (talk) 03:40, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

FYI, "tranche" never appears in 2010–2011 Greek protests. –HTD 03:41, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

There is this thing called "convergence". What it means is globalization. That we all become the same. And that sameness is America. Actually, is...Santa Monica. I should see if we have a decent article on this (will put those square brackets around the word and then go click on it after hitting save). I can see it when I go to Europe. They say I've changed, but...really they have. They're not even what they used to be. At least before there was an alternative.TCO (talk) 03:40, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

FYI, "tranche" never appears in 2010–2011 Greek protests. –HTD 03:41, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

So what? That's a typical crappy Wikipedia article. Malleus Fatuorum 03:44, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
The Main Page defers to articles. –HTD 03:50, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
But has three tags on it. Only a matter of time until it shows real skullsweat and heart exerted to make it shine! Not.  :-( TCO (talk) 03:46, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Hahahah. –HTD 03:50, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Malleus, we want to attract new editors in, and allowing them to edit the subject article is an important part of that. What we do need is to avoid the last-minute model for queuing, so that main authors and others can update, copy-edit, and audit the article for copyvio, NFC, image use, referencing. FAs do degrade over time. Tony (talk) 04:31, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Hmmm, perhaps. But what I see is the driving away of established editors, a problem that nobody seems to care about as they can apparently easily be replaced. Malleus Fatuorum 04:35, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
OK, leaving aside the discussion of British English versus American English, I would argue that, in a case where either of two words would do, we should use the most common of the two. Checking for Google hits, I find the following:
WORD         G-HITS (millions)
=====        =================
tranche      30.40 
installment  58.70
instalment    9.25
So, it looks like "installment" is about twice as common, especially if the one L spelling is included. Another option, of course, is to include both words, with one in parentheses. StuRat (talk) 05:50, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Looks like 70% of Google has poor education, then. –HTD 06:08, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
"Tranche" is vastly preferable to "tranche (installment)." Practically anything is.
If "installment"/"instalment" (which appears prevalent in relevant news reports, including those from the UK) had a single spelling, it would be a better choice, but that isn't the case. So if we were to make that change, many readers would perceive a misspelling. —David Levy 06:13, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

If you're worried about using a term that might be correct but few people understand then do the obvious thing: link to Tranche in the blurb. Those who understand it will be happy they kept it in, those who don't understand but want to are only a click away, those who don't understand and don't care, well they don't matter :)-- (talk) 08:48, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

From a Wall Street point of view, "tranche" is more precise because it implies the terms of the next loan are likely to be different, but "installment" makes me think first of regular payments for a car etc. See Wiktionary. But I must have a terrible education, because my knowledge of Britishisms comes mostly from Wikipedia, and also from sources like my wife, but not from school. Art LaPella (talk) 14:02, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Oh please: tranche. Tony (talk) 16:17, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

"Tranche" is the appropriate word, although I had to do some urgent background reading to understand that. Wiki policies are not clear on the issue, so I would suggest using a vaguer but more familiar word in the blurb, leaving clarification for the article. Full (or even Wikified) knowledge of the subject cannot be conveyed in a blurb in any case.

For context and for what it is worth, I have a rather unique education which has resulted in a fair number of letters behind my name -- including many which are almost never seen together -- but I am not an economist or MBA by post-Associate level education (translating the degree level, in my neck of the woods a two-year college degree does not actually exist!), and while I have some economics overview, I do not speak economics fluently as my second language. Nor do I consider an English-speaking person uneducated for not understanding "tranche" without having to look it up, any more than I consider an English-speaking person uneducated for never having read "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" in Pope's original context, or a television-viewing audience uneducated for not having the generational context to understand that a certain Maple Leaf commercial completely distorts the meaning of the song "For What It's Worth" by using only the first line "There's something happening here" to introduce their new product line. - Tenebris 02:10, 3 July 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Malleus Fatuorum believes that anyone unaware of another country's word for "baby carriage" is poorly educated, so debating this with him/her seems rather pointless. —David Levy 02:29, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Actually, we have a similar (if not precisely parallel) situation ITN today with 2,500 crore (US$330 million). (Btw the amount in the article is 100,000 crore (US$13 billion), probably the result of later editing.) The blurb is accurately worded as stands. Yet without some type of conversion, one can reasonably expect readers to deal with the symbol for rupees, but the "crore" numbering system is completely outside non-south/east Asian familiarity, effectively rendering the blurb meaningless outside that Asian readership. - Tenebris 11:36, 3 July 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Per Wikipedia talk:In the news#Wording of Indian item, I've modified the item. —David Levy 15:47, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Admin request relating to upcoming POTD

I have a recommendation for changing the upcoming POTD (am co-creator). Not sure if we are in the protected period or any of that...but please see here: [2] TCO (talk) 17:40, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]

In principle, I support this. Howcheng, are there technical or policy constraints at issue? Tony (talk) 17:53, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Thanks. Not only did I not understand if we were under protection. I also don't know the exact rules on picture size (although I know we go wide at times. The graphic is really more of a functional graphic than a "pretty picture for illustration". It got FP because of the way it combined a lot of information graphically (huge research into every little dot of the range). It's also a little "different" from our typical range maps in that it shows the political geography (but that serves the article as there were several paras of range discussion and we didn't want to be hyperlinking states and the like...and we get into a lot of details like range border near a state border and the like.)TCO (talk) 17:58, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I don't think there are rules about the POTD size; but that map is an awkward beast. I had trouble putting it at the bottom of "Featured content" at The Signpost the week it was featured, and ended up having to make it smaller than I'd have liked. Just saying. Howcheng might be persuaded to make changes to it, but he probably won't want to make it huge. Maps are a problem on WP (text size on them, particularly). Tony (talk) 18:02, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I understand and am pretty open to not running it at also. Or we can just run it, knowing that people "have to click to see it". That said, I don't get what the big deal is on going full width at top or (especially) bottom of content. How is it different from the space station? And arguabley a better justification (functional reading) than for that pretty floating sattelite. I am doing more and more centering of images rather than text wrapping. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TCO (talkcontribs) 18:25, 1 July 2011 (UTC)[]
  • I have temporarily changed it to the panorama display version. However, I'm not willing to go beyond the recommended 550px in width - not everyone has wide screen monitors you know. Zzyzx11 (talk) 02:54, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]
    • Looking at the archives, the most recent image that had a similar legibility issue was the 2011-03-25 POTD, but again it was still set at the 550px limit, but with {{Wide image-noborder}} on it. Zzyzx11 (talk) 03:00, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Big improvement. (Although don't we allow panorama pics wider? Plus I am on a laptop and it displays fine. Plus a scrollbar for a few folks is probably better than everyone having to click on it. Plus even the weensy device peeps will still have a scrollbar ANYWAY if they try to "click through" and see it at scale. But not to argue...just a philosophy difference. Totally appreciate the change and HUGE improvement. Huggumzzz!)TCO (talk) 03:03, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

No, 550px is the max. The 2011-03-25 POTD didn't garner any complaints about the scrollbox, but the 2011-06-09 one did (specifically, that the {{wide image-noborder}} template didn't work properly for IE 7). howcheng {chat} 15:38, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Image size for DYKs

Warsaw Ghetto

This image is coming through the works at DYK. Here, it's at the size used in the article.

Warsaw Ghetto, May 1941. Photo by P.K. Zermin, now in German Federal Archive

But despite the drama, the historical interest, the encyclopedic value, it's going to be displayed at this size on the main page. I really don't think it's worth using. What a waste. Tony (talk) 06:55, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Yeah...they do some bad selects. there was some hook on "penis fencing" (of some tiny animal) a while ago. And that's a great hook of they went with that for the pic hook. But it looked like an inkblot psych test. There were other pics which were usable at a small size since they were simpler.TCO (talk) 07:11, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]
My point is that this is the kind of powerful image the main page should be displaying larger, not turning down because it doesn't work at squint-size. Tony (talk) 07:14, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Good point. Actually would be a great Featured Picture. I've been participating a lot lately there. Only thing is the bytes are too low. I bet if one got a high res copy (probably possible to do), that it would get the star, no problem. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TCO (talkcontribs) 07:19, 2 July 2011 UTC

Yeah, displaying in the DYK section with the hook, I mean. A POTD promotion takes two and a half years to work through the queue. Tony (talk) 07:24, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

I just asked to have my pic run and it was up a week later...TCO (talk) 07:35, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

I made an allowance for you because it's your first one. Next time, you get put in the queue, which is about 1 to 1.5 years behind. I'll still make exceptions for anniversaries, though. howcheng {chat} 15:34, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

(ec) -

Most images are more interesting at a size larger than 100 x 100. If displaying images in an interesting way were an important function of DYK, the proposal to replace a good chunk of DYK with an interesting image should be considered. DYK on the Main Page plays a different role. It showcases new content and offers a lot of links to many different pieces of information, relevant old content as well as new. We value having lots of items and lots of links to serve readers who have many different interests. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid newspaper. Sharktopus talk 07:39, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Are you saying that an image of a dead man on a street in the Warsaw ghetto is cheap? Worthy of a tabloid newspaper? And I don't quite have a solution to the image problem on the main page—certainly not the one you have assumed. But I sure do know there's a problem. Tony (talk) 08:14, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I am saying our stock in trade is diverse information, so this image, worthy as it may be, should not be used to replace a display of diverse information. If Main Page accepts this worthy image to replace a good chunk of DYK, then Talk:Main Page and WT:DYK will become a battleground for other worthy images demanding similar treatment. Much will be lost and little will be gained. Sharktopus talk 09:03, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

It's a website. It has a lot of features that paper doesn't and a few limitations as well. Nothing wrong with normal sized pics. Even in paper, I doubt that plate would be shown DYK small.TCO (talk) 08:24, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

DYK has a tiny spot for one image -- the function of DYK is not to display that image. The image is there to serve DYK's twin functions: 1) display diverse new content and 2) motivate people to create new content. Other parts of the Main Page feature images. I would encourage Tony1 to submit images that should have larger display to parts of the wiki that feature just such images. Sharktopus talk 09:03, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Indeed, if readers desire to see an intriguing picture at the size used in the article, all they need do is click through to the article itself. Clicking on the picture directly will normally lead to the picture itself at an even larger size. I do wonder why this (misguided) proposal doesn't include the images associated with the Featured Article of the day, In the News, or On This Date. DYK, OTD, and ITN all use the same 100px by 100px image sizing. - Dravecky (talk) 11:59, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]
"Misguided proposal", you say. But what is the proposal? I've made no proposal. I'm pointing out that there's a big problem here. Does anyone think this powerful image is worth using at 100px? Tony (talk) 12:11, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]
You have made a proposal is to start playing with image sizes on the Main Page whenever somebody comes along with a great idea for a great image requiring people instantly to IAR or else be accused of not caring about the Warsaw Ghetto. Next week it will be something different of course, not caring about world hunger or Hiroshima or great art or how important science is. It is a bad idea, and it is deservedly getting little support. Signed, Sharktopus

I don't think there's any rule that says we have to use the image as-is (but smaller). I believe that judicious cropping is allowed. For example, you could probably crop out the figures on the left, concentrating on the central grouping of people, without seriously harming the encyclopedic quality of the picture. You can then temporarily upload the crop for use as the DYK thumbnail. -- (talk) 15:01, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

I'm not so much thinking of the egos of DYK regulars who want to maintain their access to an obscene flow of up to 32 hooks day, but the impact and function of the main page as a whole. We need to think of the big picture. Tony (talk) 16:18, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]
The big picture is that Wikipedia works by consensus. If you have a good idea (and Tony1 has had many good ideas but this isn't one of them) you still need to convince other people. Sharktopus talk 08:26, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
The purpose of DYK is not to display powerful images. As TCO suggested this may be a candidate for Feature Picture; although it doesn't meet the normal high resolution requirement, I see that there is an exception "for historical or otherwise unique images", which this certainly seems to be, or perhaps a higher resolution copy can be obtained. As for Tony's complaint that "[a] POTD promotion takes two and a half years to work through the queue", a delay or long lead time in one project is hardly reason to disrupt a different project. cmadler (talk) 16:59, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]
  • That's weird logic there. What has the delay in POTD got to do with the essential wrongness of posting a picture like the one at issue at 100px? Nothing. This is all I am positing, despite this assumption by DYK people who seem to be making up hysterical assumptions. No picture, I believe, is better than the little patch of speckled grey. Tony (talk)

I don't think it won't be too much to ask if thumbs for all sections are recognizable at whatever the agreed-upon-size is. –HTD 18:56, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

1. Obviously, the Warsaw pic is an issue at 100px and I have seen DYK make mistakes with the pic before. If you are going to stick with 100px, then you need simple iconic pics. I also don't see the big deal with moving to bigger pics. The argument that "we are an encyclopedia, not a tabloid" is flawed. First DYK is a set of blurbed links, not articles. Second, in articles, we actually use them bigger than 100px. Third, the front page is a lot MORE like a newspaper (rotating content, even ITN) or a weblog than our typical articles.

2. To make the conversation constructive, instead of my usual shit-stirring, would say let's modify the DYK instructions to more clearly specify simple pics that work at small size (giving EXAMPLES of do and do not).

3. Thanks, How. I probably should not have told people I got special favors (or I won't get them any more).  :-)

TCO (talk) 19:16, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[]

"Most images are more interesting at a size larger than 100 x 100." True, but it is also true that many (possibly most) images are completely useless at 100 x 100. If the image is not going to be distinguishable, why have an image in the first place? We should either do away with the images entirely or use a size that can actually be seen clearly. --Khajidha (talk) 03:24, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

On some websites there are small images that you can mouseover, and when you mouseover, an in-browser (as opposed to second window) popup of the image floats out. Is it worth scouring for a program like that under a free license that we could implement, either for the main page or globally? Sven Manguard Wha? 07:01, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

I don't think the picture is that bad although there may have been alternative choices or perhaps more cropping was ideal. Nil Einne (talk) 10:28, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

There is already a cropped version of this image in Commons, which would be much more suited to display at DYK size than simply shrinking the original photo. Sharktopus talk 10:46, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Warsaw Ghetto, May 1941. Photo by P.K. Zermin, now in German Federal Archive cropped version of same image

If a picture is useless at the size it is run at, then it shouldn't be being used. The Warsaw ghetto picture lost all its impact at that smaller size - it was basically a total waste. It's a shame such a powerful photo was (mis)used in that way; it would have been a nice touch if it could have been run at a larger-than-usual size but I understand that this is difficult in practice. The suggestion of a crop seemed sensible to me. This is not an uncommon problem at DYK, though - I don't know if the solution is better selection of picture choices (in particular paying more attention to how it looks at the Main Page size rather than the merits of the file itself), more use of cropping etc to highlight the most important parts of an image, or whether the size of the DYK image should be increased slightly. Perhaps a combination of these? Thank you to Tony for identifying this issue. TheGrappler (talk) 12:05, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

  • I remember a time at least four or five years ago that a couple of users or admins would regularly make temporary crops of main page images as needed and tag them with {{M-cropped}}, including all that was required on DYK. That may be what we have to return to. Zzyzx11 (talk) 14:49, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
    • (ec)I think TCO's idea of instructions on optimizing for 100x100 display is excellent. I know a lot less about editing images than TCO does but I'll be glad to collaborate on such an essay. Even people who can't edit images themselves could be helped with picking a good one and recognizing when it's time to ask for help. Sharktopus talk 15:04, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
      • Obviously circumstances vary, and we need to be more flexible as regards image size. The current image size is inadequate for most images, let alone one with so much detail as the one in question. If we are rigid about the current image size, I see absolutely zero point in including the image, even in its cropped form. If DYK isn't for showcasing images, then don't fracking use it. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 05:13, 4 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Image use: a total rethink is required

Cropped version above. Sharktopus, yes, the cropped image at squint-size is better, and probably usable under the current restrictions. But this proves the whole point: the cropped version is of vastly inferior composition and impact; the image has lost its most powerful meaning, which arises from the striking nonchalance of the crowd on this street-as-stage—their confused or hardened acceptance or possible lack of awareness, and the unique demeanour of every individual. The cropped 100px version is so small that the fallen man could be a tortoise. Well done, but it can only be a stop-gap measure: I'm afraid the severe cropping I've seen at main-page forums is a third-best solution for a world-first site.

Multiple compromises. It's ironic that Commons has 7 million free images—by far the world's largest such repository—the Foundation's most popular and influential site, en.WP, uses images so poorly at its gateway page. A wordy encyclopedia it might be, but the front-door should be an exercise in PR, one great hook to forge a cutting-edge profile—to fascinate readers and capture new editors. But the problem of main-page images cannot be solved in isolation; it's one of overall design. Since 2006 (eons ago in terms of the evolution of the Internet) our readers have put up with several unsatisfactory compromises mapped onto each other. These compromises are mostly borne of real-estate rivalry by the various main-page forums, which gives the impression of an uneasy truce between them, frozen in time:

  • too much text;
  • too little white space;
  • tiny images (much to do with the double-column design); and
  • over-compartmentalisation.

The overall effect is crowded, fusty and, dare I say it, nerdy; the double-column arrangement and the indented bullets put a bad squeeze on the images. Perhaps in 2006 it was acceptable, but it no longer is, given what even conventional web design is capable of in 2011. So it's timely that finally someone did some lateral thinking: it was Sven Manguard above, just a few hours ago, who said that on some websites there are small images you can mouse over, and an in-browser pop-up of the image floats out, and why not find a free software licence for this that we could implement on the main page?

Modern web-page design. Coincidentally, only a day ago I spoke with a senior Wikimedian about en.WP main-page design, and he showed me a commercial site that does what Sven is suggesting. I think it has design problems itself that mirror our own in its crowding (perhaps it appeals to the grab-bag mentality of the impulse shopper, which is not what we want). But it contains the fundamental design components that would allow us to overcome all of the current compromises in one go, with a slight question-mark over accessibility. I note that:

  1. it would probably accommodate the needs of mobile devices much better;
  2. would allow allow the flexible randomised rotation of large numbers of hooks for DYK;
  3. once developed it could also be of use for other WP portals; and

You must first click away the advertising window to see (top-right X).


Without this extravagant number of interactive images (19), it wouldn't even need Adobe flash (only Java script), and would be easily viewable on all but the old browsers used by just a few percent of the world's computers. Although the programming is apparently a snack, the visual interface would need to be professionally designed with formal order and simplicity for the images (and much more float-out text) to accommodate all of the current forums, plus more. My Wikimedian adviser thinks web-design companies would fall over themselves to produce it gratis to be able to boast they'd done it, such is our reach. Nothing less than a total rethink of the uppermost level of the main page will produce what the site deserves, and the time to get it going is now. Tony (talk) 16:22, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

  • I completely agree with Tony; Wikipedia needs to keep up with the times. All modern Web sites assume a minimum horizontal screen resolution of 1024 pixels; shrinking a browser window below that size automatically brings up the horizontal scroll bar so the user can see the entire contents., and The New York Times are three such examples, each providing a horizontal scroll bar only if the whole browser window is less than 990 to 1012 pixels). Nowadays, it is very common for users to have 1440 or more pixels of horizontal resolution.

    In keeping up with the times, page creators on Wikipedia should set their browser windows at 1024 pixels when laying out pages to ensure the results are fully attractive and usable at that limited size, and then should—if their monitors have sufficient resolution—double check the same page with at least 1440 pixels, and again at the widest window their system will support. This is to ensure that text-flow issues don’t crop up, which can be addressed with a few well placed {{-}} text-flow commands underneath a picture that would otherwise crowd text below—as is done in the Drafting Assistant section in our Cobalt article (try different page widths if you have a big monitor).

    It’s time to maximize the Wikipedia experience to better suit the needs of the vast majority of the bell curve of our readership; those readers who still have a 486 machine with 256-color, 640 pixel monitor are used to scrolling nowadays anyway. Greg L (talk) 17:39, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Evidence we have the same target market as the 3 US sites please? Remember we have different goals from many other sites. Our primary purpose isn't to make money. Other sites are unlikely to care about users who they think aren't going to make money for them. Also other sites will often look at things from a pure cost tradeoff. If their webdesigners can design their site to support a lower resolution but it's going to cost X more, they may consider that not worthwhile if it's going to only make A more money for them. We don't operate like that.
Note also as has been discussed before window resolutions are far more important then monitor or desktop resolutions. Many people may have 1440 or greater horizontal pixel monitor but it doesn't mean they all have full sized windows. And in fact as also discussed before, zoom settings which on most modern browsers affect the image size mean even horizontal window resolution isn't a perfect gauge of what percentage an image will take.
Ultimately you're likely to have difficulty convincing people we should damage accessibility for older computers without demonstrating a clear cut advantage of this so called 'better suit the needs of the vast majority of the bell curve of our readership'. Talking about it in an airy-fairy way doesn't help, you need to show what you want to do and why it's better and in particularly that you actually need to damage accessibility in such a way (rather then just being lazy or crap in designing). So far the only thing we have is image size which not everyone even agreess is much of an issue.
P.S. Speaking of accessibility, using a lot of javascript and a fancy coded page seems a good way to break screen readers if not done very well. Also while I'm sure some companies will be willing to do design work pro-bono, will they be willing to do so if they know the community will likely want to approve and possibility reject their work after they've spent all the time and money? If not, good luck trying to convince the community they should give up that right considering how grudingly it's happened when it's come from the WMF.
Nil Einne (talk) 23:31, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Problems with amount

I think there is problem in "In the news" section about Padmanabhaswamy Temple. It says the treasure worth at least 2,500 crore. But, other sources report more than it. Rameez pp (talk) 13:33, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

"At least" = "minimum". If it's more, it's still not wrong. Strange Passerby (talkcont) 13:47, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
WP:ERRORS is the place for this and there is already a discussion there on it. As Strange Passerby says, "at least" means that the text isn't inaccurate. Woody (talk) 14:15, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Citation Needed issue

How is the Transformers (film) on "Today's Featured Article" page if it has a Citation needed tag in the lead? Where is the logic behind this? Also I've made some changes which you may want to view in the history. BTW I'd appreciate feedback. Thanks. ATC . Talk 20:11, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]

That tag was added today, while it was on the Main Page. It's not a sufficiently major issue to justify pulling the article - only something like discovery of a major copyright infringement would do that. The best place to discuss improvements to the article is on the article talk page. Modest Genius talk 21:09, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Which is where people should put tags, since they are comments on the article (and citation needed is a comment on the article, it is not actually adding content or adding a source).TCO (talk) 21:14, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Their is also some minor edits I made which should be added to the "Today's Featured Article" page. ATC . Talk 21:29, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
  • On another note, why is there a picture of what appears to be some random lorry and no context in the blurb to explain how the lorry is relevant to the film? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:32, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I was wondering the same thing. Why isn't the DVD cover featured on the "Today's Featured Article" page? ATC . Talk 23:50, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Because the DVD cover is copyright, and we only allow free (ie not "fair use") media on the MP. I don't have a clue how the lorry is relevant, though. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:59, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
The text that appears when the mouse is hovered over the picture explains that it is the lorry used in the film to represent Optimus Prime. I agree it would have been better to have an explanatory 'Optimus Prime (transformed form pictured)' or similar, rather than relying upon the popup text. Modest Genius talk 00:57, 4 July 2011 (UTC)[]

great site!

THis is a great site, I think. Thanks you for keeping it up! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:25, 5 July 2011 (UTC)[]

You're perfectly welcome! GeeJo (t)(c) • 23:45, 5 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Main page comment

One of the functions of the Main Page #is# to draw people's attention to topics they might not otherwise have come across, from quasars to quoins, xerography to Xanadu - and to provide entertainment in complaining about what defines 'inappropriate objects for the main page'/how frequently topics from a particular theme should appear on it. (talk) 08:58, 6 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Did you know ... that the f-word did not begin as an acronym

Original DYK discussion

A current DYK hook: "Did you know ... that the f-word did not begin as an acronym, as is commonly claimed, but is of much older Proto-Germanic origin?".

When I read that, I thought it meant to tell me that the actual euphemism "f-word" is commonly claimed to be an acronym, and was confused. Only when I checked to see where that link went did I realize that it meant to say that the word "fuck" is often claimed to be an acronym.

It was briefly discussed at the DYK discussion to actually say 'the word "fuck"' instead of "f-word", but discarded pretty unanimously. I understand their reasoning, but still think using the euphemism is worse.

Am only I feeling that way? I'm not a native speaker so I'm certain that I'm not as sensitive to the word "fuck" as most of you are, and it may be natural for you to read "f-word" and think "fuck". But I, for one, would prefer displaying the actual word instead of an WP:EGG link.
Opinions? Not necessarily for this particular hook, but in general? Are we avoiding the seven dirty words on the main page where possible? This probably has been discussed before anyway? Amalthea 13:35, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Having just read the linked discussion (and recalling the controversy surrounding the "Glee" hook), I'm extremely disappointed in its outcome.
In this context, referring to "fuck" as "the f-word" is censorship on our part. Marrante's argument (which seemed to set things in motion) was as follows:
Wikipedia may not be censored, but using curse words on the main page falls under "just because you can doesn't mean you should".
It depends on the context. In the previous instance, the word "fuck" was used to refer to a song title that already had been changed from "Fuck You" to "Forget You" in the relevant context. Therefore, it seemed as though we'd gone out of our way to include the word "fuck," arguably "because we could."
Conversely, the current blurb is about the word "fuck." There's nothing gratuitous about saying so (instead of replacing it with a euphemism that's less informative and causes confusion).
I could stomach the argument that we have plenty of DYK items and needn't use one about the word "fuck." But if we do decide to use one, censoring it is inappropriate.
We jump through hoops making sure things are not too political, not too POV, and we are especially careful about a BLP, but then it's no holds barred when it comes to using one of the most objectionable curse words in English on the main page? Please.
There's a world of difference between striving for topical fairness/balance and censoring a key word of undisputed relevance because it offends people. To quote WP:CENSOR:
"Discussion of potentially objectionable content should not focus on its offensiveness but on whether it is appropriate to include in a given article. Beyond that, 'being objectionable' is generally not sufficient grounds for removal of content."
Not everything that receives an "article" appears on the main page. But if it does, the same principle applies.
Because I've responded directly to Marrante's comments, I've left a pointer to this thread on his/her talk page. —David Levy 14:25, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I'll also address Bennydigital's argument (and leave a pointer for him):
I agree with 'F word'. Wikipedia's for everyone, and as much as I fucking love the word fuck (almost as much as the c one...), I would say it's a bit strong for the front page everyone uses. It's not censorship, it's just fairer for everyone if you can choose to view the lovely word, rather than have it foisted upon your eyes.
1. How is replacing 'fuck' with 'f-word' "not censorship"?
2. By the above logic, we also should avoid displaying photographs of women on the front page everyone uses. Some cultures object to the publication of photographs of unveiled women or women in general, so it's just fairer for everyone if they can choose to view these images instead of having them foisted upon their eyes. —David Levy 14:41, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]
You make a good point there Mr Levy. It is probably, to a small degree. However, I feel that in this instance, it would be more politeness, rather than censorship. While we liberal types couldn't really give a word in question about it's usage, but Wikipedia is for everyone, and I would say that it a sense of community would cause us to engage in doing this, out of decency to others.
However, I quite agree that there are limits to how accomodating you can be to people's views, and therefore agree that in the case of point 2, by reductio ad absurdum, we would eventually be able to display nothing. I beleive that Lily Allen is repellent and must be stopped at all costs, but as a rational being, I can understand that there may well be coverage on here. Therefore when I see it on the front page, I choose not to click on it and be offended (see also Creationism, Stormfront and Jazz...) Essentially, I think allowing people to choose whether they wish to be offended is better than making the decision for them. In my ill focused roundabout way.
Finally, thank you for getting me involved in such an interesting discussion sir! Benny Digital Speak Your Brains 15:42, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]
The main page frequently contains content that's likely to offend people. We've received complaints about links to articles whose subjects some readers disliked and about images that some readers didn't wish to see. To deem a word too "offensive" to display is to make a value judgement. It means that we're favoring and validating a particular set of personal beliefs (while dismissing the remainder). This is inherently non-neutral, and I would argue that it actually is insensitive to readers (because it implies that we care about some views and not others).
For the record, I rarely use profanities in my day-to-day life. In general, I don't feel comfortable speaking that way (and my friends and relatives regard me as somewhat prudish). My personal standards are irrelevant to Wikipedia's mission. —David Levy 16:49, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • Note: I've posted thread pointers for everyone who commented on the issue. This obviously invites disagreement with my position, but I felt that it was appropriate to provide notification of continued discussion. —David Levy 14:56, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Interesting that the Foundation's elaborate exercise in analysing the issue, via the official report to the Board last year, still provides no guidance on such a matter. Tony (talk) 15:12, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I was the first to comment on the DYK hook and when I read it, the first thing that came to mind was that "the 'f-word'" was used only to censor the word, rather than because it fit well in the hook. I am a native English speaker so I know what is meant by "the 'f-word'", but as David Levy pointed out above, that is not obvious to a non-native English speaker. Even if one were to click on the the piped link, they would be taken to the fuck article and probably be even more confused, especially since "the 'f-word'" is not mentioned in the lead section, nevertheless the first sentence. The article F word is actually a disambiguation page that lists four other words that can be considered the "f-word" such as faggot and feminism (and I'm sure there's more than what's listed on the page). So with WP:CENSOR aside, I don't think "the 'f-word'" is appropriate simply for contextual reasons. Now the second discussion taking place concurrently here is whether "fuck" or "the 'f-word'" should be used on the Main Page. If the article in the DYK hook was fuck or something of that nature, I think it would be completely appropriate (not doing so would violate WP:CENSOR). It would also be appropriate if the hook's article was directly related to the word "fuck". But seeing as how the hook's article is List of common false etymologies and a hook of the word "fuck" was chose out of many possible hooks from that article, I don't think it's appropriate because a less "offensive" hook could be used, going back to "just because you can doesn't mean you should". –Dream out loud (talk) 15:43, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Indeed, it would have been entirely reasonable to select a different example from the article. I only object to the concept of censoring the word "fuck" in an item about the word "fuck." —David Levy 16:49, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Let me address a few things here. First, Amalthea, I read something years ago when trying to improve my French, which was that it was a very bad idea for non-natives to curse in French because 1) they didn't really know the strength of the word they were using and 2) nothing sounds quite so bad to the native speaker as hearing a non-native cursing in your language. At the time I read this, these were new arguments to me, but I had to agree on both points. I'm not arguing for censorship, for articles to be deleted. If you want an article devoted to every nasty word and whatever else you can think of, fine. Sad, but your right. However in talking about the main page, I think a higher standard is warranted. There are decisions made every day about what will go on it and what won't. Those decisions involve taste, discernment, judgment. I'm saying that putting a curse word on the main page shows poor taste. poor judgment and a lack of discernment. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Marrante (talk) 15:47, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]
1. You are arguing for censorship. Substituting "f-word" for "fuck" in an item about the word "fuck" is censorship. The fact that you don't advocate deletion of articles (i.e. greater censorship) doesn't change that.
2. You say that the main page should be held to "a higher standard." Whose standard should we apply? As I noted above, some cultures object to the publication of photographs of unveiled women or women in general. Should we accommodate these people (and defend our actions by pointing out that we aren't deleting articles about women), or should we only concern ourselves with what offends you?
3. Again, no one is arguing that we're required to post blurbs about profanities or anything else. We're discussing what wording to use when we do post a blurb about the word "fuck." —David Levy 16:49, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Would it also be considered censorship to have written "... that a common curse word did not begin as an acronym" instead of what seems to be only two other alternatives? Would it be inaccurate? - Tenebris 03:10, 29 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Yes, deliberate vagueness — introduced for no reason other than to omit an "objectionable" word — is censorship.
No, it wouldn't be inaccurate. Likewise, it wouldn't be inaccurate to replace the current "King George VI" link with "a British king". —David Levy 04:02, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Ahem. This was in DYN. Deliberate vagueness is used in more than half the entries simply for effect. As current examples, I give you -
"that the competition to build the fastest production motorcycle raged for over a century, and then ended in a truce?"
"that a proud Massachusetts father commissioned award-winning composer Peter Child to compose a string quartet in honor of his son's birth?"
"that the wasp Dinocampus coccinellae can turn a ladybird into a "zombie bodyguard"?"
No one questions that these examples of deliberate vagueness have nothing to do with censorship, and I never see complaints on the talk page that *these* are offensive because of deliberate vagueness introduced for no particular reason. Why are different criteria being applied to the word fuck? - Tenebris 13:20, 29 June 2011 (UTC)~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
To what vagueness are you referring? All of those blurbs identify their subjects, and none of them (as they appear on the main page) contain Easter egg links. —David Levy 21:24, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I see. You think those are absolutely specific, and identify their subjects exactly? - Tenebris — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:15, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
I think that none of the included information has been obfuscated. You seem to be equating the concepts of omission and disguise. —David Levy 01:35, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Would it be omission or disguise in this one? "that a pauper received a state burial in Namibia two days ago?" (see today's DYK) - Tenebris 12:58, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with David Levy. Where's the consideration for those of us who find the euphemism (i.e. censorship) more offensive than the word itself? If fuck is too objectionable for the Main page, so is the f-word. JIMp talk·cont 04:58, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Ahem. Contrary to what some of you may think, the WMF Board of Trustees has been quite clear in supporting what is known as the Principle of least astonishment. Please read the WMF Board's Resolution on Controversial Content: We support the principle of least astonishment: content on Wikimedia projects should be presented to readers in such a way as to respect their expectations of what any page or feature might contain. The word "fuck" does not belong on the main page. Myself, I'd question why that particular example was selected out of the List of common false etymologies article; there are many other excellent examples, and the "fuck" one appears to have been chosen purely for its titillation value. In other words, it seems that it made it to the Main Page in direct violation of WMF policy. Can we not do this anymore please? Risker (talk) 05:23, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]

I really don't understand this; we've had cunt on the main page before now, why not fuck? Malleus Fatuorum 06:23, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]
Oh, and I forgot cock. Malleus Fatuorum 06:26, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]
And last week I expressed my nervousness about "wet vagina" in a DYK hook, which fortunately ran aground for other reasons. Risker has reminded me on my talk page of one of the key principles expounded in Robert Harris's report to the Board last year; what I didn't know was that the Board was so clear in supporting the Principle of least astonishment—a brief story in The Signpost a few weeks ago seemed to suggest there has been indecision concerning how to respond to the Harris report, although that story wasn't specific. Unlike David, I'm not at all regarded as a prude in real life; but ironically I think I take a more pragmatic view of how WP:NOTCENSORED should be applied. The main page is hugely exposed, and children see it every day in great numbers in its role as the gateway to WP. Children are vulnerable, even if they use the f word in the playground. The f word is fine in many article contexts where the user has consciously sought out a topic, but the principle of least astonishment Robert Harris so ably presented plays sharply on the main page, where accidental exposure happens every second of the day. Censorship is not black and white: it needs to be managed with skill and subtlety by the foundation and project editors. And for the record, I was most concerned about the c word when it appeared on the main page, Malleus. Tony (talk) 07:25, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I agree that the issue isn't black and white, but I believe that we settled on an inappropriate compromise in this instance.
As Risker notes above, the word "fuck" appears to have been singled out due to its titillation value. This is the issue that should have been raised in the nomination thread (leading to the selection of a different example from the article). Instead, "fuck" was allowed through as an Easter egg, which violates the aforementioned principle of least astonishment. Anyone reading "the f-word" either understood what was meant (and therefore was shielded from nothing) or didn't understand what was meant (in which case the text failed to adequately inform). Either way, readers (including vulnerable children) were invited to click directly to the Fuck article, so what did we accomplish?
I'm not here to argue that we need to run items about the word "fuck." We don't (and probably shouldn't have). But if we do run an item about the word "fuck," censoring it (as though our goal is to sneak through something naughty) is the worst of both worlds. —David Levy 09:52, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]
I couldn't agree more with David's latest comments. Explaining my point would merely be restating his position and labouring the point. Careful With That Axe, Eugene Hello... 10:30, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • Talking about the word "fuck" without mentioning it looks fairly silly. Bad DYK hook. David Levy is absolutely right. Did you know that Wikipedia did not collapse when the German Wikipedia had Vulva as main page FA, with a photograph of a vulva? Not being censored means encyclopedically covering any topic, and linking to them on the main page. —Kusma (t·c) 10:39, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]

Either the blurb was trying to be deliberately un-misleading (misleading when it really isn't), or it was censorship. Either way it did a poor job on both accounts; although using the word per se such as "...that fuck did not begin as an acronym" is rather boring, but censoring it did not make it not boring. There are quite a few "f-words", too. –HTD 19:44, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]

How delightful. A dirty word discussion! I don't have a strong opinion on using the word or not. Have sort of the same agnostic tiredness that I do with militant atheists and their counterparts. It doesn't chap my ass to see it used, nor do I feel like Daddy is holding me back if we don't. What bugs me worse is the CONTENT of the hook. Who set up the idea that most people think the work originated from an acronym? I have always heard that it was of Germanic origin and anyone who's heard both languages would likely think the same. Lastly if we are going to edit it, we should do some more manly version like "f---" as in the newspaper. "F-word" just sounds so PC.TCO (talk) 21:53, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[]

  • You cannot compare the German Wikipedia and the English Wikipedia unless you want to compare cultures and everything else. If the German Wikipedia is being held up as the example, then all those articles that are ported over here from there need to be stripped of their "unreferenced" and "refimprove" templates because articles there regularly don't have inline citations, the often extensive bibliography at the end is sufficient. Nudity, particularly female, in mass media is not uncommon in Germany and the Stern regularly (about once a month) has a photo of a naked woman on its cover. When Time and Newsweek do the same and you can watch naked men scamper in a field in a commercial on non-cable tv in America, then you can start talking about how the German Wikipedia had this or that article on the main page and didn't collapse. Marrante (talk) 06:13, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
  • Why not simply write "Did you know ... that the word "fuck" did not begin as an acronym?" How is it "astonishing" in any way to simply look at the etymology of a word? Examining the etymology of those four letters, placed in succession--and used without any anger, titillation, or even humor--while actually spelling out the word, causes no more (or less) astonishment than doing so while using the tired euphemism "the F-word." LHM 16:15, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
    • I think what's on display here is a profound misunderstanding of the principle of least astonishment. Malleus Fatuorum 16:19, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]
      This may well be the case. To quote from the WP article on the subject that was linked above, "The POLA states that, when two elements of an interface conflict, or are ambiguous, the behaviour should be that which will least surprise the user..." It would seem clear (at least on its face) that a bigger "astonishment" would be a user unfamiliar with the euphemistic "F-word" (which many who don't speak English as a first language might be) would click on that link and think, "Oh, whoops!" Personally, I prefer to shave with Occam's razor in this case. In other words I think we should go with, "the competing hypothesis that makes the fewest new assumptions, when the hypotheses are equal in other respects." LHM 17:24, 30 June 2011 (UTC)[]

This is a discussion that can have no end within the current English-language societal structure. Those who worship the "free speech" part of the First Amendment will find any attempt to say less than everything to be censorship at best, tyranny at worst, even if the omission or circumlocation is intended to spare another's feelings. Those who worship moral values and see use of certain words as the thin edge of the wedge will see any attempt to bring them into common written conversation as an unnecessary forcing at best, the beginnings of the Apocalypse at worst, even if those words are used only for precision. Virtually by definition, each will see the other's actions in pursuit of their ideals as offensive. I suspect most of us fall somewhere in between, for however much that is worth. I could suggest limiting front-page use of articles which require certain words to a ratio reflecting their frequency of everyday use -- but even where that level falls would not be a point of agreement. In any case, it won't help bring together two diametrically opposed viewpoints. Even if we fall back on the pillars of Wikipedia, there is a very wide gray area in their interpretation -- and each side will be absolutely convinced that it is right. - Tenebris 01:36, 3 July 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

A distinction should be made between 'words, images, and links' which are likely to cause alarm and displeasure (gratutiously/deliberately offenesive words, scenes of violence, some medical/veterinary scenes, and 'things likely to induce squeamishness/'yuk' reaction), use of sexual and related terms (as with 'G...c..t Street' a while back), and strawman terms used in such discussions (often a reference to 'women').

Why won't use of the Oxford comma produce as much reaction as 'appearances of matters sexual' on the main page always does? (talk) 08:39, 5 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Every time I see this section heading I get confused with The F Word (which is a TV programme). That's reason enough not to use a euphemism on its own. Modest Genius talk 10:37, 5 July 2011 (UTC)[]
Just referring "fuck" as a word should not be inappropriate especially for the main page. If it was being used in a vulgar context, that would be different, such as
DYK ... that Joe Shmoe once told Jane Doe that he wanted to "fuck her in the ass"?
That would not be appropriate. –Dream out loud (talk) 19:06, 6 July 2011 (UTC)[]
No shit ;) Modest Genius talk 20:42, 6 July 2011 (UTC)[]