Talk:Main Page/Archive 19

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Intro para

Here's what was bothering me (after introducing some luddite friends to WP this week):

  • What's the diff b/t the "community portal" and the main page? not obvious on first read of lead; not obvious on first glance when clicking through to the portal (to a newbie); link name doesn't make it obvious why it's useful.
  • Non-self-descriptive leaf-level links like "sandbox" shouldn't be in the lead for the entire site. New users should go through the tutorial, or to an overview page like CP whose opening para is all about different ways to get your feet wet. Being thrown into the sandbox not knowing what to expect is rather off-putting.
  • The lead should have a clean concise arc. one theme, 3-4 lines. 'welcome! here's our history, here's what you can do here' is stretching the bounds of a single arc, imo.


  1. I renamed Community Portal to how to contribute
  2. I linked "started" to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Day.
  3. More color tweak (darker green, responding to an old comment).

+sj+ 04:26, 2004 May 2 (UTC)

Phrasing of lead?

I don't like "learn how to contribute"--most people will think we're asking for money. I'd like to change it back to "learn how to edit", but don't want to anger anybody right after the change was made. Yours, Meelar 04:16, 2 May 2004 (UTC)[]

  • Agreed. I liked "learn how to edit"... Michael Snow didn't think it should link to CP. We should agree on some phrase that describes CP better than it's (ambiguous) name, and use that to link to it. +sj+ 04:27, 2004 May 2 (UTC)

What I particularly disliked was that the result of the link was not very intuitive, given the text of the link ("how to edit"). See Wikipedia:Principle of least astonishment. The Community Portal is about a lot more than just how to edit Wikipedia. "How to contribute" is better, but I still prefer the text as it was before, and I don't see why it needs to be changed. "How to edit" linking to Welcome, newcomers is even less intuitive, and besides, the first word in the paragraph already links there (and the word is "Welcome", which is completely intuitive). Sj's edit summary says Community Portal and Sandbox shouldn't be in the first paragraph on the entire site. Why is that, may I ask? --Michael Snow 04:57, 2 May 2004 (UTC)[]

CP - stylistically (shouldn't be capitalized; undefined local jargon; shouldn't have to visit the page to figure out what it's about). Sandbox - functionally (confusing for what I imagine to be "many" users -- we should do a double-blind study of how people like being thrown into it! send them to the tutorial instead.) +sj+

I can't answer for SJ, butyou're right, I should have looked more carefully in terms of my suggestion. Regardless, I think that the phrase "learn to edit" needs to stay--that's what we're trying to get people to do. Wikipedia:How to edit might be better, you're right. Meelar 05:04, 2 May 2004 (UTC)[]

"learn how to edit" has been there the whole time, and that's exactly where it linked. --Michael Snow 05:11, 2 May 2004 (UTC)[]

If there is support for "contribute", which is much more descriptive of what we want--additions not just mere revisions--I recommend "learn how to contribute to articles". Centrx 02:48, 20 May 2004 (UTC)[]

What about "learn how to participate" ? Arvindn 15:46, 22 May 2004 (UTC)[]

These changes were awful. Why on Earth should a link to Wikipedia Day be on the frontpage? That is an obscure internal community event - we were trying to get away from overloading the intro text with links to everything that is pertinent. As for the sandbox link, the whole point of the sandbox is to quickly allow people to figure out how to edit pages without ruining articles, for that, it needs to be featured prominently - as a quick glance into the page history of the sandbox reveals, this works very well. The Community Portal link should use the same title as the page -- it is not a "how to edit guide", that is completely misleading. It is a link directory, a tasklist, a tip section, a list of polls and other internal community affairs etc. The greenish background color of the article categories is horrible and will haunt me in my nightmares. Instead of adding more of these layout disasters, we should work on improving your recent additions, namely the ugly list of sister projects and the obnoxious border colors. And yes, please don't be quite so bold in the future.--Eloquence* 05:19, May 2, 2004 (UTC)

Hi, Eloquence. Today's a particularly good day, I take it? Let's get straight to the improvements then, which we agree the main page so dearly needs.
  • "Community Portal" -- nice generic name. not so descriptive that the phrase "visit our Community Portal" is quite clear... but perhaps my replacements were no better. We're still saying "visit the CP to learn how to edit", so if that's not what the CP is for, it's a tad misleading. And linking both 'CP' and 'learn-how-to-edit' is confusing; which link should I follow to learn how to edit? Of course if a user's so into Wiki that she's willing to follow 5 or 10 links before leaving the site, none of this matters and we can have multiple conflicting directions.
  • Unlinking the start is fine; I removed "January" from the 'started in' date and felt perhaps there should be a link to the specific day. Probably better with no link either.
  • The sandbox is, for many people, not intuitive. It doesn't have any instructions. How about just leaving the CP link in? (see current v.) That page and 'how to edit' both link to the sandbox.
  • Please replace green with something non-gray that you like. On a test page if you like. Perhaps switching the green and [yellow|blue], as someone else suggested a while back? (I tried that and hated the result, but it might give you sweeter dreams.)
  • Sister projects! Try your hand at it, beholder.
  • Border colors... that notion has been on this talk page for weeks, and implemented for a while. P

lease be more descriptive about where it hurts.

+sj+ 06:10, 2004 May 2 (UTC)
1) I have rewritten the intro. I am inclined to take the sister projects sentence out as there is already a link at the top (which you added) and a separate section on the very same page, and the intro paragraph is getting cluttered.
2) The sandbox has a header. It was just removed at the time you checked. It absolutely must stay linked on the Main Page.
3) I for one am inclined to remove some of the colors we currently have rather than add more. The bluish of the sister projects box is particularly annoying, the whole box should probably be integrated into the list of language links again. Colors should be used where they add meaning, not arbitrarily plastered across the page; that also applies to the borders which seem to suggest some kind of semantic highlighting which is not actually the case. Compare the current German Main Page, which uses colors much more intelligently -- a dark gray for the list of recent deaths, a red border for important community announcement, and alternating stylish white/gray boxes for most content.--Eloquence* 06:55, May 2, 2004 (UTC)

Main Page redesign

Here's a list of main page changes to address. fwiw, I don't much like the design; the red-bordered announcement jars and I don't prefer the alternating stylish white/gray to what we had here on main... others? please chime in! +sj+

  1. browse by topic color
    • I liked green. grey clashes with the blue above; white would be better, if avoiding more color.
  2. other langs color
    • I liked yellow/very light orange; better than purple or gray. perhaps also very light brown.
  3. sister project boxing / color
    • I would leave it out of the boxes, with no border and normal white background.
  4. Lead text still long:
    1. "January, 2001", "now working on" -- bold words can be left out.
    2. Last sentence long and awkward. Provides two links for experimenting and two links to contribute. Bold 'you' at end? Capitalized "Community Portal"?
  5. Mediawiki:wikipediasister
    • I like Eloquence's layout change. The header text could be shorter.
      • modified. +sj+ 08:19, 2004 May 2 (UTC)

Green is a terrible background color - there is almost no professional website that uses it. Take a look at some: CNN=blue, gray and white, MSNBC=blue, gray and white, Yahoo=blue/pink and white, Google=blue and white... There are reasons for this. White is the logical default color for text - it reminds people of paper and generally doesn't have the aesthetic problems that almost any background color can cause. Blue is by all statistics the favorite color of the most people and conveys calmness and rationality. Red conveys importance, it's the logical color for announcements. Your taste in colors is very far from the mainstream.

The lead text is quite appropriate now, in my opinion. January should be mentioned as it's an FAQ by journalists (when exactly did you start?).

So why not link to the exact date? Or, without lengthening the lead paragraph, to /wikipedia day/? +sj+
I think "January 2001" is a good compromise between too much and too little information. But this has come up many times before and gone back and forth. I really don't care much either way, but if you add a full date, hyperlink the date, don't point it elsewhere. Otherwise dynamic date conversion cannot work on it.--Eloquence* 08:26, May 2, 2004 (UTC)

Now is important because it emphasizes that we grew literally from zero articles to >250K. There aren't two links for experimenting - where do you get that?

Well, two links for learning to edit. "learn how to edit" ... "experiment in the sandbox" +sj+
One for learning the syntax, the other for trying it out. I think that makes a lot of sense. Either one alone would be much less informative.--Eloquence* 08:26, May 2, 2004 (UTC)
It only makes a lot of sense whilst WikiPedia is mainly trying to get people onloaded. Presumably eventually the point will be to provide information rather than to gather it? BozMo(talk)

Yes, the you should be bolded, that has in fact been a trademark of the intro for a very long time. But I'm willing to negotiate on that. As for the Community Portal, that's what it's called - let's use the actual page titles, please. If you want to uncapitalize it, raise the issue on the portal talk page.--Eloquence* 08:05, May 2, 2004 (UTC)

I don't see the problem with de-capitalizing community portal in the intro, regardless of whether the page's name is actually capitalized. We don't capitalize "Sandbox", nor should we. The only text that needs to be capitalized in this paragraph is what standard English usage requires you to capitalize. That would be the first word of each sentence, plus the word "English" and the proper noun "Wikipedia" (which occurs twice). --Michael Snow 20:13, 2 May 2004 (UTC)[]

wikisource and Wikiquote are both link to Wikiquote....

Confirmed. They both lead to the same place- this must be fixed ASAP. How can there be broken links on the main page?! This is far from professional, and conveys a bad image. -Frazzydee 20:23, 2 May 2004 (UTC)[]
Should be fixed now. -- The Anome 20:34, 2 May 2004 (UTC)[]

On the main page (Malayam) should be corrected to (Malayalam)

Done -- Arwel 12:07, 3 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I would like to protest the featuring of the prostitution article on the main page. I think wikipedia should be more family friendly. I realize there is a process for nominating featured articles, but I was not following the process. I also realize that it would make sense to protest to those responsible for selecting the article, but I think a public protest is more important. Ezra Wax 15:55, 3 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I don't remember you protesting when we featured Congo Free State, or Trench warfare, or Assassin, or Origins of the Civil War, or Nuclear weapon. So I take it that genocide, violence, slavery and war are acceptable subjects for children and sex for money somehow isn't? And we should endorse this twisted view exactly why?--Eloquence* 16:03, May 3, 2004 (UTC)
Ezra may not have looked at the main page on those days. I often go a week without looking at the main page and longer still between looks at recent changes. While I happen to agree with your view on prostitution and find boxing far more offensive, it is more common for people to object to sex-related topics than violence topics. Jamesday 20:07, 22 May 2004 (UTC)[]
Bah! Prostitution is part of human knowledge and our article on the subject is not tawdry and in fact is pretty darn good. <evil thought> I think I'll work on our penis article to bring it to FA status.</evil thought> --mav 06:27, 5 May 2004 (UTC)[]
Better to work on a really good article on the Bush daughter breast-baring incident and put that on the front page. That should get us lots of attention.:) Jamesday 20:07, 22 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Perhasp you could make the side bar colapsable/hideable , it is annoying to view it all the time. Another option is to have the option of making it a frame.


We're about to pass 260,000 articles. Brockhaus has "about 260,000" in the current edition, and I remember reading somewhere that they're the largest by entry count. So is this a significant milestone? Worth an announcement? Arvindn 13:39, 4 May 2004 (UTC)[]

It would be of interest to the editing community, but not so much to the audience at large, I think. Most readers of the English Wikipedia will not know or care about a German encyclopedia. So it's worth mentioning in Goings-on or Announcements, but not on the Main Page. What I would suggest instead is that we tweak our introduction to start saying that we're the world's largest encyclopedia. Then play up that angle in the next press release. --Michael Snow 16:03, 4 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I'd rather see Wikipedia become the best encyclopedia. We may well be in some areas, but certainly are far from it in other areas. Size alone doesn't matter that much. I'm sure part of the contents of Wikipedia would be rejected flat out by any sensible editor of any established paper encyclopedia, just as we will do when we become serious about our printed edition. Even though I like to look in amazament at the weekly growth figures, I'm also a bit worried about all the emphasis that many Wikipedians put on number of articles, as if that is all that counts. Erik Zachte 23:25, 4 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I agree. We still have a large amount of crap. However, even if we take the pessimistic assumption that 25% is crap, 50% is mediocre, and 25% excellent, we have roughly 65,000 excellent articles in English alone! I hope that the category scheme will let us start sifting articles by quality soon. -- The Anome 23:33, 4 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I agree with you. Announcements is what I meant. In fact I'm against emphasizing our size to the general public. Erik: I'm sure most wikipedians are as concerned about quality as you are, but since its far easier to measure size people tend to make size comparisons much more often. Arvindn 06:38, 5 May 2004 (UTC)[]
Sorry, given that the discussion was on this page, I assumed the suggestion was to announce it on the Main Page. Erik has our priorities right. Saying we're the world's largest encyclopedia is useful for publicity purposes, but it's not as meaningful as quality, which we can't measure the same way. --Michael Snow 19:03, 5 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Prix Ars Electronica

Now that we have received a prestigious award (at least that is what I hear it is supposed to be), from people who are willing to put their money where their mouth is, I think it would be nice to mention this on the main page for a while. See German main page for an example. Erik Zachte 23:25, 4 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Who is responsible for the main page?

Is everyone encouraged to edit the main page? I think it is no major news that the US went out of a meeting because Sudan got elected to the UN Commission on Human Rights. The atrocities in Sudan or at Guantanamo are worth mentioning, not someone walking out of a commission. How about "Past US diplomats criticize Bush's handling of Mideast" instead? Get-back-world-respect 02:15, 5 May 2004 (UTC)[]

You can edit the "In the news" section at Template:Itn. Please follow the instructions carefully.--Eloquence* 02:17, May 5, 2004 (UTC)
Who is responsible for the main page? Anyone who wants to be. Kingturtle 03:45, 5 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Article of the week

Could we possibly have the current article of the week (Situs inversus) featured on the Main Page, just a minor link to it? Tom- 19:31, 6 May 2004 (UTC)[]

That is what the Community Portal is for. --mav


...but declines to resign, demonstrating that "full responsibility" for a Sec of Defense is different from full responsibility for the soldiers. - not that I disagree, but this isn't exactly NPOV, is it? Tualha 18:34, 7 May 2004 (UTC)[]

But don't you think that once in a while HPOV (human point of view) should trump NPOV?

One person's "HPOV" may be completely different from another's. The early maintainers of WP decided to stick to NPOV as a sensible alternative to edit wars, flame wars, and general chaos. Having seen all too much of those alternatives, I must agree :) Tualha 21:09, 7 May 2004 (UTC)[]

"Stem cell research"

The item in current events says "A Chicago laboratory announces they helped chose embryos by genetic testing to yield five babies who could donate stem cells to sick siblings." The item on our main page currently says "A laboratory in Chicago announces that they helped engineer five babies for stem cell research." These are completely different things. One must be wrong. Please fix this. GrahamN 22:39, 8 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Health science

The main page does not contain a link to Medicine, but does link to Health science. Most articles with a medical bent are not accessible in a hierarchical fashion from the Health science page. Can I suggest Medicine is added?
JFW | T@lk 09:04, 10 May 2004 (UTC)[]

You can edit this yourself at Template:Wikipediatoc... it sounds good to me. :) fabiform | talk 10:27, 10 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Unchanged page

Why has the Main Page apparantly remained unchanged since April 21st? Is it maybe connected with the fact that I cannot be logged in on the Main Page but am automatically Logged in on every other page, even this one, Talk Main Page? ping 07:19, 11 May 2004 (UTC)[]

It has changed. You must be seeing a cached version. Make sure you are logged in, and then try forcing a reload or clearing your cache. Hopefully you'll then see today's version. Angela. 07:42, May 11, 2004 (UTC)
  • That worked a treat, thanks Angela. I also got to see Recent Changes for the first time in two or three months. Thanks again,
ping 11:17, 11 May 2004 (UTC)[]

When is 2-3 UTC?

When is 2-3 UTC, when the server is being shut down? -- user:zanimum

See UTC to translate this into your time zone. UTC is roughly GMT. Hope that helps. fabiform | talk 15:27, 11 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Front Page Observation

Today's main page has Did you know... links to Broadmoor Hospital and mental institution. The first is now peppered with redlinks (as a result of it's front page appearance, one imagines) - the nature of which will not be understood by a first time visitor ("Yikes! How have I hacked the site? I just pressed a link.").

The second, to my mind, is a pretty shoddy article in that it is riddled with implied and explicit criticism of the subject from start to finish: criticism, which, whilst valid, really needs to be explored as a discussion of the subject later in the article rather than entangled throughout.

Whilst I know something of the subject, it isn't really enough I'd feel happy tackling it. I've listed it on pages needing attention.

My point is: a little care in what is put on the front page may be called for? I would hate to think of people being made sour on such a fantastic project by ill chosen main page links. --bodnotbod 11:45, May 4, 2004 (UTC)

The reason this occurs is that it was decided that the "Did you know" content on any given day has to be new content. New content tends to appear on new pages, which tend to be more red than old ones. Your point seems to be valid though - see also MediaWiki_talk:Did you know and its archive. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 12:14, 4 May 2004 (UTC)[]
Ive gotta disagree with you here Bod. Having "perfect" articles only on the main page leads a false impression of what wikipedia is all about. Having articles that need some work will encorage newbies to do that work. When I first pressed a red link and got to an edit box I didn't think "("Yikes! How have I hacked the site?" I thought "jesus I've never seen anything like this before, then set about creating my first article". I personally don't want newbies afraid to edit because they feel they cannot come up to the exacting standards of a perfect article.theresa knott 12:16, 4 May 2004 (UTC)[]
For what its worth I think that getting across the message "there is some quality here" is more of a challenge and more important than getting across "work in progress". If stuff on the top page has to be new can we put it somewhere else 48 hours ahead so people can tidy it up? --(talk)BozMo 07:33, 22 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I almost added something here about Cap Arcona, which is referenced from the front page and had (until I fixed it) some lousy and confusing English in it (I'm still not sure I've captured the author's intent). I disagree with Theresa here - while we want to encourage contributors, we also want to encourage readers. An encyclopedia which is only used by the people who write it is a pretty pathetic object. We want people to come here because they get solid, factual, useful information. If I had come here and found that most of the articles were confusing or badly written I would not have bothered to start contributing - it was the high quality ones that made me want to contribute.
Incidentally, no insult to whoever wrote Cap Arcona, you did a good job (especially if English is not your first language). DJ Clayworth 14:29, 4 May 2004 (UTC)[]

If you don't like the articles featured in DYK, then do this:

  • Keep an eye on Special:Newpages
  • When you see a potentially interesting article, edit it to meet your high standards
  • Then add one interesting fact from that article to Template:Did you know.

This way, everyone benefits. This was my intent when I invented DYK -- getting people to keep an eye on newly created articles. Brushing the bad ones under the carpet won't do us any good.--Eloquence* 00:46, May 5, 2004 (UTC)

You guys aren't gonna like this, but the first time I clicked a red link, I thought "Yikes! How have I hacked the site?" than backed away from anything Wikipedia-related for a few months. --SMWhat 04:39, 5 May 2004 (UTC)[]
Linked to from today's front page is User:Eloquence/Favorite Wikipedia quotes which has, as the first quote: ""ATTENTION WIKIPEDIA, THERE IS A MAJOR BUG ON YOUR SITE ALLOWING ME TO DO THIS (WRITE ON YOUR ARTICLES). I HAVE DONE NO DAMAGE BUT AM TRYING TO ALERT YOU BEFORE SOMEONE DOES"
Cant... stop... laughing! But really, who would actually think that Wiki is actually a bug? I'm gonna get the giggles out now. KirbyMeister 18:10, 8 May 2004 (UTC)[]
FWIW, DYK is very suspectible to articles with pictures. High quality articles WITHOUT pics are almost always placed below lower-quality articles WITH pics. No offense to all the articles that have been featured there that have pics. jengod 23:11, May 11, 2004 (UTC)

Featured picture

How would people feel about featuring one of the pictures on Wikipedia:Featured pictures in the place of the featured article, on one day of the week? Would that be too confusing? Instead of just 100 pixels, we could use a centered pic of maybe 300 pix with a caption below it. I see no other place where this could be sensibly put.--Eloquence* 00:07, May 12, 2004 (UTC)

It would definitely be a good idea to draw more attention to the featured pictures. I think it's worth doing this despite potential confusion. Angela. 03:12, May 12, 2004 (UTC)
This is a very bad idea. With an article there, someone reads the blurb, decides they're interested, and goes and reads the article and maybe tidies it up a bit. With a picture, there's nothing there (directly) for someone to read or edit; no incentive to go any deeper than the main page. →Raul654 04:46, May 12, 2004 (UTC)
The current tip on the community portal was a great idea for promoting featured pictures, but I think Raul654 has a good point about the problems with doing this on the main page. If we do use this approach, I would suggest that we keep the picture at 100 pixels, and instead provide some text by saying "This picture is found in the article(s) about [[such-and-such]]" with very short summaries of an article or two where it is used. Then the featured picture could still motivate visitors to the main page to contribute to articles. --Michael Snow 21:10, 12 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I agree partly, as I'd assumed the image would have some text with it anyway. However, it ought to be bigger than 100px. I think this will encourage people to go further than the main page in the same way that the featured articles do, but also encourage people to contribute photos more. They are very under-recognized at present. Angela. 22:12, May 13, 2004 (UTC)
The original suggestion was only a caption, although perhaps Eloquence had some text in mind, too. I wasn't sure how much room 300 pixels would leave for any text, other than just listing the previously featured items. Somewhat larger than normal (150-200?) would be fine, and serve the purpose. The point is that just because we've been neglecting pictures while promoting articles, I don't think we should overcompensate and completely neglect articles, even for a day, in order to promote pictures. --Michael Snow 04:16, 14 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I set up a test main page at User:Raul654/sandbox and put a featured picture in. You can see the results for yourself. As I said earler, it doesn't really give the user someplace to go. And, another unanticipated problem - I'm no touchy-feely art major, but even I can tell that it totally throws the main page off balance. The picture tends to dominate everything else around it. →Raul654 04:27, May 14, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, I agree that 300 pixels is impossible. I've reduced the picture to 200 pixels and added a little text. What do you think now? --Michael Snow 04:39, 14 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Maybe this shouldn't be on the Main Page at all, but instead a MediaWiki block that people can put on their user pages and elsewhere to lighten things up a little. I've started an experiment at Template:Pic of the day. Let's see if anyone adopts this.--Eloquence* 04:47, May 14, 2004 (UTC)

The layout in User:Raul654/sandbox isn't ideal. It would be good to give featured images more prominence, but perhaps this isn't the best way to do it. I like the {{msg:Pic_of_the_day}} idea, but I don't see it as a substitute to having the featured images on more a highly viewed page than user pages. Angela. 06:50, May 14, 2004 (UTC)
  • I like the idea of a "Picture of the Day" but not the one to replace the featured article on a given day. I also believe that if Wikipedia can spare the bandwidth for such a beast than surely sister projects like Wikiquote deserve the appropriate project icon above their name. --Exigentsky 06:10, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

Typo ?

Isn't "retailiation" spelled 'retaliation' ? If so, I humbly suggest the typo be removed from the main page. Tjunier 07:26, 2004 May 12 (UTC)

Why is "by academic discipline" abbreviated to "by acad. discipline" under sorting systems? There's no gain in abbreviating academic.

thanks for pointing it out! It used to be a vertical list of categories, at which point there was gain from making the whole column 3 ems thinner... fixed.

Under May 19th Mexico-America war - surely "ceding large tracks of land to the United States." means large "tracts" of land? Nedlowe 09:22, 19 May 2004 (UTC)[]


As I write, the most recent edit by sj has removed the link to the sandbox, and replaced it with a link to the village pump. Is this a good idea? The VP is already losing some of its utility by virtue of its size (100-150k most of the time). Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 09:32, 13 May 2004 (UTC)[]

A good point. We should fix this by fixing the VP, though... it remains the first place we direct users for interactive help, once they are lucky enough to find a page that tells them where to look for it. If the VP were quick to load and working properly, how would you feel about linking to it? +sj+ 10:32, 2004 May 13 (UTC)
I agree it is a "good" page, in that you will get a decent reponse there, and quickly. I suppose in that sense it is a victim of its own success, but I don't currently have any great ideas on how to improve it (some suggestions are at Wikipedia_talk:Village_pump but none of them spring out as a winner solution). Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 10:41, 13 May 2004 (UTC)[]
Newcomers should be sent to the Wikipedia:Help desk, not the Village pump. Angela. 22:09, May 13, 2004 (UTC)
Angela is exactly right - the village pump explitely says it is not for new users. The help desk is where they should be going. →Raul654 22:17, May 13, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for setting me straight. I think a help desk link, rather than a sandbox link, will be more helpful for most users -- particularly those not already familiar with wiki, which are both the majority of our readers and the visitors least likely to casually become editors. Thoughts? +sj+ 08:21, 2004 May 22 (UTC)
No. I have reverted it.-Eloquence*
  • The sandbox is for experimenting, I do not really understand the change proposed here? Where is this help desk? --Exigentsky 06:14, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)


Why is the Nick Berg link still here, but there are no links on the prisoner abuse in Iraq (allegedly the motivation behind the killing)?

Nick link is gone. I think this is just a less important branch to the worldwide U.S. prisoner abuse issue.

Images on the Main Page should have captions

Well, that's what I think; even if they're tiny captions. It is not always clear which listed story they belong to and so they confuse as much as they decorate. --Tagishsimon

It would be useful, but they would have to be kept very short so as not to mess up the layout. Angela. 00:17, May 19, 2004 (UTC)
Maybe just something meaningful, like the person's name or something? RickK 00:21, 19 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I respectfully disagree. With the exception of selected anniversary, the picture should just be connected to the top item. We also have alt tags--there's just so little real estate as it is on the main page. Most of the pictures are rotated relatively quickly anyway. jengod 04:47, May 19, 2004 (UTC)
People should not have to rely on alt tags to know what an image is depicting. Many users will be unaware that the picture always relates to the top item, and even if they are that doesn't necessarily tell them what the image is actually of. One or two words in small text under each picture wouldn't do any harm in my opinion. Angela. 07:12, May 19, 2004 (UTC)
But it doesn't always relate to the top item. That's the problem. I've been confused a couple of times by trying to figure out which item the picture referred to. RickK 14:58, 19 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Nutrition Values

Can we incoporate the USDA food nutrition data (100g, edible portion) into all related food pages? Maybe someone could build a bot to do it automatically. The USDA SR 16-1 database is very comprehensive and, I guess, in public domain.

On Scale Models

Does Wikipedia has articles about modeling? Currently, this link goes to science models.

I think building models is an important part of human activities. It surely deserves many many articles.

I think the modeling page could be restructured into a disambiguation page rather than a redirect -- I'll try to tidy that up this weekend. What you're looking for is currently split up into various hobby articles: model train, model aircraft, model rocket, model ship, model car. See also List of hobbies. Good luck! Catherine | talk 04:22, 22 May 2004 (UTC)[]

First sentence

Well its the second really. In "We are building an open-content encyclopedia in many languages." could we embolden the word encyclopedia to make what the site is stand out a bit more? -- SGBailey 22:11, 2004 May 20 (UTC)

I agree. Angela. 01:12, May 21, 2004 (UTC)
So, now "Welcome", "encyclopedia" and "you" are emboldened. An excellently descriptive triplet :) Fredrik 01:23, 21 May 2004 (UTC)[]
But please, let us claim they are bolded rather than emboldened! <G> - Nunh-huh 01:31, 21 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I can't find the word "bolded" in a dictionary. Though the meaning is obviously obvious. Fredrik 01:34, 21 May 2004 (UTC)[]
Boldfaced is probably in most. Emboldened is a bête noir of the Miss Thistlebottoms who prescribe proper use<g>. -- Nunh-huh 00:09, 22 May 2004 (UTC)[]
It's a personal preference obviously but I thought it looked better without encyclopaedia being in bold face, I just think it stand out far too much as a long word, maybe if it linked to encyclopaedia and thus appeared blue it would be less attention grabbing. -- Ams80 19:06, 24 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Suggest unjustifying tables

I browse Wikipedia in justified text mode and, on the main page, the text in tables are not displayed in the best way, because cells are not wide enough and words are not hyphenated. I suggest adding "text-align=left" in <td> style (-> <td style="text-align:left">), if it works. gbog 06:09, 21 May 2004 (UTC)[]

.NET programming

we want the complete knowledge and details of the software VISUAL STUDIO.NET and about .NET programming

We have articles about Visual Studio and .NET. Wikipedia is however an encyclopedia and not a programming reference. I suggest you look to MSDN. Please place future questions of this kind at the Wikipedia:Help desk, as this particular page (Talk:Main Page) is about Wikipedia's Main Page and not for general questions. Fredrik 10:28, 21 May 2004 (UTC)[]

The logo on the main page is not that of the American Red Cross, who use just a red cross without the border. You could argue, that since it is a member of the IFRC, this logo is not completely unjustifiable, but it is misleading, could someone change it? Thanks! Mark Richards 16:05, 21 May 2004 (UTC)[]


If the upgrades are a good thing, then why are we apologizing? I'm certainly not apologizing for them, and I feel a little offended (just a very little, of course) that an apology is being offered by the community (of which I consider myself a part) for something that I, for one, am not in the least sorry for. :) Anyhoo, looking forward to 1.3; kudos and much applause to the developers for all their hard work... -- Seth Ilys 21:59, 21 May 2004 (UTC)[]

We apologise because it is a traditional and courteous form of words for such an occasion, and because we're well brought up, polite and considerate people. NOW GET BACK TO WORK ON THOSE MAPS AND STOP CHATTERING, YOU LAZY WRETCH ;) --Tagishsimon. Oops. Inappropriate joke under the circs: yes; go and get some real life. Come back and tell us what it's like out there... - s
I agree; no apologies necessary. I also hate it when notices like that take up more than an inch of vertical space on a small window... so I cut the last line and shortened the rest a little. +sj+ 23:56, 2004 May 21 (UTC)
Because it's polite to apologise when you know that you are going to inconvenience someone, just as it's polite to apologise when you bump into someone. It's also a technique to calm down those who are upset at not being able to do something they want to do. Corporate apologies are a pretty standard thing for such situations. Jamesday 20:18, 22 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Why is there no "Edit this page" option for the Main Page? I see the word "indispensable" there misspelled as "indispensible." Yech. But how does one fix it? --Myles

The main page itself is protected, but the text you see there is mirrored from templates. →Raul654 01:38, May 22, 2004 (UTC)
The main page is protected because, if left unprotected, it would be a constant target for vandalism and newbie tests. We instead use a sort of security through obscurity to protect the main page; much of the content is, in fact, editable by anyone, because it's copied in from MediaWiki messages. So far, it's worked rather successfully in preventing vandalism. :) See Wikipedia:Editing the main page for more details. -- Seth Ilys 02:03, 22 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Too many links

I think there are too many links in the first sentence... I think it should either be expanded or have some of the links removed. ugen64 the powerless at school

I agree. What we are seeing is the gradual expansion of the number of links in the first sentence. While a good case can be made for each of the links individually, the overall effect of too many links is to confuse the reader, and leave them thinking 'where do I go now?'. I think we should keep the paragraph short and simple, and reduce the number of links, keeping only those that are absolutely necessary. Enchanter 14:17, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
Are we talking about the first sentence, or the first paragraph? --Michael Snow 19:10, 28 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Use French Main Page design?

I really, really, really like the design of the French Wikipedia's Main Page - it looks one heck of a lot cleaner and more professional than the current English one. I propose we use it for our design, probably playing with it to be more like our current Main Page though. Would make a nice change as we get the new 1.3 skin.

Any thoughts? Tom- 17:15, 28 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I've made a mock-up of the English homepage with the French design (still tweaking it though, it isn't finished!) to see what it could look like. I like it myself. Tom- 18:34, 28 May 2004 (UTC)[]
I do like the layout, but I think the standard article font should be used, not Arial. Fredrik 18:48, 28 May 2004 (UTC)[]
No - the most relavant information should be near the top. I love have ITN and the featured article at the top because that's what I use. →Raul654 19:00, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
New mock-up using standard font Tom- 20:22, 28 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I'm not sure that this is a significant improvement, and I would certainly oppose significant loss of image content. What is it that you find cleaner and more professional, and what do you think are the problems with the current version? Major layout changes to the Main Page can be highly controversial, and there was significant resistance to change when the current version went up. I think we might do better to address your concerns using the current design as a starting point.

For me, the one issue that comes to mind right now is the visual imbalance between the two split boxes. That's basically a function of the amount of text being crammed into the different MediaWiki messages that go there. For example, I observe that the Selected anniversaries section has expanded considerably in size compared to the past, and I think people need to be a little more terse there. --Michael Snow 19:10, 28 May 2004 (UTC)[]

The images could certainly be kept. The major improvements are using a smaller font (though it should not be Arial, but the default font) and moving "browse Wikipedia by topic" to the top. Anniversaries and Did you know really are less important than browsing by topic. Fredrik 19:19, 28 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I like the mockup a lot. I can't read French so I'm not so sure, but it looks like they use the other format on all their pages. It looks a lot cleaner. Could this be done to the English wikipedia relatively easily? It would be something to consider if we change the first page - keep the formatting consistent, and all that. -Seth Mahoney 20:51, 28 May 2004 (UTC)[]

I think you're confusing the new skin with the actual layout of the Main Page. --Michael Snow 20:55, 28 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Since we're not voting, I vote to keep the current main page format. The French main page looks too much like My Father's Encyclopedia; the word "staid" comes to mind. Denni 20:00, 29 May 2004 (UTC)[]