Talk:Main Page/Archive 32

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Archive 25 Archive 30 Archive 31 Archive 32 Archive 33 Archive 34 Archive 35


I am extremely unhappy about the fact that major changes to the introduction of the main page is now being made in a new subsection, even though there is a link up the top. I did NOT give permission for my text to be moved in a place that is out of the way! When and who decided that we would do this? - Ta bu shi da yu 13:04, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I did NOT give permission for my text to be moved in a place that is out of the way! - Notice that whenever you edit any page, in big bold text at the bottom it says "All contributions to Wikipedia are released under the GNU Free Documentation License". You gave permission to do exactly that when you saved it. →Raul654 15:30, Dec 25, 2004 (UTC)
The guy's an admin and he didnt know that... -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 17:46, 2004 Dec 25 (UTC)
Take away his admin bit! Witch hunt! Wooo! ;-) -- Nils 11:26, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I can understand you're not happy it's been moved - I was suprised at first - but it does kinda make sense, not having it spread down this page mixed up with other stuff. The new subpage has also been linked to from the Village pump and Request for Comments, to draw attention to it. Dan100 16:38, Dec 25, 2004 (UTC)

I think the new "Introduction Wizard" has substantial weakness (e.g. Editing Tutorial is hiding TOO DEEP within the wizard (3-page intro page-set) It's not convinient even for newbies. I'd say it's forcing people (new and old) to follow its own dictatorship on how to use Wikipedia. I'll post follow up discussion after the Tsunami Disaster effort is settled. --Godric 17:25, Dec 30, 2004 (UTC)

leonardo davinchi

leonardo davinchi -> Leonardo da Vinci

Boxing Day

On the "selected anniversaries", it mentions Boxing Day as being today, which is obviously incorrect. Although it could be construed as being an "anniversary" of Boxing Day in most other years, it is misleading and suggests that today is Boxing Day. --Thomas 11:34, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean. It is December 26 where I am, your time stamp says it is December 26, and even taking timezones into account, it was December 26 in pretty much most of the world when you wrote that. -- Chuq 12:00, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I think I know what he means, I thought the same thing - how can you have an anniversary of a 'day'? It's either Boxing Day or it's not, it can't be an anniversary of boxing day. Or another way around - today is boxing day, so today can't also be an anniversary of it. Dan100 12:38, Dec 26, 2004 (UTC)

The items with the bullet points are the historical anniversaries. The items on the same line as the date are repeated observances on this particular day. - Mark 14:09, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
You are invited to contribute to the Selected Anniversaries pages, (just follow the guidelines); there you will see that both anniversaries and observances can be selected there, up to a maximum of 5 anniversaries, along with the observances. Keep the verbs in past tense, as they are on the same page as In the News Ancheta Wis 14:56, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Today isn't boxing day; today is a Sunday, and boxing day can't fall on a Sunday according to legislation (also, historically, right up until last time December the 26th was a Sunday (1999?), boxing day was postponed to the 27th. Perhaps this is just a British thing, but no mention was made) . Regardless of which, it's nearly over now (at least here) and won't arise for some years so I shan't lose any sleep over it. --Thomas 23:22, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I believe that boxing day can fall on a Sunday, but the public holiday is postponed to the Monday. violet/riga (t) 23:27, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC) — In fact, just look at Boxing Day and it explains it for you! violet/riga (t) 23:53, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Well, in Australia this year, Christmas Day is the 25th, Boxing Day is the 26th, Christmas Day public holiday is the 27th, and the Boxing Day public holiday is the 28th. This is followed next weekend with New Year Day on the 1st and the New Years Day public holiday on the 3rd. To me it seems it doesn't matter what day the public holiday is, the day itself is still the usual date. (We had our Christmas dinner on the 25th, the Boxing Day Test Match started on the 26th, and no-one would dream of celebrating New Years Eve on the evening of January 2nd!) -- Chuq 00:20, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Me, lucky guys, here in Germany when a public holiday falls on a sunday we're just plain out of lucl. :-( -- Nils 11:28, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

bobcat hybrids?

We have lived in Texas for over 50 years and have been seeing extraordinarily large bobcats in the last few years. They are more of a russet color than the typical sandy bobcats we have always seen and are much taller with larger heads.They are being seen along the Trinity River south of the DFW metroplex where the terrain begins to change to small hills, rocky cliffs, and a number of lakes. Mountain lions have been prevalent in this area for many years. Could it be they are hybrids of bobcats and the mountain lions? Also, there are a number of exotic animal parks and ranchers who own various types of wild game and hybrids in the vicinity. Or could it just be there is enough genetic variability to allow for changes in diet that would lead to such enormous bobcats?

Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion

I have refreshed the Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion page several times now, but it will not completely display, so I can't get to the bottom of the page to post a new comment, so I'm going to do it here. Why are all of the VfD listings from Dec 20-Dec 24 repeated on the Wikipedia: Votes for deletion page? 22:41, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Viktor Yushchenko

I'm removing this from "In the news": "Early reports indicate that pro-democracy opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko is leading."

The "pro-democracy" part indicates that his opponent is somehow anti-democracy or less democratic, which is clearly POV. Spazzm 00:28, 2004 Dec 27 (UTC)

Article on survey of Chinese languages

THis is referred to on the main page but withut a link to the article. Where is it?

Follow the link on the main page to Current events, and you'll find the stories reported with sources. In this case, the source is (China Daily)-gadfium 02:12, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Shroud of Turin Vandalism

Hi, just to let you know the Shroud of Turin page seems to have been vandalised. My computer won't let me edit it so I thought I'd post up here so someone can fix it.

New entry: FUGIO

FUGIO: literally, Latin for "I flee".

"Fugio" was one of three mottoes the American Founding Fathers ordered to be used in our earliest currency ? twice, on 17 February 1776 (prior to the Declaration of Independence) and on 6 July 1787 (while the Constitutional Convention was in session). In that context, "Fugio" was placed on the obverse of coins and paper money, next to a sundial (representing "Time"), so that together they meant "I, Time, am fleeting", or "Time Flies".

The other motto on the obverse was "Mind Your Business" (in English). On the reverse was the motto "We Are One" (in English). The design of that currency is sometimes attributed to Benjamin Franklin.

[On 4 July 1776, immediately after the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress appointed a committee to design a Great Seal of the United States. The members were Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The motto "E Pluribus Unum" ("From Many, One") was considered for inclusion in the Great Seal; Congress tabled that design on 20 August 1776. The final design for the Great Seal was approved on 20 June 1782; it included "E Pluribus Unum" which remained as the national motto until 30 July 1956 when we were dis-united by the new motto "In God We Trust".]

[The first use of the words "In God We Trust" on currency was on a Union 2-cent coin in 1864, over a year before the end of the Civil War.]

Main PageMain page

Consistency with the Wikipedia:Naming conventions policy regarding the non-capitalization of second and subsequent title words that are not proper nouns. I assume the reason for it to be titled Main Page is for aesthetics, that the lowercase p does not look balanced. I admit wholeheartedly, I do not care for this naming convention policy, and I cite aesthetics and balance as my reasons. But even Caesar's wife must be above reproach, and thus Wikipedia itself must stand tall before the wagon of her conventions. —ExplorerCDT 21:32, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Object - So what if it breaks the naming convention. It's the first page that many new folks will see, and aesthetics matter more there than elsewhere. Ozzyslovechild 14:13, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • SupportExplorerCDT 21:32, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Tentative support - While I recognize that it like is nothing more then a main page, I wouldn't mind some confirmation that Main Page isn't more of a title that we've given to it. Oberiko 21:57, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Comment - I can think of a dozen alternate names that would probably do better than "Main P/page", if this is something we are going to open up discussion about a change. -- Netoholic @ 01:19, 2004 Dec 21 (UTC)
  • Object. Main Page is not an article about main pages, so "Main Page" is no better or worse than "Main page" as far as the convention is concerned. Logically speaking, the main page ought to be in the Wikipedia: namespace rather than the article namespace. But it's probably best to leave it alone. Gdr 13:12, 2004 Dec 21 (UTC)
  • Object. Leave it where it is. I just don't see the point of putting a redirect between the Main Page and every page that points to it for the sake of satisfying our naming conventions. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 13:17, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Object. This is a unique page that is not an article, nor a 'workspace' page; it is a bridge to both. It is now entrenched under its current capitalization; I see no reason for change. Radagast 13:30, Dec 21, 2004 (UTC)
  • Object. It's a unique page; there needs to be a fairly persuasive reason to change it. Rd232 15:07, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Support, though I certainly won't complain if it doesn't happen. I also agree with Gdr that it would make some sense to have it in the Wikipedia: namespace, but that would add redundancy to the URL. Fredrik | talk 15:47, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If it were an article about main pages in general, then "Main page" would be an appropriate title, but that's not the case. "Wikipedia:Main page" (or someting else in the Wikipedia namespace) would probably be best if we were starting from scratch, but we are not. Changing it from "Main Page" to anything else would be a disruptive step that would need a very good reason to outweigh the disruption, and no sufficiently good reason is apparent. —AlanBarrett 16:34, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose. In addition, would the sidebar be changed if it were moved? - UtherSRG 17:02, Dec 21, 2004 (UTC)
  • Object. (And don't get me started on the silliness of title non-capitalization. It's just wrong.) Nelson Ricardo 18:34, Dec 21, 2004 (UTC)
    • I agree, the title non-capitalization policy is plain silly. But if they're going to enforce it articles we write, then Wikipedia's basic pages should be subject to the rule. No exceptions. If this fails, the policy should be abandoned. —ExplorerCDT 18:44, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose, agree with Gdr, "Main Page is not an article about main pages". dab () 21:19, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • Neither is it an article about something called "Main Page". Fredrik | talk 22:45, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • indeed. I also agree with the part that it should properly be in the WP: namespace. dab () 20:05, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There may be a better name for the page (as Netaholic suggested above. But the argument seems to be that we need to change it to be consistent with policy (or, that the policy should be eliminated). This is plain folly. There's nothing wrong with having specific exceptions. If people absolutely insist, then change the policy to make a specific exception for the Main Page.
  • Object. This is the page which makes a first impression, as in the title page of a book, which uses different capitalization than the body of text in a book. Ancheta Wis 02:35, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • Comment: Further proof that the Naming Conventions policy is arbitrary and wrong. —ExplorerCDT 03:21, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Comment: this proposal only exists to illustrate ExplorerCDT's dislike of the title case naming convention. Rd232 18:44, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Thanks for stating the obvious. It's not like I haven't made my intentions clear from the get-go. —ExplorerCDT 18:57, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • See Civil disobedience. Sometimes you just have to force a discussion over arbitrary rule. It's not disruptive, it's constructive. Further, read the top of the page you recommended to says: This is a proposed policy. While it is not an official guideline of Wikipedia and carries neither official weight nor provisions for enforcement... Wikipedia can only benefit from this discussion. —ExplorerCDT 19:06, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • There is no supreme authority to be disobedient against on Wikipedia, only the community of Wikipedians. Disrespect for the community won't get you its support. To quote the page, "In general, such illustrative edits are not well-received and are hardly ever effective tools of persuasion. Rather, they simply come off as spiteful or vengeful.". Yes, Wikipedia benefits from discussion, but you should have brought this up on Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions or the village pump instead. Fredrik | talk 19:19, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Receive it as you may. I prefer to compel discussion through demonstration. —ExplorerCDT 19:25, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
your opinion of the naming convention is not very well illustrated by objecting to a special case. You would rather have to show that it is bad for titling regular articles (which I think is not the case). dab () 20:07, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Violently oppose. Horrible idea. Numerous things depend on the main page being fixed to its current location (screen scrapers in particular). →Raul654 20:05, Dec 22, 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Agree with Radagast. - Vague | Rant 03:40, Dec 23, 2004 (UTC)~ 03:33, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Object, for all the reasons given above. A. D. Hair (t&m) 14:14, dec 23, 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Makes more sense to have it at Main Page, at least in my eyes. The reasons above also justify keeping it well Kiand 15:30, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose strongly, as someone could conceivably write an article about main pages in general. "Main Page" is the name of the page itself, and that's quite acceptable. --LostLeviathan 02:16, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. There are too many external links to this to move it and have so many people experience a redirect. Angela. 07:49, Dec 24, 2004 (UTC)
  • This has been listed for nearly a week, and it's obvious there is not a consensus to move. Can we remove this now? Jonathunder 00:17, 2004 Dec 27 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The main page is not an article of the encyclopedia. It is the home page of the web site. Next time try making your point on a talk page. DCEdwards1966 02:56, Dec 27, 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but... If this exception is used as an excuse for other execptions, we should change it to keep the integrity of the rule... --Ptolmey 22:22, Dec 30, 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Main Page" is a name. Dmn / Դմն 23:34, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose It has been Main Page for soo long now that that is the name of the page. It is a proper noun and correctly capitialised.--Clawed 13:24, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Someone set up us the animated GIF!

Have there been animated GIFs on the main page before? I'm not principally opposed to one — as long as it doesn't loop, like this one. Animation is a perpetual eye-catcher and not a good thing to add to the main page. Have it play three times and keep the final frame, or something. I acknowledge its usefulness in this instance, but please, no looping, no matter how kewl the animation. JRM 09:01, 2004 Dec 29 (UTC)

it's a nice animation, but I cannot play it, and it just looks broken for me (my problem, of course). I am willing to put up with that for the greatest disaster in history, as long as the practice doesn't catch on... dab () 10:39, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I won't judge any presentation practice by its topic. Clearly, the animation adds something valuable to the picture here, regardless of how horrible a disaster it was, and that should be the criterion — but I'm just starkly opposed to perpetually looping animations, no matter what they're for. And that goes double for the Main Page. JRM 11:09, 2004 Dec 29 (UTC)
The greatest disaster in history? Come ON. Anyhow, I don't see anything wrong with either the animation as such or the fact that it's an endless loop; it certainly doesn't distract from the rest of the Main Page more than just about any other picture we have on there. -- Schnee (cheeks clone) 11:16, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I think JRM has a valuable and reasonable point - the human eye is psyiologically attracted to movement. So yes, in terms of 'distraction' it is quite a bit more noticable than the other sections, and this is something that should be avoided. On the other hand, it is significantly more informative than its still frame counterpart. →Raul654 11:24, Dec 29, 2004 (UTC)
re 'greatest', that should have read 'greatest natural disaster'. Of course the World Wars were much worse. But I just read in a newspaper that it may well be the natural disaster with the most casualties in history. Don't know it that's true, though. dab () 11:28, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
That would require close to 1 million dead.[1] --mav 15:10, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
See the horribly stubby WP:COTW candidate Tangshan earthquake (estimated at 655,000) or the non-existant Shanxi earthquake (said to be 830,000). violet/riga (t) 17:46, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Earth-quake disaster relief link

A bunch of large pages like Google, Yahoo! and [] has put up links where you can donate money to disaster-relief organizations because of the earth-quake. I think Wikipedia should have one on the main page too. It doesn't necassarily need to be on the top, but wouldn't it be nice to have it just below the browse bar? I quickly made a little page that shows how it might look. What do you think? Gkhan 17:32, Dec 29, 2004 (UTC)

  • BTW, im no great wiki-artist, someone has to make a nicer link Gkhan 17:38, Dec 29, 2004 (UTC)
If there is no objection, I will use the new box thing on Main Page/Main Page suggestion (originally here) on the Main Page. ugen64 23:28, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

In the news query

"The death toll from the Indian Ocean Earthquake and subsequent tsunamis on December 26 has exceeded 80,000 people in 12 countries from Malaysia to Somalia." And South Africa, which is outside those bounds. Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg 23:27, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Tsunami Disaster

First of all let us condole the death of many people .Had this occured if the South and South-east Asian Governments had been proactive ?

We can't say. It's a terrible tragedy though.

Supporting the change by ugent

I support this. - Ta bu shi da yu 04:35, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

As do I. - Mark 09:24, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
the change in question is the link to the quake donations article. support, obviously. dab () 09:43, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I also support that change. It is much more relevant to link to the donations article. I created this template (Template:Sig-2004IOEQ) yesterday. It is still a little buggy but its worth a look because it is unobtrusive but it works in many talk pages and signatures. Do what you will with it. --Ctrl buildtalk NonFreeImageRemoved.svg 14:15, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I must say i object to the removal of the banner inserted by Ugen64, sannse removed it stating removing donations box on the suggestion of Jimbo. link is now included in "in the news".

Of course it's still there, but alot less noticeable, and with the lack of noticeability arguably fewer people will donate, and after reading comments such as these: (1, 2.), just here on wikipedia not to mention whats been going around other news sources i really don't think it's such a big thing to ask to have that put back up if it could help just one person.

We put a similar notice when we reached one million articles, i think we can afford something similar when +100K people have already died with thousands more comming, especially if we can somehow do our part in preventing any of it. -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 19:50, 2004 Dec 31 (UTC)

I'm afraid I have to agree with Jimbo and Sannse: Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, not a fundraising tool, no matter how noble or worthwhile the cause. --fvw* 19:59, 2004 Dec 31 (UTC) is not a fundraising tool, either. (Well, not in the real sense of the word.) This is a global disaster, and seeing that Wikipedia is a global project I think it would behoove us to place that donation box somewhere more prominent and visible. Lets have a heart. GRider\talk 20:08, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Nope, but it's a profitable thing to do for Amazon (if it wasn't they'd get slaughtered by their shareholders). Why have a banner for this and not for AIDS research? Or traffic safety? In the long run, both cause more deaths. --fvw* 20:13, 2004 Dec 31 (UTC)
Nope, but it's a profitable thing to do for Amazon - wrong. If you check, it says 100% of donations go to the charities, meaning that amazon itself is footing the credit card transaction bill (a few cents on every few dollars).
if it wasn't they'd get slaughtered by their shareholders - incorrect. See Corporate social responsibility. Not only do these things generate general goodwill amongst the buying public (which more tangably could lead to better sales later on), but they're generally tax deducatable. →Raul654 20:24, Dec 31, 2004 (UTC)
This action, just like all CSR is merely done because it improves the public image of a corporation. Also, it's kind of interesting you should single out Amazon, as they're far less charitable than Apple, who are just linking to charitable organisations. Amazon is increasing its near-micropayment system's market share by this, and also making a $0.30+2% (numbers aren't exact, look them up on their site for the exact data) per donation. --fvw* 06:08, 2005 Jan 1 (UTC)
Neither are or -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 20:10, 2004 Dec 31 (UTC)
Second this. I only know one thing, we are humans. Human has conscience, human has sympathy, human dictates the purpose of the organization, but NOT the other way around. I urge people not to get caught up by Idealogy, while ignoring what a Human is, and what a Human should do. Donation Box back up! --Godric 23:42, Dec 31, 2004 (UTC)
Third this. For the love of humanity, correct this mistake ten fold. Bring back a larger-than-life donation box. —RaD Man (talk) 02:08, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I really ought to comment, as I did the edit. I have to say I agree with Jimbo here. It's not so much about this particular campaign, but a more general worry that this is setting a precedent ... where do we stand the next time there is a terrible war, or a famine, or terrorist attack? Can we remain neutral and unbiased while having a donations banner on our main page in those cases? Of course I have great sympathy for those involved, but I honestly feel that this is not a good idea on our main page. Isn't there some other way we can promote this? Perhaps on a community page or something? Or on as many user pages as possible? -- sannse (talk) 22:14, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Shame on you for making an abstract and rather flimsy "slippery slope" argument in the face of such a disaster. Dante once said something to the effect that the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of peril. Put the donation link back please. You can make your arguments about "precedent" another time.
And hiding the donation link on user pages, where our readers rarely tread, is an especially poor idea. — DV 23:20, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Second this too. Human dictates Ideology, not the other way around, especially in a non-profit-driven organization like Wikipedia. If even volunteers got tangled up by Ideology (encyclopedia shouldn't fund-raise, blah blah...), then who else on Earth are more suitable to help since volunteers are generally less bounded by profit-driven constraint? Donation Box back up! --Godric 23:42, Dec 31, 2004 (UTC)

You won't get anywhere trying to persuade Jimbo Wales to allow Wikipedia to be used to help victims of the tsunami. Jimbo Wales is a notorious follower of Ayn Rand's ideas, and therefore would have little sympathy for organised efforts to reduce the suffering caused by the tsunami, see [2]. See his own Wikipedia article at Jimbo Wales ? "He admires the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand". - 01:20, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Stop reserving places in hell for people who don't agree with you, please. Of course Sannse is overgeneralizing by throwing human-caused violence and natural disasters on one big heap. Yes, we can remain "neutral" even if we "blame" the earthquake for "badly" killing tens of thousands of people, and even if we then encourage people to give money to relief funds. But as far as analogies go: has everyone looked at the homepage? That's right, no donations. How about the New York Times article linked from there? Bupkis. In fact, the makers of those sites must feel the fires of eternal damnation grow pretty hot around them, because they blatantly advertise for themselves instead of asking money for relief.
Stop using corporate sites as examples. Corporations cannot feel concern. Their employees might, and since corporations are not harmed by efforts to get people to donate (and in fact strengthen their public image with it) they'll endorse it. Don't give me the "even Microsoft is doing it and you know profit-oriented those guys are" argument, it just doesn't wash.
And there is a question of precedent here, no matter how moved you are personally. (Yes, I have donated.) How can we live with ourselves by agreeing with everyone that this warrants us encouraging donations while every other natural disaster does not? Isn't that a lovely statement for a neutral encyclopedia? You can make your arguments about "precedent" another time. Sounds like a neat contradiction in terms.
Back to the main point. Donate your life's savings. Get all your friends to do it. Yes, even urge Wikipedia to do it, you can. The argument's not over. All I'm saying is this: don't label everyone who doesn't immediately fall over to do anything possible in support an evil person. Are you going to argue next that Jimbo is killing people by not doing enough? If so, I can think of plenty of people you've killed that way.
This is just a "community" versus "encyclopedia" issue. The community wants to help out, of course, while the encyclopedia really has nothing to do with it. Should we let the community override the encyclopedia this time? I can't tell you — I'm not qualified to speak for the community. Personally, I would allow it. (Surprised? You shouldn't be.) JRM 01:23, 2005 Jan 1 (UTC)

Thanks for donating, but unless you're related to Bill Gates, it's a drop in the bucket compared to what a link on this site could do.
I'm told that this site is ranked in the top two hundred or so of internet traffic in the entire world. Placing a single, one-line link on the main page could potentially generate more donations than all of us editors put together a million times over. (Don't believe me? Amazon generated hundreds of thousands of dollars within hours of posting their link, and millions within a day or so.)
Placing a single, one-line link on the main page is hardly "immediately falling over to do anything possible". It costs nothing. You can hem and haw all you like, but this is such a small thing to ask, that I find the elaborate arguments against it from you and a few other "slippery slope" zealots to be entirely out of proportion.
Again, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event that is truly exceptional in its scale and impact. There is no precedent.
By the way, Britannica is hardly a good example of how this site should be operated.
Happy holidays. — DV 01:45, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I sincerely and deeply agree with every word you are saying David. A picture says a thousand words. Hopefully these can help save hundreds of thousands of lives:

RaD Man (talk) 02:02, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Wow. Thanks RaD Man. I moved those picture links up so they line the edge of all the fancy arguments about why Wikipedia is above it all. Interesting philosophy for a foundation that hosts a 9/11 memorial, isn't it? — DV 02:07, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I didn't argue against the link. I argued against crusading against "zealots" by the "reasonable people". I elaborated some of the possible arguments there are against it, as I saw them. I didn't say I found them convincing enough. In fact, I explicitly said I personally would not have disagreed with the link. (I wouldn't have personally put it in, but that's just because I didn't think of it.) I'd like to think I'm not fiddling while Rome burns, here.
Sorry for not wishing you happy holidays right back; I find it hard to do it genuinely through an electronic medium, in the context of a debate (well, more or less). JRM 02:08, 2005 Jan 1 (UTC)
Every second we spend deliberating and bickering about this is a valuable second wasted. The least we could do is support something along the lines of what mega-giant Wal-Mart [3] has posted. —RaD Man (talk) 02:49, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Who died and made me admin? Be bold, whoever is able and willing. JRM 03:11, 2005 Jan 1 (UTC)
This isn't about you, JRM. And the main page is protected so RaD Man and I are powerless to do anything than try and make a case on this page. (I already asked a respected Admin to help but received no reply.)
This isn't about you, JRM. In that case, let all master subtly the art of indentation. My ego may be oversized, but it's mine! :-) JRM 03:33, 2005 Jan 1 (UTC)
As RaD Man points out, every second does count. Wikipedia is supposedly in the top 200 or so web sites in the world, in terms of traffic.
To put the power of this much traffic into perspective, I just learned that "Amazon is already sending more money for tsunami relief than the French government".
Incidentally, do we have any statistics on how much French individuals are contributing? And let people please keep in mind that Amazon is not sending its own money, they are facilitating donations of individuals. That costs them money, sure. (Just in the name of factual accuracy. I'm not disputing it's a lot of cash. :-) JRM 03:33, 2005 Jan 1 (UTC)
JRM, no one is asking for Wikipedia to donate money. Where did you get that idea? Adding a link costs a few bytes of disk storage and the time to post it.
But more importantly, looking back over this conversation, it appears that most of the rebuttals to the idea of posting a link have been coming from you, an individual who claims to personally support adding a link, and who claims to not be arguing against the link, and yet persists in enumerating all of the arguments that could possibly be made against it, no matter how small or petty, as a matter of principle, and further sidetracking the discussion on small, tangential points related to factual accuracy.
Yes, you are indeed dithering while Rome burns. I hope you enjoy ringing in the New Year with such a cloud of doubt hanging over your head. Good night. — DV 04:51, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
You are not obliged to listen to me. But when you do, try not to make the claim I shouldn't be talking. And thanks for the "cloud of doubt" compliment. Though I'm sure you don't see it that way. JRM 13:59, 2005 Jan 1 (UTC)
Amazingly, in the few minutes it has taken me to write this reply, the [ Amazon total just went up another ten thousand dollars]. It's been going up at that rate long enough to raise ten million dollars so far. That's real money.
Happy holidays. — DV 03:18, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I'm back from work, and guess what? No donation box.
I also realized (made up) the final score of this debate, which is: Face +1, Politics -10000, Humanity -10000000000.
Do you guys know what the single most influential letter within our beloved License's name abbreviation is?
This Donation Box Debate finally resulting in no donation box is a direct contradiction with the F in GFDL, for it is Wikipedia's Soul (and presumably the editors' soul too).
You can freely laugh at my romantic drama here, but I'll keep going until I make clear of my point.
Everything here is basically licensed under (or aimed to be compatible with) GFDL, for Freedom is something every human cherishes, for Freedom is powerful in changing the World. We all are here, mainly because of this F in GFDL. Because we know, our effort, will be assured, via legal protection, to benefit others, the Human Kind, or even the Martians, indefinitely as long as the copyright legal system holds.
However, as of today, Wikipedia has lost its soul.
It did something that is directly against the principle of GFDL, with some persistent and blunt contraditions.
It favors the upholding of Virginity (zero precedence as a donation driving vehicle), at the expense of giving up Freedom, its own freedom, the editors' freedom, and Human Kind's freedom.
It lusts over ideology and fame, at the expense of selling out its soul, the F in GFDL.
It upholds itself intact, but sacrifices all others.
It's so selfish, that it goes blind, of the World's misery.
So vivid in front of our eyes, but we let it dive.
into a deep deep utopia called "Wikipedia-land".
where there exists only knowledge, but no heart.
only data, but no meaning.
only order, but no love.
Yes, my soap opera's over... Thank you and Happy Holidays.
--Godric 04:09, Jan 1, 2005 (UTC)

I disagree wholeheartedly with this removal by sannse. Who cares if it was on the suggestion of Jimbo Wales? If he has a beef with it being up there, then he can exercise his supreme powers as billpayer of this website and remove it himself. Remember the unsightly red-bordered begging banner on every Wikipedia page when we were raising money for Wikipedia? This banner was not very obtrusive. This is one of those situations when people need to pull their fingers out and shut up about meaningless stuff like 'remaining neutral in times of crisis'. It's a natural disaster, sannse. There is no 'other side' towards which we need to remain neutral. We're not posting a link saying "click here to donate money to the US War Effort in xxx country", it's a "click here to help save lives" style of link. I don't care if Jimbo Wales 'authorised' the banner's removal, he was deeply wrong. - Mark 05:50, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Putting disaster-relief banners on everything in sight has about as much to do with disaster relief as Americans putting "Support The Troops" stickers on everything in sight has to do with improving the situation in Iraq: exactly nothing.
Once everyone already knows about the issue, mentioning it over and over again is just a show of conformity. Worse, it frequently borders on social paranoia: "Oh my! Everyone is covering their cars with 'I Hate Evil' stickers! What will people think of me if I don't do the same? They'll think I love evil!" This sort of hand-wringing does no benefit to the disaster-stricken, and it weakens the minds and good sense of those afflicted with it.
Moreover, it's simply out of place. Consider: The Britannica is worthwhile, and Oxfam is worthwhile -- but the Britannica not improved by sticking an Oxfam sticker on the front. --FOo 08:41, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree to the "conformity" concerns. I trust there are still enough editors here in their right minds to prevent us from slipping into posting "WP hates terrorism" boilerplates all over the Main Page. However, as it goes with donations, I know from my own sluggishness that I need to have requests in my face several times sometimes before I make a move. Obviously everybody has heard about the quake now. But how many rush off to make a donation simply because they know about it? I think it is undisputable that shoving requests for donations upon people will result in more donations. This leads to annoying competition between charity organisations. But this is a special case. Every hour counts, and we have to get as much relief there, as quickly as possible, before the epidemics kick in. I'm more than willing to shove a banner in the faces of web-surfers for a day or two, if that has some effect of getting more help there in time. dab () 14:11, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I don't mind the donations box, so long as we all consider this to not be a precedent-setting action. We just need to keep in mind the unprecedented nature of this disaster and act accordingly. I would really hate to see the Main Page turned into a place where anybody on the Internet could have a chance to expose their cause to the many eyeballs that see this page. --mav 16:15, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

very wisely put. Obviously it is not precedent-setting. I happened to re-insert it, and nobody happens to have reversed me yet: that hardly makes for policy-development. dab () 16:24, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

JRM put it wisely: This is just a "community" versus "encyclopedia" issue. The community wants to help out, of course, while the encyclopedia really has nothing to do with it. Do we, as a community, want to ask people to donate? We certainly seem to. But should we as an encyclopedia get into general fund-raising? Probably not. I say move the banner to the Community portal. Zocky 21:27, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

It's not like these people had food before everybody came in arms to donate money. How about all the starving people in Africa? Masterhomer 05:12, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Death toll irregularities

Where are we getting our tsunami death-toll numbers? They are consistently higher than all other major news sources I have seen. Wikipedia should be the most conservative source when it comes to this kind of information. These numbers are hard to verify, and news organizations take a gamble and race to jack up their numbers to appear to have the latest information. (I work for the media.) --Andrew Phelps 17:16, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

We're apparently adding up the numbers reported for each country individually. See the chart on the earthquake/tsunami page. -- Cyrius| 17:38, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The numbers are higly inaccurate, so is everybody elses, thats why we call them estimates. -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 19:43, 2004 Dec 31 (UTC)
I cannot speak for the people who update the count now, but I did it for a while. I was using the latest numbers that were reported as "officially confirmed" for each country, then added them up. Turned out this way we were very accurate and yet some hours faster than the major news services who would report individual numbers but not yet include them in their totals. That's also why we have two columsn, "confirmed" and "estimated" - and even the "estimated" I tried to keep at the lowest, most realistic (in my uneducated opinion) numbers. -- Nils 10:56, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I just took a look and (a) people who took over are incapable of addition and (b) at least India was not reflected very accfurately in the table. The current total, as far as I can tell, should be more like 135,000, but our information seems quite outdated for now. I've left a little note on the talk: pages not to inflate the numbers... I hope it helps. -- Nils 11:22, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

It still constantly shows 155,000 but now it has exeeded 165,000 -- 23:34, 9 Jan 2005

Can we have the donations box back now, please

I don't care that Jimbo doesn't like it. I don't care that Brittanica haven't got one. There is clear community consensus for it and let's be honest here, it is the right thing to do.

If any admin is reading this, please restore it at the earliest possible opportunity. Thanks in advance. Dan100 10:00, Jan 1, 2005 (UTC)

That won't happen. The clique is more important than helping people in a disaster which the death toll will probably rise to 150,000. A recent email to me from an admin shows the problem - "I agree with you Xed, but I can't take any action because my admin privileges might be withdrawn". I've received several emails with a similar kind of message. No admin is willing to risk their adminship. Thousands will no doubt suffer because of this attitude, but that's of no consequence to Jimbo Wales and his various sycophants - 10:15, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Knock off the personal attacks right now. See Wikipedia:No personal attacks. --mav 16:06, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I don't like this, people. I don't care if Jimbo likes it, it should be a matter of consensus. And most of the posts above seem to support the template. I don't like the 'slippery slope' argument, and I will gladly support another banner, should there be a comparable disaster in the future. I don't like the 'clique' accusations based on this either. I am not afraid of losing my adminship over this. It will cost another admin one click to revert me. I suppose it's just that most admins have learned that it's pointless to revert disputed changes, because it will just lead to fruitless edit warring. Look: this haggling over the donations template really makes WP turn sour for me, right now. I will put it back once, and then not touch the topic again. dab () 10:44, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It's a bit small - 11:16, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Just wanted to butt in to say: Woohoo!. Now that it's over with, I don't think the slippery slope argument is applicable here. Sure, the addition of the bar breaks the principle of having none such things, and it's now potentially possible to have donations bars for non-worthwhile causes. Helping the SE Asia quake victims, however, is extremely far from being such a cause. Far enough IMAO for the problem to be irrelevant. We're talking about another slope altogether. -- Kizor 11:50, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Obviously I won't remove it, though I stand by my opinion (and yes, I've donated. and no, I'm not a heartless bitch) -- sannse (talk) 11:27, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I apologize, no implication of heartlessness was intended. I was unhappy with the haggling in general (including the cabalistic remarks that nobody dare put it back because we're afraid of Jimbo), not the fact that we may disagree about it. As I said, if somebody reverts me, I'll not touch it again. But maybe it would be better procedure to have a quick poll about it? dab () 11:33, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I am in favour of the donation box, and have changed it to a template (Template:helpout). Now any user can edit the notice. Also, users can if they want add {{helpout}} to their userpages if they want. JOHN COLLISON (An Liúdramán) 11:40, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • Thank you, Dab and John. Dan100 11:49, Jan 1, 2005 (UTC)
We now have two links to donations on the main page. I think it is overdoing when whe write it with letters bigger than 100%. Andries 12:16, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I agree. it should be prominent, but not screaming. dab () 12:54, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

People, I've put it back. The objection (quite reasonable in my view) was that there were two links to the donations page. I've removed the one from WP:ITN and readded the donations box. - Ta bu shi da yu 15:58, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think that there should be a donation box. If this discussion is going to continue either here or on User talk:Jimbo Wales, it might be a good idea to create a Wikipedia:Earthquake discussion or similar. Just a suggestion.--Honeycake (internal ID number: 118170) 09:01, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
How long is the donation box going to stay?? I thought 24-48 hours should be adequate. Clawed 22:53, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

E-mail to/ Subscribe

I think the ability to e-mail an article to user or even subscribe to any updates to a topic would be really useful. Is that something easy to do?

It's being worked on, but this is not the correct place to discuss such things, perhaps the village pump might be more appropriate. --fvw* 21:15, 2005 Jan 1 (UTC)
That feature had been scheduled,I'm told, for 1.4, which ahas just been deployed. For whatever reason, implementation of the mail notification feature was pushed back into the 1.5 release. Whether such a feature would be *enabled* on *this implementation* of Mediawiki, Wikipedia, is another mattter entirely, and I don't think I'd bet on it. -- Baylink 21:34, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Strange redirect in Johnny Cash

Today's featured article is Johnny Cash that has a real strange new and not to a user attributed redirect to an unnamed page.

Can anyone enlighten me what`s going on? Deleteme42 00:35, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Vandalism, I've fixed it now I think, it had been moved to a series of soft hyphens. --fvw* 00:53, 2005 Jan 2 (UTC)
Nope, I'd just broken it in a slightly different way, I'd forgotten the move form stuffs the old name in the destination box as a default value. User:Ugen64 managed to clear it up though. --fvw* 01:07, 2005 Jan 2 (UTC)

"no index, no follow" on history pages

Don't know where to ask this question (sorry if it doesn't belong here), but what's the reason for all history pages having "no index, no follow" robot instructions, thus telling search engines not to index them? --rydel 02:04, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Major load issues related to allowing spiders to look at each and every page version (this is esp true now that all old versions are heavily compressed). We also do not want search engines to index old page versions since that would lead to them directing people to our old versions and they may edit the page to fix it - thus overwriting many other edits. Lastly, old versions are more likely than cur ones to be out of date, wrong, incomplete, or contain copyright violations. --mav 05:03, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"other languages" by word count

there has been some discussion on Template talk:Wikipedialang about how to best list WPs in other languages. We have developed a Template based on word count rather than article count. A summary of the reasoning follows:

The main motivation is the observation that mean article lengths vary significantly across different WPs, and there is some evidence that the present hierarchical arrangement in tiers based on article count has the effect on some editors of smaller WPs to create lots of very short articles in order to rise above the 1,000 or 10,000 threshold. An extreme case seems to be sa:. Less extreme, but prominent, is sv: which comes up 5th by article count, but only (a still impressive) 9th by word count.

The aims of the template were summarized as conveying that:

  1. Wikipedia is available in a range of additional languages.
  2. The complete list can be directly accessed.
  3. These wikipedias vary greatly in size.
  4. Some of the wikipedias are very significant.
  5. the most commonly used wikipedias can be directly accessed.
  6. To provide the above information concisely and clearly.

I am aware that word count is not a precise measure either (especially in the cases of Chinese and Japanese), but it has turned out to be more reliable than article count. The proposed Template is in my opinion also superior by consicely providing additional information (word count; en: has 143M words) and does without the optical separation in three or four major tiers. The 1/4M and 1/2M number naturally allow smaller tiers at the 'bottom', and 1/4M (rougly 1,000 printed pages?) seems a good threshold for 'usefulness' as an encyclopedia.

Please do not immediately revert to the article count template, even if unhappy with this change, but comment here or on Template talk:Wikipedialang, Template:Wikipedialang (word count) so that we have a chance to improve this approach. dab () 11:05, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Where can i get an up to date list on the word count for like i can get by typing {{NUMBEROFARTICLES}}? -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 11:34, 2005 Jan 2 (UTC)
you can't at this point, afaik. That's part of the value added by the table (providing otherwise not readily available information). It means that updating the template is a bit tiresome, of course, but apart from the two or three largest WPs, I think the time to accumulate a million words is rather long, so that updates are not very frequent. dab () 13:12, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
How then was the information presented in the template gathered exactly? — Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 14:13, 2005 Jan 2 (UTC)
from the individual tables linked from dab () 14:15, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
oh my, I see what you mean. We may be counting the entire database (i.e. all words, including Talk pages and all). That would of course be fatal. Back to the drawing board, I guess? dab () 14:20, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
wait a minute. I think the count was correct after all. take en:: we have 446k articles, with a mean length of 2434 bytes. with a word count of 146M, we get a mean word-length of 7.4 bytes. This includes all punctuation, spaces, numbers etc, so the actual mean word length will be closer to 5. I think it's impossible that the 146M word count refer to the entire database, i.e. including WP:, User: and Talk: namespaces, because that would yield a mean word length of probably 2 or 3. dab () 14:37, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

accuracy: e.g. the size of de: in percent of en:

37% (words); 41% (articles); 43% (bytes) -- here the article count is slightly better, because German words are systematically longer, and because articles have a very similar mean length.

and sv: in terms of en:

4.6% (words); 12.8% (articles); 5.5% (bytes) -- here the word count is more accurate, because mean article lengths are very different.

finally, ja: in terms of en:

17% (words); 21% (articles); 20% (bytes) -- in spite of the very different orthography, word count seems not less reliable than for sv or de

of course none of these methods are accurate (to some 20%, maybe), but I think these comparisons show that they give at least a meaningful idea. The point of changing from article to word count is to reduce the "award" for creating lots of articles with no content. dab () 16:32, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

  • Interesting, the articles in the Swedish wikipedia seems to be half as long as the once in the english wikipedia. I believe that if we wanted to compare just the Swedish and English wikipedias then bytes would be most accurate. That means that counting words gives an inaccuracy of 16% while counting articles gives an inaccuracy of 132%. Now I might have screwed up my maths seriously. :) I'm Swedish myself but I don't visit the Swedish WP often, but if this is true this should be a major concern for them. So many short articles isn't good. Jeltz talk 19:20, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Well, dab, you are bolder than me! (That's probably why I spend most of my time in a largely forgotten corner of WP.) I have merged the footnote info into the text because I think the flow-on from the ellipsis to the Complete list link is important; it clearly shows that there are many more languages available.
When I get back from my Xmas holiday, I plan to see if I can code a macro to provide the wordcount for a wikipedia. I'm an experienced developer, but new to MediaWiki, so this may take me some time! My concern is that the English word count will fall behind. I'm not so worried about the other languages. There seem to be plenty of language advocates who monitor their own languages. After all, the Polish and Russian links switched categories awfully fast when they recently reached their respective milestones.
By the way, 250,000 words equates to about 400-500 textbook size pages i.e. a modest single-volume encylopaedia. I think this is a reasonable cut-off point. GeorgeStepanek\talk 22:48, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think an article count might be more accessible than a word count for the reader. I personally have no idea what to make out of 10 versus 100 million words, but 10 versus 100 thousand articles is somehow tangible. In any case the list should NOT include the word count for each language. This granularity is useless to the visitor and in fact it makes the list harder to read. Splitting the list into groups, as with the article count, is a superior solution. Fredrik | talk 22:57, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. Word count is pretty meaningless, and the list is now very confusing and far too long. It makes it even harder for people to find the language they're looking for. I still believe the entire thing should just be alphabetically, but this is massively worse than having it divided up into article count. Fundementally, people don't care how many words or articles a certain language is: they will just want to find that language, regardless as to how big it is. Tom- 00:14, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The entire list is available in alphabetical order via the Complete list link. Frankly, I would like to see the list of languages disappear entirely from the Main Page, but if it has to be there then please let it be at least a little interesting—perhaps by showing the relative sizes of the biggest wikipedias. GeorgeStepanek\talk 00:44, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Goodness, *please*, get rid of this word count thing. It's much more confusing and harder to parse than the old template. -- Schnee (cheeks clone) 00:33, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Can some admin please revert the Main Page? I'd feel a lot more comfortable getting consensus (perhaps via a straw poll) before the new template is put up there. Thanks! GeorgeStepanek\talk 00:44, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
oh dear... of course, I won't object to reversing to article count until this is properly discussed. Also, I do not object to greater granularity, or tiers at all. I reiterate that the positive effect of word count instead of article count is to reduce the 'number of articles' fixation that leads to extreme stubbiness in some WPs. Also, word count is a common way of measuring encyclopedias, and it gives an immediate idea of size, i.e. 10M corresponds to roughly a bookshelf (i.e. en: easily fills a living-room wall, by now!) also, note that ro: has already followed suit, and de: is considering. dab () 08:15, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I agree with dab that there is a negative side-effect of listing languages with article counts on the main page. For example in the Hungarian Wikipedia there has been sort of a campaign to reach 5000 articles before the end of 2004 and several editors measure our "performance" comparing our article count to other Wikipedias and following our position in the list. A lot of editors do get obsessed with this single number. :) Dab's proposal would be one way to deal with this undesirable side-effect. Nyenyec 15:43, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Wide main page

Anyone else find the mainpage is running wider than normal. I have to scroll to see it all at 800x600, never used to before. -- user:zanimum

Must be your browser - I use IE6 at 800x600, and it fits everything without scrolling. (Edit 19:37, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC): Same goes for Firefox 1.0PR, by the way.) --Pidgeot 19:35, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Wait --- you have Firefox on your computer yet you use IE by choice? That doesn't sound right. BLANKFAZE | (что??) 04:18, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." In my opinion, IE isn't broken, and Firefox doesn't provide enough additional features to make me switch permanently. Not even tabbed browsing - I STILL don't see why tabs are better than seperate windows.
Of course, if you'd like to argue Firefox's case, you're welcome to try on my talk page. ;) --Pidgeot 10:57, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

In the news - Image confusion

The "In the News" box has the first item related to the Indian Ocean Earthquake and shows a New Turkish Lira coin, which is related to the second item.

Shouldn't the picture be lighned with the second item instead of the first?