Talk:Main Page/Archive 44

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Archive 40 Archive 42 Archive 43 Archive 44 Archive 45 Archive 46 Archive 50


Page is too big

The front page should only contain headlines and links. No Content. Cyrus Zahababian

There is too much stuff on this page. It doesn't really need to be the front page of a newspaper, does it?

Yes. Yes it does. Redwolf24 (talk) 04:07, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

As I've been grousing about here for a long, long time - I agree with the unsigned comment that the main page is too busy. Simple, clean interfaces are almost always preferable to bloated ones. The only important sections on the main page are the title strip ("Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.") and the 4 windows (the FA, ITN, Selected annivs, and DYK/FP). Everything else is unnecessary and expendable. →Raul654 05:36, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I think that the main page is just one big link fest! That was my very first thought when first visiting the Wikipedia about a year ago. It looked grey with so many links! I really think that the News section is unnecessary. If I want news I can check the news at about 100 different sites on the internet. Whilst I think that it is sort of ‘cool’ to demonstrate the Wikipedia ability to be changed to reflect very current news events, I think this should be demonstrated on a smaller box. I also think that a sample article box could be taken from each main category (perhaps the main 6) and arranged in a row with different colours for each box and perhaps even an icon like the French version of the Wikipedia has. This would make the invaluable resource the Wikipedia is, contain a friendlier front end and let’s face it, can you name one other website with almost 100 hyperlinks on the very first page, with every one in a bright blue? In this modern day and age, search engine technology is the accepted and preferred way of accessing content; indexes are a thing of the past. Please admins, be bold! Lewispb 21:53, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I like it the way it is. The way I see it, if people wanted to look at a specific article on Wikipedia that was short and to-the-point, they would have reached it via google or the search engine of their choice. splintax (talk) 08:40, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I'm afraid that if you search for anything on Google, the Wikipedia very rarely appears within the top 10 results. Why have a wikipedia if people cannot easily access the content. I would make the wiki far more inviting to a new user. Maybe this is because I am a web designer and can see design issues clearly. Lewispb 11:09, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I use google to search wikipedia specifically (since the search here does not work). However, that aside I suspect the news section drives a lots of editing on articles that people have recently read about or are intrested in. In terms of why people come to the main wikipedia page I think its good. I mean honestly, if you are looking for somethign specific you are probbly not comming ot the main page you are just bord or curious or whatever. Maybe you want to see what the main article is, and in that context a few links to articles that relate to stuff you ahve seen in the news are really worthwhile. Reading about the type of government in a country that has just had an election or whatever, it makes browsing an encyclopedia more fun in its relavence. Dalf | Talk 22:04, 1 October 2005 (UTC)[]

New Main Page

Raul654 has decluttered the main page. Howsabout some comments? Redwolf24 (talk) 06:36, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]


After discussion with some others, most of whom thought the main page was far too cluttered, I've decided to be-bold and try trimming it down. Here's a rought list of changes:

  • Removed the other-languages section and converted them to interwikis. This is the standard practice almost every other language Wikipedia. I also added a link to the meta page with the complete list of langauges at the top.
  • Removed the picture at the top right (The kanjis) and the link to the almost-never-used tableless main page
  • Removed the donations link. This section was added before it was put on the side bar; now that it's present on the sidebar, having a main page link is redundant.
  • Removed the never-used links at the bottom to the orphas and cats
  • Condensed the sub-title bar to include links to the most important 4 or 5 pages for new users (as opposed to the 15 or so that were there before)

All in all, I think it's a lot better looking. Less cluttered, with important links more obvious to newbies now. →Raul654 06:39, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

The "topic" pages at the top have needed to go for a while. Better. - BanyanTree 06:43, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
You think so, but you refused to discuss my objection that some of the changes make the page considerably less accessable to users of a lower literacy level. Although you seem to think the page is more useful now, you do not specify who your target audience is... I think that a greater argument can be made for making the main page cater to the lowest common denominator than on any other page on Wikipedia. I provided you with a good reference on literacy related concerns for web accessability [1], and I'd suggest anyone looking to make such changes to the main page should read it. Finally, I'm somewhat concerned that you went ahead and made these non-minnor changes to the main page without onwiki discussion after I objected so strongly to your changes on IRC, in particular to the loss of a clear and direct link to the major categories and the alphabetical index. Most of the other changes are good, but I think they are overwealmed by the loss of accessability from the points above. Remember the main page mostly doesn't matter to frequency users: they all know to use the search box. --Gmaxwell 06:46, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Yes, you objected to one change I made (out of well over a dozen), and not a single person spoke up in agreement with you. Somewhow, I have a hard time believe your assertion that the 15 links we had there before (Culture, Geography, History, Life, Mathematics, Science, Society, Technology, Browse, Portals, Ask Wikipedia a Question, Overviews, Alphabetical Index, Other Indexes) are somehow less confusing than the 5 we have there now (Other languages · Portals · Browse · Ask a Question · Wikipedia FAQs). And you are choosing to ignore the point that those categories removed were not very helpful to many people and were rather controversial because of their arbitrariness. →Raul654 06:51, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
There were four other people in IRC, and only one person agreed that you should make the changes, everyone else was silent on the matter. ... As for your "ignore the point" comment, it would be difficult for me do to anything except ignore that point, because you failed to make it in the IRC discussion. Since you've now made it, I can answer it: The topics listed were the same as the top level subjects in the browse category, so your changes did nothing to improve any disagreement on them. Further I don't see how anyone could consider an alphabetical index arbitrary: it's a basic feature of any encyclopedia which any new user would expect to use, and we've now hidden the useful alphabetical index two pages deep. You are correct that I've only objected to a few changes (although not just one) out of many, but it could also be said that I wouldn't have objected at all if you'd started by making the changes that everyone you'd discussed it with so far agree on. --Gmaxwell 07:07, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I don't like the removal of the other languages box: the presence of only the interwiki links seems to imply that only those are available; I wouldn't if I were unfamiliar with the site expect that the (barely noticeable) "other languages" link would take me to any more than those. And especially when so many vistors get directed to en.wikipedia, perhaps not knowing that there is (almost always) an edition in their language, I think removing it is harmful. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 06:56, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I completely agree with Mindspillage about the language box. I think the English Wikipedia has a special responsibility because of its traffic and the global use of English to introduce the other language Wikipedias in the most complete and clear manner possible. This change treats the main page like a normal article and will mean little to new users who will not look to the side. The fact that the other Wikipedias use this format should not at all be a reason to make such a radical change. And, lastly, this new vertical list of the languages clutters up the sidebar on the main page, which in design terms, is probably more important than the length of the page itself anyway. Tfine80 04:11, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I think most people end up on http://www.wiki.hereiszyn.com rather than en.wiki.hereiszyn.com... Sasquatcht|c 06:59, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I don't buy that arguement. Yes, the main page implies that only twelve other language Wikipedias exist, if you happen to ignore the "Other languages" link located prominently at the top-center of the page, and the dozens listed on http://wiki.hereiszyn.com/ →Raul654 07:01, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Thats nuts Mark, the sidebar says "in other languages" not "some of the other available languages"... no one who doesn't already know better is going to look at that an expect a more complete list in the link at the top (if they see it at all): They are going to expect it to be redundant because redundancy is an important feature for navigational aids on accessable websites. Even expirenced users expect the interlanguage sidebar to be complete (minus pages that haven't been found yet). I agree with Mindspillage, and I'd also like to note that en now has the shortest set of interlanguage links of any of the major languages. This seems horribly biased. --Gmaxwell 07:07, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
"no one who doesn't already know better is going to look at that an expect a more complete list in the link at the top" - If this were true, then other Wikipedias would logically list all the other languages versions, right? Because otherwise, people who don't know better would assume that they were seeing a complete list, right? Wrong. Not a single other Wikipedia lists all the other-language versions in the interwiki links. This is a demonstrably false assumption. As for your redundancy-is-good comment -- no, it's not. Having the same thing linked multiple times from a single page is a very, very bad design. It's wasteful, and distracting (people don't realize that all those links go to the same thign). That's why the manual of style tells you not do it in articles. Doing it on the most visible page is doubly-bad. As for en having the shortest interlang links section, that's wrong too. The italian wikipedia (the 6th largest) has half as may, and the dutch (the 8th largest) have the same number.
However, on this point, I'm not against upping it to around 20 or 25 (which is about the standard number). →Raul654 07:43, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Any confusion wouldn't be important if we managed to link a majority of the active Wikipedias. Your version linked about 1/4th to 1/6th the number of languages compared to other large wikipedias like DE and FR. I see you have since improved this somewhat since my prior post by linking more languages. Redundancy in articles is substantially different than redundancy in navigational aids, such components should be strictly ordered by use in order to aid people who can't carefully scan the text and for whom reading all of it would be too difficult. Further, if your goal was to remove redundancy: you have failed. The other languages link is still redundant compared to the (incomplete) interlanguage box and the placement is poor, if you're going to provide a partial list and a link to see more they should be physically colocated. You still have completely ignored my claim that your changes which require more reading and more link create a substantial barrier to new users who are less literate. Now you just wave around about bad design, yet you've provided no citations. It is important that we make our main page as obvious and as quick as possible because no one is interested in the main page, people are interested in the articles, and creating a labyrinthine obstacle course of indirection before new users actually get to the articles can only be a bad thing. ... and no, the page before was not ideal from that perspective previously, but your edits were one step forward and two steps back. ... and I take it that you now agree that your change made no improvement related to the topics since you provided no explanation of how leaving them on the browse page was less controversial? --Gmaxwell 08:42, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
"Any confusion wouldn't be important if we managed to link a majority of the active Wikipedias. " - do you even realize what you are saying? There are 204 other-language wikipedias. So linking a majority would mean linking 103 or more. That's *BY FAR* more than any other wikipedia (I believe the spanish wikipedia links the most (at 80), and it looks extremely lopsided with languages running down further than the page itself). As to your claim of redundancy beween the other-language link and the interwikis - unless you want to link all the other languages (a ludicrious proposal) then you have to link to a list of them somewhere. So while one could argue they are redundant, there's really no better way of doing it. As to physically co-locating them - this is a minor concern which has not stopped the vast majority of other language wikipedias from doing exactly as the new version does here.
"You still have completely ignored my claim that your changes which require more reading and more link create a substantial barrier to new users who are less literate." - your claim is wrong, period. Where there were 15 subsections (some of which overlapped with each other), there are now 5 clearly labeled ones. The 8 seperate (and as I said previously, controversial) categories and 3 indexes were by no means easy to navigate. They were illnamed and badly organized. Condensing them into a single "browse" link is a big step in the right direction. →Raul654 08:59, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I would really like to see the language box back. Barring that, perhaps make the other language link say something like "Full list of over 150 languages". Otherwise I disagree that it is clear that there are more than the interwiki links show. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 07:20, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I won't comment on whether or not it was more useful to people to have the links, but you did do a nice job decluttering the front page, Raul. One thing that seems out of place though is the interwiki sidebar link to the ne.wiki. It seems to only have 41 articles, so I assume you were trying to link another one with a similar two-character subdomain. Ziggur 07:51, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Yes, I mistook nl and ne. →Raul654 07:56, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

How can I find a list of new articles - I really enjoy seeing what is new?--Porturology 08:06, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Special:Newpages →Raul654 08:09, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

The changes are much better and long overdue. The one thing I think needs putting back, however, is the new pages (and orphans) links: I don't think they are particularly good to have there from a usefulness point of view, but in previous discussions we've concluded that it is necessary to speed up the Google spidering of our newest pages. violet/riga (t) 08:45, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I talked it over with James. He set it up so that newpages will be generated on the main page, but not displayed (e.g., remain invisble to the user). It's the best of both worlds. →Raul654 14:39, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Great job. It is a lot easier to start with something simple and decide that a couple things really need to be added back.

I like the simplification, FWIW.
James F. (talk) 14:39, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Raul654 , Have you considered the advantages of the following ordering of the 5 items?

  1. Wikipedia FAQs · Browse · Portals · Ask a Question · Other languages
  2. Browse · Portals · Ask a Question · Wikipedia FAQs · Other languages
  3. Ask a Question · Browse · Portals · Wikipedia FAQs · Other languages
  4. Portals · Ask a Question · Browse · Wikipedia FAQs · Other languages
  • 1 repeats the keyword Wikipedia first, and prompts the user to select FAQs first.
  • 2 prompts the user to Browse first, look at Portals second. Then Questions.
  • 3 invites the user to ask first, which is the natural response of a new user
  • 4 invites the user to look at the custom portals to Wikipedia, then ask questions, then browse.

Note that Other languages coming last would be natural, as this is English Wikipedia. Ancheta Wis 16:39, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I hadn't considered that, but now that Trever made the change, I see it's better. →Raul654 17:47, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Would it not be better to have it with FAQs before Ask a Question to stop people asking the same questions over and over again ? Robmods 19:08, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

  • The Faqs do occur "before" (e.g, to the left of) Ask a Question. In addition, the ask a question page prominantly tells people to check the FAQs first. →Raul654 19:15, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I was just wondering if it would not be better to have the link say "Frequently Asked Questions" instead of "Wikipedia FAQs"? I could understand the need for using the acronym when it was a little link beneath the other languages mini banner to the right, but I think it can change with this new layout. While FAQ is a pretty well know internet acronym, I still think it is better not to assume people know what it means, at least not on the front page. The "Wikipedia" in "Wikipedia FAQs" seems sort of redundant for a link on the wikipedia main page to me. --Codemonkey 19:51, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I think this is a very, very bad idea, for three reasons:
  1. The FAQs there are all Wikipedia-centric. "Frequently asked questions", could mean anything, especially considering this is an encyclopedia project. The word 'Wikipedia' puts it in context (e.g., that they relate to Wikipeda).
  2. "Frequently asked questions" (and worse, "Wikipedia frequently asked questions") is much too long to put there. In terms of number of characters, it'd be 2 or 3 times longer than anything else there -- it would look lopsided and funny.
  3. As you yourself said, FAQ is pretty standard internet lingo. And for people who don't know what it means, they click on the link and it says "Frequently Asked Questions" in bold text. →Raul654 19:59, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I guess I can follow your reasoning. I was just thinking about people that may be able to use the internet and find their way to Wikipedia, but haven't spend the time on the internet to really know all the specific lingo that is associated with it (and I think that's a pretty sizeable amount of people). But your arguments make sense (although I didn't think it looked that bad). I was tempted to suggest finding some other non-acronym wording for "Frequently Asked Questions" that is shorter, but that would probably add to the confusion for the majority of the Wikipedia visitors that do know what FAQ means (and I can't really think of any ;). Oh, and thanks for giving such a thorough reply. --Codemonkey 20:20, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Since there are some spaces left until the bottom on most displays, how about adding more languages? (about 25?) Just an idea.. -- WB 05:15, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

  • How did you know the orphan cats and pages, and the tableless main page are rarely used? I think the orphan list is a good thing for editors and should be listed at the Community Portal if it's not already. - Mgm|(talk) 10:29, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Topic pages

The topic/category links should be restored for all of the reasons they were there before, they aid in navigation to particular topics, not just the daily featured articles. If search worked well, maybe this wouldn't be required, but it doesn't. dml 01:29, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

As implied above by BanyanTree, the browse topics have been controversial since they were added because they were wholly arbitrary and not very useful for navigation purposes. Categories as a whole never really lived up to their billing, and their addition to the main page was a mistake from the beginning. →Raul654 01:34, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
If that is so then Larry Sanger was right; he spoke up about this soon after the introduction of categories in June 2004, when he stated that the way we used to do it was better; he even posted his opinion to the talk page. This is an important shift for the encyclopedia, if categories are an architectural and conceptual mistake. What about the namespace devoted to this mistake? Or are you only against a limited number of categories on the Main Page? Ancheta Wis 08:15, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I disagree with the assertion that the topic pages were not useful. Our category system allows multiple parents for any topic or category, and providing multiple "arbitrary" entry points that can lead to similar endpoints is a feature, not a bug. I would say that the effort to structure the fundamental categories has never reached an entirely satisfactory result, but I disagree that surrendering to this fact is a good idea. Instead, the category links should be restored, and a new effort should be made to limit them to those entry points which are most likely to be used. Access statistics could help with that. The removal of the categories is a usability mistake and should be undone.--Eloquence* 09:48, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Ancheta Wis 11:20, 26 September 2005 (UTC):Perhaps you are envisioning something like:[]
Culture·Geography·History·Life·Mathematics·Science·Society·Technology
Wikipedia FAQs · Browse · Portals · Ask a Question · Other languages
?
Propaedia has ten categories, which violates usability design itself.
My primary objection to the changes was the loss of the topic links. Raul654 seems answer my complaint only with the strawman argument that the selection was disputed and that the browse list is enough. Of course, the browse list takes you to the same supposidly disputed list of topics. How about a link to this topic dispute? I sure haven't seen it. I think quick access to the topical indexes and the alphabetical indexes are critical usability features for both low litteracy users and for users who are used to more traditional encyclopedias. Further the lack of the list of traditionally academic subjects when combined with our featured article will often leave new visitors with the impression that Wikipedia is not oriented around serious academic interests, since many of our featured articles are on very niche, and sometimes just odd subjects... It leaves the reader with very little impression of what subjects they should expect to find covered in Wikipedia. I would really like to see the top level topics restored. --Gmaxwell 12:05, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
"mistake from the beginning"? Categories replaced featured topics, which if I recall, were on the original Main Page (at least c. 2002 when I entered wikipedialand). They were reduced to a set of key topics : Culture·Geography·History·Life·Mathematics·Science·Society·Technology that was achieved after a considerable work at consensus on this. Raul's assertion that there is a "general consensus" against them is simply bogus. I will restore them again, feel free to format for style. dml 12:58, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Thanks, saved me the bother. I use Cats links all the time and agree that no valid argument for removing has been put forward. I'm also concerned with the misunderstanding implicit in the heading "in other languages" on the sidebar and would like to see it changes to "Some other languages" Filiocht | The kettle's on 09:13, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Thank you for bringing back the short list of categories - my 13-year old son uses these a quick guide to finding information on a subject for his homework, not always being successful in quickly interpreting the results from a search. I've been reading this discussion and it seems that the aim of the main page - to lead non-expert readers like myself to the rest of the site - has sometimes been forgotten in the arguments about how long a list should be, or what should be in it. Might I suggest, then, that any "list" which is simply a short selection of a fuller list (like the categories list, or the languages on the left) has, as its last item, the simple and unambiguous entry "more...", leading onto a full list? 193.113.48.17 15:28, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Yes, good to see the category list back. But I'm not sure it should be italicised like everything else. On a related point, see my question below. We need to balance brevity with clarity. Martpol 17:45, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Minor point

To me, the top 3 lines are grouped too tightly. How about a gap between the article count and the 5 key links, which would also give more prominence to the latter? Martpol 12:50, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Totally agree. do that and the Main Page is perfect. Thanks to Raul for his boldness! Batmanand 20:05, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

A couple of things. I am a little concerned over the relatively large amount of changes on the main page recently. I think that if something is drastically changed, fine, but it should be given the reqired amount of time for people to form an opinion about it before being reverted back. Also, the portal link is (in my opinion, and in others too I believe) an important link if we want portals to grow (and improve, as some have noted they are not all perfect portals). The category links, while controversial, have stirred up such an uproar that I thinks it's best they stay. As it currently stands the template takes up little room and flows well. Lets see what happens next... - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 04:00, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Petition: Bring back Wikipedia:Quick index to the main page

It's very useful and doesn't seem to be easy to find by newbies.--Fito 03:14, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I agree, and if you called it something like "A-Z" then it would fit neatly just after "Browse" on the top lines. 193.113.48.17 11:11, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Once again, I've been bold and done this. Filiocht | The kettle's on 11:49, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Thanks, Filiocht :) --Fito 21:32, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

You're welcome. Filiocht | The kettle's on 07:07, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Main Page article?

Because the main page of wikipedia is entitled Main Page, there doesn't seem to be a place to put an article on main pages.

That article could go at Main page, I guess. Broken S 14:20, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
No it couldn't, thats a redirect. Though I can't really see the point of making an article titled 'main page'. It would be a dicdef at best. Redwolf24 (talk) 22:47, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I meant one could undo the redirect, but yes i agree. Broken S 22:10, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Mobile

The main page looks ugly when it is viewed on a mobile PDA. The real problem is that the search box is at the bottom of the page (you have to scroll down past DYK and ITN and ARTOD etc. If I go to wikipedia from my mobile I want to look somthing and not read the article of the day. Could we make a second main page especially made for PDAs like google does (http://www.google.com/pda)? Broken S 14:20, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

{{Sofixit}} ;) →Raul654 14:23, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Um, that's a feature of the skin, so he could try other skins, but us users can't exactly edit MonoBook.php. ~~ N (t/c) 14:36, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I would fix it, if I knew how. The search box is automgacially put at the side. That's why it appears at the bottom. The real sollution would requre an auto redirect of PDA users to a second page which doesn't have the same skin (which I have no idea how to do). Broken S 14:53, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Try Main_Page_(table_free), which is meant for those PDA browsers that do not allow spaces in the title. It works for Palms, and is really a redirect to a title with spaces in it. Ancheta Wis 15:15, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
That won't fix this problem, because where the search box is placed is determined by the skin and cannot be affected by the content of a page. MonoBook outputs it at the bottom, but uses CSS to put it at the side; if a browser doesn't properly support CSS, it'll see the search box at the bottom. I recommend trying various skins - Standard appears to have it at the top. ~~ N (t/c) 15:22, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I just typed in [Special?search] (had to leave out the =) but the search box popped up at the top of my Palm-type PDA Ancheta Wis 15:39, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
My PDA browser saves the list of URLs so I only had to type it in once to get to the search box. It finds URLs from a few characters anyway. Ancheta Wis 15:41, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I understand that we can use the special page, but what about people who aren't wikipedians. Why should we force them to make a bookmark on the special page. Not everyone knows about that page. Could we make a skin specially designed for PDAs? Broken S 16:02, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

The Wikipedia:Community_Portal might be willing to cede a little space for PDA users, just a little link to a dedicated page. Ancheta Wis 16:45, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

How about Main Page (PDA Version) ? -- PFHLai 18:43, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Smaller?

Is it me or is the Main Page smaller now? -- Thorpe talk 15:06, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

See #New Main Page. ~~ N (t/c) 15:23, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Meta language page

It seems this discussion is already over for the most part, but I'd still like to register my opinion in case it comes up again. It seems ridiculous to me that Raul654 is pushing so hard to remove the language template. It originally included just random languages. He tried to shorten it to only those with over 1000 articles, which at the time was not a particularly large group. Eventually I semi-convinced him to allow all with over 100. A few months later, though, he apparently changed his mind, removing those with less than 1000 from the template, resulting in an edit war and the eventual protection of the template. I've mostly stayed away from it since, but it'dnt surprise me if he's kept gradually cutting off the lower section of the list. A few large Wikipedias still have relatively exhaustive lists, including even languages with less than 100 articles. It seems, however, that most have opted for a 100+ or sometimes a 1000+ template. Raul keeps complaining that it bloats the mainpage. It doesn't really increase loadtime much. He and others also complained that it was a problem for mobile users. Well, last time I checked, the rest of Wikipedia was hardly usable on my cellphone, so perhaps that problem should be resolved BEFORE worrying about mobile users' rates? --Node 21:40, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]

If the meta language page is now going to be a subset of the main page for the links to other language wikipedias, it needs to be a lot more user-friendly, especially to people who do not read English well or at all. Currently, clicking on the main link in the long vertical list doesn't even link to the Wikipedia, but the respective Wikipedia article about the language itself. One has to click on the two letter code in the second slot to actually access the Wikipedia. Until this is repaired or another solution is identified, shouldn't the language box be reinstituted on the main page? Tfine80 05:01, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Um, no. If the meta language list isn't user friendly, then the solution is *not* to add more bloat to the en main page, but to fix the meta page.
Also, it's not like the meta language list was just added to the main page - it's been there almost 2 years. →Raul654 05:09, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Perhaps, but the language box was always a much more user-friendly way to access other Wikipedias for non-English speakers. I would imagine that this is the reason why the meta list remained in this format. It was ultimately not intended for this purpose. Currently, it looks a lot more like an administrative or record-keeping document than any sort of interface to transfer users to the appropriate wikipedia.
A good example of this problem would be with the Bahasa Indonesian Wikipedia. Even though it is a very substantial and unique Wikipedia, it is no longer listed on the main page. The English main page probably receives a fair amount of Indonesian visitors, a huge population that in many cases may not be as technologically advanced or literate in English as other groups. Now we are going to direct them to a badly designed Meta page not intended for this purpose with unwieldy links? With all due respect for the people who made these changes, I don't think that people first come to Wikipedia through wiki.hereiszyn.com; they come to it from a search engine link which will frequently direct them to the English Wikipedia. If they find their way to the main page, they should be given a simple and user-friendly way to access the Wikipedia in their language. Tfine80 05:21, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
The language box was put on the main page back when www.wiki.hereiszyn.com redirected to the english main page, so it made sense to have an overly large language portal. However, one of the things that was promised when www.wiki.hereiszyn.com was changed to a multi-language portal was that we would no longer need an obnoxiously large language box. Furthermore, the language box was bad (inconsistent) design, because - unlike every other page on en wikipedia, and almost every other language main page - we were using a box instead of real interwiki links. So people who habitally look to the left bar would look there and not see any interwikis. And, for the [measurably very few] foreign speakers who do end up on the en main page, I don't think it's a terrible strain for them to find the rather-promiently placed "other languages" phrase to click on. →Raul654 05:31, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
You seem to be making a lot of assumptions about users' knowledge about Wikipedia. Because of the sheer size and google rank of the English Wikipedia, it is certain that that template educated people every day that another Wikipedia existed in their own language or in a language that they were interested in or had studied. An experienced user's automatic impulse to check the sidebar for interwiki links is not present for many users. Even the words "Other Languages" are not so clear -- other languages of what? Moreover, by eliminating certain languages the change actually increases the inconvenience for even experienced users.
I see some significant downsides to elimination of this template:
1. Responsibility. The English Wikipedia has a unique responsibility to direct people to the other sites because of its number one google rank, the global use of English, and its role as the largest and first Wikipedia. The success of the internationalization of Wikipedia perhaps even depends on the English Wikipedia not surpassing the others and providing them traffic. The view of the template as a burden that we were "promised" to no longer require is short-sighted and provincial. What you are saying is a small "strain" to be redirected to the Meta wiki looks to me and other users on this discussion page as a serious problem from the perspective of usability, consistency, and coherence. Perhaps the English Wikipedia had a unique design because it was unique itself.
2. Traffic. Like it or not, traffic will decrease (perhaps a not insubstantial amount) for the other Wikipedias, especially for the new language Wikipedias, developing country Wikipedias, and the Wikipedias at the cusp of the new cutoff. If you look at google's ranking of secondary links for the main page, you will see that the Interwiki links were actually the most commonly used links on the entire main page. The English main page is the most valuable real estate on Wikipedia, and when you eliminate those links, according to the basic laws of internet use, traffic will decrease to some degree. Only the size of the impact is up for debate.
3. Advertising. One of the things the Template accomplished was that it boldly stressed the internationalism and bilingualism of Wikipedia. All of the languages were listed in both English and their own alphabets, and any user could instantly see the depth and breadth of the enterprise. It educated English speakers about the other Wikipedias available (something lost with only the foreign alphabets used). And its inclusion of some of the more exotic alphabets like Sanskrit and links to the Latin and Ido Wikipedias made a definite statement which is lost under this change.
4. Convenience. I don't think I am the only user who would click on the main page link and access the template to shift to other Wikipedias. The fact I can no longer do so for the Romanian and Hungarian wikipedia is definitely a bit of an annoyance. And with this design nobody will ever be satisfied with the cutoff. It will be a perpetual debate that will only create bitterness here and on the Wikipedias excluded. The other Wikipedias do not have to deal with the same sensitive political concerns as the English Wikipedia. Going from the most inclusive to the most restrictive design overnight is not a good signal. Tfine80 15:31, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I really see no compelling reason to remove Template:Wikipedialang from the Main Page; it was at the bottom and didn't significantly affect load times. It's no great achievement in design to reduce the amount of scrolling. Yes, it makes sense to have the sidebar links for the sake of consistency, but it's also nice to have the size-ordered version (which I have always preferred to the uglier, messier and necessarily language-neutral one on the Wikipedia portal), as it provides additional information. I do see compelling reasons not to link to Meta in the new menu of links, as it's a completely different site and likely to confuse newcomers. It's more for our internal use than a navigational tool that should be so visibly featured. I advise to restore Template:Wikipedialang, or to link to it instead of the page on Meta.--Eloquence* 12:01, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I would also like to add that the Japanese Wikipedia (the fourth largest), the Portuguese Wikipedia (the ninth largest), and the Swedish Wikipedia (the seventh largest) also have very inclusive language boxes. The Italian Wikipedia has a language box as well. So by no means is the use of sidebar links a universal standard. In fact, it appears that the language boxes are more likely to exist on more developed Wikipedias than others. Tfine80 16:13, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I concur with the above opinions. Ultimately, being the biggest of the Wikipedias, the English language Main Page continues to serve the function of a gateway and should continue to link to the other language 'pedias in a prominent manner. Granted, the size of the current template leaves a bit to be desired, but then it should be redesigned rather than eliminated entirely. The sidebar is not an obvious place to look, nor does it draw the eye as well as the template used to do. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 16:59, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]


I like the idea of trimming the main page a bit, but like others I'm a little dismayed to see the disappearance of the other languages box. This is going to repeat what some others have said, but here goes anyway.... Rightly or wrongly, en is still viewed as the flagship Wikipedia instead of just one of many language editions, and even those who know that there are other language editions may not be aware of the extent of our multilingualism. It probably wouldn't occur to plenty of speakers of Faroese or Bambara that anyone would have bothered to set up a Wikipedia in their language, and since people are most likely to arrive at en we have a special responsibility to advertise our multilingual nature. Articles in the English Wikipedia feature very prominently in Google searches, and we've achieved a great deal of international fame because we're the biggest edition. Google "Wikipedia" and it's the English main page that comes top, not the multilingual portal. There is still an attitude amongst some that en is the main project and the other languages are subsidiary. This is worryingly common amongst our editors, but is even more universal in media reporting of Wikipedia, which often ignores their existence entirely. The move from www.wiki.hereiszyn.com to en.wiki.hereiszyn.com was done too late, the redirect from www. to en. was replaced by a portal far too late and even then was met by a lot of whining from the Anglocentrics, and even now for legacy purposes http://www.wiki.hereiszyn.com/wiki/Some_article takes you to the English Wikipedia, which leads people to link to that as if it were the correct URL. Thus we have a special responsibility here to remind visitors that Wikipedia is not an English-language website, but a multilingual one of which one part of many is in English. A good way of doing this is to have a big box down the bottom of the English main page telling people what we have to offer in other languages. Interwiki links of the kind found in the sidebar of article pages are simply not appropriate for the main page. The usual way of doing things with interwikis is to list every single language in which an equivalent page exists, but this is not appropriate for the main page because there would be over 200 links with nothing to indicate which had hundreds of thousands of articles and which were totally inactive. As has been said, people seeing a list of interwikis from which most links are omitted have only the obscure link to the meta list (which is totally unsuitable as a navigational aid) to indicate to them that Wikipedia exists in anything other than the languages that are listed. The old other languages box linked to all editions with over 1000 articles, whereas we now appear to have only the top twenty listed as interwikis. I would have thought we could at least have linked to all those with over 10,000 articles. Is the Indonesian Wikipedia with its 13,000 articles considered inactive and not worth bothering about? Attempts to lower the prominence of Wikipedias in other languages under the guise of making the main page easier to navigate do piss me off a little. Let's bring back the other languages box please. It would be nice if those who agree with its restoration in some form could make their views known here. — Trilobite 17:31, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

My position is probably clear from the section above, but I concur with the above comments in favor of restoring the list as well. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 18:54, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I agree we have to restore the language box. I think sometimes experienced editors forget that the vast majority of Wikipedia's casual readers have very little understanding of how it works, and I would dare say there are many many readers of en who have no idea that there is also a Wikipedia available in their native language.--Pharos 19:18, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

"Other languages"

I just changed the "Other languages" link to point to www.wiki.hereiszyn.com, as that seems to be the be the best list of Wikipedias in other languages. – ABCD 18:26, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Good choice, an attractive place to link to. --hydnjo talk 00:31, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
  • on the side in the other languages section, there are a few languages, are these the Wikipedias with the most articles or were they just picked. Rmpfu8920:50, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]
They are the 20 Wikipedias with the greatest number of articles. And, for the editors debating the removal of the language template, I would like this question to stand as case in point of the confusion the change has caused. There is absolutely no way for readers to guess that an edition exists in their language or why some languages were deemed worthy to place on the sidebar and others were not. It will only cause perpetual bitterness, confusion, and questions. Tfine80 03:31, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]

What happened to the portals??

Just yesterday the main page linked to the portal homepage. For those of us who are maintaining portal pages, it would be nice to know whether or not we'll be linked to from the front page, since that affects visitor numbers rather substantially. Personally I feel wikipedia should be glad for the communities that are willing to maintain portals. We should try to drive users to these subcultures within wikipedia if we can. Jacoplane 23:35, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I agree the link should be there. With all the changes/reverts going on in the main page header I don't see a spot to put it (and have it look good enough to not get removed again). Any suggestions? - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 00:02, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I agree (I miss it). I was hoping that one of you would suggest a way to fit it in. --hydnjo talk 00:36, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
What about asking the Community portal people? Maybe they would agree to putting a link to a Portal of the Week at the bottom, after all they are a portal themselves. I notice a blank spot in the Right Hand column of the Community portal. If there were some intriguing picture in that blank spot, and if by clicking it, one came to a Portal of the Week, ... . Ancheta Wis 02:46, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I thought that the whole point of the Community portal page was to have stuff for editors there, while stuff for readers went on the Main Page. Portals are something that a new reader might be interested in, as opposed to say, the collaboration of the week.Jeff8765 03:43, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Alternatively, what about
Wikipedia FAQs · Browse · Portals · Ask a Question · Other languages
Culture·Geography·History·Life·Mathematics·Science·Society·Technology

Bring the languages template back!

I am very disappointed about the taking away of the Wikipedialang template. It was a very good feature and it enabled fast navigation to other language editions. It was also good for new users who wanted to go to their own language Wikipedia. The new system with interwiki links places the languages in alphabetical order and only seems to include those over 20,000 articles. That's a bad move, not only because it alienates those Wikipedias under that level of articles, but also because the languages are no longer ordered according to size. Before, there was a very clear delimitation of Wikipedia's larger than 50,000 articles, larger than 10,000 articles, etc. That gave new users an easy way of seeing which Wikipedias are the most comprehensive. At the very least we should have a poll on the inclusion of the Wikipedialang template. I think it's an unjustified step by Raul654. And, by the way, the Main Page looks ugly now. It doesn't look tastefully simple, just stripped-down as if we're on Internet Explorer 3 or something. The kanji icon and everything else was much better. Who else thinks they should be brought back? Ronline 09:03, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]

In response, it appears the information, although not on the Main Page, is still 1 click deeper. The Other languages link on the Main Page shows the Wikipedia globe, with the big language editions around it, below the logo, separated by size, delineated by little bookshelf icons, are the other language editions. Ancheta Wis 11:21, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Yes, but it's one (very obscure) link deeper, and I also don't see what was wrong with the inclusion of the Wikipedialang template. It was a well-designed template which didn't add unnecessary clutter. I don't see the point of paring down the Main Page to the point where you eliminate functionality and make it look like the Internet Explorer 3 days. I've got nothing against streamlining and simplification, but only if functionality is maintained. The Main Page before was not bloated at all. It was in fact very simplified and functional. This one is so simplified it seems old-school, and definitely not functional. Ronline 12:11, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]

As so many people seem to want it back, I've been bold and restored the other languages template. Filiocht | The kettle's on 12:36, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]

One thing that I noticed, although I don't think it was down enough days to prove the trend, was that the Alexa data for page views per visitor dropped dramatically after the template was removed. Yesterday it had gone from a 3-month average of 4.0 down to 2.9. Today when the template was restored, it jumped back to 3.9. I don't know the normal quality or variability of this data, but it indicates to me at least the possibility that many people used the en main page to transfer to other wikipedias, and failing the normal mechanism, left the page to find another route. Tfine80 16:42, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Alexa is pretty volatile. But I also think the old interlang links were the best part of the main page; I'm glad to see them back. +sj + 21:35, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
> (Filiocht:) I've been bold and restored the other languages template <
Hooray! Well done, that man. -- Picapica 22:11, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I agree. — Paul August 03:56, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]


Make the 'search box' more prominent

On the Main Page, why not make the 'search box' more promient, since that is what most people go to first?

I suggest making it a little bigger, at the top, and in the center, like.......uh, Google does.

Other than that, what a terrific site!!! Keep up the good work!

Dave Bergt Houston, TX

Great idea, dave. The site layout should be different for the main page than it is for all other pages... the side-links and logo and search-bar positioned differently; certainly the search bar should appear more prominently than it does now. It woudl be interesting to try a design with a search bar in the middle of the page. Someone want to work on a mockup of that? +sj + 21:29, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I have to say, I really like this idea. A little poking on the Meta help pages produces this possibility:
Would anyone have any objection if I put this in? I envisage it going directly under the "Welcome to Wikipedia..." line, above "In this English version...". [[Sam Korn]] 17:02, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
It would be possible to bookmark the following link:

http://en.wiki.hereiszyn.com/wiki/Special:Search?search=&fulltext=Search. It should load faster, though. Longbow4u 17:16, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Perhaps the more simple the better. For example like in Search. This could be an alternative for advanced users who feel overwhelmed by the main page. Longbow4u 18:36, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
No, I don't like this idea at all. The whole idea is to make the main page *less* redundant, and *more* consitent with the other pages. Your idea is contrary to both. →Raul654 19:15, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Sorry, I'm not quite clear what you're saying. Is it my proposal you don't like, or Longbow4u's? Cheers, [[Sam Korn]] 19:18, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Whoops. My reply was to Sam Korn's idea of putting search box inside the main page proper -- it's redundant and inconsistent with every other page -- very bad design. →Raul654 19:41, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I see that it is redundant, and I see that it is bad design from a view of the site as a whole. However, when a new user comes to Wikipedia, it's not going to be easy to find your way around. It is very easy to miss the left-hand column (yes, I know it's obvious to us, but it actually is very discreet in comparison to some), which is why I find the column useful and interesting. The option Longbow4u proposes is completely the opposite to this aim. [[Sam Korn]] 19:47, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
The main page would stay as it is. But people who want less could bookmark the "Search" page. I think that is what the others above wanted. Longbow4u 19:39, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
The issue isn't about regular users who obviously know how to search, but for readers who might not. This solution would also fix my concerns listed in the mobile section aobve. Whether this is redundant seems unimportant to me. The main page doesn't need to be consistant with other pages because it is special. Also, many people have mentioned focusing the cursor on the search box as a concern (making me think that finding the search box is more difficult than it should be) Broken S 21:36, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]
There is a prominent search box on the wiki.hereiszyn.com page, which is the first page a lot of new visitors see--Clawed 21:38, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I wrote the search functionality of the inputbox extension due to repeated requests here to have a more prominent search box. After I tried to add it to the Main Page, it was quickly reverted without much discussion, and since its main purpose was Wikinews, I didn't bother to get into an argument about it. However, it seems clear that several people would like more visible search functionality on the Main Page.

In my opinion, having a nice Google style box in a highly visible location is going to help newcomers. The extension also supports relabeling buttons, which could be used to find a more descriptive label for "Go", a button that newbies often don't understand. (Unfortunately, Google's "I'm feeling lucky" is trademarked.) Since this is such a significant departure from the current Main Page design, it seems like the kind of decision where a straw poll would help to reach a decision.--Eloquence* 04:02, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Mabye the seachbox on the monobook skin justs needs to be moved from the sidebar- its very obvious using a skin like classic.--nixie 05:00, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Another idea might be to have a link to a Search page along with Wikipedia FAQs, Browse, etc. etc. In fact, I'd suggest rearranging those items anyways. If you added the search, I think "Search, Browse, Wikipedia FAQs, Ask a Question, Portals" would be the best order, as that seems to me the hierarchy of what a new user might be looking for when first using Wikipedia. If I were a new user, "Portals" wouldn't mean squat to me. Cigarette 06:53, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

A general point and a specific one

Since the locking of the main page templates, I have often been somewhat at a loss whenever I've found errors of precision or infelicities of phrasing on the main page. Should I request a fix here, or at the template's talk page, or at the template-within-a-template's talk page, or at the Wikipedia_talk:yadda yadda, or where? Quoting Template_talk:Did_you_know: Please discuss errors on the template at Talk:Main Page. Am I interpreting this correctly? If in point of fact Talk:Main Page is the right place to make such requests, I think that point should be made in the page-opening triage section to set our minds at ease.

Specific point: the current DYK includes the following: ...Sir Conrad Hunte was a West Indian cricketer who in 1965, set the record for the highest Test series aggregate of 550 without scoring a century? This misunderstands his feat, or perhaps it's just phrased badly; either way, it needs to be changed: he didn't set a record for highest score, he set a record for highest-score-without-a-century. That phrase is indivisible. Improved version: ...Sir Conrad Hunte was a West Indian cricketer who in 1965 set the record (550 runs) for the highest Test series aggregate score without scoring a century. Note that I've also added the word "score" to make the blurb a little clearer for non-cricket-followers; and I've corrected the comma error after 1965 by deleting it (alternatively, that comma could be kept and another one added after the preceding "who": ...[a] cricketer who, in 1965, set...

Thanks for your help. Doops | talk 08:40, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Urgent fix request

Look, it's been several hours now. Please please somebody fix that cricketeer story in the DYK, as outlined in my comment above — before it disappears forever and with it our chance to get it right! I'm sorry if my other ramblings camouflaged the immediate point; let me restate it: his record was not the highest aggregate total which just happened to occur without a century; it was for the highest-aggregate-total-without-scoring-a-century-along-the-way. And that unmatched comma is just embarrassing. Doops | talk 16:14, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

It's done. Just make your point more succinct and admins are more likely to change it. Sorry it took so long. [[Sam Korn]] 16:21, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Thanks. Is this the best place to make such a request? Or would somewhere else (like the appropriate template talk) be better? Doops | talk 16:24, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]
As far as I am concerned, it's the best place. If it's being ignored, drop a note at the help desk or on the talk page of an admin who's editing (look at their contributions page). Far fewer admins have the template talk pages watchlisted. Cheers, [[Sam Korn]] 16:30, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Most popular articles - add to main page?

How about a "most popular articles" and/or a "highest increase in popularity" chart on the main page? Maybe the top 5 or 10 articles for each.

I don't think we have those statistics. Broken S 21:02, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Is there a way to get the statistics and perhaps write a script to put this information on the page? As a visitor of the site, I'd find this to be very interesting and a good complement to the "In the news" section -- very timely.
Actually we do have the statistics somewhere- though I can't remember just where right now. The results are not quite what you might expect, it's a little idiosyncratic.--Pharos 22:21, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I thought there were server load issues with keeping track of page views, which is why they were discontinued. Evil MonkeyHello 00:00, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

(1) We have a webalizer back thanks to Kate. It uses sampling from the squids. It's linked to from my user page. (2) No, it doesn't belong on the main page. THe whole idea as of late has been to *remove* unnecessary clutter from the main page. →Raul654 00:36, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Perhaps then a secondary main page... a page two perhaps, where such ideas can be implemented, tested and perhaps graduate in time to the main page... and things from the main page are moved to the secondary page. I must admit a bias here, since I'd like to see articles that are becoming popular... particularly the ones which are not current events etc. - RoyBoy 800 02:49, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Listing the most popular articles will do little for the repute of wikipedia as many of them are to do with sex. Osomec 08:40, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
So? Are we interested in being honest with our readers or maintaining the appearrance of sophistication? If people are reading articles about sex, then that's really what people are interested in and that fact shouldn't be swept under the rug. I think that it would be really interesting to gauge what people are really interested in.

MainPageIntro

Seems to change faster than... Anyway, my latest 2¢ is that A-Z doesn't belong smack in the middle of the line. It probably is the least useful (I think) way to navigate. If it must be there at all then it should be at the very end. BTW, the reason for my comment about A-Z is that I've found wikiwax much easier to navigate for an alpha search. --hydnjo talk 23:07, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I see no problem right now IMHO. Redwolf24 (talk) 02:37, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Neither do I really (except for the order of things), were talking about the margins. And, I think that Raul likes to get opinions from all interested users (there aren't that many) so thanks for speaking out, we never know how many are watching or care if y'all are silent. --hydnjo talk 03:01, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Commas in DYK, again

W. G. Collingwood, John Ruskin's secretary and assistant was a noted scholar of Norse history and art: missing comma after "assistant". Doops | talk 05:52, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

No "Off of"

Thanks, fixed. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 10:22, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

No 'Off of' Please!

"Researchers photograph a live giant squid off of Japan's Ogasawara Islands. " This was on the Main Page on 29 September 2005 and I could not edit it.

Get rid of of after off.

--John on 29 Sept. 2005

Comments requested on new Main Page layout

I've been playing. Rough results of playing at http://tom.me.uk/2005/9/MainPage.html - really interested to hear comments. Thanks, Tom- 11:09, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

I like it, apart from the yellow in the top box; all the main bits of functionality seem to be there. Filiocht | The kettle's on 11:23, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I also like it. In fact, the bit I like the most is the yellow box" I like the "1. 2. 3." thing - nice way to ease people into Wikipedia. Only thing I have reservations about is the Featured Article box not having all the FA first para in it. I think that the current system is better. But nice experimentation! Batmanand 11:42, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I don't think there's much point more than a few sentences from the FA on the Main Page. Certainly there's far too much on there currently - I don't believe many people read it all, and after all the full article is only a single click away. Better to just tease with the start if you as me. Tom- 14:13, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
How did you get the picture in the yellow box background?- Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 13:49, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Just use background-image in CSS, which we can do on the Main Page through MediaWiki:Common.css. Tom- 14:13, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
How can we do that and not allow other pages to use the same class? [[Sam Korn]] 16:24, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
We can't. But how many pages will really want to use a semi-transparent magnifying glass against a specific yellow background? Tom- 17:11, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Never underestimate some people's stupidity. I do see your point, however. [[Sam Korn]] 17:16, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
It could be used for certain templates though. The whole {{prettytable}} movement shows how people consider style to be a big part of presentation. I tried to test it out but since I'm nowhere near a developer in skill it didn't work. Can you direct me to help. - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 18:15, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I like the much smaller font size. -- PFHLai 15:56, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Me to, but how does it look over everyones screen? With this size we could add to the page (POTD for starters) without adding to the clutter. - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 18:15, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
To be honest, I find that new version far too cluttered. However, I do agree with cutting down OTD and DYK, possibly ITN as well. Shorter FA blurbs would be nice as well, but not as curtailed as that version. Cheers, [[Sam Korn]] 16:24, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I strongly agree with Sam. It's far too cluttered. It also emphasizs all the wrong things - it drastically cuts down on the featured article, which after the search box is the most popular part of the main page [in the new version, DYK, the *least* popular part of the main page, is larger than the FA]. It's also redundant, with two search bars. It just doesn't look very good. →Raul654 18:33, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
To my eyes, it looks far less cluttered. Much more information "above the fold" if you will. My main criticisms are that it seems be aimed at 1024x768 and larger resolutions, and that the 3 columns don't look well on a 800x600 resolution. Also, the way the "sister projects" section sort of dangles below the two left columns looks a bit odd to me. --Codemonkey 19:11, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Wow Tom, those background pics! Now with three of them on the page you can really see how their use livens things up. Someone really has to let me in on how to do it. I've been messing around with my monobook.css, sandbox pages etc for hours and can't figure it out. - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 20:39, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
In general I think it is very good thing that the Main Page layout is being changed/discussed. This example looks pretty good to me. Yes its a little busy, but that might just be that I am not used to seeing all the links underlined. I quite like the visual effect of the third column, but it seems to be the primary cause of compressing the first two columns a little too much. Could the third column be made narrower, by making it a vertical column of the sister projects and move the current third column items into continuations of the first two columns? -- Solipsist 20:51, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Right column is slightly narrower, A-Z links have gone, more whitespace added. Snapshot of current version without underlined links at http://tom.me.uk/2005/9/MainPage-no-underline.html - also an experiment with headers at http://tom.me.uk/2005/9/MainPage-box-headers.html - work is ongoing! Thanks for comments, Tom- 20:56, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I prefer the one without the headers. The bold text divides it up enough, in my opinion. The headers seem to draw the eye away from the content. And I like no underlines, but I guess that's just a preference setting. - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 21:08, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Looks pretty cool; a significant improvement (IMHO) over the current rather simple design. I can't tell on my 1024x768 display, but make sure that at 800x600 there's no line wrapping in the yellow box on top. I think a few more sentences of the featured article should be included, but other than that, it looks pretty good to me. It is busier, but I think that in alot of ways, that's a good thing, because it presents more information without scrolling ("above the fold", as Codemonkey mentioned). I also like the extra search box; should make it easier for first-time users to get started. --Spangineer (háblame) 04:35, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]
It's going to be very hard to have no line wrapping in the top bar at 800x600 without having it look totally bare at higher resolutions. I can try and make it wrap in a smarter way though, so it won't look too bad. I don't think the three columns look too bad in 800x600 now - they're all the same size and quite readable. Do get a horizontal scrollbar though (another thing to fix). Thanks for your comments, Tom- 05:56, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]
The one main advantage the current style has over this proposed one is that the columns are all of the same height. I know it's a pain to do that, but I think it's very necessary. I also agree that the FA blurb should be larger and that "Making the news" should go back to "In the news". violet/riga (t) 10:01, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I don't believe it's possible to make them the same height without using tables, and not using tables is more important than making them the same height. Tom- 11:32, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I'm afraid I disagree there. violet/riga (t) 22:08, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]
There's room for improvement, but it's definitely better than the current layout. Fredrik | talk 19:46, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I love it! But here are my suggestions: Featured picture is out of place in the right bar, and far too small to do justice to it, and the featured article box seems too small. How about putting the featured picture in the box where featured article is now, then make a larger box above the 4 others (with colspan=2, so to speak) for featured article? Coffee 16:56, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]
An interesting idea, but it doesn't really quite work in practice: the FA text lines become far too long and a lot less readable. I only really put the featured picture in the right column because it needed something to fill the space, I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not as it is quite small. Tom- 19:19, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Urgent fix - predsident to president

pls. fix the DYK entry about Gerwani and Suharto. It should spell president and not predsident. Thanks--Gurubrahma 12:57, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Done. Thanks! — Knowledge Seeker 13:01, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

"One of the only..."

This usage, which I see on the main page today, is logically ridiculous. Please... either "one of the few" or, better, specify the number as: "one of only three". Too Old 16:09, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Changed to "one of the few attempts", as I don't know enough to tell how many attempts have been made. -- PFHLai 16:23, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Worthwhile news article?

The Canadian Supreme Court has ruled governments can sue tobacco companies for damages back 50 years. This might be worthwhile for the front page news section. Here is a link [2] - Jord 20:31, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

You may want to update relevant pages in Wikipedia, and propose a headline at Wikipedia:In the news section on the Main Page/Candidates. Please note that In the news is not a news service, but a corner on the MainPage to feature updated Wikipedia articles related to current events. -- PFHLai 23:27, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

....someone ban this "BMXican CrooKed" person

Category links?

I would just like to know, generally, what people think of the Categories (i.e., Technology, History, Geography) being on the main page. Many of them appear broken on lower resolutions or in IE. Also, the pages seem very long, nearly unwieldly. Each has only one link to the main article of that subject, and it is not clearly marked. I belive they need to be simplified and slimmed down. Anyone have differing opinions? - The Kooky One 21:54, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]

Kookyman, did you notice that the selected category, like Culture was highlighted on the category bar when you select the category? Ancheta Wis 23:10, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Kookykman, are you suggesting that UI design decisions should be predicated on the use of IE? Ancheta Wis 23:10, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I think they are fairly useless, and would personally replace them with a search box (see above). I am sure that almost no-one uses those categories to find their way around. Cheers, [[Sam Korn]] 21:58, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Sam Korn, did you see Eloquence's reaction to the dropping of the Category Bar? It was restored shortly afterward. Ancheta Wis 23:10, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I believe they are utterlyt useless, and removed them several days ago. Several people complained very loudly, and it was replaced two days later. →Raul654 22:00, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
The search box idea sounds very good. The reason I started using Wikipedia was because of the sheer mass of the information I could find with the sidebar search box. One on the main page would make it very easy for people to find the information that they want.--The Kooky One 22:02, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Kookykman, did you notice that Raul654 is against your suggestion? Ancheta Wis 23:10, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Speaking of which, Raul, what did they complain about?-The Kooky One 22:03, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Look up →Raul654 22:07, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Oops. Very sorry. Hmm...maybe we could move the links down, and put a search box where they used to be?-The Kooky One 22:11, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Not saying it is a causal connection, but the page rank dropped in Alexa at the time when the category links were dropped, and the page rank zoomed up again when they were restored. Thus we are currently only 3 places from parity with Craigslist.org. Let us drop the category bar one more time to verify the coincidental connection, shall we? If it is coincidence, then the Page Rank should remain at 35. But if the UI design decision to drop the category bar is sound, then the Page rank might even rise. However if the category bar is dropped one more time, and the Page rank drops again, then the category bar is a part of the popularity of the site. On, the other hand, if nothing is done to the category bar and the page rank continues to rise, then there is no demonstrated connection. In the interest of the web site, however, it would be unwise to continue the experiment just to demonstrate the point to the 6th sigma. In other words, if the page rank drops in the next few days, then I propose that we react immediately and restore the Main Page to the previous configuration, whatever that was. Ancheta Wis 23:10, 29 September 2005 (UTC)[]
What about changing them from category links to portal links? These are certainly more attractive, if not immediately as comprehensive. I was also going to suggest linking to Category:Education, though there is also a portal. Cormaggio @ 10:06, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Until we get the portals completed I wouldn't suggest it. The education one is a prime example - it's not even close be being ready for anyone to use. There's currently an effort to fix some portals, and when that is done I actually think this would be a good idea. - Trevor MacInnis (Talk | Contribs) 11:17, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]
I absolutely agree that the Education Portal is poor - as is the whole category. I'm going to suggest a WikiProject:Education. (Should there also then be a WikiProject:Portals?) Cormaggio @ 22:58, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Main Page

Dear people at Wikipedia,

Please, can this notice be placed in Bold on the main page of Wikipedia where it says “Any one can edit or write an article”.

“No Original Research Neutral Point Of View Verifiability and a note about GNU free license.”

It would improve clarity. It would save a newcomer like me from afd and copyvio notices.

Best regards, Nirupma Kapoor neeray 16:13, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]

On every edit page there is bold text saying DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION! If that doesn't deter people, your proposed change to the front page certainly won't. Other guidelines can be seen in the Wikipedia:Introduction page linked to via the front page. — ceejayoz 18:18, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]
We have a bold copyvio notice at the bottom of every page below many other layers of disclaimers. The warning is not at all clear. We must bump it up. lots of issues | leave me a message 21:53, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]
How about: (see Copyrights for details) --hydnjo talk 22:29, 30 September 2005 (UTC)[]
Revised ^ notice as it might appear above the edit box. --hydnjo talk 00:22, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]
  • Bold is fine, but it needs to be on top of the edit box rather than below it. If people need to scroll past the edit box to see the message they're not going to notice. - Mgm|(talk) 16:35, 1 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Getting old cached pages

For the last few days both at home and work (different ISPs) I've been getting older versions of pages returned by a cache - just now I got the September 29 feature article until I hit the Refesh button in my browser (until now this has never been necessary to get the latest main page). I always come to Wikipedia though a bookmark button to http://en.wiki.hereiszyn.com/wiki/Main_Page and I use IE 6 on XP. Is anyone else seeing this? Has something changed recently that's making cache/proxy servers want to keep the old Main Page around for longer rather than fetch a new one? Or is it Wikipedia's squids? I'm in Seoul, South Korea if that makes any difference. --JackSeoul 15:02, 1 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Could be one of many different things, to force the most recent version you can use http://en.wiki.hereiszyn.com/wiki/Main_Page?action=purge, you can also add ?action=purge to the end of any wikipedia page title in your browser's address bar to force a cache purge in the same way you can also do ?action=edit to bring you to the article's edit page manually. Jtkiefer T | @ | C ----- 19:04, 1 October 2005 (UTC)[]
I sometimes encounter the same problem when using older public computers. Dunno why, but convinced that this is a simple cache issue. I'd suggest bookmarking the URL "http://en.wiki.hereiszyn.com/wiki/Main_Page?action=purge". Hope this helps. -- PFHLai 19:58, 1 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Gorillas using tools.

Hi, I was utterly confused by the sentence "For the first time, researchers observe wild gorillas using tools." on the main page. To me, this meant that for the first time, researchers had been able to use tools to observe gorillas. Obviously, it means that gorillas are now using tools, but could this be written any clearer? --Shane Drury 15:13, 1 October 2005 (UTC)[]

  • It's quite clear to me. What you saw, won't come into my mind until someone, like you, points it out. Have you got any suggestions on how to say it? - Mgm|(talk) 16:37, 1 October 2005 (UTC)[]
How about this ? Scientists make the novel observation (or discover) that wild gorillas can use tools. -- PFHLai 17:54, 1 October 2005 (UTC)[]
I suggest "For the first time, researchers observe wild gorillas using tools." Oh yeah, that's right.......Moriori 19:13, 1 October 2005 (UTC)[]
How about "For the first time, researchers observe tool use amongst wild gorillas." — ceejayoz 05:18, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]

In the news grammar error

A series of explosions kills at least 22 in resort areas of Jimabaran Beach and Kuta in Bali, Indonesia.

Shouldn't that be "A series of explosions kill at least 22..."? --222.153.190.49 23:13, 1 October 2005 (UTC)[]

No. "Series", the subject of the sentence, is singular. Cheers, [[Sam Korn]] 23:14, 1 October 2005 (UTC)[]
For further perusing, see "Irregular Plural Nouns" list here: http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/crump.htm

Apparent contradiction in Indian Economy featured article

"The economy of India is the fourth largest in the world, with a GDP of $3.363 trillion at PPP, and is the tenth largest in the world, with a GDP of $691.9 billion"

It can't be both the fourth and tenth largest simulateously. While an explanation for this is present in the article itself, it did not make it into the summary. -68.162.222.88

At PPP? Hmm... maybe one is GNP and the other is GDP? Redwolf24 (talk) 03:23, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]
No, PPP means that if it costs A to buy hamburgers in dollars in the US and B to buy it in the current of some other country (say Yen), then the exchange rate is A dollars to B yen. Most of the time, the exchange rate hoovers around the PPP rate, however, in the case of India it does not. →Raul654 03:26, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]
Aha. My forté is history and georgaphy, but not economy. Redwolf24 (talk) 03:43, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]
Another quick fix needed for the article. India has also capitalised on its large number of highly-educated populace. Populace->people, since populace denotes the entire population. Its fixed in the article now. --PamriTalk 04:51, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]

In the news -Bali

The news section about Bali bombing has typo. It should be Jimbaran, not Jimabaran. Hayabusa future 07:46, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Fixed, thanks.-gadfium 08:11, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]

For the first time, researchers observe wild gorillas using tools.

It is just me, or does this make it sound like the researchers never bothered to use tools before?  :-)

this is the second comment about this, so I rephrased it. Broken S 19:13, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Biased assertion

"The socio-economic problems India faces are the burgeoning population, growing inequality," Whether inequality is necessarily a bad thing is strictly philosophical/ethical. I vote to take it off. [Alan]

Probably best to go work with on article itself]. Incidentally, though, I think a case could be made by economists (I am not one) that inequality, apart from its moral rammifications, is a hassle and that reducing it could have the effect of reducing other social and economic ills. (Now of course the whole concept of social and economic ills is in a sense POV, but nobody can be that agnostic.) Doops | talk 23:39, 2 October 2005 (UTC)[]
A case could be made by economists that inequality is not necessarily bad but may depend on the context. An argument could be made that the poor today are many times richer than the richest 300 years ago with current medicine, and various technologies. But my point is that the article is not objective and factual when it says outright that ineqaulity is a problem implying that there is no debate about its validity.
And your right I should bring this up with the main article. And I will.
[Alan]

Response time

This project is increasing in popularity. We all know that from looking at the stats. Unfortunately we also know that from the sometimes very slow response time. I think it's time to get ahead of the curve rather than trying to catch up with it. Whereas be bold is one of our tenets, then lets do it on the hardware side. If it means calling for a $100,000 or $1,000,000 special collection then lets do it. "In for a dime, in for a dollar", Geesh, lets not stifle for lack of servers. We can collectively raise whatever it takes, just tell us. We don't want to recommend this wonderful project only to hear back that this project doesn't respond in a timely manner. Like it or not, Google has set the standard for response time and we are lacking. Just in composing this little edit, "Show preview" has been do damn frustrating that... well nevermind, I'm a dedicated user, but I can only imagine what the new user thinks of us. My grandkids aren't going to stare at a non-responsive window for thirty or sixty seconds. They are going to think that something is wrong and move on. Please excuse my rant here but it stems from real feedback from real new users that I have recruited. (Show preview just took 2 min and 42 secs so I'm not being encouraged to go take a look at this edit, what it is, is what it is). Where is the the best place to post this comment? --hydnjo talk 02:28, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Good post, but you've already missed the bus. The purpose of the recent fund drive was (for the first time) to buy capacity above-and-beyond what our expected growth was. However, historically, every time we bring new servers online, the traffic surges in response. →Raul654 02:31, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]
No, I bought a bus ticket. So, the next fund drive should anticipate the traffic surge. That is what I mean by getting ahead of the curve. Lets not be a victim of our own success. --hydnjo talk 02:37, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]
Well, running a top-50 website isn't something you can do on the cheap. It's even harder for Wikipedia to do this because of the nature of a Wiki (with it's database requirements). It takes time and money to add new server capacity, as well as finding volunteer administrators to run them. Also, bear in mind that it takes weeks between the time we order servers and the time they actually arrive, so if it's slow, we just can't exactly put in a quick order. →Raul654 02:52, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]
I have no problem with that. Just looking for some reassurance that we are reaching high enough with our fund drives. Raul, you know better than most of us how willing the community is to contribute not only our brains but our $ as well. 'nuff said, --hydnjo talk 03:08, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]

James Blair

Could we make him the Rev. Dr. please? Doops | talk 03:47, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]

OK: the Rev. Dr. (I don't know why this is important but I'm glad to oblige.) --hydnjo talk 04:19, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]
Thanks. Roughly speaking, an insistance on the inclusion of "the" before rev. (and of a forename or "mr." or "dr." after it) marks one as an anglo-centric snob. I admit to guilt on this front; given Blair's bio I suspect he may have been too. :) See reverend for more information. Doops | talk 04:32, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]
Ah, now I see what you were meaning and thanks for filling in my ignorance gap.  ;-) hydnjo talk 05:02, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]


In the News: Tom DeLay

Can anyone tell me how the author(s) of the Wikipedia main page know that Tom DeLay's departure from the role of House Majority Leader is temporary? --Cat5nap 05:08, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]

When we become admins, they give us standard-issue crystal balls. →Raul654 05:28, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]
Wikipedia is merely reporting what is being said by other reputable news sources. Wikipedia makes no original news reports. Wikipedia has no way of seeing the future (except for Raul) if that is your question. --hydnjo talk 05:34, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]
Can you cite any of these reputable news sources that are saying that they believe his departure is temporary? And when do these reputable news sources say he will be coming back? --Cat5nap 05:57, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]
He left office temporarily, with the intention of coming back. If he decides not to come back, we can report that as well. (All sites above taken from Google News...at least one of them has to be "reputable") Ral315 WS 06:09, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]
O.K., I give up. However, I can't resist remarking that DeLay's "intention of coming back" is probably not what is relevant here. It seems quite possible that he will want to "decide to come back", but the decision will not be in his hands. --Cat5nap 07:12, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]
Don't be so sure. Delay was forced to resign because of house ethics rules that say you cannot hold a position of leadership in the house while under indictment. However, the speaker of the house (Hastert) can suspend that rule, and in fact he did so several months ago (and later reversed himself following the outcry). So really, for Delay, it's just a matter of getting Hastert to suspend the rule (doubtful but possible). →Raul654 07:26, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]

DYK: Ulysses

The link to Ulysses under DYK should link to Ulysses (novel) not the disambiguation page. Thanks -- Muntfish 10:23, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Fixed. Thank you! -- grm_wnr Esc 13:07, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Nobel Prize

The Nobel Foundation has today begun announcing the winners of the 2005 Nobel Prizes. Two Australians won the prize for Medicine and Physiology today, for their research into Heliobacter and stomach ulcers. The rest will be announced at daily intervals. Obviously, we cannot put each one in the "In the News" box. But maybe something saying "The winners of the 2005 Nobel Prizes are being announced all this week in Stockholm" or something like that. They are, after all, very important. What does everyone think? Batmanand 10:43, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]

I actually think that we could post a news item for each prize awarded. Thue | talk 13:21, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]
Helicobacter pylori is a featured article :) →Raul654 19:07, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]

Welcome page error

I know this isn't directly related to the main page, but close. Does anyone know what happened to the wikipedia logo on the welcome page? I know it's been off a few days and wondered why this hasn't been fixed. The Wookieepedian 17:44, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]

I don't know what you mean by "welcome page", but if you mean http://www.wiki.hereiszyn.com/, then I don't see anything wrong. By the way, the place to discuss the www.wiki.hereiszyn.com page is m:Talk:Www.wiki.hereiszyn.com_portal. —AlanBarrett 19:30, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[]