User talk:Nick Moyes/Adoption/Clovermoss

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(thread moved from my main User TalkPage)

I'm thinking that I might want to become an adoptee given the amount of questions I ask and my plans to continue to edit on Wikipedia. I created my account in September 2018 (you were actually the first user to welcome me), so I've been around awhile. I've also made 518 edits (293 of which have been to mainspace). A lot of my edits have been adding short descriptions or fixing typos, but I'm quite proud of my edits to PC Optimum and Draft: Katherine Hughes (activist). SkyGazer 512 has been incredibly helpful for a lot of my questions as well as the Teahouse when I've had them, but being an adoptee might be a better long-term route for me. I guess the other thing I should mention is that I'm also a female editor; one of the interests is contributing to Women in Red, but I'm also interested in other topics such as video games and topics related to Canada (since I'm Canadian). Clovermoss (talk) 02:58, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Edit: I fixed my ping to another editor. I also wanted to mention another one of my interests is translating French. Clovermoss (talk) 00:24, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Hello, Clovermoss, thanks for contacting me, and for the update. I'm flattered you want help and support from me. I might have said no, because I suspect our interests aren't a close match, but I am very keen to encourage any female editor to help redress the gender imbalance a bit here. So, I'll say a qualified 'yes' to helping you. Qualified, because I am extremely busy in real life right now (despite taking early retirement), and also because I probably wouldn't be able to offer you a structured approach to working your way around Wikipedia, and all its processes. I would quite like to offer that, but time constraints means I haven't actually put any programme together. But if you'd like general ad hoc help and guidance, and someone you can ask a dozen and a half questions of at once, without feeling guilty - and don't mind waiting a bit for an answer - then I'd be honoured to assist you to become an even better editor. My view of adoption is that it should be helping committed editors with a long-term interest in improving the encylopaedia across many areas, rather than investing time to help newcomers create their one and only pet article. The Teahouse can help with that.
I gather you're in Canada (had a great family camping adventure there last summer, between Vancouver and Calgary!), so our time zones are going to mismatch a bit. If you're a French speaker, I guess you might be from or on the east side, north of Ottawa perhaps? (did a study tour of museums there some 35 years ago). God, that suddenly makes me feel really old! Not so ancient to still have one daughter in school, and another who's just gone off to university, mainly to get away from my awful sense of humour.
Anyway, maybe you'd like to tell me a little more about the things you currently find difficult, or the areas of Wikipedia editing that you'd like to get better at? Maybe also tell me the bits you really aren't interested in? So, for example, as well as working on your current draft, which I can help you with, are you wanting to understand about contributing to stopping vandalism, article deletions and so on?
Adoption is really a very informal process, and it should be fun, too. You and I are both free to say at any point that we don't want to continue. Whilst it's always nice to have an explanation why, you shouldn't feel obliged to do so. It's OK just to stop if you don't feel comfortable with the direction it's going in, or if you feel you've understood enough to stand on your own two feet. How does that sound?
I've seen you've been getting some answers from SkyGazer 512 and at the Teahouse, and if he/she wants to chip in here, that's absolutely fine with me. You shouldn't feel you can't ask stuff anywhere else, of course. In fact, the Teahouse really is the best place for getting very quick answers. Adoption is more of a slow-cooking process, if you follow me. So how does that all sound? Let me know if you want to proceed. Regards for now, Nick Moyes (talk) 01:05, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
It sounds awesome! I'm fine with a non-structured approach. I think I might actually prefer it. The whole load of questions thing you described is pretty much the reason I was looking at becoming an adoptee in the first place. As for what I'm looking for in Wikipedia, I actually could see myself participating in a variety of things. As for interests, I think we might be more alike than you think. I'm a student and the main reason I'm planning on longer-term Wikipedia editing is out of a mixture of boredom and pursuing educational pursuits outside of everyday life that's basically obligated from me. East-coast is good guess! The most I'm going to narrow it down is Ontario; but it isn't Ottawa or north of it. Oddly enough, I've visited Québec city but have never traveled to Ottawa (it is somewhere I'd like to visit in the future, though). Thanks for accepting my adoption request - if I have any questions I'll come back here (or reply if replied to). I do ask a lot of questions, so new sections with some sort of organized approach might be ideal in the future. I don't usually like looking at walls of text, but I'm sure many other people share that pet peeve. Clovermoss (talk) 02:03, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Oh dear - if you don't like walls of text, you've chosen the wrong person in me then; I can talk/write for England! But I will mark each question with a  Done symbol - if only to show me if I've missed anything. You do right not to reveal precisely where you're from, but I now have a good idea roughly where you're based. It's great that you're a student interesting in contributing. A lot of University lecturers preach that Wikipedia is unreliable and shouldn't be used, whilst nevertheless admitting to using it all the time themselves.[citation needed] What most people overlook is that every article contains references, and that it to these we would point all users who want to investigate or confirm the veracity of what a Wikipedia page says. As a student you're well placed to be able to access those sources and to improve content. I hope this works out well for us both! Nick Moyes (talk) 00:13, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

List of questions/topics[edit]

  • I have access to a rather extensive library. What are some of the most important things to know and consider about citing different types of media formats? I have only really cited online sources so far, but I'm specifically interested in learning how to cite books.
 Done @Clovermoss: There are a number of different 'templates' available for adding different types of citation. e.g. web, book, news, journal, map, podcast, etc. The first four of these are offered to you by either of the editing tools you can use. Look for the "Cite" button, then select which template is most relevant. I advise you first to try adding refs via our wikieditor. You can preview the reference and also show additional fields. You should get in the habir of giving each citation a "ref name" - a short name, like "TorontoStar" or "NYTimes" to help you identify which ref is which. You use this name to call up the reference if you want to reuse it elsewhere in the article.
Having got used to filling in different templates in wikieditor, you should then try it in Visual Editor. This has both advantages and disadvantages. The great thing about adding references through visual editor is that it has an automatic route, allowing you simply to type in either an ISBN number, a DOI number. or a Google books URL, and it attempts to automatically fill in all the fields of a reference for you. It's never perfect, so you do you have to insert and then manually edit the reference little bit afterwards. The downside is that it does not allow you to enter a rough night if you wanted to reuse the reference later on.
Your homework on this topic is now to read WP:REFBEGIN, noting the different sections listed in Contents, before working through this quite lengthy but important page. You can see all the different cite templates, with details how to complete them, at Category:Lua-based citation templates.
Let me know how you get on. I'll always be explaining things on the assumption that you are using wikieditor, not Visual Editor, though its easy to switch mid-edit by clicking the thick pencil icon in the top right hand corner of the editing page. I'll reply to you other questions later on, if that's OK. Please make sure you put this page on your Watchlist, lest I forget to Notify you of a reply. Regards, Nick Moyes (talk) 08:55, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Explaining things using wikieditor is fine since it's usually what I've been using to edit. I'll add this page to my watchlist, too. Clovermoss (talk) 15:05, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
I  should add that there is no problem whatsoever in adding a citation to a properly published book. Usual information that should entered include author, title, date of publication, ISBN and the page within the book where the fact you are referring to can be found. If it's a 600 page book, you should say it's on page 227, and not leave the reader struggling to find the right page within the citation. Rather cleverly, if you are going to reuse that citation many times in one article, you can add the relevant page number to each re-use of the reference using the {{RP}} template. I can explain that later if you wish. Nick Moyes (talk) 20:56, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

  • I have some writing experience, but I'm hesitant about how much it applies. I'm used to writing essays, not writing encyclopedia articles. Information that is about expectations more relevant to Wikipedia itself would probably be the most helpful direction to go.
 Done @Clovermoss: Having experience of writing essays will be really valuable to you, but it's not the same style of writing as we need here. With an essay you read sources, assimilate the information and then put down your own personal opinions of what those sources say. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia of notable things. Everything here must be written in neutral tones, and in your own words to avoid copyright violations. But you must only say precisely what those reliable sources state. You can't introduce your own personal views, interpretations or personal opinions. You are, in effect, writing a museum label - precise, informative and interesting. Have a read of Wikipedia:Five pillars for the essence of what Wikipedia is about. Nick Moyes (talk)}
Thank you. I knew that Wikipedia expected a different type of writing so it's nice to know those finer details. I have bee going through the directory links and have been able to find some things on my own, but I'm not always sure I get the "whole picture" of what I'm looking at. Clovermoss (talk) 22:57, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Special characters. Is the difference between spelling out Québec and Quebec important or is it like the differences between British and American English on Wikipedia (in the sense that it doesn't really matter on the site as long as it'sp consistent?). Clovermoss (talk) 04:11, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
 Done @Clovermoss: Good question - I really had to think hard before answering this one. The answer is actually, yes, the different spelling is very important, and on English Wikipedia, only the non-accented form of Quebec should be used. On French Wikipedia, it would be Québec, as that is the French way of spelling it. Think of like London versus Londres. You wouldn't use the latter in an article about London on The policy that guides my reply is WP:COMMONNAME. This dictates that an article title or name should be that form in common use within the English language. Having established that this is the way to spell the title, I would then expect it to use that spelling throughout the article. You aren't 100% right in what you imply about American and British spelling: Firstly, if the topic is Americo-centric or Anglo-centric in context, then we'd expect American and British spellings to be used, respectively. If there's no direct relationship to one region or another (and there are other regional spellings, too), we would follow the spellings style used by the original article creator. Making edits that simply switch from one form of regional spelling isn't ok, and we would warn editors who do that with this {{Uw-lang}} template, placed on their talk page. (We can talk about how you might place warnings for other editors and how we deal with vandalism later on). Regards, Nick Moyes (talk) 22:44, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
Addendum: I see that the article on Quebec mentions an organisation known as Transports Québec. Assuming it has no English equivalent name that is in common use, then deploying the accented e (I always confuse grave and acute!) is perfectly acceptable. Nick Moyes (talk) 01:06, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I know how to sign the posts I make and I have been doing it, but I was wondering why signatures and the need for them exists in the first place? Clovermoss (talk) 04:19, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
 Done Another good question! There are two main reasons. The most obvious one is simply so that we know who has said what in a discussion thread. Without a signature, it would be very hard to tell when one person's comment had ended and other person's had begun, or if someone had subsequently altered another person's comment. Some discussions - usually at main noticeboards, such as WP:ANI - can involve dozens of different editors. It would be a nightmare if we could see who posted a comment, and when.
The other reason a signature is required is if you want to notify or 'ping' someone by mentioning them in a post. If you include their username in a post, they only receive a notification/alert if you signature is included at the same time as the post is published. You won't ping them if you forget to sign, and then save the post and return again a few moments later and add it. The other person's username and your signature must be published together at the same time. Your next homework (!) is to read through Wikipedia:Notifications to find out how the alert system works. I know you've struggled a bit with this recently, so let me know how you get on.Nick Moyes (talk) 22:44, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @Nick Moyes: Do I always have to ping a user to guarentee they'll get a notification? What's the difference between a ping and a special notification? Or are they interchangeable terms? Clovermoss (talk) 02:03, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
 Done @Clovermoss: If you post a comment on a user's talk page, they will automatically receive notification of your post. Equally, you will receive one if they post on your user talk page. In other circumstances you would either have to ping them or mention their name on another page in order for them to receive a notification message.
  • So, the text {{ping|Nick Moyes}} would render as: @Nick Moyes:
  • The reply text {{re|Nick Moyes}} or {{reply to|Nick Moyes}} would render as: @Nick Moyes:
You would also send an alert of a mention simply by typing either {{u|Nick Moyes}} or [[User:Nick Moyes]], which would look like Nick Moyes or User:Nick Moyes.
I have to admit to being quite surprised that I am not receiving notifications when you post to this talk page, as it is subpage of my userpage. That was one of the main reasons for moving our discussions to an adoption page here. Because of that, it would help me greatly if you could ensure you notify me whenever you reply or comment on this page, please. Just use one of the methods like {{ping|Nick Moyes}} or {{re|Nick Moyes}}. I intentionally turned off email notifications a few months ago because I'm so busy elsewhere that I'm rarely able to pick up emails. (It helps stop my webmail Inbox being swamped with watchlist notification messages.) I'll have to investigate whether there's some way I can ensure I get the usual alert notifications on talk pages of sub-pages like this one. Finally, I'm not actually sure what you mean when you refer to a special notification. Do you mean the list of all your notifications which you can find at Special:Notifications? If not, this might be something I'm not aware of, and need to brush up on - so do tell me more. I should add that I still feel I am learning how to do things here, even after some years of editing! But I am impressed by how elegant things are designed to work - I hope you will come to see that, too, in due course.Nick Moyes (talk) 23:15, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
Right, that's the end of my replies to this set of questions. How do you feel this has worked for you? Am I making any sense, or am I rambling on about things that still seem confusing. It helps me to know how well I'm helping you - so don't be reticent about telling me. I suggest you start a new topic for your next set of questions, and I'll use the {{done}} template to mark when I've replied to each one, if that's OK with you. Cheers for now, Nick Moyes (talk) 23:15, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

Highways in Quebec[edit]

I added a citation for national roads in the Highways in Quebec yesterday. The original reason I used the source is referenced on the article talk page:

"de routes nationales"; a better translation of this is "national roads," a reference to National Highway System (Canada), so I added a wikilink to that article and added a citation for verifying that information.

The wikilink is to the article about the National Highway System. The source is useful for what I used it for, but it's also useful as a source for additional information that is not found in the original French article. The source proves the information that national roads are part of the National Highway System.

However, the source would also verify the information that 5,649 km of national roads are in the province of Québec, which is specific information that is not currently present in the French article that includes national roads as part of the overall statistic. I want to improve the accuracy of the translation but I also want to try and improve the article itself if I can do so. I also don't want other editors to mix up to the difference between my translation and other edits.

I'm thinking that the best way to distinguish this would be to keep different types of edits entirely separate and then clearly define which is which in the edit summaries, but I'm not 100% sure if that is what I'm supposed to do. Clovermoss (talk) 21:44, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

@Clovermoss: Oh dear, I'm a bit confused by this. Had you provided me with a 'diff' for each edit (see Help:Diff), I might have understood better. You said "I'm thinking that the best way to distinguish this would be to keep different types of edits entirely separate and then clearly define which is which in the edit summaries, but I'm not 100% sure if that is what I'm supposed to do" I would agree with you that you should save (i.e. publish changes) each different set of edits as discrete blocks, with a clear edit summary. That way you, or another editor, can scroll through and deal with each one in turn. And, if you later find one type of edit was wrong, you can then go back and find that individual one quite easily. You can also re-use a reference two or more times, or specify a particular page number in a long book - I think I hinted at how to do that in a post above. Let me know what specific help you still need on this. Sorry if I'm being thick! Goodnight. Nick Moyes (talk) 01:34, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
@Nick Moyes: It's okay, you're actually explaining things quite well. I'm still trying to go through all of your answers. As for diffs, I know how to look at them/browse them in a history of an article, but I've never been able to link to them successfully. How do you do that? Clovermoss (talk) 14:59, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
@Clovermoss: To paste in a 'diff' between two versions, first select which set of edits you want to differentiate via the 'View History' tab. Having displayed them on screen, go to the browser bar and copy the url to your clipboard. Now, the format for showing an external url in a post is: Open square bracket, full url, one space character, your text you want to display, and finally a closing square bracket.
Thus, this external link to the Toronto Star newspaper is created from this text: [ this external link] to the... Note that, unlike internal wikilinks, we only use a single square bracket for external links. See Help:Diffs for more details on this and other ways to show diffs.
I noticed on your userpage that you've put a number of links as memos. Although they all work, they could all be made as internal wiki links by using two square brackets in either end, and getting rid of the first half. I can explain further, if needs be.
Glad my explanations seem to be making sense, thus far. I've decided it might help you if I were to collate all the links to policies and guidance that we've covered as we go along on the main page at User:Nick Moyes/Adoption/Clovermoss. Regards, Nick Moyes (talk) 20:34, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
@Nick Moyes: Thank you, that looks very helpful. I'm going to be fairly busy the next few days, but I do want to let you know I appreciate all the help. Clovermoss (talk) 03:37, 18 February 2019 (UTC)