Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive4

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Contents: April 1, 2005 - May 31, 2005


Database error[edit]

I want to let you know of a database error that is happening when users submit edits at the exact same time. When Marxx was speedy deleted at the exact same time I marked it as VFD, the database started to incorrectly list that I first created it. Zzyzx11 18:27, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That isn't an error. The page was deleted, and a few moments later you recreated it. I suppose we could fix this problem with a magic token that tells the system "I'm not creating a new page, just modifying it, so just ignore this edit if the page isn't there!" dbenbenn | talk 18:50, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It's not a bug, it's a feature ;) I've had some problems with that too...I've given a couple people messages about creating a test page, and they always get so confused because they never created it. If it got speedied before, then you can just {{db|reincarnation}} it (unless of course it wasn't a real speedy). -Frazzydee| 20:05, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)


The vote that made a 3RR rule violation a blockable offense (Wikipedia:Three revert rule enforcement) was conducted between 14 Nov and 25 Nov, 2004. At the time of the vote, the 3RR text linked several instances of "revert" in the text to Wikipedia:Revert, as its definition of "revert". This article was therefore, in effect, an extension of the 3RR policy. It defines "revert" for the purposes of 3RR. At the time of the vote, this article, in turn, was a redirect to Wikipedia:How to revert a page to an earlier version which describes the process for rolling an article back to a prior state in its edit history, either through the "reversion" process available to normal editors, or through the "rollback" feature available to administrators. Since January 2005, a small number of editors have removed this redirect from Wikipedia:Revert and have started to edit this article. In effect, they are extending the definition of "revert", and therefore the application of the 3RR, without those extensions going through any form of consensus formation.

People have been referring to this article for evidence that "partial reverts" and "complex reverts" are part of the meaning of "revert" for the purposes of the 3RR policy. However this is highly misleading, because that is not the definition given by Wikipedia:Revert at the time 3RR was approved.

Therefore, I propose that

  1. Wikipedia:Revert be made an official policy, with changes going through the usual process for gaining policy consensus, OR (in the meanwhile, AND)
  2. 3RR be modified to remove links to this article, and link directly to Wikipedia:How to revert a page to an earlier version, which is where those links went (via redirection) to at the time 3RR was approved.

-- BM 01:42, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Excellent points all. I agree. —Charles P. (Mirv) 02:42, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I completely agree with #1 and I agree in principle with #2. Since the 3 Revert Rule is offical policy, it only stands to reason that we have an official definition of Revert. As for #2, that is definitely something that should be done right now. If and when Wikipedia:Revert becomes official policy, there should be links to both it and Wikipedia:How to revert a page to an earlier version to define exactly what a "Revert" is and how to do it. --Deathphoenix 16:37, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Speedy-deleting "hoaxes"[edit]

A reminder to all admins to use extra care when speedy deleting. There have been incidents recently where an anon has repeatedly inappropriately nominated a page for speedy deletion as a "hoax" (which is not one of the speedy criteria in any case), ignoring all suggestions to take it to VfD, and has actually succeeded in getting it deleted twice. The page in question does not in fact appear to be a hoax at all (a minor musical genre with an odd name). Remember to check page history. -- Curps 18:00, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Block question[edit]

What happens if you enter "User:xxx" instead of "xxx" in the block field? This came up twice today. After User:Snowspinner blocked User:Irate, User:Inter unblocked him. User:Geni then blocked the nonexistent User:User:Irate, who was later unblocked by User:Kim Bruning. Can someone create a username like User:User:xxx? How are such blocks treated? Earlier today, User:Refdoc reported blocking User:Jesus H. Christ III for an inappropriate user name. I looked at his talk page, then checked the block history which came up empty. I wasn't sure what happened, so I blocked him indefinitely. Checking the block log, I saw that User:Refdoc had blocked User:User:Jesus H. Christ III. I thought this was a mistake, a block of a nonexistent user, but saw that a little later there were two autoblocks deriving from this block. Does the software treat blocks of "User:xxx" and "User:User:xxx" the same? — Knowledge Seeker 01:07, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I haven't tested it, but apparently the software only really "looks" at the part after the last colon, to get the username. See User:Raul654/archive#Test_anomaly. The link to the user's contributions points to the right place, so it seems the correct user is affected, not a non-existent user. SWAdair | Talk 06:00, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • Thanks! Too bad the "User:User:" blocks don't show up in the block log if you just put "User:xxx" in the field but I shouldn't complain. — Knowledge Seeker 06:48, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"Can someone create a username like User:User:xxx?" Nope. I just tried, and it complained that the user name was invalid. Because of this, MediaWiki should either

  1. Give an error if you try to block User:User:xxx, or
  2. Treat it as a block of User:xxx.

Someone ought to file a bug report in Bugzilla. dbenbenn | talk 16:27, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for checking that. So it looks like MediaWiki treats a block of User:User:xxx as a block of User:xxx. It will show up in the block log and IP block list as a block of User:User:xxx, a broken (red) link regardless if the user has actually created a user page. Also, if one wants to see all the blocks for User:xxx and puts that in the field, the blocks for User:User:xxx won't show up. That's my understanding. — Knowledge Seeker 07:17, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • I think you've got it. One workaround is to view the block log at 500 entries per page and then use your browser's search function to search on the username itself (for instance, search for SWAdair instead of User:SWAdair). That will catch all instances of that username, whether it is preceeded by User: or User:User: SWAdair | Talk 09:35, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Inappropriate WikiProjects?[edit]

Some WikiProjects are said by some users to be inappropriate (possibly because of POV-pushing, or being a personal attack magnet). Is it possible for a WikiProject to be inappropriate? If so, what are the criteria, and how do we decide? What should we do with said projects?

Please join the discussion on Wikipedia:Wikiproject/Inappropriate projects.

Radiant_* 11:02, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Transwiki speedy deletions[edit]

Did we ever decide what to do with these? I looked up ASAP today and found it was pending deletion. Checking the history, it looks like it was nominated early for transwikiing to Wiktionary, then improved a bit, transwikied, and marked for speedy deletion. As I understand it, transwikiing is not a criterion for speedy deletion; they are supposed to go through VfD like other articles. Am I mistaken? — Knowledge Seeker 03:14, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I believe you're right. Since I had been active in deleting the transwikied articles I've started going through Category:Pending deletions looking for others like ASAP that were marked Pending but haven't yet been through VfD. I'll be away for the next couple of days but the partial list I've compiled is at User:SWAdair/Pending Transwikied. It looks like these will have to be sent through VfD. SWAdair | Talk 06:57, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • The last step at meta:transwiki is to delete the left-behind version of the article. Unlike regular deletion, transwiki does not destroy history - the article can always be recovered in the same form from the alternate wikiproject. Therefore, it is considered a reversible decision. If I transwiki an article to Wiktionary and it turns out to be controversial, the next editor (whether he/she is an admin or not) can bring the article back. Since anyone can reverse the decision, I believe that neither VfD nor the speedy deletion criteria need to apply. The article has not been deleted from MediaWiki. It has merely been moved within MediaWiki. Now like any other pagemove, if you suspect that it might be controversial, it is simple courtesy to discuss it first. That might involve a VfD nomination for discussion by the community but it's not required. The decision to nominate or not is one we've traditionally left to the discretion of the admin cleaning up that last step in the transwiki process. Rossami (talk) 07:32, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • That is what I thought, and indeed what I was acting upon until the discussions at Wikipedia_talk:Votes_for_deletion#Deletion_at_the_end_of_transwiki made me pause. The continued discussion at m:Talk:transwiki still seems unsure, with some good points on both sides of the issue. Has that discussion been carried on elsewhere and settled definitively? IANAL, and I've not read the statutes, so I will defer to the judgement of those who have the time and knowledge to sift through the fine print. With the issue apparently not yet determined to a large degree one way or the other, I'm unsure of exactly what the requirements are. I understand your viewpoint (above) and was acting on that belief in the past. Now... I dunno. SWAdair | Talk 09:54, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
      • I started the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Votes_for_deletion#Deletion_at_the_end_of_transwiki to try to gain "official" recognition of the process as I understood it. No one took the opportunity to dispute that interpretation so I believe that it now has a little bit more precedent. Other than that, the discussion just sort of petered out. I am continuing to act on that interpretation. The discussion at m:Talk:transwiki has been focusing more on whether the mechanics of the transwiki process are sufficient - do we have a legal obligation to preserve the tracability of every edit or is it sufficient to preserve the simple fact that Author A contributed something to the article. That remains an open question. Short of getting sued and having a judge render an actual decision, I don't know that we will ever definitively answer it. We all agree that it would be better if the MediaWiki capabilities were expanded a bit so we wouldn't have to worry about the question. Rossami (talk)
    • Thanks, Rossami. I'm still confused, though; I don't really understand the whole transwiki process well. I looked at meta:transwiki, and it looks to me that step 6 of the example (transwikiing from English to French) is to list the original on VfD. That aside, I am not certain I understand how one would bring the article back. One, because if the original is deleted, later editors would not know that the article had been transwikied. But two, can you show me how, if ASAP were deleted, one would recover the article/history from wiktionary:ASAP? Thanks! — Knowledge Seeker 17:50, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
      • You have several good questions. The problem with the last step of the process described at meta:transwiki is that none of the other MediaWiki projects make the distinctions we do between VfD, CSD, IfD, TfD, etc. They haven't become large enough or busy enough to need them. I don't spend a huge amount of time on the other projects but my understanding is that most of them quickly delete transwiki'd articles without a lot of formal discussion - more like our CSD process than VfD. But you could certainly interpret it either way. You also asked how to bring an article back. If you want to reverse a transwiki decision, you simply transwiki the article in reverse. That means copy-paste the article (and its Talk page) back from Wiktionary to Wikipedia. Since the Wiktionary article's talk page holds the old Wikipedia article's contributor log, when you move it back to Wikipedia, you will have re-established the contribution history (as a pasted list on the new Wikipedia article's talk page). Admittedly, you won't have the tracability of every edit (see comment above) but you will know everyone who contributed to the article. Lastly, you are correct that future reader/editors may not realize that their article was transwiki'd out of Wikipedia. That's a known failing of the process and has led to at least one call that we should instead leave behind a cross-wiki redirect. The objection to the cross-wiki redirect boils down to the fact that it won't show up on "what links here" and therefore is hard to keep current if/when someone moves the page in the receiving project. For example, if someone moved Wiktionary:ASAP to Wiktionary:A.S.A.P., there are no triggers or ticklers to help the Wiktionary team go back to update the links that are in Wikipedia. There are several proposals to fix that weakness but none have been implemented yet (that I know of). Rossami (talk) 14:50, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for your patience, Rossami. I still am unclear though; I am not sure if I am misunderstanding matters. Are we looking at the same part of Meta:Transwiki? I'm looking at the example, which concerns a French article written on en:, to be transwikied to fr:. I'm not sure I understand how it could be interpreted either way—Step 6 clearly states: "Then the Lorraine article at the English Wikipedia can be listed on Votes for deletion", with "Votes for deletion" linking to WP:VFD. The last step, step 10, applies to the article in the "Transwiki:" space on the receiving wiki, and only applies if the receiving wiki already had an article with the title and so that article in the transwiki space has to be cut-and-pasted into the already-existing article. If not, the "transwiki" article is simply moved into the article namespace, and no deletion is necessary. Am I misunderstanding this? And I apologize for my lack of comprehension, but can you actually point me to the page where the list of contributors on Wiktionary? You mentioned it would be on the talk page, but wiktionary:Talk:ASAP does not seem to exist. — Knowledge Seeker 04:19, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's a confusing topic, made worse because some of the relevant pages have not been kept current. In meta:transwiki, I have always relied on the plain wording in the paragraph Transfer from main to transwiki which reads "The original page may be deleted as soon as it has been moved to the transwiki area." Step 6 in the example does mention Wikipedia's VfD but that example has been around since before the split between VfD and CSD. Back then, we listed everything on the VfD page and could speedily unlist the CSD-equivalents.
The requirement to preserve history is in the paragraph headed Page history. An example of where it was done correctly is at m:Talk:Wikistress. ASAP is a difficult example. Looking at the history of the two articles ([1] and [2]), the Wiktionary article pre-dated the Wikipedia article and at the time of the "transwiki" included most (arguably all) of the relevant content. PoccilScript added the tag that he/she believed it had already been moved to Wiktionary's inbound transwiki queue. It's up to the Wiktionary team to decide if and when to integrate the article from the transwiki queue into their article space. Since the Wiktionary article already has most (arguably all) the relevant content, they may well decide to leave their article as is and to allow the Wikipedia version to languish at wikt:transwiki:ASAP. To complicate it further, I'm not actually sure that this particular article really was transwiki'd. That may have been an assumption based on looking at the current state of the two articles. Or someone could have followed the process incorrectly. I wish I had a better answer for this example. Rossami (talk) 13:47, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Rossami, I appreciate you explaining this all to me. I understand now, and I think I will leave it up to others to figure out how to handle this transwiki business in general. In this specific case, I think I will remove the {{pendingdeletion}} notice and place it on VfD. Thank you. — Knowledge Seeker 06:25, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Voting newcomers (that aren't necessarily sockpuppets)[edit]

In the vote Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Pointless Waste of Time, a large group of newcomers came here specifically to vote their opinion on the continued existance of the article in question. Because they were users with only one account, they we not sockpuppets (of course, we had no idea whether they were or not). As is often our practice, their votes were not counted. Unaware of this custom, and the reasons behind it, many of them were understandably irate. In the interests of diplomacy and newcomer education, I created a template, {{newvoter}}, that can be posted on the talk page of newcomers that create accounts and head directly in to vote. Here is the current version of this template. Of course, and input would be very valuable, but I think that it would be best if the template were kept brief.

ClockworkSoul 13:51, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I like it. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:54, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Good thinking BrokenSegue 15:00, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I don't think we disallow newcomers solely because they may be sock puppets. It also discourages the "let's all go down to Wikipedia and vote for/against X" syndrome, which is a good thing. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:41, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That's a good point. We don't want genuine newbies to believe that the reason their vote isn't counted is because they're a suspected sockpuppet. Carbonite | Talk 15:46, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I can definitely agree with that, but I'm not entirely sure how to state it succinctly enough for our purposes. David Gerard put it very well on a WikiEN-l email as follows: Don't forget to note that "Votes" for deletion aren't "votes" per se - they're an attempt to ascertain whether there is community consensus to delete. If you've made your first-ever Wikipedia edit to VFD, and were there only because of a call to arms on another site, you might reasonably be considered not (yet) part of the community in question. That would need noting. Any thoughts on how we can capture this thought very briefly? – ClockworkSoul 15:51, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
How about: Votes for deletion measures community concensus for the deletion of an article. If your edit history does not reflect your involvement in the Wikipedia community, your vote may not be counted.
Something to that effect covers sock puppets and known vandals --nixie 15:57, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That's very good! I'll make that change now: if anybody has any other ideas, just "be bold", etc, etc. – ClockworkSoul 16:05, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
(...) Participation in the community is encouraged, of course, but your status as a brand new user means that your vote might not be counted. A vote for deletion is an attempt to gauge the community consensus, and should not be taken as literal voting. Please understand that this is a common practice on Wikipedia, and that it is necessary to prevent deliberate "loading" of our votes. However, we encourage you to make further contributions to Wikipedia and to become a valuable member of the community.
I think this subtelly lets them know that if they continue contributing, they'll become a member of the community (and thus their votes will have more weight). --Deathphoenix 16:04, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I implemented the suggestions: what do you think? I altered the language a bit to reflect the fact that this template is intended for all voting, not just VfD. – ClockworkSoul 16:10, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It looks fine except.. I don't know, there was some wording from VfD that mentioned that the tallying of consensus is up to the discretion of a person, primarily an Administrator... -- AllyUnion (talk) 17:28, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Does everything really have to be a template? It's so... impersonal. Like those automated answering systems that every company seems to have on their phones now. It's one thing to use templates for newb tests and vandals, but... Isomorphic 20:09, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I guess it beats our usual crack-them-over-the-head approach to dealing with problems. Everyking 20:28, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hm, the text sounds fine, but the surrounding colored box is unnecessary, and makes very obvious that it's a template, which I think is slightly off-putting. — Dan | Talk 20:56, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. No colored box. Tacky. Isomorphic 21:22, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm going to have to chime in here. It should be just normal text. -Frazzydee| 21:34, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I disagree; the coloured box suggests that it's not just some indivudual having a go at the new User, but something related to Wikipedia policy. Also, plain-text templates tend to merge into the surrounding material (that's especially noticeable in articles, though). Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:49, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That's another reason why I don't like the box. The fetishization of "official policy" is annoying. Besides, if you showed up at work and did something wrong, wouldn't you rather get a note from a coworker than an official slap-on-the-wrist (even if it's nicely phrased) from on high? Isomorphic 23:16, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps, but even that wasn't being done before. If people can simply throw in the template, then they may actually make the effort. And besides, nobody's talking about making this any kind of "official policy": it's just a convenience, and it will benefit both the newcomers and those that have to deal with them in places like VfD. – ClockworkSoul 23:20, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes but we were arguing that at least it shouldn't look like a template. Isomorphic 01:35, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Consensus, not concensus. Also, I think we need to explain that when people use the term "sockpuppet" in a VfD page it generally means somebody with no edit history, not necessarily (or even usually) indicating somebody who's voting from more than one account. RickK *** 21:37, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If that's how it's used, then it seems to me that it might be being used incorrectly... a sockpuppet is, by definition, a user's secondary account. Am I mistaken? – ClockworkSoul 21:48, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I believe the above "sockpuppet" description (little or no edit history) is covered under the "brand new user" term mentioned in the above template. --Deathphoenix 00:01, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • A sockpuppet is also a friend or forum mate of an existing account, who comes to Wikipedia for the sole purpose of making a vote or statement in concurrence with said existing account. Happens sometimes on VfD. The reason is that it's nearly impossible to tell the difference between one user creating a dozen accounts, and one user bringing in a dozen friends for a single vote. Radiant_* *** 10:22, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I would like to commend ClockworkSoul for his thoughtful ideas on this topic and appreciate his consideration toward newcomers. PedanticallySpeaking *** 17:23, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Use of User pages[edit]

I'm not sure what is and isn't allowed on User pages; Wikipedia:User pages is a bit sparse. I ask because of Islamist (talk · contribs). he's been engaged in revert wars, pushing a very clear PoV, and I and other editors have had occasion to warn him about his abusive edit summaries. His retaliation takes the form of a User page in which he lists editors who, he claims, "have displayed hostility, made biased edits and have reverted edits in an abusive way". Is this all part of the rough and tumble, does it come under 'no personal attacks', or what? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 15:43, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I support allowing almost anything on User pages, except personal attacks. I think it crosses the line when a user starts posting against other Wikipedia editors. In the case of User:Islamist, I think it's inappropriate to list user under the description: "The following editors have displayed hostility, made biased edits and have reverted edits in an abusive way". This is a personal attack against the listed users and shouldn't be tolerated in any namepsace. I will request that Islamist remove that section. Carbonite | Talk 16:24, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 16:43, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
While it isn't something to encourage, I've seen people with much worse on their user pages and it was usually allowed by the community (although not without some controversy.) Islamist's page is pretty mild. Isomorphic 04:56, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I don't see anything wrong with it. I don't suppose it's a hitlist. I remember Wik's list of people he didn't like for various reasons, it seems a lot like that. Everyking 04:59, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The problem with the list is that it's disruptive and almost certainly can be classified as a personal attack. I have high tolerance for attacks against policy or anything outside of Wikipedia. If an editor wants to make their User page a rant against deletion policy or George W. Bush, they should be allowed. However, it's not appropriate when an editor utilizes his User page to accuse other editors of "displaying hostility" and reverting edits in an "abusive way". This makes it very difficult for other users to interact with him, especially since there is already a great deal of tension. Carbonite | Talk 12:00, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • I have a list of people I've had good relations with, so I don't see the problem in someone having a list of those he's had problems with. PedanticallySpeaking *** 17:19, 13 May 2005 (UTC)


  1. I want to move page A to page B. But page B already exists and redirects to A. Do I copy the contents verbatim or is there another method which appends the page history?
  2. A non admin asked me to delete some of his temp pages and some bad uploads. Do I have to list it in VFD/IFD or can I delete it on the fly?  =Nichalp (talk · contribs)= *** 08:56, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • With regards to your first question, you should never copy-and-paste. Does B have any history or was it created as the redirect? If the latter, then any user with an account (that's not too new) can move A to B (over the redirect). If it has a history, then B must be deleted; then move A to B. If a non-administrator wishes to do this, he must list it at Requested moves. — Knowledge Seeker 09:16, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • As for the second question, I'd say probably yes, you can delete it, but be careful. There was a recent episode where a user didn't like what was going on in an article. So he blanked it, then moved the article to Testttttttttttttt and then to Testttttttttttt, edited it to say "delete delete delete", then asked an administrator to delete it as his test. The administrator fell for it and tried to delete it, but fortunately it had a long history with block-compression and so couldn't be deleted. The admin put up a {{pendingdeletion}} notice but luckily a couple other administrators noticed what happened, and the article was moved back. Moral: check if it has a history, and check "what links here" to see if any redirects point to it. Images I'm not so sure about: I think it might depend on why he wants the images removed. — Knowledge Seeker 09:27, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Both the articles in question have a page history so this complicates the matter.  =Nichalp (talk · contribs)= *** 10:16, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I might not be an administrator, but I think I know the answers.
  1. You can merge the page histories using an obscure and complex method described on Wikipedia:How to fix cut and paste moves. Notice this is even harder to undo, so be careful.
  2. If the user requesting deletion is the only one who ever edited it (i.e. he is the only one on the history, even if it has lots of entries), as is probably the case for a user temp page, you can delete it (CSD criteria G7 and/or U1). In fact, I did it on a temp page of mine yesterday (created to test a bug workaround on Template:mn, edited until it worked, then tagged as {{db}}).
--cesarb 22:59, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Perhaps you could tell us what A and B are so we could offer more specific suggestions? — Knowledge Seeker 23:21, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Mediawiki interface text[edit]

When I blocked a vandal earlier I was missing the informational text about AOL ranges from the Blockip page. They've since been fixed, but can anyone remind me where to find the MediaWiki namespace templates used for those texts? Mgm|(talk) *** 09:53, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Blockiptext. -Frazzydee| 11:11, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Lost comment on the footer[edit]

Someone added a comment to the footer instead of adding it here. I reverted the footer, but when I went to the history to copy the comment here, I couldn't find it. I believe it was from User:Cantus. --cesarb 22:44, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

By sheer luck, it was still on my cache (some formatting lost):
Ecuador president sacked from power: Blurb is here: Template:In_the_news/Candidate. Please update Template:In_the_news. ::Thanks! —User:Cantus *** 19:22, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
--cesarb 22:44, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Warnings on crowded anon talk-pages[edit]

I've posted a question on the Dealing with vandalism talk page about if it's ok to clean anon talk-pages for old messages when posting new warnings. I'd like to get some opinions on it there. Thanks. Shanes 03:15, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Change Noarticletext?[edit]

I propose that we should remove "yet" from the sentence "Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name." (see Mediawiki:Noarticletext). To me, this implies that we don't have the article now but we should have one. I suggested this at the talk page a couple weeks ago, but there wasn't much response. I'd prefer more feedback before making any changes. If anyone has an opinion, please share it at Mediawiki talk:Noarticletext. — Knowledge Seeker 06:05, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Public IP template[edit]

Is there some kind of template that I can put on the talk page of a public IP, so that Admins are aware that it is a public IP?--nixie 11:34, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

{{sharedip|Name of Organisation or ISP}}. It looks like this:
It will fill in "user" or "user talk" as appropriate from the namespace, so it comes up as "This is the Wikipedia page for.." here.
--rbrwr± 12:12, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Double vandalism[edit]

It might just be me, but I've noticed an increase in the number of incidents of 'double vandalism' recently. That is to say an anon vandalises a page and a minute later a different anon vandalises the same page. It could be coincidence, but given the timing I suspect it may be vandals working in tandem. There is not much to be done, except to keep an eye out for when the previous edit also by an anon, and be aware that a simple rollback may not be enough to fix a vandalised page. -- Solipsist 07:51, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia as Social Calendar[edit]

I don't think this user quite understands what Wikipedia is for. He seems to be using his userpage as a goto point for a class reunion. Other class buddies linked on his page have created their userpages in the Wikipedia namespace. Am I seeing this right? Joyous *** 23:21, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I am not sure what is our policy on user pages uses restriction, but considering the user(s) seem to have made no contribution to Wiki ([3], [4]) it does appear they are using Wiki as their private webpage. Definetly their Wikipedia:blah pages are creating public usless Wiki pages which surely is a violation of some rule - or Wiki purpose, at the very least. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:32, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Looks to me like they're taking advantage of how the user namespace is 'untouchable' by other wikipedians. But this violates WP:NOT a free host or webspace provider...I think...
But it doesn't look like they're planning a meetup to me, it looks like they're writing articles on non-notable people in the user namespace. -Frazzydee| 23:41, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
See WikiWikiWeb:WalledGarden. This sort of thing is generally considered uncool, and we ought to encourage them to take it somewhere else—maybe they can set up their own MediaWiki installation, or perhaps Wikicities might be the place for this sort of thing. It's certainly not appropriate for Wikipedia, and such userspace projects have been deleted before, for the reasons that Frazzydee cites. —Charles P. (Mirv) 00:21, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
They deleted Frazzy's attempt to communicate, so I put a note of my own. They seem well-meaning so I tried to be nice, but I don't see much chance that they will become real contributors. Isomorphic 04:36, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The anon also deleted my comment. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:01, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I've added a bit under yours where I inform them this is not appropriate. Inter\Echo 12:04, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If this user made a couple good contributions, would we let it slide then? Come on now. As I see it, this kind of thing should be encouraged, because it will help us bring in more contributors. Everyking 12:08, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If they contributed to wiki, then yes, we would let it slide. But as it was pointed out, they had done nothing constructive, they are increasing traffic and database size (if slightly) with junk (unencyclopedic stuff). And they are making us waste our time with this discussion. I vote warn and delete. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:01, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Except, of course, the user has made NO contributions -- zip zero nada -- and is using Wikipedia space ONLY to organize a high-school reunion. Point them to Wikicities or some hosting space and let them wallow in high-school nostalgia there. --Calton | Talk 12:22, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This sort of thing should not be encouraged, or WP will be the new geocities before we know it. Even an established user who doing this would be out of line. I just don't know if we can handle this with existing policy (put User pages on vfd?) or if we would need some new policy to address this (deletion/blocking due to blatant WP:NOT violation?). I really think we should be ready for this. If word gets around that you can upload last night's party's pictures to Wikipedia for free, it would generate an insane amount of useless traffic. dab () 16:48, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. This can't be allowed. One small group doing this is harmless, but allowing it means we would quickly have hundreds, then thousands of groups doing this. That would not be harmless, as it would suck up significant bandwidth and server resources. Wikipedia is a public resource, but it's a public resource with a purpose, and alumni pages do not fall within the purpose. Isomorphic 17:09, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Also agreed. Give them some time to receive and respond to the messages; if they don't knock it off after that, I think the best course of action would be to delete all the pages and replace them with a notice of why they were deleted—and an offer to help move the material to Wikicities or whatever site they think appropriate. —Charles P. (Mirv) 17:56, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a travel guide. Or is it?[edit]

All right, people, I need some policy-related help, please. I was always under impression that 1) Wikipedia, being an encyclopedia, does not cover purely travel-related topics, nor does it allow links to travel sites of non-encyclopedic nature; and 2) no commercial links (spam) are allowed in the External link sections of the articles.

With that in mind, I (and other users) was persistently removing a link (also see [5], [6], and [7]) to a certain website that offers little more than information on accomodation in Yekaterinburg. My reasoning was that the link leads to a commercial website with non-encyclopedic information. The discussion can be viewed here and here (I apologize that most of it is in Russian—that's the language the user adding the link preferred to use; I will gladly translate it if necessary).

While it looks that the user eventually agreed with my reasoning, I noticed that his link is also present in a number of other articles (e.g., Paris and Barcelona). I was going to remove it as well and issue the user his final warning before starting blocking him, but I then noticed that Barcelona article has a link to Barcelona Restaurants' site, and that link was there for quite a while. To me, that would also fall under "commercial, non-encyclopedic category", but I really want to make sure I am correct in my assumption. The policy regarding external links is kind of vague, and it calls mostly for admin's good judgment when deciding what's spam and what's useful. I would guess if the "accomodations" link is spam, then the "restaurants" link would also be. If it's not spam, then what are the grounds for keeping it?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.—Ëzhiki (erinaceus amurensis) *** 14:34, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I just removed this link and one advertising accomodation from the Barcelona page. Also noticed a categories mess there. Barcelona is in Category:Cities in Catalunya and Category:Cities in Spain. Worse again, Category:Cities in Catalunya is not a subcat of Category:Cities in Spain, so I guess there are more cities in the same boat. Filiocht | Blarneyman *** 15:09, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. I went ahead and cleaned Paris as well. I would still appreciate a clarification on the policy—what kind of links are considered commercial, travel-related, and non-encyclopedic, and what kinds are acceptable.—Ëzhiki (erinaceus amurensis) *** 16:45, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't think that there's much written policy on this. In the absense of one, I would just consider the needs of the reader. If you think a reader looking for encyclopedic information on the topic would find the link relevant and interesting, it's good. If it would only appeal to people looking for a specific service (as opposed to people looking for general information about that type of service) then it's probably bad. We do have one rule that's fairly well-established: don't link to a site if it is just one of a large number of commercial sites providing similar services. Doing so would be advertising that particular website. Isomorphic 17:46, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks—that's pretty much how I looked at it, too. It's just that I was astonished to discover multitudes of commercial and somewhat commercial links all around Wikipedia after I looked at this issue a little closer; in fact, I was astonished so much that I started to question if my understanding of how the links should be handled is correct (hence this post). Thanks again for your confirmation; now I know that I was doing the right thing.—Ëzhiki (erinaceus amurensis) *** 17:53, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

On a related note, I've just been called to task for deleting ext lks to some chap's albums of his holiday photos ([8] & [9]) from Egypt and Luxor. Colourful and cheerful, but not really encyclopaedic. Any guidelines for that? Is it better to have something (anything) in the ext lks rather than nothing, or are there places where we just don't want to be sending our readers? Hajor 18:03, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely. To me these are all examples of spam linking, whether they are well intentioned or not. Why? Because we really want the information added to Wikipedia under a free license, not encourage readers to be lead off-site. I've recently removed a pile of hotel and restaurant guide links from London, and a host of photo blogs from photography (but they will all be back within the month).
The question is not 'is the site commercial' so much as is this external link of more benefit to Wikipedia and its readers, or the owner of the site linked to. So we really should link from the article, but not from every article that describes or references a book.
External collections of photographs are equally as difficult. A lot of the time they are just rubbish, but when the external photographs are really good, it is tempting to think that the reader of the Wikipedia article would like to see some better photographs of Egyptian pyramids or the like. However if we banned the link, and instead encourage the contributor to add some photographs under a free license, Wikipedia and its readers benefit more and the contributor can include a link back to their other photos on the image description page. This is an area of policy that could do with some firming up.
On a similar note, I wouldn't mind some input on the question of linking to 3rd party Wikis at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#External_links_to_3rd_party_Wikis. -- Solipsist 18:39, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Since Wikipedia isn't primarilly an image collection, I'd argue that really good image galleries should definitely be allowed as external links. We should never use external links as a substitute for our own content, but we should certainly use external links to supplement what we have. Wikipedia isn't primarilly in the business of making image galleries, so sites that do host excellent image galleries are perfect candidates for external links. Isomorphic 20:27, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)


please update the wording of this template to match that of template:commons. I cannot do this because the page is protected over an unrelated revert war (netoholics anti meta template crusade) Plugwash 23:42, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

OK I've update the text to read 'Wikimedia Commons has more media related to:' -- Solipsist 09:27, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Userspace controversy[edit]

Please read and contribute to Wikipedia:Userspace policy proposal. There has been recent controversy (here, among other places) about what is and is not permissible in user space. It is important to assert which policies (if any) do apply in userspace, and to what extent, and what should be done about transgression. Radiant_* 10:10, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)


At the moment I imbed the content of User:Geni/3RR on the talk pages pages of those I block under the 3RR. Has anyone got any better ideas for wording?Geni 00:31, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Marjorie Pay Hinckley[edit]

I am posting to protest the decision made by Mindspillage when closing this VfD debate. In this VfD, there were four votes for delete, two votes for keep, and one non-vote by User:RickK, the nominator, in which he proposed the possibility of a merge, but did not vote (this is both mine and Mindspillage's interpretation of RickK's comments). This resulted in a 2/3 majority concluding that the article should be deleted. Mindspillage turned it into a Merge and Redirect instead, despite no one actually voting for this position and only one person even suggesting it. When I asked her why on her talkpage, she responsed by saying that she found no consensus to delete (See her response on User talk:Indrian). I realize that not all admins agree on what exactly constitutes consensus, but this is the first time I have ever seen a 2/3 majority to delete called a lack of consensus. I would like this decision reviewed and respectfully propose that a clear consensus to delete was actually achieved. Indrian *** 21:14, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I second the motion. Ejrrjs | What? 21:46, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
For the record: I'd be very hesitant to delete with 2/3. Majority alone is not consensus—no one would promote an admin with a tally of (4/2/1), for example. As mentioned on Indrian's talk page, I would have kept for no consensus, but not liking to leave messes around for others to clean up I went ahead and merged it myself, as I've seen done in other similar cases. I won't delete this; as I am a newly-minted admin yet, if you do, please explain to me why. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 22:03, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Without reviewing the content at all, I will comment on the procedure. 2/3 is generally considered to be the minimum level of "concensus" necessary for deletion on VfD but we deliberately allow the deciding admin considerable discretion in the interpretation and identification of concensus. Remember that "Votes for deletion" is not really about "voting" at all. The comments are as important and often more important than the strict vote cast. A vote can be 10 to 1 against but if that last vote presents a fact-based argument supported by policy which invalidates the arguments presented by the previous delete voters, the deciding admin can override the strict vote count. Further, if the article changes during the discussion period (which we encourage), the deciding admin is granted great latitude to evaluate the comments in context of the varying versions. The deciding admin is encouraged (but not required) to show his/her work as the decision is made. This is, of course, a lot more important when exercising an override.

If any user disagrees with the decision rendered by a deciding admin, the usual approach is to use Votes for undeletion if the decision was "delete" or, if the decision was any variation of "keep", to wait a while then politely re-nominate the article for deletion. We don't generally encourage appeals on this page. It's just not set up for it. A pattern of abuse should be dealt with through the RfC process.

As a last process comment, the decision to "merge" is one which any editor can make or revert. It is not necessarily a binding decision of the VfD process. Having made the call that the decision is a "keep" in any form, the deciding admin immediately choose to act as an ordinary editor and be bold in creating the redirect. Rossami (talk) 22:23, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Since you admittedly did not read the materials, I feel the need to educate you on one point. She did not say the result of the debate was no consensus, she said the result of the debate was merge and redirect. She chose to ignore all the votes, keep or delete, and proclaim the suggestion by RickK to be the result of the debate. One person's comment versus six people's votes. That is a gross subversion of the VfD process whether the article were kept or not. Indrian *** 00:00, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I think Hinckley's wife is notable, albeit perhaps only marginally, and I'd have voted to keep if I'd known about the debate. So I suppose that would've saved the article. I feel a little bit guilty. Someone may want to take that into consideration regarding what should be done with the article. Everyking 22:29, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • That is a ridiculous proposition. There was probably someone else out there who would have voted delete, thus countering your phantom vote here. This cannot be decided based on how someone who did not vote would have voted. Indrian *** 00:00, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • Well, some people are of the opinion that a VfD is really just an informal sort of consensus building process, rather than a real vote. I disagree with that school of thought, but if one did agree with it, I think it would make sense to consider opinions after the fact as well. But all right, it's not such a big deal. Everyking 00:24, 29 Apr 2005
      • Yes, that is not such a big deal. What bothers me most is that the article should have been kept as is for lack of consensus or deleted because a majority wanted it gone. Instead, Mindspillage declared the official result of the vote as Merge and Redirect, which was coutner to every vote, keep and delete alike. Sure, she could have merged it afterwords as any user could, but she created an official result on the VfD page that was not supported by any voter. Indrian *** 00:31, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I would not delete on 66%, it's much too low. I look for something closer to 80%. No, you can't have a review, we leave the meaning of "consensus" up to the closer. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 22:42, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Also I have closed VfDs with significantly higher support to delete than 66%, with "no consensus". In my opinion, a consensus to delete should be pretty solid. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 22:53, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You know, I do not think there are all that many organization in the world that would consider needing an 80% vote to do anything. Probably because that would almost inevitably result in nothing of importance ever being done. Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy, but it is should not be a dictatorship subject to the whims of individual administrators either. I think the admins need to get together and make a policy on what exactly constitutes a consensus. Whether that is 50%, or 66%, or 75%, or even 80% is not important as long as there is a consistent standard. The current system allows any admin with a personal agenda on an article up for VfD to track the debate closely and then move in and delcare no consensus when other admins who were impartial would consider that a consensus had been reached. This works the other way too, as an admin could also strongly dislike an article and make sure to move in and delete it with 66% consensus. Sure, there is the undelete procedure or the possibility of nominating the article again, but that just puts us back on the same roller coaster for another ride. Any judicial system needs to be based on consistency and finality. The VfD process as it stands accords neither. Indrian *** 00:13, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Adding my own two cents, I think that a vote of exactly 2:1 for deletion is not consensus to delete, and I think Mindspillage's decision to merge and redirect, as per RickK's suggestion, was a wise one. The separate article on Marjorie Pay Hinckley is gone, and some potentially useful information which used to reside there has now been added to another article. If someone feels that information is non-notable, they are free to delete it from the Hinckley article; they can also list the redirect for deletion. Frankly I think the Hinckley article is improved by the addition of the information on his wife. Antandrus 23:15, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I can find no fault with Mindspillage's decision here. Four out of six votes is not enough for a clear consensus, so the default action is 'keep', and her decision to go ahead with the suggested merge is certainly not unreasonable. Kelly Martin *** 01:05, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Too bad. This approach will certainly discourage me to "vote" in the future, as the majority opinion does count for nothing. Anyway , I've just took from Gordon B. Hinckley the non relevant references to Ms Hinckley life. Ejrrjs | What? 23:19, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
OTOH to say The result of the debate was merge and redirect is pretty misleading Ejrrjs | What? 23:19, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

One more thing, and I'll go to sleep. Rossami seems to feel it is wrong that we are here questioning an Administrator decision. Please note that User:Mindspillage sent us here (I didn't even know that this page existed).

Also, the fifth paragraph of this page states that

(...) any user of Wikipedia may post here. We're not an elite club, just normal editors with some additional technical means and responsibilities. Anyone is free to use it to talk to admins as a group. Please feel free to leave a message

Ejrrjs | What? 23:29, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I don't think 6 votes where several different opinions are presented is really enough to make either a keep or a delete decision. Just one more vote would've swayed the numbers considerably. Merging is a compromise. There's no seperate article about the wife anymore, while info is contained elsewhere and free for editing and discussion by anyone else. Making the decision to merge is a freedom Mindspillage has as (s)he closed the debate. Why is merging so bad even if it wasn't suggested at all? Mgm|(talk) *** 09:26, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • For what it's worth, I think Mindspillage is to be congratulated for making a sensible decision. Six (and a half) votes is far to few for a real consensus to emerge, and the redirect and merge balances the desire to lose the page with the wish to keep the information. Filiocht | Blarneyman *** 10:17, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Mindspillage used her common sense. Three cheers for that! Filiocht is exactly right -- the page was deleted, effectively, but the info was kept. A great result. Oh, and I note that Rick suggested merging in the first place. All good! Grace Note 10:25, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Once again: how do you infer The result of the debate was merge and redirect. from 1 merge, 2 keeps and 4 deletes. This is a wrong decision and should be recognized as such, what's the big deal with that? We are all human beings, right? Ejrrjs | What? 12:47, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • It was the wrong decision from your POV, it was a good one from mine. As you say, we are all human, so we are all different. In real life, where consensus is not forthcoming, compromise sometimes has to do. There it is, and one just has to ask onself "In the greater scheme of things, does it really matter?" I just looked out the window here and it appears that the world is still turning, which is maybe an answer of sorts. Have a nice weekend. Filiocht | Blarneyman *** 13:59, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • If that is the substance of your disagreement, Ejrrjs, I will change the page to say the result was "keep (no consensus)", and add a little note to say that I have merged it. (Technically, the "result" of a VfD leaves the closer at liberty to interpret the comments—which are not strictly votes—according to discretion and good sense.) Which will change absolutely nothing of any consequence, take a minute or two, and slightly inflate my edit count. In fact, I have now done so. Does this settle the matter? Mindspillage (spill yours?) 15:16, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • Thanks, it was exactly what I meant. Ejrrjs | What? 15:30, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • My two cents: In my mind, there were only 7 votes -- not enough to effectively judge that there was a consensus to delete. I think Mindspillage did the right thing to do a merge. Zzyzx11 | Talk 15:40, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • Again, a process comment. Low vote count does not automatically invalidate the discussion and does not automatically indicate a failure to reach concensus. I have closed some at a mere 2:1 including my own opinion. Wikipedia is not an exercise in democracy and we are all encouraged not to vote on everything. If you glance at a VfD discussion and agree with the direction of the decision, you are not expected to chime in with a "me too" vote. In fact, we actively discourage it. A lack of votes may mean that the vote went unnoticed but with all the announcements and with the number of experienced people who actively monitor the full VfD page, it is generally reasonable to assume that silence implied agreement. This has been often discussed at Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion and can be found in many of the archive pages. This is, of course, a decision where the deciding admin is expected to exercise his/her discretion and judgment based on the specific facts at hand. Rossami (talk) 16:05, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have a process comment as well, though I'm dipping my foot in late in the game. There is a reason why delete is the only action that is admin-only: because deleting a page is a fairly severe and final action (though undeletion is possible by another admin). Only admins (which I'm not) have the knowledge and experience to judge whether an article should truly be deleted, while other editors are free to do any non-delete vote closing. While a VfD isn't strictly a vote, you should still vote because the vote closers read the comments of the voters. I agree with Rossami; a single vote (keep or delete) can mean more than other votes if the comments are valid or mention something that the other voters didn't consider. This can include a single vote by you, Ejrrjs. Yes, consensus is important, but that doesn't necessarily mean vote counting. I remember closing a particular VfD that had many people (including me) voting delete on an article, but the original author requesting a userfy. Since the article itself was valid (but made redundant by a more concise section in another article), I userfied the article. Did I go against consensus? Perhaps. But vote closers are supposed to use their own discretion and judgement along with the votes and comments made in the actual VfD. --Deathphoenix 15:52, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Request for change to MediaWiki:Nospecialpagetext[edit]


I was told on Bugzilla Bug 2016 that I should ask for an administrator's help on this. Currently, if you try to go to a nonexistant special page, it just tells you "You have requested a special page that is not recognized by Wikipedia.". I think it would be more helpful if it there was another sentence to the effect of "Click here for a list of all valid Special Pages". This would require editing MediaWiki:Nospecialpagetext. Would someone be willing to do that? Thanks, -- Creidieki 15:02, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • This has been done. Thanks! -- Creidieki 17:26, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Suggested template for POV pushers[edit]

What do people think about using this as a {{test}} template for new/anon editors that are making repeated POV edits? I know I've typed it on to a few talk pages recently, it also points out a useful policy that new editors may not be aware of that as far as I know isn't covered on any of the test templates:

Wikipedia has a strong neutral point of view policy, if you wish to make controversial edits please discuss them on the articles talk page. Continued insertion of POV opinions into articles may be considered vandalism, it is likely that your changes will be reverted and you may be blocked from editing Wikipedia

--nixie 07:56, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Like {{3RR}} (I only thought of checking for that after I found myself repeatedly saying things of this kind), this sort of thing has to be used with care. Simple vandalism is easily identified, but why 3RR violations and POV material insertion are not allowed is harder to communicate.
This template could be useful for the very clear-cut cases ("George W. Bush is an imperialist mass murderer") that nobody should be expected to get away with, but then again, you can file this under simple vandalism as well, as it's clearly done in bad faith.
OK, all the naysaying aside for a moment, we can take a shot at this. In the spirit of being bold, I've created {{POVwarning}} where we can edit this to suitability. Since this is a "if you don't like it, you're free not to use it" template, I don't see this as reckless. JRM · Talk 11:25, 2005 May 5 (UTC)
I'm extremely nervous of this template, as it may well just become a weapon to throw in POV wars. Why is the 3RR stuff included? There is no necessary causual link between newbies/anons inserting POV materials and their getting involved in revert wars, or if there is, I have yet to see the data. And there is certainly no clear policy on banning newbies/anons for POV pushing, or at least nothing I can find in the policy. A personalised message, suited to the exact circumstances, would serve much better, IMHO. Filiocht | Blarneyman *** 12:43, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
I agree with everything you say. I've taken the liberty of copying your remark to Template talk:POVwarning. Please continue further discussion there. JRM · Talk 12:56, 2005 May 5 (UTC)

You might want to make it grammatically correct. Those are four independent clauses and need more than a period and two commas to separate them. Let's keep our templates literate. alteripse 00:23, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

You might want to look at {{POVwarning}}. JRM · Talk 03:06, 2005 May 6 (UTC)

Ok, Mr. Languageperson gives it a pass. alteripse 02:01, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Is there a way to check when a user registered?[edit]

Given the recent spate of impersonation, I thought it prudent to check the user list to see if there were any names close to mine. Of course my current account, User:Knowledge Seeker, and my previous briefly used account, User:Knowledgeseeker, are there. I was also surprised to find User:Knowledge seeker, User:KnowledgeSeeker, User:Knowledgeseeker2004, and User:KnowlegeSeeker (and even User:Knowledge lover), none of whom seem to have made any contributions. It is quite possible that I registered one of these by accident and forgot about it, although I don't think that's the case. I also realize that my user name is made of two common English words and is a common phrase so I may not be the only one to think of it (indeed, I was surprised to find it untaken when I registered). I am curious, though, if these names were registered before I joined Wikipedia. — Knowledge Seeker 05:03, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

I happen to have looked into this subject recently for reasons completely unrelated. Technically it's not possible to tell when an account was registered, but it is possible to tell when the user last logged in/out, which may be good enough in this case. You do need database access for that, though. It's possible a malicious/benevolent user deliberately registered these accounts to facilitate/prevent impersonation of your account. JRM · Talk 06:39, 2005 May 9 (UTC)
Thanks; I hadn't thought of that. I was wondering if I (or another administrator) should preemptively block these accounts, before they gain page move ability or are used for other vandalism/impersonation. But I wouldn't want to catch any well-meaning user with an autoblock, so I guess I'll just leave them for now. — Knowledge Seeker 18:57, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
you could register any variations that haven't been already created yourself to prevent malicious others doing so. Thryduulf 20:17, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't reccomend doing this. There are so many variations on a name that it is futile. BrokenSegue 21:44, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
I was thinking of only ones like replacing lowercase l with uppercase I in names, or introducing/removing spaces, but differences like changing numbers I agree is futile. Thryduulf 22:51, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

Heya all.[edit]

Dunno if anyone is interested, but I'll be editing between 5:30PM - 6:00PM EST (that's 07:30 - 08:00 UTC) most nights now. - Ta bu shi da yu 08:05, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

That's too early! Inter\Echo 10:54, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Do my eyes deceive me? Ta bu shi da yu has re-entered the building! Mgm|(talk) *** 17:54, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • And there was much rejoicing! Isomorphic 05:12, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Uncertified RfC[edit]

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Danny was created on April 18th, and has failed to get a second certification since then. Thus, by RfC policy, it should be deleted ("If this does not happen within 48 hours of the creation of this dispute page, the page will be deleted"). However, in the past, some people have objected to deleting uncertified RfCs, so I'm posting it here for some discussion. Radiant_* 08:09, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

Vandalism investigations[edit]

A couple of pages on my watchlist were recently vandalized. In addition to fixing the vandalism, I started to check the user's contribution list and reviewed their other edits for vandalism. So far, they have mostly been anonymous IPs with a pattern of returning to commit vandalism every few months. As a notice to future reader/editors doing the same thing, I've started adding a notice on the anon user page saying how far I took my investigation. My hypothesis is that if we can flag where the last investigation ended, the future investigator can start from there and won't have so much rework.

Right now, I'm using a variation of this notice. Is there a better template already out there? If not, can anyone help me improve this wording? Rossami (talk) 15:50, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

==Vandalism investigation== A user from this IP address has recently been committing vandalism against Wikipedia. The edit history shows that this IP has also been used by well-intentioned Wikipedians making quality edits. The edits up to and including the edit at <timestamp> to <articlename> have been reviewed and the inappropriate entries have been reverted. Future investigations may begin here. ~~~~

Block not working?[edit]

From the block log:

08:55, May 9, 2005 UtherSRG blocked "User:" with an expiry time of 1 week (talk:Main Page vandalism)

But as you can see the user's contributions show a few bits of vandalism on the 10th and 11th. I reblocked for another week before I was aware the previous block. There were no unblocks in the meantime. What gives? - Taxman *** 17:42, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

That is pretty odd. According to the log this user was never unblocked, but they do indeed seem to have made some edits after the block went on. Maybe some sort of database glitch lost the block? Curious. Noel (talk) 20:34, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I just noticed the same thing with User: they were blocked for a year on the ninth but they edited today. BrokenSegue 03:43, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

What's going on with deletions?[edit]

When I try to delete a page, I get an error message twice before the deletion takes. When I try to look at a deleted page, it takes FOREVER before the page comes up. No other edits are taking this much time. RickK *** 23:42, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Not sure. It's working for me now (two minutes after your post) but I was having a similar problem yesterday. Antandrus 23:45, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm getting bug slow downs on deletions and checking my watchlist--nixie 23:49, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Same problem here. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 00:11, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I get the same thing. At this point, I give it a few seconds, then cancel and try again until it goes through. Everyking 00:44, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
Yup, similar deal here. One error, and then things would delete normally. Oddly it seemed to be exactly one error. No more no less. Every delete was taking two tries. Isomorphic 04:38, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
It occasionally happens to me, too, but about half of my deletions go through without problems. I didn't check the MediaWiki sources or study the setup, but as I understand it, this is just an indication of server overload. If the database request times out (i.e., the servers are so slow that they can't perform the request within some reasonable time, which itself is probably defined by the MediaWiki software or its configuration), the transaction is cancelled and you get an error message. For deletions, just retry; for edits, check the page history or your own contribution list to see whether the edit took despite the error message. Lupo 06:54, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
A wild guess, but databases are often limited by hard disk I/O. On the first try you probably succed in getting most of the needed database structures into RAM cache on the DB server (but the transaction doesn't quite make it in time). On the second try the needed DB structures (or most of it) are already in the RAM cache and the transaction finishes quickly. Thue | talk 08:13, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Over the last few days I've been trying to empty Category: Candidates for speedy deletion once a day. I've had this problem for about one in three deletes, sometimes taking up to four attempts. Filiocht | Blarneyman *** 08:32, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Worse today: three out of seven gave problems. Filiocht | Blarneyman *** 08:46, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
It's definitely a load issue, and I don't think the number of retries is anything but mostly random - I've had to retry up to 5 or so times on some of the redirs I deleted this morning. (I.e. there's not some bug so that the first one always fails, and the second always succeeds.) Noel (talk) 15:56, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

It's still a problem. Not a big problem, because I just keep trying till it happens, but it's strange that only deletes have this problem. RickK *** 07:40, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Deletion (e.g on VfD) housekeeping[edit]

Can I remind people when they delete pages (e.g. from VfD) to please hit "What links here", and check for things that point to the page you're deleting? Redirects to it need to be deleted as well (we've had a flock of redirects to VfD'd entries on RfD recently), and it would be good to check for dangling links in articles as well. Thanks! Noel (talk) 15:56, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

  • I've suggested that a dangling redirect pointing to a VfD'd article should be valid candidate for speedy deletion over on Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion. What think you? --TenOfAllTrades (talk/contrib) 23:11, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
    • They're already speedyable. The point is that it's a lot more work if the person doing the VfD doesn't do them when they do the page; someone else has to find them, and (probably) list them on RfD to get them deleted. Noel (talk) 21:09, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Block-compress deletion bug[edit]

This seems to have been fixed. Anyone know anything about this? Noel (talk) 21:16, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Don't know about it being fixed, but if it is, someone should delete the stuff that's tagged with a pending deletion tag. 22:07, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
    • There was a bot running last night to delete some of the stuff, I don't know how much got deleted. 16:38, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
      • Which bot?! An admin bot automatically deleting pages sounds a bit dangerous to me, no? What if I were to tag an arbitrary page with {{pending deletion}}? Would it delete that, or did it make sure that the page is protected first? -Frazzydee| 13:07, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
        • As explained on User:Pending deletion script, The script uses a static copy of that list, so adding articles now will not cause them to be deleted. If a page were tagged by a non-admin before the static copy were made it would be deleted, which could have happened, but seems unlikely. Thue | talk 14:45, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Closing of VfD on "Maps of Korea"[edit]

Could someone take a second look at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Maps of Korea? By my count, there are eleven votes of "Delete the page, move the images to Commons", on the grounds of Wikipedia is not an image gallery, and five votes of "Keep". SimonP, who closed the debate, interpreted this as "Keep". --Carnildo 21:57, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Why don't you ask him directly why he decided the way he apparently did? He won't bite you! Lupo 22:26, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
With only 69% supporting the delete, I don't think this can be called a consensus to delete. Pcb21| Pete 13:25, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Since there is no official rule on what percentage merits a 'consensus' here, this is open to interpretation from individual admins. Some will 'delete' at 70%, some won't. Radiant_* *** 16:08, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

POV-pushers with DHCP pools[edit]

So once again (see, e.g WP:AN/I#User:SummerFR) we are having problems with POV-pushers coming in as anons from DHCP pools, which make it a lot of work to deal with them (and there's always the issue that a range block might impact innocents). So here's a suggestion: add another flag to articles which, when set, allows them to be edited only from logged-in accounts. We would set this flag only on articles which are the target of POV-pushers, and they'd be then forced to sign up for an account, which we could block. (Yes, they can sign up for another account, but that's still a certain amount of work, and we already have sock-puppets to deal with.) Yes, yes, I know this is a change to our policy of allowing people to edit without logging in, but it's a minimal change. Also, you can think of it as being a milder form of Wikipedia:Protection - and like protecting, we can always clear it after a while, once the problem editor has given up. Noel (talk) 01:00, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

GFDL non-compliance[edit]

I've been corresponding with a Wikipedian (User:Amerindianarts) who is upset that his work is being ripped off by another site. Specifically, the site appears to be using our content as hidden text in java code, so that it shows up in google searches but not on the page.

When the user emailed the site to complain, they responded by trying to blank the Wikipedia article! (See the history of Zuni language.) Between their blatently abusive use of our content, and their attempt to respond by blanking our article, this is something we should not allow. This is a bit more egregious than your typical non-compliance case, IMO

Also, we need to create a good system for GFDL enforcement. We have a well-defined system to avoid infringing on other peoples' copyright, but none for defending the copyright of our own writers, and that is embarassing. Isomorphic 03:20, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

You can see the ripped text by looking at the google cache. If warnings and threats don't work what power do we really have? We don't have a legal team to protect the content. I'd say just send more emails and hope they get scared. BrokenSegue 04:25, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Oh, I guess I didn't understand. This website is mirroring all of our pages in this way even our ipblock list. This is quite a serious violation. BrokenSegue 04:45, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, and made more serious by hiding the fact that they do it. They obviously know they're in violation. We can't let this go. Isomorphic 04:49, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Although I agree that the blanking was an inappropriate act, I don't see that they're in violation of copyright. It clearly says "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." at the top of the page, and has a link back to our Zuni page at the bottom of the page. RickK *** 04:59, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

The violation is that you'll never see that notice if you go to their site. The text shows up in google, but if you click through to their site, it doesn't show up. Try it for yourself. Isomorphic 05:40, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
I never get to the article when clicking through, and I can't figure out how to find it when I go the site. All I get is the Home page. RickK *** 09:02, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Yes, that's the point. That's how we think they designed it. The articles are hidden in java code and never actually display. But google can see them, so they bring in traffic. Isomorphic 09:29, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't think they are hidden in Java code - I looked at the HTML source I got back from clicking through to the site from a Google search, and the article text was nowhere to be seen. I suspect that they do is look at the source of the query, and if it's Google or Yahoo or whatever they give them back the Wikipedia page content, and if it's someone radom they give them their advertising page. Noel (talk) 04:17, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Is there any value in making Google aware of this specific sort of gaming? Pcb21| Pete 11:08, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Good thought. Yes, it would be worthwhile. Google tries to tweak the algorithm against various abuses. How would one go about making them aware, though? They have talked with us in the past.. perhaps we should ask Jimbo to send them a note? They pay attention to him, for sure. Isomorphic 16:53, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
I think this is the correct page to report abuses like this. Should Jimbo send it? Or just anyone? BrokenSegue 17:28, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
the page for yahoo BrokenSegue 17:30, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
I have submitted spam reports to both Google and Yahoo. Isomorphic 16:34, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

I might add that this article is listed on my website, stating that it is freeware to be used and not abused with a link to the Wiki article and referencing GDFL and, so copyright infringement is a stretch. However, whatever language school explorer is doing is abusive according to GFDL, and is dangerous for intellectual property rights all across the web. I have contacted Google twice in the past week in regard to this issue and they are usually very consciencious taking action towards those spamming the search engines and using hidden text. I think that perhaps a word from Jimbo would carry more weight. It may not be java code. It could be an ROR format where only the robots can find their text pages. That is purely speculation since searches for their ror.xml and articles.xml still bring up the home page (without a 404 error). Amerindianarts May 15, 2005, 18:14 CST, I think. What is UTC?

  • Oops. I just noticed that this page is for administrators only. Sorry.Amerindianarts
    • Actually, it isn't. As some text buried somewhere near the top of the page says However, any user of Wikipedia may post here. We're not an elite club, just normal editors with some additional technical means and responsibilities. Anyone is free to use it to talk to admins as a group. Please feel free to leave a message. --Calton | Talk 00:02, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

In regard to the comments made above thus far, I would like to summarize: It doesn't matter how school-explorer is doing what they are doing. The point is that Wikipedia articles are freeware but school-explorer is restricting access to the information while using it for self-promotion with profit as an objective. Mirror sites are for profit, they have click-through ads everywhere, but they do not limit access to the information they promote via search or webpage content. School-explorer limits access to the information they advertise to provide and because it is freeware that is this information, they are blantantly non-compliant according to GFDL standards. Freeware is no longer free. It is unethical, maybe criminal, definitely non-compliant, and I cannot emphasize enough the precedent this may set across the web in regard to intellectual property rights if it is allowed to go unchecked. School-explorer could fix the problem by simply putting the text on their pages with the proper references, but have yet to do so. Maybe administrators should deluge Google with complaints expressing these very sentiments. Amerindianarts 01:43, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Was everyone aware of this:Wikipedia:Standard GFDL violation letter? Does someone have the contact information for the infringer? If you have the correct legal address and those violation letters have been sent I could probably get a follow up letter from a law firm sent and I'd also be willing to do the legwork to sue on behalf of the Foundation if it came to that. Copyright law says I can sue in my jurisdiction. Costs alone for them to defend a suit like that would mean they would likely fold quickly. Since they are infringing multiple copyrights, they could be sued from every jurisdiction if need be. Filing fees for a small claims lawsuit are about $60, which the Foundation could easily afford. - Taxman *** 20:54, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Hmm, I'll have to research this more. It may have been wishful thinking that I can sue them here. It's also possible I'd have to sue in district or circuit court, with slightly higher fees, but that's not a big deal. Perhaps someone in the Netherlands can call the below number and/or dig in more to find their real location. The link at the bottom of their pages "by WEC" links to what presumably is the pages designer Their contact link seems valid, and they may be able to get real contact info for the offender. - Taxman *** 04:00, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
I wrote jacques at . I sent him a copy of the GFDL non-compliance letter, but this letter does not fully address the situation, i.e. using Wiki articles as hidden text, so I had to add a postscript explaining that hidden text is unacceptable (which it is according to Google, They may have the correct references on the hidden text, but this is still non-compliant. I also wrote the owner address below, which may be the same individual. Amerindianarts 18:01, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Whois search for yielded:

  • owner-address: geen
  • owner-address: Web Exploring Consultancy
  • owner-address: Dhr. J. van Nes
  • owner-address: Boschdijk 256
  • owner-address: 5612 HJ
  • owner-address: Eindhoven
  • owner-address: Netherlands
  • owner-phone: +31.402801419
  • owner-e-mail:
  • admin-c: DR63-GANDI
  • tech-c: DR63-GANDI
  • bill-c: DS145-GANDI
  • nserver: DNS01.IP2.NET
  • nserver: DNS02.IP2.NET
  • reg_created: 2001-08-16 06:33:19
  • expires: 2005-08-16 06:33:19
  • created: 2004-07-17 06:55:21
  • changed: 2004-07-19 09:52:58

This may not be entirely correct. is the hosting server in France with a server in New York (possibly) It is a maze. Amerindianarts 03:48, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

I have received correspondence from security at They state that school-explorer is a 'customer of a reseller from us' which is confirmed by my whois research. They want to help but want a formal complaint with proof. I suppose that I can send a formal complaint via email? Proof of hidden text is going to be the difficult part. Suggestions welcome. Amerindianarts 17:24, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I hope you just sent the links people have given above. Then they can verify the hidden text themselves. Thanks for sending that and keep us posted. - Taxman *** 20:25, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
Yes, a detailed account of Google page results for keyword phrases from wiki articles and their links to school-explorer.Amerindianarts 02:11, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

The complaint has been sent. Anyone wishing to see it can email me for a copy. Amerindianarts 19:16, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Good. Keep us posted. Isomorphic 02:33, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
The only thing that has happened thus far is it appears that Google has removed MY site, where the original copyrighted version exists, from the index. It may be that more is going on here than meets the eye. Amerindianarts 20:51, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
It may be that what this site is doing is within the bounds of the GFDL. After all, the version of their pages they return to Google does have the credit to Wikipedia and the link page. The version they give to other people doesn't - but then again, it doesn't contain the Wikipedia text either! But you'd think that Google would want to avoid these scams, and I also don't understand why they'd pull your page. Maybe they either don't get it, or they are still trying to figure out what to do, or something. Jnc 21:17, 21 May 2005
I haven't seen any credits thus far. I think that GFDL complaince means that access to the information cannot be limited. The "text" is not visible while they are using it, and the access is limited. Thus, it is not free. My interpretation is that this is non-complaint. I also wrote to Jimbo about this some time ago. Thus far, I am the only one to suffer and I'm doubting that Wiki really wants to do anything about this and my efforts are futile. Amerindianarts 22:02, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
The credits are in the copy that's cached on Google. IANAL, but I'm not sure about your argument about "access to the information cannot be limited .. The "text" is not visible while they are using it". Just because a site has some GFDL content on some pages doesn't mean that the GFDL rules apply to all their pages. GFDL rules probably only apply to pages that have GFDL content. Yes, it's really sneaky that the same URL (seemingly) returns different results depending on who's asking for it, but then again, plenty of sites do this (try looking at a page on a pay site when you don't have an account). I do think Wikipedians care, but it's not clear that we have any legal standing here - I thihk Google are the ones who ought to be really concerned, because if they let this hack stand, soon everyone will be using it. Noel (talk) 01:28, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
I have to disagree. I think GFDL rules apply for educational resources and information. If you search for Zuni language and follow the school-explorer link there is entirely nothing about Zuni resources or information, nothing is offered in the way of instruction, plus it is a for-profit site. When I joined Wiki I expected to be edited, but I did not expect that the activity by language school would be tolerated. It may be best to pull my contribution and exert my right as a copyright holder.Amerindianarts 19:31, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
Ah. Let me try to put it more directly. There's a good chance that Wikipedia has no legal way to stop them. I am not an intellectual property lawyer, so I can't say for sure, but that's my knowledgeable amateur first take (if in fact they are doing what I have guessed (above) that they are doing). Iff it's true that Wikipedia has no legal recourse with them, you can berate the Wikipedia community all you like, but it can't do what it has no legal grounds to do. Noel (talk) 20:23, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
PS: Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but you can't "pull" any contributions you have already made. With you, on the other hand (and I understand the irony here), Wikipedia does have legal grounds! When you hit the "Save" button, you are granting an irrevocable license for use of whatever it was you just entered. You can edit it out, of course, but you have no legal right to stop someone else putting it back in. Noel (talk) 20:23, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, after what I have seen, I'm willing to take my chances with whatever legal grounds exist. I certainly have nothing more to offer Wiki. Hitting the "save" button is, as you infer, a legal contract. Legal contracts work two ways, at least. If you assert GFDL complaince, it is expected, as is its enforcement. If I expect enforcement when I hit the save button... well, you figure it out.Amerindianarts 01:12, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

I still don't seem to be clear - let me try this another way. Your comments ("GFDL .. enforcement") seem to indicate a belief that is violating the GFDL. However, if LSE is not in fact violating the GFDL, what exactly do you expect Wikipedia to do, and on what legal grounds? Noel (talk) 04:54, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

You are perfectly clear. Maybe I'm not clear. They are in violation. That is clear from my interpretation of the rules. I don't see how they can not be. However, It wouldn't be worth it for Wiki to pursue it on legal grounds. Maybe someone from Wiki with some clout has contacted Google, but I wouldn't know it. That may help. Maybe LSE has permission from WIKI to do it. I wouldn't know that either. One very essential point of the rules is that the text not be changed (don't know that it has, but don't know that it hasn't, it's hidden). Even more essential is the part that use is maintained for informational and educational purposes. If you search for "zuni language", "zuni worldview", or "zuni world view", you get three different descriptions, all verbatim from Wiki, but the source page of LSE has no info on zuni. It is not on their language menu. They don't offer any resources for instruction. There is not one single reference to the language on the supposed "Zuni" page, which is a file in their "/info/" folder. It doesn't take rocket science to see the violation. I'm through here. Finis. I am going to concentrate on persisting with Google. The others will follow if Google takes a position. Amerindianarts 11:10, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
School-explorer has changed their cache page from the article on /Zuni_language to the article on the /Zuni. They do reference Wikipedia on the cache page. I don't remember seeing the references on the cache page before. Still, however, the text doesn't appear on the search page results which is illicit, but Google doesn't appear to be concerned with it. Neither does Wiki, as I have gathered from email correspondences with the Wikipedia information team. 20:25, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Special:Upload message is wrong[edit]

If you do not want to use the GFDL, you must upload your files to the Wikimedia Commons.

This is nearly the opposite of what it should say. Suggested change:

If you do not want to use a free license, you must not upload your files to the Wikimedia Commons.

where WIkipedia:free license is either written or points to a suitable explanation page. Lupin 20:03, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

We have an article, Free content, which I think would be a suitable target, so we don't have to write a new article. I'm not sure your suggested text is less confusing than what's there now, though... Noel (talk) 18:56, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
What he is trying to say is that all images uploaded to the english wikipedia must be under the GFDL. If you want your image to only be licensed under fx a creative commons license you can't upload it here, but can upload it to the commons and have a choice of a free license (I don't know if this is official policy, but that's what is it trying to say). I agree that the current wording can be read the wrong way.
You can edit the message at MediaWiki:Uploadtext. In generel, system messages can be found via menu->Special pages->System messages. Thue | talk 22:36, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
That can't be all true because fairuse isn't GFDL compliant. Also you can upload images under GFDL compliant coyprights like creative commons (or PD) and not license under GFDL. At least that was my impression. BrokenSegue 22:50, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
You can edit the message at MediaWiki:Uploadtext.
No, I can't since I'm not an admin. Hence I'm asking here for someone to fix this (it's still hopelessly confusing and perhaps deleting the offending sentence would be an improvement). Lupin 16:44, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Why not? - the page isn't protected. Thue | talk 20:12, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
MediaWiki: is special - it's hardcoded in the programming so that only admins can edit any page there. (I.e. the setting of the protected/unprotected flag is immaterial.) Noel (talk) 20:41, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

I changed it to:

-- AllyUnion (talk) 19:44, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

That definently makes the intended meaning clear. Thue | talk 20:12, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Proposal to amend date terminology per NPOV policy[edit]

I know admins are not an elite group, but they do represent a considerable amount of experience and dedication. This is just to inform people that I want Wikipedia to accept a general policy that BC and AD represent a Christian Point of View and should be used only when they are appropriate, that is, in the context of expressing or providing an account of a Christian point of view. In other contexts, I argue that they violate our NPOV policy and we should use BCE and CE instead. See Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/BCE-CE Debate for the detailed proposal. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:52, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Your original section name gave the wrong impression about what you were trying to do, so changed it from "Proposal to amend NPOV policy" to something that I hope is more accurate. Noel (talk) 04:23, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Wow, 51 votes 'for' and 59 'against' and a page protect against vandalism, all within two days... this is even worse than the WP:POINT semi-debate. Radiant_* *** 16:53, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
And without any actual vandalism, to boot! Pcb21| Pete 18:11, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Ummm... I'm almost embarrassed about this...[edit]

... but I've just reapplied for adminship. Not sure how this is going to go, but kudos and brickbats welcome! - Ta bu shi da yu 08:05, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

You sure you need to do that? As far as I'm concerned, you should just apply to a bureacrat for your bit back. Noel (talk) 19:44, 18 May 2005 (UTC)


With a couple of others, I've deprecated Template:Notpolicy and Template:Semi-policy. Most relevant Wikipedia pages are now classified in Category:Wikipedia official policy, Category:Wikipedia guidelines, Category:Wikipedia policy thinktank (which is proposed for renaming to 'policy proposals') or Category:Wikipedia rejected policies (or, possibly, Category:Wikipedia style and how-to)

Since the admins here respresent a large amount of knowledge of procedure and history of Wikipedia, I would request that some of them here look over one or more of the categories, and see if there's anything in the wrong place. There probably isn't anything controversial, I hope. Thanks for your time. Radiant_* 09:15, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

New image speedy deletion criterion[edit]

This was added to Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion based on the linked mailing list notice posted by Jimbo.

Images licensed as "for non-commercial use only" or "used with permission" which were uploaded on or after May 19, 2005. link

Any previously uploaded images should be replaced with free images and then put through the WP:IFD process. -- Netoholic @ 05:14, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

New page[edit]

Could someone add my dog mine article to the newest article page? Thanks. - Ta bu shi da yu 09:08, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

  • It's on [[10]]. Did you want something else? Filiocht | Blarneyman *** 09:11, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Sorry, I was kind of thinking of the front page template. Isn't that locked nowadays? - Ta bu shi da yu 12:55, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

What constitutes a revert for 3RR purposes?[edit]

If the reverts are to different versions of the same page, do they still count as reverts? I'm thinking specifically of this page, where a guy made three reverts to the header, which has now been left with that version, then he changed the image and made a couple of reverts to that version when I and another guy opposed, then changed the image again and made a revert to *that* version when another guy reverted back to the original image. He's made far more than three reverts, but he's not made more than three reverts on any specific issue (unless you count the image, but that's split over two seperate images). Is this okay or a breach? - SoM 22:39, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Reverts are per page not per version.Geni 23:16, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

{{PD-US}} and {{PermissionAndFairUse}}[edit]

Does anybody know why Template:PD-US and Template:PermissionAndFairUse are protected? I ask because I was thinking about changing both of these templates' layout so they look more like the other public domain and fair use image tags, respectively. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 03:33, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Likely for legal reasons. All our copyright pages are protected for that reason, it's safe to assume that template pages which relate to copyright are protected for the same reason. I'm not certain what you want to insert, but I will gladly do it for you. Please let me know on my talk page. Or you can leave a copy of the formatted template on this page and let some other administrator do that for you. -- AllyUnion (talk) 08:43, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
This is low priority, so I won't really go into much detail now. But I was thinking that {{PD-US}} should look similar to {{PD-USGov}} and {{PermissionAndFairUse}} should look similar to {{PD-US}}, in terms of generally look and layout. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 00:33, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Both of those are heavily used templates. So changing them will kill the cache for thousands of pages. That could be one reason why they are protected. --mav 02:14, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Anyone else getting previews when they hit submit?[edit]

It's really annoying. Especially if you then hit submit AGAIN and it replaces the entire article with the section you just created... - Ta bu shi da yu 11:49, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

...or doubles the length of the whole article, or tells you you're in an edit conflict with yourself. Yes, it seems to have been happening a lot lately. ISTR someone writing on the VP about that, too. Can't help but wondering if it's connected with the peculiar things that have been happening when you try to delete articles - you quite often get an error the first time and have to do it again. Any techs here have any idea what's going on? Grutness...wha? 11:55, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
I think something somewhere is out of sync.Geni 12:02, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
My sense is that the delete problem (#What's going on with deletions?) is mostly a server load issue, and I don't think it's related to this - I have been seeing this "preview when you hit submit" problem for some months now, and the delete problem just got bad recently (IIRC, at the same time when the block-compress delete bug was fixed, so there may be a connection there). There does seem to be a load-related component to the preview problem (i.e. it's worse when the servers are loaded) but I suspect it's a separate bug, just one that is also more likely when the system is loaded. Noel (talk) 14:35, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
Yep, I have seen this firsthand. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:32, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
Yes. The thing to do when it happens is to hit preview before trying to submit again. That usually works - SoM 20:10, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Date of the deletion principles poll should be updated on Wikipedia:Recentchanges[edit]

The date of the deletion principles poll has been the subject of debate on Wikipedia talk:Schools/Deletion principles poll, and the outcome has been the consensus view that May 25 is too early to hold this contentious poll while the content of the poll is still in flux. Please could someone either remove the date from Wikipedia:Recentchanges or update it to reflect the current date of June 4th? (I am not an admin so am unable to edit pages in the Wikipedia: namespace). Thanks, Lupin 14:15, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

  • By the way, what is a generic poll that isn't even proposing policy doing there in the first place? Radiant_* *** 14:57, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
  • The date is still wrong. Please update it to June 4th as stated on the poll. Lupin 15:24, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Thanks for updating this. The phrase "a one-week review period" is now incorrect. Please remove "one-week". Incidentally, is the protection of this page really necessary? Has it been mass-vandalised in the past? Lupin 15:55, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Done. – ABCD 19:24, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
yes the page has been vandalised yes it is going to stay protected. The profile of that page is simply too high.Geni 00:34, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Moving considered harmful?[edit]

The text for moving a page says, "WARNING! This can be a drastic and unexpected change". Apart from the fact that it isn't nearly that bad (since it leaves a redirect and can be reverted by any experienced user) this warning, among others, is deterring newbies from performing page moves. Would it be a reasonable suggestion to reword it somewhat? I'm trying to educate n00bs in general on moving and merging, since some of them tend to VfD things instead and that doesn't seem right. Radiant_* *** 21:09, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Moving isn't considered harmful, but it is drastic. On the whole, I'd rather the warning stayed, in my experience new people moving when they shouldn't are more of a problem than them not moving when they should. Making the warning about copy+paste moves twice the size would have my support though. Also, having a move tab for new users and not-logged-ins with an explanation about moving and warning against copy+paste moving would be useful. What's more, it should be doable with only light hackery of the skin files I think? --W(t) 21:15, 2005 May 23 (UTC)
One thing that may need to be enlarged is the "check for double-redirects" bit. I don't know how many times I've come across a page move (the moving of Time (magazine) comes to mind) and people haven't bothered to fix double redirects. Evil MonkeyHello *** 00:16, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Please clarify what "double-redirects" are. I could guess, but would rather have it spelled out. Thanks. --Unfocused 04:29, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
If a A redirects to B, and B in turn is a redirect to C, you have a double redirect. The problem is that the software only redirects once, so if you go A, then you only get as far as B, not C. This is stop you ending up in an infinite loop. Evil MonkeyHello *** 04:48, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Okay, so we are agreed that it needs some kind of rewording :) (warning against copy/pasting sounds useful, too). But how does one go about editing this (or discussing such edits), I believe it's on Meta or something? Radiant_* *** 07:13, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Text on such pages is kept in the MediaWiki: namespace right here on Wikipedia. Mgm|(talk) *** 21:01, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
    • (It should be noted that there is already a warning about copy+paste at the bottom of the message, but I want it further to the top, in a font thrice as big, bright purple and making the hamsterdance music when you mouse-over it.)

Another requested update to Wikipedia:Recentchanges[edit]

User:Neutrality has taken his deletion principles poll back into his userspace in order to retain editorial control. Since this poll is a private poll which is not editable by the community (at Neutrality's behest), I think that advertising it prominently on Wikipedia:Recentchanges is inappropriate. I therefore request that it be replaced on Wikipedia:Recentchanges by some other survey or simply deleted. Lupin 03:48, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

I second Lupin's request. User:Neutrality had been asked to userfy his private "Deletion principals poll" because it was his own private poll, being conducted contrary to the overwhelming consensus of the community. (See Straw poll regarding Deletion principles poll.) He did, but left Wikipedia:Recentchanges pointing at the Wikipedia:Schools/Deletion principles poll, where there was a redirect to his user space. When the redirect was replaced with a note warning people that they were leaving Wikispace and entering User:Neutrality's individual userspace, and a link to actually go to Neutrality's poll in his user space, Neutrality edited Wikipedia:Recentchanges Surveys section to go directly to his user page. I believe that both of Neutrality's actions have the effect of disguising the fact that the poll resides on his user page, and not in Wiki space. This is misleading, and therefore, especially inappropriate. I make the same request that User:Lupin did above; remove the improper reference to this poll from the Wikipedia:Recentchanges page. Thank you for your attention in this matter. --Unfocused 06:50, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Actually I just removed that entry since the poll has clearly been withdrawn to userspace and the originator has made it plain that he does not want any further work on it. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 07:29, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Page with history but no text[edit]

Paul Underwood exists as an article, but the text is missing from the database. This might have happened because it was speedy deleted and edited at the same time (17:14, 26 May 2005). The missing revision probably does exist but is deleted; could an administrator take a look at the top deleted revision and check if it's worth restoring? (The original speedied content was 'paul underwood' according to the deletion log). --cesarb 01:06, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

  • All the page said was Paul Underwood. I have deleted it propperly now.--nixie 01:31, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Deleting WoW and WiC[edit]

I am intending to propose the deletion of Wikipedia:Long term abuse/Willy on Wheels and Wikipedia:Long term abuse/Wikipedia is Communism. I have made my proposal entry on User:Sjakkalle/WoWVFD, but will wait for a bit more input. I am worried that if such a VfD fails, it will be adding another trophy to these vandals' already too big collection. Sjakkalle 07:10, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

  • I have now listed the page on VFD. Sjakkalle 08:10, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  • And I'm afraid it makes tracking them harder. Is there an alternative method in place for that yet? Mgm|(talk) *** 22:45, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism[edit]

As an experiment, I've created Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism ("WP:AIV") as an attempt at a slimmed-down version of WP:ViP for getting quick administrator intervention against vandals. The problem that caused me try this is that on the whole, administrators rarely read WP:VIP, and it regularly grows so large that it's a major hassle to add things to. I hope that with a simple, archive-cruft free page the reporting of vandals and the handling of those reports will be easier for both reporters and vandals. Admins: Please add Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism to your watchlist and check it regularly. I think that with a simple interface, and given that we have nearly 500 administrators, we should be able to get the latency between reporting of vandals and blocking (when necessary) down to 10-15 minutes, which would be a huge improvement over the current state of affairs. Thanks in advance for your cooperation. (The brief discussion that led to this on WP:VP is WP:VPM#Is_ViP_working.3F here) --W(t) 06:03, 28 May 2005 28 (UTC)

  • Shouldn't we add at least some info on what the vandal did? Finding the offending edit may otherwise be quite hard. Not as wordy as VIP. A few words should suffice. For example: "George W. Bush blanked repeatedly". Mgm|(talk) 10:39, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
    Yeah, I'm beginning to realise that I might have slimmed it down a little too much. Updated to allow for a brief reason to be added (without that nonsense-spammers that got speedy deleted were rather incomprehensible too).
    For some reason the vandals are on their best behaviour today, so no test run yet :( --W(t) 16:41, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

User:Sam Spade/Report rogue admin[edit]

Just boasting, really; if you're not on this list, you're surely doing something wrong. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:05, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

  • The page looks like a provocation to me, but I'm not sure I really understand the dispute between Mel Etitis and Sam Spade, so I might not be in a position to comment on this. Isn't this redundant with the RfC page, though? Combined with the "Detective agency" thing, it makes me wish an important user like Sam Spade settled his issues in the open, instead of making private pages to "investigate" and amass "evidence" against other users. Phils 22:36, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
    The page looks like the response of the provoked, had those in dispute with Sam Spade refrained from continuing to involve themselves with him and refused to escilate the argument, we wouldn't be in this state now. Sam's page is open, and he seems to be making ..too much of an effort to spread its popularity. I'd say we should encourage him to file RFCs but it seems that he already says he will be. --Gmaxwell 23:38, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Thats the whole point, I am trying to be out in the open about what I'm doing. An RfC is forthcoming, of course. I am in the information gathering stage. Click here to report admin abuse 22:50, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#User:Sam_Spade. Click here to report admin abuse 23:22, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

I've now reported Sam Spade's abuse of administrators on his page. If any administrators are feeling abused by him you may wish to click above to report the admin abuse. 00:57, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Thats exactly the sort of laugh-in-your-face attitude we need less of among admins. Sam Spade 01:02, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

  • My appologies Sam, I didn't intend it as anything personal (a personal attack, or a joke against you or anything of the sort). Obviously my attempt at being light-hearted didn't come off as intended. Thryduulf 10:02, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Some might see this latest venture SS as something of an advance. After all, it's not long since he was thrashing around, threatening legal action because one of his private e-mails was made public by another editor, and now he's making public a whole string of mine. It shows that, contrary to all beliefs, he's actually capable of learning. Of course, in this case, the learning seems to have been somewhat faulty, but you can't have everything. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:06, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

User:Sam Spade/Report rogue admin/Mel Etitis Email. I had intended to ask your permission, but after you posted an excerpt, I thought that was good enough as a precedent. Sam Spade 10:19, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Oh my. This is laughable. Of all WP users, Sam Spade should be stopped acting as if he was some authority. -- 790 15:36, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

It also conflates quoting one sentence from an e-mail with reproducing a series of e-mails in their entirety. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:44, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Apologies. Sam Spade 23:52, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

User and article talkpage abuse?[edit]

I don't think this is quite in the remit of an RfC yet, but I have noticed a user (I use the term as there don't seem to be (m)any article edits as opposed to lots of talk page edits) making comments and then some minutes later deleting those comments. They have not replied to myself or others on their talk page, indeed they requested their talk page to be deleted. Sometimes the added/deleted edit is a fair comment to the discussion, many times it is not, including occasions where another editor has replied to their comment after which they have deleted that leaving the follow-on comment without a context. I haven't reverted (ie re-inserted) these edits as yet but would seek comments from others first ... --Vamp:Willow 11:16, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Who is the user, Vamp Willow? SlimVirgin (talk) *** 19:48, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
I was hoping to review the matter without specifying, but R. Sample comment removals at [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16]. In the final one removing their own attribution but leave the comment, in the rest they remove the lot. --Vamp:Willow 20:27, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
Weird. Here he is deleting his signature from posts [17], [18], [19]
He should definitely be approached about it. By the way, this report probably belongs on WP:AN/I. SlimVirgin (talk) *** 21:07, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
Please see my comments on my talk page and here. It's me, just not putting tildes.
ok. so your/this user's intent is to "withdraw from wikipedia"a dn is removing all still-visible comments and attributions. In many ways this is why I was trying to keep this in the non-identifiable realm in that posing the question "Is a 'live' talk page mandatory for becoming a registered user?". In this particular case, of course, the removal of what is visible does not remove any of the comments nor attributions from the database and all can easily be located from the history of those pages, indeed it could be argued that removing them actually makes them more obvious as there will be two edits in the history not the one. Generally speaking though, it must be inherently wrong in the nature of a collaborative effort to subsequently remove ones comments and input, especially where someone else has responded to those comments or input. --Vamp:Willow 09:23, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
I've reverted where the user removed votes he had cast on matters that have already been closed (VfDs, for example). I left a note on his talk page and suggested that in those cases, he replace his signature in the vote with [ This user has vanished], but leave the date and time stamp intact. I agree that the extra edits call more attention to his disappearance, but remember that this applies only on Wikipedia. Our content, often including user and talk pages, is mirrored by a large number of websites. Removing his signature will create a higher profile here on Wikipedia, but greatly reduce the overall profile. SWAdair | Talk 10:22, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Deleting comments and signatures can affect the readability of surrounding discussion. Anyone has the right to remove their email address from WIkipedia and their userpage in case they want to leave, but comments - once made - should remain to protect the validity of the discussion they were posted in. If everyone does this, some discussions just really wouldn't make sense anymore. Mgm|(talk) *** 22:42, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    • Agreed. I'd say comments already made on talk pages are not part of RightToVanish. If you want to remove them don't make them in the first place. - Taxman Talk *** 23:25, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Don't Panic - Palm Browser optimized Wikipedia![edit]

Seeing as this glorious compendium is rapidly becoming a standard repository for all knowledge and wisdom, it seems that the ability to access it easily from any connected browser would be te most vastly useful contribution to society since the towel. For the most part the current site does the job, but what if you're on a Treo or WiFi enabled PDA? These are the hoopiest gadgets since the digital watch, and using them to access a PDA browser optimized Wikipedia would make them the closest thing to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy since, well, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy! Any chance of the collective Wikipedia community being a squeaky enough wheel in the MediaWiki dev group to make this happen? I should think there's some crossover in the dev community between these two projects...

For that matter, I also feel that it would be only appropriate to post the words "Don't Panic" in large friendly letters on the splash page of this site, but that's another matter... Ganjuror 23:46, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Heh, and my wife was just commenting on how writing for WP sounded a lot like writing for HHGG. Perhaps all that's really needed here is a minimal stylesheet that would suppress most of the links on the left in the standard stylesheet. I'm not up enough on writing css to do it myself. slambo *** 23:55, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

I sometimes browse Wikipedia (and occasionally edit it) on my wireless-enabled iPaq and find all but a few pages render adequately on my 480x640 screen (those that don't are the very graphic-intensive ones, which cause memory corruptions in Internet Explorer). For non-wireless PDAs, or for those with smaller screens, there is a downloadable version of Wikipedia in TomeRaider format, available at Wikipedia:TomeRaider database. TomeRaider isn't free software, but there is a crippled version available. The main drawback is that the Wikipedia database is rather large, and you'll need a substantial memory card to hold it.-gadfium 00:34, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Main Page maintenance: ITN[edit]

Greetings, Administrators. I was directed here from Talk:Main Page#admin help needed for news section. Please be encouraged to put Wikipedia:In the news section on the Main Page/Candidates on your watchlist, as User:Trilobite has suggested. Your attention there would be much appreciated. Not everyone can edit Wikipedia:In the news, YOU can. Please help keep the Main Page neat and tidy and up-to-date. Thank you. -- 02:09, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Hey, thanks for the heads up. On my watchlist now. Phils 19:14, 31 May 2005 (UTC)