Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)

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The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas.
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  • This page is not for consensus polling. Stalwart "Oppose" and "Support" comments generally have no place here. Instead, discuss ideas and suggest variations on them.
  • Wondering whether someone already had this idea? Search the archives below, and look through Wikipedia:Perennial proposals.

Discussions are automatically archived after remaining inactive for two weeks.

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ITN reform[edit]

I am opening this discussion to invite suggestions and proposals to reform WP:ITN in anticipation of an RfC. Such reforms are long overdue: ITN has effectively shut itself off from the rest of the site as a walled garden and have developed their own system of rules that conflict with sitewide expectations, creating multiple problems:

  • The inclusion criteria are entirely subjective and based on the personal whims and opinions of participants. Editors at ITN routinely use original research to determine "significance", applying their own analysis of each situation. Weight in reliable sources is not a major factor in whether ITN considers something to be "significant".
  • ITN flouts community norms around consensus. Discussions are typically closed as head counts, without weighing arguments in regard to the application of policy. "I like it" votes are given equal weight in discussions. The discussions are also closed before consensus has time to develop: no other part of the project would dream of letting a discussion without a clear consensus be closed in under a week, but ITN's nature requires that they be closed in a few days at most. Many discussions are closed after just a few !votes one way or the other.
  • ITN requires a fast turnaround, sometimes as short as a few hours. In addition to contradicting WP:DEADLINE, this creates rushed work and prevents in depth review. Nominal quality checks are done to make sure citations are present, but the window is short and most participants only evaluate "significance". This results in articles that are not only not ready for the main page, but ones that are unstable as they are oftentimes recently created, subject to early reporting errors, and undergoing significant changes.
  • Since arguments about personal beliefs and opinions are built into ITN's processes, it is inherently less civil than other parts of the project. Over the years, drama at ITN has rivaled most CTOPs, to the point that applying general sanctions to ITN itself has been discussed in the past.
  • The arbitrary selection of news stories (with a major systemic bias toward elections, sports, and mass-casualty events) misrepresents the overall state of what's actually in the news. Pushing this bias onto our readers does them a disservice.

These problems are intractable with ITN in its current form. I am asking for suggestions on how it can be reformed, or if that fails and there is consensus to abolish it entirely, how it can be replaced.

Examples of reforms:

  • Remove the significance requirement entirely and include any article that is the subject of a recent news event.
  • Require that a story receive significant coverage in a certain number of countries or a certain number of newspapers of record
  • Promote articles based on trending topics (with oversight to prevent gaming the system)

Examples of replacements:

  • Use the space to display several short blurbs for good articles each day, like smaller versions of WP:Today's Featured Article
  • Use the space to provide links on how to edit and to help users find where to start in order to recruit more editors
  • Move the "Other areas of Wikipedia" section of the main page into the space for easier navigation

These are ideas that have been suggested in the past. This is not an exhaustive list of examples, nor do I personally consider all of them viable. I'm requesting input from the Village Pump so we can develop additional suggestions and get a general idea of what the community thinks about them. Thebiguglyalien (talk) 18:48, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Two issues with points raised:
  • On the fourth point related to arguments: the only time general sanctions have been applied is when the topic itself falls into areas where general sanctions have already been applied (like AP2, etc.) There have not been any sanctions applies for topics outside these areas. So that's just how general sanctions should be applied, and not an ITN issue.
  • On the fifth point, WP is not a newspaper and we absolutely should not share topics to match what is big in the news. Not every news story that gets a short term burst of coverage deserves a WP article (per NOTNEWS, WP:N and NEVENT) and ITN reflects that.

Remember that the main page as a whole is meant to showcase articles that represent some of the best of WP. Replacing it with a list of top stories in newspapers or with popular topics won't work at all, because not all those topics meet the main page requirement. — Masem (t) 19:17, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I would also offer a suggestion that the ITN box include a permalink to the Wikinews sister project, which may be more attractive to those potential editors who get confused or put off in their first reverts that we are WP:NOTNEWS. SamuelRiv (talk) 15:09, 5 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Back when Wikinews was a news site, we had such a link. Wikinews is far too slow to be useful these days, possibly because of too much focus on quality given the size of the userbase. Overall, Wikipedia is a much better news site than Wikinews ever was, whatever WP:NOTNEWS says. —Kusma (talk) 17:22, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I wonder if there's even a consensus that ITN needs to be changed, before we even start talking about the specifics of how to reform it. But I do not see any indication on the above thread that such a consensus exists. If there is, please feel free to share the diff, otherwise I feel like this will just go around in circles again as such discussions always do. Duly signed, WaltClipper -(talk) 13:13, 8 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think that (much like changing the MP) consensus could be obtained for the general idea of changing ITN but it would break down when specific proposals are offered. I now believe that it should function more like RD with a reduced or nonexistent "super notability" significance requirement- but I don't think that would gain a consensus.(I've discusses it here previously) 331dot (talk) 15:12, 18 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Just a thought on "article quality" as a criteria: maybe it shouldn't be one. Perhaps a purpose of ITN should be to direct readers to articles that are currently hot topics in the hope that the extra attention results in improvements. There's no better opportunity to improve an article than when lots of people are interested in it. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 14:18, 18 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Content on the Main Page is supposed to demonstrate high quality articles and some of WP's best work. We can't remove the quality aspect with changing that aspect of Main Page. — Masem (t) 18:59, 18 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I get that ITN has its problems, but I don't get why it gets singled out so much when the other sections of the main page all have their quirky ways of working. ~~ Jessintime (talk) 17:19, 18 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
ITN has actually been working quite fine recently, in my opinion. I am not sure this is needed anymore. Curbon7 (talk) 18:34, 18 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm still in favor of just removing it (make TFA 2 columns wide on desktop), and then if people want to propose adding something to the main page where it used to be, discussing that separately. I've written enough about why in the previous rounds of this discussion so I won't repeat myself here (tldr: because it's bad at its job, irredeemably and structurally). Levivich (talk) 11:03, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The OP is correct in pointing out that ITN violates numerous policies including WP:NOTNEWS, WP:NOTHERE, WP:NEWSSTYLE, &c. This might be excusable if it worked but it clearly doesn't. Right now, the lead blurb is about the 2024 Solomon Islands general election. Those happened over two weeks ago and so the topic is quite stale as news. And, as the Solomons is a minor nation with less than a million population, it wasn't really in the news in a big way to start with. Meanwhile, we have ongoing elections in major English-speaking countries like India, the UK and US but ITN is ignoring those.
The next blurb which will replace this non-event is likely to be a routine horse race while a trailblazing moonshot is also ignored.
These hiatuses and bizarre blurb choices are normal at ITN. Other main page sections are not nearly so dysfunctional as they manage to post fresh content every day with better quality and variety.
There are numerous ways that ITN could be improved, reformed or replaced but structural change is quite gridlocked too. Tsk.
Andrew🐉(talk) 11:11, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

In-page attribution of authors/contributors[edit]

Something I've been thinking about for a while is how Wikipedia could provide better attribution for the contributors of its articles. After all, attribution is a key part of our license, but the authorship of an article is very much hidden away out of sight. In order to see the authorship of an article, one first needs to go to the "View history" tab, then click on the "Page statistics" external link, which redirects to an entirely different website, and even then you need to scroll down in the page before seeing authorship details. It also appears to only be visible in the web browser version, while it seems completely absent from the mobile app version. This presents a pretty unintuitive set of hoops for readers to jump through in order to discover (and attribute) the authorship of various articles. Even as a regular contributor, I didn't know this tool existed until a year or so ago.

This means that, to the lay reader or content re-user, all of our articles might as well be written by a monolithic "Wikipedia", or maybe a vague gesture at "Wikipedia contributors". Contrast this with other prominent encyclopedias like Britannica, which display the primary contributors to an article quite prominently beneath the article title and list secondary contributors in an easy-to-find section in the article history.

I was thinking that, either in the main page or at the top of the "View history" tab, it may be worth including such a list of contributors. It could be as simple as listing the primary author (with the most percentage/characters contributed), followed by any secondary contributors (with >10% contributed), followed by an "et al", which could itself link to further information about the article's authorship.

I think this would be a very important fulfilment of our own license's terms of attribution, both for in-wiki use and for anybody that might be reading or thinking about reusing the article's content. It would be a step away from the monolithic conception of "Wikipedia contributors". It could also provide a greater sense of impact for the articles' authors themselves, who would be able to easily see the fruits of their labour on screen. Of course, I understand this may come with its own drawbacks. I know some editors prefer the anonymity, while others may be worried that this could encourage low-effort edits in order to farm credit. But I personally think that the potential benefits of such a credit feature would outweigh the potential costs.

Having looked through the village pump archives, I'm confident this isn't a perennial proposal. I only managed to find one discussion of such a feature, which was opened by @Doc James almost a decade ago, but it didn't seem to gather a clear consensus and I'm not sure if anything ended up resulting from it. If anyone has any comments on this embryonic proposal, I would be happy to hear from you. --Grnrchst (talk) 14:27, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Grnrchst as an example, could you produce what you would expect the output of such to look like for this page? — xaosflux Talk 14:32, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It's an odd example, because this is a discussion page, but it would currently be something like "Written by WhatamIdoing, Xaosflux, et al." --Grnrchst (talk) 14:43, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
So you'd be fine ignoring the thousands of other authors on such a byline? — xaosflux Talk 14:58, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think it's feasible nor particularly useful to include every single contributor in a byline, but I don't think they should be entirely ignored either, that's why I've included the "et al." (could also say "and others", or something). The reason I set the byline inclusion at >10% is because that's the rule of thumb used by the good articles project to determine major contributions. I think named inclusion in the byline should be limited to such major contributors, but linking to total authorship in the "et al." would also be useful for showing the full scope of contributions. --Grnrchst (talk) 15:05, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think there is going to be any good way to programmatically determine those values. In your example above, what calculation did you use to determine that WhatamIdoing and I were >10% contributors for example? This is primarily why the cite this page tool example just says "Wikipedia contributors". (see more below) — xaosflux Talk 15:17, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I was using the "Top editors" section in the Xtools page I linked to in the "et al." As this is a discussion page, rather than a mainspace page, Xtools doesn't show an "Authorship" section in this case (hence why I didn't think it was a good example). Whereas in the one for Morgan Bulkely, there is an authorship section that shows Wehwalt at 79% of authorship, Real4jyy at 6.2% of authorship, etc. The authorship tool on Xtools is apparently powered by WikiWho, which we may be able to use for generating such a byline. --Grnrchst (talk) 15:25, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
As for the "Cite this page" tool, I think this is an example of how just vaguely citing "Wikipedia contributors" is unhelpful and even redundant. Of course it's authored by Wikipedia contributors, it's a Wikipedia article! --Grnrchst (talk) 15:51, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Another example, using today's featured article Morgan Bulkeley, would read: "Written by Wehwalt, et al." Grnrchst (talk) 14:47, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I was thinking this "Written by [...]" could go next to the bit where it says "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". --Grnrchst (talk) 14:51, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
In the mobile view, we do advertise the "last" author (e.g. see the bottom of this page) - that could possible be ported to desktop. — xaosflux Talk 15:00, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think the "latest contribution" is a good measure of recent activity, what I'm aiming at with this proposal is trying to demonstrate a broader scope of total activity. --Grnrchst (talk) 15:07, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Note, a feature request that may address this idea is open at phab:T120738. — xaosflux Talk 15:18, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Note that we currently have https://xtools.wmcloud.org/articleinfo/en.wiki.x.io/C418_discography and Who Wrote That which calculate the percentage, the latter using an API that does it Aaron Liu (talk) 15:20, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think you'd want to use the WhoColor API (which is what mw:Who Wrote That? uses). The other methods tend to overemphasize people who don't actually write any words. For example, if the article has 50 edits total at the time of calculation, and five of them are me blanking the whole article, or changing the whitespace on a template, then I've made 10% of the edits, but I haven't written a single word on the page.
    @Grnrchst, the last time I remember seeing a discussion about highlighting the names of contributors, a jerk who normally edited under his real name created an account with a vulgar username and made one edit, just for the purpose of asking whether we really wanted to have vulgarities displayed in the mainspace. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:41, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    And his alt was banned for WP:DISRUPTNAME, right? Aaron Liu (talk) 20:40, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes, but DISRUPTNAME was declared to be an insufficient reason to revdel or oversight/suppress the change. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:27, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I was having the same thoughts. It should be based on who contributed to what the article as currently displayed. It would be wrong for instance to list the top contributor as someone who hasn't edited the article since it was completely rewritten.
    It might also encourage more competitive editors to try and find ways to boost there standings, without having to do any actually helpful work. -- LCU ActivelyDisinterested «@» °∆t° 15:54, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    For the reasons mentioned above, I'm not a big fan of crediting whoever ran the link archiver most often as being the "author" of the page. Nor am I fan of being assigned as the author of a page, even if I am indeed the #1 author. The mw:Who Wrote That? extension is excellent and should be promoted, because it allows seeing authorship of words and sentences currently live, which is an excellent (though not infallible) way of tracking down who has added nonsense to an otherwise decent page (caveat lector: sometimes someone who copyedits nonsense will be shown rather than the original nonsense-adder). One thing that may not be widely known is that you can run Who Wrote That? on old versions of pages, making it an arguably more efficient tool than WikiBlame.-- SashiRolls 🌿 · 🍥 18:37, 8 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Although XTools is influenced by use of link archiver tools, the underlying WikiWho service provides token-by-token attribution of who added what. This can be used to determine authorship without considering anything between ref tags, as well as other markup that's seen to unfairly influence authorship stats. I have implemented this in SDZeroBot 6 task which makes the bot somewhat smarter about whom to notify about AfDs. – SD0001 (talk) 21:15, 8 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I am concerned that this would encourage WP:OWNERSHIP of articles. The entire point of the Wikipedia model is that articles are “authored” by the community, not by individuals. Blueboar (talk) 20:48, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    This is a completely fair and valid concern. --Grnrchst (talk) 21:54, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't see the need for this. I do get a certain pleasure from seeing how much of the content in an article I have contributed (which I can see at Page Statistics), but I am well aware that no one else really cares, and the future of such content is out of my hands. I am not editing Wikipedia to build my curriculim vitae. Donald Albury 21:41, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Personally I strongly dislike the idea of articles where I have primary authorship saying "written by Levivich, et al." or anything like that. That is very much not the kind of attention I want. Also, xtools authorship is not really reliable. For example, I am listed as the #2 author of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [1] but that's only because I once ran the archive bot on that page [2], I am not actually anywhere near a top author of the actual prose on that article. Levivich (talk) 17:15, 3 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If you have a divisive article and then add a note that User X was its most prolific contributor, readers will immediately assume User X holds those divisive views. And all the better if User X is an IP and offended readers can immediately find their location. (Which is already possible, of course, but why place it front and center?)
Speaking of which, how would this even work with dynamic IP addresses? 2603:8001:4542:28FB:25EE:12B6:DCFA:E43E (talk) 18:43, 3 April 2024 (UTC) (Send talk messages here)[reply]
I agree with the concerns voiced by Levivich and others. And even if the authorship statistics were 100% accurate I still don't like the idea of omitting certain users; as sappy as it sounds I think every contribution matters. Potentially, we could do something like Based on the contributions of 328 users but even then I think a more appropriate place for this kind of thing would be the footer alongside the last edited date. ― novov (t c) 08:21, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I can totally see the issues with this: we'll never have a 100% reliable measure of authorship, you can't include everyone, and we'll probably see a slight uptick in WP:OWNERSHIP and authorship gaming. But overall, I think it would be a nice way to acknowledge our volunteer editors and to communicate to readers "look, this was written by real people – you can join us". And twenty years into the project, with declining editor numbers, increasing restrictions and expectations of those editors that persevere, and donations to "Wikipedia" siphoned off by an organisation that has increasingly little to do with it, I think we really do need to start prioritising looking after our volunteer base over other concerns. Relying on the ideal of the selfless, perfectly-self motivated contributor, happy to work in complete anonymity, was fine in the early days of the project when the internet was the playground of affluent nerds with utopian ideals; those days are long gone. – Joe (talk) 08:56, 4 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I can see how algorithmically a shortened authorship list would be generated automatically, fine-tuned for a relatively accurate representation. And while anything like that could be gamed by users, that's why we have lots of human eyes to review abuse. I can also see how such a list would be useful to researchers and those making citations. However, were such an authorship list to be implemented, I'd suggest it be hidden out of the way a bit, at least certainly from the front page of the article, and perhaps even completely hidden from UI except as metadata.
I'll give some contrasting examples: Scholarpedia places its curator-authors (respected subject-matter experts) prominently at the top of its articles: non-random example is BCM Theory (SP). By contrast, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy has its authors' names and affiliation mentioned simply at the bottom, under "Author information" following the bibliography; while Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has its author even more nondescript, being in a footer at the bottom under a copyright notice, and not implied to be an actual "author" until you click on the "Author and citation info" link on the sidebar. (Again, respected subject-matter experts; random ex.: Gender in Chinese Philosophy (IEP), Plato on utopia (SEP).) Wolfram MathWorld also has authorship given relatively subtly at the bottom of the page -- if it's contributed by someone other than the editor, the contribution note precedes the bibliography; otherwise authorship is indicated only in citation information (ex. Chen-Gackstatter Surfaces (MW)).
Given all this, I don't know what example editors here would want to find themselves compared to, especially since an algorithm listing authors would not distinguish one editor writing 95% of an article immediately preceding GA, from one editor writing 55% of the prose in a B-class, for which others had to find new citations (unless we'd want it to do so, but this would epitomize wp:ownership). SamuelRiv (talk) 15:37, 5 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It’s really hard to measure the significance of contributions to an article. It’s not just a count of who added the most words, or even of who added the most words that survive into the current version. How should we weigh a user who adds some high word count nonsense to an article, against a user who painstakingly sifts through the garbage, deletes most of it, and copyedits down any remaining kernel of valid content? Or the user who contributes great source analysis to a talk page discussion on a matter which results in a single word changing? Perhaps the article on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is finished not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away? Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 18:05, 5 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
This is an excellent point. We don't have any accurate automated way to assess contribution levels, and xtools authorship isn't it (neither is bytes added or edit count). Levivich (talk) 18:56, 5 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Just because an algorithm isn't currently implemented, does not mean an algorithm doesn't exist. As a rough starting point: authorship+curation can be measured by taking the diffs made by an editor to bring text in line with the current stable state, weighted by time. (For the simplest measure, you can just use edit longevity with hysteresis.) Now, absent some new API properties, this is an expensive calculation to maintain for every article, but it's perfectly technically doable. (Another, more sophisticated method is analogous to a co-authorship network.) Of course this has been done before: Arazy et al 2010; Lanio & Tasso 2011 (citing Biuk-Aghai 2006). SamuelRiv (talk) 19:28, 5 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
No algorithm will be perfect though, and the exact value of things other than clear-cut addition/removal is to some extent subjective. ― novov (t c) 01:57, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Fundamentally, I think this is a nice idea and seems like it would be easy to implement since we already track editor contribution metrics, so it would just be a matter of making this visible on the page itself somewhere, maybe in the footer (though, yes, XTools is imperfect and an alternate system would probably be better). That said, I would hope there might be some opt-out system for those of us who don't want any sort of public credit, which includes me. (I never let anyone IRL know what WP articles I've worked on because the layperson assumes that the current status of any given WP article I "created" represents my writing. And, in many cases, I want nothing to do with how an article I "created" has evolved.) Chetsford (talk) 02:07, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Much as with the hall of fame suggestion (people really seem to be concerned with credit and recognition, lately), this could go so very badly. Any algorithm that we set up is going to be full of holes. It is simply impossible to represent, with any sort of non-LLM algorithm, the extent to which an edit impacts an article's development and structure for a multitude of reasons. The first reason is the fact that anyone can edit Wikipedia, and edits are happening on a constant, minute-by-minute, second-by-second basis. An article could look one way today and then look totally different the following day, if it gets a massive rewrite. How would one recognize contributions in that scenario? If Editor X wrote the previous version of the article before its replacement, do they lose attribution now that it's been rewritten? Or do they receive attribution for something that no longer resembles their work?
The second reason, for Wikipedia articles, especially larger ones, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. One can do a massive amount of copy-editing in a large edit, mainly to make stylistic or grammatical corrections, and as a result it would have very little impact on the article's growth but they would be considered an outsized contributor. On the other hand, the addition of a few vital facts or details could contribute heavily to the article's development, ensuring that it's meeting WP:GNG or perhaps even putting it on the road to becoming a WP:GA.
The third reason is that someone will always disagree with the algorithm that determines who is an author. Attitudes on Wikipedia among editors regarding WP:OWNERSHIP are already very fierce. This would exacerbate it to a fever pitch. Or it would simply not be taken seriously, if enough people take umbrage with it. This metric would be divisive at worst, and superfluous at best. If one wanted to track the metrics of the article, the "Statistics" are available for this very reason. They do not attempt to ask the question "who wrote this article?" They simply provide the data. In fact, it's a good rule of thumb - Anytime you ask any sort of question regarding creative or scholarly human impact, the question should always be answered by a human and not by a machine. Duly signed, WaltClipper -(talk) 13:20, 15 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
100% agree with all your comments WaltClipper! Alexcalamaro (talk) 08:08, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I've got a slightly different idea that I think gets around Ownership issues and the algorithm not being able to make a perfect summary of "main editors". What if it just counted the contributors, that wouldn't be nearly as expensive a calculation and the text could read:
This article was created by 3,428 volunteer editors. (and you could be one of them).
The number of bot editors would need to subtracted of course. It would serve the purpose of directing anyone who wanted to know all the editors to the right page, and it would both more accurate and more precise than saying "This article was written by a monolithic 'Wikipedia'" And just for fun, there could be a text variant depending on whether the editors of that article includes the logged in user or not, saying:
This article was created by 3,428 volunteer editors. (including you)
I think one line like this could potentially be a lot more informative to a lay reader than the "about" pages that I don't know if anyone actually reads. -- D'n'B-t -- 18:25, 25 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
👍 Like Levivich (talk) 19:25, 25 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I also like it (but don't know how to make the nifty icon)! jengod (talk) 06:37, 2 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia is source wikitext, you can always view the source of a section to check it out! Aaron Liu (talk) 11:05, 2 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Aaron Halfaker did excellent research on this issue of attribution and gave a good presentation about it at Wikimania: WikiCredit - Calculating & presenting value contributed to Wikipedia. But they have now left the WMF and it's a great shame that more has not been done with this idea. The main metric which we still use to measure work is edit count and that is awful. Edit count encourages low value editing -- busy work, chatter, churning and conflict -- rather than the creation of high quality content. Andrew🐉(talk) 09:22, 6 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
So basically, sum up WikiWho? What about contributions that are later improved and overwritten/copyedited upon by others? Aaron Liu (talk) 16:11, 6 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Halfaker cited the WikiWho paper in his presentation and so was building on that work.
Such superior measures of value-added exist and so we have the technology. And crediting authorship is something that is legally required by the CC licence but not enough is done to enforce this. More visible credit, as suggested by the OP is a good idea.
Andrew🐉(talk) 21:23, 6 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia Hall of Fame?[edit]

What are your thoughts? Is it going to work? Comment down below. Wolverine XI (talk to me) 17:28, 8 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Hall of fame topic; section break 1[edit]

  • I'll bite. What do I get? Like, a room with a comfy chair? The one caution I would have about this is that there are some editors whose positive contributions to the encyclopedia would unquestionably earn them a spot, but who are presently indef-banned for other reasons. BD2412 T 17:37, 8 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    "The one caution I would have about this is that there are some editors whose positive contributions to the encyclopedia would unquestionably earn them a spot, but who are presently indef-banned for other reasons." That's a good point. Though, IMO, I don't think HOF should be behavior-exclusionary and should be open to anyone who has made an enduring impact on WP, regardless of how they made the impact. For instance, I say induct Jordan French (maybe not in the inaugural cohort, but eventually). Chetsford (talk) 18:47, 8 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I agree with Chetsford on this. Wolverine XI (talk to me) 04:11, 9 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    French certainly made an impact but then so did many LTA vandals. If this idea is adopted, it seems appropriate to limit membership to those who have shown altruism rather than encouraging those who make Wikipedia worse for personal gain. Certes (talk) 08:24, 9 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Never say never. Wolverine XI (talk to me) 13:16, 9 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Yeah, that's a good point, Certes. I think this was intended more as an exaggeration for emphasis that we not be rules-bound for a HOF, but probably not a good example to underscore that! Anyway, I agree with your suggestion. Chetsford (talk) 15:26, 9 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • We already have a lot of perks for experienced editors (Special holidays, Wikimedian of the Year, Editor of the Week, Service awards, ...), and I honestly don't think we need yet another way to separate "elite" Wikipedians from the rest of us. Chaotıċ Enby (talk · contribs) 18:02, 8 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Similar to Internet Hall of Fame, to be serious, there would need to be a reliable advisory board. They can help surface little known but important people from the early founder days. It could be a popular vote nomination process, like the Nobel, but picking the winners would need a small august body, known for deep institutional knowledge and experience. After a few rounds/years of winners, those winners then become members of the advisory board. Overall this is probably something that should be organized by WMF. Or you can just do it, but it will be another "This one is special. This one is also special" award. -- GreenC 18:32, 8 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @GreenC, i like the discussion here of this idea, but how about an opposite approach? such as, anyone who wants to be in the hall of fame, can be?? and maybe split it up by topic, so that it would have some actual useful format to make it readable to others? Sm8900 (talk) 20:10, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I like it. While we may have a superfluidity of awards, these cost essentially nothing to produce so I'm not sure I ever understand the resistance. All recognition systems are voluntary and those who don't approve can opt-out. Moreover, a HoF -- if managed through some approximation of the way GreenC describes -- would be different from existing accolades which are either interpersonal recognition (editor to editor) or metric-based recognition (e.g. Four Award, etc.). Chetsford (talk) 18:41, 8 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Hall of fame topic; section break 2[edit]

  • Of course they "cost nothing to produce", that's not the problem, the problem is that they give one more excuse to divide Wikipedians between "the ones who have power" (i.e. the unblockables) and the plebs like us. Chaotıċ Enby (talk · contribs) 13:36, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • It might be a good idea. 3.14 (talk) 19:07, 8 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • The key questions for any initiative is what is the objective, and how helpful is the initiative in achieving this objective? For recognition programs, it's important to also consider how the selection process will work, and whether or not it will create more difficulties than benefits gained. Recognition programs are tricky because the flip side of selecting some is that many others are not selected, and that can result in conflict. isaacl (talk) 02:36, 9 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    That's how recognition programs work, but I don't think they'll necessarily cause any conflict. Wolverine XI (talk to me) 04:09, 9 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    "it's important to also consider how the selection process will work" After the inaugural cohort is selected, maybe it should become self-perpetuating with all prior inductees selecting each subsequent cohort. (Though you'd still need some system to choose the inaugural cohort.) This would mitigate politicization and degradation as inducted members would have a vested interest in maintaining its reputational coherence. Chetsford (talk) 05:37, 9 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    That would be difficult if they are dead or so long retired from WP they don't give a toss about the place anymore/are out of touch about who is still active and "deserves" a shout. - SchroCat (talk) 07:44, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    "would be difficult if they are dead" I imagine it would. Chetsford (talk) 08:48, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I would object to exclusion of the deceased. There are some amazing editors who left us too soon, but with great work done first. BD2412 T 02:37, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    We don't mean a blanket exclusion, just that we will ensure that batches of cohorts keep on coming; this line of discussion was about a proposal to have each cohort select the next. Aaron Liu (talk) 02:59, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I don't think we'll select a cohort that are all dead or inactive, for the reasons you've mentioned. Aaron Liu (talk) 11:34, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think it best if you don't have any intake at all: voting for one's friends make this an inbred and insular process. As I've said before (as has Chaotic Enby), this is a bad idea - divisive and with the potential for conflict when the "wrong" people are elected and the "right" people over looked. - SchroCat (talk) 12:02, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • The English Wikipedia Hall of Fame idea sounds peachy keen, as Babe Ruth would say before tying his hands behind his back and hitting a home run with his neck (Ruth is, all kidding aside, the most underrated ballplayer in baseball history). The initial "class" obviously would include J and L, the pioneering heroes of our story, and I can think of several others who would be obvious. That first class probably shouldn't be large, maybe 7 or 8 inductees. Then the rules get tricky, but doable. In a perfect world we'd lock J and L in a room until they get to a place where they can come up with a plan of how to handle this that everyone says "Of course that's how it should be done". But, bottom line, I think an EWHoF is a good idea all around (without WMF involvement). Randy Kryn (talk) 03:22, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • A second rate popularity contest with ill-defined criteria? What could possibly go wrong. Terrible and divisive idea. You think someone's great - give 'em a barnstar, or, even better, leave them a thank you note, but to 'promote' people who will undoubtedly be divisive to others? That way grief and conflict lies. And this ignores the fact that "hall of fame" is not a worldwide concept that people everywhere readily grasp or buy into.- SchroCat (talk) 07:44, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Schro, the procedure is akin to the Wikimedian of the Year, except that it exclusively concentrates on the English Wikipedia. There's a purpose for these initiatives, and I firmly disagree that this is a "bad idea." Wolverine XI (talk to me) 13:25, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    You are, of course, entitled to disagree. For what it's worth, I think the Wikimedian of the Year is a fairly crap award too, being a process with no criteria and something else that divides, rather than unites. Most people are happy to do the work for the sake of the work, not to seek vacuously external praise or validation just because they've caught the eye of someone powerful or happen to be pushing a zeitgeist line of thinking. - SchroCat (talk) 14:44, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    As you haven't yet stated the purpose behind your suggestion, nor proposed a process, there isn't enough info to understand the potential benefits and costs. There's an understandable view that costs quickly outweigh benefits as any process involves more people, adding up to more total effort expended. isaacl (talk) 16:53, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Hall of fame topic; section break 3[edit]

  • More awards? At this rate, all our time will be spent giving ourselves pats on the back and giving each other shiny things. While I don't agree with the more extreme anti-award views (take wiktionary for example; wikt:Template:User barnstar has been nominated for deletion twice, and been described as cheesy and gaudy. I don't think we need all that Wikipedia's tinsel to encourage people.), we shouldn't go overboard with this. Cremastra (talk) 22:07, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    (the correct link is wikt:Template:User Barnstar, with a capital B. Aaron Liu (talk) 01:51, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Thanks. Cremastra (talk) 19:39, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    It's okay if you choose not to participate in the process. Wolverine XI (talk to me) 04:55, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    How would one choose not to participate? I would not participate, but saying so would make it look as if I thought I stood a chance of being elected, which I do not. I imagine that most of those who would choose not to participate think the same way. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:07, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Maybe. Wolverine XI (talk to me) 16:07, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I don't much like anything on Wikipedia which encourages elitism, political campaigns, cliques, inequality, etc. I can imagine that many wiki-politicians would waste a lot of time campaigning to be elected to a HOF and that the results would be divisive. "How come so-and-so got elected, and I didn't?" Smallchief (talk) 21:44, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

  • I think this sort of thing is better left to other sites. Maybe the people who hang out at Wikipediocracy would create a Wikipedia Hall of Fame? Or would it become a Wikipedia Hall of Infamy? Phil Bridger (talk) 08:09, 13 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I especially don't like the idea of putting infamous characters in a HOF. Follow baseball standards. Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson are not in the baseball HOF because of scandal, despite being qualified. No bad actors, no matter how famous, in a HOF. Smallchief (talk) 09:04, 13 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Good point, but Wikipedia is not baseball. Wolverine XI (talk to me) 06:57, 14 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Indeed. Baseball is a sport where defeating others on the field is encouraged. Wikipedia is a cooperative endeavour where it's frowned on. Certes (talk) 09:48, 14 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes, this program is designed for honoring purposes rather than competition. I hope that's clear to all. Wolverine XI (talk to me) 04:41, 16 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    In that case, it seems the honor should not be of the Wikipedian itself, but of the work that they accomplished in a given area. That's why the Barnstars exist, of course. Just as WP:NPA encourages us to comment on the content and not on the creator, so too should we be aware to not place individual people on a pedestal.
    Frankly I find it disappointing that, in bringing forth the idea, the OP has not brought forth any comprehensive or detailed arguments in support of this idea and in response to the above critique. We are simply discussing a nebulous concept of recognition, which I think Wikipedia already addresses, and which if people really needed to see more of, they could use other websites or mediums for this purpose. Duly signed, WaltClipper -(talk) 12:29, 16 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    And we do celebrate content, quite satisfactorily, with DYK and TFA. So there is no need for a "hall of fame", it's just more self-congratulation. Cremastra (talk) 20:45, 16 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

section break 4; [wikilounge idea][edit]

  • how about a lounge WikiLounge for experienced wikipedians? would that be immediately misused, or could it serve a helpful purpose? Sm8900 (talk) 13:41, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    That would just be a way to create an in-group, and I don't really see how it would help the project. Chaotıċ Enby (talk · contribs) 13:47, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I agree with Enby. What purpose would that serve? Aaron Liu (talk) 15:27, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Who decides who is experienced enough? On what basis? I hope it's not edit count, which can vary enormously between people having the same overall effect. Phil Bridger (talk) 15:48, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Like an actual lounge, or some cliquey forum that would do nothing to benefit the project? All these ideas go against our core principles. Cremastra (talk) 19:46, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    ok, fair enough; all of these points are quite valid. so then, how about a lounge which would be labeled as being open to all experienced wikipedians, plus anyone who wishes to shmooze with them? that way, we are actually opening it to everyone, but giving it an underlying theme for those who are interested.
    to use an analogy, it would be like opening a lounge for woodworkers, or one for musicians, or one for ferryboat drivers, and also admitting anyone interested in that specialty. it would be basically open to anyone, and yet the theme would be clearly stated in terms of the specialty which is its actual focus. Sm8900 (talk) 19:56, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    can an editor nominate themselves for this "Hall of Fame"? if so, then it might preserve the grassroots nature of wikipedia, and still have a positive effect. kind of like hanging out at the local skateboard park, and popping wheelies to show off one's skills to other fellow aficionados. Sm8900 (talk) 20:08, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Don't we already have every single needed discussion "board" known to Man? Aaron Liu (talk) 20:24, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    What would actually be the point of having a lounge with this theme? Like, how would it help the project like, say, the Wikipedia:Teahouse, the Wikipedia:Help desk or the Wikipedia:Administrator's noticeboard does? Chaotıċ Enby (talk · contribs) 21:21, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The idea of an "experienced user lounge" very much echoes of Wikipedia:Esperanza which, although it did result in useful derivative projects, very much had a problem back in its day with regards to ingroup/outgroup behavior. Duly signed, WaltClipper -(talk) 12:58, 18 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • One downside of this proposal is that it would involve a fair amount of the electorate's time if they are not to just elect people who they already know. That time would be better spent improving the encyclopedia, which is what we are here for (or at least are supposed to be here for). Phil Bridger (talk) 15:48, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    another idea; how about simply call it something whimsical or jocular, such as "Wikipedia League of Super-friends"? or "league of adventurers"? that way, it still retains the air of a unique league, yet it would be clear it is not anything awarding actual higher privileges here. Sm8900 (talk) 20:15, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I still don't see what the actual point is. Even with a funny name, it will still be a pretty divisive thing. Chaotıċ Enby (talk · contribs) 21:22, 17 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Divisive programs, like the WP:Editor of the week, already exist. Wolverine XI (talk to me) 22:41, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    And that's not an excuse to have more of them. Chaotıċ Enby (talk · contribs) 22:46, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    OK, if you say so. Let us see if we can reach a consensus. Wolverine XI (talk to me) 23:10, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Section break 5[edit]

  • Editor of the Week was set up with a specific goal in mind: to demonstrate appreciation of specific positive behaviours and collaborative spirit by its recipients, with an explicit disclaimer that it's not intended to be a judgement about their overall characteristics. It was deliberately set up as a no-big-deal award with a very lightweight process, to avoid making it something that people would argue a lot about. The original pool of candidates was lesser-known editors, in order to give them a bit more encouragement to continue contributing, but has since been broadened to anyone. It's basically a slightly fancier barnstar, with some people slapping recipients on the back with a "good job". As a result of this carefully planned design, it hasn't fostered division. isaacl (talk) 02:05, 21 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Many such award schemes have been previously proposed. Only two, to my knowledge, still function: WP:QAI, because of the dedication of one editor, and WP:EOTW. If you want another one, set it up and run it yourself—if people like it, you can then apply to formalize it as a Wikipedia-wide process. ~~ AirshipJungleman29 (talk) 12:13, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

How about a Hall of Shame?[edit]

I know generally we are a bit negative especially when it comes to disruption, which is why we generally note previous hurdles as a cautionary tale of what not to repeat. A reminder everyone is human. A hall of fame will make editors more concerned with scoring brownie points than actually improving the project. Awesome Aasim 20:29, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

We already have Wikipedia:STOCKS, more than this would actually be more harmful than it might help. Chaotıċ Enby (talk · contribs) 20:33, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah I know. I was just thinking about why we have a hall of shame but not a hall of fame. Awesome Aasim 00:05, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The stocks aren't a hall of shame, it's a humourous list of mistakes. -- LCU ActivelyDisinterested «@» °∆t° 21:04, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Cite more articles faster and with better quality sources[edit]

Currently we have an embarrassingly large backlog named Category:Articles lacking sources with 94500 articles in it. The WikiProject Unreferenced articles, even with its fairly active membership, can only clear 500 articles every week, which amounts to around 3.5 years to clear the backlog. I'm curious, do you guys have any ideas to accelerate this progress? CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 06:41, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I looked at a couple dozen articles in Category:Articles lacking sources from March 2024 and I found that more than half of them were incorrectly tagged. Specifically, they didn't have little blue clicky numbers, but they did contain external links that verified some of the content of the article, and one or two had a list of books.
I suspect that the fastest way to reduce the number would be to send a bot through all the articles to replace {{unref}} with {{No footnotes}} if there are any URLs anywhere on the page. It wouldn't catch everything, but it might clear thousands of articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 08:20, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That would just push the problem to another backlog, which is bad practice. But you give me an idea... if a lot of these articles already have external links, why not use that to create an inline citation? CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 14:03, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Triage is not bad practice. Levivich (talk) 14:09, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I have to agree. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 14:11, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think you're being hard on the Wikiproject if they're clearing 500 articles a week. That's admirable. CMD (talk) 08:29, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
One solution is the “one step back, two steps forward” approach: Delete the existing unsourced articles, and encourage people to create NEW articles on the same topics - this time with proper sourcing. Blueboar (talk) 12:29, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
This is literally Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Deprecating_new_unsourced_articles, but the community has rejected this proposal. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 14:01, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yup… but… consensus can change. Not saying it has changed, just that it can. Blueboar (talk) 14:29, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
How about making a proposal to every WikiProjects so that they cite all articles belonging to the Wikiproject with at least one source? We already have the Bambot cleanup listings (click "by cat" then "Cites no sources"). We just need to put it to work. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 14:43, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
A WikiProject is a group of people who want to work together to improve Wikipedia. They don't own articles, and they aren't responsible for them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:16, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Blueboar: Highly unlikely that it changed since 10 days ago. Even the month between that and Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Deletion of uncited articles was probably too little time for consensus to have changed. Anomie 16:29, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Essentially the reason that the proposal from a few days ago was rejected was because it created a "grandfather clause" where older unsourced articles would be allowed to fester while ones would be stopped at the gate. I would suggest then that any drastic action on unsourced articles should start at the other end of the backlog with articles that have been unsourced for over 15 years. -- D'n'B-t -- 17:52, 27 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Fun fact: Non-BLP articles are not technically required to name a single source unless there is some specific material that falls into one of the categories listed by WP:MINREF. If you can write an article that avoids those categories (e.g., the content is something like "The capital of France is Paris"), then you are not required to cite any sources. Only the material that fits one of those sources is required to have an WP:Inline citation.
Consequently, if you want to be able to delete non-BLP unsourced articles the way that we currently delete BLP unsourced articles, that requires a change in policy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:21, 26 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Triaging[edit]

User:Levivich and User:WhatamIdoing, so how exactly can we sort these articles in the backlog? Is there a way to manually to sort articles with a reliable citation with AWB? CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 16:17, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Well, that depends on what you mean.
I believe that you (i.e., people with regex skills) can use AWB to find articles that contain {{unref}}, do not contain any ref tags, but do contain a URL, and change {{unref}} into {{no footnotes}}. For extra points, if there is only one URL on the page, and it is either {{official website}} or inside an infobox, then AWB could add {{third-party}} as well.
A bot can be (and might already have been) sent around to remove the {{unref}} template from articles that contain any ref tags. In the past, that bot has substituted {{refimprove}}.
There are no good ways to make lists of articles with reliable vs unreliable sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:26, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
My thoughts:
  1. Separate no sources of any kind ("unsourced", marked with {{unreferenced}} and thereby placed in Category:All articles lacking sources) from some kind of source of some kind but maybe not good enough ("undersourced", marked with {{more sources needed}} and thereby placed in Category:All articles needing additional references).
  2. Separate BLP from non-BLP.
  3. Backlog drive to source unsourced BLPs, then either unsourced non-BLPs or undersourced BLPs (not sure which I think are more urgent), and lastly, tackle undersourced non-BLPs.
One can separate BLPs from non-BLPs by searching for Category:Living people (assuming the category has been applied). There are other methods to catch uncategorized BLPs (e.g. look for {{infobox person}} or {{authority control}}), and I think there is already some automated process that does this for all new creations (plus I think NPP does this?).
Finding "unsourced" is a bit harder...
  • You can search for articles that have an external link (any external link), and put them in the "undersourced" category (an external link being "some kind of source but maybe not good enough").
  • However, even if an article has zero external links, they may still have a source, just one without a hyperlink. The most obvious example being a citation to a book or other offline source. So you can also search for all the various citation templates ({{citation}}, {{cite book}}, {{cite news}} etc. etc.), and move anything with a citation template to "undersourced".
  • Still, plaintext citations to offline sources won't be caught by searching for external links or citation templates. So a third method is to search for a heading like "Works cited," "Sources," or even "External links." If an article has one of those sections (and it's not empty), then it can be moved to "undersourced."
  • What you'll be left with in "unsourced" are articles that have no: (1) URLs, (2) citation templates, (3) obvious citation-style headings. You'll still find stubs that have no headings, URLs, or templates, but have sources. Those will be false positives in the "unsourced" pile, but that's probably OK, because presumably the "unsourced" pile will be much smaller now.
This has been done before (how I know these methods off the top of my head), see e.g. WP:Unreferenced BLP Rescue and the bottom of that talk page, which has links to some Quarry queries and other pages from when some folks were messing around with this last year. I think we found at that point, with various methods, that there were less than 1,000 unsourced BLPs (the highest-priority category). I'm not sure what the current state is. I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of the 94,500 "articles lacking sources" probably do have some sources of some kind, just not in an easy-to-find format.
Final thought: in doing these sorts of searches, one cannot rely on the existing {{unsourced}} maintenance tag or Category:All articles lacking sources, because there may be false positives in that category, and there may be unsourced articles that aren't in that category. So just searching within that category won't find everything. Levivich (talk) 16:44, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Levivich, thank you for your amazing write up. I have a question though, would it be much more helpful to generate a list of these articles rather than sorting the category outright? Like you said, there will be a lot of false negatives that will not be detected using this method. Also, my regex skill is very terrible but I can try to hack up one to plug into JWB as a test. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 17:10, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes. At least for initial exploration purposes, I think the best approach would be to generate lists and post them into subpages and then spot-check them manually to see what it all looks like (as in: do the lists pass the spot-check, and how many are in each list). Another option/layer is to create new maintenance categories or even templates (templates can be hidden, as can categories, so no one will even see it) just for this purpose. At some point, when there is sufficient confidence that the sorting is being done correctly, then change the "live" templates/categories on the affected articles. As a bonus, if you dump the list of articles into a subpage on Wikipedia, you can easily import all the (linked) articles on the subpage into AWB/JWB for further batch editing.
BTW I also am terrible at regex, but you know who's good at it? ChatGPT, the free version. You can ask it to "write a regex that will find [string] [string] or [string]" and it'll usually do a pretty good job. It still hallucinates sometimes or writes a regex that doesn't exactly get what you're looking for, so I'd still check any ChatGPT regex against a regext checker like https://regex101.com/ or https://rextester.com/tester or any of a million others you can find in a google search for "regex tester." But that's how I do regex now: with ChatGPT, then verify/tweak it.
You don't actually need regex (although it would probably make things easier and more accurate if it were used), you can use WP:PETSCAN or (with SQL knowledge) WP:QUARRY, or you can ask someone at WP:SQLREQ, where the folks who write SQL probably also are good at regex and various search tools.
Another alternative is to just use the regular Wikipedia search; you can limit to searching only for mainspace articles, and the advanced search options let you search by category, template, and text string. So for example, this search for articles in the unreferenced category with "Works cited" found List of Christian universalists, a false positive that actually cites sources and shouldn't be in that category.
But WP:PETSCAN will output a PagePile, which I found makes it very easy to generate lists of pages meeting certain criteria. If you're already doing AWB/JWB I'd encourage learning PetScan and PagePile, and then later if you're so inclined, SQL and Quarry to do more complicated things that PetScan won't do or won't do easily. Levivich (talk) 17:54, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
As well as the false negatives highlighted above - I think it's important to consider false positives, in that the presense of a URL doesn't necessarily imply a source. It could be the homepage of the website of the subject, for instance. Or a slightly off attempt at internal/interwiki linking. Could be spam links. Or, I have seen, linking to the homepages of various words mentioned in the body of the article for some reason. -- D'n'B-t -- 06:18, 1 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@DandelionAndBurdock, the homepage of the website of the subject would be a reliable source for information about that subject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:32, 1 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not saying it's not reliable - I didn't mention reliability. A homepage is often not a source full stop. For example nationaltheatre.org.uk doesn't really tell you anything about the National Theatre, so it's not a source for information. If you wanted an ABOUTSELF type source then you'd link to nationaltheatre.org.uk/about-us/our-history/, not the homepage. So when you see an organisation's homepage in eg. an infobox or external links section, it'd be incorrect to think "oh, that's one source". -- D'n'B-t -- 20:38, 1 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I could use nationaltheatre.org.uk to WP:Directly support these facts:
Ergo, nationaltheatre.org.uk is an actual source. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:30, 2 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Another idea[edit]

I have long thought that the main page should include an “Articles highlighted for improvement” section… where once a week we choose (say) five needy articles and encourage the community to work on them (looking for sources, improving language and grammar, and generally raising their quality). This would compliment the “Featured Article” section (which showcases our best), by highlighting the fact that we still have lots of ways for newcomers to contribute. Blueboar (talk) 16:54, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I think that your idea is a stroke of genius. Genuinely. Make this proposal a little bit more detail and boom, there you have it. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 17:11, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
We can also use this as a way for new editors to join in Wikipedia, as a kind of mentorship of sorts. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 17:12, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Definitely. Other projects have similar things (enWS has "proofread of the month", for example) Cremastra (talk) 20:36, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia:Articles for improvement used to have a section on the main page, but it was removed after its trial was considered unsuccessful, as there were few new editors making edits to the highlighted articles. The project still exists, with articles being nominated and accepted into a queue for listing on the project page. I suggest working with that WikiProject on the feasibility and potential cost/benefit ratio of having a corresponding section on the main page. isaacl (talk) 17:36, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Interesting to see that it was attempted and didn’t work. Oh well. Blueboar (talk) 20:00, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It was over ten years ago, and I suspect the queue-filling process has been honed by now, so it might be worth a discussion at the WikiProject talk page. It could also be something to consider for user home pages, which has a specific intent of suggesting tasks for new users. isaacl (talk) 21:30, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
This is why ITN should feature the worst articles to the front page instead of the best! Ha ha, only serious. A subject being in the news is almost a guarantee that new sources are becoming available and people are interested in it - the perfect conditions for article improvements and recruiting new editors. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 21:20, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Rapid archiving of talk pages[edit]

I find the general push to rapidly move talk page discussions out of sight into an archive sub-page as being one of the more unfortunate developments on Wikipedia. "Rapid" to me is anything less than about 10 years old. To clarify:

  • Some small number of pages actually need rapid archiving due to sheer volume of posts combined with rate of posts.
  • Most pages do not rapid archiving. It's fine to keep old discussions from 5 or 10 years ago so long as the page does not exceed a certain length. And even then, only the minimum number of the oldest posts should be archived to keep the page below a certain size.

This situation arose without design or intent. Some programmers made some archive tools and designed some algorithms. These algorithms have in turn significantly impacted the social discourse on Wikipedia. By effectively "blanking" talk pages, nobody will post follow-ups, add new information, etc.. it squelches conversation and ruins one of Wikipedia's most interesting features. Sure, it's possible to re-enable a discussion but hardly anyone ever bothers to do that. How often I have seen an archived thread I want to reply to, but don't bother copying it back to the main talk page, where it will just get sent back out of sight soon enough anyway.

I have no idea what the solution is, and I'm sure there are a million contrary opinions to mine. Most talk pages don't need these automated tools at all, or if so, a page-size based algorithm not date based. -- GreenC 14:55, 1 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

"Rapid" to me is anything less than about 10 years old.
You obviously speak English. Are you using the word "rapid" correctly? Are we talking about geology here or what? Levivich (talk) 15:17, 1 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I would say that "rapid" in [article]added for clarity talk page terms means anything less than the age of Wikipedia. Why archive if the talk page is not too long? Phil Bridger (talk) 17:57, 1 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
"Why archive if the talk page is not too long", is an excellent way to put it. Or In a Nutshell: archive when the talk page is too long. -- GreenC 15:52, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I wonder whether WP:TALKCOND would be the more appropriate place to have this discussion. FWIW, based on that guideline, the age of a thread is less relevant than the size of the Talk page in question. I'm curious as to which Talk pages are of particular concern here. DonIago (talk) 15:53, 1 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
TALKCOND is new to me, but appears to offer limited guidance. I don't see anything about size vs date? In terms of a particular page, I came across one (I no longer remember) that had maybe 50 threads from the earliest days of Wikipedia to the near present. The entire thing was archived, and now the talk page has a single recent post. Twenty some years of interesting and relevant discussion removed from general view. This is not anomalous. -- GreenC 15:50, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I made an addition to TALKCOND. -- GreenC 16:01, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It's very dependent on the talk page, obviously editors can archive their talk pages however they wish. For other talk pages it should be down to size, some pages would quickly become difficult to load without archiving while others may never need it. -- LCU ActivelyDisinterested «@» °∆t° 19:24, 1 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I do agree that page size based archiving makes more sense than date based. Maybe the documentation and examples for the bots could be updated to discourage aggressively expiring talk page sections. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 19:46, 1 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for the feedback. -- GreenC 15:44, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Just to clarify your train of thought here, GreenC, are you thinking of article talk pages or user talk pages? Or do you think that this hesistation to archive should apply to both?
My attitude in regards to archiving my talk page has changed over the years – I used to be really proud of this ongoing 100,000 byte conversation I had on mine that went on for more than a year – but then I realized it caused some loading issues and distracted from the newcomer links I was trying to emphasize on my talk page (this became really apparent in person when I was literally sitting right next to a newbie IRL and I wanted to show them my talk page). Lately I've been trying to minimize the amount of old discussions I keep just for the sake of it for this reason. I can stroll down memory lane whenever I want so it's not a big deal. However, I've always done this manually. I'm curious in regards to the perspective of editors who use bots or blank their talk pages.
My attitude in regards to article talk pages is receptive to the slow the archiving idea. I think it depends on a lot of factors but I agree with the premise that the average talk page doesn't have to be archived constantly because sometimes issues identified years previously are still of current relevance to the article. Sheer size definitely plays a role. It might be worth considering whether our increased reliance on automation to make these sorts of calls might not be nuanced enough in all situations? I'm under the impression that bot-managed archiving is strongly preferred to manual archives but that factors such as the rate of archiving can be decided upon by editors to tell the bot what to do. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 15:34, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Mainspace pages. The bot archiving tools mostly operate based on date based on what I see, it's possible some operate based on page size I'm not sure. -- GreenC 15:44, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
My approach to talk page archiving and cleanup is topical. Some talk pages posts are ephemeral and time-gated such as notifications for votes or backlog drives. I usually clear these quite quickly. Other common posts are monthly projects newsletters and I usually just keep the latest one.
Another big class of posts are the egoboo -- barnstars and other accolades such as DYK awards. I like to keep these in specific archives but it's quite a chore to maintain these.
Actual talk is comparatively unusual and I curate this carefully and slowly as it's interesting to revisit such conversations and see how the issue is progressing.
It would be good if there were archive tools that helped in maintaining topical archives but I haven't found one yet.
Andrew🐉(talk) 19:45, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I get where you're coming from, but I also find it super annoying to scroll past 10+ old posts to get to something that actually might need a reply. Most article talk pages consist of a small core of regular editors responding to posts by a shifting cast of people who drop by to complain or suggest something. The former don't need to see the same stale discussions again and again, and they're the ones that set up archiving. The latter are slightly more likely to be interested in old posts, but mostly just want to say their piece. Probably the situation would have been much better if we'd gone for top-posting instead of bottom-posting, but here we are. – Joe (talk) 20:17, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
And then we have the editors who drop in on the talk page and respond to a 10 or 15 year old post. It is rare that such a response will help improve the article. Donald Albury 20:26, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Semi all template documentation[edit]

Regarding Wikipedia:Template documentation, would it not make sense to automatically semi-protect all "/doc" template pages? I don't see any reason why IPs, etc., should edit these pages and since they are practically unwatched they are ripe for BEANS. A bot could do it. Thoughts? Rgrds. --BX (talk) 05:12, 2 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

"I don't see any reason for them to edit" is not a valid argument for protection. IPs, just like everyone else, can constructively add things and fix errors in template documentations. Also, some templates aren't even semi-protected due to low use, IPs improving these templates should be able to update their templates. Chaotıċ Enby (talk · contribs) 12:43, 2 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
A related, alternative suggestion that would, I believe, require MediaWiki changes, would be to make it so in the Template space watching the template itself would also show the /doc subpage in your watchlist, in the same manner that watching either Page or Talk:Page (in all namespaces I know of) watches both. That would at least somewhat increase visibility of documentation pages. And I think many new(er) editors probably already assume the doc page is watched along with the template itself (I think I did earlier in my Wikipedia time). Skynxnex (talk) 16:54, 2 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
As this is the idea lab, how about a related idea: introduce an option to watch a page and all of its subpages, with new pages automatically watched as they are created. Like, say, my user page and all of its subpages and talk archives. Or a portal including all its subpages. (Probably not a good idea for Wikipedia:Articles for deletion) though). —Kusma (talk) 20:18, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'd love that - I've got a quick-and-dirty script that watches each daily subpage of P:CE and WP:DRV that I run every year, but usually only after I spend the first week or so trying to figure out why my watchlist is suddenly so quiet. —Cryptic 06:56, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Good generalization of my idea that would also be generally useful. I assume there's some performance issues like with AFD subpages, some users have dozen of subpages and many WP-space pages have hundreds, or thousands, of archived talk pages. But it'd be interesting to know if there's any fundamental reason to not do something like filing a phab to get the software side start at some point. Skynxnex (talk) 12:35, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, that would be a better solution, even if it is harder to achieve. We did get a watchlist change for temporary watching implemented, so enhancing this area of code is not impossible. Certes (talk) 12:53, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Some data (for the original request) is at quarry:query/82554. —Cryptic 06:56, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Add watchlist option to include subpages[edit]

Reformulating the idea based on the above: When choosing to watchlist a page, currently a drop-down menu appears with a time option to choose from (permanent, 1 week, 1 month, etc.). A new option would appear to watchlist all subpages. An advanced option would allow unwatching or watching of specific subpages (you would probably have to type in these pages manually I imagine). Rgrds. --BX (talk) 03:54, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Coming up with principles for future icon redesigns[edit]

A few years ago I botched an RfC to change to flat icons. Of course I still feel strongly about that we need new icons, for many reasons from accessibility to load times to new features like dark mode (which oceans of white in the middle of some of today's icons are a bit too much).

I want to see if we could figure out ways to propose icon redesigns in a matter that is most likely to pass. I kind of want to discuss some of my principles when choosing icons (and combining User:Awesome_Aasim/Flat_design_idea, where I just added a section for viewing on a dark background; and User:Arsonxists/Flat_Icons).

In general I believe icons must be:

  1. Clear: Easily understood by many, including new users who may be unfamiliar;
  2. Accessible: Icons must use multiple properties to distinguish themselves from one another when used in the same context. Uw1 and uw2 fail at this, because they only alter the color of the icon but not the shape or the contents inside of it.
  3. Fast: Icons must load within seconds even on the slowest of connections. I notice that some flat icons (particularly the OOUI/Codex icons) use a fraction of the space and bandwidth as equivalent skeuomorphic icons.
  4. Contrast: Icons must be adaptable based on different themes, skins, etc. Icons must be visible on both light and dark themes, and if not then should be easily adaptable from light to dark and vice versa. MediaWiki's default skins do not override the @media (prefers-color-scheme: dark) or @media (prefers-color-scheme: light) properties yet, but when they do there will certainly be icon clashes and colors.
  5. Helpful: If text is able to more clearly communicate an idea than an icon, then we should reconsider whether it is actually necessary. Stop hands do a great job at communicating "stop what you are doing" or "you have been stopped", but the i's in some messages just seem purely decorative rather than actually helpful.

Is there anything else I am missing? I probably want to add more icons that should be switched for better accessibility, etc. Awesome Aasim 03:39, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

The design principles for icons in the Wikimedia Design Style Guide may be of interest, as well as the guidance for icons in the Wikimedia Codex. Regarding effect on page loading: note images will be cached by the browser, so loading time will be amortized across many page loads. Additionally, for images the size of an icon, the number of requests being made is a more significant bottleneck than the byte size of an image. This is why sites will use the CSS sprite technique to bundle many icons together onto one image. However, this adds more steps for changing icons. isaacl (talk) 05:44, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Isaacl If I recall there is a way to get Codex icons to work in wikitext. Can you maybe show? Awesome Aasim 15:56, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Not directly that I know of. If I understand correctly, they are available for use in a gadget/user script or extension. An extension could be written to provide a wikitext interface. (Maybe one exists already? Perhaps someone who knows more about the Codex can weigh in.) Regarding design guidance, here is a more direct link to the principles and guidance for designing icons in the Wikimedia Codex. isaacl (talk) 17:50, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I wish there was a parser function like that:
 {{#codex:name_of_icon|size=size|color=color|type=type|...}}
. Then it would allow codex icons to be used inline. Awesome Aasim 19:52, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The WMF's previous, similar icon set OOUI is on Commons which made it easy to use with standard wikitext syntax. Curiously, Codex doesn't seem to be – but surely it has compatible license? – Joe (talk) 21:17, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I am also going to link my past two attempts attempting to gain input on using the OOUI icons on Wikipedia. Wikipedia:Village_pump_(idea_lab)/Archive_37#Changing_to_flat_icons Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_168#Flat_Design (the latter is cringe because I was new to how RfCs worked at the time, so I did not really understand the best way to format RfCs at the time, now I do). Awesome Aasim 02:04, 6 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think RfCs are the way to go here. It touches too many buttons: Wikipedians are reflexively sceptical about new UI, and about anything the implies changes to many pages, and about anything that implies the WMF might be better at some things than volunteer editors are... What I'd do is write an essay that outlines what guidelines you think people should follow when selecting icons in templates etc., and then try to build consensus around those guidelines by arguing for its application in specific discussions. It's the longer road, but I think it's more likely to build a broad and stable consensus. – Joe (talk) 07:23, 6 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think the argument by many will be "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", and yes some of the icons ain't broke, but this does not mean there wouldn't be benefits to switching. Awesome Aasim 13:02, 6 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The key challenge is that interface design decisions are often difficult to make using English Wikipedia's consensus-based decision making traditions, because many users respond on a like it/don't like it level, and aren't fussed about compliance with guidelines. I agree with the idea underlying your original post (which matches Joe Roe's suggestion) of building up support for basic principles, and I think that offers the best path towards UI changes. But for better or worse, results from A-B testing is likely the only hard data that will get some users to overlook their own personal initial reaction, and that generally needs funding. isaacl (talk) 16:18, 6 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Let me take a look at another icon redesign RfC: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_155#Proposal/RFC:_Redesigning_page-protection_padlock_icons_to_be_more_accessible. This one focused exclusively on accessibility. I think that might be the key. Showing that accessibility is poor especially in dark mode for some of the images, or if it is there the icons have terrible contrast if Wikipedia had a properly implemented dark mode (which it doesn't yet but one is in the works). Awesome Aasim 16:56, 6 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The in-development night mode is a good reason to revisit the use of colour (for instance, some sports team pages use team colours for the text and background in table and infobox headers, which already is a readability problem now). But rather than jumping ahead to discussing new icons, perhaps we can continue discussing the basic principles? isaacl (talk) 17:16, 6 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
This might be good for a multistaged RfC. One might be asking about design principles, the next icons are found and submitted that meet those design principles, and then after the icons are voted on. This would be a good three phase discussion. Awesome Aasim 18:54, 6 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
As I mentioned, I'm more interested in getting some discussion going on the original post and my original reply than discussing process matters...
Again, I think it's looking too far ahead to be planning a multi-stage RfC. As alluded to by Joe and evidenced by the page protection icon discussion, I think it will be more effective to look at a specific icon or set of related icons, gain consensus that there is a specific problem (or problems) with them, and then work on replacements. I think a generic "here's the next stage: let's discuss this bunch of icons as replacements based on design principles" discussion isn't going to build up consensus for a change. isaacl (talk) 22:46, 6 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
On that note, as well as dark mode, I think the switch to Vector 2022 as the default skin is a good reason to revisit icons and broader template design choices that now look out of place with the rest of the site as most readers see it. – Joe (talk) 07:38, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You think so? I actually think it's really important that the icons are as not-flat as they are, so that I don't feel the awful life-sucking I often do from other "flat" mobile-ready web design. Perhaps the C-class etc. icons could be given a refresh, but I would see a bottom-up redesign as searching for a clear problem. Remsense 07:46, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I actually think that the circle (aka Norro) icons are the ones that don't need to be replaced. They're accessible and consistent across their little bubble.
The unblock icons definitely need replacing. They're inaccessible, and there's no reason I can see for making them all clocks. Aaron Liu (talk) 11:30, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Tackling the icons group by group is another path that may be more productive than a whole-site icon RfC. I don't know the history of every icon in use, but I doubt they emerged all at once. CMD (talk) 12:07, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Whether or not you personally like the new default theme and its flat design, it's here and it's here to stay. With that in mind, I would say the use of two very different design systems (Vector 2022/Codex for Mediawiki UI; an eclectic mix of mid-2000s elements for templates) is a clear problem from both a usability and aesthetic point of view. – Joe (talk) 12:25, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, I want to make clear that I quite love Vector 2022, and part of the reason is what I feel in its balance between flat and non-flat. Remsense 13:07, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I suspect many of the editors who like to weigh in on these matters focus separately on icons that are part of the surrounding general page framework versus the icons that are within the main content area. Thus I'm not sure that differences in the style between these is enough to generate a consensus for change. isaacl (talk) 15:42, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, I think you might be right there. – Joe (talk) 15:47, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Is there a technical way to make icons depend on skin and on whether or not "dark mode" is on, so dinosaurs like me can use icons that work well in Monobook? That way, we could have icons that look good in each of the skins. —Kusma (talk) 13:00, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
There certainly is to some degree: SVGs are capable of being context-aware using pure CSS. Many will swap the foreground color from black to white based on what mode the browser tells it is being used. Remsense 13:01, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
More straightforwardly, template style sheets can be used to select different icon files based on theme, night mode, or the browser configuration specifying that a dark theme is preferred. I believe SVGs are rendered server-side into bitmap images, so right now they won't be able to adapt based on CSS differences. isaacl (talk) 15:48, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
We could still do CSS hackery to switch the BMP icons. It just is that the BMP icons themselves cannot adapt unless if we do some external CSS. Awesome Aasim 17:24, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, that's what I said. isaacl (talk) 17:31, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Bumping because I got a comment that idea lab might not be a good idea. I am seeing that icon by icon RfCs are going to be more productive. We can use principles in this idea lab to help develop icon sets. Awesome Aasim 16:59, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That's a bit oversimplified... I was saying that since no one, including you, has responded to my comments on the design principles, and no one else has said anything about them, that it doesn't seem there is enough interest on the page to reach a consensus viewpoint on the design principles. isaacl (talk) 21:13, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe we can then focus on the icons themselves? The last time I tried workshopping in VPIL, I came to the conclusion that finding multiple icon sets and then giving people options to choose would be better. Awesome Aasim 18:29, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe the miscellaneous village pump would find more takers to discuss base principles. However it's true enough that usually more editors are attracted to comment on specific examples of icons, rather than discussing abstract concepts. I think it would be helpful for these proposals to have an explanation of how they are improvements with respect to the base design principles.
I was hoping there would be more discussion on load time considerations and use of colours. Personally I think client-side caching is likely good enough to make loading time a small factor. Colour is a tricky issue, as Wikipedia editors are accustomed to using any colours that strike their fancy, but best practice for supporting themes (which can have light and dark modes) is to have a defined palette that each variation can customize. In accordance with mw:Recommendations for night mode compatibility on Wikimedia wikis, for HTML, CSS variables can be used, and for gadgets/extensions making use of Codex, design tokens can be used. But with pre-rendered icons, any alignment with customized colour palettes would have to be done manually. isaacl (talk) 23:03, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Allowing Master's theses when not used to dispute more reliable sources[edit]

WP:SCHOLARSHIP generally allows PhD dissertations and generally disallows Master's theses, unless they have had "significant scholarly influence." I feel that this is really locking us out from a lot of very reliable sourcing. I understand that these are often not quite as polished as something like a monograph or PhD dissertation, but often times they are the highest quality sources available about very niche subject matters. They are subject to professional review, they cite their sources, and they are published by reliable institutions. Can we really say that these are less reliable than an entry in a historical society newsletter or an online news report from an assuredly hurried local journalist?

Just today I encountered a 2022 masters thesis, East Meets West in Cheeloo University (doi:10.7916/scmr-6237). As far as I can tell, this is the most comprehensive source available on the architecture of Cheeloo University. But I can't use it, since it's a masters thesis, and as far as Google Scholar can tell, it has yet to be cited elsewhere.

I feel that people should be allowed to use masters theses in certain fields (I can only speak for the humanities, I'd be interested to know this from a STEM perspective) so long as A) They are not used to dispute something said in reliable sources and B) They are not used to confer notability. I feel this would strike a good balance of allowing us to use these often very useful sources, while still recognizing that a book, journal article, or PhD thesis is probably preferable if you have the choice between them. I'd love to hear other folks thoughts! Generalissima (talk) (it/she) 00:43, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

In the stem area I would expect that important research would also be published in journals. I would discourage use of Masters theses rather than disallow. One issue is lack of accessability. Even when referenced, may not be accessible. The lack of "peer" review can also mean there are more errors included. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 02:03, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Is there any public information generally available about the process of publishing masters' theses for a given university? What level of scrutiny or review is generally applied, etc. I think considering whatever information is available there could lend a lot of clarity to deciding whether a given thesis is reliable. Remsense 02:09, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • The rule in question is a counsel of perfection but perfect is the enemy of good and so WP:IAR applies. By coincidence, notice that today's featured article is about a work which started as a dissertation. The main thing I notice about this is that the readership for this topic is tiny. If you're working on a topic like the architecture of an obscure university that no longer exists, then you're mainly writing to please yourself and so should do what you think best. Andrew🐉(talk) 06:49, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I both agree and don't, to the extent that I don't think less popular topics should be viewed as less important as regards our content policies. Of course, I certainly understand the distinction between there being less available coupled with internal motivation, and that. Remsense 06:54, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'd question whether Master's theses are really subject to professional review or published by reliable institutions. By professional review, I assume you mean that somebody examines them. But unlike a PhD examination or journal peer review, which both act as barriers to publication, getting a low grade on a Master's thesis doesn't stop the thesis existing. The author can still put it online – presumably without the grade. Also, and speaking as a university teacher myself, the person who examined it examined it as a Master's thesis, not as a piece of publishable research. A middling or good grade means "I think the student did a good job with this material" not "I think this is a reliable source on this subject". As for publication, in my experience most Master's theses are not published (though those that are, e.g. in a journal, certainly become reliable sources). Some university libraries make archived copies available online, but this isn't really the same thing because again, any Master's theses that meets the formal requirements for submission will be there, regardless of quality. – Joe (talk) 07:59, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Fair enough, I didn't think about the barrier to publication angle. I guess if we think about them more along the lines of a newspaper article (which can be of wildly different quality) then we could just evaluate them on their own merits. Just like how there is great journalistic coverage of some areas of history and archaeology, there is horrible, misleading coverage; and if it's not used as a major source in the article, it's pretty easy to spot when it's the latter. Generalissima (talk) (it/she) 15:42, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Purely anecdotal, but with respect to professional review, the only person on my master's thesis committee (my director) who understood what I was doing left on sabbatical half-way through. His replacement as chair kept me on the straight and narrow in my use of statistics, but knew no more about what I was doing than the rest of the committee. In retrospect, I can say that my thesis did not add anything useful to the sum total of human knowledge. On the other hand, I have dug into the bibliography section in a thesis to find sources I had otherwise missed, but that is a long shot. - Donald Albury 16:20, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • If we would accept a blog post from the university itself (which would be self-published, primary, and non-independent) for the same kind of contents, then we should probably accept a master's thesis for it. A source only needs to be strong enough to support the weight of the claims it's cited for. If they're non-controversial (e.g., everyone agrees that there are some buildings on the campus), then the source doesn't have to be ideal. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:53, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I believe that you are referring to WP:ABOUTSELF. My understanding of that is that we could cite the thesis for statements about the thesis and the author of the thesis, but not for statements about topics covered by the thesis. Donald Albury 22:33, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Not really. With the possible exception of contentious BLP matter, I think we should accept it for pretty much all non-controversial content. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:50, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I agree that rigid exclusion of master's theses does not serve the project well. The language in WP:SCHOLARSHIP regarding Ph.D. dissertations would seem also to address many of the concerns above: Some of them will have gone through a process of academic peer reviewing, of varying levels of rigor, but some will not. If possible, use theses that have been cited in the literature; supervised by recognized specialists in the field; or reviewed by independent parties. (Of course, this issue would also be solved more efficiently by treating this guideline like a guideline to be applied flexibly in service of the mission rather than as a pseudo-policy that must be followed rigidly except in the most exceptional circumstances -- but that seems to be a bit too much to ask these days.) -- Visviva (talk) 04:12, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I have come across some very high quality master's theses and agree that rigid exclusion of master's theses does not serve the project well. I had to work around this on Revolt of the Admirals and it was painful. In the case of my own master's thesis, it was thoroughly reviewed by two external examiners (as well as, of course, by my supervisor). It is available online and widely cited in the literature. The PhD was reviewed by three external reviewers, but is not as widely cited, and while also available online, I never got around to publishing it. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 04:47, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think there's some regional differences here. In Europe, a Master's thesis isn't examined by a committee and their are no external examiners, just the supervisor. – Joe (talk) 06:34, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I agree that theses provide weak arguments for controversial points, as do other sources often accepted as reliable such as news articles or unreplicated one-off studies (I also think that there are many PhD dissertations that are questionable.) But, in writing research on historical topics, I these can be very useful and informative. They often provide a well-cited overview of a particularly esoteric topic that may not be the focus of a book or major study, which interested readers can read an analyze themselves. I like using them when they can be linked so readers can view them. As others have pointed out, At bare minimum, I'd like to be able to cite them even if they aren't standalone. (e.g., sometimes I can get the point cited by a book by a mainstream press, but it covers the topic in a sentence, whereas the dissertation gives the in-depth detail.) Wtfiv (talk) 20:47, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Theses are a mixed bag. Master's thesis even more so. I can say that mine went through a rigorous review process (I had a former president of the Canadian Association of Physicists as an external examiner on mine) as well as one other physics PhD, and had two physics PhD as my supervisors. The comments/feedback were substantive and relevant, and had to be addressed before acceptance.
But go to a different department, in the same university, and the reviewing standards and requirements for a master's thesis are quite different. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:34, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal: "job aids" for Wiki editors[edit]

To help editors moving from the Absolute Beginner stage into the Getting Comfortable But Still Overwhelmed stage, I have a proposal: that some of you experienced luminaries create some job aids based on flow charting to guide decisions and actions. By acting on this proposal, I think you’ll be amazed at the benefits — for not only editors like me who are slogging our way up toward your realms of enlightenment but also you yourselves due to increasingly reduced gnashing of teeth and silent screams at our work.

Here's why.

Job aids are a staple in the world of training today for their proven ability to simplify complex steps and decisions that workers have to make. We might think of them as glorified “cheat sheets.” They break tasks down to such an extent in flow chart format that workers can quickly see what to do when. Just a few of the types of jobs that rely on the use of job aids include pre-flight inspection, tax auditing, employment interviewing, and customer service. The result:

— Greatly increased accuracy, quality, and consistency of work

— Greatly decreased need for time in training and memorizing rules, not to mention frustration for not only workers but also supervisors

This is an example of a job aid that could easily be adapted for Wiki editors, filling in sequences of steps to follow in various tasks and then, when required to make a decision before proceeding, the alternative next steps.


Augnablik (talk) 01:04, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

1) This doesn't really have anything to do with the WMF, so I'm not sure this is the right message board? 2) For pre-flight procedures, the term is "checklist". No flowcharts required. And indeed, we already have tons of checklists on Wikipedia whenever there's a routinized task that requires doing Step A, then Step B, then Step C. Take a look at, say, WP:CFD#HOWTO which will give you a checklist of tasks to do in order to nominate a category or categories for discussion. Or Wikipedia:ReFill#Usage for how to use a specific tool. No flashy graphics, just the info a volunteer needs. 3) But there's a limit. We can use checklists for tasks where we know exactly what to do. We can't use them for tougher matters like "what sources should I use to build this article" or "what to do when two guidelines offer different editorial suggestions" or "how to resolve a dispute between two editors." And attempting to create a flowchart for these situations is potentially risky if there's a chance some editors will simply use the flowchart unconditionally even when things are misty or shouldn't apply. About the only decent flowchart I can think of on behavioral-type actions is File:MRV Flowchart.png, which happens to be explaining the expectations of a very specific type of consensus discussion that 99.9% of editors shouldn't worry about. SnowFire (talk) 02:30, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
We'll always have the File:NPP flowchart.svg. CMD (talk) 02:58, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Just what I was thinking of, @Chipmunkdavis … and really helpful. I sure wish I’d known about that file before I posted.
At times while involved in Wikipedia, I feel like an explorer down in a cave filled with treasures invisible to the “naked eye,” which I either stumble on serendipitously or learn out about unexpectedly.
The sense of adventure is fun, but I keep finding myself repeating exactly what I said to you above: “I sure wish I’d known about that!” Augnablik (talk) 18:24, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Behold, strange and ancient treasures: c:Category:Flow charts for Wikimedia projects. Levivich (talk) 05:38, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
XKCD shenanigans
This would make a great cartoon for Wikidom. Which reminds me that I once saw a hilarious cartoon showing a protest with a Wiki editor holding up a sign saying, "Citation needed!" Might there be a collection of such cartoons somewhere, perhaps down among the "strange and ancient treasures"? Augnablik (talk) 06:23, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
xkcd produced such a cartoon; we have a version here. Similar (but non-free) cartoons can be found in issues 214, 446 545, 739, 903, 906, 978, 1167, 1665 and 2467 I don't know of a list other than the usual search engines. Certes (talk) 09:35, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Certes 2782 is one of my favorites. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:57, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
😂, @Gråbergs Gråa Sång. Augnablik (talk) 10:15, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Augnablik Compare 2022 United Kingdom government crisis, which got some media coverage: [3] Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:29, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Was this reply meant for this thread? Augnablik (talk) 10:34, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Off-topic, (sorry) but yes. It was my continuation on "Meryl Streep seagull incident (disambiguation)", bit obscure, perhaps. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:35, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
...and by googling for that I just discovered the explain xkcd wiki. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:01, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
...which uses MediaWiki 1.30, EOL in 2019, and the people who actually run the site are inaccessible Aaron Liu (talk) 19:58, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You are right, @SnowFire, I posted in the wrong section of the Village Pump. At the time I posted, I didn’t understan there were different sections of “the Pump” instead of just one “pump.” (do pumps have sections?). I think I posted here in WMF because that’s where I first came to the VP, and I saw another proposal (though it turned out to be directly related to WMF). I wonder if I can move both my original post and the replies I’ve received so far over to the Proposals section.
In any event, thanks for such a comprehensive reply to what I wrote. Augnablik (talk) 18:11, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If you want other editors to work on these kind of diagrams, it would help to list which specific tasks or processes you think they would be helpful for. – Joe (talk) 12:23, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I hadn’t gotten quite that far, Joe — but every so often, as I noticed multiple things we ‘re supposed to do in various editing situations, I began to wish I had a job aid of some sort.
Confession: because I have an EdD in instructional design, as I get personally tangled up as a learner in various areas … like learning how to do Wiki editing … it’s natural for me to see how particular instructional tools could help me (and others) understand and perform the yet-unknown. Kind of an intriguing situation to be in! Augnablik (talk) 13:11, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Another job aid proposal, this time with AI[edit]

Perhaps this idea has already been thought of, but I'll propose it anyway and see what happens.

The other day I proposed job aids to help guide editors about what to do in different situations, and I was going to add to it with this one, but that post seems to have been archived. As I thought about some of the feedback it received, with the obvious one about how sometimes there's no clear path to the next step because of some of the legitimate alternative paths, it occurred to me that perhaps some day when AI gets more accurate (not long, it seems!), it could be possible to use that instead of the flow chart format I had in mind.

Has this been discussed by senior editors? If so, is there some sort of a team involved with it? And also if so, anything to share so far? Augnablik (talk) 04:31, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Augnablik: Your original suggestion wasn't archived, it's here. – Joe (talk) 07:33, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, Joe. Augnablik (talk) 09:30, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Since no one else has replied yet, I'll go on with my question about whether AI has yet been discussed by senior editors in terms of eventual possibilities to aid editors (especially ones not too far along in their Wiki careers) trying to remember all the Wiki documentation they've pored through, or heard about, when faced with a situation in which they need to do something but aren't quite sure what.
Example: a moment ago, while editing Houseboat, I wanted to create a box in which the term scow would be defined. For a moment, I froze, trying to recall. Although I finally remembered, I'd have loved a Wiki feature similar to Siri that I could query about how to do what I'd wanted, and get a reply. If it weren't what I needed, I'd get a chance to ask again.
This example is just one of many where I see AI could one day be of great help for us, and thus my question on May 10. Augnablik (talk) 10:31, 11 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia:Large language models and [4] may have something of interest. Also related to the use of AI, see Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest/Noticeboard/Archive_206#Madame_Tussauds_COI and the thread above. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:16, 11 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
A discussion on a similar topic can be seen at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 211 § AI for WP guidelines/ policies. As I suggested in that thread, I think the best way to follow up is to contact the Wikimedia machine learning team, or any suitable university research group (your academic network should be helpful!), who could potentially partner with Wikimedia on developing something. isaacl (talk) 16:45, 11 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

area codes[edit]

Once in a while (most recently in 234 and 661), i edit a page with a 3-digit title to disambiguate an area code. How desirable is this, and how easily could someone set up a bot or template to add links to area codes on all pages whose titles are matching 3 digit numbers?

On a related subject (which might belong on a different help page), what does the {{Year dab}} template do? or what is it supposed to do? Pages 234 and 661 both have that template, but only one shows a hatnote (This article is about the year 234. For the number, see 234 (number).)

--173.67.42.107 (talk) 19:03, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

See Template:About year for information about that template. — xaosflux Talk 19:24, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, but that seems to be a different template than these pages use. --173.67.42.107 (talk) 19:37, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Although, in theory, using Template:About year instead of {{Year dab}} could automatically add 234 (area code), etc., if somebody/some bot/something made such redirects for all the area codes... --173.67.42.107 (talk) 19:45, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Template:Year dab redirects to Template:About year. When in doubt about a template, just check its page. Aaron Liu (talk) 20:00, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The reason why only one of them shows the hatnote, as far as I know, is because 661 (number) does not have a standalone page. Chaotıċ Enby (talk · contribs) 01:09, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That makes sense. Thanks all for answering my technical question. Anyone have any thoughts about my disambiguation suggestion? --173.67.42.107 (talk) 16:42, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Almost-notable or seemingly-notable-but-not topics create duplicated effort[edit]

Anyone who plays any rhythm video games at all has probably heard of Camellia, a music artist who creates fast-paced EDM songs. I was quite surprised to find that we do not have an article on him, and 30 minutes later, I was even more surprised with my conclusion that he isn't notable.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to investigate writing an article on him, and I won't be the last either. The thing is, unless someone has tried before (creating a deletion log entry), a non-notable topic leaves no evidence that someone else has tried to write the article but deemed the topic to be non-notable.

I think that evidence should be somewhere. Perhaps an index of topic titles where each topic is a section on a page, that contains a list of sources if any are found, a couple of possible redirects for searchability, and a log of editors who have determined the topic to be non-notable and when they did so. This would make my search much faster—I would check this page, see that 2 editors have already looked into making the article less than 6 months ago, and be on my way. Snowmanonahoe (talk · contribs · typos) 19:28, 21 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I feel like, having sort of memorized the notability guideline, such a person didn't get significant press coverage or do something really big (which can be a summary of most notability guidelines), so they're not notable. I'm not very convinced that there are a lot of subjects that are nearly notable. WP:BFDI seems to be the only one I can think of. I'm sure there are more, but not by much.
Personally I like core-y songs like those from LeaF better Aaron Liu (talk) 19:48, 21 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Sometimes a topic that is not notable becomes notable. Years ago I repeatedly reverted attempts to add an up-and-comming rapper named Flo rida to various lists of notable people. And then he made the grade. Donald Albury 23:43, 21 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
See also Wikipedia:Before they were notable. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:30, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Camellia's one person? I guess that shows how much I know. jp×g🗯️ 21:29, 22 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You could add URLs about Camellia to his Wikidata item at Masaya Oya (Q40857248) using the Property P973 "described at URL".
As an example, you can see the reviews I added to the novel A Fire So Wild (Q124606008) in case someone were to eventually create a Wikipedia article about it. Besides helping editors, the URLs there help to establish Wikidata notability. Lovelano (talk) 01:04, 25 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think it’s a valid point, but I would be concerned that any centralised location for recording information about non-notable subjects could become a garbage magnet.
If you think there’s a chance that the subject is not notable yet but stands a chance of becoming notable eventually, you could maintain a stub in Draftspace, with your rationale on the talk page. But without continuous effort it would eventually get G13 speedy-deleted.
As a minimum you could maintain a “research log” on your user page detailing your efforts, which might possibly be found by a future editor. Maybe. Possibly. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 16:37, 28 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
IMO it'd be better to create that Wikipedia:Too soon article in your userspace, so that it won't require constant vigilance against deletion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:08, 2 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Well, what if the "note" left behind is a statement like "not notable as of <date>" in a G13 deletion log entry for a draft? That would solve the garbage magnet problem. Snowmanonahoe (talk · contribs · typos) 15:39, 4 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Probably the best idea I've seen at the pump – in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it already exists somewhere or at least has been proposed in the past. Would be huge for avoiding unnecessary doubling-up on research. To answer Barnards's concern about it becoming a garbage magnet, the easiest thing to do would be to establish some minimum standard for inclusion as a listing. To have a stab at it: "entries must list at least a passing mention or greater in an independent reliable source and make an A7-style credible claim of significance." (Just a thought off the top of my head). – Teratix 15:29, 3 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Snowmanonahoe I've found Wikipedia:Source assessment, which is sort of what you've described. It really needs more promotion... any ideas for what I might include in some WP:WPADS? Aaron Liu (talk) 00:45, 11 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Interesting thought, Snowmanonahoe! I think the most straightforward way to achieve it would be to modify our rules to allow talk pages for non-notable topics, so that one could leave a note along the lines of I did a search and found X and Y sources, which I don't think is enough for notability because Z.
However, then there's the problem of articles that might be located at multiple different locations, so then we need to have redirects as well. And given that part of why we impose a notability standard is to reduce the maintenance burden, some editors might feel that it's not worth it for maintaining the talk page/redirects.
The other problem is datedness. If I come across a note topic not notable as of [a year ago], that doesn't help me out all that much, since (a) there may be more recent sources, so I still have to do a search, and (b) I may not trust that the initial editor did a deep enough dive to find everything that existed at the time.
The other approach here is drafts, which is what I currently use. For instance, at one point I started writing an article on the video journalist Cleo Abram, but ultimately concluded she wasn't yet notable. However, I strongly suspect she will be at some point, so I've just kept it at Draft:Cleo Abram and set up a Google Alert so I'll be notified when a source comes around. The main maintenance burden there comes from the 6-month rule we impose on ourselves, which means I have to tweak it every so often or ask for it to be undeleted if I forget. However, I know for a fact that the draft's existence has saved others from duplicated effort (and the community from the effort of a probable AfD) due to this exchange.
The structural form related to the draft approach would be to adjust the 6-month rule somehow to make it so that waiting-for-notability drafts like the one on Abram don't quasi-automatically get deleted.
Cheers, Sdkbtalk 18:03, 11 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
What do you think about the approach at Wikipedia:Source assessment and its subpages, which are collections of SA tables along with some information on the subject? Aaron Liu (talk) 20:01, 11 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If there's no way to point users trying to create the article toward the corresponding source assessment page, then it's basically useless. Sdkbtalk 23:33, 11 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
There's a consensus against keeping WP:BFDI drafts for some reason, so I doubt that draftinng would prevail. Aaron Liu (talk) 00:15, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Aaron Liu: Good find. As for an advertisement... hm...
  • "Want to create an article on something, but can't just yet?"
Not very proud of that, but it's something. Do people actually click those? Snowmanonahoe (talk · contribs · typos) 19:46, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I would promote this at WT:N WT:NPP, and WT:AFC. voorts (talk/contributions) 02:14, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Ideas for promotion of the mentorship program[edit]

Hello all,

As you are probably aware, the growth team has introduced the Mentorship program on the English Wikipedia a little while ago. Currently, only 50% of new accounts on Wikipedia are assigned a mentor due to the amount of mentors currently available. I would like to know if anyone had ideas about potential ways to promote the mentorship program to experienced editors who would not know about it, or not have considered it?

This could include:

  • Mass-messaging users involved in help forums who might be interested in mentoring
  • Adding mentorship on the Task Centre for experienced editors


Any other ideas welcome!

Cheers, Cocobb8 (💬 talk • ✏️ contribs) 18:20, 11 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Have you asked @Trizek (WMF) about what's worked at other Wikipedias? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:11, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (royalty and nobility) - RfC drafting for reversion of the November 2023 change[edit]

In November 2023, NCROY was altered by consensus to instruct editors to not disambiguate royalty and nobility with their geography unless disambiguation is required.

This has proven controversial with some editors arguing that the result does not reflect the consensus of the broader community; there has been considerable disruption as a result of this.

To resolve this I believe a second, broadly advertised, RfC would be beneficial; this would be held at the Village Pump, be listed at WP:CENT, and ping all the editors involved in the recent RfC as well as any relevant RM's. One way or the other, this should provide a path to resolving this dispute; I am opening this discussion to help draft it with the intent of opening it once the current ArbCom case request closes.

My initial proposed question is:

Should our naming convention on royalty and nobility instruct editors to generally disambiguate royalty and nobility with their geography, unless there is an "overwhelming commonname"?

The context for this discussion includes:

  1. A November 2023 RfC consensus instructing editors to disambiguate only if disambiguation is required.
  2. A May 2023 ArbCom case request that raised concerns about disruption in the topic area. This case lists a number of recent requested moves and move reviews.
  3. A village pump discussion drafting this RfC.

BilledMammal (talk) 05:11, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

It's a good question, in my opinion. Deb (talk) 10:18, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
First thought: I'm not convinced that the RFC should lump royalty and nobility together. The changes made following the November RFC related only to monarchs. Non-ruling nobility are a different kettle of fish with their own issues, but if we want to avoid getting sidetracked it would be best to keep the focus on monarchs only at this point IMO. Rosbif73 (talk) 07:38, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure that the proposal quite captures the nature of the opposition. In at least some of the RMs the dispute is whether NCROY is more, less or equally important than other guidelines (e.g. WP:PRECISE, WP:RECOGNISABLE, WP:PRIMARY, WP:COMMONNAME). I think a better question would be something like "Should articles about monarchs include a geographical element in the title when it would be unambiguous without it (e.g. "Oliver III" or "Oliver III of Montenegro")?" The possible answers to that should be "(almost) always", "sometimes" and "(almost) never". Including the "sometimes" option is important, further discussion would probably be needed (if that gets consensus) to determine whether there should be guidance (and if so what) about when to include and when not to inlcude. Thryduulf (talk) 09:08, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • @User:BilledMammal Thank you for the initiative.
  • For pragmatic reasons, I'd also like to consider the possibility of a carve-out for British monarchs and/or 20th Century monarchs (or some other arbitrary date). We're searching for a norm that is workable for thousands of articles, across two thousand years of history, covering hundreds of countries, serving readers from all across the globe. The search for a workable norm should not be held hostage to nationalist squabbles of recent or local interest.
  • It should also consider the matter of variant spellings of names. Monarch names are usually translated in reliable sources, often in a variety of ways (Louis, Luis, Ludwig, Ludovico, Luigi, Lajos, Lodewijk etc. are all the same name). Wikipedia readers come from all sorts of backgrounds, using different sources with different spellings, and they should not have to guess which language or spelling Wikipedia editors happened to choose. The aforementioned "Oliver III" is the same name as "Olivier III".
  • Expanding the norm with full designation "king" should be considered. That is, to obtain "Oliver III, King of Montenegro", or "King Oliver III of Montenegro" or "King Oliver III" (which is how he is usually referred to in most RSs, e.g. Britannica, indexes of books, etc.). This would be consistent with how we treat non-numeral monarchs (e.g. "John, King of England"), and practically all nobility and peers articles ("Geoffrey II, Count of Anjou", "William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland" etc.). I expect this would not find much support among minimalists. But maybe should be an option to consider. It would be particularly useful for such unrecognizables as Nicholas II (Who? Pope? King? Duke? Rocket? Ship? Movie? Hedge fund?), who would be instantly recognizable as "Tsar Nicholas II".
  • On Sovereign vs. Nobility. Clarification needs to be made for non-sovereign German & Italian nobles, who some editors oddly think or treat as sovereigns, and try to apply WP:NCROY rather than WP:NCPEER (weirdly arguing that NCPEER only applies to British). And if they are treated as sovereigns, then does this apply also to great French nobles, Polish nobles, Danish nobles, etc.? If the norms are going to be different, then it needs to be clear who is sovereign and who is nobility.
  • On Big vs. Small Countries. This came up in RMs. If shortening is permitted, what, if any, safeguards will there be for small countries? Or shall big famous countries (Great Britain, France, etc.) be allowed to dominate the titling? In the previous norm, "Oliver III of France" is on equal footing with "Oliver III of Montenegro" - article titles are distinct, neither primary over the other. But with shortening, which is the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC for "Oliver III"? The current post-RFC says to keep country "when disambiguation needed", but nonetheless that was not respected. Once shortening was allowed there was an immediate spate of RMs to move the kings of large countries as primary at the expense of small countries (or other units - e.g. Tsars are apparently primary over Popes for some reason). France is a big country, with a large population, and a lot more history books written about it, whereas Montenegro is a small country with fewer works on it. So if allowed to shorten, then it is very easy for RMs to insist that the French king is "primary topic" for "Oliver III", and relegate the Montenegrin Oliver III. I don't think Wikipedia should be setting up a norm that reinforces the dominance or superiority of big countries over small countries. The insinuation is disturbing: "my king is more important than your king", "my country is large & important, yours is small & irrelevant" etc. This is not something Wikipedia guidelines should endorse, in an international encyclopedia, written for a global audience. It is not only distasteful in itself, it it also setting up a pig's breakfast that will feed a lot of horrific nationalist squabbles (France over Sweden, Great Britain over Georgia, Serbia over Montenegro, Spain over Portugal, Russia over Ukraine, etc.). So I'd like the proposal to contain CLEAR safeguards that prevent large country monarchs from dominating titling, and protect monarchs of small countries from being relegated to second tier status. Walrasiad (talk) 10:32, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If one of the contenders for a primary topic features much more prominently in the history books (or other reliable sources) than all the others, then it is normal for them to be considered primary. Sure, in many cases that will appear to favour "big countries", but there are also cases where the sources show a prominent monarch from a "small country" to be of greater long-term significance than their namesakes from larger countries. In all cases, primacy on Wikipedia is simply a reflection of primacy in sources, not any form of judgement on the relative importance of the countries. The only safeguards that are needed are already laid down in WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Rosbif73 (talk) 13:21, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Regarding translation / variant spellings of names, Wikipedia should simply reflect the preferred spelling in reliable English-language sources. It is perfectly normal, per WP:SMALLDIFFERENCES, for Maria I to be a different person than Mary I. It is also normal to find Philip V but Felipe VI, because the norms in English-language sources have changed over time. Any potential confusion can and should be cleared up via standard wiki mechanisms such as hatnotes and short descriptions. Rosbif73 (talk) 13:49, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Strongly disagree with both your points.
(1) Deliberately introducing large country bias should not be acceptable in Wikipedia guidelines, for both moral and practical reasons. (WP:SYSTEMICBIAS). There are ways of avoiding it. I would hope for a better answer than that.
(2) You can title the article as per RSs. But you can't rely on "small differences" when the sources Wikipedia readers are coming from use many variations. Readers of Wikipedia can be expected to read & understand English. They should not be also expected to know Romanian, Danish, Portuguese, etc. and certainly not be demanded to guess the idiosyncratic tastes of Wikipedia editors. Walrasiad (talk) 14:16, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You raise some points that will be worthwhile to consider - but we also need to keep in mind that the primary goal is to conclusively resolve whether editors who oppose the recent moves are correct that the November 2023 RfC did not reflect community consensus.
Because of that I want to keep the primary question of the RfC simple, so that this question can be clearly answered - if the primary question starts to deviate too far from the pre-RFC status quo then it will become unclear whether the community opposes recommending geographical disambiguation even when otherwise not required, or whether the community merely opposes the additional changes proposed in that RfC.
However, if we are going to run a widely advertised RfC then it may be appropriate to make the RfC a multi-part one, to take full advantage of that attention - are any of your points part of long-running disputes that it would be helpful to bring the broader communities attention to? BilledMammal (talk) 17:41, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think we should almost certainly phrase this in terms of an example. Using Louis XVI, the question would be:

In the absence of a need to disambiguate, how should we title the articles of monarchs?

  1. Louis XVI
  2. King Louis XVI
  3. Louis XVI of France
  4. King Louis XVI of France

Loki (talk) 13:34, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I like this formulation because I find it very easy to understand. But whether the rule (whatever it may be) should apply to monarchs or nobles or both, and whether it should apply to all monarchs/nobles or just some, seem to be live issues? I also think the polling should be set up as ranked voting so people can express a preference for, e.g., 3/4 over 1/2 (include geography regardless of title), or 1/3 over 2/4 (exclude title regardless of geography), or 1>2/3>4 (less is better), or 4>2/3>1 (more is better), etc. Levivich (talk) 14:57, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Having read WP:NCROY more closely, I would like to also add 5. Louis XVI, King of France as a possibility, to match what it currently recommends for monarchs with a title lower than king. Loki (talk) 21:19, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I like this phrasing. I would adjust it slightly, though, to include both the general description and the example:

In the absence of a need to disambiguate, how should we title the articles of monarchs?

  1. Regnal name and nominals; eg Louis XVI
  2. Title, regnal name, and nominals; eg King Louis XVI
  3. Regnal name, nominals, and realm; eg Louis XVI of France
  4. Title, regnal name, nominals, and realm; eg King Louis XVI of France

If you support multiple, please rank your preferences. If the closer finds it necessary to resolve preferences, they will resolve them through the single transferable vote method.

This also includes Levivich's suggestion of ranked voting; I've also added a proposed method for resolving the preferences, as previous ranked !votes have resulted in disputes over the method used - by specify it at the start we should be able to avoid that. BilledMammal (talk) 17:52, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Should we really be envisaging a poll (single transferable vote or otherwise) rather than the usual assessment by the closer of policy-based arguments? WP:VOTE reminds us that the use of polls is often controversial and never binding. Rosbif73 (talk) 19:05, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that the only allusion to voting we should have is an instruction to rank choices. Saying the closer will resolve "votes" in any particular way mistakes how RFCs work. While they can feel similar to votes from the perspective of the participants, from the perspective of the closer they're very clearly not votes. Loki (talk) 02:29, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
While I understand the impulse here, in my view the actual effect of including the description is to add a bunch of extra jargon that's completely redundant with the examples. Loki (talk) 02:32, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
How about
  1. Louis XVI (regnal name and nominals)
  2. King Louis XVI (title, regnal name, and nominals)
  3. Louis XVI of France (regnal name, nominals, and realm)
  4. King Louis XVI of France (title, regnal name, nominals, and realm)
  5. Louis XVI, King of France (regnal name, nominals, title, and realm)
Levivich (talk) 02:47, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I like that a lot better. I'm still not convinced the description is necessary, but I'd accept it. Loki (talk) 03:37, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
What about Louis XVI (king of France) (following standard practice, no special rules for monarchs) or Louis XVI (France) (how German WP does it)? Not all options would be possible for every king, since some names are ambiguous. We have to distinguish between the question of how to handle kings like Henry IV (which one?) and Louis XVI (no question of primary topic). Srnec (talk) 15:45, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
At this time, I have no comment on which of Loki's proposals may be the "best". However, after seeing the comment on German Wikipedia article titling, I do want to the note that according to WP:CONSISTENT (emphasis mine): The English Wikipedia is ... under no obligation to use consistent titles with other language versions of Wikipedia. AndrewPeterT (talk) (contribs) 15:54, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The English Wikipedia is indeed under no obligation to be consistent with other language Wikipedias, however that is irrelevant to Srnec's comment. If another language Wikipedia solves a problem in a certain way, it is entirely reasonable to suggest including that way in a list of options for how to solve that same problem on the English Wikipedia. Thryduulf (talk) 21:28, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • One other point worth clarifying is the definition of "Europe" (assuming that the November 2023 change is preserved). There were some recent RMs over Georgian monarchs for which it was disputed whether Georgia was a European country. -- King of ♥ 17:41, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    If we are going to include multiple questions I like the idea of focusing on ones that will apply regardless of the result of the primary question, such as the question you raise here. BilledMammal (talk) 17:53, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The introduction to NCROY sets out its scope as being European monarchs that share a set of given names, and tells us that elsewhere, territorial designations are usually unnecessary in article titles. Georgia is something of a special case: some of its monarchs share given names (Stephen, David, George, Michael, Alexander, Constantine, Simon) with western European monarchs, but most do not. The important point is the namestock, not the geographical location. Rosbif73 (talk) 19:34, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
BilledMammal, thank you for taking the time to start this conversation. Because my previous comments on this topic (namely in a previous November 2023 request for comment (RfC) on this same matter) have received negative feedback, I have no comment on the scope of potential new RfC at this time. My only hope is that the community will finally be at a mutually agreeable place with WP:NCROY after this discussion concludes, however long it takes. AndrewPeterT (talk) (contribs) 18:43, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That being said, should a notice at WP:AN to invite an uninvolved administrator to monitor and close this possible RfC be posted? This way, any problematic conduct can be immediately addressed. AndrewPeterT (talk) (contribs) 18:43, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I would also note that European monarchs whose rank is below that of emperor or king (i.e. those of the tiny German states in the Holy Roman Empire) follow the different notational standard established in WP:NCROY#5 ([Name] [Ordinal if applicable], [Title] of [Primary holding]; ex. Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria or Casimir, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach). So the latest proposed RfC question In the absence of a need to disambiguate, how should we title the articles of monarchs? may more accurately be titled something along the lines of [...] how should we title the articles of European imperial and royal monarchs?. Curbon7 (talk) 20:53, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think all of the above is skirting the real issue. The scope here is only those articles where the COMMONNAME for the subject does not include regional information ("of country") and is sufficiently PRECISE to distinguish from other uses (i.e., the COMMONNAME is either unique or this use is the PRIMARYTOPIC for the COMMONNAME). That is, if usage in RS demonstrates that including the regional information is the COMMONNAME, or the regional information is necessary for disambiguation because the COMMONNAME is not unique and this use is not primary for this COMMONNAME, then there is no issue about including the regional information. So the RfC question should reflect exactly that:

When the COMMONNAME for a sovereign or royalty subject does not include "of country" regional information, and the COMMONNAME is unique, or the subject is primary for its COMMONNAME, should we ever include "of country" information in the title? If so, when and why?

Of course, people can also disagree about what the COMMONNAME is based on usage in RS, but in those cases CONCISION is an excellent and convenient tie-breaker, favoring leaving off the regional information. Similarly, there can be disagreement about whether a given use is primary for the COMMONNAME in question, but that's no different than for any other article with an ambiguous COMMONNAME and there is debate about whether the topic is primary, and is not a problem unique to NCROY. So we don't need to be concerned with addressing those cases in this guideline.
--В²C 03:41, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
As I asked elsewhere, can you provide any actual examples of sovereigns whose regnal name would be unambiguous without a territorial designation but whose COMMONNAME unequivocally includes one? If not, then this issue is moot and should be kept out of the guideline to avoid future contention. Rosbif73 (talk) 06:41, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I wanted to account for the possibility for such cases. But if you want to assume there are none, fine:

When the COMMONNAME for a sovereign or royalty subject is unique, or the subject is primary for its COMMONNAME, should we ever include "of country" information in the title? If so, when and why?

В²C 23:05, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think that the missing piece of context is: A lot (most? nearly all?) of the individual RMs since that November RFC have come to the opposite conclusion. It's bad form to have a rule saying the opposite of what the community wants to do. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:16, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Inflation template[edit]

The template is a terrific idea, but can give ludicrously precise quotients. An example I recently came across in the Miles Davis article:

". . . leaving Davis to pay over $25,000 (equivalent to $251,800 in 2023)"

It's a basic principle that the solution of a conversion should not have a greater degree of precision than that of the supplied data. That applies to measurements where the conversion factor is known with a high degree of accuracy, but of course depreciation of the value of currency depends on the medium of exchange, be it gold or a tradesman's wages. In an improved template, the above should, by default, read:

". . . leaving Davis to pay over $25,000 (equivalent to roughly $250,000 in 2023)" (my bolding)

with the option for the editor to increase or decrease the level of precision for special purposes. Doug butler (talk) 14:50, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

IMO {{inflation}} should be deleted and Wikipedia shouldn't be in the business of calculating inflation. {{inflation/US}} uses the Consumer price index (CPI). The problems with using CPI to measure inflation are extremely well-reported, so much so that even the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which published CPI in the US, has said The CPI cannot claim to be a completely precise measure of inflation and publishes the variance of its estimates. {{inflation/US}}, however, doesn't present the figure as a range, it provides a calculation, leading to false precision (on top of the problems with using CPI in the first place). I have no idea what {{inflation}} uses for countries other than the US or how accurate it is. And I don't know how often the numbers are updated or with what precision or what the qualifications are of the editors who are doing the updating. If you ask me, the templates should be deleted, we are basically misinforming the reader when we say that $X in year Y is equal to $Z today. Such statements should be cited to reliable sources, not to CPI calculations by editors. It's WP:OR. Levivich (talk) 15:21, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Well, if you don't know (and cannot be bothered to look up) anything about the template, how it works, where the information comes from, or how it's computed, why would your opinion about it be useful or relevant? jp×g🗯️ 04:03, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I would agree. If I recall correctly, the inflation template does some amount of rounding (either by default or as an option, I can't remember) so as to avoid false precision of this sort. jp×g🗯️ 04:05, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The template already has a parameter to round the output - r=, see Template:Inflation#Rounding so what the OP is really asking is to change the default from unit precision to the same precision as the source data. Given that it is not possible for the template to know the precision of an input (e.g. is £2000 accurate to 1, 2, 3 or 4 figures?) the option to specify a non-default level of precision is always going to be required.
All pages that currently correctly use the default precision would need to be adjusted to explicitly specify that before changing the default so as to avoid introducing inaccuracies. Given that there is no automatic way to know which articles are using the default correctly and which are using it incorrectly, every such usage would need to be examined by a human. That would be a very large job, for not really much benefit. Thryduulf (talk) 08:23, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that inflation figures usually need rounding, but it is difficult to get the default right. Whenever you see this type of false precision, WP:SOFIXIT by using the parameter as suggested by Thryduulf. —Kusma (talk) 09:18, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yep.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:20, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I've marked it as such in the templatedata. Aaron Liu (talk) 18:27, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Revisiting date auto-formatting[edit]

Back in the late 2000s to early 2010s, we had a feature by which dates were auto-formatted. This ended up leading to a bunch of strife, and the feature was turned off. This happened because the feature (implemented as a MediaWiki parser function) relied upon linking, such that every date was a link, and it caused a "sea of blue" problem.

With the advent many years ago of Lua modules, it seems that we could do this better now, untied in any way to linking. We already have Lua code in various templates (as well as Javascript code in user scripts) that can parse most dates. So, it seems to me that it would be beneficial to have something like the following:

  • Parse all sane date formats, from 1852-02-08 to 8th February 1852 to Feb. 8, 1852 to 8-FEB-1852, and so on.
    • Exclude material between quotation marks or inside a quotation template.
    • Flag as errors any instances that cannot be unambigously parsed, e.g.
    • Provide an "ignore" wrapper template that can be used around things that appear to be (or contain) dates but should not be parsed as such (e.g. a serial number that is coincidentally in the format 1852-02-08, or a book titled On Feb. 8, 1852.
  • Identify templates like {{use mdy dates}}, etc., at the top of the page and "obey" them, to normalize all dates to the prescribed format for that page.
    • If there isn't one, but there is a {{Use X English}} template, pick the date format that conventionally matches the specified country name.
    • If both of the above conditions fail, then do some statistical analysis, and normalize dates to whatever date format already dominates in the article (other than ISO's YYYY-MM-DD, which is not human-friendly for our readers).
  • Read a preferences setting, for logged in users, and override the display of dates to whatever the user set as their preference.
  • Use a bot to replace all the non-excluded dates in the code with a single canonical format (probably ISO).

The results of this would be:

  • An end to the need to keep re-re-re-normalizing dates (manually or by script) in an article back to the format specified in {{use xxx dates}}. (The dates always become inconsistent over time because various citation tools that people use only output a single format, or have an option to pick one that people don't bother to use, or people are writing entirely manually and use the date format they like better without regard to the rest of the article content).
  • Article source code that is better for WP:REUSE purposes, with consistent dates that can be reformatted by reusers in an automated manner as they see fit.
  • Articles with consistent date display, matching whatever is set by the article-top template.
  • Ability of readers who really, really like one particular format to impose it on their personal WP experience.

 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:17, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH SANDY MCCANDLISH? EEng 18:25, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That sounds better suited as a configured mw:Writing systems/LanguageConverter than basically a specific version of zhwiki's NoteTA, though both would work, and Lua does seem like the language more popular here than PHP. Aaron Liu (talk) 18:31, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
No, there is no need to revisit auto-formatting, for the reasons that were given when it was discontinued, but we should recognise that is some countries, such as the UK and India, either 8 February 1852 or February 8, 1852 is perfectly acceptable, with the addition of "th" to "8" also acceptable. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:24, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Given that the Chinese Wikipedia manages to allow people to switch between different varieties of Chinese with a single click, I have always found it a bit embarrassing that we can't even offer date formatting choices. A date autoformatter would need to be more powerful than the old one, though, and would need to be able to deal with date ranges (the old one could only do full dates). —Kusma (talk) 20:47, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I certainly see no harm in developing a tool that allows readers to choose a display for their own purposes. Starting with that functionality and getting it working reliably and consistently would likely be a useful first step towards implementing something broader.
Rather than/as well as inferring things that look like dates in prose and marking things that aren't, having something like "Bob Smith ({{date|1852|February|8}} – {{date|1921|August|8}}) was a British politician. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from {{date|1890|March|1890}} to {{date|April|1894}}. He was president of the Imperial Society {{date range|1899|-|1908|April}}" a la semantic HTML may prove useful more broadly. Thryduulf (talk) 12:59, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think this would work for "readers". See Read a preferences setting, for logged in users. The average reader does not have prefs settings.
If I were going to mess with dates, it would be to specify in WP:BADDATE that unambiguous year–month combinations (e.g., 2024-05, which never means "this year through nineteen years in the past) are acceptable, and that it is concerned solely with what readers see, and definitely does not restrict the input for templates such as the CS1 citation templates.
In other words, people shouldn't be manually replacing the ISO-approved "2024-05" to "May 2024" in citation templates, because the citation templates should detect the unambiguous dates and treat them exactly the same way they already convert the display of "2024-05-01" to "1 May 2024" or "May 1, 2024" (the choice is made automagically, based on the specified ENGVAR for the page). WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:34, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The average reader does not have prefs settings. Easy, default to converting to mdy. I also don't see how "2024-05" is relevant here. Aaron Liu (talk) 00:43, 18 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The problem to be solved is: "An end to the need to keep re-re-re-normalizing dates (manually or by script) in an article back to the format specified in {{use xxx dates}}."
Most of the dates that need to be re-re-re-normalized are in the citations (not in the words of the article). See Category:CS1 maint: date format for the current list.
This problem could be solved by changing a bit of code in the citation templates. To be clear: nearly every article that appears in this category, or that has been in this category during the last few years, could have been prevented from appearing there by changing the citation template's code.
The reason this change was rejected is because the maintainers of that code believe that MOS:BADDATE disallows editors from putting unambiguous, ISO 8601-compliant numeric year–month combinations in wikitext, even when the numeric form of the date would never be shown to a single reader. That is, they believe that the MOS will allow editors to type |date=2024-05-01 in a citation template, so they can show "May 1, 2024" to readers (if the article is tagged as mdy), but that the MOS does not allow editors to type |date=2024-05 and have "May 2024" shown to readers.
If you want to end "re-re-re-normalizing dates (manually or by script) in an article back to the format specified in {{use xxx dates}}, I suggest that you start with the problem that could be solved in two edits: a single edit to the MOS page, to officially reassure the template maintainers that it's 'legal', and a single to the citation template's main module, to implement the code (which AIUI already exists). WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:36, 18 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]