Wikipedia talk:Main Page/Errors/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

This page has been fixed, so there should be no further problem at this point.

That said, I think if the article on Christmas ended up picking up a couple of orange templates, there is still no way that it would be excluded from OTD on December 25. Maybe in that case, the page would also be fixed. But it seems to me that when one of Judaism's major holidays is coming up for OTD and has a problem, someone should tell us (WT:JUDAISM) instead of simply dropping it. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:08, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Given the orange templates had been there since 2013 and 2016, frankly I would have expected the WT:JUDAISM project to be aware of them by now. It is a 'major' holiday apparently. Only in death does duty end (talk) 15:21, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Shavuot is a major holiday, but you make a fair point. I don't really remember what happened last year, and surely we should have caught the 2016 template. The 2013 template is on a section referring to an Essene-Christian interpretation that is frankly unfamiliar to most people who watch that page. It's commented out for now, and after the holiday is over I'll see what I can do about restoring it with a reference, or else permanently deleting it as fringe. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:26, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
You're wrong about Christmas. We omitted Easter this year because of reference issues. Also, sorry but I have no idea what are major holidays in Judaism besides the big 4 (Hanukkah, Yom Kippur, Rosh, and Passover). Perhaps you all at the WikiProject could spend some time making sure that the holiday/observance articles are all of good quality to begin with? howcheng {chat} 16:41, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Firstly, the article has been fixed, as mentioned on the main page. As far as holidays, Hanukkah is not a major holiday, the three main holidays are Pesach, Shavuos and Sukkos. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are holidays but not one of the Three Festivals . Sir Joseph (talk) 16:45, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
The article is back in, but I'm never going to remember that. The four that I mentioned are what I think are most recognized by us goyim. howcheng {chat} 16:52, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
You're absolutely right about the "Big Four" (the ones recognized by you goyim)(grin). And I give you credit for omitting Easter for reference issues. We'll try to take responsibility for keeping an eye on those articles, but at the same time we'd appreciate a quick ping if a last-minute issue comes up. StevenJ81 (talk) 16:58, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

I've never had this happen before ... I'll go along with however it's generally handled. Guy makes a change to an old TFA page, I revert saying that the page only serves as an archive, he reverts me. What do you guys do when someone makes a change to one of the pages that serve as archives for past editions of the Main Page? - Dank (push to talk) 02:03, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

I can't recall it ever happening before, but I agree with you that it should be an archive and I've reverted. Let's see what happens now. Jenks24 (talk) 07:01, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. An archive should only be edited on rare occasions, such as when executing an Oversight request of RevDel-ing something. (In either case, they probably would've been done before the page was archived, but whatever.) Gestrid (talk) 09:16, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. I undid their change to an old featured list too. Stephen 09:36, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. - Dank (push to talk) 13:47, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

Just a pointer. We need some community feedback. - Dank (push to talk) 20:16, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

Is this archived?

Are the comments archived when answered? If they aren't I think it would be good to do that. Starting June 1?  Nixinova  T  C  06:47, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

No, they're deleted, the archive is in the page history. The Rambling Man (talk) 06:50, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
I think they probably should be archived per day.  Nixinova  T  C  06:52, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
As most (>90%) of the errors are transient and have no long-term impact or interest, I'd say this was a waste of time and effort. The Rambling Man (talk) 06:54, 31 May 2018 (UTC)


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Why is this hidden page being treated as the errors section now?--Kevmin § 20:22, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing! It's because I pick up errors on the main page, and few others do. It's my gift. Feel free to help out. Or feel free to stick with the "new and improved" ERRORS page where everyone is extremely courteous and no-one gets upset. Either way, it's all for the benefit of our readers! The Rambling Man (talk) 20:38, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
P.S. It's hardly "hidden". It's well advertised on my talk page (which has about half the number of page watchers as ERRORS), but if you can think of any other ways to promote it, please let me know!! For those who wish to join in, it's User:The Rambling Man/ERRORS, everyone's welcome!! The Rambling Man (talk) 20:41, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
If you pick up errors, be collaborative, and use this page for it, rather than creating a hidden page the only certain people know of..... "New and improved", meaning you have control over the process and only those who you tell of the place and get along with you contribute? Its not benefiting anyone to subvert the set process. Improvement would be to NOT subvert this page, (and to take advice and not bite people who disagree with you.--Kevmin § 02:05, 30 July 2018 (UTC)`
The last person I will take advice from on collaboration is you! Bye now! The Rambling Man (talk) 04:45, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
And its responses like that that were pointed out the be the biggest problems with errors and certain participants, "IDONTLIKEIT, so I'm going to be rude and condescending" about criticism gets you no where TRM, and drives everyone but your preferred people away.--Kevmin § 02:08, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
And it's responses like that which means I'll just keep on keeping on and doing what's best for our readers and not what's best for individuals who simply dislike me, and that clearly includes you Kevmin. I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve here but whatever it is, it doesn't appear to be working in any sense. The new and improved ERRORS page is drawing about as much attention as the defunct-but-polite one, it's picking up around three times as many issues, and there's no upset for anyone. So if you're just using this as vehicle to try to make me feel bad, I'm so sorry to tell you that you've failed, abjectly. The Rambling Man (talk) 05:11, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I have to agree that this work occurring on a user subpage is less than ideal. If the process of reporting and fixing main page errors can be improved, then propose how this page can be changed rather than organising this improvement on a user subpage which, yes, is hidden from most people interested in main page improvements. That your user talk page has half the number of page watchers as WP:ERRORS is entirely irrelevant. I guess I'm curious to know what editors like Gatoclass and Anarchyte, who have been working on the subpage, think. Sam Walton (talk) 09:06, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Sorry but it's the best I can do. I was about to be topic banned from ERRORS in any case, having asked for some more admin eyes on the project, so this is where I'm left. In all honesty, I pick up about five times as many errors as the rest of the project put together, and I'm not going to stop any time soon. This alternative is a great way of trying to keep the integrity of the main page as high as possibly for our readers, while not needing to engage those who find me so repellent. It's purely optional. If no-one addresses any errors I report, it doesn't matter at all. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:20, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
@Samwalton9: (edit conflict) It's not ideal to have the two pages split, but at the end of the day, if the error gets fixed, does it matter where it's posted? I don't care too much for the history of ERRORS and the reasoning behind his decision to leave this page; all that matters is the main page is clean. Most of the time the comments on TRM's page are minor fix-ups that don't need to be discussed here, but when I do think they need a wider audience (or evidence that a discussion was attempted (when only linking to WP:TRM might bring controversy)), I post them ([1] [2] [3]). Cheers, Anarchyte (work | talk) 09:22, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
And you, Anarchyte, are doing a marvellous job of putting our readers first, which I very much appreciate and applaud. A pity we don't have more like you!! The Rambling Man (talk) 09:42, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) While it might not be ideal to have a separate page in user space employed for the same purpose, there's nothing that mandates WP:ERRORS as the only way people are allowed to work on main page errors, and individual editors are free to work on main page errors however they so wish providing they do so within Wikipedia policy. If TRM wants to work on main page errors in his own user space and some others want to help with it, I really don't see that there's anything wrong with that. It's not affecting anyone working at WP:ERRORS. Is it getting main page errors fixed while helping avoid problems that have led to WP:ERRORS not working as well as intended? Yes. Win, win. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:23, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Indeed. I offer an excellent service within my own user space, if people want to get involved, they can, if they don't want to get involved, they don't have to. Easy. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:42, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I think it's problematic, but I accepted it because a number of users at a WP:AN discussion] were talking about sanctioning TRM for his conduct at WP:ERRORS which prompted TRM to start his own errors page where I guess he figured he could not be sanctioned. Unfortunately, he has already started talking about perhaps banning me from his personal ERRORS page because he doesn't like my opinions.[4] It would certainly not be acceptable in my view to be running a personal ERRORS page where you get to decide who can and can't respond, so I'm thinking that perhaps it's time to have a discussion about the appropriateness of such a page. Gatoclass (talk) 09:27, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
You're missing basic issues and then stating you won't fix them, so I don't see any purpose in you continuing to contribute there. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:42, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
You posted a total of 7 issues for the next DYK set. I implemented 5 of your recommendations. Two of them I did not, in one case because I didn't see the need, in another because, as usual, you refused to give me an alt hook to replace the hook you didn't like. Sorry, but I'm not going to do your thinking for you, if you think the hook can be improved, give me an alt to consider, don't expect me to try and guess what alternative wording you might prefer. Gatoclass (talk) 09:52, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
As I noted, you don't have to use the page at all. It's in my user space, it's optional. Indeed, if you refuse to fix issues you know exist, it's probably better not to use my page at all. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:55, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
A suggestion, Gatoclass. If you see errors at User:The Rambling Man/ERRORS and you're happy to fix then then fix them, and if not then just ignore them? Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:58, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
And what if I think the proposed fixes would make the set worse? I have just as much right to express an opinion about DYK hooks as anybody else. It's not my fault that TRM decided to run his own personal errors page. Gatoclass (talk) 10:06, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Actually, it partially is your fault. But if you don't like my page in my user space with my observations about the state of the main page in coming days, don't visit it. Let others who are interested pick up the myriad issues daily with DYK etc. The Rambling Man (talk) 10:13, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Re: "And what if I think the proposed fixes would make the set worse?": I think I would still suggest you ignore it at that page, and if someone changes things in a way that you think is wrong (which could happen via any route, not just via TRM's page), then report what you see as the error at WP:ERRORS? Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:21, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I'll just add that, yes, I know that could create tension between two different ways of fixing something, but if that happens then I think a consensus at WP:ERRORS is the way to decide it. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:23, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
No, because reports can sit here for hours or never be acted upon at all, especially if they are about subtle issues like expression etc. rather than outright errors. It just isn't practical. Gatoclass (talk) 10:28, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
No, that's not true any more. Now my toxic influence over WP:ERRORS has completely evaporated, it's flooded with helpful admins who will resolve issues within moments. The Rambling Man (talk) 10:31, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
So we have two methods of addressing main page errors, and neither is good enough for you. I honestly don't know what else to suggest then, Gatoclass. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:34, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
WP:ERRORS is fine with me. It isn't fine with TRM, remember? That's why he started his own errors page. So I started responding there, and he threatened to ban me. And from this, you conclude that I am the unreasonable party? Well sorry, but I think the facts show otherwise. Gatoclass (talk) 10:47, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm not accusing you of anything at all, I just have no idea of how to satisfy your requirements after all my suggestions have been rejected. So I'm out of here. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:51, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Gatoclass, why not just use WP:ERRORS? Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:46, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Because DYK errors are noted so infrequently there nowadays I suppose. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:55, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Why are you asking me that question and not TRM? I am using his errors page because that's where he chooses to post. You can't have a coherent discussion posted across two different pages, it has to be one or the other. Gatoclass (talk) 09:57, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
OK, I get you, you're simply trying to fix errors TRM reports rather than reporting errors yourself. But if you don't like the way that page is being managed, you could just ignore it and stick to fixing errors at WP:ERRORS instead. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:02, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
That's right. Fix the errors at ERRORS. Shouldn't take long at all. And since it's the all new polite version, no-one will argue with you, and everyone will be happy there. Plus you don't need to ever interact with me. Win-win-win-win? The Rambling Man (talk) 10:13, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Because I am also interested in DYK quality, that's why, and if somebody makes a suggestion about how to improve a hook, I am probably going to want to either implement it if it's an improvement, or express an opinion about it if I think it isn't. Gatoclass (talk) 10:15, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Large images at TFA

The requested discussion will (hopefully) show up at at WT:TFA#Large images at TFA. - Dank (push to talk) 20:31, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

Roberta Williams at TFA

August TFAs have been scheduled. The only two days that currently don't have images are the 1st and the 24th. For the 24th, it's really a shame that we don't have a free image for Roberta Williams ... very few women have her status in the early PC-gaming world. There are images of her all over the web, if someone wants to try to find a free one. - Dank (push to talk) 13:57, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

Pinging User:Hunter Kahn and User:GamerPro64 ... do you have a free image for Roberta Williams? - Dank (push to talk) 18:33, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking about that last night. I checked Flickr and they didn't have any images on her. So now I'm trying to find her email. GamerPro64 18:55, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. While I'm here ... any thoughts on File:Vaughan-williams-hoppé.jpg for the 26th? Copyright law ... gotta love it. - Dank (push to talk) 17:08, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
I can't find any contact information for either Roberta or even her husband. GamerPro64 19:44, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
Give me a couple of days. I know someone who used to work with them. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:37, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I have some folks I can ask too that might be able to connect me. Will let you know. — Hunter Kahn 20:07, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Any updates on the images? GamerPro64 00:23, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

I think this one needs another look. The claim about the first joint cricket match is debatable and is no longer in the article. It's also wrongly worded and missing the joint beneficiary. What about "that in 1985, Shiv Pande arranged for a joint India-Pakistan cricket team to play "the rest of the world" in aid of Mother Teresa's charity and the orphans of the Bhopal gas disaster? Philafrenzy (talk) 11:25, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Comma before "and"

This isn't on the Main Page yet, but since it's at FAC, it's just a matter of time. I'm being asked for an opinion. In Comments by Ceranthor, Sturmvogel_66 asks: "Can you explain why you added commas in sentences with conjoined independent clauses like: The squadron was spotted relatively quickly, and the Japanese main fleet intercepted the Russians in the early afternoon.? They are not grammatical and strike me as redundant to the conjunction." Ceranthor replies: "How are they not grammatical, exactly? Two independent clauses with a conjunction between them should have a comma before the conjunction." I don't recall being asked either to add or subtract a comma between independent clauses in TFA blurbs (but my own writing is a little comma-heavy). Thoughts? - Dank (push to talk) 17:12, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

I prefer to see a comma there myself, given the length of the sentence. It better reflects the way you would read it. Presumably there's no firm rule one way or the other on this, so seems best just to stick with it the way it is.  — Amakuru (talk) 17:19, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
I find that much of what I learned as a child turns out to be more nuanced than I was originally told, but I'm almost certain that the comma is grammatical, I kind of suspect leaving it out might actually be ungrammatical (although I could be wrong), and I'm certain it scans better for the reader with the comma there. --Floquenbeam (talk) 17:27, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
FWIW, I've pinged Tony1 at the FAC to get his input. ceranthor 18:11, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
These so-called grammar guides often paint the picture simplistically. You need to weigh up several issues when deciding on whether to insert a comma into the grey area (i.e. positions in the text that are not mandatory or ruled out for commas). Among these issues are how long the sentence is, how many existing commas there are, and whether meaning is affected by the presence/absence of a comma. Tony (talk) 04:24, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

The article writer and I disagree about how to start this one off ... he likes the current version [inserted: it started off "Interstate 75"], and I think there's value in not annoying the people who are doing the heavy lifting, but in this case, my guess is that people are going to object per WP:EGG (as they often do, most recently over the October 3 blurb). I like "In Michigan, Interstate 75 (I-75) is an Interstate Highway that extends" or "Interstate 75 (I-75) extends through Michigan for 396 miles (637 km)". For comparison, the last 3 highway blurbs have been Wikipedia:Today's featured article/September 26, 2018, Wikipedia:Today's featured article/August 13, 2018 and Wikipedia:Today's featured article/August 30, 2018. - Dank (push to talk) 23:37, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

Of those three recent examples, one is a false comparison. The full name of the one highway is "New York State Route 22". The full name of this highway is "Interstate 75". I have several objections to the proposals. The first proposal put the name of the state up front, giving it implicit priority over the actual subject of the featured article, the highway. Both proposals, but especially the second, puts too much text in linked bold. Traditionally, for better or worse, the abbreviated or alternate names for a subject were not included in parentheses in a TFA blurb. Also traditionally, the proposed forms are not the norm, and I dispute that it's an Easter egg issue when the very first sentence of the blurb limits the definition of the subject article to a specific state. Additionally, the proposed wording either lacks a place to separately link "Michigan", or places it so far down that it comes after mentions of another state and another country. Imzadi 1979  23:51, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
Why not just use the article name? "Interstate 75 in Michigan is a part of the Interstate Highway System that runs from..." That seems perfectly readable. Modulus12 (talk) 05:15, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Agree with Modulus12. Fish+Karate 12:00, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
As I noted, the name of the highway does not include the name of the state, and you run into overly repetitive prose trying to get the linked name of the state up front ahead of the other mentions of the other states and countries. This is how the article text itself does in in dozens of similar articles. Imzadi 1979  12:27, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
  • The problem is, the plain text of the sentence Imzadi wants to use - "Interstate 75 is an Interstate Highway in Michigan..." - is not correct. The text of the blurb should be correct standing alone, without having to follow the links. Modulus12's suggestion seems easiest, clearest, and most straightforward. But surely we've had "Interstate XX in YY" articles as TFA before? (goes to check...) yes, the last one was Wikipedia:Today's featured article/July 21, 2018, where Dank's first formulation was used. I still think Modulus12's is better though. Don't like the look of commas inside links, but that's maybe just me. --Floquenbeam (talk) 12:53, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
    Agreed. Moduls12's suggestion seems the clearest and best given here. Killiondude (talk) 03:22, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
    I'll change it now since it's unanimous (not counting Imzadi or me), but more discussion is always welcome, here or (later) at WP:ERRORS. - Dank (push to talk) 03:39, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
    Quick question ... Imzadi just changed it to "Interstate 75 in Michigan is a part of the Interstate Highway System in Michigan that runs 396 miles (637 km)" ... is that acceptable? - Dank (push to talk) 03:50, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
    I'll revert unless I see something here today. - Dank (push to talk) 13:28, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
    Maybe slightly repetitive, but there is really no perfect way to phrase this, and now that the plain text is factually true, I have no problem deferring to someone who, as you phrased it yesterday, did the heavy lifting. --Floquenbeam (talk) 13:59, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
    Okay Floq, I'll punt this one up to WP:ERRORS on the 31st. - Dank (push to talk) 15:45, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

Just a pointer. - Dank (push to talk) 03:30, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

POTD Nov09Fri

Not really certain where to put this comment as it isn't really an error. I was just curious what the picture has to do with the text below (or better yet, what the text has to do with the picture). There isn't any reference to the picture in the text, and the picture isn't clear enough to be self-evident (in regards to the topic of the text).

Any help would be appreciated. WesT (talk) 22:15, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

Per the text in the TFP blurb: After undocking the spacecraft deorbited and began its descent (pictured), with the mission crew landing safely just over three hours later. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:24, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
I think this comment is talking about yesterday's POTD, the embryonic stem cells. Which was what the picture depicted, although perhaps some explanation of what it was might have been useful. It's a moot point now though because the day has ended.  — Amakuru (talk) 08:22, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

1 December 2018 TFA discussion

  • “Abandoned?” the buildings were, perhaps, after forcible secularization, but the monaserties weren’t abandoned, their residents were forcibly driven out. Qwirkle (talk) 00:05, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
That's a fair point. However, it's off the main page now and we keep past blurbs in the form they were when they ran.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:00, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
Well, some other points. First, and perhaps most importantly, the blurbs really should not be left totally uncorrected. The original should be preserved, of course, but an actual accurate summation should be close at hand. The TFA, DYC(sic), and OTD are all set up for browsing; the current system can, at its worst, perpetuate concentrated misinformation.
Next, the feedback loop here is busted. Small errors, like misspellings are dealt with handily, but anything that involves real dispute between the...”community” is an overused word here, but it’ll have to and the specific group that creates particular segments of the main page has no natural home. Telling people to take a deep divide about whether something belongs on the front page at all back to the group that put it there is a recipe for resentment, not reform. Qwirkle (talk) 20:57, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
Several good questions here, I'll just field one and I hope others will take the rest. Some rules are project-wide and we can't really change them; I'm thinking of WP:ARCHIVE and similar pages (which literally applies just to talk pages, but it's taken to apply here too). The consensus seems to be that it's more important to preserve an accurate record than it is to keep re-litigating the same points if they've moved out of public view forever. - Dank (push to talk) 21:11, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I understand that is the status quo, but I think it’s wrong. Clearly, the incorrect version should be archived, but not without nearby,, in-your-face...versions that are correct. Qwirkle (talk) 22:58, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
Arguing the choice of word on the TFA day becomes problematic. The principal author may not be available, no one has read the sources other than them, so we're all just playing telephone in a way. The author is advised of the upcoming appearance, but may not think to monitor WP:ERRORS. Saturday's list of claimed "errors" contained a lot of stuff that I felt required the involvement of the author, and also the length and pickiness of it convinced me a point was being made. In any event, I'm not trying to be a hardass, but doing things last minute and cutting out the principal authors is not a good way to go.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:39, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

FA nominators

In view of recent discussions, the TFA coordinators are planning to amend our standard TFA notification to the main FA editors to suggest that they watchlist ERRORS on the day their article is due to run and the day before, so that they are aware of discussions here. This will commence from 1 Jan 2019 when I start scheduling that month, cheers Jimfbleak - talk to me? 13:27, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

Also ... I mentioned I'd be making a post today, but Johnboddie and I are working on the January blurbs, so it will be a few days. - Dank (push to talk) 17:16, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

DePiep has some questions; anyone is welcome to field the questions and edit as needed. - Dank (push to talk) 22:07, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

While I'm here, the editing we're seeing on Wikipedia:Today's featured article/December 9, 2018 may or may not turn into a problem. Someone check the edit summaries and deal with this, please. - Dank (push to talk) 22:09, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

General note: a few days ago, I was recusing ... I wasn't involved at all. That was just for 3 days, I'm back now. - Dank (push to talk) 13:45, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Perhaps this would be better posted at Wikipedia talk:Today's featured article. It is not really anything to do with ERRORS at this stage. Mind you, I probably would not have seen it there and follwed the links... (talk) 17:11, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
Glad to see this point of view ... we don't see this represented often enough at ERRORS/TFA ... and I'll point to this discussion as soon as John and I have finished the January blurbs. - Dank (push to talk) 19:03, 7 December 2018 (UTC)

New User Script

Hi. I just made a user script (User:DannyS712/errors) that adds an easy link to WP:ERRORS to the main page and associated pages (talk, tomorrow's main page, etc). I did this so that it would be easier for me to report errors, and hope that if anyone else wants to use it it helps them to. If you have any bug reports, feedback, etc, please talk to me. --DannyS712 (talk) 05:29, 5 January 2019 (UTC)

TFA again

This discussion represents a problem. This was the thread at WT:TFA (just me and Iridescent). The article lead is (as of this morning) unchanged, at least with regard to the current issue. The bottom line here is that article writers and reviewers in general are keeping their distance, which puts me in the uncomfortable position of having to guess about consensus based on past discussions and past articles. The thing I want to avoid here is letting ERRORS/TFA become collateral damage in fights that mostly involve other people and other sections of the Main Page. One change we could make that might help would be this: if a suggestion is made at "TFA tomorrow" early in the day, and there's still no apparent support for the suggestion when it's 4 or 5 hours into "TFA today" at my bedtime, and if (this is important) the odds that things will go wrong overnight seem higher than the odds that things will go right, then I'll remove the discussion. Thoughts? - Dank (push to talk) 13:35, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

For my part I think there are two separate issues here. (1) the change this morning clearly didn't have consensus so shouldn't have been made, and you were right to revert it. However, and this may not be the answer you're looking for Dank, but I do think there's an unsatisfactory level of WP:OWN in the TFA slot of late. TFA coords do a fantastic job, and I'm very grateful for it, but that doesn't mean that any particular day's blurb is immune from being improved based on comments at WP:ERRORS, or that the TFA coords have the final right of refusal for what goes in there. That applies just the same as any other part of the main page. And let's be honest - the TFA blurb is not itself featured content, because it is almost always a distilled and somewhat rewritten version of the lede/article. Therefore it has no greater claim to brilliance than ITN, DYK, OTD, TFL or POTD. For example a few weeks ago we had a long discussion regarding the phrasing of Wikipedia:Today's featured article/December 1, 2018. Yet when you examine the article itself, the line containing "four covered walkways pieced together from several abandoned European monasteries" doesn't appear anywhere. So the text under discussion wasn't actually fully-vetted brilliant prose. I write most of the blurbs for the POTD section these days and I have absolutely no problem with changes to the text if there's a clear consensus for them. The same should apply at TFA *if there's a consensus*. That may be in line with your suggestion above, I'm not sure. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 15:24, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
The issues affecting TFA and POTD are slightly different. With regards to POTD, it's primarily the picture quality that's being looked at, so unless an issue with the accompanying article is glaring it won't necessarily be spotted beforehand. With TFA, the articles are pretty much by definition going to be written by—or at least watched by—those editors with the greatest knowledge of the topic, and the blurbs will have been vetted by those same authors; consequently, it's much less likely that inaccuracies are going to get through. There's a trio of editors who seem to treat "find something with which to nitpick in every blurb" as a contest; I can say from experience that having to repeatedly explain "no, it's worded that way because this is a nuanced issue and that's the wording that's correct, as was discussed at length on the talkpage which you haven't bothered to read/at the FAC which you haven't bothered to read/at the FARC which you haven't bothered to read (delete as appropriate)" or "no, that thing you saw on TV about this topic isn't actually true" gets very wearing after a while. In my experience nominators for TFA and DYK are generally happy to engage with legitimate questions from good faith editors, but seeing the same few names playing their gotcha game isn't something I include in that; to me the surprise isn't that nominators occasionally snap, but that it doesn't happen more often. ‑ Iridescent 15:46, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Well yes, I agree with you that a lot of the "errors" reported are just preferences and that there has been a disruptive trend in that direction here recently with multiple dubious stylistic points raised every day. We should be concentrating on the obvious unambiguous errors. My only point was that I disagree that TFA is any more professionally prepared than the other sections, or that it should be treated differently. Sure, the source material for an FA is brilliant (although in some cases it can lapse in quality between featuring and landing on the main page), but the article authors don't always seem to be involved in the TFA preparation, and the sentence construction very often seems to be quite different - the example I mention above being just one such.  — Amakuru (talk) 17:52, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Everyone: I haven't been getting a lot of help dealing with tough issues lately ... and I get it, ERRORS is not the most pleasant place to work and the issues are often complex (or just weird). And participation isn't obligatory on anyone, per WP:CHOICE. But I have to draw the line here ... this thread isn't one where I can just try to do my best with few or no people participating. We've reached a fork in the road, and either other people feel the same way Amakuru does, or they don't ... which is it? - Dank (push to talk) 18:57, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
As I've said before my personal preference would be to abolish the main page in its current form, but assuming that's not going to happen this side of the year 2525 I'd tend to tilt more towards you than towards Amakuru. There are occasional genuine errors spotted in the TFA and OTD blurbs, but they're few and far between and tend to be spotted very quickly; if fire is to be focused it should be focused on DYK, where the combination of a much higher throughput and articles which have generally had far fewer eyes on them means genuine issues regularly slip through. (In my opinion ITN isn't even worth discussing as it's degenerated beyond saving.) What I would say—regarding all sections—is that we should tighten the scope of WP:ERRORS considerably to only cover actual factual errors; as you know, at the moment the page is largely owned by a tiny clique of grammar pedants who see it as their personal fiefdom and threads there tend to degenerate fairly quickly into attempts to bully any passing admin into enforcing their peculiar interpretations of WP:ENGVAR and of the English language in general. ‑ Iridescent 00:29, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
IMHO, and I've said this for a long time, we should ditch DYK. You only have to look at the numbers of errors posted - and that includes factual errors, not just grammar nitpicks (though I would point out that sometimes grammar issues do create errors, there's a good example today) - to see the problem. OTD (and TFA and POTD) are easily dealt with on a daily basis because if something isn't right, it's a simple matter to fix or replace without having to go into the arcane rabbit-warren of pages that make up DYK. It's a lot of work for sometimes zero gain. Black Kite (talk) 01:21, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
IMHO, the best solution would be to desysop any admin who has not written at least one featured article. This can only improve the project. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 04:28, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
@Black Kite and Iridescent: With respect, all the stats that we have shows that OTD and DYK have very similar numbers of errors. TRM's statistics shows 465 OTD errors vs 509 at DYK (yes, this includes a lot of stylistic preference stuff, but it's the data that we have). I collected some stats earlier this year, where I've separated actual mistakes (grammatical or factual) from preferences; those stats show the same thing. Also, If there's errors on the main page or in the queue, the process is the same for any main page feature; any admin who sees it can fix it, any non-admin can post to ERRORS. You don't have to go into the rabbit-warren at all. I get it, some folks don't like DYK, and some of the reasons for this dislike our justified. But you're sorely mistaken if you think scrapping it is going to fix the main page. The fundamental problem is the nature of peer review on Wikipedia, combined with the rate at which we feature stuff on the main page. DYK has the highest throughput, and the highest number of errors. We could reduce the DYK rate to one every two days, and halve the number of errors, without fixing anything about the process. If we're not going to take a long hard look at everything peer review related, then the only solution is more scrutiny, which is what Kevin is providing (and what TRM has been providing). As long as he's not rude about it, I see no cause for complaint. If Dank is feeling a lack of support, then we need to encourage more admins to frequent errors. Vanamonde (talk) 06:46, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
There is no excuse to leave comments on blurbs to the last minute, when we go to great lengths to get the month scheduled weeks in advance. I agree with Wehwalt in the previous discussion, this last minute nit-picking by the same few editors seems designed to undermine the FA writers and the TFA coordinators. If you think we are trying to "own", the articles, don't just snipe, sack us and start again with people who clearly know better than us about FA/TFA Jimfbleak - talk to me? 15:50, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
This is clearly the biggest crisis that TFA/ERRORS has faced in my four-year tenure. I could be completely wrong, but from where I'm sitting, I'm dealing with two large sets of people who insist on seeing things their own way and on ignoring the basic day-to-day realities of the other set. The bottom line is that I disagree with everyone so far, because everyone seems to be taking the position that if we'd all just do what they say, then the solution would be easy. I'm not sure that there's a solution to the current problem at all, but I know it wouldn't be easy. I have no trouble feeling sympathy for either Amakuru or Jim, to take two people who have spoken up (and btw, where the hell are all the other people who have strong opinions on what's going on here?) Amakuru has every right to insist on not being treated with some different rule-set, as some kind of second-class citizen, just because they're working mainly at POTD and not at TFA; some of what happens at TFA is just like what happens anywhere else on this page. Jim, and the rest of the huge community of article writers and reviewers (all of them: GAN, FAC, wikiprojects, and elsewhere), all have the right not to have their months or years of work overwritten in a last-minute process that seems to be designed to shut them out and seems to be inhabited by aliens who speak a different language, for all they can tell. (I'm not taking sides here, I'm just saying what it looks like to the people who have complained.) I've got a few ideas for what I might do to try to help bridge the divide, but given the state of the discussion so far, I'm not optimistic. (But then, Wikipedia has a way of always looking hopeless, always falling apart, and always getting put back together again. Patience, Dan.) - Dank (push to talk) 17:09, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
@Dank: Asking people to review articles before they hit the main page is quite reasonable. Unfortunately, it's not likely to succeed. We had a series of similar conversations at DYK some while ago, about why blurbs could not be reviewed earlier in the process. The response essentially cited WP:VOLUNTEER to argue that anyone is free to choose when to make a specific edit. I get that it's frustrating, but I don't see a way to legislate this problem away: the best we can do is to encourage more admins to frequent ERRORS, and to ask Kevin (among others) to review things earlier in the process. Vanamonde (talk) 18:50, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

People can edit the main page article when they please, of course, but editing the blurb requires administrative privileges, which is different.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:24, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

99.99% of the POTD and TFA "errors" in blurbs should be addressed by an experienced editor before the protection, since the blurb is editable by them. (I know, because I have edited them before protection). Any experienced editor should be told to raise any issues for TFA or POTD earlier and if need be insist on them doing so, and shut-down the last minute stuff. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:19, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

The things that upset ERRORS commenters are largely disjoint from the things that upset article writers and reviewers (the best I can tell ... again, the frustrating thing here is that we're not hearing from the writers in this particular discussion ... although maybe that's just as well :) The writers get upset if you change the subject matter, or switch around the sentences (as happened a couple of days ago) in a way that seems to change what you're highlighting. Writers also get upset about any changes to the article that they think might cause friction or endless debate; they're less concerned with changes to the blurb. ERRORS commenters have a wide range of issues, but 90% of the issues strike the writers as technical points, not a big deal. Is it possible to find a process that will deal with everyone's concerns (including OWNership) and that doesn't repeatedly upset the writers? Anyone? I can throw out some suggestions. - Dank (push to talk) 22:17, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

Okay ... I would normally wait, but January is almost on us. I think I'd like to see (on a one-time basis, for now, I have no idea if this will work well) a week-long discussion where we ask people for any suggestions they have about the January blurbs. Only trolling would be out-of-bounds during the discussion. I'll be available to answer questions, but I won't try to defend my blurbs or run the discussion. We'd want to make sure that frequent commenters at ERRORS feel welcome, as well as nominators, writers and reviewers from FAC and GAN. The hope would be that we'd have fewer problems during the month if we could deal with some of these issues for one week at or before the start of the month. (On the other hand, if what happens during the week turns out not to be helpful ... well, that's useful information.) Thoughts? - Dank (push to talk) 14:20, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
This could have considerable benefit, and I cannot foresee it creating any trouble; so personally, I think it's a great idea. I don't know that it will solve all of the issues you brought up above, but I have nothing better to offer. Vanamonde (talk) 14:34, 30 December 2018 (UTC)


I'm not sure how much I am considered to have been part of a perceived crisis, but I certainly don't want to be seen as one of two warring sides, nor as competitively nitpicking, nor as trying to undermine anyone. If Wikipedia is going to have a rapidly changing main portal, that ought to be consistently a good example of writing style, reliability and clarity. Is anyone doubting that? I make errors in writing, and we all experience the blindness that we have to what we have written ourselves, so other eyes on a text are a good thing. So long as the objective is improving the output, that is surely to be welcomed. The ERRORS page is the most accessible place to look over what is listed for front page soon, and that is specifically intended for review, so that is the place where I for one will make my observations and suggestions. Of course they may sometimes be invalid: I could not try to propose corrections without being open to correction, or there may be genuine disagreement, which I will not always win. But it is disconcerting if genuine attempts to raise real issues are apparently ignored (as on today's POTD text: I think inconsistent transliteration, use of a noun as a verb with no dictionary apparently conceding it as valid, and breach of our MOS:COMMONALITY policy are issues worthy at least of consideration) it makes one wonder whether ERRORS is fit for purpose. It is also disconcerting to try to be initiate discussion and immediately have people who might be able to discuss the matter announce recusance or reveal that they have discussed the matter in e-mails rather than an open forum, and keep their reasons for a decision behind closed doors. It is a rather 11th hour way of raising things, but this is what is flagged, and in the case of DYK particularly, it is quite difficult to see proposed MP content much earlier. Frankly, I think that those most involved in creating MP content should know to be looking at ERRORS if they wish to defend/explain their choice of phrase, and it is their look out of they do not. However, in view of the above, I have made observations on several TFA extracts at Wikipedia talk:Today's featured article/January 2019. Kevin McE (talk) 21:59, 30 December 2018 (UTC)

Well, Kevin, I saw several of you comments just today as silly and rather obnoxious nit-picking. That you bother to object to people knowing Peterhof and Petergof (how terrible for them to know more!), or understand 'habitation' as a noun like 'banquets' would be in, something like, 'this building was built for fine banquets', etc. seems you just are having a peccadilloes fest. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:19, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
Sometimes people disagree on whether something is an error or a deliberate choice. I am looking at the last three items on [5] and I am not convinced any is really an issue, especially not the first. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 22:24, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
Editors who care about an article that's about to be on the Main Page often have a lot to do, and they're sometimes stressed. They have to prioritize, and comments at ERRORS are often not high on their list of priorities. Sometimes the lack of comments gets misinterpreted as "everyone's okay with this, go ahead and make the change". If we can get suggestions on blurbs (and it almost doesn't matter if they're good or bad suggestions, as long as people are thinking about and responding to the suggestions) at the start of the month, then we can avoid the bottleneck that sometimes produces less-than-optimal results. Bottom line: I was happy to see your comments, Kevin. - Dank (push to talk) 22:33, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, by all means, go early. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:40, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
Kevin McE is, of course, entitled to leave everything to the last minute, and post his preferences here, but seems to fail to realise that that's problematic for everyone else. In January, which I'm scheduling, it may well get worse since not only is Dank likely to recuse because of the constant last minute comments, but also because of time zone differences I might not even see the comments before the TFA goes live, and therefore, unlike Wehwalt, might not have an input at Errors on a page I'm supposed to be responsible for. However, I note that you have posted advance comments on some of the January pages which is a step in the right direction. I wonder if the individual day talk pages might be a better place for such comments than the month page, since it makes it easier to get to the relevant page? What do people think? Jimfbleak - talk to me? 08:07, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
I don't care which page it is, but I'd prefer that it be on one page, so that people can see the overall pattern in the comments and the responses. That's the information we need to figure out where to go from here. - Dank (push to talk) 14:36, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
We have the monthly page on which all the blurbs are collected. Is it possible to have an equivalent for all the talk pages?--Wehwalt (talk) 15:40, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
No objection, if someone knows how to set that up. Anomie might be able to point us in the right direction. - Dank (push to talk) 15:59, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
Let's see how it works out. It sounds like everyone is acting in good faith and seeking common ground.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:39, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
I'm recusing until the end of the week-long discussion, whenever that is. - Dank (push to talk) 14:02, 1 January 2019 (UTC)
Okay, I see there hasn't been any effort yet to attract discussion on the page that Kevin started ... is it okay if I do that? - Dank (push to talk) 16:33, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
I notice that Kevin McE has made several comments on blurbs at Wikipedia talk:Today's featured article/January 2019 and many do not yet have a response. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 14:25, 3 January 2019 (UTC)
Unrecusing. - Dank (push to talk) 02:23, 6 January 2019 (UTC)

Discussion related to main page design

Last FL

Currently we have sections for errors with the last FL and the next FL. I don't think we need to invite comments on the last FL, so perhaps next FL and next next FL would be more helpful? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 14:17, 3 January 2019 (UTC)

"Last FL" turns into "Current FL" on days that feature a list, and you still need "Next FL" on those days. Is it possible to get all the links to update properly under your proposed regime? Modulus12 (talk) 01:55, 4 January 2019 (UTC)
I'll see what I can do. On a Monday and Friday, we want "current" and "next". On other days we want "next" and "next-but-one". — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:45, 4 January 2019 (UTC)

I think it might be simpler just to have links to Monday's and Friday's featured list. See what you think? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 00:14, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

Martin, on the weekend we'd want Monday followed by Friday, and midweek we'd want Friday followed by Monday. But not sure if that's possible? Stephen 00:46, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
I have been trying to ensure that the section links in the edit summary work correctly. Edit summaries like this are not optimal. I don't believe this is possible if the link label is generated by a template. Therefore fixed labels may be better than dynamic ones. I see someone has swapped the links manually now, so perhaps that will work okay. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:19, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

Does ERRORS work?

Copied and pasted from errors in relation to this summary of this article.

  • It was produced by the four Miles Brothers: Harry, Herbert, Earle and Joe. Harry J. Miles cranked the Bell & Howell camera during the filming.
It seems oddly inconsistent to render Harry's name in two ways in successive sentences. However, the source does not detail what camera was used: it talks of a hand cranked Bell and Howell as the means of recording another piece of film (Triumph Over Disaster) by a different cinematographer, L Sprague Anderson. Suggest delete second of these sentences. Kevin McE (talk) 20:48, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
So a claim that was based on a totally false reading of a source, pointed out as unverified a few hours before it was to appear on the Main Page, remained on the Main Page for its 24 hours regardless. Does no-one read this, or does no-one care? Kevin McE (talk) 00:19, 20 January 2019 (UTC)

This is the source that seems to have been misinterpreted to give rise to the error in the article (my bolding of what is most relevant for the present)

A TRIP DOWN MARKET STREET (filmed April 14, 2006) Producer Miles Brothers Cinematographer Harry J. Miles Print Source The Library of Congress (Details of three films irrelevant to this discussion cut)

TRIUMPH OVER DISASTER (filmed with a 1922 hand-cranked Bell & Howell 2709 35mm movie camera at the 1906 Earthquake Centennial Commemoration at Lotta’s Fountain on April 18, 2006) Producer George C. Hall Cinematographer L Sprague Anderson Editor David Kiehn Print Source Niles Essanay Film Company

And this gave rise to the sentence "Harry J. Miles cranked the Bell & Howell camera during the filming." I hope it will be agreed that the source by no means grounds for this conclusion: 1906 footage by Miles cannot have been filmed using 1922 equipment.

So how does it happen that an error of unsourced claim (or at least an unsustainable conclusion from the source), duly flagged, remains on the Main Page for its full 24 hours? I am guessing that the admins preparing the PotD section (and gratitude to them for taking on that task) are not expected to check the sourcing of every comment, and that is perfectly reasonable, but surely that makes it more important that error reports from those who might investigate the sources are taken seriously.

Was the error report itself thought to be erroneous?

Are there no admins with authority to make the changes visiting errors (this is obviously not the case, as changes were made in response to other MP error reports), or reading as far down the errors page as the PotD section?

Is there a reluctance on the part of admins to change the work of another admin in "their" section?

Is there a sense that, so long as it provides a nice image, the accuracy of the PotD section doesn't matter?

Are there other reasons why an error might remain all day? Kevin McE (talk) 11:11, 20 January 2019 (UTC)

  • I think it's pretty obvious why this wasn't acted on: here is what ERRORS looked like at the time. It's asking people quite a lot to wade through 3,000 words of discussion and reports to get to the one at the bottom. Just above this report someone tried to fix one of the reports and was rewarded with another 350 words explaining how they'd made it worse. The report above is unusual in that it alleges an actual factual inaccuracy, most of them are just complaints about suboptimal wording. Even here the report doesn't lead with the factual inaccuracy and buries it under more complaints about wording. I suggest people try to keep the reports concise and try to avoid going overboard with non-errors. Hut 8.5 11:53, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
    Hut8.5 is exactly right; the longer the discussion, the less likely someone is to come by to fix things. Moreover, TFP is unusual in that the blurb is written by a single person with minimal oversight; it's the picture that's been through the review process. As such, fixing errors usually requires rewriting a portion of the article, which is rather more work than the average error, and also doesn't usually require an administrator. If you want a quicker response, it would be more helpful to include a suggested fix. Vanamonde (Talk) 16:59, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
I did edit the article to remove the error, and I suggested what to do "Suggest delete second of these sentences". I frequently space out comments on ERRORS, and others just as often remove them. Kevin McE (talk) 17:40, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
That was a general response, Kevin, to your general question about why an error might remain there all day; not all your reports, or those made by others, contain suggestions, and most people who could don't bother to fix the articles. I do appreciate the effort you put into examining the main page, even if I don't always agree with your conclusions. Vanamonde (Talk) 17:46, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
  • TFP is not unusual at all, OTD has exactly the same blurb-writing issues, and has not necessarily anything featured that's gone through any review process. The Rambling Man (talk) 17:06, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
    I said unusual, not unique; TFA, TFL, ITN, and DYK all have their featured articles reviewed before posting. What's the point you're trying to make? Are you arguing there's no issues with the TFP blurbs? Vanamonde (Talk) 17:18, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
    I won't get drawn into anything with you of course, suffice to say that OTD is a one-man band doing its very very best and holding its own. If you recall correctly, I was one of the first to note that TFP blurbs were problematic. Once again, the blurbs appeared to be down to one individual with no review process. So, it looks like that paradigm is less and less and less unusual. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:17, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
    What's your point, TRM? OTD and TFP have always been a one-person show. The other sections have not. TFP and OTD are unusual in that respect (especially because TFP isn't a daily section). The paradigm isn't getting more common at all. Vanamonde (Talk) 21:34, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
    The main point is not to be dragged down or into anything by the likes of you. TFL blurbs are not subject to any formal review process, the director simply notes to the nominator that it's going to the main page in a few weeks. Hmm. I'd quit digging now, it's not a good look. And here, a space for your last word ---> _____ . The Rambling Man (talk) 21:44, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
    You're not making much sense; FL's are subject to review, the articles used in TFP blurbs are not. They are therefore prone to more errors. I think you know that. If you're feeling dragged into anything, you started this conversation, so you have only yourself to blame. Vanamonde (Talk) 22:01, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
First, it's the weekend. Admin response is always slow on the weekends and I don't think there's any point in complaining about that. And second, I agree with Hut 8.5 that fixing factual inaccuracies is tough when it's buried in a list of minor wording tweaks, often of your own creation. (I think admins who don't care about that stuff will just habitually ignore you.) Just let the small stuff go. Especially in DYK/OTD, which I'm convinced not that many people actually read. We'd all be better off scouring the leads of Wikipedia's 1,000 most popular articles, which a hell of a lot of people actually read. Modulus12 (talk) 18:35, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
So let the main portal carry all sorts of erroneous, ungrammatical and unsustainable claims? Please explain how that aids the purposes of Wikipedia in wanting to be seen as a reliable resource? Kevin McE (talk) 19:11, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
Let's not argue in strawmen, please. Nobody has said that they are OK with erroneous, ungrammatical and unsustainable claims, although some people have said that they consider many of your concerns to not be actual problems, which is a different thing. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:36, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
If you can identify one thing I have pointed out in the recent time I have been operating here at ERRORS that was not a geniune attempt to improve the presentation of facts on the Main Page, please let me know. I believe I have been trying to improve it. Now I am being told that my trying to hold the main portal to a high standard is the reason that blatant errors have remained on the main page uncorrected. Kevin McE (talk) 20:59, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
Jo, that's not fair. I patrol ERRORS and ERRORS2 when I can, and I don't think I've ever seen something posted by Kevin that isn't an actual issue, whether it be major (which it is, quite often) or minor. Black Kite (talk) 22:13, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
Sure, but certain people have noted that they find many of Kevin McE's concerns to be nitpicks. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 06:50, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
Facepalm. - Dank (push to talk) 22:23, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
I was asked to explain ... the explanation is that Black Kite's comment scared me, but I didn't want to do anything more than indicate mild dismay because TFA is a small part of what's going on at ERRORS and there's no benefit to us in trying to push in one direction or another. Carry on. - Dank (push to talk) 01:03, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
You asked for explanations and I offered some. Take it or leave it. Admins are volunteers too and I try not to burden them with minor wording quibbles. That is clearly not the same thing as "letting the main portal carry all sorts of erroneous claims." Modulus12 (talk) 20:45, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
Which is where I started this thread, trying to identify what the problem is that allows this to happen: I assume no-one wants errors or sub-standard content to appear. So the problem is that there are not enough mods patrolling it? Can that be highlighted somewhere? Kevin McE (talk) 20:59, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
  • As others above have said, it's much easier to handle when there's a concise request. Killiondude (talk) 23:42, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Honestly, it looks like you just flooded ERRORS and the limited admin resources there, and your requests went stale. This is honestly something that can and does happen on any given day in any given admin area. Admin requests can sit, sometimes for too long. It's especially prone to happen when one user drops a large workload in our laps. As has been pointed out above, large backlogs or large walls of text strongly tend to discourage admins from wanting to get involved. It's not ideal, and you didn't do anything wrong, but that's just the reality of the situation. Normally, all you need to do when any admin area has an unreasonable backlog is drop a brief note at AN requesting additional eyes, and admins will come running. Honestly, don't be shy, that's what we want. The only thing that makes ERRORS stand out in my mind is its reputation for being a toxic and hostile atmosphere, and I have no doubt that that keeps a lot of would-be volunteers away.  ~~Swarm~~  {talk}  08:58, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Biggest problem is that until a year or two ago, stuff on the main page almost had a free pass, like the community expected it to be right and the readership had no idea how to tell us it was mostly garbage. One or two individuals make big steps into highlighting issues (which some will call "nitpicking", but if we're an encyclopedia, that's not an actual issue, is it?) and all hell breaks loose with people getting butt hurt and possessive about sections of the main page clearly in need of help. The more help the better, and ERRORS (and ERRORS2) are great places to start making sure this website is actually excellent, not just mediocre. The Rambling Man (talk) 13:27, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally, yes WP:ERRORS works. There are occasional issues with individual items, but most simple errors are corrected within a couple of hours. More complex issues (like the example you give) can take longer to work out, especially if no fix is proposed or there are numerous more pressing issues on the page. I appreciate that you did propose a solution in this case, though it was also a rather inconsequential error. The true 'problem' seems to be that fewer admins are monitoring the page than there used to be, or at least fewer that are comfortable editing live MP content. Most of the regulars who used to deal with issues promptly have taken a (deserved) break or moved on to other things. ITN sometimes has a similar problem with getting items promoted to the template even after consensus has been reached. Maybe we could just encourage more admins to add ERRORS to their watchlist? Modest Genius talk 16:10, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • @Kevin McE: as the person currently scheduling most of the POTDs, I apologise for letting a dubious fact slip into that one. Regarding your comment "I am guessing that the admins preparing the PotD section (and gratitude to them for taking on that task) are not expected to check the sourcing of every comment" - actually, my aim when writing POTDs is to make sure everything in the blurb is cited, and I think that's a point I've taken more seriously than others in the past, which may have contributed to the reduced number of POTD error reports at WP:TRM recently. Obviously it is a fairly big task though, particularly when a lot of the Featured Pictures promoted have dreadful articles accompanying them. Most POTD entries require me to go away and do my own research on the topic to get enough cited material to write the blurb. In the case you mention, there was good looking sourcing already in place and unfortunately I didn't check the source thoroughly enough to missed the fact that one part of the text wasn't cited. It would have been good for your error report to be dealt with, but like others have said there's only so much admin time available for that. I wasn't around myself much on the day so didn't see it. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 17:48, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Impressive. - Dank (push to talk) 20:46, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Regardless of if ERRORS works or not, I feel I must point out an objection to the so-called ERRORS2. We should not be using a page in someone's userspace to act as a clandestine shadow ERRORS page given most people watch ERRORS for the reports and are able to respond when their contributions are challenged. It is the open and accountable place to express concern with Main Page content which should not be undermined by a userpage of a (however well-meaning) regular user. The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 18:05, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
    That may be your opinion, but the situation is the way it is and is unlikely to change any time soon. The "regular user" in question has been barred from posting comments at WP:ERRORS, and the ERRORS2 page is just part of their user page, where they note things that they consider wrong with the main page. Like a Brexit referendum it is purely "advisory" and the decision to act or not is up to individual admins at their discretion.  — Amakuru (talk) 18:08, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, but it's the fact that people don't watch that and often I have seen MP content be changed based on opinions expressed at ERRORS2 where newer contributors might come to ERRORS hoping to argue against it and find nothing and thus be to defend themselves. I don't watch ERRORS2 because ERRORS is the legitimate place to discuss MP content. I would possibly change my tone if the discussions on ERRORS2 were copied over to ERRORS for openness and accountability. The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 18:13, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
    Users are welcome to use their talk pages for any purpose that contributes to improving the encyclopaedia. There's nothing wrong with User:The Rambling Man/ERRORS existing or other users joining the discussion there. WP:ERRORS remains the official place to report errors on the MP. What I do object to is the cross-namespace redirects WP:ERRORS2 and WP:TRM, which imply it is a project page, not a user talk page. I thought we had a recent discussion about that? Modest Genius talk 18:20, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
    Amakuru, TRM has not been barred from posting at ERRORS. His exile from ERRORS is self-imposed, and he has posted there a number of times after starting his own errors page. The C of E, that page is perfectly within policy; there's nothing wrong with admins reading it and then making changes at their own discretion. It just has fewer watchers. Vanamonde (Talk) 19:16, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
    @Vanamonde93: oh sorry, my bad. I thought the recent ARCA case had imposed a formal topic ban from ERRORS, but it turns out it's only for the DYK process (including the DYK section on ERRORS).  — Amakuru (talk) 19:43, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
    Indeed, I've removed myself from ERRORS because it was stated that I was the sole reason for it being such a toxic waste zone where nothing really effective happened. And since then, we've fixed more than 1,000 issues at WP:TRM. Why anyone would object to maintaining the integrity of the main page of Wikipedia using any means allowable is completely beyond me. Fewer watchers, yes, higher efficacy, definitely. P.S. It may only have 1/20th of the watchers of the old place, but on some occasions it's got more pageviews, so someone is doing something right, assuming I'm not just in it for the clickbait!! The Rambling Man (talk) 17:36, 22 January 2019 (UTC)
    I think the arrangement works out nicely. Killiondude (talk) 19:03, 22 January 2019 (UTC)

So if many of the answers have been that there are not been enough admins to maintain the Main Page in a manner befitting the main portal of an encyclopaedia, it would appear that either there needs to be some kind of drive for admins, or reconsideration of whether the MP in its current format, and at the intended standard, is feasible. No disrespect to the existing or past contributors in that, but we are all working on this in free time, and so more cannot be expected of any given individual. So more individuals or lower expectations (quantitative rather than qualitative, I would hope)? Kevin McE (talk) 18:24, 21 January 2019 (UTC)

Actually, I think the response was that your prioritization of things is poor. Also, if one knows anything about professional publishing, let alone a volunteer webpage, errors are going to happen, always. That's the way the world works. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:39, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
An interesting philosophical take. I thought the section heading was a trick question, the answer being no, but I see a way out now. Cheers, cygnis insignis 18:50, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't want to be seen as being hard on the original poster in any way, since I know the intention behind his comments is good, but I think the instance mentioned is a textbook case of burying the lead. The examples are presented as primarily grammatical concerns, as the comments lead with perceived prose issues, one of which I wouldn't have been rushing to make an edit for. You have to dig into the second item to find the example of poorly sourced content. Maybe this is the content reviewer in me, but the source problems would be the first thing I would point out. Most reviewers at the content processes will tell you that it's not worth digging too deeply into the prose of an article whose sourcing is deficient, as it really becomes a waste of effort if the content needs to be overhauled anyway. By putting this type of complaint first, it shows the (overworked) admins that investigating the situation is worth their time, which is valuable to any active Wikipedian. That's especially true if a bunch of comments are posted to ERRORS, in which case it becomes a little harder for any one issue to "stand out" as a major concern. Giants2008 (Talk) 03:01, 22 January 2019 (UTC)

TFA blurb vetting

If you look at the talk pages of the last 5 promoted FAC noms (the nomination pages, not the articles), you'll see I've started a new vetting process for blurbs. It seems to be going well so far, and I hope ERRORS people will feel comfortable participating there. If that works out like I'm hoping, then that gets me out of the business of trying to be a writer and a commenter at the same time. But ... purely as a writer, not as a commenter ... note that it's not possible for me to simultaneously honor the general philosophy that's implied here along with the philosophy of another recent request (see here, under Jan 18). Leaving aside the issue of whether readers will think that "victims" refers to the perps, this request assumes that readers will give zero weight to what immediately follows this phrase when they're trying to figure out who it refers to. The previous request reflected a philosophy that relies 100% on what followed the phrase and 0% on what preceded it. In real life, it's not 100% or 0% in either direction, but even if I wanted to make both commenters happy, it won't be possible in general to follow both of those philosophies at the same time, since I don't have the luxury of choosing all the words myself ... the community prefers that I use their words whenever possible. - Dank (push to talk) 19:19, 23 January 2019 (UTC)

(I'm referring more to the discussion that preceded the Jan 18 edit than to the edit itself, but I didn't want to link to that discussion because that might feel like pointing a finger. People who are interested in the grammatical point may remember the discussion, or you can look it up.) - Dank (push to talk) 20:05, 23 January 2019 (UTC) Note that I posted these two comments to WP:ERRORS; they were moved to this talk page by this edit. - Dank (push to talk) 16:06, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

I think this it is a great idea to write the blurb at the time the article passes FAC. That way the participants of the FAC can help craft the blurb while it is fresh in their minds. However you will never make the blurb perfect, and so it will not stop people suggesting improvements to the blurb on ERRORS. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 20:34, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. - Dank (push to talk) 20:48, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
To answer a question from my talk page: nothing has changed, so far, except for those 5 articles that just passed FAC, and they won't show up at TFA until March and April. When that happens, there will be lots of notice directing people to the discussions. Check the history of the FAC page to see which articles are getting promoted. - Dank (push to talk) 20:48, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
Just confirming that this is happening, and the notice is always present in the blurb's history; for instance, for Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 2, 2019, you'll see "see WT:Featured article candidates/Battle of Auberoche/archive1" in the edit history. The discussions seem to be productive. Everyone is welcome to join. After discussion (if any) dies down on those pages, it's not likely that people will continue to watch those pages (though I'm still watching, just in case). So I'm assuming people will still be using WP:ERRORS, article talk pages, etc. in the same way as always. The only thing this changes is that more people are participating, people are a little happier with the process, and the level of consensus reflected by these blurbs can be assumed to be slightly higher than before. - Dank (push to talk) 16:20, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Blurb length

Good news (for people trying to keep the left and right columns on the Main Page even): the new TFA blurb limits, 925 to 1025 characters (instead of 1075), have been working well. Bad news: with the lower max, it's not working any more to shave it down even lower than that when we've got a Featured Topic. It wouldn't bother me at all to change the Featured Topic link to "Featured Topic: [name]", right after the "Full Article" link, if you want more consistency in blurb length, but I really don't care one way or the other; column length isn't something I look at, generally. - Dank (push to talk) 01:29, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

Also ... I don't think I'm going to have time to keep working on images. All the blurbs so far in March have had them, but we don't have any images yet for the 26th and 29th ... see User talk:David Levy#March TFA images for discussion. Next month, only the 29th is missing an image at the moment ... see User talk:David Levy#April TFA images. Any help finding and deciding on images would be appreciated. Since blurbs sometimes lose or gain an image right before hitting the Main Page, and since there are more people helping with the blurbs now, it's not going to work to write different blurbs depending on whether there's an image. If this makes the Main Page columns lopsided, I have no objection if someone wants to add text to the blurb (although I hope this will be a last resort, if there's no other fix). - Dank (push to talk) 03:39, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

Pinging David Levy. - Dank (push to talk) 03:40, 24 March 2019 (UTC)


I'm going to be away during the week (back on weekends Saturdays) for the next few weeks, working on a big Wikipedia project. {{@TFA}} works to get the attention of the TFA coords, if needed. I'd appreciate it if people would keep an eye on changes to TFA blurbs, especially late changes, and use your own judgment ... if people don't seem to know the blurb rules, encouraging them or inviting discussion (at WP:ERRORS, if it's less than 24 hours before the blurb appears on the Main Page) generally works best. - Dank (push to talk) 15:29, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

I'm back. - Dank (push to talk) 12:15, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

Blurbs for FAs promoted in January

I was just looking at the April blurbs (see WP:TFAA) and regretting that we didn't start vetting blurbs at FAC (on the nomination talk pages) before January 21 ... four of the late April blurbs were promoted in January. Brainstorm (or brainfart, you decide): why can't we vet them now? The principle is the same: the nominators and supporters can be pinged, and that's recent enough that we should get some feedback. (And everyone is invited to comment, of course.) There are five other FAs promoted in January that haven't been scheduled yet; we could throw those into the pile. There have been no objections to the FAC-vetted blurbs that have run in March, so we must be doing something right. Thoughts? (It may be too late to do the vetting on the FAC talk pages ... we can do it here if you like.) - Dank (push to talk) 02:19, 27 March 2019 (UTC) Pinging @WP:TFA coordinators - Dank (push to talk) 02:19, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

@Dank: Where are blurbs vetted at FAC? I had no idea that was happening. (Not had my ear close to the FAC pulse of late). Sounds like a great idea anyway. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 07:11, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
On the individual FAC talk page, isn't it? ——SerialNumber54129 07:14, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh yes, I see it, like at Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/Black mamba/archive1. I don't see any comments on that one though, and it's already promoted. Is this an informal process at the moment? IMHO this is a great development but maybe It would be even better if the reviewers on the FAC page were actively involved and signed it off before promotion. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 08:02, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
I've mentioned it on this page ... I'm not faulting you for not seeing it, there's no reason people should pay attention to FAC goings-on if it's not their thing, I just want to be clear that this hasn't been a stealth project, it's been widely advertised. All the reaction so far has been positive. (Actually, the most positive development I think is that people who have been watching this page this month seem to have been happy with the results. FAC people were always generally happy with the results.) And just to be clear, except for a handful of months, during my tenure (more than 4 years), we've always been inviting at least one FAC nominator to make any edits they like when the blurbs are posted ... so over time, everyone in the community has gotten the message, you're welcome to comment or edit.
On the question of whether blurb review should happen during the FAC and people should sign off ... I take it you mean that support at FAC should be considered support for the blurb as well ... I don't think that's likely to go over well (but I'm not sure). You're welcome to ask for that at WT:FAC if you want to. When I started posting blurbs on January 21, I pinged all the nominators and supporters, and did that for a couple of weeks. But it's considered a little bit obnoxious in some quarters to ping people with the subtext of expecting them to do some kind of work that helps your own project ... no one complained, but I'm more comfortable the way we're doing it now, I post the blurbs as soon as the articles are promoted (not always but usually), when people are still watching the page ... so if they care, they'll weigh in. We're getting feedback more often than not.
So: should we do some kind of vetting for blurbs for the other FAs promoted in January? - Dank (push to talk) 12:13, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
(Grin ... minutes after I posted this, someone pointed out a problem with a vetted blurb! But the blurb did follow the article, and it's one of those vexed "German or Polish" questions.) - Dank (push to talk) 13:27, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
To clear up the bit about pinging ... I think it could get obnoxious if I ping the same community, week after week, to vet blurbs ... I don't want to do that. Plenty of people are watchlisting the FAC nom pages at the time they're promoted; they'll see the proposed blurb on their watchlists. But if we want to vet January blurbs, I don't think pinging can be avoid, and I'm guessing it won't be too annoying. - Dank (push to talk) 16:46, 27 March 2019 (UTC)