Wikipedia:Village pump/March 2004 archive 6

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Should the "Vernal equinox" really be "2004"?[edit]

I'm referring to the "selected anniversaries" for March 20th on the front page.

Well, you're right that it's not really an anniversary as it is happening every year on (nearly) the same date. But maybe it was added into that list in that format just to make it look consistent with the other anniversaries. andy 15:40, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Webster's online dictionary[edit]

Is it really appropriate to let Wikipedia express preference for particular www-sites, as in this case Webster's online dictionary, see contributions by anon user
--Ruhrjung 09:45, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

IMO, I really don't think so. Especially not sites which attempt to use copyright law to stop their users using the "view source" option on their browsers, as WOL does: (Looking at the source code for even one page... is strictly forbidden and violate[s] international copyright laws [1].) Marnanel 01:18, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Arabic help[edit]

I'd be grateful for any 'pedian fluent in Arabic to take a look at the list of air forces. I have Roman alphabet transliterations for many of the Arab air forces listed there, but not the original language versions. Cheers --Rlandmann 11:07, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Should Wikipedia:Cleanup be archived every week no matter what has been done to the entries? Give your opinion Wikipedia talk:Cleanup#Archiving. Thanks, Dori | Talk 18:22, Mar 20, 2004 (UTC)

VfD change[edit]

See Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion. silsor 19:00, Mar 20, 2004 (UTC)

If nobody has any objection I'm going to remove the vfd notice from all the lists that User: 141 had nominated for deletion, because he was trolling and nobody wants these things deleted. Mintguy (T) 20:39, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Entry disappeared[edit]

There was an entry about Jesselyn Radack, but it vanished. I restored it but the deletion does not show up in the history. Nor does it appear in the deletion log as far as I can see. With google it still cannot be found. How can I find out who deleted it?

Jesselyn Radack seems to be intact. . . -- 20:46, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
. . . and isn't in the last few months of deletion log archives either. --same anon.
Yes, I restored it, but before it was not accessible and it still does not show up when using google.
Google may not have indexed it yet. The current article was created on March 12; do you know when the previous version was first created? If so you should be able to look through the deletion archives to find out who deleted it and when. --anon
The entry was not accessible today before I restored it.

Two people with the same name[edit]

The article List of Disney people includes a link to Frank Thomas -- but the article is about Frank Thomas the baseball player, not Frank Thomas the Disney animator. How should this be resolved? Should I create a new page named 'Frank Thomas (animator)', should I rename the existing one to 'Frank Thomas (baseball player)', should I name them 'Frank Thomas (1)' and 'Frank Thomas (2)', or what? Brian Kendig 04:16, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

If one is more important or recognized than the other, use that as the article title and anyone else who shares the name becomes First Last (XXXX). For example, John Adams and John Adams (composer). If they are more or less equal in notoriety (and I assume this situation qualifies), both get separate articles and a disambiguation page goes at the main name page. For example, Steve Harris disambiguates between Steve Harris (musician) and Steve Harris (actor). Just make sure to go through the "What links here" page and point other articles to the correct "Frank Thomas". RadicalBender 04:29, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

'Film' vs. 'Movie'?[edit]

Why are some movie articles designated with '(movie)' while others use '(film)'? For example, Tron (film) or The Haunted Mansion (movie). Is there a reason for the use of either word, or does it depend on the whim of whoever creates the article? Is there a standard to stick by? Brian Kendig 04:21, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It is up to the whim of the article creator, but Wikipedia:Naming conventions (movies) specifies (movie). -- Cyrius 06:53, Mar 21, 2004 (UTC)
And specifically, I'd imagine that articles ending (film) were created by British wikipedians, and those with (movie) by American ones. *waits to be lynched by Australian, Kiwi, non-native English-speaking, etc wikipedians* - IMSoP 12:34, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
As a non-native English speaker, I use "movie" in general and reserve "film" for art. (Hollywood makes movies, some indie projects, documentaries, "foreign" (non-US) films etc., create films). The distinction is not exactly clear, but is there. — Jor (Talk) 12:56, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
As a native English speaker, I agree with Jor. --zandperl 15:42, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Yes, this discussion has been gone through a few times. That is the American movie/film distinction. A British person is much more likely to call it a film, regardless of its cultural standing. (movie) is more common than (film) though neither is required if disambiguation is not necessary (though some seem to put it in anyway which has led to duplicate articles in the past. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:19, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Would someone (anyone) with any ability to properly do so, please sort this list to some basic general subcategories, so that its not four pages long? Thanks in advance. -SV(talk) 04:33, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)~

what does 'avanie mir mornie' mean?[edit]

I really really really want to know what this means, as I haven't been able to look it up anywhere Elvish dictionaries and all.Thank you. "Avanie mir mornie"

I read Avanië mir mornië, which alas does not make sense to me "Go (to) jewel darkness" or possibly "Leave, jewel of darkness". What is the context? — Jor (Talk) 11:33, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Removing old versions of images?[edit]

I uploaded Wachovia_logo.gif, then realized that I could in fact convert it. So I uploaded Wachovia_logo.png. But this had been resized, and after reading Wikipedia:logos, I learned I wasn't supposed to resize logos, so I reuploaded Wachovia_logo.png at the original size. So now there's two versions of Wachovia_logo.png. I know Wachovia_logo.gif belongs in vfd, but what about the OLD version of Wachovia_logo.png? If I put a vfd in Image:Wachovia_logo.png, will that automatically apply to the current image, or how can I specify the older image? --Golbez 06:29, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Export idea[edit]

Would it be possible to export Did you know... in some form as a widget for people's webpages? It would be a nice promotional tool, as well as just a neat thing. --Spikey 05:54, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Special:Export/MediaWiki:Dyk - just write a tool that parses that.—Eloquence

HELP NEEDED!!! Need Basica Command List Of Some Sort...[edit]

I Have Looked EVERYWHERE For A Good Sized COmmand List With Descriptions Of Usage For BasicA. If You Can Help Me, E-Mail:

Joke or serious? Doc Martens league in Dover[edit]

I'm following the contributions of a certain anonymous user because I have reason to believe many of hir edits are not serious and/or accurate. To Dover Athletic s/he has added the sentence "They were relegated from the Conference division in the 2001/2002 season to the Dr Martens league." I know nothing about British soccer, could someone check this page and its accuracy? Thanks. moink 19:23, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

S/he also added reference to a programming language called "DarkBasic" to AMOS BASIC programming language. Does this exist? moink 19:28, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Yes, it does exist. Stewart Adcock 19:50, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This all seems at least plausible. The conference division is, AFAIK, the lowest of the main Football (soccer) leagues. I wasn't aware that you could get relegated from the conference division, but I don't know much about the conference. Anyway, dover athletic's website: [[2]] lists games played or due to be played in the "DR. MARTENS LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION", so it looks like they are now in the DR Martens League, although I don't know whether the date of relegation is accurate.
Sure you can get relegated from the Conference -- it's only the 5th level of the English football pyramid (counting down from the Premiership); there are plenty of lower, regionalised, levels! Arwel 00:42, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Also, DarkBasic does exist (as Stewart says):[[3]], and it seems plausible that it is related to AMOS, as according to the entry you reference, this is related to STOS, which is a programming language for creating games (that came with the Atari ST, I think), as DarkBasic seems to be.
Thanks all. Seems I'm starting to think the worst of people. moink 20:20, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Audio files[edit]

I have an mp3 of Enrico Caruso singing La Donna E Mobile (1908). It would definitely be a beneficial addition to the Rigoletto and Enrico Caruso articles. However, I have a gripe to make. Why is .ogg the preferred format for sound files? Next to wav, mp3 is the universal format for sound files. (I think I heard somewhere that some specific mp3 formats are patented, while ogg is totally open). Second, if we do have to use ogg, can someone recommend a good (no strings attached, no registration, etc) mp3<->ogg converter? →Raul654 20:18, Mar 21, 2004 (UTC)

All MPEG audio formats are troubled with patents. Ogg is completely free (gratis and libre). That is one reason to prefer .ogg. The other reason is that Ogg is a better format: the same filesize gives better quality than an MP3. — Jor (Talk) 20:40, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
OggDrop is the 'official' Windows Ogg Vorbis encoder, and oggtools in general for a POSIX platform. However, transcoding from MP3 (or any other lossy format) to Ogg Vorbis is in general a Bad Thing, as there will be a considerable level of encoding artifacts.
BTW, are you sure that the recording that you've sourced hasn't been 'remastered', 'retouched', or in any other way improved in a (legally) copyright-worthy way? It might be something to consider...
James F. (talk) 20:57, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The quality is pretty low. The radio static in the background makes me think it was recorded right out of the airwaves. →Raul654 21:17, Mar 21, 2004 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Sound help. Dori | Talk 22:14, Mar 21, 2004 (UTC)

If anyone is interested, I got the software working. The sound file is here.

On a related note - a lot of our music pages are lacking. Now, I googled for "public domain music" and I found a lot of sites. The preferred format for sheet music is pdf, and the most common format for public domain music is midi. Are there objections to these formats? I know PDF is an open standard. →Raul654 05:56, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

In the future there's going to be support for that like there is for TeX. In the intermediate time I would say use PNG instead of PDF. PDF's are annoying sometimes because of how browsers handle them. Dori | Talk 06:05, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
What about midi files? Is there a particular objections to those? →Raul654 18:00, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
I don't have any general objections to them. Dori | Talk 18:03, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
Ok, if anyone has an objection to midi files, speak now or forever hold your peace. →Raul654 20:54, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
Due to MIDI's nature, it's possible for a MIDI file to sound quite different on different computer systems. A MIDI file is like computer-readable sheet music; just as sheet music can sound different depending on the musician who plays it and the quality of their instruments, so can a MIDI file differ depending on the setup and quality of the computer that plays it. Therefore, in my opinion, audio formats based on actual sound recordings (like Ogg) are by far preferable, but a MIDI will do the job where a digitized recording may not be available. Garrett Albright 01:46, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That much I was aware of, but (1) don't most computers use a standard set of instruments for the first 128 instruments or so, and (2) do you know of a good way of converting midi to ogg/mp3? Short of wiring my sound card input/output together, I don't. →Raul654 01:53, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
There are various 'converters' applications that will use a MIDI file to generate a .wav, .ogg or what not. on GNU/Linux KMidi is one such utility, it basically generates the sounds from the MIDI file and saves the output to a file, instead of just to the audio out jack on the soundcard, a google/freshmeat search for MIDI converter would probably reveal more applications as well, for various platforms. The advantage to having .ogg files instead of MIDIs is we could have it generated by a system with a good MIDI instrument setup, so everyone would have access to the best quality possible, instead of whatever there sound card is capable of. Thunderbolt16 22:54, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Well I have the wav<->ogg encoder now, so all I need is something that will convert the midi into the wav. If you can recommend something, I'd be happy. Right now, my sound card card inputs and outputs are wired together, and converting is a pain in the ass. →Raul654 22:59, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Apple's QuickTime Pro can convert MIDI to WAV/AIFF (theoretically; I've never tried it but I don't see why it wouldn't work), which can then be Ogg'd with another program. (Unfortunately, QuickTime does not support Ogg natively at this point.) Plus, with QuickTime, you have one of the best software-based MIDI players on the market, supposedly [4]. QuickTime Pro is not free (but still a steal at $30), but I have it, and could volunteer my time and machine to do such conversions... Leave a note on my Talk page. Garrett Albright 23:10, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Getting a complete "what links here" listing[edit]

A few hours back I added 487 links to Wikipedia:Links to disambiguating pages by doing a little automatic sorting and culling of "what links here" from both Wikipedia:Disambiguation and MediaWiki:Disambig (I also hand-cleaned those lists to remove stuff that obviously shouldn't be there, never fear :). I've noticed, however, that these lists are both far from complete - I assume the Wiki software stops the query after a certain number of links have been found. I want to get them all, but SQL querying is currently disabled because it's so dangerous. Who should I talk to to get a full listing of these links? Bryan 00:22, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

You could try asking at Wikipedia:SQL requests. Angela. 09:22, Mar 29, 2004 (UTC)

Section editing[edit]

I don't understand how to use section editing yet. Could someone explain, keeping in mind that many people use image-, javascript-, and CSS-disabled browsing for portability across platforms worldwide? In this case, can I not use section editing, or does it not show up on the screen? Or, does it show up and work only on Windows OS but not others? Thanks. -- 00:53, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

If you create an account, you can edit section by either clicking on an edit link next to each section name, or you can enable editing via right-clicking on the section name (through javascript). As an anonymous user, I believe you have to click on Edit this page, and you cannot use section editing (well you probably can by entering something like on your browser window, but that's not fun). Dori | Talk 01:00, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
This link works but shows up as§ion=117
in my browser; alternative:



Patrick 13:31, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Just so's you know, that's your browser trying to double guess where a character entity ends - it spots &sect and looks no further, even though &sectarianism; would be just as valid as &sect;. IE does this, and I consider it a bug: particularly annoying when you see something&ampsomething else, which breaks on everything else. - IMSoP 19:33, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Votes for Deletion is uneditable[edit]

Can someone please fix Wikipedia:Votes for deletion? Right now it's impossible to edit because section editing is unusable. It seems some section header has been covered by a comment, and as of now, you can't get to the proper section when you try to edit. RickK | Talk 01:32, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hm. It works now. :) RickK | Talk 01:32, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I get that about very often on long pages, including the village pimp. Most often the numbers are off by one, sometimes by two. — Jor (Talk) 01:57, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It's a known bug - commented out or nowiki'd sections confuse the counter.—Eloquence
IMSoP wonders who the "village pimp" is ;-)

Date and time format[edit]

Why can't the four tildes display date and UTC time in the ISO 8601 international standard format, which is the best choice for a worldwide audience? Colloquial variations on date/time format vary widely from country to country. Why push any particular, arbitrary colloquialism, instead of simply using the ISO international standard date and time format? W3C uses the ISO international standard format. In other words, why doesn't the four-tilde string display "username 2004-03-21, 19:22 (UTC)"? That's all we need for the signature string. It's universal. As is now, even if we select the ISO 8601 standard in our preferences, the four-tilde string still displays in an arbitrary, nonstandard format. Can Wikipedia be upgraded to the international standard date and time format (for the automatic signature string)? Thanks. -- Simian 01:36, 2004 Mar 22 (UTC)

Because it's not universal. It will confuse Americans, who wouldn't be able to figure out if 03-12 is March 12th or December 3rd. RickK | Talk 01:38, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

That confusion works of course both ways, but since it's logical, even Americans would catch up the meaning quickly from the context. And Americans I know are not at all badly educated, they recognize that style as the "Army style" - and dislike it for that. :-) As this wikipedia doesn't aspire on being a localized American wikipedia, I second User:Simian's call for using international conventions and standards when possible.--Ruhrjung 16:00, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

ISO 8601 is a good machine-readable date format, but it's not particularly nice-looking. You don't see the Chicago Manual of Style recommending it, do you? Also, our audience is English-speaking, not worldwide. Each language can choose their own date format. For example, on ja, dates look like "02:24 2004年3月22日 (UTC)" -- Tim Starling 02:28, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, it's the international standard, so it applies to the international English-speaking community also, not just a subgroup within the English-speaking community. The international standard has been used for years on usenet and various other computer-related applications, and is very easily understood internationally. This encyclopedia project is for an international English-speaking community, not just one particular subgroup, so I recommend consistently using the international standard format for the signature time stamps, rather than arbitrary, colloquial, inconsistently-formatted time stamps listed even within the same page. It would actually make it more readable, not less. -- Simian 2004-03-22, 03:35 (UTC)
The inconsistency in signatures is just a bug that I haven't quite got around to fixing yet. Everyone should have signatures that look like RickK's above, regardless of their preferences. -- Tim Starling 03:53, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
A strange and arbitrary format to standardize on. Time always goes after the date, followed by time zone designator, not separated from the time zone designator. Check any e-mail message. Nonetheless, I hope you'll consider standardizing on the international standard. It would be much more logical and the best choice. Thanks. -- Simian 2004-03-22, 04:16 (UTC)
That's the format that was used before I messed it up, and it's still by far the most common one. So it's not like I'm arbitrarily picking a format to "standardise on". -- Tim Starling 04:21, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

My thoughts--in Wikipedia, the info I'd guess that most are interested in when looking at edits is the time, as in "what has changed since I logged on this morning?". So in WP, time before date would seem to make sense. Yes, we handicapped Americans recognize 24-hr as military time and understand it. Dates are so much easier to understand when the month name is used; I don't know why it would be "better" to use any representation that includes only numbers when it's people (not databases) that are reading the information. Elf | Talk 17:44, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

To Secretlondon-Rudolf Vost - Munichen[edit]

Not quite sure how to answer you but appreciate your question on the Munichen question regarding artist Robert Vost - Munichen was the former name of the city you mention and was the city of Monks at that time so yes to your question. Since it is titled Munichen and I have only one reference on the internet to this under found papers of someone, I am would love to find out more. If you can help, thank you very much.

Best regards, Marilyn Newcomb

Re; Please Help[edit]

Chemistry question moved to Wikipedia:Reference desk. moink 17:12, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Is there a tutorial where I can learn how to write those little messages, like {{msg:tolkein}} or whatever? Thanks very much, Meelar 03:30, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

All you need to do is edit [[MediaWiki:yourmessagename]] and add your HTML. As to the special formatting - you will need to learn the HTML seperately... Dysprosia 03:34, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Or rather, learn how to write the wiki syntax. I think it's a good idea to avoid using raw HTML wherever possible. - IMSoP 21:22, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
You could also look at meta:MediaWiki namespace, but be warned that it's all going to change dramatically in about a month. Hopefully people will find it easier to use after that. -- Tim Starling 03:39, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)


Abstract currently redirects to abstraction, which is about the concept of abstractness and has see alsos for a number of other uses of the word. (1) What would be the appropriate name for an article about "abstract" as used in the context of peer reviewed articles: a summary paragraph placed prior to the introduction, often with different line justification (blockquote?) from the rest of the article, used to help readers determine the purpose of the paper. (2) Would it be more appropriate for abstract to be a disambig page for the many other meanings of the word? Replies might be best on the Talk:Abstraction page. --zandperl 04:16, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"Delete my articles"[edit]

User:Yaohua2000 at Chinese WP got pissed off after people objected to his user page (like this), so he requested about 9 pages started by him and afterwards exclusively edited by him to be deleted. Should we fufill that request? One admin already did. My understanding is that giving to WP is a one-way no-return charity street, but I'm not sure the legality behind it. So I asked on WP IRC, but only Adam replied, saying "I believe that is the gist of the message at the bottom of the editing page".

This couldn't have been the first incident like this? The request sounds logical, but is it compliant to the GNU Wiki "save page" click? I'd surprised if requests of this type doesn't spring up again, and again. Perhaps we should develop a meta or WP namespace page, clear and loud, just for newbies on this topic. --Menchi 04:57, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

User:Bird said basically the same thing - he wanted everything he contributed to be deleted. On principle, I find this very objectionable - it sets a very dangarous precedent. →Raul654 04:59, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
Bird finds Raul654's continued misrepresentations to be very objectionable. USER:Bird asked nobody to do anything. USER:Bird began reverting edits created by USER bird. The former contributor took aggressive action to undermine any confidence in the articles based on trust for USER:bird rather than on verification of the content. UserBirds concerns were specifically about validity of content, and reached critical mass when evidence arose that self-styled experts were not reviewing content but were aggressive in battles over layout. If a user wishes to revert edits for any reason, then Wikipedia would do much better to ignore overfed aggressors who consider it more important to impose their sense of control than to reach a CONCENSUS about content of articles. Bird now actively opposes Wikipedia as a reliable resource, and has spent much time after the incidents publicizing the dangerous intellectual and emotional environment present in this project. Users interested in salvaging the credibility of this project would do well to ignore the advice of aggressors such as Raul, and to listen more attentively to those who chose to revert their own edits for whatever reason. My advice to Yaohua2000 would be to treat acts to preserve edits on no basis other than possessiveness to be acts of assault and to reply in kind with whatever technical and psychological skills Yaohua2000 may have to deploy. The attack on Bird, on Bird's contributions, and Birds' response to the aggression have not been resolved and will not be until Bird is allowed to make whatever changes Bird wants to work Bird early created.
Users are strongly urged to ignore Raul's advice and to respectfully consider that users who are recruited to contribute content might as well chose to contribute reductions, or pruning, of content they contributed, for whatever reason. Continued disprespect for writers can only further damage the claim that this collectivity comprises a community. Bird 20:53, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

No, sorry, if he wants to list them on VfD, then they can be discussed on their own merits, but he no longer owns them. RickK | Talk 05:00, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

To clarify: "The articles will be deleted only if they are bad (encyclopedia-wise), as determined by consensus at VfD. But will not be deleted just because he personally gave (submitted) them to WP at the first place willingly, but later changed his mind for whatever reason" -- Is that your meaning? --Menchi 05:05, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

There is an argument known to Meatball denizens which says that people should be allowed to dissociate themselves from what they wrote: the right to vanish. One of the reasons given for maintaining this policy is that it allows people to leave quietly and gracefully, rather than harbouring hate and turning to vandalism. -- Tim Starling 05:18, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

I believe once they submit the articles, they can no longer call the articles "my articles" since the articles are released under GNU (be they starting the pages or editing the pages exclusively): they have given up the copyright! Am I right? --Samuel 05:20, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I would say that legally we can keep them up, but the right to vanish sounds like a good idea, and it wouldn't hurt the Wikipedia too much to delete them. So let's do that, as a general rule: If you are the only contributor to an article, you can request its deletion. If somelse edits it at all, though, it has to stay. Meelar 05:23, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I'm agree with Meelar. First, I like the project. But I don't like the administrators in the Chinese board. They are absolutist. Yaohua2000 05:33, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I think u r a bit radical. I don't think many people here like ur user page too. maybe u can notice that the people here modified ur user page as well, not just shizhao. and, i think Meelar means that "If you are the only contributor to an article, you can request its deletion", but not request the copyright back. --Yacht 05:39, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

I should say, in defence of the "absolutist" Chinese board, that when we've faced this issue in the past, we've refused to delete the articles. Instead, the person who is leaving often requests a name change. So it would be a bit hypocritical to say to the Chinese administrators that they definitely should remove the articles. This decision should be up to them. The law has nothing to say on this: either option is legal. Note that the Meatball article gave name-changing as one possible way to vanish from a community. -- Tim Starling 05:45, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

A sock-puppet would be one option. On a slightly unrelated note, can I ask what's up with Yaohua2002's user page? Meelar 05:48, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

not a big deal, he just used tag div to override the navigation and site skin of WP. I am okay with that, not like it though. (here) --Yacht 05:53, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

User page is my page, it's my own business. I can write whatever I want within the law. Shizhao destroyed my design again and again -- not only the Chinese one. So finally I could not bear him/her. - Yaohua2000
Yauhuam, anyone who calls innappropriate or out-of-bounds your continued comments or major changes to work you inintiated is committing acts of personal aggression against you. This collectivity would do well to consider the advice of Tim Sperling culled from Meatball Wiki. Cow-towing to aggressors sets a poor precedent for human rights and any aggressive, disruptive in-kind-plus response you can muster would be absolutely appropriate. Bear in mind, if you are not from an Western culture, that the belief systems of the West are based on taking and holding property, not on reaching accord between individuals. Bird 20:53, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
When you start interfering with the operation of Wikipedia, that's when it's no longer only your own business. — Timwi 06:09, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a personal homepage provider. User pages exist to facilitate communication on Wikipedia, to strengthen community bonds, and to help users keep track of their activities. What goes beyond these goals must meet community standards, or it can be removed. Deliberately breaking the Wikipedia layout is confusing and frustrating, and thereby counter to the goal of a user page. Other users were completely within their rights to restore the standard layout. I hope your contributions are more important to you than your user page design.—Eloquence 06:11, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
Well, you tell me these things now. But why nobody told me the same in the past? They (Shizhao and etc) always delete, delete and delete. So I got very angry with them. Yaohua2000
I must say, except for the div tag (don't ask me), his user page didn't look much different from most user pages. As for the "not fitting community standards", how is this any worse than catinpint.jpg (which, incidentally, I had no problem with) on Raul564's page? Meelar 06:19, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
When Erik said he 'broke community standards, he means it in a literal sense. Yaohua broke the formatting for Wikipedia by creating (as best I can tell) a table that sits on top of everything else, thus blocking everything else out. →Raul654 07:01, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
PS - the catinapint pic is gone pending a determination of its copyright status.
USER:Bird declared war after uncovering evidence that the only standard of this so-called community is based on subjective preferences of page layout and not on coherence with stated policies, or even on coherence of content with subjects described herein. The just war continues. Bird 20:53, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
(Re: But why nobody told me the same in the past?) — It should have been evident to you when it was removed the first time. — Timwi 06:51, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It should have been evident to Timwi that humans assimilate information in a variety of manners, and that Timwi's views of what should be are nothing but Timwi's personal opinion. Nobody asked you, Yaohua2000, to read any set of policies before editing the page Wikipedia offered for your personal use after recruiting you as a contributor. It is evident that compliance is more important than accuracy. This is a dangerous trend coming largely from citizens of a nation that recently conducted an illegal war and that is about to vote out the war criminal who initiated the act. What I'm saying, Yaohua2000, is that Wikipedia is largely a rogue project of citizens of rogue nations. Don't expect justice from a society with no laws. Bird 20:53, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Who's Raul564? I can't find his user page. Btw, to Yaohua2000, if they didn't tell u the reason, y not ask them urself? (but i guess IMSoP has already explained that to u on ur talk page.) --Yacht 06:57, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
Sorry. It's at User:Raul654. The image in question is no longer there, though. Meelar 06:59, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That would be me ;) →Raul654 07:01, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

I am not judging, nor willing to get involved into an arguement. but i would like to say that i hate that pic, which reminds me of a GD Japanese businessman providing such products. disgusting... poor kitty. :'( --Yacht 07:08, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

Popularity of American Football[edit]

can somebody answer this question? why is American Football so popular that nearly everybody watch the superbowl? i mean i like Football very much and i just wanna figure out what is so special about it?!

You might want to start at National sport. →Raul654 09:22, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

re-interprets as 'popular in America and selected other countries' given that 'Football' (aka Soccer) is arguably far more popular world-wide.

VampWillow 14:28, 2004 Mar 28 (UTC)

Polish-German issues[edit]

Hi, everyone!

For some time I'm monitoring some articles that are bone of contention between Polish and German (and sometimes even Australian - hi Adam!) wikipedians. What worries me is the fact that people that could contribute heavily to other areas instead engage in petty edit wars, fighting on every word.

Perharps we need some general policies on factual accuracy of articles? Even if this won't discourage parties involved, the others would be albe to point them out the policy breach.

So this is what I propose:

  • speak of facts, if they are contested - provide your sources - stick to what is now, not in future or past, if you are referring facts like: territorial membership, naming of places and objects and especially current state of events. This is NPOV encyclopedia and so there is no place for wikipedian comments, personal future predictions, questioning the past et cetera. This is journalists', experts' and historians' job respectively and even then not in Wikipedia. Of course all of above could be mentioned if reliable sources are specified or if you are specifically writing on, say, history. If these confroversies are fringe - mark them as such.
    • this address number of things: Adam's remarks on stupidity of Polish heroes, naming edits wars on city and river names and knowing ahead of German government what topics in its politics are not closed.
  • resolve conflict through adding information - if you do not like some article don't engage in pointless wars. Instead insist on providing more broad context to disputed article (should make it more NPOV-ish) or start your own article on some corresponding issue and then overview article.
    • this is for Poles engaging in expellees topics mainly. Please take distance and reconsider: if you represent fears of Poles living on Regained Territories - mention them, if you feel that Polish are themselves expellees - write an article on Russian expulsion and then on 'Polish-German issues after IIWW' for example.

Forseti 10:46, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Compliments to the developers[edit]

I (accidentally) tried to link to the page I was editing. On looking at the saved page, my link was in bold, much to my delight. See this? It's actually a link... Wikipedia:Village pump. -- user:zanimum

Seconded!--Ruhrjung 15:51, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It only has one drawback - on pages like List of Thailand related topics the "Related Changes" link doesn't cover the changes of the self-link anymore. On the other hand this feature is quite necessary for those navigation bars, as only with it the same bar can be used for all entities at once. andy 16:09, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I found a trick for that, see Wikipedia:Self link.--Patrick 16:51, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
(re: on pages like List of Thailand related topics the "Related Changes" link doesn't cover the changes of the self-link anymore.) — That is not true. Or at least it shouldn't be. If this is the case, then that is a bug that is separate from my change. The "Related Changes" feature uses the link table. The bolded display of the link text doesn't alter the link table in any way. It is, of course, possible that self-links aren't included in the link table in the first place, but again, this is independent of the bolding. — Timwi 22:20, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment! I wrote that feature. :-) Glad to hear that people like it. — Timwi 22:20, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Incorrect tooltips for Inter-language links[edit]

I noticed this on Hungarian language where it affects the Polish and Slovenian ? links in that only the initial ASCII letters of the destination are shown in the tooltip: none of the letters after the first non-ASCII letter is shown. In other words although the Polish link is to an article named "Język węgierski", the tooltip reads "pl: J". Even worse, the Japanese link which should read "ja:ハンガリー語" actually shows only "ja:". This is with Mozilla 1.6 on Windows XP Home in case environment is a factor. HTH HAND --Phil | Talk 15:12, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

It's not just a browser problem, the page is actually being generated wrong by the software: title="pl:J" where it should say title="pl:J&#281;zyk w&#281;gierski". I've checked, and correcting this wouldn't cause a problem in IE or mozilla, as far as I can tell. Somebody should probably submit a bug. - IMSoP 21:48, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Do we need a list for suspect problematic sockpuppets?[edit]

The number of different community oriented wikipedia pages is increasing. As I stumbled over a "new" but obviously experienced user[5] pushing some POV:s which to me appeared bordering to suspect, I came to wonder if there maybe exists something like a list of users the community ought to follow extra carefully?
...on the other hand, if I were a genuine Newbie, I would of course not be happy to find myself on such a list. ;-/
--Ruhrjung 15:49, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hmmm... that user to me just looks like a person who has edited for a while as an anon and then decided to register, which of course we don't want to discourage. I think you're right that a list like that would cause more acrimony than it would prevent. moink 16:59, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Every search I do on Google, Encyclopedia4U shows up before us. What are they doing with our content, that we're not? -- user:zanimum

I believe the answer can be found at Googlebomb, though others know far more of such things than I. Jwrosenzweig 16:38, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
They were up when Wikipedia was down, so Google indexed them instead of us. Dori | Talk 16:42, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)


Where (or how) do I report vandalism? I noticed it this morning on the article "film". Would have restored it myself, but don't know how. -- user:Pacific1982

Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress. Most of the time, simply reverting the page a single time is good enough and a report isn't needed. --zandperl 16:48, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Revert to find out how to fix it yourself.—Eloquence 17:10, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
I just attempted to make my first "revert" using those instructions on Front de Libération du Québec, and while it appears the reversion took, it wasn't logged in the page history or in my own contributions. Is this what supposed to happen? TimothyPilgrim 19:06, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
No, I don't think this "took". It would show in the page history, and according to that, this page hasn't been edited for four hours. What you need to do is (1) look in the page history and find the version you want to revert to, (2) click on the date/time link in the page history to display that version, (3) when you've got the old version displayed, click "edit this page", (4) note that above the edit box there's a notice to warn you that you're editing an out of date page, (5) add an edit summary (e.g. rv vandalism), then click "save page". This should work, and appear in your contributions and the page history. :) fabiform | talk 19:18, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps this is the problem: I made what I thought was a revert, but the most recent page is identical to the supposed reversion, so the change was in fact -not- made to the page, and thus the page history did not record this happening. Does that sound like a possible scenario? TimothyPilgrim 19:28, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
Yes. If the submitted text is identical to the current revision, no change is made and no edit is logged.—Eloquence 19:38, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
That would do it. Thanks for the help guys, if nothing more than to dispel my confusion. TimothyPilgrim 20:04, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)


I couldn't find a def for a new entry Agraphobia in my dic. Maybe I need a better dic (or maybe my suspicion is correct). Moriori 20:21, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

Is your suspicion that it ought to be Agoraphobia? :) Arwel 21:14, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The OneLook dictionary site[6], which searches dozens of online dictionaries, didn't find it, either, except at this one site, [7], which, I see, the original version of Wikipedia's -phobia page seems to have taken almost directly. That page is listed at the bottom with a (c) but it is just a list of terms whose def's probably don't vary much from one place to the next... Any thoughts on copyvio on this? Elf | Talk 23:00, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Agraphobia gets around 661 hits on Google. Not enough to say that the term is common, but I think it's probably enough to show that it isn't invented from nothing by the contributor. I think it's probably just a highly specialized term, or perhaps a term that has gained only limited use. Could be wrong, though. -- Vardion 07:30, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Many common spelling mistakes get hits on Google, merely showing that more than one person can make a mistake, I am convinced this is one of them and should be Agoraphobia Dainamo
"Fear of sexual abuse", which is how this is defined here & on several other sites I found fairly easily, has nothing to do with agoraphobia. Elf | Talk 21:40, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Cool little hack[edit]

A few days ago, someone asked about how to find out how our traffic is going. The response included the webalizer traffic wikipedia generates. Using the month/year mediawiki tags, I created auto-updating URLS for the web statisics:

Current month's hits (Warning - HUGE file)
Current month's webalizer

Figured some people would find those useful. →Raul654 20:17, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

Cool! Elf | Talk 23:07, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Policy proposal[edit]

moink has written a proposal that is currently at Wikipedia:State your point don't prove it -- it encourages Wikipedians to state clearly their position when arguing, rather than attempting to show the absurdity of an opponent's position by taking actions to parody their perceived beliefs. I think it an excellent idea (and one that most of us tend to operate under anyhow), and am hoping that people are willing to go there, help refine the page, and ultimately accept it by community consensus so that we can use this page to help steer people away from taking rash actions, and towards talking civilly and clearly with each other about ideas. Thanks for taking the time to go there and look it over. Comments concerning the policy and any changes/supports/objections should be posted at Wikipedia talk:State your point don't prove it and not on this page. Jwrosenzweig 20:19, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Preferred format for country/region summaries?[edit]

A discussion on Talk:Kosovo and Metohia has raised an interesting question: is there a preferred format for country/region summary tables and what items should be listed in them? Many articles on countries and subnational entities have broadly similar tables, e.g. England, Ontario, Southern Finland. Is there a standard template anywhere or any guidance on how to use it? -- ChrisO 21:25, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

You might start with Wikipedia:Infobox. Elf | Talk 23:07, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
A better place to start would be at Wikipedia:WikiProject#Geography. WikiProject Countries has the "standard" format for countries. -- Cyrius 03:26, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Infobox#Country_subdivisions_-_Provinces,_districts,_counties_and_such gives links to several Wikiprojects covering those subdivision. So far, no standard for subdivision has come up, but at least for each country it should be the same. Some items which IMHO should be always be present in such a table is the capital, area and population (including reference year), and a map showing the location. More optional are the population density, ISO 3166-2 code, percentage of water area, governour, car license plate identification, phone code, flag or coat of arms. andy 09:00, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, everybody. I've had a go at creating a draft WikiProject for country subdivisions - see User talk:ChrisO/Country subdivisions. I'd be grateful for feedback. The idea is that this should sit at an intermediate level between WikiProject Countries and the country-specific WikiProjects, such as Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. States. This would not override work that has already been done on specific countries but would provide a generic template for country subdivisions that haven't been addressed specifically. It's modelled quite closely on the Countries Wikiproject, as you will see.
One particularly delicate issue that needs to be addressed is that of secessionist subdivisions, where the region in question has broken away or is trying to break away from its parent. I've added some rules of thumb to cover how to deal with this question. See what you think! :-) -- ChrisO 13:16, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Allpages ranges off?[edit]

Searched but couldn't find any precedent for this error. The article ranges for the offline copy of Allpages seems to extend past the actual number of articles displayed after the given "from" point. In the few ranges I counted, there were in excess of twenty pages truncated from what the range indicated on the top page.

To find out[edit]


moved to Wikipedia:Reference desk moink 04:37, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

More music page discussion[edit]

Ok, I finished making some improvements to Piano Sonata, K. 545 (Mozart). Since this is (as far as I can tell) the one of the first edits of its kind, I'd like some community feedback as to what the format and presentation in the article should be. For instance, when linking to the songs, I made sure to mention the size and format. Is this acceptable? Should there be a standard? →Raul654 06:53, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)

I see no problems with the format. Looks like you just set the de facto standard for that sort of thing, although somebody will probably want to shove it into an Infobox later. Actual music on a song's page is a great thing to have. <facetious>Let's see you try that, paper encyclopedias!</facetious> -- Cyrius 07:33, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, but it took a *long* time to do just that tiny amount there. The public domain page I got that from offers the score in pdf format, and the music in midi format. So I had to convert the pdf into png (12 seperate pages), and then copy/paste them together. For the midis, I wired the soundcard output to the input, played the midis, recorded them, converted them to ogg, and uploaded them. However, no one told me that there's a 2 meg/file upload limit, so it took a half-dozen re-encode/upload attempts to figure out what the problem was. Phew. I think it should be easier next time. →Raul654 08:35, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Ack, you did the soundcard hardwiring thing? Ug; how unpleasant to have to go from digital to analog to digital again! :P Please read my most in the other Ogg/MIDI-related thread above. Garrett Albright 23:11, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It looks great. Won't it be nice when the Lilypond support thing gets off the ground :-) --Phil | Talk 09:29, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
The page looks good. Please could you add the PD site as a reference, as you took a lot from there (and also it would help me get PDF versions and MIDI files, OGG may be free, but it would mean downloading another player. :-) Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 11:48, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ahh, Wikipedia:Sound help links to a page that has a download to a plug-in which causes, when installed, Windows Media Player to understand OGGs, although it doesn't immediately appreciate that it understands them. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 11:52, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Pete: when you say "immediately", the inference is that you have found a way to stop the stupid thing asking every time whether this funny-looking file is safe to open. Share, please, it's driving me (and maybe others also) bonkers. --Phil | Talk 14:06, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
I don't want to come over all free-software-activisty, but I've only had good experiences with the open-source player Zinf [8], which plays oggs from a browser link, without any problems. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 14:27, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I already have Media Player, RealPlayer and QuickTime Player to cover all the various audio/video bases, so was looking to avoid downloading another one, if I could. I think Phil's issue is with the browser.. e.g. I have Moz configured to play OGGs in Media Player with one click. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:39, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Alas I don't think I have the answer you want. By immediately I meant that the installer for the plug-in doesn't create a file association between ogg and Windows Media Player, you have to do that manually. The "file warning" issue you are having is, I guess, at the browser level. By default both IE and Moz force to click at least two buttons to play the file. I don't know how to persuade IE that ogg is safe, sorry. Moz appears to be configurable. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:32, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
No, what I mean is that when you open a .ogg file in WMP, it says "I'm not sure about this file, are you sure?" and offers a check box saying "Don't ask about this file type again". However even if you tick the box, the message always comes up. The association works just fine: everything seemed to know that .ogg files should be passed to WMP. However I have just discovered that Real Alternative, which I installed because RealPlayer can't get through our firewall, seems to handle .ogg files just fine, and has rather neatly taken over the association. Which is nice. --Phil | Talk 14:57, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Real Alternative is just a codec pack which allows you to play Realmedia files with any DirectShow player. The player that comes with the pack is the excellent Media Player Classic by Gabest. — Jor (Talk) 07:37, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'd just like to say that Winamp can play Oggs pretty easily. Dori | Talk 14:41, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)

Just to answer all the questions - I am getting the files from Mutopia, who says that they want to become the project guttenberg of music. They're public domain and everything. There are several other sites I've noticed too. Just google for "public domain music" and you'll get several useful hits. As for playing ogg files - use the winamp plugin found on Wikipedia:Sound help. It's amazingly easy and works perfectly. →Raul654 16:51, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)

Just to clarify, Winamp neither is nor needs a plugin for Ogg Vorbis files; it's a player that has supported them as standard for years, alongside just about any other format you might care to name (although there are some really obscure formats where you do have to get extra plugins from the website, like weird console emulator soundtrack files). - IMSoP 23:17, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Unless I'm really misunderstanding things, that statement is not true. As of 2 days ago, when I downloaded version 5.02, Winamp "right out of the box" (IE, downloaded right off the website with nothing else installed) does not support ogg files. You have to download and install the plug-in at to get ogg files to play in winamp. →Raul654 23:21, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Unless they changed it for 5.02, it should support ogg out of the box (I have 5.01 and I didn't have to download a plugin). Dori | Talk 23:23, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
When you download Winamp, you've got a choice of "Lite", "Full" (the default), or "Bundle" versions. "Lite" doesn't include Ogg support. "Full" does include Ogg, but there's no indication of this in their comparison chart -- you have to already know about it to make an informed decision. This has been the situation with Winamp's Ogg support for a couple years, if I'm not mistaken; I'm disappointed they haven't made this clearer. --Brion 06:59, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
You can get the ogg "in" plug-in from the Winamp site if you downloaded the wrong version of Winamp. — Jor (Talk) 07:37, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
How silly of them. :( Ogg is the future! ;) - IMSoP 15:39, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Methane disulfonic acid[edit]

Dear Sir, Could you please guide me the Manufacturing process of "Methane disulfonic acid". With Regards, Sudheer


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.[edit]

Making the text smaller. See MediaWiki talk:Fromwikipedia

9/11 Victims Policy[edit]

Can anyone tell me what the current policy is on the deletion of 9/11 victims' articles, and where a discussion is or was taking place about this policy? Cheers. -- Graham :) | Talk 17:31, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It's pretty much been decided that 9/11 people go into the Memorial wiki.

AFAIK there is no policy. Originally the plan was to move the POV and original research information to 9/11 wiki and keep the NPOV and verifiable information here. But lately people have been ignoring this and listing NPOV and verifiable 9/11 people on VfD, many of them successfully being deleted. anthony (this comment is a work in progress and may change without prior notice) 01:53, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Was this plan archived anywhere so that we can retrieve it, rather than reinvent the wheel? Andrewa 02:10, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Reviewing that page, it seems clear to me that the intention was that only people who were famous or otherwise encyclopedia-worthy independently of their involvement in 9/11 stay in the Wikipedia, and other entries go to Wikimemorial. Nowhere does it suggest that all 9/11 victims automatically get to have an NPOV entry in addition to their Wikimemorial page. Bearcat 03:55, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That's as I read it too, and I think it's a good policy and has general although not universal support. The other meta pages linked to it, Meta:Dealing with September 11 pages and Meta:What to do with entries related to September 11 casualties, seem to support this line too, although again there is a great variety of opinions expressed along the way. Andrewa 09:12, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It looks to me like a lot of these articles were already moved to sep11 at least once before, but have reappeared back on en since then. How about replacing those reappearing articles with transwiki redirects? Bryan 09:20, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I don't see anywhere on that page an expression of the people needing to be encyclopedia-worthy independently of their involvement in 9/11. The fact that they are encyclopedia-worthy should be enough. As for them having two pages, the original solution was to move the POV information to the talk page. So presumably only this information was to be moved to sep11 wiki. That way you're not duplicating information. anthony (this comment is a work in progress and may change without prior notice) 11:16, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That's a confusing way to state the issues IMO. The fundamental question seems to be, Does being a 9/11 victim of itself make a person worthy of a Wikipedia article? and there seems to be general consensus that it doesn't. This consensus has been affirmed by many VfD discussions and by more general discussions, such as this one, but it's not shared by yourself, obviously. But then, you seem to want to include every person in Wikipedia, whether notable or not. Or have I misunderstood you? Andrewa 13:45, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Sharing Taxonomic information in a mulitlingual environment[edit]

Making Taxoboxes multilingual[edit]

The description of organisms is a large part of the content of all the wikipedia's. They all have a dog a cat an elephant. As the wikipedia's become more mature, an elephant becomes an Asian elephant, it gets a latin name. Getting the data on all organisms is a LOT of work.

One of the resources for presenting information is using a "taxobox". In the taxoboxes currently in use, you find the name of the organism and the higher taxonomic ranks to which an organism belongs. As there are millions of species around, it is a lot of work to translate all available taxoboxes. Not only that, the taxons are to be translated individually for all languages that want to use them.

In order to help with the translation of the taxoboxes, I have created MediaWiki messages in the de: en: and nl: wikipedias. The name of these messages are the latin names of the taxons and, the content is the link to the article that can be used for the discription of that taxon. As a consequence the translation of the nl:pos was a snap. I uploaded the picture, copied in the taxobox and now there is a en:ruffe and a de:Kaulbarsch. Well it was the first one so it was not the snap I wanted it to be, but now it does work well. (I used the standard as used in the nl:wikipedia for this fish.)

The Status messages can become part of this initiative..

What next[edit]

If language independent taxoboxes are considered to be a good idea, it may be possible to convert the current taxoboxes with a robot.

Taxonomic lists ready for multilingual use[edit]

When a taxon like a family is described, often all descending taxons like genera and species are described as well. The format in which this is done makes a lot of difference when translating. A typical list lookst like this:

  • Family: Familyname
    • Genus: Genus1
      • Species: animal1 - Genus1 species1
      • Species: animal2 - Genus1 species2
      • Species: animal3 - Genus1 species3
    • Genus: Genus 2
      • Species: animal4 - Genus2 species1
      • Species: etc

The translation of this list is a royal pain in the bud. The first reason is that all these "animals" have another vernacular name in a different language while the latin stays the same. Tne species are often sorted alphabetically and the sorting goes wrong as a consequence. Therefore I propose to create taxolists like below:

  • Family: Familyname
    • Genus: Genus1
      • Species: Genus1 species1 - animal1
      • Species: Genus1 species2 - animal2
      • Species: Genus1 species3 - animal3
    • Genus: Genus 2
      • Species: Genus2 species1 - animal4
      • Species: etc


The English wikipedia has many sensible standards in their Tree of Life. I think most are of a quality that they can be adopted as a standard for other wikipedia as well. Some however do not translate well. Practices do differ in the wikipedia's.


As my proposal is to get some coordination about taxonomy going, I would unvite you all for discussion on the subject. As I would like participation by people from all wikipedia's on the subject I think the meta-wiki is therefore the most logical place.

  • Subject: Is making the taxoboxes language independent a good idea?
  • Subject: What common standards to adopt for taxonomy?

Subject's talk space



Can you please add my link to your website[edit]

(snip) Nope. Ask somebody else... -- Gabriel Wicke 01:10, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

How do I block logged-in users?[edit]

User:Tough Kat has done nothing but vandalize pages--no valid contributions. How do I block him? Meelar 02:54, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I have done so. There's no direct link to block a logged-in user, AFAIK, but you can go to Special:Blockip and put the username in the appropriate field. Tuf-Kat 02:59, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)
Thank you very much. Meelar 03:00, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Euler's number[edit]

I just want to know why the letter "e" is used as Euler's number. My college Algebra teacher is giving away extra credit for the answer. Thank you,


Math teachers have the annoying habit of asking about the meaning of the letters used in standard mathematical formulas, like "why do we use m for slope and bfor the y-intercept," when there is no universally agreed on answer. We don't know for sure why Euler used "e" though there is a temptation to think he named it for himself. It seems probable it stands for "expotential" as it is the "natural base" for exponential functions. But it may be that he wanted to use a vowel to designate the value and had already used "a", so the next was "e".
Now, since I've been nice enought to give you a reasonable explanation, I am charged by the dieties of pedantry to lecture you about getting extra credit in college courses by asking someone else the question. Or, Einstein didn't figure out relativity by posting to a bulletin board. ;-) Cecropia 04:33, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Added some history to E (mathematical constant). Its either exponential or a b c d were used already. Its unlikely that the modest euler used his initials on purpose. chris_73 04:54, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
You've taken that information from the book "e: The Story of a Number", right? I just browsed through it a bit at amazon (the search inside book function is quite nice), and found basically the same on page 156... I added that book for the external links in the page on e, since it seems to be worth reading. andy 13:05, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Good book, but couldn't find it in my bookshelf when i made the edit. Found my sources online, see the links at the bottom of the E (mathematical constant) article. -- chris_73 07:30, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
According to History of Mathematics by Carl Boyer (yes, he is related to the "Wikipedian" Boyer), the "Euler constant" (quotes added advisedly) was known for a century before Euler, so it was highly unlikely there was any proprietaryness about it. Euler launched many other mathematical symbols that we still use, like frex. the use of the greek letter "Pi" for the mathematical constant, and with so many notational innovations, something is likely to seem non-arbitrary, but that would just have been an artefact of there being so may of them.
I would suggest that the best way of getting extra credit, would be to start your answer with the words: "Nobody knows,..." -- Cimon avaro 09:27, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)

hand with symbols[edit]

Moved to Wikipedia:Reference desk.

Raw HTML markup?[edit]

Is there any way I can use the raw HTML in the Wikipedia? Specifically, I wish to create a hyperlink using <a href> because the link is by design nonstandard in form, and cannot be created using Wiki markup. Could not find this in any FAQ so I'm asking here. — Jor (Talk) 13:08, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

No, I'm pretty sure <a> tags are explicitly disallowed by the software. The only way you can link is with [some://address] and variants. What is it you're trying to link to? The only thing I can think that would stay as text but be a valid link would be a different protocol - like chrome:... or something instead of http:... (I know until recently irc:... didn't work). - IMSoP 13:43, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Post the link here, and I'm sure we'll find a workaround for you. — Sverdrup 14:34, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Basically I'd love to get rid of the external link in Wikipedia:Searching#7.50_Preview — while webspace is no concern Wikipedia stuff should be in the 'pedia. The link is of the form <a href='opera:/Button/Search,%20"",,%20"Wikipedia S"' title="Wikipedia S">Wikipedia search engine</a>, which alas won't work in the Wiki. — Jor (Talk) 20:12, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ah, as I thought, it's the protocol thing (my example of chrome: above being a Mozilla-specific thingummyjig). No way round it unless someone adds opera: to the list of things that are interpretted as URLs, I think - the problem being that links get activated even if they're not in brackets, so things like "I went to the opera:it was good" would end up with links in them. The only solution I can think of that doesn't involve an external site is just writing out
opera:/Button/Search,%20"",,%20"Wikipedia S"
and telling people to drag it to their address bar, but I haven't got Opera, so I've no idea if that would work. - IMSoP 23:15, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Won't work alas. It has to be a valid link before it can be clicked (or dragged, both methods work). The site I linked is mine and is semi-permanent (got the webspace for at least another 18 months), so the only problem may be that I won't guarantee GPL for my entire site (if I were to use any license it'd be Creative Commons). Not sure if a license is needed at all for drag&drop buttons though! — Jor (Talk) 23:21, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The nested link is not the problem - it is the nonstandard "opera:/". Is it really "opera://"? It might work if it is. Dysprosia 09:05, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It has to be a single slash for it to work, and a title must be included (or the button will have none). Fwiw a protocol only needs to include a colon, the double slashes are only required for protocols which define it in their RFCs. — Jor (Talk) 12:44, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Why did Leibniz succeed in finishing the Monadology?[edit]

Why did Leibniz succeed in finishing the Monadology?

Erm, while you're at it, people: "Why did the chicken cross the road?". Sorry. - IMSoP 16:53, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Well, maybe because the Monads didn't finish with him first? I could not refrain myself :( Pfortuny 18:27, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Because Newton was watching. Er, pardon me for my intrusion, wouldn't you like maenads better ? Happy editing - irismeister 18:31, 2004 Mar 24 (UTC) :O)

southern hemisphere temperature records[edit]

moved to Wikipedia:Reference desk

MER-B / Opportunity[edit]

Anyone want to incorporate the following into the relevant articles? [9] --Dante Alighieri | Talk 18:22, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)

I took a whack at it. Not entirely satisfied with the result though. -- Cyrius 20:08, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)

Cleanup / pages needing attention[edit]

Sorry - could someone point me to the page that explains how to use the {{msg:Opentask}} tool? I have noticed that all of the pages listed for wikification on this are already wikified, but can't work out how to remove or add pages to the list it serves. Thanks! Mark Richards 20:41, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

See MediaWiki talk:Opentask -- Cyrius 21:05, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)

Alexa rank[edit] today 541 new best score.

For my money, our rank went up because we're the #1 google hit for ahmed yassin. →Raul654 23:21, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)
Same with madrid attacks. --Minesweeper 11:02, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Boxing related questions[edit]

1: I need someone to put a line around the photo on the Boxing article, so that I can input information I consider important about this photo. I do not know how to do it myself. 2. Ive been trying to update the Ivan Calderon page with info about his win against Edgar Cardenas all night long. For some reason, after I save it it says Im blocked cause I share my number with Michael. I have been able to update other articles all night long, just not this one, and I need to be able to. 3: I need someone to make a disambiguation page for Jorge Castro (boxer) and Jorge Castro (actor). I dont know how to either.

Thanks and God bless you!

Antonio Dark Mystery Martin

I made the picture in the boxing article a thumbnail. Your code was mising the thumb keyword. I changed it and now it shows the text underneath of the photo. Here's the code:
  • Old: [[Image:Armedforces_boxing.jpg|right|250px|2004 Armed Forces Boxing Championships, held in 2003]]
  • New: [[Image:Armedforces_boxing.jpg|thumb|right|250px|2004 Armed Forces Boxing Championships, held in 2003]]
is this what you had in mind with the request #1? --chris_73 07:11, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Just made a disambiguation page for Jorge Castro. You create this type of page in the same way as other pages, and add the code {{msg:disambig}} to the text to show the disambiguity message. See also Wikipedia:Disambiguation. Hope this satisfies request #3, of course feel free to modify the disambiguation page if you wish. -- chris_73 07:20, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
On request #2: I made a minor test edit, and it worked fine for me. Maybe the other user was editing the page at the same time, but the description of your problem is not the message I ususally get in these cases. Not sure what the problem is, but, hey, 2 out of 3 is a good start, i think ;-) -- chris_73 07:26, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

reader as murderer[edit]

=> Wikipedia:Reference desk

FAQ in an entry?[edit]

Newbie here. Do you think an FAQ would be an appropriate contribution to Harry Potter in translation? Thank you.--Woggly 08:36, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hi, and welcome. The short answer is no, because of stylistic issues. However you could write the content in paragraphs that answers the questions without being in the FAQ form. Dysprosia 08:39, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Just how random is Randompage?[edit]

I'm a big fan of the Random Page link. I probably use it 50+ times a day. However, I've recently noticed something odd. Twice in the past few weeks, I've gotten an article a second time. The odds of getting any single article out of 230,000+ twice in, say, 1000 tries must be pretty tiny. The odds of getting two articles twice in the same number of trials must be near zero.

Just how sure are we that the random number generator and selection process for a Random Page is truly random (or, more accurately, highly pseudorandom)?

Unfortunately, I didn't record the specific pages that I got twice. One was one of the many US city pages that naturally show up frequently because of the large number available, but a single city (it was somewhere in Michigan) shouldn't pop up twice in a short time. The other was an article on some Middle East historical topic that made me wonder if there was some kind of interest-bias in the random selection process. Such a bias could be useful, but isn't really random.

I'll certainly pay more attention to the results of Random Page, but I'm not too anxious to start recording every result I get just to see if I can make it happen again. (After all, it's quite easy to merely think that you got a page twice. I did get one article in a Random Page click that I had read before, but I recalled that I got to it originally by following other interesting links and not through Random Page.) If the "operators" of the Randompage function insist that it is mathematically pseudorandom, however, I'll consider logging my leaps to trigger it again. -- Jeff Q 12:48, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

According to my rough calculation, there is about a 90% chance of reading some article twice when reading 1,000 articles from a pool of 230,000. Higher than you expected? see birthday paradox. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 13:01, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
A lot of people who have commented on the random page feature have observed the large number of US cities occurences. Wouldn't it be possible to include in the random page selection feature, the facility to ignore a sizeable number of US cities hits, like for e.g., ignore 999 out of 1000 times. No offence to US cities enthusiasts, just a fix/suggestion to make the random page feature more fun and spread out across different topics. US cities are over-represented right now, it's good for Wikipedia, not that good for the random link. Jay 14:20, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
See User talk:Rambot/Random page. IMSoP 14:37, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I concur with IMSoP that Jay's idea is best discussed in User talk:Rambot/Random page. Specifically, that worthy and interesting conversation is not relevant to my concern here, and I wouldn't want to cloud this issue with this sidebar. -- Jeff Q 14:46, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Back in October 2002, when Wikipedia had only 50000 articles, Rambot's 30000 articles were a overwhelming percentage of the whole. However, it seems that the resentment against those U.S. gazetteer articles has lasted, even though the English Wikipedia now has 235392 articles, and only one click in eight will give you a Rambot article. GUllman 00:19, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks to Pete/Pcb21 about the birthday paradox link. I was quite familiar with the concept, but I clearly hadn't examined it on an appropriate scale for this question. I knew the intriguing fact that 23 selections of 365 items gave a better than 50% chance of getting the same item twice, but I made an incorrect intuitive leap that the number of trials need to get within an order of magnitude of the selection list for that surprising result.
However, my own (belated) calculation for this issue came up with essentially the same answer as Pete/Pcb21: an 88.6% probability that one will get a single article twice in 1,000 trials. This suggests that most people with my Random Page usage patterns have seen this occur (whether they noticed it or not). Some much for my intuition! My apologies to the Wikipedia Random Page process for impuning its integrity. -- Jeff Q 15:08, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Rather than using the "Random page" feature, I've been finding it more interesting to use the Allpages feature to see a group of consecutive pages. Of course I need to manually pick a starting point "at random." Something that I still find puzzling is that I continue to have the impression that Rambot city pages are overrepresented in the "random page" feature. Perhaps it's not as obvious with Allpages because it's so easy to avoid clicking on city links. To use the Allpages features, type in something like
(and pick some interesting starting point for the "from" argument). Dpbsmith 02:26, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Idea: Poll namespace fun[edit]

Random thought. A Poll: namespace, a la Mediawiki: namespace. You could then include the poll in an automated fashion page via {{poll:poll-name}}. A link to view a specific poll, or to vote in it, in included with the {{poll:}} invocation. Combine this with an east way to make a new poll and possibly ... this could solve over half the edit conflicts in VFD, for one thing :)

The tricky part of this would be getting a way to automatically add polls to VFD upon creation. Perhaps this could be solved by some sort of subpage mechanism: {{polls:vfd}} (plural-- or maybe {{all-polls:vfd}}) would then include all {{poll:vfd/whatever}} pages. The subpages could then be moved to an archive somewhere. Or, even better: use {{poll:vfd/start-date-here/poll-name-here}}, which could then be included by {{polls:vfd/start-date}}. The exact temporal order might suffer... but I think the benefits would be worth it.

You'd still want a mechanism of some sort to quickly create this poll- perhaps something like the &section=new page setup, with a form item or two that could be filled out.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions for improvement? Directives to code it myself? =)
If I were to start hacking the MediaWiki source myself, and came up with an implementation (which is possible, at least) would you support its use? -- Fennec 18:16, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

How would you address the issue that VfD is supposed to be about discussing the issues with an article and coming to a consensus about it, not purely voting? Angela. 18:23, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)
The poll's vote/edit link would bring you to a page just like many others, with the actual text of and wikicode of a standard poll there for editing. It's just a clever way of outsourcing the individual poll from the main page. Fennec 18:30, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ok, I thought you were trying to turn it into a voting-only thing. This is also being discussed at Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion#Maintainability experiment. Angela. 20:24, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)
I think it might be better to concentrate on a more general review of the edit conflict code, such that pages like this one could benefit at the same time - for instance, when two people edit different sections (either via section-edit links or simply because no other section is involved in the diff), the system could easily spot this and offer to incorporate both changes. Automatically merging would create some problems, such as the same content being added in two different sections, but 90% of the time you could just check the diff - which could be fixed to not diff a section against the whole page, like it does at the moment - and click "go ahead and make my edit anyway". This also requires less understanding on the part of the user, since most of the time everything would function as it does now. - IMSoP 18:53, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
We could do this without any new coding surely. If you want to delete xyz, go to MediaWiki:VfD_xyz and write why you want it deleted. Then add ==xyz== to vfd and include (IMPORTANT) an link to the edit page MediaWiki:Vfd_xyz, as well as transcluding the message itself. At first look, this appears to be a good idea, as it will solve edit conflicts, but contributing to the debate will be quite easy. Cleaning up will also be relatively easy. The vote can be archive by moving the page to MediaWiki:vfd_xyz_archived and then that archived page can be transcluded on talk:xyz. This is probably less work for cleaner-uppers than the task currently is. Shall we give it a whirl? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 19:10, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ick. No! Erm, I mean: I'm not sure this is such a good idea, since it prevents anyone being able to vote on more than one listing at a time, which can sometimes be quite useful. Also, every single vote will now show up on Recentchanges, rather than them all being collapsed neatly as multiple edits to one page. I also fear it will lead to constant confusion over how to list new polls. (Yes, I know it's not that hard, but it's going to have to be re-explained every 5 minutes, I can just tell.) Sections of a page should remain just that, sections of a page; single-use MediaWiki messages give little gain for a large cost in complexity. - IMSoP 20:06, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC) [via an avoidable edit conflict ;)]
I had considered a poll namespace before, but with a syntax more like the image syntax, i.e. [[Poll:poll name]]. This would expand to a nice looking box with a voting form and a link to "more information". This link would take you to the poll page itself, analogous to the image description page. The poll page would contain information about how the vote is going, the voting rules, who started it, etc. I had never considered using it for VFD: people always want to add comments and make conditional votes, I can't see how it would work. The reason I haven't done this yet is because the user interface code required is pretty daunting. Besides the poll box, and the poll description page, you would also need Special:Createpoll to create the poll, and a voting method which works fairly well with the consensus-finding wiki model.
The best way to solve the edit conflict problem, IMHO, is to implement CVS-style merging. -- Tim Starling 00:21, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
Well, the bulk of my idea was basically a slightly specialized inclusion mechanism. It seems, however, that VFD is now testing out a MediaWiki namespace solution which, although lacking one or two of the features I mentioned, seems to be more or less the same thing. :) -- Fennec 15:38, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)


I am interested in helping out with the coding side of Wikipedia. I haven't however, been here very long. Will I still be able to help or do I need to be a sysop or something? Ludraman | Talk 19:58, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

There's the beginnings of an introduction to that side of things over at meta:How to become a MediaWiki hacker - and the short answer is that you can happily install your own copy of the software to try out modifications on, and then submit patches to the mailing list to be implemented. If you do good, you can then apply for CVS access so you can apply the patches yourself. I'm sure an extra pair of hands will be very welcome. - IMSoP 20:16, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
See also Tim's reply to Decumanus on a similar question. Angela. 20:26, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)

Harold Ballard[edit]

Hi There I need some information on Harold Ballard for a school project I need to know When he was born? About his childhood, About is teenage years, and about his adult years if you could send any infrmation you have to my e-mail address. Thanks for all your help

Seems like you haven't found Harold Ballard yet? andy 22:37, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

siting [citing] this page[edit]

How would I site this page? i can't seem to find the copyright date or anything. I used the information on George Orwell and I must site where I got the information from. Its for a research project on British authors.

See Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia. :-) Jwrosenzweig 22:53, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Please see Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia. →Raul654 22:53, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)

Broken Open Tasks?[edit]

The open tasks tool seems to link to's user contributions. Help! Thanks, Mark Richards 00:43, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Is it better now, Mark? I believe I fixed it. For future reference, you can edit it yourself at Template:Opentask. Jwrosenzweig 00:47, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I get it now. Jiang put that in there because all of that user's contribs need wikifying. I'm afraid it would be confusing to most people, though, so it's best to list them one at a time. You might leave Jiang a note about it. :-) Jwrosenzweig 00:49, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Bold-face article titles via self-linking?[edit]

Self-links currently turns [[Title]] to bolded non-link text, which is useful for {{msg:Foobar}} navbars and such. However, I've seen people use this to bold-face the article title as well, rather than doing '''Title'''. Is it OK to do it either way, or is there a n official way of doing it? -- Khym Chanur 05:38, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

Creative, but very very confusing. --Menchi 09:28, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Indeed. Change self-links used to bold, to bold itself. Dysprosia 09:34, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Richard Clarke article[edit]

I just popped on over to the article on Richard Clarke and found it to be somewhat lacking. Given the recent U.S. media events about his testimony etc., it'd probably be good to get this article in better shape. I've left some comments on its talk page. -- Wapcaplet 05:40, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be great to be the #1 google hit for this one too :) →Raul654 05:44, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
Heh. Not right now, it wouldn't. The article is in pretty sad shape, though I guess it's not too bad for only being 3 days old... -- Wapcaplet 05:46, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Picture tutorial[edit]

I just wanted to let everyone know that I've written Wikipedia:Picture tutorial. As the name implies, it is a tutorial for teaching people Wikiformat, which is something that is pretty difficult for new users to learn. I'd appreciate anyone who is willing to help out polishing it up or adding stuff I've missed. →Raul654 08:30, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

How nice! -- Taku
Well done! -- chris_73 10:47, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I've just directed someone to this, it's very useful. :) fabiform | talk 05:30, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Dispute over the name Sea of Japan[edit]

I hope we can press towards a naming convention of the water on Talk:Dispute over the name Sea of Japan. There hasn't been much input recently. Kokiri 10:24, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Problems with compact table of contents[edit]

I just created a couple of song lists whose titles include names:

They are organized into three sections each:

  • Titles that are entirely names
  • Titles that contain names
  • See also

They have no sub-sections as yet. However, I discovered within 30 minutes of creating them that they should probably have some groupings by first character in title, as the lists are getting quite long and are being edited rapidly by a number of people. (A good problem to have, certainly!)

I tried to create compact tables of contents for an experimental version in the Sandbox, but ran into two problems. First, the {{msg:compactTOC}} markup only creates a single compact TOC, whereas I need one for each section. If one instance of the markup is placed within each section, just before its first sub-section, two TOCs are generated, but they are essentially the same TOC, with each link going to the first section that has a matching sub-section heading. (E.g., if the first section has no "C" heading and the second does, it'll jump to the second. Otherwise, it always jumps to the first section's sub-section heading, whether you use the link in the first or the second section.)

The other problem is that I want to place song titles that being with numbers in a "#" sub-section, but the compact TOC only generates A-Z links. Is there a way to use compact TOCs that I haven't figured out yet, or must I stick with the full-sized TOC? Thank you for your suggestions. -- Jeff Q 15:29, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

A lot of people don't care for lists like this, including myself. But I'd rather have a well-formatted list I don't like, so here goes.
What you need to do to handle the TOC link problem is to break the lists out into seperate pages. The real problem isn't that compactTOC only links to #A, etc. It's that MediaWiki generates the <a name="A"> from the heading names. If you want to have two lists, you need to have unique headings, which will result in ugliness like "A - Personal Names", "B - Personal Names". Without that, you can't even make your own compactTOC for it.
The cleanest solution is to break them apart, then you can use compactTOC all you want.
As for the numbers, {{msg:compactTOCwithnumbers}} is available. See Wikipedia:MediaWiki custom messages -- Cyrius 18:12, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

British Columbia Resources Investment Corporation[edit]

I realize that the company was bought out by Jimmy Pattison but my question is still the same. We (The Salvation Army In Nanaimo) receceived 2 5 shares certificates and we were wondering if they are worth anything and if so, how do we go about receiving it. My name is Dawne Anderson and I work with The Salvation Army in Nanaimo. My phone number is 250-740-1004 and my email address is I would really appreciate it if you would respond to my question or forward it on to the right person. Please let me know by email whether you can respond or if you have sent it on to someone else. Thank you for your time in this matter.

The story of BCRIC (pronounced "brick") was an interesting experiment in pop capitalism organized by former premier Bill Bennett about 25 years ago. Every citizen of British Columbia was entitled to 10 free bearer shares, and could buy more at $6.00 each. (I took my 10.) The shares made it up to about $9.00 during the following year, but the activity was all downward from there. Rventually the shares were diluted, and it's only then that Pattison picked up this loser. He was no more successful than his predecessors. As securities consider them worthless. The fact that you have 2.5 shares suggests that somebody divided it among his children into even smaller worthless amounts. That alone may give the certificate a little value as a collector's curiosity. Eclecticology 18:48, 2004 Mar 26 (UTC)

Examples of pages where a phrase can be defined in multiple contexts?[edit]

Can someone give me a few examples of well-designed pages that describe a word/phrase that can be defined in multiple contexts? The page in question doesn't deserve to be split and disambiged quite yet. - Wguynes 18:32, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

When Dumping: "Access denied for user: `@localhost` to database `wiki`"[edit]

I'm trying to dumb the current English SQL Dump into my database. When I do so, I get an error: "Access denied for user: `@localhost` to database `wiki`". The error is on line 45, which is a LOCK TABLES cur WRITE. Has anyone else gotten this? Any ideas?

It sounds like you are trying to write to the database (i.e. add the database dump), but you don't have the right permissions. It looks like you need to tell MySQL to use the database administrator account and use that password. I believe the default administrator account that the software uses is 'wikiadmin' with a password of 'adminpass'. You can change this with the mysqladmin program. If you are using some flavor of Unix, try running the script as root. HTH. -- Merphant 05:05, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Graphical time charts[edit]

New software released. Generate graphical time charts from a simple script. Examples and details at [10]. Please comment on meta.

Is Wikipedia a religious site?[edit]

Jim Forsyth, editor of [11], says:

"The religion website says Jeffs believes that in order to get to heaven, men must have at least three wives."


Is Wikipedia a religious site?



No, Wikipedia takes a neutral point of view. Dori | Talk 21:45, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
Mr. Forsyth is confused. Wikipedia is a collaborative online encyclopedia, which covers religion as well as many other topics. Welcome, and feel free to start modifying articles.
I have sent Mr. Forsyth an e-mail explaining that the above comment that he makes is erroneous. Dori | Talk 21:54, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
FYI, I believe the article in question is Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:57, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Does anything find it funny/ironic that Mr. Forysth's email is at →Raul654 21:58, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

Any subscribers?[edit]

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but according to [13] there might have been a column on the Wall Street Journal about Wikipedia. Anybody know anything about this? Dori | Talk 22:03, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

The article in question seems to be this one [14] (You may need to create a throwaway trial subsciprtion account). A couple of other links [15] [16]. It'd be great if we could get a Wall Street Journal link though. Dori | Talk 22:16, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
You can use Username: wikipedia, Password: wikiwiki for the above ;) Dori | Talk 23:50, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
FennecFoxen found a pdf of the version carried by the Wall Street Journal: [17] Dori | Talk 00:10, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)
Wow: "Recent research by a team from IBM found that most vandalism suffered by Wikipedia had been repaired within five minutes." - does this mean IBM has been vandalising the WP as part of this research? Probably not, but it doesn't say they didn't either ;) Dysprosia 00:32, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Nope :) They just measured it: [18] Dori | Talk 00:34, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)
Looks like some good reading! Thanks Dysprosia 00:43, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I wanna get my hands on the 'history flow' software they designed for this. That's a pretty cool way of looking at the edit history of an article! -- Wapcaplet 22:26, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Foundation-L proposal[edit]

There's a proposal for a new mailing list specifically for the Wikimedia foundation on Meta. Please vote by March 31, 20:00 UTC. => m:Foundation-L Proposal

—Eloquence 22:14, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

Aren't we meant to discuss proposals before we start voting on them? -- Tim Starling 23:00, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
There's already been a discussion back in January, without many responses: —Eloquence 00:17, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)


I felt the articles on René Magritte and on Surrealism were dying for a picture, so I added a picture of "The Betrayal of Images" (1928-9). I believe it's a legitimate fair use but wanted to sound off and find if there was disagreement on this. Magritte only died in 1967, so its copyright hasn't expired for that reason. Tempshill 23:11, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)


The new image thumbnail contest really got me excited - the new design is very pretty. But when will it go into effect? Feel free to reply either here or on my talk page. --Alex S 00:26, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Image pages[edit]

Until the advent of the automatic thumbnail code, :Image: pages were something of an editors-only backwater. Now, however, these pages are readily (and one hopes commonly) visible to the ordinary visitor. Should we start to be a bit better organised about what we actually have there (it's often just the initial checkin comment, and maybe a licence boilerplate). Some pages have properly wikified paragraphs about the image's subject, some have details about the image itself (date, time, location, misc camera-dweebiness, etc.), and copyright stuff (hopefully from Wikipedia:Image copyright tags). My question: should we consider having (hopefully loose) standard format for these pages now? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:08, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I made a sketchy example on Image:Fm cambuskenneth abbey.jpg -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:11, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

VfD & MediaWiki[edit]

Hi. I had previously listed Reich on VfD and, accordingly, created the page Template:VfD-Reich. Now I'm retracting the nomination because it received only "Keep" votes. Now what do I do with Template:VfD-Reich? Do I just delete it? What happens to these VfD-messages? — Timwi 03:49, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

This is discussed at Wikipedia talk:votes for deletion. Angela. 05:21, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)

Picture Crisis![edit]

Whenever i seem to try to post a picture, it cant seem to locate it. I've tried posting from all sorts of directories, but only one pic has come up? what am i doing wrong? HELP!

I've replied on User talk:DefunKt, though my answer isn't very specific since I wasn't sure what your exact problem is. fabiform | talk 05:28, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Poll: Block anonymous users temporarily on certain articles?[edit]

Certain articles have had frequent vandalism lately, almost always by anonymous users. This has happened a lot on the GW Bush article, but now I see it spreading to the Kerry and 9/11 articles. If technically possible, I propose we let admins block edits by anonymous users only on those pages with high vandalism for, say, 3 days at a time, in the hope vandals will be discouraged and find some other way to spend there time. Comments, please? Cecropia 05:09, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The formal proposal is here:

  1. No protection.
  2. Protect for a set period--e.g. every other day, every day but Thursday, etc.(specified if this option wins)
  3. Protection, with changes discussed on the talk page.
  4. Look into having someone write code to prevent massive swings in the #article's size.
  5. Look into having someone write code to prevent anonymous users from editing #the article.
  6. Don't protect until a page is formulated which is agreed upon by consensus.

Meelar 05:11, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Acceptible usernames[edit]

I have seen a couple of users choose a website as their username. I don't think this should be acceptible as it promotes those sites on Wikipedia. However, this is not part of policy. So my question is should it be? Reply at Wikipedia talk:Username#Acceptible usernames. Dori | Talk 05:51, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)

On RC...[edit]

We need a "show anon. users... and users under ~1 day old" flag, to catch vandals who create new accts and user-pages before setting out on a rampage. maybe keep a cached daily list of 1-day-old users, and check each user against that list? cf. User:Tim706, User:Tim817, User:Tim205 +sj+ 07:57, 2004 Mar 27 (UTC)

Wikipedia and Communism[edit]

-> Wikipedia:Replies to common objections

((Boo -- why not discuss it here? It's fun!))

It's fun there too.
Dear Ms. Strauss, it isn't communism, it's info-anarchism -- but a useful one. Have a look around here. -- till we *) 16:47, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC) (via edit conflict)

Edit conflicts[edit]

Couldn't edit conflicts be a bit more intelligent about section editing? The current way it works, they are annoying, especially for long pages. -- till we *) 16:47, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Merging code is in CVS. It should handle most edit conflicts gracefully.—Eloquence 17:29, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)

Sterns Department Store[edit]

> Wikipedia:Reference desk

Beijing UFO sighting[edit]

> Wikipedia:Reference desk


precipitation is currently a disambiguation page which has entries for the standard meteorological meaning and one for the meaning in chemistry. I question the choice of using a standard disambiguation page, rather than what I would think is more appropriate, where precipitation is the meteorological meaning and contains a link to precipitation (chemistry). The vast majority of links to precipitation are going to be for the meteorological meaning IMHO, at least from what I can see from using the "What links here". Unless someone objects, I will consider making this change in a few days or so. Please respond on the article's talk page and NOT here. Thanks. RedWolf 22:08, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)

No, please do not do this. The point of a disambiguation article is to catch searches and allow an ambiguous search to be redirected to the appropriate place. If you find links to a disambiguation article which you think should go to one of the "appropriate places", then alter the link. Do not remove the disambiguation article. --Phil | Talk 12:26, Mar 29, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Web comics[edit]

I've put together a proposal at Wikipedia:Web comics that has been kicked around for some time at Talk:List of web comics. If accepted, these would be the guidelines for consideration of web comics as new articles, on VfD and on List of web comics. Please comment on it at the article itself. Do not comment on it here. Thanks. RADICALBENDER 23:30, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I'm a newbie, can someone please help?[edit]

Is there a simple way to revert articles after vandalism or do I just have to copy and paste the previous edit? Shakeer 02:24, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Click on "page history", and go to the version saved just before the vandalism. Click on it, then edit it. Without making any changes, just save. And thanks very much--it's quite helpful to have people clean up after vandals.
See also How_to_revert_a_page_to_an_earlier_version --RichL 02:28, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ahh, I was clicking cur and last and so couldn't figure it out. Thanks. Guess this can go now...Shakeer 02:33, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)


whats the authors name and enitials?

You mean the creator of wikipedia...? Shakeer 07:58, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a free and open encyclopedia, meaning that each article is usually the creation of many authors and not just one. Most Wikipedia contributors are anonymous in the sense that they don't give out their names. Hope you enjoy reading from the 'pedia! Alex S 15:45, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Copyright question[edit]

User:Vikingstad recently put the following text on Talk:Gunning Bedford, Jr.. Is this source acceptable?

"Source Taken from CMH Online:

"Information presented on CMH Online is considered public information and may be distributed or copied for non-commerical purposes. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested."

I believe the source is acceptable, however not for images. Therefore I have put a noncommercial message on the pictures uploaded from that site. But since this is a governmental site and it says "public information" there should be no problems copying the text... --Vikingstad 03:45, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)

"Information" covers both text and pictures. If it says that, then everything on the site is fair game. →Raul654 03:59, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)
Doesn't the "non-commercial" caveat violate the GFDL? Meelar 04:20, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Oh snap, you're right. I must have skipped over that word. You are correct -if it says non-commerical, then it is not GFDL compliant. →Raul654 05:13, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)


Some anon user keeps adding a very lengthy list of songs recorded on this date to various date pages (like February 9). The problem is, it's a very lengthy list and it's not terribly useful (recordings would be much more useful within the year itself and we already have pages for that), so I've been basically reverting them, but I'd like to find out what others think of this. Am I crazy or is there really a use for this information? RADICALBENDER 04:02, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps if people do want information like this, it could go on separate pages. For example, we already have pages like 1995 in music and 1995 in film existing separately from 1995. I don't know whether we actually need a February 9 in music, but if the user wants to add these lists in, that might be a way to do so without cluttering things up. -- Vardion 05:01, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I suppose then the next step will be to have pages like 1:36 PM in music...LOL! Mkweise 18:34, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

MediaWiki trouble[edit]

Can anyone tell me why Template:Religious music doesn't seem to work -- I cleared my cache but it doesn't load the msg (see for example Rastafarian music). Tuf-Kat 08:06, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)

I was playing with it on Rastafarian music when I accidently clicked save - but happily I'd just hit on the solution. The space was breaking it, use the underscore instead: msg:Religious_music. fabiform | talk 08:26, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Problem with wiki-spammer[edit]

Sorry, I don't really know where to put this so I am hoping someone can help me out. Someone is covertly spamming computer pages with: Citations from citeseer

that is a link to a generic search for that topic. This needs to be stopped. What has to be done to get this recognozed? example Google search containing all offending pages User talk:enigmasoldier 14:07, Mar 28 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you think these links are in any way bad or objectionable? — Timwi 11:48, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, Citeseer is a (the?) main repository for on-line computer science papers. As long as those links are directed to search on a specific topic (rather than just to the Citeseer homepage), they seem just as valid as any other external link.Jorge Stolfi 12:31, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)