Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)

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The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas.
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Are WMF and WP too different to ever get along ?

WMF (non developers) and WP are very very different Using Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory#Dimensions of national cultures just as a model for discussion to show how different they are

  • Power distance index (PDI): WP -medium (new editors), WMF low
  • Individualism vs. Collectivism  : WP 50/50 , WMF - Very Collective
  • Uncertainty avoidance  : WP - High, WMF - Low
  • Masculinity vs. Femininity : WP : More Masculine , WMF Very Feminine (see article for explanation)
  • Short (tradition) vs Long (Change) ; WP S, WMF L
  • Indulgence vs. restraint ; WP : High R, WMF High I

And bonus DIversity : WP em/en dash preference; WMF people not like WP editors Wikipedia is : for WP it's the editors, for WMF it's the readers whose desires are only known to WMF Countries : WP is Samurai Japan plus California hippies, WMF is Sweden :-) Wikipedia exists to ; WP - create Wikipedia,free speech, an NPOV WMF -as a cash cow

I think we suck on a few things (mercilessly, no long term planning, ..), but based on this I suggest we need a divorce. WMF can have the $100 M, but we want the Kids (WMF developers, IT, organisers, and the person from fundraising who was brave enough to ask about the emails 13:02, 27 August 2022 (UTC) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 13:02, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's difficult. Wikipedia, especially enwp, is the WMF's cash cow. In return, WMF provides useful functions such as legal and administrative services, a hardware platform, maintaining the software and (slowly and reluctantly) adding a few requested features. On the other hand, the vast majority of the money goes elsewhere with no direct benefit to editors or readers: interference in government, global diversity workshops, unwanted technical changes, financial trusts with no clear aim. Splitting could benefit Wikipedia in the long run, with a lower level of income spent in a more focused way, but is hampered by the stupid decision to give Wikpedia's domain names and trademarks to a WMF which has a strong incentive to withhold them. Certes (talk) 13:41, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the Wikimedia foundation is a bit like NASA: slow, bureaucratic, resistant to change, with its reputation primary provided by its early glory years. I don't have the solution here, but it is imperative that the WMF must become nimble if it wants to survive for the next 10 years. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 17:22, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, technologies have improved, and it is not out of a question for an individual or group of individuals to fork Wikipedia for the community, like the second reincarnation. To me, this is absolutely not an ideal situation, but will eventually happen if the WMF continues to be aloof with important issues and toying with random things. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 17:24, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Splitting worked for LibreOffice and others but it's very much a last resort, because we'd leave behind integration with other WMF projects and the excellent reputation of the Wikipedia brand. The best option is for the WMF to revert to its previous narrow role which has community consensus. However, that would put a lot of people who out of a comfortable job, and we can't expect turkeys to vote for Christmas. Certes (talk) 18:50, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A fork is a bad idea, but you also can't put the cat back in the bag. The only way out is through, and continuing to move forward. Andre🚐 19:57, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A fork of Spanish Wikipedia happened in 2002, you can read about it in meta:Spanish Fork. ~ 🦝 Shushugah (he/him • talk) 18:53, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wouldn't count the developers as on the community's side rather than the WMF. I don't dispute there are exceptions, but consider how many clashes between the WMF and the volunteer community have been IT focussed (the premature release of V/E, that viewer experiment, the reader comments box etc etc). Mixing volunteer and paid staff on the same project is not easy, especially if you want to maintain volunteer motivation and self respect. There are models that can succeed longterm such as "staff are employed to do the things that volunteers want to happen but aren't volunteering to do". However I don't see the WMF agreeing to adopt any of the viable models that could lead to a stable and successful movement for the longterm. Less than a decade ago part of the tension between the community and the WMF was over civility and harassment issues, but with the WMF as the less "woke" side of the equation. One reading of the UCOC dispute is that the WMF has gone from taking such issues less seriously than the community to taking them more seriously. Another reading, and one I find more convincing, is that the WMF's commitment to wokeness is barely skin deep and ill thought out. The UCOC is more about an old fashioned power grab, a secretive and centralised solution by people who neither respect nor understand the way the community works. If the WMF was really as "woke" as the community they wouldn't have been so resistant to the Portuguese language community ending IP editing, and they'd be using their real world influence to get IP companies and Police forces to deal with the people who make death threats against members of our community. To me the divide between the WMF and the volunteer community is cultural, but I don't see it through the lens of Hofstede's theory. I see one side of the divide looking at the Movement in silicon valley terms as one of the top ten internet sites, where the volunteers and the product is all subject to a "move fast and break things" mindset and standardisation and centralisation are key, And the other side of the divide a group of people who have taken the dream of "making the world's knowledge freely available to all" or "making the internet not suck", and found a way to make that a reality in a radically decentralised wiki way... I agree that the two groups are close to needing a divorce, I'm not 100% convinced it is inevitable or unavoidable. ϢereSpielChequers 19:49, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is very insightful. My thoughts, inspired by this comment: Volunteers give their blood, tears, and sweat equity as early stakeholders in open-source projects. Governance is tricky when it becomes top-down. To the extent the foundation can listen to community feedback and be on the side of the "workers," it will be less of a scab to "management." The startup mentality has always been a part of Wikipedia, the trouble is when control and predictability become more important than spontaneity and creativity in problem-solving. The foundation may not understand the community ad hoc self-organizing systems, and instead try to use a regular hierarchical corporate directive, which won't work. It's about servant leadership, retrospectives, being open-minded on the details but focusing on principles, values, and making sure the specifics remain negotiable and you don't over-plan. Andre🚐 19:56, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. I agree that top down v bottom up is a major faultline in the divide between the WMF and the community. I don't accept that it is inevitable that governance moves from a bottom up philosophy to a top down one. ϢereSpielChequers 20:04, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. There are certain objectives and key results that may come from the top-down, but the solutions and the approaches should be determined by the community. Andre🚐 20:08, 27 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am certain that NPP will get their developer, that WMF will tone down their donation approach, and that there will be a community outreach with lots of t-shirts. But I can't see that WP Meta or WMF are prepared to move on root issues for another few years until the lobster heats up a bit more, so I think the best thing is to create our own interWIki council. It's diversity, so it must be good. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 02:40, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok - I was wrong :-( The interWiki council is also a bad idea Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 14:29, 15 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the developers are very much like us based on what they write. It has all the same issues we have been discussing Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 08:05, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@WereSpielChequers: a clarification, if I may: "Mixing volunteer and paid staff on the same project is not easy" (agreed wholeheartedly, but...) "especially if you want to maintain volunteer motivation and self respect." — I'm not sure I follow here? — TheresNoTime (talk • she/her) 03:12, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As a volunteer on software development for the project, I, like TNT, would also appreciate some clarification on this sentence. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:11, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm reasonably sure either this post is satire, or one or several of the replies are satire, or all of the above. Otherwise, I'd be significantly more fearful of the future of the project, but of course the posters on meta pages are not really a representative sample of editors. SamuelRiv (talk) 01:16, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SamuelRiv In any satire there is some truth. I don't think a divorce is inevitable (But didn't eswp do that?) With whether it is representative, I suggest you look at the discussion on Wikimedia donations emails on Proposal, Then hav search for #wikipediascam, google trends, google news for wikipedia and donation, quora, reddit, and it is worth getting a login for this ycombinator thread Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 02:24, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There was another, bigger ycombinator thread before that one. Andreas JN466 10:16, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
At least there's a few good points raised. I did comb the donation threads. I refuse to touch q***a on all principles -- if WMF-WP has integrity problems, q'a is satan incarnate. It would be good to collect links to key threads and points in one essay so that we don't have to refer people to all corners of the internet for this grand controversy. I don't know what substantial issue I should look for in particular through the noise, but I do find it funny that most of these threads begin with complaints about the endowment and management bloat, when the 2007 whistleblower thread (also brought up in complaints) was about financial mismanagement which was, as described, due in large part to lack of logistical staff. The logical remedy is to hire competent logistical staff, whose overhead increases with the size and scope of projects and their finances.
I don't know how WMF decided on their endowment goal, but as WMF operates globally and often has to deal with government legal threats directly I imagine a substantial hedge is justifiable. I also don't know how they are perceived as an investment in terms of risk, should they need to leverage funds, which would also substantially influence their endowment goals. Maybe there's some new grand project being planned that hasn't been revealed, who knows, but for an org of this size and scope I fail to see how a $100m endowment is inappropriate. It's also common in reaction threads that commenters will list expenditures that are a waste of money, then immediately follow with an alternative wishlist that is comparably or far more expensive yet always objectively more prudent.
Orgs aren't perfect, and nonprofits and NGOs in particular are notorious for inefficiencies that expand with size (independent audits and open donation ratings help mitigate this, but it seems there will always be at least some baseline inefficiency that is in part intrinsic to the nonprofit and/or donation incentive model). None of this is to suggest there is something wrong with vocally complaining -- it is essential to an open audit system -- but can we at least separate the realistic substance from the cruft from the plain ridiculous? SamuelRiv (talk) 15:28, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The key issue is quite different from the money amounts per se – it's about how the money is brought in. It's about making people think you are struggling to keep Wikipedia online when in fact you have $400 million in assets and reserves, have reached your $100 million endowment target in half the time planned, enjoy huge annual surpluses and have steeply rising executive salaries.
Add to that the fact that the Endowment has never to date published audited accounts or disclosed any of its expenditure. Andreas JN466 22:39, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
??/ Where does the 400 Million come from?/ (I couldn;t work out a definite number :-)). I have no problems in paying staff. If they help WP, and make editors life easier then go for it. And Strongly agree about the [1]], It has some clever people on it, but I think it has one editor on it, and I didn't realize that their were no reports. I would prefer that there was an editor appointed audit expertWakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 03:03, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's an estimate of financial status at the end of the third quarter of the 2021/2022 fiscal year (i.e. status at the end of March 2022). It is based on the following:
Net assets in June 2021: $231.2 million ($51 million up on year prior)
Endowment in June 2021: $100 million ($37.1 million up on year prior)
Increase in net assets as of 31 March 2022: $51.9 million
Increase in Endowment as of January 2022, the most recent figure available: $13.4 million
So, adding together, we have $231.2 million + $100 million + $51.9 million + 13.4 million = $396.5 million. There are another $3.2 million left in the m:Knowledge Equity Fund, earmarked to go to non-WMF organizations.
Note that the WMF had a total surplus of $88 million in 2020/2021 (Endowment growth included). (For more on Endowment transparency, see Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2022-05-29/Opinion.) Andreas JN466 06:38, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was wondering who WMF funds. Please look at page 69 of their IRS 990, i don't understand why we are getting other organisations to do WMFs charity work.
  • Tides $5.5 M
  • yale $260 K (but the last mention is 2017)
  • Peace Development Fund 150 K - no mention
  • Black Lunch Table $168K but i can't find a mention that we donate
* We also seem to give grants to a Wikipedia DC, which I assume is to get around the non-profit lobbying rules
Also have a look at the breakdown by country for funding and spending and staff, page 41 Schedule F part 1 and 2 11:03, 29 August 2022 (UTC) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:03, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pretending that money is needed to keep the servers running then diverting it to political pressure groups is a gross breach of trust, however noble the causes being advocated. It leaves me with a serious ethical conflict: I want to continue helping our readers, but each article I improve makes me feel like an accessory to fraud. It seems that every time I log in, there's a new proposal to hijack another part of our encyclopedia's governance. I want to continue contributing, but we're very close to the last straw. Certes (talk) 12:20, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, which political pressure groups are being funded? I don't see any listed above. I'm not sure how the Yale grant is any more controversial than any other major WMF grant. The reason you partner with outside institutions is because outside institutions are more established and experienced with the infrastructure to do it better and cheaper than if you did every little thing in house. Should we establish the "WMF office of janitor development" to fund our own office cleaning staff, or just pay a company to do it? For comparison, Google and other companies donate to WMF, a nonprofit, not because they're being nice, but because WMF projects are extremely important to their own R&D and business development, and it makes far more sense to support WMF than to start a "WikiGooglePedia" clone that is identical in every way -- donation based, etc. -- for the sole purpose of being an in-house operation, just to satisfy a handful employees who don't like the idea of outsourced interests.
Tides Advocacy according to the FAQ is distributing the Equity Fund, not simply being given money to spend on their own lobbying. I'm not quite sure I understand the model of Tides Advocacy still, as OpenSecrets isn't really open about its data -- Tides Advocacy is responsible for lobbying money, but that's part of what it's explicit purpose is -- to spend lobbying money on behalf of other nonprofits. It's hard to gather how much, if any, lobbying it does on behalf of its own interests. Regardless, this isn't about Tides lobbying, as WMF's explanation suggests. I don't know what Sched. F is supposed to indicate -- are you surprised $11m is spent in the entirety Europe in this breakdown? If the amount is what surprises you, why is it not the total -- why Europe specifically?
Finally, I've seen it argued in these same threads that WMF should do more government lobbying on behalf of, say, IP (and typically open source advocacy slips in there too -- some people also voice concerns about China and Russia policy). Would it make more sense for Google to hire, in-house, the dozen or so expensive people needed who specialize in high-level IP lobbying (IP lawyers are not a sufficient substitute), something that would only be really needed to be working on all engines a handful of times every decade when major legislation comes up, or just outsource to a lobbying firm? SamuelRiv (talk) 15:37, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SamuelRiv Lobbying removes our tax exemption. I agree Tides is very confusing (note only the 2019 990 returns are available
  1. The [[Tides Foundation] companies include Tide Advocacy, and is interlinked with many WMF projects
    • There are many issues (See signpost for more information).
    • “The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization which manages Wikipedia, is closely tied to the Tides Foundation."
    • "The general counsel of Wikimedia, Amanda Keton, is the former general counsel of the Tides Network, the former head of Tides Foundation, and the former CEO of Tides Advocacy."
    • “The multimillion-dollar Wikimedia Endowment, created in 2016, is managed by the Tides Foundation and has an advisory board appointed by Tides. In 2020, Wikimedia established the multimillion-dollar Wikimedia Foundation Knowledge Fund to be run by Tides Advocacy”
    • There is no mention of Tides on Wikimedia Endowment
    • I found a few other people that overlapped with both companies.
    • There is no conflict of interest is not broke as the WMF counsel is a past employee.
    • The Tides Foundation are not involved with education
    • They support only Democratic candidates, but | not that much directly, and instead via PACs and small organizations
    • tides makes no mention of wikipedia or wikimedia or education
  2. Tides Advocacy is not involved with education
    • [| IRS 990] states "TIDES ADVOCACY MAKES CONTRIBUTIONS TO ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT POLITICAL ACTIVITY, CONDUCTS INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES, AND MAKES PARTISAN COMMUNICATION TO EXPRESSLY ADVOCATE FOR THE ELECTION OR DEFEAT OF A CANDIDATE."
    • They funded a Democratic candidate and did 800 K of lobbying
    • There is one mention of education on their 990 – A grant of 10 K to North Carolina A Philip Randolf Educational Fund Inc for the purpose of environmentalism.
    • No grants have a purpose of education.
    • Their [[The Advocacy Fund - Tides website make no mention of education - but specifies their purpose as "civic participation, Healthy Individuals and Communities"
  3. Some of their consultants actual work seems to differs from that on the IRS form   (company, IRS stated work, their website, $)
    • KIVVIT, Consulting Services (Issues Campaigning) $505,022
    • BASE BUILDER Payroll Services (Mailing lists) $386,373
    • THREE POINT STRATEGIES Staffing services (US Electoral Strategy),
    • | Natasha MINSKER Consulting Services (Actually "Skilled in Public Policy, Politics, Lobbying, Non-profit Management, Community Organizing, and Criminal Law. Graduated from Stanford University Law School.")
  4. Certain accounts on Tide Advocacy seem very high - especially per employee - bracketed amounts below. ( I think they have 20 employees (p/t and f/t ) but they also hire temps).
    • Travel $1.76 Million (90 k)
    • Other Employee expenses $1.6 million (80K)
    • Office Expenses $1 million (50 K per employee -which does not include occupancy of $534)
    • Conferences 900 K (wow)
    • IT is 260 K (13 K) But they only have 7.3 K of equipment??? ( See P 51 of 990}
    • Political Donations 800 K
  5. Tides Network is mentioned on  the Tide Advocacy  990 (p 72), but as unrelated.  On the Tides Network 990 it supports Tide Foundation, Tides Centre, Tides inc. It pays $13 M of network fees and “Tides Network supports the operating Organizations and appoints board members for Tides Foundation, Tides Center, Tides Two Rivers Fund and Tides, Inc. Tides Network sets the direction and policy orientation for and has economic interest in all of Tides organizations.” Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 06:47, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Giving money to Yale, funding the Black Lunch Table in Chicago, earmarking $4.5 million for non-Wikimedia organizations (more than half the grant money so far going to US orgs) etc. is all very well, but then you shouldn't tell people in India and South Africa that you urgently need their money to keep Wikipedia online. Andreas JN466 10:19, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And Agreed we are telling whoppers
??? Does anyone know which months the banner ads have run. I would be interested to know whether they have increased up the number of times the ads appear,
I turned off the don't show banner ads a few dsays...But they didn't appear :-( But when I logged out, I got an awesome message of doom that took up the whole screen. It hasn't happened again.
Asides
Hmmm. ,,,It would be quite amusing to copy all their banner ads to one page, and have the editors descend to tag it :-) The media would find that amusing :-) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:59, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The ads appear in different regions at different times. There's a list at m:Special:CentralNotice – filter on Campaign type = Fundraising – but it seems incomplete: I recall a campaign last December. At least the perpetrators recognise that Users already hate these banners. Certes (talk) 14:00, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
m:Fundraising has an overview of current_fundraising_activities. In addition to the scheduled campaigns listed on that page there are sometimes low-volume campaigns run for testing purposes, where banners only appear for a small subset of users. That's why people sometimes see a fundraising banner appearing "out of season". Andreas JN466 14:26, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for that I wanted to find out if WMf had increased the frequency, because one of the fundraising staff wrote [this] saying it was a bad ideaWakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 13:36, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wakelamp: The $5.5 million to Tides are the annual $5 million paid into the Endowment (and included in WMF "expenses"), plus planned gifts, all of which have been diverted from the WMF and redirected into the Endowment since the February 25, 2021 board resolution. So any money people have left to Wikimedia in their wills in the past today goes into the Endowment. Andreas JN466 08:33, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They are the 2019 numbers, but it still means that we are funding a Democratic Party fund raiser???
As far as I can see Tide (which was co-created in '72 by the heir to a cigarette fortune has taken us over),the trustees are toothless, and the WMF will keep on increasing up its staff :-(
Vivat Tidepedia! Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:27, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's amazing to me the WMF doesn't fund more software projects. When a proposal was made to create a citation database it was rejected. Just one example. I understand they tried this with VE and got kind of burned, but that was a white whale project from the start. Smaller more doable projects that have a big impact. For example let's get a really good version of what reFill does to get our citations standardized. And make the tools cross-language. -- GreenC 04:46, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree keeping it small and attainable, with frequent iterative deliveries, and user testing and feedback, is the way to go. The visual editor citation toolbar works pretty well, if you're citing a standard URL or a DOI or ISBN, I mostly use that now instead of reFill and CitationBot, and you can enable it in the beta settings for the wikitext editor as well. Andre🚐 05:04, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Andrevan @CactiStaccingCrane I would like a way of reducing down the time/friction to find and cite articles. Reading references is fun, but it's multi step, so it's a pain for new editors
  • A curated reference (NPP reputation tools) search engine similar to the film project's. ability to exclude self published, google books without preview, check for AKA names from articles.
  • JSTOR is mentioned in the missing ref for cites is restricted to 500 edits, so excludes new users that know citations
  • Google Book cite is not context sensitive (so manual entry of chapter name, page, chapter author, we don't use Google books API google site is missing data references ), and no image ocr to text tool, Ideally, it would be nice to get special approval from Authors' Guild & Google to have full or at least text access to the snips.Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 07:49, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@GreenC WMF doesn't fund things because there is no upside for them.I asked for the road-map the other day, and got pointed to this, and it makes sense because we have no roadmap ourselves:-( Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 07:20, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, let's make a goal for ourselves. What specific goal would we want to achieve by 2023? CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 07:22, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Change the proposal process. All proposal are created as an article. Editors comment on the article talk, and write an evidence based article. Results are fed back to the proposal page. 07:59, 28 August 2022 (UTC) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 07:59, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Changed my mind again :-) Create a WP Development board. Have elections. - all active editors vote. They can work out what their job is, but they have to report to ALL active editors Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 08:17, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Relating to the "Masculinity vs Femininity" question, how does WMF show "a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak, and quality of life" as opposed to Wikipedia editors showing "a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness, and material rewards for success"? Strange post. Dialmayo (talk) (Contribs) she/her 17:48, 2 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • WMF The WMF vision is very F ("Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment") matches pretty well with "a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak, and quality of life ; It is not achievement based (John Lennon type imagine), or assertive, or measurable, and the weak in this case are the information poor. The modest doesn’t match for management, but I think it describes a large number of WMF employees.
  • WP community I have placed the WP equivalent in brackets "a preference in society for achievement (number of edits, articles, references,front page, DYK, heroism (NPP, anti-vandalism, bleck/white thinking ), assertiveness (AfD, NPP, ANI, robust debate), and material rewards for success (well we don’t get paid, and I think many of us are less than fluch with funds, but maybe this matches with being an admin, respected, ,,,,) . But it is a model and "a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak, and quality of life" also matches well with lp desk, tearoom, AfC, reference desk, quarry, helping newsbies, and nearly all the editors i have ever interacted with.
Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 10:43, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like to think that the typical long-term Wikipedia editor also exhibits the qualities attributed to the WMF above. If anything, the WMF seems more achievement-based: it emphasises acquiring, measuring and spending donations, various equality metrics and deployment of new software (wanted or not). Certes (talk) 11:32, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not sure whether WMF measure themselves that much; WMF measure WP outcomes (with donations being the exception, but even that is not really in their control that much). Dev is actually not measured that much - except for say a big milestone (Vector 2022) - there doesn't seem to be measures of new feature use, links to business KPIs, "cost" justifications. With the wanted or not software, open source projects typically give you the option to use/not use. but the way WMF manages wiki seems to be very unlike other open source projects The core product is not being develops to meet external challenges, or evolving based on personal preferences (but we don't have that many available/visible anyway) becoming popular. For instance, with Vector 2022, the dev team had a one size fits all mentallity/no preferences - WP editors should have the same UX as readers. They didn't understand that it was our IDE (editing workspace), and their own IDE had 132 char line. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:35, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The WMF currently uses the OKR framework rather than KPIs. There's a dedicated team for measuring results in the Product department (see their current work on Phab), plus every team in Product and Technology has to do their own work. Measuring feature use is routine during development, and sometimes continues afterwards. For example, the Reply tool that I'm using right now has been used 2.42 million times since inception through the end of November, across all wikis, and 184K in November. The Editing Team has also run an A/B test for every major feature in this project, and another is coming up as soon as the instrumentation passes QA. It sounds like you aren't personally aware of the work that's done in this area, and then perhaps jumped to the conclusion that since you didn't know about it, it wasn't happening. And, honestly, I get it: you probably have more important things to do with your life than to wonder which metrics are being used for which bit of software.
More generally, I have looked at your comments on this overall subject over the last couple of months, and I have not found that they align with my experiences either in the WMF or in any of the communities I'm part of. "The WP Community" doesn't have single culture. Even the much smaller subset of "the English Wikipedia's core community" doesn't have a single culture. It might be interesting for someone to do some proper research on the question. (The last time I read research on a related point, it was years ago and more about individual psychology, and concluded that we [the editors at the English Wikipedia] were conscientious, disagreeable, and neurotic.)
For anyone who finds this sort of thing fun, there's a sort of cultural-personality quiz at https://hbr.org/2014/08/whats-your-cultural-profile that you might enjoy. The only regret I have about it is that it compares your results against your selected country, but doesn't tell you which country's profile you are most closely aligned with. In this context, it would be interesting if we could aggregate the results, so we can see how much the responses spread. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:58, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank-you for your comments about measurements/objectives and key results (OKR), as you know the organisation up close and I don't. I am glad to know that dev works likes that, but I am uncertain about some parts of WMF rather. Finance is very good though. The personality stuff I am still researching, and thinking about. SO
Change to communication style Other people will know this better, but before Lila Tretikov left in March 2016, this was how OKR was presented, and the comments are clear, and the measures are visible.
At some stage, the emphasis on clear communication stopped, and the goals became vaguer/more PR speak.
This page outlines the history
"Replaced by Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/Quarterly check-ins until 2019. Since July 2019, this has been replaced by Wikimedia Foundation tuning sessions." and has now been stopped I think
Current measure issues
1/ Sometimes the measurements is for purposes that are totally at odds with what I think of as enWP values. "Leverage this high traffic (due to COVID 19) to Wikipedia through paid media to increase positive awareness and trust before the Fundraising tests in the US"
2/ Sometimes the measures don’t match with other figures (WMF state that active editors are increasing by 7 % per year) or compared with prior reports for year on year figures, or show weird peaks in certain months such as May.
3/ Many of the areas, have a very low success rate in what should be their core KPI (often because the task is Herculean) and instead focus on the qualitative or inputs, or have lots of percentages rather than raw data.
4/ Sometimes the measures are causing a concentration on gaming the measures. YMMV Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 04:49, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Like most well-managed US organizations, the WMF reviews and adjusts the quarterly review system every few years. At the WMF, they like to rename the system when they do this. However, the overall point is the same: upper management officially checks in to see whether the annual plan is on track, so they can report to the Board about how well the organization is following the direction set by the Board.
As for publishing less, I understand that there was a serious discussion about the costs and benefits, given that almost nobody reads the material. As it reached my ears, the question amounted to whether it was right to spend 100+ hours, four times a year, producing reports that will apparently be read by just one or two people who aren't being paid to do so. If there had been more ongoing, organic interest, they probably would have continued to create and publish detailed results.
On your metrics:
  • Why shouldn't the WMF run paid advertisements telling people that WPMED and WPCOVID were doing a great job with COVID-related content? It looks like you stayed away from those articles, but I spent many hours in them, and I wasn't even a major contributor compared to some other editors. Reminding readers that Wikipedia isn't full of COVID misinformation like some other sites was a positive thing. Postponing the routine fundraising tests during the early parts of that advertising campaign was also very appropriate.
  • About the 7% increase: Summer is usually quieter, but during the first summer of the COVID pandemic, more people had to stay home, and some of them decided to edit. Everyone I talked to back then – volunteers and staff alike – expected the number of editors to increase when compared against the previous summer, when people's time available for editing was competing with travel, sports, parties, and outdoor fun. Weird peaks in certain months are expected. Expect "weird peaks" every Janaury (seems to be a New Year's Resolution thing), every September (when Wiki Loves Monuments runs), and so forth.
  • I don't know why you think they have low success rates. Or maybe you think the problem is that they set goals that don't match yours? It is easy to imagine different groups having opposite goals: "Increase editing by newcomers" and "Prevent unwanted edits" are pretty much opposite goals. We (i.e., volunteer editors) have joked for years that we could reliably stop all vandalism by blocking everyone, but that's not a viable strategy long-term. (Percentages are the normal way to measure changes Year over year.)
  • I notice that you provide no link or evidence that there is any "concentration on gaming the measures". Gaming metrics is possible in any system, but that doesn't mean that measuring something is inappropriate. See, e.g., the volunteers at this wiki whose key metric is whether certain maintenance backlogs have reached a round number. You could write a script to empty Category:Candidates for speedy deletion in mere seconds, or to empty Special:NewPagesFeed in minutes, but nobody does. You could game a metric, but when reality is important to you, you don't have any incentive to do so.
Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:02, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Report changes "Like most well-managed US organizations, the WMF reviews and adjusts the quarterly review system every few years" Such changes are often mentioned on annual reports, but there is always a risk associated with reduction in reported information because it reduces oversight,
Other common examples would be the reduction in the number of auditor days or no increase as the organisation increases, or the removal of board approval, or the dilution of board attention on finance and managerial performance by adding other tasks/roles etc
Tuning sessions Tuning is associated with public relations, and it de-emphasises that the management have a duty to report. I was incorrect that the quarterly reviews have stopped , @Jayen466 mentions that they have just stopped being published.
Cost Benefit "As it reached my ears, the question amounted to whether it was right to spend 100+ hours, four times a year, producing reports that will apparently be read by just one or two people who aren't being paid to do so." The 100+ hours is very small compared to the budget, it is a normal thing that organisations do, and the management and the trustees have a duty to examine the report in great detail, and raise any concerns The "read by one or two people who aren't being paid to do so", is deeply troubling- I didn't realize that was how they viewed the editors. The problem with financial reports is that they really aren't that exciting for most people, because they don't see them as insights into an organisation; they are boring. The earlier reports were much better as they tended to be a more warts and all, an provided information that allowed you to concentrate.
Ongoing Interest " If there had been more ongoing, organic interest, they probably would have continued to create and publish detailed results." If you look through the various talk pages for reports there is actually interest and questions, and newsletters do mention it but I agree there is no focus. The trustees are supposed to have provided this, but as a counter example there has been many years of unhappiness about fundraising without action so I think there is an organic interest.
COVID My problem with COVID ad slide was not that WMF was saying what a great job editors were done, but that the advertisement was intended to increase the amount of donations later. I appreciate the work that you and the volunteers did, especially coping with so much pre-print.
Year on year increases Your points are well made, but if you look through the reports there are references to nil baseline year after year, and there are some programs with very good people that are impossibly hard, With YOY figures they are %s, but you need the raw numbers to check them.
Goals ""Or maybe you think the problem is that they set goals that don't match yours?" For instance, have the new wikis been successful in organic growth? I would like that Wikipedia articles to improve in quality, and that more wikipedia editors.
Gaming metrics Detection is always tricky, but one way is to compare user impressions to metrics. The headline measures for WMF is donations. diversity, new/active editors. and edits/new articles are all up. But Wikipedia editors are concerned about lack of editors. There are other ones such as counting experienced editors that attended an editathon towards number of edits, but I don't mind that as I think editathons are justifiable in many ways. Funding the mobile telco access in India doesn't seem to have a measure etc.
You could game a metric, but when reality is important to you, you don't have any incentive to do so For editors I think this is true, and I found it incomprehensible when I was younger that all people wouldn't think the same. But if someone believes that a goal or personal status is more important than anything else then .... Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 16:36, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you have misunderstood the quarterly reviews and reports. These are not financial in nature. These are meetings in which lower-level managers present slide decks to tell upper management what their teams have done for the last three months. The "tuning" had nothing to do with public relations. Think "tuning up your car to improve performance and efficiency".
English Wikipedia articles have improved in quality. For example, we're at an all-time high for percentage of sentences that have an inline citation. This improvement in the inside-the-article quality is probably happening at the expense of having any article at all, even one that says as little as "Alice Expert is a professor of expertise at Big University", on many subjects, and disproportionately on subjects related to marginalized people, but if your wish is only for quality improvements to the surviving articles, then your wish has been fulfilled, and, for better or worse, it is likely to continue being fulfilled.
Wikipedia editors have been concerned about the lack of editors ever since I started editing, and probably before that, too. Sometimes it really does mean that someone wants more editors. Rarely if even means that someone wants new content creators, rather than more gnomes chipping away at a backlog. However, more often, those complaints appear when someone's wiki-friend has stopped editing. Rather than saying I'm sad that my friends have stopped editing (I could name a whole list, and I've also written two entries in Wikipedia:Deceased Wikipedians) or posted a meatball:GoodBye-style resignation manifesto, it's fairly common for editors to declare that there is a general crisis and that soon there will be no editors. I haven't looked up the number of editors here for about a year, but the last time I looked, the numbers had been either flat or slightly rising for years. The general story is that enwiki and dewiki are basically stable in terms of number of editors, and that growth happens outside these wikis. If enwiki's numbers are up, it's because people in India and Africa are coming online, not because more British or American editors are being created. This, of course, has challenges for the existing enwiki community, especially RecentChanges, AFC, and NPP folks, because it means that there will be more articles created and edited about people, places, and subjects that the average person in those roles hasn't ever heard of. It's difficult to correctly evaluate a subject's notability if you don't recognize the names of the biggest newspapers and magazines in the relevant country.
I find individual editors who game metrics (e.g., asking for an article to be deleted so that they can claim credit for creating it), but in conversations at work, I find people talking about the limitations of certain metrics and why a particular metric might not be valid. For example, I was in a conversation a little while ago about measuring the change in activity from a particular geographic region, and half the conversation was how another team's work could accidentally render the metric useless. It wouldn't be possible to separate "change due to our project" from "change due to their project". If the goal were just to show that something changed, then this wouldn't be a concern; in fact, you would embrace this, because it doubles your chance of being able to claim that your project was successful. But instead, as usual, they cared more about reality, so they're searching for a different metric. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:51, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
By quality, I meant any move in content assessment on projects. Is wanting that a controversial thing for WMF?
Can you point me to the statistics you used for your statements that
  • we're at an all-time high for percentage of sentences that have an inline citation.”
  • “The general story is that enwiki and dewiki are basically stable in terms of number of editors, and that growth happens outside these wikis"
You mentioned a number of concerns about en editors {"It's difficult to correctly evaluate a subject's notability if you don't recognize the names of the biggest newspapers and magazines in the relevant country” and “This improvement in the inside-the-article quality is probably happening at the expense of having any article at all, ... and disproportionately on subjects related to marginalized people,”)
But if there is no concern about editor numbers why are either of these an issue? And have you any proof that these issue are happening? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 14:48, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know if the first has been published (I asked for a particular graph to be uploaded to Commons months ago, but I don't know if it happened).
For the second, here are the number of active editors in every January for the last decade or so (January, because I didn't feel like typing ~130 dates and numbers into this template; these numbers are public if you want to explore more yourself):
Number of editors per year
Year Number
2012
530,393
2013
503,848
2014
458,111
2015
400,370
2016
458,304
2017
456,975
2018
449,805
2019
448,453
2020
436,116
2021
456,389
2022
400,250
Looking at these, it appears that the overall numbers have been pretty much flat since 2014. It's always possible that the low in Janaury 2022 is the start of a trend, but you need more than one data point to declare a trend, and since January 2015 was almost identical, then any competent statistician would suggest not jumping to conclusions.
That said, I, in my own personal, entirely non-expert capacity, would predict a decline compared 2021, because numbers went up a bit during the pandemic (as seen in the January 2021 data point), and as the pandemic resolves in most of the developing world, one would expect the numbers to go back down by approximately the same amount that it went up. I would be surprised if the current month has fewer than 350K editors, but I wouldn't be surprised if the January numbers come in lower than last January's 400K. I also wouldn't be surprised if the numbers were back up, either.
In terms of the rest: I have seen articles rejected because the sources weren't in English, in violation of WP:NONENG, which obviously disadvantages editors (and subjects) from non-English-speaking countries. Editors have told me that they have cited the biggest newspaper in their country, and seen it reverted as "unreliable" – a claim that doesn't hold up under scrutiny, but most people don't know how to get that extra scrutiny. For example, I see that you made 8 edits to articles last month, and that one of those was reverted. You know how to ask for help; most people don't. To give a different type of example, there was a discussion earlier this week chiding an editor for being too formal when requesting help. The editor comes from a country that expects formality outside of family and close friends. It's very American to bristle when someone addresses you formally (it's part of the Baby Boomers' youth culture), but it's off-putting to people to be told that you need to follow someone else's cultural norms just to ask for help. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:29, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Challenge accepted ...
Editors active in each month
I played around with the numbers a bit more. The interesting thing seems to be the downward trend (since 2009) of the percentage of editors deemed to be "active". See the other graphs on my pageGhostInTheMachine talk to me 19:18, 5 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One factor that I believe needs to be taken in consideration whenever the issue about the number of contributors decreasing: that peak back in 2007 ought not to be taken as some version of "normal". As someone who was active back then, the unparalleled numbers then were due -- at least in part -- to Wikipedia being the new kewl place to be on the Internet; all of the cyberhipsters wanted to be in on the action. When they realized that the whole point of having an account was to do fun things like write the equivalent of an undergraduate term paper, all of the cyberhipsters moved on to MySpace. Or FaceBook. Or wherever cyberhipsters went to hang out in 2009/2010. As has been observed, writing Wikipedia articles is an odd hobby that is not for everyone (& doing things like New Page Patrol or closing Articles for Discussion threads is a hobby with an even smaller audience), so IMHO it's doubtful we will ever have a sustainable population larger than 500,000 active volunteer editors, even if there is free cake & ice cream for everyone. (Or the sugar-free equivalent for us borderline or diagnosed diabetics.) -- llywrch (talk) 00:28, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If I remember correctly, the big influx of users who just wanted to build a user page full of userboxes started in 2005 (Wikiproject Userboxes [2] was started in December 2005). I think many of those left after the Great Userbox Wars. Donald Albury 15:30, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Whatamidoing (WMF) The problem with the tuning session presentation decks surely was that people did read them and the info contained in them didn't match the PR (examples: Enterprise, donations surplus). There is little cost and effort involved in publication, as the decks are created and shown to employees anyway -- just some light editing to create a version suitable for publication and a Commons upload. This is what was done for well over a decade. Andreas JN466 18:13, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Aside from yourself, how many people can you name that regularly read the quarterly reports? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:12, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've included information from them in articles that were very widely read, both here and elsewhere. It's the transparency that is valuable. Andreas JN466 22:01, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Guy had a similar better expressed [[3]] "the idea is basically to give a wider group of stakeholders a voice in setting development priorities and approving feature changes. In business this would typically include development leadership and business stakeholders, and the idea is to make sure that effort is spent where it will have the most impact on organisational priorities. Normally we'd handle this through RfCs at Meta and the like, or by meetings between WMF and devs I guess, but the meta discussions tend to attract only people with detailed interest in things like microformatting, much of the discussion is arcaqne and they run on geological timescales."

"They can work out what their job is": Is this satire again?
If there's already proposal pages that editors can amend and discuss, and the proposer can submit grant applications and would do/coordinate the implementation, and WMF reviews the grants... what's a board for? (aside from whacking ideas for bloating the WP bureaucracy over the head, Stooges-style.) SamuelRiv (talk) 15:42, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not Satire -All the committees started with vague responsibilities, which we then coloured in as we went.
I disagree that the proposal/grant process works well.
  1. After the proposal is approved, then it falls down. No one is respsonsible for testing, reporting back, supporting the chage, and testing, Our process at the moment is proposal approved, WMF start work, ask for comment directly, install, RfC complaining, testing, modifications, complaints about defaulting it to all.
  2. Gold Plating. The pareto principle applies to software in that 80 % of the cost is the last 20 % of work. Our current process causes large expensive projects, with many features that are unused, because multiple voices demand without triage
  3. Planning. We have no forward plan for how we think WP will work, which means WMF have no roadmap. We have no risk reduction or proactive planning. For instance, what do we do if
  • We have a Denial of service attack type attack on the NPP, through an AI creating thousands of articles.
  • Google/Facebook creates an AI generated 'pedia
  • Our tired UI encourages Generational change - The continuing decline in admins, 100 K editors leaving per year
$ Proposals and System changes are papering over conflict and editor resource issues,
  1. Proposals are solutions, but there is no list of problems, and there is no data analysis to verify opinions.
  2. Benefits of Change. There is no checking of whether the proposal achieved it's goal.
  3. The Content creators (mostly new editors) are not involved. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 07:12, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
These are great points. If development on WM software is not currently managed well, how would proposing changes through a WP bureaucracy be different from proposing changes through a WMF bureaucracy? You still have to go through the participation of the entrenched volunteer WM programmers, which through divorce of projects you have suddenly fragmented. I don't know how the addition of additional input of WP editors into the process (there's phabricator, WMF project pages, emailing WMF people directly, proposals through WP, and more currently that you can do to raise these concerns or search for whether they are already being addressed) is supposed to help anything except possibly an editor's self-esteem, briefly, until they are ignored. It reminds me of the story Richard Feynman talks about of receiving messages from the public, even after filtering for those who aren't cranks -- he's busy trying to decode the combination lock on a safe, using some tools to make the process more methodical, and comments come in like "did you try 21-3-49? How about the bank manager's birthday?" There's a good case to be made that WM coding should have a better management structure, but in the end that will probably require hiring at least a project manager and principal coder, which means yet more $200k+ salaries to shell out. SamuelRiv (talk) 15:56, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I believe I am correct in stating that most WMF staff (employees + contractors) work remotely, i.e. from home. So why do they have to be in the US? There are many parts of the world outside the US where competent coders can be hired for a fraction of the cost. Andreas JN466 14:56, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WMF funds some grant requests and not others, and they give reasons why. I have wondered about some of their rejections, whether it is due to being beaten out with a limited grants budget (all departments anywhere have limited budgets) or if they lost on merits or prospects for completion. Could you link the specific proposal you are referring to? SamuelRiv (talk) 15:35, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When did WMF and WP start to diverge? Was it after the 2015 Harassment Survey? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wakelamp (talkcontribs) 07:00, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have been editing for 14 years and have been an administrator for five years. I have always tried to develop friendly relationships with WMF staffers and still have some friendships though far less so than in the past. I used to live about 32 miles from WMF headquarters in San Francisco, and was always willing to drive there, pay for bridge tolls and parking, and meet with the staffers to share the perspectives of highly productive volunteer editors who are essential to the success of the encyclopedia. As the years have gone by, the staffers that I knew and who paid attention to what I had to say as a highly active encyclopedia editor have moved on, presumably to even better jobs in the software industry. A few remain who I interact with, but it seems that the WMF is determined to throw its cash resources at "pie in the sky" efforts to draw in editors from poor countries without fixing the fundamental flaws with the mobile sites and apps that such potential editors are most likely to use. The WMF takes in the massive amounts of cash that poor people worldwide donate, and instead of spending that to allow people to truly collaborate on smartphones used by billions of people worldwide, they squander the money to keep overpaid and unproductive code monkeys prosperous for more and more years to come, to the detriment of the encyclopedia. The desktop site works just fine on modern smartphones. Why not shut down all mobile sites and apps, and lay off all of the developers who have utterly failed to make these mobile sites and apps fully functional for over a decade? Why should people who have failed for so long stay on the payroll? I hate to be mean but no profit making business would tolerate a dozen years of complete and utter incompetence from a project team, when the free alternative works just fine as I have proved over and over and over over the years. It is nest feathering behavior by human beings who should know better. Their excuse boils down to "it's hard". Not acceptable when the cash donations of poor people are at stake. Cullen328 (talk) 07:48, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 241#Newbie and IP edits should be vetted delayed before they go live " But we have a situation ongoing for a very very long time now that there is a disconnect between the community and the developers... a lack of trust is part of it... so that experimentation and rollback (something that we as Wikipedians should be super comfortable with) isn't allowed to happen. Any change to software is much much harder than it needs to be.-" Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 13:36, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Like you, I always switch to desktop view on mobiles and tablets; it's perfectly fine unless you have a 3-inch iPhone screen. It would be nice if the desktop view option were more prominent, or indeed the default setting.
Fundraising squeezing money out of poor people: See the current discussion/RfC over on the Proposals Village Pump, reviewing the Wikimedia fundraising emails about to go out. It touches on that.
As for throwing money at the developing world: While I think there may be some problems with spending decisions (see Wikipedia:Village pump (WMF)/Archive 5#Should the WMF have rules or policies for when banned users apply for or are part of the team that administers grants?), I looked at the Form 990 a while back and found that claims the WMF is spending large amounts of money in the developing world are merely a convenient PR meme. In reality, the amounts have been absolutely minuscule to date – less than 2.5% of revenue. See Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2022-06-26/News and notes#Where does the Wikimedia Foundation spend its_money? for a breakdown. Andreas JN466 08:25, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Kudpung , @Cullen328 Your posts made me wonder where the WMF developers spend their time
Exhibit 1 - fund raising Full board- 5 members
Exhibit 2 - Community Wishlist All in backlog
@WereSpielChequers You are correct - they aren't on our side - They can have the kids as well
??? Can we ask the trustees for the breakdown of costs by project ??? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 13:03, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your "Exhibit 2 - Community Wishlist" link doesn't seem to work — I think you may have meant phab:tag/Community-Wishlist-Survey-2022? If so, that board appears to be a little misleading, and you might find phab:tag/community-tech a little more helpful in gaining an insight into how this specific team is spending their time Face-smile.svg In the interest of transparency, I work on the Community Tech team as a software engineer, though I consider myself a volunteer first and foremost. — TheresNoTime-WMF (talk • she/her) 16:38, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@WereSpielChequers, Cullen328, and TheresNoTime: Some people are conspicuous by their absence from this list, maybe it's because they are concerned about landing in the Foundation's bad books. Not that it would matter, the WMF doesn't appear to give a hoot because the SF cabal, or at least its management class, is a classic example of groupthink. I've often wondered what it's like to split one's personality between being a volunteer and accepting pay at the same time. Personally I don't think it's possible but I do admire the tiny handful of those who straddle the Great Divide and who are able to remain on the side of the volunteers. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 18:49, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Kudpung, I've been a volunteer since 2007, and was a WMUK part time staff member from 2013 to 2015. I can remember leaving the room for one WMUK AGM (I didn't have to be in the room as either a volunteer a member or an employee, and would have been in an odd situation if I'd been in the room for a particular item). Mostly though I thought it worked, and I think my history of being a volunteer for six years before I joined the staff was a big advantage in my GLAM role. As for your letter, I suspect I'm not the only Inclusionist who was put off by the sewer analogy. If I'd agreed with the letter a bit more I would have signed it, as we both learned many years ago when we and ScottyWong looked into the block logs of the most active editors, discreet and diplomatic approaches are not the best way to influence the WMF. ϢereSpielChequers 19:05, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@WereSpielChequers:, I wasn't alluding for a moment to your salaried role in a Wikipedia chapter. I will also never forget the one-to-one meeting we had in Oxford a great many years ago that inspired and encouraged me to become so active on NPP issues for over a decade. NPP has been without any coordination for a couple of years until MB stepped in recently. He and Novem Linguae are doing a grand job which partly includes doing some of the paid WMF's work for them for free. I thouroghly agree that discreet and diplomatic approaches are not the best way to influence the WMF. The new NPP oodinators' initiative with their letter is urgent and admirable although there might be some very minor turns of phrase that in hindsight could just possibly have been differently worded. I don't think they are a deal breaker though, and NPP certainly needs a lucky break soon. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:56, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • There are clear culture-clashes between Wikipedia (enwiki in particular) and the WMF; and I definitely agree that some of the stuff they've spent the money enwiki (largely) generates on could have been more productive. But at the end of the day operating a site with the size and prominence of Wikipedia is going to require a sort of legal, financial, and bureaucratic overhead that cannot (currently) be done through enwiki's methods. I think we can and should push for better communication between the two and more input and influence from Wikipedia in the WMF's decision-making process, but I don't think it's realistic to suggest separating the two; we'd just need another WMF eventually. And at the end of the day, while I disagree with some of what the WMF has done, they've done better than the people who run any other high-profile website I can name - would you want to replace the WMF with the people who run Twitter? Google? Facebook? At the end of the day, outside of a tiny number of clashes that ended up having little impact in the grand scheme of things, the WMF has mostly allowed enwiki to do its thing, and enwiki has largely done all right by that arrangement. --Aquillion (talk) 03:14, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Aquillion, the difference between the WMF and 'big tech' is that Twitter, Google, Facebook, etc., pay salaries to the people whose work generates the huge corporate profits. This sets the paygrades for the staff at the WMF, several of whom are on celebrity salaries. This is what causes miscontent. The WMF expects, yea, demands, that not only do we accept their wasteful, unrequested software 'enhancements', but that our volunteers who have enough to do also do the engineering on projects that the paid devs don't find sexy enough.
The case of the NPP tools is rather essential and without the new articles being promptly and accurately patrolled, Wikipedia will loose the very reputation for clean articles that the Foundation boasts about. Indeed , it's already happening.
We are down to barely 10% of the supposed 750 reviewers, and of that 10% only a tiny handful are doing 90% of the work, and backlog drives are proving largely ineffectual. In the worst case scenario, the reviewers will simply down tools. I wouldn't exactly call ACTRIAL, for example, a clash that ended up having little impact in the grand scheme of things. It had an immediate effect that worked wellmfor a while, but its usefulness has since expired. It was extremely useful in one respect however: it proved loudly and clearly just how totally wrong the WMF can be. They may have forgotten it in the grand scheme of things, but we haven't. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:00, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As Kudpung says, staff at Twitter etc. work for the company and can be expected to follow all reasonable orders in exchange for a salary. At Wikipedia, money flows the other way: unpaid editors create and curate content, which attracts donations, which WMF takes from Wikipedia. Effectively, Wikipedia is buying services such as hosting and legal from the WMF. Even though the transfer of Wikipedia's brand made the WMF a monopolist, it should still act more like a supplier than an employer. Certes (talk) 10:15, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, "unpaid editors create and curate content" exactly describes the business model at Google, Twitter, and Facebook. Why do you think those companies give away their services for free? Because then their users generate content for free. Which those companies monetize by selling ads. If you're not the customer, you're the product. -- RoySmith (talk) 21:47, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm going to have to think about that one. If Wikipedia is really run like Facebook, this will be my last contribution. Certes (talk) 22:51, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Aquillion: Are you aware by just how much WMF revenue has increased over the years?
As for WMF salaries, compare some of the entries here to the corresponding entries two years prior. You've got the CEO's compensation increasing by 7%, the DGC's and GC's by 10%, the CFO's by 11%, the CAO's by 22%, the CCO's by 25%, the CT/CO's by 28%, and the CPO's by 32% over a two-year period when US inflation was at 2%.
Meanwhile, WMF fundraising messages ask donors – including in places like India and South Africa – for money "to keep Wikipedia online". Andreas JN466 11:12, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Aquillion I don't really wish a separation, but a rebalancing of the relationship. I do think that WMF has changed it's philosophy Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 22:57, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Has there ever been a proposal to message Spotlight to all active editors? I ask because it might correct the WMF and WP imbalance because most editors will never go near pump, For instance the discussion on the WMF emails only involved 20 editors (plus lurkers) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)

Arbitrary break

What a tangled web the WMF weaves: A recent, long comment from a senior Foundation employee, goes to demonstrate once again the reasons for the community's long-ingrained distrust of the Foundation's use of the huge surplus money generated by the free work of volunteers, and the claims the Foundation makes of supporting the volunteers with the required software. The comment comes across as a rather poorly worded hurried attempt by the WMF to justify itself but it clearly contradicts that department's own mission statement.

The community has previously been told quite clearly that the maintenance of the essential PageTriage software is not within the remit of the WMF's Growth Team (although it was a WMF creation). At the same time they are telling us that there will be no action until a request is submitted through their annual Wishlist Survey. Maintaining the features and addressing the bugs in the various elements of the NPP tools is clearly beyond the scope and purpose of Community Tech as described on their own web page. Even if the community were to assume a huge dose of good faith, what is it supposed to believe?
The appeal addresses precisely that question. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:25, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, what else can we do? I predict that once the letter is sent, a similar response to the above will be made. I suppose we need some other big idea if we are to improve the program. Perhaps something for me to mull over for a while. Even if the letter does succeed, it wouldn't hurt to devise an alternative solution to the problem. CollectiveSolidarity (talk) 03:23, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CollectiveSolidarity Your user name is very appropriate for a possible solution; have The Spotlight sent to all active editors with editorials explaining the issues, or at least encouraging connectivity/editor retention/community/article improvement. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 03:50, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wakelamp, @CollectiveSolidarity, in regards to your question, what can we do to create a semi-permanent resource, where these concerns could be aired? yes, we could send the Spotlight to all active editors. that is one option. are there others? let me ask, is it possible to create a user essay in the "Wikipedia:" namespace, to articulate and summarize these concerns? Sm8900 (talk) 13:39, 9 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Sm8900 I have had difficulties working out another alternative for the essay, because everywhere I looked within WMF, I found reasons for major concern, and a clear policy of avoiding oversight.
What I am very uncertain of, is what the appetite for change is at the moment. if we wish to change them, then we will have to address/disprove some of their issues (as they use them to justify their mission), and create an alternate structure that represents the editors, with the media, and in decision making Otherwise, I expect even if there was a scandal, or major media attention, that changes would be superficial. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 06:05, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
hi @Wakelamp. ok. I appreciate your reply on that. thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 15:03, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wakelamp, general question, how do I find the "Spotlight"? I'm sorry for my basic question. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 13:42, 9 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apologies. Freudian Slip. I meant The SignpostThe Signpost Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 00:19, 10 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have an Option 4 which would solve your NPP issue.
  • Define what changes you want,
  • Ask for a ball park quote from an external Wiki developer,
  • Do a press release. But require they do the interview in a way not to reveal your identity - the Secret Wikipedia.
  • Get Ask EFF agreement to help , and to use one of their bank accounts.
  • Get agreement from Gutenberg, Open ID, Apaches, Free Software foundation, celebrity to put up banners for us
  • Get a | quote
  • Have the developer do a detailed quote
  • Create a kickstarter (after asking EFF to verify whether statements are legal) explaining our plight. and advise that x % will go to Support EFF and to review our management documents. Any over will go to the supporting charities.EFF will disburse the cash at development milestones. Kickstarters can also get t-shirts with 2005 Wikipedia Slogans @Jayen466. This was my Option 4). Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 06:44, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Option 4.1 Is similar, but we sell the T-shirts on wikipediocracy. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 07:06, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Send a notice that 'The Spotlight' is available to all editors that have logged on in the last 12 months. If we want change then we need to organise, otherwise they will continue to increase in size, and ignore us.Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 03:46, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wakelamp, let no one doubt for a moment that the required changes to NPP have not been thoroughly researched, discussed and defined by the NPP team. It's a lot of ongoing, dedicated work here and on its sub page. The scope of the work is such that paradixically, some of the Growth Team's members are telling us it's too big for the current pool of WMF developers, while other members are insisting the changes should be appealed for at their Wishlist. This obviously casts further doubts as to the professionalism and seriousness of those in charge of the Foundation's technology, and puts their sincerity in question. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 22:37, 5 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the Org chart they show 4 developers assigned to the project - have they been assigned elsewhere?
Chris Albon Director of Machine Learning
Kevin Bazira Software Engineer III
Aiko Chou Software Engineer III (Contractor)
Tobias Klausmann Senior Site Reliability Engineer (contractor)
Luca Toscano Senior Site Reliability Engineer (Contractor) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:55, 5 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
https://wikimediafoundation.org/role/staff-contractors is famously out of date, if that's where you got the above from — TheresNoTime (talk • she/her) 06:21, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes - that's where I got it. Is there a better one? I thought of scraping Meta user, but only IT staff seem to have user pages. The web estimates 900 staff and growth rate of 35 %
WMF is incredibly opaque compared to others Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 08:51, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not aware of a more up-to-date global list like that (and I believe that one is slated for removal) — for the Growth team, their team listing on MediaWiki.org may be more helpful? — TheresNoTime (talk • she/her) 12:37, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With Growth, the page states it is only for mid-sized wiki.
Thank-you for the tip about the possible upcoming deletion, and. I have now downloaded it just in case
There is nothing else so i have already converted it to Excel for the other analysis I am doing,
As an aside,Glassdoor (employee reviews) has been an eye-opener, as it indicates that the WMF internal structure is fiefdom/divisional silos (each has it's own section, often a profit centre linked to a project), with absent central control, unquantified goals, and with every difficulty factor turned to 11
Conway's law states that organisations create computer systems that reflect their internal communication,which explains a lot about the WP and WMF systems,
Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 13:50, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The WMF staff page should remain available: it is on archive.org, along with older versions. Certes (talk) 12:16, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wakelamp's option 4 proposal is phrased as if its some radical view, but if it was rephrased as: start a wikimedia affiliate, raise some money (or maybe just get a grant from WMF), and hire a developer to do the things you want - that proposal would be a pretty normal proposal. Bawolff (talk) 05:41, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That sounds like a proposal worth taking further. Although most MediaWiki users are readers, many enhancements requested by editors are important too, and will help editors to provide readers with better content. If the WMF structure doesn't allow those developments to happen, for whatever reason, then an alternative route is needed. I've had responses in Phabricator along the lines of "go and do it yourself", but I'm not familiar with the relevant code, unlike the developers funded by donations. Certes (talk) 12:13, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Certes "I've had responses in Phabricator along the lines of "go and do it yourself". That isn't very constructive of them. How do you find the wishlist process?
@Bawolff The radical part is by doing it as a visible kickstarter, we are openly stating that the donations are not being used for the purpose intended,
@Kudpung, Certes' comment that "I'm not familiar with the relevant code, unlike the developers funded by donations.", made me wonder what are the ORES/NPP developers doing instead? Is the work you and yours wish done difficult to because the requirement is complex , because ORES/NPP is complex? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:40, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wakelamp and Bawolff:, the work that two (or more) of our New Page Reviewers are doing is because they just happen to know about software code (maybe it's their job in RL). They are doing it because the WMF says they won't do it because they don't have enough money - which everyone one knows is hogwash, and they have inferred that if NPP want it done they should find volunteer developers to do it.You would stay up to date more if you were to read The Signpost, Wikipedia's monthly newspaper. Here's a link to the article that was published in last week's issue. Raising an affiliate is one thing and creating a simple user group is easy enough, , but the WMF are hardly likely to provide a grant simply for the running of a user group, and for a user group to receive donations it has to be an incorporated body, such as a registered charity. The catch 22 is that it would first need money to do the fundraising. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:51, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do find the wishlist process helpful. I vote there annually and have suggested a few items myself, notably the temporary watchlisting facility, an enhancement which the WMF implemented very well and which I now use daily. We don't get everything we wish for but we do get some of it. It's one of the more effective avenues of communication and the WMF deserves credit for its part in that process. Certes (talk) 10:11, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Certes, no one is saying the Wishlish is not helpful and it's fine for community requests for convenience tools. However, PageTriage is a major MediaWiki extension, it's the indispensible motor that enables editors to keep totally inapprpriate spams and attack pages out of the encyclopedia. No AI or filters or bots can do that, it's work for ecperienced human editors. The extension is a big peice of software. The total abberation is that in the same talk page diatribe they are telling us that we should put our request into the Wishlist, then in the same breath they don't have enough 'resources' and they don't have enough money. How's that for clear, professional thinking? Our work fuels their Big Tech lifestyles, the community deserves some return for it. Cullen328, one of our most mature and respected admins, spells it out even more aggressively than I would dare (mainly becase I'm one of the loudest users one who for years has negotiated with the WMF for NPP and other software that keeps the corpus clean, and I'm still trying). Cullen drives 32 miles to talk to them, I spend $1,000 a time to fly across the world to try and get an audience with them.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:29, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, the proposed NPP extensions are too large to be a wishlist item. I was specifically answering Wakelamp's question on wishlists, without reference to NPP. I agree that NPP improvements should be made, independently of the wishlist, and I signed the recent letter to that effect. Certes (talk) 12:33, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When you say we don't get everything that we want, what is the constraint? WMF resources, technical complexity, ....? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 08:52, 5 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wakelamp and Certes: I appreciate that type of response is frustrating, however sometimes there's tasks that nobody is willing to do. In such a case, the choice at phabricator is to either say some variant of {{sofixit}}, or they could lie, and say "we'll get to it any day now" and do nothing. Would you really prefer to be lied to? That said, to clarify, there are non-technical things to be done here. contrary to what everyone here believes, it is rather unclear what is actually wanted for NPP. Prioritizing and clarifying tasks would probably go a long way towards people actually fixing NPP issues. Right now, anyone who looks into it, sees a list of like 80 unsorted tasks, thinks to themselves, it looks like a lot of work to get familiar enough with the community's needs to figure out which tasks are important and why, and instead moves on to something else. This is something anyone can help fix.
Kudpung: As far as "openly stating that the donations are not being used for the purpose intended" - if you create a kickstarter in good faith to raise money to do something, nobody is going to object. On the other hand, if you create a kickstarter with the intent to embarrass WMF into doing something and no intent to use the raised funds to actually do the dev work you are talking about, then that is going to annoy people. In any case, I doubt WMF is saying it doesn't have enough money. I think its saying its using its resources elsewhere. Money buys resources, but money is not the same as resources. In regards to costs of incorporating - we're talking $40 to incorporate, and about $500 if you want to be a 501(c) [Is that really necessary? you could probably have an existing affiliate hold the cash to get around the requirement]. You have a plan that involves raising money in the high ten's of thousands of dollars. If you are worried about the nickles and dimes here, it seems unlikely you will get anywhere near your actual goal. Bawolff (talk) 14:11, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
,Bawolff, a couple of points here: if you follow the links in the Signpost article you will see the text where the WMF have clearly stated they are short of cash. Either that is true or they are lying. Financial analyses seem to demonstrate the latter. As much as I believe in building bridges across the chasm that divides the unpaid ordinary people here whose work raises the donations that go first and foremost to the WMF executives' salaries, I am not American, I don't live in the US and I'm not going to learn how to incorporate a registered charity there, and I'm definitely not going to put up a penny myself to kickstart it - I'm not a philanthropist. There's no need for me to embarrass the WMF, they shoot themselves in the feet - constantly, and as long as they are sitting pretty in Montgomery tower, they do not care. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 15:05, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Kudpung I followed the links, i did not see that claim. I did see the PM of the "Contributor Tools teams" say that these teams (A small part of the WMF) would prefer to use their budget elsewhere. That's really different - they are saying they have the money but are using it for different things, and they are not talking about WMF's money, but the budget of a specific team which is a small part of the WMF. And hey, maybe that's a stupid decision on the part of WMF. A reasonable argument could be made that it is. But saying the decision is stupid is really different then claiming that WMF is claiming that it is too poor to do it. As far as starting an american charity - then don't start one in america. All I'm claiming here is Wakelamp's proposal about starting some organization, collecting some money, and then doing something, is not the outrageous proposal everyone around here seems to be making it out to be. Its a perfectly normal thing to do, and is how some MediaWiki features already get developed. Bawolff (talk) 17:07, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bawolff, if you followed the links as I suggested, you missed this one and if it isn't a claim that money is in short supply, I don't know what is: Contrary to what some might think, we really don't have an endless supply of money that allows us to fix every important problem, and it's a bit ironic since they have enough cash for their Wishlist to fix all the unimportant ones. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:48, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I stand by my statement. They don't have infinite resources to solve every problem all at once, but then again nobody does. I can understand that the framing of the statement does make it sound like a money issue, possibly as a way to deflect focus from the fact a decision was made and it was an unpopular one. However, taken literally, all its saying is that there are more bugs in existence then people to solve them. Which is of course true. However, i wouldn't extend that to saying they couldn't solve the problem if they wanted to, just that, rightly or wrongly, there are other things they would rather prioritize. Bawolff (talk) 17:08, 5 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to be clear: are these "tasks that nobody is willing to do" being declined by volunteers or by paid employees and contractors? Certes (talk) 22:48, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Paid employees and contractors, Certes. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:50, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Certes: Not to speak on behalf of Bawolff here, and addressing the question more generally — it can be a mixture of both. Firstly, in situations where a certain tool/extension is no longer maintained/"owned" by a WMF team, new feature requests/bug reports are (ideally) worked on by volunteer developers. These volunteers are of course free to choose what tasks they work on, which can result in these "{{sofixit}} moments" on those that they opt not to complete. In cases where a tool/extension is still maintained by a WMF team, internal priorities may dictate which tasks are to be worked on next, and with a finite amount of time and resources there's always going to be some which will languish in a backlog. This too can result in a "{{sofixit}}", not from a volunteer who doesn't wish to work on a task, but from a member of staff (normally a product manager) setting expectations and perhaps wishfully hoping a volunteer developer steps in. It's not ideal, and I do honestly hope that at least one outcome of the NPP discussions are a reconsideration of some budget decisions with a renewed focus on supporting the editing community with their technical needs. — TheresNoTime (talk • they/them) 23:56, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
TheresNoTime, You're right of course, that is indeed an accurate description of the scenario. What disconcerts the NPP team however, is that PageTriage is a major and critical extension and to be told at Phab it has no owner comes as unusual. More to the point, the Foundation's reluctance to address the issues with this importance piece of software and expecting the New Page Reviewers to do it themselves seems irresponsible - not all Wikipedia editors are software engineers, nor do they need to be. Some are and they are ready to jump to action but they most definitely not be doing the Foundation's work for free.
Here's a simple analogy: The truck drivers in a wealthy transport company are complaining to the management that the brakes on their lorries have not been maintained for a longtime and are getting dangerous, "No money for it, so fix it yourselves'" says the CEO before climbing into his company Rolls Royce.. TheresNoTime, do you drive a car? Do you know how to change the brake pads and bleed the system afterwards? Not even in Germany which has some of the strictest requirements for obtaining a heavy goods vehicle or bus driver licence, and where the candidates are expected to fully understand the workings of the different brake technologies, are the drivers required to know how to repair them. What happens is that the drivers go on strike until the brakes are fixed. In the meantime the company gets a reputation for poor delivery times and looses its customers.
Imagine a world where the Wikipedia volunteer maintenance workers put their tools down... Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:45, 5 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Kudpung: Everyone thinks their component is the most critical, simply asserting it is won't change hearts and minds. You could argue WMF is bad at prioritizing the right things (After all, this is the same organization that for many years felt that MediaWiki itself was legacy and should not have any teams dedicated to it, luckily that time has passed) but it is what it is. Probably the biggest counter-argument for the impact of this tool, is that it is only in use by english wikipedia, which limits the amount of impact any fixes to it makes and raises the natural question of if it really is so critical, how come everyone else is getting along just fine without it? [Not trying to argue this, just pointing out that this is the argument that is probably going through many people's heads when they decide what to work on]. Bawolff (talk) 17:08, 5 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bawolff, I'll remind newer users that PageTriage it was created by the WMF as a consolation prize for having so rudely and aggressively forbidden the ACTRIAL. Part of their decision to offer it was based on the premise that it would also be used by other Wikipedias. Everyone is getting along 'just fine' without it[citation needed] because they are smaller and as region specific they don't carry as much clout as en.Wikipedia which is the first target for global spamers. I believe I also read somewhere recently that with 6.5mio articles, the en.Wiki has more articles than the sum of all the other wikis put together - but that's beside the point - PageTriage is not a luxury or convenience tool à la Wishlist, it's as essential as this is to human beings. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:40, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is obviously false that en wikipedia has more articles than the sum of all the others. French, german and spanish together already have more than english wikipedia - as can be seen by visiting https://www.wikipedia.org . Then there is the whole question of how you should count wikidata which has a very high edit rate. Anyways, at the end of the day I am not the one you have to convince that it is essential, however simply asserting that it is is not very convincing. 95% of phabricator posts are people claiming that their thing is the most important thing. Most of them are wrong, some of them are right but either way, the assertion by itself does nothing to move the needle. Bawolff (talk) 03:30, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bawolf So the problem is priority setting. Can you advise me how to find (group,taks,project,tag?)the pt/en/es/wikidata projects on phab that you mention? Do they have wish lists as well? And is is possible to see how many story points/hours were/will be used on a task? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:44, 7 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
i did not mention any pt/en/es/wikidata projects so i'm not sure what you are referring to. In general though you can just search phab for whatever you are looking for. Most people don't track time on a per-task basis. Story points are estimates from before you start a task not how long it actually took. They are also not comparable between different groups (or even over the long term in the same team). 1 story point might mean 10 minutes to one person, it might mean 1 day to another. Bawolff (talk) 18:52, 8 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"i'm not sure what you are referring to" - I asked based on your comment that "It is obviously false that en wikipedia has more articles" and I assume you meant this link.I agree that the top 4 have more articles, and English may soon be eclipsed by Cebuano_Wikipedia by itself. The articles per encyclopedia metric is becoming meaningless with bot translations, wikidata has so many edits because of the gamified options (I ran up 70 (?) very quickly using this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wakelamp (talkcontribs) 12:59, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bawolf, Whose side are you on? The WMF's as a MediaWiki admin, or the Community's? Does it not interest you that the Foundation's reputation depends on an encyclopedia that has reasonably trustworthy content? It's the en.Wiki that probably draws most of the donations. Do you not believe that is a priority? What do you think is more important than vetting the new articles? Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:30, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Kudpung That's not constructive. There is no possible answer that Bawollf can give that will satisfy you, because you have defined community as agreeing with you, and as a Wikipedian I proudly say that we never all agree on anything. Especially us. So, if you want to convince an editor show refs, and good faith ; if you want to convince devs you need cost/benefits, (preferably strategic (long term/multiple areas/stable) over tactics, good faith, and caffeinated beverages. With your NPP proposal, you haven't explained what the benefits are in terms of numbers; I have now looked through your list and I couldn't see how it would solve your problems of capacity/quality. My guess is also that NPP are not considered the Scarlet Pimpernel (NPP: Still heaven or hell for new users – and for the reviewers) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wakelamp (talkcontribs) 12:59, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Kudpung I'm on my own side, in all things. In any case, i think WMF has many flaws, but much of the vocal criticisms are misguided, which ultimately helps WMF escape scrutiny because its critics are so easy to dismiss. As far as the matter at hand goes, you need to show that your proposal would help those things, in a significant way, not simply assert it. Furthermore the benefit has to be great enough to justify people abandoning current work in progress that is half done. To be clear, i'm not saying that it isn't, or that if i was in charge i wouldn't decide differently. I am saying that it's not being presented in a covincing way, which is why you are not getting success. Bawolff (talk) 15:53, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excellent choice of sides. I agree the WMF critics are easy to dismiss, especially as we don't seem to have any power over WMF under the California non-profits act
  1. We are only a small part of their mission
"The organization is also required to serve public, rather than private interests; generally, this means that its activities benefit a large and indefinite class of individuals, as opposed to a small, identifiable group. In particular, the organization may not be organized or operated for impermissible private interests, such as those of specifically designated individuals, the founder of the organization, the founder’s family, or persons or companies controlled by such private interests."
The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.
2. We have no voting rights,
"If a public benefit corporation has members, the members are typically vested with voting and other rights pertaining to the corporation’s affairs. And, when the corporation’s articles of incorporation or bylaws give members certain voting rights, they are called statutory or voting members"
Statutory members have the right to vote for the corporation’s directors (also known as board members, not to be confused with the corporation’s membership), to vote on the manner in which the corporation’s assets will be disposed upon dissolution or merger, or to vote on changes to the articles of incorporation or bylaws.
If members are deemed statutory members, California law also gives them other rights, including the rights to:  Inspect certain corporate records; 3  Receive notice of member meetings;4  Remove directors; 5 and  Sue directors in derivative actions, or third parties on behalf of the corporation, under certain circumstances.6
ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP The Foundation does not have members. (Fla. Stat. Section 617.0601)
3. We could not prevent an ownership change
"In the unlikely event that the ownership of the Foundation changes, we will provide you 30 days' notice before any Personal Information is transferred to the new owners or becomes subject to a different privacy policy."
www.forbes.com /how-to-successfully-approach-a-nonprofit-takeover/
4. The board could not prevent an ownership change
The policy change resolution is amazing in it's power
https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Delegation_of_policy-making_authority especially coupled with the quorum, trustee appointments, and voting power in the bylaws Gordon Gekko would approve.
5, The Global Council
The Global council would seem to weight affiliates with 1 active user the same as en de es https://wikistats.wmcloud.org/display.php?t=wp Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 15:44, 11 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Have we any details of the contract with Tides or our obligations to the Endowment?
WMF may been taken over financially, If the contract with Tides specify we must put in $X irrevocably each year into WE, because we have ceded control.
WMF can only recommend to Tides on how much to spend (but they don't have to spend anything) Tides's fees are effectively a 14+ % handling fee (On their Web site Sponsorship costs of 10 % plus Fund fees of 5 % for a DAR ( ( Donor-advised fund)) which is similar to the annual reports on Tides Advocacy and Tides foundation), plus they receive all positive returns on the investment until is spent by the grantee.
DARs are controversial (even with some billionaires),because of their use in dark money political funding (both left and right), by billionaires (up to 75 % Capital deduction up front with the giving spread over many years, for boosting their "giving" by giving to other DAF, scams, for being at risk for of funding terrorism, dummy banks, 75% deductions up front were on the IRS "Dirty Dozen in 2008 (as tax minimisation schemes ,grants for private purposes including one case part of the Varsity Blues scandal, and because they do not have to show itemised accounts of who receives the grants (so there is risk that they 'sell' two donors the same grant'.
"If I want to launder, I can set up a donor-advised fund I control and make donations, then direct those donations to a nonprofit that I also control—so I then control the beginning, middle and end of the transaction and I just cleaned money,” Rechtman said. “I can also go through a donor-advised fund I don’t control, as long as the donations ultimately go to a charity I do control.”"
The Tide faq is important reading in terms of anonymity, and documentation required. [4] Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:35, 14 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to add that it is not "we" (Wikipedia) who are ceding control to Tides. The WMF has seized control of Wikipedia in a number of frog-boiling stages over the past 20 years. It is the WMF rather than Wikipedia who is now passing on that usurped power. Certes (talk) 11:04, 14 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Petition WMF

Since 2012 and the change in fundraising model through the introduction of A/B models. WMF have been inflicted by the [Resource curse]. WMF had two resources in plenty - money and volunteers, so it had little need to listen to those few that complain.

Suggestion is that we advise WMF to Freeze

  1. Fundraising, the Endowment - we have three years
  2. Hiring of staff/contractors/consultants. Linkedin shows a 35 % growth, WMF has 21 jobs open but Indeed shows 75 job.
  3. Any structural change to the WMF-WP relationship

Until

  1. They confirm ALL the email claims claims through a detailed list of staff with split into the percentages, detailed annual reports for WE and WMF, contracts, staff surveys, statistics, etc...
  2. Explain exactly how we will have transparency on the Endowment and give an example of how much of a $10 donation via the endowment will get to grantee, and how we will know what they did with it Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)
Wakelamp, I have left a message for you on my talk page. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:23, 5 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

=== Does the WMDE to DEWP relation work better? === Their wishlist process is problem focused. Are they better resourced? === if WMF-dev did as we wanted, how would you want the Wikipedia platform be different in five years?=== WP-WMF/dev communication/priority setting is a big issue in the comments above But even if we could decide strategy, hat do we want the UX/Editing Process/Dev/Roadmap to be in one, five or ten years? Is the [|2030 plan] in line with this?

In 2017, we created a strategic direction to guide our Movement into the future: By 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us.

Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 15:03, 17 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Vector 2022 - everyone else was correct about WMF Dev

I have struck out the above. The The WMF's response to the RfC on Vector 2022 makes it clear that it is not an option. So because everyone else was correct and my boundless optimism in WMF Dev was misplaced. I have also struck out the suggestion that they hold themselves accountable by providing a summary linked to the comments. It is a great method to prevent sham consultations, but it also works well with buy-in with communities, making sure systems work, and refocusing. Oh well, off to research why they are incorrect :-) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:34, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Best way to get the WMF's attention

If you don't like the direction the WMF is going... Stop donating, and encourage others to do the same. Blueboar (talk) 11:56, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Stopping donating is ineffective - there are far more people who will.
Read he WMF response ".... it's evident that text becomes difficult to read at those lengths...so why would anybody study that. ..we have no reason to question the WCAG guideline, nor the individual opinions of 15 WMF designers, nor the several other design and typography professionals we've been advised by. Wikipedia is different than many sites, as you and many others have pointed out, but that doesn't mean it is different in regard to what a readable line-length is.
...And yes, more informational density is probably more appropriate for an encyclopaedia than for many other reading experiences, ...So yes, we can be unique and that's wonderful ... most readers are reading on narrower screens, and nudge editors towards having common experiences with editors. If they want to opt-out of that, I think that's their choice,.... and we hopefully embody the experimental spirit you speak of Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 14:05, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I doubt that money from Wikipedia editors forms a significant part of the WMF's income. Our impact comes from donating skill and effort, without which their cash cow would be rewritten by spammers and vandals. I wonder whether it would be fair to our readers to protest by withdrawing that labour during the forthcoming banner campaign. Certes (talk) 17:59, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed we don't. But I think we are going to be OK, as WMF are far weaker than I thought.
The only real advantages is that they control the PR, and the narrative, we are weakly networked, and we have no alternate tech strategy.
The big disadvantage of WMF is that they are running a large scale experiment in governance and growth. They are focused on KPis - 30 % growth in staff.. 350 languages, press releases, maximising geographic separation, encouraging micro-edits, the ability to create millions of articles at will, create dummy editors if they wish, no controls over who they fund, and fundraising without limits,
Problem is that there are always limits. And their master plan of creating an unbiased auto written encyclopedia is not technically possible would create zero barriers for entry, and zero reasons for donating. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 14:30, 25 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia gave away its domain names and trademarks to the WMF. That's the main barrier to a more equal relationship. The WMF can ride the gravy train as far as it likes. Our only recourse is to fork Zxcvbnmpedia with its own URL, at which point the WMF could spend its cash mountain on paid editors to fight us for traffic. Certes (talk) 15:18, 25 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I thought so as well, until I realized that it doesn't matter who owns the trademark (we are using wiki on wikipedia - so they can't complain), or who owns the domain names (they have no way of stopping us from using it), paid editors (good luck with that - my estimate is on the order of a billion dollars of work per year (median edits of active editors is 250 per year (wmf figure) times 200 k editors times $100 per hour (including on costs) gives 5 billion).

They are already running into problems with bias and ineptitude causing the reader decline. Their long term vision is a bit boring , and Donations are dependant totally on what we do. The only thing they do control are the servers, major software releases, the ability to create new wikis, and the narrative/pr. Correct me if I am wrong, but all the big changes have been tied to grants, or because of things we do. They lose control if we

  • remove the need for a centralized server structure.
  • Open the architecture - use open source forums and tech editors, but write them to wikis.
  • reduce the scope - rather than the sum of all knowledge - access to the sum of all knowledge. integrate other communities - Khan academy, Wiktionary, and other databases - rather than replicate.
  • Remove the need for 350 wikis,
  • better communications within wiki. (signpost for all)
  • better communications between major wikis
  • challenging their legitimately as controllers of a toxic community

and lastly by having us act as the opposition, so that each media release is followed by us explaining that they are bonkers.

Leadership

My impression of the Wikipedia projects and the WMF is that they are a free-for-all in which most everyone does as they please. As different people have different ideas and different approaches you then get a lot of conflict and chaos. So, for example, the members of the English Wikipedia don't seem to get along with each other smoothly, let alone getting along with the WMF too.

What seems to be missing most is leadership as it seems that no-one is in charge. In the early days, you had a fairly clear leader – Jimmy Wales – plus a chief of staff, Larry Sanger. Jimbo then created an organisation – the WMF – and Sue Gardner provided leadership for that, establishing the financial success which now powers the WMF. But after Gardner, we had Lila Tretikov who clearly failed to get a grip and Katherine Maher who seemed to mainly focus on healing the wounds. We now have Maryana Iskander but, as yet, I'm not seeing much visibility or impact from her appointment.

Of course, strong leadership can be a liability – just look at what Elon Musk is doing to Twitter. There's some lessons to be learnt from what's happening over there and so perhaps we should count our blessings. If there's one thing worse than making $ millions, it's losing $ millions!

Andrew🐉(talk) 10:45, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maryana Iskander 's background is in charity, and grants, politics, and donors, I can't see her as fixing the rift - there are so many vested interests, they see no limits, there is so much status (Katherine is on a Nobel Prize Committee), and so much money at stake.
WP, even with all its chaos, is probably more competent than WMF, because what we do is very visible, and could be easier to change as the number of productive (non bot, non micro) editors/admins drop. So, as we need leadership it must come from within WP. But to clarify, leadership means a strategy and a direction, not necessarily a person. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 14:43, 6 November 2022 (UTC) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)Reply[reply]

Dedicated resources

Have we ever considered requesting the WMF hire a couple of software developers whose sole responsibility would be to work on tasks allocated by the enwiki community? An example of where we would choose to allocate them would be the NPP software.

There would be some practical issues to resolve, such as how we allocate tasks and what work they should do if we fail to allocate tasks, but those issues can easily be resolved and if the WMF agreed I think it would go a long way to improving our relations with them, as a significant part of the tension comes from them not properly supporting us. BilledMammal (talk) 14:49, 8 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dedicated developers would be good, but I agree task allocation/co-operation is the issue because WMF have different goals, and frankly what we do isn't exciting for them or helps them achieve their mission.
If we had dedicated developers (and we have lots of volunteers), creating interfaces to existing open source systems (such as Phab, phpbb to replace WMF system gaps (or admit for things like talk, that Wiki wikis are a very poor fit), or a better search interface
Examples of WMF goals being different
The WMF no mention of vital articles ; Meta has one mention of Improving vital articles, Phab has no mention of improving existing editor processes and 10 mentions of Vital article; WMF have 175 IT staff (for 350 Wikis and fundraising/grants/wikidata/google Enterprise), of which I have heard that mumbled that 10ish work on enWP for existing editors, and the database that supports them. (Wikidata is out of deWP, and I am not sure who funds Commons, but they have also raised a petition. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:41, 10 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We already have an annual ballot for community suggestions for development features. I think it makes sense to continue and perhaps expand that approach rather than have dedicated programmers as the ballot could result in developments that involve different IT skills from year to year, and this emphasises features we want rather than who codes them. ϢereSpielChequers 15:50, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So you suggest that rather than request the WMF hire two developers who are dedicated to work on tasks allocated by the enwiki community, we request they allocate the story points equivalent of two developers, allowing them to match the skills of the developer to the task?
That makes sense, though my concern is that if there aren't dedicated developers our tasks will be low on the priority list and often end up uncompleted. BilledMammal (talk) 03:47, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With a 100 M a year in donations, I don't see why we have a wish list - why not do all the things that are worthwhile now? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 15:40, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I know I'm a month late, but what a great question. This is the question we should all be asking the WMF over and over until they complete the list. Levivich (talk) 17:15, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

May I pin this topic?

We discuss this each year, I think we should leave it until we have a proposal. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:44, 10 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

May I?
Wakelamp, this thread was started months ago, and it's now something like three-quarters of the page. Maybe you should break it up into sections that could be separately archived after the usual two weeks of inactivity? Or manually transfer the parts you want to preserve into a page in your userspace? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:31, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With the 2 weeks, these issues have been festering for awhile, and a transfer to user-space is that is where ideas go to die. :-), and would it stop the same issues being raised over and over again. or handled by 2019 Ad hoc committee to review Community/Foundation Relationship. Will look later in the week (cross fingers). Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:16, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Conway's law and WP and WMF fundamental differences

  • Conway's law states that ."ganization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure." ,Systems/processes and organisations mirror each other.

WMF organisation WMF has a centralised organsation with low interaction between nodes (departments), exacerbated by its policy of emphasising geographic spread over effectiveness, Their central KPIs are donations/media mentions, unmeasurable or not related to WMF to their actions, WMF system/processes This organisational structure is reflected in systems and processes, complicated undocumented architecture and links between systems, The complicated partly undocumented architecture and links between systems, doesn't quite fit Conway's law, but I think it might be just a reflection of the organisation, and protective of devs (they need protection!)

  1. A central server running on non-standard configurations (So, we can't spin up more capacity on AWS)
  2. A central development architecture that we get around, and has no strategy
  3. A WMF focuses development team (UX team who want a single UX experience for both Editors and reader, a community wish list rather than a strategy, no attempt to provide tools that editors can hack (proper workflow tools open interfaces for other edit tools, newletter systems, project tools,,,), Fundraising having an unlimited IT budget)
  4. Overcentralisation causing fiefdoms (Poor communication between nodes (departments) to the point that you have profit and cost centres mixed, poor financial controls, seperate IT departments, high chance of fraud, and entryism,
  5. A command/control mentality towards WP (Judgement of editors especially if it increases up donations),
  6. A central tenet, "the mission" justifies the means (their constituency is not the editors, and they should be controlled, or not provided with services, working with Facebook on bias issues),
  7. Avoidance of responsibility (buereacratic, no measurement of outcomes, restriction of information, faux consenus within WMF or PR speak, weasel word strategy documents, deliberate poor communication because it is boring or too hard, hiding of bad news, volunteer editors bearing the burden, and no duty of care towards editor mental health or legal issues),
  8. Conformity to norms (hiring by alignment with the mission, social pressure within WMF, focus on status and branding, diversity over competence, inexperienced managers promoted from within dependent on patronage for perks and promotions,
  9. Centralisation of opinion (WP NPOV means WMF view, non-bias is universal and timeless and must be imposed on other Wikis (just like misionaries translating the Bible)
  10. A preference for working with other centralised/high status organisations rather than open source, and
  11. An intolerance of rival structures (enWP editors toxic, a diffusion of major WIki power by 1 vote = 1 wiki, undermining of Trustee power);,

Apart from that they are Apples :-) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 02:23, 26 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What does "WMF (non developers)" mean? (People writing on Wikipedia tend to use abbreviations without explanation. This is a very irritating habit that I would really lke to see changed. ABD CKF WRET WITWIGO? ) Kdammers (talk) 15:44, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will try to reduce my abbreviations. ‎
The discussion about WMF developers is at the top of the thread, I thought that the WMF developer areas had more in common with WP, but there was disagreement that this was true. It also gets a but murky what is a non developer area, because many of the VPs have a core area, an advocacy area, and their own IT departments.‎
For intance Lisa Seitz-Gruwell (Chief Advancement Officer/ Deputy Chief Executive Officer) is repsonsible for a staff split into 22 IT, 22 Grants/advocacy, 6 endowment, 23 fundraising, 10 education, plus many overseas staff overseas I guess based on job title in Wikimedia related organisations. So, it is doubtful, that the 22 advancement IT staff priorities wouldline line up with WP editors, as their metric is donation. ‎
As an aside, the advancement department breaks a fraud prevention accounting principle called Separation of duties as it contains multiple steps in an income process, both income and expenditure, and is not that dependant on other departments except for a weekly cash transfer by finance. A structure like this is a recipe for organisational chaos. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:55, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's not true. What makes you think there is any cash transfer to any departments? If you want a bill paid, you send the bill to Finance, and they pay it directly (or not, if they think it shouldn't be paid). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:03, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Whatamidoing (WMF) Rather than cash transfer, I should have said transfer of funds, or cost/revenue transfers. You are totally correct that receipts/bills/invoices would be paid by Finance (normally after approval by a manager, or being matched against a purchase order, or blanket order, or travel authority)
Summary I can't find anything like the Advancement structure anywhere. It's awful from a fraud prevention perspective (see Zack, G. M. (2003). Fraud and Abuse in Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Prevention and Detection. United Kingdom: Wiley.), but organisationally it explains some of the disfunction of the WMF-editor relationship, as Advancement is really a mini-WMF within WMF.
Detail Some background is needed. Double-entry bookkeeping depends on two people looking at part of every transaction, which is recorded in at least two separate ledgers/accounts, which each have a matching documents (or electronic authorisation) raised by different people, referencing entities that have been checked to exist. Finance sits above this, banking and matching/ reconciling to make sure everything balances, and with all systems controlled in the basement of IT. :-)
Advancement controls ALL these steps for all revenue, except for banking and the GL transactions to move revenue into accounts. They control CiviCRM, matching of donors to bank transactions, credits, mismatches, the marketing letters and banners, bequests, donors who have agreed to match other donations, donor data harvesting, donor analysis, SQL updates, payment platform, and receipt of funds from other donor advised funds. (yep - their DAF goes into our DAF which is spent by the Tide DAF ... eventually).
Logging : System auditing is normally a band-aid, but I couldn't work out the status of logging at the app level from Meta or phab or civicrm docs, or the controls at the direct SQL level.
The Endowment : Advancement also picked up some other areas after the November 2019 announcement of community engagement officer departure and the to be closed. So, Advancement have their own advocacy area, high status type stuff, and also control the WMF endowment. These areas all involve transferring externally/spending money , which is normally kept separate from people who control revenue because of fraud risk. In the case of the WMF endowment, they now have since October 2022 their own grant committee to advise Tides what to spend money on, but with none of our internal controls. There is no mention of transferring money back to WMF. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 14:21, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wakelamp, it sounds like this is the point at which I normally say that if you're in the US, you can usually take a basic accounting class from your local community college for about a hundred bucks, plus the cost of the textbook. I recommend that everyone do that, even if you don't think you will ever use that professionally.
Double-entry bookkeeping does not require two humans. It requires writing the same thing in two places. Since the widespread adoption of accounting software a couple of decades ago, the second entry is normally handled automatically by the software. Ledgers are not the same as accounts. Accounts are not the same as bank accounts. You don't have to have two copies of the documents (and if you required that, then you would soon find that the electricity to the office was being cut off for non-payment). Two copies are primarily used when shipping goods, in which case you expect an invoice/bill sent to the person authorizing the payment plus a packing list sent with the goods themselves.
What you seem to be grasping at is the account process. In the case of a simple donation by old-fashioned paper check would ideally be handled this way: Two people open the mail together, with one opening the envelopes and calling out their contents, and the other watching and making a written list of donations received. They hand the stack of checks to a third person. That third person fills out a deposit slip and takes the checks to the bank. The auditor, if concerned, compares the first list against the third person's deposit slip, to see whether they match.
For online donations, all of this happens automatically. The fundraisers don't have access to either the money or the bank accounts. They can see the money being sent from a donor directly to the banking system, so they can make a list of donors' names, dates, amounts, and methods (e.g., credit vs debit card), but the money is never in their actual possession. (Read up on PCIDSS if you're really interested in this, but basically, you do it their way, or you can't accept online payments.) The people with access to the bank accounts – but not the fundraising systems – see the money coming in, so they can make their own list of donors' names, dates, amounts, and methods.
As for whether you should worry about this: The WMF, like all larger organizations, is professionally audited every year. The work is done by an accounting firm that is chosen by the Board of Trustees, which has a designated audit subcommittee. If there were something wrong with the WMF's accounting process, the auditors would have alerted the Board to it, and the Board would have demanded changes. No trustee that I've ever met, in any organization, has ever wanted to be the one who was asleep at the wheel while the organization got robbed.
Also, while I'm sure it's frustrating that you can't figure out who, exactly, has access to the money, I suggest that you see this as a benefit. If you can't figure out who would have the easiest time stealing donations, then neither can any hacker who wants to go phishing in that department. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:48, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apologies for the delay.
  • “No trustee that I've ever met, in any organization, has ever wanted to be the one who was asleep at the wheel while the organization got robbed.” Agreed, but a non - profit can be perceived to have been "robbed" in many ways. such as diversion of funds to other charities, waste, and misuse of assets.
  • ‘The WMF, like all larger organizations, is professionally audited every year." . External audits aren't particularly good at finding fraud - they catch <4% of the frauds that are found, and as the WMF 2020-2021 audit report states are '"not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity’s internal control.
  • “Double-entry bookkeeping does not require two humans.”; except for small companies it requires different people responsible for each side of a transaction, and yes the documents can be electronic. I was trying to give examples that people could relate to. :-) I like this quote "The most effective procedures are those that have the greatest segregation of duties. The more people involved in the process, the less likely it is that an error or defalcation will occur."
  • Some other issues for Trustees
  • Why not set a limit on fundraising? Why not cap staff for a few years?
  • The mismatch between what donors think they are giving their money to, and what WMF are spending it on.
  • The internal audit department and size of external audit has not grown proportional to WMF.
  • The director authorities are excessive for a non profit - grant making authorities of $2 M and the “General Spending & Contractual Authority up to $50,000 USD [5]
  • The transfer of bequests/planned gifts. Trustees have approved transfer of bequests for different purposes [6]
  • The Board delegation of policy making [7]
  • The Glassdoor employee reviews [8] are more damning than usual.
  • That the Wikimedia endowment is a DAF ( [Donor Advised Fund] (huge fees, non transparent grant making, tax avoidance for billionaires such as Elon Musk, no requirement to spend, reduces admin percentages on charity navigator, and is not irrevocable (no way to give money back to Wikipedia). [9] [10] [11] [12].
Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 14:40, 2 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Double-entry bookkeeping does not require two humans, full stop. A responsible accounting process requires multiple humans, but double-entry bookeeping itself does not.
I wonder why you make some of these assertions. For example, you say The internal audit department and size of external audit has not grown proportional to WMF. Please tell me: What is the size of the internal audit department? If you don't know, then please tell me: What is your basis for saying that this team is not the correct size now? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:49, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Happy to explain, but I would appreciate the actual head count and KPMG Audit costs in return.
  • Internal control : I looked through the start/end dates of job on linkedin, job ads, cross referenced with the appearance of names on minutes, and WMF pages. Looked at page changes from August 2018 to 2023 on wayback/internet archive. The Wikimedia endowment is opaque, and its duplication of structure is quite frightening.
  • External Audit - looked through the audit minutes which specified time spent sampling and external. It does not specify the head count of course - but the number of KMPG staff involved changed from 2 to 3, although that would not have included juniors (associates in he US??). Scanned audit reports. I was hoping that the sampling over multiple systems would be outlined. Read through audit committee minutes.
  • User access - Can you direct me to policies about user access to do with systems? I couldn't find any discussion.
  • Double entry bookkeeping - personally I miss the old days with vellum and calligraphy :-) , but I see think we may be agreeing and are just looking this from different perspectives (and I am from Australia "Because iocane comes from Australia, and as everyone knows Australia is entirely peopled from criminals."Vizinni Princess Bride),Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:43, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay... It sounds like you don't actually know how many people are involved in internal auditing or internal controls, and you don't actually know how many people should be for an organization of this size and type (one wants more auditors at a bank with 500 employees than at a grocery store with 500 employees, right?), but yet you have already concluded that however many they have, it's not enough. Do I have that right? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:34, 5 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I used WMF data such as organisation charts. Happy to look at alternate data.
My statement was "The internal audit department and size of external audit has not grown proportional to WMF." In 2007, the accounting fees were 36 K, In 2021 they are 135 K. External audit doesn't just mean the annual financial audit though.
Maybe everything is awesome, as there have been no reported diversion of funds in WMF history. ( Form 990 Part VI, Line 5 - current threshold (>250 K or 5% of revenue), Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 10:29, 7 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With banks vs grocery stores, I am advised that head office banks have more internal control staff (if you include back office approvals, and regulatory such as S-O and Basel), and grocery stores have more than bank branches. But it is all to do with risk, and internal controls, stability/automated cross checking of systems, growth and separation of functions. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 10:33, 7 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Different world views : WMF and Slate vs WP - The banner debate

Rebecca MacKinnon VP, WMF Global Advocacy linkedin post "Slate's Stephen Harrison has written a balanced and thoughtful story about a recent debate in the English language Wikipedia community about fundraising banners that the Wikimedia Foundation runs on English Wikipedia. He concludes: "In recent years, Wikipedia has been attacked by authoritarian regimes and powerful billionaires—people who do not necessarily benefit from the free flow of neutral information. If $3 helps hold them off, then that’s coffee money well spent."Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:10, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No one has yet said what WMF and WP are. The thread starts with "Are WMF and WP too different to ever get along ? == WMF (non developers) and WP." Having waded through comments, I am guessing that WMF is World Finance Fund and WP is Wikipedia. But, considering that they are in quite different spheres, I had no idea when I first tried to read this thread. I repeat my plea: explain the abbreviations you use. Kdammers (talk) 22:23, 5 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WMF is Wikimedia Foundation, and WP, as used here, usually means English Wikipedia. I'll avoid commenting about Anglo-centrism in these discussions. Donald Albury 00:18, 6 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Slate article is being covered on the RfC.
@Donald Albury You mentioned that you found the discussion Anglo-centric. Do you see any areas in which the WMF-WP relationship could be improved?
The discussions about WMF accountability, truthful fundraising, the Endowment, structure, and fraud risk don't seem Anglo-centric. Alignment of enWP and enWMF aims and strategy is at worst Anglo-spheric.
De Wikipedia seems to have a less apocalyptic pop-up, but there are complaints on Reddit which has a similarish global demographic to enWP ( 14k views and 3 k and more), and memes in a few languages; English, English, Spanish, and Indian. Although there are positive ones (Germany. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:58, 6 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was referring to the mentions in the discussion implying that the English Wikipedia is more important than the Foundation. Donald Albury 14:22, 6 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the spirit of full disclosure, I want to mention that I was interviewed by Stephen Harrison and quoted in his article. I think that Harrison did a good job describing a debate that was quite bitter and confrontational for a while, but was eventually resolved in what I see as a pretty positive way. We will see how the editor software support debate plays out, but if there is no major progress on that front in the next ten months or so, expect another bitter disagreement. As for "Anglocentrism", I have great respect for the other languages versions of Wikipedia, but the English Wikipedia is by far the largest version worldwide, and English is the de facto international language of the 21st century. Speakers of other languages interested in writing Wikipedia articles want to write articles in English because this is where most of the readers are. I very much doubt that many fluent English speakers yearn to write articles in Hindi or Romanian or Tagalog for example, but the opposite is commonplace, and this is a problem that needs to be addressed without resorting to buzzwords. Cullen328 (talk) 08:00, 7 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not just because English is where the readers are. Often we translate an article into English because it is easier to translate into other languages from there. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 10:42, 7 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Help with collapsing

I think the aim should be have to have one discussion that lists all the problems, rather than a yearly discussion which is ignored by WMF.

  1. I would appreciate if someone could set up up [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help%3ACollapsing]] for each section.and also pin the topic. 9nce we have a list then we create a list 9r an essay, and discuss what action is necessary

i# I am currently doing analysis of all Wikipedias and its tricky. Where would I find t* he number of readers for each Wikipedia? *the top editors per Wikipedia and what countrie is their home country?

  • are new editor survey data for each country?

idea: new mainspace entry, to list major or noteworthy articles from magazines, or other periodicals

Here is a new idea that I would like to present here for consideration, and discussion. As you know, Wikipedia is a resource with sweeping comprehensiveness. We have articles here for every sitcom, every commercially produced record, every cartoon, every notable band, every king or president, every congressman, every legislature, every published book or novel, every amino acid, the list goes on and on.

ok, here is my question. given our comprehensive nature in terms of scope, topics, and content, what would be some possible approaches to create an index of every notable article published? I.e., articles from magazines, or journals, or various reputable periodicals?

to put it another way, if a novel becomes notable just by being published, then why shouldn't the same hold true for notable magazine articles?

for example:

  • if a public figure of major notability publishes their thoughts on their own main field of interest. why shouldn't that be worthy of inclusion in some article that serves as an overall index?
  • as another example, if a major public figure publishes their views on a n issue of major importance, then why shouldn't that be deemed notable to be listed in a major entry on Wikipedia serving as an index of major articles in magazine and periodicals?

some arbitrary examples of articles which clearly should not be included:

  • ordinary news articles on every day events
  • movie reviews of a non-noteworthy nature.

Ok, so clearly, based on some of the above, the standard of whether a magazine/journal article meets WP:Notable would hinge upon some possible parameters, amongst others:

  • if the author of the article is notable in general.
  • if the author has a notable connection to the subject matter of the article, which makes it worthy of inclusion
  • if the article itself is of sufficient noteworthiness to warrant inclusion
    • obviously "sufficient noteworthiness" is a concept that we would need to clearly work out specifically, and to define.

ok, obviously a number of details would need to be worked out. we would need to define clear standards of notability, in terms of what would be included, and what criteria and what basis would be used to determine what could be included. yes, that would all need to be clearly delineated.

Ok, so what are some folk’s thoughts here on this? I would truly welcome any feedback, ideas, input, or comments on this idea. Thanks! Sm8900 (talk) 17:14, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: if a novel becomes notable just by being published. Just being published isn't sufficient for notability for novels or any other type of book, see WP:NBOOK. Schazjmd (talk) 18:00, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
'Notability' as the term is used in Wikipedia policy, concerns article topics - things we decide we can adequately write about ourselves, based on available sources. It isn't an assertion about the importance of a subject to the outside world, and it would be improper for Wikipedia to engage in such subjective categorisation of such material. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:07, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Schaz and Andy's comments, and of course there are the NOTs: not everything, not directory, etc. Nevertheless, I've often thought that what would be useful to our readers is if every citation's author and publisher were blue links, so that readers would always be able to learn more about the sources used in an article. I've thought about having NPROF-style auto-notability for reliable source publishers and authors, but there are alternatives that don't involve changing Wikipedia's notability guidelines, such as using Wikidata to be the index of information about publishers, authors, and works. Levivich (talk) 18:23, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was going to say that Wikidata already has items for cited sources, with corresponding items for all of their associated attributes. (It's what I found makes adding info to Wikidata so time consuming.) isaacl (talk) 23:32, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you have not seen this before, this category with many subcategories may be of interest Category:Works originally published in periodicals (there may be other parent categories/lists that are also useful)g, which I think will include many such notable articles categorized by things like type of publication and/or country and so on for examples of what articles which have had articles. Skynxnex (talk) 18:23, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
welll..... what about, Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...? so here is our first contestant. see what I mean?> Face-smile.svg so how about some general guidelines, which might perhaps proceed from the few but genuinine items already fitting within this category? And presumably the implicit guidelines which govern items for inclusion of this type? Sm8900 (talk) 21:55, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Sm8900 in very broad terms, if a topic is notable it may support a standalone article. I can't see us recording for example every tweet someone produces (...publishes their thoughts...); but if someone publishes a statement about something it may already be included in their biography, etc. I think I'm a bit lost on what you want to accomplish; Would this idea result in a new page being produced? If so, would you write (in your sandbox) one draft article/list/etc that you think wouldn't be inclusion-worthy today, but if this idea was adopted would be? Having an example would help me give better feedback. — xaosflux Talk 14:01, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
those are good ideas, @Xaosflux. for now I'm just brainstorming on how such an entry might be written. if I can find a magazine article that is worth covering, then I will write a draft. So your point is noted. thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 14:28, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Section break 1

ok, how about this as an idea? an article from a magazine or periodical can be considered noteworthy for inclusion, if it has signfiicant published coverage in third-party media outlets; in other words, if it has received coverage from various media outlets elsewhere, in addition to the media outlet that published the article itself.

I think this standard is so simple as to be self-evident or a truism, since it is simply the same standard that is teccnically applied to any current topic, current event, or prominent individual or creative work that is being considered for inclusion as an entry on wikipedia. --Sm8900 (talk) 15:19, 21 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • No, I feel guilty about being overly negative, but most of the possible outcomes undermine what Wikipedia actually is. First problem is how do we define a "major article"? Taking the example of science articles (purely because I need to take a practical example in a field where I feel competent to guess what the proposal might do, in concrete terms), I don't know of any journal that distinguishes between "major" and "minor" articles. Are we going to define everything in Nature as major/notable, but everything in Annual Reviews of Plant Biology as probably not? But Nature publishes novel research, which is a primary source, and Annual Reviews of Plant Biology publishes reviews, which are secondary sources, and therefore highly appropriate as references in articles concerning plant biology. But if we include ARPB, we have to include an enormous multitude of other, equally reputable journals that publish review articles from time to time, and of which most readers will never have heard. How do we compile that list? We could, I suppose, do it by impact factor, but there are big debates in the science world at the moment about how fair impact factor is as an indicator of the true relevance of a journal or an article, and impact factors are specific to academic publication, so they presumably wouldn't extrapolate to deciding what's a "major article" when it comes to military matters, or the film industry. And how do we then deal with the fact that some subjects, like gene editing, or the role of gut microflora in health, will produce truly vast lists of relevant articles if we accept all reputable news-sources and science-journals? And what do we and our users do with this list? This prompts the really big question: if all we're doing is a big, automated search of all published literature, and dumping the result on the user for them to sort out, what makes us better than Google? Our strength is in giving an approachable, well-written overview of a subject based on good secondary sources, with sufficient carefully-chosen references to give our readers a foothold in the broader literature. Our strength is in our human, collaborative editing, and we shouldn't be tempted by the siren of enormous automated data-processing. Google will always be far, far better at it than we are. The true indicator is the fate of the Science Citation Index, which did in the field of the sciences what I think this idea is intended to do more generally. Thirty years ago, I and my colleagues used the science citation index all the time. Now I don't know anyone who uses it, simply because Google does the job much better. Automated literature indexing as a field distinct from broad internet search providers is a comet-watching dinosaur donning woolly underpants and staring extinction in the face. Elemimele (talk) 11:14, 22 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Elemimele, you are making some outstanding points above. However, I actually have changed my own initial proposal somewhat. I agree that creating or compiling an exhaustive list, or index, or summation of all notable articles is simply not needed, and is not feasible or viable at all; actually that was not what I meant to propose, but I see how my proposal above might seem to suggest that somewhat.
here is my current actual suggestion; if a published article has received truly major media coverage, then perhaps we might consider whether it is viable for an entry. such as, if hypothetically, if a leading politician wrote an article, which then subsequently attracted major news coverage and headlines worldwide, over its importance, or dramatic content, etc., then perhaps we might deem it worth of an entry here.
Cover of the September 1917 edition of the magazine featuring Sherlock Holmes
we have numerous articles for short stories, many of which appeared as items in a periodical or magazine when first published. In fact, the categories cited above by another commenter, as being focused on items from a magazine, are mainly populated by published short stories. in the 19th century, many authors like Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, published short stories in notable publications. The Strand Magazine is one of the best-known magazine, for fans of Sherlock Homes.
my main thought is that if we did move ahead with this in any way, it would still not precipitate any major change in content, or expansion of content overnight, at all. On the contrary, this idea would be implemented on an extremely narrow basis. We absolutely, would not seek to publish any type of index, that would be exhuastive or comprehensive in regards to all noteworthy articles etc. as you rightly point out above, any such effort or attempt would be highly inadvisable. Your points on this are spot-on.
so therefore, I propose that perhaps we might all keep in mind for the future that perhaps if an article appears on the landscape sometime in the future, perhaps we might simply consider now as to whether such an article could be deemed worthy of its own entry here, and what might be some valid and useful criteria for doing so.
and in addition, here is another thought; a set of regular weekly columns by a columnist, who has had some type of noteworthy role or impact, should be worthy of inclusion here, simply as being on the same level and within the same general category as any other major type of published work. So I just wanted to add that idea and note as well.Ok, so please feel free to reply, for anyone here who may wish to do so. And @Elemimele, I greatly appreciate your thoughtful, helpful, and well-reasoned insights above. Thanks! Sm8900 (talk) 16:41, 22 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I fail to see the issue. We already have articles on such noteworthy publications, and no one is suggesting that they should be deleted. Über die von der molekularkinetischen Theorie der Wärme geforderte Bewegung von in ruhenden Flüssigkeiten suspendierten Teilchen is a snappily named article on one such scientific publication, and no special guidelines (whether notability or MOS) seem to be needed. April 26 Editorial is a completely different example, this time of a front page article in China. WP:CREEP: nothing new seems to be needed, or at least no actual problem has been identified so far. Fram (talk) 14:42, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Fram, actually, my only point was whther we can have entries on individual articles within such publications. to recap, we already have numerous articles on numerous short stories, many of which also started out as literary works published in magazines, so that was one large part of the basis for my initial thoughts on this.
yes, the entry that you cite on the 1905 article by Einstein is a perfectly valid example of one such entry. so you have helped me very much to broaden my own knowledge on this. thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 22:56, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sm8900, the answer is here. Does the individual article meet those criteria? If so, it's possible (though not guaranteed) that we should have an "article about the article", as it were. If no (and most articles are a "no", as very few receive such "meta-coverage"), then we should not. So, the answer is "Sometimes we should do that, usually we shouldn't". Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:38, 11 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Seraphimblade, I totally agree with your points above on this topic. that makes sense. thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 15:44, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Creating a feedback system (like/dislike) over time for articles of Wikipedia

Hi, nowadays in the contemporary World Wide Web, feedback system (via like 👍, and dislike 👎) is very common. But for an interactive system (like articles of Wikipedia, that content of an article changes over time) we should show "like/dislike over time", and the mean of "like number on a month" can be shown to the user on the top of an article, plus a diagram for "number of like/dislike in each day" for that month.

So I propose to add an option for 👍 and 👎 that after a click of a user, its color changes from gray to green/red, and showing the mean like/dislike number per last month at the top of that article, and additionally create a "like/dislike per day" diagram. Thanks, Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 12:49, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That seems like a great way to make off-wiki brigading more effective. Platforms like YouTube and Netflix have removed similar displays because of brigading issues. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 13:04, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ScottishFinnishRadish and Hooman Mallahzadeh: No it's not. The platforms you referring to—their reason for removing it was moot and completely trash—but that's another discussion. Anyway I do agree that a like—disklike feedback does not belong on Wikipedia where content rapidly changes. I mean, numbers don't really mean anything on here. We'd be better off with users expressing what they like or dislike about an article and editors having access to this info. But then, I don't think this would be problem-free either. — Python Drink (talk) 09:29, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ScottishFinnishRadish We can propose solutions for the brigading issue, IP and username supervision is one technique.
One of the benefits of feedback is that finding bad/good articles in the opinion of users becomes more convenient, and we can make a "bad article" more user-friendly and more fluent to become a good article. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 13:12, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think this would attract more feedback about if someone likes or dislikes the topic of an article, as opposed to the coverage of the topic. — xaosflux Talk 13:50, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Xaosflux I don't think so! I think "like number" attracts how well that topic/concept is described. If one finds and understoods his intended and required information in a fast and fluent way, then he/she likes that article, otherwise dislike.
We can show this sentence in the feedbacking system: "Was this article helpful?" and then ask him to feedback the article, to avoid voting about topic instead of coverage of that topic. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 14:02, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Hooman Mallahzadeh thanks for the note, please see Wikipedia:Article Feedback Tool, where a previous experiment in this was done. In 2014 it was disabled following this discussion: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Article feedback. — xaosflux Talk 14:05, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Xaosflux Wikipedia follows 1% rule, i.e., only 1% of users (or readers) are the actual writers of articles. So I propose history of feedback (past like and comments) should be kept hidden for 99% and only other 1% can view history of like number and comments. This 1% should do something to improve that article and remove defects of article. One way to find this 1% is to check and inspect edit number of a user, if edit number is greater than for example 2000 edits, then this feedback history become apparent for that user. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 14:33, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like the idea, especially to do with bias and uneditorly behaviour, but I agree on the brigading, and that if there are problems the reader should fix. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 10:55, 27 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
These systems have had a massive negative impact on society as they drive content towards extremism ie. the more emotional the reaction content the more likes/dislikes it gets, the more attention it gets. I would be very opposed to it. -- GreenC 15:00, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@GreenC The question of feedback is "Was this article helpful?" or "Did you get the answer of your question?" Yes(like)/No(dislike). In my opinion this is not emotional at all. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:08, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry my typo I should have said 'emotional content'. If people are motivated to edit based on number of likes they get (and people do get motivated this way) they will make content they discover gets more likes. There's a ton of academic research on this topic I'm probably not explaining it correctly. -- GreenC 15:15, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@GreenC Suppose some one wants a recent and clear photo of Tim Berners-Lee to use in his presentation. He opens Wikipedia and founds a picture of him at 2014. Now is 2022, and he can feedback about this article that:

Not facebook not like thumbs down.pngDislike : I did not satisfy my request, because the picture that is present is for 8 years ago.

This way, writers of this article is alarmed to upload a newer version of Tim Berners-Lee's picture.
I should note again that these comments are visible for only 1% (see 1% rule) but this 1% should do something to improve the article. For example this 1% somehow find a picture, or create a discussion at talk and wants a newer version. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:38, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@GreenC@ScottishFinnishRadish@Xaosflux Briefly speaking:

99% + 1% of participators of Wikipedia can write feedback, but 1% of participators can view feedbacks and then modify the article.

This is the most important application of feedback. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 16:26, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia should be an encyclopedia where anyone can edit. It looks like the feedback system that you are proposing actually makes it harder for people to join the project and make edits, since they would just write the problems they had with the article in a feedback box instead. Knowing that the encyclopedia is not perfect and has many issues to be fixed is how I was introduced into editing Wikipedia.
Another big question is how to ensure that we can respond to the feedback efficiently. Having a text box soliciting feedback can invite a lot of writing since we have a lot of readers. 0xDeadbeef→∞ (talk to me) 16:47, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Above, the proposer notes IP and username supervision is one technique, but for this idea to work, we'd need to understand how this could be done without costing more effort in review than we'd gain. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:46, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think this is a good idea. The basic premise here seems wrong to me - this is a site dedicated to writing an academic encyclopaedia, it is not a social media site designed to feed people content they want to see to keep them engaged - "like" and "dislike" are completely the wrong things to be asking about because people's emotional response to an article is not the kind of feedback that is useful in an academic context. You don't see academic journals asking their readers to react to the articles they publish.
Using this as a metric of how "good" an article is also strikes me as a poor idea - regardless of what you say a significant number of people are going to "like" or "dislike" and article on the basis of its topic, regardless of the actual content of the page. It is also quite possible to write an article that is a good read for a causal observer that is factually inaccurate, uses poor sources, misses major aspects of a topic, is biased etc. Structured processes like featured article reviews seem like a much better way of determining which articles are well written.
Asking people to leave comments on articles has been tried multiple times before and has always ended poorly - the final report on the v5 article feedback tool is worth reading mw:Article feedback/Version 5/Report. only 10% of the comments left were actually reviewed by an editor, and only 12% of the comments reviewed were actually marked as being useful. Consider the example you give above, is "the photo is old" a useful bit of feedback? I would argue that it isn't - the age of the photograph is already obvious to anyone looking at the page, and there are a multitude of reasons why that picture is being used that may not be obvious to a reader - it is entirely possible that there are no high quality, recent photos available under a free licence, for example. 86.23.109.101 (talk) 14:16, 27 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Adding on to what other users have said about how terrible like/dislike systems are in general, I think this is contrary to the purpose of Wikipedia in another way. The whole point of this project is that if people don't like an article, they can fix it themselves or express their concerns on the talk page. Thebiguglyalien (talk) 16:43, 27 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that the concept of like/dislike is not consistent with our mission. If the aim is to have readers feed back on missing, incorrect or outdated info, the talk page serves that purpose. However, what might be useful is to make that clearer for the reader and provide a one-click method of adding material to the talk page from the main space. As it is now, I believe, there's a realization needed that the talk page is the right channel, then a click to get to the talk page, then a click to start a contribution, then a click to publish the contribution. This could be streamlined, I believe. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 17:06, 27 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We could make a form/inputbox/whatnot to solict and streamline generic feedback on articles, but it comes with a workflow issue: there's a good chance no one will do anything about the feedback. — xaosflux Talk 00:00, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm more concerned that the only use will be for causing disruption of the sort seen at Talk:Adam's Bridge [13][14][15][16]. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 00:09, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Far better that the vandal focuses on the talk page than the main space page, but I agree it is nonetheless ANNOYING! User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:45, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ceyockey @ScottishFinnishRadish Wow on Adam's Bridge. I quite like stack exchange's system that you need x reputation to comment on controversial topics. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 13:28, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Xaosflux@ScottishFinnishRadish@Wakelamp In my opinion, a very brief and small feedbacking system, via 🤍 and ❤️, something like what already exists in the feedbacking system of Instagram, is very useful both for original writers of articles, and for all readers because makes Wikipedia more user-friendly. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 06:39, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What is the supposed benefit of such a patently terrible and useless proposal? Besides allowing even more trolling and baseless whining from drivebys to waste editors’ time and prevent work on actual content issues? Dronebogus (talk) 07:13, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Dronebogus Feedback is both for readers and writers and for analyzers of articles, and is different from "Talking about an article" that is already implemented in Wikipedia. Readers that do not have time to modify, do the "minimum action" that they can do for that article (e.g., changing 🤍 to ❤️ is the least modification that a human can do for an article). This least modification has many signs for original writers. Original writers (that are 1% of readers according to 1% rule) alert that "This article was not good and should be modified". The other benefit is to collect statistics and categorizing articles and finding articles that should be rewritten and/or deleted.
See https://www.qualtrics.com/uk/experience-management/customer/website-feedback/ and read the topics:
  • Identify barriers to conversion
  • Find out more about your users
  • Improve UX
  • Improve accessibility
  • Get a heads-up on technical issues affecting customers
  • Connect “what” with “why”
Nowadays, feedbacking system and the method of creating and analyzing them (for example via Natural language processing) is one of the most well-studied areas of World Wide Web. There are many types of feedback, but changing 🤍 to ❤️ is the least feedback.
Do you really think that feedbacking system in Instagram is "patently terrible and useless proposal"? and "waste editors’ time"? If you think so, please tell them to remove that from Instagram.
Feedbacking system is different from "talk page" and has many benefits for readers/writers/analyzers, in a way that existing "Talk pages" do not have. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 07:47, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I’m not impressed. Wikipedia is not Instagram. Dronebogus (talk) 07:50, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Dronebogus Wikipedia is not Instagram is true, but Instagram is newer and has understand that this system is useful, and profits from many good benefits of this system.
Lack of feedback is a defect of Wikipedia and makes Wikipedia less useful for readers/writers/analysts. Existing convention for lack of feedback in WP should sometimes be broken. In the first glance it seems useless, but actually has many benefits that later becomes apparent. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 08:02, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Feedback could be good for bias - but it could go to a hidden field so that there is less incentive for dog piling,
Being honest, if an article is biased for/against, then it is often impossible for a new editor to do much as they will be reverted or bamboozled with spurious arguments. Even as an experienced editor is it worth getting involved?
For everything else, what about having using proxies? Readability, class, importance, and percentage of good faith reverts. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 08:40, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I strongly disapprove of adding a like/dislike system, for all the reasons stated by others. However, I do believe that Wikipedia could go further in some other form of encouraging feedback from readers, such as a comments section which is more obviously accessible than the talk page, and segregated such so as to not obstruct editor discussion on the talk page. However I have no idea how to do this in a way that doesn't violate WP:NOTSOCIAL or otherwise proves unhelpful (I most certainly do not want Wikipedia to incorporate anything akin to Fandom's useless comments sections). silvia (User:BlankpopsiclesilviaASHs4) (inquire within) 09:48, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@BlankpopsiclesilviaASHs4 Here you say

Wikipedia could go further in some other form of encouraging feedback from readers

"Encouraging feedback" is the convention of contemporary World Wide Web in the year 2023, and Wikipedia should not find an exceptional way for collecting feedback via "Talk page".
Why Instagram does not create a talk page for its posts? It is because "creating talk page" is much more expensive way for expressing opinions and requires much more mental attempt from readers, than using feedback.
In my opinion we should not make Wikipedia an exceptional website that uses "Talk page" to express opinions. It should be noted that new sections in "Talk page" is very low growing, and this expensive way for expressing ideas prohibits users from expressing many ideas that only can be expressed in feedback. No implementation of feedback means: losing many comments that can only be expressed via feedback, and cannot be expressed via "Talk pages".
"Feedbacking system" has advantages and disadvantages for Wikipedia, but in my opinion its benefits is much more than its disadvantages.
Additionally, techniques exists to overcome disadvantages. For example, we can make feedbacks hidden for new users and only confirmed users can view them. Other technique may exist to solve some disadvantages of implementing feedbacks. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 10:31, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's a case for allowing thanks from unregistered readers, and allowing praise for an article rather than having to pick an individual edit. As for criticism, a simple "I don't like it" is rarely helpful. What we really need is "the explanation of Bloggs' theorem is unclear", or "please mention its importance to Fijian flautists", which is better done on the existing (or easily created) talk page. Perhaps we should make that more accessible. Certes (talk) 12:18, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Category for articles without a talk page

Every now and then I come across articles without talk pages. Most recently this one. I just go ahead and quickly create the talk page most of the time. However wouldn't it be nice to have a way of grouping articles without talk pages? Ideally this category should be empty. FacetsOfNonStickPans (talk) 19:23, 27 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@FacetsOfNonStickPans I really don't find anything wrong with a non-created talk page; simply existing without having anything useful on a talk page isn't a benefit, for example look at some recent new talk pages: Talk:Zootah, Talk:Jetcost, Talk:Jesus Loves the Little Children, Talk:Itha. In every one of those cases it would satisfy the idea above of an article "with a talk page", but most every one of those can just be speedy deleted as useless. I don't think a "category" would be a good way to deal with these either, if someone wanted to do something constructive they could use a query, such as this one. — xaosflux Talk 20:59, 27 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, there are number of reasons why a mainspace article may not have a talk page. And then that talk page may have no useful information such as WikiProject templates. I am an average non-technical editor; the link largely makes sense and those redlinks within the limit have indeed been identified. I will explore this more myself. Thank you! FacetsOfNonStickPans (talk) 22:54, 27 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I remember the good ol' days before WikiProject tagging became widespread when most articles didn't have talk pages. For example, my first edit in the talk namespace was to create the talk page for the Dionne Warwick article. I think it's about time for you whippersnappers to get off my lawn! :-) Graham87 09:45, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I used to be quite conscientious about creating talk pages for articles I had started, including adding what I thought were appropriate project banners, but I have pretty much given up on that. Of the last 26 articles I have started, going back 2 1/2 years, ten still do not have a talk page. These days, I am more concerned about how an article fits into the hyper-space of related topics (i.e., how many rabbit holes are available from links in the article) than I am about whether a talk page exists to link to more or less quiescent projects. - Donald Albury 18:44, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My preference is to create a talk page if and only if there's something to talk about, whether that's discussion on how to treat some subtopic in the article or a banner assessing importance and quality. Certes (talk) 19:10, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Automatically deleting dormant/unactive talk pages, provided certain conditions are met, is also not possible. At the other extreme, identifying the most active talk pages does exist. FacetsOfNonStickPans (talk) 10:04, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I vaguely remember a proposal to automatically create talk pages whenever an article is created. It would have addresses edge cases, such as a user being unable to create pages due to permissions, but also unable to communicate on talk page due to being unable to create it. It would make it easier for people to contribute to a talk page, without the heightened complexity of creating one too. ~ 🦝 Shushugah (he/him • talk) 15:15, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If I understand the table of permissions at Wikipedia:User access levels correctly, everyone not subject to a block (including non-logged in users) is able to create an article talk page. isaacl (talk) 17:06, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Using the current talk page to express like/dislike has a few issues;
  • the existence of comments is not visible to readers of the article What about having the talk tab show the number of comments?
  • Many comments on articles are never acted on/seen. It would be nice if all the low importance, stud, start, B article comments that have not been acted on could be in one place for a project/rather than spread on thousands of pages. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)
Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:03, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@FacetsOfNonStickPans, why do you want talk pages to exist? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:00, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whatamidoing (WMF), sorry for the longish explanation. The reasons for why they already exist have been developed over time through consensus. Talk page messages like, "This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the ... article. This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject." explain this. Even where there is no discussion, there are a number of navigation links. WikiProject tags help in populating the respective WikiProject assessment statistics, the grouping which provides its own set of usefulness.
If I argue for the opposite, that I don't want talk pages to exist where there is no discussion, then I must also move the extra navigation tags elsewhere or do without them. If I do not want navigation tags, say for the WikiProjects, then I must accept that assessment statistics are not accurate quantitively. However pages above a certain quality rating all have talk pages; so this leads to the conclusion that only stub or start level articles are likely not to have a talk page as compared to b level or higher quality assessments. (I am not talking about talk pages for disambiguation articles.) On the other hand some WikiProjects have regular tagging competitions. There have been many discussions for improving talk pages, only very recently I remember one which was even displayed as a banner.
I started this village pump section with the aim of identifying how many articles do not have a talk page. xaosflux was kind enough to create an sql query on quarry.wmcloud.org. I soon realized that this query did not get rid of disambiguation articles. Also, I did not want to increase the limit to something like 10,000 just to see how many pages were returned since again, I didn't want disambiguation pages. This was the limit of my own understanding of the sql query. I realized that a quick search of past queries or google search would not help me adapt the query to my search needs, so I have placed learning sql in my to-do list.
These past few days I've been giving more thought to navigation links, say the difference or similarities between Categories and WikiProjects. However, as I think about this more, increasing the quantitative accuracy of WikiProject assessment statistics seems unnecessary since qualitatively they may still lack, and as I wrote, only pages which are rarely visited are likely not to have a talk page. Even if you want to search for edits made by an editor according to WikiProject, these missing talk pages shouldn't really make much of a difference.
So you've asked me why I want talk pages to exist. No, rather, as I initially started out with, I just wanted to know how many articles do not have talk pages and I thought a good way for that would be to create an automated category. I wrote "Ideally this category should be empty," ideal isn't always possible or needed. Now that I know sql queries can also get this answer, I've got my answer, irrespective of whether I can actually run a Quarry query or not as yet. FacetsOfNonStickPans (talk) 12:01, 5 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@FacetsOfNonStickPans,
There are several threads in this. First, we've no evidence that {{talk header}} provides a practical benefit to anyone. With the recent Wikipedia:Talk pages project, which brought us the auto-signing Reply button, it's probably less useful than it ever was before. If it were unambiguously useful, it should probably be part of the software for the page, instead of an optional template. The facility already exists in the software; it'd just be a matter of putting a message in MediaWiki:Talkpageheader (and maybe flipping a config switch somewhere), and then it would automatically appear on all talk pages. My guess is that this isn't used because it isn't as useful as it might seem at first glance.
I have a soft spot for article ratings, as volunteer-me has done well above 10,000 of them for Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine. Keeping in mind that I'm therefore biased, I don't think that the current system is very good. People were talking a decade ago about storing that information in a separate, structured, dedicated space. This could be something vaguely like the way a File: page works: You see it all on the same page, but in the database, the image and the text on the page are stored separately, and clicking the Edit button at the top of an image on Commons opens the wikitext, not graphics editing software. Imagine a world in which information like quality ratings, categories, and associations with WikiProjects were stored separately, so WikiProjects could track an article, and ratings could be assigned to an article, without technically starting the talk page itself.
Because of the way we record quality assessments, there are no pages with any assessment rating that doesn't have a talk page. However, there could be articles that would qualify for relatively high assessment ratings and haven't yet been tagged. The mw:ORES system should be able to identify this (perhaps in conjunction with a SQL query in Quarry).
Pages like Wikipedia:WikiProject Directory/Description/WikiProject Medicine list editors who contribute to articles within a given area; however, Reports bot hasn't updated them for six months ("Task 2") and getting that active again would require someone with technical skills. I'm not aware of any way to get a reliable list of untagged articles for a WikiProject; keyword-based efforts such as User:AlexNewArtBot/MedicineSearchResult have, at least for medicine-related articles, tended to have a lot of false positives. The ORES work looked at identifying the main subject of an article, which I think would probably work better, but I don't know if they reached a useful point before they stopped. Even then it would be difficult: if you have a BLP physician who is notable for being an athlete, then identifying a single WikiProject (or general subject area) might not correctly identify the group of editors who would value the article the most. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:25, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just with regard to {{talk header}}
Whatamidoing (WMF), one less thing to be considered sacred despite the unanimous speedy keep in 2017; rather than just the entire template {{talk header}}, I specifically meant the line quoted, but as you said either it unambiguously stays or why at all. Maybe that option of adding the template or not is what is also important. It is only used on 700k pages and doesn't display on the mobile version unless switched. So then rather than merely a navigation message to new readers, a reminder to older ones, it is used as a categorizer as well. Some Wikipedians add it to every talk page they create, or maybe some sort of bandwagon effect for editors who predict edit warring.
Some description in the template documentation or a talk page summary (/FAQ style but no one has asked the questions as yet) on how the template originated would be interesting, such as a major discussion surrounding it, relevant research, other than just saying it originated with an edit in 2005. Then again, richer histories may also have no practical benefit, and the history is all there if someone is really interested. FacetsOfNonStickPans (talk) 17:14, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There were almost certainly no RFCs (here's what the RFC page looked like a week later; RFC wasn't a normal way to have such discussions back in 2005), but there were multiple attempts to delete it, which could give you some insight into what people were thinking back then. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:05, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whatamidoing (WMF), on summarizing TfDi Sept 2005, TfDi Oct 2005, TfDe Feb 2006, we get groups related to location, visibility, text, readers and aesthetics. Data usage was an initial concern, "huge performance hit". Reminding users to sign their comments has gone.
  • Location - where are the entry points for new editors and how does this template exist/coordinate with similar intent templates
  • Usage - universal/default versus the existing Template:Talk header#usage, "it's used on over 1500 talk pages ... speaks volumes for the fact that people think it's useful." Now it is 600k+.
  • Visibility - according to the number of edits, according to traffic on a talk page, according to most watchlisted pages, users can be given a option of hiding the message, shrinking the message (which expands every month)
  • Text - How many words are really needed? Why not add the guideline fixit as well.
  • Readers - How many readers actually read their welcome message, do users with more than 50 edits need reminding
  • Aesthetics - The recent changes to User Talk Page show that aesthetics are a concern, "just plain unsightly"
Merges include a longer version, the now deleted template:talkheaderlong, into the current one. An important merge happened in TfDi Oct 2020 related to reference search tools. Higher level long duration research could answer "who knows how much worse things might be without them?". (Quoted text is from the linked pages.) FacetsOfNonStickPans (talk) 18:51, 11 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are a lot of things that could be done here, if someone wanted to refine that template. For example, I believe that there is CSS code at the English Wikipedia that would let you hide the entire box for anyone who is autoconfirmed or extended-confirmed.
Not everyone receives a welcome message at this wiki, and I've long believed that we should assume that WP:Nobody reads the directions (this applies equally to talkheader and the welcome messages).
I think that the biggest barrier to removing it would be that we're all used to it now. Humans tend to believe One True™ Way for something to work is whatever it was on the day I originally learned it.
@Czar was asking about how to measure the use a while ago. I don't think you can measure how many people read it, but I understand that it's possible to track how many people click on a link in a template. See wikitech:Provenance for a description. After setting it up, you'd just replace the current links (e.g., ) with the full URL, including the tracking code, and wrap them in Template:Plain link so that it looks the same as always. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:59, 11 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I wouldn't give to have a UX team at the WMF run some user interviews for us on banner blindness and clickthroughs on this template. I'd happily give up this real estate to the Growth team and have them figure out how best to use the real estate for new users because clearly we have no idea as a community if this template is the best we've got! In my opinion, clicking the talk page is a better indicator of curiosity and interest than clicking the edit tab. czar 03:40, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure if it requires a dev to set it up, but once it's been created, I think we could add it to any page/template we wanted. Neil might know how this system works.
Volunteer-me has wished to be able to run it on some navboxes. Navboxes are the sort of thing that looks useful, but they're invisible on the mobile site (more than half our page views), and nobody's ever complained about their absence. So maybe they're not as useful as they look? Counting clickthroughs would help answer that question.
Tangentially, if you want to know about article-to-article clickthroughs, then take a look at https://wikinav.toolforge.org/?language=en&title=Candy This won't help with the talk page banner, because it only counts in the mainspace, but it can be interesting for any article that you're working on. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:44, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Whatamidoing (WMF) @Czar hi! I'm back from offsite and vacation now.
You don't actually need to do any set-up to use the provenance system. Just add ?wprov=mytag to the link, and it will automatically be captured in the webrequest data stream.
However, the other end of the process, querying the data, will be troublesome. It can only be done by someone with confidential data access. That someone also needs to write SQL and deal with querying one of our largest data sets.
So, practically speaking, you wouldn't be able to use the data you can easily generate unless you have the support of an engineering team which can direct an analyst to do the querying. (Or, theoretically, if you can convince someone with the appropriate acccess to do it as a volunteer.)
Sorry for the bad news! Neil Shah-Quinn (WMF) (talk) 21:34, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Idea for small topics and article series

Hi everyone. I'm currently working on the article series about Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu. The latest experiences lead to a new idea that might be fruitful for smaller topics and series with close interlinking (scope of ca. 3 to 6 articles). This concerns especially long biographies that had to be split into multiple sub-articles.

I noticed that the current navigation sidebar for our article series has the following issues:

  • It is a powerful tool if placed at the top of the sub-articles, but it gets lost in the mass of surrounding text on the main biography. This is not ideal, since the biography is the most visited page of the series and hence the most crucial one for linking and traffic.
  • The sidebar works properly in desktop mode but is not available in mobile view (similar issue with navigation boxes at the bottom of the page). To make mobile readers aware of the series as a whole, we can use the "See also" section, but that one is visually not very striking. Many readers didn't know that there is a sub-article about Hanyu's Olympic seasons, until it was featured on Wikipedia's main page this month.
  • While the current sidebar of the series is nice in optics, it covers a lot of space with little content, which is not economic.

I experimented with some alternatives and developed a simple navigation bar that could be placed at the top of the article:

Extended content
Yuzuru Hanyu article series

Advantages:

  • This navigation bar should be accessible in mobile view as well. I am not an expert for technical stuff and formatting, so there might be better solutions than this one, but it should give a rough idea how the template could look like.
  • It is much more compact than the current sidebar and covers less space in the article. It is also more visible and accessible, and fits the rather simple formatting of Wikipedia better than the colorful box.
  • Readers know from the beginning that the article is part of a series consisting of multiple, closely interrelated pages. For example, if readers want to look up the list of Hanyu's awards, they don't have to scroll down the full biography to find the link to the respective sub-article but can click on it directly at the top of the page.
  • A navigation bar like this may invite more readers to visit the sub-articles, and it would be a nice opportunity to display good and featured topics in the article mainspace. Personally, I didn't know that Wikipedia has FTs and GTs, until I noticed one through its talk page by coincidence. This is sad because they represent Wikipedia's best works and deserve recognition. A possible labelling could look like this:

There are many topics and article series, especially large ones with 15–20 articles or more, where the current sidebars and navigation boxes are more suitable. Those can definitely stay. However, for small series, a simple horizontal navigation bar like the two examples above, might be a better alternative, especially if it's accessible in mobile view.

I am really interested in your opinions and suggestions. Thank you very much in advance, and I wish you all a happy new year! Henni147 (talk) 14:13, 30 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Henni147:, maybe the Horizontal TOC can accomplish what you are asking for. I added
{{horizontal TOC|nonum=yes|align=center|limit=3}}
to Yuzuru Hanyu article for you to view. It is positioned at end of lead & before first section title. Regards, JoeNMLC (talk) 19:45, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@JoeNMLC: Thank you very much for your response. My idea does not really depend on the table of contents. The issue is that the current article series sidebar kind of gets lost between the surrounding text. It is placed below the very long infobox, and most readers don't notice it there at all. In my opinion, it is important that readers are aware that this biography article is part of a larger series that consists of multiple, closely interlinked articles that build a unit in content.
Update: I think, I have found a proper solution for our issue now. I embedded the article series as a module into the infobox (see this draft), which has the following advantages:
  1. It can be displayed in mobile view.
  2. The links are placed high enough in the biography article that readers don't have to scroll down much.
  3. It doesn't require the creation of a new template.
  4. Bonus: FA/GA icons can be nicely added.
On the sub-pages, the article series template can stay. Henni147 (talk) 08:28, 5 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Flag translations whose original get deleted

I have no idea whether this is already done, technically possible, or worth the effort, hence making it as a very tentative suggestion here. The suggestion is prompted by a situation at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Lucretia (Baldung) where a hoax article in the German Wikipedia got translated into English, and fortunately someone has brought it to AfD here too.

I was wondering whether it would be possible to create an automatically-filled category for "translated articles whose originals have been deleted", so that when an article is deleted on its original language Wikipedia, we get a chance to review its fate here? Of course it might get deleted for a spurious reason there, and we might choose to keep ours, but it's generally a really bad sign if another Wikipedia chooses to delete. The argument for is that AfDs are busy places on every Wikipedia, so to spot a hoax translation like this, we need a regular follower of the German Wikipedia's AfD system to feel motivated to make an English AfD, otherwise the hoax lives on; it's very difficult to find articles that have been deleted! The arguments against are perhaps (1) that it doesn't happen enough to justify the effort, and (2) it wouldn't always work. In this particular example it would have failed because the original translator failed to mark the article as a translation anyway (and, perhaps connected in terms of acknowledgement of sources, got themselves blocked from article- and draft-space for copy-vio). Elemimele (talk) 15:03, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Elemimele, I think this is a good idea. I wonder if this task might be best suited for a bot. When people use the Wikipedia:Content translation tool, the first revision will have a standardized edit summary that contains a link to the original. It should be possible to follow that back to the original. Then the question is what to do once you're there. Maybe post something like Template:Copied? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:29, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Whatamidoing (WMF): thanks for your response. I agree it'd suit a bot, but I don't know anything about how to write or run bots. Yes, even if people make a manual translation, if they follow the en-WP help at Help:Translation the first edit summary should have a link in a fairly standardised way. Also there is a recommendation, but not an obligation, there to add the template {{Translated page|fr|Exact name of the Foreign article}} to the corresponding talk-page. I like your idea of additionally flagging articles with the copied template referring to a non-existent page; that would flag properly-carried-out copies between same-language WP articles, which would also benefit from review if the original article gets deleted. Should I propose this properly somewhere? Elemimele (talk) 06:53, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Elemimele, I think the next step is start a discussion at Wikipedia:Bot requests, though it might ultimately require a m:Global bot. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:17, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the suggestion; I'll give it a couple of days for discussion as a few editors below have also come up with sensible comments, and then start a proposal. Elemimele (talk) 15:26, 7 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we should more generally have a bot that helps us notice when an article's foreign version is deleted. (And we should not translate articles unless we can check their sources). —Kusma (talk) 18:34, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps a bot that flagged on the talk page when any of the articles on other languages linked via Wikidata gets deleted - if that would work. That would remove the need for someone to indicate whether an article had been translated - it would point out that other language versions that may prompt us to review our article.Nigel Ish (talk) 19:01, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It certainly makes sense to notice all deletions whether they are the original or not. We do, however, still need to indicate that articles have been translated because this is a requirement of copyright. The translation is a derivative work, and even Wikipedia's generous copyright requires attribution (in any case, it's good practice to know where stuff came from). Kusma, I do my best to check sources when translating, but it's often impossible to check all the offline sources. I do try to keep an eye out for additional stuff too; machine translations are now so good that those of us who translate articles manually are wasting our time unless we try to add value in some way or another. The day will probably come, when it's unnecessary to have multiple wikipedias. But not yet! Elemimele (talk) 15:25, 7 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On the Attitude of Administrators and Seasoned Editors

Lately it has come to my attention the rude and unwelcoming manners of a certain number of administrators and seasoned editors, either in the teahouse or in the interactions on talk pages on different articles, even though I understand that disruptive/vandalizing behaviour is harmful for the project and must be addressed swiftly and that the administrator positions entails certain rights and prerogatives , i extend a cordial invitation on everyone here to adjust the attitude to reflect the expectations of welcoming, politeness and patience and even more keenly to those who have spent more time and effort on wikipedia to follow the guidelines and policies that they're so eager to enforce, lets continue building a better and more inclusive and welcoming project. Juanriveranava (talk) 21:10, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I presume that you are talking about Wikipedia:Teahouse#Extended confirmed pages. We should make vandals feel unwelcome, because they are unwelcome. This is a workplace to build an encyclopedia, not a social club. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:26, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
not only, don't jump to conclusions, i'm contributing with an alternative pov that have been shared by others, the resistance to admit that this is becoming an issue is astounding, it seems to me that policies are enforced when suited to those who incur in said harsh behaviour, but those policies that are created to counter that rude manners and not. like the guidelines to become a teahouse host, don't bite newcomers, be bold and so forth and so are disregarded in a very selective and unfair manner. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Juanriveranava (talkcontribs) 22:39, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Now you have made me feel unwelcomed, I guess I'm a vandal in your consideration, but hey more power to you. I understand that policies are not laws, and my comment was directed towards the improvement of the project, now I understand how unwelcomed I am. have a nice day mate. Juanriveranava (talk) 22:39, 3 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The other day, I saw a warning about vandalism on an editor's talk page. I clicked through to the edit, and found what's probably a bug in the software. I've asked one of the devs to look into it. And now what do I do? Let it pass, or go back to the patroller and say "Hey, you know, if you see a scrambled mess with multiple Special:Tags on it, you should be leaving a note at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) about software bugs, instead of leaving escalating warnings on the editor's talk page"? I don't know that it would solve any problems (one reviewer, out of hundreds or more, would be more aware of one uncommon situation, out of hundreds or more), and it might result in the reviewer claiming editors should magically know that the software was going silently post something different from what showed on the screen at the time they tried to post their edit. If we approached editors with "Hey, that was a mess. Do you need help?", it'd be much more pleasant for everyone. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:28, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, exactly my point, all this welcoming policies like, be bold and so forth seem on the light of this rude behaviour empty wording, not put into practice or put at the sole discretion of the administrators or "seasoned bigger than life editors" who bash on newcomers or novice editors, all this very discouraging for anyone trying to contribute.
Then when I make an honest conciliatory call, I got comments like the one form@Phil Bridger in the fashion of, this is not a social club suck it up, and leave this to the grown ups.
to top it I just got a comment on my talk page about how unintelligible my writing is, and how low my english proficiency is, I was suggested to use google translation instead, first time in my life and interactions someone has told me that (not saying im a Shakespeare of the sorts but come on), I've read several comments on talk pages where this practice is not recommended, and in any professional situation using google translation copy paste is frowned upon. So contradictory messages, in the end it seems that one should not even try to contribute because if you do and make a mistake you can get a comment in the fashion of, REMIND THIS I'M AN ADMINISTRATOR AND I WILL BLOCK YOU, IS THAT CLEAR?
But as my mother says, sadly it is what it is, thank you for your contribution @Whatamidoing (WMF) Juanriveranava (talk) 03:10, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, it's hard. It's especially hard to be generous to newcomers over the long term. At least for myself, I can become frustrated if I have explained this a hundred times. I have to carefully remember that the previous 100 explanations went to 100 other people, and it's all completely new to the 101st person. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:45, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Whatamidoing (WMF) while providing some advice to go to VPT with an issue sounds good, I suggest WMF staff or contractors refrain from suggesting that editors not make certain edits. If you were to suggest this in your capacity as a volunteer it would be more approriate. — xaosflux Talk 17:01, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I found the problem in my capacity as a volunteer, and I will be filing the Phab ticket in my capacity as a staff member, because it involved mw:Mobile visual editor.
But while we're on this subject, the idea that the "role" could matter more than the "whole person" does not seem to be shared by most of the world. There are discussions that I don't feel comfortable joining any longer, because someone may misunderstand my own personal opinion as an Official Declaration™. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:40, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To me, at least, the distinction is clear. When you make an edit as WhatamIdoing you are editing as an individual person but when you edit as Whatamidoing (WMF) you are representing the WMF. Is that the way that you, and others, see it? Phil Bridger (talk) 18:42, 10 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's the way I see it, but the fact that I see it this way probably tells you more about my culture than about the One True™ Way of understanding the world and the people in it.
I've been fairly lucky with this division so far. There have been a few discussions that I've decided to stay away from out of fear that someone might misunderstand my personal opinion as the WMF's orders (most of y'all have known me for years, but there are new folks every day), and some years back, I had to correct one or two people who tried to claim that a WMF employee endorsed one side of a content dispute, but it's generally been okay. Other staff have been less lucky. One extreme example: A long-time editor went on an AWB run to correct a common punctuation error (in his volunteer account, of course), and found that social media was talking about how "the WMF" was editing articles about politicians and obviously endorsing m:the Wrong Version of an article about a controversial candidate because he fixed a comma without fixing everything else. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:09, 11 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Avoiding driving off experts from Wikipedia

I fear experts may be disincentivized from contributing, or driven off by WP:FETCH-like behavior.

One problem, is that even with WP:V, nothing can substitute true expertise. I can read research papers, academic books, watch physics/math lectures, I'm still not going to be able to contribute to these topics with the level of understanding that an expert has. So when experts come here, contribute, and are reverted because of lack of sourcing, not because of any specific content objection, I think that's excessively burdensome. Why not just add a {{cn}} tag?

See this discussion, which seems representative of a more widespread problem: it focuses on procedural issues, instead of content (the only commenter who has discussed the content is the expert whose edits were reverted).

Interested in people's thoughts. Amusingly, WP:BURDEN and WP:PRESERVE were discussed at length recently (see here and here); but those discussions only barely addressed technical articles; most of ours are languishing, due to lack of expert attention, and I think we need to discuss that as its own subject.

How do we make it easier for experts to improve these articles, while minimizing the risk of unverifiable content being added? Surely, we have a ways to go. DFlhb (talk) 00:36, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are there any unique factors when working with an expert that would warrant its own policy considerations? In the meantime, I wonder if our policies need to be updated to more clearly state what is considered an inappropriate removal or restoration. And as a behavioral guideline, I think WP:DONTBITE should be applied a little more firmly. Thebiguglyalien (talk) 07:02, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that WP:BITE policy regardless whether of who. That said, WP:ACADEME is a nice essay that I share with academics who struggle with Wiki style of editing versus research paper. ~ 🦝 Shushugah (he/him • talk) 08:39, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I sometimes point to Wikipedia:Expert editors. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:41, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(1) Those are both very good links. I've been thinking about this question. I have given up editing WP in my own professional field following two events. The first was an attempt to improve an article on a method, where I encountered a bigger expert coming the other way, who politely refused all possible changes to the article. Basically they were editing from the university that developed the method in the first place, and were unable to accept the concept that anyone outside their own colleagues has made any significant contribution since, or that the method has in any way been improved or enlarged upon. I find this rather a pity, so the article remains as it was: good, but basically a fossil, remembering a happy past. The second was an attempt at cleaning up another article, which is full of references to minor primary research papers containing good(ish) ideas that went nowhere, while missing quite important concepts now used in commercial scientific instruments. I became frustrated because it was clearly a target for semi-knowledgeable grad students and early-stage professionals, using a bit of Wikipedia editing as part of their training, and unable to realise that every research paper on the subject claims that it's an important advance. Meanwhile I couldn't add the things that are really being used, because the best sources for them are heavily linked to the manufacturers, so they're not seen as independent (Wikipedia has a very strong nose for even the slightest commercial COI). After a while, I realised that as an educational resource, Wikipedia is pretty rubbish: it's better to devote one's time to institutional and personal web-resources. Which brings us to point 2:
(2) Few experts understand that Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia. It's supposed to be readable by any person of normal educational and academic background. It's not supposed to be a specialist reference resource for use by professionals and experts. There are big divides on this by subject area. For example, look at Mensural notation, a very technical and complex subject in music. The article is readable, and makes sense, requiring little previous knowledge. Now look at Integral, which is a very basic concept in maths. The article kicks off with the first sentence of the lead: "In mathematics, an integral assigns numbers to functions in a way that describes displacement, area, volume, and other concepts that arise by combining infinitesimal data." Basically unless you know what an integral is, that sentence might as well be written in Chinese, but if you do, it makes perfect sense. The whole article is a subtle fight between those who wanted to explain integrals in a way that an average shop assistant could understand if they wanted, versus those who wanted to make sure that every sentence conforms to a mathematician's 100% rigorous approach, and the result is an article that's worthless: it doesn't tell an expert anything they didn't know already, and it's a very poor way for anyone else to find out what an integral is. In many ways, I wish experts would stay away unless they are both experts in the subject matter, and in writing about it in a non-technical way. I suspect that many experts see the subject from too close, and those who are good at writing encyclopaedically about their subject don't do so here, not only because they're fed up of being bitten and challenged by non-experts, but also because they've realised there are better places to do it.
(3) The OP also touched on the matter of citation, and suggested we should be a bit gentle with experts who are writing from knowledge, writing correct information, but not citing. I'd advise avoiding discussing this at the same time as discussing how to include experts anyway. Unfortunately WP has two groups of editors: the delete-uncited-on-sight, and the don't-disrupt-the-flow-by-deleting-correct-statements people. Both sides are utterly convinced that they are Totally Right. Any attempt at discussing the subject merely ends with both sides declaring there is no point in discussing it because not only are they Right, but everyone knows they're Right. It's a doomed discussion, and poisons discussion of anything else. I'd keep it separate! Elemimele (talk) 13:21, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Touching on part of your theme, after first trying to edit in the area in which I received my PhD (50 years ago, but never worked in it), I decided I couldn't keep up with the grad students in the field. Similarly, I have stayed away from the field I worked in for 20 years before retiring. Now, I edit what interests me, and don't recall running into any editors who claimed to be experts in the various areas I work in, although experts would be welcome to help sort out competing and ambiguous sources. - Donald Albury 20:28, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Personally, I'd hesitate to extrapolate from the sampling of experts who have edited Wikipedia in the past to generalize that very few experts understand that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia targeted at the general public. There are plenty of experts who understand the need to tailor messages for the intended audience. For those making a living in their field of expertise, I agree that that in many cases, there is limited upside in contributing to Wikipedia, versus finding other outlets for public education and potentially becoming a source cited by Wikipedia. isaacl (talk) 22:18, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think interaction with experts is the main problem; it's more about reducing the risk of their edits getting lost in the fray. Probably the biggest disincentive for contributions is the idea that "it won't matter, 'cause it won't last" (some likely even would add: "and a nonexpert would eventually destroy my improvements anyway"). Maybe having a guideline recommending that these reverted edits be placed in a talk page header, so they can get reviewed, even a year, 3 years, 5 years later? (better late than never). Or, adding a link to the talk page header with recommendations specific to expert contributors: "state you're an expert, say what's wrong, and give a source that could be used to fix it", to let them know that they can help us a lot with just a few minutes of their time, without them feeling they need to learn how Wikipedia works and just not bothering.
Or having some way for experts to contribute to articles in their userspace, not have these drafts deleted after some arbirtary time, and similarly link them in a talk page header so they can be reviewed at some point? These types of more m:Eventualist approaches seem like they would be most fruitful, without treating expert to lower contribution standards than other editors. DFlhb (talk) 20:36, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But how would you deal with the fact that we have no mechanism for verifying who is, indeed, an expert? You cannot label an edit as being made by an expert unless you have verified that the user making the edit is indeed an expert. After the Essjay controversy, Jimmy Wales proposed that Wikipedia adopt a system for verifying experts, but the community said no. While that was 15 years ago, I would be surprised if the community is ready to officially recognize experts. If it is ready, there is the question of the bureaucracy that would be needed to administer it. Donald Albury 21:04, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I love Jimbo's idea. One mechanism might be the VRT. Also just learned there's a relevant draft proposal on verification; posting in case others haven't seen. DFlhb (talk) 21:24, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But there are so many huge problems. (1) lots of experts won't want to be identified or identifiable, or 'outed', and will not get involved; (2) if experts can be validated by staffers in private, how do we have the transparency to know they're really experts, or do we have an unknown clique with special editing privileges; (3) how do we retain casual-experts who happen to spot an error while drifting past as readers, and correct it (often as an IP editor); and (4) do we actually want an encyclopaedia operating in Britannica mode, written by experts rather than everyone who can find a source? It's a good beast, but a different beast. You might end up with a not-very-good encyclopaedia written by the sort of ex-expert who has time on their hands and nothing much else to do because they're not actually all that good at what they do. Elemimele (talk) 21:48, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problems are so huge that they would completely change the nature of Wikipedia, and undo over two decades of work that has pretty much put traditional general encyclopedias out of business. For verification to work it would need a huge bureaucracy to support it, and you would still have the problem that extremist POV-pushers would constitute the majority of "experts", as others would not be prepared to go through this process in order to do voluntary work. Self-certification would be even worse, as many people over-estimate their expertise. Phil Bridger (talk) 22:18, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This seems like a pretty strong misrepresentation of the proposed idea. You're implying that it's some overhaul of editing when it would just be a way for editors to verify their credentials if they liked. Also, there are already systems in place for verifying private information to the WMF. Thebiguglyalien (talk) 22:46, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just want to add to this: we're going back into the "it's an interaction problem" territory, the opposite of what I support. The larger goal is to fix the issue of good ideas being almost "lost to time" in talk page archives or revision histories. The credential verification isn't even a requirement for my ideas; I'm brainstorming ways to make m:Eventualism work better; that's all. DFlhb (talk) 23:27, 4 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The problem is that the only decision-making mechanism on English Wikipedia is based on consensus. If some edit is identified as a "good idea", then editors will work at putting it into the article now. It's operationally difficult to maintain a list of ideas that aren't determined to be good now, but that a different set of editors might think are good in future, because any edit can meet that definition. isaacl (talk) 00:02, 5 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Citizendium is an object lesson in recognizing experts. Articles could be written by "authors", but only "editors" could approve an article. In academic fields, editors had to hold a PhD in the field, and be working in the field they were an editor for. In non-academic fields they let someone who had published articles on the subject be an editor. Even though I have an earned PhD, I could not have been an editor for that field because I had not held a position in the field. Check out [citizendium.org Citizendium] and see how well it is doing these days. Donald Albury 01:48, 5 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Essjay rule still applies though. If you edit an article and are not an expert, then you are a sock, and will be dealt with accordingly. The level at which articles need to be pitched is always problematic; there is no micro-Wikipedia. Nor are we in the business of lies-to-children. We try to pitch the article at the general reader, but we also know that the more complicated a subject, the more likely it is that the reader has expertise. Anyone looking at an article on integration will be at least a high schooler, for that is when the subject is taught. My third grade math text said: "a circle is a set of points". What a mind-blowing concept! So if it is good enough for the third grade, the rest should have no problems. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 03:20, 5 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The reader I have in my head when I look at Integral is a high-school kid's grandmother: the kid has come home talking about integrals and she wants to know what the kid is going on about. She's intelligent, but her maths education happened 60 years ago (and at a time when girls were expected to cook, not integrate), so she turns to the world's best general reference book for help. It'd be disgraceful of us not to do our best! But what's she going to make of the first sentence of the section on Lebesque integrals: "It is often of interest, both in theory and applications, to be able to pass to the limit under the integral"? Lebesque did a better job of explaining in terms of loose change in his pocket. The diagrams in the article are much, much better than the text. To write about integrals in an encyclopaedic way that is useful to an intelligent grandmother you need someone who's an expert not only at maths, but also at little old ladies. Elemimele (talk) 14:26, 5 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are multiple issues raised here. The first is that while it'd be disgraceful of us not to do our best!, our top level articles are seldom examples of our best work. They are very hard to write! So the experts prefer writing up more specific but more manageable topics. (I intended to rewrite one within my own field of expertise over the holiday, but found it more congenial to write about the guy who built Disneyworld.) The second issue is how we can cater for the level of background knowledge of the reader, which determines what information they are seeking. There are three cases in your example: the grandmother (who sounds very much like my own, who attended a domestic arts school back in the 1950s), who has little background; the high schooler, who would be in year 10 or 11, when the topic of integration is introduced; and the college student, who will be encountering the Lebesque integral. (A crucial concept, as noted above, was slyly slipped into the third grader's text, but this was part of the New Math movement of the 1960s.) The Lebesque integral subarticle can assume that level of knowledge; in most cases, the more specific an article, the more we can infer about the reader. But what about this article? We Wikipedians know that "Formal definitions" means "college level math in this section" but most readers don't know that. We now have a tug of war among editors that is common to many mathematical articles. What is the logical ordering? I would argue for pushing that section down the article, and bringing the section on the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus (which the high schooler will encounter) up. But other editors will argue that the ordering is more logical the way it is: with the detailed proofs and concepts coming first. In other words, the issue is pedagogical, not mathematical. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 20:41, 5 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That last sentence is spot on. The most valuable experts here are those who consider the pedagogical side. Elemimele (talk) 06:57, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As a PhD-possessing expert who edits almost exclusively in my field of work and study, I'm not really sure that this is really a problem of Wikipedia editors driving off experts. I think these things are true but I'll only speak for myself: This is a really weird place to write and it's different from how I write in almost any other context. Moreover, because most of my interactions are with people with whom I have no relationship and have much less familiarity with the subject, I find myself explaining things over and over again, sometimes things that are glaringly obvious to me and my colleagues but unknown outside of those circles. For example, a few days ago an editor was asking me why we rely on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to label some U.S. universities as "research universities;" it's a very legitimate question and one that I should be able to answer but it's questioning such a basic, common practice in my discipline that it was equal parts frustrating and amusing (amused at myself for struggling to answer such a basic, reasonable question - not amusement at another editor's ignorance!). Similarly, I've reverted many edits made by editors who confuse a capital campaign with an endowment; another very obvious distinction to me but clearly not obvious for many other people.
In my discipline, I think that we bear most of the fault for not wanting to engage here and contribute to this public good. This is a weird place with a community and practices unlike any other so it takes a lot to stick with it and learn your way around. There are certainly things we can do to make it easier for new editors. But I haven't experienced much that is specific for experts who are new editors that must be changed. Deferring to someone else's expertise without evidence is definitely not the way to go. It would certainly make my editing here easier in some instances but it would be a massive change in our foundational culture and practices, a change that I would not support and I doubt would garner significant support project-wide. ElKevbo (talk) 04:12, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some of you may also be interested in Wikipedia:Teahouse#Non-expert review guild? by GuineaPigC77. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:13, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the focus on "real" experts, credentials, whether they can talk to non-experts, etc. is perhaps a bit beside the problem exposed in the original post. Those of us who remember the Web before it had version numbers (through, say, the early 2000s?) will recall that a significant proportion of it used to be individually-written web pages on the author's little niche interest. (A representative sample for the youngsters.) Sometimes the people who wrote these sorts of things were Genuine Certified Experts as regarded the subject they were writing about; more often, perhaps, they were adjacent to the subject. e.g., the person writing lucidly about the Lebesque integral and its applications might be a programmer implementing a math library rather than a professor of mathematics. It might be someone with no formal credentials at all about the subject, but a passionate amateur student; superficially interested people generally couldn't be bothered to engage deeply enough and for long enough to do this sort of thing. I think Wikipedia absorbed a lot of that passionate amateurism, and rechanneling it was responsible for a lot of our early growth.
Unfortunately, as Wikipedia has become a load-bearing part of the noosphere, we've had to face an increasingly complex threat model. Many more people now edit Wikipedia, not out of a sort of naive enthusiasm for knowledge, but because of a desire to promote (or suppress) some person, organization, or ideology; and the widespread consumption of our information means that errors, even those made by a well-meaning but ignorant enthusiast, can have a great deal of impact. As a result, the way we interpret content policy has become increasingly rigid and compulsive, and focused on protecting us from the lowest common denominator editor. Even if the modal editor is a crook or an idiot, firm application of policy will (we hope) result in them creating accurate articles, will they, nill they. The problem is that this general trend in policy and the interpretation of policy is paid for by the slow, gradual immiseration of editors who are knowledgeable about a particular topic. When trying to make a specialized topic intelligible to a lay reader, you will almost always find that certain pieces of disciplinary knowledge, like those ElKevbo mentions above, are assumed to be understood by the reader of the reliable sources you are using to write the article, and you will not be able to cite a clear, explicit statement of that piece of knowledge from the source. The conscientious editor will find that the particular statements drawn from the reliable sources are intimately intermixed with background knowledge, and is faced with an extended hunt through peripherally relevant sources to gain an explicit warrant for those pieces of background knowledge. It is, frankly, exhausting, a strain on working memory, and deters sustained contribution.
I don't know what to suggest as a solution. These changes to policy happened organically, and for a reason. But I think our current approach will tend to be self-perpetuating; having adapted our policies to editors who can't be trusted to know what they're doing or to act honestly, we will select for an editor base of that type. Choess (talk) 03:50, 7 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I understand your comment about filling in the background. Much of my editing is about history and/or archaeology. As I dig through sources I run into events, places, and concepts I have not heard of, and which are mentioned only in passing in a source, and for which no article yet exists in enWP. So I try to fill in those gaps. Such attempts all too often turn into a descent into a multi-branching rabbit hole. Donald Albury 23:26, 7 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was just checking through my notes for MSc lectures I'll be giving shortly, and note that I explicitly warned last year's students not to read any of the relevant articles about the subject on Wikipedia, as the articles are riddled with errors, out of date, and full of trivialities that went nowhere; instead I furnished the students with a list of mainstream textbooks and review articles, and links to generous professors in the US who've put good teaching materials on their own websites. It's a bit depressing reading my own opinion. But there's no way I'm going to try to clear up that mess. I hope (and genuinely believe) that my subject is particularly badly covered, and that I'm not misinforming myself when I use Wikipedia as a reader on other topics. The trouble is, situations like this make me wonder whether other experts feel the same about their fields, and undermine my faith. Elemimele (talk) 13:29, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not an expert in the areas that I mainly edit in, so I rely on the reliable sources I can find (including the books from academic and other reputable presses I have accumlated in the last 15 years). I do find when working on existing articles that much of the content is not supported by citations, or is supported by citations to blogs, promotional sites, well-meaning but ill-informed "official" sites, or off-line sources that I am not familiar with, and cannot find coverage of on-line. All too often, the cited sources do not support, in part or at all, the content preceding the citation. I also look back at my early work on WP and cringe. In one early article I got a city name wrong. I saw the mistake seven years later, and after searching to see which editor had introduced the error, was embarrassed to discover that I had made the error when I wrote the article. Yet, I use WP all the time to look up something I know little or nothing about. I will also continue to do what I can to improve the content of WP, however little that may be in the grand scheme of things. Donald Albury 17:43, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You've put your finger on one of the problems that some technical experts have here: that they encounter non-experts relying on reliable sources. But the non-experts don't realise that you sometimes have to have some expertise in the subject to recognise a reliable source. The articles in my field, an instrumentation-related branch of science, are riddled with trivia fished out of journals that might as well be re-titled "Annual Reviews of Whacky Ideas that Went Nowhere", but because they're peer-reviewed review articles, they're automatically deemed Reliable. Some of these ideas are 10, 20 years old but no one has ever developed them any further because they don't work. No one ever publishes a subsequent article saying "we read this idea and tried to do it, but it failed", that's not how publishing works. Instead, the fringe ideas just fade away. If you're writing a review for professionals, people expect to be told a few whacky things that they don't know; professionals know this, and don't expect the ideas to be mainstream. But non-experts don't know, so all this stuff gets trotted out in a Wikipedia article as though it were the bread-and-butter of the subject, with not the slightest attempt at distinguishing between what's done and what someone once briefly thought might be worth a try. Meanwhile, I found when I first tried to add some information about what people actually do, the real stuff, it would get reverted because the sources that best support this are often produced by the producers of the instruments, and so it's deemed non-independent stuff, tainted by commercialism. Or it's teaching information produced by labs that do it, in which case it'd be reverted as a "blog". But very often there are five manufacturers all writing more-or-less the same thing because they're describing, accurately, and up-to-date, what is actually done (i.e. it's not really non-independent, because since they all write the same thing, they might as well be writing about one another's instruments, and not their own), or multiple labs, of very high-quality output, are producing similar teaching material, so their "blogs" are mutually supported by the fact everyone who knows anything is saying the same thing. Wikipedia is like a bunch of people who want to know how a back-hoe works, but who refuse to listen to JCB, or a group of back-hoe operators, because they are utterly convinced that a guy called Bert who loves going to truck shows and wrote a book about it is somehow more reliable than a team of experts who actually build the things. And that's a problem. But I do think this depends enormously on the field concerned. There are almost certainly some fields where genuine experts are rare, and well-informed amateurs armed with good sources might be better. But again, it's really hard to assess your own ability to edit in a field without having the expertise. In a sense, the whole of Wikipedia is founded on ignoring the Dunning Kruger effect, and bits of it seem to get away with it quite well! And sorry, I'm rather changing views on experts here, having previously complained that experts are sometimes rubbish at explaining their subject. Elemimele (talk) 23:13, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is an excellent way of putting peer reviewed content over here, "Category:Wikipedia articles published in peer-reviewed literature", and then that little open book sign appears on the right where the GA and FA symbols are; this somehow seems to connect to this thread on experts. Though this does seem to address expert-level-content more than experts-as-individuals. FacetsOfNonStickPans (talk) 11:43, 10 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How long does it take them to figure out I'm not actually an expert in their field? Hawkeye7 (discuss) 17:43, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One other factor that drives experts from Wikipedia -- & IMHO prevents more than a limited amount of serious development on any subject -- is the lack of any real payback for the work. Outside Wikipedia if one writes an essay or monograph on a topic, the writer expects to receive something in return: money, or credit, or simply ownership. Instead a Wikipedian donates their time, expertise, & incidental costs of writing an article to the project, after which it becomes the property of everyone, & (as the slogan reads) "anyone can edit it". Yes, we contribute to Wikipedia out of love, but unless a contributor gets something tangible from the contribution this work is in effect unrequited love. The result is that only a fraction of the already small group of contributors will doggedly fight to keep an article usable & the information correct, & even then (as pointed out above) those few may have a subtly incorrect or out of date understanding of the topic.

While this does not discourage any contributions, it has a dampening effect: one is going to limit ones editing time, research time, & enthusiasm for a given topic if they are fighting ignorance without any recognition of their efforts. Articles will reach a point of improvement, then stay at that point -- or degrade if the original author has moved on -- due to this lack of recognition & the policy about WP:OWNERSHIP. Now I'm not saying we should throw out those policies, after all this concerns a central part of Wikipedia culture, & we can all point to instances where this required radical altruism has helped Wikipedia. However, having been made aware of the negative impact this required altruism has, perhaps we should think about loosening this requirement. Or accept Wikipedia is doomed to being only so useful. -- llywrch (talk) 19:48, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Expand notability criteria.

In the notes section of WP:NOTE note number 1 it states "... directories and databases, advertisements, announcements columns, and minor news stories are all examples of coverage that may not actually support notability when examined, despite their existence as reliable sources." I propose that we should add a another bullet point under "General notability guideline" section "Significant coverage" to say "coverage in databases alone, does not qualify as significant coverage for the purposes of establishing notability" to make it clear that presence in a database is not enough to establish notability. The problem to be solved is the idea that every database entry deserves its own article just because a database and nowhere but databases include a particular species/other. EvilxFish (talk) 05:14, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Makes sense to me. I'll note that coverage in database is enough to meet wikidata:Wikidata:Notability, which is more broader than Wikipedia's one. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:51, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Makes sense to me too. Therefore, I expect there to be fervent opposition imminent... JoelleJay (talk) 06:39, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ok reading with abject horror the can of worms I am potentially opening, I would like to point out a few things:
1. I do not believe every database entry, by virtue of being in a database, be it an obscure species, chemical etc, should have an article.
2. If you do believe this, perhaps you would support the creation of a bot that makes millions of Wikipedia pages by scraping databases...
3. This does not mean lists of things are not notable even if this is adopted, because of WP:NLISTITEM, which means that even if individually species/chemicals/asteroids/etc are not notable a list of them may be notable.
4. This is not an issue of reliability of databases, only if they are alone enough to establish notability. If yes you may as well agree everything is notable because all one needs to do is find anything in a database and it becomes notable.
EvilxFish (talk) 07:03, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The plot thickens as I read more into things like WP:SPECIESOUTCOMES (which is not policy but is treated as one) I am convinced what we actually need is a new policy in WP:NOT called WP:NOTADATABASE or something similar. This would override the unofficial rules various wikiprojects have employed. EvilxFish (talk) 11:09, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We already have WP:NOTDATABASE. – Joe (talk) 17:18, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I believe it needs clarification then, because it is clearly being disregarded in favor of large volumes of articles which for example invoke (the none policy of) WP:SPECIES. EvilxFish (talk) 02:04, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It does not make any sense to me, not because it's wrong, but because it's obvious and is likely to confuse the readers. Has anyone ever argued that being listed in a database qualifies as significant coverage? And even if there could probably be discussions in which some users advocate the notability of a subject because of its inclusion in a specific database, they for sure are invoking a different argument/reason of notability, certainly not that "listing in a database = significant coverage". A mere database listing is a BLATANT example of trivial mention, and then it does not require any additional sentence in our guideline. Otherwise it's like saying "Meat is prohibited, only vegetables are allowed. But be careful, steak is not allowed!", to which I would react wondering if other meat exceptions are instead allowed. --Cavarrone 11:32, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Cavarrone:Although it may seem obvious it is not, consider for example this deletion discussion here in which it is basically argued and it is the precedent that anything part of a database in relation to a species was a paper, and inclusion in a database is enough for notability for species specifically. I then made the same argument about having a bot above and they said this was actually something put into practice. It appears that although we have a notability criteria for most things, certain projects choose to ignore them and instead substitute their own, where even a trivial mention appears to be enough for them. Therefore this clarification becomes necessary to iron out Wikipedia's position. EvilxFish (talk) 13:05, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    As far as I can see there the argument that the subject passes GNG because of databates is not explicitly stated, more simply it is claimed that the subject is inherently notable because of their inclusion on certain databates, which is a different argument we can agree or not, but has not really to do with the notion of "significant coverage". Notability is not only based on the GNG guideline, people can support the notability of a subject through different guidelines and arguments, up to the point of ignoring entirely rules and guidelines, obviously the closer will weight valid and less valid arguments and consensus, but adding your proposed addendum (which sounds to me like "and beware, a trivial mention is not significant coverage!!!") will not prevent anyone from using the same exact argument you are trying to invalidate. --Cavarrone 15:55, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The general irony of course of the ignore all rules policy is rules are definitely not ignored in AfD discussions for example, for most classes of article. What would you suggest that helps? The problem ideally I want to avoid, is mass creation of articles by bots to turn Wikipedia from a encyclopedia that covers topics that have received significant coverage in news/review articles/books/etc, to naught more than a collection of stubs derived from databases of species/chemicals/proteins etc. EvilxFish (talk) 02:17, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • hmmm… what about the case of a building being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and similar landmark preservation databases? Not all databases are the same… and a few are prestigious enough that I think they do impart notability. Blueboar (talk) 12:41, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You cold consider it as a reason/hint/sign of notability, or maybe not, but certainly it does not qualify as "significant coverage" (and it is already like this, we don't need any addendum or guideline modification to state this). Cavarrone 12:58, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to be clear, for most things it is like this but not everything, as noted in my reply above EvilxFish (talk) 13:18, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are about 20 new places, on average, added to the National Register of Historic Places every week. I find it hard to accept that a given historic place is "notable" in the Wikipedia sense without reliable sources (beyond the NRHP listing) providing significant coverage of that place. - Donald Albury 15:23, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Donald Albury seriously?! Why on earth is it considered an automatic GEO pass with such a ridiculously low inclusion threshold? Are the blurbs on each one really that significant and independent (I would guess they are absolutely not from a quick skim)? If my podunk 18k-person town can have 11 listings there is no way NRHP entries are distinguishing sites of encyclopedic importance from those of hyperlocal mild interest. This seems like an enormous contributor to systemic bias... JoelleJay (talk) 07:12, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@JoelleJay: Remember that the Geoland assumption of automatic notability is for populated places. That does not apply to almost all of the places on the NRHP. Now, I have expanded several articles about places on the NRHP, sometimes with little more than the nominating document available. I do think relying only on the nominating document for an article is, at best, marginal, but I suspect any attempt to delete an article about a place on the NRHP that has no independent reliable sources cited would fail at AfD. There are also articles in WP about places that are on local lists of historic buildings, which may be less notable that places on the NRHP. I don't like the many stubs about places on the NRHP that lack indpendent reliable sources, or even a reference to the nominating document, but I am not willing to take on that fight at this time. Donald Albury 14:37, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Blueboar: I would have to reject that premise, as all NRHP listings are accompanied by a separate document nominating the property for listing in the register. The nominating document is not a database, and is its own source separate from the database itself (obviously, because the document still exists for a property that is nominated but rejected for listing). BD2412 T 19:46, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is not always obvious where that nominating document is to be found. Even when I can find the nominating document, the resulting WP article may be skimpy if I don't find other reliable sources. See Warm Mineral Springs Building Complex. Donald Albury 20:38, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The nomination form I'm seeing appears to be a single page of administrative items and some box checking -- it contains orders of magnitude less information than literally any job application does and obviously would not count towards GNG as it is primary, not independent, and contains zero SIGCOV. JoelleJay (talk) 07:21, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "Historical Statement of Significance", such as this, can be useful, although it is not independent. However, I have only found such statements when a local government posts them, as the City of North Port did in this case. I am not aware of how to find those statements for other places on the NRHP. Donald Albury 15:05, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support this proposal, although I think it might be better to call it a "clarification" of the notability criteria, rather than an "expansion". - Donald Albury 15:23, 13 January 2023 (UTC) Edited 15:26, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Notability's primary use case is to keep people from using Wikipedia as a promotional vehicle for their whatever; company, organization, product, etc. How does the proposal above help with that? --Jayron32 15:31, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It states "On Wikipedia, notability is a test used by editors to decide whether a given topic warrants its own article." on WP:NOTE first line. I think the key is what is wikipedia? Is it a database of every species, chemical, protein etc or is it an encyclopedia that discusses a wide range of notable topics. I'd argue the latter. EvilxFish (talk) 01:47, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I know what WP:N states; but the main use of it is to keep spam away. For things which lack that element, it's a fairly low priority to worry about notability. I'm not really much concerned with a short article about some species of roundworm, as I am about some biography of an "up and coming singer" or about some company trying to increase its SEO results. --Jayron32 02:24, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'd agree the other example described are worse, but I still see this as spam. There are literally millions of known species with more to be discovered. If we maintain the status quo one can expect Wikipedia to become mostly a collection of stubs from scraped species databases rather than an encyclopedia. EvilxFish (talk) 04:07, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Except, since no one stands to gain financially nor improve their reputation nor increase their visibility by abusing Wikipedia, these sorts of things aren't really a problem. --Jayron32 12:04, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Then why do we have policy stating wikipedia is not a database or directory? How can we expect editors to watch and maintain millions of separate articles on low-information topics no one is interested in -- wouldn't that make it easier for vandals to insert promo/spam? And anyway people absolutely do benefit financially from creating articles on individual proteins or chemical reactions or whatever: refbombing with (their own reviews of) primary papers they wrote, introducing self-serving eponyms, putting their names in the body of the article ("research by Dr. X et al revealed..."); having a wiki article on a discovery you made is huge for career progression (which is exactly why a colleague of mine created an article on a topic our lab published--he even went through AfC, where reviewers failed to catch that all his sources were primary and non-independent). Do you know what venture capitalists like to see when investing in a startup? Evidence the scientific basis of a new technology is reliable and accepted. Pharma articles are already notorious for attracting COI editors; how much more difficult would it be to monitor UPE contributions scattered across millions of pages as opposed to a few thousand? JoelleJay (talk) 19:08, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It is an incorrect assumption that the use of "scraped species databases" are the usual sources for Wikipedia's species articles. Instead, most information comes from manually curated databases that are created by editorial teams of professional taxonomists representing some of the world's leading authorities on the subject. Even when not stated explicitly, these database entries include assessments on the validity of the species descriptions while also taking into account previous reviews and diverging taxonomic opinions (example here). These databases can consist of secondary or even tertiary source material that would be a gold standard to use in any Wikipedia article.
    Also, note that a comprehensive collection of (stub) articles is a definition of an encyclopedia, something we are all striving to produce. As stubs are the foundational building blocks of articles, they should not be considered a problem simply because they are stubs per se, as their addition supports the role of the project. To now describe these efforts by so many Wikipedia editors as "spam" is an inaccurate use of the term. Loopy30 (talk) 13:57, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    In fact, Wikipedia is a database. A database of text, which is displayed to you as articles, but underneath that user interface it's a database. See for instance MW:Manual:Database access for descriptions of how to access it at the database level rather than at the user interface level. —David Eppstein (talk) 01:55, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I added a comment at the end, because I agree this obviously needs further clarification and not all databases are equal. EvilxFish (talk) 02:10, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'll point out that as an attempt to get your hook into a few tens of thousands of taxon articles, as indicated above, this is going to fail, because a taxon's presence in (multiple) databases is not considered an indication of notability, but of validity (i.e., the classification has been accepted by the field). The presumption of notability rests on an unrelated consensus based on the importance of taxonomic units in the life sciences. - Which, I admit, I probably presented in a misleading manner here by leaving out the middle man. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 16:27, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I will not dispute the validity of databases as, they are a valid source, as is the paper from which they are derived, but as you rightfully point out, it is not an indication of notability. If we accept that taxonomic units are important and should be presented somewhere, would you agree, due to the nature of the coverage and the general notability criteria for every other article on Wikipedia that is used to determine inclusion or exclusion, this data is best presented in a project such as Wikidata instead? EvilxFish (talk) 01:55, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • There are a few things wrong with this proposal. One is that it assume that no databases contain significant coverage. Most don't, but some, such as the NRHP, do for some subjects. Another is that it assumes that the general notability guideline is the only possible route to notability. It is not. Notability guidelines are guidelines as to whether it is possible to write a policy-compliant article on a subject. If that has already been done then there is no need to invoke any guideline. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:07, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I agree completely with this comment. BD2412 T 19:47, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • A very similar proposal was discussed just a few months ago and failed to get consensus in a sitewide RfC. As discussed there, databases are like any other type of source: some contain significant coverage, some don't. A blanket rule like this seems like a non-starter to me. – Joe (talk) 17:15, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'll repeat a comment I already left at Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not: There is no valid distinction between information in databases and information in other kinds of sources. Being in a database is a matter of data storage and access technology, not of what type or depth of information is being stored. For instance, all Wikipedia articles are stored in a database; that's how the Wikipedia servers keep track of article content. Probably most newspaper articles online these days are stored in a database. It would be stupid to say "articles sourced from nothing but online newspaper articles are not notable", but that's what this proposal would amount to, because those newspaper articles are database entries. —David Eppstein (talk) 23:38, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Agree with the above comment, some databases have significant content, others do not so a catch as catch can approach is not helpful imv Atlantic306 (talk) 00:21, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • based on the above comments, would a further clarification such as "coverage in a database that describes the subject in minimal detail, usually derived from a single source." That way a database say of historical sights, that is constructed from multiple sources would constitute a good source, but a database of chemical species created by literature scraping from the papers that first synthesized them and report properties such as melting points, would not be a good source for determining notability? I agree based on the above comments one cannot tar all databases with the same brush and, well, this is why we are discussing this to come up with a sensible proposal. EvilxFish (talk) 02:00, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The requirement of depth of coverage is already in GNG, for a very long time. So if you are talking about amending GNG to add that requirement, you need to adjust your time machine. If you are talking about somehow imposing a new rule that every SNG must be subservient to GNG, so that the depth of coverage rule from GNG is imposed on them too, then your proposal goes well beyond being a minor change to GNG and is I think a total nonstarter. If you are demanding that past AfD participants change all their past opinions so that the record of typical past AfD opinions in OUTCOMES can change to reflect your new rule, then you need a much stronger time machine. —David Eppstein (talk) 03:00, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Please refrain from being condescending as per WP:CIVIL. I suppose I am arguing that some subject specific guidelines need to be brought closer to the general ones, on the basis that those subject guidelines yield what I have argued are undesirable outcomes which I have mentioned. And working with you and the rest of the community I would like to work towards deriving such a proposal that achieves an appropriate level of compromise. I would also point out that WP:OUTCOMES are not rules, just general outcomes and because something happened in the past that does not mean it is invariable correct. Finally I would point out WP:5P5, which makes it clear that just because something was accepted policy in the past does not mean it should be policy indefinitely into the future and discussions like this should focus on the merits and flaws of the proposed changes and avoid status quo bias. EvilxFish (talk) 03:22, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I am adamantly opposed to spreading the infection of hype-based notability (that is, GNG) to subject notability guidelines that are based on accomplishments rather than hype (example: NPOL, where you can become notable by winning a major office but not by pouring lots of money into publicizing a losing campaign) and are working perfectly well as is. —David Eppstein (talk) 05:53, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This is why I had the "prose coverage by a human" requirement in the RfC proposal linked somewhere above; like you, I do not think physical/chemical/etc. parameters (e.g. melting point) scraped from primary literature with no secondary analysis can ever be considered SIGCOV. Somehow this take was controversial... JoelleJay (talk) 21:53, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Databases, per se, are not a problem. As others here, and before have said, 1) a database is just a way of storing and accessing records and 2) the quality and reliability of a database varies. This community has a process for evaluating whether a source is reliable and an entire process to gather community input on the reliability of a source. --Enos733 (talk) 05:29, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Enos733: I agree with this statement and it is the reason why I attempted to make an amendment in the previous bullet point. The issue I would like to resolve is that a mention in a database alone (with the primary source it is derived from) is grounds for notability in some subject areas. The reason I feel strongly about this, is if this is accepted policy we see bots that create a vast number of stub articles for certain areas, which for most other subjects would fail notability criteria. I then argue if for example all species are worth being documented, the more appropriate project to do so would be wikidata and policy should change to reflect that. EvilxFish (talk) 06:05, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This is where we differ. I have no issues with stub articles. I think that a stub can be helpful to many viewers, who just want some basic information about a subject. The problem with bots is different, but again, changing how some databases are used is a blunt instrument that does not solve your concerns. - Enos733 (talk) 07:49, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I would argue it does serve to address them. Currently it is accepted that if even a trivial mention of a topic in a database is present (for some subject areas) therefore that topic is notable, despite WP:GNG. This facilitated the use of bots to generate tens of thousands of stub articles on topics which fail WP:GNG but because they are noted in a database which, in the case of species, lists basic attributes like size family etc, they are treated as notable. This is not to argue that stubs are a bad thing when they are created for topics with a range of coverage that satisfy WP:GNG only the existence of 10's of thousands of them for insignificant topics on the basis that if they are in a database => they are notable. Perhaps I am attacking this from the wrong angle though and I instead need to focus on addressing commonly accepted practices (not policies) such as WP:SPECIES. What do you think? EvilxFish (talk) 08:10, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think if you wanted overturn WP:SPECIESOUTCOMES, it is probably best litigated as its own issue. I don't feel that it would be overturned by the suggestion you are offering. NeverRainsButPours (talk) 10:56, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'd like to thank everyone for the comments and feedback and helping me to think this through a bit better, I think I agree with @NeverRainsButPours: that my focus should be on changing policies such as WP:SPECIESOUTCOMES and maybe one or two similar ones. I will work out the best venue to do that. If it's here I am not sure if it is best to start a new discussion as it will be substantially different from what this started with. What do you guys think? EvilxFish (talk) 11:08, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think it would be best to start by engaging with the relevant WikiProjects (e.g., Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of Life and some of the top-level biology projects if you're proposing to change SPECIESOUTCOMES). That said, I think you would do well to pause for a while and do some subject-specific background research before plunging ahead with your next proposal. (e.g., the fact that all valid species must have a description or diagnosis is significant in explaining why SPECIESOUTCOMES is true). It might save you some trouble. Choess (talk) 17:31, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    thank you, I will bear that in mind and try look for historical discussions pertaining to this. EvilxFish (talk) 02:26, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Sorry, but this makes no sense to me at all. Databases can be good or bad, primary or secondary, superficial or in-depth, etc. This proposal would eliminate a wide array of perfectly acceptable sources for no good reason. Honestly, this looks like what happens when a rule-of-thumb approach to the intrinsically difficult question "What deserves its own page in an encyclopedia?" gets taken as the ultimate answer. My advice is to spend a month not speaking in all-caps shortcuts, discover how strange they sound, and contemplate the headline "Wikipedia deletes thousands of endangered species: Not notable enough, say editors". XOR'easter (talk) 14:17, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Write an essay?

Based on the above comments, it seems clear that not all databases are the same. Some do establish notability while others do not. Further guidance on all of this would be helpful. So… I would suggest that we start by crafting an essay to outline it. Blueboar (talk) 15:24, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't see the need for any further clarification myself. As already said in the general notability guideline, for a topic to pass that particular notability guideline coverage in reliable sources is required to be significant. It makes no difference whether the coverage is stored in a database or not, just as it makes no difference what type of paper it may be written on. Phil Bridger (talk) 16:27, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think there's a need for a general essay about databases and notability. Per others, whether or not you can call a source a "database" doesn't really shed any further light on whether the individual topics in it are notable. Attempting to subdivide and classify databases for purposes of notability will just wind up restating GNG, and because the restatement won't perfectly parallel GNG, will encourage more vexatious litigation. If there are issues with a particular database or set of databases, that should be addressed in appropriate SNGs; major aspects of notability, such as SIGCOV and RS, require subject-specific context to interpret, which is why it's important to have SNGs (rather than attempting pure, abstract reasoning from the GNG alone). Choess (talk) 16:42, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Attempting to subdivide and classify databases for purposes of notability will just wind up restating GNG -- the issue is that some people actually do interpret physical parameters scraped from primary studies as "SIGCOV" when they're collected in a single database (which of course would mean the types of entries that happen to have lots of recorded physical parameters, like all the billions of objects in some astro databases, automatically "have more SIGCOV"). A simple reminder at NOTDATABASE that SIGCOV requires direct, secondary prose analysis by a human would clarify things. JoelleJay (talk) 22:07, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think what I need to do is as stated above, address specific policies such as WP:SPECIESOUTCOMES. Editing general policies will not solve the issue I am attempting to tackle. EvilxFish (talk) 17:08, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Conclusion

I have reconsidered this proposal based on the above comments and agree with the assessment provided by multiple users as to why this is a bad idea and will not achieve what I would like. I will give this some more though and focus instead on things such as WP:SPECIESOUTCOMES more specifically. I think for the sake of clarity I will start a new section for this once I have formulated the idea somewhat. EvilxFish (talk) 01:57, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@EvilxFish, I don't know how familiar you are with the concept of a Valid name (zoology), but if you want that essay to be useful, then you really do need to understand it. I'm going to use your nom at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Harpalus numidicus as an example. At the time of your nom, it contained one ref, to a WP:DEADURL. Most editors don't know much about species, and a quick search on your favorite web search engine isn't likely to be productive. This isn't exactly an easy task.
But: We have to avoid the mistake of assuming that the citations currently present in the article are the only sources in the world, and in this subject area, we have one indisputable fact: it is impossible to have a Valid name (zoology) for any animal or a Valid name (botany) for any plant unless and until someone has published a description in an acceptable scientific work, that is comprehensive enough and detailed enough that other researchers can reliably distinguish the species you've found from very similar species.
So, while you are looking at a confusing mess on the search page, and a dead link in the article, people who happen to be familiar with the subject area are saying: The database says that this has a valid name, and therefore I can guarantee that there is a detailed description of the species somewhere. In this case, someone has recently very kindly added a ref to the original three-page-long scientific journal article to the article. It's understandable that you couldn't find it in a quick WP:BEFORE, and it's even understandable that you wouldn't already know that such papers (or books) exist for every single validly named plant and animal species in the entire world. This IMO is what editors need to be told in the essay you're writing: even if it looks like the article is just repeating a paltry database entry, if the subject of the article is a validly named plant or animal, we can guarantee that WP:NEXIST is fulfilled. You just have to have the subject-specific knowledge about how to find the sources. This is easy in some cases (e.g., Fishbase lists them) and harder in others, but valid name == paper published. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:44, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But does it mean multiple secondary, independent papers with SIGCOV have been published? JoelleJay (talk) 03:44, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For the overwhelming majority of them? Yes. I work in the Lepidoptera area, which is one of the largest amassments of species (both in regards to valid names and in regards to species that have a Wikipedia article). Are the articles generally in a terrible state? Well, yes. Between the multiple iterations of species-creation-bots and some other since-indeffed problematic article creators, we've got a massive backlog of articles that need to be whipped into shape and only a small number of editors willing to work on them. Are they generally under-sourced? A-yup. But do those sources exist? Almost without exception.
It's actually finding and accessing them that's the problem, and for somewhat obscure species, Google nor Google Scholar are all that helpful: a lot of the information is in paywalled articles, in non-searchable scans of old articles, or in not-yet-digitized articles and books. Lots of the relevant coverage is in old, dead trees.
Throw in species with a bunch of genus transferrals or junior synonyms in their history and a good portion of the relevant scientific works will be found under those names, which you need to actually be aware of to even look for those in the first place (to then promptly run into the same Google-ain't-helpful issue as above, and then once you finally find a place a particular book or paper has been scanned, you're presented with the joy of, say, working with a blurry scan of early 19th century German riddled with scientific jargon and abbreviations, in an old, barely legible type with ink that has started bleeding a bit and paper has gone well past turning yellow.)
Are there times where I can't find multiple such papers? Sure. The more obscure a species, the older its original publishing date, the smaller its range, and the further it occurs from the Anglosphere, the harder it becomes. (A good part of that is because digitizing efforts so far overwhelmingly focus on material from Europe and the Anglosphere) In almost all of those cases, though, it's a safe assumption that if the species is still considered valid, such sources do indeed exist.
The issue is figuring out "okay, is this still considered an actual, valid species", and for that you don't need SIGCOV. Reliable, up-to-date databases listing the species as valid, or recent scientific works including the species in a list of valid species are enough for that. AddWittyNameHere 20:14, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@AddWittyNameHere: From what I have understood so far is the databases are constructed based on a report from the primary literature that initially described the species. I'm curious what secondary sources will usually exist for these species and how does one go about finding them given your above mentioned difficulties in searching using things like google? Is it things like textbooks that reference the original paper when discussing the species, maybe in the context of other similar ones (good secondary source coverage)?
With regards to don't need SIGCOV, isn't this equating validity and notability? There are many things which are valid but don't have articles because they are not notable based on either the general criteria or specific criteria of particular rule subsets. If the argument is that any valid species is also notable, why should this be the case? Thank you for helping me understand this area better! EvilxFish (talk) 01:44, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apologies up ahead: this will be one long response. I've summarized and simplified where possible, but the questions you're asking mostly aren't ones that have short, simple answers.
Regarding the databases, kind of but not quite. To majorly simplify it (let's just say that there's a reason physical copies of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature take the shape of a book and not a flyer), a name can end up being not valid for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways, and reliable, up-to-date databases update their information once that happens. So, an initial description is a necessary part of it, but not the whole of it.
Onto secondary sources (or rather, secondary coverage, because a lot of taxonomic literature is a mix of primary in some regards, secondary in others.)
Possible sources of significant secondary coverage include but are certainly not limited to:
Monographs and other taxonomic revisions; identification guides; new records/data/additional description (e.g. distribution, host plants, seasonality, parasitoids--yes, the new data is primary, but these frequently include a summarization or overview of information from previous literature, which is not); articles on closely related taxa; relevant checklists, overviews and standard works; reviews of specimen collections hosted by museums; factsheets and scientific literature outside the taxonomic corner for agriculturally or medically significant species as well as invasive exotics and deliberately-introduced species; works dealing with biodiversity, climate change and/or protection of endangered species; works on species that are food source and/or host to the species in question, or to which the species in question is food source and/or host.
Finding them: first step is identifying a source. Databases, reference lists in related articles and books, tracing back taxonomic changes, looking for works published while the species was known by a different name if you know of any such names, figuring out the title of the work in which the species was first described and looking for citations thereof, monographs and other taxonomic revisions of relevant higher taxa, checking papers of the most relevant authorities in that particular taxonomic corner to see if there's anything relevant, check if checklists for the region in which the species occurs mention any refs, keyword searches in journal archives and Wikipedia Library, and so on. If you own actual subject-relevant paper-and-ink resources, check those.
Then once you know the name of a work in which the species is, or might be, covered, the next step is actually accessing that work. If copyright-expired, check archives like the Biodiversity Heritage Library to see if it's been digitized. If not that old, check Wikipedia Library, ResearchGate, journal's site for archives, Google Scholar (sometimes it doesn't find things on keyword which it does find on author and title) and Google Books, author's site because some upload scans or pdfs, university site because same, check for access through whatever institutes you have access through, check physical university library if you have access to one, if you've got a partial copy, search for some random sentences for it, sometimes Google finds them then after all, try some different search engines, ask on Wikipedia's Resource Request, ask on subject-relevant communities whether someone has it, possibly even e-mail the author to try and see if they'd be willing to provide you with a copy.
Validity is not, by itself, notability, that is true. Plenty of things are valid in the sense that they exist, yet are not notable by Wikipedia standards, because there isn't (enough) actual coverage in appropriate sources. But validity in the specific context of zoology has a meaning well beyond merely conveying "this exists". It means "this taxon exists; it is not the same as another taxon in use; it has been described in a way sufficient to distinguish it from other taxa in use; and this is the correct name to use for it." When all of those criteria are fulfilled—which they have to be in order for something to be an actual valid species—that is a near-guarantee that significant-enough coverage does exist, a high chance that one or more editors familiar with the subject area are able to find and access some of it or at least be able to point out where such sources exist, and for sufficiently obscure species, a pretty low chance for editors without that familiarity to do the same.
Which means that, for editors without a familiarity with the subject, it's going to be just about impossible to tell apart the identical-looking cases of "obscure species article has only a database as source in spite of existing SIGCOV" and "obscure species article has only a database as source because no SIGCOV actually exists", while the former is quite common and the latter is not. As the notability of an article's subject is not determined based on the presence of sources in an article, but on the existence of such sources (WP:NEXIST), using validity of the species as the benchmark to decide the likelihood of notability-conveying sources existing therefore makes sense: it is generally fairly easy to prove or disprove validity (and can thus be checked by people with significantly less familiarity with the subject than checking for the existence of sources would require), it genuinely does have a very close connection with the likelihood of there being coverage, and it avoids AFD being flooded with species articles which are then a. kept upon someone with familiarity with the subject digging up some sources, b. kept upon someone with familiarity with the subject explaining that the validity of the species means such sources almost invariably exist or c. deleted only to be recreated down the line as soon as someone with said familiarity has the time to dig up said sources. AddWittyNameHere 07:43, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I really appreciate your detailed and thoughtful responses! I am approaching this from A) a background in molecular biology where Wikipedia's pages on individual proteins are often similarly sourced to databases but secondary SIGCOV cannot be presumed; B) familiarity with the NASTRO guideline where even though all objects in certain databases correspond to numerous descriptions, measurements, and other parameters that are often verified/repeated across multiple studies, appearance in those databases is explicitly not allowed as evidence of notability precisely because it would result in millions of articles; and C) our recent tightening of athlete notability, where for criteria to even have a presumption of SIGCOV there must be at least one GNG source present in the article, and for new criteria proposals there must be evidence-based consensus that 90-95% of all subjects meeting the criterion also meet GNG. So to me it is rather incongruous to have on the one hand the requirement by the notability guideline that (presumption of) notability must be achieved through either the GNG or the dozenish SNGs listed at N (the only places where NEXIST can be automatically generalized to all qualifying topics), and on the other hand have tens of millions of subjects that can bypass those expectations based on a non-guideline that AFAIK has not been examined on a community-wide scale. I also strongly prescribe to the WP:NOPAGE perspective; my feeling is that if all the DUE secondary SIGCOV on something can be summarized in an infobox and/or within another article, we do not need a standalone on it.
That said, I am glad there are editors like you who actually put in the effort to source species articles appropriately and have the patience to explain how/why they can be expected to comply with N. The issue (and I've made exactly this same argument regarding athlete bios) is with all the other editors/bots creating thousands of microstubs that serve as essentially worse versions of their originating dedicated databases and appear at the top of Google search results despite being unmaintained and barely monitored. This just isn't sustainable. JoelleJay (talk) 22:40, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're welcome. :) For discussions on a community-wide scale, the subject pops up every few years in places like this and some other community-wide noticeboards. So far, the outcome has always been roughly a. "if it's verifiably a valid species, it's notable" or b. "no consensus to change (therefore defaulting to a)". How many of these discussions got enough attention to truly consider them community-wide, as opposed to simply appearing in a community-wide rather than WikiProject-specific location, I don't quite know from top of my head, however.
I also strongly prescribe to the WP:NOPAGE perspective; my feeling is that if all the DUE secondary SIGCOV on something can be summarized in an infobox and/or within another article, we do not need a standalone on it.
Sure, I can agree with that in theory. Thing is, for species that generally isn't an actual option once all due secondary SIGCOV is actually taken into account, rather than simply what is currently in the Wikipedia article.
But even for species where such information could genuinely be summarized in another article—its genus. That might work for small genera. Say, ten or so species at most.
But many, many genera don't have ten species. They have sixty. Or three hundred. Or well over a thousand. Articles on such genera simply listing all existing valid species in it already become fairly unwieldy (see e.g. Eupithecia, one of those massive 1000+ species genera which I've recently been working on).
Now imagine that list, but with author and year of description after each name, plus some amount of distribution data ranging from type location to full known distribution. Add the synonyms with their authors and years—and many of them will have a synonym or two, and some have dozens. Some description. Then depending on what information is known, vernacular names, seasonality, whether it overwinters as egg or larva or pupa or imago, whether it's got multiple forms, whether it's been assessed as vulnerable or endangered, any medical or environmental or agricultural significance, and so on. That's all DUE information when it comes to the species. A good bit of it is hardly DUE on the genus article, though. So you'd either end up with a bunch of genus articles that are an unwieldy amassment of bits of species-specific knowledge that aren't necessarily DUE for the genus, or you'd end up providing even less information than the species articles do.
Not to mention that all those species articles? The pages would still have to exist, just as redirect to the genus page. All those current redirects to the species articles? They'd also still have to exist, just re-pointed to the genus page in order to avoid double-redirs (and then you need to either create a massive amount of anchors in the genus article so people are led to the relevant bit of information). Some of the categories? They'd still need to be in place, but on the redirs because they apply to the species not the genus. So the likely net result would imo be "equal number of mainspace pages even if not articles and replacing one area of undersourcing and possible incongruence with another, while not actually improving navigation, readability, or information provided, and potentially reducing all three of them". While introducing a whole heap of work to change everything around, which would mean even less time and effort spent on actually improving the sourcing and information provided on species as long as it's ongoing (read:several years). AddWittyNameHere 18:11, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@AddWittyNameHere: I too would like to thank you for this very detailed response and I am starting to get a clearer picture of how ideas such as WP:SPECIESOUTCOMES came about, I will definitely be including this in the essay I am planning on writing maybe this weekend about the topic. I now have doubts about whether anything should/needs to change, but I feel as if writing all this down will help others at least understand the defacto policy. EvilxFish (talk) 07:58, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're quite welcome! AddWittyNameHere 18:14, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With regards to don't need SIGCOV: As a side note, no subject actually requires a citation to a notability-proving source in the article. If you blank all the sources from, (e.g.,) Cancer or Queen Victoria, those subjects still 100% meet GNG, including the SIGCOV component. It's convenient if you add sources that make it easy for other, less-informed editors to figure out that the notability criteria have been met, but it's the existence of the sources in the real world, not the citation of them in the article, that actually matters. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:50, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for raising that point and when I come to write this up eventually, I will be sure to take it into consideration and make a mention of this important point! Just through this discussion here I have learned a lot more about the area, thank you! EvilxFish (talk) 01:34, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@EvilxFish:, there's another point regarding SPECIESOUTCOMES that hasn't really been addressed yet in this thread. The number of species names ever published is several times the number regarded as valid. Most species names are synonyms. Nobody is mass-creating articles for synonyms from databases (some people do create a lot of redirects for synonyms); however sometimes people create an article using outdated sources for a name that is considered a synonym. One of the reasons species articles don't get deleted, is that if an article for a synonym is created, it can just be redirected to an article for a valid name. Plantdrew (talk) 22:31, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Make the top navigation bar fixed

I noticed this when I'd scroll and want to get to get back to the top to perform a search. On large pages, this gets really tedious and I use Wikipedia search engine a lot. Can we please correct this by making the top navigation bar have a fixed position regardless of scrolling both on mobile and desktop? This should be the case regardless of the user skin. — Python Drink (talk) 09:39, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, it should not be the case regardless of the user skin. Some skins don't even have the search bar you're talking about in the top navigation bar (Monobook has it in the sidebar instead, for example). If you want the bar's position fixed but aren't using a skin like Timeless where that's already the case, you can try customizing your own user CSS to make it happen. Anomie 17:50, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Python Drink You might be interested in my user CSS which does exactly this, for all screen widths. mw:User:Quiddity/Vector-2022-condensed.css. I.e. Even on a phone, if you use the "Desktop" version (link in every page-footer) and Vector-2022, it will keep a fixed top-bar when you scroll. It does a lot of other things, and I've tried to add explanatory comments thoughout, so you may prefer to only use parts of it, or may like to import the whole thing directly (my example) into your global.css. Hope that helps! Quiddity (talk) 20:13, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You will be happy to know that Vector 2022, the new skin that WMF has been developing, will have a fixed top bar. IznoPublic (talk) 19:13, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@IznoPublic, I hope it applies to mobile as well. — Python Drink (talk) 12:41, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not yet, but maybe later. IznoPublic (talk) 16:51, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Persistent incorrect use of a parameter of Template:Clarify

I have noticed that some users of Template:Clarify attempt to add a reason using an unnamed or numbered parameter instead of correct reason=. I don't know how common this really is, but this came up at Hexachlorophosphazene (permanent link):

{{chem2|NH3 + [PCl4]+ → "HN\dPCl3" + HCl}}{{clarification needed|Incorrect chemical reaction! Where the + charge from the [PCl4]+ is missing at the right side of the reaction!|date=October 2022}}}}

NH3 + [PCl4]+ → "HN=PCl3" + HCl[clarification needed]

which should be:

{{chem2|NH3 + [PCl4]+ → "HN\dPCl3" + HCl}}{{clarification needed|reason=Incorrect chemical reaction! Where the + charge from the [PCl4]+ is missing at the right side of the reaction!|date=October 2022}}}}

NH3 + [PCl4]+ → "HN=PCl3" + HCl[clarification needed]

If you are using a platform with a tooltip, hovering over the tag in the clarify tag in the latter example should give the contents of the reason= parameter instead of the default message.

Since renaming the parameter to 1= might lead to the opposite issue, should we automatically correct this common mistake with a bot, or add built-in support for the unnamed parameter as an alias of reason=? I strongly suspect that other issue tags with a similar parameter (such as Template:Dubious) have the same problem, but again, I don't know how to verify this. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 12:49, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@LaundryPizza03 Why not allow the use both named and unnamed parameters in the template? You can use something like {{{reason|{{{1|The text near this tag may need clarification or removal of jargon.}}}}}}, so that if the template has a reason parameter set it uses that as the reason, if not it uses the first unnamed parameter, and if neither of those exist it uses the default text. 192.76.8.75 (talk) 11:30, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Using the first unnamed parameter as a reason when |reason= is not specified would boost usability at very little cost. Something as simple as {{{reason|{{{1|The text near this tag may need clarification or removal of jargon.}}} }}} should do the job. Certes (talk) 12:00, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't understand what specific problem this causes. It doesn't produce the tooltip, but maybe I don't want the tooltip to be produced (e.g., if I'm writing something snippy or that names a particular editor, which readers shouldn't see). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:47, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you specifically don't want the text to appear in a tooltip, you can always use a comment in the wikitext. This has the advantage of making it clearer that you don't intend it to be part of a tooltip through the reason parameter, so people are less likely to "fix" it in an attempt to be helpful. Caeciliusinhorto (talk) 21:14, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you use an unused unnamed parameter as a comment? If so then just write |comment=Is this the man born 1876 or similar with any other unused parameter but, as Caeciliusinhorto suggests, an HTML comment would be better. Certes (talk) 16:24, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Make an Internet 1.0~2.0 conservatory: Internet Stamps, Userbars, Avatars + Signatures, Referal buttons, other cultures from forums and more.

I was trying to find about stamps on internet, but I only found other things like postal stamps instead. Wikipedia has an article about Userbars in Spanish Wiki version, but there's nothing in English's version. I find it a shame because those things were part of 2000'~ internet culture, and there's almost nothing about it online, even when these graphics have got a ton of rules that everyone followed, and made it one more of the group.

For example: Avatars used to be 100x100, 150x150 and some weird cases 120x200 Buttons were always 88x31, userbars 350x19 with a diagonal strip pattern and the used font was Visitor at 10px Stamps were 98x54 or around those sizes, always with the same border with some variations, animated or colored, with visitor font or custom text inside.

You wouldn't find anything that will break those rules, even if there's a couple of cases with userbars and stamps, most of them were always the same size, or people made a couple of different sizes to let you combine when you put the button and link from another page into your page. (MSN Groups memories, anyone?)

Another concepts like "png" or "render" that was used for taking out the background of an image (usually characters from anime pics or other things), and the term recoloring, that was used for changing the colors of those images. RPC culture (role playing character) that used ALSO other images as base for making a character, mostly used for roleplaying on forums (Also a lot of people making bases for the same reason)

If you weren't in those ages, you will never know anything about this, and there's a couple more that I wouldn't even remember. It's a shame that it isn't anywhere when it is part of internet's story that was quite strong in those times, not for nothing there's a person that made a page for storing the old net things, and also people that made a new "geocities" to mantain the old internet customs and let new people experiment and try it. (Also people trying to save info about Geocities, like OoCities and Reocities)

And yet, there's almost nothing about this part of internet's story on Wikipedia. 181.28.91.80 (talk) 18:10, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If something is missing from Wikipedia that should be there, then by all means go ahead and add it. --Jayron32 18:11, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would like but, I'm not quite used to Wikipedia as editor, I would need help with the article and even more with the info because I know a couple of parts of the story, people on their 30' or 40' would remember more than me, also where to connect it to which other article that is about that internet era so it can have people that notices about it?, that's a thing that I'm not sure too how to intervene with. 181.28.91.80 (talk) 18:21, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just in case; I'm not sure if this is the correct zone to post this, maybe I should have posted it here instead. 181.28.91.80 (talk) 18:15, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Anything that has significant coverage in independent reliable secondary sources can potentially be an article. I was there at the time (I was using the Internet before Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web), but I have to say that I don't remember there being standards for such things, formal or informal. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:58, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I know that those populated a lot between 2006 and 2014 before social medias swallowed everything.
Those things were more seen on forums oriented to games, anime, comics, rolplay, and other type of forums that were about entertainment or full of creative people, like deviantart and similar social medias that allowed custom things.
Some of them limited your image display to some sizes, being 100x100 one of them, like a standard, though there were a couple more too.
It's hard to find those pages or forums as examples because they're gone. But there was a trend there.
I remember that there were also people putting custom cursors, stars and things that fell from the cursor, that was a thing too. Cinni had saved that thing pretty well. I would need more people to check those things. 201.177.253.223 (talk) 05:29, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You seem to be talking about things (phenomena) that have proven to be ephemeral. Borrowing from the guideline at Wikipedia:Notability (events)#Inclusion criteria, I think something like the following would apply to the phenomena you are describing:
  1. Phenomena are probably notable if they have enduring historical significance and meet the general notability guideline, or if they have a significant lasting effect.
  2. Phenomena are also very likely to be notable if they have widespread (national or international) impact and were very widely covered in diverse sources, especially if also re-analyzed afterwards (as described below).
  3. Phenomena having lesser coverage or more limited scope may or may not be notable.
  4. Routine kinds of phenomena – whether or not widely reported at the time – are usually not notable unless something further gives them additional enduring significance.
So, if reliable sources establishing the notability of these phenomena you are talking about are no longer available, then they have not had the enduring significance that would earn them a place in an encyclopedia.
Donald Albury 13:31, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sexual consent for images on Wikipedia, or lack of it thereof

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


There are images on Wikipedia that some users may view with a sexual nature. They further may go on to engage in sexual activities observing those images, such as masturbation. This may happen even if the image contains age appropriate individuals, fully clad individuals, or those in normal activities. It may simply happen with images of objects. Shouldn't there be an option of allowing images in articles to state whether they agree to, consent to, someone masturbating using their image, or any other sexual activity. For example, say someone has a spider fetish. And they see an image of a spider on Wikipedia that arouses them. However the user has linked a symbol showing that they do not consent to their images being used sexually, say for masturbation. So the arousal can then be directed to a picture where consent is given if the person wishes to stay on Wikipedia. Or else direct the user away if no image on Wikipedia should be used for masturbation. I'm not sure if text should be included in this. FacetsOfNonStickPans (talk) 13:50, 19 January 2023 (UTC)<