Wikipedia:Simple talk

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Patrol backlog[change]

Calling all patrollers: we have a backlog in the article and template areas. Help would be appreciated. Please remember that before marking something as patrolled, it should be checked to be sure it's in decent shape: written in simple language, has appropriate references, is properly categorized, isn't a copyvio, etc. Whatever you do, please don't mark a page patrolled just to get it done: if you don't want to do the checking, that's OK, just leave it for someone else. Thanks! --Auntof6 (talk) 06:26, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Dubious categories, e.g. "Model"[change]

Under what conditions should a category be added to a biography? The problem occurs most with show-biz/media type biogs, often puffed up by PR agents and fans. We should not allow an elastic term like "model" to be used unless there is evidence a person was notable or at least significantly employed as one. This is just one example of a widespread problem. Categories lose their point if they are full of entries added for trivial reasons or, in some cases, for no reason at all. Category entries not supported by evidence should be removed, IMO. Macdonald-ross (talk) 15:46, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Can we come up with a set of rules: Probably no one would object if I said Marilyn Monroe was a model, but If I spoke about Paris Hilton, the debate problably starts... Note, that Henry Ford, and Carl Benz (both pinoneering engineers when it comes to automobiles) were probably also role-models for other people (as in: If you want to become a good engineer look at those people...). In the context of this Wikipedia, it probably does not make sense to talk about "model" without further classifying the term. Much as I despise, some people look up to Machiavelli, Stalin, or Hitler, because they were able to reach their goals better than other people (If those goals were morally acceptable is another discussion)....--Eptalon (talk) 16:10, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The way our page model (person) uses the term, it omits role models. Models for artists and for clothes advertisements are both paid professions, and that's probably wide enough. I think almost anyone could be a role model for anybody! One would have to show that there was some meaningful connection between the the role model and the "apprentice". How would one do that? Hmmm, well, anyway, I just wanted to raise the question of evidence for membership of a category. Macdonald-ross (talk) 16:29, 30 August 2015 (UTC).
These are good points. We have some rules already, Help:Categories and Wikipedia:Categories. Both could use some updating, but specifically categories used for BLPs would be a very good addition to the guideline. It might also be appropriate to add to the BLP guideline. User:Rus793 (talk) 17:05, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Categories for settlements in the United States[change]

An editor recently renamed some (but not all) Chicago-related categories to include ", Illinois" in the names. This raises the question, do we want categories for US settlements to include the name of the state or territory in their names? The reasoning for article names has been that it is not needed if there is no ambiguity, or if the place in question is the primary meaning of the name. Should we use the same reasoning for categories? --Auntof6 (talk) 01:07, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

The standard on and thus ours unless we change it in this discussion is that they only need the state if they name is ambiguous and not clearly the primary topic. Chicago for example is very obvious to any reader which Chicago it is. (are there others even?) -DJSasso (talk) 02:57, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Although surprisingly now that I look on en, theirs is named that way. I have a feeling the US articles/categories are outlyers on I know for example there are specific naming standards for Canadian cities and a couple other countries not to use them unless the town is ambiguous and not primary topic like London vs. London, Ontario. So basically my opinion I guess is that for cities where no disambiguation is needed then use just the city. -DJSasso (talk) 03:01, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
In which case, Category:Los Angeles, California and many of its subcats need to be renamed. Jim Michael (talk) 00:28, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
That seems logical. However, in line with our messages to the other editor to discuss before making mass changes, please discuss first if you plan to make those changes. That will give everyone a heads-up that something is changing. Also be sure to check what links to each category -- there could be templates or something linking to them that would need to be changed. Thanks. --Auntof6 (talk) 07:41, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
We should reach consensus here before changing any cats, including Category:Chicago, Illinois, Category:Los Angeles, California and their subcats. Jim Michael (talk) 11:34, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
Well, I'm in favour of the most famous cities being as "Paris", and smaller, derived place names like Paris, Texas. I'm sure our readers would find this natural. Fame and population size are the most important criteria. Who would doubt that "Los Angeles" means the city in southern California, no matter how many others there might be? I think this would work with both categories and article titles. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:50, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
Part of the issue, here, is that for the vast majority of the place locations in the United States, the state identification is an important and material part of the place's identity. Take a place like Grand Rapids, Michigan, for example. In practical terms, that city is the primary meaning of the name. The enwiki article is named en:Grand Rapids, while a disambiguation page points to a variety of other places in North America. But a person who doesn't know much US geography won't automatically know that "Grand Rapids" generally refers to "Grand Rapids, MI". And to an American, thinking of the place as "Grand Rapids, United States" is just not how you think of things—you'd always think of it as "Grand Rapids, MI".
So I think we ought to err on the side of including state names for US places (articles, categories, whatever), and only eliminate them in really unambiguous cases. Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston? Sure. When in doubt, leave the state in. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:26, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure we all agree that Chicago, Miami, Houston and LA are unambiguous. They can certainly have the state removed from their cats and subcats. Jim Michael (talk) 10:16, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't argue any of those. But even here: be careful that you are calling anything related to Los Angeles Los Angeles and not LA. There was just a discussion at en:WP:Reference desk/Language on that subject, because LA can refer to Louisiana, too. (It can depend whether there are periods, whether the A is capital or lower-case, and so on.) In the case of New York, I personally don't care if it's New York City or New York, NY New York, but one must distinguish from the state of New York. There are two Kansas Cities next to each other. Kansas City, Missouri, is the bigger one, but Kansas City, Kansas, is not an insignificant city in it its own right. So just be careful. StevenJ81 (talk) 13:46, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
The main article (for anything, not just settlements) should not use abbreviations. We can have redirects that use abbreviations, as long as they're not ambiguous. --Auntof6 (talk) 01:22, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
We should use New York for the state and New York City for the city. We shouldn't use abbreviations in category names. It might not be a good idea to rename Category:Boston, Massachusetts to Category:Boston, because of Boston, Lincolnshire. Jim Michael (talk) 10:04, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Jim, I'd probably use New York State or State of New York, because New York all by itself is inherently ambiguous in any situation where context does not make the meaning obvious (like "List of US states"). (Ditto for Washington State.) But now that you mention it, I agree with you on Boston.
I guess I still summarize what I think ought to be the overall rules for US locations as follows: Rule 1 for everywhere. If it's otherwise ambiguous, keep as much information as you need to ensure that it's not ambiguous. Rule 2 for US locations. After fulfilling Rule 1, US state names remain in place names except when that place name by itself is unambiguous even to people not familiar with the US. StevenJ81 (talk) 13:25, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
The way to distinguish the state from other things would be "New York (state)", but only if it's needed. I don't think "New York" is ambiguous, though: the name of the city always includes "City". I think the only state names that are ambiguous are Georgia and Washington. I also think the rules for US and non-US can be the same. --Auntof6 (talk) 00:19, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Does anyone have any objections to renaming unambiguous cats, such as Category:Toronto, Ontario, Category:Los Angeles, California and their subcats? Jim Michael (talk) 09:47, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

OK, I was waiting for others to give their opinions, but here is another point. The issue for categories is different from the issue for articles. Take the case of Madrid: there's the big one in Spain and there are several others. Someone could type in "Madrid" when looking for an article on one of the others. When they arrive at the Spanish one, they will soon see that the article isn't about the one they want (because the article talks about Spain), and they can look further. If they're looking at a category for one of the others, they may find the category for the Spanish one, but not realize it isn't what they want -- not everyone would look at how the category is categorized. If they are actually categorizing something, they may add the category "Madrid", see that the category exists, and not check further. To sum up, we could make a case for always including the country, state, etc. in categories. --Auntof6 (talk) 18:04, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

Introducing the Wikimedia public policy site[change]

Hi all,

We are excited to introduce a new Wikimedia Public Policy site. The site includes resources and position statements on access, copyright, censorship, intermediary liability, and privacy. The site explains how good public policy supports the Wikimedia projects, editors, and mission.

Visit the public policy portal:

Please help translate the statements on Meta Wiki. You can read more on the Wikimedia blog.


Yana and Stephen (Talk) 18:12, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

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Open call for Individual Engagement Grants[change]

My apologies for posting this message in English. Please help translate it if you can.

Greetings! The Individual Engagement Grants program is accepting proposals until September 29th to fund new tools, community-building processes, and other experimental ideas that enhance the work of Wikimedia volunteers. Whether you need a small or large amount of funds (up to $30,000 USD), Individual Engagement Grants can support you and your team’s project development time in addition to project expenses such as materials, travel, and rental space.


I JethroBT (WMF), Community Resources, Wikimedia Foundation. 20:52, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

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